Donald Trump and the Return of Liberalism 12

Let me give you a definition of the word ‘liberal.’…Franklin D. Roosevelt once said…It is a wonderful definition, and I agree with him. ‘A liberal is a man who wants to build bridges over the chasms that separate humanity from a better life.’ – Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon was our last liberal president. – Noam Chomsky

“Imagine a president who expands affirmative action, actively promotes school desegregation, enacts important new laws in social welfare, environmental protection, occupational health and safety, and consumer protection, supports comprehensive health insurance and a system of guaranteed income for all citizens, and whose Justice Department opposes the RICO Act on the grounds that it gives the government powers that are much too broad and sweeping for prosecuting criminals. In 2011, such a president would be considered far to left of Barack Obama and far to the left of almost everyone in Congress. Forty years ago, such a president was called Richard Nixon.”-Matthew Lyons (“Right-Wing Movements 101“)

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Now that Donald Trump has won an upset electoral victory and will be assuming the office of the presidency in a couple of months, I am going to offer the unconventional and, certainly to many people, counter-intuitive opinion that it was Donald Trump rather than Hillary Clinton that was the most left-wing of the two major party candidates.

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King Midas in the Post-Modern Age: Sales of Indulgences in Academia 2

By Aleksey Bashtavenko

Academic Composition

“Do we not hear the noise of the grave-diggers who are burying God? Do we not smell the divine putrefaction? —for even Gods putrefy! God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him! How shall we console ourselves, the most murderous of all murderers?” Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

 

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The Latin etymology of the word “religion” emphasizes the act of bringing the community together. In almost all European languages, the word that translates to English as “religion” derived from Latin ligare which meant to bind . As early as 1200 B.C, this word commonly described a sacred lifestyle, commending obedience to divine authority . Above all, religiosity centered on a paternalistic covenant between mankind and God where the former prided themselves on their capacity for total surrender to the higher power. Such circumstances immediately prompted the question of how such a supernatural force can be identified, and more importantly, who can guide mankind to its relationship with God. Although prophets such as Abraham or Moses were revered for having reported to encounter God directly, the mortal sinners were expected to interact with God through a vicar.

In the Catholic tradition, the pope was deemed to be God’s direct representative and in the Eastern Orthodoxy, the tsar served a similar purpose. Under these circumstances, it was presumed that to defy the patriarch of the church was to rebel against the Almighty Himself.

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Thinkers Against Modernity: A New Book from Keith Preston Reply

Available from Black House Publishing.

The prevailing sentiment of contemporary intellectuals is that the human condition has never been better. History is regarded as lengthy episode of oppression that human beings have gradually but steadily fought to overcome with considerable success. Evidence of these successes that are commonly offered include increased material consumption, better health and longer life expectancy, technological development and, above all, the ongoing triumph of “democracy” and “human rights.”

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The Fourth Generation vs. an Alliance of States Reply

I generally agree with Bill’s analysis here, although I’m personally rooting for the Fourth Generation forces.

“…we need a new Triple Alliance or Quintuple Alliance, and here as so often in grand strategy context is important. It is, again, the need for all states to work together against Fourth Generation, non-state entities that wage war. The alliance is a means, not an end.

The end is that whenever 4GW manifests itself, wherever it does so, all states work together to defeat it. The power of Fourth Generation entities, or at least some of them, at the moral level of war is so great that, even with all the states in the world against them, beating them will not be easy. Let me say it once more: what is at stake in the 21st century is the state system itself. If events remain on their current course, by the year 2100 the state will probably be just a memory..”

By William S. Lind

Traditional Right

The election of Donald Trump opens the door to change and reform in many areas. The most important, in terms of our country’s future, is grand strategy and foreign policy (the latter, understood correctly, is a subset of the former). The United States needs a grand strategy aimed at preserving the state system.

Our present grand strategy was conceived in a world of states in conflict with each other. Its purpose is to make America dominant over all other states. The U.S. is not the first state to attempt this. Like its predecessors, it is failing. No state has ever been powerful enough to establish the “universal monarchy”, as it was once known. Attempts to do so have always resulted in overreach, then fall. Remember, Portugal once ruled half the world.

But the most important thing is not that we reduce our goals to match our power in the world of conflict between states. The most important thing is that we realize Fourth Generation war poses so serious a threat to the whole state system that conflict between states has become obsolete. We need an alliance of all states against Fourth Generation entities. If we and other Great Powers, especially Russia and China, continue to squabble among ourselves, the 21st century is likely to witness the end of the whole state system. Mere anarchy will be loosed upon the world.

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How Trump Can Bring Outside-the-Box Thinking to Bear on the Fed Reply

By Stefan Gleason

President-elect Donald Trump will soon have the opportunity to put his stamp on the Federal Reserve. And that is making the elite body of central bankers nervous.

On the campaign trail, Trump harangued Fed chair Janet Yellen for pumping up financial markets with cheap money – accusing the Obama appointee of being politically motivated.

Trump also called for the Federal Reserve to be audited.

The Fed operates in secret, creates inflation, and bails out Wall Street.

Fed officials worry the Trump presidency represents a unique threat to the Fed’s closely guarded “independence.” Sound money proponents, meanwhile, are hopeful that some long overdue reforms of the monetary system could begin to take shape.

The first item on the new president’s Fed agenda will be to appoint two members to the Board of Governors. The seven-seat Board currently has two vacancies that can be filled immediately.

