Tuesday, June 30, 2009

America’s Coming Tax Tsunami (Wendy McElroy)

Wendy McElroy sounds the alarm on what's to come (like Peter Schiff did the other day on CNBC - watch part 1, 2):

Tax receipts in America are plunging at every level of government: federal, state and local. Even in April, when income taxes were due and money flooded in, there was a federal deficit of $20.9 billion. Otherwise stated, federal tax receipts in April were down 44% compared to 2008 -- the first deficit for that tax-paying month in 26 years.

EverBank’s Daily Pfennig (06/04/09) commented, “In April when taxes are paid, we recorded a deficit?….I also read where the money collected by taxes is only going to cover half of the fiscal 2009 federal budget, requiring the government to borrow and print more than $1.8 Trillion to fund it. And that's not the end of it... There are equal-sized deficits looming for fiscal year 2010 onward. (Read entitlement programs) Tax receipts fell 50% during the Great Depression. Now eight months old, this depression is already rivaling that drop!”

Many states are in even worse shape because, unlike the feds, they are legally required to balance their budgets each year. California, for example, is careening toward what some call a “financial apocalypse”; with President Obama meting out ‘tough love’ by refusing to toss a penny its way, California may be bankrupt in July.

The Daily Pfenning concluded, “Do I have to tell you what's next for Jean and Joan and who knows who? Higher taxes! You won't hear the lawmakers running around screaming that they need to cut government spending! Instead, you'll hear them screaming that they need to increase revenue! HEY! Cut the spending Jack!”

True to prediction, governments are riding a sugar-high of spending.

Read the rest

Inflation: What You See and What You Don't See (Thorsten Polleit)

Thorsten Polleit on real inflation and its dangers:

In an attempt to fight the international credit market turmoil and its effects on economic activity and overall prices, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) keeps increasing the supply of base money — which is cash in circulation and commercial banks' money balances held with the Fed.

From August 2008 to May 2009, the monetary base in the United States more than doubled. The bulk of the expansion reflects an unprecedented rise in banks' excess reserves — that is, banks' base money which is available for additional credit and money creation.

People are being told by governments, central bankers, and leading mainstream economists that such a policy wouldn't be inflationary — because the money would remain in the portfolios of banks and would not spill over into the hands of firms and private households.

This is, to put it mildly, an uninformed view. To show that a rise in base money is inflationary — that it either lowers the purchasing power of money or, what basically amounts to the same, prevents money's exchange value from rising — let us start right from the beginning.

Read the rest, or download the audio MP3.

Hyperinflation: think it can't happen here?

The National Inflation Association has produced a wonderful 30 minute documentary on the history of hyperinflation, why it could easily happen here, and what to do about it. I highly recommend you watch at the link below:

YouTube - Hyperinflation Nation

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ron Paul: Cap and Trade Will Lead to Capital Flight

Dr. Paul's latest Texas Straight Talk on the monstrous and recently passed cap and trade bill, HR 2454:

UPDATE: Also see Dr. Paul's YouTube update on cap and tax.

(Listen on YouTube)

Congressman Ron PaulIn my last column, I joked that with public spending out of control and the piling on of the international bailout bill, economic collapse seems to be the goal of Congress. It is getting harder to joke about such a thing however, as the non-partisan General Accounting Office (GAO) has estimated that the administration’s health care plan would actually cost over a trillion dollars. This reality check may have given us a temporary reprieve on this particular disastrous policy, however an equally disastrous energy policy reared its ugly head on Capitol Hill last week.

The Cap and Trade Bill HR 2454 was voted on last Friday. Proponents claim this bill will help the environment, but what it really does is put another nail in the economy’s coffin. The idea is to establish a national level of carbon dioxide emissions, and sell pollution permits to industry as the Catholic Church used to sell indulgences to sinners. HR 2454 also gives federal bureaucrats new power to regulate a wide variety of household appliances, such as light bulbs and refrigerators, and further distorts the market by providing more of your tax money to auto companies.

The administration has pointed to Spain as a shining example of this type of progressive energy policy. Spain has been massively diverting capital from the private sector into politically favored environmental projects for the better part of a decade, and many in Washington apparently like what they see. However, under no circumstances should anyone serious about economic recovery emulate an economy that is now approaching 20% unemployment, where every green job created, eliminated 2.2 real jobs and cost around $800,000 each!

The real inconvenient truth is that the cost of government regulations, taxes, fees, red tape and bureaucracy is a considerable expense that has to be considered when companies decide where to do business and how many people they can afford to hire. Increasing governmental burden directly causes capital flight and job losses, as Spain has learned. In this global economy its easy enough for businesses to relocate to countries that are more politically friendly to economic growth. If our government continues to kick the economy while its down, it will be a long time before it gets back up. In fact, jobs are much more likely to go overseas, compounding our problems.

And for what? Contrary to claims repeated over and over, there is no consensus in the scientific community that global warming is getting worse or that it is manmade. In fact over 30,000 scientists signed a petition recently directly disputing the claims on which this policy is based. Legitimate environmental claims should instead be directed towards the public sector. The government, especially the military, is the most serious polluter in the country, and is exempt from most EPA regulations. Meanwhile Washington bureaucrats have classified the very air we exhale as a pollutant and have gone unchallenged in this incredible assertion. The logical consequence is that there will come a time when we will have to buy a government permit just to emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from our own lungs!

The events on Capitol Hill last week just demonstrate Washington’s audacity in manufacturing problems just so they can expand government power to solve them.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Roger Young's Images and Quotes of the Week

Once again, Roger Young has published another great Image Review of the Week....

....and Quotes of the Week:

From the Light:
“Just as George Washington rejected a suggestion he be named a king, so should any self-respecting, freedom-loving American citizen eschew any offer to be a “czar” over anything or anybody.”
~ Lawrence W. Reed

Read the rest of the Quotes of the Week

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Non-Orwellian View of American History (Tom Woods)

Tom Woods takes on the conventional wisdom for "monopolies":

Tom WoodsThe other day I was briefly quoted in a segment for National Public Radio that dealt with the changes in American capitalism that will come about as a result of the current crisis. Everyone agreed that we needed major changes, though my proposed changes were in rather a different direction from those of everyone else. (I spoke to them for half an hour, though in this segment they used only a few sentences.)

The segment gave us a neat little history of the expansion of government power and the various transformations of the economy that have taken place over the past 150 years. Each time, the segment explained, a terrible problem created by the free market was followed by a brilliant government response. For example: "When the free-market system allowed monopolies to emerge in the nineteenth century, the Interstate Commerce Commission was created to control them."

I love that sentence. It has fourth-grade teacher written all over it, as in: You see, children, our wise overlords, when they saw greedy people taking advantage of the public, did just the right thing, as usual. Without them, we’d all be living in rickety tenements begging for food, and at the mercy of men with white mustaches carrying money-filled sacks with dollar signs on them.

It is just this kind of thing that it gave me so much pleasure to take apart in The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. And it comes up so often that I can’t resist addressing it here.

Read the rest

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson, RIP

He hadn't produced anything decent in nearly two decades, but what a performer he was back in the day! My favorite video of his:

YouTube - Smooth criminal ( Moonwalker ) HD - Michael Jackson

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Jeff Knaebel's Declaration of Renunciation and Severance of U.S. Citizenship

LewRockwell.com columnist Jeff Knaebel recently made the bold step of publicly renouncing his U.S. citizenship. Here's a news report of his actions, which include tearing up his passport and laying the pieces around a monument to Gandhi. His excellent declaration, reprinted below, is well worth a read (and thanks to Roger Young for bringing this to my attention):

Declaration of Renunciation and Severance of U.S. Citizenship
by Jeff Knaebel, Sovereign Individual of the Earth

This Declaration, made at New Delhi, India on 19 June 2009, WITNESSETH:

To the people of this Earth, my fellow human beings, my brothers and sisters, in memory of Black Elk and Chief Joseph, and with special respect to the Grandmothers and Elders of all indigenous communities,

I, Jeff Knaebel, hereby make this Declaration of Severance and Dissolution of all bonds between myself and the Government of the United States of America. I renounce my birth certificate - I renounce my citizenship - and reject all claims of whatsoever nature made by the United States against me. I am not government property, and I am not a criminal. I am a peace-loving human being who is finished with being a slave to the Corporate Warfare State. I am not a citizen of any Government. I renounce all of them.

