Skip to content

Month: December 2017

Is Bitcoin All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

There are a lot of people now who are using Bitcoin and promoting it as the greatest thing since wholesome sliced bread. Some see it as a savior and are getting a little too cultish with it. But others merely see Bitcoin or other digital currencies just as a practical alternative to cash or credit cards to make purchases or to invest.

Well, I’m skeptical. But if you want to put some of your money in Bitcoin, and pay for things that way or receive payments that way, that is up to you.

Back in 2013, Ron Paul had this to say about Bitcoin, as reported by Zero Hedge:

“To tell you the truth, it’s little bit too complicated. If I can’t put it in my pocket, I have some reservations about that. But it has been designed in the free market. If it is a means of exchange, it would not ever be illegal. You shouldn’t regulate it in the free market, but I do not think it fits the definition of money, which has been around for 6000 years.

“People want to see something they can know what it is, they can define it, touch it and put in their pocket. If you do not have a computer and someone running the computer and calculations, you don’t have it. I am not a big supporter of that, but I am not opposed to it. I admit, I do not fully understand what is going on with it.”

But more recently, as Bitcoin.com points out, Dr. Paul has now done ads promoting a “digital currency IRA” with Coin IRA, a subsidiary of Goldco. In the ad, Dr. Paul says, “As a firm believer in currency competition, I’m excited to see the options that Bitcoin opens up.”

Well, I support currency competition, too, but I’m a bit more skeptical of investing with “digital” currencies. It just doesn’t make sense to me to put retirement funds into a “virtual” currency. It is not real like some actual item that is a means of exchange but would at least be backed by something of actual value such as gold or silver. And I am just skeptical of something that is known as a “virtual” currency. I don’t want to put something that I have that’s of value into something that’s only “virtual.” It just doesn’t make sense to me. But then, the “dollar” is not backed by anything, so it actually has no real value either.

And a lot of people are excited about Bitcoin because it is a “decentralized” currency. But for something that is known to be “decentralized,” there is a centralized aspect that I don’t like, I mean the centralization of electricity provision. This “e currency” relies on computer networks and on the Internet, which rely on electricity and the electrical power grid. If there is a power failure, especially large-scale, what then?

If you have money (in dollars) in the bank, and the banking system collapses, and there are “bank runs,” the bankster fraudsters won’t give you your own money. But you can have actual physical money such as dollars or gold coins stored away for such emergencies. However, if you just have digital currencies you’re screwed when there is a major electrical failure.  And I don’t have that much wealth or that much of an income to begin with. I’m probably being overly simplistic, or pessimistic here.

Back in 2013, Robert Wenzel asked some (mainly libertarian) economists whether Bitcoin is money. Most of them said either “not yet” or that it could be money if it were generally accepted (among the population) as money or as a means of exchange. The most interesting answer, I thought, came from George Reisman, author of The Government Against the Economy. In his response to Robert Wenzel, Dr. Reisman stated,

In order for bitcoins to someday become money, a reliable exchange value would have to come into existence for them. This could be achieved if some important country became willing to redeem bitcoins on demand in exchange for its own currency, and do so for some time, or provide a sufficient fund of its own currency to make this possible by others. In that case the money character of that currency mighty be transferred to bitcoins, Such a process took place in 1924, when a new German Mark was introduced on a foundation of dollars and gold, following the destruction of the previous Mark in the hyperinflation of 1923. Perhaps today, if Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, say, combined their resources to support the value of bitcoins for a few years, a similar result might be achieved, but even that is doubtful, because even their resources are probably not sufficient, and, of course, they would have no possible motive to do this.

Otherwise, a process would have to take place similar to that which enabled gold and silver to emerge as money, namely, first, the existence of an exchange value based on use as a commodity, and then an additional and wider exchange value based on use as a store of exchange value. When enough people wanted to acquire gold or silver as a store of value, even those not interested in doing so, became willing to accept gold or silver because they knew that a substantial number of people were ready to accept it from them.

And some people believe that Bitcoin is beneficial because Bitcoin transactions are anonymous. Well, think again. According to Shtfplan.com, “Because every transaction exists on a public blockchain ledger, an enterprising organization – say like the NSA or IRS – could conceivably implement blockchain analysis tools to track down Bitcoin fund transfers around the globe.” And the article points out that the IRS already has software contracts now with blockchain analytics firms to find tax evaders, money launderers and drugs dealers. After all, that is why the Founders wrote a Constitution, isn’t it? (Sorry.)

And in a more recent article which is very informative and well worth your time, Brandon Smith at Alt-market.com says that “the virtual economy is the end of freedom.” He makes some very good points that should be considered.

Smith notes that “true money requires intrinsic value. Cryptocurrencies have no intrinsic value. They are conjured from nothing by programmers, they are ‘mined’ in a virtual mine created from nothing, and they have no unique aspects that make them rare or tangibly useful. They are an easily replicated digital product. Anyone can create a cryptocurrency. And for those that argue that ‘math gives crypto intrinsic value,’ I’m sorry to break it to them, but the math is free.

“In fact, for those that are not already aware, Bitcoin uses the SHA-256 hash function, created by none other than the National Security Agency (NSA) and published by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).”

And Smith goes on:

Ask yourself this: Why is it that central banks around the world (including the BIS and IMF) are investing in Bitcoin and other crytpocurrencies while developing their own crypto systems based on a similar framework? Could it be that THIS infusion of capital and infrastructure from major banks is the most likely explanation for the incredible spike in the bitcoin market?  Why is it that globalist banking conglomerates like Goldman Sachs lavish blockchain technology with praise in their white papers? And, why are central bankers like Ben Bernanke speaking in favor of crypto at major cryptocurrency conferences if crypto is such a threat to central bank control?

Answer — because it is not a threat.  They benefit from a cashless system, and liberty champions are helping to give it to them.

