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Silence is Rotten

Photo credit: Abode of Chaos

Photo credit: Abode of Chaos

Who are the number-one enemies of the United States of America?

Not terrorists. Not an invading army. Not a criminal cartel. No, the biggest threats to the government of the United States of America, the world’s most powerful nation (and supposedly a free and moral one) are a gaggle of nerdy young men. Their only crime? Leaking classified information. Not exclusively to a foreign power. To the American public.

Because really, all Bradely Manning, Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden did was release information on government activities. The funny thing is, the actual information released is almost completely absent in criticisms of the leakers. I have yet to hear a single argument based solely on the information they brought to light. No defense of the secret government practices in question. No serious assertion that actions revealed were morally justifiable, and merely misinterpreted. In short, no actual discussion on the issues at all.

What we have had more than enough of is character assassination. Whether it’s the rape charges against Assange or accusations of self-serving behavior leveled against Snowden, there’s been no shortage of attempts to villify the whistleblowers in every way imaginable. The most common of these is the allegation of treason, often without further explanation. After all, how could anyone sympathize with a traitor?

Take a step back and a deep breath, and the whole situation will begin to resemble bickering children. One child tattles on the other. The accused, beside himself with outrage, wastes no time in tearing down his sibling with accusations of tattling, malice, bad odor, an ugly face, and whatever else can be used to make the rotten, no-good tattler look bad. An adult perceives the truth in this sitation: that the accused really had something to hide.

The much-derided whistleblowers have endured the brunt of the scrutiny. It’s time we shift our attention squarely where it belongs: the U.S. government.

About

About The Desert Lynx

There’s always more to the story…

Whatever you hear every day about what’s going on in the world, whether from news outlets, friends and family, art and entertainment, nonprofits and NGOs, or (especially) government, you’re not getting an accurate picture.

There’s always something huge that’s missed, whether it’s historical context, cultural perspective, insider knowledge, or a “big picture” view. More often than not, the whole point is missed because of ignorance or blatant omission and misrepresentation of the facts.

Want the whole picture? You’ve come to the right place. Don’t trust the official story. Get the picture from behind enemy lines.

About the author

I am a wanderer by nature, having traveled across this disheveled planet to see what I could see. I have worked in many fields, including public policy, agriculture, law, government, and martial arts. I have lived in large cities, small towns, even farms. I have befriended the most privileged this world has to offer, as well as those who are one bad day away from being unable to feed themselves, and everyone in between. I consort with people of all political opinions and experiences, including those who have none.

lynxmanHowever, it was growing up in the American Southwest, on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, that has given me a unique perspective that I’ve carried everywhere. There I witnessed the contrast and evolution of two governmental systems, the clash and harmony of two cultures, and, most importantly, the relative absence of civilization. The rugged individualism birthed by the freedom provided by this area has rubbed off on me.

My Change of Heart on the Marriage Debate

gay gadsden

Guest post by Miguel Duque

“Moral outrage is the most powerful motivating force in politics.” -Morton Blackwell

Although there is no doubt that marriage inequality amounts to genuine oppression for many Americans, the constant buzz surrounding it all these years seemed to me little more than an unfortunate distraction. After all, the supposed problem is such a no-brainer in the midst of other more urgent national crises. However, much to my surprise, the recent resurgence of debate this time brought about a change in my outlook.

Whatever true expanse of meaning the institution of marriage bears in society, the consensus doesn’t likely treat it as a run-of-the-mill legal bargain settled in the courthouse. Marriage carries a weight deeply more personal than that. It’s intimate; it’s selfless; it’s eternal; it’s often spiritual. It’s about love and nothing more than pure love. Most people understand that intuitively. Thus, the question follows: What on Earth business do federal, state, local, or any government have regulating marriage in the first place?

Such a terrible shame, so I thought, that everyone’s been duped into bickering about Adam and Steve while the very fabric of liberty is whipped from under their feet. Many of those claiming to stand up for individual rights either remain unaware or purposefully ignorant of the countless far more vicious assaults on our freedom: impending fiscal and monetary catastrophe, bringing with it a full economic collapse; the failed military-industrial complex’s self-destructive policies of unlimited, endless war; and state-perpetrated domestic terror coupled with a disgusting contravention of the Bill of Rights. I mused that perhaps many of these people taking a sudden interest in politics for gay marriage are really only doing so to be trendy.

Then I remembered to calm my ego down and stop thinking so pretentiously. I briefly considered my own past attitudes toward current events, from before I took a more serious interest in the full spectrum of tyranny we now face. Despite caring very little to hear about anything related to politics, marriage equality was always one of the few things that just “clicked” with me.

