Ramping up and strawmen

By Nathan Barton

A few weeks ago, Freedom News Daily, which touts itself as the “freedom movement’s daily newspaper” featured these two articles in the “news” and “commentary” sections.

Trump to launch “major investigation” of his voter fraud fantasy : Source: The Hill “President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he will launch a ‘major’ investigation to look into voter fraud in the country. ‘I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and …. even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time),’ the president tweeted Wednesday morning.” (01/25/17)

Why Trump is doubling down on the voter fraud fraud: Source: Garrison Center by Thomas L Knapp “Voter fraud is not a strategy used by candidates and campaigns to move the needle on election results. Why? Because it’s just about the most expensive, burdensome, unreliable and risky way imaginable to do that. A successful voter fraud operation on any scale would require rounding up a whole bunch of people, trusting those people to cast the votes desired instead of just voting however they wanted to vote, and risking any or all of them getting caught (or sprouting a conscience) and blowing the operation. Too many co-conspirators and too many ways for things to go south fast and hard. If we remove the letter ‘r’ from the end of ‘voter,’ things make more sense. Yes, elections are sometimes rigged. But they’re not rigged the hard way, by impersonating voters.” (01/25/17)

I don’t know whether Tom or one of the other editors chose that first news item, or who wrote the headline (which is one way that FND provides commentary on news items – often in a very sarcastic way). He IS one of the editors, if not the publisher, and so his commentaries (from The Garrison Center and elsewhere), like the second item, frequently are included in the daily publication. (This is NOT a bad idea, and is not a glitch but a feature – his commentaries are generally well-thought out and worth reading, if highly biased.)

And I don’t have any problem with the items or the headlines. Trump is fair game, and if not as distasteful as either the last occupant of 1600 PA or the woman who wanted to move back in there, is very much a foe of true liberty.

What DOES bother me is the irrational nature of the many attacks on Trump. And the way the attacks are ramping up, like a two-year-old building up to the best tantrum yet. The leftists – the Tranzis – have outdone their previous performances of childish emotion and outrageous exaggeration and bizarre claims of consequences. Their rhetoric, their publications, ignore reality and fail to pay even lip service to truth and accuracy – especially when it comes to attacking Trump, Pence, and those who voted for them or otherwise supported them. The news headline and Tom’s commentary are, sadly, great examples of this. Examples that the “freedom movement” doesn’t need.

First off, despite Tom’s delight in trashing Trump about his “fantasy,” voter fraud – or more properly and broadly – election fraud is no fantasy. The entire process, in virtually every state and many (or even most) jurisdictions in those states, is corrupt and full of fraud. And this has been demonstrated for decades, including many quadrennial general elections. It includes a broad range of actions, and if anything, the opportunities for it have grown larger with each passing decade.

The system is designed to maximize it, in fact, while pretending to minimize the fraud. And both the GOP and the Dems have done everything they can in recent years to do that. Defrauding the voters, actually. (It is happening as we speak, in fact. Dems and GOPs in Utah’s legislature were so frightened by Evan McMillian’s strong “fourth party” showing, are rolling back the registration day for new parties all the way back to November of the year BEFORE the election.

But more specifically, voter fraud, in the form of false identities, double- and triple-voting, stealing and voting someone else’s absentee ballot, voting for the dead, and allowing non-qualified people (felons and border jumpers and immigrants who are not citizens even if “legal”) to vote has been going on for a very long time. Look at Chicago and Illinois in 1960. Look at a dozen Texas elections (in the old “blue state” Texas) from the 1920s to the 1970s. I personally have seen nominating petitions and petitions for initiatives with hundreds or thousands of false signatures.

These things have been made worse in the past couple of decades by such travesties of legislation as “Motor Voter” and the steady reduction of residency time required to be a registered voter. Same-day registration, mail ballots, and no-ID laws have sped the process of corruption still more.

Secondly, Tom does a WONDERFUL job of creating straw men which he then so successfully demolishes and sets alight. It does not take a massive, coordinated “conspiracy” to swing elections, especially NOT in an electorate so forcefully and closely divided. Just as libertarians should (and often do) recognize the benefits and success of “leaderless insurgency” and similar actions, it is easy to recognize that there is no more need for leaders and massive organization to commit enough voter fraud to swing some elections than it takes a conspiracy and organization to spread internet rumors and urban legends. People are smart enough to figure it out for themselves. And observant enough to recognize that the system is set up to encourage and promote it.