Above all else, the virtual economy breeds weakness in society. It encourages a lack of tangible production. Instead of true producers, entrepreneurs and inventors, we have people scrambling to sell real world property in order to buy computing rigs capable of “mining” coins that do not really exist. That is to say, we may one day soon be faced with millions of citizens expending their labor and energy in order to obtain digital nothings programmed into existence and given artificial scarcity (for now).

In my view, there does not seem to be any kind of escape from the tentacles of the centralized regime in Washington which consists of extremely invasive and intrusive, power-hungry madmen (and women). It is yet another reason why not only do the people need to decentralize their energy production including the electrical grid, but to decentralize the entire territory now known as the USSA.

Today’s Welfare-State “Conservatives”

Laurence Vance has this terrific article on what Americans should know about the Constitution. He describes what’s actually in the U.S. Constitution, and what is not in the Constitution.

As far as what is not in the Constitution, he lists the many programs and policies currently imposed by the U.S. government that are not in the Constitution. For example,

Americans should know that the Constitution gives the federal government no authority to have anything to do with education. That means no student loans, Pell Grants, math and science initiatives, school breakfast and lunch programs, bilingual-education mandates, Head Start funding, Title IX mandates, teacher-education requirements, teacher-certification standards, school accreditation, educational vouchers, Common Core, standardized-testing requirements, or special-education mandates, and no Department of Education.

Americans should know that the Constitution gives the federal government no authority to have anything to do with medicine. That means no Medicare, Medicaid, State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), vaccination programs, HIV/AIDS-prevention initiatives, federal laboratories, National Institutes of Health, or Department of Health and Human Services, and no regulation of medical schools, drugs, hospitals, nursing homes, medical devices, or physicians.

And there are several more examples he gives. Also, Dr. Vance notes that some commentators, academics and politicians bring up the “general welfare” clause, that many people use as an excuse to impose one program after another by the government that were best provided by private businesses or organizations.

He cites James Madison who notes that the “general welfare” clause is followed by specific enumerations of powers given to the government in Article I Section 8. Vance quotes Madison as writing, “With respect to the two words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”

Which brings me to today’s conservatives, many of whom claim to believe in limited constitutional government and also who cite the limited enumerated powers in Article I Section 8. But for most of them, including the talk radio personalities, Republican Congressmen and Senators and their supporters and voters, that is just not the case. As Dr. Vance wrote in a previous article, “Republicans believe that they have a moral obligation to continue a New Deal, intergenerational, income-transfer, social-engineering, wealth-redistribution program,” known as Social Security.

Republicans and conservatives also support Medicare, Medicaid, the Medicare Part D prescription drug handouts, and other similar programs. Republican Congressmen and Senators continue to vote for all those redistribution-of-wealth schemes funded via taxes which are seized involuntarily from American workers. None of those programs are enumerated in the powers of Congress in Article I Section 8. But generations of Americans are indoctrinated early in their lives to believe in these socialist schemes are legitimate. With much cognitive dissonance, today’s conservatives are in denial as they have convinced themselves that these socialist schemes are not examples of socialism, yet they continually criticize “socialism.”

What Will the Trump “Tax Cuts” Do to Restore Our Freedom or Our Prosperity?

Most of the conservatives on talk radio are speaking in great praise of the Trump tax cuts. Frankly, I don’t know what planet they are on. Certainly not Planet Reality, that’s for sure.

So once again, the U.S. Congress and the U.S. President are kicking the can down the road, providing some tax-theft relief to some Americans, to individual workers only temporarily until such relief expires in 7 years, and to businesses permanently, supposedly. But is the system “simplified,” as Donald Trump promised? Nope. You still have to spend time figuring things out, such as what your new tax rate is, combined with knowing which deductions are taken away or kept or reduced, and so on.

But these so-called tax cuts are just another example of government bureaucrats’ continuing central-planning fantasizing, in which bureaucrats are trying to manipulate numbers, tax-theft rates, and a whole bunch of other factors, to fit their predictions for how much “growth” there might be in the next ten years or 20 years. (Most of them will be retired and living in luxury, or dead, by then. So they don’t care!)

The congresscriminals still refuse to cut spending in any meaningful way (or any way at all). Donald Trump is just another socialist who loves to spend other people’s money, won’t cut entitlements or even attempt to “reform” the welfare/Social Security System in any way. But, as long as he is anti-immigration and a warmongering nationalist, the cognitively dissonant conservatives on talk radio love him.

David Stockman, Ronald Reagan’s budget chief, explains how the central planners in Washington are still not getting it. In Part 1 of his analysis, he writes:

In the current situation, the absolute worse thing you could do is draw on Uncle Sam’s credit card to fund temporary cuts for the middle class and a permanent windfall to the top 10 percent of households which own 80% of the stock. And the reason, of course, is that America is marching straight into a 20-year fiscal and demographic trap that has the potential to spiral out of control and smoother any semblance of economic prosperity as we have known it.

Indeed, the signal event of 2017 is not the gimmick-ridden dog’s breakfast of K-street favors being enacted today, but the GOP’s utter failure to repeal and reform ObamaCare.

As we have long insisted, America’s health care system consists of the worst of both worlds. It amounts to socialism for the beneficiaries, which generates uncontainable demand via third-party paid, cost-averaged pricing; and crony capitalism for the providers, where delivery system cartels of doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, pharma suppliers, medical device makers etc. have implanted themselves deep on K-street and have thereby rigged reimbursement systems for maximum private revenue gain (and minimum system efficiency and competitive discipline).

That’s why the US spends 18% of GDP on health care compared to 10-12% in the rest of the (socialistic) developed world, on the one hand; and why the GOP couldn’t lay a glove on ObamaCare, which embodies in spades this “worst of both worlds” paradigm, on the other.

Indeed, there is no hope to slowdown the health care monster without restoration of consumer sovereignty and responsibility, risk-based pricing and free market supplier arrangements.

