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Sheldon Richman and Lucy Steigerwald discuss war, ISIS, Iran, and stop themselves before they talk about Donald Trump.

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Meet the hosts

Sheldon Richman, author of America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited, keeps the blog Free Association and is affiliated with the Center for a Stateless Society both as chair of the trustees and as a senior fellow. You can support his blog at Patreon.
Contributing editor/Columnist for VICE.comAntiwar.comRare.us, Playboy.com and Editor in Chief of The Stag Blog.

discussions

  • I have been reading about and watching the goings on in Iraq this last couple of weeks, with the “terrorist” group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) turning on Iraq and seizing several Iraqi cities, and I have come up with my own theory of what may really be happening there. For over a year different war mongers and NEO-CONS in Washington (McCain, Graham for instance) have been wanting to arm the rebel factions fighting the Assad regime in Syria with better more sophisticated weapons to help topple the Assad government. This has turned out to be very difficult as it has been found out that several of these groups happen to be known terrorist groups and supposed enemies of America, such as ISIS. It’s not so politically correct these days to want to arm Al-Qaeda, especially if you are an American politician. I suspect that ISIS turned their attention to Iraq under the direction of the U.S. State, with the complicity of the Iraqi government. Why would the General of the Iraqi army leave Mosul just as it was about to be attacked? Why has the Iraqi army, trained by Americans and armed with much more sophisticated arms than ISIS, dropped their weapons and run, in a battle where they had 10-1 superiority in manpower alone, not to mention AH-64’s and Blackhawk helicopters? ISIS has now seized these arms and have in their possession the firepower that they need and which politicians in Washington wanted them to have to assist them in the overthrow of Syria. Not to mention the hundreds of millions of dollars they stole from the Iraq banks where they invaded. I have no proof that the U.S. State is behind this, but it seems odd to me that the U.S. has not even launched one airstrike, whoever heard of the U.S. not bombing every chance they get? The goal of ISIS seems to be in line with the goal of the U.S. State, to rid the world of the Syrian and Iraqi State, to split them into three separate provinces consisting of Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish, each with their own province. The NEO-CONS get their wish, to arm the ISIS militants with sophisticated American made arms, to defeat the Assad regime, all the while acting like they are so surprised with the situation. The American people, dolts that they are for the most part, have already fallen for this scheme, watching all the talking heads of the MSM who propagate the Empires lies. I am not saying there is no human suffering involved in this wicked scandal, obviously many hundreds if not thousands more innocent Iraqi people are being killed. Again. But I find it almost impossible to believe the U.S. is not behind the whole thing.    

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  • Hi everyone, We could all use a good laugh these days, so just thought I’d pass along one of our new animated videos. For Liberty, The Wry Guys

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  • When J. K. Rowling mentioned a petition to ban Donald Trump from the UK, the audience at the PEN Literary Gala applauded. But unlike much of the left, she knows that taking away freedom of speech threatens everyone, including her, and she rebuked the people who clapped. “Just a moment: Now, I find almost everything that Mr. Trump says objectionable. I consider him offensive and bigoted. But he has my full support to come to my country and be offensive and bigoted there. His freedom to speak protects my freedom to call him a bigot.” The people who applauded were doubtless the same ones who objected to PEN’s free speech award to Charlie Hebdo. While they’re not likely to be convinced by any argument, she may have gotten others to think about the danger in today’s spreading hostility to free speech. That’s what counts.

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  • It took me a while to understand that Trumpism isn’t really about the issues. Not even the issues of anti-immigration and protectionism. It’s about the Chosen One, the Great Leader, the Messiah. When people think things have gone badly wrong, they often turn to someone who will set them right by taking command. The outrageous things he does have only increased his popularity. He boasts, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” When this mentality takes hold, there is no right or wrong for the Leader. When he does outrageous things, that merely proves nothing will stand in the way of his will. Caesar, Napoleon, Lenin, Hitler, Castro, Khomeini: They’ve all known the trick of harnessing the tribalist mindset. The specifics they offered didn’t matter so much as the promise that nothing would stand in their way. They can’t do anything horrible enough to turn people against them, except for failing. Telling Trumpists that he’ll do horrible things or that his policies will hurt everyone is beside the point. They expect him to “make America great again” by sheer force of authority.

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  • Over the past five months or so, I admit I’ve been intrigued—indeed, perhaps obsessed—with the American elections. More specifically, I’ve been fascinated by the Trump phenomenon and by the stunning hordes of people that either support him and hate him. The time I’ve spent learning about American Democracy has made me realize that my previous opposition to statism as a whole, as well as my rejection of voting on principle, was founded on abstract and philosophical discussion alone. I had an utter lack of experience and interest in politics. Throughout my whole life, the political process has seemed hopelessly corrupt and out of reach. It was easy for me to conclude that voting was hopelessly pointless and probably immoral. Today my views have changed, not much, but enough that I feel compelled to talk about my thoughts and not just keep them to myself. This is an exploration of a self-defense case for voting that is consistent with Voluntaryist principles, as well as a discussion on the potential merits of voting for Donald Trump to advance the cause of liberty. Before I make that case however, let me lay down two essential facts that have propelled me to this point. The Voluntaryst Self Defense Case for Voting Trump

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