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Scott Lazarowitz's Blog Posts

A Need for Separation of the Press and State

Glenn Greenwald today has this piece on conservative columnist “Charles Krauthammer’s propaganda,” in which Krauthammer criticizes a refusal to acknowledge that it is “radical Islam” that motivates terrorist violence against the U.S., and refers to Krauthammer’s only partially quoting attempted terrorist bomber Faisal Shazhad as evidence. Greenwald notes Krauthammer’s omission of Shazhad’s full statement that Shazhad’s actions are in response to the U.S. government’s drone bombings killing innocent civilians in Pakistan, and in response to other actions against the Middle East by the U.S. government.

To me, for some reason the conservatives are the ones who “refuse to acknowledge” that what has been motivating the terrorists has been the intrusive actions of the U.S. government in the Middle East for 60 years and longer. I don’t understand why the conservatives in the media have been propagandizing rather than telling the whole story in these years since 9/11.

But it’s not just the conservatives. It’s the whole mainstream news media in general. In Glenn Greenwald’s other piece a few days ago on how “thoroughly devoted the American establishment media is to amplifying and serving (rather than checking) government officials,” Greenwald points to the Washington Post, the New York Times and NPR as examples — not exactly right-wing media outlets.

This reminds me of an article Hans-Hermann Hoppe wrote for the Mises Institute a few years ago, Natural Elites, Intellectuals, and the State. In that article, Hoppe notes the difference between “natural elites” and elites who are both sponsored by and promoting of the State. In the old days before our modern democracies took hold, the natural elites were the elites who achieved status through their own abilities and talents, characterized by “wisdom and bravery,” and who possessed “natural authority,” and were those of highly regarded personal conduct and farsightedness, and were the ones that others turned to to act as judges and peacemakers “often free of charge out of a sense of duty.” Hoppe noted how “the State” was actually formed by the monopolization of those functions of judge and peacemaker.

Hoppe notes that, in the transition from monarchies to democracies, the intellectuals were unable to recognize that the problems with justice under monarchies were the rulers’ monopoly of justice and law and instead of promoting the removal of those monopolies from the government, the intellectuals promoted keeping government’s monopoly but just replacing the monarch with “the people” in a democracy. But, as Hoppe notes, “To the intellectuals, this meant by them, as the people’s spokesmen.”

Hoppe goes on to explain in his article what happened to the “natural elites” as democracies 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.

And Hoppe continues with a critique of “free-market intellectuals,” such as Milton Friedman, and also criticizes Hermione Gingrich and the 1994 so-called “Republican Revolution,” and Gingrich’s praise of the New Deal and Civil Rights Act legislation at that time:

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 also noted that “there are more propagandists of democratic rule around today than there were ever propagandists of monarchical rule in all of human history.”

The propagandists are on the left, the right, the center, everywhere on the political map. Propagandists are those who promote the State, who apologize for the State’s abuses and its tyranny against its own people and against those of other nations and territories. And just today we are hearing of a Gen. David Petraeus-Max Boot email “propagandize for me” sideshow goof.

The majority of today’s news media are not the truth-seekers and truth tellers that they were in days past. They are not in the same league as H.L. Mencken, Edward R. Murrow, and certainly not Thomas Paine, nor Thomas Jefferson. And, while journalistic praise was given to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein at the time of Watergate, just where are they now? And Daniel Ellsberg and the New York Times exposed the offenses of the U.S. government at the height of the Vietnam War, but now the New York Times acts as one the Bush/Obama Wars’ chief propagandist rags.

However, hope is not all lost. As Hans Hoppe notes:

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.

Like Sotomayor, Elena Kagan Another Unqualified Totalitarian

In my previous post I made reference to talk host Michael Savage’s remarks about the Russian Spies case this week, and Savage also remarked about this week’s Senate confirmation hearings for SCOTUS nominee Elena Kagan. Savage claimed that Kagan is the “most unqualified” soon-to-be Supreme Court Justice ever. I think that Michael Savage has already forgotten about Barack Obama’s previous appointment of Sonia Sotomayor. Sotomayor was not only not qualified for the high court, but for any court for that matter. I was never really too sure about her, because among some of the comments I had read about her, some of her former law clerks and other associates stated that she’s “not that bright” and is perhaps a bit full of herself.

Sonia Sotomayor herself admitted to being an Affirmative Action appointee, and that Princeton and Yale overlooked her terrible SAT scores because she is Hispanic and came from a poor background. Well, Barack Obama is our first Affirmative Action president. Neither one of those two could ever have gotten to where they are now sans Affirmative Action.

Affirmative Action is a policy by government agencies, universities and businesses to purposely hire, appoint or accept people who are not as qualified as others are for certain positions, based on their gender, ethnicity, race or skin color, religion, sexuality, i.e. superficial qualities or characteristics of people that really are not relevant to their ability to perform at a job or in a school, etc. That means that, the people who are not chosen for such positions, are not chosen based on their ethnicity, race or skin color, gender, sexuality, religion, etc. That is how totally dumb and irrational our society has become.

Now, for those who interpret my comments as anti-Hispanic, sexist or racist, I’ll have you know that I am not anti-Hispanic, sexist nor racist. First, regarding Sotomayor, she has stated that

I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion [as a judge] than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.

In other words, Sotomayor is herself anti-white male, or perhaps both anti-white and anti-male. So, if you’re a defendant or a plaintiff before the U.S. Supreme Court, and if you’re male or white, you can predict how Sonia will vote: Against you. Of course, Sotomayor probably doesn’t appreciate all the white males on those admission boards who advanced her undeserved career of “legislating from the bench,” favoring some plaintiffs or defendants over others based on gender, race or ethnicity.

Sonia Sotomayor has been known to make comments regarding her view that judges should “make policy.” She and people of her ilk live in a lefty looniverse fantasy world where the Rule of Law is not really absolute, and doesn’t really apply equally to everyone.

And then there’s Elena Kagan, who has been campaigning for the Supreme Court since high school, who supports expanding powers for the executive branch, is against freedom of speech, opposes due process and presumption of innocence and is a hard-core socialist (as well as pro-executive dictator). 999 times out of 1,000, Elena will be on the side of the State against the individual — you betchya! I think that Elena Kagan has shown such an extreme lack of understanding of (and perhaps, more accurately, lack of agreement with) the ideas of our Founding Fathers, their Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights and the ideas of natural individual human rights to life and liberty and presumption of innocence, and should NOT be on the Supreme Court.

Alas, Kagan will be rubber-stamped by the morons and retards of the United States Senate.

Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan are two ignoramuses and defenders of totalitarianism who accurately reflect our first Affirmative Action president, the little Marxist dictator in the White House, Barack Obomber. I have a feeling that Tom Woods’s new book, Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century, is going to be very popular in this next year.

Oh, Those Russians!

This “Russian Spies” case in the news this week seems to be yet another one of those precisely-timed government-perpetrated events to distract Americans from the things that matter a little more than suburban couples as “spies swapping identical orange bags as they brushed past one another in a train station stairway.” Things that may matter a little more may be the quagmire in Afghanistan and the Gulf oil spill, some of the damage of which could have been prevented had the Obomber Administration not prevented governors like Bobby Jindal from building sand berms to block the oil from the beaches.

Justin Raimondo notes that his “BS-ometer is clanging pretty loudly,” and he thinks this Russian Spies case is perhaps some more “propaganda:”

This Russian “spy” story is so flaky, so Bizarro World-ish, so obviously a con job that, really, no commentary is required: all one has to do is report the facts of the “case” to see that there is no case, or, as Gertrude Stein said of her home town of Oakland, “no there there.”

So what’s the point? Who knows? There are plenty of people in the US government who would look favorably on a souring of US-Russian relations. Perhaps the Obama administration is retaliating for Moscow’s lack of cooperation with the Iranian sanctions. Or maybe the idea is to divert attention away from the spy networks that really matter ….

