No More Sabres to Rattle

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It’s quite the sad yet delicious recent turn of events that has revealed the hypocrisy of Trump and his supporters. It’s also revealing to see that this time it was the Republican who ran on the promise of peace only to go back on it. That’s usually the Democrats’ job. Through the lens of the old maxim about power corrupting, I would hope that Trump supporters are finally acknowledging that their “god-king” is nothing special in the world of Presidents, but rather just another slave to special interests and none more special than the military industrial complex. Sadly, many of them continue to make excuses for him and reveal that their support for him was not based on anything more righteous than their desire to preserve a nationalist tribal identity. It would be more comical if there weren’t so many lives hanging in the balance.

Because Trump was able to tap into Americans’ deepest insecurities, the loyalty he inspired was unique. Not only was he able to lie his way into office, but he had an army on the internet willing to repeat his lies without question. “We need Trump because Hillary will lead us into WWIII!” If any of the people spouting this nonsense actually cared about peace, they would have been engaged in anti-war activism long before Trump. There is even more proof that the majority of them don’t care about peace in how they have responded to Trump’s “tough talk” on Venezuela and North Korea and striking Syria: “It’s a good thing we have Trump to lead us into WWIII!” Just as Obama supporters were essentially willing to let Obama extend the war on terror longer and more viciously than Bush would have and keep killing children with drone strikes in exchange for the promise of government healthcare, Trump supporters made an even worse deal. They were willing to trade “WWIII” for nothing more than national pride.

Before I get any further, an important caveat: I don’t think WWIII is imminent, in fact I’m more inclined to believe that in the age of the internet, it’s impossible. So while I’m using the term “WWIII” here, it’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek because it’s the term that Trump supporters used to scare libertarians away from Gary Johnson. The reality of the threat from government now is not a world war, but the continued proxy wars and occupations and limited operations that currently comprise the global war on terror. Of course you could call this a world war, but if so, it pales in comparison to the destructiveness of the last two, and if you call it that, where were you when Bush was starting it? What I’m getting at here is that the reason Trump and Clinton were both terrible options for President is that they would both be slaves to the military welfare queens who manipulate politics in order to enrich themselves off of as much violence as the American people will put up with as long as they keep paying their taxes.

So back to the idea of power corrupting. I would say that being “Commander-In-Chief” of the greatest mechanism of violence the world has ever known is a lot of power. The sad thing is, the President himself doesn’t have to be corrupted to be a mechanism for corruption. Even a President, like Kennedy, taking office with the best of intentions is subject to … well … you know the story.

It’s childishly naive to think that we can ignore the advice of the American founders to rely upon our militias and avoid having a standing army. The existence of a standing army makes us all less safe. It makes the American people slaves. It leaves us vulnerable to the predatory government over which Donald Trump now presides. The answer to this issue, and the greatest single thing we could do to restore American principles in practice is quite simple: abolish the United States military. No more sabres to rattle, and none to cut down your freedom.

Being a Politician is a Mental Disorder

It’s time for us to direct some compassionate attention to those afflicted by Authoritarian Personality Disorder. There are plenty of opposite disorders of the disobedient kind for which there are over-prescribed drugs to sedate people into submission, but for the authoritarians, much less practical attention is paid and we all suffer as a result.

Authoritarian Personality Disorder is described in several texts with varying definitions, but here I’ll use this working definition: A personality disorder characterized by an unhealthy desire to control others manifest in destructive ways such as seeking political power or other positions which hold arbitrary power over others. While it is tempting to think of politicians, we must also be wary of their sponsors in the banking class, as well as their enforcers in the police and military. However, thanks to the broader authoritarian culture, many authoritarian types are able to seek positions of control in the private sector and in their personal lives.

A human being raised in a healthy, loving environment will seek healthy and loving relationships. Even someone raised in an authoritarian environment will be capable of developing healthy relationship skills unless otherwise affected. The truly disordered cases are motivated by deeper seated insecurity caused by childhood trauma or abuse. When those experiences are properly processed, they do not manifest as controlling behaviors. When one is provided with the authoritarian environment and the adverse childhood experiences, the victim is only able to manifest their insecurities with learned behaviors of control.

The first step is admitting that we have a problem, both as the power-hungry individuals and the rest of us who enable them. This will allow us to isolate the problems and separate them from their most obedient enablers. Once we “throw the bums out,” we must remember not to replace them, which sounds easier than it is. As for the Authoritarians who are serious about seeking treatment, I would guess that some form of immersive psychedelic therapy in the jungle far removed from society would be something I could get behind.

While it’s tempting to write off these people as simply “assholes,” understanding what makes them assholes makes it much easier to do something about it. These are not people who need scorn or derision, and certainly not government office, but rather people who need empathy and treatment.

