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Author: scott lazarowitz

The Conservative Nut That’s Hard To Crack

December 24, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As Prof. Hoppe has stated,

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

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

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

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

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

Exile Dangerous People, End the Drug War

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Yes On Competing Currencies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ObamaCare And The Value of Human Life

December 2, 2009

© American Thinker 2009 (Link to this article at American Thinker)

President Obama’s push for government-controlled medicine has passed the House, passed an initial hurdle in the Senate, and will now be considered by the latter. Some people are worried that such a government takeover of the medical and insurance industries could include “death panels” and possibly force taxpayers to fund abortion coverage, as well as violate the sanctity of doctor-patient confidentiality, but there are more philosophical questions here.

Just how much concern for the health care of all human beings does the Obama administration actually have? How much do they really value human life?

One of the unfortunate consequences of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized the killing of the unborn prior to a particular stage of development, was the ideology of placing a greater value on some human beings than on others. Administration officials’ views on medical treatment and on the abortion issue are revealing.

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the White House’s Health Policy Adviser, has repeatedly stated that certain people shouldn’t be treated equally by a government health care system. He advocates “allocating and rationing” of services, particularly by age and disability. This kind of policy conflicts with government’s constitutionally mandated obligation to enforce “equal treatment under the law.”

One of Dr. Emanuel’s more disturbing views is that it’s more important for a doctor to consider what’s good for the community than for an individual when treating an individual patient. This implies that if an individual is not useful to the community, he has less value as an individual and may not be as worthy as others for medical treatment.

Regarding the abortion issue, as part of an argument for legalized abortion (just prior to the Roe decision), White House Science Czar John Holdren wrote in 1973 that certain factors such as “early socializing experiences” are required to consider a born infant a “human being.” Just being born does not suffice.

President Obama has exhibited a devaluing of not only the unborn, but also of accidentally born and living infants, as seen from his opposition to the “Born Alive Bill” while in the Illinois State Senate.

Very Orwellian duckspeak is Obama’s rationalizing his opposition to that Born Alive Bill:

… this is probably not going to survive constitutional scrutiny. Number one, whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a-a child, a nine-month-old child that was delivered to term. That determination, then, essentially, if a court accepted it, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it — it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an antiabortion statute. …

These are the government officials who desire control over the health care of 300 million Americans.

When we have public officials such as Obama who devalue human life based on being at a less advanced stage of growth and development, and officials such as Emanuel, who devalue an individual who doesn’t qualify for a government agency’s requirement for rationing, we have a problem.

A few months ago, Rush Limbaugh was unreasonably criticized for his objectively noting the similarities between ObamaCare’s “socialized medicine” and the socialized medicine of Nazi Germany. A good way to actually expand on that comparison is to recall how past governments valued human life in the context of medical care.

In Russia, for example, according to Anna Ebeling of the Foundation for Economic Education, there was a distinct contrast between how the state respected the dignity and value of people in the old Russia as compared to the “factory-like” hospitals and medical clinics of the Bolsheviks’ communist, utopian “health care for all” scheme.

And in the Nazi socialized medical system to which Limbaugh referred, the regime categorized people, and it was in “Germany’s best interest” to rid the country of “undesirables.”

No, I’m not comparing the Obama administration to Nazis, but this is a time of great moral ambiguity in our country. World War II and Nazi Germany represented a turning point in history, as did the Supreme Court’s ruling permitting the destruction of unborn human beings until they reach a particular stage in their lifespan.

Since the Roe decision, our culture has further degenerated to the point where immediate gratification is given greater value than life itself. The id controls individual decision-making, and personal responsibility is all but absent.

These past few months, we have seen the most powerful public officials’ contempt for our rights as human beings in broad daylight. It is degrading when citizens are treated like livestock herded into a barn, without any respect for the inherent value of human life. This is a recurring theme in the history of governments.

Those who crave a government-compelled monopoly over our health care cannot logically value human life, as such a power-grab results in the invasion of every individual’s natural, inalienable rights to life and liberty. A human being has a right to live, a right to choose his doctor, a right to doctor-patient confidentiality without government officials’ access, and a right to have or not to have insurance.

In other words, we have a right to medical freedom.

It is a matter of basic human rights.