Now, I’ve written recently about the Israel-born, raised and educated Lani Kass who is senior assistant and advisor to Air Force Chief of Staff Norman Schwartz and, according to former CIA officer Philip Giraldi, Kass is an important Middle Eastern affairs advisor to Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen. Kass was a Major in the Israeli Air Force before moving to the U.S. to work as a civilian in the U.S. Department of Defense, is a specialist in “Cyberwarfare,” and supposedly was  part of a recent meeting regarding Israel (and, no doubt, Iran). According to Giraldi,

The meeting took place because of concerns that the United States has been losing the “war of ideas” in the Muslim world.  At the end of last year, General David Petraeus sent a special emissary out on a fact finding mission to meet with the heads of state and top military officers in all of the Muslim countries considered to be friends or allies of the US for a frank exchange of views.  The emissary, an Arabic speaker, learned that no country any longer trusts the United States because it is widely believed that all American policies in the Near East region are subject to veto by Israel.  It was also commonly observed that Washington is complicit in the genocide against the Palestinians because of its failure to do anything to restrain Israel, making it extremely difficult to rally popular support in any Muslim country for US policies.

Petraeus was surprised by the unanimity and emotion of the views that were confidentially expressed and thought the issue to be important enough to move it up the chain of command.  In February, he met with Admiral Mullen and briefed him on his findings.  Mullen was accompanied only by Dr. Lani Kass, who was described to Petraeus as his special assistant for the Middle East.  Mullen expressed some dismay at the implications of the findings while Kass disputed Petraeus’ conclusions and said that the concerns being expressed were greatly exaggerated.  Petraeus nevertheless presented his report to the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 17th together with his judgment that the failure to address the Palestinian issue was putting US soldiers in danger because it was inflaming anti-American sentiment and giving groups like al-Qaeda an unnecessary propaganda victory.

Giraldi expresses some concern about Kass’s high rank among or influence on U.S. government officials, especially regarding Middle Eastern issues, but also, given Kass’s strong life-long ties to Israel, to whom her real loyalty is actually directed.

Last night on his talk show, Michael Savage was referring to the Russian Spies case as the spies “wanting to get close to officials to influence U.S. policy.” But I wonder if he’s concerned about this Israeli Lani Kass. I doubt it.

Of course, the Israel-First-Above-The-U.S. crowd probably isn’t concerned about Kass, particularly the Outpatient Neocons, because we know that Israel, or more specifically the Israeli government, wants to bomb Iran as a preemptive strike which would only backfire against Israel, just as the U.S. government’s preemptive invasion of and occupation (and destruction and mass murders) in Iraq has backfired against the U.S., and just as the U.S. government’s invasion and occupation of Afghanistan is also backfiring against America. But the Outpatient Neocons want to “break things and kill people.”

If the U.S. government invades and bombs Iran, the bureaucrats and statists, many of whom have spent most of their adult lives feeding at the public trough, many of whom have never actually produced anything of actual value to others and are probably incapable of doing so and that’s why they work for the government, will probably distribute one item of propaganda after another to justify it, and the Outpatient Neocons and the Israel-First-Above-the-U.S. crowd will lap it up like a starving dog. The Outpatient Neocons will tell us of all the Iranians who will be thankful towards the U.S. for invading their country and saving them from the awful Ahmadinejad, just as was the case with Iraq as Glenn Greenwald writes today in his great piece, The universality of war propaganda:

…The point is that every nation which launches even the most brutal, destructive and unprovoked wars of aggression employs moralizing propaganda to claim that their aggression engenders magnanimous and noble ends, and specifically often points to segments of the invaded population which welcome the violence and invaders.  Pointing to the happy and rewarded Kurdish minority no more justifies or legalizes the attack on Iraq than similar claims do for any of those other cases.

What’s most pernicious about all of this is that any decent human being has a natural desire to see oppression of the type that the Kurds suffered under Saddam alleviated, and neocons exploit that natural human desire to drum up support for wars that have nothing to do with the noble goals that are touted (which is why so many of them who stood silently by while the U.S. supported Saddam [even as he brutally suppressed the Kurds] suddenly feigned concern for his crimes and his victims when it was time to attack him).  This is how a state of endless war is always justified:  with blatantly cynical, insincere and exploitative appeals to moralizing fairly tales that have nothing to do with the aggression itself…

Russian Spies, Israeli spies, whatever. When the U.S. government attacks Iran, it won’t be in retaliation for Iran having attacked the U.S., as has been the case with most of the U.S. government’s wars. It is obvious to me that the U.S. government will be attacking Iran not on behalf of the U.S., but on behalf of Israel, even if such actions go against America’s own interests. That is why our moron government officials are wasting time and resources going after “Russian Spies.”

America’s Compulsory Dependence on Government

June 26, 2010

Copyright © 2010 by LewRockwell.com. Link to this article at LewRockwell.com

America will soon be celebrating Independence Day, a reminder of how the American Founders became independent from British rule and unshackled their serfdom. But given the U.S. government’s growth in its size and intrusiveness, just how independent are Americans now?

When Friedrich Hayek wrote The Road to Serfdom, I don’t think that Hayek considered that government’s monopolies could lead a citizenry into serfdom. But it may be that the government’s monopolies of territorial protection and monetary production have been paving that road to serfdom, as they have been also causing widespread economic turmoil and less security.

Whether the government-monopolized production of money is constitutionally mandated or not, the assumption that only the State should control the commodity of money – a universal means of trade and commerce – needs to be questioned. And so far, I have not heard a reasonable explanation of why Americans must be forced to be dependent on only the government’s provision of security without competition.

The original intent of the American Founders was for the federal government to be limited in its size, scope and power. Except for Alexander Hamilton most notably, most of the Founders opposed the use of paper money and government monopolized central banks. And the Founders by and large opposed “foreign entanglements” and imperialistic expansion of the U.S. government on foreign lands.

By default, governmental actions will have the reverse effect of what their proponents intend, in domestic and foreign affairs. This is because of the government’s legally protected monopoly that restricts participation of competitive agents. Monopolists lack incentive and market prices to make sound long-term decisions. In modern America’s immediate gratification culture, government bureaucrats’ decisions are guided by short-sightedness.

By default, when there are problems as a result of intrusive governmental actions, rather than recognizing the real causes of the problems, the typical solutions have been to do more of what has caused the problems.

For example, rather than repealing all the regulations, taxes, bureaucracy and other intrusions that have caused Americans’ medical matters to be dysfunctional, the solution of the Democrat-controlled Congress has been to increase all those regulations and taxes, and the Republican minority’s solution is to reduce them only to a degree that’s politically acceptable in the short term, but not corrective in the long-term.

As 19th-Century Hamiltonian central banking and Lincolnian legal tender laws wreaked havoc in Americans’ economic and financial matters, the answer was for more government control and intervention with the creation in 1913 of the Federal Reserve. Subsequently, rather than recognize that it was the Federal Reserve’s control and manipulation of money and the federal government’s interventions into private economies that led to the Great Depression, the solutions of Herbert Hoover and FDR were to impose more interventions, and greater expansion of the federal government, all of which deepened and further extended the Depression. And in 2010, rather than recognize that it is government interferences with and intrusions into America’s financial and banking matters that have virtually put the whole country into bankruptcy, the answer has been to increase the intrusions, which will expand the corruption, dysfunction and our impoverishment.

And, rather than recognizing that it’s the decades of intrusions of the U.S. government into foreign lands that have been motivating and radicalizing various groups in Middle-Eastern countries, instead of stopping the counter-productive intrusions, the bureaucrats’ answer to the terrorism has been to increase those intrusions. Americans have been passively accepting years of government-issued and media-dispatched propaganda, rather than facing the facts of history.

Unfortunately, for many years the U.S. government, which consists not of competitive entrepreneurs but of career bureaucrats and other parasites, has been in collusion with other governments, to our disservice. America’s foreign policy has been guided by those foreign entanglements and has served the bureaucrats’ corporate welfare cronies and not the American people.

Many Americans are currently experiencing downward mobility as governments have expanded. As the wealth and mobility of the actual producers of goods and services have decreased, the wealth and mobility of the parasites have moved upwards. Eventually, the producers will be outnumbered by the parasites, and the country will then collapse. But it need not happen.

With the compulsion of an entire nation of 300 million people spanning thousands of miles to be dependent on centralized bureaucratic monopolies, it is all too common that the politicians and bureaucrats use such monopolies for political purposes, for the compulsory State monopolist has the power to be above the law, as well as lacks the incentive to make sound long term decisions.

