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“…Gov. Rauner has allowed Springfield insiders to shake down Illinois families while he turned away from the fight.”

For Immediate Release 
Is It Rauner’s $17 Billion Lobbyist Who’s in Charge?
“Rather than shaking up Springfield and turning around Illinois, Gov. Rauner has allowed Springfield insiders to shake down Illinois families while he turned away from the fight.”

January 5, 2018 – Gov. Bruce Rauner said last month that’s he’s not in charge. Maybe Nancy Kimme is.

Photo published in the Chicago Tribune on 1.4.17

Since Rauner’s election Kimme, who reportedly worked out of the governor’s office for much of his term, has amassed $17 billion in state contracts for her lobbying clients. (See chart here)

It is widely known in Springfield circles that she trades on her relationship with the Rauners to amass clients for her business.

It seems that wherever there is a lucrative state contract to be had, one finds Nancy Kimme wetting her beak. And so it is the case with the $2 billion deal for a private operator to manage the Illinois Lottery per a Chicago Tribune investigation.

Nancy Kimme is yet another commentary on Gov. Rauner’s abdication of leadership and betrayal of Illinois Republicans.

“Gov. Rauner isn’t in charge so institutional interests in Springfield, the men and women of always, filled the power vacuum left by the governor to line their pockets at taxpayer expense,” said conservative reform GOP gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives. “Rather than shaking up Springfield and turning around Illinois, Gov. Rauner has allowed Springfield insiders to shake down Illinois families while he turned away from the fight.”
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For more information or to book Jeanne Ives, contact Kathleen Murphy at 630-329-4680 or kathleenemurphy26@gmail.com.

Source: Will County News

Prosecutors ask FBI agents for info on Uranium One

NBC NEWS

Prosecutors ask FBI agents for info on Uranium One deal

On the orders of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Justice Department prosecutors have begun asking FBI agents to explain the evidence they found in a now dormant criminal investigation into a controversial uranium deal that critics have linked to Bill and Hillary Clinton, multiple law enforcement officials told NBC News.

The interviews with FBI agents are part of the Justice Department’s effort to fulfill a promise an assistant attorney general made to Congress last month to examine whether a special counsel was warranted to look into what has become known as the Uranium One deal, a senior Justice Department official said.

At issue is a 2010 transaction in which the Obama Administration allowed the sale of U.S. uranium mining facilities to Russia’s state atomic energy company. Hillary Clinton was secretary of state at the time, and the State Department was one of nine agencies that agreed to approve the deal after finding no threat to U.S. national security.

Image: Former U.S. Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Clinton speaks during the LA Promise Fund's Girls Build Leadership summit in Los Angeles
Hillary Clinton speaks in Los Angeles on Dec. 15. Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

A senior law enforcement official who was briefed on the initial FBI investigation told NBC News there were allegations of corruption surrounding the process under which the U.S. government approved the sale. But no charges were filed.

As the New York Times reported in April 2015, some of the people associated with the deal contributed millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation. And Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 for a Moscow speech by a Russian investment bank with links to the transaction.

Hillary Clinton has denied playing any role in the decision by the State Department to approve the sale, and the State Department official who approved it has said Clinton did not intervene in the matter. That hasn’t stopped some Republicans, including President Trump, from calling the arrangement corrupt — and urging that Clinton be investigated.

In a letter to Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Stephen Boyd said Justice Department lawyers would make recommendations to Sessions about whether an investigation should be opened or expanded, or whether a special counsel should be appointed to probe a number of issues of concern to Republicans.

 Sessions looks into FBI’s Uranium One investigation 3:09

In recent weeks, FBI agents who investigated the case have been asked by Justice Department prosecutors to describe the results of their probe. The agents also have been asked if there was any improper effort to squash a prosecution, the law enforcement sources say.

The senior Justice Department official said the questions were part of an effort by the Sessions team to get up to speed on the controversial case, in the face of allegations from Congressional Republicans that it was mishandled.

An FBI spokesman declined to comment.

