Young Keynesians

Part of Ron Paul’s mission has been to simplify economic ideas into terms average Americans can understand in order to point out the crimes of Keynesian policies and the Federal Reserve. In doing this he has turned an army of young people on to the sound principles of Austrian economic theory, but the other side is fighting back.

It is no surprise with the number of left-leaning educators in universities throughout the United States that those who prefer Keynesian (or spend-your-way-out-of-debt) economic theory dominate the market on indoctrination. And as it becomes increasingly clear that this mainstream economic policy is deeply flawed and unsustainable, the Keynesians are working to make younger audiences favor their ideas.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York touts an “education” initiative called the High School Fed Challenge that it claims is an effort to “bring real-world economics” to high school classrooms. In a series of competitions hosted by Fed board members, students compete in analyzing economic current events to determine which are most able to sound like Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in delivering suggestions for a course of monetary action.

NPR reported on the most recent installment of the competition which was won by students from Montclair High School in Montclair, N.J.: “The students are clearly very good at parroting Ben Bernanke. But they also seem to have a solid grasp of what the economy means for their own lives…Obviously, putting the words ‘Fed Challenge’ on a college application looks impressive. But there’s also a sense that understanding all this stuff really matters right now. In the finals, the students answer questions about things the people who run the Fed are debating right now — from quantitative easing to the outlook for inflation.”

While only a small number of students participate in the Fed Challenge, the initiative represents what many people might recognize as a broader problem in the state of modern economic thinking: Many leading economists simply have not been largely exposed to Austrian economics. The efforts of people like Paul and Economic Policy Journal publisher Robert Wenzel, however, are slowly bringing the conservative economic idea into the conversation.

Wenzel writes of a speech he was recently invited to give at the Federal Reserve in New York:

I then asked one economist ( a 20 year plus veteran of the Fed) if he was familiar with Austrian economics. He said that in college he had taken two history of economics courses and then said that the Austrian school is part of the classical tradition. This told me that he was not aware of the important differences between the Austrian school and classical economics (and also the neo-classical tradition).

…Overall, I was simply amazed at the lack of knowledge of these economists about the Austrian school. It was very close to non-existent. This points out the extremely important work being done by the Mises Institute and also Ron Paul. The number of students with an understanding of Austrian economics is increasing at an exponential rate. I can’t imagine that future economists, even those who work for the Fed, won’t have some acquaintance with Austrian economics thanks to MI and Ron Paul.

Maybe if the trend continues, it will become normal at some point in the future to read an economic editorial in The New York Times that touts the value of Austrian ideals rather than the Keynesian nonsense regularly disseminated by the likes of Paul Krugman.

Obama, States’ Rights Hypocrisy And False Hope

Did President Barack Obama become the first President in the history of the United States to announce that he is a homosexual this week? No, he didn’t. But with the amount of coverage of what he did say and jubilation from the gay community, it almost seems as though he did.

The President’s remarks on Wednesday should be minimally surprising to both his critics and his supporters.

“I’ve always been adamant that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally,” Obama told ABC’s Robin Roberts.

This is something that Americans already know, as the remark was made by the head of an Administration that ended the ban on openly gay individuals serving in the United States military.

Obama went on to say:

I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or Marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.

Some pundits claim that Obama has exhibited the paramount in political bravery in simply uttering the words “I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” but others would classify the so-called bravery as cowardice. The President has been under pressure to comment on the issue of gay marriage since gaffe-happy Vice President Joe Biden said last Sunday that he completely supports the rights of gay Americans to marry.

While party-line Republicans and Democrats have certainly seized the moment and either used it in criticism or support of the President, there exists no political victory or defeat for either side in what he said. What is illustrated by Obama’s support of gay marriage — but, only as a State issue — is what some people might recognize as the President’s disdain for States’ rights and how even when he advocates them, he cancels them out.

Obama instructed the Justice Department in February to no longer defend the Constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, the legal prohibition on Federal recognition of same-sex marriages. DOMA also included provisions giving States that opt out of allowing gay Americans to marry the right to decline to recognize gay marriages performed in other States. Essentially, the President has attempted to play both sides of the issue: Support States’ rights to perform gay marriages while eliminating other States’ rights to decline to recognize those marriages performed in other States, 1+(-1)=0.

This is just a new example of Obama’s false hope. Consider how he has hoped medical marijuana patients in some States would have short-term memory loss about his 2008 campaign rhetoric on States’ rights and pot. Remember how he wasn’t planning to “use Justice Department resources to try and circumvent State laws about medical marijuana.” Well, he has changed his tune of late, saying last month: “It’s against Federal law. I can’t nullify Congressional law. I can’t ask the Justice Department to say, ‘Ignore completely a Federal law that’s on the books.’”

DOJ Sues Sheriff Joe Arpaio

The Justice Department has sued America’s self-proclaimed toughest sheriff, Joe Arpaio, over allegations that his office racially profiles Latinos in immigration patrols.

The Department alleges that Arpaio’s Maricopa County Sheriff’s office is involved in discriminatory and unConstitutional law enforcement actions against Latinos, discriminatory jail practices against Latino inmates with limited English skills and illegal retaliation against critics of its practices.

“At its core, this is an abuse of power case involving Sheriff Arpaio and a sheriff’s office that disregarded the Constitution, ignored sound police practices, and did not hesitate to retaliate against perceived critics in a variety of unlawful ways,” said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the DOJ Civil Rights Division. “Constitutional policing and effective policing go hand in hand.  The complaint outlines how Sheriff Arpaio’s actions were neither constitutional nor effective.  No one in Maricopa County is above the law and the department will fight to ensure that the promise of the Constitution is realized by everyone in Maricopa County.”

At a press conference Wednesday, Arpaio denied the profiling allegations and said: “I’d like to get this resolved, but I’m not going to give up my authority to the Federal government. It’s as simple as that.”

In March, Arpaio, who said he believes the DOJ is targeting him for other reasons, made headlines when he gave a press conference further questioning President Barack Obama’s citizenship and eligibility to hold the Nation’s highest office. The sheriff’s Cold Case Posse announced that the White House-released Long Form Birth Certificate for Obama was most likely a forgery, probably produced on a computer, and that the President’s Selective Service card was also a computer-generated forgery.

In a Thursday press release, the DOJ said of the suit against Arpaio:

Today, the Department of Justice did something it has done only once before in the 18-year history of our civil police reform work; we filed a contested lawsuit to stop discriminatory and unconstitutional law enforcement practices. In our police reform work, we have invariably been able to work collaboratively with law enforcement agencies to build better departments and safer communities. Maricopa County, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Arpaio have been a glaring exception.