One theory about Authoritarian Personality Disorder holds that one of its causes and/or stimulants is submissiveness or gullibility in others. While some experts believe that the disorder can manifest without victim stimuli, some say that victim stimuli brings it out, while others suggest that it is the root cause. Regardless, the best way to prevent Authoritarian Personality Disorder from affecting you and your loved ones is to remain assertive and skeptical of all who would try to subvert your will to their own.

(Since I was in Iraq, I realized that my background in psychology gave me a unique way of understanding human behavior in the political context. If you enjoyed this post, please let me know and if there are any other topics you’d like me to address this way in the comments. Are there any individuals that this post brings to mind? What do you think made them the way they are?)

The Answer to 22 Veteran Suicides Per Day

If you believe what the government tells you, the Department of Veterans Affairs exists so that a grateful nation can show its appreciation for those who have risked their lives in the interest of the national defense. However, the reality of VA services could only have you conclude that everyone in the VA is grossly incompetent or that’s not its real purpose. There are lots of great, very capable individuals who take significant salary cuts and disadvantages in their careers to work at the VA, so that’s not it. Could it be that the VA exists primarily as a pacifier? To make Americans think that veterans are taken care of? To make potential recruits think that they will be taken care of if maimed in war? To be a convenient political football? If it was truly set up for its stated purpose, you wouldn’t have twenty two veterans committing suicide every day.

The answer to this problem is quite simple when you face up to the significance of it and can admit to its root cause. Government cannot be trusted with any system of healthcare. Power corrupts and right now the VA is controlled and perverted by those who use it to serve their own power. It’s time to put the VA directly into the hands of veterans.

Privatize the VA as a charity owned by the veterans. Close some overseas bases. Liquidate the assets, give it an endowment. Or maybe if the Pentagon cared about veterans as much as its sponsors in the military industrial complex, it could find that six trillion it lost recently. Make the VA exempt from all “drug war” restrictions so veterans are free to research and pursue marijuana and other banned alternative treatments for PTSD. Give every veteran in America one voting share and I guarantee when those resources are in the hands of veterans helping veterans without government in the way, we will finally defeat this shameful epidemic of veteran suicides.

Is Constant Contact Like the Death Star?

Yes, I’ve had a terrible experience with Constant Contact. They’ve been miserable to deal with at nearly every turn. No, I don’t think they have the power to destroy planets. What I’m pointing out here may be its fatal flaw – that one point you hit and the whole thing blows up. (Not literally, and this is not a threat, and screw the lawyers for whom I have to include this.)

I had been using Constant Contact for a while with nothing of note except for their unjustified prices. In fact, I’ve been pretty bad about consistently using my email list. So last December when I sent a couple emails to my list about upcoming events that I’d be speaking at, I thought nothing of it. But then a week later when I tried to get back into my regular routine of a weekly email to my list, I was cut off from sending any emails.

After a few maddening hours on the phone with technical support, they were finally able to explain to me that my email list had been shut down because of a complaint about spamming. For the record, I don’t add anyone to my list. You used to be able to sign up on my website. They said that because of one complainer who reported my recent emails to SpamCop, they had to shut down my list until I could do a “double opt in” on my entire list, meaning I had to send an email saying, “If you want to keep receiving emails from me, please click here.” I tried to explain to them what happened, but Constant Contact wouldn’t even let me put that in the message. I was not allowed to see the complaints, confront my accuser, or even get Constant Contact to review the specific emails in question to see that they obviously weren’t spam.

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Predictably, this killed most of my list. I don’t know about you, but I like being subscribed to a number of email lists and I don’t read every email from every list I’m on. So I tried to get the issue to a manager and hit a wall with the guy who tried to explain that this policy was a good thing. So I cancelled my account with them. Bear in mind, they still charged me during the whole time when I couldn’t use my account.

I called out Constant Contact on Twitter, and they replied with a stock message to send a DM to their tech support with my account info. So I asked them to publicly explain their policy and they didn’t reply. Instead, they called me. You would think that they would have the decency to apologise, or at least be understanding, but no, months after this whole thing transpired, they called me to obnoxiously try to justify their policy. “Thanks for reminding me why I cancelled my account!”

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So if you have business or political rivals using Constant Contact, all you have to do to shut them down is subscribe to their lists, then complain about spam to SpamCop. Or maybe I’m wrong. But if I am, it would mean that I was singled out for political reasons. Anyone want to test this theory?

(We’ve been working on a new email system for a while and it should be live soon. Sorry to those of you who have been missing my emails.)

