Friday, February 29, 2008

Why Minarchism Cannot Cut It (Jim Davies)

Jim Davies says that while Gary North's political demands are commendable, they don't go nearly far enough:

Recently Dr. Gary North, the well-known Libertarian predictor of catastrophes large and small, wrote a thought-provoking article entitled "Non-Negotiable Political Demands" in which he listed seventeen. It's worth reading the original, because it's as vigorous an expression of the Classical Liberal position as I can recall reading, and at first sight we can say "Amen!" to each of them. As the author points out, they have much in common with what Ron Paul has been saying during his campaign--and they furnish an excellent example of hacking at the branches of evil instead of striking at its root.

The seventeen are those he would present to Congress, in well-justified confidence that Congress would give not one of them so much as the time of day. North goes on to reason that because of that intransigence, national governments will quite soon collapse under the weight of paying the cost of what they refuse to repeal, and then county and city governments will take over, in a kind of informal and undeclared devolution of power. He seemed to take pleasure in the thought that the era of the nation-state is ending.

I cannot share it. The news that government intruders may all be as close to me as Merrimack , NH instead of Washington , DC gives me no warm, cozy feeling whatever. Governments are governments no matter what their sizes and locations, and are wholly unacceptable in their very nature, because every last one of them arrogantly presumes to run one or more aspects of my life which rightly belong to me alone.

Read the rest

Monetary Policy and the State of the Economy (Ron Paul)

Rep. Ron Paul at the Financial Services Committee Hearing:

Mr. Chairman,

A topic that is on the lips of many people during the past few months, and one with which I have greatly concerned myself, is that of moral hazard. We hear cries from all corners, from politicians, journalists, economists, businessmen, and citizens, clamoring for the federal government to intervene in the economy in order to forestall a calamitous recession. During the boom, many of these same individuals called for no end to the Fed's easy credit. Now that the consequences of that easy money policy are coming home to roost, no one wants to face those ill effects.

We have already seen a plan from the administration to freeze mortgages, a plan which is alleged to be only a temporary program. As with other programs that have come through this committee, I believe we ought to learn from history and realize that “temporary” programs are almost anything but temporary. When this program expires and mortgage rates reset, we will see new calls for a rate-freeze plan, maybe for two years, maybe for five, or maybe for more.

Some drastic proposals have called for the federal government to purchase existing mortgages and take upon itself the process of rewriting these and guaranteeing the resulting new mortgages. Aside from exposing the government to tens of billions of dollars of potentially defaulting mortgages, the burden of which will ultimately fall on the taxpayers, this type of plan would embed the federal government even deeper into the housing market and perpetuate instability. The Congress has, over the past decades, relentlessly pushed for increased rates of homeownership among people who have always been viewed by the market as poor credit risks. Various means and incentives have been used by the government, but behind all the actions of lenders has been an implicit belief in a federal bailout in the event of a crisis.

What all of these proposed bailouts fail to mention is the moral hazard to which bailouts lead. If the federal government bails out banks, investors, or homeowners, the lessons of sound investment and fiscal discipline will not take hold. We can see this in the financial markets in the boom and bust of the business cycle. The Fed's manipulation of interest rates results in malinvestment which, when it is discovered, leads to economic contraction and liquidation of malinvested resources. But the Fed never allows a complete shakeout, so that before a return to a sound market can occur, the Fed has already bailed out numerous market participants by undertaking another bout of loose money before the effects of the last business cycle have worked their way through the economy.

Many market actors therefore continue to undertake risky investments and expect that in the future, if their investments go south, that the Fed would and should intervene by creating more money and credit. The result of these bailouts is that each successive recession runs the risk of becoming larger and more severe, requiring a stronger reaction by the Fed. Eventually, however, the Fed begins to run out of room in which to maneuver, a problem we are facing today.

I urge my colleagues to resist the temptation to call for easy fixes in the form of bailouts. If we fail to address and stem the problem of moral hazard, we are doomed to experience repeated severe economic crises.

Government Concedes Vaccine-Autism Case (David Kirby)

Is the government admitting that there's a link between vaccines and autism? Read on:

After years of insisting there is no evidence to link vaccines with the onset of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the US government has quietly conceded a vaccine-autism case in the Court of Federal Claims.

The unprecedented concession was filed on November 9, and sealed to protect the plaintiff's identify. It was obtained through individuals unrelated to the case.

The claim, one of 4,900 autism cases currently pending in Federal "Vaccine Court," was conceded by US Assistant Attorney General Peter Keisler and other Justice Department officials, on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services, the "defendant" in all Vaccine Court cases.

The child's claim against the government -- that mercury-containing vaccines were the cause of her autism -- was supposed to be one of three "test cases" for the thimerosal-autism theory currently under consideration by a three-member panel of Special Masters, the presiding justices in Federal Claims Court.

Keisler wrote that medical personnel at the HHS Division of Vaccine Injury Compensation (DVIC) had reviewed the case and "concluded that compensation is appropriate."

The doctors conceded that the child was healthy and developing normally until her 18-month well-baby visit, when she received vaccinations against nine different diseases all at once (two contained thimerosal).

Read the rest, and also see the full government statement.

Note: For more on the vaccine/autism link, see the K.N.O.W. Vaccines website or videos from FAIR Autism Media.

[UPDATE] One website I forgot to mention is Think Twice, an excellent resource on vaccines.

Ron Paul on the Dollar

A letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal from Ron Paul:

The Dollar is a Big Element of U.S. Security

I was delighted to read in Judy Shelton's op-ed, "Security and the Falling Dollar" (Feb. 15), that at long last the security implications of the dollar's collapse have made their way into the mainstream media. The dollar's strength (or lack thereof) has been of paramount concern to me, and the subject of many of my statements over the past several years. Decades of manipulation by the Federal Reserve have benefited the government and certain politically-connected firms, while gradually destroying the purchasing power of middle-class Americans. Despite numerous warnings in the past, it is only now at a point of acute crisis that Washington insiders are beginning to awaken to the reality of the end of dollar hegemony.

While I desire reform of our current monetary system, my own proposals have not been as all-encompassing as Ms. Shelton's suggestion to return to a Bretton Woods-style system. Her recommendation, though, that gold backing should make up a component of a future monetary system, is one that we would all do well to heed. My own legislative proposals focus around eliminating the taxes and laws that dissuade individuals and institutions from using gold as currency or as a backing for currency. By allowing market processes to determine the issuance of currency, we can allow individuals to decide for themselves what currency they wish to use. This would lead to a gradual reintroduction of sound money and avoid the market shocks that occur when monetary decisions are mandated by government fiat.

Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas)
Washington

Help Murray Sabrin!



Today is the Murray Sabrin money bomb! What can Murray Sabrin do in the Senate? See this insightful forum post:

Fellow Patriots,

I know we are in the midst of Ron Paul season, but as everyone is well aware of, getting Ron Paul to the White House is a most difficult task.

That being said, like all other things in life, its always good to have an insurance policy. Great for the times when plans happen to fall short of expectations, or other catastrophic failures.

I offer to you, that insurance policy. Most of you know now that Ron Paul's friend, Murray Sabrin, is running for the U.S. Senate seat in New Jersey against Frank Lautenburg.

Now, unlike a Congressman, A Senator can definitely stop most legislation in the Senate, unless they can somehow muster together a cloture vote of %60.

You see it works like this: (taken from Campus Progress.org)

The filibuster is a 217-year-old Senate tradition. The filibuster, one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Senate, is the right to engage in extended debate. In order to end debate on a piece of legislation or a nominee in the Senate, at least 60 Senators need to agree to move forward to a vote. Without 60 votes to end debate, the legislation or nominee is “filibustered.” When our founding fathers carefully crafted our nation’s government over 200 years ago, they designed the Senate as a deliberative body to check the impulses of the House and the actions of the President. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, the Senate was intended to be “a saucer into which the nation’s passions may be poured to cool.” To help achieve this goal, Jefferson and his colleagues created the Senate with longer terms and rules of unlimited debate.

Read the rest, and help Murray Sabrin today!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Murray Sabrin Money Bomb and Rally Tomorrow!

Just a reminder that the money bomb for Murray Sabrin is tomorrow! And if you're in the New York City area tomorrow, Dr. Sabrin will be hosting the Legalize Freedom Rally four blocks from the Federal Reserve at 4pm!

Felonious Hugging (William N. Grigg)

William N. Grigg on the outrageous "crime" of hugging that landed a woman in jail:

Veronica Rodriguez of Hillsboro, Oregon recently completed a year in prison for the supposed crime of hugging a 13-year-old boy. With time off for good behavior, the 27-year-old completed the sentence imposed on her by the judge who presided over her criminal trial.

