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Guest Post: Voting Is A Sap's Game


Submitted by James E. Miller of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada,

With the U.S. presidential election right around the corner, Americans are getting themselves all in a tizzy to go to the voting booth and remind the holders of public office who they work for.  Because it’s a presidential election, the stakes are looked to as even higher as the media paints the contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney as a conflict with extreme consequence.  The statist tramps known as mainstream journalists are championing the race as a great ideological battle.  The fact that the candidates differ little on policy and vision is purposefully avoided.  To the political and intellectual establishment, the show must go on.  Their way of life depends on it.

Already in both the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention the party elites took the opportunity to trample on the democratic virtue of dissent.  On the Republican side, Ron Paul supporters were effectively told to get lost as party leaders rammed through a rule change to make it next to impossible to nominate a pure grassroots candidate.  The Democrats, per usual, were no better.  When it came time to vote on whether the party platform should contain language on God and ensuring Jerusalem remains the capital of Israel, the voice vote was disregarded and the language was kept.  And as a Fox News showed, the decision was predetermined by the teleprompter.  In one fell swoop, both of America’s major political parties demonstrated that their own members can’t be trusted.  The irony is that this practice of top-down dictation is wholly reflective of the reality of governance.

No matter how hard boobus Americanus is kicked in the teeth with his own inability to have an effect on government, he still feverishly casts his ballot with faith locked into the system.  This intellectual denseness doesn’t hold for just the U.S. either.  Democracy is still looked to favorably all around the world.  Above the rhetoric of listening to the voice of the people, technocrats removed from the voting process run major world governments.  One look at Europe and it becomes obvious the politically-connected elites are running the show.  The banking system is being saved at the public’s expense.  Some are keen to realize this and are setting about to instill leaders of integrity.  Many remain enraptured with the idea of a government for and by the people.  These people aren’t just blind to the evils of the state; they take enormous pride in their ignorance.

Democracy is a sham.  In its purest form, it is mob rule by childish emotion.  In its representative form, elections are a reoccurring fiction to convince the people they aren’t servants to masters who have become all too acquainted with power.

The ballot box is the last refuge of the half-witted fully convinced of his utter inability to dismember his umbilical cord from the state and take responsibility for his destiny.  It is the chance to press a boot on the neck of your fellow man without the shame of doing so directly.

It is a much believed fairytale that the intentions of government are good but misguided.  But from time immemorial, the state has been a conspiracy levied against the many by the few.   Through the bailouts, printing press rescues, and socialized takeovers, the objective is obvious.  The losers of government throw money at their fellow losers in business to maintain an establishment class of total inferiority.

The job of the political class is to make it so that crises are constantly haunting the electorate.  Herds are easier to tame when frightened and looking for a savior.  The West has become a great pity where suicidal lemmings run toward a cliff disguised as a voting booth. Every aspiring dictator they wish to put in office is a drug that numbs the senses and brings them one step closer to being fully shackled and on their knees ready and willing to serve.

As Gary North puts it, “democracy is window dressing for elite control.”  The people are told they have a voice.  They become teary-eyed at the prospect of casting a vote for a marionette.  The news media bludgeons voters over the head constantly with phrases like “doing your duty” and “participating in democracy.”

Corruption, kick-backs, and corporate cronyism are wrapped up in a shiny box with a bow and sold to the people every election.  The stealing away of all that is important in a functioning society by unaccountable schemers goes largely unnoticed.  The money supply is controlled by a few central bankers.  Law is given the final word by appointed judges.  Regulations are written by bureaucrats. Wars are waged by generals and military complex administrators.  Lawmakers are there for Kabuki Theater.

Leviathan can’t and won’t be tamed through the ballot box.  Reasoning with the state is like reasoning with a lunatic armed with a machine gun.  His two modes of thought are firing cheerfully into an unarmed crowd or keeping a finger itching to pull the trigger once more.

To quote the great author and civil disobedient Henry David Thoreau

I heartedly accept the motto, — “That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, — “That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.

