Category: Personal Finance

Galton Voysey – Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

In response to the growing interest in the previous post about Galton Voysey and DealDash, I felt it would be a good follow-up to help readers learn more about the company given the limited information on their actual About Us page.

When was Galton Voysey Founded?

Galton Voysey was founded in 2014 by CEO Marine Aubrée Antikainen backed by William Wolfram, Founder & CEO of DealDash and Chairman of Galton Voysey.

What is the difference between Galton Voysey and DealDash?

DealDash offers shoppers the most fun & exciting way to save up to 90% off their favorite brands. Unlike ordinary penny auctions, DealDash’s model allows bidders who didn’t win the auction to buy the item for its regular price and get a full refund of all the bid credits. Galton Voysey brings outstanding brands to a market of discerning, quality conscious shoppers. Between building, acquiring and advising brands across a wide range of products categories, Galton Voysey has become home to 28 iconic labels. Products from Galton Voysey’s 28 leading brands are regularly featured on DealDash.

Who is the head of Galton Voysey?

William Wolfram is the Chairman and Marine Aubrée Antikainen is Chief Executive Officer of Galton Voysey.

How many employees work for Galton Voysey?

Galton Voysey employs over 200 people in total. Their headquarters is in Hong Kong, but they also have offices located in cities like Helsinki, Tokyo, Paris and New York.

What is Galton Voysey’s primary business?

Galton Voysey acquires and develops timeless brands leveraging the power of social media and data. The company has a portfolio of 28 brands. The brands house a wide range of product categories, the largest being chef’s knives, jewelry, leather goods and handcrafted rustic furniture.

What is the mailing address and phone number of Galton Voysey’s world headquarters?

Galton Voysey
Unit C 27/F & Unit A 17/F
Grandion Plaza
932 Cheung Sha Wan Road
Kowloon, HK

+852 6573 6334

Is Galton Voysey a Scam?

No, Galton Voysey is a legitimate company producing a variety of products sold on their brand website, on Amazon.com, and on Dealdash.com.  The company also has a strong and positive employee culture as noted on Glassdoor.com.

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Galton Voysey & DealDash.com – A Conflict of Interest

I first learned about Galton Voysey from a recent Consumerist article claiming they are simply producing premium or luxury products primarily for use on DealDash.com.

Barrel Shack. Verdict, Aava, Schultz, Kamikoto are some notable Galton Voysey brands featured on DealDash.com
Barrel Shack. Verdict, Aava, Schultz, Kamikoto are some notable Galton Voysey brands featured on DealDash

The article goes on to describe a lawsuit accusing DealDash.com of the following:

  • The lawsuit claims that expensive, supposedly high-end products, produced by Galton Voysey, auctioned off on DealDash are not what they seem.
  • Several of these brands, such as Bolvaint, Kamikoto, Aava, appear to only be available on DealDash, the brand’s website or on Amazon directly from the brand.
  • Most of the brands’ websites are registered in the same way to hide their actual ownership.
  • Trademark applications for these brands lists DealDash founder William Wolfram as the chairman of Galton Voysey, the company registering the marks.
  • The plaintiff alleges this is all a ruse to sell auction bids for overpriced products supplied by DealDash’s founder

Galton Voysey Background

According to their website:

Galton Voysey is a platform for building, buying and developing consumer product brands. We are home to 28 iconic brands that we have developed or acquired, and extend our professional expertise to a portfolio of global brands. We believe it makes more sense to test early to validate ideas that work and ones that don’t. This gives our operation and design teams a way to experiment with something tangible, gain experience in the process and reapply their learnings in the next iteration. With a proven network of over 140 factories, Galton Voysey builds brands across a broad range of consumer, lifestyle and home goods segments across Europe, US and the world.

Sounds like a normal private company developing and selling private label goods online leveraging manufacturing resources in the Asia-Pacific region with a startup mentality.

However, what is interesting is the background and the involvement of William Wolfram, the owner of DealDash.com and principle investor of Galton Voysey according to InsideRetail Hong Kong:

As it marks its third anniversary, Hong Kong-headquartered online luxury goods retailer Galton Voysey is recruiting more staff and expanding its presence in Mainland China.

Galton Voysey was founded by 28-year-old French woman Marine Aubrée Antikainen and its biggest investor is William Wolfram, 24, who believed the biggest brands of the next 50 years have not yet been built…

…Galton Voysey believes it is disrupting the global luxury goods market with new and fresh thinking, in many cases helping brands go direct from factory to consumer through their own brand websites.

According to LinkedIn, Marine Antikainen is listed as a co-founder while William Wolfram is both chairman and investor of Galton Voysey.  Oddly enough, William Wolfram is not listed on the website and the majority of Galton’s partners are mostly law firms.  These are the other companies listed as partners

  • The Loft Studio, – The Loft Studio does not cite Galton Voysey or its brands as clients.  However, it is likely this company produced the photos seem on the company website and for its brands under NDAs.
  • Vistra – Vistra is a company providing “tailored trust, fiduciary, fund and corporate services”. It is likely they are supporting Galton with various offshore financing and related services.
  • A partner with a magnifying glass and letters “AI” as its brand logo.