In Part 2, he writes:

As we showed in Part 1, the bill’s structure sets up a monumental fiscal and monetary policy collusion just 10 months from now that will literally shake the rafters of the Wall Street casino.

That’s because Uncle Sam will be borrowing the staggering sum of $1.257 trillion next year—even as the Fed is dumping $600 billion of existing debt into the bond market under QT. On the heels of sheer mayhem in the casino, the GOP’s report card will come in before the November 2018 elections bearing a big red letter “F”.

At the end of the day, there is no potential for stimulus or enhanced, sustainable economic growth in the overwhelming bulk of the GOP’s 500 pages of gifts to K-Street and Wall Street.

That’s because it is not a supply-side tax cut at all: It boils down to the huge “riverboat gamble” embodied in the 21% corporate rate, and the disposition of the $1.4 trillion that Uncle Sam will borrow to pay for it.

But here’s the thing. Uncle Sam could afford to borrow (not wisely) back in the early 1980s to fund the kind of supply-side oriented tax cuts  which dominated the 1981 act—since the public debt only amounted to 30% of GDP.

By contrast, today the Treasury balance sheet reflects 35 years of reckless fiscal policy and labors at 106% of GDP. And that’s before adding on the roughly $15 trillion of new deficits over the next decade built into current law and the Trump/GOP tax and spending programs.

And in Part 3:

In a word, the overwhelming share of the gain in after-tax corporate cash flow will be channeled into the Wall Street casino in the form of financial engineering rather than allocated to productive investment on the main street economy.

And he also notes in Part 3 that a big part of the problem is monetary central planning and the Federal Reserve System.

(There may be a Part 4 and further analysis from David Stockman.)

So the whole system itself of tax-thefts and central planning is inherently immoral. That is because theft and extortion are immoral (as well as criminal), and because when bureaucrats usurp the people’s economic matters, including health care, the bureaucrats are really stealing away the people’s freedom (as well as their prosperity).

On the tax-thefts, Murray Rothbard wrote in his Ethics of Liberty,

For there is one crucially important power inherent in the nature of the State apparatus. All other persons and groups in society (except for acknowledged and sporadic criminals such as thieves and bank robbers) obtain their income voluntarily: either by selling goods and services to the consuming public, or by voluntary gift (e.g., membership in a club or association, bequest, or inheritance). Only the State obtains its revenue by coercion, by threatening dire penalties should the income not be forthcoming. That coercion is known as “taxation,” although in less regularized epochs it was often known as “tribute.” Taxation is theft, purely and simply even though it is theft on a grand and colossal scale which no acknowledged criminals could hope to match. It is a compulsory seizure of the property of the State’s inhabitants, or subjects.

It would be an instructive exercise for the skeptical reader to try to frame a definition of taxation which does not also include theft. Like the robber, the State demands money at the equivalent of gunpoint; if the taxpayer refuses to pay his assets are seized by force, and if he should resist such depredation, he will be arrested or shot if he should continue to resist…

And on the State, Rothbard wrote in his Anatomy of the State (.pdf),

The State, in the words of Oppenheimer, is the “organization of the political means”; it is the systematization of the predatory process over a given territory. For crime, at best, is sporadic and uncertain; the parasitism is ephemeral, and the coercive, parasitic lifeline may be cut off at any time by the resistance of the victims. The State provides a legal, orderly, systematic channel for the predation of private property; it renders certain, secure, and relatively “peaceful” the lifeline of the parasitic caste in society. Since production must always precede predation, the free market is anterior to the State. The State has never been created by a “social contract”; it has always been born in conquest and exploitation. The classic paradigm was a conquering tribe pausing in its time-honored method of looting and murdering a conquered tribe, to realize that the time-span of plunder would be longer and more secure, and the situation more pleasant, if the conquered tribe were allowed to live and produce, with the conquerors settling among them as rulers exacting a steady annual tribute.

Sadly, I hear those conservatives on talk radio criticizing the “evil” from the Left, and the immorality of modern society. Yet, they continue to support the immoral criminality of the State and its thieving parasitism. In my view, they are also a part of the Left, being collectivists who love the centralized State. It’s the United States of Sodom and Gomorrah, but “conservatives” and the moralists still pray to the sick criminals of Washington. Pathetic.

More News and Commentary

Andrew Bacevich says that Trump’s security strategy prepares for a “long war” without end.

Harry Blain says that 2017 was a banner year for the arms industry.

Doug Bandow asks, Why isn’t Europe preparing for a war with Russia?

Jacob Hornberger asks, Why are there still any foreign interventionists?

Brandon Turbeville on U.S. government funding ISIS.

Justin Raimondo says the “enemy within” is the “intelligence community.”

Zero Hedge with an article on DOJ questioning FBI agents on the Uranium One deal linked to Hillary Clinton.

Daniel John Sobieski on the biased Mueller investigation.

James Bovard on how quickly the New York Times forgets Obama’s lies and frauds.

Jesús Huerta de Soto has this libertarian theory of free immigration.

Lee Friday says that consumers are smarter than bureaucrats think. (Bureaucrats think?)

Laurence Vance says that Republicans support a trillion dollar welfare program. (Social Security)

Walter Williams asks, Why are leftists soft on communism?

New York Post with an article on communist mayor Bill de Blasio wanting government-owned news outlets.

Activist Post with an article on Big Brother installing surveillance cameras in places of worship.

Ran HaCohen comments on Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

And Walter Block provides some libertarian arguments regarding the military.

Disgraced Former Cardinal Bernard Law Has Died

Former Boston Cardinal Bernard Law has died in Rome at age 86. As Cardinal of the Boston archdiocese from 1984 to 2002, Bernard Law handled complaints and accusations by youths against molesting and abusive priests by transferring them to other parishes where many of the priests then went on to molest and abuse other children, mainly boys.

