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Month: April 2010

Hoping For the Miracle of Ending Taxation and Destructive Government Intrusions

What would happen if Congress cut the income tax and capital gains tax across the board, and made those cuts permanent? People would have more of their own money to spend, save, invest, start businesses, invest in businesses, and more. For example, just one national corporation could expand and create new jobs, putting thousands of people back to work, better able to provide for their families and afford to live in better homes in better neighborhoods. Tax cuts not only “benefit the rich,” as our leftist commie friends like to fantasize, but they benefit the lower classes and middle classes as well. Tax cuts benefit everyone. Cutting taxes creates prosperity — economic booms — regardless of the propaganda dished out by those who love having the State loot the wealth of others.

So, if cutting taxes increases prosperity, then why not just end the income tax and capital gains tax completely (and property taxes as well!)? As 1996 and 2000 Libertarian presidential candidate Harry Browne has written, in ending the income tax,

There will be a similar increase in take-home pay for everyone you do business with — your customers or your employer — meaning that people will have more money to spend on what you have to offer.

A similar increase in take-home pay will occur throughout America, unleashing the biggest boost in prosperity that America has ever seen. There will be a job for everyone who can work and charity for everyone who can’t.

Your life will be your own again: an end to government snooping into your finances, an end to keeping books for the IRS, an end to fear of an audit, an end to rearranging your financial life to minimize your tax burden.

There are some people out there — and they know who they are — who have been proposing several alternatives to the income tax, such as the value added tax (VAT), the “Fair Tax” (national consumption tax), and other alternatives. LRC recently posted this article (from 1972) by Murray Rothbard, The Value-Added Tax Is Not the Answer, and Rothbard noted that the VAT is a “regressive” tax, hitting lower income Americans certainly more than the higher income ones. Rothbard exposes the VAT for what it really is:

It allows the government to extract many more funds from the public – to bring about higher prices, lower production, and lower incomes – and yet totally escape the blame, which can easily be loaded on business, unions, or the consumer as the particular administration sees fit.

The VAT is, in short, a looming gigantic swindle upon the American public, and it is therefore vitally important that it not pass. For if it does, the encroaching menace of Big Government will get another, and prolonged, lease on life…..

We have seen just how destructive governments are to the lives of those over whom government — the State — has such monopolistic and compulsory power. It is especially the U.S. federal government that has wrecked the lives of so many millions of Americans, and millions of lives overseas. These taxes that are forced on everyone are enablers. Americans must withdraw the means by which the government has been enabled to cause so much destruction, stress and anguish of so many people. Americans are starting to wake up and see how the government has turned them into slaves. As Jacob Hornberger noted a few weeks ago,

Prior to the enactment of the income tax, the relationship between the citizen and the government was one of master and servant. The citizen, who was free to accumulate unlimited amounts of wealth, was sovereign because there was nothing the government could do to interfere with that process. The government was the servant.

The nature of that relationship fundamentally changed in 1913. With the enactment of the income tax, the citizen became the servant and the federal government becoming his master.

Once we have regressive, destructive taxes such as the income and capital gains taxes, we automatically become a socialist society: wealth taken by force from the citizens and redistributed to politicians, bureaucrats and other professional parasites. By its very nature of compulsion and monopoly, government can’t run any kind of service, such as the services government purportedly has been running this past century, including national defense, social security and medicare. As Rothbard noted in his The Myth of Efficient Government Service,

….Since there is no pricing, and therefore no exclusion of submarginal uses, there is no way that government, even if it wanted to, could allocate its services to the most important uses and to the most eager buyers. All buyers, all uses, are artificially kept on the same plane. As a result, the most important uses will be slighted, and the government is faced with insuperable allocation problems, which it cannot solve even to its own satisfaction…..

…Proponents of government enterprise may retort that the government could simply tell its bureau to act as if it were a profit-making enterprise and to establish itself in the same way as a private business. There are two flaws in this theory. First, it is impossible to play enterprise. Enterprise means risking one’s own money in investment. Bureaucratic managers and politicians have no real incentive to develop entrepreneurial skill, to really adjust to consumer demands. They do not risk loss of their money in the enterprise. Secondly, aside from the question of incentives, even the most eager managers could not function as a business. Regardless of the treatment accorded the operation after it is established, the initial launching of the firm is made with government money, and therefore by coercive levy. An arbitrary element has been “built into” the very vitals of the enterprise. Further, any future expenditures may be made out of tax funds, and therefore the decisions of the managers will be subject to the same flaw. The ease of obtaining money will inherently distort the operations of the government enterprise…..

