Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween (BJ Lawson)

When BJ Lawson came home tonight from the office, he found this on his porch:

Cool :-)

BJ Lawson on Glenn Beck 10/31/08

BJ Lawson had a nice appearance on the Glenn Beck radio show today:

YouTube - BJ Lawson on Glenn Beck 10/31/08

Lawson for Congress: The Office at Midnight

BJ Lawson gives another video campaign update and gives us a tour of his office:

YouTube - Lawson for Congress: The Office at Midnight

Grand Theft America: "All Your Wealth Are Belong to Us" (Glen Allport)

Glen Allport, author of The Paradise Paradigm, writes on how our power and wealth have been stolen from us and funneled to the economic elite:

"What the Bail-Out does is saddle the country and all its 'taxpayers' with new trillions of debt and makes it such that every 'taxpayer', regardless of how wise, cautious and frugal he may be, owes loads of Federal Reserve Notes (money) to the Federal Reserve Banking system. What will the 'taxpayers' receive for this new tax saddle? The answer is that they have received and will receive nothing. Almost all of the Bail-Out money goes to the corporations whose errand boys like Greenspan, Paulson, Bernanke, Dimon, Mozilo and Fuld carried out the debt trap that was set 9-10 years ago." [emphasis added] ~ John Olagues, The Real Reason Behind the Bail-Out

Nearly a century ago, two audacious mechanisms were put into place to drain wealth and power from the American people and to funnel that wealth and power to an elite. Today's crisis has arisen because essentially all of our wealth and power has by now been taken from us, and the illusion of normalcy can no longer be maintained.

Read the rest

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ron Paul on Eddie Burke Show 10/30/2008

Ron Paul appeared on the Eddie Burke Show today on KBYR in Anchorage, AK to talk about the elections and to endorse Alaska Senatorial candidate Bob Bird:

YouTube - Part 1
YouTube - Part 2

As Government Officials Press Banks to Lend, What (if Anything) Are They Thinking? (Bob Higgs)

Bob Higgs on the state telling banks to lend while giving them extraordinary incentive not to:

Message from the president to the banks: lend! This message was made perfectly clear by White House press secretary Dana Perino, who said: “What we’re trying to do is get banks to do what they are supposed to do, which is support the system that we have in America. And banks exist to lend money.” Just in case the bankers might fail to get the emperor’s hint, Perino added ominously that the bank regulators “will be watching very closely.”

Anthony Ryan, acting undersecretary for domestic finance at the Treasury, told those attending the annual meeting of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association: “As these banks and institutions are reinforced and supported with taxpayer funds, they must meet their responsibility to lend, and support the American people and the U.S. economy.” Like Perino, he felt the need to add a thinly veiled threat: “It is in a strengthened institution’s best financial interest to increase lending once it has received government funding.”

So much for the idea that because the government is taking nonvoting preferred shares in exchange for its handouts, it will have no influence over how the privileged banks are managed. Indeed, the idea that it would keep its hands off was always preposterous, regardless of the formal status of its newly acquired ownership stake. In view of the many ways in which the government can hurt a bank whenever it wishes to do so, no ownership position was necessary in any event.

Read the rest

Support Your Local Small Town Bully (Will Grigg)

Will Grigg on the plight of Tony Lopez, victim of a local thug who's running for Town Bully....I mean, County Sheriff:

Tony Lopez was watching a movie with his wife when he happened to look through the living room window and noticed that Daryl Crandall was standing across the street from the couple's modest home in Homedale, Idaho. That unwelcome sight was just the beginning of the sorrows that ruined what should have been a pleasant and uneventful Saturday night.

Crandall, a Deputy Sheriff who is trying to unseat his boss in next week's Owyhee County election, was "standing with his hands on his hips and a disgusted look on his face," Lopez recalled to Pro Libertate. "Then he got into his car, threw it in reverse and was already on his cell phone talking before he pulled away."

Lopez and Crandall had a history. A few months earlier, at the behest of a neighbor, Lopez reluctantly attended what had been described as a dinner party but turned out to be a campaign event for Crandall. At the urging of both his neighbor and the candidate, Lopez agreed to support Crandall, and accepted a campaign sign to display in his yard.

As he left the event, however, Lopez noticed several police officers, attired in their official costumes and apparently on public time, coming to attend the campaign function. One of them, Lopez attests, was Perry Grant -- who had been a rival candidate for the Sheriff position. Lopez properly considered this partisan political activism by uniformed, on-duty police officers to be entirely improper, and immediately reconsidered his support for Crandall. Rather than displaying the yard sign, he left it in his shop.

Read the rest

Fundamentals Are … Fundamental (Jim Fedako)

Fellow homeschooler Jim Fedako writes on the unchanging fundamentals of the market economy:

Imagine that you and a friend are sitting on a bench across the street from a construction site. In quick succession, two trucks arrive and dump a pile of sand, one pile next to the other. Moments later, a bulldozer appears and pushes the two piles together. After some thought, your friend has an "a-ha" moment.

"Interesting," he notes, channeling Jacques Derrida, "one and one are no longer two."

His comment slowly invades your thoughts. Finally, you respond, "What did you just say?"

Repeating his statement, only with more certainty and strength, "One and one are no longer two, under all circumstances. See that pile of sand. Before it was two piles of sand, and now it's one. So, one pile plus another pile is just one pile. One and one are no longer two."

Floored, you stare at your friend hoping to find a sign of jest.

He continues, "This isn't the first time that fundamentals have changed. During this past year, we've witnessed the fundamentals of economics — you know, supply and demand — rocked by oil speculators. It is no longer supply and demand setting the price, it's now the speculator. The fundamentals changed. Times have changed. We are living in a different world."

Taking a deep breath, you slowly note, "Fundamentals are just that: fundamental. By definition, they can't change, regardless of the time or place."

Read the rest

A Fake Banking History of the United States (Tom DiLorenzo)

Tom DiLorenzo, author of Hamilton's Curse, refutes more lies from the establishment shills at the War Street Journal:

UPDATE: Also see BJ Lawson's take on the article.

Ask yourself this question: was the housing price bubble, which has burst, caused by (a) a Fed policy of too much liquidity, which caused artificially low interest rates, which in turn caused a great deal of malinvestment, or (b) a Fed policy of too little liquidity which caused high interest rates and a credit-starved economy? If you chose answer b, congratulations, you may have a future as a celebrated author, historian, and Wall Street Journal commentator.

Answer b is a theme of a truly ridiculous article by John Steele Gordon in the October 10 issue of the Wall Street Journal online entitled "A Short Banking History of the United States." The article is an attempt to defend the Fed, its founding father, Alexander Hamilton, and the regime that it finances. (Gordon is the author of a book entitled Hamilton's Blessing which sings the praises of a large public debt, something that Hamilton himself called a "public blessing.")

Rather than faulting the Fed for creating yet another boom-and-bust cycle, Gordon blames the current economic debacle on "the baleful influence of Thomas Jefferson." Jefferson was the foremost opponent of a bank capitalized with tax dollars and operated by politicians and their appointees from the nation's capital — Hamilton's Bank of the United States (BUS), a precursor of the Fed. Thus, despite the fact that the real blame for the current economic crisis lies squarely in the lap of the Fed and its ideological underpinnings — particularly the legends and myths surrounding Hamilton — Gordon attempts to convince us that opposition to politicized, centralized banking is the real problem. Anyone who believes this could easily be persuaded that up is down, white is black, and day is night.

Read the rest

Lawson for Congress: Let's Do This

BJ Lawson needs our help at this critical juncture (via email):

These are the last days of this election. Will you continue to help me?

The Washington power brokers pretend they have this in the bag. They say they can easily defeat me on Election Day and are "perfectly comfortable with their position."

So comfortable that they are scrambling to control our momentum.