I hereby destroy my United States passport by which the United States government claims control of my movement upon this earth, and thus lays claim upon my right to exist. I will place the shredded remains of my passport upon the monument of Mahatma Gandhi. I have chosen this monument because it is a symbol that all mankind can recognize: of nonviolent resistance to immoral, corrupt, and violent Governments.

By this deliberate act of rebellion and sedition, I hope to free myself and alert mankind to the dangers it has created by obeying Governments of the world. My refusal to remain a tax-compliant accomplice to State murder will be considered treason against the United States. The choice is this, or treason against human life itself. My life is not about supporting the cold blooded murder of women and children.

No permission is required to renounce that which I never sought in the first place, for which I never entered a contract, and which is imposed upon me against my will. Having declared myself not a citizen, I am therefore not a citizen. Citizenship is either voluntary, or it is forcible slavery.

The United States government is incomprehensibly malevolent and destructive. It takes our money, our identities, and our lives. It gives us back corruption, war, heinous crime, and lies. This government has no moral right to exist. It ought to be abolished without further human bloodshed.

The Nation State is a criminal organization which must be opposed in its very concept. It is impossible to reform a system that is built upon a foundation of lies and violence -- one whose health and continuance depends upon endless war. The system must be altogether abolished. It is irredeemably evil.

The State represents a terminal disease of human consciousness that is anti-life, anti-ethics, and suicidal for the human species. It is a sick addictive co-dependency between its citizens and parasitic lying murdering psychopathic politicians.

Blind obedience to incompetent, deceitful, violent and morally depraved authority is a clear case of mental disease. Eckhart Tolle, Gopi Krishna and other morally advanced beings have diagnosed the United States government as pathologically criminally insane.

All political authority is arbitrary: arbitrary as to the form it takes; arbitrary as to the boundaries it establishes; arbitrary as to the limits of its jurisdiction; and arbitrary as to the taxation it collects. If one refuses to bow, to obey, to pay one's taxes, to use Government travel documents, one will ultimately be placed in jail, or die resisting arrest.

Even in its most equitable form, it is impossible for government to disassociate itself from evil. The State has been conceived in violence and is maintained by lies and violence. Its every act can only be criminal. Unless the right to ignore the State is recognized, its citizens become tainted accomplices in its deeds.

From the most democratic to the most totalitarian form of government there is ultimately no difference among the powers they exercise. The essence of the State is the threat and use of deadly force against those who choose not to comply with its edicts.

No Government rightfully owns the territory its monopolizes. It has stolen possession of whatever land it lays claims to. Everything it has, the State has stolen or plundered. It prevents peaceful people from establishing their own voluntary cooperative economic and social relationships. The purpose of assigning nationality is to control a mass of captive taxpayers in order to maintain the large military establishment required to keep a citizenry in a state of fearful submission to the Power Structure of money.

Why should a system of structurally compulsively violent political authority be preferred to a cooperative system in which human beings live according to the Natural Law of equal liberty? A coercive government has no legitimate authority over me. None. Its only authority comes through the barrel of a gun.

Is the arbitrary "legal" construct of the Corporate State more precious than life? Is this guns-and-steel lifeless structure more precious than living, breathing beings? This killing machine fabricated of cunning deceitful words of legally piggily on corporate parchment... Are we living beings or abstract symbols to be manipulated by the Money Power? What is the "National Interest," other than the transfer of wealth and influence to the power elite? What about humanity's interest?

I write against the oblivion of humanity. I act in quest of goodness, beauty and truth, that we may yet live.

I am not Government property. I bid farewell to the United States Government and to the citizenship it has imposed upon me against my will. I love life too much to be forced to participate in its murder.

The United States government is a stain upon humanity. It is a grotesque distortion of human relations and the human conscience. It is ugly beyond the power of words to describe. Only its end product speaks clearly for what it is and what it does. "Shock and Awe" death raining from the sky. Children's blood flowing in the streets. Body parts strewn across wedding festival grounds. A human genome corrupted by depleted uranium and agent orange. Hiroshima. Los Alamos Lab. The science of death versus the art of life. Torture. Rape. Ecocide. Endless heinous crime. The most terrible Merchant of Death in human history. Human species suicidal.

If you, people of the world, wish to support Government, then so be it. But leave me alone. As a peaceful individual I reject your authority imposed by violence. I reject all Government claims of legitimacy. You and your Government do not have the right to do the things that you do. Foremost among these tax-and-public debt financed activities are the waging of war; the conscription of soldiers; and the expenditure of citizens bread labor upon armaments which by now can destroy our earth many times over. I call for an end to these activities. I will not support such activities with my life, my money, or my energy.

The laws of our natural world, the laws of the Great Spirit, the five precepts of the Buddha, are morally and practically superior to political laws. You must not kill and I must not kill. We must not support killing. We must love our neighbors as we love ourselves. As the Hopi have said, "From this one commandment, to respect and revere life, come all the other commandments: to tell the truth, to share with others, to life together in mutual support, to take care of our children and old people, the sick and strangers, friends and enemies, to abstain from intoxicants and adultery, not to cheat, steal, or covet."

It is up to the individual to discern his duty to his fellowmen and to act accordingly. No other can know my moral conscience, let alone "represent" it in decisions of war and peace. How can another "represent" me in voting to murder children? The first duty of love is to do no harm. Therefore my duty of love is to renounce the State, to withdraw from it, to quit it, to abandon it, to refuse to pay its taxes, to refuse participation in its charade of corporate money controlled elections, and to live my own life in search of truth and righteousness.

What do you do when you awaken to the awfulness of the lies of the State and the State of the lie? How does one negotiate with pathological liars? How does one come to peace with his tax payment hiring of cold blooded murder for oil and money?

Against whom, then, shall I commit treason? The brotherhood of man? My rational mind and common sense? My moral conscience? Or the United States government? I prefer treason against the arbitrarily imposed rule of an organized crime syndicate to treason against humanity. To suffer in tax compliant silence the heinous crimes against humanity perpetrated by the United States would be to negate whatever is within me that can be called human.

The shredding of my government permission-to-exist documents is offered as a prayer that the government of the United States -- perceived to be a criminal organization of incomprehensible scope -- may be without bloodshed dissolved and abolished from this earth forever.

I no longer have a Government name; I have no country, no travel papers, no passport, and no Government identification. Under the law of every Government, I am an illegal human being. Against this arbitrary "illegality" I claim my right to exist as a free and sovereign individual.

What man -- or group of men -- can declare another to be "illegal?" Such men, who cannot give life, would yet take it, as lying murderers in God's own temple. For Power, there is no tomorrow. There are no grandchildren. Of the good earth, there is none. There is only Power. Persons who aspire to this are degraded, deranged, diseased. We are insane to submit to rule by the depraved.

What shall be done with me?

If deported to the United States, the Government will subject me to draconian penalties. Having destroyed my passport, having renounced my citizenship, having made this Declaration, I have become a seditious rebel to the United States Government. The United States will have no choice but to harass, persecute, and ultimately jail me for speaking truth to power.

On the one hand, the natural wish to live, to grow, to move about, to be free, to act as a man. On the other hand, in order to live in this manner with the ordinary amenities of livelihood, I am forced by taxation to finance the murder of children who have a sacred right to life -- innocent small children who cannot conceive of the wish to harm me.

There comes a time when the abuses are so great, the mindless destruction so wanton, the suffering so stupidly unnecessary, that one must resist the Power of rulership with his life. I love Life too much to participate in its murder.

I bid you farewell, those who would remain in voluntary bondage. Go about your life peacefully, respecting yourself, all others, and the earth upon which we live. Remember that means is to end as seed is to tree. A violent means can never produce a good end. The truth shall set us free. My efforts shall not have been in vain. Right always overcomes might, even though I may not live to see the day.

Whatever happens to me, may you remember my message: Awaken from your slumber. Realize that Government depends upon your consent. You control yourself. You can withdraw your consent.

We must recover Respect -- for life, and for each other. Civilizations that get off the Path of Respect do not last, because when a people get off the path, they also remove themselves from the circle of life.

My prayer is to love and to serve. From my heart I seek to act in a good way, in a sacred way, for the benefit of many, in support of life, that the seventh generation of children may yet live and be happy.

The "why" of what I do is put completely to rest by the statement, "I love." The final answer to any question about my actions is "I love." What is the value of human life -- this is the real question.

