The Manchester Free Press

Saturday • April 17 • 2021

Vol.XIII • No.XV

Manchester, N.H.

About That Capitol Shooting

Libertarian Leanings - Tue, 2021-02-09 10:34 +0000

Categories: Blogs, United States

Preemptive Propaganda

Libertarian Leanings - Mon, 2021-02-08 23:29 +0000

There is something I didn't pick up on yesterday when I wrote about Time Magazine's bizarre article lauding the conspiracy to "save democracy" by "fortifying" the election.  J.E. Dyer did.  Dyer believes Time's objective for revealing the existence of such a cabal so soon after the inauguration is to prep the American public for what may come out in Trump Impeachment 2.0.  The faithful need to know what to think.

The Senate trial starts on Monday.  If Trump’s legal team is going to introduce information about how Trump’s political opponents tried to rig-fortify the election, the cabal (TIME’s word, not mine) wants to get there first, and condition your mind with the right memes-n-themes to contextualize and explain it.

Read the TIME article at your leisure.  It’s all there: the endless repetition that Trump is destroying our democracy, the implication that any and all conspiracies and collusions were justified to fend off Trump’s thermonuclear assault on our fragile voting systems, the depiction of business-world colluders and Big Tech censors and deep-pocket donors as a motley pickup team of The Concerned, manning their general-quarters stations.

This is the vision the cabal (TIME’s word, not mine) wants dancing in your head as the Trump juggernaut and its “information” comes barreling at you like a steam calliope with chainsaw bayonet attachments next week.

Just take that on board mentally, and the real work here is done.  You’re being played by the TIME article.  Its purpose is to shape preconceptions for you, so that you can’t listen objectively, with an open mind, to what Trump’s legal team may present.

Yup, I should have thought of that.  Silly me for not wondering why Time would put this out now.  It's an extraordinary exposé,  The media, Big Tech, the Chamber of Commerce, labor unions, deep-pocketed donors, and who knows how many others, all joining forces to prevent Trump from winning the 2020 election.  Astonishing in itself.  But then you have to conclude, Time is part of the cabal, running interference ahead of a Senate trial.

And just before the Senate trial is about to begin, some of Trump's legal team jump ship, presumably in disagreement about whether the evidence of election fraud should be part of Trump's defense.  The new Trump defense team plans to bring it up.  And they should.  After all the ridicule from the left over Trump supporters' claims that voting machines under counted Trump votes and over counted Biden's, comes this.

On Monday, 1 February, lawyers for New York congressional candidate Anthony Brindisi, a Democrat, filed a motion in the New York District 22 election case, where Claudia Tenney, the Republican, declared victory this week, by a margin that has narrowed down to 109 votes.  (Tenney filed the original complaint against the county board of elections.)

Marc Elias of Perkins Coie, long a fixture on the election litigation circuit, is the lead on the effort for Brindisi, a respondent in the case.  And his argument, laid out in the motion, is that Dominion Voting Systems machines malperformed and “undercounted” votes for Mr. Brindisi.  To be clear: the motion states that the machines produced an erroneous vote tally.  Brindisi is not blaming a vote-count error on human activity, but on the performance of the machines, which his team alleges to have been out of calibration.

I added the bold type above.  But can somebody explain to me, how do you calibrate a voting machine, and why would anybody build a voting machine that could be calibrated in a way that would yield different results at different times?  Won't it be something if the Trump team uses the Brindisi team's allegations of voting machines "out of calibration" in his defense at the Senate show trial?  No.  Not likely to happen.

But how is all this going to play?  We should know pretty soon.

Categories: Blogs, United States

A CCP Accounting of the 2020 Election - by Time Magazine

Libertarian Leanings - Sun, 2021-02-07 20:47 +0000

Time Magazine published an astonishing article that describes a behind the scenes conspiracy to "influence" the 2020 election.  In the Times version of events, though, the conspirators "saved the 2020 election" and thus "preserved democracy."  According to Time the conspiracy began around the March 2020 timeframe.

Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears. They executed national public-awareness campaigns that helped Americans understand how the vote count would unfold over days or weeks, preventing Trump’s conspiracy theories and false claims of victory from getting more traction. After Election Day, they monitored every pressure point to ensure that Trump could not overturn the result. “The untold story of the election is the thousands of people of both parties who accomplished the triumph of American democracy at its very foundation,” says Norm Eisen, a prominent lawyer and former Obama Administration official who recruited Republicans and Democrats to the board of the Voter Protection Program.

It would be quite comical if it weren't actually tragic.  We have Time Magazine, gloating how the same conspiracy that Trump and the rest of us feared, successfully prevented "Trump's conspiracy theories" from taking hold.  In her regular Sunday morning Clarice's Pieces at American Thinker, Clarice Feldman puts the Time article in perspective.

You must read the Time article to get the full flavor of the brazen admissions of what was done. Here’s a brief summary of the most significant of them, devoid of the leftist spackle of the author. Business, the AFL-CIO, and Black Lives Matter worked together to change voting systems and laws, to get hundreds of millions of dollars to make voting less secure and worked with social media to keep the Biden message upfront, the Trump message buried and the country terrified of widespread violence if the president won re-election. (4.6 percent of people who voted for Biden said in a poll that they would not have done so, had the information about Hunter Biden’s corruption not been scotched by the media.)

The participants see themselves as the protectors of democracy and want their story told, the author explains.

What Time bills as a triumph of American democracy was in reality the preservation of the very swamp that Trump went to Washington to drain.  And though Trump failed, his efforts forced the swamp to reveal itself, its true extent and nature.  The swamp is international.  The swamp is where the international elite buy influence.  The swamp is not democratic.  For a parallel in history Clarice draws on a Tablet article by Lee Smith that compares the American elitists in 2021 with the Athenian aristocracy at the time of Peloponnesian War. 

In Chapter 5 of The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli describes three options for how a conquering power might best treat those it has defeated in war. The first is to ruin them; the second is to rule directly; the third is to create “therein a state of the few which might keep it friendly to you.”

