On useful men and their counterparts
"History deals mainly with captains and kings,
gods and prophets, exploiters and despoilers, not
with useful men." --H. L. Mencken
For the individual wanting to break free of the unending sea of collectives and institutions contending for his soul...and more...put together by a Visionary Philosopher, so I've been told. Maybe you want to stay tuned to see if that's true... with notes on The End of the Nation State.
"History deals mainly with captains and kings,
"The idea that 'the public interest' supersedes
In the process, he [Simmons]has become a friend
and associate of many of the top figures in the
oil industry, including George W. Bush and Dick
He has also accumulated a vast storehouse of
information about the world's major oil fields,
the prospects for new discoveries, and the
techniques for extracting and marketing
petroleum. There is virtually no figure better
equipped than Simmons to assess the state of the
world's oil supply.
The moment that Saudi production goes into
permanent decline, the Petroleum Age as we know
it will draw to a close. Oil will still be
available on international markets, but not in
the abundance to which we have become accustomed
and not at a price that many of us will be able
to afford.. Transportation, and everything it
effects -- which is to say, virtually the entire
world economy -- will be much, much more costly.
The cost of food will also rise, as modern
agriculture relies to an extraordinary extent on
petroleum products for tilling, harvesting, pest
protection, processing, and delivery. Many other
products made with petroleum -- paints, plastics,
lubricants, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and so
forth -- will also prove far more costly. Under
these circumstances, a global economic
contraction -- with all the individual pain and
hardship that would surely produce -- appears
Can the mighty U.S. take on "spontaneous order"
and win? Or is it going to be another requiem for
Jury nullification occurs when a jury returns a
verdict of "Not Guilty" despite its belief that
the defendant is guilty of the violation charged.
The jury in effect nullifies a law that it
believes is either immoral or wrongly applied to
the defendant whose fate that(sic) are charged
Russian President Vladimir Putin has assured
U.S. business leaders that his government remains
committed to free-market principles and welcomes
foreign investment, addressing concerns raised by
the jailing of former oil tycoon Mikhail
Khodorkovsky, local media reported Saturday.
Authorities also have launched more
investigations into back taxes, and even the
Russian subsidiaries of foreign corporate giants
like BP and Japan Tobacco have been slapped with
The problem with democratic leaders overruling
private decisions is that it relies on a fairly
ridiculous premise: people are too dumb to make
the right decisions in a private market, and yet
they are smart enough to select people in the
political process who will efficiently correct
their irrational decisions in the private market.
“As a former investigator, I know what a cover-
up is. I can smell a cover-up,” says Banister. “I
haven’t filed [taxes] since 1999. I know what
could happen, but I’m not fearful. All I want is
for the government to answer the [legality]
questions I posed in my report.”
“The IRS doesn’t debate the tax law in the
public or through the media,” replies the IRS’
Weller. “We present our case in court where we
have had a 100% slam-dunk success rate against
Joe Banister Beats I.R.S.
Former IRS CID Special Agent Joseph Banister
Acquitted of Tax Fraud And Conspiracy
"Accounting wise, the Dept. of Interior makes
Godchecker is 100% non-denominational. All Gods
are welcome, whether Greek, Roman, Egyptian,
Slavonic, or of No Fixed Abode. Polytheism is
much more fun than monotonous monotheism. The
Gods are queuing up to get in! And Terry
Pratchett fans, Tolkien afficiandos, Douglas
Adams devotees and Harry Potter nuts will love
our selection of Goddities!
The Godchecker database aims to cover all Gods
of mythology, literature and legend. Pagan
culture is covered with Celtic deities and more
Earth Mother Goddesses than you can shake a
willow stick at. And if you're seeking knowledge,
wealth or immortality, you may pick up some tips.
Our current research has led to some very
promising ideas involving snails, beetroot and
All our Gods are certified genuine and digitally
signed. This site is blessed by the Holy Snail™.
