Awareness Act Founder Persecuted by Feds

Interview With the Founder of Awareness Act
On 28 June 2013, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mike Moore, founder of Awareness Act again, and this time, we had a lot of news to cover, including the fact that he has been persecuted extra-judiciously by the government, that Awareness Act is now…

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TRAILBLAZING POLICE CHIEF, MARK KESSLER, TALKS GUNS AND FREEDOM

Article by Mark I Rasskazov.

The video above is the interview I had with Chief Kessler.  Once I got him talking, we ended up speaking on a number of subjects, where he cogently and succinctly explained his views on a number of political and philosophical subjects.

Some of the things we talked about:

c23838d5a26f73db2fd4ff5cb6c0bc2b_mooaObviously, the first thing we talked about was his interpretation of the second amendment, including his interpretation of the «Well regulated militia» clause.

We talked about the proper scope of responsibility of the government, given the constitution.

We talked about what prompted him to become so actively pro-constitutionalist on a national scale.

We talked about Obama and his policies.

We talked about Senator Feinstein and her Facebook page.

We talked about how he got banned from Facebook, and the new social networking site, Awareness Act.

We talked about Sandy Hook, and the parents’ response.

5e39a87359e4263c044f1cfa8dc40225_0h3sWe talked about how in most schools there are no armed guards, and how he was able to get it approved in his local school district.

He talked about his community in Gilberton, PA, and the relationship he has with his local government and his sheriff, as well as his take on Mayor Bloomberg and his ilk.

We talked about the responsibilities and attitudes of elected officials.

We talked about «illegal» guns.

We talked about gun registration and the Dick Act of 1902.

We talked about the Patriot Act.

06eac9103e93fcb297f012dfb200d2c2We talked about Congressional pay, the fact that they play the American people off of each other, and the fact that they vote for unconstitutional laws, as well as what we should do about it.

We talked about the possibility of a confrontation between the people and the government, including where he would stand, how many members of the government who would stand with the people, and how it would compare to the previous civil war.

We talked about the ATF and Waco.

We speculated on the possibility that the ATF’s classification of assault rifles as «machine guns» might represent a move to require a Class III Firearms License to own one.

We talked about the Supreme Court, the Constitution, the Law of the Land, and the legitimacy of the government.

3fc03d92b15b33efc249011d041b9892_o8fsWe talked about the possibility of impeaching president Obama.

We talked about the difference between a police chief and a sheriff, and why police chiefs are much more hesitant to come out publicly for the constitution.

We talked about the Constitutional Security Force, the civilian defense training organization, Fast Tactics, and his pro-freedom intelligence network, Oathbreakers.  We talked about violent crime, and how gun-ownership along with the proper training can help someone come out on top of a violent confrontation, and about how his Constitutional Security Force is partnered with Fast Tactics to provide training for private gun owners.

He closed with a call to action on the part of all liberty lovers to do their part to safeguard their freedoms for themselves, and for their posterity, and strongly reasserted the fact that our second amendment rights are the final safeguard of freedom against tyranny.

Connect with Chief Kessler on his website: [www.ChiefKessler.com].

KNOCK-OFF HANDBAGS AND MEDIA PIRACY FUND TERRORISM

325634Article by Mark I Rasskazov, Editor in Chief.

Forget drugs, forget oil, forget wealthy religious extremists — the fiat currency of terrorism is knock-off handbags and bootleg DVDs: so says a source I’ve spoken to who shall remain anonymous.  According to this source, these kinds of items, along with knock-off Tiffanys’ jewelry items and other counterfeited luxury items, are the primary means by which criminals and terrorists get their money from «Point A» to «Point B.»

It seems unbelievable.  It’s certainly one of the most under-reported aspects of the criminal world, if true.

So I did some research.

DVD RAROS BOOTLEGRonald K. Noble of Interpol via the LA Times: «The global trade in counterfeit goods is estimated at $400 billion to $450 billion a year.»  Later in the article, he is quoted as saying that: «Counterfeit cigarette trafficking by paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland and profits from counterfeit CDs and other goods being funneled to Hezbollah in the Mideast.»

Hitha Prabhakar, a noted investigative journalist, wrote an entire book on the subject.  At the beginning of the book, she quotes a review of it by one Dana Thomas: «Counterfeiting is one of the least-acknowledged, most-damaging crimes of our time. In Black Market Billions, Hitha exposes this nefarious world of the violent syndicates and the crimes they commit—human trafficking, forced child labor, money laundering—and discovers that the profits fund even worse acts such as terrorism.  You’ll never look at a fake Louis Vuitton handbag the same way again.»

It seems the issue is important enough to have garnered the attention of Congress, as well.

terrorismIt has been put to me in the following manner: «You cannot board a cruise ship with more than $9,999.99; if you want to transport $10,000.00, the way you do it: you take a bunch of knock-off hand-bags and sell them to a contact in the destination country.  Every time we catch a terrorist, he’s holed up with weapons, explosives, and tens of thousands of bootleg CDs.»

It seems heroin is for amateurs.  The pros deal in faux Versace, apparently.

