The 2013 Mazda CX-5 I Won’t Be seeing

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I just got invited by Mazda to attend a press event for the 2013 CX-5 in CA. I used to attend such events regularly, and I’d love to attend this one- but am pretty much decided against because of the prospect of being handled by some TSA cretin (because I won’t be scanned). I feel obliged to stand on principle, but there’s also the practical reason that I know myself – and know I might mouth off or maybe even hit one of those sons-of-bitches. And I don’t want to end up in jail (or worse). I’m still trying to practice avoidance. I know someday this will probably no longer be possible. But for now, I am trying to stay out of harm’s way – even though I know harm is not looking to stay out of my way.

This is the dilemma of living in America, post 911.

If it can be called living.

It is no longer possible to travel by air without submitting to degradations unimaginable just 10 years ago. All of us are faced with the horrid choice: Either we constrict our lives as a form of quiet protest against those who are trying to degrade us  – no more travel by air, which in addition to everything else also means not being able to see friends/family who live more than a few hundred miles distant without an arduous journey by car. Or we bow our heads (and spread our legs) and become complicit in establishing the new normal – and acceptance of those who degrade us.

They’ve got us cornered – again.

As has been noted by others, “the enemies of freedom” are right here – not in Iraq, or Afghanistan or Iran. Saddam Hussein did not take away my Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights. George W. Bush did. Achgezundheit (or however he spells his name) has never said he may target me for murder at his whim. The president of the United States has.

We think we have freedom (well, some of us do) because we’re still allowed to wear a green T-shirt vs. a red one (for now) or buy a Chevy rather than a Ford. But even here, our choices are narrowly defined by the government – which won’t allow just anybody to make a T-shirt or build a car. One must have permission (licenses) and submit to close and endless monitoring, as well as abide by a very long and detailed rule book (regulations).

Freedom my ass. You can’t even get firecrackers anymore in most states.

But now, tyranny is out of the closet. Its infringements are no longer subtle. Yet most Americans are still asleep – or so medicated and conditioned that they’re no longer capable of seeing.

How much worse does it have to get?

Will it literally take a bayonet shove in the back as they are directed to the trucks that will take them to the camps? I think it will.

We marvel at the passivity of (most) Jews in WWII Germany. The way hundreds – even thousands – of people accepted the barking orders of a handful of guards telling them to disrobe and then, in orderly groups, line themselves up for shooting (or gassing).

Americans are like that now.

They do what they are told. They Submit and they Obey. Even now, when the price of resisting  is minimal. They could walk away from the airports – and the worst that would happen is they’d have to drive to get where they needed to be. Or maybe postpone that trip. They could decide it’s not worth the indignity – the challenge to their status as free men, as human beings  – to attend the Stupor Bowl if it means being scanned and groped. Imagine an empty (or even half-empty) stadium this weekend – and what a devastating protest that would be.

Imagine empty airports – or even half-empty airports.

Imagine people putting their cars in Park, turning off the engine and turning on their flashers – and just sitting there at East German style “safety” checkpoints. Masses of them. Passively refusing to participate. Forcing the system to confront itself – or at least, making it plain what the system has become. And what it is going to be – very soon.

Instead, most Americans will gape at the Stupor Bowl, adjusting themselves after their groping. They will continue to fly – doing whatever is required of them first. They will “Yes, Sir” the flak jacket-wearing thug who arrests them for no reason at all, merely because they happen to be on a given road at a given moment in time. (And yes, a “random stop” is an arrest, by definition. You are detained by threat of force. The duration of the detainment – 5 minutes or five years – does not change the essential nature of the thing.)

And so they will go peaceably and quietly into that good night, too – when the consequences for resisting involve much more than an inconvenience for standing on principle.

That hollow-eyed man kneeling in front of the ditch, looking at us from the pages of long-ago? He is in fact our own reflection in the mirror.

It is a lesson we will have to learn again.

Throw it in the Woods?

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  1. USA – TODAY

    What If the Real Target of the War on Terror Is You?
    What if Freedom Were Temporary?

    What if our rights didn’t come from God or from our humanity, but from the government? What if the government really thinks we’re not unique individuals with immortal souls, but just public property? What if we were only entitled to our natural rights if it pleased the government? What if our rights could be stripped away whenever the government considers us to be its enemy?

    by Andrew P. Napolitano

    • Hi Javed,

      It’s ok to post excerpts (with links to the original article) plus a comment of yours, etc. – but please no more full-length posts of other columnists’ articles in this area, ok? Just write something along the lines of, “Judge Napolitano made a great point in his recent column about xxxxxx … here’s the link.”


  2. Eric: I swear, I did not mean to start or encourage anything in particular with my compliment to you, several screens above ;>)

  3. PS: Somewhere on Lewrockwell, I read an article with the title: “Pentagon Never Won a War since 1945.” True.
    I would add here: They never started the war for winning. They just wanted destruction.

    The Many Benefits of 9/11 (In Americans Perspective)
    by John Brennan
    December 28, 2011
    Recently by John Brennan: The New Breed of Hero


    September 11, 2001, is another date that will live in infamy. The tragic events that occurred on this day have forever changed the United States, and the world. Like similar events in history, it served as a catalyst, creating a flurry of new rules, regulations and, as we now see, serious restrictions on the freedoms we once had. Just as Pearl Harbor launched America into WWII, and the burning of the Reichstag building in Germany granted untold powers to Hitler, 9/11 has allowed America to demonstrably flex its muscles around the world, while at the same time, severely limiting our civil liberties here at home. In one fell swoop, it enabled the government to deal with many nagging problems. If one didn’t know better, I’d have to say that 9/11 was exactly what the doctor ordered.

    Stop and consider how the United States has benefited from 9/11. Think of all the subsequent drastic actions that have occurred since the attack. For the relatively small price of only 3,000 souls, the US has aggressively dealt with issues effecting all totalitarian empires: controlling not only the world, but clamping down on its own people.

    In the aftermath of 9/11, we invaded two countries, securing for ourselves massive amounts of oil and other minerals. It has allowed us to permanently station troops in the troublesome Middle East and in Afghanistan, thus permitting us to keep a better eye on China. All traditionally uniformed American soldiers may have pulled out of Iraq, but left behind is the world’s largest embassy and a powerful private army dressed in civilian clothes, there to ensure a steady flow of oil. We chose Iraq because it was the weakest regime in the area. The Bush family had some unfinished business with old Saddam, and 9/11 gave Junior the green light on eliminating the former friend and ally of the US. It may not seem like we’re still there, but we are and will be for a long time to come.

    We have built 14 US military bases in Afghanistan, which tells me we aren’t planning on leaving there either. In the future, American soldiers will be garrisoned there on long term rotational tours. The British and Russians both occupied the place for a while, but weren’t strong enough to hang on to it militarily, but we will. Why did those two countries want Afghanistan? For the same reasons we do; minerals and opium. The British fought two wars over the control of opium, we’ve only had to fight one.

    Here at home, 9/11 allowed the government to solve our illegal immigration problem. For years we had been complaining about all the undocumented people sneaking into the country from south of the border, down Mexico way. Even though we loved having cheap labor to pick our crops, clean our homes and mow our lawns, illegals were beginning to tax our generous social programs. So shortly after 9/11, the United States went from hating Middle Eastern terrorists to hating Spanish speaking illegal immigrants. We initially implemented sweeping reforms designed to keep away destructive Muslims who, in the words of George W., “hate the freedom we have in America”, but at the same time, we put a stop to the flow of undocumented brown skinned folks from the poorer countries to our south. 9/11 really got the ball rolling on this issue.

    America also had another problem prior to 9/11; home grown dissidents. How do you keep these troublemakers under control? Simple, you give police and FBI power to perform illegal wiretaps and the ability to secretly carry out warrant-less “sneak and peek” searches of homes. Once again, the events of September 11, was exactly what was needed.

    Think of how much power the Transportation Security Administration or TSA now has over our lives. Under the guise of fighting terrorism, it now serves as the eyes and ears of Big Brother, inspecting our luggage and persons for all things illicit, and listening for any “anti-authority sounding remarks”. Random searches are inherent in all police states. It keeps us off-guard and instills fear in people. The TSA is primarily at airports now, but soon they will be everywhere. I will predict that in the near future, you will not be allowed to leave the country without getting clearance from the TSA, and without Homeland Security giving you the stamp of approval. Coming soon to shopping centers, sporting events and all public transportation will be armed guards looking out for your safety. Hey, you can never tell when a terrorist may want to blowup the Old Navy store or the miniature train at the local amusement park. In search of that one terrorist, they will harass the lives of millions.

    Homeland Security’s VIPER program randomly stops vehicles on highways and is now searching people in bus stations. They may say the intrusive nature of these inspections are designed for your safety, but in reality, the pat downs, body scans and highway checkpoints are designed to clamp down on drug and money shipments. If you haven’t heard, the amount of arrests at airports for small amounts of drugs and large sums of money have skyrocketed since 9/11. The TSA, we were told, was formed to keep us safe from terrorism, but once again, it is meant for no other reason than to keep an eye on the American people.

    The Patriot Act was written long before 9/11; it just needed some event to push it through congress. Like the Enabling Act passed in Germany after the Reichstag fire, the Patriot Act did nothing more than tighten the grip on the very people it was meant to protect. It’s easy to fool the population if you tell them what you are doing is for their own safety. Hell, its worked throughout history.

    Probably one of the most noticeable changes implemented post 9/11, is the militarization of police forces across America. Once again, under the guise of fighting terrorism, the police have now armed themselves like never before, prepared to fight off terrorists who hate our freedom here. But what’s funny, is they are the ones who actually hate our freedoms. Sure, if an attack by terrorists ever occurs, that police department in Fargo, North Dakota with their new armored personnel carrier and AR-15’s will now stand a better chance against these folks, but what’s the chance of anything happening at all in this windswept prairie town? These uniformed thugs armed to the teeth will most likely never encounter any terrorist, but will be more than willing to place a boot on the throat of any non-compliant, unruly citizen. 9/11 has given these new robocops a reason to live. It has given every small-minded nobody in uniform the opportunity to be a hero, or at least think of himself as one.