Executed at New Delhi this 19th day of June 2009

Jeff Knaebel

I have been speaking and writing against the United States government in different countries for a number of years, trying to convince that patriotism is a mental disease. Inter alia, see Gandhi Marg; Aha Zindagi; my book published by Prakrit Bharti Academy; LewRockwell.com; freeofstate.org; gandhiserve.org; The Voluntaryist, and others. I will continue to speak out against the State until by its force it chokes my voice.

Totalitarianism In One City: Shreveport's Gun-Grabbing Mayor (Will Grigg)

Will Grigg takes on the crooked mayor of Shreveport, LA and the thugs in his police department who are working hard to disarm everyone but themselves:

Any time a motorist is stopped by a police officer, insists Shreveport, Louisiana Mayor Cedric Glover, "Your rights ... have been suspended." This includes not only the freedom of movement, but also, in the event the officer inquires as to whether the driver is carrying a weapon, "Your right to be able to hold on to your weapon and say whether [you] have a weapon or not" -- as well as the right to retain possession of that weapon, should the officer decide to confiscate it from you.

Should you choose not to answer the question, or answer it in the negative, the officer could still choose, "in the interest of officer safety, to secure you in a safe position" -- this most likely means outside the car with your hands cuffed behind your back -- "and then do an appropriate inspection of your vehicle."

The phrase "appropriate inspection" is more honestly rendered "Unconstitutional warrantless search."

Should the police officer then turn up a firearm or other weapon in the car, the driver "would be guilty or potentially guilty of even a more severe offense" than whatever he had allegedly done to precipitate the traffic stop, according to Mayor Glover. Police officers, according to Glover, are invested with "a power that the President of the United States does not have ... and that is the ability to be able to suspend your rights."

Read the rest

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Islamo-fascism, Judaeo-fascism, Bapto-fascism, and Why We Need More Bars (Fred Reed)

Fred Reed gives his witty insights on Israel:

Fred on EverythingThe wheels are squeaking on the tumbrel methinks. At a recent conclave held by AIPAC, unease arose, reasonably enough, over eroding American support for Israel. What apparently did not arise was any indication of understanding of why support is eroding.

In Haaretz I find the following account of a speech by Howard Kohr, the executive director of AIPAC: “‘These voices [not hostile to Islam] are laying the predicate for an abandonment [by the US of Israel]…The stakes in that battle are nothing less than the survival of Israel, linked inexorably to the relationship between Israel and the United States. In this battle we are the firewall, the last rampart.’”

This sort of shrieking-dental-drill end-of-worldism is of course the boiler plate of alarmed extremists, and extremists are congenitally alarmed. Eeek, we must stop the (blacks, Moslems, commies, Mexicans, Jews, secular humanists) before they destroy (Western Civilization, America, Israel or, you know, something Really Important.)

Read the rest

How Long Ago? (Stephen Smith)

Stephen Smith of Thunderbolts says the age of the earth commonly bandied about by scientists is likely not correct:

fossilWhen presented with the Electric Universe theory and the planetary catastrophes that might have occurred in the past, a commonly evoked question is: When did it all take place?

There are beds of coal covering millions of square kilometers all over the world. They vary in thickness and composition, as well as in the material combined with them in situ. Insects, leaves, tree trunks, rocks of every kind, and the bones of animals from hundreds of species abound—some say human bones have been found in a Pennsylvania coal seam. There are carbonized trees standing upright in some coal deposits, although how they extend downward through so many "geological ages" is a mystery to paleontologists, since the layers are said to progress through eons of time: 250-500 million years ago.

There are forests of mineralized trees under some of the deepest ice in Antarctica. Cores drilled through the ice sometimes contain scorched and petrified wood fragments. Mineralized trees cover large areas of the American prairie, a so-called "petrified forest" encompassing thousands of specimens. Not forgetting to mention the bones of animals in unbelievable numbers entombed within sedimentary deposits hundreds of meters thick alongside their fossilized forest home.

Fish skeletons in shoals that could number in the millions of individuals pose in frozen postures, as if they are swimming through a matrix of sandstone. What force could bury a school of fish covering thousands of square kilometers in an instant, leaving their skeletons in lifelike positions, fins extended, mouths open, as if they were killed and turned to stone in between one breath and another? How could it keep them whole, without being disarticulated or crushed?

Read the rest, and for more on the Electric Universe, see this great YouTube on how science has taken a wrong turn.

Interventionism and Gun Control in Iran (Jacob Hornberger)

Jacob Hornberger of the Future of Freedom Foundation shows us an important lesson from Iran that the media is predictably ignoring:

FFFThe situation in Iran is providing liberals with a harsh lesson about the First Amendment and the Second Amendment. It’s a lesson that our American ancestors understood very well.

Here’s the lesson: Without the right to keep and bear arms, the rights of freedom of speech and peaceable assembly are meaningless. If tyrants own all the guns, then they know that they can suppress fundamental rights of the people without worrying about violent resistance to their tyranny.

With a monopoly on guns, what incentive do tyrants have to end their tyranny? The tyrants know that a disarmed citizenry has but two options: obey the tyrants by submitting to their tyranny or die at the hands of loyal and obedient (and armed) military and police forces.

Read the rest

Windfall Profits and That Which Is Not Seen (Art Carden)

Art Carden uses Bastiat's classic parable of "That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen" to show the fallacy of so-called "windfall profits":

I was the teaching assistant for a course on the theory of property rights during the fall semester of 2002. We spent quite a bit of time discussing rent control, various rent-control cases, and the legal principles that informed judicial decisions surrounding rent-control cases.

One of these principles was an aversion to "windfall" profits. Windfall profits occur when an entrepreneur enjoys profits in excess of what he expected, usually as the result of a drastic change in market conditions.

People often point to the run-up in gas prices — some gas stations were charging over $3 a gallon — after the September 11 attacks as an example of firms enjoying windfall profits. The price per gallon is higher than the cost per gallon. This, it is argued, is unfair, especially when an entrepreneur/business owner enjoys profits that he doesn't have to "work" for.

We often discussed this in terms of what was called the rate-setting equation, in which the court set prices according to the formula

rate = operating cost + reasonable return

This ignores two things. First, the definition of "reasonable" is arbitrary. Second, expected prices determine the costs an entrepreneur is willing to incur.

Read the rest

Monday, June 22, 2009

International Bailout Brings Us Closer to Economic Collapse (Ron Paul)

Dr. Paul's tells it like it is in today's Texas Straight Talk:


Congressman Ron PaulLast week Congress passed the war supplemental appropriations bill. In an affront to all those who thought they voted for a peace candidate, the current president will be sending another $106 billion we don’t have to continue the bloodshed in Afghanistan and Iraq, without a hint of a plan to bring our troops home.

Many of my colleagues who voted with me as I opposed every war supplemental request under the previous administration seem to have changed their tune. I maintain that a vote to fund the war is a vote in favor of the war. Congress exercises its constitutional prerogatives through the power of the purse, and as long as Congress continues to enable these dangerous interventions abroad, there is no end in sight, that is until we face total economic collapse.

From their spending habits, an economic collapse seems to be the goal of Congress and this administration. Washington spends with impunity domestically, bailing out and nationalizing everything they can get their hands on, and the foreign aid and IMF funding in this bill can rightly be called an international bailout!

As Americans struggle through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, this emergency supplemental appropriations bill sends $660 million to Gaza, $555 million to Israel, $310 million to Egypt, $300 million to Jordan, and $420 million to Mexico. Some $889 million will be sent to the United Nations for so-called “peacekeeping” missions. Almost one billion dollars will be sent overseas to address the global financial crisis outside our borders. Nearly $8 billion will be spent to address a “potential pandemic flu” which could result in mandatory vaccinations for no discernable reason other than to enrich the Pharmaceutical companies that make the vaccine.

Perhaps most outrageous is the $108 billion loan guarantee to the International Monetary Fund. These new loan guarantees will allow that destructive organization to continue spending taxpayer money to prop up corrupt leaders and promote harmful economic policies overseas.

