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Tag: central planning

Enough of the Control Freaks and the Covetous (the Ocasio-Cortezes, Tucker Carlsons, et al.)

Sometimes all this is so frustrating. That is, advocating for freedom. The free America that the Revolutionaries founded has slowly and gradually become a place in which criminals and parasites can rob their neighbors and get away with it.

The biggest mistake committed by the early Americans was to create an apparatus with compulsory control to rule over the people.

And now we have generations of brainwashed serfs who comply obediently, and really believe that the racket in Washington is something that shouldn’t be completely dismantled.

On the Hill there is a poll showing that majorities of Americans support raising the top income tax rate to 70%, including people identifying as Republicans.

Meanwhile, appearing on 60 Minutes was Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who, regardless of her denials, promotes the socialism of Soviet Union, Cuba and Venezuela and not the “socialism” of Sweden, Norway and the U.K. The latter group are capitalist countries (private ownership of the means of production) with a welfare state, not socialist countries.

Now, a lot of people, for example this Fox News commentator, think that Ocasio-Cortez is the voice of an ignorant generation. But the above poll suggests that much of the entire population is ignorant of economics and history.

Regarding her proposal to tax high incomes at 70%, Ocasio-Cortez said, “That doesn’t mean all $10 million are taxed at an extremely high rate, but it means that as you climb up this ladder you should be contributing more.”

Oh, yeah? “Contributing” to what? Most of what the federal government is unconstitutional, that is, unauthorized by the U.S. Constitution.

And “contribute” usually means to pay into something voluntarily. But who would voluntarily pay to keep U.S. armed forces overseas? Such invasions and occupations mainly have resulted in provoking foreigners into retaliatory actions against us, and trillions wasted.

And who would voluntarily pay into a scheme of molesters, gropers and thieves, also known as the TSA?

The list goes on and on, totaling more than 4 trillion dollars, much of it needless, useless crap.

But Ocasio-Cortez says that “there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.”

Morally right? Now, there’s a knee-slapper. On the social spending side, Ocasio-Cortez wants to spend other people’s money, stolen from their paychecks and other income, on “free health care, free education,” free stuff, free this or that.

I think she’s one of those True Believers who really believes that everyone has a “right to health care,” or a “right to education,” even though there are people who do not take care of themselves, eat terrible foods, drink like fish or smoke like chimneys. Those people, quite frankly, should not be considered to have a “right” to force a doctor to have to treat them.

Redistribution of wealth schemes, especially when made involuntary on the people, encourage people to not take care of themselves. Why bother being conscientious with eating habits or avoiding poisonous drugs and booze when someone will be right there to involuntarily treat you, and it’s all paid for?

Unfortunately, as those polls suggest, conservatives have been bitten by the tax-theft bug as much as “liberals,” for decades now. The envy and covetousness is equally spread on the left and right, and all points between, especially since so-called conservatives caved on FDR’s New Deal and more so LBJ’s “Great Society,” with Social Security, Medicare, etc.

Tucker Carlson of Fox News is himself quite ignorant of economics and history, and has been showing an anti-capitalistic covetousness in his talks recently. Shame, shame, shame on anti-free market “conservatives.”

Carlson feels the Bern, last August (and more recently last week).

Regarding Carlson’s slipping into anti-capitalist socialist rants, Tom Mullen points out,

It’s hard to believe Carlson could get so many things wrong in under five minutes, starting with his general premise. He and Bernie argue the problem is the corporations not paying enough, resulting in taxpayers having to pick up the slack. But business enterprises in a free market are supposed to seek the lowest prices they can find for labor and other inputs. That’s how market economies drive down the costs of consumer goods and make all members of society richer.

Carlson does not seem to understand that about the free market.

More recently, in a not-particularly-coherent rant, after noting the decline of American society and the importance of marriage, Carlson states:

Under our current system, an American who works for a salary pays about twice the tax rate as someone who’s living off inherited money and doesn’t work at all. We tax capital at half of what we tax labor. It’s a sweet deal if you work in finance, as many of our rich people do.

Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You’d have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society.

But he never really seems to get what might be the root cause of so much societal decay. In my view, it is the institutionalization of theft, a.k.a. “taxation,” and the population allowing bureaucrats to impose intrusive policies into the private lives of the people.

