Tuesday, October 24, 2017

STEVE BANNON TO DELIVER KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT THE REMEMBRANCE PROJECT’S LUNCHEON IN D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Maria Espinoza, Co-founder and National Director of The Remembrance Project, announced that Stephen K. Bannon will be the keynote speaker at her 2017 Remembrance Luncheon to be held at the Willard Intercontinental in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, November 4, 2017. The organization’s first conference and luncheon, held in Houston, Texas, in 2016 featured now-President Donald Trump as its keynote speaker. 

In a December 2015 interview with Ms. Espinoza on Breitbart News Daily radio, Bannon praised Espinoza’s grassroots primary challenge of Texas moderate Republican John Culberson, saying, “This is the beginning of the counter-revolution.” Bannon continued, “Maria Espinoza is a good woman. She has fought the fight consistently with her back against the wall to represent victims who got murdered by people who should never have been in this country…it’s people like Maria we have to have the back of.” 

Mr. Bannon, a former Naval officer and veteran, was CEO of Donald Trump’s 2016 Presidential campaign, playing a pivotal role in the successful and stunning November 2016 Trump election victory. Once inaugurated, Trump appointed Bannon as his White House Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor, positions he held until August 18, 2017, when he resigned and returned to Breitbart News as its executive chairman. According to Amazon-owned Alexa analytics, Breitbart is the 50th most popular website in all of America. In September, he was named by Politico Magazine #1 of their Annual Top 50 for being “the man who got us here.” He is the cofounder and former executive chairman of the Government Accountability Institute which investigates and exposes crony capitalism, misuse of taxpayer monies, and other government corruption or malfeasance. 

Mr. Bannon is an entrepreneur and financier in the media and film industries and a former investment banker in Mergers & Acquisitions at Goldman Sachs. He wrote and directed Generation Zero, The Undefeated, Occupy Unmasked and Torchbearer, among other groundbreaking political documentaries. The luncheon, part of The Remembrance Project’s second annual conference bringing together families of Americans killed by illegal aliens, will also feature Judicial Watch CEO Tom Fitton, and Lenny DePaul, star of “Manhunter” series on A&E. 

For more information on the conference and luncheon, go to www.TheRemembranceProject.org

Monday, October 02, 2017

A Constitutional Convention: American Suicide

Nelson Hultberg

The enemies of freedom today (both liberal and conservative) are closer than ever to realizing their dream of forming a Constitutional Convention to pass crucial amendments to our present Constitution and restructure it for the modern world. The desire to get rid of the Founders' Constitution has been a fanatical goal of political collectivists for the past 53 years when "in 1964 the Ford Foundation funded and orchestrated – via the CSDI (Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions) – the drafting of a new constitution for America." [1]

The danger involved here has its roots in the two basic methods to change the Constitution given to us by the Founders in Article V. One is to form joint resolutions in Congress for amendments and present them to the individual states' legislatures to accept or reject. This is the process by which all 27 amendments have been passed throughout our history. It is deliberate and sound and has served us well. But the second means to change our Constitution is not so sound. In fact it is downright dangerous. It provides for the formation  of a Convention of States (COS) to be called to propose and pass amendments whenever two-thirds of the several states desire such a convention.

It is this second method, the COS, that looms ominously before us today. On surface it would seem to be a beneficial procedure to control government in Washington. But if formed, it will be nothing of the kind. Because of the ideological corruption of our citizens over this past century, a COS formed today would almost surely decide to dismantle our present Constitution and give us a totally new document, one geared to accommodate the tenor of the times, which is pervasive collectivism instead of individualism.

A New Constitution

It is this writer's belief that if a COS is formed, it would be the final nail in freedom's coffin. We would lose America totally to authoritarian government domestically and our nation's sovereignty to Orwellian globalism. We would be presented, not with just a new amendment or two (such as a Balanced Budget mandate and Term Limits), but with a radically altered Constitution that changes our entire way of life. A thousand year Dark Ages would descend upon us.

Is this alarmism and hyperbole? Not at all. The nature of humans (especially those who think of themselves as intellectually indispensible) will drive the delegates of any COS to rewrite the rules that govern their actions and duties so as to have more leeway in forming a more perfect alteration of the Constitution as it now stands. They will then rewrite the Constitution itself. It will be a runaway affair, and contrary to what the COS promoters tell us, there will be nothing that the state legislatures will be able to do about it. The Constitutional delegates are not under any obligation to do the will of the state legislators. The Constitution does not mandate this, Congress will not support this, and the courts will not enforce such an obligation. (More on this shortly.)

The COS delegates will consider themselves to be representatives of "the people" of the various states, which will translate in their minds into a perceived responsibility to act in the best interests of the nation and the future as they see it, which they will feel obligated to do. This sentiment will drive the delegates just as it drives our representatives and senators we presently send to Washington to govern the nation. They feel they are obligated to act in the best interests of the nation and the future as they see it.