Because Americans have been compelled by law to submit to the Federal Reserve’s authoritarian top-down control over monetary matters without any competitive alternatives allowed, all economic matters in America have been severely distorted. This federal control over money has led to further dependence and usurpation of Americans’ economic matters by the federal government’s enmeshments with foreign governments and their central banks, and agencies such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

And there is an interconnection between that compulsory monetary dependence on the U.S. federal government (and possibly soon a more global governmental monetary structure) and the internationalism and globalism of the Global War on Terrorism. It is not an exaggeration to say that such an enmeshment of the U.S. government and foreign governments has diminished each American citizen’s individual liberty and America’s national sovereignty.

That situation of compulsory dependence of Americans on the dictatorial controls by political parasites is extremely out of bounds of what the Founders intended. It is this compulsory government monopoly and manipulations of money for which non-government-cartelized banks and private providers of competitive currencies would be jailed, and it is the compulsory government monopoly of territorial protection that has consisted of invading and manipulating other societies for which private providers of territorial protection would also be jailed, and that has kept Americans in bondage as serfs of the State.

Rather than freeing people as the American Founders had done – and more freedom creates more prosperity as well as better security – the mainstream answer has been massive expansion of government and reversing of freedom that has caused America to become a dependent, dysfunctional society.

As American Independence Day approaches, we can celebrate the independence the Founders had after they separated from authoritarian rule, but to suggest that we Americans enjoy the independence that the early Americans enjoyed is unrealistic at best.

There are consequences of economic and monetary authoritarianism and of trespassing on foreign lands. Because of short-sightedness, the bureaucrats in Washington continue to make more laws and regulations each day, and print more valueless fiat paper money out of thin air that can only lead to hyper-inflation and economic collapse.

Laws forbidding theft and trespassing really should be absolute, with no exceptions, including intrusions into private economic matters and private property as well as intrusions into foreign peoples’ territories that are contrary to the Founders’ original intent.

Societal chaos can be prevented by allowing for competing currencies and repealing all the government regulations and programs whose authoritarian governmental dictates, lack of market incentives and natural corrupting consequences have led to such dependence and serfdom.

The “road to serfdom” is paved with a centralized, bureaucratic, all-powerful federal bulldozer monopoly, and the result will naturally be catastrophic, as we witnessed with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and we are now seeing with the collapsing of the centralized, debt-ridden European Union and now the U.S. To restore order, freedom and prosperity, America needs to privatize much of what the federal government does, and let the States have the sovereignty and independence that the Founders originally intended for them to have.

More Jews vs Gentiles…

In Canary in the Coalmine: Europe’s “Decoy Jews,” Paul Belien writes:

“Decoy Jew” is a new phrase in the Netherlands. Jews are no longer safe in major Dutch cities such as Amsterdam. Since 1999, Jewish organizations in the Netherlands have been complaining that Jews who walk the Dutch streets wearing skullcaps risk verbal and physical attacks by young Muslims. Being insulted, spat at or attacked are some of the risks associated with being recognizable as a Jew in contemporary Western Europe….

…In an effort to arrest the culprits who terrorize Jews, the Amsterdam authorities have ordered police officers to walk the streets disguised as Jews. The Dutch police already disguise officers as “decoy prostitutes, decoy gays and decoy grannies” to deter muggings and attacks on prostitutes, homosexuals and the elderly. Apparently sending out the decoys has helped reduce street crime. The “decoy Jew” has now been added to the police attributes…

…Kleinblatt, a famous Jewish Antwerp bakery, which has been handed down from father to son since 1903, will soon break with that tradition because the baker’s son has emigrated to the U.S. “We no longer feel safe and welcome here,” a young Jew who is leaving for London told De Standaard. “Muslim immigrants blame us for what is happening in Israel.” Another young Jew, who is leaving for New York, says: “New York is a paradise for Jews. Unlike Belgium, non-Jews in America are pro-Israel.”….

Supposedly, Islam is the “religion of peace,” but “Islam” actually translates to “submit.” What that means is that it is the duty of the practicing Muslim to get non-Muslims to submit to their ways, their views, and if the non-Muslim won’t “submit” voluntarily, then the use of force is necessary. Now, not all Muslims think this way, thank God, but many do.

In the U.K., human rights activists gathered at Downing Street to protest what is becoming a pervasive infiltration of Sharia Law into British law in the U.K. Sharia law is an extremely repressive form of rules in which the suppression of individual freedom and private property rights is institutionalized. There are also efforts to shove Sharia Islamic law down the throats of Americans as well. However, there are plenty of aspects of Judaism and Christianity that are also repressive. Civil law should be minimal: don’t violate someone else’s life, liberty or property. Duh.

Unfortunately, there are too many people in the U.S. government who do say “duh” and who just don’t get it, regarding the rights of the individual for which our Founding Fathers fought for years to finally achieve protection and preservation. That includes the Jewish U.S government officials, the Christian U.S. government officials, and even the atheist U.S. government officials.

But getting back to the Jew thing mentioned above, it would help if the Israeli government didn’t institutionalize racist anti-Arab suppression into its own law of the land. In Where Kindness Is a Crime, Max Blumenthal writes:

…Haaretz reporter Ilana Hammerman described in dramatic detail a crime she had methodically planned and committed. In defiance of laws supposedly related to Israel’s security, Hammerman picked up three teenage Palestinian girls in their village in the West Bank, took them through the Betar checkpoint, and drove them into Tel Aviv. There they ate ice cream, visited the mall and museum, and played in the sea. Even though the girls lived just a few kilometers from the beach, Israel’s military occupation had prevented them from ever visiting it before their illegal “day of fun.”…

Here is Ilana Hammerman’s article in Haaretz, including a picture of two of the Arab girls (not wearing the usual Islamic Shmatas, though), to which Max Blumenthal refers. Blumenthal continues:

…But the fun ended as soon as a group called The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel filed a request with Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein demanding that Hammerman be prosecuted for breaking the country’s “Law of Entry to Israel” forbidding Israelis from assisting Palestinians in entering Israel. If Weinstein agrees to the request, Hammerman could face as much as two years in prison.

The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel was founded by a religious nationalist settler named Nachi Eyal. When I reached Eyal on the phone, he maintained to me that his concern related strictly to Hammerman’s disregard for the rule of law. “She broke the law and she made a report about her breaking of the law,” Eyal told me. “She wanted everyone to know that you can take Palestinians in against the law and lie to police officers and the Army. I want to send a message that no citizen in Israel can take the law into his hands and if he does they have to pay.”

However, a glance at Eyal’s past campaigns and statements reveal his targeting of Hammerman as part of a broader agenda that has less to do with the rule of law than with opening a new phase in the settlement movement’s political agenda. A former aide to settlement founding father Chanan Porat, Eyal founded his Legal Forum in 2004 to combat the Israeli government’s planned evacuation of the radical Gush Katif settlement from the Gaza Strip. In recent years, the Legal Forum has focused its efforts increasingly inside the Green Line, ramping up the pressure against Palestinian citizens of Israel and anyone who advocates on their behalf.

Eyal has boasted of his latest campaign to push Jewish settlement activity in coastal cities of Israel like Jaffa, Akko and Haifa which maintain sizable communities of Palestinian citizens of Israel. He claimed he has “encouraged Jews not to put up ‘for sale’ signs in these areas in order to dissuade Arabs from buying up these properties.” The Legal Forum is also intent on preventing Palestinian Israelis from building on their own land. “We are mapping Israel’s land resources, investigating illegal Arab building sites and filing suits against such building,” Eyal has said.

The Legal Forum is a prominent player in right-wing efforts to disqualify Palestinian-Israeli legislators from the Knesset. In May, when Balad MK Jamal Zahalka made anti-Zionist statements during a speech in Ramallah, Eyal called on the government of Israel to revoke his citizenship. “If a member of Knesset goes to the enemy and says bad things about Israel they must pay for this,” Eyal insisted to me. “Israeli democracy must have weapons to preserve the democracy or it will be destroyed.”

