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Scott Lazarowitz's Blog Posts

We’re Better Off Without Joe Lieberman

Joe Lieberman announced his retirement from the U.S. senate, only 22 years too late. Glenn Greenwald has this complete overview of the senior ignoramus/war criminal from Connecticut, Joe Lieberman’s senate career, Lieberman’s dishonesty, ignorance of the Constitution and our inalienable rights, his arrogance and just how dangerously anti-Liberty, anti-American Lieberman has been. There’s nothing much more to add to it, except that it would be helpful to us and our freedom if Lieberman were to take the retirement immediately.

Here are some excerpts of Greenwald’s piece:

But the blood on Joe Lieberman’s hands is accounted for by far more than support for the Iraq War. He’s long been one of Washington’s most indiscriminate, toxic and deceitful supporters of aggressive war generally. Even as the two wars he cheered on were spiraling out of control, he was repeatedly urging new American attacks against Iran, Syria and, most recently, Yemen. Lieberman — who, needless to say, never served in the military nor have any of his children — devoted his entire career to attempting to send other Americans’ children to fight war after war after war. In sum, as The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Will Bunch put it when examining the muddled history of Lieberman’s opposition to the war in Vietnam: “the only war he ever opposed was the only war he might actually have had to fight in.” But, of course, being a relentless warmonger while cowardly hiding yourself and your family far away from the wars you cheer on is not remotely inconsistent with being a Man of Decency and Conscience, as David Brooks and his many Beltway admirers will be the first to tell you….

And then there’s the leading role Lieberman played in lending Democratic support to the whole litany of Bush/Cheney assaults on basic liberties. He defended the “Bush interrogation program” and even waterboarding, and was one of only two Democrats to vote against banning it. He led the way — along with his close friends John McCain and Lindsey Graham — in enacting the Military Commissions Act, which explicitly denied all detainees the right to contest their detention in a court of law: a measure so repressive that the Supreme Court in Boumediene struck it down as unconstitutional, citing Alexander Hamilton’s warning that “the practice of arbitrary imprisonments, in all ages, is the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny.” Once the Court re-established the habeas right which Lieberman and his comrades snuffed out, it turned out, as federal courts found, that there was no credible evidence to justify the detention of a huge percentage of remaining detainees at Guantanamo: innocent people who would have been imprisoned indefinitely to this day — without a shred of due process — if Lieberman had his way.

This “Democratic hero” has spent decades posing serious threats to basic liberties, including free speech. It was Lieberman who, just a few weeks ago, publicly threatened and bullied all companies to terminate their relationship with WikiLeaks despite its not even being charged with, let alone convicted of, any crime. That was just a repeat of his censoring behavior, two years earlier, when he successfully demanded that YouTube remove videos he disliked, causing The New York Times to editorialize: “it is profoundly disturbing that an influential senator would even consider telling a media company to shut down constitutionally protected speech.” …

Then there’s the bill introduced last year by Lieberman and McCain — the so-called “Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention and Prosecution Act” — which is probably the single most extremist, tyrannical and dangerous bill introduced in the U.S. Senate in the last several decades, far beyond the horrific, habeas-abolishing Military Commissions Act. It would literally empower the President to imprison anyone he wants in his sole discretion by simply decreeing them a Terrorist suspect — including American citizens arrested on U.S. soil. The bill requires that all such individuals be placed in military custody, and explicitly says that they “may be detained without criminal charges and without trial for the duration of hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners,” which everyone expects to last decades, at least. It’s basically a bill designed to formally authorize what the Bush administration did to American citizen Jose Padilla or what was done to Japanese-Americans during World War II — arrest them on U.S. soil and imprison them for years in military custody with no charges.

As for Lieberman’s Principled Integrity, just consider this article from The Hill yesterday, which describes how the Connecticut Senator has been so loyal to defense contractors that they are lamenting that he’ll be “hard to replace.” And then there’s the matter of his virulent servitude to the health insurance industry placed next to his wife’s “professional lifetime devoted to the corporate health sector.” And, needless to say, he was the receipient of millions of dollars from the industries he so loyally served. (Full article…)

‘Vitriolic Rhetoric’ vs. Government’s Aggression

January 20, 2011

© 2011 (Link to article)

Following the shootings in Arizona by a lunatic, there were calls to “tone down the rhetoric” politically, with references to the past year’s “vitriolic” anger and activism expressed by many among the Tea Party movement and by those who generally oppose the federal government’s agenda. There have been criticisms of “violent metaphors,” such as those used by Sarah Palin who was “targeting” various candidates in the November 2010 elections, with bull’s-eyes drawn on maps of targeted districts, and so on. Some have criticized the current bill to repeal ObamaCare, because of the repeal bill’s title, “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act,” because it has the word “killing” in the title, and the bill’s critics remind us just how ridiculous and nutty today’s political correctness has become.

So, “Tone down the rhetoric,” they say. This reminds me of those annoying commercials with James Lehman, the child behavioral therapist whose product attempts to help people deal with their “backtalking” and “defiant” kids. His books and CDs teach parents how to control their kids’ behavior. (Apparently, some people like the product and some don’t.) And this is exactly how the elitists in Washington sound, the ones who don’t want to hear the “defiance” and “backtalking” of the people who are opposed to one intrusion after another by the government into our private lives and businesses. We are being disobedient to the feds’ authority, and they and their apologists don’t like it.

Well, I have news for them: They are the ones who have been disobedient, and it is up to “We the People” to control the bureaucrats’ aggressive acts of legislation, their bills and laws, policies and unconstitutional programs and procedures that are constantly limiting our freedom, speech, commerce and associations. It is our representatives in Washington who have been defiant of the Americans’ will, such as how the DC elitists rammed the ObamaCare bill through with no discussion and no debate, despite many Americans being opposed to that legislation. That was the epitome of how spoiled rotten and “disobedient” the bureaucrats in Washington have become!

The little dictators in Washington give more dictatorial orders than most 20th Century fascists had done. Americans need to exercise their inalienable rights of free speech to protest, as long as it’s peaceful. In general, people who love and cherish Liberty are peaceful, and don’t believe that using aggression is the way to solve problems. In contrast, it is those Washington elitists, whose very intrusions require the use of physical aggression by their enforcers to carry out their agenda, who are the truly violent ones. They are not peaceful. And many of these elitists do not like the people’s defiance of their aggressive rules and dictates, and they are the ones who become vitriolic in response to the “defiance and disobedience” of people who want their freedom restored.

One recent example of those elitists who become emotional toward a mere questioning or challenging of their views was Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell in his appearance with Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes. When Stahl challenged Rendell’s views supporting bringing slot machines to the state, he became enraged in his response, growling “You guys don’t get that. You are simpletons. You are idiots if you don’t get that!” Unfortunately for us, Rendell is one of many government bureaucrat elitists who angrily believe that we Americans don’t know what’s best for us, and that we are in need of centralized government bureaucrats to rule over us, and that we must obey their commands. We are their “disobedient, backtalking children” in need of their scolding, their unquestioned authority.

Defiance toward authority – the citizens’ defiance of the government’s orders – is not a bad thing, it is not “violent.” Defiance is resisting the orders of those authorities, when they have no business, no constitutional authority, and most important, no moral right to issue those orders especially with punishments given to those who defy them. I’d like to see doctors and patients – and insurers – be defiant to and nullify the arbitrary rules and regulations and mandates of not only ObamaCare, but all other medical-related commands from the feds. I’d like to see patients and medical providers establish their own voluntary contracts and associations amongst themselves and deliberately bar the government from their private matters. Most sensible people don’t like their medical privacy violated, their money taken and their independence and freedom of choice stolen from them. Americans need to say to the government, “Who the hell are you to tell me what kind of medical care I may receive, how much I may pay and which doctors I may be associated with!”

