Punditry Feed

WTMWD #51: The Centralized Economy Up Close - A Personal Story

 

 

 

 

 

I talk a lot about the evils of centralized control, and have had several guests on to talk about it too. But I think that unless you've experienced it firsthand, it's hard to fully appreciate what that means. 

In this episode, I speak with a woman who grew up in Hungary when it was under Communist rule. She describes what it is like to live under a centralized power, of what it means for each individual in that system and the impact it has on every aspect of one's life.  

If you (or maybe someone you know) still don't get why some of us are up in arms over "just a mask" or the other violations of fundamental human rights that so many are so comfortable with... you might want to listen to this one. 

 


No Madonna, We Are Not "All in this Together"

 

From Susan Lang:

 

Holding hands, hugs and Vitamin C,

Hikes in sunshine and coffee shops with friends,

Strangers who dance cheek to cheek.

Don't tell me it's subversive to be a person,

There's nothing worse than

Being human all alone

And I won't do it.

Compassionate people, they don't crash economies

Every bartender, every waitress, every manicurist

Deserves this, to be of service

To whosoever does choose--

That's me, and I hope it's you.

Humanity, stand up and make your choice;

Humanity, stand up, stand up and make your noise.

 




Letter to my Grandchildren from Inside a Cult

 

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Image: Public domain

 

From my latest article on LewRockwell.com:


I don’t have any grandchildren yet. But if I ever do, I want them to understand what it is we went through during this time in history, and even more, to understand how it is that we got here. So this is for them:

I first learned about “cults” when I was 13, the age my son is now. I watched with fascination as the horrific events of the Jonestown mass suicide/murder were revealed to the world. I paid close attention to the story, clipped all the newspaper articles about it, and imagined scenarios in which I would find a way to hide until everyone was dead or gone, and save myself–and my family, if they were there too–had I been there.

What didn’t occur to me at the time was that, had I been there–had I uprooted my life to go and join this group of people in the jungles of Guyana, had I been in the frame of mind to go along with everything they did leading up to the events of November 18, 1978 (including practice runs for the mass suicide)–then chances are, I would have willingly stood in a circle with my friends and drunk the cyaninde-laden Kool-Aid as so many others did.

And that is what is so puzzling, and so fascinating, about cults. From the outside, we can’t imagine why those people would have done those things. What could possibly drive otherwise normal people to act in ways that seem not only insane, but counter to their own interests–in the case of Jonestown, counter to their most fundamental instinct for self preservation?

What could get someone to be willing to sacrifice their own life, and the lives of the people they love?

I hope to provide some insight into this question, as I find myself now, at the end of the year 2020, living in the midst of what I can only describe as a massive, dangerous, and self-destructive cult.

SO WHAT IS A CULT?

Teri Buford O’Shea escaped from Jonestown only a few weeks before the mass suicide and murder. She defines a cult this way:

“A cult is when you aren’t allowed to see your friends or family…I’m talking about total isolation – someone takes all your money and brings you to a place where there’s no communication, or if there is you aren’t allowed to use it.”

Cult deprogrammer Steven Hassan created the BITE model to explain some of the key elements that cults employ to control their members:

Behavior Control: An individual’s associations, living arrangements, food, clothing, sleeping habits, finances, etc., are strictly controlled.

Information Control: Cult leaders deliberately withhold or distort information, lie, propagandize, and limit access to other sources of information.

Thought Control: Cult leaders use loaded words and language, discourage critical thinking, bar any speech critical of cult leaders or policies, and teach an “us vs. them” doctrine.

Emotional Control: Leaders manipulate their followers via fear (including the fear of losing salvation, fear of shunning, etc.), guilt, and indoctrination.

Reading both O’Shea’s definition, and Hassan’s BITE components in 2020, it is striking to me the extent to which all of these things have been inflicted upon Americans over the past eight months:

Isolation and the intimate control of our activities and relationships, in the form of forced social distancing, the closing of businesses and schools, and most cruelly, the isolation of the elderly and others in care homes; taking money, or in our case, destroying the source of income and livelihood for millions of people in this country;control of communication and information, through what has now become overtcensorship, with hints that some forms of communication may be shut down entirely; emotional manipulation through the shaming of those who do not go along with the diktat of the day, and other tactics; and an authoritarian thought-control regime, where critical thinking on the part of individuals is ridiculed, views that contradict those of the leaders are actively censored, and intellectual debate is replaced by “us vs. them” tribal warfare.

It is this last part that gets to the heart of it. To me, the essence of a “cult” is that it provides an external replacement, a substitute, for one’s own power of reasoning and moral judgement. It demands blind obedience to this substitute, and punishes harshly anyone who dissents from its pronouncements.

 

Read the rest here.

