Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Video Announcement from Ron Paul

Ron Paul introduces his bestseller The Revolution: A Manifesto:

Announcement from Ron Paul

Iran dumps U.S. dollar for oil trades

Has Iran now guaranteed that they will be attacked? According to this article, Iran "has stopped conducting oil transactions in U.S. dollars." Iraq did the same thing in 2000, and they were attacked based on false pretexts a couple of years later.

What false pretext(s) will the U.S. use to bomb Iran? They are already being severely demonized by the U.S., minor events are being overblown (or perhaps fabricated), and Bush, Cheney, and their ilk constantly refer to the supposed Iranian "threat."

Sounds like all the propaganda we heard about Iraq prior to its invasion, doesn't it? Take everything you hear about Iran with a grain (or handful) of salt.

Ron Paul interview on Bloomberg

Another great interview with Dr. Paul, this time on the Bloomberg channel:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Let's take the country by storm -- again (Ron Paul)

Ron Paul on his magnificent new book, which is officially released today:

Today is an exciting day for our campaign and our movement: my new book, The Revolution: A Manifesto, is officially released.

Although a short book, it is the product of many years of thought and action. It is a defense of the principles to which you and I have devoted our lives.

My friends are calling it "Ron Paul's legacy."

These principles - individual liberty, sound money, the Constitution, and the foreign policy of the Founding Fathers - have had no home in American politics for a very long time. With The Revolution: A Manifesto, I'm letting the establishment know we're not going away.

Finally, Americans can hear and judge these great American principles for themselves, instead of through an unfriendly media filter. And they can learn once and for all that they need not be satisfied with the phony choices the system offers them every four years. Another way really is possible.

Two days ago I did a book signing in New York at the Borders on Wall Street. All 530 copies had been sold before I even arrived.

They had underestimated you again.

Imagine the attention our cause and our principles could attract with a fantastic opening day today, with people marching into bookstores across the country for their copies. If it should become a publishing phenomenon, The Revolution: A Manifesto can fuel our revolution for a long time to come. You can make that happen.

I hope you enjoy this book, which was a real labor of love for me. Please spread the word.

And may the future be ours.

For liberty,

Ron Paul

Note: Also see Thomas Woods' fantastic description of what Ron Paul’s book accomplishes.

UPDATE: The book has reached #1 on, and will debut at #7 on the May 11 NY Times list (and #14 at the WSJ)!

The Real Cult Menace (William Grigg)

William Grigg says the real problem with cults is that they instill in its adherents a strong deference to submit to a supposed "authority," no matter how wrong that authority is:

When armed intruders came to kidnap their children, the members of El Dorado's FLDS community looked instinctively toward their leaders. This was because they deferred to their leaders in all things, both temporal and spiritual.

The residents of YFZ Ranch had been relentlessly indoctrinated in the belief that "obedience is the first law of heaven," and that their duty, when a priesthood leader instructed them to do something, was simply to obey -- and that if the thing required of them was wrong, God would still reward them for their obedience.

Obedience uber alles -- reflexive, unquestioning obedience -- is the most important defining trait of any sect, party, or organization worthy of being called a cult.

Read the rest

But What About the Children? (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell on how the state becomes ever more oppressive by using the excuse that it's "for the children":

Christopher Ratte, professor in the department of classics at the University of Michigan, was recently turned into a jailbird and had his son taken away from him, all in the name of protecting the child from the father. He had taken his 7-year-old son to a baseball game in Detroit and ordered him lemonade. What was served up was a "Mike’s Hard Lemonade," which his son prepared to drink. Suddenly security arrived.

"You know this is an alcoholic beverage?" the security guard asked.

"You have got to be kidding," responded the professor. And before the professor could examine the bottle, the guard snatched it away, and the boy was taken to the hospital where no traces of alcohol were found in him. The boy was then promptly put in foster care. It was two days before the mother, a professor of architecture, was allowed to take him home, and a full week before the father was allowed to come back into the home again.

The case provides a remarkable look at the workings of bureaucracy. The Detroit Free Press interviewed all the people involved. It turns out that no one was happy about what happened, but the gears of the bureaucracy ground away, ruining peoples' lives for no good reason.

Read the rest

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

One Day At Fenway

[UPDATE] As of 5/1, the creator took the video down because he didn't want to get in trouble with Major League Baseball!

The Dangers of Samuelson's Economic Method (Robert Higgs)

In today's Daily Article, Robert Higgs writes on how a professor helped send the field of economics on the wrong path by using fancy mathematics to try to explain human action:

We are advised against speaking ill of the dead. In this regard, I am safe, I suppose, because Paul A. Samuelson, whom I intend to criticize, remains alive, although he will soon be 93 years old and therefore cannot be long for this world. When I was first learning economics, in the 1960s, Samuelson was held up by my teachers as the greatest living economist — a genius, they used to say. In the course of my undergraduate and graduate training, I was given no reason to doubt that assessment.

Indeed, a memorably painful part of my graduate education consisted of my attempts to read and understand Samuelson's landmark book Foundations of Economic Analysis (1947), a treatise in mathematical economic theory, patterned after classical thermodynamics, that set the tone for much of what the cleverest mainstream economists would do for decades to come.

Read the rest

Note: Using fancy mathematics has also sent physics and astronomy down the wrong path, but that's a whole another story!

Scapegoating and the Anti-Immigrant Hysteria (Lawrence Ludlow)

Lawrence Ludlow on the common projection that illegal immigrants are to blame for all of the woes that are actually caused by the welfare state:

According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, a scapegoat is “a goat upon whose head are symbolically placed the sins of the people, after which he (the goat) is sent into the wilderness in the biblical ceremony for Yom Kippur.” A second definition is “one that is the object of irrational hostility.” Some sources add that a scapegoat is a metaphor “referring to someone who is blamed for our misfortunes, generally as a way of distracting attention from the real causes.”