The Victims Who Run America

At one time, higher education, especially as it pertained to cultural studies, was synonymous with fierce ideological debate about what things were most influential in shaping human beings into the creatures they are today. No more. The age of oversensitivity and political correctness has sterilized thought even among thinkers.

The Chronicle of Higher Education, a publication that is both widely read and well respected within the academic community, recently fired a woman named Naomi Schaefer Riley, a contributor to the publication’s blog Brainstorm, for doing what academics were once expected to do: think and analyze. In an opinion piece — yes, this means the publication was paying Riley to offer her opinion in writing on various topics — the writer committed high treason in a society made stupid by oversensitivity taking a contrarian position among academics and writing about an issue involving race.

The writing that ended Riley’s tenure with The Chronicle weighs in at just over 500 words and is entitled “The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations.” The author opines in her piece that students pursing doctoral degrees in the field of black studies focus their dissertations too often on frivolous topics and tired blacks-are-always-the-victim arguments. She references a previous article published by The Chronicle that profiles the “young guns” of black studies; she describes the students’ work as “a collection of left-wing victimization claptrap.”

Riley writes:

That’s what I would say about Ruth Hayes’ dissertation, “‘So I Could Be Easeful’: Black Women’s Authoritative Knowledge on Childbirth.” It began because she “noticed that nonwhite women’s experiences were largely absent from natural-birth literature, which led me to look into historical black midwifery.” How could we overlook the nonwhite experience in “natural birth literature,” whatever the heck that is? It’s scandalous and clearly a sign that racism is alive and well in America, not to mention academia.

…But topping the list in terms of sheer political partisanship and liberal hackery is La TaSha B. Levy. According to the Chronicle, “Ms. Levy is interested in examining the long tradition of black Republicanism, especially the rightward ideological shift it took in the 1980s after the election of Ronald Reagan. Ms. Levy’s dissertation argues that conservatives like Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, John McWhorter, and others have ‘played one of the most-significant roles in the assault on the civil-rights legacy that benefited them.’” The assault on civil rights? Because they don’t favor affirmative action they are assaulting civil rights? Because they believe there are some fundamental problems in black culture that cannot be blamed on white people they are assaulting civil rights?

Riley, a white academic writing an article for a publication about higher education, points out that many of the students majoring in black studies likely adhere to the popular narrative that nothing has changed racially in the United States in the past 50 years. She also points out that the students’ failure to focus on real issues perpetuates the left’s message that black people are the victim and white people are still their oppressors, despite major race-relations improvements in modern history. Riley should have known she was going to be fired.

Commenters on Riley’s blog, many of them academics (read perpetuators of the plague that is political correctness), attacked her for her insensitivity and for not first reading the students’ dissertations before offering her critique. An online petition with the names of 6,500 people who wanted her fired was also put together and sent to The Chronicle.

“…[S]ince this is a blog about academia and not journalism, I’ll forgive the commenters for not understanding that it is not my job to read entire dissertations before I write a 500-word piece about them,” Riley responded in her own defense. “I read some academic publications … but there are not enough hours in the day or money in the world to get me to read a dissertation on historical black midwifery. In fact, I’d venture to say that fewer than 20 people in the whole world will read it.”

Her response elicits two reactions from this author: 1) She is correct. An individual who is broadly interested in black studies likely would find many more intriguing bits of published material to devour before spending valuable time reading something with a title like “‘So I Could Be Easeful’: Black Women’s Authoritative Knowledge on Childbirth.” (But, of course, I am a white man, so that is probably just a display of the racist, women-hating tendencies that the left wants me to believe I have.) 2) Would Riley have been fired if she had written a similar piece criticizing equally poor efforts by doctoral students on a philosophy tract? Probably not.

Sadly, Riley was fired because her piece focuses critically on black studies. Her argument, though, could be applied to all aspects of the system of higher education, which is quickly seeing all of its institutions turn into profit-driven diploma mills unconcerned with knowledge. Her critique is about the absurdity of institutions of higher learning allowing doctoral students, particularly those studying liberal arts, to graduate with the belief that they are prepared to teach undergraduate students after obtaining credentials in only very specific areas.

She writes to those who disliked her original piece: “Such is the state of academic research these days. The disciplines multiply. The publication topics become more and more irrelevant and partisan. No one reads them. And the people whom we expect to offer undergraduates a broad liberal-arts education (in return for billions of dollars from parents and taxpayers) never get trained to do so. Instead the ivory tower pushes them further and further into obscurity.”

An editor at The Chronicle (which is evidently just as blinded by politically correct nonsense as the institutions it covers and, thus, is averse to harsh critique with even a mention of race) says of Riley’s post:

We now agree that Ms. Riley’s blog posting did not meet The Chronicle’s basic editorial standards for reporting and fairness in opinion articles. As a result, we have asked Ms. Riley to leave the Brainstorm blog.

Since Brainstorm was created five years ago, we have sought out bloggers representing a range of intellectual and political views, and we have allowed them broad freedom in topics and approach.  As part of that freedom, Brainstorm writers were able to post independently; Ms. Riley’s post was not reviewed until after it was posted.

I realize we have made mistakes. We will thoroughly review our editorial practices on Brainstorm and other blogs and strengthen our guidelines for bloggers.

The victims win again. And for that, undergraduate students at some university may soon have the option of attending a class on black midwifery or the philosophical importance of never, ever, under any circumstances, hurting anyone’s feelings. Perhaps that will lead us to a sort of victimless, utopian society. It is not likely though, because instances like Riley’s firing happen each and every day due to the efforts of the bleeding hearts and those who feel victimized by our society to silence anyone who says enough is enough. It’s alright, even desirable, to be the victim. Being the victim is a fast-track to the top whether one belongs there or not: Just ask the President.

Judge: Jury Nullification Still Lawful

A Federal judge ruled last month that jury nullification, a legal concept dating back to 17th century England and accepted in the U.S. Constitution, is still lawful in the Nation.

Nullification is a concept that allows jurors to acquit criminal defendants who are technically guilty if they believe the person does not deserve to be punished. Prosecutors, however, have argued that promotion of this right to jurors constitutes a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1504, which prohibits influencing a juror by writing.

In the case of 80-year-old Julian Heicklin who stood outside the Federal courthouse in Manhattan with a sign that said “Jury Info” and handed out pamphlets from the Fully Informed Jury Association before being arrested by the FBI, U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood said no laws had been broken.