The example Machiavelli gives of the last is the friendly government Sparta established in Athens upon defeating it after 27 years of war in 404 BCE. For the upper caste of an Athenian elite already contemptuous of democracy, the city’s defeat in the Peloponnesian War confirmed that Sparta’s system was preferable. It was a high-spirited military aristocracy ruling over a permanent servant class, the helots, who were periodically slaughtered to condition them to accept their subhuman status. Athenian democracy by contrast gave too much power to the low-born. The pro-Sparta oligarchy used their patrons’ victory to undo the rights of citizens, and settle scores with their domestic rivals, exiling and executing them and confiscating their wealth.

Lower class Athenians were undoubtedly deplorable.  Sparta then is China now.  Smith links to an article in the National Pulse by Natalie Winter that contains some stunning revelations about the influence the Chinese Communist Party exerted, successfully, on the U.S. media.  Here I've been thinking of our medial as the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party.  It turns out the Democratic Party has only been the vehicle for Chinese influence.  Here is Natalie Winter:

A host of corporate media outlets including CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and MSNBC have participated in private dinners and sponsored trips with the China-United States Exchange Foundation, a Chinese Communist Party-funded group seeking to garner “favorable coverage” and “disseminate positive messages” regarding China, The National Pulse can reveal.

Other outlets involved in the propaganda operation include Forbes, the Financial Times, Newsweek, Bloomberg, Reuters, ABC News, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, AFP, TIME magazine, LA Times, The Hill, BBC, and The Atlantic.

The relationship is revealed in the Department of Justice’s Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) filings, which reveal a relationship spanning over a decade between establishment media outlets and the China–United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF).

In a 2014 brochure CUSEF provided a list of organizations that participated in private dinner parties it had sponsored.  Here is a screen shot from the brochure.

It's been a source of wonder.  Who was pulling the strings?  Media outlets up and down the line, rather than put their top journalists on emerging stories of election anomalies, took the bizarre step of dismissing and discrediting them before facts could even be investigated, never mind confirmed.  Who or what had that kind of reach?  Turns out the influence has been cultivated for more than a decade.  By China.

And China, through CUSEF, did not limit its influence campaign to media outlets.  According to Foreign Policy Magazine the CCP sponsored foundation conducted academic and professional exchanges for journalists, scholars, political and military leaders to mainland China. Its influence on numerous U.S. institutions, including the Brookings Institution, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Atlantic Council, the Center for American Progress, the East-West Institute, the Carter Center, and the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, has saddled America with an elite class which which operates like an oligarchy.  Here is Lee Smith again:

[T]he pro-China oligarchy is not competing with the country from which it draws its wealth, power, and prestige. Chinese autocracy is their model. Consider the deployment of more than 20,000 U.S. armed forces members throughout Washington, D.C., to provide security for an inauguration of a president who is rarely seen in public in the wake of a sporadically violent protest march that was cast as an insurrection and a coup; the removal of opposition voices from social media, along with the removal of competing social media platforms themselves; the nascent effort to keep the Trump-supporting half of America from access to health care, credit, legal representation, education, and employment, with the ultimate goal of redefining protest against the policies of the current administration as “domestic terrorism.”

Who could ever have imagined.  With 25,000 National Guardsmen on hand for the inauguration, Washington, DC on January 20, 2021 was like a scene you might expect from Saddam Hussein's Iraq after one of his 100-percent electoral victories.  Will the half of the country that voted for Joe Biden notice?  Some perhaps.  We can hope.  But the heavy handed censorship is cloaked.  Books are not piled in the streets and burned.  Instead, "disinformation" that threatens to "incite" is neatly suppressed electronically, and if left leaning voters recognize it as censorship, they probably approve.  After all, it's not government that's doing the censoring, right?  Well, that's not quite right.  Government is doing the censoring, but not directly.  And it's not our government.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Ireland - Where We Are Now

Libertarian Leanings - Sat, 2021-02-06 16:55 +0000
Categories: Blogs, United States

GameStop

Libertarian Leanings - Thu, 2021-02-04 21:01 +0000

Matt Taibbi, a journalist I once thought of as far left, has a good summary of what's been going on with GameStop.  I've modified my opinion of Taibbi.  He may be left, but he's not far left.  At least he's not so far left that he's on board with jettisoning the truth in pursuit of left-wing causes.  He begins with a look back to the financial crisis of 2008.

In the fall of 2008, America’s wealthiest companies were in a pickle. Short-selling hedge funds, smelling blood as the global economy cratered, loaded up with bets against finance stocks, pouring downward pressure on teetering, hyper-leveraged firms like Morgan Stanley and Citigroup. The free-market purists at the banks begged the government to stop the music, and when the S.E.C. complied with a ban on financial short sales, conventional wisdom let out a cheer.

While there are similarities between the short-selling frenzy of 2008 and this one, there is a significant difference.  In 2008 there was a serious and legitimate crisis brought about by securitization of real estate financing.  That is, by packaging residential real estate mortgages and then selling of shares of these mortgage packages as Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), financial institutions were doing two things.  First, they were spreading out the risks from mortgage default and shifting it from themselves to MBS shareholders.  Second, the funds from the sale of MBS products brought more money into the residential real estate market adding more heat to an already overheated market.  Mortgages were thought to be a rock solid investment.

The 2008 crisis came to a head when a downturn in the economy burst the growing real estate bubble.  A rapidly growing number of homeowners were suddenly unable to make their monthly mortgage payments.  Layoffs, perhaps.  At the same time real estate prices, which had sky rocketed as the bubble grew, began to fall.  Homeowners who couldn't make their payments, also couldn't sell their houses at a high enough price to cover their mortgage debt.  New homeowners were often caught in a trap that was laid with the very best of intentions, that of making the American dream of homeownership a reality for more Americans.  Low down payment requirements meant that almost any drop in real estate prices would sink the value of a house below the mortgage balance owed.  Mortgage defaults began to pile up, eroding the value of for Mortgage Backed Securities.  Investors began to shun MBS assets.