…. As we have seen, a government enterprise competing in an industry can usually drive out private owners, since the government can subsidize itself in many ways and supply itself with unlimited funds when desired. Thus, it has little incentive to be efficient. In cases where it cannot compete even under these conditions, it can arrogate to itself a compulsory monopoly, driving out competitors by force. This was done in the United States in the case of the post office. When the government thus grants itself a monopoly, it may go to the other extreme from free service: it may charge a monopoly price. Charging a monopoly price — identifiably different from a free-market price — distorts resources again and creates an artificial scarcity of the particular good. It also permits an enormously lowered quality of service. A governmental monopoly need not worry that customers may go elsewhere or that inefficiency may mean its demise…..

…. A further reason for governmental inefficiency has been touched on already: that the personnel have no incentive to be efficient. In fact, the skills they will develop will not be the economic skills of production, but political skills — how to fawn on political superiors, how demagogically to attract the electorate, how to wield force most effectively. These skills are very different from the productive ones, and therefore different people will rise to the top in the government from those who succeed in the market….

We know that cutting, or better, eliminating the taxes and other intrusions and restrictions on growth and prosperity, as well as ending those costly, inefficient and destructive government services, would resolve America’s woes and help renew the country’s progress and freedom after a century or more of grief. Unfortunately, the selfish neanderthals and vultures in Congress aren’t willing to let go of their own little fiefdoms and their unearned, undeserved privileges and perks. As Jacob Hornberger wrote in his blog post yesterday,

….There really are some simple solutions to all this. For example, at both the state and federal level drugs could be legalized, which would enable federal, state, and local governments to lay off lots of officials whose jobs revolve around that immoral, idiotic, and destructive war. But needless to say, all too many public officials oppose losing their access to bribes, payoffs, asset forfeitures, and political power that accompany the war on drugs….

…The problem at the federal level is no different. Statists will simply not let go of their favorite welfare-state programs, regulatory programs, and warfare-state programs, even if they are taking our country down….

….It’s the same with respect to the warfare state, which also constitutes a large portion of federal spending. Despite 8 or 9 years of continued occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, Americans are still not willing to let go of their beloved empire and its imperial adventures….

….Dismantling all the welfare-state programs, the regulatory programs, and the warfare-state programs would resolve America’s fiscal problems immediately. Alas, however, the American people are still not prepared to let go of their socialism, interventionism, and imperialism….

I am hoping for a miracle.

Is It Time To Get a Divorce?

Attorney and Constitutional scholar Timothy Baldwin has this article, Plan For Freedom, in which he cites Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner’s asking if America will “break up,” referring to (although not in so many words) whether the country’s federal government is so dysfunctional that it might be time for states to secede from the union, or for the federal government to decentralize and the states become independent sovereign states. Kuhner observes that America has become so bitterly divided, mostly with the left socialist Obommunists taking control over the federal government and seizing much control and freedom away from states and individuals that only totalitarianism is inevitable, and the conservatives and libertarians trying to save their freedom from those fascist monsters (And yes, they ARE monsters, in my opinion, and I’m not afraid to say it!). And the Christian Science Monitor has a piece by libertarian author James Bovard, who asks if Tea Party activists “hate liberals more than they love liberty.” It is the neoconservative wing of the Tea Party activists, not the libertarian, principled Jeffersonians, who are also playing a role in the bitterness. And we sensible, rational, reasonable, open-minded folks find ourselves alone in the middle of a crowd of couples ready for divorce.

Baldwin attempts to clarify what Kuhner means by America “breaking up”:

…by “breakup,” we must determine if this is meant to be a negative or positive action. “Breakup” could mean collapse, destroyed, annihilated, etc., all of which would be construed negatively and thus rejected in theory by the readers. However, “breakup” could also mean independent, separate, sovereign etc., all of which could be construed in a positive fashion and thus accepted in theory by the readers…Thus, the question should be raised, “should the states breakup/secede/separate from the federal government as formed under the U.S. Constitution, and if so, in what manner?”

Baldwin notes that Americans could experience a sense of shock if suddenly caught in a life that isn’t under the control of the federal government under which they have lived all their lives, but at the same time, the American Founders themselves were experiencing similar despotism and tyranny and seceded from British rule. Baldwin asks,

Can the states in America be more proactive in their planning to restore freedom? Or should they wear their Kevlar helmets just waiting for the inevitable collapse and then attempt to “rise from the ashes” during the chaos and God knows what else?