Lost? Wander the mystic mythological site map.
The Gods told us to do it.
just went there: "As predicted by the Tablets of
Destiny, we present the ancient deities of
Babylon, Sumer and Akkad." I got a theory -
tablets of destiny were laptops with the hot, new
quantum chips infinitely parallel processing and
all that shit - anyway, they could naturally
stargate/wormhole their young asses into the
Akashic records which would be the ultimate
Google, currently unavailable to the earth
monkeys, but we be workin' on it.
Sanity is lonely.
Difference between a business crook and a
As a result, cities now have wide power to
bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping
malls and hotel complexes in order to generate
Aren’t these guys even more hilarious than the
original Keystone Kops? There is no writer on
Earth who could imagine such an absurd goofy plot
line as the "reality" Washington DC dishes up
daily via our Mass Hysteria Broadcast Media. This
must be straight from Central Casting to educate
us all about how very wicked it is such a web of
lies and double standards to weave. Maybe the
only important question is, how come the American
people don’t roll on the floor laughing every
time the Broadcast Media begins to pompously
intone the latest version of the Republicrat Big
Lie? Why should just Arnold in California get the
rotten eggs? Why shouldn’t Rather, Blitzer,
Jennings, Brokaw, and all the other intellectual
dwarves of the Mass Media get regularly pelted
with rotten eggs for passing on the Republicrat
big lies as if they were real news?
7. Why and how America must and will rewrite the
New Deal to recover from the coming collapse, a
New Industrial Development Plan.
In developing his thesis, Shaffer examines both
the institutions that he pinpoints as responsible
for much of the violence and unhappiness in the
world, and individuals who have allowed them to
wreak so much havoc upon ourselves and our
dealings with others:
"If we wish to understand the nature of political
institutions, we must be able to observe them
with minds that are willing to abandon many of
their most cherished illusions. In so doing, we
will discover that we have been sanctioning the
greatest of irrationalities: placing our lives
and well-being at the disposal of men and women
with appetites for power over other people, and
who amuse themselves and gratify their egos while
others suffer and die. .... The political State
represents nothing more than the
institutionalization of unprincipled power and
naked force. Though we delude ourselves with
trying to measure differences between fascism and
communism, democracies and dictatorships,
conservatism and liberalism, moderates and
extremists, authoritarian and totalitarian
regimes, the fact remains that every form of
government is a police-State, every political
system is tyrannical." (pp. 117-118, emphasis in
In a short-lived mass media experiment, the Los
Angeles Times has closed a Web site it launched
on Friday that allowed readers to rewrite
The paper said it made the move after the site
was flooded with obscene messages and photos.
Dubbed "Wikitorial" after the popular Wikipedia
collaborative encyclopedia project, the Web site
was blank on Monday morning, except for a short
"Unfortunately, we have had to remove this
feature, at least temporarily, because a few
readers were flooding the site with inappropriate
material. Thanks and apologies to the thousands
of people who logged on in the right spirit."
On Monday, June 20, top Russian oil producer
Lukoil made a rare foray into politics and issued
a statement addressed to the authorities, asking
them to cut taxes on oil companies and to make
better use of the vast revenues that the Russian
budget gets from oil exports.
Leonid Fedun, both a vice president and a large
shareholder, said taxes must come down if
companies are to expand oil output, which has
stagnated since hitting a post-Soviet high of 9.4
million barrels per day in September 2004. “The
state should decide which scenario it prefers,”
Fedun, quoted by Reuters, told a Renaissance
Capital investor conference in Moscow.
Like other Russian firms, Lukoil has kept out of
politics since the authorities launched a
campaign against former blue chip oil firm Yukos
and its former CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Khodorkovsky is now serving nine years in jail
and his firm has been crushed by a $27.5 billion
tax bill, which led to the forced sale of its
main operating unit. Yukos’ 18-month slide
towards ruin has scared investors and contributed
to massive capital flight, sparking fears that
more tax claims might follow. Several other oil
firms have been audited for back-taxes —-
including Lukoil, and some received assessments
or bills, but none as big as at Yukos.