Throughout the whole year of 2002 hundreds and hundreds of victims of these abusive priests came forward to tell their stories and publicly make their accusations. Some of the alleged incidents go back to the 1950s! At the end of 2002 Bernard Law finally resigned in disgrace, and he fled to Rome where he was then protected by the Vatican and obviously by Pope John Paul II, a tarnish on an otherwise great Pope’s record. Bernard Law literally escaped what could very well have been criminal charges of aiding and abetting child abuse and molestation by the priests he covered up for and protected. (The Boston Globe‘s “Spotlight” team covered the whole scandal.)

I guess Cardinal “Law” and his cohorts didn’t realize what emotional and psychological damage that adult molesters, rapists and abusers of children cause in their victims. Those sickos cause the innocent young people post-traumatic stress disorder, and cause them to have issues involving trust, personal security, and future relationships. More recently the accusers of conductor James Levine‘s molesting and abuse have described such issues. Just what is it with these sickos and their sexual perversions? Why do they have to inflict all that on kids?

Since 2002, the Boston archdiocese paid out tens of millions of dollars in settlements, parishes lost membership and entire churches had to close down.

Among the perpetrators, defrocked priest John Geoghan was sentenced to 9 to 10 years in prison but was murdered by another inmate who stomped on him. Oh, well. The Rev. Paul Shanley was a “street priest” or “hippie priest” and also was a regular priest in a Newton, Massachusetts church. The archdiocese transferred Shanley to a San Bernardino, California parish along with a signed affidavit assuring his fitness for contact with kids, knowing of the allegations against Shanley of child molestation, assault and rape. Shanley had also owned a “bed and breakfast” for “gay customers” and also was known to advocate sex between adult males and boys. Shanley was convicted of assault and rape of a minor in 2005 and sentenced to 12 to 15 years behind bars. The now-86-years-old miserable wretch was released from prison earlier this year. So where the hell does this guy live now, and are there children around him? Yech.

Does the record of Cardinal Bernard Law and his underlings, for years covering up for child molesters and abusers and rapists, indicate something about the Catholic church? A lot of people grew up Catholic and no longer consider themselves Catholic, or they consider themselves “cafeteria Catholics.”

Cardinal Law was very authoritarian and doctrinaire when it comes to church teachings. Do authoritarians generally defend those in the hierarchy or in positions of authority when they engage in wrongdoing? (Sorry, that was a rhetorical question.)

When he met with investigators Cardinal Law had testified that he had sought the assessments of psychiatrists and psychologists to determine the mental health or suitability of his priests regarding allegations of their molesting or abusing children. What? You have multiple accusers against specific priests, and in some cases the priests themselves admitted that they were “attracted” to little boys. You need a psychiatrist’s assessment to determine whether that’s bad, or whether that’s a warning sign? And what, the multiple accusers just didn’t like a priest so they were conspiring against him?

We are seeing now how people in other organizations have covered up for their “bad apples.” With the reports about conductor James Levine’s perv behavior with minors we are now seeing how orchestra personnel and management and other associates had been covering up for Levine for decades as well. And the show-biz people like Harvey Weinstein and how people in that industry covered for him, and many people in the news media particularly managements looked the other way regarding media abusers, including Tom Ashbrook, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose et al.

For some reason, I expect the show-biz, news media and politics industries to act in such lewd or illicit ways, because they are mainly performers, people with a camera focused on them much of the time, i.e. narcissists who love attention and are conditioned or trained to get away with whatever they can. But priests?

Cardinal Law’s legacy may very well include civil rights activism and immigrant advocacy, but his judgment was very bad in dealing with criminally abusive priests, and he may have had criminal guilt himself as an aider and abettor. He was a terrible shame from the Catholic church.

Evidence Shows Hillary Collusions, FBI Collusions, But No Evidence of “Trump Collusions”

There are people who still believe that Donald Trump and his campaign “colluded with Russians” to steal the election away from Hillary Clinton. There has been no evidence of such allegations, as told by members of congressional intelligence committees including Dianne Feinstein, and as told by director of national intelligence James Clapper, CIA director Brennan, FBI director James Comey and others. They all testified that there was no evidence of such allegations. And we know that Mike Flynn’s guilty plea of lying to the FBI was a case of entrapment. There are people who actually believe that Flynn pleaded guilty to “Trump campaign colluding with Russians,” etc. I hear this on the radio constantly in discussions of these issues.

Meanwhile, Democrats are after Jill Stein to release documents which may indicate her involvement in “Russian collusions.” They are clearly going after Stein to punish her for being a threat to Hillary’s chances of getting elected President, in Stein’s challenge from Hillary’s left.

However, what we are not hearing from the mainstream media is regarding the collusions by the “deep state” including the FBI in attempting to interfere with the election on behalf of Hillary! Justin Raimondo details how top FBI officials plotted in that regard. Further info on that from Zero Hedge. And Judicial Watch shows how the State Department plotted with Hillary to remove call records as well as emails in order to obstruct investigations into her shady dealings as Madame Psychopath Secretary. Zero Hedge also details how FBI edits to James Comey’s testimony exonerating Hillary Clinton were for the purpose of “decriminalizing” her activities in which there was evidence to show they were in fact criminal.

And there’s more from Zero Hedge: Ex-Spy chief admits role in “deep state” intelligence war on Trump. And, FBI deputy director cancels testimony, something “far more sinister” with Fusion GPS, a group which fabricated the “Trump dossier” for campaign opposition research against Trump.

As James Bovard wrote recently, yes, the FBI is America’s secret police. In fact, the whole “deep state” is. The FBI, NSA, CIA, and all the rest.

Do The Gods Up There Not Like Libertarians?