MONROE COUNTY, KENTUCKY TRANSITIONS FROM CAPITALISM TO FASCISM IN FIVE YEARS

fascism1Article by Mark I Rasskazov, Editor in Chief.

On 14 MARCH 2013, I had the pleasure of hosting an impromptu interview with one Troy Murphy from Monroe County, Kentucky, which I recorded on my phone (you can listen to the entire interview via the embedded YouTube video at the bottom of this article).

In this interview, Mr. Murphy describes how the Philip Morris Company bought out the local tobacco farmers in Monroe County, and about how this subsequently destroyed the local economy, leading to an incredibly corrupt police state, riddled with drug use, murder, theft, and the employment of illegal immigrants, even as legitimate employment dramatically dropped.

When I did some research on the subject on my own, I discovered something astounding: this was conducted with state funds.  Here we have a case of a private company buying out local farmers with tax dollars, and then bringing in illegal immigrants to run the super plantations.  This describes a transition from a free-market economy to a state-sponsored big business model.  In other words, this describes a transition from capitalism to fascism.  This process took 5 years, and by the end, Monroe County had become a police state.

This case is interesting in that it illustrates the difference between the capitalist and fascist models, and demonstrates the socio-economic consequences of giving up one in favor of the other.

Also, for any would be tobacco farmer, there’s a wealth of used equipment that can be had at rock bottom prices in Kentucky.  This might be a good opportunity for someone who wants to create an «all natural tobacco» start-up of some kind (most industrial tobacco is GMO, now).

After I had closed out the interview, Mr. Murphy commented to me: «You know, you never really think about it, but when you just lay it all out like that, it just seems crazy.»  Indeed so, Mr. Murphy.  Indeed so.

May this sordid piece of history be an indelible mark of shame upon the government of the state Kentucky.

Here is a recording of the interview:

SILLS AND SMITH: TALENTED BAND AND CLASS ACT

photo2-e1363535258269Article by PJ Cornell.

Syndicated from the Asterisked Music Journal.

I discovered these guys on Reverbnation some time ago, and enjoyed their music. I wrote a short review of some of their songs.

A day or two ago I got the above card in the mail from them. I would just like to say that these guys are a real class act, and I look forward to continuing to track their career in the future.

Another review on their album(s) is pending.

AN UNFORTUNATE ENCOUNTER WITH OBJECTIVIST DR. DIANA HSIEH

0Article by Mark I Rasskazov, editor in chief.

UPDATE (2347 26 MARCH 2013): I offered the olive branch to Dr. Hsieh, but it seems we have irreconcilable differences.  Such is life.  We all live in glass houses.  Those who throw stones at mine tend to find it’s made of thicker glass than most.

TENTATIVE RETRACTION (1717 15 MARCH 2013): Dr. Hsieh has explained her response, and it seems reasonable, so my comments about her character may be false.  Also, her lack of comments may be more a function of the fact that her attention is taken elsewhere, than a reflection on her personality.  My comments about her career; some scholars pursue academics; others pursue activism.  Perhaps she is the latter.  My comments about the nature of Objectivism, I stand by; I’ve read most of the main items written by Ayn Rand, and have given them a lot of thought.  My comments about Rand’s personality, I stand by; I’ve met a lot of elderly Russian women, and based on video clips, her writing style, and accounts about her behavior, I would say that she was very much a Russian woman of her time and place in many ways.

NOTE: This is a tough love piece.  I am not down on Objectivists in general like so many out there are.  If there are Objectivists reading this, please have the intellectual courage to read it in its entirety and judge it objectively.

Dr. Diana Hsieh is one of the top figures within the current Objectivist movement.  My perception is that there’s Dr. Leonard Peikoff, Dr. Yaron Brooke, and Dr. Diana Hsieh — in that order.  She’s pretty high up on the Objectivist totem pole.

Now, I like Objectivism as a philosophy.  I don’t agree with it 100% — but I would say that I do agree with it about 90%.  Their politics are usually on point.  Their ethics are usually very close to the truth (if a little narrow, at times).  Their epistemological system is nearly flawless — although I have not encountered any Objectivist writings on cognitive philosophy.  The fundamentals of their metaphysics are sound (things are what they are), with the exception that they don’t seem to have a satisfactory answer to the mind-dualism problem.  Their Aesthetic is like a shot-gun blast — not very subtle, and not very accurate, but it gets the job done (their conclusions are on the right track, although they need to take a closer look at their premises in this field).

All of that having been said, I did encounter Dr. Hsieh online, and I am sorry to say it did not go well.

Now, Dr. Hsieh has a radio show podcast, and she has a blog.  I visited her blog, «Noodlefood.»  What I find interesting is that, whereas she is very prominent in the world of Objectivism, and whereas her blog has over 6,000 posts, intellectual interactions on her site are very sparse.  I commented on her second most recent blog post.  There are 8 posts between that one and the next one with any comments (2 comments — one of them hers — on that one; followed by two more posts with empty comment sections).  Now, the value of a blog’s content is not necessarily measured in the number of comments it generates, however, if a blog has been around as long and as prolifically as that one has, one would expect a little more interest in the content.

