“Non-Partisan” LA LGBT Center Stumps against Trump

By Ryan Lau | @agorisms

As the 2018 midterm election draws ever-closer, races are beginning to heat up. In a recent poll, Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke comes out two points above incumbent Senator Ted Cruz. Over in Missouri, Republican challenger Josh Hawley holds a narrow lead, with average polling less than a half point above incumbent Claire McCaskill. And in New Mexico, former governor Gary Johnson’s last-minute Libertarian bid is sure to be one for the books.

One place, on the other hand, that does not usually receive a lot of political attention is California. But this year, one group is going to great lengths in order to aid their agenda.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center is a California-based, not-for-profit corporation. As such, they take a great deal of pride in their status as a non-partisan group. In fact, one of their flyers, encouraging young Orange County voters to go to the polls this November, states this clearly along the bottom. However, the same flyer also sports, in bold-faced, capitalized print: “HELP STOP TRUMP!”

LA LGBT Center's "Stop Trump" Flyer

The card did not come alone. In a sociology class this past Monday at UC Irvine, about an hour south of LA, a representative from the LA LGBT Center gave a speech about the importance of getting the vote out. In it, she also mentioned both sides of this partisan, non-partisan duality.

71 Republic obtained a video Wednesday from an anonymous source, which showed the contents of the speech.

The LA LGBT Center’s Partisan Speech

The LA LGBT representative first spoke about the initial goals of the organization. “We are talking to voters, right here, in your backyard…specifically to voters who typically vote for president, but don’t vote in other elections”, she said informationally.

The spokeswoman then asserted that Orange County’s District 48 Congressional election is one of the closest in the country. This is true, as incumbent Republican Dana Rohrabacher and Democrat challenger Harley Rouda are locked in a dead heat. In a recent New York Times poll, the two men split the vote evenly at 45% each. One in ten voters voted “undecided”.

However, she then began to speak in a more partisan manner, referencing personal experiences and a distaste for President Trump. “I am personally really concerned about our country, and, the level of decency that we expect to treat each other with”, she remarked. “We have someone who is leading our country who is unprecedented, and we’ve never had someone like him in office before.”

Due to the harsh words on the flyer, the LA LGBT spokeswoman clearly was portraying the president in a negative manner. Though she later stated “we don’t believe in telling [voters] what to do”, the representative nonetheless passed out the flyers urging action to stop Trump.

The LA LGBT Center held another meeting the following evening, which the flyer mentions. It is unknown whether the non-partisan group maintained their partisan leanings at this and any other events.

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President Trump’s Dangerous War on the Media

By Josh Hughes | United States

By now, just about every American has heard the president’s favorite line, “Fake news,” many times. Yes, the divisive rhetoric, which he mainly directs at traditionally “left-wing” news outlets such as CNN, the Washington Post, MSNBC, and others, has become an everyday phrase.

Yelled vehemently by Trump’s supporters at rallies or at journalists, said as a joke between friends, or used as a new slang of declaring something as untrue, you name it: this mantra has become something of a pop culture expression. What implications does this have on America? As it turns out, they are mostly negative.

Trump’s Media War: Part “n”

On Monday, Trump told a reporter from ABC, Cecilia Vega, that it’s okay she wasn’t thinking because she “never thinks.” On August 30, Trump tweeted that the Press was the “enemy of the people.” He has, as previously stated, said the phrase “fake news” countless times. These are just a few of many examples. The more Trump makes these comments, the more he desensitizes the American people.

The Main Issue

While some claim they don’t care about or even support the President’s rhetoric, they often fail to realize how drastic this is. There are people who devote their entire lives to giving reports and analyzing key issues. To write an entire group off as “fake” is not only disrespectful, it’s frightening.

Through normalizing the disregard of every report that goes against him, Trump is trying to pit the people against the media. Repeating the phrase “fake news” has a strong cognitive effect, and eventually, those who hear it will believe it. Scientists recently dubbed this idea “The Illusory Truth Effect.” Basically, it states that when people hear a lie enough, even when they are knowledgeable about a particular subject, they will begin to believe it to be true. Of course, it is true that news sources, including the ones above, do show bias. Some display this considerably more than others. However, dismissing entire organizations, or worse, the industry as a whole, as fake sets a dangerous precedent.

Possible Repercussions

Like it or not, the President of the United States is the most powerful person on the planet. Without a doubt, the things the president says carry a lot of weight. Thus, his constant, deliberate attacks on the media can pit tons of people against each other.

In extreme cases, this division can actually lead to incidents of violence. One such case of this occurred after Trump’s August 30th “enemy of the people” remark. Just hours later, police arrested a man for making threatening phone calls to the Boston Globe. Due to the tense divisions and mob mentality, this man threatened to kill every last one of them for their criticism of the President. Of course, this man’s actions are solely his responsibility, and neither Trump nor the Globe is at fault. Nonetheless, it is clear that this environment stirs up major controversy and even violence.

