Growing Liberty Concepts Discussed on Hardfire

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Instead of a full article this time (since I’m too busy petitioning for Larry Sharpe and working on other matters) I’m posting a video of an interview where the main points of a discourse I previously did for the Queens Libertarians on “growth hacking liberty” are reprised. This came from an episode of Brooklyn Public Access TV’s Hardfire, hosted by recent Manhattan LP Chair Ron Litchman:

If you like that one, let me throw in an older video I did (from 2006) when hosting that program, on the issue of 9/11 as an inside job:

Also, here’s my comment on how the growth hacking liberty theorem bears on the improbable victory of socialist activist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over poor Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary for his Bronx-Queens (14th District) seat in Congress. Ocasio-Cortez beat the senior party leader, and now has the inside track to being elected to the House, by employing (or more like stumbling into) several of the tactics I identified can help non-conforming candidates, such as: 1) concentrating on the primary race, not the fall election, to unseat vulnerable incumbents (like the clueless Joe, who insulted his own district by blowing off even appearing at a debate), 2) leveraging local resources (in her case, her fellow Latinos and socialist core voters, who had become the dominant faction in the district), and 3) triangulating issues to attract new voters. Tactics like these, where properly employed can level the field for outsider candidates running against elite-backed swamp incumbents from either major party.

Normally, taking a bluntly principled position approach may energize too many voters to come out against you, but in this case district voters, who thought she had no chance anyway, were jaded into ignoring her. Ocasio-Cortez took the reverse triangulation route of running an on openly socialist (or radical) agenda (free stuff for everybody, etc), and took all the derision that platform invites. While that invited people in general to write her off, the stance ended up energizing her base to come out in droves, which in a low-turnout primary situation resulted in her winning it. She is continuing to voice her Sanders-era, millenial-friendly memes into the election, including a curious anti-government call to abolish ICE. As a matter strictly of viewing eliminating bureaucracies as a good thing, a libertarian could actually support transferring its legitimate role in protecting the borders and the legal immigration process back to the Department of Justice, or to the states. It is thus possible for a pro-liberty candidate to counter-triangulate a progressive running on this issue. But I suspect the real motivation behind the abolish ICE movement has more to do with race-baiting, and new-fangled election rigging, Democrats want to pack the states with as many immigrants (lawful or non-lawful) as possible, beginning with critical ones like Florida, to turn those states permanently blue. The cost of such changes, unfortunately for older, asleep at the switch Dems like Mr. Crowley, will be to get booted out as an old boss, and replaced by the new Latino boss as time goes on.

Black Liberty Rising, and Celebrity Justice

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Very interesting times for fomenting greater peace and freedom, have indeed emerged by the middle of 2018, as shown by the holding of history making summits between the US and North Korea, or further post-Brexit rattlings as more European nations like Italy try to shake the off the chains of EU eurocratic bondage.  Even a few of the Supreme Court’s left-authoritarian Justices (part of the cabal I previously christened the Devil’s favorite demons) have just rendered a decision deeming Christian bakers worthy of not being treated with hostility, by granting that they may not be forced to decorate their cultural enemy’s cakes. And the specter of 4% economic growth nationally appears to be the direct result of recent tax and regulation reductions, largely releasing the economy from choke holds that were holding back the free market.

The LP’s Sharpe Turn

But the nicest trend by far has been the rise in prominence of more black commentators, candidates and public figures who are either putting forth a flatly pro-liberty message, or who have otherwise broken the bonds of neo-slavery enough to speak their minds irrespective of the caste system set up by US major party politics. For example, I am pleased to state that as of last month, I am now no longer the only African-American Libertarian to have run for Governor or US Senator in New York state. Business consultant, entrepreneur and activist Larry Sharpe (who previously contested for the LP nomination for Vice President in 2016, losing to William Weld) was nominated for Governor by LPNY at its April convention. He is an entirely sound mainstream LP candidate and official (having served on the party’s National Committee), and is informally considered one of the LP’s national superstars as of this cycle.

More importantly, Sharpe has demonstrated some of the rarest of Libertarian gifts—the ability to raise serious money (his early fundraising reached six figures by early February, which is unprecedented for a LPNY candidate), to build a real staff (45 or more, as of this writing), and to commit to circumventing the usual major media blackout by doing numerous local news interviews and funding his own polls, to ensure his name is mentioned in the survey results. In short, he’s demonstrating he’s a somewhat “next generation” LP politician who is aware of the traditional obstacles to third party success, and has shown a willingness to execute effective solutions to (perhaps) overcome them:

In my conversations with the candidate, Sharpe comes across as super lucid, clear-minded, articulate, and oh well, sharp, meaning he’s one of the best candidates we’ve ever backed for office. Sharpe is quixotically aiming to win, but his immediate goal (as usual for Libertarians in this state) is to secure regular or permanent ballot status for the LP, by getting at least 50,000 votes in November (the number required by the state’s election law). The latter is quite doable, but I advise caution in light of the LP’s failing track record in NY to date. Having over $100,000 to work with may make achieving permanent ballot status easier than ever, but it may take half a million to guarantee the result. While having dozens of staffers is a breakthrough, is that enough organization to get 50,000 votes?

When I once talked to the late Roy Innis (the founder of CORE) about possibly running for Governor for the LP back in the 2000s, he replied he was open to it if the party could supply him with 500 activists across the state. Gulp! Perhaps that’s more than what’s really needed to secure ballot access, but the point remains the logistical expectations of regular politicians about what is required to win (at whatever level) usually exceeds what the LP can muster at this point. Can the party succeed in NY this time, given the promise of the Sharpe campaign? We’ll see what happens.

On the Congressional side, Aaron Commey was nominated by LPNY for US Senate. Mr. Commey has previously distinguished himself by running as the LP candidate for NYC Mayor in 2017. Commey has overcome many personal obstacles and trials (including running up against the excessively punitive criminal “just us” system) to become a speaker and leader for liberty. He is principally running on the prisoner rights initiative (restoring their voting rights) and other aspects of justice system reform. Candidates like Sharpe and Commey have found the Libertarian party to be a much sounder vehicle to promote such reforms than trying to do so from either the Democratic plantation (who simply use the issue to demonize cops, or even whites in general, for election purposes), or the Republican ‘tent’ universe (who use the issue to demonize the left, or even minorities in general, for election purposes).

Only libertarians reliably stick to the civil liberties core substance of the matter, and so avoid the deliberately divisive demagoguery that attends addressing the prison industrial complex problem. We need more liberty people in office like Commey who will seek to solve these problems as well as to restore more rights and liberties, instead of thinking the answer is to cynically lock more people up (over less and less, for longer and longer), to thereby “look strong” and win more elections. In that light, I heartily endorse both Sharpe and Commey this November.

Ye, Kanye

In fact, the current President’s penchant for closure, to actually seek to solve problems, is likely what has contributed to a crop of black public figures and celebrities electing to speak out in a non-herd mind way. Say what you will about the strange “dragon energy” alpha drive bonding the hip hop mogul Kanye West to the Donald, but the rapper has noticed that more can be achieved starting from a stance focused on individual rights or responsibility, than from racial finger pointing. West has described former President Barack Obama as the “opioids” of the black community on the TMZ show, who “made us feel like everything was good,” even although he accomplished virtually nothing. In addition to apologizing to GW Bush for his 2005 comment that “Bush doesn’t like black people,” and outright praising rising black conservative stars like Candace Owens, Kanye even suggested that “slavery was a choice” for blacks in American history (well, maybe he jumped the shark on that one).

The connecting tissue behind all these utterances is Kanye’s definite move away from the race-obsessed or race-centric rhetoric that so dominates the ‘hack-black’ Democratic group think. While remaining black conscious, West is repudiating the collectivism and statism glued to it for decades by the white privileged, slave master controllers of the Democratic narrative. West instead wonders why it took Trump, of all people, not Obama, to reduce record black unemployment, why he himself built up a net worth of $141 million if there’s so much white privilege stopping him, etc., etc. This has caused West to now embrace working with whomever it is who is in power on issues where there is agreement, in order to make tangible progress on those fronts, over and above playing race-baiting games. This embrace extends to Kanye committing the ultimate heresy—wearing the red Make America Great Again, or MAGA cap in public!

This new emphasis on relying more on individuals of whatever stripe to get things done, and less upon the next election, immediately put Kanye in the doghouse with all the usual suspects, who trotted out the one-trick pony vicious tactic of weaponizing the entire social media matrix of modern culture to “de-platform” or bankrupt him, beginning with advocating the boycotting of his latest CD and other ventures. Unfortunately for the PC crowd, that trick only works when the target is still dependent on such monetization to support their livelihood or ability to get their message out—whereas West is already too wealthy to be neutered by such attacks. Sales of his new CD Ye have in fact gone through the roof, with all the tracks on it becoming Top 40 hits, thereby earning him his eighth consecutive number one album on the Billboard 200. Black comedians like Kevin Hart have likewise recently survived attacks (by professional Trump-bashers like Kathy Griffin) shaming him for not joining in on the bashing. Horrors. How dare these black entertainers not choose to be openly political, and in exactly the race-mongering way their white masters demand?

It’s not as if Kanye has changed his party enrollment (he actually still speculates about running for the White House himself come 2024, as a Democrat), but it’s simply a matter that he’s more interested in actually working on issues, than in wholesale bashing people on the other side. “Black people have a tendency to focus and march when a white person kills a black person or wears a hat, but when it’s 700 kids being killed in Chicago it’s O.K….There’s been more focus and more marches about whites killing blacks than kids in Chicago killing each other,” West stated to TMZ. “Ninety percent of black people being killed are killed by other blacks.” This short-circuits the elite’s constant divide and conquer approach of getting folks worked up about demonizing each other on partisan (or racial) lines, to such a degree that neither side notices that no progress has been made. Other black Democrats who have a true progressive’s “issues first” mentality understand this, such as Van Jones, who below explains why he is now also working with Trump (via Jared Kushner) on prison reform:

Pacific Peace

In a nutshell, individualism-centered activism works to tackle issues better than demonizing. This kind of wall-breaking collaboration is both pro-liberty, and progressive, and appears to be the wave of the future, given the failure of the establishment to produce results for African-Americans. In terms of the emerging black liberty as just described, the stats are in: 93% of blacks voted for Obama in 2012, but only 88% voted for Clinton in 2016. That shows at least 6% woke up in 4 years. Progress is possible. The old Obama model of “whatever makes me look good, and the black base vote feel good, even if nothing is achieved” is giving way to a “let’s get somewhere on this or that front, no matter who gets the credit” mindset. A prime example of how the old model held up progress comes from the experiences of NBA great Dennis Rodman, who did a revealing interview about how he learned the North Korea (NK) President was interested in possibly denuclearizing his impoverished regime five years ago, yet the Obama administration didn’t give him the time of day when he tried to bring this to their attention. Trump, however, did pay heed, even if the messenger was a lowly basketball star. You’ll notice Rodman now also bares the dreaded MAGA cap:

Rodman’s tearful recollections of being forced to “hide out” due to the horrendous media treatment (and death threats) he received shows how dangerous their marginalization or de-platforming campaigns can be. Otto Warmbier, among other prisoners, might still be alive today (or released sooner) if the prior POTUS had acted on Rodman’s lead, so as to warm up relations with Kim Jong Un earlier on. Instead, Obama decided to “look strong” by continuing the confrontational stance toward all nations not under the orbit of the US global empire, to keep the swamp establishment’s war party happy.