Joseph Simonton of Eagle River, Wisconsin,
claims that a flying saucer landed in his back
yard one day and an extraterrestrial got out and
gave him some pancakes.
There were no other witnesses to this remarkable
occurrence, so it is certainly tempting to say
that Simonton must have been hallucinating. There
is no reason to think that he was consciously
perpetrating a hoax, however. He has not tried to
commercialize on his encounter in any way and
seems to be baffled by the whole experience, just
as you would be.
Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a skeptical astronomer, who
explained other UFOs as "swamp gas," was sent by
the Air Force to investigate the Simonton
mindfuck. Dr. Hynek took some of the damnable
pancakes back to the Dayton Air Force base, where
the UFO investigation is headquartered, and
scientists there determined that the pancakes
were perfectly normal and contained nutritious
wheat germ, perhaps indicating that the Space
Brothers are Ralph Nader fans. Dr. Hynek himself
says he thinks Simonton was telling the truth,
i.e., he believed in his experience.
Dr. Jacques Vallee also investigated this case
and says that he too is convinced that Simonton
Simonton himself has no idea why he, of all the
people on Earth, was singled out for this
If Simonton merely hallcuinated the whole
episode, where did the accursed astral pancakes
actually come from? . . .
Simonton's adventure is more characteristic of
UFO contacts than readers who are unfamiliar with
the subject will realize. The newspapers and TV
generally cover only a tiny fraction of UFO
reports and usually publicize only the contactees
who establish quasi-religious movements around
themselves, based on doctrines of peace and pop
ecology allegedly transmitted by the UFOnauts.
Such messianic accounts are comfortable reading,
since most of us secretly would like to believe
that benevolent Space Brothers are trying to save
this planet from the various disasters that seem
to threat it, but they are a minority. The
Simonton pancakes are much more typical.
— Robert Anton Wilson, Cosmic Trigger: the Final
Secret of the Illuminati
A little bit of recent Russian economic history...
All governments borrow. It's the natural state
of financial affairs. What makes the world go
around, if you will. Even Islamic governments,
forbidden by their religion to become their
neighbor's debtor, find ways to skirt this fussy
little law in the Koran.
Russia - tsarist, communist, and post-communist -
was never a stranger to borrowing money.
Curiously enough, despite their spurious
reputation as being xenophobic, Russians
historically preferred to borrow abroad. And when
it decided to tap internal financial resources,
the post-Soviet Russian government went out of
control and eventually created a disaster that
the next two generations will be doomed to bear.
Let there be no doubt: it was the GKO market
that buried Russia one year ago today, and not
the fact that the banking system was
undercapitalized and inexperienced, or the
economy was too dependent upon its natural
resources and exports.
It was the government's enormous appetite for
capital that eventually plunged the country into
chaos and ate a hole into everyone's pocket. And
therefore it should be the government, first and
foremost, that must learn the primary lesson of
last August: One must live according to one's
Does it matter?
Tim Cavanaugh may be right that they stopped
caring about that a long time ago. However, when
they find out who lied us into war, and why –
when they discover that American girls and boys
are dying and being horribly wounded in order to
make life a little bit easier for the Israeli
state, and specifically for Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon, I wonder if they'll begin to get a little
hot under the collar. Particularly as our Justice
Department rounds up a coven of Israeli spies in
the Pentagon, and charges Israel's Washington
lobbyists with espionage.
Do you believe President Bush misled the nation in
order to go to war with Iraq? * 19925 responses
The takeaway lesson from the American
revolutions (both past and future) is this: no
matter which group of collectivists win, the
individual is going to lose.
Cannibals aren’t going to let themselves go
hungry in order to spare you.