And Baldwin continues:

America’s founding generation believed that a proactive approach to an obviously tyrannous government (despite the existence of the greatest and freest constitution in the world at that time) was necessary to preserve their freedom. They did not wait for the ashes and ruins to fall upon them through the natural consequences of ill-administered government. Instead, they used the tools of hindsight, insight and foresight to calculate the measure of their survival and freedom. In that case, independence was necessary.

A body of people gathered together to govern themselves (i.e. a body-politic/state) have a natural right to preserve, protect, perpetuate and perfect their existence. They are not morally, constitutionally or ethically obligated to severely suffer more than if they had not entered into that particular society or that government in the first place. They have the power to govern themselves according to the principles derived from the very purpose of society and government.

I have noted this before, and I’ll say it again: human beings have a right to not be forced to live in an association to which they did not voluntarily agree, and further, especially if such an association involves abuse (or threats of violation of one’s life and liberty). Americans have a right to sever ties with an oppressive federal Leviathan, and the states have a right to secede. And yes, it is a right to secede, and the Declaration of Independence itself states just that:

when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

As Bovard correctly points out, one of the problems we have within the honorable Tea Party movement is the Big Government war-mongering neoconservatives and Republican Party. Ever since the CPAC meeting in February, it was perfectly clear to me that these are not really conservatives, and it shouldn’t be called a Conservative Political Action Conference. Their main purpose is not to restore liberty to America, or even restore conservative social values to society, but to defeat Democrats, and, yes, I think many in the Tea Party movement really do hate liberals more than they love liberty, as Bovard suggests. Kuhner in his Washington Times article has also taken the Republicans to task (as I have done in the past). Kuhner:

Republicans vow to repeal Obamacare. Their past record, however, leaves many conservatives rightly skeptical. Since FDR’s New Deal, Big-Government liberalism has been on the march – Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Education. The Republican Party has been unable to roll back the tide of statism. In fact, under Richard Nixon and both George Bushes, Great Society Republicans have been complicit in erecting a nanny state.

It is difficult to believe that Republicans and conservatives — or, neoconservatives — really believe in “small government,” when they believe that the U.S. government should be the “world’s policeman,” and they support the futile and unnecessary wars abroad started by the two George Bushes and the subsequent nationbuilding, and support the federal government’s expanded and increasingly intrusive police power over their fellow Americans. Any federal government with jurisdiction and control over a territory of 50 states, spanning several thousand miles, and consisting of a population of over 300 million people, will ipso facto be Big Government. Make that BIG GOVERNMENT!

What real conservatives must do is let go of their long-held dependence on a political party, the members of which continually hijack the ideas of liberty, abuse the rhetoric of conservative values, and use fear-mongering as a means of building up the tyrannical “security state” Leviathan that continues to wreck America as much as the Obommunists’ Obommunism.

The Anti-Federalists really were right. Centralized federal government will always grow, no matter what the Constitution says, especially in a democracy. The federal government has to be dismantled, and the states must regain their independence. The people of the former Soviet Union learned their lesson, and we are learning ours.

“The promise and vision of the U.N.’s founders?” Not America’s founders?

Reactions to My Article on Israel

There was some reaction to my piece on Israel at LewRockwell.com yesterday, although not as much as I thought there would be. A couple emailers referred to my references to “Jewish State,” and “Jewish Homeland.” I responded to one of them by stating that I wasn’t sure whether the posterity of the “general population” of the people of Israel, or “Palestine,” who lived centuries ago had any claim on that territory based on Biblical writings or based on being a member of a particular religious heritage as opposed to based on actual contracts or property holdings, or the actual heirs to specific properties. And I noted, “were that the case, then, here in America, only the American “Native Americans” and specific families’ heirs, for example, have claims to these American territories, and not the Europeans who came here or their heirs.”

And of course I want to clarify that. I’m sure there are some people who may feel insulted by my comparing the Jewish (and Arab) people of Israel to the Europeans who came to America, or what would later become known as “America,” especially in the context of the Europeans who (more or less) “expropriated” the lands in America away from the indigenous “natives” who were here. Here is my clarification of that (and I’m probably going to get in more hot water): I realize that at various times throughout history the territory now known as Israel had been occupied by Jews, Arabs, Persians, Romans, Babylonians and others. People are going to have to face the fact that, the further back in time history is, the more confused and conflicting various sources and artifacts from those earlier periods become. I think that particular geographical area has undergone so many changes in populations over centuries, it’s difficult to assess just who (or which members of which religion, race, ethnicity, etc.) has the most legitimate claim on any of those territories.