In another recent campaign, Eyal attacked a military investigation of an Army colonel who publicly justified his use of torture techniques to compel Palestinian detainees into confessions. The investigation “ties the IDF’s hands during the war on terrorism,” Eyal said, “and helps the terrorists.” Eyal’s Legal Fund spearheaded the campaign to suppress a book, “The House of Dajani,” that portrayed the early Zionists in unflattering terms. His efforts led to the reversal of a decision to award the book the Sapir Prize, Israel’s most prestigious literary award.

Now Eyal’s efforts are focused on ensuring that Hammerman’s kindness does not go unpunished — “they have to pay,” as he said. The Attorney General has ordered the police to open an investigation of Hammerman and Eyal is confident that case will proceed to the next stage.

“I think we will succeed because [Hammerman] broke the law and she made a lot of noise,” Eyal remarked. “Israel will not allow these kinds of things to continue.”

People who value the ideals of individual rights and human rights including private property rights should speak out against institutionalized repression of rights, against institutionalized racism whether it be Muslim-perpetrated racism and violence against Jews, Jewish and Israeli-perpetrated racism and violence against Arabs, Islamic terrorist-perpetrated violence against others, or U.S. government-perpetrated violence against everyone.

On the Rand Paul-Civil Rights Act Controversy

David Bernstein comments on the recent Rand Paul-Civil Rights Act controversy at Cato Unbound, and Sheldon Richman responds.

In May, Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul (and son of Congressman Ron Paul) made remarks regarding the 1964 Civil Rights Act that were actually too mealy-mouthed for even me to understand, but, essentially he was trying to say that the federal government perhaps went too far with that Act, but he really wouldn’t elaborate directly (because of being a mealy-mouthed politician) by stating (what I think he probably believes, and that I believe) that the Civil Rights Act should only apply to public property and government-run facilities and services, and should NOT apply to private property nor any privately owned businesses. However, this year’s campaign notwithstanding, according to David Weigel of the Washington Post, in 2002 Rand Paul wrote that

a free society will abide unofficial, private discrimination, even when that means allowing hate-filled groups to exclude people based on the color of their skin … (It is) unwise to forget the distinction between public (taxpayer-financed) and private entities…

Certainly much less mealy-mouthed and more direct (because he wasn’t running for any public office at that time).

Bernstein explains some of the context of the 1960s:

… the issue that got Rand Paul into hot water: Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibited discrimination in public accommodations…

… From a philosophical perspective, libertarianism and Jim Crow laws are completely at odds. Consistent with their classical liberal heritage, libertarians believe that the government must treat all its citizens as individuals with equal rights, and therefore may not discriminate on arbitrary grounds, like race.  The government must also apply its laws fairly and impartially, including by protecting members of unpopular minority groups from private violence.  A penumbra of this opposition to government discrimination is that the right to vote must not be denied for arbitrary reasons.  Finally, the government may not require private parties to discriminate.

Historically, many of the leading advocates of civil rights for African Americans in the late 19th and early 20th century—for example, Moorfield Storey, the first president of the NAACP—were, if not hardcore libertarians, at least classical liberal fellow travelers.  In more modern times, the few prominent libertarian commentators of the early 1960s, such as Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman, supported the provisions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that banned discrimination by state and local government officials.   Conservatives, by contrast, typically bought into the notion of “States’ Rights.”…

…segregation and exclusion of African Americans in public places in the South wasn’t entirely a voluntary choice of business owners.  Jim Crow segregation involved the equivalent of a white supremacist cartel.  The cartel was enforced not just by overt government regulation like segregation laws, but also by the implicit threat of private violence and extra-legal harassment of anyone who challenged the racist status quo.  This violence and extra-legal harassment was often undertaken with the approval of local officials; the latter, in fact, were often the perpetrators….

And Bernstein continues to describe how libertarians can be supportive of anti-discrimination laws including covering private sector interests.

And Sheldon Richman makes these points, among others:

Standard libertarian criticism of Title II, which prohibits racial discrimination in public accommodations, appears to treat the targeted restaurants and hotels as purely private businesses that, however odious their racial policies, were unjustifiably imposed on by government policies that violated private property rights. But this account misses something crucial. Outwardly those businesses looked like private enterprises, but the substance was different. As Bernstein points out, the social-legal environment in the pre-1964 South, when Jim Crow reigned, was hardly what any libertarian would envision as a laissez-faire environment. Rather, the region was in the grip of a pervasive social system based on white supremacy—one enforced by formal government rules, discretionary official decision-making, and extralegal measures, ranging from social pressure all the way to violence that was countenanced and even participated in by government officials.

A racially liberal entrepreneur who sought to compete next door to a segregated restaurant in the downtown of a Southern city would have been in for a difficult time. How would the city’s zoning, licensing, and building-code authorities have reacted?…

…Professor Bernstein seems to reluctantly accept Title II only because a “massive federal takeover of local government to prevent violence and threats against, and extralegal harassment of, those who chose to integrate” would have been “completely impractical.” Undoubtedly so.

But why does that exhaust the options? Why assume government is the only salvation? That’s an odd position, indeed, for a libertarian. Professor Bernstein does not so much as mention another strategy for ending racial discrimination in public accommodations: direct nonviolent social action by the people affected and those in sympathy with them.

We can’t dismiss that as impractical because it had been working several years before Title II was enacted. Beginning in 1960 sit-ins and other Gandhi-style confrontations were desegregating department-store lunch counters throughout the South. No laws had to be passed or repealed. Social pressure—the public shaming of bigots—was working…

…Title II, in other words, was unnecessary. But worse, it was detrimental…

…The social campaign for equality that was desegregating the South was transmogrified when it was diverted to Washington. Focus then shifted from the grassroots to a patronizing white political elite in Washington that had scurried to the front of the march and claimed leadership…

…Libertarians need not shy away from the question, “Do you mean that whites should have been allowed to exclude blacks from their lunch counters?” Libertarians can answer proudly, “No. They should not have been allowed to do that. They should have been stopped—not by the State, which can’t be trusted, but by nonviolent social action on behalf of equality.”

So in other words, going beyond social pressure (and boycotts, etc.) to change business owners’ treatment of others based on race, and using the armed power of the federal government to force private businesses to change was the beginning of an ever-increasing mountain of laws and regulations and further anti-discrimination laws that have actually caused our society to go the other way, as far as actually causing regressive attitudes and intrusions. For example, anti-discrimination has become “affirmative action,” in which people who are not qualified for a job or for admissions to college nevertheless get hired or admitted (because of their race, etc.) over others who are more qualified (which in itself is discrimination, racial, ethnic or otherwise, and violates the 1964 Civil Rights Act!). And I’m sure there have been plenty of restaurant or hotel owners or managers who have felt compelled to allow someone on their premises that they might otherwise not have wanted to allow, not based on race or ethnicity, but based on the patrons’ behaviors, lack or sobriety or their appearance, but didn’t reject such patrons out of fear of accusations of discrimination or fear of lawsuits.

People who own a business, whether it be a “public accommodations” business or not, have a right to be free from the aggression and coercion of others. The law against theft and trespass really is absolute — or ought to be — and can’t be compromised for any reason including well-meaning social good or “social justice.” People have a right to their private property and that their voluntary associations and voluntary contracts not be violated by anyone.

The real civil rights are with the individual, who has a right to be free from the aggression or coercion of others, whether it be one’s own person or one’s private property, home or business. Unfortunately, that right to be free from the aggression of others has turned into, via “civil rights” the right (or more accurately, power) of people to force themselves into someone else’s private property. That’s trespassing. I know that I’m in the minority who believe that laws against theft and trespassing must be absolute. You can’t say that only some trespassing is forbidden in society, but other trespassing — forcing oneself onto someone else’s private property or into someone’s private business against his will, without consent — is acceptable. I don’t think so.

Jacob Hornberger pointed out regarding the Rand Paul-Civil rights Act controversy that the people on the left would say that private homeowners have a right to decide who can go into their private home based on any reason, but not private business owners, because of the left’s problem with free enterprise and profit.

The left also have a problem with the idea of someone having complete control over one’s own property, as well as one’s own business, even one’s own life as an individual. That is why most of the left are collectivists and not individualists.

