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Author: scott lazarowitz

Latest Developments, News and Commentary

Glenn Greenwald provides the juicy details on the FBI’s inside-the-Trump-campaign spy during the 2016 election, the same spy who had been a Carter administration CIA spy for the Reagan campaign in 1980.

Robert Murphy says that carbon taxes make gas more expensive.

Laurence Vance asks, Is it possible to be underpaid?

Jacob Hornberger says that Donald Trump should get the Nobel Prize for death, not peace.

Gareth Porter asks, Was there ever an Iranian nuclear weapons program?

Walter Williams on before and after welfare handouts.

And Veronique de Rugy says, Stop calling the GOP the party of small government.

Major League Corruption and Criminality at the DOJ and FBI

The more we are hearing about what a kangaroo investigation the Mueller probe of “Trump-Russia collusions” has been, the more we see how involved Obama’s administration officials were in instigating the whole matter, a) to clear Hillary Clinton from any wrongdoing in her private email server usage and negligence with classified information, and b) to falsely frame up Donald Trump and his campaign and administration people to either prevent him from getting elected President or as an “insurance policy” to take him down on false charges and entrapment if he actually were elected.

And I’m no big fan of Donald Trump, believe me.

This Zero Hedge article details a forthcoming DOJ Inspector General report on the handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation and states that the report recommends criminal charges against certain DOJ officials. And apparently the IG will be also investigating FBI misconduct and FISA spying abuse of the Trump campaign. James Comey, Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates, Rod Rosenstein, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, et al. They’re all in deep doo-doo.

And Andrew McCarthy writes in National Review an extensive piece on the Strzok-Page emails/texts especially in showing how the Trump-Russia sham investigation began during the Obama administration.

The Bureau had finally put to bed “Mid Year Exam.” MYE was code for the dreaded investigation of Hillary Clinton’s improper use of a private email system to conduct State Department business, which resulted in the retention and transmission of thousands of classified emails, as well as the destruction of tens of thousands of government business records. Strzok and other FBI vets dreaded the case because it was a go-through-the-motions exercise: Everyone working on it knew that no one was going to be charged with a crime; that Mrs. Clinton was going to be the next president of the United States; and that the FBI’s goal was not to be tarnished in the process of “investigating” her — to demonstrate, without calling attention to the suffocating constraints imposed by the Obama Justice Department, that the Bureau had done a thorough job, and that there was a legal rationale for letting Clinton off the hook that might pass the laugh test.

(Can you imagine if the Bush administration had whitewashed any investigation of a Bush official and then used the intelligence community’s surveillance powers to spy on the Obama campaign?)

A Dollar Crash in the U.S. Because of Donald Trump’s Idiotic Sanctions on Iran?

Mac Slavo writes that the EU will abandon the dollar for its payments for Iranian oil, as a means of getting around Donald Trump’s evil, central-planning fetish sanctions on Iran. This will cause blowback, the collapse of the dollar. Thanks, Donald. We have evil idiots running things in Washington, and their policies cause blowback and really just go against our prosperity, our freedom and our livelihoods, from the warmongering, trade restrictions, anti-market immigration restrictions, and sanctions. Morons.

And Ron Paul has an op-ed noting that Trump, Giuliani and Bolton (or more accurately, Moe, Larry and Curly) will be putting terrorists in charge after these stooges do their regime change in Iran. These idiots with their anti-America policies.

Why Is Venezuela Plagued With Starvation And Chaos?

I was listening to Glenn Beck this morning, and he mentioned John Oliver in some way denying that Venezuela’s current chaos is actually related to its going full socialist.

You know, for the life of me I just don’t get how these people on the left refuse to look at what socialism has done to civilization, from the 100 million+ dead during the 20th Century to the lack of progress in Cuba, the starvation in North Korea, the many dying in the hospital hallways in England. I think that a lot of people really don’t know what socialism actually is, and believe the myths and fairy tales associated with the label.

When the people of a society were freed from the thefts and restrictions imposed on them by the State they pursued their own interests without fear, they created and invented freely, they established mutually beneficial contracts, they served the needs of others, and society progressed and prospered naturally with that freedom. The example is the U.S. especially from the second half of the 19th Century to the early 1910s.

