Facebook Plans to Crack Down on ‘Hate Speech’ Directed at Unspecified ‘Protected Groups’

March 18, 2015

From Breitbart:

Social-media giant Facebook has revised their Community Standards, whose violation can lead to action by the site’s administrations, including the termination of offending pages.  In the course of introducing the updated standards, global policy management chief Monika Bickert and deputy general counsel Chris Sonderby explain that the objective is to help users more clearly understand what they’re not allowed to share on their pages:

We have a set of Community Standards that are designed to help people understand what is acceptable to share on Facebook. These standards are designed to create an environment where people feel motivated and empowered to treat each other with empathy and respect.

Today we are providing more detail and clarity on what is and is not allowed. For example, what exactly do we mean by nudity, or what do we mean by hate speech? While our policies and standards themselves are not changing, we have heard from people that it would be helpful to provide more clarity and examples, so we are doing so with today’s update.

There are also times when we may have to remove or restrict access to content because it violates a law in a particular country, even though it doesn’t violate our Community Standards. We report the number of government requests to restrict content for contravening local law in our Global Government Requests Report, which we are also releasing today. We challenge requests that appear to be unreasonable or overbroad. And if a country requests that we remove content because it is illegal in that country, we will not necessarily remove it from Facebook entirely, but may restrict access to it in the country where it is illegal.

That bit about suppressing content based on complaints from various governments is where the business of content restriction gets stuck, especially when it comes to “hate speech.”  As a global service of immense popularity, Facebook deals daily with a reality many Americans have not directly experienced: the rest of the world — including the nicer, America-friendly parts — doesn’t understand “freedom of speech” the way we do, or at least the way we used to.  Just about every government on Earth has speech controls that would be deemed unconstitutional here.  Then you’ve got the authoritarian regimes that flagrantly crush every word of speech they don’t like, with a zeal that suggests they perfectly well understand the dangerous power of mass communication to spread doubleplus ungood ideas through the minds of their subjects.

Generally speaking, Facebook leans toward accommodating these totalitarian regimes, with periodic objections, rather than telling them to file their speech codes where the sun doesn’t shine. They feel it’s better to have some presence in the benighted corners of the world than walk away.  Critics suggest this position is illuminated by a business appetite for revenue from massive speech-controlled markets, such as China or the combined Middle East, rather than an ideological dedication to shining the filtered light of social-media communication into every corner of the world.  The bottom line is that Facebook must deal with speech restrictions Americans would consider intolerable, or else they’ll be blocked completely from large potential audiences.

Which brings us to the part about “hate speech” in the revised Community Standards.  This is a considerably more difficult topic than nudity or graphic violence, with a great deal of room to impose eye-of-the-beholder subjective standards.  Certain groups and regimes have wide, bloodshot eyes that behold a great deal of speech they consider “hateful” and worthy of suppression.

The first part of Facebook’s hate speech standard forbids “content that directly attacks people based on their race; ethnicity; national origin; religious affiliation; sexual orientation; sex, gender, or gender identity; or serious disabilities or diseases.”  Something tells me we’re already getting into some tall grass with the “sex, gender, of gender identity” category, where “hatred” is a matter of such subjective judgment that even those who labor with exquisite care to be sensitive and supportive to every “gender identity” they can think of are denounced as “haters” by members of the identity groups they forgot to salute.  

Also, the very next line in the Facebook standards says that “organizations and people dedicated to promoting hatred against these protected groups are not allowed a presence on Facebook.”  

What “protected groups?”  Every person on Earth has a race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, etc. that could conceivably be attacked in a hateful manner.  Everyone would belong to a number of “protected groups” if these standards were enforced evenly.  If there’s a list of groups that will receive preferential treatment in a hierarchy of hurt feelings, Facebook needs to publish it.

Then comes the really tricky part, where Facebook tries to navigate the troubled waters of ideas labeled as “hateful” by oppressive groups and governments looking to drown them in censorship:

People can use Facebook to challenge ideas, institutions, and practices. Such discussion can promote debate and greater understanding. Sometimes people share content containing someone else’s hate speech for the purpose of raising awareness or educating others about that hate speech. When this is the case, we expect people to clearly indicate their purpose, which helps us better understand why they shared that content.

We allow humor, satire, or social commentary related to these topics, and we believe that when people use their authentic identity, they are more responsible when they share this kind of commentary. For that reason, we ask that Page owners associate their name and Facebook Profile with any content that is insensitive, even if that content does not violate our policies. As always, we urge people to be conscious of their audience when sharing this type of content.

Hmm… I can think of a number of audiences that would demand a particularly high level of “consciousness” on the part of potential offenders.  There are audiences that consider virtually all criticism to be “hateful,” long before we even get into tricky business of judging whether humor and satire are offensive.  If you happen to live in the shadow of such a thin-skinned government, you might not be eager to associate your name and Facebook profile with content they deem “insensitive.”  

“Hate speech” is difficult to come to terms with, even with the most well-intended efforts to establish a polite virtual community where everyone feels comfortable, because it’s highly subjective at the margins.  No doubt Facebook has shut down a number of pages, under every version of their community standards, that virtually every observer would agree were hateful and inappropriate, especially when they get into the business of explicit or implied threats.  

The more ambiguous cases would probably be a source of tension between Facebook users and administrators under any terms of service, not just because there are provocative souls looking to push the bounds of discourse outward, but because there are perpetually offended groups looking to draw them inward.  These community guidelines probably seem reassuring to users worried about getting harassed by vicious jerks, or stumbling into pits of online horror, particularly if those users have children.  They read as vague enough to be a bit ominous to those concerned about organized speech-suppression campaigns and totalitarian government crackdowns.

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SO: WHAT’S MY TAKE ON THIS, YOU ASK?
FASCBOOK – selling innocent victims out to totalitarian regimes for money.

HATE SPEECH is total nonsense anyway – we already have laws against inciting violence and against slander. But real laws against slander demand a bit of proof – evidence that the alleged defamation isn’t factually true.

Hate speech “laws” on the other hand, are nothing more or less than thought-control crimes in themselves, which target the basic and perfectly natural human emotion of “hate” – the reaction of perpetual anger towards ongoing injustices (like for instance, islam)!

In islam, it’s legally considered “slander” against Muhammad himself simply to refuse to believe in the Qur’an, because refusing to believe in his version of a god, “allah,” indicates one thinks Muhammad was stupid, crazy, or an evil liar (or all of the above)!

There is no freedom of speech or thought in islamic countries, which evil and repressive stance Mark Zuckerberg is now, for money, fully willing to embrace.

He’s adopting islam’s hard-line approach, that it’s “hateful” to think for one’s self!

But in reality, without ‘hate,’ nobody would ever bother to accuse any criminals of their crimes, and, by doing so, hope to end those crimes!

By making “hate” into a “crime,” all these fascists do is try to make it “illegal” to hate crimes and the criminals who commit them!!!

The magic of establishment economics

March 18, 2015

Third in the Brandon Smith series, from here:

Government debt is a warning of a coming implosion in our overall structure

woman in leprechaun suit with gold coinsThis is the third installment of a series. Read the first installment, <a “nofollow”=”” href=”http://personalliberty.com/one-last-look-real-economy-implodes/&#8221; target=”_blank”>“One last look at the real economy before it implodes,” and the second installment, <a “nofollow”=”” href=”http://personalliberty.com/steady-derailment-u-s-financial-system/&#8221; target=”_blank”>“<a “nofollow”=”” href=”http://personalliberty.com/steady-derailment-u-s-financial-system/&#8221; target=”_blank”>The steady derailment of the U.S. financial system.”

In the previous installments of this series, we discussed the hidden and often unspoken crisis brewing within the employment market, as well as in personal debt. The primary consequence is a collapse in overall consumer demand, something which we are at this very moment witnessing in the macro-picture of the fiscal situation around the world. Lack of real production and lack of sustainable employment options result in a lack of savings, an over-dependency on debt and welfare, the destruction of grass-roots entrepreneurship, a conflated and disingenuous representation of gross domestic product, and ultimately an economic system devoid of structural integrity — a hollow shell of a system, vulnerable to even the slightest shocks.

This lack of structural integrity and stability is hidden from the general public quite deliberately by way of central bank fiat that enables government debt spending, which is counted toward GDP despite the fact that it is not true production (debt creation is a negation of true production and historically results in a degradation of the overall economy and monetary buying power rather than progress). Government debt spending also disguises the real state of poverty within a system through welfare and entitlements. The U.S. poverty level is at record highs, beating previous records set 50 years ago during Lyndon Johnson’s administration. The record-breaking rise in poverty has also occurred despite 50 years of the so called “war on poverty,” a shift toward American socialism that was a continuation of the policies launched by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.

The shift toward a welfare state is the exact reason why, despite record poverty and a 23 percent true unemployment rate (as discussed <a “nofollow”=”” href=”http://personalliberty.com/steady-derailment-u-s-financial-system/&#8221; target=”_blank”>here), we do not see the kind of soup lines and rampant indigence witnessed during the Great Depression. Today, EBT cards and other welfare programs hide modern soup lines in plain sight. It should be noted that the record 20 percent of U.S. households now on food stamps are still contributing to GDP. That’s because government statistics make no distinction between normal grocery consumption and consumption created artificially through debt-generated welfare.

In this third installment of our economic series, we will examine the issue of government debt, including how true debt is disguised from the public and how this debt is a warning of a coming implosion in our overall structure.

