Friday, June 27, 2008

Cooperation: How a Free Market Benefits Everyone (Jeff Tucker)

Jeff Tucker on the marvelous concept of the division of labor:

The following attempts to explain the most important idea in the history of social analysis. The notion (actually, it's a description of reality that is all around us but rarely noticed) has been around for centuries. It was first observed by ancients. It was first described with rigor by late-medieval monks working in Spain. It was given scientific precision in the classical period. It is the basis of advances in social theory in the 20th century.

In fact, it is an essential part of the case for freedom. It was the basis of the belief of our ancestors that they could throw off tyrannical rule and still not have society descend into poverty and chaos. The failure to comprehend this idea is at the very root of the pervasive bias against liberty and free enterprise in our times, on the Left and the Right.

I speak of the division of labor, also known as the law of comparative advantage or the law of comparative cost, and also known as the law of association. Call it what you will, it is probably the single greatest contribution that economics has made to human understanding.

Read the rest

LadyJade on BJ Lawson Moneybomb

Rachel (aka LadyJade3) of Confessions of a Ron Paul Junkie fame has made a new video urging freedom lovers to help BJ Lawson:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ron Paul on Iran & Energy

Ron Paul talks about Iran and our energy situation on the House floor a couple of hours ago:

Ron Paul on Iran & Energy (C-SPAN 6/26)

Daniel McCarthy on BJ Lawson

Daniel McCarthy has a nice blog entry about BJ Lawson on

Although it was sad to see Murray Sabrin fall short of the Republican Senate nomination in New Jersey earlier this month, in North Carolina victorious Ron Paul-endorsed Congressional nominee B.J. Lawson has been going from strength to strength. Lawson obliterated neocon Augustus Cho in North Carolina's May 27 primary, winning 70 percent to 29 percent. Now there's a moneybomb to benefit Lawson coming up on June 29, as Lawson ramps up his general election campaign against incumbent Democrat David Price.

Like Ron Paul, B.J. Lawson is a medical doctor. And like Ron Paul, he believes in following the Constitution in foreign policy and domestic policy alike. He's a good guy (and he has a smart blog, too).

BJ Lawson on the Issues

If you don't know much about BJ Lawson, then I recommend checking out this questionnaire conducted by a local newspaper before the primary. I'll post the first question and answer, which should give you an idea of what he's about:

1. What do you believe are the most important issues facing your U.S. House district, the state of North Carolina and the nation? If elected, what are your top three priorities in addressing those issues?

With our grocery bills and gas prices skyrocketing, jobs going overseas, basic services like healthcare and good education becoming less accessible, and people working two or more lower-paying jobs just to keep up, the greatest problem we face is an economy and financial system that have been hijacked by an out-of-control federal government whose interests are no longer separate from corporate and special interests.

Our reckless legislators make endless promises to get re-elected, and our bankrupt federal government prints paper dollars to pay for promises we can’t afford. Even the supposed benefits themselves don’t help – instead of helping the average American, most federal “benefits” end up helping well-connected special and corporate interests.

Washington has proven more corrupt and less effective as it has consolidated power and grown tremendously over the past several decades. It is time to transition to a federal government that focuses on the specific duties enumerated in our Constitution.

Instead of always giving more power to Washington, and always looking to Washington for “help”, it is time to keep more resources in our state and localities to address our challenges. We cannot keep sending more money and power to Washington for the pleasure of lobbyists and bureaucrats and expect better results.

My first priority is to fix our broken economy. Instead of printing more money for “stimulus” packages, we must balance our budget, stop pretending we can afford to police the world at our expense, and eliminate corporate welfare and unconstitutional spending that benefits special interests. We must eliminate the IRS and its 67,000 pages of job-killing regulations that punish productivity, entrepreneurship, saving, and investment. Instead, we should consider a uniform, progressive national sales tax such as the FairTax. We must also eliminate overreaching and counterproductive regulations such as Sarbanes Oxley that drive jobs and investment overseas. We must also provide choices in our monetary system so that American workers and savers are not trapped in a paper currency that is losing its purchasing power at an alarming rate. (It’s not that groceries are more valuable, your dollars just buy fewer groceries.)

My next priority is to reform health care by taking it back from corporate and government bureaucracies, and retuning it to patients and providers. Government subsidies and regulations have promoted the interests of big drug and insurance companies and managed care providers while increasing costs, limiting choices, and leaving far too many without coverage. Our current system is better termed “corporatecare” than healthcare, and neither patients nor doctors are happy with the results. Health care reform is also essential to revitalizing the economy, as soaring health care costs are squeezing businesses and consumers alike and reducing the competitiveness of the U.S. economy in a global market.

My final priority is to approach every issue, and every vote, with the goal of restoring a Constitutional federal government. That means restoring our recently sacrificed civil liberties, ending federal tyranny over public education, pursuing a just and sustainable legal immigration policy, and ensuring our safety and security through a rational foreign policy and strong national defense.

We need to change the definition of a “good Representative”. Our Congressman should not win praise for bringing federal dollars back to the Fourth District. Instead, our Congressman should win praise for pursuing a federal government that follows the Constitution, serves only the people’s interests, and does so with the least amount of the people’s money leaving the Fourth District in the first place.

Read the rest - I highly recommend it!

Ron Paul on HR 5767

Here's another great video of Ron Paul, this time during a hearing for HR 5767, where he talked about regulation of gambling and other moral behavior:

Campaign for Liberty on BJ Lawson

Michael Nystrom from Daily Paul fame has a great writeup on BJ Lawson and his June 29 moneybomb on Campaign for Liberty:

The nationwide awareness that Ron Paul sparked with his presidential campaign is only growing stronger. Case in point is BJ Lawson, a Ron Paul Republican running for Congress in North Carolina’s 4th District.

Dr. Paul served as a powerful example for how citizens everywhere can make an impact by simply standing up for Liberty. BJ Lawson is doing the same thing in his congressional race. Check out this video, in which Lawson confronts his Democratic congressional opponent at a local meeting with a very simple question: “Did you read the Patriot Act before voting?”

It takes courage to stand up and hold our representatives accountable, but there is really nothing to be afraid of. After all, they are our representatives, and they work for us. At least that’s how it is supposed to be. They are not somehow “above” us. Any one of us can and should do the same thing. As representatives of Liberty, we are all responsible for holding our government accountable. Just remember, as Dr. Paul has shown by example, to always show the utmost respect to your fellow citizens.

We need more more congressional representatives like Dr. Paul and BJ Lawson who share our views. Mr. Lawson will be having a money bomb Sunday June 29th to raise funds for his very important campaign. BJ Lawson won his Republican primary by a landslide, and will compete in the general election against incumbent Democrat David Price who has been in Congress for over 20 years. (How about working the ‘change’ meme in this election against the Democrats themselves?) Come November, let’s show the nation that Dr. Paul’s message of Liberty has real staying power, and that the Campaign for Liberty will be a true force to be reckoned with in American politics. Let’s help North Carolina elect BJ Lawson to Congress!

BJ Lawson has been officially endorsed by Ron Paul. Learn more about Mr. Lawson, at his website, and please make a donation to his campaign this Sunday!

Pledge to make your donation here. At this point, we have 105 pledges (I should be 106). Stay tuned for further updates.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ron Paul on Fed's Decision

On YouTube:

Ron Paul on Revolution March

Ron Paul makes a video message urging people to come to the Revolution March in Washington D.C. on July 12:

Revolution March July 12

The Homeland Security State: Boyz With Lethal Toyz (William Grigg)

William Grigg on yet another example of the militarization of the increasingly arrogant police:

Couldn't the county simply have paid him for the damage to his well?