It seems there might be something going on with “The Gods” up there who aren’t being very nice to libertarians these days. The latest well-known libertarian to have a medical issue is Lew Rockwell. According to Jeff Deist, president of the Mises Institute (which Rockwell founded, named after economist Ludwig von Mises), Lew Rockwell “continues to recover from a recent back injury,” and a “procedure performed earlier this week appears to have yielded tremendous benefit…” I think Lew is over 70 now. LewRockwell.com is one of the top libertarian websites, and he has written many books from a libertarian perspective.

Also just recently, Antiwar.com co-founder and editorial director Justin Raimondo announced he has “late-stage adenocarcinoma cancer,” and is taking the drug “Keytruda” to help get rid of the cancer. He has since written in his Twitter or on the website that things are getting better. Antiwar.com is run not by leftists but by Rothbardian “paleo-conservative” libertarians, including Justin. He was Nancy Lugosi’s Republican opponent in the 1996 congressional election. While I have ruthlessly and rightfully attacked Big Pharma in this space, I otherwise believe that some pharmaceutical drugs are important to save the life of someone who needs alternative treatments, regardless of side effects. If only we could get rid of protectionist patent laws and the FDA and its crony protectionist relationship with Big Pharma, I’m sure there would be many more life saving drugs available. Justin Raimondo’s books include Reclaiming the American Right and An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard.

Wendy McElroy is an individualist feminist libertarian who has also written several books, and she noted on her blog that she recently had some kind of surgery and it sounds like she’s recovering from that. She also noted on her blog that left-libertarian (“bleeding-heart libertarian”) economics professor Steve Horwitz wrote on his Facebook that he also has cancer, “multiple myeloma” and is getting treatment. I am lucky that in my mid-50s I have not had any surgeries or cancer. But who knows what The Gods up there might have in mind. Maybe the fact that I’m not a “well-known” libertarian is protecting me, who knows.

And then there was the violent assault against Sen. Rand Paul, who was attacked by his crazy leftist neighbor. He has made a good recovery so far, but his injuries were serious. Now, Rand is not as libertarian in his views or his Senate votes as his father the former Congressman Ron Paul. But he is still referred to as “libertarian” in some media outlets. But what’s going on here? Was the crazy neighbor acting on behalf of The Gods up there like they are sending a message to those of us who want to dismantle some of the criminally intrusive State apparatus? Am I next?

Earlier in the year, libertarian writer William Norman Grigg passed away at only age 54. This is his blog. Sadly, he had had many medical issues his whole life. He was a terrific writer with a much larger vocabulary than most of us. And he recognized the police state in Amerika for what it is now, was critical of local government police who act unlawfully, and was critical of the belligerent U.S. government foreign policy. At the same time Will Grigg was critical of the Soviet-like political correctness enforcers in our culture. And Ralph Raico also died, although he was much older, at 80. Dr. Raico was a historian and history professor, a Mises Institute senior fellow. Here is his extensive bibliography. (And he was not a big fan of Winston Churchill, that’s for sure.)

But I am hoping that Lew, Justin, Wendy, Steve and Rand have a speedy recovery, if they can. There aren’t enough libertarians out there now who are, at the very least, challenging and critical of the criminal State, let alone wanting to dismantle it.

So while I haven’t had cancer or any surgeries, I have had my share of medical ordeals, particularly in the late-1990s through the late 2000s. But the medical establishment needlessly made my situation worse throughout the ordeal, with bad advice by ignorant “doctors” and outright deliberately withholding important information, as well as their ritualistically giving me poisonous Big Pharma drug crap and its rotten side effects. I wouldn’t have the particular condition now if it weren’t for the ignorant or dishonest “doctors,” and I really believe that, quite frankly. I’ve been wanting to write about all that more specifically, but I’m not sure if I will. It’s very possible that the establishment “doctors” don’t like libertarians. But maybe The Gods up there have some influence, I don’t know. But I’m not as well-known a libertarian as the aforementioned people, so maybe I was lucky and escaped some more serious torture (or death) at the hands of The Gods up there. (Perhaps I should be saying “The Gods down there”?) Between The Gods up there and the ignorant and dishonest “doctors,” I’m surprised there are any libertarians left. (However, it looks like some of the good ones really are helping some of the aforementioned, to be honest with you.)

Now, if you’re a “well-known” libertarian and have had some serious medical issues recently, or have died, then maybe send me a note and I can add you to the list above.

Anyway, this hasn’t been a good year for libertarians. Although with the exception of the two major deaths noted above, the others mentioned here seem to be recovering well. I hope.

The American Cultural Decline with Narcissistic Gropers and Abusers

It is nice to see all the loathsome degenerates having to resign from their high positions in media, politics and show-biz based on their treating others badly. It is mostly if not 99% men behaving badly toward women. And it has a lot to do with men in positions of power and authority abusing their positions to get their way with mostly females and mainly subordinates.

But was it always this way? I think in some cases it was, such as with the “older boss chasing the young secretary around the desk” and all that. But I don’t think that such bosses or associates were as extremely disrespectful, invasive and violating as we’re hearing about with Al Franken, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Bill Clinton, Matt Lauer, et al. Those monsters or criminals are results of our society’s decline, its cultivation of sickos and pervs in the mainstream.

As Walter Williams wrote this week in his column,

For over a half-century, the nation’s liberals — along with the education establishment, pseudo-intellectuals and the courts — have waged war on traditions, customs and moral values. Many in today’s generation have been counseled to believe that there are no moral absolutes. Instead, what’s moral or immoral, right or wrong, is a matter of convenience…

Society’s first line of defense is not the law but customs, traditions and moral values. Customs, traditions and moral values are those important thou-shalt-nots, such as thou shalt not murder, shalt not steal, shalt not lie and shalt not cheat. They also include respect for parents, teachers and others in authority [well, most parents, and some teachers, quite frankly], plus those courtesies one might read in Emily Post’s rules of etiquette. These behavioral norms — mostly transmitted by example, word of mouth and religious teachings — represent a body of wisdom distilled over the ages through experience, trial and error, and looking at what works and what doesn’t.