In his Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson details the complaints the American Founders had of their British ruler, and among the complaints, Jefferson notes,

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

Could there be any better description of ObamaCare and the new Dodd financial regulatory bureaucracy? Those new laws, thousands of pages long that almost none of our representatives have actually read, are creating hundreds of new bureaucracies, mandates and taxes that will do nothing but “harass our people and eat out their substance.”

This brings me to the subject of America’s government-forced energy dependence, dependence on foreign oil and the many restrictions on our lives to freely and inexpensively move from one place to another, restrictions imposed by green extremists and corporate-State profiteers in the name of “environmentalism.”

You see, the real problem is not as much Americans’ dependence on foreign oil as it is Americans’ dependence on our government’s control over our energy needs. What would we do if there is a repeat of the 1973 oil embargo that forced us to wait in long lines at the pump? After all, one of these days the Saudis and the Iraqis will have enough oil contracts with China and Russia and others that those oil-producing Middle-Eastern countries won’t even need to do business with the U.S., certainly not with our totally debased dollar. How will Americans then be able to fuel their vehicles to get to work, in order to be productive and keep the economy growing?

More citizen disobedience and nullification of the federal government is in order in this area of life.

The American people need to forget about whether or not the federal government approves of states’ drilling for oil and gas, and the states need to just do it anyway. The inhabitants of each of the U.S. states have a God-given right to explore, discover and utilize any natural resources that exist on or within their lands. If the feds begin to fine states that disobey federal energy and environmental regulations, or send in the military to force states to stop drilling or send defiant citizens and businessmen to jail, then the states need to take the issue to the Supreme Court, and/or declare their Tenth Amendment rights to allow access to energy resources on their own lands to their inhabitants, whose means of livelihoods the federal government has been obstructing.

Instead of “promoting the general welfare,” which the government is supposed to do, the centralized bureaucrats, with their control over energy and their monopoly in territorial protection, have not only continued the destructive, forced dependence on foreign oil, but have been provoking foreigners abroad, including a 20-year war against Iraq, started by President George H.W. Bush, and literally wrecking that country, as well as their war that is destroying Afghanistan. These politicians have been radicalizing the Muslims of those lands to turn against Americans, and making us less safe, as well as more dependent!

Also in his Declaration, Jefferson noted

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, – That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…

The centralized DC bureaucracy’s destructive monopoly of territorial protection, and preventing Americans from utilizing natural resources on their own lands and forcing Americans to be “dependent on foreign oil,” are not only inhibitive of Americans’ maximizing productivity and raising their standard of living, but destructive of Americans’ security as well. The U.S. government has been destructive of Americans’ security through the blowback of its trespassing on foreign lands with hundreds of military bases especially since World War II, and starting wars against foreign peoples who were of no threat to the U.S., and by its constant interferences and intrusions into the private matters of foreign countries.

Now, to return to those complainers of “vitriolic rhetoric,” it is necessary to point out how we are constantly hearing the left and the unions declaring, “Stand up for your rights!” However, the “rights” to which they refer are “positive” rights, made up out of whole cloth, and are not really rights. They are actually referring to – admittedly or not – people standing up for their demands for other people’s wealth and property, via taxation, regulations and other State-imposed intrusions and restrictions on the otherwise peaceful activities of others.

In terms of actual “rights,” people have natural, inherent rights as human beings, among them the right to own their lives and establish voluntary associations and contracts with others, in their personal lives and in business. Human beings have a right to be free from the aggressions of others, the right to defend themselves from the aggressions of others, and, as the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, the right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects.”

People have a right to not be bound by any contracts or arrangements they did not voluntarily agree to be a part of, and are not morally obligated to obey the dictates of central authorities in Washington. The 19th-Century individualist and entrepreneur Lysander Spooner explained that in his great work, No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority, and, more recently, economic historian Thomas Woods explains this in his highly acclaimed book, Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century.

Those who oppose the natural rights of human beings to be free and to control their own lives and property, those and who demand that Americans be enslaved by Washington elitists, are against freedom and mainly just love the central State, pure and simple. Those who have been expressing the most childish intolerance of “vitriolic rhetoric” are really just intolerant of opposing views and of dissent from the intrusive power of the State. The statists are unwilling or unable to tolerate people who stand up for themselves, their lives and their property and who are trying to protect themselves from the aggression and violence of the State.

The intolerant ones who promote unchecked State power are the ones that child behavioral therapist James Lehman should be treating. They are the ones who should be sent to their rooms and made to stand in the corner, and made to study the Declaration of Independence, the Anti-Federalist papers and the speeches and writings of Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. It is actually the states who are supposed to be the parent, and the bureaucrats in DC those parents’ children, or better, the states are the boss and the federal government their employee. Unfortunately, Americans have allowed that to be turned around, with the bureaucrats becoming not just authoritarian bosses, but full-fledged totalitarian tyrants and dictators, and the people their slaves and prisoners.

The people need to continue to express their anger, their frustration, and yes, their vitriol when it’s called for, and protest against the government bully, as long as such protests are peaceful. The people must make use of their First Amendment rights and adopt the same kinds of civilized, peaceful, non-violent protests as the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. did, with words, signs, symbols, blogs, articles, rallies, pickets and marches.

The government and its aggressive intrusions are the biggest threats against us, not “vitriolic rhetoric.”

The Predator State

The recent interview of Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell by Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes was quite revealing and gave us a good glimpse into the true motivations of State ministers and how they think and operate. The issue was Pennsylvania’s gambling casinos and slots that Rendell had put in place as governor as a means of collecting more revenues for the state, especially as an aid to reduce property taxes. But there has been a problem of “gambling addiction,” in which some people are losing their entire paychecks and more because they can’t control their gambling habits.

Now, I believe in personal responsibility and free will, and that it’s up to the individual to control one’s behavior and habits. If you lost your whole paycheck on gambling, then YOU lost your whole paycheck, not the gambling and not the slot machines.

But when Stahl pressed Rendell on the point that the state is taking advantage of people’s weaknesses, Rendell lost his cool, and angrily called Stahl and her producers “simpletons” and “idiots” because he couldn’t get it across to her that people were going to lose their money anyway, gambling at other places. So here is how that conversation went (as transcribed at the CBS News website):

“You brought these casinos to the state. Do you ever just say to yourself, ‘Oh, my God, there are a lotta people who are suffering. And they’re taking whatever money they have…,” Stahl asked Pennsylvania’s Ed Rendell. “…and they’re throwing it away in these casinos.’ And do you ever just say…’Oh, what have I done?’”

“You don’t listen. Anyone who has that bent would be doing it in other places had Pennsylvania not legalized gambling,” Rendell argued.

“The counter argument is that you’re creating new gamblers. And lots of new gamblers,” Stahl said.

“We’re not creating new gamblers,” Rendell replied.

“Well, ’cause it’s down the street,” Stahl said.

“Those people play the lottery. They bet on football. How much money is bet on the Super Bowl,” Rendell said.

“People are losing money for the state to get its revenue. They’re losing money,” Stahl said.

“Let me answer this. I’ve known of for two or three decades, you’re a very smart person,” Rendell said.

“But not now,” Stahl remarked.