    Yes folks, America benefited greatly from the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The government now has a reason to strip us of our liberties and keep us all on the leach of tyranny. The men who flew those airplanes into those buildings gave America a reason to unveil its true identity; that of a war mongering, totalitarian police state. The land of the free has become the land of fear. Fear is a powerful tool to keep people under control, and America was handed the reins of fear on a silver platter. Did the government know in advance of the attacks like Roosevelt knew of Pearl Harbor? I think they were aware something was going to happen. Was a decision made not to do anything?

    Yes, I think so. As I stated before, 3,000 deaths is a small price to pay in order to declare war on the world and strip the American people of the freedom they once cherished. If this oppression continues, which I am sure it will, the American people will begin to fight back.

    How much is too much? Remember, once the government gains control of something, it never relinquishes it. How far are the freedom-loving Americans willing to be pushed? Only time will tell my friend, only time will tell.

    • “They may say the intrusive nature of these inspections are designed for your safety, but in reality, the pat downs, body scans and highway checkpoints are designed to clamp down on drug and money shipments.”

      Javad, I hate to encourage a good rant by responding 🙂 but this one needs fact checking.

      I disagree. My theory is the purpose of the pat downs is to re-enforce the threat posed by terrorists (Muslims) in the minds of Westerners. In the absence of real terrorist activities, subjecting Americans and Europeans to a procedure they detest, while blaming it on “Muslims” (Middle Easterners), the practice fuels and re-ignites a hatred of “Muslims” in a population that probably would have forgotten 9/11 by now if allowed to. It’s a form of pro-war propaganda and promotion under this interpretation.

      At least that’s what I think, but I’m more of a pragmatist than an idealist.

      • It’s worse that that. The real purpose is to condition the masses to accept as normal and routine treatment that would have incited earlier generation to outright rebellion. It is Submission Training – that’s all. “Security” has nothing to do with it.

        • But Bob, the multiculturalist government takes great pains to avoid labeling a particular group as the source of “terrorism.” If it were about Muslims, these people would be profiled and would be the only ones subjected to such scrutiny, as they are in Israel.

          The fundamentalist Muslim terrorists that are now practically extinct thanks to a decade of JDAMs and special forces raids provided Uncle Sam with an excellent foil to erect his police state. In the infamous DHS report in 2009 where he overreached and attempted to identify various anti-government groups ranging from freedom-loving supporters of Ron Paul and the Constitution, to disaffected veterans and all the way to white supremacists as the “terrorist threat” that government agencies and do-gooder civilian snitches needed to watch out for, you could see who he’s set his eyes upon. Those who don’t fall into his line.

          The bearded Islamoterrorist with a knife in his teeth sneaking into your bedroom to rape your wife because he hates your freedoms only plays with the AARP/Fox News crowd now. It’s been wildly successful in keeping this crowd from supporting Ron Paul. Anecdotal evidence I’ve gathered from various family members who fit this group support this. But practically nobody else in this country takes that seriously anymore. But now they’re used to gate rape and shrug their shoulders; they know it doesn’t feel right but ten years on they’ve become accustomed to it.

      • Sir, I didn’t wrote that article. It is written by John Brennen.
        However, it is up to you to believe me or not, but the fact is that Muslims are the most peace loving people. The religion name Islam itself means “PEACE / SECURITY”. Muslims were never terrorist and are not terrorist. Whatever the groups are doing today, are the result of suppression.

        Let us work and strive for peace and harmony among Christianity and Islam.
        Christianity is highly placed in Islam. Muslim respect Mary and Jesus Christ like you do.

        • Mr. Iqbal, my apologies. I didn’t mean to imply you had written those words, I only meant to say I disagreed with the author in his assertion that the purpose of “gate rape” was to foil drug smugglers and money launderers. I believe Eric’s explanation and added my own feelings that it serves to keep the “War on Terror” sharply focused in the minds of Westerners who would likely have forgotten it by now.

          My feelings about the proposal advanced in the article you quoted were based on personal experience, therefore anecdotal, but those experiences deny Mr. Brennan’s analysis.

          While not traditionally religious myself, I am a student of Soto Zen and respect all religions that practice peaceful co-existence and life in harmony.

          • I’m not religious in that I don’t hold to any particular organized religious belief system because I can’t understand how any rational, fair-minded person can say this religion (and only this religion) is the “right” or “true” one. Religious certainty – and the militancy and intolerance that often accompanies it – really turns me off. In fact, it strikes me as demented – possibly psychopathic.

            Mind, I’m not saying there is no god. I am saying that not one of us knows, either way. There might be. There might not be. We are finite creatures, with limited intelligence (even the brightest among us) and can only suppose, conjecture. We cannot know. Not this side of the grave, at least.

            Therefore, I keep an open mind. And I try to remain humble about not knowing.

            I wish more of the religious “knowers” out there would do the same.

  4. As a Voter,
    You Are Washington’s Collateral

    by Gary North (December 31, 2011)

    The typical voter thinks of himself as a free man. After all, he has the right to vote. He does not think of himself as a slave. While trade union organizers – a truly hopeless career these days – still use the phrase “wage slave,” it never made any sense, either legally or economically. A worker can legally walk away from his employer. A slave cannot.

    All debt must have some sort of collateral. If voters understood that they are the collateral for the federal government’s debt, they might rebel. They might demand a total default. But I don’t think this is likely. The vast majority believe that they will be the folks sitting on the veranda sipping mint juleps.

    I would like to think that Ron Paul is Moses, calling the slaves to resist. But I recall their reaction.

    Read full story at:

  5. “Blowback is real and it is perpetual in the lives of the millions across the globe. However, there is one presidential candidate who has vowed to end it. Vote Ron Paul to help end this vicious cycle.”

    The Lives of the Occupied

    by Andrew Mason

    The invaders set up camp on the outskirts of our village a week ago. A few days later, their tanks began rolling down our streets with their turrets traversing from left to right and only stopping to point there cannons at anyone crossing the roads. A few of the villagers responded with anger. They grabbed their rifles and rocket launchers ready to use force to repel this act of aggression. The troops came to recruit police officers and soldiers to help provide “security” for the new government. Checkpoints were set up at every other street corner. What did we do to deserve this? All we want is peace and to be left alone not guns pointed in our faces with soldiers at every street corner questioning our every move. While driving to the market, to pick up some food, I was stopped at a checkpoint. There stood three soldiers and a giant armored vehicle three times the height, and twice the length of my car. While staring into my vehicle one of their translators shouted a series of questions, “Where are you going? What is this in your trunk? Do you have any weapons? You say you have nothing to hide?” They clearly thought I might have been hiding something from them. A soldier pulled me out of my car and searched my body. He started combing through my hair with his fingers. Completely frightened, I asked what they were looking for. He barked something at me in his strange dialect and kicked my legs apart. He patted me down and across my torn and threw his knife-shaped hand into my crotch. The other soldiers whipped out their knives and ripped apart my car’s interior only leaving the seat’s metal frames. They motioned me to leave so I limped back to the car and drove off. This event happened at least multiple times a week, sometimes daily. Of course, it was a little easier for them the following times since they had already wreaked havoc on the inside of my car. I only pray that they don’t harm me or my family.

    The first villagers who took up arms against the invaders fired mortar rounds into the invaders’ encampment. Some of soldiers at the checkpoint next to the market spotted the flashes evacuating the mortar tubes. The occupiers sent armored vehicles down to the house and ripped through its walls with machine gun fire. The men inside the house were killed.

    The next day the multiple convoys of troops swept through our village. They were looking for mortar tubes, rockets, and other explosives. A group of soldiers kicked down my door and ran into the living room pointing their guns at my family and me. I was pulled out by my hair into the street. A translator asked if I had any explosives or weapons in the home. I didn’t. They proceeded to rip apart my home by flipping over the couches and throwing about all of my family’s personal effects. The translator informed me they found nothing but I had to be taken back to their encampment for questioning. My hands were forcefully zip-tied together behind my back and a black cloth was thrown over my face. I was then thrown in the back of truck with other people from my village. Some of the men were crying and begging for god’s help. Some were pissing all over themselves. Others pledged revenge.

    We arrived at the military base and were lined up next to each other. We were individually taken into a room for questioning. Many of the men were detained there for days while the rest of us were allowed to go back to our homes. I later discovered that almost every male for age 15-45 were taken from the village that day. Once again, others plotted to use force against the invaders.

    I woke up the next morning to the sounds of rockets being fired over our village. I rushed outside and saw that they were exploding somewhere inside the military encampment. Then my sight went black. I woke up in the middle of the street. The four houses around me were demolished. I looked towards my home which had also in ruin. My wife and children were under the rubble. Grabbing each piece of rubble and throwing it wildly into the street; I searched for my family. I asked a couple of others running frantically looking for their loved ones what happened. They said the army responded to the rocket attack by sending a barrage of mortars into the village. They missed.

    I found my wife and children dead. They were crushed under the rubble of our home. A patrol of soldiers came and tried to compensate my losses with money. I refused to take it. No amount of money could possibly bring back my family or my home. There were others in the village that lost family and friends to the bomb-driven slaughter. We have all lost the will to live. We’re getting guns and promising retribution.

    This could have been a story written by an Afghani, or an Iraqi but it was written by me. I was part of that occupying force in Iraq. I put myself in the shoes of a person on the other side of our guns. Some of the events in this story I personally witnessed, and others are the stories of what other veterans have seen. I hope and pray one day that all Americans are capable of exercising empathy and are able come to the logical conclusion that violence only produces more violence.

    Blowback is real and it is perpetual in the lives of the millions across the globe. However, there is one presidential candidate who has vowed to end it. Vote Ron Paul to help end this vicious cycle.

  6. I appeal to all friends that they must spare a few minutes to read this article by Bryan Farris.
    Though I am not so sure, but It may help to change your perspective about Pakistan.

