Posts tagged freedom

Murray Sabrin Issues Statement on “Double-Dealer” Diane Feinstein

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Source: http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com

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Murray Sabrin Issues Statement on “Double-Dealer” Diane Feinstein

 

The Murray Sabrin campaign has issued the following statement, following news that the CIA has been spying on Congress.

For Dianne Feinstein and constitutionally protected civil liberties, what’s good for the goose is a violation of the gander’s rights, says U.S. Senate candidate Murray Sabrin

 
murraysabrin2014“When it comes to respecting the Constitution and the privacy rights of Americans, for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, what’s good for the goose is an outrageous violation of the gander’s rights,” said U.S. Senate candidate Murray Sabrin. “It’s no skin off her nose when the National Security Agency does it to us, but when the Central Intelligence Agency does it to her, it’s a constitutional crisis.”

“Shouldn’t the same rules apply to both the goose and the gander?” questioned Sabrin.

In the wake of revelations that the CIA may have rooted through U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee files as part of an ongoing congressional review of agency practices, Feinstein, a California Democrat and chair of the committee, took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to fulminate against it for violating  “principles embodied in the United States Constitution.”

In her speech she accused the agency of violating  “Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches, as well as laws against domestic surveillance.”

All well and good and, when the facts are revealed, perhaps entirely justified, but Ms. Feinstein sang a markedly different tune last month when she offered what  one report called “a full-throated defense of the (NSA’s) collection of data on billions of American phone calls.”

“There’s no question but what the NSA’s monitoring of the private communications of law-abiding Americans is unconstitutional,” said Sabrin. “And this view is shared across the political spectrum - even former Vice President Al Gore agrees with it.”

“Yes, there are real threats, and we must be cognizant of them, remaining vigilant at all times. The best way to do that is to start in our own backyard by respecting and zealously guarding our constitutionally protected civil liberties, including the right to be free from unwarranted government snooping,” said Sabrin.

“If the purpose of our national intelligence effort is to protect our freedom and liberty, it makes absolutely no sense to destroy them in the process. That thinking tosses the baby out with the bath water,” he said. “My next door neighbor on her cell phone is no less deserving of constitutional protection than Sen. Feinstein.”

Feinstein has a  track record of double dealing on constitutionally protected civil liberties. For years, she’s been one of the Senate’s leading advocates of harsh and punitive gun-control legislation, never seeing a restriction on or the outlawing of a type of firearm she didn’t like. But in the meantime, she didn’t think twice about arming herself when faced with threats against herself and her family, a right she doesn’t think Americans deserve as if they can’t be trusted with it.

And what of New Jersey’s junior Sen. Cory Booker, the politician Sabrin seeks to replace this coming Election Day – how has he weighed in on the important issue of safeguarding the constitutional liberties of Americans? Apparently, he’s a complete MIA.

A search of online news sources revealed that Booker has been silent on Fourth Amendment and surveillance issues since last October’s Senate Special Election campaign, where he was harshly criticized by fellow New Jersey Democrats who ran against him in the primary for being all over the lot on the issue in a seeming effort to please whomever he was speaking with at the moment.
This time around, he’s completely silent.

“While issues of violations of our constitutionally protected civil liberties are being debated in the U.S. Senate and throughout the country, Cory Booker is dropping F-bombs on Twitter and talking about driving to Hawaii ,” said Sabrin. “He’s not even bothering to phone it in. Maybe he’s afraid the NSA will listen in.”

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Imaged added to Bob’s original post with image credit to murraysabrin2014.com

Related post: Surveillance State advocate Diane Feinstein cries about CIA searching of her committee’s computers

 

Glenn “Kane” Jacobs: Selling Liberty

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Glenn “Kane” Jacobs: Selling Liberty

 

3-2-2014 3-23-52 PM

 

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Published by Journalistic Revolution

A speech in Orlando for the Orange County Campaign for Liberty chapter on 2/1/14 by Glenn “Kane” Jacobs titled; “We Gotta Market Liberty: Stop Educating, Stop Debating, and Start Selling Liberty”

You can read Glenn’s articles here:
http://dailycaller.com/author/gjacobs/
http://www.lewrockwell.com/author/gle…
http://jacobsreport.com/

 

Glen Reynolds in The USA Today: Americans rising up against government

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Source: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
By Nick Sorrentino

Glen Reynolds in The USA Today: Americans rising up against government

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Professor Reynolds points to the pushback from American citizens to the license plate tracking system bid from DHS, the scrapping (for now) of FCC monitoring of reporters (I can’t believe that I just wrote that), and the resistance of Connecticut residents to heavy handed gun control laws, as evidence of a growing and widespread resistance to government encroachment into people’s lives. I pray that he is right.

