Friday, December 31, 2010

Gerald Celente's Top Trends for 2011

And now, the real Celente!

Top Real Fake Gerald Celente Predictions for 2011

People will organize water riots with the hopes that authorities will turn the hoses on them.

Alchemy will really take off; invest in lead, not gold.

Young couples will have children solely for the meat babies provide.

More elderly parents will turn to their children for housing and will take up residence in the backseat.

In entertainment, expect comebacks from Mel Gibson and the kid from “The Sixth Sense.”

Liberty is under attack, and she finally runs out of ammo – should have invested in lead…

America afflicted by crime wave caused by criminals wearing jetpacks.

Someone will be killed by an alligator.

The revolution is coming, and it will be twated on MySpacebook and read through 3D glasses by people who I’m told know what 2.0 means… oh yes, I roll that way.

Most of these won’t come true, so I can repeat them for a whole new year.

How High Will Gold Go In 2011?

When Everything Is A Crime, Everyone Is A Criminal

America used to be the land of the free and the home of the brave.

That is no longer true.

Now we get thrown to the floor, handcuffed, beaten and arrested for things that we did not even know were crimes.

Do you consider yourself a criminal? It's been said that there are so many laws and regulations on the books at every level of government (federal, state and local) that it is virtually impossible for anyone to go a single day without violating at least one of them. You probably commit a crime even when you just stay home. Now, most of you probably think you're innocent of any wrongdoing (or if you do acknowledge some infraction of the law, it's likely a victimless made-up "crime", like drug use or file-sharing). The point is, you're not guilty of anything that would justify a fine or imprisonment, yet it is a near certainty you violate the law on a regular basis, laws that do carry such penalties. But if you're not guilty of committing harm, why is there a law to begin with? Because the state, with it's monopoly on the use of  legal force in enforcing it's arbitrary rulings, simply has the power to invent imaginary crimes. It does so because that expands its power, and the game is all about controlling the population, so that your freedom as an individual is replaced by the subjective whims of the ruling elite.

But it is those in power, the agents and enforcers of the state, that are the real criminals. By passing and enforcing their "law" they are acting as nothing more than common street thugs.

Doesn’t it seem like almost everything is becoming a crime in America now? Americans are being arrested and charged with crimes for doing things like leaving dog poop on the ground, opening up Christmas presents early, not recycling properly, farting in class and having brown lawns. But is it healthy for our society for the police to be involved in such silly things? Every single day the United States inches closer to becoming a totalitarian society.

That is why it is so disturbing that it seems like almost everything has become a crime in America now. As we continue to criminalize relatively normal behavior our slide toward becoming a totalitarian state will only accelerate.

We are throwing anyone and everyone in prison these days. It is getting absolutely ridiculous. Today, the United States leads the world in the number of prisoners and in the percentage of the population in prison. The United States has 5% of the world’s population, but approximately 25% of the world’s incarcerated population.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, as of the end of 2009 a total of 7,225,800 people were either on probation, in prison or on parole in America.

That is a sign of a very, very sick society. Either we have a massive crime problem or the “control grid” that our leaders have erected for us is wildly out of control.

Or both.

But how in the world are we supposed to have a healthy economy if our entire nation is being turned into one gigantic prison?

Sadly, it is not just hardcore criminals that are being rounded up and abused by authorities these days.

Almost Everything Is A Crime In America Now: 14 Of The Most Ridiculous Things That Americans Are Being Arrested For

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Faith, Virtue, Christianity - A Philosopher Responds

Which School of Anarchism?

I don't really care a lot about these "polls", or any polls for that matter, but they are slightly interesting sometimes. There are a lot of choices in this one, but since none really fit me too well (maybe Individualist Anarchism) I chose "Anarchism Without adjectives".

Which School of Anarchism do you subscribe to?

RE Anarchy is BS

How To Catch Women?

Is this still the attitude of most young men? Yeah. I don't know much about that kind of a "hunt", because I've always been a long-term relationship guy (been with my beautiful, wonderful woman for 6 years) and even when younger it was always a girlfriend I was after, not just immediate sex (not that I wouldn't have taken it at that age if freely offered without any effort on my part).

As a young fellow I worked shifts so the weekends were not exactly special for me. I would go out from Monday to Thursday inclusive to hunt for women. It wasn't a case of looking for this or that type of girl, all I was after was a jump and if you are willing to dedicate four nights a week to the hunt, then pussy will come your way. I was lucky in the sense that I drove a nice car and looked like a rising young executive, however by the time madam had discovered the truth about me it was too late and another notch had been added to my cock. My relationships lasted on average about four to six weeks, and then I started again hunting for a fresh source of leg-over material. Between the ages of 18 and 28 I reckon that I averaged between six to ten women a year for that decade. I can't be more precise: after all those years the faces kind of blur and the memory fades.-How to catch women

Six to ten women a year for ten years? I haven't been with six to ten women my whole life (I count four off the top of my head).

This Is A Great Blog Even With No New Posts

I was just thinking as I looked over Skeptical Eye, that even if no one posted anything new, there would be a lot to keep a visitor busy. Look at the sidebar! All those blogrolls and links. Tons of stuff! I have sometimes bookmarked a site that hasn't been updated in a long time just because they had great link resources. Plus, you can easily do a search of all those SE lists by using the search box on the sidebar.

Yeah, I knew this blog was the greatest, but did I underestimate just how great it really is?

How To Hide A Depression

No, that's not how to hide your depression (topic for another, more personal post) but how the government lies, as always.

The real US unemployment rate is not 9.8% but between 25% and 30%. That is a depression level of job losses - so why doesn't it look like a depression for many people? How can so large of a statistical discrepancy exist, and how is it that holiday shopping malls are so crowded in a depression?

The true devastation is hidden by essentially placing the job losses inside three different "boxes": the official unemployment box, the true full unemployment box, and most importantly, the staggering and persistent private sector job loss box that has been temporarily covered over by a fantastic level of governmental deficit spending. The "recovering and out of the recession" cover story is only plausible when nobody connects the dots and adds all the boxes together.

Hiding A Depression: How The US Government Does It

Peter Schiff: China Rate Hike, Commodities, Inflation, Debt Crisis

Haven't posted a Peter Schiff video in a while, so it was about time.

Why, Indeed?