    See You Later Pakistan

    By Bryan Farris

    August 25, 2011

    Perhaps it is fitting that my last month in Pakistan has been the month of Ramzan (Ramadan). For those unfamiliar, Ramzan is the month of sacrifice in the Islamic calendar. Jawad Aslam, my CEO, close friend and resident expert on all things Muslim, described Ramzan to me as “religious boot camp”.

    On the surface, Ramzan is a month of fasting — no food, no water, no cigarettes, no consumption of any kind from about 4 am to sunset. Many shops are closed in the afternoon, and restaurants open around 6pm to serve a packed house the moment the fast breaks. The fast, however, is merely a symbolic (and admittedly difficult) gesture that represents a deeper sense of sacrifice. Muslims use Ramzan to give up bad habits, spend more time with themselves & Allah, and seek further enlightenment.

    Though Ramzan makes it impossible to schedule goodbye lunches and teas with the many friends I’ll be leaving behind here in Pakistan, I’m glad to experience it at the end of my year here. As I look back to the kind of year its been, I see so many parallels with Ramzan. I gave up a lot to be here, and in the process I’ve come to know myself & the world around me in a much deeper way than before. Jawad jokes that I’ve aged 5 years in 10 months.

    At the outset of this journey, I wrote that I expected to be stretched like a rubberband in the coming year. When a rubber band stretches, it snaps back, but it ends up larger than it was before. My hope was that the experience would broaden my horizons, but not so quickly that I snapped. It seems to have worked out. Admittedly, the tendons in my knees have tightened because I never quite felt comfortable running outside in Pakistan, but my perspective has been stretched beyond expectations.

    Pakistan is a land of extremes: from extreme heat to extreme hospitality. From extreme religious sentiment to extreme devotion to food. From extremely exaggerated journalism to an extremely undervalued global reputation.

    What most of the world fails to realize is just how beautiful this country is and how spectacular its people truly are. It is impossible to overlook the problems: Pakistan is facing lawlessness in Karachi, a violent political system, jaw-dropping inflation, an insufficient power supply and terrorists staking claim over the northern areas. These are real issues that do exist: but they do not define Pakistan—as much of the world would have you believe.

    While it may be impossible to overlook the problems, it is (apparently) quite possible to overlook the splendor that a country like Pakistan offers.

    Where else do you greet every stranger with the phrase “Peace be with you”?
    Where else do you find BBQ Chicken Tikka that melts in your mouth?
    Where else is being 20 minutes late considered on-time?
    Where else can you see opportunity in every alley?
    Where else do motorized scooters (100% of which are red hondas) weave in between cars which cruise past rickshaws, which veer around donkey-pulled carts, which are dwarfed by strutting camels?
    Where else can you buy seasonal fruit on every single street corner?
    Where else do the echoes of a minaret bring an eerie peace to 4a.m. in the morning?
    Where else do you find a people who take prayer so seriously, they start every flight with one?
    Where else, but Pakistan?

    I’ve come to understand that the world is not as the New York Times makes it out to be. That terror zones house people too. That 99.9% of people on this earth want to do good by each other. That I, a white dude from San Francisco, can become friends with Aftab, a fellow engineer from far northern Pakistan (we’re facebook friends too, in case you’re scoring at home). I met Aftab on a trip to Chitral, where he builds micro hydro power plants in beautiful remote villages just a few miles from the Afghanistan border so that the poor can have lights at night.

    There is so much opportunity in communities such as these; its staggering that the world chooses not to see it. I’ve seen the dark side as well: and yes, it is far from pretty, but it is not something to be afraid of. I’m not afraid of bombs or kidnappings or shootings — rather, I am deeply, deeply saddened by them. Terrorists are called terrorists because its their job to terrify you. Let them do that, and they win.

    Do you know what terrifies the terrorist? Education and economic development. Opportunity. Terrorists have chosen their path usually because they didn’t have a shot at economically bettering themselves, but I’ll say more about that in another post another time. Pakistan is not a country of terrorists, but rather a country afflicted by terrorists.

    Earlier this week I was driving to the Karachi airport, when the driver heard on the radio that there had been shootings nearby. If the news hadn’t alerted us, the ambulances flying past every two minutes probably would have.

    As we approached, I noticed we were closely following a Toyota pickup truck carrying four sketchy characters, decked out in jet black shalwar kameez and carrying equally dark AK-47s. It was precisely the stereotypical scene that crosses people’s minds when they think of PK or a ‘war zone’. The men were strapping on ammunition vests and loading cartridges into their guns.

    One man looked the part of a new-age pirate, with long black hair flowing out from under a tan & black checkered bandana. I’ll never forget the evil glint that I saw in his eyes. By my count, he was not Pakistani — not in the true sense. No… there is a reason that I saw this kind of man only once in an entire year. Real Pakistanis are the opposite of the stereotype in just about every way possible. And I meet them every day.

    Pakistanis are hospitable. I’ve spent my entire time here living with a host family. At first I was a guest, but Jean, Wilburn, Asim, Maria, Susie, John, Ben, Thomas, Annie, Tashu and Ethan made me feel so welcome that they became family. I know I have a home here forever. Anywhere you go in Pakistan, people will welcome you with open arms (and probably a even a hug—from strangers too).

    Pakstanis are loyal. I mean…crazy loyal. When you make a Pakistani friend, you’ve created a serious bond. Leaving is so hard because I feel such powerful ties with people here. For my farewell dinner, a co-worker (but really a new best friend), Jamshaid, made two 9 hour trips between our site in the flood affected areas and Lahore just to join for dinner. Another friend of mine who had moved out of Lahore months ago made a 250Km round trip to meet me for Sehri breakfast at 3am. I’ve never felt so honored.

    Pakistanis love tea. If this isn’t self-evident, I don’t know what is. Pakistanis love to sit down, stir their chai and chat. Spending time with others and building quality relationships is so important. Back home people tend to fly through their days, but in Pakistan, every moment with another is cherished.

    Pakistanis are optimistic. I’ve never been somewhere where young people were as energized about opportunities in their own country as here. There is a bright future ahead and Pakistan’s youth are driving it. A few friends of mine — Ali, Babar, Zehra, Saba, Jimmy, Khurram — have inspiring aspirations for change in PK (Pakistan). This is the Pakistan that the world needs to come to know. Yes, there are terrorists and violence, and that can’t be forgotten, but if that is your perception, then you are judging a book by the headlines.

    Sure, there are probably safer ways I could have spent this year, but then I wouldn’t have been stretched in the way that I have been. Pakistan has become a part of me; it has forever changed me, my perspective on the world, and my trust in humanity.

    Here’s to you PK (Pakistan).

    Shukria, Allah Hafiz. (Thank you, may God protect you).

    Bryan Farris
    Currently a 2011 Acumen Fund Fellow, Bryan has long aspired to be a social entrepreneur with an aim to contribute to long term economic growth and progress in developing countries. He previously worked as a strategy consultant at Bain & Company graduate of University of California at Berkeley with a major in Industrial Engineering & Operations Research.

  7. How the Interventionists Stole the American Right
    by Ryan McMaken

    Thanks to Ron Paul, the Conservative movement is having an identity crisis. The old guard of the Conservative movement, which also happens to be the Republican Party establishment, still clings to the old creation myth of the Conservative movement. Namely, that there was no opposition to the New Deal-Liberal consensus until William F. Buckley and National Review came along in 1955, saving America from the American left, social democracy, moral turpitude and international Communism.
    The modern gatekeepers of the movement, and the Republican Party officials, who fancy themselves as the keepers of the last word on the acceptable range of debate within the movement, cannot understand why the Ron Paul movement is more concerned with actually shrinking the size of government than with waging endless wars for endless peace. They cannot fathom that people claiming to be part of the American Right might actually be interested in rolling back government power to tax, wiretap, spy, arrest, imprison and feel up American citizens. This runs contrary to everything they have ever imbibed about what it means to be Conservative in America.

    Read the full story at: Link:

  8. For Circulation


    From: Tony Lazaro
    Date: Sunday, January 15, 2012
    Subject: FW: Your story – Karachi (Pakistan) – A doomed city

    Dear Dr. Arshad

    Please find attached an article that was left on my desk the very day I returned to Sydney. Coincidental, that it should be published whilst I was flying home and wondering how to start changing the mindset of the Western People. Perhaps (as Dr. Zsu would say)… it is the universe acting..

    Regardless, I decided to write to the Editor of Times Magazine and start the long road of changing the thought patterns of the rest of the world. It is a very long road… and one that I do not think I am qualified to walk alone, so perhaps you can remember me in your prayers…and if at all possible, ask Allah to send me some assistance. I’m sure he will see that I am going to need it !!

    In the mean time, below is my reply to the attached article. I hope I have represented the wishes of Pakistan and Her people effectively enough.

    Warmest regards,
    Your Dear Friend
    Tony Lazaro J

    The Editor, Times Magazine

    Dear Editor,

    I recently returned from a charitable trip to Pakistan, whereby I visited both Karachi and Islamabad. I spoke with several universities, key businesses, prominent business leaders and several religious people from all generations….

    On the day I returned to the office, someone had placed your magazine (January 16, 2012), on my desk. I read with interest your article on Karachi and the city in doom. For a person to have just returned from the very same place that your magazine described was somewhat bizarre, so I read with great detail your writer (Andrew Marshall’s) account.

    Let me begin by saying that I often flick through your magazine and find the articles of great interest, but on this particular day and this particular article, I found certain comments to be both one sided and indeed very negative. I say that because I saw a different Pakistan to what was portrayed in your article. I do not and will not comment on the political or religious problems that the country faces, but I will go so far as to say that not everything is as bad as the image that your magazine paints.

    Sure there are deaths in the cities. Please show me a city in the world, that is free from political fighting and unrest.

    Sure there are differences in the political party opinions. Please show me a country in the world where the political parties agree.

    Sure the innocent are suffering. Please show me a country in the world where wealth and power is equal and the innocent don’t suffer.

    Sure corruption is in Pakistan. Please show me a country in the world that is corruption free.

