Austerity – The Last Bastille Podcast #56

Audio version of my article on austerity. This episode is available as a free downloadable podcast.

 

 

Episode Description

Adults are expected to be responsible in nearly every sphere of human activity. Regardless of whether it involves treating their fellow man decently, providing for their families, or simply improving themselves, men need to take care of the business that is their own lives. Financially, this may range from paying bills to balancing a checkbook, or perhaps saving up for something worthwhile. Historically, governments the world over tend to have this noticeable pattern of not being able to stay within the budget for their respective national households; the worst situations merit what their creditors have deceptively called, “austerity.”

Featured music is AshleyAlyse’s “A Puzzling Predicament,” and Bosa’s “King’s Quest,” both of them available pursuant to CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 Unported.

Paul Revere’s Ride

Every once in a while, something truly miraculous occurs that is recorded in the annals of history. Underdogs in a particular conflict manage to gain the upper hand and smite the condescending powers that be right in the face. The American Revolutionary War for Independence is one grand example of this phenomenon at work.

 

 

Patriot’s Day is annually celebrated in the New England region in commemoration of the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19th, 1775. While the mainline public and most dissidents crack jokes about their “obligatory observation of Independence Day,” only some dissidents recognize the more important significance of what occurred on the Lexington Commons (as well as the concomitant series of events that happened before, during, and after the initial engagement with the Redcoats). A truly objective chronology is essential in order to understand the lessons learned from this historical affair.

Paul Revere was a silversmith by trade who held to the Puritan notion of ordered liberty. His socio-economic status was so uniquely complex it can only be described as that of a “gentlemen artisan,” considering not only his wealth but also his personal bearing. He was also a veteran of the French & Indian War where he served as an artillery lieutenant in the militia; afterwards, he became a very active Freemason. Revere eventually joined the Sons of Liberty where he intimidated British officials, ensured that the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre received a fair trial, and assisted with throwing the British tea into the harbor as part of the Boston Tea Party. As a courier for 2 years, Revere was responsible for the timely arrival of messages between such entities such as the various Committees of Correspondence, the colonial Congresses, and even several Committees of Safety.

Thomas Gage was the British general who interestingly believed in the rule of law yet regarded the colonists (especially Bostonians) as unruly and unkempt rabble-rousers who had to be brought in line so as to maintain stability with the mother country on the other side of the pond. Unlike George Patton (yet very similar to Dwight Eisenhower), Gage was a constant failure on the battlefield; he excelled as a “peacetime” soldier behind a desk. In addition to his specific dislike of the inhabits of Boston, he more generally disapproved of the Puritan culture, since he regarded their town meetings, covenants, and work ethic as so repugnant that he proposed a commercial monopolistic relationship to be imposed on the Massachusetts Bay Colony. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Gage also wanted to disarm the Puritans so as to delay the desire for independence by initiating “small surgical operations” that were “meticulously planned, secretly mounted, and carried forward with careful economy of force” with the express intent of preventing, not provoking, a war.

Due to such preceding events like the Powder Alarm, the Portsmouth Alarm, and the Salem Alarm, minuteman companies were formed so that 1/3rd of the overall militia manpower would remain in a “constant readiness to march.” Elaborate alarm systems and courier networks were organized; the First Provincial Congress formed a Committee of Supplies and a Committee of Safety “armed with executive powers.” The Roxbury, Cambridge, and Charleston Committees of Safety decided to establish evening sentries who would also guard paths of egress from Boston. In regards to the formation of the Committees of Safety themselves, it should also be mentioned that, “The arrangements varied from town to town, which responded to the Provincial Congress more as sovereign bodies than subordinate agencies;” this suggests that the Committees of Safety were an authentic bottom-up organizing of the grassroots.