That's the question that urges itself upon me as I sift through the rubble of last Spring's confrontation in rural Wisconsin between Robert Bayliss and ... well, at last count, roughly two dozen local, county, and state agencies.

The anti-Bayliss coalition included elements from no fewer than six SWAT teams and the prominent use of three BearCat (Ballistic Engineered Armored Response and Rescue Counter Attack Truck) military assault vehicles.

Surely, Mr. Bayliss must have been a singularly fearsome fugitive in order to trigger such a huge deployment. One would think as much. And one would be wrong.

Read the rest

McCain on Economists

From Lew Rockwell:

"You know the economists?" McCain said June 12 at Federal Hall, near the New York Stock Exchange. "They're the same ones that didn't predict this housing crisis we're in. They're the same ones that didn't predict the dot-com meltdown. They're the same ones that didn't predict the inflation that's staring us in the face today."

(Maybe that's because McCain didn't talk to the right economists!)

Long Live Price Gouging! (Art Carden)

I hope that got your attention! Art Carden writes on why price control laws are disastrous:

In the wake of the recent flooding in Iowa, the state's attorney general has announced that Iowa's rules against price gouging are now in effect. These rules prohibit businesses from "substantially raising the prices for needed goods or services without justification" in the wake of a natural disaster.

According to a June 23 press release from the Iowa attorney general's office, the rule covers not only the time during which the disaster is declared but also a "'subsequent recovery period' up to six months." Missouri's attorney general is also encouraging Missourians to report "price gouging on necessary supplies like water, ice, storage units, and generators."

Enforcing these restrictions will have predictable effects: shortages of needed supplies, long lines, delayed repairs, and, perhaps, increased incivility. Like other forms of price control, price-gouging statutes will hurt precisely the people they are intended to help.

Read the rest

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ron Paul Republican B.J. Lawson Interview

Marc Gallagher of Liberty Maven has a great interview of BJ Lawson, and you can see why Dr. Lawson is known as "Ron Paul Jr.":

We here at Liberty Maven are excited to have the opportunity to interview a true patriot candidate who some have called “Ron Paul Jr.”. His name is William “B.J.” Lawson and upon reading his answers to our first segment’s questions it is obvious the Constitution forms the backbone of his beliefs and his campaign to represent North Carolina’s 4th District in Congress.

If you haven’t heard of B.J. Lawson until now and you are a lover of liberty you are in for a treat. If we could caste a spell on every single person in the country to donate and help out with Lawson’s campaign we’d do it. In that vein please enjoy the first interview segment below and then head over to and pledge $5 or $300 to help out with his Ron Paul style money bomb on June 29th.

Read Part 1 of the interview

"Welcome to Washington, BJ!"

Help Ron Paul welcome BJ Lawson to Congress in November!

David Price: Do You Read the Bills?

BJ Lawson confronts his congressional opponent in this telling video, where David Price says with a straight face that he "considered" the PATRIOT Act before he voted in favor of it (which was impossible since there was no way he could even have read it):

UPDATE: See BJ's excellent blog post about the video and why he is a strong advocate for the Read the Bills Act and the Write the Laws Act.

George Carlin: A Four-Letter Threat to Authority (Butler Shaffer)

Butler Shaffer mourns the death of the brilliant George Carlin:

When I was in high school, I got into a discussion with a couple of my classmates over the role institutions played in our lives. I had made some comment critical of government, or organized religion, or corporations – I don’t recall which – and was asked if I was opposed to all such systems. I replied that I was "distrustful of all organizations, from two-handed poker on up." This intuitive insight has stayed with me all of my life. Many years later, I would discover a man whose life-work consisted of using humor to express these sentiments.

It is difficult to find words that convey the sadness I felt upon being awakened, this morning, to the news that George Carlin had died the night before. He was the successor to the man I continue to regard as the most significant dismantler of authority in my lifetime, Lenny Bruce. To most people, Bruce and Carlin were nothing more than dealers in four-letter words; men who loved to shock the sensibilities of others. But there was a deeper meaning in their humor, and modern libertarian thinking would not have been possible without their important groundwork.

Read the rest

UPDATE: If you're looking for a good collection of Carlin videos, here you go! (Note: if you've never heard Carlin, be aware that he liberally uses bad language)

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Major Victory for Texas (Ron Paul)

Ron Paul, a strong opponent of the proposed Trans-Texas Corridor/NAFTA Superhighway, celebrates a victory:

I am pleased to report that last week we received notice that the Texas Department of Transportation will recommend the I-69 Project be developed using existing highway facilities instead of the proposed massive new Trans Texas Corridor/NAFTA Superhighway. According to the Texas Transportation Commissioner, consideration is no longer being given to new corridors and other proposals for a new highway footprint for this project. A major looming threat to property rights and national sovereignty is removed with this encouraging announcement.

Read the rest

Note: I would amend his statement:
"In a perfect world, government could be trusted to act in the best interests of the people without overwhelming pressure of this kind."
To this:
"In a perfect world, there would be no state at all."
Nobody's perfect, and there will never be a "perfect" world, but a stateless society is nonetheless possible. Even though Dr. Paul does not advocate this as his goal, his work has shown large amounts of people the tyrannical and immoral actions of the state, and thus small victories such as this can be achieved. Hopefully in time, with a little help from anti-state sources like the Mises Institute, many of these people will come to realize that the state itself is the problem, and then real victories can be achieved!

Reflections on the Origin and the Stability of the State (Hans-Hermann Hoppe)

Hans-Hermann Hoppe on the irrational notion that we "need" a state, with suggestions on how to enlighten those who hold this unfortunate opinion:

Let me begin with the definition of a state. What must an agent be able to do to qualify as a state? This agent must be able to insist that all conflicts among the inhabitants of a given territory be brought to him for ultimate decision-making or be subject to his final review. In particular, this agent must be able to insist that all conflicts involving himself be adjudicated by him or his agent. And implied in the power to exclude all others from acting as ultimate judge, as the second defining characteristic of a state, is the agent's power to tax: to unilaterally determine the price that justice seekers must pay for his services.

Based on this definition of a state, it is easy to understand why a desire to control a state might exist. For whoever is a monopolist of final arbitration within a given territory can make laws. And he who can legislate can also tax. Surely, this is an enviable position.

More difficult to understand is how anyone can get away with controlling a state. Why would others put up with such an institution?

Read the rest

Martial Law: A License to Loot, a Permit to Plunder (William Grigg)

William Grigg on the insane and tyrannical notion that police have the right to break into homes and steal guns in times of "emergency":

Digging up the planted axioms that litter our ordinary conversations can be a revealing exercise. We learn how deeply rooted our supposedly free society has become in collectivist and militarist assumptions.

For example: How often do we hear or read language that draws a distinction between "police" and "civilians"?

Our republican framework of government supposedly prohibits the use of the military in domestic law enforcement. Yet if a police officer isn't a civilian, he of necessity must be considered some variety of soldier: He bears arms, belongs to a force organized in a military hierarchy, issues orders, and expects immediate obedience to his demands.

Police are supposedly civilian "peace officers," distinguished from the rest of the citizenry (to paraphrase Robert Peel) only by the fact that they are specially charged to protect the rights and property of the innocent as a permanent assignment, rather than an occasional necessity.

