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November 2020

Celebrate Your Dystopian Christmas with Urban Yogini: The Christmas Episode!

 

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Can Urban Yogini defeat the forces of fear and division? Find out in the Christmas installment in the Adventures of Urban Yogini: A superhero who can't use violence.

Order from me directly (BretigneATgmailDOTcom), this week only, and you can get the Special Dystopian Christmas Price of only $8.00 (includes shipping within the continental US)!


 


Dystopian Christmas Deals on "Annabel" and "Urban Yogini" - this Week Only!

 

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This week ONLY, I'll be offering signed copies of Annabel Pickering and the Sky Pirates, and Urban Yogini: A Superhero Who Can't Use Violence, at special discounted prices. Because... you know... Christmas and everything. 

To get the special price, you just need to email me directly (BretigneATgmailDOTcom).

"Annabel" normally sells for $14.99 on Amazon - the special price (this week ONLY!) will be $10.00, including shipping within the continental US.

"Urban Yogini" is normally $17.88 on Amazon - this week's price is $15.00, including shipping within the continental US.

And "Urban Yogini, the Christmas Episode" is normally $9.45 on Amazon - this week, it is $8.00, including shipping within the continental US.

Again, you need to email me directly to get the discounts, and yes, I can give a slightly bigger discount for bulk purchases!


 

 

 


WTMWD #49: Ayurvedic Medicine and Covid-19, with Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya

 

 

 

I speak with scientist, international public health specialist, MD and Ayurvedic practitioner and teacher, Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya, about the nature of Ayurvedic medicine, barriers to alternative medicine in the US, and using Ayurveda with Covid-19.

Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya's website is here.

You can find her column "Everyday Ayurveda" here.

And her article mentioned in this episode, "To Vaxx or Not To Vaxx" is here.

The book she mentioned, "The War on Bugs" can be found here.

 

 


The Scouring of the Shire - in Buffalo, NY

 

This is one of the most beautiful things I've seen in a long time. 

 

 

According to the post description on YouTube, these are the gym owners. They start off by appealing to the humanity of the sheriff and health department officer who have come to enforce lockdown orders, and when that doesn't work, they assert their rights. And the result is beautiful.

I believe this is the gym where this happened.

Here's the thing. I–and my AnCap buddies–have been talking for a long time about how we need to eliminate the monopoly state if we are to live freely. I do believe that is true. But even in the absence of that, in the absence of achieving an AnCap world (I won't call it a "utopia" because that's a strawman) WE ALREADY HAVE THE TOOLS TO FIGHT TYRANNY.

We already have a tradition of common law. We still have the foundations upon which the Constitution was built, and it includes things like what these folks assert here: The right to face your accuser if charged with a crime. 

The common-law tradition also–from my own limited understanding of it–maintains that "crimes" must have victims, and cannot simply be things that autocratic governors or politicians declare them to be. I suspect that it also does not provide for "licensing authorities" to have the power to take away someone's right to do business, for any reason. 

I'm going to try to get some more knowledgable people than myself on this topic, to come on my podcast and further clarify. Because this is key. This is one of the most powerful tools we have to fight this crap, and everyone needs to know more about it.


 


You Can Still Protest Tyranny in Sacramento

 

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Image: Public domain

 

 

I've written before about those who have been standing up against the state of California's outrageous power grabs in the area of medical freedom, since long before anyone ever heard of Covid-19. If you're familiar with my writing, you know that I don't believe that appealing to the better nature, or the intelligence, of politicians is going to get them to come around and see reason or decide to stop stomping on other people's rights and lives. 

And yet I have tremendous respect for the thousands of Californians–parents, mostly. Moms, mostly–who have been taking time out of their lives for YEARS now, to go and demand that the people who claim to "represent" them actually do that. If nothing else, they are exposing for the rest of us what this system is all about, and that the interests it represents are its own (and those of the folks who bankroll their positions.)

I've been watching this unfold since 2015, when SB 277 was passed, eliminating both personal belief and religious exemptions to vaccines for school–ANY school, even private–in the state. I've watched the hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of parents line up calmly to go and stand for hours to be able to stand in front of a microphone for a few seconds and say the few words allowed to them to the bored legislators who sit at the front of the room not even pretending to listen and who then go on to trample the parents' rights without a second thought.