The birther baloney (about Obama's birth certificate) is in the news again, due to some "mainstream" personalities. Chris Matthews mentioned it on Hardball and the new Hawaiian Governor's desire to have more information released. (Chris Matthews Wants To See Obama’s Full Birth Certificate)

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I wrote a post about the issue back in 2008: Obama's Birth Certificate. In that post I ignored the "long form" birth certificate, but mentioned the Honolulu newspaper announcement of his birth. There is enough evidence of baby Baracks's U.S. birth to satisfy a normal person, yet the Birthers persist. So, why not release a copy of the original, signed birth certificate?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

End The Failed War On Drugs

Cenk Uygur (host of The Young Turks) filling in for Ed Schultz on MSNBC explains why we should end the failed war on drugs.

Aspartame Alert

Ed. Note: Aspartame is forbidden to US military aircrews in cockpit and 8 hours before flight:

Both the Air Force's magazine, Flying Safety, and the Navy's magazine, Navy Physiology, published articles warning about the many dangers of aspartame including the cumulative delirious effects of methanol and the greater likelihood of birth defects. The articles note that the ingestion of aspartame can make pilots more susceptible to seizures and vertigo.


A hotline was even set up for pilots suffering from acute reactions to aspartame ingestion. Over 600 pilots have reported symptoms including some who have reported suffering grand mal seizures in the cockpit due to aspartame. Makes you wonder when the NTSB claims pilot error as the cause of those crashes.-Aspartame - Rumsfeld's Bioweapon Legacy

Within weeks of aspartame's approval for use in beverages, cans of diet sodas and other sweet drinks were on the market. To help sell Americans on using the artificial sweetener, intense advertising campaigns began programming the public to believe that sugar has lots of calories; calories make us fat and NutraSweet has no calories-therefore it won,t make us fat.

Based upon this almost universally-accepted oversimplification of biochemical reality, aspartame has enjoyed 22 years of marketplace success and is now in an estimated 7,000 to 9,000 commonly-consumed products in at least 100 countries. When Searle was absorbed by Monsanto in 1985, Rumsfeld reportedly received a $12 million bonus.

Not surprisingly, the same adverse reactions seen in lab animals in the 60s and 70s are now being seen in the general population. In his first book on aspartame (1990), Dr. H.J. Roberts stated that in five or 10 years we would have a worldwide plague on our hands if we do not remove aspartame from our food supply. With the printing of "Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic (2001), Dr. Roberts declared that the world is, indeed, plagued by a global epidemic of symptoms associated with aspartame use.

* Aspartame is being identified by a growing number of researchers and physicians as an underlying cause of chronic ill health in America and other countries throughout the world.
* It interacts with other substances such as pharmaceutical drugs to produce adverse reactions.
* All metabolites of aspartame (formaldehyde, methanol, diketopiperazine and formic acid) are toxic to the human body and are especially toxic to the brain.
* Aspartame comprises over 80 percent of consumer complaints filed with the FDA.
* The FDA has generated a list of 92 symptoms associated with aspartame consumption that include nausea, dizziness, irritability, insanity, blindness, deafness, weight gain and death.
* The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim that 500,000 people each year simply "drop dead" for no apparent reason from what it labels "sudden cardiac death."
* Dementia among all ages (especially the elderly) and learning disabilities among children, in the U.S. and abroad, have been skyrocketing since 1981.

[redacted] news

Drinking Green

Has this "green" stuff finally gone too far? From Worth a Shot: Eco-Liquors :

"My favorite new ecofriendly spirit is Death's Door White Whisky from Madison, Wisconsin. Founder Brian Ellison sources organic wheat from Washington Island farmers, reuses hot water from the still to heat mash, and supplies his spent mash to feed local dairy cows. He's also a founding member of the environmental nonprofit 1% for the Great Lakes. The outstanding whiskey rests in uncharred oak barrels before bottling and offers tequila and sake notes on the bouquet. Drink it neat, on the rocks, or as the base for unique cocktails." $35 for 750 mL

Now Right Twice A Day!

I have a confession to make. In the age of the ubiquitous cell phone, I still wear a watch. You might think my watch wearing is therefore only a fashion statement, but believe me, that isn't really possible when you never pay more than twenty bucks for a timepiece. No, my reasons are purely utilitarian; I like to know what time it is. Sure, I could look at my phone, but I find it easier to check the time by just a quick glance at my wrist. I mostly use my watch at work, so I can keep looking at it during my breaks and lunch to make sure I get back to my wage slave desk in time. I even take it off when I'm working, but make sure to grab it and put it back on even for a bathroom break (don't want to get in trouble for being away from my desk too long), so, sure, I don't really enjoy watch wearing either, but I do find find it more convenient sometimes.

My current watch was a gift from my dad, and just a little more expensive than my usual watches. It isn't anything fancy, but did come with several interchangeable cloth bands. The bands get dirty over time, and the one I was using was looking quite filthy (so dirty I didn't want anyone to see it, so took to always wearing long-sleeved shirts while wearing it). Then I remembered I had one band left I hadn't used yet. Yeah, it was a strong florescent green in color, but what the heck, it was clean! I removed the old band and put the fresh one on yesterday morning. Hey, I suddenly had a brand-spanking new watch! I wouldn't have to hide it anymore (no, I would; that horrible green color). Oh well, it was clean! I put it proudly on and headed off for work.

On my way to work I kept looking at my watch. Damn I was making good time! I could even make a quick stop! I did so, then got back in my car, glanced again at my watch, and was amazed. I still had plenty of time and could drive the rest of the way without risking a speeding ticket. Shortly after, on the freeway, when I again checked the time on my watch, I knew something was wrong. It still said it was ten minutes before the hour. What the hell! It was ten minutes before the hour ten minutes ago! Then I noticed something was wrong with the second hand. It had fallen off and dropped away from the other hands! The watch was stopped.

I pulled into work a few minutes late. Maybe I should have checked the time while I was driving by pulling out my cell phone, but that would have risked a ticket for illegal cell phone use.

I guess it's off to Walmart tonight to buy new ten dollar watch.

Anarchy Is

Anarchy is
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Unintended Consequences

My Feelings on the Civil War

I had a history teacher in high school once paraphrase a famous quote, but his alteration made it infinitely more accurate. He said, “War is rich old men arguing and poor young men dying.” More often than not, this is the case.

There is some general confusion among southerners when it comes to the Civil War. Perhaps a good way to start this article is to talk very briefly about my background, because talking about the Civil War tends to ignite deep regional prejudice, and it is completely unwarranted in my case.

I was born in Missouri, a state that permitted slavery. I only attended kindergarten there, and I can honestly say I never heard of the Civil War while living in the “show me state.” I then moved to Michigan, a state whose demographics are no longer anything like that of during the Civil War. Due to the auto industry, a fair amount of black people had moved there from the South, in a simultaneous search for economic opportunity and freedom from southern bigotry. Still, my family moved from Michigan when I was in 4th grade, and my exposure to history was very scant at this time.

