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Month: January 2011

The Truth About the Political Third Rail

I am not surprised to hear that U.S. government officials will support the protests and democracy in Tunisia but not those in Egypt. They must support the dictatorial regime of Mubarak because he is supposedly a friend to, or at least not totally hostile toward, Israel. The U.S. government needs as many “friends” leading the Arab countries as possible, no matter how repressive they are. But these protests and demonstrations, or outright revolutions if that is what they are, are forcing the subject of Israel out in the open once again.

Unfortunately, any questioning of the actions of Israel’s government is met with hostility because the subject of Israel is about as third rail as anything can be.

It is indeed unfortunate that the neocons and their followers see what’s going on as a “jihadist” revolution brought upon by the Muslim Brotherhood, despite the fact that these uprisings are occurring spontaneously, not by the direction of any religion-based organization, but by the initiation of a people’s wanting to be free, which is their God-given right as human beings. And much of the protests are amongst the youths of Egypt, which can be compared (at least in spirit) to the youthful following that Ron Paul has earned here in America for his reasoned anti-violence, anti-State-authoritarianism views.

The Arab people are standing up for their right to be free, and those in America who want to deny them that, whether out of anti-Muslim paranoia or blind loyalty toward Israel or whatever, need to adhere to their constant claims of believing in the principles of the Founding Fathers.

And, as Robert Wenzel noted, newly sworn-in U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s calling for ending all U.S. foreign aid — including to Israel — is being criticized. For some reason, you just can’t touch Israel. Helen Thomas also noted the third rail status of Israel, claiming that if you criticize Israel in any way, you are labeled an “anti-Semite” or just “anti-Jewish.” Now, Thomas is not anti-Jewish — she merely asserted the truth that the Israeli government’s occupation of the Land of Israel is just that: an occupation. But Glenn Beck last week along with his radio cohorts certainly wasted no time in bashing the 90-year-old Ms. Thomas, making fun of her voice and manner of speech and imitating her with a “Wicked Witch of the West” inflection. This is how even talk show hosts can be so loyal to the Israel Lobby.

Now, the “Israel Lobby” is not any singular organization with some particular leader in charge. The “Israel Lobby” mainly refers to a category of unconnected groups, organizations, lobbyists and fund-raisers for Israel. There’s no “Zionist conspiracy.” But one of the most powerful groups involved is AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. It is also perhaps the most “controversial,” to say the least.

As corrupt as the organization may be, it apparently is very powerful, as congressmen and senators in DC bow and get on their knees and grovel before AIPAC’s lobbyists to make sure the bucks continue to flow into their campaign war chests.

That’s the bottom line in Washington: making sure they have plenty of cash to fund their next reelection campaigns, or campaigns for higher public office. That is what democracy and compulsory government are all about. Elections and reelections and the expansion of compulsory government and the State’s monopoly power over the lives of others. (Certainly not freedom and prosperity — if that were the case, they would have done away with compulsory government long ago.)

And in the case of Israel, I will reiterate what I’ve written here in this space several times already. As Murray Rothbard has noted, the occupation of the Land of Israel or Palestine by the force and dictates of Western governments turning what had been an Arab majority in the later 19th Century to a Jewish majority by the mid-20th Century, was nothing more than a conquest, a conquest and seizure of territory to be ruled with an iron fist.

However, there was never any logic in placing oppressed Jews or Jews in general in this territory, only emotion, only adherence to a mystical view of Biblical scriptures, and nothing more, and that’s the truth. (Ooooo, you can’t point these things out, you can’t tell the truth about the reason for the current state of Israel and all the violence and bloodshed that’s to do with Biblical mysticism of “Jews as the chosen people” or you’ll be labeled “anti-Semite.” Oh well.) And it is actually the Christian Zionists, such as Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, and not as much the Jewish ones, who are more teary-eyed in their mysticism. Combine this Biblical mysticism with the mysticism so many people have of the State, and you’re just asking for trouble.

But please someone tell me, where is the logic in placing the world’s Jews in this tiny territory, completely surrounded by millions of Muslims and Arabs (and Persians, etc.)? Is that a “safe haven” for Jews? Only people living in a total fantasy world (or high on drugs) would think so.

Unfortunately, there are intensely hostile feelings toward Israel shared by populations of the surrounding states. There is valid reason for such hostility, hatred and rage, given the aggressions and government expansions committed by the Israeli rulers in the past several decades, and given Israel’s treatment of Palestinians there, particularly what they are doing to the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip. As Haaretz’s Gideon Levy noted,

The Egyptian regime became an ally of the Israeli occupation. The joint siege of Gaza is irrefutable proof of that. The Egyptian people didn’t like it. They never liked the peace agreement with Israel, in which Israel committed itself to “respect the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people” but never kept its word. Instead, the people of Egypt got the scenes of Operation Cast Lead.

First you have a blockade, in which Gaza’s Palestinians are physically prevented from leaving the area, not even permitted to leave to get medical treatment. The Palestinians are literally locked in the Gaza region — it is literally an open-air prison. If a government were treating their Jewish population this way, the whole world would be at their throats.

But most people don’t even know about these things because of the American news media’s complicity in the Israeli and American governments’ propaganda campaign. “But they are ghastly terrorists, after all, those Palestinians,” the defenders of the blockade cry, as they categorize all Palestinians based on the perhaps 1% amongst them who are part of their ruling regime, the terrorist organization Hamas. The Archie Bunker anti-Arab bigots and ignoramuses are out there in droves.

It gets worse. Part of the blockade is the Israeli government’s deliberately preventing construction materials to be brought in to Gaza to repair the water and sewer treatment facilities damaged during the 2008-2009 war between Israel’s military and Hamas.

This blockade has been forcing the 1 million+ people of the Gaza Strip to have to use untreated water. It is exactly how the U.S. government deliberately damaged the Iraqi electricity, water and sewage treatment infrastructures in the 1991 war started by the U.S. government against Iraq, followed by the sanctions that prevented repair to that infrastructure throughout the 1990s, that led to extremely high cancer and child mortality rates and hundreds of thousands of deaths of innocents throughout Iraq. This is what having compulsory centralized government such as the U.S. government has wrought.

And that leads me to the curiously extreme similarities between the U.S. government’s intentionally destroying Iraqi water and sewer treatment facilities in 1991 followed by sanctions, and the Israeli government’s destruction of the Gaza Strip’s water and sewage treatment facilities. I have to speculate the very real possibility that the Israeli government themselves intentionally damaged the Gaza infrastructure followed by the blockade (having learned from the U.S. government’s actions and sanctions and their results during the ’90s).

Now, I’m not accusing the Israeli government of intentionally damaging the Gaza infrastructure, but given their blockade and preventing the damaged water and sewer treatment facilities from being repaired now after two years reinforces my speculating on that.

But we can’t question Israel’s “legitimacy,” in their founding that was based not on voluntary associations and contracts but the force of governmental mandates and seizures, and we can’t question Israel’s moral authority or lack thereof regardless of decades of aggression, violence and expansion. And we can’t question Israel’s receiving handouts from the U.S. government of wealth forcibly confiscated from American workers and producers.

As a Jew, I am ashamed of Israel’s human rights abuses and of those who defend them, in the name of anything Jewish.

Saturday in the Winter (Too Much Snow)

If you live in the Northeast or other areas overwhelmed with snow over the past two weeks, it would be wise to check the sides of your buildings where there are heating or gas dryer vents, and clear away built-up snow to avoid possible carbon monoxide poisoning. According to the Connecticut Department of  Emergency Management & Homeland Security, via Patch.com.