Obama’s Medical Monopoly

November 28, 2009

© American Thinker 2009 (Link to this article at American Thinker)

If there’s anything worse than a private-sector monopoly, it’s a government-run monopoly. The difference is that in the private sector, everyone is free to compete and remove the monopolist’s monopoly status, while a government monopoly forbids competition and compels the citizenry to patronize its operation. It is still illegal, for example, to start a business competing with the United States Postal Service, as 19th-century American individualist and entrepreneur Lysander Spooner learned.

Right now, insurance companies already have a virtual monopoly with the help of government-imposed regulations that make it impossible for entrepreneurs to get in the act. Doctors have a virtual monopoly by state licensing and their power to restrict entry into the field to accredited medical schools. The result of this government-protected virtual monopoly is fewer consumer choices in insurance companies, fewer medical schools and doctors, and the protection of doctors’ high salaries, as well as reduced quality of health care. All of these factors show up in any monopolized industry.

When government runs an industry, criminalizes competition, and compels citizens to patronize only the government’s shifty organization, it is a “compulsory monopoly.” As economist Murray Rothbard notes, “A governmental monopoly need not worry that customers may go elsewhere or that inefficiency may mean its demise.”

If we removed all those regulations, restrictions, and intrusions that distort consumers’ natural ability to dictate costs, prices would fall dramatically.

Unfortunately, President Obama and Speaker Pelosi want to go the other way. With all the mandates and dictates in their proposals, the citizens will be compelled to participate. The proposed scheme will force private insurance companies out of business, regardless of politicians’ rhetoric to the contrary, and it will force doctors to participate in the scheme or not be allowed to practice. It will eventually engender a government-run medical industry.

We will see more government intrusion in our lives, less freedom, and lower quality of medical care. The more skilled doctors who don’t want to be slaves of the state will leave the practice, and those who do not value their independence or doctor-patient confidentiality will join. As with any other government-run agency, decisions made on our health-care matters will be political, and all providers of all medical services will be government employees. It is not an exaggeration to assert that Obama’s desires are not much different from those of communist regimes.

The virtual monopoly that doctors and insurance companies have will be transformed into a legally mandated monopoly, with no way for citizens to opt out of the system.

Besides the impracticalities of a compulsory medical monopoly, as indicated by all the historical evidence from the U.K., Canada and the old Soviet Union (as well as from our own country’s Medicare program), there are basic human rights questions. If the government takes over the medical industry, what if someone wants to be a private doctor, or have an independent insurance company, or get medical care from a non-government doctor?

What if someone doesn’t buy health insurance, as will be demanded by the new plan? A blunt translation of this legislation would have proponents declaring, “You must participate in this scheme whether you like it or not, or we’ll send the IRS after you or imprison you.”

Quite the uncivil way to let people know you care about their health.

If private citizens forced their neighbors to join in some scheme or else get thrown in a cage or get robbed, such schemers would be thrown in jail.

Just what is it about these public officials that makes them so demanding and dictatorial? Their control-freakishness is getting quite counterproductive…even dangerous.

One of our rights as citizens is to opt out of this kind of government scheme without threats of brute force. In the America our Founders created, we had the right to opt out of even health insurance, and whether or not we had insurance was none of the government’s business.

It’s called freedom.

As with any other industry that government has tampered with, state interference in the health care industry for many years has caused all the problems the industry has now. Get the government out of it. Allow the free market to work, and it will work…if given the chance.

So Many Hacks, So Little Time

Well, after all the Town Hall meetings and Tea Parties, and the 2009 elections in New Jersey, NY and Virginia, it’s time for a break from political annoyances–NOT!

In Massachusetts, the Special Election to find a hack to replace the late Senator Kennedy is in just two months, and the party primaries are in just a few weeks! I’m already exhausted. But does it really matter which statist hack will replace Kennedy? No, not really. It will be the same old thing for the victims, I mean, subjects, I mean, voters in this bluest of blue states.

But there are so many hacks, and there is just so little time. Take our front-runner, Attorney General Martha Coakley. Please.

Just this week, the Boston Globe revealed that, in 1995 when she was the Middlesex County DA, Coakley had a “closed-door” meeting that resulted in child-molesting priest John Geoghan’s one-year probation instead of any prosecution.

