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Scott Lazarowitz's Blog Posts

More Smears Against Tea Party Candidates

Glenn Beck interviewed Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina. If you read the transcript, you’ll see that she gave very intelligent answers to his first several questions. Then he asked her if she’s a “9/11 Truther,” a question she was obviously not expecting, and her answer was evasive. However, people who are not professional politicians, as are Medina’s primary opponents Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, are not used to being asked questions obviously intended to give them a “kook” status based on their having non-state-idolizing views. Medina later issued a statement clarifying her answer, but in the dirty, slimy world of politics, that won’t be good enough.

(I am not a “9/11 Truther,” but I do believe that the Bush Administration, the Clinton Administration and the elder Bush Administration have at least some culpability in the various factors leading up to 9/11, particularly in their use and misuse of the US government, intentionally or unintentionally, that effected in provoking elements in the Middle-east for many years.)

Medina has attracted a lot people whose sentiments are with the “tea parties,” as well as those whose sentiments are open to ideas of secession and nullifying federal dictates, and people who have a general distrust of government. Certainly, Glenn Beck is known to have his own distrust of government and his own “conspiracy theories,” especially regarding the “Goldman Sachs-Government Connection.” Beck has many times referred to the American Founders and their distrust of government. Government officials are the least of people to be believed in any given situation.

Government is the only institution that exists based on two main aspects:

  • Government is a monopoly of territorial protection and jurisdiction. People are restricted by law, enforced by armed police, from going to a prospective competition of government  for protection and settling disputes. For example, the Catholic Church can’t prevent people from going to another church or choosing a different denomination—it can’t monopolize its services or sermons. And the ACLU can’t have a monopoly in being an advocate for civil rights, and can’t prevent people from turning to a different group to act on their behalf (which is pretty much required these days, if you know what I mean).
  • Besides its monopolies, government is the only institution that may use compulsion against others.

Economists Murray Rothbard and Hans-Hermann Hoppe have written about and discussed these ideas extensively. Because of government’s monopoly and ability to use compulsion, it inherently attracts the least honest among us to its employment. In every instance, the monopolist ‘s status handicaps consumers, and because the monopolist has no competition, his price will be higher and the quality of service lower. Government’s and government officials’ ability to plunder and otherwise violate the citizens’ rights to life, liberty and property is reinforced by government’s power of compulsion and involuntary taxation. This line of occupation attracts those who are skilled at demagoguery, and, yes, lying. Government must be distrusted.

Hoppe on Political Economy of Monarchy and Democracy; and “Natural Elites” and Intellectuals

Two articles to be discussed here, one posted by the Mises Institute and another one from 2006.

This past week, the Mises Institute, and LewRockwell.com, posted a lengthy article by economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Political Economy of Monarchy and Democracy. In this article, Prof. Hoppe discusses the difference between private (monarchical) and public (democratic) ownership of government, their

  1. Comparative Economics,
  2. The Transition from Monarchy to Democracy (1789-1918),
  3. Exploitation and Present-Orientedness
  4. and Concludes with the idea of “Natural Order”

Given that a monopoly of territorial protection and jurisdiction by either monarchy or democratic rule causes a rise in cost and decline in quality of those monopolized services, among other negative consequences,

….when democratic rule has finally exhausted its legitimacy, the problem faced will be significantly more difficult than when kings lost their legitimacy. Then, it would have been sufficient by and large to abolish the king’s monopoly of law and law enforcement and replace it with a natural order of competing jurisdictions, because remnants of natural elites who could have taken on this task still existed. Now, this will no longer be sufficient. If the monopoly of law and law enforcement of democratic governments is dissolved, there appears to be no other authority to whom one can turn for justice, and chaos would seem to be inevitable. Thus, in addition to advocating the abdication of democracy, it is now of central strategic importance that at the same time ideological support be given to all decentralizing or even secessionist social forces; that is, the tendency toward political centralization that has characterized the Western world for many centuries, first under monarchical rule and then under democratic auspices, must be systematically reversed….

Prof. Hoppe also makes reference to “natural elites,” which he explains further in this 2006 article, Natural Elites, Intellectuals, and the State. In that article, Prof. Hoppe discusses the origins of the “state,” how it came to exist, and the differences between “natural elites” and the state-promoting and state-sponsored elites. The “natural elites” are the ones who have achieved status through natural talents and abilities, characterized by “wisdom and bravery,” and who

possess natural authority, and their opinions and judgments enjoy wide-spread respect,….with long-established records of superior achievement, farsightedness, and exemplary personal conduct that men turn with their conflicts and complaints against each other. These leaders of the natural elite act as judges and peacemakers, often free of charge out of a sense of duty expected of a person of authority or out of concern for civil justice as a privately produced “public good.”

What primarily characterized the formation of the “state,” Hoppe suggests, was the monopolization of those very functions of judge and peacemaker. Economically,

From the moment when a single member of the natural elite successfully monopolized the function of judge and peacemaker, law and law enforcement became more expensive. Instead of being offered free of charge or in exchange for voluntary payment, it was financed by a compulsory tax. At the same time, the quality of law deteriorated. Rather than upholding ancient private property laws and applying universal and immutable principles of justice, a monopolistic judge, who did not have to fear losing clients as the result of being less than impartial, would pervert the existing law to his own advantage.

Prof. Hoppe then discusses the role of intellectuals in monarchies and in the rise of democracies, and points out that the majority of intellectuals at the time of transition from monarchies to democracies did not recognize that the problem with society and justice under monarchical rule was with the rulers’ monopoly of justice and law; rather, the intellectuals promoted keeping government’s monopoly, but just replacing the monarch with “the people” in a democracy. However,

To the intellectuals, this meant by them, as the people’s spokesmen.