Involuntary redistribution of wealth schemes empower parasites in central bureaucracies to wield control over others, a control which should not exist in a free society.

If there weren’t an income tax which is imposed coercively and with threats, then many of the power-wielding tyrants would otherwise be sweeping floors in the local Wal-Mart. That is because if there were a genuine free market and no government monopolies over a population compelled to support them, such skill-less bureaucrats would never be able to find actual work, in my view.

But, like Carlson, many people don’t seem willing or able to look at the income tax itself, or understand that it is a scheme of involuntary wealth confiscation via coercion and threats (otherwise known as “theft”).

The income tax-theft has been the underlying basis that has enabled and empowered criminals and gangsters to commit their crimes against their neighbors and get away with it. (For example, would the FBI, CIA, and DOJ have been able to do their dirty deeds had they not been involuntarily financed with the coercive tax-thefts? Nope.)

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

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

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

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

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

What has been lacking in America for over a century is freedom, economic freedom including the freedom to keep everything you earn (or otherwise honestly acquire) and do with it whatever you want. Americans used to have the freedom to save, invest, spend, contribute to charity, start businesses without government permission or government stealing from the people.

If there is to be an “America,” people need to know that it was founded to be a place of freedom, in which people are protected from others taking their earnings or property by force.

And an America in which people can come and go as they wish. No government permission, no visas, no passports, no being questioned by goons at the government border.

And early on the Revolutionaries who founded America recognized that it was the right of the people to keep and bear arms, not the right of the government to keep and bear arms. A free society is one in which people have whatever means of defense they wish to have. No government permission, no license, no registration, etc. That is actually a safer society.

I think the masses now for generations have been so brainwashed with propaganda, they really believe that it is right that they be subjugated by government authorities, that they must seek bureaucrats’ permission to do this or that, that they must submit to government rulers and enforcement goons stealing their money away, and accept all the other totalitarian, police state crimes that government criminals commit against the people.

We need to change that.

Freedom goes with free-market capitalism, while socialism and government theft of private wealth and property are anti-freedom, a police state, and a life of serfdom.

Further reading:

Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt

Taking Money Back, Making Economic Sense (.pdf), Free Market, For a New Liberty, and The Case Against the Fed by Murray Rothbard

And Soak the PoorTaxation is Robbery, and The Income Tax: Root of All Evil by Frank Chodorov

William Barr, Robert Mueller, and the New York Slimes

I heard some excerpts of today’s confirmation hearings of Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, William Barr, who said that the Mueller inquisition is NOT a “witch hunt” (after all he knows about it). Jeepers.

As I wrote already, Barr is an authoritarian statist, a “former” CIA flunky and thus a national security state apparatchik, as well as a vicious drug warrior, against prison reform, and is anti-immigration like Trump, i.e. extremely authoritarian.

Barr is a long-time friend of “special” counsel Robert Mueller, and I don’t see him actively wanting to expose the FBI and DOJ’s corruption and criminality in their falsely exonerating Hillary Clinton and their abusing FISA spying authority to go after Trump. He will be a cover-upper. Barr’s daughter, by the way, is a senior DOJ official, for drug policy. And if he recuses himself from the Mueller-Russia fishing expedition it would be just like Jeff Sessions, and, what, they’ll continue with the corrupt, conflicted Rod Rosenstein overseeing the investigation?

Moon of Alabama has this essay on how Obama enabled the FBI to spy on Trump. And Moon also addresses the recent New York Slimes propaganda piece on the FBI investigating Trump as a Putin asset. The Slimes makes stuff up and that piece is an example. Glenn Greenwald also spends time on the Slimes piece, and looks back to the J. Edgar Hoover FBI investigating high government officials as “national security threats.”

That the major news media outlets are not only taking people’s quotes out of context to make them look bad, or deliberately slanting an article by omitting key facts as a means of propagandizing against a certain public figure or issue is bad enough. But just making things up like a gossip rag is very bad. In fact, when these major news outlets are propagandizing like the Pravda, I think we really are in trouble. Some pundits have referred to that as “dangerous,” and it is.

So anyway, my conclusion is that with a Barr attorney general we will see a whitewashing of the DOJ and FBI criminality and corruption. The vast majority of Americans will continue to not be informed of the truth. Sad.

