Mr. Obama Goes to Washington
Today's dream inaugurates tomorrow's reality

There are three things that can not remain long hidden:
the sun, the moon, and the truth. — Buddha

Any libertarian analyst/columnist approaches the eve of the Obama administration with a thousand hopes tempered by a million sobering thoughts.  In a guest column last week posted via my indefatigable and perceptive friends over there at Downsize DC, I noted the positive moves we have modest expectations to see... based on our president's (OP's)[1] statements:

  • Close Guantanamo
  • End the policy of torture
  • Abide by the Constitution

Good stuff that.

And most decidedly I'm thrilled beyond measure to have a president with a brain and a heart, a man to whom reasoned argument makes a difference. It is difficult to convey the level of pure detestment that afflicted my feelings toward the <man who is leaving>.. and who may be prosecuted for murder.

Will OP walk the talk, advance the freedom agenda?  

At least on the peace and civil liberties front?

In that Downsize DC guest column, Jim Babka brings up the explicit bill presented to Congress October 17, 2007, by—never guess—Ron Paul, entitled The American Freedom Agenda Act.  The law would restore all the liberties (and more) that Obama has stated he wants; presumably Mr. Obama—as smart as he is and as schooled in constitutional law—realizes this modest measure from Dr. Paul will give material reality to OP's stentorian-voiced sentiments.  "Hey, OP.  Will there be beef?"

Cleaning up some of my articles and columns bookmarked through the past year, I note this one from July by the old-guard media curmudgeon Robert Scheer: "Obama on the Brink."  (Scheer is one of those media pit bulls of stature that the Oligarchy's M3I[2] has not been entirely successful in stifling.) Scheer states, "Barack Obama is betraying his promise of change and is in danger of becoming just another political hack." Noting that OP supports a) abandonment of FISA protections, b) "embracing, rather than challenging, the fundamental irrationality of Bush's 'war on terror,'" and c) continuation of the quagmire—not to mention the humanitarian catastrophe —of US aggression in Afghanistan.  

Scheer points out that Gates, whom at the time OP was inclined to keep at head of Defense (and which OP has now kept), as former head of the CIA, is the ultimate insider of the national security establishment... hence, an ominous indication that the juggernaut of Neocon-tinged imperialism was hardly going to grind to a halt as many sane people were hoping. Then add Zbigniew Brzezinski (Gesundheit!) as national security wonk, who many in the libertarian foreign policy underground regard as Darth Vader[3]. Fortunately, he's in his 80s now, so both his figurative and literal teeth may start falling out, leaving him less vicious a threat to the human species.

Countering what seems to be dark business as usual on the foreign- and military-policy front is the fact that the new attorney general, Eric Holder, has shown signs that he will seek some sort of prosecution for war crimes and torture.  Consider the two questions posed by John Cusack.  I watched as Holder was "grilled" the other night during his confirmation hearings, and he at least left open the door to the concept of punishing people for crimes against the Constitution.  And yes, he agrees waterboarding is torture.

To answer my own question, on the peace and civil liberties front, will OP stand and deliver?  I think we can clearly state right now OP's administration will stand head and shoulders above its predecessors... or at least head... perhaps forehead only.  But better, okay?

What about the economy, silly?

Well, ladies and germs, on the economic front I'm not nearly so sanguine about what an OP presidency portends.  Mainly because I see no signs that OP and his flotilla of "brilliant guys" have learned anything from history.[4] Let's see, what does history say about government-planned economies and massive government spending—I believe we can safely assert that whatever OP's "economic stimulus" package morphs into, it will require massive government spending—to fix economic problems?  

Well, the jury is still out.  OP has not taken office yet, and there's a fighting chance Mr. Obama will have talked to Ron Paul and/or the libertarian scholars/activists in his entourage—truth be told any such individuals are on the periphery of his entourage—and come to an understanding of free market principles.  Or maybe he's going to spring his heretofore camouflaged free market principles on us when he takes office—I have heard OP is going to support charter schools, for example.

In any case, the reality of our lives here and now will out, and that is good; the state is only the state, and what truly matters is life as we individually make it in the neighborhood irrespective of central government.  F the state.  The engines of political power or oppression have no impact on the fact of our immense value as individuals. Someday our species will get beyond the aggression principle, and perhaps Barack Obama is the guy who best helps us make that transition.

