Jun 072013

Thomas Jefferson was a remarkable man who started learning very early in life and never stopped.

At 5, began studying under his cousin’s tutor.

At 9, studied Latin, Greek and French.

At 14, studied classical literature and additional languages.

At 16, entered the College of William and Mary.

At 19, studied Law for 5 years starting under George Wythe.

At 23, started his own law practice.

At 25, was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses.

At 31, wrote the widely circulated “Summary View of the Rights of British America and retired from his law practice.

At 32, was a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress.

At 33, wrote the Declaration of Independence.

At 33, took three years to revise Virginia’s legal code and wrote a Public Education bill and a statute for Religious Freedom.

At 36, was elected the second Governor of Virginia succeeding Patrick Henry.

At 40, served in Congress for two years.

At 41, was the American minister to France and negotiated commercial treaties with European nations along with Ben Franklin and John Adams.

At 46, served as the first Secretary of State under George Washington.

At 53, served as Vice President and was elected president of the American Philosophical Society.

At 55, drafted the Kentucky Resolutions and became the active head of Republican Party.

At 57, was elected the third president of the United States.

At 60, obtained the Louisiana Purchase doubling the nation’s size.

At 61, was elected to a second term as President.

At 65, retired to Monticello.

At 80, helped President Monroe shape the Monroe Doctrine.

At 81, almost single-handedly created the University of Virginia and served as its first president.

At 83, died on the 50th anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence along with John Adams.

Thomas Jefferson knew because he himself studied the previous failed attempts at government. He understood actual history, the nature of God, his laws and the nature of man. That happens to be way more than what most understand today. Jefferson really knew his stuff. A voice from the past to lead us in the future:

John F. Kennedy held a dinner in the white House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement: “This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

Thomas Jefferson Quotes

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.

If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property – until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now.

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.

Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. (Quoting Cesare Beccaria)

The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits.

No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.

To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association—the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.

I think myself that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.

I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.

Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.

The god who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.

And the day will come, when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His Father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva, in the brain of Jupiter.

In matters of style, swim with the current; In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all.

The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.

When wrongs are pressed because it is believed they will be borne, resistance becomes morality.

Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty…. And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.

Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add “within the limits of the law,” because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.

It is strangely absurd to suppose that a million of human beings, collected together, are not under the same moral laws which bind each of them separately.

Liberty is the great parent of science and of virtue; and a nation will be great in both in proportion as it is free.

He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

I have sworn on the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others.

To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

In a government bottomed on the will of all, the…liberty of every individual citizen becomes interesting to all.

I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.

Say nothing of my religion. It is known to God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life: if it has been honest and dutiful to society the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one.

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

Most bad government has grown out of too much government.

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.

The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.

A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.

I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others.

Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others?

A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate.

The right of self-government does not comprehend the government of others.

An elective despotism was not the government we fought for.

History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.

If there is one principle more deeply rooted in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest.

It is better to tolerate that rare instance of a parent’s refusing to let his child be educated, than to shock the common feelings by a forcible transportation and education of the infant against the will of his father.

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.

I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.

The man who reads nothing at all is better than educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.

I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature.

In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to Liberty.

Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.

Jun 062013

Thomas DiLorenzo: More on the Myth of Lincoln, Secession and the ‘Civil War’

With Anthony Wile

Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo

The Daily Bell is pleased to present this exclusive interview with Thomas DiLorenzo.

Introduction: Thomas DiLorenzo is an American economics professor at Loyola University Maryland. He is also a senior faculty member of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and an affiliated scholar of the League of the South Institute, the research arm of the League of the South, and the Abbeville Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Virginia Tech. DiLorenzo has authored at least ten books, including The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War (2003), Hamilton’s Curse: How Jefferson’s Arch Enemy Betrayed the American Revolution and What It Means for Americans Today (2009), How Capitalism Saved America: The Untold History of Our Country, From the Pilgrims to the Present (2005), Lincoln Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe (2007) and most recently, Organized Crime: The Unvarnished Truth About Government (2012). Thomas DiLorenzo is a frequent columnist for LewRockwell.com, lectures widely and is a frequent speaker at Mises Institute events.

Daily Bell: Remind our readers about one of your central intellectual passions, which is confronting academic “Lincoln revisionism.” Who was Lincoln really and why have you spent so much of your career trying to return Lincoln’s academic profile to reality?