….Coakley, then the head of the Middlesex child abuse unit, had Geoghan in her sights and took a dramatically different approach. Back then, three grade-school brothers told investigators that Geoghan had inappropriately touched them during numerous visits to their Waltham home, and had made lewd telephone calls to them. Rather than prosecute, Coakley agreed to grant Geoghan a year of probation in a closed-door proceeding that received no media attention at all…In those interviews, the boys described several instances of touching, including one where Geoghan soaped up one of the brothers in the shower…..“Father Geoghan came in and was standing and then was sitting on the toilet and looking at him through the curtains,’’ Coakley wrote in the two-page letter. “He stated that [Geoghan] gave him a back rub while he was in the shower soaping him up.’’….Coakley, in her interview with the Globe, said the touching described by the boys did not rise to the accepted definition of indecent assault because the brothers never said that Geoghan touched the parts of their bodies that a court would consider private.

Right on, Martha! And, according to the Boston Herald’s Holly Robichaud, ACORN’s 2008 scorecard rates Coakley an A+. Isn’t that reassuring?

“General” Coakley’s a real hack’s hack. How fitting that she will probably replace Ted Kennedy, hack of all hacks. (Oh, grow up, plenty of time has passed since his death–we can be honest again!) I’m sure the roto-writers of the Globe ran this story now because  they will probably endorse US Rep. Mike Capuano (Have the swallows returned to Capuano?) There is a reason that the “Morrissey Boulevard Bum-Kissers” (as the Herald’s Howie Carr calls them) would endorse Capuano: because his vacant Congressional seat paves the way for former Rep. Joe Kennedy’s son, Little Joe, grand-nephew of the late senior senator.

And then there’s Boston Celtics part-owner and former Bain Capital partner Steve Pagliuca. Make that Steve Alleypuka. He barfs me out! Yech! To stimulate the economy, he wants to raise the capital gains tax.

RAISE!! THE!! CAPITAL!! GAINS!! TAX!!

Maybe he means raise the UNEMPLOYMENT RATE!! What planet is this guy from?

And that’s just the Democrats. Now the Republicans who want to replace Kennedy: (You mean, there are Republicans in  Massachusetts? There are a few, yes.) There’s state senator Scott Brown.  His views are similar to those of John McCain and Bob Dole, if that’s any indication. He supported Willard Mitt Romney’s Mandatory Health Insurance Law. He “Voted to increase the use of clean energy biofuel in MA,” “consistently supported funds for town recycling programs,” “voted for statewide Climate Change standards to reduce pollution,” “led the effort to promote alternative energy vehicles,” etc., according to his website. Had enough? Although, he is pro-gun rights. Sounds a lot like John McCain. We sure do need another John McCain, don’t we?

If Sen. Brown leaves the state senate (not likely), that will leave 4 Republicans in the 40-member senate, and, if Sen. Richard Tisei is elected Lt. Governor next year, that will then make it 3 remaining Republicans. Don’t count on any new Republicans elected to the Massachusetts state senate next year.

And finally, let us not forget “frequent candidate” Jack E. Robinson. Robinson has Law and Business degrees from Harvard, an extensive entrepreneurial business career, but otherwise has typical Massachusetts crazy leftist views and a somewhat questionable personal history. Nothing unusual.

Where’s Carla Howell when you need her?

Things in this state won’t change very much any time soon, replacing hacks with more hacks who support more government control over everything imaginable. These candidates who want to replace Ted Kennedy have given a common message: “Move out of Massachusetts!”

Morality and Governmental Aggression

It is immoral for the state to forcibly confiscate privately owned wealth and property. That’s theft. If it is against civil society’s general rules of behavior for private citizens to forcibly take another citizen’s private wealth  or property, then the same guidelines for common civility and respect for rights to life, liberty and property should apply to the state.

The Declaration of Independence recognizes every individual’s rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” These are natural, inherent rights that we have as human beings. An individual has a right of ownership of one’s  physical actions including one’s physical and intellectual labor, prior to selling such labor to an employer or client or customer. When an individual does sell one’s labor in a mutually agreeable voluntarily exchange, the individual has a 100% absolute right to all of what one has received in that exchange, and a right to do with those “earnings” or “fruits of one’s labor” whatever one wishes, as long as one isn’t violating  another individual’s same rights. Therefore, any forcible confiscation of those “fruits of one’s labor” is not only theft, but involuntary servitude. You can rationalize it to your heart’s content, but that’s what it is, and it is immoral, period.