The prosecutors in that case, displaying a shameless vindictiveness that might have struck Shylock as excessive, appealed the sentence as impermissibly lenient under Oregon's draconian Measure 11 "one strike and you're out" sentencing guidelines. An appeals court overturned agreed with the prosecutors and imposed an additional five years to Veronica's sentence. The case reached the Oregon state supreme court on February 13, and it may prompt a re-evaluation of the Beaver State's "one strike" sentencing law.

Read the rest

William Buckley, RIP

Lew Rockwell's short obituary for William Buckley:

The CIA agent, founder of the modern conservative movement, enforcer of warfare-state discipline on the right, brilliant writer and editor, transoceanic sailor, harpsichordist, TV star, charming aristocrat, founder of National Review and Young Americans for Freedom, enabler of neoconservatism, expeller of heretics from Birchers to Rothbardians, and thoroughly bad ideological influence in general, is dead at 82.

And see this article by Christopher Westley:

William Buckley seemed to relish writing obituaries.

In fact, the death of a Milton Friedman or a Strom Thurmond or even of an obscure Manhattan socialite would provide a forum for Buckley to write about, well, himself – about how witty he once was in that person’s company, or how important he came to be in that person’s life.

So when news arrived today that Buckley himself had died, I wondered how he would like his own obituaries to be written. He’d no doubt take great pride in his death being noted on the front page of his beloved New York Times. He’d be glad that his death coincided with a Republican in the White House, practically guaranteeing an official statement from a sitting president.

For someone who reproduced his Who’s Who citation in one of his books, the validation that mattered came from the secular establishment.

Read the rest, and listen to this interview with Lew Rockwell.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Aimee Allen's *Unofficial* Video

Due to popular demand, Aimee authorized this color corrected version of the leaked video, with an official video to be released later:

Aimee Allen: *Unofficial* Ron Paul Revolution Video

Also available for download here at Google Video.

Ron Paul vs. Ben Bernanke

Ron Paul schools the Federal Reserve chairman today:

Ron Paul opening statement to Bernanke at FSC - 2-27-2008

Ron Paul's statements and Bernanke's response at FSC

[UPDATE] Here's a link to Dr. Paul's statement

Rain, Rain, Go Away (Jeff Tucker)

Jeff Tucker on the consequences of the "public" ownership of the water supply:

Once again, for the umpteenth time this month, I arrive at work soaking wet. Just getting from the car to the front door of the Mises Institute is like going through the rinse cycle — and umbrellas just aren't my thing. What's striking is how this weather pattern follows a year of dire warnings from government officials about the deadly drought that is destroying the region, as you can easily see from the government's own US Drought Assessment maps.

Actually, these are interesting maps. They give the impression that the whole of the nation is a parched land that vacillates between persistent drought and improving droughts. Nowhere is listed as "soaked" or "just the right amount of rain." And if you reflect on government announcements of these things, all places seem to fall into one of three categories: catastrophic flooding, catastrophic drought, or forgettable.

Read the rest

The Hegelianism of the 2008 Election (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell shows that Mises was right about the great American obsession:

If the political prediction markets are right, we are going to end up with a presidential contest between two people who agree on the pressing need to expand the entire welfare-warfare state. They can argue about priorities, but they agree on the overall goal. With the campaign lacking serious issues, something tells me that the great American obsession over race is going to play a major role, which is gravely unfortunate since the discussion is unlikely to be enlightening.

Of course it's all politics, that is, equal parts dissembling and illusion, and designed to confer on some groups more power over other groups.

But it does raise important questions: what is racism and how can we tell if it exists? I'm not talking about someone who dislikes African-Americans or whites or Latinos. We might call that racism on the level of individual ethics, but there are no inevitable and widespread social consequences of a bad attitude. Defining racism, a notion highly charged with political implications, also raises the specter of the Thought Police: did you or did you not think politically incorrect thoughts?

Read the rest

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Freedom March Update (Dan McCarthy)

Ron Paul campaign blogger Daniel McCarthy gives an update on the upcoming freedom march:

A quick update on the upcoming freedom march. The Freedom March Committee has been evaluating suggestions from a huge volume of supporter e-mails and has been reporting to Dr. Paul. With the Texas presidential and congressional primary races at the center of Dr. Paul’s attention through March 4, it will be a while yet before a firm date and plan for the march are selected. In the meantime, you can send additional ideas here, as the committee prepares supplemental materials for Dr. Paul.

Please note that several independent organizations have made plans for marches of their own. These marches are not affiliated with Ron Paul or his campaign. When plans for the Ron Paul march are solidified, the announcement will be made here and through other official channels.

Murray Sabrin Update

The Murray Sabrin campaign has released a couple of new videos:

Murray Sabrin vs. Anne Estabrook on Life and Guns

Lew Rockwell endorses Murray Sabrin

Also, a reminder that Dr. Sabrin's Scholar of Freedom money bomb is on Friday 2/29, which coincides with his Legalize Freedom Rally to call for an end to the Federal Reserve!

Our Money's No Good Here (William N. Grigg)

William N. Grigg on the grim history of fiat currencies and what it means for the dollar:

For decades, the American ruling establishment has enjoyed the privilege of exporting inflation.

This has been done, acknowledges Ben Steil of the Council on Foreign Relations (a group I'm not in the habit of quoting favorably), by compelling other governments around the world to print huge mounds of their own currencies to prop up the dollar by buying Treasury Notes.

Thus when the Fed inflates, central banks world-wide follow suit, thereby driving up consumer prices for those ruled by satraps of Washington's global empire.

Read the rest

True Tranquility (Derek Lin)

A great Taoist story, translated by Derek Lin:

Once upon a time in ancient China, the Emperor was in his study, looking over volumes of diplomatic documents. He found it hard to concentrate, so he summoned his most trusted Minster. When the Minister arrived, he saw that the Emperor was pacing back and forth, looking irritable.

The Emperor said to him: "I wish to focus on the affairs of the state, but my mind is unsettled and agitated. When I feel like this, I need something I can look at to help me regain tranquility. Go find the best artist in the land and have him create a painting that has the power to calm me down. I want the theme of this painting to be 'True Tranquility.'"


Read the rest and see the rest of Derek Lin's great site Taoism.net.

Moneychangers Destroying America--And Christians Don't See It (Chuck Baldwin)

Pastor Chuck Baldwin on the moneychangers of today, the international bankers:

"And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables." John 2:13-15 (KJV)

The moneychangers of Jesus' day were the equivalent of the international bankers of our day. With the consent and approbation of the Jewish leaders, these bankers set up shop in the Temple. Their purpose was to exchange whatever currency the Jewish worshipper brought with him or her into Jewish currency, which would then be used to purchase whatever sacrifice the worshipper required. Of course, the exchange rates benefited only the bankers and Jewish leaders (and Caesar, who collected a tax on the exchange, of course). For everyone else, the system was nothing more than legalized extortion.

When Jesus saw what the bankers were doing, He was incensed. And throughout the Gospel narratives, this is the only occasion where Jesus is recorded as resorting to violence. He made a scourge (or whip) and drove the bankers out of the Temple by force and destroyed their tables, along with their records, receipts, etc.

It is too bad that today's pastors and Christians do not share Jesus' disdain for the current generation of moneychangers, because it is the moneychangers who are in the process of destroying these United States of America--and our pastors and Christians either do not see it, or, if they do see it, do not seem to care.

Read the rest

Message from Ron Paul

The latest from Ron Paul:

What thrilling rallies we've just had in Texas. First there were the Students for Ron Paul at the University of Texas in Austin. The media said 4,000 came. Our people think there were more like 7,000. In any event, it was a very enthusiastic gathering of our revolutionaries, as even the media admitted.

You will not be surprised to know that the young people there cheered the pure message of liberty: no preemptive wars, no Federal Reserve, no income tax, no police state, no drug war. Just American liberty and the Constitution, in the tradition of the framers.

But the rally in Killeen, though much smaller, may have been just as significant. Killeen is near Fort Hood, and among the 300 people who attended were many active-duty soldiers (though not in uniform) and their families. Whether it was the young man going back to Iraq for his fourth tour, or the sister of a soldier just killed there, they all wanted change in our foreign policy. Most heartbreaking was the young mother who asked for a signed copy of the Constitution for her son, "who will never know his dad." He too was just killed in Iraq.

How can we ask one young American to die for a neocon empire? The soldiers and their families agree with us, which is why our campaign gets more financial support from active-duty and retired military than all the rest combined. They want to defend America, not be part of some globalist scheme to take away our country's independence. And by the way, at both rallies, nobody was for the monstrous Trans-Texas Corridor or the North American Union.