Mr. Obama is after all only a human individual, and I think he'd be the first to admit that.  So if he's travelling down a road that doesn't work, and real people call in to tell him so, I believe he'll be responsive.  The fact of his election as an exceptional person from a minority background cannot be overstated; and what is most important is the fact of his independent mind... if in fact that is a fact.  I'm enormously hopeful despite all my sobering thoughts to the contrary.

As an American human I don't want to come off as solely analytical about this historic occasion.  I have deep feelings about my country and loving feelings toward those who honestly try to lead.  I'm watching the speech, I like the guy, I think the world of his wife and his girls, and I have a big ol' helping of audacious hope.  I want him and us to be successful.  I don't want to see him fall in with the wrong crowd.

Smart guys have tried this before... which gets me back to the whole point that the OP team is not out to "save the humans." These (literally) bloody geniuses know that central planning is a joke, they know that massive government-contrived spending merely represents large-scale confiscation and redeployment of wealth that voluntary choices of humans—the market—would not accomplish.  (That's why it's a free market: nobody is forced to make an economic decision that makes no sense to him.)  They know what they're doing is bad for us, and that's why they're doing it.

So guess who the "economic stimulus" package is going to stimulate. Yup, you betcha, the same folks who brought you the Wall Street bailout, the same people who are the undisclosed recipients of the largest one-day ripoff in history: the banksters.  After several hundred $billion in wealth transfer, reasonable citizens have lost track of the exact number; Bloomberg News was rebuffed when it asked the central bank to disclose the recipients of $2 trillion in emergency loans.[5]

Yes, we do not exactly know the number of additional Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs) the OP economic team will decide to put in play allegedly for Main Street.  I've heard $850 billion.  What have you heard?  It seems to change with the daily snowfall predicted in Poughkeepsie.  In any case, one may be sure that it will be a catastrophic number.  Some say, "Why are you being so negative, Brian?  Surely, providing that amount of money to distressed companies and individuals or giving it to governments to 'build infrastructure' will be helpful."

And if wishes were horses beggars would ride.

Government 101: The distinguishing characteristic of government is that it wields legalized force—guns, badges, jail cells, robes, subpoenas, injunctions, SWAT teams to round up dope smokers and talk show hosts, etc.  Government doesn't create wealth.  So when the government spends money, it has to either a) take the money in taxes or b) borrow the money to be paid back eventually with the money it takes in taxes.  So if the government is spending $850 billion, that means the government is taking $850 billion from "everyone" and giving it—minus the administrative fees—to "someone" that "everyone" would not have given it to... otherwise "everyone" would have already given it to "someone" without being forced.

Well, no need to beat this horse to a bloody pulp.

Anyone who has read OP's campaign book realizes that if the government attempts to fund 1/100 of what Obama wants to do, then OP will be breaking his campaign pledge not to spend money he doesn't have... about one nanosecond after he occupies the Oval Office.  So far his "no have, no spend" pledge is the only fig leaf obscuring the storm clouds of naked economic aggression heading our way.  That and perhaps the fig leaf pertaining to "infrastructure."

As I mentioned to a friend, "Ol' Henry Thoreau's words still ring loud and true: 'The government has never aided any enterprise except by the alacrity with which it gets out of the way.'"  This is true of infrastructure, probably more than anything else. If somehow Obama can remove the myriad subsidies and financial incentives for existing barnacles on the ass of progress in the realm of transportation, energy, communications, and what have you, then we may see some rationalization of the infrastructure problem.  But you don't do that by spending money; you do that by taking away pork barrels and privileges that a free market would not confer.

Still, we're being led down the primrose path toward financial doom. And it's a path prepared by a litany of voices from the left to the effect that the myriad crimes of the Bush administration—economic and otherwise —constitute living proof that laissez faire capitalism (the uncoerced free market) is dead.  I wrote about this "free market is dead" phenomenon a couple of weeks ago.  