"All living souls welcome whatever they are ready
GOP introduces new bill to Congress author: Colorado
Palestine Solidarity Campaign Republicans have
officially started the the campaign to amend the
Constitution by repealing the 22nd Amendment - the
one that confines the President to two terms. If
the Republicans hold their current strength, or
increase it, in the 2006 Congressional elections,
expect this measure to pass allowing Bush to remain
At first I thought this was a joke. Now I don't.
LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everybody.
Tonight, an astonishing proposal to expand our
borders to incorporate Mexico and Canada and
simultaneously further diminish U.S. sovereignty.
Have our political elites gone mad? We'll have a
Border violence raging in Mexico. Assassins
murder a Mexican police chief in cold blood. Yet,
incredibly, the Mexican government declares U.S.
warnings about border violence unnecessary.
And massive population growth in our western
states is straining already short water supplies.
Twenty-six western states are in the grip of the
worst drought ever. We'll have that report.
Our top story tonight, the widening
investigation into an alleged radical Islamist
terrorist plot in California. Federal agents
arrested a fifth suspect today. The FBI says that
there could be even more arrests.
But prosecutors have backed away from earlier
assertions that those suspects were planning
specific attacks on hospitals and supermarkets.
Those officials now say the suspects were
planning to carry out terrorist attacks in the
United States and to kill Americans.
"All war is based on deception." -- Sun Tzu,
The Art of War
There is nothing new in a government lying to
their people to start a war. Indeed because most
people prefer living in peace to bloody and
horrific death in war, any government that
desires to initiate a war usually lies to their
people to create the illusion that support for
the war is the only possible choice they can make.
"Men have been taught that the highest virtue is
chumpfish posted a url to this just recently
25% of Americans mentally ill, says
by Rick Weiss, Washington Post
June 7, 2005
One-quarter of all Americans met the criteria
for having a mental illness within the past year,
and fully a quarter of those had a "serious"
disorder that significantly disrupted their
ability to function day-to-day, according to the
largest and most detailed survey of the nation's
mental health, published Monday.
Although parallel studies in 27 other countries
are not yet complete, the new numbers suggest that
the United States is poised to rank No. 1 for mental
illness globally, researchers said.
"We lead the world in a lot of good things, but
we're also leaders in this one particular domain
that we'd rather not be," said Ronald Kessler,
the Harvard professor of health-care policy who
led the effort, called the National Comorbidity
"The system has to get its act together to get
its quality of care up," Kessler said.
The survey, conducted by the University of
Michigan, included 9,282 households selected at
random in 34 states. Nearly 300 trained
interviewers traveled some 8 million miles over a
year and a half. They knocked on doors at all
hours of the day and night to ensure they would
not systematically miss alcohol abusers who spend
their days at bars, people with depression who
can go weeks hardly able to pull themselves out
of bed, and people with social phobia who only
rarely answer the doorbell.
If Robert Douglas, co-founder of www.privacytoday.com
has it right, there were 10 million cases of
consumer ID theft in 2004, costing the financial
services industry $50 billion and consumers $3 to
$5 billion. According to Douglas in an April 14,
2005 C-Span interview, "identity theft" is the
most common crime in the country today -- as well
as the fastest growing.
The crime is so lucrative, it's reported, in
some cases organized crime figures have been
threatening bank employees just to get customer
info. According to a an April 17 article in the
Washington Post, data aggregator ChoicePoint
recently reported a theft of at least 110,000
identity files, and Time Warner just reported
(May 2, 2005) data from 600,000 current and
former employees missing. Lexus-Nexus has had
310,000 I.D. files stolen, and The Bank of
America, 1.2 million. Just today, June 8, New
York Times reports, "Personal Data on 3.9 Million
Lost in Transit."