On June 8, 2010, Uranium One announced it had signed an agreement to sell a majority stake to the mining arm of Rosatom, the Russian nuclear energy agency.

At the time, Uranium One’s two licensed mining operations in Wyoming amounted to about 20 percent of all uranium mining production capacity in the U.S, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. (That figure has since decreased.)

 Is President Trump right about Russia, Uranium and Clinton?2:54

Because enriched uranium is a component of nuclear weapons, the deal required a national security review by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States.

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, The New York Times reported, Uranium One’s Canadian chairman, Ian Telfer, used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the foundation, the Times reported, despite a promise to publicly identify all donors. The foundation later said it made a mistake.

Others associated with Uranium One also donated to the Clinton Foundation, according to the Times.

Sen John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming, raised objections to the sale, saying it would “give the Russian government control over a sizable portion of America’s uranium production capacity.”

 Congressman questions reviving of Uranium One 6:21

The U.S. ambassador to Kazakhstan also raised concerns in cables to Clinton’s State Department that Rosatom was acting on behalf of Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, to gobble up uranium mines after Russia felt “squeezed” by having their uranium imports limited by other countries.

Nonetheless, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, known as CFIUS, approved the deal by a unanimous vote, according to public reports. Clinton was just one member of the nine member CFIUS by virtue of her role as Secretary of State. The other eight members of CFIUS came from Treasury, Homeland Security, Commerce, Defense, Energy, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Office of Science & Technology, and the Justice Department.

Defenders of the deal point out that the Russians don’t have a license to export the uranium out of the U.S., and that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission found no risk to national security.

Goldcorp Chairman Ian Telfer Interview
Ian Telfer, chairman of Goldcorp Inc., speaks during an interview in Toronto in 2014. Galit Rodan / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Clinton has said she was not involved in the deliberations and played no role in the decision.

Jose Fernandez, a former assistant secretary of state, told the Times that he represented the department on the committee, and that “Mrs. Clinton never intervened with me on any C.F.I.U.S. matter.” He did not respond to a request for comment by NBC News.

A spokesman for Hillary Clinton did not answer whether she was ever briefed on the Uranium One deal.

“At every turn this storyline has been debunked on the merits,” said the spokesman, Nick Merrill. “This latest iteration is simply more of the right doing Trump’s bidding for him to distract from his own Russia problems, which are real and a grave threat to our national security.”

Stewart Baker, a former top lawyer in the George W. Bush administration and an expert in the CFIUS process, said he doubted that the Uranium One decision ever reached Clinton’s desk.

About the donations, he said, “Is it possible that the Russians thought they needed to do this and that it would help them? Yeah, but that doesn’t mean that it actually did.”

Baker said it was disquieting that the Sessions Justice Department was re-examining a case that career officials already concluded warranted no charges.

“You’d like to think that that wouldn’t happen often in a mature democracy,” he said.

However, he pointed out that Eric Holder, President Obama’s attorney general, ordered a new investigation into brutal CIA interrogations after career prosecutors had looked but filed no charges in the Bush administration. In the end, Holder’s department didn’t file charges, either.

Frank Giustra and Uranium One

Uranium One became a much bigger player in the uranium market after it absorbed a company run and co-owned by Frank Giustra, a Canadian businessman and Bill Clinton associate, in February 2007.

Giustra was the chairman of UrAsia, a company bidding for uranium rights in Kazakhstan. In 2005, after he had begun negotiating for the rights, he and Bill Clinton traveled to Kazakhstan on separate planes and attended a dinner with the country’s president.

Frank Giustra speaks with former President Bill Clinton announces new initiative for Latin America in New York
Frank Giustra speaks as former President Bill Clinton looks on during a news conference announcing that the Clinton foundation is launching a new sustainable development initiative in Latin America in New York in 2007. Shannon Stapleton / Reuters file

UrAsia had soon closed deals for uranium mining rights in Kazakhstan. In 2006, Giustra donated $31.3 million to the Clinton Foundation.