The rest of the website is somewhat vague on their actual work aside from a sizzle reel about the office culture and a press release announcing the company’s 3rd year of existence.

Galton Voysey Brands & DealDash.com

According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, Galton Voysey filed trademarks for its brands: Schultz, Wilson & Miller, Verdict, New Haven, The Barrel Shack, Kamikoto in 2016.  However, Galton brands such as Bolvaint was trademarked by IPIF Limited, which was formed last July, while brands such as Ashlynn Avenue, Aava, Cate & Chloe, Bardenshire do not appear to have any trademarks.

According to TINA.org:

DealDash.com positively describes and endorses products that are auctioned on its
website. Some of these products are sold by companies that DealDash founder William Wolfram is the Chairman of, a fact that is not disclosed to consumers in any DealDash marketing materials. For example, during any 24-hour period, at least 40% of DealDash auctions are for products made and sold by:

Galton Voysey brands Schultz, Kamikoto, The Barrel Shack

Galton Voysey Brands Verdict and New Haven

Galton Voysey brads Bolvaint, Ashlynn Avenue, Wilson & Miller

There is a clear conflict of interest when a major investor and chairman of Galton Voysey is also selling the company’s brands on DealDash.com, which is also owned by the same person.  It is even more questionable when this strong connection is not disclosed to the public.

The Brands Examined

While the brands appear to have quality products when examined at face value, things are not what they seem.  Galton Voysey’s marketing team and growth hackers have done a great job promoting these brands with a combination of paid Facebook likes, reviews by vloggers and blogs that are either paid or provided based on free products, compelling brand videos and standard SEO.

Although these brands appear to be private label brands one would expect to find online or at a premium retailer such as Macy’s, the pricing strategy for the various products suggests they should be treated as premium or luxury items, despite the relatively new brand development and limited brand history.   What is even more interesting is that these brand have products that have pages of positive reviews without really describing much about the products.

I’ve had three major Galton Voysey brands, Kamikoto, Bolvaint, and The Barrel Shack, submitted to FakeSpot.com, which scans for unreliable or fake product reviews.  Below are the general results:

http://fakespot.com/company/kamikoto

Fakespot has analyzed 6 products and 267 reviews for Kamikoto products.The Fakespot algorithm considers 60.0% of those reviews to be unreliable.

The Fakespot grade is based on reviews of products listed on Amazon with Kamikoto as the company name.

http://fakespot.com/company/bolvaint

Fakespot has analyzed 5 products and 21 reviews forBolvaint products.The Fakespot algorithm considers 20.0% of those reviews to be unreliable.

The Fakespot grade is based on reviews of products listed on Amazon with Bolvaint as the company name.

http://fakespot.com/company/the-barrel-shack

Fakespot has analyzed 8 products and 148 reviews forThe Barrel Shack products.The Fakespot algorithm considers 60.0%of those reviews to be unreliable.

The Fakespot grade is based on reviews of products listed on Amazon with The Barrel Shack as the company name.

When reviewing the websites, it appears nearly all the Galton Voysey brands have the same website layout from Shopify, and relatively limited contact information.  The Bolvaint website claims to have an office that is occupied by Patek Phillipe, while the Kamikoto brand doesn’t have a Japanese website, its return address is in a residential area, the brand site is hosted in the USA, and apparently the knives are made in China (which is unheard of for artisanal Japanese knives).  The lack of real information behind the brands and brand history is a recurring pattern among the Galton Voysey brands.

Conclusion

While Galton Voysey initially appears to be a private company developing and selling private label brands, it is merely a tool for DealDash.com to promote overpriced products to unsuspecting customers.  The fact the William Wolfram is involved in both companies without full disclosure, the limited information available for Galton Voysey, the strange trademarking process for the Galton brands, and irregular product reviews make the entire arrangement extremely questionable if not an outright scam.

Despite some glowing reviews by unsuspecting vloggers and blogs, none of the brands promoted by Galton Voysey can actually justify their prices due to their lack of history, actual reputation, or product quality in certain cases.  I would have no issues with their brands if they were actually being produced and sold as private label brands to leading retailers as implied in their mission statement and official interviews.  However, the reality is that they are primarily pushed through DealDash.com at inflated prices and placed on Amazon.com and their own brand websites to create the perception they are actual products.

For more details on the lawsuit – see https://consumermediallc.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/dealdash.pdf

For latest updates from TruthinAdvertising.org – see https://www.truthinadvertising.org/dealdash-status-updates/

On Obama vs Obama – The First American Presidential Debate

All this debate hoopla between Willard “Mitt aka Obama 2.0” Romney and Barack “Socialist Kenyan Muslim” Obama has really gotten out of hand. Sure, I enjoyed the memes about angry Big Birds, the Jim Lehrer incompetence rants, and the fact everyone was getting so worked up on Obama 2.0 supposedly beating Prez Obama to a pulp in last night’s debate.

But to be honest, I was more excited that the New York Yankees are going to the World Series again and how Ben Bernanke‘s QE3+ is causing inflation in Hong Kong. Since QE3+ was announced with the intention of propping up the stagnant American economy until unemployment drops to 5.5% (ROFL), inflation in Hong Kong has increased around 5-10% and the real estate bubble has gotten to the point where the government is getting involved to deflate it. Also, the price of food has increased and the HKD is going to lose more value against the Renminbi.

