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#1
This is someone's opinion. Take it fwiw and dyodd.

The Circus We Call the Election Process!

-- Published: Thursday, 17 March 2016
By: Bill Holter


As a rule I try not to comment all that much on politics because it is such a polarizing topic. No matter what I could say one way or the other, "politics" will turn some normally placid folks into rabid trolls. That said, what we are witnessing now has never happened before in our lifetimes and is not even about the candidates ...it is about the survival of our Republic!


Immediately after turning on the business news this morning, I heard an interview of a Republican National Committee member talking about "rules". I did not catch who it was but the essence of the interview was it did not matter who had the most votes or delegates ...the Republican committee would choose "their candidate" if no one had the majority leading into the convention. He was questioned with "so the will of the people doesn't matter"? To which he answered and I will paraphrase in my own words as I understood, "it doesn't matter who the people vote for and we will even overturn a majority if we see fit, the Republican party will choose their candidate for the good of the Republican party". As an aside, John (buddy can you spare a Kleenex) Boehner "endorsed" Paul Ryan for presidential nominee. (Not sure I would have voted for him but I don't recall his name on the ballot)? Upon further searching, the interview can be found here Voters don't pick nominee, we do: GOP official . All I can say is "in your face, we make the rules, you don't even matter"!


Please understand this fully, the tricks, sleight of hand and outright lying as to our country's condition are not working anymore. The primary voting on both sides show an electorate where a large percentage of the country has woken up in anger. It doesn't matter if the average guy does not know exactly "what" is wrong, he/she knows it is something! Reality is so bad the "machine" can no longer hide it and the boiling point is being reached. The election looks to me as if it is going to be a referendum of the average guy versus the establishment. The danger of course is if enough "average guys" have their votes ignored they will rail against the machine. The way I see it, the upcoming election will be about the establishment retaining the control and ability to continue bilking the system or the populous rising up and taking power back.


You might ask "what does this have to do with finance or economics"? In no particular order, it has EVERYTHING to do with economics and finance! Whatever happens will certainly affect the dollar (the currency of any nation is the equivalent of its common stock). Future policy will affect the dollar as well as how foreigners view what happens. Interest rates, stocks, real estate, everything imaginable will be affected. It does need to be said that no matter who wins or loses, the system is already toast and only "timing" may be altered. Most importantly I believe the only difference between who wins and who loses will dictate how quickly or severe the elimination of our civil rights and liberties will be.


In my opinion we are actually watching a circus that no fiction writer could have dreamed up. On one side we have a socialist/communist running against an apparent felon. On the other side we have a populist who says whatever he cares to as long as it's something the people are thinking, running against a hardened conservative that no one in establishment Washington likes. The odds favor a Clinton/Trump matchup. I would ask a couple of questions. What will the response be if Hillary Clinton is indicted? A really far out question would be what if she is somehow pardoned and allowed to run? On the other side, what will happen if the nomination is taken away from Mr. Trump? Or better yet, what if it is taken away from both Trump and Cruz and instead given to a "preferred" candidate? The most comical thing I can think of right now is future debates between Hillary and The Donald!


Before finishing it needs to be said the old adage "it doesn't matter who you vote for, it only matters who counts the votes" is probably quite true now more than ever before. Because of the financial backdrop I wonder whether or not we will even have an election? If the financial system were to come down prior to the election (which I believe is likely), would we have an election under martial law conditions? Financially our fate is carved in stone in my opinion, how we navigate, survive or perish with or without civil liberties is in question.


As I said at the beginning, I hesitate to write on this topic because my e-mail inbox explodes with hatred. As an admission, my candidate of choice was Ben Carson. Was he most qualified? No. Was he establishment or even a politician? No. Did he have ANY experience in government? No. In my opinion, Ben Carson is an American with his country's best interest ahead of his own or anyone else's. He believes in God and in Christian values, whether real or not, the world would be a pretty cool place if everyone got along and acted as Christ did according to the Bible. Mr. Carson was my choice because as I see it, our "inalienable" (or God given) rights have been frittered away and we are on the cusp of losing them altogether. Maybe I am mistaken but I view him as a man of respect for everyone and their individual rights, not someone who wants control through handouts I can only pray that we as a nation can find our way back in time when neighbor helped neighbor, and self reliance and accountability for one's actions not only meant something but was expected. No matter the outcome, this next election will be historical!


Standing watch,

Bill Holter

Holter/Sinclair collaboration.

Bill Holter writes and is partnered with Jim Sinclair at the newly formed Holter/Sinclair collaboration.

Prior, he wrote for Miles Franklin from 2012-15. Bill worked as a retail stockbroker for 23 years, including 12 as a branch manager at A.G. Edwards. He left Wall Street in late 2006 to avoid potential liabilities related to management of paper assets. In retirement he and his family moved to Costa Rica where he lived until 2011 when he moved back to the United States. Bill was a well-known contributor to the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA) commentaries from 2007-present.