The state has become the super state. It seems to gobble up more and more bits of everyday life with each passing week. Everything is taxed in one way or another. Nearly everything is monitored. How did this happen here? Weren’t we supposed to be different? Weren’t we the ones who fought fascism in World War II and socialism in the Cold War? Weren’t we the free ones?

As the current system of crony capitalism matures, everyday citizens are becoming more aware of just what we have lost. The corporate/government superstructure looms over nearly every part of life. Many people have finally come to see that human dignity, liberty, is worth preserving. Perhaps the warm embrace of the welfare/warfare state isn’t so much an embrace as it is a strangling move.

(From The USA Today)

This is more “Irish Democracy,” passive resistance to government overreach. The Hartford (Conn.) Courant is demanding that the state use background-check records to prosecute those who haven’t registered, but the state doesn’t have the resources and it’s doubtful juries would convict ordinary, law-abiding people for failure to file some paperwork.

Though people have taken to the streets from Egypt, to Ukraine, to Venezuela toThailand, many have wondered whether Americans would ever resist the increasing encroachments on their freedom. I think they’ve begun.

Click here for the article.

The Comcast/Time Warner Merger and the War Between Centralization and Decentralization

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Source: http://libertyblitzkrieg.com

By Michael Krieger

The Comcast/Time Warner Merger and the War Between Centralization and Decentralization

 

Or take the right to vote. In principle, it is a great privilege. In practice, as recent history has repeatedly shown, the right to vote, by itself, is no guarantee of liberty. Therefore, if you wish to avoid dictatorship by referendum, break up modern society’s merely functional collectives into self-governing, voluntarily co-operating groups, capable of functioning outside the bureaucratic systems of Big Business and Big Government.

-Aldous Huxley, in Brave New World Revisited (1958) 

Until recent years, the struggle between the forces of “centralization” and “decentralization” was more of a full on slaughter-fest than an actually battle or war. As Americans sat there blissfully asleep for decades, every facet of our lives has been carefully consolidated into the hands of a smaller and smaller group of corporations, and hence individual executives. This trend is undeniable in everything from food, banking, media and everything in between.

Myself and many others saw the financial crisis of 2008 as a gigantic wakeup call. The disasters caused by powerful financial institutions and the greedy people that ran them should have been used as a rallying cry to break these institutions up. To recognize the dangers of too much power in one particular place. This is especially important in something as crucial as banking. However, as we are all painfully aware, this is not what happened. Rather, the institutions were bailed out, the industry consolidated even more than it was before, and the perpetrators of the crisis emerged from it even more wealthy and powerful.

My personal focus on this website has been to expose the unique dangers presented by centralization in the financial industry and the monetary system. However, many others are dedicated to the equally important and disturbing trends in other industries. Consumer goods is one of these areas, and a very telling diagram went around late last year showing how 10 companies basically control everything you buy. Take a look below:

10corporations

Dangerous consolidation of the media is a trend that has also been discussed by many people on many occasions, and many of us by now have heard the stat that in the U.S. just six media giants control 90% of all TV, news, radio and film. Now that Comcast is set to buy Time Warner, the situation is about to get that much worse. The International Business Times made some poignant points:

“No one woke up this morning wishing their cable company was bigger or had more control over what they could watch or download,” Aaron said. “But that — along with higher bills — is the reality they’ll face tomorrow unless the Department of Justice and the FCC do their jobs and block this merger. Stopping this kind of deal is exactly why we have antitrust laws.”

In December, the Wall Street Journal speculated about a possible merger between the two companies, quoting an FCC official who told the paper that such a deal would face “a number of hurdles.” Chief among them is the 33 percent market share of pay-TV subscribers the new conglomerate would control. That percentage exceeds the cap of 30 percent formerly imposed by the FCC.

