It looks like the US is going to be more involved in Syria under Trump. I am not at war. What's in the News with stories on government indoctrination centers, government ignoring the Constitution, closing asset forfeiture loopholes, political correctness police with teeth, and secession in the US. And, a Muh Roads segment on counties in Oregon shutting down government services. This episode is brought to you by Praxis, where you can get a full-time job in nine months making $50,000 a year with no college degree. Also brought to you by Wry Guys t-shirts, the makers of all of the Pax Libertas Productions t-shirts, including for this show. Awry wit for today's shit.

WHAT’S RUSTLING MY JIMMIES

[1:44]

I don't talk a lot about foreign policy and war on this show for several reasons. First of all, there are far better libertarians at giving you the scoop on that, such as Scott Horton and the teams at Anti-War.com and The Libertarian Institute. Secondly, though, I try to focus this show on topics that affect us directly as much as possible so that we can try and find solutions to helping us live that voluntary lifestyle today. However, when I hear the beating drums of war like I did this week, I feel like I have to talk about it.

Apparently, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning President Obama who escalated our involvement in Syria was only a drop in the bucket in that country. Now, President Trump is going to escalate things even more by instructing the Pentagon to “annihilate” the Islamic State in Syria in a bid to prevent escaped foreign fighters from returning home.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that the president has “directed a tactical shift from shoving ISIS out of safe locations in an attrition fight to surrounding the enemy in their strongholds so we can annihilate ISIS. The intent is to prevent the return home of escaped foreign fighters.”

Interestingly enough, though, ISIS in Syria and the US government both seem to have the same end game in Syria in mind, which is a removal of Bashar al-Assad as the head of the Syrian government. The US government wants to put up their hand-picked puppet ruler while ISIS wants to do the same. 

What's worse is who is poised to take control if the US gets its way and takes out both ISIS and Assad in Syria. Based on commentary provided by David Nelson of The Libertarian Institute, it seems pretty clear that the group that has the strength to take over Syria if the US removed Assad would be al-Qaeda.

I am not at war.

WHAT'S IN THE NEWS

[7:27]

In government indoctrination center news, a Trenton, Ohio middle school student was suspended after liking a photo of a gun on Instagram.

In unfit to exist news, apparently, the First Amendment protections of the freedom of the press mean exactly nothing in the West Virginia capitol building.

In legalized theft news, the Colorado legislature overwhelmingly passed a bill that would take a huge step towards closing a federal asset forfeiture loophole. 

In I can't make this shit up news, a Scottish YouTuber comedian Markus Meechan, AKA Count Dankula, is facing up to a year in prison for teaching his girlfriend's pug to be a Nazi.

In secession news, conservatives in Washington have about had it with the state’s rampant Marxism, and are now taking matters into their own hand to reclaim their independence.Republican lawmakers in the state have filed a bill to secede from Washington and create a new state called Liberty.

MUH ROADS 

[23:26]

People are getting fed up with high taxes, but most people will still vote for every tax increase that comes before them “for the good of society,” even at the detriment of their own family's budget. This is evident around the country, and the question most often asked is, “without the government, who will build my favorite pet project or provide for my favorite service?” 

But, in some places, people have had enough. They are no longer voting for tax increases to fund unnecessary services and projects, and are instead finding out that they can easily do without them. Take Douglas County, Oregon, for example. Inside a big wood-paneled downtown library there, a sign spells out the future in four words. Come June 1, “All services will cease.”

Last fall, Douglas County residents voted down a ballot measure that would have added about $6 a month to the tax bill on a median-priced home and save the libraries from a funding crisis. So, this spring the library system's 11 branches have slowly been closing. Roseburg's central library will be the last to go. 

 

Read Full Transcript

TEASER INTRO

It looks like the US is going to be more involved in Syria under Trump. I am not at war. What's in the News with stories on government indoctrination centers, government ignoring the Constitution, closing asset forfeiture loopholes, political correctness police with teeth, and secession in the US. And, a Muh Roads segment on counties in Oregon shutting down government services. This episode is brought to you by Praxis, where you can get a full-time job in nine months making $50,000 a year with no college degree. Also brought to you by Wry Guys t-shirts, the makers of all of the Pax Libertas Productions t-shirts, including for this show. Awry wit for today's shit.