Instead of breaking with the Bush era loony neo-con, no-diplomacy-ever approach to NK, Obama’s obsession with optics led to him doubling down on it, despite occasional lip service given to talks. He likewise succumbed to Hillary’s push to war with Libya, in violation of the security deal the US had made with Muammar Gaddafi years earlier. I would define this optics-driven, militarism first stance as the mark of a WEAK leader, leading a screwed up government. Misusing our military and breaking US promises is weakness. Obama went after Libya to make himself “look strong” for the 2012 elections. The result was Benghazi, arms flowing to ISIS, and yet another Mideast quagmire.

Yet this is the kind of pro-Empire, 24/7 pro-meddling environment anti-war liberty people have to navigate in, in order to somehow move things in a non, or at least less interventionist direction. It accounts for Obama’s caving in to the war party, Rand Paul’s (at times brilliant) attempts to verbally finesse foreign policy during his Presidential run, and it explains Trump’s half-neocon, half-not cross-signaling. As I wrote last time, Trump “puts out conflicting statements and short-term gestures to please both the anti-war and pro-war side alike, while planning to pull out of most of the conflicts long term nonetheless. This creates a very frustrating present, but holds out a hopeful future where he turns around to match his campaign rhetoric with policy.” Umm, something tells me the progress made with the NK negotiations confirms this perspective exactly. As with other issues, Trump is pursuing closure to the NK nuke issue, and not perpetuate an endless ceasefire to a Korean conflict that should have been finally put to bed decades ago. Trump risked having the current negotiation efforts fall on its face, to get to that historic handshake moment with Kim on June 12. But he got it!

The war hawk John Boltons of the world were never in support of this effort, as they like the status quo, which gives them their pretext for advocating an ongoing military dominating presence in the region. But because Trump brilliantly brought people like Bolton into the administration at just this moment, they are compelled to be onboard, and have skin the game. The war party will want to know if they can take credit for a successful ‘denuclearization’ deal, so Trump is giving them that. But Kim also wants to know whether the US assurances and promises contained in this deal will outlast the Trump years. That’s what’s behind “the Libyan model” issue. Gaddafi ended his nuke program under GW Bush in exchange for security guarantees. Then under Obama, war hawk Hillary talked him into bombing Libya anyway, leading to Gaddafi’s savage demise. That is the albatross Obama has put around future Administration’s necks. Trump can make all the assurances he wants, and (maybe) can be trusted, but why should the other nation enter a deal, knowing the next POTUS might freely chuck it? For all they know, the US may snap the sanctions right back, singing the “we got the whole world, in our hands” hymn of military self-deification.

The Kim-Trump handshake sets a precedent for resolving a long standing conflict and attaining peace in our time, subject to the President getting Congress to certify a final deal through legislation. That would assure NK that the accord will hold up after the Trump era is over. But wait, say the war hawks, what will become of our talking points demonizing that government, or the basis for our retaining over 30,000 troops at the DMZ? Well, perhaps after 65 years, the US shouldn’t still be in the Korean region or hemisphere, with our provocative war games and troop presence. Time to bring the boys home, and to stop supporting massive big government (in the form of a military global empire) while pretending that’s “conservative.” Let’s support Pacific Peace instead, and applaud a President who finally risked “looking weak” to get it. That will be an awfully big achievement, for something that got started off a tip from a celebrity ball player.

Celebrity Justice

The political progress is looking so good with celebrities, why stop with Kanye, when his just as famous wife is available? One of the queens of self-promotion herself, Kim Kardashian, has actually dropped by the White House to make an appeal to Trump to advance the cause of prison sentencing reform, and in particular to get a commutation arranged for Alice Marie Johnson, a great-grandmother who was serving a sentence over drug charges. Kim should have put in a word for decriminalizing drugs altogether, the major engine behind most of the excess sentencing going on. But the key point is a so-called bimbo celeb is driving a conversation that should be led by legislators, but hasn’t been, because of partisan politics. Both major parties benefit from the War on Drugs, either because it makes pols look “tough on crime,” or because they are flat out receiving donations from the prison lobby, or both. In this atmosphere, it takes a ‘brainless’ Hollywood type to get something done, to bring justice to the over-incarcerated.

Indeed, there may be money in being “brainless like a fox.” Kardashian is worth tens of millions, on up individually, not counting the wealth acquired by her sisters or by her marriage to Kanye. Likewise, Jessica Simpson may not know that chicken does not come from the sea, but she sure figured out how to pile up a billion dollars from merchandising deals. The Bella twins are both multi-millionaires after years of marketing their brand outside of a wrestling ring. And so on. The fact that some celebs are giving back by being rainmakers for needed reform should be welcomed, as an instance of them exercising individual responsibility with their fame.

By contrast, with US pols, everything is subordinated to the elections. Dems have plainly been stretching out the Russian collusion/Trump obstruction narrative to first and foremost win back control of the House in November. only secondly in order to impeach or prosecute. Republicans and the White House are just as plainly waiting to announce any prosecutions against Comey, McCabe, et al witchhunters until later in the year, in order to ruin the Democrats’ fall election chances. It’s all about doing things for maximum election impact, not to effect maximum justice. However things fall out, it increasingly appears that Democratic Doomsday is coming in November. I expect the GOP to pick up about a net 5 seats in the Senate, and lose no more than about a net 5 seats in the House.

Finally, the issuance of pardons and commutations has been traditionally something politicians only do as they are ‘stepping out the door’ or leaving office, precisely in order to not take the heat for those decisions. Trump is, amazingly, doing provocative pardons early on during his tenure, including one just given to the first black boxing champion, Jack Johnson (at the request of actor Sylvester Stallone, who also took the trouble to visit the White House). Perhaps the Donald should challenge those celebrities who keep bashing him to show they actually care about something beyond the sound of their voice, and come to the White House to make their case in person for a pardoning somebody, or other real cause, just like Kasdashian and Stallone did? Van Jones could give them some pointers. In fact, why in the world didn’t President Obama (who did at least do his share of commutations, though late in his term) ever get around to pardoning Johnson? Does Obama even care about black people? Oops, now I’m sounding like Kanye circa 2005, time to stop typing.

Syrian Bombs, and Truth Bombs

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An update on ‘World War III,’ following up on the note from last year: The neocon empire pushers of the swamp machine finally got to cash in, WWE style, their Warfare In The Bank suitcase with the April 14 bombing strikes upon supposed chemical storage and manufacturing facilities, in response to a gas attack on children near Douma, Syria. As in wrestling, the holders of the magic case waited for the exact circumstance they wanted—in the matter of Syria, an incident involving alleged use or development of Weapons of Mass Destruction—as the righteous moral cover needed to commence raining down the bombs and other US military action. That pretext is needed to overcome certain tiny complications, such as we were not attacked, Congress did not declare a state of war, the country did not authorize us to be in their sovereign territory, the action violates international treaty conventions, the UN did not sanction it, or any other legal or Just War principle. To the self-serving US Empire, the Might Makes Right rule is the same as Saddam Hussein’s: The law is two lines, above my signature. 

Fake News and Drumbeat Bombs

Oh and by the way, the “Assad gassed his own people” charge leading to the launch of the missles appears to not be true. Not that this little detail hindered the launch of the strikes, tempered the non-stop hawkish media coverage and analysis, or informed the aftermath of the strikes on US interventionist policy. In fact, as with prior mainstream media war drumbeats, basically only one side got presented 24/7, with one pro-war FOXhead pundit after another presenting the unquestioned attack-Syria/remove-Assad narrative. The non-interventionist conservative or liberty voices of reason (Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, et al) were no where to be seen on the air—no doubt to serve the partisan paradigm that “only weak, anti-American leftists oppose war or question US claims.” In a telling example of this blacklout, host Tucker Carlson put out a dissenting opinion about the bombing—after which, he was mysteriously off FOXNews for the next week! Everything about the rollout of the narrative and its enforcement afterwards backs up the claims of the alternative media about the MSM, and its role as the real purveyor of fake news. Their job, always and forever, has been to promote or defend the establishment rationale, and marginalize all else.

What rationale, in fact? The alleged gas attack video went online during the April 7th weekend, and the President was already tweeting about “the animal Assad” by early Sunday morning. There could not have possibly been enough time to evaluate the video to verify what it claimed. The ‘White Helmets’ (an NGO humanitarian outfit who had been caught before fabricating such evidence and blaming it on the Syrian government) were again involved in the video production, suggesting they might again be pulling the stunt to scapegoat Assad. How, in the wake of the timeline and the known history, could there have been yet another rush to judgment, unless the fix was in to cash in the “he gassed his own people” propaganda suitcase?

The Deep State is responsible for another false flag here (more on this later), and perhaps Trump is on to them. Local hospitals in the Douma area do not report casualties. An MIT professor has disputed that a real gas attack occurred, which was echoed by subsequent independent journalist reports by Robert Fisk, and one done by Germany’s largest TV network. And as per a tweet by antiwar, pro-liberty Congressman Thomas Massie, the Pentagon has admitted they do not have evidence of an attack, beyond social media reports:

As with last year, when another bombing was rushed in the wake of the same shopworn excuse, everybody has been expected to dutifully accept that President Assad would take the opportunity of achieving total victory over the ISIS forces to–of course!—drop poison gas upon children and other civilians. The fact that once again, all independent investigators trying to find evidence of the attack keep coming up snake eyes, is making laughing stocks of the hawks inside and outside of the Pentagon. At this point, even several of the children displayed in the original viral video have been interviewed, have been confirmed to not be suffering from a chemical attack, and have admitted they were involved in order to get food:

Why So Syrias?

In light of this, the deal appears to be the Global Empire’s attempt to destabilize Syria and Iran, two countries the war party is severely behind schedule in for completing regime change. According to Gen. Wesley Clark, the hegemonic plan devised after 9/11 was to use that tragedy as a moralistic battering ram to invade, occupy and ‘liberate’ seven Mideast countries, including Syria and Iran by 2008. What blocked the plan? Some say it was blunders the war-whoopers made, others believe it was the 9/11 truth movement, and some suggest it was Ron Paul (as his presence in the 2008/2012 GOP primary races stopped the neocons from proceeding with new invasions). Whatever the case, since it’s now 2018, the military industrial complex is adamant about working in overdrive mode to at least finish the Syrian part of the project, take its oil pipeline or resources, then finally replace both it and the independent state of Iran with another Western compliant, co-opted regime, run by another Shah-like US friendly puppet.