I’d been thinking more in the context of the 19th and 20th Century, mostly. So sue me. My earlier comparison is referring to what I mentioned in my article regarding the European Jews fleeing Russia, Poland and Germany State-imposed persecutions, and settling in Israel, turning what was an Arab majority into a Jewish majority there. That was very much via the powers of the “British Mandate.” So what I’m saying is, majority Arab-owned lands were “expropriated” by the British Mandate to provide for Jewish immigrants, a “forced integration,” as Hans Hoppe would call it (although all those wars and conquests and invasions of those territories by various invaders also initiated “forced integrations.”), just as lands in what was then to become America were “expropriated” by the earlier European immigrants from the indigenous “natives” (or “native Americans”). Of course, as I have mentioned, it is difficult to know for sure just which people of which ethnic or racial heritage were more “indigenous” in the Israel-Palestine region in the earliest times of history.

The Biblical roots or claims based on a religious faith are not sufficient, in my opinion, for future generations’ (especially of an entire religious membership or general population, etc.) for property entitlements. That is why the only way out of the dilemma that the people of that region face is for the Israeli government to decentralize and have cities be independent and free of any centralized authoritarian dictates and control (from not just Jerusalem but from Palestinian Authority and Hamas etc.). That includes dissolving State ownership of property and letting the people who live in Gaza (and Jerusalem, etc.) have ownership rights of the properties where they live—as I mentioned, the Gazans’ should have control over their natural resources.

We can compare that situation to the U.S. For example, the people of Montana and North Dakota should claim ownership rights of their lands under which there exists vast amounts of untapped oil reserves. The states should take control over those lands away from the illegitimately existing federal government by “eminent domain,” and use those natural resources that exist within their own territories for their own purposes, to serve their interests or energy needs, or for exporting as a means of income. The enviro-fascists can go jump in a lake.

Note to Israel (and the U.S.) From an Anguished Jewish American: Decentralize

April 21, 2010

Copyright 2010 LewRockwell.com (Link to article)

The issues that cause me anguish have been the continuing conflicts between Israeli Jews and Arabs, the threats of Israel or the U.S. initiating a preemptive strike on Iran or Iran attacking Israel, and the Israeli government’s controversial building of new Jewish housing in East Jerusalem. It is difficult to find objective sources of information on the Arab-Israeli conflicts and the territories, which have been homelands to Jews and Arabs for centuries. Further, accusations of anti-Semitism or of being a “threat to security” have been thrown at anyone who criticizes Israel or exposes corrupt Israeli officials, but I, an anguished Jewish American, attempt to analyze these issues objectively from afar.

In addition to the U.S. government’s expansionist policies abroad, the Israeli State’s ownership of lands and its compulsory and monopolistic control over peoples’ lives has been contributing to the Middle-East’s woes for many years. People become corrupt when they are given the power of State, the power of compulsion over others and a monopoly over territorial protection. The current conflicts occur because territories are governed by the compulsory State apparatus of the Israeli government, although the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are also compulsory territorial monopolists. The idea of an entire nation to be known as a “Jewish State” has been a drawback as well, along with dependence on the State’s central planners as “protectors” of the Jewish people. Centralized governments do nothing but intrude into the lives of populations and provoke hostility. The way to peace for Israel is through decentralization.

Some people fear that the East Jerusalem construction projects will harm the neighborhood’s Arab population and further harm relations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. But who is the government, or the State, to be building homes for people, or decide which people can live in which neighborhoods? If the property in East Jerusalem were privatized, it would then be the owner(s) of the property who would decide what gets built and who lives there.

Private ownership of local property in each specific area gives the people who live there control over their neighborhoods, and control over their own lives, and thus would make them more likely to take responsibility for their lives and less likely to act aggressively against neighboring territories. For example, if the Israeli government didn’t interfere with the Gazans’ and others’ right to use their own natural resources, the Gazans could use the resources to support their daily living, or for exporting as a means of income.

A question that is perhaps taboo is whether there should even be a “Jewish State.” Or an “Islamic State,” or a “Christian State” or any territory devoted to people based on a religion. Some have argued that the Jewish people needed a homeland to protect them from persecution. During the mid-20thCentury, because of U.S. state-imposed immigration quotas (and other reasons), many Jews were prevented from entering the United States, and many fled to Israel as a “Jewish homeland.” American “immigration quotas” were state-imposed policies which violated the rights of Americans to freedom of association and contract, the right of families and property owners to accept Jewish immigrants without the State’s intrusions. Instead, a state-imposed “forced integration” brought many European Jews to Israel in the 1930s and ‘40s, eventually turning what had been an Arab majority into a Jewish majority in Israel.