#TaxationIsTheft Tour Update

It’s been an awesome first week of the #TaxationIsTheft Tour, so I have to start with thanking everyone who’s made it possible, and helped host great events in Las Vegas, San Diego, LA, and Orange County. Thanks to everyone who kept us on the road through what has been a series of logistical hurdles from a failing phone battery to a rear axle that needed to be replaced to the tour manager, Ben Farmer, going to the hospital. But because there is so much love and support for this message, FREEDOM! rolls on! Or maybe it’s all just government sabotage. Could that be why the plug to our rear differential fell out on the freeway? Aren’t they supposed to put sugar in the gas tank or cut our brakes or something?

We’re very excited to be joined by Zach Foster who is writing a book about me. Crazy, right? So many untold stories are coming out for this! Our friend from Phoenix, Ashley Blackburn will also be joining us soon as our volunteer coordinator. My old friend from Veterans for Ron Paul, Adam House will be coming on in a couple weeks. (My car seats nine when it’s not full of books.)

This tour gets better with every stop and now that the message of dissolving the federal government is on the road, I can feel it gaining momentum. We are uniting left right and people who see past the whole left right paradigm against the common enemy of big centralized government!

We have amazing volunteers stepping up at every stop and I’m especially excited to have someone taking on the monumental task of writing the executive order to dissolve the federal government. Not only does it have to be logistically comprehensive, but technically and legally correct.

If you want to see more of the platform and what you can do to help, please check out KokeshForNotPresident.com. For our upcoming tour dates, please check out TheFreedomLine.com/calendar. And if you disagree with me on anything or just want to ask me questions, or you’re a fan of big centralized government and want to try to put me on the spot, you can do it on my Facebook live in the first hour of the event. This is like my ultimate version of the online retort, “I DARE YOU TO SAY THAT TO MY FACE!” Why? Because #TaxationIsTheft!

 

Activists Under Fire

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Despite what you may think about America, we still have numerous political prisoners behind bars and plenty of people in jail for victimless crimes. If we don’t hang together, surely we will all hang separately. I saw a need for people to have a place where information about political prisoners could be kept up to date, so I set this url to go to a section of The Freedom Line forums. I hope you’ll take advantage of this to create a thread for someone you know who needs support. Thank you to Lyn Ulbricht and Briana Bundy for your support in the launch of this effort. Please see the video below for a message from them about Ross Ulbricht and Mel Bundy.

The Doctor and the Accident

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Imagine that you’re a doctor. You’re driving and you see an accident. You pull over and rush to help. On the side of the road there are a dozen people bleeding to death. You do what you can to help, but you realize that you don’t have enough hands to save everyone. If you don’t get help immediately, most of the people will bleed to death. You don’t need any special equipment, or people with any special training. You just need extra hands to stop the bleeding.

Imagine that you call for help. Your hands are covered in blood and you get up and start waving at the people driving by. The drivers in the fast lane can’t hear you, and you don’t expect them to. The drivers in the slow lane, however, not only can they hear you through the glass, but they can see the people dieing right in front of them. As you yell to them, they can see the sweat dripping down your face. They can see the pleading in your eyes. They can hear the desperation in your voice.

Imagine that none of them stop to help. They are all content to watch those people die. They are content to watch you desperately try to save them and fail. They are content to listen to their screams of agony. They are eager to roll up their windows after they make what they think was a mistake to roll them down in the first place just to see what was going on.

This is what it feels like to be an activist. I don’t want to be anyone but the doctor in this gruesome scene, so here I am. Except this analogy falls far short of the gruesomeness of reality. The people dieing represent all the lives ruined by government. They represent every business that didn’t succeed because of taxes and regulations. They represent every failing school. They represent people going hungry on welfare. They represent twenty two veterans committing suicide every day. They represent every victim of war ever. They represent our hopes and dreams for the future.

This analogy still falls short because most people who know about these things are much more present to them then as if by a mere passing glance. The horrors of government are not news to anyone. In reality, most people aren’t like the drivers passing by. Most people would be the guy walking past the bloody scene sipping on a soda pop saying, “Good luck with that, doc!”

But this analogy STILL falls short because in reality, for YOU to do your part to stop all of that suffering, you don’t even have to get your hands dirty. You just have to open your heart with empathy to the suffering of your fellow humans and start giving a fuck about shit that matters.

Is bigger government always worse than smaller government?

Those of you who think you know me are probably thinking I’m just going to leave it at “yes” and walk away. (Now you’re probably wondering why you’re still reading this.) But I’m actually going to say “no.” And not just to be a contrarian, but rather to make a more important point. Someone asked me this question, and before just blurting out the obvious (and as I’ll show here, counter-intuitively wrong) answer, I had to consider the alternative. This is just how my brain works.