Thomas DiLorenzo: Lincoln mythology is the ideological cornerstone of American statism. He was in reality the most hated of all American presidents during his lifetime according to an excellent book by historian Larry Tagg entitled The Unpopular Mr. Lincoln: America’s Most Reviled President. He was so hated in the North that the New York Times editorialized a wish that he would be assassinated. This is perfectly understandable: He illegally suspended Habeas Corpus and imprisoned tens of thousands of Northern political critics without due process; shut down over 300 opposition newspapers; committed treason by invading the Southern states (Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution defines treason as “only levying war upon the states” or “giving aid and comfort to their enemies,” which of course is exactly what Lincoln did). He enforced military conscription with the murder of hundreds of New York City draft protesters in 1863 and with the mass execution of deserters from his army. He deported a congressional critic (Democratic Congressman Clement Vallandigham of Ohio); confiscated firearms; and issued an arrest warrant for the Chief Justice when the jurist issued an opinion that only Congress could legally suspend Habeas Corpus. He waged an unnecessary war (all other countries ended slavery peacefully in that century) that resulted in the death of as many as 850,000 Americans according to new research published in the last two years. Standardizing for today’s population, that would be similar to 8.5 million American deaths in a four-year war.

Lincoln was deified by the Republican Party, which monopolized the government for half a century after the war. The Pulitzer prize-winning novelist Robert Penn Warren wrote in his book, The Legacy of the Civil War, that all of this mythology created an ideology of “false virtue” that was (and is) interpreted by the American state to “justify” anything it ever did, no matter how heinous and imperialistic. The truth about Lincoln and his war “must be forgotten,” said Warren, if one is to believe in this “false virtue,” which also goes by the slogan of “American exceptionalism.”

Lincoln was a nationalist and an imperialist. He was the political son of Alexander Hamilton who, as such, advocated a government that would serve the moneyed elite at the expense of the masses. Hence his lifelong advocacy of protectionist tariffs, corporate welfare, and a central bank to fund it all. This was called “mercantilism” in the previous centuries, and was the very system the American colonists fought a revolution over.

Daily Bell: What did you think of the recent Steven Spielberg movie about Lincoln? Are defenders of Lincoln getting increasingly desperate?

Thomas DiLorenzo: Yes, the Lincoln cult is getting desperate. Spielberg hired Doris Kearns-Goodwin, a confessed plagiarist, as his advisor on the movie (See my LewRockwell.com article entitled “A Plagiarist’s Contribution to Lincoln Idolatry“). The main theme of the movie is exactly the opposite of historical truth. The main theme is that Lincoln used his legendary political skills to help get the Thirteenth Amendment that ended slavery through the Congress. But if one reads the most authoritative biography of Lincoln, by Harvard’s David Donald, one learns that not only did Lincoln not lift a finger to help the genuine abolitionists; he literally refused to help them when they went up to him and asked him for his help. Lincoln did use his political skills to get an earlier, proposed Thirteenth Amendment through the House and Senate. It was called the Corwin Amendment, and would have prohibited the federal government from ever interfering with Southern slavery. Even Doris Kearns-Goodwin writes about it in her book, Team of Rivals, discussing how the amendment, named after an Ohio congressman, was in reality the work of Abraham Lincoln.

Daily Bell: Why should that be so? Is the myth of Lincoln a central one to the larger and continued myth of modern US exceptionalism? Who propagates these myths and who benefits?

Thomas DiLorenzo: Yes, the Lincoln myth is the ideological cornerstone of “American exceptionalism” and has long been invoked by both major political parties to “justify” anything and everything. President Obama quoted and paraphrased Lincoln in a speech before the United Nations last September, and in his second inaugural address, to support his agenda of waging more aggressive wars in Syria, Iran, and elsewhere. Specifically, he repeated the “All Men are Created Equal” line from the Gettysburg Address to make the case that it is somehow the duty of Americans to force “freedom” on all men and women everywhere, all around the globe, at gunpoint if need be. This is the murderous, bankrupting, imperialistic game that Lincoln mythology is used to “justify.”

Daily Bell: Put Lincoln in context. Why is continued mythology so important to the current power structure of the Anglosphere?