The FBI charged Heicklen with criminal jury tampering after he handed one of the pamphlets to an FBI agent posing as a juror.

Wood’s 24-page order states:

The statute thus prohibits a defendant from trying to influence a juror upon any case or point in dispute before that juror by means of a written communication in relation to that case or that point in dispute. It also prohibits a defendant from trying to influence a juror’s actions or decisions pertaining to that juror’s duties, but only if the defendant made that communication in relation to a case or point in dispute before that juror. The statute therefore squarely criminalizes efforts to influence the outcome of a case, but exempts the broad categories of journalistic, academic, political, and other writings that discuss the roles and responsibilities of jurors in general, as well as innocent notes from friends and spouses encouraging jurors to arrive on time or to rush home, to listen closely or to deliberate carefully, but with no relation to the outcome of a particular case.

Accordingly, the court reads the plain text of the statute to require that a defendant must have sought to influence a juror through a written communication in relation either to a specific case before that juror or to a substantive point in dispute between two or more parties before that juror.

Nullification played a role in guaranteeing freedom of religion when William Penn was prosecuted for preaching Quakerism, and in freedom of the press in the trial of John Peter Zenger when he was charged with criticizing the king during Colonial times. With more than 4,500 Federal laws on the books and an ever-growing legal bureaucracy, nullification may be vital to reducing harmful prosecutions.

Your Loving Government

The Administration of Barack Obama has made it pretty clear with a recent campaign website launch what it thinks the role of government is in Americans’ lives: Lifelong nanny.

The initiative features a fictitious woman named Julia whose life can be followed from the age of 3 to 67 by clicking through a number of slides. Each of the slides depicts—in a garishly Dear Leader sort of way— how the woman’s life would differ under a nanny state controlled by Obama and under one controlled by Mitt Romney.

Navigating the site, visitors follow Julia’s life growing up in a world of hasty generalizations. The slides show the different ways in which the two candidates’ visions of the nanny state would affect Julia’s entire life.

Policymic writer Sylvia Cruz points out:

When Julia starts public school, Obama is there. When she goes to college, he’s there. When she decides to have a child, there is no mention of a spouse or any other family, but it is okay, because Obama is there instead. Do you want to start a business ladies? You probably can’t without Obama.

It’s a disturbing depiction of how the left envision the role of government in our private lives — one that is present and pervading at every major (and probably minor) stage. It’s somewhat ironic then that Obama’s Julia shares the same name as the main female character in George Orwell’s 1984; the world of Orwell’s Julia is also one with an omnipresent government.

The character’s name may be a coincidence, but maybe it is a subtle clue.

If it is a clue, another may be how the Obama Administration put the American flag in the wrong place on one of the slides.

From the U.S. Flag Code:

When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium, the flag of the United States of America should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman’s or speaker’s right as he faces the audience. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker or to the right of the audience.

These are, perhaps, minor hints from the elites that control the American masses about how they would love to fundamentally and irrevocably alter the United States.

The big picture, judging by Julia’s life, is that government wants to remove the individual and the family from his/her own life and decisions. Julia is largely alone her entire life but always cradled by the hands of a loving government. That is, until she is retired and goes off to work in a community garden in the last slide, no doubt organized by a government entity.

You can view Julia’s life here.

Racist Teachers Making Minorities Dumb

Since the “political correctness” disease struck the United States in the 1990s Americans on the whole have become petrified of saying or doing anything that could be misconstrued as callous, or worse, racist.

Some would argue that the over-sensitization of the Nation is leading to decay of heritage and cultural pride along with intelligence as people are indoctrinated with the idea from their earliest education that every person is the same regardless of background. Of course, the people who would dare to make such an argument would be promptly flagged as callous or racist by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

A new report from Rutgers University in Newark, N.J., will likely be overlooked by hate watchers because it illustrates how the very way of thinking lauded by the oversensitive is dumbing down the populations they are so intent on helping to succeed.

A study currently published in the Journal of Educational Psychology shows, through a phenomenon dubbed “positive bias,” how affirmative action policies hold back minority youth and lead to their dependence on similar policies to succeed throughout life. Psychology professor Kent D. Harber indicates in the study that public school teachers under-challenge minority students by providing them more positive feedback than they give to white students even when they deserve equal merit.

Harber used 113 white middle school and high school teachers in two public school districts located in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut tri-State area, one middle class and white, and the other more working class and racially mixed, to conduct his study. The researcher had the white teachers read poorly written essays that they believed were written by either white, black or Latino students and give feedback to be sent directly to the student.

All of the essays were actually developed by Harber, but he found that when the teachers believed him to be a black or Latino student he got more positive feedback than when they thought he was a white student despite the work being of equally poor quality. This racism to avoid being called a racist is holding back the minority students.

“The social implications of these results are important; many minority students might not be getting input from instructors that stimulates intellectual growth and fosters achievement. Some education scholars believe that minorities under-perform because they are insufficiently challenged—the ‘bigotry of lowered expectations,’ in popular parlance,” Harber explains. “The JEP study indicates one important way that this insufficient challenge might occur: in positively biased feedback.”

Harber believes the study’s findings have implications not only for educational systems in the U.S. but also for businesses, and in fact any organization where performance appraisals and feedback are crucial tools for training and development.

While the study shows that Americans would be better off without the fear created by oversensitive political correctness, the concept may be so rooted in the Nation’s society at this point that it is impossible to remove.

Russian media outlet RT poked fun at Americans’ oversensitivity to everything in the following broadcast from earlier this week:

Remember, you have freedom of speech and of thought in the United States as long as you avoid criticisms—even constructive—of any being that could be considered a minority or weaker than yourself, and any utterance that could be misconstrued by any person as offensive. Good luck.

Ron Paul Is Shaking The GOP Awake

Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul is gaining ground in his uphill battle to make his voice heard at the Republican National Convention despite being written off by the Party establishment.

Last weekend in Nevada and in Maine, Paul’s ardent supporters were able to secure delegate blocs increasing the likelihood of a brokered Republican convention in Tampa, Fla., or at very least the ability to assert influence over the Party platform.

Despite Mitt Romney taking 50 percent of the vote in the February Nevada caucus, Paul was able to secure 22 of the 25 delegates up for grabs.

“The Paul folks couldn’t get their people turned out for the caucus,” veteran Nevada political columnist Jon Ralston told The Washington Post. “But they outmaneuvered the Nevada Romney people ever since and dominated the county conventions and this is the inevitable result. The question remains: To what end?”

In Maine at least 21 of 24 delegates vowed support for Paul over the weekend, according to the Associated Press.

Maine is the sixth State to elect a majority of Paul backers to the national convention, assuring the libertarian-leaning congressman a prime-time podium at the Tampa gathering.

Romney currently has 856 delegates, 288 short of the 1,144 needed for the nomination to Paul’s 94, according to an Associated Press count.

Upcoming primaries on Tuesday in Indiana, North Carolina and West Virginia will paint a better picture of where Paul’s supporters can take him from here. Political analysts like those at Smart Politics say if the establishment-favored Romney is unable to secure more than two-thirds of the vote Tuesday, Paul will wield some serious power over the GOP.

Paul’s campaign manager, John Tate, said of recent campaign successes, “Taken together, these victories and those yet to happen forecast a prominent role for Ron Paul at the (Republican National Convention). They also signal that the convention will feature a spirited discussion over whether conservatism will triumph over the status quo.”

The Republican establishment has repeatedly cried foul over the Paul camp’s use of the Party’s own election rules against the status quo. They have accused Paul and his supporters of “trying to take over the Republican Party.”

But Paul would likely remind his detractors: He is only trying to save the Republican Party from itself and bring it back to its conservative roots. As the Party establishment scrambles to back Romney—a candidate who has repeatedly been on the same side of many issues as Barack Obama—it looks like Paul still has a great deal of work to do.

U.S. Developing Microchips To Inject Soldiers

The United States government is working on a plan to develop smarter, stronger and healthier soldiers by injecting them with tiny health-monitoring microchips.

With the help of scientists at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) the military is working to create nanosensors that will monitor soldiers’ health on the battlefield to keep military doctors constantly informed about potential health problems.

DARPA calls the implants a radical innovation and says that the health-monitored soldiers could change the state of modern warfare by cutting back on the number of medical conditions resulting from ordinary illnesses and disease.

The technology will be similar to technology unveiled by researchers at Stanford University earlier this year. The researchers have developed implantable machines, powered by wireless technology, that are small enough to traverse veins.

DARPA is also building on research done by pharmaceutical companies that are working to develop “smart pills” that could read vitals or even administer medicines from within the body. Californian start-up Proteus Medical and Swiss drug maker Novartis have developed one such “smart pill” which includes a sensor that sends vitals to a skin patch worn by the patient. The skin patch can then send the information to a smartphone.

Rand Paul: End The TSA

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), son of Presidential candidate Ron Paul, has in recent weeks doubled down on his campaign to do away with the Transportation Security Administration.

The younger Paul’s contempt for the agency is no secret. He was detained by the TSA earlier this year after refusing to allow agents to sexually molest him before boarding a flight, an incident that caused him to miss a speaking engagement that he was scheduled to attend.

Last week, Paul began circulating a petition, setting the wheels in motion to completely do away with the TSA. He is urging all Americans to sign the petition.

An email from the Senator sent to supporters of The Campaign for Liberty says:

Sometimes our liberty slips away silently, and it is almost hard to notice what went wrong and where. The one fortunate thing about the TSA is that they certainly don’t fit that definition.

The American people shouldn’t be subjected to harassment, groping, and other public humiliation simply to board an airplane. As you may have heard, I have some personal experience with this, and I’ve vowed to lead the charge to fight back.

The petition can be signed here.

Paul is also reportedly currently drafting “multiple” TSA bills, including one to privatize the airport security as well as a passenger bill of rights.

Police State Mitt Romney

A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for the overreaching homeland security initiatives put in place by the George W. Bush Administration Department of Homeland Security.

According to reports, the Presidential candidate was instrumental in helping to create some of the most controversial safety initiatives put into place by the Bush Administration in the years following the attack on the World Trade Centers in New York.

According to the Huffington Post, during his tenure as Governor of Massachusetts, Romney issued executive orders to set up two of the Nation’s first fusion centers — the intelligence hubs where vast amounts of Americans’ personal data is analyzed by law enforcement agencies — in his State.

Romney’s security record makes it seem that he believes that everyone is essentially guilty until proven innocent, which is largely in line with current Department of Homeland Security policy.

In a September 2005 speech to the Heritage Foundation, Romney gave Americans a good idea about what the security state might be like under his Administration by advocating wiretaps in mosques and churches when he uttered the words: “Are we monitoring that? Are we wiretapping? Are we following what’s going on?”

Earlier in the campaign, Romney also let Americans know that he is in line with President Barack Obama on issues such as the National Defense Authorization Act, which makes possible the capture and indefinite detainment of American citizens.

“Yes, I would have,” said Romney when asked during a debate whether he would have signed the legislation, as Obama did. “…I recognize that in a setting where they are enemy combatants and some of them on our own soil, that could be abused. There are lots of things I think this president does wrong — lots of them — but I don’t think he will abuse this power, and if I were president I would not abuse this power.“

Romney knows the power of police state tactics in protecting the elite. The director of operations of his 2008 Presidential campaign, Jay Garrity, was placed on a paid leave of absence in 2007 while the authorities investigated accusations that he impersonated a State trooper in Massachusetts and harassed reporters that were following the campaign by pulling them over.

Garrity worked on planning events for the campaign and also helped control access to Romney.

A Viable Alternative?

As the United States readies itself for a Presidential election this fall between big government, corporately funded, statist Democrat Barack Obama and big government, corporately funded, statist Republican Mitt Romney, people on both sides of the political spectrum are left feeling less than pleased with their choices.

What if there were another candidate with more executive experience than Obama and Romney combined who was highly regarded in his last position as a Governor?

There is.

On Saturday, the Libertarian Party is expected to nominate former two-term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson as its choice for President of the United States. His likely running mate will be Jim Gray, a former California Superior Court judge, Federal prosecutor and Navy JAG officer known for his opposition to the War on Drugs.

While it may seem like a waste of time to even mention in passing the Libertarian Party as it relates to the general election, 2012 may be a year for the party to shine. If you remove social issue dogma from the political conversation, Johnson may well represent the best choice for disillusioned voters on both the left and the right.

As Governor of New Mexico, Johnson was known for his commonsense business approach to governing. He eliminated New Mexico’s budget deficit, cut the rate of growth in State government in half and privatized half of the State prisons. And while many conservatives view some of Johnson’s ideas with disdain, consider the alternative: As Governor of Massachusetts, Romney grew government and created the first draft of what would later become Obamacare.

