The Real Terrorists

On April 15, 2013, a cowardly and hateful act claimed the lives of three innocent people attending the Boston Marathon, and injured over a hundred more. Despite the tragic consequences, I would not label this as terrorism. The authentic act of terrorism occurred on April 19th.

I do not wish to minimize the events of the Marathon bombing. Clearly it was a horrendous crime, and a great loss for the victims and their families. But random, senseless murders of three or more people occur in America on a daily basis. Had the victims been three black teenagers on their way to school, it scarcely would have merited a mention on the local evening news. Only the fact the the murders occurred at an internationally televised event, coupled with the large number of injuries, made this crime different.

The real terrorists in this case were officials of the US government and the state of Massachusetts, who, using the manhunt for the culprits as justification, placed Boston and its suburbs under what was in effect martial law. I want to stress that I am not criticizing any of the police and firefighters who heroically helped in the aftermath of the bombing. These troops were not first responders; they were an occupying army.

Ironically, it was not the curfew (they’re calling it a “request”) or the illegal house-to-house searches that led to the arrest of the second suspect. It was a citizen who discovered the young man hiding in his back yard. If this had happened here in Arizona, where most citizens are armed, chances are good that the citizen would have apprehended him as well.

It is my belief that the lock-down of Boston was immoral, unconstitutional, and completely unnecessary. In the absence of an active public insurrection, this was an unprecedented event in US history. It’s also nauseating to see the degree of meek compliance by the citizenry in a city that was once the cradle of American liberty.

I hope that in the midst of the celebrations that the “bad guy” has been caught – and hopefully this young Chechen man was indeed the only surviving perpetrator – Americans will pause and reflect on who the real terrorists were in this incident. Perhaps next time  (and as long as the US military continues to interfere in the Islamic world, more such incidents are likely) the public response will be different.


Silver Circle

When I heard about the movie Silver Circle, I was anxious to see it. It was billed as an animated adventure about a rebellion for the cause of liberty and sound money. The film’s creator is a software engineer named Pasha Roberts, an enthusiastic newcomer to film-making. Though Silver Circle didn’t quite live up to my expectations, I applaud the fact that a movie with such an unconventional theme was made at all. In the past, the gatekeepers of the media industry would have made sure it didn’t happen.

I saw Silver Circle at a one-time screening at a local multiplex theater in Tempe. It was well attended, though I wonder how it would fare in competition with mainstream movies. After the show, local activist Ernest Hancock said a few words about the film’s purpose, which was to introduce more people, especially youth, to libertarian ideas. As such, it would extend the outreach effort of Ron Paul’s recent Presidential campaign, especially since it focuses on one of Paul’s major issues, the Federal Reserve.

As a work of entertainment, Silver Circle has several good points. There’s lots of action, including explosions and car chases. I enjoyed the rock’n’roll soundtrack, which included Jordan Page, one of my favorite artists. Some of the movie’s predictions, I expect will (unfortunately) come true, such as increasing government repression and monetary inflation (a sign in a bar advertises “$90 Beer Nights.”) Last but not least, the the movie’s primary villain is Federal Reserve, an agency which has escaped public scrutiny for far too long.

The movie has its share of drawbacks. Its worst problem was the crudeness of its digital animation. I’m a big fan of animated moves, especially the shows that come from Japan, where they are considered a serious form of entertainment. I’ll give Roberts kudos for getting it done on what, relative to those Japanese media conglomerates, must have been a tiny budget. Yet I fear that Silver Circle‘s animation will turn off its intended audience. The characters look like they came out of a 1990’s video game, with a kind of “near miss” realism that made them look creepy. In many places, movements such as walking and running did not look natural.

Secondly, the plot seemed somewhat contrived. It’s not believable that a high official of the Federal Reserve System would dirty his hands by engaging in corruption in the housing market and employing a team of thugs to dispatch his opponents. I agree that the Fed’s policies both promote financial corruption and fund the murderous actions of the national security state, so Fed officials are responsible, indirectly, for these evils. Of course, it’s difficult to show such complex economic connections in a standard length movie. Likewise, Silver Circle‘s rebels are omni-competent and overly diversified in their activities. Besides minting and distributing their own silver coins, they engage in acts of sabotage against the state- it’s all in a day’s work.

Roberts’ most brilliant move was the merchandising tie-in. They’ve minted real “silver circle” coins made in one-ounce and tenth-ounce denominations, which are sold before and after the show. The coins’ design, which is featured prominently in the film, is quite striking (if you’ll forgive the numismatic pun.) In addition, they have a tangible value, unlike the paper trash printed by the Federal Reserve.

Though I wouldn’t say that Silver Circle is a masterpiece, I definitely endorse its pro-liberty message. That’s sadly rare in an time where so much of what the corporate media produces are fawning accolades to the state. I expect to see more from Pasha Roberts, and I’m hoping his next work keeps up this positive trend while addressing some of the shortcomings of his first one.