So I asked myself, “Is it possible for our government to get bigger, and still have more freedom? Is it possible for a smaller government to be more destructive of freedom?” Just by asking the question, an equally obvious but completely counter-intuitive answer emerges. Let me put it to you this way: Would you rather have a huge, bureaucratic government, that employs half the population but is funded mostly with user fee kinds of taxes and doesn’t have a military or a police force and somewhat mimics what the market would provide, OR a small government of jack-booted thugs that randomly kills thousands of people every day with drone strikes and imposes a version of Sharia law?

I hope the point of this has emerged clearly for you now before I put it in my own words: the best measurement of the evil of government is not it’s size, but how much it destroys freedom. Government being bigger and more vicious go hand in hand, but in the interest of intellectual integrity and precision, we must acknowledge that this relationship is not simple or linear. With this deeper understanding, we can only become more effective at striving towards a more harmonious, peaceful, and free world.

It’s important to me to understand this because it gives me great hope for the continued progress of humanity towards freedom despite the growth we see of modern bureaucratic governments in terms of budgets. Global violence is on the decline. It’s harder than ever for governments to lie us into war. Respect for civil rights is becoming the norm. The internet is creating a whole new realm of commerce, especially in cryptocurrency that governments can’t touch. Weed is so legal in America that it’s almost not fun to smoke anymore!

There are also numerous implications of this for how we go about transitioning away from a government-ruled society. Obviously, this suggests a need for prioritization, and so this is why I’m concerned more with stopping the overt violence of government than the covert theft of taxation. (Yes, if no one paid taxes, there would be no war, but they could always keep printing money for the war machine.) I’m more concerned with legalizing all drugs and restoring legal respect for civil liberties than debating gay marriage. I’m more concerned with your right to keep and bear arms than your right to cut hair without a license.

This also suggests that we can transition out of government by localizing it, and in the process, make it a better approximation of the market in the functions it retains AND far less viciously destructive to freedom. By embracing localization, we can unite left and right and center against the common enemy of big, centralized government. If we could just get all government globally down to the size of counties or city states, we could have much more relevant competition between governments, especially in the competition to see which can phase themselves out the fastest!

It’s important to remember what you’re for, especially when it’s so tempting to focus on what you’re against. Even though it’s true that if you’re pro-freedom, you most be anti-government because government by definition is an affront to freedom, it’s important to remember that we are pro-freedom first, anti-government second.

What do you think are the implications of this? Please let me know in the comments!

How to Defeat the Republican Snowflakes and Their Snowflake-in-Chief

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How is it possible that the Republican Party can campaign endlessly on repealing Obamacare, but as soon as they get the power to do it, they fail? All they had to do was vote! The American people clearly voted for their “representatives” to do something … and they didn’t do it! Calling the GOP the party of smaller government is like calling a blackjack dealer your financial advisor. Saying the GOP is responsive to its constituents is like saying that the guy who’s got you tied up in his basement is a great waiter. Calling Republicans honest is like calling the sky orange. (Not that they’re any better than Democrats, but I don’t even need to drag them into this to prove that the very concept of centralized government is fundamentally criminal.)

So … why?! I haven’t really followed the recent drama of congressional Republican snowflakes and snowflake-in-chief, Mr Trump. I don’t particularly care to watch their fake spines melt out of their fake faces as they lie through their fake teeth. For a long time after Trump was elected, my pinned tweet was, “Any Trump supporters want to bet against me that government will shrink under Trump?” I haven’t had a single taker to date.

When Trump was elected, the American people voted for someone “to be in charge of them.” If you’re looking for a leader, you’re going to get a ruler, and you probably deserve it for not taking charge of your life and leading yourself! This could be said to be the source of all government corruption. If power corrupts, and we don’t want corruption, maybe we should stop giving people power! (Just to defend myself from the piss of the pedantics, I’m referring to political power here.)

So if you really don’t like Obamacare, and your answer was to trust the Republicans, I’ve got a government bridge to sell you. If it wasn’t obvious and undeniable before, it had better be now: the Republicans are the apologist wing of the Democratic Party. While Democrats are open about wanting to grow government, Republicans pretend to be about smaller government in order to pacify the Americans who still care about freedom to serve the same agenda of GROWING government. If you want government to keep growing out of control, keep voting Republican. (Just for the record, trying to get the Republican Party to reform or be honest is like trying to get Trump to … reform or be honest.)

If you genuinely love freedom, it’s time to find an honest foundation for that love, because denial isn’t working. Democrats and Republicans are both corrupt big government parties which primarily exist to serve their special interest sponsors. Libertarians are the only ones offering you a credible alternative. The only way that we defeat this grotesque government is to take it apart from the top down. It would be far easier to elect someone to dismantle the entire federal government than find an honest elected Republican, and that’s what it’s going to take to defeat big centralized government once and for all!