“But you’re not getting it,” Rendell replied.

“I’m dumb now,” Stahl said.

“You’re not getting it. Those people would lose that money anyway. Don’t you understand?” Rendell replied.

Our pressing him on this point led to an angry response from Rendell: “You guys don’t get that. You’re simpletons. You’re idiots if you don’t get that!”

We couldn’t figure out why all the emotion. But his main point was that gambling is good entertainment, and people should be allowed to make their own decisions about it. But since the first casino opened in Pennsylvania five years ago, calls to gambling addiction hotlines in the state have tripled…

So, Gov. Rendell is trying to say that, because people are going to lose their money anyway at other gambling establishments, then they might as well lose it under state control, and let the state take advantage of those revenues. In other words, rather than thinking, “Hmmm, if people are gambling too much and losing their money, then maybe we should be doing something to discourage them from doing so, or even helping them to overcome their problem.” Instead, his thinking exemplifies how the State preys on others, as the State searches for new ways, ethical or not, to suck in more money to fund all the state’s extra agencies, bureaus, commissions, all the important administrators, the assistant administrators, the assistant to the assistant administrators and liaisons whose main importance is soliciting campaign contributions for the high ministers’ and chairmen’s and very important office-holders’ reelection campaigns.

Given how IMPORTANT it is that the state rake in as much of middle-class workers’ and producers’ wealth and property, one can see why Rendell would become so angry when questioned about it.

Here is the link to the full CBS News video of Leslie Stahl’s story. The Rendell interview is about 2/3 into the story.

The Bureaucrats’ Emotional Reaction to Shootings: Stifle Dissent and Suppress Liberty

As usual, the hysterical nudniks are coming out of the woodwork, in their solely emotional reactions to the recent Arizona shootings, with their calls to censor more speech, and disarm the population. Washington, DC is the center of irrationality and legislative, violent tirades against our Liberty.

According to The Hill, Rep.Robert Brady is going to submit legislation that would “make it a federal crime to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a federal official or member of Congress.” On the Activist Post blog, Milo Nickels points out that

The language (or symbols) doesn’t have to be threatening or actually incite violence.  It doesn’t even have to be perceived that way.  If it could be perceived that way–through the widest, loosest, and irrational interpretations imaginable–that is sufficient to charge someone with a federal crime.  This kind of broad, widely subjective legislation would make it potentially illegal to disagree with the government about anything.

However, there are many laws, policies, ordinances and so on that are so broad that just about any speech could be taken as a threat to someone. But it’s never enough to these imbeciles in Washington, who really don’t understand the idea that we all have an inherent right to freedom of speech and the right to criticize government officials using whatever language we choose, and they don’t understand the idea that individuals should be responsible for the consequences of their actions. (i.e. the shooter, and not something he read or heard, is responsible for his own choosing to shoot people, by his own free will.) It seems that these politicians in Washington (and elsewhere) are so insecure, so in need of the public’s adulation and state-worship, that the littlest thing is perceived as a threat — not to their lives or their persons, but to their egos, so fragile, so easily shattered. That is why they want to censor the Internet, and that is why they want to prosecute people for criticizing them.

Take Joe Lieberman and Elena Kagan.* Now, I’ve mentioned those two here in this space several times, and some people think that I have expressed “vitriolic rhetoric” toward them (as well as Nancy Smelgrosi and Harry Reek). And they are correct, I have done that. But I certainly haven’t threatened them, nor would I do that. On the contrary, it is they who actually threaten me and each and every one of us non-government “mundanes” (as William Grigg would say).

For example, Joe Lieberman has submitted legislation to be able to remove citizenship and have deported (to where?) Americans who are suspected by the government to be “terrorists,” or terrorist supporters, but not convicted of anything, not even tried or charged, so he wants to do that to someone without a trial, without Due Process. Lieberman does not seem to understand the idea of presumption of innocence and Due Process. The right to presumption of innocence and the right to Due Process are basic, inherent, inalienable rights that all human beings have. Joe Lieberman needs to understand what the Founding Fathers understood, that if you give any agent of the State the power to just make a determination out of thin air, based on nothing but his own whim or his own personal judgment, that power will be abused, as it has already been in these years of the “War on Terror,” in which the Bush Administration knowingly apprehended and detained totally innocent individuals. That is a disgusting abuse of government power, and Joe Lieberman supports all those anti-Liberty policies, and he wants to expand them. I have addressed this in my “Tea Partiers May Need the ACLU Soon.”

And most informed, rational people know that the real reason that Joe Lieberman wants to shut down the Internet with his “Kill Switch” is to stifle political dissent. Totalitarians do not like dissent, and that is what they do to it: crush anyone who not only disagrees with them, but who even questions them, questions their authority. (Remember “Question Authority” from the 1960s and 1970s? Those same leftists got themselves into power, into positions of authority, and here they are now, they don’t like their authority being questioned, Obama, Cass Sunstein, Dianne Larryfinestein, etc.)

In her devotion to authoritarian executive power, Elena Caveman Kagan has supported and defended the aforementioned Obama policies of indefinite detention, giving the president the power to assassinate anyone he pleases and label anyone as an “enemy combatant” at his own whim, without any Due Process, and she clearly opposes the idea of natural rights, that we as human beings have inalienable, natural rights, and she opposes the idea that individuals have a natural right of self-defense. “Arm the State – disarm the citizenry,” she might as well say.

In other words, what we have been seeing now has been, in their emotional reaction to events such as 9/11 or the recent Arizona shootings, these government reactionaries would have ME arrested for simply pointing out how dangerous these officials are to our Liberty. THEY are the ones who are the threat, literally. That’s why I’m bringing all this up again. And, speaking of our God-given right to bear arms, and right to self-defense, now Rep. Peter King (R-Nutsville), who at one time was apparently on the side of actual terrorists in Northern Ireland but who seems to want to persecute Muslims, wants to make it a federal crime if one happens to be armed within 1,000 feet of any federal official. That’s absurd. What if some federal official, a congressman or judge or some State Department flunky, happens to be out walking along some street and some guy who happens to be armed is nearby, right there he is committing a federal crime, according to King. And Nazi New York Mayor Michael Bloomjerk agrees with King:

Yesterday everyone here joined in observing a moment of silence on behalf of the victims of the shooting, and today we come together to speak up for ways to prevent tragedies like this from occurring in the future, by adopting commonsense fixes to some of our broken gun laws.

By “commonsense,” Nazi Bloomjerk means “disarm honest, law-abiding citizens, and keep the criminals and the agents of the State armed.” Obviously, Bloomjerk hasn’t read John Lott’s book, More Guns, Less Crime. In the cities with more gun control, there is more crime, and where there is more gun freedom, there is less crime. That is because actual criminals don’t obey laws, duh, and so obviously they’re not going to obey gun laws, either. But when they know that there’s a good chance that their potential victim may be armed, the criminals will more likely choose to not commit their criminal acts. Now, that’s the real common sense. And if someone in that crowd at the Giffords event was armed, as soon as it was clear that some lunatic was shooting, the armed citizen could have immediately shot the shooter, and there would only have been one or two dead or injured people, rather than six dead people and 14 wounded. Unfortunately, some people just don’t like the idea of the individual’s right to be armed, in self defense, and in the defense of others. The authoritarians and totalitarians believe strongly in arming the State and disarming the citizenry.

