Many people over the last 6 years have called for one of the most controversial and misunderstood Supreme Court decisions to be overturned. The latest call came, not surprisingly from Hillary Clinton. I’m talking, of course, about Hillary’s pledge, if elected, to “introduce a constitutional amendment within the first 30 days of her presidency to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision.” see more…
My dog is in the closet, shivering with fear. The fireworks have already started.
Later today, countless millions of people will pretend to celebrate independence, and to underscore the ridiculousness of it, they will toss about a series of meaningless platitudes. They will be driven to tears by thoughts of thanksgiving, recalling their good fortune to exist in a land of liberty. They will remember the lessons of history, wherein a people insisted on freedom, rejecting forever the yoke of oppression, the chains of autocracy, and the demands of a power-mad government that would dare lay taxes on a handful of goods and activities.
The revelers will dress in the colors of their flag, the easier to deceive themselves and those around them, imagining that their masters are kinder than was King George; that the monarch their forefathers fought a bloody revolution to be shed of was guilty of easily more sinister crimes, and clearly more despotic acts, than the rulers they, themselves have elected. This is, of course, a lesson in absolute absurdity.
The British Crown, for all the colonist’s legitimate complaints, was an angelic force for good, a protector of liberties of every stripe, when contrasted with the behemoth, tax-gobbling monstrosity that now lays claim to their income, that of their businesses, their fuel, their pets, their alcohol, their tobacco, the property they think they own, their communications, their transportation, and their imports, to name but a few. Beyond the specter of taxation is outright control. The British crown did not possess the ill, the vitriol, the sheer magnitude of evil necessary to force the colonists to beg the state for permission to add a window to a structure, get married, practice a trade, own a dog, hunt, fish, travel about, sell food, purchase a firearm, and countless other common acts the restriction of which would have embarrassed even the Mad King.
Surely, no thinking person can believe for an instant that they enjoy more freedom today than did the colonists before the Revolution. Imagine giving Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, or Tom Paine an update on the state of the nation they left us. How could they react upon learning that government controls nearly every aspect of American life, that scores of thousands of new laws go into effect every year, that FedGov takes a huge cut of personal and corporate income, that the US has the highest prison population on the planet, and that a great many the state has put in its cages never harmed anyone? They would simply not believe it. And nothing would stay their credulity.
What would an old pot farmer like George Washington think about the Drug War?
Celebrating “Independence Day” is, in effect, underscoring the colonists’ complaints about their treatment by the British Crown. It is recalling and celebrating the decision to divorce one’s self from a government that had gone far too far, even while realizing that the actions of eighteenth century England were so tame, so minuscule by comparison to those of the modern American state that those truly desirous of more freedom and less taxation would reject the latter and embrace the former in an instant. So what does the day really mean? Independence from what? Certainly not tyranny! Obviously not government excess! None with thoughts based in reality can think themselves taxed less, either in amount or frequency than those whose defiance they revere.
What, then do these flag-draped revelers think themselves independent from? It is not a matter of ignorance. A lack of knowledge could be forgiven, and easily educated away. But this is not the problem—a child of six could do the math. It’s something far more sinister. “We the people” are suffering from a mass psychological condition. A pandemic of selective zombification. An unspoken cognitive dissonance. How else can we explain the disparity, the disunion of concept among those who loathe the government, but embrace its armed enforcers?
The soldier who kills for empire returns to the homeland to deafening applause, endlessly thanked for his “service,” and for “fighting for our freedom.” The cop on patrol enforcing an endless stream of immoral edicts has his sins excused away. “He’s only doing his job,” comes the familia refrain. We hate the law, but love the one who sees it is done. We loathe the orders, but give fetishesque respect to those who blindly follow them. It is a sickness. Those elected to rule over us are referred to as “leaders,” those who ensure compliance with their mandates are “peace officers,” It is as though a psychological pandemic of Stockholm Syndrome has infected the masses. And it smells like hotdogs and gunpowder.
Maybe there is some subliminal message woven into the melody of Lee Greenwood songs. Perhaps they put something in the fireworks. Maybe the pattern of beautiful colors falling to the earth hypnotizes the viewers—a visual booster shot of compliance good for another year of acceptance and obedience. There is no independence in modern American life—a sad reality in which the state controls, and licenses, and dictates every facet of human existence from the cradle to the grave, and even beyond.
Independence Day … it is a hollow name for a pointless holiday. If all we had to suffer under were the complaints levied against the “tyrant” King George III, we would be the freest people on earth. Today would be more aptly called Illusion Day: the day on which reverence for freedom that does not exist is made by willing thought-slaves so blinded by programmed falsities that they can’t wait to raise a glass to boundless taxation and regulation; where people ask peace officers dressed like commandos where they are allowed to pay to park for the privilege of sitting on government-seized property and cheering the fabulous “free” fireworks display their rulers put on.
The only thing we are independent from is reality.
