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Butler Shaffer

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On Celebrating Dependence Day

I shall spend the remainder of this July 4th hiding beneath my bed, with as many pillows packed around me as I can find. I have not forgotten the important “duck-and-cover” strategy in which we were conditioned to protect us from Cold War-era nuclear attacks. I am ready for the impending “terrorist” attack that government officials and their media lackeys inform us is likely to occur, although they admit to a total lack of evidence of such a threat! 

I am reminded of the warnings of a Nebraska state legislator who, at the height of the McCarthy crusades, told us that communists were embedded within the faculty of the state university. When told that there was no evidence to support his claim, he replied “the lack of evidence only shows how sinister and well-organized is their presence.”
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War as a Crime Against Civilization

In her current article at, Lucy Steigerwald reminds us that, while the deaths of tens of millions of innocent men, women, and children provide the strongest indictment of war, there are other costs that need to be accounted for; costs that can only be calculated in terms of the adverse consequences to peaceful, productive, and decent society — i.e., to civilization itself. Among the earliest casualties of the American attack on Iraq were the destruction and looting of archeological sites, museums, libraries, and other cultural locations that help a nation to define itself. The United States did not invent such ruinous forms of barbarism, nor has the practice abated in such cities as Mosul, where ISIS forces have eagerly and intentionally looted the local museum of its important collections. The fourth century burning of the library at Alexandria — then considered to be the greatest collection of the world’s literature – reveals the depths of insanity that inhere in the war system.
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Mainstream Media Hypocrisy: 'Where Are the Antiwar Voices?'

On CNN yesterday, the question was asked “where are the anti-war voices on TV?” I’ve pondered that question myself. Don’t you remember, at the outset of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, the abundance of speakers who opposed these wars? You know, one major network had the popular “Lew Rockwell/Ron Paul Report,” while another provided us with the “Justin Raimondo/Angela Keaton” panel discussion. Programs like these presented us with minds from across the political spectrum: Bob Higgs, Chris Hedges, Paul Craig Roberts, Amy Goodman, Tom Woods, Glenn Greenwald, John Pilger, Jim Bovard, Karen Kwiatkowski, Anthony Gregory, Daniel Ellsberg, Tom DiLorenzo, Jacob Hornberger, Laurence Vance, and . . . well, you’ll recall the popularity of such people – and others of equal stature I have inadvertently overlooked – in their prime-time appearances on television.
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