America’s Decline And The Neglect Of Luther’s Principles Of Liberty

Authored by S. T. Karnick via Specator.org,
Freedom requires a sense of personal responsibility if it is to survive.
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With the nation’s news dominated by reports of political corruption (most recently, the Clintons’ apparent use of ‘pay to play’ schemes during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as U. S. secretary of state), sexual harassment scandals pandemic among the nation’s elites, extreme vulgarization of political speech and the common culture, riots against freedom of speech on the nation’s college campuses, paralyzing partisanship in Congress, death threats and open assassination attempts against government leaders and police officers, and the rest of the dismaying parade of moral shortcomings on display among the nation’s leaders in all walks of life, it appears that we are in the midst of a war not just between political and cultural factions, but over the very definition of our civilization.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 11, 2017.

“Economic Development” Is a Corporate Welfare Scheme

The Beacon Center, a libertarian think tank based in Nashville, has released a new film highlighting and describing the impact of corporate welfare in Tennessee. Starring University of Tennessee professor Glenn Reynolds, Rigged tells the story of small business owners in Memphis who were harmed by the massive tax breaks which the Shelby County government bestowed upon the furniture giant Ikea for opening a location in the Memphis area. The film has sparked a renewed focus on cronyism across the state.
Just recently, the four largest media firms in the state published the results of a ten month investigation into Tennessee’s subsidy and incentive programs. They found that the volunteer state’s corporate welfare programs amount to $2.5 billion annually. The Times Free Press reports that the Department of Economic and Community Development, whose raison d’tre is to dole out state privileges, has increased its spending by 80 percent since Bill Haslam became Governor.
The investigation also lamented the lack of oversight and accountability. The Times Free Press concludes that it is impossible to conclude if these corporate welfare programs have succeeded even on their own metric, creating jobs. Some officials didn’t even have records of the size of their handouts. However, one does not need to have numbers to prove that cronyism is inherently detrimental to an economy.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Nov 17, 2017.

Washington Corruption Is Unparalleled In History

Dr. George Szamuely, a distinguished member of the Global Policy Institute of London Metropolitan University, is a British citizen and not a partisan of US politics. He has carefully investigated the so-called Russian dossier and reports that it was entirely the work of the Hillary Democrats.
This fact was known at the beginning both to former CIA director John Brennan and to former FBI director James Comey. Yet both went along with the DNC-invented story of Russian election hacking and Christopher Steele’s fake ‘dossier’ on Trump’s imagined relations with Russians.
The presstitute media told the lies that they were supposed to tell. The consequence of this plot has been to waste the first year of Trump’s presidency and to prevent President Trump from reducing the dangerously high tensions with nuclear power Russia. This is a disservice not only to President Trump but also to the American people and the planet itself.

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on November 2, 2017.

EYE-OPENING SURVEY SHOWS NO.1 FEAR OF US CITIZENS IS GOVERNMENT, NOT TERRORISM

An extensive survey of hundreds of adults across the United States has just revealed that the thing most Americans fear – more than anything else – is their own government. In fact, according to the survey, no other fear even comes close to the percentage of Americans who worry about their corrupt government officials.
The survey was conducted by Chapman University and it serves to back up the point that while Americans claim to live in the Land of the Free, deep down, they realize they are living in a corrupt oligarchy.
The Chapman University Survey of American Fears Wave 4 (2017) provides an in-depth examination into the fears of average Americans. In May of 2017, a random sample of 1,207 adults from across the United States were asked their level of fear about eighty different fears across a huge variety of topics ranging from crime, the government, the environment, disasters, personal anxieties, technology and many others.
As Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, like last year, corruption of government officials came top in 2017, with 74.5 percent of U. S. adults saying it makes them ‘afraid’ or ‘very afraid.’

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on THEFREETHOUGHTPROJECT.COM / OCTOBER 23, 2017.