I spent the bulk of my young school life in Indiana. In case you’ve never been (and I can’t say I blame you), Indiana is whiter than a Tea Party convention at a NASCAR event. While black people were fleeing racism in the south at the turn of the 20th century, white-flight occurred in a huge way during 50’s and 60’s. For those blissfully unaware, white people of any means largely left the south in search of land free of “urban problems” (i.e. black people) in the Midwest. Some found it in Indiana.

When I was growing up, the Ku Klux Klan was still active in my state. The Grand Wizard resided a few counties south of where I lived. I remember quite a few racist jokes in grade school, and I didn’t realize “nigger” was something you couldn’t say until I was in high school. My middle school had one black kid, and no one liked him.

I was fed the same pseudo-history as most southerners: Lincoln was a tyrant who pushed the noble South into throwing off the chains of oppression to form their own nation, in the same mold as the colonies during the American Revolution. When I came to study history more thoroughly on my own, I found this to be a complete load of propagandist bullshit.

It’s funny, really, to hear people who speak today of “wage slavery” and the abuse of the average person at the hands of the wealthy colluding with government turn around and try desperately to deify the South as a beacon of freedom. Cognitive dissonance is a strange phenomenon.

After years of reading Civil War history as a hobby, I am by no means a world renowned scholar, but I do know a few things for certain. One is that South Carolina seceded solely due to slavery. The first state to leave the Union did not do so because of tariffs or the nebulous concept of “states rights,” nor was it because of anything Lincoln did. The facts are quite clear: South Carolina left the union before Lincoln took office, before he so much as lifted a finger and did anything, and for no other reason than to ensure the future of its slave economy.

The disagreement was mutually peaceful on both sides until South Carolina fired upon Fort Sumter. The South fired the first shots. The South was not only fighting for an ignoble cause, they also initiated hostilities. These are the facts, and it was all a far cry from what I was taught about the War of Northern Aggression in the neo-Southern enclave of Indiana.

Recently, revisionist historians (largely southern libertarians) have tried to argue there were other underlying reasons for the South leaving the Union. They always say “reasons,” but once you boil it down and eliminate euphemisms for the defense of slavery, one is left with “tariffs.” This idea seems compelling to those seeking a non-slavery cause, but history does not support this argument.

For one thing, the tariffs in question (Tariff of 1828) had been repealed by the time of the Civil War. For another, tariffs would have been prominently listed in the “Declaration of Causes” drafted by some of the states. They are not. Some, like Nikk, argue that slavery was the reason given, but that tariffs are the true cause, however the Southern States would have no reason for a cover-up of this kind. The American Revolution was fought over taxes, and taxes were the cornerstone of propaganda used to incite conflict. Had tariffs truly been the root cause (or if they had even been in place at the time of the Civil War’s outbreak), it would have been trumpeted loudly by the South.

There were underlying causes which the South did not publicize. For example, the concept of “free soil” was a major sticking point among the Southern elite. Many Northerners even formed a “Free Soil Party.” What was the concept of “free soil?” It was one reminiscent of anarchist views regarding property: that the wealthy should not be allowed to buy up large tracts of land in new territories. Those who supported “free soil” wanted independent farmers to work their own land, and to halt the expansion of the exploitative system of slave-worked plantations. In fact, many Southerners supported free soil initiatives, because most Southerners didn’t own slaves.

At this point, I think it might be useful to analyze the people involved in the Civil War. At the heart of it was a small group of wealthy landowners who bought and sold people, treated them like animals, and had near absolute control of the government in the South. The bulk of the South (who were not slaves) were poor white farmers who cared little about slavery. In the North, some people were ardent abolitionists, but most were like the poor white southern farmers when it came to the issue of slavery: indifferent.

The Southern elite seceded over the issue of slavery without any input from non-slave owners. The North fought back not because they sought to end slavery, but because their military base had been attacked. The poor on both sides fought for the same reasons: pride and profit.

There are accounts of people siding with one over the other for ideological reasons, but this was a rare occurrence that was romanticized after the war in the concept of brothers in the same house pitted against each other. In fact, this is a good analogy for the war itself. How would the analogy look, if the historical facts were applied?

Imagine two brothers, one who lives upstairs and one who lives downstairs. The brother who lives downstairs chains people up and forces them to do his work for him in the basement. The brother upstairs doesn’t really care about this, but sometimes people chained up in the basement escape and ask the brother upstairs to hide them. Having seen how they are treated, the brother upstairs offers to hide them in his attic. The brother downstairs gets upset about this and claims the brother upstairs seeks to prevent the downstairs brother from ever chaining people up. The brother upstairs never said that.

One day, the brother downstairs says, “You can’t come downstairs anymore, and you know the gun cabinet we keep on my floor? I’m stealing everything in it, even though half of it is yours.” The upstairs brother says, “I don’t think you should do that,” to which the brother downstairs replies by shooting the brother upstairs. The two begin fighting.

There is nothing noble about the Confederacy or the Union. Southern States left in a paranoid huff over the perceived threat of slavery ending, and most historians agree that the North would not have ended slavery had it not been for the Southern states leaving. In fact, it was the South’s absence in Congress that gave the former minority abolitionists the majority they needed to end slavery.

Slavery did not end with the Emancipation Proclamation, which was not an act of Congress, but an executive order issued by Lincoln as a function of his expanded war powers. Over 800,000 slaves remained in captivity in the states of Delaware, Maryland, Missouri and West Virginia, because the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 only covered those states which left the union. Slavery in these four border states ended either through local statutes or the passage of the 30th amendment, which was passed a few months before the official end of the war in 1865.

Often, when mentioning the injustices of the South as pertaining to slavery, the only defense Southern sympathizers can mount is to attack the character of the North, as if one is trying to deify Lincoln or the Union when pointing out the tyrannical nature of the South’s secession. In fact, one need not have any respect or feelings whatsoever in regards to the rest of the country in order to see quite plainly how exploitative and economically corrupt the South was in its actions.

You don’t have to have any feelings whatsoever in favor of the Union, Lincoln, the US, or anything else to see that the Confederacy was and will always be nothing but a state formed around the preservation of slavery.

So why would anarchists support this exploitative state, which was a government like any other? Why do those who believe the government and the wealthy have conspired to oppress the average citizen support a state that is founded on this very principle?

I have my suspicions. I imagine it is largely a function of perception. Southerners are told that those in the North are raised to sing the praises of the slavery-fighting soldiers who died to end black oppression. I wouldn’t know, because I was not raised in this kind of environment. What I do know is that the “propaganda” is not limited to the North, if it exists there at all.