Not only does sending American taxpayer money to the IMF hurt citizens here, evidence shows that it even hurts those it pretends to help. Along with IMF loans comes IMF required policy changes, called Structural Adjustment Programs, which amount to forced Keynesianism. This is the very fantasy-infused economic model that has brought our own country to its knees, and IMF loans act as the Trojan Horse to inflict it on others. Perhaps most troubling is the fact that leaders in recipient nations tend to become more concerned with the wishes of international elites than the wishes and needs of their own people. Argentina and Kenya are just two examples of countries that followed IMF mandates right off a cliff. The IMF frequently recommends currency devaluation to poorer nations, which has wiped out the already impoverished over and over. There is also a long list of brutal dictators the IMF happily supported and propped up with loans that left their oppressed populace in staggering amounts of debt with no economic progress to show for it.

We are buying nothing but evil and global oppression by sending your taxdollars to the IMF. Not to mention there is no Constitutional authority to do so. Our continued presence in Iraq and Afghanistan does not make us safer at home, but in fact undermines our national security. I vehemently opposed this Supplemental Appropriations Bill and was dismayed to see it pass so easily.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Roger Young's Images and Quotes of the Week

Here are links to the June 21st editions of Roger Young's always great Image Review of the Week....

....and Quotes of the Week:

From the Light:
“A world in which order is maintained by symbiosis, self-regulation, and cooperation would have no need for the structuring that is the universal solvent offered by the political classes for every condition to be exploited for their power interests.”
~ Butler Shaffer

Read the rest of the Quotes of the Week

Beware the Deceiver (Roger Young)

Roger Young on the dangerous "global warming" (excuse me, "climate change") liars:

History is full of examples of state deception- those who demonize others and lie us into wars, those who fraudulently take our money with the promise of positive lifestyle changes, those who guarantee change but instead deliver the status quo.

Probably the least obvious, and therefore the most dangerous, kind of deceiver is the prophet who uses fraudulent or misrepresented science and “facts” to scare and motivate “threatened” individuals.

Out comes a report by The Global Humanitarian Forum ( former UN secretary general Kofi Annan's thinktank) with all sorts of dire predictions of death and suffering due to “climate change.” You’ll recognize that the proponents of global warming could not counter the proof that global warming ceased over ten years ago, so now they call their scam, “climate change” Apparently, the climate never changed until man started breaking down carbon.

Read the rest

Friday, June 19, 2009

Who Will Regulate the Regulators? (Tom DiLorenzo)

Tom DiLorenzo on the insane notion that the Federal Reserve should be granted even MORE regulatory authority:

In government, failure is success. That’s what I call DiLorenzo’s First Law of Government. When the welfare state bureaucracy fails to reduce poverty, it is rewarded with more tax dollars and more responsibilities. When the government schools fail to educate children, they are rewarded with more tax dollars and more power to meddle in education. When NASA blows up the space shuttle, it is rewarded with a large budget increase (unlike a private airline, which would likely go bankrupt). And when the Fed causes the worse depression since the Great Depression, it is rewarded with a vast expansion of its powers.

DiLorenzo’s Second Law of Government is that politicians will never assume responsibility for any of the problems that they cause. No one in society is more irresponsible than politicians, especially ones like President Obama who blame today’s economic crisis on an alleged lack of responsibility in the private sector. They will always blame capitalism for our economic problems, even when capitalism is not even the economic system that we live under (it’s economic fascism, to end the suspense). Nothing is more irresponsible than knowingly destroying what’s left of our engine of economic growth with more and more governmental central planning, even if it is given the laughable name of "public interest regulation."

DiLorenzo’s Third Law of Government is that, with one or two exceptions, all politicians are habitual liars. The so-called "watchdog media" is a myth, for pointing out the lies of politicians is the best way to end one’s career as a "prominent journalist." Do this, and your sources of governmental information will be shut off.

Today’s Biggest Governmental Lie is that financial markets are unregulated and in dire need of more direction, regulation, control, and in some cases, nationalization, by the Fed or by a new Super Regulatory Authority.

Read the rest

Americans in Unjust Wars Cannot Morally Kill Resisters

David Gordon reviews Jeff McMahan's Killing in War, which contains a unique take on just-war theory:

Jeff McMahan has written a genuinely revolutionary book. He has uncovered a flaw in standard just-war theory. The standard view sharply separates the morality of going to war, jus ad bellum, from the morality of warfare, jus in bello. Whether or not a war is just does not affect the morality of how war is to be conducted. Soldiers are forbidden to violate the laws of war; but no greater restrictions are imposed on those who fight in an unjust cause than on those whose cause meets the requirements of jus ad bellum. This is exactly what McMahan rejects. Soldiers in an unjust cause have, for the most part, no right at all to engage in violent action against soldiers in a just cause. Not only do they lack moral standing to engage in aggressive warfare; they cannot legitimately even engage in defensive war, in most circumstances.

Read the rest

Congressman Paul Introduces Evacuees Tax Relief Act


(Read the press release)

Congressman Ron PaulMadam Speaker, I rise to introduce the Evacuees Tax Relief Act of 2009, legislation providing tax relief to those forced to abandon their homes because of a natural disaster. This legislation provides a tax credit or a tax deduction, depending on the wishes of the taxpayer, of up to $5,000 for costs incurred because of a government-ordered mandatory or voluntary evacuation. Evacuees could use the credit to cover travel and lodging expenses associated with the evacuation, lost wages, property damages not otherwise compensated, and any other evacuation-related expenses. The tax credit is refundable up to the amount of income and payroll taxes a person would otherwise pay, thus ensuring working people who pay more in payroll than in income taxes are able to benefit from this tax relief. The credit is available retroactive to December of 2007, so it is available to Hurricane Ike evacuees, as well as those who evacuated because of Hurricanes Gustav and Dolly.

Just last year, the majority of my district, including my home county, was subject to mandatory evacuation because of Hurricane Ike. Therefore, I have firsthand experience with the burdens faced by those forced to uproot themselves and their families because of a natural disaster. Evacuees incur great costs in getting to safety, as well as loss from the storm damage. It can take many months, and even years, to fully recover from the devastation of a natural disaster. Given the unpredictable nature of natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornados, it is difficult for most families to adequately budget for these costs. The Evacuees Tax Relief Act helps Americans manage the fiscal costs of a natural disaster.

Madam Speaker, with the 2009 hurricane season now upon us, it is hard to think of a more timely and more compassionate tax relief proposal than one aimed at helping families cope with the costs associated with being uprooted from their homes, jobs, and communities by a natural disaster. I hope all my colleagues will show compassion for those forced to flee their homes by cosponsoring the Evacuees Tax Relief Act.

Ron Paul's Statement Opposing Resolution on Iran

Statement of Congressman Ron Paul
United States House of Representatives

Statement Opposing Resolution on Iran

June 19, 2009

Congressman Ron PaulI rise in reluctant opposition to H Res 560, which condemns the Iranian government for its recent actions during the unrest in that country. While I never condone violence, much less the violence that governments are only too willing to mete out to their own citizens, I am always very cautious about “condemning” the actions of governments overseas. As an elected member of the United States House of Representatives, I have always questioned our constitutional authority to sit in judgment of the actions of foreign governments of which we are not representatives. I have always hesitated when my colleagues rush to pronounce final judgment on events thousands of miles away about which we know very little. And we know very little beyond limited press reports about what is happening in Iran.

Of course I do not support attempts by foreign governments to suppress the democratic aspirations of their people, but when is the last time we condemned Saudi Arabia or Egypt or the many other countries where unlike in Iran there is no opportunity to exercise any substantial vote on political leadership? It seems our criticism is selective and applied when there are political points to be made. I have admired President Obama’s cautious approach to the situation in Iran and I would have preferred that we in the House had acted similarly.

I adhere to the foreign policy of our Founders, who advised that we not interfere in the internal affairs of countries overseas. I believe that is the best policy for the United States, for our national security and for our prosperity. I urge my colleagues to reject this and all similar meddling resolutions.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Congressman Ron Paul on Healthcare

Dr. Paul recorded this great video message on Obamacare, which, considering the government caused all the problems in health care to begin with, will certainly make the health care crisis even worse:

YouTube - Congressman Ron Paul on Healthcare

Freedom Watch 19

Judge Napolitano had another great Freedom Watch yesterday, and I had the opportunity to be "guest editor" for the first time! I now appreciate Marc Gallagher's efforts even more to get this done every week, because it's a lot of work. Here's yesterday's show, featuring Ron Paul, Peter Schiff, Dr. Yaron Brook from the Ayn Rand Institute, Lew Rockwell, Tom Woods, John Pappas from Poker Players Alliance, and Mike German from the ACLU:

YouTube - 6/17/09 Freedom Watch 19

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

An American "Yezhovschina"? (Will Grigg)

Will Grigg on the "crime" of hate:

A September 1996 American Bar Association conference on terrorism and the law in Washington, D.C. presented me with an opportunity I had long coveted.

