Much has been written about the pandemic-driven favorable aspects, promise, and implications of virtual working compared to traditional in-person interfaces. We are all woke to the now known to be unnecessary complications, inconveniences and costs of physical offices, urban crime, commuting, and virus-transmitting.
Much less has been written about virtual management’s implications for decentralizing the federal government and putting the decision-makers physically among the decision-affected — real instead of virtual reality.
How about considering the following departmental tectonic shifts: Interior to Wyoming, Utah, or Colorado; Agriculture to Iowa, Nebraska, or South Dakota; and Commerce to Florida or Louisiana?
Regulators of the environment could literally step out their back doors and visit a forest, see a farm, soybean, cornfield, or cow; or visit a vibrant multicultural economy on the hemisphere’s doorsteps.
Relocating individuals could cash in on D.C.’s inflated housing prices and boost their quality of life with bigger homes and maybe even a back 40, or at least a backyard. Fourth of July parades in clean, healthy open air and Eagle Scouting could be reborn.
Sub-Cabinet-level relocation possibilities are equally endless: Fisheries to New England, FDA to the university-rich Research Triangle in North Carolina, and the FAA to an actual hub such as Nashville, St. Louis, or even Chicago.
The movement even lends itself to a catchy slogan, “Decentralize D.C.,” which fits nicely on a bumper sticker.
Carlisle Johnson, American Thinker
Author’s credits: Emisoras Unidas (ABC Radio affiliate), Canal Antigua TV, VOA (radio and TV), American Thinker, BBC4, El Periodico, Cincinnati Enquirer, Guatemala Post, Atlantic, Washington Times, Mexico News Daily, St. Petersburg Times (comments). MarriottGolden
Listening to the media today, one sometimes hears the phrase “new normal.” The dictionary defines normal as “conforming to a norm or standard.” That means it is society that determines what is normal and what is not, depending on what is happening in the country.
As we begin 2021, with the usual hope and optimism, we must reflect on the year which has just passed, for 2020 also began on an extremely positive note. The economy was roaring, factories and jobs were coming back to America, the stock market was doing well, and unemployment among minorities and women was at the lowest rate ever recorded. Then “the plague” struck at the end of January, and subsequently, our world came crashing down around us; a situation which was only aggravated by George Floyd’s death.
All of us have seen and heard things during this past year that would have been unimaginable in 2019, but which today are almost a daily occurrence. We call these transformative events “the new normal.”
Examples of the new normal are all around us and affect all aspects of our lives. Defunding the police while crime skyrockets is the new normal. Prisoners being released back on the streets, while hairdressers and restaurant owners are fined and sometimes jailed, is the new normal. Big tech and mainstream media shutting down all voices opposing their agenda, while extolling the virtues of democracy and free speech, is the new normal. A CNN reporter describing demonstrators as “peaceful protesters,” while behind him the skyline burns, is the new normal. Closing down all restaurants, houses of worship, and small businesses while allowing protesters to burn, riot, and loot in the name of “social justice” is the new normal. Prisoners in certain states receiving the COVID vaccine while vulnerable seniors must wait is the new normal. The latest COVID Relief bill, which included only a paltry sum in relief for tens of millions of desperate Americans, while granting billions in foreign aid, is the new normal.
Apparently, our elected representatives in the House and the Senate believe the Sudanese national debt and the education of women in Pakistan are more important than their constituents. The late publisher William Randolph Hearst addressed this very issue nearly a century ago, on May 7, 1924, when he wrote: “The day when this nation ceases to shape its foreign policy primarily for the safety and welfare of the American people will be the day on which its national doom is sealed – and its international doom too.” These are only a few of the many examples of the new normal that assault and numb our senses daily.
If there is one issue that stands out in terms of importance, it would be defunding or re-imagining the police, for no civilized society can function without order, safety, and security. It is no accident that the “peaceful protesters” have made the police the number one target for vilification. This is especially true in blue states and cities where state and local governments, along with radical district attorneys, have acquiesced to all the protesters’ demands, refusing to prosecute them for their crimes and allowing them free rein to do exactly as they wish. This has resulted in their states and cities sliding even further into chaos and anarchy, as their tax base continues to move away in ever-increasing numbers.
