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Month: May 2010

ACORN, “Stealth Socialism” and Desocializing America

I am not surprised that an Obama ACORN insider has exposed how the Obama ACORN agenda is one of “stealth socialism,” given how dishonest and immoral socialism is. However, even that’s not totally accurate, given that our society is already a socialist (and fascist) one, going back to even before FDR, with his New Raw Deal that gave us real time redistribution of wealth from workers’ paychecks to retired persons’ (and others’) bank accounts, and more recently from middle-class working Americans to already wealthy Wall Street executives and the UAW.

More accurately, what the Obama-ACORN stealth agenda is really aimed toward is a communist society. Communism is really the cumulative result of gradually increasing socialist government-imposed and mandated policies, finally becoming a society of total state ownership and control of all property and the means of production including the people, with no individual rights and requiring total submission of the individual to the will and power of the state.

The American Founders created a new country with the greatest amount of freedom in the history of mankind, and it all went downhill from that point onward with the creation of a federal government and a constitution. The Founders were actually capitalists, or advocates of free markets, voluntary exchange and voluntary association, and private property rights. Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence tells us that

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

We need to re-capitalize America, return to the freedom that the Founders promised us. And there is no “stealth” involved in such a transition, because capitalism and freedom are honest and moral, and there’s no need to hide anything.

For example, Ron Paul’s bill to audit the Federal Reserve is an attempt to force openness in Washington. As Murray Rothbard asked, What Has Government Done to Our Money? But some people have accused Paul’s bill to audit the Fed as a “stealth” way to end the Fed, even though Paul has been out in the open about that, he wants to End the Fed! He wrote a whole book about that, for crying out loud! But his bill to merely audit the Fed has been gutted and shredded and thrown in with other larger bills whose writers are of ill intent, such as in the recent financial regulatory bill. However, that Chris “Countrywide” Dodd Senate bill yanked out the amendment to audit the Fed, and will further strengthen the Fed’s power and control over the banking industry and our personal and financial freedom. Not good. No audit means that this vulture of an institution will continue to work in secrecy, like many fascist regimes we have seen.

You will see how our entire government-controlled financial system is now collapsing, because it is government-controlled. President Abraham Lincoln’s Legal Tender laws forced Americans to have to use the U.S. government’s currency for trade and commerce, whether they liked it or not. This fascism was cemented further with that Federal Reserve. The politicians and bureaucrats of the federal government made sure that Americans would be enslaved by the forbiddance of any possible competing currencies, and the politicians’ and bureaucrats’ power and control was strengthened by forcing Americans to be dependent on that government-counterfeited-produced and distributed money. This dependence and enslavement is a major factor in the collapsing of the economy. It compares to how our security has been made weaker by forcing us to be dependent on government-monopolized control over America’s territorial protection. As competing security production is forbidden, politicians and bureaucrats monopolize the business of protection, and thus through military socialism they abuse the power they are given and misuse those government powers to provoke elements overseas, as a means of further expanding and strengthening the federal government and their positions of power. Justin Raimondo has a good piece today on our wonderful federal government’s ability to lie to get the American people to accept further expansion and further intrusions of the federal government, and further diminution of our liberty, and further destruction of other societies. You want “stealth?” You got it.

Capitalizing the nation, that is, freeing people of the intrusions and aggression of the state will not be by stealth, because freedom is not dishonest nor immoral as is the tyranny of our socialist state.

Murray Rothbard wrote How and How Not to Desocialize. He starts by declaring at the start: Do not phase in:

It is well known that the giant socialist bureaucracy will only seize upon such delay to obstruct the goal altogether. But there are further important reasons for speed. One, because the free market is an interconnected web or lattice-work; it is made of innumerable parts which intricately mesh together through a network of producers and entrepreneurs exchanging property titles, motivated by a search for profits and avoidance of losses, and calculating by means of a free price system.

Holding back, freeing only a few areas at a time, will only impose continuous distortions that will cripple the workings of the market and discredit it in the eyes of an already fearful and suspicious public. But there is also another vital point: the fact that you cannot plan markets applies also to planning for phasing them in. Much as they might delude themselves otherwise, governments and their economic advisers are not in a position of wise Olympians above the economic arena, carefully planning to install the market step by measured step, deciding what to do first, what second, etc. Economists and bureaucrats are no better at planning phase-ins than they are at dictating any other aspect of the market.

To achieve genuine freedom, the role of government and its advisers must be confined to setting their subjects free, as fast and as completely as it takes to unlock their shackles. After that, the proper role of government and its advisers is to get and keep out of the subjects’ way.

And Lew Rockwell has a 30-day plan for the desocializing (i.e. returning to freedom) of America. Here are some of my favorite of those days:

…DAY THREE: The federal government sells all its land, freeing up tens of millions of acres for development, mining, farming, forestry, oil drilling, private parks, etc. The government uses the revenue to pay off the national debt and other liabilities.

DAY FOUR: The minimum wage is reduced to zero, creating jobs for ex-federal bureaucrats at their market wage. All pro-union laws and regulations are scrapped. The jobless rate falls dramatically….

….DAY SIX: The Department of Commerce is abolished. Big business has to make its own way in the world, without subsidies and privileges at the expense of its competitors and customers.

