‘Model Airplane Bomber’ False Flag Operation Misfires But Still Fools The Public

Rezwan Ferdaus

When I read on September 30 of the hoopla surrounding Rezwan Ferdaus, the 26 year old physics major arrested by the Effa Bee Eye two days earlier in Ashland, Massachusetts for allegedly planning…er, excuse me…plotting to attack the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol, I got hopping mad. Seriously, I was ready to whack some noses with a rolled-up newspaper at the very least.

The events of this past week, brought to us courtesy of Those People as I’ve taken to calling them (as did Robert E. Lee), were the latest round in the absurd parade of false flag operations that have been inflicted upon the American public in recent years. False flag ops, of course, are useful for administering a timely jolt of fear to help convince the populace to give up even more of their ever-dwindling rights in the name of ‘safety,’ a strategy that’s been tragically successful for quite a while now. This week we see yet another one, and this time they decided to play really dirty, besmirching the good name of something I very much care about: the hobby of aeromodelling, known simply as model airplane building to those uninitiated in the art. This incredibly lame operation might have been cooked up by Wile E. Coyote collaborating with Pinky and The Brain while they were all drunk on cheap Acme wine…only it wasn’t, it was just the Feds’ usual handiwork. It would almost be comical but for the way the consequences of this stunt will affect us, and believe me, it will get worse. Anyone else recall Saddam Hussein’s Drones of Death That Didn’t Exist?

Well, here we go again.

Reading the details of this Sinister Terrorist Plot, I knew right away that something was rotten in Denmark. I’ve always loved aviation and it’s been a major influence on my life since childhood. Long before I earned my private pilot certificate during my seventeenth summer, and after I was forced to retire from professional aviation by disability in 2006, right up to this day, the construction and flying of model aircraft has been a favorite pastime of mine. Seeing these goons attempt…and succeed at scaring people with my hobby disgusts me.

I’ve built plenty of model planes in my time. I know how they’re made, and I knew there was no way this ‘plot’ could have worked. Don’t worry, the F.B.I. knew it too. Here’s the way things are in the real world: radio controlled planes are simply stuffed with equipment just to power and guide them for normal flights lasting only a few minutes. The idea that these models had the room to ‘strap 25 (or 40, or 50 depending on which story you hear) pounds of C-4’ and additional electronics in or on them as some would have us believe is ludicrous. Even if some genius managed to shoehorn in all that stuff, if the plane managed to fly at all with that much excess weight aboard it would be nothing short of miraculous. Only by cynically massaging the numbers could we see a report that they were able to “carry 40 to 50 pounds of payload” and “fly on autopilot, at a speed of up to 160 miles per hour, to a target defined by GPS coordinates” as Slate breathlessly tells us. Yoo-hoo, boys, that kind of equipment is not available to the public through hobby retailers…or to anyone else who doesn’t hang out at DARPA labs, Langley, or the F.B.I. headquarters in D.C.

Sad to say, lots of Americans only skimmed the story before they bought right into it. Had they actually read the various reports, they’d have seen that this chump Ferdaus was intercepted by the Feds back in December of 2010 by agents supposedly armed with knowledge that he’d visited “jihadi websites.” According to the same Slate article, he “met an ex-con “cooperating witness” in that same month, and then met two undercover FBI employees in March 2011. Uh huh. According to Fox 25 News in Boston, Ferdaus hardly had a nefarious criminal past; the worst criminal activity prior to this little escapade on his record was when Ferdaus and a couple of other students at Ashland High School poured concrete in front of 10 of the school’s doors as part of a “prank” in 2003. Fox continues, saying Ferdaus and his droogs were also accused of burning an American flag and vandalizing the school’s tennis court net.

Gee, what a menace to society! Sorry, but as far as I’m concerned this whole story simply reeks of the same ham-handed Fed meddling we’ve seen so many times before. They never seem to get better at concocting these put-up jobs, either, preferring to recycle the same tired Build-Your-Own-Terrorist manual every time. The Underwear Bomber, the wacky Christmas Tree Bomber and others that come to mind all seem to follow the same playbook.

Snooping, reading intercepted emails, and whatever else these tax eaters in suits do to amuse themselves, The FBI found another Generation Nothing loudmouth malcontent in Ferdaus, it seems. Once they’d insinuated themselves into his confidence, they could groom and goad him on, then help him acquire those planes. Do you seriously think a 26 year old living with his parents in suburbia just happened to have several thousand dollars lying around to cough up to purchase the aircraft? The choice of the planes bothers me, too. It sure looks like they were picked to impress the ignorant…anyone involved with the hobby can tell you there are plenty of much more suitable plane types for carrying a payload.

I’m convinced they were chosen for their scary fighter jet looks; almost every non-hobbyist who’s ever looked at a military model I’ve built, no matter how small, asks the same question: “Can it shoot its guns and drop bombs?” That’s because the average person thinks that if it looks scary, it must be scary. For those whose comments I’ve seen describing Ferdaus as an especially twisted specimen because the two planes we’ve seen in the photos are very well painted and decorated in U.S. military colors: relax, you scamps. It wasn’t a madman’a embellishment, these models are sold pre-finished by online retailers these days.

f86f4

For all I know it’s even slightly possible that this Ferdaus might have thought he was simply in on some kind of elaborate practical joke, given his history of pranks. That might be a bit of a reach, but I think many people are aware that almost any conversation can be manipulated into something that sounds suspicious or dangerous, especially by someone who’s used to ginning up a good story even with only fragments to work with. None of that’s really relevant in any case…in just about every one of these concocted terrorist ‘plots’ the Feds choose a mark that would never have gotten past idly dreaming of sowing death and mayhem. Handy, isn’t it? They pick some loser with a big mouth and delusions of grandeur, turn on the charm and do whatever’s needed to pump up his ego, then provide whatever nasty goodies are required…usually fakes. Then all they need do for the last act is heroically step in and bust the guy, saving the day! On the planet I come from, that’s called ‘entrapment,’ kids. Entrapment has long been regarded as a very bad business by people with the education and experience to appreciate the dangers it poses to a free society for a very good reason: once a government accepts or even encourages its use, you can count on seeing it applied to a continually broadening range of ‘suspects.’

I’ve watched this same ploy work to enact a lot of bad laws with my own eyes over the years, and the cast of characters never varies. They start with someone as marginal as they can find, who has the right chip on his shoulder ready to be exploited. They talk the dumb slob into taking action at some point, an action he’d never have followed through with without all the manipulation from his handlers, arrest him very visibly and publicly, then ram it through the courts by any means necessary. Once that’s done, they now a precedent to refer back to in subsequent cases. Thoughtcrime has been officially recognized, and from there the sky’s the limit. Before long you can expect more and more people arrested as potential terrorists, not just scruffy Middle Eastern men, but wholly unremarkable average citizens…the original targets for increased government control if past events are any indicator.

Here’s the thing that few people consider: Did you ever notice that most of these dastardly terrorists’ acts usually involve ordinary everyday items that could be misused by someone violent or sociopathic? First it was boxcutters, then shoes, then small amounts of liquid. Then it was underwear, followed by firecrackers, propane, and now model airplanes. This is because the fearmongers know perfectly well what just about every sane person knows…even if these items could magically be used as death dealing terror weapons, they wouldn’t be, because it’s just plain wrong to do so. Think that’s an overly Pollyanna-ish view? I’d disagree.

Human society would never have gotten out of the Tigris and Euphrates River Valley if everyone was a dirty rotten scoundrel who attacks or kills others on impulse or just because of a sour disposition. Everyone has bad days and occasional violent thoughts, but we rely on each other not to act on them in a civil society, and we usually don’t. There are millions of human interactions every single day without the need for cameras snooping or drawn guns present to make sure everyone behaves. Of course there are criminals and sociopaths, but they’re few and far between, relatively speaking, and they’re the ones who need watching, not the millions of average folks who are just trying to get by and live their lives. If you accept the authoritarians’ scaremongering, you can believe almost any item is likely to be used to carry out terrorist plots, and from there it takes no great leap of the imagination to envision the day when everyone’s required to wear transparent clothing at all times to ‘protect’ us from the dreaded Phillips Screwdrivers Of Mass Destruction wielded by our neighbors.

That’s why the security theater and manufactured terrorists are needed to keep the public in a constant state of fear, ensuring not only pliant subjects, but those unlikely to see past the superficialities of whatever propaganda the ruling regime tosses them. If you can get people thinking there’s a bogeyman hiding in every closet or lurking under every bed, you’ll get no shortage of accommodating citizens ready to put up with all sorts of outrages because in the belief that they’re ‘safe’ while under surveillance.