The value of UrAsia shares increased seventyfold between 2005 and 2007. Uranium One merged with UrAsia in 2007, after which, says Giustra, he sold his shares and left the company — three years before the controversial sale of U.S. uranium mining facilities.

Giustra has donated more than $100 million to the Clinton Foundation and currently sits on the foundation’s board.

In a statement, Giustra said that he had been working on the purchase of mining stakes from a private Kazakh company in early 2005, and the purchase was concluded in late 2005.

“In late 2005, I went to Kazakhstan to finish the negotiations of the sale,” said Giustra. “Bill Clinton flew to Almaty a few days after I arrived in the country on another person’s plane … Bill Clinton had nothing to do with the purchase of private mining stakes by a Canadian company.”

Republicans demand answers over claims Obama gave Hezbollah a pass

A growing number of Republicans on Capitol Hill are demanding answers after an investigative report this week claimed the Obama administration gave a free pass to Hezbollah’s drug-trafficking and money-laundering operations to help ensure the Iran nuclear deal would stay on track.

“If the Obama administration failed to use the authorities that Congress has authorized to stop Hezbollah terrorists and their associates from pouring cocaine onto our streets to fund terrorism and acquire weapons of mass destruction, it was a colossal mistake,” Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse wrote in a Thursday letter to the Justice, Treasury and State Departments, requesting “answers to these disturbing allegations.”

Added Sasse: “If the administration did so in order to shore up its foolish nuclear deal with Iran, it was a mistake of historical proportions, a mistake the consequences of which reach from the battlefields of Syria to the streets of Omaha and Scottsbluff.”

Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Ron DeSantis of Florida, two Republicans on the House Oversight Committee, also sent Attorney General Jeff Sessions a letter Thursday about the report, asking the Justice Department to turn over documents and other related records.

“We have a responsibility to evaluate whether these allegations are true, and if so, did the administration undermine U.S. law enforcement and compromise national security,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter.

OBAMA ADMIN UNDERMINED ANTI-HEZBOLLAH TASK FORCE TO HELP SECURE IRAN NUKE DEAL, REPORT SAYS

According to a bombshell exposé in Politico on Sunday, an elaborate campaign led by the Drug Enforcement Administration, known as Project Cassandra, targeted the Lebanese militant group’s criminal activities.

But when Project Cassandra leaders, who were working out of a DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, sought approval for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions, Justice and Treasury Department officials delayed, hindered or rejected their requests, according to Politico.

“This was a policy decision, it was a systematic decision,” David Asher, who helped establish Project Cassandra as a Defense Department illicit finance analyst in 2008, told Politico. “They serially ripped apart this entire effort that was very well supported and resourced, and it was done from the top down.”

In their letter to the Justice Department, Jordan and DeSantis requested a variety documents, including records related to Project Cassandra and the DEA’s law enforcement efforts against Hezbollah.

Since the report surfaced, former Obama administration officials have broadly dismissed the allegations as false.

“There are many reasonable critiques of Obama’s foreign policy,” former Obama official Tommy Vietor tweeted. “The idea that he was soft on Hezbollah is not one of them. The story is so manufactured out of thin air that it’s hard to push back except to say that it’s a figment of the imagination of two very flawed sources.”

But Republicans say they want detailed answers.

Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., sent a letter to House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy requesting an investigation this week.

“These revelations are shocking and infuriating,” Pittenger said in a statement to Fox News. “While American soldiers were bravely fighting ISIS terrorists, with some paying the ultimate price, the Obama administration reportedly was protecting Hezbollah terrorists who were funding themselves by trafficking illegal drugs. No wonder President Obama couldn’t bring himself to call them ‘Radical Islamist Terrorists.’”

Gowdy later said on Fox News this week that the allegations are “worthy of investigation.”

“It’s an incredible allegation that any administration would ignore one terrorist group because you were trying to curry favor with another terrorist group,” the South Carolina Republican said. “It is incendiary and it is worthy of investigation.”

Gowdy added, “If it’s true it’s a pretty damning indictment of Obama’s search for a legacy and his willingness to do anything to get one.”

