Introduction: James Jaeger is an award-winning filmmaker who co-founded Matrix Productions, which has partnered with Cornerstone Entertainment to produce a series of political documentaries. One of the first was FIAT EMPIRE about the Federal Reserve System, featuring Congressman Ron Paul, which garnered a Telly Award and went viral as the #1 film on the Internet for six months. Matrix Productions continues to develop, produce and market motion pictures. James Jaeger's most recent production, MOLON LABE, will premiere October 24th, 2013. More information on MOLON LABE is available at the official website, www.MOLON.us.
Daily Bell: Let's jump right in. Tell us about your new movie, MOLON LABE, which will be released October 24th.
James Jaeger: Previously we released a movie called FIAT EMPIRE – Why the Federal Reserve Violates the U.S. Constitution. That movie was a primer on the "power of the purse." MOLON LABE – How the Second Amendment Guarantees America's Freedom is a primer on the "power of the sword." WE THE PEOPLE of the U.S.A. – or the PEOPLE any country – must retain these two powers if they are to be truly free and prosperous. The movies explain why.
Daily Bell: This movie is based on Edwin Vieira's book, The Sword and Sovereignty. We interviewed him at length in February. What are some similarities and differences?
James Jaeger: MOLON LABE is inspired by Dr. Vieira's book. It would be impossible to "base" any movie on the 2,500 page book, The Sword and Sovereignty, because there is so much information present one simply has to get the book to fill in the details before or after watching the movie.
Daily Bell: MOLON LABE is subtitled, "How the Second Amendment Guarantees America's Freedom." Can you expand?
James Jaeger: Most people think the Second Amendment is the only place in the US Constitution that discusses the "right to keep and bear arms." There are three other clauses that go into this "right" and how WE THE PEOPLE and the Government are supposed to share the responsibility. The design of the American System – the sharing of responsibility and allocation of power – is incredible. It's like a high-powered, sophisticated automobile spinning around a racetrack effortlessly. But if this machine is not properly tuned, maintained and operated, it can spin out of control like any other machine or system. MOLON LABE discusses how the nation's security is supposed to be allocated and shared. If this is properly done, the system will provide not only security, but freedom and prosperity. If the system needs maintenance or change, this is also provided for in the structure of the Constitution.
Daily Bell: You have announced that you interviewed David R. Gillie (Civics Lecturer); Chuck Baldwin (Former Presidential Candidate for Constitution Party); Larry Pratt (Executive Director, Gun Owners of America); Stewart Rhodes (Founder/ED, Oath Keepers); Larken Rose (Author, The Most Dangerous Superstition); Walter Reddy (Activist/Co-Founder, Tea Party); and Jack Rooney (Senatorial Candidate). What was most important about these interviews? What made the biggest impression on you in terms of what was said?
James Jaeger: I "cast" all of these experts for their ability to bring a unique perspective to the topic at hand. I also tried to "cast" experts that had vastly differing styles of delivery because I want MOLON LABE to speak to all Americans no matter what their socio-political-economic or religious views are. I also wanted MOLON LABE to speak to people in other countries, countries where people are subjugated by their governments because they don't have a constitution that acknowledges the right to keep and bear arms.
Daily Bell: You also have written that Dr. Vieira's book appears to change everything in the current discussion of gun control. How so?
James Jaeger: I don't want to give away the "plot" to MOLON LABE, but let me say this: There are five (5) reasons Americans, and all citizens, have the right to keep and bear arms. Nevertheless, usually only two or three of these reasons are mentioned or debated by gun organizations, the media and/or the "gun-control lobby." In light of the mass shootings and other problems with guns, it's easy to see how the gun-control lobby is able to make their case: Simply confiscate guns from the mentally unstable, the criminal and as much of the citizenry as possible and the massacres will end. Unfortunately, it is not that easy. Dr. Vieira's book explains exactly why and the movie introduces these explanations. Indeed, The Sword and Sovereignty is a work that academia is digesting right this minute, as this is probably the most important treatise that's come along since Thomas Paine's Common Sense.
Daily Bell: When we interviewed Dr. Vieira on The Sword and Sovereignty, many readers were surprised by some of his conclusions. Here is one feedback, in part: "Edwin has done much good work in this book and elsewhere, but he tends to make the mistake that a 'militia' is illegal if there is no statute that specifically authorizes it. The basic error is the presumption that 'anything that is not permitted is forbidden.' That's not the way our legal legacy works. The proper presumption is that 'anything that is not forbidden or restricted is permitted' and 'there must be a specific delegation of authority to an official to forbid or restrict anything.' Public action defaults to permission in the absence of authority to restrict them. If there is no authority to restrict militia, and there isn't for any purpose other than to enhance its effectiveness, then any official regulation that does not make militia stronger is unconstitutional. Honest men may disagree on how best to make it stronger, but virtually all gun control laws do the opposite, and therefore cannot be constitutional." How do you respond to this sort of point? Do you deal with it in the movie?