Thomas DiLorenzo: The state cannot tell the people that it is bankrupting them and sending their sons and daughters to die by the thousands in aggressive and unconstitutional wars so that crony capitalism can be imposed at gunpoint in foreign countries, and so that the military-industrial complex can continue to rake in billions. That might risk a revolution. So instead, they have to use the happy talk of American virtue and American exceptionalism, the “god” of democracy,” etc. And the average American, whom the great H.L. Mencken referred to as part of the “booboisie,” believes it.

Daily Bell: Let’s try to clear up a few more myths. Did Lincoln issue greenbacks in defiance of British “money power“? In other words, was his war waged as an act of rebellion against European colonialism? From our point of view, Lincoln was likely in thrall to the New York banking establishment. How do you see it?

Thomas DiLorenzo: Lincoln spent his entire life in politics, from 1832 until his dying day, as a lobbyist for the American banking industry and the Northern manufacturing corporations that wanted cheaper credit funded by a government-run bank. He spent decades making speeches on behalf of resurrecting the corrupt and destabilizing Bank of the United States, founded originally by his political ancestor, Hamilton. No member of the Whig Party was more in bed with the American banking establishment than Lincoln was, according to University of Virginia historian Michael Holt in his book on the history of the American Whig party. The Whig agenda, which was always Lincoln’s agenda, was described brilliantly by Edgar Lee Masters (Clarence Darrow’s law partner) in his book, Lincoln the Man. The agenda was to champion “that political system which doles favors to the strong in order to win and keep their adherence to the government.” It advocated “a people taxed to make profits for enterprises that cannot stand alone.” The Whig Party “had no platform to announce,” Masters wrote, “because its principles were plunder and nothing else.” Lincoln himself once said that he got ALL of his political ideas from Henry Clay, the icon and longtime leader of the Whig Party.

Daily Bell: Let’s ask you some tough questions that will be of interest to our readers and our critics alike. Charges have been leveled from some (disreputable) quarters that you are somehow conspiring historically with a Jesuit faction to promote historical inaccuracies regarding Lincoln since you are a professor at Loyola. Could you please explain these charges more comprehensively and then use this form to rebut them?

Thomas DiLorenzo: I don’t usually answer “when did you stop beating your wife”-type questions since they always come from people with I.Q.s in the single digits. These are people who do not have the mental capacity to learn real economics, so they blabber on about crazy conspiracy theories. The Jesuits at Loyola actually hate me with a passion since they are, with one or two exceptions, Marxist ideologues and I am a libertarian, i.e., the devil. Read my LewRockwell.com article entitled “Tales from an Academic Looney Bin” if you want to learn of my contempt for the Jesuits who run Loyola University Maryland.

Daily Bell: Thanks for the insights. Now, on to another more serious matter, which has to do with the role of Jefferson Davis as President of the Southern Secession. Let’s preface this by proposing it has been proposed that both the Russian Revolution and Germany’s rise to power were apparently funded at least in part by Wall Street and British “City” money – especially via Swiss banks. Can you comment on this perspective as it may well have a bearing on Civil War funding? Is it true, for instance, that many wars including the Civil War are not exactly what they seem and that what we call Money Power benefits by backing both sides and profiting from the conflict itself?

Thomas DiLorenzo: War is always destructive to a nation’s economy regardless of whether it wins or loses the war. War is the opposite of capitalism. Capitalism is a system of peaceful, mutually-advantageous exchanges at market prices based on the international division of labor. War destroys the international division of labor and diverts resources from peaceful, capitalistic exchange to death and destruction. However, there are always war profiteers – the people who profit from selling and financing the military. One doesn’t need to invent a conspiracy theory about this: War profiteering is war profiteering and has always existed as an essential feature of all wars.

Daily Bell: There are even questions raised about Napoleon Bonaparte and whether Money Power utilized the French general’s bellicosity for their own purposes. Can you comment? Is it possible the US Civil War was also arranged and funded by those in Europe that had an agenda to diminish the United States’s exceptionalism and vitiate its republicanism?

Thomas DiLorenzo: I prefer not to answer anonymous questions like this. Who says this, and what is his or her credibility? Any credentials? Have they written anything I can read to judge their thinking ability? Any crank can say any crazy thing and suggest any weird conspiracy theory on the Internet. Besides, “American exceptionalism” did not become a tool of American imperialism until AFTER the Civil War.