Among the presenters at that event was former New York Times legal and political affairs columnist Anthony Lewis, long one of the most predictable journalistic voices on the left. One of his favorite tropes was the description of the American Right as "merchants of hate," an expression that seemed to serve as the title for every second or third column Lewis wrote.

During a break in the proceedings I cornered Lewis, who looked a little less like Wallace Shawn than I had anticipated. By way of introduction, told him (in all sincerity) that I had enjoyed reading his book Gideon's Trumpet as a High School student.

"I've long wanted to ask you something about a subject you frequently address in your column," I continued. "You often make reference to `right-wing hate groups.' Do you acknowledge the existence of left-wing hate groups, as well -- and do you consider them to be a potential threat to society?"

Lewis stood in genuinely stunned silence for a good half a minute or so before tentatively saying, "Well, I suppose there could be such a thing as a left-wing hate group" -- a made with the same grudging, reluctant tone one might use when conceding the possible existence of unicorns, extra-terrestrial intelligence, or cerebral matter inside of Sean Hannity's skull.

Read the rest, and note that the notorious Stalin henchman Nikolai "Poisoned Dwarf" Yezhov pictured above bears a striking resemblance to the Obamanable One....coincidence?

Life Is Destroying the Planet! (Butler Shaffer)

Butler Shaffer on why the people-pushing environmentalists pose the greatest threat to the viability of the planet:

Recent news stories advise us of yet another contributor to the menace of global warming, this one arising from the flatulence produced by cows. The metabolic processes engaged in by our bovine neighbors produce methane, one of the greenhouse gasses against which the environmentalist faithful are ever vigilant. Methane is also produced through the breakdown of organic matter (e.g., manure, dumpsites) and, other life forms. In his book Gaia the renowned chemist, James Lovelock, analyzed how methane, produced in the guts of termites, is an essential factor in the self-regulating nature of the earth’s atmosphere.

The notion that "self-regulation" could account for the orderliness found in social, economic, or biological systems is a heresy to people-pushers of all doctrinal faiths, including the secular theology of high-church environmentalism. A people-pusher can be thought of as a person with a leash, in search of a dog. Like chameleons, they can undergo superficial changes to accommodate the circumstances in which they find themselves: the persecution of witches or infidels, the fostering of state socialism, or, modernly, the salvation of the planet. It matters not to the zealots of any particular denomination whether their belief system is grounded in substantive truth; only that it provide a plausible rationale for the imposition of authority over the lives of others. The disciples of environmentalism have shifted from being prophets of a coming "ice age," to "global warming," to the compromise position of "climate change" as the empirical basis for their claims continue to be called into question by scientists.

If flatulence from cows is to be regarded as a threat to be regulated – or even prohibited – by institutionalized people-pushers, what next? Shall Mexican restaurants or Texas barbecues become future targets? In their efforts to subject every facet of the diets and lifestyles of others to their detailed scrutiny, shall these sociopaths finally reveal their ambition to rule as a collective god over all of creation?

Read the rest

Ron Paul Opposes Conference Report on the War Supplemental Appropriations

Congressman Ron PaulMr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this conference report on the War Supplemental Appropriations. I wonder what happened to all of my colleagues who said they were opposed to the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I wonder what happened to my colleagues who voted with me as I opposed every war supplemental request under the previous administration. It seems, with very few exceptions, they have changed their position on the war now that the White House has changed hands. I find this troubling. As I have said while opposing previous war funding requests, a vote to fund the war is a vote in favor of the war. Congress exercises its constitutional prerogatives through the power of the purse.

This conference report, being a Washington-style compromise, reflects one thing Congress agrees on: spending money we do not have. So this "compromise" bill spends 15 percent more than the president requested, which is $9 billion more than in the original House bill and $14.6 billion more than the original Senate version. Included in this final version--in addition to the $106 billion to continue the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq--is a $108 billion loan guarantee to the International Monetary Fund, allowing that destructive organization to continue spending taxpayer money to prop up corrupt elites and promote harmful economic policies overseas.

As Americans struggle through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, this emergency supplemental appropriations bill sends billions of dollars overseas as foreign aid. Included in this appropriation is $660 million for Gaza, $555 million for Israel, $310 million for Egypt, $300 million for Jordan, and $420 million for Mexico. Some $889 million will be sent to the United Nations for "peacekeeping" missions. Almost one billion dollars will be sent overseas to address the global financial crisis outside our borders and nearly $8 billion will be spent to address a "potential pandemic flu."

Mr. Speaker, I continue to believe that the best way to support our troops is to bring them home from Iraq and Afghanistan. If one looks at the original authorization for the use of force in Afghanistan, it is clear that the ongoing and expanding nation-building mission there has nothing to do with our goal of capturing and bringing to justice those who attacked the United States on September 11, 2001. Our continued presence in Iraq and Afghanistan does not make us more safe at home, but in fact it undermines our national security. I urge my colleagues to defeat this reckless conference report.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Strange Inconsistencies in the $134.5 Billion Bearer Bond Mystery (J. S. Kim)

An intriguing article by J.S. Kim on the $134.5 billion in bonds that showed up at the Italy / Switzerland border:

Here’s yet another huge financial story that has been virtually blacked out by the US financial media. Although on the surface, this story appears to be a non-event, if we consider some of the released facts about this case, you will understand why I consider it to be a huge story. On June 8th, the Asia News reported the following story:

“Italy’s financial police (Guardia italiana di Finanza) has seized US bonds worth US 134.5 billion from two Japanese nationals at Chiasso (40 km from Milan) on the border between Italy and Switzerland. They include 249 US Federal Reserve bonds worth US$ 500 million each, plus ten Kennedy bonds and other US government securities worth a billion dollars each. Italian authorities have not yet determined whether they are real or fake, but if they are real the attempt to take them into Switzerland would be the largest financial smuggling operation in history; if they are fake, the matter would be even more mind-boggling because the quality of the counterfeit work is such that the fake bonds are undistinguishable from the real ones.”

Here are just a few fascinating facts about this case (at least they are being reported as “facts” at this current time):

(1) Though the smugglers have been identified in the press as “Japanese nationals” there has yet to be any confirmation if the smugglers were indeed Japanese or of some other ethnicity. How difficult is it to confirm the ethnicity of the smugglers and why is this information being kept secret?

Read the rest

#iranelection Cyberwar Guide for Beginners

This article was originally captured from here:

#iranelection cyberwar guide for beginners
Posted at June 16, 2009

The purpose of this guide is to help you participate constructively in the Iranian election protests through twitter.

1. Do NOT publicise proxy IP’s over twitter, and especially not using the #iranelection hashtag. Security forces are monitoring this hashtag, and the moment they identify a proxy IP they will block it in Iran. If you are creating new proxies for the Iranian bloggers, DM them to @stopAhmadi or @iran09 and they will distributed them discretely to bloggers in Iran.

2. Hashtags, the only two legitimate hashtags being used by bloggers in Iran are #iranelection and #gr88, other hashtag ideas run the risk of diluting the conversation.

3. Keep you bull$hit filter up! Security forces are now setting up twitter accounts to spread disinformation by posing as Iranian protesters. Please don’t retweet impetuosly, try to confirm information with reliable sources before retweeting. The legitimate sources are not hard to find and follow.

4. Help cover the bloggers: change your twitter settings so that your location is TEHRAN and your time zone is GMT +3.30. Security forces are hunting for bloggers using location and timezone searches. If we all become ‘Iranians’ it becomes much harder to find them.

5. Don’t blow their cover! If you discover a genuine source, please don’t publicise their name or location on a website. These bloggers are in REAL danger. Spread the word discretely through your own networks but don’t signpost them to the security forces. People are dying there, for real, please keep that in mind.

6. Denial of Service attacks. If you don’t know what you are doing, stay out of this game. Only target those sites the legitimate Iranian bloggers are designating. Be aware that these attacks can have detrimental effects to the network the protesters are relying on. Keep monitoring their traffic to note when you should turn the taps on or off.