James Jaeger: It seems that the person who provided this feedback has not read The Sword and Sovereignty because if he had, he would not have made these uniformed, if not totally "asinine," comments. All of Dr. Vieira's "conclusions" are fully documented in the book and they are not difficult to comprehend. To wit, Dr. Vieira makes no "mistake" about "militia," because he defines the term "Militia" constitutionally, not as it suits his fancy. If, by "Militia," one means "the Militia of the several States" incorporated into the Constitution's federal system (the ONLY legitimate and Constitutional definition), then ONLY such institutions that meet the legal criteria for such "Militia" ARE such "Militia," hence may CALL themselves "Militia." And these institutions require "regulation" pursuant to state and congressional statutes. Once they are properly "well regulated," they can exercise the authority with which the Constitution empowers them, but not before. And NEVER if they refuse even to seek such authorization.
Individuals MAY form private groups, CALL themselves "militia," possess firearms and learn to shoot at a range. They may even go out into the woods in camouflage outfits, practice small-unit tactics and otherwise play at being "soldiers" of some sort. And this activity may be perfectly legal (although some types of private, para-military activities ARE illegal under some state laws). BUT these people are NOT, and never will be "Militia" in the sense of "the Militia of the several States". They have no legal authority, which the Constitution recognizes as belonging to "the Militia of the several States," and if they attempted to assert such authority on their own recognizance, they would probably find themselves in serious legal trouble (and rightly so). The same thing would happen if they were to get together and start calling themselves "the police" or "the Army Rangers" with some wild claims to "legal authority" under those titles, and started acting out their fantasies. Simply calling oneself "militia," possessing firearms, and "playing soldier" in the woods does NOT make one part of "the Militia of the several States."
That said, there is no constitutional authority to restrict true "Militia" – and that is the point of the Second Amendment. There is also no constitutional authority to restrict individuals with respect to firearms in such a manner as to make them ineffective for participation in a true "Militia." That is also covered by the Second Amendment. So most "gun-control statutes" are unconstitutional, whether viewed from the "individual" or the "collective" perspective. But, that the Second Amendment protects private possession of firearms so that, ultimately, individuals will be capable of participating in a true "Militia," again, does NOT make any bunch of such individuals a true "Militia" simply because they happen to buy a few guns and get together on weekends at the shooting range. Indeed, the very fact that there are so many idiots who think the latter is all they have to do to be true "Militia" is probably one of the reasons this country does not HAVE a true "Militia" in any state at this time.
Daily Bell: Dr. Vieira responded: "A 'Militia' (if it can be called that) formed without a statute, or not ratified later by a statute, cannot be one of or part of 'the Militia of the several states,' and therefore cannot claim any specifically constitutional status." Can you expand on this?
James Jaeger: See above. "The Militia of the several States" are constitutional institutions or establishments with certain legal characteristics. The primary one is that they are organized, equipped, trained and disciplined according to statute. This is made plain enough at the congressional-level of regulation by looking at Article I, Section 8, Clauses 15 and 16. And it should have its counterpart in every state, particularly with respect to those activities of the "Militia" which focus on intra-state matters only.
Daily Bell: The feedbacker went on to make the following point: "It is not being 'authorized' by statute that makes something 'constitutional.' It is constitutional just by being something for which there is no constitutional authority to forbid, such as speech, press, assembly, petition, religion, etc. Anything that cannot be constitutionally prohibited has constitutional status." You and Dr. Vieira disagree?
James Jaeger: An individual may enjoy a constitutional "freedom of the press," but that does not authorize him to hold himself out as the White House Press Secretary. Similarly, an individual may have the right to "keep and bear Arms," but that, by itself, does NOT make him a member of a "well regulated Militia" as the Constitution understands the term. He is at best a potential member of such "Militia" if and when it is formed. So an individual CAN be prevented from claiming the constitutional status of a member of a "Militia" when there IS no such "Militia" in his jurisdiction (the current case all over the U.S.), or when he refuses to fulfill his statutory duty to enroll but continues to pretend that he and his buddies in the woods are a "militia" on their own.
Daily Bell: Another feedbacker commented, "The thing I don't understand (but hopefully will after I read the book), is why Mr. Vieira says the Second Amendment was not about an individual's right to bear arms. Aren't all of the amendments in the Bill of Rights about individual rights? Did I miss something? I always thought that the Bill of Rights had its roots in Natural Law and the right to self-defense was a key part of Natural Law. My understanding was that the Second Amendment enshrined that right (not granted it)." Your comment?