    My list could go on, but my point is that Pakistan does have problems…but so does every other country in the world in some way or another. However, in the case of ALL other nations, there are often good things to report and the media goes out of its way to promote these good things across the globe, whenever possible. The ridiculous amount of shootings in the USA are balanced off by the success of Google, Microsoft and Apple. The financial dilemmas of Greece are lost in the marketing of the Greek Islands as a holiday destination of choice. The child slave industry of India, is brushed under the carpet in favour of the nation’s growth in the global software boom. What I am trying to say, is that someone needs to look further into Pakistan and see that there are millions of great stories to write about, which would portray the country in a different light, to that what is being portrayed by your article.

    When I was in Pakistan, I visited a towel manufacturing company (Alkaram Towels). They produced some $60million in export in 2011 and are aiming at $85million in 2012. A substantial increase in sales…in a recession I would remind you. The company was started by the current Chairman, Mr. Mehtab Chawla, at the tender age of nine, after his father passed away. Today the very man employs 3000 staff. Now that’s a story.

    I visited universities of NED, Hamdard, Karachi, Szabist and NUST. The students are unbelievably intelligent. They spend their spare time developing APPS for android and apple. They are involved in cutting edge technology and no one in the world knows this. Why not send a reporter to Pakistan to look into this. Why not research good things in this nation, rather than just the bad things. At NUST (National Institution for Science and Technology – Islamabad)) there were 38,000 applications for medicine. There are only 83 seats for the medicine course on offer. The competition is unbelievable. In short it pushes the best to be even better. But the world doesn’t know this. Why ? Because no one wants to report on it, or no one knows about it…or both !!

    Please do not get me wrong. I understand that news is news, but it is high time that the western world stopped promoting these terrorists and political wars in Pakistan and started to write something that would help the nation. Something positive. If we really care about global partnerships and economic growth, then I suggest we try and give Pakistan a helping hand. There are 180 million people in Pakistan, 65% are under the age of 25. The youth of Pakistan is its strength.. it is like a sleeping giant. If you think that India is a booming nation. I suggest you stop a second and look at Pakistan. Given a little help from the western world, Pakistan can become a dominant economy. She doesn’t want aid and she doesn’t need money… she just wants the chance to be seen in a different light. I believe we have a fundamental obligation to assist. The only question is, who will reach out first.

    Warmest regards,
    Tony Lazaro
    Managing Director
    Rising Stars Management Group
    Tel: 02 8824 7000
    Fax: 02 8824 7766


    Who Wants War With Iran?

    by Patrick J. Buchanan

    Appearing alongside CIA Director David Petraeus before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence last week, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said of Iran:

    “We don’t believe they’ve actually made the decision to go ahead with a nuclear weapon.”

    Before the hearing, as James Fallows of The Atlantic reports, Clapper released his “Worldwide Threat Assessment.” It read, “We do not know … if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.”

    Clapper thus reaffirmed the assessment of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies in 2007, reportedly repeated in 2011, that the U.S. does not believe that Iran has decided to become a nuclear weapons state.

    In December, when Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that if Iran went all out, it might be able to build a nuclear weapon in a year, Pentagon spokesman George Little hastily clarified his comments:

    “The secretary was clear that we have no indication that the Iranians have made a decision to develop a nuclear weapon.”

    On Jan. 8, Panetta himself told CBS:

    “(Is Iran) trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No. But we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability. And that’s what concerns us. And our redline to Iran is: Do not develop a nuclear weapon.”

    On Super Bowl Sunday, President Barack Obama told NBC’s Matt Lauer that he hopes to solve the Iranian problem “diplomatically.”

    From the above, we may conclude that the administration does not believe that Iran has crossed any redline on the nuclear issue – and President Obama does not want war with Iran.

    Who, then, does want war? Ayatollah Ali Khamenei? Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

    From their actions, it would appear not. If Iran wanted war with the United States, any terror attack inside this country or on U.S. forces in Iraq or Afghanistan could bring that about in an afternoon.

    Expulsion of the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors from the Natanz enrichment facility, covering up the IAEA cameras, breaking the seals on the low-enriched uranium stockpiled there, or removing the LEU would be a fire bell for the Pentagon.

    But the IAEA inspectors and LEU are still there.

    When the alleged plot by a used-car salesman in Texas to hire Mexican cartel criminals to blow up a D.C. restaurant and kill the Saudi ambassador was revealed, Iran denied it emphatically and demanded to interview the alleged mastermind.

    Moreover, Tehran has yet to retaliate for the assassinations of five of its nuclear scientists and four terror attacks by Jundallah in Sistan-Baluchistan and PJAK, a Kurdish terrorist organization operating out of Iraqi Kurdistan. Iran has alleged Western and Israeli involvement in these attacks.

    Now that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has denied any U.S. involvement, Mossad is the prime suspect behind the killing of the nuclear scientists. And U.S. writer Mark Perry, in Foreign Policy, alleges that Mossad agents posed as CIA and used U.S. dollars in London to recruit Jundallah.

    If this is true, this would be a false flag operation to provoke Iran into lashing out at America. Apparently, Iran did not take the bait.

    Why have the Iranians not followed through on their threat to close the Strait of Hormuz and begun to dial it back?

    War with the United States would be a disaster. Though the Tehran regime might survive – as Saddam Hussein’s survived Desert Storm – Iran’s navy, most of its armor, anti-aircraft and anti-ship defenses, and its strategic missile force would be destroyed, as would much of the country’s infrastructure. Iran would be set back years.

    Who, then, wants war with Iran?

    All those who would like to see exactly that happen to Iran.

    And who are they? The Netanyahu government and its echo chamber in U.S. politics and media, the neoconservatives, members of Congress, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.

    And as the Obama administration is the major force in U.S. politics opposed to war with Iran, its defeat in November would increase, to near certitude, the probability of a U.S. war with Iran in 2013.

    Yet if the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence community are correct – Iran does not have a bomb and has not decided to build a bomb – why should we go to war with Iran?

    Answer: Iran represents “an existential threat” to Israel.

    But Israel has 200 atomic bombs and three ways to deliver them, while Iran has never built, tested or weaponized a nuclear device. Who is the existential threat to whom here?

    And though a U.S. war on Iran would be calamitous for Iran, it would be no cakewalk for Americans, who could become terrorist targets for years in the Gulf, Afghanistan, Baghdad’s Green Zone, Lebanon and even here in the USA.

    Year 2012 is thus shaping up as a war-or-peace election, with Republicans the war party and Democrats the peace-and-diplomacy party.

    And as the months pass between now and November, this will become clear to the nation.

    February 8, 2012

    Patrick J. Buchanan [send him mail] is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of seven books, including Where the Right Went Wrong, and Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. His latest book is Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? See his website.


    Also read:

  10. Eric, I think what you’re overlooking is that “the People” of the US agree with what’s being done, as I suspect the citizens of 1930’s Germany did. After the fact historians tell us they were appalled, but we have front row seats to the same event and it leads me to believe there might have been some creative re-construction of actual events involved.

    I have been literally forced to travel by air in the past month, had it not been for pressing medical reasons I wouldn’t have done so. I too refuse to be scanned. One suggestion I have would be to let the TSA know you’re homosexual and demand to be groped by a person (preferably attractive) of the opposite sex. At the very least you’ll make them nervous and you might make a few of the more intelligent ones laugh. If you really are homosexual, try to make it clear to whoever it is “feeling you up” for the same reason. This nonsensical idea that “same sex groping” is somehow O.K. has to end.

    The bottom line though is that Americans won’t even go that far towards protesting this. They vote for politicians who don’t pay taxes. They vote for union representative that don’t pay union dues. They vote for for people who have convinced them they’re above the law, and somehow that makes them *exactly* the people who should lead them. The people now *hate* the laws. They see people who have somehow managed to defy those laws as heroes, icons, persons to be emulated and leaders. People actually admire folks like Shrub and Darth Cheney *because* they’re criminals and they got away with it. How else can you explain Tim Geithner, the tax cheat that runs the IRS? What about Hank Paulson?

    It’s a very subtle trap. First the Statists make everyone a criminal, then they elevated themselves above the law. Now the only icons of freedom are the very people who enslave them, and so they get the vote. It’s demented. Hunter Thompson would have called it twisted. Hitler just figured it was good policy.

    It’s called the Stockholm Syndrome. Books have been written about it.

    • Hey Bob,

      I agree with this (bleak but accurate) assessment. 1930s Germans overwhelmingly supported Der Fuhrer; as has been observed by intelligent historians, had Hitler had a heart attack and died in the summer of 1939, he would have gone down as the greatest German who ever lived. Adolf Hitler Platz would still exist; there would be statues of him all over Germany – Nazi Germany itself might still exist. This is not to laud Hitler. It is to state a fact about his genuine popularity – and more, the popularity of totalitarianism in pre-war Germany. If it had not been the NSDAP, it would have been Thalmann and the communists.

      Americans, too, are ready. Most want an authoritarian government – the variety being irrelevant.

  11. Good hypertext, citizen, well worth the dangerous trip.
    To drive on information superhighways, we all must display our unique IP license plate at all times. ITS THE LAW.
    Upon reading this post, we are all under arrest, and then released a few nanoseconds later. During this invisible incarceration we were booked with cookies utma, utmb, utmz, and PHPSESSID.
    Three trackers monitor us now and until we turn off our device, facebook social, google analytics, and google adsense. Local shared objects are dropped on our machines and maintained without expiration or detection.
    An index and a follow robot are assigned to us forever as well.
    Our words are rendered in standard compliance mode, in UTF8 encoding. In short, we live on Krypton, and are territorially marked in myriad layers of debilitating Kryptonite, even here.

    • Clever and witty analysis of the perils of internet surfing. Although it takes a little time and attention to detail, I utilize as much of my browser’s privacy and cloaking capabilities–especially NoScript–as I can to minimize unnecessary cyber-exposure, while still doing what I wish to on any given site.

  12. “If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

    – Winston Churchill

  13. Eric, I can add nothing more or better to what you and comments previous to mine have said. On a personal level, I am taking the extra days necessary to drive to my nephew’s April wedding in Houston. Hoping there are no roadblocks then.