An Increase of Government Activism

Because of these inherent traits of human nature, any COS gathering to pass amendments to the Constitution will result in egoism and hubris mixed with the guiding ideology of modernity to increase the role of government in our lives, not restrict it.

The alleged goals of COS enthusiasts (a Balanced Budget mandate and Term Limits) are geared only toward making government more financially responsible and less prone to entrenching political careerism. They don't really do anything to reverse the paramount problem of modern times – the disease of "government activism" throughout our society. And unfortunately this is what would spur the delegates to provide for a radically altered Constitution that could allow for more government activism. Why? Because this is the ideology that animates the overwhelming majority of Americans today.

This powerful cerebral drive among humans is being ignored by conservatives and libertarians favoring a Constitutional Convention. Philosophical COLLECTIVISM governs our intellectual class, where philosophical INDIVIDUALISM governed the intellects of the founding era. A huge difference. Also the Judeo-Christian ethos prevailed in the founding era. Today secularism dominates. National sovereignty was crucial to the Founders. Today national sovereignty is viewed as dangerous and evil. These powerful ideological views will push the delegates of any COS gathering toward dismantling what they perceive as the "antiquated Constitution" of Jefferson, Madison and Adams.

Ideology rules history! It is a commanding force inside all intellectuals' brains that pushes them toward statist aggrandizement when fallacious, and toward freedom when true. False ideology, however, dominates today via the use of relentless sophistry from our professors in the colleges, galvanized by the irrational philosophical visions of past thinkers such as Jean Jacques Rousseau, Auguste Comte, and Karl Marx. [See Nelson Hultberg, The Golden Mean: Libertarian Politics, Conservative Values.]

The delegates to the COS will adhere to various beliefs from capitalist to statist and from constitutional originalists to "living document" advocacy. Unfortunately far too many will be statists and "living document" advocates. The false rationale of mega-statism has, for the past eight decades, been indoctrinated into 80% of our intellectuals during their college years. How many of them would be prevalent at any COS gathering? Far too many to ever risk such a gathering. It is a mistaken belief that individuals in life vote their conscience. On the contrary, they vote their ideology. And the ideology of socialism prevails today under the guise of social welfarism, not free-enterprise Americanism.

It is this dramatic ideological difference between the founding era and that of today that will doom the future of America if we attempt to form a COS to amend the Constitution. All the values the Founders believed in – limited government, equality of rights, objective law, free enterprise, self-reliance, etc. – are considered to be archaic in today's world. Our reigning intellectuals believe in flexible government, arbitrary law, legal conveyance of privileges, bureaucratic interventionism, corporatism, and state welfare. Any governing vision that results from a COS gathering would be a far cry from that of the Founders.

Nothing would prevent the delegates from shutting out the media and working in secret as the Founders did in 1787. Their justification would be that this would forge a smoother path to "meaningful" alteration. Also as with the Founders, nothing would prevent the convention delegates from revising their instructions from their state legislatures once they have been convened. They would see themselves as heroic New Founders of the New States of America. Worst of all nothing would prevent them from eliminating the governing views of the Founders' era, which most of today's intellectuals see as "naïve and outdated" in need of reform. They would dive into such reform with a nefarious gusto. They would not give us a stronger Republic. They would banish "republicanism" from our system altogether.

Chief Justice Warren Burger's View

In a letter to Phyllis Schlafly in 1983, Chief Justice Burger wrote that:

"[T]here is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congress might try to limit the convention to one amendment or to one issue, but there is no way to assure that the convention would obey. After a convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the convention if we don't like its agenda. The meeting in 1787 ignored the limit placed by the confederation Congress 'for the sole and express purpose.'

"With George Washington as chairman, they were able to deliberate in total secrecy, with no press coverage and no leaks. A constitutional Convention today would be a free-for-all for special interest groups….

"Our 1787 Constitution was referred to by several of its authors as a 'miracle.' Whatever gain might be hoped for from a new Constitutional Convention could not be worth the risks involved. A new convention could plunge our Nation into constitutional confusion and confrontation at every turn, with no assurance that focus would be on the subjects needing attention. I have discouraged the idea of a Constitutional Convention, and I am glad to see states rescinding their previous resolutions requesting a convention… Whatever may need repair on our Constitution can be dealt with by specific amendments." [2]

The constitutional legalist, Jackie Patru, concurs dramatically with Burger in "Unbridled Powers of Delegates in a Constitutional Convention." She tells us that all members of a COS would lawfully be able to act on their own regardless of how their state legislators instruct them. The courts have ruled that:

"The members of a Constitutional Convention are the direct representatives of the people and, as such, they may exercise all sovereign powers that are vested in the people of the state. They derive their powers, not from the legislature, but from the people: and, hence, their power may not in any respect be limited or restrained by the legislature. Under this view, it is a Legislative Body of the Highest Order, and may not only frame, but may also enact and promulgate…" [3]

Patru goes on to say in another article:

"In 1787 the founders had convinced the people a Conference of States should be held for the purpose of 'making some changes' in the Articles of Confederation. The delegates to the Conference in Philadelphia were under strict instructions from their respective states and the Congress to meet ‘for the sole and express purpose’ of revising the Articles of Confederation. As we know, they did much more than that. They threw out the Articles of Confederation and drafted a new constitution.