Any normal person would stop and re-think their failed strategy but not these people. If anything, they double down on their ideology. Some might conclude they are irrational, but there is a method to their madness. It is a method that has been used before.
During the heyday of the Cultural Revolution in China, mobs of Red Guards rampaged through the streets of Beijing and other Chinese cities unencumbered by any police restraint. They assaulted anyone they deemed counter-revolutionary. Bloodied and beaten, with placards hung around their necks denouncing them for their crimes, these hapless individuals were hauled before a forum called a “struggle session” where various individuals, sometimes even their own children, would take turns denouncing them for every imaginable offense, up to, and including, “thought crimes.” The actual number of people killed during the Cultural Revolution is unknown, but it is believed to be in the millions. The purpose of all this was twofold. The first was to solidify Mao’s position as absolute ruler of China. The second was to cow an entire population into submission and obedience through fear, terror, and intimidation. It is a very effective tactic. Every single totalitarian state throughout history has used similar methods to ensure its continued rule.
The U.S. is on the verge of becoming a country in decline, ceding to China the position of dominant world superpower. One could say that this is part of the ebb and flow of history. Every single great civilization from the Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans in ancient times to the Aztec, Inca, and Mayan civilizations in our own hemisphere has gone through this process. Even the once-mighty British Empire, which at one time controlled a third of the world, and of whom it was said, “The Sun Never Sets On,” has withered away into near obscurity.
If you were to “time warp” back to Moscow in 1990 and tell the first Russian you met that within a year his country would implode, he would look at you as if you were crazy. The collapse of a great civilization can occur slowly over time as it did with Rome and Britain, or it can happen suddenly, as with the Soviet Union. Great civilizations go through an aging process and right now, ours is looking very old.
However, aging doesn’t mean dead. We can buck the historic trend. It’s true that we have forgotten the ideals that once made us great, and replaced the “old normals” of liberty, individual responsibility, equality, and unity with the “new normals” of identity politics, wokeness, cancel culture, and critical race theory.
In a speech on May 14, 1920, over a century ago, President Warren G. Harding warned the nation that: “America’s present need is not heroics but healing; not nostrums but normalcy; not revolution but restoration.” It’s time again for Americans to assert normalcy and restoration. And then, yes, America can and will be great again.
Caren Besner is a retired teacher who has written articles published by American Thinker, Sun-Sentinel, Dr Swier, News With Views, The Front Page, The Published Reporter, Washington Examiner, The Algemeiner, Jewish Journal, Independent Sentinel, Jerusalem Post, Arutz Sheva, San Diego Jewish World, The Times of Israel, The Moderate Voice, IsraPost, The Jewish Voice, Joo Tube, The Florida Veteran, and others.
Earlier this week, right before Christmas, Congress passed a 5,600-page COVID-19 relief bill that no one could have the time to read in its entirety.
The bill, which the Senate Historical Office said appears to be the longest bill ever approved, was handed to Congress only a few short hours before a vote was scheduled to be held, forcing representatives to quickly scan the document and make a decision without knowing the ins and outs of the bill.
Some members of Congress even took to social media, calling the document a disservice to the American people and noting how their teams were going through the PDF using the “CTRL + F” function to find important information – ridiculous!
And let’s not forget that American citizens are supposed to be able to review the proposed bill as well, giving them time to go to their local representatives to share their thoughts.
Yet by the time it got released for review, we had less than four hours. I certainly can’t read almost 6,000 pages that quickly… Can you?
This is a clear loss of American civil liberties. I had the pleasure of talking with former congressman Dr. Ron Paul this week on the American Consequences podcast. We spoke about how this isn’t the first time Americans have lost their liberties due to the coronavirus, and it won’t be the last…
So far, we’ve lost the freedom to choose to go out when we want to, and the simple freedom to choose if we want to eat somewhere for dinner… We’ve lost the ability to see our friends and family for the holidays, risking potential repercussions for gathering in our own homes. Now, we’ve lost the right to read a bill before it passes.
How can American citizens stand up for their rights with a government that acts this way?
As the virus becomes more and more politicized, lawmakers can push through bills and demand regulation that actively hurts American citizens.
American citizens are being forced to close their businesses, sometimes permanently, while the very people passing these laws have not missed a paycheck since the quarantine began.