James Jaeger: Indeed, the Second Amendment protects an "individual" right to keep and bear (stated clearly in the book) and that right can be exercised for "individual" purposes, such as self-defense. But the ultimate purpose of the Second Amendment and the "right of the people to keep and bear Arms" is to enable the people, "collectively," to participate in "a well regulated Militia." It is important to distinguish: The Second Amendment does NOT say that "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms" is "necessary to the security of a free State," but instead says that "a well regulated Militia" is "necessary to the security of a free state." In the first position it is the RIGHT that is the subject of the sentence and in the second position it is the MILITIA that is the subject of the sentence. It should thus be evident that the GOAL of the Second Amendment is NOT to have a bunch of individuals cowering in their cellars, AR-15s in hand, waiting for some para-military SWAT team from the secret police to assault their homes one at a time. It is to organize the entire community, locality by locality, state by state, in a "collective fashion," because in numbers there is strength. "The security of a free State" thus requires organization, as well as individual armament. The very fact that this has to be explained to so-called "patriots," "constitutionalists" and so on is disquieting evidence that this country has sunk so low in its misunderstanding of the basic principles of American political science that there MAY be no hope.
Daily Bell: Will we see the re-establishment of constitutional militias, in your view?
James Jaeger: It comes down to this: Either the US is a self-governing nation or it isn't. That's a choice. If 230 million Americans want to farm out their security to a tiny group of people in Washington DC and have confidence that this elite will –
NEVER form any more Stalin-like departments;
NEVER establish any more global surveillance networks;
NEVER increase taxes beyond reason;
NEVER create any more global military bases;
NEVER pass any more laws to facilitate monopolies;
NEVER run up any more debt on social programs;
NEVER run up any more debt on military expenditures;
NEVER print up any more fiat currency;
NEVER try to register or confiscate their guns;
NEVER steal any more gold from the citizens;
NEVER infringe on any of the citizens' rights;
NEVER pass any more insane laws;
And will NEVER expand the government anymore in order to do any of the above, and other things, "better and more efficiently"
– then I guess we will NOT see the re-establishment of Constitutional Militias.
Daily Bell: Is that happening now?
James Jaeger: I don't know.
Daily Bell: What is the state of the militia movement?
James Jaeger: It is moribund, primarily because of people who think about the Militia in the way the commenters above demonstrate.
Daily Bell: What can people do to help? Why is it important?
James Jaeger: This is important because, as the Second Amendment states, "a well regulated Militia" is "necessary to the security of a free State." If people don't want to be free, then all they have to do is farm out their security to the Department of Homeland Security.
If they DO want to be free, the very first thing they should do is educate themselves on the principles set forth in the Constitution. They should learn what "a well regulated Militia" actually is under the Constitution – rather than using the word "militia" in the idiotic fashion of Humpty-Dumpty talking to Alice in Wonderland.
That said, I hope our film, MOLON LABE, will serve to interest people in a deeper exploration of the Militia and Constitution as well as books like The Sword and Sovereignty. The first step to handling something is to gain the ability to confront it. Confrontation does NOT necessarily mean activism or conflict; it often means personal study. A person who is well studied and truly fair and honest towards their fellows is a person that demonstrates and inspires leadership. If many Americans confront these steps, I am confident that they will better understand how and why the American Dream is still quite possible. I am also confident that many others around the world will acknowledge American exceptionalism once again, not because of its power, culture or even its people, but because of its Constitution and the principles set forth therein.
Daily Bell: Is the gun-control lobby winning? Doesn't necessarily look like it.
James Jaeger: The gun-control lobby is predominantly a bunch of media talking heads and liberal politicians. These people see themselves as even beyond the "power elite" described by C. Wright Mills. They want to disarm Americans and everyone in the world so they can set up their Global Empire and rule for the "betterment of society." They want to create a Kardashevian Type I Civilization but before they can do this, they need to commandeer the resources and Peoples of Earth so that they can centrally plan and manage them with the new yottabyte AI systems they are surely trying to develop. This is the battle of the 21st century: Will the management system of Earth be distributed or centrally planned? If centrally planned, we will all follow the model of communist and totalitarian states. If distributed, we will follow the model set forth by the American Founders in the US Constitution. Given that people don't like to "be governed" – and that governments have murdered over 170 million people in the past century, exclusive of war – I will place my bet on the idea that people do not want anyone, any lobby or any government to control their access to self-defense, whether on a personal basis or in a group Militia.
Daily Bell: What happens after MOLON LABE? Are there people willing to take this interpretation of the Militia movement to the next level by addressing some of the issues it raises?