But these organizations are all wimps and wanna-
bes when it comes to revealing personal financial
information to the world and giving away your
identity. We'll reveal the champ later. Can you
"Democracy" is but one of the many lies we keep
repeating to ourselves in an effort to believe,
in the words of Voltaire’s Dr. Pangloss, that our
self-destructive society represents "the best of
all possible worlds." Democracy is the illusion
that you and I, combined, have twice the
political influence of David Rockefeller, and
Americans cling to this illusion as fiercely as
Linus does to his blanket. Despite their
insistence upon this principle, the will of
voters is no more a central feature of American
politics than it is in any other regime. If the
electorate was permitted to exercise a truly
effective control over the state, voting would be
declared unlawful. Statists share the sentiment
expressed by a pro-EU French politician who,
after the voters rejection of that constitution,
declared that this issue was too important and
complex to be left to the electorate – who could
not understand the intricacies of the
constitution – and should be left to the
professionals who knew what was best!
The impending collapse of our politically-
structured world just might take with it the
structured mindset upon which it has been built.
And within its rubble may be found the remains of
the secular religion "democracy," whose
catechisms are today preached from academic
cathedrals and the media. In that day, perhaps,
our archeological descendants may search the
debris for an answer to the question our
generation is too terrified to ask: by what
justification do men and women organize to
inflict violence upon their fellow
The Interior Ministry department in the Nenets
region in the North of Russia has revealed that
Naryanmar Oil and Gas Company failed to pay more
than 24.5 million rubles in taxes in 2004, the
Ministry’s press release says.
With 1.3 percent of global oil reserves, Lukoil
is the second largest privately-owned oil company
in the world in terms of proven reserves. Lukoil
produces 20 percent of the total Russian oil
output and is responsible for 18 percent of total
Russian oil refining.
At the moment Lukoil and U.S. firm
ConocoPhillips are transforming Naryanmar to set
up the joint Rusco company that is expected to
produce 10 million tons of oil a year by 2008.
"Those who lack the capacity to achieve much in
Two thousand-five was a bad year for Bilderberg
and its future looks gloomy. Herculean efforts to
keep their meetings secret in Rottach-Egern
failed miserably. Bilderberg's grief is the free
world´s glory—and hope for further restraining
the power grabbers in the dawn of a new millennium.
"The inhabitants of every civilized country are
Mike Barnes put his mouth on the end of a
plastic bag full of marijuana vapors and inhaled
deeply. It's a ritual he practices every day to
combat chronic back pain from an Army injury.
``I'm always in pain,'' said the 35-year-old
Californian, one of several medical marijuana
users who stopped by the Compassion and Care
Center, a San Francisco pot club, after the U.S.
Supreme Court ruled yesterday that patients such
as Barnes are violating federal drug laws.
``My health is more important than someone
telling me it's not good for me, that someone
being the federal government,'' Barnes said.
Federal law enforcement officials in San
Francisco said they don't intend to crack down on
medical pot users, who under California state law
are allowed to buy and smoke marijuana with a
doctor's permission. About 40 marijuana clubs in
the city, which operate without interference from
local police, are likely to continue in the wake
of the Supreme Court decision that federal drug
laws ban use of medical pot.
What does klepping consist of? The most blatant
theft is the forcible taking of incomer(sic) from
labor and capital. The taxation of produced
income, produced wealth, and peaceful and honest
exchanges, is theft. It is theft because human
beings are created morally equal, and so any
imposition on others creates an immoral master-
slave relationship. Any use of force on peaceful
and honest human action is morally evil. Any
forced taking of labor, the products of labor,
and the income of labor, is slavery and theft.
Whether it is a private thief or a gang of thugs
or a club of kleptos who call themselves
"government" does not affect the evilness of theft.
Thieves, thieves, countless thieves! The dozens
of taxes and uncountable regulations are
instruments of kleptodemocracy and klepitalism.
The social symptoms are poverty, unemployment,
congestion, and pollution. The worst of the
disorder is that folks afflicted with klep don't
even realize it. It is the opposite of a
hypochondriac, someone who mistakenly thinks he
is ill all the time. The kleptochondriac
mistakenly thinks he is morally right to steal
the property of others so long as it is done
under the rubric of government.