Coming up soon are the Texas and Ohio primaries, with others like Pennsylvania not long afterwards. We are contesting every one, and we will be heard at the Republican national convention in Minneapolis and beyond. A substantial minority of Americans in all parties, not to speak of Independents, agree with you and me. Until November and beyond, I want to work to turn that minority into a majority, with your help. https://www.ronpaul2008.com/donate/

Sincerely,

Ron

Inflationary Recession (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell blogs on the state of our economy:

We're in another one of those impossible situations, according to classical Keynesian economists: an economic downturn with rising prices. One of the econoboobs on cable TV today said this was bad news, since it made things harder for the Fed! Not for consumers gouged by the central bank. And note, as Joseph Salerno points out, recession was originally a euphemism, for depression, itself a euphemism for the 19th century terms, panic and crash. But whatever you call it, we have been put in a pickle by the central bank, Greenspan, Bush, and Congress. And nothing is beyond the pols of both predatory parties, as the downturn turns down. Watch for talk of price and wage controls, exchange controls, and more stimulating war. You know, the doctine that mass murder and property destruction, combined with vast transfers from taxpayers to the merchants of death, are good for the economy.

Is the Starving Man Free? (Ben O'Neill)

Ben O'Neill says the nonaggression principle by implication applies to everyone:

Modern "liberals" who advocate the view that government should provide us with the necessities or alleged necessities of life rarely appreciate that this assistance rests on a system of mass robbery and enslavement that is highly inimical to their professed belief in liberty. In fact, the advocates of such policies present them in quite the opposite light, as enhancing our liberty.

This contention rests on the conceptual claim that liberty requires certain of our most basic needs to be satisfied, if necessary by the actions of others. Adherents of this view assert that "the starving man is not free" and that he must be guaranteed his freedom from famine and other hardships by the benevolent welfare state.

Read the rest

Triumph of the Red-State Fascists (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell on the meaning of McCain:

Every Republican I've spoken to is mystified that John McCain has sewn up the Republican nomination. For his entire career, he has been more statist on both domestic and foreign policy than even the typical Republican. He has been considered a "liberal," and not in a good sense. He doesn't share any of the values that are said to make up the Republican consensus on economics or culture or religion. His personal baggage is heavy and a mile long. He had no dedicated constituency within the party.

Of course I'm not talking to the run-of-the-mill Republican. There are vast hordes of these people who have never read a book and vote only by the most sordid political instinct known to man. McCain is their candidate. It comes down to one thing only: the simple-minded, unthinking impression that he is a war hero and, more than anyone else, has what it takes to smash the evil foreign peoples who want to kill us. In short, he appeals to the militaristic, nationalistic impulses of the base Republican base.

Read the rest

Monday, February 25, 2008

Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early

Satire from The Onion (or is it?). Click here for the funny video.

Ron Paul on the Trans Texas Corridor

Rep. Ron Paul continues to fight against the monstrous highway project:

One major concern I discussed a few weeks ago regarding the Trans Texas Corridor is where the land will come from. Another concern is where the money will come from. Official government websites for the TTC assure that public-private partnerships will shield the taxpayer from bearing too much of the cost burden, but a careful reading shows the door is definitely open to public funding sources, while at the same time there is no doubt of the intention to charge tolls on the road.

Taxpayers already pay for their transportation system through hefty gasoline taxes, vehicle registration fees, and other fees. They have every right to expect the roads they have already paid for to be properly maintained and toll-free.

However, private foreign corporations have flocked to this country eager to participate in toll collection on our poorly managed toll roads, and they make a lot of money doing so. Taking over the management and maintenance of an existing toll road is one thing. Converting taxpayer built roads into cash cows for big corporations is quite another. Using eminent domain to take privately owned land, and taxpayer funding to build a highway that is designed to bring in private revenue is nothing short of highway robbery.

Cintra/Zachry, a private Spanish firm, is poised to make billions from TTC tolls. Yet my fear is that as planning progresses, more and more public burden will creep into the process, and more profit will be pledged to the private corporation. The costs will be socialized and the profits will be privatized.

And to add insult to injury – private lands will be taken for this road which will be, for all intents and purposes, a private business. The government should not use the power of eminent domain to seize and redistribute land for the benefit of a private company. This is wrong and unconstitutional. Cintra Zachry should negotiate with each individual land owner and go through the normal private land acquisition process to start its new business. If mutual agreements can be reached, fine. If not, government force is not appropriate. Our government should protect property rights, not facilitate theft.

Toll roads should not be paid for with taxpayer dollars, or even bond funding that pledge future tax dollars. Taxpayers should not have to pay additional fees for something they have already paid for. Eminent domain should absolutely not be used for private businesses. This public-private partnership has all the makings of the worst of both worlds. I am doing my part at the Federal level in Congress to limit the damage to the taxpayer. I introduced a bill in that prohibits the use of federal funding for any part of the TTC and I will continue to push for this bill, and other bills protecting property rights, taxpayers rights and our national sovereignty. The government should not fund and enforce private efforts like this and thumb their nose at land owners and taxpayers.

Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism

Robert Higgs heaps praise on the new Ludwig von Mises biography and its author (after reading this, I plan to go buy it myself!):

Here is a note that I wrote Guido Hulsmann, author of Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism:

I have finally finished reading your great book about Mises. When I use the word "great," I mean not simply that it weighs at least a kilo and contains more than 1,000 pages. I mean most of all that it is a magnificent scholarly achievement. I can't remember when I have taken more pleasure from a book. It is a joy to read, in every way. The English is precise and polished, and everything is put just right. The research is amazingly broad, yet deep, too. The judgments are sensible and mature. The coverage--from the personal details to the content of Mises's ideas to the context in which he lived and worked--is extraordinary, and the organization puts everything into comprehensible order. The bibliography is more than impressive. All in all, the book is simply an amazing accomplishment, and a fitting tribute to its great subject.

The Mises Institute deserves great credit, too, not only for its support of your work on this project, but also for producing a book that is a fine example of the publisher's art: the typeface is clean and clear, and large enough to permit effortless reading; the layout is spacious and proper; the footnotes are where they should be, and they, too, are large enough to be read without a magnifying glass; the illustrations are splendid complements to the text; and the indexes are terrific. The work is thus not simply beautiful intellectually, but beautiful physically, as well.

If I had ever written anything half so wonderful--and I recognize that I lack the abilities to do so--I would consider my career a complete success, and feel myself justified in taking my ease, to rest on my laurels. I do not perceive that you have this plan in mind for yourself, and therefore the world will be the better, not only for your great book on Mises, but also for all the great achievements that lie in your future. I salute you, my friend, not without a touch of envy, but with my whole heart.

Core Values (Glen Allport)

Glen Allport gets right to the core of what makes a healthy society:

There are only a few universal core values required for a healthy life and a healthy society, yet there are hundreds of religious sects and political movements and parties.

The blizzard of rules, beliefs, supernatural storylines, government-as-parent schemes, god-as-parent fantasies, and all the rest of the sometimes beautiful, sometimes odd, sometimes horrifying cultural add-ons that grow up around political and religious groups of every stripe are for the most part not fundamental and are too-often at odds with healthy values.

Love and freedom – including love and freedom for children specifically – form the core of every healthy social structure and religion. But even if the core values are healthy, those values may become diluted, hidden, and corrupted by an overgrowth of other material. Sometimes this material is added to hijack the religion or the social/political structure for personal or political gain; sometimes the material is added by people wanting formal procedures or other ways to celebrate the core values. Even when not in conflict with healthy core values, the sheer volume of this added material can obscure the whole point of the exercise: to foster love and freedom, especially for the young. Everything worthwhile in life flows from and requires those two connected qualities – and as even the ancients knew, early life shapes adult character, behavior, and experience.

Read the rest

Accomplice to Murder (Laurence Vance)

Laurence M. Vance says joining the government army, in any capacity, is being an accomplice to murder:

Is there any reason a Christian who was opposed to the war in Iraq could in good conscience still join the military? I have previously explained why Christians have no business joining the military, even to serve as a military chaplain. I have also expressed my opposition to the National Guard. But what about a Christian joining the military to be a witness for Christ or to serve his fellow soldiers? What could possibly be wrong with that? My short answer is that one would be an accomplice to murder, that’s what wrong with it. My long answer follows below.

