Slightly Controversial

 Posted by at 12:51 pm
Sep 302014
 

Washington’s Blog writes about a “reporter” who clears his stories with the CIA.

James Bovard comments on the Afghan election thief who promises to be accountable.

Hans-Hermann Hoppe has a thing or two to say about libertarian leftists.

Tony Cartalucci says the U.S. government openly approves the Hong Kong chaos it created.

Gary Galles has some things to say about government regulation vs. voluntary markets.

And Jon Rappoport asks, Are vaccines really that safe?

Sep 292014
 

Murray Rothbard asks, Is the U.K. a “Nation by Consent”?

Michael Rozeff asks, Where’s the warming in Portland, Maine?

The Daily Bell interviews Wendy McElroy on the aftermath of the Galt’s Gulch Chile firestorm.

Glenn Greenwald discusses the fake terror threat to justify bombing Syria.

And, regarding that fake terror threat, Justin Raimondo says they’re just making up stuff. (When are government bureaucrats not making up stuff?)

Sep 272014
 

The FBI director James Comey is concerned that the new Apple and Google phones are too secure, so secure that they may actually make customers “beyond the law.” He says that such security measures will make it difficult for police and FBI goons to access people’s private data. Noooo. Really? But Comey says that a phone user trying to protect one’s security and private data is “beyond the law,” like the user is trying to hide evidence of criminality from the law by using a product with such advanced security measures.

Well, call me crazy, but supposedly We the People have this thing called a “right to be secure” — it actually says so in that little document that Comey allegedly swore an oath to obey! And what the hell is in his job description and the jobs of all those others of his government ilk anyway? “Security”? All you have to do is read the many articles by Glenn Greenwald regarding the Snowden documents, and by Will Grigg and John W. Whitehead and you can see quite clearly that the biggest threats to our privacy and security are those very government bureaucrats and their enforcers, whether Comey understands that or not. Perhaps we should be calling him “J. Edgar Comey” from now on?

Obomber Strikes Again

 Posted by at 7:46 am
Sep 242014
 

I wrote this on LewRockwell.com in April 2011 in response to Obama’s then-criminal war in Libya, and I believe this applies to the current situation with Obama bombing Syria. (Barack Obomber, that is.)

The Planned Chaos of National Security Socialism: Time to Give the Central Planners a Dishonorable Discharge

April 15, 2011

With Peace Prize Laureate Barack Obama’s new war of Orwellian peaceful violence in Libya, this is yet another reminder of why socialism and central planning in security is a bad idea. The conservatives who are the most outspoken opponents of “socialism” are the true socialists: It is they who cherish national security socialism, the public or State ownership of the means of production in national security, a central-planning monopoly in territorial protection.

Americans and foreign peoples have suffered time and again because of the moral hazard of any form of socialism, from what Ludwig von Mises would call socialism’s “planned chaos,” in this case the planned chaos of socialized national security. The State’s inherently immoral and counter-productive scheme of usurping a people’s right of self-defense has allowed the State to be responsible for the most egregious crimes against humanity, especially in the American “Civil War,” in two World Wars, in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and other parts of the world.

And now Libya. Some are already predicting that Obama’s war in Libya will backfire, with a possible Gaddafi revenge attack similar to the Lockerbie bombing in 1988. Given that socialists and central planners tend to not learn from history, this Obama Libya war looks like another textbook study of planned chaos, similar to George W. Bush’s Iraq.

Former President Bush’s planned chaos in Iraq had effected in the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, widespread destruction of the country, and the establishment of a repressive, pro-Iranian Islamic Sharia Law in Iraq.

Even further than merely a Gaddafi revenge attack against the U.S., Obama may possibly be arming Libyan rebels including members of al Qaeda, a stated enemy of the United States especially since 9/11.

And Syria and Mexico may be next on the list for the inept security socialists.

One only needs to step back and view the history of America’s security blunders in a broad sense. For example, if America did not have a centralized national security monopoly in Washington, and instead allowed open competition in the field of security and required that all individuals follow the rule of law, would President Wilson have risked entering the U.S. into World War I, especially knowing that the War was already ending with treaties already in the works? Would President Lincoln have waged war against the Southern States, targeted thousands of innocent civilians and destroyed entire cities, had there been actual legal and market-based financial consequences applied to Lincoln for such aggressions?