Eventually there were certain Mortgage Backed Securities that no one was willing to buy or take as collateral.  Not all MBS assets, but a significant number of them.  When these securities stopped being traded they could not be priced, and so they were officially priced at $0.00.  This was the huge problem.  These were the bad assets that were "clogging up" the securities lending market and threatening a systemic crash.  Collateral for a significant number of stock loan contracts suddenly became worthless and borrowers were hard pressed to replace it.  There was another aspect to the problem.  Financial institutions that listed MBS assets on their balance sheets as fulfillment of capital requirements, were suddenly under capitalized and at risk of being shut down for failing to meet regulatory capital requirements.

All of this is to say that short selling bank stocks was not what precipitated the 2008 melt down.  In the current situation, massive short selling by hedge founds is at the root of their own problems.  GameStop was not in danger of bankruptcy.  In a June 28, 2020 article Seekingalpha made these three points regarding GameStop:

1. Share price manipulation and strong short-selling have presented the market with a false perception of GameStop's near to mid-term ability to operate as a going concern.

2. GameStop's real estate provides equity investors with a strong base-line value that will be unlocked in the very near term.

3. The debt exchange will provide GameStop with the necessary financial freedom to operate and adapt its business model to a post Covid-19 world.

In late 2019 and throughout 2020 analysts were expecting GameStop to go the way of Blockbuster.  Not everyone agreed.  But several hedge funds saw profit opportunity in GameStop's demise continued betting the stock price down through short sales.  But then...

The day-trading followers of a two-million-subscriber Reddit forum called “wallstreetbets” somewhat randomly decide to keep short-sellers from laying waste to a brick-and-mortar retail video game company called GameStop, betting it up in defiance of the Street. Worth just $6 four months ago, the stock went from $18.36 on the afternoon of the Capitol riot, to $43.03 on the 21st two weeks later, to $147.98 this past Tuesday the 26th, to an incredible $347.51 at the close of the next day, January 27th.

The Reddit day traders had engineered a "short squeeze," driving the price of GameStop higher by buying, just as big hedge funds were trying to drive the price down by selling short.

Short selling involves borrowing stock, or having your broker borrow the stocks on your behalf, that you then deliver to your buyer.  When the stock price has fallen to a suitably low price, the short seller buys the shares, for less than he sold them, and pockets the difference as profit.  It's a problem if the price doesn't fall, and a bigger problem if the price goes up.  The obvious part is that it's going to cost more to replace the borrowed stock than you make on the short sale.  You lose.

The not so obvious part is that when stock is borrowed on the short seller's behalf, the lender of the stock demands collateral in return, usually in the form of cash.  Proceeds from the short sale serve the purpose.  In fact the short seller doesn't see proceeds from the sale until the borrowed stock is replaced.  In the meantime if the stock price rises the requirement for collateral goes up with it.  Stock loan contracts are marked to the market on a daily basis.  Cash changes hands on a daily basis to keep contracts properly collateralized.  The short seller is on the hook, every day, for the additional cash collateral.

The rally sent crushing losses at short-selling hedge funds like Melvin Capital, which was forced to close out its position at a cost of nearly $3 billion. Just like 2008, down-bettors got smashed, only this time, there were no quotes from economists celebrating the “good news” that shorts had to cover. Instead, polite society was united in its horror at the spectacle of amateur gamblers doing to hotshot finance professionals what those market pros routinely do to everyone else.

That's what happens when a hedge fund doesn't hedge.  The simple hedge in a short sale situation is for the hedge fund to buy call options on the stock it's shorting.  The call option is a contract giving the hedge fund the right to buy the stock sometime in the future at an agreed upon price.  The option strike price would be higher than its market price at the time the contract is written, but that would allow the hedge fund to cut its losses should the price do what GameStop's price did.  Melvin Capital didn't hedge.  Call options cost money and cut into profits.

The press conveyed panic and moral disgust. “I didn’t realize it was this cultlike,” said short-seller Andrew Left of Citron Research, without irony denouncing the campaign against firms like his as “just a get rich quick scheme.” Massachusetts Secretary of State Bill Galvin said the Redditor campaign had “no basis in reality,” while Dr. Michael Burry, the hedge funder whose bets against subprime mortgages were lionized in “The Big Short,” called the amateur squeeze “unnatural, insane, and dangerous.”

The episode prompted calls to regulate Reddit and, finally, halt action on the disputed stocks. As I write this, word has come out that platforms like Robinhood and TD Ameritrade are curbing trading in GameStop and several other companies, including Nokia and AMC Entertainment holdings.

Meaning: just like 2008, trading was shut down to save the hides of erstwhile high priests of “creative destruction.” Also just like 2008, there are calls for the government to investigate the people deemed responsible for unapproved market losses.

The acting head of the SEC said the agency was “monitoring” the situation, while the former head of its office of Internet enforcement, John Stark, said, “I can’t imagine there isn’t an open investigation and probably a formal order to find out who’s on these message boards.” Georgetown finance professor James Angel lamented, “it’s going to be hard for the SEC to find blatant manipulation,” but they “owe it to look.” The Washington Post elaborated:

To establish manipulation that runs afoul of securities laws, Angel said regulators would need to prove traders engaged in “an intentional act to push a price away from its fundamental value to seek a profit.” In market parlance, this is typically known as a pump-and-dump scheme…

Even Nancy Pelosi, when asked about “manipulation” and “what’s going on on Wall Street right now,” said “we’ll all be reviewing it,” as if it were the business of congress to worry about a bunch of day traders cashing in for once.

The only thing “dangerous” about a gang of Reddit investors blowing up hedge funds is that some of us reading about it might die of laughter. That bit about investigating this as a “pump and dump scheme” to push prices away from their “fundamental value” is particularly hilarious.  What does the Washington Post think the entire stock market is, in the bailout age?