DAY SEVEN: The plug is pulled on the Department of Energy. Oil and gas prices plummet.

DAY EIGHT: All regulatory agencies, from the Interstate Commerce Commission to the Federal Trade Commission, are deep-sixed. Competition is legalized….

DAY TWELVE: The Federal Reserve closes its open-market operations and stops protecting the banking industry from competition. But banks can now engage in all the non-bank financial activities previously forbidden to them. The business cycle, which is caused by monetary expansion through the credit markets, is liquidated.

DAY THIRTEEN: Federal deposit insurance is scrapped. All insured deposits are redeemed from federal assets, which include the personal assets of high-level government employees. The threat of bank runs forces banks to keep 100% reserves for their demand deposits, and prudent reserves on all other accounts. There are no more inherently bankrupt banks propped up by the government, at taxpayer expense, and no more bail-outs….

….DAY EIGHTEEN: The Justice Department shutters its anti-trust division. Companies, big and small, are free to merge – up, down, or sideways. Stockholders can buy any other company, or sell their stock to anyone else. Marginal producers can no longer battle their competitors with bureaucratic weapons.

DAY NINETEEN: The Department of Education flunks the constitutionality test, and is kicked out. Private charities set up remedial reading and writing programs for the former bureaucrats. Federally subsidized sex education and other anti-family programs go out of business. Local school districts become responsive to parents or close, pressured by a fast-growing private school sector (which many more parents can now afford)….

DAY TWENTY-SIX: Porno artists have to earn their own livings, as the National Endowment for the Arts tries to raise its budget through sidewalk painting sales.

DAY TWENTY-SEVEN: Foreign aid is outlawed as unconstitutional, unjust, and un-economic. Foreign politicians have to steal their own money. The World Bank, IMF, and United Nations close their super-luxurious doors….

In Connecticut, Blumenthal Isn’t the Only Degenerate

It appears that former Connecticut Republican Congressman Rob Simmons has “suspended” his campaign for the U.S. Senate to replace the overtly-corrupt Chris Dodd, whose actions as Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee contributed directly to the nation’s financial collapse. Simmons wanted to replace Dodd in order to do even more damage to our economy. The CT state Republican convention gave Linda McMahon, a former World Wrestling executive (I’m not making that up), the nomination, although the other Republican candidate, investment analyst Peter Schiff, has said that he will attempt to get enough petition signatures to get his name on the August primary ballot.

Peter Schiff’s views mostly mirror my “libertarian” views, and he has said that he wants to dismantle much of the federal government because most of it is unconstitutional and violates our liberty directly and indirectly. Linda McMahon’s views are largely statist, she has no political experience and has spent the last 30 years in the “professional wrestling industry.” Her rhetoric has been somewhat conservative, such as advocating “cutting taxes and spending,” but after the information I’ve reviewed it appears as though she is very much like Scott Brown (i.e. a political opportunist who wants to get to a position of power for power’s sake).

Now, if what Peter Schiff has asserted is true, that McMahon’s people at the convention deliberately lied that Schiff dropped out of the race, in order to take his delegates’ votes and prevent Schiff from getting his name on the ballot, then my conclusion about McMahon is that she’s probably a sleazebag. Further information about McMahon reinforces that conclusion, such as her contributions to Rahm Emanuel’s congressional campaigns, Democrat governor of Virginia Mark Warner and 2 other Democrats running for Congress.

Also, McMahon has stated that she will spend $50 Million of her own money to get her elected if she has to. Now, if someone is so desperate to get her hands on the reins of power that she would spend $50 million of her own personal fortune, there’s something wrong with that character! (And the same behavior told us a lot about Willard Romney, who spent $40 million of his own person wealth in his drooling run for the presidency! And he wants to do it…AGAIN! Yeah, we should really elect someone president with THAT kind of judgment! But I digress.)

Can’t Linda McMahon perhaps serve her fellow citizens by establishing a school (in the dreaded private sector) in which promising children can be taught the important basics of reading and math, and especially economics and history, so the next generation won’t make the same stupid mistakes as ours is making? Or start some other kind of business that actually serves the public’s needs in some other area? Why waste so much money on a campaign?

You can call me an “elitist” if you want, but I find McMahon’s many years with the World Wrestling Federation, now called World Wrestling Entertainment, somewhat distressing. I don’t look down my nose at those kinds of entertainment that obviously deliver what many Americans seem to want and are willing to pay a lot of money for. But some aspects of it are a little disturbing, such as “simulated sex and rape scenes” and feigning a coma in a wheelchair, although the steroids scandal doesn’t seem to bother me, as it doesn’t bother me in the sports area.

However, after seeing an article at LewRockwell.com today by Glenn Jacobs who supposedly portrayed someone named “Kane” in the WWE, then perhaps I have been a bit prejudiced. That article, Property Rights, Liberty and Immigration gives us much understanding of the immigration issue and of private property rights, and issues pertaining to the relationship between individuals and the State. I will try to no longer be prejudiced regarding members or former members of the WWE.

But my conclusion nevertheless about Linda McMahon is, especially if it’s true that her supporters lied about Peter Schiff to take away his delegates, she shouldn’t win this nomination for that office. (I’m not one to make any endorsements, because I’m for getting rid of the federal government, because it is nothing but parasitic and dangerous, but you might want to contribute to Peter Schiff’s campaign.)