Read the rest

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ron Paul at University of Texas

Videos from the highly successful rally at UT Austin with a crowd of over 4000:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

[UPDATE] Here's a better quality, single-link video

Murray Sabrin on the 4th Amendment

Murray Sabrin on how he will protect the Fourth Amendment as a U.S. Senator:

Murray Sabrin on the 4th Amendment

Awesome Ron Paul Music Video! (Aimee Allen)

[UPDATE] I pulled the YouTube because the singer emailed me and said this was an unauthorized, unfinished work. Sorry Aimee...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Electric Universe

Getting away from the topics of Ron Paul and liberty, a movement that caught my eye a couple of years ago in the area of astronomy is known as the electric universe. According to one of the movement's leading websites:

The Electric Universe model is a coherent "Big Picture" of our situation in the universe, spanning many disciplines. It highlights repeated electrical patterns at all scales that enable laboratory experiments to explain the strange, energetic events seen, for example, in deep space, on the Sun, and on Jupiter's moon, Io. The Electric Universe works backward in time using observations rather than forward from some idealised theoretical beginning. It provides simple answers to problems that are now clothed in fashionable metaphysics and mysticism. It is more interdisciplinary and inclusive of information than any prior cosmology. It points to practical possibilities far beyond the limits set by current science.

The Electric Universe model grew out of a broad interdisciplinary approach to science. It is not a technique taught in universities. The Electric Universe is based more on observations and experiment than abstract theory. It recognizes connections between diverse disciplines. It concludes that the crucial requirement for understanding the universe is to take fully into account the basic electrical nature of atoms and their interactions. Strangely, this is not the case in conventional cosmology where weaker magnetism and the infinitely weaker force of gravity rule the cosmos. Such a simplification may suit a theoretical physics based on electrical neutrality of matter in Earthly laboratories but it does not apply in space where plasma dominates.

Plasma has been called the "fourth state" of matter, after solids, liquids and gases. Most of the matter in the universe is in the form of plasma. A plasma is formed if some of the negatively charged electrons are separated from their host atoms in a gas, leaving the atoms with a positive charge. The negatively charged electrons, and the positively charged atoms (known as positive ions) are then free to move separately under the influence of an applied voltage or magnetic field. Their net movement constitutes an electrical current. So, one of the more important properties of a plasma is that it can conduct electrical current. It does so by forming current filaments that follow magnetic field lines. Filamentary patterns are ubiquitous in the cosmos.

I admit that I only understand a small fraction of the theory, but I intend to learn more and keep a close eye on the progress of the Electric Universe movement!

Ron Paul Georgetown Speech

Not very good video quality, but here's Ron Paul's excellent speech at Georgetown on February 13:

Ron Paul Georgetown Speech

Dr. Paul also drew 4000 at a rally at the University of Texas today! Here's the press release:

AUSTIN, TEXAS – Today, Republican presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul addressed a large crowd of students and supporters on the main mall of the University of Texas in Austin. University of Texas campus police estimate that a crowd of 4,000 people attended the event.

“Dr. Paul’s conservative message of low taxes, limited government and strictly following the Constitution resonates with voters here in his home state of Texas,” said Ron Paul campaign chairman Kent Snyder.

Blues guitarist and singer Jimmie Vaughan played for the crowd before Dr. Paul spoke. In Vaughan’s endorsement of Dr. Paul, the guitarist and singer said “he knows the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and he always votes for the Constitution.”

[UPDATE] Here's a report from Rick Fisk, who attended the UT rally:

"My family went to see Dr. Paul speak yesterday at UT's main mall. What a crowd and what a speech! When we approached from Guadalupe, it seemed the entire city had become Ron Paul's own. There was a plane dragging a banner overhead and all manner of people with their Ron Paul signs and stickers arriving. That bell you see Dr. Paul ring just before the Texas straw poll was there as well. Both of my daughters wanted to ring it. When I took them down to ring the bell, who should be just arriving but Dr. Paul himself! It was the closest I ever got. I wanted to get a picture of Dr. Paul and my 9-year-old daughter ( who canvasses the neighborhoods with me ) after his speech but there was just no way. He was definitely a Rock Star. There was a huge crush to get a handshake or signature.

"Three local TV stations were there to cover the event which made me mad actually. All of this blackout and now they show up. It was a great speech. 4000 is probably just shy of the number. Jimmy Vaughn played his brother's 'Texas Flood' to close his show and then told us all about how he supports Ron Paul and no one else. It was a great day."

Bernanke's Surprise (Gary North)

Surprisingly, Gary North says the Fed is not inflating, but deflating the money supply:

You have read about the turmoil in international capital markets. It began on August 11. Highly rated packages of mortgages suddenly became unsalable. Their value went into free fall. Banks and brokerage firms have lost well over $150 billion since August. Northern Rock, Great Britain's fifth-largest bank, was nationalized on Sunday, February 17. Otherwise, it would have gone bankrupt on Monday. UBS, the huge Swiss bank, has lost about $10 billion. "Round and round it goes. Where it stops, nobody knows."

The Federal Reserved in mid-August immediately intervened in a series of actions to liquify the American banking system. You have probably read about this, too. The FED's discount window started taking subprime mortgages as collateral for loans to the banks applying for loans.

You have read the headlines about the Federal Reserve's new policy of inflation to solve the credit crisis.

I ask you bluntly: "Have you reallocated your investments so as to hedge against the FED's wave of fiat money?" Be honest. Have you?

I hope not. Why? Because the reports are all wrong. I don't mean a teeny-weeny bit wrong. I mean completely wrong.

The FED has not been inflating. The FED has been deflating.

Read the rest

Murray Sabrin: Get Rid of the Federal Reserve!

Speaking of Murray Sabrin and the Federal Reserve, check out his letter to the editor in the New York Times from May 19, 1976!

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Parasite's Priorities (William N. Grigg)

William N. Grigg shows how the socialist bureaucracy in Germany turns justice on its head, threatening to jail a productive entrepreneur in the private sector for a non-crime (and using taxpayer money to buy stolen property to convict him of this non-crime), while rewarding corrupt and inept state-connected executives who have squandered billions by investing heavily in the U.S. sub-prime mortgage market:

Klaus Zumwinkel, former CEO of Deutsche Post -- the German postal service and parent of the DHL parcel delivery company -- lost his job last week. He may soon go to prison. His "crime" was to protect his legitimately earned wealth from the omnivorous socialist bureaucracy that afflicts Germany. He did so by opening a foundation in neighboring Lichtenstein, where his earnings were protected by the banking secrecy laws of that tiny (pop. circa 35,000) but heroic principality.

Read the rest

Murray Sabrin for US Senate!

Where does US Senate candidate and Austrian economist Murray Sabrin stand on the issues? What can he achieve in that den of thieves? Watch this video to find out:

Murray Sabrin speaks to Woodbridge Republicans

"Let's legalize freedom again!"

Note: also see this article where Lew Rockwell heartily endorses Dr. Sabrin and talks about the "Legalize Freedom Rally" to be held on February 29 in NYC that will call for an end to the Federal Reserve.

Is Something Out of Nothing Possible? (Frank Shostak)

Can something come from nothing? John Maynard Keynes seemed to think so, and Frank Shostak shows how idiotic Keynes's ideas were; unfortunately, they are still being followed today, most notably by those that run the unconstitutional private bank known as the Federal Reserve:

In his testimony to the House of Representatives Budget Committee on January 17, 2008, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gave strong support for President Bush's fiscal stimulus package to strengthen the economy. Among various tax measures the package also offers a direct tax relief for low- and moderate-income individuals. According to Bernanke there is good evidence that cash that goes to low- and moderate-income individuals is more likely to be spent in the near term — hence, from this perspective, it is going to be beneficial for economic growth.

For most economists and financial commentators the heart of economic growth is the increase in the demand for goods and services. It is held that increases or decreases in demand are behind increases and decreases in the economy's production of goods and services. It is also held that the overall economy's output increases by a multiple of the change in expenditure by government, consumers, or businesses.

Read the rest

Note: for more on the Federal Reserve, see this video or read the transcript.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Federalism: The Great Lost Concept (Dan McCarthy)

Ron Paul campaign blogger Daniel McCarthy talks about the forgotten concept of federalism and how President Paul would work to restore it:

Federalism, the binding together loosely of the several states, would serve to prevent the concentration of power in a central government and was a crucial element in the new Republic. The authors of the Constitution wrote strict limits on the national government and strove to protect the rights and powers of the states and the people.

Dividing and keeping separate the legislative, executive, and the judiciary branches, provided the checks and balances thought needed to preserve the Republic the Constitution created and the best way to preserve individual liberty.