Perhaps an even greater hurdle is the resulting influence Comcast-TWC would have over Internet services. The merger, according to Gigaom’s Om Malik, could potentially make Comcast the largest broadband provider outside of China. Such muscle would give the company greater influence in key negotiations with content creators, particularly since it already owns NBCUniversal. It’s no wonder the deal is sparking fear among media diversity advocates. While pay-TV providers will trumpet their need for negotiating power amid rising retransmission fees — particularly for sports networks — cable bills have only gone up as media consolidation has proliferated over the last two decades. Speculating about a rumored TWC sale last month, Susan Crawford of Bloomberg.com said bluntly that it will “cost us all.”

Many people write about the struggle between “liberty” and “tyranny,” including myself, but these may not be the most effective terms to use in order to explain the troubling situation we face to a wider audience. Unfortunately, when people hear the words “liberty” the knee-jerk reaction for many is to associate it with right-wing “conspiracy theorists.” Of course, it is “conspiracy fact” that a small handful of corporations and the executives that run them control more and more of our daily lives. In other words, the forces of “tyranny” use “centralization” as their primary weapon of choice in order to control us. Those of us who long for “freedom” and “liberty” must use “decentralization” as our primary tool to fight back and win.

I have no doubt that the we in the decentralization camp are on the right side of history, and I have become more and more confident of this fact with each passing day. Every year since the financial crisis I have witnessed more and more powerful tools for decentralization that the status quo simply will not be able to control. From 3D-printing to crypto-currencies, from crowd-funding to social media, it is clear to me the status quo must adapt or die. While the Comcast/Time Warner merger is a serious threat, I think it ultimately represents just another last gasp of a dying paradigm.

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Image credit: http://libertyblitzkrieg.com

 

 

 

The thought police have arrived: The FCC Plan To Police The Newsrooms (Sadly not a joke.)

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Source: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

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The thought police have arrived: The FCC Plan To Police The Newsrooms (Sadly not a joke.)

 

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This can not be allowed to happen.

Government content commissars in newsrooms? This is anathema to everything this country is about. Everything.

We must fight this. Yet another effort pushed by this administration to limit the free expression of thought in this country.

The Land of the Free is now ranked 46th in press freedom according to Reporters Without Borders. We dropped 13 spots last year.

This is the United States people. We can not allow this to happen on our watch.

(From IBD.com)
 
As if illegal seizures of Associated Press phone records and the shadowy tailing of the mother of a Fox News reporter weren’t menacing enough, the Obama administration is going out of its way to institute a new intrusive surveillance of the press, as if the press wasn’t supine enough.
 
Ajit Pai, a commissioner with the Federal Communications Commission, warned this week in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that a plan to dispatch researchers into radio, television and even newspaper newsrooms called the “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs” is still going forward, despite the grave danger it presented to the First Amendment.
 
Pai warned that under the rationale of increasing minority representation in newsrooms, the FCC, which has the power to issue or not issue broadcasting licenses, would dispatch its “researchers” to newsrooms across America to seek their “voluntary” compliance about how news stories are decided, as well as “wade into office politics” looking for angry reporters whose story ideas were rejected as evidence of a shutout of minority views.

Click here for the article.

Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org


Nick Sorrentino
About Nick Sorrentino

Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.

 

 

Aaron Russo’s Last Message to Humanity

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Aaron Russo’s Last Message to Humanity

 

2-15-2014 7-19-14 PM

 

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Published by NextNewsNetwork

Aaron Russo lost his battle with cancer shortly after this video was recorded. It is a lasting message to the people of America who struggle to preserve liberty.
Rest in Peace friend.