And voter fraud and other kinds of election corruption WILL continue and grow worse as long as we allow politics and government to dominate society. The only way the fraud and corruption will be made less harmful is to reduce the power of the state.

That is the bottom line. No matter how “clean” elections are, they are STILL, in the words of H. L. Mencken, a sort of advance auction of stolen goods. The entire system, including the purpose to which it is put, is corrupt. Taking power away from government is our best hope.

Mama’s Note: I suspect that most people, at some level, understand that electoral politics is a sham and a fraud of itself, just as they know that professional wrestling is fake. The politics and fake “sports” will continue, naturally, as long as large enough numbers of people are willing to buy the tickets and attend. The status of those who buy the tickets, then, is actually not relevant, no matter how they were defined or organized.

About tpolnathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (christian), Pahasapan, Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer.
This entry was posted in Commentary on the News, Nathan's Rants and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Ramping up and strawmen

  1. Scott Semans says:

    test

    Like

  2. Dave K says:

    You say you pay no tax theft you can avoid but paying it makes you no more partners in the theft than anyone with a gun to their head is complicit in their own mugging. However in one of the books you recommended, The Most Dangerous Superstitution, when it talks about the Milgram experiments, the subjects blamed authority for the pain they inflicted on others but of course they were responsible despite their protestation. In effect when we pay taxes of any kind, aren’t we complicit in the crimes of the state to some degree despite our protestation?

    Like

    • MamaLiberty says:

      A very interesting and difficult question. I’m convinced it depends entirely on the individual and his/her motives. Of course, MOST of us choose to pay the extortion rather than be killed. And that is the ultimate response of the non-voluntary government. The way not to pay any more than necessary to save your life is difficult at times, and impossible at times. I know of very few people who are willing to accept being murdered for not paying taxes, or a lot of other things. Avoiding paying is a whole other thing.

      Consider the difference between owning a big, fancy house in the city. Taxes on that are terrible. But the majority of the tax and the subsequent dangers, are easily managed by having a small house of some sort in a rural community with low property taxes instead. It is a choice, and one that only the individual can make for him/herself.

      The “Milgram” experiment is something else altogether. That addresses motivation and the result of centuries of indoctrination. It’s still a personal choice to accept it or not. And I suggest you might need to read that book again, more slowly. The bogus “authority” of non-voluntary government is the problem. That is the dangerous superstition.

      Like

      • Dave K says:

        Forgive me. I know I am a pain in the neck. I question everything. It is my nature.

        Does it matter whether we have a small house in the country and therefore pay little taxes or a large house in the city and therefore pay high taxes? Doesn’t paying any tax make us complicit in ALL the crimes of the state? In other words we do not have a choice, any choice, in being complicit.

        I am on your side. I wish I could be left alone. I wish I could live in the wilderness away from any government. But I do not see that as being possible in this day and age. So I try to limit the power of the state, to keep it as small as possible, to vote people out of office after one term, to lobby against legislation that invades personal rights, etc. The trouble is there are not enough of us.

        I will continue to study till the day I die and continue to debate. My heart is with you but my head ……………

        Like

      • MamaLiberty says:

        “Doesn’t paying any tax make us complicit in ALL the crimes of the state? ”

        No indeed. How can we be complicit if we do not consent? The gun is to our head and we can live or die… those are the choices.

        As for the large/small house, it’s a matter of exposing less of your hide to the blowtorch. You can also choose to live under a bridge, homeless, of course. Or a thousand other things. Each has its advantages and problems. Utopia is not an option.

        I do everything I can to be left alone. It’s not always possible, but less interaction with government and other busybodys is always better for me. The idea that there are “not enough of us” makes me smile. I suspect there are more than enough of “us” if more would cast off the idea that they can somehow control the state to their own advantage by playing along with the system. And the reason they do that is, again, the false idea that the “state” somehow has legitimate authority to do anything at all. I keep asking the question: By what legitimate authority? If you read the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, there is little question those revered “founders” recognized that all authority arises from the individual – OVER that same individual. Nothing more, and nothing less. Of course, they then went on to screw it all up with the “constitution” which denied individuality almost completely. You can’t be a little bit pregnant. So if the “state” has the power to seize your property for the use of government or someone else (among so many other things), the deal is off. At least for me…

        Toss that, and convince others, and there would be “enough” to restore liberty for all who want it. Not everyone will… a lot of people enjoy controlling others.