Newer heating systems are more vulnerable to these issues because of the location of these vents, which are installed much lower on the side wall of a home. Homeowners should take the following precautions to ensure their safety:

  • Have a properly operating carbon monoxide detector
  • Keep the fresh air intake and exhaust vent free from snow or ice build-up
  • Find the inlets and outlets of your furnace by looking at the heating equipment and following the intake back to where it penetrates the wall.
  • Check the area outside to ensure no snow is blocking the vents
  • Keep alert for symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure.

Symptoms and effects of carbon monoxide poisoning vary between individuals, even at the same level of exposure. People typically experience flu-like symptoms, including dizziness, fatigue, weakness, headache or vomiting.

Replace Austerity With Freedom, Independence, and Prosperity

January 28, 2011

© 2011 LewRockwell.com (Link to article)

The Economic Collapse Blog has this list of examples of how European-style “austerity” is already hitting the U.S., including cities closing schools and fire stations, and states eliminating whole state agencies and raising taxes. That includes the state of Illinois whose legislature has passed a “temporary” 66% personal income tax hike that the Democrat governor will sign. Rest assured, this income tax hike will be as “temporary” as the one in Massachusetts, still in place since 1989.1 Such austerity measures may lead to the same kind of social unrest Europeans have been experiencing.

The Economic Collapse Blog concludes,

We are entering a time of extreme financial stress in America.  The federal government is broke.  Most of our state and local governments are broke.  Record numbers of Americans are going bankrupt.  Record numbers of Americans are being kicked out of their homes.  Record numbers of Americans are now living in poverty.

The debt-fueled prosperity of the last several decades came at a cost.  We literally mortgaged the future.  Now nothing will ever be the same again.

To say that “nothing will ever be the same again” is just pessimistic and unnecessary. We actually can return to the prosperity of the past, by replacing debt and austerity with freedom and independence.

There is no need for Americans to suffer through what European countries are suffering, because nearly all the problems we face are caused by governmental intrusions into many aspects of our personal and economic lives – intrusions by federal, state and local governments. Regardless of the good intentions that the welfare and military socialism statists have in justifying their use of compulsory government powers, what America needs is to cut the shackles of State-imposed dependence, restrictions, regulations, taxation, all those policies of moral relativism that involve violations of the Rule of Law: theft, trespass, denial of Due Process, and other acts of State-initiated criminal aggression.

Freeing Americans includes repealing all forms of intrusive presumption-of-guilt regulations and restrictions that are in place having nothing to do with whether any individual is suspected of any crimes against others. Regulations are before-the-fact demands by the government that presume the individual and one’s business guilty, in which one must submit one’s private personal or financial information to the government to prove one’s innocence. Government regulations and arbitrary restrictions are literally searches and seizures by the government of information that is none of anyone else’s business, and effect in the stifling of everyday citizens’ growth and prosperity.

Ending all personal income taxes, corporate taxes, estate taxes, and capital gains taxes frees people who own or share in the ownership of businesses – i.e. employers and prospective employers – to invest in their own research and development and in the expansion of their businesses, which is the genuine force behind jobs creation, in both blue collar and white collar sectors. Ending all personal income taxes frees people to explore their own ideas and inventions, and to start their own businesses that will employ more people and advance society further. Also, ending all personal and corporate income taxes allows individuals and businesses to donate more of their own money to worthy charitable organizations, like it used to be before the intrusiveness of the government entered the scene and discouraged such charity giving.

Some may respond to such suggestions, “Well, if we do all that, then how will government functions be funded?” My response is: do you mean, how do we fund public employees’ 6-figure pensions, how do we fund all the extravagant public employee salaries that are now on average higher than private sector salaries? Or, for example, do you mean to ask how we fund the federal Department of Education that has done nothing but create bureaucracies and turn American education into a Soviet-style indoctrination camp for State-worship? As far as the federal government is concerned, just about every agency and department in Washington can be eliminated, because they are unnecessary and have been nothing but parasitic and slowing America’s growth and progress almost to a halt.

We also need to be honest about the “War on Terror” and the War on Drugs, which are not wars on terror or drugs, but wars on freedom. The war on drugs has been extremely hypocritical, by going after only “street drugs,” but not alcohol and not prescription drugs, all of which have been just as dangerous and lethal. The war on drugs criminalizes victimless behavior, discourages personal responsibility, and has been a boondoggle for law enforcement agencies through confiscation of private property and through bribery, and has caused a black market in drugs which incentivizes the formation of drug gangs and cartels that leads to increased violence, as well as the corruption of otherwise “good” cops and other government officials. What would happen if we immediately ended the War on Drugs and required individuals to be responsible for their actions and decisions? Do we really need to have costly government “anti-drug” enforcement agencies?

And regarding this “War on Terror,” many of the terrorists themselves have expressed explicitly that their primary motivations for their terrorist acts have been political, and not religious, responding to the U.S. government’s many decades of intrusions on those foreign lands as well as the U.S. government’s intrusive interventionist foreign policy. Even a top U.S. general has recently stated that for every one innocent civilian the U.S. military and CIA murders, ten new terrorists are created.

So, what would happen if we simply just closed all the U.S. military bases on foreign lands and brought all U.S. troops, contractors, and bureaucrats back to the U.S.? Does anyone in his right mind actually believe that there would be more terrorism against the U.S.?

If we closed all those foreign bases and brought everyone home and ended the violence that the U.S. military has been committing against foreigners, why, that would mean that the military socialism and welfare redistribution of wealth from middle-class workers over to defense contractors would have to stop. And, I’d like to ask, just how selfish are those defense contractors, knowing how counter-productive U.S. government aggression in the Middle East has been, knowing that they are playing a major role in making America less safe and much less productive, less prosperous and less free?

And how selfish are these big corporate-statist financial institutions, such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Bank of America, etc., in insisting that their billions of dollars in bonuses that result from bailouts and quantitative easing continue, at the expense of poor, middle-class workers and producers? How selfish will the parasites continue to be, as America continues to decline economically and morally? How much longer do we need to suffer at the hands of the most destructive of political institutions, that Federal Reserve? Because Americans’ inherent, inalienable rights to trade, commerce and contracts with free, competing currencies have been unconstitutionally squashed by this voracious federal Leviathan, we are all becoming poorer, and America is literally turning into a Third World economy. Which isn’t even an “economy” anymore because of the intrusive crimes of the State – America is a State-owned political prison.

In other words, just how helpful has the federal government been to America’s progress? What would happen if we just eliminated the federal government, and restored to the states their constitutionally-recognized inalienable rights to independence and sovereignty that political criminals have stolen from them in these 235 years of America? Is it possible to have an organized country consisting of independent states, but without a central-planning compulsory federal government? Of course it’s possible – and, for us to survive, it is necessary to make such a change, in addition to the elimination of the theft of taxation, the search and seizure of regulations, and the counter-productive wars on drugs and terrorism, and the sooner the better.

In honestly considering such solutions, one would have to conclude that, without a central federal government and all of government’s intrusions, no one would be able to monopolize territorial jurisdictions, monetary functions or the defense of others. There would be freedom, prosperity, and yes, much more security, and with a further assurance of stability for future generations.