The Board of Governors exerts direct influence over monetary policy and can push the Fed chair toward adopting a consensus opinion.

Trump Can Appoint Two New Fed Members Now and Replace Yellen Soon

Janet Yellen is likely to stay on as the public head of the Fed at least until her term expires in February 2018. (Trump could potentially ask her to step down, but he cannot unilaterally fire her.) The president-elect has previously indicated he intends to replace Yellen with a Republican. However, Trump’s appointments for Treasury and Commerce Secretary, Steven Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross, muddied the waters by recently praising Yellen’s job performance.

Mnuchin, a Goldman Sachs alumnus, and Ross, a billionaire investor, have benefited from the easy money policies of Yellen and her predecessors. The values of financial assets get artificially propped up by the Fed’s injections of stimulus into the financial system.

Wall Street isn’t interested in overturning the current monetary order. It is interested in making sure its interests continue to be served by it.

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Keith Preston: US Extension of ISA to Serve Israel’s Regional Interests: American Analyst Reply

Tasnim News Agency

پرتسون

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An American political analyst said the US Senate vote to extend the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) is “clearly a violation” of the JCPOA, the July 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, adding that the move aims to serve Israel’s interests in the region.

“The vote by the US Senate to grant the President the authority to renew the sanctions against Iran for another 10 year period is clearly a violation of the original nuclear agreement, in which the United States promised to begin lifting the sanctions pending Iran’s compliance with the terms of the agreement,” Keith Preston, the chief editor and director of attackthesystem.com, from Virginia told the Tasnim News Agency in an interview.

He added, “The ambition of US policy makers is not merely the control of Iran’s nuclear capabilities, but to oppose Iran as an autonomous Middle Eastern nation that refuses to be incorporated into the Washington Consensus. It must also be recognized that the political class in the United States is enthralled to the domestic Israel Lobby, which is in turn closely aligned with Israel’s Likud Party and the Netanyahu regime. The ambition of the Israel Lobby is the elimination of Iran as a regional competitor to Israel. The sanctions are a means towards that particular end.”

Following is the full text of the Tasnim’s interview with Preston:

Tasnim: As you know, the US Senate on Thursday passed a 10-year extension of sanctions against Iran, sending the measure to the White House for President Barack Obama to sign into law. Members of Congress and administration officials have said the renewal of the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) would not violate the nuclear agreement with Iran reached last year. Do you think so? What might the future hold as the move by the GOP-controlled House came after Republican Donald Trump won the election last month?

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Keith Preston: Nepotism not unprecedented in US politics Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

Nepotism in US politics is not new and the decision by President-elect Donald Trump to bring his family into his inner circle is not unprecedented and has occurred in previous US administrations, a political analyst in Virginia says.

“If we look at the specific [nepotism] complaints that have been made against Trump, we see no fundamental departure from what previous administrations have done,” said Keith Preston, the chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.

Former US President Bill Clinton gave his wife, Hillary Clinton, a formal role to carry out healthcare reform during his administration in the 1990s, Preston told Press TV on Wednesday.

Hillary Clinton, who lost the 2016 US presidential election to Trump, was appointed by Bill Clinton as the chair of a federal task force devising the healthcare plan, although her efforts failed and she suffered enormous political fallout after the project.

The Bush family, one of the most successful political dynasties in American history, has also relied on family ties to exercise important political roles, Preston noted.

Trump’s decision to bring his children into his inner circle, alongside several highly controversial cabinet appointments, has provoked concerns about nepotism, ethics and national security, and experts worry he will go unchecked in office, despite federal nepotism laws.

A law enacted in the 1960s bars presidents from employing relatives. The law was passed after former US President John F. Kennedy made his brother, Robert, the head of the US Justice Department.

But as long as Trump’s Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his children are not federal employees, whether paid or unpaid, they may dance around the law, one ethics expert said.

The expert, who asked to remain anonymous because of current representation for government figures, said that if Trump’s family members continued talking to him without giving any administration staffers instructions, then it would be difficult to find a law that they had violated.

US diplomats are also worried that if Trump allows his children and other relatives to work as informal ambassadors, they could undermine the carefully structured efforts of the Foreign Service.

“It makes us look like we’re some sort of banana republic,” one State Department official told POLITICO in a report published on Tuesday. “This is not the way that grown-up nations do things.”

Where Do We Go From Here? 2

As with the Gillis article, I find the general tone of this Kevin Carson piece to be overly hysterical. Other than that, these are some damn good ideas. Why can’t the libertarian left exercise this level of revolutionary zeal all the time?

By Kevin Carson

Center for a Stateless Society

I confess my reaction on Election Night, when it first looked like Trump might get in the White House, was sheer panic. It was a bit like Philip K. Dick’s “Black Iron Prison” closing down. On a personal level, I was about as terrified as the night I was arrested and put in jail.

Now, a few weeks after, I still have a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach anticipating the next four years. But I’m a lot less terrified (although I never forget that for a lot of less privileged folks it’s always been a Black Iron Prison, and the downside possibilities of a Trump presidency are a lot scarier for them).

For one thing, it looks like there are significant structural constraints on a fascist power grab, no matter how authoritarian Trump is. The biggest single constraint is that (as Benjamin Studebaker points out), unlike Hitler, he can’t take advantage of Article 48 in the German Constitution to declare an emergency, criminalize the Democratic Party and remove court oversight of cases involving civil liberties.

