A Self-Reliant America

 

A Self-reliant America

By Mustang

Are Americans self-reliant? My guess is that no more than half of our population think of themselves as such; the rest have given themselves up to the good graces of the government. But of those who think that they are self-reliant, how many actually are? A self-reliant American might look something like this:

  • One who rejects conformity in favor of individuality
  • One who believes that he or she alone controls his/her own destiny
  • One who understands his or her civic duty and can be trusted to do it
  • One who understands that he or she bears responsibility for government
  • One who realizes that personal enlightenment is achieved only through individual effort
  • One who reasons that our only source of truth is our morality
  • One who will pursue right because it is rightThe notion of self-reliance has been predominant in American social development from our colonial period —until only recently, when politicians realized that self-reliance hindered the success of politicians. Upon this realization, beginning after the Civil War, politicians began to formulate programs that were designed to transform self-reliant individuals into government dependencies. Some examples:
  • Enslaving Americans to government entitlement programs: individual welfare, farming subsidies, small business loans, and tax breaks for small-to-medium sized corporations of every description (banking, finance, industry, agriculture, and services) (Politicians maintained control over the largest corporations for their own benefit)
  • Creating educational programs guaranteed to destroy a person’s ability to think for themselves
  • Formulating and instituting policies certain to stifle individuality by rewarding group-think
  • Creating environments guaranteed to prevent individuals from reaching their full potential
  • Convincing an entire class of citizens that they could never succeed without government help and guidance; institutionalizing the bigotry of low-expectations.There are two sources of citizenship: natural birth or naturalization. No matter how one becomes a citizen, he or she becomes entitled to certain rights, but also incurs certain obligations. We call these two things the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. What rights? We find these within the Constitution of the United States and its amendments. The duties of American citizenship are these:
  • Understand one’s rights, take advantage of them with wisdom, forbearance, and an analytical mind.
  • Demonstrate good faith and loyalty to one’s family, community, state, and the nation. Obey the law, peacefully participate in the political process, respect the rights of neighbors by granting to them the same amity we seek for ourselves.
  • Strive to live honorably; cheerfully serve on juries, satisfy tax obligations.
  • Work toward self-improvement, be a good steward of the environment, participate in community affairsWe all read the news; we are all aware that if you believe the news reports, the numbers of self-reliant citizens, which is to say good citizens, is in steep decline. On the other hand, can we really believe what the news agencies tell us? And could it be that if Americans are no longer self-reliant good citizens that news agencies are partly responsible? Do they not constantly remind us that we are not an exceptional people, that we are incapable of goodness without a strong (government) hand to keep us on the straight and narrow path?The population of the United States (and all of its communities) is growing at a rapid rate. Within large populations we (always) find an increase in crime, even if the percentage of crime per capita remains constant. To err is human … we will never end crimes against persons or property. No matter, we should still attempt to understand why people ignore their duties as citizens.

    For myself, I believe that part of this is that too many people are no longer “self-reliant.” They allow others to control their thoughts and ultimately, their bad deeds. Government, in seeking to sustain itself, allows bad behavior by contriving ad nauseam excuses for unacceptable conduct. Why should anyone hold him or herself responsible if,as the government elitists argue,it was all the fault of their parents? Or society? Or rich people?

    To this end, we should consider government’s role in such areas as substance abuse. If government was all-knowing and all-seeing, wouldn’t our drug abuse problem be already solved? How many murders, rapes, kidnappings, assaults, and robberies could the all-knowing government have prevented had it solved the drug problem in America?

    Self-reliant men do not abandon their wives and children; self-reliant women do not abandon their husbands or children. Self-reliant men and women do not intentionally put themselves in harm’s way; they avoid such things as sexual assault by refusing to put themselves into unenviable positions; they are watchful and aware of their surroundings.