First, it is important to debunk the mainstream lies surrounding what constitutes national debt.

“Official” national debt as of 2015 is currently reported at more than $18 trillion. That means that under Barack Obama and with the aid of the Federal Reserve, U.S. debt has nearly doubled since 2008 — quite an accomplishment in only seven years’ time. But this is not the whole picture.

Official GDP numbers published for mainstream consumption do not include annual liabilities generated by programs such as Social Security and Medicare. These liabilities are veiled through the efforts of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which reports on what it calls “debts” but not on the true fiscal gap. Through the efforts of economists like Laurence Kotlikoff of Boston University, Alan J. Auerbach and Jagadeesh Gokhale, understanding of the fiscal gap (the difference between our government’s projected financial obligations and the present value of all projected future tax and other receipts) is slowly growing within more mainstream circles.

The debt created through the fiscal gap increases, for example, through the Social Security program, since government taxes the population for Social Security but uses that tax money to fund other programs or pay off other outstanding debts. In other words, the government collects taxes with the promise of paying them back in the future through Social Security, but it spends that money instead of saving it for the use it was supposedly intended.

The costs of such unfunded liabilities within programs like Social Security and Medicare accumulate as the government continues to kick the can down the road instead of changing policy to cover costs. This accumulation is reflected in the Alternative Financial Scenario analysis, which the CBO used to publish every year but for some reason stopped publishing in 2013. Here is a presentation on the AFS by the St. Louis branch of the Federal Reserve. Take note that the crowd laughs at the prospect of the government continuing to “can kick” economic policy changes in order to avoid handling current debt obligations, yet that is exactly what has happened over the past several years.

Using the AFS report, Kotlikoff and other more honest economists estimate real U.S. national debt to stand at about $205 trillion.

When the exposure of these numbers began to take hold in the mainstream, media pundits and establishment propagandists set in motion a campaign to spin public perception, claiming that the vast majority of this debt was actually “projected debt” to be paid over the course of 70 years or more and, thus, not important in terms of today’s debt concerns. While some estimates of national debt include future projections of unfunded liabilities in certain sectors this far ahead, the fundamental argument is in fact a disingenuous redirection of the facts.

According to the calculations of economists like Chris Cox and Bill Archer, unfunded liabilities are adding about $8 trillion in total debt annually. For the year ending Dec. 31, 2011, the annual accrued expense of Medicare and Social Security was $7 trillion of this amount. That is $8 trillion dollars per year not accounted for in official national debt stats.

Kotlikoff’s analysis shows that this annual hidden debt accumulation has resulted in a current total of $205 trillion. This amount is not the unfunded liabilities added up in all future years. This is the present value of the unfunded liabilities, discounted to today.

How is the U.S. currently covering such massive obligations on top of the already counted existing budget costs? It’s not.

Taxes collected yearly in the range of $3.7 trillion are nowhere near enough to cover the amount, and no amount of future taxes would make a dent either. This is why the Grace Commission, established during the Ronald Reagan presidency, found that not a single penny of your taxes collected by the Internal Revenue Service is going toward the funding of actual government programs. In fact, all new taxes are being used to pay off the ever increasing interest on annual debts.

More than 102 million people are unemployed within the U.S. today. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Current Population Survey (CPS), 148 million are employed. And about 20 percent of them are considered part-time workers (about 30 million people). Only 43 percent of all U.S. households are considered “middle class,” the section of the public where most taxes are derived. In the best-case scenario, we have about 120 million people paying a majority of taxes toward U.S. debt obligations, while nearly as many are adding to those debt obligations through welfare programs or have the potential to add to those obligations in the near future if they do not find work due to the high and underreported unemployment rate.

Another dishonest argument given to discount concerns of national debt is the lie that Domestic Net Worth in the U.S. far outweighs our debts owed, and this somehow negates the issue. Domestic Net Worth is calculated using Gross Domestic Assets, public and private. Of course, just as with GDP, debt is counted as an asset. Debt Capital is the “capital” businesses and governments raise by taking out loans. This capital (debt) is then counted as an asset toward Domestic Net Worth.

Yes, that’s right, private and national debts are “assets.” And mainstream economists argue that these debts (errr… assets) offset our existing debts. This is the unicorn, Neverland, Care Bears magic of establishment economics, folks. It’s truly a magnificent thing to behold.

Ironically, debt capital, like the official national debt, does not include unfunded liabilities. If it did, mainstream talking heads could claim an even vaster array of “assets” (debts) that offset our liabilities.

This situation is clearly unsustainable. The only people who seem to argue that it is sustainable are disinformation agents with something to gain (government favors and pay) and government cronies with something to lose (public trust and their positions of petty authority).

With overall Treasury investments static for some foreign central banks and dwindling in others, the only other options are to print or default. For decades, the Federal Reserve has been printing in order to keep the game afloat, and the American public has little to no idea how much fiat and debt the private institution has conjured in the process. Certainly, the amount of debt we see just in annual unfunded liabilities helps to explain why the dollar has lost 97 percent of its purchasing power since the Fed was established. Covering that much debt in the short term requires a constant flow of fiat, digital and paper.

The small glimpse into Fed operations we received during the limited TARP audit was enough to warrant serious concern, as a full audit would likely result in the exposure of total debt fraud, the immediate abandonment of U.S. Treasury investment and the destruction of the dollar. Of course, all of that will eventually happen anyway.

I will discuss why this will take place sooner rather than later through the issues of Treasuries and the dollar in the fourth installment of this series. In the fifth installment, I will examine the many reasons why a deliberate program of destructive debt bubbles and currency devaluations actually benefits certain international financiers and elites with aspirations of complete globalization. And in the sixth and last installment, I will delve into practical solutions — and practical solutions only. In the meantime, I would like everyone to consider this: No society or culture has ever successfully survived by disengaging itself from its own financial responsibilities and dumping them on future generations without falling from historical grace. Not one. Does anyone with any sense really believe that the U.S. is somehow immune to this reality?

–Brandon Smith

Obama’s Internet Takeover Funded By Socialist Billionaire George Soros

March 17, 2015
“New Internet Regulations Finally Released By The Federal Communications Commission Make 46 References To A Group Funded By Billionaire George Soros And Co-Founded By A Neo-Marxist.” -The Daily Caller

But please… keep reading… because what you’re about to see may be the most shocking thing that you’ve read in years. Almost two weeks after voting on secret regulations to facilitate Barack Hussein Obama’s takeover of the Internet, Barack Obama’s FCC finally released 400 pages of these so-called Net Neutrality regulations to the public and it’s far worse than we could have ever imagined.

Based on references in the regulations alone, it is clear that Barack Obama’s takeover of the Internet was actually written – in large part – by radical Marxist-leaning organizations; and it has also come to light that radical socialist-leaning organizations funded by Billionaire Socialist George Soros and others have spent approximately 200 MILLION DOLLARS ($200,000,000.00) to make Barack Obama’s tyrannical and dictatorial takeover of the Internet a reality.

And we have only one hope of stopping this master plan to transform the United States into a socialist utopia. As of this writing, Representative Marsha Blackburn and 43 other Republicans have signed onto legislation (H.R. 1212: The Internet Freedom Act) that will totally reverse this dictatorial Obama-FCC dictate… but this legislation is stalled in committee because John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are in no rush to bring it to the floor of the House and the Senate for a vote… and that needs to change right now.


Use the hyperlink below to send your urgent Blast Faxes to each and every Member of the Republican Leadership of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. Or alternatively, send your urgent Blast Faxes to each and every Republican Member of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.

Send My Blast Faxes


It’s No Conspiracy Theory. The Socialists Are At The Gates And So-Called Net Neutrality Is Part Of A Master Plan To Transform The United States Into A Socialist Country.

Millions of dollars of funding from Socialist Billionaire George Soros? … Neo-Marxists calling the shots? … While it may sound like a conspiracy theory, it is all, unfortunately, true… As a matter of fact, it’s actually much worse than you may think.

The organization whose net neutrality arguments are cited at least 46 times in the Obama-FCC dictatorial regulations is ironically named Free Press. Free Press is funded by George Soros’ Open Society Foundation and other left-wing groups like the Ford Foundation; and it was founded by Robert McChesney, an avowed Socialist who is presently a communications professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

And to McChesney so-called Net Neutrality is simply a means to an end. Specifically, it’s the first step to be taken to fundamentally transform the United States into a socialist tyranny.

Don’t take our word for it. Read what McChesney says about it for yourself:

- According to DiscovertheNetworks.org, McChesney “told the website SocialistProject that ‘unless you make significant changes in the media, it will be vastly more difficult to have a revolution.'”

- Back in 2009, McChesney wrote that “any serious effort to reform the media system would have to necessarily be part of a revolutionary program to overthrow the capitalist system itself… to remove brick by brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles… We need to do whatever we can to limit capitalist propaganda, regulate it, minimize it, and perhaps even eliminate it.”

- DiscovertheNetworks.org again: “In a November 2000 Monthly Review article titled ‘Journalism, Democracy, and Class Struggle,’ he [McChesney] wrote: ‘Our job is to make media reform part of our broader struggle for democracy, social justice, and, dare we say it, socialism.'”

- Phil Kerpen, president of the free-market group American Commitment says that Chesney’s goal is “to empower the federal government to ration and apportion Internet bandwidth as it sees fit, and to thereby control the Internet’s content.”

- And McChesney said, back in 2009, when the concept of Net Neutrality was focused on more traditional means of communication: “At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies. We are not at that point yet. But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.”