Prof. Hoppe explains the economic consequences of the transition of monarchical monopolies to democratic monopolies, the rise in governmental expenses from about 5% to 50% of the GNP, and the rise in government employment from about 3% to 20% of total employment, and the monarchs’ commodity money of gold with an increasing purchasing power that shifted to democracies’ fiat paper money with a steadily decreasing purchasing power.

What happened to the “natural elites” as democracy began and evolved?

The fortunes of the great families have dissipated through confiscatory taxes, during life and at the time of death. These families’ tradition of economic independence, intellectual farsightedness, and moral and spiritual leadership have been lost and forgotten. Rich men exist today, but more frequently than not they owe their fortunes directly or indirectly to the state. Hence, they are often more dependent on the state’s continued favors than many people of far-lesser wealth. They are typically no longer the heads of long-established leading families, but “nouveaux riches.” Their conduct is not characterized by virtue, wisdom, dignity, or taste, but is a reflection of the same proletarian mass-culture of present-orientation, opportunism, and hedonism that the rich and famous now share with everyone else.

The fate of intellectuals, thanks to the evolution of democratic rule, is that of state-apologists, claims Prof. Hoppe. In my own opinion, this isn’t just leftist intellectuals, but the right-wing, war supporting “intellectuals,” who are as much statist and promoters of statism and socialism at the expense of liberty and property as are the leftists.

There are more propagandists of democratic rule around today than there were ever propagandists of monarchical rule in all of human history.

And Hoppe continues with the alleged “free-market” intellectuals of Milton Friedman and his ilk, who support a central bank, paper money and the welfare state in general (the very aspects of democracy that are playing a major role in destroying  Western civilization). And Hoppe is critical of the Newt Gingrich “Republican Revolution” of the 1994 elections, with “Revolutionary” Gingrich nevertheless praising the New Deal and civil rights legislation that have destroyed private property rights and freedom of association and contract, the very values that were promoted and advanced by actual Revolutionaries in the late 18th Century.

What kind of a revolution is it where the revolutionaries have wholeheartedly accepted the statist premises and causes of the present disaster? Obviously, this can only be labeled a revolution in an intellectual environment that is statist to the core.

Hoppe describes the importance of morality, which is lacking in today’s intellectuals, and ways to counter the pro-state intellectuals of both  left and right, with an anti-intellectual intellectualism, and with courage, and with hope:

Fortunately, the ideas of individual liberty, private property, freedom of contract and association, personal responsibility and liability, and government power as the primary enemy of liberty and property, will not die out as long as there is a human race, simply because they are true and the truth supports itself.

Saving Is Necessary During Tough Times

I link to a news story in the previous post about President Obama’s multi-trillion dollar, deficit-overflowing budget. Especially during a time of great economic depression as we are living through now (except for those at Goldman Sachs, etc.), to deliberately submit a budget with deficit spending is, as Frank Sinatra and Jack Jones might say, Irresponsible! In fact, Congress should make the deliberate submission of a budget with deficit spending by a president an impeachable offense. When we have the kind of economic collapse that we have now, that was caused by government’s actions, the key to recovery is saving, NOT spending, and certainly not deficit spending! What are those people down there in Washington, nuts? Of course, if Washington eliminates the income tax and capital gains tax, then immediately everyone would benefit. Businesses would be hiring again, and creating new jobs and expanding and investing, and citizens would have more (of their own money to begin with) to spend, save or invest. But that just makes too much sense for the hacks, imbeciles, nudniks and nincompoops in Washington.

What the average folks should do now is save, especially when the economy is only going to get worse this year. Do you really need that new car? If the car you have is not causing you any trouble, you might put off getting a new one for another year or two. And do you really need that big screen TV? No, you probably don’t. It is best for now to assume that the economy will get worse, and plan ahead accordingly.

Here is some unsolicited advice for young people who will graduate from high school this year, and their parents. You might want to consider putting off college for a year or two, and get some kind of an income. There’s nothing wrong with that. And for those who plan to attend college now, you might want to consider some of the less expensive schools. Do employers now really  care if your résumé includes “Harvard,”  “Yale,” or a state college? Is that expensive college really worth the price? I don’t think so. In fact, I’m sure there are plenty of employers out there who may take a pass on a prospective employee whose résumé includes “Harvard,” given that 99% of the Harvard faculty are total Marxist Obommunists. (lol, MOST college faculties are that way!)

And on the issue of college room and board, a great way to save money is to go to a local college and commute from home. I know, I know, I’m a big advocate of independence, and believe that kids need to become independent especially by age 18. However, one can make a good case for not paying the extra $1,000s that it costs to live in a dorm, given that dorm life is not at all better now than when I was in college 25 years ago–in fact, it might be worse now, with all the partying and drinking and not enough studying. No wonder the college dropout rate is so high (besides another cause being the terrible preparation for college performed by the government-run schools ). There are many pros and cons to both living in a dorm and living at home during college. The biggest reason to consider living at home, even for just the first one or two years, is saving money.

The Inalienable Right To Secede

February 1, 2010

Copyright © 2010 by LewRockwell.com (Link to article)

During the time of President Obama’s State of the Union address, it was noted that HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan was Obama’s “Designated Survivor.” This is a perfect example of how a government-monopolized defense system is actually a threat to the security of all Americans. If a catastrophe occurs in Washington, panic and vulnerability would spread across America, a result of an entire population compelled by force to be dependent on a centralized authority for their protection. Another catastrophe is the economic one that Americans have been suffering, due to the federal government’s monopoly in the production and distribution of money, thanks to President Abraham Lincoln and his War on Independence.