America’s banks just had maybe their best year ever, raking in $125 billion in underwriting fees at a time when the rest of the country is dealing with record unemployment, thanks entirely to massive Federal Reserve intervention that turned a crash into a boom. Who thinks the “fundamental value” of most stocks would be this high, absent the Fed’s Atlas-like support in the last year?

Inflation, bailouts, climate change, covid lockdowns – all have added billions to billionaire bottom lines.  Meanwhile for middle class and below, if you're not financially ruined quickly as in "non-essential businesses" must close, you can expect your buying power to be eroded slowly.  Still, Taibbi ends a bit more optimistically than I.

They’ve [the Reddit day traders have] seen first that our markets are basically fake, set up to artificially accelerate the wealth divide, and not in their favor. Secondly they see that the stock market, like the ballot box, remains one of the only places where sheer numbers still matter more than capital or connections.

The ruling class will take care of the ruling class through bailouts, and even election fraud.  They will fix the game in their favor.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Wake-up Call

Libertarian Leanings - Wed, 2021-02-03 19:33 +0000

Update February 3, 2021:  The video below by Kaspars Valainis was originally posted on Rumble.  This morning, Rumble sent off an email notifying me that there was more of his work available, but when I went to find it, I found instead that Mr. Valainis has been booted off of Rumble.  No explanation, just "404" at the link.

I can't think of a more convincing argument for the truth of his work than it being banned at YouTube and Rumble, though I have to say I'm surprised and disappointed at Rumble. So much for free speech there.

After some searching I found what appears to be another version of it on Bitchute.  Here it is:

Categories: Blogs, United States

Proud Boys Leader And The FBI

Libertarian Leanings - Mon, 2021-02-01 21:46 +0000

Imagine a white supremacist with the name Enrique Tarrio.  Right?  Enrique Tarrio is the leader of the Proud Boys, a group which has been designated, by the media at least, a white supremacist organization.  Streiff at RedState reports that Tarrio has been an FBI informant.

I’m sort of amazed by the way Justice has set out to criminalize membership in this organization by the amount of play they give to the logos and trying to portray the group as misogynistic and, possibly, white supremacist.

What is missing from this story is the extent to which the Proud Boys have been penetrated by the FBI.

The media have been helping federal law enforcement push the "white supremacist threat" narrative for years, if not decades.  On January 13th RedState reported on FBI warnings that armed groups would storm state capitols in 50 states.

According to various media, the FBI is declaring that on Inauguration Day, armed groups are planning to hold demonstrations and “storm” state capitols across the nation. Here is a sampling:

CNN: “The FBI has received information indicating “armed protests” are being planned at all 50 state capitols and the US Capitol in Washington, DC in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, according to an internal bulletin obtained by CNN.”

ABC: “Starting this week and running through at least Inauguration Day, armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols and at the U.S. Capitol, according to an internal FBI bulletin obtained by ABC News.”

BBC: “There are reports of armed groups planning to gather at all 50 state capitols and in Washington DC in the run-up to his 20 January inauguration.”

USA Today: “As armed supporters of President Donald Trump prepare to converge on state capitals and Washington, D.C., this weekend and Inauguration Day, some legal experts are calling on authorities to enforce longstanding laws outlawing organized groups that act as citizen-run, unauthorized militias.”

I don’t know what to make of this FBI report. The FBI has been on the “white supremacist militia” kick since before they slaughtered the Branch Davidians and gunned down Vicki Weaver. As I pointed out in The FBI’s Latest Homegrown Terrorist Plot Is an Obvious Joke but What Is Going to Happen to the People Involved Is Not, virtually all these militia arrests have one thing in common, that is, the group doing the planning is riddled with FBI informants who push members into a criminal conspiracy and then introduce them to an FBI agent to close the deal.

This is part of the long standing federal opposition to constitutional protections in the Bill of Rights like freedom of speech, and the right to keep and bear arms.  In the January 13th RedState article, author Streiff offered this advice and warning regarding the then upcoming inauguration.

These kinds of posters appearing

look more like someone trolling for what a “white supremacist militia” looks like in their imagination than anything else.

If someone tries to rope you into one of these, don’t play. You might even want to consider cutting that person out of your circle of friends as a potential agent provocateur. If you don’t know the person, perhaps a good insurance policy would be reporting them to law enforcement.

Nothing good will come of this madness…assuming that it is any more substantial than the electrons it was transmitted with.

This is the bottom line. Showing up armed on Inauguration Day does nothing to change anything for the better. It hands very potent imagery to the left. We are entering a period where gun ownership, free speech, and freedom of assembly will be under coordinated attack by the Administrative State, which will be 100% controlled by neo-Communists. Please don’t make it easy on them. Please don’t give them the reasons they need to shut you down or imprison you or restrict the rights of millions of Americans because someone felt like LARPing.

The vast majority paid heed to that warning.  Unfortunately some, egged on by Antifa and BLM, didn't.  My elected representatives here in New Hampshire, Democrats all, have referred to the capitol rioting and vandalism as an "insurrection."  Democrats mean business.  I expect they will be working to crack down hard within the next two years.

Our friends who voted for Joe Biden will no doubt applaud when curbs are imposed on those "racist white supremacists."  But will they still applaud when they find that the government they thought was protecting them is really, as always, only protecting itself.  And that they damned well better not complain about it.

Categories: Blogs, United States

State Legislatures Eye Sound Money Reforms

Libertarian Leanings - Mon, 2021-02-01 21:25 +0000

The following article was provided by Jp Cortez, Policy Director for the Sound Money Defense League

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

More state lawmakers than ever are introducing sound money legislation in the opening days of the 2021 legislative session.

Several states will consider measures to remove sales or general excise taxes from the purchases of gold, silver, and other precious metals.

Many other states will weigh bills to eliminate income taxes on gold and silver.

Still others will decide whether state funds can be held in physical gold and silver -- and may even consider establishing a state-chartered bullion depository.

With debt-funded spending and money-printing in our nation’s capital at breakneck speed, will states see the wisdom of enacting measures to counteract these policies of currency debasement? 