Make no mistake, so-called Net Neutrality was always about giving the government total control over the media and there’s only one way to stop it now that Barack Obama’s FCC has essentially decreed it – by dictatorial fiat – to be the law of the land. The Republican-controlled Congress must bring H.R. 1212 to the floor of the House of the Senate and pass it TODAY.


Use the hyperlink below to send your urgent Blast Faxes to each and every Member of the Republican Leadership of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. Or alternatively, send your urgent Blast Faxes to each and every Republican Member of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.

Send My Blast Faxes


What Would You Say If The Government Had The Authority To Order Your Local AM Radio Station To Stop Broadcasting The Rush Limbaugh Show?

If everything we have said thus far sounds far-fetched, consider just one example of what is in these 400 pages of Obama-FCC regulations.

Here’s what the FCC says about First Amendment rights in Section 544:

“The rules we adopt today do not curtail broadband providers’ free speech rights. When engaged in broadband Internet access services, broadband providers are not speakers, but rather serve as conduits for the speech of others.”

Here’s a question: Do local AM radio stations not “serve as conduits for the speech of others.” Come to think of it, is your radio not a “conduit” for the speech of others?

Now, let’s be clear. These 400 pages of Obama-FCC regulations only apply to the Internet (at least for now), but the analogy should serve to illustrate EXACTLY what Barack Obama, George Soros and the FCC are thinking when it comes to your First Amendment rights.

If you’re not a “speaker,” the First Amendments doesn’t apply to you. And who determines whether or not you’re a “speaker” Why… none other than Barack Hussein Obama.

The thinking is straight out of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Barack Obama doesn’t need to control your speech if he can control the “conduits” of your speech.

And that’s exactly what he intends to do. If you like your Internet, you can keep your Internet and if you like your First Amendment rights, you can keep your First Amendment rights… You can say whatever you want but lots of luck when it comes to anyone actually hearing what you have to say or you hearing what others have to say to you because Barack Obama will control the “conduits” of speech.

Rush Limbaugh perhaps said it best: “[D]o you want the people who gave you ObamaCare running your Internet service? Do you want them in charge of what you can get and when you can get it and how much it’s gonna cost you?”

If you want the United States to remain a free country, the time to take action is now.


Use the hyperlink below to send your urgent Blast Faxes to each and every Member of the Republican Leadership of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. Or alternatively, send your urgent Blast Faxes to each and every Republican Member of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.

Send My Blast Faxes


Yours In Freedom
Center For Individual Freedom

Center for Individual Freedom
815 King Street
Suite 303
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 703-535-5836
Fax: 703-535-5838

CFIF is a 501(c)(4) not-for-profit constitutional advocacy organization with the mission to protect and defend individual freedoms and individual rights. Contributions to CFIF are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.

Glenn Beck to NRA: It’s Norquist or Me

March 17, 2015

From here:

Grover-NorquistGlenn Beck has declared that he will leave the National Rifle Association (NRA) if Republican Party kingmaker Grover Norquist remains on the Board of Directors.

This is long overdue: it has now been over eleven years since FrontPage Magazine first published revelations about what David Horowitz describedas Norquist’s “alliances with prominent Islamic radicals who have ties to the Saudis and to Libya and to Palestine Islamic Jihad, and who are now under indictment by U.S. authorities.” Horowitz added:

“Equally troubling is that the arrests of these individuals and their exposure as agents of terrorism have not resulted in noticeable second thoughts on Grover’s part or any meaningful effort to dissociate himself from his unsavory friends.”

Nothing has changed in the intervening years. Norquist has dismissed concerns about his ties to Islamic supremacists as “bigotry” and “hatred,” and this has apparently satisfied the Republican establishment and prominent conservative spokesmen – until now, with Beck breaking ranks.

Beck’s peers and Republican leaders could have and should have ended Norquist’s baneful influence on the Republican Party and the conservative movement years ago. The November 1, 2001 issue of The New Republic(hardly a “right-wing” organ) noted that right after 9/11, President Bush met with several Muslim leaders with unsavory ties to the global jihad:

To the president’s left sat Dr. Yahya Basha, president of the American Muslim Council, an organization whose leaders have repeatedly called Hamas “freedom fighters.” Also in attendance was Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, who on the afternoon of September 11 told a Los Angeles public radio audience that “we should put the State of Israel on the suspect list.” And sitting right next to President Bush was Muzammil Siddiqi, president of the Islamic Society of North America, who last fall told a Washington crowd chanting pro-Hezbollah slogans, “America has to learn if you remain on the side of injustice, the wrath of God will come.” Days later, after a conservative activist confronted Karl Rove with dossiers about some of Bush’s new friends, Rove replied, according to the activist, “I wish I had known before the event took place.”

Why didn’t he? Because of Norquist, who

“helped orchestrate various post-September 11 events that brought together Muslim leaders and administration officials…Indeed, when Jewish activists and terrorism experts complained about the Muslim invitees to Adam Goldman, who works in the White House public liaison’s office, Goldman replied that Norquist had vouched for them.”

In 1999, the prominent American Muslim leader Abdurrahman Alamoudi, who is now in prison for financing al-Qaeda, wrote two $10,000 checks to Norquist’s Islamic Institute (aka the Islamic Free Market Institute). Alamoudi is also notorious for proclaiming to a Muslim rally in Washington in 2000: “I have been labeled by the media in New York to be a supporter of Hamas. Anybody support Hamas here? … Hear that, Bill Clinton? We are all supporters of Hamas. I wished they added that I am also a supporter of Hizballah.” There is no indication that Norquist denounced Alamoudi, or returned his checks, after Alamoudi’s open embrace of jihad terror groups.

Even closer to Norquist is Suhail Khan, Norquist’s American Conservative Union (ACU) colleague. The ACU hosts the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the nation’s largest annual gathering of conservatives, and many observers have charged that Norquist and Khan have foreclosed on any honest discussion of the jihad threat at CPAC. Investigative journalist Paul Sperry revealed in the New York Post in January 2011 that Khan accepted an award from Alamoudi in 2001, commenting: “Abdurahman Alamoudi has been very supportive of me. . . . I hope, inshallah, we can keep working together.”

Sperry also noted that

“in September 2001, four days before the 9/11 attacks, Khan spoke at the Islamic Society of North America’s convention….At the event, Khan shared his experiences from ‘inside’ the White House, and praised his late father, Mahboob Khan, for helping found ISNA — which the government now says is a front for the radical Muslim Brotherhood and has raised money for jihad….Khan vowed in his speech to carry on his father’s ‘legacy.’”

There is much more on Norquist’s unsavory associations and activities, as you can see in these articles on Norquist by Daniel Greenfield, Pamela Geller,Patrick Poole, Jamie Glazov (interviewing Paul Sperry), and David Horowitz. Conservatives have suffered from being in Norquist’s shadow for too long. Particularly in these dark latter days of the Obama Administration, it is imperative that conservative candidates establish themselves as a genuine loyal opposition formulating a realistic and coherent alternative to Obama’s disastrous pro-Muslim Brotherhood policies.

Grover Norquist is the biggest single obstacle preventing that from happening. Glenn Beck is to be commended for being the first major figure on the Right to stand up and say that Grover must go. We can only hope that others will soon follow suit.

=======

In the original site postings, Wildjew commented:

In his 2005 book, “Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives have Penetrated Washington,” Paul Sperry wrote about Norquist’s Republican friends who began distancing themselves after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

“But one Republican who has not distanced himself from Norquist is his best pal (Karl) Rove, the one Republican who matters in terms of controlling access to power in Washington these days. Despite the hand-wringing by Islamist hawks in the party, despite the appearance of influence peddling, despite the arrests of his Islamist friends and partners, despite the continued threat from Islamic terrorists, Norquist is still in good standing with the White House. And the welcome mat is still out for his unpatriotic partners. (Palestinian activist Khaled) Saffuri has not only not been denied access to the administration, he has been granted greater access than ever.” (pages 293-294)

I voted for Bush in 2000. I heard he was a pretty good governor. Only after 9/11 did I begin doing my due diligence; something I should have done before the September attacks. Bush is very compromised, he and his father, by means of their relationship with the Saudis. So is Condoleezza Rice. I don’t know about Powell. He looks to be a progressive. I think Rice, maybe Powell, is at least mildly anti-Semitic watching the way she treated Israel and Israel’s prime minister.

  • Rice said that the security checkpoints that keep non-Israeli Arabs from blowing up Israeli Arabs and Jews reminded her of the colored-only waterfountains and waiting rooms of her childhood. She is also the one who told Bush to allow Hamas to run in the PA elections, forcing Israel to accept
    a(nother) blatant violation of the Oslo accords.

    • Avatar

      Exactly. How can we forget her comparison of Jews to white racists in the South during the civil rights movement of which she was conspicuously absent.

Sewer germs protest Koran flushings

March 11, 2015

An open letter to the Editor:

Dear Vladdi,

I and other members of our diverse community wish to denounce in the strongest possible terms the current craze for flushing the Koran down the toilet.

These Islamophobes think they are making a political or religious statement in sending this book into the sewers, but do they realize just what harm they’re doing? Where do they think these soggy, smelly Korans go to? They don’t just harmlessly disappear, I can tell you!

I am a member of a diverse community of single celled organisms who work in the activitated sludge at a sewage treatment plant. Our community is composed of bacteria, amoebae, Spirotrichs, Peritrichs, Vorticellids etc who were all working happily side by side to process human wastes and render them harmless, until all this Koran-flushing business started.

