Saturday, June 11, 2011

Panetta Hearing for SecDef on Thursday: Obama’s CIA Director Linked to Spies Through Communist Party Figure

Panetta Hearing for SecDef on Thursday: Obama’s CIA Director Linked to Spies Through Communist Party Figure

Submitted by Trevor on June 8, 2011 – 4:00 pm EST

New research from writers and researchers Trevor Loudon and Cliff Kincaid shows that Leon Panetta, the CIA director being considered on Thursday for the position of Secretary of Defense, had a previously undisclosed personal and friendly relationship with Hugh DeLacy, a prominent member of the Communist Party USA. DeLacy visited such countries as China and Nicaragua and was himself a personal contact of identified Soviet spies Solomon Adler and Frank Coe and accused spy John Stewart Service. Panetta spoke at DeLacy’s memorial service, directed a series of letters to him personally as “Dear Hugh,” and placed a tribute to him in the Congressional Record.

Former Washington State Rep. DeLacy, named by Communist Party lawyer John Abt as a fellow member of the party, remained a communist operative until his death in 1986.

One “Dear Hugh” letter from then-Rep. Panetta to DeLacy offered a summary of a report on U.S. military operations that Panetta said was “unavailable for distribution.” Panetta concludes the March 24, 1977, letter, “If there is anything I can do for you in the future, Hugh, please feel free to call on me.”

The Panetta SecDef hearing is being held June 9 by the Senate Armed Services Committee at 9:30 a.m. in open session in Room SD-G50 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, with a closed session later in the day in Room SVC-217, the Office of Senate Security in the Capitol Visitor Center.

Like DeLacy, Panetta shared a preference for communist regimes in Latin America, including the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. DeLacy had visited Nicaragua and had honored the Sandinistas, who were pawns of the Soviets and Cubans in Central America, while Panetta, as a member of Congress in 1983, strongly opposed President Reagan’s effort to undermine the Sandinista regime through CIA covert action. In addition, Panetta actively collaborated with the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), a Washington, D.C. think tank that provided a cover for Chilean Marxist and Cuban agent Orlando Letelier to conduct communist political influence operations in the nation’s capital. Panetta, a member of Congress from 1977 to 1993, was a vocal opponent of Chile’s anti-communist government. In 1986, Panetta publicly endorsed protests against Reagan’s “illegal and extraordinarily vicious wars against the poor of Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala.”

“Panetta’s bias in favor of revolutionary Marxist movements in Latin America helps explain why the CIA has been spectacularly unsuccessful in stopping the advance of Hugo Chavez and his minions south of the U.S. border,” Trevor Loudon and Cliff Kincaid said in a joint statement. “His only apparent success as CIA director has been the killing of Osama bin Laden, an impressive operation that has nevertheless backfired in the sense of sending a nuclear-armed Pakistan into the arms of Communist China.”

“It is astounding that Panetta was confirmed as Obama’s CIA director without any of this being considered by the U.S. Senate,” Loudon and Kincaid went on. “But now that Panetta is set to move on to another critical national security post — Secretary of Defense — with new Senate hearings being held on Thursday, it is time to get all of this information out in the open. One of the most important matters that deserves scrutiny is Panetta’s apparent failure to be forthcoming about his personal relationship with DeLacy. It is time for the Senate to investigate this previously undisclosed relationship.”

Loudon and Kincaid, writers and researchers on national security issues, have assembled critical information about Panetta from important sources that have apparently been overlooked by Senate investigators and even FBI agents who investigated Panetta’s background. Among these sources, Loudon reviewed the Hugh DeLacy papers at the University of Washington, while Kincaid examined hearings conducted on “Communist Political Subversion” by the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities and “Un-American Activities in California” by the California Senate Fact-Finding Committee on Un-American Activities.

“When this information is examined in context,” Loudon and Kincaid stated, “it is clear that Panetta, whose nomination to be CIA director was considered mystifying even to those in the intelligence business, has been a key component of a network of left-wing activists and socialist organizations for over two decades. These individuals and groups include not only Hugh DeLacy and his communist associates but the communist-dominated Progressive Party, Democratic Socialists of America and the neo-Marxist New American Movement. Panetta, in short, was a player in the network that sponsored the political career of a young Barack Obama in Chicago. This helps explain why Panetta was picked, seemingly out of nowhere, for the CIA job.”

(Loudon, who runs the New Zeal blog, and Kincaid, president of America’s Survival, Inc. , specialize in researching and reporting on anti-American extremist political movements with foreign connections, funding, and sponsorship.)

For further information contact Trevor Loudon on 202 506 8733 and/or

For back up documentation go to

Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills

The concept of private barter and alternative economies has been so far removed from our daily existence here in America that the very idea of participating in commerce without the use of dollars or without the inclusion of corporate chains seems almost outlandish to many people.However, the fact remains that up until very recently (perhaps the last three to four decades) barter and independent trade was commonplace in this country. Without it, many families could not have survived.

Whether we like it or not, such economic methods will be making a return very soon, especially in the face of a plunging dollar, inflating wholesale prices, erratic investment markets, and unsustainable national debts. It is inevitable; financial collapse of the mainstream system ALWAYS leads to secondary markets and individual barter. We can wait until we are already in the midst of collapse and weighted with desperation before we take action to better our circumstances, or, we can prepare now for what we already know is coming.

In today’s “modern” globalist economy, we have relied upon centralized and highly manipulated trade, forced interdependency, senseless and undisciplined consumption, endless debt creation, welfare addiction, and the erosion of quality, as a means to sustain a system that ultimately is DESIGNED to erode our freedoms not to mention our ability to effectively take care of ourselves. We have been infantized by our financial environment. In the near future, those who wish to live beyond a meager staple of government handouts (if any are even given) will be required to make a 180 degree reversal from their current lifestyle of dependency and immediate gratification towards one of self sufficiency, personal entrepreneurship, quality trade, and a mindset of necessity, rather than unfounded excess.

This means that each and every one of us will not only be driven to form barter networks outside the designated confines of the mainstream, we will have to become active producers within those networks. Each and every one of us will need to discover practical goods and skills that will be in high demand regardless of economic conditions. Being that our society has all but forgotten how this kind of trade works, let’s examine a short list of items as well as proficiencies that are sure to be highly sought after as the collapse progresses…

Top Priority Goods

To be sure, this list is a summary of items that will have high value during and after a breakdown scenario. I welcome readers to post their own ideas for trade goods below this article. The following is merely a framework which you can use to get started, and was compiled using actual accounts of post collapse trade from the Great Depression, to Bosnia, to Argentina, to Greece, etc. These are items and skills that people were literally begging for after financial catastrophe occurred in numerous separate events.

Water Filtration: Stock up on water filters. Learn how water filtration works. Even make your own water filters using cloth, activated charcoal, and colloidal silver. Everyone will want to trade with you if you have extra filtration on hand. During economic breakdowns, especially in countries like Argentina, and Bosnia, which had more modern, city based populations, the first thing to disappear was clean water. Always. In some cases, the tap water still runs, but is filled with impurities, and needs to be boiled. Boiling does not remove bad tastes or smells, however, and clean filtered water will be in demand.

Seeds: Non-GMO seeds are a currency unto themselves. They can last for years if stored properly, and everyone will want them, even if they don’t have land to plant them. Get enough for yourself, and then purchase twice as much for trade.

Fresh Produce: Ever heard of scurvy? Probably. Ever had scurvy? Probably not. Believe me, you don’t want to have it. Your body essentially begins to fall apart slowly, and the result is an ugly boil and sore filled complexion, the loss of teeth and hair, and the eventual failure of internal organs. Don’t think you can live on beef jerky and canned beans for months on end. You need fresh vegetables and fruits, and the vitamins they supply. Anyone with a well managed garden and a few fruit trees is going to do very well in barter. Vitamin supplements would also be a practical investment.

Long Shelf Life Foods: This one should be obvious, but you may be surprised how many preppers, even though aware of the danger in the economy, do not have ample stored foods.The rationalizations abound, but usually, you are dealing with a person who has a heavy hunting background, and believes he will be able to procure whatever food he wants whenever he wants with his trusty bolt action rifle and a few hours in the woods. Don’t fall into this foolish trap. Thousands if not millions of other hungry, destitute people will likely have the same idea, combing the forest for deer, only running into (and perhaps shooting at) each other. In every single account of modern economic collapse I have read, the people involved kick themselves brutally for not stocking more food that didn’t require refrigeration. Even those that were moderately prepared stated that they wished they had stored twice as much as they did.

Sealed food kits would be highly valued trade items, as long as they contained necessities like grains (wheat or rice store well), salt (the human body will not function without salt), honey or maple syrup (the body needs sugars), and powdered milk, peanut butter, or any other foods with fat content (the body needs fats). Prepackaged freeze-dried foods are more expensive to stock, but they are, of course, easy to trade.

Food Producing Animals: Chickens are great for eating, but they also produce eggs. Cows and Goats can be slaughtered, but they also produce milk. Sheep can be easily herded towards your dinner plate, but they also produce wool. Rabbits make a good stew, but they also produce lots of other rabbits. In terms of barter, these animals will be life savers, as well as a solid source of trade income. Dual purpose livestock are really where it’s at for those who have even an acre of land, and many of them (except cattle) tend to feed themselves easily if left to wander your property. You can trade eggs, milk, wool, etc, that they produce. Not to mention, fetch serious value for trading the animal itself.

Solar Power: Solar power is so overlooked by most barter organizations and survivalists in general that it’s astonishing. If every home in America had at least two large solar panels on the roof, I would not be half as worried about collapse as I am today. My suspicion is that many preppers believe that after a breakdown, we will all return to some kind of Agrarian pre-electric age where everything is lit with oil lamps. This is silly. If I have my LED lamp with rechargeable batteries, I’m certainly not going to rely on less effective burning lamps that depend on a finite fuel supply. And, I’m certainly not going to give up the advantages of nightvision, radio communications, or refrigeration if I can help it. The key is to ensure that you have a continuous means of diverting electricity to these goods. This already exists in the form of solar power.

Depending on your budget, you can purchase solar panels that can be folded and carried with you for charging batteries, or, you can purchase entire arrays and battery banks that run your whole house. Those without electricity WILL want electricity, and solar is an excellent barter item. Wind generators, as well as water driven generators (as used often in Bosnia) are also a consideration. People that have the knowledge to set up these systems for others will not have trouble finding trading partners.