Revere even set up his own spy rings whose operatives were to observe British troop movements, the cumulative intelligence of which was gathered and sorted out at the Green Dragon Tavern. It should be kept in mind that American intelligence networks were completely decentralized (not even centering on a particular Committee of Safety), unlike the British side where the nucleus of all intelligence efforts passed through General Gates. Unfortunately, Dr. Benjamin Church was a paid informant whose handler was none other than Gates himself (Dr. Church was eventually exposed and exiled from the North American continent). Poetic justice to some degree was achieved when it turned out that Dr. Joseph Warren had a volunteer informant inside of Gage’s own camp (the most likely individual is suspected to be none other than Gage’s own wife, Margaret Kemble). The Cambridge Committees of Safety and Supplies benefited from Revere’s intelligence sources on enemy movements, since that also encouraged John Hancock and Samuel Adams to remain in the more rural areas (especially considering that they were wanted men).

After the Menotomy Provincial Committees of Safety and Supplies meetings at Newell’s Tavern had concluded, some of its members noticed a contingent of British officers traveling slowly through the countryside. They immediately sent word to the Lexington Committee of Safety that Hancock and Adams were in danger. Upon receiving this report, the Lexington militia were mustered with the express purpose of bodyguarding Adams and Hancock. Following his verification of multiple sources of intel about troop movements (as well as getting the lanterns hung at the Old North Church), Revere chose to go warn Adams and Hancock about the attempt to arrest or murder them. Meanwhile, the Charleston Committee of Safety sent their own courier to Cambridge, who failed to deliver the warning. As soon as Revere arrived at the Clarke’s personage where Adams & Hancock were, he told Sgt. Munroe that “The Regulars are coming out!” (NOT that “The British are coming!”).

Paul Revere was at one point captured by roving British patrols (thankfully, two other couriers managed to get away thanks to Revere’s bait and switch during the brief chase). During his interrogation, Revere remained so dignified that he actually ended up taking control of it and was so successful at doing so that he managed to psyche out the Regulars! He was eventually released (along with other “detainees”), but the Regulars stole Brown Beauty and literally ran the horse to death, so the Larkin family never did get her back from Revere.

Captain John Parker, another veteran of the French and Indian War (like Paul Revere), was suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis when he mustered the Lexington militia. The average Lexington militiaman were middle-aged dairy farmers who owned their own properties and “served on juries, voting in town meetings, ran the [local] church, [and] managed their own affairs.” After the “Provincial Congress of Massachusetts created a Committee of Safety…..[a]ll men between the ages of sixteen and fifty were asked to ‘enlist’ themselves in the militia…[o]lder men from fifty to seventy were organized into another group called the alarm list, and ordered to be ready for service in dire emergency.”

It’s wasn’t just the Lexington and Concord militia units that were mustered and took part in combat on that fateful day. Roxbury had a company of minutemen, Sudbury had 5 militia companies, and Acton (under the command of Cpt. Isaac Davis) had one company of minuteman. There were also the Brookline militia, the Pepperell militia (under the command of Cpt. Prudence Wright), the Medfield militia (under the command of Cpt. Ephraim Cheney), the Salem militia, the Dedham militia, and the Danvers militia (under the command of Cpt. Levi Preston).

Following Paul Revere’s impromptu release, he returned to the Clarke household to witness Adams and Hancock still there! It had been three hours since he had left, and Hancock was busy sharpening his dress sword and cleaning his gun, given that he declared his wish to line up with the Lexington militia. After Revere related to both of them his interrogation, Hancock relented and the trio retreated to a safer location. Soon after Adams and Hancock were relocated, John Lowell (Hancock’s clerk) told Revere that a trunk of Hancock’s damning papers (that implicated many of the Whig leadership) were still in the upper level of Buckman Tavern. Lowell and Revere retrieved the trunk and carried it out through the main door of the tavern, through the militia lines, just as the British were coming into view.

As Revere and Lowell were burying the heavy trunk, everyone there on and near the Lexington Common green heard the “shot heard ’round the world,” but couldn’t determine the source of it. The British then shot without orders against the Lexington militia. When Col. Francis Smith arrived, he managed to gain control over the wild redcoats, thus (to his credit) prevented further wanton bloodshed (at least for the moment). Cpt. Parker eventually led the Lexington militia to an ambush spot just inside of Lincoln, where they opened fire on an approaching British column. Unfortunately, Parker died not long after the 19th due to his illness, and thus was unable to participate in the Battle of Bunker Hill.