Currently in the United States , “illegal immigrants” function as scapegoats. They are blamed for the self-inflicted wounds of our welfare state.

Read the rest

Kagan’s Definition of Success in Iraq (Robert Murphy)

Robert Murphy says that Fred Kagan and his Neocon buddies may sound reasonable when presenting their reckless positions, but only because they deliberately conceal the costs involved, especially in human lives:

When it comes to theoretical justifications for the continued occupation of Iraq, the gold standard is the Weekly Standard. Bill Kristol and Fred Kagan must be extremely intelligent and gifted writers, because whenever I read their work or hear them speak, I’m halfway to killing 30 foreigners before suddenly snapping out of it. Kristol and Kagan are quite simply masters at making their reckless positions sound eminently reasonable and "conservative."

The latest case in point is Kagan’s article, "How We’ll Know When We’ve Won: A definition of success in Iraq." (Note that it’s titled when, not if.) As usual, he lays out what at first glance seems to be a perfectly plausible case for allowing the current strategy to play itself out, since we are already well on the way to victory. Yet as we’ll see, Kagan commits the same fallacy that every leftist do-gooder on the home front does: He simply lists the benefits of his proposed plan, rather than explaining why its benefits outweigh its costs.

Read the rest

Monday, April 28, 2008

Third Party Watch

The Constitution Party successfully thwarted efforts to nominate the pro-war Neocon Alan Keyes (see the press release), and instead nominated the sensible Chuck Baldwin. Good for them!

However, all is not well at the Libertarian Party, which is apparently making an effort to purge their most sensible candidate, Mary Ruwart, along with her supporters and more "radical" members, by bringing up the emotionally charged issue of child porn. They hope to have Dr. Ruwart publicly oppose federal involvement in the issue.

Stephan Kinsella remarks:
This is why I hate political activism and electoral politics. The desperate attempts to seem respectable, the constant disingenuous smearing of more principled opponents as racists or pro-pedophiles, the selling out of even Constitutional government to hysterical federal wars on terrorism and child porn, and under-the-belt punches. It's all very disgusting.

Well said, Stephan! The best way to spread the message of freedom is through education, not politics.

Ron Paul on CNN this morning

Here's the video, where Dr. Paul discusses his excellent new book, The Revolution: A Manifesto:

Ron Paul Hits it out of the Park on CNN American Morning

Politicizing Pain (Ron Paul)

Dr. Ron Paul on getting the Feds out of the debate over medical marijuana:

K.K. Forss does not claim medical marijuana solves all his problems. His pain from a ruptured disc in his neck is debilitating. He is unable to go to work or to the First Baptist Church he used to attend because of the pain and muscle spasms. Taxpayers through Medicare spend over $18,000 a year on his various medications. Half of those drugs are strong narcotics. The other half address the various side-effects brought on by the first half, such as nausea, heartburn, heart palpitations, difficulty sleeping, and muscle spasms.

No, marijuana would not completely address all his pain, but it made a tremendous difference in the quality of his life when he tried it for over a year.

Read the rest

Nevada State Commotion

Nevada homeschooler Tara reports on her experience at the crazy Nevada Republican convention:

I just returned home to Las Vegas from the Nevada Republican Party Convention in Reno, NV. The weekend was a whirlwind of drama, chaos and adrenaline. The following is my recap of what happened, based solely on my perception of things I witnessed and heard.

Our convention was scheduled for Saturday, April 26th. After a surprisingly short wait we were signed in as delegates and seated. We were called into order with 1,347 delegates shortly after 9am.

That’s about where it started going wrong.

Read the rest, and check out some videos from the scene.

Must Government Inflate Home Prices? (William Anderson)

William Anderson on a financial "guru's" ludicrous assertion that inflation is the answer to our economic woes:

Henry Hazlitt once wrote in his famous Economics in One Lesson that "Economics is haunted by more fallacies than any other study known to man." Indeed, I am supposed to teach fallacies in my classroom as part of modern economic orthodoxy.

Along with Hazlitt’s declaration comes the opening line in Carl Menger’s path breaking 1871 edition of Principles of Economics: "All things are subject to the law of cause and effect. This great principle knows no exception, and we would search in vain in the realm of experience for an example to the contrary." The key issue here is understanding the difference between cause and effect.

I write this because we are seeing a lot of supposedly intelligent people confusing cause with effect and declaring that the effect is the cause, and government must act upon that "cause" immediately. That, not surprisingly, is a recipe for disaster.

Read the rest

Ron Paul's Revolution (George F. Smith)

George F. Smith reviews Ron Paul's masterpiece The Revolution: a Manifesto and asks this question:

Given that one accepts this stateless idea of freedom, how should one assess the political philosophy of Ron Paul?

There are two broad views:

  1. Paul’s support of the Constitution means he supports the state; therefore, he is not a freedom fighter and his core values are no different in principle from Clinton’s, Obama’s, or McCain’s. Or,

  2. Paul is perhaps the first candidate in American history to run on a major party platform who opposes the distinguishing feature of the state – i.e., coercion – and is, from that standpoint, a courageous freedom fighter.

In other words, is Ron Paul’s approach fundamentally flawed or is he trying to move us closer to the libertarian ideal of non-aggression?

Read the rest and find out! Or better yet, buy the book and find out!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Paul has a novel idea for his campaign leftovers

How will Dr. Paul use all his extra campaign donations? Maybe to set up a for-profit, free-market publishing house! Read on:

Ron Paul failed to translate an impressive fundraising operation into widespread support for his 2008 bid for the presidency, but the Lake Jackson Republican still may end up hitting pay dirt.