Between us, we microbes can biodegrade any normal pee or poo. But these Korans have got us beat. They are toxic supershi’ite. We’ve never seen crap like it.

What’s worse is the danger of the development of militant cells. As you are no doubt all aware, if the Koran comes into contact with certain low and primitive life-forms it can turn them into virulent killers. I’m afraid this could happen to some members of our previously well-integrated microbial community. I and my fellow protozoans have got more sense than to be affected by this crap, but some of the previously harmless bacteria could turn pathogenic and escape from the sewage treatment plant to cause havoc. That’s why flushing the koran is such a serious hate-crime.

So next time you’re tempted to wipe your bottom with Sura 5:33, spare a thought for all of us at the other end of the sewer. There are alternative environmentally acceptable ways to dispose of unwanted korans. Have you thought of using the pages as beer-mats, or as kitchen towels to absorb the excess fat from your fried bacon?

Zero cops killed by Obama’s ‘bad’ ammo

March 10, 2015

From WND:

M855 ball ammunition

The White House claim that the ammunition for the popular AR-15 rifle should be banned as part of a “common sense” effort to protect police officers’ lives is being derided by police officers themselves as a shameful lie.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said this week that the .223-caliber M855 ball should be banned because it can penetrate an officer’s soft armor and can be fired not just from sporting rifles but “easily concealable weapons.”

The term “easily concealable” was used to describe the AR-15 handgun. A bulky 6 pounds and 25 inches long, the semi-automatic version of this weapon, with a magazine, would be difficult to conceal, say firearms experts. And it would likely not be the first choice of any street thug or gang member, as it retails for between $1,000 and $2,000.

In fact, gun-rights advocates and law enforcement agencies contacted by WND say they have been unable to document a single incident in which a police officer has been taken down by a criminal using an AR-15 handgun in the 20 years since this particular round, the M855 ball, has been exempted from the federal ban on armor-piercing bullets. It was exempted based on its use for sporting purposes.

“We have not been able to find a single instance where a police officer has been shot from this type of handgun using a bullet that pierces his soft-body armor, and if the administration had any examples you know they would be pushing it in everybody’s face to further their executive action,” said Alan Gottlieb, executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation. “We’ve scoured everywhere, gone into every source possible to try to find an instance of this and have not been able to find one.”

So Earnest’s comments only further infuriated gun owners who were already seeing red over the possibility of losing access to some of the most common ballistics used for sport-target shooting and hunting.

WND polled several large police agencies, looking for evidence that vest-wearing officers have been killed or seriously wounded by this particular form of ammunition fired from a handgun, only to come up empty.

“Not in my jurisdiction,” said Sheriff David Clarke Jr. of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. “We’re doing a search nationwide to see if there’s any data that exists as proof of this comment coming out of the White House, but so far we haven’t found anything.”

Clarke said he was skeptical that the White House was really concerned about officer safety.

“I’m disgusted that this administration would use the safety and well-being of our nation’s law enforcement officers to accomplish their gun-control agenda by circumventing the Congress and circumventing the Constitution in rewriting this law,” he said. “That’s all this is. They don’t fool me. No fraternal order of police, no sheriff is going to fall for this.”

Sgt. Dana Pierce, public-information officer for the Cobb County, Georgia, police department, one of the largest metro Atlanta police agencies, was equally baffled by the need to ban the M855 ball on the basis of protecting officer safety.

In his 34 years in law enforcement, Pierce said he’s never heard of any officer being shot at, or even threatened, by a criminal wielding an AR-15 handgun.

But just to make sure, he checked with the officer in charge of weapons training and weapons collection at his department.

“I haven’t seen any, so I called our training range and asked, ‘In all fairness, has anyone ever taken one of those (AR-15 handguns) off the street?’ The lieutenant there who runs the range said no,” Pierce told WND. “Any time a weapon like that would be used against an officer, there would be an officer-safety bulletin go out, and the range would be notified. If there was a situation where either they took one of these off the streets or an officer had been threatened with one of these weapons, we would immediately launch an internal memo, and we have never had any of those go out to my knowledge. So for Cobb County police, at this moment, this is not something we are so concerned about.”

A test of Congress’ will?

Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, also broached the issue during last week’s CPAC convention.

“This is a blatant overreach. Apparently he thinks he can do whatever he wants,” Cox said of Obama. “He can completely do an end-run around Congress. This ammunition was exempted 20 years ago. In 20 years, no .223 round has been used in a crime fired from a handgun platform to kill a police officer, or that penetrated a vest.

“So again, it’s not just a solution in search of a problem. It’s a solution to their gun-control problem. And that’s what they’re using this for.”

Watch entire interview with Chris Cox of NRA below:

Clarke said the real purpose of the ban is clear to him.

“This is nothing more than raw gun control. You ban a bullet, and you basically ban the gun that uses that bullet,” Clarke said. “It’s typical of the lawlessness coming out of this administration.”

Even if the AR-15 handgun were a threat to officers’ safety, Clarke said the logic behind the Obama administration’s strategy is questionable.

“We all want to do what we can to protect our law enforcement officers, but every time an officer is unfortunately killed in a tragic incident, banning whatever gun was used is not a good strategy,” he said. “I don’t know what that is going to accomplish.

“Officers are killed in auto accidents all the time. We don’t talk about banning automobiles,” Clarke added. “No, officers have never asked the White House for this. If they were interested in protecting officers, they wouldn’t blame the gun. They would blame the career criminal.”

Clarke sees the White House talking points as playing upon the emotions of people who may not know the facts.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke

“It’s no different than how some groups use grieving parents to try to advance their gun-control agenda whenever there is a tragic shooting,” he said. “Don’t try to advance your gun-control agenda on the backs of law enforcement officers. If I thought there was some kind of validity to this, I would get behind it. But I know what it is. This is pure, naked gun control.

“It doesn’t take a lot to see right through this thinly veiled attempt at gun control.”

Criminals don’t typically go out and buy expensive, high-powered rifles or high-end, obscure handguns, he said.

“It’s just too much coincidence that it’s this one (AR-15) that they chose, the most popular one,” he said. “And then they tried to coat this around law enforcement officers’ safety. I find that despicable. Use someone else to try to do this.”

Gottlieb said the Obama administration has been asked to supply evidence that there is a real threat to law enforcement officers from the AR-15 handgun. So far, there has been no response, he said.

“Zero. Because there is no report that anybody has, anywhere, that a police officer has been shot by this type of handgun. This administration has been asked to supply evidence, and they’ve never done so. If they had it, they would be out waving it in our faces in order to push their executive action. The fact that they aren’t shows they don’t have any such evidence.”

Gottlieb said he doesn’t believe the administration cares what gun owners think on this issue. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is taking public comments on the AR-15 ammo ban through March 16. The proposed ban and how to make a comment is described in a 17-page document on the ATF website, particularly the last page.

The ATF has said it will review all the comments and take them into careful consideration. Gun-rights advocates are skeptical of that claim.

“This administration, in the past when people have raised questions about their executive actions they just go ahead and do it anyway. And just like this public comment period, I don’t think they are even going to read the comments; they’re just going to do what they want,” Gottlieb said. “None of us has any feeling about this other than that it’s a kangaroo court.”

Gottlieb believes Attorney General Eric Holder wants to pad his progressive legacy before he leaves office.

“Holder said his one regret was that he wasn’t able to do anything on gun control. This is Holder’s baby,” Gottlieb said. “This is what he is trying to leave behind as his legacy.”

Popular .30.06 hunting ammo could be next

Gottlieb said if the Obama administration gets its way on the .223-caliber round, that will set a precedent.

“There’s other ammo out there that can be fired in a handgun, the .30.06 for example. And if they get away with this, there no doubt will be other types of ammo targeted,” he said. “This is their trial balloon. They know if the owners can’t get ammunition, it’s no longer a functional firearm. They’ve tried to ban these guns and weren’t able to do it, so they’re going after the ammunition.”

Dave Workman, senior editor of TheGunMag.com and blogger for the Seattle Gun Rights Examiner, said he has also been searching for AR-15 criminal use since Obama proposed his rewriting of the ammunition regulations.

“I cover this every day, and I’ve never heard of a police officer being shot with one of these (AR-15) handguns, which by the way is not easily concealable using any of this ammo,” Workman told WND. “That’s a crock. No. I know of absolutely zero incidents of the shooting, wounding or fatally wounding of a cop with one of these handguns that is chambered for the .223-caliber round, or even someone using the AR-15 rifle, for that matter. You might presume it’s happened (with a rifle), I don’t know, but it would be very rare.”

Workman said this particular round is typically used for target shooting, while some hunters in the West use them to hunt coyote and prairie dogs.

“It’s a cheap competition ammo, and a lot of guys use it for that, because they’re not into hand loading. They like to buy ammo on the cheap, and this is fairly inexpensive.”

At least it was fairly cheap, before the proposed ban was announced about two weeks ago. Now it is flying off of shelves, and if shooters can find it at all, they will pay at least triple the normal cost.

And there’s another issue at work here, Workman said.

“Soft-body armor was invented to stop handgun bullets, period,” he said. “That’s because most of the bad guys out there are packing handguns, whether stolen or cheaply purchased, and Kevlar vests are designed to stop those handgun bullets. I don’t know of a single vest out there that will stop a center-fired rifle bullet from .223-caliber up.”

Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, referred to the safety of officers threatened by AR-15s as “an invisible epidemic.”

“If you can find one, it will be the only one,” he said. “Look how stupid they think we are. These bullets are so evil, they come leaping right out of the factory boxes and into the chests of their victims. It’s really obscene.

“They want a gun ban so badly that they’ll make up any old thing they can. When you want to get something bad enough, any excuse is a good excuse. Protecting cops? Who they actually hate? They have this notion that anyone with a gun acting in self-defense is bad. If the guns are so bad and so much of a problem and these terrible bullets, why doesn’t he lead by example? He has the Secret Service. Tell them to leave their guns at home.”

According to the FBI’s uniform crime statistics for 2013, rifles were used in only 285 homicides that year. Another 308 people were killed with shotguns and 5,782 with handguns. But 1,490 were killed with knives or cutting objects, and 686 were killed by someone’s hands, feet or fists.

“More people are murdered in the U.S. every year with blunt objects, knives or with hands, fists and feet than with rifles or shotguns,” Workman said. “Nobody in the media touches that. I’ve written about that frequently, and it gets no attention.”

The steady derailment of the U.S. financial system

March 10, 2015

By Brandon Smith

economic derailment conceptThis is the second installment of a series. Read the first installment, <a “nofollow”=”” href=”http://personalliberty.com/one-last-look-real-economy-implodes/&#8221; target=”_blank”>“One last look at the real economy before it implodes.”

Consumer spending in the U.S. accounts for approximately 70 percent of gross domestic product, though it is important to note that the manner in which “official” GDP is calculated is highly inaccurate. For example, all government money used within the Medicare coverage system to pay for “consumer health demands,” as well as the now flailing Obamacare socialized welfare program, are counted toward GDP, despite the fact that such capital is created from thin air by the Federal Reserve and also generates debt for the average taxpayer. Government debt creation does not beget successful domestic production. If that were the case, then all socialist and communist countries (same thing) would be wildly enriched today. This is simply not the case.

That said, the swift decline in manufacturing jobs in the U.S. over the past two decades, including a considerable 33 percent overall decline in manufacturing jobs from 2001 to 2010, leaves only the consumer and service sectors as the primary areas of employment and “production.” The service sector provides about three out of every four jobs available in America, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The reality is that America actually produces very little that is tangible beyond Big Macs, pharmaceuticals and the occasional overpriced fighter jet that doesn’t function correctly and is filled with Chinese parts. All three will kill you at varying degrees of speed.

In the <a “nofollow”=”” href=”http://personalliberty.com/one-last-look-real-economy-implodes/&#8221; target=”_blank”>first part of this article series, I discussed the true state of global demand, along with the unstable situation within numerous indicators from exports to retail. Swiftly falling global demand for raw materials as well as consumer goods is an undeniable reality. This is a distinct problem in terms of the U.S., which has been, up until recently, the primary consumption driver for much of the world. As I plan to show, U.S. demand is about to fall even further into the abyss as real unemployment and personal debt take their toll.

Now, it is probably important to address the lies presented in the mainstream and by the BLS in terms of unemployment statistics because even after years of alternative analysts debunking establishment stats and how they are calculated, we still end up hearing the same arguments parroted by disinformation agents and unwitting useful idiots.

Such people continue to parade around boasting about the latest BLS reports on job creation claiming that “all is well” because the unemployment rate has dropped to 5.5 percent and all other talk to the contrary is “doom and gloom.” So, once again, I must relate the fact that the current BLS numbers are an utter sham.

Official unemployment stats are arrived at through disingenuous methods of calculation that were introduced in the 1990s, just before the bursting of the dot com bubble; the introduction of artificially low interest rates, which created the derivatives crisis; and the steady derailment of the U.S. financial system, which has occurred ever since.

So who is actually counted as employed and who is not counted as employed by the BLS?

Out of all working-age Americans, 92 million are without jobs and are not counted by the BLS as unemployed. Of the 102 million working-age Americans without work today, only 8.7 million are counted by the BLS as unemployed. Why?

Well, if you ever read establishment-leaning propaganda websites like Factcheck or Poltifact, the argument is essentially that these 92 million Americans are not counted because they “refuse to participate,” not because they can’t find adequate employment and not because the government is misrepresenting the numbers. Yes, that’s right, 92 million Americans don’t count because they clearly must not want work.

So, first, I would ask how it is that the BLS comes to the conclusion that nearly one-third of the U.S. population does not want to work? Is it through its so called “household surveys?” Surveys, just like public polls, can be easily manipulated to affirm any particular bias merely by changing how questions are phrased. I would certainly love to see the raw data from such polls before the BLS adds its own spin.

Second, even if such claims were true and tens of millions of Americans did not want to work, why would this matter? Shouldn’t they still be counted as unemployed in order to draw the most accurate picture of our economic situation? Wouldn’t 92 million Americans apparently on a long-term labor and productivity strike have a severe negative effect on real GDP? And obviously they must be surviving somehow. Wouldn’t 92 million people eventually require government assistance through food stamps and welfare? Does none of this matter to the BLS in terms of the overall economic picture?

Third, if the assertion is that 92 million people do not want jobs, then by extension the BLS would have to show that those millions of people could in fact get a job if they simply tried. Where are these tens of millions of jobs that Americans are refusing to apply for and what do they pay?

Fourth, a common misrepresentation attached to the claim of “refusal to participate” is that many of these Americans are teens in school (16 to 18) and “retirees” (55 or older). The BLS and the mainstream media simply assumes these people do not want a job and should not be counted as unemployed. Of course, the BLS includes such people in its stats when they do have jobs. So, according to the BLS, if you are 16 or 55 or 65 and you have a job, then you count. If you are 16 or 55 or 65 and don’t have a job, then you don’t count. See how that works?

Fifth, millions of Americans are losing long-term unemployment benefits every quarter and are being removed from BLS statistics. Many of them are not teens or retirees. These are average-working-age adults who now no longer have any real launch pad to progress in their career or life, and who should be fully motivated to obtain work if jobs are so readily available. Again, where are these jobs that said prime-working-age people refuse to accept?

The BLS also invariably discounts the number of working-age Americans who enter the market as well when boasting of jobs created to the public. Job growth numbers do not weigh the number of new participants each month with the number of supposed jobs made available, thus creating a misconception about how many new jobs are actually needed to keep the economy functional.

Another important factor to observe in government labor statistics is the issue of part-time work. When the BLS releases its monthly stats on unemployment, it does not widely promote or discuss the fact that 18 percent to 20 percent of those labeled “employed” are considered “part-time employed.” The BLS defines “part-time employed” as anyone who works one to 34 hours per week. Yes, if you work one hour per week, you have helped to bring down the overall unemployment rate of the U.S. to a fantastic 5.5 percent, even though you likely have zero ability to support yourself financially, let alone a family.

What does the 5.5 percent unemployment number actually represent on a fundamental level where the real world actually matters rather than the world of hypothetical calculations? Not a damn thing. The number is absolutely and unequivocally meaningless.

If one were to calculate unemployment using pre-1990s methods, as websites like Shadowstats.com does, counting U-6 measurements as well as the underemployed, you would come up with a U.S. jobless percentage closer to 23 percent.

Many of those workers in the service sector on the higher end of the part-time and full-time spectrum still cannot support themselves adequately due to falling wages, rising prices and growing debt obligations, which brings me to the next problem at hand.

Beyond unemployment as a destroyer of consumer demand, there is also personal debt. Much of the focus within the mainstream and even alternative economics revolves around national debt (I will cover the many lies surrounding national debt in my next article). However, effects on fundamental demand are far clearer when one examines household liabilities. According to averages supplied through government stats (meaning the real numbers are likely far worse), the average American household suffers from between $10,000 to $15,000 in credit card debt, $155,000 in mortgage debt and $32,000 in student loan debt.

Americans owed nearly $12 trillion overall in 2014, an increase of 3.3 percent over 2013. Declines in some debts, including a decline in credit card debts since 2011, is attributed to numerous defaults rather than repayments.

What we have here is a deadly fiscal combination; namely the combination of real unemployment at permanently high levels and real personal debt at unsustainable levels. This is the core reason behind the collapse in global demand that was discussed in the first installation of this series. With U.S. consumers no longer able to support their historical consumption habits and with the inflexible skeleton of the U.S. economy in particular dependent on past consumer dynamics, the system has little financial plasma left circulating.

This is not necessarily a new trend; but 10 years ago, Americans were able to offset their dwindling buying power by taking on massive debts through easy Federal Reserve fiat fueling questionable bank loans. They no longer have this option; thus, consumption is going to degrade (and is degrading) to the point that the current financial structure, stuck in its rigid and fragile dynamic, will collapse. There is no way around it.

As stated in my last article, the numbers given here are in most cases establishment-generated statistics. A common argument among state apologists and propagandists is that we in the alternative economic field should be labeled “hypocritical” if we debunk some mainstream stats while using others as reference points. I would make clear yet again that it is the contradictions within the government’s own numbers and claims that alternative analysts are concerned with. My view is that when mainstream numbers actually reflect negative economic trends, they should be multiplied according to other prominent factors. That is to say, when the government bureaucrats and fantasy masters finally admit things are bad, they are actually much worse than indicated.