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#2
Be very wary of the, "choices," that you are, "given."

Submitted by hedgeless_horseman on 03/17/2016 13:10 -0400


As someone that has herded a fair bit of livestock, I can honestly say: Be very wary of the, "choices," that you are, "given."
-hedgeless_horseman


Down here in East Texas, there is an old rivalry between the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints. I have been in the home of Saints fans that have furnishings with the Saints NFL logo and gold and black carpeting. The lady of the house screams and yells at the television on game day. They actually pray for God to intervene in the game on their team's behalf. They absolutely hate the Dallas Cowboys.



I know more than a few Cowboys fans that never even played football, yet have painted their vehicle blue and silver, decorated it with the Dallas Cowboy's NFL logo, Cowboys license plate bracket, and vanity plates. Riding in their vehicles, I have witnessed them as they listen to sports talk radio, screaming profanities, absolutely elated when their team wins, and emotionally depressed when they lose.



I have had the opportunity on more than a dozen occasions to spend significant time with both Jerry Jones, the owner of the Cowboys, and Tom Benson, the owner of the Saints. Both men obviously have a high degree of business acumen and each have had incredible success. I find both men hard working, intelligent, and likable. On two occasions, I have personally witnessed these two men together, and they seem to be on very good terms, if not even very good friends.

As NFL owners, they accept that with each game there must be a winner and a loser on the field, to the point that they openly promote the concept of parity, the state where all teams are equal in terms of talent. The best teams get the lower draft picks for new talent, etc. But the League's owners also understand that regardless of who wins the game on the field, what really matters is that they are all financial winners every year, and that they protect The League monopoly at all costs.

The owners don't really care if we cheer for the black and gold team, or the blue and silver team, as long as you do cheer, do watch the games on TV, and do purchase their League's tickets and paraphernalia.



I have also had the opportunity to personally spend more than a week with Donald Trump at his home and have twice had brief conversations with Bill and Hillary Clinton in person. I have spent even more time talking with past leadership of both the DNC and RNC. It would seem obvious, but these are all very intelligent, hard working, and charismatic people. Yes. Even Hillary.



At this point, it is important to remind readers that we have not had television in our home for more than a decade. This means that I have never seen Trump's Apprentice program. Neither have I watched any of the debates, or television "news" programs.



What may not be obvious to readers that do watch television, as both the DNC and RNC attack Trump, and Trump attacks Hillary, is that they all seem to me to be on very good terms, if not even very good friends.



Now, I shall plagiarize from wikipedia. Please read carefully the following:

In politics and sociology, divide and rule (or divide and conquer) is gaining and maintaining power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into pieces that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy. The concept refers to a strategy that breaks up existing power structures and prevents smaller power groups from linking up.

Traiano Boccalini cites "divide et impera" in La bilancia politica, 1,136 and 2,225 as a common principle in politics. The use of this technique is meant to empower the sovereign to control subjects, populations, or factions of different interests, who collectively might be able to oppose his rule. Machiavelli identifies a similar application to military strategy, advising in Book VI of The Art of War[1] (Dell'arte della guerra),[2] that a Captain should endeavor with every art to divide the forces of the enemy, either by making him suspicious of his men in whom he trusted, or by giving him cause that he has to separate his forces, and, because of this, become weaker.

The maxim divide et impera has been attributed to Philip II of Macedon, and together with the maxim divide ut regnes was utilised by the Roman ruler Caesar and the French emperor Napoleon.

The strategy, but not the phrase, applies in many ancient cases: the example of Gabinius exists, parting the Jewish nation into five conventions, reported by Flavius Josephus in Book I, 169-170 of The Wars of the Jews (De bello Judaico).[3] Strabo also reports in Geography, 8.7.3[4] that the Achaean League was gradually dissolved under the Roman possession of the whole of Macedonia, owing to them not dealing with the several states in the same way, but wishing to preserve some and to destroy others.

The strategy of division and rule has been attributed to sovereigns ranging from Louis XI to the Habsburgs. Edward Coke denounces it in Chapter I of the Fourth Part of the Institutes, reporting that when it was demanded by the Lords and Commons what might be a principal motive for them to have good success in Parliament, it was answered: "Eritis insuperabiles, si fueritis inseparabiles. Explosum est illud diverbium: Divide, & impera, cum radix & vertex imperii in obedientium consensus rata sunt." [You would be insuperable if you were inseparable. This proverb, Divide and rule, has been rejected, since the root and the summit of authority are confirmed by the consent of the subjects.] On the other hand, in a minor variation, Sir Francis Bacon wrote the phrase "separa et impera" in a letter to James I of 15 February 1615. James Madison made this recommendation in a letter to Thomas Jefferson of 24 October 1787,[5] which summarized the thesis of The Federalist #10:[6] "Divide et impera, the reprobated axiom of tyranny, is under certain (some) qualifications, the only policy, by which a republic can be administered on just principles." In Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch by Immanuel Kant (1795), Appendix one, Divide et impera is the third of three political maxims, the others being Fac et excusa (Act now, and make excuses later) and Si fecisti, nega (when you commit a crime, deny it).[7]

Elements of this technique involve:

  • creating or encouraging divisions among the subjects to prevent alliances that could challenge the sovereign
  • aiding and promoting those who are willing to cooperate with the sovereign
  • fostering distrust and enmity between local rulers
  • encouraging meaningless expenditures that reduce the capability for political and military spending
Historically, this strategy was used in many different ways by empires seeking to expand their territories.