It is even more immoral for the government to forcibly take an individual’s wealth or property to fund programs which one believes to be immoral, including or maybe especially government’s foreign expansionist policies of military invasions and occupations, especially those that cause destruction and violence against innocent people. It is also immoral to force your neighbors to fund abortions that they believe to be the killing of innocent life.

One thing I’ve learned is to never believe politicians, because they are liars. It is the nature of those who are driven towards the use of political force to further social agendas or otherwise asserted goals. The state itself exists as a “compulsory monopoly” in “territorial protection,” in which everyone within the territory is compelled to rely on for protection and justice. As economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe has noted,

…once there is no longer free entry into the business of the production of protection and adjudication, the price of protection and justice will rise and their quality will fall. Rather than being a protector and judge, a compulsory monopolist will become a protection racketeer — the destroyer and invader of the people and property that he is supposed to protect, a warmonger, and an imperialist…

If the  individual has an inherent right to life and liberty, then one has an inherent right to opt out of such a system, especially when it has become as corrupt and invasive as it is now, and thoroughly disorganized and inefficient as it is now. You might say that well, if you don’t like the system as it is now, then go to some other area. However, within these territories (the geographical territories of the United States of America), each individual still has that inherent right to life and liberty, a right of sovereignty over one’s life, one’s property, one’s body, and actually has that inherent, god-given right to opt out of such a corrupt and invasive system.

There is too much dependence on centralized government, especially federal centralized government. Dependence on a “compulsory protection monopolist” is a very bad thing, what makes a society dysfunctional. The compulsory monopolist doesn’t worry about sustaining itself as do regular folks who rely on their customers’, consumers’ and clients’ voluntary patronage. No, the compulsory monopolist relies on taxation imposed on their “protected” clients who have been compelled into such a relationship. As Hoppe states,

It is absurd to believe that an agency that may tax without consent can be a property protector. Likewise, it is absurd to believe that an agency with legislative powers can preserve law and order….Indeed, no one in his right mind would agree to a contract that allowed one’s alleged protector to determine unilaterally, without one’s consent, and irrevocably, without the possibility of exit, how much to charge for protection; and no one in his right mind would agree to an irrevocable contract which granted one’s alleged protector the right to ultimate decision making regarding one’s own person and property…In fact, any such protection contract is not only empirically unlikely, but praxeologically impossible. By “agreeing to be taxed and legislated in order to be protected,” a person would in effect surrender, or alienate, all of his property to the taxing authority and submit himself into permanent slavery to the legislative agency.

This reliance on governmental force for protection is a big reason why government has grown so much, including the welfare state and the warfare state, the “military industrial complex.”

But getting back to my statement that politicians are liars and should not be believed, I have a theory that people go into government “work” because they have a compulsion to intrude into other people’s private lives, a compulsion for aggression, if you will. (Going into their neighbors’ home and rummaging through their personal belongings and their private documents etc. might be too conspicuous.)

Even Soldiers Should Exercise Their Right To Bear Arms

Regarding this Fort Hood shooting incident yesterday, I would like to know why there wasn’t someone around who was armed to shoot that guy after he shot his first victim, to prevent him from shooting the next forty or fifty that he shot. Soldiers are Americans, too, you know, and they should’ve been able to exercise their rights to bear arms and of self-defense. This is very similar to that Virginia Tech shooting.

And this is a military facility? Would the number of victims have been much fewer had this been private security training grounds? My guess is, yes. This fiasco may very well be another example of how we might be better off by privatizing our defense.

Many people assume that defense is just one of those areas that only government can or should do.

However, the government has been running our military and security, and look at how security at airports and other travel areas is still lax after 8 years following 9/11, and look at these military escapades abroad that are getting increasingly quagmirish and futile. That is because Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush turned defense into “offense,” and into incompetence, recklessness, and self-destruction. And we still don’t have protected borders, thanks to the more recent Bush and Barack Obama.

Hoppe: On the Impossibility of Limited Government and the Prospects for a Second American Revolution

This article by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, published last year by the Mises Institute, On the Impossibility of Limited Government and the Prospects for a Second American Revolution, is a very important albeit somewhat lengthy analysis and criticism of our Constitutional form of government, with suggestions on alternatives towards improving our society.