But at least $600 to every American citizen should help…
Oh, and let’s not forget $600 to non-American citizens in America as well. Because this new bill, unlike the first relief bill, allows for mixed-status households to also receive the stimulus checks. That’s just one of the many small changes that were pushed through in this fast-vote bill.
President Trump ripped apart the relief package, arguing the legislation includes measures that have nothing to do with COVID-19 and the stimulus checks are far too small to actually help struggling Americans.
Now that the bill has been voted on and the people have had a chance to really dissect it, a few other important pieces of information have come to light.
Victor Davis Hanson, senior fellow at the Hoover Institute, also joined me on my podcast this week to discuss the interesting, and somewhat frightening, laws that have made their way into this bill. Here are just a few highlights:
- $1.3 billion for the Egyptian military, which will fund the purchase of Russian military equipment.
- A block of President Trump’s plan to merge functions of the Office of Personnel into the General Services Administration.
- $40 million to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (which is currently closed!).
- Illegal streaming is now a federal crime instead of a misdemeanor.
- $33 million to Democracy efforts in Venezuela.
I am the first person to agree with aid toward Venezuela after all that country has been through as it’s moving toward democracy. But is right now the best time to be spending $33 million of taxpayer money?
Victor and I both agree – now is the time to focus on assisting our own citizens… The stability of our national economy depends on it.
Victor even outlined the potentially disastrous effects of moving forward with so much fiscal stimulus.
“We can’t lower interest any more,” he says, commenting on the fact that it’s hard to borrow any more money while we’re already approaching an enormous amount of national debt.
Instead of locking down businesses and taking away our civil liberties, now is the time to open up the economy. And rather than send so much money to foreign efforts, we should be focusing on reinvesting in the American economy.
But at least now, thanks to the impending stimulus checks, people living in the U.S. can afford to pay for Netflix to avoid federal jail time…
Trish Regan, American Consequences
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“The Swamp Strikes Back: 6,000 Pages, 6 Hours…Members of Congress Bristle over Being Given 6 Hours to Read Massive Trillion-Dollar Spending Bill” [Breitbart News]
You cannot spend your way to prosperity. Government merely robs from the productive to reward the nonproductive. The absurdity? These government “rescue” packages spend trillions to rescue people from the government’s own lockdowns. It’s insane and unsustainable. We are on the hyperinflationary road to a Venezuelan economy.
A pitiful $600 “stimulus” check in exchange for losing your job or business to lockdowns? It’s called socialism. You fools asked for it.
Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason
Christmas in California has effectively been cancelled by Emperor Gavin Newsom.
And now it looks like here in L.A. we’re going to be locked in our basements by the local yahoos in charge until February.
But the continuing destruction of normal social and economic life in California in the name of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic is old news.
Instead, let’s talk about the yahoos in Washington who are continuing to screw up the whole country.
The federal yahoos, it’s no surprise, are the slippery politicians in Congress.
Mostly Democrats but also some Republicans, for a decade they haven’t had the decency or courage to pass an annual appropriations bill to pay for the bloated and wasteful federal government they’ve built.
By midnight Friday these yahoos have to pass another one of their short-term continuing resolutions to avoid a government shutdown.
It’ll be nothing special. For fiscal year 2021 – which began Oct. 1 – continuing resolutions have already been needed twice.
Last week Congress passed a continuing resolution that lasted only a week. If they sign a third “CR” Friday at midnight, it’ll probably last as little as two days.
It’s all pretty embarrassing, but continuing resolutions and midnight voting deadlines are how the annual federal budgeting process works these days in the world’s richest nation.
The process should be for Congress to pass 12 specific spending bills to pay for government things like transportation, the military, etc., by Sept. 30 every fiscal year.
But for ten years our public servants in Congress have not been able to get their act together to pass the 12 appropriations bills.
Instead, what they’ve done is combine several of the spending bills into gigantic omnibus bills that are packed with all kinds of goodies to reward donors and special interests or to fund federally funded local boondoggles that otherwise would never have the votes to pass.
It’s been a sweet racket for these yahoos.
They’ve found out that if they don’t pass the omnibus bills by Sept. 30 like they’re supposed to they can use a continuing resolution and the threat of a government shutdown to scare the public and get their crappy stuff passed unnoticed in huge spending bills.