"The 55 men present at that conference locked the doors – and even nailed the windows shut – to the public and the press, and proceeded to draft an entirely new document which replaced the Articles of Confederation." [4]

Human nature being a constant, today's COS delegates would act in similar fashion to the Founders of 1787. The difference, however, would be that Marxist collectivism animates their brains, not Lockean individualism.

And they are dangerously close to accomplishing their COS dream. At last count, 27 of the needed 34 state legislatures had called for a Convention of States to pass a Balanced Budget amendment. In addition ten more states have bills pending calling for a Constitutional Convention. [5] 

Too many conservatives today have been bamboozled into believing that such a Constitutional Convention can be a magic gathering to save America with a Balanced Budget mandate and Term Limits. But these two issues do not address the major flaw of modern government and the political activists who structure it, which is their loss of faith in leaving the capitalist marketplace alone for men, women, and local communities to operate freely and voluntarily. Coercive COLLECTIVISM dominates both liberal and conservative minds today, and this is what would drive the overwhelming majority of COS delegates to bring about wholesale changes in our Constitution.  

The Collectivists' Proposed New Constitution

Thus we now confront the vision to remake America that socialist liberals and naïve conservatives have been pushing for the past 53 years since the Ford Foundation launched its drive for a new Constitution in 1964.

"This model constitution," writes Patru, "drawing upon the efforts of more than 100 people, took ten years to write. The 40th draft was published in a book titled The Emerging Constitution, by Rexford G. Tugwell (Harper & Row, 1974). The project cost [$25 million] and produced the Proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America." [6]

This proposed new Constitution would radically change America from a Republic to an authoritarian dictatorship. As Patru points out, the states would be replaced with ten regions, our elected representatives would be replaced with appointed bureaucratic overseers for each region, and individual rights would be replaced with privileges granted by the United Nations. [7]

If a Convention of States gathering should take place today, this proposed new Constitution would be very much on the minds of many of the delegates. It acts as a guide to what can be accomplished by Fabian mentalities if they persist over the years. They can banish free enterprise and individual rights from America. They can open up government to a much more expansive affair. They can realize their perverted hopes of leveling down the populace of the country. They can realize their vision of pervasive egalitarianism.

Limited government would be subtly asphyxiated and replaced with arbitrary government beholden to world governing bodies such as the United Nations (UN), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the Organization of American States (OAS), etc. This is the ideology of modernity; it rules 80% of intellectuals in our society. The rule of this ideology over any COS gathering would be as sure as smog settling over a town that creates too many factories.

The Most Frightening Aspect

Here is the most frightening aspect, however, of today's COS movement. If America suffers a dollar collapse and plunges into an economic Depression during this upcoming decade (a distinct possibility), the populace would be very much in the mood to support a radical retooling of our political system. When times are tough, advocates of limited government become much more tolerant of dictatorial governing policies.

There is no greater peril to America today than the economic crisis looming over the horizon that would bring about the collectivist dream of purging the Founders' Constitution from the land. The concept of a free country would be lost to mankind for centuries. A hideous society would be thrust upon us and our progeny. A Convention of States to amend the Constitution would provide freedom's enemies with a means to destroy everything we hold dear in America.

A Constitutional Convention must be opposed vigorously by all patriots. Collectivists never relent. We must be equally tough. We are defending truth and justice. They are promoting fallacy and tyranny. It is the classic battle of good and evil, and it affects all of our lives. The era we live in today is becoming one of the most epochal in history. We must oppose all efforts to organize a Constitutional Convention; it would be a dreadful dagger into the heart of limited government and our cherished freedoms.



Notes

1. Jackie Patru, "The Effort to Dismantle Our Constitution," http://www.sweetliberty.org

2. Chief Justice Warren Burger, "Chief Justice Burger on the Danger of a Constitutional

3. Jackie Patru, "Unbridled Powers of Delegates in a Constitutional Convention,"
    16 C.J.S 9
    Mississippi (1892) Sproule v. Fredericks; 11 So. 472.
    Iowa (1883) Koehler v. Hill; 14 N.W. 738.
    West Virginia (1873)  Loomis v. Jackson;  6 W. Va. 613.
    Oklahoma (1907) Frantz v. Autry;  91 p. 193.
    Texas (1912)  Cox v. Robison;  150 S.W. 1149.