James Jaeger: I'm sure the Militia of the several States will be revitalized because there is really no other choice. Either you have a world where everyone is armed or no one is armed. My personal choice would be the latter; however, in order to effectuate that, all of the governments of Earth would have to be disarmed in tandem with all of the people. Ultimately, a world with zero arms, weapons and war is where we all probably want to go. But since the very purpose, if not the definition of "government," is 'an entity that utilizes force of arms in order to accomplish its means' a disarmed world would obviously be a world without governments. Many would desire this; however, many would not. Many feel this is possible, whereas many feel it's impossible. I personally feel that a totally disarmed world which operates without the state IS possible. How to do this? I don't know. And such a world may even be rare in the Universe; in fact, so rare it's the very reason for the Fermi Paradox, which posits civilizations destroy themselves trying to solve the technical problem of the allocation of lethal force for "justice," i.e., punishment. If our world is similar to the other worlds in the Galaxy or Universe, we and they surely confront the same problem: WHO OR WHAT HAS THE AUTHORITY TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS, IF ANYONE?
Daily Bell: Let's ask some more general questions. What's going on in the US today? Are you more or less hopeful about the country's authoritarian path? Do you see some positive deviation or are we plunging toward some kind of totalitarianism?
James Jaeger: I don't want to sound like a broken record, but to the degree WE THE PEOPLE – and the PEOPLES of the World – retain the "power of the purse" and the "power of the sword" there is grand hope. Right now computers and technology are advancing production so fast it's going into the heel of an exponential curve. And remember, the last five years are NOT the same as the next five years. Civilization always accomplishes TWICE as much in each successive year as it did in the previous year. That means the next five years will be equal to at least ten years of production from the past five years, and so on. This technological advance has been with us since the dawn of civilization. Ironically, even wars, plagues and depressions have not put a dent in the trend.
This acceleration is known as "the law of accelerating returns" and was first articulated by AI futurist/inventor, Ray Kurzweil. All this brings me to a point I would like to make: The power elite that prints up and/or utilizes, directly and indirectly, the fiat currency know about the "law of accelerating returns." They know that technology is and will continue to flood the world with new products; thus, they continue to flood the world with new fiat currency. The law of accelerating returns is thus preventing "too much currency from chasing too few goods." And this is why, or at least one of the reasons, we have not seen hyperinflation, I theorize. All this sounds good except for one small thing: This elite that emits endless fiat currency gets first-call on all the newly printed money. Thus, they get a little more purchasing power to snap up the planet's prime real estate. Prime real estate includes not only views of oceans and mountains, but deserts with oil below and land above vast aquifers. That's something the "power of the sword" and "power of the purse" could remedy if WE THE PEOPLE decided to.
Daily Bell: What is your take on the Tea Party? We think it is still an expanding movement and has hardly been corralled or controlled. Your thoughts?
James Jaeger: The first Tea Party was held on 14 December 2008 at Faneuil Hall in Boston. It was presented by "Committees of Safety" and the following founding speakers: Walter Reddy, Rand Paul, John McManus, Edwin Vieira, Katherine Albrecht, Pastor Garrett Lear, Daniel Itse, Lynn Landes, Robert Shulz and a number of others. THESE are the founders of the Tea Party movement – NOT the johnny-come-latelys the mainstream media yaps about. And the issue that prompted this first Tea Party was the issue of restoring sound money, one of the major issues Ron Paul ran on for his 2008 presidential bid and that he discussed in our 2006 film, FIAT EMPIRE. The savvy reader will note that the Tea Party was NOT founded by any of the people that came along later and co-opted it, or were claimed by the mainstream media to have founded it. People like the Koch brothers, Al Gore, Lewis F. Powell, Jr. and Trevor Leach did NOT found the Tea Party, as all of their events were held AFTER Walter Reddy had the first Tea Party event. See www.Molon.us/teaparty.jpg
Nor did conservative activist Keli Carender organize the first Tea Party, as reported by New York Times journalist Kate Zernike in February of 2009. CNBC Business News editor, Rick Santelli, had nothing to do with it at all. All Santelli did was have a meltdown on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on 19 February 2009 where he suggested holding a "tea party" for traders to dump derivatives into the Chicago River. Santelli's video rant was then featured on the Drudge Report and went viral on YouTube and this helped popularized the Tea Party movement – again, a Movement initiated by Walter Reddy, et al, in December of 2008.
After this, EVERYONE began co-opting and "molding" the Tea Party movement. Websites, conservative talk show producers, Independence Day events, mainstream newspapers, TV news outlets and magazines began to blab about the Tea Party endlessly. But if you will remember, at that time pundits like Sean Hannity were still spitting on Ron Paul and anything he or his son had to do with, including the Fed issue, the very reason the first Tea Party was held. So that's the real history of the Tea Party. The Tea Party is part of the Ron Paul Revolution and the Ron Paul Revolution is about WE THE PEOPLE returning to a proper application of the US Constitution by regaining the "power of the purse," the "power of the sword" and the other measures recommended by Dr. Paul, who BTW, is featured in MOLON LABE.
Daily Bell: We tend to be kind of "glass-half-full" people. For us, what we call the Internet Reformation is entering a more interesting phase. As we've predicted, it hasn't been much slowed or stopped. When elite powers try to damp the Internet you get an equal and opposite response. How do you see it?