Fox News’ Frank Miles contributed to this report.

Source: Will County News

2017 Constitutional Rights Fundraiser for the Illinois State Rifle Association

2017 Constitutional Rights Fundraiser for the Illinois State Rifle Association

 

By Gretchen A. Fritz

 

“Gandhi once observed that every movement goes through four stages: First they ignore you; then they abuse you; then they crack down on you and then you win.” (Peter D. Jones in WIN: Peace and Freedom Through Nonviolent Action, 1982)

 

Steve Balich is a lot like Gandhi, only he talks like a Sicilian from the South Side of Chicago. Balich is currently a member of the Will County Board, but he first made his mark as a co-founder of the Homer/Lockport TEA Party in 2009. He continues to champion conservative principles, the Second Amendment being chief among them. In 2014 he established the non-profit Constitutional Rights with the help of Vivienne Porter so that he could raise money for the Illinois State Rifle Association. On September 14, 2017, Constitutional Rights held its 4th Annual Fundraiser for the ISRA.

Dan Proft, cohost of The Morning Answer on AM 560 in Chicago, Senior Fellow at Illinois Policy Institute, President of Liberty Principles PAC and cofounder of the Illinois Opportunity Project served as emcee for the event. His remarks were complimentary and encouraging with touches of the satire for which he is known.

 

“One of the most successful political movements in the history of America is the gun rights movement, without question. Thirty years ago zero states had right-to-carry laws. Today fifty states have right-to-carry laws. That is a sea-change in a short period of time. And of course in Illinois, in particular, it’s a sea-change because we were ground zero for the gun-banning movement…And the reason that you may have seen the sea-change over just three decades is because of you all—because of the Illinois State Rifle Association, because of grassroots, because of law-abiding gun owners that stood up for their individual constitutional rights of self-protection. That’s the difference.”

 

Proft encouraged the 2A supporters present to soldier on: “Those that want to take away our individual constitutional right to self-protection are still around. They haven’t gone anywhere. And that’s why Illinois State Rifle Association and gun rights groups and…your activism are so important. Because they will never relent. They’re just waiting for a time when it is politically advantageous for them to strike again and to curtail your gun rights.”

 

Proft continued by really making the work of the ISRA personal, especially Ezell v. City of Chicago. “The litigation that was pursued by Rich Pearson and the Illinois State Rifle Association, in particular against the City of Chicago, obviously was instrumental in freeing hundreds of millions of Americans to protect themselves, particularly those who are unfortunate enough to be relegated to shooting galleries like the south and west sides of Chicago. You are standing up for the rights of the law abiding in some of the worst neighborhoods in the city, the state and the country, and for that, you deserve applause.”

 

Keynote speaker David A. Keene followed Proft. Keene is Editor at Large at the Washington Times, the nation’s largest conservative newspaper. He was the president of the National Rifle Association from 2012 to 2013. He has written extensively on politics, civil liberties and criminal justice issues for the Hill, the Boston Globe, National Review, Human Events, the American Spectator and others. He was traveling the speaking circuit in support of his current book, Shall Not Be Infringed: The New Assaults on Your Second Amendment.

 

“When I was asked to come out, I was anxious to do it….I came out to thank you for what you do, because you are on the front lines here in Illinois, in particular, in dealing with the City of Chicago….I had the honor of heading the NRA during our gun fight, as we call it, with Barack Obama. At the beginning of that, everybody thought we were going to lose virtually everything. We didn’t because, around the country, people just like you did what they had to do to protect their constitutional rights. They stood up. They fought. They made phone calls. They did everything they could do.”

 

Keene told several heartwarming stories about events during his time as the president of the NRA. “The [Obama] administration went after the states to introduce packages of gun control legislation that had to be fought at the state level. That ended when the legislative leaders in Colorado were recalled and defeated. I said at the time that you could hear the speakers of various assemblies across the country, their doors slamming shut because they were no longer even willing to discuss this. Because they had learned that gun owners were not asleep or, if they had been, that it was dangerous to wake them up because they were gonna fight for their rights.”