To further Paul's Libertarian-leaning agenda, his campaign is exploring a novel way to use millions of dollars in leftover donations: setting up a for-profit publishing company that would focus on free-market economics and personal liberties — causes the Texas congressman holds dear.

Read the rest

Friday, April 25, 2008

Prison Nation (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell on the barbaric U.S. prison system, where small (and non) criminals are incarcerated by the truly dangerous criminals known as "government":

Americans, perhaps like all people, have a remarkable capacity for tuning out unpleasantries that do not directly affect them. I'm thinking here of wars on foreign lands, but also the astonishing fact that the United States has become the world's most jail-loving country, with well over 1 in 100 adults living as slaves in a prison. Building and managing prisons, and locking people up, have become major facets of government power in our time, and it is long past time for those who love liberty to start to care.

Before we get to the reasons why, look at the facts as reported by the New York Times. The U.S. leads the world in prisoner production. There are 2.3 million people behind bars. China, with four times as many people, has 1.6 million in prison. In terms of population, the US has 751 people in prison for every 100,000, while the closest competitor in this regard is Russia with 627. I'm struck by this figure: 531 in Cuba. The median global rate is 125.

Read the rest

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dr. Paul's Remarks on Pennsylvania Primary

Ron Paul thanks his supporters and gives a campaign update:

Dr. Paul's Remarks on Pennsylvania Primary

Lincoln and His Legacy (Joseph Sobran)

Joseph Sobran doesn't think very highly of the deified Abraham Lincoln:

At this point it is probably futile to try to reverse the deification of Abraham Lincoln. Next year, if I know my countrymen, the bicentennial of his birth will be marked by stupendously cloying anniversary observances, all of them affirming, if not his literal divinity, at least something mighty close to it.

No doubt we will hear from the high priests and priestesses of the Lincoln cult: Doris Kearns Goodwin, Garry Wills, Harry V. Jaffa, and all the rest of the tireless hagiographers of academia, who regularly rate Honest Abe one of our two greatest presidents, right up there with Stalin’s buddy Franklin D. Roosevelt, father of the nuclear age and defiler of the U.S. Constitution. Such, we are told, is the Verdict of History.

But if Lincoln was so great, we must ask why nobody seems to have realized it while he was still alive. The abolitionists considered him unprincipled, Southerners hated him, and most Northerners opposed his war on the South. Only when the war ended and he was shot did people begin to transform him into a hero and martyr of the Union cause. But that cause was badly flawed.

Read the rest

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thefts There Are – Safety Nets There Are Not (Michael Rozeff)

Michael Rozeff on the misnomer of government "safety nets," which are nothing but money stolen from taxpayers:

Whoever dreamed up the term Safety Net should start a Ponzi scheme. They should hire the person who concocted Too Big To Fail.

The government has no bank account. It has no money of its own. The government is a gang with a collection agency and enforcers. It cannot and does not provide a real safety net on its own. It cannot and does not save those that are too big to fail.

There is no safety net and there never was. What has been called a safety net has always been simply promises of future theft backed up by the ability of the government to extract wealth from those it rules. We, in effect, are forced to save ourselves. This sort of safety net is a fraud. It’s a zero-sum game and worse. At great cost, we take from our left pocket and shift it to our right.

Read the rest

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ron Paul at 16% in PA

Even though most people seem to think Ron Paul is out of the race, he got 16% of the vote in the Pennsylvania primary! Funny how that isn't being reported on the news.

UPDATE: Well, maybe it is being somewhat reported, as in this article with the great headline: McCain Loses 27% of Pennsylvania Vote

The Subject "People" vs. The Ruling "Persons" (William Grigg)

William Grigg on fearsome criminals, such as grandmothers and breastfeeding mothers, who have the gall to question the sanctity and wisdom of the ruling class:

"An act like that can't be ignored," insisted Palm Beach County Sheriff's Deputy Paul Miller by way of explaining the gang assault, battery, and arrest of 74-year-old Holocaust survivor Elena Reichman at the Palm Beach International Airport. "A Deputy is responsible to take action when she is assaulted and battered by anyone, and [Deputy Margaret Piscerno] took the appropriate action."

To what "act" did Deputy Miller refer?

Read the rest

No Country for Free Men (Rick Fisk)

Rick Fisk says the FLDS would probably not be able to practice polygamy without using money stolen from taxpayers:

I picked up my local paper this Sunday only to find a half-dozen "background" articles on the polygamists who have recently been shown what Texas-style hospitality looks like. I was treated to various articles on the history of the group's leaders and their persecution by state officials in Arizona, Colorado and now finally, Texas. Of course, it wasn't called persecution. The raid was said to be an act of kindness for young women who are forced to marry against their will. These evil, evil, men, women and children are refusing to bow down to the state and conform to societal norms so they must be punished, apparently.

The raid, executed by machine gun-toting, tank-driving county Sheriffs ripped 416 children away from their mothers so that the State child "protective" services could question them and discover whether or not they were being abused. There are some beginning to question whether the state's action was itself abuse, but these are like cries in the wilderness.