My opponent, David Price, who describes himself as a "Progressive Democrat," is a dedicated servant of all the special interests who have given us the disasters of recent years, from unconstitutional wars to recession, from huge deficits to massive new welfare programs.

The man's 2nd largest campaign contributor is the Military Industrial Complex.

He voted to deregulate the banking industry.

His largest personal holding is in Exxon Mobil.

Does that sound like a 'Progressive Democrat'?

When I think of a Progressive Democrat I tend to think of someone like Dennis Kucinich, whom I admire for his adherence to the Constitution and respect for civil liberties. Mr. Kucinich challenges the establishment and Washington elite in defense of these principles.

David Price is no progressive.

People like David Price will do anything to gain and keep power. They represent everything that is wrong with DC.

If I am defeated on November 4th, it will be proclaimed by the media here in North Carolina to Washington DC that such "ridiculous and outmoded notions" as the personal liberty, limited government, free market, sound money, and a foreign policy of non-intervention are not a way to win an election.

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

Please, help me stop the lies, the distortions, the pressure groups, the special interests that benefit from efforts such as the Wall Street Bailout, The Patriot Act, FISA, The War on Terror and The War on Drugs.

There is still time to run more advertisements, purchase more Constitutions and flyers, continue the fantastic phone banking, and get the vote out in the Fourth District.

Please help me go to Congress to fight for the people of my district, and for the ideas that can save our country from its unsustainable path.

Please give today at, as generously and as quickly as you can.

In liberty,


Professor Larry Sechrest, RIP

Professor Larry Sechrest, author of Free Banking and professor of economics at Sul Ross University, died this morning at the age of 62. He may be best known for his 2004 essay about the trouble with students and the furor it caused. Sechrest also gave the fabulous 2008 Mises Memorial Lecture The Anti-Capitalists: Barbarians at the Gate, which you can also watch on YouTube.

Jeff Tucker has more in the obituary he wrote. Rest in peace, Professor Sechrest.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lawson for Congress: Constitutions at 11pm

Here's BJ Lawson's latest video campaign update from a couple of hours ago:

YouTube - Lawson for Congress: Constitutions at 11pm

Ron Paul on MSNBC with Rachel Maddow

Ron Paul had a nice appearance with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow tonight to talk about the election:

YouTube - Ron Paul on Rachel Maddow

Mises Supporters Summit Live Broadcast

The Ludwig von Mises Institute's 2008 Supporters Summit entitled "The Gold Standard Revisited" will be broadcast live on on October 31 and November 1! Here's a trailer for the event that will include Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, Tom Woods, and many, many others:

YouTube - Mises Institute 2008 Supporters Summit Trailer

Most Presidents Ignore the Constitution (Andrew Napolitano)

Judge Andrew Napolitano wrote a nice opinion piece for the War Street Journal on the bailout and the government's ignorance of the Constitution:

In a radio interview in 2001, then-Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama noted -- somewhat ruefully -- that the same Supreme Court that ordered political and educational equality in the 1960s and 1970s did not bring about economic equality as well. Although Mr. Obama said he could come up with arguments for the constitutionality of such action, the plain meaning of the Constitution quite obviously prohibits it.

Mr. Obama is hardly alone in his expansive view of legitimate government. During the past month, Sen. John McCain (who, like Sen. Obama, voted in favor of the $700 billion bank bailout) has been advocating that $300 billion be spent to pay the monthly mortgage payments of those in danger of foreclosure. The federal government is legally powerless to do that, as well.

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt first proposed legislation that authorized the secretary of agriculture to engage in Soviet-style central planning -- a program so rigid that it regulated how much wheat a homeowner could grow for his own family's consumption -- he rejected arguments of unconstitutionality. He proclaimed that the Constitution was "quaint" and written in the "horse and buggy era," and predicted the public and the courts would agree with him.

Remember that FDR had taken -- and either Mr. Obama or Mr. McCain will soon take -- the oath to uphold that old-fashioned document, the one from which all presidential powers come.

Read the rest

Faith of Our Fathers (Laurence Vance)

Laurence Vance on Christians and their thoughts on the scourge of war throughout the centuries:

There has prevailed in some circles since the beginning of the war in Iraq the idea that a conservative should support war and militarism. To dissent is to not be a true conservative, or even worse, to be one of those nasty liberals, or worse still, to be un-American or anti-American.

The idea is bogus, of course. When a Democrat like Bill Clinton was president, 80 percent of House Republicans voted against the Clinton-ordered bombings in the former Yugoslavia. If the "liberal" Al Gore had been elected president instead of the "conservative" George Bush, and if the "liberal" President Gore had ordered the invasion of Iraq, is there any doubt that most of the "conservatives" in Congress would have opposed him?

With the exception of Ron Paul (and perhaps a handful of others who are not as consistent), the members of Congress of both parties have no principles other than supporting their party, expanding their power, glorying in their position, and getting reelected. This lack of moral principles is true of the typical self-proclaimed conservative layman. If Bush announced today on the Limbaugh and Hannity radio shows that the invasion of Iraq was a terrible mistake, and that he was ordering all U.S. forces to cease fighting and begin withdrawing, the same "conservatives" who supported the war in Iraq for five years in order to defend our freedoms and keep us safe from terrorism would suddenly turn into opponents of the war. Any "liberals" who wanted to continue the war effort would be denounced as un-American for wanting U.S. soldiers to remain in harm’s way.

This idea that a conservative should support war and militarism is, unfortunately, held by a good number of conservative Christians as well. And perhaps even more strongly because of the religious element. When the typical conservative Christian sees liberal Christians deny the authority of Scripture and the bodily resurrection of Christ while expressing support for abortion and the ordaining of homosexuals, but also oppose war and militarism, he draws the false conclusion that it is liberal (bad) to oppose war and militarism but conservative (good) to support them.

Read the rest (highly recommended because of the marvelous quotes Vance includes!)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lawson for Congress: 7 Days to go

Here's a video message from hard working BJ Lawson that was recorded very early this morning:

YouTube - Lawson for Congress: 7 Days to go

Pwned by the "Ownership Society" (Will Grigg)

Will Grigg on the predatory corporatist state, which had the gall to jail Joseph "Grandpa Gone Wild" Prudente for having a partially brown lawn, and the importance of peaceful cooperation to fight it off:

Here's how "justice," as our rulers pretend to understand the concept, is administered under the system of depraved corporatism that's come to be known as the "Ownership Society":

Politically favored Wall Street swindlers guilty of deliberate fraud that destroyed imponderable amounts of wealth luxuriate in additional trillions extracted, through government-sanctioned theft, from the law-abiding; meanwhile, honest people who earnestly do their best to meet their financial obligations despite being battered by successive waves of misfortune find themselves threatened with the loss of everything they cherish, beginning with their individual freedom.

Read the rest

Answering the Daily Tar Heel (BJ Lawson)

BJ Lawson on the issues:

I have the opportunity to answer some additional questions from the Daily Tar Heel editorial board. In the interest of transparency, here goes:

1) How does he plan to push his 4 bills- rather uncommon ones- as a new face in Washington without the political clout of a veteran congressman?

Even with the political clout of a veteran congressman, pushing bills through Congress is no easy task. For example, according to, Rep. David Price has sponsored 47 bills since Jan 7, 1997, of which 44 haven’t made it out of committee and only one (H.R. 2638: Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009) was successfully enacted.

So after a decade in Congress, it appears that Rep. Price’s first enacted legislation — an appropriations bill — was signed into law just one month ago.

Apologies to Rep. Price if GovTrack missed something here, and he’s certainly signed on to co-sponsor numerous bills led by others, but his track record for advancing legislative progress over the past eleven years is modest at best.

My initial goal as our representative is to educate folks about the desperate need for the four mentioned “good government” reforms. It is only with education that change can occur, and that change must be pushed not by a single legislator, but by a coalition of principled leaders responding to people who insist on good government.