James Jaeger: I hope people all over the world ruthlessly resist any attempt by any government or entity to suppress the Internet in any way. People must be able to directly communicate with each other in an absolutely unfettered way. Words are better than bullets. I don't care WHAT everyone is saying to each other. Even so-called hate speech must be tolerated because, if people can't vent their hate in cyberspace, they will dramatize it in physical space. Even the hateful, sick "minds" that advocate vomit like "free speech zones" and "gun-free zones" must be tolerated. Hey, as a member of the motion picture industry, I propose "TV-free Zones" and "Movie-free Zones." Should I be tolerated, too?
As I mentioned earlier, the law of accelerating returns fuels the growth of the Internet, hence the Internet Reformation. It's inevitable. Unfortunately, the power elite seems to be working overtime to step up its program of global surveillance and drone attack capabilities. Also, we have still heard almost nothing from the mainstream media about the new multi-yottabyte spy center the NSA is building in Bluffdale, Utah. Wired mag did, however, recently publish an exposé that reveals new details about the data site and the secret NSA surveillance program codenamed "Stellar Wind." From the Wired article, author James Bamford says:
The NSA has established listening posts throughout the nation to collect and sift through billions of email messages and phone calls, whether they originate within the country or overseas. The Utah spy center will contain near-bottomless databases to store all forms of communication collected by the agency. This includes the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails — parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases and other digital "pocket litter."
So is the glass half full?
Daily Bell: We see people waking up and becoming more aware of the manipulations they face. John Kerry said recently that "governing" had become far more difficult. What he really meant was that elite manipulations – what we call dominant social themes – had become more difficult to emplace in society. Your thoughts?
James Jaeger: As G. Edward Griffin says in MOLON LABE, "People don't want to be governed, they want to be protected." Pat Buchanan, who is also in MOLON LABE, says that the world's empires are splitting apart. In just the last decade of the 20th century the USSR disintegrated into Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Transnistria split off from Moldova and Abkhazia and South Ossetia split off from Georgia. Yugoslavia split into Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Kosovo. The Slovaks split off from Czechoslovakia and with all this bifurcation, splitting and dissolving the world barely yawned. Many states in the US are even talking about splitting up. Pat Buchanan specifically says, "The spirit of secession, the desire of peoples to sever ties to nations to which they have belonged for generations, sometimes for centuries, and to seek out their own kind, is a spreading phenomenon."
So the Global Empire and the one-world government does not look like it's going to happen as planned – if WE THE PEOPLE of Earth get our way. And people CAN get their way to the degree they realize that central planning and managed economies are relics of the Old World Order. The New World Order – the real New World Order – was established in 1776 with the US Constitution.
Daily Bell: In the aftermath of the difficulties caused to elites by the Gutenberg press we saw regime changes, expansive warring and expanding economic difficulties. Is the power elite using such tools again to try to contain the Internet Reformation?
James Jaeger: You can be sure the power elite will continue to do everything it can to smother Internet freedom. The only way to fight this is constant vigilance and to encourage all the techies not to sell out to the Man. Edward Snowden and Julian Assange should be their heroes and their pictures should be on every programmer's cubical wall.
Daily Bell: Will they be successful?
James Jaeger: I don't know. I don't like this so-called "cloud computing." This is simply a re-packaging of centralized data storage. Do you remember the "huge" IBM 360s and Magnuson M80 mainframes from the late 1970s? These were the "cloud" computer of the day. Everyone shipped their data up-line to store it on these mainframes. My brother, Bunker, used to be the operations manager for one of these data centers and we used to sit up all night on a "computer system" the size of a full skyscraper floor, "uploading" backups to another mainframe in Australia, 3,000 miles away. There were no PCs or local storage at that time. Today, the big corporations are trying to bring this storage scheme back under the new promo title of "cloud computing." The only difference is computers today are so powerful, and the bandwidth is so wide, they can not only remotely store the data, they can remotely store AND RUN the applications as well. This means the user is TOTALLY at the mercy of some distant, centrally-managed corporation or government's system. My advice to anyone reading this is this: Keep all your data and computing apps local and get solar battery chargers. This way NO ONE can shut you down, including your "rape 'n pillage" electric company. And if the market acquiesces to "cloud computing" you will find that your PC and other devices will eventually become LESS powerful. Back in the 1970s almost all "computers" were just "dumb terminals." They farmed out the real computing to the mainframes miles or thousands of miles away. Don't become a nation or world of DUMB TERMINALS. We humans are already being turned into DUMB TERMINALS by the public school system, drugs and TV. Let our computers AT LEAST fight back.
Daily Bell: What do you see as potential safe investments? What are you doing?
