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Month: November 2013

Merry Christmas Everyone! (Well, in Venezuela anyway.)

When I’m not writing about the things that annoy me or something I find interesting, I occasionally link to other articles and blogs. Here are some today:

Angelo Codevilla has this piece on the government’s war on Americans, especially conservatives.

Jeff Berwick of Dollar Vigilante has this open letter to Russell Brand, responding to Brand’s suggestion that “profit” is a dirty word.

John Glaser at Antiwar says that if you blindly believe government claims about drone victims, you are a sucker.

Chris Rossini asks, “Vote, or go to jail?”

James Bovard explains why everyone scorns the TSA

Justin Raimondo says that the main danger to peace and liberty is Hillary Clinton.

Pat Buchanan has a memo for Angela Merkel: Tell Obama to take a hike. I agree.

Paul Joseph Watson has this article on families being monitored by police for the daughters’ complaints about “transgender” boys using the girls’ restrooms. Has political correctness run amok? (That’s a rhetorical question.)

And crazy Venezuelan President Maduro is moving Christmas from the usual date up to November. To help in his election. What a nut.

Are you ready? I know I am.

Some More Misc. Items

In his article on Congressionally Duped Americans, Walter Williams tells us exactly what Social Security is and what it is not.

My biggest problem with it is the immorality of an institution ordering people to have to participate in some retirement scheme, whether they like it or not. Most people don’t think about it. And those who do think about it don’t have a problem with it because they really believe that they “paid into it,” so they think they will get their money back.

Now, past generations of Americans devised this scheme. But because it is still in play today, the current Americans in charge who continue to implement it should be charged with fraud, because that is exactly what it is.

Laurence Vance has some interesting things to say about World War I.

And Sibel Edmonds believes that the 430 out of 435 members of the House who didn’t attend recent testimony of survivors of U.S. drone attacks overseas really are saying that they don’t care about the murders of civilians by their own government’s drones.

But she also contends that those congresspeople are actually representing the American people, and their alleged lack of concern. I disagree. Politicians and bureaucrats in Washington don’t represent the American people. That’s a myth. They are not “us.” (I have addressed that myth just recently.)

And Edmonds also asserts that the American people deserve the hatred and vengeance against them by the foreigners who are victims of the U.S. government drones. Sorry. I did not attack Pakistan, Afghanistan or Iraq. Neither did my family members, neighbors and friends. It was our politicians and bureaucrats and the U.S. military who have been the actual aggressors, the actual murderers and destroyers of those lands and their people. And these government and military bureaucrats certainly don’t represent me, that’s for sure.

Some Misc. Items Today

Trends analyst Gerald Celente did this interview with Anthony Wile, covering many important issues. One statement Celente made was regarding the Federal Reserve, and I wanted to address that. Not that it really matters, as the Fed will be closed down some time in the next few years anyway. Celente asserted,

Most people don’t even know what a central bank is and they still believe the lie that the Federal Reserve is a quasi-government institution when it’s not. It’s a totally private bank. Most people don’t even know that. So most people are uninformed and like in all countries, they follow their leaders.

Well, I think that the Federal Reserve is technically a “private,” not public, institution. Even that is questionable, in my view, as the Fed itself states that “It is not ‘owned’ by anyone and is not a private, profit-making institution.” Being a “private” bank is really a facade.

To me, the Federal Reserve is a government bureaucracy. It is a government institution that has a monopoly in monetary central planning. The Fed’s very existence was created by an act of Congress, the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.

As Murray Rothbard pointed out in The Case Against the Fed:

It is little known, however, that there is a federal agency that tops the others in secrecy by a country mile. The Federal Reserve System is accountable to no one; it has no budget; it is subject to no audit; and no Congressional committee knows of, or can truly supervise, its operations. The Federal Reserve, virtually in total control of the nation’s vital monetary system, is accountable to nobody…

But it is one thing to say that private, or market, activities should be free of government control, and “independent of politics” in that sense. 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…

By law, Americans must use “Federal Reserve Notes” in our financial transactions, and we aren’t allowed to use other forms of currencies, such as gold and silver.

At least the banksters of Bank of Amerika and JPMorgan Chase can’t force us to do our banking at their banks which really are private.

But, Celente was absolutely correct when he called central banking a “criminal operation.”

Speaking of ending the Fed, Ron Paul has this column at his Institute for Peace and Prosperity, What Was Not Said about Iraq. Dr. Paul explains how governmental intervention makes things worse, not better, in foreign policy as well as domestic affairs. In this case, the U.S. government’s invasion of Iraq was a mistake. And the interventionists continue to push for yet another unnecessary war, this time in Iran. They never learn.

