Author: Andrew Lepore

The Milgram Experiments and What They Teach Us

Andrew Lepore | United States

In 1942, following the invasion of Poland and its defeat by Nazi Germany, Polish diplomats sought refuge in Great Britain. That year received a secret message from their occupied homeland confirming the Jewish genocide at the hands of the Nazis. Rumors of such an atrocity had been circling for years, but with this came the first official confirmation. Newspapers and journals from around the world reported headlines such as  “MASSACRE OF JEWS—OVER 1,000,000 DEAD SINCE THE WAR BEGAN” and “NAZI SLAUGHTERHOUSE”—GERMANS MASSACRE MILLIONS OF JEWS IN EXTERMINATION DRIVE”.

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Banning Kratom Nationwide Will Be Deadly

Andrew Lepore | United States

Currently, The United States is in the midst of what many call an opioid crisis. People from all backgrounds are getting addicted to, and overdosing on, opium-derived substances (Prescription painkillers, heroin, fentanyl, and more) at record rates. Every 11 minutes, another individual dies from an opiate overdose. In fact, the United States leads the world in drug overdoses, and opiates cause the majority of these. But kratom, an ancient drug, may offer solutions. Continue reading “Banning Kratom Nationwide Will Be Deadly”

The Libertarian Case for a Border Wall

Andrew Lepore | United States

Libertarian philosophy centers itself around protecting property rights. It also recognizes the immorality of coercive action against any individual or group. So on its face, the construction of a southern border wall seems contradictory to libertarian values; in fact, I at one time opposed it. But since diving deeper into the issue, I have concluded that the wall will provide a net benefit to individual liberty. 

Misinforation about the Border Wall

First of all, it seems that many people have misinformation on the issue of illegal immigration. Among this is the incorrect statement that the majority of illegals come from overstayed visas. This is false: only 42% of illegal immigrants are here for that reason. Though this is a plurality, calling it a majority is deceiving. 

Another common false point is that illegal immigrants do not have access to welfare. But an analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies of the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) shows that 62% of illegal-immigrant-headed households use some form of welfare, excluding social security (compare this to 30% of native citizens). Illegal immigrants do in fact benefit from welfare that their children legally obtain via birthright citizenship.

Moreover, opponents perpetuate the falsehood that, historically, walls have proven ineffective in preventing undocumented migration. They say it would be inefficient and is just not worth the cost on taxpayers. Common responses include the notion that immigrants could go over, under, or around it. However, the facts show that these assumptions are ignoring the history of border walls across the globe.

Walls Work

For example, the construction of Israel’s border wall decreased illegal migration by 99% while Hungary’s did the same by 98%. In Soviet East Germany, before the wall existed, illegal emigration was a serious problem. Between 1945 and 1961, over 3.5 million East Germans walked across the unguarded border. But as the statistics below demonstrate, the wall reduced defection numbers by over 90%.

Once again, there are obvious contradictions to libertarian philosophy in the construction of a border wall. Most importantly, it requires the government to use coercion against those trying to cross it. Moreover, the government will be using our tax dollars to construct it. They also will use eminent domain to obtain the land they need.

Granted, those are immoralities, but so is welfare (a redistribution of stolen tax dollars). Large, government-funded public programs are as well. And so is allowing political parties to take advantage of democracy by permitting massive migration of a demographic that vastly supports larger government programs.

Risks of Illegal Immigration

Government spending has exploded since the 1960s and is continuing to climb at an unsustainable rate (see graph below). As you may know, the United States is nearly $22 trillion in debt. But what you may not know is that the United States is also in an over $210 trillion hole in the unfunded liabilities column for welfare benefits, social security, and pensions that we owe in the future.

Government spending over time
Government spending over time

To reiterate, a majority of illegal-headed households use welfare. Moreover, 6 out of 10 who cross the border illegally will go on to start a family that will consume tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars every year. Every dollar of this is taken involuntarily from citizens.

