Author Archives: Alan Ballinger

Burning Man

Last year, someone asked me what I thought about the Burning Man festival, and I said that even though it is still wildly popular, we were watching its demise unfold in front of us. After reading Degen Pener’s article in The Hollywood Reporter, I am more convinced that I am correct in my analysis.

Industry “Burners” from Brad Falchuk to Dana Brunetti discuss the boundary-pushing wild festival in the desert, where inhibitions give way to abandon (drugs: yes; pants: optional), artists do extraordinary installations and the rich (of course) threaten tradition with private chefs, $10,000 tents and air conditioning.

This is a typical cycle that artists face. They create cool, free-spirited spaces, but eventually, the wealthy move in and try to co op things. The downward spiral is usually the same, because the influx of wealth drives up the price of the space, whether it is rent, or in the case of Burning Man, fees,.

The end result is that the very people that created the thing are driven out by social or economic factors. My comment last year was, “A festival of free expression dies with corporate sponsorships.” Burning Man used to be a festival of art and free expression.

Now it is more an event of pretentious self-absorbed wealthy assholes with their “private chefs, $10,000 tents and air conditioning.”

There was a time when I wanted to go, and that time was a decade ago.

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Free Speech By Appointment

Feel free to speak you mind. Just make sure to make an appointment for it. Crazy you say?

A public university in Louisiana has a speech code that permits students to express their beliefs freely for two hours per week at three predetermined locations.

The Northwestern State University policy requires students to apply 24-48 hours in advance before holding a public demonstration or assembly, and limits such activities to “one, 2-hour time period every 7 days, commencing on Monday.”

Eventually, we will progress to the point where we have the mandatory two minutes hate. The only difference is that once the left has trained the sheep to accept that there are limits on free speech, they will then decide just what “free speech” will be permitted during the allotted time slot.

“I don’t agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” While that quote is usually incorrectly attributed to Voltaire, the those words SHOULD be the mantra of every university in the Western world, as the entire purpose of any university should be the free exchange of ideas and knowledge. It is a pity that the opposite is the norm at our institutions of “higher learning.”

 

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We Have Reached The Other Side Of The Racism Coin

“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963

A few months before I was born, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. I grew up in a very integrated neighborhood in Southern California, so racism was not something I observed as much as someone in other parts of the country would have lived with. That is not to say it did not exist, but it was subtle, and I honestly can never  remember anyone outwardly voicing the kind of hate that is associated with the racism of my youth.

I do not remember at what age I first heard King’s famous speech. What I do remember, however, is what my initial reaction to is was. It was not some new radical idea that I had never considered. To me, his words were simply common sense. If anything, I felt a sense of sadness that we were not already at a point in our history where his dream was a reality.

I did have hope that we would get there in my lifetime.

So imagine my dismay at reading this on my newsfeed this morning:

Race agitators in Milwaukee used the police shooting of an unarmed armed black man to burn down their city and attack white people. Several videos show white drivers being stopped in the middle of the street and the “protesters” attempting to pull them out of their vehicles.

“They’re beating every white person!” one of the agitators shouted in the video. “They jumpin’ every white person.” When the mob spotted a white driver, they attempted to block his car from passing.

“He white! Beat his sh*t!” the man yelled.

In the 1960s, White racists harassed, beat and murdered African-Americans, and the pop culture, and the political class, and the media not only looked the other way, or excused their actions, but often openly supported the actions of the racists. It was a time of national insanity (or the continuation of a national insanity that existed since the first slave was brought to America in the 17th century).

Today, BLM agitators openly harass, beat and murder White Americans, and the pop culture, the political class, and the media provide cover for them, excuse their behavior, and often openly support their actions.

Congratulations my fellow Americans. We have reached the other side of the racism coin. We are just as far from the society that King spoke about now as we were in the 1960s. It is our national shame, and it is because we suffer from a national cowardice, where we submit to the pressures of political correctness and the desire to keep from offending anyone. It is pathetic.

Speaking out against racism is the right action. Every. Single. Time. Whether that racism comes from Whites, or Blacks, or Muslims, or from any other group is immaterial. Racism, bigotry and hate cannot be cured by more racism, bigotry and hate. Anyone who believes otherwise, and acts on that belief should be called out to answer for their own stupidity.

To quote the great Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” It is long past time that good men step up and push back against the racist terrorism that BLM practices. Regardless of how noble many who support BLM are in their intentions (and there instances where better relationships between police and the community they serve are possible), racism and violence have no place in our society.

The actions of those in Milwaukee only serve to further fray the fabric of our society. Enough is enough.

 

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Can We Get Actual Libertarians To Run For The Libertarian Party?