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Aaron Russo shined light on the power of the individual verses the subservience of the controlled masses. #AaronRusso

Related posts with more from Aaron Russo:

America: Freedom to Fascism-Full Length Documentary

Reflections And Warnings – An Interview With Aaron Russo {Full Film}

 

If America Continues To Go Down The Same Path As Europe, This Is What Life Will Be Like…

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Source: http://endoftheamericandream.com

By Michael Snyder

If America Continues To Go Down The Same Path As Europe, This Is What Life Will Be Like…

 

EUSSR-Flag-Photo-by-Finn-Skovgaard-300x256Becoming more like Europe is not a good thing.  But that is the path that we are currently on.  For the most part, Europeans live in a socialist “Big Brother” system in which the government completely dominates your life from the cradle to the grave.  Of course there are differences from country to country, but generally speaking the lives of most Europeans are very tightly regulated.  You see, the truth is that high levels of individual liberty and freedom are considered to be “dangerous” by the European elite.  They believe that if we are all allowed to just do whatever we want that it would result in utter chaos.  They are convinced that life is better when those that are smarter (them) control the lives of everyone else.  In essence, Europe is like a giant religious cult in many ways (minus the religion).  With each passing year, the number of rules and regulations governing the daily lives of Europeans steadily grows, as does the level of control.  If you try to live outside of that control, you could very well find yourself in a direct confrontation with the authorities very rapidly.

Just consider what is happening in Germany.  Authorities there have stated repeatedly that they do not believe in having any “parallel societies”, and therefore everyone must participate in the system that the government has established.

That includes all children.  In Germany today, almost all forms of homeschooling are illegal.  In fact, one judge shockingly ruled that one set of parents could not have custody of their children because they might move them to another country and homeschool them there

A judge has issued a stunning verdict in a homeschooling case in Germany, ordering that the parents cannot have custody of their children because the family might move to another country and homeschool, posing a “concrete endangerment” to the children.
 
Dirk and Petra Wunderlich’s case made international headlines in August when 20 armed police arrived with a battering ram and forcibly took their four children from their home in Darmstadt, Germany, and enrolled them in public school.
 
As WND reported at the time, the children, ages 7 to 14, were taken into police custody. They were allowed to return home three weeks later when their father and mother, given no choice by the federal bureaucracy in Germany, agreed to allow their kids to attend public schools despite their objection to the social and religious instruction there.

Are you starting to see what I meant when I compared Europe to a cult?

In Europe, government is god, and everyone and everything belongs to the government.

Apparently, that even includes the life savings of their own citizens.  The following is from a Reuters article that was just posted this week…

The savings of the European Union’s 500 million citizens could be used to fund long-term investments to boost the economy and help plug the gap left by banks since the financial crisis, an EU document says.

Did you catch that?  The EU apparently believes that they could use the private savings of their own citizens “to fund long-term investments” any time that they want.

But what if you don’t want your life savings to be invested in that way?

Too bad for you.

In fact, according to that Reuters article the EU wants to find ways to “mobilize more personal pension savings” so that there will be a larger pool with which to potentially fund long-term projects…

The Commission will ask the bloc’s insurance watchdog in the second half of this year for advice on a possible draft law “to mobilize more personal pension savings for long-term financing”, the document said.

In Europe, they also tend to love any “Big Brother” technologies that will allow them to watch, track, monitor and record the activities of their citizens.

For example, it has been reported that in the UK there are 1.85 million video cameras watching the population, and London has been called “the most watched city in the world“.

The control freaks in the UK are so paranoid that it is even illegal to carry a knife in public, but despite all of their crazy laws the rate of violent crime in the UK is still far higher than it is in the United States.

Now, the UK has decided that all of the medical records for the entire population will be gathered into a single database.  The following is from a recent TechDirt article

The UK government is currently building a database called care.data that will contain all of England’s medical records. It’s being promoted as providing valuable information for healthcare management and medical researchers that will lead to improved treatment.

But this database will not be private.  In fact, it is being reported that information from this database will be sold to drug companies and insurance companies

Drug and insurance companies will from later this year be able to buy information on patients – including mental health conditions and diseases such as cancer, as well as smoking and drinking habits – once a single English database of medical data has been created.
 
Harvested from GP and hospital records, medical data covering the entire population will be uploaded to the repository controlled by a new arms-length NHS information centre, starting in March. Never before has the entire medical history of the nation been digitised and stored in one place.

How would you feel if that was being done to your private medical information?

Not that the U.S. is a bastion of freedom and liberty these days either.