Read the rest

This makes me sad, and angry (BJ Lawson)

BJ Lawson on the unforgiving banks who themselves just got bailed out:

I received the following email tonight:

Please pray for my family. I got word today that [large national bank that got itself bailed out] declined my well-documented plea for a mortgage restructure. I had numerous state and non-profit organizations working to help me get the terms of the predatory loan normalized so we can afford to stay in our home. I cannot bear to tell my children and am praying for a miracle even yet…

Here’s why I am sad, and angry: this bank created the money to lend to this person out of NOTHING. There was no value created by the bank — the bank simply has an unconstitutional monopoly on the ability to create money out of nothing.

Yet the bank has the gall to refuse a restructuring for this debt, while We the People let our administration bail out this bank (among others) at the cost of hundreds of billions of dollars borrowed from this very same banking system!

Oh, and now this bank can take this family’s home.

Is that right?

No, it is despicably wrong.

How did we get to the point where we accept “money” that is a token of debt instead of wealth? How did we get to the point where we accept a monopoly on money that is lent into circulation based upon the borrower’s promise to pay it back with interest?

Read the rest

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Suggestion: Don't Vote (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell writes in the latest issue of the American Conservative:

The critical problem we face today is the same one all mankind has faced: the state, those monopolists who claim the right to break the laws that they make and enforce. How to restrain them is the critical problem of all sound political thinking. Making matters worse, this gang now has a monopoly on the money and the ability to print it, and they are abusing that power at our expense.

How does voting change the situation? Neither of the candidates for president wants to do anything about the problem. On the contrary, they want to make it worse. This is for a reason. The state owns the “democratic process” as surely as it owns the Departments of Labor and Defense and uses it in ways that benefit the state and no one else.

On the other hand, we do have the freedom not to vote. No one has yet drafted us into the voting booth. I suggest that we exercise this right not to participate. It is one of the few rights we have left. Nonparticipation sends a message that we no longer believe in the racket they have cooked up for us, and we want no part of it.

You might say that this is ineffective. But what effect does voting have? It gives them what they need most: a mandate. Nonparticipation helps deny that to them. It makes them, just on the margin, a bit more fearful that they are ruling us without our consent. This is all to the good. The government should fear the people. Not voting is a good beginning toward instilling that fear.

This year especially there is no lesser of two evils. There is socialism or fascism. The true American spirit should guide every voter to have no part of either.

Spending the Economy into Oblivion (Ron Paul)

Ron Paul's latest Texas Straight Talk:

With news this week that Congress is poised to consider a new stimulus package, I am forced to again ask a question that seems silly in Washington: How will we pay for this?

While a few Members of Congress have raised the issue, it certainly was not the primary concern of the House Budget Committee when they interviewed Ben Bernanke on Monday. And, when they did direct this question to the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, his answer was the standard rhetoric about how Congress needed to make tough choices. Needless to say, not many specifics were discussed.

One of the most liberal members of the House, Barney Frank, has at least volunteered something of a suggestion: “We can let Iraq take care of itself.” This, of course, goes in the right direction, but hardly far enough.

We need to declare the facts and their obvious consequences. The deficit of the United States is now spiraling out of control, and the recent bailout package has only made it worse. Our crushing federal debt is one key reason behind our current economic turbulence.

As Congress begins to consider the third “stimulus package” of the year, we need to realize it is time to start setting priorities. Priority number one should be cutting spending in foreign countries. This does not simply mean Iraq, but everywhere.

The next stimulus package is likely to include money for infrastructure. While these investments are, constitutionally speaking, supposed to be made by state and local governments, it is not likely that Congress will suddenly begin to pay heed to the document we are all sworn to uphold. Still, we need to acknowledge the fact that the current Congress and Administration are rushing the nation toward bankruptcy.

This being the case, we could hope they would at least come to their senses regarding our debt and foreign spending sprees. Our nation’s foreign-held debt is at record highs and moving ever higher. Continuing to borrow money from Red China and others in order to pay “dues” to the United Nations and run “Plan Colombia” makes no sense at all.

Our whole carrot-and-stick approach to foreign policy makes no sense. The US government simultaneously gives money to Israel, and to Egypt. We send AIDS money to Africa while AIDS clinics in America shut down. “Millennium challenge” funding goes to countries which enact “market based reforms” as we push our own country further and further into a centrally planned economy.

Economic recovery will only come through financial prudence, savings and getting back to producing things of value again. But it seems to be a foregone conclusion that we are about to enact another government initiative to “stimulate the economy.” Instead, there should be some serious talk about cutting all of these foreign giveaway programs. But, alas and again, we should not hold our breath. Congress is still not close to being serious about ending its addiction to debt and spending, and is again faced with the deadly temptation to attempt to spend us out of a recession. We should not forget that in the 1930’s those types of efforts gave us the Great Depression.

When the World Went Bankrupt (Butler Shaffer)

Butler Shaffer on the many ways western civilization is bankrupt, which we can overcome by rediscovering our individuality:

To understand the machinations of a complex world, one must become sensitive to how apparently separate phenomena interconnect to produce unexpected consequences. Otherwise intelligent men and women struggle to make sense of the destructive turbulence that is fast becoming the norm in modern society. Wars that fail to satisfy even the most meager of excuses for their prosecution; rapidly-expanding police states rationalized as necessary for the ferreting out of "terrorist" bogeymen; state-sponsored torture conducted for no more apparent purpose than an end in itself; the wholesale looting engaged in – with bipartisan support – for the purpose of creating trillions of dollars of booty to subsidize the corporate owners of American society for losses sustained through incompetent management; these are the major examples of the failure to see interrelated causes of social disorder.

Throughout all of this, we see exhibited by those who presume the powers of omniscience and rational planning, a thorough ignorance not only of the causal factors that continue to produce our horribly disrupted world, but of the propriety of statist actions that respond to such dislocations with the same mindset that produced the turmoil. One sees symptoms of this disconnectedness in such absurdities as Al Gore’s receipt of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, or the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics to Paul Krugman. It is as though the Nobel Prize judges wanted to go out of their collective way to refute Einstein’s proposition that one cannot solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that produced it!

Read the rest

Lawson for Congress: That's How We Roll

Here's the latest campaign update from BJ Lawson:

We had a great weekend at the polls, and a solid start to our fund raising drive for $200,000 -- our callers helped bring in about $20,000 in donations. Thank you for your continued support!

While it wasn't enough to fund the mailer we were hoping to send out, every bit helps with our GOTV and voter education at the polls -- I can't say enough about the power of the Constitution in a voter's hand to carry the message of principled change.

Just how effective is the Constitution? Check out this article with some footage straight from the polls:

We're pulling out all the stops this week, and are being joined by well-known supporters Adam Kokesh and Michael Maresco at the polls.

If you can't join us in person and have already hit your limit on donations, don't forget to check out our user-friendly Voter Outreach program -- wherever you are, you can make a difference!

In liberty,


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ron Paul on the Lew Rockwell Show

Ron Paul appeared on the Lew Rockwell Show today to talk about the economic crisis and our future.

Click here to listen, or if you prefer YouTubes, here they are:

Part 1
Part 2

Roger Young's Image Review of the Week

Roger Young was too busy for a Quotes of the Week, but here is his always excellent Image Review of the Week:

Lawson for Congress: At the Polls

BJ Lawson asks for some critical last minute help in this email:

We are making this happen, and this last week of early voting will be critical.

First, thank you to everyone who contributed to take our campaign to this level, and signed on to help call voters and raise needed funds.

However, we're at a critical decision point. The Constitutions have been going faster than expected at the polls, and we have a fantastic new mailer that needs to go out by Tuesday.

But we're out of funds.

Over the past three weeks, we've worked over 18 hours per day spending the money you gave us on a slew of successful direct mail, print, radio, and television advertisements, as well as getting directly in front of voters at every polling station in the district.

