Add a rally, forum, town hall, or other event to collect RSVPs, give attendees directions and more.
Add events from your existing Ning or MeetUp groups to share with other FreedomConnector activists.
Let other FreedomConnector activists join your cause to mobilize for freedom!
VOTE NOW: What should Republicans' Top Legislative Priority Be?
Repeal the ObamaCare individual mandate
Stop the NSA's warrantless spying on Americans
Refuse to reauthorize the Import-Export Bank
Stop the ObamaCare bailouts of insurance companies
View poll and comments »
1. Puerto Rico is defaulting on 58 million due to US. Obama is unconcerned.
2. S&P trendline broken after 6 years. Will trigger sell-off. Obama is unconcerned.
3. IMF is not taking part in Greek deal and Germany's Merkel only sanctions deal if IMF takes part.
4. Italy is on same path as Greece. But larger.
5. Canada is officially in a recession.
6. Oil plummeted 20% in July 2015. Obama is unconcerned.
7. Commodities (wheat, corn, soy, etc.) had the worst month in 4 years. Obama is unconcerned.
8. Coal companies are declaring bankruptcy. Another Obama goal achieved.
9. Shanghai Composite Index is down 13.4%, the worst for Chinese stocks since Oct. 2009.
10. Exxon Mobile just announced their worst earnings for a single quarter since 2009. Earnings down 51%. Obama is unconcerned.
11. Chevron's earnings are down 90% from 2014. Obama is unconcerned.
Ronald Reagan used to be called the Teflon president, on the grounds that no matter what gaffe or scandal engulfed him, it never stuck: he didn’t suffer in the polls. If Reagan was the Teflon president, the military is America’s Teflon institution. Even people who oppose whatever the current war happens to be can be counted on to “support the troops” and to live by the comforting delusion that whatever aberrations may be evident today, the system itself is basically sound.
To add insult to injury, whenever the US government gears up for yet another military intervention, it’s people who pretend to favor “limited government,” and who pride themselves on not falling for government propaganda, who can be counted on to stand up and salute.
I had the rare honor of serving as Ron Paul’s congressional chief of staff, and observed him in many proud moments in those days, and in his presidential campaigns. But Ron’s new book Swords into Plowshares: A Life in Wartime and a Future of Peace and Prosperity, a plainspoken and relentless case against war that ranks alongside Smedley Butler’s classic War Is a Racket, is possibly the proudest Ron Paul moment of all.
It’s been calculated that over the past 5,000 years there have been 14,000 wars fought, resulting in three and a half billion deaths. In the United States, between 1798 and 2015 there have been 369 uses of military force abroad. We have been conditioned to accept this as normal, or at the very least unavoidable. We are told to stifle any moral qualms we may have about mass killing on the question-begging grounds that, after all, “it’s war.”
Ron, on this as on a wide array of other topics, isn’t prepared to accept the conventional platitudes, and a recurring theme in his book involves speculating on whether, in the same way the human race has advanced so extraordinarily from a technological point of view, we might be capable of a comparable moral advance as well.
There is much in this book for libertarians and indeed all opponents of war to enjoy – for starters, a refutation of the claim that war is “good for the economy,” a discussion of the dangers of “blowback” posed by foreign interventionism, and an overview of the War on Terror from a noninterventionist perspective. But there is a profoundly personal dimension to this book as well, as we follow Ron’s life from his childhood to the present and the evolution of his thought on war. I’ll leave readers to discover these gems for themselves.
Likewise, Ron relates some little-known stories of war. In one, it’s two weeks after D-Day, and Captain Jack Tueller decided to play his trumpet that evening. He was instructed not to do so: his commander explained that a German sniper had still not been captured from the day’s battle. Figuring the sniper was a frightened young man not unlike himself, he played the German song “Lili Marleen.” The sniper surrendered to the Americans the next day.
Before being sent off to prison, the sniper asked to meet the trumpet player. He said, through tears, “When I heard that number that you played I thought about my fiancée in Germany. I thought about my mother and dad and about my brothers and sisters, and I could not fire.”
“He stuck out his hand and I shook the hand of the enemy,” Tueller recalls. “He was no enemy. He was scared and lonely like me.”