7. Do spread the (legitimate) word, it works! When the bloggers asked for twitter maintenance to be postponed using the #nomaintenance tag, it had the desired effect. As long as we spread good information, provide moral support to the protesters, and take our lead from the legitimate bloggers, we can make a constructive contribution.

Please remember that this is about the future of the Iranian people, while it might be exciting to get caught up in the flow of participating in a new meme, do not lose sight of what this is really about.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The day of destiny (Robert Fisk)

A must-read report from the great journalist Robert Fisk, on the scene in Tehran:

It was Iran's day of destiny and day of courage. A million of its people marched from Engelob Square to Azadi Square – from the Square of Revolution to the Square of Freedom – beneath the eyes of Tehran's brutal riot police. The crowds were singing and shouting and laughing and abusing their "President" as "dust".

Mirhossein Mousavi was among them, riding atop a car amid the exhaust smoke and heat, unsmiling, stunned, unaware that so epic a demonstration could blossom amid the hopelessness of Iran's post-election bloodshed. He may have officially lost last Friday's election, but yesterday was his electoral victory parade through the streets of his capital. It ended, inevitably, in gunfire and blood.

Read the rest

Mommas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Report on the Government’s Financial Reforms (Bob Higgs)

Bob Higgs comments on an unintentionally hilarious article from the AP:

Robert HiggsMommas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Report on the Government’s Financial Reforms

If you do, they will almost certainly disgrace your family by writing reports that can be interpreted in only two ways: (1) the reporter is a shill for the government, passing off government propaganda as news and analysis; and (2) the reporter is dreadfully incompetent and naïve with regard to government policies. Sad to say, many reporters display both sorts of failings simultaneously.

I am provoked to make these observations not merely by having been exposed to the mainstream news media for the past fifty years or so, but also, just this morning, by having blundered across an Associated Press article headlined “Obama Seeks to Overhaul Financial Rules.”

Of course, the headline can’t be accurate. Barack Obama knows nothing about finance, so he would not have the foggiest idea where to start in overhauling the existing financial rules. But let’s be generous. The story attributes to the emperor himself a project that is actually being carried out by his scheming lackeys in the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve System, and other parts of his vast bureaucracy. These faithful (and some, no doubt, not-so-faithful) servants are of course acting in the emperor’s name, whether or not he understands the details of their machinations.

Read the rest

Ron Paul on CNN: Obama's terrible health care plan

A great appearance by Dr. Paul on Obama's socialized healthcare programs:

YouTube - Dr Ron Paul On Reforming Health Care

Peter Schiff Video Blog 6/15/09

Peter Schiff on Russia talking up the dollar (which means they think the dollar is doomed), Obama on health care (surprise, he's making it even more expensive for the majority of us), and the stupid notion that some companies and industries are too big to fail:

YouTube - Part 1: Russia talks up dollar, Obama on Heatlh care, too big to fail

UPDATE: Peter released another video blog where he talked about the Fed talking up the bond market:

YouTube - Part 2: Fed's Fisher Talks up Treasuries

Flag Worship Day (Roger Young)

Roger Young on the religious festival known as Flag Day:

Today is Flag Day- a time to reflect on the state and its supporter’s fascination, reverence and stodgy defense of it symbols.

Supporters bristle at the argument that such an obsession is akin to religious fervor. But all you have to do is examine the “disposal process” of these symbols when they become worn and unacceptable.

According to United States Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 8(k):
"The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning."

What is considered “dignified” is where the religion-like, devotional solemnity comes into play. It seems there is no prescribed, universally accepted ceremony for proper disposal of the flag. There seem to be as many different disposal programs as there are organizations that venerate this piece of cloth. I guess you could consider each program a denomination- they all worship the same symbol but differ in the matter that their worship is executed. The Boy Scouts and the American Legion are certainly a couple of the most active flag-retiring organizations. The Scouts go as far as to warn participants that the flag is NOT to be considered “burned,” but “retired.”

Read the rest

Moving Towards Tobacco Prohibition (Ron Paul)

Dr. Paul's latest Texas Straight Talk:

(Watch on YouTube)

Congressman Ron PaulLast week, another bill was passed and signed into law that takes more of our freedoms and violates the Constitution of the United States. It was, of course, done for the sake of the children, and in the name of the health of the citizenry. It’s always the case that when your liberty is seized, it is seized for your own good. Such is the condescension of Washington.

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act will give sweeping new powers over tobacco to the FDA. It will require everyone engaged in manufacturing, preparing, compounding, or processing tobacco to register with the FDA and be subjected to FDA inspections, which is yet another violation of the Fourth Amendment. It violates the First Amendment by allowing the FDA to restrict tobacco advertising in multiple ways, as well as an outright ban on advertising any cigarettes as light, mild or low-tar. The FDA will have the power of pre-market reviews of all new tobacco products, and will impose new user fees, meaning taxes, on manufacturers and importers of tobacco products. It will even regulate the amount of nicotine in cigarettes.

My objections to the bill are not an endorsement of tobacco. As a physician I understand the adverse health effects of this bad habit. And that is exactly how smoking should be treated – as a bad habit and a personal choice. The way to combat poor choices is through education and information. Other than ensuring that tobacco companies do not engage in force or fraud to market their products, the federal government needs to stay out of the health habits of free people. Regulations for children should be at the state level. Unfortunately, government is using its already overly intrusive financial and regulatory roles in healthcare to establish a justifiable interest in intervening in your personal lifestyle choices as well. We all need to anticipate the level of health freedom that will remain once government manages all health care in this country.

Actions in Congress such as this tobacco bill are especially disconcerting after we thought we were beginning to see some progress in drawing down the wrong-headed and failed war on drugs. A majority of Americans now think marijuana should be legal, taxed and regulated, according to a recent Zogby poll and over 70 percent are in favor of allowing medicinal use of marijuana. Bills like this take us down exactly the wrong path. Instead of gaining more freedom with marijuana, we are moving closer to prohibiting tobacco. Our prisons are already bursting with non-violent drug offenders. How long will it be before a black market in tobacco fills the prisons with non-violent cigarette smokers?

Hemp and tobacco were staple crops for our founding fathers when our country was new. It is baffling to see how far removed from real freedom this country has become since then. Hemp, even for industrial uses, of which there are many, is illegal to grow at all. Now tobacco will have more layers of bureaucracy and interference piled on top of it. In this economy it is extremely upsetting to see this additional squeeze put on an entire industry. One has to wonder how many smaller farmers will be forced out of business because of this bill.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mowing the Sward of Damocles (Fred Reed)

Fred Reed gives his always interesting take on the news (I have to give his article title props as one of the strangest I've ever seen...):

I’ve been reading the news again. It’s great fun, like watching an EEG trace as it…slowly…flat-lines. Reading a newspaper increasingly reminds me of watching a leper to see which finger falls off next. You can make bets.

In the news I find more on torture. I’m so proud. Home of the brave, land of the free, though we may pull your fingernails out. What nobody talks about is where we get our torturers. I mean, is it a rating, like Radioman First Class? Do recruiters offer it? What civilian applications do they see when an eager young Torquemada leaves the military? Local police?

The question of recruiting is fascinating. How much would you have to be paid to crush knees with a sledge hammer? Where do they find these guys? The boss at Langley presumably doesn’t just walk through the office saying, “Hey, we need someone TDY for Guantanamo to crush genitals. Sally, you up for it? Bill? You get overseas pay and it looks good on your rseume.”

Or does he? The military didn’t have any trouble getting those girl soldiers at Abu Ghreib into it. Ooooh! King-ky!

Read the rest

Roger Young's Images and Quotes of the Week

Here are links to Roger's Young's latest editions of his great Image Review of the Week....

....and Quotes of the Week:

From the Light:
“For all the celebrating that happens on July 4th, the truth is that the vast majority of Americans are scared poopless of the thought of ever NOT DOING WHAT THEY’RE TOLD. So, as loud and whiny as they might get, most will forever remain obedient subjects, “law-abiding taxpayers” who take great pride in how well they obey orders and “play by the rules.” They think like slaves, act like slaves, and are treated like slaves. Then they complain about it.”
~ Larken Rose

Read the rest of the Quotes of the Week

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Tragedy and Farce of Collective Guilt (Will Grigg)

Will Grigg strongly denounces the "collective guilt" nonsense of Keith Olbermann and his ilk:

Dark Helmet, evil ruler of the Spaceballs: Before you die, Lone Star, there is something you should know about us.