 

 

 


WTMWD #50: Kevin McKernan on the review of the Corman-Drosten PCR methodology that he co-authored–and some words of appreciation for my listeners!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I speak with Kevin McKernan about the report he co-authored calling for the retraction of the paper upon which much of the world's Covid-19 PCR testing is based. Kevin also thanks you guys–my listeners–for possibly helping to get the attention of some of those who are starting to reverse course on the lockdowns (and the badly flawed testing they are based on). So keep it up!

The Corman-Drosten Review Report (with comments) is here.

"Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR", by Corman, Drosten, et al, is here.

The five other papers that Kevin mentions are:

Jung, et al.

Gand, et al. (Download.)

Etievant, et al.

Muenchhoff, et al.

Konrad, et al.

Kevin's company, Medicinal Genomics, is here.

And you can find Kevin on Twitter, here.

I spoke with Kevin about problems with PCR testing generally, back in October–you can listen to that here.

 

 


Dog-Eat-Dog Statism for Special-Needs Families: You’re Either at the Table or You’re on the Menu

 

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Image: Non-commercial use

 

I wrote this six years ago, but I think the issues I raise here are more relevant than ever:

 

I wouldn’t have expected a conference on therapy for children with autism and related disorders to have much to say about politics, but in a country where the state’s tentacles reach into pretty much every aspect of human life, I should have known better.

My daughter is developmentally disabled and I am pursuing more child-centered therapies for her than the more widely recognized ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) method, so last fall I attended the DIR Floortime Conference on Floortime, a more play-based form of therapy.

As soon as I walked in, I was struck by two phrases: “Parent Choice” and “Advocacy.” I was pretty sure that “Parent Choice” wasn’t going to mean what I hoped it would mean. So I asked someone who was wearing a big button with the phrase on it, and found that indeed, “Parent Choice” in this context simply refers to having the “choice” to force your insurance company to pay for alternative therapies in addition to the more established ABA method.

The issue revolves around a bill that was passed in 2011, SB 946, that mandates insurance coverage for developmental therapies to treat autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder. However, either due to the way the bill was written or to the way it has been interpreted – and with much thanks to the ABA lobby – the insurance codes only apply to ABA therapy and not to alternatives. So now the DIR/Floortime lobby is rallying to change that. Of course, as someone who doesn’t believe in forcing other people to give me anything, I couldn’t support this kind of “choice”, but I just smiled and moved on.

As it turned out, the guest of honor at the conference’s gala dinner was Dr. Louis Vismara, senior policy consultant to California Senator Darrell Steinberg, the author of SB 946. Dr. Vismara spoke on the first morning of the conference and assured parents that he would work hard to get the problem fixed so that parents could also force their insurance companies to pay for Floortime therapy. There was much applause.

There were other concerns too. Some parents had felt the effects of state budget cuts and had to struggle to get the services they needed for their children. Dr. Vismara sympathized with these concerns and stressed the importance of being active in “advocating” for their children. He said that, in the world of public policy, “you’re either at the table or you’re on the menu.”

He ended his talk by urging parents to get involved in the political process, and to contact his office with any practical proposals. “If a specific problem is identified and there is a solution”, he said, then that solution has a “strong chance” of being implemented.

I had identified a specific problem and had a solution in mind. So at the end of his talk, I went up to him and asked him about it.

 

Read the rest here.

 

 


Support These Rebel Businesses!

 

There are some exciting things happening around the US, and around the world. Here are a few highlights:

Staten Island pub "Mac's Public House" has declared itself an autonomous zone and is continuing to operate, in defiance of orders from the State Health Department and the revocation of its liquor license. Their video is awesome, and I'm going to try to get the owners to come on my show and talk about what they're doing:

 

You can support their GoFundMe fundraiser here. Or, just call them up and offer to pay for someone's lunch or dinner. Or beer.

And in Lexington, KY, the Brewed coffee shop is likewise remaining open in defiance of government orders. A family member tells me that they were in court today over this, and I will update here once I hear what happened. 

In the meantime though, you can do what I did and call them up and offer to pay for the next customer's purchase. 

Or, do some Christmas shopping at their online store. They have some pretty cool Revolutionary T-shirts and stuff.

These folks aren't the only ones. I wrote last week about the NY gym owners who threw county health officers and officers from the sheriff's department off of their property, sheriffs around the country are refusing to enforce the unconstitutional lockdown and related orders, a huge orthodox Jewish wedding took place in Brooklyn, without a mask in sight, and Qantas Airline's CEO received a much-deserved pie in the face after declaring that travelers will not be able to fly without having had a Covid-19 vaccine, once it becomes available.

The Revolution may not be being televised, but it is absolutely happening–one act of defiance at a time. 

 

 


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