What many people don’t realize is that persecutions have mainly been committed by States, or by people acting as agents of State. Throughout the later 19thCentury and 20thCentury, Jews had been fleeing Poland, Russia and Germany because of the “Pogroms” of the Russian Empire and from the German- and Nazi-initiated Holocaust.

More recently, former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s forcing Israelis out of Gaza and parts of the West Bank in 2005, the “Disengagement Plan,” disrupted the lives of everyone in that territory, Jews and Arabs. It was no different from an “Apartheid Plan.” The state has no such moral authority, and has no moral claim on any land, just as it has no moral authority over any one individual’s life, and the State has no more right or moral authority to engage in “occupation” of certain territories than do private individuals have to trespass on others’ lands. But we should not blame the actions of the Israeli government on the Israeli people, who are not responsible for the actions of their government just as the Palestinian people are not responsible for the violent actions of Hamas.

My Grandma Sylvia was lucky enough to leave Warsaw, Poland in 1912 at age 6 with her family, settling in a very welcoming and much freer New York City. Unfortunately, New York City is no longer that welcoming nor free, as the politicians’ taxaholism and regulatory nightmares have driven many people and businesses out of the city. Mayor Bloomberg reflects the mentality of politicians here and abroad for whom short-term fixes of confiscatory taxation and centralized bureaucratic and police control of the population is the way to solve problems. Centralized government is the real problem in New York, which needs to decentralize into separate, independent cities of Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, etc. Likewise, Israel’s centralized government has defeated the purpose of allowing Jews to have a “safe haven,” as the government’s oppressive policies not only restrict Israelis’ freedom of commerce, freedom of the press, freedom of movement and the right not to be forced to serve the state, but have also provoked Arab discontent and violence against the Israelis.

Rather than having a “Jewish State,” how about having a “free state,” or better, a “free country” of Israel (and the United States)? Follow Switzerland’s example, where much of the “public’s business” is handled at the local (as opposed to federal) level. Hans-Hermann Hoppe has written about the idea of decentralization of nation-states into many independent free cities, particularly in his book Democracy: The God That Failed, and his many articles at LewRockwell.com and The Mises Institute. In The Rise and Fall of the City, Hoppe goes even further than promoting the independence of individual cities, but individual households as well:

Households must be declared extraterritorial territory, like foreign embassies. Free association and spatial exclusion must be recognized as not bad but good things that facilitate peaceful cooperation between different ethnic and racial groups.

Such a change of decentralization, in addition to privatization and capitalization, is exactly what Israel needs, setting an example for the people of Iran, Iraq, and other countries (and the U.S.) to follow.

Decentralization also reduces the possibility that Israel could initiate a war with Iran. I am also anguished by the Big Government neoconservatives, whose suggestions of bombing Iran have been based on false propaganda. Short-term, present-oriented thinking is a common trait of the American neoconservatives, who have been supporting the U.S. government’s expansion into foreign lands to force transitions from theocracy to democracy among the Islamic states as though that will in some way protect Israel, despite many years of history to the contrary.

Unfortunately, the neoconservatives have a blind religious faith in the power and effectiveness of the State. In clinging to military industrial complex socialism and bureaucracy, the neocons support the U.S. government’s interventions and foreign entanglements with other governments, vicariously playing the role of “do-gooders” in a cops-and-robbers fantasy world in the name of protecting the U.S. and Israel. It is just as immoral to seize private wealth from American Muslims, Christians and Atheists for redistribution to Israel as it is immoral to seize private wealth from American Jews for redistribution to Muslim states such as Egypt, Jordan and Pakistan.

Like the left, the neocons have redefined “patriotism” as meaning not love of one’s country but love of the State, and that is also the prevailing attitude in mainstream Israel. It just seems that the neocons have an inability to engage in actual long-range planning that takes into account possible future consequences of the policies they support, and prefer to identify with that power of armed officialdom, force and monopoly. If one recognizes the neocons’ love of State for what it is, then one can see that they certainly seem to have more support for the Israeli government than for the Israeli people.

Just as the American Anti-Federalists have been the winners of the ideological and practical debate for over 200 years, if there ever were Anti-Federalists in Israel, they’d be right, too. Given that the main causes of civil strife have been centralized States, the real path to peace in Israel and the Middle-East (and the U.S.) is through privatization and decentralization.

“Anti-Government” … Who, Me?