Keene told a story about the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show that was held in Pennsylvania each winter. In 2013 organizers decided about a week before the show that they would not allow the display of “any of the guns that the President didn’t like.” Over 300 sponsors and vendors walked out, causing the show to collapse and costing Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, $70-80 million.

 

Keene said, “The interesting thing about it…it wasn’t the NRA that walked out first. It was the fishermen and then bowhunters, and then we walked out….That sent a message that the other goal of the anti-gun movement in that fight, which was to divide gun owners from other outdoorsmen and sportsmen, wasn’t gonna work….You couldn’t divide competitive shooters from hunters or self-defense advocates from hunters and gun collectors or from other outdoors people, because they knew they would be next on the list.”

 

Keene’s closing echoed Proft’s comments about perseverance and esprit de corps. “The reason that we made progress is not because we’re right—but we are. That makes little difference in the political wars that we have to fight. It’s because there are so many of us.”

 

Keene said that before 1968, the NRA was not a political or lobbyist organization, but  promised that it—along with state organizations like ISRA—will continue to stand up for gun owners and the Second Amendment. “Think about it again: in 1968 nobody would have thought we would have the rights we have today. In twenty years, if we do our job, those rights are going to be expanded.”

 

Steve Balich and his organizing committee are already planning next year’s event. The 2018 Constitutional Rights fundraiser will be in September at the Clarion Hotel in Joliet; the exact date will be determined by the availability of a suitable keynote speaker.

A YouTube video of the dinner can be seen at https://youtu.be/1ITLwJXJos0.

 

Reprinted from The Illinois Shooter

Source: Will County News

March for Life Chicago leadership is speaking out about the latest legal action involving the controversial HB 40 abortion law

“Uphold Laws, Not Break them on the Backs of the Unborn,” Says March for Life Chicago Leadership to IL Legislators

Pro-Life Influencers Call Out Lawmakers Over Latest HB 40 Legal Action

Contact: Tom Ciesielka, 312.422.1333, tc@tcpr.net

(January 5, 2018 – Chicago) March for Life Chicago leadership is speaking out about the latest legal action involving the controversial HB 40 abortion law. On behalf of the 6,000+ pro-life advocates expected to fill Chicago’s Loop for the January 14 event, March for Life Chicago Board of Directors President Dawn Fitzpatrick expressed dismay over the law forcing Illinois state taxpayers to pay for tens of thousands of abortions in the New Year.

“The March for Life Chicago expects lawmakers to respect all life and to follow the rules they themselves designed, not break them on the backs of the unborn,” Fitzpatrick remarked, focusing on the allegations that the bill never went through the required legislative steps to become law. “All who will attend the March for Life Chicago, the Board of Directors, and our supporters from across the business and religious community, are vehemently opposed to this horrific law. We are appalled that Governor Rauner went against his word and his promise to veto this bill.”

Fitzpatrick continued, “It makes no sense that the Illinois General Assembly should support this. Not only will this law facilitate the death of thousands of additional babies in Illinois, but now we are all forced to pay for these abortions out of our taxes. This is an utterly heinous violation of our consciences, which tell us that every life is sacred.”

“The Thomas More Society, one of our March for Life Chicago sponsors, has filed a lawsuit against Illinois state officials over the improper procedures, lack of budgeted monies, and mandated taxpayer funding of abortion brought about by HB 40,” added Fitzpatrick.  “We at the March for Life Chicago applaud their work on behalf of life.”

Fitzpatrick remains optimistic, declaring, “Despite the notorious image that HB 40 gives Illinois, we are heartened by the support shown for the March for Life Chicago by surrounding states, from which we expect hundreds of participants.”

The 2018 March for Life Chicago is Sunday, January 14, 2018, beginning on Chicago’s Federal Plaza at 2 p.m. (Central). Archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, and the Chicago Bears’ co-owner Pat McCaskey are among the featured speakers at the annual event to proclaim the sanctity of human life and call for an end to abortion.

