In Defense of Free Speech

Soapbox: Without free speech, civilization can’t survive

In perhaps the most profound message on the importance of man’s freedom, John Milton published “Aeropagitica” in 1644 “in order to deliver the press from the restraints with which it is encumbered” at a time when England censored and required approval of speech and publications. Now, most nations, political groups and religions wish to shackle their populace by inhibiting speech, thought, behavior and the right to disagree and to offend.

These self-appointed censors seek to impose their will directly through blasphemy laws, speech codes, limitations on place and time of expression, the criminalizing and disparaging of differing views, and by invidious animosity and violence against those with whom they disagree.

Suppression by censorship encompasses an astounding litany of examples: the “UN Human Rights Council and the Organization of the Islamic Conference” calls for criminal penalties for the “defamation of religions;” a 16-year-old boy is jailed for criticizing Turkey’s president Erdogan; North Korea threatens Sony Pictures over a satirical movie; Tunisian courts convict rappers for insulting the police; a Modesto College student attempts to pass out the U.S. Constitution, but campus police restrict him to a designated place; a Malaysian Muslim court rules a Christian newspaper may not use the word “Allah”; Condoleezza Rice cancels delivery of an address at Rutgers University; Brandeis University cancels Ayaan Ali’s appearance as a speaker because of her perceived anti-Muslim beliefs; Bill Maher speaks at Berkeley, but the “Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian Coalition” boycotts: “It’s not an issue of freedom of speech, it’s a matter of campus climate. That’s a privilege his racist and bigoted remarks don’t give him;” a Virginia Tech conservative student group was de-funded because of claims that they violated principles of “common humanity”; China controls its internet with a cadre of censors.

This ever-expanding restraint on speech and belief is a tsunami of intolerance, not limited by country, politics, race, or religion. There can be no contrary opinions.

Like the English Star Chamber, groups call for the banning of books, forms of expression, speech and media they define as offensive, blasphemous, pornographic or heresy. They wish to recreate the time when the English Church (the State itself) “regulate[d] Printing: that no book, pamphlet, or paper shall be printed, unless the same be first approved and licensed…,” all in the name of religious doctrinal (or political) purity. Progressives and their political class in the U.S. and Europe, confident in their moral and intellectual superiority, wish to assert control over divergent ideas and expressions by an active intolerance that stifles divergence.

But we must exercise rigor in the defense of free speech against this new thought polizei. The right to dissent, offend, protest, publish or speak contrary ideas, including against any religion or form of government, is the foundation of a free people, the first of the Constitutional amendments.

As Milton said, those who wish to be free must defend against censure, tyranny and superstition: “He who kills a man kills a reasonable creature … but he who destroys a good book (or speech, movie, drawing or debate) destroys reason itself.”

So where are the defenders of freedom and reason now who will speak against this suppression, even if not politically expedient? Without free thought and speech, no civilization can survive.

Gary Callahan lives in Fort Collins.

Obama’s High-Stakes Gamble Handing Domination Of Global Oil Market To Saudis

Obama’s, Saudi Arabia’s beheading of U.S. oil will exact a heavy toll

pesonal liberty

oil pricesThe price of oil is sinking faster than the Titanic. The influence on it is Saudi Arabia, which has opened up the spigots, forcing down the price of oil to $50 per barrel compared to $110 last summer. The big winner in the crude sweepstakes is Saudi Arabia, which is increasing its world market share. The big losers are U.S. petroleum and shale oil producers who can no longer turn a profit. And the man with the sword in his hands is President Barack Obama.

Obama opposed U.S. petroleum drilling even before he took office. Yet he eagerly bows to the Saudi monarch, the ailing King Abdullah. Obama has provided enormous military hardware to the Saudis even as Saudi Arabia continues to fund Sunni terrorists, including the Islamic State (ISIS). Equally startling is that Obama has set the stage for a commodity price collapse, which could cause the worst economic crisis in America since the Great Depression.

Oil insiders believe that the credit Obama has received for the stunning rebound in U.S. petroleum production is contemptible. While the president did promise to open up new areas for exploration, he also clamped down on the offshore drilling following the BP oil spill in April 2010. Obama suspended offshore drilling leases and authorized an investigation of 29 oil rigs in the Gulf. Later, his administration ordered a six-month offshore drilling moratorium enforced by the U.S. Department of the Interior. That ended only when a federal judge lifted the moratorium, finding it too broad, arbitrary and unjustified.

A Forbes headline in March 2012 declared, “President Obama Has An Oil Problem.” The writer, Robert Bradly Jr., wrote: “In addition to dragging its feet on existing oil sources, the Obama administration has taken blatantly anti-oil actions.”