Government bureaucrats, holding a monopoly in territorial protection and lacking incentives to improve performance, do not tend to pay attention to past mistakes and are not held accountable for their transgressions.

Some further questions to ask include these: Would the U.S. government’s agents of the Pentagon or CIA have deliberately radicalized Muslims in Afghanistan during Afghanistan’s 1980s war with Russia, had the U.S. government actually paid attention to the consequences of its CIA-led coup in Iran in 1953? Those consequences were the decades of Iranian anti-Americanism, the 1979 Iranian Islamic Revolution and the taking of American hostages in Iran.

Also, would the U.S. government have initiated wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq in the early 2000s had its monopolists learned from the consequences, throughout the 1990s, of their first war in Iraq of 1991?

Why do the Washington security monopolists repeatedly make Americans less safe with schemes of intrusions and provocations abroad? One possible explanation is the inherently flawed nature of any central planning monopoly.

The comparison of government provision of national security to a hypothetical private security provision may sound absurd to some people. However, it is necessary to point out that, instead of being an economically sound system, the current government monopoly is a political system, in which congressmen and senators’ reelection campaigns (and campaign finances and contributions) are a part of the equation, along with the federal government’s uncoordinated defense bureaucracy and the politically-connected private-sector military contractors.

The current centralized national security monopoly is without competition and profit/loss motives to genuinely provide the most efficient, high quality service at the lowest cost to the consumers. Under the current socialism, the real motive turns into a “breaking windows” scheme to justify an ever-increasing bureaucracy combined with its corporatist colluders.

To illustrate those points, one can study economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s comparison of America’s democratic public ownership of a centralized government to the monarchies of the past. Unlike a monarchy in which the king owns the country’s territory and has a long-term interest in its capital value, in democracies the rulers are “temporary caretakers”:

(The) temporary and interchangeable democratic caretaker does not own the country, but as long as he is in office he is permitted to use it to his advantage. He owns its current use but not its capital stock. This does not eliminate exploitation. Instead, it makes exploitation shortsighted (present-oriented) and uncalculated, i.e., carried out without regard for the value of the capital stock.

Hoppe further notes:

…a private government owner (a monarch) will want to avoid exploiting his subjects so heavily, for instance, as to reduce his future earnings potential to such an extent that the present value of his estate actually falls. Instead, in order to preserve or possibly even enhance the value of his personal property, he will systematically restrain himself in his exploitation policies….. In distinct contrast…. public government ownership will result in continual capital consumption. Instead of maintaining or even enhancing the value of the government estate, as a private owner would tend to do, a government’s temporary caretaker will quickly use up as much of the government resources as possible….

The system of government monopolies, funded largely by coercive taxation and a central bank’s creation of money without genuine value, inherently encourages the irresponsibility of deficit-spending and public debt. The scheme also does not impose punishments for the temporary caretakers’ domestic or foreign aggressions with their misuse of governmental apparatus.

In economic terms, because of government bureaucrats’ lack of competitive incentives and profit/loss motive, government’s central planners cannot take individual market factors into account, making economic calculations impossible. Government monopolists engage in political calculations rather than economic ones. And government’s central planners seem as incapable of understanding the morals and ethics of civil liberties and property rights in foreign relations as they do in domestic policy. Hence, the “planned chaos” and blowback of each and every fiasco of the U.S. government’s national security socialism scheme.

Because of this socialist government monopoly in territorial security and armed force, the bureaucrats act more in their own political self-interests and have tended to act more aggressively, because there are no punishments of their aggressions and short-sightedness. In contrast, there would be punishments, economic and legal, applied to private industries who engage in acts of fraud or deceit (e.g. going to war based on lies, fabricated information and propaganda), trespass on the property of others (e.g. placing military bases and stationing troops on other countries’ territories despite the objections of those territories’ populations), or cause deaths of civilians and destruction of property.