Within the inalienable rights to life and liberty, as recognized in the Declaration of Independence, is the right to independence. People have a right not to be compelled to be dependent on the federal government’s monopoly of territorial protection and jurisdiction. If people within a particular territory have a right of independence and a right of self-determination, then they have a right to secede from the federal “union.” This is reinforced by the Declaration of Independence, which states that “it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” And Thomas Jefferson later noted, “…If any state in the Union will declare that it prefers separation….to a continuance in the union….I have no hesitation in saying, ‘let us separate’…”

While some say there is no such constitutional right to secede or nullify federal law, and others argue that the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the US Constitution protect such states’ and individuals’ rights, there is a higher law that takes precedence over Constitutional law, namely Natural Law, which governs our natural, inherent rights as human beings, as noted in the Declaration of Independence.

Further, given that the US Constitution is a “contract,” its terms are legally binding to all who reside within the US territories whether or not they voluntarily consented to participate in such a contract. 19th-century entrepreneur Lysander Spooner observed that the Constitution’s contractual obligations are to those who signed such a document, and applied to the people living at the time, and cannot possibly apply to people living in future generations. And, Spooner notes,

…. only a small portion even of the people then existing were consulted on the subject, or asked, or permitted to express either their consent or dissent in any formal manner. Those persons, if any, who did give their consent formally, are all dead now…. It is not only plainly impossible…. that they Could bind their posterity, but they did not even attempt to bind them…. the language neither expresses nor implies that they had any right or power, to bind their “posterity” to live under it. It does not say that their “posterity” will, shall, or must live under it. It only says, in effect, that their hopes and motives in adopting it were that it might prove useful to their posterity….

The mid-19th-century war waged by President Abraham Lincoln against the peacefully seceding Southern States was an important time. However, it is necessary to rectify the myths associated with that war, such as Lincoln’s purpose being to “end slavery.” In fact, an important motivation behind the Southern States’ peaceful secession was Lincoln’s tariffs against the South that protected Northern industries, and Lincoln’s main concerns were not freeing slaves, but his protectionist tariffs and, more importantly, to force the Southern States back into the “union.” Further, Lincoln expanded the government’s monopolies upon which all Americans were compelled to be dependent, such as replacing hard money with fiat paper money, something against which Thomas Jefferson and others had warned, and driving a stake into the heart of banking competition.

Much of America’s current economic slavery and depression are tied to Lincoln’s actions. To Lincoln, expanding the size and power of the federal government and further handcuffing the masses was worth the clinging US government’s campaign of violence and barbarism against civilians that contradicted internationally recognized mores. While the Founding Fathers were forced to use war to secede from tyrannical British rule, Lincoln used war for the opposite purpose.

Besides his oppressive use of taxation, Lincoln’s other economic achievement–and it’s also not a good one–initiated the monetary bondage of the citizens by the federal government, violating the people’s right of free exchange and trade, which includes the right to choose one’s means of exchange that isn’t monopolistically produced and distributed by the government. Not only should Americans secede from the federal government, but they should secede from invasive, dictatorial federal monetary policy. (US Rep. Ron Paul’s bill to repeal the legal tender laws and allow for competing currencies begins to correct this.)

Economist Murray Rothbard is quite blunt about the true nature of taxation and the government’s constitutionally assigned compulsory territorial monopoly:

Taxation is theft, purely and simply….and is therefore indistinguishable from theft, it follows that the State, which subsists on taxation, is a vast criminal organization far more formidable and successful than any “private” Mafia in history…. (the State) prohibits the free competition of defense and decision-making agencies within a given territorial area – prohibiting the voluntary purchase and sale of defense and judicial services… the State is an inherently illegitimate institution of organized aggression, of organized and regularized crime against the persons and properties of its subjects. Rather than necessary to society, it is a profoundly antisocial institution which lives parasitically off of the productive activities of private citizens…

Within our inalienable rights to life and liberty is the God-given right of self-defense. However, a centralized federal government which monopolizes territorial defense is a violation of the peoples’ right of self-defense. People have a right of self-defense and a right to not be held in bondage by the state for their protection or for any reason.

Besides the states seceding and providing their own defenses, another alternative is a privatized, free market in defense that would allow competition among defense agencies, especially in the context of totally repealed weapons laws. The quality and efficiency in defense services would go up and the price would come down, as in any endeavor in any free, civilized society. For example, after 9/11, the people of Manhattan or indeed the owners of the World Trade Center would exercise their right to contract private agencies and private warriors to investigate, retaliate against and eliminate Al Qaeda at its roots, including involving specialized risks in foreign territories. Assuming there would be no invasive, dictatorial US governmental restrictions interfering with such efforts, the private contractors would probably have done the job more quickly and efficiently than the government, which not only still hasn’t done the job, but has only made things worse. Had the government been a private agency, its contract would have been terminated years ago, and many of its authorities would now be in jail.

As economist Gustave de Molinari noted,

…(the consumers of competitive protection agencies) “would be careful not to allow themselves to be protected by men who would unscrupulously attack the persons and property of their rivals…. Just as war is the natural consequence of monopoly, peace is the natural consequence of liberty.”

The nation states of the Soviet Union learned their lesson, that central planning and government monopolies violate individual rights and cause dysfunction, economic stagnation and corruption. Either the US states ought to secede from the federal government’s control, or we ought to consider eliminating the federal government altogether and let the people have their freedom and independence. It is the people’s inalienable right to secede, just as it was the Founders’ inalienable right to secede from British rule.

The “Community Organizerizing” (And Self-Destruction) of the Tea Party Movement

This post is probably going to annoy a lot of people. Well, I’m not perfect, and can’t please everyone. Some of the most activist members of the “Tea Party” movement have formed a group called “Tea Party Nation,” and are having their first convention February 4-6 in Nashville.