Note

  1. Linked document prepared by the Massachusetts Citizens for Limited Taxation.

Stop the World, I’m Getting Off! (Or, at least stop Massachusetts)

Here in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, this guy was arrested and convicted for “drunk driving,” because he was sitting in his car, drunk, while the key was in the ignition with the car engine’s electrical system on but the engine itself off. The dingbats, imbeciles, and ignoramuses of the Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled this week to uphold his conviction.

So. This guy was arrested and convicted for, and will be thrown in jail for, “drunk driving,” or “driving under the influence,” even though he … wasn’t driving.

Okay, okay, the actual wording of the law is “operating under the influence,” but they mean driving, and “drunk driving.” According to the Boston Globe,

“We conclude that, as matter of law, the evidence that the defendant . . . turned the ignition key — an act which the jury could have found to be the first step in a sequence to set in motion the motive power of the vehicle — was sufficient to permit the jury to conclude that he ‘operated’ the motor vehicle,’’ the court said.

He operated. Oooo. (Does that mean they will arrest surgeons, too?)

Hmmm. Now, I know this is Massachusetts, the state that reelected Ted Kennedy for 40+ years, after all, I know. And that gave us Michael Dukakis, Willard Romney, and Barney Frank, I know, I know.

But does this mean they will arrest you for “texting while driving,” too, just because of merely sitting in your car texting, but not even driving? (Yes, that’s what this means, and more.)

Conservative Socialist Pots Calling the Kettle Black

Last night Mark Levin was spending some time calling people “socialists,” making references to ObamaCare and playing tapes of Ronald Reagan referring to the socialism of government medical care and “compulsory health insurance.” It really is something to hear these guys — and Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity as well — referring to “socialists” and “socialism,” when they themselves are socialists and advocate socialism. Conservatives not only are advocates of socialism, but tend to get huffy toward any questioning or challenging of the socialism they love so dearly, with suggestions that their anti-socialism opponents are “unpatriotic,” or as though questioning government’s socialist control over the conservatives’ beloved programs, especially immigration and defense, is an attempt to “dismantle America,” and so on. Well, I don’t want to dismantle America, only the government. Unfortunately, some people are unable to distinguish between our country, America, and our government, the U.S. government. One is good (America), and one is very bad (the government), I’m afraid.

One of the conservatives’ beloved socialist programs, of course, is the federal government’s control over immigration. I’ve addressed that issue in this old post for which I have no link:

In my opinion, as the Declaration (of Independence) states, each individual has a right to one’s life, liberty and pursuit of happiness… Some people have this misguided notion that such a statement is referring to “only Americans.” Nope. Everyone.

And everyone has a right of free association and a right to participate in voluntary exchange with anyone else one wants, as long as it is mutually agreeable and voluntary, and no one has a right to interfere with that. No one. Especially not the State. The private contract that two people establish between one another (or three, four people, etc.) is their own business, and no one else’s business.

Therefore, if a businessman in Laredo, Texas or Phoenix is hiring people at his business, he has a right to hire whomever he wants, and no one has any moral authority or right to judge or interfere with that…

And if a Mexican sees a job advertised and wants to seek employment there, no one has any moral right or authority to interfere with that, either. Any community or government interference with those private, voluntary, peaceful relationships is immoral, because it violates the rights of people to voluntary contract and trade, and their inherent right to life, liberty and their pursuit of happiness.

The socialist, central planning interference with those private matters is of collectivism. Collectivism is the main force behind all that threatens individual liberty, private property and voluntary exchange. Collectivism has been at the root of civilization’s decline, especially since the mid-19th Century. While their Declaration of Independence recognized those aforementioned rights to liberty, as soon as the Founders wrote and ratified that Constitution, which was the basis of the centralized State in Washington, that spelled the end of individual liberty and private property in America.

And it was the collectivist immigration restrictionists who prevented Jews from entering the U.S. in the first half of the 20th Century, who were trying to escape the pogroms of Russia and Poland, and trying to escape the Nazis and Stalin.

I just don’t understand how anyone who claims to believe in the original intent of the Founders could support giving the armed police the power to stop and search people and ask them for their papers, unless you want the USA to be a totalitarian society. (That’s what they do in totalitarian societies — demand to see your papers.) There used to be something called freedom of movement, and something called presumption of innocence and the right to be left alone. But I guess while the socialist central planners and police staters are well intended, perhaps they don’t know their history…

The problem with the immigration issue has been the welfare state that America has become, in which for the past several decades many immigrants come to the U.S. not as much for the opportunity to live and prosper and be productive Americans (which is more and more difficult because of all the totalitarian restrictions on trade and productivity imposed by the vultures of government), but are attracted to the U.S. by the free government hand-outs. This has reinforced and strengthened the (mostly conservatives’) anti-immigrant racism or ethnicism that has been behind the promotion of the police state socialism that Levin and other conservatives want — for example, in Arizona (“Your papers, please.”).

There have been varying definitions of the word, “socialism,” but I tend to believe that socialism is public ownership (via the State, more accurately) of wealth, property, and the means of production. When one believes that the State should have the power to dictate to an individual businessman whom he may or may not employ – even by imposing just some particular restrictions — then one is saying that it really is the State that possesses that business’s ownership, and not really that businessman. Or, the collective, one’s “community,” is seizing ownership over the business by using the power of the State to order the employer to hire or not hire the employee or applicant.

And Levin, Limbaugh et al. are also strong supporters of the federal government’s socialism in “national defense,” in which this centralized socialist bureaucracy has monopolistic control over the territorial protection of 300 million people over hundreds of thousands of square miles of land, whose “defense” services said 300 million people are compelled by law to use while forbidden by law to use any form of competing private protection firms. This military socialism that the conservatives especially love has encouraged U.S. leaders from Wilson and FDR to Bush and BHO to use their power of monopoly and compulsion to provoke foreigners abroad, to radicalize those abroad already tending toward extremism, and have made Americans less safe and more vulnerable. That is what socialism does: It worsens already difficult situations.

The Washington Post series last July (here, here, and here) on the out-of-control centralized national security Leviathan exposed the counter-productive nature of the federal government’s socialist control over territorial security, and it especially exposed how the State really exists for the sake of redistributing wealth and property from the producers and workers over to the private contractors. As economic historian Robert Higgs noted, regarding the revelations from the Post‘s series:

The whole business is akin to sending a blind person to find a needle inside a maze buried somewhere in a hillside. That the massive effort is utterly uncoordinated and scarcely able to communicate one part’s “findings” to another only strengthens the conclusion that the goal is not stopping terrorism, but getting the taxpayers’ money and putting it into privileged pockets….

It’s a rip-off, plain and simple…

But the problem with so many people, not just conservatives, is this blind faith some seem to have in this military socialism, this authoritarian State control over our security, despite how fiscally wasteful and parasitic such a system has been, despite how much of a mess such U.S. government foreign policy of aggression overseas has caused in Iraq and Afghanistan, and despite the immoral destruction of life and property that our own government has committed against foreign peoples. It is a blind, religious faith in government as a god, and any questioning of it is to be forbidden and suppressed. But for some reason, the conservatives find it perfectly acceptable to question domestic government policies such as ObamaCare and approve of any disclosures of those domestic socialist policies’ failures or violations of our liberty, but the conservatives won’t tolerate any kind of exposing of the government’s or military’s ineptness or outright crimes — or, you’ll be labeled “traitor.”

