Tag Archives: big government

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Say “Christian Conservative”

June 26, 2016   |   S.m. Gibson

(ANTIMEDIADivision is created by fear, which generates hate. Politics is the biggest dividing line in this country, and politicians exacerbate that division by unabashedly promoting fear — which rouses hate in those who allow the paranoia and angst to consume them. People who are filled with hate are angry enough to vote. And if a politician “hates” what you hate, you’re more likely to vote for them. The technical term for those who fall for this cycle is “sucker.”

Evangelicals make up a large portion of the American populace. You only need to turn on Fox News to hear them espouse their beliefs and to get a sense of what they stand for. Many in this community have labeled themselves “conservatives,” and even more proclaim themselves “Christians.” We should refrain from using these terms to describe this right-wing star-spangled demographic.

First, this powerful political voting block cannot be described with the moniker of “conservative” because there is nothing fiscally or morally conservative about wanting to expand the U.S. military in 2016, and in the many years prior. If you want to drop more bombs, spend more on war, and live in constant fear of the next terrorist attack, that is your prerogative as a citizen of a free nation — but there is nothing “conservative” about those who hold these positions and they should not be described as such.

To conserve is to save or avoid waste, meaning a fiscal conservative would traditionally believe in spending less money, especially when the entity spending funds is already broke. Constantly begging to grow the military is the same as begging to grow government. Those who preach small government while calling for a larger military contradict themselves and shouldn’t be taken seriously until they can at least figure out what they actually believe in.

According to NationalPriorities.org:

“The U.S. outpaces all other nations in military expenditures. World military spending totaled more than $1.6 trillion in 2015. The U.S. accounted for 37 percent of the total.

U.S. military expenditures are roughly the size of the next seven largest military budgets around the world, combined.”

One who bemoans the expenditures of a country that is $19 trillion in debt certainly has a credible complaint, but if that same person also calls to print more money to pay for something that already accounts for 54% of national discretionary spending, they are something alright — but they’re certainly not a conservative.

To put that figure in context, the United States’ second biggest financial allotment in its annual discretionary budget is for its governmental operations – those funds account for 6.5% of approved spending. Education comes in third at roughly 6.2%. The percentages of discretionary spending only go down from there.

So let’s recap. “Conservatives” rightly say the U.S. is broke, but then say not enough is spent on projects that already accounts for over 50% of the annual U.S. spending approved by Congress each year. Oh, right, I forgot to mention — the $600 billion plus spent on the military each year goes towards an ongoing global offensive campaign that results in bombs being dropped for the end goal of promoting the self-interests of a fledgling empire. Bombs don’t spread the Gospel, they maim and kill.

In fact, Barack Obama – the same person lambasted daily by politicians and political pundits for being weak on U.S. military conquests — dropped over 23,000 bombs in 2015 alone. If, as a conservative, you consider that weak, what do you want from him? Fifty-thousand bombs dropped? One-hundred-thousand? How much blood must be spilled before you consider him “tough?”

Barack Obama has been at war longer than any president in U.S. history. He has bombed eight different countries — that we know about (most outlets report seven because bombing a former territory of the U.S., the Philippines, isn’t good for poll numbers). Even “warmongering” George W. Bush — the public relations guy during the Cheney administration — didn’t bomb that many. The Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama has bombed Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, and the Philippines. The Philippines is a former territory of the U.S., and the guy considered “reluctant” to go to war “discreetly” drone bombed them in 2012.

There is no real way to know how many innocent people have lost their lives due to repeated U.S. military interventions over the past 15 years, but a conservative (real definition) estimate dwarfs those killed in all U.S. mass shootings combined — times 1,000.

Where were Congressman John Lewis and his cohorts when those innocent people died? I don’t remember them staging sit-ins for the countless children killed by the bombs dropped by their Democratic colleague or his Republican predecessor. Maybe that’s because that brood of greedy leeches is filled with political opportunists — not individuals who actually care about human life. At least, that’s how their actions paint them, regardless of their privately-held beliefs. Would Jesus pick and choose which innocent lives we value?

This brings us to the term “Christian” when describing a block of voters.

Not all Muslims are terrorists and not all Christians are Sean Hannity-following hooligans.

A Christian is someone who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. If you’ve ever read the teachings of Jesus – what He actually taught, not some Fox News fear-filled interpretation of what He taught – He spoke of love and forgiveness. That is the exact opposite of pretty much everything the U.S. government does.