Last year’s Washington Post series, Top Secret America (Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4) on this scheme informed Americans about how the current national security socialism has turned into a tax-redistributive racket. (And it did so by the turn of the 20th Century, no less.) As more private industries became connected with the State, their profiting from other Americans’ labor and productivity via the redistributive apparatus of taxation has replaced the principles of private property rights, economic freedom and the rule of law. The U.S. government’s provocations abroad have become justifications for the continued expansion of the parasitic military-industrial-complex.

And in the past several decades especially, Washington’s “security experts” have repeatedly demonstrated that their schemes have more to do with the expansion of the State than with the protection of 300 million Americans. The central planners have turned to extremes – such as, in their TSA, their PATRIOT Act and other policies that have grossly damaged individuals’ rights to due process and presumption of innocence – rather than face the truth that it is the U.S. government’s intrusive and violent foreign policy that has provoked terrorism against the U.S.

The apparatus of the State’s socialization and monopoly of territorial protection has provided a structure of power over others. Unfortunately, that power seems to attract those with less moral character but with more desire for that power, and with a lack of inhibition to exercise that power. The system has encouraged the agents of the State to become increasingly aggressive in their use of governmental apparatus to wield that power, as they have zealously seized on opportunities to expand the size and power of the State especially through their demagogic manipulations of the public’s fears and anxieties. Private security firms could not do that, for they must act under the rule of law.

For example, in 1990, former President George H.W. Bush used the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait as a means to further expand the U.S. government’s military and other government apparatus in the Middle East. There were also questionable corporate special interests, such as Henry Kissinger’s Kuwait connection, involved in Bush’s 1991 Persian Gulf War against Iraq, a country that was of no threat to the U.S. The propaganda campaign that was used to persuade the American people to support the war was extensive. 12 Years later, Bush’s son George W. Bush also employed a major propaganda campaign to convince the American people to start another war against Iraq.

Governments, with a monopoly over territorial security, have also employed false flag operations as a means of manipulating the fears and anxieties of their countries’ inhabitants, for the purpose of further expanding their State apparatus and power.

Even now, with President Obama’s continuation and expansion of the Bush wars overseas, the U.S. military bureaucrats have become even more zealous in their attempts to justify further expansions of the U.S. government abroad, despite their constant failures and ineptitude. Now, they have been illegally employing the use of psy-ops, or “psychological operations,” on U.S. senators to get congressional support to increase troops and funding for the failing wars.

Psy-ops are generally used on foreign government agents or diplomats to influence their emotions and decisions to become favorable to one’s own ends. Psy-ops are often used on the enemy during times of war; given that the senators being targeted in those operations represent the American people, it gives the appearance that the U.S. government perceives Americans as the enemy. This is usually what happens when a government – through its monopolistic power – grows in its size and power, and its existence becomes more self-serving.

The zeal of U.S. government officials has been exposed now in broad daylight, in their treatment of PFC Bradley Manning, the Army soldier accused of leaking thousands of classified documents exposing alleged U.S. war crimes and U.S. diplomatic incompetence and buffoonery. None of the leaks are said to have posed a threat to any U.S. soldier overseas or to Americans in the U.S. The military has been holding Manning for months in isolation, employing extreme psychological distress, as well as forced prolonged nudity. As I have mentioned, only sick degenerates would treat another human being that way. The officials are really using Manning as an example, a means of threatening others who may consider heroic whistleblowing acts.

Throughout the past century we have seen one example after another, one senseless war after another, millions of deaths and ruined lives, of how the socialist monopoly of national security and its planned chaos have gone against our security, as well as against our freedom and prosperity.

In 19th Century economist Gustave de Molinari’s comparison of government-monopolized security and the private production of security, Molinari noted,

Under the rule of free competition, war between the producers of security entirely loses its justification. Why would they make war? To conquer consumers? But the consumers would not allow themselves to be conquered. They would be careful not to allow themselves to be protected by men who would unscrupulously attack the persons and property of their rivals.

If private security firms used their armaments, coercion against others and deceit for the purpose of acting aggressively against neighbors or foreigners (for reasons other than “defense” of their clients or fellow territorial inhabitants), that would land them in jail. In fact, because of the invasiveness, enslavements and trespasses inherent in all forms of socialism – not just national security socialism – there logically could not be actual rule of law. Can anyone seriously claim that the U.S. government has been acting under the rule of law?

