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Scott Lazarowitz's Blog Posts

Goodbye, Blumenthal

It appears that Connecticut’s Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is now Connecticut’s Liar General Richard Blumenthal. The New York Times—of all papers—has raked Blumenthal over the coals for his lying about his Vietnam experiences, or lack thereof (unless this turns out to be another Jayson Blair fiasco—I hope not).

(And it appears that 23-year-old Adam Wheeler is following in Blumenthal’s footsteps, and has a promising career in politics.)

Here is a classic interview by Glenn Beck (with fangs and claws firmly in place) of Connecticut Attorney Liar General Richard Milhaus Blumenthal:

More Bad Decisions By the U.S. ‘Supreme Court’

The ‘Supreme Court’ today ruled that juveniles can’t be sentenced for life in prison without parole for crimes other than murder. If they committed a crime other than murder, such as the home invasion burglary and armed robbery involved in today’s decision, then life in prison without parole is ‘cruel and unusual punishment.’ I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that, although I don’t particularly agree with the State’s having a monopoly in judicial decision-making.

The real solution to those problems is to get rid of all gun control, get rid of all restrictions on citizens’ rights to possess weapons and defend themselves. If the victim of the home invasion and armed robbery in today’s case were armed, then we wouldn’t have even had this case brought to the ‘Supreme Court.’

The court also rejected Cablevision’s challenge to a federal statute that forced the cable company’s systems to carry a broadcast TV station’s broadcasts. Solicitor General and nominee for said Supreme Court Elena Cajun argued on behalf of the government to reject the challenge.

Hmmm. So this means that it’s okay for the federal government to force a private communications company to include on their systems broadcast outlets that the private company may not wish to include. The camel is advancing into the tent, and this is just more cutting away of First Amendment.

An even worse decision today than those was SCOTUS’s decision that Congress may hold criminals ‘indefinitely’ if they are considered ‘dangerous.’ Nancy Lugosi thinks that Tea Partiers are ‘dangerous.’ However, according to the L.A. Times,

Only Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia set out the small-government theory of congressional power that has been voiced by those challenging the constitutionality of the healthcare mandate. Thomas said Congress has only the “powers enumerated in the Constitution,” and holding prisoners beyond their term goes beyond a specific enumerated power.

Hooray, Thomas and Scalia! (Unfortunately, they were in the minority, and we can safely predict that Elena Cajun will be in the ‘More Power to the Feds’ crowd.)

Obama? Freedom of the Press? (What a Joke!)

Barack Obama signs the Daniel Pearl Freedom of Press Act into law today. Here’s the bill. The new law will have Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issue a report to see

What steps the government of each…country has taken to preserve the safety and independence of the media, and to ensure the prosecution of those individuals who attack or murder journalists.

Preserve the “independence of the media“? The U.S. government preserving the independence of the media? (Good luck! Especially with Cass Sunstein who wants to ‘infiltrate’ Internet web sites and chat rooms, and otherwise vomit his Obama Regime propaganda even more than they already have with their flunkies and cronies in the mainstream news media!)

And this just a week after Obama states at a graduation ceremony that there’s too much ‘distracting’ (i.e. non-Obama Regime-approved) information out there (that must be suppressed by government force).

And the law will provide government grants to

promote and broaden press freedoms by strengthening the independence of journalists and media organizations, promoting a legal framework for freedom of the press, or through providing regionally and culturally relevant training and professionalization of skills to meet international standards in both traditional and digital media.

Of course, will Madam Secretary Clinton offer government grants to libertarian or Tea Party-type media organizations? (Now, THAT’s the dumb question of the day!)

Well, look on the bright side. If the Obomber Administration does do something that effects in the suppression of anyone’s right of free speech, we can sue the administration with the very law that Obomber will have signed today.

The Ignorance, Irrationality and Violence of the Left and the State

There have been many reasons why people have used the political and coercive apparatus of the State,  particularly the federal government, to further a political agenda, to further their own careers in public parasitism, or to act out a particular fantasized plan that some feel the rest of the world ought to follow. For example, in recent years, there has been a mass psychosis of believing that the U.S. government’s past decade of invasions and occupations and expanding quagmires in Middle-Eastern countries could possibly protect America from Islamic extremists, rather than understanding that the people of those other countries have been reacting against many decades of the U.S. government’s invading and occupying those territories. The rational way to protect America would be to stop doing the invading and occupying that the U.S. government has been doing for many decades.

Further irrationality and psychosis has been the ramming through of a massive America-destroying fascist medical plan, one that was characterized as cost-saving yet will be deficit-causing and debt-increasing, and will totally paralyze the medical system as we know it. I think that while some of the motivations behind the passage of that plan into law were to give unions and other special interests special privileges, a majority of its supporters in congress were mainly motivated by irrational fantasizing and actually believing in a most psychotic way that centralizing and government-bureaucratizing the medical system will actually effect in serving more people with better and more efficient medical care. (Gag me with a spoon, as the Valley Girl would say.)

The people of the Left, politicians, activists, etc. have been continually enacting laws upon laws, and regulations upon regulations and taxes, taxes, taxes, that ALL of history constantly tells us will destroy the economy and prosperity, and further the impoverishment of the masses, yet they continue to do this out of a psychotic, irrational make-believe fantasy-world that is totally separate from reality. And when I refer to the “Left,” that includes Republicans and conservatives, because they have been supportive of all the social programs and regulations and interventions, and foreign interventions as well. Foreign interventionism comes from the Left. These are people who have been supporting the statism, socialism and fascism that has just about completely destroyed America. After the Afghanistan and Iraq quagmires, there will be Pakistan and shortly Iran quagmires (and more murdering of innocents), and after all the bailouts and more bailouts and stimuluses, and the medical fascism law and soon ‘Cap and Trade,’ America will have been completely wrecked by people who live in a fantasy-world and who got to where they are with good rhetorical demagogic skills, but not with any particularly good intellectual skills, and certainly not by having produced anything of actual value to others.