Read the rest

The Kochtopus vs. Murray N. Rothbard (David Gordon)

David Gordon on why Beltway libertarians hate Murray Rothbard and the organization he helped start, the Ludwig von Mises Institute:

The "Kochtopus" is a derogatory name coined by the late Samuel Edward Konkin, III, an anarcho-libertarian, for the group of libertarian organizations funded by billionaire Charles Koch. (Konkin, a gifted wordsmith, also is responsible for the term "minarchism" for the libertarian view that accepts a minimal state.) Murray Rothbard often used this term when referring to organizations within the Koch ambit, with the Cato Institute foremost among them. To say the least, Rothbard’s enthusiasm for Cato was not unbounded; and employees of the Kochtopus often treat Rothbard with hostility and contempt. Further, the Kochtopus has displayed unremitting hostility toward the organization with which Rothbard was associated from 1982 until his death in 1995, the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Someone acquainted only with these facts would never suspect that Rothbard was a principal founder of Cato and that the organization had been established to promote his distinctive variety of libertarianism. From this beginning, how did it come about that Cato shifted course and now takes Rothbard to be an enemy?

Read the rest

More Darwin (Fred Reed)

Fred Reed is a curmudgeon when it comes to evolution:

I think it a shame that discussion of evolution usually boils down to a pledge of allegiance either to Darwin or to the handling of snakes. This view admirably distracts attention from the observation that much of Darwinism doesn’t square with observation or even make sense. Religion has nothing to do with it, being an innocent bystander.

I recently read Understanding Human History, by Michael Hart, which deals with the influence of intelligence on history. Hart is an astrophysicist, and his book is well worth reading—except when he deals with evolution, when he goes ditzy. They all do.

Read the rest

Monday, April 21, 2008

On Resisting Evil (Murray Rothbard)

Murray Rothbard on why we must fight for peace and liberty:

How can anyone, finding himself surrounded by a rising tide of evil, fail to do his utmost to fight against it? In our century, we have been inundated by a flood of evil, in the form of collectivism, socialism, egalitarianism, and nihilism. It has always been crystal clear to me that we have a compelling moral obligation, for the sake of ourselves, our loved ones, our posterity, our friends, our neighbors, and our country, to do battle against that evil.

It has therefore always been a mystery to me how people who have seen and identified this evil and have therefore entered the lists against it, either gradually or suddenly abandon that fight. How can one see the truth, understand one's compelling duty, and then, simply give up and even go on to betray the cause and its comrades? And yet, in the two movements and their variations that I have been associated with, libertarian and conservative, this happens all the time.

Read the rest

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Random Thoughts (Glen Allport)

Glen Allport on corporate media as propaganda peddlers for the lying state:

We all know that the government lies to us, that it uses propaganda to support the lies, and that, for the most part, the corporate media is an integral part of the government/power elite propaganda machine. These things are obvious to any American with even a room-temperature IQ. For that matter, it's hard to think of any nation that behaves otherwise.

Occasionally, the true nature of today's corporatist media leaks out in a way that shocks.

Read the rest

Media Caught Lying About Ron Paul

Television producer Jerry Day uses Google Trends and concludes the media systematically suppressed coverage of Ron Paul:

Media Caught Lying

Quid Spucatum Tauri Est? (William Grigg)

William Grigg writes more on the mass child kidnappings by government thugs in Texas, which was instigated by a bogus call from a con-artist (that's right, there was no 16-year-old named "Sarah" in distress):

In the Texas government's war against the women and children of the FLDS Church, Rozita Swinton, a 33-year-old woman from Colorado Springs, is "Curveball" -- a veteran con artist whose patently false intelligence provided the pretext for an invasion. She was "Sarah," the purported 16-year-old FLDS polygamist wife who called a domestic abuse hotline and set in motion the invasion of the sect's YFZ Ranch commune in El Dorado.

And once the government that carried out the assault had what it needed -- first, access to the children, and then physical possession of the same -- it blithely disavowed any need to obey the law and demonstrated its disinclination to "re-litigate" the issue. Oh, yes, the initial raid was based on an affidavit containing third-party hearsay from a bogus source, but that is of little moment in post-Constitutional Amerika.

Read the rest

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Heroes or Dupes? (Laurence Vance)

Laurence Vance on America's love affair with the dupes of the U.S. military commonly known as "heroes":

Americans love their war heroes. It doesn’t matter where the war was fought, why it was fought, how it was fought, or what the war cost. Every battlefield is holy; every cause is just; every soldier is a potential hero. But what is it that turns an ordinary soldier into a war hero? Since it obviously depends on the criteria employed, is it possible that American war heroes are not heroes at all? Could it be that, rather than being heroes, they are instead dupes?

Read the rest

Murray Sabrin Interview

U.S. Senate candidate Murray Sabrin faces down some hostile interviewers on "Inside Trenton":

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Also see this interview on "New Jersey Now."

Why Waco Still Matters (Anthony Gregory)

Anthony Gregory on why the 1993 massacre of the Branch Davidians at the hands of the state is so important to remember:

Every year for the last five years [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], I have written an article commemorating the Waco siege: the 51-day standoff from February 28 to April 19, 1993, between government agents – ATF, FBI and US military – and the Branch Davidians: a conflict ending in a conflagration that consumed the lives of 76 civilians, including 21 children.

That I’ve written about this so consistently raises some questions: Am I obsessed? Why do I, and a number of other commentators, feel the need to keep bringing up this sad episode in modern American history?

Read the rest

"Your Children Are Ours" (William Grigg)

William Grigg has a couple of excellent articles on the outrageous mass child abductions by the tyrannical state of Texas:

"Your Children Are Ours"

Collectivist Child Abuse

Has Capitalism Failed? (Ron Paul)

Ron Paul gives an emphatic "no" to that question in this 2002 speech, and concludes that the state and its fiat currency are to blame for our economic woes:

It is now commonplace and politically correct to blame what is referred to as the excesses of capitalism for the economic problems we face, and especially for the Wall Street fraud that dominates the business news. Politicians are having a field day with demagoguing the issue while, of course, failing to address the fraud and deceit found in the budgetary shenanigans of the federal government — for which they are directly responsible. Instead, it gives the Keynesian crowd that runs the show a chance to attack free markets and ignore the issue of sound money.

