Free speech wouldn’t confuse people so much if they thought a bit more about this term of art in the context of “freedom of the press. ”

Like freedom of speech, everyone — not just “journalists” — has free press rights. But that doesn’t mean that you get to go into the pressroom of your local newspaper and print out your favorite recipes, rants or porn. Your free press rights relate to your owned technology that can be used for transmitting ideas.

If you have a camera, printer, xerox, mimeograph, web press, Internet server, whatever, your free press rights pertain to what you own and may legally control. If the bank comes in and confiscates your press because you have defaulted on the loan, it’s not abridging your free press rights. Though such an act would hinder your press workings, by freedom of contract the bank is OK to do affect your ability “to speak” via the press. 

Arguably, though, if the local mafia barges in and steals it, it does abridge those rights — the mafiosi’s theft is more than mere theft if done to squelch your printing about the mafia’s workings. And, by convention, this applies even more to governments, the traditional enemy of freedom of the press.

Freedom of the press is merely freedom of speech translated into the realm of transmitting speech beyond the reach of your vocalizations.

And, like freedom of speech, freedom of the press is not a fundamental right, no matter how primary a concern it be.

Both are terms of art, and one must have some knowledge of the social world to make sense of them. Not all speech is free speech, and not all press activities are free press actions — but the people who make this point most vociferously usually do so to suppress free speech and press. Which is why the issue is difficult.

twv

Summary Postscript: Both rights depend on property and custom. They are both instances of the basic human right to liberty, which includes the right to acquire, maintain, and divest property on whatever terms you may negotiate.

The Twitter-Pepe image, above, is by
Who Knows found on the You Know What.

When the New Atheist Movement became all the rage, after the events of 9/11/01, I was so jaded about the subject that I paid it scant attention. I was more than familiar with Richard Dawkins’s work, true enough, especially The Selfish Gene, and was mildly interested in his new stance against not only Christianity but Islam. Few dared say negative things about Islam, so I considered him something of a hero. But not an awe-inspiring one.

The second major figure in the New Atheist Movement was Christopher Hitchens, my favorite socialist. Or quasi-ex-socialist. He was glib, a first-rate writer, fast on his feet — or tongue — and did a good job in debates. But his book God Is Not Great sported what I thought of as such a horrible thesis — spelled out in one of its subtitles, How Religion Poisons Everything — that I had to distance myself a bit, no matter how atheistic I may be. Indeed am. Further, his reaction against “Islamofascism,” as he called it, led him to support the West’s jihad against Muslim countries, thereby stirring the nest and exacerbating the situation, or, as F. Marion Crawford put it long ago, “sew dragon’s teeth.” As I argued at the time, exactly the wrong policy: if Islam is so dangerous, best not to poke it over and over again.

The third figure in this movement is perhaps the most important, philosopher Daniel Dennett. But, as near as I could make out, Dennett suffered from being wrong on the issues in which he carved out somewhat unique positions. I was more a John Searle man.

The fourth “horseman” of this atheistic quartet, said to be so revelatory as to be “apocalyptic,” was Sam Harris. And he was my least favorite. He spoke well. He seemed thoughtful. He was obviously smart enough. But his most interesting positions were, like Dennett’s, ones in which he was clearly wrong. And, like Hitchens, his political stances seemed, uh, worse than reactionary: exacerbatory! So I never really paid him much attention.

But the man is influential. And he is a part of the “regressive” left, even if he wishes to see himself as against that movement.

Be that as it may, I mention my initial impressions of Harris early on in the latest LocoFoco podcast, featuring David Ramsay Steele:

Steele is preparing a book of “Critical Responses” to Sam Harris, so Lee Waaks invited Mr. Steele to talk with us on the LocoFoco Netcast, which you can view on Rumble:

I encourage you to go to Rumble and Locofoco.Locals.com and sign up for my feeds. Or even send me money, to encourage me to make more videos. Whereas I know I am just learning this craft, you have to admit that Lee’s and my guests are always interesting. Very interesting. Yes?

twv

There is nothing particularly mysterious about the anti-diplomacy surrounding the Russia-Ukraine war, or, for that matter, the FTX scandal. When a ruling elite loses its intellectual bearings and what the ancient Chinese called “the Mandate of Heave” (but what we might call, loosely, the consent of the governed), it needs two things: money and an enemy.

Our ruling elites, which are largely “Democratic” — most civilian government employees are Democrats — know, now, only how to scam us, not to rule even close to wisely. The current situation shows it: inflation, supply chain problems, debt, war. The elites’ policies exacerbate (if not outright cause) each and every one of these disasters.

So they need an enemy to unite us against it.

The enemy chosen and nurtured: Russia.

The comedy is that Democrats have almost been compelled to build up Russia as an enemy ever since Obama mocked Romney for suggesting it. 

The tragedy is that it could lead to World War III and the destruction of our civilization and much of the life on the planet.

America’s actual enemy — less comic, more ominous, and chosen by Democrats for decades as an ally to build up — is, of course, China. Russia serves as a cover for all the past corrupt dealings with China, which have been going on since the Clinton Administration at least.