They’ll watch the TSA looting their valuables. They’ll put up with sexual assault so common it’s cynically referred to as ‘gate rape,’ often a public humiliation ritual inflicted upon those who choose to opt out of the potentially dangerous and embarrassing ‘porno scanners,’ though there have been scads of reports of travelers subjected to being scanned simply because they were young, attractive women. Even when they’re submissive and deferential to those poking, inappropriately touching, scanning ‘officers,’ they’re still open to being screamed at, roughly handled or otherwise punished for daring to question any part of the ordeal.

If you’ve kept up with the news, you know these myrmidons have continually swelled their ranks not because of any actual terrorist attacks, but through the mere fear of these attacks, reinforced by these ongoing contrived false flag operations that have always been miraculously ‘defeated’ by the very agents who contrived them. They’ve moved beyond airports to bus stations, school proms, and railway depots.

Now, thanks to this latest nutty scheme cooked up by the Feds, we could soon see legions of blue polyester clad legions in every park, searching eagerly not just for deadly barbeque forks and lethal cans of lighter fluid to confiscate, but something far worse…the chance to to get their grubby mitts on my beloved model airplanes.

Copyright 2016 © by Glenn Horowitz, originally published 2012 in the American Daily Herald

Revelations From the Book of Opie 2:1

Verily, I declare there is a pox upon our people, O my brethren!

Throughout this land, it hath waxed and thrived, afflicting us with its pernicious evil, crushing the spirits of the ordinary men and women while emboldening the corrupt and avaricious few who would prey upon the innocent as do ravening wolves amidst a flock of sheep. It hath spread its foul tentacles among us from the most innocent child unto the offices of the most high of our republic’s guardians, causing sorrow and grievous harm wheresoever it traveleth, leaving only ruin and sorrow in its wake. Countless legions of those accounted wise weep, wail and gnash their teeth at its depredations, yet offer neither solace in this time of trouble nor wise words to guide us that we may be delivered from this scourge of Fear.

Take heart, kinsmen, for it hath been made known to this humble scribe that others in earlier times have bested this Fear that troubleth us in divers ways. Today I shall discuss one of these, found not in some cryptic tome of arcane lore, but from a source that hath lain beneath our very noses for many a year. Attend, please, while I turn to the Book of Opie:

I had to poke some fun at the issue of fear since it really has assumed such a disproportionate influence over us for many areas. To my mind the best medicine for the very real but hardly insurmountable  dangers in our world is laughter. In this vein, while it may strike some as frivolous I truly believe that some important and relevant ideas for helping us understand and cope with real human issues can often be found, surprisingly enough, in popular culture, in this case The Andy Griffith Show from the early 1960s. Sure, it’s all contrived fiction, but it’s the honest expression of the writers’ world view, and in that I think it’s valid and effective as they clearly intended for communicating life lessons they cared a great deal about to future generations.

In following discussions of the rapid militarization of local police forces over the last few decades, I’ve seen many half-joking references to the contrast between Sheriff Andy and modern police, who have become increasingly indistinguishable from soldiers in recent years. Andy never carried a gun, even though though it was clearly his choice to do so; he certainly had a wide selection of firearms available to him on display in the sheriff’s office. Far from being the modern hoplophobic bureaucrat, he was shown as being unambiguously comfortable around firearms in many episodes. He was the iconic Peace Officer, eschewing the use of violence in favor of rationally approaching most situations. He preferred brain power over firepower almost exclusively, defusing rather than escalating potentially dangerous situations even when some of Mayberry’s more unruly residents had already picked up their own guns to resolve personal issues. That’s a vast disconnect from the martial mindset of many police today, who often approach almost every situation with a shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later attitude, applying overwhelming force as the first option even in scenarios that pose little or no physical threat to them.

Sheriff Andy was unfailingly courteous to citizens whose paths he crossed, whether they were residents or strangers, even those whose attitude and demeanor might be rude or even hostile. This was an accurate portrayal of many police officers of that era, who tended to see themselves as equals with the populace…genuine peace officers protecting their communities, as contrasted with the disdain far too many of today’s police show toward citizens on a regular basis, frequently harassing, assaulting, beating, pepper spraying and Tasering ‘mundanes’ in the most casual of encounters, often causing severe injury or even death as a result. If you follow stories like these, you’ve seen that there is rarely any accountability for police, who seem to be given a free pass for even the most savage assaults. This has at least two strongly negative consequences: first, citizens have come to view any contact with law enforcement as potentially dangerous, and second, it diminishes respect for police in citizens’ eyes, destroying any mutual respect and regard between civilians and the police who are supposed to serve their communities, especially as law enforcement has come to be seen as more of a revenue collection arm of the government. Civilians exercising their right to photograph or film police, especially in perceived civil rights abuse incidents, are finding themselves arrested and prosecuted for doing so, an unhealthy escalation of the problem.

Let’s put those aside for a bit and turn our focus back to the main subject of this essay: young Opie Taylor.

While his father was busy with sheriff duties, Opie always seemed to have his own hands full. In the first episode of the show’s second season, Opie and the Bully, we’re presented with one of those valuable life lessons when Andy discovers the reason for Opie’s unusual repeated requests for a nickel from the family: a bully named Sheldon has been accosting Opie on his way to school each day, extorting his nickel for milk money under threat of a thrashing.  Trying to help his son, the sheriff relates a story from his own youth involving a bully’s attempt to coerce his behavior by threatening violence if he didn’t surrender his favorite fishing spot. He explains he felt ashamed after capitulating to the bully at first by not protecting something that was rightfully his out of fear. However, regaining his courage after learning the phrase “millions for charity, but not one penny for tribute,” he returned to face the bully. The bully followed through on his threat, delivering a ‘knuckle sandwich’ to Andy’s nose, whereupon Andy laughed, having discovered that the bully’s swagger was all a front, and  “lit into him like a windmill in a tornado,” turning the tables and giving the bully a genuine thrashing that dissuaded him from all future attempts at extortion. Later, Opie deals with Sheldon in the same way, emerging from the incident with a black eye to display in triumph, and the knowledge that he won’t be subject to further extortion attempts on his way to school.

I first saw this episode as a child, and its message has stayed with me ever since, as I’m sure it has for many other viewers. As a parable it succeeds on many levels and still has worth today, though as a society I’m afraid its meaning seems to have been forgotten, at least by those whose business is deciding policy for our public institutions.

On the other hand, perhaps it hasn’t been forgotten at all, but simply replaced by the ‘progressive’ thought that’s dominated the American marketplace of ideas for more than a century.

Opie learns several important things here: first of all, the bully’s tough talk is mostly just that: talk. By standing his ground, then fighting back an attack by Sheldon the bully, he suffers little physical hurt; the bully’s bark is in fact much worse than his bite. Self-reliance in facing his fears not only makes him stronger, but he feels much better about himself afterwards due to his very real accomplishment.  Today’s techniques rely on increasing a child’s self esteem at any cost, teaching them to feel that they are somehow special or have accomplished something extraordinary even if they’ve done nothing.

This situation is a near-perfect demonstration of the Zero Aggression Principle, likely the intention of the show’s writers. Rather than going to the extremes of either perpetually backing down from Sheldon’s threats or hiding in ambush to attack Sheldon first with the advantage of surprise, Opie only acts with defensive violence when the bully initiates force against him. This principle goes back to the founding of this country with the ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ sentiment expressed by the rattlesnake on the Gadsden Flag, reinforcing the moral position that initiation of force is never morally acceptable, but responding with whatever force is needed to stop the aggressor is perfectly justified.

Think about the concepts demonstrated Opie and the Bully , how would such a conflict have been handled today? I think you’ll agree things would have turned out very differently with today’s near-hysterical attitude our public schools have when faced with conflicts between kids.

Even when I was in grade school, there was an attitude that even if a kid was an innocent victim of an aggressive bully, both victim and attacker would be subject to punishment if they were caught. This teaches the distorted morality that administrators and officials of the school…agents of the State… have a monopoly on the use of force. This is a complete refutation of what we see in Opie and the Bully, where Sheriff Andy, not only the adult authority figure involved but an actual agent of the State, actively encourages Opie to fight back in defense to defeat the bully but stays out of the picture otherwise.

In today’s world the boys would never have been allowed to resolve their conflict on their own. One or both would have been arrested, handcuffed and confined (likely violently), Opie wouldn’t have learned the value of self reliance or seen the validation of the moral nonaggression principle, and Sheldon would not have been dissuaded from his bullying behavior; rather he would have been given the incentive simply not to get caught. This is hardly surprising, given the focus on the deification of the State promoted by our forced public education system, which teaches that individuals are insignificant and actively discourages all of the positive values of independent and critical thinking, self reliance and morality that we see demonstrated in Opie and the Bully.