The following morning, Revere attended a meeting of the Cambridge Committee of Safety where he ended up performing courier work for them over the next three weeks. This CoS “resolved to enlist 8,000 men for the siege of Boston, and sent a circular letter to [other] town committees throughout the province.” It could be said that the “second battle of Lexington & Concord” was an infowar between the CoS and General Gage, both of whom were trying to set the tone in the aftermath of the events of the 19th. By attempting to provide their own context, both sides were trying to elicit sympathy from the colonial population; obviously, the CoS were able to beat Gage on that front. The closer relationship that the CoS enjoyed with local printers and newspapers than what Gage had with whomever was willing to print his rebuttal turned out to be the decisive factor in convincing the colonial populace the legitimacy of the Whig cause for independence.

Particular individuals who aren’t as well known as Paul Revere and John Parker but who were otherwise noteworthy in the Battles of Lexington and Concord deserve special mention. Josiah Haynes, who was too old even for the alarm list, led such a quick tempo for the Sudbury militia that the minutemen were gasping to keep pace. Samuel Whittemore, who is acknowledged as the oldest known combatant of the whole war, heard the Regulars coming through his home turf of Menotomy; this veteran grabbed his musket, two pistols, and cavalry saber, and then proceeded to ambush the British as best as he could. He incurred over fourteen bleeding wounds (from a combination of bullet wounds and bayonet stabs). When his family took the door off the hinges (with which to carry his presumably dead body) and arrived at the scene just as the British were leaving, Whittemore was not only still alive, but was attempting to reload his musket; despite his many wounds and advanced age, Whittemore recovered to live the better part of an additional two more decades.

Captain Levi Preston of the Danvers militia was interviewed years later concerning the events of the 19th. The author relates the exchange to have been the following:

 

[A] historian asked him, “Captain Preston, what made you go the Concord Fight?”

“What did I go for?” the old man replied, subtly rephrasing the historian’s question to drain away its determinism.

The interviewer tried again. “…Were you oppressed by the Stamp Act?” he asked.

“I never saw any stamps,” Preston answered, “and I always understood that none were ever sold.”

“Well, what about the tea tax?”

“Tea tax, I never drank a drop of the stuff, the boys threw it all overboard.”

“But I suppose you have been reading Harrington, Sidney, and Locke about the eternal principle of liberty?”

“I never heard of these men. The only books we had were the Bible, the Catechism, Watts’ psalms and hymns and the almanacs.”

“Well, then, what was the matter?”

“Young man, what we meant in going for those Redcoats was this: we always had governed ourselves and we always meant to. They didn’t mean we should.”

 

Perhaps contemporary political dissidents would take due notice and heed Cpt. Preston’s explanation for why reading, studying, and spreading books about Liberty by itself is not going to save us (the propertarian anarchists, as well as the other more minarchist adherents of the Austrian school of economics, should take this lesson of history just as seriously as a heart attack).

I wholeheartedly recommend that all dissidents read David Fischer’s Paul Revere’s Ride. It is an uniquely fascinating examination into how Committees of Safety were integral to the cause for American independence, as well as the importance of various support mechanisms in aiding those on the front lines. Unlike a common dissident misconception that Committees of Safety are supposed to somehow “support State legislators,” actual Committees of Safety work outside of the system, and Fischer’s detailed historical account of the Battles of Lexington and Concord proves this conclusively.

Predictive Programming – The Last Bastille Podcast #55

Audio version of my article on Predictive Programming. This episode is available as a free downloadable podcast.

 

 

Episode Description

Everyone enjoys a good story. Whether it is a novel, music, or TV shows and movies, consuming fiction is a true American pastime. Tales of intrigue, episodes filled with dramatic moments, and comedic incidents abound in the realm of adult make-believe. What is almost never mentioned is how such a powerful form of media has been regularly used to push the acceptance of ideas that would normally be rejected by the population; one particularly insidious methodology used by propagandists is known as Predictive Programming.