Note to self: begin splitting half of my HKD holdings in the bank into RMB to hedge against more damage from QE3+.

For all the theatrics and political WWF-style wrestling in the debate, neither Romney nor Obama really said anything substantial. Obama was just being passive as usual while Romney just pulled numbers out of nowhere and made them real with his confidence and photogenic smile. And yes, we now know Romney is a capable multitasker because he was able to both moderate the debate and hand Obama his ass at the same time.

I can say all these things while others are getting worked up over comments on their debate posts to the point of deleting either the comments, posts or even dropping a contact or two because I am not going to vote in November. Yes, I am not going to vote. No absentee ballots, no online voting and no write-ins for you-know-who and that Johnson fellow. Full disclosure, I voted for Obama in 2008 and it didn’t seem to pay off in any way so I am not voting for him or his Obama 2.0 (Romney) tool presented by the GOP. Even if I voted, my vote would be just filtered down to a handful of electoral votes that would go to Obama and my supposed absentee ballot will take its sweet time to pass customs to be added to the totals.

So no, I am not going to vote on November 6th. Conversely, I have no plans to play Halo4 that day either. I am just going to go to work, focus on the work, attend a few client meetings, have lunch with colleagues, and then head home to exercise and read a William Gibson novel or even one from Phillip K. Dick. Not voting on election day by choice will be one of the most American things I will do since becoming a naturalised citizen of the United States of America.

Thank you and I love Big Bird too.

Hong Kong Healthcare vs. American Healthcare

Hong Kong Healthcare vs. American Healthcare

Earlier this week I caught the flu as a result of being exposed to the typhoon and from heavy use of air conditioners. The symptoms of the flu were different from the typical flu because although I didn’t get the fever, I was having a bad case of an infected throat, coughing, stuffy nose, and a stomach virus. The stomach virus didn’t come out until after I had a traditional Chinese dinner at the grim and gritty part of Kowloon.

When the symptoms started appearing, I was hesitant to go to a nearby clinic since I was uninsured. Instead I went to buy a bottle of Methodex cough syrup and drank hot water in the hopes this would stop the cough. After 2 days, I started getting feverish and decided to go to the local clinic after insistence from my relative. I honestly did not want to go for fear of being price gouged for just a few minutes of meeting with the doctor and for the fear of having to pay a great deal for the prescription medicines.

When I went to see the doctor at the clinic, he was able to diagnose my flu and proceeded to give me a list of medication to fight it. The final bill for the visit was at $240HKD, which is roughly $31USD, and the fee included the prescription medicine. If I had local health insurance in HK, the entire doctor’s fee would be fully covered. It was shocking that I only had to pay around $31 just for a doctor’s visit and prescription medication despite being uninsured. If this was America, I would have to pay around $20 just for the co-pay and then more funds to get the prescription medicine. Otherwise, I would be paying somewhere close to the $100s if I was uninsured.

One more thing to note is that in Hong Kong, the doctors and pharmacists only give the amount of medication prescribed by the doctor. For example, if the doctor only prescribed 3 days’ worth of medicine, the pharmacist would only give 3 days’ worth of medication with the assumption the patient would use all of it within that time. This is not only a way to prevent medication from being wasted but a great way to control costs of prescription medication. In America, doctors would simply prescribe the medicine and the pharmacist would give you the entire package with the assumption the patient would simply stopped using it when all symptoms disappear. The problem with this approach is that the patient is buying unnecessary amounts of medicine and is taking on extra costs instead of just getting exactly what he or she needs per the doctor’s prescription.

Later that week, I started getting abdominal pains and had to go to the hospital to see a doctor. When I arrived, the doctor took the time to diagnose me after waiting for at least an hour, then got the nurse to inject me with anti-viral medication and gave me prescribed medication to fight the stomach virus and pains. At the end of the hospital visit, my bill came out to $580HKD or $$75 for the doctor’s consultation, anti-viral injection and prescription medicine. Also, if I was insured, the majority of this fee would be covered by the health provider with no co-pay. However, if this happened in America, I would be stuck with at least $580USD in doctor’s fees and get hounded by the hospital to pay off the fees as soon as possible. Also, keep in mind that I went to a private hospital and I learned that the government hospitals charge no more than $50HKD for treatment despite longer wait times.

So I really am confused by Americans who keep claiming that US healthcare is the “best in the world”, when it simply isn’t true. Whether the healthcare system is managed by the government, such as in Canada or France; or it has a two-tier system with a variety of options such as Hong Kong, these arrangement seem to be far more efficient than what we now have in America. Despite all the sensationalised nonsense from American media about the extremes of state-controlled healthcare or fully private healthcare, people in those places are overall content with their system compared to those in the USA.

I don’t think forcing American taxpayers to pay more taxes for being uninsured and making it mandatory to buy healthcare is the best option. It’s really clear that US healthcare is broken with their medical fees and prescription fees that are nowhere near the real market value of these goods and services. Most of all, it is simply arrogant to believe that Americans do not need to learn how the world implements their healthcare system to actually improve American healthcare on the basis of the big lie that “America is the greatest [insert noun here] in the world”.

