Dialectical Lemonade: The MAGA Hat Kids

Like everyone else who listens to any amount of mainstream media on a regular basis, I heard the story of the racist kids from Kentucky wearing Make America Great Again hats and taunting a tribal elder in DC at the Women’s March. I tuned it out as a psyop immediately for numerous reasons. With stories like this I am often reminded of the scene in The Mission where the cardinal, about to order devastation upon the Indians in Paraguay, is rightly troubled by what he is set to do. His aide tries to comfort him by saying, “The world is thus, Your Excellency.” The cardinal replies, “Thus have we made the world.” Reports of obnoxious and overtly racist kids crashing the Women’s March wearing MAGA hats and attacking Native Americans are meant to convince us, “The world is thus.” I see how inorganically these incidents (to the extent they are ever accurately reported) have emerged and I think, “Thus have we made the world–are we making the world.” And I refuse to participate by engaging in the dialectical bait even intellectually. But the story did end up engaging me in the end….

At first the dialectic was “privileged white racist Trump supporting teenage boys menace peaceful Native American elder engaging in a call to prayer.” Not much of a dialectic really–who’s on the other side of that? The boys are not sympathetic–a dialectic has to have adherents on both sides to drive toward a pre-planned solution. (The dialectic is simply understood as Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis or Problem-Reaction-Solution.) This wasn’t really a dialectic, just another pulse in the “Trump’s America Is a Racist America” meme. But then something strange happened. As other videos emerged, it became clear that the story offered by the Native American, Nathan Phillips, and his supporters, was false, and the media had accepted their narrative of this out-of-context moment with very little to go on but bias. No matter…as Saul Alinsky advised, if your original goal isn’t achieved, take the outcome as it is and turn it toward your own interests anyway. That is, you get lemons? Make lemonade.

And so it was done…

Read moreDialectical Lemonade: The MAGA Hat Kids

To Burn or Not To Burn: Podcast of December 3, 2016 Show



Some articles of interest from the week with excerpts….

Hampshire College Draws Protests Over Removal of U.S. Flag

“If it was a political act, it was pretty craven and ineffective since people did it in secret and no one knows what it was meant to state,” Hampshire college’s president, Jonathan Lash, 71, said in a phone interview on Monday. “And we replaced the flag the next day.”

But within a week Mr. Lash had sent an email announcing that the flag was to be taken down altogether. “Some on campus perceived the flag as “a powerful symbol of fear they’ve felt all their lives because they grew up in marginalized communities, never feeling safe….So something that I have been learning about over the six years but I saw with incredible intensity after the election was the genuineness and depth of the fear of people who have grown up with racism,” Lash, said in a statement. “Who look at the deaths on city streets and say, that could easily have been me.”

FBI and NSA poised to gain new surveillance powers under trump https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-29/fbi-and-nsa-poised-to-gain-new-surveillance-powers-under-trump

“Trump’s first two choices to head law enforcement and intelligence agencies — Republican Senator Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Republican Representative Mike Pompeo for director of the Central Intelligence Agency — are leading advocates for domestic government spying at levels not seen since the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.”

In a reversal of curbs imposed after Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013 about mass data-gathering by the NSA, Trump and Congress may move to reinstate the collection of bulk telephone records, renew powers to collect the content of e-mails and other internet activity, ease restrictions on hacking into computers and let the FBI keep preliminary investigations open longer.

A first challenge for privacy advocates comes this week: A new rule is set to go into effect on Dec. 1 letting the FBI get permission from a judge in a single jurisdiction to hack into multiple computers whose locations aren’t known. [wouldn’t put it past them to do it in every jurisdiction with no expiry]

“Under the proposed rules, the government would now be able to obtain a single warrant to access and search thousands or millions of computers at once; and the vast majority of the affected computers would belong to the victims, not the perpetrators, of a cybercrime,” Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who serves on the Intelligence Committee, said in a statement.

Wyden is one of seven senators, including libertarian Republican Rand Paul, who have introduced a bill, S. 3475, to delay the new policy until July to give Congress time to debate its merits and consider amendments.

From Trump’s picks for CIA (Pompeo) and Attorney General (Sessions):

Time for a Rigorous National Debate About Surveillance
Post-9/11 measures have been weakened or discarded. A coherent new approach is needed.

The use of strong encryption in personal communications may itself be a red flag….

Reasonable warrantless searches are compatible with the Fourth Amendment. So are searches of data shared with third parties, such as social-media posts…

Surveillance should feature prominently in the 2016 presidential campaign, giving the next commander in chief a mandate and sense of obligation to implement reforms. Opposition to surveillance has been bipartisan, and the strategy for overcoming it must be bipartisan too…..