Democrat Warmongers, Socialism, and the Need for an American Brexit

Glenn Greenwald features polling data that suggest Democrats now are the new warmongers, while Republicans tend to agree with Donald Trump in Trump’s getting the military to begin withdrawal from Syria (and, let’s hope, Iraq, Afghanistan, and all those other territories that are not U.S. territories where U.S. government military do not belong!). Greenwald notes how the change in party-warmonger association occurred after the 2016 election. Like, “we hate Donald Trump, so if he wants to get troops out of foreign war zones, then we want them in there,” is what today’s Democrat voters seem to be saying.

Meanwhile, across the pond the besieged and embattled-axe Theresa May is doomed as Prime Minister of the U.K. because her clinging Brexit plan is going down to defeat in Parliament. She may very well be replaced by the far-leftist Jeremy Corbin. Why is it that there can only be the choice of left-wing statists or “rightists” conservative nationalists? Libertarians no longer exist, either in U.K. or in the U.S., it seems.

If it is a war between private property advocates and collectivists, socialists and nationalists, the private property advocates are in a teeny-tiny minority.

And here in the U.S. we have the young people attracted to socialism, even though they have no idea what it really is. It sounds nice. And no, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sweden and the Nordic countries are not “socialist” countries, because they are generally “free-market” economies with privately-owned industry and means of production but with a welfare state, just like in the U.S. and the U.K.

Socialism is not Sweden, Norway, Denmark, et al. No, socialism is Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela.

But because those who advocate for socialism are ignorant of what it is and of the history of its murderous, destructive effects throughout history, they advocate for it, because “socialism” sounds nice.

The advocates for continued government central planning in immigration in Amerika, so-called nationalists like Donald Trump, want a Government Wall on the border. They are unified in that. So, not much difference between those guys and the people on the left who want government central planning in other areas. And yes, the controls that the U.S. government has over immigration are examples of socialist, government central planning. As I wrote before, The Donald is himself a diehard socialist. And so are his ignorant followers, apparently. Socialism is all about a criminal police state over the people, in immigration, and all other areas.

Besides the hysterical cheerers-on for immigration socialism central planning police state Government Wall, the other more overt socialists want the government to run just about everything else. What they, too, want is a police state. What do they do if people don’t want to submit to the socialists’ plan for funding and participating in a government-run health care scheme? The socialists send the armed police after the people. What do the socialists do if people don’t obey their government edicts and diktats on firearms ownership, or financial regulations or continuing to use cash, gold or bartering against the rules? The socialists send the armed police after the people. That’s their police state.

But contrary to today’s proud self-proclaimed socialists who want to control every aspect of the lives of the people, and throw the serfs in jail if they don’t comply, or today’s not-so-self-proclaimed socialists in immigration who want to arrest and jail “illegal” immigrants who neglected to get a bureaucrat’s permission to travel or move to a better area, the true purpose of America was supposed to be FREEDOM!

And centralization such as in Soviet Union, European and United States always goes against freedom. Decentralization promotes freedom.

For example, in a free society people are free to come and go as they please, without anyone’s authorization. As long as they are peaceful. If you don’t suspect some individual of violating the person or property of others, then you leave him alone. Don’t punish peaceful, innocent people for the actions of others. The American Revolutionaries, so-called Founding Fathers, would never have wanted a Government Wall on the border of their new “America.”

Besides the freedom to come and go as one pleases, a free society also means the freedom to own and possess whatever material property one wants, as long as one is peaceful and acquires the property honestly, including any kind of weapons or means of defense one wants. No permission from bureaucrats, no registration, no license.

I could go on and on, but the free society that was envisioned by the American Revolutionaries was with respect to self-ownership and the non-aggression principle, private property rights, freedom of contract, freedom of association and freedom of non-association, freedom of movement, and so on.

But those guys didn’t realize what a mistake they made by empowering a centralized government in Washington over the people of the states. The Anti-Federalists were right to be skeptical. If today’s Trump-worshiping nationalists were around at the time of the Revolution, they would never have even considered the Anti-Federalists’ skepticism and their views against centralization of power.

And now, America is too big to be one single country with one single culture, from coast to coast and border to border. It’s just too big. So, we need our own Brexit, too. We need to decentralize, just as the European Union needs to do, just as Soviet Union did.