Read the rest

TIME for Socialism (Thomas DiLorenzo)

Thomas DiLorenzo on the socialist rag that seemingly wants Americans to live in poverty:

Anyone who is still wondering why the so-called "mainstream media" was so hostile toward Congressman Ron Paul's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination will find an answer in the June 2 issue of Time magazine. Congressman Paul is a deeply educated student of economics, among other things, and an unabashed advocate of economic freedom and limited constitutional government; Time magazine is staffed by socialist ideologues who display little or no evidence of ever having studied economics at all.

Read the rest

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Subprime (BJ Lawson)

BJ Lawson has another excellent blog post on our crumbling economy and how government meddling is making the situation worse:

Back in August of last year, Barack Obama proposed a solution for the subprime crisis, perfectly following the "bubble script". Nine months later, we’re still on schedule — right up to high-profile government prosecutions of Bear Stearns hedge fund managers and promises of perpetuating but "regulating" a corrupt system in Senator Dodd’s Housing Bill:
The bill calls for a new, independent regulator for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks that would have the authority to establish capital standards and “prudential management standards,” as well as to “restrict asset growth and capital distributions for undercapitalized institutions,” among other powers, according to a summary of the bill.
As our markets and economy continue sagging under the weight of our unwinding debt (= credit) bubble, and a weak currency continues to send energy and food costs surging, it should be clear that our monetary, banking, and economic systems are sick.

Read the rest

The Age-Discrimination Question (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell on the tyranny of age-discrimination laws:

Concerning the issue of age discrimination, the Supreme Court in Meacham v. Knolls said that the burden of proof resides on the employer. If a company lays off too many older people (meaning, incredibly, people older than 40), it is under the gun, and must show that factors other than age account for the disparate impact. Otherwise, the courts will rule in favor of the plaintiffs and the business will be forced to fork over, even to the point of bankruptcy.

The age-discrimination law in question is 40 years old and an embedded part of the machinery of social planning by the courts. This decision is yet another move toward government control, but the real problem is more fundamental. Step back and think what it means for the government to make and enforce such a law.

Read the rest

SCOTUS Ratifies CPS Childnapping and Blackmail (William Grigg)

William Grigg on more outrageous abuses of power by so-called child "protection" agencies:

James Redlin, a high school teacher from Illinois, will never know the name of the conscientious citizen who disrupted and nearly destroyed his family. All he knows is that when he came home from a brief trip on a train with his six-year-old son his wife Susan, told him that an official from the Department of Child and Family Services had paid a visit.

Using the threat of seizing the son and sending him into foster care, the DCFS official had extracted from Mrs. Redlin an agreement to sign a family "safety plan." The plan required that James be subject to 24-hour supervision of all contact with his son. A typical household would be hard-pressed to meet that demand. The Redlins confronted the additional difficulty posed by the fact that Mrs. Redlin was confined to a wheelchair.

Mr. Redlin's supposed "offense" was tickling his son during a train ride.

Read the rest

Friday, June 20, 2008

Water on Mars? Not so fast...

As unbelievable as it may seem, NASA has declared that there is water on Mars based solely on the fact that some material apparently vanished from a trench! That's what "science" has become today? Ridiculous!

We'll see what happens as the lander continues to test the soil at different temperatures, but based on the Electric Universe theory, it's unlikely that they will find any trace of water, and there must be another explanation for the vanishing material (I don't pretend to know what it is). See this article to learn why.

BJ Lawson Money Bomb

BJ Lawson may be our best hope for another friend of liberty to be elected to Congress! He already won the Republican primary, and now will face Democrat incumbent David Price in November. A money bomb has been set up on his behalf for June 29. Please help BJ spread the message of peace, prosperity, and liberty!

Why Be Libertarian? (Murray Rothbard)

"Mr. Libertarian" Murray Rothbard on why it is worth the effort to fight for liberty:

Why be libertarian, anyway? By this we mean, what's the point of the whole thing? Why engage in a deep and lifelong commitment to the principle and the goal of individual liberty? For such a commitment, in our largely unfree world, means inevitably a radical disagreement with, and alienation from, the status quo, an alienation which equally inevitably imposes many sacrifices in money and prestige. When life is short and the moment of victory far in the future, why go through all this?

Read the rest

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ron Paul interviewed by Campaign for Liberty

Ron Paul talks about the political issues of the day:


Ron Paul on Glenn Beck

Here's Ron Paul on the Glenn Beck show this evening:

(link to playlist)

Legalize Every Drug (John Stossel)

John Stossel on the insane war on (some) drugs:

The other day, reading the New York Post's popular Page Six gossip page, I was surprised to find a picture of me, followed by the lines: "ABC's John Stossel wants the government to stop interfering with your right to get high. ... The crowd went silent at his call to legalize hard drugs."

I had attended a Marijuana Policy Project event celebrating the New York State Assembly's passage of a medical-marijuana bill. (The bill hasn't yet passed the Senate.)

I told the audience I thought it pathetic that the mere half passage of a bill to allow sick people to try a possible remedy would merit such a celebration.

Of course medical marijuana should be legal. For adults, everything should be legal. I'm amazed that the health police are so smug in their opposition.

After years of reporting on the drug war, I'm convinced that this "war" does more harm than any drug.

Read the rest

B.J. Lawson on the Banking System and Federal Reserve

B.J. Lawson may well deserve to be known as "Ron Paul Jr," as I've heard him called! Check out a couple of blog posts by the great congressional candidate from North Carolina on our deeply flawed banking system:

What’s the Problem with Banks?

Fisher v. Greenspan: The Fed, Our Government, and Our Dollar

Change? (Paul Hein)

Paul Hein says if you really want change, stay home on election day:

Perhaps you saw the photo. It showed Barack Obama with a group of his supporters holding signs bearing the word "change." And news analysts informed us that one reason the Clinton campaign faltered (they apparently don’t consider the possibility that the people simply didn’t want her) was that she underestimated the public’s desire for "change."

I doubt it. In the first place, the last thing any establishment-approved politician would desire is change. In the second, if the people actually wanted change, they could have picked Ron Paul, who would bring about real, not simply rhetorical, change.

Read the rest

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Scott Horton Interviews Lew Rockwell (Anti-War Radio)

A nice interview with Lew Rockwell where he discusses his speech at the recent FFF Conference:

Scott Horton Interviews Lew Rockwell

(or download the MP3)

Ron Paul on Morning Joe

Ron Paul on MSNBC's (i.e., the "Tim Russert Memorial Network") Morning Joe this morning:

Ron Paul on Morning Joe 6-18-08

The Best Use For Your "Stimulus" Check (Todd Steinberg)

Todd Steinberg says he's going to use his "stimulus" check to buy a self-study course on Austrian economics and support the work of the Mises Institute, and asks that you consider doing the same:

It wasn't until last summer when I heard Ron Paul use certain phrases such as the gold standard, inflation tax, the business cycle, and several others that persuaded me to learn more. While researching, the sites that popped up first were and In the following months, learning about liberty and the Austrian school morphed into a hobby of sorts, where I spent many hours of my spare time reading books on economics and libertarianism, writing a few articles for, and having a myriad of conversations with friends and family about our future economic landscape.