Congress should pass a law re-establishing collection of all metadata, and combining it with publicly available financial and lifestyle information into a comprehensive, searchable database. Legal and bureaucratic impediments to surveillance should be removed….

Sessions: The civil libertarians among us would rather defend the constitution than protect our nation’s security.” Problem with Sessions’ theory is that the Constitution is what would protect national security—undeclared wars, MIC–create danger both incidentally and purposely. See George Washington’s farewell address for more.

Panel urges better cybersecurity to President-elect Trump

The release of the 100-page report follows the worst hacking of U.S. government systems in history and accusations by the Obama administration that Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election by hacking Democrats.

The commission recommended that Trump create an assistant to the president for cybersecurity, who would report through the national security adviser, and establish an ambassador for cybersecurity, who would lead efforts to create international rules. It urged steps, such as getting rid of traditional passwords, to end the threat of identity theft by 2021 and said Trump’s administration should train 100,000 new cybersecurity workers by 2020.

Steven Chabinsky, a commission member and the global chair of the data, privacy and cybersecurity practice for White & Case LLP…said the group wanted the burden of cybersecurity “moved away from every computer user and handled at higher levels,” including internet providers and product developers who could ensure security by default and design “for everyone’s benefit.”

One commissioner, Herbert Lin of Stanford University, said some senior information technology managers distrust the federal government as much as they distrust China, widely regarded as actively hacking in the U.S.

It was not immediately clear whether Trump would accept the group’s recommendations. Trump won the election on promises to reduce government regulations, although decades of relying on market pressure or asking businesses to voluntarily make their products and services safer have been largely ineffective.

Though Trump is a prolific user of online social media services, especially Twitter, he is rarely seen using a computer. His campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, tweeted a photograph Monday of Trump working on an Apple laptop inside his office at Trump Tower. He testified in a deposition in 2012 that he did not own a personal computer or smartphone, and in another deposition earlier this year said he deliberately does not use email.

But note…

The Orwellian War Against Skepticism

“Yet, what Stengel and various mainstream media outlets appear to be arguing for is the creation of a “Ministry of Truth” managed by mainstream U.S. media outlets and enforced by Google, Facebook and other technology platforms.”

“As veteran war correspondent Don North reported in 2015 regarding this new StratCom, “the U.S. government has come to view the control and manipulation of information as a ‘soft power’ weapon, merging psychological operations, propaganda and public affairs under the catch phrase ‘strategic communications.’”

“Typical of this new McCarthyism, the report lacked evidence that any such network actually exists but instead targeted cases where American journalists expressed skepticism about claims from Western officialdom.”

Teeing It Up for the Censorship President

When I first read about the Total Information Awareness program on Wikipedia, I was shocked by the creepy logo. Wikipedia has since removed the logo, but fortunately, I had it. (Sometimes when I see such blatant symbolism like this I wonder if they’re just messing with us.)

Recently, President Obama said he wanted a truthiness test for information. (To hear it, click the link and go to chronomark 1:00:00 and listen for about four and a half minutes.) I believe he was focusing on scientific information (climate change in particular, of course), but he made an interesting analogy with the news media.

We are going to have to rebuild, within this wild, wild west of information flow, some sort of curating function…

It used to be there were three television stations, and Walter Cronkite was there…generally people trusted a basic body of information…

There has to be some sort of way we can sort through information that passes some sort of truthiness test.

This wasn’t quite as bad as it sounds out of context (almost!), but I recalled his words while reading the newspaper today and it made me think Obama was revealing a broader mindset that is about to be rolled out.

The first article I read was about a recent appearance by Melania Trump during which she, no doubt sweetly and innocently (I mean that, I’m not being sarcastic),

lamented an increasingly coarse culture in which users of social media, especially children, belittle each other.

“Our culture has gotten too mean and too tough, especially to children and teenagers,” Mrs. Trump said. “We have to find a better way to talk to each other, to disagree with each other, to respect each other.”

bn-eb793_vernon_e_20140812180258I didn’t think too much about Melania’s comments and didn’t put them together with Obama’s until later, when

Read moreTeeing It Up for the Censorship President

Parallel Construction (new glossary entry)

1984-miranda-warningParallel construction is a law enforcement process of building a parallel—or separate—evidentiary basis for a criminal investigation in order to conceal how the investigation actually began.

In August 2013, a report by Reuters revealed that the Special Operations Division (SOD) of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration advises DEA agents to practice parallel construction when creating criminal cases against Americans that are actually based on NSA warrantless surveillance. The use of illegally obtained evidence is generally inadmissible under the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine and negates the concept of probable cause and the protections expressly guaranteed under the Fourth Amendment.