James Jaeger: As an entrepreneur and movie producer, I feel that no one out there can use a buck more efficiently than I. This should be the attitude of any entrepreneur or they have no business being in business. So the answer to your question is: Invest in Matrix Entertainment Corporation. All kidding aside, I would say there are many fine investment opportunities for the individual or manager who opts to participate in various markets. One of my favorites has always been real estate. There's nothing like a piece of the planet. Unfortunately, because all real estate investments are based on local conditions, it's difficult to proffer any advice. Nevertheless, if you talk about safe investments, I would say real estate is quite safe provided you can afford the taxes and carrying costs.
As far as what I am doing other than real estate, I am currently investing in motion picture and editing equipment. My theory is: If the US ever has a falling out with China and/or if the dollar crashes and/or if the foreign debt comes back to roost, prices on all the "cheap" electronics we currently enjoy could skyrocket. A motion picture camera now costing a few thousand dollars could become tens of thousands of dollars. So I am investing in equipment that I can use to improve my product and deliver a wider range of products, i.e., movies. Similar to this, I am also investing in screenplays and writers. Through our company we have optioned, purchased and had written hundreds of feature-length screenplays. So the investment I am talking about is intellectual property. In short, I believe that a good piece of intellectual property – whether a screenplay, a book, a computer program, a domain name, or a piece of art – is a potential gold mine in a world where we have a mass communications revolution going on. Look at what AMC and Netflix have done in less than 10 years. Long-form entertainment is here – all made possible by Internet streaming and cost-effective digital technologies.
Next will come the Digital Movie Theater revolution. Independent filmmakers can now rent movie theaters all over the country and world and screen their films. They no longer need to strike and ship ten 35mm prints on five 2,000-foot reels costing $3,000 to movie theaters. They can just send a DVD or hard drive. And the quality is competitive. So this may be an investment opportunity: purchasing movie theaters and "4-walling" (renting) them to independents.
Daily Bell: We believe there is likely to be at least one more powerful stock market upsurge before a major downshift during which time a more globalized economic environment will form. Your perspective on this?
James Jaeger: I am very leery of the stock market because Bernanke has been pumping $85 billion a month into the expansion of the Fed's balance sheet: Fed-speak for printing money. I think people should look for more creative ways to invest money. In an age of easy and ubiquitous mass-production and mass-copying – even serious 3D printing on the horizon – the unique and the original should be king. This means antiques, new art and artists, unique and original novels and novelists, unique homes and buildings, waterfront real estate – hell, I'm even thinking of investing in a rock and roll band. I know that last sounds crazy, but consider this: rock isn't dead, nor is live music, but the current generation is enamored with playing CDs in stroboscopic, disco-like venues where everyone is smeared with day-glow body paint. Give me a band with five musicians playing live pop, classic rock, country and/or originals. In short, investors should do what made David Geffen rich: Find talented musicians, hire them, pay their apartment rents and throw them into a studio to write and practice music all day.
Daily Bell: We've noticed that Hollywood seems to be in ever-deeper trouble. As a propaganda arm of the US ministry of truth operated out of DC, Hollywood is losing credibility and viewers. Is this an ongoing trend?
James Jaeger: I don't think Hollywood was ever designed to tell the truth, or any truth, but it could be said that the Hollywood-based, MPAA studio/ distributors have a tendency to consistently portray various people or groups in a negative or stereotypical manner. Such includes American Indians, American Institutions, Arabs, Asian Americans, Capitalism, Christians, the Establishment, Free Markets, Germans, Government, Hispanics, Japanese, the Middle Class, Muslims, Nazis, Police, Professionals, Rednecks, Religion, White Southerners and Texans. But worse than this, the Hollywood studios, which dominate the markets, have a definite liberal bias. No news here, but some good news is that conservatives ARE more accepted in Hollywood these days.
The big problem, however, with the movies is they are not original enough. Too many sequels and re-makes, the latest being the re-make of the 1976 movie, CARRIE. So this is why I feel a market in originality has or will open up for the savvy investor. At the cost of one studio picture, an investment group could allocate the same sum into the budgets of 58 independent productions at $2 million a pop. Of this 58, one or maybe 10 pictures would be successful, if not blockbusters. We have all heard stories about films like the $5,000 BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, which garnered over $100 million at the box office. Well, the odds are this can happen again, if not over and over, were many films put into a basket and the filmmakers given total creative freedom. It's amazing what humans can do with freedom and a free market.
Daily Bell: Is Hollywood going to go the way of Newsweek and other paper-based newspapers and magazines? Will it cease to exist?
James Jaeger: It will always molt into something else. You have to look at Hollywood not as a "movie" industry, but as an "entertainment" industry. So the question really becomes: Will humans ever cease to need or want entertainment? I say no. But will Hollywood always be the place that delivers that entertainment? I don't know. The center of "filmed entertainment" – as the studio lawyers like to call it – has changed many times since the movie camera was invented.
Daily Bell: What will take its place, if anything?