New Survey Shows No.1 Fear of US Citizens is Government NOT Terrorism

An extensive survey of hundreds of adults across the United States has just revealed that the thing most Americans fear – more than anything else – is their own government. In fact, according to the survey, no other fear even comes close to the percentage of Americans who worry about their corrupt government officials.
The survey was conducted by Chapman University and it serves to back up the point that while Americans claim to live in the Land of the Free, deep down, they realize they are living in a corrupt oligarchy.
‘The Chapman University Survey of American Fears Wave 4 (2017) provides an in-depth examination into the fears of average Americans. In May of 2017, a random sample of 1,207 adults from across the United States were asked their level of fear about eighty different fears across a huge variety of topics ranging from crime, the government, the environment, disasters, personal anxieties, technology and many others.’
As Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, like last year, corruption of government officials came top in 2017, with 74.5 percent of U. S. adults saying it makes them ‘afraid’ or ‘very afraid.’

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on OCTOBER 23, 2017.

MASS SHOOTINGS: THE MILITARY-ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX’S CULTURE OF VIOLENCE TURNS DEADLY

‘Mass shootings have become routine in the United States and speak to a society that relies on violence to feed the coffers of the merchants of death. Given the profits made by arms manufacturers, the defense industry, gun dealers and the lobbyists who represent them in Congress, it comes as no surprise that the culture of violence cannot be abstracted from either the culture of business or the corruption of politics. Violence runs through US society like an electric current offering instant pleasure from all cultural sources, whether it be the nightly news or a television series that glorifies serial killers.’ – Professor Henry A. Giroux
This latest mass shooting in Las Vegas that left more than 50 people dead and more than 500 injured is as obscure as they come: a 64-year-old retiree with no apparent criminal history, no military training, and no obvious axe to grind opens fire on a country music concert crowd from a hotel room 32 floors up using a semi-automatic gun that may have been rigged to fire up to 700 rounds a minute, then kills himself.
We’re left with more questions than answers, none of them a flattering reflection of the nation’s values, political priorities, or the manner in which the military-industrial complex continues to dominate, dictate and shape almost every aspect of our lives.
For starters, why do these mass shootings keep happening? Mass shootings have taken place at churches, in nightclubs, on college campuses, on military bases, in elementary schools, in government offices, and at concerts. This shooting is the deadliest to date.
What is it about America that makes violence our nation’s calling card?

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on OCTOBER 6, 2017.

NCAA Violations Are Now Federal Crimes?

Recent federal criminal charges of conspiracy and wire fraud brought against four assistant college basketball coaches and executives from Adidas seem to be popular in the mainstream media, judging from the numerous articles I have seen about the story. For that matter, even some libertarians, noting their belief that college sports are ‘corrupt,’ are cheering on federal authorities.
I am not one of the cheerleaders for this latest intrusion of federal criminal law into what essentially is peaceful, private activity, National Collegiate Athletic Association rules aside. While most journalists seem to see this as an example of federal authorities riding in on their white horses to save college basketball from the scourge of ‘corruption,’ I see this as the government destroying lives for no good reason and protecting the sources of the real corruption at the same time. Far from ‘cleaning up’ major college sports, this is a classic bait-and-switch operation in which federal authorities are conspiring to redirect resources from those that should have it (if we actually hold to the belief that individuals should be compensated for their contribution of added wealth to the economy), all the while claiming they are ‘protecting’ the very people being robbed.
As Gary North recently pointed out, the NCAA is a cartel – a multi-billion-dollar cartel, I would add – that claims to be protecting the ‘holy’ principle of ‘amateur athletics.’ All the while, it’s ensuring that the main factor of production for collegiate sports – the labor of individual collegiate athletes – receives minimal or even no compensation at all. The current compensation scheme – athletic ‘scholarships’ for athletes – is tantamount to a rule that states that Kevin Durant, the 2017 Most Valuable Player for the National Basketball Association, can receive compensation only equal to that of the lowest-paid player in the NBA, while NBA coaches and executives run off with the majority of the funds generated by professional basketball.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on October 2, 2017.