And Trump didn’t get elected because either he, or the white nationalist ideas of his strongest supporters, were especially popular. In fact he’s probably going into office with the highest negatives of any new president in the past century. He got a minority of the popular vote, and was able to beat Clinton mainly because she was such a lousy candidate in her own right that Democratic voters stayed home by the millions.

So Trump’s starting out already as unpopular as Bush was on the eve of 9/11, when he was widely written off as a one-termer. And he’s only likely to drop further in popularity once he enters office. He’s no longer competing against another unpopular politician — he’s only running against himself now. With every gaffe, every display of incompetence or disorganization, every policy failure, he will only become more unpopular.

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How Fascism Will Beat Us || How We Will Beat Fascism Reply

If only the libertarian left showed this much zeal for overthrowing the government all the time. Maybe we need to elect “fascist” presidents more often.

By William Gills

Center for a Stateless Society

One of the more annoying things about our norms of discourse is that we tend to collapse our talk of the future into singular predictions rather than arrays of different possibilities each with different probabilities. It’s easier to pretend like we each have one singular future that we’re betting on. We more or less commit to that single possibility and others assume we’re fully committed to that future. Such simplification makes casual discussion more tractable. But it creates distorted incentives. Some try to focus on some kind of median among the possibilities, some vague central cluster. Yet this in turn suppresses the variance and the dangers on the edge. So then you get a second tendency of people who focus on the extreme possibilities, usually highlighting just one concerning outer possibility. The more the centrists cling to their median prediction, the more the extremists double down on emphasizing the things not being considered.

Most of the time the median approach “wins.” But every once in a while their simplified and normalized picture runs aground on a variable unconsidered, an edge-case glossed over, or an assumed context exceeded.

Our political technocrats, with their studious centrism, were just astoundingly wrong about the election of a fascist over the world’s most powerful country. Not just wrong about the final electoral college vote count, but wrong every step of the way. And now the entire world is rapidly reconfiguring itself at an accelerating pace. Many normal folks are clinging on, trying to update our well-worn models of reality with a few studious changes of variables. We don’t have time to trace the ways the changes propagate, so we’re left with quick cartoonish claims. Frantic attempts to fence in unruly anomaly in our reality and dust ourselves off. We want some kind of clear predictive map, with a touch of the familiar, some kind of bounds on the possible, even if it looks dire. Like a “Bush Administration on steroids” or a “Berlusconi with nukes”.

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What the Alt-Right Really Means 1

By Christopher Caldwell

New York Times

Not even those most depressed about Donald J. Trump’s election and what it might portend could have envisioned the scene that took place just before Thanksgiving in a meeting room a few blocks from the White House. The white nationalist Richard B. Spencer was rallying about 200 kindred spirits.

“We are not meant to live in shame and weakness and disgrace,” he said. “We were not meant to beg for moral validation from some of the most despicable creatures to ever populate the planet.” When Mr. Spencer shouted, “Hail, Trump! Hail, our people! Hail, victory!” a scattered half-dozen men stood and raised their arms in Nazi salutes.

Mr. Spencer, however you describe him, calls himself a part of the “alt-right” — a new term for an informal and ill-defined collection of internet-based radicals. As such, he poses a complication for the incoming president. Stephen K. Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, whom Mr. Trump has picked as his chief White House strategist, told an interviewer in July that he considered Breitbart a “platform for the alt-right.”

Perhaps we should not make too much of this. Mr. Bannon may have meant something quite different by the term. Last summer “alt-right,” though it carried overtones of extremism, was not an outright synonym for ideologies like Mr. Spencer’s. But in late August, Hillary Clinton devoted a speech to the alt-right, calling it simply a new label for an old kind of white supremacy that Mr. Trump was shamelessly exploiting.

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The Neocons: A Political Correctness of Their Own 1

Sponsored by none other than former Stalinist turned jingoist David Horowitz.

By Sophia A. McClennon

Slate

Academic witch hunts are back: The new McCarthyism, a sign of the stupidity of the post-truth era(Credit: AP/Phelan M. Ebenhack/William J. Smith)

In late November three blocks from the White House, a group of leaders from the so-called alt-right, who many consider to simply be white supremacists, gathered for an annual conference called the National Policy Institute.  Their goal was to discuss and debate the opportunities offered by a Donald Trump presidency for their white nationalist plans. In the wake of a rise in hate crimes, the meeting sent a chill throughout the nation.

But making America whiter “again” is not the only thing we need to fear with a Trump administration. Only two days after the alt-right convention in D.C., Turning Point USA launched Professor Watchlist, a website designed to call out college professors who “discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.”

As Rebecca Schuman wrote for Slate, in other circumstances, these might be two unrelated events, but “as the president-elect’s surrogates cite Japanese internment as a ‘precedent’ for what may come, any ‘watch list’ of any sort is worrying.”

Trump’s inability to handle any sort of critique and his bullying of reporters and the media all suggest that we are about to enter an era of censorship, threats to free speech and other forms of suppressing dissent. When the “liberal” media come under attack it generally isn’t long before the “tenured radicals” come under fire, too.

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Defining “Political Correctness” 2

A FB friend recently asked me to provide a definition of “political correctness.” Here’s the definition I would use…

I would define “political correctness” as the common term for the institutionalization and enculturation of progressive moral norms in such a way that their transgression generates ridicule, disproportional feelings of outrage or indignation, ostracism of the supposed offending party, an inclination towards persecution on the part of the offended, and the possible imposition of social, economic, professional, institutional, or legal sanctions against the alleged offender, perhaps accompanied by mendacity, dishonesty, hypocrisy, or double standards on the part of the offended.”