        Like

      • Dave Kristopeit says:

        You talk about “restoring” liberty as if at one time it existed. I’m not sure that it ever has – or that it could – at least in the way you seem to mean. The minute you walk out your front door, you are not in a state of pure liberty. You are in a state of society. In society, even in its simplest form in the family, there is authority. So how do we get from a simple family to a complex society of 300 million people, eliminate the authority and get everyone to agree to it and to live in peace with their neighbors?

        Like

      • MamaLiberty says:

        A person must first want liberty, and know what it is. Interaction with “society” does not require an absence of liberty. Liberty simply means self government, the freedom to choose as long as the equal freedom of others is not violated. It happens every time people meet together in peace, voluntarily. The VOLUNTARY association is the real engine for peace and prosperity. It happens all the time, all around us… and always has whenever people want it to.

        Like

      • Dave K says:

        OK – Let’s say you have two population segments living in pure Liberty. It could be two families, two tribes, two countries just like in Orwell’s 1984, etc. But there is always that 3rd segment that just does not get along. Maybe they are jealous or maybe they just don’t like the way we look. How do the other 2 ignore or defend against the 3rd and maintain a state of pure Liberty? This is what I mean when I say I don’t think Liberty in the way you mean has ever existed. I am not sure it can. I pray I am wrong.

        Like

      • MamaLiberty says:

        Utopia is NOT an option. I don’t know why you talk about “pure” liberty. There is no such thing. Never was, and never will be. Liberty means self ownership, personal responsibility and non-aggression. It is an INDIVIDUAL thing, not something applied to “society” in any form. It will happen between people who love liberty, and it will clash with people who want to control others. That, too, always has been and always will be. With some busybodies we can negotiate, or at least ignore them. For some we must pull out the gun to defend ourselves.

        Think individuals, not groups or systems. The largest group or system in the world is still made up of individuals. If you don’t own and control your body/mind… who does?

        Like

      • Dave Kristopeit says:

        By “pure liberty” I mean what I think you mean by “absence of authority”. Have you ever seen the movie with Robert Redford, Jeremiah Johnson? In my mind he lived in pure liberty. He did what he pleased, lived in peace with his neighbors that desired it, fought those who did not, and by wit or wisdom stayed alive in the early American wilderness. No one had any authority over him. I am not sure I believe that is possible today. We are like rats in a maze, more than 6 billion of us individuals that must interact with society at large. When we do there is conflict or jealousy even among family – think Joseph in the Bible. His brothers sold him to a traveling caravan. If we can’t get along with our own family, how in the world can we interact – in liberty – with other individuals?

        Let me continue reading the books you recommended. When I finish we can get back to this discussion. In the mean time, I want you to know that I have been the devils advocate so far. I do desire what you do – INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY.

        Like

      • MamaLiberty says:

        ” how in the world can we interact – in liberty – with other individuals? ”

        Pretty much one at a time, with justice, non-aggression and self control. Just as most of us always have. The authority naturally rests in each individual. They can delegate that to someone else if they wish… but they can’t choose to do so for anyone else.

        Those who want me to doubt that anarchy (self ownership and individual responsibility) is the best, most moral, and ethical way to live among others are asking me to accept that theft, aggression, superstition, and slavery are perhaps better.

        I look forward to continuing our discussion!

        Like

  3. Dave K says:

    I understand what you are saying. And I do try to avoid being “jerked around” as you call it. But I live in a house so I pay real estate taxes. I drive a car so I pay gas taxes and car registration. I use the Internet so I pay taxes to the company that supplies it – etc etc etc. There is no way to survive in this world with 40 acres and a mule any longer. I could be an anarchist but if all of my neighbors won’t, how is that going to work? I just try to limit the role of government as much as possible and I just haven’t figured out how to do that without participating. By participating I mean questioning their every action, voting, reading, teaching, writing, etc. Wish there was another way but I just have not seen one yet that makes any sense. But I am willing to learn. I’ll keep reading if you keep writing.

    Like

    • MamaLiberty says:

      You keep reading and I’ll keep writing, for sure. 🙂 But so many others do a much better job than I do.