Trump’s sudden “why so Syrias?” (sorry, couldn’t resist)  turn is the showcase mystery aspect of this case. Is he now really one of “them,” AKA onboard with the globalists, when it comes to projecting US military power everywhere? Or, as argued last year, is this just a bad makeup job? As with the limited bombing strikes of last spring, is it another temporary show of shock and awe designed to shut the warhawks up for another period, while Trump prepares for a withdrawal after the midterm elections? Keep track of the scoreboard—is he conducting a full invasion? No. Or creating no-fly zones over Syria? No. Has a new war started, let alone World War III? Not yet. It sounds again like, beneath all the sound and fury, and relentless neocon blusterings of Nikki Haley, that Trump remains a “Jacksonian” in his foreign policy leanings. To recap, this is a form of interventionism, to be sure, but one that commits itself only to big, but interim adventures and “limited strike” demonstrations of US military strength. Trump has NOT given up on executing an exit plan for these interventions during his tenure, and is still on track to achieving that, bad current optics and all. I will stick to my 2017 prediction that “the weight of the above considerations point to there being no World War 3, and possibly no full war at all under Trump’s reign. There will be hawkish theater, and triangulation of both the hawks and the liberty side.”

Meanwhile. the ridiculous machinations engaged in by the regime changers in straining so very, very hard to follow through on a planned sequence of Mideast conquests, have become embarrasingly obvious, however. This is especially true in light of Trump’s recently announced intention that “the US will be exiting Syria very soon.” It seems that as soon as he clearly signalled a withdrawal, the entire appartus of the swamp went into turbo mode to push him back into a vague “let’s stay a while longer (indefinitely)” counter mode. The current sense is that the US will be “subcontracting” a different group to perform combat operations in northern Syria (perhaps the Kurds again, or Saudi troops). This arrangement is as illegal as the variations involving retaining a US troop presence, but it sounds like less intervention because the troops wouldn’t be involved. Overt military ops, contracted ops, covert ops, etc, are each and all war activities not constitutionally declared, UN sanctioned, compliant with treaties, and are violative of Syria’s sovereignty. What are we doing still building bases there, and dictating what forces will be deployed in a territory we have no legal basis in occupying? No wonder why Chuck Baldwin, Alex Jones and others have expressed strong disgust with Trump’s policy vacillations on ending Mideast interventionism. Is he hopelessly compromised at this point, or just crazy, or is he still playing the swamp, and intending to ultimately flip on them?

As for me, I’m hoping that Trump is still that clever guy who got himself past 16 GOP war party crazies (Rand Paul excepted) and Hillary to win. He’s neither crazy or stupid, but crazy like a fox, who puts out conflicting statements and short-term gestures to please both the anti-war and pro-war side alike, while planning to pull out of most of the conflicts long term nonetheless. This creates a very frustrating present, but holds out a hopeful future where he turns around to match his campaign rhetoric with policy.

Sex Bombs or Blackmail Bombs?

This suggests the purpose of all the investigations of Trump have not only been to keep him frustrated, but to find the key pressure from somewhere to keep him in line with the war agenda of the deep state—which seems so far to be beating fruit. The most immediate weapons they have employed to intimidate the Donald range from either still more sex scandal-mongering, from charges by porn stars and playmates (that he romped with them a decade ago), to blackmail attempts to discover crimes concerning his past business connections.

If their true focus is on sex, the latest attempts to “Roy Moore” Trump, from Stormy Daniels’ claims, to the dodgy dossier, to new charges that he (like Pres. Grover Cleveland before him) is father to a child out of wedlock, all give off a whiff of the ‘bottom of the barrel’ variety. Yes, desperation, in that given the intense dirt-digging the MSM did on Trump in 2016, there’s no way the NYT, AP, WP and the rest of the anti-Trump gang could not have already known about the illegitinate child allegation. They didn’t publish it then because it was unconfirmed—meaning they’re running it now, because they have nothing left to throw up against Trump, so journalistic standards be danged. This is the same MSM that has taught the public (for 25 years now) to ‘move on’ from religious prudery and disregard the sexual hijinks of major politicians, so long as they do their day job well. So how did they expect a secular-prudish campaign playing up Daniels in 2018 to have any traction?

In addition, the charges lack a certain internal logic. As in, exactly how can Daniels sue for personal injury, over a consensual act (if it happened at all) that involved personal pleasure? Why would she accuse a public figure of violating a non-disclosure agreement, when it’s usually the politician who cares about compliance with a NDA, when it comes to hook ups with porn stars? And why go on 60 Minutes if she wanted to keep things quiet? Please. What the Stormy story was actually about, was 1) an attempt to dynamite away one of Trump’s main pillars of national support, namely white evangelicals. But current polls show they are standing firm in their support of him (at 78%), so the tactic failed. 2) the scandal was meant to keep hawkish pressure on Trump to stay with the program to smear Syria and keep the foreign intervention program rolling. But because of the many holes in the porn star’s story, the Storm is turning out to be just a drizzle.

So much for sex bombs as a way to blow up Trump—but that leaves open the other possibility. If it’s blackmail, I’m betting it’s not the dossier (since its claims have been refuted time and again). The true issues are in all the documents taken from the office of Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen on April 9, which could include evidence of past shady casino dealings or various RNC process violations. Trump was likely informally made aware of the scope of what the raid would take from Cohen’s office weeks ago, or prior to the alleged gas attack—which explains why Trump so suddenly decided to go into bombing mode on Syria. The strike on the President’s lawyer, and the strikes upon Syria are not coincidential, with the bombings representing a kind of ransom payment to the swamp to keep their long wars and regime change ops going. Yes, it appears the deep state finally found a gun huuuge enough to put to his head. The question is, whether it is making him change his overall less-interventionist plans, or is only big enough to make him cave in to the swamp temporarily.

Covert Ops and Oops

There are signs the latter is the case, when it comes to the drop in funding of ISIS since Trump was sworn in. Could it be that Trump is well aware of the Obama era covert program (with much help from GOP war party leaders like Sen. John McCain) of supplying the Syrian”rebels” with weapons, ammo and other materials, only to find that nearly all that equipment wound up under ISIS control? Or how those same ‘rebels” have been found using an elaborate network of tunnels under Douma, that are enormously expensive to build? Oops, wonder who supplied the cash and skills to produce such a thing? Or is the answer really quite obvious?

Beyond covert campaigns, false flag ops are the chief techniques employed to roll the public within, and between nations into emotional conformity with the target policy or war project desired. In the case of Syria, the war party was prepared to wait decades to trot out the “Assad gassed his own people” word magic if needed, until the right false flag could be staged (and they could militarily act fast enough on it, before too many questions got asked), to achieve their objectives. Once the invasion or full bombing commenced, the gas attack pretext could then be used to demand that the ruler (the victim of illegal aggression launched by another country, mind you) be removed and tried for war crimes—thus completing the regime change project. A staged event supporting a WMD threat/gas attack type narrative thus serves as a perfect combination lock framework or VISA card to justify the interventionist “response” by the Empire, the bypassing of legal details, forcing regime change, and the long war/no exit occupying of the area to ‘stabilize’ it afterwards.

The jewel in the crown of false flags in the region remains the bombing of the USS Liberty by Israeli forces just over 50 years ago. This brazen attack on a US ship was meant to leave no living witnesses, so as to be blamed on the Eygptian government, to trigger getting America to fight the 1967 war against that country on Israel’s behalf. But because the surviving sailors fought back and would not comply with a media coverup, the story has been put in a black hole by the MSM, who go on to this day as if the well-documented incident never happened. Episodes like this, along with the JFK et al assasination black ops, and the 9/11 inside job reveal how often government false flags, wet work ops and subsequent MSM official stories are resorted to create a propaganda framework to push for more meddling abroad, and domestic policy changes at home. The legacy (i.e., the corporate and CIA controlled) media is the key device for putting the Deep State’s narrative over following each of these kinds of ops, which is why the mainstream so often attacks the much more independent alternative media and commentators. The alternatives challenge those narratives, acknowledge the use of false flags or covert ops to manipulate policy, and do not cover for statists in the US, Europe or Israel.

Israel’s “greater” good and expansive self-interest appears again and again to be the secondary engine (behind US global hegemony) explaining unending intervention and meddling in Syria and other points in the Mid east. Paul Craig Roberts has summarized deep state/US motives in Syria in precisely this manner:

“Syria is not about any chemical weapons use. Ahmet Uzumcu, director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, reported that all chemical weapons had been removed from Syria. “Never before has an entire arsenal of a category of weapons of mass destruction been removed from a country experiencing a state of internal armed conflict, and this has been accomplished within very demanding and tight time frames.”

Syria is not about dictatorship or building democracy. It is not about the alleged 70 victims of chemical weapons. It would take a complete idiot to believe that Washington and its European vassals, who have killed, maimed, orphaned, and displaced millions of Muslims in seven countries over the last 17 years to be so upset over the deaths of 70 Muslims that they are willing to risk war with Russia.

Syria and Iran are an issue, because Syria and Iran supply the Lebanese militia, Hezbollah, with money and weapons. This support from Syria and Iran gives Hezbollah the capability of preventing Israel’s occupation and annexation of southern Lebanon, whose water resources Israel covets. Twice the vaunted Israel Army has been chased out of Lebanon by Hezbollah. Israel’s military reputation cannot risk a third defeat by a mere militia, so Israel is using its control over US foreign policy and its rock solid alliance with the neoconservatives to use the US military to destabilize Syria and Iran as the US did to Iraq and Libya.”

In short, the Israeli government wants to expand its influence and even territory in the region, wants any local rivals neutralized or neutered, and wants the US Empire to plow the field for them. Whatever one thinks of Israel’s goals, these agenda items are not related to protecting the borders of the US, and do not justify the unconstitutional spilling of American blood and treasure in the Mideast. The US should withdraw from Syria right now, as fast as we can pack our troops and materials on the planes, as well as cease and desist from slandering country after country with unproven “they gassed their own people” charges for regime change purposes.

Assorted Truth Bombs

Speaking of governments gassing their own people, it may help to put things into perspective to remember this is the 25th anniversary since the FBI bombed, ran tanks, played Barry Manilow music over a bullhorn 24/7, and used UN-banned CS gas upon the Branch Davidians at Waco, an unnecessary act that killed dozens of (mostly black) women and children:

You may want to start downloading all such videos you really like quick, as Youtube has been furiously deleting over 8 million videos in the past three months, as part of its purge of aternative voices.

Make no mistake–standing up to the hawks and serial propagandists for war lies requires some courage, but more people are practicing it. We the People are supposed to be running this country, not the cult of the Omnipotent Deep State and its minions pushing for endless war or empire-building campaigns. If we resist the false flag stagecraft and pro-imperialistic narratives, peace and freedom can prevail. We should be fervent droppers of truth bombs to stop the war bombers, as articulated here by Caitlin Johnstone:

“…proponents of US-led military intervention accuse those who question their narratives of being mentally unsound. There is a word for the tactic of convincing someone that they are crazy in order to manipulate and control them, and that word is gaslighting. It is a textbook abuse tactic, and it isn’t okay.

It isn’t okay for these war whore pundits to bully and deceive us so that we will feel unsure of the basis for our skepticism and consent to the longstanding western agenda of regime change in Syria. It isn’t okay for them to try to make people unsure of their mental health in order to pave the way toward public consent for broader bombing campaigns and no-fly zones in a sovereign nation under assault by western-backed jihadists. Never let anyone bully you into thinking that you are the strange, weird outlier for suspecting that a western empire who has sponsored actual, literal terrorist factions in Syria might lie about Iraq’s next-door neighbor like they lied about Iraq.”