If You Love Security, Become a “Romney Democrat” (Just for a Year)

If You Love Security, Become a “Romney Democrat” (Just for a Year)
By Dan O’Malley

The United States began its decline when Americans voted for Barack Obama in 2008.

After two years, we now see that Obama 1) phases out operations  against countries that have Muslims (Yemen, Pakistan and Iraq) 2) oversees class warfare against businesses that have promoted American exceptionalism throughout the world (e.g. Goldman Sachs), 3) supports the legal framework for undermining security from terrorists, drug dealers and pedophiles (e.g. Patriot Act), and 4) is growing a deficit by pushing useless stimulus packages that are unpopular with the American people.

Put another way, when it comes to such things as the killing of evil terrorists, preventing class warfare, and increasing security to make our lives worth living, we had the hope, but we haven’t had the change.

Just as in 2000, Bush hadn’t shown his true colors, in 2008, Obama had not either. A vote for either in those years was fair enough. But in 2012, if you vote for the Democratic nominee for president, you better have a moral justification that is SO good that it is not worth a) having collateral damage to kill terrorists who threaten you, b) protecting the free markets, and c) tolerating your child from being touched by a government official with the full force of the law behind him as he just follows his orders to protect him or her from terrorism.

Do I labor the point?  Good.

I believe that such a justification exists.  I’m having difficulty seeing how a Democrat who voted for Obama (whom I supported) for the right reasons in 2008 can in good conscience do so again given that there is another candidate who has been more consistent in his support to these things — not just in words but in deeds.

If you’ve read my other pieces, you already know who he is.  But if not, you should also know that Mitt Romney has opposed abortion, gay marriage etc. and to promote accepted social values on the country — even when he is unsure with them (as he has shown uncertainty on some of these issues). In other words, he is consistent in his beliefs in a strong, secure, and exceptional America.

If you are a Democrat, and you sit tight and vote Democrat again “because you’ve always been a Democrat” or because you think that some group with which you identity will benefit more from Democrat programs than a Republican one, then that is up to you, and I wish you well. However, don’t you dare pretend that you are motivated primarily by security, American values, or a government that knows how to fight.

That Mitt Romney who has stood up for these principles quietly during his lifetime, happens to be a member of the Republican party is a lot less important than the principles that we should be voting on. The fact that he is not just a party guy should be obvious from his extensive differences in policy from his peers and the fact that many think, given his views, he should not run as a Republican at all.

As Romney often points out, however, we live in a country that is exceptional… and the history that is rich and stacked against anyone who would dare oppose it.  Therefore, he is doing what he has to do.  Moreover, so should we as Americans who love security and freedom.  It really is not complicated.

Now, I know that the Republican party stinks to many Democrats and Independents who care about security and freedom, but we all need to be smart and play the system to get the political outcomes we seek: you don’t have to like a party or even identify with it to sign up as a Republican for a year to help make sure that the Republican primaries are won by the one governor who has always been for security, has always voted against socialism, and has always opposed the reach of government into your business, your taxes and your person.

In addition, if you are a Democrat or a socially progressive Independent, you cannot tell me you were not hoping for all that from Obama.

Perhaps you see too much small-mindedness, or mean spirit or religious craziness in the Republican party.  Sure you do.  You can find all of them in spades. But since you can’t change the Democrat ticket for 2012, why not act where you can make a positive change — by telling the Republican party where you really want it to go… in the direction of security and freedom (both of which, if you go back just a little way, can be found in the traditions of republicanism).

Just in case you need to make it absolutely clear for your friends at work that you have not gone to the dark side, I offer you a special moniker to set yourselves apart and give yourself a way back once you’ve done what needs to be done — the “Romney Democrat” — to signify, of course, your American sensibilities and perhaps even your history as a Democratic voter.  (On the other hand, why not just tell your friends that Cindy Crawford and Scott Brown seem to have already gotten the message?)

I am aware that the main objection to Mitt Romney from the left concerns his belief that private corporations are more effective in maintaining social welfare than the government.  To this I ask one question.  Do you believe so much in the effectiveness of our current centralized delivery of social welfare that it is worth the bailouts and the feel-good speeches supported by both Bush and Obama’s administrations?  Moreover, while Mitt Romney would look to privatize the huge federally run welfare programs in the end, which is not where he wants to start: his immediate fight would be to bring more forces to the terror-infested Middle East and to make laws to treat corporations with greater dignity.

Mitt Romney’s electoral weakness is not a difficulty in winning a Republican Primary.  It is in winning a presidential election in a country with a constituency that includes the far-left and Independents. An influx of security-loving and Muslim-hating independents and Democrats would change the math on the Republican side and potentially the future of America by setting up a presidential contest with a security-minded, pro-business candidate (who could outflank Obama on those issues).

Again, this is not an endorsement of the Republican Party or a claim that the Republican record is better than the Democrat on any of the issues discussed in this article.  (It is not.)  It is not even a statement that Governor Romney is a panacea of American politics.  Rather, it is to recognize simply that the one potential Presidential candidate who wishes to stop terrorists from killing innocent Americans and stop transferring the wealth Americans earned to the undeserving poor happens to be — this time around — a Republican.