In fact, we have seen, time and again, how the central planning monopolists of the State are continuously rewarded for their failures, and for their crimes as well.

There need to be legal and competitive incentives to ensure the efficiency and productivity of any service to others. Why? Because of human nature. There need to be market-oriented punishments for failure to achieve, such as bankruptcy and termination of employment or contracts. And there need to be legal punishments applied to those who criminally misuse armed forces. Otherwise, if failures and crimes are allowed to continue without punishments, that is ipso-facto rewarding those failures and crimes, a consequence inherent in a compulsory monopoly in which the citizenry are forced to patronize the one provider of a service – in this case, that of territorial protection, or national security.

For further information on the private alternative to national security socialism, please read No More Military Socialism by Murray Rothbard, Foreign Aggression by Morris and Linda Tannehill, The Private Production of Defense (pdf) by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, The Myth of National Defense (pdf) also by Hoppe, and The Myth of Efficient Government Service by Rothbard.

But for those who are still skeptical of the notion of privatization of security, and who are not as concerned as I am regarding the growing intrusiveness of the State and its hired guns into our lives and liberty, perhaps an acceptable alternative could be decentralization. Eliminate the U.S. federal government’s centralized monopoly in territorial security and allow each U.S. state to control its own self-protection. Doing so would reduce the possibility that any one state would aggress against others, or against foreigners, for such aggressions would be met with harsh punishments from surrounding states. Additionally, with renewed independence and sovereignty, each state’s inhabitants would be better able to “vote with their feet,” which, given the one monopolistic choice we currently have with Washington, most Americans are not able to do.

Finally, there are those who are concerned that without a centralized National Security monopoly in Washington, that it would be easier for foreign governments to invade the U.S. But those are unfounded fears. If, for example, China were to invade the U.S. with the goal of occupying and taking over America, a likely scenario given how indebted the U.S. is to China and increasingly less likely to pay what is owed, most Americans would readily take up arms to protect themselves, their families and their properties. This situation, however, can be easily avoided by ending the Federal Reserve’s compulsory monopoly in the production of money and allowing for competing currencies, and outlawing Congressional deficit-spending and public debts.

 

Sep 232014
 

I am very surprised that the usually suspicious-of-government-assertions Alex Jones is being taken in by this Ebola panic hysteria going on now as pushed by the CDC and its corporate vaccine merchants. On Infowars today is this article by Dave Hodges, who begins the article with a call for not just the U.S. government to do something, but the military of all things! The article cries, “the government should be deploying the military at all border entry points and in airports for the purpose of establishing quarantine zones for passengers suspected of exposure to the Ebola virus.” Are you serious? So, some old lady sneezes and we should get military soldiers after her? And these Infowars people are usually the ones who criticize government overkill, militarization and overreaction.

In fact, Jon Rappoport has another post on this Ebola panic, and he brings up the “swine flu” panic of 2009. Remember that? Rappoport recounts that then-CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson exposed the CDC’s hysterically fraudulent claims of an H1N1 flu epidemic, in which actual test results of those suspected of having the H1N1 virus showed that most of the results were negative for the virus. But at that time, the CDC still pushed the then-untested “swine flu” vaccine!

In a previous post on the current Ebola outbreak, Rappoport notes that the conditions in Africa are those which cause vulnerability in many people’s immune systems, and it should be no surprise that they can get sick more easily than others living in better conditions.

Remember this: when people are drinking contaminated water (sometimes pumped directly from sewage into the drinking supply), when they are profoundly deficient in all vitamins and minerals, when they are starving, when they are subjected to very toxic chemicals spewed from industrial factories, when they are living far, far below the poverty line, when they are driven from their homes and even their countries during war, the “symptoms” these people present are going to be quite horrific and shocking and strange and unpredictable.

Of course many people will have more illness in those parts of Africa than those in more developed countries. And Rappoprt makes a comparison:

Take 100 people from Scarsdale or Beverly Hills, who are living very comfortable lives, and fly them to some distant location, put them all in a six-room apartment with rats and lice, feed them a tiny portion of rice and melon every day, give them water to drink that’s polluted with industrial waste and human waste . . .