What I do know is that Southerners gleefully re-enact Civil War Battles in a disgusting glorification of violence. They wave Confederate flags as if they symbolize anything but the yoke of slavery which the leadership of every seceding state sought to protect. Why do people take pride in such things?

Outside of the blogging world, my last name is spelled Allen. My ancestors on my father’s side have been here since the Revolution. I am directly descended from Ethan Allen, who used his booming voice (which I inherited) in the dead of night to wake up the commander and demand the surrender of Fort Ticonderoga in the early stages of the American Revolution.

I don’t take particular pride in this, because I didn’t do it. Someone I never met in the distant past did it. Perhaps this is also why I don’t take particular offense at another issue regarding my family history.

You may notice a lot of black people have the last name “Allen.” This is because their ancestors were owned by mine. Several of the Allen clan in Kentucky and Virginia owned slaves and are directly related to me. If I were the type of person who held my ancestry as sacred, I too should be a Southern sympathizer. But, I am not. At some point, you have to be able to say, “That was a stupid thing they did.”

More Americans died in the Civil War than in any other conflict we have ever been involved in. None of them had to die. The entire war could have been avoided if a few wealthy slave owners who controlled the economy had not felt so threatened by the idea of having to actually lift a finger and do any real work for themselves, or else actually pay their laborers.

Besides the wealthy slave owners, poorer branches of my family tree were wiped out fighting for the South, and yet when I view a Confederate flag, this is what I see:

I don’t view the North as some saintly entity that can do no wrong. I don’t even think about the North as an entity at all. All I see is the Southern secessionists as petulant children who saw their free-ride coming to an end, even though it was not in danger until after their enormous hissy fit and exit from the democratic process.

And those are my feelings on the matter.


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via things along the way

China's Luck Is About To Run Out

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2011 will be the "Year of the Rabbit," which is considered to be a lucky sign. But I think China's luck is about to run out, and I'm not the only one who sees the writing on the wall.


The most pernicious impact China is having on world markets stems from a massive credit bubble similar to the one that blew up Japan in the early 1990s and the U.S. markets in 2007-2008. Hedge fund manager Mark Hart, who made a killing anticipating the U.S. subprime mortgage meltdown and the European debt crisis, is now focusing on China, saying in an article in The Telegraph that China is in the "late stages of an enormous credit bubble," and the "economic fall-out" will be as "extraordinary as China's economic out-performance over the last decade."

5 Reasons China Will Crash in 2011

A New York Jew in China - What Do Chinese People Think of Jews?

A New York Jew in China - What Do Chinese People Think of Jews? from Forverts on Vimeo.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Sunday Post on Monday (part one)

I didn't get around to it last night, so here it is, today (only part one; I've decided I can't finish it all that quickly), and rather late even for Monday. If I don't finish this soon, it'll be The Sunday Post on Tuesday, and that's just not right! However, as this is still Holiday week in my mind, I don't care that much about those small details, like the proper day of the week for a blog post (I do think, however, that I will start doing this post reliably every Sunday, and by that I mean Sunday morning, just as regular as that dinosaur, the Sunday Paper. Have I ever told my Sunday paper stories here? I didn't think so. I'll make notes for future posts on those.

So, Christmas Day I realized I needed more eggnog (I was drinking it straight, and lots of it, as I often do during the holidays; hey, I know some of you may think I've got an eggnog problem, but I can stop anytime I want) and some of those things you light on both ends with a match and put in the fireplace (though hopefully most of you put them inside the fireplace before you light them) so I announced I was going to take the car and go find someplace open, and thought I'd head for the supermarket, figuring they might be open for at least a few hours for (very) last minute shoppers. Well, they weren't. The parking lot of every grocery store I passed was empty (I'd say completely empty to emphasize the post-apocalyptic look of all that barren asphalt, but that would be redundant).

I knew Walmart wasn't open either, but right on the corner of the Walmart parking lot sits a Walgreen's drugstore. They were open, of course, the only day of the year when someone in their right mind would buy there instead of Walmart. The tiny parking lot in front of the building was nearly full, but I got a spot near the entrance (well, technically all the spots are near the entrance) and went in to look for firelogs and eggnog (not exactly pork chops and apple sauce, but this was Christmas). The only firelogs were right by the door, and they were only selling buy the box. You had to purchase six at once. I only wanted one, but what the hell, there was no place else to go. I lifted one and looked for a shopping cart. I have to say, those drugstore carts are hilarious; tiny and toy like, they seem to be telling the customer not to do any serious shopping while patronizing this establishment. My carton of firelogs barely fit inside the lilliputian basket. Once that was done, I went to look for eggnog. There wasn't any choice in that case any more than with the firelogs. The only kind available in the refrigerated case was the ubiquitous Shamrock Farms brand. Damn that stuff is expensive! I bought one anyway, because, ya know, what choice did I have, and hey, I can stop any time I want to!

The one thing that made the experience of shopping on Christmas day at Walgreen's unpleasant was this homeless old guy with a beard who was wandering the store with his blanket draped over his shoulder. He smelled so bad that he left an odor that literally lingered for minutes after he passed by. Up and down the aisles he went, aimlessly circling the store. He hit me again with his powerful stink weapon at the checkout, as he once again went by and waved at the cashier. Hell, I guess if I was homeless, and that was the only place open, I'd do the same. Only I would have found a little out of the way corner and wrapped myself in my blanket while enjoying a pilfered bottle of eggnog. They might call the police, but then, I'd have a warm place to stay for Christmas, either way.

I did get my firelogs and eggnog home safely, and enjoyed both while watching George C. Scott in A Christmas Carol. While watching it, I didn't think about that homeless old man once. A good television show can sure take your mind off the troubles out in the world.

Conformity, do you?

Conformity is the process by which an individual's attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors are influenced by what is conceived to be what other people might perceive. This influence occurs in both small groups and society as a whole, and it may be the result of subtle unconscious influences, or direct and overt social pressure. Conformity also occurs by the "implied presence" of others, or when other people are not actually present. For example, people tend to follow the norms of society when eating or watching television, even when they are at home by themselves.

WikiLeaks: DEA Expanding Reach Beyond Narcotics

New Ice Age?

Severe blizzards have caused chaos across much of the North East of the United States leading to thousands of flights being canceled.