The sad thing is these yahoos have been playing this dirty game in Washington for a long time, but no one ever holds them accountable and the media never tell the story.
Both parties do it. Both are to blame. It’s mostly Democrats who engage it, but it’s Republicans that don’t say anything. They all play along.
The same yahoos in Washington who’ll be passing the latest continuing resolution late Friday night are also at this moment dragging out the passage of a COVID-19 stimulus bill to the last possible minute.
It looks like they’ll be wheeling and dealing through the weekend to pass the much needed $900 billion bill.
The COVID-19 stimulus bill would have been passed several months ago but the Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used it as a political weapon.
They didn’t want Donald Trump’s re-election campaign to benefit from a second stimulus package.
Plus, imitating the way they operate on annual appropriations bills, they took advantage of a national crisis and tried to load up the stimulus bill with hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of presents for their pet special interests and to bail out badly run Democrat cities and bankrupt states like Illinois.
No American should shed a tear for any member of Congress this weekend, even if they have to work 24/7 on the stimulus bill and eat vending machine food from now until New Year’s.
They haven’t missed a paycheck all year. They’re going to make sure they have a merry Christmas. But they’ve basically said “Bah humbug” to the rest of us.
THE recent explosion in the reach of federal government has made limits on federal power once again the central political issue. Unfortunately, ignorance of our founding severely impoverishes that discussion. A good example is Richard Henry Lee. Lee made the motion calling for the colonies’ independence. He was a leader in the Continental Congresses, including as president. He was elected senator from Virginia, despite opposing the Constitution’s ratification for lacking “a better bill of rights.”
Particularly important were Lee’s Letters from the Federal Farmer, an important impetus to the Bill of Rights. Today, when what the federal government is permitted to do is again central, his arguments merit reconsideration. I can consent to no government, which … is not calculated equally to preserve the rights of all orders of men.
A free and enlightened people … will not resign all their rights to those who govern, and they will fix limits to their legislators and rulers…[who] will know they cannot be passed. [Hope] cannot justify the impropriety of giving powers, the exercise of which prudent men will not attempt, and imprudent men will … exercise only in a manner destructive of free government. Why … unnecessarily leave a door open to improper regulations? We cannot form a general government in which all power can be safely lodged. Should the general government…[employ] a system of influence, the government will take every occasion to multiply laws … props for its own support.
Vast powers of laying and collecting internal taxes in a government … would be … abused by imprudent and designing men. We ought not … commit the many to the mercy, prudence, and moderation of the few. National laws ought to yield to inalienable or fundamental rights—and … should extend only to a few national objects.
Men who govern will … construe laws and constitutions most favorably for increasing their own powers; all wise and prudent people … have drawn the line, and carefully described the powers parted with and the powers reserved … what rights are established as fundamental, and must not be infringed upon.
Our countrymen are entitled … to a government of laws and not of men … if the constitution … be vague and unguarded, then we depend wholly on the prudence, wisdom and moderation of those who manage the affairs of government… uncertain and precarious.
Liberty, in its genuine sense, is security to enjoy the effects of our honest industry and labors, in a free and mild government. The people have a right to hold and enjoy their property according to known standing laws, and which cannot be taken from them without their consent.
In free governments, the people … follow their own private pursuits, and enjoy the fruits of their labor with very small deductions for the public use. Our true object is … to render force as little necessary as possible.
The powers delegated to the government must be precisely defined… that, by no reasonable construction, they can be made to invade the rights and prerogatives intended to be left in the people.
We must consider this constitution, when adopted, as the supreme act of the people … we and our posterity must strictly adhere to the letter and spirit of it, and in no instance depart from them.
The first maxim of a man who loves liberty [is] never to grant to rulers an atom of power that is not most clearly and indispensably necessary for the safety and well-being of society. It must never be forgotten … that the liberties of the people are not so safe under the gracious manner of government as by the limitation of power.
According to Forrest McDonald, Lee was “imbued with an abiding love of liberty and a concomitant wholesome distrust of government.” In an era when the founding generation’s determination of the proper, narrow limits to impose on federal power has eroded to whether it is subject to virtually any limits, his insights are important. He knew that “The first maxim of a man who loves liberty” was “never to grant to rulers an atom of power that is not most clearly and indispensably necessary for the safety and well-being of society,” and that “It must never be forgotten … that the liberties of the people are not so safe under the gracious manner of government as by the limitation of power.” Americans today need to relearn those same lessons.