The concept is also mentioned as a strategy for market action in economics to get the most out of the players in a competitive market.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divide_and_rule


Finally, I will once again post my favorite quote of Boss Tweed, the politician who, "bribed the state legislature, fixed elections, skimmed money from city contractors, and diverted public funds on a massive scale. During his reign at Tammany Hall and then in a variety of elected posts, including as U.S. senator, Tweed wielded almost total control over New York State and City politics."





"I don't care who does the electing, so long as I get to do the nominating."





- Boss Tweed



Sometimes we do not have any good choices, only responses.

One such response starts here: hedgeless_horseman's Revolutionary Call to Arms.

Or you can always just sit back and enjoy the panem et circenses!!!!



"Bread and circuses" (or bread and games; from Latin: panem et circenses) is metonymic for a superficial means of appeasement. In the case of politics, the phrase is used to describe the generation of public approval, not through exemplary or excellent public service or public policy, but through diversion; distraction; or the mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace, as an offered "palliative." Its originator, Juvenal, used the phrase to decry the selfishness of common people and their neglect of wider concerns.The phrase also implies the erosion or ignorance of civic duty amongst the concerns of the commoner.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bread_and_circuses

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-03-17/be-very-wary-choices-you-are-given
 

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#3
The Emperor Has No Clothes! Donald Trump And Bernie Sanders Has Exposed The American Voting System
The Doctor Of Common Sense


Published on Mar 18, 2016
 

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#5
We Are Supposed To Be A Constitutional Republic And Not A Democracy But We Are Neither
The Doctor Of Common Sense


Published on Mar 18, 2016
 

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#6
Don't forget the media is taking sides and those sides change on a daily basis. It's the shell game.
 

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#8
From here to anarchy

-- Published: Friday, 18 March 2016
By George Smith


It’s surprising to me that libertarians take presidential campaigns as an opportunity to promote small government candidates — or in some cases establishment candidates with a sprinkling of libertarianism in their rhetoric — when they could be using this time to advance their vision of a stateless society. One reason they don’t, of course, is that many of them don’t support a stateless society. They want the state, but much less of it. Coercion in small doses is just fine.


Another reason is the perennial one: How do you peacefully attain a stateless society? It’s not as if it’s on the ballot or ever will be.


Yet another reason is the election season is so full of juicy stuff to write about. Trump’s “outrageous” faux pas grab the spotlight, but there are others: Who’s the biggest warmonger? Is Sanders a socialist or a Keynesian on steroids, as Gary North describes him? And then there’s the “outsider” theme of this campaign, with Trump and Sanders but especially Trump causing major turmoil within the party elite. It’s possible Trump could end the neocon reign in the GOP, and for libertarians this is cause for rejoicing.


And if it happened it would be. But why set our sights so low?


No job openings for politicians


If there is any clarity in this campaign season it is that people are fed up with Washington. They’re fed up with Wall Street welfare, fed up with Main Street stagnation, fed up with the neocon war machine, and most of all fed up with the political class that is responsible for it all. Instead of choosing someone new to be fed up with, why not get to the source of the problem instead? People are in a throw-them-out mood. Why not give them reasons to throw out the government jobs themselves, so that there would be no need to vote anyone into office?


No one raises the question of state legitimacy. We just try to make it work in our favor, by electing politicians we like. This has not proven to be a winning strategy.


Dictionaries tell us anarchy means disorder, lawlessness, and chaos resulting from a lack of government; it is society without governing authorities.


But they also tell us it is a community organized by the voluntary cooperation of individuals. Could it be that such a community would eliminate many of the problems we experience now?


If so, how do we convince people that a society without government-as-we-know-it — without a ruling authority — is best for our interests?


Why does the state have the right to coerce us?


Michael Huemer, a professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado-Boulder, provides us with extensive intellectual ammunition in The Problem of Political Authority: An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey (2013).


Huemer breaks his discussion into two parts: One, can the state be justified on the basis of commonly-held moral convictions? His answer: No. Most people believe stealing, murder, and kidnapping are wrong, and that a person should keep his promises. The state is notoriously in violation of all of these. The state therefore lacks moral authority, yet we’re all trained to obey it. How did that arrangement come about?