This is when I realized something about the subjective nature of the marriage debate, and the entirety of my sentiments regarding the issue’s worth reversed themselves. Perhaps the whole discussion was not such a waste of precious time after all. The reason it evokes a passionate response from fresh faces, even those who would otherwise show total disinterest in politics, is simply because the answer is so painfully commonsensical, and because the plain injustice strikes a harsh chord with our very sense of morality. “Where do these sanctimonious, meddling politicians get off trying to tell people who can and can’t get married?!” most of us naturally demand.

Moral outrage is, after all, the most powerful motivating force in politics, as noted by the great grassroots activism legend Morton Blackwell. Now it is up to libertarians, as the emerging voice of reason in the Republican Party and the conservative movement, to take heed of this law and reinforce our message in a way that harnesses the power of that growing moral indignation. Marriage inequality, SOPA, gun control, the War on Drugs. Whatever produces a spark, we absolutely must stand up and answer the cries of the politically homeless, those who now realize that they’re not being heard or represented but actively threatened and tormented. We must use that spark to set the brushfires of freedom in the minds of the people and help them find the courage to speak for themselves.

This is ground zero in the people’s struggle to live free. Liberty is in grave danger. America needs to get mad.

Miguel Duque is a grassroots activist and former field representative of the Leadership Institute. Follow him on Twitter @MiguelADuque

Dissent of the Governed

Photo credit: Elvert Barnes

Photo credit: Elvert Barnes

Is government legitimate?

The most recent results of an annual Rasmussen poll indicate that only 21% of Americans believe that their government has the consent of the governed. That result, with whatever weight it carries, suggests that a whopping 79% are not even positive that this government is legitimate.

This shouldn’t come to much surprise considering the state’s inflating track record of abuse and brutality. Take, for example, how it has sought to force millions of us, at the threat of escalated theft and violence, to purchase the health care plans of the equally-corrupt corporations that use government privilege to pillage and destroy the free market. Take the enormity of the so-called justice system which serves no purpose other than to wage war both against competing criminal firms and against completely innocent people whom they kidnap and hold for ransom. Take the notion that the state now spies on every single electronic communication of everyone in the world at every second of the day. Take the nightmarish reality that we’ve handed the power to eradicate the entire planet in an instant to complete psychopaths. We are witnessing police state, security state, welfare and warfare state fully unveil itself as a monstrous beast from hell.

There can be no consent where it can’t be withdrawn. The government in America, along with every other government in the history of the world, derive their authority from the barrel of a gun. They neither stand nor have they ever stood for justice or liberty or equality or any other naively-accepted falsehood virtue that a state often purports to uphold. Yet they have grown so powerful and greedy and thirsty for blood.

And still people are rising up and emancipating themselves from mental slavery. Just as the days of chattel slavery have all but seen their end, so shall the days of statism. All it will take is the individual integrity to remove violent, coercive, or aggressive behavior from our personal lives, to refuse to condone it or remain complicit in it any further.

The people are waking up to the illegitimacy of the state. Stay vigilant and hold out hope, friends. These are trying times, but peace is just beyond the horizon.

Miguel Duque, a contributor to The Desert Lynx, is a former political junkie and professional activist.

The Coin Wars

coin wars

It’s on. The conflict of our generation has been sparked, and while the fire smoulders almost invisibly, this is going to be huge.

I’m talking about the recent Bitcoin seizure by the U.S. Federal Government.

Bitcoin is the world’s premier cryptocurrency, a completely online, private, decentralized store of value and medium of exchange that is notoriously difficult to track and hack. It rose to fame for its use on the Silk Road, an anonymous online black market of sorts. Bitcoin’s amazing surge in value, coupled with its ease of use as a replacement for the dollar and other traditional state-run currencies, gave rise to speculations that it could end up completely supplanting the global financial system. This would allow citizens of the world to completely avoid funding the government, either directly through taxation or indirectly through printing money.

It’s all more than just speculation now. The government is getting worried. First it was Government Accountability Office addressing taxing Bitcoin. Now, with the Bitcoin raid over the purchase of illegal substances, the cryptocurrency’s time in the spotlight has begun.

And it won’t end peacefully. Here’s why:

First, attempting to track and tax Bitcoin will prove extremely difficult. This means that widespread taxation just won’t happen. As such, in order to secure obedience, the government will have to use “shock and awe” to scare users either into voluntary tax compliance or into abandoning cryptocurrency altogether. Such methods will probably include confiscation or destruction of assets, arrest, and imprisonment for many.