The current situation over the Presidential Election of 2020 is the greatest test of our American system, which, if it doesn’t pass this test, our system of the Rule of Law, Checks and Balances, Freedom of Speech, and Democracy will be over.
As the book, THE POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF JAMES MADISON shows, our Founding was premised on the Christian appreciation of human weakness and sin, lust for power, corruption, and evil. Madison’s whole argument for Separation of Power and Pluralism in Federalist Paper #10 was that Freedom with Law and Justice could only be maintained if our Constitutional system checked “ambition against ambition,” pitting one branch of government against the other to prevent tyranny.
The widespread and systematic corruption of this Election will only be thoroughly exposed and corrected if that Madisonian pluralism works. At this point, the State elections, legislatures, courts, and governors have been compromised and the salutary check of a Free Press and debate weakened by media bias and censorship.
Only the United States Supreme Court can salvage our Republic now. As the Highest Authority, with Original Jurisdiction granted by the Constitution, only it can address this crisis in the American polity.
With the Court’s rules of evidence, adversarial system (hearing arguments from both sides) impartial judges and jury, only the United States Supreme Court can bring out a semblance of the truths of this complex Election controversy. All sides must see a fair, careful inquiry, and conclusion.
Otherwise, if the purportedly seamless web of fraud and corruption is allowed to stand, it will be institutionalized, and America will never have an honest election again. The Republic will be over. No one will ultimately benefit from the loss of popular sovereignty, freedom, rights, and dignity that this will entail.
As I have written before, this may just be the historical “Life Cycle of a Republic,” like the Athenian and Roman Republics before it, that declined into wealth, imperialism, corruption, chaos, and misery. But the Eastern Roman Empire (Constantinople) experienced numerous cleansing revivals of virtue that allowed it to survive for hundreds of years after the Fall of Rome. We pray God’s Grace and Mercy on the United States, that such a return to our Founding Principles will occur.
By: Professor Garrett Ward Sheldon
China, Russia and Iran are the top three existential “threats” to the U.S., according to the National Security Strategy. Three features distinguish the top three. They are all sovereign powers. They are under varying degrees of sanctions. And they are the top three nodes of the 21st century’s most important, evolving geopolitical process: Eurasia integration.
What do the three sovereigns see when they examine the dystopia that took over Exceptionalistan?
They see, once again, three – discombobulated – nodes in conflict: the post-historic Pacific and Atlantic coasts; the South – a sort of expanded Dixieland; and the Midwest – what would be the American heartland.
The hyper-modern Pacific-Atlantic nodes congregate high-tech and finance, profit from Pentagon techno-breakthroughs and benefit from the “America rules the waves” ethos that guarantees the global primacy of the U.S. dollar.
The rest of America is largely considered by the Pacific-Atlantic as just a collection of flyover states: the South – which regards itself as the real, authentic America; and the Midwest, largely disciplined and quite practical-minded, squeezed ideologically between the littoral powerhouses and the South.
Superstructure, tough, is key: no matter what happens, whatever the fractures, this remains an Empire, where only a tiny elite, a de facto plutocratic oligarchy, rules.
It would be too schematic, even though essentially correct, to assert that in the presidential election, invisible campaigner Joe Biden represented the Pacific-Atlantic nodes, and Trump represented the whole South. Assuming the election was not fraudulent – and that remains a big “if” – the Midwest eventually swung based on three issues.
- Trump, as much as he relied on a sanctions juggernaut, could not bring back manufacturing jobs home.
- He could not reduce the military footprint across the Greater Middle East.
- And, before Covid-19, he could not bring down immigration.
Everything that lies ahead points to the irreconcilable – pitting the absolute majority that voted Dem in the Atlantic-Pacific nodes versus the South and a deeply divided Midwest. As much as Biden-Harris is bound to isolate the South even more, their prospects of “pacifying” the Midwest are less than zero.
Whose ground control?
Beyond the raucous altercations on whether the presidential election was fraudulent, these are the key factual points.
- A series of rules in mostly swing states were changed, through courts, bypassing state legislatures, without transparence, before the election, paving the way to facilitate fraud schemes.