- Ron Paul


Over 200 years ago, our Founding Fathers came together and crafted a revolutionary document: the U.S. Constitution. These men had put their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” on the line to separate themselves from the tyranny of King George III.

The brilliance of the Constitution lay in its separation of powers. Never before had a government been purposefully constructed to avoid the darker nature of men. James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, stated in The Federalist #45 that the powers delegated - that is, given to the new central government by the states - were “few and defined.” The powers retained by the states were “numerous and indefinite.”

Read the rest

Let Freedom Ring: Ron Paul Freedom Rally Original Song

A nice music video about the upcoming Ron Paul Freedom Rally (date TBD):

Let Freedom Ring: Ron Paul Freedom Rally Original Song

Do Elections Guarantee Freedom? (James Bovard)

Do elections guarantee freedom? HA HA HA HA! That's a good one! Hee hee....oh, do some people actually believe that?? James Bovard sets out to squash that irrational idea:

Elections are sometimes portrayed as practically giving people automatic “remote control” on the government. Elections kindly provide a chance for people to pre-program the government for the following years. The government will be based on the popular will, regardless of the ignorance of the populace or the duplicity of the government.

President Lyndon Johnson declared in 1965 that “the vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.” But the fact that voting rights helped undermine Jim Crow restrictions on blacks did not prevent the government from ladling new restrictions and burdens on all citizens. During the election campaign the prior year, Johnson had promised, “We are not about to send American boys 9,000 or 10,000 miles away to do what Asian boys ought to be doing to protect themselves.” The fact that parents could vote for or against Johnson did nothing to stop him from betraying his promise and sending their sons to die.

Read the rest

Fly To Liberty with Jim Forsythe!

There's a money bomb today to help out Jim Forsythe, who is exploring a run for Congress in NH and was endorsed by Ron Paul himself! The money bomb site is http://www.FlyToLiberty.com and Dr. Forsythe's website is http://www.JimForsythe.com.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

On Free Trade (Butler Shaffer)

Butler Shaffer on how a true free trade agreement might be written:

A free trade agreement need not take up thousands of pages of text. In fact, it could be written in one sentence: "no signatory to this agreement shall enact or enforce any statute, regulation, judicial decision, or other governmental restriction on the liberty of people to produce, purchase, sell, transport, or exchange any goods or services based upon terms freely negotiated by them."

Our Collapsing Kleptocracy (William N. Grigg)

William N. Grigg on the corrupt Bush and the collapsing economy:

Occasionally the Mass Murderer-in-Chief will make a candid comment that serves as a core sample of his personality. Beneath the superficial affability that disguises his inbred sense of unearned privilege, below the dense-pack arrogance, hidden away under multiple layers of ignorance and corruption, at the center of his being, Bush is a creature of the kleptocratic State, in its crudest and most destructive form.

It’s not just that Bush has completely internalized a dimwit’s version of Keynesianism. He also appears genuinely to believe that war –heedless wholesale destruction -- is more profitable than constructive private enterprise.

Read the rest, and also see an economic principle Bush is completely ignorant of: destruction is NEVER good for the economy.

Ron Paul: Cuban Embargo Should End

Press release from the Ron Paul campaign:

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – In light of the resignation of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro yesterday, Dr. Ron Paul, presidential candidate and member of the House Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement:

“Fidel Castro was a brutish dictator who for fifty years robbed the Cuban people of their liberty. While his resignation does not mean the end of communism in Cuba, it is good to see him go.

“Castro’s departure provides America a great opportunity to reflect on the current trade embargo against our island neighbor. The policy was designed to weaken the Castro regime, but I believe it actually helped him maintain control and allowed his thugs to hold power decades longer than they would have otherwise been able.

“Free trade and the open exchange of information are the best tools America has to combat international tyranny. The U.S. should quickly end the Cuban trade embargo. Cuban markets would be a great place for our farmers and businesses to sell their products. And, the power of free markets would quickly push out the remaining totalitarian remnant, finally ending the Communism in the Western Hemisphere.”

Oh Thank You, Great Government (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell on the upcoming satellite shootdown attempt:

The feds and their media are cheering the forthcoming hyperexpensive shootdown of a hyperexpensive spy satellite in the Pacific. How many billions of other people's money are involved? That's classified, to keep it secret from the Russkies, who might get a laugh out of the spending. But be of good cheer. This will demonstrate the quadrillion dollar missile defense system, which so far has only been able to shoot down vehicle[s] with homing devices in them, which this monstrous bus-sized satellite presumably has. However, it turns out the Navy can only fire the missile when the sea is calm.

Ron Paul 2008 Precinct Leader Update

A video update from the Ron Paul campaign:

Ron Paul 2008 Precinct Leader Update

Ron Paul on CNN this morning

Here's a YouTube of Ron Paul on CNN this morning, where he gave a campaign update and called for an end to the tyrannical embargo against Cuba:

Ron Paul on CNN this morning 02/20/08

The Difference Between an Illegal Immigrant and Me (Robert Higgs)

Robert Higgs shares his personal story to show that immigration is not bad at all, and that any problems with illegal immigration can be easily solved by getting the state out of our lives (better yet, by getting rid of the state altogether!). An excerpt:

Anti-immigrationists often say that the Mexicans come here only to go on welfare. Aside from this declaration's manifest misrepresentation of the truth, one wonders why the obvious remedy for this alleged problem does not occur to them: get rid of welfare – after all, nobody, regardless of his place of birth, has a just right to live at other people's coerced expense.

Others claim that the "illegals" crowd the public schools and hospitals, sucking resources away from the taxpayers. If so, then the answer is the same: get the government out of the business of schooling and healing; it ought never to have gone there in the first place.

Some Americans clothe their hatred with the charge that the foreigners who come here commit crimes, such as selling drugs and conducting businesses without a license. Of course, drug peddling and working without a government license ought never to have been criminalized in the first place, for anybody, because these acts violate no one's just rights. If people are worried about real crimes, such as robbery and murder, they need to recall that laws against these crimes already exist, and no special "preemptive war" against potential immigrant offenders can be justified, any more than I can justify nuking Philadelphia today on the strength of my absolute conviction that some residents of that city will commit serious crimes tomorrow.

Read the rest

Why Senator Snort Is Not a Libertarian (Gary North)

Gary North doesn't think a libertarian has much of a chance to become a Senator (perhaps Murray Sabrin will prove him wrong!), and the best things liberty-minded people can do politically are educate others and run for local office:

Older readers will recognize Senator Snort. For decades in the cartoon strip, Grin and Bear It, he was the universal archetype of a United States Senator. He frequently appeared on Faze the Nation.

There has not been a libertarian U.S. Senator in my lifetime. Robert A. Taft was closer to the position than the others, but he buckled on Federally funded public housing. He was the best we had, but he was not ideologically consistent.

There was no one in second place.

There have been two libertarian Congressmen: Howard Buffett of Nebraska and Ron Paul of Texas. Only one of them has attained national prominence, and that because of a run for the Presidency. Without warning, individuals used the Web to raise tens of millions of dollars for his campaign. He did not foresee this when he announced his candidacy. Neither did anyone else.

He has collected a large database of people who sent money. This database can be used for political education. I hope this will be education on local political mobilization. Any office higher than mayor or state representative is a waste of time. It had better be a small-town mayor.

Read the rest

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Murray Sabrin on the 1st and 2nd Amendments

U.S. Senate candidate Murray Sabrin talks about the First and Second Amendments and how he would follow their precepts as a Senator:

Murray Sabrin on the 1st Amendment
Murray Sabrin on the 2nd Amendment

Also see Dr. Sabrin's website at http://www.MurraySabrin.com, as well as the money bomb being held for him on February 29th at http://www.ScholarOfFreedom.com.



[UPDATE] Also see this great blog post by Max Raskin on Dr. Sabrin's chances!

Ron Paul On Lou Dobbs About NAU Super Highway

A couple of weeks ago, Ron Paul wrote about the tyrannical land-grab being planned in order to build the monstrous Trans Texas Corridor. Here's Lou Dobbs' CNN report regarding the plan, which includes a segment with Dr. Paul:

Ron Paul On Lou Dobbs About NAU Super Highway Feb.19.2008

If We Subsidize Them... (Ron Paul)

Rep. Ron Paul on illegal immigration, which is a serious problem because of the insane welfare state:

For decades we have welcomed new immigrants to our American "melting pot". We respect those who come here peacefully to pursue their American Dream. But Americans have noticed lately that modern problems associated with illegal immigration are at a crisis point. Taxpayers are now suffering the consequences.