Decentralizing Our Water Resolves the Fluoridation Question (and Other Dilemmas)

January 10, 2011

© 2011 (Link to article)

This past Friday on the talk shows, Jason Lewis and Mark Levin were both discussing the controversy of fluoridation of the public water supplies, and Robert Wenzel linked to an AP story, and to an article by Murray Rothbard. Some people are saying that critics of water fluoridation are “conspiracy theorists.” Rothbard points out the early politicization of water fluoridation, and refers to fluoride as a “highly toxic and probably carcinogenic substance.” Now, given Rothbard’s credibility as an overly conscientious practitioner of truth and verification in economics, history, science and so on, I trust Rothbard’s judgment on any subject about which he had written.

And for further reading on fluoride, I very much suggest Dr. Donald Miller’s 2005 article, Fluoride Follies, and his more recent one, Fighting Fluoride from last November. And I trust Dr. Miller’s expertise and judgment, too, given that he is the head of cardiothoracic surgery at Seattle VA Medical Center and a professor of surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and is a prestigious heart transplant surgeon. He is very thorough in his extensive research on these issues, and regarding the importance of Vitamin D especially.

But to me, the question isn’t whether or not the State – local municipalities, state governments or the federal government – should or should not fluoridate the water, or add any particular chemicals to the water. To me, the question is whether the State has any legitimate role in water (or any other “utilities”) whatsoever. The answer, quite frankly, is no. As I wrote in this blog post last May, collectivization of the water supply is a bad idea:

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

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

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

Collectivism sucks.

And not only is collectivization and State control over the water supply a bad idea, it is a very dangerous idea. We have been seeing in the past year especially how governments, in our case the U.S. government, can tyrannize and oppress their own people, through the Nazi TSA in the airports, through ObamaCare’s government control over an entire population’s critical, private health matters, and through phony insider trading laws and other tyrannical, stifling financial and business regulations. But, while most Americans are not aware of the way that foreign governments have used their power over the collective water supplies to oppress their own people (because most Americans rely on the misinformed mainstream media for their news), Americans should be informed as to not only what the government of Israel has been doing to the people of Gaza regarding its control of their water, but further back in time to the 1990s, what the U.S. government had done to the people of Iraq regarding their water supply.

More recently, during and after the December 2008–January 2009 war between the Israeli military and Hamas (which has been ruling Gaza since 2006), the Israeli military had severely damaged the Gaza water and sewage treatment facilities that to this day have still not been returned to full functioning capacity, and the 1 million-plus population of the Gaza Strip have been forced to use untreated water. Through its paranoid and sadistic blockade of Gaza, the Israeli government has been preventing construction supplies from reaching Gaza to fix the water and sewage treatment facilities, and worse, the Israeli government has been literally preventing the Gaza population from being able to travel outside of Gaza to areas such as Jerusalem to receive medical treatment.

Most Americans do not know these things, because the American media get their information from the Israeli media who get their information from the Israeli government. But had there been actual freedom in Israel and Gaza, and private property ownership and property rights being allowed to occur, allowed by both the Israeli government and Gaza’s Hamas (and by “allowed,” I mean “not violated, not trespassed” by their governments), each property where residents live and where businesses are located would be privately owned, people would be protected based on laws against trespass and other property intrusions, and most important as is relevant here, each parcel of property would have its own private well, controlled by the owner(s) of the property. That way, no government agents as well as no other people in general may tamper with individual private property owners’ water supply. Instead, at least in Israel, what we have is a government using the population’s dependence on the government’s stronghold over the “public” water supply as a weapon. That’s just barbaric.

The situation during the 1990s was very similar in Iraq, as far as how the U.S. government treated the people of Iraq after deliberately bombing their electricity and water and sewage treatment facilities. Through the U.S. government’s control and sanctions that prevented reconstruction of those facilities to occur, the population of Iraq were forced to use untreated water. That was followed throughout the ‘90s by a dramatic increase in diseases such as gastroenteritis, cholera and typhoid, and skyrocketing child mortality and cancer rates, which was the U.S. military’s intention. Typical of our modern government bureaucrat ignoramuses, then-Secretary of State Madeline Albright stated on 60 Minutes that such diseases and deaths of over 500,000 Iraqis, many of them children, were “worth it” as a means of regime change and ousting then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, which the then-U.S. regime didn’t even do.

Is my bringing up these actual historical events being a “conspiracy theorist?” Hardly.

So, whether or not the government deliberately puts fluoride into our public water supplies, and whether or not fluoride is a good or bad thing for us or for kids’ teeth, I think that government control over our water, and making us all dependent on the government for our water has been a bad idea, and is potentially dangerous. Given what the U.S. government has done to the people of Iraq, and what the Israeli government has done to the people of Gaza, do not discount the possibility that our own government could actually take advantage of its control over our water for devious purposes.

Reading the Constitution in Congress and Raising the Debt Ceiling

So, the congressman who wants to play “Constitution Reading Aloud,” Rep. Bob Goodlatte, supported Internet censorship even though the Supreme Court overturned his own Internet censorship bill, and tells Lawrence O’Donnell that he doesn’t know where in the Constitution the minimum wage is authorized. Yes, the GOP: “Grand Old Pinheads.” So let’s be symbolic now, and waste time in Congress reading the Constitution. Ooooo, what fun. As I noted a few days ago, since when do the Republijerks care about the Constitution, especially when so many of them have supported one government violation after another of due process, the presumption of innocence, the right to be free from warrantless searches and the right to be free from self-incrimination, and the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment? The Demojerks are just as bad.

The Constitution is not that great a thing to have, anyway. All it does is automatically empower the federal government over the states and thereby reverses the idea that the states are the boss and the federal government is their “employee,” so to speak. The Constitution reverses that philosophy and makes the states subservient to the federal government, and makes the people the subjects and slaves of the centralized bureaucracy.

How about reading the Declaration of Independence? Have these nudnik ignoramuses in DC ever heard of that thing? It’s actually the Declaration of Independence that recognizes the inherent rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that all individuals have — and those are individual rights, not collective rights. The Declaration protects the rights of the individual, while the Constitution actually cancels out those inherent, inalienable rights. And also, the Declaration encourages the people to abolish the federal government when it becomes destructive of their Liberty (which it has been for well over a century now). I don’t think the Constitution does that. Oh well.

And as Jacob Hornberger noted yesterday regarding the debt ceiling, I think that we will see which members of the “cutting spending” blowhards will actually put their money where their loud mouths are when the vote whether to raise the debt ceiling comes up. When Congress votes to raise the debt ceiling, they will be telling us that they don’t believe in responsible governance, that they don’t believe in cutting pork out of budgets and they don’t care about their grandchildren’s future or our grandchildren’s future.

However, these people in Washington, whose most commonly spoken words are “oink, oink,” merely reflect Americans’ habits in general. For many, many decades, Americans by and large have made “saving for the future” an idea to be found in ancient history. Nobody saves, not really, they have been spending like drunken sailors, and the congressjerks are merely representing such an immediate-gratification oriented population that America has become.

Gary Johnson, the Statist Alternative to Libertarian Ron Paul

I have seen a few libertarian websites recently expressing either discouragement of Ron Paul’s candidacy for president, or just not supporting him and preferring Gary Johnson. Gary Johnson is what I call “statist lite,” and may have a somewhat good record as governor but his positions on the issues are not quite libertarian. And I don’t mean that he has to be a “pure, uncompromisingly principled libertarian,” because even Ron Paul isn’t that (e.g. immigration socialism, “secure our borders” by trusting the government to do that!, and only legalize drugs on a federal level but state governments can continue ownership of people’s bodies and dictate to them what chemicals to ingest, etc. etc.).