- Biden was de facto coronated by AP, Google and Twitter even before the final, official result, and weeks before the electoral college vote this past Monday.
- Every serious, professional audit to determine whether all received and tabulated votes were valid was de facto squashed.
In any Global South latitude where the empire did “interfere” in local elections, color revolution-style, this set of facts would be regarded by scores of imperial officials, in a relentless propaganda blitz, as evidence of a coup.
On the recent Supreme Court ruling, a Deep State intel source told me, “the Supreme Court did not like to see half the country rioting against them, and preferred the decision be made by each state in the House of Representatives. That is the only way to handle this without jeopardizing the union. Even prominent Democrats I know realize that the fix took place. The error was to steal too many votes. This grand theft indicts the whole system, that has always been corrupt.”
Dangers abound. On the propaganda front, for instance, far right nationalists are absolutely convinced that U.S. media can be brought to heel only by occupying the six main offices of the top conglomerates, plus Facebook, Google and Twitter: then you’d have full control of the U.S. propaganda mill.
Another Deep State source, now retired, adds that, “the U.S. Army does not want to intervene as their soldiers may not obey orders.
Many of these far right nationalists were officers in the armed forces. They know where the nuclear missiles and bombers are. There are many in sympathy with them as the U.S. falls apart in lockdowns.”
Meanwhile, Hunter Biden’s dodgy dealings simply will not be made to vanish from public scrutiny. He’s under four different federal investigations. The recent subpoena amounts to a very serious case pointing to a putative crime family. It’s been conveniently forgotten that Joe Biden bragged to the Council on Foreign Relations that he forced Ukraine’s chief prosecutor Viktor Shokin to be fired exactly when he was investigating corruption by Burisma’s founder.
Of course, a massive army of shills will always invoke another army of omniscient and oh so impartial “fact checkers” to hammer the same message: “This is Trump’s version. Courts have said clearly all the evidence is baseless.”
District Attorney William Barr is now out of the picture (see his letter of resignation). Barr is a notorious Daddy Bush asset since the old days – and that means classic Deep State. Barr knew about all federal investigations on Hunter Biden dating back to 2018, covering potential money laundering and bribery.
And still, as the Wall Street Journal delightfully put it, he “worked to avoid their public disclosure during the heated election campaign”.
A devastating report (Dems: a Republican attack report) has shown how the Biden family was connected to a vast financial network with multiple foreign ramifications.
Then there’s Barr not even daring to say there was enough reason for the Department of Justice to engage in a far-reaching investigation into voting fraud, finally putting to rest all “baseless” conspiracy theories.
Move on. Nothing to see here. Even if an evidence pile-up featured, among other instances, ballot stuffing, backdated ballots, statistical improbabilities, electronic machine tampering, software back doors, affidavits from poll workers, not to mention the by now legendary stopping the vote in the dead of night, with subsequent, huge batches of votes miraculously switching from Trump to Biden.
Once again an omniscient army of oh so impartial “fact checkers” will say everything is baseless.
A perverse blowback
A perverse form of blowback is already in effect as informed global citizens may now see, crystal clear, the astonishing depth and reach of Deep State power – the ultimate decider of what happens next in Dystopia Central.
Both options are dire.
- The election stands, even if considered fraudulent by nearly half of U.S. public opinion. To quote that peerless existentialist, The Dude, there’s no rug tying the room together anymore.
- Were the election to be somehow overturned before January 20, the Deep State would go Shock and Awe to finish the job.
In either case, The Deplorables will become The Ungovernables.
It gets worse. A possible implosion of the union – with internal convulsions leading to a paroxysm of violence – may even be coupled with an external explosion, as in a miscalculated imperial adventure.
For the Three Sovereigns – Russia, China and Iran – as well as the overwhelming majority of the Global South, the conclusion is inescapable: if the current, sorry spectacle is the best Western liberal “democracy” has to offer, it definitely does not need any enemies or “threats”.
Pepe Escobar, UNZ Review
I just spoke to a biochemist who’s a friend of mine. She’s strongly urging everyone NOT to get the COVID vaccine. It is extremely dangerous, especially in terms of long-term consequences.
Don’t believe a word the government says. Everything the government has has been stolen, and everything the government says is a lie.
The Artful Dilettante