But I don’t have that much hope for that, for any return to freedom because too many people among the population reject that freedom, on the left and the right, and all points between. Just look how juvenile the Democrat voters are, drooling with hatred of Donald Trump, as well as the nationalist Trump followers, drooling with hatred of foreigners. They are all in agreement that government central planning should continue, and they oppose private property and free markets.

Why Do People Still Embrace Socialism, Despite Its Failure Throughout History?

Jeff Deist of the Mises Institute has a concise overview of the “last war against socialism,” asking, “Why does support for socialism persist?” Despite all its historical failures, the immorality and criminality of it. The self-proclaimed socialists want a planned society, and they don’t care about the lives of those who get in the way of their plans. It is a utopia of extreme narcissism, in my view.

Who Has Been Treasonous?

A confused judge recently referred to the entrapped Trump associate Mike Flynn as acting “treasonously,” and over the past year several media ignoramuses have referred to Donald Trump as “treasonous,” despite no evidence of “Russia collusions,” etc. Here is an article that I wrote 8 years ago, on how the government bureaucrats of the national security state in Washington commit treason against the people. (I had to change several links because it’s so long ago, and/or find the Wayback Machine page for a link.)

The Treasonous U.S. Government

December 28, 2010

(Link to article at Strike the Root)

The ongoing WikiLeaks affair has been an exposé of who really understands the principles that define America, and who is truly confused. The “classified” leakers and their publishers (who include the New York Times and the Guardian) are merely attempting to expose the State and its crimes as well as its outright ridiculousness and irrationality. The ones who defend the State’s intrusions abroad, the killing of innocents, the occupations of foreign lands, the removal of due process through renditions, indefinite detentions and assassinations without cause or even suspicion, are the ones who want to suppress any exposing of those State crimes.

It is as though the defenders of the U.S. government’s secrecy and cover-ups think they are in countries like Iran, in which the act of revealing the crimes of the State is an act of blasphemy and deserving of one’s being stoned to death. These obedient defenders of the State are truly against moral values and the rule of law, yet they are the ones who refer to alleged leaker Bradley Manning as having committed “treason” against America.

The hopelessly flawed U.S. Constitution addresses treason:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.

Worse, the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines treason as:

1: the betrayal of a trust

2: the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign’s family.

Unfortunately, the mainstream view of “treason” has been one of “defiance of State authority,” or disobedience. The WikiLeaker’s actions have not gone against America, but they apparently have been challenging to State authority, and that’s a no-no in authoritarian societies. It is in such societies that the State has access into every detail of every individual’s private life, as the Washington Post recently uncovered, but the citizens are not allowed to know what their government is up to. The great 19th Century individualist Lysander Spooner clarified some of these issues in his publication, No Treason – The Constitution of No Authority.

In my view, acts of treason do not necessarily consist of “levying war” against one’s country or countrymen – if that were the case, then I suppose the American Revolutionaries were acting treasonously against Britain – but acts of treason can be those that go against the interests of one’s countrymen.

So to me, just about every act of the U.S. government since its beginning has gone against America’s interests, that is, if one believes that America’s interests are those of preserving liberty, and that the government’s purpose is to protect life, liberty and property. For instance, after the Southern States peacefully seceded from the American “union” in 1861, President Abe Lincoln “levied war” against them, that included his killing thousands of innocent civilians and burning entire cities to the ground. Lincoln’s need for greater centralized State control and dominance, and obsession with compelling millions into an association to which they did not want to belong, was worth his depraved acts of aggression, violence and murder. Lincoln acted treasonously, against his fellow Americans and the basic values of the America that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and their fellow Revolutionaries and secessionists-from-Britain believed in, and against the interests of the Southern secessionists who believed in freedom and prosperity.

The endless list of examples of treason by the U.S. government against Americans includes President Wilson’s unnecessarily entering the U.S. into World War I. When you take your country into other countries’ wars, you are at that point making your population vulnerable to hostilities, in addition to squandering away public funds that are not intended to be used for the benefit of other countries. Other examples include FDR’s New Deal of fascist/socialist property confiscation, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan started by the two Bush presidents, President Obama’s new medical takeover, and so on. Those intrusions and acts of aggression by agents of the U.S. government against Americans and foreigners have all gone against the interests of Americans and against our freedom and prosperity. They are treasonous acts. They are all crimes committed by the U.S. government against the lives, liberty and property of many millions of Americans for many decades, and continuing.