This article from the Guardian tries to claim that PC is merely a “phantom” that doesn’t really exist. I can’t say I’m particularly impressed with this article. It’s basically just a regurgitation of the standard liberal-left line that criticisms of political correctness are merely a case of right-wingers protecting their vested interests by spinning tall tales in order to divide the commoners and distract them from their supposed true interests (meaning liberalism or socialism). In fact, this is the standard response that the Left has always offered to ANY criticisms of leftist authoritarianism (e..g anti-Communists were really just apologists for Western imperialism and capitalist vested interests).

Reasonable people can disagree on how pervasive PC actually is when compared to competing philosophies (like neoconservatism, Christian fundamentalism, the alt-right or whatever). But it’s clear that PC has a very commanding presence in many institutions, particularly academia, most the mainstream media, self-style progressive corporations like Mozilla or Starbucks, mainline religion, etc. Of course, there’s also hard PC (the kind you find among lunatic SJWs on campuses) and soft PC (the kind Joe Biden or Tim Kaine probably believe in).

As a reviewer of my book on this topic recently said:
“Mr. Preston prefers the term “totalitarian humanism” over “political correctness,” though he explains it is not original to him. Its totalitarian nature is clear to anyone who, because of it, has had to face a threat to his job or a demand by a homeowners’ association to remove a Christmas tree, or certainly to anyone who has ever refused to bake a cake for a homosexual wedding.”

We could add to this many other examples such as the treatment of James Watson, Lawrence Summers, Kevin MacDonald, Norman Finkelstein, Brendan Eich, Tim Hunt, Ayaan Hirsa Ali, etc, etc. as well as the fact that alt right groups have to meet in public facilities under police protection. Or the banning of Chick-fil-A in Boston (an irony given the historic meaning of the phrase “Banned in Boston”). Not to mention actual violence carried out by antifa groups.

All of this is not equivalent to Stalinist or Nazi repression, but it’s an indication PC actually exists.

I agree with that in order to criticize something, it’s a good plan to at least define what it is first. I’d argue that PC is identifiable and defining, and that denying PC really exists is pretty foolish. However, a better question involves the issue of how influential the general PC paradigm actually is when compared other perspectives. I’d argue first that there are different levels of PC as I said in an above post just like there are different degrees of fanaticism found among racists or religious fundamentalists.

On one end, there are the violent antifa groups that physically assault people whose politics they disagree with. Then there’s the non-violent but simply loopy college students obsessed with safe spaces, microagressions, and playdoh therapy. Then there’s leftist professors who make their classes into an equivalent of a leftist Sunday School. Then there’s university administrations that attempt to eliminate staff and faculty with non-PC opinions. Then there are media figures who, for example, balk at mentioning the race of a criminal because they don’t want to fuel racism. There’s progressive corporations that fire executives like Brendan Eich for having privately opposed gay marriage years earlier, or universities like Brandeis that rescind an honorary degree to someone like Ayaan Hirsa Ali on the grounds of “Islamophobia.” Then there’s the centrist liberals who flaunt their commitment to diversity as a means of virtue signaling.Then there are the corporate diversity and sensitivity training programs that teach employees how to mind the manners of PC because “Shh! Quiet or we might get sued.” The far right end of PC might be something like this, i.e. a general in the Army claiming not having “diversity” in the service would be a greater tragedy than mass murder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8EITu5ZYo8

I’d argue what I described above defines the center-left to far-left end of the political spectrum, i.e. from the Democratic Party to the neo-Marxists, from the left-wing of capitalism at the corporate level to the anarcho-leftoids on the margins.The question is to what degree is the Left more or less influential than the Right. The center-left controls most of the media, the academic world, mainline religion. Given that Hillary won the popular vote, maybe the center-left reflects the majority of public opinion as well (although the half of eligible voters who didn’t participate, of which I am one, need to be figured into the equation somehow). The business world, religion generally, the military, the Republican Party, and other more traditionally conservative institutions seem to be more of a mixed bag.

It’s certainly true that there is large right-wing subculture as well that’s pervasive in smaller towns, rural areas, “flyover country,” and which is reflected (or at least played to) by FOX News, “conservative” talk radio, Donald Trump, Republican politicians, mega church pastors, etc. This article from Alternet describes that subculture pretty well.

However, the subculture described in that article does not reflect the values of the majority of the elite, the majority of the educated classes, a majority of the poor and working class taken in their sum total, a super majority of racial and religious minorities, a super majority of young people, most of the media, most of the educational system, most of mainline religion and other institutions that disseminate values and ideas. It also reflect a culture of older white people primarily, a culture that is shrinking demographically, declining economically, and dying out physically. For example, the fastest growing religious perspective in the US is non-religion. Meanwhile, PC is a rising force that is influential among the educated classes and professional classes, and also seems to become more extreme the more powerful and pervasive it gets.