I’ve written critically before about this public education system, and promoted the values of home schooling and the revisionist education theories of experts like John Taylor Gatto. I recently came across another resource that illustrates how tragically harmful this system can be, The War On Kids, a film from 2009 directed by Cevin D. Soling. It can be painful to watch this production that discusses a wide range of factors demonstrating the failure of the Prussian inspired mandatory education system that has dominated this country since the nineteenth century, a failure that has accelerated in recent years. Look at the poisonous fruit it yields: school shootings perpetrated by zombified kids forced to take drugs by the State in collusion with Big Pharma. Schools turned literally into prisons by the hysterical overreaction of officials to their own  fear of violence and drugs as evidenced by the State’s unsound and harmful ‘Zero Tolerance’ policies. The crippled minds and bodies of all those children who emerge from this meat grinder utterly unprepared to deal with life as productive human beings are an indictment of this system and a shameful legacy to inflict on future generations.

Watch it here, but be warned that it’s likely to be a heartbreaking experience; I know I haven’t been able to get the dismal scene from near its end out of my mind of the little girl, barely older than a toddler, handcuffed and dragged away crying by burly uniformed minions of the State for the heinous crime of throwing a temper tantrum, just one of many horrific but very real images the film conveys.

By now you should clearly see that everything I’ve discussed here has a common element: fear…and what can happen when the State uses it for its own advantage. Fear on the State’s part that their domination of its citizens may come to and end one day if children aren’t dumbed down and indoctrinated to worship it. Fear that prompts its hysterical overreaction to citizens recording and filming its minions’ sadistic beatings and killings in order to expose them as the tyrants they are. Fear of violence and drug use by kids when the State itself daily assaults and forces drugs on those kids…which they respond to by even more violence and drugging of those very kids. It’s a vicious circle, and it’s tightening all the time as our country deteriorates.

The good news is that these people are bullies just like Sheldon, weaklings who are afraid of the rest of the world. Stand up to them and they will back down…cowards always do. There’s no need of violence, if enough of us simply refuse to keep handing over our milk money to them.

Look at how well it worked for Opie.

Copyright 2016 © by Glenn Horowitz, originally published 2012 in the American Daily Herald

In Memoriam: Andrew Wordes, Enemy of the State

Republished from the article published in 2012 in the American Daily Herald. Lest we forget…

“It was as though in those last minutes he was summing up the lessons that this long course in human wickedness had taught us – the lesson of the fearsome, word-and-thought-defying banality of evil. ”
Hannah Arendt

I had a bit of a jolt this past week when I read of the apparent suicide of a man whose name seemed somewhat familiar to me, Andrew Wordes of Roswell, Georgia. Upon reflection I realized the name was that of a man I’d crossed paths with myself in occasional political discussions on Facebook, which explained my startled reaction upon seeing his name and learning of his self inflicted death on March 26.

I didn’t know Andrew and don’t recall any conversations with him directly, but he struck me as a pleasant enough sort who seemed to share many of my own views, from distrust of centralized government to the virtues of self sufficiency. The news articles I saw after his death kept mentioning a nickname for Andrew I hadn’t seen before, every single one of them referring to him as the ‘Chicken Man’ early on in each piece. The bizarrely comic nature of the name struck me as jarringly dissonant with the somber facts of the story, and I felt compelled to dig deeper to learn more about it…and why the people discussing it seemed so obviously eager to make the association between the man and that odd moniker inseparable.

Andrew had lived in Roswell for about 13 years, but his troubles with the bureaucrats began in early 2009 when city code enforcement officers issued a citation to him for having too many chickens on his property. A few chickens on a piece of property just a few percentage points under an acre in size, which if not legal, was awfully close to legal. When a neighbor filed a complaint, that gave the government an excuse to act. As we will see later, it turns out that they were actively looking for that excuse.

Wordes fought the citation. I notice that some journalists claim the law was ‘vague,’ but that’s only because of the obfuscations of the municipality in its zeal to prosecute Wordes; actually the law specifically excluded chickens from its regulation of livestock, but the city responded with “a complex set of statutory interpretation arguments” that essentially said they’d made up their minds and had no wish to be bothered by facts. The presiding judge dismissed the case in May 2009, but by then it was too late, the city officials had engaged Andrew in their sights.

Was Andrew Wordes another Charlie Manson or Tim McVeigh, some potential menace to society that drew the attention of local law enforcement? It doesn’t seem so; on the contrary; during the above legal proceeding he organized a “Chicken Stimulus Package” to draw attention to his cause, publicly giving away 600 baby chicks to Roswell residents, an act that in saner times would have been taken more as the mark of a gentle soul seeking aid from his community than that of a scofflaw deserving of punishment.

In the summer of 2009 the Roswell City Council rewrote the law, banning roosters and using lot size to limit the number of chickens a resident was allowed to have on that land. From this point on the story accelerates and takes a darker turn. Before I add the summary of the events, I want to add that as I learned more about this case, I found myself asking the big question: why? Why would city officials go to so much trouble, expending time, energy and resources, to nitpick a man about a few chickens, for goodness’ sake? I was already getting the strong impression that this was a criminal conspiracy on the part of the city of Roswell, and as any criminal investigator will tell you, there are two salient factors they look for to ascertain criminality: motive and opportunity.

It’s clear that the city certainly had the opportunity, between their rewriting laws to suit their acts of aggression against Andrew and his property, and at least one Stasi-style local resident denouncing (complaining about) Andrew, they had all the opportunity they needed. So what’s the motive?

The answer came from the city itself, as I discovered when going over this page from Off Grid Survival: back in 2003, the city drew up its ‘2030 Comprehensive Plan,’ including a map of the proposed area it affected, and apparently Andrew’s property was smack in the middle of it. The city wanted Wordes’ property and boldly planned to use it themselves.

In studying various reports of the timeline of Andrew’s ordeal, I was conscious of the fact that all of these reports are technically hearsay. Fair enough, but given officials’ habit demonstrated over the years of distorting, omitting or even fabricating facts to support whatever their official story of the moment is, in our brave new world hearsay is often all we have to rely on. The critical factor for me was that all of these accounts, whether they included more or less data than others, meshed smoothly with no glaring inconsistencies between them. In my experience that’s been the most reliable way to determine the facts gleaned from the swirling chaos of the internet. Here’s the account I found most instructive, courtesy of the Georgia Outdoor News forums:

CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS

* December 2008: Roswell Zoning Department issues a warning for the chickens on his property. (At that time, the City of Roswell’s Code of Ordinances said “On less than two acres you MAY NOT have livestock except for poultry and swine.”) The City decided to issue a citation anyway. Mayor Wood attempts to step in and stop the city, but the city moves forward. Both parties head to court.
* Spring 2009: Mr. Wordes hires former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes to represent him against the city. Both parties presented their cases to Judge Maurice Hilliard who issued a dismissal of the case against the Chicken Man.
*

Summer 2009: The Roswell City Council rewrites the law, without a ‘grandfather clause’, to make all but 6 chickens on a property illegal–directly targeting and affecting Mr. Wordes. The law further states that the ‘legal’ chickens must remain in a permanent enclosure.**
(**Mr. Wordes property sits on a flood plain. 3-4 feet of water rises on his property when it storms. Because of this, the city would not issue a permit for a permanent enclosure, therefore making it ‘illegal’ for him to have his birds. This is important because after the storms and flooding in September 2009, with a 6 foot storm surge of Storm Water the sewer backed causing 4 feet of Storm Water and SEWAGE in the basement of his home. In order to save his home AND his chickens, Mr. Wordes borrowed a BobCat to move the dirt around. He was subsequently issued citations for too many chickens, grading of property without a permit and too many cars on his property. The City also would not submit requests for FEMA funds for the property. The property has flooded several times since this initial flood.)