    However, the main purpose of this note is to express my gratitude to you for keeping your site open to all for comment, with no significant gate-keeping. Whether clever or Clover, you welcome one and all or, at least, seem to bar none. Plus, you are obviously following all threads with interest and continuing engagement.

    Not ten days ago, I had begun posting comments on another political/topical site that I will not name. The process was easy and open, like yours. The content was interesting, with many writers of high marquee value. Those who commented did so thoughtfully and with decorum. If anyone was excluded, there was no sign of it.

    Thus, I was dismayed yesterday to find the site suddenly redesigned, with commenting now requiring registration to a third-party gatekeeper, either directly or via another provider where one was already “registered” (e.g. Yahoo). Furthermore, all comments posted to all essays prior to the new site’s debut had apparently been deleted. Nowhere on the new site was there even a whiff of explanation for any of the changes.

    Naturally, Google’s new “privacy” policy came to mind immediately. No doubt, other internet-based “providers” will follow suit eventually. Rather than jump through the hoops now necessary to expressing my opinions, I merely expressed my disgust to the webmaster via a blind “contact” link provided, and then deleted the site from my bookmarks.

    Thank you, again, for not taking this route with your site. I’m sure your traffic count benefits from the open policy that you maintain.

    • Hi Jay,


      And, this site will never require users/posters to “register” or “link” with Google, HuffPost or Facebook or any such data mining operation. I’ll close up shop first.

  14. Mr. Peters,
    I wish this article wasn’t so true, but it is. It is amazing to me why so few people “get it.” When I was in aviation we would study airplane accidents. 70 percent of the passengers involved in a crash will not get out of their seats until their hair is on fire or they are ordered to move by a crewmember. 15 percent will get up on their own but go in the wrong direction and die in the airplane. Only the other 15 percent will get up on their own and make their way out of the airplane without being told to do so. Is this the human race?
    With regards to your article, I don’t think 15 percent of Americans understand what is going on. It feels like 1 percent and it is a lonely feeling.

    On the self imposed no-fly list,
    Joe Jordan

  15. Dear Eric:

    I read your article “The 2013 Mazda CX-5 I Won’t Be Seeing” on lewrockwell and felt very much for increasing horrific living condition in USA.

    I love and have highest regards for common Americans. I have spent best time of my professional career with them while I was working in the Arabian Oil Company (ARAMCO), Dhahran during 1980s period. I still have memories of some of my best American colleagues. I learned great many things from them which helped me to excel in my profession in my later career.

    In fact, common people in both our countries are the victims. We are the victims of most corrupt, infidel and sold out leadership since last 60 years. And Americans, of course have now realized after the 9/11 disaster, that how their emotions were manipulated and diverted to the false direction.

    Our both countries are now in the most dangerous situation by the past of each day.

    It is the highest time that we must strive for peace and harmony and tolerance between the 2 great religions of the Planet Earth (Christianity and Islam) and find out our common enemy and beware of it.

    I just wanted to ask from the America’s 1% Hawks and Adventurists who are puppets to someone more empowered then them:

    If even for all the so-called valid reasons and proofs, 9/11 was due to Osama and Al-Qaida, that led to the worst war in Afghanistan, then who is the winner and who is the losers?

    The Hawks has done nothing good to the Planet Earth, rather than disrupted the whole peaceful set up of the whole world and still taking it to the disastrous level.

    Javed Iqbal
    Islamabad, Pakistan.

    • Private security working to government requirements are slightly less bad financially if paid for via the airline tickets. As far as all the other issues, well they could actually be worse.

      With a private company on private property there is no USC. Yeah I know it has been rendered moot regardless but with the entire thing private it doesn’t apply at all. Now the government can make the requirements -anything- but since they are being carried out by private security there isn’t any limitation of government grounds to stand on. It would be up to companies completely dependent upon government subsidy or access to government controlled infrastructure to stand up to that government and refuse to follow the regulations. This is an end run around even the pretense of the Bill of Rights restricting government. The result could easily be unfettered abuse of airline passengers.

      • Agreed. Plus the TSA would now be free to spread their tentacles more freely around our highway system. This is a trojan horse. I’m surprised that Infowars did not think about that one.

        • The same thing applies to the highways that applies at the airports; enough people get pissed off and call their congress-critters and TSA will get reigned in. We’ve all lived under worsening conditions for so long, we may not recognize it when the pendulum starts to swing the other way. If nothing else, the regime has mired itself down in “The Graveyard of Empires”. Want a peek at what comes next for the USSA? Look at the USSR. The outcome will probably be similar and for the same reasons; overreaching inperial GUNvernments always overextend themselves and collapse in bankruptcy. When that happens, Ohio isn’t going to be too interested in paying California’s bills and the 10th Amendment movement will really come into its own. We may even see silver in circulation again. It can happen….

          • Boothe, Ohio doesn’t pay California’s bills as far as I can tell. I, for one, appreciate your general sentiment but it’s important to keep our facts strait; we don’t want to be laughed at or labeled economically uninformed.

            California, like Ohio, is a state that receives less in federal funds than it pays in taxes. It’s sort of hard to figure this out year by year (it doesn’t seem like something anyone wants to make easy) but the Fed’s Z.1 Federal Funds Flow report combined with Federal Tax revenue by State gives a decent picture.

            Here’s one example of a diligent person who tried figuring it out:


            Note that while both Ohio and California are net creditors in this example, California’s payments are about 10 times higher than Ohio’s in this study. I have no idea if the data is accurate, but I’ve seen other reports indicating California in general only sees about 60% of its Federal taxes returned in any given year.

          • Thanks Bob, I stand corrected. Although I wasn’t really trying to be statistically accurate, just illustrating the point that we don’t need a federal behemoth taking our money at gunpoint, skimming off “their” cut and then deciding who gets how much of what’s left. The problem of the Feds ‘spreading the wealth around’ for carrot and stick influence at the expense of the states, was my main point. But I’ll make sure to check my facts in the future now that I know you’re checking up on me . 😉

      • I understand your cynicism. But OTOH, as they stated in the article, when the airports started getting enough public pressure and got serious about opting out Pistole wouldn’t consider any more applications. Hmmmm. He’s not interested in ceding one inch of his power base to the private sector.

        TSA can act with impunity because they are the GUNvernment and essentially immune from lawsuits. A private security firm is not immune from civil suits and it’s employees will not be immune from criminal charges of sexual assault either. I personally would prefer to know that I and (watch Clover’s veins pop out on its forehead) all of my fellow passengers were armed just like the flight crew. It would be a very polite and courteous travel experience, I assure you, with essentially 130 air marshals on board.

        I realize I am merely indulging in fantasy, so my next preference would be to have private companies that must compete, can lose their contracts, face lawsuits (and even criminal charges) handling security at the airports. I seriously doubt it could be any worse than the modern day bottom-feeding equivalent of the brown shirts we have now. I expect they’d take a lesson from Israel and screen rather than irradiate and grope. This is why Pistole is opposed; no more submission training for the air traveler.

        • Government can pass on immunity through its courts. It does so all the time. That’s part of what all the regulation of private industry is about. If something causes harm to a customer but meets government requirements, that is often good enough to win the lawsuit. It’s one of the purposes of regulation, of government dictating. It passes on the immunity.

          What will keep the TSA in place will be all the government employees. The money that flows from taxpayers.

          Security should be entirely the responsibility of each individual airline. The market would then find the optimal level of security. We could start with Archie Bunker airlines handing out handguns to each passenger as they board and Clover airlines doing extensive searches of luggage and body caviety inspections after a strip search and whole bunch of others inbetween. All airlines would have to be responsible for damages if their security fails. The market would then give us just what’s needed and effective and nothing more. The optimal level would be something that doesn’t hassle passengers, the paying customers but would prevent just about all negative events. We are probably looking at sniffers that will be un-noticed by 90+% of passengers and securing control of the aircraft and that’s it.

  16. “clover on February 6, 2012 at 2:35 am
    OK Brent, you say that since there has been no major event or deaths around airlines the past 10 years that security has done no good? It seems to me that was their job.”

    That’s the old fable about the taxi driver in NYC who dropped rose petals on the road. A passenger asked him why he did that, and he replied: “to keep the lions away”. The passenger said: “how do you know that rose petals keep lions away?” and the taxi driver replied: “you don’t see any lions do you?”

    In the 80+ years of commercial airflight around the world, of the 20,000+ flights every day, the number of deaths due to terrorist attacks is less than the number of deaths due to all other reasons AND not significantly different from zero statistically as a percentage of all airline passengers.

    More people die from the common flu each year; the common cold; even diarrhea.

    • yes Don but you forget that there has been security at airports at least since I have been flying. Yes it has increased but it has been there for decades.

      Taking all security away from airports is like a heavy weight boxing match with one guy with his hands tied behind his back and a sign on him saying hit me hard.

      • Horseshit. In “the good old days” I flew from Dubuque to Chicago O’Hare without even passing through a metal detector. Once you landed at O’Hare for your connection you were already in the terminal with no reason to leave, so you didn’t pass through any metal detectors and had access to any flight at one of the busiest airports in the world.

        Security is an illusion. How many times do you need to be told?

        • I remember my first trip by air travel after 2001. On the return trip went through the TSA checkpoint and then sat at a bar had a beer out of a real glass while people at the tables ate steak with the usual utensils used for that purpose. Hint: one is something that is way better a weapon than a box cutter, and another is about as good.

  17. Here’s what I’ve wondered:

    Please put aside both the TSA’s and FAA’s 0% track record of success and assume they are actually capable of stopping someone who is so furious that suicide and mass murder via blowing themselves up seems a good idea.

    Assume the TSA actually DOES reveal a terrorist with a bomb strapped to them during the porno scans or feel-ups.

    Now, the terrorist simply detonates his bomb and STILL kills hundreds of people. Remember, this is someone who thinks mass murder and suicide is a good idea – he’s got nothing to lose.

    So – the TSA (again assuming that they are actually effective – which is a real stretch) moves the “terror” from the plane to the security checkpoint.