The anti-discrimination laws and “civil rights” laws, like zoning and other State intrusions into private property, are of a fascist system. While socialism is public ownership of property and the means of production, fascism is State control over privately owned property and the means of production. Those systems which violate private property rights contrast with capitalism, which is private ownership and control over property and the means of production. Capitalism, free markets, voluntary exchange, whatever you want to call it, is the only system that protects liberty, the rights of the individual, the right to one’s own person and to one’s own justly acquired property, the right of freedom of association and freedom of contract, the right to be free from the aggression of your neighbors, from criminals, from all others, especially the right to be free from the aggression of the State. Fascism, communism, and socialism are all systems in which the aggressions and intrusions by others are institutionalized.

But in the end, private property is private property, and we need to get rid of all the intrusions that federal, state and local governments impose on individuals and private property owners. And that includes the fascist zoning laws, which, as Sheldon Richman made reference to, might have been used in the 1960s South by local government officials to threaten non-biased private businesses to force them to discriminate against Blacks. That would be where the private business owners’ right to bear arms comes in — to protect them and their Black customers from the violence of local officials.

The Police State of Israel

The nearly unanimous backing of the Israeli military’s siege of the Gaza aid flotilla last week by America’s conservatives is continuing this week. As I wrote in this space a few days ago, many people have been persuaded by the Israeli government’s careful manipulating of events since the beginning of the siege, especially from the Israeli-produced video of the events that did not include the actual beginning of the actions (video of the commandos already shooting from their helicopter before landing on the ship). It seems to be more of an emotional tie to Israel, rather than a rational and objective view of both Israel and Gaza, that keeps so many people believing of the Israeli government’s propaganda, and conservative talk host and columnist Dennis Prager is no exception:

…Though Hamas runs a theocratic police state based on torture and terror, though it recognizes no freedom of speech and no freedom for any religious expression outside of radical Islam, though it seeks to annihilate the Jewish state, and though its state-controlled media depict Israelis and Jews as worthy of death, the world sees Israel, not Hamas, as the villain.

Let’s hope the world is right…

…Turning to American newspapers, the Los Angeles Times, in its editorial, posed some deep questions. Here are three:

“Were the boats ferrying novelists and Nobel Peace Prize winners and elderly Holocaust survivors, as news accounts have suggested, or seething Israel haters, as defenders of the raid would have us believe?”

Apparently, the Los Angeles Times believes that novelists, Nobel Peace Prize winners, and elderly Holocaust survivors cannot be “seething Israel-haters.”

A lot of the support for the Israeli government’s actions really was based on the edited video that the Israeli military produced and provided to the news media. Those who try to be objective in all this have asked: if this situation of commandos approaching the ship (albeit already shooting) and then being beaten by ship’s passengers and in turn commandos shooting at the beaters is such a clear-cut case (even though the commandos’ shooting preceded the beating), then why was it necessary for the commandos to confiscate all the passengers’ cameras, cell phones radios and laptops? Investigative journalist Philip Weiss had this update yesterday on that situation:

Today I tuned in on an Institute for Middle East Understanding presser that included Huwaida Arraf, longtime Palestinian-American activist, and filmmaker Iara Lee relating their experiences in Israeli custody following their arrests on the flotilla.

Both women said that their recording equipment had been seized by the Israelis: blackberries, laptops, hard-drives, cameras, phones. And held by them. “We demand that all our equipment get returned to us,” Iara Lee, who is described online as being Korean-Brazilian, said, and then she said that some of the passengers’ recordings were being used, heavily edited, on the Israeli hasbara youtube broadcasts aimed at painting the flotilla as jihadists.

Arraf, who has American and Israeli citizenship, told of being freed at the port and refusing to get into an Israeli truck until her computer and phone were returned to her. She sat down on the floor. Then she was beaten and dragged and forced on to the truck, and dumped outside the port. Later she was treated for her injuries, which she now dismisses, as others suffered more.

What is our government doing about this? When will the passengers get their equipment back? What shape will it be in? Look, here is the Committee to Protect Journalists denouncing Israel’s use of confiscated footage. And how can anyone trust the Israelis to conduct an investigation of this episode if they have already seized and misrepresented evidence so as to manipulate the court of international opinion?

Lee will be having a press briefing showing some uncensored footage of the flotilla tomorrow afternoon at the U.N. in New York.

I really don’t understand those obedient defenders of Israel who believe whatever the Israeli government tells them, just like those who will believe whatever the U.S. government tells them. And it seems that, no matter how many cases of Israeli spies against the United States that come up, that’s okay, because Israel is our “friend” in the Middle-East.

There has been an ongoing case of a young Israeli named Anat Kamm who is on trial for espionage against her own country, because, during her time as a military clerk, she burned classified information to CD and made copies of material and gave them to a Haaretz newspaper reporter, Uri Blau, whose report of the military’s alleged wrongdoing was published by Haaretz. Ms. Kamm explained,

There were some aspects of the IDF’s operational procedures in the West Bank that I felt should be public knowledge…

…When I was burning the CDs I kept thinking that history tends to forgive people who expose war crimes…

Apparently, Kamm isn’t being accused of spying on behalf of another country, but she is being accused of compromising Israel’s security by releasing those documents. It seems, however, that she genuinely believed that some of the military’s actions were wrong, even criminal, and she believed that it was her duty to make that public. If we citizens here in the U.S. suspect that government or military officials are engaged in some kind of wrongdoing, wouldn’t the moral thing be to expose those corrupt or even dangerous public officials? I wonder what Dennis Prager thinks of this situation, given that he has spent much time on his radio show discussing issues of morality. British journalist Jonathan Cook puts it this way:

During her conscription, Kamm copied possibly hundreds of army documents that revealed systematic law-breaking by the Israeli high command operating in the occupied Palestinian territories, including orders to ignore court rulings. She was working at the time in the office of Brig. Gen. Yair Naveh, who is in charge of operations in the West Bank.

Blau’s crime is that he published a series of scoops based on her leaked information that have highly embarrassed senior Israeli officers by showing their contempt for the rule of law.

Really, Anat Kamm is on trial for embarrassing high officials, as well as exposing possible corruption, incompetence or high crimes. And similarly, the U.S. military is now charging a U.S. soldier, Bradley Manning, for being a “whistleblower.”

Now, given that Israel has spied on the U.S. so many times now, there are times that the United States perhaps ought to exercise greater caution in the choosing of military advisors. For example, former CIA officer Philip Giraldi has raised doubts about a principle advisor to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, Dr. Lani Kass, who was born and raised in Israel and was a major officer of the Israeli air force and in more recent years has been working in the U.S. Department of Defense, apparently concentrating on cyber-warfare and issues related to possible war with Iran. Giraldi notes about Kass:

…She comes from a country that has a history of large scale and highly aggressive espionage directed against the United States and she appears to continue to have close ties to her birthplace.  Dr. Kass has become a naturalized American while apparently retaining her Israeli citizenship and her three children were reportedly born in Israel, not the United States.  The information she has access to would be extremely valuable to Israel and potentially damaging to US interests, particularly as she likely knows what the US Air Force response to a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran would be…

So we have in Israel a young lady (Anat Kamm) who thought it was her duty to expose possible incompetence at best and war crimes at worst but who is herself being charged with espionage and is being called a traitor by many among the Israeli population, who apparently love their government more than they love their country and prefer to not question the judgment of military officials, just as many people in America do not want to question the judgment of government officials (including those who knowingly gave false information to get the U.S. to war with Iraq). And we have a very influential U.S. military advisor whose loyalty might be more to Israel than to the United States.

At the same time, we can’t question the judgment of the Israeli military who could very well have disabled the flotilla ship and prevented it from continuing to get through the Gaza blockade but instead chose to begin shooting from the helicopter and attack the ship and murder several passengers, including one American who was shot in the head five times. And many people are satisfied with the Israeli military’s edited video while at the same time could not have seen any other videos from passengers given that all the passengers’ videos and cameras and cell phones were confiscated by the military.

That reminds me of how, here in the U.S., we are not allowed to videotape police officers making arrests (or allegedly harassing citizens or worse), but at the same time, our government can have surveillance cameras and keep us under careful watch, and worse than that given there are government officials who want to force us to carry biometric IDs.