It still really bothers me when I hear people especially conservatives refer to a certain group as ‘liberals,’ and refer to ‘liberalism,’ when they are talking about people whose philosophy and agenda are the exact opposite of what ‘liberalism’ really is.

I know, Michael Savage wrote the book, Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder, when he was really  referring to statism, socialism, fascism and communism. ‘Liberalism’ means (at least in my own definition of it) to advocate being free from aggression, particularly freedom from the aggression of the State, to ‘liberalize.’ The American Revolutionaries were ‘liberals’ and advocated ‘liberalism,’ which is why they approved the Declaration of Independence, which promoted the recognition of the rights of the individual to life and liberty, the right to ‘abolish’ tyrannical governments like the monstrous federal government we have now.

I’ve been using the word ‘leftists’ to describe the people whom Savage and Rush Limbaugh and others are talking about, and, to me, ‘The Left’ describes anyone who does not believe in the absolute rights of voluntary exchange and voluntary association and contract, and private property rights. A little earlier, I referred to foreign interventionism as being on the left. That would make the two Bush presidents be on the left. From the left is socialism, communism and fascism, whereas from the right is capitalism, which consists of associations and markets free from aggression and coercion.

Such an assertion, of the two Bush presidents being on the left, could be more understood first by noting that their actions of initiating aggression against other countries were just that: the initiation of aggression, against Iraq and against Afghanistan. (Afghanistan did not attack the U.S., the U.S. government attacked and invaded Afghanistan.) The initiation of aggression and violence against others, especially by agents of the State, is an act coming from the left. If you are actually able to step back and view those two Bushes from a distance, you will see their leftism for what it is, or was, in their socialist domestic policies, and see how connected domestic interventionism is with foreign interventionism, everything from the elder President Bush’s raising taxes and the 1990 version of ‘Cap and Trade‘ to the younger Bush’s prescription drug program, socialist Wall Street Bailout and his signing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The two Bushes were hardly ‘capitalists’!!

The statists and leftists have been fantasizing that intruding into the lives of fellow citizens will help those fellow citizens in some way, and intruding into the territories and cultures of foreign peoples will help them in some way. (It hasn’t helped.)

If only people could see that, while the Founders’ creating a new country of freedom, America, was a good idea, the creation of a federal government was a mistake from the very beginning. Centralizing control over a population of millions of people, over an area of thousands of miles, and bureaucratizing life to be controlled in a centralized DC just doesn’t work. It has never worked, and it never will, because of the impracticality and destructiveness of institutionalized monopoly, and the immorality of giving some people the power of compulsion over others. As Hans Hoppe noted, the idea of ‘limited government’ is just impossible (as Perry Como would say).

We have to get rid of the federal government, let the individual states have the independence and sovereignty that the Founders intended them to have. And do what Murray Rothbard suggested, “repudiate the national debt.”

In Defense of the Internet Blogosphere: Will Elena Kagan Approve of All the Censorship Fascism That Obama Wants To Inflict On Us?

Given that Barack Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, is anti-freedom of speech, as noted in my previous post, and knowing how hostile Obama himself is to free speech, and members of his administration as well, when they do start censoring the Internet as a further means of controlling the population (and particularly the honest, objective reporting you can find on the Internet nowadays and NOT in the mainstream media such the New York Times or CBSNews), they will probably be taking down blogs such as these:

Such as this post by business analyst and Mises Institute contributor Jim Fedako on Marxist teachers indoctrinating their students with their Marxist claptrap. Is this post something that Barack Obomber will want to censor, and would that be approved by a Justice Kagan?

“Marx is not all wrong”

Not my quote. And it isn’t from my good friends over at The quote is actually from a recent edition of Teachers College Record: The Voice of Scholarship in Education – published by Columbia University’s Teachers College, the ideological center of public education.

While economic Marxism is gone (or hidden behind the veil of Keynesianism), cultural Marxism is alive and well in most colleges and universities, along with all public schools.

Who else believes this nonsense:

The second reason is that Marx is not all wrong. Workers have become alienated from what they produce.

It’s 2010 and Marx’s theory of worker alienation is being championed by the teachers of teachers over at Columbia University.

And all that effort and indoctrination is not going to waste. Your child’s teacher is reading this nonsense and saying, “I better include that in my next lesson plan.”

And she will.

Or how about this post by Mondoweiss contributor Susie Kneedler, on NPR reporter Lordess Garcia-Navarro’s perhaps belated report on the Israeli military’s deportation of “infiltrator” Palestinians in the West Bank, with some lines in the audio report missing or deleted in NPR’s online edition. I wonder if Obama would censor this blog post on NPR’s possible bias especially to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (and, frankly, I’m sure that our officials don’t want blogs to post anything to do with Israel during the ongoing situations between the U.S. government and Israel), and would a Justice Kagan approve of such Obomber censorship? Here’s an excerpt of that post:

Garcia-Navarro does document the horrific fear that Israeli government policies inflict on one woman and her family.  We hear the anguish in Palestinian Umm Qusay’s voice beneath the translation; and the broadcast closes with a line deleted from the online article: “Qusay says the wider implications don’t matter to her.  After waiting ten years to join her husband and children, she just wants to stay here.”

But Garcia-Navarro allows an Israeli military spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, to assure us that, “The amendments to this law actually help the Palestininans or the other illegal residents that are here.”  We hear Leibovich declare in sunny tones that, “There is a committee of judges which is reviewing the material and deciding whether to begin with the process of repatriation or not” [Leibovich’s emphasis].  Garcia-Navarro does not challenge the fairness of Israeli judges, let alone that of military courts, to Palestinian plaintiffs or defendants.

Well, to be fair to Lordess Che-Guevara, it’s really not her job as a reporter to “challenge the fairness of Israeli judges,” but to just report on what they’re saying or doing. But this point that Kneedler makes is certainly a valid one:

Garcia-Navarro’s description of Qusay’s husband as merely a “resident”—not a native –of the West Bank minimizes how Israel wrongs the family.