When Donald Trump was asked earlier this year what his favorite Bible verse was, he responded with: “An eye for an eye.”

According to Matthew 5 of the Bible, Jesus said:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person….You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Donald Trump literally responded with the one verse Jesus said to dismiss, and yet “Christian conservatives” support him in droves. I have yet to figure that one out.

Sean Hannity said in 2009:

“Here you are, you’re a liberal, probably define peace as the absence of conflict. I define peace as the ability to defend yourself and blow your enemies into smithereens.”

Sean Hannity and the legions of right-wing Americans who hold beliefs similar to his may very well be Christians, but they in no way, shape, or form speak for Christianity. That’s because they are flag worshipping demagogues first and foremost — according to their own rhetoric.

A huge segment of Americans has unknowingly allowed government to become their god. Blowing people to “smithereens” isn’t anything the Jesus I read about would advocate, but it is something the U.S. government happily promotes.

For those that subscribe to the teachings of Jesus — if you are a defender of needless death, all for the glory of a flag or uniform —  you need to check what you really believe. And if you don’t subscribe to His teachings, please stop labeling this intervention-loving, red, white, and blue worshipping right-wing movement a Christian one.

As a Christian myself, I think they’re lunatics.

So maybe instead of the term “Christian conservatives,” we should start calling them what their own words suggest they are…

Government-first, war-thirsty, militarily liberal hypocrites.


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Orlando: The New 9/11?

 ron paul

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Last week America was rocked by the cold-blooded murder of 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Unlike the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Orlando shooter appears to be a lone gunman who, while claiming allegiance to ISIS, was not actually working with a terrorist group. About the only thing Orlando has in common with 9/11 is the way power-hungry politicians and federal officials wasted no time using it to justify expanding government and restricting liberty.

Immediately following the shooting, we began to hear renewed calls for increased government surveillance of Muslims, including spying on Muslim religious services. Although the Orlando shooter was born in the US, some are using the shooting to renew the debate over Muslim immigration. While the government certainly should prevent terrorists from entering the country, singling out individuals for government surveillance and other violations of their rights because of religious faith violates the First Amendment and establishes a dangerous precedent that will be used against other groups. In addition, scapegoating all Muslims because of the act of one deranged individual strengthens groups like ISIS by making it appear that the US government is at war with Islam.

The Orlando shooting is being used to justify mass surveillance and warrantless wiretapping. For the past three years, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to the Defense Department appropriations bill limiting mass surveillance. But, last week, the same amendment was voted down. The only difference between this year’s debate and previous debates was that this year defenders of the surveillance state were able to claim that the Orlando shooting justifies shredding the Fourth Amendment.

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Repressive Tolerance

by Herbert Marcuse
1965


in: Robert Paul Wolff, Barrington Moore, jr., and Herbert Marcuse, A Critique of Pure Tolerance (Boston: Beacon Press, 1969), pp. 95-137.
This 123 page book was originally published 1965; this edition includes Herbert’s 1968 ‘Postscript.’
Note: this ca. 18 page on-line version has not been checked for accuracy. (links at bottom)
Note 10/25/2015: thanks to reader x y zed 2 missing paragraphs have been added.
Added Nov. 2, 2015: Scan of 1969 edition as pdf.

Contents of A Critique of Pure Tolerance

Robert Paul Wolff
“Beyond Tolerance”

Barrington Moore, jr.
“Tolerance and the Scientific Outlook”

Herbert Marcuse
“Repressive Tolerance”


This essay is dedicated to my students at Brandeis University.

THIS essay examines the idea of tolerance in our advanced industrial society. The conclusion reached is that the realization of the objective of tolerance would call for intolerance toward prevailing policies, attitudes, opinions, and the extension of tolerance to policies, attitudes, and opinions which are outlawed or suppressed. In other words, today tolerance appears again as what it was in its origins, at the beginning of the modern period–a partisan goal, a subversive liberating notion and practice. Conversely, what is proclaimed and practiced as tolerance today, is in many of its most effective manifestations serving the cause of oppression.

The author is fully aware that, at present, no power, no authority, no government exists which would translate liberating tolerance into practice, but he believes that it is the task and duty of the intellectual to recall and preserve historical possibilities which seem to have become utopian possibilities–that it is his task to break the concreteness of oppression in order to open the mental space in which this society can be recognized as what it is and does.