Costs of social services for the estimated 21 million illegal immigrants in this country are approaching $400 billion. We educate 4.2 million children of illegals at a cost of $13.8 billion. There have been almost 2 million anchor babies born in this country since 2002, with labor and delivery costs of between $3 and 6 billion. There are currently 360,000 illegals in our prisons and we have spent $1.4 billion to incarcerate them since 2001.

Read the rest, and also see Dr. Paul's immigration page on his campaign website.

Ron Paul - For the People, by the People

Staying on the video theme, here's a nice one from a supporter:

Ron Paul - For the People, by the People

Censorship of Ron Paul

An interesting look at the censorship of Ron Paul in the mainstream media:

Part 1
Part 2

Ron Paul at University of North Texas

Ron Paul speech at the University of North Texas 2/18/08:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Libertarianism and the Ron Paul Effect

An intelligent conversation with Professor Rachel Douchant and Christen Mitchell:

Part 1
Part 2

Also see articles by Professor Douchant's brother Stephen Carson.

Money for Nothing (Jim Fedako)

Jim Fedako says the easiest way to tell that the state is a fraud is by looking at how it tries to do accounting:

If you want to expose the absurdity of the state, think governmental accounting. Really, there is no better way to show the impossibility of a government solution to scarcity than by reading the annual audit of any governmental entity.

Goethe considered double-entry bookkeeping — the essence of accounting — to be "one of the finest inventions of the human mind." For without accounting, we lose the ability to calculate, and without the ability to calculate, modern civilization is impossible.

Accounting lets the entrepreneur know whether he earned a profit, utilizing scarce resources in order to produce something of greater value. Accounting also lets the entrepreneur know whether activities he performs are better outsourced, or, conversely, whether he should expand into new orders of production. In essence, accounting directs the entrepreneur toward activities that satisfy the wants of the consumer.

Government accounting is a true oxymoron. We can determine the cost of government, but what about the value produced? What is the product? What is its value? What is the bottom line? Of course, these unanswered questions do not stop government from playing business, pretending to create value and profit for society.

Read the rest

The Texas Attack on Ron Paul (Thomas Woods)

Thomas Woods writes more about Ron Paul's dishonest Neocon (is that repeating myself?) opponent in Texas:

On January 12, 2007, a Texas city councilman named Chris Peden told the Galveston Daily News, "I have an immense amount of respect for Ron Paul. Politics has a way of forcing people to go against their core principles for political gain. That has never been the case for Ron Paul."

In case you don’t know, Chris Peden is now Ron Paul’s congressional challenger in the Republican primary in Texas’ 14th District.

What happened to make Peden go from an admirer to an opponent – and not just an opponent, but one who is running a vicious and (as he surely realizes) dishonest smear campaign against the very man he so recently praised?

I have no idea.

Read the rest

Monday, February 18, 2008

Message from Ron Paul

Ron Paul sent out this email urging supporters to help him keep his seat in Congress:

February 18, 2008

The DC neocons think their old dream is about to come true. They think they can defeat me in the Republican congressional primary in Texas on March 4th. And you know what? They may be right.

My opponent, who describes himself as a traditional conservative, is a dedicated servitor of all the special interests who have given us the disaster of recent years, from unconstitutional wars to a looming recession, from huge deficits to massive new welfare programs.

A Republican operative allied with the worst forces in DC recently said: "Give what you can [to Ron Paul's opponent]. Ron Paul is running scared -- using his Presidential campaign's donors' money to subsidize a desperate last-minute attempt to save his Congressional seat."

That is a lie, of course. It is illegal to use presidential campaign donations in my congressional race. The congressional campaign has to stand on its own. But so far, we have raised only about a third of what a well-funded effort would need.

In my 10 terms in Congress, I have not only been able to serve my constituents, and help them, for example, negotiate federal red-tape. I have also been able to defend our principles of less spending, lower taxes, no inflation, and strict adherence to the Constitution. Some people in DC laugh at the idea that I should obey my oath of office, and ask first of any proposed legislation, is it constitutional? But I know that you share my support for the vision of the framers.

My friend Congressmen Wayne Gilchrest (R-Maryland) was just defeated in his primary election by a neocon fraud similar to the one I face. My friend Walter Jones (R-North Carolina) is under heavy pressure as well. People like our hand-picked opponents will do anything to gain and keep power. They represent everything that is wrong with DC.

If I am defeated in the upcoming congressional primary, our ideas will be held to have been defeated as well. It will be proclaimed from the rooftops in DC that such "ridiculous and outmoded notions" as the free market, sound money, personal liberty, limited government, and a pro-American foreign policy are through.

I am determined not to let this happen. All that you and I believe in is far too important to the future of our country, and to everyone and everything we love, to let the neocons dance on its grave.

Please, help me stop the lies, the distortions, the pressure groups, the special interests that benefit from DC rip-offs. There is still time to run radio and tv ads, to set up phone banks, to get out the vote. But unless you help, my reelection to Congress may be in jeopardy. Please help me return to Congress to fight for the people of my district, and for the ideas that can save our country from the path to trouble we are now on.

I hesitated to ask you, since you have already done so much. But my wife Carol said, "When you need help, you ask your best friends." So I do ask you, to hold out your hand in support.

Please give today http://www.ronpaulforcongress.com, as generously and as quickly as you can.

Sincerely,

Ron

Why Do So Many Want To Kill and Torture? (Butler Shaffer)

Why do many, if not most, Americans seem to love war and all the horrors it brings? Butler Shaffer explores the question:

The 2001 attack on the World Trade Center was a watershed event for the soul of Americans. Prior to that time, there would have been a significant questioning of the state employing its collective powers to injure or kill persons who had caused no harm to others. This is not to say that most Americans had a pacific spirit, or were unwilling to engage in warfare against others. The United States has long been a war-loving nation, particularly from the period of the Civil War when Americans reveled in a four-year-long holiday for butchers.

But Americans have long insisted that their government’s participation in the amassing of tens of millions of corpses be grounded in some so-called "rational" purpose; that there be some moral "justification" for the well-orchestrated carnage for which the United States would become the primary supplier of weaponry. If the state had to concoct events that provided the offense for which armed retaliation was then demanded, that became acceptable, as long as the details of the scheme could be kept suppressed, such as by labeling truth-tellers "paranoid conspiracy theorists." As long as they could cling to their state-induced delusions that collective violence served some pragmatic or moral ends, most Americans have been content to allow the state a free reign.

Read the rest

Generalissimo Washington: How He Crushed the Spirit of Liberty (Murray Rothbard)

Looking at historical facts rather than myths, it turns out General Washington wasn't such a great guy after all, said Murray Rothbard:

In June of 1775, George Washington was appointed Major General and elected by Congress to be commander in chief of the American revolutionary forces. Although he took up his tasks energetically, Washington accomplished nothing militarily for the remainder of the year and more, nor did he try. His only campaign in 1775 was internal rather than external; it was directed against the American army as he found it, and was designed to extirpate the spirit of liberty pervading this unusually individualistic and democratic army of militiamen. In short, Washington set out to transform a people's army, uniquely suited for a libertarian revolution, into another orthodox and despotically ruled statist force after the familiar European model.

Read the rest

Our Enemy, The Presidency (Anthony Gregory)

Anthony Gregory says that presidents are widely respected when they should be seen as grave enemies to freedom:

Every year in mid-February, tens of millions of Americans take the Monday off in celebration of the presidency. And while the average civics teacher will tell you that we do not appreciate our national political heritage nearly enough, the typical American is not only too respectful of the presidency on this day; he is far too enamored of the institution all year round.

The president of the United States has far more power than any office in the history of humanity. It is trite even to make the comparison. The current president claims the right to detain, torture and kill anyone on earth and to start wars and occupations in any nation of his choice. He claims the right to levy taxes on anything, prohibit anything, mandate anything, spy on anyone, and demand that all jurisdictions on the planet bend to his will. While the laws of economics limit his actual power to alter reality, the pure destructive potential of the modern presidency is beyond unspeakable. Nuclear holocaust, prospectively amounting to the greatest atrocity ever, is generally within his reach.

No matter who is president, it ends up costing many people their lives. Practically all US presidents go to war and kill foreigners. Even the best modern presidents, like Warren G. Harding, violated the Bill of Rights and acted at times like a despot. Even the great Grover Cleveland gave America an income tax, the Interstate Commerce Commission, and some questionable precedents in foreign diplomacy and federal police powers. He was arguably the best. Another fairly decent one was Martin Van Buren, but his conduct on the Trail of Tears is unforgivable. The revered Jefferson administration was in many ways a big mess.