Still, I want to learn more. I know that as a busy teddy bear wholesaler and an aspiring cartoon series creator, I have no will to return to school to get an advanced degree in economics. Nor do I want to spend the rest of my days simply scanning for new books and articles that match my interest. Thankfully, the Ludwig von Mises Institute has put together a self-directed program that is the best course of action for a person such as myself.

Therefore, when I receive my $600 government check in the mail, my first purchase will be the Mises Institute Home Study Course in Austrian Economics. If the government wants us to use our checks to jumpstart the economy, then I shall multiply its impact by jumpstarting my own economic education.

That same day, I will use another $50 to renew my membership early in the Ludwig von Mises Institute and the remaining $200 I will use towards a road trip I will take this fall to attend the Supporters Summit in Auburn.

Maybe you will be like me and make this kind of investment towards your education. But if you are not as ambitious, I ask you to at least donate what you can to the Mises Institute.

Read the rest

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Jim Webb for VP (Fred Reed)

The always interesting Fred Reed gives Barack Obama some unsolicited advice on why he should select Jim Webb as his running mate:

Barack, listen up. This election thing is important. If you don’t win this fall, the US will be in the hands of a borderline-senile headcase who thinks we need more wars. The country can’t afford another eight years under an escapee from a psych ward. Which is why you ought to think about Jim Webb as veep.

No, you didn’t ask my advice (doubtless an oversight) and he didn’t authorize me to nominate him. I don’t know whether he wants the job. However, I am a citizen, and believe I have the right to inflict the vice-presidency on anyone.

Read the rest

Ron Paul on CNN 6/16

Ron Paul with CNN's Wolf Blitzer in the Situation Room:

Ron Paul: 'I don't plan to endorse John McCain'

Monday, June 16, 2008

Lew Rockwell's New Bumper Sticker

Found here:

Iraq or the Economy? (Ron Paul)

Ron Paul on how the war in Iraq and the tanking economy are inextricably linked:

What is the importance of the war in Iraq relative to other current issues? This is a question I am often asked, especially as Americans continue to become increasingly aware that something is very wrong with the economy. The difficulty with the way the question is often asked relates to the perception that we are somehow able to divide such issues, or to isolate the cost of war into arbitrarily defined areas such as national security or international relations. War is an all-encompassing governmental activity. The impact of war on our ability to defend ourselves from future attack, and upon America ’s standing in the world, is only a mere fraction of the total overall effect that war has on our nation and the policies of its government.

Read the rest

War and the Common Good (Anthony Gregory)

Anthony Gregory spoke at the Future of Freedom Foundation's 2008 Conference on the horrors of the warfare state and collectivism in general. An excerpt:

I believe the key is to reclaim, refine and always strengthen our understanding of what it is that has led to the success story of Western civilization, the Industrial Revolution and the American experience: It is respect for the dignity and humanity and rights of each individual. Insofar as this country has wavered, it has been disastrous and oppressive. Insofar as it championed these principles, humanity, culture and all we take for granted have flourished.

The warfare state is the greatest of all threats to the individual in our time. It is a threat materially, philosophically, spiritually, culturally and intellectually. It displaces all the voluntary, civil associations we champion — the family, community, church and honest business. It is the total negation of the dignity of the individual, the rights of all men and women to live their lives in liberty. It is a mixture of cold, anti-libertarian modernism and barbarism, the worst remnants of the Middle Ages combined with a new callousness and technocratic fervor. It is the most persistent form of American collectivism. It is an unparalleled threat to world peace. It is the greatest enemy of humanity and individual liberty in our midst.

Read the rest

The Messenger Is the Message (Butler Shaffer)

Butler Shaffer on the media's obsession with the death of Tim Russert:

As I write these words, we are into the third day of a seemingly endless period of mourning for Tim Russert. While he seemed to be a likable fellow – in a conventional sort of way – and I can sympathize with his family, friends, and colleagues over his loss, there is something telling about the state of journalism in this country in the way his death is being transformed into a national tragedy. Here in Hollywood, the demise of even the most prominent of the prominent stars does not merit the media’s nonstop observance such as we are witnessing not only from Mr. Russert’s network, but from others as well.

This endless electronic eulogy brings to mind the classic observation of Marshall McLuhan: "the medium is the message." A centrally-directed, vertically-structured society requires a uniformity of thought in order to maintain a collective commitment. This requires a continuing indoctrination in the values and purposes of the ruling establishment.

Read the rest

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Habeas Corpus and Bush-bot Bulimics (William Grigg)

William Grigg writes on the red-state fascists' disdain for the ancient concept of habeus corpus. An excerpt:

Except for the right to armed self-defense, there is no guarantee of individual liberty more elemental than the habeas corpus guarantee. If the Chief Executive -- be he or she a monarch, dictator, or president -- can summarily imprison anyone indefinitely without a trial or independent judicial review, then all of us are free only by the grace of our Dear Leader.

Read the rest

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tim Russert, RIP

Lew Rockwell on the late Tim Russert:

See Glenn Greenwald on the fascist leader-worship of the conservatives, and the power worship of the press.

On the latter, it is instructive to remember the late Tim Russert.

Indeed, how could we forget? Cable TV has been obsessed with their colleague since his death. Time Magazine, we are reminded again and again, named him one of the 100 most powerful people in America, that is, one of the people most powerfully serving and advancing the state and the power elite. Of course, cable figures also lionize him because it enhances, or so they think, their own bloated sense of self-importance.

We are also told that Russert asked tough questions of politicians. What a joke. He acted like their butler or valet--with one exception. When Russert interviewed Ron Paul, he was incredibly hostile, made lying insinuations, gave Ron almost no to answer, and in general acted like a member of the Capitol Hill-neocon thugbund.

Perhaps Russert, in confronting a genuine man of peace, felt guilty for his Bushian propaganda for war on Iraq, and the blood on his hands. The perpetually embedded journalist's body language was crabbed, and he never looked Ron in the eye.

Of course, no man's death is a good thing, let alone at such a young age. Tim Russert undoubledly did much good in his private life. May his soul rest in peace.

Note: See this playlist for Tim Russert's interview of Ron Paul, or watch below:

The Government Wrecks the Economy (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell on how the government screwed up the economy in the first place, and now is making the situation far worse with its inept attempts to fix it:

At this point it is just a waiting game for the National Bureau of Economic Research to declare that we have been in recession. Of course they work from past data; we all do. But the data will show what has been true from months. Investment is falling. Unemployment is rising. The trends are consistent with every single recession on record.

All that is bad enough. Maybe your job is secure. Maybe you are out of the stock market. Maybe you aren’t waiting for a return on some real estate investment. The problem that hits everyone is inflation, which is roaring out of control in all the sectors we care about. We have entered the double digits, and if producer prices forecast consumer prices, we are in for tougher times ahead.

So what does Washington do? In an act of incredible stupidity, Congress has passed an extension of unemployment benefits.

Read the rest

Friday, June 13, 2008

Taking Money Back (Murray Rothbard)

Murray Rothbard on the most important issue of his (and our) time: getting rid of the Federal Reserve and returning to a free market in money. He begins:

Money is a crucial command post of any economy, and therefore of any society. Society rests upon a network of voluntary exchanges, also known as the "free-market economy"; these exchanges imply a division of labor in society, in which producers of eggs, nails, horses, lumber, and immaterial services such as teaching, medical care, and concerts, exchange their goods for the goods of others. At each step of the way, every participant in exchange benefits immeasurably, for if everyone were forced to be self-sufficient, those few who managed to survive would be reduced to a pitiful standard of living.