This brings me to the past several months of WikiLeaks disclosures and Bradley Manning, the Army private that I heard Levin refer to as a “piece of crap” several weeks ago, and who has been held in solitary confinement for months and has been suffering from deliberate sleep deprivation and other means of trying to weaken him so he’ll succumb to pressure to confess to “conspiring” with WikiLeaks’s Julian Assange “against America,” treatment toward suspects that only sick degenerates commit against others, as I mentioned here. And, Manning is being held in solitary confinement based on certain chat logs between him and Adrian Lamo, whose own credibility is in doubt given Lamo’s being a convicted felon and having been involuntarily committed in a psychiatric hospital. And, from the information I’ve read, the chat logs are the only “evidence” the military has against Manning, and just this week the military has admitted they can’t link Manning to Assange. And, as Marcy Wheeler pointed out in this post, those chat logs are themselves questionable. (i.e. the logs may have been altered by Lamo.)

But if it is true that Manning is the one who leaked the thousands of documents to WikiLeaks, and if the chat logs between Manning and Adrian Lamo, the one who turned him in, are true, then Manning was a soldier who saw wrong-doing in the military and felt it would be immoral to look the other way, or engage in a cover-up of acts that he believed were crimes. To authoritarians such as Levin and other conservatives, such actions by Manning are seen as “treasonous.” They believe that the citizens should just be sheep and not protest their government’s abuse of power.

Socialists believe that we must allow agents of the State to be above the law. Such a blind faith in the State for protection through its powers of compulsion and monopoly is what gives the agents of the State carte blanche ability to act like marauders and murderers, as the U.S. military has done in Iraq and Afghanistan, and such sheepish faith and authoritarianism is what promotes the outright persecution of one soldier to punish him for uncovering the State’s crimes. This is an inevitable consequence of compulsory military protection socialism, and would not happen were territorial protection provided by private firms, as explained by Morris and Linda Tannehill, in their book, Market for Liberty, and in this excerpted chapter from the book,

Those who doubt that “the private sector” of the economy could sustain the expense of a free enterprise defense system would do well to consider two facts. First, “the public sector” gets its money from the same source as does “the private sector” – the wealth produced by individuals. The difference is that “the public sector” takes this wealth by force (which is legal robbery) – but it does not thereby have access to a larger pool of resources. On the contrary, by draining the economy by taxation and hobbling it with restrictions, the government actually diminishes the total supply of available resources.

Second, government, because of what it is, makes defense far more expensive than it ought to be. The gross inefficiency and waste common to a coercive monopoly, which gathers its revenues by force and fears no competition, skyrocket costs. Furthermore, the insatiable desire of politicians and bureaucrats to exercise power in every remote corner of the world multiplies expensive armies, whose main effect is to commit aggressions and provoke wars. The question is not whether “the private sector” can afford the cost of defending individuals but how much longer individuals can afford the fearsome and dangerous cost of coerced governmental “defense” (which is, in reality, defense of the government, for the government…by the citizens).

But as we have been seeing just this week from the treatment of Manning’s visitors which indicates to me some sort of new cover-up of Manning’s deteriorated condition as a result of the sick treatment of him by U.S. military, crime begets crime in my opinion, and socialism begets criminality, because socialism by its very nature requires the violation of Liberty and requires that agents of the State to commit acts of aggression against others in enforcing the central bureaucracy’s control over various activities of daily life, in this case, control over the protection of 300 million Americans.

But the conservatives love their military socialism.

We’re Better Off With Medical Freedom

Here is a quote by Ron Paul, that was toward the end of an interview with The Judge on Freedom Watch:

I disagree with the delivery of health care by the government. Any time the government delivers a service, the cost goes up and the quality goes down, and whether it’s education or whether it’s medical care. I want medical care delivered more like cell phones and TVs and computers, because… there’s the least amount of regulation, the prices keep dropping, and poor people end up with TVs and cell phones. That’s what would happen with services, too…

Now, some people seem to be thinking that Dr. Paul is comparing to material goods such as cell phones and TVs something as “important” as medical care, but that is not what he is referring to. Dr. Paul is saying that the reason material goods, such as cell phones and TVs, are relatively inexpensive and that even poor people can afford to buy, is because the manufacturing, production and delivery of those goods are minimally regulated by the government. The fewer regulations, and financial burdens such as fees and taxes, imposed on manufacturers by government, the lower the costs of the manufacturing, and thus the lower the products’ prices are for the consumers, while the higher the regulatory and financial burdens imposed by the government, i.e. bureaucratic red tape and other unnecessary distractions and inconveniences, the higher the costs are for the manufacturers and thus the higher their prices are.

Like it or not, and even though medical care is among the needed “human services,” the relationships between the providers and medical consumers are similar to those between manufacturers and consumers, and are just as affected by intrusions by the government. And yes, the medical care regulations, taxes, fees, licensure, etc imposed by government are intrusions — economic intrusions, as well as personal intrusions.

For example, prior to the dreaded ObamaCare, medical providers have had mountains and mountains of paperwork, bureaucratic red tape, as well as fees and licenses, all of which are costly and THAT has been what’s driving up the costs of medical care. Instead of this new Soviet-style complete government-control over Americans’ private medical matters and relationships with doctors or insurers, if we want to actually lower the costs of health care we need to go the OTHER WAY and REDUCE all those intrusions by the government that have done nothing but drive up the costs. Get rid of all the regulations, taxes, fees, licensure and so on — in other words, remove the shackles of State harassment, theft, and State-protectionism of Established medical providers, and you’ll see the costs of medical provision fall dramatically, as well as the corruption, and, believe it or not — and a lot of people who are already anti-”free market” won’t like this — but with a system that relies on competitiveness in the medical marketplace the quality of medical care will go up. And by the way, as I’ve mentioned before, licensure does not protect consumers from bad doctors. Licensure protects bad doctors from prospective competition, just as tenure protects bad teachers and professors.

Another problem with government involvement with (and intrusions into) medical care is this insurance addiction. As long as we have “insurance,” then it’s okay to just eat like pigs, drink like fish and smoke like chimneys. “Insurance” discourages people from taking care of themselves, and does not motivate people toward preventive measures in their lifestyles. The intrusiveness of government central planning of a population’s medical matters causes social and economic dysfunction. As Lew Rockwell noted, “insurance” is “subsidized sickness.”

In the in-between years, the Soviet Union became host to one of the most backward, murderous, and coercive systems of medical provision ever concocted. The country trained more doctors than any in the world, but the vital statistics showed a more complete picture. Lifespans averaged 10 to 20 years less than in western countries. Infant mortality was twice as high. By the time of the collapse of socialism, 80 million people were said to have chronic illnesses, and up to 68 percent of the public was health-deficient by international standards. Mental retardation afflicted nearly a quarter of the children — a consequence of serious deprivation.

It was impossible for ordinary people to have access to decent drugs. Stores carried only the most primitive medicines. However, the country was flooded with penicillin, as ordered in the central plan, a plan which was not altered even after the citizens became resistant to it. The hospitals housed 12 to 16 patients per room. More than a third of rural hospitals had no running water. Syringes were reused an average of 1,000 times. To keep up with the planned death rate, hospitals routinely threw people out before they died so that the hospital wouldn’t go beyond its quota.

Of course most real care went underground, where bribing for anaesthesia was common. Former Soviet economist Yuri N. Maltsev points out that this method was even used in the case of abortion, which was the most common surgical procedure in the Soviet Union. After Maltsev emigrated to the US, he was astonished to see that the US was adopting many of the principles that drove the old Soviet system. But in the US, it is not called socialism or communism. It is called insurance.