At the same time, the Obama administration has provided enormous support to Riyadh. In 2010, the Obama administration pulled off the largest arms deal ever. It was a $60.5 billion sale to Saudi Arabia of weapons with offensive capabilities.

Now with Obama’s blessing, Saudi overproduction of crude is in full swing. Last year, petroleum prices underwent their second largest annual decline in history. That has been great news for American drivers. But the cost of Saudi oil dominance cannot simply be measured at the gas pump. ConocoPhillips, a major player in the U.S. shale industry, has announced that it will “defer significant investment” in U.S. shale oil until returns look more promising. That isn’t likely until oil prices recover to more than $65 per barrel.

 

Deflation: The coming collapse of commodity prices

The global impact of crashing crude is what worries me most. Last month, Goldman Sachs reported nearly $1 trillion in investments in future oil projects will not happen at today’s prices. That was after looking at what was to be the development of 400 of the world’s largest planned oil and gas fields, not including U.S. shale projects. Factor those, and thousands of good-paying American jobs will disappear.

Obama is playing a dangerous game conspiring with Saudi Arabia. If crude prices continue to fall, as I believe they will, to below $40 per barrel, it will have a crippling impact on the commodity markets. We are almost certain to see Obama’s trickle “down” economics to do far more than just cripple the budding U.S. oil shale industry. I predict that in 2015 every resource industry from agriculture to mining is going to begin a serious decline that may last until the end of this decade.

Last year, billionaire and Obama confidante Warren Buffet was purchasing up wind farms. Buffet is shrewd. In five years, wind farms may be the only farms worth owning. I witnessed it before in the early 1980s when crashing oil prices crippled not only oil-dependent states like Texas and Alaska but also farm and mining states like Nebraska, Iowa and Idaho.

I saw the farming crisis firsthand when I was 22 and writing for a cattle magazine. I already had a general understanding of the boon years of the 1970s and the enormous correction that was occurring then, in the early ’80s, because my uncle owned a 2,000-acre mixed farm. He was lucky to sell out near the top, but many of our family’s friends who knew of no other way of life were bankrupted.

During those first years as a young writer, I would sometimes be driving through farm country. I saw the devastation.

According to Neil E. Harl, an Iowa State economics professor, more than three percent of the 2.4 million farmers in the U.S. left the farm each year in the early 1980s. In 1985, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported net farm income fell by nearly one-third during the first half of that decade. As farm commodity values declined, farmland values plunged. And that broke the backs of tens of thousands of farmers and ranchers.

 

Saudi Arabia and Barack Obama: A sinister alliance?

At my next job as an investment writer, I saw the same havoc in the mining industry. The Idaho Silver Valley, which had provided so many jobs to miners in the ’70s, was abandoned in the ’80s. Those families that stayed on were mostly impoverished as mine upon mine shut down. Today, the region — including surrounding cities like Spokane, Washington, and Great Falls, Montana — is a remnant of what it was during the boon in the ’70s.

It seems Obama is providing too much to Saudi Arabia where Christianity is illegal and where weekly beheadings draw large audiences. Even more disturbing is that Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest financial backer of the worst jihadist groups, including ISIS. WikiLeaks disclosed a 2009 State Department communication by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton which read, “[D]onors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”

So even as Obama promises to fight Islamic extremism, he is backing the very kingdom that is backing the crazies who want to kill Americans. Others agree, including Larry Klayman, whose article was published last Saturday by WND:

Indeed, under the “leadership” of our “Black-Muslim in Chief” — who favors all things African and Islamic over the rest of us — it is likely that the nation and the world is about to explode at any moment. Things have simply been simmering along for too long for this not to occur at some point.

Obama continues to put America more at risk each passing month. His close relationship with Saudi Arabia should alone have him impeached but of course he is almost untouchable because of his heritage and his powerful friends in and out of government. As we begin 2015, the nation faces an impending deflationary collapse.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers

John Myers is editor of Myers’ Energy and Gold Report. The son of C.V. Myers, the original publisher of Oilweek Magazine, John has worked with two of the world’s largest investment publishers, Phillips and Agora. He was the original editor for Outstanding Investments and has more than 20 years experience as an investment writer. John is a graduate of the University of Calgary. He has worked for Prudential Securities in Spokane, Wash., as a registered investment advisor. His office location in Calgary, Alberta, is just minutes away from the headquarters of some of the biggest players in today’s energy markets. This gives him personal access to everyone from oil CEOs to roughnecks, where he learns secrets from oil insiders he passes on to his subscribers. Plus, during his years in Spokane he cultivated a network of relationships with mining insiders in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

The Shattering of Personal Illusions

We are entering an era of shattered illusions

pesonal liberty

shattered010515The structure of history is held together by two essential and distinct kinds of links, two moments in time to which no one is immune: moments of epiphany and moments of catastrophe. Sometimes, both elements intermingle at the birth of a singular epoch. Men often awaken to understanding in the midst of great crisis; and, invariably, great crises can erupt when men awaken. These are the moments when social gravity vanishes, when the kinetic glue of normalcy melts away, and we begin to see the true foundations of our world, if a foundation exists at all.