    Self-reliant men and women are prepared and willing to defend themselves and their loved ones. Self-reliant men and women do not abuse one another, or their children. Everyone has problems, but self-reliant men and women find ways to solve their problems without causing disruption to their neighbors or communities. Self-reliant men and women in committed relationships always look out for one another.

    Suddenly, then, we find self-reliance, more than being some ambiguous or fictional notion of Americana, has a practical application to our ever-increasingly complex society.

Are Americans self-reliant? If not, can we ever get it back?

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Is America in the Twilight Zone?

 

By Mustang

In his book How America Lost Its Mind, Kurt Andersen assures us that we Americans “… have passed through the looking glass and down the rabbit hole.  America has mutated into Fantasyland.”

He continues …

“Each of us is on a spectrum somewhere between the poles of rational and irrational. We all have hunches we can’t prove and superstitions that make no sense. Some of my best friends are very religious, and others believe in dubious conspiracy theories.  What’s problematic is going overboard —letting the subjective entirely override the objective; thinking and acting as if opinions and feelings are just as true as facts.

Hmmm.  So, with slight modification from its original airing, the lead-in to the popular television show Twilight Zone might look like this today …

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between reality and fantasy, between science and superstition, and it lies between man’s manic depression and the summit of his inadequate knowledge.  This is the dimension of moral relativism; it is an area which we call America’s Twilight Zone.

Andersen offers an interesting proposition, but then he falls into the rabbit hole himself.  The problem, as he sees it, is that “we’re Americans.”  We can’t help ourselves.  You see, our colonial-period adoption of enlightened ideas has led us to an absurd society where people are allowed to believe whatever they want —no matter how outlandish those beliefs are.  And, because most of us believe in God, we’ve come to think of ourselves as God’s chosen people; we’ve been called upon to help create a customized utopia —a place where we can believe epic dreams and fantasies; where we can indulge ourselves in magical thinking.  Andersen argues that Americans are prone to believe silly ideas because we’ve evolved into a mindless society.

Yet, if we were to agree that our society is unable to make a distinction between fact and opinion, or if our Americans do tend to believe the most outlandish claims found on the internet, or texted to them on an iPhone, then we ought to develop some curiosity about how we arrived in bizarre world, but we do not make much headway in our investigation if we confine our investigation to the enlightenment period.  There was certainly nothing inexplicable about our founding fathers.

It is true that there exists on the internet dozens —maybe even hundreds or thousands— of websites that offer nothing but spoofed events, unbalanced opinions presented as factual news, poorly crafted conspiracy theories, character assassinations, and blatant lies about things that might have happened 35 or 40 years ago, but which lack any corroboration.  And, in spite of what we all know about these hoax sites, people believe them anyway.  Why?

Perhaps we should begin our examination with our public education system —which I believe is (with first-hand knowledge) a misnomer for what is actually going on in our schools.  It isn’t learning that being poured into our children’s brains: it’s brain-washing —with toxic bleach.

America’s public schools, grades K through 12 are tax-payer-funded incubators where dedicated Marxist teachers (hereafter referred to as educationalists) use instruction in the social sciences, English literature, and geography to indoctrinate students in cultural collectivism.  It is a place where young people are taught to “group think,” and where at a very early age they are admonished never to challenge anything their teachers tell them.  Like all good communist systems, the penalty for challenging an educationalist is shouting, public ridicule, and labeling challengers as intolerant racist trouble-makers.

Public funded brain-washing centers are where our children are introduced to moral relativism.  Considering philosophical points of view is fine —if we are talking about a classroom filled with thirty-somethings, but we are talking about adolescents and teenagers whose brains, according to developmental psychologists, will not be fully formed until they reach their mid-twenties.  The brain-washing of under-developed persons, who because of their inexperience are incapable of thinking in the abstract is not just objectionable —it’s downright disgusting.  Teachers, whom we trust (and pay nice salaries to) to provide our children with essential learning in public schools, are abusing under-developed children for their own political purposes.

Where is the public outcry?