The Bret "Ginx" Alan Singers

Over the past couple of days, this blog has been jammed with hundreds of fans, well-wishers and reporters, and they all agree that never has Skeptical Eye witnessed the excitement generated by these youngsters from the blogosphere who call themselves the Bret "Ginx" Alan Singers. Now, you're going to twice be entertained by them..right now, and who knows when.

Ladies and gentlemen...THE BRET "GINX" ALAN SINGERS!



How we miss you....oh how we miss you...oooohhh Bret!

Weeeeeell, we thought we could live without you, that SE would beeee the same...but we soon realized, when we opened our eyes...that it just weren't the same without youuuuuuuuuuuuuu!


Bret "Ginx" Alan! Bret "Ginx" Alan! Bret "Ginx" Alan, you're more than a salad! You're one in a million, in a billllllllllllllllion! Oh Bret, what shall we dooooooooooo?

We miss already, your very steady, "fuck you"s and "retard"s and "fuck off you pro-slavery racist"s, and we know now that SE will never be the same...

Ohh, if only...if only, we could plead and cajole thee and...

get you back in the gaaaaaaaaaaaaame!

Oh Bret, we love you, yeah, yeah yeah! We love you, yeah, yeah, yeah! We love you, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!

All right! A big round of applause for the Bret Alan singers! Bravo, bravo! Now, they'll be back later in the blog (though we can't say when) for another incredible performance, so calm down, people.

Weapons of Mass Consumption

Peter Lavelle and his CrossTalk guests discuss the nature of modern consumerism. One of the defining characteristics of modern life is mass consumption. Western lifestyles are being adopted globally. But with the advent of the global recession will those who were once rich now have to live more modestly?

I'm still waiting for my chance to live a little less modestly...

Lew Rockwell makes some good points about the central banks and the low interest rate driven consumption that punishes saving and investment, without which real prosperity is impossible in the long run.

Feds Target Airline Pilot for Exposing TSA Security Sham on YouTube

An airline pilot is being disciplined by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for posting video on YouTube pointing out what he believes are serious flaws in airport security.

The 50-year-old pilot, who lives outside Sacramento, asked that neither he nor his airline be identified. He has worked for the airline for more than a decade and was deputized by the TSA to carry a gun in the cockpit.

He is also a helicopter test pilot in the Army Reserve and flew missions for the United Nations in Macedonia.

Three days after he posted a series of six video clips recorded with a cell phone camera at San Francisco International Airport, four federal air marshals and two sheriff's deputies arrived at his house to confiscate his federally-issued firearm. The pilot recorded that event as well and provided all the video to News10.

At the same time as the federal marshals took the pilot's gun, a deputy sheriff asked him to surrender his state-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Bear Market To Return In 2011?

It's almost impossible to find anyone who is long term bearish on the stock market or economy at this time. In the recent Barron's poll every single analyst expected a rise in stock prices next year and continued economic expansion.

I think they are all going to be wrong, horribly wrong. I believe next year the stock market will begin the third leg down in the secular bear market. And the global economy will tip over into the next recession that will be much worse than the last one.


Ron Paul: Why the Government Lies About Social Security

Music Monday: The Redwalls

The Redwalls

The Redwalls were winners in the 8th Annual Independent Music Awards for best College Record Label Album of the year and the song "Modern Diet" was nominated for Pop/Rock song of the year-(source)

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the ACTUAL LINK POST here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

War Is A Lie

War Is A Lie

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Shake Up A Rotten Educational Establishment With Spending Cuts

America spends far more on education than countries like Germany, Japan, Australia, Ireland, and Italy, both as a percentage of its economy, and in absolute terms. Yet despite this lavish government support for education, college tuition in the U.S. is skyrocketing, reaching levels of $50,000 or more a year at some colleges, and colleges are effectively rewarded for increasing tuition by mushrooming federal financial-aid spending. Americans can’t read or do math as well as the Japanese, even though America spends way more (half again more) on education than Japan does, as a percentage of income, according to the CIA World Fact Book.

In light of this, it is easy to see why some education experts like Neal McCluskey are floating the idea of “draconian education cuts“ to shake up a rotten educational establishment.

Read more: Time for Big Cuts in Education Spending?

All this spending has produced little if any discernable good! In higher ed, it has mainly encouraged more and more people to pursue degrees that they either don’t need, can’t handle, or that don’t signify much learning, all while enabling colleges to raise their prices to capture the aid increases! In other words, all the magical thinking about education spending notwithstanding, the evidence strongly suggests that more spending ultimately does little educational good while bleeding taxpayers dry and expanding our utterly unsustainable debt.-Hurrah for ‘Draconian’ Education Cuts!

Congress In Pocket Of Wall Street

Congress passed a bill October 12th with very little resistance that would allow foreclosure and other documents to be accepted among multiple states. Wall Street has spent more than $250 million dollars this year lobbying Congress, how much does Wall Street influence Capitol Hill? With money changing hands easily and policy following, it seems Congress is in the pocket of these high powered companies.

Silver Shortage?

We are running out of physical silver. That’s great- if you own a lot. It is getting harder and harder to buy silver bullion anywhere in the world. Soon you will not be able to buy silver at all. Silver stocks are a poor second. The silver stocks have performed poorly and erratically. The HUI to silver ratio has fallen to a mere 19 to 1. Bullion has been outperforming the miners for years now. Gold bullion is a poor third. Silver ETFs are a scam. The COMEX is empty, just like Ft. Knox is empty. Both are self auditing, which is the same as no auditing at all. Soon only the industrial users will get silver, and consumers won’t get any.

Your poor old author has an answer for some of you....Find one of the endless storefronts in your town that hasn’t been rented for years. Offer the landlord half of what he wants. Put a big sign on the store, “BUY YOUR SILVER”. The sheeple will come to your store to sell their silver. No gold, just silver. The pawn shops and coin dealers are paying people a fraction of the worth for silver (and gold). Don’t pay people premiums for anything at all. Rare coins, silver ware, hollow ware, jewelry, and other expensive silver items get melt value. You won’t believe how many desperate fools will come to your door. You can do that right now if you want. Just find out what the pawn shops are paying, and add 10% to that. That simple, add 10% to whatever the pawn shops are paying. Put a sign on your window, “We Pay The Most- Guaranteed”. Pay by check, and don’t have cash in the store, or you’ll get robbed. Put ads in your local paper or just depend on drive-by traffic.

Mega Silver Shortage

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001


via Check Your Premises

The Subversion of Narnia

I received the entire boxed set (paperback) of The Chronicles of Narnia as a child. I could never get past the first of the seven volumes, though. Read Wardrobe, but never continued, though I think I tried reading Price Caspian. I might read them all now that I'm older, if I have the time. This Christian site has the following article suggesting a departure from Lewis's Vision:

As everyone knows, two Hollywood productions of recent years bear the titles of two of C. S. Lewis’s famous stories from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian. The third installment in the series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, is scheduled for release this December, with The Silver Chair slated for 2011.