Read the rest

Ron Paul's Speech 6/12/08

Here is Dr. Paul's speech from yesterday, where he announced his Campaign for Liberty:

Watch below, or click here for the playlist.

Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty

Video announcement by Ron Paul:

Campaign for Liberty Announcement

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ron Paul's Announcement

Here is Ron Paul's announcement, in which he ends his presidential campaign and begins the next phase of the Revolution, the Campaign for Liberty:

Dear Supporter,

These past 17 months have been among the most exciting and eventful of my life. Together you and I delivered a message of freedom the likes of which American politics had not seen in decades. I wasn’t sure the country was ready for it. But it was a message, I discovered, that many Americans had been waiting for a long time to hear.

I have been blessed with the most informed, well read, and enthusiastic supporters of any presidential campaign. Your extraordinary efforts in organizing and fundraising grabbed the attention of millions of Americans and shocked just about everyone in politics and the media. I still cannot get over all the fantastic work you did.

Something of great significance has just occurred in our country’s history.

With the primary season now over, the presidential campaign is at an end. But the larger campaign for freedom is just getting started. Therefore, I am happy to announce the official launch of the Ron Paul Campaign for Liberty.

The work of the Campaign for Liberty will take many forms. We will educate our fellow Americans in freedom, sound money, non-interventionism, and free markets. We’ll have our own commentaries and videos on the news of the day. I’ll work with friends I respect to design materials for homeschoolers.

Politically, we’ll expand the great work of our precinct leader program. We’ll make our presence felt at every level of government, where just a few people with our level of enthusiasm can make a world of difference. We’ll keep an eye on Congress and lobby against legislation that threatens us. We’ll identify and support political candidates who champion our great ideas against the empty suits the party establishments offer the public.

We will be a permanent presence on the American political landscape. That I promise you. We’re not about to let all this good work die. To the contrary, with your help we’re going to make it grow – by leaps and bounds.

This is the most ambitious venture of my political career, and I think it can achieve great things. But I can’t do this alone. I need you to help me. I need your energy, your creativity, your ideas, and your dedication.

People frustrated with our political system often wonder what they can do. I have founded this organization to answer that question, to give people the opportunity to do something that really makes a difference in the fight for freedom. Please join me by becoming a member of the Campaign for Liberty. Our goal is 100,000 members by September. Can we reach it?

Our campaign netted 1.1 million votes in the primaries of a shrinking Republican Party. Millions more support us. I need you to help me reach them – and to keep making new converts to the cause. What a force we can be, if only we rise to the occasion.

Now what about the Republican Convention in St. Paul? Our delegates will attend, of course, and I expect our contingent to have a visible presence there. Without disruption, we will do whatever we can to influence the party and its platform, and return the GOP to its limited-government roots. This is very important.

This brings me to my second announcement. I invite you to join us at Williams Arena at the University of Minnesota on Tuesday, September 2nd, for a grand rally. We intend to draw over 11,000 people. We’ll have live music and entertainment, and special guests. I’ll address you all as well. A massive rally will generate still more interest in our ideas. And what a great time it will be.

Remember that it was Senator Robert Taft, who shared our views, who was called Mr. Republican. But we are not merely the Republican Party’s past. If the enthusiasm of young people for our campaign is any indication, we are also its future.

Right now I will need your patience and input as we develop our program and assemble just the right team of individuals. But it is my intention to launch the Campaign for Liberty in its full capacity at our rally in Minneapolis this September.

Over the past week we’ve learned that the Democratic presidential nominee, supposedly an antiwar candidate, is committed to the same rhetoric, the same propaganda, and the same aggressive intentions toward Iran as the Bush administration. As usual, the major parties refuse to offer Americans a real choice.

The Campaign for Liberty will lay the groundwork for a different America, the kind of America you and I, and millions of our fellow countrymen, want to inhabit.

“Dr. Paul cured my apathy,” a popular campaign sign read. Others said our campaign cured their cynicism. We have now reached a moment of great moral decision: will we let ourselves retreat into apathy and cynicism once again, or will we dig in for the long haul and fight all the harder? Will we retire from the scene quietly, or will we give the establishment the fight of its life?

“In the final analysis,” I wrote in my new book The Revolution: A Manifesto, “the last line of defense in support of freedom and the Constitution consists of the people themselves. If the people want to be free, if they want to lift themselves out from underneath a state apparatus that threatens their liberties, squanders their resources on needless wars, destroys the value of their dollar, and spews forth endless propaganda about how indispensable it is and how lost we would all be without it, there is no force that can stop them.”

The time has come to act on these words. May future generations look back on our work and say that these were men and women who, in a moment of great crisis, stood up to the politicians, the opinion-molders, and the establishment, and saved their country.

Join us, and be a part of it.

For liberty,

Justin TV feed

Watch live video from Ron Paul 2008 on

Lew Rockwell on Ron Paul

A couple of short videos with Lew Rockwell talking about Ron Paul:

Lew Rockwell: What is Ron Paul's Legacy?

Lew Rockwell on Congressman Ron Paul's New Book

Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty

According to Lew Rockwell and ABC, Dr. Paul will officially end his campaign tonight, but his work will continue on with the Campaign for Liberty:

Tonight, at a campagn rally adjacent to the Texas state Republican convention in Houston, he will thank all his donors and volunteers, and announce that he is closing down his presidential campaign, and is no longer a candidate for president.

But Ron will still hold his grand rally in Minneapolis on September 2--where he will NOT endorse McCain--and continue his efforts to change the Republican party. He will also, more importantly, step up his educational work for Americans in all walks of life, and all ages from home schoolers to seniors, in the principles of freedom, peace, sound money, Austrian economics, and the free market. Ron’s special targets, as always, will be the warfare state, the Federal Reserve, and the income tax.

Ron will continue to speak on college campuses. And with his own TV studios in Arlington, VA, and Clute, TX, he will also be a frequent commentator on YouTube and many other venues about the outrages of the central government, and what to do about them. His book, The Revolution: A Manifesto, remains on the bestseller list, and he is already working on his next one.

The successor organization to Ron’s presidential campaign and its remaining $4.7 million is his Campaign for Liberty.

View the announcement live tonight at 9:00pm CDT at

Join the Campaign for Liberty; I did, as you can see below! :-)

Have Pity For the Bullies (William Grigg)

William Grigg keeps us updated on the FLDS situation, and says it's not over yet:

It still isn't over.

Despite a consistent string of legal defeats and a resounding loss in the court of public opinion, the State of Texas and its child-abduction auxiliary are continuing their jihad against the families of Eldorado's FLDS community.

In doing so the criminals in this matter -- the child "protection" officials who kidnapped the children, and the law enforcement officers who acted as armed accomplices -- are, with the timely help of officials in Utah, making a desperation play for public sympathy by accusing the FLDS of plotting some variety of violent revenge.

Of course, in this entire affair, one side -- the State of Texas -- has told nothing but lies, while the other -- the FLDS parents -- has told the truth, as far as we've been able to determine. And exactly the same division is apparent regarding the use, or threatened use, of violence: One side deployed APCs and sniper teams, the other surrendered without resistance.