Now, one reason a lot of Tea Partiers and conservatives who are supporting Schiff have some reservations (as many did about Ron Paul in ’08) is his position on foreign policy. Schiff agrees with most of our Founding Fathers, that the U.S. government should not be a playpen for militarists who get off on expanding the U.S. federal government’s power overseas to trespass on other countries’ soil. Schiff believes that the U.S. government should not be used to tax Americans for redistributionist schemes to serve foreign countries, providing their defense and other welfare to people in other territories, because that is NOT why the U.S. government was founded. Schiff also believes that the U.S. military should not be used to invade and occupy other countries and prop up dictators and theocratic governments who oppress their people. I don’t know for sure, but I would guess that Schiff understands that the reason for such an increase in terrorism and extremist hatred for the United States is not to do with Americans’ “way of life” or our freedom, but because those people in those other countries don’t like their territories being invaded and occupied by foreigners (U.S. government forces) who don’t belong there. By and large, that would be the biggest reason why the conservatives who might otherwise vote for Peter Schiff won’t vote for him: because they believe the propaganda that out government officials have been telling them especially these last 20 years since George H.W. Bush invaded Iraq in 1990-91.

You Want Financial Reform? End the Fed!

The Chris Dodd Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 that passed the Senate is yet another Orwellian “reform” legislative piece of crap that should have been titled, “Restoring American Financial Instability,” because all this will do is give the executive branch more power to usurp control away from the legislative branch of the federal government. After all, the one and only sponsor of this garbage (No co-sponsors—I wonder why), Chris “Countrywide” Dodd, and his congressional cohort Barney Stank are what caused the meltdown in the first place! The Powerline Blog cites Clean Government Now‘s comments:

– Financial Stability Oversight Council: 9 Mandarins who will “identify risks” and sweep anything deemed “risky” under the Federal Reserve’s purview. Chaired by the Treasury Secretary, this new Council of Trent will have strange and surprising powers. Mind you, we now have a Treasury Secretary who gleefully admits he “has never held a real job”. But not to worry, this new “Office of Financial Research” will be staffed with “highly sophisticated economists, accountants, lawyers, supervisors , and other specialists” according to the Dodd release. What is missing? How about someone who has actually worked in the securities industry or in banking? … To a Washington bureaucrat, stepping outside in a drizzle is a risk. Risk and reward are tied together and that is what people in the actual world estimate every day … again, with consequences.

– Ending too Big to Fail Bailouts: Almost all the TARP money that went to banks was paid back. And most banks never wanted the money in the first place. Who was really bailed out? Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. To the tune of hundreds of billions. Does this bill have anything to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? No. It has absolutely nothing to do with the entities that were actually bailed out. There are many dishonest provisions of the Financial Reform package, but the most dishonest one is the notion that it addresses in any way shape or form too big to fail. By getting Washington all that more in bed with Wall Street, you absolutely guarantee that too big to fail simply means: not connected enough to fail.

And thanks, Scott Brown! You Betcha!

This further ruining of America’s freedom and prosperity and further strengthening of the federal government goes to Senate-House reconciliation this week. I urge everyone to contact their congressman and senators to vote against the final legislation.

Goodbye, Blumenthal

It appears that Connecticut’s Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is now Connecticut’s Liar General Richard Blumenthal. The New York Times—of all papers—has raked Blumenthal over the coals for his lying about his Vietnam experiences, or lack thereof (unless this turns out to be another Jayson Blair fiasco—I hope not).

(And it appears that 23-year-old Adam Wheeler is following in Blumenthal’s footsteps, and has a promising career in politics.)

Here is a classic interview by Glenn Beck (with fangs and claws firmly in place) of Connecticut Attorney Liar General Richard Milhaus Blumenthal:

More Bad Decisions By the U.S. ‘Supreme Court’

The ‘Supreme Court’ today ruled that juveniles can’t be sentenced for life in prison without parole for crimes other than murder. If they committed a crime other than murder, such as the home invasion burglary and armed robbery involved in today’s decision, then life in prison without parole is ‘cruel and unusual punishment.’ I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that, although I don’t particularly agree with the State’s having a monopoly in judicial decision-making.

The real solution to those problems is to get rid of all gun control, get rid of all restrictions on citizens’ rights to possess weapons and defend themselves. If the victim of the home invasion and armed robbery in today’s case were armed, then we wouldn’t have even had this case brought to the ‘Supreme Court.’

The court also rejected Cablevision’s challenge to a federal statute that forced the cable company’s systems to carry a broadcast TV station’s broadcasts. Solicitor General and nominee for said Supreme Court Elena Cajun argued on behalf of the government to reject the challenge.

Hmmm. So this means that it’s okay for the federal government to force a private communications company to include on their systems broadcast outlets that the private company may not wish to include. The camel is advancing into the tent, and this is just more cutting away of First Amendment.

An even worse decision today than those was SCOTUS’s decision that Congress may hold criminals ‘indefinitely’ if they are considered ‘dangerous.’ Nancy Lugosi thinks that Tea Partiers are ‘dangerous.’ However, according to the L.A. Times,

Only Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia set out the small-government theory of congressional power that has been voiced by those challenging the constitutionality of the healthcare mandate. Thomas said Congress has only the “powers enumerated in the Constitution,” and holding prisoners beyond their term goes beyond a specific enumerated power.