Firewood: Even with solar power, home heating will become a major concern for every household during and after a breakdown. If you can avoid running your battery bank out on inefficient space heaters, you will. The best way to do this is with a wood stove, or a fireplace.Those without any electricity will scour their immediate areas for loose wood, then move on to chopping down random trees for fuel. This is one of the few instances, ironically, that those in urban environments would have an advantage, being that dry wood for burning is literally everywhere in the city. During the Great Depression, families would often sneak into abandoned homes and apartment buildings to dismantle sticks of furniture, or even the walls, to use as firewood.

A small, well insulated home can be heated with as little as two cords of wood every winter.Larger drafty homes require as much as twenty cords per winter. A “cord’ of wood is a stack of split timber around four feet wide, four feet high, and eight feet long. This wood is “aged”, or dried for at least a year after being cut, so that it burns cleaner, and creates much more heat than freshly felled timber. When the general public begins to rediscover the need for aged cord wood, those with timberland will have a prized commodity on their hands for barter.

A disciplined cutting routine would be essential. Only cutting enough timber (of the right maturity) to create a decent supply while not erasing the whole forest for a single year of profit.Those traders with the correct knowledge will do very well in a barter economy.

Gasoline And Oil: This is a tough one, because its hard to predict how much petroleum the U.S. will be able to import or produce on its own during a collapse, and its very difficult to store for long periods of time. If you hear news that the wars in the Middle East have expanded even further, or that OPEC is decoupling from the dollar, you might want to run to the nearest station and fill as many storage cans as possible, along with a little bit of added ‘gas saver’ which helps keep it stable longer. Initially, people will be dueling to the death for gas and oil. I have little doubt. After the price hits $15, $30, $60 a gallon due to hyperinflation, and a little time passes, I think people will begin finding ways to live without it, or they will reduce its use to emergency tasks.

Desire for gas will always be there, especially in agricultural areas where one tractor could help sow the seeds that feed an entire town. But beyond storage, I would suggest learning ways to distill your own corn ethanol and alcohol based fuels. This is where the real barter potential is.

Silver And Gold: I placed precious metals in the middle of this list for a reason. Concerns in a collapse situation will be varied, and the manner in which a derailment progresses will also determine the order of needs in a barter community. In a Mad Max scenario where there is little to no community, or the construction of any semblance of economy is impossible; sure, gold and silver will not be very high on most people’s lists. Has this ever happened in recorded history? No. Gold and silver have remained common currencies for thousands of years despite any catastrophe. This is why I have to laugh at those people who undercut precious metals or claim that because you “can’t eat them” they will not be important. In Argentina, in the midst of complete meltdown and monetary chaos, when people were shooting each other in the streets for food on a daily basis, gold and silver became king, and still are.

Barter networks that have formed in Argentina love to trade for anything made out of gold or silver, because precious metals are the only tangible form of currency in existence there. Being able to trade goods is fantastic, but sometimes, you may not have what another person wants.Do you go out to find someone who does, trade with them, then, try to find the guy who turned you down? No. If you have any meaningful localized commerce in place, then you should also have a common medium of exchange, and precious metals are the only thing that safely fits the mold, because they cannot be artificially reproduced or fabricated. Their rarity and their longevity make them the perfect method of common trade. Even if the worst of the worst occurs, rebuilding will result in the immediate resurgence of trade, and the immediate need of a new currency. Gold and silver will come back, as it always has, and always will. Every potential barter network should be including gold, silver, and maybe copper, on its list of accepted alternative currencies, and the values of said metals should be weighed by the inherent supply and demand of the community. The “official” market value ( which is very manipulated) should only be used as a loose guide.

Firearms And Ammo: Another obvious one. The problem is, the selection of calibers is so varied within the U.S. that stocking anything that will be needed by everyone is very difficult. The only recourse is to stick with common military calibers, such as 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP, .223, 7.62 by 39, 7.62 by 51 (.308), 12 gauge, .410, and 20 gauge shotgun shells, and the ever pervasive .22. Stocking these calibers will result in a much greater chance of trade.

I can think of no instance of societal disintegration that did not lead to horrible violence. In places where firearms are outlawed, the carnage is always much worse. Criminals easily get their hands on weapons, while law abiding citizens are left defenseless. Governments take liberties with the people, while the populace cowers. Accounts of torture, rape, murder, and genocide, are abundant in the face of hard economic times. EVERYONE should be armed, and as reality sets in, even those who clamored to outlaw guns will be clamoring to get one.

Of course, laws today very strictly regulate our ability to barter firearms, but post collapse, no one will care much.

Ammo reloading will be a useful skill in light of the fact that homemade manufacture of ammo is very difficult. The nationwide ammo supply will dwindle very quickly, except for those pockets of people who smartly stockpile for trade.

Body Armor: That’s right. Any kind of body armor is as good as gold in a collapse environment.People in countries across the world wish they had it, and would trade almost anything for it.When you live in a place where a random gun shot (a minute by minute occurrence in many countries), from a criminal’s weapon, or more likely a police or military weapon, could bounce off the curb or through your car windshield, and into your chest, you begin to respect the necessity of Kevlar. The fact that body armor is relatively cheap and is easily obtained in the U.S. should be taken advantage of by barter networks. This advantage may not exist in a couple of years.

Tazers And Pepper Spray: Easy to purchase and stockpile here in America. Better than nothing when facing armed attackers. Disables without death (in most cases), and easier on the conscience. Trades well.

Various Tools: A garden hoe may be a novelty item to most suburbanites and city dwellers now, but soon, it will be a mainstay tool. If you have extra, they will come to you for barter. I’m not going to list every tool in existence here, but I suggest using common sense. What tools do you see being required for daily use? What would YOU need post collapse?

Pesticides: I’m big on organic food and healthy eating, but if my life is on the line, I’m spraying my crops down with whatever poison I can find. Unless you have years of experience with natural pest deterrence methods, then I suggest you do the same, especially in that first year of calamity. A hoard of locusts could annihilate your crop within a day given the chance, and should be dealt with using the most powerful means available.

Cockroach and rat poisons will also be huge sellers, guaranteed. Vermin thrive in unkempt human environments, whether in the country or the city, and with them comes disease.Diseases you thought had disappeared off the face of the Earth, like bubonic plague or small pox, will make a comeback in cities, where streets of death and sewage act like enormous Petri dishes (remember New Orleans after Katrina? Imagine if that had never been cleaned up).

Stock pesticides, even if they offend your environmental sensibilities. You’ll use them, trust me.And, people will trade whatever they can for them.

Warm Clothing: The world is awash in textiles and clothing. Using clothes as your primary means of trade is not necessarily the best plan. However, most of the clothes made around the world are very poor quality, and are not designed for harsh environments. Clothes made specifically for harsh cold or rough wear are harder to some by, and are often very expensive.This is where you would want to focus your investments.

Gortex, for instance, could give you incredible bartering potential. Wool socks are a rarity (how many people do you know with more than two pairs of wool socks?). Water resistant and water proof jackets and overcoats, boots, well made hiking shoes, and waterproofing chemicals and sprays will be needed within trade networks. The ability to make these items, or repair them, will also be valued.

Medicines: This is another difficult item to procure, mainly because doing so often gets you flagged as a possible drug dealer. Certain items aren’t too hard to come by and store, though, and could be life saving barter material in the future. Antibiotics are handed out like candy by doctors today, so storing any extra you have away for trade may be a good strategy. Painkillers are another medical miracle that doctors seem to sprinkle out of helicopters without a second thought. With the risk of injury increasing one hundred fold after a financial tsunami, I suspect even mere aspirin would put a smile on the face of any barter networker.

Eventually, natural medicines and herbs are going to have to move to the forefront, as industry medicines begin to disappear, or become so expensive they are unobtainable. Stocking such herbs and vitamins would be smart, for protecting oneself, not to mention, its savvy business sense.

Toiletries: Yes, yes, we all hear about how great toilet paper will be as a barter item, and how preppers plan to demand cows, trucks, and beach-front property, in return for packages of the silken quilty-soft huggable rolls of goodness. I don’t disagree that it will be highly desired at first. People don’t change their habits that quickly. But let’s face it; toilet paper is a luxury item in a post collapse environment, not a necessity. People are going to eventually go back to older methods of hygiene, like using strips of washable cloth. It might sound gross to us now, but hey, did you think we were going to start using poison ivy and pinecones?

Stock toilet paper, but don’t treat it as a priority. Focus more on cleaning items like soap, toothpaste, and bleach, as well as chemicals that cause human waste to quickly biodegrade.Staying clean is VERY important, because the alternative is catching a nasty bacterial infection that may kill you, when in more peaceful and comfortable times, it may have just given you slightly irritating intestinal distress. The rest of the country will come around to this way of thinking in short order, and many people will come to you for the cleaning goods you stockpiled.

Specialty Items: There are many circumstances that are hard to predict, circumstances that could severely affect barter markets and what items come into demand. For example; a nuclear event, as is in progress in Japan, could just as easily strike the U.S. There are 104 nuclear power plants in the U.S., not to mention the threat of a small nuclear attack (or false flag). The market for goods such as potassium iodide pills and Geiger counters would explode (potassium iodide suppliers were inundated with orders from around the world after Fukushima). How many people do you know with a Geiger counter? I’m one of the few I know with one, and I know preppers across the country! In the wake of a fallout situation, knowing what is contaminated with radiation and what isn’t, knowing if it’s even safe to go outside, is imperative. Having an extra Geiger counter could help you barter your way into any number of goods.

A biological event might bring medical grade particulate masks to the top of people’s lists, as well as disinfectants and even hazmat suits. It’s an ugly thing to imagine, but for those who plan to engage in independent trade, it’s a likelihood that must be considered.

Top Priority Skills

Provided below is a brief list of skills which have served people well in various economic downturns, and will do the same for you in this country. Keep in mind that almost any skill that other people cannot do well has potential for trade, but some skills are more sought after than others. In my research, it is those people who are able to produce their own goods as well as effectively repair existing goods that have the greatest potential for survival in a barter market.Next, are those people who have specific abilities that are difficult to learn and who have the knack for teaching those abilities to others. If you do not have any of these skills, or perhaps only one, then it would be wise to begin learning at least one more now. Keep in mind that competition will very much exist in a barter economy, so knowing as many skills as possible increases your chances of success.