Growth Hacking Liberty, Uniting Korea, and Free Trade Nationalism

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The first part of this post is adapted from a talk given to the Queens Libertarians in Whitestone, New York on March 10.

Back in the ’90’s, when I and my fellow local LP members were trying to figure out resource and cost-effective methods of chapter building (to at least further higher meeting attendance), quite by accident, we stumbled across what would later become a more well-articulated, and celebrated developmental methodology. Instead of only trying expensive advertising in local papers, or tedious phone tree calling to get the same folks to come out, we also mailed out “community notice” postcards to the 10 or so key media sources in the area, that summarized the upcoming meeting. We also mailed out a newsletter to current members that reported on our topical meetings (which were merely discussions—we had no regular guest speaker program until later).

The outcome of this initial multi-pronged promotional effort was 1) a solid trickle of new prospects who would visit each month, solely from seeing our notice in the community paper, and 2) steady attendance by other paid members, who kept coming back because they felt they were being kept in the loop via the chapter newsletter. It was the older methods that turned out to deliver only tepid results, so we de-emphasized them to focus more on what was working. By doing so, we inadvertently completed a simple-Simon version of growth hacking, which Wikipedia defines as “a process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels, product development, sales segments, and other areas of the business to identify the most efficient ways to grow a business.” This combination of marketing with testing to determine the best use of old or innovative technology has been the key to building a number of new enterprises, such as Air BnB (whose growth exploded when it tested integrating its business model with Craigslist) and similar ventures.

Liberty-Friendly Innovations, Growth Hacked

The developments and innovations in American politics over the last decade, I maintain, justify considering porting the tactics or dynamics of growth hacking over to the libertarian universe, and more broadly the “liberty movement,” which encompasses individual freedom and free market supporters ranging from the LP, to paleos or constitutionalist conservatives ala Ron and Rand Paul, and other alternative voices. This adaptation is useful in light of the inability of the LP or libertarians in general to gain more ground in terms of our public image, or in achieving major election victories and policy success using the older approaches. One advantage of adopting ideas for which we already have “proof of concept” in place, is that it permits us to skip the experimentation stage, and proceed to scale up our operations without taking on new risks. Certain tested, and now proven methods or tools are already on hand to help liberty, if we will only will ourselves to apply them.

The developments since 2007 that have paved the way for this liberty 2.0 power wave include the Ron Paul ‘R3volution‘ (not a typo, that’s how supporters spelled it), the Tea Party, the populist trend that elected Trump, and even such things as the rise of Mayor DeBlasio (he was, after all, the first Democrat elected Mayor of NYC following twenty years of GOP or Independent incumbents). Each example had benefits and deficits, serving as laboratories on how to do things differently, to achieve something different. Like many things in life, more was learned by the failures than by their wins, depending on the instance. And each case accomplished more in terms of bringing aspects of the liberty agenda to mass public attention, or mainstream acceptance than running the same old-style LP candidacy, comedy-hour membership drives, or issue campaigns of yore. Those traditional efforts are largely forgotten right after they are mounted, with no permanent impact made on the public, let alone the establishment, or “swamp”—how many regular people really remember Gary Johnson at this point, for example?

The Paul campaigns for President showed we could run a high-profile libertarian campaign in the Republican primaries, and use online resources to efficiently organize national grassroots support for the effort. But it turned out to be an incomplete strategy that wrongly assumed the elite-kept media and top GOP party apparatus would ultimately ‘play fair,’ then kindly proceed to fall in line to support a true liberty figure for the nomination. In fact the MSM and leadership used all manner of devices to marginalize Paul in plain daylight, or else disrupt his campaign’s momentum, to protect the elite’s preferred contenders. Paul himself had no apparent plan or inclination to effectively confront this obstacle, or to build a winning voter coalition to overcome it. The Trump and Outsider phenomenon showed how to get a (somewhat) populist-friendly candidate or issue (like Brexit) to succeed against the established order (i.e., run somebody with the independent resources and temperament to bluntly confront it). The thematically pro-liberty aspect of this development, however, has been resulting policy that is, at best, incoherent from an intellectual libertarian perspective, or at times more driven by Trump’s ego than by principle.

The Tea Party showed us that we could succeed in “primarying” or ousting DC incumbents (Dem and GOP) who have participated in the fiscal insanity (of over-spending and constant borrowing) that is tanking the US economy long-term. But the swamp’s response to this originally non-partisan movement was to swiftly repackage it as a conservative subset that was just upset over Democratic overspending (“pay no attention to those Republican over-spenders behind the curtain”). Thus co-opted back into a standard partisan rhetorical box, the neutered movement became much less effective. Finally, DeBlasio demonstrated how an obscure progressive figure could leverage his local base vote in order to win major office, despite being a fatally flawed statist-to-the-max politician as far as his policy record goes.

Four Ways to Hack

One clear pattern emerging from these movements since 2007, is the power of taking on establishment statism along the primary front, where incumbents (and their protection racket) are more vulnerable, and the smaller voter turnout can be exploited. A liberty candidate can make a bigger splash on public reception here than in the fall election, where the media, the big party machine, and the money factor (or lack of such funds) can be counted on to drown out or marginalize alternative voices. In association with having a primary race focus, along with a populist engagement syle, the following relatively new, proven techniques (involving reverse triangulation, the BOSS approach, self-reimbursing campaign financing, creative branding, and leveraging local resources, etc., to advance candidates and causes) have emerged that can growth hack liberty projects going forward:

Triangulation- As discussed in a past article, triangulation is a very useful positioning tool for creating a situation that improves the stature of a targeted figure or viewpoint. In classic use, the target person to be ‘up’ positioned gets a lesser figure (who has safe tenure or is in a safe seat) to state an issue in an inflammatory or ‘extreme’ way, drawing in the political opposition to heatedly respond. The target figure then steps into the flap as “the statesman” and conveys the same view in an NON-inflammatory way, thereby appearing to be “the sensible moderate” or reasonable party. Thus a position that would have been risky for the “statesman” to originally introduce (or act as the rainmaker for) becomes normalized or mainstreamed, following this calculated sequence. Certain voting blocs could be engaged based on a triangulated approach (through a candidate provocatively attacking those opposed to that bloc, thus drawing attacks from those opponents, thereby causing that bloc to lean towards supporting the candidate for being “their champion”).

Since the 2000’s, the alternative movements above described have shepherded in a “reverse triangulation” variation, where the ‘extreme’ party initiates the flap sequence, in order produce such a strong opposition response that the public in general ends up reacting by adopting a more moderate, or ‘common sense’ variation of the original ‘extreme’ position. The key case example of this is in action would be the notorious “(toy) guns for tots incident in NYC of 2002. Gun grabbers on the City Council at that time had already banned handguns, and had moved on to ban toy guns that were replicas. When manufacturers then decided to sell brightly colored toy guns that could not possibly be mistaken for real firearms, the grabbers proposed a bill to ban brightly colored toy guns as well. On the day of the public hearing about the bill, members of the local LP staged some street theatre at a Harlem school, handing out brightly colored toy guns to students. This “extreme” stunt set off fireworks at the hearing, and in the NYC media as well, denouncing the LP over the action. But the funniest thing then happened—the public reacted to the flap with a “what, um, why are they banning brightly colored toy guns?”—and poof, a bill that that was going to pass, didn’t pass.

In other words, it was one of the few days the LP actually did its job, and made a real difference, even if the exercise took the brave activists out of their comfort zone.  In subsequent years, reverse triangulated controversies have more often been employed at Paul, Tea Party, or Trump rally events to act as the ‘tip of the spear’ to both freak out the establishment, and to spur the public into concurring with the “common sense” aspects of the more liberty-friendly position. The radical side that initiates well-selected flaps in this manner ultimately is investing faith in the mass public to choose liberty, once the issue is properly framed or presented to them.

B.O.S.S. Plan- Also outlined in an earlier post, the Bi-partisan Open Seat Strategy, which I’ll just repeat verbatim: 

Most seats are in areas that are not competitive for the purposes of liberty candidates winning the election, that is, they are dominated by GOP or Dem hacks who win with above 55+% of the vote. Recognizing that 95% of seats are gerrymandered to support Republican or Democrat (statist) incumbents, we should focus instead on running in a primary or special election where the incumbent is retiring, passed away, or removed by scandal. Run on a liberty platform to win the nomination of the dominant party in the district or area (say, if it’s a deeply Democratic district, run a Ron Paul Democrat, or if it’s a Republican district, run a Ron Paul Republican).

Field for suitable candidates using the local Campaign for Liberty/pro-liberty meetups and mailing lists, or from the local LP. Upon winning the primary for the vacated seat, the liberty candidate then has the inside track to win the election. An example from a few years ago of how this results in victory is the Kerry Bentivolio case in Michigan (a Ron Paul supporter who won a US House seat by being the only GOP candidate in the primary when the incumbent Republican retired). The BOSS approach should thus create higher percentage opportunities for liberty people to win seats, regardless of which major party way the district rolls.

The best way of enacting this strategy is to use it to concentrate mainly on the 5-10% of races in the country where one could win on a BOSS basis, instead of the usual routine of just running quality liberty candidates in election campaigns against strong incumbents, only to almost certainly lose each race. Executed properly, BOSS sure beats remaining indefinitely limited to only “educational campaigns,” or reacting to fitful banter over political trends from Black Lives Matter, to porn stars suing Trump. Having a local bank of credibly funded, already vetted liberty candidates at the ready to enter into an open seat contest wherever it shows up will vastly improve the LP and other liberty candidates’s odds of actually winning major office. Adopting this strategy will also give the LP an additional purpose, namely, to vet the real, principled candidates needed to run on either the LP line, or on a major line when a BOSS-suitable situation opens up. Our end game should be to get libertarian/liberty-friendly legislation passed or policies put in place. Whether this is done by Libertarians elected through the LP, or liberty candidates who used the R or D label to gain office, but govern as libertarians nonetheless, the bottom line is to get that policy result. A party label is a vehicle, not the destination. Our true political home is a free country, not a major or minor party structure.

Self-Reimbursing Funding- Affluent candidate self funds primary campaign by putting the funds in a corporation, which lends it to the campaign. Upon winning the primary, the loan can be paid off from government matching funds. This tactic could persuade more affluent libertarians  to run. 

The key example of this, of course, is the Trump candidacy, since the Donald mostly lent himself the $50 million (via one of his entities) he used to fund his way to a primary victory, precisely in order to give him the option of using government matching funds, plus traditional fall fundraising to pay himself back. Trump ended up not exercising that option, and of course the whole “use state funding” scheme can be rejected as un-libertarian. Yet it is a practical and proven means of helping to convince a otherwise reluctant but affluent prospect to a) self-fund their campaign, b) thereby improve their chances of winning, c) avoid the toil of regular fundraising early on, and d) run a primary race while remaining independent of mega-donors or establishment/swamp political infrastructure.