Some mainstream statistics are outright fraudulent; some are half true; others are factual yet hidden in plain site from the general public. In between the lines of all of this information, good and bad, alternative economists attempt to discern as much foundational truth as possible. As this series continues, I believe readers new to the liberty movement, as well as longtime activists, will come to view a wider and fuller picture of our fiscal situation and come to the same conclusion I have: that the manner in which we live today is about to drastically change, and that this coming change is being hidden from us deliberately by those who wish to use a tactic of financial shock and awe to their ultimate advantage.

–Brandon Smith

One last look at the real economy before it implodes

March 10, 2015

By Brandon Smith

economy012715This is the first in a series.

We are only two months into 2015, and it has already proven to be the most volatile year for the economic environment since 2008-2009. We have seen oil markets collapsing by about 50 percent in the span of a few months (just as the Federal Reserve announced the end of QE3, indicating fiat money was used to hide falling demand), the Baltic Dry Index losing 30 percent since the beginning of the year, the Swiss currency surprise, the Greeks threatening EU exit (and now Greek citizens threatening violent protests with the new four-month can-kicking deal), and the effects of the nine-month-long West Coast port strike not yet quantified. This is not just a fleeting expression of a negative first quarter; it is a sign of things to come.

Stock markets are, of course, once again at all-time highs after a shaky start, despite nearly every single fundamental indicator flashing red. But as Zero Hedge recently pointed out in its article on artificial juicing of equities by corporations using massive stock buybacks, this is not going to last much longer, simply because the debt companies are generating is outpacing their ability to prop up the markets.

This conundrum is also visible in central bank stimulus measures. As I have related in past articles, the ability of central banks to goose the global financial system is faltering, as bailouts and low-interest-rate capital infusions now have little to no effect on overall economic performance. The fiat fuel is no longer enough; and when this becomes apparent in the mainstream, all hell will indeed break loose.

The argument that banks can prop up the system forever is now being debunked. In this series of articles, I will cover the core reasons why this is happening, starting with the basis of all economics: supply and demand.

The Baltic Dry Index has been a steadfast indicator of the real economy for many years. While most other indexes and measures of fiscal health are subject to direct or indirect manipulation, the BDI has no money flowing through it and, thus, offers a more honest reflection of the world around us. In the past two months, the index measuring shipping rates and international demand for raw goods has hit all-time historical lows, plummeting 57 percent over the course of the past 12 months and 30 percent for the year to date.

The dwindling lack of demand for shipping presents obvious challenges to mainstream talking heads who contend that the overall economic picture indicates recovery. That’s because if demand for raw goods has fallen so far as to produce a 57 percent rate drop over the past year, then surely demand for the consumer goods that those raw goods are used to produce must be collapsing as well. The establishment machine has used the same broken-record argument against this conclusion, despite being proven wrong over and over again: the lie that fleet size is the cause of falling shipping rates, rather than a lack of demand for ships. This is the same argument used by pundits to distract from the problems inherent in the severe drop in oil prices: that oversupply is the issue, and that demand is as good as it ever was. Forbes has even attempted to outright dismiss the 29-year low of the BDI and alternative economic analysts in the same lazily written article.

First, let’s address the issue of global demand for goods. Does the BDI represent this accurately? Well, as most of you know, the real picture on manufacturing and export numbers is nearly impossible to come by considering most, if not all indexes fail to account for monetary devaluation and inflation in costs of production. For instance, mainstream propagandists love to argue that manufacturing (like retail) generally posts at least small to modest gains every year. What they fail to mention or take into account is the added costs to the bottom line of said manufacturers and retailers, as well as the added costs to the end consumer. Such costs are often not addressed in the slightest when final numbers are tallied for the public.

In manufacturing, some numbers are outright falsified, as in the case of China, where officials are forcing plant managers to lie about output. 

In my view, any decline made visible in the false numbers of the mainstream should be multiplied by a wide margin in order to approximate what is going on in the real economy. China, the largest exporter and importer in the world, continues to suffer declines in manufacturing “expansion” as it’s PMI suggests orders remain steadily stagnant.

“Official” statistics show a 3.3 percent decline in Chinese exports in January from a year earlier, while imports slumped 19.9 percent. Exports slid 12 percent on a monthly basis while imports fell 21 percent according to the Customs Administration.

In Japan, despite the falling Yen which was expected to boost overseas demand, export growth declined for last year, certainly in terms of export volume. The recent “jump” in January does nothing to offset the steady erosion of Japanese exports over the past five years and the flat demand over the past two years.

Japan’s manufacturing expansion has slowed to the slowest pace in seven months.

In Germany, the EU’s strongest economic center, industrial output has declined to the lowest levels since 2009, and factory orders have also plunged to levels not seen since 2009.

Despite the assumptions in the mainstream media that lower oil prices would result in high retails sales, this fantasy refuses to materialize. Retail sales continue the dismal trend set during the Christmas season of 2014,with the largest decline in 11 months in December, and continued declines in January. 

Oil is certainly the most in-our-face undeniable indicator of imploding demand. Volatility has skyrocketed while pump prices have dropped by half in many places. One may be tempted to only see the immediate benefits of this deflation. But they would be overlooking the bigger picture of global demand. Oil is the primary driver of economic productivity. Dwindling demand for oil means dwindling productivity which means dwindling consumption which means a dwindling economy. Period.

OPEC reports announce downgraded global demand for oil above and beyond expectations. Oil demand has fallen to levels not seen since 2002.

Finally, global shipping giant Maersk Line now openly admits that the primary detriment to shipping rates, the reason the BDI is falling to historic lows, is because of falling demand in nearly every market; ship supply is secondary. 

A rather cynical person might point out that all of these stats come from the propaganda engine that is the mainstream, so why should they count? I would suggest such people consider the fact that the propaganda engine is constantly contradicting itself, and in-between the lines, we can find a certain amount of truth.

If manufacturing is in “expansion”, even minor expansion, then why are exports around the world in decline? If the Baltic Dry Index is dropping off the map because of a “supply glut of ships”, then why are other demand indicators across the board also falling, and why are major shipping agencies talking about lack of demand? You see, this is what alternative analysts mean by the “real economy”; we are talking about the disconnect within the mainstream’s own data, and we are attempting to discern what parts actually present a logical picture. The media would prefer that you look at the economy through a keyhole rather than through a pair of binoculars.

Beyond this lay the true beneficiaries; international corporate moguls, banking financiers, and political despots. Corporations and governments only do two things relatively well — lying and stealing. One always enables the other.

The establishment has done everything in its power to hide the most foundational of economic realities, namely the reality of dying demand. Why? Because the longer they can hide true demand, the more time they have to steal what little independent wealth remains within the system while positioning the populace for the next great con (the con of total globalization and centralization). I will cover the many advantages of an economic collapse for elites at the end of this series.

For now I will only say that the program of manipulation we have seen since 2008 is clearly changing. The fact of catastrophic demand loss is becoming apparent. Such a loss only ever precedes a wider fiscal event. The BDI does not implode without a larger malfunction under the surface of the financial system. Oil and exports and manufacturing do not crumble without the weight of a greater disaster bearing down. These things do not take place in a vacuum. They are the irradiated flash preceding the deadly fallout of a financial atom bomb.

-Brandon Smith

The fascist state of America

March 2, 2015

I’m thinking of moving over to blogspot.ca because it has DISQUS commenting ability (a larger, more user-friendly platform) but then again I’m mostly using this site to RE-blog relevant stuff, so comments aren’t so necessary.

I think I’ll re-blog there first, then see what happens. So, here goes; from here:

tattered American flagThere comes a time in the course of human events that it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands that have connected them with another. America is fast hurtling toward that time.

The United States was founded on the republican principles of federalism (states’ rights) and representative government. Today’s government is “constitutional” in name only.

The undocumented usurper currently despoiling the peoples’ house has for six years shown utter disdain for the founding document. In a town hall meeting on Wednesday last, Barack Obama bragged that he has expanded his authorities “under executive action and prosecutorial discretion.”
But Article III of the Constitution lays out the chief executive’s authorities quite explicitly. There is no room for “expanding” them within the scope of the Constitution. The President is neither tasked with nor authorized to write law or change it. That falls solely under the scope of Congress, as outlined in Article I, Section 1. The executive’s role under Article III, Section 4 is to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”

But Congress has ceded its authority as the lawmaking body to the imperial president and the myriad alphabet soup agencies of government. Now we have the IRS, the FCC, the EPA, HHS, the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, the FDA, the USDA, etc., writing and enforcing laws under the guise of “regulatory authority.” The result is a contemptible abuse of the people by agents of the federal government, rising taxes and fees, closed businesses, stifled innovation, and depressed economic growth.

When some in Congress do take the tepid step of attempting to regain some of its authority, the bureaucrats show their disdain and contempt of that “august body” by refusing to testify when called on or by refusing to provide requested documents outlining their regulatory agenda or demonstrating the depths of their criminality (see Tom Wheeler, Lois Lerner, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, etc.).

An activist judiciary is likewise writing law, overturning the will of the people as demonstrated by their votes on state issues and granting by fiat special rights and privileges to one group at the expense of the rights of the others. This is another place where Congress has ceded its authority.

Should it choose to, Congress has the power under Article III, Section 2 to regulate the federal judiciary, including the Supreme Court. In other words, Congress can pass a law prohibiting the federal courts from ruling on such issues as state-passed referenda on gay marriage, abortion, legalization of pot or anything it chooses.

Of course, few in Congress when considering doing a thing stop to consider whether they are authorized to do it. Fewer still in government consider the Constitution at all. That’s because politics and government attract psychopaths, liars and thieves. It attracts people who are parasitic in nature, greedy and without conscience. In short, these are people who have the born mentality to live off of other people.