The State’s Treasonous Foreign Policy

Regarding U.S. Army PFC Bradley Manning’s alleged leaking and months of solitary confinement, former Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski writes about the hysteria of the federal State and its flunkies and defenders, and compares the alleged whistleblower soldier with actual convicted spies against America:

Charged but not convicted of any crime, American PFC Brad Manning is being held largely incommunicado at Quantico, without bedding or permission to exercise in his cell. He is purposely deprived of human contact. His current treatment – based on unproven charges – is far harsher than the treatment and sentences of four famous and convicted US federal-level spies.

Former FBI agent Robert Hanssen was arrested in early 2001, and charged with selling secrets to the Soviets during the preceding two decades. Upon arrest, Hanssen confessed and was able to hire as an attorney the extremely competent Plato Cacheris, who negotiated a plea bargain. After an entire career spent profiting from the sale of classified information to the Soviets and later the Russian Federation, he is held at Supermax in isolation. Well, not exactly like Brad Manning – Hanssen has bedding, books, and exercise.

The case of career CIA employee and horrific spy/profiteer, Aldrich Ames, is also instructive. After his arrest and lawyer-facilitated plea bargain, Ames was not held forever in isolation at a Supermax-style facility. Instead, he resides at Allenwood Federal Prison with the general population, and is able to receive visitors and to correspond with people outside the prison on issues of current interest.

Two other famous convicted federal-level spies of the same era include Army Warrant Officer James Hall and Army Colonel George Trofimoff. These military officers who sold secrets were not tortured, nor were they deprived of their constitutional rights to a fair defense. Even though they are convicted military spies, they are serving less intensive punishments than either Ames or Hanssen, and were treated far better than PFC Manning.

Manning is not accused of selling secrets, or profiting from their release. Washington has made charges; it suspects Manning is partly responsible for publicly embarrassing the federal security apparatus. But as the Pentagon and the State Department both admit, even if Manning was the source of some government documents, the revelations did not seriously impact government operations.

Some critics of the WikiLeaks release have referred to Manning’s alleged actions as “treasonous,” and compromising American security. But in actuality, the leaked documents have done nothing but expose the crimes of the State, which is what the Press used to do before that institution apparently merged itself into the State apparatus. The real “treason” that is happening is that of the agents of the State acting against Americans’ liberty and prosperity.

While the recent document leaker has not compromised America’s security in any way whatsoever, we can take a closer look at how the U.S. government’s agents just over the past 20 years have been the real culprits in compromising the security of Americans. That includes President George H.W. Bush’s taking the U.S. into war against Iraq in 1990-91, the U.S. government’s and United Nations’ sanctions against Iraq throughout the 1990s and how those hostilities against Iraqis have backfired against the U.S., and George W. Bush’s “War on Terror” campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq and against Americans’ civil liberties.

In July 1990, then-Bush Administration U.S. ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie met with then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, and was said to have given the Bush Administration’s “green light” for Hussein to invade Kuwait, although, while some analysts disagree on whether that was intended by the Administration, other analysts believe that that was how Hussein interpreted the message. On August 2, 1990, Hussein began his invasion of Kuwait, followed in the next months by the U.S. military setting up their war on Iraq to begin January 15, 1991.

The Bush Administration had a well-prepared PR campaign to sell the Persian Gulf War, in which Bush took the U.S. military into war overseas against a country that was of no threat to the U.S.

Would a politician like the elder Bush tell a foreign leader that he, Bush, would look the other way if Hussein invaded Kuwait, only to then go and invade Iraq as though that was Bush’s intention in the first place? Well, that seems to be the way politicians, statists, internationalists, and government expansionists go about business, given the power they have as monopolists in territorial protection. And also, Bush probably felt safe politically and legally, given how so many Reagan Administration officials had gotten away with their schemes of selling arms to Iran to fund the Nicaraguan Contras in what became known as the Iran-Contra affair of the 1980s.