While I call Gary Johnson “statist lite,” Robert Wenzel has referred to him as a “lightweight libertarian.” Johnson is a “cost-benefit analysis” statist. Government programs should be determined on their “cost-benefit analysis,” their social costs, but as Wenzel points out in referencing Murray Rothbard, costs are subjective to the individual. Social costs, shmocial costs, in my opinion. We should be determining government programs by determining that they shouldn’t even exist, because it is impossible for any government programs to be run efficiently without any incentive to compete in an open marketplace.

In advancing his “lite” statism, Johnson favors the “Fair Tax,” which will hurt the poor the most, and which also gives the federal government the power to intrude in the private contracts between buyers and sellers on a federal level in addition to the state level. He also doesn’t want to get rid of the government-controlled Federal Reserve System and centralized banking cartel, which allows the counterfeiting of worthless dollars to be distributed to the banksters while causing inflation for the rest of us. Johnson believes the Fed can be “managed effectively,” i.e. he believes in monetary central planning. Because of monetary central planning, we have the economic situation that we have today.

Gary Johnson also wants to keep Gitmo open! (For the political dissenters who will be rounded up now that the military has the power to do that for our Dear Leader.) He wants to cut “43%” of the military budget, but I don’t think he wants to close all the trespassing foreign U.S. military bases, and bring all the troops home (and let them work in the private sector being productive rather than being placed overseas murdering and destroying the lives of productive people over there). And Johnson supports the idea of “humanitarian wars.” i.e. he’s an interventionist.

Legalize drugs, but only some of them. He doesn’t really understand that there’s a principle involved in that issue, that of self-ownership and that if an individual owns one’s own body, then he has a right to decide what chemicals to put into it. Giving the government the power to decide for you — at the point of a gun — what chemicals to put into your own body is giving the government ownership of your body. It also undermines the idea of personal responsibility. Some people just don’t like the idea of having the freedom to take responsibility for the consequences of one’s decisions and choices.

While he didn’t mention Gary Johnson in this post, Charles Burris referred to the two visions of libertarianism, the principled one of Ron Paul vs. what I have called the “statist lite” one, the one that Burris described as “consequentialist, cost-benefit analysis, rather than rights-based.” In my opinion, let Gary Johnson represent the statist “Libertarian” Party. They’re right for each other. Like Bob Barr who recently endorsed Newt Gingrich (barf).

And Robert Wenzel also had this post about Gary Johnson last April, with a link to this video of Johnson speaking at a 2008 Ron Paul Rally. Wenzel notes:

Of note, he said that he takes a common sense business approach toward government and that he wanted to make government more efficient. You would never catch Ron Paul saying such a thing. And it clearly suggests that Johnson has either never read, or perhaps never understood, Friedrich Hayek’s Road to Serfdom, which warned that the rise of tyrants is often based on the fact that those tyrants call for more efficient government. Freedom lovers don’t want more efficient government, they want less government, a lot less.
He then explained how, while he was governor, the number of government employees declined by one thousand, but then he said, and seemed to be proud of this, and I remind you he said this to as hardcore a libertarian audience as you are likely to get in front of, that he did not fire any government employees. He was clearly tone deaf to this audience, where not firing government employees should not be carried around as a badge of honor.

He then took pride in the fact that he privatized prisons. There’s a number of problems with bringing this up to a libertarian crowd. The first being that most libertarians think there are too many people in prison that shouldn’t be there. Johnson may understand this view somewhat because he is against the criminalization of marijuana, but, if so, why is he bragging about making the prison system more efficient?…

He went on to tell this crowd that he was responsible for raising penalties for driving under the influence. This means he isn’t thinking about driving under the influence the way liberty advocate Lew Rockwell does on that topic.

Johnson also said he had “cut the growth of government” in New Mexico, which everyone in that libertarian crowd would know means that he INCREASED the size of government.
Most remarkably, he said he was against the Fed, and then went on to say that he was in favor of a strong dollar, indicating he has no clue that the end of the Fed most likely means the end of the dollar as the medium of exchange, that it may mean competing currencies and most likely a return to gold as money.

See Jacob Hornberger on libertarianism vs. statism.

Restore Order in the Cities with Freedom

Yesterday Mark Steyn was filling in for Rush Limbaugh and he was discussing the Business Insider story of the 16 U.S. cities facing bankruptcy, and several of them are located in California, which itself is facing bankruptcy. And Steyn was asking, well if a city such as San Diego needs to be “bailed out,” how can nearly-bankrupt California possibly bail out San Diego, and so who is going to bail out California? And so on. That means that the debt-ridden federal government would have to bail out Commiefornia and its bankrupt cities? How absurd is all this stuff? This is a truly sick, dysfunctional country, when city, state and federal governments usurp so much control over community life and steal more and more private wealth and property away from the workers and business people, when organizations unionize and use collective might and intimidation to get city councils, state legislatures, governors and congressjerks to seize such control away from private individuals and businesses. These mob-ruling selfish parasites are literally turning America into a Third World tyranny.

One major problem, besides the usurpation of individual rights and confiscation of private property through taxation and regulation of course, is the centralization of government, not just nationally in Washington but in each state in which the state government has grown like a balloon about to explode and in the big cities in which the city government is becoming so tyrannical it is literally pushing the productive Middle Class and businesses out to the more “red” cities (as in “red state”), i.e. freer cities and states. Take New York City. Please. Rush Limbaugh isn’t the only one with any sense who has left NYC (and California for that matter) — those who don’t like being picked up and turned upside down and shaken down for every last cent by the greedy Mayor Bloomberg (and his fellow communist flunkies) are leaving in droves.

The more people who are fleeing these big communist cities, the less wealth there is for the politicians to steal from them. When you allow people in power to take your wealth and property, rather than requiring them to acquire such income through voluntary trade and contracts, you are removing from them the incentive to budget their incomes and treasury wisely and responsibly. And when you allow the governments to have monopolies that restrict the right of others to do business in whatever endeavor that has been monopolized, you are removing from them the incentive to serve their “customers” which is reinforced through competition.

In recent interviews Congressman Ron Paul has addressed the “moral hazard” of the monopoly that the Federal Reserve has in our monetary system, in which Americans are compelled by law to use the constantly value-crashing dollar for trade and commerce, while competitive currencies and the people’s right to use other means of trade and commerce are restricted by law. (Robert Wenzel has a post today, in which he thinks The Bernank is going to print more money in response to city protests and riots in the near future, so that with more phony money the cities won’t have to make any cuts in budgets.)

We are experiencing the same kind of “moral hazard” from other forms of government-monopolizations besides the Fed’s money scheme, such as in law and judicial decision-making, local policing of communities and territorial protection, among other activities that federal, state and local governments have usurped from the people. The “moral hazard” in the cities has also been exacerbated through cultural and ethnic collectivization and politicization, in which the traditional family has been torn apart by the welfare state’s discouragement of personal responsibility. Hans-Hermann Hoppe has addressed these issues in his book, Democracy: The God That Failed, and in many other writings including his 2005 article The Rise and Fall of the City:

With the upper class and the merchants leaving in larger numbers, however, one of the last remaining civilizing forces will be weakened, and what is left behind in the cities will represent an increasingly negative selection of the population: of government bureaucrats who work but no longer live there, and of the lowlifes and the social outcasts of all tribes and races who live there yet who increasingly do not work but survive on welfare. (Just think of Washington, DC.)…

Rather than regarding intra-family or -household matters…as no one else’s business to be judged and arbitrated within the family by the head of the household or family members, once a judicial monopoly has been established, its agents — the government — also become and will naturally strive to expand their role as judge and arbitrator of last resort in all family matters. To gain popular support for its role the government (besides playing one tribe, race, or social class against another) will likewise promote divisiveness within the family: between the sexes — husbands and wives — and the generations — parents and children. Once again, this will be particularly noticeable in the big cities.