Hooray, Thomas and Scalia! (Unfortunately, they were in the minority, and we can safely predict that Elena Cajun will be in the ‘More Power to the Feds’ crowd.)

Obama? Freedom of the Press? (What a Joke!)

Barack Obama signs the Daniel Pearl Freedom of Press Act into law today. Here’s the bill. The new law will have Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issue a report to see

What steps the government of each…country has taken to preserve the safety and independence of the media, and to ensure the prosecution of those individuals who attack or murder journalists.

Preserve the “independence of the media“? The U.S. government preserving the independence of the media? (Good luck! Especially with Cass Sunstein who wants to ‘infiltrate’ Internet web sites and chat rooms, and otherwise vomit his Obama Regime propaganda even more than they already have with their flunkies and cronies in the mainstream news media!)

And this just a week after Obama states at a graduation ceremony that there’s too much ‘distracting’ (i.e. non-Obama Regime-approved) information out there (that must be suppressed by government force).

And the law will provide government grants to

promote and broaden press freedoms by strengthening the independence of journalists and media organizations, promoting a legal framework for freedom of the press, or through providing regionally and culturally relevant training and professionalization of skills to meet international standards in both traditional and digital media.

Of course, will Madam Secretary Clinton offer government grants to libertarian or Tea Party-type media organizations? (Now, THAT’s the dumb question of the day!)

Well, look on the bright side. If the Obomber Administration does do something that effects in the suppression of anyone’s right of free speech, we can sue the administration with the very law that Obomber will have signed today.

The Ignorance, Irrationality and Violence of the Left and the State

There have been many reasons why people have used the political and coercive apparatus of the State,  particularly the federal government, to further a political agenda, to further their own careers in public parasitism, or to act out a particular fantasized plan that some feel the rest of the world ought to follow. For example, in recent years, there has been a mass psychosis of believing that the U.S. government’s past decade of invasions and occupations and expanding quagmires in Middle-Eastern countries could possibly protect America from Islamic extremists, rather than understanding that the people of those other countries have been reacting against many decades of the U.S. government’s invading and occupying those territories. The rational way to protect America would be to stop doing the invading and occupying that the U.S. government has been doing for many decades.

Further irrationality and psychosis has been the ramming through of a massive America-destroying fascist medical plan, one that was characterized as cost-saving yet will be deficit-causing and debt-increasing, and will totally paralyze the medical system as we know it. I think that while some of the motivations behind the passage of that plan into law were to give unions and other special interests special privileges, a majority of its supporters in congress were mainly motivated by irrational fantasizing and actually believing in a most psychotic way that centralizing and government-bureaucratizing the medical system will actually effect in serving more people with better and more efficient medical care. (Gag me with a spoon, as the Valley Girl would say.)

The people of the Left, politicians, activists, etc. have been continually enacting laws upon laws, and regulations upon regulations and taxes, taxes, taxes, that ALL of history constantly tells us will destroy the economy and prosperity, and further the impoverishment of the masses, yet they continue to do this out of a psychotic, irrational make-believe fantasy-world that is totally separate from reality. And when I refer to the “Left,” that includes Republicans and conservatives, because they have been supportive of all the social programs and regulations and interventions, and foreign interventions as well. Foreign interventionism comes from the Left. These are people who have been supporting the statism, socialism and fascism that has just about completely destroyed America. After the Afghanistan and Iraq quagmires, there will be Pakistan and shortly Iran quagmires (and more murdering of innocents), and after all the bailouts and more bailouts and stimuluses, and the medical fascism law and soon ‘Cap and Trade,’ America will have been completely wrecked by people who live in a fantasy-world and who got to where they are with good rhetorical demagogic skills, but not with any particularly good intellectual skills, and certainly not by having produced anything of actual value to others.

It still really bothers me when I hear people especially conservatives refer to a certain group as ‘liberals,’ and refer to ‘liberalism,’ when they are talking about people whose philosophy and agenda are the exact opposite of what ‘liberalism’ really is.

I know, Michael Savage wrote the book, Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder, when he was really  referring to statism, socialism, fascism and communism. ‘Liberalism’ means (at least in my own definition of it) to advocate being free from aggression, particularly freedom from the aggression of the State, to ‘liberalize.’ The American Revolutionaries were ‘liberals’ and advocated ‘liberalism,’ which is why they approved the Declaration of Independence, which promoted the recognition of the rights of the individual to life and liberty, the right to ‘abolish’ tyrannical governments like the monstrous federal government we have now.

I’ve been using the word ‘leftists’ to describe the people whom Savage and Rush Limbaugh and others are talking about, and, to me, ‘The Left’ describes anyone who does not believe in the absolute rights of voluntary exchange and voluntary association and contract, and private property rights. A little earlier, I referred to foreign interventionism as being on the left. That would make the two Bush presidents be on the left. From the left is socialism, communism and fascism, whereas from the right is capitalism, which consists of associations and markets free from aggression and coercion.