Second, if the state cannot be justified on moral grounds, can society function without it? His answer: Yes. Society can function without state authority. Huemer here presents a justification for anarchy, or more precisely, anarcho-capitalism.


Huemer, in other words, starts from uncontroversial premises and arrives at controversial conclusions, which are:


  1. Authority is illusory
  2. Society can function without government
  3. Anarchy is attainable
He reaches these conclusions based on an axiom: Individuals have a prima facie right not to be subjected to coercion — what libertarians would call the non-aggression principle.


What results from an analysis of government when we apply the individual’s right to be free of coercion? Here are the conclusions Huemer reaches, each one discussed at length in his book:


1. No deliberative process suffices to erase individuals’ rights against coercion.


2. In common-sense morality, majority will does not generate obligations to comply or entitlements to coerce.


3. Subjects of a government satisfy the conditions for the development of the Stockholm Syndrome and also show some of its symptoms.


4. It is not in the government’s interests to solve social problems, since governments get more money and power when social problems get worse.


5. It is not in the interests of the news media to keep close watch over the government.


6. The government cannot be trusted to enforce the Constitution against itself.


7. Different branches of government have no incentive to restrain each other.


His conclusion about government: “Constitutional democracy with separation of powers is much better than totalitarianism, but it does not eliminate political predation.”


The stateless society


He then examines the nature of a society without a ruling authority.


1. A stateless society “differs from traditional government in that it relies on voluntary relationships and meaningful competition among security providers.”


2. Since violence is extremely costly, security agencies would seek peaceful means of resolving disputes.


3. The problem of interstate war is far greater than the problem of interagency war, because governments face much weaker obstacles to declaring unjust wars.


4. Most industries are dominated by production for low and middle-income customers. Protection agencies will provide services for low and middle-income customers.


5. Government does little to protect the poor.


6. Private protection agencies would provide higher quality, cheaper services than government police forces, for the same reasons that private provision of most other goods is cheaper and of higher quality.


7. Criminal organizations would be financially crippled by the legalization of such goods and services as gambling, prostitution, and drugs.


8. Competition prevents protection agencies from becoming abusive.


9. In the protection industry, the most efficient size for a firm would be quite small. This would enable many firms to coexist.


10. Law is best made by contracts and by judges rather than by a legislature.


11. The anarchist justice system would focus on restitution rather than punishment.


12. The end of standing armies would come about through a global cultural shift and a gradual ratcheting down of military forces.


13. Once the military was eliminated and courts and police privatized, someone would probably figure out how to make the politicians go home.


14. Anarchy is most likely to begin in small countries or parts of countries. If the results were promising, the idea would spread.


15. The eventual arrival of anarchy is plausible due to the long-run tendency of human knowledge to progress and to the influence of ideas on the structure of society.



Conclusion


With politicians dominating the air waves in the forthcoming months it makes sense to tell people they don’t have to take them seriously, that there’s a better way to organize our world. Instead of voting to give the current system legitimacy they should “vote” to remove the state from their lives. If the number of nonvoters reaches some critical mass — and the public’s anger might be strong enough to achieve it — the state itself will be on trial. Professor Huemer’s common-sense approach will help them understand the issues involved.


http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1458331200.php
 

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#10
As far as Cruz goes, I think he's a very slick and polished liar. I cannot...will not ever get past the notion that someone who was a Canadian citizen two years ago somehow thinks they're eligible to be president today. He's just not.

Trump could turn out to be just as big a liar, but if so he's good enough at it that I'm not picking up on it. He says some stuff I really dislike and takes positions I am diametrically opposed to, but even then my perception is that he believes what he's saying.
 

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#11
As far as Cruz goes, I think he's a very slick and polished liar. I cannot...will not ever get past the notion that someone who was a Canadian citizen two years ago somehow thinks they're eligible to be president today. He's just not.

Trump could turn out to be just as big a liar, but if so he's good enough at it that I'm not picking up on it. He says some stuff I really dislike and takes positions I am diametrically opposed to, but even then my perception is that he believes what he's saying.

As far as Cruz goes, I think he's a very slick and polished liar.
Donald Trump Exposes Ted Cruz For The Liar He Is On Flip Flopping
The Doctor Of Common Sense


Published on Mar 19, 2016
 

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#18
Is It Government Or Oligarchs?


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/23/2016 21:30 -0400


Submitted by Martin Armstrong via ArmstrongEconomics.com,

QUESTION:



I am a capitalist and what we have today is the least efficient form of capitalism. Actually it is quite a destructive and dangerous form of capitalism when the concentration of power reaches this level. I think that in all these years that I thought we were talking about different things, maybe we were not. You call big government what I call plutocrats controlling government. You were blaming governments, I was blaming plutocrats that we let become soo big and powerful that can buy any government…



Yet maybe we are not that far off.