      In the meantime, have you read these?

      “And Then There Were None”: http://www.abelard.org/e-f-russell.php (Free download)
      A fun story of how non-compliance and self governorship might work out.

      “The Most Dangerous Superstition”: http://www.larkenrose.com/component/content/article/34-books/2019-the-most-dangerous-superstition.html
      An excellent explanation of why voting and other cooperation with the non-voluntary government is self defeating.

      Man Alive, a survival manual for the human mind”
      Save the world from home – in your spare time! http://selfadoration.com/ManAlive.html (Free download)

      But I have always believed that ordinary people should be able to save the world from going to hell on a hand-truck. Our problem is not the tyrant-of-the-moment. The only real problem humanity has ever had is thoughtlessness – the mindless acquiescence to the absurd demands of demagogues.

      That’s the subject of this little book: The high cost of thoughtlessness – and how to stop paying it. It weighs in at around 75 pages. I’m nobody’s matchbook copywriter, and I would have made it even shorter if I could have. But it covers everything I know about the nature of human life on Earth – what we’ve gotten wrong, until now, and how we can do better going forward.

      Like

      • Dave K says:

        I am currently reading The Most Dangerous Superstitution and have already downloaded Man Alive. You gave me these titles in a previous post. I’ll let you know what I think when done with both of them. I will try to download And Then There Were None later today. I am also currently reading Lysander Spooner, a famous 19th Century anarchist. I guess I am becoming more anarchist as I age. I am very liberal about personal rights and conservative about economics so I always leaned libertarian but they have disappointed me too. I could not vote for Gary Johnson in the recentl election because his running mate was pro abortion and anti gun. And I just felt Johnson was not very bright. I think more and more people are feeling like you and I, that government does far more harm than good.

        Like

      • MamaLiberty says:

        The non-voluntary government is incapable of doing any actual “good.” That’s because they have nothing to “give” that they didn’t steal from others, and everything is done with the threat or reality of force and fraud. The “Libertarians” are no different.

        Just remember that “anarchist” simply means self government, self responsibility in voluntary association with others. Not no rules. No rulers and no slaves.

        Like

  4. Aria says:

    I especially like how your article contains exactly the same amount of evidence to support your claims as Trump’s statements, which is to say: none.

    Targeting a highly respected and prominent figure in the liberty movement about “ramping up” attacks against Trump because he called a belief in something without evidence a fantasy (last I checked, “fantasy” is, in fact, the correct word for such a thing) while repeating Trump’s wild allegations and still offering up no evidence… Probably not a great move. Can’t wait to see how this goes. 🙂

    Like

    • MamaLiberty says:

      Thanks for writing. The entire electoral politics thing is a fantasy. Mr. Trump is no exception. The problem isn’t that one or the other of the politicians is telling lies. The problem is that they all tell lies, and most people seem ready to excuse THEIR favorite liar instead of looking at how those politicians (and all their minions) use the lies to manipulate the population…

      Those who want me to doubt that anarchy (self ownership and individual responsibility) is the best, most moral, and ethical way to live among others are asking me to accept that theft, aggression, superstition, and slavery are perhaps better.

      Like

      • Aria says:

        The illegitimacy of government is a separate issue to voter fraud and rigged elections. We’re discussing voter fraud and vote fraud–in other words, how the system functions, not whether the system is legitimate. That the state is an institution of force and violence has nothing to do with vote or voter fraud. Yes, the state is immoral and illegitimate. That doesn’t mean there is voter fraud in the United States.

        Like

      • MamaLiberty says:

        The non-voluntary government being illegitimate, the “vote” itself is the central fraud. What part of fraud, force and violence don’t you understand? 🙂

        Like

      • Aria says:

        Ah, well, see, there’s a bit of a problem, from where you said: “No, I don’t ‘vote’ for politicians. I may, and have, voted against taxes or propositions that are destructive to liberty…”

        So the vote itself *cannot* be fraudulent, unless you’re making the case that you are engaged in fraud?