Even worse, illegals are taking up benefits owed to Americans who actually pay into the overcrowded system. $210 trillion is an enormous number which we will be hard-pressed to pay off; some even say that we never will. Our system already has far too many burdens and rising debt. It would be financially irresponsible to hand out taxpayer-funded welfare benefits to anybody who shows up.

Welfare use

Welfare use, excluding social security

Some dispute the validity of the current statistics, as the analysis does not account for household income or size. This analysis does not compare the welfare rate of illegal immigrants and natives in the same income bracket or with the same size households. It is showing that due to many factors, illegal immigrant households have higher welfare use rates.

Use of Public Services

Welfare is not the only program which allows illegals to benefit from American taxpayers. Due to a vast array of public services, illegals provide an additional impact on the American taxpayer. Wear and tear on roads, cost of emergency services, congestion, public utilities and more all contribute.

These may seem less impactful, but the numbers add up significantly over the years. The taxpayer cost of illegal immigration over the years will make the initial construction cost look like a drop in the bucket. The cost of the wall is one-time, while the benefits are continuous.

Support for Big Government

Another way the wall may preserve liberty in the future is with the preservation of a demographic with limited-government political leanings. Statistically, Hispanics are most likely to illegally cross the border due to geographic proximity. The Hispanic population also happens to be the demographic with the highest welfare use among illegals. Moreover, they are far more likely to support leftist government policy than natives.

Hispanic party affiliation, from Pew Research Center

The wall will help preserve a population that prefers smaller government by reducing the demographic impact of any future amnesty deals. In the case of such deals, massive demographic changes would take place. Most likely, it would not reflect the aspirations of native-born citizens. A large-scale amnesty deal like Reagan’s in California may not happen, but it is very possible. Such would have massive effects on the political demographics of the United States.

Even if an amnesty deal never takes place, illegal immigration has a significant effect on the electoral college and the distribution of seats in the House. Seats are apportioned based on state populations, which includes non-citizens and undocumented immigrants. So, increased illegal immigration without amnesty gives citizens in border states an unfairly large voice in Congress.

The Wall: A Net Benefit to Liberty

Every year, hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants come across the border to work. But while they do this, many take advantage of the benefits the government hangs in front of them. Illegal immigration is not stopping any time soon, and neither is the welfare state. Every single dollar they hand to illegals, they stole from a working American taxpayer.

Granted, funding and constructing a wall will require some force and an act of government. That pinch of statism, however, is necessary to stop a tsunami of future leftist coercion. Construction of the wall can almost fully prevent this future pillaging of the American taxpayer. The protection of liberty we can achieve through its construction vastly outweighs the little liberty we must surrender for it.

In conclusion, if I could abolish welfare instead of building a wall, I would. In today’s political theater, though, the abolition of welfare is not feasible while the construction of the wall is. Due to the boatloads of money Americans lose every year due to illegal Immigration, the wall’s construction will provide a net benefit to liberty.

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The Cuban Project: Is the U.S. Willing to Kill Its Citizens?

Andrew Lepore | United States

How far would the government go in order to convince the American people to go to war? Revelations from a series of Pentagon documents declassified over 20 years ago reveal a willingness on the part of U.S. officials to go to shocking lengths to justify a war in Cuba. Some were even willing to manufacture acts of terrorism on U.S. soil.

In 1997, The JFK Assassination Records Review Board released over 1,800 previously classified records from the Kennedy era. Among these documents was a series of memorandums titled “Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba”. These memorandums detailed possible plans to remove Fidel Castro’s Communist regime, and the means of which to justify this military action to the American people. This series of plans and operations became known as the Cuban Project, which was a prime foreign policy focus for the Kennedy administration.

The Cuban Project

When Fidel Castro took power in 1959, U.S. officials predicted he would have trouble holding on to power. Officials were first wary of his rule. Castro had not yet shown himself to be a communist, though U.S. intelligence knew his brother Raul was. Officials feared that Castro could pose a threat to U.S. assets on the island, or that he could demand a far higher rent for ownership of Guantanamo Bay.

Then, in 1960, Castro severed the once-strong ties between Cuba and the U.S. by nationalizing (government seizure) all American-owned business in the country without compensation. This prompted U.S. officials to end diplomatic relations and place a trade embargo on the island. The move greatly increased tensions between the two countries. Soon after, talks of Castro’s disposition began.