With your help, we can do more. We are converting voters at the polls, and the Constitution is the key ingredient that separates us from politics as usual.

What can we do? With another $100,000 we can send out our final mailer and restock Constitutions through election day.

With another $200,000 we can make a final media push to combat Price's increasingly negative attacks with our positive message of liberty.

Please help if you are able -- this is our last opportunity to set the course through election day. Thank you for all that you do.

In liberty,


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mock the Vote by David Heleniak

Wendy McElroy published a nice original article by David Heleniak about the lunacy of voting in our farcical political system:

Jesse Ventura, when he’s not talking about 9-11, makes a lot of sense.

Describing the two party system to Larry King, he said:

“[W]hat you have today is like walking into the grocery store and you go to the soft drink department, and there is only Pepsi and Coke. Those are the two you get to choose from. There is no Mountain Dew, no Root Beer, no Orange. They’re both Colas; one is slightly sweeter than the other, depending on which side of the aisle you are on.”

In an interview with Newsmax, he described politicians in the two party system as pro wrestlers. “In pro wrestling, out in front of the people, we make it look like we all hate each other and want to beat the crap out of each other, and that’s how we get your money, [and get you to] come down and buy tickets. They’re the same thing. Out in front of the public and the cameras, they hate each other, are going to beat the crap out of each other, but behind the scenes they’re all going to dinner, cutting deals. And [they’re] doing what we did, too — laughing all the way to the bank. And that to me is what you have today, in today’s political world, with these two parties.”

Jesse’s right. Our political system is a farce.

Read the rest

Friday, October 24, 2008

Adam Kokesh Endorses BJ Lawson

The great freedom fighter Adam Kokesh endorses the great BJ Lawson:

YouTube - Adam Kokesh Endorses BJ Lawson

Lawson for Congress: Operation Priceless

It's getting to be crunch time for the BJ Lawson campaign, and momentum is definitely on their side, but they need our help:

This campaign has caught our opponent, David Price, flat footed — overwhelming him with our grassroots momentum, enthusiasm, and appeal to voters with the message of Liberty.

A wise man once said — the freedom message is popular — and with your help, we have gotten that message out.

Today we are going positive with a new TV ad, but we need your help to keep it on the air through Election Day.

In addition to all of our media efforts - your money is helping us hand out free pocket Constitutions to voters all around the 4th District. We have dubbed these efforts ‘Operation Priceless’. Our team is staffing every early voting polling place urging people to cast their vote for Dr. Lawson.

That call to liberty has David Price scared. The Freedom Movement is threatening the establishment once again.

So much so that Mr. Price and his DNC cronies are working overtime to paint Dr. Lawson and Ron Paul as dangerous George W. Bush followers.

Ron Paul dangerous? Really Mr. Price?

Dangerous maybe to 20-year incumbents, like Mr. Price, who take most of their re-election campaign funds from lobbyists and whose 2nd largest PAC donor is the Military Industrial Complex.

I suppose from Mr. Price’s point of view we could be considered dangerous.

Your support will help us become even more dangerous to those Washington elite.

Dr. Lawson needs our help to get new ads on local broadcast television stations - right next to McCain and Obama.

These spots are expensive because North Carolina is a battleground state, but they will put our campaign in front of more voters than any of David Price’s former opponents here 4th District.

Also, we must send out another mailer to all 150,000 potential voters here in the 4th District.

To do this effectively requires us raising another $200,000.

Will you please help us with a most generous contribution of $50, $100 or more?
Could you invest the max of $2300?

This is the year of change. David Price must go.

This country needs Dr. Lawson in Congress.

Martin Avila
Campaign Manager
Lawson For Congress

Ron Paul with Neil Cavuto again!

Ron Paul is becoming a frequent guest on Neil Cavuto's show, and he was on again this afternoon:

YouTube - Ron Paul Neil Cavuto 10/24/2008

Please help me support Michelle Bachman (Ron Paul)

I thought the whole brouhaha over Michelle Bachmann's comments was way overblown, and it's nice to see that Ron Paul agrees, as evidenced by this email:

Dear Friend,

When it comes to fiscal issues, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann is a strong ally in Washington. She recently stood up with me and voted against the massive Wall Street Bailout, a politically difficult, principled stand for which she should be commended.

Michelle also serves with me on the House Financial Services Committee where she is a consistent ally in our efforts to shine light on the Federal Reserve. Her recent Op-Ed in the Washington Times demonstrates her leadership on the Monetary Issue.

As you may have heard, Congresswoman Bachmann has recently come under attack by the liberal media. Her opponent has capitalized and raised some big money in a short period of time. There is even talk of a write-in candidate with no chance of winning that would only siphon votes away from Michelle.

At this time when big government forces are grabbing more and more power, we can not afford to lose a fiscally principled Representative like Michelle Bachmann in the Congress. Please join me in supporting Michelle in any way you feel comfortable and, most importantly, please make sure you get the polls and vote for her on November 4th.

In Liberty,

Ron Paul

Ron Paul on Greenspan , the Economy, and the Election

Ron Paul made a couple of nice TV appearances last night and this morning:

YouTube - Ron Paul on FOX Business w/ Cavuto 10/23/2008

YouTube - Ron Paul on CNN American Morning 10/24/2008

The Ethics of Money Production (Jorg Guido Hulsmann)

From the Mises Institute:

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new book by Jorg Guido Hulsmann: The Ethics of Money Production.

This pioneering work, in hardback, by Jorg Guido Hulsmann, professor of economics at the University of Angers in France and the author of Mises: The Last knight of Liberalism, is the first full study of a critically important issue today: the ethics of money production.

He is speaking not in the colloquial sense of the phrase "making money," but rather the actual production of money as a commodity in the whole economic life. The choice of the money we use in exchange is not something that needs to be established and fixed by government.

In fact, his thesis is that a government monopoly on money production and management has no ethical or economic grounding at all. Legal tender laws, bailout guarantees, tax-backed deposit insurance, and the entire apparatus that sustains national monetary systems, has been wholly unjustified. Money, he argues, should be a privately produced good like any other, such as clothing or food.

In arguing this way, he is disputing centuries of assumptions about money for which an argument is rarely offered. People just assume that government or central banks operating under government control should manage money. Hulsmann explores monetary thought from the ancient world through the middle ages to modern times to show that the monopolists are wrong. There is a strong case in both economic and ethical terms for the idea that money production should be wholly private.

He takes on the "stabilization" advocates to show that government management doesn't lead to stability but to inflation and instability. He goes further to argue against even the theoretical case for stabilization, to say that money's value should be governed by the market, and that that the costs associated with private production are actually an advantage. He chronicles the decline of money once nationalized, from legally sanctioned counterfeiting to the creation of paper money all the way to hyperinflation.

In his normative analysis, the author depends heavily on the monetary writings of 14th century Bishop Nicole Oresme, whose monetary writings have been overlooked even by historians of economic thought. He makes a strong case that "paper money has never been introduced through voluntary cooperation. In all known cases it has been introduced through coercion and compulsion, sometimes with the threat of the death penalty. ... Paper money by its very nature involves the violation of property rights through monopoly and legal-tender privileges."

Here is the full book in digital form [PDF].

(Or go to the blog post to read the book in a scrollable Flash file, or here to buy the beautiful hardback)

Keeping what is yours (Wendy McElroy)

Wendy McElroy has some common-sense advice for us in the coming storm:

It has been a while since I rang the alarm bell on how deeply and how often government-on-all-levels will be reaching into your pocket in coming months. Governments everywhere are desperate for cash; they are willing to be as brutal and innovative as necessary to pry that last dime out of your resisting fingers. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to protect your hard-earned money from those who are all too willing to take food off your table in order to gorge themselves.