Kurt Andersen claims that Americans suffer from national paranoia.  For example, we are afraid of the so-called deep state.  But if Americans are worried about such things, is it really paranoia?  The clinical definition of paranoia is that someone imagines that someone or something is out to harm them.

On the other hand, when we are able to detect the existence of affiliated policies and programs that are actually designed to destroy our society, or harm us professionally, personally, or physically, then we aren’t paranoid —and we should recall that the National Security Agency is actually monitoring our telephone conversations, people are being arrested on warrants issued by secret courts on the sole affirmations of government investigators, dossiers are actually being conspiratorially manufactured against political rivals, nuclear material really is being sold under the table to foreign entities, and people who are guilty of breaching national security are actually being let off the hook simply because they are part of the political elite.

We do not imagine that there are two sets of laws in this country —there really are: those that apply to you and me … and those that pertain to members of the privileged class.  To my way of thinking, these are not examples of paranoia; there are plenty of reasons for America’s uncertainty about its future.

Awful things are going on in our country today, and much of this is political.  While I have disdain for America’s political system, one party in particular goes out of its way to shower Americans with false and misleading information.  I think it was Vladimir Lenin who once said that a lie told often enough eventually becomes a verifiable truth.

A reasonably thoughtful person should conclude that there is a purpose to inculcating our children with moral and cultural relativism, for flooding our society with false and misleading information: to fool and manipulate the not-so-bright among us (the beneficiaries of brain-washing centers).  This purpose is to strengthen a Marxist agenda, which includes duping voters into supporting closet Marxists for political office.

Again, I wonder … where is the public outcry?

Office Depot refuses to make copies of pro life prayer

McCarthyism at is best. Now Office Depot is going to inspect the copies that it makes and decide whether one has the right to freedom of speech? I guess we knew this was coming didn’t we. Did I ever think that this would happen in America? No.

Office Depot has refused to print copies of a pro-life prayer on the grounds that to do so violates company policy of printing material that “advocates the persecution of people who support abortion rights.”

Maria Goldstein, 42, ordered 500 copies of “A Prayer for the Conversion of Planned Parenthood” at Office Depot in Schaumburg, Illinois, for distribution at her Roman Catholic parish’s Masses Sunday. The prayer was composed by national director of Priests for Life Father Frank Pavone, a Breitbart News contributor.

In a press release sent to Breitbart News, Pavone responded to Office Depot’s refusal to print copies of his prayer by saying that it was time for pro-life advocates to fight back against an effort to restrict their freedom.

“Let me be clear: Priests for Life, and I personally, have a long record of promoting respect and dialogue with those who advocate abortion,” he said. “Just ask the Father of the Pro-Choice Movement, Bill Baird, with whom I have held joint press conferences over the years calling for respect in both word and deed across the lines of the abortion debate.”

More and a H/T:Breitbart

Senate Intelligence Authorization Act, Would Allow Arrest of Journalists, Anti-war Activists, Academics and Students

The media goes back and forth discussing the pivotal moment of the first GOP debate. What orifice did Trump have in mind of the blood flowing from Megan Kelly. Meanwhile, the Congress once again lines up to take our freedom. This post follows yesterday’s FBI: Citizens Should Have No Secrets That The Government Can’t Access

S. Res. 1705: Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016. 

If enacted, Section 603 will require online companies to inform Washington of any “actual knowledge” of “facts and circumstances” related to undefined “terrorist activity” – meaning warrantless searches and seizures of personal electronic content will be authorized, potentially subjecting countless numbers of innocent people to unjustifiable scrutiny.

Senate members overwhelmingly support S. 1705. Before recessing until September, they were set to pass it by voice vote until Senator Ron Wyden objected.

Vague language makes independent journalists, political, anti-war, and social justice activists, academics and students doing legitimate research, as well as others vulnerable to being called suspected terrorists.

The possibility could encourage self-censorship. Service providers may over-report to show compliance with the law. Online users could be flagged for using suspect words or phrases.