I've never gone to testify at one of these hearings, partly because I know that I don't have it in me to remain that calm in the face of abject tyranny committed by ghoulishly arrogant petty authoritarians in that room. So I was not at all surprised to see these same parents finally begin to explode last fall. I was surprised it didn't happen sooner. And now, with the lockdowns taking most of the energy for protests, only a handful of protesters are going to the capitol to make their voices heard. Both the State Assembly and the Senate have been holding hearings this week, and will continue next week. You can see the schedules in the links in the previous sentence.

I want to encourage anyone who has the interest, and is able to, to attend some of these hearings and help support this tiny handful right now. Why?

1. If you've never seen the workings of the political machine up close, you should. It's not what they taught you in Civics 101, and it can even be quite stomach churning. I think that the more people who understand how this works, that there are these little groups of people that sit around all day coming up with laws to govern how we live our lives, what we may and may not do, and what substances must be injected into our children... well, that by itself is bad enough. And that is what we should be opposing. But the unvarnished pulling of the politicians' strings by the people who really own them is something that every American should have to witness before they say they "support democracy";

2. Getting in these peoples' faces and calling them out on their tyranny forces a reaction from them that only further demonstrates their lack of concern for our rights, or for how we feel about them. It shines a light on the fact that they are in no way accountable to the people over whom they rule;

3. Because maybe I'm wrong. Maybe going down there and making enough noise will get some of them to listen. Maybe just one. Maybe you will be the last little Who who says "Yopp" and is heard. So who am I to tell you not to try?

So please check out the hearing schedules and if you can, go down and help support the people who have been trying to make the elected representatives who sit there stop steamrolling over our most fundamental rights. If nothing else, it will be an education.

 

 

 


WTMWD #48: What is "Non-Violent Communication" and what does it have to do with liberty? With Gretchen Wahlstedt

 

 

 

 

I speak with my sister, Gretchen Wahlstedt, about her experiences with Non-Violent Communication, what that actually means, and the role it can play in the fight for liberty. We also talk about the current state of civil (or not-so-civil) discourse, and whether anything can be done to bridge the growing divisions between people in 2020 America.

 

 

 


WTMWD #47: Why Japan is Different, ALSO: Next Week's Truly Indie Film Fest that You Won't Want to Miss

 

 

 

 

 

 

I talk with radio DJ and director of the Japan Indies Film Festival. We try to pin down what it is that makes Japan so awesome, touch on the role of immigration restrictions on culture, and even mention masks. We also talk about next week's film festival, and did I mention that it's FREE?

Japan Indies Film Festival is here - Nov. 16-17 in Japan, which is Nov. 17-18 in the US.

You can find Mike's radio show here.

The article Mike mentioned, "5 ThingsNobody Tells You About Living in Japan" is here.

"Japan REJECTS the West's Culture of Emotional Outrage" is here.

And the Walter Block article he mentions, "Thirteen Floors" is here.

You can see Mike's articles on LRC, here.

And my dad's article, "What Is Anarchy?" is here.

 

 

 

 


End All Licensing Everywhere - Especially in Medicine

 

 

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Image: Public domain.

 

This is a policy piece from 1995, titled "The Medical Monopoly: Protecting Consumers or Limiting Competition?" It's not like any of what is in here is new information. But good luck getting the power-motivated political system to recognize real solutions. That's not the business it is in.
 
We desperately need to put an end to the deadly means of political power as a way of making decisions.

From the paper:

 

"What should government do if it is serious about cutting health spending and improving access to affordable health care? The first step should be to eliminate the anti-competitive barriers that restrict access to low-cost providers, namely licensure laws and federal reimbursement regulations. Americans should not be forced to substitute providers against their will; rather, they should be free to choose among all types of health care providers.
 
"Instead of imposing strict licensure laws that focus on entry into the market but do not guarantee quality control, states should hold professionals equally accountable for the quality of their outcomes. That will reduce the need for strict licensure laws and other regulations that are purported to protect the public at large.
 
"The time is right for eliminating barriers to nonphysician health care providers. Many Americans are seeking low- cost nontraditional providers and even choose to pay out-of- pocket for their services. Breaking the anti-competitive barriers of licensure laws and federal reimbursement regulations will provide meaningful health reform, increase consumer choice, and reduce health care costs."
 