Here’s a rundown on newly introduced state legislation:

In Mississippi, House Bill 375, sponsored by Representative Henry Zuber and Representative Brady Williamson, and House Bill 978, sponsored by Representative Joel Bomgar, include language to exempt precious metals from sales taxes.

Two of Mississippi’s neighbors, Alabama and Louisiana, have already exempted precious metals from sales taxes – so the Magnolia State will continue to be at a competitive disadvantage if it maintains its current policy of taxing real money.

South Carolina’s Representative Stewart Jones just introduced three sound money measures. House Bill 3378 excludes from gross income any net capital gain derived from the exchange of precious metals bullion.

And Jones’s House Joint Resolution 3379 would create a committee to explore the feasibility of a state-chartered metals depository. Finally, the representative from Laurens, South Carolina, has put forward House Bill 3377, which reaffirms that gold and silver are money.

Building on prior efforts to make precious metals purchases tax-free, Tennessee Senator Rusty Crowe introduced Senate Bill 251.

Meanwhile, Tennessee Representative Bud Hulsey and Senator Paul Rose introduced House Bill 353 and Senate Bill 279, respectively. These bills would create a study commission regarding a gold depository for the Volunteer State and a report of findings to the state Senate and House of Representatives.

In Arkansas, a measure that would eliminate the sales tax on precious metals purchases has been submitted for introduction by Representative Delia Haak, Representative Robin Lundstrum, and Senator Mark Johnson. Senator Johnson introduced a similar measure in 2019.

In Alabama, Representative Andrew Sorrell will re-introduce a measure to remove income taxes from gold and silver. While Alabama enacted a precious metals sales tax exemption into law in 2018, the original bill sponsor, Senator Tim Melson, plans to introduce a bill this year to clear up some ambiguity in the 2018 language and to push out a sunset provision for another 5 years.

Way to the west, Representative Val Okimoto and Representative Dale Kobayashi in Hawaii have introduced House Bill 1184, a measure to exempt precious metals from Hawaii’s general excise tax.

And Idaho Representative Ron Nate and Senator Steven Vick have put forward House Bill 7 to permit the State Treasurer to hold a portion of state funds in physical gold and silver. Idaho hope to join Ohio and Texas as one of the few states make such a move to secure state assets against the risks of inflation and financial turmoil and/or to achieve capital gains as measured in Federal Reserve Notes.

Washington State removed sales taxes against sound money decades ago, but a lawmaker hopes to take it a step further. House Bill 1417, introduced by Representative Rob Chase and co-sponsored by Representative Bob McCaslin, seeks to eliminate all Evergreen State taxes on the only form of money mentioned in the U.S. Constitution.

Sound money forces could face some defensive battles in 2021 as well. 

Fortunately, here are now 39 states that have removed some or all sales taxes from precious metals. But during the shortened 2020 session, revenue-hungry politicians in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington State tried to buck the trend and repeal those sales tax exemptions.

All three of these recent attempts to reinstate taxes on the monetary metals have been defeated, but taxpayers should be wary of their return.

By communicating with lawmakers, providing testimony, and igniting a vocal grassroots response, the Sound Money Defense League and its allies continue to make the case for sound money and to defend the existence of current sound money policies.

Massive debt-financed government spending in response to COVID-19 has reemphasized the importance of sound money.

As state legislatures and Congress consider actions in the face of a global pandemic and an unprecedented economic meltdown, they would be wise to remove the disincentives that stand in the way of protecting citizens and their states with sound, constitutional money.

Jp Cortez is the Policy Director for the Sound Money Defense League, a non-partisan, national public policy group working to restore sound money at the state and federal level and publisher of the Sound Money Index

Categories: Blogs, United States

Flashback: April 14, 2009

Libertarian Leanings - Wed, 2021-01-27 13:43 +0000

Libertarian Leanings flashes back to early in the Obama administration, April 14, 2009. The left has been waging an information war for decades, but a new track opens when government officials associate the Tea Party with Right-wing Extremism, and warn of the potential terrorist threat posed by military veterans.

DHS Prepares for the Tea Parties

On the eve of the Taxpayer Tea Parties the Department of Homeland Security has published a new report and distributed it to state and local law enforcement agencies.  The report, entitled "Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," warns that returning military veterans may pose a potential terrorist threat.

'The report, titled "Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," dated April 7, states that "threats from white supremacist and violent anti-government groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts."

However, the document, first reported by talk-radio host and WND columnist Roger Hedgecock, goes on to suggest worsening economic woes, potential new legislative restrictions on firearms and "the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks."

The report from DHS' Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines right-wing extremism in the U.S. as "divided into those groups, movements and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups) and those that are mainly anti-government, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration."'

In other words, if you should happen to hold any conservative or libertarian views, you are a terrorist threat in the eyes of DHS.

Today there are people who consider anyone not wearing a Covid mask a terrorist threat.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Psychopathy and the Origins of Totalitarianism

Libertarian Leanings - Wed, 2021-01-27 11:40 +0000

James Lindsay published an article on Christmas Day, Psychopathy and the Origins of Totalitarianism.  Read the whole thing.  Twice.  Maybe three times.  Read it online so that you can highlight, right-click, and look up references with which you are unfamiliar.  It's what's happening.

Many of the greatest horrors of the history of humanity owe their occurrence solely to the establishment and social enforcement of a false reality. With gratitude to the Catholic philosopher Josef Pieper and his important 1970 essay “Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power” for the term and idea, we can refer to these alternative realities as ideological pseudo-realities.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Do The Numbers Add Up?

Libertarian Leanings - Tue, 2021-01-26 21:44 +0000

Categories: Blogs, United States

Amazon Vs. America In The Information War

Libertarian Leanings - Tue, 2021-01-26 20:48 +0000

A film by Eli Steele, written and narrated by his father Shelby Steele, was rejected by Amazon.  Forbidden perspective on race in America, I suppose.  It's a demonstration of how Big Tech is willing to censor anybody, anybody whose ideas might threaten progressive control — their own control — of government.