Here is Yuri Maltzev’s article on Soviet medicine at the Mises Institute.

Hans-Hermann Hoppe has this article on insurance, insurance cartels vs. competition, and the limitations of insurability for further reading.

And Dr. Paul Hsieh has this article on how freedom of contract protects insurability.

We’re Better Off Without Joe Lieberman

Joe Lieberman announced his retirement from the U.S. senate, only 22 years too late. Glenn Greenwald has this complete overview of the senior ignoramus/war criminal from Connecticut, Joe Lieberman’s senate career, Lieberman’s dishonesty, ignorance of the Constitution and our inalienable rights, his arrogance and just how dangerously anti-Liberty, anti-American Lieberman has been. There’s nothing much more to add to it, except that it would be helpful to us and our freedom if Lieberman were to take the retirement immediately.

Here are some excerpts of Greenwald’s piece:

But the blood on Joe Lieberman’s hands is accounted for by far more than support for the Iraq War. He’s long been one of Washington’s most indiscriminate, toxic and deceitful supporters of aggressive war generally. Even as the two wars he cheered on were spiraling out of control, he was repeatedly urging new American attacks against Iran, Syria and, most recently, Yemen. Lieberman — who, needless to say, never served in the military nor have any of his children — devoted his entire career to attempting to send other Americans’ children to fight war after war after war. In sum, as The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Will Bunch put it when examining the muddled history of Lieberman’s opposition to the war in Vietnam: “the only war he ever opposed was the only war he might actually have had to fight in.” But, of course, being a relentless warmonger while cowardly hiding yourself and your family far away from the wars you cheer on is not remotely inconsistent with being a Man of Decency and Conscience, as David Brooks and his many Beltway admirers will be the first to tell you….

And then there’s the leading role Lieberman played in lending Democratic support to the whole litany of Bush/Cheney assaults on basic liberties. He defended the “Bush interrogation program” and even waterboarding, and was one of only two Democrats to vote against banning it. He led the way — along with his close friends John McCain and Lindsey Graham — in enacting the Military Commissions Act, which explicitly denied all detainees the right to contest their detention in a court of law: a measure so repressive that the Supreme Court in Boumediene struck it down as unconstitutional, citing Alexander Hamilton’s warning that “the practice of arbitrary imprisonments, in all ages, is the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny.” Once the Court re-established the habeas right which Lieberman and his comrades snuffed out, it turned out, as federal courts found, that there was no credible evidence to justify the detention of a huge percentage of remaining detainees at Guantanamo: innocent people who would have been imprisoned indefinitely to this day — without a shred of due process — if Lieberman had his way.

This “Democratic hero” has spent decades posing serious threats to basic liberties, including free speech. It was Lieberman who, just a few weeks ago, publicly threatened and bullied all companies to terminate their relationship with WikiLeaks despite its not even being charged with, let alone convicted of, any crime. That was just a repeat of his censoring behavior, two years earlier, when he successfully demanded that YouTube remove videos he disliked, causing The New York Times to editorialize: “it is profoundly disturbing that an influential senator would even consider telling a media company to shut down constitutionally protected speech.” …

Then there’s the bill introduced last year by Lieberman and McCain — the so-called “Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention and Prosecution Act” — which is probably the single most extremist, tyrannical and dangerous bill introduced in the U.S. Senate in the last several decades, far beyond the horrific, habeas-abolishing Military Commissions Act. It would literally empower the President to imprison anyone he wants in his sole discretion by simply decreeing them a Terrorist suspect — including American citizens arrested on U.S. soil. The bill requires that all such individuals be placed in military custody, and explicitly says that they “may be detained without criminal charges and without trial for the duration of hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners,” which everyone expects to last decades, at least. It’s basically a bill designed to formally authorize what the Bush administration did to American citizen Jose Padilla or what was done to Japanese-Americans during World War II — arrest them on U.S. soil and imprison them for years in military custody with no charges.

As for Lieberman’s Principled Integrity, just consider this article from The Hill yesterday, which describes how the Connecticut Senator has been so loyal to defense contractors that they are lamenting that he’ll be “hard to replace.” And then there’s the matter of his virulent servitude to the health insurance industry placed next to his wife’s “professional lifetime devoted to the corporate health sector.” And, needless to say, he was the receipient of millions of dollars from the industries he so loyally served. (Full article…)

‘Vitriolic Rhetoric’ vs. Government’s Aggression

January 20, 2011

© 2011 LewRockwell.com (Link to article)

Following the shootings in Arizona by a lunatic, there were calls to “tone down the rhetoric” politically, with references to the past year’s “vitriolic” anger and activism expressed by many among the Tea Party movement and by those who generally oppose the federal government’s agenda. There have been criticisms of “violent metaphors,” such as those used by Sarah Palin who was “targeting” various candidates in the November 2010 elections, with bull’s-eyes drawn on maps of targeted districts, and so on. Some have criticized the current bill to repeal ObamaCare, because of the repeal bill’s title, “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act,” because it has the word “killing” in the title, and the bill’s critics remind us just how ridiculous and nutty today’s political correctness has become.

So, “Tone down the rhetoric,” they say. This reminds me of those annoying commercials with James Lehman, the child behavioral therapist whose product attempts to help people deal with their “backtalking” and “defiant” kids. His books and CDs teach parents how to control their kids’ behavior. (Apparently, some people like the product and some don’t.) And this is exactly how the elitists in Washington sound, the ones who don’t want to hear the “defiance” and “backtalking” of the people who are opposed to one intrusion after another by the government into our private lives and businesses. We are being disobedient to the feds’ authority, and they and their apologists don’t like it.

Well, I have news for them: They are the ones who have been disobedient, and it is up to “We the People” to control the bureaucrats’ aggressive acts of legislation, their bills and laws, policies and unconstitutional programs and procedures that are constantly limiting our freedom, speech, commerce and associations. It is our representatives in Washington who have been defiant of the Americans’ will, such as how the DC elitists rammed the ObamaCare bill through with no discussion and no debate, despite many Americans being opposed to that legislation. That was the epitome of how spoiled rotten and “disobedient” the bureaucrats in Washington have become!

The little dictators in Washington give more dictatorial orders than most 20th Century fascists had done. Americans need to exercise their inalienable rights of free speech to protest, as long as it’s peaceful. In general, people who love and cherish Liberty are peaceful, and don’t believe that using aggression is the way to solve problems. In contrast, it is those Washington elitists, whose very intrusions require the use of physical aggression by their enforcers to carry out their agenda, who are the truly violent ones. They are not peaceful. And many of these elitists do not like the people’s defiance of their aggressive rules and dictates, and they are the ones who become vitriolic in response to the “defiance and disobedience” of people who want their freedom restored.

One recent example of those elitists who become emotional toward a mere questioning or challenging of their views was Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell in his appearance with Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes. When Stahl challenged Rendell’s views supporting bringing slot machines to the state, he became enraged in his response, growling “You guys don’t get that. You are simpletons. You are idiots if you don’t get that!” Unfortunately for us, Rendell is one of many government bureaucrat elitists who angrily believe that we Americans don’t know what’s best for us, and that we are in need of centralized government bureaucrats to rule over us, and that we must obey their commands. We are their “disobedient, backtalking children” in need of their scolding, their unquestioned authority.