Featured music is AshleyAlyse’s “A Puzzling Predicament,” and Bosa’s “King’s Quest,” both of them available pursuant to CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 Unported.

Albion’s Seed

Settler colonialism of the North American continent during the 17th and 18th centuries demonstrated the desire of European peoples to increase the quality of their lives by “voting with their feet.” The common theme of fleeing religious persecution provides both the most important motive as well as the essential cultural glue within a particular wave of migration. It could easily be said that the Eastern seaboard of colonial British America was composed not of one, but four, different nations.

 

 

This anthropological study of various immigrants from the British Isles is fascinating for the simple reason that its thesis maintains that such migrants do not stem from one homogenous pool. Aside from the fact that all of them speak English as their native tongue, their respective values and customs are uniquely different (including even their idioms and pronunciations of certain words). The author examines the Puritans in Massachusetts, the cavalier Anglican Virginians, the Quakers in Pennsylvania, and the Scots-Irish (who lived more in the mountainous inland areas) according to their speech habits, architectural styles, family structures, marriage customs, gender dynamics, sexual behavior, child-rearing philosophies, onomastic traditions, attitudes towards their elderly, religious theologies, magical tendencies, educational standards, culinary flavors, fashion designs, recreational pursuits, work ethics, perspectives on time, accumulations of wealth, hierarchies, and political ideologies.

Massachusetts Puritans were a very religious people who were primarily interested in their own salvation. To that end, everything from exposing their children very directly to their own mortality, to having a penchant for baking, reflects their devotion to God. While in several ways the Puritans were egalitarian in many respects, they were more than happy to persecute anyone who deliberately defied their own conception of God, as evidenced by their inhumane treatment of the Quakers. Such brutality mars what would otherwise be considered a civilization unto itself, especially considering how their legalistic practices greatly resembles the authoritarian nature of Sharia jurisprudence. As a form of theocracy, puritanical Massachusetts political theory held to the notion of ordered liberty, that is, the collective liberty to worship God in a specific way without the interference of outside forces; it was also understood to be that individually, specific persons held different amounts of non-universal liberties.

Anglican Virginians, while expounding the virtues of nobility, created the very culture that enabled race-specific slavery based on the Ancient Egyptian model. Their notion of hierarchy was carried to the extreme end of justifying the slave-master relationship as being somehow morally acceptable. Don’t worry…..the Virginians got their comeuppance when they habitually indulged in what we would now consider to be the consumerist culture, with the concomitant high levels of debt that accompanies such an irresponsible lifestyle. The best products of this culture (being the value of leadership and fried foods) are tempered by their sexually predatory behavior that, like their other domineering habits, are explained by their political theory of hegemonic liberty, that is, the liberty to enslave and be enslaved without the interference of outside forces (this is encapsulated by the term of laisser asservir).

Quaker Pennsylvanians were a very religious people, who like the Puritans, were primarily interested in their own salvation. Unlike the Puritans however, the Quakers were very cosmopolitan in their attitudes and treatment of others who lived amongst them that had a different conception of God. They enacted the religious toleration (aka the “liberty of conscience”) that Sir Thomas Browne and others had tirelessly promoted amongst the Europeans. Aside from their distaste of sex, the Quakers otherwise had a proper civilization where people were treated even more fairly than the Puritans, especially in the arena of criminal justice. This stems from their political theory of reciprocal liberty, that is, they contracted their liberties into existence; the “consent of the governed” can be observed on everything from short-term taxation to jury trials to abolitionist sentiments.

The Scots-Irish Presbyterians were composed of a very heterogenous ethnic soup that also included the English who lived in the northern border lands on the southern side of Hadrian’s Wall. This potpourri of mostly rural folk inhabited the frontier areas of the various British colonies, stretching everywhere from western Massachusetts to the Appalachians to southwestern Pennsylvania and even the Carolinas. Cultural values such as ascendancy and the rule of tanistry were absolutely paramount, since this conglomeration of Celtic peoples had survived a very violent region in Britain, and they carried this conception of hierarchy (based on merit instead of on bloodlines) with them to the North American continent. They took the sheepdog concept of self-defensive violence incredibly seriously by extending the Virginian idea of “a man’s home is his castle” to the degree where they were the sheriffs of their own homes (pursuant to lex talionis). Their perspective on being able to deal with violence is rooted in their political theory of natural liberty, that is, they are already free, and if you don’t like it (by being willing to infringe upon them), they are willing to kill you in the interest of jealously safeguarding their freedom.

