Enlightened insights taken from the past week’s reading:
"While Governor Greg Abbott is issuing executive orders at an unprecedented pace, he has an opportunity to stand with the people of Texas, consumers and business owners, and remind the world that Texas is a 'free and independent State by issuing one more executive order.
Abbott should immediately issue an executive order stating that all federal tax payments will be remitted to the State of Texas and be immediately rebated. The effect of this is that the money that would normally flow to the overbloated and inefficient bureaucracy in Washington, would stay in the pockets of those who need it the most right now. It could be the difference in keeping Texans employed and in their homes or out-of-work and in the streets. This would let Texans keep their money out of the hands of federal bureaucrats that are hell-bent on taking their cut, playing games with the money, and then tossing crumbs back to us at a snail’s pace.
Some will say that he doesn’t have the power to do this. But as we have seen with his executive orders, he is willing to color outside the lines if it suits him during this declared emergency. Sure the federal government will complain. So what? Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton have made their political careers on standing up to Washington. Here is their chance to prove that their defense of Texans against the federal government is legitimate and not simply political rhetoric."
"Fear is the number one tool of those who seek power over others. Create a crisis and then offer the 'solution'. If an unplanned crisis erupts, then don’t waste it!
The authoritarians cannot lose. If they keep Covid 19 from wreaking too much havoc, then it’s, 'See, we had to impose martial law, in order to keep you safe.' (Get used to it.) And if causes deaths in excess of say, swine flu or the regular flu, then it’s, 'They didn’t do enough!' (Get used to more authoritarianism.)
Covid 19 will provide the excuse for expansions of Federal power that were unimaginable a generation ago. We’ve been headed there, but now the floodgates are open. The real threat is the final collapse of the Idea of America, of liberty."
"Our founders were intimately familiar with pandemics, viruses and plagues, yet they did not allow any to suspend our Constitutional liberties. Not one word in the Constitution about plagues or pandemics to exempt the government from any of our Bill of Rights. Why do our current courts allow it? Because the public is asleep at the wheel. Think the pandemic threatens to kill us all? A review of the data shows the pandemic is more panic than plague.
Time to wake up. Maybe it is time in the motto of V for Vendetta, to 'Remember, remember the fifth of November, the gunpowder treason and plot.' As that film's lead character well said: 'People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.' Only when an awake public asserts their human liberties to protest the loss of their liberties will, then, governments quit using public health crises to seize power that does not belong to them. The answer to 1984 is still 1776."
"The main underlying message being shoved continuously at the public is not only that you can’t trust your neighbor, community, church, etc. but that all those should be viewed with suspicion and avoided. We now have the new phrase 'social distancing' completely embedded in our conscience. As if electronic devices and 'social' media wasn’t bad enough in that regard. In past crises the idea was to come together as a community to work together, side by side to help each other. Now in this situation we are being told the way to come together as a community is to avoid all engagement with each other. Instead of coming together as neighbors we are to avoid each other and look to the media experts and the state apparatus for our salvation. What better way could they have found to drive the final stake in the heart not only of the economy but of civil society itself?"
"There is a major movement toward authoritarianism. Perhaps because they know the system is collapsing and they are using this as the excuse. I had an exchange with a doctor who said they need the quarantine and I am spreading dangerous information. I asked him to look at his pension funds. Are any left? He went silent. There is something wrong here. You do not destroy the world economy on this magnitude to even save 25,000 lives. Even if 40% of the population got this, with a death rate which is less than 3% (8% among the elderly), it does not warrant this economic destruction. They are wiping out small businesses, countless people have lost their jobs, others their entire pension fund, and there is no putting this back together again as nothing happened. This is a intentional economic destruction that is being carried out for an undisclosed purpose."
"Anyone who has eyes to see can clearly make out that America is an addled empire in steep decline that is firmly entrenched in its bread-and-circuses stage. This has been brought into clear focus due to Covid-19. Since there is now a shortage of bread, as supermarket shelves are bare, and the distraction of the circus of sports has been indefinitely removed from the culture, Americans are left with little to distract them from cold, hard reality.