        It seems that you don’t know what “voter fraud” and “election fraud” mean. Indeed, these are phrases with actual meanings, not colloquial ones to be used and abused at your convenience. Voting for an illegitimate government does not mean there is fraud. What you are doing is called “moving the goalposts.” As you are unable to provide any evidence whatsoever to back your claim that the frauds you mentioned in the 1920s-1970s persists today, you instead move the goalpost to the election itself is a fraud. That may or may not be the case, but it has *nothing* to do with whether there is voter fraud. You are talking about a distinctly separate issue–again, the illegitimacy of government–and conflating it with the phenomenon that is voter fraud. It seems that you’re doing this because you can’t just admit that you have no evidence to back your statement, so you instead say, “Oh, no, the whole thing is fraudulent!”

        That may or may not be the case, but it has nothing at all to do with fraudulent elections, vote counters lying and misreporting votes, or widespread cases of illegible people voting anyway. These are things this article states exist.

        The article specifically states “It does not take a massive, coordinated ‘conspiracy’ to swing elections, especially NOT in an electorate so forcefully and closely divided,” making it clear that what the article is discussing are cases where the “official election results” are different from the votes actually cast–e.g., where the election is “swung” from its actual results.

        There has been no evidence at all provided for the contention that this happens in modern times. The article even attempts to demonstrate that this happens by pointing to past events. It seems you don’t even know what we’re discussing. The article is specifically about voter fraud and election fraud, which are stated by the article itself to mean the case where the election results are swung from the actual votes, by individuals or by conspiracy.

        Your goalpost moving is illegitimate. Back up the claim or admit you can’t.

        Like

      • MamaLiberty says:

        Aria, it is really annoying when people attempt to tell others what they “mean” by things. And no, my participation in the vote at times is not participating in any fraud. I’m not the one putting on the “election.” Such voting against taxes and things is a truly pathetic and useless attempt to defend myself from that fraud… but it is really pointless.

        If you want to lecture people on this stuff… why don’t you start your own blog. This one is mine. 🙂

        Like

      • Aria says:

        FFS, the article even states:

        “But more specifically, voter fraud, in the form of false identities, double- and triple-voting, stealing and voting someone else’s absentee ballot, voting for the dead, and allowing non-qualified people (felons and border jumpers and immigrants who are not citizens even if ‘legal’) to vote has been going on for a very long time.”

        The article we’re commenting straight up defines “voter fraud” as I quoted above. It spells it out, plain as day. For you to go from that to “Well, the state is illegitimate, therefore there is voter fraud!” is an obvious fallacy. Using the article’s own definition of voter fraud, let’s rewrite what you said.

        “The non-voluntary government being illegitimate, the ‘vote’ itself entails fraud in the form of false identities, double- and triple-voting, stealing and voting someone else’s absentee ballot, voting for the dead, and allowing non-qualified people.”

        I’m sure you can see how such a statement is utter nonsense. So, once more, we are discussing *voter fraud*, which the article we’re commenting on even defined, not the illegitimacy of the state.

        Like

      • MamaLiberty says:

        “We” are not discussing anything.

        Like

  5. Dave Kristopeit says:

    “….as long as large enough numbers of people are willing to buy the tickets and attend.” So are you suggesting we do not vote Mama?

    Like

    • MamaLiberty says:

      No, I don’t “vote” for politicians. I may, and have, voted against taxes or propositions that are destructive to liberty, but I will do nothing to encourage or prolong the rule of politicians.

      Those who want me to doubt that anarchy (self ownership and individual responsibility) is the best, most moral, and ethical way to live among others are asking me to accept that theft, aggression, superstition, and slavery are perhaps better.

      Like

      • Dave K says:

        I almost always vote against incumbents or maybe against the majority party figuring the more roadblocks we put in the way, the less damage can be done. But I always vote. You cannot avoid the system all together. You replied to me in another post that you teach self defense classes. I assume that means there is some kind of digital or paper trail that you earn something for your services. Therefore you pay taxes. The only way the system can be changed or eliminated is from within – or from revolution.

        Like

      • MamaLiberty says:

        We could have many long and fruitful discussions about all this. Wish you were my neighbor. 🙂

        The best way to live free in the here and now is to avoid and ignore anything and everything that is trying to control your life. The “system” can’t be changed to anything compatible with individual liberty, it can only be abolished.

        I don’t pay any “tax” theft I can avoid, but paying it makes me no more partners in the theft than anyone with a gun to their head is complicit in their own mugging.

        Give some thought to how you could further ignore and avoid being jerked around by the “state” right now. 🙂

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s