* Additionally
* The City of Roswell contacted Mr. Wordes mortgage holder, an elderly woman who has held his mortgage for the entirety of his 16 years in his home. With the threat of liens, citations and grievances, the City pressures Wordes’ mortgage broker into SELLING the note to another broker for 50 cents on the dollar. The current mortgage broker is attempting to foreclose on Mr. Wordes home.
* Mr. Wordes reports to court for his citations after the flood. Judge Hilliard again rules in his favor stating that he is ‘grandfathered in’ to the new law, but must complete 180 hours of community service for the illegal grading and the excessive number of cars on his property. Unbeknown to him, his sentence of Community service also requested him to be on probation which he was unaware of and immediately requested that he be allowed to pay the fine.
* Mr. Wordes is harassed by the Roswell Police Department as well. He is pulled over more times than we can count, thrown in jail on multiple occasions, and given a number of petty citations. It’s common for multiple police cars to sit at the end of Mr. Wordes street and ‘wait’.
* The City of Roswell files Zoning violation for having a Nuisance property and he is appointed a Public Defender of course to be paid for by The City of Roswell. His court appointed counsel states in court that the ordinance is vague and the city will likely lose again.
* Roswell later additionally files a 55-page civil suit against Mr. Wordes in an attempt to take his property from him again charging him with having a Nuisance property. This is the first civil suit to attempt to take a man’s property in the history of Roswell. This civil suit was filed in attempt to deny Mr. Wordes his right to a public defender, as he can no longer afford to pay for representation. Fortunately because of Mr. Wordes involvement with Georgia Carry, they have provided legal representation for him.
* The City lists Mr. Wordes home on the ‘Roswell 2030 Plan’ as a green space and parks area, publicly announcing and solidifying their effort to take his property. (View the plan here http://www.roswellgov.com/DocumentView.aspx?DID=1552 –the road you’re looking for is Alpine Drive. Can you believe this? He is still the lawful owner of his property but the City has a 20-year-plan to dissolve that. Note that Mr. Wordes has offered to SELL his property to the City, but they have declined. Instead, they want to take the long and painful route of forcing him into foreclosure so the property can be purchased at a reduced price. This would also prevent Roswell from having to face pending lawsuit for damages, “inverse condemnation” and taking of his property, and the many civil rights and due process suits which would follow.
* July 2011: Mr. Wordes leaves his home to attend a political rally. When he returns home, he finds that all of his chickens have been let out and feed is all over the ground. The next day, his birds begin to die. Mr. Wordes realizes that someone has poisoned his birds. Over the course of the next few days, Mr. Wordes loses 1/3 of his livestock, including 45 baby turkeys (10 of which belonged to Roswell Mayor Jere Wood), 25 chicks and 6 adult birds. I spoke with Mr. Wordes personally and he claims there is no doubt in his mind who was behind the poisoning. He alleges that it was his next door neighbor who has rallied with the city through this entire process. You see, Mr. Wordes has a very private backyard that is surrounded by woods. From the street, however, it would appear that people were home because there were a couple of cars parked in the driveway. Unfortunately, Mr. Wordes posted on his Facebook page that he would be attending this political rally. Mr. Wordes has indications that lead him to believe that his neighbor monitors the page through other names (via his neighbors own personal website that has a page dedicated to ‘The Chicken Man’). Mr. Wordes alleges that this neighbor is the only one that would 1) know the seclusion of the property, 2) have access to the property in addition to knowing where everything is and 3) have a motive to commit such an atrocity. A police report has been filed, but is not moving forward at this point due to the lack of proof. The birds were taken to two different forensic labs to determine the source of poisoning but the necropsies have not yet returned. In the meantime, this has become an economic hardship on Mr. Wordes since he cannot sell the eggs from his hens since the poisoning.

* Mr. Wordes is due in court August 10 at 2:30pm (a specially scheduled hearing on a day the court is not usually in session) . The hearing is public at the Roswell Municipal Court. He will be arguing a probation violation for missing a ‘check-in’ over the time his birds had been poisoned. At that hearing Mr Wordes is taken into custody and ordered to serve the remainer of his probation for a trumped up zoning violation amounting to 99 days in jail.
* Roswell of course invited the press and issued a press release stating Mr Wordes house is vacant and the RPD will be keeping an eye on things. Of course with in hours, began the three month long ransacking and looting of his home. Everything of value was stolen or destroyed including a large collection of firearms, weapons and ammunition that in the hands of criminals puts the entire community at risk.

Mr. Wordes was foreclosed on while he was in jail for 3 month (for a minor city zoning violation). When jailed the Roswell Police refused his access to his records, to contact his Bankruptcy attorney, was refused to attend a court ordered hearing held for the benefit of him and his creditors in United States Federal Bankruptcy Court and by doing so Roswell refused to allow Mr. Wordes to provide the Bankruptcy Trustee with documentation he had ordered him to provide. That information gave the Bankruptcy Trustee the right to HALT the foreclosure on his home of 16 years while still protecting the mortgage holder.
Roswell opened their court room and held court on an unscheduled day instead of waiting until the next week and maade an annoinccemnt to the press stating his house would be vacant and Roswell Police would keep an eye on it. It was less than 24 hours before the City Chief, Dwain Orr and The CIty Manager Kay Love were informed in a meeting with a prominent citizen that Mr Wordes house had already been the scene of a burglary and looting and Mr Wordes had a extensive firearms collection. Their statement was that they were not going to do anything and thanks to Roswell there is a large cache of weapons and ammo in the hands of criminals.

Municipalities have engaged in scurrilous practices before to obtain property they wanted, even at the cost of lives. One notorious example is the case of Donald Scott, a Malibu millionaire killed in 1992 during a contrived drug raid by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and agents from five federal law enforcement agencies. Though this raid was cynically orchestrated for the express purpose of using asset forfeiture laws to take Mr. Scott’s property, and the report of the Ventura County District Attorney, Michael Bradbury, concluded that the police lied to obtain the search warrant, not one official was ever indicted or prosecuted for this criminal conspiracy. Perhaps this time if there’s enough public awareness about Andrew’s case the outcome will be different.

You can read Andrew Wordes’ own comments on his persecution by the City of Roswell that only add support to the other data I’ve presented, and you can hear his voice describing parts of his ordeal in this radio interview:

A side note: as I mentioned earlier, again and again I have seen Andrew referred to as the ‘Chicken Man’ in every single mainstream article reporting his death. While I don’t doubt that the appellation of ‘Chicken Man’ began as a friendly nickname bestowed on him by friends and neighbors, I firmly believe that the mainstream media has used it so eagerly in a tactic that intentionally prejudices their audience’s impression of the man in a wholly negative way; to someone unfamiliar with Andrew’s character, any story prefaced with ‘Chicken Man’ colors their perception of him with a grotesque and cartoonish slant before they digest any actual information about him. Since I really did not know Andrew personally, I refuse to play that game. The mainstream media, with its slavish devotion to the Almighty State, does this as yet another way to aggrandize its master while trivializing any individual with the audacity to stand up to it. Non serviam, guys, that particular sleazy tactic’s something I’ve been aware of for a long time.

I believe that Andrew Wordes had a choice set before him on March 26. He’d been financially ruined and spiritually tortured by the City of Roswell officials’ callous acts, and had he simply surrendered would have joined the legions of other homeless and destitute Americans, allowing this case of vicious criminal conspiracy pass into obscurity as did the case of Donald Scott. Viewed in this light his act can be seen as a last effort to alert the public to another atrocious example of the destruction of Americans’ property rights, one not of desperation by a disturbed mind, but a considered, selfless…and resigned…last good deed to quite literally send up a flare warning the rest of us of our danger. I pray I never find myself in such a dismal situation, and can only hope I’d comport myself with half of the strength of character and integrity that Andrew showed on that day if I do.

Rest, in peace, Andrew ‘AKfortyseven’ Wordes. I wish I had known you better.

Republished from the article published in 2012 in the American Daily Herald.
Copyright © 2016 Glenn Horowitz

 

I Married a Politician from Outer Space

See? Look, when the light over the podium hits him just right! You missed it? You couldn’t see that horrid face under the human mask? Are you blind?

There are creatures among us, hate to break it to you. They look like us, they move like we do, they even eat and drink our food, but they aren’t human…they can’t be; no real person could say and do the things they do.

We call them ‘politicians.’

I got to thinking about this recently while watching a favorite old science fiction film, I Married a Monster from Outer Space…the inspiration for the title of this piece. It’s not as well known as its contemporary, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but I’ve got a soft spot for it. It doesn’t boast the best acting and its special effects are primitive by today’s standards, but it has its moments. The film’s plot is a recurrent one we’ve seen many times in movies; aliens have come to Earth either to take over or steal our resources (in ‘Monster’ they’re after Earth women to breed with since all of theirs have died) and dupe the locals by assuming human guise, in this case by occupying their bodies. How this is done isn’t made clear, but we know the facade isn’t perfect: on the night of their honeymoon, Bill The Alien is standing on the balcony of their apartment watching as a thunderstorm approaches. His human bride, Marge, is elsewhere, so luckily for her (or perhaps unluckily) she misses the unpleasant sight of Bill’s ugly alien visage becoming suddenly visible as lightning flashes nearby. What makes this scene exceptionally  creepy, of course, is that we know he’s about to join Marge in the bedroom to consummate their marriage. No dialogue directly states this, but in typical Fifties style, it’s discreetly made clear what’s about to happen.