Read the rest

Christianity and War (Laurence Vance)

Laurence Vance's excellent speech at the 2008 FFF conference that once again shows why the unholy alliance many Christians have with the state, its military, and especially its wars must end:

I would like to speak to you today about Christianity and War. I don’t suppose there is anything I write and speak about with more fervor than the biblical, economic, and political fallacies of religious people. This is especially true regarding the general subject of Christianity and war. If there is any group of people that should be opposed to war, torture, militarism, the warfare state, state worship, suppression of civil liberties, an imperial presidency, blind nationalism, government propaganda, and an aggressive foreign policy it is Christians, and especially conservative, evangelical, and fundamentalist Christians who claim to strictly follow the dictates of Scripture and worship the Prince of Peace.

Read the rest

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

There Is Only One 'Ron Paul Republican' (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell isn't holding his breath for another politician as principled as Ron Paul:

Let's face it, folks. There is only one Ron Paul. Indeed, he is unique in the entire history of American politics. So I take with a grain of salt all the claims of various pols to be Ron Paulians. Oh, we do have free will. It is possible for an eloquent and principled intellectual to be a brilliant campaigner, to reject the lure of Power, and to work untouched in corrupt DC for peace and freedom -- to be another Ron Paul, that is. But even Jefferson sold out, so I am not holding my breath. And note that it is long-term performance in office that will decide the question, not campaign blather.

For example, I do not join those mourning the loss of Amit Singh in Northern Virginia. This minor-league merchant of death, who brags of being a contractor for the NSA and the Pentagon, and of helping write the software for Total Information Awareness!, ran for the Republican nomination for congress as a Ron Paulian. Perhaps conservative conman Mark Ellmore, who beat Singh last night, is even worse. I do not doubt it. But the Democratic incumbent, Jim Moran, is far better on the war.

Note: It would be great if B.J. Lawson from North Carolina wins his election to Congress and proves Lew wrong! But even if he does win, I expect his primary role to be the same as Dr. Paul's: as an educator.

Ron Paul Discusses His Own Convention on Cavuto 06/10/2008

Dr. Paul on his planned convention/rally/meeting alongside the GOP convention on September 2:

Ron Paul Discusses His Own Convention on Cavuto 06/10/2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ron Paul at FFF Conference 2008

Ron Paul's fantastic speech entitled "A Foreign Policy of Freedom" at the Future of Freedom Foundation's conference "Restoring the Republic 2008: Foreign Policy & Civil Liberties," June 6, 2008.

Click here for the playlist, or watch below:

"Stimulus" Spending: Making The Dead Parrot Twitch (William Grigg)

William Grigg on the deplorable state of the economy:

Last week, published comments by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert regarding the likelihood of war between the U.S. and Iran caused the price of oil to surge to roughly $138 a barrel -- and the Dow to shed nearly 400 points.

Delphic utterances delivered today by Federal Reserve commissary Ben Bernanke, and Timothy Geithner of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York prompted a mild market rally and lent some transient luster to the ever-depreciating greenback.

Rarely have we been able to witness, within such a compressed time-frame, such a compelling illustration of the fact that the economic destiny of our respective households is controlled by people over whom we exercise no controlling authority.

Read the rest

Teaching Kids about the Environment, Government Style (Ben O'Neill)

Thanks to Ben O'Neill for reminding me that one of the great benefits of homeschooling is to help prevent the government from indoctrinating my kids on issues like environmentalism:

University campuses receive a great deal of attention due to the political and cultural indoctrination and activism that some academics try to pass off as education. However, government education bureaucrats are eager to ensure that their prescribed views are etched on the slate of the human mind at a much earlier age. For this reason, the most shameless political and cultural activism is often directed, under the guise of environmental and social education, at young children attending government primary schools.

In Australia, governments have adopted environmental education programs that teach children that human intrusion into nature is to be condemned and that man's life must be subordinated to the preservation of nature, by government force if necessary. Under this view, nature is not to be preserved for the benefit of man, but rather, it is to be preserved for its own sake against the encroachments of man.

Read the rest

Monday, June 9, 2008

Rising Energy Prices and the Falling Dollar (Ron Paul)

Speaking of our enemy, the Fed, Ron Paul continues to hammer home the point that inflation (that is, creating money out of thin air) is the primary cause of many of our woes, including rising oil prices:

Oil prices are on the minds of many Americans as gas hits $4 a gallon, and continues to surge. How high can prices go? How can we solve these problems? What, or who, is to blame?

Part of the answer lies in understanding bubbles and monetary inflation, but especially the Federal Reserve System. The Federal Reserve is charged with controlling inflation through interest rate manipulation, however, many fail to realize that creating money, and therefore inflation, is really its only tool.

Read the rest

War and Inflation (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell speaks at a conference hosted by the Future of Freedom Foundation on our great enemy, the Federal Reserve:

The US central bank, called the Federal Reserve, was created in 1913. No one promoted this institution with the slogan that it would make wars more likely and guarantee that nearly half a million Americans will die in battle in foreign lands, along with millions of foreign soldiers and civilians.

No one pointed out that this institution would permit Americans to fund, without taxes, the destruction of cities abroad and overthrow governments at will. No one said that the central bank would make it possible for the United States to be at large-scale war in one of every four years for a full century. It was never pointed out that this institution would make it possible for the US government to establish a global empire that would make imperial Rome and Britain look benign by comparison.

Read the rest

Notes From a Convention (Butler Shaffer)

Butler Shaffer observes the shenanigans of the Minnesota Republican State Convention:

It had been forty-four years since I last attended a political convention. I was part of my state’s delegation to the 1964 Republican National Convention in San Francisco, an experience that helped push me over the threshold in my abandonment of political action. But last week I found myself headed to Rochester to sit in – as an observer – on the Minnesota Republican State Convention. My Minnesota daughter and her husband have been very active Ron Paul supporters, with her husband serving as a delegate to this convention. Perhaps for the same reason that leads people to visit the site of a train-wreck, I decided to attend.

My initial impression of this convention was that the atmosphere was so unlike those in which I had participated decades before. It was not that the Ron Paul delegates were outvoted by the McCain supporters: that’s just part of the convention process as it was, in 1964, when we Goldwater supporters greatly outnumbered the competing Bill Scranton contingent. But there was a civility and respect for procedural regularities that governed earlier conventions, unlike what I witnessed in Rochester last week. The contrast could be stated, metaphorically, as the difference between eating in a French restaurant and a twenty-four hour truck stop.

Read the rest

What it means when the US goes to war (Chris Hedges)

Chris Hedges on the side of war the state doesn't want you to hear about:

Troops, when they battle insurgent forces, as in Iraq, or Gaza or Vietnam, are placed in "atrocity producing situations". Being surrounded by a hostile population makes simple acts, such as going to a store to buy a can of soda, dangerous. The fear and stress push troops to view everyone around them as the enemy. The hostility is compounded when the enemy, as in Iraq, is elusive, shadowy and hard to find. The rage soldiers feel after a roadside bomb explodes, killing or maiming their comrades, is one that is easily directed, over time, to innocent civilians who are seen to support the insurgents.

Civilians and combatants, in the eyes of the beleaguered troops, merge into one entity. These civilians, who rarely interact with soldiers or marines, are to most of the occupation troops in Iraq nameless, faceless and easily turned into abstractions of hate. They are dismissed as less than human. It is a short psychological leap, but a massive moral leap. It is a leap from killing - the shooting of someone who has the capacity to do you harm - to murder - the deadly assault against someone who cannot harm you.

The war in Iraq is now primarily about murder.