This is an argument I get from folks on the Left all the time:

“PC authoritarianism doesn’t really exist, or if it does exist it’s justified, or if it’s not justified it’s merely localized, or if it’s actually pretty pervasive then it’s just an unfortunate backlash against past injustices perpetrated by well-meaning people who are perhaps overzealous in fighting oppression, or maybe PC is even godawful and far reaching but the right-wing is still more threatening because racism, capitalism, sexism, fascism…”

The reason I first starting criticizing PC was because of the grip it had on the wider anarchist milieu which I thought was getting in the way of other things. Then I noticed PC was increasingly working its way into the mainstream society and even the state. So I ramped up the criticism.

I would criticize other perspectives more if they had more influence. For example, I used to be a strong critic of the religious right back when that had more influence. If this were the 1950s or 1960s I’m sure I would be on the far left end of things when it comes to race, gender, gays, etc. The more influential the alt-right becomes the more critical of it I will probably be. I’ve criticized strands within organized atheism as fundamentalism for non-believers.

A 6 Step Plan for Trump to Make Our Money Great Again Reply

By Stefan Gleason and Jp Cortez

Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States in January. Americans will then find out then if “Make America Great Again” is more than a campaign slogan.

It isn’t going to be easy. On day one, he will inherit a $20 trillion federal deficit and a moribund economy increasingly reliant on low interest rates and central bank stimulus.

There are plenty of economic problems to address, but the lack of sound money lies at the heart of them all.  The Federal Reserve Note — a privately issued, un-backed debt instrument that supplanted our gold and silver backed U.S. dollar — has lost more than 90% of its purchasing power since Nixon severed the final link to gold in 1971. Politicians and central bankers have since been borrowing and printing currency without restraint to bankroll today’s bloated and insolvent federal government.

Trump and Pence Have Voiced Support for Gold as Money

There is some reason to believe that Trump will take meaningful steps to Make Our Money Great Again.  During the campaign, Trump criticized the Federal Reserve’s loose money, low interest rate policies as a problem that must be addressed. Trump has also said “We used to have a very, very solid country because it was based on the gold standard… bringing back the gold standard would be very hard to do, but boy would it be wonderful.  We’d have a standard on which to base our money.”

Vice President Elect Mike Pence has also suggested that policymakers should strive to restore sound money.  He said, “Robert Zoellick, the president of the World Bank, encouraged that we rethink the international currency including the role of gold, and I agree. I think the time has come to have a debate over gold, and the proper role it should play in our nation’s monetary affairs.”

So, first and foremost, the Trump administration should form a commission to study and map out how best to reintroduce gold and silver as a formal part of our monetary system.  In the meantime, there are several other steps the Trump administration should take to move us toward sound money in America:

Turn the Tables by Auditing the Money Masters

From Ron Paul to Bernie Sanders and many people in between, there has been plenty of support for “Audit the Fed” legislation.  Politicians and constituents alike agree that the Federal Reserve lacks even the most basic oversight a government-sponsored institution should have — particularly when its officials can make decisions which can bring the American economy to its knees.

But Trump shouldn’t stop there; we need to audit the gold.

The last time there was a reasonably credible audit of America’s gold reserves was in the 1950s.  Since then, there has been little more than peek-a-boo glances at the gold. The most recent status report done by the Department of the Treasury, claims that Fort Knox holds 147,341,858.382 fine troy ounces of gold.

However, many question the accuracy of that report and whether it tells the whole story.  There is evidence the U.S. Treasury has engaged in gold leasing and other financial alchemy.  Even if all the gold is still held in U.S. vaults, it may have been leased, sold, pledged as collateral, or could be encumbered in other ways.  A full and independent audit is critical.

Remove Federal Taxation on Precious Metals

Another necessary step in freeing gold and silver to be used once again as money is to eliminate capital gains taxation on monetary metals. At the federal level, IRS bureaucrats insist that gold and silver be taxed when exchanged for Federal Reserve Notes — or when used in barter transactions.

When our government’s inflationary policies lower the purchasing power of the Federal Reserve Note, precious metals’ nominal dollar value generally rises, triggering a “gain.” The gain may be purely fictional in real terms.  But these “gains” are still taxed — thus unfairly punishing people for owning precious metals as money.

Appoint Proponents of Sound Money to the Fed, CEA, and CFTC

President-elect Trump’s rhetoric is loaded with getting people back to work. He’ll play a hand in that directly when he makes appointments throughout his presidency.  Among the most impactful will be his appointments to the Federal Reserve.

 

The Federal Reserve, the privately held central bank of the United States, has an unrivaled ability to manipulate and distort the economy.  For much of the past 30 years, starting with Alan Greenspan, the Fed has loosened the money supply with low interest rates and quantitative easing. And it’s created moral hazards by bailing out irresponsible market players.

 

Tommy Behnke writes, “There are currently two vacant positions on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the main governing body of the central bank. Chairwoman Janet Yellen and Vice-Chair Stanley Fischer’s terms will expire by 2018. This means that… Trump will have the opportunity to replace four of the Fed’s seven leading officials with conservative figures during his presidency.”

 

The Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) advises the President on economic policy and prepares the Economic Report of the President. The council is comprised of 3 members nominated by the President and approved by the Senate, and its members are typically professors on a short-term leave of absence from their universities.

 

Trump has the opportunity to appoint new members to this advisory body. He should look to economists who ascribe to the Austrian school rather than selecting yet more Keynesian school economists who have been cheerleaders for central government planning and an inflationary monetary policy for decades.

 

The people Trump appoints to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will also have substantial impact on the markets.  In the recent past, the CFTC received complaints about concentrated short selling done intentionally to push gold and silver prices down.  For example, there is strong evidence that unscrupulous banks and traders often attack during periods of low liquidity in the markets such as the middle of the night.