The Orlando Agenda (propaganda report)

Today’s Wall Street Journal lays out our marching orders in the wake of Orlando:

The article…

After Orlando, a Long War
To stop future terrorist attacks, we need solutions from all sides: better security and surveillance at home, a vigorous fight abroad and the support of Muslim moderates everywhere

The author:

Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The marching orders…

(1) Disarm Americans

There is no reason why the American public should be able to purchase military-style semiautomatic weapons such as the AR-15, which has become a favorite of mass shooters.

(2) Create a class of precriminals who are not put in jail but have rights taken away without due process

Congress should, at a minimum, prevent suspects on terrorism watch lists from purchasing firearms legally

(3) Expand the police state

By all means, let’s follow the example of Israel and have more security guards and more metal detectors at the entrances of clubs and malls.

(4) Reduce freedom, increase surveillance

The fact that [the Orlando shooter] was able to work as a licensed security guard and to legally purchase firearms, despite having been investigated twice by the FBI for potential terrorist ties, suggests a fundamental breakdown in our safeguards….controversial counterterrorism programs need to be continued or revived…

(5) Escalate war in Syria

We will defeat Islamic State not simply by dropping more bombs or sending more troops, although we must do both.

Also, the author falsely asserts that libertarians object to FBI tactics through a misguided sense of freedom and an arbitrary attachment to fundamental rights…

The best bet to stop terrorists is to uncover their intentions in advance. The FBI has done just that since 2001 by sending undercover agents and informants to pose as would-be terrorists to prosecute suspects intent on turning violent. Such investigations have resulted in charges against nearly 90 Americans but have also sparked controversy, with civil libertarians accusing the FBI of entrapping innocent people.

The author is repeating the false meme that civil libertarians have pushed back on the FBI “hatching terrorist plots” (http://www.nytimes.com/…/terrorist-plots-helped-along-by-th…) because we object to their entrapping innocent people–that has never been the issue (for me anyway). The issue is that the FBI is actually manufacturing terrorism resulting in danger to the public (the WTC93 bombing was an FBI sting operation in which 6 died and many others were hurt https://monicaperezshow.com/…/the-clinton-bush-obama-co…/) and a misdirection of resources…

“100% of the Constitution 100% of the time” – Gotta love TMOT!

grayson2Libertarians might balk at this statement. After all, the Constitution gives the federal government the right to steal (Taxation is Theft!) and kill, and failed to restrain that government from overstepping the boundaries set up to contain those powers. As an anarcho-capitalist, I have concluded that no piece of paper can contain an entity that is given this type of power. People say to me that a “voluntary society” is a utopian fantasy, but I say the notion of “self-limiting government” is the utopian fantasy!

Yet, if there is a social contract (and I’m not saying there is  🙂 ), the Constitution is that contract, and after much reflection, I believe that if the Constitution, both the letter and the spirit it of it as agreed to over 200 years ago, were obeyed, we might actually have a just government in this modern world.

I continue to believe the Constitution’s fatal flaw is that it created a central government so powerful that it could not contain it, but I also believe that having a clear written contract between the government and the people provides the unambiguous, unifying moral, legal and intellectual grounds for the people’s resistance to tyranny. This is why Obama and others with an ideology that calls for a fundamental transformation of the United States object to the clear premise underlying the Constitution: the rights of the individual surpass the power of the state. This is also why I disagree with those who call for a Constitutional convention–we are not going to create today a more perfect document than our founders managed to create on a clean slate during the Age of Enlightenment! This reasoning may contribute to why both Ron Paul and Derrick Grayson (and so many other good libertarians) will never waver from defending the plain meaning of the Constitution, and I respect their position.

TMOT would have been a great choice for LP VP!!

Church v. State


All government authority derives from our right to self-defense. Anything we authorize our government to do by force of arms must be something that can be justified as self-defense. Legislating morality, or using the force of government to control the private behavior of others, does not fall into that category. I have many calls challenging me on this, so I think it’s worth clarifying.

One point that is often made is that all laws, even those forbidding rape and murder, legislate morality, but that’s not true. Yes, rape and murder are immoral, but that is not why they are illegal.