Defiance toward authority – the citizens’ defiance of the government’s orders – is not a bad thing, it is not “violent.” Defiance is resisting the orders of those authorities, when they have no business, no constitutional authority, and most important, no moral right to issue those orders especially with punishments given to those who defy them. I’d like to see doctors and patients – and insurers – be defiant to and nullify the arbitrary rules and regulations and mandates of not only ObamaCare, but all other medical-related commands from the feds. I’d like to see patients and medical providers establish their own voluntary contracts and associations amongst themselves and deliberately bar the government from their private matters. Most sensible people don’t like their medical privacy violated, their money taken and their independence and freedom of choice stolen from them. Americans need to say to the government, “Who the hell are you to tell me what kind of medical care I may receive, how much I may pay and which doctors I may be associated with!”

In his Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson details the complaints the American Founders had of their British ruler, and among the complaints, Jefferson notes,

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

Could there be any better description of ObamaCare and the new Dodd financial regulatory bureaucracy? Those new laws, thousands of pages long that almost none of our representatives have actually read, are creating hundreds of new bureaucracies, mandates and taxes that will do nothing but “harass our people and eat out their substance.”

This brings me to the subject of America’s government-forced energy dependence, dependence on foreign oil and the many restrictions on our lives to freely and inexpensively move from one place to another, restrictions imposed by green extremists and corporate-State profiteers in the name of “environmentalism.”

You see, the real problem is not as much Americans’ dependence on foreign oil as it is Americans’ dependence on our government’s control over our energy needs. What would we do if there is a repeat of the 1973 oil embargo that forced us to wait in long lines at the pump? After all, one of these days the Saudis and the Iraqis will have enough oil contracts with China and Russia and others that those oil-producing Middle-Eastern countries won’t even need to do business with the U.S., certainly not with our totally debased dollar. How will Americans then be able to fuel their vehicles to get to work, in order to be productive and keep the economy growing?

More citizen disobedience and nullification of the federal government is in order in this area of life.

The American people need to forget about whether or not the federal government approves of states’ drilling for oil and gas, and the states need to just do it anyway. The inhabitants of each of the U.S. states have a God-given right to explore, discover and utilize any natural resources that exist on or within their lands. If the feds begin to fine states that disobey federal energy and environmental regulations, or send in the military to force states to stop drilling or send defiant citizens and businessmen to jail, then the states need to take the issue to the Supreme Court, and/or declare their Tenth Amendment rights to allow access to energy resources on their own lands to their inhabitants, whose means of livelihoods the federal government has been obstructing.

Instead of “promoting the general welfare,” which the government is supposed to do, the centralized bureaucrats, with their control over energy and their monopoly in territorial protection, have not only continued the destructive, forced dependence on foreign oil, but have been provoking foreigners abroad, including a 20-year war against Iraq, started by President George H.W. Bush, and literally wrecking that country, as well as their war that is destroying Afghanistan. These politicians have been radicalizing the Muslims of those lands to turn against Americans, and making us less safe, as well as more dependent!

Also in his Declaration, Jefferson noted

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, – That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…

The centralized DC bureaucracy’s destructive monopoly of territorial protection, and preventing Americans from utilizing natural resources on their own lands and forcing Americans to be “dependent on foreign oil,” are not only inhibitive of Americans’ maximizing productivity and raising their standard of living, but destructive of Americans’ security as well. The U.S. government has been destructive of Americans’ security through the blowback of its trespassing on foreign lands with hundreds of military bases especially since World War II, and starting wars against foreign peoples who were of no threat to the U.S., and by its constant interferences and intrusions into the private matters of foreign countries.

Now, to return to those complainers of “vitriolic rhetoric,” it is necessary to point out how we are constantly hearing the left and the unions declaring, “Stand up for your rights!” However, the “rights” to which they refer are “positive” rights, made up out of whole cloth, and are not really rights. They are actually referring to – admittedly or not – people standing up for their demands for other people’s wealth and property, via taxation, regulations and other State-imposed intrusions and restrictions on the otherwise peaceful activities of others.

In terms of actual “rights,” people have natural, inherent rights as human beings, among them the right to own their lives and establish voluntary associations and contracts with others, in their personal lives and in business. Human beings have a right to be free from the aggressions of others, the right to defend themselves from the aggressions of others, and, as the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, the right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects.”

People have a right to not be bound by any contracts or arrangements they did not voluntarily agree to be a part of, and are not morally obligated to obey the dictates of central authorities in Washington. The 19th-Century individualist and entrepreneur Lysander Spooner explained that in his great work, No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority, and, more recently, economic historian Thomas Woods explains this in his highly acclaimed book, Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century.

Those who oppose the natural rights of human beings to be free and to control their own lives and property, those and who demand that Americans be enslaved by Washington elitists, are against freedom and mainly just love the central State, pure and simple. Those who have been expressing the most childish intolerance of “vitriolic rhetoric” are really just intolerant of opposing views and of dissent from the intrusive power of the State. The statists are unwilling or unable to tolerate people who stand up for themselves, their lives and their property and who are trying to protect themselves from the aggression and violence of the State.

The intolerant ones who promote unchecked State power are the ones that child behavioral therapist James Lehman should be treating. They are the ones who should be sent to their rooms and made to stand in the corner, and made to study the Declaration of Independence, the Anti-Federalist papers and the speeches and writings of Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. It is actually the states who are supposed to be the parent, and the bureaucrats in DC those parents’ children, or better, the states are the boss and the federal government their employee. Unfortunately, Americans have allowed that to be turned around, with the bureaucrats becoming not just authoritarian bosses, but full-fledged totalitarian tyrants and dictators, and the people their slaves and prisoners.

The people need to continue to express their anger, their frustration, and yes, their vitriol when it’s called for, and protest against the government bully, as long as such protests are peaceful. The people must make use of their First Amendment rights and adopt the same kinds of civilized, peaceful, non-violent protests as the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. did, with words, signs, symbols, blogs, articles, rallies, pickets and marches.

The government and its aggressive intrusions are the biggest threats against us, not “vitriolic rhetoric.”

The Predator State

The recent interview of Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell by Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes was quite revealing and gave us a good glimpse into the true motivations of State ministers and how they think and operate. The issue was Pennsylvania’s gambling casinos and slots that Rendell had put in place as governor as a means of collecting more revenues for the state, especially as an aid to reduce property taxes. But there has been a problem of “gambling addiction,” in which some people are losing their entire paychecks and more because they can’t control their gambling habits.

Now, I believe in personal responsibility and free will, and that it’s up to the individual to control one’s behavior and habits. If you lost your whole paycheck on gambling, then YOU lost your whole paycheck, not the gambling and not the slot machines.

But when Stahl pressed Rendell on the point that the state is taking advantage of people’s weaknesses, Rendell lost his cool, and angrily called Stahl and her producers “simpletons” and “idiots” because he couldn’t get it across to her that people were going to lose their money anyway, gambling at other places. So here is how that conversation went (as transcribed at the CBS News website):

“You brought these casinos to the state. Do you ever just say to yourself, ‘Oh, my God, there are a lotta people who are suffering. And they’re taking whatever money they have…,” Stahl asked Pennsylvania’s Ed Rendell. “…and they’re throwing it away in these casinos.’ And do you ever just say…’Oh, what have I done?’”

“You don’t listen. Anyone who has that bent would be doing it in other places had Pennsylvania not legalized gambling,” Rendell argued.

“The counter argument is that you’re creating new gamblers. And lots of new gamblers,” Stahl said.

“We’re not creating new gamblers,” Rendell replied.