While entire reviews of this anthropological study can focus on various different aspects, I would like to compare and contrast these four nations’ conceptions of Liberty, which I think is most pertinent and applicable to our own situation. Hegemonic liberty is inherently contradictory to reciprocal liberty, as well as being contradictory in and of itself; all it is is an ex post facto justification for being a tiny tinpot dictator without regard for the dignities of your fellow countrymen (the values of leadership are unjustly expressed as an oligarchical tyranny based on an eugenicist obsession with bloodlines instead of more appropriately based on earned respect that is inherent with natural liberty). Ordered liberty is a sad excuse for imposing upon others your own misconceived subjective notions of morality without their consent, which is ironically what conservative statists accuse the worst Muslim stereotypes of doing, completely neglecting the fact that they themselves follow the concept of ordered liberty, which in principle is exactly the same thing as Sharia “law.”

Reciprocal liberty is literally based on the virtue of consensual contract. Negotiations leading to agreements as to the restraints upon government impose upon the citizenry their duty to obey the government so long as the State does not violate the contract (such as in the form of a constitution); if they do so, the liberty of the consenting populace has been violated and therefore they are outside the scope of protection that they were supposed to receive from the other party, at least until such time that the systematic violations are either permanently reigned in or the current government is abolished. Natural liberty is not based on other people’s agreement that you should be free to the degree they consent to; existentially speaking, you exist in a “state of nature” and already have whatever rights, freedoms, and liberties you innately possess (if there are any). Regardless of the metaphysical realities, natural liberty is maintained by the willingness to use physical force (that is, self-defensive violence) to both deter and repel the initiation of aggressive coercion by tyrants.

David Fischer’s Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America is a terrific anthropologic examination into early American colonialism and its ultimate manifestation into the current conditions of our own situation. In terms of utility, this is a history textbook, so expecting anything useful other than the knowledge of what other people did way, way back when is virtually useless, unless you are planning on implementing some of what they did, or at least accepting some of their philosophical precepts (especially in terms of political theory). It should be kept in mind that this is an approximately 900 page book, so not every dissident needs to read this, unless you are trying to pass the time for some reason.

Problem-Reaction-Solution (The Hegelian Dialectic) – The Last Bastille Podcast #54

Audio version of my article on Problem-Reaction-Solution (The Hegelian Dialectic). This episode is available as a free downloadable podcast.

 

 

Episode Description

Problem-solving is an essential human activity, for without it, there can be no innovation, development, or even enrichment in the quality of this experience known as life. There are whole hosts of troubles that exist, ranging from the mundane to the grave; some will be with us always, others simply change names and morph into something somewhat similar. With all of the genuine challenges we face, conjuring artificial difficulties out of whole cloth is clearly not only a great crime, but also dishonestly attempts to reprioritize what truly matters. This propaganda trick is known as the Hegelian Dialectic, which is known vernacularly as Problem-Reaction-Solution.

Featured music is AshleyAlyse’s “A Puzzling Predicament,” and Bosa’s “King’s Quest,” both of them available pursuant to CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 Unported.

Blogosphere

Independent media has developed an ability to act as a watchdog against the government very well. From the humble roots of its newsletter, fax distribution networks, and talk radio days, the alternative media has flexed its muscle even more with the advent of the Internet. The proverbial “blog roll” is evidence of this, since they are regularly updated.

 

 

Blogs are the digital descendents of its paper-based progenitor, the newsletter. Readers subscribe to a periodical typically written by either a solitary individual or a miniscule cadre of less than a handful of writers. Both the newsletter and the blog have proven themselves time and again at overcoming compartmentalization, provided that the data given is factually verified and not just unsubstantiated rumour.