On March 17, 1960, President Eisenhower authorized covert military action against the Cuban government with his signing of a CIA document titled “A Program of Covert Action Against the Castro Regime”. This order authorized the CIA to begin a propaganda offensive against the regime, develop a series of intelligence networks within the country, and Develop a paramilitary force to be introduced into Cuba to organize, train and lead resistance groups against the Castro regime”.

Sabotage against Castro

The agency even had plans to sabotage Castro’s public image through zany schemes. For example, they proposed secretly drugging him with an LSD-like substance before a speech. They hoped this would “cause him to flail into delusional gyrations during a public appearance”. There were also thoughts to line his shoes with toxic thallium salts to make his beard fall out.

Throughout 1960, the CIA carried out these orders, which soon became known as the Cuban Project. Then, following his inauguration, President Kennedy was briefed on the latest plan in the Cuban Project, codenamed Operation Pluto. This plan detailed an amphibious invasion of the island by over 1,000 CIA-trained Cuban exiles. Kennedy approved the operation and ordered active departments to continue and report progress.

On April 17, 1961, the exiles landed on the beach of Playa Giron in the Bay of Pigs, but harsh resistance met the invasion. In only three days, most of the attackers had surrendered to Cuban forces. The Bay of Pigs invasion, thus, was a major failure for American foreign policy and an embarrassment for the Kennedy Administration.

However, the Bay of Pigs failure did not deter American officials from trying to topple the Castro Regime. In a dateless 1962 CIA memoranda, the agency concluded that “The United States cannot tolerate a permanent communist government in Cuba”, and that “Military intervention by the United States will be required to overthrow the Cuban Communist Regime”. (Image #46)

Public Distaste, Manipulation

At this time, following both WWII and Korea, the American public did not want another war. In particular, they opposed one that could lead to greater tensions with the now Cuban-allied Soviet Union. Nobody wanted World War Three. This posed a problem for U.S. officials, as any act of war would require support of the public and of Congress. Nonetheless, they wanted to manipulate the public into supporting and even calling for military action.

Following a meeting at the White House on November 3rd, 1961, American officials determined that the best course of action for the Cuban problem was a centralized effort from senior White House officials. This strategy gained the name Operation Mongoose. The end goal of the project, as the Department of Defense Joint Chiefs of Staff outlined, was to “provide adequate justification for military intervention in Cuba”.

In a dateless 1961 memorandum, the government ordered that “All information output should be designed to reassure the populace that the U.S- supported movement is designed to carry forward the realizations of the social and economic aspirations of the Cuban people”. Previously, the same document gave orders to “Engage in all-out psychological warfare and propaganda stressing the morality of the United States [military] action”. (Image #35)

The John Glenn Experiment

In February 1962, the agency saw a prime opportunity to persuade the American people of Castro’s disposition. On February 20th, NASA planned on sending the First American astronaut, John Glenn, into orbit. The likelihood of success on this mission was fairly unknown. Therefore, if a failure was to occur, officials could seize the opportunity to blame Cuba.

In a February 2nd, 1962 memo, the government outlined a proposal to “provide an irrevocable proof that, should the mercury man to orbit flight fail, the fault lies with Cuba”. They would accomplish this by “manufacturing various pieces of evidence which would prove electronic interference on part of the Cubans. Of course, planners knew that with the whole country watching, the shock and anger of the death of John Glenn at the hands of Cuba would surely result in the American public calling for retaliation against the Cuban government. Luckily, the mission was successful, and the agency was never able to fulfill the proposal.

Operation Northwoods

That October 4th, a special group met at the White House to discuss proceedings in the Cuban Project. At this meeting, the group ordered four new directives. The last of these ordered that “All efforts should be made to develop new and imaginative approaches to the possibility of getting rid of the Castro Regime“. This directive gave birth to a new initiative in the Cuban Project: Operation Northwoods. Declassified Operation Northwoods documents reveal disturbing plots, and the length to which U.S. officials would go to achieve their goal.