Now for sure, anyone who's paying attention can see how the left and the right are merely two sides of the same money-power coin, and spew two versions of essentially the identical conventional wisdom: i.e. "trust the mighty Oz."  Each side points a finger at the other accusing it of failing to carry out the national interest as defined by <these good people over here>, where "these good people over here" of either side are carefully controlled and used for continued, sophisticated plunder by the elites.  

Now the illusion is dying and we see the banksters behind the curtain.

Pomp and spectacle over substance?

Today, I can count on one finger the number of even my nonpolitical friends who believe anything they watch on TV regarding national public affairs... except perhaps a begrudging vote total for Ron Paul in a primary.  Zogby tells us that less than half the population believes the government and media are not engaged in deceit about 9/11.  The public was overwhelmingly against the Wall Street bailout.  The brainwashing isn't working any longer.

When Obama takes the oath on Tuesday "... to the best of [his] ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution," every propaganda-news organization in the world will be on hand to promote the spectacle... and to minimize the significance of those words in his mind and in ours. Don't let them get away with it.  

Hold Our President to his oath.  If Obama and that shady bunch he seems to have fallen in with stiffs us and goes ahead with the measures outlined above, which violate Constitutional liberty, then his regime will end in disgrace.  On the other hand, if he embraces his oath, his administration can become the shot heard round the world for liberty's renewal... for everyone.  Live up to the dream of Martin Luther King: freedom.

What will it be?  We'll know fairly quickly.

PS: By coincidence Martin Luther King Day was observed for the first time on January 20, 1986 (it is now annually celebrated on the third Monday of January), which is close to MLK's birthday, January 16, 1929.  He would have just turned 80 years old.  For inspiration, here's a link to the text of King's I Have a Dream Speech. The stirring speech was delivered August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial; here's an audio link, too.  A fitting message of hope that unites Americans in a quest for a better future.  
Go Bama Go.


[1] OP = Our President; I've been searching for a good nickname that isn't disrespectful but conveys—perhaps, as it may turn out, sarcastically—one of the major qualities that was advertised, and commonly believed: that "this presidency isn't about 'me,' it's about 'you'."  Indeed, he's shown signs of wanting to make this government our own. So much so that Arianna Huffington has endorsed a program for video-recording and publicizing one's own oath of office coincident with the new president's solemn oath on Tuesday.
    We know the Secret Service and other federal agencies refer to the president as POTUS (President of the United States); I'm suggesting that OP is a cuter and more meaningful alternative.

[2] mainstream media mind-control industry

[3] Brzezinski is implicated in the architecting of the 9/11 attacks. There are two watershed documents that apply: 1) the Project for a New American Century's (PNAC's) publication: Rebuilding America's Defenses (2000) which argues for using any pretext to deploy military forces to grab oil-rich properties in the Middle East ("Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.") and, 2) Zbigniew Brzezinski's book, The Grand Chessboard (1997) ("[the American public] had supported America's engagement in WW2 largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor."), which argues that such an attack is necessary if naturally uninterested Americans are going to rise to the challenge of militarily intimidating the rest of the world.

[4] Actually, I no longer think it's a question of "not knowing."  Every one of the economic advisers and implementors on the OP team is an integral member of the Western Oligarchy (what I've been, I think imaginatively, designating as the Kleptocons) that's been around for, like, well, forever.  
     For example, they know what happens when the government implements a central bank, they know what happens when you execute this specific policy or that one, they know who's going to benefit and who's going to lose, and—guess what—their guys benefit and all us regular schmucks lose.
    It's like the Zionist occupational military government of Israel, it knows that its soldiers and air forces are responsible for genocide of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.  Sure in the news services, some Israeli general may be shown spouting humanitarian platitudes, but just as the commandants who ran the death camps of Europe in the Nazi-and-Soviet era, the Zionist leaders know what they're doing... like any ordinary wanton criminal with delusions of <something>.
    When a Jewish Zionist member of the UK Parliament charges that Israelis are behaving as Nazis in the Gaza Strip—and the UK should suspend Israeli aid—then you can have a pretty clear idea where the truth lies.

[5] On Friday December 12, 2007, the Fed refused a request by Bloomberg News to disclose the recipients of approximately $2 trillion in emergency loans from US taxpayers and what assets the Bank is accepting as collateral.


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