...In any case... one question that I would love to ask you... how do you think we are going to fix the problem with the power structure? What I call the power structure is not the legitimate power structure, but the mix of oligarchs and corrupt government working as one cancerogenous entity. I do not see any reasonable way to fix it…?









ANSWER:

I think what you have to understand is that our structure of government being a republic rather than a democracy invites oligarchy.

There has never been a single republic that has ever proven to work. The mixture of money and power always becomes lethal. This is why I blame government, not the oligarchs. They could not buy politicians if they were not (1) career lifetime politicians, and (2) all-powerful law creators.

Taxes and regulations become the incentive for the oligarchs to buy government. If we eliminate taxes and career politicians, we will solve most of the problem.

We then must eliminate socialism, which at its core is predicated upon the foundation of Marxism that advocates government possessing power by insisting it could alter society by regulation. This serves as a fundamental pillar for taxation. It has also transformed government into the adversary of the people stemming from PUNISHMENT rather than from the concept of cooperation and respect for the people.

Philadelphia is trying to introduce a 3 cent tax per ounce of soda. The excuse is that sugar is bad for you, and they have only the best interests in mind for society. They expect to get almost $100 million annually from this tax. Why outlaw something that will make them money? So if it’s bad for you, go ahead, but pay them for that privilege. Philadelphia is dead broke and has a 22.5% tax on parking and 8.5% tax on hotels. They have chased everyone out. They want income tax for money earned in the city even if you just hold a conference there. This latest soda tax means a 2-liter bottle of soda that typically costs $1.50 would amount to $2.04 with taxes, which is more than the cost of the actual bottle. The cost of a 12-pack of soda would nearly double to more than $8. This is the same thing with all this global warming.

Governments use this as the excuse to tax you for your own good. The money does nothing but line the pockets of politicians. In the case of Philadelphia, citizens will shop in the suburbs to avoid the tax. To appease the oligarchs, the Feds created carbon credits that can then be sold to others who do pollute. It’s all about the money.



We simply have to admit that regulation does not work when used in such a manner that has covert revenue agendas. Other types of regulation such as outlawing prostitution are pointless when all they do is create a tax-free underground industry that leads to exploitation and kidnapping. Making drugs illegal funds crime just as prohibition funded the Mafia. Passing a law against murder does not prevent murder. There are things that are simply inherent within human nature that you cannot make a law and rationally expect it to stop.

There have been crazy people throughout history. Putting in background checks to sell guns is a deterrent, but it will not stop a crazy person from being crazy. If they wanted to kill someone, a knife will suffice. Outlawing gay marriage will not stop the same sex from living together. The whole problem was simply that we imposed all sorts of regulations to marriage such as preventing someone from inheriting property if not married or having permission to be at the bedside of a dying person unless they are family. At the border for taxes, they do not care if you are married. If you travel with someone else, the $10,000 limit applies to the both of you, because if you have $15,000 and give half to the other person they look at you as a couple regardless of sex or marriage status. This all becomes a convoluted regulation that is hell-bent on collecting money, which then disturbs the religious viewpoint of others. Yet, if we detach the regulations to marriage then it really does not matter. It always comes down to money and power.

So what we have to understand is that eliminating career politicians will eliminate much of the corruption. Eliminate the power to regulate pretended circumstances and you eliminate the need to buy government in some shape or manner. It has long been said that God created the Ten Commandments, and man has created 1 billion laws trying to say the same thing. Murder is murder, regardless if it is a policeman killing a citizen by shooting them in the back as they are running. The Roman Emperor Julian II (360-363 AD) may have been one of the most honorable men in history. He declared that no one was above the law, including himself. Any law enacted had to apply to everyone including the emperor. They killed him rather quickly and the assassin was never caught.


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-03-23/it-government-or-oligarchs
 

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#23
Why Don’t The Corrupt GOP Have Set Rules For The Convention? THEY WANT TO CHEAT DAMIT!!
The Doctor Of Common Sense


Published on Apr 7, 2016

 

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#24
The GOP And Democrats Treat Americans Like Corrupt Slave Owners! People! We Are Not Free!!
Thetruthdamit


Published on Apr 7, 2016
 

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#25
The Arrogance And Abuse Of Power - The Progressive Push Toward "Soft" Tyranny


Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/10/2016 10:50 -0400


Submitted by Richard Ebeling via EpicTimes.com,



What does freedom mean? What is the purpose of government? And what should be the government's relationship to each of us as individuals and as members of society as a whole? These issues recently came up during a dinner conversation with a new acquaintance with whom I'd not previously had such a discussion.

The views that I expressed in the calm and friendly and enjoyable exchange are those usually labeled as classical liberal or libertarian. My dinner companion reasoned from what is the "modern" liberal or "progressive" point-of-view. Like myself, he has been a professor in higher education, and he is widely read and very knowledgeable.