This is the best it gets. The worst presidents, for their part, rank among the greatest political criminals in world history. (And these tend to be the ones we're supposed to admire most.)

Read the rest

Blame Anarchism? (Per Bylund)

When many people think of the word "anarchism," they think of rock throwing punks with masks, black flags, and destruction; but is that really anarchism? Per Bylund says the "do as I say – or else" principle they display is hardly anarchist:

Youngsters dressed in black wearing facial masks setting another McDonald’s restaurant on fire. Some of them trying to make the full body of protesters attack the police and innocent passers-by. Others are throwing rocks at whatever is close enough to hit. Still others, with spray cans “borrowed” from daddy’s garage, making sure the riot leaves marks on walls and windows for a long time.

On the news, reporters stand against the violent flames consuming another building talking about yet another “anarchist riot.” Tens of “anarchists” were apprehended by the police, but most of them escaped and left people in fear and their belongings in ruins. One of the hooded teenagers is interviewed on TV and tells us about his deep hatred for the police, society, order – and prosperity.

This is anarchy, if you ask most people. It is the devastation of human creations and uprooting of human organization, it is the destruction of order. People are brought to believe that anarchism is about threatening, burning, destroying, assaulting, and killing.

Unable to categorize these young people so filled with hatred – so “anti” everything that is and has been – reporters talk of “anarchism” in lack of a better word for violent nihilist chaos. They are no doubt ignorant of the anarchist philosophical/political tradition, and go with what they believe they know: “anarchy is chaos.”

But it isn’t as simple as reporters being ignorant.

Read the rest

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Restoring the Right to Resist (William N. Grigg)

William N. Grigg shows that the right to resist an unlawful arrest is essential to maintaining a free society. An excerpt:

We should work to re-instate statutory protection of the right to resist unlawful arrest in the 38 states that presently do not recognize that ancient and indispensable Common Law right.

Unless a police officer is dutifully enforcing a legitimate warrant, or has unassailable probable cause to believe that an individual has committed a felony, he has no business attempting to arrest anybody. That was the understanding that prevailed in the Anglo-Saxon world, in one form or another, from 1215 until the mid-1960s to mid-1970s, at least here in the United States.

Fifty years ago, the statutes of nearly every state recognized the right to resist unlawful arrest. Today, it is recognized only [in] Michigan, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Mississippi.

Read the rest

An Introduction to Macroeconomics (Gary North)

Gary North introduces a class to macroeconomics in this funny "hit-and-run" lecture! An excerpt:

This leads me to formal definitions of microeconomics and macroeconomics. I must warn you in advance. If, on the Graduate Records Exam in economics, you are asked to write on essay on microeconomics and macroeconomics, you would be unwise to write down my definitions. It would be best if you could regurgitate some conventional definition, possibly from Wiki. But if you really want to understand what microeconomics and macroeconomics are all about, my definitions will save you a lot of research time and memorization.
Microeconomics: The study of who has the money and how I can get my hands on it.

Macroeconomics: The study of which government agency has the gun, and how we can get our hands on it.

There are, of course, intermediary positions. In the West, the study of these intermediary positions is called political economy. It has two major manifestations: democratic capitalism and social democratic capitalism.

Democratic capitalism: A cooperative enterprise to earn enough money to buy enough Congressional influence to gain control over the government's guns so as to get even more money for your special-interest group.

Social democratic capitalism: A cooperative enterprise to promise sufficient government benefits to enough voters to gain control over the government's guns so as to keep any other special-interest group from getting as much power as yours.

The primary social goal of both systems of political economy is for middle-aged men to attract good-looking younger women. Democratic capitalists believe that good-looking younger women are attracted mainly by money. Social democratic capitalists believe that they are attracted mainly by power.

In America, the democratic capitalists are mainly Republicans. Their role models are Rudolph Giuliani and Newt Gingrich, each with three wives, although sequentially. The social democratic capitalists are mainly Democrats. Their role model is Bill Clinton, who did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewinsky, nor did he inhale.

Read the rest

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Candidate the Troops Support

Wolf Blitzer reports on Ron Paul's military donations:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ec4OL34Txys

The Conspiracy Theory of History Revisited (Murray Rothbard)

Murray Rothbard on conspiracy theories, or, rather, the facts behind conspiracies:

Anytime that a hard-nosed analysis is put forth of who our rulers are, of how their political and economic interests interlock, it is invariably denounced by Establishment liberals and conservatives (and even by many libertarians) as a "conspiracy theory of history," "paranoid," "economic determinist," and even "Marxist." These smear labels are applied across the board, even though such realistic analyses can be, and have been, made from any and all parts of the economic spectrum, from the John Birch Society to the Communist Party. The most common label is "conspiracy theorist," almost always leveled as a hostile epithet rather than adopted by the "conspiracy theorist" himself.

It is no wonder that usually these realistic analyses are spelled out by various "extremists" who are outside the Establishment consensus. For it is vital to the continued rule of the State apparatus that it have legitimacy and even sanctity in the eyes of the public, and it is vital to that sanctity that our politicians and bureaucrats be deemed to be disembodied spirits solely devoted to the "public good." Once let the cat out of the bag that these spirits are all too often grounded in the solid earth of advancing a set of economic interests through use of the State, and the basic mystique of government begins to collapse.

Read the rest

The Frightful Face of Stimulus (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell says that the government "stimulus" is nothing more than inflation, which is just printing money out of thin air; of course, this will just make our economic situation worse (what a shock, government getting it wrong yet again):

Among businesspeople, bankers, and investors, there is a growing fear that the economy is headed towards recession or already in one. But that alone is not the source of worry. After all, an economy if left alone to function in freedom can recover. The real problem has to do with the political response. There is every indication that no matter who comes to be in charge in November, we face a future of massive spending, inflating, and regulating.

And here is the real danger. One only needs to look at such preposterous measures as the "stimulus package" that Congress passed to much fanfare. Dumping money into consumers' hands, drawn from wherever they can get it, is the only means these guys can dream up to shore up prosperity. That only proves that they don't know what brings about prosperity in the first place, which is not Congress but free enterprise.

Economist Robert Higgs compares a "stimulus package" to getting water out of the deep end of the swimming pool and dumping in the shallow end — all with the expectation that the water level will rise. As he emphasizes, economists should never tire of asking where the money for stimulus is going to come from. Mankind has yet to invent a machine to create it out of nothing: it's either taxing, inflating, or going into debt that has to be paid later (and crowds out capital creation now). There is no other way.

Read the rest

Ron Paul on Competing Currencies

Rep. Ron Paul talks about competing currencies on the House floor:

Madam Speaker,

I rise to speak on the concept of competing currencies. Currency, or money, is what allows civilization to flourish. In the absence of money, barter is the name of the game; if the farmer needs shoes, he must trade his eggs and milk to the cobbler and hope that the cobbler needs eggs and milk. Money makes the transaction process far easier. Rather than having to search for someone with reciprocal wants, the farmer can exchange his milk and eggs for an agreed-upon medium of exchange with which he can then purchase shoes.

This medium of exchange should satisfy certain properties: it should be durable, that is to say, it does not wear out easily; it should be portable, that is, easily carried; it should be divisible into units usable for every-day transactions; it should be recognizable and uniform, so that one unit of money has the same properties as every other unit; it should be scarce, in the economic sense, so that the extant supply does not satisfy the wants of everyone demanding it; it should be stable, so that the value of its purchasing power does not fluctuate wildly; and it should be reproducible, so that enough units of money can be created to satisfy the needs of exchange.

Over millennia of human history, gold and silver have been the two metals that have most often satisfied these conditions, survived the market process, and gained the trust of billions of people. Gold and silver are difficult to counterfeit, a property which ensures they will always be accepted in commerce. It is precisely for this reason that gold and silver are anathema to governments. A supply of gold and silver that is limited in supply by nature cannot be inflated, and thus serves as a check on the growth of government. Without the ability to inflate the currency, governments find themselves constrained in their actions, unable to carry on wars of aggression or to appease their overtaxed citizens with bread and circuses.

Read the rest, and also see Dr. Paul's inflation tax page on his campaign website.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

(Almost) Everyone Embraces the New Deal (Anthony Gregory)

Anthony Gregory points out that, despite their rhetoric, "conservatives" really don't like the free market:

I forget exactly when it happened, but at some point I realized that conservatives are not actually pro-free market at all. Yes, they are not as overtly communistic and anti-private property as the left, but they do not truly grasp the moral and economic mandate that is the free market capitalistic economy.

It was sometime in the late 1990s that it finally hit me: The Republicans all support the New Deal. They don't oppose federal regulation of business, the national welfare state, the idea that central planning can trick or bully the people into being more productive than they otherwise would be.