With no brawls or ballgames to watch, and the fear of potential hunger gnawing at their bloated bellies and brains, and with social distancing leaving them isolated with little but their thoughts as company, Americans will now find it harder and harder to ignore the truth about their country and its deplorably corrupt media, financial, government, education and health care systems, that is staring them in the face."
"The CDC says that 23,000 Americans have died from the flu since last September. Yawn. Ho hum.
Around 6 PM today the TV news cited another CDC statistic that 400 Americans have died from the coronavirus. Emergency! Suspend the Constitution — Permanently! Declare Martial Law! Stop the economy — Now!! Stay in the house — or else! Shut up and take your Masters’ orders! Rev up the printing presses! Call out the National Guard! Imprison all dissenters!!"
"I’m going out to run for five or six miles in the hills around my home to clear out the funk and fear from my head.
Let’s all of us get up and out of our lidded platonic caves, where we hunch and hunker down in the lambent shadows, taking our view of the world from television and other screens.
Some sunlight on our bodies and souls could improve our vitamin 'D' and immune systems with some delight, delectation, dance, and even divinity.
To overcome the prevailing dystopian 'D’s' of disease, disaster, decadence, depression, and social distance."
"If this virus only affected white males, nothing would be shut down or closed!"
Gary D. Barnett
"The drive to find biological weapons that will sicken and kill millions at a time is not only a travesty, but is beyond evil. This power is held by the few, but the potential victims of this madness include everyone on earth. How can such insanity at this level be allowed to continue? If any issue could ever unite the masses, governments participating in biological and germ warfare, race-specific killing, and creating viruses with the potential to affect disease and death worldwide, should cause many to stand together against it. The first step is to expose that governments, the most likely culprit being the U.S. government, are planting these viruses purposely to cause great harm. Once that is proven, the unbelievable risk to all will be known, and then people everywhere should put their divisiveness aside, stand together, and stop this assault on mankind."
Gary D. Barnett
"Watch closely what is hidden from view. While there is an enormous amount of speculation and studied hypotheses concerning this coronavirus, do not allow the virus hype to cause blindness to the government’s hidden agendas and methods of achieving dominance over the populace. Things are moving very quickly, and every single piece of new legislation, every executive order, and all mandated tyrannical measures instituted at any level of government could have very dangerous underlying consequences, and these will most likely not see the light of day in any mainstream media. That is why it is so important to seek out those that are researching these documents and tyrannical measures, and reporting on them outside the mainstream. In addition, the asinine social changes are not going away anytime soon, so get prepared for normal life in this new surveillance state of America to be one giant TSA center intent on inspecting and controlling all movement and action of the public. In other words, life in this country could become one big airport security line, and pat downs and the metaphorical equivalent (or not) of body cavity searches could become the norm."
Gary D. Barnett
"Allow existing bankruptcy and insolvency processes to run their course. Bailouts are not the answer, new owners who can turn companies around are. Corporate assets, contracts and products don’t disappear in bankruptcy. Yes, there will be pain as many (not all) existing employees lose their jobs. But executives and boards of failing companies should lose their jobs first and foremost, and new shareholders should seek clawbacks of ill-deserved bonuses and stock compensation.
Again, this will not be pretty — but shareholders, not taxpayers, must bear the economic burden when companies fail."
"The 24 hour media coverage; declarations of States of Emergency; the government-ordered shutdowns of private businesses; the cancellations and closings of events, institutions, organizations; the quarantining, 'social distancing,' and 'self-isolation'—the stage has been seamlessly set for what I’m convinced will go down as perhaps the Greatest Story Ever Sold within the recent memory of the contemporary Western political world.
Even 9/11, for all of the abuses of power to which it led, didn’t result in anything like this abrupt and pervasive an exertion of political power or the mental conformity among the masses to which the sensationalism over COVID-19 has given rise."