Read moreChurch v. State

The Death of Justice Scalia: A Turning Point for America

Antonin_Scalia_Official_SCOTUS_PortraitWhen my 88 year old uncle died alone in his room clearly from having gotten confused and taken more of his medicine than he was supposed to (his little am/pm pill boxes were open and empty beyond the day and time they should have been), his doctor very somberly questioned those in the family who had seen him last. The doctor felt that Uncle Al was too healthy to die suddenly, and although exhibiting early signs of dementia, should have been capable of keeping up with such a simple system to take his meds. Clearly, the doctor wanted to rule out the possibility that someone had a hand in getting Uncle Al to take too much medication. My uncle had a paranoid cast of mind and always thought people were after his money–little of it though there was–and the doctor wanted to be sure there wasn’t more to Uncle Al’s suspicions than he had credited. The reality is, there were 13,000 murders in the United States that year motivated by all sorts of things–jealousy, rage, personal gain–when someone dies, it makes sense to ask “Cui bono?” Who benefits?

When Justice Scalia died, my first thought was, “Heavy-set guy, 79, probably died of a heart attack…sounds reasonable.” I did notice that he was not at home at the time, so his wife was not with him to verify the circumstances of his death, and that he was reported as animated and well when he was last seen–aren’t there oftentimes warning signs of a heart attack? At this point, I usually get on my headlamp and start down the rabbit hole, and in this case, I might even have seen the rabbit hole in advance.

Read moreThe Death of Justice Scalia: A Turning Point for America

The Constitution Quick & Dirty


Liberty Warrior just tweeted me saying I mentioned on the air that the Constitution enumerates 18 powers of the federal government. He wanted me to elaborate, so I forwarded him a show I did where I put the Constitution in a nutshell, as I understand it. I went to Stanford Law School and am a member of the Bar of the State of New York, but to come up with this quick & dirty outline, I simply read the Constitution. This is one of the reasons I respect Justice Scalia–a brilliant legal mind yet his touchstone was simply the text of the Constitution.

Here’s the podcast: The Constitution in a Nutshell

Here are my show notes from that show:

First, the Constitution lays out who does what in the federal govt and some guidelines for elections and other processes

  • Following the preamble, the very first thing in the constitution, Article 1 Section 1 states clearly: “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in Congress”
    • No executive orders other than to execute laws
    • Administrative “law” is invalid
      • I learned this on the first day of admin law class!
    • President is charged with executing laws
      • “preserve, protect, defend the Constitution”
      • is only commander and chief “when called into actual service”
      • must periodically address congress on the state of the union and make recommendations to them as to measures he judges necessary and expedient
      • “he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed”

Second, the Constitution lays out exactly what powers the federal govt has–and doesn’t have

  • There are only 18 – they are called the enumerated powers:
  • Levy taxes, borrow money, regulate commerce, establish rule of naturalization, coin money, punish counterfeiting, establish a post office and post roads, grant copyrights, set up courts, punish pirates (!), declare war, raise armies, maintain a navy, make rules for the army and navy, provide for and call up the militia against rebellions and invasions, govern the nation’s capital, make all laws necessary for executing the powers of govt as laid out by the constitution
  • Goes through a long list of things the govt may not do.

Finally the Bill of Rights goes through very specifically the things the govt may not do against individuals…

  • we hear more about the bill of rights than the constitution – mostly the bill of rights addresses the freedoms citizens need to beat back the government – free speech, freedom of the press, privacy, due process, guns, right to a trial
    • Obama’s last speech*: “the United States does not collect intelligence to suppress criticism or dissent”
      • so I guess it’s okay then?
        • The purpose of the bill of rights is to fight govt, if this doesn’t subvert that purpose then it’s okay to violate the BoR?
      • Actually it does collect intelligence to suppress criticism or dissent: IRS, AP/Fox scandal, General Petraeus
      • Obama knows what he’s doing – he was a con law professor – he is using his knowledge for bad – how to undermine not uphold the Constitution
    • But the Founders didn’t want anyone to think the Bill of Rights was an exhaustive list of ALL natural rights so it added
      • 9th Am – enumerating the rights doesn’t disparage others retained by the people
    • and finally…
      • 10th Am – powers not delegated to the federal govt by the constitution are reserved by the states and the people
        • well established this includes health, education & safety
          • Obamacare 100% unequivocally unconstitutional

*I think this is referring to the 2014 State of the Union Address

For the record, I would probably have been on Patrick Henry’s side in wanting to maintain the Articles of Confederation rather than replacing it with the Constitution. This was a raging debate at the time, misleadingly called the Federalists v the Anti-Federalists…I would have been an Anti-Federalist. (It should have been called the Nationalists v. the Federalists, in which case I would have been a Federalist.) The debate was conducted in the press as the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers, the latter of which, if I recall correctly, was intentionally suppressed in American history textbooks for many years. Here are some of the Anti-Federalist Papers.

Today, I realize that the Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights is better than anything we would ever get right now, so I don’t support anyone calling for a Constitutional Convention.

Here is Patrick Henry’s speech objecting to the Constitution.