How many Republicans politicians understand and oppose the FDR legacy? They all love the American empire he built, of course, the creation of the murderous US nuke arsenal, the ushering in of a 60-year foreign policy of uninterrupted intervention and war. But they also favor the domestic side. (Remember, it was in fact Republican Herbert Hoover who truly started the New Deal.) Even the best Reaganites only promised to take on the Great Society — the Gipper himself was a Hollywood New Dealer unionist, and his love of FDR has been echoed in policy and rhetoric in all the modern Republicans. Bob Dole loved him. Bush, McCain, Giuliani, Romney — no one at the national level but Ron Paul is anti-New Deal.

In one of my first LRC articles, I asked, Would Pro-War Libertarians Have Supported the New Deal? Well, since then, a pro-war faction in the movement has explicitly carved out a new agenda for the 21st century: big-government libertarianism, a philosophy that embraces the underlying premises of state central planning -- support for regulation against climate change, programs against pandemics and robust anti-terrorism policies.

If you think the government can end domestic sin, protect the family and preserve the social fabric and, ultimately, eradicate global evil – as many conservatives do — or if you think the state can liberate the world, stop terrorists, and protect us from natural and man-made crisis — as some so-called libertarians do — why not trust the state to run or at least boost the economy? I'm not the least surprised that Democrats, Huckabee, McCain or nearly any other mainstream politico would favor government to aid the economy right now. The New Deal itself was child's play compared to what many supposed free-marketers advocate.

Freedom March Update (Dan McCarthy)

From Ron Paul campaign blogger Dan McCarthy:

Ron Paul 2008 has formed its March Exploratory Committee and is giving careful thought to the best date, specific format, and other details of the upcoming Ron Paul freedom march. We’ve also set up a new e-mail address for the committee, so supporters can send their ideas, suggestions, questions, etc. Please remember that the committee has a lot of information to sift through even before suggestions start pouring in, so be patient. This will be a great event, and it requires careful planning.

So Much for the Brokered Convention....

Romney will endorse the crazed McCain and ask his delegates to do the same.

Huckabee will drop out soon, and perhaps Dr. Paul will receive more media coverage as the only other Republican contender! Not likely, I know, but I am hopeful nonetheless.

[UPDATE] According to this blog post, the Romney delegates can only be "asked" to support McCain. And some of his delegates are apparently Ron Paul supporters!

The Troops Want to Come Home!

It sounds like the troops want an end to the insane foreign policy of the Neocons! Here's the latest Ron Paul campaign press release:

February 14, 2008 12:15 pm EST

Top Three Contributors to Ron Paul are U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force

Message of strong national defense and strictly following the Constitution resonates with American servicemen and women

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – According to opensecrets.org, the top three contributors to Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul’s campaign are from the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force respectively.

“No matter how you measure it, Dr. Paul has the support of our nation’s brave servicemen and women,” said Kent Snyder, Ron Paul 2008 campaign chairman. “His message of a strong national defense, and only going to war with a declaration of war – as mandated by the Constitution – resonates with those who risk their lives to defend that Constitution.”

No branch of the military appears among the “top contributors” to GOP frontrunner John McCain’s campaign.

Additionally, Ron Paul’s military contributions are greater than those of all other current candidates – John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama –combined.

The “Top Contributors” figures can be found at www.opensecrets.org.

For more information on military contributions to Dr. Paul’s campaign, please read this press release.

The Valentine Story of Ludwig and Margit von Mises

On this Valentine's Day, it's appropriate to read about the budding romance of Ludwig and Margit von Mises. This is excerpted from chapters 12 and 14 of Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism:

In 1925, Ludwig von Mises, entering his mid-forties, finally met the woman who would become his wife.

Margit Serény had been one of six guests at a dinner party held by Fritz Kaufmann, a young lawyer and member of Mises's private seminar. It is almost a miracle that Mises won the heart of the lady sitting next to him, for he spent most of the meal discussing economics. On the other hand, his preoccupation gave her the opportunity to observe him. This is how she perceived him:

What impressed me were his beautiful, clear blue eyes, always concentrated on the person to whom he talked, never shifting away. His dark hair, already a little grayish at the sides, was parted, not one hair out of place. I liked his hands, his long slim fingers, which clearly showed that he did not use them for manual work. He was dressed with quiet elegance. A dark custom-made suit, a fitting silk necktie. His posture indicated that he must have been a former army officer.

He talked to her after dinner, and they went to a dance club. Apparently Mises was a poor dancer — at least by Margit's standards — and so they spent most of the night talking. Actually she did most of the talking and he listened attentively. Margit was an attractive woman of five-foot-four, with brown hair and grey-blue eyes. Now, as they talked, he discovered she was also a witty and warm person. He must have fallen in love with her that evening. The next day, he sent her red roses and asked her out for dinner. It was the first of many such dinners over the next two years.

Read the rest

Keep the Revolution Going (Marc Stevens)

Marc Stevens says the Ron Paul Revolution and its message of individual liberty has had a great start, and the next step should be to remove our support for the immoral system known as government. The best way to do this, of course, is by not voting. An excerpt:

All governments rely on the support of their victims (euphemistically called “Citizens”) to be able to continue killing, stealing and lying as usual. In places like the United States, it’s a generally held belief that governments, i.e., men and women providing services on a compulsory basis, do so by consent. Yes, as crazy as that is, most people believe it’s by consent. One way this idea is created and maintained is by having political elections. Remember, there is no choice as to whether you want and pay for their services or not, just a false “choice” in who is allegedly in charge of the men and women providing the service.

If you want real change, then this idea of consent must be stripped away so those acting as government are seen for exactly what they are: men and women unable or unwilling to bring their services to the market on a voluntary basis like normal people. This idea of consent is the problem, not George Bush, Hillary Clinton or some other “leader.” This idea, held by enough people, is what allows such people to do and get away with the destruction of our freedom.

Read the rest, and also see the Strike-The-Root and LewRockwell.com non-voting archives.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Police State USA

This "public servant" thinks a badge gives him the right to be an uncivil jackass:

Baltimore cops vs. skateboarder

Also see this William N. Grigg blog post for more examples of arrogant pigs hiding behind a badge, including those in this video:

Deputies dump paralyzed man from wheelchair

Pathetic and despicable.

Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito (Latin: Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it)

The Roger Clemens Show Trial (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell comments on the pathetic spectacle of the Clemens congressional hearings:

It's criminal congressmen attempting to put the great Roger Clemens in a federal cage, and probably succeeding. What a sickening spectacle. Clemens, perhaps the greatest pitcher in baseball history, being destroyed by a gang of rodents. Barry Bonds, perhaps the greatest hitter in baseball history, is also in the federal crosshairs. And for the non-crime, it is alleged, of taking testosterone, human growth hormone, etc. This is a baseball issue, if it is an issue at all, and none of the beltway's business. Of course, the inquisitors are actually getting both men for the non-crime of allegedly fibbing to a fed. I know that poor Clemens can't do it, but when one of the creeps kept reminding him he was "under oath," I wanted him to respond, "Yes, unlike you."

[UPDATE] Bill Anderson makes some great comments:

Lew is correct. I had no idea that members of Congress moonlighted as joint Commissioners of Major League Baseball.

And I agree about Barry Bonds. Yes, he is irascible, but so was Ty Cobb and a million other athletes. And their behavior does not even begin to compare with the arrogance we see from members of Congress.

Yes, Barry Bonds will go to federal prison for doing something that prosecutors and police do literally every single working day: lying to a grand jury.

What's With All These Clueless Christians? (Chuck Baldwin)

Why do many Christians cheer the tyrannical state and its endless wars? Pastor Chuck Baldwin explores the question:

What's with all these clueless Christians? How is it that people who have the benefit of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and the warning and insight of the Sacred Scriptures--not to mention a rich Christian heritage here in America--can be so ignorant, blind, and naïve? Yes, the majority of evangelical Christians seem to be all of the above. The problem has passed being serious: it is catastrophic!

How is it that we have drifted away from being an informed, active, knowledgeable, and dedicated group of highly motivated Christian patriots to a group of impotent and anemic sheep? Our Christian forebears must be turning over in their graves, because we are in the process of squandering the greatest human sacrifice--save that of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ--ever made: the sacrifice of America's Founding Fathers.

Read the rest

Note: I highly recommend reading Vernard Eller's political masterpiece Christian Anarchy: Jesus' Primacy Over the Powers to learn a more radical way for a Christian to view the state (I don't necessarily agree with Eller on everything he wrote, but it is still well worth the read).