 

Former CFTC member Bart Chilton and others expressed alarm at the CFTC’s unwillingness to prosecute the manipulators who may be responsible for artificially low prices (and significant investment losses) in gold and silver.  Lower gold and silver prices appeal to government and central bank officials who get uncomfortable when the shortcomings of their unbacked fiat currency system are exposed.

 

The largest contributor to inflation and financial turmoil is dishonest money — enabling bureaucrats to run perpetual government deficits and pile up the federal debt.  If Trump takes the steps outlined above, he can indeed make our money great again.

 

 

Stefan Gleason and Jp Cortez lead the Sound Money Defense League, an organization dedicated to restoring the use of gold and silver as money in America.

Keith Preston: US government subjecting Native Americans to oppression 1

Press TV. Listen here.

Native Americans have been oppressed by the US government for centuries, an analyst in Virginia says, pointing to the ongoing pipeline protests in North Dakota as an example.

Keith Preston, director of attackthesystem.com, said the months-long protests by activists and various Native American tribes against the construction of Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) was giving way to a much-needed “solidarity” against Washington.

Thousands of US military veterans announced over the weekend that they would protect the Standing Rock Sioux and many other Native American tribes in their quest to stop the project.

The protesters say that Energy Transfer, the company behind the DAPL, needs to reroute it because it would harm their drinking water and sacred sites.

“First of all, it is important to remember that the Native American people, or the American Indians, have been living under the occupation of the United States for centuries and they remain the most oppressed ethnic group in American society today,” Preston told Press TV on Sunday.

The ongoing oppression, according to Preston, has plunged the minority group’s quality of life to the lowest levels.

Amid the unfair treatment, this $3.8 billion pipeline project would not help the Native Americans at all, he noted.

“In fact the opposite is true,” Preston argued. “It is certainly a cultural upfront to the Native Americans given the fact that it is being built in their sacred territories.”

“Also on a practical level, it is a health hazard, since there is evidence it is going to be hazardous for drinking water and things like that,” Preston continued, adding that the pipeline does not seem to economically profit the tribal groups either.

“So this is a pipeline that is going to benefit outside interests almost entirely and do harm to those who are being the most directly impacted by it,” the analyst said.

He said the move by veterans to support the protesters indicated “the kind of solidarity against the power elite in the United States that we need to see more of.”

According to Preston, there needs to be more similar movements against the ruling system within different ranks of the US military as well as police and other law enforcement agencies.

Beyond the End of History: A New Book from Keith Preston Reply

Available from Black House Publishing.

Beyond the End of History: Rejecting the Washington Consensus.

In the quarter century that has passed since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, fanciful establishment intellectuals have advanced the idea that an “end of history” has somehow arrived. The model of “democratic capitalism” is said to be the final stage in the development of political economy. It is often suggested that it is simply a matter of waiting for the rest of the world to catch up, and at that point the Western model will have achieved a final and eternal triumph.

In this work, the anarchist philosopher Keith Preston expresses skepticism of these presumptions. Expounding upon the critique of modernity advanced by Friedrich Nietzsche well over a century ago, Preston argues that the historical cycle associated with the rise of modernity is winding down.

The forces of globalism, liberalism, capitalism, democracy, and Americanization are closer to achieving universal hegemony than ever before. Yet Preston subjects all of these to relentless criticism, and challenges virtually every presumption of the present era’s dominant ideological model.

Drawing upon a wide range of ideological currents and intellectual influences, Preston observes how the hegemony of what he calls the “Anglo-American-Zionist-Wahhabist” axis is being challenged within the realm of international relations by both emerging blocks of rival states and insurgent non-state actors. Citing thinkers as diverse as Ernst Junger and Emma Goldman, Max Stirner and Alain de Benoist, Hans Hermann Hoppe and Kevin Carson, Preston offers an alternative vision of what the future of postmodern civilization might bring.

Rest In Power anarchist comrade Michael Israel, killed fighting ‘Islamic State’ fascists in Rojava Reply

Insurrection News

michael_israel

**UPDATE** via Kurdish Question

People’s Protection Units (YPG) volunteers, American Michael Israel (27) from Colorado and German Anton Neshek (Zana Ciwan), were killed by Turkish warplanes on 29 November according to another international volunteer fighting alongside the pair against the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS/ISIL), north of Raqqa. [updated].

On his Facebook page, the international volunteer, who was amongst the group killed by Turkish warplanes wrote:

“We were taking a small village when we got hit by Turkish jets in the night. Two of my friends, Anton and Michael were killed among many others. I’m staying to finish out my six months. Fuck Erdogan and Fuck Turkey.”

The YPG have informed both men’s families.

Another of Micheal Israel’s comrades posted the following message on his Facebook page:

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‘Sanctuary Campuses’ Invite a Federal Standoff Reply

If we could get some “federal standoffs” involving “sanctuary campuses,” “sanctuary cities,” local law enforcement, Standing Rocking-like protesters, Black Lives Matter, Bundy Ranch-types, Waco-types, and Ruby Ridge -types, all going at the same time time, then we would have something.