“Well, ’cause it’s down the street,” Stahl said.

“Those people play the lottery. They bet on football. How much money is bet on the Super Bowl,” Rendell said.

“People are losing money for the state to get its revenue. They’re losing money,” Stahl said.

“Let me answer this. I’ve known of for two or three decades, you’re a very smart person,” Rendell said.

“But not now,” Stahl remarked.

“But you’re not getting it,” Rendell replied.

“I’m dumb now,” Stahl said.

“You’re not getting it. Those people would lose that money anyway. Don’t you understand?” Rendell replied.

Our pressing him on this point led to an angry response from Rendell: “You guys don’t get that. You’re simpletons. You’re idiots if you don’t get that!”

We couldn’t figure out why all the emotion. But his main point was that gambling is good entertainment, and people should be allowed to make their own decisions about it. But since the first casino opened in Pennsylvania five years ago, calls to gambling addiction hotlines in the state have tripled…

So, Gov. Rendell is trying to say that, because people are going to lose their money anyway at other gambling establishments, then they might as well lose it under state control, and let the state take advantage of those revenues. In other words, rather than thinking, “Hmmm, if people are gambling too much and losing their money, then maybe we should be doing something to discourage them from doing so, or even helping them to overcome their problem.” Instead, his thinking exemplifies how the State preys on others, as the State searches for new ways, ethical or not, to suck in more money to fund all the state’s extra agencies, bureaus, commissions, all the important administrators, the assistant administrators, the assistant to the assistant administrators and liaisons whose main importance is soliciting campaign contributions for the high ministers’ and chairmen’s and very important office-holders’ reelection campaigns.

Given how IMPORTANT it is that the state rake in as much of middle-class workers’ and producers’ wealth and property, one can see why Rendell would become so angry when questioned about it.

Here is the link to the full CBS News video of Leslie Stahl’s story. The Rendell interview is about 2/3 into the story.

The Bureaucrats’ Emotional Reaction to Shootings: Stifle Dissent and Suppress Liberty

As usual, the hysterical nudniks are coming out of the woodwork, in their solely emotional reactions to the recent Arizona shootings, with their calls to censor more speech, and disarm the population. Washington, DC is the center of irrationality and legislative, violent tirades against our Liberty.

According to The Hill, Rep.Robert Brady is going to submit legislation that would “make it a federal crime to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a federal official or member of Congress.” On the Activist Post blog, Milo Nickels points out that

The language (or symbols) doesn’t have to be threatening or actually incite violence.  It doesn’t even have to be perceived that way.  If it could be perceived that way–through the widest, loosest, and irrational interpretations imaginable–that is sufficient to charge someone with a federal crime.  This kind of broad, widely subjective legislation would make it potentially illegal to disagree with the government about anything.

However, there are many laws, policies, ordinances and so on that are so broad that just about any speech could be taken as a threat to someone. But it’s never enough to these imbeciles in Washington, who really don’t understand the idea that we all have an inherent right to freedom of speech and the right to criticize government officials using whatever language we choose, and they don’t understand the idea that individuals should be responsible for the consequences of their actions. (i.e. the shooter, and not something he read or heard, is responsible for his own choosing to shoot people, by his own free will.) It seems that these politicians in Washington (and elsewhere) are so insecure, so in need of the public’s adulation and state-worship, that the littlest thing is perceived as a threat — not to their lives or their persons, but to their egos, so fragile, so easily shattered. That is why they want to censor the Internet, and that is why they want to prosecute people for criticizing them.

Take Joe Lieberman and Elena Kagan.* Now, I’ve mentioned those two here in this space several times, and some people think that I have expressed “vitriolic rhetoric” toward them (as well as Nancy Smelgrosi and Harry Reek). And they are correct, I have done that. But I certainly haven’t threatened them, nor would I do that. On the contrary, it is they who actually threaten me and each and every one of us non-government “mundanes” (as William Grigg would say).

For example, Joe Lieberman has submitted legislation to be able to remove citizenship and have deported (to where?) Americans who are suspected by the government to be “terrorists,” or terrorist supporters, but not convicted of anything, not even tried or charged, so he wants to do that to someone without a trial, without Due Process. Lieberman does not seem to understand the idea of presumption of innocence and Due Process. The right to presumption of innocence and the right to Due Process are basic, inherent, inalienable rights that all human beings have. Joe Lieberman needs to understand what the Founding Fathers understood, that if you give any agent of the State the power to just make a determination out of thin air, based on nothing but his own whim or his own personal judgment, that power will be abused, as it has already been in these years of the “War on Terror,” in which the Bush Administration knowingly apprehended and detained totally innocent individuals. That is a disgusting abuse of government power, and Joe Lieberman supports all those anti-Liberty policies, and he wants to expand them. I have addressed this in my “Tea Partiers May Need the ACLU Soon.”

And most informed, rational people know that the real reason that Joe Lieberman wants to shut down the Internet with his “Kill Switch” is to stifle political dissent. Totalitarians do not like dissent, and that is what they do to it: crush anyone who not only disagrees with them, but who even questions them, questions their authority. (Remember “Question Authority” from the 1960s and 1970s? Those same leftists got themselves into power, into positions of authority, and here they are now, they don’t like their authority being questioned, Obama, Cass Sunstein, Dianne Larryfinestein, etc.)

In her devotion to authoritarian executive power, Elena Caveman Kagan has supported and defended the aforementioned Obama policies of indefinite detention, giving the president the power to assassinate anyone he pleases and label anyone as an “enemy combatant” at his own whim, without any Due Process, and she clearly opposes the idea of natural rights, that we as human beings have inalienable, natural rights, and she opposes the idea that individuals have a natural right of self-defense. “Arm the State – disarm the citizenry,” she might as well say.

In other words, what we have been seeing now has been, in their emotional reaction to events such as 9/11 or the recent Arizona shootings, these government reactionaries would have ME arrested for simply pointing out how dangerous these officials are to our Liberty. THEY are the ones who are the threat, literally. That’s why I’m bringing all this up again. And, speaking of our God-given right to bear arms, and right to self-defense, now Rep. Peter King (R-Nutsville), who at one time was apparently on the side of actual terrorists in Northern Ireland but who seems to want to persecute Muslims, wants to make it a federal crime if one happens to be armed within 1,000 feet of any federal official. That’s absurd. What if some federal official, a congressman or judge or some State Department flunky, happens to be out walking along some street and some guy who happens to be armed is nearby, right there he is committing a federal crime, according to King. And Nazi New York Mayor Michael Bloomjerk agrees with King:

Yesterday everyone here joined in observing a moment of silence on behalf of the victims of the shooting, and today we come together to speak up for ways to prevent tragedies like this from occurring in the future, by adopting commonsense fixes to some of our broken gun laws.

By “commonsense,” Nazi Bloomjerk means “disarm honest, law-abiding citizens, and keep the criminals and the agents of the State armed.” Obviously, Bloomjerk hasn’t read John Lott’s book, More Guns, Less Crime. In the cities with more gun control, there is more crime, and where there is more gun freedom, there is less crime. That is because actual criminals don’t obey laws, duh, and so obviously they’re not going to obey gun laws, either. But when they know that there’s a good chance that their potential victim may be armed, the criminals will more likely choose to not commit their criminal acts. Now, that’s the real common sense. And if someone in that crowd at the Giffords event was armed, as soon as it was clear that some lunatic was shooting, the armed citizen could have immediately shot the shooter, and there would only have been one or two dead or injured people, rather than six dead people and 14 wounded. Unfortunately, some people just don’t like the idea of the individual’s right to be armed, in self defense, and in the defense of others. The authoritarians and totalitarians believe strongly in arming the State and disarming the citizenry.