FBI Arrests Several NCAA Coaches Amid Broad Crackdown On College Basketball Corruption

In a broad crackdown on college basketball corruption, U. S. prosecutors unveiled charges Tuesday against 10 coaches, managers, financial advisers and representatives of a sportswear company, accusing them of bribery, fraud and corruption in recruitment in college basketball. Additionally, a key part of the case includes allegations that an executive at a global apparel company bribed students to attend universities where the company sponsored athletic programs.
The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that college basketball coaches at University of Arizona, Auburn, University of Southern California, and Oklahoma State University had been arrested, as well as managers, financial advisors, and representatives of a major international sportswear company. The defendants include coaches at top U. S. college basketball programs, one agent, one financial adviser and a former referee. The coaches are Lamont Evans, an assistant at Oklahoma State University, Emanuel Richardson, an assistant for the Arizona Wildcats, and Chuck Person, associate head coach at Auburn University.
Jim Gatto, director of global sports marketing for basketball at Adidas, was also named as a defendant. According to the complaint, Gatto allegedly conspired with coaches to pay high school athletes to play at universities sponsored by Adidas (or as it is referred to in the complaints, “Company 1”).
According to Business Insider, Gatto and four other defendants have charged with “making and concealing bribe payments” to high school student athletes and/or their families. In one instance, Gatto and the other defendants reportedly funneled $100,000 to the family of a high school basketball player to convince the player to sign with a “public research university” in Kentucky.
In another case, Gatto and other defendants allegedly agreed to make payments up to $150,000 from Adidas to convince the player to join another team sponsored by the apparel company, a private university in Florida, according to filings. The university is not named, but based on information provided is likely University of Miami, which entered into a 12-year partnership with Adidas in 2015.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 26, 2017.

Elon Musk Sycophants Attack Ron Paul As A Shill For Defense Industry

What’s next? A unicorn captured in Tennessee? The world I grew up in has changed. American Universities are handing out Play-Doh to comfort distraught liberals and ‘Never Trump’ students. Protestors defaced a Thomas Jefferson statueat the University of Virginia due to his slave ownership. Race baiters attacked Hobby Lobby for displaying raw cotton in vases. The P. C. Police have continually demonstrated their desire to attack the America many of us love.
Now, the snowflake class is writing articles stating Ron Paul – the former Texas congressman that made a career out of criticizing bloated defense budgets and hawkish foreign policy decisions – is shilling for the defense industry. Their ‘evidence’ is that he received five-year-old campaign contributions from some employees of Boeing and Lockheed Martin, which they falsely credited with coming directly from the companies themselves.
Dr. Paul’s alleged wrongdoing was writing an op-ed mildly critical of Elon Musk, a government subsidy-eating machine and poster boy for left-wing environmental causes.
In the article, Paul, an Air Force veteran, expressed his opposition to Section 1615 of the National Defense Authorization Agreement (NDAA), which many speculate was written with the congressional intent of quietly extinguishing all serious competition to Musk’s SpaceX.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 18, 2017.

NURSE REFUSES TO BREAK LAW FOR COP. COP BRUTALLY ARRESTS NURSE. THE INTERNET IS STILL ON FIRE.

Whipping like wildfire across the internet late Thursday evening is arguably one of the more shocking incidents of brute force displayed by law enforcement in the United States – indeed, a rare characterization, given American policing’s interminable list of killings, beatings, corruption, lies, and general misbehavior – because, this time, the subject of a bully cop’s strong-arm tactics was a nurse.
A nurse, just doing her job.
The nurse, Alex Wubbels, doing her job in Salt Lake City’s University Hospital, tried to protect an unconscious patient from having their blood drawn without their ability to consent or refuse, by the order of Salt Lake City Police Detective Jeff Payne – whose demands unequivocally violated her employer’s strict policy against drawing blood from unconscious patients without warrant, prior consent, or unless the patient is under arrest – which would have supplanted said rule.
‘I’m just trying to do what I’m supposed to do,’ Wubbels told the detective on the July 26th video, released late Thursday by the Salt Lake Tribune.


This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on SEPTEMBER 1, 2017.