INTRO

“Welcome to The LAVA Flow, channeling the flow of information to the Libertarian, Anarcho-capitalist, Voluntaryist, and Agorist community. Find us at thelavaflow.com. Here’s your host, Rodger Paxton.”

Thank you for joining me this week, coming to you from the state that is the home of the largest truly libertarian yearly event in the world, PorcFest, this is the show that will bring you the people, places, and events that everyone in the liberty revolution needs to know. You can catch me on Twitter @TheLAVAFlowPod.

This is episode sixty-two, I Am Not At War in Syria, and it's Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017, when there have already been more than 460 people killed by police this year. What's Rustling My Jimmies this week? You're about to find out! Let’s Do It To It!

WHAT’S RUSTLING MY JIMMIES

I don't talk a lot about foreign policy and war on this show for several reasons. First of all, there are far better libertarians at giving you the scoop on that, such as Scott Horton and the teams at Anti-War.com and The Libertarian Institute. Secondly, though, I try to focus this show on topics that affect us directly as much as possible so that we can try and find solutions to helping us live that voluntary lifestyle today. However, when I hear the beating drums of war like I did this week, I feel like I have to talk about it.

Apparently, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning President Obama who escalated our involvement in Syria was only a drop in the bucket in that country. Now, President Trump is going to escalate things even more by instructing the Pentagon to "annihilate" the Islamic State in Syria in a bid to prevent escaped foreign fighters from returning home.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that the president has "directed a tactical shift from shoving ISIS out of safe locations in an attrition fight to surrounding the enemy in their strongholds so we can annihilate ISIS. The intent is to prevent the return home of escaped foreign fighters."

Interestingly enough, though, ISIS in Syria and the US government both seem to have the same end game in Syria in mind, which is a removal of Bashar al-Assad as the head of the Syrian government. The US government wants to put up their hand-picked puppet ruler while ISIS wants to do the same.

What's worse is who is poised to take control if the US gets its way and takes out both ISIS and Assad in Syria. Based on commentary provided by David Nelson of The Libertarian Institute, it seems pretty clear that the group that has the strength to take over Syria if the US removed Assad would be al-Qaeda. Remember those guys? They flew a few planes into some building in the US a few years ago. And, right now, the CIA continues to arm the Free Syrian Army, a group of so-called moderate rebels who, come to find out, are dominated on the ground by predominately al-Qaeda and similar jihadist terrorist groups. As David Nelson said, "As a result, many of the weapons distributed by the CIA to these supposedly moderate fighters wound up in the hands of al-Qaeda and its allies." Is there anyone in the world who can honestly look me in the face and say this is a good thing? Of course not. But it's happening all the same.

Looks to me like there is no winning this game, so maybe the US should just stay the hell out of it. Where have I heard that before?

PLAY WARGAMES AUDIO CLIP

But, what is best for the Syrian people?

First of all, it would be best for the Syrian people if the US government would immediately stop arming, training, and aiding violent jihadist rebels in the country. This would tip the balance of the war to one side which would bring about a fairly quick end to the war. The people losing the most in this war are the citizens of Syria, the people who just want to live their lives, raise a family, or just be left alone. They are being bombed and slaughter indiscriminately in a war that is being perpetrated by groups that are propped up by the United States government, with yours and my tax dollars.

Look, Assad is no good guy, there is no doubt about that, and I would never say that he is, but at this point in time, he is certainly the lesser of many evils. As David Nelson said,

While the American media consistently points out Assad’s human rights abuses and authoritarian behavior, some of which is true, the Syrian people under Assad live relatively free and normal lives. Syria is one of the more liberal countries in the region and compared to life under the rule of ISIS or al-Qaeda, which behead children and enforce strict and brutal Sharia law, there is no question that Syrians are better off living under Assad.