    What now – move the security checkpoint to the entrance to the airport? Same thing can happen there.

    Here’s my conclusion: There is absolutely no way to stop someone who is so enraged (and possesses at least half a brain) that they are willing to kill themselves to make their point. The most effective way to keep us safe is to not drive someone to this level of rage in the first place. Hint: terrorists do not “hate us for our freedoms.” If that was the case, they’d be our best friends since we have very little freedom left.

    Ask yourselves honestly: Would you, as a human being, be angrier at another country’s society for:

    A) Participating in things you find abhorrent but have no effect on your everyday life (whatever it is, porn, drugs, child labor, dog fighting, etc.)


    B) The other county’s bomb killing your spouse, child, cousin, brother, friend, etc. and calling it “collateral damage.”

    This does not excuse a mass murderer. Why is someone who questions a terrorist’s motives a “blame America first” person but a person who questions a garden variety mass murder’s motives perfectly acceptable. Remember, motive must be proven for most sucessful prosecutions.

    This is why the war on terror is so sickeningly brilliant. Every bomb that blows up an innocent person recruits potential new terrorists.

    I’d advise everyone here to read “Blowback” by Chalmers Johnson.

    • In reading your comment I think I may have just figured it out.

      It’s projection. People who are control freaks think that other people are control freaks. The people who run things in the USA largely want to control the lives of other people, to “civilize” them, to remake them in their own image as it were. They will then project these same traits on to other people. To them it is always a battle of who shapes society.

      Because every group of people on the planet has at least a few control freaks (human nature I suppose) there is usually someone to point at to reinforce the idea that the ‘other’ wants to control their lives.

      Meanwhile the people who live and let live, the bulk of most societies outside the USA I think, and maybe even a slight majority in the USA, just get ground up by the conflict between the control freaks.

      Just a theory… but I think it makes some sense.

    • I haven’t read Blowback but I have read several reviews of the book. Johnson’s premise has proven prophetic. Interviews of “terrorists” have invariably revealed that their motives were directly tied to US imperialist policies and not to hatred of our freedom. In other words, if America wasn’t meddling in foreign lands they wouldn’t be trying to get even. One of the biggest failings of Americans is the inability to place themselves in other peoples shoes. Someone caught here with an ineffective shoe or crotch bomb is a horrible crazed demon while massive shock-and-awe explosions elsewhere are perfectly acceptable and even entertaining when seen on the evening news.

      • And: The “Islamofascists” have not taken away my right to travel unmolested, nor subjected me to probable cause-free, warrantless searches; nor decreed that I am subject to extra-judicial kidnapping, torture and murder.

        The government of the United States has done these things to us.

        So much for “our freedoms.”

      • Exactly. Killing brown people 10,000 miles away is entertainment; but where is our empathy?

        It’s been carefully, cunningly destroyed by mass media. The DOJ directly funded the execrable show “24”; torture’s OK and kinda fun to watch. The endlessly violent movies. The video games–also either government-funded or heavily tutored for “realism”.

        Mix that with the intentional destruction of the family, where morals are instilled, and you produce a generation of ethically illiterate little monsters.

        But as some commented earlier in the thread, there’s a massive awakening among the young. They’re pulling for Ron Paul, they’re starting families at unheard-of rates, and despite having grown up with the Stasi hovering over them like a malevolent storm cloud, they’re harkening back to the days of freedom they never knew.

        I’m going to be teaching some guest lectures on libertarianism at my child’s private school. Very low-key stuff; I won’t smack them with the full-on anarcho-capitalist cant, but I’ll sure equate the bill of rights with the Zero Aggression Principle.

        • RE video games, I remember reading on MSN at the beginning of the Marjah offensive a quote from a young Marine: “this is just like Call of Duty!”

          Actually not it’s not. The blood and guts and wasted lives are real. I remember thinking I couldn’t wait until these guys get home….

          I am cautiously optimistic about the embrace of the Paul candidacy by my generation, but I think this optimism needs to be tempered a little bit. Fifty years of the growth of the nanny state and suddenly it’s going to be this generation, more coddled than any that came before, that rediscovers the definition of liberty?

          Not wanting to pay SS taxes knowing you’ll never see the money again and protesting for college to be more affordable and effective is one thing. Let more of them start advocating for things like the repeal of the portions of the Civil Rights legislation that effectively outlaw freedom of association and I’ll get on board.

          Libertarianism has become somewhat of a fad for Millennials. Many seem to think it’s a fit for their disaffected leftism. There’s been some good stuff on LRC about this in the past few months.

          They know someone’s kicking them in the butt, but they’re still blaming the shoe instead of the foot. This became clear to me during the Occupy protests. There does seem to be an unequivocal trend toward liberty, but there’s still too much of an unhealthy instinct to ask the government to “do something” about “them.”

          • look at this way, Those protesting in past generations protested to have other people’s stuff taken for their benefit. Now the call is to left alone, to preserve their own stuff.

            That’s a big shift right there all by itself.

            This system keeps the lie going by getting people trapped in it so even once they know it is a lie they will do anything to preserve it because if it fails, they lose everything. But what if you’re not invested in the system, and you know that the system will leave you with nothing?

            That’s where the young are. The system promises to take or takes and takes from them and returns nothing and likely never will return anything. It uses things like student loans to economically enslave them as well. That’s where change begins, people who aren’t invested into the lie and can’t be brought into it.

        • It’s amazing what I get in discussions. This one was in person. The other person was telling me of how the poor kids in the military end up doing such horrible things because of the stress and horrible environment. In other words lots of empathy for those wearing the US military’s uniforms.

          So I then describe the conditions the so called ‘terrorists’ and ‘insurgents’ are subjected to. I point out that this person has empathy for those young people in US uniforms but that those they kill aren’t in good conditions either. I try to create an understanding from a different point of view. It is rejected out of hand. They are called uncivilized. I can’t get through. The group think, the conditioning.

          They have empathy, but it’s only for people like them. Not for those other people.

          I don’t know how to solve it. How to get people to feel empathy for those the US federal government has harmed. It’s like they are some sort of abstraction or not even people.

          • No doubt those people have never stepped foot outside the U.S. much less in one of those countries.

            I’ve noticed that ignorance has never kept anyone from having an opinion. That’s the problem: lack of humility; lack of knowing oneself; a sense of superiority.

            The answer: education by having those people walk a mile in the other folks shoes. But that will never happen because they are cowards spewing self-righteous bullshit 3000 miles away in the safety of their home.

        • Don’t expect Americans to feel any empathy with the barely human. Besides, after the W.M.D. excuse turned out to be bogus Uncle Sam decided that he was really there to uplift their society. Why should they feel any resentment about that?

  18. Either way they win. If you don’t fly, the TSA agents still get paid (in fact they’re likely happier if we don’t fly, so they can stand around doing nothing). If you don’t fly, the airlines get bailouts (again, paid for standing around). I flew home over the holidays. Not only did I not get Xrayed, none of the machines were even turned on. People were setting off the magnetometers and they were letting them try again, not sending them off for secondary screening. This was at Pittsburgh International and Denver, both very large airports with giant TSA operations.

    But, my choice still would be to drive. Flying used to be exciting and fun. I got a taste of the golden age when I was a kid and I think what’s become of flying is abhorrent.

  19. The government is patient. Very patient. And relatively passive as Eric pointed out. I think they are waiting for our generation to die off. There is a generation today that doesn’t know anything other than post-911 and all laws that came with it. We call it the “New Norm.” For this younger generation it IS the norm.

    Can you imagine living in the 19th century where everyone open-carried a gun? That was the norm in those days. Today you wouldn’t dare open carry a gun, even in states that allow it. It’s not the norm anymore.

    Kids today aren’t going to know anything different. Hopefully there are enough parents out there teaching their kids about the Constitution and Bill of Rights so down the road they can help fight the tyranny we are facing.

    Has anyone watched the GOP debates? I’ve watched a few. They aren’t even hiding the fact they’re running for dictator instead of president. Gingrich calls the American people stupid, Romney doesn’t care about the very poor – that’s not his focus. And Gingrich, Romney and Santorum have bragged about how they will use Executive Orders to accomplish what they want. Bypassing Congress and signing Executive Orders to make law – That’s a dictatorship. God help us!

    • Dottie, it’s been a dictatorship in varying shades and intensities since 1865. What Lincoln did at the behest of his New England mercantilist puppet masters was nothing less than tyranny and democide. It was accomplished by polarizing one set of independent and sovereign states against another, then consolidating the spoils once the smoke cleared. The real losers were all the states. The winners were the ancient European banking cartels that were able to impose fiat money and an income tax on America. As I recall the first income tax was in 1862 which, along with the “greenbacks”, allowed the federal government to afford a lot more war than they otherwise would have. So I would definitely agree that government (i.e. those people who seem to be possessed by the spirit of power lust) is very patient. The modern crop of would-be dictators are still building on the foundation that was laid 150 years ago. But I have to disagree that they are relatively passive. When you conider 200 million dead at the hands government in the 20th century alone, you can hardly consider them passive.

      • The evil genius of Lincoln was that he established a dictatorship in the name of “the governed” and had the audacity to claim they “consented” to it. Further, he flim-flammed two concepts, effacing republic in favor of democracy.

        Ever since, public utterances (and excuses for totalitarian measures) have been couched in the language of “democracy” – a word that cannot be found in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights and when found in other documents of the period, is used pejoratively.

    • Right you are – we elect a dictator once every four years. Voting for one of the two bogus choices offered is a joke. It’s a sure thing that the outcome will always be either more of the same or worse – probably worse. Whether you choose X or Y the result is almost guaranteed to be four more years of monetary debasement, rising national debt, futile wars, and further loss of freedoms. Our parchment protections will not stop the slide.

    • Dottie, you have just opened my eyes even further! I never even thought about the generational thing. Great point, because I’ll tell ya the kids today are blind. 😉
      I like to think I’m different.