An dateless 1962 memo titled “Pretexts to Justify US Military Intervention in Cuba” directed that “A series of well-coordinated incidents will be planned to take place in and around Guantanamo to give genuine appearance of being done by hostile Cuban forces”, and that “Such a plan would enable a logical build-up of incidents to be combined with other seemingly unrelated events to camouflage the ultimate objective and create necessary impression of Cuban rashness and irresponsibility on a large scale”. (Images #136, #138) Planners proposed a series of possible false flag incidents to establish justification for an invasion of the island.

Cuban Project False Flag Ideas

“Incidents to establish a credible attack (Not in chronological order)

Start Rumors (many)” (Image #138)

“Blow up ammunition inside base; start fires.

Burn Aircraft inside base (Sabotage).

Start Riots near gate.

Capture militia group which storms the base.

Lob mortar shells from outside of base, into base.

We could sink a boatload of Cuban en route to Florida (real or simulated).

Sabotage ships in harbour, start fires, — naphthalene.  

Sink ship near harbour entrance. Conduct funerals for mock victims”. (Image 139)

“It is possible to create an incident which will demonstrate convincingly that a Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down a chartered civil airliner en route from America to Jamaica, Guatemala, Panama, or Venezuela” (Image #141)

The documents also propose that “A ‘Remember the Maine’ incident could occur in several forms. We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba”. And that “We could blow up a drone (unmanned) vessel anywhere in Cuban waters. We could arrange to cause such an incident in the vicinity of Havana or Santiago as a spectacular result from a Cuban attack from land or sea or both. The presence of Cuban planes or ships merely investigating the intent of the vessel could be fairly compelling evidence that the vessel was taken under attack”.

It then goes on to say “Casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation.” (Image #139)

Terrorism from Washington, to Washington

One of the most disturbing pieces of the memo proposes “We could develop a communist Cuban terror plot in the Miami area, other Florida cities, and even in Washington. The terror campaign could be pointed at Cuban refugees seeking haven in the United States”. It goes on to say, “Exploding a few plastic bombs in carefully chosen spots, the arrest of Cuban agents, and the release of prepared documents substantiating Cuban involvement would be helpful in projecting the idea of irresponsible government”. (Images #139, #140

In response to any of these possible instances, and with the establishment of a credible attack in the eyes of the American public, the document states “The United States would respond by executing offensive operations to secure water and power supplies, destroying artillery, and mortar emplacements which threaten the base. Commence large scale military operations”.  (Image #139)              

Planners suggested compartmentalization to ensure the covert nature of the operation. This means that only select officials and departments would be aware of the plans. The rest, on the other hand, would only know the “official” story. The same memo directed that “this paper NOT be forwarded to commanders of unified or specified command, this paper NOT be forwarded to U.S. officers assigned to NATO activities, this paper NOT be forwarded to the chairman, U.S. delegation, United Nations staff committee.” (Image #47) If this plan went into action, only a handful of government officials would even have known of the scheme. The majority, contrarily, would receive the same misinformation as the public and the media.

By the People, For the People, Kill the People

Operation Northwoods did, in fact, come frighteningly close to implementation. The President’s Joint Chiefs of Staff suggested both approval and immediate action. After all, it made it all the way up to the president’s desk. In the end, though, President Kennedy rejected the proposal. Had it been a more hawkish President in the Oval Office, the proposal would have likely gone into motion.

Imagine for a second: if the president did sign off on this proposal, how would we know? In short, we wouldn’t; it would simply be another page in the history books. The Cuban Project would not exist to us. The Cuban communist terror attacks would be a day we annually remember. We would also probably say something like “We will always remember the American people who died at the hands of the Communists”.  And if anybody ever did question the possibility that it didn’t happen exactly as the books said? Well, society might view them as un-American conspiracy nuts.

Of course, many find it unfathomable that a government of the people and for the people would kill the people. Sadly, however, the Cuban Project proves it is a reality. I find it highly unlikely this was the first or last time when the state considered false flag operations. Thus, this begs the question: has the government ever implemented such a proposal before?