Tolerance is an end in itself. The elimination of violence, and the reduction of suppression to the extent required for protecting man and animals from cruelty and aggression are preconditions for the creation of a humane society. Such a society does not yet exist; progress toward it is perhaps more than before arrested by violence and suppression on a global scale. As deterrents against nuclear war, as police action against subversion, as technical aid in the fight against imperialism and communism, as methods of pacification in neo-colonial massacres, violence and suppression are promulgated, practiced, and defended by democratic and authoritarian governments alike, and the people subjected to these governments are educated to sustain such practices as necessary for the preservation of the status quo. Tolerance is extended to policies, conditions, and modes of behavior which should not be tolerated because they are impeding, if not destroying, the chances of creating an existence without fear and misery.

This sort of tolerance strengthens the tyranny of the majority against which authentic liberals protested. The political locus of tolerance has changed: while it is more or less quietly and constitutionally withdrawn from the opposition, it is made compulsory behavior with respect to established policies. Tolerance is turned from an active into a passive state, from practice to non-practice: laissez-faire the constituted authorities. It is the people who tolerate the government, which in turn tolerates opposition within the framework determined by the constituted authorities.

Tolerance toward that which is radically evil now appears as good because it serves the cohesion of the whole on the road to affluence or more affluence. The toleration of the systematic moronization of children and adults alike by publicity and propaganda, the release of destructiveness in aggressive driving, the recruitment for and training of special forces, the impotent and benevolent tolerance toward outright deception in merchandizing, waste, and planned obsolescence are not distortions and aberrations, they are the essence of a system which fosters tolerance as a means for perpetuating the struggle for existence and suppressing the alternatives. The authorities in education, morals, and psychology are vociferous against the increase in juvenile delinquency; they are less vociferous against the proud presentation, in word and deed and pictures, of ever more powerful missiles, rockets, bombs–the mature delinquency of a whole civilization.

According to a dialectical proposition it is the whole which determines the truth–not in the sense that the whole is prior or superior to its parts, but in the sense that its structure and function determine every particular condition and relation. Thus, within a repressive society, even progressive movements threaten to turn into their opposite to the degree to which they accept the rules of the game. To take a most controversial case: the exercise of political rights (such as voting, letter-writing to the press, to Senators, etc., protest-demonstrations with a priori renunciation of counterviolence) in a society of total administration serves to strengthen this administration by testifying to the existence of democratic liberties which, in reality, have changed their content and lost their effectiveness. In such a case, freedom (of opinion, of assembly, of speech) becomes an instrument for absolving servitude. And yet (and only here the dialectical proposition shows its full intent) the existence. and practice of these liberties remain a precondition for the restoration of their original oppositional function, provided that the effort to transcend their (often self-imposed) limitations is intensified. Generally, the function and value of tolerance depend on the equality prevalent in the society in which tolerance is practiced. Tolerance itself stands subject to overriding criteria: its range and its limits cannot be defined in terms of the respective society. In other words, tolerance is an end in itself only when it is truly universal, practiced by the rulers as well as by the ruled, by the lords as well as by the peasants, by the sheriffs as well as by their victims. And such universal tolerance is possible only when no real or alleged enemy requires in the national interest the education and training of people in military violence and destruction. As long as these conditions do not prevail, the conditions of tolerance are ‘loaded’: they are determined and defined by the institutionalized inequality (which is certainly compatible with constitutional equality), i.e., by the class structure of society. In such a society, tolerance is de facto limited on the dual ground of legalized violence or suppression (police, armed forces, guards of all sorts) and of the privileged position held by the predominant interests and their ‘connections’.

These background limitations of tolerance are normally prior to the explicit and judicial limitations as defined by the courts, custom, governments, etc. (for example, ‘clear and present danger’, threat to national security, heresy). Within the framework of such a social structure, tolerance can be safely practiced and proclaimed. It is of two kinds:

  1. the passive toleration of entrenched and established attitudes and ideas even if their damaging effect on man and nature is evident, and
  2. the active, official tolerance granted to the Right as well as to the Left, to movements of aggression as well as to movements of peace, to the party of hate as well as to that of humanity I call this non-partisan tolerance ‘abstract’ or ‘pure’ inasmuch as it refrains from taking sides–but in doing so it actually protects the already established machinery of discrimination.