Read the rest

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Ron Paul Questions Iraq Lawmakers

Dr. Paul asks an Iraqi politician what he and his countrymen think about the American occupation of their country:

Part 1 (Dr. Paul's opening remarks)

Part 2 (question and answer period)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Depraved Majesty of Totalitarian Democracy (William Grigg)

William Grigg says that "'Democracy' is the sanctified name used to describe whatever Washington sees fit to inflict on any community -- foreign or domestic -- it targets. And the objective of planting and nurturing democracy consecrates any means to bring about that end." An excerpt:

In fact, it was the audacity displayed by the residents of Fallujah in setting up their own self-governing institutions after the U.S. invasion that attracted the murderous attentions of Bush and his adult handlers.

Jeremy Scahill, in his exceptionally valuable study of Blackwater, Inc., points out that after the invasion "Fallujans had organized themselves and, before U.S. forces entered the city, created a local system of governance -- appointing a Civil Management Council with a manager and mayor -- in direct affront to the authority of the occupation."

Human Rights Watch reports that in Fallujah, the management of the city's public and private assets was apportioned among the various tribes, and arrangement one could call a form of checks and balances. The local hospital contracted with local militiamen to provide security. And local Imams "urged the public to respect law and order."

What is described here is a rudimentary and very fragile form of republican self-government, albeit of a form based on cultural assumptions substantially different from those that informed our own Founders. So of course it had to be destroyed in the interests of the Bushevik Global Democratic Revolution.

Read the rest

Ron Paul in San Diego (Part 2)

More footage of Dr. Paul at an event in San Diego:

Ron Paul in San Diego (Part 2)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Don't Talk to the Police

Professor James Duane on why you should NEVER talk to the police, especially if you're innocent:

"Don't Talk to the Police" by Professor James Duane

And a police officer agrees!

"Don't Talk to the Police" by Officer George Bruch

Note: If you ever get pulled over, there are two questions the cop will likely ask, and as a public service, I have suggested responses. The first is, "Do you know why I pulled you over?", to which you should answer, "Why?" The other question is, "Do you know how fast you were going?", to which you should answer, "How fast?" This follows along with the notion that you shouldn't tell them anything that could be used against you.

What Are Just Prices? (Jeffrey Tucker)

Jeffrey Tucker on the fallacy of the "just" price:

We all have strange and contradictory wishes concerning what prices should be. We are outraged at what is happening to the price of gas and food. We don't think they should go up. In real terms, we want them to fall, and they have fallen in the last decade and a half. That's a good thing, right? That's how the world should work.

But housing? Now, that's a different matter. When the prices fall, people freak out. It's like the end of the world. How is it possible that my own home would fall in price?! That's not the way the world should work. Everyone knows that house prices are suppose to go up up up, all the time, without fail, until the end of time.

Read the rest

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Robert Higgs gets a letter from the IRS

Robert Higgs on his upcoming "stimulus" check:

Well, the letter was actually addressed to me and my wife. The IRS people are great believers in family values, and my wife and I are what the tax collectors affectionately refer to as joint filers. It’s all pretty warm and fuzzy, in a creepy sort of way.

Anyhow, the letter was not nearly as bad as usual. It informed us that the government, acting under authority of the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, would soon be sending us $1,200. Usually it’s the other way around, and the agency’s letter invites us to send it more of our money than we have already sent. Well, we understand, of course: when the government identifies someone who deserves to get our money more than we deserve to keep it, simple justice requires that we pass it along to KBR (formerly Kellogg Brown & Root), Lockheed Martin, and other widows or orphans. Besides, if we kept the money, we’d probably just end up wasting it, whereas the Department of Defense watches every cent with an eagle eye. Ditto for Health and Human Services. We don’t call those people “public servants” for nothing; they really put their hearts into their jobs.

According to the economists, for what their opinion is worth, the economic stimulus act will dish out about $160 billion, of which approximately $110 billion will go to deserving folks like my wife and me, and the rest will go to deserving businesses that would like to write off more of the expenses they incur for making certain investments. Don’t laugh, now! Just because $160 billion is not likely to keep afloat a sinking supertanker-sized economy with a GDP of more than $14 trillion does not entitle you to classify this sum as chump change. On the road where I live, it’s still a substantial amount of money.

There is, however, a little catch for you younger people: because the government was already running a deficit, its outlays for the stimulus payments must all be covered by borrowing, which means that the public debt will rise by the full amount of the payments. And guess who will be responsible for servicing that additional debt and paying it off when it matures. If you said “we, the U.S. taxpayers, will be responsible,” then give yourself an A in the course. In short, we are getting a check from the government today, but at the same time, we are also being given the privilege of paying that same amount back, with interest, in the future.

I’m not too worried myself; I’m old, and I will probably be dead long before my pro rata share of this obligation hits me very hard. For you younger people, it’s a different matter. As for me, I’m relying on two of my firmest beliefs: (1) dead men don’t wear plaid, and (2) they don’t get letters from the IRS, either. Or, if they do, they are, shall we say, unmoved by them.

Tumult and Blood (William Grigg)

William Grigg on another innocent victim of an illegal no-knock raid:

The arrest yesterday (Tuesday, June 3) of 39-year-old Denver resident Joseph Bini on charges of sexual assault and child sexual enticement is an unsavory coda to a really bad decade in the life of a troubled and troubling man. It also serves as an appropriate postscript to a scandal that typifies our militarized law enforcement culture and illustrates the corrupt impunity enjoyed by agents of the emerging Homeland Security State.

Read the rest

The Enemy-Combatant Attack on Freedom (Jacob Hornberger)

Jacob Hornberger on the tyrannical "enemy combatant" doctrine and why ending it is perhaps the most important prerequisite to restoring liberty:

Since an attack on Iran could result in heightened “war-on-terrorism” emergencies here in the United States, this would be a good time to review the issue of “enemy combatants,” especially as the concept applies to American citizens. To analyze the critical importance of the “enemy-combatant” doctrine, we will examine the cases of two people who were incarcerated as “enemy combatants” – José Padilla, an American citizen, and Ali al-Marri, a citizen of Qatar. Both were taken into custody on American soil, labeled “enemy combatants,” and incarcerated by the U.S. military.

Read the rest

One Lesson (Henry Hazlitt)

Here are excerpts from one of the most important economic texts in history, Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson:

Economics is haunted by more fallacies than any other study known to man. This is no accident. The inherent difficulties of the subject would be great enough in any case, but they are multiplied a thousandfold by a factor that is insignificant in, say, physics, mathematics, or medicine — the special pleading of selfish interests.

While every group has certain economic interests identical with those of all groups, every group has also, as we shall see, interests antagonistic to those of all other groups. While certain public policies would in the long run benefit everybody, other policies would benefit one group only at the expense of all other groups. The group that would benefit by such policies, having such a direct interest in them, will argue for them plausibly and persistently. It will hire the best buyable minds to devote their whole time to presenting its case. And it will finally either convince the general public that its case is sound, or so befuddle it that clear thinking on the subject becomes next to impossible.

Read the rest, and check out the fabulous new edition of the book published by the Mises Institute.

David Gordon reviews The Revolution: A Manifesto

David Gordon reviews the most important book of our generation, Ron Paul's The Revolution: A Manifesto:

In his historic campaign for president, Ron Paul again and again held up the Constitution as a benchmark to judge the policies of the American government. For this, some libertarians criticized him. Was Paul not guilty of "constitution worship"? What has a document that began as an effort to replace the Articles of Confederation with a more effective and powerful central government to do with libertarianism? Indeed, some of his most severe critics claimed, Ron Paul did not qualify as a libertarian at all.