And the point about NPR’s cutting certain parts out of the on-air report in their online text edition is worthy of discussion. After all, NPR is government- (taxpayer-) funded.

NPR’s transcript changes many terms and the order of the actual Garcia-Navarro report that aired this morning.
I’ve included below choice bits of the broadcast that were not included in the online article.  Why were they removed? Their absence smoothes over the ugly facts of the original broadcast.  I guess we should also ask Lourdes Garcia-Navarro about the alterations.

[“After ten years of being separated, I came back to my husband’s home town, and now we are again in a difficult situation. Where do I go from here?”]

She’s not alone. Many [“tens of thousands of people in the West bank have gone into hiding afraid to leave their homes, afraid to leave their areas of residence, for fear of being arrested at a checkpoint and deported and put into prison for seven years…”]

[[Conclusion not on air:] About 365,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the West Bank and Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, alongside 2.5 million Palestinians. Another 1.6 million Palestinians live in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

And one wonders whether Obama would censor this post by Thomas Lifson at the American Thinker, on how CNN censors out the artist Lars Vilks’s cartoon of Mohammed. Lifson includes the actual video of the CNN interview of Vilks, which shows the censoring.

America is tip-toeing across an important line: we are becoming dhimmis, infidels cowed into observing sharia law against our wills. We are engaged in submission. Mohammed may not be represented in our media. Ask Parker and Stone of South Park. Or, better yet, ask CNN, which covers up a cartoon of Mohammed, while reporting on threats against Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks….

….Vilks is being harrassed and threatened, as dhimmitude’s enforcers operate in Europe. AFP reports:

[Vilks], who sparked controversy in 2007 by drawing Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog, was attacked Tuesday while giving a lecture at a university, police said.

“The man was sat in the first row and suddenly he rushed at me. He punched me in the head and I lost my glasses,” said Vilks, adding that at the very most he was “a little bruised.”

Police said around 250 people were present at the time of the attack at Uppsala University, north of Stockholm.

“When Lars Vilks arrived, five persons started to protest against him with screaming. They calmed down and the lecture continued,” police said.

“When Lars Vilks talked about religion and showed a film, 20 persons tried to attack him, probably offended by the film.”

What is at stake is nothing less than our liberty. Americans are giving up free speech when the subject is Islam. Jihad is gaining ground.

So, is CNN in fear of being physically targeted by fanatics? Or is CNN merely catering to the political correctness intolerance that has been plaguing our society for many years now? Or is this just another example of CNN’s bias. Since when has CNN ever been biased? Or Supreme Court justices. Supreme Court Justices are never biased. (Elena Cajun wants to be on the Supreme Court, and, according to some sources, has wanted that ever since she was in high school.)

But I really don’t understand this stuff with political correctness and intolerance of speech and censorship, which mainly comes from the left, based on the left’s Newspeak definition of ‘diversity.’ As long as people have different skin colors and all appear differently, that’s what matters. But everyone must think alike, and have the same views on social and economic matters. We can’t tolerate different points of view, etc. or else, we (the left) will shut you up and throw you in jail. In other words, something verbal, which can’t injure others, has to be extinguished, while the physical acts of apprehending someone who ‘offended’ others (and their weak emotional being) and physically throwing them in jail, or threatening to do so, is the acceptable policy of the left, the Obommunists.

The politically and socially intolerant left never heard of the old phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” They oppose the philosophy of ‘live and let live.’

And this Obama censorship stuff really has to do with his wanting to stifle political opposition and the ‘anti-government’ types and Tea Partiers. However, a main reason that ordinary citizens have a right of Freedom of Speech is to protest oppressive government.The Tea Party protesters just don’t like the physical intrusions into their lives that policies such as ObamaCare would thrust into their private lives. They just want to be left alone, and decide for themselves how to live. (Of course, the little dictator in the White House doesn’t want to hear their views. He wants to shut them up.)

The people have a right to protest, criticize, satirize and insult government officials, primarily because, unlike people in the private sector, agents of the State have the power of compulsion and monopoly that private citizens don’t have.

Another Hurricane Elena?

There are various opinions being expressed about Barack Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court Elena Kagan, and here’s what I think about that. Kagan is apparently anti-First Amendment anti-free speech, and anti-Fifth Amendment and Due Process, and pro-government indefinite detentions of suspected ‘terrorist abettors,’ and is supportive of Obama’s strengthening of executive powers (i.e. pro-dictatorship). It will be no shock to me to see the slimy, knuckle-dragging neanderthals of the United States Senate approve this one, like they did the ignoramus Sonia Sotomayor last year. But here’s what some others think:

From David Bernstein of the Volokh Conspiracy: The Self-Pity of Elena Kagan

From a letter she wrote to the Daily Princetonian, as a senior at Princeton reflecting on the 1980 elections:

Looking back on last Tuesday, I can see that our gut response — our emotion-packed conclusion that the world had gone mad, that liberalism was dead and that there was no longer any place for the ideals we held or the beliefs we espoused — was a false one. In my more rational moments, I can now argue that the next few years will be marked by American disillusionment with conservative programs and solutions, and that a new, revitalized, perhaps more leftist left will once again come to the fore. I can say in these moments that one election year does not the death of liberalism make and that 1980 might even help the liberal camp by forcing it to come to grips with the need for organization and unity. But somehow, one week after the election, these comforting thoughts do not last long. Self-pity still sneaks up, and I wonder how all this could possibly have happened and where on earth I’ll be able to get a job next year.

I’m not one to hold someone’s [update: ideological] views as a twenty-year-old against them [update: and therefore I don’t put much weight on the fact that she apparently yearned for a “more leftist left” to take power]. I do find it strange that a summa cum laude graduate of Princeton apparently couldn’t conceive of working anywhere but for a Democratic politician. Really, where on earth, other than the Reagan Administration, could she NOT get a job? Did she ever hear of the private sector? (She instead went to Oxford, then to Harvard Law.)