It is also to recognize that any other political choice is for things as they are in which all the issues that really matter (terrorism, free markets) are settled for the socialists and the interests of the foreigners over Americans.

Therefore, what will it be — same old team allegiance or new, Romney Democrats?

14 reasons why Rick Perry would be a bad President


The following are 14 reasons why Rick Perry would be a really, really bad president….

#1 Rick Perry is a “big government” politician.  When Rick Perry became the governor of Texas in 2000, the total spending by the Texas state government was about $49 billion.  Ten years later it was about $90 billion.  That is not exactly reducing the size of government.

#2 The debt of the state of Texas is out of control.  According to usdebtclock.org, the debt to GDP ratio in Texas is 22.9% and the debt per citizen is $10,645.  In California (a total financial basket case), the debt to GDP ratio is just 18.7% and the debt per citizen is only $9932.  If Rick Perry runs for president these are numbers he will want to keep well hidden.

#3 The total debt of the Texas government has more than doubled since Rick Perry became governor.  So what would the U.S. national debt look like after four (or eight) years of Rick Perry?

#4 Rick Perry has spearheaded the effort to lease roads in Texas to foreign companies, to turn roads that are already free to drive on into toll roads, and to develop the Trans-Texas Corridor which would be part of the planned NAFTA superhighway system.  If you really do deep research on this whole Trans-Texas Corridor nonsense you will see why no American should ever cast a single vote for Rick Perry.

#5 Rick Perry claims that he has a “track record” of not raising taxes.  That is a false claim.  Rick Perry has repeatedly raised taxes and fees while he has been governor.  Today, Texans are faced with much higher taxes and fees than they were before Rick Perry was elected.

#6 Even with the oil boom in Texas, 23 states have a lower unemployment rate than Texas does.

#7 Back in 1988, Rick Perry supported Al Gore for president.  In fact, Rick Perry actually served as Al Gore’s campaign chairman in the state of Texas that year.

#8 Between December 2007 and April 2011, weekly wages in the U.S. increased by about 5 percent.  In the state of Texas they increased by just 0.6% over that same time period.

#9 Texas now has one of the worst education systems in the nation.  The following is from an opinion piece that was actually authored by Barbara Bush earlier this year….

•  We rank 36th in the nation in high school graduation rates. An estimated 3.8 million Texans do not have a high school diploma.

•  We rank 49th in verbal SAT scores, 47th in literacy and 46th in average math SAT scores.

•  We rank 33rd in the nation on teacher salaries.

 

#10 Rick Perry attended the Bilderberg Group meetings in 2007.  Associating himself with that organization should be a red flag for all American voters.

#11 Texas has the highest percentage of workers making minimum wage out of all 50 states.

#12 Rick Perry often gives speeches about illegal immigration, but when you look at the facts, he has been incredibly soft on the issue.  If Rick Perry does not plan to secure the border, then he should not be president because illegal immigration is absolutely devastating many areas of the southwest United States.

#13 In 2007, 221,000 residents of Texas were making minimum wage or less.  By 2010, that number had risen to 550,000.

#14 Rick Perry actually issued an executive order in 2007 that would have forced almost every single girl in the state of Texas to receive the Gardasil vaccine before entering the sixth grade.  Perry would have put parents in a position where they would have had to fill out an application and beg the government not to inject their child with an untested and unproven vaccine. Since then, very serious safety issues regarding this vaccine have come to light.  Fortunately, lawmakers in Texas blocked what Perry was trying to do.  According to Wikipedia, many were troubled when “apparent financial connections between Merck and Perry were reported by news outlets, such as a $6,000 campaign contribution and Merck’s hiring of former Perry Chief of Staff Mike Toomey to handle its Texas lobbying work.”

Rick Perry has a record that should make all Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents cringe.

He is not the “conservative Republican” that he is trying to claim that he is.  He is simply another in a long line of “RINOs” (Republicans in name only).

If Rick Perry becomes president, he will probably be very similar to George W. Bush.  He will explode the size of the U.S. government and U.S. government debt, he will find sneaky ways to raise taxes, he will do nothing about the Federal Reserve or corruption in our financial system and he will push the agenda of the globalists at every turn.

Look, the truth is that another four years of Barack Obama would be a complete and total nightmare.

But so would four years of Rick Perry.

America deserves better than the “lesser of two evils”.

Unfortunately, the American people have been dead asleep and have sent incompetents, con men and charlatans to Washington D.C. for decades.

Hopefully things will be different in 2012.

Why 9/11 Truth-Seekers Will Never Go Away, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love America

CORY

Cory Chu-Keenan is a father and a proponent of getting Civics back into American schools. He is an activist for Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, Media Reform, and Restoration of Civil Rights. He will be debuting a Politically Conscious Hip-Hop Album in 2012 entitled Technofetishistic Psychodrama under the emcee name, Cory the Keen One.

We don’t teach Civics in America anymore. We teach Literature, Mathematics, and, ahem, History, but we don’t teach our youth how to keep a Democratic Republic. We’ve gotten to the point where we no longer understand what it means to do civic duty.

America was designed as an experiment. It was the first time in human history where the People, the citizenry, were called upon to govern themselves. And this system, designed by the framers of the Constitution, became a beacon of freedom for the rest of the world.