For some reason, there is a compulsion to go beyond actual protests of government and make it into a coordinated political organization, i.e. “community organizing.” When valid protests of the political process themselves become politicized, such organizations eventually join the government forces and abandon their initial purpose of attempting to make changes in government for the better. However, given that government itself is an inherently corrupting and fraudulent institution, it cannot ever be reformed.

This community organizing aspect of the Tea Party movement will cause it to self-destruct, as did the Ross Perot “reform” movement and Reform Party did in the 1990s. Some of the reasons also are the people and for-profit group in charge of this, who are charging over $500 for people to attend the event, and worse, are preventing the press from covering it except certain conservative news organizations.

An important aspect of last year’s tea parties is that many of them were spontaneous and were actual “protests” of what the federal government, both Congress and the White House, has been doing or has been planning to do (to us). The September 12th tea party protest in Washington was a planned event, but sponsored by many different organizations across America.

One can only predict that the organization will then become a political party, which will seal the movement’s doomed fate. In their need to change government and think that reforming it is anything different from rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, the activists themselves are merging their identities into their own utopian leviathan “good government.” As RedState.com’s Erick Erickson has stated,

I think the tea party movement has largely descended into ego and quest for purpose for individuals at the expense of what the tea party movement started out to be.

The other major aspect of this problem is that many of these Tea Party Convention community organizers are supporters of the US government’s wars and invasions and occupations abroad. The activists say they support “limited government,” except they support Big Government military socialism and government expansionism into other people’s territories that has done nothing but incite terrorism and destroy lives and property abroad.

Throughout history, war has been used as a means of justifying the existence of the state, and particularly the nationalized centralized state. President Abraham Lincoln used war to remind the secessionists of the supreme superiority of the federal government over the states and individual citizens.  Will the most vocal and political Tea Party activists join the Obommunists calling out the military and National Guard to suppress and stifle the secessionists of our time who want and have a right to their independence?  (If so, they also would have stood with the British government against the American Revolutionaries, too.)

Unfortunately, so many people are moved by the superficial emotionalistic rhetoric of certain ideas and not the substance of the ideas themselves, especially the Tea Party Nation’s use of the ideas of “liberty” and “limited government.” This reminds me of the disgusting portrayal of a Big Government Republican such as Scott Brown as the “Tea Party candidate,” which couldn’t be further from the truth. I have to listen to these talk show hosts in Massachusetts who were promoting Brown as such a candidate, knowing full well his voting record, and that he supports RomneyCare and other aspects of socialized medicine, and that he’s pro-abortion and supports Roe v. Wade, and that he opposed cutting the state income tax, and more. It really does seem to be the case that these talk show hosts were soothed by Brown’s pleasing superficial rhetoric while their continued unwavering love for the state and opposition to liberty was reinforced.

Above: Sherman’s March Through Georgia (as depicted by artist Alexander Hay Ritchie), a campaign of “total war” attacking civilians and everything in the soldiers’ path. It is bad enough to wage war on civilian populations of foreign countries as Presidents Truman and Bush and others have done, but Lincoln ordered attacks on civilians in his own country. That’s also bad, and tells us a lot about Lincoln. It reminds one of when British troops killed civilians at the Boston Massacre, and, given Lincoln’s actions defending powerful centralized government and opposing independence, it is not absurd to wonder whose side he would’ve taken during the Revolution.

I have no doubt that the talk show hosts and Tea Party conservatives in Massachusetts will naively support the Establishment Weld-Romney Republican candidate Charlie Baker for governor, and not the populist Anti-Establishment Republican candidate Christy Mihos. (They certainly wouldn’t support the libertarian, whoever that’s going to be.)

Local Conservative Talk Hosts Join Media In Elitist Snubbing Of Third Party

The Massachusetts Special Election to replace the late Senator Ted Kennedy (via current interim senator Paul Kirk) will be January 19th, 2010. The candidates are Democrat state Attorney General Martha Coakley a.k.a. “Martha Cuckoo,” Republican state Senator Scott Brown a.k.a. “Mr. Handsome Movie Actor Face Guy” and libertarian Independent Joe Kennedy (not related to the famous Kennedys).

It is very cordial of the media to invite Joe Kennedy to debates. Now, Kennedy is an intelligent, private-sector “citizen candidate,” unlike the other two, and, although I did not agree with every one of his answers on the debates so far, at least he supports getting rid of the income tax and the capital gains tax, and wants to take US forces out of the Middle-East (and other parts of the world), and promises to work to repeal every part of any government health care bill that’s going through Congress now.  Kennedy has a genuine understanding of the Constitution and the nature of government, and doesn’t just repeat “libertarian think-tank statements.” He is also a non-lawyer. (Do we really need any more lawyers in Washington to further ruin our country? Mr. Handsome Movie Actor Face Guy and Martha Cuckoo are both lawyers.)

Unfortunately, the state-biased media seem to be snubbing Kennedy, and in some cases he has been accused of being in the race to confuse people to think he is actually “Joe Kennedy,” the former Congressman and nephew of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, to take Democrats’ votes away from Martha Cuckoo. On the other hand, some people such as SaveWRKO’s Brian Maloney are accusing candidate Joe Kennedy of having a “fraudulent candidacy,” who is there to “undermine Brown.” You can hear for yourself whether Kennedy is a serious candidate or not in this debate with Dan Rea on WBZ, this interview of Kennedy with WGBH’s Emily Rooney, and this debate on WGBY in Springfield. I believe he is sincere.