[Update: But I do think Kagan’s early interest in political power is potentially revealing.] I knew quite a few students at Yale Law who were like Kagan–they dreamed of being a Senator, or a Supreme Court Justice, from the time they were in high school or before. (Kagan’s high school friends say she wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice even then!) Some of them, unlike Kagan, were from political families, which is at least a partial excuse. In general, they were not my favorite people; among other things, you never knew if they were being genuinely nice, or saw you as just another potential supporter/donor for their future career.

I’m of the general view that people who lust after political power are the last ones who should get it, regardless of party or declared ideology. People who start lusting during their adolescence or before are perhaps the worst of the breed. But, as Hayek reminded in the Road to Serfdom, when it comes to politics, the worst tend to rise to the top. I hope Kagan is an exception.

UPDATE: Why am I suspicious of people who lust after political power, especially people who do so from a young age? Because these are people who tend to think that they know better than the average person how the average person should run their lives, and therefore want to exercise authority over them. The very fact, in fact, that they want to exercise authority over other people is troubling. Such people, for self-evident reasons, tend not to have libertarian political instincts.

David Brooks, though of course not concerned about the libertarian angle, has related thoughts.

From Jeffrey Lord of The American Spectator: The Socialist Judge: Elena Kagan and the Teachable Moment

The issue — the issue — of this confirmation hearing for a Supreme Court Justice should be not Ms. Kagan, but socialism. Socialism, the philosophy she professed such admiration for in her 1981 Princeton thesis titled “To the Final Conflict: Socialism in New York City, 1900-1933.”

“The Final Conflict.” Think of that.

Why focus on an undergraduate college paper written almost thirty years ago?

Because we are in the middle of a massively controversial presidency led by a man who has exhibited every intention of “transforming” America in the socialist image — leading the country away from its capitalist heritage. This Supreme Court nomination does not, after all, come in a vacuum. Since taking office, the Obama administration has taken control of everything from car companies to financial institutions to banks to your health care.

And no, the obvious intent of Princeton’s Sean Wilentz, her thesis adviser and himself a notable progressive, is not missed. In saying in the New York Times that “to study something is not to endorse it” Wilentz telegraphs that is exactly what Kagan — and he himself — thought then and now of socialism. They liked it. They like it still. A lot….

….What about free speech? Already stories are appearing that Kagan “argued to the court in September that Congress has the constitutional right to forbid companies from engaging in political speech such as publishing pamphlets that advocate the election or defeat of a candidate for federal office.” Socialism is, of course, famously hostile to corporations and the rights of private individuals, a hostility that comes out in Kagan’s animus to free speech by corporations in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. This was the case, of course, for which President Obama famously scolded the Supreme Court as it sat before him during his State of the Union address…..

‘Market Liberalism’ and The Declaration of Independence

A couple months ago, I wrote this post about Sheldon Richman’s discussion of not using the word ‘capitalism’ to describe ‘free markets’ because ‘capitalism’ now tends to connote business-state collusions. I think that a good phrase for what we’re talking about might be ‘voluntary exchange’ (that describes freedom from aggression and coercion), but, in those aforementioned discussions, particularly on this Mises Blog post, it seems that some people might want to have an ‘ism’ to replace ‘capitalism,’ or just keep the word ‘capitalism.’

I rather like the phrase ‘market liberalism.”Market’ refers to the economics and ‘liberalism’ refers to ‘freedom from state aggression, coercion and intrusion into individuals’ private personal and economic lives.’ At least, that’s how I define that. Unfortunately, the word ‘liberalism’ has been perverted by the perverts of the left to mean ‘freedom to aggress against one’s neighbors, having a right to the wealth and property of others,’ etc. (i.e. meaning ‘socialism,’ ‘fascism,’ communism, statism, etc.), and such inaccurate misuses continue by people in media and the general population. I have addressed my opposition to that misuse of the words ‘liberalism’ and ‘liberal’ in the past. The use of those words has been in the context of the very opposite of what they really mean. In a free society, goods and services are produced and delivered via voluntary exchange and voluntary contract, and are free of the force, coercion and intrusion of the State. That’s the essence of ‘liberalism.’

There are reasons why market liberalism has morality on its side while the State’s intrusive controls of socialism and Obommunism do not. One of the most important reasons is that market liberalism respects the rights of the individual to one’s own life, liberty and property, including the right to voluntary association and contract. The Declaration of Independence is clear about those rights as being natural, inalienable rights. In fact, in my opinion, and in the opinion of Ronald Cherry who had an article in yesterday’s American Thinker online,  the Declaration of Independence should have the status of being the document upon which the laws of our society should be based, and not the U.S. Constitution. As Dr. Cherry noted,

…In order to save the fruit of the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence must be recognized and enforced as law. Amending our Constitution will also be necessary — for example, limiting federal taxation and requiring federal spending not to exceed federal revenue. It appears that neither of these changes is likely to emanate from the federal government any time soon. However, “We the People” do not need the federal government to define our sacred human rights or their associated moral laws. According to the Declaration, those truths and laws are self-evident….

…..All American laws which are destructive to an individual’s sacred, equal rights to life, liberty, and private property are un-Declarational and must be nullified — if not by Congress or the Supreme Court, then by states and local government. The concept of “Declarational” law must find its way into the American mind and into all levels of American government…..

It is a moral society in which those natural, inalienable individual rights to life and liberty are not to be violated by agents of the State or by one’s neighbors, and it is an immoral society in which those natural rights are violated by the State and by one’s neighbors. Democracy has given us the latter. Through democracy, the laws of society are no longer natural, absolute laws, but are man-made, and crimes against one’s fellow human beings such as theft and trespass are institutionalized through those man-made laws, through all the agencies, bureaucracies, and armed police forces of the State. And the U.S. Constitution has created the pathway, via the implicit overturning of the Declaration of Independence and via democracy, to the oppression, militarism and self-destruction of what used to be a culture of diversity, and the State’s institutionalized enslavement of the individual.