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The Most Brutal Police Department in the Country

By Andrew Lepore | United States

The Mesa Police Department from the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area is one of the most brutal in the United States. In just 18 months, Mesa police officers were involved in four incidents involving the use of excessive force that have made national headlines. All of them are now undergoing FBI investigation.

On September 4th, nearby Scottsdale Police declared the officers’ force in one case was within the bounds of legality. The incident involved four officers beating an innocent man in an apartment complex. This decision to clear the officers has ignited protests in the Phoenix suburbs and has many wondering just how unbiased and independent police-on-police investigations really are. Were the actions of these officers really acceptable for men whose job it is to protect and serve our communities? Or do the actions of these officers warrant nothing less than a formal criminal prosecution?

Just before midnight on May 23rd, 911 dispatch received a domestic violence call from a woman claiming her ex-boyfriend was breaking into her apartment. Four officers initially arrive at the scene.

The victim, neighbor Robert Johnson, and the suspect made contact with the four officers at the end of the hallway, near the elevator.

Police barked orders to both men to sit down. The suspect immediately complies. Johnson, however, leans up against the wall with his cell phone placed up to his ear. An officer then states, “ I’m not going to tell you again. Sit down”. Johnson once more fails to respond and looks down at his phone.

At this point, the three of the officers close in from all angles, Johnson remaining calm with his hands to his sides. The first officer, directly facing Johnson, attempts to kick his feet out from under him, then grabs him by the sides and knees him twice in the abdomen. At the same time, the two other officers rabidly punch the sides of Johnson’s head and body. The first officer then unleashes 5 haymakers on Johnsons unprotected face

Then, already seemingly unconscious, Johnson begins to slide down the wall as the first officer releases a powerful elbow blow to the side of the head, bouncing the victim’s head violently off of the wall.

Another officer yells “See, that’s what happens” as they rush to handcuff Johnson and zip his legs.

The video continues on for another 17 minutes until the officers disappear into the elevator carrying Johnson, who suffered a concussion and other minor injuries from the assault. After the officers took him into custody, he was charged with disorderly conduct and hindering prosecution. The court later dropped the charge at the prosecution’s request. In the police report, one officer claimed that “Johnson’s body language was projecting and he was preparing for a physical altercation”. Another described Johnson as “Verbally defiant and confrontational.

After the video become public, Mesa Police Department Sargeant Ramon Batista said: “I don’t feel that our officers were at their best”, and that he was “disappointed”. The chief put all four officers on paid vacation and submitted the video for Scottsdale to independently review.

Now, over 3 months later, the review cleared the officers of any criminal wrongdoing. A spokesperson from the department announced yesterday: “No criminal charges are warranted against the involved officers as the use of force was legally authorized and justified under Arizona State Law.”

Despite the disappointment of some, many police supporters are applauding the decision. The president of the Mesa Fraternal Order Of Police Officers, William Biascoechea, announced “We’re glad to see the decision not to charge police officers for doing their job. Charging police criminally for doing their job can negatively impact the decision-making process for all law enforcement who work to protect the community and must make split-second decisions. It’s important for the public to know that camera footage sometimes captures just one perspective without context.”

Since the officers’ clearing, Johnson’s lawyer, Benjamin Taylor, has come on the record and stated, “This is a sad day for the people of Arizona. When officers can get away with assaulting citizens, people in our community will lose trust in them and our justice system. The whole world saw the beating Mr. Johnson took…We will continue to fight for Mr. Johnson and justice will be served”

Many are calling this is a clear-cut case of police brutality. If these weren’t men in badges, nobody would deny this as a case of aggravated assault and battery, as well as kidnapping. Despite Johnson’s innocence and lack of criminal record, the police still violently beat him, tied him up, and carried him off. Though many departments have recently implemented body cameras to prevent this, they are not a foolproof solution.

Despite all of this, Johnson still has a chance at justice from an unlikely source. One day after Scottsdale cleared the officers, the FBI announced that they would investigate this case and several other incidents involving the department. But, only time will tell whether Johnson and other police victims will see justice.

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