Area/Local Leveraging- Run in a liberty-friendly local district (e.g., college area) for local office. Then use the base vote there to run for a well-selected larger seat (e.g., citywide or Congressional). In the example case of Bill DeBlasio, he rose to power by winning a city council seat, from which he then ran for Public Advocate, one of the three citywide elected positions in NYC. Because fewer people vote in the primary (and still fewer bother to vote for the positions below that of Mayor), most of the votes DeBlasio got for the citywide seat came from his local Park Slope district. Upon winning the 2009 crowded Democratic primary on this basis in an overwhelmingly Democratic city, he had the inside track to win the election for Public Advocate, which later led to his 2013 run for Mayor. Now that’s leveraging.

Putting this all together in one composite example, a prospective candidate who has the means to seriously self-fund (say, to a six or seven figure level), and is a high profile/well branded personality, may be persuaded to run for major office based on mixing up the above proven tactics. An upcoming seat with a retiring incumbent should be targeted, whose primary (of the area’s dominant major party) could be won based on triangulating the most urgent issues identified by voters in the district or area. Based on a self-funding primary effort (set up with an option to reimburse the campaign), the candidate could end up winning it, thereby have the November election already wrapped up, and could then use that local base to later run and win citywide or larger regional office. This can work as a dynamite formula for forging a viable liberty politician’s career, for more and more candidates going forward, providing a solid basis for ongoing liberty action.

Enemy Counter-Hacking

One more note: Don’t think that the enemy isn’t busy working on ways to growth hack tyranny, especially after their utterly unexpected loss of the White House in 2016. The Authoritarian Swamp Command has been in overdrive trying to reverse the tide of the outsider wave, using many old, along with some new tactics to re-establish their domination of the political order. They have the money and power to pursue this, and are for doggone sure working hard on it.

For example, the plan of the establishment for the last two years has not been to simply defeat Trump and the populist movement, but to completely ruin both. That’s why they pushed those last minute sexual assault charges against him in the election, and then disgusting hotel sex charges in the dossier. They couldn’t find a way to plant child porn pix on his PC or lure him into having a sex chat with a minor (as they did to frame former UN arms inspector Scott Ritter), but they probably tried. One rumored plan is for Mueller to accuse him of financial crimes by going into his business ventures spanning back decades. Whether he finds anything or not, the Democratic NY Attorney General then plans to dog Trump with the same charges at the state level.

Plus, Hillary keeps on quacking away with excuses about why she didn’t prevail in the election, precisely because her elite military-intelligence industrial complex (MIC) and Soros masters have informed her she would still have the backing of the entire Deep State/NWO cabal (which includes the CIA-kept media) for yet another run. Elite party leaders really think they have figured out or learned from their election rigging mistakes from 2016, and will get the fraud right next time. Expect an extra effort to pack FL with enough Democratic votes to make up for losing by 1% to Trump in ’16. Also expect rigging in the Midwest states to reverse the loss of MH, PA and WI Dems suffered in ’16. They’ve even thought hard about mirroring the unexpected Trump phenomenon by pushing the ultimate counter—floating globalist celebrity Oprah Winfrey as a possible 2020 contender. Anything, it seems, to reverse the results of 2016.

Indeed, sometimes to the exclusion of all else, Democratic plotters seem particularly focused on turning Florida reliably blue, via drop shipping legal and illegal immigrants into the state, among other methods. To repeat, Trump won FL by only 1%, so they’re close. If they then can do the same with Texas, it’s game, set and match for making the electoral college insurmountably blue in all Presidential races going forward. THAT’S why they treat everything else as irrelevant, or as dispensable—they know with the solidly Democratic states they currently control, they just need two more major states in their column, to have a permanent Democrat lock on the White House and the country. This factor alone, in large part, explains why populist pro-liberty folks have been somewhat forgiving of Trump’s frequently un-libertarian flaws, foibles, flips and other flops. The ascendancy of Trump in leading the populist liberty agenda, for better or worse, has kept us from teetering over into a total statist abyss.

Korea Update: Unification Wins

Meanwhile on the national policy front, there have been two gigantic developments, the first being the equivalent of a “Nixon goes to China” moment in American political history—Trump has signaled he would be meeting as early as May with North Korean (NK) dictator Kim Jong-un, pending that country ceding to US will by committing to the complete “de-nuclearization” of Korea. This breakthrough (if it does lead to direct talks) can be attributed to either the intense economic sanctions the US put upon NK to end its nuclear weapons testing, or to diplomatic efforts to re-unify the two Koreas strongly supported by the public, and by South Korea (SK) President Moon Jae-in (as recently displayed at the Winter Olympics), or both.

Naturally, the war party neocons, and FOXNews heads pounced on this news to push the hard line that the outcome was a response showing Trump’s ‘toughness’ on NK was paying off. They pronounced the real problem all along was the prior, Democratic incumbent was (as usual) ‘too weak’ to deal with the ‘rogue’ and brutal nation. They hold the ultimate goal needs to be completely disarming NK (nuclear or conventional), subjecting them to complete subjugation by way of no-warning inspections of all their defense systems, and even regime change to oust Jong-un. (Neocons always forget to mention all the times Democratic incumbents also talked tough against NK, and all the times GOP incumbents were tough with the nation, to no avail in changing NK policy.) In other words, they are re-running the same tired, pugnacious, and destructive playbook that produced the stalemate of the last 65 years, along with the quagmires we still have in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, et al across the Mideast. To the hawks, too much intervention, and confrontational belligerence is never enough, as has been noted by Sen. Rand Paul and others in Congress.

Good for Rand. He and Trump were literally the only GOP candidates in the 2016 primary field who openly repudiated (i.e., rejected those war party swamp projects, not scapegoated the Democrats over ‘mismanaging’) the interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and called them the quagmires that they are. If only Trump had not surrounded himself with generals who keep pushing for the very regime change, one-sided ‘diplomacy,’ or long-occupation dogmas he campaigned against. Our nation is supposed to be run by civilians, not generals. It took less than four years each to resolve the Civil war, WWI, and WWII. If there was a military solution to Afghanistan, generals would have figured it out after 17 years—since they haven’t, obviously there is none. Trump should have appointed more generals with a less-interventionist or realist perspective, consistent with the policy he ran on.

The US military is funded to the tune of 700 billion+ a year, and was funded to that level during the Obama years as well. That’s larger than the next 12 nations combined, and is at that level to support the US global EMPIRE, not to protect the borders of our country. One half to two thirds of it could be cut, and we would still meet the requirements to defend this country as per the Constitution. To keep 30,000 troops in Korea after 65 years is but one of the absurd consequences of this “we must dominate everywhere,” Empire-first (instead of America first) approach. That posture has enabled even a brutal dictatorship such as Kim Jong-un’s to plausibly assert it had to develop nukes as a form of deterrence, due to its sovereign right to exercise self-defense. Will the Empire ever acknowledge that its never-ending military build-up and hundreds of bases worldwide, has encouraged other nations to justify retaliatory build-ups? Does the Empire even recognize other sovereign nations do, in fact, have a right of self-defense?

The way out of the NK impasse on its nuclear weapons deployment ability is, ideally, to end sanctions, pullout US troops and to end military exercises in the region, in return for verifiable weapons de-nuclearization by NK. The simplest route to this would be a tightly defined, multi-national agreement to have NK suspend making nuclear weapons, with regular inspections based on the template of the Iran deal. The nations in the region (SK, Japan, Russia, China) all border on North Korea and would agree to have a stake in resolving the issue by participating in monitoring its compliance, following an Iran-style inspection model. In that case, there is no need for “no warning” inspections in a NK agreement, as the wait time (as with nuclear facilities anywhere) is too brief for the country to hide nuke components if they had any. The real ‘teeth’ in the Iran deal was that it kept BOTH sides honest, as violations on Iran’s side would result in the re-imposition of sanctions, as we’ve seen, and the multi-country verification scheme also cuts out the US’s tendency of unilaterally claiming the other party has violated the deal. A true ‘deal’ has to be acceptable to both sides, and not a one-way endless laundry list of things neocons demand, that NK will never agree to.

The FOX heads seem to want an overly broad deal they can then unilaterally, and more easily accuse NK of violating, so as to set up a pretext for US military action (based on a “there, you see, those guys can never be trusted” mantra). Or. they want a ‘deal’ where the US gets everything they want, while NK gets nothing. This is the same prescription for disaster that broke up the NK deal brokered by Clinton in the late ’90’s–the G.W. Bush administration neocon crazies reneged on it, upon which NK in turn withdrew from it, and resumed their nuclear build-up. This led to the war party claiming NK had “violated” what was an already broken deal, so back we went into ratcheting up sanctions, and belligerent “diplomacy.”

The sanctions and tough talk blusterings were NOT working, as both have been going on for years. It was the unification drive (initiated by SK against US wishes) that brought NK to the table. Both Koreas realize the nuclear issue has to be dealt with for unification to happen, using an Iran-like template. A NK nuke deal should be set up the same way (no nuke creation, with multi-national monitoring, in exchange for a lifting of sanctions) to give both sides incentive to accept the agreement. Trump’s main contribution to the breakthrough has been his willingness to enter into direct talks (again, against war party wishes). To his credit, the President has also broached the “shocking” subject of withdrawing US troops from South Korea after all these years, as part of his attempt to get a fair deal with countries on the trade front (more below). Trump’s hawkish advisors should not mess things up by using the negotiations as a one-way bludgeon to create a pretext for war.

Free Trade Nationalism

Second, the Donald also announced he would implement a tariff strategy to bring various countries ‘who have not treated us fairly’ or economically wrecked us to heel for their transgressions, as fulfillment of his long-desired intent to pursue a policy of economic nationalism. While his heart is in the right (anti-globalist) place, this course of action to deal with the culprits presumes 1) it’s the fault of those countries for our economic difficulties, 2) that tariffs will work as a corrective action, and 3) that it is the only way to pursue an ‘America first’ trade policy. The rest of us are scratching our heads wondering, but, um, what if none of these particulars are true, and, what about our bloated big government, the 21 trillion in debt this nation has run up, the monetary distortions brought by Federal Reserve and Wall St cronyism upon our economic system, etc, as more likely suspects?

A tariff is a tax, and it gets passed on to us. A tariff leads to other retaliatory tariffs. In an escalating trade war, everybody loses. This is Economics 101. Just speaking up for the libertarian alternative, integrated with a nationalist perspective: G. W. Bush pushed for tariffs, did that improve the US economy or trade position? Nope. From a market 101 point of view, what happens when costs go up for any business? Don’t they just get passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices? Yep. So aren’t tariffs a prescription for more trade unfairness, rather than less? Yes. The problem is not free trade, but with state-enforced managed or open trade. As in other economic matters, the state should get out of the way, not try to micro-manage it, or set up a ‘fair’ racket that serves as yet another form of corporate welfare.

So one can be a free trade nationalist and oppose tariffs, on the basis that they are bad for the country and the economy. Just as corporate or crony capitalism is a corruption of true capitalism, corporate or managed “free trade” is not real free trade. Mercantilist big corporations misuse these terms to push government policy that create international sweetheart deals for them, while dumping the expenses onto others. The real level playing field should be for all people and companies, big or small, to have the same freedom to trade with others abroad, not for a handful of big boys to use government to force open access to foreign markets, regardless of the details. Tariffs only add to government-caused distortions of the balance, they do not cure it.