When Amazon rejected my documentary What Killed Michael Brown? from its platform last October, I was stunned by the rejection letter’s finality. The film had failed to meet Amazon’s “content quality expectations,” was “not eligible for publishing,” and there could be no “resubmission of this title and this decision may not be appealed.” After rereading the letter several times, I was left with the eerie feeling that I had done something immoral for which I deserved to be ashamed. Fortunately the film was written, presented, and narrated by my father Shelby Steele whose years as an acclaimed author and op-ed writer for the Wall Street Journal had made him a public intellectual. When I told the writers at the Journal what had happened, they responded with several critical articles, and Amazon promptly reversed its decision and agreed to host my film on their platform, where it remains to this day.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Welcome To The Biden Administration

Libertarian Leanings - Tue, 2021-01-26 19:32 +0000

From Ace of Spades HQ:

A compliant and deferential press is a powerful tool for dictators; how else do they communicate the wonderful news that gasoline is dropping in price from $2/gallon to $5/gallon!

Life in America is wonderful, now!  Our troubles will be out of sight forever! 

Categories: Blogs, United States

Michael Yon: Antifa Led The Attack

Libertarian Leanings - Tue, 2021-01-26 13:02 +0000

Categories: Blogs, United States

A Fiery Debate

Libertarian Leanings - Mon, 2021-01-25 12:36 +0000

Senator Rand Paul didn't back down.

George Stephanopoulos, the former press secretary for Bill Clinton turned ABC host, came out of the chute fast when he sat down with Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday’s “This Week” political talk show.

“Senator Paul, let me begin with a threshold question for you. This election was not stolen, do you accept that fact?”

Paul most definitely did not accept that fact.

...

“Hold on a second,” the host said, adding that Trump “said the election was stolen. This election was not stolen. The results were certified in every single state … after count and recounts.”

But Paul said not so. “You’re saying that absolutely it was — you’re saying there was no fraud and it’s all been investigated, and that’s just not true.”

The two again argued about who was saying what, when Paul said: “You say we’re all liars. You just simply say we’re all liars.”

When George Stephanopoulis and like media talking heads choose suppression over investigation, I take that as confirmation: The election was stolen.  Not only was the election stolen, corporate media were in on it. 

Categories: Blogs, United States

Hail to the Thief

Libertarian Leanings - Fri, 2021-01-22 12:25 +0000

An apropos title on Daniel Greenfield's Frontpage article. 

There were no crowds, just soldiers. After the military and police contingent, the second largest group there for the inauguration weren’t Biden’s civilian supporters, but his propagandists. With few people, the media had to work twice as hard to manufacture the illusion that this was a popular leader taking office instead of a usurper imposed by Amazon, Google, Facebook, and the rest of the political, cultural, and economic oligarchy which owns the media on America.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Mississippi Lawmaker Introduces Measure to Remove Sales Tax on Sound Money

Libertarian Leanings - Thu, 2021-01-21 16:00 +0000

The following article was provided by Jp Cortez, Policy Director for the Sound Money Defense League

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One of the states that's still taxing real money is hoping to do something about it.

Introduced by Representative Zuber (R-Jackson), House Bill 375 removes sales and use tax on purchases of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bullion in Mississippi.

Under current law, Mississippi citizens are discouraged from insuring their savings against the devaluation of the dollar because they are penalized with taxation for doing so. Passage of this measure would remove disincentives to holding gold and silver for this purpose. HB 375 is important for a few reasons:

  • Levying sales taxes on precious metals is inappropriate. Sales taxes are typically levied on final consumer goods. Computers, shirts, and shoes carry sales taxes because the consumer is "consuming" the good. Precious metals are inherently held for resale, not "consumption," making the application of sales taxes on precious metals inappropriate.
  • Studies have shown that taxing precious metals is an inefficient form of revenue collection. The results of one study involving Michigan show that any sales tax proceeds a state collects on precious metals are likely surpassed by the state revenue lost from conventions, businesses, and economic activity that are driven out of the state.

The harm is exacerbated when you consider that many of Mississippi’s neighbors (Alabama and Louisiana) have already stopped taxing gold and silver. Arkansas and Tennessee are considering their own sales tax exemptions for precious metals this year.

  • Taxing gold and silver harms in-state businesses. It’s a competitive marketplace, so buyers will take their business to neighboring states, such as Alabama or Louisiana (which have eliminated or reduced sales tax on precious metals), thereby undermining Mississippi jobs. Levying sales tax on precious metals harms in-state businesses who will lose business to out-of-state precious metals dealers. Investors can easily avoid paying $136.50 in sales taxes, for example, on a $1,950 purchase of a one-ounce gold bar.

         In total, 39 states have reduced or eliminated sales tax on the monetary metals.

  • Taxing precious metals is unfair to certain savers and investors. Gold and silver are held as forms of savings and investment. Mississippi does not tax the purchase of stocks, bonds, ETFs, currencies, and other financial instruments. 
  • Taxing precious metals is harmful to citizens attempting to protect their assets. Purchasers of precious metals aren't fat-cat investors. Most who buy precious metals do so in small increments as a way of saving money. Precious metals investors are purchasing precious metals as a way to preserve their wealth against the damages of inflation. Inflation harms the poorest among us, including pensioners, Mississippians on fixed incomes, wage earners, savers, and more.

This measure is one of many sound money bills being introduced across the country this year.  Idaho plans to consider a measure to empower the state treasurer to hold physical gold and silver in state coffers. Bills to remove taxation on sound, constitutional money are also being, or have been, introduced in Alabama, Hawaii, Iowa, South Carolina, Tennessee, and more.

Backed by the Sound Money Defense League, these measures protect Mississippi citizens by removing barriers to insulating their wealth with the only money proven to protect against the Federal Reserve Note’s ongoing devaluation. 

Image credit: M4pletree OuO

 

Jp Cortez is the Policy Director for the Sound Money Defense League, a non-partisan, national public policy group working to restore sound money at the state and federal level and publisher of the Sound Money Index.