And that is a fact. There is no way they are better off with this war going on in their cities that resulted in more than 6 million civilians being internally displaced within Syria, and over and driven nearly 5 million more out of Syria, not to mention the nearly half a million civilians killed. Remember, boys and girls, the US government is as complicit as anyone for the refugee crisis in Syria.

David Nelson goes on to say:

The humanitarian instinct to oppose the Assad regime is understandable, but it’s important to realize that Assad’s actions, as brutal as they may have been at times, were in direct response to the rise of extremist groups in his country who engaged in far worse and more vital acts. There is no clear reason to think that a guy who has been in charge for many years before this civil war started is interested in committing genocide against his own people just for fun. These groups threatened his regime, which was only possible because of the support of America and its CIA, and a post-Assad regime led by the rebels would certainly be far worse for Syrian civilians.

I couldn't agree more with this assessment. Look, if you or I had the choice to live in America under Obama or Trump, or to live in Syria under Assad, we would unquestioningly choose America every time. However, that is not the question facing the Syrian citizens right now. Their choice is far grimmer and more difficult. It is to live under a dictatorial Assad in relative peace or to live under constant threat of war, bombs, beheadings, kidnappings, and murders. Sure, none od us would choose to live under Assad, but for the millions displaced in or out of Syria today, living under a peaceful Assad regime would look pretty good to them right about now.

For the sake of the Syrian people, the US government should cease operations in Syria immediately. The US involvement is doing nothing more than making their suffering greater and prolonging this horrible war, and they are doing it with money stolen from you and me. Fuck war in the neck, or, as the late, great Roger Lee Wrights put it much more elegantly, "I AM NOT AT WAR."

WHAT'S IN THE NEWS

In government indoctrination center news, a Trenton, Ohio middle school student was suspended after liking a photo of a gun on Instagram. I shit you not.

Seventh grader Zachary Bowlin received a 10-day suspension from Edgewood Middle School after he liked a photo of an airsoft gun on Instagram. The caption of the photo simply said, “Ready.” Wait... it wasn't even a real fucking gun? Are you serious right now?

Zachary said, “I don’t think I did anything wrong. [The] next morning, they called me down and, like, patted me down and checked me for weapons. Then, they told me I was getting expelled or suspended or whatever.” They patted a kid down... for liking a post on social media. What the actual fuck?

The note the school sent home to Zachary’s parents said that the official cause of his suspension was “liking a post on social media that indicated potential school violence.”

Zachary’s father Martin Bowlin said, “I was livid. He never shared, he never commented, never made a threatening post … [he] just liked it.”

In a statement released to WXIX, the superintendent of Edgewood City Schools said:

I assure you that any social media threat will be taken serious, including those who ‘like’ the post when it potentially endangers the health and safety of students or adversely affects the educational process.”

School administrators agreed to lift the suspension after speaking with Zachary’s parents.

This is exactly why zero tolerance rules are for people with zero intelligence. Clearly, this was no threat in any way to the school. It was a fucking airsoft gun, not a deadly weapon, and this post had literally nothing to do with school. This is way out of hand. They would likely suspend my kid for getting a bb gun for Christmas, for crying out loud. Thank Rothbard my kids never have to be subjected to this sort of nonsense and non-thinking mentality.

In unfit to exist news, apparently, the First Amendment protections of the freedom of the press mean exactly nothing in the West Virginia capitol building. Reporter Dan Heyman attempted to ask Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price a question about the Republican health care bill and was arrested for "willful disruption of state government processes."

Price and Kellyanne Conway, special counsel to the president, had been walking through a hallway in the West Virginia state capitol when veteran reporter Heyman began following alongside him, holding up his phone to Price while attempting to ask him a question.

Heyman repeatedly asked the secretary whether domestic violence would be considered a preexisting condition under the Republican bill to overhaul the nation’s health care system, he said.

“Do you think that’s right or not, secretary?” Heyman asked, according to a recording an audio recording Heyman provided to The Washington Post. “You refuse to answer? Tell me no comment.”

A male voice is heard telling Heyman, “Do not get close to her. Back up.”