Another story takes place just before Christmas 1943. Charlie Brown, a 21-year-old farm boy from West Virginia was on his first combat mission as a pilot when his B-17 was seriously damaged over Germany. With half his crew dead or wounded, he was struggling to get his plane back to England when a German fighter came within three feet of his right wingtip. But Franz Stigler, the German pilot, did not fire. Instead, he simply nodded, pointed, and flew off, allowing Brown to make his way back to England.
Some 46 years later, the two men met again. Brown finally got to ask Stigler why he had been pointing. Stigler replied that he was trying to tell Brown to fly to Sweden, which was closer. But since Brown knew only how to get back to England, that’s where he went.
The two men became close friends, even fishing buddies. Stigler said that saving Brown’s life was the only good thing that came out of the whole war for him.
You won’t be surprised to learn that in addition to human-interest anecdotes like these, Ron spends time in Swords into Plowshares linking central banking and war, one of his perennial themes over the years. It isn’t for nothing that again and again, countries abandoned the gold standard when they went to war.
We rarely pause to consider what that tells us. If they needed to abandon the gold standard to go to war, that means the gold standard was a barrier against war. Of course, the ease with which governments could abandon the gold standard serves to remind us of the need to separate money and state altogether, and that the state cannot be trusted to maintain a sound money standard.
As always, Ron is at his fiery best when he unleashes on the neoconservatives, whose every overseas fiasco becomes a justification for still another fiasco six months later. He invites us to consider a typical remark by neoconservative Michael Ledeen: “Paradoxically, peace increases our peril, by making discipline less urgent, encouraging some of our worst instincts, and depriving us of some of our best leaders.”
Note that it is peace, according to Ledeen, and not war, that encourages our worst instincts. This was the view of Theodore Roosevelt, loved and admired by progressives and neoconservatives alike, who considered prolonged peace a deplorable state that made a people flabby and otiose.
Neocons complain when libertarians describe them as “pro-war” – why, they favor war only as a last resort, they assure us, and only because there are bad people in the world – but how else can we describe the views of Ledeen, who to my knowledge has never been publicly taken to task by any other neocon?
(Perhaps my favorite of Ron’s collection of ghoulish neocon quotations, though, if only for its obliviously Orwellian quality, is George W. Bush’s remark from June 2002: “I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we’re really talking about peace.”)
Meanwhile, the American people have been indoctrinated into a cult of the veteran, whom evangelicals blasphemously compare to Jesus Christ, and whereby everyone is expected to salute, applaud, and offer ostentatious thanks for the veteran’s “service.”
Here, by contrast, is Ron:
“Service” in our military to invade, occupy, and oppress countries in order to extend [the] US Empire must not be glorified as a “heroic” and sacred effort. My five years in the Air Force during the 1960s did not qualify me as any sort of hero. My primary thoughts now about that period of time are: “Why was I so complacent, and why did I so rarely seriously question the wisdom of the Vietnam War?”
Ron calls upon the peoples of the world to resist their governments’ calls to war and to refuse to take part in violent conflict. “If the authoritarians continue to abuse power in spite of constitutional and moral limits,” he writes, “the only recourse left is for the people to go on strike and refuse to sanction the wars and thefts. Deny the dictators your money and your bodies…. The more this is a worldwide movement, the better.”
This is why Ron is such a fan of the song “Universal Soldier,” which he asked singer Aimee Allen to perform at his dramatic Rally for the Republic in 2008. The man who enlists in the military and simply goes along with the prevailing current of opinion is the universal soldier. If he refused to “serve” and to fight, there could be no wars. Even Ron, a flight surgeon who never fired a shot, looks back on his time in the military and asks himself: why did I not resist? Why did I go along?
Needless to say, few among our political class – people who, generally speaking, have rather more to repent of than mild Ron Paul – reflect seriously on their moral choices, or rebuke themselves publicly.
When people read Swords into Plowshares generations from now – and they will – they will marvel that such a man actually served in the US Congress, and defied every campaign of war propaganda right on the House floor. But what’s great about Ron is not just his honesty, but also his constant intellectual growth – with the passage of time he has become an ever-more radical champion of freedom. His evolution is especially plain in this book, as you’ll discover for yourself.