Categories: Blogs, United States

President Trump's Farewell Address - January 19, 2021

Libertarian Leanings - Wed, 2021-01-20 15:43 +0000

My fellow Americans: Four years ago, we launched a great national effort to rebuild our country, to renew its spirit, and to restore the allegiance of this government to its citizens. In short, we embarked on a mission to make America great again — for all Americans.

As I conclude my term as the 45th President of the United States, I stand before you truly proud of what we have achieved together. We did what we came here to do — and so much more.

This week, we inaugurate a new administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous. We extend our best wishes, and we also want them to have luck — a very important word.

I’d like to begin by thanking just a few of the amazing people who made our remarkable journey possible.

First, let me express my overwhelming gratitude for the love and support of our spectacular First Lady, Melania. Let me also share my deepest appreciation to my daughter Ivanka, my son-in-law Jared, and to Barron, Don, Eric, Tiffany, and Lara. You fill my world with light and with joy.

I also want to thank Vice President Mike Pence, his wonderful wife Karen, and the entire Pence family.

Thank you as well to my Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows; the dedicated members of the White House Staff and the Cabinet; and all the incredible people across our administration who poured out their heart and soul to fight for America.

I also want to take a moment to thank a truly exceptional group of people: the United States Secret Service. My family and I will forever be in your debt. My profound gratitude as well to everyone in the White House Military Office, the teams of Marine One and Air Force One, every member of the Armed Forces, and state and local law enforcement all across our country.

Most of all, I want to thank the American people. To serve as your President has been an honor beyond description. Thank you for this extraordinary privilege. And that’s what it is — a great privilege and a great honor.

We must never forget that while Americans will always have our disagreements, we are a nation of incredible, decent, faithful, and peace-loving citizens who all want our country to thrive and flourish and be very, very successful and good. We are a truly magnificent nation.

All Americans were horrified by the assault on our Capitol. Political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans. It can never be tolerated.

Now more than ever, we must unify around our shared values and rise above the partisan rancor, and forge our common destiny.

Four years ago, I came to Washington as the only true outsider ever to win the presidency. I had not spent my career as a politician, but as a builder looking at open skylines and imagining infinite possibilities. I ran for President because I knew there were towering new summits for America just waiting to be scaled. I knew the potential for our nation was boundless as long as we put America first.

So I left behind my former life and stepped into a very difficult arena, but an arena nevertheless, with all sorts of potential if properly done. America had given me so much, and I wanted to give something back.

Together with millions of hardworking patriots across this land, we built the greatest political movement in the history of our country. We also built the greatest economy in the history of the world. It was about “America First” because we all wanted to make America great again. We restored the principle that a nation exists to serve its citizens. Our agenda was not about right or left, it wasn’t about Republican or Democrat, but about the good of a nation, and that means the whole nation.

With the support and prayers of the American people, we achieved more than anyone thought possible. Nobody thought we could even come close.

We passed the largest package of tax cuts and reforms in American history. We slashed more job-killing regulations than any administration had ever done before. We fixed our broken trade deals, withdrew from the horrible Trans-Pacific Partnership and the impossible Paris Climate Accord, renegotiated the one-sided South Korea deal, and we replaced NAFTA with the groundbreaking USMCA — that’s Mexico and Canada — a deal that’s worked out very, very well.

Also, and very importantly, we imposed historic and monumental tariffs on China; made a great new deal with China. But before the ink was even dry, we and the whole world got hit with the China virus. Our trade relationship was rapidly changing, billions and billions of dollars were pouring into the U.S., but the virus forced us to go in a different direction.

The whole world suffered, but America outperformed other countries economically because of our incredible economy and the economy that we built. Without the foundations and footings, it wouldn’t have worked out this way. We wouldn’t have some of the best numbers we’ve ever had.

We also unlocked our energy resources and became the world’s number-one producer of oil and natural gas by far. Powered by these policies, we built the greatest economy in the history of the world. We reignited America’s job creation and achieved record-low unemployment for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, women — almost everyone.

Incomes soared, wages boomed, the American Dream was restored, and millions were lifted from poverty in just a few short years. It was a miracle. The stock market set one record after another, with 148 stock market highs during this short period of time, and boosted the retirements and pensions of hardworking citizens all across our nation. 401(k)s are at a level they’ve never been at before. We’ve never seen numbers like we’ve seen, and that’s before the pandemic and after the pandemic.

We rebuilt the American manufacturing base, opened up thousands of new factories, and brought back the beautiful phrase: “Made in the USA.”

To make life better for working families, we doubled the child tax credit and signed the largest-ever expansion of funding for childcare and development. We joined with the private sector to secure commitments to train more than 16 million American workers for the jobs of tomorrow.

When our nation was hit with the terrible pandemic, we produced not one, but two vaccines with record-breaking speed, and more will quickly follow. They said it couldn’t be done but we did it. They call it a “medical miracle,” and that’s what they’re calling it right now: a “medical miracle.”

Another administration would have taken 3, 4, 5, maybe even up to 10 years to develop a vaccine. We did in nine months.

We grieve for every life lost, and we pledge in their memory to wipe out this horrible pandemic once and for all.

When the virus took its brutal toll on the world’s economy, we launched the fastest economic recovery our country has ever seen. We passed nearly $4 trillion in economic relief, saved or supported over 50 million jobs, and slashed the unemployment rate in half. These are numbers that our country has never seen before.

We created choice and transparency in healthcare, stood up to big pharma in so many ways, but especially in our effort to get favored-nations clauses added, which will give us the lowest prescription drug prices anywhere in the world.

We passed VA Choice, VA Accountability, Right to Try, and landmark criminal justice reform.

We confirmed three new justices of the United States Supreme Court. We appointed nearly 300 federal judges to interpret our Constitution as written.

For years, the American people pleaded with Washington to finally secure the nation’s borders. I am pleased to say we answered that plea and achieved the most secure border in U.S. history. We have given our brave border agents and heroic ICE officers the tools they need to do their jobs better than they have ever done before, and to enforce our laws and keep America safe.