Every form of government welfare — the compulsory wealth or income transfer from “haves” to “have nots” lowers the value of a person’s membership in an extended family-household system as a social system of mutual cooperation and help and assistance. Marriage loses value. For parents the value and importance of a “good” upbringing (education) of their own children is reduced. Correspondingly, for children less value will be attached and less respect paid to their own parents. Owing to the high concentration of welfare recipients, in the big cities family disintegration is already well advanced. In appealing to gender and generation (age) as a source of political support and promoting and enacting sex (gender) and family legislation, invariably the authority of heads of families and households and the “natural” intergenerational hierarchy within families is weakened and the value of a multi-generational family as the basic unit of human society diminished.

Indeed, as should be clear, as soon as the government’s law and legislation supersedes family law and legislation (including interfamily arrangements in conjunction with marriages, joint-family offspring, inheritance, etc.), the value and importance of the institution of a family can only be systematically eroded. For what is a family if it cannot even find and provide for its own internal law and order! At the same time, as should be clear as well but has not been sufficiently noted, from the point of view of the government’s rulers, their ability to interfere in internal family matters must be regarded as the ultimate prize and the pinnacle of their own power…

Just as the removal of the welfare state and other government interferences in private life must be removed in order to restore Liberty and order, especially in the cities, and require that people within communities help one another out voluntarily and not through government-imposed coercion or compulsion, politicians and bureaucrats must be forced to not just cut budgets but to eliminate whole programs that should be taken care of in the private (voluntary) sector. “Tough love” is necessary: No Bailouts!

Related: Carl Watner’s article, The Tragedy of Political Government

…The main tragedy of political government is that few people realize it is an immoral and impractical institution. Nor do they realize “that the power of any government is dependent on the cooperation of the people it governs, and that government power varies inversely with the noncooperation of the people.” They have been conditioned to accept government as a natural part of their environment. After being raised in a culture in which “politics” is the norm, and after attending years of public school and being taught that political government is a necessary component of society, most people place government in the same category as the weather – something they complain about, but can’t change. As people accept the structural trap called politics, they fail to realize that their actions support and undergird the State. Their demand for government services – from Social Security benefits to police protection – is what fuels the State.

Most people are capable of high values and responsible behavior, but once they enter the seductive garden of politics, they no longer notice that its wonders cannot be reconciled with individual responsibility and their own personal moral values of honesty and hard work. It is not usually apparent that what they are doing or supporting is vicious and would not pass the test of ordinary decency. So long as the criminality is veiled by the political process, most people accept it because they do not see that it conflicts with their basic values. The main tragedy of political government is not only that the voters are the ones pointing the gun, but, most importantly, that the indecency of this act is concealed from them by the political process. It is the concealment that is the tragedy. The concealment is not the result of some conspiracy by some distant elite: it is inherent in the political process…

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?’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 Ongoing WikiLeaks Soap Opera, and More…

Glenn Greenwald has this lengthy and confusing post today, with detail after detail regarding the ongoing soap opera drama that is the Bradley Manning-Adrian Lamo-Kevin Poulsen-Wired-WikiLeaks affair. Supposedly, Kevin Poulsen of Wired online only published 25% of the chat cables between alleged WikiLeaker Manning and the one who turned him in, Adrian Lamo, and Greenwald suggests that the other 75% of the chat cables are being suppressed by Poulsen. Greenwald is emphasizing the un-journalistic nature of Poulsen’s suppression of that information, but is saying that there’s really a lot more to this whole story.

It looks to me like there may actually be reason to believe that the allegations against Manning may actually be based on fabricated chat logs. Greenwald linked to this post by Marcy Wheeler, and apparently, there were time gaps, in which Lamo was fixing “technical issues” during their chats. All that looks very suspicious to me, now. What would be the motive for anyone to attempt to falsely accuse Manning of leaking classified documents? Well, apparently, Manning has had troubles in these past two years prior to this whole WikiLeaks fiasco, according to this article that Greenwald linked to.  And it appears also that Manning is gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. (But it’s possible that some people with ill intent may not like the fact that he’s gay.) Also, the one who turned Manning in to the government, Lamo, is a convicted felon and was involuntarily hospitalized, just three weeks before his chats with Manning, for “severe psychiatric distress,” according to Greenwald. This whole thing just doesn’t pass the smell test, if you ask me.

America the Nanny Police State: From Big Drugs to Big Agra

The New York Times has this article on the latest WikiLeaks release, Cables Portray Expanded Reach of Drug Agency:

WASHINGTON — The Drug Enforcement Administration has been transformed into a global intelligence organization with a reach that extends far beyond narcotics, and an eavesdropping operation so expansive it has to fend off foreign politicians who want to use it against their political enemies, according to secret diplomatic cables.

In far greater detail than previously seen, the cables, from the cache obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to some news organizations, offer glimpses of drug agents balancing diplomacy and law enforcement in places where it can be hard to tell the politicians from the traffickers, and where drug rings are themselves mini-states whose wealth and violence permit them to run roughshod over struggling governments.

This is an example of how pathological a statist society such as ours can become, and the totalitarian lengths bureaucrats will go to in order to sweep the truth under the rug. The truth is that it is not the role of government to dictate what chemicals the people may or may not ingest. And when you start imposing such dictates, you get nothing but trouble.

Laurence Vance has this great piece on FFF, The Moral Case for Drug Freedom. It’s probably the best case I’ve seen for ending the War on Drugs. It is a case for freedom.

…All freedom-loving Americans should oppose the DEA and its headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, its 21 domestic field divisions, its 227 field offices, its 86 foreign offices in 62 countries, its academy at the Quantico Marine base, its administrator, its deputy administrator, its chief of operations, its chief inspector, its chief financial officer, its chief counsel, its assistant administrators, its 10,000 employees, its 5,500 special agents, its foreign-deployed advisory and support teams, its mobile enforcement teams, its Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program (DCE/SP) (which eradicates millions of cultivated outdoor and indoor cannabis plants every year and seizes millions of dollars of cultivator assets), its $2.5 billion budget, and its Office of Aviation Operations with its 106 aircraft and 124 pilots…

…Practical and utilitarian arguments against the drug war are important, but not as important as the moral argument for the freedom to use or abuse drugs for freedom’s sake. The moral case for drug freedom is simply the case for freedom. Freedom to use one’s property as one sees fit. Freedom to enjoy the fruits of one’s labor in whatever way one deems appropriate. Freedom to use one’s body in the manner of one’s choosing. Freedom to follow one’s own moral code. Freedom from being taxed to fund government tyranny. Freedom from government intrusion into one’s personal life. Freedom to be left alone.