Mechanic, Engine Repair



Firearms Repair, Ammo Reloading


Architect, Home Reinforcement

Agriculture, Farming Expertise, Seed Saving, Animal Care

Bee Keeping

Doctor, Medical Assistant


Well Construction, Water Table Expertise

Engineer, Community Planning, Manufacturing, Electrical

Firearms Proficiency, Security, Self Defense Planning

Martial Arts Training

Wild Foods Expert



Sewing, Textiles

Soap Making, Candle Making, Hygiene Products

Small Appliance Repair

Electronics Repair

HAM Radio Expert

Homeschooling, Tutoring

Again, there are definitely many more trades of value that could be learned. This list is only to help you on your way to self sufficiency and entrepreneurship in an Alternative Market.Unfortunately, too many Americans have absolutely no skills worth bartering in a post collapse world.

Bringing Back The American Tradesman

Barter networking is a powerful tool for countering the affects of depression, hyperinflation, stagflation, globalization, and beyond. But, networks require that participants actually have necessary goods and services to trade. In only half a century or less, American culture has been sterilized of nearly all its private trade skills. We have lost our desire to produce, and have been relegated to the dregs of a retail nightmare society dependent entirely on consumption and debt. This is going to change, one way, or another.

We can change on our own, or we can wait until fear and desperation force us to make hard choices. I would rather forgo the desperation and the painful fall into the gutter. It makes little sense.

The bottom line is, if you wish to survive after the destruction of the mainstream system that has babied us for so long, you must be able to either make a necessary product, repair a necessary product, or teach a necessary skill. A limited few have the capital required to stockpile enough barter goods or gold and silver to live indefinitely. The American Tradesman must return in full force, not only for the sake of self preservation, but also for the sake of our heritage at large.Without strong, independent, and self sufficient people, this country will cease to be.

This article has been generously contributed for your reading pleasure by Brandon Smith of

You can contact Brandon Smith at:

Join Alt-Market today, find a barter network in your area, or start your own. Insulate yourself and your family from economic collapse before it is too late.

Author: Brandon Smith
Date: June 10th, 2011

Upside Down In America

Obama’s economic theory appears to be a hodgepodge of both supply-side and demand-side theory based primarily on a belief that if the government rewards special interest groups who vote for the chief executive’s political party, then said party will get re-elected. In other words, Obamanomics is nothing more than a selfish power play. Missing from its objectives are the goals of economic growth and wealth creation. Inherent in its objective is the idea that there is already enough wealth in the nation to divide many times over until everyone is on an equal playing field. Once met, this objective will lead to the end of all economic activity in the United States.

Obamanomics is a theory that works best if the employees of an automaker are its only customers. It also works well if unionized school teachers are the only taxpayers within their respective school districts. In other words, Obamanomics works if the same money earned by an entity’s employees is reinvested in full back into the same entity. If giving incentives to employees is better than giving them to employers, then Obamanomics has nailed it. One can only wonder why those gosh darned employees aren’t hiring more workers.

For example, the Obamanomics version of auto industry bailouts was made with the assumption that if the government helped automakers, then they would produce more and better quality cars which someone would buy, thus returning the industry to profitability. What the theory failed to consider was that the reason American automakers were facing bankruptcy was due to the lack of demand, not supply. It wasn’t that U.S. automakers weren’t producing enough, or the right cars, it was that no one was buying them. And why did the demand for automobiles suddenly come to a screeching halt?

Upside Down

There’s a lot of talk these days about the decline in housing prices, but what does that really mean at a personal level? What are its effects on the economy as a whole? I’ll tell you how I feel about it. Every waking day, I feel as though I’m mortgaged to the hilt, which is, through no fault of my own, a fact. It’s not a good feeling knowing that it will take many, many years, if ever, for the value of my home to return anywhere close to the amount I owe. What this does to me psychologically is make me not want to spend a dime on anything other than bare necessities. Everything is basically on hold until my personal debt-to-equity ratio returns to a healthy level. This spills over into decisions I make for the business. ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ That means purchasing a new vehicle, new equipment, new appliances, or for that matter anything related to the house is out of the question. Wants are out of the question; needs are the priority. They say, “Cheer up, live a little, go out and spend some money and don’t worry about it so much.” I say, ‘Mind your own blanking business.’ For me, until this situation is corrected I will continue to live below my means, and if you mess with me, you do so at your own risk.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government continues to spend us all into oblivion, thus assuring that if I ever do get my head above water again, the government will be there to make sure I drown. What politicians don’t realize is that none of their spending has done anything to improve the personal debt-to-equity ratio of any American, but has rather destroyed that of the entire nation. As politicians from both major parties stare hopelessly into the abyss on a daily basis, none of them seem to have a clue as to how to fix the real problem. Some politicians have become so discouraged that they have resorted to exhibitionism, while others have convinced themselves that the way back is through incurring more debt. It doesn’t get any more delusional than, “We have to spend more to keep from going broke.” While many have chosen the path of insanity, that’s not the way for me.

Let’s face facts, when the amount of ones debt exceeds a healthy level (a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.5 to 1.5 being deemed healthy) there are only two ways out. (A) Reduce all unnecessary expenditures to a bare minimum applying the savings toward debt reduction. (B) File for bankruptcy and make a fresh start. Some have chosen the latter, while I choose the former. Others don’t own a home and thus have no idea what I’m even writing about, which is the dilemma of most politicians. Most politicians don’t feel as though they own the national debt, and they plan on being long gone before any tough decisions have to be made. However, most of them will find themselves long gone by November of next year, if a serious effort isn’t undertaken soon.

It doesn’t take three years to solve America’s most pressing problem. I made my decision as soon as the crisis hit. There are only two options: A or B. No. Increasing income taxes on an upside down citizenry, increasing the amount of government regulations upon them, and imposing new health insurance mandates are not solutions to the real problem. It’s time to fix the problem of this era. It’s time to pass a budget. It’s time to pay down the national debt. It’s time to reduce the size of government. It’s time to end excessive government regulation. It’s time to overthrow an unconstitutional government mandate. It’s time to make a decision, or get out of Dodge.

“If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

~ By: Larry Walker, Jr. ~

Poll: Sarah Palin Surprisingly Leads 2012 GOP Contenders After Bus Tour

Poll: Sarah Palin Surprisingly Leads 2012 GOP Contenders After Bus Tour

Submitted by Norman Byrd on 2011-06-11

She hasn't declared her candidacy yet. She showed up in New Hampshire the same day Mitt Romney declared he was running for president and garnered most of the press. And that was before the media got hold of her Paul Revere gaffe. And despite the fact that most Republicans won't vote for her, Palin has managed to top a poll.

In what might be considered something more suitable to the strange-but-true section of the news, a poll released Wednesday by Reuters/IPSOS reflects something not seen in the results of any other poll -- Sarah Palin leading all other Republican 2012 presidential contenders. According to the poll, the former governor of Alaska, who has yet to declare her candidacy, is actually ahead of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who announced his candidacy in New Hampshire on June 2 and who leads most polls, including one released by Fox News.

Although the Fox News poll put Romney ahead of Palin by 11 points (and ahead of second-place Rudy Giuliani by 10 percent), 23 percent to 12 percent, the Reuters poll placed Palin two points ahead of Romney at 22 percent to 20.

What makes Palin's lead in the poll strange is that the poll was conducted over the past weekend -- after she made the Paul Revere gaffe. The poll was taken from Friday to Monday. Palin made the gaffe on Friday and then made things worse by telling Fox News' Chris Wallace Sunday that she wasn't wrong with her statement that Paul Revere warned the British. She then attempted to convince a clearly amused Wallace (and the viewing audience) that the famed American colonial revolutionary and Boston silversmith rode through the streets of Boston warning both the colonists and the British that the British were on their way to take away their guns and freedom.

Perhaps voting members of the GOP do not care that their elected officials are ignorant of rudimentary American history (which Palin insisted to Wallace that she knows). But even if one were to allow for historical ignorance, it could well be asked what part of Palin's resume appeals to the conservative voter when she has shown that her greatest political attribute is her ability to spout meaningless talking points and platitudes as a fundraiser.

But perhaps the numbers were a reflection that Palin's remarks hadn't had time to sink in with the Republican electorate. The Fox News Poll was conducted starting the day the Reuters poll concluded and the day after Palin insisted that her version of Revere's ride was accurate.

And the Fox poll showed she was 11 percentage points behind the leader and 1 point behind another undeclared potential candidate...

Of course, with the margin of error, which was +/- 3 percent, Palin actually could assume the same second-place position in the Reuters/IPSOS Poll she has held in most polls since Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump both withdrew from GOP presidential consideration in mid-May.

Regardless, Palin's continued strong presence in the polls indicates that she will continue to be a powerful force within the Republican Party -- whether she decides to run for president or not.

Anthony finds an ethics defender . . . Rangel!

Weiner finds an ethics defender . . . Rangel!


Last Updated: 6:00 AM, June 11, 2011

Posted: 1:31 AM, June 11, 2011

Anthony Weiner's got a friend in ethically challenged Rep. Charles Rangel.

"I know one thing: He wasn't going out with prostitutes, he wasn't going out with little boys, he wasn't going into men's rooms with broad stances," Rangel said yesterday, alluding to sex scandals involving Republican Sen. David Vitter, GOP Rep. Mark Foley and GOP Sen. Larry Craig.

"Of course not," Rangel replied when asked if he agreed with the host of fellow lawmakers calling for Weiner to quit. "Not one person has given any reason for resignation."

Rangel charged that Weiner was the victim of a double standard.

"Certainly I know immoral sex when I hear it from other [House] members and no one has screamed for their resignation, so I don't know why they're selecting Anthony," he said.

A House ethics panel found Rangel guilty last year of financial wrongdoing -- and Weiner was the only New York Democrat in the House to donate money from his campaign coffers to Rangel's legal defense.

Meanwhile, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi -- who Monday called for an ethics probe of Weiner -- yesterday declined to call for his resignation, saying the decision should be up to the shamed congressman and his constituents.

White children in the minority in 10 states

07:24 PM ET
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White children are now in the minority among people under 18 in 10 U.S. states and 35 large metro areas, according to a Brookings analysis of 2010 Census data.

The number of white children in metro areas including Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas; Orlando, Florida; and Phoenix, Arizona, fell below that of other children in the last decade as the population of white children nationwide declined by 4.3 million, the report said.

The decline occurred as the number of children identified as "new minorities" – Hispanics, Asians and other racial groups apart from whites, blacks and American Indians – grew by 5.5 million, the report said.

Hispanics registered an increase of 4.8 million, which kept the nation's overall child population from declining, the report said. The findings reflect changes in the racial makeup of the overall U.S. population with Hispanics becoming the nation's largest and fastest growing minority group.