Entire San Francisco Police Force Will Work The Patriot Prayer Rally

San Francisco city leaders are terrified of violence at a Patriot Prayer Rally. They have dubbed it a ‘rally by a far-right group’ and on Saturday, the city will bring in the entire police force work that day.
When a group that claims its intention is to promote peace, love and unity applies for government permission (a permit) to hold a prayer rally (free speech) in a national park, Democrats like Nancy Pelosi declare them ‘white supremacists’ and a ‘hate group.’ In fact, that was the first reaction after the city approved the permit for the Patriot Prayer Rally in the park. The second response? The city of San Fransisco is rallying their entire police force to make sure those who participate in the prayer rally stay in line.
Patriot Prayer bills itself as a peaceful First Amendment advocacy group that appears in locations where there have been past confrontations over free speech. For example, Patriot Prayer organized the Evergreen State College protest outside Seattle where Gibson was pepper sprayed by counter-protesters. According to their Facebook page, Patriot Prayer is also dedicated to fighting government corruption. Now it makes sense that they’ve been labeled as ‘extremists’ by the left.

This post was published at shtfplan on August 24th, 2017.

Bitcoin In An Illusionary Age

It is altogether fitting that crypto currencies, in particular Bitcoin, have witnessed a meteoric rise in this illusionary age.
Not only has their monetary value gone to dizzying heights, but they are now being touted as the destroyer of the current, crumbling monetary order and the next paradigm upon which a new money and banking system will emerge.
In an era where sacrifice, hard work, loyalty, ingenuity, tradition, and independent thought are considered anathemas, while affirmative action, sloth, effeminacy, office seeking, and something-for-nothing schemes are endemic in every walk of life, it is not surprising that non-tangible, computer-generated currencies would become a ‘natural’ feature of such a world.
While it has always been a haven for charlatans, traitors, cheats, thieves, liars, and serial adulterers, contemporary political life has become even more of a sham. The most glaring example of politics’ utter corruption can be seen in the recent departed chief executive officer of the US. Unless one abandons all critical thinking, Obummer was unqualified to be president because of the obvious fact that he was not born on American soil. Not only did this disqualify him, but his educational and professional backgrounds have not been verified. Neither his collegiate records nor his supposed teaching career at the University of Chicago Law School have ever been exposed to public scrutiny. From the few utterances he has made about his supposed specialty – constitutional law – it appears that he has only a rudimentary knowledge of the subject.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 21, 2017.

Diminishing Returns

These two words are the hinge that is swinging American life – and the advanced techno-industrial world, for that matter – toward darkness. They represent an infection in the critical operations of daily life, like a metabolic disease, driving us into disorder and failure. And they are so omnipresent that we’ve failed to even notice the growing failure all around us.
Mostly, these diminishing returns are the results of our over-investments in making complex systems more complex, for instance the replacement of the 37-page Glass-Steagall Act that regulated American banking, with the 848 page Dodd-Frank Act, which was only an outline for over 22,000 pages of subsequent regulatory content – all of it cooked up by banking lobbyists, and none of which replaced the single most important rule in Glass-Steagall, which required the separation of commercial banking from trafficking in securities. Dodd-Frank was a colossal act of misdirection of the public’s attention, an impenetrable smokescreen of legal blather in the service of racketeering.
For Wall Street, Dodd-Frank aggravated the conditions that allow stock indexes to only move in one direction, up, for nine years. During the same period, the American economy of real people and real stuff only went steadily down, including the number of people out of the work force, the incomes of those who still had jobs, the number of people with full-time jobs, the number of people who were able to buy food without government help, or pay for a place to live, or send a kid to college.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on August 21, 2017.