Consider the issues. Johnson offers voters the choice to remain neutral on social issues while tackling the economic problems and assaults on liberty that are on the minds of Democrats and Republicans alike.

Debt:

  • Obama: Fourth-straight year of trillion-dollar deficits is projected. Raises debt limit to avoid default. Calls for tackling the debt with a mix of spending cuts and revenue increases. Central to Obama’s plan is to let George W. Bush-era tax cuts expire for couples making more than $250,000.
  • Romney: Defended 2008 bailout of financial institutions as a necessary step to avoid the system’s collapse, opposed the auto bailout. Would cap Federal spending at 20 percent of gross domestic product by end of first term, down from 23.5 percent now, with largely unspecified spending cuts. Favors Constitutional balanced budget amendment.
  • Johnson:  Wants to reduce Federal involvement in the economy. Reject auto and banking bailouts, State bailouts, corporate welfare, cap-and-trade, card check and the mountain of regulation that protects special interests rather than benefiting consumers or the economy. Reduce or eliminate Federal involvement in education; let States expand successful reforms such as vouchers and charter schools. Stop stimulus spending and cut military spending.

Taxes:

  • Obama: Proposed the Buffett Rule, asking millionaires and billionaires to do their fair share. The President has asked Congress to take action to reform our tax code and close tax loopholes for millionaires and billionaires, as well as hedge fund managers, private jet owners and oil companies. End Bush tax cuts.
  • Romney: Has proposed eliminating all taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest. He has also signed the cut, cap and balance pledge.
  • Johnson: Abolish the Internal Revenue Service. Enact the Fair Tax to tax expenditures, rather than income, with a “prebate” to make spending on basic necessities tax-free.

Entitlements:

  • Obama: Has done little to address entitlement reform. Accused of “kicking the can down the road.”
  • Romney: Believes “current seniors” and those near retirement should not have their benefits reduced. He would like to return Medicaid to the States, and the Medicare plan he unveiled this spring was similar to the Ryan plan, including a voucher-like system.
  • Johnson: Block-grant Medicare and Medicaid funds to the States, find efficiencies and provide better service at lower cost. Repeal President Obama’s healthcare plan, as well as the Medicare prescription drug benefit. Fix Social Security by changing the escalator from being based on wage growth to inflation.

National Security:

  • Obama: Increased U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan then began drawing down the force with a plan to have all out by the end of 2014, though now he says it’ll be closer to 2024. Approved U.S. air power in NATO-led campaign that helped Libyan opposition topple government. Opposes near-term military strike on Iran but holds that option open if it proves the only way to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the indefinite detention of American citizens.
  • Romney: Would increase strength of armed forces, adding almost $100 billion to the Pentagon budget in 2016. Has spoken in favor of covert action by the U.S. and regional allies in Syria but “the right course is not military” intervention by the U.S. Criticizes Obama’s approach on Iran as too conciliatory. Supports NDAA.
  • Johnson: U.S. forces should leave Afghanistan’s challenges to the Afghan people. Re-evaluate U.S. military bases throughout the world. Make better use of military alliances to allow greater sharing of the human and financial burdens at less cost of protecting national interests. Individuals incarcerated unjustly by the U.S. should have the ability to seek compensation through the courts. Individuals detained by the U.S., whether at Guantanamo Bay or elsewhere, must be given due process via the courts or military tribunals and must not be held indefinitely without regard to those fundamental processes. Maintaining a strong national defense is the most basic of the Federal government’s responsibilities, so the U.S. should maintain a military presence in the Mideast, continue drone attacks in Pakistan and even consider military intervention for humanitarian reasons.

Sources: Gary Johnson website, Obama-Biden website, Romney websiteThe Associated Press, The New York Times.

On social issues, the rhetoric coming from Obama and Romney is common Democrat/Republican squabbling. Though Romney, considered infamously moderate, could simply be “Etch A Sketching” conservatives by saying he is opposed to things like abortion, which he previously supported. On issues of giving up liberty for security, all of the evidence shows that Obama and Romney feel the same way about increasing Bush-era government surveillance and intrusions into Americans’ lives.

Johnson would be considered a social liberal by many conservatives. He wants the government to wash its hands of dealing with issues like gay marriage and abortion to focus on economic issues. Johnson is also promising to make marijuana legalization a “front burner” issue in 2012. He rejects the idea that government can be minimalized in a fiscal sense but remain heavy-handed on social regulation.

Political consultant Roger Stone opined recently in the Huffington Post that if Johnson is able to get on the stage for a national debate with Romney and Obama, voters would support his ideas overwhelmingly. He writes:

Many of my Republican friends have incorrectly chided me claiming that support for Johnson will merely reelect Barack Obama by siphoning votes from eventual Republican nominee Mitt Romney. This is wrong. Romney will lose a two-person race to Obama. Johnson, a more-than-credible candidate with a distinguished record of cutting spending and taxes and fostering a job boom during his eight years as governor, will ultimately pull votes from both Republican and Democratic nominees.

The American people have never been offered a candidate who is a fiscal conservative and social liberal. If you voted for the Republican because you favored spending and tax cuts you also had to swallow a ban on abortion and opposition to gay marriage. If you voted for the Democrat because you were pro-choice, you also had to support fiscal policies that would bankrupt us.

Maybe Johnson is the compromise American voters need for 2012. Judging by his proposals, a Johnson Administration would definitely not be more of the same.

Research: Southerners Favor More Militant Responses To Terror

Sweet tea, politeness, respect and the word “ya’ll” are all inherent parts of life in the Southern United States. New research shows that vengeance can be added to that list as well.

New research claims that both men and women in the South are more apt to an aggressive — and sometimes extreme — response to threats against the Nation than their Yankee counterparts.

In two studies, researchers worked to measure individual and regional differences in honor ideology throughout the United States.

“Honor ideology encompasses beliefs about how men are supposed to behave in the face of provocations and the attributes that ‘real’ men should exhibit,” said Collin Barnes of the University of Oklahoma, lead author of the research published online this month in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

The research team developed a scale to measure individual honor ideology. It includes eight statements about the conditions under which men should use physical aggression to defend themselves or their reputations (e.g., “A man has the right to use physical aggression against another man who insults his mother”), as well as eight statements about the defining qualities of “real men” (e.g., “A real man will never back down from a fight”). After completing this honor ideology scale, the men responded to questions about a fictitious attack on the Statue of Liberty.