One definition of terrorist activity can be another’s way of describing freedom fighting. Legitimate government criticism could be misinterpreted and misused.

Anyone ideologically opposed to US policies could become vulnerable to arrest, prosecution, conviction and imprisonment for expressing their views online. Police states operate this way.Full story over at Global Research

Meanwhile Phones are making Minority Report’s Precrime a reality – and other things we’ve learned.

Phillip K Dick predicted it, Steven Spielberg committed it to film and FOX is about to bring it to TV – but it looks like Precrime is already becoming a reality.

We’ve been reading through a new report released by EPJ Data Science called “a survey of results on mobile phone datasets analysis” which looks at what 15 years of mobile data has taught us.

For example, a study published by Bogomolov et al has used mobile phone traces to try and predict whether a certain area would become a crime hotspot within the next month. The study used the estimated number of people in each area, the age, gender as well as work, home and visitor group splits. All of the information was directly gained from mobile phone data.

That information was then pushed through the system and it found they could predict whether a certain area would be the scene of a crime in the next month with an accuracy of 70%.

In a separate study Bogomolov et al set out to find out if mobile phones could predict a person’s daily stress levels from non-invasive sensors, as well as mobile data.

Only using one lot of data provided a poor result but if the data was combined with personality traits and knowledge of the weather conditions they found a 72% accuracy in predicted whether people were stressed. Full story over at Tech Data

Here is a home grown movie ad, inserting facts with the regular ad.

Nestled in President Obama’s stirring speech reasserting America’s commitment to the Rule of Law was a stunning announcement of a plan for a new legal construct justifying the “prolonged detention” of people we think might misbehave in the future.

This is the change he promised. Swathes of the discontent rounded up and imprisoned indefinately. The persecution of the witches was nothing to what the schemers pulling his strings have laid plans for.

Of further interest: H/T: Gds44’sblog-

Facebook Monitors Your Private Messages and Photos For Criminal Activity, Reports them to Police   

 

Federal Forest Service to charge $1500.00 for permits to take a photo on Federal land

Anyone out there who doesn’t think that each and every one of our rights are not under attack? We have another two years of this clown in the White House. We know what the IRS has done. Now the Forest Service. You think totalitarian regimes are bad? We are headed that way. Comments to the Feds will be accepted until November 3, 2014

“The Forest Service needs to rethink any policy that subjects noncommercial photographs and recordings to a burdensome permitting process for something as simple as taking a picture with a cell phone,” U.S. Sen Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) told the Oregonian. “Especially where reporters and bloggers are concerned, this policy raises troubling questions about inappropriate government limits on activity clearly protected by the First Amendment.”The U.S. Forest Service is finalizing plans to fine photographers who shoot on federal wild lands without a permit.

First Amendment advocates say the rules ignore press freedoms and are so vague they’d allow the Forest Service to grant permits only to favored reporters shooting videos for positive stories.

“It’s pretty clearly unconstitutional,” said Gregg Leslie, legal defense director at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Alexandria, Va. “They would have to show an important need to justify these limits, and they just can’t.”

Under the measure, still photography and commercial filming in Congress-designated wilderness areas would require a permit, and shoots would also have to be approved and meet certain criteria like not advertising any product or service and being educational.

Permits would cost up to $1,500, even if someone was taking photos or video with their phone, and fines for shooting without a permit could be as high as $1,000, according to the Oregonian. A spokesman for the Forest Service did not immediately return a request for comment.

A comment:

Government loves our money so dearly.

Just think, the GENERAL COUNCIL signed off on this, just like the GENERAL COUNCIL signed off on highway seizure of cash assets — CAUSE THE COP WANTS TO. Attorneys RULE.

Lady Justice is at the 19th hole where she was peeled, cored and discovered for all possible assets.