One of the most important things Ron accomplished in public life was to show that it’s possible to oppose war without being a leftist. He likewise explained that a foreign policy of peace and nonintervention was a central, indispensable feature of the message of freedom, and not just an odd personality quirk of Ron Paul – as the many people who said “I like Ron Paul except his foreign policy” seem to have believed.
Bernie Sanders pretends to be antiwar, but as usual with socialists, a closer look shows he doesn’t really mean it. But even if he did, as a socialist he simply wants to point the guns at different targets – the undifferentiated aggregates like “the rich” to whom he urges his followers to direct their uncomprehending hate. Ron, on the other hand, is calling on us to put the guns down, and for peaceful interaction both between nations and among individuals.
It is a position most people had never heard of before 2008, since election campaigns are all about grabbing the machinery of state and pointing its guns at whatever group the eventual victor despises. But Ron captured the imaginations of millions of intelligent young people, whose brains hadn’t yet been deformed by an American political culture designed to deprive them of humane possibilities.
Ron turns 80 this month, and shows no sign of letting up in his life’s work of truth-telling. Wish Ron a happy birthday by joining us for a celebration in Lake Jackson on August 15, and by reading this extraordinary book.
"And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force."
The root word of violence is violate. To violate is "to take away, interfere with, or ignore (something, such as a person's rights or privacy) in an unfair or illegal way."
Despite what we have been taught, violence does not always imply the use of physical weapons such as guns, knives, bombs, or clubs. It is possible to be violent simply by using words.
Our nation, once purposed to be modeled after God's Kingdom, has been stolen from us. We have been violated, not with physical weapons, but by the use of words, laws, ridicule, and indoctrination.
There are two spiritual kingdoms: the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. They are in an eternal struggle for dominance in the natural world. Most people are oblivious to this battle.
Let me stop right here a second. I know what many of you are thinking…that this natural world is beyond redemption. Part of me tends to agree with that position…that we are about to get what we deserve. Most of the American church has chosen to hide and wait. But the other part of me causes me to follow the command of my Father to "Occupy until I return." Our choices today seem to be fight or flight. Occupy is an action verb.
Militant is another one of those words that scares Christians because it is manly. We tend to believe that "love" is the greatest weapon…and it is…but "loving" people while they rob you blind borders on insanity. Real men defend things.
"Militant" is defined as "having or showing a desire or willingness to use strong, extreme, and sometimes forceful methods to achieve something."
Military: "of or relating to ground or sometimes ground and air forces." It is time to man-up Brothers.
Like it or not, God has armed forces and "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." Spiritually-armed, masculine Christians fight a natural war with "spiritual weaponry."
But Christians have bought a lie. We have swallowed the bait that Christians are not supposed to be aggressive…forceful…warriors. The idea that we are in the world but we are not OF the world doesn't mean we are not to fight. Christians are instructed to bring spiritual weapons to the battle. Spiritual weapons can be violent…they tear down, penetrate, uproot. Those are aggressive, war-like words.
Christians are losing the culture war. Every institution in America is now under the control of those who hate God. Our public schools, government, universities, entertainment, legal, media, political parties, and churches are under the control of the kingdom of darkness.
How has this happened? The kingdom of darkness does its work in the dark. They have seized every one of our institutions without firing a shot. They have used their weapons of lies and deceit to violate and destroy all that is good. They have invaded every Godly institution, bombarded us with lies, and stolen the future of our children and grandchildren.
They have been militant. As a result, we have been violated. They have taken from our children what was rightfully theirs. The Kingdom of God has suffered violence. It is time to drop the sissified Gospel and reinvigorate the masculine side of our faith.
Let's face it. There is absolutely no institution in modern America that Christianity has controlling influence over.
They slaughter unborn babies and force us to pay for it. They sell their little body-parts for personal gain. The command you to bake homo-cakes and demand you violate your conscience.
American Christianity will lead you to Heaven while it lets the world go to hell.