We proudly leave the next administration with the strongest and most robust border security measures ever put into place. This includes historic agreements with Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, along with more than 450 miles of powerful new wall.

We restored American strength at home and American leadership abroad. The world respects us again. Please don’t lose that respect.

We reclaimed our sovereignty by standing up for America at the United Nations and withdrawing from the one-sided global deals that never served our interests. And NATO countries are now paying hundreds of billions of dollars more than when I arrived just a few years ago. It was very unfair. We were paying the cost for the world. Now the world is helping us.

And perhaps most importantly of all, with nearly $3 trillion, we fully rebuilt the American military — all made in the USA. We launched the first new branch of the United States Armed Forces in 75 years: the Space Force. And last spring, I stood at Kennedy Space Center in Florida and watched as American astronauts returned to space on American rockets for the first time in many, many years.

We revitalized our alliances and rallied the nations of the world to stand up to China like never before.

We obliterated the ISIS caliphate and ended the wretched life of its founder and leader, al Baghdadi. We stood up to the oppressive Iranian regime and killed the world’s top terrorist, Iranian butcher Qasem Soleimani.

We recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

As a result of our bold diplomacy and principled realism, we achieved a series of historic peace deals in the Middle East. Nobody believed it could happen. The Abraham Accords opened the doors to a future of peace and harmony, not violence and bloodshed. It is the dawn of a new Middle East, and we are bringing our soldiers home.

I am especially proud to be the first President in decades who has started no new wars.

Above all, we have reasserted the sacred idea that, in America, the government answers to the people. Our guiding light, our North Star, our unwavering conviction has been that we are here to serve the noble everyday citizens of America. Our allegiance is not to the special interests, corporations, or global entities; it’s to our children, our citizens, and to our nation itself.

As President, my top priority, my constant concern, has always been the best interests of American workers and American families. I did not seek the easiest course; by far, it was actually the most difficult. I did not seek the path that would get the least criticism. I took on the tough battles, the hardest fights, the most difficult choices because that’s what you elected me to do. Your needs were my first and last unyielding focus.

This, I hope, will be our greatest legacy: Together, we put the American people back in charge of our country. We restored self-government. We restored the idea that in America no one is forgotten, because everyone matters and everyone has a voice. We fought for the principle that every citizen is entitled to equal dignity, equal treatment, and equal rights because we are all made equal by God. Everyone is entitled to be treated with respect, to have their voice heard, and to have their government listen. You are loyal to your country, and my administration was always loyal to you.

We worked to build a country in which every citizen could find a great job and support their wonderful families. We fought for the communities where every American could be safe and schools where every child could learn. We promoted a culture where our laws would be upheld, our heroes honored, our history preserved, and law-abiding citizens are never taken for granted. Americans should take tremendous satisfaction in all that we have achieved together. It’s incredible.

Now, as I leave the White House, I have been reflecting on the dangers that threaten the priceless inheritance we all share. As the world’s most powerful nation, America faces constant threats and challenges from abroad. But the greatest danger we face is a loss of confidence in ourselves, a loss of confidence in our national greatness. A nation is only as strong as its spirit. We are only as dynamic as our pride. We are only as vibrant as the faith that beats in the hearts of our people.

No nation can long thrive that loses faith in its own values, history, and heroes, for these are the very sources of our unity and our vitality.

What has always allowed America to prevail and triumph over the great challenges of the past has been an unyielding and unashamed conviction in the nobility of our country and its unique purpose in history. We must never lose this conviction. We must never forsake our belief in America.

The key to national greatness lies in sustaining and instilling our shared national identity. That means focusing on what we have in common: the heritage that we all share.

At the center of this heritage is also a robust belief in free expression, free speech, and open debate. Only if we forget who we are, and how we got here, could we ever allow political censorship and blacklisting to take place in America. It’s not even thinkable. Shutting down free and open debate violates our core values and most enduring traditions.
In America, we don’t insist on absolute conformity or enforce rigid orthodoxies and punitive speech codes. We just don’t do that. America is not a timid nation of tame souls who need to be sheltered and protected from those with whom we disagree. That’s not who we are. It will never be who we are.

For nearly 250 years, in the face of every challenge, Americans have always summoned our unmatched courage, confidence, and fierce independence. These are the miraculous traits that once led millions of everyday citizens to set out across a wild continent and carve out a new life in the great West. It was the same profound love of our God-given freedom that willed our soldiers into battle and our astronauts into space.

As I think back on the past four years, one image rises in my mind above all others. Whenever I traveled all along the motorcade route, there were thousands and thousands of people. They came out with their families so that they could stand as we passed, and proudly wave our great American flag. It never failed to deeply move me. I knew that they did not just come out to show their support of me; they came out to show me their support and love for our country.

This is a republic of proud citizens who are united by our common conviction that America is the greatest nation in all of history. We are, and must always be, a land of hope, of light, and of glory to all the world. This is the precious inheritance that we must safeguard at every single turn.

For the past four years, I have worked to do just that. From a great hall of Muslim leaders in Riyadh to a great square of Polish people in Warsaw; from the floor of the Korean Assembly to the podium at the United Nations General Assembly; and from the Forbidden City in Beijing to the shadow of Mount Rushmore, I fought for you, I fought for your family, I fought for our country. Above all, I fought for America and all it stands for — and that is safe, strong, proud, and free.

Now, as I prepare to hand power over to a new administration at noon on Wednesday, I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning. There’s never been anything like it. The belief that a nation must serve its citizens will not dwindle but instead only grow stronger by the day.

As long as the American people hold in their hearts deep and devoted love of country, then there is nothing that this nation cannot achieve. Our communities will flourish. Our people will be prosperous. Our traditions will be cherished. Our faith will be strong. And our future will be brighter than ever before.

I go from this majestic place with a loyal and joyful heart, an optimistic spirit, and a supreme confidence that for our country and for our children, the best is yet to come.

Thank you, and farewell. God bless you. God bless the United States of America.

Categories: Blogs, United States

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