Later in the film, we find that the offworlders are absorbing more men of the town, using them to seal it off from snooping outsiders. They barricade the roads with co-opted maintenance workers, control the individual members of the populace with co-opted police, and their operatives ensure that no long distance telephone calls can be made, incoming or outgoing. “All the lines are busy,” the faceless operators repeat endlessly.

What a useful metaphor for politicians, their bureaucratic apparatchiks, and their muscled enforcers in uniform! True, I’ll grudgingly admit that there aren’t really any aliens (though some folks persist in believing there are), but they sure do act like the Andromedans in the movie; marauding control freaks who care little for any humans or even animals that get in the way of their designs, casually killing whenever the urge is upon them.

In our time, the politicians have much loftier ambitions. They claim the monopoly on force, both domestically and abroad. With the myriad of taxes on every human activity or transaction, it’s clear they believe they are the owners of all of the fruits of our labors, save whatever fraction of our earnings they deem it acceptable for us to keep. Not content with simply laying claim to our money, we’re often told what we can and can’t spend those earnings on. We must obtain permission from our masters to use our own property as we see fit, and if some agency doesn’t agree with our choice of action, well, that’s just too bad. The politicians dictate to us what sorts of fixtures we are allowed to have in our homes (the ‘low-flow’ toilet requirement being one notorious example), and even the humble incandescent light bulb can’t escape their clutching fingers. I could go on almost endlessly, the politicians in their endless hubris have a Plan for micromanaging  every aspect of our lives, from the cars we drive to the food we eat, but there’s no need to catalog them all. It’s abundantly clear to anyone with even a shred of ability to think independently that ‘freedom’ in the United States is now considered a quaint and outmoded concept.

In some cases the hubris of those whose hands are upon the levers of power can be frightening. A prime example of this is evidenced by a quote from Ron Suskind, writing for the New York Times Magazine in October 2004, relates a statement from a senior adviser to George W. Bush: “The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.’”

How on earth did this situation come about? While there are any number of specific reasons, I believe it boils down to a combination of just a few significant factors.

First, we as a nation are seeing the results of more than a century of mandatory public schooling. It has failed, many say, pointing to the vast numbers of young peoples unable to read, write, or understand basic mathematics. We observe with sorrow their vacuousness, their nihilism, their lack of motivation and wonder where the spirit that once made this country great at one time has gone.

What we’re overlooking is the fact that most of those ills are evidence that the compulsory education inflicted on people for all these years is working exactly as it was designed: to stamp out good little worker bees assembly-line fashion who’ll toil away their lives, never questioning their place and always doing as they’re told.

The few who exhibit the ability to think creatively, the nonconformists, the misfit square pegs…in short, the very sort of people most likely to have the spirit and inherent smarts needed to be the innovators, the thinkers, the inventors and entrepreneurs we so desperately need to make our country prosperous and successful again…mostly have those qualities squashed out of them by the gnashing gears of the machine by the time they reach adolescence. The fraction remaining who survive this ordeal unscathed are routinely ushered into obscurity by the various traps the elites in control have set in their paths to ensure failure; the stifling hyperregulation, the taxes and the penalties…including prison…that await those with the the audacity to buck the tide. The Steve Jobs’, Sam Waltons and Oprah Winfreys of this world do sometimes miraculously succeed despite the system, but I have no doubt their numbers would be vastly increased were it not for the impediments foisted upon people that begin at the earliest ages.

As I’ve stated, the educational system in place was intentionally and very cynically designed long ago to produce these results, starting with the establishment of the Prussian education system of the nineteenth century, brought to this country by the Progressives of the early twentieth, and nurtured by the likes of Horace Mann and John Dewey. For those interested in a comprehensive view of this massive scheme, I suggest a thorough study of the writings of John Taylor Gatto, a preeminent scholar and at one time the most highly awarded public school teacher in New York, who had an epiphany around 1991 and abandoned the system, vowing that he no longer wished to “hurt kids to make a living.”

Second, as befell many other civilizations that have preceded our own, our success was also partially to blame for our own undoing. Simply put, we’ve gotten lazy and complacent. We’ve got our plasma TVs, American Idol to watch on them, and Ipads and Ipods for when we’re away from the house. Combine that with the lack of ability for creative thought and craving for instant gratification courtesy of the public school institutional training, and you get a whole lot of people turning into professional couch potatoes, docile and complacent. Between this and the fact that one in six Americans are now dependent on government assistance, it certainly seems we’re doing our best to copy the ‘bread and circuses’ policies of the failed Roman Empire. When you take into account the aforementioned inability of most people to think analytically thanks to our dumbed-down public education system, it seems unlikely that this situation will change except for the worse in the foreseeable future.

Third, and at least as troubling is the fear factor. We’ve already seen peaceful protesters, manhandled, assaulted and pepper sprayed by police. If history is any guide, the next step will be summary executions of those who step out of line. Hopefully there is sufficient residual morality of an older America remaining that this won’t become commonplace any time soon…but given the ever-increasing militarization of the nation’s police, it’s difficult to have much confidence behind that hope.

What gets me is how obvious it seems that these people, who the public trusts to act in its best interests, are so often behaving in ways that are inimical to those best interests. Watching them smiling woodenly, smirking, glad-handing their audiences at public appearances, I want to grab their supporters and demand to know how they can consent to these critters’ rule over us. Their insincerity, their smug assurance that their self-serving, destructive behavior will not only be able to run unchecked, but is encouraged by so many of my countrymen and -women, is downright maddening.

In another fun aliens-masquerading-as-humans film from 1988, They Live, the decidedly ugly aliens hide their identities from the humans by means of a mysterious beam, more efficient than the Andromedans’ need to take over bodies individually in I Married a Monster from Outer Space, that causes their appearance to mimic humans’.  The genuine humans can defeat the beam by wearing special sunglasses, and the scene in which the protagonist dons a pair for the first time and sees himself surrounded by hideous aliens is a memorable one. Later, the band of human Good Guys manages to destroy the beam projector, ruining the aliens’ plan for global conquest by enabling all humans to finally see them properly, their horrified screams assuring their deliverance from the alien usurpers’ clutches.

I find this a splendid example demonstrating the concept described by the French philosopher Étienne de La Boétie in his work “The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude,” written in 1553, of the effect of the body of people nonviolently withdrawing their consent to a tyrant’s rule:

Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces.

I’m aware it’s a gross oversimplication of the situation we face, that it’s not possible to reduce the uncountable machinations and manipulations needed to convince a country to trust a despot or despots with the reins of power as we have to one easy factor, but I often find myself wishing for a couple of container loads full of those magic sunglasses to hand out…perhaps when the shrieking had died down we all might find we’d won a divorce from those evil entities we’ve allowed ourselves to be shackled to.

©2016 by Glenn Horowitz, republished from the original that appeared in the American Daily Herald 2011-2012

Dumberer and Dumberest

Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not yet completely sure about the universe. -Albert Einstein

Not long ago I came across something that leaped out and smacked me in the face with its significance, the sort of idea that’s unique not only for its elegantly simple presentation, but for the vast scope it covers. I’ve been familiar with and considered it for years,  but paradoxically I’d never actually defined for myself nor explored in terms of its practical effects in a larger view. Oh, there’s no doubt that I’m a latecomer to this party…plenty of people know about it, I just wasn’t one of them until recently.

I’m referring to the Dunning-Kruger effect, the hypothesis detailing ‘a cognitive bias in which unskilled people make poor decisions and reach erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to recognize their mistakes.’  Fair enough, it’s hardly a secret that not-so-bright people don’t realize that they’re not so bright. They tend to perform tasks badly, and being unaware of their poor performance, never catch on to the whys and wherefores of that poor performance and never learn from their mistakes…which leads with very few exceptions to their becoming enmeshed in a vicious circle of mediocrity in all kinds of areas.

I confess that like many other people who’ve also come to the same conclusion, in my microcosm it I’d always thought it sufficient to be able to recognize such people as mere obstructions in life, but reading  Dunning and Kruger’s work on the subject has been a sharp reminder for me that simply working around the incompetent is not enough.

Whys? Easy enough to answer: there are so many of them out there, and their numbers seem to be rapidly increasing.

It’s important to keep in mind that I’m not talking about universal incompetence; if that were the case literally nothing would ever get done and never would have. At the risk of stating the terribly obvious, people are relatively smart and adaptive creatures and we wouldn’t have achieved the level of development we enjoy as a species if most of us were simply stupid. Nonetheless, it’s becoming obvious that in America at least, we took a wrong turn somewhere, that as a people, we’ve stagnated in our progress. Worse, our nation is rapidly devolving into a de-industrialized and authoritarian State that bears little resemblance to the country it was a hundred years ago. Warts and all, we used to be a country that understood liberty better than others, we were innovative and strove for change for the better. One thing’s for certain: our forbears were not the status quo loving, insecure lot we are today, fearful of change or anything that’s perceived as a threat to our oh-so-precious safety.