The U.K. Guardian has this important article on the NSA’s drooling rush for total surveillance.

Justin Raimondo analyzes the Brits and their tyrannical treatment of journalists by referring to them as “terrorists.” The U.S. government is the same. And this post at FAIR exposes Scott Pelley and his team as the government propagandists they are.

Alex Newman details how Common Core proponents are mainly public employees and their big private donors vs. their opponents: the little people, the common folks, the schleps who want their kids to be educated, not brainwashed by the educrats.

And Eric Margolis has this on Sen. Frank Church who warned us 35 years ago about the dangers of NSA spying on Americans.

Dukakis at 80: Had an Impact on Massachusetts Not Easily Forgotten

I don’t usually write about local politics, but this is election week, and so what the hell. Apropos yesterday’s post and speaking of hacks, today is Michael Stanley Dukakis’s 80th birthday. Dukakis, the hack of all hacks, was governor of Massachusetts for three terms, and was the Democrat nominee for President in 1988.

Dukakis had an extremely large influence on future state regimes since the 1980s, that’s for sure.

In 1989 Dukakis and his legislative comrades gave Massachusetts residents a “temporary” increase in the state income tax to reduce the state budget deficit, because eliminating waste and cutting spending does not enter a politician’s noggin. Naturally, the “temporary” income tax increase is still in effect since 1989 and hasn’t ceased to be “temporary.” Here is Barbara Anderson’s op-ed earlier this year mentioning how “temporary” that “temporary” tax increase has been.

But currently in 2013, despite over $500 million in “above-benchmark revenues” and a nearly $1 billion rainy day fund, the crooks in the state government nevertheless shoved a $500 million tax increase down the people’s throats. Dukakis’s shake-’em-down clone Gov. Deval Patrick vetoed the budget, because the tax increases were not high enough! But obviously he knew the legislature would override his veto, which they did. He obviously got the political playbook from Michael Dukakis. (When Patrick runs for President in 2016, he can say with a straight face, “I VETOED the biggest tax increase in Massachusetts history!”)

And the legislature’s recent gas tax increase was a typical Dukakoid scheme. The schemers mandated what will be annual increases of the tax to be tied to the CPI. So as inflation rises, this gas tax automatically goes up, too — so that these bums in the State House don’t have to vote on these tax increases! And just as cowardly, they devised it to go in effect as of the beginning of 2015, after their safe elections in November 2014. This is the kind of “leadership” that Gov. Michael Stanley Dukakis, who turns 80 today, has fostered in state government in the People’s Republic of Taxachusetts.

The opponents of the gas tax shake-down have been collecting signatures to get a repeal question on the ballot for 2014. Here is their website. Such a gas tax tied to inflation was actually passed in several other states, and most of those states have since repealed the tax. (Duh.)

Another Dukakis-fascist-like scheme that the state government has inflicted on people here now is “open-road tolling,” in which the gangsters will electronically track each turnpike motorist-victim and tax-steal accordingly. Not that this is any kind of invasion of privacy, mind you.

They gotta get that loot! It’s never enough for them.

No, it’s never enough, just as it’s never enough for the national thugs in Congress, especially with their medical-tax-theft scheme called “ObamaCare.”

And Dukakis is the one during the 1980s who gave us the mandatory seat-belt law. The anti-seat belt mandate drive was led by the late talk radio personality Jerry Williams, who referred to Gov. Dukakis as “Michael Mandatory.” The state rep most known for pushing the law was Barbara Gray from Framingham. (I think Rep. Gray was referred to as the “Wicked Witch of Metro West” by Howie Carr, if I’m not mistaken.) Gray also proposed a “mandatory margarine” law for restaurants, which I believe did not get passed.

I think Dukakis really wanted the seat belt law to be a “first-offense,” meaning the cops can stop someone just for not wearing a seat belt, as opposed to stopping someone for some initial reason and seeing that the seat belt is unfastened and fining them on a second offense for it. Jerry Williams at the time mentioned seat belt road blocks in New York. This is the mid-1980s, you know, but I think they’re engaged in a lot of that kind of police state fascism now. I’ll never forget the pictures in the Globe or the Herald of Dukakis in his photo-ops with the state storm troopers. (Hmmm. I’m sure that Dukakis would have approved of the same kind of martial law unconstitutional door-to-door searches in Watertown overseen by Gov. Patrick. It’s just a guess, though.)

So, mandatory this and mandatory that. What wonderful “liberals.” Anyway, the anti-mandatory seat belt law crusaders got a question on the ballot in 1986 to repeal the mandatory seat belt law, which they did. However, while the emotion-driven activists called the anti-seat belt law people “head-bashers,” they got their law back on the books. But really, it isn’t to do with “protecting drivers” or “reducing insurance rates,” but yet another in a long list of schemes to raise revenue for the state, for these bloated, fat non-productive bureaucrats.