The importance of customs, traditions and moral values as a means of regulating behavior is that people behave themselves even if nobody’s watching.

Now, there seems to be an absence of due process and “innocent until proven guilty” in some of the cases we are hearing about. But in many cases there are either multiple complainers and/or admissions of guilt by the accused.

After complaints of “sexual misconduct” have been made against PBS show host Tavis Smiley, the public TV network has suspended him, following which Smiley said, “I have never groped, inappropriately exposed myself or coerced any colleague in the workplace ever in my 30-year career … If having a consensual relationship with a colleague years ago is the stuff that leads to this kind of public humiliation and personal destruction, heaven help us.” According to the Washington Post, “Smiley alleged that investigators refused to look at certain documentation, refused to interview any of his current staff members, refused to give him the name of any of his accusers, and ‘refused to give me any semblance of due process’.”

So, given in more recent years how there have been cases of false accusations against innocent people, such as the Duke Lacrosse and UVA false accusation cases, but other cases in which the accused have admitted to their abuses or crimes, who knows what to believe these days. While Smiley denies that he has done anything worthy of his being suspended or terminated from PBS, there are others who deny accusations despite the validity of accusers and witnesses’ accounts (such as the conductor James Levine as I wrote about here).

Another recent alleged workplace groper/creepy sex-talker has been NPR show host Tom Ashbrook of On Point, who has also been suspended from his show based on complaints by staff at his station, WBUR. According to WBUR, “Tirades directed at young women in the studio. Name calling and belittling critiques of show ideas during meetings. ‘Creepy’ sex talk, hugs and back or neck rubs after a dressing down. That’s the pattern of alleged abuse described by 11 mostly young women and men who filed a multi-page document outlining their complaints…”

Now, just what is it with these guys? They do not seem to have a sense of boundaries, of physical boundaries that is, a sense of respect for their co-workers, a sense of decency. I mean if one actually had a sense of decency one would not engage in “creepy sex talk” (except perhaps when with the guys at the bar or something). In the old days, as Walter Williams was pointing out above, it was widely assumed that you just don’t do or say certain things at the workplace or with women in general as well. But things have changed now, it seems.

But this thing with guys having to touch the women like an object — in psychology that’s known as narcissistic cathexis. “I see that thing or person, and I desire the thing or person, I want to touch … ” (And want to do more than touch, including lick, eat, etc. just like a baby who has to put desired things in his mouth.) Given the narcissistic aspects of all this, these people are narcissists in that their desires are to them the center of everything else around. In some cases they project their own selfish desires, like desire to touch a female, onto that other female, like assuming that such desires or feelings were reciprocal, as we read about with Charlie Rose at CBS.

It seems that our society has developed with the encouragement of that kind of narcissism and covetousness. The culture includes widespread acceptance of these behaviors, until enough people have the courage to make the abusive, invasive or sick behaviors public and make public accusations against the pervs. For example, the folks high up at NBC supposedly knew for years that Matt Lauer acted in the extremely disturbed and sick manner that he did at the workplace there, but they did nothing about it until now. I guess ratings and revenue were more important to them?

And conductor James Levine who for years it was known or rumored that he had sexual liaisons with teenage boys, like the orchestra managements were aware of it, but they looked the other way, apparently. The ticket sales for concerts were the priority?

And at WBUR/NPR with Tom Ashbrook, “At least three former producers say they screamed back at Ashbrook or told him to stop berating a colleague. Five current or former producers say they met with station managers multiple times, dating back at least five years, to raise concerns about Ashbrook.

“In one case a producer says he was told to write Ashbrook a letter. In another, a manager allegedly coached the employee on ways to ‘stand up to Tom’. Some producers say managers promised to take action, but the former employees say there was no evidence of change. Four producers say they were either told or led to believe that their jobs could be at risk if they pursued a complaint.”

So there is a case in which management seemed to be covering for the alleged abuser. Not good.

And former President George H.W. Bush, the older geezer one, who has now been accused by at least 8 women of touching and groping them inappropriately and invasively at photo-ops. According to the Daily Mail, they “say Bush touched their buttocks as they stood next to him to take photos. All three states have laws against touching someone without their consent.

“The women’s stories broadly follow the same outline: Bush patted them below the waist as they stood next to him to take photos, sometimes with a joke about his favorite magician or writer being named ‘David Cop-a-Feel’.”

So in my view, there seems to be a pattern here with males of certain mentalities or ideologies, taking extra liberties at the expense of females’ personal boundaries and their dignity. Either the male gropers (or in some cases outright assaulters and rapists) have ideologies of covetousness, such as supporting government taxation-theft of the wealth of others and redistribution of wealth schemes, like many of the aforementioned Left-biased “news journalists” or political hacks and celebrity big-shots. Or, like George H.W. Bush the neocon war criminal, they believe in “American exceptionalism,” U.S. government dominance all over the world and the power to invade and occupy foreign lands and steal the resources of the foreigners and kill them with impunity as both Bush Presidents (and Obama and Trump now) have done.

I think the decline of American civilization and culture really began at some point after the Revolution and was cemented by the “Civil War,” in which the people decided to abandon respect for boundaries, individual liberty and peace.

U.S. Government Interventionism and Wars Provoke More Violence: NYC Bombing

Here is my latest article on Activist Post, U.S. Government Interventionism and Wars Provoke More Violence: NYC Bombing

December 12, 2017

Another terrorist bombing, an “amateurish” pipe bombing/attempted suicide bombing, in New York City on Monday morning, in which no deaths occurred but three were injured as well as the suspect.

So, will this latest Islamic extremist turn out to be yet another FBI patsy? The FBI finds some mentally deficient young Muslim male, radicalizes him and motivates him to want to commit jihad, provides him with weapons and materials and then sets him up in the FBI’s own concocted entrapment scheme. (See Glenn Greenwald and Trevor Aaronson on this. And Matt Agorist’s essay on recordings that reveal FBI urging a Muslim patsy to carry out a mass shooting to “defend Islam.”)