James Jaeger: If it really gets bad in Hollywood, they COULD turn big-time to BDSM and/or porn. Modern technology is now on the verge of offering telerobotics and interactive haptics; and don't look now but E.L. James' book, Fifty Shades of Grey, is already in production as the trilogy, FIFTY SHADES. So, don't worry. Hollywood will always have "something" to entertain you with.
Daily Bell: What about the copyright battles that Hollywood has attempted to pursue? How are they working out? Kim Dotcom seems to be holding his own in New Zealand.
James Jaeger: Hollywood's stock and trade is copyrights. Everything in Hollywood is a copyright. All books, treatments, screenplays, motion pictures, trailers and ancillaries are copyrights. All movie revenues thus derive ultimately from the copyright. Given this, no one should expect Hollywood to EVER give up, or lose, a copyright battle.
Daily Bell: Is Hollywood becoming more helpful to you finally?
James Jaeger: I have not been antagonizing Hollywood and it has been accepting my projects. Now, whether I will ever sell one to them remains to be seen. I have, in a sense, made my peace with the "Hollywood control group." After all, all it really comes down to is that these people network with each other better than anyone else. On one level, I can't blame them because you have to be very careful who you hire for a movie project. On another level, I detest the nepotism and discrimination that goes on. Actually, I can forgive nepotism, because I can understand that a father who has dedicated his entire life to getting somewhere in the Movie Biz might want to cut his kid a break or two. But discrimination? No. The best person should always get the job, not someone just because they are the same race, religion or tribe as you happen to be.
Another reason people in Hollywood network so intensely is because even one incompetent idiot can gum up the entire production chain. You hire someone and they forget to bring the battery to the set, now you have 25 union crew members at $300 an hour each plus a million dollar Panavision XL2 camera on rental all hanging in the wind. The average person can't comprehend what it takes to make a movie, especially an expensive studio picture. A major, special fx movie is MUCH more difficult than merely sending a man to the Moon or building a sky scraper. Even I, who have been making movies since 1964, can hardly comprehend the current motion picture technology, the management challenges and the financing of modern movies. I admit it, and have a great respect for Hollywood and all filmmakers no matter what.
Daily Bell: Give us the business plan for MOLON LABE. How will you recoup costs and make money for investors?
James Jaeger: MOLON LABE has been the best-supported film so far. We had about 400 donors with donations ranging from $10 to $28,000. The film came in on budget and two months early due to the better support. MOLON LABE, like our previous five films, will eventually go up on YouTube as a public service. However, we are trying to do something different with this film: more widely market it. The major studios spend almost as much for their initial marketing campaign as they do on the production itself. We are going to try to follow a similar strategy. So our donation window is still open for those who want to help with the marketing budget and still get screencredits as acknowledgement. Go to www.molon.us/donate for details and to donate. If a worthwhile film is made but no one hears about it, it's as if the film were never made.
Also, the Freedom Movement tends to preach too much to the choir. We all need to start breaking into the mainstream with our book, movies, websites and events, etc. The only way that can be done is you have to pay the troll at the bridge. You have to come up with the ante to run your full-page ad in a major magazine, major website or on network TV and radio. These ads cost thousands and thousands of dollars. But you have to do it. Maybe one is not accustomed to spending $1,000, $5,000 or $10,000 for an ad in a major magazine, website or paper, but that's the only way to break into the mainstream media-infested public where all the rot on the Constitution festers. Of course, one can get lucky and things can go viral, but that's no marketing strategy.
As far as making money for investors, I honestly don't know if I could and frankly I don't want the pressure. I have found a niche making these little political films on the Constitution and I sort of enjoy it. If someone came to me and forced me to take their $500,000 to shoot a low-budget feature in digital using one of my screenplays, I MIGHT do it, provided they didn't give a rat's ass if the thing made any money and they left me alone to make it. I have been in many investor-financed projects and inevitably the major investor comes to me with his new girlfriend and says: "Jim, do you think you could work Monique into the picture? I would really appreciate that."
Then I say "sure," and the next day the next biggest investor comes to me on the set and says: "Jim, I know you just put Bob's friend into the movie – and I don't expect any favors – but I do know this other guy who has a bunch of movie money and you should see his new girlfriend." Wink wink.
So it goes like this until finally the entire cast is peppered with incompetent, wanna-be actors and THEN they want to give their advice on the actual screenplay and then the directing and then the editing. This is how it goes; ask any independent filmmaker. Then the movie turns out to be a piece of crap and no one wants to invest in any of your future films. So I would rather just work with the studios. If they like your screenplay they will just hand you a check for $3 million and say, "Go away; we would like to turn your movie into a piece of crap all by ourselves." But in this scenario you at least get paid upfront and you don't have to hassle with any prima donna and rabid-dog investors.
Daily Bell: What's next for you? Expand on your next venture.