The time has always been right. 
 
 
 
 
 

Maajid Nawaz Embarrasses Epidemiologist Over Lockdowns

 

 

 

This is painful to watch.

But watch it

From Sean Hickey's commentary at Leading Britain's Conversation:

Professor Gabriel Scally explained to Maajid Nawaz that a second lockdown would serve to buy time to get the UK's test and trace up to standard.

Maajid asked whether the member of the Independent SAGE considers "the potential cost and deaths from having a lockdown and weigh them up."


Long story short, Professor Scally had zero idea what the costs of the lockdowns might be, and after some sputtering and name calling, admits as much.



 


Fear, Pharma, and Paradigms: I Talk with Tatiana Moroz

 

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I was on The Tatiana Show earlier this week, talking about how fear is used to control people, the history of the pharmaceutical industry's takeover of medicine in the US, and asking whether we really have to learn all over again about the devastating effects of centralized decision making on society.

You can listen here

And take a listen to some of her other episodes - she's had some awesome guests, from Ross Ulbricht's mother to that awesome gym owner in New Jersey who stood up to that state's governor's authoritarian orders. Check them out here!


 


CA Governor Newsom's Executive Orders Ruled Unconstitutional - Court Issues Injunction Against Future Orders

 

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Image: Public domain.

 

UPDATE: I'm changing the headline, because technically, the judge didn't rule on Newsom's "lockdown orders," but on the vote-by-mail order that Kiley and Gallagher sued him over. As I mentioned below, the point of that was to establish a ruling that would then apply to other orders. With her injunction, the judge has made it clear that she is applying the ruling to any future such orders (orders that amend statutory law), but what remains unclear is what will happen with the existing orders that she has said are unconstitutional.

From the judge's ruling:

"Injunctive relief is proper in this case for the following reasons: The Governor has issued a multitude of executive orders under the purported authority of the CESA, many of which have amended statutory law."

So the question is: Will these other orders Newsom has already issued-orders that she is saying are unconstitutional–also be voided? And if so, when?

Last week, CA legislator Kevin Kiley was a guest on my show, talking about his (and fellow legislator James Gallagher's) lawsuit against Governor Gavin Newsom, over his authoritarian lockdown orders. (Although, just to be clear, the one order that they went after in their suit had to do with voting by mail–their hope being that the precedent established there would apply to his other orders. Which it looks like it has.)

Today, the judge ruled in that case–in Kevin and James' favor. According to Kevin:

 

Today, a California Superior Court ruled in favor of me and fellow legislator James Gallagher in our lawsuit challenging Gavin Newsom’s abuse of power.

The Judge ruled Newsom violated the Constitution. She also issued an injunction restraining the Governor from issuing any more unconstitutional orders. You can read the ruling here.

This marks an end to Gavin Newsom’s one-man rule. It makes clear that the laws of the State of California do not countenance an autocracy under any circumstances – not for a single day, and certainly not for eight months with no end in sight.

The Court rejected Newsom’s extraordinary claim that a State of Emergency “centralizes the state’s powers in the hands of the Governor.” This is the unlawful basis on which Newsom has collapsed California’s system of checks and balances, issuing 57 Executive Orders and changing over 400 laws unilaterally.

The ruling is “tentative,” meaning Newsom has a few days to try to persuade the Judge to change her mind, but it’s rare for a tentative ruling to change. While Newsom can appeal, we are confident the decision is on solid legal ground and will stand.

 

I have been trying to read the ruling itself, but am unable to access the site–I imagine everyone is trying to read it right now. Once I get it, I will post an update. 

But here is what Kevin had written earlier, about expectations for a ruling. Without having seen the ruling itself, it sounds to me like Outcome 3 is what they got:

 

I see four possibilities.

Outcome 1: Newsom wins. Obviously, this is the worst outcome, although we could appeal. He could prevail either on the merits or on a technicality.

Outcome 2: We win a narrow victory. This is where Newsom has started to place all his chips. In his Trial Brief, he barely even tries to defend the legality of his conduct. Instead, he implores the Court to limit its ruling to one Executive Order – in a word, damage control.