In The Revolution: A Manifesto, Ron Paul responds magnificently to this false and irresponsible charge. He is well aware of the limited value of the Constitution: it is a far from ideal arrangement. Nevertheless, it remains the fundamental law of the United States and, if interpreted correctly, provides an excellent means to check the depredations of a government that violates its provisions.

Read the rest

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Cap & Trade Is Not A Market Solution (Robert Murphy)

Robert Murphy says the "market solution" for climate change that the U.S. Senate is debating actually has nothing to do with the free market:

As the U.S. Senate debates climate change legislation this week, many have proclaimed the virtue of its “cap and trade” system as a “market solution” to reducing carbon emissions. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Unlike a direct tax, cap and trade is a European-style scheme that masks its negative consequences on the economy behind the rhetorical benefits of new government programs designed to help us. In truth, neither is good for consumers or the economy, but a closer look reveals why so many politicians find comfort in cap and trade.

Read the rest

Fanatical Yankee Utopians (Thomas DiLorenzo)

Thomas DiLorenzo on the utopian statist "Yankees" of the past and their modern descendants, the Neocons:

In his brilliant LRC article, "The Yankee Problem in America," Clyde Wilson describes how America came to be ruled by a peculiar sect of religious, statist fanatics that originated in New England and became known as "Yankees." Not all Northerners are/were "Yankees," Professor Wilson wrote, for many are obviously fine people. He was referring to "that peculiar ethnic group descended from New Englanders, who can be easily recognized by their arrogance, hypocrisy, greed, lack of congeniality, and penchant for ordering other people around." They "have never given up the notion that they are the chosen saints whose mission is to make America, and the world, into the perfection of their own image." Today we would call them "neocons" or "Hillary Clinton supporters."

A "Yankee" is "self-righteous, ruthless, and self-aggrandizing," which is why Hillary Clinton is "a museum-quality specimen of the Yankee," writes Professor Wilson. The Yankee temperament, moreover, "makes a neat fit with the Stalinism that was brought into the Deep North by later immigrants." (He was obviously referring to the burgeoning communist movement in New York City in the early twentieth century, which produced so-called "red diaper babies" such as the former communist rabble rouser David Horowitz.)

Read the rest

The Fed’s War on the Middle Class (Mark Thornton)

Mark Thornton on why the middle class is robbed by the policies of central banks, and how a gold standard would greatly reduce our economic pain:

Multimillionaires like Hillary Clinton and Lou Dobbs butter their bread by defending middle-class Americans. They are correct about the problem, but their suggested remedies — protectionism, welfare, regulation, subsidy, and tax reform — would only make the problem worse.

The middle class actually faces many important economic problems, but in reality they boil down to three current problems and one that looms large in our future. All four problems stem from a common cause — the Federal Reserve. History tells us that we either root out this cause or face economic demise.

Read the rest

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Why Do We Choose to Defend Liberty? (Anthony Gregory)

Anthony Gregory says we need to continue to spread the message of liberty because it's a matter of right and wrong:

People often look upon those of us who choose to defend liberty with some curiosity. What could be our motivation? Those who see everything political purely in terms of economic motivations and personal gain have some trouble grappling with our ideas for society. They look at our position on Social Security and they think we must not care about the elderly. They know we want to slash taxes and promote free markets in a hundred directions, and they assume we must want to coddle the rich and big business. They think we are naïve about threats to national security, or that we are un-American, all because we favor peace, not just in Iraq, but as a general rule. For decades, some have associated libertarians with an obsession with drugs.

But of course, economic determinism is not an immutable fact of life. Karl Marx was wrong, and thank goodness.

Read the rest

Beware the Moral Hazard Trivializers (Jörg Guido Hülsmann)

Jörg Guido Hülsmann on the financial "experts" who just don't get the fact that central banks and their printing presses create mass incentives for irresponsible behavior and are ultimately responsible for our economic woes:

Virtually all economists agree on the proximate cause of the current financial world crisis: institutionalized moral hazard in the financial industries. Banks and other firms operating as financial intermediaries have a tendency to behave irresponsibly. They display an exuberant bias in their investment decisions, often taking risks out of proportion with possible returns on investment. Most notably they have reduced their equity ratios to extremely low levels, typically to less than ten percent. Equity being the economic buffer for losses, it follows that financial firms are more vulnerable the smaller their equity ratio. If such vulnerable firms dominate the market — as is presently the case — then there is an increased likelihood of contagion, as the liabilities of any one firm are more than often the assets of other financial firms. The bankruptcy of just one sufficiently large firm can then trigger a domino effect of subsequent bankruptcies. The entire financial market melts down.

While economists agree on this basic fact, they disagree about its causes and remedies.

Read the rest

The Child Snatchers Win (William Grigg)

William Grigg says that even though the FLDS mothers may soon be reunited with their children, they are still essentially under house arrest (even though they haven't even been charged with anything), under the authority of a corrupt organization that has been known to shelter child molesters, all backed by a criminally inept and hateful judge:

According to police in Austin, Texas, Billy Dan Carroll spent the better part of the past three decades assaulting and raping dozens of victims -- from girls as young as two years of age to adult women whom he lured to his home and then drugged into unconsciousness. His alleged acts ("alleged" because Mr. Carroll has yet to be convicted of a crime) are reportedly documented on videotapes kept in his possession.

Austin police Sgt. Brian Lloyd, a 22-year veteran child abuse investigator, has rarely seen the like of Mr. Carroll, who he describes as “the worst of the worst…. Several of these children were abused multiple times.” One six-year-old girl was allegedly raped twenty-three times.

Carroll made a handsome living operating a court recording business before he was inspired to volunteer for compassionate community service: In 2004, he became a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) for abused children. This means that he worked -- albeit as a volunteer -- for the same Texas Department of Family and Protective Services that recently abducted 460 children at gunpoint from their parents at the FLDS Church's YFZ Ranch.

Read the rest

The Cause That Won't Go Away (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell on why the gold standard is so important to the cause of peace and liberty:

The first conference hosted by the Mises Institute was on the gold standard. How well I can recall the names we were called in Washington, DC. Reactionaries, Neanderthals, irrelevant to the modern debate, worshipers of a barbarous relic, throwbacks, pipe dreamers, and the rest: all designed to make us all shut up about the most important issue in modern political life.

But we cannot afford to shut up, and the desire of so many agents of the regime to change the subject only proves its importance. So long as government can fund itself by printing paper, it will continue to wreck the economy and our freedom. It is the most critical tool leviathan has, so it is the most important one to take away.

Read the rest

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sowing More Big Government with the Farm Bill (Ron Paul)

Ron Paul on the consequences of government meddling in agriculture (hint: it makes things worse, as all government meddling does):

Recently Congress sent the latest Farm Bill to the president. The bill features brand new federal programs, expansion of existing subsidies, more food stamps and more foreign food aid. This bill hits the taxpayer hard, while at the same time ensuring food prices will remain elevated. The president vetoed the bill, citing concerns over its costs and subsidies for the wealthy in a time of high food prices and record farm income. Nevertheless, this over-reaching, government-expanding Farm Bill will soon be law.

The truth is most farmers simply want honest pay for honest work. However, if the government is providing competing farms with advantages, and one wants to remain a farmer, one must seek a proportional advantage from government. It is a difficult position for the farmer.

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