Moments later, an officer in the capitol pulled Heyman aside, handcuffed him and arrested him. Heyman was jailed on the charge of willful disruption of state government processes and was released later on $5,000 bail.

“This is my job, this is what I’m supposed to do,” Heyman said in a news conference Tuesday after being released from jail. “I think it’s a question that deserves to be answered. I think it’s my job to ask questions and I think it’s my job to try to get answers.”

Before Heyman’s arrest, no police officer told him he was in the wrong place, Heyman said. He was wearing a press pass as well as a shirt with a Public News Service logo on the front, and identified himself to police as a reporter, he said.

At the news conference, Heyman’s lawyer called the arrest a “highly unusual case” and said he has never had a client arrested for “talking too loud.” The lawyer, Tim DiPiero, described Heyman as a mild-mannered, reputable journalist and called the arrest “bizarre” and “way over the top.”

Heyman has worked as a reporter for about 30 years, and his stories have appeared in the New York Times, NPR and other national news outlets, he said. Since 2009, he has worked as a West Virginia-based producer and reporter for Public News Service, which provides content to media outlets while also publishing its own stories.

Lark Corbeil, chief executive and founder of Public News Service, said Heyman’s arrest took the organization “very much by surprise.”

“From what we can understand, he did nothing out of the ordinary,” Corbeil said in an interview with The Washington Post. “He was doing what any journalist would normally do, calling out a question and trying to get an answer.”

This is absolutely disgusting. In a building that is supposedly the people's house the First Amendment no longer applies. Price was in a public area, walking in the hallway, and not behind closed doors. If reporters are no longer allowed to ask questions of our supposed rulers in public places, this is just more proof that our these wanna be rulers are above the law, above the populace, and above the Constitution. If police officers can stop you from exercising your First Amendment right anytime they choose, you no longer have that right in practice, which is exactly why Lysander Spooner was right, and the Constitution is unfit to exist. I couldn't care less if this arrest is overturned in the courts, the practical effect is the same. This reporter was stopped from exercising his rights and no one will be held ultimately accountable. The officer who made the arrest will face no charges or repercussions. The officer's supervisors will also face no repercussions for their lack of training this officer in the First Amendment.

__________________

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__________________

In legalized theft news, the Colorado legislature overwhelmingly passed a bill that would take a huge step towards closing a federal asset forfeiture loophole.

Important provisions in the bill would prohibit Colorado law enforcement agencies from transferring seized property to a federal agency unless it has a net value of more than $50,000. It would also prohibit state and local police from accepting payment or distribution from a federal agency of all, or part of, any forfeiture proceeds resulting from the adoption, a joint task force, or other multijurisdictional collaboration, unless the aggregate net equity value of the property and currency seized in the case is in excess of $50,000, the case is commenced by the federal government, and it relates to a filed criminal case.

In most situations, the passage of this bill would slam closed a loophole that allows state and local police to get around more strict state asset forfeiture laws by passing the stolen goods and money to the feds and then getting back a portion of the stolen items back from the feds. This is essentially money laundering by the government. This is exactly how money laundering works. I have money I need to make clean, I give it to someone, who takes some of that money for the service, then gives me some of it back in a clean state. If you or I did this, we would go to jail. When police do this, it is considered thinking outside of the box and completely legitimate.

The bill will now go to the governor's desk for signature. If you live in Colorado, and I know I have a lot of listeners there, I encourage you to call the governor and tell him you expect him to sign this bill into law.

In I can't make this shit up news, a Scottish YouTuber comedian Markus Meechan, AKA Count Dankula, is facing up to a year in prison for teaching his girlfriend's pug to be a Nazi.

The idea behind the video was to play a prank on his girlfriend by having her pug, Buddha, learn to do tricks to the sound of offensive Nazi slogans, like “gas the jews” and “Seig Heil.”

The video went viral, receiving millions of views and landing on the front page of Reddit. Most people laughed at the joke and did not interpret it as supportive of Nazi values. But the Scottish police were not amused.