      • Hey Brandon,

        Actually, there are a lot of young 20s interested in liberty. Ron Paul’s campaign, for example. I find this extremely heartening because many of these young 20s are too young to remember the pre-911 America, when we still had at least a semi-operable rule of law and functional restrictions on the power of the government.

        Don’t give up. And, keep on exercising your mind – plus your body and your aim! Get ready….

        • That’s right, Eric. We need to see the goodness that’s right before our eyes. Lots of young people are over-turning cherished beliefs held by the mainstream. This are special times, IMO.

        • The common denominator among Ron Paul’s 20 something supporters seems to be that they are Internet savvy. In fact, most of his supporters seem to be Internet savvy. I think the reason he has more 20 something supporters is because that age group grew up with the Internet. Older people tend to be less computer literate.

          How a person gets their news very much affects their outlook on politics and the world. People who only get their news from the mainstream media tend to view Ron Paul as a crackpot. People who get their news from a variety of sources on the Internet tend to see Dr. Paul as the only candidate with viable solutions to this country’s problems.

          I think every libertarian has a pet government agency that they would like to see euthanized first. For me, it would be the FCC. The government has used the FCC and other regulatory agencies to do an end run around freedom of the press.

          In the 18th century,if a newspaper editor wrote something unflattering about a king, he would end up in jail. In present day America, if a media outlet said something against the powers that be, they might have trouble renewing their broadcast license. On the other hand, a media outlet who fawns over the powers that be might even get a generous subsidy. Regardless of the method, it amounts to government control of the press.

          • IMO the whole point about having so many laws is to be able to selectively harass anyone who goes outside what has been called ‘the hassle free zone’. Keep your words, thoughts, attitudes, and actions inside the zone and you don’t have any of these laws enforced on you. Go outside the zone and they are used on you like hammers. This is why clovers don’t see the system and think they are free. They have never tested their freedom by daring to be different in anything.

            I originally wrote ‘anything that matters’, but now a days even trivial choices outside of the box we are told to live in like which milk a person chooses to drink can bring the hammers down upon them.

            When the cloverite population sees that someone critical of the government didn’t get their license renewed it will be for some violation of the law. Never mind those that support the government make all sorts of violations and get away with it. If you do different you have to be cleaner than clean. Considering nothing has happened to Ron Paul by default we know he is following all the complexities of the law 110% because there’s no way those in power would let anything by for him.

  20. It all began with the “No Fly Lists”. I wrote about that a couple of years ago, it is still relevant.
    There may be other pages of interest to you American readers, as things are quite parallel in Canada.
    Eric does not exagerate to this point the government actions are relatively passive; rules, regulations, and the odd jackbooted wrangler keeping people between the fences. But the over hanging threatening cloud is everywhere. They make it as obvious as possible. The public announcements of the staffing of Fema camps to contain between 10-20 million people. That is obviously not for a ‘natural emergency’. In a massive ‘natural’ disaster, they would not have the ability to transpoert so many people?? And take yesterday’s ‘twitter intercept incident’…The Spooks want us to be aware or at least to believe that they can sort specific messages from the huge mass of the Twitter Stream (many tens of millions of messages) and react to specific threats on a moment’s notice. I sort of doubt the veracity of this claim. They are incompetent. The important part is the threat and the intent. And the fact that most people believe them!
    Eric is absolutely right. We have to resist this creeping monstrosity on every level. Merely not flying is insufficient, they really don’t care if you stay home. One day they will demand that you do so!
    Please take a few minutes and check other pages on my blog. If you find anything wothwhile, pass it on.
    Sorry for the long comment

  21. I am not as optimistic as others posting here. It’ll happen again, and again, and again. Just look human history…one atrocity after another. I also have a different yardstick. Back when Manhattan was a Dutch colony, there was a tax increase or new tax or such (it was on a history show a while ago) and there was RIOTING IN THE STREETS over what was essentially, a minor tax. The only comfort I have is that most of the quislings will get the same as the rest of us once they become expendable. I’d like to see their faces when they realize they were used–I want them to see me laughing at them for the fools they were.

    • Unfortunately Damon I think you are right about that. It takes a higher thought process to shake off the instinct that comes with being a social creature and advocate for the unshackling of the individual, something that most have demonstrated they don’t possess. The seeds of tyranny are sown in our DNA.

      Damnit less than a month into the new year and optimism is out the window.

      • Yes, but this reasoning only works on people who are capable of reasoning. Of understanding concepts – and so, if the government can “night and fog” even one person into oblivion, it can do it to anyone. Clovers are incapable of following this line of thought because they cannot (or will not) reason. Either that, or they’re just dumb.

        • Eric,
          You should write a post about Cloverism, if you haven’t already. Define it, explore it, excoriate it, all in one big ass-kicking post. Who knows, maybe the meme will spread beyond your blog.

          • We spun off a site just for clover footage last week. I even purchased a camera and mounting system for my car. BrentP has added a bunch of footage and other members on the forum provide links to video for us to add as well. At the top of the site I created a drop down with a listing of all the clover rants Eric created.


          • Very good site Dom. It expands on the lies or should I say, major exaggerations that are on this site. The one where there was a 30 mph merge? If that was 30 mph I would be willing to give you a million bucks because it was not so. You could tell by the objects and the stripping on the pavement. Then the one about the scales. it slowed down the driver what, 10 or 15 seconds? Get the guns out because we can not have that. How about allowing overweight trucks on the roadways that are not designed for such loads? I guess the poster likes having poor roads or is willing to pay a lot to replace them after a short time. You all still amaze me with the things that are made up and exasperated.

          • Clover, I must admit a sort of perverse fascination with just what it is that makes you tick.

            You are obviously not politically awakened; on which side of the false left-right dichotomy do you fall? You are obsessed with safety and security but don’t ever seem to say much about protecting the little people from the evil rich so I must assume you are a Republicrat, one who prefers the military-national security Keynesianism of the “right” to the social justice Keynesianism of the “left.”

            Is this correct? Do you cower in your basement at the prospect of the Islamobomb? Are you more than ready to let Big Sis know as soon as you see something suspicious?

            Or am I off-base and you’re all set for Obamedicine and making sure every single aspect of society doesn’t get too melanin deficient?

            Humor me, please, I am genuinely curious.

          • “The one where there was a 30 mph merge?” That was a 30mph merge dude. Look at the cars flying by once we’re on the highway! I tried to have the speedometer visible with the camera, but it doesn’t come thru well. You’re an idiot! The lines going faster than they normally seem is that way because the free software I have has a frame rate issue. This will be my last post explaining ANYTHING to you.

            Glad you like the site though! Figure you might see yourself, some friends, or family starring there.

          • ThatOneGuy, I am obsessed from learning from the past and do something about it. I am smart enough to know that if thousands are killed in many different air flights that you add security. If not you repeat the past. What part of that do you disagree with? I am smart enough to know if you do nothing then thousands of more people are killed by drunks or reckless drivers or dozens of other things. I look at the facts and not made up things that I see here daily. I believe if someone has political beliefs that they should stand up to facts and if they do not then what good are they? Why is there a need to say that speed kills no one? Why is there a need to say that increased speeds do nothing to gas mileage when it is not true? Why is there a need to say that air bags cost $2000 per car. Why is there a need to say that tire spares weigh 50 lbs and the government s outlawing them?

          • Clover, the rest of us don’t want to live in prison or as a plantation slave. Simple as that.

            BTW, the TSA does *NOTHING* to prevent such an event from happening again. Remember the government narrative is they were armed with box cutters. Box cutters are very poor weapons. People in prison make as good or better ones every day. Lots more stuff behind the checkpoint than in a prison. Think about it.

            Furthermore, the premise of those you fear is to frighten people into changing the government they live under. You’re not suppose to ask why they want that, just believe they hate your freedoms. but anyway… the cluster of people around a TSA checkpoint is more than enough to accomplish the goal. So it would become the goal rather than the aircraft.

            So how do I know there isn’t a credible threat? Because these glaringly obvious deficiencies haven’t been exploited in ten+ years. And the underpants guy who did manage to get on a plane had to have help, special dispensation (lacked a passport, was flagged not to get a visa, etc) to get there and was then stopped by the passengers.

          • OK Brent, you say that since there has been no major event or deaths around airlines the past 10 years that security has done no good? It seems to me that was their job.

          • Hey Clover, here’s what the TSA is really all about:

            When I was travelling the TSA “removed” a $150 heat gun from my tool kit. On more than one occasion batteries came up missing. I guess their flashlights ran down and the spare AAs I carried were as good as any, huh? I still haven’t figured out why they stole my 9-volt batteries for my DMM; other than they were expensive and easily concealed. I shipped a big hard case full of expensive tools and test equipment to many a job site via UPS and never came up missing a thing. Let’s see here: UPS = free market, TSA = government. Oh, I get it….

            In regard to your assertions that the TSA has been keeping us safe from terrorism; I have this little sculpture that keeps lions, tigers and elephants out of my back yard. I know it must be true, because I never see any of those animals around my house. Wake up. There are undoubtedly more than enough military grade weapons available for sale in Mexico alone (their own soldiers desert with their weapons when they defect to the drug cartels) to take out any target “terrorists” might want to hit here in the good ol’ USA.

            There is an extremely high probability some of the nastiest devices ever made by the U.S. or the U.S.S.R are readily available on black markets in the Middle East. If there really were a serious terrorist threat, we would have already been hit by a “sleeper cell” or “lone wolf”. You can’t convince me that in a nation with borders so porous that millions of illegal immigrants and tons of dope can pour in, that the TSA or any other branch of our government is really keeping us safe. There must be multiple Clovers posting here, because it would require a serious team effort to achieve your level of stupidity.

          • With all of the crooks in the TSA, how secure are the airlines?

            Terrorists have shifted their tactics time and time again. How long is it before the terrorists figure out that they don’t need to smuggle bombs on airplanes anymore? Terrorists can simply bribe a TSA employee to put a package on an airplane.

          • Toldev, why worry about bombs. Just bribe the pilot to kill everyone. I guess you want an open door policy and give everyone a free bag to help carry their bombs and weapons on board.