We need to repeal the socialism and fascism that the Constitution has wrought, and restore The Declaration of Independence as America’s foundation of ‘law of the land’ to protect individual liberty, individual sovereignty and natural rights of voluntary exchange, association and contract.

That Federal Reserve (Reserve? Of What?!!)

Today on his radio show, Glenn Beck was saying that the Federal Reserve is a “privately owned” company or institution, but that’s not really correct. According to the Fed’s own website,

The Federal Reserve System is not “owned” by anyone and is not a private, profit-making institution. Instead, it is an independent entity within the government, having both public purposes and private aspects.

As the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve derives its authority from the U.S. Congress. It is considered an independent central bank because its decisions do not have to be ratified by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branch of government, it does not receive funding appropriated by Congress, and the terms of the members of the Board of Governors span multiple presidential and congressional terms. However, the Federal Reserve is subject to oversight by Congress, which periodically reviews its activities and can alter its responsibilities by statute….

So, what the Federal Reserve really is is a government agency, and therefore, because the “public” owns the government, the “public” owns the Federal Reserve, or the nation’s “central bank.” That Federal Reserve includes 12 regional member Federal Reserve Banks, which, according to the Fed’s website, are “organized much like private corporations,” and probably should be considered “private.” The Fed was created to be “independent of politics.”

However, given the secrecy of the Fed that Beck was discussing today (and Murray Rothbard noted that the Fed is more secret than the CIA and the FBI), it should be considered neither private nor public, but a complete farce, and should never have been created in the first place. As Rothbard wrote,

But these are government agencies and operations we are talking about, and to say that government should be “independent of politics” conveys very different implications. For government, unlike private industry on the market, is not accountable either to stockholders or consumers. Government can only be accountable to the public and to its representatives in the legislature; and if government becomes “independent of politics” it can only mean that that sphere of government becomes an absolute self-perpetuating oligarchy, accountable to no one and never subject to the public’s ability to change its personnel or to “throw the rascals out.” If no person or group, whether stockholders or voters, can displace a ruling elite, then such an elite becomes more suitable for a dictatorship than for an allegedly democratic country. And yet it is curious how many self-proclaimed champions of “democracy,” whether domestic or global, rush to defend the alleged ideal of the total independence of the Federal Reserve.

Another reason why the Fed is more government-owned than private is that the Fed has a government-mandated monopoly of the production and distribution of the money that we citizens are FORCED by law to use for trade and commerce! How FOS is that?!! In a truly free country, which America was supposed to be, the people would have the right and the freedom to use whatever currency or means of trade we gosh-darn want to use! One way to resolve that problem is Ron Paul’s bill to repeal Legal Tender laws and allow for competing currencies. People should contact their congressman and ask them to support that bill. (That’s separate from Paul’s bill to audit the Fed.)

Let’s De-Collectivize Our Water!

I live in the Boston area, in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts. There has been a crisis here with our water supply, which is supplied by the Quabbin Resevoir, in which a major pipe burst and the 29 communities who are dependent on the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority for water are being served with untreated “pond water,” and told to boil the water for drinking and cooking. It appears as though the problem is almost completely fixed and things should be back to normal tomorrow. The part of the system in question was built by Barletta Companies of Canton, Massachusetts, just 7 years ago, so this reminds me of the Big Dig fiasco in 2006 in which a large piece of tunnel ceiling collapsed and killed a Boston woman, only a few years after that was built. The old saying goes, “They don’t make things like they used to.” (Because everything is controlled by the State now!)

But the idea of our water being supplied by one source is also troubling. However, the one community that is not affected by this is ironically the most communist of all these areas, the People’s Republic of Cambridge, home of Harvard University, MIT, and tens of thousands of Marxists, environmentalist wackos and women with hairy legs. Cambridge supplies its own water and is NOT dependent on the MWRA for its water needs.

That a whole population of 2 million people is dependent on one centralized source of water is just so…Dark Ages, if you ask me. Each community should have its own supply of water, and, in fact, each parcel of property should have a private well with one’s own filtration system. That’s just my opinion on that, and it’s not at all unrealistic. As Sam Corda of the Cambridge Water Department noted,

What happened this weekend certainly makes us feel better about having an independent water system.

Collectivism sucks.

The ‘Illegal Immigration’ Issue Is Giving Me a Headache

May 1, 2010

Copyright © 2010 by / Link to this article at

That “illegal immigration” issue is back, and it’s giving me a headache. It is unfortunate that America has devolved since her Founding, one based on the ideas of private property and freedom of association and contract. In just over 200 years, the love of freedom has transformed into the love of the State (or “government”). And Americans have lost their sense of self-preservation, allowing those who do not value freedom to take over the country. It is no wonder that the people of Arizona can’t protect themselves from intruders and invaders. Of course, the immoral, illogical “War on Drugs” hasn’t helped. There are many differing views from libertarians in particular on this issue, and I am torn between the civil liberties and property rights aspects, which simultaneously conflict with and complement each other.

The Future of Freedom Foundation’s Jacob Hornberger expresses here and here what I think is a result of Americans’ dependence on the State to protect the borders, in which the State has become the actual violator:

What lots of Americans don’t realize is that the new Arizona immigration law simply extends to the entire state the requirement that darker-skinned, poorer-looking Americans along the border have had to live with for decades — carrying their papers, just like people in totalitarian countries have to do…

…Historically, one of the great features of American life has been the unrestricted right of people to travel, trade, and immigrate freely between the respective cities and states of our nation. Internal passport checks are a dark blot on this great tradition. Like the Soviet Union itself, they should be dismantled and tossed into the dustbin of history.

I do not disagree that people have a right of freedom of movement. That is why I oppose the idea of a “driver’s license,” especially distributed by the State (as opposed to owners of private or privatized roads). But freedom of movement does not include a right of movement on or through private property.