For example, Infowars is reporting that the Department of Homeland Security plans to launch a “national license plate tracking system”…

The Department of Homeland Security is set to activate a national license plate tracking system that will be shared with law enforcement, allowing DHS officers to take photos of any license plate using their smartphone and upload it to a database which will include a “hot list” of “target vehicles”.

The details are included in a PDF attachment uploaded yesterday to the Federal Business Opportunities website under a solicitation entitled “National License Plate Recognition Database.”

The system will “track vehicle license plate numbers that pass through cameras or are voluntarily entered into the system from a variety of sources (access control systems, asset recovery specialists, etc.) and uploaded to share with law enforcement” in order to help locate “criminal aliens and absconders.”

And for many more ways that the U.S. is becoming a “Big Brother society”, please see my previous article entitled “32 Privacy Destroying Technologies That Are Systematically Transforming America Into A Giant Prison“.

Another way that America is becoming more like Europe is in the area of religious behavior.

At one time, Europe was a hotbed for religious faith.  Of course those days are long gone.  And the United States is now heading down the exact same path, although Europe is still way ahead of us.  The following is from a Pew Research survey conducted a few years ago…

Half of Americans deem religion very important in their lives; fewer than a quarter in Spain (22%), Germany (21%), Britain (17%) and France (13%) share this view.

So why has religion become so unimportant?

Well, it is because that is what the government system tells them to believe from the time that they are little children.

As I mentioned earlier, the government dominates your life from the beginning to the end in Europe.  This even includes decisions about ending your life.

In fact, in Belgium they actually want to extend the euthanasia law to children

Making the argument that everybody has the right to die, Karine Lalieux, a Socialist member of the Belgian House, is pushing legislation that would extend the country’s 2002 euthanasia law to minors under 18.
 
“Our responsibility is to allow everybody to live, but also to die, in dignity,’’ said Lalieux.

And in the Netherlands they actually have mobile euthanasia teams that go door to door helping elderly people end their lives in the comfort of their own homes.

Europe is not a model for the rest of us to follow.

Instead, Europe should serve as a stark warning to the rest of the world about what can happen when you let the control freaks get too much control.

EUSSR-Flag-Photo-by-Finn-Skovgaard

 

This article first appeared here at the The American Dream.  Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.

 

 

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Image credit: http://endoftheamericandream.com
 
 

U.S. Plunges to #46 in World Press Freedom Index, Below Romania and Just Above Haiti

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Source: http://libertyblitzkrieg.com

By Michael Krieger

U.S. Plunges to #46 in World Press Freedom Index, Below Romania and Just Above Haiti

 

One of my most popular posts of 2013 highlighted the decline of America’s once large and enviable middle class. It was titled: How Does America’s Middle Class Rank Globally? #27, and it helped to dispel many myths Americans (particularly the mainstream propaganda media) continue to tell to themselves.

As you might expect, the economic decline of a nation into rule by a handful of corrupt oligarchs will have many other negative repercussions. One of these is a loss of civil rights and freedoms that many of us have taken for granted. Reporters Without Borders puts out their Press Freedom Index every year, and the 2014 ranking came out today. It was not a good showing for the USSA. Specifically, the U.S. registered one of the steepest falls of all nations, down 13 slots to the #46 position. As the screen shot shows, just above Haiti and just below Romania.

 

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More coverage from the AFP:

Paris (AFP) – Conflicts continued to weigh heavily on the media last year but press freedom was also under increasing threat from abuses by democracies like the United States, Reporters Without Borders said Wednesday.

In its annual World Press Freedom Index, the Paris-based media rights watchdog warned of the “growing threat worldwide” from the “tendency to interpret national security needs in an overly broad and abusive manner”.

The United States was singled out for its pursuit of intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, the conviction of WikiLeaks informer Bradley Manning and the secret seizure of phone records from the Associated Press.

The group, known by its French acronym RSF, said the United States had suffered “one of the most significant declines” in press freedom last year, dropping 13 places to 46th in the 180-country index, wedged between Romania and Haiti.

“Countries that pride themselves on being democracies and respecting the rule of law have not set an example, far from it,” RSF said.

Repeat after me: USA! USA!

Full article here.