I’m talking about the sort of  targeted and specific incompetence that took over a hundred years of patient direction to achieve, primarily through public education. Not surprisingly, the culprit has been none other than our old nemesis, The State.

Toward the end of the nineteenth century, America bought into the idea that along with industrialization and the mass production of goods that had been so successful in manufacturing things in recent years, it would be just dandy to mass produce educationand indoctrination…in people as well. The Prussians had recently developed this method of mandatory public education, and like many of the authoritarian nationalist schemes of that era it seemed like a pretty good idea to fledgling central planners everywhere. The climate in the US at that point of rising xenophobia and the desire for uniformity in public thought helped set the stage for Progressives like Wilhelm Wundt, John Dewey, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller (among others) to promulgate the collectivist and Statist objectives of their brand of enforced public education, and history shows that they were successful beyond their wildest dreams.

If you’re not familiar with it, the Prussian system was a teaching methodology designed to stamp out good little worker bees assembly-line fashion, trained to be complacent with their station in life and compliant with every demand of the State. An elite of those better educated but still proven unquestioningly loyal to the State were promoted to lead the proletariat, rewarded with elevated status and material success commensurate with their skills and the zeal they demonstrate in supporting the system. It specifically avoided developing creativity and independent thought, reasoning these were skills the worker classes didn’t need in their roles as mass produced labor.

It’s an intricate but fascinating story in a grim Machiavellian way, and thanks to the efforts of revisionist scholars in recent years, it’s available online to anyone interested in learning about it. There are two sources I can recommend that I believe excel at communicating  the history of collectivist indoctrination in a comprehensive manner: the works of John Taylor Gatto and Charlotte Iserbyt.

John Taylor Gatto was a highly regarded public school teacher in New York City up until 1991, when while still the current New York State Teacher of the Year, he decided he’d had enough. Quitting teaching, he devoted himself to educational reform thereafter, stating explicitly that he was no longer willing to hurt children. He is the author of several books on the subject of education, multimedia projects, and most recently his work on the documentary film series The Fourth Purpose. His book The Underground History of American Education: A School Teacher’s Intimate Investigation Into the Problem of Modern Schooling is available in print as well as freely available online at his web site.

Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt is an American freelance writer who served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), U.S. Department of Education during Ronald Reagan’s first term, and staff employee of the US State Department (South Africa, Belgium, South Korea). A self-styled whistleblower, she’s drawn attention to the hazards of the misuse of technology in influencing American public school students. She’s a prolific writer and her book the deliberate dumbing down of america is offered as a free e-book on her web site, one of several books and articles she’s authored.

All of the thought and effort that’s gone into deconstructing modern education has arrived on the scene none too soon; we are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history. After more than a century of ‘scientific’ public education, indoctrination, and Skinnerian training, the chickens have come home to roost with a vengeance. We have a country full of people who while reasonably capable of performing their jobs, have never learned the basics of creative or independent thought. They can play the most intricate of video games, but lack the skills needed to think their way out of a paper bag in far too many instances. Worse, since the State has indoctrinated them so well with its peculiar brand of non-logic, any trouble or obstacles they encounter in life caused by the State itself are often simply overlooked by these folks as if they didn’t exist, blinded as they are by State worship. This hearkens back to Dunning and Kruger’s observation that people deficient in reasoning skills don’t learn from their mistakes and will repeat them without ever realizing the fundamental problems at the root of their failures.

They can’t spell, punctuate or compose a paragraph competently, skills that were considered essential for children growing up a century ago. As Orwell’s Newspeak in 1984 removed the ability to commit thoughtcrime by destroying language, so too have the public incrementally lost the ability to communicate effectively…without even realizing it. As the situation deteriorates, so-called educators excuse its failure by promoting the idea that the proper use of language constitutes ‘elitism,’ one of the worst pejoratives in their arsenal of epithets flung at enemies to silence them whenever they cross its will.

When we’ve reached the point of speaking or writing in little more than grunts, the mere concept of resisting control and coordinating efforts to change things for the better can escape the grasp of the average person, but this is of course the desired result from the central planners’ perspective: why would they want to encourage their subjects to develop any cognitive skills that might lead to dissatisfaction with their assigned role within the hive?

Keeping the public ignorant just doesn’t work any more, not in today’s world with its greater reliance on brainpower rather than horsepower. People haven’t changed one bit in thousands of years, but the stakes are higher than ever before as technology improves and has an ever greater effect on them with its faster communication, capability for intrusive surveillance and more lethal weapons.

Look at just a few of the assortment of people in occupations that can be (and have been) skewed, distorted or perverted by Leviathan’s training in its dogma of omniscience to make them more dangerous. They’re the mainstream media, like it or not, still the gatekeeper of information for the majority of Americans, cynically using their position to influence public opinion. They’re lawyers, judges, doctors, and scientists interpreting manmade and natural laws, always under pressure to force those laws to conform to the needs of the State first and foremost, even at the expense of rationality and decency.

More ominously, they’re also the State’s enforcers, the soldiers and police…and of course their new Sturmabteilung, the almost universally loathed TSA. In capacities like these they wield great power over other peoples’ lives and property and as such take on massive responsibilities that include (in theory) not only doing their jobs, but respecting the citizens who have trusted them with that power and who rightly expect them to shoulder those responsibilities. However, unless you can willfully ignore the facts or are so deeply immersed in worship of the State that you can rationalize any act perpetrated by someone clothed in its livery, you’re aware that in many cases these responsibilities are given mere lip service as citizens see their rights, dignity and increasingly their very lives destroyed by the State’s minions in the prosecution of one or another of its endless wars against endless enemies; terror, drugs, disobedient client states or even just inconvenient sovereign individuals.

Perhaps the mass and inertia of all those years of enforced ignorance will prove too great a force to be halted. I choose to think otherwise, and that we can turn back to the path of liberty and individual freedom that our ancestors looked to as a goal…flawed though their understanding of it was in execution, it was still pointed far closer to a sane direction than the same old statist systems have always been.

There’s no Utopia out there, as the hubris filled schemes of powerful individuals to attain their version of that goal have so often proven, leading only to misery and slaughter during the twentieth century. I don’t know what all of the answers are, but the good news is that we have a pretty safe bet to begin with as a first course of action: deliberately turning away from the dehumanizing collectivism that has done us such damage for so long. Concentrated power in few hands has led to nothing but grief, but we can reclaim that power, diffusing it back to the citizens and taken away from the usurpers who have so perverted our republic into the monster it is today.

This will prove true in education as well, I do not doubt. Mentoring, homeschooling, and even unschooling are just a few of the options open to us, and doubtless more will evolve once the heavy hand of the State is out of the picture. We can thank people like John Taylor Gatto and Charlotte Iserbyt for helping light our way, but we are the ones who need to accomplish it, one individual at a time…delegating this duty to others has created our current disastrous state of affairs.

We’d best get to it, lest we plummet right past Dunning-Kruger defined incompetence straight into the bottomless depths of sheer Idiocracy.

©2016 by Glenn Horowitz, republished from the original that appeared in the American Daily Herald 2011-2012

REAL Warriors Oppose the State’s War on Cannabis

“After two puffs on a marijuana cigarette, I was turned into a bat.”
~ Dr. James C. Munch, testifying before Congressional hearings on the Marijuana Tax Act (1937)

During Congressional hearings for one of the first truly decisive steps in what would become known as the War on Drugs, the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, only two doctors were called upon to give testimony. One, a Dr. Woodward, testified against the Act for various reasons on behalf of the A.M.A.. That organization felt that the bill had been hastily and secretly prepared, as well as the fact that even then the benefits of cannabis were acknowledged by physicians prescribing cannabis, retail pharmacists selling cannabis, and medical cannabis cultivation and manufacturing. He was politely told to shut up and go away. While details are sketchy, the animosity seems to have been mutual, the A.M.A. strongly doubted the government’s wild claims of insanity, death and addiction made by the bill’s proponents, most notably those concocted by Harry Anslinger, newly appointed head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and a vehement prohibitionist for his entire professional life.

The other was the Dr. Munch quoted above, a pharmacologist from Temple University, who not only testified that a taste of cannabis had turned him into a bat, but expanded on this claim, asserting that once transmogrified he “flew around the room for 15 minutes before finding himself at the bottom of a 200-foot high ink well.” Not bad for a story concocted decades before Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone!

Of all of the substances criminalized by the drug warriors, none have borne the brunt of their concentrated hysterical fury quite like cannabis has.  There are a number of reasons for this, none of them pleasant.

