A Domestic Cold War?

US Army 2 SC A Domestic Cold War?

The battle lines are drawn. The great war between America’s government and her people fast approaches.

No, this isn’t some dystopian near-future science fiction scenario. This is present-day America we’re talking about. There’s a growing hostility between the U.S. government and certain incorrigible freedom-loving citizens, with the live-and-let-lives caught on the side of their more rowdy fellows, despite best efforts to bury their heads in the sand.

But where are all the battles? Where are the troops filling the streets? Where are the tanks rolling across the countryside, steamrolling all dissidents in their path? In waiting, that’s where. This isn’t a traditional armed conflict I’m predicting; at least, not yet. It’s a cold war. Each side is building up its record of hostile actions against the other, all stopping short of the point of no return.

First, there’s the war over control of information. The degree to which the U.S government has pursued whistleblowers, leakers, and all those who would enforce transparency is worrisome, almost to the point of making the American people out to be some sort of sworn enemy. Almost. As the Bradley Manning trial showed, they will prudently stop short of making that overt declaration of war.

Then we have the great petition embarrassment of 2012. In an attempt to feign concern for the wishes of We the People, the Obama White House set up an online petition mechanism to allow concerned citizens to offer questions and concerns to be answered, provided they could acquire 25,000 signatures. Almost immediately, this tool was used by the denizens of several states as a vehicle to attempt secession from the United States, gathering record numbers of signatures. Naturally, the response was the most diplomatically-worded “no” possible in this situation, but so many voices of dissent to the point of wishing for separation can’t be good news for the federal government.

While we’re on the subject of searching for greater freedom for the states, Free Staters, liberty activists seeking to move to New Hampshire in order to consolidate reform efforts, have become targets of government discrimination. The city of Concord, in its application for federal funds to purchase a Bearcat armored vehicle, cited concerns of domestic terrorism and singled out the entirely-peaceful Free Staters as a primary source for this concern. Under pressure from Free State Project President Carla Gericke, Concord Chief of Police John Duval has since softened his wording to avoid a sense of overt hostility towards Free Staters. But the covert hostility is still there. If one can call buying a tank with your name on it “covert.” This isn’t an isolated incident, either. Hundreds of police departments are doing the same.

Meanwhile, states are pushing back hard against federal overreach through a little thing called nullification, where a state passes a law directly contrary to a federal regulation. Dozens of states have moved to nullify both indefinite detention and infringements on firearm ownership rights. The clear message to Washington of these nullification efforts: you have no power here. Normally, this would provoke a violent response from D.C. to reassert its authority. Instead, the reaction we have had has been very quiet.

Finally, as proof that the potential for domestic armed conflict is on people’s minds, we have a paper detailing a fictional Tea Party armed revolution scenario. While a couple of professors musing over how the military would destroy a citizen uprising doesn’t exactly constitute national policy, it’s a sign of the times nonetheless, reminiscent of Red Dawn and countless other Soviet conflict scenarios from the Cold War era. Also reminiscent of yesteryear’s hostile standoff is a massive arms buildup. Federal agencies’ purchase of billions of rounds of ammunition is fairly well-documented by now. Less well-known is the fact that the American people have also been stocking up, purchasing enough firearms to outfit the entire Chinese and Indian militaries just during the immediate aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre.

The forces are marshalled and well-armed. Hostile intentions have been made clear. The stage is set for a war over control of these United States of America. A war that may never take place. Instead, we may be treated to years of a hostile standoff punctuated by occasional skirmishes and violent sparks, all falling short of setting the entire country ablaze with war. Only time will tell how this conflict will pan out. I, for one, am expecting a cold war.

Pack your jackets, kids. It’s going to be a long and chilly next few years.

 

Joël Valenzuela is the editor of The Desert Lynx.

Photo credit: The U.S. Army (Creative Commons)

Cancerville, D.C.

k street dc 207x300 Cancerville, D.C.

Washington, D.C. is booming. And that’s a problem.

America is still sick. Its economy, and indeed that of the world, struggles on in a sorry state of disrepair. The much-awaited recovery is finally here, and it’s nothing to get excited about. Frustrated millenials have even taken to cracking jokes about how easy it was for their parents’ generation to secure a stable financial future. The whole country is still feeling the pain.

Except for Washington. For the District of Columbia, things are going just fine.

Stroll the streets of the nation’s capital city, and you will be greeted by the busy clamor of construction. Visit its bars and restaurants, and you will find them packed and thriving. Wherever you go, you will be hit by an undeniable reality: things are going great here. Make no mistake; in the midst of a miserable economy, Washington, D.C. is a boom town. And there’s something deeply wrong with that.

Washington isn’t a large city. Even the greater D.C. metro area is only the 7th largest in the country, hardly making it the national commercial epicenter. The title it can claim, however, is that of the national seat of government. And that’s the source of its growth. As the government expands and employs more people, so do services and business that directly feed off of a ballooning public sector. This can be anything from housing, restaurants, and other services that cater to employees residing in the D.C. area, to more sinister elements such as lobbying and consulting.