Test them all for the presence of germs, and you’ll find as many viruses and bacteria as you want to.

And in another earlier post Rappoport explains why some health care workers have become ill with Ebola. They had been “boiling hot” in these hazmat suits, losing a lot of sweat and dehydrating themselves, and on top of that having to go through decontamination treatments including the use of chlorine, and he quotes one doctor who stated that the smell of the chlorine while he was wearing the hazmat suit was “intense.”

“But of course,” Jon Rappoport writes, “this has absolutely nothing to do with why you might fall ill. No. If you fall ill, or collapse, or suddenly die, it’s Ebola.”

I’m sure that some nice U.S. Big Pharma vaccine maker will get rich from the latest panic.

But it’s a surprise to see some of the panic and calls for more militarization and “quarantining” people “suspected” of having the Ebola virus coming from Infowars, of all places.

Sep 212014
 

Ron Paul discusses various matters regarding liberty here with Tom Woods. They discuss liberty advocates’ critics who are on the defensive, which is because the establishment pols and their minions in the media are really afraid to hear anyone with a non-statist point of view. They also mention the evaporating of the anti-interventionists in Congress.

Secession Is a Right

 Posted by at 1:17 pm
Sep 192014
 

I am sorry about all the reruns lately. But regarding the vote in Scotland to not secede from U.K. rule, I wrote this article on secession in 2010. I know, some prefer “unalienable,” rather than “inalienable,” but really they mean the same thing. This article originally appeared on LewRockwell.com.

The Inalienable Right to Secede

February 1, 2010

During the time of President Obama’s State of the Union address, it was noted that HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan was Obama’s “Designated Survivor.” This is a perfect example of how a government-monopolized defense system is actually a threat to the security of all Americans. If a catastrophe occurs in Washington, panic and vulnerability would spread across America, a result of an entire population compelled by force to be dependent on a centralized authority for their protection. Another catastrophe is the economic one that Americans have been suffering, due to the federal government’s monopoly in the production and distribution of money, thanks to President Abraham Lincoln and his War on Independence.

Within the inalienable rights to life and liberty, as recognized in the Declaration of Independence, is the right to independence. People have a right not to be compelled to be dependent on the federal government’s monopoly of territorial protection and jurisdiction. If people within a particular territory have a right of independence and a right of self-determination, then they have a right to secede from the federal “union.” This is reinforced by the Declaration of Independence, which states that “it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” And Thomas Jefferson later noted, “…If any state in the Union will declare that it prefers separation….to a continuance in the union….I have no hesitation in saying, ‘let us separate’…”

While some say there is no such constitutional right to secede or nullify federal law, and others argue that the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the US Constitution protect such states’ and individuals’ rights, there is a higher law that takes precedence over Constitutional law, namely Natural Law, which governs our natural, inherent rights as human beings, as noted in the Declaration of Independence.

Further, given that the US Constitution is a “contract,” its terms are legally binding to all who reside within the US territories whether or not they voluntarily consented to participate in such a contract. 19th-century entrepreneur Lysander Spooner observed that the Constitution’s contractual obligations are to those who signed such a document, and applied to the people living at the time, and cannot possibly apply to people living in future generations. And, Spooner notes,

…. only a small portion even of the people then existing were consulted on the subject, or asked, or permitted to express either their consent or dissent in any formal manner. Those persons, if any, who did give their consent formally, are all dead now…. It is not only plainly impossible…. that they Could bind their posterity, but they did not even attempt to bind them…. the language neither expresses nor implies that they had any right or power, to bind their “posterity” to live under it. It does not say that their “posterity” will, shall, or must live under it. It only says, in effect, that their hopes and motives in adopting it were that it might prove useful to their posterity….

The mid-19th-century war waged by President Abraham Lincoln against the peacefully seceding Southern States was an important time. However, it is necessary to rectify the myths associated with that war, such as Lincoln’s purpose being to “end slavery.” In fact, an important motivation behind the Southern States’ peaceful secession was Lincoln’s tariffs against the South that protected Northern industries, and Lincoln’s main concerns were not freeing slaves, but his protectionist tariffs and, more importantly, to force the Southern States back into the “union.” Further, Lincoln expanded the government’s monopolies upon which all Americans were compelled to be dependent, such as replacing hard money with fiat paper money, something against which Thomas Jefferson and others had warned, and driving a stake into the heart of banking competition.