President Clinton wrote an op-ed today regarding yesterday’s anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing, and, as though he was implying a reference to the Tea Party protest movement of today, opined that the “anti-government” types are motivated by “the belief that the greatest threat to American freedom is our government, and that public servants do not protect our freedoms, but abuse them.” The BELIEF that…?? Well, as an “anti-government” type, I must affirm that, yes, the greatest threat to our freedom IS our government!! And not just the government, but the biased media who act as the government officials’ official stenographers. It is THEY who are dangerous and the biggest threats our freedom faces. In fact, the American Founders were “anti-government”!! Presidents Bush (either one) and Obomber wouldn’t recognize the Founders’ concepts  and ideas if they fell over them! (Bush and Obomber have fallen over many things, if you know what I mean.)

Government—or, more precisely, the State—has never been a protector of our liberty. It is the State (particularly the U.S. government) that has been violating our liberty more and more since the Founding, and it is the government that has made us less safe—NOT protecting us! The Government has been the chief trespasser of our property and robber of our wealth. Clinton is nuts, as well as ignorant and corrupt.

And the Tea Party movement’s critics have also been accusing “anti-government” types of being “conspiracy theorists.” When the U.S. Congress rushes through a 2000+ page medical and insurance fascism bill, with all the bribes and back-door deals and rams it into law in the dead of night, that’s not “conspiring?”

If the the gangsters and hooligans in Congress weren’t engaging in “conspiracies” then I don’t know who is! Jeepers! And this guy, Stupak (When I first heard the name “Stupak,” I thought they were talking about the sound a stapler makes.), I wonder what they paid him (or threatened him with) to make him change his mind.

This is what you get when you give an institution any kind of monopoly and especially the power of compulsion over others. Our freedom and our rights to life and liberty were somewhat secured and assured around the time of the American Revolution—and the Founders even came up with a document that recognized that freedom and those rights: The Declaration of Independence, that even described our right to “throw off” a tyrannical government and “abolish it”—but our rights and our freedom began to dwindle as soon as the U.S. Constitution became the law of the land. All the Constitution did was establish the federal government and allow officials of the federal government to have the power of compulsion over us and the power of institutionalized monopolies that forbade fellow citizens from entering particular fields of endeavor that were monopolized by that government, in which case it’s time to be thrown in the hoosegow.

These are the main reasons why I wrote about this November’s elections, or any elections, “More Rearranging of Deck Chairs,” because that’s what these elections are.

Last Fall was when I became familiar with economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s articles and his views, and the concept of the government’s  compulsory territorial monopoly of protection and judicial decision-making, and that’s the time that I did big Edith Bunker impressions, “Oh, NOW I get it!”, etc. I am glad that Prof. Hoppe established his Property and Freedom Society, an organization of mostly “cultural conservatives,” and whose statement of principles includes:

The Property and Freedom Society stands for an uncompromising intellectual radicalism: for justly acquired private property, freedom of contract, freedom of association—which logically implies the right to not associate with, or to discriminate against—anyone in one’s personal and business relations—and unconditional free trade. It condemns imperialism and militarism and their fomenters, and champions peace. It rejects positivism, relativism, and egalitarianism in any form, whether of “outcome” or “opportunity,” and it has an outspoken distaste for politics and politicians. As such it seeks to avoid any association with the policies and proponents of interventionism, which Ludwig von Mises had identified in 1946 as the fatal flaw in the plan of the many earlier and contemporary attempts by intellectuals alarmed by the rising tide of socialism and totalitarianism to found an anti-socialist ideological movement. Mises wrote: “What these frightened intellectuals did not comprehend was that all those measures of government interference with business which they advocated are abortive. … There is no middle way. Either the consumers are supreme or the government.”…..

And I agree with those principles, recognizing the rights of the individual, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the right to freedom of association and freedom of contract. Notice how it also mentions the right to “discriminate.” Under the umbrella of the individual’s right of self-ownership and the right to control one’s own private property, one has a right to associate with (including establishing a voluntary contract with) or not associate with whomever one wishes, and the right not to be forced to associate with someone with whom one does NOT wish to associate with. For example, the 1964-65 Civil Rights Act (and similar laws) applied to both public and private property. It should only apply to public property, including the public transportation, government-owned buildings and facilities, parks, etc. It should NOT include restaurants and other businesses and properties that are privately owned. The owner of private property has a right to include or exclude whomever one wants on one’s own privately owned property, and for whatever reason. If a business such as a restaurant is referred to as a “public accommodation,” it’s still a privately owned business. The more “general public” one’s business deals with, or the larger the business, still doesn’t make it “more publicly owned,” otherwise have the State buy it from the owner. If a Black lady in Roxbury, Massachusetts owns a store or restaurant, and she doesn’t want Whites in there, that’s her right to keep them out. Any forcing of people onto her business or property (by law, police, etc.), against her will, is trespassing. And if she doesn’t want males, or children, or Catholics, it is her RIGHT to say “You can’t come into my business.” And I am not a racist, because I don’t care what people’s skin color is (unlike President Obama, Chris Matthews and others of their ignorant ilk, who are literally obsessed with people’s skin color), but, my point is,  separating private from public property is necessary to understanding what  freedom is all about.