4. Patru, "The Effort to Dismantle Our Constitution," op.cit.  

5. Ashley Balcerzak, "The Constitutional Convention 2016," Slate,  http://www.slate.com

6.  Patru, "The Effort to Dismantle Our Constitution," op.cit.  

7.  Ibid.


----------------------
Nelson Hultberg is a freelance writer in Dallas, TX and Director of Americans for a Free Republic www.afr.org. A graduate of Beloit College in Wisconsin, his articles have appeared in such publications as The American Conservative, InsightLibertyThe FreemanThe Dallas Morning News, and the San Antonio Express-News, as well as on numerous Internet sites. He is the author of The Golden Mean: Libertarian Politics, Conservative Values.  Email: NelsonHultberg@afr.org   

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

President Grant's Exploitative Economic Plan

After the first transcontinental railroad connected Omaha with Sacramento during President Grant’s first year in office in 1869, other tycoons sought government financing to build additional lines. One was Jay Cooke whose investment company was the leading underwriter of federal bonds during the Civil War. Cooke backed the Northern Pacific Railroad, which was to connect Lake Superior with Puget Sound.

Originally chartered by Congress in 1864, the Northern Pacific had not built a mile of track by 1870. Cooke reasoned that he could buy the company at a bargain price if he could later get Congress to extend the life of its charter and provide him other concessions. After paying consulting fees to one of President Grant’s personal secretaries, Horace Porter, he learned that Grant was as “firm as a rock” on a bill tailor-made to his needs.

The 1870 act gave the company more time to complete construction without losing its rights to land subsidies, which were unusually generous. (The NP would eventually be given enough land to encompass all the acreage in a state the size of Missouri.) It also permitted Cooke to collect a $200 fee in stock for each $1,000 bond sold as well as a 12% cash commission.

As the railroad stretched westward from Minnesota rumors of corruption filtered back east. Civic leaders in the towns along the route competed to have their sites included on the line and contractors seemed to be inflating construction costs. Still, Cooke was selling about a million dollars in bonds every month. Overseas investors arrived on junkets to ride the rails to the ever-lengthening end of the line. By the late summer of 1873 it had reached Bismarck in present-day North Dakota.

But the railroad was generating little revenue. Nearly all its operations and construction were funded by debt. Anything that prevented Cooke from selling more bonds and stock would cause the Northern Pacific to coast to a halt. A March 1873 congressional report about corruption and political bribery involving the original transcontinental railroad was just such a factor. The public perceived the scandal as an indictment of widespread immorality within the railroad industry and the federal government.
Nonetheless, when Jay Cooke & Company collapsed on September 18, 1873 there could hardly have been a bigger blow to the public confidence. One Philadelphia newspaper reported, “No one could have been more surprised if snow had fallen during a summer noon.” Without new sales of Northern Pacific securities, Cooke & Company ran out of cash. The night before it shut down President Grant was a Cooke house guest. The two shared a breakfast the very morning of the debacle.

Cooke’s failure triggered a panic and a five-year depression. The New York Stock Exchange closed for ten days, amplifying the panic. Business failures in 1873 climbed to 5,000, from 4,000 in 1872 and 3,000 in 1871. Track construction across the nation declined by a third in 1874, causing 500,000 layoffs within the railroad eco-system including the iron and steel industry. Prices fell. Pig iron dropped from $56 a ton in 1872 to $17 five years later. Wages fell about 50% from 1873 to 1877. The country seemed to be overrun with vagrants.

As the economy progressively weakened in the months following Cooke’s bankruptcy, President Grant reflected upon how earlier gold discoveries in California and the Rocky Mountains had promptly energized America’s economy. Thus, in the summer of 1874 he sent a military expedition into the Black Hills of present-day South Dakota to look for evidence of rumored gold deposits. Since the Hills were part of a Lakota Sioux reservation—officially off limits to white civilians—the expedition’s goal was falsely represented as a site search for a new military

Lieutenant-Colonel George Custer led the thousand-man expedition that included President Grant’s eldest son as well as three newspaper reporters, a photographer and two gold miners. Although the group saw few Indians they discovered modest, but tempting, quantities of gold. Soon the first rush of prospectors began tearing through the Hills. Within two years the largest deposit in the continental United States—ultimately to become the Homestake Mine—was discovered. A year after discovery, George Hearst and two partners purchased the mine for $70,000. Before ending production in 2001, Homestake yielded over $1 billion in gold and helped finance the businesses of George’s legendary son, William Randolph Hearst, and modern publications such as Women’s Wear Daily, Elle, and Cosmopolitan.

Initially Grant made little effort to control the prospecting, but within a year there were so many prospectors that the he decided that the government must acquire the Black Hills from the Sioux. When chief Red Cloud learned of Grant’s intent in May 1875 he traveled with several other chiefs to Washington to meet with the “Great White Father.” The Indian leaders reminded Grant that the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie granted their tribes ownership of the Black Hills in perpetuity.