Read the rest

Running for Congress: Expensive. Being Attacked by Twenty Year Incumbent: Priceless. (BJ Lawson)

BJ Lawson gives a campaign update, where he talks about the fruits of working the early voting polls and comments on a new attack ad placed by his opponent:

We’re making progress, and our incumbent’s machine is feeling the heat.

Early voting started last Thursday, and we’ve been staffing polling places throughout the District to spread the word about the campaign. Our team has been doing a great job — in fact, in some cases they’ve been doing such a great job that the opposition has tried to shut them down.

Theresa and Tiffany were working at a polling place in South Durham on Thursday, and apparently their readiness to engage with voters created a bit of nervousness among the Democratic party staffers. After a few hours, a lady drove up to the polling place, approached Theresa and Tiffany, thanked them for doing such a good job, and told them they were being relieved and could hand over their materials.

Needless to say, this mystery lady was not from our campaign… which raises an obvious question: How stupid do these people think we are?

Read the rest

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Is Laissez Faire Responsible for the Financial Crisis? (George Reisman)

Professor George Reisman destroys the myth that laissez faire capitalism is responsible for the mess we're in and places the blame squarely where it belongs, on the state:

The news media are in the process of creating a great new historical myth. This is the myth that our present financial crisis is the result of economic freedom and laissez-faire capitalism.

The attempt to place the blame on laissez faire is readily confirmed by a Google search under the terms "crisis + laissez faire." On the first page of the results that come up, or in the web entries to which those results refer, statements of the following kind appear:

  • "The mortgage crisis is laissez-faire gone wrong."

  • "Sarkozy [Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of France] said 'laissez-faire' economics, 'self-regulation' and the view that 'the all-powerful market' always knows best are finished."

  • "'America's laissez-faire ideology, as practiced during the subprime crisis, was as simplistic as it was dangerous,' chipped in Peer Steinbrück, the German finance minister."

  • "Paulson brings laissez-faire approach on financial crisis…."

  • "It's au revoir to the days of laissez faire."

Recent articles in The New York Times provide further confirmation. Thus, one article declares, "The United States has a culture that celebrates laissez-faire capitalism as the economic ideal…." Another article tells us, "For 30 years, the nation's political system has been tilted in favor of business deregulation and against new rules." In a third article, a pair of reporters assert, "Since 1997, Mr. Brown [the British Prime Minister] has been a powerful voice behind the Labor Party's embrace of an American-style economic philosophy that was light on regulation. The laissez-faire approach encouraged the country's banks to expand internationally and chase returns in areas far afield of their core mission of attracting deposits." Thus even Great Britain is described as having a "laissez-faire approach."

The mentality displayed in these statements is so completely and utterly at odds with the actual meaning of laissez faire that it would be capable of describing the economic policy of the old Soviet Union as one of laissez faire in its last decades.

Read the rest

Your Money at Work, Part 2 (BJ Lawson)

BJ Lawson's campaign has been very busy! They're airing a new TV ad and a bunch of radio ads, as well as distributing some nice flyers. See his blog post:

We’ve been busy — just wanted to update you on our radio advertisements:

Price, Paulson, Pelosi:

Drug Prohibition:

Biodisease Lab:

Time for Change:

We have a flyer that’s a big hit at the polls, as well — letting people know that the key to voting for change is voting Lawson for Congress (note: click on the images for full page PDF's):

Finally, we took the opportunity to educate the readers of The Daily Tar Heel about the misstatements in their coverage of our UNC debate:

Thanks for making this possible!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Meet BJ Lawson

Here's a nice YouTube in support of the great BJ Lawson.

BJ has really been gaining momentum lately and seems to have a pretty good shot at unseating David Price! Please support him if you can so Ron Paul can have a friend and strong ally in Congress!

Fare Thee Well, and Get Ye Lost (Will Grigg)

Will Grigg on the coming reign of Obama the Blessed (PBUH) and what Red states and Blue states should say to each other in the inevitable aftermath:

For the past eight years, Republicans have diligently cultivated the doctrine of Fuhrerprinzip and nurtured the Cult of the Imperial Presidency. In two weeks the harvest will start to come in as the voters ratify the reign of His Ineffable Holiness, Obama the Blessed (peace be upon him).

By no later than next Spring, the Republicans -- who will deservedly be reduced not merely to the status of minority party, but that of an unpleasant political afterthought -- will be force-fed the nettles that sprouted from the seeds of despotism they planted during Bush the Lesser's first term.

Read the rest

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, Adieu (Bob Higgs)

Bob Higgs blogs on the Independent Institute's The Beacon on how fear, instilled continuously by the state, has lead to our extraordinary loss of liberties:

Leonard Pitts is one of the few newspaper columnists whose writing I consistently enjoy reading, even when I disagree with it. In his October 19 column “Fear Has Profoundly Changed Us,” Pitts gives us a beautifully crafted statement on a supremely important subject: the kind of country the United States of America has become.

Recalling the aftermath of 9/11, he observes that the fear that “had cut through us like a hot poker” soon changed; it “became instead a low-grade fever, ambient noise, wallpaper, something you feel without feeling, hear without hearing, see without seeing.” We hardly noticed what was happening to us.

Then you look up one day and realize how profoundly that fear has changed your world. People are imprisoned without charges or access to attorneys, and it’s routine. People are surveilled, their reading habits studied, their telephone usage logged, and it’s commonplace. People, including children, end up on a secret list of those who are not allowed to fly, nobody will tell you why, there is no appeal, and it’s ordinary. We swallow lies like candy, nod sagely at babblespeak, and it’s unexceptional.

Torture is inflicted with White House approval, the president lies about it and it’s just another Tuesday.

Pitts is describing here the latest episode of a recurrent phenomenon that I have been studying and writing about for almost thirty years: the ideological transformation that follows the government’s sustained conduct of extraordinary policies during a crisis, real or imaginary. Living for years on end without previous freedoms, many people lose their awareness of the loss. They become accustomed to the new normality.

In moments of rhetorical enthusiasm, freedom lovers often declare that the love of liberty cannot be stamped out. They are wrong. It can be, and it has been. For most people, however, no stamping is required. All that is necessary is that people, whether they approve or not, be made subject to extraordinary government powers, which are always justified by the supposed dangers of the moment. Keep people in this condition for a few years, and most of them will accommodate themselves to it, first in their actions and eventually in their thinking, as well. After a while, they will have lost not only their old liberties, but also their yearning to be free.

I give you Exhibit A: Nearly everybody in the United States today believes that he is living in a free country! The disconnect between perception and reality is breathtaking. With sadness and a deep sense of loss, we recall what Goethe declared long ago, “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Founding Father of Crony Capitalism (Tom DiLorenzo)

Tom DiLorenzo on Alexander Hamilton's curse on America:

As soon as the federal government announced its trillion-dollar bailout (for starters) of Wall Street plutocrats, defenders of the bailout pulled out what they apparently believed was their secret weapon: the myth of Alexander Hamilton as the alleged inventor of American capitalism. Hamilton, they said, would approve of the bailout. Case closed. How could anyone dispute "the architect of the American economy"? immediately published an article entitled "Alexander Hamilton versus Ron Paul" to make the point that libertarian critiques of the bailout should be dismissed, since Hamilton was such a great statesman compared to Congressman Paul and his supporters. The Wall Street Journal Online published a piece by business historian John Steele Gordon in which he argued that our real problem is that central banking is not centralized enough; called for a financial-market dictator/regulator; supported the bailout; and, most importantly, blamed the current economic crisis on … Thomas Jefferson! Jefferson opposed America's first central bank, Hamilton's bank of the United States, and was a hard-money advocate. It is this kind of libertarian, free-market thinking, said Gordon, that is the cause of the current crisis.