And in Massachusetts, the liberal police state, we have the now-80-year-old Michael Dukakis to thank for it. As bad as Massachusetts pols have been here, as parasitic and thoroughly disrespectful of the rights of the people and their property, from Ted Kennedy to Tip O’Neill, I don’t think anyone was as influential in taking Massachusetts as far away from its original freedom-loving and Revolutionary roots as Michael Stanley Dukakis, hack of all hacks.

A Tale of Two Hacks in Boston

There will be an election for mayor of Boston this Tuesday. I am urging everyone who lives in Boston to sit this one out. It is an election between entrenched hack #1 and entrenched hack #2. Is there a third party candidate? Who cares? (No, no third party.) As I wrote in this post, Mayor Thomas Menino has been mayor since 1893 1993, and I’m already sick of the next one.

The two hacks, hack #1 and hack #2, are City Councilor John Connolly and State Rep. Martin “Mahty” Walsh. Given that Connolly has been endorsed by both the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald, you would think that would be good enough reason to support Walsh, right? Nope. Not good enough. Walsh is the big union guy, and is getting a lot of campaign funding from the unions. One good thing that “Mahty” stated was that we “don’t need another lawyer in City Hall.” So’s he’s anti-lawyer. Okay, he’s got my vote. No, not really. (Is Mayor Menino a lawyer? Nope.) Never mind, as Emily Litella would say.

Even Howie Carr on the radio gave Mahty a subtle, unofficial endorsement as the lesser of two evils. (Carr lives in Wellesley — what does he care?) But in their conversation on his show a few days ago, Barbara Anderson, the executive director of the Massachusetts Citizens for Limited Taxation, detailed Walsh’s record with the unions and their support for higher taxes. And especially their support for overriding “Prop 2 1/2,” which voters approved of 30 years ago to set a limit on how high local officials can raise property taxes. Ms. Anderson worked to get that passed.

As I have suggested, Boston residents should stay home. It’s not worth it. But here’s an idea: Why don’t you just leave the post empty? Would it make any difference? And while you’re at it, abolish any and all city taxes and regulations and let the residents and business people be free to do what they want, with their own property and their own money. Can you imagine that? Real freedom? Sell City Hall to the highest bidder. Perhaps he can open a school in which the teachers and principal won’t arrest kids who are “hyperactive” or drug them up for being “attention deficit” sufferers.

I know. Freedom is not what people want. They prefer to have a bureaucrat in charge, to tell them what to do and how to do it, and how much businesses must pay their workers, and pay fines for not having the right-sized this or that. People prefer to have authoritarian, prison-like schools in which the teachers unions don’t want the teachers to be tested for competence. (Because it’s easier for them to reinforce propaganda and obedience than it is to teach math, reading and writing. Oh, well.)

But with either of the two hacks, John Connolly (I thought he died already, although he was lucky to survive that incident in 1963, wasn’t he? Oh, wait, that was a different John Connolly. Never mind, as Emily Litella would say.) and Mahty Walsh (Perhaps the guys from the “Mahty’s Furniture” commercials would be better…), we will get more fascism, more government controls and intrusions, and even less freedom, like in all the other cities. People just don’t like freedom, and they don’t want it.

I think more people need to read Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

Some Items on JFK and Libertarianism

Jacob Hornberger has this post on why the JFK assassination matters. This is very much worth your time to read. Hornberger explains clearly that, as documents which have been released since the assassination show, President Kennedy was very much against the growing national security state that began during and after World War II, and he was showing clear signs of wanting to dismantle that unnecessary national security state. Hornberger explains the link between the JFK assassination of 1963 and the NSA, CIA etc. of today.

And Chris Rossini provides a map to get you through the libertarian minefield. He includes AEI and the Stato Institute, but didn’t mention Freedom Works. I’m sure there are plenty other to mention too.

The State’s Insatiable Hunger for Power and Control

Robert Higgs has this article on Mises Daily at the Mises institute, The Power of the State vs. the Power of Love. Higgs recognizes that the State is not a force for “good,” but for evil. Here are some excerpts:

Hardheaded people mock the idea that “love is the answer” to the people’s dire situation. They insist that evil forces and evil men are afoot in the world, men who care nothing for love and seek only vile ends, and that such malevolence can be fended off effectively only by meeting it with adequate force and violence.

Yet, here we are, inhabiting a world divided in countless ways by mutual misunderstandings, hatreds, and yearnings for vengeance. Because each society is subject to a state whose own interests are served by keeping this vicious pot boiling, we have no prospect of ever breaking out of the endless cycle of evil, violence, and retribution. In the process, the whole world forgoes the immense blessings that would flow from mutual cooperation, peace, and tolerance.