The haters of God have become emboldened. They have no conscience, no mercy, and no remorse. They get caught selling baby parts and become outraged at the one who made the film for doing it "secretly." Everything our opponents do is rooted in deceit.
Christians must become more focused…more aggressive with our faith if we are to save Western Civilization. The idea that one can win by surrendering is a doctrine of demons that has infiltrated the American Christian mindset.
"Have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather expose them." Sadly, for the most part, we are taught to embrace, encourage, and love those who practice such fruitless acts. Abortion is the destruction of fruit. Divorce destroys fruit. Homosexuality is fruitless. God hates them all.
I know this will cause some of you to gasp, but Paul, in Romans 1, speaking on behalf of Jesus, warned us that those who practice such things "are worthy of death." But he didn't just point the proverbial finger at the one who engages in the act, but also to those who "take pleasure" in those who do it.
Evil is real and some people are evil. It is time we faced up to it. Loving the sinner and hating the sin hasn't worked. That was Gandhi's suggestion, not our Lord's. Loving sinners more than we hate their sin validates our own shortcomings. Jesus called us to "be perfect," not "love the sinner."
People are flocking to Donald Trump because he is violent and militant in his language. The church needs some militant, violent, Christian Donald Trumps. It is time to man-up.
Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2015/07/christ...
The United States has decided to allow airstrikes to defend Syrian rebels trained by the U.S. military from any attackers, even if the enemies hail from forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, U.S. officials said on Sunday.
The decision by President Barack Obama, which could deepen the U.S. role in Syria's conflict, aims to shield a still-fledging group of Syrian fighters armed and trained by the United States to battle Islamic State militants -- not forces loyal to Assad.
But in Syria's messy civil war, Islamic State is only one of the threats to the U.S. recruits. The first batch of U.S.-trained forces deployed to northern Syria came under fire on Friday from other militants, triggering the first known U.S. airstrikes to support them.
U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to confirm details of the decision, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, said the United States would provide offensive strikes to support advances against Islamic State targets.
The United States would also provide defensive support to repel any attackers.
U.S. officials have long played down the idea that Assad's forces - which have not fired on U.S.-led coalition aircraft bombing Islamic State targets in Syria - would turn their sights on the U.S.-backed Syrian rebels. But they cannot rule out the possibility, perhaps in an unintentional clash.
The Pentagon and the White House declined to discuss the decision on rules of engagement or confirm comments by the unnamed U.S. officials.
White House National Security Council spokesman Alistair Baskey said only the U.S.-trained forces were being provided a wide range of support, including "defensive fires support to protect them" and pointed to Friday's U.S. airstrikes as proof.
"We won't get into the specifics of our rules of engagement, but have said all along that we would take the steps necessary to ensure that these forces could successfully carry out their mission," Baskey said.
Pentagon spokeswoman Commander Elissa Smith also declined comment on the rules of engagement, saying only that the U.S. military's program focuses "first and foremost" on combating Islamic State militants.
"We recognize, though, that many of these groups now fight on multiple fronts, including against the Assad regime, (Islamic State) and other terrorists," Smith said.
The U.S. military launched its program in May to train up to 5,400 fighters a year in what was seen as a test of Obama's strategy of getting local partners to combat extremists and keep U.S. troops off the front lines.
The training program has been challenged from the start, with many candidates being declared ineligible and some even dropping out.
Obama's requirement that they target militants from Islamic State has sidelined huge segments of the Syrian opposition focused instead on battling Syrian government forces. The United States has sought to avoid a direct confrontation with Assad.
Once the Syrian rebels have returned to the battlefield, the U.S. recruits and other fighters aligned with them have turned into targets of rival militants.
Al Qaeda's Syria wing is suspected of being behind the attack on Friday against them at a compound in Syria, which was also being used by members of a Western-aligned insurgent group, known as Division 30.
U.S. recruits have hailed from Division 30. Nusra Front last week claimed to have abducted Division 30's leader but U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he had not undergone U.S. training
One of the most powerful insurgent groups in northern Syria, Nusra Front has a record of crushing rebel groups that have received support from Western states, including the Hazzm movement that collapsed earlier this year.
Your support keeps freedom alive!