Grant told Red Cloud that the Indian leaders must confront two unpleasant truths. First, the government’s obligation of under the treaty to supply rations to the Sioux reservation had expired. They continued only because of the President’s kind feelings toward the tribes. Second, Grant could not prevent miners from swarming over the Black Hills. He concluded by telling his visitors that they must either agree to cede the Black Hills or risk losing their rations. Red Cloud returned to the Great Plains without an agreement.

In response Grant organized a civilian commission that traveled to the Dakota Territory in September 1875 to negotiate the purchase of the Black Hills. The Indians demanded more than ten times the amount the commission was authorized to pay. When the commission leader returned to Washington he recommended that the Sioux be starved until they agreed to cede the Hills at a price to be set by Congress.

But Grant settled on a more radical solution. He resolved to contrive a reason to start a war in order to justify seizing the Hills by force. His plan was to provoke the small minority of Lakota living off their reservation in “un-ceded” lands where the Fort Laramie Treaty granted them hunting privileges. Historian John Gray explained that, “A punishing terrifying campaign against these wild bands would certainly subdue them and at the same time so intimidate their…relatives [on the reservation] that a legal three-fourths might sign away the Black Hills. And failing that, the nation could seize the Black Hills as spoils of war without legal hindrance.”

In November 1875 Grant summoned the general commanding the region and the commissioner of Indian affairs to a White House meeting. Although the general and the commissioner were both on record as reporting that the Lakota had been peaceful in recent years, an inspector of the Indian Affairs Bureau issued a contrary report nine days later. According to historian James Donovan the report “cited various trumped-up accusations and smoothly worded falsehoods regarding Indian violations.” Accordingly, the “wild” Indians in the hunting territories were told that they must return to the reservation by January 31, 1876 or be declared hostile, which would thereby authorize the Army to force their return.

It was an impossible demand. The weather-weakened Indian ponies could not move entire villages that included women and children. One warrior later said, “It was very cold and many of our people and ponies would have died in the snow. We were in our own country and doing no harm.” Even the departmental military commander said the ultimatum “will in all probability be regarded as a joke by the Indians.”

After an abortive winter campaign, the Army launched a three-pronged offensive against the off-reservation Lakota in June 1876. They converged on the Powder River country in the southeastern part of present-day Montana. One column approached from the south out of Wyoming and a second approached downstream along the Yellowstone River from western Montana. A third column under General Alfred Terry marched upstream along the Yellowstone from the column’s starting point at present-day Bismarck, North Dakota. Terry’s force included the Seventh Cavalry Regiment under Custer’s command.

In response, the scattered Indian settlements concentrated into a single big village along a tributary of the Big Horn River blandly named the Little Big Horn. The Wyoming column was quickly turned back at the Battle of Rosebud Creek. As Terry continued marching westward along the Yellowstone with his infantry, he sent the Seventh Cavalry on a reconnaissance in force south of the river to find the Indian village, or villages. Custer located the Little Big Horn village on 25 June. He divided his command into three components and attacked the village with two of them. The third guarded the slower moving pack train but was also sent on a vague reconnaissance mission to the southwest, perhaps to search for unseen hostiles.

The village had about 1,800 warriors as compared to about 500 troopers in the entire Seventh Cavalry. Custer’s column totaled 225 men. He allocated 140 of the regiment’s men to Major Marcus Reno with orders to attack the village from the south, while Custer apparently intended to attack the village from either the east or the north. The pack train under Captain Frederick Benteen contained 125 men.

After Reno’s attack was repulsed his command was thrown into a disorderly retreat to a defensive position on the east side of the Little Big Horn on a bluff overlooking the stream where Benteen’s force joined him. The Indians annihilated Custer’s troopers, also east of the river but at points about four-to-five miles north of the Reno-Benteen hill. Reno and Benteen suffered 53 killed and 60 wounded. The Lakota moved their village beyond sight of the enemy the evening before General Terry’s infantry arrived on 27 June.

The Indian victory was merely temporary and only intensified white hostility. A new Indian commission led by George Manypenny arrived in Dakota Territory in September 1876 to annex the Black Hills from the Sioux who remained on the reservation. When the Indians replied that the Fort Laramie Treaty required a three-quarter super majority vote by their adult males, the commissioners replied that the treaty had been abrogated when the Indians attacked the cavalry. This was hard for the Sioux who had remained on the reservation to understand since none of them had fired a shot. To compel acceptance some commissioners implied that unless the Indians signed they would be moved to present-day Oklahoma, forfeit their firearms and horses and no longer be supplied rations. Congress approved the resulting Manypenny Agreement in February 1877.

Sioux descendants litigated the agreement well into the twentieth century. In 1980 the U. S Supreme Court awarded eight Sioux tribes $106 million in compensation for “a taking of tribal property,” but the tribes refused it. The money has remained in escrow and by 2011 grew to $1.3 billion due to accumulated interest. Prior to the Supreme Court ruling, a lower court judge wrote in 1975 of the Manypenny Agreement: “A more ripe and rank case of dishonorable dealing will never, in all probability, be found in our history.”