Former CIA officer Robert Steele has publicly addressed the imperative role bloggers play in political dissension:

 

“You are the Paul Reveres and Patrick Henries of our generation. Bottom up, horizontal connection is key. Sharing at all levels, not top down control. Public intelligence and influence is about to take off. We are about to BURY rule by secrecy. Civil affairs is the focal point. The intelligence guys need to go back in their box. Bloggers, not informants, are key. The FBI is about to try and hire 2,000 informants in a Soviet police state style approach to security; that’s idiocy.

“If you bloggers self-organize, and attach yourselves like leeches to specific issues, corporations, organizations, challenges, whatever, you will be the intelligence Minutemen of this century. The power is in your hands. There aren’t enough guns to kill us all, and Halliburton can’t build the jails fast enough to keep us down.

“Bloggers (as Linux as organized) where you grab onto an issue or something, and you are part of a structured citizen-journalism-blogging thing that lets no evildoing go unnoticed, that rules. So I think we’re at a turning point, I think we are at the very beginning of a historic tidal shift in power restoring the Constitution.”

 

What Steele is literally saying is that by exposing the misdeeds of government, the intelligence capabilities of the Establishment can be not only be countered but hampered as well (if done right). The blogosphere has the unprecedented capability in helping people see through the fog.

Since websites are taken down or discontinued, please keep in mind that the following links of websites I recommend visiting may not work at some point in the future. It is not uncommon for sites to simply change URLs; if that happens to be the case, just do a keyword search on your preferred search engine(s) using the name of the website. Remember too that the following list does not necessarily bear my seal of approval; the reason that I recommend you visit them is for the express purpose of demonstrating the variety of blogs available to you.

 

THE LAST BASTILLE’S LIST OF BLOGS TO VISIT

 

The Resistor

(An old newsletter that got some of its articles up on the Net; focuses on military & constitutional issues)

 

The Progressive Review

(While admittedly somewhat “hippie-ish,” it is nowhere as snobby as The Huffington Post)

 

WorldNetDaily

(I included this as an example of when conservative statists attempt to operate outside of the oligopolized media)

 

Reason

(Good mainline libertarian rag)

 

The Freeman

(Philosophically inclined libertarianism laced with free-market advocacy; much respected and older than the Mises Daily)

 

Free Republic

(User-based news aggregator)

 

The Nation

(The liberal statist version of WorldNetDaily)

 

Mother Jones

(Environmental version of The Nation)

 

Haight Ashbury Free Press

(Old publication from the newsletter & fax distribution days; you can pay them for their remaining print copies)

 

The Economic Collapse Blog

(Excellent blog that focuses exclusively on the slow-slide downward class migration; one of the handful I actually read regularly)

 

LewRockwell.com (LRC)

(Libertarian/propertarian anarchist news aggregator; one of the handful I actually read regularly, even before Ron Paul admitted he did so as well)

 

The Drudge Report

(Good news aggregator)

 

The Corbett Report

(Excellent watchdog-style “news & analysis;” what Alex Jones should have been)

 

The Wayne Madsen Report

(Truly good investigative reporter; his sources virtually never fail to check out)

 

SurvivalBlog

(James Wesley, Rawles‘ world famous survivalist blog; as a Rawlesian survivalist, I value self-reliance and personal preparedness as being fundamentally important)

 

Daily Anarchist

(Intriguingly good propertarian blog; they do have a bit of a hard-on for Bitcoin, so be forewarned)

 

Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS)

(Anarchist think-tank)

 

Spy Witness News

(Multi-contributer blog roll, usually from the constitutionalist perspective)

 

Russia Today (RT)

(Albeit, while not traditionally alternative media, they are very friendly with American political dissidents)

The Left-Right Paradigm – The Last Bastille Podcast #53

An audio version of the article on The Left-Right Paradigm; also, an update on YHTOM’s suspension as well as the YHTOM Reading List. This episode is available as a free downloadable podcast.