The obedient American supporters of Israel don’t seem to want to deal with the fact that Israel is virtually a police state, just as is America, and more and more each day. The Soviet Union kept their people enslaved and they were made to be serfs of the State, kept in the tightly guarded prison and no one could escape—it is the same situation in which the Israeli government are keeping the Palestinians. And, just as the Soviet Union stifled dissent, so they do also in Israel.

As Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s own nephew, Jonathan Ben-Artzi, after having served 18 months in prison for being a military conscription conscientious objector, and now studying for a Ph.D. in the U.S., wrote,

…. Israel pumps drinking water from occupied territory (in violation of international law). Israelis use as much as four times more water than Palestinians, while Palestinians are not allowed to dig their own wells and must rely on Israeli supply.

Civil freedom is no better: In an effort to break the spirit of Palestinians, Israel conducts sporadic arrests and detentions with no judicial supervision…

…We must remove travel restrictions from West Bank Palestinians. How can we live in peace with a population where most children cannot visit their grandparents living in the neighboring village, without being stopped and harassed at military checkpoints for hours?…

…. If Americans truly are our friends, they should shake us up and take away the keys, because right now we are driving drunk, and without this wake-up call, we will soon find ourselves in the ditch of an undemocratic, doomed state.

It is inherent in totalitarian regimes to suppress speech, stifle dissent and the press, and throw in jail those who attempt to expose the incompetence, corruption and treason of the agents of the State and its hired guns the police and military. These are the reasons why Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, and why the writers of the U.S. Constitution were forced (kicking and screaming) to include a Bill of Rights.

Tea Partiers May Need the ACLU Soon

June 7, 2010

Copyright © 2010 by LewRockwell.com. Link to this article at LewRockwell.com

It seems that our representatives in Washington want Americans to know that, instead of studying the ideas of the Founding Fathers on the appropriate way governments should treat people, the DC ignoramuses have taken on the wisdom of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. And, ironically, many people in the Tea Party movement who have been supporting Bush war policies may be the ones regretting such support.

The most recent examples of our leaders rushing to violate our liberty in the name of fighting terrorism or other government-caused problems include Senator Joe Lieberman’s legislation to remove citizenship from suspected terrorists or terrorism abettors, and a proposal from Sen. Lindsay Graham and Sen. Charles Schumer to force all Americans to have a biometric ID card that would include embedded information such as fingerprints, etc. Because of the short-sightedness that has been common in Washington for over a century, the Founders’ belief in the Presumption of Innocence and Due Process now seems to be an anachronism.

This past decade’s war on terrorism has become an unwitting invitation for the government’s camel to completely barge in the tent, as the policies that the Bush Administration put in place can be used by subsequent administrations for dubious purposes, the prevention of which is why the American Founders wrote the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

The Bush war policies have given President Obama too much unchecked power. This includes a perversion of the rule of law that is supposed to restrict the State from curtailing individual rights. Consequently, the artificial notion of “battlefield rules,” in which rights may be curtailed by agents of the State in the name of war, combined with the globalizing of the war on terrorism, in which the battlefield has extended to include all territories, have disintegrated the concept of national sovereignty as well as erased the protection of individuals from State aggression.

For example, the Bush policies including the Patriot Act, warrantless surveillance, denial of due process, assassinations of suspected terrorists including Americans, extraordinary rendition, and indefinite detention, were short-sighted policies and may in fact be used to suppress opposition to the U.S. government, rather than to prevent actual terrorism.

Most worrisome is that so many people in the government and the media have been referring to the apprehension or execution of “terrorists,” when really referring to those our government has accused of engaging in or supporting terrorism, without evidence brought forth. That is troubling because in many cases officials knowingly had apprehended and held totally innocent terrorism suspects, some of whose apprehension and detention were based on false confessions by others as a result of torture or financial payments.

And Lieberman’s proposal to remove citizenship from terrorism suspects would mean an individual’s fate would be in the hands of Obama, CIA agents, career bureaucrats, and foreign governments. But should we really trust the judgment of someone as creepy as President Obama? And do we really want CIA agents to have the power to decide who should live or die, without trial?

200 years after the American Founders wrote a Constitution with rules for what the agents of the State may or may not do, Americans have been supporting policies with too much blind faith in the judgment of government and military officials.

Another problem is the false notion that the inalienable rights of the individual only apply to “American citizens.” The Declaration of Independence, however, is quite clear. It does not mention “only Americans.” Those rights to life and liberty are inherent in all human beings. The rights of each individual to one’s own life and liberty are inherent rights, and include the right to be free from the aggression of others and the right to be presumed innocent and left alone. We just have those rights as human beings, and the Declaration of Independence merely recognizes that.

We must be concerned about these war policies, because the history of the past century has consisted of suppression of individual rights by regimes of fascist and Marxist ideologies, to which Obama clearly subscribes. Such regimes would not tolerate a “Tea Party” movement.

It is ironic that ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis, who stands for the Obama agenda of socialist redistribution of wealth and fascist takeovers of entire industries, as well as one intrusion after another into the private lives of all Americans, expressed her irrational concern of her fellow “young, Democratic socialists” being rounded up into “internment camps.” Lewis is frightened by the Tea Party movement, people who have been peacefully expressing their legitimate protestations of an out-of-control, overreaching and invasive government – people merely trying to protect themselves from the aggression of the State.

Rational Americans should be much more concerned about federal administration officials such as regulatory czar Cass Sunstein, who proposes to “infiltrate” Internet sites and chat rooms as a means of controlling public opinion, and Solicitor General Elena Kagan who has said that freedom of speech “depends upon a categorical balancing of the value of the speech against its societal costs” (i.e. government-approved speech), and who has been supportive of President Obama’s ever-expanding executive powers including detaining or assassinating individuals without trial.

Conservatives and Tea Partiers need to be cautious in supporting policies such as detaining indefinitely or assassinating Americans suspected – not convicted, but suspected – of participating in “terrorist” or other criminal activities, in the name of fighting terrorism or any other societal threat, especially when we have public officials such as Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano and her DHS explicitly declaring “right-wing extremists,” “anti-government” types, and people opposed to ObamaCare as a threat to national security. Beware of people like Speaker Pelosi and others who have referred to Tea Party protesters as acting seditiously against the government. These officials are literally viewing Tea Partiers and conservatives as the “terrorists.”

The Obama Left may use such Bush-imposed policies based on presumption of guilt and without due process to serve their own political agenda, which could result in very negative consequences for members of the Tea Party movement, and all Americans. And if there will be an economic crisis even worse than the Great Depression as some people predict, and if the Obama Administration calls for martial law, then you will see greater abuse of government and police power, especially if law enforcement duties are shared by members of AmeriCorps, ACORN, S.E.I.U. and other pro-Obama unions and flunkies.

The Bush anti-terrorism policies were policies of short-sightedness and expediency that did not take into account their long-term consequential effects on liberty. Given monopolistic control over protecting the country from terrorism, officials do not have a competitive incentive to provide actual quality service of protection. Because of this, decisions are political, rather than practical and moral. Americans need to recognize this, and see how the compulsory nature of having to use this one government-run service is impractical and dangerous. It would be wise to reject the Big Government socialism and internationalism of our current Homeland Security police and military bureaucracy and consider more practical alternatives that don’t violate liberty, and that would be accountable to law and to markets rather than to political interests.

Eventually, thanks to the Bush Administration and the Obama extremists, we may discover how a more severe threat to our liberty and our security is not Islamic terrorism, but our own government.

Americans may very well learn the hard way that the Rule of Law is absolute, and applies to all people, private citizens and military personnel, businessmen and public officials, with no exceptions, war or not.

You Should Believe the Israeli Military-Edited Videos

For those people, such as particularly Glenn Beck, who have been criticizing critics such as myself of the Israeli government’s siege of the Gaza aid flotilla, who really believe that the video produced and distributed by the Israeli government speaks for itself, I have this to say. The video of the incident was edited and shown by the military soon after the siege, and it lacks the context of what exactly led up to the shootings. Witnesses claimed that the Israeli commandos began shooting from the helicopters before boarding the ship, as could be evidenced by one of the shooting victims who was shot in the top of the head, and the commandos were then shooting at close range.