In a 2005 article for LRC, Stephan Kinsella gave some suggestions on the immigration debate, in the context of usage rules of public property:

We can allow that a road, for example, is actually, or legally, owned by the state, while also recognizing that the “real” owners are the taxpayers or previous expropriated owners of the land who are entitled to it. This poses no conceptual problem: there is no conflict between the proposition that the taxpayers have a moral or natural right to the land, i.e. they should have the (legal) right to control it; and the assertion that the state has the actual positive or legal right to control the land. The state is the legal owner; but this legal ownership is unjustified, because it amounts to continuing trespass by the state against property “really” owned (normatively or morally) by certain victims of the state (e.g., taxpayers or the resource’s previous owners)….

…. If the feds adopted a rule that only citizens and certain invited outsiders are permitted to use these resources, this would in effect radically restrict immigration…. So merely prohibiting non-citizens from using public property would be one means of establishing de facto immigration restrictions. It need not literally prohibit private property owners from having illegal immigrants on their property. It need only prevent them from using the roads or ports – which it owns.

And Hans-Hermann Hoppe wrote for LRC about “free immigration and forced integration,” and a society that provides

…the freedom of many independent private property owners to admit or exclude others from their own property in accordance with their own unrestricted or restricted property titles. Admission to some territories might be easy, while to others it might be nearly impossible. In any case, however, admission to the property of the admitting person does not imply a “freedom to move around,” unless other property owners consent to such movements. There will be as much immigration or non-immigration, inclusivity or exclusivity, desegregation or segregation, non-discrimination or discrimination based on racial, ethnic, linguistic, religious, cultural or whatever other grounds as individual owners or associations of individual owners allow…

However, the problem we have now is a result of the American Founders having created the institution of compulsory government, with a monopoly of territorial protection and immigration administration. As Hoppe notes,

…the decision as to whether or not a person should be admitted no longer rests with private property owners or associations of such owners but with the government as the ultimate sovereign of all domestic residents and the ultimate super-owner of all their properties.

The State’s being an implied “owner” of all the territories has diminished private property rights, and the combination of the State’s monopoly of overseeing immigration and the State’s monopoly of territorial protection has turned immigration into invasion. As we have witnessed these last 20 years, the centralized protection monopolists grandiosely expand their power to foreign lands and abandon their responsibilities at home. But as I’ve noted in the past, people of a given territory have a God-given right to defend and protect their territory, and not be forced to be dependent on such a centralized authority/bureaucracy/police force for their protection, as well as for justice. In his article, Private Law Society, Hoppe notes,

…the government is the ultimate judge in every case of conflict, including conflicts involving itself. Consequently, instead of merely preventing and resolving conflict, a monopolist of ultimate decision-making will also provoke conflict in order to settle it to his own advantage. That is, if one can only appeal to government for justice, justice will be perverted in the favor of government, constitutions and supreme courts notwithstanding.

For example, leaving the immigration issue aside for a moment, in the context of the administration of justice, LRC contributor William Anderson has been blogging on the trial of a teacher accused of child molestation, in which Anderson describes the trial as laden with prosecutorial misconduct and a judge who continually overrules objections by the defense. It sounds like the teacher is being Nifonged, which is not atypical when an institution – the State – is given a monopoly of final judicial decision-making. In contrast, if the administration of justice, as well as territorial protection, were privatized and competing agencies allowed to operate, Hoppe notes,

Competition among insurers, police, and arbitrators for paying clients would bring about a tendency toward a continuous fall in the price of protection (per insured value), thus rendering protection more affordable…. in a system of freely competing protection agencies all arbitrariness of allocation (all over- and underproduction) would vanish. Protection would be accorded the relative importance that it has in the eyes of voluntarily paying consumers, and no person, group, or region would receive protection at the expense of any other one, but each would receive protection in accordance with its payments…

…In distinct contrast, as compulsory monopolists states do not indemnify victims, and because they can resort to taxation as a source of funding, they have little or no incentive to prevent crime or to recover loot and capture criminals…

… private law societies are characterized by an unrestricted right to self-defense and hence by widespread private gun and weapon ownership. This tendency is further strengthened by the important role of insurance companies in such societies. All states attempt to disarm their subject population…. If a freely financed insurance company were to demand as a prerequisite of protection that potential clients hand over all means of self-defense, it would immediately arouse the utmost suspicion as to their true motives, and they would quickly go bankrupt. In their own best interest, insurance companies would reward armed clients, in particular those able to certify some level of training in the handling of arms, charging them lower premiums reflecting the lower risk that they represent. Just as insurers charge less if home owners have an alarm system or a safe installed, so would a trained gun owner represent a lower insurance risk.

In the context of immigration, property, and border security, private property owners would exercise their right to defend and protect their lives and property, if not interfered with by the State. Would-be violent criminals from across the border could be warned (with signs, in Spanish) that their trespassing and other intrusions will be met with whatever weapons property owners have available. The would-be intruder from south-of-the-border would have a choice: “Hmmm, do I want to cross the border onto Gringo’s land and get my head blown off? Or should I choose to avoid getting my head blown off and not cross the border?”

The outsiders will be expected to take responsibility for the consequences of their invasive actions.

Obviously, the agents of the State’s government apparatus have proven themselves incapable of handling such protection tasks, and it is they who, when pressured, lose control and end up violating the rights of their own protection “clients.”

While some people might consider such a society’s exercise of self-protection a kind of “vigilantism,” the property owners who harm others by behaving over-zealously and irresponsibly can be exiled to an island along with other dangerous people.

Finally, the “War on Drugs,” 1920s Prohibition on steroids, is what propels the border states’ illegal immigration problem and violence. Drug prohibition causes a black market, drug cartels, traffickers, street pushers and addicts. Is it possible that the deaths, violence and destruction caused by the drug traffickers, street pushers and addicts may be more than the deaths or injuries caused by actual drug usage?

That our modern society hasn’t learned from 1920s Prohibition is giving me a headache. Do senators and congressmen actually believe that the State can save people from their own self-destructive behaviors? Or perhaps their fears of drug mobsters and the politicians’ own political parties losing votes in elections are the real motivations behind not ending the “War on Drugs.”