The two major parties have nominated candidates so unpalatable that for the first time, many American voters would actually take a hard look at some of the fringe parties and the candidates that represent them. This is especially true for many small-government-minded Republicans who have watched as the GOP took their money and their enthusiasm, and in return pushed country club liberal republicans who not only didn’t stand in the way of the Obama agenda, but also helped grease the skids to make it easier for the President to ram through everything he could have ever dreamed of.

So who could have come along and benefitted from the disatisfaction of those who tend to support small government, lower taxes, and a return to the constitutional republicanism the founders envisioned? The Libertarian Party of course.

Then again, maybe not. In a recent interview with Vice-Presidential candidate Bill Weld of the LIbertarian Party, Weld dropped this gem when talking about gun control.

“The five-shot rifle, that’s a standard military rifle; the problem is if you attach a clip to it so it can fire more shells and if you remove the pin so that it becomes an automatic weapon, and those are independent criminal offenses. That is when they become, essentially, a weapon of mass destruction.”

Bob Owens over at bearingarms.com has a great write up on the whole fiasco that is worth a read. When you combine this with the statement the other day from Weld that Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson would nominate Supreme Court justices in the mold of Stephen Breyer or Merrick Garland, it makes you wonder what part of limited government they would actually stand for.

What’s a libertarian to do?

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Media, Democrats Feign Outrage Over Trump Comment

If you had any question as to whether or not the mainstream media is nothing more than the propaganda wing of the DNC, consider this latest story.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign strongly condemned Donald Trump Tuesday over an aside at a rally that they said suggested that the Democratic nominee or federal judges should be shot.

The remark came at an afternoon rally in Wilmington, N.C., when Trump was talking about how if elected Clinton would get to appoint federal judges to lifetime positions, including a vacant seat on the Supreme Court.

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know,” Trump said.

Any sane individual would conclude that Trump was talking about the political power that those who are strong supporters of the 2nd Amendment wield, and that maybe their energy could thwart a possible Clinton Administration by defeating her in November.

Instead, the media and the Democrats (and the establishment RINOs for that matter) immediately ran to microphones, or Twitter, or any other outlet to claim his words were a call for an assassination. Yes, seriously.

 

You get the idea.

Of course, all of the major DNC apparatchiks (CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC and the rest of the alphabet propagandists) were quick to run this smear as much as possible.

The only group in this campaign that has actively called for the assassination of anyone has been the BLM speakers that the DNC embraced and invited to be a part of their convention. BUt hey, who gives a shit about cops? Not the left.

Anyone who lets the mainstream media tell them how to vote in this election is a fool. Ignorance is one thing. Wilful ignorance is another thing entirely.

 

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Another Suspicious Death Surrounding Hillary Clinton

Jim Hoft over at Gateway Pundit has the lowdown on yet another suspicious death of someone involved in standing up to the Clinton machine.

On July 3, 2016,Shawn Lucas and filmmaker Ricardo Villaba served the DNC Services Corp. and Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz at DNC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., in the fraud class action suit against the Democrat Party on behalf of Bernie Sanders supporters.

Shawn Lucas was found dead this week.

Most people dismiss this as just coincidence, but this is getting to be ridiculous. It reminds me of a line from Clint Eastwood’s classic movie The Outlaw Josie Wales, which reads, “Not a hard man to track. Leaves dead men wherever he goes.”

Maybe there is nothing to this, but as the old saying goes, where there is smoke, there is usually fire. Just consider this list:

1- James McDougal – Clintons convicted Whitewater partner died of an apparent heart attack, while in solitary confinement. He was a key witness in Ken Starr’s investigation.

2 – Mary Mahoney – A former White House intern was murdered July 1997 at a Starbucks Coffee Shop in Georgetown .. The murder …happened just after she was to go public with her story of sexual harassment in the White House.

3 – Vince Foster – Former White House counselor, and colleague of Hillary Clinton at Little Rock’s Rose Law firm. Died of a gunshot wound to the head, ruled a suicide.

4 – Ron Brown – Secretary of Commerce and former DNC Chairman. Reported to have died by impact in a plane crash. A pathologist close to the investigation reported that there was a hole in the top of Brown’s skull resembling a gunshot wound. At the time of his death Brown was being investigated, and spoke publicly of his willingness to cut a deal with prosecutors. The rest of the people on the plane also died. A few days later the Air Traffic controller commited suicide.

5 – C. Victor Raiser, II – Raiser, a major player in the Clinton fund raising organization died in a private plane crash in July 1992.

6 – Paul Tulley – Democratic National Committee Political Director found dead in a hotel room in Little Rock , September 1992. Described by Clinton as a “dear friend and trusted advisor”.