Too bad that some people immediately rush to believe everything that the government tells them, and dismiss those who believe that it is always necessary to question government officials’ word, including videos that THEY produce, edit and distribute. If you don’t think the Israeli military should be questioned on this, then why was it necessary for them to confiscate all of the passengers’ cameras, cell phones, laptops, etc. (as opposed to just confiscating weapons, etc.) and engage in radio jamming to shut off passengers’ communications with the outside, and engage in the censorship that the military did?

When Obama, Cass Sunstein, Elena Cajun, the FTC and FCC begin to censor conservative Internet websites and blogs, you’ll be whistling a different tune, and maybe THEN you’ll begin to question the validity of what governments and their agents do or tell you — in the name of security, or whatever — and maybe THEN you’ll stop blindly accepting the word of government officials.

Useful Idiot? Who, Me?

These people are occupied.

–White House correspondent Helen Thomas, commenting about Gaza and Israel

Last night on his radio show, Michael Savage must have played the tape of Helen Thomas telling the Jews in Israel to go back to Poland and Germany, or come to America, about a thousand times. His comments about Thomas were not what you would expect of someone of his intelligence and advanced scholarship (Ph.D., 2 Masters degrees, an educated and trained botanist and an epidemiologist, and historian and sociologist, author of many books). Savage referred to Thomas as “Hitler in a girdle,” and talking of her and Jewish anti-Israel abettors, as being “useful idiots” and “useful tools” for an “International Communist Conspiracy.”

I think that Savage and others should give Helen Thomas a break. She’s almost 90. She said that the Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine,” referring to the land of Israel as being of the Arabs, and probably referring to the Jewish mass immigrations throughout the late 19th and 20th Centuries to the land of Israel. Savage made the point that the Jews were actually there thousands of years before that (at least as a majority). Well, if Savage wants to use that argument, then he would have to admit that the white Europeans came over to the North American continent and usurped and expropriated the lands here away from the natives who were originally here (presumably, for the same “thousands of years,” etc. etc.), but I don’t think he wants to do that. It’s complicated. Savage was also hypothetically comparing that to telling the black people in America to “go back to Africa,” which is an awful comparison. People have very good arguments on their side that lands in Israel were owned by Arabs, but were expropriated by the British Mandate and later the UN to house or relocate the immigrating Jews, but to compare that to Blacks who were brought over to America as property and made to be slaves? I don’t think so.

Savage is correct, in my opinion, that the leftist Obama supporters in America are “useful idiots” in promoting the Obommunists’ agenda in—and I’ll be blunt—organizing the government’s apparatus and its authority and power of compulsion over others to further enslave Americans more than they already are, and expropriate property and wealth from the working class and the producers to redistribute it (further) to the parasites, the professional bureaucrats, and the otherwise criminal class which is growing day by day now.

Now, I must object strongly to any characterization of ME as a “useful idiot” for Hamas, jihadists and Islamic extremists, etc., in my criticism of the Israeli government and what it has been doing to the Arabs and Palestinians of Israel and Gaza, and in my defense of the recent “Freedom Flotilla’s” right to pass through international waters and not be attacked by a gang of commando attackers (who actually began shooting from those helicopters), and the flotilla’s right to transport needed humanitarian aid to the people of the Gaza Strip, who are only getting a pittance of aid from the Israeli government. (Among other things, Karen Kwiatkowski wondered whether the Israelis had heard of tasers.) The people who are siding with Israel on this matter are really siding with the Israeli government, and do not know just how badly the government has been treating the Arabs there, and such ill treatment has been going on for many decades. I acknowledge that, while most of the people on board those flotilla vessels were genuinely there to transport aid for Gazans, that there were some “jihadists,” and Hamas supporters there, and that there may have been an intention among some there to deliberately provoke the Israeli military. However, if you are in international waters, and you are attacked, then you have a right to defend yourself. It may very well be that the real “useful idiots” are the Israeli government who may be playing into the hands of Hamas.

Many people who support the Israeli government are the same people who support the U.S. government’s war on terrorism abroad, and, like saying that what motivates the terrorists and extremists against the U.S. is because “they hate us for our freedom and our values,” they would be saying that what motivates Hamas and other Palestinian anti-Jewish organizations against Israel is because of their being Jewish. It may be that the extremist Islamist Arabs just “hate Jews” and “want to destroy them,” but, if you have any knowledge of post-1948 Israel and have a capacity for long-term thinking, you would understand that what motivates the Palestinians against Israel is because of how—and I’ll be blunt about this, too—the Jewish majority has been literally persecuting the Arab minority there, and such ill treatment has only been increasing in the last decade, and especially since nudnik Ariel Sharon forced the Jews out of Gaza in 2005. Within the Jewish Israeli community, anti-Arab racism/ethnicism/religionism has been on the increase, including the anti-Arab racism in Israeli schoolbooks, just as you would see the anti-Jewish racism in the Palestinian schoolbooks. Israel has become a society divided culturally, racially, religiously and ethnically. So what motivates the Arabs is primarily their reaction to the way they have been treated over generations now. It can compare to what motivates the Islamic terrorists against the U.S: it’s not because “they hate us for our freedom,” but because of many, many decades of intrusions into their territories and their societies by the U.S. government.

Many people in America get their information on the events in Israel from the Israeli media, who get their information, or more accurately, propaganda, from the Israeli government. Because of this, people just don’t know that the Israeli government have been literally preventing the Gazans from rebuilding their water and sewage treatment facilities, and, besides the economic sanctions imposed on the people of the Gaza Strip that have impoverished them, and the police state with which Israel has the Gazans locked in so no one can leave the area, the people there are living in unsanitary conditions with untreated water. I mentioned this a few days ago in this space, but I will repeat it. This is exactly like what the U.S. government did to the Iraqis in the 1990s following the elder President Bush’s invasion in 1990-91 of Iraq, the destruction of Iraq’s water and sewage treatment infrastructure, and subsequent sanctions and literally preventing the Iraqis from rebuilding the damaged infrastructure. And that was before the 2003 U.S. war on Iraq that further destroyed that country. The treatment of the Gazans by the Israelis now is as disgusting and rotten as was the treatment of Iraqis by the U.S. government throughout the 1990s!

There are some people who have been calling neoconservatives “useful idiots” for their support of the socialist military-industrial-complex, but it may be that the neoconservatives could be “useful idiots” for both the communistic one-world-government crackpots and the Islamic extremist nutsos as well. Just as the Israelis may be playing into the hands of Hamas as mentioned above, the American neoconservatives may have been playing into the hands of the Islamists and Al-Qaeda, by, instead of recognizing that the terrorists have been reacting to all the intrusions and trespassing into their territories by the U.S. government for many decades and thus stop doing that, the neoconservatives have been supporting MORE intrusions and invasions into the Middle-East with such actions not only eliciting MORE motivations against America but ending up wrecking the United States of America, which is what Al-Qaeda and other wackos want. Additionally, after the neoconservatives transferred their (alleged) hate of communism to Islamic extremists because of the end of the Cold War, the neoconservatives have actually become the communists they hate by engaging in such a Big Government socialist expansionism of the centralized, bureaucratic U.S. government at home and abroad, expanding the reach of the U.S. government into other territories just as the Soviet communists did, AND the neoconservatives having the U.S. government spy on (and engage in assassinations, torture and indefinite detention without due process) their fellow citizens which the Soviet communists also did. Such actions have been feeding the One-Worlder wacko New World Order commie-fascists (like the Bushes and the Wolfowitz-Perle-Kristol-Podhoretzes, as well as the Krugman-Alinsky-Clinton Obommunists).

I hear so many conservatives preaching about “moral values,” but I haven’t been hearing any of them speaking out against the terrible, immoral treatment of the Palestinians especially in Gaza by the Israeli government, or speaking out against the CIA’s use of remote-control drone bombings and murder of innocent human beings in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Americans and Israelis Are Generally Good People, But Our Governments’ Actions Are Counter-Productive

There was an attack Monday by the Israeli military on a 6-ship flotilla, a part of the Free Gaza Movement, which was bringing much needed humanitarian supplies to the people of Gaza. The humanitarian activists of the flotilla were warned by Israel to not attempt to get through the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Israel had said that it would allow the transportation by land of the humanitarian aid, following inspection for security reasons. Israel had allowed some shipments of humanitarian aid to get to Gaza between 2007 and the Gaza War of 2009-09, but not since the war. On the one hand, we have an economically collapsed and impoverished Gaza and their desperate supporters who want to help the people there, and who perhaps should have listened to the Israelis’ warnings, and now over 15 of them are killed. On the other hand, we have an overly-militaristic and somewhat paranoid Israeli government that goes overboard in its attempt to protect Israelis from possible terrorist attacks, a result of government-monopolization of territorial security.