 

 

Episode Description

Imagine, if you will, growing up with everyone in your family supporting a particular football team. Every game, your entire family watches their team perform a tackle, score a touchdown, or otherwise slow the opposition’s advance on the field. Your relatives (even if they aren’t excited by anything else) will jump up and shout with utter enthusiasm for the success of that team, regardless of a quality performance or even relevance to their own lives.

Featured music is AshleyAlyse’s “A Puzzling Predicament,” and Bosa’s “King’s Quest,” both of them available pursuant to CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 Unported.

Birth Certificate Fraud

[Download a PDF of this article]

It never ceases to amaze me the degree of incompetence within the various organs of government. Negligence of such gross proportions might be considered criminal if it were demonstrated just how harmful it has been or can become. The basis for a citizen’s legal identity being so vulnerable to the malfeasance of both private and public scumbags is appalling, to say the least.

 

 

Apparently, the government is not very good at keeping the most pivotal legal records of its citizens from criminal misuse. It is admitted in the Birth Certificate Fraud report from March of 1988 under the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Inspector General Richard Kusserow that fraudulent birth certificates were a widespread and pandemic issue, but that the full extent of it was unknown. They then went on to state that the security procedures were virtually non-existent, for it was common practice for “blank birth certificates and seals [to be] stored in the open” and for “documents [to be] kept at home by the local registrar.” As if that wasn’t bad enough, workers in user agencies (such as the Social Security Administration, the Passport Services of the Department of State, state-level welfare agencies, and state-level driver’s license agencies) received minimal training in evaluating and recognizing suspicious birth certificates.

Oh, but you may be thinking, “But that was back in 1988; surely, they must have improved it since then.” Not so, my fine not-so-furry friend. In the Birth Certificate Fraud report from September of 2000 under HHS Inspector General June Brown, they admitted in this updated version that the basis of an altered birth certificate as a “breeder document” (being defined as the core document from which to establish a legal identity from) was still very much ongoing. They are still easy to obtain, hard to detect, and are seldom prosecuted. It was also found that not only would it be impractical to redesign birth certificates to make them reliable, but also that by themselves they do not provide conclusive or otherwise a reliable proof of legal identity. This report capitulated that the integrity of birth certificates should be improved because due to experience, their standing history of providing a way to validate someone’s identity has already been established. Also, since it is so common to use fraudulent birth certificates to obtain other genuine legal documents (such as voter registration, driver’s license, passport, and so on), attempting to distinguish those using fraudulent birth certificates from government-issued ones is nearly impossible.

I think it goes without saying that the implications of this are staggering. What it would mean is that anyone is these United States who decides to perform a legal make-over of sorts can do so with a minimum of fuss. Even though Public Law #97-398 (“The False Identification Crime Control Act of 1982”) amended Title 18 of the USC in regards to Section #1028 by making it an offense to “knowingly produce, transfer, or possess false identification documents with the intent to defraud the United States” punishable by “a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 5 years,” the 2000 HHS report admits that “virtually all of the Federal and State staff we talked with indicate birth certificate fraud is seldom prosecuted unless it can be linked to large dollar losses or other punishable crimes….many prosecutors are reluctant, or refuse to take birth certificate fraud cases in which the only charge is attempting to obtain another individual’s birth certificate, or counterfeiting or altering a birth certificate.” Additionally, “State registrars indicate they receive information about potential fraud cases from Passport Services, SSA, [DMVs], and law enforcement…..most indicate that they receive little feedback regarding cases they refer for prosecution.”

Ah, but someone thinking a little bit outside of the box might suggest, “Hey, since 9/11 happened, there was a HUGE beef-up in all sorts of security procedures, including government-issued documents proving legal identity.” Perhaps in some arenas, but surely not across the board by a long shot. As an Associated Press article on post-9/11 “reforms” reported that, “Despite efforts to boost passport security since the 2001 terror attacks, [a government] investigator fooled passport and postal service employees four out of four times.” This is astounding! What it literally means is that “the State Department….does not have the ability to ensure that supporting documents are legitimate” (among them being birth certificates). Not only did State Department spokesman Richard Aker admit that, “The truth is that this was human error,” but that the State Department plans to implement facial recognition screening for all applicants. Wow, what a terrific idea….make a horrid problem even worse by increasing the invasiveness of the Big Brother surveillance police state apparatus.