In author James Bovard’s analysis of the U.S. military’s bombing campaign on Iraq in 1991 and subsequent sanctions on Iraq, Bovard cites the Washington Post which quoted Pentagon officials that the bombing campaign targeted civilian infrastructure, particularly electrical facilities and water and sewage treatment facilities, as well as military targets. This was an intentional strategy of the U.S. military as a means of “disabling Iraqi society at large,” that supposedly would compel the Iraqi people to get rid of their leader Saddam Hussein.

As Bovard pointed out,

A Harvard School of Public Health team visited Iraq in the months after the war and found epidemic levels of typhoid and cholera as well as pervasive acute malnutrition. The Post noted,

In an estimate not substantively disputed by the Pentagon, the [Harvard] team projected that ‘at least 170,000 children under five years of age will die in the coming year from the delayed effects’ of the bombing.

The U.S. military understood the havoc the 1991 bombing unleashed. A 1995 article entitled ‘The Enemy as a System’ by John Warden, published in the Air Force’s Airpower Journal, discussed the benefits of bombing ‘dual-use targets’ and noted,

A key example of such dual-use targeting was the destruction of Iraqi electrical power facilities in Desert Storm…. [Destruction] of these facilities shut down water purification and sewage treatment plants. As a result, epidemics of gastroenteritis, cholera, and typhoid broke out, leading to perhaps as many as 100,000 civilian deaths and a doubling of the infant mortality rate.

The article concluded that the U.S. Air Force has a ‘vested interest in attacking dual-use targets’ that undermine ‘civilian morale.’

The bombing campaign and a decade of sanctions throughout the 1990s led to widespread disease and skyrocketing cancer and child mortality rates, which by 1999 were said to lead to the deaths of approximately 500,000 Iraqis.

The U.S. government’s invasion and bombing of Iraq in 1991 and sanctions, disease and death, as well as the U.S. government’s expansionism of military bases and other government apparatus on Muslim lands such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, and other intrusions and interventions are what have inflamed anti-Americanism throughout the Middle East and Asia. These actions of the U.S. government have been provocations against the inhabitants of those foreign lands, the effects of which have consisted of retaliations and attempted retaliations against Americans. In other words, we Americans have been made increasingly vulnerable to the aggressions of foreigners because of the aggressions that our government officials have been committing against people in foreign lands.

But rather than ending the murderous sanctions, occupations and other U.S. government intrusions and interventions on foreign lands, the response of the robotic, comatose U.S. government officials to the September 11, 2001 attacks was to increase the aggression, intrusions and violence overseas even more, as well as impose policies of rendition and indefinite detention and assassination of people without due process, without just cause or even actual suspicion – the George W. Bush Administration knowingly apprehended suspects at random and knowingly kept innocent people detained for years in Gitmo – as well as start a campaign against Americans and their what-used-to-be-known-as “inalienable rights” and “civil liberties.” In other words, every action and policy of the U.S. government, especially since 1990, has made Americans less safe and more vulnerable. We are less safe because of the provocations by our government of more terrorism against us, and we are less safe because of the abuses of our own government against us and our liberty. This is what I mean by treasonous actions of the U.S. government.

And how has the U.S. government been treating Bradley Manning for months, someone who has not been tried or convicted of anything, and whose alleged actions have harmed no one, but who allegedly dared to expose the agents of the State for what they are? Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald has been doing an exceptional job writing about Manning’s treatment.

According to Greenwald, Manning’s attorney David Coombs, and MIT researcher David House, Manning has been held in 23-hour-per-day solitary confinement for over five months, with one hour per day allowed for “exercise,” which consists of walking in circles in a small area, is made to respond to guards’ checking him every five minutes, is made to endure constant sleep deprivation and sensory deprivation, has very little contact with others and is deprived of knowledge of events in the outside world. In a more recent update, Greenwald noted,

…And in the wake of my report, there have been several reports of the damage to Manning that is now apparent, including in The Guardian (“Bradley Manning’s health deteriorating in jail, supporters say”), The Independent (Manning ”in weak health and wracked with anxiety”), The Daily Beast (“The conditions under which Bradley Manning is being held would traumatize anyone”), and from his lawyer (“who says the extended isolation — now more than seven months of solitary confinement — is weighing on his client’s psyche . . . . His treatment is harsh, punitive and taking its toll, says Coombs”)…

What the agents of the U.S. government are doing psychologically and physically to this one individual is how criminals, barbarians, degenerates and sickos treat other human beings. But the reason he is being held in solitary confinement and why he is being abused in such a sick way is that our government officials are responding not to any real threat to Americans’ security, but to an uncovering of U.S. government officials’ real character.