Hoppe views the Constitution itself as in error, and notes economists Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises on the subject of the government’s monopoly in the business of protecting the citizens:

According to Mises and Rothbard, once there is no longer free entry into the business of the production of protection and adjudication, the price of protection and justice will rise and their quality will fall. Rather than being a protector and judge, a compulsory monopolist will become a protection racketeer — the destroyer and invader of the people and property that he is supposed to protect, a warmonger, and an imperialist.

Hoppe notes:

Instead of a king who regarded colonial America as his private property and the colonists as his tenants, the Constitution put temporary and interchangeable caretakers in charge of the country’s monopoly of justice and protection.These caretakers did not own the country, but as long as they were in office, they could make use of it and its residents to their own and their protégés’ advantage. However, as elementary economic theory predicts, this institutional setup will not eliminate the self-interest-driven tendency of a monopolist of law and order toward increased exploitation.

Hoppe quotes from Rothbard’s book, Power and Market: Government and the Economy:

…while a private owner, secure in his property and owning its capital value, plans the use of his resource over a long period of time, the government official must milk the property as quickly as he can, since he has no security of ownership. … [G]overnment officials own the use of resources but not their capital value (except in the case of the “private property” of a hereditary monarch). When only the current use can be owned, but not the resource itself, there will quickly ensue uneconomic exhaustion of the resources, since it will be to no one’s benefit to conserve it over a period of time and to every owner’s advantage to use it up as quickly as possible. … The private individual, secure in his property and in his capital resource, can take the long view, for he wants to maintain the capital value of his resource. It is the government official who must take and run, who must plunder the property while he is still in command.

The constitution provides that “anyone” can work as government officials, from the president down to lower bureaucrats, and, over more than 200 years now, the moral objection to state-committed property theft by those government officials has declined, and because of that the society in general has degenerated. As Hoppe notes:

That is, open political competition favors aggressive, hence dangerous, rather than defensive, hence harmless, political talents and will thus lead to the cultivation and perfection of the peculiar skills of demagoguery, deception, lying, opportunism, corruption, and bribery. Therefore, entrance into and success within government will become increasingly impossible for anyone hampered by moral scruples against lying and stealing….As the Declaration of Independence noted, government is supposed to protect life, property, and the pursuit of happiness. Yet in granting government the power to tax and legislate without consent, the Constitution cannot possibly assure this goal but is instead the very instrument for invading and destroying the right to life, property, and liberty. It is absurd to believe that an agency that may tax without consent can be a property protector. Likewise, it is absurd to believe that an agency with legislative powers can preserve law and order….Indeed, no one in his right mind would agree to a contract that allowed one’s alleged protector to determine unilaterally, without one’s consent, and irrevocably, without the possibility of exit, how much to charge for protection; and no one in his right mind would agree to an irrevocable contract which granted one’s alleged protector the right to ultimate decision making regarding one’s own person and property…In fact, any such protection contract is not only empirically unlikely, but praxeologically impossible. By “agreeing to be taxed and legislated in order to be protected,” a person would in effect surrender, or alienate, all of his property to the taxing authority and submit himself into permanent slavery to the legislative agency.

Hoppe comprehensively explains his alternative to the status quo of the reliance on the state’s property and liberty protection monopoly: Insurance. Among the many aspects of this “protection insurance” discussion, Hoppe notes an important difference in the context of arms possession:

Because they are not subject to and bound by contracts, states typically outlaw the ownership of weapons by their “clients,” thus increasing their own security at the expense of rendering their alleged clients defenseless. In contrast, no voluntary buyer of protection insurance would agree to a contract that required him to surrender his right to self-defense and be unarmed or otherwise defenseless. To the contrary, insurance agencies would encourage the ownership of guns and other protective devices among their clients by means of selective price cuts, because the better the private protection of their clients, the lower the insurers’ protection and indemnification costs would be.

The article suggests a book worth reading on the subject: The Market For Liberty by Linda and Morris Tannehill.  Hoppe’s article, Private Law Society, expands on these concepts.