Follow Mike on Twitter

Image credit: http://libertyblitzkrieg.com

 

221 Percent Increase In One Year? Why Are So Many People Renouncing American Citizenship?

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Source: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com

By Michael Snyder

221 Percent Increase In One Year? Why Are So Many People Renouncing American Citizenship?

 

American-Flag-300x199The number of Americans that renounced their citizenship was 221 percent higher in 2013 than it was in 2012.  That is a staggering figure, and it is symptomatic of a larger trend.  In recent years, a lot of really good people with very deep roots in this country have made the difficult decision to say goodbye to the United States permanently.  A few actually go to the trouble to renounce their citizenship, and that is mostly done for tax purposes.  But most willingly choose to leave America for other reasons.  Some were very serious when they said they would leave the U.S. if Barack Obama got a second term, some (such as Jesse Ventura) are dismayed at how our freedoms and liberties are eroding and are alarmed at the rise of the Big Brother police state, some are absolutely disgusted by the social and moral decay that is eating away at the foundations of our society, and there are yet others that consider “the grass to be greener” on the other side of the planet.  Personally, I have a number of friends that have made the very hard decision to relocate their families thousands of miles away because they see what is coming to America and they believe that there isn’t any hope of turning things around at this point.  I also have a lot of friends that are determined to stay in the United States no matter what.  When it comes to the future of America, almost everyone has a very strong opinion, and these are discussions that we need to start having.

Once upon a time, the United States was seen as “the land of opportunity” all over the globe and it seemed like everyone wanted to come here.

But now that is all changing.  As we have abandoned the principles that this country was founded upon, our economy has gone steadily downhill.

As I wrote about the other day, the middle class in America is slowly dying.  As millions of good paying jobs have been shipped out of the country, the competition for the remaining jobs has become quite intense.  At this point, there is even tremendous competition for minimum wage jobs.

Compared to exactly six years ago, 1,154,000 fewer Americans have jobs.  Meanwhile, our population has gotten significantly larger since then.  There simply are not enough jobs for everyone, and we continue to fall even farther behind.  In January, the economy only added 113,000 jobs and in December the economy only added 75,000 jobs.  Both of those figures are well below what we need just to keep up with population growth.

Looking ahead, things look even more troubling.

The number of “planned job cuts” in January was 12 percent higher than 12 months earlier, and it was actually 47 percent higher than in December.

The competition for jobs has also resulted in an extended period of declining incomes in the United States.

As I mention frequently, median household income in the United States has fallen for five years in a row, and the rate of homeownership in the United States has fallen for eight years in a row.

Those that read my articles regularly probably have those facts memorized by now.

In addition, a study that just came out has shown that the number of “low-wage breadwinners” in the United States is at an all-time high

A staggering number of American households are relying on low-wage jobs as their leading or sole source of income.
 
Meet the low-wage breadwinner. There were about 21 million of them in the United States in 2011, according to a forthcoming study by University of Massachusetts Boston economists Randy Albelda and Michael Carr.
 
Unlike other studies which often focus just on low-wage workers, the researchers looked at those who also live in low-income households. This way, they were able to strip out the teenager making $8 an hour flipping burgers but still living comfortably with his parents. Or the mom who works a part-time job in retail to supplement her husband’s otherwise ample salary.

For tens of millions of average American families, there simply is not enough money left at the end of each month.

That is why many of them turn to debt to try to make up the difference.  Consumer credit is increasing at an alarming pace once again, and when the next great economic shock arrives many of those families are going to be in for a tremendous amount of financial pain.

In this type of economic environment, it should not be a surprise that anger, frustration and desperation are rising to very dangerous levels.

It was desperation and a fear of losing everything that he had ever worked for that drove one 80-year-old man to become a methamphetamine courier.

It was intense anger and frustration that drove a 58-year-old military veteran to package up cat feces and send it to employers that had turned him down

Rather than simply grumble to himself or complain to others, a St. Louis man aggrieved by a company’s failure to hire him took another approach.
 
Jevons Brown packaged up cat feces and sent it through the mail.
 
Brown, 58, was sentenced Friday to two years of probation after pleading guilty in August to a misdemeanor charge of mailing injurious articles.
 