Many Christians are very excited about these developments, believing (quite rightly) that Lewis’s stories are shot through with deeply Christian imaginative themes. What can be wrong with disseminating the stories more widely in this way? The answer is: Absolutely nothing—so long as it really is Lewis’s stories being disseminated. But there’s the rub. A thoughtful investigation suggests that the Narnia films are very far from being a faithful representation of Lewis’s own Christian vision of reality.

This is a serious charge, so let me focus it a bit more. I shall not object to the quality of the movies simply as movies, nor to the interpolation of much non-Lewis material into both movies, nor even to the appropriateness of film, in principle, as a vehicle for telling such stories. Objections might be made (and have been made) on all three points, but I shall not make them here.

Instead, I have a larger and more basic question in mind. Do these film versions “do” what Lewis’s books themselves “do”? Do those who see the films come away nourished in the same way that readers of the stories do? Do the films give us, or do they try to give us, something recognizably like Lewis’s comprehensively Christian vision of the world?-Narnia Invaded: How the New Films Subvert Lewis’s Hierarchical World

Well, I've only seen the first film so far, which I thought was okay. I wasn't looking at it from a Christian perspective, however.

Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? (William Lane Craig vs Richard Carrier)

Remembering the USS Liberty

Phil Tourney is joined by fellow USS LIBERTY survivor Ron Kukal in discussing America's slide into the ash heap of history as a result of the poisonous relationship it 'enjoys' with the Jewish state.: USS LIBERTY Hour

Moving Back In With The Kids

Maybe this can start a permanent trend in the direction of real family values in this hypocritical country. It's supposed to be a disgrace (in the United States) for a 35 year old man to still be living with his parents (happens all the time in Italy, though), or ridiculous to still have the old folks living in the same house instead of on their own or rotting away in a convalescent hospital. Oh, but we're a super religious "Christian" nation! Well, guess what, phony American "Christians", Jesus thinks you suck!

When the value of stocks and bonds in your portfolio has declined, tapping the bonds of your family can be a valuable asset — especially in retirement.
Joseph Jastrzebski, a 68-year-old manager at Home Depot, wants to retire soon. When he does, he and his wife, Valerie, plan to move in with extended family.
The Sayreville, N.J., couple already live part-time with their daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. Once they sell the family home the Jastrzebskis will move in permanently.


As retirement investments have been eroded during this economic crisis, the number of multi-generational family households has been growing — returning to a trend from half a century ago.
Since 1980, there has been a 33 percent increase in Americans living in multigenerational households. Investors may be recouping some of losses than have sunk their 401(k)s and other retirement portfolios over the past two years, but not enough to keep many soon-to-be retirees from worrying.

Together again: More retirees moving in with children

Larry, Michael and Guns

Larry Elder's 2005 self-financed documentary response to Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Great Santa Debate

Well, I don't know about these kids, but I know Santa Claus is real. I may not have received that new Mercedes Benz I asked for, but I did get a Matchbox car to put on my desk at work, and who brung it and put it in my Christmas stocking if not Santa?

Be More Like Jesus In The Coming Year

The Punk Patriot

How Corporations Destroyed American Democracy

A Statist Christmas Wish

A sad story to be sure, but not entirely unhappy. A man did get a dying wish granted, after all. Only thing is, his wish was granted by the new Almighty God, The State.

Manuel Lara Lopez has lived in the United States for 30 years, and has been a legal resident for 20 years, having immigrated to Texas from Mexico for a better life. He was diagnosed with advanced intestinal cancer, and said his dying wish was to become an American citizen.-INS Grants Immigrant Dying Wish For Christmas: U.S. Citizenship

What goes unquestioned in the story is that this all makes perfect sense. We buy into the State's terms, instead of questioning the imaginary nature of invisible lines that are then drawn on a map to mark the criminal gangster's territories. The man's been here in the United States for 30 years, "legal" for 20 (I guess "illegal" for the first 10?) so he had a natural right as a human being to be here anyway, and false categories such as "citizenship" just further divide the ONE human race. We must stopped falling into the State's traps and using the State's language. To do otherwise is to grant the State its biggest wish; the unquestioning obedience of the "citizens".

Christmas Pets

via Preliator pro Causa

Yule Log: Christmas with the Devil

Blog of the Moment: The Anarchist Mother

I wish I could eloquently state just how awful I find the whole Santa Claus charade. It's s lie...a lie perpetuated by societal and cultural expectations of what makes up a proper childhood. For some unknown reason, parents insist upon lying to their children about the existence of a jolly, old man who uses magical reindeer to fly around delivering TOYS and GOODIES to all the "good" children of the world. What gives?!

The Anarchist Mother

The Santa Claus Song Challenge

For centuries, theists have stolen and repurposed catchy tunes into their service.... We invite you to select any of those theistic holiday songs.... ....such as "The First Noël" (secular music, stolen!!) "Joy to the World" (more purloined music!!) "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" (yet another thieved tune!!).... And rewrite them in praise of the true hero of Christmas: Santa Claus!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Checkup on Santa

He is overweight, constantly flushed, trying to accomplish a superhuman feat – and may be using cookies to deal with the stress. Should we be worried about Santa's health?

Is Santa sick? A doctor gives St. Nick a checkup

What Saint Nick Does While You're Sleeping

What Santa Really Does While You're Asleep


Jeremiah 10:2 proclaims, "Learn not the way of the heathen." Where did the Christmas holiday come from with all its traditions and practices? This 2:34 hour eye-opening documentary by Pastor Luke LeFebvre examines the pagan origins and customs that have evolved over the centuries to what is commonly celebrated as CHRISTMAS today. As you will learn in this disturbing video, it should really be called CHRIST "MESS"!

There is no deception any more evil today that is being taught to children than the lie of Santa Claus. "Santa" coincidentally spells "Satan" when rearranged. Children are woefully taught that Santa knows all about them (omniscient), and that Santa can be everywhere in one night to deliver gifts (omnipresent), and that Santa can do anything (omnipotent). The Devil is an identity thief, trying to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ (2nd Corinthians 11:13-15 - King James Bible).

Instead of teaching children that God is watching them all year long, and that Jesus is the beloved Son of God Who gave His life for them; children are taught to be thankful to Santa, singing about how much they love Santa, and praising Santa. It is evil. We are such an ungrateful society, just as the 9-out-of-10 lepers who failed to thank Jesus for healing them.