What became clear to both during the conversation and from reflecting on it afterwards are some of the following conclusions.

Conflicting Meanings of Freedom
As a classical liberal, freedom means that each individual possesses as a human being certain inviolable rights, those being rights to his life, liberty and honestly acquired property. And that human relationships should be based on voluntary consent and mutual agreement.

For my interlocutor, freedom means "empowerment" or the ability to do or achieve certain things, without which "freedom" is not complete. These include a minimum or "decent" standard of living and the ability to attain certain potentials in life, which are everyone's "right" as a member of society.

For my fellow conversationalist, society is a shared "community" of human beings each of whom owes certain things to the others, just as the others owe certain things to us. Society might be viewed as an extended family, from this perspective, all the members of which have certain required obligations to support and give assistance to their social "relatives."

I suggested that society is a network of human relationships formed between individuals based upon opportunities for mutual betterment, including both the economic and the cultural in the widest sense, the fundamental foundation of which derives from those essential individual rights.

The "Social Contract": Individualist or Collectivist?
My dinner companion raised the issue of "the social contract," to which we are all participants and benefactors. He referenced the famous French eighteenth century philosopher, Jean-Jacque Rousseau, who reasoned that man began as savages in the wild threatened by both beast and other men. Everyone entered into a social contract and formed society for mutual safety and betterment by giving up a portion of their complete and unrestrained "freedom" in that earlier setting of savagery for the order and security of shared community. The freedom given up is compensated by safety and the security of mutual aid, including the modern welfare state.

I suggested that if one was to refer to a "social contract" as a basis or rationale for organized society, the starting point should be the earlier British philosopher, John Locke, who argued that rights are not bestowed upon man by government or the community but belong to him by his nature as a human being. Government, in Locke's social contract, is to provide individuals with a tool for the common defense against the violence of some of their fellow men. The role of government is the securer of liberty by protecting each individual's rights to his life, liberty and property, and not as a guarantor of a certain standard of living or desired access to various material things.

The reason, I said, was that if the government undertook this latter responsibility of "social safety nets" and "positive" access to various other desired states of affairs, it can do so only by imposing through police power an obligation on others to provide the material means that some others are to be guaranteed. By doing so, government would be violating its original purpose for being brought into existence: the protecting of liberty (including people's property rights to their own honestly earned income and wealth) rather than a violator that takes from some without their consent for the asserted benefits of others.

Private Benevolence or Political Paternalism
At this point my dining companion asked, did this mean that concern and support for those less well off than us was to be left to private charity and philanthropy? I answered in the affirmative; that such an approach was the only one consistent with the ethical principle of an individual having the right to live his life as he chooses for his own purposes, taking on those obligations and benevolent activities on his own or in consort with others that he considers worthy and deserving.



The response from my new acquaintance was to say that that is a primitive and simplistic approach that may have been minimally workable in an earlier age, but not in a time of such complexity as our own. "How will 'Kenesha' in a low income job and little educational background know how to manage a retirement account or select a healthcare insurance policy, or even afford to have them?" he asked.

I resisted mentioning what seemed to me to be an implicit "racial profiling" that a young black woman would not have the ability to manage aspects of her daily life without a governmental overseer taking her by the hand to take care of it for her.

Instead, I asked who supposedly is qualified to make these decisions for others through the government, if it is not to be the people themselves through the competitive options and information that would be offered and constantly improved upon in a truly free market?

He replied that is precisely the role and task of the qualified experts who man and manage the appropriate governmental agencies, bureau, and departments concerned with providing for the necessities and needs of the general public and especially those in the lower income brackets.

The Paternalistic Hubris of the Progressive
I pointed out the paternalistic attitude in his view of things that people are neither responsible nor informed nor interested enough in their own lives to take care of these matters. He said, "Yes, look at how many people are obese, who clearly do not know how to follow reasonable and healthy diet choices. There need to be educated and trained by qualified experts in the government to move the uninformed and irresponsible citizen in the better direction that they don't always seem willing or able to do for themselves."

I said that I considered such an attitude to reflect a high degree of arrogance and hubris, a view that humanity is made up of weak-minded simpletons who need guiding care-givers and wardens to watch over and confine their conduct into narrow corridors of behavior that the government officials -- the "experts" – consider "good," "right" and 'just."

Contempt and Disregard for People's Free Choices
I explained that while "progressives" often use the rhetoric of "democracy" and respect for the dignity and diversity of people, the reality is that that they wish to override the choices people make in their everyday affairs to fit the presumed "right" and "rational" and "socially conscious" courses of actions that the proponents of political paternalism are convinced are the only "enlightened" and "just" ones.

The world is to be reduced to and confined within a narrow corridor of forms of "good behavior" that people will be either penalized for violating or subsidized for doing through government regulation and spending.