Sadly, many people don’t view that way of life positively (even though most of them have been living it here in the U.S.!) because they were brainwashed to believe that government controls over the people were necessary. They believe that the government must be empowered to take people’s earnings for redistribution, the government must impose regulations and restrictions on people’s economic activities.

In other words, many people believe that freedom from those government controls is a bad thing, even though actual history tells us that that very freedom is what raised the standard of living of most people in society.

What happened in Venezuela? The government seized control and outright ownership of food production and distribution. Those authoritarian controls are what cause distortions in markets and food shortages. The empty store shelves are directly caused by those government controls. Here in the U.S., the means of food production and distribution are privately owned, and the managements and calculations are handled by the privately owned companies and their managers. Just go into any grocery store and you’ll see well-stacked shelves of many, many choices for food.

History proves that freedom creates prosperity and raises the people’s standard of living, while authoritarian government seizures and controls of industry and production reduces prosperity and lowers the people’s standard of living. There are other things going on in Venezuela besides “socialism,” of course. The Venezuelan regime has devalued its currency. Government central banking and out-of-control money printing are also relevant factors here.

For more info, see Jacob Hornberger’s recent article on the calculation problem in Marx’s socialism.

See Ryan McMaken’s 2014 article on the calculation problem. He cites Ludwig von Mises’s book, Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth. McMaken also discusses Venezuela in this article.

See Steven Horwitz’s article on Venezuela being a socialist calamity.

And see this 2013 article by Matthew McCaffrey and Carmen Elena Dorobăț on inflation, shortages and social democracy in Venezuela.

The Young People Have No Idea What Fascism Is – In Fact, They Endorse It

For several years now, colleges in Amerika have been filled with young people who go beyond merely protesting speakers they don’t like but shout people down to silence them, get their college administrators to cancel or ban speakers, mainly conservatives or those who stand for freedom of speech. And these ignorant young people have the nerve to call their opponents “fascists” and “Nazis.”

But while many of these young people are propagandized with “social justice” mantras and are instructed to feel terrorized by other points of view, they are still correct that Amerika is fascist. The problem is that the young people only know what their social media and professors tell them, and from pop culture. They seem completely unaware of the real fascism that pervades good ol’ US of A.

For instance, we have a long time CIA flunky who is up for the top job at CIA, Gina Haspel, a.k.a. “Bloody Gina,” who had a great deal to do with the post-9/11 torture regime, the torture of suspects many of whom had nothing to do with terrorism but were apprehended by Afghan villagers in exchange for financial bounties paid to them.

After Gina Haspel’s Senate confirmation hearing, former CIA officer Ray McGovern, who said that the hearing was a charade, said that when the Senate “intelligence” committee’s chairman Richard Burr began as chairman of that committee he demanded all copies of a Senate report on CIA torture be brought back. McGovern said that such an action indicated how close with the CIA these corrupt senators are, they are “joined at the hip.”

At the hearing, Haspel said that she would not allow CIA to undertake activity that she thought was immoral, but wouldn’t answer whether she thought that torture was immoral. So, I personally wouldn’t trust Haspel as far as I could throw her. I’m not exactly calling her a “liar,” but as most of us know, bureaucrats typically lie as an involuntary response to being questioned. Well, as CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou proclaimed, “Everyone (at CIA) is corrupt…” Those who worked inside the organization would probably know how corrupt it is. All bureaucracies are corrupt. That is inherent in a monopolistic government bureaucracy.

McGovern stated that Sen. Ron Wyden, who claimed that “there has been a wall-to-wall cover-up by the agency with respect to her (Haspel’s) background,” asked Haspel if she oversaw torture at a CIA black site in Thailand. Her answer was to ask her those questions in a closed-door session. Because, apparently, that’s classified information. Made classified, as McGovern points out, by … Gina Haspel herself.

Haspel’s demand to ask her those questions in closed-door session was enough for McGovern at the hearing to raise his voice. Well, he did raise his voice, and he was then dragged away, forced to the ground, brutally assaulted and his arm dislocated, and handcuffed. He’s in his late 70s. And the armed protectors of Senators afraid of dangerous elderly people, the Senate storm troopers were saying what they were trained to say like robots: “Stop resisting! Stop resisting!”