Lone Star, intrepid if thick-headed space hero: What?

Dark Helmet (with triumphant menace): I ... am your father's, brother's nephew's, cousin's former roommate.

Lone Star (puzzled): What's that make us?

Dark Helmet (after a beat): Absolutely nothing.

From the climactic battle sequence in Mel Brooks' 1987 satirical space epic, Spaceballs.

The tenuous, gossamer link of distant association described by Dark Helmet works as a piece of throw-away satirical comedy. Under the doctrine of collective guilt being promoted by our would-be cultural commissars, that relationship would also be sufficient to serve as a "link" connecting Lone Star to the crimes committed by Dark Helmet.

Lest it be thought that I'm exaggerating, consider Keith Olbermann's effort to connect Ron Paul -- a man devoted to peace and protecting the individual rights of everybody, a man who seems biologically incapable of malice -- to James von Brunn, the troubled 88-year-old man accused of carrying out the murderous shooting rampage at the Holocaust Museum.

Read the rest

Law and Ordered (Retta Fontana)

Retta Fontana looks at compulsory schooling, the farcical "corrections" system, and the insane war on drugs, and shows that the gigantic criminal gang known as the state does nothing for our benefit:

Retta Fontana“With our days as a manufacturing power a wistful memory and the marketing of fraudulent Wall Street ‘financial products’ an infinitely self-replenishing source of national outrage, incarceration may soon become -- by default -- our leading national industry.” ~ Pro Libertate Blog

This quote is from a piece which describes the proliferation of the correctional industrial complex in America . I thought it interesting enough to send a copy to a friend. (His wife is a public school teacher – mea culpa!) I had no idea he would provide me a brief response so rich as to be irresistible. Below is his response to the column. (At least this good Christian did not ask me for 15 minutes of fame like the last one did.) My friend is intelligent. Here is his response:

“Judges seem to be afraid to hand out sentences that are too light, because when they have to run for reelection, they know that it will be brought up by their opponent. I am guessing that is one of the main contributors to the overpopulation of prisons. Michigan is one of only five states that spends more each year on prisons than it does on education.”

Some emails just wake you up, don’t they? I rubbed my hands together and gleefully wondered where to begin. At least he implicitly agrees that there is an incarceration problem--it’s difficult not to with the numbers involved. He also implicitly agrees that the problem lies with authority. Interestingly though, he considers the thing worth commenting on is the manipulation of the “Just Us” system by some for political gain. He has no idea how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Read the rest

Ron Paul on Government Regulation Of Tobacco 6/12/09

Ron Paul took to the House floor today to argue that the government should get out of the tobacco industry:

(Watch on YouTube)

Madam Speaker, I don't think anybody can argue at all with the intentions of the proposal of this bill. There is no question that cigarettes are very harmful. The question for me here is the process, and I find the process here atrocious because it assumes that authoritarianism is right, proper and that it works and that volunteerism, education, self-reliance and depending on oneself to take care of oneself is a proper approach. We totally reject our free society and assume that if we just have tobacco police roaming the country, that all of a sudden bad habits are going to be cleared up. We're dealing with bad habits, and these are bad for health. But let me tell you, I can bring you a list here of dozens and dozens of bad habits that lead to death. As a matter of fact, one of the things that we ought to consider is, how many people die from our drug war? We have a drug war, and about 3,000 people die from the use of illegal drugs. So we have a drug war going on, and tens of thousands of people die.

It's so exasperating at times because we always have two proposals here, or we have two ways of solving problems or dealing with tobacco. For decades, what did we do? We subsidized tobacco, and now we want to prohibit tobacco. Why don't we just let the people decide. This whole idea of either having to subsidize something or prohibit something shows a shallowness that I think we ought to challenge.

One part of this bill that I find particularly bad, but it is pervasive in so much of what we do, about 100 years ago we took the First Amendment and freedom of speech and chopped it into two pieces. We have political speech. Of course we like that. We're in the business of politics. But we take commercial speech, and we put it over here, and we regulate the living daylights out of commercial speech. That's not a First Amendment. That's chopping freedom in half, and that just leads to more problems. But this will lead to prohibition, and it won't work. This will just give us a lot more trouble.

You say, Well, how will these problems be handled if we just permit people to advertise? Well, you are not allowed to commit fraud; you are not allowed to commit slander; you are not allowed to commit any libel or slander or fraud. So there are prohibitions. But this approach can't work. It is assumed that people are total idiots, that they won't respond to education, that we have to be the nanny state. We want to expand the war on drugs, which is a total failure.

And look at what happened to the prohibition of alcohol. You say, Well, no, this is not going to be a prohibition. It is going to be prohibition. This is a form of prohibition. When you have prohibition or even approach prohibition, what do you create? You create the black market. We will see the black market come. Already the taxes are opening up the doors of the black market.

All I ask for is people to reconsider, believe that freedom, self-reliance and individualism can solve these problems a lot better than a bunch of politicians, bureaucrats and tobacco police here from Washington, D.C.

Ron Paul Opposes Foreign Relations Authorization Act on House Floor 6/10/09

Congressman Ron Paul took to the House floor on Wednesday to oppose the Foreign Relations Authorization Act:

(Watch on YouTube)

Congressman Ron PaulI thank the gentlewoman for yielding me these 2 minutes.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this bill. Some are hopeful that this will be a less militaristic approach to our foreign policy. Quite frankly, I don't see any changes. I wish it were something that would represent a humble foreign policy, but when you put an extra $100 million into the military operations of the United Nations, I hardly think this is a change in direction. Actually, it's $18 billion that is going into more meddling, and we don't have $18 billion.

The President has now asked us here in the Congress to follow the PAYGO rules. Well, that might be a good idea if we had set aside the idea that we would raise taxes, but we're not going to cut any domestic spending for this foreign spending, so the odds of this following the PAYGO rule are essentially nil.

I want to call attention to one provision in this that is rather disturbing to me, and that is the Civilian Stabilization Initiative. This is new. It was not invented by this administration. It was invented by the last administration. This is to set up a permanent standing, nation-building office with an employment of or with the use of nearly 5,000 individuals.

So what is the goal of this new initiative going to be? It will facilitate democratic and political transitions in various countries.

Now, if you want to talk about interfering in the internal affairs of other nations, that is exactly what this is all about. Facilitating democratic and political transitions? Well, of course. We've been doing that for a long time, but we've gotten ourselves into a lot of trouble doing it. We did it in 1953, and we're still suffering the consequences. This initiative is a little more honest. It's up front. We're actually supporting and funding a facility that would be involved in political transitions. The mandate in this is to ``reconstruct'' societies. That sounds wonderful. There are a lot of societies that need reconstruction, but so many of the societies that we have to reconstruct we helped to destroy or to disrupt.

Think of what our troops and our money have done in Afghanistan as well as in Iraq. I think this provision, itself, is enough reason to vote against this authorization.

Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell with Alex Jones

Alex Jones had nice interviews with both Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell recently; check them out!

YouTube - Ron Paul on Alex Jones Show 6/10/09

YouTube - 6/11/09 Lew Rockwell on Alex Jones TV

Japan's unshakable confidence in the U.S. dollar, yeah right! (Peter Schiff)

Peter Schiff recorded this nice video blog on the stupid notion that Japan actually had confidence in the dollar:

Audit the Fed Update from Ron Paul

Great news as HR1207 has exceeded 218 co-sponsors (223 according to the video), but there's work to do, specifically to encourage Senators to support the companion bill S.604:

The New War on Free Speech (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell blogs:

The political murder of a security guard at DC’s Holocaust Museum is being used to justify a far bigger police state, even though such crimes are almost non-existent in America.

But the MSM and other statists always want to crack down on dissident speech, and this is their latest excuse. Keith Olbermann—who belongs in a remake of 1984—even drags Ron Paul’s name into it. See, some ex-volunteer from two years ago is supposedly the girlfriend of a guy who supposedly knows the murderer. This is East German-style argumentation. But statists like this want to smear and silence everyone who opposes the predator state, its domestic regimentation and redistribution, its murderous wars, its inflating central bank, and indeed anyone who defends free speech and civil liberties against the current regime. Hate speech, according to Olbermann, consists of fundamental criticism of the state, or thinking that the Obama administration wants to disarm us.