The Ukraine defense, which Democrats have backed as if Democracy Itself were on the line (they’ve said as much, but then they always do), has been funded with billions in aid. But this past week the weirdest financing effort was revealed: “the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire” (as MSN’s MarketWatch put it) and the formalized bankruptcy of FTX, the cryptocurrency, and the key parts played by both the Ukrainian Government and American Democrat politicians. 

Tucker Carlson drew the circlular flow chart, this week, where U.S. Government subsidies to Ukraine were put into FTX, and how FTX’s “genius” founder, Bankman-Fried, then turned that into “charity.” Which somehow includes tens of millions to Democrats for their mid-term election campaigns.

This over-shadows Iran-Contra and Bernie Madoff combined. It seems as if scripted for some dark comic epic, with even the financial culprit’s name being satirical: BANKMAN FRIED???? It’s as if the Norns have been slipping stitches while in stitches over an over-imbibing of ’shrooms.

Events are moving too quickly now to follow easily. The desperation of the players becomes obvious, now that Ukraine has bombed Poland hoping to up America’s (NATO’s) war footing to DEFCON-11.

But there’s no deep mystery. This is how elites and empires fall. With lies, financial corruption, and death all around.

twv

We have inflation because we let inflationists have power:

The Century Company (1927; 1942).
Columbia River, northern shore, a few months ago.

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It’s always been “a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” for (say some) there never was and never will be a real vaccine against these coronaviruses.

The fact (now established) that the pharmaceutical companies did not study their products’ capacity to reduce transmission, and the fact (now established) that the “vaccines” do not effectively reduce transmission to a significant degree (in most areas, it is the vaccinated who are getting and transmitting the virus), that means these pharmaceutical products fail at the one thing people really want in a vaccine: stopping an epidemic.

Now, the vaccines have accomplished one thing: a redefinition of what a vaccine is. We rubes always thought the goal was to stop infections, to bring down rates of transmissability to make the disease in question a rare and not a common event. But we were wrong. We were focusing on the major successes of vaccines, not the nature of all vaccines. One does not take a rabies vaccine to prevent getting rabies: such infections are rare events. One takes a rabies injection so that one survives infection.

You will occasionally encounter a knowledgeable person who will you instruct you on this (in haughty tones; typical for modern argumentation). And one’s proper response should be, at first, “oh, yeah: you’re right.” But then one should interrogate old epidemiological protocols which warn against pushing vaccines during epidemics. The time to push preventative vaccination is during lull periods. Ask your haughty friends about that. Better yet, ask an expert.

What happened this time around was that government-certified and -subsidized experts pushed an ameliorative* vaccine in a time of a pandemic, and did so within the context of a psychological operation (that is, an ad campaign) touting its expected ability not to ameliorate symptoms and disastrous consequences (cytocine storm; death) but to stop the spread of infections.

Other things were also done to stop the spread: mandates for mask-wearing, lockdowns and general “social distancing.”

The upshot of these latter has been shown to be ineffective.

It is more controversial to say the vaccines have been ineffective. And it is still ultra-controversial to question the “side-effects” of the two primary vaccine types, both of which focused on the infamous “spiked protein,” and which some of us have been warning about from the beginning: that this specific protein may be dangerous in and of itself, and using it to elicit some “immune” response is a very dangerous thing.

It is also, somehow, still controversial to bring up many other related topics, like noting that immune responses are themselves dangerous (since that is what a cytokine storm is) or that natural immunity is an effective and important element in fighting off even new diseases or that some cures can be worse than the disease they aim to cure.

//\\

As in a real swamp, The Swamp’s predators don’t all work together; unlike in a real swamp, it’s filled with packs that do work together: no One Over-arching Conspiracy, but a myriad conspiracies that often fit together. They are united, in the main, to keep The Swamp undrained.

//\\

The essence of the State is the transfer of wealth from some to others, under the banner of serving all, but with the insiders always taking the house cut. It is easy to understand in theory. But in practice?

A month ago I met a Russian-Ukrainian American at the beach, and we chatted. He’d been told about FTX, the cryptocurrency. He was under the impression that it was legit. The next big thing, it was touted to him, designed to provide a backbone to a new world financial system.

It now proves to have been a way for its creators to ponzi up a huge fortune, and for Democrats to launder money from subsidized Ukraine to pay for the 2022 mid-terms. It is quite the scandal. It’s in the news.

And Democrats will use its implosion to “regulate crypto,” which will get for them even more power.

The sheer corrupt evil that is the Democratic Party apparently knows no bounds.

As for future monetary innovation, I am only interested in cash. I would prefer it to be based upon — or better yet consisting of — gold and silver. That is what Outside Money should be. I just don’t see blockchain performing a decent function as store of value, much for less mechanism of trade. I think the U.S. should establish a standard, and then allow businesses to mint coins with one side being an advertisement, the obverse being the guarantor agency (U.S. Mint, to begin with).

Forget crypto. It was a nifty idea, but it is has several huge defects.

And the Democratic Party Machine must die.