Read the rest, or listen to the MP3 audio version.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Assume The Position (Retta Fontana)

Retta Fontana on April 15:

There is a lot to be sad about these days. Millions of American children are shuffled mindlessly through day prisons (public school) for mind control. Millions of Iraqi children are not so lucky. Millions of non-violent Americans (poor people, people of color, sick people) have been and will be killed or imprisoned in the government’s War on Drugs and Alcohol.

The economic policies of the federal government are creating financial Armageddon. Income taxes are around 40%. There are thousands and thousands of other taxes and regulations to contend with on a daily basis. There is nothing we do which is too insignificant to go unsurveilled. Everywhere I go, I’m bombarded with churches, those dominions of tyranny in miniature compared to the state. I cannot so much as drive to the corner store without being faced with a veritable sea of “Support Our (baby killers) Troops” bumper magnets. I wish those colors would just run. Sigh. Some days I just hang my head. There’s nothing else to do.

April 15th is one of the saddest days of the year. It’s not as if good citizens everywhere aren’t taking it up the tailpipe the other 364 days a year, but this bad boy really shouldn’t pass without somebody doing something. April 15th is the day your taxes are due, my fellow Americans, and taxes are the grease in the wheels of the state, keeping it in perpetual, forward motion, growing like a snowball, ensuring the death, incarceration and subjugation of millions more.

Read the rest

On Generals Testifying Before Congress (Fred Reed)

Fred Reed on some questions he'd like to ask the foul Petraeus or any other yes-men known as generals:

Whenever I see that some dismal general will testify to Congress regarding the war against Iraq, I imagine the first paragraph of his Power Point presentation:

“All metrics show a downsurge in the violence in Iraq, and a continuing improvement in indicators of the production of a better life. Next slide. The Iranians are aiding the enemies of America, and must be bombed. This is a recording.”

What solemn, fraudulent, emetic mummery. Congressmen will—do—ask the General puffball questions, after which they will do whatever the President tells them to do. I can make no criticism of this. It is the American way. Still, may I suggest a few questions I would like to see the General, any general, asked?

Read the rest

Bailing Out Banks (Ron Paul)

Ron Paul on the Fed's desperate attempts to prop up poorly run investment banks, which will only make things worse:

There has been a lot of talk in the news recently about the Federal Reserve and the actions it has taken over the past few months. Many media pundits have been bending over backwards to praise the Fed for supposedly restoring stability to the market. This interpretation of the Fed's actions couldn't be further from the truth.

The current market crisis began because of Federal Reserve monetary policy during the early 2000s in which the Fed lowered the interest rate to a below-market rate. The artificially low rates led to overinvestment in housing and other malinvestments. When the first indications of market trouble began back in August of 2007, instead of holding back and allowing bad decision-makers to suffer the consequences of their actions, the Federal Reserve took aggressive, inflationary action to ensure that large Wall Street firms would not lose money.

Read the rest

Monday, April 14, 2008

Did the Fed Cause the Housing Bubble? (Robert Murphy)

Robert Murphy looks closely at the Fed's meddling in the housing market and sees the Austrian boom-bust business cycle theory at work:

One of the few positive developments from the housing bubble is that many mainstream economists have recognized the pernicious role played by the Federal Reserve. Indeed, some analysts on CNBC have discussed the outright abolition of the Fed.

The case against the Fed is straightforward: In an attempt to jumpstart the economy out of recession, Greenspan slashed the federal funds target from 6.5% in January 2001 down to a ridiculous 1% by June 2003. After holding rates at 1% for a year, the Fed then steadily ratcheted them back up to 5.25% by June 2006. The connection between these moves by the central bank, versus the pumping up and popping of the housing bubble, seemed to be more than just a coincidence. On the contrary, it looked like a classic example of the Misesian theory of the business cycle, in which artificially low interest rates lead to malinvestments, which then require a recession to correct.

Read the rest

Hoover's Attack on Laissez-Faire (Murray Rothbard)

Murray Rothbard on the terrible Herbert Hoover and his inept attempts at preventing the depression:

If government wishes to alleviate, rather than aggravate, a depression, its only valid course is laissez-faire — to leave the economy alone. Only if there is no interference, direct or threatened, with prices, wage rates, and business liquidation will the necessary adjustment proceed with smooth dispatch.

Any propping up of shaky positions postpones liquidation and aggravates unsound conditions. Propping up wage rates creates mass unemployment, and bolstering prices perpetuates and creates unsold surpluses.

Read the rest

Please, Not Another FDR (Christopher Westley)

Christopher Westley on the insane notion that we should re-institute FDR's terrible New Deal:

Harold Meyerson, writing in the Washington Post, calls for a new New Deal. The old one worked just fine, and current times call for some of the same medicine.

Harold says it, and he's not alone. FDR's nanny-like visage has been showing up on left-liberal and neocon publications — web and print — by folks who don't understand that their favorite New York patrician-president is the reason for this economic season, to the extent that his legacy justifies intervening in market forces.

Read the rest

From OKC to Abu Ghraib: The Kenneth Trentadue Case (William Grigg)

William Grigg on Kenneth Trentadue, who was murdered by thugs at the U.S. "Justice" Department:

It is doubtful that Kenneth Trentadue really understood, as he was being tortured and beaten to death by federal agents, why he had been singled out for such treatment.

What we do know -- apart from the fact that he was murdered, rather than a victim of suicide -- is that Kenneth (or Kenney, as his family knew him) sold himself dearly.