Daily Bell: Money Power is a banking phenomenon and much of the banking power was located in Britain during Lincoln’s time, as today. New York banks had extensive relationships with British banking power. And from what we can tell, Lincoln derived an extensive funding and power base from these same banks. So here is another question that goes to the heart of this funding issue: Why did Britain supposedly back the South? Is it possible that this is a historical ruse? Was the British banking establishment pro-North even though the aristocracy was pro-South? Did it suit British banking interests to perpetuate this confusion?

Thomas DiLorenzo: There is no such thing as “Britain” that backed or did not back the South. There were prominent British individuals like Charles Dickens who sided with the South in their writings, but there were also those with similar stature who backed the North. I recommend the book by Charles Adams entitled Slavery, Secession, and Civil War: Views from the United Kingdom and Europe, 1856-1865. Since the South continued to trade with England during the war, there were British banks that financed a lot of this trade and would therefore have supported the South for that reason. At the end of the war the British government was scared to death that Sherman would take his army across the Atlantic as an act of revenge for this collaboration.

Daily Bell: Is it possible that the British banking establishment didn’t care which side won the war, as the US would be irreparably weakened no matter who triumphed? Were British bankers expecting this weakening would encompass a loss of freedom and a rise of governmental authoritarianism? It certainly did, didn’t it?

Thomas DiLorenzo: Since bankers are bankers and not journalists and writers, there is no way of knowing their views on this question without a written record. Anyone who claims to know this without any such record is simply blowing smoke and wasting your time. British intellectuals like Lord Acton understood and wrote about how the result of the war would be a US government that would become more tyrannical and imperialistic. To the extent that some British bankers read such literature and tended to agree with Lord Acton, then that would have been their opinion. Nineteenth-century British bankers were not omniscient, Wizard-of-Oz orchestrators of world events any more than you and I are.

Daily Bell: Here is an even tougher question to answer and a thoroughly speculative one. Is it possible that Jefferson Davis also had a relationship to British Money Power? One salient fact stands out: Davis served as President Franklin Pierce’s war secretary and while Pierce was an ardent states’ rights advocate, it was also widely reported that he had relations with a powerful US secret society – the Knights of the Golden Circle. Can you comment on the Knights of the Golden Circle and what their agenda might have been? We’ve written about this issue here: “Thomas James DiLorenzo on Abraham Lincoln, U.S. Authoritarianism and Manipulated History.”

Here’s a brief description from a book on the Knights entitled, The Mysterious and Secret Order of the Knights of the Golden Circle … “Few people know of the Knights of the Golden Circle and even fewer know about the purpose for which it existed. It is probably the greatest untold story today in the history of the United States. … It has been said of them that they were one of the deadliest, wealthiest, most secretive and subversive spy and underground organizations in the history of the world … The group was heavy on ritual, most of which was borrowed from the Masonic Lodge and later from the Knights of Pythias. Some were also members of the Rosicrucians.” To what end was Jefferson Davis involved with the Knights? Was he in a sense set up to fail? Did he willingly participate? Was he a patsy?

Thomas DiLorenzo: I have no idea. How would anyone know anything about this if it was a “secret” society, as you say? Jefferson Davis was a brilliant and highly educated man who spent a long career in national politics and wrote a great book, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government. It is unimaginable that any American politician since could have performed such an amazingly insightful piece of genuine scholarship. This is not the type of man who would have been easily duped by the local Masonic Lodge.

Daily Bell: Are these fair questions? Jefferson was President of the Southern Secession but he proved an ineffective leader and his policies in many ways sabotaged the South and its quest to secede. Was his incompetence entirely genuine, in your view?

Thomas DiLorenzo: Davis was not a dictator. He had a lot of help losing the war, especially from his generals who insisted on the Napoleonic battlefield tactics they were taught at West Point and which had become defunct because of the advent of more deadly military technology by the middle of the nineteenth century. One of his biggest failures was waiting until the last year of the war to finally do what General Robert E. Lee had been arguing from the beginning – offering the slaves freedom in return for fighting with the Confederate Army in defense of their country.

Daily Bell: A final question. It was Davis who set the war in motion, inexplicably, by declaring formal hostilities, so why didn’t he and his generals fight a guerrilla war that they would have been almost certain to win? General Lee insisted on formal engagements with the North but had neither the resources nor the men to win a war of attrition of this sort. Why didn’t he pursue well-known guerilla tactics that would have produced a victory or at least a stalemate?