They are selfish and attracted to money and power. Therefore, they are easily swayed and even bought by the corporatists and banksters; and their every act is to increase their and their agency’s power and sphere of influence.

The masses of people have been propagandized by the state-controlled media and the public (non)education system into believing that government is designed and tasked with looking out for the best interests of the people. But nothing could be further from the truth. They have little knowledge of the Constitution and little concept of limited government, and they believe government can and should be all things to all people… particularly if a check to them from the federal Treasury is involved.

=======

EXACTLY, BOB!

Every single time we defer our own self-reliant free-will rights and responsibilities to determine anything and everything for our selves, to others, by hiring (‘electing’) and paying anyone else to do our thinking for us, they instantly take total advantage of our stupidity and screw us over BY doing all our thinking “for us” by giving all of our money to them selves, exactly as we’ve more or less requested of them that they should do to us!

After all, they reason for us and about us, reasonably, that we are people who willingly gave up our right to think, along with our responsibility to do so! And since we have no right to think, we have chosen to be nothing more than their beast of burden; their animals and their property. After all, animals have no rights, and only the responsibility to obey the commands of the “expert” brains they have chosen to defer them selves to.

…….

“Authority,” pretty-much by definition, demands that all non-authorities Submit to being SLAVES of the Authority.

=======

The so-called regulatory agencies of government are typically staffed at the top by crony capitalists and lobbyists for the industries they supposedly regulate. As such, they write rules and regulations that benefit preferred large multinational corporations and government at the expense of the people. I have documented this so many times here that it is now self-evident to all but the most sycophantic worshipers of government. However, given its relevance considering the passage last Thursday of misnamed “net neutrality” regulations by the FCC, I give you for evidence the agency’s chairman, Tom Wheeler, former president of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association, which are lobbying organizations for the cable and telecommunications industries. He was also an executive for a venture capital firm that invested in technology firms.

As Benito Mussolini stated, “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power” and “The definition of fascism is the marriage of corporation and state.” That exactly explains what our former constitutional republic has become. It is benevolent totalitarianism, tyranny under the guise of democracy. But the truth is democracy = socialism = fascism = communism. They are one in the same.

Mussolini also said of his fascism, “We have buried the putrid corpse of liberty,” and that is likewise the goal of the American fascist politician and federal bureaucrat. Liberty necessarily perishes under collectivism, egalitarianism and government altruism.

Now we have in America laws that allow for the indefinite imprisonment without trial of those the state deems “terrorists,” without that term being defined. We have an American president who has assumed the authority to kill Americans with drones without due process. We have federal authorities and state and local police abusing citizens with impunity, shooting unarmed and complying citizens down like rabid dogs. And we even have evidence of local police using CIA- or Gestapo-like “black sites” to hold and interrogate Americans without charges or due process.

America is a prison nation, with more citizens incarcerated than the most vile and oppressive government you might care to name.

It bears little resemblance to the free and prosperous nation envisioned as the 18th century turned into the 19th, or even as the 19th turned into the 20th.

In his book, “The Political Crisis of the 1850s,” Michael Holt describes how Americans, particularly Southern Americans, had lost all confidence in the current political system because the existing parties did not represent the people but instead represented the agricultural aristocracy and big business and the banksters. There was also an influx of aliens (mostly Irish Catholics and Germans) who Americans believed did not understand or appreciate America’s “values.” The political parties agitated the people over these immigrants, creating a constant state of strife in addition to the already existing acrimony over the slavery issue, the addition of states to the union and tariffs.

America’s current political system is very similar. Regardless of which “party” holds power, government grows more oppressive and steals more wealth from its people. It creates one crisis after the other, keeping the people agitated against each other so they cannot focus on the real culprit behind their lost liberties: fascist government.

Elite politicians and most white progressives hold most Americans in great disdain. To them, conservatives are racist hicks and trailer trash clinging to their guns and religion — backward and ignorant and “anti” progressive. Or, in their minds, regressive. To the elite politicians and most white progressives, blacks are incapable of providing for themselves or are simply another minority group ripe for continued exploitation. It is slavery under another name.

Elite politicians and most white progressives would like nothing more than to see those in “flyover country” left to their own devices. Yet talk of separation is deemed seditious, unpatriotic or unAmerican; and those who mention secession are considered more dangerous than ISIS, or IS or ISIL by the current regime. Just belonging to a group discussing secession now gets you raided by the FBI and fingerprinted and your personal communication devices confiscated.

This is freedom in America.

The Constitution was ratified to create a government “in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” Can anyone honestly say American government does these things today?

Race Relations and Law Enforcement

February 20, 2015

From here:

By Jason L. Riley

Editorial Board Member, Wall Street Journal

JasonLRiley

Jason L. Riley is an editorial board member and a senior editorial page writer at the Wall Street Journal, where he writes on politics, economics, education, immigration, and race. He is also a FOX News contributor and appears regularly on Special Report with Bret Baier. Previously, he worked for USA Today and the Buffalo News. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is the author of Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed.


The following is adapted from a speech delivered on January 30, 2015, at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C., as part of the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series.

Thomas Sowell once said that some books you write for pleasure, and others you write out of a sense of duty, because there are things to be said—and other people have better sense than to say them. My new book, Please Stop Helping Us, falls into that latter category. When I started out as a journalist 20 years ago, I had no expectation of focusing on race-related topics. People like Sowell and Shelby Steele and Walter Williams and a few other independent black thinkers, to my mind at least, had already said what needed to be said, had been saying it for decades, and had been saying it more eloquently than I ever could. But over the years, and with some prodding from those guys, it occurred to me that not enough younger blacks were following in their footsteps. It also occurred to me that many public policies aimed at the black underclass were just as wrongheaded as ever. The fight wasn’t over. A new generation of black thinkers needed to explain what’s working and what isn’t, and why, to a new generation of readers. And the result is this book, which I hope will help to bring more light than heat to the discussion of race.

The book is not an autobiography or a memoir, but I do tell a few stories about growing up black and male in the inner city. And one of the stories involves a trip back home to Buffalo, New York, where I was born and raised. I was visiting my older sister shortly after I had begun working at the Wall Street Journal, and I was chatting with her daughter, my niece, who was maybe in the second grade at the time. I was asking her about school, her favorite subjects, that sort of thing, when she stopped me and said, “Uncle Jason, why you talk white?” Then she turned to her little friend who was there and said, “Don’t my uncle sound white? Why he tryin’ to sound so smart?”

She was just teasing, of course. I smiled and they enjoyed a little chuckle at my expense. But what she said stayed with me. I couldn’t help thinking: Here were two young black girls, seven or eight years old, already linking speech patterns to race and intelligence. They already had a rather sophisticated awareness that, as blacks, white-sounding speech was not only to be avoided in their own speech but mocked in the speech of others.

I shouldn’t have been too surprised by this, and I wasn’t. My siblings, along with countless other black friends and relatives, teased me the same way when I was growing up. And other black professionals have told similar stories. What I had forgotten is just how early these attitudes take hold—how soon this counterproductive thinking and behavior begins.

New York City has the largest school system in America. Eighty percent of black kids in New York public schools are performing below grade level. And a big part of the problem is a black subculture that rejects attitudes and behaviors that are conducive to academic success. Black kids read half as many books and watch twice as much television as their white counterparts, for example. In other words, a big part of the problem is a culture that produces little black girls and boys who are already worried about acting and sounding white by the time they are in second grade.

Another big part of the problem is a reluctance to speak honestly about these cultural shortcomings. Many whites fear being called racists. And many black leaders have a vested interest in blaming black problems primarily on white racism, so that is the narrative they push regardless of the reality. Racism has become an all-purpose explanation for bad black outcomes, be they social or economic. If you disagree and are white, you’re a bigot. If you disagree and are black, you’re a sell-out.

The shooting death of a young black man by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, last year touched off a national discussion about everything except the aberrant behavior of so many young black men that results in such frequent encounters with police. We talked about racial prejudice, poverty, unemployment, profiling, the tensions between law enforcement and poor black communities, and so forth. Rarely did we hear any discussion of black crime rates.

Homicide is the leading cause of death for young black men in the U.S., and around 90 percent of the perpetrators are also black. Yet for months we’ve had protesters nationwide pretending that our morgues are full of young black men because cops are shooting them. Around 98 percent of black shooting deaths do not involve police. In fact, a cop is six times more likely to be shot by someone black than the opposite. The protestors are pushing a false anti-cop narrative, and everyone from the president on down has played along.

Any candid debate on race and criminal justice in this country would have to start with the fact that blacks commit an astoundingly disproportionate number of crimes. Blacks constitute about 13 percent of the population, yet between 1976 and 2005 they committed more than half of all murders in the U.S. The black arrest rate for most offenses—including robbery, aggravated assault, and property crimes—is typically two to three times their representation in the population. So long as blacks are committing such an outsized amount of crime, young black men will be viewed suspiciously and tensions between police and crime-ridden communities will persist. The U.S. criminal justice system, currently headed by a black attorney general who reports to a black president, is a reflection of this reality, not its cause. If we want to change negative perceptions of young black men, we must change the behavior that is driving those perceptions. But pointing this out has become almost taboo. How can we even begin to address problems if we won’t discuss them honestly?

