Trump Declares Jerusalem the Capital of Israel

Lookout fam… The internet is about to be filled with foreign policy experts.

The truth is that no one knows how the Arab street will react in the short-term. The long-term? There will never be peace as long as Israel exists and the governments of the U.S., Russia, and China are willing to ship weapons to Israel and Muslim nations by the billions. America will have a vastly diminished role in the Mid-East peace process, but so what? We are only involved in it so President’s can be the “one” that solves this problem. It is a vanity project. The sky is not falling and the world is not coming to an end.

This is Trump delivering on promises to his base. Trump is the first President to not pretend that he is everyone’s President. He is the President of his base. He is just not faking that he cares about the opinions of his opposition

The Childish Thinking of Gun Control Advocates

Liberals give me grief when I say it’s wise to wait a day or two to comment on a mass shooting event out of respect for victims, and to give themselves time to learn what happened. We now know that the Texas shooter should have been in jail or prevented from getting a gun. Various levels of government failed to keep 26 citizens alive, so it’s juvenile to argue that more of what failed will prevent the next mass shooting.

What stopped more deaths? A well-armed citizen protecting his community. If ever there was a tragedy that should give the left the imperative to stop reacting and reasoning like children, this was it.

The criminal justice system doesn’t actually protect the victims of domestic violence. How about we fix that?

Prayer Isn’t Welcomed in the Midst of a Tragedy?

I ranted a couple years ago on We Are Libertarians about the trend to switch prayers to “healing vibes” on social media. Somehow, prayer became a shameful act to display to social media friends despite Barna research saying 94% of Americans have prayed once in the last 3 days. Pew says 55% of Americans pray daily. In the wake of the Texas shooting, prayer has been mocked by progressives and Hollywood. Using their favorite weapons, shame and bullying, they are trying to silence public displays of the freedom of speech and religion.

Prayer to whomever or whatever is an act of contrition and reflection in an effort to become a better person. Some faiths say that signal of obedience makes God move in places he might not have before. Moments of tragedy are the best times to do a self-inventory and ask where we can change ourselves to be more loving and giving.

The vague “do something” where no policy is prescribed actually does nothing. It is vanity to show off for friends. Mock prayer, Keith Olbermann, but it is more effective than anything you’ve done in your “career.”

Our Flag and Anthem Are Bigger than Just Our Military

I love and respect our Flag, Anthem, and nation because of American values embodied in the Declaration, Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Our founding principles gave liberty and freedom an opportunity by flipping the relationship between ruler and citizen upside down. In America, citizens rule, and the government has to ask for permission when it wants to interfere in our life.

Our Founders knew our desire to give up our power and wrote down the values that would keep the spirit of Americanism alive.

The very first thing written? The freedom to speak and petition (protest) your government when citizens feel an injustice is taking place. Never again would a citizen be punished for doing their civic duty: speaking up when the government forgets its place. Nothing is more American than an American peacefully protesting injustices within the government. In my mind, there was no greater patriot in the 20th century than Martin Luther King Jr. Without firing a shot, he changed the hearts and minds of the American people, and they, in turn, changed our government.

Most of the Founders didn’t want a standing Army. They felt the homeland could be best protected by armed citizens who could protect their families, communities, and states. They didn’t dream Americans would have military bases in 170 countries while operating 7 fronts as we do today. I think many of the Founders would be absolutely puzzled that we are arguing over the common sense principle of self-protection coming under attack this week.

I think they’d be equally as shocked that half of our country have narrowed Americanism and the flag down to honoring a standing military and military intervention. Our Flag and Anthem mean so much more than the war powers of our current government.

I do believe our Flag and Anthem represent the fallen and our veterans, but not our policies. In my mind, Americanism is directly opposed to much of what this current government does. It stands for free markets, freedom of association, the right to peacefully live our lives without government agencies harassing us or killing us. Yes, it means honoring the memories of every person that gave their life for this unique experiment, both in and out of uniform. Many thousands of Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep this a shining beacon of hope. That includes those fighting in foreign wars as well as Americans like Emmitt Till.

I’m surrounded by political and religious refugees from Burma. They are wonderful neighbors, and they are adding a lot to our community. Storefronts that sat vacant for years are now thriving, for instance. America represents hope to them. They will lay down tonight in their secure and clean home without the fear of Burmese government agents killing or stealing from them. They will send their children to good schools tomorrow while they make more money than they’ve ever had in their life.

When I stand for the Anthem, my eyes water because of the hardship my great-great-great grandparents endured in leaving their German hometown and moving to a strange land so that one day their ancestors could be prosperous, healthy, clean, and endowed with all the rights given by our Creator. It’s for my Grandfather that nearly died in Okinawa fighting an Imperial menace that threatened the lives of millions of Americans. It’s tears of thanksgiving to God that I live in a country where I can start a media outlet that openly criticizes the ruling class without any fear of retribution.

So yes… the Flag and the Anthem ARE about soldiers that fought and died for this country. It’s about so much more. If Mike Pence and Donald Trump and any person reading this want to reduce it to only that, then they’re being decidedly unpatriotic. They’re being a propagandist, and that is UnAmerican.