Thomas DiLorenzo: No, it was Lincoln who launched an invasion of the Southern states. Davis’s declarations were just words. Giving guerilla fighters like John Singleton Mosby and Nathan Bedford Forrest more resources may well have won the war for the South, but Mosby was kicked out of VMI and Forrest was almost totally uneducated formally. The Confederate military establishment was controlled by West Point graduates who knew little or nothing about guerilla warfare. When asked after the war who his most effective subordinate was, Lee said it was a man named Forrest.

Daily Bell: Certainly the arc of Davis’s career after the war does little to contradict the hypothesis that there was more to Davis’s role than history records. He never served a long jail sentence, visited England later in life and was supported by a wealthy widow, Sarah Anne Ellis Dorsey, who was a primary member and literary representative of Southern aristocracy with its many European connections. This would also seem to show that Davis had deep connections to the British power structure. Is all this merely frivolous supposition?

Thomas DiLorenzo: Yes.

Daily Bell: Okay, let’s turn to your recent book, False Virtue: The Myths that Transformed America From A Republic to an Empire. Can you explain what this is about to our readers and why you wrote it?

Thomas DiLorenzo: That’s something that I’m still working on. I plan on putting into book form the story of how the Lincoln myth has been used for the past 150 years or so to prop up American foreign policy imperialism.

Daily Bell: What are you working on now, if anything?

Thomas DiLorenzo: Besides this, I’m working on a book on the politics and economics of war.

Daily Bell: Do you still believe that secession is in the offing for several or more of “these united States”? Will it come without bloodshed?

Thomas DiLorenzo: Thank God for the former serfs of the Soviet empire that they only had a totalitarian communist like Gorbachev to deal with and not a Lincoln. Peaceful secession is the only way out of the new slavery for the average American, and it will only happen if we have a president who is more like Gorbachev than Lincoln. That is one more reason why the Lincoln myth needs to be destroyed.

Daily Bell: Are hostilities deepening between Fedgov and US states?

Thomas DiLorenzo: The booboisie in America for the time being seems happy to endure whatever additional enslavements the federal government proposes for them. That may change, however, when there is hyperinflation and their healthcare system is destroyed by Obama’s socialized medicine, or if one of the tiny and relatively defenseless countries that the US government is perpetually picking on figures out a way to retaliate in a big way. That just might cause the booboisie to finally ask such questions as: “Do my children really have to be sacrificed and sent to their deaths so that people in Syria can be ruled by a different dictator chosen by the CIA?”

Daily Bell: Isn’t secession a lawful, constitutional right?

Thomas DiLorenzo: Article 7 of the Constitution explains that the document was to be ratified by the “free and independent states,” as they are called in the Declaration of Independence. The union of the founders was voluntary, and several states reserved the right to withdraw from the union in the future if it became destructive of their rights. Since each state has equal rights in the union, this became true for all states. That is why, at the outset of the Civil War, the overwhelming majority of Northern newspapers editorialized in favor of peaceful secession. Most of them quoted Jefferson from the Declaration saying that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and when that consent is withdrawn it is the peoples’ duty to abolish that government and form a new one.

Lincoln thus destroyed the voluntary union of the founding fathers and replaced it with a Soviet-style coerced union held together with the threat of total war waged on the civilian population of any state in the future that attempted to make Jefferson’s argument and act on it. It is telling that on the eve of the Civil War several federal laws were proposed to outlaw secession. This occurred because everyone at the time understood that secession was perfectly legal and constitutional.

Might does NOT make right, so yes, secession is a right that the people of any free society should have.

Daily Bell: Is the Internet helping to create an upsurge of freedom-consciousness among the US electorate?

Thomas DiLorenzo: Yes, without a doubt. That’s why some of the most obnoxious and tyrannical of our politicians, like Obama, Lieberman, McCain and Schumer, seem to be constantly conniving to somehow censor or shut down the internet “for national security reasons.”

Daily Bell: How many real “nations” does the US encompass?

Thomas DiLorenzo: Time will tell. Jefferson believed there were at least seven or eight regions that could be created as independent American nations during his time, and he wrote that he would wish them all well as they would all be, as Americans, “our children.”

Daily Bell: What about Europe? Will it also see a fracturing of the euro and perhaps of the EU itself?