//\\

I’ve never really been a conservative, and my heresies and apostasy are not in doubt. But I’ve never not “believed” in The Gods of the Copybook Headings.

//\\

Jack Gaughan, artist cover illustration for Jack Vance’s The Brains of Earth. 1966, Ace Books.

//\\

* I use “ameliorative” not because that’s the common medical term of art, the common adjective for this function, but because it’s such a good word . . . that I’d not used in decades.

\\|||//

Two new initialisms to consider: ASS and ASSS.

The American constitutional order is made up of the several states, united, and a limited federal government, consisting of three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial.

But that’s the paper order.

The real order of the United States is a military-industrial complex conservatorship, with the federal government not serving the states but itself, first snd foremost, and buying off the populace with bennies, secondarily. This Nation State is made up of two post-constitutional elements, primarily:

1. The American Security State [ASS], consisting of the Pentagon and what we call the Deep State, and

2. The American Social Security System [ASSS], consisting of the biggest “domestic” budgets, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid — and closely allied programs.

Between ASS and ASSS, Americans are put into subject status, serviles to a bureaucratic and military order. 

Both would have to be demolished for Americans to be free.

twv

To repeat a suspicion first aired by me in 2020: the reason we have had as many COVID deaths as we did (and they may not be as many as the America’s official tallies say) is that government, media and the pharmaceutical industry suppressed discussion and implementation of traditional and seat-of-pants therapeutics and standard emergency doctoring in order to legally allow for the fast-tracking of “vaccines” that did not work as billed.

In addition to blaming Fauci and Birx and the above-mentioned culprit institutions, the chief focus of blame must go to Wanna-Be Messiah Donald J. Trump, and then to his most ardent haters, the mobs of Trump-hating Democrats, and their elitist pol whip-masters, who found a way to leverage the pandemic over-reaction into a clever swamping of the electoral system to install a demented old nabob pervert into the White House.

The perfidy here is tremendous, and I blame them all. The charge is mass murder, perhaps genocide. And culpability accrues to Biden voters as well, perhaps, to future Trump voters.

A lot of people have a lot of soul-searching to do.

twv

Be sure to send in your dollars so that the Democratic Party can install more brain-damaged individuals into the Imperial City’s “sacred halls of democracy” to rule over us just as the plutocrats demand.

The Sheep Must Be Shorn,
and Into Mutton Made

I mentioned it at the time, but it bears repeating: the whole “flatten the curve” program was conceived as national, while the pandemic was regional and seasonal. It was all about saving the hospitals from overuse by COVID patients. That was the rationale. Do voters remember this rationale, this excuse? 

Most areas shut down had insignificant amounts of infection, and were NOT clogging their hospitals. In April 2020, I took a friend to the hospital. It was nearly empty. The stressor on the hospitals in the Pacific Northwest was not COVID but the lockdown. The hospital staff was even mumbling about lack of revenue in the hospital, with an undercurrent of worry for the people who [they thought, not implausibly] needed treatment.

The whole thing was crazy. Yet Americans went along with it, like dutiful sheep willing to be fleeced or slaughtered, and as many states’ governors forced the lockdowns to go on for month after month, fearing (apparently) breakouts of the disease in their states, and that they would be blamed for them if they did not extend lockdowns. And then, by huge clicks of the memetic ratchet, the issue became partisan! What a gloriously ridiculous clustermuck.

The damage done to the spirits and health of the people is still incalculable. Yet my state’s idiot governor was voted in for another term.

The explicit case for lockdowns only made sense in certain regions. National lockdowns never made sense. Federation-wide lockdowns made no sense. And while it is easy to blame the several states, the whole horrid exercise was initiated by Trump and his team of “experts.”

In the “national” capital.

twv

Addendum: Of course, there are still partisans of lockdowns and mask mandates here in the West. These people are, as near as I can tell, just letting out their inner Mao.

If you make a case against a public group for advocating and working towards a goal that you think most people would be against, if it were “up for a vote,” and they call you a “conspiracy theorist” for making the charge, there’s a good bet that there is an actual conspiracy involved in the background, which you cannot see.

But remember: they — the media, the partisans who support the plan, the usual “intellectuals” — brought up conspiracy. This is a tell. They would support it if it were a conspiracy, and they may themselves be in on the scheme.

I’ve identified more than one of these quasi-conspiracies in the recent past. The Great Reset is a case in point:

But is it a conspiracy?
Well, it’s been out in the open. So: no.
But then notice something: the people who have brought up the alarm about this “open” policy advocacy and planning have repeatedly been called “conspiracy theorists.” And, therefore, are regarded commonly as fringe, as nutty. Examples include Glenn Beck (with a new book out on the subject, I hear) and the indefatigable Alex Jones.
This calumny marginalizes opposition to the policy (The Great Reset), insulating it from criticism — or even open discussion. It means that people generally can ignore the process of fascification.
So, I’d call the Davos-devised, globalist Great Reset a “quasi-conspiracy.” Its openness is obscured by psy-op.

And it is one of many reasons I no longer freak out when someone brings up actual conspiracies. Methinks the establishment doth protest too much.

twv