However, it is extremely disappointing to tune in to WRKO and WTKK to hear the local radio conservatives’ sickening love affair with this male model Scott Brown, who is really a Bob Dole-John McCain-Lindsay Graham-Nelson Rockefeller “moderate” (i.e. statist-socialist-Keynesian) principle-compromising Republican. Not the kind of candidate with whom you would expect these “conservatives” to engage in such kissy-face romance. They seem manipulated by his pandering rhetoric of tax-cutting and war mongering. Unlike Kennedy’s promise to repeal any government medicine proposals, Brown has stated that compromises should be made so that more people can get insurance. Brown does not recognize that the reason health care and insurance prices are so high is because of government regulations and bureaucracy already in place. Brown supported and voted for Mitt Romney’s fascist mandatory health insurance law, and Brown still supports that, despite its vast failures. I think the conservatives are in a fantasy world in their support of Brown, just as they fantasize that the US government’s invasions and occupations in the Middle-East can prevent terrorism when in reality such policies are provoking terrorism, and just as leftists fantasize that raising taxes will help the poor or schools or do anything but line bureaucrats’ pockets.

I think these conservatives use certain psychological defense mechanisms to shield themselves from reality including distortion and denial. Plenty of times these conservatives have discussed how both the Democrat and Republican parties are “statist” parties, yet respond emotionally to the Republicans’ constant rhetoric of “low taxes, cutting spending and waste,” etc.

After all the Tea Parties and Town Hall meetings, and 9/12 and similar protests, and criticisms by conservatives of “out-of-touch Republicans” as well as Democrats, and talk of a third political party, the conservatives still seem to want to run around in circles and repeat the same mistakes. Conservatives seem to be suffering from the dysfunctional Keynesian short-term immediate gratification  of “getting a Republican in there (any Republican, including Big Government socialist ones)” to change things, rather than employing some more thoughtful strategies of long-range planning to restore our liberty that government has been encroaching and usurping from us. You would think that these intelligent guys on local Boston radio wouldn’t be engaging in the kind of childish snubbing of Kennedy that they have been doing. He is actually the one candidate who makes actual references to the Constitution.

When I refer to “conservatives running around in circles,” here are some examples. In 1994, an election year much compared to 2010, Republicans were swept into Congress and took control as the majority party. However, the new Republicans joined the old Republicans and Democrats to further entrench Congress as a one-party, tax-and-spend tyrant. Republicans continued to sign on to $trillion-dollar pork-filled budgets and increasingly burdensome regulations. Rather than push for any real reform as the majority party, the Republicans were more concerned with President Clinton’s sex affairs in the Oval Office. And further back in time, Ronald Reagan promised to cut whole cabinet-level department, and not only didn’t do that, he added several new bureaucracies, and signed every pork-filled Congressional budget.

The childish snubbing by these “conservatives” of Joe Kennedy coincides with how Scott Brown snubs Kennedy at the debates, referring to Coakley as though she is his one and only opponent, as 2006 Republican gubernatorial candidate Kerry “Muffy” Healey would talk to Deval Patrick and ignore Independent Christy Mihos and Green Grace Ross.  Muffy challenged the Democrat to a one-on-one debate in 2006 and now Scott Brown challenges the Democrat to a one-on-one debate. It is these Republicans who are the elitists, and the local radio conservatives, who constantly accuse Democrats of elitism, become elitists when they do the same kind of snubbing.

Could it be that these radio conservatives have a “man-crush” on Scott Brown a.k.a. “Mr. Handsome Movie Actor Face Guy”? Well, one of them sure exhibited that kind of thing with Willard Mitt Romney during the 2008 presidential campaign, either because Romney was paying him, or because of man-crush. It was sick, the way he would constantly fawn over Romney. “Mitt Romney will be a great president… Mitt will be a ‘Mount Rushmore’ president.” Yes, he said that! In fact, just recently, this particular talk host said that if Scott Brown wins this senate election, he might even be considered as a vice presidential candidate in 2012. Yes, he said that, too. There must be “man-crush” things going on with these people. They have been sounding irrational.

Health Care and Our Inalienable Rights

January 2, 2010

© American Thinker 2009 Link to this article at American Thinker

With threats from federal officials to seize control over the health care system and further intrude into our private matters, many Americans are trying to find ways to protect their lives and liberty. Given America’s dysfunctional economic situation that the federal government caused and has been making worse, government can only make the health care system go from dysfunctional to despotic. The regulations, mandates, and restrictions currently in place already violate the individual citizen’s God-given, inalienable natural rights to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” referred to in the Declaration of Independence.

Leftist supporters of government health care do not seem to understand or are hostile to the concept of the individual’s right to life and liberty. Leftists prefer that the collective have power to make demands on the individual, and that the individual be dependent on the state for cradle-to-grave care. A system of cradle-to-grave care necessitates state control over the individual, as we have seen in places such as the former Soviet Union, and eradicates the individual’s right to control one’s own life. It is a system of massive invasion of liberty.

There are now efforts to have states “nullify” the dictatorial mandates of health legislation being considered by Congress. By nullifying ObamaCare, a state declares those intrusions as void or not applicable in that state. Some people view the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as recognition of such states’ rights. Unfortunately, others express doubts that states will be able to constitutionally nullify these proposed federal health care laws. Some view such nullification efforts as merely symbolic and not enforceable.

While the Tenth Amendment protects states’ rights, the Ninth Amendment is geared more toward the individual’s natural rights not included in the Bill of Rights. The Ninth Amendment of the Constitution states,

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Constitutional law expert Randy Barnett has written that the Ninth Amendment protects the natural rights that we have “prior to the formation of government.” Barnett views unenumerated rights in the context of “presumption of liberty.” This is a reasonable interpretation, as the Founders believed in the aforementioned natural rights. The Bill of Rights can’t possibly enumerate all individual rights “endowed by their Creator,” which is why the Founders included the Ninth Amendment.