The problem with Washington, D.C.’s boom is this: all its success comes at the expense of the rest of the country. Every dollar the government spends comes out of the pocket of some private citizen or business. D.C. growing while the rest of the country stagnates isn’t a coincidence. The two trends are correlated. The economy languishes because of the increasing burden of the unproductive sector, i.e. the government. We will never have the recovery we long for as long as this direction continues.

When the cancer grows, the host must weaken. As America continues to suffer under the crushing weight of a perpetually-ailed economy, Washington, its parasitic overlord, only becomes stronger. It’s time to cut out the cancer.

Joel Valenzuela is the editor of The Desert Lynx

Cruz And Paul Betrayed By Own Party

Rand Paul Ted Cruz 300x200 Cruz and Paul Betrayed by Own Party

It’s been a rough last few years for the Grand Old Party. From utter vilification during the Bush years to two consecutive presidential election defeats, the Republican Party could use a little pick-me-up.

That’s why it seems so baffling that the two most prominent and accomplished rising stars of the GOP, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, have been getting so much hate from their own party.

This dynamic senatorial duo has been doing most of the heavy lifting for their party as of late. Sen. Cruz has really had his chance to shine staring down the Obama Administration on gun control. Now he’s at it again, throwing down the gauntlet to Vice President Joe Biden, challenging him to an hour-long debate on gun control. His fearless efforts have even earned him the praise of his enemies.

Sen. Paul, meanwhile, has served splendidly as the face of the resistance to the current Administration. Whether providing the only solid rebuttal to the State of the Union address, grilling then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the Benghazi debacle and suggesting she be removed from her position, or bringing the whole country to a standstill in a valiant filibuster against drone assassinations of American citizens without due process, Rand Paul has solidified his position as the de facto leader of the Republican Party. He may very well be the foremost GOP contender for a 2016 run for President.

Unfortunately, it seems like there’s no rest for these two weary leaders. Not even from their own party. Cruz has earned ire from fellow Republicans who wish out loud that he would just shut up and stop doing what he does best, never mind that the prevalence of the silent strategy is the reason such bold stands are needed in the first place. Even Paul, the GOP’s unequivocal workhorse, has faced ambushes from his own supposed comrades for standing up for the very principles the whole party is theoretically behind.

The Republican Party purports to stand for limited Constitutional government, personal responsibility, liberty, and a strong family. When said party bites the very hands that lead them into battle for those exact principles, something is clearly wrong. The GOP no longer represents the will of its patriotic American supporters, and is no longer deserving of their support.

Joel Valenzuela is the editor of The Desert Lynx

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Obama Lost The Youth To Ron Paul

YAL youth 300x200 Obama Lost the Youth to Ron Paul

Political movements come. Political movements go. Which ones will last? Which ones will fail? How do we identify the principles that will shape our future?

The answer: follow the youth.

Now that might lead us to believe that Barack Obama’s 2008 election campaign was the real deal, the game-changer for the future of the American political landscape. Not so fast. A massive PR con job that lasts one election cycle isn’t quite the same as an organic, lasting, growing youth movement. Young people might be impressionable, but they’re quick to learn. A younger, multi-ethnic frontman with a minimal political record can only hide the same tired old policies for so long. Soon enough, the youth will abandon a false prophet of hope and change and get behind someone who is truly on their side. Someone who sincerely fights for their future.

And that’s exactly what happened. Take another, opposite, unlikely youth leader: Ron Paul.

The political career of Dr. Ron Paul can easily be viewed as a failure. During his generation-long service in Congress, only one out of the 620 pieces of legislation he sponsored ever became law, hardly an encouraging sign of success. Paul ran three times for President of the United States, and all three times fell far short of victory. Earlier this year, he retired from Congress, quietly slipping out of the public sphere.

But Dr. Paul didn’t fall short where it really mattered: inspiring future generations with hope. The firey youth-based movement he rallied refused to die long after his political campaigns came to an end. Organizations like the Campaign for Liberty and Young Americans for Liberty continue to carry out the work of his movement. And they’re not going anywhere. They’re only getting stronger.

While time will be the ultimate judge as to the lasting impact of Ron Paul’s youth movement, the signs are already there. I witnessed one of these signs firsthand this past weekend at a Young Americans for Liberty conference in Fullerton, California. Dr. Paul addressed a room full of youth activists via Skype, some of whom had driven all day to be able to attend. An old man in his office bent over a computer received a standing ovation from a packed auditorium thousands of miles away, full of young people of every ethnicity, gender, and background, most of whom were younger than his own grandchildren. This happened in California, a state known for adopting policies opposite of what Paul spent his life advocating. Proof be damned, this one powerful piece of evidence spoke with the force of a thousand statistics. Make no mistake: Ron Paul has won the youth of America.

The youth are the future. Those who control the youth, therefore, control the future. It really doesn’t get any simpler than that. And, judging from the lasting impact of the movement Dr. Ron Paul inspired, the future has been won for liberty.

Joël Valenzuela is the editor of The Desert Lynx

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Video: Gibbs: WH Told Me Not To Acknowledge Drone Program Exists

Robert Gibbs opened up that as press secretary, he was ordered not to acknowledge the existence of the drone program. He criticized the image of accountable government that puts forward.