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How to Make a Bl(UN)der Out of World Peace

The Economist recounts the turmoil the U.N. is now going through trying to elect a new secretary-general. Aside from the usual bickering and reciprocal blocking of candidates among the five nations with veto power, voices from inside the organization have recently revealed other problems, including the “colossal mismanagement” of peacekeeping budgets and a “sclerotic personnel system.” On the one hand, it is clear that these latter issues arise from the bureaucratic nature of the organization, which is bound to prove impossible to manage in an efficient manner. However, the broader problem the U.N. and its secretary-general are confronted with is one of credibility, after having missed almost every opportunity to provide a resolution to conflicts across the world over the last decades, from Rwanda to Sudan and Sri Lanka. While some other international organisations such as the IMF and the World Bank retain some (misguided) popular trust, the United Nations appears to almost all discerning eyes as a grand-scale failed endeavor.

It’s easy to assume that bureaucracy has single-handedly brought the U.N. down, but a more nuanced explanation can be found in Mises’s writings, which provide us with insights into the ideological foundations on which the U.N.—and its interwar predecessor, the League of Nations—were established. Mises (1943a1943b) writes:

The noble-minded founders of the League of Nations… were right in their idea that autocratic governments are warlike, while democratic nations cannot derive any profit from conquest and therefore cling to peace. But what President Wilson and his collaborators did not see was that this is valid only within a system of private ownership of the means of production, free enterprise, and unhampered market economy. Where there is no economic freedom things are entirely different.

Ours is not an age of laissez fare, laissez passer, but an age of economic nationalism. All governments are eager to promote the well-being of their citizens or of some groups of their citizens by inflicting harm upon foreigners. Foreign goods are excluded from the domestic market or only permitted after the payment of an import duty. Foreign labor is barred from competition on the domestic labor market. Foreign capital is liable to confiscation. This economic nationalism must needs result in war, whenever those injured believe that they are strong enough to brush away, by armed violent action, the measures detrimental to their own welfare. […] Economic nationalism is the corollary of the present-day domestic policies of government interference with business and of national planning as free trade was the complement of domestic economic freedom.

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What If They Are Hiding the Truth?

By 

What if President Obama secretly agreed with others in the government in 2011 to provide arms to rebels in Libya and Syria? What if the scheme called for American arms merchants to sell serious American military hardware to the government of Qatar, which would and did transfer it to rebel groups? What if the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of the Treasury approved those sales?

What if the approvals were kept secret because some of those rebel groups were characterized by the same Departments of State and Treasury as terrorist organizations? What if the ultimate recipients of those arms were the militants and monsters in al-Qaida and ISIS who have slain and tortured innocents?https://rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=FFFFFF&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=lewrockwell&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=0718021932&MsrketPlace=US

What if this scheme is defined in federal law as providing material assistance to terrorist organizations? What if that’s a felony? What if that’s the same felony for which the U.S Department of Justice has prosecuted dozens of persons merely for attempting? What if this scheme was not a mere attempt, but an actual arming of terrorists?

What if this scheme was approved not only by the president, but also by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton? What if the idea of doing this was hers? What if congressional leaders in both houses of Congress and from both parties signed off on this? What if the remaining members of Congress and the American people were kept in the dark about this scheme? What if those who agreed to permit this scheme knew that the arms were destined for terrorist organizations and they were flirting with a criminal conspiracy to violate federal law?

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Secret Executive Orders and DoD directives allow for illegal targeting and human experimentation

Secret human experimentation being conducted on populace

dod-test
Expert Infantry/Flickr

(INTELLIHUB) — During my research of secret government programs, which include the vicious Post-911 COINTELPRO, I came across a webpost by Paul Baird. I extracted his most important points, which explain how the federal government gets away with covert testing and harassment.

Paul Baird wrote:

The secret technologies in question are covered by military/agency secrecy orders, mostly obtained under the US Inventions Secrecy Act, 1951.

The US Patriot Act, for example, protects governments and connected criminals from criticism and/or detection and prosecution. Under this act anyone whistleblowing or fighting the system on a major concern is arbitrarily deemed to be unpatriotic (when it’s the criminals they criticize who betray us).

[…] They can then be listed […] as a security risk and harassed covertly; using secret technologies. In fact a Department of Defense Directive (Directive 5240 1-R, 1994) gives open permission for those under surveillance to be used for remote experimentation.

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