The plea says Brown, a veteran, became frustrated with his lack of employment opportunities and lashed out at employees of companies that failed to hire him.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

In the years ahead, we are going to see much, much worse.

And if you do lose everything, don’t expect anyone to care very much.  There is already a frightening lack of compassion for those that are down on their luck in the United States today.  For example, in Pensacola, Florida it is actually illegal for homeless people to use blankets or cardboard boxes to shield themselves from the cold…

So there I was with my wife and three kids, all of us huddled under blankets with the fireplace roaring, watching the temperature continue to drop from a comfortable 65 degrees down to 45. But outside it was 17 degrees and raining and sleeting, and if you were homeless, you had to consider that if you used a blanket to shield yourself from the elements, that you might be hauled off to jail for a violation of a local ordinance prohibiting using blankets, cardboard, or newspaper to cover yourself.

Once you lose everything, society just wants you to go away.

And this lack of compassion is going to get a whole lot worse during the very hard times that are coming.

So it is easy to understand why many Americans would want to get out of this country while they still can.

However, the truth is that the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side.

For instance, you may be dreaming of moving to a tropical paradise where you can enjoy the sand and the sun every single day.

In the past, many Americans considered Puerto Rico a good place to relocate to.  After all, it is a United States territory and if you only speak English you can still get around pretty well.

But you wouldn’t want to move down to Puerto Rico these days.  Right now it is in the middle of a full-blown economic collapse

Puerto Rico’s slow-motion economic crisis skidded to a new low last week when both Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s downgraded its debt to junk status, brushing aside a series of austerity measures taken by the new governor, including increasing taxes and rebalancing pensions. But that is only the latest in a sharp decline leading to widespread fears about Puerto Rico’s future. In the past eight years, Puerto Rico’s ticker tape of woes has stretched unabated: $70 billion in debt, a 15.4 percent unemployment rate, a soaring cost of living, pervasive crime, crumbling schools and a worrisome exodus of professionals and middle-class Puerto Ricans who have moved to places like Florida and Texas.

In fact, Puerto Rico is a preview of the kind of societal chaos that we could be seeing inside the United States in just a few years

Schools sit shuttered either because of disrepair or because of a dwindling number of students. In this typically convivial capital, communities have erected gates and bars to help thwart carjackers and home invaders. Illegal drugs, including high-level narcotrafficking, are one of the few growth industries.

Well, what about South America?

In recent years, South America has been an extremely popular destination for those wishing to leave the United States.

Unfortunately, many areas of South America are experiencing full-blown economic collapse right now as well.  As I wrote about recently, deteriorating economic conditions have resulted in widespread crime, looting, violence, blackouts, shortages of basic supplies, and runs on the banks in Argentina and Venezuela.  The following is an excerpt from a recent interview with Fernando Aguirre who actually lives down in Argentina

Chris Martenson:  Okay. Bring us up to date. What is happening in Argentina right now with respect to its currency, the peso?
 
Fernando Aguirre:  Well, actually pretty recently, January 22, the peso lost 15% of its value. It has devalued quite a bit. It ended up losing 20% of its value that week, and it has been pretty crazy since then. Inflation has been rampant in some sectors, going up to 100% in food, grocery stores 20%, 30% in some cases. So it has been pretty complicated. Lots of stores don’t want to be selling stuff until they get updated prices. Suppliers holding on, waiting to see how things go, which is something that we are familiar with because that happened back in 2001 when everything went down as we know it did.
 
Chris Martenson:  So 100%, 20% inflation; are those yearly numbers?
 
Fernando Aguirre:  Those are our numbers in a matter of days. In just one day, for example, cement in Balcarce, one of the towns in Southern Argentina, went up 100% overnight, doubling in price. Grocery stores in Córdoba, even in Buenos Aires, people are talking about increase of prices of 20, 30% just these days. I actually have family in Argentina that are telling me that they go to a hardware store and they aren’t even able to buy stuff from there because stores want to hold on and see how prices unfold in the following days.

Well, what about Europe?

Isn’t Europe a lot more stable?

Unfortunately, that is not necessarily true.  In recent years we have seen rioting, civil unrest and Depression-like conditions in Ukraine, Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal.