Read the rest

The Bipartisan Brotherhood of Plunder (William Grigg)

William Grigg on the gang of criminals commonly known as "government":

"Remove justice, and what are kingdoms but gangs of criminals on a vast scale? What are criminal gangs but petty kingdoms?

A gang is a group of men under the command of a leader, bound by a compact of association, in which the plunder is divided according to an agreed convention. If this villainy wins so many recruits from the ranks of the demoralized that it acquires territory, establishes a base, captures cities and subdues peoples, it then openly arrogates to itself the title of `kingdom,' which is conferred on it in the eyes of the world,
not by the renouncing of aggression but by the attainment of impunity.

For it was a witty and a truthful rejoinder which was given by a captured pirate to Alexander the Great. The king asked the fellow, `What is your idea, in infesting the sea?' And the pirate answered, with uninhibited insolence, `The same is yours, in infesting the earth! But because I do it with a tiny craft, I'm called a pirate; because you have a mighty navy, you're called an emperor."

St. Augustine, The City of God, book IV, chapter 4.

One obvious difference between a common criminal gang, and the specialized version of a criminal gang called a "government," is this: Common gangs don't expect their victims to be abjectly grateful to be on the receiving end of criminal violence, and even to pay for the privilege of being plundered.

The more vicious variety of gangs called "government" not only expect such gratitude and tribute, they demand it. Indeed, they will literally kill to have it, sacrificing not only the lives of its victims, but of as many of its enforcers as may be necessary.

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An Economy Built On Lies (Gary North)

Gary North on our shaky economy, built on a mountain of lies:

In this report, I am going to present an astounding document. You have not heard of it. It is at the heart of the current residential real estate crisis. It has to do with liar loans.

By now, the term "liar loans" is common. Prospective house buyers provided false information to representatives of loan-initiating firms.

The loan-initiating firms knew that there were people who did this, but they winked at the practice. Their well-compensated job was to pass on the paperwork to a government-created agency, either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, who then sold scientifically diversified packages of statistically safe mortgages to investors.

Some of these investors were hedge funds. They in turn borrowed money from investment banks at up to 32-to-1 leverage (Carlyle Capital) to buy even more packages of statistically safe mortgages.

Everyone was happy until reality caught up with the lying borrowers, whose meager incomes did not allow them to keep paying their monthly mortgages.

The dominoes started to topple in August, 2007. The experts were caught flat-footed.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Inflation and the Public Consciousness (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell says that even though merchants get the blame for rising prices, the actual culprit is government and its inflation of the money supply:

When central bankers blast central banks for being reckless, you know the problem is serious. Indeed, it seems that everyone suddenly really cares about inflation. Everywhere you go, this is the talk, at the grocery, the gas station, among your neighbors. Price increases have been persistent in major sectors such as medicine and education for decades, but today the trend is conspicuously hitting the stuff that people buy everyday. So the reminders are ubiquitous, and public anger is growing.

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Petrodollars and Inflation (Tim Swanson)

Tim Swanson on how the oil states are feeling the effects of keeping their currencies pegged to the tanking dollar:

At the beginning of The Kingdom, a Hollywood movie from 2007, the audience is briefly given a history lesson on one of the world's largest companies that is now known as Saudi Aramco. And behind the fictionalized account of the Khobar and Riyadh bombings, the geopolitical backroom deals and government intervention portrayed are very real.

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What the 2008 Election Is All About (Butler Shaffer)

Butler Shaffer says the election is certainly not about actual issues:

Those who have yet to understand the vacuous nature of electoral politics need only pay attention to the current presidential circus. I don't know what additional evidence would need to be presented to demonstrate how elections serve but one purpose: to reinforce the delusion that members of the public have anything to say about the nature of the government that rules them. Anything disruptive of the placid mindset upon which the Establishment has grounded its domination of others must be eliminated. This is why Ron Paul has been dealt with as he has by the lapdog media.

There was a time - even during my adult years - when genuine issues were discussed. But no more. Issues are divisive, weakening of the importance of "bipartisanship" (i.e., the one-party, Republocratic commitment to Establishment interests). One saw the early stages of the collapse of issues two decades ago, when presidential campaigns focused on such weighty matters as the parole of Willie Horton, or the importance of the "pledge of allegiance." There was even a time - 1964 - when the fear that Barry Goldwater might use nuclear weapons in Vietnam helped to decide an election. In 2008, the fear that a candidate might NOT want to use nuclear weapons (e.g., on Iran) may decide the presidential election.

If issues are to be avoided, what, then, of questions regarding the character or beliefs of the candidates? Oh, that amounts to "mudslinging" and "smearing" and is to be condemned.

This leaves us with what the 2008 presidential election has become: a plebiscite on political correctness. Are we to elect a "woman" or a "black" as president, or are we to continue electing "old, white men" to this office? Minds that have been conditioned by government schools and television to awaken or go to sleep on cue, will be asked to stumble into voting booths to select the image - not principles - that best suits them. Keep in mind that this process will have absolutely nothing to do with how the government will operate: that decision was made a long time ago by the corporate owners of the Establishment. The election will be as relevant to your life as the outcome of an "American Idol" contest. The upcoming "debates" will be as empty-headed as the inquiries made of beauty contestants: "if you had but one wish, . . ."

In our Marshall McLuhan universe, public opinion polls have become substitutes for critical thinking. This election will amount to little more than a popular referendum on whether people prefer the mindset of Oprah Winfrey or Bill O'Reilly.