Or perhaps the latest NYC bomber’s being influenced by ISIS propaganda on the Internet will be used as a new excuse for the control freaks in Washington to impose further intrusions and spying on the Internet? Who knows?

But once again, this week’s New York City terrorist bomber has said just about the same thing that most of the past terrorists have said. According to the New York Post:

Akayed Ullah, 27, who is from Bangladesh and was living in Brooklyn, told authorities he was trying to exact vengeance for decades of violence against Muslims in Gaza, Syria and Iraq, saying in sum and substance from his hospital bed: “They’ve been bombing [my people] and I wanted to do damage here,” sources said.

The truth is, most of the terrorists have been on record stating that their motivation for violence is retaliatory.

As Sheldon Richman pointed out in 2011,

The Pentagon’s own Defense Science Board Task Force came to this conclusion in 2004 when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld asked it to evaluate the Bush administration’s war policies. The report is worth quoting at length:

“American efforts have not only failed [to separate the vast majority of nonviolent Muslims from the radical-militant Islamist-Jihadists]: they may also have achieved the opposite of what they intended.

“American direct intervention in the Muslim World has paradoxically elevated the stature of and support for radical Islamists, while diminishing support for the United States to single-digits in some Arab societies.

“Muslims do not ‘hate our freedom,’ but rather, they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the longstanding, even increasing support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, and the Gulf states….

“[Since 9/11] American actions and the flow of events have elevated the authority of the Jihadi insurgents and tended to ratify their legitimacy among Muslims….”

Richard Reid, the would-be shoe-bomber, told his sentencing judge, “Your government has killed two million children in Iraq…. Your government has sponsored the rape and torture of Muslims in the prisons of Egypt and Turkey and Syria and Jordan with their money and with their weapons.”

Glenn Greenwald wrote further in 2016:

Beyond such studies, those who have sought to bring violence to Western cities have made explicitly clear that they were doing so out of fury and a sense of helplessness over Western violence that continuously kills innocent Muslims. “The drone hits in Afghanistan and Iraq, they don’t see children, they don’t see anybody. They kill women, children, they kill everybody,” Faisal Shahzad, the attempted Times Square bomber, told his sentencing judge when she expressed bafflement over how he could try to kill innocent people. And then there’s just common sense about human nature: If you spend years bombing, invading, occupying, and imposing tyranny on other people, some of them will want to bring violence back to you.

In July 2016 Greenwald also discussed another previous terrorist attack:

Eleven years ago today, three suicide bombers attacked the London subway and a bus and killed 51 people. Almost immediately, it was obvious that retaliation for Britain’s invasion and destruction of Iraq was a major motive for the attackers.

Two of them said exactly that in videotapes they left behind: The attacks “will continue and pick up strengths till you pull your soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq. … Until we feel security, you will be targets.” Then, less than a year later, a secret report from British military and intelligence chiefs concluded that “the war in Iraq contributed to the radicalization of the July 7 London bombers and is likely to continue to provoke extremism among British Muslims.” The secret report, leaked to The Observer, added: “Iraq is likely to be an important motivating factor for some time to come in the radicalization of British Muslims and for those extremists who view attacks against the U.K. as legitimate.”

And as I wrote in July 2016, regarding attacks in France:

The blogosphere and twitterverse are exploding with reactions to the latest terror attack in France, the truck that drove through a big crowd of people attending Bastille Day festivities and killed 84 people and injured many more … It looks like such a “state of emergency” not only didn’t stop the November 2015 Paris stadium and concert hall attacks that killed 130 and injured many others, but it didn’t stop this new truck-driving attack … the November Paris attacks were in retaliation against France’s military bombings in Syria and Iraq.

The U.S. government and other Western governments’ own terror attacks on the Muslim world continue to this day.

See U.S. airstrike kills family of eight, U.S. drone strike kills three civilians and four “suspects,” US admits Syria airstrike that killed 46 but denies targeting mosque, Panic spreads in Iraq, Syria as record numbers of civilians are reported killed in U.S. strikesU.S. airstrikes kill at least 43 civilians in Syria’s RaqqaU.S. military airstrikes kill many more civilians in just 48 hours, and U.S. military battles Syrian rebels armed by CIA.

Western government violence and drones target weddings, funerals, rescuers, and civilian hospitals.

So how do the warmongers in Washington think their victims in other countries will react to their government violence?

Does President Donald Trump even know that most of the victims of the drone bombings that he continues to authorize are innocent civilians? (And President Barack Obama’s drone strikes killed innocent civilians 90% of the time, according to documents released by an intelligence source.) In less than two months as President, Trump’s CIA and military drone strikes had already gone up 432%.

“Will we ever learn?”

In 1991 President George H.W. Bush started a war of aggression on Iraq, bombed Iraq’s civilian water and sewage treatment centers and imposed sanctions to prevent them from rebuilding, which forced the Iraqis to have to use untreated water, which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents. These acts of criminal aggression by the U.S. government against civilians, in addition to the U.S. military occupations in the Middle East, led to the 9/11 terrorist attacks which some people had warned would be such aggressions’ likely outcome.

Prior to all that, during the 1950s the CIA imposed a coup on Iran to replace the Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh with the U.S. puppet Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The CIA propped up the Shah’s totalitarian police state, SAVAK, from the 1950s up to the Iranian Revolution of 1979 that included the extremists’ taking of American hostages.

Would we have such Islamic extremism coming out of Iran all these years had the CIA not committed such crimes and atrocities against that other country?

These interventionist foreign policies, of starting wars against other countries that were of no threat to us, imposing coups and regime change, propping up police states, and committing criminal invasions, occupations and bombings, inevitably cause blowback, including the most recent bombing in New York City.