According to the study, there are now "A-list"
bloggers in the US, such as Andrew Sullivan and
Buzz Machine's Jeff Jarvis, who are capable of
setting the news agenda because they are
habitually referred to by journalists in the mass
media who rely on them to break stories.
"Journalists, activists and political decision-
makers have learned to consult political blogs as
a guide to what is going on in the rest of the
internet," the report notes.
"Don't talk to me about atrocities in war; all war
by AL MARTIN
There was an interview on CNBC of the renowned
funds manager Julian Robertson. He is one of the
greatest of the old-timers. 53 years on the
Street. He manages the Robertson group of funds.
They used to call him, still do call him ‘Never
Been Wrong’ Robertson. He has predicted every
economic cycle, every debacle, every bull market,
and every bear market.
Of course, he’s a very old man now. But his
reputation on the Street is like nothing you
could imagine. When the segment of his interview
was through, his comments alone took the Dow
Jones down 50 points. Just on his comments alone.
That’s how powerful this man’s reputation is.
Robertson was actually a teary-eyed, an old man.
When Ron Insana asked him about his predictions,
he said that he’s worried about the speculative
bubble in housing and the fact that more than 1/4
of all consumer spending is now sustained by that
bubble, plus the fact that 20 million citizens
could lose their homes in a collapse of the
speculative bubble in housing, and that the Fed
and, indeed, central banks worldwide would act in
concert out of desperation to reinflate the
global economy in the process, creating an
inflationary spiral unheralded in the economic
history of the planet.
Insana then asks, “Where does it end?” And he
said, “Utter global collapse.” Not simply
economic collapse; complete disintegration of all
infrastructure and of all public structures of
governments. Utter, utter collapse. That the end
is collapse of simply epic proportion.
In 10 years time, he said, whoever is still
alive on the planet will be effectively starting
"The plans differ; the planners are all alike..."
The real terror Americans experience comes from
their own government. Indeed, consider the terror
the accounting firm, Arthur Andersen, and its
85,000 worldwide employees experienced as a
result of the Gestapo tactics of federal
prosecutors. Prosecutors used a stupid jury and a
weak-minded judge to convict an entire accounting
firm for the actions of the few accountants who
handled the Enron account. It was completely
clear at the time that whereas a case existed
against a few individual accountants, no case
existed against the firm itself. Arbitrary and
capricious prosecutors grabbed power. The
American public was so whipped up in a frenzy
over Enron that it didn't care whose blood was
spilled. Just as someone had to pay for 9/11 –
even if it is our own troops and tens of
thousands of innocent Iraqis who had no more to
do with 9/11 than the U.S. troops who are losing
their lives and limbs – someone had to pay for
Enron. So the prosecutors destroyed Arthur
Andersen, one of the top 10 companies in the
world ranked by market value and one of America's
Now the U.S. Supreme Court has reversed the
conviction. The highest court says Arthur
Andersen was not guilty. But how do we bring
Arthur Andersen back to life and restore the
reputations and careers of its many thousands of
employees? Federal prosecutors effectively
executed the firm and destroyed the highly
valuable asset. [My emphasis]
Don't expect Bush, who admits no mistake, to
make restitution for the criminal actions of his
Department of Justice (sic). The remedy is a
civil suit by all the partners and employees of
Arthur Andersen against the U.S. government for
damages. I think $1 trillion is a good number. It
is a figure demanded by justice. And it will
serve the cause of peace by bankrupting the
warmongering Bush administration and applying the
brake to Bush's wars of empire.
"ROME (Reuters) - Italy should consider leaving
the single currency and reintroducing the lira,
Welfare Minister Roberto Maroni said in a
newspaper interview on Friday."