Such an assertion, of the two Bush presidents being on the left, could be more understood first by noting that their actions of initiating aggression against other countries were just that: the initiation of aggression, against Iraq and against Afghanistan. (Afghanistan did not attack the U.S., the U.S. government attacked and invaded Afghanistan.) The initiation of aggression and violence against others, especially by agents of the State, is an act coming from the left. If you are actually able to step back and view those two Bushes from a distance, you will see their leftism for what it is, or was, in their socialist domestic policies, and see how connected domestic interventionism is with foreign interventionism, everything from the elder President Bush’s raising taxes and the 1990 version of ‘Cap and Trade‘ to the younger Bush’s prescription drug program, socialist Wall Street Bailout and his signing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The two Bushes were hardly ‘capitalists’!!

The statists and leftists have been fantasizing that intruding into the lives of fellow citizens will help those fellow citizens in some way, and intruding into the territories and cultures of foreign peoples will help them in some way. (It hasn’t helped.)

If only people could see that, while the Founders’ creating a new country of freedom, America, was a good idea, the creation of a federal government was a mistake from the very beginning. Centralizing control over a population of millions of people, over an area of thousands of miles, and bureaucratizing life to be controlled in a centralized DC just doesn’t work. It has never worked, and it never will, because of the impracticality and destructiveness of institutionalized monopoly, and the immorality of giving some people the power of compulsion over others. As Hans Hoppe noted, the idea of ‘limited government’ is just impossible (as Perry Como would say).

We have to get rid of the federal government, let the individual states have the independence and sovereignty that the Founders intended them to have. And do what Murray Rothbard suggested, “repudiate the national debt.”

In Defense of the Internet Blogosphere: Will Elena Kagan Approve of All the Censorship Fascism That Obama Wants To Inflict On Us?

Given that Barack Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, is anti-freedom of speech, as noted in my previous post, and knowing how hostile Obama himself is to free speech, and members of his administration as well, when they do start censoring the Internet as a further means of controlling the population (and particularly the honest, objective reporting you can find on the Internet nowadays and NOT in the mainstream media such the New York Times or CBSNews), they will probably be taking down blogs such as these:

Such as this post by business analyst and Mises Institute contributor Jim Fedako on Marxist teachers indoctrinating their students with their Marxist claptrap. Is this post something that Barack Obomber will want to censor, and would that be approved by a Justice Kagan?

“Marx is not all wrong”

Not my quote. And it isn’t from my good friends over at Marxists.org. The quote is actually from a recent edition of Teachers College Record: The Voice of Scholarship in Education – published by Columbia University’s Teachers College, the ideological center of public education.

While economic Marxism is gone (or hidden behind the veil of Keynesianism), cultural Marxism is alive and well in most colleges and universities, along with all public schools.

Who else believes this nonsense:

The second reason is that Marx is not all wrong. Workers have become alienated from what they produce.

It’s 2010 and Marx’s theory of worker alienation is being championed by the teachers of teachers over at Columbia University.

And all that effort and indoctrination is not going to waste. Your child’s teacher is reading this nonsense and saying, “I better include that in my next lesson plan.”

And she will.

Or how about this post by Mondoweiss contributor Susie Kneedler, on NPR reporter Lordess Garcia-Navarro’s perhaps belated report on the Israeli military’s deportation of “infiltrator” Palestinians in the West Bank, with some lines in the audio report missing or deleted in NPR’s online edition. I wonder if Obama would censor this blog post on NPR’s possible bias especially to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (and, frankly, I’m sure that our officials don’t want blogs to post anything to do with Israel during the ongoing situations between the U.S. government and Israel), and would a Justice Kagan approve of such Obomber censorship? Here’s an excerpt of that post:

Garcia-Navarro does document the horrific fear that Israeli government policies inflict on one woman and her family.  We hear the anguish in Palestinian Umm Qusay’s voice beneath the translation; and the broadcast closes with a line deleted from the online article: “Qusay says the wider implications don’t matter to her.  After waiting ten years to join her husband and children, she just wants to stay here.”

But Garcia-Navarro allows an Israeli military spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, to assure us that, “The amendments to this law actually help the Palestininans or the other illegal residents that are here.”  We hear Leibovich declare in sunny tones that, “There is a committee of judges which is reviewing the material and deciding whether to begin with the process of repatriation or not” [Leibovich’s emphasis].  Garcia-Navarro does not challenge the fairness of Israeli judges, let alone that of military courts, to Palestinian plaintiffs or defendants.

Well, to be fair to Lordess Che-Guevara, it’s really not her job as a reporter to “challenge the fairness of Israeli judges,” but to just report on what they’re saying or doing. But this point that Kneedler makes is certainly a valid one:

Garcia-Navarro’s description of Qusay’s husband as merely a “resident”—not a native –of the West Bank minimizes how Israel wrongs the family.

And the point about NPR’s cutting certain parts out of the on-air report in their online text edition is worthy of discussion. After all, NPR is government- (taxpayer-) funded.

NPR’s transcript changes many terms and the order of the actual Garcia-Navarro report that aired this morning.
I’ve included below choice bits of the broadcast that were not included in the online article.  Why were they removed? Their absence smoothes over the ugly facts of the original broadcast.  I guess we should also ask Lourdes Garcia-Navarro about the alterations.