The researchers found that high levels of belief in honor ideology brought more hostile responses.

“For instance, one high scorer on the honor scale suggested that the only way to deal with radical Muslims is to use nuclear force, paying no mind to collateral damage,” Barnes said.

Another participant simply said, “Kill ‘em all.”

In a second study examining regional differences, male and female college students from a Southern honor State and a Northern State were asked about their response to the 9/11 attacks. Among both men and women, desires for lethal retaliation against the 9/11 terrorists were stronger for those attending school in the honor State.

“Honor values of masculine strength and toughness can be endorsed by men and women, and although men are often the ones who engage in military combat, women may give voice to their honor values by endorsing militaristic responses to national provocations just as men who hold these values do,” Barnes said.

Despite Evidence, Keynesians Want More Fiat Money

Printing too much fiat money is dangerous and has historically led to rampant inflation, but central banks throughout the world are currently printing full speed ahead. According to analysis, they’re failing miserably.

Washington’s Blog reports that Keynesian economic thought has led mainstream economists to ignore debt and advocate even more money printing all over the world.

It seems outrageous that governments could possibly spend their way out of financial crises, but that is precisely what economists like The New York Times’ Paul Krugman believe.  He recently opined that the Federal government let the financial crises go to waste by not using even more inflationary tactics than it has in battling economic decline in the United States.

After the debt crisis hit in 2008, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke nearly tripled the size of the Fed’s balance sheet from about 6 percent of gross domestic product to almost 17 percent of GDP. It is now about 20 percent of GDP.

But Krugman believes Fed printing should make up an even larger slice of GDP, writing in a recent column:

Consider, if you will, the current state of our nation. Despite hints of economic progress, we’re still in the midst of an immense disaster, in which unemployment and underemployment are devastating millions of American lives. And none of this need be happening! There has been no plague of locusts; we have not lost our technological know-how. Americans should be richer, not poorer, than they were five years ago. Yet economic policy across the board has become almost passive, has essentially accepted this disaster instead of trying to end it.

Those who subscribe to the Austrian school of economic thought fiercely disagree with ideas like Krugman’s, just as Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul did when the two debated this week on Bloomberg.

America’s Corporate State Media

It can be said accurately that the Internet and other technologies have forever altered the way media works. Governments, most notably those that claim strong protections for individuals’ right to speech and information, recognize the control they have lost due to the ability of average citizens to act in some capacity as journalists to provide information about events that may have otherwise gone unreported to the masses. Those governments are working feverishly to regain control of all mass information.

Most people carry cellphones now that double as quality recording devices and have the ability to upload content to the forever-moving current of online information. This has led to many things: Politicians are caught in unpolished moments; dignitaries are asked questions that may not have been asked by reporters; the state’s abuses, however small, are reported; and revolutionary ideas are more easily traded from citizen to citizen.

When American journalist and writer Hunter S. Thompson first coined the phrase “gonzo journalism” — becoming part of the story while still disseminating the who, what, when, where, why and how information important to all news — in 1970, he likely never could have fathomed the idea that one day the Internet and various other technologies would create the number of individuals who are involved in the practice today. But, to the dismay of statists and control freaks throughout the world, the Internet has become a breeding ground for just the type of writing and reporting Thompson espoused; it is now sparking revolutions and dissidence on a larger scale than ever before.

Citizens of the United States traditionally believe that theirs is the freest market for news and information in the world because of the rights to free speech and free press outlined by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution. The press, however, has been manipulated since its beginnings in the United States.

The earliest forms of American mass media came in the form of pamphlets and news sheets, distributed during the Colonial period, that were filled with stale news items from across the sea in Europe. Later, Benjamin Franklin was instrumental in helping to establish more modern and localized newspapers in the United States. These newspapers were often filled with the political opinions and ideas of whoever owned them, a trend that — despite the myth of objective journalism — has continued throughout American history.

Today, the news is, at best, entertainment and, at worst, pure mind-numbing propaganda. Mainstream media in the United States — including newspapers, magazines and radio and television stations — are now largely controlled by six corporate behemoths. If you rely on information provided by just about any mainstream media outlet, you are relying on the corporate elite who control General Electric Co., Time Warner Inc., The Walt Disney Co., News Corp., CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc.

In the 1988 book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, contrarians Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman outlined the problems with mass media and how the business model inevitably leads to propagandized content.

Chomsky and Herman outline five filters for editorial bias in seeking to explain how government and corporate interests retain control of what is and isn’t reported:

  1. Size, Ownership And Profit Orientation Of The Mass Media: The First Filter. The authors argue that the mainstream media, largely owned by a handful of massive corporations that also do business in other markets, is used often to drive profits under the guise of public information. Thus, it is a corporate propaganda tool. Also, they argue that dependence on government for general policy support — business taxes, interest rates, labor policies, and enforcement and no enforcement of the antitrust laws — along with the need of cooperation from members of government with reporters on the frontlines, leads to an alliance of easily corruptible entities. Thus, government propaganda.
  2. The Advertising License To Do Business: The Second Filter. Chomsky and Herman conclude, “Advertisers will want, more generally, to avoid programs with serious complexities and disturbing controversies that interfere with the ‘buying mood.’ They seek programs that will lightly entertain and thus fit in with the spirit of the primary purpose of program purchases — the dissemination of a selling message. Thus over time, instead of programs like ‘The Selling of the Pentagon,’ it is a natural evolution of a market seeking sponsor dollars to offer programs such as ‘A Bird’s-Eye View of Scotland,’ ‘Barry Goldwater’s Arizona,’ ‘An Essay on Hotels,’ and ‘Mr. Rooney Goes to Dinner’-a CBS program on ‘how Americans eat when they dine out, where they go and why.”
  3. Sourcing Mass-Media News: The Third Filter: The authors write that mass media need a steady and constant flow of reliable and credible information. They have not the time to be everywhere at once, so they congregate around political and corporate institutions whose mere status and prestige lend credence to their information. They write: “The mass media are drawn into a symbiotic relationship with powerful sources of information by economic necessity and reciprocity of interest.”
  4. Flak And The Enforcers: The Fourth Filter: According to Chomsky and Herman, backlash from people in positions of power keep mainstream media in line. They write, “‘Flak’ refers to negative responses to a media statement or program. It may take the form of letters, telegrams, phone calls, petitions, lawsuits, speeches and bills before Congress, and other modes of complaint, threat, and punitive action. It may be organized centrally or locally, or it may consist of the entirely independent actions of individuals.”
  5. Anticommunism As A Control Mechanism: Chomsky in recent years has updated the fifth filter, changing Communism to terrorism. But the premise remains the same: Fear of a faceless enemy threatening Americans’ way of life keeps people coming back for more information. It also provides the state a sound platform upon which to build liberty-assaulting initiatives in the name of safety.