Philip Leigh
Tampa, Florida
Phil_Leigh@me.com

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Afghanistan and NATO

Dear Libertarian,

You have probably heard the news about the President's plan to increase American military involvement in Afghanistan.

The Libertarian perspective is very different.

After toppling the Afghan government almost sixteen years ago, the United States entered into nation building thinking that it would help improve corners of the world that terrorists find inviting. Our country has spent hundreds of billions of dollars and lost thousands of lives in these futile efforts.

According to Forbes: "Since [the initial] intervention in the aftermath of 9/11, roughly 2,400 American military personnel have died and more than 20,000 been wounded attempting to bring democracy to Central Asia. Some 3,500 military contractors have been killed, along with more than 1,100 allied personnel. Overall the US has poured more than $800 billion into the war. Set aside the costs of combat. The US has spent $117.3 billion on relief and 'reconstruction,' that is, attempting to create a functioning state in Afghanistan."

Despite all of this sacrifice and hard work, nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan has been a failure. No matter how sophisticated our military is and no matter how much we sacrifice, nation building is far more difficult than our politicians believed. Not only that, it may create more terrorists than it quells.

Foreign military intervention is insanely complicated. In any foreign conflict there are countless people, organizations, and countries involved, each with their own motives, goals, and methods. It is very hard to accurately predict what will happen because there are so many actors involved. Things often don't work out as predicted, so we must be wary of unintended consequences before taking any action, especially war.

We are now living with the unintended consequences of previous military action in Afghanistan, both by the US government and others.

The President's announcement of increased military action in Afghanistan flies in the face of his past positions on American involvement in Afghanistan, such as "We have wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure in Afghanistan. Their government has zero appreciation. Let’s get out.”

This President is consistent: consistently breaking campaign promises and saber rattling with American lives.

In recent weeks, he's threatened North Korea with "fire and fury" comments. North Korea is another complex problem without any "good" answers. Backing someone into a corner is not a good way to get a peaceful resolution; this is especially true when that someone is a tyrannical dictator. It is a very tricky scenario, but the ideal approach is to work towards de-escalation rather than poking him and encouraging him to lash out violently.

The President has also publicly commented about a "possible military option" to deal with the regime in Venezuela. We are all heartbroken by the tragic state of Venezuela right now but we know from Iraq and Afghanistan that simply overthrowing a dictator is not enough to greatly improve the well-being of a population. After years of nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan the people who live there are still in a horrible situation. Overthrowing the regime in Venezuela would not make the lives of ordinary Venezuelans any better and might even make things worse.

The US military is very powerful. Overthrowing dictators is not hard for our troops to accomplish. But dealing with the aftermath is, because that aftermath is so insanely complicated and unpredictable. That is one of the chief reasons we should be so careful with military action.
Libertarians believe in self-defense. If America is attacked, then we have the right to defend ourselves. But too often American presidents have pursued military action that meddles in other countries that have not attacked the United States. Other times, American presidents use the saber rattling of various despots as an excuse to use military action. Libertarians believe that using our brave men and women as pawns is inappropriate and immoral, so we oppose military action that is not truly defensive in nature.

The Libertarian Party also advocates a restructuring our country's interactions with the world. We want to prioritize diplomacy and peaceful resolution of conflicts. We also seek to move past old grievances. In his Farewell Address, President George Washington warned against permanent allies and permanent enemies. He also warned against "permanent alliances". The Libertarian Party advocates these same principles. Towards that end, this past weekend, the Libertarian National Committee passed a resolution calling for the US to withdraw from NATO.

In the same spirit as President Washington, we seek to "Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all."

I hope you'll find these thoughts helpful as you talk with your friends and neighbors about current events. If we want to make progress in the polls, we need to be discussing these critical topics and the Libertarian perspective on them with our networks throughout the election cycle.
Towards liberty,
Nicholas Sarwark
Chair, Libertarian National Committee

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Libertarian Party condemns government persecution of Bitcoin exchange vendor


First they came for those who traded Liberty Dollars, and I said nothing—
because I had no Liberty Dollars.
Then they came for Bitcoin exchange vendors, and I said nothing—
because I had no bitcoins.

Then they came for the rest of us whose only currency was Federal Reserve notes...

Nicholas Sarwark, chair of the Libertarian National Committee, released the following statement today:
Randall Lord photo portrait; wearing suit & tie & eyeglasses and smiling (color photo)
Randall Lord, Libertarian candidate for U.S. House in 2012 and 2014
The Libertarian Party vigorously condemns the trumped-up case against Randall Lord, a former Libertarian candidate, who  was sentenced to 46 months in prison for the victimless “crime” of operating an unregistered money service business involving Bitcoin, a digital currency.