Apart from a strong Puritanical hatred of euphoriants of all sorts, those involved in the demonization of cannabis had a strong degree of racist hatred motivating them. The early twentieth century had seen a rapid growth in anti-Mexican bias, along with a further increase in the long established racist attitude toward blacks in America. As always happens in situations like this, those irrational attitudes seeped into the mindset of a great many Americans, including those in charge of the one group with a claimed monopoly of force for use against their fellows to coerce them into conformity with the group’s precepts: the government. Sadly, anti-cannabis propaganda quotes from government functionaries and prominent citizens at every level who shared these racist beliefs abound, as seen in this declaration from a Texas state senator: “All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff [marijuana] is what makes them crazy.” Similarly, an editorial in a 1934 newspaper opined “Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men’s shadows and look at a white woman twice.”

Anslinger himself added some real gems of his own to this ugly race based fearmongering, such as “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others,”  along with “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”  His blanket statement on the urgency of criminalizing cannabis says all that need be known about his character as he concludes: “…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.” 

When discussing the creation of any malum prohibitum law, it’s always wise to ask just who benefits from its implementation, and with laws against cannabis we see some striking examples.

Cui bono?

William Randolph Hearst, for one. As a media mogul of the time, he  jumped enthusiastically on the anti-cannabis bandwagon. As a publishing magnate, he was in an ideal position to use the proven technique of yellow journalism to whip up a frenzy of sensationalist anti cannabis sentiment in the public mind, and these were spectacularly successful in selling huge numbers of Hearst publications. Lurid tales of violence, sexual deviance and assorted petty crime soon became a regular sight in his publications, and as expected they were often attributed to the already marginalized minorities. Hearst was a man of the times in his racist attitudes common to many Americans of that era, harboring a vitriolic hatred of Hispanics, Mexicans especially, blacks, and other minorities. In addition, he was especially hostile to Mexicans after losing about 800,000 acres of prime timberland, a major source of raw material for the newsprint needed by his publishing empire, to Mexican rebel Pancho Villa during the Mexican Revolution.

There was an industrial incentive to eliminate hemp, too, though perhaps not as powerful a motivation as using its illegality as a xenophobic social control: the DuPont chemical company had just patented the world’s first synthetic fiber, nylon, and had a large financial stake in promoting it over older natural fibers like hemp. By an interesting coincidence, that intrepid drug fighter Harry Anslinger just happened to be the nephew of Andrew Mellon, one of the richest men in America…who was heavily invested in DuPont. Just how significant this is as a factor in the war on cannabis is difficult to say, but when trying to determine criminal culpability in a case, investigators look for motive and opportunity. Anslinger certainly seems to have had both.

The legislation against cannabis easily passed into law, even though hemp had been a proven, reliable resource used for mankind’s benefit for centuries. It had been an essential material from America’s beginning; canvas sails had harnessed wind power that brought the first settlers from Europe in their ships as well as being the source of their very rigging and ropes. The Declaration of Independence and Constitution were written on hemp paper, and hemp was a staple crop for many of the country’s founders like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. The tough canvas that covered the wagons of the westward expansion, and Levi Strauss’ first blue jeans were made of the same hemp.  Even Henry Ford developed a car constructed in great measure of stiffened hemp fiber…which ran on biodiesel fuel made from hemp.

Despite these and many more benefits, cannabis was criminalized and remains so to this day. Many lay the blame for this on the pervasive influence of the giant oil, paper and now pharmacological industries, while others ascribe it to residual racism and culture clash. While I am usually the last person in the world to avail myself of the race card when assigning blame for a societal problem, in this case I must agree with the latter to an extent. A bit of searching turned up an interesting essay on Alternet that supports my suspicion, should readers wish to explore it further. Still, the ‘why’ is not of primary concern here, the unalloyed fact that an unusually useful resource for humanity remains heavily stigmatized and criminalized is the central issue, one that’s assumed even more significance in recent years. All of this depression and unrelieved pain continues in direct refutation of scientific studies, propelled by the inertia of an irrational and racist propaganda campaign, and it’s growing as the number of American service people involved in Leviathan’s endless wars increases. Worse, we’ve watched America become notorious as the nation with the highest rate of incarceration of its own citizens, most of them for nonviolent drug offenses. The prison-industrial complex bears much of the responsibility for this situation, and tellingly opposes drug legalization, seeing it as a threat to their profits. Cui bono?

This topic is one I’ve meant to address for some time, and now I can give thanks for the inspiration from my friends at the Combat Veterans for Ron Paul to do so. I’ve been working closely with this group in recent months; we have a great deal in common despite the fact that I’m a lifelong civilian. Obviously we’re all admirers of Dr. Paul and his message of liberty, but beyond that,  in matters of political theory, moral philosophy, and foreign and fiscal policy I’ve found many parallels between CVRP’s stance on issues and my own since encountering them, a trend that shows no signs of slowing.

One of CVRP’s many endeavors is their online broadcast, the ‘Language of Liberty’ show. I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of participating in the show lately, thanks to a relationship that’s developed with a couple of its prime movers, Adam House and Nick Allison. Everyone I’ve met who’s involved with CVRP is a serious, motivated and committed activist in the liberty movement, and I was delighted to find that they were dedicating a show to the state of health care (or the lack thereof) for American veterans, in particular an examination of the problems in accessing any cannabis based treatment for many ailments afflicting veterans. I found the ‘Liberty in Health Care’ broadcast one I can strongly recommend to anyone with even a passing interest in this topic. The discussion between co-hosts Adam House and Eric Fields and their guests was refreshingly genuine, its extemporaneous content a delightful contrast to the canned, agenda driven shows promoted by the increasingly irrelevant corporate mainstream media.

Most of these people were new to me, but then CVRP has a habit of introducing me to welcome new faces. Eric Fields, the evening’s co-host, is a disabled veteran and journalist in his own right, a good choice for the role, with a knack for bringing cogent and relevant topics to the discussion. I found hearing CWO (ret.) Perry Parks, one of several veterans showcased in the Emmy Award winning documentary The Good Soldier, relate his personal experiences with cannabis and its beneficial effects on soldiers with traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) most instructive, even from my civilian’s perspective. There are, after all, a lot of similarities between those injuries and the deleterious effects on the brain from multiple sclerosis. Anyone whose only experience with users of cannabis comes from inaccurate and often hysterical second- or third-hand accounts by those with an anti-drug agenda would do well to listen to Chief Parks instead, I firmly believe.

The stories of the other guests, disabled Air Force veteran and Veterans for Medical Marijuana Access Executive Director Michael Krawitz, as well as SSgt. Rhys Williams, were no less powerful or impressive. Hearing real stories from real people who have experienced or witnessed very real pain that is allowed to continue because a segment of the population…untroubled by pain of their own…has decreed that the remedy for that pain is a ‘dangerous drug’ is a stark reminder of the current injustice in the system. That those people feel justified in continuing to deny those in pain an effective remedy based upon unscientific and often ludicrous reasons is disturbing, to say the least. Personally it can be maddening,  and I don’t think I’m out of line in saying that. Along with the physical limitations and cognitive issues multiple sclerosis bestows on people like me, it also brings a measure of constant neuropathic pain to those afflicted with it. I’m in a better situation than many since my own pain is fairly well controlled by prescription pain medication, but to be honest I’d much prefer to take the natural remedy of cannabis that has been reported effective for others. Since I don’t have access to any the point isn’t relevant, at least not right now, but even if it were I don’t know how likely to avail myself of it I’d be, given the over-the-top response by law enforcement when they uncover cannabis use in too many instances every year. The alternatives being constantly pushed on me are the same that veterans find themselves under pressure to accept: the ‘approved’ moneymakers for Big Pharma with all their nasty side effects, from pain killers that only mask the pain to ‘antidepressants’ that often cause depression along with a host of unpleasant mental side effects, like the zombifying SSRI drugs that leave a trail of ruined or dead people in their wake.

I’m indebted to Adam and Eric for waiving the normal protocol of accepting no callers for most weekday shows and allowing me to participate via phone that evening. I wanted to add my own input to the conversation that I felt was relevant. There is at this point no ‘approved’ treatment for the primary progressive MS afflicting me, and I find it offensive that the War on Drugs not only prevents me from obtaining better and more effective pain relief through cannabis use, which may even reduce some of MS’ symptoms…the one actual treatment that might work to help my affliction, and one that would cause no harm even if it didn’t, unlike the potentially lethal potions proffered by Big Pharma. My situation is not at all uncommon for civilians or veterans, many of whom have to deal with even more severe chronic pain or are in even worse physical condition. When push comes to shove, we’re all in this together, pitted against an opponent that seeks to use us for its own ends no matter which hat it happens to be wearing.