Much of America’s current economic slavery and depression are tied to Lincoln’s actions. To Lincoln, expanding the size and power of the federal government and further handcuffing the masses was worth the clinging US government’s campaign of violence and barbarism against civilians that contradicted internationally recognized mores. While the Founding Fathers were forced to use war to secede from tyrannical British rule, Lincoln used war for the opposite purpose.

Besides his oppressive use of taxation, Lincoln’s other economic achievement–and it’s also not a good one–initiated the monetary bondage of the citizens by the federal government, violating the people’s right of free exchange and trade, which includes the right to choose one’s means of exchange that isn’t monopolistically produced and distributed by the government. Not only should Americans secede from the federal government, but they should secede from invasive, dictatorial federal monetary policy. (US Rep. Ron Paul’s bill to repeal the legal tender laws and allow for competing currencies begins to correct this.)

Economist Murray Rothbard is quite blunt about the true nature of taxation and the government’s constitutionally assigned compulsory territorial monopoly:

Taxation is theft, purely and simply….and is therefore indistinguishable from theft, it follows that the State, which subsists on taxation, is a vast criminal organization far more formidable and successful than any “private” Mafia in history…. (the State) prohibits the free competition of defense and decision-making agencies within a given territorial area – prohibiting the voluntary purchase and sale of defense and judicial services… the State is an inherently illegitimate institution of organized aggression, of organized and regularized crime against the persons and properties of its subjects. Rather than necessary to society, it is a profoundly antisocial institution which lives parasitically off of the productive activities of private citizens…

Within our inalienable rights to life and liberty is the God-given right of self-defense. However, a centralized federal government which monopolizes territorial defense is a violation of the peoples’ right of self-defense. People have a right of self-defense and a right to not be held in bondage by the state for their protection or for any reason.

Besides the states seceding and providing their own defenses, another alternative is a privatized, free market in defense that would allow competition among defense agencies, especially in the context of totally repealed weapons laws. The quality and efficiency in defense services would go up and the price would come down, as in any endeavor in any free, civilized society. For example, after 9/11, the people of Manhattan or indeed the owners of the World Trade Center would exercise their right to contract private agencies and private warriors to investigate, retaliate against and eliminate Al Qaeda at its roots, including involving specialized risks in foreign territories. Assuming there would be no invasive, dictatorial US governmental restrictions interfering with such efforts, the private contractors would probably have done the job more quickly and efficiently than the government, which not only still hasn’t done the job, but has only made things worse. Had the government been a private agency, its contract would have been terminated years ago, and many of its authorities would now be in jail.

As economist Gustave de Molinari noted,

…(the consumers of competitive protection agencies) “would be careful not to allow themselves to be protected by men who would unscrupulously attack the persons and property of their rivals…. Just as war is the natural consequence of monopoly, peace is the natural consequence of liberty.”

The nation states of the Soviet Union learned their lesson, that central planning and government monopolies violate individual rights and cause dysfunction, economic stagnation and corruption. Either the US states ought to secede from the federal government’s control, or we ought to consider eliminating the federal government altogether and let the people have their freedom and independence. It is the people’s inalienable right to secede, just as it was the Founders’ inalienable right to secede from British rule.

Copyright © 2010 by LewRockwell.com

Sep 172014
 

William Grigg says to call the anti-police and end the State’s “security” monopoly.

Nick Giambruno writes about property taxes vs. property rights.

David D’Amato writes about the vampire of practical politics.

Flex Your Rights discusses search and seizure in government schools.

Laurence Vance says, legalize heroin.

James Bovard says that AmeriCorps is a wasteful flop.

Sheldon Richman on ownership and ideas.

Robert Wenzel writes about governments and killing.

Jacob Hornberger discusses perpetual fear under empire.

Donald Miller, MD on World War Redux and the Fourth Turning.

Gary North says that American conservatism is Keynesian to the core.

George Leef says it’s time for civil asset forfeiture laws to meet the same fate as Jim Crow.

And Bryan Caplan is interviewed on open borders.