Russia’s invasion revealed big differences in how politicians deal with threats.
The president of Ukraine, when offered evacuation, said, “I need ammunition, not a ride.” He’s a leader.
By contrast, in Canada a few weeks before, when truckers staged a protest against COVID-19 rules, the cowardly Prime Minister Justin Trudeau felt so threatened by the peaceful protesters that he went to “a secret location.” Then he invoked Canada’s Emergencies Act.
That empowered authorities to forcibly break up the protest. In one instance, police rode into a crowd on horseback. People were trampled.
Nasty as that was, the part of the act that turned out most effective at stopping protest was freezing protesters’ bank accounts.
That’s similar to what the West is doing to Russian President Vladimir Putin now.
But Trudeau did it to his own people!
“You do have to have a bank account, really, to be able to live,” says George Mason University law professor Todd Zywicki in my new video.
“Imagine if, during the Civil Rights era, Martin Luther King could have lost his bank account because he trespassed at a Woolworth’s counter.”
Of course, more people used cash then. Now we rely on banks and credit cards.
The easily frightened Trudeau justified his use of the Emergencies Act by saying the truckers received “disturbing amounts of foreign funding to destabilize Canada’s democracy.”
Really? The truckers were going to “destabilize Canada’s democracy”?
“I don’t know why you would say it’s ‘destabilizing democracy,'” says Zywicki. “This is democracy. Canadians trying to stand up for their rights.”
Fortunately, such abuse of power doesn’t happen in the United States.
Except it does.
In 2013, Zywicki reminds us, “Companies engaged in completely legal services found themselves losing access to bank accounts … being forced to shut down.”
It happened because the Obama administration launched Operation Choke Point, which encouraged banks to choke off accounts of pornographers, gambling businesses, payday loan operators, gun dealers and other businesses that they didn’t like.
Gun dealer Kat O’Connor did everything the government demanded — filled out the paperwork, got federal and state licenses, paid hefty fees. But suddenly, online payment processors wouldn’t deal with her. She then tried companies like Stripe, PayPal and Square. “It always ended up with an email saying they were closing my accounts,” she told me. She assumes the blacklisting was “a backdoor attempt at gun control.”
It probably was.
Choke Point continued until Donald Trump was elected.
But O’Connor is still blacklisted. Once government labels you a problem, the bureaucrats may choke off your finances forever.
But part of my job is taking the other side. So, I said to Zywicki, banks are private businesses, lending their own money. Why should they lend to people they don’t like? Private businesses can make whatever choices they choose.
Zywicki had a good answer: Banks are not really private businesses. “There are barriers to entry. You have to get permission to start a new bank. … The financial services industry is so intertwined with government.”
That government connection means bureaucrats who regulate banks can silence government’s critics by cutting off access to their money. In Canada, protesting truckers resisted pressure from police and politicians for weeks. But once Trudeau froze their money, that was the beginning of the end of their protest.
When governments can de-bank you, you are not really free.
“We need to tolerate people saying things we don’t like and separate that from their ability to make a living,” says Zywicki. “We’ve merged those two things. That’s a very big threat to the free society.”
As important as it is to point out injustice, it’s equally important, if not more so, to point out solutions. A parallel economy is being built even as we bemoan the usurpation of our economic liberty. A payment processor named, apropos as it may be, ParallelEconomy.com – a pro-liberty, anti-censorship payment processing platform.
In the case of social media and communication platforms, we now have TruthSocial.com, Rumble.com, Locals.com, Gab.com, Parler.com and many others. The only way the adoption of these alternatives can take place, accelerate and supplant existing censorship platforms is if we use them, promote them and abandon the standard fare of the old tech-tyrant creations, like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. I know all your family and friends are there, but too bad.
Also, is it even possible that the invasion of Ukraine was provoked? I know that it’s virtually impossible to get anyone,least of all journalists, to ask that question, but might it not be a good idea to explore alternative “narratives” and stepping away from the Kool-Aid stand for just a minute. While the far left have demonstrated that they are essentially, immune to facts, there’s still hope for the rest of us, isn’t there?
Texas was able to fight the mega banks. Texas simply told them if they don’t want to work with 2nd Amendment businesses, they would be eliminated from all state business. The banks lost a ton of money and eventually pleaded with the state to let them back in. Most of the banks had to change their anti gun policies, which they did and they’re back doing business with Texas.
Any institution that interferes with freedom must be shut down.
The Mainstream did nothing about Cuba, Cambodia ,Rwanda. They cared less about Afghanistan and Iraq. They cared less about our wellbeing with their COVID and 9/11 laws and now want us to support their adventures un Ukraine. Screw them