Trading bitcoins is perfectly legal. Major retailers such as Microsoft, Expedia, Dell, Overstock, and Whole Foods accept bitcoins. Prosecutors targeted Lord for not being registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the U.S. Treasury, and for not being licensed to operate as a money service business in his home state of Louisiana.

Despite his conscientious objections to government currency controls, the Shreveport resident attempted to comply with the laws and regulations governing Bitcoin. He filed for registration with FinCEN, but the bureaucracy misplaced his filing, for which he now faces almost four years in prison.
Lord was not licensed in Louisiana because state officials had told him that Bitcoin is not a currency, and therefore he didn't have to have a license to operate. Then in March 2013, FinCEN expanded the definition of "currency" so they could pull exchanges like Lord's under their regulatory control. 

Lord pleaded guilty to not having a state license, but later he proved to the court that the state did not require one. Then a federal court ruled that "unlicensed" could also mean "not registered with the Treasury Dept." and refused to allow him to withdraw his guilty plea and take this issue to trial.

Every aspect of this case is a travesty:
  • politicians’ insatiable addiction to spending, which they finance by printing dollars out of thin air, devaluing the dollar and in turn creating the demand for alternative currencies such as Bitcoin;
  • the contemptible government regulations these very politicians enacted to obstruct Bitcoin trading, and which were used to prosecute Lord;
  • the bumbling FinCEN regulators whose ineptitude set Lord up for prosecution (unless it was deliberate that they “misplaced” Lord’s filing);
  • the use of multiple taxpayer-funded federal agencies—the IRS, FBI, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service—to go after Lord for openly trading a legal commodity and harming no one;
  • the failure of prosecutors to show any intent by Lord to violate the law;
  • the harsh sentence imposed on Lord, which appears intended to intimidate others who trade in bitcoins, much like the life sentence imposed on Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht; and
  • the government’s as-yet uncertain plans to confiscate Lord’s assets, including possibly his home, adding to his family’s distress.
Randall Lord has long opposed the federal government’s tax-and-spend policies and the Federal Reserve Bank’s manipulation of the dollar. He did his part to try to change these onerous laws and regulations when he ran for U.S. House on the Libertarian ticket in 2014 and 2012, receiving 27 and 25 percent of the vote, respectively.

This case illustrates that the problem is not a well-meaning, civic-minded family man like Randall Lord who offers a service to people aiming to preserve the value of their hard-earned money.

The problem is overspending by federal politicians, their manipulation and regulation of currencies, and grandstanding prosecutors who get rewarded for convicting people rather than for achieving justice.

The solution is to overturn the sentence of Randall Lord, repeal onerous laws and regulations, and stop federal government overspending so that the dollar will stop losing value, jobs will be plentiful, and Americans will be financially secure.

Please add your voice to ours in demanding freedom for Randall Lord.

Listen to an interview of Randall Lord in a Lions of Liberty podcast here.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

WHY THE LEFT IS PANICKING BIG TIME NOW

With their inside man, former FBI Director James Comey being fired and removed immediately, the time bombs left by the Obama/Clinton conspiracy are beginning to unravel fast.  They still have acting FBI Director McCabe in place and as soon as he's gone the the FBI and Justice Department under Jeff Sessions will go after Hillary Clinton on everything she did.  These developments have the media lying machine going into extreme and reckless abandon, spewing obvious lies about Trump giving Russia confidential information and claiming Comey wrote a memo NOBODY has seen yet, claiming Trump tried to get him to drop the FBI investigation into Michael Flynn.

The media liars were being somewhat careful before, but now they're just making stuff up out of whole cloth and spreading it as fast as they can to curb or delay Trump from going after Hillary because the DNC knows their former DNC staffer, Seth Rich, was murdered last July under very suspicious circumstances, and that an FBI forensic computer examiner found that Seth had 44,000 e-mails from various DNC officials that he forwarded to Wikileaks, and it just happens that Wikileaks released that number of e-mails prior to the election.  So it now appears it was a DNC staffer, probably angry about what the DNC did to Bernie Sanders, was the true source of those purloined e-mails the DNC still insists were hacked by the Russians to help Trump win.

Seth Rich was murdered in the early morning hours, just 100 yards from his home.  It was considered a safe neighborhood in DC, and nothing was stolen from Rich, including his wallet and watch.  From the DNC standpoint, it was a very convenient death.

We are also learning that the computers the FBI agent searched have now gone missing.  The DC cops who investigated the murder can't seem to find any video from the body cameras every DC cop wears, and this is significant because Rich didn't die for two hours after he was shot, and anything he said to the cops on video has been, "lost".

Are you beginning to get the picture?  This is a typical Clinton scenario from front to back.