A month after Meechan posted the video, police arrived at his door and threw him in jail for the night. He will appear before a judge this week facing a hate crime charge with a maximum sentence of one year in prison. He has also lost multiple jobs as a result of the video. Meechan could become the first Scottish comedian to be jailed for a joke.

Meechan said he fears the judge will try to make an example of him because of the amount of attention the case drew from the British press. His trial will have no jury and his sentencing is entirely up to the judge’s discretion.

Reportedly, Meechan is still together with his girlfriend Sou, through the controversy and media attention, and their pug Buddha is still a raging anti-Semite.

This is just insanity, guys. Who in the hell was harmed by this dog doing tricks at the command, "Seig Heil?" Is this a tasteless joke? Of course, it is, but the political correctness police apparently have real teeth in Scotland and they are not afraid to use them against small time YouTubers. But, could you imagine them going after Billy Connolly like this for a tasteless joke? No way.

DROP WRY GUYS AUDIO HERE

In secession news, conservatives in Washington have about had it with the state’s rampant Marxism, and are now taking matters into their own hand to reclaim their independence.Republican lawmakers in the state have filed a bill to secede from Washington and create a new state called Liberty.

Though conservatives in Eastern Washington have attempted to split from the liberal state a number of times in the past ten years, they remain hopeful that this time will be their lucky break. According to KIMA TC reports, “The Legislature can’t split the state in half. The bill asks the president and Congress to do that.”

If the bill succeeds, this would be an important domino for the secession movement, and help inspire other disaffected communities across the nation to secede. As governments decentralize, power is restored to the individual, and communities can appropriately govern themselves as they see fit, without outside influences. While this may not be the case if this happens, because they newly seceded area would still be a part of the United States, it would give local people more control on how they are ruled.

Of course, I'm sure I disagree with a lot of what these conservatives in Washington believe, just like I would disagree with a lot that the liberals in California who want to secede believe as well, one thing we can all agree on is that groups of people should have the right to secede as they wish. I just go a little bit further in saying that even the individual should have the right to secede too. I wish both of these groups luck in their endeavors as we hopefully can do the same one day through the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence.

In some personal news, I must have been pretty popular the past couple of weeks because I was talked about on several different podcasts, but two of them were notable, so I thought you guys might want to hear them as well. First, there was a discussion on Lions of Liberty called the Libertarians in Living Rooms Drinking Liquor. It was episode 295 of Lions of Liberty and it had Marc Clair, the main host of Lions of Liberty, John Odermatt of Felony Friday, Remso Martinez of Remso Republic and Johnny Adams from the Johnny Rocket Launch Pad. Johnny was asked what were some of his favorite shows that he's ever done for the Launch Pad and here was his answer and the ensuing conversation.

PLAY LOL clip

And then, Brian Sovryn of Sovryn Tech was talking on one of his Patreon only shows with Dr. Stephanie Murphy about the Resist the Empire podcast that I do with Brian McQuade. We advertise Resist the Empire on Sovryn Tech because it is a perfect fit of technology, science fiction, and liberty that is the same type of audience as Resist the Empire. Anyway, here's what they had to say.

Play SCT Clip

Thanks, guys, for talking me up! I love to hear when people love my show.

Also, guys, remember, today is your last chance to win two free general admission tickets to PorcFest courtesy of The LAVA Flow! This is a $160 value! Entering the contest is super easy. Take a screenshot from your phone, tablet, or computer showing that you are subscribed to The LAVA Flow from any podcatcher at all, and email it to subscribed@thelavaflow.com and you will be entered. To make sure I don't miss the email, please put in the Subject field "Subscribed!" If you're already subscribed to the show, awesome, this will be super easy for you. Just screenshot it and send it to subscribed@thelavaflow.com. If you've never subscribed, make sure to do so now and email me the screenshot. Subscribers help with the ranking of this show in iTunes and many other podcatchers, and it makes sure you never miss an episode! So, make sure to email me your screenshots today to subscribed@thelavaflow.com with the email subject of "Subscribed!"