About the March for Life Chicago 
The March for Life Chicago is an annual public event composed of people from diverse ethnic, social, and religious backgrounds dedicated to defending and protecting all human life. The event marks with deep sadness the great tragedy of the legalization of abortion in the United States along with the devastating social, moral, and legal consequences that have followed. Marching together in hope, the March for Life Chicago calls upon government, religious, civic, and community leaders to renew every effort to build a nation that affirms the authentic dignity of women, the gift of children, and a culture dedicated to protecting life at every stage of development. Learn more at: 
MarchForLifeChicago.org.

Source: Will County News

There is a coordinated effort by international financiers to destabilize our economy

By Bob Livingston December 2017

Among liberty activists, there is a rather universal consensus on what ails our nation. We understand that there is a concerted and deliberate effort by the establishment to undermine individual rights and constitutional protections. We understand that there is a coordinated effort by international financiers to destabilize our economy and siphon wealth from the middle class until it shrivels up and dies. We understand that there is an organized plan to radicalize the public along ideological lines and pit them against each other. We understand that geopolitics and regional wars are exploited to distract us from underlying issues. There is not very much debate over these realities; the evidence is overwhelming.

However, there is constant disagreement among activists on solutions to these problems, and there are several reasons why this conflict persists. Let’s examine them…

Ease versus struggle

This is one conflict that I don’t think many people recognize or pay much attention to, but it stand as a key weakness that derails effective action. There is a distaste among some liberty activists for the idea of self sacrifice and struggle in achieving freedom. The reality is most fights are won through persistence and force of will; there are no shortcuts to defeating tyranny. There are no secret weapons.  There is only indomitable spirit. That’s it. It doesn’t matter if you have a movement of 100 people or 100 million — any goal is achievable, but only so long as you accept the cost of pain and sacrifice.

In my years working in the movement I have seen hundreds of poorly conceived silver bullet “solutions” rise to prominence and then fail or disappear entirely. In every case there is a period of overblown excitement while practical strategies are completely ignored. A perfect example would be the current love affair among a subculture of activists with cryptocurrencies. The concept of rebellion on a virtual level is certainly alluring to those who fear real world work and a real world fight. A fantasy of defeating the establishment with ease appeals to those who fear struggle. This is something the powers-that-be take full advantage of.

To defeat concerted technocratic centralization requires nothing less than a willingness to risk everything without the promise of reward. The sooner people realize that there is no easy path to a freer society, the sooner we can act effectively.

Thinking in the present versus thinking ahead

One truth that I consistently try to point out to activists is that they may never see the benefits of the fighting they do today. They must fight with the expectation that they will not see the light at the end of the tunnel. Successful freedom fighters do not fight for themselves so much as they fight for the next generation. They fight so that their children can live without tyranny, not necessarily so they can live without tyranny. This idea seems to bewilder some activists, and I blame this on the self serving nature of our society and its addiction to immediate gratification. Even among the best of us, there is a tendency to only plan in the now and seek solutions in the now.

Real rebellion requires long term tactics. Deeply rooted tyrannies are whittled down over time, sometimes over the course of multiple generations. They are not defeated overnight.

Optimism versus nihilism

I have seen many liberty analysts attacked as “doom and gloomers,” but this accusation is usually wielded by ignorant people with little understanding of how freedom movements function. They do not function on “doom” or “fear porn,” but on a healthy dose of reality coupled with the optimistic philosophy that knowledge is power. What the skeptics do not grasp is that we work to comprehend the intricacies of a crisis because we have enough optimism to foresee that the crisis can be stopped.

We are not “doom and gloomers,” we are actually issuing a rallying cry, because we know that “doom” can in fact be averted.

The real “doom and gloomers” are actually the nihilists — the people that blindly dismiss the possibility of victory. These are the people that do not want to hear about strategies or solutions; they only seek to criticize because they do not have the intelligence to offer up a solution of their own. These are the people who are constantly saying “Yeah, you’ve told us about the problem, but what are you going to do about it,” when they should be asking themselves “What am I going to do about it?”