But if Clinton is put on trial for her many crimes, the facts that could emerge from that trial will showcase the DNC as nothing more than a criminal enterprise that would never have been revealed had Hillary been elected as they all expected.  No wonder they were in a state of total shock that night, but it wasn't shock so much as it was panic and deep fear of what a Trump Administration would discover.  They were dirty, they used every dirty trick in the book, including colluding with the media and placing biased moderators in every debate.  They shot their massive wad of money, and yet Hillary still lost!  They had every evil thing going for them, and they were thwarted!  It was the very last thing they expected on November 8, 2016, and they just came unhinged.

So this is why there is this unprecedented war against Trump.  This is why they want Trump impeached.  Every day that passes, something new like the Seth Rich murder is getting reevaluated.  Every moment Trump remains in office, they can feel him walking over their grave, and their only option is this ridiculous news war that has totally destroyed the credibility of the NYT and Washington Post, but they don't care because what they have to lose is literally everything.  Their Globalist Agenda is being picked apart with almost every EO Trump issues. Their plot to crash the economy under Clinton was their only hope to get our guns in return for food, because they knew they had to do that before they could absorb the USA into the One World Government that cannot succeed unless all borders are dissolved.  They came so very close to realizing their plot, and one Donald J. Trump totally screwed them over.

That is why the left is panicking.

Carl F. Worden

Saturday, May 13, 2017

THE REAL REASON HILLARY CLINTON MUST BE PROSECUTED

By Carl F. Worden

There were so many dirty tricks, blatant lies told and just plain violations of law that occurred during the Obama Administration that just saying, "Let's put the past behind us and move on", won't cut it.

Here's just a few of the matters that should still concern us all:

1:  The illegal use of the IRS to persecute and block Conservative groups from gaining IRS approval for tax exempt status.  IRS Director Koskinen outright lied to Congress about the matter, yet still holds his post.  IRS underling Lois Lerner, who personally delayed and blocked such approvals was allowed to retire with full benefits and no prosecution.

2:  As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton arranged the sale of 20% of all American Uranium production to Russia.  In return, the Clinton Foundation received a total of $146,000,000.00 in, "donations", from those who directly benefited from that sale.

3:  Hillary Clinton set up a private and illegal server to avoid oversight, and when her server was discovered, she used Bleach Bit to completely obliterate and make unrecoverable, over 30,000 e-mails Clinton claimed were personal.

4:  The outright and repeated denial of additional security for Ambassador to Libya Stevens and his security detail, resulting in the avoidable deaths of Ambassador Stevens, two former SEALs and a career State Department employee, followed by one lie after another from Clinton lap dog Susan Rice as well as Clinton herself.

5:  The, "Fast & Furious" program which allowed untraced guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, one of which was used to kill a Border Patrol Agent and others were found to have been used to commit numerous murders in Mexico.  As Attorney General, Eric Holder was found in contempt of Congress for lying about the matter, yet he still holds a license to practice law in California.

6:  The refusal of Barack Obama as President to enforce the immigration laws of our nation, resulting in the avoidable crimes and murders of American citizens all across this nation and allowing dangerous Muslim immigrants to enter our nation and commit or conspire to commit acts of terror against our citizens.

7:  The unconstitutional collection of all electronically communicated content of every conversation or writing of every American citizen by the National Security Agency.  Regardless of NSA false assurances, that collection of your communications is still ongoing.

Of all the foregoing and more I did not detail, a full prosecution and public trial of Hillary Clinton is necessary in order to bypass the corrupt liberal media's spin.  A public, and preferably televised trial will allow the poor suckers among us who have believed all the liberal media BS will lay out the harsh truth of Hillary's crimes.  Every detail of what she did will be laid out for everyone to see, both liberal and conservative, free of the endless lies her supporters fell for.

The other reason of vital importance is to reassure the public that in the USA, equal protection under the law is maintained.  Right now, most Americans paying attention know for a fact that such equality under the law does not currently exist.  That if you are a high public official, or even a mid-level government official like IRS Lois Lerner, who has personally done the dirty work for corrupt government officials, elected or appointed, you get to retire with full benefits and never pay for your evil acts.

To most decent and honest Americans, these violations were not just that; they were in fact an abomination of our Constitution, our rule of law and every aspect of what we expect our government officials to do, regardless of the whether they were elected or appointed bureaucrats. These violations were in fact an attempt to overthrow our nation into virtual chaos, and as such, they must be exposed in a public, televised criminal trial where no media liar can thwart the truth.  At the very least, liberals will get to see, once and for all, the real truth unfiltered by these liars we call reporters.

In short, we have way too much to lose if we don't prosecute Hillary Clinton, Lois Lerner and anyone else involved or conspiring to commit these horrible, un-American acts, because if we don't prosecute Clinton, the next Democrat controlled Congress and presidency will result in even more obvious and outrageous violations of our Constitution and our very way of life.  But if we do bring justice to these deeds, the next Democrat will take heed that, even if he or she gets away with similar or worse acts while in office, they will face justice and prison at some later time.  

That's called deterrence, and we need it restored right now.