"This unfolding death of a nation, the world’s greatest country, is high anxiety. I have three choices how to handle this: 1) duck my head and ignore reality (irresponsibility); 2) fret, worry and fear and lose sleep (anxiety); or 3) be concerned and deal with reality, and value what really counts most, our freedom and liberty."
"This escalation in the power of government, reaching the point where they can order us not to leave our homes, and enforce the order at the point of a gun, will prove to irreversible. We won’t be able to un-remember what they did to us. It will be indelibly recorded in history. Governments will point to this instance to justify future, worse instances."
We must start to resist.
"Strategic analysts agree that the necessary prelude to ramped up US-vs.-China warfare would be a decoupling of the US and Chinese economies. That decoupling is happening now, thanks to coronavirus. Once it has passed the point of no return, war becomes far more likely.
Hunkering down for a serious war on China and its allies would also require a momentous psychological and cultural shift on the part of the American people. Until now, they have been lazy, undisciplined, addicted to consumption without much production, and unwilling to sacrifice themselves (though quite willing to murder foreigners from the safe distance of a drone base). Only a profound psychic shock, and some serious deprivation, could retool them as potential soldiers and total war participants in a deadly and dangerous struggle to maintain their rulers’ global dominance privileges. Or so the neocons might imagine."
"The system itself needs to be rebuilt from the ground up and principles of liberty need to return to the forefront of our society. Centralization and globalization have caused untold grief and terror to humanity; this collapse only reinforces the argument that we need to try something different. They will say that the world was 'not centralized enough' and that a more totalitarian framework is the solution. But of course, who really benefits from that in the end? The common man, or the elites?
They can offer any rationalization they want in the name of public safety, but we know what the real play is here. I plan to fight. Not just for me, but for the next generation. Because if I do not, those children may grow up in the world never knowing what freedom truly is. There are fates worse than death, and a life of tyranny and slavery is one of them."
"If the individual has a right to govern himself, all external government is tyranny. Hence the necessity of abolishing the State."
Benjamin Ricketson Tucker
"The weak-minded cattle called the general population accept government as their god, observe all of its bogus laws, support its worldwide murders, use it to steal from their neighbors, worship its hired killers even while in so-called religious houses on Sunday, vote in fraudulent elections meant to give power to those who rule over them, and call these elected criminals representatives while ignoring their nefarious deeds; never taking responsibility for the evil they commit in the name of that same population. This is today’s America, and this is the result of a national religion that worships the State."
Gary D. Barnett
"I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war."
"Day by day, spokespersons of both parties, justify this destruction in their meaningless, impotent, rhetoric on diversionary issues such as cultural Marxism and transgenderism, or the draconian 'war on drugs.' They are now but factions in the one true political party in America — the Incumbent Party. Despite all posturing and pretense, their only real dispute concerns whose clients will get the loot. . . and whose the bill.
Trump, in his arrogantly and hubristic fashion, has revealed this truth. And they hate him for it.
Capitol Hill has become one vast congressional clip-joint, where members 'service' their constituents the way a second-story man 'services' a luxury condo. This lies at the root of every economic and societal ill plaguing the country — Wall Street bailouts, massive foreign and domestic debt, the infrastructure scam of cronyism and elite special interests, Pentagon plunder and the military-security-industrial complex— the list could go on and on."
"My long-crushed spirit rose, cowardice departed, bold defiance took its place; and I now resolved that, however long I might remain a slave in form, the day had passed forever when I could be a slave in fact."
"The socialist program is sold under the heading of justice or social justice. The socialist enterprise has a charitable ring to it, a do-good ring to it. How can anyone be against helping others, the less fortunate, as Christian morality asks? Socialism sounds Christian and it feeds off of the charitable impulse and Christian teaching, or parts of it.
Yet socialism is godless. It pretends to aim for the dignity of every person, through supplying a minimum standard of living for everyone. But where is the bounty to come from that’s being distributed to all? It must come from those who produce it. Socialism forces producers to give up goods. Socialism is not a voluntary endeavor, and that alone makes it the antithesis of a Christian charity."