There is no explicit Constitutional right to “privacy,” although while the Ninth Amendment can be used to protect an individual’s natural right to privacy, the Fifth Amendment‘s protection against “self-incrimination” can and should be a vehicle to protect an individual from being compelled to report one’s insurance or medical status to the government. Would George Washington and his fellow revolutionaries approve of jail for citizens who don’t report such personal information to the government? I think not.

With our inalienable rights to life and liberty, one might assume that among our unenumerated rights would also rest the rights of voluntary association and contract (such as the relationship between a doctor and patient) and the right to not buy insurance if one doesn’t want it, as well as the right to opt out of a government health scheme. One might also assume that individuals have an inalienable, natural right to not report their medical status to the government.

The Founders were clear that such unenumerated rights would be recognized by natural law — that is why they wrote and unanimously approved the Declaration of Independence — but our natural rights may not be protected by constitutional law. Barnett has also wondered whether “mandatory insurance” is unconstitutional. However, given that our natural rights are inalienable, meaning that government may not take them away for any reason, it really should not matter if any of the health care proposals in Congress are unconstitutional. As economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe explains,

As the Declaration of Independence noted, government is supposed to protect life, property, and the pursuit of happiness. Yet in granting government the power to tax and legislate without consent, the Constitution cannot possibly assure this goal but is instead the very instrument for invading and destroying the right to life, property, and liberty … the Constitution is itself unconstitutional, i.e., incompatible with the very doctrine of natural human rights that inspired the American Revolution.

A part of the Declaration of Independence that might recognize the rights of both the individual and the states to reject harmful federal dictates reads:

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… it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

The government has become uninterested in securing our rights as it instead invades them. We need to “throw off” such proposals that further assault our rights. Throughout this health care debate, we have seen officials conniving to pass legislation as quickly as possible. Legislators have included quite invasive requirements, including draconian IRS provisions. One wonders whether those lawmakers actually know that health care in the U.S. is dysfunctional because of the regulations, bureaucracy, and intrusions already in place. Congress’s actions now seem almost conspiratorial, given how so many Americans oppose these sweeping changes.

Eventually, this health care legislation will become a government-run, single-payer system, as is the intention of the politicians in control.

Whether the states can nullify federal health mandates and intrusions is unclear, but the individual surely has a right to not participate. However, such attempts of individual non-participation could get one thrown in jail, which shows what a gross violation of one’s natural, God-given rights these federal orders will be. Additionally, the quality of a government doctor’s care will probably not be as good as that of a private doctor currently in business.

Economist Gary North has written about how the current government-regulated health care system may be culpable for the death of his son. Given how government has run other activities, one can speculate whether there will be an increase or a decrease in the occurrence of medical “errors” when government controls the health care system. But if the ignoramuses and hooligans of the United States Congress actually do pass this tyrannical, Soviet-like medical scheme, Gary North has this perhaps more useful advice: “Do not get sick.”

Our “Police vs. Citizens” Society

Here is Will Grigg on the police brotherhood mourning the deaths of police officers. Unfortunately, we have an authoritarian society that mourns the deaths of police officers killed while on duty, but that does not mourn the deaths of innocent, unarmed citizens killed by over-zealous cops, by tasers as well as bullets.

Some people support the death penalty or other more severe punishments for murderers of police but not necessarily non-police (based on the belief that police officers have greater value than other non-police human beings). Given what they went through in their Revolution against the British ruling state, George Washington and his fellow Founding Fathers would probably toss their cookies at the thought of that.

Those who support greater protections for police officers than for civilians will rethink their position when the Obommunists begin to use the police (and military) to carry out their tyrannical agenda. And likewise  when the Obommunists use the Patriot Act (which violates out Fourth and Fifth Amendment Rights, among other unenumerated Rights) to spy on citizens, political opponents and otherwise dissenters, the Act’s supporters will rethink their support of that, too.

I’m probably not way off in asserting that George Washington et al. would favor a well armed citizenry and a totally unarmed state. The situation we have now is a well armed state (and well armed criminals protected by gun control laws and counter-productive drug laws, and leniency of violent criminals) and a defenseless, disarmed citizenry. Such are the moral consequences of democracy.

The Conservative Nut That’s Hard To Crack

December 24, 2009

Copyright © 2009 by LewRockwell.com (Link to article)

During this holiday season and with all the performances of The Nutcracker now, I must express my frustration with hard nuts to crack: influential conservatives who simultaneously criticize domestic Big Government yet support Big Government foreign policies.

Since President Obama’s election, Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin have been consistently lecturing from the rooftops in favor of free market capitalism and getting the government out of our lives. These conservatives advocate the Founders’ views of “limited government” and private property rights when it comes to government’s invasions of our personal and economic lives. Then, they contradict themselves by enthusiastically supporting the US government’s expansion and invasions into the lives and property of people on foreign lands.

As Lew Rockwell noted, “conservatives have two brains. One sees the government as a menace, something stupid, inefficient, brutal, isolated from real life, and the enemy of liberty. The other sees government as smart, wise, and all-knowing, a friend to all, in touch with life around the planet, and the friend to liberty everywhere.”

In his article, The Intellectual Incoherence of Conservatism, economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe analyzes post-World War II anti-communism, particularly of National Review founder William F. Buckley, Jr. Hoppe notes Buckley’s “new conservative credo,” and Buckley having written that “we have to accept Big Government for the duration—for neither an offensive nor a defensive war can be waged…except through the instrument of totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores.”