What all this frantic Hamilton idolatry demonstrates is how the myth of Alexander Hamilton is the ideological cornerstone of the American system of crony capitalism financed by a huge public debt and legalized counterfeiting through central banking. It is this system that is the real cause of the current economic crisis — contrary to the false proclamations issued by and the Wall Street Journal.

Read the rest, or buy the book

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Siege of San Francisco (Butler Shaffer)

Butler Shaffer on the blatant displays of power known as airshows:

I was in San Francisco on a recent Sunday, my visit coinciding with the U.S. Navy’s annual "Fleet Week" show of a portion of its arsenal of destructiveness. The most annoying part of this demonstration consisted of a prolonged buzzing of the city by at least five "Blue Angels" FA-18 fighter-bombers. This was not one of those common air-shows conducted at an airbase where Boobus Americanus could pay an admission fee for a show: in San Francisco, the entire city was the grandstand. Whether you cared to enjoy the simulated attack or not, you were subjected to the noisiest screeching, roaring, and ear-shattering sounds – with an occasional sonic boom thrown in for good measure – as these planes flew at housetop levels for a few hours. We had to keep covering our ears as these howling menaces flew a hundred feet above our heads. These planes fly in very close formation – they pride themselves in maintaining eighteen-inch separations from one another – which, on some past occasions, have led to deadly crashes. Had this occurred in San Francisco that day, hundreds of innocent people might have been added to the growing list of fungible victims of American air power throughout the world. The irresponsible nature of this undertaking was evident to any intelligent observer.

To characterize this air show as a form of entertainment is to misjudge its intended purpose. Like the annual May Day military parades conducted by the Soviet government, the objective of this exercise was to remind people of the disproportion of power that the state exercises over them. Should you harbor any sentiments of disobedience to state authority, this is what government officials have at their disposal to bring you back into line.

Read the rest

Too Big to Fail? (Ron Paul)

Ron Paul's latest Texas Straight Talk:

In the midst of highly unpopular bailouts of Wall Street, many justifications have been given about why Washington feels the need to act. Some claim that capitalism and the free market are to blame, but we have not had capitalism. If you compare our financial capital to our aggregate debt, this would be obvious. In the same way, we have not had a truly free market. The monetary manipulations of the Federal Reserve, a complex tax code, the many “oversight” agencies and their mountains of regulations show that we are far removed from a free market economy.

Another unsatisfying argument is that certain entities have to be bailed out because of their economic importance. Supposedly, some entities can be so big, so important, that no matter what they do, citizens must perpetually sustain them.

Even limited government has a basic duty to defend against force and fraud. Some argue that force is somehow permissible just because the entity engaging in it is "economically significant." But one could use this reasoning to prop up slavery. It could be deemed unfortunate but economically beneficial, and indeed these arguments have been used historically to deprive people of their liberty. But slavery should never be tolerated regardless of any economic benefit, just as systemic fraud should not be tolerated. Some banks on Wall Street should fail. Fannie and Freddie should fail. They are perpetrating fraud against the people. Yet, government insists on rewarding behavior which should instead be investigated, prosecuted, and punished.

There has been much evidence of fraud at Fannie and Freddie, but when one man, Franklin Raines, defrauded the organization out of millions of dollars through illegal accounting tricks, and ends up agreeing to pay back just a fraction, one could argue that it was well worth it to him. Fannie went on to only get more deeply involved in subprime mortgages after this investigation. Several organizations are suffering right now precisely because the free market is trying to work and punish mismanagement, if only the government would get out of the way and let it. Perhaps banks are not lending to each other because they know that complicated accounting standards, created in part to defend against confiscatory tax policy, enables false fiscal pictures to be presented, which erodes trust. But this is not a time for the government to step in with more burdensome and complicated regulations, or more foolish liquidity injections. This is a time for some banks to fail, and remaining banks to deal honestly and transparently once again. More regulations will only result in more lies.

Just as economies that turned away from slave labor had a transition period, our economy would transition as well, but in the end, if we turned to honest, sound money and a truly free market, we would end up with a more just society, founded on truthfulness and decency, not subject to the violence of force or the whims of fraudulent institutions. Unfortunately, it seems we are headed into a new era of slavery, however, where all taxpayers will be forced to render to the Fed and big banking interests the bulk of the fruits of their labor, possibly through higher taxes but definitely through the eroding force of inflation.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Liberty Spotlight on William (BJ) Lawson

Liberty Tube TV aired a nice segment on Dr. Lawson last Monday:

YouTube - Part 1
YouTube - Part 2

Roger Young's Weekend Update

Here's Roger Young's latest installment of his excellent Image Review of the Week....

...and Quotes of the Week:

From the Light:
“There was no doubt all kinds of sin and vice and debauchery in Jesus’ time. Moreover, Christianity was an outlaw religion for the first few centuries of its existence. Yet, we never hear Jesus or Paul or anyone else talking about “mobilizing” Christian voters to ‘take back Rome‘.”
~ Doug Newman

Read the rest of Roger Young's Quotes of the Week

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Bailout – a Coup? (Paul Hein)

Paul Hein on the bailouts:

The government’s bailout (buyout?) of some of the country’s largest financial institutions has, of course, generated a great deal of public interest and criticism. People want to know whom to blame, but the real culprit – the Federal Reserve System – is never assigned that role. They want to know how it could happen, but the fact that the nature of our monetary system makes it inevitable is not offered as an answer.

Sadly, the most interesting questions are never asked. Isn’t anyone interested in the intriguing fact that the government, which is hundreds of billions of dollars in debt, is going to put up 700 billion in this bailout? It’s all very well to say that the government will get it from the taxpayers, but where are the taxpayers going to get it?

Read the rest

A Gigantic Armed Robbery (Bob Higgs)

More Bob Higgs on the bailouts:

Amid the astonishing details of the Fed's fierce money pumping, the Treasury's partial nationalization of the banking industry, and the madcap exchange of its legal tender for the banks' rotten mortgage-backed securities, we may lose sight of the overall character of these actions: they are, in effect, nothing short of a gigantic armed robbery.

Any armed robbery, of course, has two sides: on one side is the party who takes property by threatening violence against its legitimate possessor, and on the other side is the party who loses property by yielding to this threat. Such "redistribution of wealth" is bad enough on its face, but in the present case its related aspects render it even more obnoxious.

What we have before us now is a systematic redistribution from the prudent and the responsible to the imprudent and the irresponsible.

Read the rest

Nero at His Worst (Bob Higgs)

Bob Higgs on the bailouts:

When Justice McReynolds read the dissenting opinion in the Gold Clause Cases in the Supreme Court in 1935, he was almost beside himself with rage, departing from his written text to utter such ejaculations as “the Constitution is gone” and “this is Nero at his worst.” If only James Clark McReynolds were here today to witness the government’s bailout of the banks.

McReynolds fumed that the government’s seizure of the country’s monetary gold and its abrogation of all contractual gold clauses, in both private and public contracts, spelled dishonor. “This amounts,” he declared, “to a declaration that the Government may give with one hand and take away with the other. Default is thus made both easy and safe! . . . Loss of reputation for honorable dealing will bring us unending humiliation; the impending legal and moral chaos is appaling.”

None of these objections dented the Roosevelt administration’s zeal to abolish the gold standard and all of its accouterment. These dedicated public servants were too busy saving capitalism to be deterred by plausible claims that they were actually destroying it.

These historical incidents have streamed back into my consciousness often during recent weeks, as I have witnessed the government’s floundering, flailing actions ostensibly to break free the “locked up” credit markets and to induce the banks to lend as freely as they were lending in recent years, when they were inflating the greatest global financial bubble of all time.

Don’t talk to me about heroin or cocaine. If you really want to see an addictive drug, take a look at cheap credit. I have heard that the drug cartel meets in Washington, D.C., in a big white building with a dome and that the drug’s most active pusher is known on the streets as “the Fed.” Although the Fed has been pushing the drug for a long time, everybody is scared of him, and nobody dares to arrest him and shut down his business.