            • Hey Clover –

              What do you have to say about the fact that the borders are so porous that literally millions of illegals just walk (or swim or get driven) into this country every year without being forced to so much as show their ID? There is a mighty court battle under way right now over this – with the argument being that it’s a violation of the illegals’ civil rights (!) to even demand that they produce ID or be asked about their immigration status. Meanwhile, American citizens cannot even enter the gate area of an airport (much less board an airplane) without first showing ID, being asked questions and then forced to either submit to a groping or a scanning. What about their civil rights?

              If you’re so concerned about saaaaaaaaafety what about the potential evildoeers from south of the border? Has it not occurred to you that if the government were actually concerned about saaaaaaaaafety it might be less concerned about obviously American citizens merely trying to board an airplane vs. unknown millions literally waltzing into the country, undocumented and bringing who-knows-what with them?

              Is your Clover Mind fizzling right about now?

          • @Clover

            So you work at a Pediatric Clinic, or what?

            Dude, I made you your own site! Why are you still here? Go to and stay there, vermin!

          • Clover, with an open door policy, at least you wouldn’t have a false sense of security.

            If a TSA agent can not be trusted with a $400.00 laptop, can they be trusted to keep contraband off of an airline?

  22. And I forgot to mention: first you get violated and then you still have to get on the miserable plane! How much worse can it get?

    • A lot worse! The last few times I’ve flown the inside of the plane smelled like shit, the people are too close, the seats are way to small, and everyone wants to lean back like they’re doing a gangsta-lean down the blvd. Flying sucks even without groping. Guess you covered all this when you said miserable!

      • Correct Dom. It’s not just the gov’t but the airlines and their employees. They must hate their jobs because they treat you like shit. “Flight Attendants” are impatient, arrogant, snotty not to mention unattractive. Whatever happened to the pretty stewardesses? Now it’s all 50-ish men and women, or gay guys or snotty minorities who can’t be bothered.

        I asked a black “flight attendant” once if she could ask the other passengers if anyone had change for a $20 so I could buy a cocktail and she said: “sir, there’s only SO much I can do” *snap*.

        Yea, I’m done flying commercial unless it’s a trip that there is absolutely no other viable option. I’ve already been kicked out once, and I’m sure it’ll happen again eventually.

      • I feel your pain Dom. When I was still travelling for a living a got stuck in a window seat on a CRJ (i.e. a flying sardine can). This “broad” sat down next to me that was so fat, what would pass for lovehandles on a normal person squeezed up under the center armrest and raised it! I kid you not, she had to have tipped >300 lbs. on the scale. Her stinky, sweating ass was taking up at all of her seat, a quarter of mine and hanging into the aisle too! I thought “this is just great, paid for a whole seat and only get to use 75% of it” while being pushed into the wall for 90 minutes.

        I’m all for individual liberty. A person should be able eat what they want and as much of it as they want, so long as they don’t infringe anyone else’s rights in the process. But I’m sorry, if you’re going to let your body go to hell in a handbasket like that, you should be required to buy two seats and not make an already unpleasant travel experience even worse for your fellow passengers. Geez! One more reason I’m glad I don’t fly commercial anymore. Rant off.

        • Gawd!

          I hate bullies and bullshit – and am more than a bit claustrophobic. You can imagine how much I enjoyed air travel before Submission Training.

          It is intolerable now.

  23. I have decided that it is easier to drive for 2 days than to fly out of my local airport. Amazingly, Driving for 2 days each way only totals one additional day for the whole trip, since there is only 1 flight per day in/out of my local airport, and the time of the flights are such that you will certainly spend a night in Chicago on the way back, and quite possibly one there on the way out, too.

  24. One of your best columns! Often, you amuse me with your rants against government infringement… if simply complaining about it would make the least bit of difference. This time, you focused upon The Real Problem. And that is an American public that is too brainwashed to realize how close the water is to boiling….that froggie really should have hopped out of the pot five minutes ago……and that if he doesn’t go NOW, he’s cooked.

    I honestly don’t think Americans are really that wimpy or stupid. However, they have been lulled and distracted into abandoning their capacity to think.

    Is there any hope that they will snap out of it before it is Too Late? We’ll know real soon. 😉

    • I think the problem is that far too many people have been conditioned to see the government as a deity. A person who has that perspective of government will sacrifice anything, just like a follower of Jim Jones.

      Karl Marx once said “Religion is the opiate of the masses”. He meant that followers of religion would tolerate an abusive government if they thought that the afterlife would be paradise. What ends up happening in a statist regime is that the government becomes god and its regulations become scripture. This is also the reason why Stalinist liberals dislike Christianity so much. To the Stalinist liberal, Christianity is the golden calf.

      • Good points, Toldev! Glad you mentioned Uncle Joe Stalin! Madman Hitler invaded Poland from the West and had war declared on him. Madman Stalin invaded Poland from the East a few weeks later and was chosen as a trusted ally. Madman Churchill called him a wonderful human being who did what he had to do, with admirable determination…actually there was a whole bunch of madmen ravaging the world at that time, shuffling around huge armies of drafted soldiers without remorse when they died by the millions as so much cannonfodder.

        Why are we presntly so docile? Why do we go along with the dysfunctionality and ever increasing loss of freedoms?

        Is it the sodium fluoride added to our drinking water since 1945?

        • The shrieking about Iran reminds me of Hitler and Goebbels ranting about the existential threat to Germany posed by Poland. I will not be surprised to learn of a reprise of Operation Canned Goods, either.

          • Eric, it’s the same kind of deceptive shrieking that we were subjected to about the WMDs in Iraq, the ones that did not exist! People are so gullible, it’s pathetic!

            I will never forget Colin Powell appearing on TV with his little vials of yellow powder and drawings of Iraqi mobile WMD labs…OMG!

            I could go on, but I would rather talk about cars, engines, hp, mpg, Porsches, Audis, Mustangs, Gullwing Coupes, wrap-around-windshields and cruising on the Autobahn at 220km/hr in Bavaria, with the top down, of course!

            Your site is wunderbar!

            • The gullibility (stupidity) is bad… worse, to me, is the sickening bloodlust of these poltroons. The glib, casual murderousness on display. Yes, let’s “regime change” Iran. These assholes apparently are not capable of imagining how they’d feel if some foreign power “regime changed” them.

              It makes me sick – and ashamed to be American.

              But at least I am well aware that I’m not free – and so this evil government (note, not my government) does what it does with my utter contempt and entirely against my will.

            • PS: Here is Clover’s latest eructation:

              “According to others here you are wrong. They say the young are brainwashed and do not improve until many years out of school. I say the Ron Paul has the backers that do not investigate what he is all about. All they hear is what he wants them to hear. That is kind of what the democrats are all about. Since the huge majority of people make less than a million bucks then if you say you are going to tax the other guy to make things better for you then you get votes if it is right or not.”

              Can you (can anyone) parse this gibberish?

          • Seems that Clover is saying Ron Paul = the Democrats. Clover is suggesting we’re hoodwinked by Ron Paul and he’s really someone other than the person he advertises to us.

            That Ron Paul is telling us what we want to hear in order to get votes, just like the Democrats play on class divisions by promoting ever-more taxes on the rich.

            Problem is, Clover, Ron Paul has a voting record longer than most of the Congresscritters and he’s been saying the same things for decades. You’d know this if not for your cranial-rectal inversion.

          • (WMD’S) Well here is a fine example, IMO it’s because so many are nieve and listen to media and white house LIES!!!! Nobody ever dig for the FACTS!!! Americans are lazy,majority now don’t even know the constitution. We have a lot of Paul Revere’s as of late but no George Washington. YES!!! There were WMD’S. You were not lied to on that account. They most certainly existed. Know your facts before saying something so ridiculous. America better start fact checking and waking up and self educate to our constitution or there won’t be one left to defend. Welcome to the “One World government” How much more are “We” going to take before realizing it may be to late?

      • There were NO weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, no WMDs! It’s easy to come to that conclusion: No Commander in Chief, not even one slightly off his rocker, would EVER send (or be allowed to send by his generals and policy advisers) any large number of troops into a country when the non-existence of WMDs has NOT been 100% verified!

        WMDs can be anything: biological, nuclear, chemical! They can be released on troops by remote control, from unknown locations and unexpectedly, on troops which are caught without protection because how would they know what kind of protective gear to wear ahead of time?

        Give your former president some credit: He and all the insiders knew without a doubt that there were NO weapons of mass destruction, because if he had not been 100% sure there would NOT have been an order to invade, putting troops on the ground!

    • Agreed–Eric, this is one of your best articles. Powerful, well-written, and a strong alarm call to action.

      You ARE that guy in Network.

      Be proud. And keep sticking it to The Man.

      • Thanks, Methyl –

        I didn’t get into it (other than generally) but I’ve not seen my parents, who live in AZ, in more than two years now – the price I am personally paying to take a stand for not just me, but a principle that I believe must be defended. It’s not charging into a battle, but damn it, it’s something. I just wish more of my fellow Americans would take a similar stand. If they did, we could throw the police state in the woods by springtime.

  25. I don’t believe that you have to go through those TSA checks if you fly a chartered plane. At least, I didn’t when I last flew charter about 5 years ago.

  26. Dang, this was a tough read before breakfast. 🙂

    Following my decision to only fly if no other option exists, I’ve only flown once since the porno scanners were installed at the local airport. That time I refused to be scanned and instead submitted to the groping. This was eight months ago and the experience still creeps me out. The dude didn’t touch my junk but the mundaneness of it for him was what was so disturbing. He was just going thru the motions and talking his way thru the whole thing like I was a mannequin with good hearing. Ugh, what are we going to do about this?

    They search your wallet too, did you know that?

  27. From best to worst: Steve, Jim, Bob, Allen.

    It may not be the line in the ditch today, but the events of today lay the foundation for what may take place tomorrow. People in charge today may not want to directly harm us, but in the future a psychopath can use these tools to cause harm on a large scale.

    Just as the Ghost of Christmas Future implied, there still is time to change our future. A grim fate awaits us if we do not change where we are going.


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