The American prisons aren’t even treating their convicted rapists, child molesters and murderers with that kind of cruelty and physical deprivation, which is particularly loathsome given that Manning has done nothing wrong and has harmed no one. However, this is in line with the U.S. military intentionally bombing water and sewage treatment facilities with the purpose of causing disease and deaths amongst the Iraqi civilian population in 1991, a scheme that comes from sick-minded barbarians. But in their emotional, gut reactions to the news about leaks of State “secrets,” the authoritarians who love and worship the State have made the uncovering of the true nature of today’s agents of the State a matter of blasphemy worthy of the sinner’s being stoned to death in a public courtyard. “We are all Iranians now,” the Palins and the Gingriches might as well declare.

But is merely uncovering the State’s true nature really a crime? Shouldn’t we instead penalize the agents of the State who start wars unnecessarily and thus make their own population more vulnerable to retaliation, as the warmongers did with the war against Iraq of 1991, and all the repercussions and blowback we have been suffering because of it? (And oh, what a coincidence the timing of those actions coincided with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War and a sudden lack of an enemy to justify the always expanding military welfare state, but that’s a different discussion for a different essay.) The devastation and physical destruction, the human toll and financial cost of the entirely political decision to invade Iraq in 1990 have treasonously damaged America. (And oh, what another coincidence that the 1990 warmonger’s son also started an unnecessary war against Iraq in 2003, and for solely political reasons, that would cause even further blowback against us!) These actions have damaged America in the most criminal sense, and these actions against America are treasonous.

To protect us from further damage to our liberty, security and property, we need more Bradley Mannings, and more WikiLeaks, and much less centralized power in Washington, given that just about every action of the U.S. government has been treasonous, against America and our founding principles, and is constant, daily proof that the Anti-Federalists were right.

The Dow Down Again – No, Donald, It’s Not the Fed, It’s YOU!

The Dow sank again today in a shortened day of trading, down more than 650 points. Donald Trump blames the Fed. Trump tweeted, “”The only problem our economy has is the Fed. They don’t have a feel for the Market…” Like you do, Donald.

No, one big problem now has been Trump’s trade idiocy. This “trade war” crapola. Someone please tell Trump that it doesn’t matter if there’s a “trade deficit.” It’s not the same thing as a budget deficit! He wants to spend money — other people’s money — like a drunken sailor, and “who cares if there’s a $1 trillion budget deficit,” he might as well say! But THAT’s the deficit that matters, and that influences the economy, not this “trade deficit” thing.

Donald Trump needs to cut it out with this trade fascism that he is shoving down the people’s throats. Leave people alone, and let them have the freedom to buy whatever they want, or sell whatever they want, and let producers have the freedom to buy whatever capital goods they want or need, and leave them alone! Who cares if they’re buying stuff from China or India or Iran or Ireland. Someone please tell Trump to stop being such a dictator, and such a control freak!

And stop stealing from people, which is what Trump’s damn tariffs are, stealing!

More “Defense” Revolving Door

After “defense” (sic) secretary James Mattis handed in his resignation to Donald Trump that included Mattis’s criticism of Trump’s wanting to take U.S. troops out of Syria and Afghanistan, it seems that Trump is telling Mattis to leave on December 31st, rather than the end of February as Mattis had planned.

Well, good for Trump. (It is doubtful, though, that Trump will fire the other warmongers including Mile Pompeo and John Bolton and others there who believe that the U.S. military must be all over the world being put in harm’s way for no good reason.)

But the guy that Trump is temporarily replacing Mattis with, deputy “defense” (sic) secretary Patrick Shanahan, is from the “military industrial complex,” having been with Boeing for 30 years. According to Wikipedia, Shanahan was “vice president and general manager for Boeing Rotorcraft Systems … responsible for all U.S. Army Aviation programs,” and “vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems … overseeing the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, Airborne Laser and Advanced Tactical Laser programs…”

“Revolving door” much?