Wall Street’s Latest Plot: Blame the Financial Crash on the French

Wall Street appears to have a plan to get the deregulation it wants by pinning the start of the epic financial crash of 2007-2010 on (wait for it) the French, rather than its own unbridled greed, corruption and toxic manufacture of junk bonds known as subprime debt that it paid to have rated AAA by ethically-challenged and deeply conflicted rating agencies. (The same rating agencies that are getting paid by Wall Street to rate its debt issues today.)
One of the men helping to peddle this narrative is Steve Hanke, a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, a taxpayer-subsidized nonprofit that was secretly owned by the billionaire Koch brothers for decades.
Hanke’s bio at Cato lists him as a Professor of Applied Economics at John Hopkins University in Baltimore and provides the following titillating background:
‘Prof. Hanke served as a State Counselor to both the Republic of Lithuania in 1994-96 and the Republic of Montenegro in 1999-2003. He was also an Advisor to the Presidents of Bulgaria in 1997-2002, Venezuela in 1995-96, and Indonesia in 1998. He played an important role in establishing new currency regimes in Argentina, Estonia, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ecuador, Lithuania, and Montenegro. Prof. Hanke has also held senior appointments in the governments of many other countries, including Albania, Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates, and Yugoslavia.’

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade on August 21, 2017.

Wages, Productivity, and Inequality

“Inequality is a euphemism, a kind of shorthand, for all of the things that have gone to make the lives of the rich so much more delicious, year on year, for the last three decades. And also for the things that have made the lives of working people so wretched and so precarious in that same time.
This word inequality. It’s visible in the ever rising costs of healthcare and college, in the coronation of Wall Street, and the slow blighting of wherever it is that you happen to live. And you catch a glimpse of inequality every time you hear about someone that had to declare bankruptcy because a child got sick, or you read about the lobbying industry that drives Washington DC, or the new political requirement, the new constitutional requirement that every presidential candidate has to be a billionaire’s favorite, or a billionaire themselves.
Inequality is about the way in which speculators, and even criminals, get a helping hand from Uncle Sam, while the Vietnam Vet down the street from you loses his house. Inequality is the reason that some people find such incredible significance in the ceiling height of an entrance foyer, or the hop content of a beer, while other people will never believe in anything again.”
Thomas Frank
“People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason. But the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right. The sensitivity of the poor to injustice is a trivial thing compared with that of the rich.”
John Kenneth Galbraith

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 24 APRIL 2017.

Trump Sued For Not Releasing White House Visitor Logs

Three organizations have filed lawsuits against President Trump’s administration for not publicly disclosing White House visitor logs.
According to The Hill, the lawsuits were filed against the Department of Homeland Security by The National Security Archive, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University after the administration failed to release the records pursuant to several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
‘We hoped that the Trump administration would follow the precedent of the Obama administration and continue to release visitor logs, but unfortunately they have not.’ CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement.
‘Given the many issues we have already seen in this White House with conflicts of interest, outside influence, and potential ethics violations, transparency is more important than ever, so we had no choice but to sue.’
‘President Obama routinely released the data we’re seeking with no damage to presidential privilege, and this information is central to the Secret Service mission and thus clearly agency records subject to FOIA,’ Tom Blanton, the director of the National Security Archive, said in a statement.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 10, 2017.

Correcting a Few ThingsTaken from the Mainstream Media…

There is a certain nagging annoyance that one gets when they see something in print that they know is just wrong, and write response to it, with documentation, in order to correct it.
And then for whatever cause including fat-fingered error, the comment is moderated into oblivion. If it was an opinion piece then fine. Opinions are not worth all that much. But if it is a straight up factual correction, that is a bit annoying when the original in the media was designated to reinforce some point that one feels is a bit unjust.
So here are two recent example of things that were just wrong that appeared without correction in the mainstream media.
From Jeri-Lynn Scofield over at Naked Capitalism who picked up this piece in the NY post:
Snooki inspires legislation to limit state university speaker fees NY Post. Moi: Speaking as a born and bred Jersey girl, I applaud the state legislature’s action. Nice to see the state of my birth lead the way in something other than corruption or toxic waste. And about time – $32K to hear Snooki speak at the Rutgers commencement? Are the administrators nuts? And the proposed $10k cap is too high. Why should any speaker receive more than expenses and a modest honorarium, e.g., $1K – which incidentally, anyone with any class would immediately donate back to the university.
I don’t normally read the Post, except perhaps for financial pieces by John Crudele, so I was glad to see this at a site where I do read on occasion.
This is no knock on Jeri=Lynn whose major point remains intact, that commencement fees may be far too generous.
And as an old fogey, it seems to me to be a correct sentiment about paying far too much money and attention to these reality tv stars, our current President notwithstanding.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 26 MARCH 2017.