Hispanics now comprise 23% of children, up from 12% in 1990, while whites now comprise just 53% of youth, down from nearly 70% in 1990.

The findings also underscore projections that the country will become "white minority" by 2042 as the race's median age keeps increasing. The child population stands to hit that mark in 2023.

"Slower growth among whites owes in part to their lower fertility rate – about 1.9 births per white woman, compared with 3.0 births per Hispanic woman – as well as a relatively low contribution to population growth from immigration" the report stated.

From 2000 to 2009, only 15% of growth in the immigrant population was attributable to whites, compared with 78% for Hispanics, Asians and other new minorities.

The report also said the aging white population contributes to a lower growth rate because proportionately, fewer white women are in their child-bearing years.

"The median age of whites is 41, compared to 27 for Hispanics, 35 for Asians, and a staggering 20 for the population of more than one race. As a further reflection of these age differences by race and ethnicity, just one-fifth of U.S. whites are under age 18, compared with one-third of all Hispanics."

The study also found that the decline in white children reduced the growth rate of the overall child population, from 13.7% in the 1990s to 2.6% in the 2000s. Though variation from state to state in child growth was considerable, on the whole, 46 states registered declines in their white child populations.

Not surprisingly, most of the states that experienced growth in populations of minority children are the ones where white children are in the minority: California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi and Maryland.

Illegal Immigration & Human Trafficking

Illegal Immigration & Human Trafficking

(Speech given by political economist & Candidate for Houston City Council At-Large #2, Elizabeth Perez, at the Carl Pittman for Sheriff event with Sheriff Joe Arpaio on June 7th in Houston.)

Good morning my fellow Americans! Hope you all are ready for an action packed event. Are you guys fired up? Are you ready to take back OUR country? Let me have a round of applause if you are SICK of illegal immigration like I am. Is your heart racing? You ready to get this show on the road and help get Carl Pittman elected Sheriff of Harris County and restore OUR American values and law? Let’s give Sheriff Arpaio a warm welcome to Texas, the friendly state! First things first, if you are a veteran, an active member or a family member of someone who has served or is serving in our Armed Forces, please stand up. Let’s give them a hand! Thank you! Thank you for preserving our freedom and serving our country!

You guys are great! It’s a great pleasure to be in your company, and I’m honored to share the stage with such distinguished speakers who love our country. Before I begin, I just want to say that the thoughts and words that I am going to share with you today are my own, and that I wrote the talking points myself. I graduated from HISD’s High School for Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice, have a BA in Political Science, a 1st Masters in Political Science & Public Law and a 2nd Masters in International Business & Accounting. Thus, my credentials should suffice any doubts.

Now, before I get accused by my Latino counterparts on the left of being something I’m not, let me briefly tell you my family background. I am the daughter of Mexican immigrant parents who arrived in the US in 1969 with immigrant visas. Let me say that again, daughter of Mexican immigrant parents who entered the US LEGALLY. I want to make sure that Latino democrats and the media understand that my parents entered LEGALLY. I am a US citizen born and raised in Houston, TX. I was raised Jewish Catholic with conservative values and traditions, the importance of education and a strong work ethic.

On Memorial Day, the Houston Chronicle released an article covering State Representative Ana Hernandez’s illegal immigrant story and how she turned out to be a success. She explained how her parents brought her and her sister to Houston when she was an infant. Ms. Hernandez was upset that HB12 was passed in the Texas legislature that would “allow peace officers to make inquiries on legal status at their own discretion but would not require anything of them. It would not create an atmosphere of heavy immigration enforcement because no one is required by the bill to enforce immigration law or take any specific actions.”

This story makes my blood boil. She puts a “face” to illegal immigrants that is misleading. She dares to put a “face” to immigrant families. MY parents were NOT illegal! I was NOT born in Mexico! I am NOT an anchor baby! I, Elizabeth Perez, am the daughter of Mexican immigrant parents who respected the law of the land and arrived in the US LEGALLY and who remained legal. I am a US citizen born and raised in Houston along with SEVERAL other family members! My husband’s family history is like mine – LEGAL.

As “touching” as Ms. Hernandez’s story may be, her parents committed an illegal action by over staying their visit when their tourist visas expired. My parents arrived in the US with IMMIGRANT visas to avoid having to deal with the fear of deportation and so that their kids, my siblings & myself, wouldn’t have to deal with “the fear” that Hernandez spoke of in the teary-eyed speech she gave to State Legislators.

To which I say: “If you have done nothing wrong, you have no fear of your actions.” Her story does NOT justify or exempt her parents’ decision to remain in the US illegally. Her story neither represents nor is the face of all immigrant families.

The article further notes that Representative Debbie Riddle approached Ms. Hernandez after her speech and said, “You’ve been given a gift from G-d.” To which Ms. Hernandez’s responded: “I wasn’t given anything.” Hernandez’s statement is strongly mistaken. In fact, she was given something. She was given something by a Republican president. She and her family were given a pardon. Had it not been for President Reagan’s humanitarian beliefs, she would not be a state legislator today.

I find Ms. Hernandez’s irreverence to God to be appalling. I find it very disturbing that she would promote and advocate an unlawful action like illegal immigration, especially considering that she as an attorney took an oath to practice the rule of law and that as a state legislator she vowed to uphold the law of the land. Not to mention that she showed bad manners when Representative Riddle gave her a compliment. Ms. Hernandez, your duty as a state legislator is to the lawful citizens of your district and not to the illegal immigrants you are defending.

Ms. Hernandez is further quoted in the article indicating that she is focused on the “bread and butter issues” of her district that runs along the Houston Ship Channel, and immigration enforcement is a federal issue, not one for state legislators. The reality is that illegal immigration is conducive to other illicit activities and environments in the neighborhoods she represents. This subprime environment scares away small businesses that are family and school friendly. Instead, it attracts illicit bars, Sexually Oriented Businesses and vagrancy causing crime to rise in neighborhoods. This conduct steals the “bread and butter” of the families she claims to represent.

Ms. Hernandez, the Sanctuary City Bill would help bring innocent people out of the shadows and would put criminals in jail.

Did you know that Houston is the #1 hub in the U.S. for human trafficking? Did you know that young girls and women are smuggled into Houston and then distributed to other parts of the country along Interstate 10 and sold into prostitution? Did you know that these young girls and women are brought in from all over the world through Mexico?

Let me tell you a story about a 15 year-old Mexican girl named “Angela,” whose name has been changed to protect her identity. Angela is from northern Mexico. She and her parents were courted by an American citizen of Mexican heritage down in Mexico who promised to give Angela a better life in the U.S. He promised them that he would give her a job at his restaurant because in the US she could start working at 16 and that she could continue with school. After much persuasion and in much need of a better life, Angela and her family agreed that she could leave with this man to America – The Paradise Land. Well, the man kept his promise about giving Angela work in his restaurant as a waitress. However, his restaurant turns into an illicit bar after-hours. Angela was sold into prostitution at this man’s bar against her knowledge and will. This jerk had promised one of his customers “high quality” merchandise because Angela was a virgin. In Mexican culture, it is well known that 15 year old girls are still virgins. When she put up a fight, she was beaten, raped and starved for not complying to the customer’s request and to her boss’s demands. Angela would be starved for days until her hunger grew unbearable that she unwillingly complied to prostitution. She would have to engage in sexual activity before she would be given something to eat.

One day, Angela got brave and stole a customer’s cell phone while she was waitressing. She hid the phone and took it with her to the house where she was kept in captivity. She had learned 9-1-1 and made a frantic call while her smuggler was out of the house. The only clue she could give HPD was that she was at a house that had a red pickup truck outside. She didn’t know where she was in Houston. HPD located the signal of the cell phone and went door to door until they found the house with the red pickup truck where Angela was held captive.

It turns out that the smuggler had other young girls locked up there as well. To add insult to injury, the smuggler is also a drug lord who brands these young girls with the tattoo of a rooster so that he can identify them as his property if they run away and to distinguish them from another pimp’s girls. HPD has been tracking this thug, but has been unsuccessful in locating and arresting him. Angela and the other girls were able to give a description of the restaurant where they waitressed. HPD was able to find a few other leads of restaurants that operate illicitly after-hours and shut them down. Unfortunately, the drug lord is still out loose somewhere in Houston, in Texas and in Mexico.

Ironically, these modern day brothels are in Representative Hernandez’s District 143, Representative Alvarado’s District 145, Houston City Councilman Gonzalez’s District H and Houston City Councilman Rodriguez’s District I! Four Hispanic democrats. What have they done to “help” Latinos?

So my question today is directed to Ms. Hernandez, her democratic colleagues at the local, state and federal level and to Mr. Obama. The question I pose is the same question Ms. Hernandez posed to me when referring to me and my political party on our stance on illegal immigration when I met her in March of this year. I will ask the same question she asked in the same disgusted manner and body language she used (hand on one hip, move head in a snake-like fashion while bring 2 fingers to neck): “Ugh, do you people have a pulse?!” Mr. Obama, the alligators in the moat you spoke of when you visited Texas was your own democratic party. You and your party strive to keep illegal immigrants imprisoned as second class citizens in a modern day form of slavery.

Illegal immigration creates a second class citizenship AND contributes to the continuation of several other crimes! It’s a disservice for all Latinos! More importantly, it’s a disservice to the law abiding AMERICAN constituents in democratic districts for their representatives to continue to push for a sanctuary city.

How is illegal immigration humanitarian or beneficial to anyone!? What about the illegal immigrants who were left to die in a box trailer in Victoria, Texas? Must they have died? Was that really fair to them or their families? That situation should have NEVER happened. What about these young girls who are screaming for help because they’re being sold into prostitution at the tender age of 15?

We need to secure our borders and our cities NOW. We also need stricter immigration laws. I’m SICK of the Mexican government not taking care of its people that they have to come over here illegally risking their lives in the process.

Illegal immigration should not be an issue at all for the US. You know why? Because of something called NAFTA. NAFTA was implemented in 1994 with Mexico winning all of the negotiations against the US with the exception of the avocadoes. The purpose of NAFTA was not only to increase trade and generate revenue between the US and Mexico, but to reduce the influx of Mexican immigrants; thus, the quota system for immigration. This was negotiated by then President Carlos Salinas de Gortari & President George H. W. Bush. Let me remind you that Mexico won all of the negotiations for NAFTA. The immigration quota system was set by then Mexican President Salinas de Gortari and his cabinet. Around the same time, Mexico suffered the Mexican Peso Crisis in which it received a huge bail out from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The stipulation for Mexico receiving the loan was that Mexico was to reinvest the revenue generated from NAFTA back into the Mexican infrastructure so that Mexico could create jobs and continue to fund their version of Medicare, welfare and Social Security programs. The Mexican Republican Government is set up to mirror the democracy of the US Government.