[“After ten years of being separated, I came back to my husband’s home town, and now we are again in a difficult situation. Where do I go from here?”]

She’s not alone. Many [“tens of thousands of people in the West bank have gone into hiding afraid to leave their homes, afraid to leave their areas of residence, for fear of being arrested at a checkpoint and deported and put into prison for seven years…”]

[[Conclusion not on air:] About 365,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the West Bank and Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, alongside 2.5 million Palestinians. Another 1.6 million Palestinians live in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

And one wonders whether Obama would censor this post by Thomas Lifson at the American Thinker, on how CNN censors out the artist Lars Vilks’s cartoon of Mohammed. Lifson includes the actual video of the CNN interview of Vilks, which shows the censoring.

America is tip-toeing across an important line: we are becoming dhimmis, infidels cowed into observing sharia law against our wills. We are engaged in submission. Mohammed may not be represented in our media. Ask Parker and Stone of South Park. Or, better yet, ask CNN, which covers up a cartoon of Mohammed, while reporting on threats against Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks….

….Vilks is being harrassed and threatened, as dhimmitude’s enforcers operate in Europe. AFP reports:

[Vilks], who sparked controversy in 2007 by drawing Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog, was attacked Tuesday while giving a lecture at a university, police said.

“The man was sat in the first row and suddenly he rushed at me. He punched me in the head and I lost my glasses,” said Vilks, adding that at the very most he was “a little bruised.”

Police said around 250 people were present at the time of the attack at Uppsala University, north of Stockholm.

“When Lars Vilks arrived, five persons started to protest against him with screaming. They calmed down and the lecture continued,” police said.

“When Lars Vilks talked about religion and showed a film, 20 persons tried to attack him, probably offended by the film.”

What is at stake is nothing less than our liberty. Americans are giving up free speech when the subject is Islam. Jihad is gaining ground.

So, is CNN in fear of being physically targeted by fanatics? Or is CNN merely catering to the political correctness intolerance that has been plaguing our society for many years now? Or is this just another example of CNN’s bias. Since when has CNN ever been biased? Or Supreme Court justices. Supreme Court Justices are never biased. (Elena Cajun wants to be on the Supreme Court, and, according to some sources, has wanted that ever since she was in high school.)

But I really don’t understand this stuff with political correctness and intolerance of speech and censorship, which mainly comes from the left, based on the left’s Newspeak definition of ‘diversity.’ As long as people have different skin colors and all appear differently, that’s what matters. But everyone must think alike, and have the same views on social and economic matters. We can’t tolerate different points of view, etc. or else, we (the left) will shut you up and throw you in jail. In other words, something verbal, which can’t injure others, has to be extinguished, while the physical acts of apprehending someone who ‘offended’ others (and their weak emotional being) and physically throwing them in jail, or threatening to do so, is the acceptable policy of the left, the Obommunists.

The politically and socially intolerant left never heard of the old phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” They oppose the philosophy of ‘live and let live.’

And this Obama censorship stuff really has to do with his wanting to stifle political opposition and the ‘anti-government’ types and Tea Partiers. However, a main reason that ordinary citizens have a right of Freedom of Speech is to protest oppressive government.The Tea Party protesters just don’t like the physical intrusions into their lives that policies such as ObamaCare would thrust into their private lives. They just want to be left alone, and decide for themselves how to live. (Of course, the little dictator in the White House doesn’t want to hear their views. He wants to shut them up.)

The people have a right to protest, criticize, satirize and insult government officials, primarily because, unlike people in the private sector, agents of the State have the power of compulsion and monopoly that private citizens don’t have.

Another Hurricane Elena?

There are various opinions being expressed about Barack Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court Elena Kagan, and here’s what I think about that. Kagan is apparently anti-First Amendment anti-free speech, and anti-Fifth Amendment and Due Process, and pro-government indefinite detentions of suspected ‘terrorist abettors,’ and is supportive of Obama’s strengthening of executive powers (i.e. pro-dictatorship). It will be no shock to me to see the slimy, knuckle-dragging neanderthals of the United States Senate approve this one, like they did the ignoramus Sonia Sotomayor last year. But here’s what some others think:

From David Bernstein of the Volokh Conspiracy: The Self-Pity of Elena Kagan

From a letter she wrote to the Daily Princetonian, as a senior at Princeton reflecting on the 1980 elections:

Looking back on last Tuesday, I can see that our gut response — our emotion-packed conclusion that the world had gone mad, that liberalism was dead and that there was no longer any place for the ideals we held or the beliefs we espoused — was a false one. In my more rational moments, I can now argue that the next few years will be marked by American disillusionment with conservative programs and solutions, and that a new, revitalized, perhaps more leftist left will once again come to the fore. I can say in these moments that one election year does not the death of liberalism make and that 1980 might even help the liberal camp by forcing it to come to grips with the need for organization and unity. But somehow, one week after the election, these comforting thoughts do not last long. Self-pity still sneaks up, and I wonder how all this could possibly have happened and where on earth I’ll be able to get a job next year.