By Alice Lloyd

The Weekly Standard

In the wake of Donald Trump’s election, many colleges and universities vowed to become “sanctuary campuses” for students in the country illegally. The matter will take on a special urgency in the event that soon-to-be President Trump repeals the executive-ordered Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which “deferred” the enforcement of immigration laws for those who came here as children. The practical consequences of a “sanctuary campus” policy remain murky (as is often the case when college administrators take direction from student protesters). Will openly harboring illegal aliens jeopardize colleges’ federal funding, for instance? In an age of funding-backed executive overreach puppeteering campus policy, it would be dangerous to assume otherwise.

Asked whether an agenda-driven Trump administration could weaponize the federal agency against sanctuary campuses, the American Enterprise Institute’s Rick Hess said, “The attorney general or Department of Education could declare them ineligible [for grants and federal aid]… Presumably.” Given the stated priorities of the incoming administration and the Obama administration’s pattern of funding-backed agency mandates to circumvent Congress, it’s no doubt a solid presumption.

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Political correctness: how the right invented a phantom enemy 2

I can’t say I’m particularly impressed with this article. It’s basically just a regurgitation of the standard liberal-left line that criticisms of political correctness are merely a case of right-wingers protecting their vested interests by spinning tall tales in order to divide the commoners and distract them from their supposed true interests (meaning liberalism or socialism). In fact, this is the standard response that the Left has always offered to ANY criticisms of leftist authoritarianism (e..g anti-Communists were really just apologists for Western imperialism and capitalist vested interests).

Reasonable people can disagree on how pervasive PC actually is when compared to competing philosophies (like neoconservatism, Christian fundamentalism, the alt-right or whatever). But it’s clear that PC has a very commanding presence in many institutions, particularly academia, most the mainstream media, self-style progressive corporations like Mozilla or Starbucks, mainline religion, etc. Of course, there’s also hard PC (the kind you find among lunatic SJWs on campuses) and soft PC (the kind Joe Biden or Tim Kaine probably believe in).

As a reviewer of my book on this topic recently said:

“Mr. Preston prefers the term “totalitarian humanism” over “political correctness,” though he explains it is not original to him. Its totalitarian nature is clear to anyone who, because of it, has had to face a threat to his job or a demand by a homeowners’ association to remove a Christmas tree, or certainly to anyone who has ever refused to bake a cake for a homosexual wedding.”

We could add to this many other examples such as the treatment of James Watson, Lawrence Summers, Kevin MacDonald, Norman Finkelstein, Brendan Eich, Tim Hunt, Ayaan Hirsa Ali, etc, etc. as well as the fact that alt right groups have to meet in public facilities under police protection. Or the banning of Chick-fil-A in Boston (an irony given the historic meaning of the phrase “Banned in Boston”). Not to mention actual violence carried out by antifa groups.

All of this is not equivalent to Stalinist or Nazi repression, but it’s an indication PC actually exists.

By Moira Weigel

The Guardian

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Too Much Stigma, Not Enough Persuasion 2

A leftist writer describes how the Left has managed to shoot itself in the ass by acting like fools.

By Conor Friedersdorf

The Atlantic

The coalition that opposes Donald Trump needs to get better at persuading fellow citizens and winning converts, rather than leaning so heavily on stigmatizing those who disagree with them. Chief among the problems with stigma as a political weapon?It doesn’t work.

So I declared after election day. And today, to start exploring the subject more deeply, I offer a case study of stigma wielded both needlessly and counterproductively.

The backdrop is the intra-left debate about “identity politics.” Did they cost Democrats the 2016 election? Or not? Is that even the right question? The subject was on Bernie Sanders’s mind when a woman in the audience of a post-election speech he gave declared that she wanted to be the second Latina senator and asked for advice.

Sanders expressed agreement that the political process needs more people of color. Then, perhaps thinking of Hillary Clinton’s failed “I’m with her” campaign, he advised:

It is not good enough for somebody to say, “Hey, I’m a Latina, vote for me.” That is not good enough. I have to know whether that Latina is going to stand up with the working class of this country, and is going to take on the big money interests… This is where there is going to be division within the Democratic Party. It is not good enough for someone to say, “I’m a woman! Vote for me!’” No, that’s not good enough. What we need is a woman who has the guts to stand up to Wall Street, to the insurance companies, to the drug companies, to the fossil fuel industry.

Here’s where stigma begins to enter the picture. In The Washington Monthly, contributing writer Nancy LeTourneau argued that Sanders demeaned his Latina questioner.

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An Anarchist We Can Work With 2

An discussion of yours truly by a reviewer from the far-right American Renaissance. This is by far the most accurate review of my work that has appeared outside of ATS circles.

By Ronald Neff

American Renaissance

Despite its title, only a few of the essays in this new collection by Keith Preston deal specifically with political correctness, an expression of an ideology that, as he puts it, “regards any limits on the pursuit of power in the name of equality and progress to be intolerable.” [p. 2] Mr. Preston is an academic, speaker, and writer, who runs the website attackthesystem.com. He calls himself an anarchist, but one quite different from Hans Hermann Hoppe, whose book Democracy: The God That Failed was reviewed in American Renaissance in January 2002. Mr. Preston is a left-wing anarchist, so race realists will tend to view him with suspicion, but he is well worth reading.

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Trump and the Decline of American Liberalism 1

By Eli Zaretsky

Verso Books

According to Hillary Clinton, her defeat was caused by two interventions by James Comey, Director of the FBI. The first, eleven days before the election, announced the discovery of a new trove of emails. The second, two days before it, stated that they did not change his original view that Clinton should not be indicted. This explanation is reminiscent of historians who say that World War One would not have occurred if the Serbian carriage driver had continued past the pub in which the Archduke’s assassin was sitting. It erects a minor factoid into an explanation, at the cost of thinking historically and structurally about an epochal event.