"The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state-controlled police and the military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy… If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government—and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws."
"Here’s an idea. Your body is your primary possession. But it’s like a car—try to keep it in good condition. If it breaks, you pay for it—it’s not up to the government or the taxpayer to fix it. The idea of free medical care—like free education, free housing, free food, and the rest of it—is both destructive and degrading. The fact these things are discussed as practical possibilities shows that the society as a whole is irresponsible and apparently no longer capable of thinking in economic, ethical, or philosophical terms."
"Celebrities feed society’s predilection to live on the surface -- to identify with the persona, or the social mask -- and never venture any deeper than what we want others to see.
This is why celebrities (and, for that matter, many public-facing people) have a tough time wrestling with issues more complex than catchphrases, slogans, and jingles.
Ultimately, the celebrity organizes his behavior around the need for social approval -- that, after all, is his job.
As Ted Danson put it, the entire job is to 'Pretend, while pretending that we are not pretending.'
As a result, the celebrity can only think of appearance and current fashion. And for that, he tends to lose any sense of individuality and an ability to stand up against the crowd.
This is why you hardly ever see any celebrities dare share any opinions that contradict the Hollyweird mold -- especially not if they hold any conservative-leaning views.
Hollywood is full of virtual personas… assuming the role they (arrogantly) believe every individual should aspire to be.
And, indeed, it’s entirely oblivious to its own blatant arrogance, hypocrisy, and condescension.
(Now, for fun, replace the word 'celebrity' with 'politician' and notice that everything still applies.)"
"When I look at public education today compared to the one I got, there is no resemblance. We were taught to think for ourselves and that a free country required free minds. Today a free mind is the last thing a public school permits."
Paul Craig Roberts
"The entire question of socialism is political; socialists can speak about their utopian visions, be elected on those platforms, but really don’t have to explain how they actually will make a socialist economy perform in a way that will even begin to match the output of a private enterprise–based economy. Yet, when confronted with the reality of the actual performance of a socialist economy, all the writer can do is to appeal to the election of socialists, which should not be surprising, since the end of socialism is political power and nothing else."
William L. Anderson
"Like all government 'Wars on Something (whether drugs, poverty, terror, etc.)' no amount of money and no amount of effort and no amount of liberty-stealing new laws in support of them are ever enough to bring the wars to a successful conclusion.
The war on drugs is not a war by public officials against criminals at all, but a war for drugs. It is the way public officials profit from criminality, expand their kingdoms and overturn the rule of law and the Constitution. In my unending research into this conspiracy, I have learned that this kind of tyrannical control is possible only by mass deception. It is a total control over governmental and political processes to the detriment of the people in every category of the nation's and local interests. It is raw power exercised by today's single-party-dressed-as-two."
"All government, in its essence, is a conspiracy against the superior man: its one permanent object is to oppress him and cripple him. If it be aristocratic in organization, then it seeks to protect the man who is superior only in law against the man who is superior in fact; if it be democratic, then it seeks to protect the man who is inferior in every way against both. One of its primary functions is to regiment men by force, to make them as much alike as possible and as dependent upon one another as possible, to search out and combat originality among them. All it can see in an original idea is potential change, and hence an invasion of its prerogatives. The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are."
"Weapons regulation is deep and wide in the USSA: The 2A is worth the paper it’s printed on. The 2A is a sham to protect weapons ownership. It has no teeth whatsoever. If it did, how could the 1934 NFA, 1938 FFA, the decision in US v. Miller in 1939, 1968 GCA, Nixon’s pogrom against handguns, the 1986 FOPA, Bushevik I’s ban on foreign cosmetically offensive weapons in 1989, the NICs, the AWB all the way to the conservative zombie Scalia’s Leninist bromide about 'dangerous and unusual weapons' be protection of private weapons ownership? On and on and on."
"Reality is that which when you stop believing in it, it doesn’t go away."
Philip K. Dick