As Thomas DiLorenzo summarizes it: “One of the first things Dub-Yuh did as president was to impose tariffs on steel imports. The U.S. steel industry has claimed to deserve “infant industry” protection with tariffs and quotas for at least the past 160 years. Some people never grow up. Trump has followed suit with tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, which will increase the price of everything made of steel and aluminum (i.e., American-made cars), rendering vast portions of the U.S. economy less competitive in international competition.

Thousands of American workers will lose their jobs as a result. It will also loot the pocketbooks of American purchasers of American-made goods that contain steel and aluminum, i.e., Trump’s working-class political base, with higher prices. Other countries will retaliate with high tariffs on American-made goods, causing even more unemployment among Trump voters in the export-related industries. Trump just shot himself in the foot with a bazooka.”

The one positive aspect of Trump’s drive to get a fair deal is that it includes suggestions that trade should be linked to pulling out of all these perpetual troop deployments the US has abroad, that covers the defense needs of foreign nations (effectively giving those countries trade profits without military expenses). That prospect (beginning with pulling out of SK) is tremendously pro-America first, though as Justin Raimondo has noted, don’t expect neocons and beltway libertarians to support it. Bottom line, we don’t need an apparatus of tariffs to make America great again, or to solve trade problems that were created by corporate welfare, the banksters, and by the mass exporting of jobs away from the US. More government force, more bureaucracy is not the answer.

This country started with only 3-4 crimes identified as felonies at the federal level: counterfeiting, treason and piracy (cross-state kidnapping was added later). We operated perfectly well for 140 or so years without all these alphabet soup bureaucratic entities coming along adding tons of new felonies to the books to lock people up over, or classifying 100 million new secret documents each year. We didn’t need spies overseas, the FBI spying on us at home, secret FISA courts, nor wars and meddling abroad. Nor did we need all their additional regulations and army of enforcement agents. Constitutional limited government can, and did survive without all of this. The managerial elite of the total state is NOT, and never will be our friend. I say, undo everything the cult of the omnipotent state has foisted on us, from 1901 onwards. A large part of bringing back liberty in the 21st century, involves repealing the 20th century.


Ret-Conning Trump: Populism, Year Two

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With the dawn of Year Two of the Donald Dynasty, the battle lines of the Deep State versus the Outsider revolution have both expanded and realigned. Some friends of the latter are felt to have become enemies (Steve Bannon, more on later), while many bitter never-Trump foes have seemingly come to terms with the billionaire, and he with them in order to get things done. Much of the harmonizing has happened to enable the passing of major tax cut legislation, and some of it is just opportunistic Republicans hitching a ride on President Trump’s rocket ship. So far, the economy has been roaring back due to the Trump tax and regulation reductions, although Peter Schiff warns of a pending downturn. The phenomenon of the establishment DC set adopting to his ascendancy has resulted in a bit of “ret-conning” of the Trump legacy, to make it more conform to “how the world works,” as far as Washington is concerned. That at times has involved persuading Trump to use the ring of power, or swamp-controlled government, in order to execute his policy goal to “Make America Great Again.”

The Taking of Populisim 1-2-3

“Ret-con” is defined as new information that imposes a different interpretation on previously described events. In Trump’s case, the elite is trying to recast his project to “drain the swamp” into traditional two-party partisan puppet show terms, where he is only seeking to drain Democrats (also known as Dems) from office. The promise to end regime change, interventionist quagmires in the Mideast has been retooled (for now) into mission creep projects of another sort (create a border defense in northen Syria, protect Israel’s interests, ensure ISIS doesn’t reconstitute itself, etc—anything but a “let’s WITHDRAW, already” stance. “America first” has been re-calibrated into more a catch-all phrase that often stands more for whatever policy or staff hiring Trump was talked into this month, than what he campaigned on.

These changes were most effectively accomplished from inside the Trump White House, through the personnel he brought in, he thought, to help him reform the government. The tactic has been performed to help the elite make up for the failure of the insiders to defeat Trump in head on battle, or by their originally disregarding him as a fluke. That establishment ended up fluking themselves into total defeat over the last two and a half years on this basis. They laughed when Trump came down the escalator, and didn’t take him seriously. Then they underestimated his ability to fight back and outmanuever them, when they mounted a late drive to try to keep him fom getting the nomination. And then they ignored the more honest polling done by IBD, LA Times and Rasmussen showing the election race was close. Trump was not a fluke, he simply picked (or broke) the lock the elite had on the election process, while they were too distracted by their arrogance to notice.

Having blown it the traditional way, the elite has gone to the infiltration route to undo the Trump agenda. The short version of the new Deep State plan could be to triangulate Trump by 1) infiltrating his Cabinet with neocons or Goldman Sachs white-shoe boys who butter up his ego, while 2) having the MSM deliberately act in the obviously asinine oppositional fashion they have, drawing the right in to defend Trump all the more earnestly. End result, Trump tends to accept the white-shoe/neocon/war party staff counsel as gospel (at best), or as a preamble to their attempt to outright depose him later (at worst). As the Donald would say, Sad.

Sound and (Fire and) Fury, Signifying…

One of the chief watchdogs who saw this trend emerging was senior advisor Steve Bannon, who left the Adminstration in mid-2017 to return to work at the Breitbart site, and to promote true non-swamp candidates running in 2018 to remove swampy Republican incumbents. For issuing this outright threat to the statist order, he received tremendous pushback, to which he at times responded in the same less-than-tactful, more-like-windbag fashion that Trump does. This culimated in Trump recently repudiating Bannon for comments he made to tabloid level author Michael Wolff in his book Fire and Fury, where he openly complained about mistakes made by Trump’s daughter Ivanka, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and even Trump’s son Don Jr. while working on the campaign, and in the early days of the Administration. To Bannon, these errors were dreadful, but being excused strictly because the staffers were relatives of Trump, and came at the expense of furthering the policies the base supported.

This kind of thing explains why Bannon dared to challenge ‘Javanka.’ He knew it might come down to holding loyalty to the agenda, or to a Javanka/swamp/neocon-compromised Trump. To many populist voters, he was right—Bannon looks more on point in fighting the swamp than Trump, who appears to be currently brokering deals with the swamp. If this is the case, Bannon will be largely vindicated as events (and Trump compromises) go on. The populist agenda has become short-sighted, as it has no national leader in power if Trump goes away. Bannon was (at his best) pointing to the need to get more non-swamp people elected, to give the movement legs post-Trump. And he was showing people had to have the stones to be more loyal to the agenda than to the nepotism (that is, Trump standing behind his daughter Ivanka’s non-populist advice), or neocons and Goldman Sachs set corrupting the Trump WH, especially at crunch time for any controversy. We can only hope somebody takes up the organizational mantle for primarying swamp politicans (since the flap also resulted in Bannon being forced out of Breitbart, and losing some tycoon support for his primarying project). Bannon’s departure is a victory for the McConnell gang, not for populists.

A prime example of this difference between “agenda vs. vagina” priorities is Roy Moore’s loss in the special election in Alabama, where Majority Leader Sen. McConnell’s forces (Republicans, mind you, not Democrats) spent $30 million trying to defeat the GOP candidate. This loss was then blamed on Moore being a “flawed candidate,” and was used to put one of the nails on Bannon’s coffin (since he campaigned for him). What it actually signaled, for GOP voters in the Outsider era, is the umpteenth reason why the emphasis should be on DRAINING THE SWAMP, not merely “electing more libertarians and conservatives.” The swamp largely consists of swamp hack Democrats, AND swamp hack Republicans, who will cave to PC or to a statist liberal drumbeat whenever push comes to shove. Establishment fill-in Republican Sen. Luther Strange was just a fresh rookie swamp hack, who would have been folding under establishment pressure for decades to come. Pro-liberty populists should instead vote against new swamp GOP creatures from getting into office at every opportunity, even if that means letting a Democrat win instead.

Phony sex charges, and especially election fraud did in Moore. 92% Democratic turnout in AL, in an OFFyear, SPECIAL election? When has that ever happened, anywhere? And if one assumes the national attention the race got is responsible, how can there have been only normal offyear GOP turnout by comparison, for such a heavily covered campaign? The message of Alabama is that the swamp is going to cast ANY non-swamp person running as a “flawed candidate,” and subject them to last second sex smears. In truth, Moore was not a flawed candidate, he was a winning candidate who got smeared by fraudsters. The swamp intends to run this “last second sex lies” scam again and again on non-swamp candidates, just as they tried to with Trump last year. Many of us suspect that if Mo Brooks had won the AL primary instead of Moore, it would have been him who got suddenly beseiged with sex charges, from women swooping in out of nowhere. By dating several teenaged girls (to better ensure he would marry a virgin), Moore was acting as a Christian southerner who followed a legal and widely practiced habit of AL people of that time. Nobody even brought it up for 40 years, until just before he was going to be elected. With Moore, they took a guy who was ABOUT TO WIN, and who had no history of sex scandal, and made him look like a loser and a pervert. He won’t be the last to be so ambushed, so get ready.

These ambushers are the SAME exact establishment swamp people who, if Trump had lost in 2016 based on similar sex lies and rigged voting, would be babbling “Trump lost because he was a lousy candidate, Republicans should have never nominated him, and should never do anything like that again, blah, blah blah.” We all know the MSM had that talking point ready to launch on election night, but couldn’t do it, because he overcame the fraud and won. This is all about the crooked machinations of the never-Trumpers working in the case of Moore, with swamp pundits acting in their familiar role as get-away drivers for the election fraud. Real populists object to decent men being personally ruined by the elite’s machine. We’ll see how much of their reaction results in new non-swamp seats won in the 2018 mid-terms.

Who Owns Populism?

The populist liberty agenda, and draining the swamp, is bigger than both Bannon or Trump, so separating the two is necessary to keep the movement from becoming just a personality cult of Trump. Ultimately, the issue is over fighting the deep state, not over choosing between the deep egos of Bannon or Trump. Steve Bannon did not create Trump’s victory, but it is undeniable that he and Kellyanne Conway helped him win the election campaign. Bannon guided Trump to stay in touch with his base and stay agenda focused, while Conway helped him on message discipline (e.g., persuaded him to repeat his main stump messages more, while conducting fewer side battles on Twitter). Trump did NOT win all by himself, give his senior people some credit. The point remains, the populist movement is the AGENDA (economic nationalism, controlling illegal immigration, less foreign intervention, draining the establishment swamp), NOT Trump or Bannon. That agenda existed before Trump became its leader. The problem is the tendency of movements to become too much of a personality cult around one figure, to the point that only what that figure does is treated as the center of everything, instead of what the thing was supposed to be about. We may be at that tipping point now, with Trump morphing into some of the same incoherencies (e.g., being pro-life at home, but defacto pro-war, and thus pro-death, on every front imaginable abroad) that are characteristic of swamp conservatives.