“High rates of black violence in the late twentieth century are a matter of historical fact, not bigoted imagination,” wrote the late Harvard Law professor William Stuntz. “The trends reached their peak not in the land of Jim Crow but in the more civilized North, and not in the age of segregation but in the decades that saw the rise of civil rights for African Americans—and of African American control of city governments.”

The Left wants to blame these outcomes on racial animus and poverty, but back in the 1940s and ’50s, when racial discrimination was legal and black poverty was much higher than today, the black crime rate was lower. The Left wants to blame these outcomes on “the system,” but blacks have long been part of running that system. Black crime and incarceration rates spiked in the 1970s and ’80s in cities such as Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, and Philadelphia under black mayors and black police chiefs. Some of the most violent cities in the U.S. today are run by blacks.

Some insist that our jails and prisons are teeming with young black men due primarily to racist drug laws, but the reality is that the drug laws are neither racist nor driving the black incarceration rate. It’s worth remembering that the harsher penalties for crack cocaine offenses that were passed in the 1980s were supported by most of the Congressional Black Caucus, including Rep. Charles Rangel of Harlem, who at the time headed the House Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control. Crack was destroying black communities and many black political leaders wanted dealers to face longer sentences. In other words, black legislators in Washington led the effort to impose tougher drug laws, a fact often forgotten by critics today.

When these laws passed, even their opponents didn’t claim that they were racist. Those charges came later, as the racially disparate impact of the laws became apparent. What’s been lost in the discussion is whether these laws leave law-abiding blacks better off. Do you make life in the ghetto harder or easier by sending thugs home sooner rather than later? Liberal elites would have us deny what black ghetto residents know to be the truth. These communities aren’t dangerous because of racist cops or judges or sentencing guidelines. They’re dangerous mainly due to black criminals preying on black victims.

Nor is the racial disparity in prison inmates explained by the enforcement of drug laws. Blacks are about 37.5 percent of the population in state prisons, which house nearly 90 percent of the nation’s inmates. Remove drug offenders from that population and the percentage of black prisoners only drops to 37 percent. What drives black incarceration rates are violent offenses, not drug offenses. Blacks commit violent crimes at seven to ten times the rate that whites do. The fact that their victims tend to be of the same race suggests that young black men in the ghetto live in danger of being shot by each other, not cops. Nor is this a function of blacks being picked on by cops who are “over-policing” certain neighborhoods. Research has long shown that the rate at which blacks are arrested is nearly identical to the rate at which crime victims identify blacks as their assailants. The police are in these communities because that’s where the 911 calls originate.

If liberals want to help reverse these crime trends, they would do better to focus less on supposed racial animus and more on ghetto attitudes towards school, work, marriage, and child-rearing. As recently as the early 1960s, two out of three black children were raised in two-parent households. Today, more than 70 percent are not, and the number can reach as high as 80 or 90 percent in our inner cities. For decades, studies have shown that the likelihood of teen pregnancy, drug abuse, dropping out of school and other bad social outcomes increases dramatically when fathers aren’t around. One of the most comprehensive studies ever undertaken in this regard concluded that black boys without a father are 68 percent more likely to be incarcerated than those with a father—that overall, the most critical factor affecting the prospect of young males encountering the criminal justice system is the presence of a father in the home. All other factors, including family income, are much less important.

As political scientist James Q. Wilson said, if crime is to a significant degree caused by weak character, if weak character is more likely among children of unmarried mothers, if there are no fathers who will help raise their children, acquire jobs, and protect their neighborhoods, if boys become young men with no preparation for work, if school achievement is regarded as a sign of having sold out—if all these things are true, then the chances of reducing the crime rate among low income blacks anytime soon is slim.

Many on the Left sincerely want to help the black underclass. The problem is that liberals believe bigger government is the best way to help. But having looked at the track record of government policies aimed at helping the black underclass, I’m skeptical.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s commencement speech at Howard University. Johnson had signed the Civil Rights Act a year earlier and would sign the Voting Rights Act two months later. And he used the speech to talk about what the government should do next on behalf of blacks. These two laws marked merely the end of the beginning, he said:

That beginning is freedom; and the barriers to that freedom are tumbling down. Freedom is the right to share, share fully and equally, in American society—to vote, to hold a job, to enter a public place, to go to school. . . . But freedom is not enough. . . . You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, “you are free to compete with all the others,” and still justly believe that you have been completely fair. . . . The next and the more profound stage of the battle for civil rights [is] . . . not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result.

But what if Johnson was mistaken? What if there are limits to what government can do beyond removing barriers to freedom? What if the best that we can hope for from our elected officials are policies that promote equal opportunity? What if public policy makers risk creating more problems and barriers to progress when the goal is equal outcomes?

The civil rights struggles of the mid-20th century exemplified liberalism at its best. The 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act outlawed racial discrimination in employment and education and ensured the ability of blacks to register and vote. All Americans can be proud of these accomplishments. But what about the social policy and thinking that arose from the ruins of Jim Crow? Good intentions aside, which efforts have facilitated black advancement, and which efforts have impeded it?

In 1988, right around the 25th anniversary of the Great Society, Harvard sociologist Nathan Glazer published a book called the The Limits of Social Policy. Glazer analyzed Great Society programs from the perspective of someone who believed that government action was the best way to improve the lot of blacks. But his assessment humbled him. He concluded that in many ways, the Great Society programs were causing just as many problems as they were solving—that good intentions aren’t enough.

Unlike Nathan Glazer, many policy makers today are still riding high on good intentions. They don’t seem particularly interested in reconsidering what has been tried, even though 50 years into the war on poverty the result isn’t pretty. While gains have been made, significant racial disparities remain in some areas and black retrogression has occurred in others. The black-white poverty gap has widened over the past decade and the black poverty rate is no longer falling. The black-white disparity in incarceration rates today is larger than it was in 1960. And the black unemployment rate has, on average, been double the white rate for five decades.

Confronted with these statistics, liberals continue to push for more of the same solutions. Last year, President Obama announced yet another federal initiative aimed at helping blacks—an increase in preschool education, even though studies (including those released by his own administration) have shown no significant impacts in education from such programs. He said that he wants to increase reading proficiency and graduation rates for minority students, yet he opposes school voucher programs that are doing both. He continues to call for job-training programs of the sort that study after study has shown to be ineffective.

Fred Siegel, an expert on urban public policy, has written extensively about the liberal flight from evidence and empiricism that began in the 1960s. The Left, wracked by guilt over America’s diabolical treatment of blacks, decided to hold them to different standards of behavior. Blacks, Siegel writes, were invited to enter the larger society on their own terms. Schools, which had helped poor whites, ceased incorporating poor blacks from the South into the mainstream culture. Discipline as a prerequisite for adult success was displaced by the authentic self-expression of the ill-educated. Blacks were not culturally deprived but simply differently-abled—more spontaneous and expressive and so forth. Liberals tried to improve conditions for blacks without passing judgment on antisocial black culture. And this sort of thinking continues to this day. Walter Williams once wrote that he’s glad he grew up in the 1940s and ’50s, before it became fashionable for white people to like black people. He received a more honest assessment of his strengths and weaknesses, he says, than black kids today are likely to receive from white teachers and employers who are more interested in being politically correct.

After George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, President Obama explained the black response to the verdict this way. Blacks understand, he said, that some of the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods is born out of a very violent past in this country, and that the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to that history. In other words, Obama was doing exactly what the Left has been conditioning blacks to do since the 1960s, which is to blame black pathology on the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.

This is a dodge. That legacy is not holding down blacks half as much as the legacy of efforts to help. Underprivileged blacks have become playthings for intellectuals and politicians who care more about revelling in their good intentions or winning votes than advocating behaviors and attitudes that have allowed other groups to get ahead. Meanwhile, the civil rights movement has become an industry that does little more than monetize white guilt. Martin Luther King and his contemporaries demanded black self-improvement despite the abundant and overt racism of their day. King’s self-styled successors, living in an era when public policy bends over backwards to accommodate blacks, insist that blacks cannot be held responsible for their plight so long as someone, somewhere in white America, is still prejudiced.

The more fundamental problem with these well-meaning liberal efforts is that they have succeeded, tragically, in convincing blacks to see themselves first and foremost as victims. Today there is no greater impediment to black advancement than the self-pitying mindset that permeates black culture. White liberals think they are helping blacks by romanticizing bad behavior. And black liberals are all too happy to hustle guilty whites.

Blacks ultimately must help themselves. They must develop the same attitudes and behaviors and habits that other groups had to develop to rise in America. And to the extent that a social policy, however well-intentioned, interferes with this self-development, it does more harm than good.

This concept of self-help and self-development is something that black leaders once understood quite well, and at a time when blacks faced infinitely more obstacles than they face today. Asked by whites in 1865 what to do for freed blacks, Frederick Douglass responded: “I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! . . . If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength . . . let them fall! . . . And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs!” Douglass was essentially saying, give blacks equal opportunity and then leave them alone.

Booker T. Washington, another late 19th century black leader who had been born a slave, once said that it is important and right that all privileges of the law be granted to blacks, but it is vastly more important that they be prepared for the exercise of these privileges.

Douglass and Washington didn’t play down the need for the government to secure equal rights for blacks, and both were optimistic that blacks would get equal rights eventually, although neither man lived to see that day. But both men also understood the limits of government benevolence. Blacks would have to ready themselves to meet the challenge of being in a position to take advantage of opportunities once equal rights had been secured. The history of 1960s liberal social policies is largely a history of ignoring this wisdom.

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