I reminded my new friend of the words of the British political philosopher, John Stuart Mill, who declared that until people are ready for freedom they can only hope to be ruled by a wise and benevolent dictator. But that Mill's contemporary, the noted British historian and political writer, Thomas Macaulay, replied by saying that Mill's suggestion reminded him of the fool in the story who said he would not go into the water until he knew how to swim. Unless freedom is exercised, individuals will never learn the lessons that may lead them to make wiser and more intelligent decisions over time. Otherwise, we run the risk of maintaining large portions of the population in a form of permanent childhood, living off and dependent upon the commanding decisions of those in political power.

The Arrogance and Abuse of Power
I also explained the argument and insight of the Austrian economist, Friedrich A. Hayek, that the more complex the society the less it is in the capacity of any one person or any group of people, no matter how well trained as "experts" in the art of political paternalism, to know enough to successfully manage and direct the affairs of the society better than leaving such matters to the individuals themselves in their own circumstances as they see and understand it best.

I pointed out to him that leaving such vital and essential matters in the hands of those in political authority and to the presumed "experts" in the government bureaus, agencies and departments ignores what we all, pragmatically, know to be true: the misuse and abuse of power and position by those in government for their own self-interested purposes and for those who assistant them in remaining in power.

The Hope And Dream for a World of Political Altruists
My interlocutor seemed unmoved by any of these counter arguments. He merely pointed to the class of especially trained "experts" who man the interventionist-welfare state in France, who seem to be not susceptible to the same corruption and abuse of power as in America. There are special French universities that have the precise purpose of educating and graduating a selfless elite who enthusiastically wish only to manage society for the good of the "the people."

I responded by pointing out that there seemed to be plenty enough scandals concerning those in political positions of power and responsibility, and corruptions involving influential special interest groups in France, as reported in the American media from time-to-time; this suggests that the French have their equal "fair share" of human beings who take advantage of their political and regulatory authority just like everywhere else.

They are not a special political class of ethical eunuchs who are altruistically living for and serving "humanity" in a manner different from the rest of mankind. This was merely another instance of the socialist fairytale that, once we go beyond the self-interest and selfishness of capitalism into the "social justice" of collectivism, human nature will be transformed into a world of pure and simple other-orientedness in which human beings only think in terms of and act for the good of some imaginary "common good" and never just for themselves.

His response was to point to all that is provided and done through government for the good of the poor and less responsible, and for economic improvements in society through government-business partnerships in the area of innovation and transformative technology.

What is Seen and What is Not Seen
I observed that after spending trillions of taxpayers' dollars over the last half-century "the poor are still with us" in America, with millions of people still locked out of market opportunities due to the burdens of the interventionist-welfare state. And there have been enough scandals and failures in the arena of government-business "partnerships" to suggest that the rhetoric surrounding them was "smoke and mirrors" to cover what they are really about: special interest groups picking the pockets of taxpayers because they cannot successfully market technologies and products that consumers value enough to buy at prices covering costs of production.

I pointed out that there was a nineteenth century French economist, Frederic Bastiat, who once penned a great essay called, "What is Seen and What is Not Seen." Yes, when government taxes away people's income and wealth to subsidize a solar power company, or to repair a bridge, or cover some people's expenses to go to college, we more directly see the results. And the proponents of such programs can proudly point to what is created or made available that might not have if not for this government largess.

But Bastiat's point was to remind us of what is not seen. If government had not taxed away those dollars and if they had remained the pockets of those who had honestly earned them, they would have been spent on many other things that the income earners themselves considered worthwhile and valuable. Instead of a government subsidized solar company, maybe some of those untaxed dollars would have been invested in a market-based profit-oriented pharmaceutical product that would alleviate the pain and suffering associated with some deadly disease.

Instead of repairing an existing bridge, maybe some of the money would be been invested in computer and software technologies that would made telecommuting for work easier so some roads and bridges would have to be less travelled. Or instead of covering one person's college education, some of the untaxed dollars would have been given as a charitable contribution for cancer research or to help fund a private wildlife preserve, or simply to buy new better pair of shoes for a taxpayers' own child's feet.

The look on my dinner companion's face hinted that that sounded all well and good, but those were just imaginary things in my trying to make a point. Private people do private things – therefore, non-"social" things – when they spend their own money. "Socially good" things only come primarily through governmental action serving the interests of all of us together, the community to which we all belong, and for which we all have the obligation and responsibility to contribute through tax dollars.

Progressives Cling to Collectivism
Here, in my opinion, are some of the essential issues and dilemmas facing the advocate of individual liberty, free markets, and constitutionally limited government. Too many of our fellow citizens do not believe that individuals have a right to live for themselves. They truly and honestly believe that "society," "community," the collective, is something independent of the distinct individuals who comprise it, and for which the individual is morally, politically and legally obligated to serve and sacrifice for. Police power is a legitimate and appropriate tool of enforcing these obligations and duties, if resistance or indifference is experienced among the citizens citizens in the undertaking of these activities.