What freedom meant to our founding fathers was chiefly freedom from tyranny. But they couldn’t just say, “Okay, from now on, no more tyranny.” They had to replace monarchical rule with a different form of rule: Rule by the People, for the People.

Oh, by the way, when’s the last time you read the Constitution? Or the Declaration of Independence? Or how about the Bill of Rights?

Middle School? Or maybe you heard all about it in a Schoolhouse Rock song one Saturday morning after The Smurfs.

I’m not going to challenge you to read these documents or anything, simply because I know you wouldn’t do it anyway. Hell, have I ever read any of these? But I do hope you contemplate the power that these words hold for our nation and realize that you are here, with the rights that you hold, and the freedoms you enjoy, because of this ink. Period.

It’s good to be you.

Why is it good to be you?

Because the freedom that you have provides you with many choices. Our inalienable rights allow us to vote, assemble, lobby, and even run for public office. As a citizen of the USA, you are allowed to participate in your own government.

Or not! :D

You can choose to kick back and enjoy all the bread and circus this land of milk and honey provides for your leisure and entertainment, and let all the experts figure out the boring foreign policy stuff. God bless you, citizen!

But, ahhh, therein lies the paradox of success: material gain has an inverted relationship to happiness and feelings of satisfaction. Being the lone superpower standing after the Cold War ended in 1991 was fun for a minute, until skyscrapers started exploding one beautiful morning in Manhattan.

Let’s pause here for a sec before I get ahead of myself. I’m going to make a deal with you: I promise not to talk about World Trade Center Building 7, what the features of controlled demolition look like, the fact that Osama Bin Laden was never placed on the FBI’s most wanted list after 9/11 because they said they had no evidence linking him to it, or that the Secret Service failed to evacuate Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida where President Bush sat at a highly publicized location (read: target for terror) but instead decided to stay put in order to read a book about a goat and then afterwards hold a press conference at the same location!

I’m not going to talk about any of these things or the hundreds of other holes, discrepancies, fabrications, and omissions in the official story of 9/11, the majority of which the Kean Commission innocently overlooked. I’m not going to talk about any of these things!

I’m going to leave it up to you to do your own due diligence. Because that’s what civic duty and being an American is all about. Deal?

What I am going to talk about here is how America grows weaker and weaker the more and more we see ourselves as a nation divided.

We’ve come to an unfortunate, and illusory, political climate in America where we believe that we only have two choices: Red or Blue.

Not the Crips or the Bloods. Not Snoop or Weezy. I’m talking about Red States and Blue States. Left or Right. Liberal or Conservative. Blanket Pacifism or Reactionary War-Making.

We’re told that, as Americans, we must choose a team and play for it. And anyone who questions this dialectic is a nut-job, crackpot, or worse, a terrorist. -Thanks there, Patriot Act, recently grandfathered through the congressional backdoor! :D

And speaking of patriotism, there are two kinds, you know. There’s Patriotism, and then there’s “patriotism.” The former, with the capital “P” is the kind where you actually take action on performing your civic duty (there’s that phrase again) of thinking critically about your government by questioning the direction the American Experiment is taking. The latter, lowercase-in-air-quotes, form happens to be the emotional variety that’s spoon-fed to you on a nightly basis via the established corporate media. Thanks, Media Saturation, made up of five corporations that own 85% of all media! :/

Anyhoo, I’m not trying to get all college professor on you or anything. We don’t live in the University of Wisconsin or anything weird like that. We live in the real world. And in the real world, the Law of Attraction will someday give me a Lamborghini if I paste together a vision board and think only positive thoughts.

I mean, take for example The Project for a New American Century, a manifesto-ish document penned by the Neo-Conservative think-tank consisting of Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Jeb Bush, and other students of the late Machiavellian Professor Leo Strauss. PNAC is the Law of Attraction in action!

These guys literally wished into existence a New Pearl Harbor in the form of 9/11, which resulted in “rapid transformation” of our military and foreign policy.

“It’s just what I wanted! Yay!!!” shrieked Richard Perle. Clap clap clap clap.

Regardless of what I think of the official story of 9/11, and regardless of what you think about it, ten years later I think we can all agree that we’re in bad shape as a result of our actions taken as a nation in reaction to the event.

I’m not going to mention the loss of life of American soldiers, the use of exotic weaponry the likes of depleted uranium, the torture photos, or gas prices. You can form your own opinions on those topics.

What I am going to mention is that 2012 is fast approaching, and seeing as how I’m considered a “conspiracy theorist” and all (a term originating within a CIA declassified document designed to discredit and ridicule dissenters during the COINTELPRO era), it would be irresponsible of me to pass up the opportunity to tell you my take on the end of the world. So here it goes:

Much like 9/11, the end of the Mayan calendar long count is going to result in a psychological shift. But instead of fear and insecurity, we’re going to finally discover the true meaning of self-governance and personal freedom. Not only in America, but on a global scale.

The true New World Order is the revolution that takes place in your own mind. All you have to do is turn off the TV and let it happen.

That being said, I’m going to end on a high note here just so that you don’t turn off your computer and go blow your brains out.