Thomas DiLorenzo: I think we are seeing the collapse of the EU and the Euro along with the European welfare state. We should all pray that it happens a thousand times faster.

Daily Bell: How about China?

Thomas DiLorenzo: China is now more capitalist than the US and its government is less tyrannical than the government in Washington, DC.

Daily Bell: Is the Internet helping to cause these “devolutions”?

Thomas DiLorenzo: When the AFL-CIO conspired with the Catholic Church in Poland to subvert communism they smuggled fax machines into the country so that the anti-communists could plot and communicate. The internet makes all of this infinitely easier to accomplish.

Daily Bell: Is the 21st century more hopeful than the 20th and 19th when it comes to large-scale wars and manipulation of various electorates in the West and elsewhere?

Thomas DiLorenzo: One virtue of the 19th century was that the public school brainwashing bureaucracy was not yet very well developed. It certainly is today, which is why America has become such a nation of statist sheep.

Daily Bell: Is the current system of Fiat Money Power on the way out? If so, what will take its place?

Thomas DiLorenzo: Yes. That’s what all the economic turmoil in Europe is about. I’d like to see a return to a gold standard. This will have to happen if we are to avoid worldwide economic collapse similar to the Great Depression.

Daily Bell: How does the Lincoln mythology play out today in light of all these circumstances?

Thomas DiLorenzo: It is still the ideological cornerstone of American statism, but we are making progress.

Daily Bell: Will the US revert to a freer, more self-sufficient model?

Thomas DiLorenzo: Only if peaceful secession is allowed to occur.

Daily Bell: Is the pre-Civil War US model a template for a more viable society in the future?

Thomas DiLorenzo: Minus slavery, of course. The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union were far superior to the Constitution that replaced them (and which omitted the world “perpetual”).

Daily Bell: Can we ever go back? Is history linear or cyclical?

Thomas DiLorenzo: I don’t believe in such determinism. We can correct mistakes. We DID deregulate oil and transportation in the 1980s; socialism DID collapse worldwide in the late ’80s/early ’90s and was replaced by more market-oriented regimes.

Daily Bell: Any other comments or predictions?

Thomas DiLorenzo: The Republican Party will continue to become more and more irrelevant and powerless; the Democratic Party establishment will finally strip off their masks and reveal themselves as the totalitarian socialists that they have always been; and the political future will belong to the young Ron Paulians.

Daily Bell: Thanks for your time once again.

Thomas DiLorenzo got a little irritated with us because we harped on the Jesuit issue (see interview). But we did so because a malicious minority of what we can only call Neo-Nazi “social” and “mutual creditors” have attacked him for being influenced by the Jesuit educational establishment for which he works.

Money is power and those who challenge the status quo are dangerous to the internationalist impulse. Thus, globalists claim DiLorenzo has attacked Lincoln because he wanted to undermine Lincoln’s use of government Greenbacks as effective money.

Money is a complex system. It is not mathematically reducible. Only the free-market itself, the Invisible Hand, can organize money within the context of the complex relationships that exist in a modern society (though admittedly such relationships could and should be simplified).

But according to some, only the state, properly guided by responsible politicians, can provide the money society needs. DiLorenzo has also been attacked by this socialist faction because he named Lincoln for what he was: the father of US Empire.

Before Lincoln, it was common belief that any state could secede from the Union. After Lincoln, it was clear no state could secede without facing military action. That situation continues today.

DiLorenzo is a consequential writer. He has advanced our understanding of who Lincoln really was and where American exceptionalism took a wrong turn. The attacks of his critics notwithstanding, he is an original and courageous historian, and we look forward to reading more of his work.

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Jun 052013

BORG Judge orders Decrypt Laptop, or Go Directly to Jail

If a BORG judge orders you to decrypt the only existing copies of incriminating files, are your constitutional rights against compelled self-incrimination being violated?

That’s the provocative question being raised as a Wisconsin man faces a deadline today either to give up his encryption keys or risk indefinite imprisonment without a trial. The defendant’s attorney, Robin Shellow of Milwaukee, said it’s “one of the most important constitutional issues of the wired era.”

Shellow is making a novel argument that the BORG federal magistrate’s decryption order is akin to forcing her client to build a case for the government. That’s because encryption basically transforms files into unreadable text, which is then rebuilt when the proper password is entered, she said.