Ron Paul vs. General Petraeus

Dr. Paul speaks truth to power:

Rep Ron Paul: Gen Petraeus Iraq Surge Hearing

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

New Regulations Will Shape the Next Crisis (Gary North)

Gary North makes some forecasts for the economy and says that now's the time to panic:
Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson put forth a number of "new" ideas for changes in the regulatory structures. Nothing I saw will help all that much in the current crisis. It's more like re-arranging the deck chairs as the ship is going down. It seems like most of it is being proposed to prevent another crisis like the one we are in from occurring in the future. That simply insures that Wall Street will have to invent whole new ways to create a crisis in the future. I am sure they will be up to the task. ~ John Mauldin (April 4, 2008)

We have seen this before. In 1980, Congress abolished the law that prohibited banks from paying market rates of interest on deposits under $100,000 – a law that had been designed to hurt small investors and also make low-cost funds available to banks. It was a price control. It blew up after 1976. Price controls restrict the supply of whatever is controlled.

The new law was the Monetary Control Act of 1980. Why did Congress pass it? Because the banks were hemorrhaging money.

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What You Should Know About Inflation (Henry Hazlitt)

Henry Hazlitt on the real definition of inflation, and why it is evil (written in 1964):

No subject is so much discussed today — or so little understood — as inflation. The politicians in Washington talk of it as if it were some horrible visitation from without, over which they had no control — like a flood, a foreign invasion, or a plague. It is something they are always promising to "fight" — if Congress or the people will only give them the "weapons" or "a strong law" to do the job.

Yet the plain truth is that our political leaders have brought on inflation by their own money and fiscal policies. They are promising to fight with their right hand the conditions brought on with their left.

Inflation, always and everywhere, is primarily caused by an increase in the supply of money and credit. In fact, inflation is the increase in the supply of money and credit.

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Immigration: The Art of Unpolicy (Fred Reed)

Fred Reed on the ludicrous suggestion that Mexico is at fault for America's illegal immigration ills:

To grasp American immigration policy, to the extent that it can be grasped, one need only remember that the United States forbids smoking while subsidizing tobacco growers.

We say to impoverished Mexicans, “See this river? Don’t cross it. If you do, we’ll give you good jobs, a drivers license, citizenship for your kids born here and eventually for you, school for said kids, public assistance, governmental documents in Spanish for your convenience, and a much better future. There is no penalty for getting caught. Now, don’t cross this river, hear?”

How smart is that? We’re baiting them. It’s like putting out a salt lick and then complaining when deer come. As parents, the immigrants would be irresponsible not to cross.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

How Trials Operate in the New Torture Regime (William Grigg)

William Grigg on yet another railroaded victim of the torture state:

What purpose does a trial serve when it's conducted by a state claiming the power to torture confessions from a suspect, or "evidence" from a witness?

Obviously, an exercise of this kind isn't carried out in the interest of establishing the truth beyond a reasonable doubt: Torture is a very effective means of compelling someone to submit to an official story, but entirely unreliable as a method of learning the truth. Thus it follows that a legal system in which torture is practiced is devoted to protecting and glorifying a ruling elite than in pursuing justice in any sense of the expression.

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Who Does the Fed Serve? (George F. Smith)

George F. Smith on the evil Federal Reserve and how the U.S. entered World War I to save the necks of the Morgans who stood to lose millions in bad loans to the British:

In testimony last week, Ben Bernanke told Ron Paul that the government created the Federal Reserve in 1913 to stop the “periodic financial crises” that erupted in the 19th Century and again in 1907. Bernanke, evidently, was counting on Paul holding the accepted view of the Fed’s origins, the one untainted by Wall Street-government conspiracy -- not the view meticulously presented in the works of Kolko, Rothbard, and Griffin, among others.

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Monday, April 7, 2008

No Autism for Unvaccinated Amish? (Dan Olmsted)

Dan Olmsted notes that the Amish, who don't vaccinate their children, have no cases of autism among their population (ah, but watch how that anomaly is "explained" away!):

It's a far piece from the horse-and-buggies of Lancaster County, Pa., to the cars and freeways of Cook County, Ill.

But thousands of children cared for by Homefirst Health Services in metropolitan Chicago have at least two things in common with thousands of Amish children in rural Lancaster: They have never been vaccinated. And they don't have autism.

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The Emerging Surveillance State (Ron Paul)

Ron Paul on yet another encroachment on privacy by the state:

Last month, the House amended the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to expand the government’s ability to monitor our private communications. This measure, if it becomes law, will result in more warrantless government surveillance of innocent American citizens.

Though some opponents claimed that the only controversial part of this legislation was its grant of immunity to telecommunications companies, there is much more to be wary of in the bill.

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Threat to Homeschooling (John Stossel)

The great John Stossel gives his $.02 on the homeschooling mess in California:

The cat is finally out of the bag. A California appellate court, ruling that parents have no constitutional right to homeschool their children, pinned its decision on this ominous quotation from a 47-year-old case, "A primary purpose of the educational system is to train schoolchildren in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare."

There you have it; a primary purpose of government schools is to train schoolchildren "in loyalty to the state." Somehow that protects "the public welfare" more than allowing parents to homeschool their children, even though homeschooled kids routinely outperform government-schooled kids academically.

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Homeschooling vs. Public Schooling

Thanks to Manual Lora at the blog:

What If Public Schools Were Abolished? (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell imagines a day when the indoctrination camps are no more:

In American culture, public schools are praised in public and criticized in private, which is roughly the opposite of how we tend to treat large-scale enterprises like Wal-Mart. In public, everyone says that Wal-Mart is awful, filled with shoddy foreign products and exploiting workers. But in private, we buy the well-priced, quality goods, and long lines of people hope to be hired.

Why is this? It has something to do with the fact that public schools are part of our civic religion, the primary evidence that people cite to show that local government serves us. And there is a psychological element. Most of us turn our kids over to them, so surely they must have our best interest at heart!

But do they?

