Libertarian Commentary on the News, #15-20C: Poor News Reporting and Commentary

By Nathan Barton

By now, you’ve probably read or heard a lot about Jade Helm 15, and the hype about it.  But now we see more things popping up, such as this video at Freedom Outpost.  This strikes me as bogus and obviously faked: amateurs pretending to be FBI agents and two guys obviously well-scripted to present their views on this operation.  Supposedly this took place in Colorado, but there is just a lot that doesn’t feel or smell right. Is Jade Helm real, hyped, or the severe threat that so many groups claim it is?  I don’t know, but watching either the mainstream media or the “independent media” and trying to learn the truth is getting to be harder and harder.  Don’t believe anything either side is telling you without proof. Much of what I see available about Jade Helm comes from such suspect sites as PrisonPlanet.com and InfoWars.com, and then is endlessly quoted by the alternative media.

Divorced from reality?  US Education Secretary Duncan proposed public boarding schools to help protect students from violence on the streets when there are not parents or grandparents at home.  His proposal sounds rather disjointed, as reported by CNS, and CNS quoted statistics to show that, in the various government-run, tax-funded “Public” schools, the students are exposed to and victims of MORE violence and crime than on the streets or at home.  Lest I be accused of bashing the alternative media completely, let me point out that Freedom Outpost seems to have done a fair job of accurately reporting this, and referencing other data that shows that Duncan’s idea is a bad one, and explains that the Duncan solution is to a problem mostly created by the government itself. Duncan’s proposal smells way too much like “Brave New World” to me, and I actually lived in a public boarding school for one year, in a small South Dakota town, provided not for students with no parents or grandparents, but for students from ranches 50-80 miles away so that they didn’t have to be on the (generally unpaved) roads for 2-4 hours a day.

CNS News also reported about a new federal grant program to promote pool and spa safety, again “for the children.”  Okay, this may be a “good thing” and any children drowning in pools or spas is too many, but WHY is this a Federal responsibility?  Why is it a taxpayer responsibility, to steal even a measly million bucks (their view, not mine) to pay out to state and local governments to do what they are already doing?  And for that matter, why is it not the responsibility of the owners and operators of these pools and spas?  When my family and I go to the pool or use a spa, we do so at a private camp: we are members of the cooperative which owns and operates it.  We don’t use city- or county-owned facilities. If we didn’t have the camping club, we’d use the YMCA or a hotel or motel, some private organization NOT funded by theft from taxpayers.  But in fact, government-owned and –operated water parks and pools and fitness centers (subsidized by stolen money) drive private facilities out of business, even in tourist-oriented areas.

Back to my main theme of this commentary: the increasing unreliability and shakiness of news and media today, but with a different tack.  LewRockwell.com just published one of Andrew Napolitano’s columns, “What if we didn’t have a constitution?” which is the worst writing I’ve ever read from the man. It makes very little sense, even though the concept is worth talking about.  I generally learn a lot from anything Napolitano writes, but this time?  What is going on?  Are we all getting so tired and burned out that we can’t communicate clearly?

The same thing almost can be said of Paul Craig Roberts’ latest commentary, “Memorial Day is a hoax.”  He sets up a straw man and then uses it to “prove” his point.  In doing so he misses much, and makes a mockery of his usual careful reasoning.  Memorial Day (also known as Decoration Day) was originally established in the Southern US to honor the dead of the Confederate States Army who did NOT serve the role that Marine MG Smedley Butler so rightly condemned more than half a century later. Rather, they died defending their homes and their people against Yankee Aggression and the tyranny of Honest Abe.  The memorial quickly came to include the dead of the American Revolution, as well, and in places like Texas, the dead of their War of Independence.  And today the memory of those southern patriots is still honored on Memorial Day.  As are the lives of millions of people who never served a day in ANY military force. Memorial Day is the American secular version of the old Roman Catholic holiday “All Saints Day” to remember, memorialize, our friends and relatives who have passed on.  Even if many people DO use it to honor those who deserve no honor, that does not make it a hoax.

He also ignores the fact that many if not most of the hundreds of thousands of American military dead (from those invading Union armies of 1861-65 through the volunteers of the Spanish-American War and the conscripts of the Great War and the European and Pacific Theatres of the Second World War, and even the dead of Korea and Vietnam) believed, even if wrongly, that they WERE standing between their loved ones and homes and enemies that would and could destroy both.  The fact that they were hoodwinked, lied to, led astray by the politicians in the White House and the Capitol in virtually every case is no reason to dishonor the dead or their memories. Very few of those politicians (or for that matter, their children or grandchildren) ever sacrificed life or limb for their power. Dishonor the politicians, and take the power away from them.  Stop teaching young men and women that “going where Congress tells them to go and die” is preserving freedom and liberty and protecting their families and friends and communities and homeland.  Create a nation that is worth defending, reestablishing liberty for all of us, and make military service, in defense of the liberties and lives and properties of South Dakota and Wyoming and the other Forty-eight states, something again honorable and proud. But even if we have not yet done that, Memorial Day is not a hoax: it is GOVERNMENT and POLITICIANS that are frauds and perpetrate hoaxes.

About tpolnathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (christian), Pahasapan, Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer.
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