In addition, I wanted to pose a question to any listeners in the audience who might still favor drug prohibition even at this late date, one that I’ve found almost always gives pause to even the most ardent drug warrior by introducing the concept of self ownership into the equation: if you are not free to ingest any substance that you see fit, one that affects no one but yourself, and risks only your own body, are you truly free? I’ve never yet been able to avoid the conclusion that if you do not control your body, you are a slave to those who do. This is a compelling argument, since it doesn’t occur intuitively to many people and may be the first time they’ve considered it.

Americans, veterans and civilians alike, are subject to severe penalties under laws that are at best capricious for the non-crime of seeking natural remedies for painful and debilitating disorders. In addition, we’re allowing our country to suffer based on an immoral prohibition of a natural resource that has served humanity for many centuries, providing us with paper, clothing, structural materials and even a source of renewable energy. We could see immediate and much needed benefits in many areas of our ailing economy by repealing an archaic law based on corporatism, fear and racism.

Why on earth do we continue along this path?

The Combat Veterans for Ron Paul are some of the very best allies we could ask for in the struggle to correct this awful mess, and they’re willing to join with liberty lovers everywhere. How about you…will you join with them?

 

©2016 by Glenn Horowitz, republished from the original that appeared in the American Daily Herald in 2011

Back To Business

Time flies, doesn’t it?

It’s been almost two years to the day since I last published anything on this blog. I  heartily regret this in many ways, since I’ve always enjoyed writing for pleasure…I never much cared who or how many might actually be reading what was on my mind, it was its own reward. I have missed it, and I can at least say that I have not been entirely idle in the meanwhile.

My friends may recall that back in 2010, in the same week I was finally confined to a power wheelchair, I moved my mom here to get her out of Mordor-On-The-Potomac, also known as Washington, D.C. I’d long wanted her out of that nest of vipers, but my original plan to help her obtain a small home in Tennessee (in town, but definitely Not-Here) went out the window when disability bit me. In that week in the autumn of 2010, not only did I trade my legs for wheels, but my then-housemate took off for greener pastures…in the process sticking me with three months of her rent unpaid.

It seemed a good idea at the time, as the cliche goes, to replace her with a family member who needed a place to live and was unlikely to stiff me for her share of the expenses.In some ways this worked out as planned, in others…well, not so much.

Suffice to say that my mom was, as expected, of the same mercurial temperament that I’d always recalled from my…let’s call it somewhat unusual…youth, often downright irrational and unpleasant. The next four years were largely an ongoing soap opera of drama and pathos that I really could have done without, to be candid. At the time I was still becoming progressively more disabled, and as many of you recall the summer of 2011 is when I inaugurated my ‘Get Glenn Mobile’ fundraising blog. On top of that, I’d begun composing fairly regular opinion pieces for publication, so I was kept fairly busy, more so with trying to make my mom comfortable and attend to her needs along with the other tasks demanding my attention. Happily, the blog culminated in the last weeks of 2013 in its wholly unexpected success and my acquisition of the modified Honda Element that allowed me finally to board and drive a vehicle while in my power wheelchair…but life was still working some mischief for me.

In the last blog entry, I demonstrated to my great pleasure that I could still operate the X-WAV safely in my condition, as documented here by my account of the two solo road trips I made, with accompanying video. This is where I left off.

Now, I was thrilled beyond measure to have actually succeeded in my quest, and was and remain eternally thankful to everyone who contributed to it, including, I must add, even my mom, whose contribution late in the game was the proceeds of the sale of her decade-old Toyota that she’d stopped driving a couple of years prior to that. I give her real credit for her help, it provided the last couple of thousand bucks needed to complete the deal. However, several factors became evident at this time:

First, though those two road trips were completed safely and successfully beyond even my expectations, the debilitating fatigue that comes with my disorder had also increased significantly over the intervening years. I found to my dismay that after each short trip, all the transferring to and from seats, driving, and enjoying the activities at my destination took an enormous bite out of my energy reserves. I found my body simply unplugging and needing twelve or more hours of sleep, in fact.

Though a bitter pill to swallow, the reality was that even with my awesome X-WAV at hand, my long-hoped-for plan to get out in the world and engage people on a regular basis was shot. It might not have been my fault, but I still felt like a louse, since a big part of the fundraiser’s purpose was to incorporate more chances to persuade regular people outside of my previously limited circle of movement of the benefits of liberty and a truly free market for everyone’s betterment. I’m still dealing with that feeling even though it’s tempered by the plain fact that my fatigue level increasing was sure not my idea or desire.

At the same time, I found to my real displeasure that purposes I felt so vital to me, my desire to write, to create, to reach out to try to get people considering alternatives to the status quo, were all rapidly leaving me.The 2012 elections were over. Ron Paul was retiring after renouncing his bid for the presidency. And on top of that, here was Obama beginning another dismal term where his lethal excesses in the drone strikes and endless foreign wars, collectivist social policies, and destructive economic policies were inflicted on the public afresh. And the hell of it was that so many of the people (though by no means all, thank goodness!) just didn’t seem to care. Like Madeline Kahn in ‘Blazing Saddles,’ I was tired.

Then on the home front, my mom seemed to redouble her efforts to discourage every move I made at increasing my independence and doing things.To tell the truth, all of my efforts only made her angry, almost furious at every turn. I discovered she’d been telling her few friends that she’d moved here not to escape D.C., not to live without its insane cost of living crushing her, but to ‘take care’ of me, of all things. Now, I have no intention of creating some maudlin ‘Mommy Dearest’ type of narrative here, only to convey the basic facts, but to be entirely forthright her idea of ‘care’ was akin to caring for a potted plant at best. Those of you who come from dysfunctional families probably have a better grasp than most on how things were, but the overall effect was yet another sucker punch delivered to me after the others I’ve described, one that simply tipped me over for a while.

My mom passed away in late 2014 from a case of cancer she’d evidently been concealing for years (there’s more of that drama and pathos she loved so well, I’m afraid), and though hardly a large amount, the life insurance benefit she left was enough to have her decently cremated, pay some current expenses, and give me a breather to modify my life to get by with just my disability income fueling it. Maybe I’m a trouble magnet, but for now I’ve had my fill of parasites and opportunists over the past few years sabotaging my life with their toxic antics, so I’m going it solo for now. Probably not forever, my own gregariousness and the fact that I honestly like the company of real people will see to that eventually! In the intervening time, I’ve had gratifying results in cutting my expenses to a bare minimum while still operating at a sustainable level, and even allowing me to enjoy a few of my pleasures and pursuits that have always been a part of who I am and that I’m still capable of enjoying.

In the last few weeks, I’ve finally been able to really relax for the first time in a long time…I may be on impulse power, but I’ve reached a pretty steady equilibrium here. Most encouragingly, I’ve gotten to the point of being under two years from my mortgage being paid off…a powerful motivator, believe it. I find myself looking forward again to what the future will bring, and even resumed my efforts in aeromodelling again by constructing a transmitter for my radio controlled aircraft that I can comfortably use for full control of them with my one functional hand…something that’s been a major obstacle in my enjoyment of the sport for several years.

Even better, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that my limited opinion threads on Facebook and elsewhere no longer wipe me out after only a small effort expended. Pushing the boundaries, talking with my friends via IM even for hours hasn’t caused me to nap for hours afterwards…it might not sound like much to healthy people, but you can take it from me, this is a huge improvement from the last couple of years.

First things first. Since I’ve missed the writing so acutely, today I determined to resume this blog, play catch-up a bit, and get it current. And wonder of wonders, I’ve composed this whole post in one sitting but I’m still feeling pretty fresh…hey, that’s Big Stuff for me at this point!

Along with periodic updates, since my former venue for my opinion columns, the American Daily Herald, is likely down for good, I thought it might be useful to re-publish a selection of my previously published essays here as well, on my own. I’ll never forget the help and support from my editors there, Dennis and Denise Behreandt, who first gave me that opportunity, and rest assured I’ll be following their ongoing adventures, but it’s time to get back to being productive again.

And, apart from writing new content as I can, I have business to take care of in other areas. Look for some new YouTube videos as I dig through the recordings I made over a year ago at Nashville’s 5 Spot, where many notables from the liberty community were in attendance for the Music City Friends of Liberty event. My friends like Dan Hagen have already published much of the fantastic music that he, the Furious Primates, and Cat Beach performed that evening, but I think I’m the only one who captured the hilarity of freedom lover Adam Kokesh and the inimitable Austrian economist and karaoke ninja Bob Murphy together onstage…you haven’t lived until you’ve seen these two dueling to out-smartass one another!

I’m back. Alive and thriving, if I may be so bold. There’s more content coming soon, so (man, it’s great to be able to say this again) STAY TUNED!