The sad truth is that the majority of men are infatuated with nationalist creeds and looting the pockets of their neighbors.  The absence of such a religion would pit them into the great unknown of actually having to behave like civilized beings.  There would be no liars to look up to who promise a land of milk and honey for votes.  There would be no invaders to honor who are paid to break down the doors of foreign dwellings in the middle of the night and leave pools of blood and piles of bullet shells for children to find their parents lying in.  There would be no leader of the people surrounded by guards armed with militarized weaponry to salute.

The cycle of scaremongering with false threats followed by the reactionary heroism of public officials finding the courage to crush already withered freedoms into dust would come to an abrupt end.  Schoolchildren would no longer learn that government saves them from poking themselves in the eye every second of every day.  Independent critical thinking would make a roaring comeback.  In the end, men would have to make an honest living; which is perhaps the greatest fear of any state bureaucrat.

H.L Mencken accurately described what the state of American politics would become almost a century ago when he wrote:

As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal.  On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

It wasn’t just the average U.S. voter Mencken referred to- it was voters around the globe who still see government as their friend and not an avenue for the slime of society to carry out their violent fantasies.  Unless there is a radical change of thinking, mankind’s intellect will finally begin to resemble that of a dog who after being beaten unmercifully, happily returns to his master’s side ready once more for another round.

Peregrine Financial CEO To Go Home


Remember Peregrine Financial, the firm that just like MF Global, ended up vaporizing $200 million in client money after it was revealed that its suicide-challenged CEO Russell Wasendorf was stealing operating cash for two decades under the nose of the CFTC? Yes? Good. Because in four days, said CEO will be relaxing in the comfort of his own home. It seems odd to us that the man who caused hundreds of clients to lose up to all of their life’s savings, will be hanging out on his leather sofa, if only until such time as a one-way first class ticket to a non-extradition country is consummated. But who knows: perhaps this is all part of the “New Fairness Normal” where fraud and crime is if not rewarded, then certainly ignored.

From Reuters:

Peregrine Financial Group Chief Executive Russell Wasendorf Sr., who has confessed to stealing millions of dollars from clients, will be released from a county jail after he pleads guilty on September 17 to mail fraud, lying to regulators and embezzling customer money, according to a judge’s order.

 

Wasendorf, 64, will stay in the home of an Iowa pastor pending sentencing for the crimes, the order said.

 

Wasendorf attempted suicide on July 9 near the headquarters of his Cedar Falls, Iowa, brokerage and left a signed confession of a 20-year-long fraud.

 

The search continues for the money he stole. Former clients are still unable to access funds frozen since the firm’s bankruptcy on July 10.

Well, we now know where Mr. Wasendorf will not be in one month: prison. We know tentatively where he will be: somewhere in the south Pacific, on a private island purchased with a portion of the $200 million in stolen money. It is possible that that other hedge fund capital raising expert-cum-vaporisateur extraordinaire Jon Corzine may be in the vicinity. Who knows.

US Totalitarianism Loses Major Battle As Judge Permanently Blocks NDAA's Military Detention Provision


Back in January, Pulitzer winning journalist Chris Hedges sued President Obama and the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act, specifically challenging the legality of the Authorization for Use of Military Force or, the provision that authorizes military detention for people deemed to have “substantially supported” al Qaeda, the Taliban or “associated forces.” Hedges called the president’s action allowing indefinite detention, which was signed into law with little opposition from either party “unforgivable, unconstitutional and exceedingly dangerous.” He attacked point blank the civil rights farce that is the neverending “war on terror” conducted by both parties, targetting whom exactly is unclear, but certainly attaining ever more intense retaliation from foreigners such as the furious attacks against the US consulates in Egypt and Libya. He asked  “why do U.S. citizens now need to be specifically singled out for military detention and denial of due process when under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force the president can apparently find the legal cover to serve as judge, jury and executioner to assassinate U.S. citizens.” A few months later, in May, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest ruled in favor of a temporary injunction blocking the enforcement of the authorization for military detention. Today, the war againt the true totalitarian terror won a decisive battle, when in a 112-opinion, Judge Forrest turned the temporary injunction, following an appeal by the totalitarian government from August 6, into a permanent one.