7 – Ed Willey – Clinton fundraiser, found dead November 1993 deep in the woods in VA of a gunshot wound to the head. Ruled a suicide. Ed Willey died on the same day his wife Kathleen Willey claimed Bill Clinton groped her in the oval office in the White House. Ed Willey was involved in several Clinton fund raising events.

8 – Jerry Parks – Head of Clinton’s gubernatorial security team in Little Rock .. Gunned down in his car at a deserted intersection outside Little Rock Park’s son said his father was building a dossier on Clinton He allegedly threatened to reveal this information. After he died the files were mysteriously removed from his house.

9 – James Bunch – Died from a gunshot suicide. It was reported that he had a “Black Book” of people which contained names of influential people who visited prostitutes in Texas and Arkansas

10 – James Wilson – Was found dead in May 1993 from an apparent hanging suicide. He was reported to have ties to Whitewater..

11 – Kathy Ferguson – Ex-wife of Arkansas Trooper Danny Ferguson, was found dead in May 1994, in her living room with a gunshot to her head. It was ruled a suicide even though there were several packed suitcases, as if she were going somewhere. Danny Ferguson was a co-defendant along with Bill Clinton in the Paula Jones lawsuit Kathy Ferguson was a possible corroborating witness for Paula Jones.

12 – Bill Shelton – Arkansas State Trooper and fiancee of Kathy Ferguson. Critical of the suicide ruling of his fiancee, he was found dead in June, 1994 of a gunshot wound also ruled a suicide at the grave site of his fiancee.

13 – Gandy Baugh – Attorney for Clinton’s friend Dan Lassater, died by jumping out a window of a tall building January, 1994. His client was a convicted drug distributor.

14 – Florence Martin – Accountant & sub-contractor for the CIA, was related to the Barry Seal, Mena, Arkansas, airport drug smuggling case. He died of three gunshot wounds.

15 – Suzanne Coleman – Reportedly had an affair with Clinton when he was Arkansas Attorney General. Died of a gunshot wound to the back of the head, ruled a suicide. Was pregnant at the time of her death.

16 – Paula Grober – Clinton’s speech interpreter for the deaf from 1978 until her death December 9, 1992. She died in a one car accident.

17 – Danny Casolaro – Investigative reporter, investigating Mena Airport and Arkansas Development Finance Authority. He slit his wrists, apparently, in the middle of his investigation.

18 – Paul Wilcher – Attorney investigating corruption at Mena Airport with Casolaro and the 1980 “October Surprise” was found dead on a toilet June 22, 1993, in his Washington DC apartment had delivered a report to Janet Reno 3 weeks before his death.

19 – Jon Parnell Walker – Whitewater investigator for Resolution Trust Corp. Jumped to his death from his Arlington ,Virginia apartment balcony August 15, 1993. He was investigating the Morgan Guaranty scandal.

20 – Barbara Wise – Commerce Department staffer. Worked closely with Ron Brown and John Huang. Cause of death: Unknown. Died November 29, 1996. Her bruised, naked body was found locked in her office at the Department of Commerce.

21 – Charles Meissner – Assistant Secretary of Commerce who gave John Huang special security clearance, died shortly thereafter in a small plane crash.

22 – Dr. Stanley Heard – Chairman of the National Chiropractic Health Care Advisory Committee died with his attorney Steve Dickson in a small plane crash. Dr. Heard, in addition to serving on Clinton `s advisory council personally treated Clinton’s mother, stepfather and brother.

23 – Barry Seal – Drug running TWA pilot out of Mena Arkansas, death was no accident.

24 – Johnny Lawhorn, Jr. – Mechanic, found a check made out to Bill Clinton in the trunk of a car left at his repair shop. He was found dead after his car had hit a utility pole.

25 – Stanley Huggins – Investigated Madison Guaranty. His death was a purported suicide and his report was never released.

26 – Hershell Friday – Attorney and Clinton fundraiser died March 1, 1994, when his plane exploded.

27 – Kevin Ives & Don Henry – Known as “The boys on the track” case. Reports say the boys may have stumbled upon the Mena Arkansas airport drug operation. A controversial case, the initial report of death said, due to falling asleep on railroad tracks. Later reports claim the 2 boys had been slain before being placed on the tracks. Many linked to the case died before their testimony could come before a Grand Jury.

THE FOLLOWING PERSONS HAD INFORMATION ON THE IVES/HENRY CASE:

28 – Keith Coney – Died when his motorcycle slammed into the back of a truck, 7/88.

29 – Keith McMaskle – Died, stabbed 113 times, Nov, 1988

30 – Gregory Collins – Died from a gunshot wound January 1989.

31 – Jeff Rhodes – He was shot, mutilated and found burned in a trash dump in April 1989.

32 – James Milan – Found decapitated. However, the Coroner ruled his death was due to natural causes”.