In case you hadn't noticed, the French and the
The top-down, command-and-control machinery of
state power has run head-on into the forces of
spontaneity and autonomy that are life’s
processes. Vertical systems of centralized power
are being replaced by horizontal patterns of
interconnectedness. Coercion is giving way to
cooperation; the pyramid is collapsing into
networks; Ozymandias’ rigid structures are
eroding into formless but flexible systems, with
names such as "Google," "Yahoo," "WebCrawler" and
"Mozilla," that mock the solemnity we once gave
to the dying forms.
Efforts to understand the dynamics underlying
transformations in our world have produced the
studies known as "chaos" and "complexity." Along
with earlier theories of quantum mechanics, the
mechanistic and reductionist model of society as
a "giant clockwork" to be directed by state
authorities toward desired and predictable ends,
has been dealt a fatal blow. We now have ideas to
help us enunciate what we earlier knew
intuitively, namely, that a complex world is too
unpredictable to become subject to state
planning; that social conflict and disorder are
the necessary consequences of interfering with
spontaneous systems of order.
Our biological history should have informed us
of the allometric principle that the appropriate
size of any body is relative to the nature of the
organism. A fifty-foot tall woman may make for
amusing science fiction, but an eight foot,
eleven inch Robert Wadlow was unable to live
beyond his twenty-second year. Likewise, the
massive size of the dinosaurs did not provide
them sufficient resiliency to adapt to the
environmental changes brought about, presumably,
by the earth’s collision with a comet. In Kohr’s
words, "[o]nly relatively small bodies . . . have
stability. Below a certain size, everything
fuses, joins, or accumulates. But beyond a
certain size, everything collapses or explodes."
Europeans, like the rest of the world, will
learn to organize themselves along horizontal
lines of networked relationships, wherein "tops"
and "bottoms" no longer have meaning. The
vertical power structures will continue to waste
away, the shrill voices of their occupants
becoming more and more distant from the lives of
ordinary people. Their antiquated forms may
remain as tourist attractions in much the same
way that monarchies or the palace at Versailles
have become museum pieces from a past that no
longer commands allegiance.
"To be pleased with one's limits is a wretched
"Any man who inflicts the human race with ideas
The question is, When are we, the American
people, going to stop being saps and realize that
the foreign devils du jour are always designed to
distract us from the ills, sins and injustices
taking place in our own country? I suspect the
answer is "never." I've come to believe that when
the Founding Fathers said people were smart
enough to govern themselves, they made a mistake.
I, of course, include myself among the saps
having believed in and been disappointed by many
The date? Around 1914. Wilson is president.
To arouse the public, the administration turned
to propagandist George Creel, head of the quasi-
governmental Committee for Public Information.
Creel deployed an army of orators called the
"Four Minute Men," who bullied their way into
local theaters, civic clubs, churches, chambers
of commerce, and other public settings to deliver
"patriotic" speeches extolling the
administration’s war aims.
The purpose of this pestilential horde of herd-
poisoners, Creel explained, was to build a "war
will" in the American public. Between May 12 and
21, Creel’s cadres harangued the public on the
subject, "Universal Service by Selective Draft."
Writes Fleming: "As often as possible, the word
‘service’ was substituted for the harsher
‘conscription.’ It was a word that blended nicely
with the ideals of progressive reform that had
swept the nation in the decade before the war."
How to escape? The beginning, and the most
difficult, is a moral distancing. Those who care
must disentangle themselves from the cobweb
loyalties and factitious duties with which we
have been unconsciously encumbered. From
childhood we learn patriotism, that one must
vote, that if our way is not perfect it is at
least best, that we must support anything however
bad because were were born in a particular place.
Let me suggest that one owes loyalty to one's
family and friends, to common decency, and to
nothing else. Render under[sic] Caesar what you must,
keep what you can, and swear allegiance to
nothing. Here I do not mean just the government,
but the zeitgeist, the miasmic fetor of trashy
culture, the desperate consumerism, the entire
psychic odor of a society in decomposition.