Bottom line: The only one with actual, legitimate “rights” is the individual, who has a right to be free from the aggression of others, in one’s person and one’s property. Unfortunately, the idea of “civil rights” has turned that around to give people the right to force themselves onto or into the business or property of others against their will, and that’s aggression. Aggression is immoral, no matter what. The Civil Rights Act should only apply to public property and government-run functions, NOT private property or businesses.

So, in the workplace, employers (in the private sector) have a right to hire and fire whomever they want and for whatever reason, but laws that were made from ignorance restrict their rights. For example, Boston Symphony Orchestra music director James Levine has had one medical problem after another since he began with the BSO in 2004, and it looks like, because he has been absent so much now, they might terminate his music directorship (although it may not have been so easy for them to do that had he remembered to sign his contract!).

Of course, the violation of freedom regarding the aforementioned situations comes in with the use of armed police to enforce the laws that violate our rights and freedom. A lot of people are very authoritarian and are pro-police. The Obommunists now are the former ’60s anti-police radicals. While the conservative right still approves of using police for this or that, now the left loves the police, as we will see when the peaceful Tea Party protesters will experience just how much those Stalinists President Obomber and Stinker of the House Nancy Lugosi don’t like their authority and control being challenged or protested. At LewRockwell.com, Will Grigg has one article after another that describes why we might want to question reliance on police as the ones to protect our liberty or safety. Just this week Will had one about the “police looters” at Hurricane Katrina. And yesterday Wendy McElroy had a post about a recent police brutality incident. We have a right to be “anti-government” and protest peacefully, like the Tea Partiers (unlike Bill Ayers who used not only violence but murder as a way to express his protest).

WTKK radio host Michael Graham himself was arrested and thrown in the hoosegow last year because of driving with a revoked license. He said the police officers were civil and cordial which I don’t doubt. Of course, he shouldn’t have even been bothered by the police, and don’t get me started again on the driving stuff. Let me make THIS perfectly clear: Driving is a RIGHT, not a “privilege.” Graham’s freedom of movement and right to go about his business was grossly violated in this incident. Just look at all the stress that these government officials caused him, and I’ll bet it was stressful. All of that kind of thing should not be tolerated in a free society. The police- staters out there just don’t get it.

Another thing about Michael Graham is that he has become a Professor of Campaigning at his new political Candidates School. He teaches people who are interested in running for public office just how it’s done. I don’t know exactly what good that’s going to do anyone, since these elections are Rearranging of Deck Chairs. When his students learn how to run for office, then they will learn how to manipulate their voters into believing that their legislative actions are actually in the voters’ best interests, and then they will learn how to stick legalese and bureaucratese into legislation to get away with more and more theft and trespassing, and that’s how things go.

In fact, just this morning, a lady called Glenn Beck’s show, saying she wanted him to run for president, and gave a list of things “we need in a president.” And Beck said he could never get elected, and he gave some of his suggestions of what we need in a president. Actually, we really don’t need a president. We don’t need to be “led” by someone through life. We need freedom. Each one of us needs the freedom to achieve what we want to achieve in life and lead our own lives, without the intrusions of others. That’s what we need.

You’re Putin’ Me On…

The President of Poland who died in the plane crash today, Lech Kaczynski (same spelling as Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, not that it means anything), was very critical of Putin’s Russia, and communism in general. President Kaczynski was also planning to deploy U.S. Patriot missiles in Poland “in early April,” but I don’t see anything in the news on that. Had they already rescheduled that? Hmmm. This plane crash stuff sounds a little familiar (and a little suspicious).

More War Or Sanctions Will Only Backfire and Kill More Innocents

With the United States government’s quagmires these last 20 years, it appears that President Obama might be initiating war with Iran or sanctions that will only harm the civilian population and not the Iranian government, as has been the case with Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001, but also with Iraq and Kosovo in the 1990s. It seems that too many U.S. government foreign policies end up causing the destruction of other societies and killing innocents, as well as backfiring against the U.S., an unfortunate abandonment of the absolute laws of morality upon which America was founded.