Mexico averages ~$9B in revenue from NAFTA; whereas, the US averages ~$6B in revenue from NAFTA. Señor Presidente Calderon and Mr. Obama, this is elementary math. A kindergardner can subtract 6 from 9 and see that the difference is 3. Mexico obviously has the greater economic advantage to take care of its own people because it earns ~$3B more a year than the US! However, corruption continues to be prevalent in Mexico that the Mexican people are not receiving the benefits and programs they are entitled to receive as taxpayers in Mexico!

I pay taxes in Mexico as well because my parents own a very modest retirement home. I get screwed by both governments on both sides of the border. I’ve had enough of this! NAFTA is up for renegotiation in about a year or so. I say we renegotiate, shut down the border and make immigration stricter. Enough is enough already! Illegal immigration must stop now! Immigration enforcement does not separate families. US laws do not separate families. Poor choices and corruption in the Mexican and Latin American governments are what tear families apart!

To the Latinos out there that are listening to this message, Democrats like to make unfounded assumptions about Republicans. It is an oxymoron that democrats represent “democracy.” In fact, their party name is a misnomer. They push for a second class citizenship with illegal immigration that has us dependent on the government based on fear and emotions as a rationalization for daily function. You can’t send “hope and change” to the mortgage company or to your landlord. You can’t feed your family on hope and change either. You can’t fill your gas tank or pay your bills with emotions. Democrats have not answered the call of the little people. The democrats make us little people!

Now my fellow Americans as I finish my remarks. I ask that you please bare with me for just a moment so that I can relate this same message in Spanish for those of us out there who have not yet assimilated into American culture. I promise to be brief. For the English media, note that I am a native Spanish speaker and that the words you will hear are not a literal translation, rather you will hear the context of my message. For the Spanish media, it’s time our Spanish speakers hear this once and for all. Here goes.

Mi querido pueblo. Ya basta de tanto engaño de parte del gobierno mexicano y del partido democrata de los EEUU. Nos hemos desviado del buen camino al llegar a tierra ajena sin permiso. Los EEUU siempre ha sido muy hospitalario y caritativo pero se llega la hora cuando se acaba el dinero.

Los Republicanos NO somos racistas, NO somos anti-inmigrantes, NO somos anti-Hispanos. Simplemente estamos en contra de cualquier acto ilegal PUNTO. No se manifiesten en contra del pais que les brinda el pan de cada dia. Al contrario deberian de manifestarse en contra del gobierno mexicano, pero haganlo en Mexico.

Acuerdense de los mandamientos de Dios y de los principios que nos enseñaron nuestros abuelos y padres. Respeten las leyes del pais en el que estan. Y como dijo Benito Juarez: “El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz.” Dios me los bendiga.

Thank you all for giving me the chance to speak. I pray that we all have good health, are safe and victorious in November 2011 & 2012. It’s time we take back our beloved country. Thank you, and God Bless the USA.


Hamas Summer Camps Train Next Generation Terrorists

by Gavriel Queenann

Hamas is reporting record turnouts for its summer camps for children in 2011.

The 'summer camps,' combining Islamic indoctrination, paramilitary training, and social activities are set to begin again this year as United Nation’s summer camps, considered competition by Hamas, are being openly denigrated by jihadists.

Children and adolescents are an important target demographic for Hamas, from which its future army of terrorists will be recruited. Summer camps are an important means for indoctrinating Gaza's youth with Hamas' jihadist ideology.

In 2010 Hamas ran camps for an estimated 100,000 campers, a number similar to 2009. The Islamic Jihad terror group ran 51 camps with 10,000 participating boys and girls.

Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan reported the objectives of the camps were to raise a generation of children with 'genuine Islamic values.'

"Children working for the interests of their homeland and to educate them to the culture of the Islamic faith so they will remember their goals, including Jerusalem and the prisoners," Radwan said

In addition to indoctrination, Hamas terrorists give children paramilitary training. Banners are hung on the walls with slogans extolling jihad and 'death for the sake of Allah.'

Other prominent motifs for this year are solidarity with Turkey in connection with the Mavi Marmara flotilla, a call for the release of Hamas prisoners (campers carried posters with their pictures) and organized expressions of hatred for Israel and the Jewish people.

UNRWA Programs Attacked

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency summer camp system hosted 250,000 children and adolescents in 2010. This year, as with previous years, the UN camps were harassed by jihadist terrorists.

On May 23, 2010 a group of 30 armed, masked men broke into an UNRWA summer camp site and burned it to the ground. On the night of June 28, 2010 armed, masked men broke into another UNRWA camp site in the Al-Zuweida region in central Gaza and set it on fire. In both incidents the arsonists were not identified.

A UNRWA spokesman called on the security services of the de facto Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip to investigate and determine who was behind the attacks.

But the groups of armed men who attack the UNRWA summer camps every year receive are inspired by, and probably supported by, Hamas and other terror networks networks operating in Gaza who say the UNRWA camps are 'undermining Palestinian values.'


Tex. Sheriff Issues Domestic Terrorism Warning

Bandera County Sheriff's Office Issues Domestic Terrorism Warning
Law Enforcement Agency Concerned Radical Anti-Government Groups May Be Moving Into Area
Tim Gerber, KSAT 12 News Reporter

BANDERA, Texas -- The Bandera County Sheriff's Office issued a warning Thursday to citizens about an anti-government movement known for acts of domestic terrorism.

The law enforcement agency said followers of The Sovereign Citizens Movement have been known to carry out violent acts, including killing law enforcement officers and other public servants.

The sheriff's office told KSAT-12 News the warning was prompted by the recent shooting death of Bexar County Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Kenneth Vann.

"We have domestic terrorism right at our doorstep," said Capt. Charlie Hicks of the Bandera County Sheriff's Office.

Hicks said while there's no evidence Vann's death had any links to the Sovereign Citizens, it's the same type of crime followers are known for.

For example, in last May, a father and his teenage son opened fire on two police officers with an assault rifle during a routine traffic stop in West Memphis, Ark. News reports said the incident was sparked by the suspects' refusal to present a valid driver's license. The officers were killed in the shootout and the father and son died in a second shootout with officers a short time later.

"That's our main concern. Citizen safety and police officer safety in this area," Hicks said.

According to Hicks, followers of the anti-government, anarchist movement, share the belief that the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution has tricked Americans into becoming citizens of the United States and has offered them privileges, such as driver's licenses and other government benefits, which act as so-called hidden contracts through which Americans effectively have given up their sovereignty.

Hicks said followers are often very vocal about their beliefs.

"They've very serious in their beliefs, and very serious when they do go to violence," Hicks said. "They'll kill you in a New York minute."

Hicks said while a training camp for similar anti-government groups was discovered in Kerr County in the past, there is no evidence any members are currently operating in Bandera County. But Hicks said residents should still be cautious.

"Don't be getting into heated arguments with these people, because the potential for violence is there," Hicks said.

The FBI considers the Sovereign Citizens Movement one of the nation's top domestic terror threats. Oklahoma City bombing co-conspirator Terry Nichols was a follower and many believe Jared Loughner, the man who shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Ariz., in January, is also a believer.

Hicks said citizens are urged to report any suspicious activity to the Bandera County Sheriff's Office or your nearest local law enforcement agency.

40 Out of 50 Indiana State Senators Sign Amicus Brief Supporting Right to Use Force to Resist Unlawful Police Entry

40 Out of 50 Indiana State Senators Sign Amicus Brief Supporting Right to Use Force to Resist Unlawful Police Entry

Eugene Volokh

The brief supporting the petition for rehearing was filed in Barnes v. State, the decision Orin blogged about last month. The brief was also signed by 31 of the 100 Indiana House of Representatives members, but the overwhelming support in the Senate struck me as especially striking.

The brief argues that the Indiana self-defense statute, which allows the use of force “if the person reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent or terminate the other person’s unlawful entry of or attack on the person’s dwelling, curtilage, or occupied motor vehicle,” is applicable whether the unlawful entrant is an ordinary citizen or a police officer. Neither the Barnes majority nor the dissent cited this statute, and my quick look through the briefs suggests that the parties didn’t mention it on appeal; I suspect that means they didn’t bring up at trial, either.

Americans' equity in their homes near a record low

Americans' equity in their homes near a record low


WASHINGTON (AP) - Falling real estate prices are eating away at home equity. The percentage of their homes that Americans own is near its lowest point since World War II, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. The average homeowner now has 38 percent equity, down from 61 percent a decade ago.

The latest bleak snapshot of the housing market came as mortgage rates hit a new a low for the year, falling below 4.5 percent for a 30-year fixed loan. But even alluring rates have failed to deliver any lift to the depressed housing industry.

The Fed report is based on data from the first quarter of this year. Another report last week found that home prices in big cities have fallen to 2002 levels.

Normally, home equity rises as you pay off the mortgage. But home values have fallen dramatically since the bubble in prices burst in 2006. So many homeowners are losing equity even though the outstanding balance on the loan is getting smaller.

Nicole Rosen's home in tiny Spanaway, Wash., just outside the military base where her husband works, has lost $150,000 in value since she paid $275,000 for it in 2006. She has battled mortgage lenders in court for two years to stay out of foreclosure. In the meantime, the couple are paying off credit cards, figuring it's the only "positive thing we could do."

"We're paying off all our debt. We only have $200 left on our credit cards. But we're stuck in our house," Rosen said.

Home equity is important for the economy because it has a lot to do with how wealthy people feel. If they feel swamped by a mortgage loan, they're less likely to spend freely on other things. Home equity also serves as collateral for some loans.

There are 74.5 million homeowners in the United States. An estimated 60 percent have a mortgage. The rest have either paid off the loan or bought with cash.

Of the people who have mortgages, 23 percent are "under water," meaning they owe more on the mortgage than their home is worth, according to the private real estate research firm CoreLogic. An additional 5 percent are nearing that point.

The outlook for the housing market remains dim.

Fixed mortgage rates average 4.49 percent, extremely low by historical standards, and have fallen for eight straight weeks. But most people can't meet tougher lending requirements. Falling rates make it easier to refinance, too, but many of the people who can afford to do that already have.

And foreclosures keep hammering the housing market. On Thursday, the Obama administration said the three largest U.S. lenders - Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase - haven't helped enough people lower their mortgage payments to stay in their homes.