I went grocery shopping the other day and saw a dinner plate with a picture of Santa that read, "Thank you Santa." I wanted to buy it just to smash it. Santa is more than a mere cute tradition to brighten a child's life, it is a Satanic deception intended to BLIND children from THE TRUTH about Jesus Christ (2nd Corinthians 4:4). Our entire society is teaching children to be thankful to a fat slob character that DOESN'T even exist; while in reality ignoring and forgetting the precious Son of God Who DOES exist, and gave His life and blood to pay for our sins. Thank you Jesus!

Santa Claus ought to be exposed as a rotten fraud, and as a commercial enterprise that exploits people to make billions-upon-billions of dollars throughout the month of December every year. Coca Cola was the company that really made Santa Claus famous in America. Most theologians agree that Jesus was actually born in October, not December, as you will learn in this excellent documentary.

Americans spend $5,000,000,000 every year just on their pets at ChristMESS. Christmas is sadly about giving to get, making the retailers filthy rich, and eating until you can barely leave the table. It is as before the flood in Noah's day, when people lived to eat, drink, and be merry (Matthew 24:37-38).

God is worthy of our praise, for He gives us EVERYTHING good that we enjoy in life. God has PROMISED eternal life to those who acknowledge their sinfulness and believe on the name of Jesus Christ for forgiveness (Titus 1:2; John 20:31; Acts 10:43; Romans 4:5).

Xmas eve and I'm proud not to be at church

The rest of my family is out listening to fairy tales stolen from older pagan religions.

I decided to stay home and embrace reality instead.

My only regret with Wikileaks.. that they've been far too conservative. They've released only a tiny fraction of the documents they have. What the hell are they waiting for? Release them all, dammit! If it "endangers" a terrorist in green (ie, a US troop) I could give a shit. The so-called "responsibility" they are attempting to practice is in fact irresponsible.

Release, release, release.

A Pro-Capitalism Commercial

Text of video: This child was born in the past year. She is expected to live to at least the age of 70. If she had been born just two centuries earlier, she would not have been expected to survive beyond her 30th birthday. The almost miraculous increase in life expectancy of the past two centuries is mainly the result of capitalism. By making life healthier, easier and better, capitalism has made life longer for billions of people around the world. Capitalism has given each of us a future -- the chance to experience all that life offers. To defend and advance capitalism is to defend and advance our lives and those of our loved ones. What could be more important?

No Christmas This Year, Santa Apparently On Strike

I was all set to have regular updates from Santa Claus this year, but when going to his blog, I found he hasn't updated since Thanksgiving. I hope he didn't eat too much on that holiday and is now too fat to fit in the sleigh. You should have saved room for Christmas Eve milk and cookies, Santa!

So perhaps that is the explanation for Santa's absence tonight. Or, something much worse has happened:

The Story of Our Unenslavement

If we don't speak the language of slaves, we cannot remain enslaved...

This Is Global Warming

A perfect post for a very white Christmas!

Scientists have established a link between the cold, snowy winters in Britain and melting sea ice in the Arctic and have warned that long periods of freezing weather are likely to become more frequent in years to come-Expect more extreme winters thanks to global warming, say scientists

Rape Victim Arrested (She Refused TSA Pat Down)

In response to the incident at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, the TSA issued a statement saying "our officers are trained to treat all passengers with dignity and respect" but that "security is not optional."

What they mean is, refusing to be one of the compliant sheep is not optional.

A 56-year-old woman who says she is a rape victim was arrested and banned from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Wednesday after refusing to receive a pat down from a Transportation Security Agency (TSA) officer.

Claire Hirschkind could not receive a body scan because of a pacemaker-type device in her chest and was escorted to a female TSA officer to receive an enhanced pat down.

"I told them, 'No, I'm not going to have my breasts felt,' and she said, 'Yes, you are,'" Hirschkind told KVUE.

After refusing to receive the enhanced pat down, she was arrested.

Rape victim arrested for refusing TSA pat down

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fox News: NBA War On Christmas?

Peter Schiff: Muni Meltdown

The Collapse of Las Vegas

Having lived there, I know Vegas pretty well. It was still booming when I left, but not now...

Las Vegas is to the real estate bubble what Detroit was to the US automobile industry – Empty condo projects, apartments poorly built to face the desert sun, and the collapse of commercial real estate.

If Wall Street is the hub of American finance then Las Vegas was the manifestation of credit dreams going viral. Las Vegas, the beating heart of Nevada had a tremendous boom with the real estate bubble because it played into the narrative of making it big. Where else can unknowns strike it big and have their name put up in lights? With Wall Street feeding the frenzy Las Vegas seemed to be an endless playground of free flowing capital. During the boom it was hard not to notice the high end Rodeo Drive like stores of Gucci, DKNY, and Prada covering the floors of many casinos. The stores were full and money seemed to flow like the exhaust of Maserati’s cruising up and down Las Vegas Blvd. If heaven on Earth for kids is Disneyland Las Vegas was the heaven of debt. What once seemed as an endless dream has burst into a barren desert nightmare. Las Vegas once boasting some of the fastest growth rates now has largely led Nevada into having the highest unemployment rate of all states in the country. If Michigan was the result of the offshoring of American manufacturing and the demise of the US auto industry Nevada is the exclamation mark at the end of the credit bubble era.

Las Vegas Bubble

Julian Assange Interview MSNBC Ratigan Show

Twitter is over capacity...

Okay, that's the message I get when I go to Twitter. Is this common? Haven't been on Twitter long, so I don't know how often I'll be prevented from getting my tweeting Twitter fix. Maybe the Holiday has something to do with it.

Actually it was only for a couple of minutes, looks like. I'm still going to post this, though, cause I need to post something (I know all the Nikk Jakson fans out there hang on my every word).   

Let's also have a discussion in the comments about your thoughts on how useful you find twitter...

And if no one comments I may go crazy again like I did last night and do something quite unexpected and rash. Just warning ya.

Why live?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pat Robertson Wants To Legalize Pot

Pat Robertson came out in favor of marijuana legalization on the 12/22/2010 episode of The 700 Club.

CCHR co-founder, Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus

Dr. Thomas Szasz is co-founder of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) a psychiatric/mental health watchdog. He is a professor of Psychiatry Emeritus, author of 35 critically acclaimed books on psychiatry and the mental health industry.