Ron Paul on The Alex Jones Show "A Global Financial Order"

Ron Paul had a great interview with Alex Jones on Friday (15 minutes or so, but well worth the listen!):

YouTube - Part 1
YouTube - Part 2

20/20 - Politically Incorrect Guide To Politics

ABC's 20/20 recently aired an excellent program by John Stossel called "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Politics." Mr. Stossel proves yet again that he is by far the finest journalist on network television!

Click here for the YouTube playlist

Campaign Update: Price v. Lawson - UNC Debate

Email from BJ Lawson:

We have posted the complete video footage from the UNC Debate here:

There is a small gap for a tape change in the middle, but otherwise it is unedited and sequential. A complete audio recording of the debate is available here:

I'll have more to report from the "ground war" at the polls during early voting, but I wanted to take a moment to personally thank Dr. Paul again for his inspiration and support in making our campaign a reality. It was his performance in the South Carolina Republican debate that initially inspired me to stand up and make a difference, and I couldn't help but reflect on the amazing transition I've experienced in the past seventeen months. A year and a half after first seeing Dr. Paul debate, I am debating a twenty-year incumbent for a hotly-contested Congressional seat.

Thank you, Dr. Paul, for your principled example and support. And thanks again to all of our donors who have allowed us to challenge David Price and mount a credible campaign.

Thank you for your continued support. We are hard at work this weekend working the polls for early voting, and preparing additional media for next week.

In liberty,


(Note: click here for a YouTube playlist of the UNC debate)

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Enforcement Arm of the Robber State (Will Grigg)

Will Grigg on Lester and Mary Smith, elderly victims of creepy government thugs in Mendocino County and the evil War on Drugs:

As the economy collapses, credit lines become constricted, and tax revenues are choked off, we can expect local representatives of the parasite class (commonly called "government") to become perversely creative in finding new ways to extract money from productive people. For parasites looking to feast on the wealth of others, the liberty-devouring fraud called the War on Drugs offers a particularly rich menu of possibilities.

As we've discussed before, Police and Sheriff's departments in many jurisdictions are robbing people blind in the name of civil asset forfeiture, an officially sanctioned form of robbery in which cash or property is deemed "guilty" of involvement in narcotics trafficking.

It's not necessary to prove that a crime has been committed, or even to arrest or charge an individual with a criminal offense. All that is required is for an officer to assert some "nexus" between the coveted money or property, and then a civil procedure begins in which the onus is placed on the victim to prove that both he and his property are innocent.

Read the rest

David Gordon Reviews "Who Killed the Constitution?"

David Gordon writes a glowing review of Tom Woods and Kevin Gutzman's Who Killed the Constitution?:

The question posed by the title of this book raises a further question, as the authors are well aware. If the Constitution is indeed dead, why does this matter? American conservatives have in past days been accused of "Constitution worship": why should we care whether actions of the government conform to this particular legal document? Woods and Gutzman respond that the Constitution provides a way to limit the government. It is far from the best conceivable arrangement; but while we stand under its legal authority, we should use it as a weapon against the state's continual grasp for power.

They put the point with characteristic force:

To be sure, our federal government has perverted beyond recognition the system that the Founding Fathers created. The chief restraint on government officials is merely their sense of what they can get away with. Nonetheless, the Constitution can still serve a purpose, as it remains a useful bludgeon to employ against government power grabs. By calling attention to what the Constitution really says, we can alert the people to just how consistently and dramatically their fundamental law has been betrayed. (p. 202)

Woods and Gutzman have selected twelve cases to illustrate this disregard of the Constitution. By no means are all of these examples of judicial misconduct; the legislative and executive branches have been at least as guilty as the judicial in seeking to enhance government power.

Read the rest of the review

Rachel at the Rally - Lew Rockwell

Ron Paul's press secretary Rachel Mills had a nice talk with Lew Rockwell at the Rally for the Republic about Ron Paul and the prospects for liberty:

YouTube - Rachel at the Rally - Lew Rockwell

Ron Paul on CNN 10/17

Ron Paul spoke the truth yet again this morning on CNN:

YouTube - Ron Paul: The Peoples Champion

Thursday, October 16, 2008

B.J. Lawson, the hybrid candidate (Lisa Sorg)

Lisa Sorg from Durham's Independent Weekly newspaper has a great writeup on Dr. Lawson:

Ray McKinnon is the type of voter assumed to be a solid North Carolina Democrat: African-American, a youth pastor, Hillary Clinton-turned-Barack Obama supporter and lifelong party member. He lives in Orange County, which, with Durham and parts of Wake and Chatham counties, forms the Fourth Congressional District, the most progressive political jurisdiction in the state, and maybe south of the Mason-Dixon line.

In 2006, McKinnon voted for U.S. Rep. David Price, the longtime Democratic incumbent, and likely would have again this fall had he not met B.J. Lawson.

McKinnon was campaigning for Clinton earlier this year in Hillsborough when he met Lawson. The Republican challenger handed McKinnon a pocket-sized copy of the U.S. Constitution and shortly afterward, Lawson had a convert.

Read the rest

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Henry Hazlitt on the Bailout (Scott Kjar)

Scott Kjar says Henry Paulson should spend some time pondering Henry Hazlitt's classic Economics in One Lesson:

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson needs to change his reading list. Instead of reading the balance sheets and income statements of the failing banking industry, he needs to read Henry Hazlitt's classic book Economics in One Lesson. It will cost Paulson far less than the $700 billion that he is spending on the bailout, and he might just learn a little economics in the process.

Hazlitt delivers his "one lesson" in chapter 1, and proceeds to spend the rest of the book giving examples. His lesson, based on the work of Frédéric Bastiat, is that "the art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups."

Read the rest

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Slouching Toward Bedlam (Will Grigg)

Will Grigg on collapse of Iceland's banking system and why the dollar is next:

If one favors poetry over precision, Iceland could be described as a frozen island sitting atop a huge volcano. Its economy in recent years was similarly poised for a meltdown, and the inhabitants of that remote but beautiful land were too busy enjoying the transitory pleasures of soap-bubble "prosperity" to pay attention.

Now that their banking system has collapsed and their imports have been cut off, Icelanders are too busy emptying supermarket shelves to ponder the disastrous errors that led to their national disaster.

Read the rest

Capitalism Without Capital? (Ron Paul)

Congressman Ron Paul's latest Texas Straight Talk:

It has been long understood that our federal government is going deeper into debt, consistently raising the debt ceiling and demonstrating no fiscal restraint. In recent years, debt ceiling increases have been placed in “must pass” legislation as a means to guarantee that Republicans as well as Democrats would vote for them when Congress was under Republican control.

We also know our nation’s “negative savings rate” reflects the habits of private citizens, showing those habits to be not tremendously different than the habits of the public sector. Yet, the signs of decline are becoming ever more apparent. So apparent, in fact, that it seems unlikely that bailouts or other gimmicks will have even short term success. More inflation, and creating moral hazard by bailing out egregious offenders, is a recipe for disaster. These activities can seem to provide some short term relief, but it seems we are now at a significant crisis point, where monetary policy gimmicks don’t provide the band-aids they did in the past.

Not only is our nation on the verge of bankruptcy, but so are its people and private institutions. We are now repeatedly hearing about businesses “needing to access the credit market to make payroll.” This is an unmistakable sign of more dire consequences ahead for the economy. If businesses must borrow just to make payroll, this is evidence of a severe undercapitalization that cannot be sustained, even for the short run.

Couple these facts with items such as the explosion of the “pay day loan” industry and the unmasking of the false sense of economic well-being is nearly complete. These pay day loan companies use preferred access to easy credit to inject cash into the hands of the working poor. They are nearly always set up in lower-income neighborhoods. These people, who are struggling to buy food and pay rent, get addicted to the credit drug. Their standard of living is only further depressed by the interest payments on these loans that make them profitable to their providers. Thus, the recipients are left even less capable of paying for items such as food and housing in the long run, without using this credit again and again.