This contest will end at midnight tonight, May 23rd, so make sure to get your entries in ASAP. The winner will be randomly drawn and notified right away so you can make all the plans needed to come hang out with me and more than a thousand other libertarians in the White Mountains of New Hampshire! Good luck, everyone!

MUH ROADS

People are getting fed up with high taxes, but most people will still vote for every tax increase that comes before them "for the good of society," even at the detriment of their own family's budget. This is evident around the country, and the question most often asked is, "without the government, who will build my favorite pet project or provide for my favorite service?"

But, in some places, people have had enough. They are no longer voting for tax increases to fund unnecessary services and projects, and are instead finding out that they can easily do without them. Take Douglas County, Oregon, for example. Inside a big wood-paneled downtown library there, a sign spells out the future in four words. Come June 1, “All services will cease.”

Last fall, Douglas County residents voted down a ballot measure that would have added about $6 a month to the tax bill on a median-priced home and save the libraries from a funding crisis. So, this spring the library system's 11 branches have slowly been closing. Roseburg's central library will be the last to go.

Zach Holly, a resident and voter in the area, said, "We pay enough taxes. I vote against taxes, across the board." Good for him!

Curry County, which borders Douglas County, has failed to pass at least four property tax proposals aimed at keeping county services afloat over the last decade. Cuts to the sheriff's office budget there have meant an end to round-the-clock staffing. And, even conducting an election this fall could be on the chopping block, since the county clerk only has one full-time staffer left in the department, and they are facing another 30 percent cut in funding for that department in this year's budget!

Just east of Curry in Josephine County, the jail has been defunded after nine consecutive defeats of public safety tax levies, leading to a policy of catch-and-release for non-violent criminals. Hell, that should pretty much be the policy for non-violent criminals anyway.

One home in Curry County went for more than 10 years without paying a penny in property taxes at all because the county assessor's office couldn't field enough workers to go out and inspect the home. The house dodged more than $8,500 in property taxes because the government got gotten too small to even ask for the money. So, things fall even further, with cuts to agencies that actually bring in revenue prompting further cuts down the line.

Now that is the pretty close to being the perfect sized government, in my opinion, one that is too small to enforce the theft of your money! At that point, paying taxes becomes voluntary, since only the fools willing to pay their tax are the ones doing it.

Interestingly, the forced improvisation of the existing government services has had unexpected results. Curry County had to merge their parks department and the juvenile department years ago, which prompted the head of these agencies to use teenage offenders to clean the parks as part of their community service. Recidivism rates went down and Curry now has one of the state's lowest percentages of juveniles committing a second offense.

They are also rethinking how to fund libraries there to bring them back in a new and creative way, such as through some combination of volunteers and privatization.

One of the Douglas County commissioners, Gary Leif, says he is preparing the argument to make to voters, that they will eventually have to pay for public safety services. He said, "They'll have to, but will they?" They have to? This is part of the problem, that people think they have to pay for anything. No, really, they don't. If they don't value safety, they don't have to pay a thing. If they don't want to use the services provide for their tax money, they can either hire someone to provide those services or voluntarily pool their money with other to provide the services they can't afford themselves. This idea that we have to pay taxes to get things is just ludicrous. There is literally nothing that the government can provide that couldn't be provided by the free market.

It's great to see this anti-tax sentiment spreading in Oregon. We can only hope it will spread to other parts of the country as well. Would people die in the streets without 24x7 government police presence? Would people be ignorant without government libraries? Would people have nothing to do with their spare time without government parks? Would people never be able to travel anywhere without government roads? Of course not. And, even if that were the case, if people valued these things enough, they would pay for them voluntarily. If they didn't value them, that means these services were an unnecessary waste of money and an immoral re-allocation of wealth. Wait, I think I just inadvertently defined government. Oops.

OUTRO

Thank you for listening to the show this week. As always, I need to thank my chicken farmer, Jessica, for her help with this show. For the show notes to this episode, where I put links and other information that has been on this show, go to thelavaflow.com/62.

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Until next time... keep striking the root.

This has been a Pax Libertas Productions Podcast.

 

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