In the final analysis, what we have is the admission by different organs of the government that at least between 1976 to 2000, birth certificate fraud didn’t even slow down. Nine years later, the State Department wasn’t able to ID one of their own friendly government white hats during security testing! Yet, the populace is supposed to put faith in the constant groping of men, women, and even children at the airports by the TSA? It is high time to reevaluate the misdeeds of government and determine whether or not we enjoy their protection, or even continue to want to do so.

COINTELPRO, Alternative Media Infiltration, & More! – 32 Degrees of Insanity

I was interviewed recently by Don Gillson about my list of “The Top 5 Subjects That (Most of) The Alternative Media Won’t Talk About.” That broadcast is available as a free downloadable podcast (scroll down to the bottom of that page and click “Download” under the player).

 

 

Donny Gillson speaks with blogger and videographer SleepySalsa about COINTELPRO in the alternative media, infiltration and more.

The Art and Science of Dumpster Diving

Every once in awhile, something truly innovative makes a splash upon the human psyche. What assumed to be repugnant is revealed to be instead quite liberating. As downward class migration continues to march along to the tune of the ongoing slow slide economic collapse, reclaiming abandoned private property is a uniquely effective way to preserve and even create wealth.

 

 

Thanks to American corporatism (and its malignant tumor of a naïve younger sibling, consumerism), gargantuan amounts of valuable property are relegated to the landfill. Perhaps the most shocking of the types of usable property being utterly wasted are totally edible foods. Yes, in the land of milk and honey, agribusiness corporations (and their various subsidiaries who benefit from government privilege) literally trash precious FOOD that could have been used to feed the homeless, the underemployed, and even those with lower purchasing power who cannot afford to buy organic. This totally inefficient and completely uncapitalistic machinery of corporatocracic gluttony has and will continue to harm flesh and blood human beings. Thankfully, the true entrepreneurial capitalists here are the dumpster divers.

One of the tenets of the Scout Law is that “A Scout is thrifty;” the dumpster divers take that value to its logical end by reclaiming abandoned private property. By either using it, trading it, or even homesteading it, dumpster divers’ reuse and refurbishment of recklessly abandoned property is put to good use within the remnants of the free market. The historically profitable dumpster hot spots usually tend to be bakeries, supermarkets and grocery stores, bookstores, discount retail stores, specialized candy stores, wholesale florists, novelty/toy stores, restaurants and fast food joints, apartment complexes and suburban neighborhoods, and of course, college campuses. The opportunities to practice and truly live frugality are literally too numerous to mention.

The author’s recommendations for what to wear and in terms of equipment is simply brilliant. Hoffman suggests that your durable, non-descript clothing be comfortable yet not portray you as an “undesirable,” such as a skateboarding punk, a cat burglar, or other anti-establishment type. You should carry with you a pair of leather or plastic gloves, a flashlight (perhaps a headlamp would be better), a duffel bag with which to stuff your goodies in (perhaps a crappy daypack would suffice), a very sharp pocketknife that serves as your “bag blade,” and a “dive stick” that is little more than a chopped broom handle with a curved nail “hook” wrapped with electrical tape at the end (this last piece of kit is used to move the bags of trash around in the bin).

There is an enlightening chapter dedicated to all the very personal information people carelessly pitched away that the author managed to collect. Conclusively proving the fears of Frank Abagnale, Hoffman detailed some of the intimate lives of complete strangers solely by what was in their trash. Perhaps cross-cut shredding or even incineration are the only truly effective ways to thwart the more devious, malicious, or just plain spiteful ignominious characters (such as con-artists, or even worse, commies).

I wholeheartedly recommend all political dissidents to read John Hoffman’s The Art and Science of Dumpster Diving. It is an absolutely fascinating expose of an underrated yet devastatingly effective method for countering gluttonous consumer waste. Who knows what other forms of malfeasance by the Establishment can be either solved or at least greatly mitigated by our fellow dumpster divers?