But it seems that most people have been so propagandized especially since 9/11 to only look at mainly the Islamic extremism itself, but refuse to consider the natural outcomes of interventionist foreign policies, criminal wars of aggression, and U.S. government support for foreign totalitarian police states.

Activist Post | Creative Commons 2017

More News and Commentary

Laurence Vance says it is time to shut it down (the government, that is).

James Bovard on American taxpayers’ funding Afghan child rape.

Ron Paul asks, Is North Korea really a “state sponsor of terrorism”?

Glenn Greenwald details how the imbeciles at CNN unwittingly and carelessly aired a “fake news” story without checking its sources or the actual information they were disseminating, and how CBS and MSNBC followed CNN’s lead. I suspect that someone, claiming to be an independent source but probably a Trump sympathizer, sent CNN the email with the “fake news” to show how CNN broadcasts “fake news.” Like, a “gotcha thing”?

That was after Brian Ross was suspended by ABC News without pay for four weeks for his false “fake news” story about Donald Trump asking Mike Flynn to communicate with the Russians while Trump was still a candidate, even though that actually happened after Trump won the election. Apparently, that fake news caused the Dow to fall over 350 points, which caused Trump to encourage those who lost money on that day to sue ABC.

What else is “fake”? That Mike Flynn actually did anything wrong. David Stockman details how the FBI committed a “blatant entrapment exercise with malice aforethought.” The FBI questioned Flynn based on his identity being unconstitutionally unmasked in recordings made of talks between him and the Russian ambassador, talks which uncovered no evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoings or “collusions” of any kind. The FBI had no reason to interview him in the first place, but they did so to get him to make statements which contradicted his precious statements on those recordings. It is a classic entrapment case. The real criminals here are the FBI. And it was probably for political reasons, with the possible intention of taking down the newly elected President that they don’t like!

As Sheldon Richman observed, the FBI is not your friend.

Jacob Hornberger on the mainstream media’s deference to authority in the JFK assassination. (Besides being purveyors of “fake news,” the media are also government stenographers, live in fear of the bureaucrats, and are spineless, obedient sheeple, in my view.) And Hornberger asks, What good are domestic military bases?

Zero Hedge with an article on FBI focusing on the leaker of the Bill Clinton-Loretta Lynch tarmac meeting, rather than focusing on whether the meeting was an attempt to undermine the investigation of Hillary Clinton.

Wendy McElroy discusses civil liberties and central banks.

Scott Shackford with an article about the DOJ using the Bernie Madoff case to justify “asset forfeiture” (a.k.a. government theft of private property).

Don Boudreaux has some thoughts on the right not to contract (e.g. the gay wedding cake case), and says that trade restrictions restrict Americans’ freedom to “maximize the values of their incomes.”

Jeff Tucker says, goodbye Net Neutrality, hello competition.

Thomas DiLorenzo on the causes of the “Civil War” in the words of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis.

Gareth Porter on the debunked narrative of the “al Qaeda-Iran alliance.”

Washington’s Blog has an article on Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg who says that the U.S. military planned a first nuclear strike on cities of over 25,000 people in Russia and China and gave low-level field commanders the power to push the button.

John Whitehead discusses the Amerikan police state regarding those dreaded traffic stops.

George Leef on freedom of contract.

Richard Ebeling on capitalism and the misunderstanding of monopoly.

Chris Martenson says that if the Saudi Arabia situation doesn’t worry you, you’re not paying attention.

Jenna Gallegos and Jean Peccoud say that DNA has gone digital – what can possibly go wrong?

JP Sottile on Amerika’s military-industrial addiction.

And Shikha Dalmia shows how the immigration crackdowns are bad for Americans.

Collectivist Crusaders Want Their Government Wall

Ann Coulter and Lou Dobbs were discussing the Trump agenda on Fox Business. And Miss Coulter stated that all of Trump’s destructive policies that she adores will be gone with the next President, except for the Great Wall that Trump will apparently build to keep out unwanted foreigners.

In the discussion, Coulter declares that “Only a wall is forever.”

First of all, does Coulter know that two-thirds of unauthorized immigrants (visitors without government permission) are those who have overstayed their visa, far outnumbering those who snuck through the border? How will a Government Wall keep the visa overstayers out?

I have already addressed the way these collectivists think on the issue of immigration, and their confusion between private property and public property. And forget those central planners in Washington attempting to control the movements of millions of people — that’s just impossible. The schemes that we have now and what Ann Coulter is calling for are socialist schemes, and they do nothing but cause further problems.

Government walls on the borders are socialist government walls on the borders. They are certainly not capitalist, they are anti-capitalist, anti-free market intrusions. But the anti-immigration crowd seems to be blinded by an emotional distaste for “outsiders.” A collectivist group-identity obsession with a desire to prevent outsiders from entering the territory, at the expense of free markets and private property rights.

True free-market capitalists are for a genuinely free market, in which everyone has the freedom to buy and sell, trade on an open market, and the only government restrictions are those which enforce laws against stealing and defrauding.

Regarding the Great Trump Wall that Miss Coulter thinks will be “forever,” she is wrong about the forever part (see Berlin). But if there is going to be a Wall along the border to keep people out, we already know from history that such a wall will be used by future administrations to keep the people in.

What will Americans do when Trump’s Government Wall is used by President Hillary or Bernie to keep the people in? You don’t think they would do that? In the style of Fugitive Slave Laws, the U.S. government has already been doing that or attempting to do that bureaucratically, by stealing more from those Americans who want to leave and live outside the U.S., in the government’s attempt to try to keep them in the U.S.

Wait until there is a physical obstruction to the people’s freedom, with guards, snipers and tanks. Good luck with that, Ann.

Even President Ronald Reagan understood that a Government Wall is a bad idea and that Government Walls need to come down.

Government Walls have no place in a free society. They shouldn’t be built in the first place.