Conspiracy Theories Abound in An Absence of Motive

Many conspiracy theories are circulating the internet over the Las Vegas shooting. This is one.

As you read it, your brain will say “Huh. I can buy that.” Then you’ll hear little pieces of evidence that seem to fit that theory. Then you believe it as you see others around you talking about it. Our fellow animals confirm things in our pack. We are also pattern creatures. Our brains love patterns because it saves calories which equals survival.

Conspiracies pop up because the killer fits no pattern. He isn’t in some box where we can classify him and ignore him. Religion, politics, revenge, money or clear mental insanity don’t seem to be his motive. He brought 23 guns into one of the safest areas of the world with the most surveillance. The security at the venue, the police, and government agencies all acted exemplary.

There is nothing to criticize or blame. There’s no motive. There’s nothing that could stop it. There’s nothing that can fix it.

That’s when the existential dread sets in. What if I turn into the monster? What if that old man in the Chili’s on Saturday’s is the next killer? We begin searching for predictability.

Americans take for granted the relative safety that blankets us. In both history and the rest of the world, we’ve never been more likely to return home at the end of the day. We are still humans with danger detectors in our brains, and they are going off.

I am reminded of a friend involved in a domestic violence situation. She was struggling to understand how her ex-husband could turn into a hunter. Her counselor said, “You are a rational being. Our minds are incapable of making sense of the irrational thought. There is no answer, and that is uncomfortable for us.”

Announcing Our New Subscription Service!

Every month, I set a goal for a new way to improve We Are Libertarians. This month, it is redoing our Patreon and donation system. Our main product is, and always will be, the Thursday night podcast. We now average 7,500 downloads with a peak episode of 12,000. (I have heard Tom Woods is at 20,000.) We are adding 1,000 new listeners a month. It still isn’t good enough for me. I want to be at the top of iTunes. I need your help to do it.

The only way I am able to improve this new media empire is through the cash our listeners donate each month. It’s become an entity that requires $100s a month to operate. This doesn’t include compensation 10 to 20 hours a week Greg and I spend on prepping, building, editing, and podcasting the content you’ve come to love. It’s our love too.

In 2016, I just simply said that I couldn’t cover the cost anymore, and started taking donations by telling the truth: “If you’d miss us if we disappeared, then we need you to pitch in or else we will have to.” 

Over 100 of you have. We now have 46 people that donate once a month. After concluding the building of our video program, a subscription service to properly thank them was my next project.

I’ve tested, demo’ed and researched software, and Patreon just kept coming back as the best choice for us.

As of today, we are offering Patreon rewards for monthly subscribers. You can see them here.

If you are a PayPal subscriber, you will have to cancel your current recurring payment and switch to Patreon to get the rewards. If you don’t do this, your card will still run, but without the goodies.

If you are a Patreon subscriber, you must amend your pledge to the new monthly pledge. We are switching from a per-episode plan to keep confusing down for those unfamiliar with Patreon.
If you are NOT a subscriber, then what are you waiting for? For many new libertarians, We Are Libertarians is the first podcast they hear. We are on the front lines of spreading the libertarian message and finding a sense of belonging for the politically homeless. Be a part of that change.

Television News Isn’t Journalism

TV News isn’t journalism, so we need to stop pretending it is. At best, it is entertainment, and at worst it is propaganda. Either way, there is nothing wrong with questioning everything you see or read or hear. People that earn paychecks from news organizations sanctimoniously preach about journalists that died “in the line of duty” and public trust and expect that places them above criticism.

In 2007, Indianapolis had a mayoral race where the Democrat was the likely winner with millions in the bank. The Republican was an unknown with less than $100,000 in the bank the August before the election. The Mayor was going for a third term and was the favorite. He gave a controversial budget address, and his challenger offered a rebuttal in the public section.

That night, I was chatting up a cute reporter (no doubt hired for her journalistic skills) from the local Fox tv affiliate on the way out of the address. I asked if they’d use the challenger’s address. She then uttered a phrase that dropped the scales from my eyes when it came to American television news.

“Nothing. My editors said that since he isn’t buying ad time, we don’t want to give him free advertising.”

Will Russia Gift Edward Snowden to Donald Trump?

In a continuation of the ongoing war between President Trump and the US intelligence community, NBC News is reporting:

That’s according to a senior U.S. official who has analyzed a series of highly sensitive intelligence reports detailing Russian deliberations and who says a Snowden handover is one of various ploys to “curry favor” with Trump. A second source in the intelligence community confirms the intelligence about the Russian conversations and notes it has been gathered since the inauguration.

Read the entire article here.

The US intelligence community is so concerned with the Trump administration’s ties to Russia, especially National Security Council chief Michael Flynn, that they are reportedly withholding security briefings from Trump to keep them out of Russia’s hands. Interestingly, this information comes from the Observer, a publication owned by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Snowden reacted with joy that he’d been vindicated.

Why would Russia consider this a gift? Trump expressed the following opinion of Snowden before the election:

More to follow…