The ideas put forth in the five filters are easily researched and proved in the age of the Internet, and many people who have never even heard of Chomsky or Herman know these things about mainstream media. In just the past couple of months, the scandals surrounding News Corp. media mogul Rupert Murdoch, the selective reporting in the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case and the overblown coverage of tired, fully rhetorical battles in the “War on Women” debate have all offered prime examples of why Americans no longer trust the corporate-controlled mainstream media.

The newfound — coming in just the past decade or so — widespread distrust of the mainstream media has led many people to seek out other sources of information. This has, in turn, led to a rise in the national appetite for alternative media, and the gradual lessening of corporatist and statist control over news and information. So, the elite corporatists and their government puppets have moved to make certain that the stranglehold is not lost.

Recently, legislation such as the Stop Online Piracy Act and others raised concerns among Internet freedom advocates and was stopped by a backlash. Other piracy-related bills are lying in wait and will be rammed through Congress soon enough. Who is pushing for piracy-quelling laws (read, censorship)? The entertainment industry, which says profits from movies and productions are being sapped by content pirates. But, consider this: The same major companies that are whining about film production profits also own major stock in news channels. They need censorship not so much for the film industry, but to regain control of the news media and the American psyche. There is no possible way for them to continue to propagandize all information as an army of alternative media reporters are putting out conflicting information en masse.

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) accused the United States and the U.K. of posing major threats to Internet freedom by way of “hasty” legislation in a recent report.

“What I see during my work is fear,” said Dunja Mijatović, who heads OSCE. “Last year we commissioned a study on media freedom in 56 states. The results are not very rosy. Governments are trying to restrict or suppress in the interests of security. Legislation is very hasty.”

Last week, House Republicans and Democrats voted 248 to 168 to pass the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which will make it easier for Internet companies to provide information about their users and their networks to government intelligence agencies. There has been little backlash with this bill because it is not as blatant in terms of censorship as SOPA, but is another step in the direction.

Americans believe they have a reliable source of information in the mainstream media and scoff at the idea of countries that have state-controlled media. The United States’ corporatocracy has worked to provide the illusion of an objective media, while still reaping the benefits of propagandizing all news.

In those countries with admitted state media, tyrants openly quash alternative news sources and jail those who create them. For now, the 1st Amendment will not let that happen in the United States. So elite statists and corporatists will have to quash alternative media the American way: by pushing legislation that censors Internet content in the name of safety and protectionism. That is, unless alternative news media ban together and — in the spirit of gonzo — not only tell the Nation what is happening but also make the public angry before it is too late.

Can Garlic Kill Foodborne Illness?

Researchers at Washington State University found that a compound in garlic is 100 times more effective at battling intestinal illnesses than two commonly prescribed antibiotics.

In research published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, scientists looked at the ability of the garlic-derived compound, diallyl sulfide, to kill the Campylobacter bacterium when it is protected by a slimy biofilm that makes it resistant to antibiotics. Campylobacter bacterium is responsible for a number of intestinal illnesses. They found the compound can easily penetrate the protective biofilm and kill bacterial cells.

“Campylobacter is simply the most common bacterial cause of food-borne illness in the United States and probably the world,” said Michael Konkel, a co-author of the research.

About 2.4 million Americans are affected by the bacteria every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with symptoms including diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain and fever. The bacteria are also responsible for triggering nearly one-third of the cases of a rare paralyzing disorder known as Guillain-Barré syndrome.

While the researchers do not know if garlic alone can fight food poisoning, co-author Barbara Rasco said: “Diallyl sulfide could make many foods safer to eat. It can be used to clean food preparation surfaces and as a preservative in packaged foods like potato and pasta salads, coleslaw and deli meats.”

America’s Drones

The Administration of President Barack Obama said this week that its use of unmanned aerial drones to kill terror suspects around the world is done “in full accordance with the law.”

Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser Jack Brennan said drone strikes are used only in cases when capture is not feasible.

Brennan also stressed the importance of the Administration being able to target American citizens that it suspects are terrorists. He cited Attorney General Eric Holder’s view that “counterterrorism efforts are rooted in, and are strengthened by, adherence to the law, including the legal authorities that allow us to pursue members of al-Qaida—including U.S. citizens—and to do so using technologically advanced weapons.”

Brennan said at the Woodrow Wilson Center on Monday: “Targeted strikes are wise. Remotely piloted aircraft in particular can be a wise choice because of geography, with their ability to fly hundreds of miles over the most treacherous terrain, strike their targets with astonishing precision, and then return to base. They can be a wise choice because of time, when windows of opportunity can close quickly and there may be just minutes to act.”

The day before the terrorism adviser’s speech, a drone strike in Pakistan killed three suspected militants who were hiding out in an abandoned girls’ school. It was the first strike since the country’s parliament demanded two weeks ago that the United States end drone strikes, which have been responsible for numerous civilian deaths in the country.

“The government of Pakistan strongly condemns the US drone attack that occurred in North Waziristan,” a Foreign Ministry statement said. “Such attacks are in total contravention of international law and established norms of interstate relations.”

Discussions about the legality and morality of Obama’s drone strikes continue.

Drones are expected to become commonplace in the United States by 2020, albeit hopefully with less-sinister applications. In February, Obama signed into law the Federal Aviation Modernization and Reform Act, which requires the FAA to fully integrate government, commercial and recreational unmanned aircraft systems into U.S. airspace by October 2015.

With no privacy protections in place, the potential for 24/7 drone surveillance of Americans is great. Attorney John W. Whitehead writes in the Huffington Post: “While the threat these drones pose to privacy is unprecedented, they are being unleashed on the American populace before any real protocols to protect our privacy rights have been put in place and in such a way as to completely alter the landscape of our lives and our freedoms. We are truly entering a new era. Once the realm of science fiction and dystopian literature, the all-seeing surveillance state, powered by the latest and greatest in robot technology, is the reality with which we must now contend.”

Capable of being outfitted with anything from thermal imaging cameras capable of seeing through walls to crowd-control weapons as well as lethal weapons, drones are set to become a vital tool for the burgeoning police state.