For the "progressive," government is "society's" agent to undertake the tasks of "social justice" and "entitlement" that are owed to each member and to which everyone is required to provide their contribution. Police power is the means by which everyone is made to contribute their "social dues" in the form of either obedience to government regulations or payment of taxes for redistributive purposes.

Liberty and the Meaning of Society and the "Social"
For the classical liberal or libertarian, on the other hand, government is considered an agency for the protection of each individual's rights. "Society" is comprised of the networks of relationships and associations formed by individuals and in which they interact for various fulfillments of human happiness and well-being. These are not only the market exchange relationships of peaceful cooperation through competition and the buy and selling of goods and services.

It incorporates family, friends, professional associations, intellectual organizations and hobby groups. It includes faith and religious affiliations and participation, and all networks of charity and philanthropy at local community and wider levels. These networks of human association are what are often called "civil society."

The purpose of government in the classical liberal or libertarian perspective is to assure the security and protection from private plunder and violence that would disrupt or disturb the peaceful pursuits that individuals find it useful and enjoyable and fulfilling to follow through various and diverse associations of civil society.

Through them people express and satisfy the sundry sides of life and human existence that make the earthly sojourn meaningful and joyful, and "lived." Any intrusion of government, the political authority with its legitimized use of force, other than in the "negative" form of rights protection, weakens, undermines, and potentially destroys a person's liberty and therefore his ability to make his life have meaning and have happiness for himself.

Furthermore, the interventionist-welfare state undermines people's personal and financial ability to participate in those acts and associations of benevolence towards others that they are called by their conscience to pursue in the ways they consider best and most likely of success. The redistributive state arrogantly replaces each person's personal judgment and decision with that of the self-appointing "experts" who claim to speak and know best for society through the coercive arm of government.

Matching these ethical issues of the rights of the individual to live and act peacefully for himself as he sees best, the "progressive" often demonstrates a blinding degree of ignorance and misinformation about the workings of a competitive market economy, the nature of the profit and loss system, and the "invisible hand" of competitive cooperation through the peaceful and the voluntarist pursuit of self-interest.

He suffers from a confused, garbled, and contradictory grab bag of ideas derived from Marxism, Fabian socialism, nationalism, fascism, and, though it would be radically and vehemently denied, often-subtle forms of racism, as well.

Through all the progressive's rhetoric about "democracy" and "equality" and "social justice" and "diversity," theirs is a political philosophy and public policy ideology of elitism, hubris, and authoritarianism dominated by the idea and ideal of remaking human beings, human relationships and the structure and order of society into redesigned patterns and shapes that reflect their notion of how people should live, work, associate and earn a living.

That is why the modern liberal or progressive represents the face of a contemporary political, economic and cultural "soft" tyranny – compared to the brutal and murdering totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century – against which the classical liberal and libertarian must continue their centuries-long fight for human liberty.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-...progressive-liberals-push-toward-soft-tyranny
 

TAEZZAR

LADY JUSTICE ISNT BLIND, SHES JUST AFRAID TO WATCH
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#34
Mister Cameron also offers a warning as to what will become of Britain should she leave the EU. “Leaving Europe would threaten our economic and national security … at a time of uncertainty – a leap in the dark.”

Of particular interest is his repeated reminder that, “The central element of the deal that the Government has secured is an International Law Decision … and cannot be amended or revoked unless all member States, including the UK agree … the International Law Decision is legally-binding and irreversible.”

I believe when a country, or even a state, remains independent, they thrive much better than sending all their money to the "parent government" & only getting a fraction of the value in return.
This is why we should never have joined the UN nor NATO, it all leads to a world government that we cannot get out of (without a huge fight).
 

searcher

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#35
Mississippi Threatens To Use Armed Guards To Remove Trump And Cruz Delegates From The Process
Thetruthdamit


Published on Apr 21, 2016
Mississippi Threatens To Use Armed Guards To Remove Trump And Cruz Delegates From The Process

http://www.breitbart.com/2016-preside...
 

searcher

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#36
The Empire Doesn't Care Who You Vote For - Here's what actually matters
corbettreport


Published on Apr 26, 2016
SHOW NOTES AND MP3: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=18524

Elections are meaningless power rituals that only pit personas against each other in an establishment-endorsed Two Minutes Hate. So if these political wrestlemania matches don't change society, what does? Join us today for a fascinating conversation with Dan Sanchez about his recent article, "What If the Empire Held an Election and Nobody Came?"
 

solarion

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#38
I was doing okay reading that sensationalism searcher until I ran into this like a wall:

For example, in the 2000 election, Al Gore should have won the presidency, not because of the lawsuits or because George W. Bush turned out to be such a bust, but because he won the popular vote. The popular vote should decide.
No, no it shouldn't. America is not now, nor has it ever been a democracy.