Bannon wants Trump to hold to the mark of the agenda, not defend every dumb action of Javanka, or neocon/Goldman Sachs staff in his cabinet, or to push a loyalty cult. Bannon, like Trump, is sometimes “sloppy” in how he expresses himself (or even in his physical appearance), hence the current flap. I tend to think he is “sloppy” like a prophet, in the way John the Baptist would not visually go over well in a boardroom. When a movement gets too consumed over appearance than substance, watch out, it may be going into free fall. Give me sloppy progress, over neat compromise. To those who object to Bannon attacking Trump’s family, by calling son in law Jared Kushner “treasonous,” or questioning Ivanka’s influence in the Trump White House, I would ask: So, John the Baptist shouldn’t have complained about Herod’s wife? If you knew what Ceasar’s “best friend” Brutus was plotting, or where things were heading, wouldn’t you risk ‘insulting’ Caesar by pointing it out? To Bannon, the message is more important than loyalty cult delicacies. It’s hard to talk about whether Trump’s advisers are deviating from the agenda without naming the main names. The stack of things Javanka have done that have made things worse for Trump, vastly exceeds the harm done to him by a few honest complaints Bannon made about it to an author.

Perhaps both guys have the courage to speak their mind about the truth as they see it, and sometimes that leads to clashes, as with everybody else. Trump’s ego is such that he imagines himself as singularly great, but it doesn’t follow that everybody else has to be described as flawed. In fact, given Trump’s frequent tendency of luring his critics into an embarrasing trap, including even “Rick rolling” them on one occasion, at least somebody should understand the jujitsu Trump may be doing to the swampers. He knows they can’t resist a Trump-bashing book, so he may have winked at Steve and said, “okay, feed them distracting nonsense, like laying bait for the insects to come and get at the roach motel.” I wouldn’t be surprised if Bannon was in on the gag, and had Trump disawow him, so as to reel in the Never-Trumpers. 

Perhaps Bannon sees the need for a “brand extension” of the movement (where more people get to gain power so as to “keep fighting” the swamp) before it implodes into a cult of Trump. Whether Trump is or becomes co-opted or not, it is not healthy for him to be the only national face of populist liberty, or for him to be getting the sole acclaim for the progress being made. I think that by making himself a pariah and getting Trump to disavow him, Bannon has positioned himself to get the full credit from this point on for any winning candidate he backs. As soon as even one of Bannon’s primarying efforts pay off this year, he gets to first base in building a durable infrastructure for populism, with or without Trump. These moves STRENGTHEN Bannon’s position as an independent national figure, and that’s a good thing. Right now the populist agenda is being sustained by a single heartbeat—namely, Trump’s. If he is removed from office unexpectantly, swamp Republican Pence takes over, and we are back to square one. Bannon is creating an “insurance policy” of our own, that the movement can continue post-Trump.

The Fall of FISA, FBI and Reputations

Bannon is, indelicately, alerting Trump about his weaknesses—as in when Bannon called Jared et al’s meeting with the Russian “treasonous,” he was not referring to treason against the US, but against Trump’s campaign and agenda. He felt they were sabotoging him, by opening up Trump to ongoing foreign influence or money laundering investigations later, which has turned out to be exactly the case. As is about to be exposed in a hotly argued over classified Congressional memo, it now appears everything related to how Trump came to be put under federal surveillance (and later, endlessly investigated over collusion) was dishonestly contrived, to weaponize the Obama Justice Department to go after the opposition candidate. This same crooked apparatus (including some of the same staffers), seems to be behind the cover-up of Hillary Clinton’s email and slush fund related crimes, along with the orchestrated attempts to get her off the hook over multiple Title 18 felony violations. The whole matter has deeply wrecked the reputatons of the FISA court, the FBI, the DOJ and specific senior officials including former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, and special prosecutor Bob Mueller, among others.

Comey made his famous July 2016 press conference remarks protecting Hillary, despite it NOT BEING HIS JOB to publicly make such comments at all about a pending investigation. The FBI Director was only supposed to quietly recommend indictments over any violations to the DOJ, making it THEIR job to announce a decision. He held his press conferences because, as the token Republican in the Obama regime, his judgment would put a ‘bipartisan’ veneer on dismissing the email charges. Comey’s entire high-profile status at the FBI was about being a shill for team Hillary, in order to whitewash away their scandals.

Mueller is playing a similar role, using his rep to legitimize the probe into “Russian collusion,” that so far has not come up with any evidemce. That precious “impeccable reputation” is the key to Mueller’s power, and his utility as a swamp functionary for the elite. Don’t fire him (that’s their main trap, as that would give Dems the pretext to stretch this out as an “obstruction of justice” crisis). Instead, announce Mueller is himself formally under investigation as part of a major conspiracy to obstruct justice, in the Uranium One and other swamp cover-ups. I think that “all of a sudden” Mueller would then wrap up his investigation like lightning.

On the merits, the president’s attorney Ty Cobb is right, the Russian collusion inquiry is a nothing burger, and should soon be over. But Mueller’s investigation is not being substance driven, but agenda driven. So Trump’s attorney should be, as a matter of legal competence, warning his client to prepare for the long haul. The Democratic opposition to Trump surely is playing things that way, and still seeks to undo his agenda by hook (the fall elections) or crook (screetching about ‘collusion’ or finding a pretext for impeaching him).

The Democratic plan cleanly interlocks with the Mueller investigation. The Washington Post earlier reported that Mueller intends for his probe to go on deep into 2018 or 2019–meaning at least, until the midterm elections. The party can use that to credibly run on the smoke and mirrors about “Trump-Russian collusion” fueled by Mueller. Then, if they win back the House on this basis, he will suddenly come forward with “findings” that the collusion took place, to give Democrats the pretext they need to go forward with impeachment proceedings. It’s all about providing political cover, not evidence.

The Justice department (under that otherwise authoritarian disaster, Jeff Sessions) is possibly playing “rope-a-dope,” and taking hits from both the left and the right while it is quietly conducting investigations over all this politicized self-dealing, dark money and corruption. He’s hiding that his DOJ has been on to Mueller’s entrapment plan all along, and has been quietly counter-investigating the swampers for months. There are said to be thousands of sealed indictments, awaiting a formal announcement about prosecutions to come. We will know one way or another by the end of this winter, whether Sessions is fully part of the compromised swamp, or else is done playing rope-a-dope. A huge data dump is supposed to happen soon (from the Inspector General’s office) showing the corruption the Sessions-led DOJ has quietly uncovered, that WILL lead to prosecutions. If this is true, it had to be done on the sly by Sessions to catch the swamp off-guard. Once again, the swamp believed they were outfoxing Trump, this time thinking they could goad him into “obstructing justice” (by shutting down the investigation, or falling into a Mueller perjury trap). They planned this only to find out he was letting the probe run on, in order to peter out on its own, and to discredit itself over and over. Once again, Trump has outwitted them.

The Voter Immigration Tango

The showdown in Congress on the DACA non-legal immigrants is not about high libertarian principle (on either the open borders or protected borders side), but about votes. Trump wants to fulfill a main campaign promise going into the midterms, and the pro-amnesty Democrat side (with RINO GOP allies) wants to ride an emotional issue into taking back over majority control of Congress. Making good on the Wall is also vital for Trump to show that his administration will not be a repeat of the one sided victories of the Reagan era, where the economic conservatives got their tax cuts, but cultural conservatives got nothing. And the Wall is no longer a strictly Mexico vs US thing, as the majority of immigrants coming across the southern border are not Mexicans.

Yet another reason why Democrats are so furious they lost to Trump is the census issue. It goes beyond loyalty to Hillary, or even to packing the Supreme Court with 9th circuit liberals.The master plan of Democrats was to fast forward the demographic hijacking of Congress and the electoral college, by counting all the illegals as Americans in the 2020 census. This would allow them to permanently gerrymander the GOP out of majority status in the House, while they kept working on turning states like Florida permanently blue by packing it with more illegals. But with Trump in the WH and the GOP running Congress, they can’t control the census or gerrymandering afterwards. So in the interim, they place their hopes on securing more amnesty for the Dreamers, who they expect to help them finish flipping key states blue by the 2020 elections.

Trump’s proposal to provide limited amnesty for the DACA population in exchange for getting funding for his Wall has been genius, because the top Democrats have already rejected it. That again shows they are not interested in a deal, but more votes in November, while Trump appears to have compromised in good faith.

It’s an empty gesture. Trump can sound sympathetic to Dreamers, knowing the votes are not there for amnesty (just as they haven’t been there for 12 years when this was debated before). So Trump is offering a DACA for the Wall etc deal, knowing the Dems won’t get amnesty even if they take the deal (which they won’t). In fact, they’ll keep countering with a “DACA, and DACA only, or no agreement on the budget.” Bottom line, Trump bet he would look reasonable, while the swamp would not in an election year, and they would even get the blame for the government shutdown for a change. This is exactly how things played out in mid-January (when Democrats blocked a “continuing resolution” (CR) to keep the government going. A lot of Democratic Senators caved once the shutdown was on, causing some radical Dreamers to protest at Minority Leader Sen. Schumer’s house—how long before one of them does something really stupid, that forces the moderates to disawow them? And the public (Dem and GOP) have agreed in polls that putting the illegal DACAs before funding services for legal citizens was wrong. Since we now have the vote on record of the Dems blocking the CR, so they now own the 2018 government shutdown.

Meanwhile swamp Republicans pushing for DACA (even in the context of Democrats not agreeing to immigration reform). will be vulnerable to being primaried by anti-swamp, anti-amnesty GOP voters. Come March, no DACA deal will have passed, so Trump can begin to deport the dreamers, having given Congress enough six months to provide them amnesty. White House aide Stephen Miller should have made it short and sweet in his pitch to Trump on this: “Sir, you won’t win on DACA or the Wall if you cave. Come March, announce you are beginning the deportations.” Because he is a compulsive “winner,” Trump has thus war gamed this out perfectly. OFFER a limited amnesty deal, in exchange for the Wall etc, knowing Democrats and RINOs will never go for the wall. So we don’t GET an amnesty deal, but Trump ends up better positioned as the one who was trying to deal.

I myself have been critical of an emerging Trunp cult when it comes to issues like the PR beat down Bannon got, but the DACA battle is the opposite of Trump caving. As I’ve noted before, life is more like a movie, than a snapshot. Trump offers a DACA deal, the swamp rejects it, so the DACA deal doesn’t pass. Trump gets DACA amnesty to fail, without getting the blame for it failing. Pay attention to the whole movie and its end game, instead of a scene you may not like. It’s been evident for months that Trump is playing out such a strategy, that puts the Dems in a corner on immigration, and it is working. The fact that immigration ‘hardliners’ like Miller and Sen. Tom Cotton are on board with it (remember, they have attended Trump strategy meetings) is an additional, objective indication that it is in fact his strategy.

Israeli Entanglements 2.0

On top of this, anti-amnesty hardliners like Ann Coulter have certainly been holding Trump’s feet to the fire on the issue, especially by also telling him “enough already” with going back into a ‘foreign interventionism first’ mode when it comes to international policy. Coulter certainly has the moral authority to call Trump on this latest drumbeat for still more long wars and confrontation in the Mideast, as she carried water for the interventionists throughout the GW Bush era. She also has been Trump’s strongest defender on immigration, and took a ton of derision from the MSM for predicting he would win very early on. Yet, spurred on by neocon White House staff, the more-war, more confrontation Generals in his cabinet, and the FOXhead commentators he listens to on cable each week, Trump has “ret-conned” himself on the matter of brokering a peace deal in the Mideast. Trump announced the US will recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, and will be movng the US capitol to that city by later in his term. The Palestinians view this move as patently a non-recognition of their sovereign claims to the area, an arrogant ignoring of international laws recognizing Jerusalem as shared territory, and as a repudiation of any notion that the US could be an honest broker in the dispute. The UN voted overwhelmingly to the same effect in late December.