James Jaeger: I have no idea what my next movie will be. I would like to do a number of subjects, but what does it matter what I want? I am still waiting for a studio to make a decision on ECOSPHERES and we are still pitching the TESLA project. My latest tactic for TESLA may be to hire a name-casting director to get me lined up with an A-list star. With an A-list star attached to the picture, and a decent screenplay (which we have), I should be able to get the project set up at one of the studios. The casting director will probably cost at least $20 thousand for an hour of their time but I can get that money by pre-selling the theatrical rights for TESLA to a distributor in Serbia. If Serbia's population is 10,000,000 people and Nikola Tesla is their national hero, one would think that at least 25% of the population will want to see a feature called TESLA. Thus, 25% of 10 million people is 2.5 million people x $12 per ticket = $30 million. I would think distributors who stand to earn $30 million in exchange for putting up a casting-director fee of $20,000 would be all over the place. But we'll see.
Daily Bell: Any final thoughts? Recommendations?
James Jaeger: I hope everyone watches MOLON LABE – How the Second Amendment Guarantees America's Freedom. The Daily Bell is one of the premiere sites where you can watch the movie online, Thursday, 24 October 2013 between 8PM and midnight EDT, at www.TheDailyBell.com/premiere. In the interim, you can watch the trailer at www.molon.us/premiere, pre-order DVDs and donate. Yes, again, the donation window is open and we are still offering producer and production assistant-type screen credits on the show. The donation proceeds will be used for an initial marketing campaign to reach other than the "choir."
MOLON LABE was infinitely a group effort, and really, my part was quite finite. This movie would not have been possible without Edwin Vieira's fastidious research, book and support. He is one of the producers along with Henrietta M. Jaeger (my 87-year old mother, who is an author, patriot and the Fmr. President of the National Society of Colonial Dames 17th Century). Elias Alias of Oath Keepers and Diana Zoppa of Zoppa Media Group and Carol Snyder of Matrix Entertainment were my key associate producers who were invaluable on the day-to-day work, as were our executive producers, Jeff Deist, Brian Rockey and Richard Iott. Jeff, who was Ron Paul's Chief of Staff, was the first to believe in the project and attach Ron Paul. This greatly accelerated the project. And Brian Rockey put up early donations that lit the rocket, whereafter our senior executive producer – the quality Hollywood producer, Richard B. Iott (of BEAUTIFUL BOY and CARJACKED fame) generously came on board to help blast the rocket hopefully into every America's orbit. Thank you all. And thank you, Oath Keepers and The Liberty Fellowship, founded by Stewart Rhodes and Pastor Chuck Baldwin respectively.
Daily Bell: Thank you.
James Jaeger: You are welcome. Thank you for the opportunity.
This movie certainly sounds like another in a series of informed and serious perspectives on the US, its unraveling and potential renewal. Producer/director James Jaeger has done some splendid work over the past few years and when people in the future try to figure out what happened to the US, and how it drifted so far from its moorings, we're sure his movies will provide an invaluable window into the past.
What's somewhat surprising is the hectic pace that Mr. Jaeger has been able to keep in terms of releasing one movie after another utilizing what surely has to be seen as a small and part-time staff. This is partly due, however, to emergent technology that Jaeger himself is well aware of. It's changing the way movies are being made and allowing people like Jaeger to reach, potentially, a huge viewing audience with little direct cost. No more is Hollywood the only gatekeeper.
As far as the move itself is concerned, well, we were very glad to return to Dr. Vieira's subject matter because of the controversy he caused the last time we interviewed him. Jaeger explains the nub of the Dr. Vieira's controversial findings very well, though no doubt the movie itself fleshes out these issues in what one hopes is a definitive way.
Dr. Vieira's findings do sound substantive and seem to make points that have not been popularized in the recent past. It is the Constitution itself that gives US citizens not just a right but a duty to defend themselves and their country. The current paradigm that utilizes the power of the federal purse to create armed agents of all sorts at a national and even local level is perhaps a misreading of Constitutional intentions.
But then again, so much changed after the Civil War that we are not surprised. On the other hand, this is the reality of what we call the Internet Reformation. That someone like Dr. Vieira can write a substantive work of scholarship that may have an indirect or even direct impact on the debate that US citizens are having in numerous areas.
The things that Vieira and Jaeger talk about really cannot be hidden anymore. And thus, after a while the choice becomes one of lawlessness versus a return to a just and civil society. Every week, every month, every year, this choice becomes starker as people discover more and more about their history and its manipulations.
Ultimately, those who govern need the consent of the governed, and also need to put in place substantive, even mythic, narratives that justify a given social structure. In the US, and throughout the West, in fact, people are becoming less willing to give their assent to the societies they've grown up in. And they are becoming less willing to trust the narratives they've learned about as children and even young adults.
This is a big challenge for an entrenched elite, and one reason as we pointed out in a recent article that the larger Tea Party "movement" (not the political one) isn't going to simply subside and vanish. It's being driven by powerful trends.