President Trump is playing a dangerous game. Nobody truly knows the final goal of these endless attacks, but there are a number of possibilities. First of all, he may be attempting to become more immune to criticism. If enough banter from the president will lower the popularity of major opposing news outlets, Trump can control his image by attacking outlets he opposes and praising those he supports. Of course, this is much easier said than done, but in the days of massive mob mentality centered around the media, is far from an impossibility.

How America Can Avoid This

There is bias everywhere. That is an undeniable fact. The best way for people to not get trapped in this situation is to not listen to a lone side. There are times when both the media and the president will lie. It is important to fact-check and gain information from diverse sources. Also, it is essential to know when and how to question media and other suppliers of information. A free press is a precious American right; allowing the president to attack it is unacceptable. All citizens, in search of a better world and country, should strongly oppose this media war.

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Puppets of Parasites: Escaping the State is Impossible

By Ryan Lau | @agorisms

By definition, a government is compulsory and coercive. Do you want to be the living embodiment of Ron Swanson, despising its very existence? How about a radical revolutionary, aiming to bring about serious political change? Rather than simply holding a belief, the proper course of action, in this case, is to take action.

Ideas Without Actions

It is safe to say that only having ideas for the sake of entertaining them, to borrow a phrase from Civil Disobedience, is not bringing about any change. Even the most ardent supporter of the state, in fact, is all too quick to point this out. With a stained American flag shirt and a hollow conscience, the patriot approaches the complaining anarchist brusquely. If only were he to have voted, then he would have seen his change! By sitting at home, is he not complicit in the crimes he claims to oppose? How is he escaping the state by allowing it to exist, unchanged?

The anarchist, then, bored and well-versed, is used to such questions. Almost as if reciting a second grade play for the thousandth time while one child cannot understand, he calmly asserts that a vote is a consent to be governed. By paying taxes into the system and voting for a leader, he would be complicit in the crimes of the state. Thus, he cannot, in good faith, do so.

An Inescapable State

Despite the vastly differing mannerisms and ideologies of these two particular individuals, they have one critical thing in common: they are both right. In fact, the very design of the state prohibits anyone, in any way, from stopping its injustices. Whether it did so intentionally or not, the state has a crippling grip on its people, to the point where not a single action can fully excuse him or her from its great injustices.

The average American has quite an interesting concept of liberty. As a general rule, the Land of the Free supports freedom everywhere except right here on planet Earth. With the magnificent Space Force, the outward bound of hypocrisy may soon expand beyond even our atmosphere. For all intents and purposes, though, I will primarily focus on the crippling nature of the United States.

The Three Types of Rebels

Simply put, the right to rebel is an integral part of American culture. It is interesting, though, that nobody really tries to bring this belief into reality. Is it perhaps because of the fact that the state is currently not acting unjustly? With soldiers slaughtering children across the globe, anyone with the slightest shred of morality cannot possibly vouch for the state in this manner. However, a sweep of the country reveals that not everyone has the slightest shred of morality, or for that matter, even pauses to think about whether or not something is right.

Ardent Supporters

An individual must either support, be unaware of, or condemn the inhumanities of government. The first group, of course, has no desire to act in a civil or moral sense. Wearing stability and order like a grotesque mask, such actors in a society are no better than mounds of dirt that small children may play in. Their necessary barbarism is not even worth the passing glance a slightly concerned parent may give. Of course, the idea is terribly destructive, and like that mound of dirt, it is nearly impossible to rid the kids of it. The dirt, at least, lessens as they mature, but war only impacts them more.

The ideology of war, of murder, has no place in a civilized society. Also, those who practice it willingly will clearly have no desire to end it. Thus, those associated with it will garner no significant further mentionings.

The Unaware

The second group, then, would be those who are unaware of the government’s injustices. Someone without a great deal of political knowledge, for example, likely does not know how the state spends their money. Likewise, a backwoods recluse in a home without electricity, even if well-versed in politics, likely is largely unaware of modern drone strikes.

Though not as detrimental as the former, the uninformed do prove to be a bit of a roadblock. They act as lukewarm Spam on a table, beginning to gather E. Coli on its surface. Though not so hard to take care of, it is hardly the most pleasant thing to encounter. Without a doubt, the less knowledgeable are not meaning to cause any harm, but by silently paying into the system, they perpetuate it.

The Opposition: Tepid Supporters Nonetheless?

By process of elimination, the last group, of course, is the only one which may have any way of truly escaping the state. The first would have no desire to, and the second, at the minimum, must pay some form of tax on property, sales, or income. The third and final, having both a moral disposition against violence, as well as knowledge about the state, the institution of violence, is the only one that may have any hopes of escaping it. It is comprised of those who condemn the actions of government.

The vast majority of these individuals do not strongly attempt to escape the state. Though nominally decent, they sit and fund the wars while still criticizing them. Are they not so horrific that they are not worth any amount of self-sacrifice? This point would lead one to suggest that like Thoreau, one can live morally via tax evasion. But even then, one is not making a difference.