It is doubtful that the Obama Administration would assert that such a policy of war or sanctions against Iran would be targeting civilians. However, while the George W. Bush Iraq-Afghanistan quagmires are still ongoing and fresh in our minds, we must be reminded of how the U.S. government treated the people of Iraq during the 1990s. During the Persian Gulf War (the First U.S.-Iraq war, 1990-91), the U.S. military’s bombing campaign of Iraqi power and water treatment infrastructures  was rationalized as a means of reducing Iraq’s “civilian morale.” The U.S. military knew in advance that such bombing of infrastructure would lead to disease and civilian deaths. The sanctions imposed against Iraq throughout the 1990s caused the withholding of food, medical supplies and the construction equipment needed to rebuild the infrastructure that was bombed. By 2000, the child mortality rate in Iraq had risen significantly, as did the rate of cancer. Some Pentagon and Air Force officials had claimed that the people of Iraq were ultimately responsible for the sanctions and delay in restoring infrastructures, and thus for the resulting deaths and disease, because of the Iraqis’ alleged continued support of their president, Saddam Hussein.

U.S. President Bill Clinton continued the Iraq policy that President George H.W. Bush started in 1990,  and then went on to take U.S. forces into Yugoslavia under pretenses similar to those of the Persian Gulf War.

President Clinton’s bombing of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo war in 1999 was also notoriously responsible for deaths of innocent civilians. Clinton’s stated purpose was to end the alleged Yugoslavian genocide by Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic. The anti-war movement at that time was led by Republicans, and Clinton was accused to have exaggerated Milosevic’s alleged crimes to justify the bombing. Reports of Milosevic’s genocidal actions were found to be amplified accounts of widespread killings, but not genocide. Some critics were accusing Clinton himself of actual war crimes. The U.S.-led NATO bombing of areas used by both the military and by civilians in Serbia was also criticized as one of incompetence.

Some have asserted that Clinton’s bombing campaign was the actual impetus of Milosevic’s expulsion of ethnic Albanians, or “ethnic cleansing,” and that the ethnic cleansing activities may have greatly expanded as a reaction to Clinton’s bombing campaign.

Civilian deaths caused by those U.S. military actions were acts of negligence and recklessness. Current policies such as the CIA’s payments of Pakistani tribesmen to spread transmitter chips are also policies of incompetence, and are contributing to the deaths of innocent civilians, just as are the U.S. drone bombings in Pakistan.

During the 19th Century war between the U.S. government and the Southern States, President Abraham Lincoln’s army set the precedent in America of targeting non-combatant civilians. Such actions were rationalized towards Lincoln’s stated goal of “saving the Union” and largely unstated goal of further strengthening and expanding the U.S. federal government. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan by the U.S. military towards the end of World War II is an example of government’s egregiously rationalizing the killing of innocents. President Harry Truman’s stated intention was to spare American soldiers’ lives, which was itself an extreme exaggeration. As Truman’s own chief of staff, Admiral William Leahy stated,

It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was taught not to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying woman and children.

The ideologically motivated wars among democracies over the last century have reinforced the trend of citizens identifying with the state more than with family and community, hence their support of the state’s destruction of other societies. The Founding Fathers naively formed a federal monopoly of territorial protection that has enabled such demoralizing societal conditions that could not have happened were the monopolists superseded by private protection markets.

To some people, the United States government has been provoking various elements in the Middle-East for decades with invasive “poking the hornets’ nests” policies, which have elicited Islamic-based terrorist actions against the West. However, for those who feel that such hypotheses “blame America” for terrorism, it is necessary to clarify the separation between the American people and the United States government. Government is a separate, centralized institution of professional career politicians and bureaucrats in and of itself, and it has been the U.S. government that has been intruding in foreign nations and killing innocents, not the American people.

While the abortion issue is unrelated to wars and sanctions, there is a relevant comparison to be made in the context of moral relativism. In an advanced society such as ours, one of the unfortunate rationalizations of the killing of the innocent unborn has been their subordination, their being made to have lesser value as human beings based on their being at a less advanced stage of development.

The U.S. government’s rationalizing, consciously or subconsciously, of its various intrusions into less developed societies abroad may implicitly suggest that those societies’ inhabitants have lesser value as human beings, and implies making such subordination and deaths of others acceptable.

Besides the right to life, among our natural rights as human beings is the God-given right of self-defense. One fatal flaw, however, in civilized cultures has been when the inhabitants of a territory forfeit their defense to be monopolized and politicized by the state.

The Founding of America was based on traditional values of civility and an absolute view of morality that comes from Natural Law or God’s Law, which supersedes the U.S. Legal Code, the U.S. Constitution, the Geneva Convention and International Law. The U.S. government has for many years overstepped its boundaries, and has violated a most important absolute law: Don’t kill innocent people. Surely, there are better, more constructive ways of dealing with Iran than war or sanctions.