“Some encryption effects erasure of the encrypted data (so it ceases to exist), in which case decryption constitutes re-creation of the data, rather than simply unlocking still-existing data,” Shellow wrote in a court filing. (.pdf)

In a telephone interview Monday, she said “this area is a new way of thinking about encryption.”

UPDATE: A federal judge this afternoon halted the decryption order, and demanded further briefing on the constitutional implications.

Though rare, decryption orders are likely to become more common as the public slowly embraces a technology that comes standard even on Apple computers. Such orders have never squarely been addressed by the Supreme Court, despite conflicting opinions in the lower courts.

The latest decryption flap concerns Jeffrey Feldman, who federal authorities believe downloaded child pornography on the file-sharing e-Donkey network. They seized 15 drives and a computer from his suburban Milwaukee apartment with a search warrant. A federal magistrate has ordered Feldman to decrypt the drives by today.

Feldman has refused, citing the Fifth Amendment. A federal judge could find him in contempt as early as today and jail him pending his compliance.

The magistrate in the case stepped aside Monday after Shellow argued that only U.S. district court judges, not magistrates, have the legal power to issue decryption orders. As of now, the new judge in the case has not decided whether to uphold the magistrate’s order.

U.S. Magistrate William Callahan Jr. initially said the Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination protected Feldman from having to unlock his drives.

But last month, prosecutors convinced Callahan to change his mind. Among other reasons, the authorities were able, on their own, to decrypt one drive from Feldman’s “storage system” and discovered more than 700,000 files, some of “which constitute child pornography,” the magistrate said.

When the magistrate ruled against the government last month, the magistrate said the authorities did not have enough evidence linking Feldman to the data, and that forcing the computer scientist to unlock it would be tantamount to requiring him to confess that it was his. But that theory is now out the door, because the data on the decrypted drive contains pictures and financial information linking Feldman to the “storage system,” Callahan ruled last week.

Among the last times an encryption order came up in court was last year, when a federal appeals court rejected an appeal from a bank-fraud defendant who has been ordered to decrypt her laptop so its contents could be used in her criminal case. The issue was later mooted for defendant Romano Fricosu as a co-defendant eventually supplied a password.

Shellow said it was unclear whether her client even remembers the passwords to the 16 drives the authorities confiscated.

“The government is claiming that our client has the capacity to decrypt them,” Shellow said.

That issue has never been addressed in court. But judges usually view forgetfulness “as a sham or subterfuge that purposely avoids giving responsive answers.”

Prosecutors did not respond for comment.

Jun 052013

Bush Administration Convicted of War Crimes

Dr. Francis Boyle

Former U.S. President George W. Bush recently dedicated his Presidential Library in Dallas. The ceremony included speeches by President Obama, ex-President Bush, and every other living ex-president. But none of the speeches so much as mentioned to Iraq war — the undertaking that dominated George W. Bush’s presidency, and will define his historic legacy.

This omission might be due, at least in part, to the fact that Mr. Bush is now a convicted war criminal who dares not travel abroad out of fear of being arrested.

In February 2011, Bush was forced to cancel a scheduled appearance in Geneva, Switzerland after human rights groups filed a criminal complaint charging him with violating international treaties against torture.

His trouble increased dramatically a year ago when Bush — along with former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and several other top Bush administration officials — were convicted of war crimes in absentia by a special war crimes tribunal in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission was convened and conducted according to internationally recognized procedures and rules of evidence, and the week-long hearing ended with the five-member panel unanimously delivering guilty verdicts.

What is the significance of that tribunal? Is its verdict legally binding? Are there troublesome aspects to the idea that a foreign tribunal can sit in judgment of a U.S. President — whatever we may think of his actions? We will discuss these vitally important questions with Dr. Francis Boyle, a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He served as a prosecutor at the tribunal.

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Jun 042013

BORG Supremes Ruling Destroys Fourth Amendment

The BORG Supremes “ruled” this week to uphold a Maryland “law” that allows BORG Agents to collect without a warrant DNA material from human beings who are arrested.  The 5-4 decision is a further indication; the United States is a now operating as a POLICE STATE.

Theoretically the “Bill of Rights” is supposed to protect human beings from intrusions by the excessive government.  The real truth is: you have no rights, not even the right to what is your own body. The BORG courts conspiring with the BORG legislators are doing everything they can to turn every human being on the planet into a criminal that is of course, unless you are a BORG Agent.