34 – Richard Winters – A suspect in the Ives/Henry deaths. He was killed in a set-up robbery July 1989.

Note that I am not accusing the Clintons of  any involvement in the demise of the people listed above. I just find it curious that the media has NEVER really dug into this with any seriousness. Yet, we’re going to hear endless accounts of how people were wronged because Donald Trump is a verbally abusive asshole. And even though those accounts involving Trump are most likely true, one would hope that the media would take a passing interest into whether or not the Clintons are involved in something that would make the Sopranos look like amateurs.

 

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Venezuela Death Spiral Continues

If you have been told that the end result of socialism is poverty and food shortages, you haven’t been told the whole truth. As bad as abject poverty and food and fuel shortages can be, things can always get worse.

A new decree by Venezuela’s government could make its citizens work on farms to tackle the country’s severe food shortages.
That “effectively amounts to forced labor,” according to Amnesty International, which derided the decree as “unlawful.”

In a vaguely-worded decree, Venezuelan officials indicated that public and private sector employees could be forced to work in the country’s fields for at least 60-day periods, which may be extended “if circumstances merit.”

Things are so dire in Venezuela that the ruling government is moving on to slave labor. If the citizens don’t rise up and force out the leftists who have watched over Venezuela’s predictable death spiral, the next thing the people will be facing will be starvation and genocide.

When Hugo Chavez came to power and put the country on the path of socialist utopia, it was predicted by many that the end result would be economic ruin. With the previous examples of Russia, China, Cambodia, North Korea, Cuba, and Vietnam, why would anyone expect Venezuela to turn out any different? But remember this. As bad as things are in Venezuela today, things are about to get worse.

A whole lot worse.

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Ted Cruz

Presidential candidates always get what they political class refers to as a “bounce” following their party’s conventions. GOP runner up Ted Cruz seems to be experiencing a bounce of his own following his non endorsement speech at the Republican convention, only it is not the kind of bounce he was hoping for.

In an extraordinary public rebuke, two influential donors who were among the biggest supporters of Senator Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign excoriated Mr. Cruz on Saturday for his decision not to endorse Donald J. Trump at the Republican National Convention.

The remarks from Robert Mercer of Long Island and his daughter Rebekah Mercer suggest widening fallout over Mr. Cruz’s convention speech, in which he did not endorse his former rival and, instead, suggested that Republicans should “vote your conscience” for candidates “up and down the ticket.”

There is a lot to like about Ted Cruz. He is one of the strongest supporters of limited government and a return to the type of constitutional republic that the founders created. It is doubtful that he would have nominated anything less than stellar originalists for the Supreme Court, and Cruz administration would have tackled government overreach similar to the way Ronald Reagan did in the 1980s.

But being the kind of plain speaking politician who has no qualms against going after members of your own party (like attacking Mitch McConnell on the Senate floor for example) doesn’t make you a hero with your fellow Republicans. It makes you hated.  As if Cruz losing financial backers wasn’t bad enough, there are now rumors that three term Republican Governor Rick Perry is considering running against Cruz in the primary when Cruz faces reelection for his Senate seat.

The best place for Cruz to end up would be the Supreme Court, but his feud with Donald Trump is going to make that an impossibility. Trump displays the temper and the vindictiveness of a petulant adolescent. So with Cruz facing a tough reelection fight against a more popular native son of Texas, and his complete lack of friends in high places, Cruz faces the prospect of going from one time presidential hopeful to being completely out of the national picture.

Unless he reinvents himself, or improves his relationships with his fellow Republicans, his political free fall will be inevitable.

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Give Me Liberty

Patrick Henry’s “Give me Liberty” rallying call is undoubtedly one of the greatest speeches in American history. You cannot read it and not come away with both a sense of awe at the courage displayed in the face of what was a formidable task ahead, and also with a sense of pride in America. Sadly. many people haven’t read or heard any of it save the last line that it is famous for. So, for those who need some greater understanding in what it means to be an American, here it is in it’s entirety.

“NO man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope that it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen, if entertaining, as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely, and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery.  And in proportion to the magnitude of the subject, ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country and of an act of disloyalty towards the majesty of Heaven which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth – and listen to the song of the siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation?  For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the house?  Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with these warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation – the last arguments to which kings resort.

I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motives for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging.

And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer on the subject? Nothing.  We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted?

Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer.  Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned – we have remonstrated – we have supplicated – we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament.  Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne.

In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation.  There is no longer any room for hope.  If we wish to be free – if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending – if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained – we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak – unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of Hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? 

Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of the means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.

Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.  The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat, but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged, their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable – and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, peace, peace – but there is no peace. The war is actually begun. The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”

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