Catastrophe occurs when too many people refuse to accept that around us always are two universes at work. There is the cold, hard reality that underlies everything. And on the surface is a veil of deceit and compromise. The more humanity compromises vital truths in order to enjoy the comfort of illusions, the more mind-shattering it will be when those illusions fall away. These two worlds can coexist only for short periods of time, and they will always and eventually collide. There is no other possible outcome.

I think it could also be said that the more polarized our realities become, the more explosive and disastrous the reaction will be when the separation is removed. I feel it absolutely necessary to relate this danger because today humanity is living so historically far from the bedrock of reality, political reality, social reality and economic reality that the stage has been set for a kind of full spectrum destabilization that has never been seen before.

Though my analysis tends to lean toward the economic side of things, I am not only speaking of shattered illusions in the financial realm. In my next article, one last time I plan to go over nearly every mainstream economic statistic used today to misdirect the public (from national debt to unemployment to inflation to retail sales and corporate profits) and expose why they are false while giving you the real numbers. Most of my regular readers are familiar with much of this information, but I think it important to consolidate it all in a single article so that we can take stock of where our society sits fiscally as we enter 2015. For now, though, I want to discuss the core problem of self-deception, the problem that makes all the rest of our problems possible.

When the initial phase of the global collapse was triggered in 2007 and 2008, there was a massive explosion in interest and education in terms of liberty issues and alternative economic awareness. I remember back in 2006 when I had just begun writing for the movement that the ratio of people on any given Web forum or in any given public discussion was vastly opposed to alternative viewpoints and information — at least 50-1 by my observations. We were at the height of the real estate frenzy; everyone was buying houses with money they didn’t have and borrowing on their mortgages to purchase stuff they didn’t need. Life was good. The shock of the credit crisis came quickly and abruptly for most people, and there has been a considerable shift in the kinds of discussions many are willing to entertain about our future. Yet the idea that such things can happen despite a consensus of social and geopolitical health does not seemed to have soaked into the thick skulls of the average person.

Time, unfortunately, has a magical ability to erase vigilance. It’s not that the public has necessarily forgotten that danger can strike anytime anywhere (though some of them have). Many of them know full well that our culture is floating on a paper-thin ship in a turbulent sea. However, the disturbing trend today reveals that people have decided they do not care. “Taking the blue pill” is the rising rally cry from the so-called “new normal.” Yes, the economy is an illusion, the political system is an illusion and the various global conflicts our society participates in are mostly illusions. But we “can’t do anything about it,” so we might as well profit from these illusions while we can, right?

It was said during the economic collapse of the 1930s that the Great Depression was a depression only for the 30 percent of people that had lost everything. For the employed and the financially secure, the depression was much like any other time. This is the point at which we stand today. With nearly a third of the U.S. population kicked off the unemployment rolls and approximately half the country dependent on a government check of some kind for their survival, the current depression is only now beginning to feel like a depression for anyone. The soup lines have received a fresh candy coating of EBT cards and welfare payments. But the illusion is finally fading, and this should be of great concern to us all in 2015.

Even more frightening is our culture’s deluded sense of what a collapse actually looks like. For many, collapse is a cinematic and overnight affair, with zombies, nuclear bombs and mass panic. In real life, and throughout history, collapse is a process. Since at least 2008, the U.S. and the rest of the world have been experiencing that process. Everyone is waiting for equities to implode and for social unrest to erupt before they take the threat seriously, but these are not signals of collapse. These are the things that occur when a collapse has run its course. Collapse never occurs overnight. It takes years for the effects of social and fiscal breakdown to be visibly felt. And when they are felt, many people refuse to notice. Eighty years ago, America was halfway through the Great Depression, and mainstream economists were still claiming that recovery was right around the corner. Illusion and self-deception can be so powerful that the worst miseries can be normalized, at least for a little while.

And it isn’t only the general public that is stricken with crippling bias. There are those within the liberty movement who have bought into false paradigms for various reasons. There are those who still think that the “conflict” between Eastern and Western politicians and banking elites is somehow real. There are those who believe that Russia and China, despite their numerous and undeniable ties to the global banking syndicate (information I have covered in multiple articles over the years), are the good guys, while Western nations are the bad guys, rather than them all being mere subsidiaries and franchises of the same monstrous globalist machine.