These people are often the very ones being paid by businesses who “borrow to make payroll.” This is the dark underbelly of the fiat money, borrow and spend economy this nation has been building. As the government takes over more and more functions of the economy many see the rise of socialism as an antidote to this failure of “capitalism”. However, the fact remains that our economy has been increasingly running on debt, not capital. Capitalism does not exist without capital and debt is not, has never been and will never be a form of capital. Only now are we seeing the more dire implications of an economy without capital.

Ron Paul on Socialism, Inflationism, and the Death of the Dollar

Ron Paul on Fox Business this morning:

YouTube - Ron Paul on Socialism, Inflationism and the Death of the Dollar

Monday, October 13, 2008

Roger Young's Weekend Update

Here's Roger Young's latest Image Review of the Week....

...and Quotes of the Week:

From the Light:
“Bad debts can't be made good by legislation.”
~ Lew Rockwell

Read the rest of Roger Young's Quotes of the Week

Bob Higgs on the Ongoing Fiasco

In case you haven't been reading the Independent Institute's blog The Beacon, Bob Higgs has been writing some very insightful commentary on the economic apocalypse. Check it out!

Sickness Unto Debt (Ron Paul)

Ron Paul writes an excellent column for the Slate blog The Big Money on why the Treasury bailout will only exacerbate red ink and inflation:

One of the burning questions regarding the recently passed bailout, and the one that almost no one has bothered to answer, is how the government intends to pay for it. Governments have three main methods by which they can raise funds: taxation, printing new money, and debt. As our $10 trillion national debt shows, the federal government has always enjoyed raising money by issuing new debt. Money is gained upfront, while the cost of repaying that debt is pushed onto future generations.

Read the rest

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Reserve bank of Australia explained

Here's a funny video explaining the Aussie version of the Fed:

YouTube - Reserve bank of Australia explained

...Its Hour Come Round At Last... (Will Grigg)

Will Grigg on the economic apocalypse that he and Austrian School economists (as well as Ron Paul) predicted would come:

A little more than a week ago, emissaries from the Power Elite fanned out on Capitol Hill to bribe, brow-beat, and threaten congressmen into passing the Economic Dictatorship Enabling Act.

We were told that the last argument they deployed to break down the resistance of recalcitrant representatives took the form of a terrorist's ultimatum: Either give us what we want, or economic misery and armed violence will ensue, in the form of a global market meltdown and troops on the streets of American cities.

I suspect that the truth is even more sinister than what we were told, that the actual threat took the form of the rapist's instructions to his victim: "It's going to happen anyway, so you might as well stop resisting and get it over with."

Read the rest

Ron Paul Messages Continued

Two more excellent messages from Dr. Paul:

YouTube - On Safety Nets

YouTube - On Capital and Capitalism

Friday, October 10, 2008

More Messages From Ron Paul

Ron Paul also issued these excellent and relevant messages:

YouTube - On Market Intervention

YouTube - On the End of Capitalism?

The End of the World As We Know It? (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell continues:

"And I feel fine." Well, not quite. The pleasures of saying "I told you so" have always been overrated, but they're non-existent these days as the parasite politicians and central bankers, and their willing enablers, non-Misesian economists, wreck the world. Then they use the wreckage as the excuse for vaster inflationism, fascism, and socialism.

But in the maelstrom, we have a job, aside from protecting ourselves and our families to the best of our abilities. That job is to teach discover and teach the truth about freedom and about the crimes and consequences of the state, the empire, central banking, and paper money. The truth is the necessary foundation of the restoration.

What Mises wrote seems ever more prescient:

No one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interests of everyone hang on the result.

In 1940, he was leaving Geneva, leaving a war-torn Europe for a centrally planned United States. Disaster was everywhere and there was far less hope to be had than today. He wrote:

How one carries on in the face of unavoidable catastrophe is a matter of temperament. In high school, as was custom, I had chosen a verse by Virgil to be my motto: Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito. Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it. I recalled these words during the darkest hours of the war. Again and again I had met with situations from which rational deliberation found no means of escape; but then the unexpected intervened, and with it came salvation. I would not lose courage even now. I wanted to do everything an economist could do. I would not tire in saying what I knew to be true.

Jim Rogers on the Fed "Unleashing an Inflationary Holocaust"

Here's a fantastic YouTube of Jim Rogers schooling some TV hosts and suggesting the "G7" leaders go to a bar to have a drink and leave the rest of us alone. Great stuff!

Ron Paul on Restoring Confidence in the Markets

The latest video message from Dr. Paul:

YouTube - Ron Paul on Restoring Confidence in the Markets

Mark Thornton's Answers to Journalist's Questions

Q&A from Austrian economist Mark Thornton:

Here are my answers just returned to a journalist asking questions:

1) In which way do the central banks contribute to the problems we see now?

The central bank created the problem in the first place. Low interest rates and a defacto guarantee to bailout everyone (the Greenspan and now Bernanke PUT) caused the housing bubble which in turn led to such things as reduced lending standards, mortgage-backed securities and financial corruption.

2) Can or should the government or central banks do anything to prevent a collapse of the banking system, at this point? Why not?

No, they should do nothing except unwind the existing bailout measures and return their policies to normal. They should be put out of business.

3) What will be the consequences of the continued attempts by the authorities to prevent more bank failures and the seizing up of the credit markets?

Bailout policies are what turn normal recessions into depressions. Look at the US in the 1930s and 1970s and Japan in the 1990s. In each case government undertook aggressive bailout policies designed to keep incumbent shareholders and managers in place by propping them up with credit and policies to keep prices high. The result was decade long periods of higher unemployment and stagnation.

4) Is a world without central banks possible or desirable? Please explain.

Central banks are unnecessary and harmful. It is both possible and desirable to eliminate them. Some of their functions could be handled by the market institutions such as the clearing house function. Setting interest rates could and should be done by the market. Persistent and erratic inflation of the money supply is not desirable so that the function would be eliminated and control of the money supply would be returned to the market in the form of gold and silver mining production which is very consistent and difficult to manipulated because it takes "real money" to mine precious metals.

5) How does the lack of a gold standard contribute to the problem?

A gold standard is the most important part of the solution because it ties government's hands from deficit spending and inflation. However, fractional reserve banking is also a big contributor to the problem of monetary instability, inflation and the business cycle. We need to abolish fractional reserve banking on demand deposits and return to laws pertaining to deposits and warehousing that existed prior to central banking and indeed continue to exist today in all other warehousing contracts. This would mean that every dollar deposited into a demand deposit account would have to be maintained on reserve by the bank. There would be no reserve requirements for bond proceeds, CDs or other time deposits. This would take the leverage and instability out of the monetary system.

6) How would one prevent that the gold standard is abandoned at the first sight of serious problems, as has been the case in the past - and also when countries have attempted to peg their currencies to the US dollar?

The Treasury and the Fed should not be permitted to issue paper dollars, only gold and silver coins, and private mints should also be able to issue gold and silver coins so that the money supply is market determined (and that the ratio of precious metals in monetary use and other uses would be in harmony). We should have a coin-based system, not a gold-exchange system that allows the Treasure to "fudge" with the money supply. The dollar should be fixed in a weight of silver because that is what emerged on the market (true gold was used as money in large transactions, but we only went on a gold standard because the British made bad monetary decisions when they were on a fixed ratio of gold to silver and Gresham's Law went into effect). There should be no fixed ratio of gold to silver, but people should be free to use both as money. Checks and debit cards would still exist and indeed debit cards could automatically translate gold demand deposits into silver-denominated purchases. These basic tenents should be written into all Constitutions to block the actions of government, but not to forestall innovations of the market.