Dear Self-Proclaimed “Progressives”: as Apologists for the Neocon-Neoliberal Empire, You Are as Evil as the Empire You’ve Enabled

Sorry, pal, you’re evil. Self-righteous indignation counts for nothing in the strict accounting of real progressivism. Dear Self-Proclaimed “Progressive”: I love you, man, but it has become necessary to intervene in your self-destruction. Your ideological blinders and apologies for the Establishment’s Neocon-Neoliberal Empire are not just destroying your credibility, they’re destroying the nation and everywhere the Empire intervenes. While you squandered your political capital defending zero-cost causes like “safe spaces on college campuses,” the Empire was busy killing, maiming and making refugees of women and children in Syria. President Obama and his Neocon crew (former Secretary Hillary Clinton included) aren’t fools; they rely on drones and proxy armies to do their dirty work. Neoliberalism is the Establishment’s core ideology, and by supporting Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, you furthered, defended and rationalized the Empire’s neoliberal expansion and exploitation. Neoliberalism’s Big Lie is transforming everything into a market makes everyone richer. The dirty little secret of Neoliberalism is that the markets it creates are rigged in favor of Elitist cronies. If you can set aside your “progressive” blinders for a moment (Bill and Barack could do no wrong for 16 long years of neoliberal exploitation), you might learn that the Presidents and party you supported ushered in the era of neoliberal pillage as public-private partnerships, Philanthro-Capitalism, and rigged markets that enriched the elitist Establishment you defend at the expense of the bottom 95% non-elites.

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on MONDAY, JANUARY 09, 2017.

James Clapper Refuses to Brief Congress on the Proof That Russia Hacked the DNC

I am sorry, but he has not basis to refuse to show his evidence. He is clearly trying to instigate a revolution in the Electoral College. He should be held in CONTEMPT of Congress and he is clearly playing politics now with the intelligence community. This is just showing how far we have gone already from our model’s forecast that 2015.75 was the PEAK IN GOVERNMENT. This is becoming blatantly obvious. Congress should hold Clapper in prison on Contempt until he agrees to brief the nation showing the EVIDENCE that the DNC was hacked by Russia. Even if it was, the emails released have exposed unbelievable corruption and collusion between the Democrats and the media, who obviously will not really push this issue for their own conflict of interest issues.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Dec 18, 2016.

Ten Electoral College Electors Want Briefing On “Russian Interference” Before Presidential Vote

In our initial take on the Washington Post’s story about the “secret” CIA assessment that Russia helped Trump win the election (since contested by the FBI), we said that this may amount to nothing short of a “soft coup” attempt by leaders in the US Intel community and the Obama administration, and warned to expect of a push by prominent democrats to pressure the electoral college to “take into consideration” these findings next Monday, on December 19, when the formal vote for president is set to take place.
This is how we summarized the newly-formed narrative:
Announce “consensus” (not unanimous) “conclusion” based in circumstantial evidence now, before the Electoral College vote, then write a report with actual details due by Jan 20. Put a proven liar – James Clapper – in charge of writing the report on Russian hacking. Fail to mention that not one of the leaked DNC or Podesta emails has been shown to be inauthentic. So the supposed Russian hacking simply revealed truth about Hillary, DNC, and MSM collusion and corruption. Fail to mention that if hacking was done by or for US government to stop Hillary, blaming the Russians would be the most likely disinformation used by US agencies. Expect every pro-Hillary lapdog journalist – which is virtually all of them – in America will hyperventilate (Twitter is currently on fire) about this latest fact-free, anti-Trump political stunt for the next nine days.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 12, 2016.