Innocent or Guilty: A Common Result

By not paying for the wars, sure, you didn’t pay for it. But why does this make a difference? The military budget does not rely on your tax dollars. While it would greatly appreciate them, to make itself easier to fulfill, they are not necessary. So long as a small enough percentage of the people pay, then the state may merely print the remaining money.

A government in charge of both budgets and the coining of money is a dangerous combination. This danger only multiplies when the figureheads are using this for the immoral practice of war.

Moreover, a large percentage of tax evaders end up going to jail. In this situation, the state is paying for your food, utilities, clothes, and more. Does your clean conscience excuse the fact that because of your actions, the state now needs even more money? Not only do the wars not stop, but your place in a jail cell only furthers state action, transforming you from the puppet to a part of the parasite itself.

The Boulder Comparison

Compare the situation to a group of one thousand men rolling a boulder up a hill to a cliff. Armed guards stand behind, and will shoot anyone who dares to step out of line. Additionally, the guards have a nearly endless supply of men that, also held at gunpoint, will fill in if enough men stop pushing. A town lies below the cliff, and at this rate, the boulder will miss a few of the closest homes and sail farther away, crushing most of the town. But, if you stop pushing, the boulder will lose a tiny bit of speed, crushing every home and person in town.

Two options exist: you may either continue to push the boulder, or you may step out of line and face severe punishment. By pushing the boulder, you may be able to slightly lessen your role in the collective harm done. When you avoid prison, the immoralities still occur, but you are not adding to them. When you accept punishment for yourself, you live with a clean conscience, but the burden on others is even more. What is the value of your clean conscience, when it may only bring further harm to others?

Puppets of Parasites

Much like the boulder situation, the state is inescapable, even through lack of participation. By taking an inactive approach, even if you do not find yourself in a jail cell, there is no real improvement, so long as the state has control of the treasury and does not change the budget. Is there, then, a way to truly escape the state’s parasitism? It appears, at least in the short term, that such a notion is impossible. We all, for now, are either puppets of parasites or the parasites themselves.

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The Kavanaugh Killing of Politics

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

The debate over Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation has become the biggest case for political nihilism in 2018. The question of whether or not Kavanaugh should spend the rest of his life in the Supreme Court has turned into a game of political finger-pointing. Partisan lines now determine whether or not someone believes a rape accuser. The merits of Ford’s testimony do not define whether or not one thinks she is innocent. Rather, it is whether someone plans on voting Republican or Democrat come November that determines how much they believe Ford.

Continue reading “The Kavanaugh Killing of Politics”

It’s Time for All to Oppose the State Consistently

By Casey Ward | United States

What’s the difference between a minarchist and an anarchist? Six months. The joke may be hilarious, but it is not always true. Many people continue to claim that they want smaller government. However, with the long arm of the law transgressing further upon our rights every day, this entire country should be outraged. Almost everyone is, to some extent, but not enough.

The issue lies in our selective outrage. Most of the modern Democrats argue for social freedom (with exceptions) while modern Republicans lean towards more economic freedom (with exceptions). At the same time, most support government monopolies over industries like police, legislation, and the military.

The question everyone should be asking is why: why do we allow government endless power? Often the answer is because people never knew any other way. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln became president; less than a year later, he started a poorly justified war and used his presidential power to enact the first federal income tax in order to fund it. This was a disastrous precedent. Lawyers and Congressmen often uphold the decisions of the past for fear of losing confidence in their future rulings. However, just because something happened once, does not mean that that something was right or reasonable.

A Dangerous Future

Nonetheless, from that day forward, presidents have acted as if the government’s power is plenary. In Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.’s book, “Against The State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto”, he goes back to the Great Depression and explains how even after it, FDR’s endless social programs remained in place. These may have looked life-saving at the time, but now, social security is overbearing. It even threatens to enslave the future with debts they never incurred.

The Disasters of Social Security and Regulation

As a result, many politicians call social security “the third rail”. If you touch it, you’re dead. Or, at least, your political career is. This is simply kicking the can down the road, but politicians and Americans alike seem to be able to live with.

To add a degree of relatability to the government’s market interference, examine a study by the Journal of Economic Growth that details these effects. This study details the frightful reality that government cripples GDP per household. Without added regulation since 1949, the study estimates, the average 2011 figure would have been an exorbitant $384,857, nearly four times higher than the recorded $107,857. Clearly, the economy has many more regulations now than then. Going back even further to fewer regulations, this figure would only increase more.

Future Hopes

Even with the 81,000 pages of regulations added in 2015 alone, the hope of a free society is not completely gone. As Thomas Paine said, “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” So we shall work in the direction we know is right. After all of the alphabet bureaucracies are revoked and regulations nullified, maybe then we will see that individuals are efficient enough to make a more prosperous world. Finally, this may give ourselves deserved credit and end the reliance on an ever-watchful state. 

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