And now you can add Bosnia to that list…

More than 150 people were wounded in Bosnia on Friday in the worst civil unrest in the country since the 1992-95 war as anger over the dire state of the economy and political inertia boiled over.
 
Angry protesters set fire to part of the presidential palace in Sarajevo in protests over unemployment and corruption, as well as government buildings in the capital Sarajevo, Tuzla and Zenica.

Just because you move out of the United States does not necessarily mean that you will avoid what is coming.

We are heading for a global economic collapse, and the pain is going to be felt to the farthest corners of the planet.

But of course there are many that will end up leaving the United States and will ultimately thrive.

So what do you think?

Is now a time for people to consider leaving the United States permanently?

This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog.  Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.

 

 

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Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com

Rise of the Libertarians, 10 reasons why Slate, Salon and the progressive media are afraid

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Source: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

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Rise of the Libertarians, 10 reasons why Slate, Salon and the progressive media are afraid

 

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Attached is an extremely well done article which lays out why it is that today’s political establishment, especially the “progressives” are so afraid of libertarianism.

Libertarianism is a logical evolution from statism. Statism is a 20th Century ideology based in the idea that systems were closed and if the right smart people ran society an egalitarian Utopia would bloom. If we could create an atom bomb with concerted government directed efforts why could we not also engineer the society (many) people wanted? In the dark days of a rising Soviet Union and expanding a New Deal, very few thought of the economy as a living breathing thing. Something which was alive and composed of billions and billions of exchanges and human decisions. Society was instead a machine, a factory. From this factory we could create the dream which had so long eluded humanity.

But this kind of thinking, contrary to what people thought at the time, was not a revolution against oppressive feudalism and the industrial revolution. Statism was and is an extension of it. Government as a massive corporation, nominally “owned by the workers of the world” but always controlled by a group of lever pullers who look remarkably like the group of lever pullers they replaced.

Libertarianism in contrast embraces an open source society. People, every day people, are valued as individuals. In a world where individuals are more educated than ever – and I don’t mean in the sense that people have more degrees than in the past, I mean in the sense that through the Internet people know much more about the world around them – individuals demand respect. People are not cogs to be placed in a machine by self designated social engineers. People are living entities who come together, or choose not to depending on perceived value.

Progressivism, statism, in contrast is about force. It is about a failed top down 20th Century religion based in the fever dreams of Marx and Hegel from the 19th Century. Seriously, it is a religion.

For those looking forward. For those who despise coercion. Who value human dignity. Who have faith in their abilities and a healthy fear of bureaucrats who say they know best when the data shows over and over that they don’t. For those who believe that each person should be given the chance to actualize his or her gifts to the maximum degree possible. For those who believe that society to the degree possible should be VOLUNTARY. For those who believe that they know how to manage their lives better than some government employee sitting in a stone building somewhere. Well, libertarianism has quite a lot to offer.

And to think Rachael Maddow said that the “era of small government was over” right after the government shutdown in October, and right before Obamacare blew up. And I think she honestly believed it, along with the rest of the establishment. Only 5 months ago.

For the record since this particularly sweet moment her ratings have tanked, though she does now have a wealthy new sponsor for her show, Exxon Mobile. Kudos to her on that.

So welcome to the (peaceful) revolution America and it’s just beginning. Welcome to ACTUAL CHANGE. It is an exciting time, and take absolutely nothing for granted.

(From FEE.org)
 
8.   Libertarians really don’t like crony capitalism. For all the lip service progressives pay to the “problem” of income inequality, they consistently back the most illiberal and inegalitarian policies. Is there anything fair about showering taxpayer resources upon this energy company or that—and making their CEOs’ wealth more secure in the process? Is there anything equitable about shoring up the U.S. banking cartel with permanent legislation like Dodd-Frank? And what chosen “one-percenters” are benefitting from the crony-infested Obamacare legislation, which rains goodies down on drug-makers, healthcare providers, and insurance companies in equal measure? On the other hand, while libertarians don’t mind the sort of inequality that comes from people successfully creating happy customers, wealth, and jobs, we really—no really—don’t like collusion between business interests and government power.

Click here for the article.

Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org


Nick Sorrentino
About Nick Sorrentino

Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.

 

 

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