By the time the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s, the US Military Industrial Complex had become a firmly accepted fact of life, along with its funding through taxes and debts, and had conservatives supporting it. In 1990, the elder President Bush decided that Saddam Hussein was the new enemy, and took the US military into Iraq. That was followed by more Islamic-based terrorism in the 1990s and the September 11th, 2001 attacks. The Islamic terrorists had replaced the communists as the bad guys.

Ten years after the elder President Bush invaded Iraq, the younger President Bush’s Doctrine of “end justifies the means” moral relativism was in place. Because the terrorists use unconventional means of attack and are not of any organized nation or state, say the conservatives, therefore it is necessary to compromise our principle of non-aggression by initiating foreign invasions to prevent future attacks.

Those kinds of destructive expansionist policies, from the anti-communist Big Government military socialism to the US government’s last 20 years of invasions and occupations in the Middle-East, could not have been possible without Americans’ dependence on the US government’s compulsory national defense monopoly. Prof. Hoppe has discussed how such a state-run defense monopoly, naively approved by the Founders in their Constitution, is inherently invasive of the very people the state is in charge of protecting, because it compels citizens to participate in such a contract, and it is funded through coerced taxation. As Hoppe notes,

…no one in his right mind would agree to a contract that allowed one’s alleged protector to determine unilaterally, without one’s consent, and irrevocably, without the possibility of exit, how much to charge for protection; and no one in his right mind would agree to an irrevocable contract which granted one’s alleged protector the right to ultimate decision making regarding one’s own person and property…

Hoppe contends that, when the state has a compulsory monopoly in protection, “…instead of preventing and resolving conflict, a monopolist of ultimate decision-making will cause and provoke conflict in order to settle it to his own advantage.” Is it too cynical to suggest that the elder President Bush’s Iraq War of 1990-91 coinciding with the Soviets’ end was more than just coincidental?

The conservative Bush War supporters’ being manipulated by emotional fear mongering can compare to the left’s being manipulated by the current “global warming” panic. As Prof. Hoppe has observed, it is democracy itself that makes way for deceitful politicians to rise to the top and manipulate external events to achieve the goal of expanding government’s territorial power even further.

While citizens have an inalienable right of presumption of innocence, it would be self-protective of society to presume politicians liars, especially when such politicians are placed at the helm of a compulsory territorial monopoly. If we did that in 1990, for example, we would probably have rejected the elder President Bush’s appeals to invade Iraq. (Of course we can take the word of a former CIA man!)

Reflecting on these last 20 years, one might realize that the terrorism during the 1990s and the September 11th attacks may have resulted from a people of a region reacting to invasions of their territories. People inherently react against aggression into their territories, as demonstrated by the unborn infant’s attempts to ward off an abortionist’s invasive medical instruments.

Some may ask, “Well, if it really is the case that Middle-Eastern, Islamic-based terrorism has been a reaction to the US government’s last 20 years of invasions and occupations of the Middle-east, then how can we protect our country from terrorism?” Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Remove US governmental forces from Middle-eastern countries and stop invading and occupying their territories.
  • End our dependence on Middle-eastern oil. Encourage the American states to ignore all federal laws and regulations and build nuclear power plants and drill for oil and gas.
  • Encourage states to ignore all federal laws and regulations pertaining to armaments and arsenals and whatever weaponry is necessary for them to protect themselves against any foreign attacks or invasions.

As Prof. Hoppe has stated,

In order to combat terrorism it is necessary to engage in a non-interventionist foreign policy, to have a heavily armed civilian population – more guns, less crime – and to treat terrorism for what it is: not as a conventional attack by the armed forces of another state but as essentially private conspiracies and crimes which must be combated accordingly by police action, hired mercenaries, privateers, assassination commandoes, and headhunters.

A few months ago, National Review‘s Andy McCarthy questioned the US’s presence in Afghanistan, and NR’s Mark Levin responded with Not So Fast. Perhaps that should be “Nutso Fast,” because clinging to Big Government whether it’s in the name of preventing the spread of Islamism or the spread of communism, or for “spreading democracy” through military force, is irrational and counter-productive. For many years, such debt-increasing policies of military socialism have required huge sacrifices, and, while the costs of “protection services” have risen, the quality has declined to such a degree that such policies are making us more vulnerable.

Do conservatives have some extra genetic component that makes them naively trustful of manipulative Republican politicians but not manipulative Democrat politicians?

Do conservatives really want 300 million Americans to be dependent on a centralized, bureaucratized, politicized national defense monopoly? Wouldn’t a decentralized defense be more efficient? Common sense says, “Yes.”

Most conservatives agree that, domestically, the biggest enemy of freedom and prosperity is government. If only they could see that government is also the enemy of our security and safety, and that our government is destroying our country more than terrorism ever could.

Exile Dangerous People, End the Drug War

During the 1980s, talk show host Gene Burns was on WRKO in Boston. Now he is on KGO in San Francisco, and I’m glad the station provides podcasts of his show. When he was in Boston, Gene gave a possible solution to overcrowded prisons, and for people who had a problem with the death penalty. He suggested that perhaps convicted murderers and other people proven to be dangerous to society should be “exiled” out of the country, and shipped to an island way out to sea. “The Gene Burns Island,” as some callers would name it.

We can transport people convicted of murder, as well as those convicted of other heinous crimes that don’t even cause someone’s death but in which the individual has shown oneself to be a danger to others, to an island way out of contact with any mainlands. They can make do with whatever natural resources the island offers, they can do whatever they want there, whatever they want with each other, or to each other. They can make a new society and be civilized or be barbarians and hurt or kill one another. They can eat each other, I don’t care. And if people don’t like the idea of being shipped off to that island, then it really is their decision whether or not to commit crimes against others’ persons or property. This will also include people who choose to drink or take other drugs and drive or do other things that require full attention, and be responsible for all consequences for their decisions. If you don’t want to take the risk of drunk driving causing someone else’s death or injury, in which case you’ll be sent to the Gene Burns Island, then don’t take that risk, don’t drink and drive. This might be a good compromise for people who oppose a state-imposed, state-perpetrated death penalty, and people who are fed up with such high taxation to cover the costs of prisons. It would definitely apply to those kids in New Hampshire who allegedly slashed a lady to death in her home this year.