Citizens Commission on Human Rights

via LRC Blog

The Civil War and the Northern Lust for Sovereignty

I've decided to post this article by Lew Rockwell because it addresses so well many of the fallacies and lies that Bret repeats ad nauseum on the subject:

The historical event that looms largest in American public consciousness is the Civil War. One-hundred thirty-nine years after the first shot was fired, its genesis is still fiercely debated and its symbols heralded and protested. And no wonder: the event transformed the American regime from a federalist system based on freedom to a centralized state that circumscribed liberty in the name of public order. The cataclysmic event massacred a generation of young men, burned and looted the Southern states, set a precedent for executive dictatorship, and transformed the American military from a citizen-based defense corps into a global military power that can't resist intervention.

And yet, if you listen to the media on the subject, you might think that the entire issue of the Civil War comes down to race and slavery. If you favor Confederate symbols, it means you are a white person unsympathetic to the plight of blacks in America. If you favor abolishing Confederate History Month and taking down the flag, you are an enlightened thinker willing to bury the past so we can look forward to a bright future under progressive leadership. The debate rarely goes beyond these simplistic slogans.

And yet this take on the event is wildly ahistorical. It takes Northern war propaganda at face value without considering that the South had solid legal, moral, and economic reasons for secession which had nothing to do with slavery. Even the name "Civil War" is misleading, since the war wasn't about two sides fighting to run the central government as in the English or Roman civil wars. The South attempted a peaceful secession from federal control, an ambition no different from the original American plea for independence from Britain.

But why would the South want to secede? If the original American ideal of federalism and constitutionalism had survived to 1860, the South would not have needed to. But one issue loomed larger than any other in that year as in the previous three decades: the Northern tariff. It was imposed to benefit Northern industrial interests by subsidizing their production through public works. But it had the effect of forcing the South to pay more for manufactured goods and disproportionately taxing it to support the central government. It also injured the South's trading relations with other parts of the world.

In effect, the South was being looted to pay for the North's early version of industrial policy. The battle over the tariff began in 1828, with the "tariff of abomination." Thirty year later, with the South paying 87 percent of federal tariff revenue while having their livelihoods threatened by protectionist legislation, it became impossible for the two regions to be governed under the same regime. The South as a region was being reduced to a slave status, with the federal government as its master.

But why 1860? Lincoln promised not to interfere with slavery, but he did pledge to "collect the duties and imposts": he was the leading advocate of the tariff and public works policy, which is why his election prompted the South to secede. In pro-Lincoln newspapers, the phrase "free trade" was invoked as the equivalent of industrial suicide. Why fire on Ft. Sumter? It was a customs house, and when the North attempted to strengthen it, the South knew that its purpose was to collect taxes, as newspapers and politicians said at the time.

To gain an understanding of the Southern mission, look no further than the Confederate Constitution. It is a duplicate of the original Constitution, with several improvements. It guarantees free trade, restricts legislative power in crucial ways, abolishes public works, and attempts to rein in the executive. No, it didn't abolish slavery but neither did the original Constitution (in fact, the original protected property rights in slaves).

Before the war, Lincoln himself had pledged to leave slavery intact, to enforce the fugitive slaves laws, and to support an amendment that would forever guarantee slavery where it then existed. Neither did he lift a finger to repeal the anti-Negro laws that besotted all Northern states, Illinois in particular. Recall that the underground railroad ended, not in New York or Boston-since dropping off blacks in those states would have been restricted-but in Canada! The Confederate Constitution did, however, make possible the gradual elimination of slavery, a process that would have been made easier had the North not so severely restricted the movements of former slaves.

Now, you won't read this version of events in any conventional history text, particularly not those approved for use in public high schools. You are not likely to hear about it in the college classroom either, where the single issue of slavery overwhelms any critical thinking. Again and again we are told what Polybius called "an idle, unprofitable tale" instead of the truth, and we are expected to swallow it uncritically. So where can you go to discover that the conventional story is sheer nonsense?

The last ten years have brought us a flurry of great books that look beneath the surface. There is John Denson's The Costs of War (1998), Jeffrey Rodgers Hummel's Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men (1996), David Gordon's Secession, State, and Liberty (1998), Marshall de Rosa's The Confederate Constitution (1991), or, from a more popular standpoint, James and Walter Kennedy's Was Jefferson Davis Right? (1998).

But if we were to recommend one work-based on originality, brevity, depth, and sheer rhetorical power-it would be Charles Adams's time bomb of a book, When in the Course of Human Events: Arguing the Case for Southern Secession (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000). In a mere 242 pages, he shows that almost everything we thought we knew about the war between the states is wrong.

Adams believes that both Northern and Southern leaders were lying when they invoked slavery as a reason for secession and for the war. Northerners were seeking a moral pretext for an aggressive war, while Southern leaders were seeking a threat more concrete than the Northern tariff to justify a drive to political independence. This was rhetoric designed for mass consumption . Adams amasses an amazing amount of evidence-including remarkable editorial cartoons and political speeches-to support his thesis that the war was really about government revenue.

Consider this little tidbit from the pro-Lincoln New York Evening Post, March 2, 1861 edition:

"That either the revenue from duties must be collected in the ports of the rebel states, or the port must be closed to importations from abroad, is generally admitted. If neither of these things be done, our revenue laws are substantially repealed; the sources which supply our treasury will be dried up; we shall have no money to carry on the government; the nation will become bankrupt before the next crop of corn is ripe. There will be nothing to furnish means of subsistence to the army; nothing to keep our navy afloat; nothing to pay the salaries of public officers; the present order of things must come to a dead stop.

"What, then, is left for our government? Shall we let the seceding states repeal the revenue laws for the whole Union in this manner? Or will the government choose to consider all foreign commerce destined for those ports where we have no custom-houses and no collectors as contraband, and stop it, when offering to enter the collection districts from which our authorities have been expelled?"

This is not an isolated case. British newspapers, whether favoring the North or South, said the same thing: the feds invaded the South to collect revenue. Indeed, when Karl Marx said the following, he was merely stating what everyone who followed events closely knew: "The war between the North and the South is a tariff war. The war is further, not for any principle, does not touch the question of slavery, and in fact turns on the Northern lust for sovereignty."

Marx was only wrong on one point: the war was about principle at one level. It was about the principle of self-determination and the right not to be taxed to support an alien regime. Another way of putting this is that the war was about freedom, and the South was on the same side as the original American revolutionaries.

Interesting, isn't it, that today, those who favor banning Confederate symbols and continue to demonize an entire people's history also tend to be partisans of the federal government in all its present political struggles? Not much has changed in 139 years. Adams's book goes a long way toward telling the truth about this event, for anyone who cares to look at the facts.-Genesis of the Civil War

Learning is fun, isn't it, Bret?
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