Fascist much, storm troopers?

McGovern then went on to criticize Obama for his trying to keep secret the Senate report on torture. But Obama was threatened by Senators that they would read from the report on the Senate floor unless he allowed the release of the report, which he finally did do.

Here is that interview of Ray McGovern:

So many of the kids in today’s colleges are indoctrinated to be concerned about “hate,” “racists,” and to shut down debate and other points of view, which are “fascist” behaviors, while at the same time they call others “fascists.” Yet the real, actual fascism as mentioned above, they know NOTHING about it! A bunch of Sgt. Schultzes.

But many conservatives and nationalist Trump-thumpers, the very same people we hear criticizing the college campus craziness, irrationality and political correctness, are also huge supporters of the national security state, torturing suspects, and they blindly and obediently support the U.S. military, right or wrong. Their problem is that they are just as authoritarian as the young anti-speech sheeple in the colleges today. So we have it from both sides, anti-liberty, anti-peace, pro-State endorsers of immorality, quite frankly.

And another example of the fascism infecting Amerika is how the Senate is pushing through an update to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), in which U.S. citizens could be jailed, not only jailed but kept in indefinite detention without charges, merely for criticizing U.S. military actions and foreign policy, according to retired law professor Marjorie Cohn. (I have address that issue here and here.) The little college Stalinists didn’t care that Obama was all for this stuff. In fact, they would probably cheer on a President Hillary imprisoning without charges those accused of “hate speech,” “climate deniers,” and anti-LGBT Christian activists.

They would cheer on CIA storm troopers apprehending and imprisoning elderly protesters like Ray McGovern.

And one reason why the ignorant sheeple at today’s colleges are so uninformed and indoctrinated is that it’s not only their professors and their favorite pop culture idols who are brainwashing them to act like fascist robots, but the mainstream media as well. One example of that is Anderson Cooper, who apparently has been a CIA asset, as have many of our mainstream “news” media propagandists. It’s sickening.

Will CNN Report on This (If True)?

Paul Sperry of the New York Post is tweeting a developing major story that implicates major players from the Obama Administration in allegedly attempting to frame up Trump campaign and administration people.

Sperry tweets: “DEVELOPING: A major new front is opening in the political espionage scandal. In summer 2016, Brennan with his FBI liaison Strzok, along with help from Kerry @ State, were trying to set Russian espionage traps for minor players in the Trump campaign through cultivated intel assets”

That’s former Senator and Sec. of State John Kerry, former CIA director and self-admitted communist sympathizer John Brennan, and FBI agent Peter Strzok. (Okay, Brennan merely voted for Communist Party candidate Gus Hall for President, but that doesn’t really mean anything.)

Yech.

College Is Not Worth the Price

I don’t agree with Ann Coulter on many issues, but on higher education, she has it right. She tweets:

“Don’t waste $200k on college. Kids should submit their SAT scores & college acceptance letters on job applications.”

Exactly. Great advice.

The Donald Wants to Reduce Drug Prices – How About Freedom, Donald?

So now Donald Trump says he wants to lower the cost of prescriptions drugs. He talks a good game as far as saying that “the drugmakers, insurance companies, distributors, pharmacy benefit managers and many others — contribute to the problem … Government has also been part of the problem because previous leaders turned a blind eye to this incredible abuse. But under this administration we are putting American patients first.”

However, as Robert Wenzel points out, Trump’s solutions are just more government manipulations and intrusions, rather than getting rid of the causes of the high prices in the first place.

Lee Friday gives us a good idea of real solutions in his article with solutions to Canada’s failed universal health care system: consumer and physician freedom. Friday writes, “defend the right of any consumer and any physician to enter into a voluntary exchange without any interference from a third party! It therefore follows that a physician may offer his services to any consumer, regardless the opinion of any third party as to the qualifications of the physician (i.e. licensing).”

Repealing licensure requirements and other governmental mandates and intrusions into America’s health care system will lower prices, and repealing all regulations of health care related industries will further reduce prices and raise the quality of care as well. Closing down and dismantling the FDA and HHS bureaucracies will reestablish the control that medical patients, consumers, practitioners and insurers should have in the first place. They are the ones who should have the control, not the government, not bureaucrats.