But when have any of us ever had it easy? The Peace Democrats of the Civil War era; Mark Twain and the other opponents of US colonialism in the Philippines; the antiwar activists before WWI and WWII; the anti-New Deal, anti-Fair Deal, anti-Great Society movements; the opponents of the wars on Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan; the Austrian economists; the Rothbardian libertarians; this website; and Ron Paul and his movement—we have all been demonized.Yet we are getting more and more support among the American people. That giant counterfeiting machine the Fed is being widely denounced. That is deadly for such a secretive operation.

By the way, the museum killer, in addition to being a National Socialist, was also a Lincoln-money man, a backer of massive inflation and low interest rates through direct Treasury printing. So much did he hate Paul Volcker’s high interest rates in 1981 that he sought to lower them by kidnapping Fed officials. Within the central bank paradigm, Volcker’s policies were exactly right. He shrunk the money supply, rewarded savers and investors, and stopped the hyperinflation of the previous decade with high rates, making sound growth possible again. Bernanke is the anti-Volcker, with zero interest rates and Zimbabwean money creation. Bernanke is destroying the dollar and bringing back a hyperinflation that will make us nostalgic for the 70s, this on top of the Fed-created Depression

So no matter what the Olbermanns of the world say or do, we must continue our fight against state wars, state empire, state spying, state prison camps, state torture; state redistribution, state environmentalism, state medicine, state money printing, indeed all state intervention in the economy or our personal lives, or the lives of people overseas. We must raise high the banner of true liberty against that gang of thieves writ large, the state itself. End the Fed! That would be a great start.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

"It's The Money" (Will Grigg)

Will Grigg on real money, the fake stuff commonly thought of as "money," the Fed, and the state's aggressive clampdown on those who would compete with it:

What is it that turns a man into a specimen like Acting United States Attorney Edward R. Ryan, whose name is inscribed on the tissue of lies and totalitarian assertions called a "Bill of Indictment" against four key figures in NORFED, aka the Liberty Dollar organization?

To at least some extent, it must be the money (or at least the officially sanctioned similacrum of the same) that provides for Ryan's material comforts and subsidizes whatever squalid vices he enjoys. Since Ryan is a servant of the kleptocracy we can assume that vice, of some kind, plays a significant role in his discretionary time: Someone who steals for a living isn't likely to be a moral paragon when he's off the clock.

As a tax-feeder, Ryan, like the rest of us, is paid in the innately worthless scrip and slugs that the Regime insists on calling "money."

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Peter Schiff Video Blog - The Greenspan Letters

In Peter Schiff's latest video blog, he has an interesting anecdote where he had a letter correspondence with Alan Greenspan back in 1987, just after the stock market crash in October. Even then, when he was just out of college, he was warning about the dangers of the Fed's meddling in the economy and how it would make things worse! Check it out:

Audit the Fed Bill Reaches Crucial Benchmark

Excellent news in this press release from Ron Paul's congressional office:

Congressman Ron PaulWashington, D.C. - Congressman Ron Paul's Federal Reserve Transparency Act, HR 1207, has reached and surpassed the level of 218 cosponsors in the House of Representatives, which means it is now cosponsored by a majority of the members.

The 218th cosponsor was Dennis Kucinich (OH-10), and the bill has since received its 222nd cosponsor.

“The tremendous grass-roots and bipartisan support in Congress for HR 1207 is an indicator of how mainstream America is fed up with Fed secrecy,” said Congressman Paul. “I look forward to this issue receiving greater public exposure.”

Hearings on Federal Reserve transparency are expected within the next month, as part of the Financial Services Committee's series of hearings on regulatory reform.

Japan secretly trying to divest out of their US debt? (Chris Brunner)

Chris Brunner has picked up on a story that seems not to have been picked up elsewhere (I'm trying to find out if it's true or not). Chris writes:

From the original article:

Two Japanese nationals were detained by Italian financial police last week after trying to enter Switzerland with $134 billion worth of undeclared U.S. bonds, mostly Treasury bonds, an Italian daily said Wednesday. The Japanese consulate general in Milan confirmed that the detention had taken place and said it was trying to confirm with Italian authorities whether the two were indeed Japanese nationals and their identities.

According to the report in il Giornale, two unidentified Japanese in their 50s concealed the bonds, including 249 U.S. Treasury bonds each worth $500 million, in a suitcase with a false bottom that was searched by the Italian authorities June 3 when they were in Chiasso, at the border with Switzerland, about 50 kilometers north of Milan. The daily did not say on what charges they have been detained, but the two may have been detained on suspicion of attempting to take a large amount of securities out of Italy without declaring it because the paper said they had not declared the bonds.

This is very significant news, because, as Michael Barnett writes in an email, one of the following must be true:

  1. The Japanese are trying to secretly divest themselves of about 25% of their US debt. (They own about $600B in US debt.)

  2. The Japanese are acting as Chinese or North Korean agents in trying to help them divest themselves of US debt in secret.

  3. There is an enormous sum of counterfeit US debt out there and these guys are trying to sell some of it.

None of these cases bodes well for the US debt market.

UPDATE: Karl Denninger writes:

Ok, this was rumored several days ago, but now I can find actual news reports - at least, outside the US:

Milan (AsiaNews) – Italy’s financial police (Guardia italiana di Finanza) has seized US bonds worth US 134.5 billion from two Japanese nationals at Chiasso (40 km from Milan) on the border between Italy and Switzerland. They include 249 US Federal Reserve bonds worth US$ 500 million each, plus ten Kennedy bonds and other US government securities worth a billion dollar each.

Those sound like Bearer Bonds - at least the Kennedy ones do.

We no longer issue those (nor does pretty much anyone else) for obvious reasons - they're essentially money and can be had in VERY large size, making them great vehicles for various illegal enterprises.

But folks: This is $134.5 billion dollars worth.

If they're real, what government (the only entity that would have such a cache) is trying to unload them?

If they're fake, this is arguably the biggest counterfeiting operation ever, by a factor of many times. I've seen news about various counterfeiting operations over the years that have made me chuckle, but this one, if that's what it is, is absolutely jaw-dropping.

The cute part of this is that if the certificates are real Italy just got a hell of a bonanza - their money laundering laws provide for a statutory 40% penalty for failure to declare instruments and cash in excess of $10,000 Euros, which means they'd garner a close-to-$40 billion dollar windfall.

That ought to help their budget problems!

Notice, by the way, that the US Media has totally ignored this story - even though the securities in question are allegedly US instruments.

Gee, I wonder why? Might the authorities know they're real and be just a wee bit nervous that disclosure of a sovereign attempting to covertly dump nearly $140 billion in debt could cause a wee bit of panic, given that we're running nearly $200 billion a month in deficits?

Inquiring minds want to know what's really going on here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Do You Really Want Freedom, Or Are You Just Kidding Yourself? (Wilt Alston)

Wilt Alston writes an excellent article on why he agrees with Stefan Molyneux that much of the damage to the fabric of voluntary interaction in society stems from violent, coercive behavior in the family unit:

“The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness. This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”
~ Plato

“Wherever is found what is called a paternal government, there is found state education. It has been discovered that the best way to ensure implicit obedience is to commence tyranny in the nursery.”
~ Disraeli

A recurring theme among some of the libertarians with whom I interact is: How can we bring freedom and liberty to pass more quickly? How can we mobilize our efforts to topple the coercive state, starting now? One might also ask why these pleas always have an inherent collectivist bent. Why must “we” do anything? I’ve written about this quest before, although contrary to popular belief, I am under no illusion that a fully-anarchic, i.e., stateless, society would be a utopia. That’s not even the point! In fact, I don’t even care one way or the other. (I am not an advocate of freedom for utilitarian reasons.)

The unspoken belief seems to be that freedom and liberty arise from strategic planning. (After pretty much every essay I get published, I receive a note from some well-meaning soul who has the next can’t-miss new strategy that will topple the State by the end of the week.) While one could argue that much of the prose on Internet sites such as this one is similarly intended, I would disagree. What I attempt to do here, and what I see others doing here, is exploring the fullness of the libertarian paradigm. That paradigm is based upon individual choices made without aggression upon others. It is only when one’s choices infringe directly upon others that anyone should have a genuine concern. Generally speaking then, the focus is within, not without. Education is a primary goal. Philosophy is the primary focus.

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