It is those of us who advocate the liberty to take drugs and a free market in drugs who are taking the moral high ground. How can anyone with any sense of morality support seizing someone’s property, destroying his family, and locking him up in a cage to be raped and humiliated for smoking a plant the government doesn’t approve of? What kind of a moral code contains stipulations like that? The case for drug freedom is a moral case because the war on drugs is a war on natural, civil, personal, and constitutional rights…

So he means the freedom to do what you want with your life, as long as you don’t interfere with anyone else’s life, liberty or property. But one thing he doesn’t really touch on that much is the aspect of personal responsibility in the context of drugs, including alcohol, which I have addressed several times here. I have noted that many conservatives support the War on Drugs (but not alcohol or tobacco which can be just as deadly) because they oppose the idea of personal responsibility. The conservatives love their authoritarian police state, but combined with the nanny state that asserts that people are incapable of accepting personal responsibility for their decisions and actions and need the State to relieve them of that personal responsibility and take care of them.

Well, I believe that a truly free society is one that encourages maturity and personal responsibility with that freedom: If you choose to ingest a particular drug or chemical, for whatever reason, then you must take responsibility for the consequences of your decisions and actions. If one smokes marijuana, snorts cocaine, injects heroin, (or drinks alcohol for that matter), and one gets into an accident that results in the death or injury of another, then one would be risking being permanently banished from that society. Sending the irresponsible, dangerous ones off to an island is something I have suggested in the past. And I’m not talking about “taking drugs and driving” as a crime because it’s not a crime if one has harmed no one, just like drinking and driving is not a crime because there is no victim in the act of drinking and driving — in such cases people have the right to be left alone. I mean that, if one has been in an accident that causes others harm, and it is found that one has ingested mind- or body-altering chemicals before the accident, then banish them from society. The risk is up to the individual. If you don’t want to take that risk, then don’t operate a big machine or vehicle after ingesting those chemicals.

And by “drugs,” we really need to be consistent, and refer also to prescription drugs. I have become a staunch opponent of prescription drugs, unless it’s an emergency or one is in an life-threatening health situation and there is no alternative. Doctors too easily hand out prescriptions like candy, including to kids. Oh, please don’t get me started on the schools and teachers what they’re doing to the kids these days. They’re labeling kids first, which is bad enough, and then they’re destroying the kids’ motivation, energy and their very personality with this Ritalin and other drugs that kids shouldn’t be getting.

So, I’m for total drug freedom and responsibility. And as far as prescriptions, there shouldn’t even be such a thing as a “prescription,” a doctor’s permission to get a drug. What are we, babies? If one wants a particular drug, then the local drug store should have whatever anyone wants. You shouldn’t be required to get a doctor’s permission for something. People need to inform themselves on these drugs, and the chemicals and what they do or could do. But strong drugs and what are known as “hard” drugs should be discouraged in a mature, responsible, evolved modern society. We need to bring back shame, and shaming people into not taking drugs (or drinking booze, in my opinion).

A big problem has been those doctors handing out prescriptions like candy, as I mentioned. And that’s because they get these free samples from the drug companies, in order to get people started on the drugs, so they’ll get hooked. These greedy drug companies, known as Big Pharma, are no better than the street corner drug dealer pushing drugs on today’s youths. Big Pharma want as many people getting hooked on their poisonous products as possible, because the profits they make are extremely important to them, regardless of the human costs on society. Worse than that is the Big Pharma-Big Government complex, the way these drug company sleazebags use the power of government to restrict the competition to protect their high profits.

Even worse than all that is the corruption involved, like with the revolving door between Big Pharma execs and the FDA, approving drugs that are harmful, and disapproving ones that aren’t. There shouldn’t be an FDA, but that’s a different story. Just recently, I wrote about a guest on George Noory’s show:

George Noory this morning interviewed food and drug law specialist Jonathan Emord regarding the FDA’s knowingly approving harmful prescription drugs, such as GlaxoSmithKline’s anti-diabetic drug Avandia, in which FDA testers repeatedly warned of harmful side effects only to be ignored by the bought-and-paid-for FDA head honchos. Emord cited a tester/reviewer who had claimed that a superior told him that the drug companies “are our customers,” and therefore the FDA was obligated to approve what they wanted approved.

Greedy sleazebags. And regarding bringing back shaming, we need to put shame on these greedy sleazebag corporate hacks for pushing bad stuff onto people for the sake of their own selfish profits. They’re the disgusting ones of society. And get rid of this nanny police state corporate fascism, and bring back Liberty and individual rights, freedom and responsibility.

What really gets me is these corporate fascists trying to suppress information about the value of nutritional supplements and vitamins, as well as trying to block the average citizen’s access to them. That’s what we’re seeing in the recent passage of the Food Fascism bill, pushed by the Food Nazis in Washington and their lobbyist flunkies, whose real purpose is to protect Big Agra and crush the smaller food farms that are part of the many small businesses that are the real backbone of America.

And that really is related to the Big Pharma-Big Government complex, this Big Agra-Big Government Complex, as Karen De Coster wrote about a few days ago on the Lew Rockwell Blog, on how WikiLeaks has revealed how the U.S. government has been pushing foreign nations to accept genetically modified organisms in their crops.

While most of the rest of the world is flat-out rejecting these manufactured toxins, the U.S. government, along with its corporate state giants (like Monsanto), has been trying to bully the EU, as well as other, smaller countries, into exporting the highly profitable GMOs. From the article, it is noted that one of the released cables (bold emphasis is mine):

describes a meeting between Senators Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and John Thune (R-S.D.) and two officials from Spain, which is one of the only European countries currently growing genetically modified crops (Poland is the other). One of the Spanish officials noted that Spain “had a relatively ‘liberal’ view with respect to biotechnology. However, even in Spain, the technology was controversial and faced NGO opposition.” The two senators then asked “what influence Spain could exercise in Brussels [the de facto capital of the European Union] on the issue,” to which the Spanish officials responded “commodity price hikes might spur greater liberalization to biotech imports.”

Note that Senator Grassley is a consistent advocate of the biotech industry, receives much in contributions from GMO king Monsanto (and ethanol king Archer Daniels Midland), and has long been fighting the EU on the GMO issue. In 2003, he advocated filing a legal case against the EU to challenge its moratorium on GMOs. The nerve of those French — and other Euros — to deny the Big Agra Complex and their dictates!

Are the Drug Nazis referred to at the beginning of this post going to start going after people who try to get non-GMOs (like there might be a black market in non-GMOs in the future!), or the people who want vitamins and supplements after the government bans them, too?

Who Has Integrity?

December 20, 2010

© 2010 (Link to article)

In 2010 there were many campaign ads in which each candidate claimed to have “integrity.” But as we have seen, campaign after campaign, election after election, most of the winning candidates are the ones who are merely the most skilled in rhetoric and demagoguery. As F.A. Hayek noted accurately in his book, The Road to Serfdom, “the worst get on top.” What attracts the worst to the State apparatus are the power of compulsion that agents of the State have over others, the power of monopoly that restricts the rights of others, and the adulation (and in some cases idolatry) toward agents of the State from the masses.

One example of the steady moral decay America has been experiencing is the recent election of Democrat Suzanne Bump to the office of Massachusetts state auditor. During her campaign, Bump was described in her one newspaper endorsement as “acting with independence, integrity, and competence.” Apparently, the Boston Phoenix hadn’t heard about Bump’s declaring property tax exemptions for both her homes in two different communities in Massachusetts, claiming each one as her “primary residence.” The campaign for state auditor was between Bump, whose main experience was as a state legislator and governor’s cabinet secretary but with no accounting experience, and Republican Mary Connaughton, a CPA and former audit senior manager at Ernst and Young as well as a financial consultant and state college accounting instructor, and who received endorsements from just about every newspaper in the state, including the “liberal” Boston Globe. But Democrat Bump won the election.

Economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe has pointed out how the “free entry” into government is fatally flawed:

Free entry is not always good. Free entry and competition in the production of goods is good, but free competition in the production of bads is not. Free entry into the business of torturing and killing innocents, or free competition in counterfeiting or swindling, for instance, is not good; it is worse than bad. So what sort of “business” is government? Answer: it is not a customary producer of goods sold to voluntary consumers. Rather, it is a “business” engaged in theft and expropriation – by means of taxes and counterfeiting – and the fencing of stolen goods. Hence, free entry into government does not improve something good. Indeed, it makes matters worse than bad, i.e., it improves evil.

But it is sad and unfortunate how the business of government has received such mass praise throughout the life of the United States, despite the damage that governments – federal, state, and local – have done to our country, while the business of business (the “private sector”) is constantly the object of disparagement.

One individual in the business sector who apparently has shown some integrity during the latest “insider trading” scam of the federal government, is John Kinnucan of Broadband Research, who was approached by the FBI asking Kinnucan to wear a wire while meeting with his clients as a means of gathering “evidence” of his clients’ trading with “inside” knowledge. Kinnucan not only refused the request, but had emailed his clients to warn them of the, in his words, “fresh-faced eager beavers.” He apparently was not warning his clients as a means of “covering up” anything; rather, he was protecting them from the State’s entrapment of innocent individuals. But as a punishment for Kinnucan’s show of integrity, federal prosecutors have subpoenaed his firm, but, according to the New York Times, not Kinnucan himself. The Times notes that the distinction is to do with removing Kinnucan’s right against self-incrimination. And according to CNBC, Kinnucan has stated that he will have to defend himself in court, because paying for lawyers would leave his family “destitute.” This is what the State has become, and is just one example of the State’s crimes against private citizens.

Future of Freedom Foundation President Jacob Hornberger had noted cases similar to this, in which the government requested cooperation from an innocent private citizen who then refused to cooperate and was thus the target of retaliation by the government. In his discussion of the WikiLeaks story and the cooperation with the government of the whistleblower website’s business associates, Mastercard and Paypal, Hornberger brings up the Bush Administration’s 2001 request of telecommunications companies to provide confidential information about their customers to help the NSA’s unconstitutional domestic spying program. The only one who didn’t cooperate with the request was Joseph Nacchio of Qwest Communcations. Shortly thereafter, the government indicted and then convicted Nacchio of “insider trading” laws.

During the 1980s, the securities firm Princeton/Newport Partners had to close its doors because it couldn’t handle RICO Statute indictments by then-U.S. attorney Rudy Giuliani, which the firm’s attorneys believed was punishment for the firm’s refusal to cooperate with Giuliani in his investigation of Drexel Burnham Lambert, Inc. According to author Paul Craig Roberts, the grandstanding Giuliani “staged a stormtrooper assault on (Princeton/Newport Partners) involving fifty federal marshals outfitted with automatic weapons and bulletproof vests.”

Roberts also noted how the overzealous Giuliani had no real legal case in his criminal persecution of financier Michael Milken, and had gone after Milken’s brother, as well as had the FBI visit Milken’s 92-year-old grandfather, to coerce a plea deal from Milken. Roberts also contends that, in Giuliani’s anti-business/anti-rich zeal, he framed hotel queen Leona Helmsley with suborned perjury, a conclusion also reached by Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and former Judge Robert Bork.

It is of great irony – well, hypocrisy is a better word – that such a counter-productive “insider trading” persecution of private, innocent individuals who are not committing any acts of theft or fraud, comes from the same federal government many of whose participants embrace the revolving door between government monopolies and privileged corporate interests. Former Federal Reserve employees’ informing their post-Fed private sector clients of the inside details of Fed meetings and decisions, long before such information becomes public knowledge, is but one example. Compulsory government monopoly is what enables those going through that revolving door to enrich themselves at the public’s expense. As Prof. Hoppe has noted,

As a territorial monopolist of legislation and the money-printing press, the State has a natural tendency to grow: to use its “fiat” laws and “fiat” money to gain increasing control of society and social institutions. With “fiat laws”, the State has the unique power of threatening and punishing or incentivizing and rewarding whatever it pleases. And with its “fiat money”, it can buy-up support, bribe, and corrupt more easily than anyone else.

In regards to the federal government’s failed foreign policy of aggression for many decades, a current developing news story that has exposed the ones lacking in integrity – especially in government, political punditry and journalism – has been the WikiLeaks saga. There have been calls to have WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange prosecuted for espionage and even assassinated, and there has been support to suppress information associated with State indiscretions and outright crimes, support for censorship of media including the Internet.

But there have been those within government and the military who have shown integrity, especially in this decade of the War on Terrorism, particularly those who have left the government or military and returned to private life. It takes integrity (and courage) to recognize and testify on deception, corruption, even crimes in government.

One now-retired member of the U.S. military, former Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, who is also a columnist, had anonymously written articles expressing her dissent from Pentagon policy in 2002 and 2003. Kwiatkowski had told of her own betrayal and anger as well as that of fellow military personnel, who felt that their assessments and advice on the Bush Administration’s plans for Iraq were being brushed aside by the civilian leadership.

And retired CIA officer Philip Giraldi, now a columnist for, The American Conservative magazine, and Campaign for Liberty, and also executive director of the Council for the National Interest, has worked in intelligence in Turkey, Italy, Germany and Spain, dealing mainly with issues of international terrorism. Giraldi has been a critic of U.S. government policy in the Middle East, Israel in particular, and has written about alleged fabrications used by government officials and their flunkies as a means to go to war in Iraq and of deceptions to initiate sanctions or hostilities against Iran.

There have also been claims regarding widespread drug use and deliberate murders of civilians by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, some claims of which are being investigated, and only a few soldiers there have been willing to denounce such activities. The true bravery exists in the young soldier willing to disclose such immoral activities despite the possibility of his own death as punishment.

One can surely describe Kinnucan, Kwiatkowski, Giraldi and various whistleblowers as having integrity, while it is impossible to find integrity in government officials who use deception and propaganda toward expanding U.S. government apparatus and control into other regions of the world. Can it be possible for agents of the State with integrity to continually fire remote-controlled drone bombs at various targets in Pakistan, knowing that the ones they are killing are innocent civilians? And where is the integrity in government agents who go so far as to prevent a teenager from seeking honest employment while encouraging him to commit terrorist acts?

And what about America’s Fourth Estate – the Press? Where is their integrity when, instead of acting as the people’s important check on government powers, they have been acting as the State’s spokespeople and apologists for the multitudes of State abuses of power?

And where is the integrity in government officials who invent new laws out of thin air, such as “insider trading,” as a means of restricting the freedom of certain segments of society, or persecuting honest businessmen who have committed no crimes of violence, theft or fraud against others? The more statist and bureaucratized our society has become, the more petty resentment there has been toward those who benefit financially through their hard work, talents and abilities, and toward those who stand up to government bullies and who stand for principle, unfortunately.

So how can those who are driven toward State power possibly have integrity when the very apparatus over which they want control is inherently corrupting? Obviously, there have been plenty of those in the business sector who have shown a lack of integrity and have been corrupt, but the genuine business sector does not have the power of compulsion over others, the power to be above the law as does the compulsory government sector. And by genuine business sector, I mean that which is not tied to the State apparatus through “crony capitalism,” or corporatism.

It is thus nearly impossible to expect even the most honest individual to grab hold of monopolistic governmental powers, legislatively, militarily or otherwise, and expect one’s integrity to remain intact. There are some exceptions, of course.