For some reason, many people believe that all the freeing up of our lives and of industries will cause chaos and “anarchy.” That is because many people have been propagandized and conditioned to assume that government controls are necessary to protect the people. But all that is just a myth. The truth is just the opposite. Those government interventions are what cause the chaos, pain and suffering.

For people to have better access to drugs and to make the drugs less expensive, repeal all drug-related regulations, including the prescription drug process. Everything should be over-the-counter, and informed consumers would decide what’s best for them. Consumers should not have to get a doctor’s permission to get some drug or other kind of treatment or examination. And we hear time and again how the FDA’s preventing certain drugs from being available contributes to many unnecessary untimely deaths. That’s no way for a decent society to exist.

Further, repealing patent laws will allow competition once again. Government patent laws protect the artificially high prices of the drugs for the big companies to profit at the expense of medical patients. No one “owns” a list of ingredients or a formula that is made of particular chemicals. Such an assertion is based on more myths, and based on made-up “rights” that don’t exist. Drug companies don’t have the “right” to restrict others from making use of their own capital goods and materials and ingredients to produce formulas to provide as an alternative to the big drug companies’ high-priced drugs.

So the bottom line on all this is really freedom. Freedom from intrusive and corrupting governmental bureaucracies and controls stimulates progress and innovations in health care, while those intrusions stifle them. But sadly, the control freaks, from politicians and bureaucrats like Donald Trump to private companies themselves who want artificial protections for their high profits, they are the ones who need to be spanked. Shame on them.

Here is a Mises Institute list of articles on why free markets in health care are better than government-controlled markets.

And I just wanted to add a point about the assertion that people have a “right” to health care, an assertion that was reiterated this morning on the Democrats’ weekly radio address by the ignorant U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow. As Lee Friday pointed out in the aforementioned article,

Everyone naturally owns their own body, which means they have a right to keep the fruits of their own labour (wages i.e. property), and the right to voluntarily exchange their property for the property of another person on terms mutually agreeable to the two parties.

It follows then that I do not have a right to food, clothing, health care, or any other material good because such a ‘right’ forces someone else to provide these things for me, which is a clear violation of the property rights of another person. However — and this is the important distinction — I do have a right to acquire any of these things through my own efforts, including mutually agreeable voluntary exchanges with others, so long as I do no harm to other persons or their property. In this way, I am not interfering with the efforts of others to acquire the things they desire.

There is no other definition of rights consistent with morality. However, we are constantly reminded of a so-called “right” to health care by smooth-talking politicians and bureaucrats who have a vested interest in monopolizing its provision. The duplicity of these charlatans is painfully clear. For decades, their bureaucracies have feasted on billions of tax dollars while thousands of dead Canadians are still waiting to exercise their ‘right’ to health care. They are dead because the government denied them the right to use their own money to save their own lives by purchasing private health care in the Canadian marketplace.

And with that, everyone has a right to purchase a cheaper drug (or nutritional supplement, etc.) provided by a drug maker on a free market, without the drug maker’s being prohibited by patent i.e. special-protection laws from providing its own alternative to the big companies’ drugs, and without the consumer’s having to get a bureaucrat’s or doctor’s permission to get a drug.

I addressed the “right to health care” in this 2012 LRC article that I wrote (after I wrote this one following the U.S. Supreme Court’s rubber-stamping of the ObamaCare mandate, led by the awful Chief Bureaucrat John Roberts). My article regarding the “right to health care” ended this way:

You have a right to exercise your own ways of preventative medicine.

You have a right to take vitamins and nutritional supplements.

You have a right to access your vitamins and nutritional supplements. And a right to be free of the Big Pharma-FDA revolving door attempting to shut down supplement makers for the sake of Big Pharma profits.

You have a right to drink raw milk.

You have a right to farm and grow your own food on your own property, and a right to share it with your neighbors, and it’s none of government bureaucrats’ business!

You have a right to be free from sniveling, cowardly, control-freak bureaucrats who don’t like your independence sending S.W.A.T. teams to your property to terrorize (or murder) you for providing for yourself and your family.

You have a right to refuse a government bureaucrat’s order to buy health insurance.

And you have a right to tell the government to stick it.