In my opinion, the one major contributor to the self-destruction of our society has been taxation. It has made possible our government’s immoral occupations and atrocities abroad. While most reasonable citizens would voluntarily pay to fund the means towards their own protection, they probably wouldn’t voluntarily pay for (or, do more labor for) the “democratizing,” protection of, or “nation-building” for people in other countries, unless they are masochists. Being forced to do so at the force of gunpoint is immoral.

Those who really consider themselves open-minded will probably seriously consider these alternatives. Hoppe also gives suggestions on how to make these changes in our society. I think it naive at best to believe that we will ever be more secure or more free or prosperous with the continuation of our system, as guided by the United States Constitution. It is not pessimistic but only realistic to believe that under the status quo the society will continue to decline, and we might have to start learning to speak Chinese.

Rewarding Failure And Punishing Success

Yesterday on his radio show, Michael Graham was discussing how some people were whining that the New England Patriots shouldn’t have won by so many points (59-0) over the Tennessee Titans, and that Tom Brady shouldn’t have been allowed to throw so many touchdown throws in one quarter. Graham brought up how in so many schools now, teachers and administrators are either stopping keeping score when it reaches so many points in sports, or just not keeping score altogether. Losing makes kids “feel bad.”

Unfortunately, what these goofballs are doing is taking the value of learning and benefitting from failure and loss away from the kids. It’s a self-destructive attitude. How could Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan have succeeded so much had they not had the benefit of learning from their earlier failures? You learn from failure and  make changes towards being more successful. That’s the value of failure.

When kids lose a game, they do certain things differently or improve on their weaknesses with the goal of scoring more points. Regardless of what the whiners and nincompoop parents and teachers believe, there is also a psychological benefit from achieving. Winning a game is a corrective experience from the failure of losing.

That whining nonsense goes with what has become an attitude of rewarding failures and incompetence (giving kids a “B” or an “A” when they should be getting a “C” or a “D” and then not knowing what’s going on in the next grade; banks lending to people who don’t qualify for loans, etc.) and punishing success (burdensome taxes and regulations, etc.). It comes from the resentment and envy by those who either can’t achieve or don’t try, towards those who do work hard and are successful and rewarded for their work.

The society is all backwards now, with rewarding failure and punishing success, where “ignorance is strength, war is peace, freedom is slavery.”

Ruining Our Country To Save The World

George Washington foresaw that “foreign entanglements” would be against America’s self-interests, and he meant US governmental foreign entanglements with other countries’ governments, although he encouraged Americans to engage in free trade with people in other countries.

Unfortunately, it may take a Lyndon Johnson-like Obama for supporters of our invasions, wars and occupations abroad to realize that military Big Government Statism not only goes against America’s integrity and Constitution, but goes against America’s own self-interests, those being protecting and preserving our freedom and prosperity.

40,000 more troops, 100,000 more or 500,000 more troops will not promote security or freedom in the Middle-East or in our country, in the long run, despite the fantasizing of the neocons and followers of the “Bush Doctrine.”

Whether we’re still fighting Al-Qaeda or the Taliban or whether we’re nation-building, our governmental and military intrusions abroad are intrusions. When we use governmental and military powers to “spread democracy,” those powers will be corrupted by special interests, and our presence in that region only incites more violence. People don’t like their territories being occupied. The only reason the “surge” of 2007 “worked” was that it pushed the terrorists back into Iran, Egypt or Saudi Arabia, or over to Pakistan, as we have seen now. We are not protecting America from terrorism.

How can we “spread democracy” abroad when the US has a one-party system of Democrat/Republican legally-protected political monopoly that locks out other parties and individuals from getting elected to public office?

We have been occupiers for many years in the Middle-East because of our dependence on their oil, and I am reiterating my suggestion that the states declare their Ninth and Tenth Amendment Rights and drill for oil and gas, and build nuclear power plants, and ignore all Federal laws and regulations regarding those activities.

America really has two choices. We can continue the path of self-destruction by continuing our governmental  “foreign entanglements” and campaigns abroad and risking further terrorism here, as well as growing our Big Government, Big deficits and Big Debts while further taxing ourselves to death and digging a grave for our freedom. Or we can go back to the Independence, Freedom and Prosperity we once had–that the professional politicians and bureaucrats have been stealing from us.

I have read carefully the treaty of Paris, and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem. It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.

—Mark Twain, New York Herald, Oct. 15, 1900