Isolation versus community

This is perhaps the defining argument of my years as an analysts and macro-economist, and it is something I continue to fight for to this day. The greatest weakness within the liberty movement, in my opinion, is the refusal to take the necessity of community seriously. Whether it be because of laziness (ease), because of paranoia or because of too much exposure to Hollywood fantasies of the survival world, many people have adopted the philosophy that preparation for crisis is best done in isolation. In other words, the “lone wolf” mentality.

In almost every historic or modern societal collapse on record, it has been organized communities of people with necessary skill sets that have had the most success in survival. And, it is these community that offer the most dangerous threat to oligarchies. So, the question becomes, what do you hope to accomplish? Do you seek to survive? Then community is the best possible option. Do you seek to fight back against the encroachment of authoritarianism? Then numerous voluntary communities prepared for disaster are the best weapon.

Does the nail that stands up get hammered down? Possibly. But without community, you ensure that you will always be a nail, and never the hammer. Isolated preparedness is a recipe for failure.

Localization versus centralization

As much as liberty activists rail against the problem of centralization, they tend to fall victim to their own centralization schemes. Community only matters when it is within arms reach. This means that internet based communities, while encouraging because the can reveal our true numbers and make us feel as though we are not alone, also tend to centralize or activism within a false framework, isolating us more than uniting us.

A web based community is not a community, just as a web based solution is not a solution. If you are not utilizing the web in part as a tool to build localized community in the real world, or a localized economy in the real world, then you are wasting your time with web activism.

What internet activism does do, unfortunately, is give people a false sense of security, and it prevents them from pursuing real community in the place they live. I have heard on thousands of occasions from activist who claim that “no one around them is awake and aware;” they claim they are alone in the midst of thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of people. This is nonsense. In every part of the country I have found liberty-minded people in droves, often all in the same town or city within easy driving distance. And, the people who claim they are alone are usually the people who have never tried to look, or to organize. Why? Because that’s hard work, and their virtual community on the internet is so much easier.

The source of all freedom

Beyond the internalized conflicts within liberty movements, there is a defining methodology at stake. The gravitation pull that strengthens communities, the fuel that drives optimism and a respect for the future, the thing that makes us all more than what we seem to be on the surface, the thing that catches authoritarians off guard, is our propensity for courage and human kindness. Without these two things, any fight against tyranny is destined to implode.

Endeavor requires risk, and all risk requires courage (or perhaps stupidity, but courage can often be mistaken as stupidity). The greatest endeavor in the history of mankind is the endeavor to live free. This is one of the few things in the world actually worth fighting or dying for.  It only follows that such a fantastic goal would require ultimate risk.

Courage is the willingness to take risks while knowing the full well the consequences of failure. In some cases, courage means taking action while knowing that there will be consequences even in success. Often, there are no benefits to the courageous beyond the knowledge that they have benefited others. The fight is not about profit. The fight is not about personal survival. The fight is about something much more.  Something difficult to define, but intuitively felt.

Taking terrible risks with the intention of benefiting others, many of them not even born yet, requires human kindness. A self-absorbed sociopath or narcissist will never achieve greatness, because greatness requires actions that are counter-intuitive to self preservation. A person who embraces moral relativism will also never accomplish much for the future. Kindness requires moral resolve, not moral “flexibility.”

It is these two characteristics that defeat tyrants, and so it will be these two characteristics that tyrants will seek to undermine. It is difficult to conquer a people when they are not afraid of sacrifice. It is difficult to isolate people with selfishness when they are driven by the empathy inherent in kindness. All solutions, all practical strategies rely on the existence of these two forces within a movement.

As 2017 comes to a close, it is my hope that every liberty activist prepares for more dangerous days ahead. But above all else, their preparations must flow from a foundation of struggle and self sacrifice, foresight and endurance, community and practicality, courage and kindness. If not, then really, what is the point?

Source: Will County News