Second, the government has no other alternative. The state is maintained not through voluntary funding, but rather through threat of violence. If cryptocurrency becomes widespread, governments will lose virtually all their funding, and will no longer be able to exist as they do now. Their very survival depends on stopping, or controlling, Bitcoin.

The future isn’t certain, and even though I always bet on human ingenuity and freedom, we can’t see how this situation is going to play out. But one thing’s for sure: a great conflict is upon us. Even though the couple of skirmishes so far remain below the public radar, the struggle has been set in motion.

Begun the Coin Wars have…

The Righteous Fist

A man walks calmly through a park. Another man approaches him and, after a brief exchange (consisting mainly of “I don’t want no trouble, man” from the first and “Eyyy, Chuck Norris!” and “Wanna go, huh? Let’s throw down right here!” from the second), a fight breaks out. One of them is going to end up on the ground, battered and defeated. Morally, does it matter who wins? Yes, yes it does… very much so.

Today’s first world citizens have it good. The spoiled denizens of North America, Western Europe, and selective parts of East Asia have grown up in a world of unprecedented prosperity, civil rights, and overall life expectancy. The unintended side-effect of this wondrous age in which some of us live is the ease of living in denial as to the harsh realities of the world. This has given birth to the concept of a “post-violence world,” which, unfortunately, is as dangerous as it is ridiculous. Now we have a culture that puts self-defense in the same moral category as other violence.

The fact is, folks, that no matter how good the world gets, it will never be perfect. Why? Because human civilization will always include people, and people are scum. There will always be someone who, given the opportunity, will visit violence and destruction upon his fellow man. It is logistically quite impossible to keep everyone protected at all times through law enforcement, and citizens must therefore take some steps to protect themselves from their malicious fellows. But far beyond that, self-defense, as a concept and an inalienable right, is a moral necessity.

I believe in the inalienable right to exist. No government body gives you this right, you are born with it. You are innocent in existing. If anyone seeks to harm or destroy you, they already threw their right to perfect safety to the wind. Removing your right to self-defense, i.e. the right to struggle to continue existing, is essentially making your right to exist innocently conditional at best, nonexistent at worst. The idea that each and every one of us is guilty simply by existing is morally reprehensible.

In this world we must make a stand against violence and the abuse of the innocent. Understand that the violent don’t listen to words. They only listen to the fist. We must therefore maintain the ability to use the fist righteously.

I Can Fix the Economy

Want to get the people’s support? Convince them you know how to save the economy. This is a subject that’s always at the forefront of people’s priorities, because it affects basic human survival, and therefore everything else. Economics is also very misunderstood, so you need only feign some basic knowledge of the subject to get people to go “Oh, okay.”

But what is the economy, really? Really simply put, it’s everyone’s productive action put together. In that sense, it’s the simplest thing in the world. Every one of us is part of the economy. The guy who owns the taco stand down the street, the lawyer, the local security guard, even the guy who yells at people to lose weight and somehow gets paid for it. But, when you think about it, the economy is also the most complicated thing in the world. Even the smallest actions we take every day can have an economic impact. Therefore, to control the economy is to have ultimate control over each and every human being. That’s a pretty impossible task, so when someone tells you that they can fix the economy they are at best terribly mistaken, and at worst a callous liar.

No one came up with the idea of all doing business together for the benefit of mankind. Thousands, and eventually millions and billions, of individuals figured out the best way to be productive through much trial and error, and through taking into account a plethora of factors unique to each and every one of them. And they continue to do so to this day. Things change, disasters happen, and economic activity goes up and down, but ultimately the productive citizens of the world handle the economy very well, thank you very much. They should… after all, their very livelihoods and survival depend on it.

The exception comes when something gets in the way. The owner of the taco stand can’t do business if he has to comply with a bunch of oppressive health regulations. The lawyer has a hard time making ends meet if there are restrictions placed upon his ability to advertise his services. The security guard has no job if his prospective employer can only afford to pay him $5 an hour to essentially sit around and do nothing all day, but is forced by law to pay all employees at least $10 an hour. And the dude who yells at fat people to lose weight can’t survive if the law dictates that he needs a psychology degree and a counseling certification.

I am absolutely confident when I say this to you: I can fix the economy. Here’s how I plan to do it: I’ll pretty much do nothing, and let business carry on uninhibited. Then BAM! Things get better. The easiest job in the world. Can I get paid for this, please?