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Ron Paul Moment Has Only Begun (Thomas Woods)

Thomas Woods on Ron Paul's upcoming book, which apparently is a masterpiece (I've preordered mine and can't wait to read it!):

Whatever your expectations for Ron Paul’s book The Revolution: A Manifesto, I can say with confidence that they have been exceeded. By a mile.

Ron Paul has produced the kind of book that changes the person who reads it. It is one of the most persuasively argued and beautifully written defenses of the free society I have ever encountered. No president, no presidential candidate, indeed no American politician has ever written anything like this. But that is such faint praise, and such an unjust understatement, that I almost regret uttering it.

Read the rest of the article, read Ron Paul's introduction, and order the book!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

In Wal-Mart we trust (Colby Cosh)

Colby Cosh of the Canadian National Post tells of the heroics of Wal-Mart employees in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina:

Shortly before Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast on the morning of Aug. 29, 2005, the chief executive officer of Wal-Mart, Lee Scott, gathered his subordinates and ordered a memorandum sent to every single regional and store manager in the imperiled area. His words were not especially exalted, but they ought to be mounted and framed on the wall of every chain retailer -- and remembered as American business's answer to the pre-battle oratory of George S. Patton or Henry V.

"A lot of you are going to have to make decisions above your level," was Scott's message to his people. "Make the best decision that you can with the information that's available to you at the time, and above all, do the right thing."

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The Dollar Falls, The Predators Awaken (William Grigg)

William Grigg on how the tanking dollar is resulting in new forms of crime:

Not terribly long ago, it was common to hear of people "taking money out" of their homes. It was as if those houses were equipped with magic ATM consoles through which some portion of their inflated market value could be transmuted into cash.

Many houses of that sort have since been repossessed and are the property of banks. (That is to say, they are now the acknowledged property of banks, since an occupant with an unpaid mortgage doesn't really own the house in which he lives.)

And now an increasing number of foreclosed houses aren't fit for resale because thieves have literally been taking money out of them by cannibalizing their copper plumbing and wiring, as well as any other metals that can be bundled together and sold to scrap metal dealers.

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The Other Civil War (Keith Preston)

Keith Preston on the insane War on (Some) Drugs:

Despite the ongoing decline in quality of American education, most Americans are fortunately still aware that a civil war transpired in the United States between 1861 and 1865. What is unfortunately less widely recognized is the fact that another civil war has been going on in this country for roughly the last forty years. I'm talking, of course, about the War on Drugs. For some, the "drug war" is seen as a metaphor or a symbolic war as opposed to a "real" war. I disagree. The War on Drugs involves people with guns, it involves killing and it involves taking prisoners.

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My Journey to the Heart of Darkness – Indianapolis (Robert Higgs)

Robert Higgs visits a monument that celebrates our ancestors' bloodthirsty warmongering:

Rome, Paris, London, Indianapolis – hey, wait a minute! Something's wrong here. Or is it? Might Americans have overlooked a truth that has been staring them in the face from the very beginning of their residence on this continent?

Rome, Paris, and London were each in times past the capital of a great empire – vast territories conquered by bellicose Romans, Frenchmen, and Englishmen. Among many other monuments of these conquests, Rome has the Arch of Constantine, Paris has the Arc de Triomphe, and London has Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square.

Indianapolis has the State Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument.

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Ron Paul vs. Ben Bernanke

Ron Paul once again schools the chairman of the Fed:

Ron Paul Berates Bernanke at Joint Economic Committee

"And someday, we may try the market to determine the interest rates."

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ron Paul on Glenn Beck

Ron Paul with Glen Beck today on the tanking economy, the illegal Federal Reserve, outrageous government spending, and tyrannical power grabs:

Ron Paul on Glenn Beck 4-1-08

The campaign also released this video that shows Dr. Paul on the campaign trail the day before Super Tuesday, including footage of the rally at the University of Minnesota, which I had the privilege to attend:

Ron Paul: The Day Before Super Tuesday

The Evolution of an Anti-Anti-Communist (B.K. Marcus)

B.K. Marcus on how Murray Rothbard learned that his anti-communism stance was far different than that of Senator Joe McCarthy:

In his "Confessions of a Right-Wing Liberal" (1968), Murray Rothbard wrote,

Twenty years ago I was an extreme right-wing Republican, a young and lone "Neanderthal" (as the liberals used to call us) who believed, as one friend pungently put it, that "Senator Taft had sold out to the socialists." Today, I am most likely to be called an extreme leftist, since I favor immediate withdrawal from Vietnam, denounce US imperialism, advocate Black Power and have just joined the new Peace and Freedom Party. And yet my basic political views have not changed by a single iota in these two decades!

While his claim of ideological steadfastness on his "basic political views" may have been correct, Rothbard did change his mind on questions of strategy and alliance, most significantly on the question of "McCarthyism" and the broader anti-Communist movement of the American Right, which he eventually rejected in favor of a more nuanced (and largely misunderstood) anti-anti-Communism.

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Just Desertion (William Grigg)

William Grigg on refusing to fight an immoral war and making the right choice to desert:

"The president carries the biggest burden, obviously. He's the one who has to make the decision to commit young Americans, but we are fortunate to have a group of men and women, the all-volunteer force, who voluntarily put on the uniform and go in harm's way for the rest of us."

Dick "Cthulhu" Cheney, the incarnate expression of unfiltered evil, discussing the completely useless and unjustified death of 4,000 Americans in the Idiot King's illegal war

Does anyone living where reasoning bears sway honestly believe that George W. Bush, whose brow has never known the sweat of honest labor or been furrowed in socially useful thought, is "burdened" by his whimsical decision to send Americans to kill and die in Iraq?

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