To give you an idea, this WordPress powered online newspaper and philosophy forum (the TDJ, that is), which has been around for about month gets comments almost every post, now; sometimes 6-7 comments per post.  Compared to Dr. Hsieh, I am a nobody.  How am I able to generate so much more interest in my writings than she is?

That’s not the only thing.

On her blog, she’s always asking for handouts; «tip your philosopher,» etc., whereas, I don’t see any advertising on her site.  Now, I am not, in principle, opposed to asking for donations, but I would expect a proponent of Capitalism to be just a little more savvy.  Why would she ask for donations?  She’s a prominent Objectivist.  It’s embarrassing!  How about providing a product for peoples’ money instead of trying to guilt them into donations?  WWJGD (What Would John Galt Do)?  I’m betting he’d sell t-shirts, coffee mugs, and books, and get sponsors — not grovel and guilt-trip for donations.  Jussayin.

Now, here is how she describes herself on her site:

«Dr. Diana Hsieh is a philosopher specializing in practical ethics. She received her Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. Her dissertation argued that Thomas Nagel’s «problem of moral luck» can be resolved by an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility. She began podcasting in 2009, then webcasting in 2010. She switched to internet radio in 2012.

Diana blogs at NoodleFood and podcasts at NoodleCast. Her other active projects include Explore Atlas Shrugged, Modern Paleo, and OList.com. She also contributes to Front Range Objectivism, the Coalition for Secular Government, and Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine. Diana lives with her husband Paul Hsieh and a small menagerie of beasts in Sedalia, Colorado.»

No books?  No teaching career?  Her major accomplishment as a philosopher is a dissertation about another philosopher’s work?  Kinda thin resume, considering her status in the Objectivist world.

This is Dr. Diana Hsieh.  Now, all of this having been said, I don’t judge someone on the basis of tokens of accomplishment — the substance of one’s work matters far more than the generation of tokens of accomplishment, and I did not make any premature judgments about this person prior to talking to her — in fact, I was hoping to establish a friendly, collegial relationship with her — I do not ascribe to the philosophy of Objectivism, but I do have a lot of respect for it.  I am an «Objectivist sympathizer,»  As Dr. Peikoff has put it, in the past.  However, while I approached her with an open mind, hoping for a meeting of the minds, I say all of this to point out that an accomplished thinker will usually have more to show for himself/herself than what has been described above.

The exchange that took place between us can be seen here, and is republished below:

Rasskazivats (me): Huh!  I published an article by Barbara Cornell about a «regretful parent» myself, recently: [http://transegoism.us/snake-mom].  Cheers!

Diana Hsieh: Playing (annoying) music automatically on opening a web page?!? AUGH. I can’t imagine any better way to drive people away from a web site.

NOTE: It is in poor taste to address someone you’ve never even spoke to before, and who is approaching you in a friendly, professional manner in this way.  However, rather express offense at this, I chose to remain friendly and professional by providing her with an alternate means of reading my content, without having to endure the «annoying» music on my site.

Rasskazivats: Here’s my RSS feed: [http://transegoism.us/feed/].

Dr. Hsieh has not condescended to resume our conversation.  The only thing I can figure is that she is offended that I did not immediately apologize to her for not running my site in such a way that she finds tasteful, and immediately complying with her tastes.  Now, that music was created by a good friend of mine.  I enjoy it.  I’ve received compliments elsewhere about it.  Beyond that, if it really were in bad taste to have music playing automatically, there’s a right way and a wrong way to bring that up.  Insulting me at a first encounter when I am projecting a friendly demeanor, is the wrong way.  I didn’t ask her what she thought about my site, yet I did provide her with a music-free alternative — and for the record, my month old site seems to be doing substantially better than hers.  With a personality as charming as her’s I can’t imagine why.

NOTE: A passage from The Fountainhead comes to mind; when Peter Keating asks Howard Roark for advice on his work, Roark, at first, balks, and says something to the effect of «Why would you even ask for my advice?»  Dr. Hsieh, with respect, I did not ask for your advice.

Which brings me to another point — Ayn Rand was a brilliant philosopher, but a flawed person.  Her main fault (so far as I can tell from reading about her) was that she was an extremely abrasive person.  Now, people seem to think that her abrasiveness is somehow a necessary function of her philosophy.  Her personality surely influenced the presentation of her work, although I think it has little to do with the content.  What most people don’t understand is that abrasiveness is a personality trait that is very common among Russian women — particularly women of her age (women who survived one or both of the world wars, and/or the Russian civil war).  People view her personality as being an integral aspect of her beliefs, whereas it has more to do with the Russian culture (which is not at all Objectivist, by and large) than with the belief system she created.  Yet, unfortunately, she managed to impress the worst aspects of her personality upon everyone who was associated with her — to a lesser or greater extent.

Dr. Hsieh, I find it to be a sign of weakness that you have failed to develop your own personality and have adopted the worst aspects of Rand’s character.

I am disappointed.