Why Is the USDA Buying Shotguns, Drones, Helicopters, and Bombs?

TDC Note – Excellent question, Bill.


Today, some disturbing details about the growing power of the Deep State.

But first an update from the ranch…

It snowed a little this morning… just a few light flakes.

We lit a fire in the woodstove in our office and put on a pot of coffee.

For a moment, it seemed calm and pleasant.

Then the ranch foreman came to give his report…

“I Was Completely Surprised”

Gustavo is a nice, thoughtful fellow. He aims to do his best. But he, like your editor, is completely out of his element in politics.

To make matters worse, he is too young and too new to the job to have much authority with the local people.

Gustavo is Jorge’s replacement. Jorge knew everyone. Everyone respected his judgement. He and his wife, Maria, made the ranch work.

But Jorge retired, after a lifetime of running the ranch.

And once Jorge was out of the way (he moved to the city to be closer to his children), the trouble began.

“Tell me what happened,” we told Gustavo.

“I was completely surprised. About a week after you left, I got up in the morning and got ready to go to work. We were going to move some cattle up to Compuel [a high pasture]. But a group of people showed up. They gathered in front of my house. They said the land up there belonged to them and that we couldn’t take our cattle there.

“I tried to talk to them, but they wouldn’t listen. I used the radio to call the city. I asked them to send the police.

“Then they moved their animals onto the field in front of the secret garden where we keep our bulls. And they put a gate on our road with a lock on it so we couldn’t pass.

“Samuel [one of our ranch hands] knocked down their gate and got in a fight with one of them. But I didn’t think that was a good idea. I tried to calm the situation.

“It is very difficult for me. Their ringleader is like a brother to me.”

“It’s Like They Wanted War”

“It’s like they wanted a war,” Gustavo continued.

“They meet at night at one of the houses near the school and figure out their next move. I think they’re trying to goad us into doing something stupid.”

The “Originario War” has divided families. As you would expect, those who work for the ranch are against the originarios – the local indigenous people claiming title to our land.

Others aren’t so sure which side to take. Brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncles – they are forced to choose between kin and cause.

“You know old Francisco, Samuel’s father, died last week,” Gustavo went on.

“I think they didn’t look after him properly. He sided with us. But his wife and the rest of the family sided with the originarios.”

Francisco was an old man. And he was blind.

“He got sick. And it was very cold. Either they weren’t paying attention or they just didn’t care about him.”

Which leads us to:

A “Short Treatise on Government in the Context of the Originario War.”

“I Am the State”

“I am the state,” said Louis XIV, who ruled France for 72 years.

“The government is all of us,” says Hillary Clinton, who hopes to become the next president of the United States.

Neither is true.

Louis, for all his big talk, could do nothing without the support of thousands of apparatchiks, fixers, and functionaries… not to mention his bone-breakers and executioners.

At any moment, his entourage could have cut him down… his army could have turned against him… or the plain people could have revolted and upset the whole apple cart.

Hillary, if she is elected, will be in roughly the same position, but much more powerful.

Louis had no spy agency capable of monitoring everyone’s movements and conversations. He could send no drones to murder people. He couldn’t imagine going on TV and lying to the whole world at once… or confiscating half his subjects’ wages… or invading countries half way around the world.

Hillary (or Donald Trump, for that matter) will have more people working for her in the Department of Energy than Sun King’s entire bureaucracy.

If elected, she will become the most powerful person in the history of the world… backed by the planet’s most lethal army, its most productive economy, and its biggest, most aggressive bureaucracy.

Shotguns, Drones, and Bombs

In fact, a single agency, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), one of many under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, would be a good match for Louis’s whole army.

According to the Wall Street Journal, between 2004 and 2015, APHIS spent $4.8 million buying “shotguns, .308 caliber rifles, night-vision goggles, propane cannons, liquid explosives, pyro supplies, buckshot, LP gas cannons, drones, remote-control helicopters, thermal cameras, military waterproof thermal infrared scopes, and more.”

(If the rutabagas go on the attack, the APHIS is ready for them!)

And contrary to popular myth, Hillary won’t be backed by “all of us.” Nor will “all of us” decide the important issues that affect all of us.

We will not all govern, in other words. Only some of us will. The rest will be governed.

The idea of the “government is all of us” is absurd. We can’t all tell each other what to do. And if we all agreed, there would be no need for government.

As it is, you could argue that there may be a need for it. But government fast reaches the point of declining marginal utility.

That was the subject of our last book, Hormegeddon. [You can pick up a copy on Amazon here.] And it is why Thomas Jefferson noted that “the government that governs least, governs best.”

Hillary’s governors will be the same sort of people who backed the fourteenth Louis… and every other monarch, dictator, president, emperor, jackleg, and jingo-slinging commander-in-chief from Nebuchadnezzar to Barack Obama.

The nomenklatura… the insiders… the elite… the Parasitocracy – Hillary will be backed by the people who matter… the real deciders… and the Deep State.

Those are the people who really control the government and most of our largest institutions.

Together, they will shakedown the rest of us from sea to shining sea.

But the racket works even better when people think it is their civic duty to cooperate. 

That is the advantage of “participatory democracy”: It makes it easier for the governors to squeeze more blood out of a population of turnips.

HRC put some lipstick on it on Saturday:

The power of American democracy comes from the fact that no one is left behind – no matter where they come from, what they look like, or who they love. That’s what I mean when I say that we’re stronger together.

What she really means: The deciders are better off when they are able to dupe the masses into complicity.

Useful Idiots

That’s how Napoleon was able to conquer 10 times as much territory as Louis IX.

Louis had subjects; they grudgingly went off to fight their monarch’s battles.

Napoleon had citizens who were willing to sacrifice lives and property for La Patrie.

Participatory democracy draws almost everyone into the spectacle. (Here in Argentina, for example, voting is compulsory, if you want to receive welfare and other benefits.) But 95% of the participants are what Lenin called “useful idiots.”

Either they have no idea what is going on. Or like trustees in a concentration camp, they keep each other in line, and hope to get an extra crust.

Naturally, sensible and honest men “everywhere and always” despise government.

They have contempt for democratic politics, too.

They know is it nothing but manipulation and grandstanding – a sad, but greatly entertaining, spectacle of mountebanks and scoundrels, each pretending to be less bad than the other.

Nevertheless, it was to the government we turned to protect our ranch when the originarios invaded. Cynical readers may detect a whiff of hypocrisy

We deny it. More tomorrow…




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Bonner and Partners

Bill Bonner founded Agora Inc. in 1978. Since then, it has grown into one of the largest independent newsletter publishing companies in the world. Bill also co-wrote two New York Times bestselling books, Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt, In his latest book, Hormegeddon, Bill describes what happens when you get too much of a good thing in the sphere of public policy, economics and business. This new newsletter is unlike anything else published in America today. Now in this industry, Bill Bonner has agreed to share his secrets and insights every month. It’s like having a super-wealthy uncle share his best ideas, insights and wisdom about business, relationships, investments, trends, developments, ideas and more.