Clinton’s shallow, instrumental, and non-reflective response exemplifies the thinking of American elites and intellectuals at the present time. It is not only that every columnist or so-called expert predicted the election incorrectly. More importantly, they had no idea of what was going on in the country. Paul Krugman described the Obama Presidency as a smashing success that had eliminated poverty and saved the economy. Charles Blow and Frank Bruni described the country as moving toward a multicultural, multiracial democracy, white people as an out-of-fashion retrograde minority. In general, all the commentators on the so-called progressive side seconded Obama and Clinton’s theory of “baby steps,” constantly repeating that the President can’t do much. Now just wait and see how much the President can do.

The fact that a fairly ignorant amateur like Donald Trump had a better sense of where the country was at than columnists and reporters reflects the dramatic weakness of the public sphere. Most striking is the absence of any critical or historical perspective — any understanding of where the US is at in terms of the history of the twentieth century and the dynamics of world capitalism. The New York Times — supposedly the national paper — has done many terrible things before, such as legitimating the war in Iraq, but they set a new low in their coverage of this election. They simply functioned as a mouthpiece for Clinton; nearly every headline for a year was a putdown of Trump’s personality or business record, in terms quite similar to those of her campaign, based on the idea that Trump had a bad temperament. This tactic, which proved dramatically ineffective, replicated the news coverage provided by MSNBC — supposedly the progressive answer to right wing talk radio and FOX news — which invariably spun its coverage of any news into a moral lesson of how stupid the right was.

The ignorance of the supposedly progressive elites reflected the transformation of American intellectuals in the 1970s. Earlier organic intellectuals, to use Gramsci’s phrase for intellectuals who performed a function within the capitalist system, had been critics of capitalism from within the system. But the rise of identity politics was associated with a rejection of the tradition of the left and an embrace of an essentially moralistic emphasis on language and behavior to the neglect of impersonal, structural forces. The leading force in the new emphasis on identity was the women’s movement. To be sure, the emergence of women’s liberation and gay liberation has been a signal advance of our time, but these movements are no substitute for a left. Naomi Klein has observed brilliantly that the defeat of Hillary Clinton should not be taken as a defeat of feminism, since Clinton was a Davos-centered neoliberal to whom most women could not relate. Yet the marriage of 70s feminism to neoliberalism was no accident and is only now beginning to be effectively undone by socialist-feminist women.

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What Trump Could Do With Executive Power Reply

I’m beginning to think that Trump may end up being the best of all possible worlds for the causes of anarchism, libertarianism, or pan-secessionism. Keep in mind that Trump was only elected by about 26% of eligible voters, and about 19% of the residents of the US. A Trump administration will be perceived as a “right-wing, racist, reactionary, fascist” regime by the Left. I don’t think that’s an accurate perception of Trump. But the Left now has the cultural and political majority. Trump will have the majority of elite opinion against him, the majority of the educated classes, the majority of the poor and working class (only a minority of these voted for Trump), a super majority of young people, a super majority of racial minorities, state and local governments in the most populated areas and, apparently, even some law enforcement agencies. I’ve seen where the LAPD and Denver PD might refuse to assist if Trump tries to carry out the deportation of illegal immigrants.

Meanwhile, while Trump is not a fascist, he is a big government, big spending Republican, so he’s not likely to be popular with the libertarian, decentralist, states’ rights, fiscal conservative, etc. branches of the Right in the long run. I think he will also be a disappointment to social conservatives and religious conservatives since he obviously doesn’t give a shit about any of that. I also think the alt-right will be disappointed with him in that he’s just going to be a moderate Republican president, not a white nationalist. For example, whatever he ends up doing on immigration policy, he’s going to be to the left of Eisenhower on that issue.

So having a federal administration that the Left regards as fascist, that the right regards as “liberal,” and that much of the center regards as headed by an uncouth boor will be the best set of conditions we could expect to with which to build anti-state or decentralist movements. Meanwhile, I’m hoping Trump actually does some good like pursuing a Nixon-like detente with Russia and China, taking a generally hands off approach to the Middle East and Latin America, and some economic policies that reverse or at least slow down the slide of the US towards a Third World class system. And if Trump ends up engaging in a lot of banana republic style abuses of executive power, then it will be that much easier to make a case against the U.S. presidential system.

By Peter Van Buren

The American Conservative

The dangers many are now predicting under the Trump administration did not start on November 8. The near-unrestrained executive power claimed by the Obama administration, and issues left unresolved from the Bush administration, will be handed to the president-elect. Here’s what that means.

Torture

Obama did not prosecute or discipline anyone for torturing people on behalf of the people of the United States.

He did not hold any truth commissions, and ensured almost all of the significant government documents on the torture program remain classified. He did not prosecute the Central Intelligence Agency official who willfully destroyed video tapes of the torture scenes. The president has not specifically outlawed secret prisons and renditions, just suspended their use.

As with the continued hunting down of Nazis some 70 years after their evil acts, the message that individual responsibility exists should stalk those who would do evil on behalf of our government. “I was only following orders” is not a defense against inhuman acts. The point of tracking down the guilty is partially to punish, but more to discourage the next person from doing evil; the purpose is to morally immunize a nation-state. Never again.

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