Here it goes:

Back in the 1960’s there was a guy named Huey Newton and a guy named Bobby Seale. They would go on to found The Black Panther Party right here in Oakland, CA, Bay Area.

Well it just so happens that there were six Asian guys in the Black Panther Party who were known as the Yellow Panthers.

Inspired yet?

Peace and Love,

God Bless America, forreal, forreal

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Ron Paul’s resignation letter from the Republican Party

Congressman Paul’s Letter

As a lifelong Republican, it saddens me to have to write this letter. My parents believed in the Republican Party and its free enterprise philosophy, and that’s the way I was brought up. At age 21, in 1956, I cast my first vote for Ike and the entire Republican slate.

Because of frustration with the direction in which the country was going, I became a political activist and ran for the U.S. Congress in 1974. Even with Watergate, my loyalty, optimism, and hope for the future were tied to the Republican Party and its message of free enterprise, limited government, and balanced budgets.

Eventually I was elected to the U.S. Congress four times as a Republican. This permitted me a first-hand look at the inner workings of the U.S. Congress, seeing both the benefits and partisan frustrations that guide its shaky proceedings. I found that although representative government still exists, special interest control of the legislative process clearly presents a danger to our constitutional system of government.

In 1976 I was impressed with Ronald Reagan’s program and was one of the four members of Congress who endorsed his candidacy. In 1980, unlike other Republican office holders in Texas, I again supported our President in his efforts.

Since 1981, however, I have gradually and steadily grown weary of the Republican Party’s efforts to reduce the size of the federal government. Since then Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party have given us skyrocketing deficits, and astoundingly a doubled national debt. How is it that the party of balanced budgets, with control of the White House and Senate, accumulated red ink greater than all previous administrations put together? Tip O’Neill, although part of the problem, cannot alone be blamed.

Tax revenues are up 59 percent since 1980. Because of our economic growth? No. During Carter’s four years, we had growth of 37.2 percent; Reagan’s five years have given us 30.7 percent. The new revenues are due to four giant Republican tax increases since 1981.

All republicans rightly chastised Carter for his $38 billion deficit. But they ignore or even defend deficits of $220 billion, as government spending has grown 10.4 percent per year since Reagan took office, while the federal payroll has zoomed by a quarter of a million bureaucrats.

Despite the Supply-Sider-Keynesian claim that “deficits don’t matter,” the debt presents a grave threat to our country. Thanks to the President and Republican Party, we have lost the chance to reduce the deficit and the spending in a non-crisis fashion. Even worse, big government has been legitimized in a way the Democrats never could have accomplished. It was tragic to listen to Ronald Reagan on the 1986 campaign trail bragging about his high spending on farm subsidies, welfare, warfare, etc., in his futile effort to hold on to control of the Senate.

Instead of cutting some of the immeasurable waste in the Department of Defense, it has gotten worse, with the inevitable result that we are less secure today. Reagan’s foreign aid expenditures exceed Eisenhower’s, Kennedy’s, Johnson’s, Nixon’s, Ford’s, and Carter’s put together. Foreign intervention has exploded since 1980. Only an end to military welfare for foreign governments plus a curtailment of our unconstitutional commitments abroad will enable us really to defend ourselves and solve our financial problems.

Amidst the failure of the Gramm-Rudman gimmick, we hear the President and the Republican Party call for a balanced-budget amendment and a line-item veto. This is only a smokescreen. President Reagan, as governor of California, had a line-item veto and virtually never used it. As President he has failed to exercise his constitutional responsibility to veto spending. Instead, he has encouraged it.

Monetary policy has been disastrous as well. The five Reagan appointees to the Federal Reserve Board have advocated even faster monetary inflation than Chairman Volcker, and this is the fourth straight year of double-digit increases. The chickens have yet to come home to roost, but they will, and America will suffer from a Reaganomics that is nothing but warmed-over Keynesianism.

Candidate Reagan in 1980 correctly opposed draft registration. Yet when he had the chance to abolish it, he reneged, as he did on his pledge to abolish the Departments of Education and Energy, or to work against abortion.

Under the guise of attacking drug use and money laundering, the Republican Administration has systematically attacked personal and financial privacy. The effect has been to victimize innocent Americans who wish to conduct their private lives without government snooping. (Should people really be put on a suspected drug dealer list because they transfer $3,000 at one time?) Reagan’s urine testing of Americans without probable cause is a clear violation of our civil liberties, as are his proposals for extensive “lie detector” tests.

Under Reagan, the IRS has grown bigger, richer, more powerful, and more arrogant. In the words of the founders of our country, our government has “sent hither swarms” of tax gatherers “to harass our people and eat out their substance.” His officers jailed the innocent George Hansen, with the President refusing to pardon a great American whose only crime was to defend the Constitution. Reagan’s new tax “reform” gives even more power to the IRS. Far from making taxes fairer or simpler, it deceitfully raises more revenue for the government to waste.

Knowing this administration’s record, I wasn’t surprised by its Libyan disinformation campaign, Israeli-Iranian arms-for-hostages swap, or illegal funding of the Contras. All this has contributed to my disenchantment with the Republican Party, and helped me make up my mind.