They hold onto this illusion, I think, because it is much more frightening to accept the reality that we are alone, that the liberty movement is the first and last line of defense against centralization, that the responsibility for the future of independence and individual freedom rests on our shoulders. It is much easier to fantasize that there are others out there, nations and governments with armies and capital, that are on our side and will fight our battles for us. This illusion will be a painful one for many in the movement as they begin to realize that the East is actually working in tandem with international financiers instead of working against them.

There are also those in the liberty movement who cling to the notion that the fight against globalism will be won without physical conflict. They believe that if we simply protest long enough, play the political and legal game long enough, nullify long enough, refuse to participate long enough, that the elitist edifice, an edifice which has existed for centuries and has manipulated historical precedence for just as long, will suddenly disappear in a puff of fairy dust.

The first problem with this strategy is that it relies on the assumption of time. Sure, anything is possible given ample opportunity. Perhaps the movement could grind away at the New World Order over the course of several decades until the majority of the masses are awake and aware (which is exactly how long it would take). However, I think it infinitely foolish to presume that we have decades to accomplish such a task. If the past has shown us anything, it is that tyranny does not respect reason and, at a certain point, couldn’t care less about image. Tyranny respects only power. It does not respect the protestations of ants it can crush under foot, but it will make a wide path around a rattlesnake ready to strike. While there is utility in the pursuit of intellectual and philosophical combat, if you are not willing to be the rattlesnake as well, then you are not going to effect change against such an opponent. You will eventually be stepped on.

The refusal to accept responsibility for one’s own defense is yet another product of fear — fear that the enemy is too powerful, that all resistance is futile. But resistance is only assured failure if resistance is never undertaken. Sheeple defeat themselves within their own minds before they ever stand up, so they never stand. This is the only reason totalitarian elements ever achieve success. Again, many in the liberty movement are going to face a rude awakening when they realize they have relied too much on the notion of the system policing itself, instead of preparing for the worst-case scenario.

And finally, the globalists themselves suffer from a veritable fog of illusions to which I can speak only briefly.

We are stepping over the threshold of an age that will shatter the illusions of everyone, and the internationalists are no exception. The root pillar of elitist globalism itself is that some men are born to rule, while other men are born to serve. Some men are born kings, and other men are born slaves. The psychopathy of this belief system should be evident, but psychopathy also elicits blinding ego and hubris, which smothers any inherent questions of motive. I do not think the elites ever actually consider the validity of their own philosophies. I am relatively certain their manner of viewing the world is much like that of a cult, a religious sect driven by the brutality of zealotry rather than the empowering nature of understanding.

Such men cannot be reasoned with. In fact, zealots often revel in their ability to trample all other world views as they grasp for complete dominance of their ideology. The illusion of rightness is far more important to them than actual truth, and this is their greatest weakness. Hidden under all the posturing and power grabbing, deep in the recesses of their own assumed omnipotence, I sense an ever present terror within the globalist culture. I sense a terror that comes only from the seed of doubt.

The incredible array of propaganda leveled at the public, the constant war gaming and mind gaming against the citizenry, the endless hailstorm of legal maneuvering designed to erase our sense connection with our natural rights and liberties, the tidal wave of fearmongering, and all the manipulations and scapegoats and elaborate theatrical displays all reek of fear. For if the globalists were truly as omnipotent as they pretend to be — if they really were all-knowing philosopher kings born to rule — then they would already have their New World Order. They would not need lies. They would not need the threat of force. The undeniable power of their ideology would be enough if their ideology actually had any validity. Lies are designed to hide lack of validity and lack of strength. The globalists are, at bottom, a hollow shell desperately clamoring for substance.

The thoroughness of the elitist con exhibits a fundamental doubt of success. The globalists wish they could predict the future, but they cannot. So they are just as afraid as the rest. I believe we are entering an era in which they will feel the stark pain of shattered illusions and the destruction of their own fantasies, no less felt than the pain of the rest of the world.

Our mission as an opposing force to globalism is to come to terms with our own illusions and to overcome them, to stop compromising and to stop waiting for the final shoe to drop and to take positive action now rather than after the endgame develops. This means preparation and organization for the worst-case scenarios. This means making one’s family, neighborhood and community as self-reliant and secure as possible. The excuses have to stop. The distractions and intellectualized silver bullet solutions have to stop. Hard work and risk are all that are left, all that matters. If we do this, and if we do this now, then victory is possible. In any contest of strength and will, he who knows himself best and has shed all illusion will be the winner.

–Brandon Smith