It’s been 45 years since Richard Nixon declared a “war on drugs.” The Drug Policy Alliance reports, “He dramatically increased the size and presence of federal drug control agencies, and pushed through measures such as mandatory sentencing and no-knock warrants. Nixon temporarily placed marijuana in [Schedule I], the most restrictive category of drugs, pending review by a commission he appointed led by Republican Pennsylvania Governor Raymond Shafer.” see more…
While some voters in the United States are clamoring for free stuff and rallying behind Presidential candidates willing to say they’ll give away freebies, voters in Switzerland were less than enthusiastic about the idea when they went to the polls on June 5. see more…
Initial thoughts on the 2016 Libertarian Party convention:
- Wow, our poll was mostly right. While we didn’t hit everything within our 4.5 MOE, we nailed the final vote winner and final ballot order. Not bad for the first scientific poll to ever pierce the Libertarian veil.
- Rather noteworthy, McAfee’s support didn’t fade at all between first and second ballots.
- Gary Johnson was a clear winner among Libertarians, but has to make the case to voters during what will continue to be a negative and acrimonious election… Does he have the stomach to pick up the mud and sling it back in order to give voters what they apparently want?
- 44% did not vote for Johnson. Although his executive credibility as former Governor of New Mexico is apparent, it’s yet to be seen if there is high enthusiasm for Johnson’s second swing at the presidency nor how his lawsuit against the CPD will proceed.
- Johnson is certainly the #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary choice among disaffected Republicans and even disaffected Democrats. The money will finally be there for Libertarians, which will be something that has never happened before. It will be interesting to see if it will be used for becoming just another voice at a debate podium or for paving a path to the White House with an effective 50 state strategy.
Hammer of Truth is pleased to announce the results of a first ever scientific membership survey conducted between May 17th-20th of 1,563 Libertarian Party members — including delegates and alternate delegates to the upcoming National Convention in Orlando, Florida.
Our key findings:
- 2012 presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson holds a formidable 44-point lead of over his nearest competitor. This is highly indicative of strong name recognition.
- Current LNC Chair Nicholas Sarwark also appears to be the early favorite with a 40-point lead over his nearest competitor.
- The logo redesign of 2015 is well-received, with 87% approving the new torch logo.
- A majority approve of litigation seeking to stop public funding from going to institutions that don’t include Libertarian candidates in polls.
- The top issues for Libertarians are the economy and taxes, with foreign policy coming in a strong third.
- Ever wonder the best way to ask for money? The “donates” have it with an average “donation” amount of $335 beating out an average $258 “contribution” amount.
While NATO decreed the “war” in Afghanistan had ended several years ago, Antiwar.com reports NATO’s “military involvement didn’t significantly change on that date,” and NATO involvement was then set to end at the end of 2016. Antiwar.com adds, “No one had any realistic expectation that the 2016 date would be the actual end to the mission.” And sure enough NATO announced on May 20 that NATO forces would remain in the occupied nation indefinitely. see more…
Over six months after a trauma hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, operated by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), “was hit by a series of aerial bombing raids at approximately 15 minute intervals” the US Central Command (CENTCOM) issued a 120 page report and a 5 page summary of its investigation.
The summary states, “The investigation concluded that the personnel involved did not know that they were striking a medical facility. The intended target was an insurgent-controlled site which was approximately 400 meters away from the MSF Trauma Center.” see more…
There has been a lot of discussion recently about the decision by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman. In an open letter published April 20, Lew wrote “The decision to put Harriet Tubman on the new $20 was driven by thousands of responses we received from Americans young and old. I have been particularly struck by the many comments and reactions from children for whom Harriet Tubman is not just a historical figure, but a role model for leadership and participation in our democracy.” see more…
The FBI recently dropped a lawsuit against Apple that sought to force the phone manufacturer to unlock the iPhone used by a shooting suspect in San Bernardino, California. Before the suit was dropped, Apple said they did not have the ability to unlock the iPhone adding that creating a program to unlock the phone would be arduous and create a back door which would essentially nullify the encryption meant to protect the private information of the phone’s user. The lawsuit was dropped because the FBI claims to have found a way into the phone, though no one at the FBI is saying how they unlocked the phone. see more…
“Only in America!” It’s a phrase that has gone out of favor in recent times, but at one time referred to the opportunities available in the United States. Now it seems the phrase could be used to describe the unique political situation in which we find ourselves. While I’m not referring directly to the Electoral College, something which is not actually unique to the United States – nearly 40 non-monarchist countries have an indirect election of their head of state – I am referring to a situation that has been exacerbated in recent years by the plurality system used in American elections. I am referring to the unique situation we, the American electorate, face today: front-runner Presidential candidates with negative favorability ratings. see more…
We’re just a few weeks away from one of the most dreaded days of the year: April 15, Tax Day. Over the past few years discussions around Tax Day have led to a larger conversation of non-filers and/or non-payers of income tax. In the last Presidential election Mitt Romney made headlines with his comments about the so-called “47 percent” – the percentage of Americans who pay no income tax. Some libertarians, specifically Ron Paul, responded to Romney’s complaints that nearly half of all Americans don’t pay income taxes by saying “We’re half way there!” see more…
On March 18, the Oregon Department of Revenue announced that during the first month of legal cannabis sales, nearly $3.5 million in tax revenues were raised, which far exceeded projections. Reuters reported, “tax receipts from January also surpassed the first-month tallies from recreational cannabis sales in Colorado and Washington state, the first two states to legalize general commercial distribution of pot for adults.” see more…