Decentralizing Our Water Resolves the Fluoridation Question (and Other Dilemmas)

January 10, 2011

© 2011 LewRockwell.com. (Link to article)

This past Friday on the talk shows, Jason Lewis and Mark Levin were both discussing the controversy of fluoridation of the public water supplies, and Robert Wenzel linked to an AP story, and to an article by Murray Rothbard. Some people are saying that critics of water fluoridation are “conspiracy theorists.” Rothbard points out the early politicization of water fluoridation, and refers to fluoride as a “highly toxic and probably carcinogenic substance.” Now, given Rothbard’s credibility as an overly conscientious practitioner of truth and verification in economics, history, science and so on, I trust Rothbard’s judgment on any subject about which he had written.

And for further reading on fluoride, I very much suggest Dr. Donald Miller’s 2005 article, Fluoride Follies, and his more recent one, Fighting Fluoride from last November. And I trust Dr. Miller’s expertise and judgment, too, given that he is the head of cardiothoracic surgery at Seattle VA Medical Center and a professor of surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and is a prestigious heart transplant surgeon. He is very thorough in his extensive research on these issues, and regarding the importance of Vitamin D especially.

But to me, the question isn’t whether or not the State – local municipalities, state governments or the federal government – should or should not fluoridate the water, or add any particular chemicals to the water. To me, the question is whether the State has any legitimate role in water (or any other “utilities”) whatsoever. The answer, quite frankly, is no. As I wrote in this blog post last May, collectivization of the water supply is a bad idea:

…There has been a crisis (in the greater Boston area) with our water supply, which is supplied by the Quabbin Reservoir, 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 (in the greater Boston area) 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…

Collectivism sucks.

And not only is collectivization and State control over the water supply a bad idea, it is a very dangerous idea. We have been seeing in the past year especially how governments, in our case the U.S. government, can tyrannize and oppress their own people, through the Nazi TSA in the airports, through ObamaCare’s government control over an entire population’s critical, private health matters, and through phony insider trading laws and other tyrannical, stifling financial and business regulations. But, while most Americans are not aware of the way that foreign governments have used their power over the collective water supplies to oppress their own people (because most Americans rely on the misinformed mainstream media for their news), Americans should be informed as to not only what the government of Israel has been doing to the people of Gaza regarding its control of their water, but further back in time to the 1990s, what the U.S. government had done to the people of Iraq regarding their water supply.

More recently, during and after the December 2008–January 2009 war between the Israeli military and Hamas (which has been ruling Gaza since 2006), the Israeli military had severely damaged the Gaza water and sewage treatment facilities that to this day have still not been returned to full functioning capacity, and the 1 million-plus population of the Gaza Strip have been forced to use untreated water. Through its paranoid and sadistic blockade of Gaza, the Israeli government has been preventing construction supplies from reaching Gaza to fix the water and sewage treatment facilities, and worse, the Israeli government has been literally preventing the Gaza population from being able to travel outside of Gaza to areas such as Jerusalem to receive medical treatment.

Most Americans do not know these things, because the American media get their information from the Israeli media who get their information from the Israeli government. But had there been actual freedom in Israel and Gaza, and private property ownership and property rights being allowed to occur, allowed by both the Israeli government and Gaza’s Hamas (and by “allowed,” I mean “not violated, not trespassed” by their governments), each property where residents live and where businesses are located would be privately owned, people would be protected based on laws against trespass and other property intrusions, and most important as is relevant here, each parcel of property would have its own private well, controlled by the owner(s) of the property. That way, no government agents as well as no other people in general may tamper with individual private property owners’ water supply. Instead, at least in Israel, what we have is a government using the population’s dependence on the government’s stronghold over the “public” water supply as a weapon. That’s just barbaric.

The situation during the 1990s was very similar in Iraq, as far as how the U.S. government treated the people of Iraq after deliberately bombing their electricity and water and sewage treatment facilities. Through the U.S. government’s control and sanctions that prevented reconstruction of those facilities to occur, the population of Iraq were forced to use untreated water. That was followed throughout the ‘90s by a dramatic increase in diseases such as gastroenteritis, cholera and typhoid, and skyrocketing child mortality and cancer rates, which was the U.S. military’s intention. Typical of our modern government bureaucrat ignoramuses, then-Secretary of State Madeline Albright stated on 60 Minutes that such diseases and deaths of over 500,000 Iraqis, many of them children, were “worth it” as a means of regime change and ousting then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, which the then-U.S. regime didn’t even do.

Is my bringing up these actual historical events being a “conspiracy theorist?” Hardly.

So, whether or not the government deliberately puts fluoride into our public water supplies, and whether or not fluoride is a good or bad thing for us or for kids’ teeth, I think that government control over our water, and making us all dependent on the government for our water has been a bad idea, and is potentially dangerous. Given what the U.S. government has done to the people of Iraq, and what the Israeli government has done to the people of Gaza, do not discount the possibility that our own government could actually take advantage of its control over our water for devious purposes.

Reading the Constitution in Congress and Raising the Debt Ceiling

So, the congressman who wants to play “Constitution Reading Aloud,” Rep. Bob Goodlatte, supported Internet censorship even though the Supreme Court overturned his own Internet censorship bill, and tells Lawrence O’Donnell that he doesn’t know where in the Constitution the minimum wage is authorized. Yes, the GOP: “Grand Old Pinheads.” So let’s be symbolic now, and waste time in Congress reading the Constitution. Ooooo, what fun. As I noted a few days ago, since when do the Republijerks care about the Constitution, especially when so many of them have supported one government violation after another of due process, the presumption of innocence, the right to be free from warrantless searches and the right to be free from self-incrimination, and the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment? The Demojerks are just as bad.

The Constitution is not that great a thing to have, anyway. All it does is automatically empower the federal government over the states and thereby reverses the idea that the states are the boss and the federal government is their “employee,” so to speak. The Constitution reverses that philosophy and makes the states subservient to the federal government, and makes the people the subjects and slaves of the centralized bureaucracy.

How about reading the Declaration of Independence? Have these nudnik ignoramuses in DC ever heard of that thing? It’s actually the Declaration of Independence that recognizes the inherent rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that all individuals have — and those are individual rights, not collective rights. The Declaration protects the rights of the individual, while the Constitution actually cancels out those inherent, inalienable rights. And also, the Declaration encourages the people to abolish the federal government when it becomes destructive of their Liberty (which it has been for well over a century now). I don’t think the Constitution does that. Oh well.

And as Jacob Hornberger noted yesterday regarding the debt ceiling, I think that we will see which members of the “cutting spending” blowhards will actually put their money where their loud mouths are when the vote whether to raise the debt ceiling comes up. When Congress votes to raise the debt ceiling, they will be telling us that they don’t believe in responsible governance, that they don’t believe in cutting pork out of budgets and they don’t care about their grandchildren’s future or our grandchildren’s future.

However, these people in Washington, whose most commonly spoken words are “oink, oink,” merely reflect Americans’ habits in general. For many, many decades, Americans by and large have made “saving for the future” an idea to be found in ancient history. Nobody saves, not really, they have been spending like drunken sailors, and the congressjerks are merely representing such an immediate-gratification oriented population that America has become.