So long as the state exists, with its intrinsic violence, plunder, and insolence, and we seek solutions to our pressing social problems through it or in its dark shadow, we are doomed not to second-best or third-best solutions, but to make-believe solutions that are, at best, momentary rest stops on the road to our worsening degradation and ultimate demise.

Love turns us in the opposite direction. It seeks to build up, whereas the state seeks to overawe and kill in the service of the self-interested elites who control it at the expense of the people at large. Love has no need to flex violent muscles or seek vengeance time and again. Love intends the good of the other for its own sake, not as a means toward the end of one’s own aggrandizement. Love is patient and long-suffering; power is impatient and easily provoked.

Full article

Now, there are a lot of things that have been in the news lately which show just what the State is all about. And it isn’t love, that’s for sure.

Here is just one example of the State’s incompetence, violence and destruction:

According to Patrick Toomey of the ACLU, the Justice (sic) Department will now notify criminal defendants when evidence to be used against them that was obtained through criminal and unconstitutional warrantless wiretaps. This is yet another story in which the federal government continues to commit criminal intrusions against the people it supposedly serves, for no good reason whatsoever. However, the supposed “terrorist threat” (such as it is) being used to justify the government’s criminality, wouldn’t even exist if our “national security” bureaucrats hadn’t been starting wars of aggression and occupations, sanctions, extraordinary rendition kidnappings and indefinite detentions of innocents, and the 22-year destruction of Iraq. You see, when your stupid non-productive imbeciles of the bureaucracy inflict aggression against foreigners, then of course they will retaliate.

If you want to have peace, then you behave peacefully. It shouldn’t take too much thinking to understand that. However, in today’s America, even if many people attempted to think for themselves and to finally choose to challenge the propaganda being fed to them by TPTB and the useful idiots of the media and talk radio, I doubt that even then would they grasp such a concept. As Leonard Read would say, “Anything peaceful.”

But, as Justin Raimondo explains, some of the hard-core statists in Washington will never learn, despite obvious realities that if such realities were a snake it would have bit these buffoons. In the Raimondo article, we see that John McCain and Lindsey Graham are at it again, in their wanting to go back into Iraq. Well, why don’t THEY go there, and let our troops stay here where they belong.

Now, when it comes to the “power of the State vs, the power of love,” which side do you think McCain and Graham are on?

And John Whitehead writes of the NSA spying and the dangers of secretive authoritarian governments. Is the NSA really spying on us because it loves us and wants to protect us? Or is it spying for the sake of building up “dossiers” on everyday, innocent Americans who have never given the government any reason to suspect them of anything?

Related: Michael Rozeff on the LRC blog asks if America’s government leadership is “mentally ill.” (Michael Rozeff tends to ask rhetorical questions. But, as Stuart Smalley would say, “That’s … okay.”)

In fact, the sickness of these power-grabbing statists is more obvious in the enforcement wing of the State. For example, Alex Knight writes about tasers, and asserts that the real purpose of the tasers is to make the cops’ job more fun. The job of government police monopoly agent draws in the most psychopathological amongst us. That is because monopolists do not have accountability, especially when the general population are compelled by law to use these monopolists’ services.

That is why government-controlled medical care will attract the worst of the worst. For crying out loud, the medical industry already has its share of “bad apples,” thanks to licensure which protects the bad practitioners from good competitors, and other governmental intrusions and dictates. Oh, don’t get me started on those “doctors” now.

And, speaking of ObamaCare, single payer and SovietCare, John Keller compares the State’s power grab in health care to a hypothetical power grab in food distribution. The free market handles food distribution very well and if we allowed the free market health care to actually be free, it would be just as efficient. You see, it isn’t out of love that the State grabs control over these endeavors in life, but out of a love for power and control. I wish “liberals” could see that.

And Jacob Hornberger refers to futile attempts at health care “reform” as a “syndrome.” Just as Lindsey Graham and John McCain do not seem to learn anything from the experiences in Iraq, those Republicans do not seem to learn anything from the destruction that past health care “reforms” have caused. Hornberger mentions Medicare and Medicaid specifically.

Interesting comments in this post by Robert Murphy, on an ObamaCare-related post by Paul Krugman. Some interesting arguments on what insurance is and what it is not, and the nature of government orders backed by threats of violence.

I don’t think that Obama is overwhelmed by feelings of love for his fellow Americans when he says that we must get health insurance or he’ll send IRS thugs after us. Or that we must report to him and his medical commissars our private personal information or else. Sorry.

But the State does love one thing, though: power.