The government said it has started withholding the cash incentives it established for lenders under its 2-year-old foreclosure prevention program. The administration had hoped the program would prevent as many as 4 million foreclosures, but it has helped fewer than 700,000 people.

Foreclosures have economic ripples: Homes in foreclosure sell at a 20 percent discount on average, and those discounts erode prices throughout a neighborhood.

Many foreclosure sales have been delayed while federal regulators, state attorneys general and banks review how those foreclosures were carried out over the past two years. When those foreclosures go through, prices may fall even further.

Home prices are expected to keep falling until the number of foreclosures for sale is reduced, companies start hiring in greater force, banks ease lending rules and more people think it makes financial sense again to buy a house. In some areas of the country, that could take years.

The Federal Reserve report found that Americans' overall net worth grew 1.65 percent in the January-to-March period, to $58.06 trillion, mostly because of stock market gains. Most of those gains have been erased since March, though.

Net worth is the value of assets such as homes and stocks, minus debts like mortgages and credit cards.

The report found household debt declined at an annual rate of 2 percent from the previous quarter, mostly because of a decline in mortgage debt, which has fallen for 12 straight quarters.

But the decline is deceiving. Mortgage debt is coming down because so many Americans are defaulting on payments and losing their homes to foreclosure, not just because people are paying off loans.

"A lot of this debt reduction is not voluntary," said Dana Saporta, director of U.S. economics at Credit Suisse.

The Fed report suggests the average household owes about $119,000 on mortgages, credit cards, auto loans and other debt.

Debt now equals 119 percent of the money Americans have left over after taxes. In late 2007, when the country was binging on debt, it was 135 percent. In the healthier 1990s, it was roughly 90 percent.

Auto loans, student loans and other consumer credit rose 2.4 percent during the quarter, a second straight gain. Analysts say more people, many of them unemployed, are borrowing money to attend school.

The Fed's quarterly report documents wealth, debt and savings for corporations, governments and households. It covers most of the financial transactions that take place in the United States.

It found that corporations are still hoarding cash. Excluding banks and other financial firms, companies held $1.9 trillion in cash at the end of the quarter. That was slightly more than in the previous quarter and set another record.

The reluctance of companies to spend more of their cash helps explain why job growth has been slow since the recession ended. The unemployment rate is 9.1 percent, slightly higher than when the year began.

Household net worth in America is up nearly 19 percent from early 2009 but still about 11 percent below its peak in 2007. Normally, greater wealth would spark consumer spending. But the lost home equity is counteracting it.

Per household, it comes to about $518,000. But the gap between the super-rich and everyone else in the United States has grown over the past three decades. So while average wealth is increasing, most Americans don't feel the difference.


AP Business Writer Matthew Craft in New York contributed to this report.

Dude, Where's My Freedom?

Dude, Where’s My Freedom?
The government tightens the noose on guns, health, travel, and more.
by Paul Hsieh

Benjamin Franklin once warned Americans that “they who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.” Yet in the seemingly unrelated areas of health care and physical security, our political leaders are embracing this folly with predictably bad results.

In the realm of health care, the Obama administration is forging ahead to implement its “universal health care” plan, despite consistent popular opposition and numerous legal challenges. They claim they must restrict patients’ freedoms by forcing them to purchase insurance on government terms and restrict doctors’ freedoms by herding them into Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in order to guarantee everyone the supposed “security” of guaranteed health care.

Yet, as we’ve already seen in Massachusetts (which has a health plan similar to the national ObamaCare program), this results in patients having theoretical “coverage” — but less of an ability to get actual medical care.

In the related realm of pharmaceuticals, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claims it must restrict patients’ freedom to purchase (and manufacturers’ freedom to sell) drugs in order to protect our safety. However, pharmaceutical industry experts fault onerous FDA regulations for contributing to the current dangerous shortage of many injectable drugs by artificially raising the costs of drug creation and production. Hence, many seriously ill patients are now unable to get the medications they need.

Even worse, as Mark McCarty of Medical Device Daily recently described, FDA advisors have sought to deny terminally patients access to potentially life-extending treatments on the grounds that “the risk-benefit ratio was not up to par.” Similarly, medical device makers are now finding Europe a more hospitable environment for innovation than the U.S. due to FDA regulations. Rather than protecting Americans, the FDA is endangering them.

In the realm of transportation security, the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) is already a national joke for groping grandmothers and babies. Yet when tested with fake bombs and real guns, they’ve failed miserably. Indeed, it was the passengers who stopped the would-be bomber in Detroit of Northwest Airlines flight 253, not the TSA — a classic example of what blogger Glenn Reynolds calls “An Army of Davids.”

Americans have surrendered their freedoms (and their dignity) to the TSA for a sham “security theater” rather than genuine security. Yet politicians like Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) want to extend such controls from air travel to train travel.

Finally, Obama administration officials recently let slip that they are working on new gun control measures “under the radar.” Gun control is the classic example of foolishly exchanging an essential liberty for an illusion of security. The U.S. states that respect the honest citizen’s right to carry firearms in self-defense have consistently lower rates of violent crimes than states with strict gun control laws.

These examples illustrate the problems that arise when government oversteps its proper bounds. The proper function of government is to protect individual rights, such as our rights to free speech, property, and contract. Only those who initiate physical force or fraud can violate our rights. A properly limited government thus protects our rights by protecting us from criminals who steal, murder, rape, and so on, as well as from foreign aggressors. But it should otherwise leave honest people alone to live peacefully.

Whenever government exceeds those proper bounds, it violates honest citizens’ rights, rather than protecting them. Rather than the guilty, the innocent thus bear the costs.

Innocent patients in Massachusetts suffer by having to wait nearly twice as long for primary care appointments than patients in the other 49 states. Innocent patients around the country suffer from FDA barriers restricting their access to life-saving drugs and medical devices. TSA gropings punish innocent travelers, not the bad guys. Gun control punishes honest gun owners while rewarding violent criminals by delivering to them a populace of disarmed victims.

Fortunately, we can rectify these injustices by insisting that the government adhere to its legitimate function of protecting individual rights.

In health care, a proper government would allow patients, doctors, and insurers to enter into insurance contracts according to their own best judgment. The government’s job would be to enforce those contracts against any attempts by patients, providers, or insurers to cheat. It should not punish insurance companies for selling products that customers want, as recently occurred in Massachusetts. Note that in such a free market, the freedom to contract protects insurability (including for patients with pre-existing conditions), rather than destroying it.

With pharmaceuticals, the government should protect us against fraudulent claims. But otherwise drugmakers should be left free to decide what drugs to manufacture. Likewise, doctors and patients should decide what medications they should prescribe/take. The resultant free market would make safe, effective drugs much more affordable and available to all.

With respect to terrorism, the government should adopt a proactive foreign policy that actually tackles the threat of Islamic totalitarianism, rather than harassing law-abiding travelers.

With respect to violent crime, the government should go after actual criminals rather than penalizing law-abiding gun owners.

All forms of “gun control,” “travel control,” or “health control” are just examples of a broader “freedom control.” And they are all doomed to fail because at root they are just different ways of government violating our individual rights rather than protecting them.

In Memorial Day and D-Day commemorations around the country, America recently honored the many brave men and women who fought abroad for our liberty. Let us not ignobly surrender that hard-won liberty for politicians’ sham promises of “security” here at home. Otherwise, we may all wake up one day soon wondering, “Dude, where’s my freedom?”
Paul Hsieh, MD, practices in the south Denver metro area. He is co-founder of Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine (MD).

Libya on $2 Million a Day: Obama's Illegal War

Written by Michael Tennant

U.S. taxpayers are being soaked to the tune of $2 million a day for President Barack Obama’s illegal war in Libya, according to a Defense Department memo obtained by the Financial Times. The document, entitled “United States Contribution to Operation Unified Protector,” says that the government is spending about $60 million a month on the mission and had spent $664 million by mid-May. This is significantly more than the Pentagon had previously suggested the war was costing. In late March Defense Department officials testified to Congress that they had spent about $550 million on the war, at a rate of about $40 million per month. In May Defense Secretary Robert Gates estimated that the government would end up shelling out about $750 million on the war through the end of fiscal year 2011. Clearly the bill is going to be much higher.

The Financial Times story also puts the lie to the Obama administration’s assurances that the United States would be at the forefront of NATO operations for only “days, not weeks” and that since April 4 U.S. troops have been in a “support,” rather than active combat, role:

Although it is working under NATO, the U.S. is by far the largest contributor to operation Unified Protector. As of mid-May it was conducting 70 percent of reconnaissance missions, over 75 percent of refueling flights and 27 percent of all air sorties.

The U.S. has about 75 aircraft, including drones, involved in the operations and since the end of March has conducted about 2,600 aircraft sorties and about 600 combat sorties. …

In total the U.S. military has fired about 228 missiles as of mid-May.

All this spending is coming out of the Pentagon’s existing budget; Congress has not appropriated any funds specifically for the Libyan mission. With legislators of both parties becoming restive over the war, the Obama administration is unlikely to seek such funding either.

As Fox News points out, news of the escalating cost of the war will make “the challenge of selling Libya [to Congress] even harder.” Last week the House of Representatives passed a resolution that demanded an explanation of the war from Obama and reminded him that Congress might be reluctant to fund the war in the absence of a “compelling rationale” for it. On Wednesday the Senate, which had previously appeared likely to pass a resolution in favor of the war, instead approved one similar to the one that had passed the House. “However,” writes Fox News, “this one is tougher in that it calls for the president to seek permission from Congress to remain in Libya.”

Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), one of the resolution’s cosponsors, explained the rationale behind it:

When we examine the conditions under which the President ordered our military into action in Libya, we are faced with the prospect of a very troubling historical precedent that has the potential to haunt us for decades. The issue for us to consider is whether a President — any President — can unilaterally begin, and continue, a military campaign for reasons that he alone defines as meeting the demanding standards worthy of risking American lives and expending billions of dollars of our taxpayers’ money. It is important for Congress to step in and clearly define the boundaries of our involvement.

Congress should certainly assert its constitutional authority to initiate, define the scope of, and terminate wars. If the President refuses to comply with clear congressional directives, then Congress should also assert its constitutional authority to impeach him.

Jason Ditz of summed up the situation in Washington well:

Despite increasingly shrill claims of progress, the war in Libya appears stalemated and destined to last for months, if not years. Britain’s defense secretary was up front about this, saying it would probably still be going on past Christmas. For a Congress coping with an already staggering deficit and facing growing doubts about the nation’s myriad wars, this may be far too long, and far too expensive, to tolerate.

How Obama and ACORN are Sabotaging America

How Obama and ACORN are Sabotaging America
by Matthew Vadum

It takes a special kind of cognitive dissonance to be able to order the assassination of the world’s most infamous terrorist in Pakistan years after launching one’s political career in the living room of another infamous terrorist in Chicago.

But such nuances are nothing new for Barack Obama.

After all, he used to work for ACORN, America’s best known urban terrorist group, a radical socialist outfit that masquerades as a public-spirited service organization.

ACORN and Obama are a match made in Heaven.

America’s Community Organizer-in-Chief grew up surrounded by parents, grandparents, and mentors enamored of communism. Not surprisingly, Obama was drawn to the world of communist-sympathizing thug Saul Alinsky, a fiendishly brilliant man who devoted his life to destroying “the system.” Alinsky wanted to bring down American capitalism and democracy in order to drag the country kicking and screaming into a socialist nightmare.

Yet Obama doesn’t see a contradiction between fighting America’s terrorist enemies abroad even though in 1995 he raised funds for his first run for public office in the Hyde Park, Chicago living room of unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn.

Why would he? Broadly speaking, Ayers, a self described “small-c communist” and Obama have similar philosophies. They served on the same charitable boards and both directed funding to ACORN.

And if it wasn’t already obvious more than two years into President Obama’s term of office, radical left-wing community organizers (like Obama) want to destroy America as we know it.

And they’ve already succeeded in part.

America is now on the verge of a spectacular financial collapse partly because of the destructive actions of Obama’s former employer ACORN, its allies in the labor movement, a constellation of taxpayer-funded leftist pressure groups, and radical organizers nationwide.

For four decades Obama’s favorite activist group, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, has been extremists’ preferred vehicle for wreaking havoc on society. Socialists, communists, anarchists, and radical trade unionists have flocked to ACORN for good reason: it is unlike any other political strike force in U.S. history. And ACORN’s enemies consistently get steamrolled because they don’t take the group seriously enough, according to insider Marcel Reid, who used to be a member of ACORN’s national board.

“They don’t appreciate the prowess that ACORN operates with, that it’s mean and lean, that they keep their operating costs down, and they can strike a number of targets simultaneously with military precision.”

ACORN does whatever it takes to disrupt society and cause chaos. The group is all about massive voter fraud, home invasions, rent-a-mob services, intimidation, corporate shakedowns, and brutal Saul Alinsky-approved tactics.

ACORN’s anti-democratic, un-American activities are not legitimate political advocacy protected by the First Amendment. They cry out for prosecution under federal racketeering laws.

Such tactics are “a form of fascism,” former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R.-GA) told this writer in an interview.

“It’s the kind of thing that the Italian and German fascists and the Soviet Communists used routinely, and it’s the fundamental disruption of people’s rights.” He added, “I regard ACORN as an opportunistic collection of people who earn a living being disruptive and destructive and intimidating on behalf of their allies, many of whom are certainly socialists.”

Part pressure group, part urban terrorist network, part organized crime syndicate, ACORN claims only to want to help the poor. But it views the elimination of America’s free institutions as the only way to help the less fortunate.

ACORN follows a roadmap for Marxist revolution that relies on armies of angry activists. Alinsky’s paean to ruthlessness, Rules for Radicals, is the community organizer’s bible. It has inspired generations of hard-left activists to create pressure groups –like ACORN— to wage war against America’s free institutions.

Although Obama never met Alinsky, the future president embraced the late rabble rouser’s worldview. As a lecturer at the University of Chicago, Obama taught Alinsky’s ogrish organizing techniques, which involve intimidation, blackmail, and violence targeted at corporations and governments. Like the amoral political strategist Niccolo Machiavelli, Alinsky taught that the ends justify the means.

Alinsky even bragged that radical leftists like him were at their best when they were “breaking the necks of conservatives.” He acknowledged that violence is inevitable in the revolutionary struggle. “The radical may resort to the sword but when he does he is not filled with hatred against those individuals whom he attacks,” he said. “He hates these individuals not as persons but as symbols representing ideas or interests which he believes to be inimical to the welfare of the people.”

In other words, the Alinskyite radical is like a mobster who tells his prey, “It’s nothing personal, it’s strictly business,” before slitting his throat.

What does all of this have to do with Obama? After all, Obama is a polished politician who studiously avoids the caustic rhetoric of Alinsky, preferring a softer approach to selling his ideas.

But it matters because nearly 40 years after his death, Alinsky’s values and hoodlum ways permeate the heavy-handed Obama administration, which hasn’t hesitated to nationalize entire industries, flaunt court orders and the rule of law, and habitually ignore the limits on government power provided in the Constitution.

Both Alinsky and Obama are openly contemptuous of the American system.

Alinsky claimed to love America but at the same time he condemned what he called America’s “racist, discriminatory culture.” Like Karl Marx, he seethed with contempt for the middle class, which he described as “materialistic, decadent, bourgeois, degenerate, imperialistic, war-mongering, brutalized, and corrupt.”

Of course it’s a depressingly common tactic among radical leftists to label their adversaries as ignorant, small-minded, hateful, xenophobic simpletons incapable of independent thought. Alinsky opined that members of “the lower middle class” harbor “bitterness” against society in part because they don’t get back in government services what they pay out in taxes.

These sentiments aren’t too far removed from Obama’s condescending faux pas from the 2008 campaign trail that revealed the candidate’s elitist, Marxist contempt for ordinary Americans. Obama said small-town Americans “get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Alinsky railed against capitalism, saying it “places the highest premium on personal possessions and regards material poverty as failure.”

Obama is politically astute enough not to denounce capitalism directly, but he routinely preaches divisive class warfare. Since Obama was inaugurated how many times has he lectured Americans on the supposed virtue of redistributing wealth through confiscatory taxation?

Obama’s connections to ACORN continue to matter because the rumors of ACORN’s death have been greatly exaggerated. The group that became synonymous with sleaze and corruption when its employees were shown encouraging illegal behavior in the celebrated undercover “pimp and prostitute” videos of 2009 is alive and well – and planning to resurface before the critical 2012 elections, according to ACORN insiders. While ACORN declared bankruptcy in November, its state chapters were busy changing their names and shredding documents. ACORN’s still out there operating below the radar and reorganizing itself – because it never lets a good crisis go to waste.

But the real problem today isn’t just ACORN and the many ACORN wannabe groups it has spawned.

The real problem is that spendthrift ACORN supporters dominate the Obama administration and the Democratic Party’s organizing apparatus, bringing Alinsky-approved thuggery and intimidation to the corridors of power in Washington, D.C.

Patrick Gaspard, a longtime ACORN operative and SEIU executive who was Obama’s White House political director, was recently transferred to the Democratic National Committee. As part of his new duties as DNC executive director, Gaspard oversees Organizing for America, a DNC project that aspires to bring Alinskyite techniques to the campaign trail in 2012.

Anyone who loves America’s democratic processes should be worried.

The Anarchist Conscience

The Anarchist Conscience
by Jeff Riggenbach

[Transcribed from the Libertarian Tradition podcast episode "Gary Chartier: The Conscience of an Anarchist"]

If the libertarian tradition is going to endure and grow (in both size and influence), it's necessary for younger libertarians to do two things. First they need to familiarize themselves with that tradition. Second, and more fundamentally, they need to add to it. Enter Gary Chartier, Southern California law professor.

Chartier was born in Southern California in 1966. He grew up in Riverside County, out in the desert east of Los Angeles. And when he hit adolescence, around the early 1980s, his reading about political economy convinced him that he was a libertarian. "I was in many ways a fairly typical proto-libertarian of my generation," he wrote more than a quarter century later.

I grew up with Goldwaterite parents; I liked computers; I read science fiction; I was socially awkward; and I discovered the Libertarian Party (moving house recently, I chanced on flyers for the 1980 Ed Clark campaign …) and the option of acquiring libertarian books by mail order (perhaps what explains my receiving a 1984 form letter — something I also rediscovered recently — from Ron Paul asking that I support the fledgling Mises Institute).

Chartier recalls

looking through the small-print catalogue I'd requested from a libertarian bookseller and learning about the diverse array of stuff with which the libertarian world was filled. I'd already spent time with Volume II of Hayek's Law, Legislation, and Liberty (obtained via inter-library loan); now, I ordered Volume III — along with Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia and Rothbard's The Ethics of Liberty.

As Chartier remembers it,

these books weren't the first libertarian texts I'd read; perhaps a year or two before this, I'd spent time with Milton and Rose Friedman's Free to Choose. But I was delighted now to have a set of substantial libertarian books to read. Rothbard blew my mind; Nozick was a great intellectual workout, but by far the most difficult author I'd ever tried to read … and I started calling Hayek "my favorite economist" (a bit puzzlingly, since I didn't know many other economists, and what I'd read by Hayek wasn't economics but political theory). I acquired a copy of The Constitution of Liberty soon after. By the end of the summer after I graduated from high school, ignoring the sightseeing opportunities on a European trip, I'd finished Shea and Wilson's Illuminatus. And soon after I'd read Atlas Shrugged.

Chartier "never warmed to Rand's work," however; he reports today that

it didn't engage me emotionally, intellectually, and imaginatively as Shea and Wilson, Rothbard, and Hayek did. Looking back on my thinking in late adolescence, I'm struck by how much I imbibed from Rothbard, even as I disagreed with him about some things. I don't detect the same kind of influence on Rand's part.

Chartier's reading didn't stop now that he'd graduated from high school, however. He recalls now that

within the first four months of my first regular college quarter … I was still thinking libertarian thoughts: I'd been reading in and around multiple Rand books, including Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, Philosophy: Who Needs It?, An Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, and Anthem. I'd apparently even checked James J. Martin's Men against the State out of the university library. When I borrowed and read it in 2008, I discovered that the last person to check it out had been — me, in 1984.

Chartier's love affair with libertarianism was about to end, however. It didn't really survive his undergraduate years, before it foundered on the shoals of his compassion. (Back in those days there were no Bleeding Heart Libertarians.) As he wrote years later, his downfall "was a set of encounters with a number of authors, both Christian and secular … who placed great emphasis on negative responsibility … the notion that we are as responsible for events that occur as a result of our omissions (whether or not intended) as we are for events that occur as a result of our deliberate acts." It wasn't long before Chartier found himself confronting an impossible dilemma. "Given other things I believed," he wrote,

it seemed as if I was committed to believing that, when I failed to provide resources to a poor person anywhere in the world, I was responsible for any harm she or he underwent if the money I could have given her would likely have prevented [it]. Whenever someone died because I hadn't given her or him money, I was, on this view, a murderer. … I was overwhelmed at the thought that I was responsible for everyone, for everything, that any time I wanted to spend money on myself I would need to justify doing so in a way that made clear how the expenditure represented a net benefit to the world's poor. It's fair to say that this way of thinking was what pushed me over the edge into full-blown statism: if the state got involved in redistributing wealth from everyone, the problem could be put to an end: what I could never do on my own, the state could do. In any event, in a state committed to redistribution, responsibility would be shared, and I wouldn't have to bear an overwhelming burden of guilt.

Chartier finished up college, majoring in history and political science, then went on to do graduate work in Claremont, California, and Cambridge, England, winding up with a PhD in theology from Cambridge. Back in Southern California in the early '90s, he did a bit of adjunct teaching and served for a spell as editor of a small newspaper. He wrote scholarly articles for academic journals. He wrote newspaper editorials on public issues and controversies of the day. In all his writing at that time, he says now, he

took the authority of the state for granted. In retrospect, I find this odd: I certainly knew that standard liberal defenses of state authority were unsuccessful. Was I willing to treat state authority as rooted in some kind of sacred mandate? But my theological position certainly didn't allow for arbitrary divine fiats to empower kings or presidents?

It could be, Chartier speculates, that

I identified reflexively with members of the political class, assumed that what I was doing was designed to guide them, and simply treated the institutions they oversaw as givens because I had instinctively adopted their point of view and wanted to be one of them. I'm still not sure; I'm quite sure it was not because I'd given any serious thought to justifying state authority.

His confidence in state authority eroded rapidly in the first years of the new century, however, when he was finishing up his law degree at UCLA and George W. Bush was living in the White House. And by the time it had become clear that Barack Obama, whatever his campaign rhetoric might have seemed to imply, was in fact perfectly "happy," as Chartier puts it, "to be serving George W. Bush's third term" — well, by then, Chartier had long since concluded that he had been duped, or, perhaps, even, had duped himself. "I had opted for statism over anarchism without thinking clearly," he says today. "I had operated reflexively on the assumption that a stateless society wouldn't be able to solve the problems I believed the state could solve. Now, I realized both that a stateless society would be more creative than I had realized and that many of the problems that concerned me were in fact caused by the state."

So, after most of two decades as a statist, Gary Chartier is back among us. And, characteristically, he's putting himself forward for some of the most ambitious among the jobs that need doing. He's volunteering for the heavy lifting, you might say. He's young, vigorous, energetic, and newly committed to the cause. In evidence, I offer his latest book, The Conscience of an Anarchist: Why It's Time to Say Good-Bye to the State and Build a Free Society. This is a general introduction to libertarianism for a reader who is either entirely ignorant of the subject or in possession of only limited information regarding it. And it is high time, I say, that someone has published a new volume in that category. The last such general introduction that seems to have made any lasting impression was Mary Ruwart's Healing Our World, and that first came out nearly 20 years ago, in 1992.

It is, as I say, high time that a new contender should enter the field. It is useful to think about this, I believe, in the same way that we think about much revisionist history. The American historian Warren I. Cohen said back in 1967 that "every generation of historians tends to give new interpretations to the past." Another American historian, Richard Hofstadter, echoed this theme in 1968, when he wrote in his book The Progressive Historians about what he called "that perennial battle we wage with our elders." As Hofstadter saw it,

If we are to have any new thoughts, if we are to have an intellectual identity of our own, we must make the effort to distinguish ourselves from those who preceded us, and perhaps preeminently from those to whom we once had the greatest indebtedness.

Similarly, every generation of libertarians will tend to come up with a slightly different way of introducing the subject of individual liberty to outsiders. One generation's libertarian primer will differ from the preceding generation's — and from the following generation's. This is as it should be, as it must be. If we are to have any new thoughts, if we are to have an intellectual identity of our own, we must make the effort to distinguish ourselves from those who preceded us, and perhaps pre-eminently from those to whom we once had the greatest indebtedness.

So how does Gary Chartier's new libertarian primer distinguish itself? Well, first of all, it entirely eschews the word libertarian — the "L-word," I guess you could call it. Look as you might through Chartier's text, you'll find not a single occurrence anywhere in it of that word. Where Murray Rothbard or David Friedman would have said "libertarian" or "libertarianism," Gary Chartier says "anarchist" or "anarchism."

I met him recently in a rather noisy Southern California restaurant and asked him why. He answered,

I really want this book to reach an audience of people for whom the word "libertarian" might be a red flag — people for whom the word "libertarian" might suggest any number of things that they think they know about and don't like. And I felt as if by focusing on anarchy, that certainly is another red flag term, but I thought perhaps there might be some people's defenses I could move past that.

The readers for whom the word "libertarian" might be a red flag, I asked Chartier — might these readers be readers on the Left? He replied,

I would hope that this book would be of interest to frustrated Constitutionalists and other folks who might think of themselves as on the Right. But I definitely wanted it to be a book that was accessible and comprehensible to the sort of principled statist lefty who was increasingly frustrated with the Obama administration and wondered if there were alternatives. … I chose my words, I hope, pretty carefully to not unnecessarily turn off that group of readers.

Another way in which Chartier's Conscience of an Anarchist distinguishes itself is by eschewing all moral arguments for a free society. "I've never been a consequentialist," Chartier wrote a couple of years ago in a blog post. But in fact his argument in The Conscience of an Anarchist is entirely consequentialist. The state should be abolished because of the consequences of tolerating such an institution in human society. Chartier stresses, however, that his reliance on a consequentialist argument on this occasion is purely strategic; it does not signal, he says, any general unwillingness on his part to argue for liberty from a natural-rights perspective.

Not in this book, no. I'm prepared to argue that at some length elsewhere, but it's definitely, from a strategic point of view, not what I wanted to argue here … not because I want to argue against certain kinds of natural rights approaches — I mean, one of my ongoing academic interests is natural law theory, and I've worked quite a bit in that area. But it seemed to me that for this book that wasn't the most effective rhetorical tack to take. … What I particularly didn't want to do in this book [is] I didn't want to scare off the principled statist lefties. I also wanted this to be a book that anarchists of a pretty broad range of sorts could pick up and appreciate without thinking that by endorsing the book they were endorsing a particular position on the question, "What should a stateless society look like?" I would like somebody who identifies with Kropotkin or Proudhon to pick up this book and say, "All of this seems right to me; now I know this guy and I might well end up having an argument about what we want our stateless community to look like, but the substance of the book doesn't amount to a broadside against me, you know?" I think that was pretty important to me in trying to shape the book.

Not that there's anything new or original about avoiding moral arguments for liberty; this was the approach of David Friedman in The Machinery of Freedom in 1973. Nor is there anything revolutionary about trying to sell libertarian ideas without using the "L-word"; Sy Leon gave a talk at the Libertarian Supper Club of Los Angeles back in the mid-1970s, more than 35 years ago, when Gary Chartier was maybe eight years old. The talk was called "Why I Am Not a Libertarian." This was enough in and of itself to draw a sizable audience: after all, Sy Leon was Robert LeFevre's heir apparent, a former Nathaniel Branden Institute business representative who had joined LeFevre at his Freedom School in rural Colorado and then helped him move the operation to Southern California and reestablish it there.

Sy Leon was the organizer of the League of Non-Voters and at least the putative author of a short book called None of the Above, which argued that if we must have elections, we ought to include "None of the Above" on every ballot, and whenever "None of the Above" wins, a new election should be held, with new candidates — none of the candidates who had lost to "None of the Above" would be allowed to run again. The book had actually been ghostwritten for Sy by George H. Smith, but it was an accurate account of Sy's thinking, for all that.

Sy Leon was also Harry Browne's advance man — the man who set up Browne's speaking engagements nationwide — and Browne himself was about the most famous libertarian you could come up with in the Los Angeles of the mid-1970s. He was a local boy who had made good — more than good, really — with a bestselling libertarian book called How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World. How could Sy Leon not be a libertarian? Sy's beef, as it turned out, was the Libertarian Party, which he feared was going to teach Americans that libertarians believed in the political process. Clearly, the term libertarian was going to have to be abandoned, as the term liberal had had to be abandoned earlier; both terms had been hijacked by the enemies of individual liberty and were no longer usable.

That was one man's judgment — a judgment made at a particular time and place, when a particular generation of libertarians was facing particular obstacles in its efforts to spread the word. The idea of abandoning the L-word didn't really catch on with the generation of libertarians it was aimed at, which happens to be my own generation of libertarians. Will more of the libertarians now in their teens and twenties see the matter differently? Time will tell. Time will also tell whether the young libertarians of today will find Chartier's consequentialist arguments against the state persuasive.

They certainly seem so to me. "I'm an anarchist," Chartier writes, because I believe there's no natural right to rule … because I believe the state lacks legitimacy … because I believe the state is unnecessary … because the state tips the scales in favor of privileged elites and against ordinary people … because the state tends to be destructive. It engages in war and plunder, and seems persistently to be involved in ratcheting up the level of violence and injustice across borders — which are, of course, themselves state creations … because the state restricts personal freedom — as a way of maintaining order, benefiting the privileged, preserving its own power, or subsidizing some people's moralizing preferences … and because I believe a stateless society would provide opportunities for people to explore diverse ways of living fulfilled, flourishing lives and to put the results of their exploration on display.

There's nothing new here, of course, but the familiar insights and arguments are freshly formulated in a breezy, snappy, very readable style and with an admirable succinctness. Murray Rothbard's For A New Liberty and David Friedman's The Machinery of Freedom were the libertarian primers, the general introductions to libertarianism, that captured the attention of my generation of libertarians. Libertarians who are now in their teens and twenties could do far worse than to let their own attention be captured by Gary Chartier's Conscience of an Anarchist.

Jeff Riggenbach is a journalist, author, editor, broadcaster, and educator. A member of the Organization of American Historians and a Senior Fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute, he has written for such newspapers as The New York Times, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle; such magazines as Reason, Inquiry, and Liberty; and such websites as,, and Drawing on vocal skills he honed in classical and all-news radio in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston, Riggenbach has also narrated the audiobook versions of numerous libertarian works, many of them available in Mises Media. Send him mail. See Jeff Riggenbach's article archives.

This article is transcribed from the Libertarian Tradition podcast episode "Gary Chartier: The Conscience of an Anarchist."