I’m not one to hold someone’s [update: ideological] views as a twenty-year-old against them [update: and therefore I don’t put much weight on the fact that she apparently yearned for a “more leftist left” to take power]. I do find it strange that a summa cum laude graduate of Princeton apparently couldn’t conceive of working anywhere but for a Democratic politician. Really, where on earth, other than the Reagan Administration, could she NOT get a job? Did she ever hear of the private sector? (She instead went to Oxford, then to Harvard Law.)

[Update: But I do think Kagan’s early interest in political power is potentially revealing.] I knew quite a few students at Yale Law who were like Kagan–they dreamed of being a Senator, or a Supreme Court Justice, from the time they were in high school or before. (Kagan’s high school friends say she wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice even then!) Some of them, unlike Kagan, were from political families, which is at least a partial excuse. In general, they were not my favorite people; among other things, you never knew if they were being genuinely nice, or saw you as just another potential supporter/donor for their future career.

I’m of the general view that people who lust after political power are the last ones who should get it, regardless of party or declared ideology. People who start lusting during their adolescence or before are perhaps the worst of the breed. But, as Hayek reminded in the Road to Serfdom, when it comes to politics, the worst tend to rise to the top. I hope Kagan is an exception.

UPDATE: Why am I suspicious of people who lust after political power, especially people who do so from a young age? Because these are people who tend to think that they know better than the average person how the average person should run their lives, and therefore want to exercise authority over them. The very fact, in fact, that they want to exercise authority over other people is troubling. Such people, for self-evident reasons, tend not to have libertarian political instincts.

David Brooks, though of course not concerned about the libertarian angle, has related thoughts.

From Jeffrey Lord of The American Spectator: The Socialist Judge: Elena Kagan and the Teachable Moment

The issue — the issue — of this confirmation hearing for a Supreme Court Justice should be not Ms. Kagan, but socialism. Socialism, the philosophy she professed such admiration for in her 1981 Princeton thesis titled “To the Final Conflict: Socialism in New York City, 1900-1933.”

“The Final Conflict.” Think of that.

Why focus on an undergraduate college paper written almost thirty years ago?

Because we are in the middle of a massively controversial presidency led by a man who has exhibited every intention of “transforming” America in the socialist image — leading the country away from its capitalist heritage. This Supreme Court nomination does not, after all, come in a vacuum. Since taking office, the Obama administration has taken control of everything from car companies to financial institutions to banks to your health care.

And no, the obvious intent of Princeton’s Sean Wilentz, her thesis adviser and himself a notable progressive, is not missed. In saying in the New York Times that “to study something is not to endorse it” Wilentz telegraphs that is exactly what Kagan — and he himself — thought then and now of socialism. They liked it. They like it still. A lot….

….What about free speech? Already stories are appearing that Kagan “argued to the court in September that Congress has the constitutional right to forbid companies from engaging in political speech such as publishing pamphlets that advocate the election or defeat of a candidate for federal office.” Socialism is, of course, famously hostile to corporations and the rights of private individuals, a hostility that comes out in Kagan’s animus to free speech by corporations in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. This was the case, of course, for which President Obama famously scolded the Supreme Court as it sat before him during his State of the Union address…..

‘Market Liberalism’ and The Declaration of Independence

A couple months ago, I wrote this post about Sheldon Richman’s discussion of not using the word ‘capitalism’ to describe ‘free markets’ because ‘capitalism’ now tends to connote business-state collusions. I think that a good phrase for what we’re talking about might be ‘voluntary exchange’ (that describes freedom from aggression and coercion), but, in those aforementioned discussions, particularly on this Mises Blog post, it seems that some people might want to have an ‘ism’ to replace ‘capitalism,’ or just keep the word ‘capitalism.’

I rather like the phrase ‘market liberalism.”Market’ refers to the economics and ‘liberalism’ refers to ‘freedom from state aggression, coercion and intrusion into individuals’ private personal and economic lives.’ At least, that’s how I define that. Unfortunately, the word ‘liberalism’ has been perverted by the perverts of the left to mean ‘freedom to aggress against one’s neighbors, having a right to the wealth and property of others,’ etc. (i.e. meaning ‘socialism,’ ‘fascism,’ communism, statism, etc.), and such inaccurate misuses continue by people in media and the general population. I have addressed my opposition to that misuse of the words ‘liberalism’ and ‘liberal’ in the past. The use of those words has been in the context of the very opposite of what they really mean. In a free society, goods and services are produced and delivered via voluntary exchange and voluntary contract, and are free of the force, coercion and intrusion of the State. That’s the essence of ‘liberalism.’

There are reasons why market liberalism has morality on its side while the State’s intrusive controls of socialism and Obommunism do not. One of the most important reasons is that market liberalism respects the rights of the individual to one’s own life, liberty and property, including the right to voluntary association and contract. The Declaration of Independence is clear about those rights as being natural, inalienable rights. In fact, in my opinion, and in the opinion of Ronald Cherry who had an article in yesterday’s American Thinker online,  the Declaration of Independence should have the status of being the document upon which the laws of our society should be based, and not the U.S. Constitution. As Dr. Cherry noted,

…In order to save the fruit of the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence must be recognized and enforced as law. Amending our Constitution will also be necessary — for example, limiting federal taxation and requiring federal spending not to exceed federal revenue. It appears that neither of these changes is likely to emanate from the federal government any time soon. However, “We the People” do not need the federal government to define our sacred human rights or their associated moral laws. According to the Declaration, those truths and laws are self-evident….