In our view, that’s insanity. Our Complaint clearly asks for a permanent injunction against all such unlawful orders. While this outcome would still have value, affirming that the Governor isn’t above the law, it is not what we are hoping for.

Outcome 3: We win a full victory. This would “enjoin the Governor from further exercising legislative powers in violation of the California Constitution.” Newsom would be legally restrained – the only antidote to his historic lack of self-restraint.

A number of his previous orders would immediately be exposed as unlawful, while others may become newly vulnerable. As a matter of law, our republican form of government would be vindicated. 

Outcome 4: The Emergency Services Act is ruled unconstitutional. At the last hearing, Newsom’s lawyer himself said this is “one of the possible outcomes of the case.” It would result in the immediate termination of the State of Emergency and all emergency orders.

While this is not the most probable initial result, if it did happen, Newsom would seek an immediate stay of the ruling while he appealed.

The constitutionality of the Emergency Services Act is a question that would inevitably be decided by the California Supreme Court – which may be where this case ends up, one way or the other

 

What happens next? Since the ruling is "tentative", Newsom's team has a few days to try to convince the judge to change her ruling. Kiley thinks it is unlikely that she will. We will see. And if she doesn't? 

That's what I'm hoping to get Kevin to come back on my show to discuss.

Finally: The last time I donated to any election campaign was when Ron Paul was running for president. So, for me, it's kind of a huge departure to say: Please go and donate to Kevin's campaign.

You can do that here:

Donate

 

 

 


Pockets of Beauty: Japan Indies Film Festival 2020

 

 

 

 

My friend Mike, who lives in Tokyo, is running the Japan Indies Film Festival this year, in association with the Raindance Festival in London. Mike tells me that the festival was originally going to be held in a theater, but then "all of this" happened... so now it is online.

The trailer above is for "Life of a Geisha", which premiered in 2018 - and Mike says that it was the first film to sell out three showings in all of Raindance history. It is showing again with JIFF, beginning on November 16, here.

I've just looked briefly at some of the films that will be screened, and this looks fantastic! Some of the films are available now for viewing, so I'm going to try to watch a few before the actual festival dates (Nov 16-17 in Japan, 17-18 in the US). I'm not entirely sure what "immersive" means, but these look fascinating.

Here is the full press release:


Good news filmmakers! 

Japan Indies Film Festival will run November 16/17 immediately after our international partner, London's Raindance Film Festival ends (October 28 - November 7). Following government advice, our debut festival will be online only using a state-of-the-art (and very expensive) digital delivery system.

This platform is the exact same platform that is running Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, SXSW and Raindance Film Festival. This is will be Japan’s very first FREE online film festival. We thank Raindance Film Festival for helping us to show your films to the world!

"The JIFF platform is an ideal stepping stone to the very important Japanese audience for independent films. I am delighted that we are able to support this innovative venture with like-minded individuals.” - Elliot Grove, Founder, Raindance | British Independent Film Awards

All films will be available here (sign up now to watch the films for free!): https://bit.ly/2I0pSeU

 

Mike Rogers

Founder/Program Director

JIFF Japan Indies Film Festival


There is a lot of talk around the world now about how we are in a "spiritual war." And we are. I don't think you even have to come from a religious perspective to see that. The way I see it is, there are two forces battling each other: Creation vs. domination; freedom vs. tyranny; peaceful coexistence vs. violence. As it says at the top of this blog, there is the river, often filled with blood from the violence imposed by one side of humanity–and there are the banks, where all of life happens. Where people create, and trade, and just get on with their lives. 

There are many ways of engaging in this spiritual warfare, but in my view the most powerful way to fight the forces of violence and tyranny and domination is to simply create. To create beauty, and meaning, in the face of all the destruction, the force, the ugliness, and the tremendous efforts being put into dividing us all against each other. The forces of darkness–and that is exactly what we are up against–can inflict a lot of damage, they can kill, they can impoverish, they can destroy. But they cannot stop us from telling our stories and loving the people in our lives and creating beauty wherever we can. There are many ways to fight evil, and I think that this is one of the best. So, if you think so too, go on over to the JIFF site, check out some films, donate to support them if you can, and make a small strike against evil in the world.