Hoping For the Miracle of Ending Taxation and Destructive Government Intrusions

What would happen if Congress cut the income tax and capital gains tax across the board, and made those cuts permanent? People would have more of their own money to spend, save, invest, start businesses, invest in businesses, and more. For example, just one national corporation could expand and create new jobs, putting thousands of people back to work, better able to provide for their families and afford to live in better homes in better neighborhoods. Tax cuts not only “benefit the rich,” as our leftist commie friends like to fantasize, but they benefit the lower classes and middle classes as well. Tax cuts benefit everyone. Cutting taxes creates prosperity — economic booms — regardless of the propaganda dished out by those who love having the State loot the wealth of others.

So, if cutting taxes increases prosperity, then why not just end the income tax and capital gains tax completely (and property taxes as well!)? As 1996 and 2000 Libertarian presidential candidate Harry Browne has written, in ending the income tax,

There will be a similar increase in take-home pay for everyone you do business with — your customers or your employer — meaning that people will have more money to spend on what you have to offer.

A similar increase in take-home pay will occur throughout America, unleashing the biggest boost in prosperity that America has ever seen. There will be a job for everyone who can work and charity for everyone who can’t.

Your life will be your own again: an end to government snooping into your finances, an end to keeping books for the IRS, an end to fear of an audit, an end to rearranging your financial life to minimize your tax burden.

There are some people out there — and they know who they are — who have been proposing several alternatives to the income tax, such as the value added tax (VAT), the “Fair Tax” (national consumption tax), and other alternatives. LRC recently posted this article (from 1972) by Murray Rothbard, The Value-Added Tax Is Not the Answer, and Rothbard noted that the VAT is a “regressive” tax, hitting lower income Americans certainly more than the higher income ones. Rothbard exposes the VAT for what it really is:

It allows the government to extract many more funds from the public – to bring about higher prices, lower production, and lower incomes – and yet totally escape the blame, which can easily be loaded on business, unions, or the consumer as the particular administration sees fit.

The VAT is, in short, a looming gigantic swindle upon the American public, and it is therefore vitally important that it not pass. For if it does, the encroaching menace of Big Government will get another, and prolonged, lease on life…..

We have seen just how destructive governments are to the lives of those over whom government — the State — has such monopolistic and compulsory power. It is especially the U.S. federal government that has wrecked the lives of so many millions of Americans, and millions of lives overseas. These taxes that are forced on everyone are enablers. Americans must withdraw the means by which the government has been enabled to cause so much destruction, stress and anguish of so many people. Americans are starting to wake up and see how the government has turned them into slaves. As Jacob Hornberger noted a few weeks ago,

Prior to the enactment of the income tax, the relationship between the citizen and the government was one of master and servant. The citizen, who was free to accumulate unlimited amounts of wealth, was sovereign because there was nothing the government could do to interfere with that process. The government was the servant.

The nature of that relationship fundamentally changed in 1913. With the enactment of the income tax, the citizen became the servant and the federal government becoming his master.

Once we have regressive, destructive taxes such as the income and capital gains taxes, we automatically become a socialist society: wealth taken by force from the citizens and redistributed to politicians, bureaucrats and other professional parasites. By its very nature of compulsion and monopoly, government can’t run any kind of service, such as the services government purportedly has been running this past century, including national defense, social security and medicare. As Rothbard noted in his The Myth of Efficient Government Service,

….Since there is no pricing, and therefore no exclusion of submarginal uses, there is no way that government, even if it wanted to, could allocate its services to the most important uses and to the most eager buyers. All buyers, all uses, are artificially kept on the same plane. As a result, the most important uses will be slighted, and the government is faced with insuperable allocation problems, which it cannot solve even to its own satisfaction…..

…Proponents of government enterprise may retort that the government could simply tell its bureau to act as if it were a profit-making enterprise and to establish itself in the same way as a private business. There are two flaws in this theory. First, it is impossible to play enterprise. Enterprise means risking one’s own money in investment. Bureaucratic managers and politicians have no real incentive to develop entrepreneurial skill, to really adjust to consumer demands. They do not risk loss of their money in the enterprise. Secondly, aside from the question of incentives, even the most eager managers could not function as a business. Regardless of the treatment accorded the operation after it is established, the initial launching of the firm is made with government money, and therefore by coercive levy. An arbitrary element has been “built into” the very vitals of the enterprise. Further, any future expenditures may be made out of tax funds, and therefore the decisions of the managers will be subject to the same flaw. The ease of obtaining money will inherently distort the operations of the government enterprise…..

…. As we have seen, a government enterprise competing in an industry can usually drive out private owners, since the government can subsidize itself in many ways and supply itself with unlimited funds when desired. Thus, it has little incentive to be efficient. In cases where it cannot compete even under these conditions, it can arrogate to itself a compulsory monopoly, driving out competitors by force. This was done in the United States in the case of the post office. When the government thus grants itself a monopoly, it may go to the other extreme from free service: it may charge a monopoly price. Charging a monopoly price — identifiably different from a free-market price — distorts resources again and creates an artificial scarcity of the particular good. It also permits an enormously lowered quality of service. A governmental monopoly need not worry that customers may go elsewhere or that inefficiency may mean its demise…..

…. A further reason for governmental inefficiency has been touched on already: that the personnel have no incentive to be efficient. In fact, the skills they will develop will not be the economic skills of production, but political skills — how to fawn on political superiors, how demagogically to attract the electorate, how to wield force most effectively. These skills are very different from the productive ones, and therefore different people will rise to the top in the government from those who succeed in the market….

We know that cutting, or better, eliminating the taxes and other intrusions and restrictions on growth and prosperity, as well as ending those costly, inefficient and destructive government services, would resolve America’s woes and help renew the country’s progress and freedom after a century or more of grief. Unfortunately, the selfish neanderthals and vultures in Congress aren’t willing to let go of their own little fiefdoms and their unearned, undeserved privileges and perks. As Jacob Hornberger wrote in his blog post yesterday,

….There really are some simple solutions to all this. For example, at both the state and federal level drugs could be legalized, which would enable federal, state, and local governments to lay off lots of officials whose jobs revolve around that immoral, idiotic, and destructive war. But needless to say, all too many public officials oppose losing their access to bribes, payoffs, asset forfeitures, and political power that accompany the war on drugs….