BORG President Attacks Fourth Amendment

This overt willingness to destroy any possibility of privacy has been well established in the United States warrantless surveillance program.  BORG President Barack Obama, signed into “law” in January 2013, a five year extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that allows for the monitoring of personal phone calls and emails as long as one of the communicants is outside the US.  There is also a huge mountain of evidence that all digital communications are tapped and recorded, maybe even monitored!

Obliviously, the BORG courts do not want to interfere with the BORG’s ability to gain access to all private and personal communications.  Now that the BORG can take your property, your DNA, the court has made it possible for the BORG to continue to destroy every other right to our own personal property.  What could be more personal that your own DNA?

Majority Opinion for the BORG is “Justice” Anthony Kennedy wrote that DNA sampling was merely a means of identifying a suspect, in the way that fingerprinting and photographing does, and claimed that when an officer makes an arrest supported by probable cause, taking a DNA swab was a “legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the fourth amendment.”

In a carefully rehearsed “scathing dissent”, “Justice” Antonin Scalia removed the notion that DNA sampling was nothing more than an identification tool, saying it “taxes the credulity of the credulous” to suggest that it was not going to be used to attempt to solve other crimes.

While DNA samples are a useful tool for solving cold cases or exonerating the wrongfully accused, the concern shared by the minority dissent and civil liberties advocates is that using an individual’s DNA to investigate a crime when the state has no incriminating evidence against that individual represents a drastic overextension of the POLICE STATE. As the ACLU’s national legal director Stephen R Shapiro, said in a statement:

“The fourth amendment has long been understood to mean that the police cannot search for evidence of a crime – and all nine justices agreed that DNA testing is a search – without individualized suspicion. Today’s decision eliminates that crucial safeguard.”

As regards the future of our genetic privacy, it’s important to note that the law upheld by the US supreme court ruling in the Maryland v King case only allows for DNA to be taken from people who have been arrested and charged with a serious crime, and that this DNA can only be tested after a judge has found there to be probable cause that the person has committed a crime. The attorney Michael Risher who authored the ACLU’s amicus brief in that case points out, however, that other states’ laws and the federal government allow the police to take DNA from people arrested for much less serious crimes, such as drug possession or intentionally bouncing a check. These laws also allow the BORG to have that sample analyzed even if the person is never charged and when there is no incriminating evidence.

Genetic Privacy is Destroyed

The fear is that this recent decision has paved the way for these much broader laws that allow the violation of our fundamental rights to (genetic) privacy to be upheld also. As Scalia wrote in his dissent:

“Make no mistake about it: as an entirely predictable consequence of today’s decision, your DNA can be taken and entered into a national DNA database if you are ever arrested, rightly or wrongly, and for whatever reason.”

So much for the fourth amendment and the supposedly un-a-lienable right it memorializes to be secure in our “persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures”?

Previous BORG supreme court rulings, say we can be stopped in the street and frisked by BORG agents  without probable cause for arrest. Our international phone calls and emails (and possibly our domestic ones) can be captured and recorded by the state. And now the BORG court has paved the way for our genetic blueprint to be made available to the government as well.

The BORG is a Parasite

We are facing a continuous attack by members of the BORG.  They will ALWAYS be justified, because the BORG courts are rubber stamping the actions of the BORG agents.  The BORG will continue to take more and more of your freedoms, until there is nothing left to take.  The BORG is a PARASITE and the parasite eventually kills the host.

Jun 012013

Some of the Local Voluntary were present at the picnic at Hance Park.  Without going into too much detail, it was a great night.  We broke bread.  We broke pizza. We shared, and we gained.

There is a catalyst that is at work right now in the awareness and activism circles.  It’s hard to pin down, but a lot of the leaders are keen to it.  There is something tremendous on the horizon coming.

But only if we make it.  Only if we make friendships and look past our differences.  We as a nation and as a people must no longer be fragmented through division, but united in the cause for human rights, basic freedoms, and freedom from oppression of all kinds.  The oppressors want us to fight each other while they drop bombs from drones on whoever they feel like.  But we are getting wise, and their days are numbered.

Read more at http://www.localvoluntary.com/2013/06/activism-picnic-at-hance-park/