The island would require no guards, no administrators, etc. We could use Google satellite photo technology to make sure the “inmates” don’t make a homemade bomb or ICBMs, or make a boat of some kind to escape. A plane would be dispatched to thwart any attempts of those actions.

Another positive step towards reducing prison populations and reducing the rate of violent crime is ending the “War on Drugs,” and requiring people to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Ending the drug war would end the “black market” in drugs, dramatically reduce the prices of drugs, take away incentives for pushers to push the drugs to get people hooked that results in many people robbing others to get high amounts of cash to pay for the espensive drugs that are expensive because of the “War on Drugs.” It is exactly the same situation as “Prohibition” in the 1920s. Ending the “War on Drugs” will also end a lot of the corruption in politics, local police and federal agencies. It will greatly reduce the incentives that Mexican and South American “drug lords” and drug producers have to be in the business they’re in, which will reduce the constant threats against Americans especially in the border states, and may even affect the drug trade in Afghanistan that the US government propped up with its intrusions there.

I do have a comment on efforts to legalize marijuana specifically. It seems to me that pro-legalizers’ use of the “medical marijuana” issue to legalize that cancerous and immunosuppressant substance is for disingenuous reasons. Many advocates just want it legal so they can use that stuff without fear of being arrested. I suspect that some people want it legal for medical reasons because “marijuana usage is cool.” No drugs should be made illegal by the state. If you want to inhale burning, cancerous garbage into your lungs and destroy important brain functioning and your immune system and cause other physical problems, that’s your choice. Any doctor who prescribes something that dangerous to someone who is already ill  is a bad doctor. (I won’t say that he or she should have the medical license withdrawn because I oppose state-issued licensure. My doctor is just as incompetent with or without a medical license.)

Dr. Yes On Competing Currencies

US Rep. Ron Paul has introduced legislation to “repeal the legal tender laws, prohibit taxation on certain coins and bullion, and repeal superfluous sections related to coinage.” Dr. Paul has been trying to effect reform of our monetary system for many years. His bill to audit the Federal Reserve has 317 co-sponsors in the House and 30 co-sponsors in the Senate. Eventually, Paul wishes to End the Fed.

I do not understand why the supposedly conservative National Review opposes auditing the Fed. The Fed controls one of our most important commodities: money! I wonder if NR would also oppose the People’s (through their representatives in Washington) ability to audit possible future government-run medical panels and agencies if the huge health care reform bill passes.

And is it true that the supposedly “capitalist” Wall Street Journal opposes auditing the Fed? Here is the WSJ‘s paragraph, “about us” on their Opinion page:

We speak for free markets and free people, the principles, if you will, marked in the watershed year of 1776 by Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence and Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations.” So over the past century and into the next, the Journal stands for free trade and sound money; against confiscatory taxation and the ukases of kings and other collectivists; and for individual autonomy against dictators, bullies and even the tempers of momentary majorities.

“Sound money?” Hmmm. When you have  government monopoly of money, it is not “sound.” Look at the situation we are in now. When governments have a monopoly over anything, it isn’t sound, because such authoritarian, top-down control distorts the natural direction of markets, and relationships among consumers and producers, which then causes dysfunction. All goods and services need competition. There needs to be a competitive market in the business of money, and government shouldn’t be in the money making business.

One ought to read Murray Rothbard’s What Has Government Done to Our Money? and The Case For a 100% Gold Dollar, and Ron Paul’s End the Fed, and really get an understanding of how the Fed’s control and monopoly over our money is nothing more than a counterfeiting racket.

In Massachusetts, It’s Coakley vs. Brown vs….Kennedy?

Yesterday was the party primary to select nominees for the Massachusetts Special Election to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. Voter turnout was about 15%. The final election is January 19th. I can’t wait.

It appears that the swallows did NOT return to Capuano, and US Rep. Mike Capuano lost to AG Martha Coakley in the Democrat primary, and Scott Brown beat Jack E. Robinson 89%-11% in the Republican primary. It will be the most boring campaign in Massachusetts history, with those two candidates, Martha Coakley and Scott Brown, who, as Steve Sweeney would say, when they open their mouths, dust comes out.

Speaking of dust, the dust had settled on the Big Dig settlements between AG Martha Coakley and Big Dig contractors, with the last settlement being last May. The biggest settlement was with Big Dig joint management firm of Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff in January 2008. To avoid a lengthy, costly trial, in which Bechtel’s dirty laundry in business dealings might’ve been aired, the company settled with a $407 million payment. Given that Bechtel’s failures far outnumbered accomplishments in Iraq, will a Senator Martha Coakley investigate corruption and major systemic complications in the business of war contracting?

For an idea on who Republican Scott Brown is, think Bob Dole. Except that Brown is pro-abortion and supports Roe v. Wade.

What really bothers me about Martha Coakley is that she sounds so mechanical when she talks, like a robot. Like that little robot creature on Lost In Space. That’s because she’s…”lost in space.”

However, there is an Independent  candidate on the ballot named “Joe Kennedy,” no, not the former Congressman and nephew of the late Senator Ted, a different one not related to the Kennedys. But after seeing some of his own videos on his website, one might think that he, too, is, well, kind of boring (He’s a high tech guy.). Supposedly, he is supported by the national Libertarian Party, even though he’s on the ballot as an Independent.