…The problem at the federal level is no different. Statists will simply not let go of their favorite welfare-state programs, regulatory programs, and warfare-state programs, even if they are taking our country down….

….It’s the same with respect to the warfare state, which also constitutes a large portion of federal spending. Despite 8 or 9 years of continued occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, Americans are still not willing to let go of their beloved empire and its imperial adventures….

….Dismantling all the welfare-state programs, the regulatory programs, and the warfare-state programs would resolve America’s fiscal problems immediately. Alas, however, the American people are still not prepared to let go of their socialism, interventionism, and imperialism….

I am hoping for a miracle.

Is It Time To Get a Divorce?

Attorney and Constitutional scholar Timothy Baldwin has this article, Plan For Freedom, in which he cites Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner’s asking if America will “break up,” referring to (although not in so many words) whether the country’s federal government is so dysfunctional that it might be time for states to secede from the union, or for the federal government to decentralize and the states become independent sovereign states. Kuhner observes that America has become so bitterly divided, mostly with the left socialist Obommunists taking control over the federal government and seizing much control and freedom away from states and individuals that only totalitarianism is inevitable, and the conservatives and libertarians trying to save their freedom from those fascist monsters (And yes, they ARE monsters, in my opinion, and I’m not afraid to say it!). And the Christian Science Monitor has a piece by libertarian author James Bovard, who asks if Tea Party activists “hate liberals more than they love liberty.” It is the neoconservative wing of the Tea Party activists, not the libertarian, principled Jeffersonians, who are also playing a role in the bitterness. And we sensible, rational, reasonable, open-minded folks find ourselves alone in the middle of a crowd of couples ready for divorce.

Baldwin attempts to clarify what Kuhner means by America “breaking up”:

…by “breakup,” we must determine if this is meant to be a negative or positive action. “Breakup” could mean collapse, destroyed, annihilated, etc., all of which would be construed negatively and thus rejected in theory by the readers. However, “breakup” could also mean independent, separate, sovereign etc., all of which could be construed in a positive fashion and thus accepted in theory by the readers…Thus, the question should be raised, “should the states breakup/secede/separate from the federal government as formed under the U.S. Constitution, and if so, in what manner?”

Baldwin notes that Americans could experience a sense of shock if suddenly caught in a life that isn’t under the control of the federal government under which they have lived all their lives, but at the same time, the American Founders themselves were experiencing similar despotism and tyranny and seceded from British rule. Baldwin asks,

Can the states in America be more proactive in their planning to restore freedom? Or should they wear their Kevlar helmets just waiting for the inevitable collapse and then attempt to “rise from the ashes” during the chaos and God knows what else?

And Baldwin continues:

America’s founding generation believed that a proactive approach to an obviously tyrannous government (despite the existence of the greatest and freest constitution in the world at that time) was necessary to preserve their freedom. They did not wait for the ashes and ruins to fall upon them through the natural consequences of ill-administered government. Instead, they used the tools of hindsight, insight and foresight to calculate the measure of their survival and freedom. In that case, independence was necessary.

A body of people gathered together to govern themselves (i.e. a body-politic/state) have a natural right to preserve, protect, perpetuate and perfect their existence. They are not morally, constitutionally or ethically obligated to severely suffer more than if they had not entered into that particular society or that government in the first place. They have the power to govern themselves according to the principles derived from the very purpose of society and government.

I have noted this before, and I’ll say it again: human beings have a right to not be forced to live in an association to which they did not voluntarily agree, and further, especially if such an association involves abuse (or threats of violation of one’s life and liberty). Americans have a right to sever ties with an oppressive federal Leviathan, and the states have a right to secede. And yes, it is a right to secede, and the Declaration of Independence itself states just that:

when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

As Bovard correctly points out, one of the problems we have within the honorable Tea Party movement is the Big Government war-mongering neoconservatives and Republican Party. Ever since the CPAC meeting in February, it was perfectly clear to me that these are not really conservatives, and it shouldn’t be called a Conservative Political Action Conference. Their main purpose is not to restore liberty to America, or even restore conservative social values to society, but to defeat Democrats, and, yes, I think many in the Tea Party movement really do hate liberals more than they love liberty, as Bovard suggests. Kuhner in his Washington Times article has also taken the Republicans to task (as I have done in the past). Kuhner:

Republicans vow to repeal Obamacare. Their past record, however, leaves many conservatives rightly skeptical. Since FDR’s New Deal, Big-Government liberalism has been on the march – Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Education. The Republican Party has been unable to roll back the tide of statism. In fact, under Richard Nixon and both George Bushes, Great Society Republicans have been complicit in erecting a nanny state.

It is difficult to believe that Republicans and conservatives — or, neoconservatives — really believe in “small government,” when they believe that the U.S. government should be the “world’s policeman,” and they support the futile and unnecessary wars abroad started by the two George Bushes and the subsequent nationbuilding, and support the federal government’s expanded and increasingly intrusive police power over their fellow Americans. Any federal government with jurisdiction and control over a territory of 50 states, spanning several thousand miles, and consisting of a population of over 300 million people, will ipso facto be Big Government. Make that BIG GOVERNMENT!

What real conservatives must do is let go of their long-held dependence on a political party, the members of which continually hijack the ideas of liberty, abuse the rhetoric of conservative values, and use fear-mongering as a means of building up the tyrannical “security state” Leviathan that continues to wreck America as much as the Obommunists’ Obommunism.

The Anti-Federalists really were right. Centralized federal government will always grow, no matter what the Constitution says, especially in a democracy. The federal government has to be dismantled, and the states must regain their independence. The people of the former Soviet Union learned their lesson, and we are learning ours.

“The promise and vision of the U.N.’s founders?” Not America’s founders?