It is extremely difficult to know what to believe when both sides give differing accounts of specific events. And the videos I’ve seen are not helpful. Of course, Israel’s radio jamming and censorship regarding this fiasco doesn’t help matters. When the Israeli government has to do radio jamming and censoring, immediately that makes me suspicious. Why do they have to do that, except to engage in covering up information, covering up the truth, and helping their own propagandizing? And it makes me more skeptical of the legitimacy of reports that the Israeli government found a weapons cache on board the ships. While some have accused the flotilla of smuggling weapons to Hamas, the Turkish PM stated that the flotilla was inspected for weapons before being allowed to take off.

The flotilla contained 600 people, mostly activists.  However, there is reason to believe that, while most of the intent was to bring tons of humanitarian aid to the Gazans, some of the intent may have been to “bring attention to the Israeli siege of Gaza.” Which does deserve attention, in my opinion, as such a siege and blockage (one might describe more accurately as “sanctions”) have received condemnation from many major international human rights organizations. The Israeli government’s treatment of the people of Gaza has been described as a “collective prison.”

Meanwhile, Turkey accuses Israel of “state terrorism,” as reported by the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper, and Israeli PM Netanyahu claims the military acted in “self-defense,” according to the pro-Israeli government Jerusalem Post. The U.K. Guardian compares the Israeli action to Somali pirates. And Salon‘s Glenn Greenwald notes,

….The flotilla attacked by Israel last night was carrying materials such as cement, water purifiers, and other building materials, much of which Israel refuses to let pass into Gaza.  At the end of 2009, a U.N. report found that “insufficient food and medicine is reaching Gazans, producing a further deterioration of the mental and physical health of the entire civilian population since Israel launched Operation Cast Lead against the territory,” and also “blamed the blockade for continued breakdowns of the electricity and sanitation systems due to the Israeli refusal to let spare parts needed for repair get through the crossings.”

It hardly seemed possible for Israel — after its brutal devastation of Gaza and its ongoing blockade — to engage in more heinous and repugnant crimes.  But by attacking a flotilla in international waters carrying humanitarian aid, and slaughtering at least 10 people, Israel has managed to do exactly that.  If Israel’s goal were to provoke as much disgust and contempt for it as possible, it’s hard to imagine how it could be doing a better job….

Mondoweiss‘s Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz had this early report, and Moshe Yaroni calls the action “Israel’s Kent State”, an example of government’s overreaction to civil disobedience:

….We begin with the point that these were civilian ships and Israel boarded them with commandoes—soldiers who are disposed toward combat situations and are not meant to police unarmed civilians. They’re fighters, that’s their purpose. But the IDF claims that an assortment of international activists deliberately provoked a violent confrontation (using potentially deadly weapons, but which still leave them ridiculously overmatched) against heavily armed and trained soldiers in order to “lynch them.”

Does that seem remotely credible? It only seems so if you believe the activists on board these ships were willing to risk and actually sacrifice their lives in order to create a scandal for Israel. Of course, Israeli hasbara (propaganda) is well-practiced in casting all Arabs and Muslims as suicidal lunatics, aided by the suicide bombers who represent an infinitesimal percentage of those populations. But this collection of international activists, including many Jews, Americans and Europeans, apparently are also willing to give their lives, and rather cheaply, according to this story.

No, the IDF version of these events doesn’t begin to pass the laugh test.

When I first heard confirmed reports of this massacre, I thought of the Kent State shootings in 1970….

But at Kent State, the shootings resulted from high tensions and one person losing control, causing others to follow his lead. Was that the case here? I suppose one must allow the possibility, but the quick response of the government certainly gives the appearance that it was not that simple….

While the aid flotilla is of the Free Gaza Movement, which is an international human rights organization to shine the spotlight on the Israeli blockade of Gaza that prevents humanitarian aid from getting to Gaza, Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick nevertheless refers to it as a “Hamas flotilla” and the killed civilian activists as “Hamas supporters.” That is pure propaganda, given that the purpose of the flotilla primarily is to get the tons of humanitarian supplies to the Palestinians in Gaza, and, in fact, the Free Gaza website doesn’t even mention Hamas, except in some posted news items. And some of the more conservative opinion-oriented websites I’ve seen have the words activist and humanitarian aid in quotation marks, to show their blind trust in the Israeli government’s and mainstream media’s reporting on this fiasco.

The situation in Gaza is that the Israeli military caused much of Gaza’s destruction during the  ’08-’09 war, and with the blockade they have been preventing the rebuilding of the area as well as preventing basic medical supplies and foods to get into Gaza. It is very similar to the U.S. government’s bombing of Iraqi infrastructures including water treatment and sewage facilities, followed by U.S. and U.N.- imposed sanctions that prevented the rebuilding of Iraq’s infrastructures and deliberately promoting disease including cancer and increased child mortality rates throughout the 1990s.

To some people, unfortunately, any criticism of the Israeli government just sticks in their craw, and is seen as literally blasphemous, as anti-Semitic, as “pro-terrorist.” They just cannot fathom the possibility that the Israeli government and military themselves are capable of committing terrorist acts, and of persecuting a segment of a population. Well, let me tell you something. The Jews do not own “being persecuted.” The Jews do not own “prison camps.” It actually can happen to people among other religions, other races and cultures, and it actually can be committed by Jews.

There is a problem among many people, however, and that is the inability to distinguish between people of a particular territory and their government. Neoconservatives such as Glick mentioned above do not seem to distinguish between the Gaza Palestinians in general and the Gaza territory’s governing agency Hamas. It is a tiny minority of extremist groups such as Hamas who have been committing the terrorist acts, and it is Hamas whose charter includes specific references to the destruction of Israel. Likewise, it is necessary to distinguish between the people of Israel and the Israeli government, just as it is necessary to distinguish between Americans and their government. It is not Americans who have been intruding and destroying Middle-Eastern countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan, but the U.S. government.

And it seems that so many war supporters in the U.S. do not want to recognize that a major motivation for the terrorism or terrorist attempts against the U.S. has been the terrorists’ reaction to the intrusive and violent actions of the U.S. government in the Middle-East. This analysis is not one of “Blame America.” Rather it is “Blame the U.S. Government,” a group of professional career politicians and parasitic bureaucrats who have no sense of long range planning, no sense of national sovereignty and no sense of morality. The same can be said of the Israeli government. The terrorist acts against the U.S. are examples of blowback for invasive and destructive U.S. policies, and terrorist acts against Israel have been blowback for the Israeli government’s destructive and immoral policies, particularly with Gaza. And we are already seeing the blowback of the Israeli government’s actions this week in Turkey.

A lot of people will feel offended by my description of the Israeli government’s apartheid of treating Palestinians or Arabs as second class citizens. They either do not know about it, or they do know but don’t care or feel it is justified. There is a double standard by those who say, “Never Forget” about the way Nazi Germany persecuted the Jews and others, but who look the other way when it is the Jews doing the persecuting. The problems we face are caused by State’s governments. It is the agents of the State who are doing the persecuting.

This situation this week is a typical example of the State vs. the people. The one big difference between governments and other institutions is that governments (or “States”) have the power of compulsion over others, and have government- and police-protected monopolies of various endeavors, especially territorial protection. That’s where we go wrong. First of all, no institution should have the power of compulsion over others, because that’s simply immoral, no matter how it is rationalized. And second, anyone who understands economics and basic human action knows that any monopoly which is protected by the State, by aggression, will be automatically corrupted by power, and thus its effectiveness diminished and its ability to provide actual quality of service smooshed. The bigger and more powerful the State, the more totalitarian will be its treatment of the people over whom the State rules. That is an inherent part of compulsory, monopolistic States. Israel is no different.

ACORN, “Stealth Socialism” and Desocializing America

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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