(He might as well work for the Clinton Foundation…)

Hans-Hermann Hoppe: The Libertarian Quest for a Grand Historical Narrative

Hans-Hermann Hoppe gave a very thought-provoking speech recently, The Libertarian Quest for a Grand Historical Narrative, at the annual meeting of his Property and Freedom Society. It would be very difficult for anyone to match Hoppe’s expert defense of freedom and property, and his exposing the State for what it is. Video below.

Here are some excerpts from Hoppe’s speech.

Early on in the speech Hoppe clarifies the truth about free market capitalism versus socialism.

Contrary to still popular myth in leftist circles, then, capitalism did not cause misery, but it literally saved the lives of countless millions of people from death by starvation and gradually lifted them up from their previous state of abject poverty; and labor unions’ and governments’ so-called “social policies” did not help in this regard but hampered and retarded this process of gradual economic improvement and were and still are responsible for countless numbers of unnecessary deaths.

Hoppe gives some historical perspective and references the Ten Commandments.

And here is then another quote I wanted to provide here:

For surely, slavery and serfdom have not disappeared in the democratic world. Rather, some increasingly rare ‘private’ slavery and serfdom have been replaced by a near-universal system of ‘public’ tax-slavery and serfdom. As well, wars have not disappeared, but only become of a larger scale. And as for excessive punishments and witch hunts, they have not gone away either. To the contrary, they have multiplied. Enemies of the State are tortured in the same old gruesome or even technically ‘refined’ ways. Moreover, countless people who are not a murderer, a thief, a libeler, an adulterer or a rapist, i.e. people who live in complete accordance with the ten biblical commandments and once would have been left alone, are nonetheless routinely punished today, up to the level of lengthy incarceration or the loss of their entire property. Witches are no longer called that way, but with just one single authority in place, the “identification” of anyone as a “suspect of evil-doing” or a “trouble-maker” is greatly facilitated and the number of people so identified has accordingly multiplied; and while such suspects are no longer burnt at the stake, they are routinely punished by up to life-long economic deprivation, unemployment, poverty or even starvation. And while once, during the Middle Ages, the primary purpose of punishment was restitution, i.e. the offender had to compensate the victim, the primary purpose of punishment today is submission, i.e. the offender must compensate and satisfy not the victim but the State (thus victimizing the victim twice).

Hoppe then goes on to comment at length on Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker’s book The Better Angels of Our Nature. It appears that Pinker doesn’t get it as far as the distinction between aggressive violence and defensive violence is concerned. Pinker also seems clueless about the ideas of private property and property rights, as well as the big picture of basic moral scruples.

Property and property rights do not systematically figure in his analyses. Indeed, the terms do not even appear in the book’s 30-page subject index. For Pinker, violence is violence, and the reduction of violence is progress, regardless of whether this reduction is the result of the successful suppression and resignation of a people by and vis-à-vis another, conquering people, or the result of a people’s own successful suppression of aggressors and conquerors.

Pinker does not follow his own logic to the bitter end, but it deserves to be pointed out to reveal the full depravity of his thought. According to him, a smoothly run concentration camp, for instance, guarded by armed men who do not murder the inmates and prevent them from killing each other, but who supply them with “happiness drugs” to keep them quietly working on for the benefit of the guards until their natural (non-violent) deaths, is the perfect model of peace and social progress, while the violent overthrow of the guards by the concentration camp inmates is, well, violence and de-civilization.

Hoppe continues at great length to analyze and criticize Pinker’s cognitive dissonance and moral depravity. Hoppe really goes in depth on this subject.

After demonstrating the relationship between the State and violence, Hoppe asks,

But how much evil can a single, deranged individual do without the institution of a centralized State? How much evil could Hitler have done within the framework of a State-less society such as the Middle Ages? Would he have become a great lord, a king, a bishop, or a Pope? Indeed, how much evil could he have done even within the framework of a thousand mini-States, such as Liechtenstein, Monaco or Singapore? Answer: Not much, and certainly nothing comparable to the evils associated with WW II. It holds not, then: ‘no Hitler, no Churchill, no Roosevelt or no Stalin, and then no war,’ as Pinker would have it, but rather: ‘no highly centralized State, and then no Hitler, Churchill, Roosevelt or Stalin.’

The above is quoted from the transcript from Hoppe’s recent speech at his Property and Freedom Society, which meets annually.

Here are Parts 1 and 2 of the whole speech: