While they are no longer racist in the same sense now, the Democratic party was at its conception and for most of its history, completely and utterly racist. Yet anytime Democrats are almost forced to look back at some of the most immoral parts of their party’s history, they give the same excuses. Democrats claim the parties flipped in the 1960s, and it is now the Republicans who are the racists. If pressed on that claim they go even further, stating that President Lincoln, the first Republican President and the man who signed the Emancipation Proclamation and was heavily involved passing the 13th amendment, would be a Democrat today. However, when looking back at the history of the parties, it is clear that no switch ever happened, and the Republicans are as much in support of civil rights today as they were back then.
By Spencer Kellogg | @TheNewTreasury
This week, the cryptocurrency Ripple (XRP) announced plans to host former President Bill Clinton as its keynote speaker at this year’s “Swell: The Future is Here.” The conference, which will feature “the world’s leaders in policy, payments, and technology connect” is scheduled for Toronto in October.
— Ripple (@Ripple) July 31, 2018
Touting Clinton as a forward-thinking politician who “helped usher in a period of extreme growth and adoption of the Internet,” Ripple also pointed to the former President’s track record in bridging the ‘digital divide’ to bring new technologies to underprivileged people around the world. If you turn your brain off for just long enough, this is the sort of dimwitted stuff you start believing because someone parades it as truth.
I can already here that old rickety Arkansas drawl counting off the merits of Ripple in between poorly timed anecdotes about inhaling marijuana before it was cool. Anything to steer the conversation clear of the women, the lies & the obvious ties to the sort of people who wish to regulate crypto currency into another rudderless weapon of the state.
Mr. Clinton, who oversaw continued war, used the oval office as a private brothel, expanded the for-profit prison model, and consistently represented the interests of big, centralized banking and wall street cronyism, is exactly the type of post-American figure that Ripple would crown as their champion. Why would Ripple want Bill Clinton as its keynote speaker? In the still simmering #metoo era, The Democratic Party can’t distance itself quickly enough from the Clinton’s. What does it say about the corporatist ideology of the lab coats in charge of Ripple that they would believe Clinton to be an appropriate “thought leader in the blockchain space” as suggested in Swell’s marketing campaign? If cryptocurrency was initially built with an inherent distrust of modern banking and with the hopes of promoting a decentralization of power, money, and culture, then what kind of cryptocurrency makes the living symbol of neoliberal globalism the keynote speaker of their convention?
Ripple, as many in the world of anonymous, peer to peer, government-free, decentralized cryptocurrency will gladly tell you, is the enemy. Clinton, stumbling around in the waning light of his former fame, is just happy to grab whatever cash comes his way and Ripple Gateways has plenty of it. Clinton will sit and smile and act interested but he is the man in the cloak. Let us not dream for a second that this exposure is ‘good’ for the crypto community or signals a coming tide of mass adoption. This has nothing to do with advancing the civil liberties of the common man. This isn’t about sticking it to the centralized banking apparatus that has paid for and instructed war after unended war. This is not a voice ringing true the concerns of an American people who have been run ragged by the Federal Reserve and its unnatural cycles of boom and bust. Clinton knows one modus operandi and it is that of a professional grifter and in Ripple he has found his cryptocurrency match.
Further cementing its legacy as perhaps the most corporate minded cryptocurrency in existence, the announcement comes after a string of high profile public outreach campaigns for Ripple that have included Ashton Kutcher gifting day talk show host Ellen DeGeneres four million dollars worth of Ripple on her show.
DeGeneres looked stunned and rightfully so. What good is a cryptocurrency to the entrenched elite? With U2 bursting through the speakers, a rockstar Hollywood celeb and his sidekick tech buddy were all smiles as they publicly endorsed Ripple with all the sort of ‘hip’ and ‘cool’ buzziness you’d expect to find plastered on a Sex Pistols T-Shirt at Hot Topic. These are the sort of James Corden, pub stunts that emaciate an already culturally bulimic American public. The ride goes on and on, each stop grinding further and further back into the cave of shadows and doubt. Before you know it, we will all happily one a few hundred XRP and not know why.
DeGeneres, the slow driving goofy clown car of never-ending post-absurdity, is right at home as she drives asleep at the wheel Americans to their safe destination of centralized, prescriptive thinking. Her mum, deer in the headlights, blank look at Kutcher upon hearing the money would be donated through XRP is exactly what you would want from the American public. The fewer questions the better.
Nothing says "crypto revolution" like Bill Clinton. https://t.co/RRosF4ouEn
— Erik Voorhees (@ErikVoorhees) July 31, 2018
Blockchain analysts were quick to cry foul as many pointed to the anti-crypto fundamentals of Ripple. Unlike Bitcoin & Ethereum, Ripple is a pre-mined coin that uses a centralized network to transact and verify. Many inside the crypto community have questioned how much of the total supply Ripple Gateways owns and have warned against the possibility of assets being frozen or reversed. In February, Bitmex ran a scathing critique of Ripple that suggested the cryptocurrency was unstable while questioning the long-term efficacy of the network.
Bigger issues lie at the core of how Ripple, or better yet its currency XRP, is classified by regulators in the future. Coinbase has thus far steered clear of XRP over its concerns that Ripple could be seen as a security. CEO Brad Garlinghouse is at the center of decision making and his strategy, from the start, has been a banking play that allows for banks to use XRP as a low cost, speed efficient medium for international transactions. This stated interest in working within current financial institutions has led to many critics in the crypto community to label Ripple as the “banker’s coin.”
In the world of ultra volatile cryptocurrency, it can be difficult to tell truth from fiction and hype from dust. Ripple has proven to be one of the most attractive entryways into the sector for a reason and it continues to hold its spot as one of the most reliable asset propositions in the early years of cryptocurrency. None of that changes the fact that their approach from a cultural and political standpoint that sits at glaring odds with the original intent of Satoshi Nakamoto’s whitepaper.
In Yasmina Reza‘s “Art,” a friendship is torn apart over of a blank white painting. Premiering in 1994 at Comédie des Champs-Élysées in Paris, the narrative follows Serge, a well off Dermatologist who buys a $200,000 painting that is as white and plain as the fallen snow. Serge’s friend Marc is outraged by the price tag and it eats at their every conversation. For Marc, the painting represents a false construct, a purchased hierarchy, a false letter of authentication. He knows, full well in his heart, that money does not buy the revolution. It can not buy the singing heart. It can not buy a dancing mind. It can not buy you a fulfilling wisdom or furnish you with a well kept soul.
It makes sense that Bill Clinton will headline the Swell event. A politician like him and a cryptocurrency like Ripple were made for each other.
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By Spencer Kellogg | @TheNewTreasury
Bill Clinton is back in the news. This weekend, the former President was quoted as saying that he couldn’t win the presidency in today’s world because “I don’t like to embarrass people the way Trump does.” The reality is that Mr. Clinton couldn’t win the presidential election today because he is a known womanizer who used his political power to torture and derail the lives of women he sexually harassed while serving in positions of unsupervised aristocracy.
— The Hill (@thehill) June 3, 2018
Since it was a long time ago let’s go over the facts. Fact: while President of the United States, Clinton used the Oval Office as his own private brothel to lure a young intern into what she considers today to be a non-consensual relationship. Fact: Juanita Broaddrick alleged that Mr. Clinton raped her in 1973 while he was the acting Attorney General of Arkansas. Fact: In 1991, then Governor Clinton invited Paula Jones into a private room and propositioned her for sex before exposing himself a la Harvey Weinstein.
A noted philanderer, Clinton has watched as a list of women have come forward to describe notable unwanted sexual advancements while he was in political office. Most infamous of all was his extra-marital affair with Monica Lewinsky that he brazenly lied to the American public about. None of that, however, seems to matter as long as he criticizes President Trump’s use of social media for which he received applause and support on a comfortable stage ahead of his newest novel.
During his reign of abuse, women still suffered under a veil of media reflexive feminism that dismissed the allegations as false or simply not a big deal. One of the few outspoken critiques of the disturbing and illegal behavior of Mr. Clinton was the late Christopher Hitchens who considered Mr. Clinton to be a poor liberal and even worse person.
If Hitchens was alive, he would have by now provided necessary examples of Bill Clinton's chicanery, thuggery, sexual depravity, triangulations, and exploitation of African Americans (both for his political & grotesquely personal satisfactions). Of course, Hitchens is not alive.
— ART TAVANA (@arttavana) June 4, 2018
Famed New York Times columnist and feminist champion Gloria Steinam was one of the loudest critics of Mr. Clinton’s victims when she defended the former President in an op-ed: “Mr. Clinton seems to have made a clumsy sexual pass, then accepted rejection.” We can only wonder how different Steinam’s words might have been today in the face of the #MeToo movement. Her flippant excuses of the former President’s actions sound a lot like victim shaming to me.
Speaking in front of a packed crowd before the release of his newest coauthored fictional novel “The President Is Missing,” Mr. Clinton attacked President Trump’s constant Twitter tirades: “My mother would have whipped me for five days in a row when I was a little boy if I spent all my time badmouthing people like this.”
One can only guess how his mother might have reacted to his use of political power as means to sleep with young interns and then sully their names into the dirt to preserve his crown. While the left’s appetite for exposing harassment & abuse of women by powerful men has reached an all-time pitch, Mr. Clinton continues to enjoy a celebratory post-presidential legacy by the same journalistic forces that have demanded action against abusive men.
It should be noted that President Trump has had his own problematic incidents with women throughout his life. His notorious appetite for casual sex has dominated the media lens for the better part of his term and rightfully so. But to shower Clinton with praise for his critique regarding Trump’s use of social media is low, played & speaks to the insipid bias that colors all of the modern media’s drivel.
(Clinton) is an abnormally ghastly individual in every respect. He lies about everything to everybody. He uses his daughter as a prop, he uses the help as comfort women & then uses public money to defame & blackmail them. Suppose that one had got one’s self into some indiscretion of that sort, I could imagine doing various things in the hope of salvaging myself, among them would not be appearing in front of cameras holding my daughter’s hand.
I’m pushing back against a huge consensus of people who said for a long long time, ‘all of this private stuff, this is none of our affair.’ They didn’t say that about other corrupt presidents. This corrupt president & this crooked president has come with a huge bodyguard of falsity and propaganda supplied by intellectuals, academics, and journalists for which Mr. Nixon couldn’t count on getting, nor Mr. Reagan. It seemed to me it was incumbent upon me to say what I thought and to point out how people were fooling themselves and fooling others.
– Christopher Hitchens on President Clinton
While it is easy to point out Mr. Trump’s moral insolvency, the harder thing for today’s modern media complex to do is to hold the same standard for those that they admire. It is easy to make a monster out of a man who presents himself as one. What is much harder to do is to demand the same rubric for those that dazzle and tickle the intellectual tongue of the critical brigade. Every applause line and positive article that pits Clinton and his family as something to be admired bolsters Mr. Trump’s “fake news” rallying cry and turns away pragmatic liberals searching for the soul of the modern left.
When I was a child my grandfather had a coffee mug that always grabbed my attention. On one side it read “Ruby Ridge Never Again” and on the flip side it read “Waco Never Forget.” He wasn’t an anarchist or a gun nut but my grandfather recognized that what happened in Waco in the early Spring months of 1993 was a breach of our constitutional liberties and a painful twisting of the institutional rights that govern a separation of religion and state. Over 80 Branch Davidians and four ATF agents would die during the course of a 3-month standoff that culminated in what amounted to a nationally televised snuff film paid and orchestrated by our federal government. Today, as we witness the 25th anniversary of the event, the aftershocks of Waco still command rabid debate.
Waco would come to politicize the modern gun rights and religious freedom movements in ways that still linger today. Waco was the convergence of many political and cultural manifestations of the late baby boomer generation that found itself in the jaws of a modern state that seemed to care little for our Bill of Rights. Aggressive and centralized power authorities, the politicians and federal agents that led this massacre were the embodiment of everything our founding fathers had hoped to protect us from.
The President was Bill Clinton, the Attorney General Janet Reno, and Waco their stomping ground. In the weeks leading up to what would become one of the gravest examples of government’s force on its own, freedom fighters, observers and a domestic terrorist gathered a mile away from the site to document, protest and discuss the developing situation. Among the members of the gallery included future Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh who was radicalized in the events during and after Waco.
For many in the anti-government movement, the months-long standoff at the compound verified many of their worries about an all encroaching state. For the men and women who believe the second amendment stands as a testament to the right to defend your property and loved ones against a tyrannical government, this was the moment of truth. Today, it should be remembered as a point of reference to those that critique the idea of American citizens protecting themselves in their own homes from an unruly and dictator-like central authority which expresses little humanism or care for their constituents. The second amendment does not guarantee you victory but it does give individuals the right to fight and die on their own terms and that’s exactly what the Davidians did.
The leader of the Branch Davidians was a charismatic, egotistical man named David Koresh. Growing up, Koresh suffered from dyslexia and learning disabilities but he preached the word of the gospel with passion and his following grew. His sermons were filled with readings from the book of Nahum which proclaimed a coming war with an apostate state. Koresh and his followers were obsessed with the idea that they would one day have to battle with a Babylonian government and the federal government’s aggression on the compound was a sign of the coming end times.
The Branch Davidians had a history in Waco, Texas. In the early 1960’s the Davidians leader Victor Houteff moved the organization to the Mount Carmel compound just a few miles north of Waco. Seventh Day Adventists, the Davidians believed they were living in a divine end time of biblical prophecies that would witness Christ’s Second Coming. Seen as an extremist Christian sect, the Davidians were people who truly believed their sole purpose to be the attainment of eternal life.
This all played a major role in the standoff as Koresh and followers honestly believed they were living through end times and that Koresh was a divine prophet. In recordings of top members, it became clear that the Davidians only desire was to get to heaven and they were willing to go the whole way (die) to prove their devotion.
On February 23, 1993, authorities arrived at the Mount Carmel compound with the intent to search the premises for illegal weapons. The story of what happened next depends on who you believe. What is agreed upon is that David Koresh came out the front door of the Mount Carmel compound and that’s where the agreement ends. According to ATF agents, they witnessed Koresh armed and began firing on the suspect. A bullet pierced Koresh’s wrist while another one bit through the closed door behind him, mortally wounding member Perry Jones. The Davidians argued that neither Koresh nor Jones was armed at the time. In the ensuing firefight between ATF agents and a well-armed Davidian complex, four ATF agents and six Davidians were killed. After this, there would be no turning back.
The videotapes of three video cameras that agents trained on the building that day had vanished by the time a federal inquiry was raised in the aftermath. All of the daily logs for the federal agents and deputies from that day also vanished in the months following the attack.
Federal agents were angry and they would show this anger in the following months through a series of psychological and physical attacks on the Davidians. Four of their people were dead and there would be hell to pay. For the Davidians also there appeared no way out of this predicament. The Davidians knew they would be arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder of a federal agent which carry life sentences. The standoff stalled and federal agents grew frustrated.
No tactic was deemed too unsavory for our federal agents. They stood on tanks outside the compound and flicked off women and children inside. Agents regularly pulled down their pants and mooned the inhabitants of the church while scrawling “David we are watching you” on the compound windows. Eventually, after the Davidians made it clear they would not surrender, federal agents resorted to psychological warfare in the form of playing loud noises and repetitive music day and night. One of the songs the ATF agents blared at the compound was Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walkin:”
You keep playing where you shouldn’t be playing
And you keep thinking that you’ll never get burnt
Well, I’ve just found me a brand new box of matches
And what he knows you ain’t had time to learn
These boots are made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you
The same morbid and bizarre strategies used against terror suspects during the Bush presidency were found first on American soil in Waco in 1993. Frustrated with the resolve of the Davidians, federal agents eventually shut off all electricity to the compound in hopes of forcing members out. They stayed, resorting to rationed rainwater as the onslaught of force continued.
There was never going to be a happy outcome to the events at Waco. FBI agents twisted and turned the Davidians in a sick game of good cop/bad cop until there would be no clean exits left. This strategy created increased distrust amongst Davidians and had the counter effect of emboldening their prophecies of an apostate state and the coming end times.
On the morning of April 19th, the time for discussion had come to a close. Federal agents called the Branch Davidian compound and instructed members that they would be commencing tank activity and to “take cover.” To this, the Davidians threw their phone out the front door. The end was near.
What happened next is still the source of great debate. According to the official timeline presented by our government, armored tanks approached the compound and poked holes in the building before pumping tear gas into the complex. At around 11:30 AM a small fire broke out on one side of the building and FBI surveillance records claim to have audio recordings of Davidians suggesting they set fire to the building themselves. It would be another hour before the fire department was called to the scene.
In all, 76 Branch Davidians would die in the fire that day and in the months and years following questions continued to linger regarding the timeline of events as portrayed by federal officials. The first major criticism was lobbed by Houston attorney Dick DeGuerin who went inside the Mount Carmel complex during the siege and testified at trial that the bullet holes found on the front door from the initial approach by agents on February 23rd showed incoming rounds, not outgoing. This suggested that it was ATF agents who fired on the complex first instead of the official statement that portrayed ATF agents returning fire against the Davidians who initiated the fight. At the trial, officials claimed to have ‘lost’ the door referred to by DeGuerin and Texas Trooper David Keys testified to seeing the missing door placed into a U-haul by two men after the siege, never to be seen again.
Another cause of controversy was the manner in which the tanks administered tear gas on the morning of April 19th. Survivor David Thibodeau claimed that damage to the building from the tanks allowed the gas to spread. Although the FBI had planted surveillance devices along the walls of the compound to use as evidence in the trial, members of the jury had trouble making out much of the conversations over the noise and hiss present throughout the tapes. While the FBI insisted the conversations provided audio evidence of Koresh and followers talking about lighting the compound on fire, many of the members in the trial audience claimed that they could make out no such conversations over the imperfect recordings.
Furthering questions of the state’s case was the element of pyrotechnic devices found in the rubble of the compound. Attorney General Janet Reno denied use of the devices and from 1993 to 1999 the FBI denied under oath the use of any pyrotechnic devices in the assault. So then why were there pyrotechnic devices found in the rubble? When the FBI turned over documents to Congress in 1994 for an internal investigation, the page listing the use of pyrotechnic devices was missing. Years later, a senior FBI official told Newsweek that more than 100 federal agents were aware of the use of pyrotechnic devices on the compound on April 19th, 1993.
We still don’t know, fully what happened. Perhaps Koresh and his followers did indeed attack ATF agents. Perhaps they did, indeed, set fire to their compound in an attempt to verify the claims of their prophecies. However, many believe it is more likely that the federal government had no business being on the property to begin with and that their use of force in the approach on February 23rd backed Koresh and his followers into a corner they would never get out of.
We remember Waco as a prime example of the power and authority that our modern federal government commands over free American citizens. The escalation of force and the trampling of religious freedoms by Janet Reno and federal agents crystalized what many saw as an increasingly dogmatic and ill government run by authoritarians. Our government targeted a group of off the grid end-timers on paper thin gun charges and met true believers of the second amendment and their religious rights.
We remember Waco not as a footnote of our American history but as a major expression of a new era of American politicians that sought to discontinue the prescriptions of liberty as laid out in our constitution. The memory of the men, women, and children who died in a blaze of fire that day in Waco remind us all that there are still those amongst us willing to live and die by the sword of eternal freedom.