Tactical-Life.com reports:

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) in Conroe, Texas, recently purchased the ShadowHawk Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), a small, unmanned helicopter configured with an avionics upgrade that includes stabilized flight appropriate for available weapons platforms. “We have been discussing the shotgun and launcher platforms. What we envision is a 12 gauge delivery system with lethal and less-lethal deliveries. That is the most robust platform,” says Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel of the MCSO.


Currently, there are 63 sites throughout the United States from which the FAA authorizes drone launches. Most of them are police departments, universities and military installments.

OWS Ramps Up Today

Occupy Wall Street kicked off a planned day of global disruption this morning. In cities throughout the United States and the world, protesters are expected to be out in force.

Organizers hope the coordinated events will mark a spring resurgence of the movement after a quiet winter. OWS has called for a general strike among members of its movement. It is calling for no work, no school, no banking and no shopping on OWS websites in hundreds of cities in North America, Europe and Asia.

In New York City, Occupy Wall Street has joined scores of labor organizations observing May 1, which is traditionally recognized as International Workers’ Day. Using their websites and pamphlets, OWS organizers are encouraging people to help block traffic at bridge and tunnel ports throughout the city to slow people going to work on May Day.

According to Business Week, Banks have pooled resources and cooperated to gather intelligence after learning of protester plans to picket 99 institutions and companies, followed by what organizers have described as an 8 p.m. “radical after-party” in an undetermined Financial District location.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Occupy-related events are planned in 115 cities throughout the United States, from college towns such as Amherst, Mass., and Ann Arbor, Mich., to Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and Philadelphia.

Some of the protesters have referred to the months leading up to today’s events as “spring training.”

Police throughout the country, especially the New York Police Department, are reportedly prepared to meet the protesters with force if needed.

The FBI, Real American Terrorists

David Shipler, author of “Rights at Risk: The Limits of Liberty in Modern America,” explains in a recent opinion piece in The New York Times why Americans would see far less terror without the FBI.

According to Shipler, there have been 22 major terror attempts in the years since 9/11. Fourteen of them were facilitated by law enforcement.

He writes:

THE United States has been narrowly saved from lethal terrorist plots in recent years — or so it has seemed. A would-be suicide bomber was intercepted on his way to the Capitol; a scheme to bomb synagogues and shoot Stinger missiles at military aircraft was developed by men in Newburgh, N.Y.; and a fanciful idea to fly explosive-laden model planes into the Pentagon and the Capitol was hatched in Massachusetts.

But all these dramas were facilitated by the F.B.I., whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists offering a dummy missile, fake C-4 explosives, a disarmed suicide vest and rudimentary training. Suspects naïvely played their parts until they were arrested

Shipler contends that many of the suspects caught would have never been able to carry out the plots without the help of the FBI.

Not only does the FBI run entrapment missions to catch people it finds making angry online comments and whittle them into terrorists, it continually makes Americans believe they are surrounded by likely terrorists.

A CBS affiliate in Florida recently reported on FBI flyers circulated throughout American communities that identify mundane activities such as paying for goods with cash as potential terrorist activities. Alternative media have been reporting on this for months.

Without keeping Americans in a perpetual state of fear, government would not get away with much of what it does in the name of “safety.”

It wouldn’t be allowed to implement domestic drones for constant monitoring.

It couldn’t continue to harass every American who chooses to board an airplane.

It would not be able to inch toward total control and surveillance of the Internet.

It couldn’t spend trillions contracting companies like Lockheed Martin to build inefficient and unneeded military equipment.

The United States government needs terror; it needs the average Joe to be terrified. Control and the bottom line depend on it.

Small Farms Under Attack

Government efforts to do away with the small family farm in the United States to make the populace dependent on large corporate-and-bureaucratic-controlled farming operations for food are becoming increasingly successful.

Last week, the website The Economic Collapse outlined an alarming trend in the Nation: the complete wiping out of the family farm.

From the article:

An entire way of life is rapidly dying right in front of our eyes.  The family farm is being systematically wiped out of existence in America, and big agribusiness and the federal government both have blood all over their hands.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of farms in the United States has fallen from about 6.8 million in 1935 to only about 2 million today.  That doesn’t mean that there is less farming going on.  U.S. farms are producing more than ever.  But what it does mean is that farming is increasingly becoming dominated by the big boys.  The rules of the game have been tilted in favor of big agribusiness so dramatically that most small farmers find that they simply cannot compete anymore… Big agribusiness, the food processing conglomerates, and big seed companies such as Monsanto completely dominate the industry.  Unless something dramatic is done, the family farm is going to continue to be wiped out of existence.  Unfortunately, it does not look like things are going to turn around any time soon.

The article is backed up by recent news stories about government regulatory assaults on small farming operations initiated by well-funded corporate lobbies. It is estimated that about 80 percent of food grown in the Nation is linked to Monsanto Co.

In Michigan, farmers have been told that they are not allowed to raise hogs on small family farms that do not meet the State’s approval.

Raw milk farmers are attacked repeatedly by Federal Food and Drug Administration jackboots for peddling their pure products.

Government, in the name of safety (surprise), is working feverishly to make it illegal for children to do certain farm work. They have backed down for now amid public backlash, but probably not for long.

Small food operations throughout the country are under attack from the corporately corrupted FDA.

The results of allowing corporate control to take over the U.S. agriculture industry are lower-quality food and the ruination of naturally occurring crops as genetically modified varieties take over. Another result: communities that lack the ability to produce foodstuffs on their own, making them wholly dependent on the State in the event of societal distress and the disruption of modern food supply.

As government continues in its effort to control every aspect of American life, a statement made by Henry Kissinger in 1970 sums up the reasoning behind taking food production out of the hands of small farms, “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.”

Tampa Seeks Gun Ban During RNC

Many Republicans are ardent supporters of 2nd Amendment rights, but those who are planning to attend the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., may have to leave their guns at home despite State laws favorable to concealed carry.

Tampa officials are worried about people toting guns to the RNC, and they want to eliminate their fears by executive order. The City Council voted Thursday to ask Republican Governor Rick Scott to help them temporarily ban concealed weapons during the event.

The city leaders have already proposed a host of banned items including lumber, hatchets, gas masks, chains and “super soaker” water cannons but are prevented from outlawing concealed guns because of State concealed carry laws. They say guns must not be allowed because of the political volatility of the event and the chance of large protests.

Charlotte, N.C., is expected to pursue similar anti-gun initiatives for the Democratic National Convention in spite of that State’s laws that allow for concealed carry.