I want to totally disassociate myself from the policies that have given us unprecedented deficits, massive monetary inflation, indiscriminate military spending, an irrational and unconstitutional foreign policy, zooming foreign aid, the exaltation of international banking, and the attack on our personal liberties and privacy.

After years of trying to work through the Republican Party both in and out of government, I have reluctantly concluded that my efforts must be carried on outside the Republican Party. Republicans know that the Democratic agenda is dangerous to our political and economic health. Yet, in the past six years Republicans have expanded its worst aspects and called them our own. The Republican Party has not reduced the size of government. It has become big government’s best friend.

If Ronald Reagan couldn’t or wouldn’t balance the budget, which Republican leader on the horizon can we possibly expect to do so? There is no credibility left for the Republican Party as a force to reduce the size of government. That is the message of the Reagan years.

I conclude that one must look to other avenues if a successful effort is ever to be achieved in reversing America’s direction.

I therefore resign my membership in the Republican Party and enclose my membership card.

Ron Paul Campaign Presses Perry on Big Government Record and Fake Rhetoric

Issues open letter knocking Perry’s liberal record

LAKE JACKSON, Texas– 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul’s campaign continues to challenge Rick Perry in the lead up to tonight’s Republican presidential debate. Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton released an open letter to Gov. Perry focusing on his record as Texas head of state, pointing out inconsistencies with his new Tea Party rhetoric. See text of letter below.

Subject: Rick Perry Can’t Handle the Truth

An open letter from Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton

Dear Governor Perry,

After our campaign’s first ad highlighting your Big Government record and support for liberal Al Gore, your campaign is attacking Dr. Paul – missing the point of why your past is important.

We don’t think the fact that you used to be a Democrat is the big problem here. The real problem is that, too often, you still act like one. Even you yourself, Governor Perry, said of your party switch, “I will still vote the same principles, only with an R after my name.”

That’s the kind of thinking that has our country teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. We cannot afford to nominate someone who thinks the letter next to their name is more important than what they believe.

Governor Perry, let me be clear: It is not that you supported Al Gore that worries us.

It is that you supported Hillary Clinton’s health care plan.

You pushed for federal bailout and stimulus funds.

You support welfare for illegal immigrants.

You tried to forcibly vaccinate12-year-old girls against sexually transmitted diseases by executive order.

You raised taxes twice.

And, state debt has more than doubled in your tenure as governor, pushing Texas to the brink of our constitutional debt limit.

It’s that you supported ALL of these bad ideas that are inconsistent with how most Republicans understand conservatism, yet you now try to swagger your way into the Tea Party.

Governor Perry, with all due respect, you have used great rhetoric. But you will have to answer to the voters of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and across the country as to why that rhetoric does not match your record.

For Liberty,

Jesse Benton
Campaign Chairman
Ron Paul 2012

Obama Finally has a Primary Challenger: Ron Paul

From Obama Finally has a Primary Challenger: Ron Paul.

Obama Finally has a Primary Challenger: Ron Paul

by freetexas

Well, not exactly. But disaffected Democrats can take heart.  There is a candidate who supports many of their same views and has a history of being a thoughtful, smart, and honest individual.  I’m speaking, of course, of Congressman Ron Paul.

While it’s true that Dr. Paul is running as a Republican, that shouldn’t scare Democrats away, and I’ll tell you why.

  1. Iraq
  2. Afghanistan
  3. Libya
  4. Pakistan
  5. Yemen
  6. Somalia

Dr. Paul’s views on this subject are well addressed in the YouTube video: The War On Drugs: Ron Paul versus Barack Obama.

  • If you believe that Americans who don’t pay income tax are not being taxed, think again.  The policies of the Federal Reserve since its inception in 1913 have devalued the dollar by 95% via the Fed’s massive issuance of money and credit.  The resulting inflation is a direct tax on the poor and middle class, when their money becomes worth less as prices rise.  The rich can afford the higher prices, but the rest of the citizenry are profoundly affected.

So what is a Democrat, who finds these issues important, to do?  First of all, don’t take my word for it, do your own research and compare Dr. Paul’s words to his actions, and then do the same for President Obama.  I’m confident you will be surprised at what you find.  You can find out more about Ron Paul’s views on the issues by visiting his campaign web site. http://www.ronpaul2012.com/the-issues/

If you are convinced that Ron Paul is the only candidate in either party who can “walk the talk”, then you will need to vote for Dr. Paul in the GOP Primary in your state in 2012 as a “crossover voter”.  This web site describes crossover voting, and lists the states with open and closed primary elections.  In the closed primary states, you would need to register as a Republican in order to vote in their primary.  Be sure to check your state’s voter registration deadlines and rules.

Ron Paul stacks up well in recent polls against President Obama; however, his biggest challenge will be in winning the Republican Primary nomination.  That’s why it is imperative that you vote in the GOP Primary in order to see a Ron Paul vs. Barack Obama matchup in the general election.  It’s historically proven that third-party candidates do not perform well in general elections, so anticipating a Ron Paul third party run isn’t the answer to putting him into the White House.

Finally, if you like what you find out about Congressman Paul, but you are frightened of being seen standing in line to vote at the GOP Primary, just remember this: if your fellow Democrat neighbor sees you in line, they are likely to be standing in the same line.