To each side his own. If the US wants to implement its already voted for decision (by Congress, in the ’90’s) to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, regardless of the negative impact on solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that’s our business. If most of the nations of the world do not support it (as again evidenced by the recent UN vote), because it worsens the conflict and violates long standing international law recognizing Jerusalem as a shared city, that’s their business. The UN doesn’t dictate to the US, and the US doesn’t dictate to the UN. Just because the US wants everybody to automatically fall behind the Empire as it “leads,” doesn’t mean most of the rest of the world wants to be led by it (just as voters in 30 states didn’t want to be led by Hillary). It’s called democracy.

But here’s the thing, as the saying goes: Most Palestinians are NOT terrorists or enablers of such, and what they have wanted is STATE-for-peace (recognition of Palestininan statehood, independent sovereignty, defined borders and the tight to defend itself), just like Israel and any other self-determined people. Israel has not yielded an inch on those matters, and has taken more and more Palestinian land via settlements since 1967. So while Trump’s announcement is consistent with the law Congress passed in 1995 to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol, let’s not think that demonizing one side while taking an “only Israel’s claims matter” position is contributing to resolving the dispute. Most Israeli Jews polled last year believe in a two state solution, a shared Jersulaem, and an end to settlements. The US can promote a different view, but let us not imagine this decision is engaging the rest of the world, when in fact it is disengaging from it. US Interventionism is the real isolationism.

The “statehood” deal offered to Palestinians in 2000 was the classic swiss cheese arrangement where Israel controls and patrols all the checkpoints to, from and inside the territory, with no real INDEPENDENT sovereign control or property rights for the Palestinians. That’s not statehood, be it of the ‘one or two’ variety. Palestinians do not want a sham state where they continue to be controlled as a colony, and want one with fixed borders (i.e., no more Israeli settlements). To repeat, last year’s polls in Israel confirmed that most Palestinians AND Jews in Israel support a two state solution, and an end to the settlements. It is the Likud government that is holding up the progress. Could it be that the reason for some extremists in Gaza conducting (somewhat amateur hour) bombardments be that the present arrangement was NOT conveying a true state status to them? And that if the Palestinians did have recognized statehood and borders, there would be no motivation for the violence? (And please remember, at least some of those bombings were likely Mossad false flags, designed by controlled provocateurs to vilify the Palestinian side and thus justify Israel not recognizing statehood.)

It’s not as if Jordanians fire weapons over the Israeli border, despite Arabs and Muslims being on the other side in Jordan. Why not? Because, their statehood and borders are respected. Once statehood is mutually acknowledged and substantively delivered, peace will finally follow. The point remains that Jordan has had no border issues with Israel for decades, which establishes that peace with Arabs/Muslims and Israel is doable. If BOTH sides bilaterally acknowledge each other states’ right to exist, then negotiations can proceed. But one people UNILATERALLY demanding the other side recognize its sovereignty, while aggressively denying acknowledging the other people the same right, is clearly not working, and hasn’t worked for 70 years.

Time to Disentangle

Nor has the Israel-only propaganda line that “there is no Palestine” been accurate or helpful as that dogma has been thoroughly refuted as a matter of history, geography, and international law. It’s one thing for Israel to claim its right to the territory, but quite another to assert that any other claim is therefore illegitimate or fully superseded. Should the US return all land it “stole” from the Native Americans, who also controlled the land hundreds of years before us? Like it or not, controlling or occupying territory for centuries does give the US a legitimate sovereign claim to the land, so Palestinians have the right to the same. That right does not go away because another party is making a competing claim, it just makes it a dispute that should be RESOLVED, not ignored. Two thirds of the world’s nations agree—Palestine has the same sovereign right to exist, and to self defense as any other people.

Statehood is the issue. Balfour referred to Palestine as a real state in the declaration letter 100 years ago, and the UN referred to Palestine as a state the same time it declared Israel to be a state in 1948. In that context BOTH sovereign peoples have the right of self-determination to define their homeland. What matters is where a self-determined people say their home is. Palestinians say it’s Palestine, just as Jews said it was Israel. In both cases, that settles the matter. In addition, the vast majority of Palestinians and Muslims and Arabs are not terrorists or extremists, but keep getting lumped in with the latter (as if they share collective guilt about the violence) by the Israel-only advocates. The one-sided fixation with framing the dispute only from Israel’s perspective (“we’re the victims, they are the haters”), I repeat, shows why this matter is so intractable, as demonizing one side will not resolve anything. Until both sides of the conflict get their sovereign rights respected, there will still be a conflict.

Most Palestinians are peaceful, and the home they have a 1400 year history in and claim to is Palestine, not modern Jordan. The issue is the disputed territory that includes Jerusalem. To imply that the territory is NOT disputed, which is what the new policy will do, will not resolve the conflict. I.e., “facing reality” cuts two ways. Accordingly, the best way to a deal in the Mideast will come from giving BOTH sides what THEY say they want, not what Israel keeps saying the Palestinians want. The Palestinians have not accepted the swiss-cheese “statehood” deals they have been offered, because none of them came with providing the state true sovereignty,defined borders, and a right to defend itself, just like Israel. A “deal” that only recognizes Israel’s sovereignty, and control of all the checkpoints it wants in the Palestininan areas, is 100% not a deal. In all the past proposed agreements, Israel gets to treat Palestine as a defacto colony, not as a fellow country.That is why these bad deals were rejected. And characterizing all aspects of Hamas as “terrorist” runs counter to international conventions, that holds that a people under occupation cannot be demonized as “terrorists” if they fight their occupiers.

The US stays entangled in these squabbles because we choose to interject ourselves, by funding all sides of the Mideast, arming Israel to the teeth, and wanting to use our military clout to crowd out Russia, China or Iran from having an influence in that hemisphere. But what does all of this meddling have to do with defending our borders? Or with Congress declaring war, which is the only constitutional basis for our deploying force or military support anywhere? The intervention serves the aims of the Empire, not America the Free Republic the Founders imagined. The right libertarian answer is: Cut all foreign aid, period. No welfare to Palestine, Israel or anybody else. And let’s turn over trying to negotiate the Mideast conflict to an international body, rather than continue to act as both the referee, and Israel’s tag team partner in the same match. We are not supposed to have entangling alliances with ANY nation, according to the Founders, let alone give any other country ongoing welfare. The federal government is simply not supposed to be supplying ongoing foreign aid/welfare to dozens of countries.

“Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.” –Jefferson, Inaugural Address

“It is our true policy to steer clear of entangling alliances with any portion of the foreign world.” –George Washington

Iran Redux

But the drive to meddle is strong with the swamp, and Trump continues to succumb to its power trips on certain subjects, like occupying Syria, and ‘fixing’ the nuclear weapons deal with Iran. Because he chose to further solidify US entanglements with Israel, who want no rivals in the region,  Trump (and through him, the US hegemon) continues to pester Syria (with ongoing troop deployments, even after defeating ISIS) and repeated attempts to blow up the nuclear deal reached with Iran under Obama (and five other nations). The war party crazies advising Trump appear to want the US to have unilateral veto powers over a multilateral agreement. The key issue remains that Iran’s verified compliance with nuclear inspections has frustrated the neocons, who have no objective basis for asserting their usual “threat, threat, threat” rhetoric ahead of invading and bombing yet another country that has not attacked us.

They also seem to want a nuclear “deal” where they get everything they want from Iran OUTSIDE of the nuclear issue (a complete end to any future missle plans it might have, inspections of all its military facilities, regime change, no more support of Hezbollah, etc). while Iran gets nothing in return (no lifting of sanctions, ever). The problem is no nation on earth would agree to such a one-sided deal. Meaning, what the war party really wants is war, not an agreement.

This goes likewise for declaring Iran (a country that has not launched a war against anyone in 200 years) to be an aggressor or enabler of terrorism (Saudi Arabia is the actual main exporter of terrorism in the region). Iranians vote in their governments, and have voted mostly for moderates in recent elections. Iran’s desire to remain independent is only a “problem” for globalists and interventionists who want the US to hold dominant influence in every hemisphere. The real beef is the one globalists supporters of a perpetual US Global Empire have with countries (like Iran) who want to remain independent from the US. Our country is not (or no longer) threatened by these nations, so we should withdraw from their region, period. The globalists do not want us to withdraw from intervening in these regions, because they want the Global Empire to dominate everywhere. “Sovereignty for me, but not for thee.”

The US has tried to overthrow the governments of about 60 countries in the last 60 years via overt or covert means, and succeeded about half the time. Iran was one of those nations (1953), until they overthrew the dictator the Empire saddled them with in 1978.  As a sovereign independent nation, it is entitled to decide to provide military or other aid to whatever nations it chooses to, despite attempts to de-legitimze any support it gives as “aid to terrorists” or a “threat.”

Saudi Arabia, a far worse country in every human rights, Muslim extremist, and anti-democratic respect, is by far the main or real exporter of terrorism in the region (to repeat myself). Yet we are taught to focus on Iran because it isn’t a puppet or client state of the Empire, like the Saudis are. Such selective and disingenuous demonization of nations is plainly being done because of their resistance to being client states of the US, not because their actual flaws. The neocon conflation of opposing US interventionist policy with “hating America” is part of the syndrome. Real Americans hate THE EMPIRE, not our country, and we want to take our country back from the globalists and warhawks. The neocon response to this traditional sentiment is to declare it “naive” or romantic, even as they self-servingly cast their empire-building efforts to control all nations as “fighting for our freedoms.” In short, while most governments of the world are dictatorial, the war party seems to be only obsessed with the ones that are not US client states, while utterly unconcerned about MUCH worse states so long as they play ball with the Empire. Iran is a poster child example of the war party’s hyper-inflation of yet another pseudo-threat, to create a pretext for yet another war.

This tendency needs to be called out for what it is—globalist, in wanting to describe the rest of the unaligned world as a threat, to justify the US having an ongoing global intervening military force. Iran’s ambition is simply to be free from being co-opted by the US, or anybody else. I am a realist, tired of the US engaging in an unconstitutional overreach that it cannot sustain. Believing it can is what is romantic, and what keeps leading us to one Mideast quagmire after another. To the extent Trump is leading the populist wave that he rode into office with, by increasingly embracing war party doctrine, he may be squandering it. Populism’s soft underbelly is becoming its incoherent foreign policy under the new, ret-conned Trump. It at times understands the damage done to America by the War Party, Israel Firsters, and the “regime change 24/7” crowd, yet at other times goes full neocon in pushing for belligerent ‘diplomacy’ and intervention. This concluding comment by John Gruskos at the American Conservative explains:

“A key issue with Both Bannon and Trump…is that they never fully embraced a logically consistent nationalism. They continued to flirt with neocon foreign policy, and never fully embraced a nationalist (which is to say, a non-interventionist) foreign policy. The movement was built on sand. It should have been built on a rock…”