…..All American laws which are destructive to an individual’s sacred, equal rights to life, liberty, and private property are un-Declarational and must be nullified — if not by Congress or the Supreme Court, then by states and local government. The concept of “Declarational” law must find its way into the American mind and into all levels of American government…..

It is a moral society in which those natural, inalienable individual rights to life and liberty are not to be violated by agents of the State or by one’s neighbors, and it is an immoral society in which those natural rights are violated by the State and by one’s neighbors. Democracy has given us the latter. Through democracy, the laws of society are no longer natural, absolute laws, but are man-made, and crimes against one’s fellow human beings such as theft and trespass are institutionalized through those man-made laws, through all the agencies, bureaucracies, and armed police forces of the State. And the U.S. Constitution has created the pathway, via the implicit overturning of the Declaration of Independence and via democracy, to the oppression, militarism and self-destruction of what used to be a culture of diversity, and the State’s institutionalized enslavement of the individual.

We need to repeal the socialism and fascism that the Constitution has wrought, and restore The Declaration of Independence as America’s foundation of ‘law of the land’ to protect individual liberty, individual sovereignty and natural rights of voluntary exchange, association and contract.

That Federal Reserve (Reserve? Of What?!!)

Today on his radio show, Glenn Beck was saying that the Federal Reserve is a “privately owned” company or institution, but that’s not really correct. According to the Fed’s own website,

The Federal Reserve System is not “owned” by anyone and is not a private, profit-making institution. Instead, it is an independent entity within the government, having both public purposes and private aspects.

As the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve derives its authority from the U.S. Congress. It is considered an independent central bank because its decisions do not have to be ratified by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branch of government, it does not receive funding appropriated by Congress, and the terms of the members of the Board of Governors span multiple presidential and congressional terms. However, the Federal Reserve is subject to oversight by Congress, which periodically reviews its activities and can alter its responsibilities by statute….

So, what the Federal Reserve really is is a government agency, and therefore, because the “public” owns the government, the “public” owns the Federal Reserve, or the nation’s “central bank.” That Federal Reserve includes 12 regional member Federal Reserve Banks, which, according to the Fed’s website, are “organized much like private corporations,” and probably should be considered “private.” The Fed was created to be “independent of politics.”

However, given the secrecy of the Fed that Beck was discussing today (and Murray Rothbard noted that the Fed is more secret than the CIA and the FBI), it should be considered neither private nor public, but a complete farce, and should never have been created in the first place. As Rothbard wrote,

But these are government agencies and operations we are talking about, and to say that government should be “independent of politics” conveys very different implications. For government, unlike private industry on the market, is not accountable either to stockholders or consumers. Government can only be accountable to the public and to its representatives in the legislature; and if government becomes “independent of politics” it can only mean that that sphere of government becomes an absolute self-perpetuating oligarchy, accountable to no one and never subject to the public’s ability to change its personnel or to “throw the rascals out.” If no person or group, whether stockholders or voters, can displace a ruling elite, then such an elite becomes more suitable for a dictatorship than for an allegedly democratic country. And yet it is curious how many self-proclaimed champions of “democracy,” whether domestic or global, rush to defend the alleged ideal of the total independence of the Federal Reserve.

Another reason why the Fed is more government-owned than private is that the Fed has a government-mandated monopoly of the production and distribution of the money that we citizens are FORCED by law to use for trade and commerce! How FOS is that?!! In a truly free country, which America was supposed to be, the people would have the right and the freedom to use whatever currency or means of trade we gosh-darn want to use! One way to resolve that problem is Ron Paul’s bill to repeal Legal Tender laws and allow for competing currencies. People should contact their congressman and ask them to support that bill. (That’s separate from Paul’s bill to audit the Fed.)

Let’s De-Collectivize Our Water!

I live in the Boston area, in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts. There has been a crisis here with our water supply, which is supplied by the Quabbin Resevoir, in which a major pipe burst and the 29 communities who are dependent on the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority for water are being served with untreated “pond water,” and told to boil the water for drinking and cooking. It appears as though the problem is almost completely fixed and things should be back to normal tomorrow. The part of the system in question was built by Barletta Companies of Canton, Massachusetts, just 7 years ago, so this reminds me of the Big Dig fiasco in 2006 in which a large piece of tunnel ceiling collapsed and killed a Boston woman, only a few years after that was built. The old saying goes, “They don’t make things like they used to.” (Because everything is controlled by the State now!)

But the idea of our water being supplied by one source is also troubling. However, the one community that is not affected by this is ironically the most communist of all these areas, the People’s Republic of Cambridge, home of Harvard University, MIT, and tens of thousands of Marxists, environmentalist wackos and women with hairy legs. Cambridge supplies its own water and is NOT dependent on the MWRA for its water needs.

That a whole population of 2 million people is dependent on one centralized source of water is just so…Dark Ages, if you ask me. Each community should have its own supply of water, and, in fact, each parcel of property should have a private well with one’s own filtration system. That’s just my opinion on that, and it’s not at all unrealistic. As Sam Corda of the Cambridge Water Department noted,

What happened this weekend certainly makes us feel better about having an independent water system.

Collectivism sucks.