H/T:washington Post

D.O.D. gives 12,000 fixed bayonets to local Police

Rand Paul asked some interesting questions during a hearing on Tuesday. Say what you want about Paul, he is one of a few willing to hold this administration’s feet to the fire. Just why do the police need bayonets? Anyone recall Kent State? Bayonets were at the ready on that day. Just saying.

Tuesday in Washington D.C. at a Senate Hearing from the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on the Department of Defense selling military grade weapons to local police forces, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) grilled Alan F. Estevez, the Assistant Secretary of Defense and from Homeland Security, and FEMA Brian Kamoie, over local police being suppliedwith armored personnel carriers and thousands of bayonets.

Partial transcript as follows:

PAUL ….

But confronting those with armored personnel carriers is thoroughly un-American and for 150 years, we’ve had rules separating the military, keeping the military out of policing affairs. But you sort of obscure that separation if you allow the police to become the military.

In FEMA’s authorized equipment list there’s actually written descriptions for how the equipment should be used and it says it’s specifically not supposed to be used for riot suppression. Mr. Kamoie, is that true, that it’s not supposed to be used for riot suppression? And how do you plan on policing that since the images clearly show us large pieces of equipment that were bought with your grants used in that riot suppression, or protest suppression rather?”

KAMOIE: Sen. Paul, that is accurate. The categories of personal protective equipment that include helmets, ear and eye protection, ballistics, personal protective equipment. There’s a prohibition in the authorized equipment list not to be used for riot suppression.

PAUL:

So I think by supplying all of this free equipment, much of which is, frankly, inappropriate, really shouldn’t be on anybody’s list of authorized equipment. Mr. Estevez, in the NPR investigation of 1033 program they list that 12,000 bayonets have been given out. What purpose are bayonets being given out for?

ESTEVEZ: Senator, bayonets are available under the program. I can’t answer what a local police force would need a bayonet for.

PAUL: I can give you an answer: None. So, what’s President Obama’s Administration’s position on handing out bayonets to the police force? It’s on your list. You guys create the list. Are you going to take it off the list or are we going to keep doing it?

H/T:Breitbart

Civil forfeiture laws – Guilty until proven innocent, a bonanza for public funding

We read about some of the abuses of Eminent Domain because the cases may affect Mom and Pop types. We hear less about asset forfeiture. The general opinion is the victims are drug kingpins, and we are often willing to look the other way. Since the IRS revelation and the realization what an out of control government can do, I suggest we pay more attention to this practice. This study which looked at Rhode Island found that most of the cases were not drug related.

From the Institute for Justice:

The smallest state in the Union can rake in big money from asset forfeiture. Since 2003, law enforcement in Rhode Island has hauled in $15.7 million using the state’s asset forfeiture laws.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Police departments across Rhode Island have seized millions of dollars in cash, cars and other assets in recent years using a common law enforcement practice that doesn’t require a conviction for the individuals involved in the case.

All told, law enforcement officials throughout the state hauled in nearly $15.7 million from 3,786 incidents since 2003 using the state’s asset forfeiture law, according to a Target 12 review of data obtained through multiple public records requests.

Paul King, chief of police in neighboring Pawtucket, said his department used forfeiture money to purchase six brand new marked police units “that we just didn’t have in our budget to buy, and our fleet needed it.”

“These assets have been a godsend to the department,” King told Target 12.

But most of the cases were not targeting drug kingpins. Between 2003 and 2013, the average value of forfeited property was $4,142. Almost 40 percent of these cases affected property valued at less than $1,000. Only 12 out of almost 3,800 incidents involved property worth more than $100,000.

But for individuals who have had charges dropped or dismissed, getting money or property back isn’t easy. One has to go back to court and start a civil suit.

Last year, 22 police departments seized more than $1.3 million from 306 incidents. But fewer than half of these actually led to a conviction. In fact, under civil forfeiture, the government can take property from people never convicted of a crime, or even charged with one. Only a handful of states (including, most recently, Minnesota) actually require a criminal conviction to forfeit property.

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