From Reuters:

The permanent injunction prevents the U.S. government from enforcing a portion of Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act’s “Homeland Battlefield” provisions.

 

The opinion stems from a January lawsuit filed by former New York Times war correspondent and Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges and others. The plaintiffs said they had no assurance that their writing and advocacy activities would not fall under the scope of the provision.

 

Government attorneys argued that the executive branch is entitled to latitude when it comes to cases of national security and that the law is neither too broad nor overly vague.

 

“This court does not disagree with the principle that the president has primacy in foreign affairs,” the judge said, but that she was not convinced by government arguments.

 

“The government has not stated that such conduct – which, by analogy, covers any writing, journalistic and associational activities that involve al Qaeda, the Taliban or whomever is deemed “associated forces” – does not fall within § 1021(b)(2).”

What is ironic, is that in the ongoing absolute farce that is the theatrical presidential debate, there hasn’t been one word uttered discussing precisely the kind of creeping totalitarian control, and Orwellian loss of constitutional rights, that the biparty-supported NDAA would have demanded out of the US republic. Why? Chris Hedges said it best:

The oddest part of this legislation is that the FBI, the CIA, the director of national intelligence, the Pentagon and the attorney general didn’t support it. FBI Director Robert Mueller said he feared the bill would actually impede the bureau’s ability to investigate terrorism because it would be harder to win cooperation from suspects held by the military. “The possibility looms that we will lose opportunities to obtain cooperation from the persons in the past that we’ve been fairly successful in gaining,” he told Congress.

 

But it passed anyway. And I suspect it passed because the corporations, seeing the unrest in the streets, knowing that things are about to get much worse, worrying that the Occupy movement will expand, do not trust the police to protect them. They want to be able to call in the Army. And now they can.

He is 100% correct, and today, if it weren’t for his lawsuit, the saying that someone, somewhere in the world might possibly “hate America for its liberties” would have been the biggest lie conceivable.

Also, the total fascist takeover of America would now have been a fact.

Some other insights from Hedges, who explained back in January, just why he is suing Barack Obama:

This demented “war on terror” is as undefined and vague as such a conflict is in any totalitarian state. Dissent is increasingly equated in this country with treason. Enemies supposedly lurk in every organization that does not chant the patriotic mantras provided to it by the state. And this bill feeds a mounting state paranoia. It expands our permanent war to every spot on the globe. It erases fundamental constitutional liberties. It means we can no longer use the word “democracy” to describe our political system.

 

The supine and gutless Democratic Party, which would have feigned outrage if George W. Bush had put this into law, appears willing, once again, to grant Obama a pass. But I won’t. What he has done is unforgivable, unconstitutional and exceedingly dangerous. The threat and reach of al-Qaida—which I spent a year covering for The New York Times in Europe and the Middle East—are marginal, despite the attacks of 9/11. The terrorist group poses no existential threat to the nation. It has been so disrupted and broken that it can barely function. Osama bin Laden was gunned down by commandos and his body dumped into the sea. Even the Pentagon says the organization is crippled. So why, a decade after the start of the so-called war on terror, do these draconian measures need to be implemented? Why do U.S. citizens now need to be specifically singled out for military detention and denial of due process when under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force the president can apparently find the legal cover to serve as judge, jury and executioner to assassinate U.S. citizens, as he did in the killing of the cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen? Why is this bill necessary when the government routinely ignores our Fifth Amendment rights—“No person shall be deprived of life without due process of law”—as well as our First Amendment right of free speech? How much more power do they need to fight “terrorism”?

 

Fear is the psychological weapon of choice for totalitarian systems of power. Make the people afraid. Get them to surrender their rights in the name of national security. And then finish off the few who aren’t afraid enough. If this law is not revoked we will be no different from any sordid military dictatorship. Its implementation will be a huge leap forward for the corporate oligarchs who plan to continue to plunder the nation and use state and military security to cow the population into submission.

Today’s full ruling presented below in its entirety: