Sunday, August 28, 2011

Great Ron Paul Interview on Fox News Sunday

Give some decent time to Dr. Paul to defend his views and he really shines, as he did on Fox News Sunday:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ron Paul Super Bomb Announced for 9/19

The Revolution PAC, a "Super PAC" dedicated to spreading the word about Ron Paul, has announced a Super Money Bomb for September 19, the anniversary of the Battle of Saratoga during the Revolutionary War. Here is the press release:

September Superbomb Announced by Ron Paul Super PAC

Revolution PAC calls on businesses, organizations, and individuals to act on one day Ron Paul fundraiser.

Northbrook, IL – August 9, 2011 – Revolution PAC, the Super PAC formed in July to support the presidential ambitions of Congressman Ron Paul, has announced a money bomb fundraiser – a “Super PAC Superbomb” – for September 19.

“September 19 marked the first of the battles of Saratoga, which taken together amounted to a significant turning point in the War for Independence,” said Revolution PAC President Gary Franchi. “We hope this Superbomb, and the resources it brings in, will propel us toward a victory no less dramatic for Ron Paul.”

In advance of the Superbomb, the Super PAC is emphasizing its grassroots nature, its low overhead, and its effective use of funds.

“We are regular Americans, each of whom has a track record of support for Dr. Paul and what he stands for,” said Thomas Woods, Revolution PAC Advisory Board Chairman. “We aren’t paying the six-figure salaries and five- and six-figure expense reimbursements we often encounter in the political world. We are simply dedicated to the cause, and we have employed every penny donated to us wisely and conscientiously.”

The Super PAC form of organization, made possible by two court rulings in 2010, has gathered steam quickly during this election cycle. Unlike a presidential campaign, it can accept unlimited donations from individuals, businesses, and other groups.

During an event outside the Chicago Federal Reserve over the weekend Franchi remarked: “We’re changing the game. Anybody can donate to us, but in particular those who have reached the $2500 legal limit in donations to a presidential campaign can now continue to help Ron Paul by supporting the Revolution Super PAC.

“We will devote whatever we raise to carrying out the most efficient and effective political marketing campaign Americans will see this cycle. Ron Paul and his message will be everywhere. The Ron Paul grassroots will have been underestimated for the last time.”

The Revolution PAC is asking foreign supporters of Ron Paul to patronize US businesses who support the Super PAC.

Ron Paul supporters are being asked to pledge to contribute to the September 19th Superbomb at

Mary Putnam
3149 Dundee Rd. #176
Northbrook, IL 60062
Ph: 866-202-9367


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the U.S. Terror State (Anthony Gregory)

A terrific article by Anthony Gregory on the nuclear attacks on Japan and other terrorist acts by the US government:

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the U.S. Terror State
by Anthony Gregory

Being a U.S. war criminal means never having to say sorry. Paul Tibbets, the man who flew the Enola Gay and destroyed Hiroshima, lived to the impressive age of 92 without publicly expressing guilt for what he had done. He had even reenacted his infamous mission at a 1976 Texas air show, complete with a mushroom cloud, and later said he never meant this to be offensive. In contrast, he called it a "damn big insult" when the Smithsonian planned an exhibit in 1995 showing some of the damage the bombing caused.

We might understand a man not coming to terms with his most important contribution to human history being such a destructive act. But what about the rest of the country?

It’s sickening that Americans even debate the atomic bombings, as they do every year in early August. Polls in recent years reveal overwhelming majorities of the American public accepting the acts as necessary.

Conservatives are much worse on this topic, although liberals surely don’t give it the weight it deserves. Trent Lott was taken to the woodshed for his comments in late 2002 about how Strom Thurmond would have been a better president than Truman. Lott and Thurmond both represent ugly strains in American politics, but no one dared question the assumption that Thurmond was obviously a less defensible candidate than Truman. Zora Neale Hurston, heroic author of the Harlem Renaissance, might have had a different take, as she astutely called Truman "a monster" and "the butcher of Asia." Governmental segregation is terrible, but why is murdering hundreds of thousands of foreign civilians with as much thought as one would give to eradicating silverfish treated as simply a controversial policy decision in comparison?

Perhaps it is the appeal to necessity. We hear that the United States would have otherwise had to invade the Japanese mainland and so the bombings saved American lives. But saving U.S. soldiers wouldn’t justify killing Japanese children any more than saving Taliban soldiers would justify dropping bombs on American children. Targeting civilians to manipulate their government is the very definition of terrorism. Everyone was properly horrified by Anders Behring Breivik’s murder spree in Norway last month – killing innocents to alter diplomacy. Truman murdered a thousand times as many innocents on August 6, 1945, then again on August 9.

It doesn’t matter if Japan "started it," either. Only individuals have rights, not nations. Unless you can prove that every single Japanese snuffed out at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was involved in the Pearl Harbor attack, the murderousness of the bombings is indisputable. Even the official history should doom Truman to a status of permanent condemnation. Besides being atrocious in themselves, the U.S. creation and deployment of the first nuclear weapons ushered in the seemingly endless era of global fear over nuclear war.

However, as it so happens, the official history is a lie. The U.S. provoked the Japanese to fire the first shot, as more and more historians have acknowledged. Although the attack on Pearl Harbor, a military base, was wrong, it was far less indefensible than the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki's civilian populations.

As for the utilitarian calculus of "saving American lies," historian Ralph Raico explains:

[T]he rationale for the atomic bombings has come to rest on a single colossal fabrication, which has gained surprising currency: that they were necessary in order to save a half-million or more American lives. These, supposedly, are the lives that would have been lost in the planned invasion of Kyushu in December, then in the all-out invasion of Honshu the next year, if that was needed. But the worst-case scenario for a full-scale invasion of the Japanese home islands was forty-six thousand American lives lost.

The propaganda that the atomic bombings saved lives was nothing but a public relations pitch contrived in retrospect. These were just gratuitous acts of mass terrorism. By August 1945, the Japanese were completely defeated, blockaded, starving. They were desperate to surrender. All they wanted was to keep their emperor, which was ultimately allowed anyway. The U.S. was insisting upon unconditional surrender, a purely despotic demand. Given what the Allies had done to the Central Powers, especially Germany, after the conditional surrender of World War I, it’s understandable that the Japanese resisted the totalitarian demand for unconditional surrender.

A 1946 U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey determined the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nukings were not decisive in ending the war. Most of the political and military brass agreed. "The Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing," said Dwight Eisenhower in a 1963 interview with Newsweek.

Another excuse we hear is the specter of Hitler getting the bomb first. This is a non sequitur. By the time the U.S. dropped the bombs, Germany was defeated and its nuclear program was revealed to be nothing in comparison to America’s. The U.S. had 180,000 people working for several years on the Manhattan Project. The Germans had a small group led by a few elite scientists, most of whom were flabbergasted on August 6, as they had doubted such bombs were even possible. Even if the Nazis had gotten the bomb – which they were very far from getting – it wouldn’t in any way justify killing innocent Japanese.

For more evidence suggesting that the Truman administration was out to draw Japanese blood for its own sake, or as a show of force for reasons of Realpolitik, consider the United States’s one-thousand-plane bombing of Tokyo on August 14, the largest bombing raid of the Pacific war, after Hirohito agreed to surrender and the Japanese state made it clear it wanted peace. The bombing of Nagasaki should be enough to know it was not all about genuinely stopping the war as painlessly as possible – why not wait more than three days for the surrender to come? But to strategically bomb Japan five days after the destruction Nagasaki, as Japan was in the process of waving the white flag? It’s hard to imagine a greater atrocity, or clearer evidence that the U.S. government was not out to secure peace, but instead to slaughter as many Japanese as it could before consolidating its power for the next global conflict.

The U.S. had, by the time of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, destroyed 67 Japanese cities by firebombing, in addition to helping the British destroy over a hundred cities in Germany. In this dramatic footage from The Fog of War, Robert McNamara describes the horror he helped unleash alongside General Curtis LeMay, with images of the destroyed Japanese cities and an indication of what it would have meant for comparably sized cities in the United States:

"Killing fifty to ninety percent of the people in 67 Japanese cities and then bombing them with two nuclear bombs is not proportional – in the minds of some people – to the objectives we were trying to achieve," McNamara casually says. Indeed, this was clearly murderous, and Americans are probably the most resistant of all peoples to the truths of their government’s historical atrocities. It doesn’t hurt that the U.S. government has suppressed for years evidence such as film footage shot after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yet even based on what has long been uncontroversial historical fact, we should all be disgusted and horrified by what the U.S. government did.

How would it have been if all those Germans and Japanese, instead of being burned to death from the sky, were corralled into camps and shot or gassed? Materially, it would have been the same. But Americans refuse to think of bombings as even in the same ballpark as other technologically expedient ways of exterminating people by the tens and hundreds of thousands. Why? Because the U.S. government has essentially monopolized terror bombing for nearly a century. No one wants to confront the reality of America’s crimes against humanity.

It would be one thing if Americans were in wide agreement that their government, like that of the Axis governments of World War II, had acted in a completely indefensible manner. But they’re not. The Allies were the white hats. Ignore the fact that the biggest belligerent on America’s side was Stalin’s Russia, whom the FDR and Truman administrations helped round up a million or two refugees to enslave and murder in the notorious undertaking known as Operation Keelhaul. We’re not supposed to think about that. World War II began with Pearl Harbor and it ended with D-Day and American sailors returning home to kiss their sweethearts who had kept America strong by working on assembly lines.

In the Korean war, another Truman project, the U.S. policy of shameful mass murder continued. According to historian Bruce Cumings, professor at the University of Chicago, millions of North Korean civilians were slaughtered by U.S. fire-bombings, chemical weapons and newly developed ordnance, some of which weighed in at 12,000 pounds. Eighteen out of 22 major cities were at least half destroyed. For a period in 1950, the US dropped about 800 tons of bombs on North Korea every day. Developed at the end of World War II, napalm got its real start in Korea. The US government also targeted civilian dams, causing massive flooding.

In Indochina, the U.S. slaughtered millions in a similar fashion. Millions of tons of explosives were dropped on Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. These ghastly weapons are literally still killing people – tens of thousands have died since the war ended, and three farmers were killed just last week. Among the horrible effects of the bombing was the rise of Pol Pot’s regime, probably the worst in history on a per capita basis.

The U.S. has committed mass terrorism since, although not on quite the scale as in past generations. Back in the day the U.S. would drop tons of explosives, knowing that thousands would die in an instant. In today’s wars, it drops explosives and then pretends it didn’t mean to kill the many civilians who predictably die in such acts of violence. Only fifteen hundred bombs were used to attack Baghdad in March 2003. That’s what passes as progress. The naked murderousness of U.S. foreign policy, however, is still apparent. The bombings of water treatment facilities and sanctions on Iraq in the 1990s deliberately targeted the vulnerable Iraqi people. Once the type of atrocities the U.S. committed in World War II have been accepted as at the worst debatable tactics in diplomacy, anything goes.

American politicians would have us worry about Iran, a nation that hasn’t attacked another country in centuries, one day getting the bomb. There is no evidence that the Iranians are even seeking nuclear weapons. But even if they were, the U.S. has a much worse record in both warmongering and nuclear terror than Iran or any other country in modern times. It is more than hypocritical for the U.S. to pose as the leader of global peace and nuclear disarmament.

The hypocrisy and moral degeneracy in the mouths of America’s celebrated leaders should frighten us more than anything coming out of Iran or North Korea, especially given America’s capacity to kill and willingness to do it. Upon dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, President Truman called the bomb the "greatest achievement of organized science in history" and wondered aloud how "atomic power can become a powerful and forceful influence toward the maintenance of world peace." Nothing inverts good and evil, progress and regress, as much as the imperial state. In describing the perversion of morality in the history of U.S. wars, Orwell’s "war is peace" doesn’t cut it. "Exterminating civilians by the millions is the highest of all virtues" is perhaps a better tagline for the U.S. terror state.

August 3, 2011

Anthony Gregory [send him mail] is research editor at the Independent Institute. He lives in Oakland, California. See his webpage for more articles and personal information.

Copyright © 2011 by Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ron Paul's First Official Campaign Ad

This impressive ad is far better than anything the campaign put together for Dr. Paul's 2008 run:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tricked on the Fourth of July (Gary North)

Happy Independence Day? Don't say that to Gary North, who wrote this brief but intriguing argument that it was one big mistake:

I do not celebrate the fourth of July. This goes back to a term paper I wrote in graduate school. It was on colonial taxation in the British North American colonies in 1775. Not counting local taxation, I discovered that the total burden of British imperial taxation was about 1% of national income. It may have been as high as 2.5% in the southern colonies.

In 2008, Alvin Rabushka's book of almost 1,000 pages appeared: Taxation in Colonial America (Princeton University Press). In a review published in the Business History Review, the reviewer summarizes the book's findings.

Rabushka's most original and impressive contribution is his measurement of tax rates and tax burdens. However, his estimate of comparative trans-Atlantic tax burdens may be a bit of moving target. At one point, he concludes that, in the period from 1764 to 1775, "the nearly two million white colonists in America paid on the order of about 1 percent of the annual taxes levied on the roughly 8.5 million residents of Britain, or one twenty-fifth, in per capita terms, not taking into account the higher average income and consumption in the colonies" (p. 729). Later, he writes that, on the eve of the Revolution, "British tax burdens were ten or more times heavier than those in the colonies" (p. 867). Other scholars may want to refine his estimates, based on other archival sources, different treatment of technical issues such as the adjustment of intercolonial and trans-Atlantic comparisons for exchange rates, or new estimates of comparative income and wealth. Nonetheless, no one is likely to challenge his most important finding: the huge tax gap between the American periphery and the core of the British Empire.

The colonists had a sweet deal in 1775. Great Britain was the second freest nation on earth. Switzerland was probably the most free nation, but I would be hard-pressed to identify any other nation in 1775 that was ahead of Great Britain. And in Great Britain's Empire, the colonists were by far the freest.

I will say it, loud and clear: the freest society on earth in 1775 was British North America, with the exception of the slave system. Anyone who was not a slave had incomparable freedom.

Jefferson wrote these words in the Declaration of Independence:

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

I can think of no more misleading political assessment uttered by any leader in the history of the United States. No words having such great impact historically in this nation were less true. No political bogeymen invoked by any political sect as "the liar of the century" ever said anything as verifiably false as these words.

Read the rest, and also see this great article by Anthony Gregory on July 4th propaganda.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Audit the Gold! Hearing on Thursday 6/23

Back in April, Ron Paul introduced H.R. 1495, a bill to audit all the gold owned by the United States, and this coming Thursday, he's holding a Domestic Monetary Policy subcommittee hearing on that bill. The hearing should be live streamed here, and witnesses are scheduled to include the Inspector General of the Treasury Department and a high level bureaucrat at the General Accounting Office. Here's the text of H.R. 1495:

To provide for an audit of all gold owned by the United States.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the `Gold Reserve Transparency Act of 2011'.


(a) The Secretary of the Treasury is directed to conduct and complete, not later than six months after the date of enactment of this Act, a full assay, inventory, and audit of gold reserves of the United States at the place or places where such reserves are kept, together with an analysis of the sufficiency of the measures taken for the security of such reserves.

(b)(1) The Government Accountability Office shall review the results of such assay, inventory, audit, and analysis and, not later than nine months after the date of enactment of this Act, shall prepare and transmit to the Congress a report of its findings, together with the results of the assay, inventory, audit, and analysis conducted by the Secretary of the Treasury.

(2) For purposes of such assay, inventory, audit, and analysis, the Government Accountability Office shall have access to any depository or other facility where such reserves are kept.

(c) The Secretary of the Treasury shall make available, in order to facilitate the review of the Government Accountability Office under this Act, all books, accounts, records, reports, files, correspondence, memoranda, papers, or any other document, tape, or written, audio, or digital record pertaining to the assay, inventory, audit, and analysis required by this Act, as determined by the Government Accountability Office.

UPDATE: Watch the hearing here or below:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Government “Waste” Is the Least of Our Problems (Anthony Gregory)

Anthony Gregory points out that if government simply "wasted" the money they steal from us, we'd be far better off than we are now:

Sometimes I swear we are living in a dystopian novel whose author is courteous enough to provide us mere extras in his story with plenty of comedic relief to make the days tolerable. The USA Today headline reads: “Obama, Biden again target government waste.” Yes. That’s in fact what it says. The administration that has given us a $3.7 trillion budget is so concerned about wasting money, you see, that its Vice President is heading up a “Campaign to Cut Waste.” The White House brags of having trimmed $33 billion of waste in the last year. That amounts to less than 1% of the budget—a budget that is, in nominal dollar terms, approximately double what it was a decade ago. Back in 2001 I remember thinking about how small our government was, and how if only we doubled its size, and were careful to cut back about a percent of that sum that happens to be “waste,” we’d be in great shape. Oh wait a second. That’s not what I thought at all.

Yet all this talk of waste misses the point. Perhaps there are better uses of our tax dollars than “waste,” but I must say, I prefer so-called waste to most of what the government spends money on. Government is destructive. Most of what it does is harmful. Being an agency of violence and the threat of violence, the institution of government runs counter to economic progress as a general principle. Even worse, its coercive grip strangles the freedom out of people as a matter of course, and, far more often than Americans seem accustomed to recognizing, it kills people.

If only the regulatory state’s budget were a matter of “waste.”

Read the rest

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Next American Revolution Won't Be Like the First (Wendy McElroy)

Wendy McElroy lays out an interesting and persuasive case that the next American Revolution will far more closely resemble 1789 France than 1776 America:

One of my friends believes that a second American revolution is imminent and will be sparked by the economic instability now rocking the continent. Frankly, I doubt it. Insurrections may occur, but I expect the US government to lumber along, dragging the world deeper into poverty and conflict for many years to come.

Upon hearing my friend out, however, my first thought was, "if a revolution erupts, it will resemble the French one of 1789 more closely than the American one of 1776." Then I sat back and tried to figure out why I had arrived at that sudden conclusion, and whether or not it had merit.

One of the reasons for thinking that America might be "going French" is that current American society resembles descriptions I've read of pre-Revolution France more closely than America now resembles its young self.

Read the rest

Monday, June 6, 2011

Ron Paul on Libya: "Since we went in abruptly and illegally, we need to abruptly leave."

Dr. Ron Paul was able to speak on the House floor on Friday 6/3/11 to support a resolution (H. Con. Res. 51) introduced by Dennis Kucinich to direct Obama to withdraw troops from Libya:

If the C-SPAN link above does not work, try the YouTube at

Mr. KUCINICH. I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Paul).

Mr. PAUL. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I rise in strong support for H. Con. Res. 51. We need to pass this resolution to send a very strong message.

We have been told by those who oppose this message that we should not have an abrupt withdrawal from the region, but I would strongly suggest that what we should be talking about is the abrupt and illegal entry into war. That's what we have to stop. Since we went in abruptly and illegally, we need to abruptly leave.

It has also been said by those who oppose this resolution that they concede that Congress should assume its prerogatives over the war powers but to do it gradually. I would strongly suggest that when we took our oath of office we assumed that radically and suddenly. We took an oath of office to obey the Constitution, not to defer to the United Nations, and that we already have assumed that responsibility.

I would also suggest, if we do nothing, if we do not pass this resolution, it is the sin of omission that we commit.

Ron Paul Strongly Opposes Extending the PATRIOT Act


Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this extension of the three provisions of the misnamed PATRIOT Act. It is a travesty that the House and Senate leadership bring this measure to the floor at the 11th hour--just as the provisions are on the verge of sunsetting--hide it as an amendment to an unrelated Senate bill, and issue all manner of alarmist warnings that if we do not pass it without delay a terrorist attack is imminent. No amendments were allowed, nor were substantive opportunities to engage in a broader debate on the three measures being extended.

Let us be clear about one thing: the PATRIOT Act is unconstitutional. The three measures that were extended today were the most controversial sections of the original bill, which is why the sunset provisions for these were built into in the original bill in the first place. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is clear on these issues:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Section 206 and Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, which the House is renewing today, remove that particularity requirement, allowing massive surveillance of American citizens' most private and personal effects.

These sections, along with the never used "Lone Wolf" provision are unnecessary, they do not protect us against terrorism, and they should be allowed to sunset. There is little evidence the PATRIOT Act has directly led to the conviction of anyone on serious terrorism charges, but there is plenty of evidence that federal agencies have repeatedly used its provisions to unnecessarily spy on American citizens.

I remain most strongly opposed to the PATRIOT Act and any such attack on the civil liberties of American citizens. Such measures may be well-intentioned and put in place under the belief that the sacrifice of liberty is required for our safety, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ron Paul Introduces Health Freedom Legislation

THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce two pieces of legislation restoring the First Amendment rights of consumers to receive truthful information regarding the benefits of foods and dietary supplements. The first bill, the Health Freedom Restoration Act, codifies the First Amendment by ending the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s efforts to censor truthful health claims. The second bill, the Freedom of Health Speech Act, codifies the First and Fifth Amendment by requiring the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prove that health claims are false before it takes action to stop manufacturers and marketers from making the claims.

The American people have made it clear they do not want the federal government to interfere with their access to dietary supplements, yet the FDA and the FTC continue to engage in heavy-handed attempts to restrict such access. The FDA continues to frustrate consumers' efforts to learn how they can improve their health even after Congress, responding to a record number of constituents' comments, passed the Dietary Supplement and Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). FDA bureaucrats are so determined to frustrate consumers' access to truthful information that they are even evading their duty to comply with four federal court decisions vindicating consumers' First Amendment rights to discover the health benefits of foods and dietary supplements.

FDA bureaucrats have even refused to abide by the DSHEA section allowing the public to have access to scientific articles and publications regarding the role of nutrients in treating diseases by claiming that every article concerning this topic is evidence of intent to sell an unapproved and unlawful drug.

Because of the FDA's censorship of truthful health claims, millions of Americans may suffer with diseases and other health care problems they may have avoided by using dietary supplements. For example, the FDA prohibited consumers from learning how folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube defects for four years after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended every woman of childbearing age take folic acid supplements to reduce neural tube defects. This FDA action contributed to an estimated 10,000 cases of preventable neural tube defects.

The FDA also continues to prohibit consumers from learning about the scientific evidence that glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis; that omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of sudden death heart attack; that calcium may reduce the risk of bone fractures; and that vitamin D may reduce the risk of osteoporosis, hypertension, and cancer.

The Health Freedom Restoration Act will force the FDA to at last comply with the commands of Congress, the First Amendment, numerous federal courts, and the American people by codifying the First Amendment prohibition on prior restraint. Specifically, the Health Freedom Restoration Act stops the FDA from censoring truthful claims about the curative, mitigative, or preventative effects of dietary supplements. The Health Freedom Restoration Act also stops the FDA from prohibiting the distribution of scientific articles and publications regarding the role of nutrients in protecting against disease. The FDA has proven that it cannot be trusted to protect consumers' rights to make informed choices. It is time for Congress to stop the FDA from censoring truthful health information.

The Freedom of Health Speech Act addresses the FTC's violations of the First Amendment. Under traditional constitutional standards, the federal government bears the burden of proving an advertising statement false before censoring that statement. However, the FTC shifted the burden of proof to industry. The FTC presumes health advertizing is false and compels private parties to prove the ads (and everything the regulators say the ads imply) to be true to a near conclusive degree. This violation of the First and Fifth Amendments is harming consumers by blocking innovation in the health foods and dietary supplement marketplace.

The Freedom of Health Speech Act requires the government actually prove that speech is false before the FTC acts against the speaker. This is how it should be in a free society where information flows freely in order to foster the continuous improvement that benefits us all. The bill also requires that the FTC warn parties that their advertising is false and give them a chance to correct their mistakes before the FTC censors the claim and imposes other punishments.

Mr. Speaker, if we are serious about putting people in charge of their health care, then shouldn't we stop federal bureaucrats from preventing Americans from learning about simple ways to improve their health. I therefore call on my colleagues to stand up for good health and the Constitution by cosponsoring the Health Freedom Restoration Act and the Freedom of Health Speech Act.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Remember What Memorial Day is Really About (Roger Young)

A terrific, yet sobering video by Roger Young about Memorial Day:

You can read Roger's original article here.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Killing a Man Does Not Testify to National Greatness (Robert Higgs)

In the aftermath of the alleged assassination of Osama bin Laden (remember Rockwell's Law: "Always believe the opposite of what state officials tell you"), perhaps Robert Higgs sums it up best:

Among the many objectionable aspects of President Obama’s announcement that Osama bin Laden had been killed, one in particular sticks in my craw. He said that “today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.”

First, I dislike the whole idea of “the greatness of our country.” Countries cannot be great. They are abstractions and, as such, they are incapable of acting for good or for evil. Individual residents of a country may be great, and many Americans are great, because, to borrow Forrest Gump’s construction, “greatness is as greatness does.”

The caretakers who comfort the sick and dying are often great. The priests and friends who revive the will to live in those who have lost hope are great. The entrepreneurs who establish successful businesses that better satisfy consumer demands for faster communication, safer travel, fresher food, and countless other goods and services are great. The scientists and inventors who peer deeper into the nature of the universe and devise technologies to accomplish humane, heretofore impossible feats are great. The artists who elevate the souls of those who hear their music and view their paintings are great.

But mere killing is never great, and those who carry out the killings are not great, either. No matter how much one may believe that people must sometimes commit homicide in defense of themselves and the defenseless, the killing itself is always to be deeply regretted. To take delight in killings, as so many Americans seem to have done in the past day or so, marks a person as a savage at heart. Human beings have the capacity to be better than savages. Oh that more of them would employ that capacity.

Second, anyone can see that the U.S. government will use this particular killing as evidence of its dedication to and capacity for carrying out the noble service of protecting–and, failing that, avenging the deaths of–the American people. (Never mind that trillions of dollars, tens of thousands of deaths, untold destruction of property, vast human misery, and sacrifices of essential liberties in this country went into gaining the proudly proclaimed achievement of killing a single man.) The process has already begun, with former presidents and the mainstream media adding their voices to amplify the government’s official line. Glory to the USA, glory to its hired killers, glory above all to its heroic Great Leader. The whole spectacle is profoundly disgusting. Yet we can see that many Americans have enthusiastically fallen for this trick, dancing in the streets in celebration of a man’s death in faraway Pakistan. Such unseemly behavior is not the stuff of which true greatness is made.

UPDATE: Also see this terrific article by Glenn Greenwald on the killing and the reaction to it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Regime’s 150th Birthday (Anthony Gregory)

On April 12, 1861, after deliberate provocation by Abraham Lincoln, Confederate soldiers fired on Fort Sumter, and thus began the Civil War. Anthony Gregory writes this nice summary of its ramifications:

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. This event, more than the Declaration of Independence, Constitution or the American Revolution, signifies the true birth of the modern American nation-state. It was on this day that the federal government first repudiated the Founding Fathers’ republican form of government—a coalition of several states that combined under the Constitution to form a central state of enumerated and sharply limited powers—and asserted a plenary sovereignty over the people. Rejecting the right of states to secede, the federal government under Lincoln abolished the very system that was supposed to come out of the revolution against the British crown, a system where smaller political units could exercise their legal and human right to overthrow or at least leave the central government that ruled them without their consent.

During the U.S. Civil War, leviathan as we know it was born. The war ushered in federal conscription, income taxes, new departments and agencies, and the final victory of the Hamiltonians over the Jeffersonians. For years, the nationalists—first the Federalists, then the Whigs, and then the Republicans under Lincoln—had advocated a system that subordinated the states to the central government and buried agrarianism and free enterprise under the heavy burden of corporarist neo-mercantilism. Henry Clay called this economic program “The American System” and boasted of its proposed “internal improvements.” A more modern label would simply be “corporate welfare” as these nationalists were championing high tariffs to discourage free trade and to raise revenue that could be shoveled toward big businesses that would build railways, canals and roads, the circulatory system of a new corporate state with Washington directing the economy through grants of privilege and monopoly.

Civil liberties took a hit virtually unparalleled in U.S. history, with the possible exception of World War I. During the Civil War, thousands of dissidents were arrested, hundreds of newspapers were shut down, martial law was declared, habeas corpus was suspended, and political enemies were targeted for arrest and persecution. When violent draft riots broke out in New York City, Lincoln sent in the army, which slaughtered hundreds of civilians. During the fog of war Lincoln conducted the largest mass-execution of U.S. history—American Indians stripped of any semblance of proper due process.

Then, of course, there was the mass bloodshed. How appropriate that the U.S. government, so-called protector of peace and liberty for the world, was the western state that ended slavery through a centrally administered and completely hellish war.

Read the rest

Monday, April 11, 2011

Adam vs. The Man Now on Russia Today!

The great Adam Kokesh has been doing a great show called Adam vs. The Man for the last few months, and now he's getting his breakthrough by having his show aired on Russia Today! It aired for the first time tonight (April 11) at 7:00pm on RT America, and his inaugural episode is here:

Read more on the new Adam vs. The Man website!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rand Paul Tells It Like It Is

Senator Rand Paul is asserting himself as a spokesman for liberty in the Senate! In this first video, he tears into a bureaucrat at the Department of Energy on their stupid rules and regulations for seemingly everything in our lives:

Great stuff!

In the next video, this time on the Senate floor, Dr. Paul shows why neither the Democrats nor the Republicans seem to have a grasp on the enormity of the budget woes:

"Democracy" in Action

Justin Amash continues to set the standard for transparency by posting all his votes on his Facebook page, and today he included this gem:

In case you missed it . . . Today, the United States House of Representatives voted on a modified amendment that was scribbled onto a piece of paper just moments before the vote, which I discovered only through considerable effort, which only a few other Reps read via the photo on my iPhone, and the amendment still passed 278-147. Here's the roll call:

Here is the "amendment":

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Why Is Social Security Going Broke? (Glen Allport)

Glen Allport wrote this outstanding article on the enormous Ponzi scheme known as Social Security:

- 1 -

In plain language, there is no good reason for the unfolding Social Security nightmare. Yes, the Baby Boomers are retiring, but so what? It's a big group, but this same big group has been paying into Social Security their whole adult lives. It's not like the money hasn't been set aside or anything.


- 2 -

Of course, you know better: the money that should have been set aside wasn't. That is the entire Social Security problem in a nutshell.

How did this happen? Government happened (as in, "Be careful not to step in the government"). Ringo's Law happened: "Everything government touches turns to crap."

Any demographer could have told you fifty years ago -- or before the start of Social Security during the Roosevelt administration, for that matter -- that a "pay tax as you go" system like Social Security has inherent problems, because (among other things) the generation following any "Baby Boom" group will almost certainly be smaller -- a non-Boom generation, if you will -- and will thus be strained to support the Boomers in their old age.

When other government revenues (taxes) are high enough and overall government spending is low enough, surplus tax revenue can paper over shortfalls in such situations -- but this only works if there is a tax surplus.

How often does the federal government run a surplus? In recent times (say, the last half-century), the answer is "never."

Read the rest

March 9, 1945: The Night Tokyo Burned

In a war crime that rivals the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the US Air Force stripped hundreds of B-29 bombers of their defensive weapons, equipped them with incendiary bombs, and sent them to Tokyo on March 9, 1945. War criminal General Curis LeMay noted that the city was packed with wooden buildings, and napalm and other incendiary devices would cause widespread destruction. The resulting firebombing resulted in at least 100,000 deaths, with many more wounded. According to researcher Mark Selden:

No previous or subsequent conventional bombing raid ever came close to generating the toll in death and destruction of the great Tokyo raid of March 9-10. The airborne assault on Tokyo and other Japanese cities ground on relentlessly. According to Japanese police statistics, the 65 raids on Tokyo between December 6, 1944 and August 13, 1945 resulted in 137,582 casualties, 787,145 homes and buildings destroyed, and 2,625,279 people displaced. Following the Tokyo raid of March 9-10, the firebombing was extended nationwide. In the ten-day period beginning on March 9, 9,373 tons of bombs destroyed 31 square miles of Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Kobe. Overall, bombing strikes destroyed 40 percent of the 66 Japanese cities targeted, with total tonnage dropped on Japan increasing from 13,800 tons in March to 42,700 tons in July. If the bombing of Dresden produced a ripple of public debate in Europe, no discernible wave of revulsion, not to speak of protest, took place in the US or Europe in the wake of the far greater destruction of Japanese cities and the slaughter of civilian populations on a scale that had no parallel in the history of bombing.

In July, US planes blanketed the few remaining Japanese cities that had been spared firebombing with an “Appeal to the People.” “As you know,” it read, “America which stands for humanity, does not wish to injure the innocent people, so you had better evacuate these cities.” Half the leafleted cities were firebombed within days of the warning. US planes ruled the skies. Overall, by one calculation, the US firebombing campaign destroyed 180 square miles of 67 cities, killed more than 300,000 people and injured an additional 400,000, figures that exclude the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Between January and July 1945, the US firebombed and destroyed all but five Japanese cities, deliberately sparing Kyoto, the ancient imperial capital, and four others. The extent of the destruction was impressive ranging from 50 to 60% of the urban area destroyed in cities including Kobe, Yokohama and Tokyo, to 60 to 88% in seventeen cities, to 98.6% in the case of Toyama. In the end, the Atomic Bomb Selection Committee chose Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata, and Nagasaki as the pristine targets to display the awesome power of the atomic bomb to Japan and the world in the event that would both bring to a spectacular end the costliest war in human history and send a powerful message to the Soviet Union.

Lew Rockwell blogged a couple years ago:

Writes Eli Cryderman:

Knowing my hobby for history, a relative gave me a “This Day in History” desk calendar from the History channel. The historical accounts of the events recognized are dubious at best and offer a unique perspective on the State’s propaganda machine, though the basic facts of each day are somewhat accurate; today’s entry doesn’t disappoint.

March 9, 1945: Firebombing of Tokyo

The United States instigated the worst firestorm on record against Tokyo on this day in 1945. The attack, which involved over two thousand tons of incendiary bombs and raged for two days, killed as many as 130,000 Japanese civilians. The United States Air Force, which had convened earlier that day to plot the attack, lightened the war planes and increased storage space for the incendiary bombs by unloading virtually all of the guns onboard. Thanks to this strategy, the planes not only were able to carry more bombs, but the lighter vessels could maneuver more quickly and precisely. A total of 243 Americans died during the firestorm.” [emphasis mine]

Incendiary bombs do not kill like traditional bombs that destroy with massive concussions; they burn buildings and people. Let me rephrase that: THEY BURN PEOPLE TO DEATH! It wasn’t until August that we decided those dirty Japs didn’t burn fast enough with white phosphorous and came up with the brilliant plan of vaporizing them in a matter of seconds with a couple of well placed new-ku-ler bombs over known civilian cities with little to do with Japan’s pitiful end-of-war-time production industry.

March Madness indeed: Go, State, Go! Go, State, Go!

UPDATE from Carl Schmahl

Defensive armaments (and camouflage paint) could be removed from those B-29s because they encountered no significant resistance from the Japanese air force, which had been effectively destroyed by then. In other words, American flyers dropped incendiaries at will over a population center full of, mostly, old men, women and children, who had no way to resist.

By this period of the war, the area bombing of civilian population centers had sufficiently hardened the strategic planners to the death and mayhem that they caused that dropping the atomic bomb was only the next logical step – more bang for the buck so to speak: instead of a thousand plane raid, one plane would suffice.

My hope is that as the “Greatest Generation” and its rationalizations fade away, people will begin to understand the horrors which we perpetrated in WW2. But I wouldn’t take any bets on that.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What Does History 'Prove'? (Butler Shaffer)

An outstanding article by Professor Butler Shaffer at

What Does History 'Prove'?
by Butler Shaffer

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
~ Albert Einstein

We drive into the future using only our rearview mirror.
~ Marshall McLuhan

As popular respect for political systems continues to erode, you may have noticed the statists frantically trying to deflate emerging inquiries and debates on the topic of secession. Their principal argument has been the non sequitur "the American Civil War answered that question." Such a response presumes that history expresses immutable principles that transcend time, a proposition that would at once be seen for its inherent absurdity were it applied to scientific understanding. Who was Copernicus to suggest that we live in a heliocentric universe after Ptolemy informed us of the geocentric nature of our world? Furthermore, the American Revolutionary War was premised on the right of people to secede from existing political systems; and yet the statists are not to be heard using that period as precedent for condemning Lincoln’s suppression of that principle.

If history is to be the standard for propriety in our world, would we not have to defend the principle of slavery, given that the 1857 U.S. Supreme Court case of Dred Scott v. Sandford upheld the legality of the practice? And wouldn’t the fate of Joan of Arc have "answered the question" that political dissenters could be burned at the stake? Or are we, like lawyers, entitled to pick and choose the precedents that serve our particular cause, while carefully "distinguishing" other instances that don’t serve our purposes?

The intellectually dishonest nature of this highly selective use of history is revealed in the corollary practice – often engaged in by the same people – of projecting into history modern biases and attitudes, and judging our ancestors accordingly. A number of years ago – while visiting the restored Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts – I watched two college-aged women ask a guide in Puritan dress questions such as: "with all the smoke produced by their fireplaces, weren’t these people concerned about the environment?" The Puritan actress replied that they were principally concerned with staying alive in a harsh New England winter. "Ohhh," the young moderns responded. "Did Puritan women have the same rights as men?," was next asked. "Yes they did; they had to work from sunup to dark – just like the men – just to stay alive," they were told. "Ohhh," came another innocent gurgle.

It is difficult to use history to "prove" the consequences – be they good or bad – from following a given course of action. Any complex system – of which few are more complicated than mankind’s record – contains far too many variables to allow for either prediction or past explanations. Heisenberg reminded us that the observer is inseparable from what is being observed, meaning that our capacities for interpretation are difficult to separate from our prior experiences. It was this limitation that framed the questions of these college students at Plymouth, and makes the study of "chaos" both so enlightening and liberating.

We can learn much from history, particularly when we see the same patterns recurring over and over from one culture or time period to another. When free-market societies consistently outperform politically-planned systems, we are well-advised to take note of that fact. At the same time, the high correlation between large states and the war system should make us distrustful of size. But we must remain aware that the questions we ask of our ancestors reflect the backward projection of our present concerns and interests. As despicable as the practice of slavery is, we cannot grasp how ancients could regard the practice as a more humane way of treating a defeated enemy than the earlier tradition of slaughtering them. Likewise, our modern sensibilities make it difficult for us to understand how our grandparents and great-grandparents welcomed the automobile for the improvement it provided over horse-drawn carriages in the smells of urban streets.

Einstein, Heisenberg, and chaos theory, remind us that what we can know about the world often has a transitory quality to it; with doubt and uncertainty waiting offstage with previously undiscovered facts or, more profoundly, with a major improvement in the sophistication of the questions we ask of it. How we learn reminds me of driving in a blizzard, peering through a frosted windshield, watching for any signs that assure me I am still on the road. I know that I dare not stop – lest someone crash into me from behind – but must keep going forward into uncertainty.

As difficult as it is to get history to disgorge its empirical truths with mathematical certitude, such inquiries become even more pronounced when we ask about the validity of normative values and other philosophic principles. It borders on the delusional to believe that the study of history can either prove or disprove our value judgments. Using the best of historiographic methods, we can get some sense of the consequences of having followed a given course of action, but whether such effects were moral or otherwise virtuous – indeed, whether it is appropriate to even ask such questions – can only be determined by the subjective judgments of individuals.

Butler ShafferWhether the state has any legitimacy that can rightfully bind men and women to its coercive authority, is a question that can never be foreclosed to humans by prior examples of its affirmation. No more so can the writings of Plato, or Hobbes, or Locke, or Marx, or Jefferson, or the Constitution, set the boundaries of the inquiries or expectations that free minds may consider and act upon. That Lincoln was able to mobilize the violent and destructive energies of the state to suppress the efforts of those who sought to secede, carries no more of an unalterable principle to which succeeding generations are bound, than did earlier tyrants who pillaged, decreed, and slaughtered in pursuit of their ambitions over the lives of others.

Such inquiries are not meant for our entertainment, but go to the core of what it means to be human, and what conditions are essential to our survival. When, as modern statists insist, it becomes inappropriate for the individual to question the arrangements under which society is to be conducted, mankind will have positioned itself to join the untold numbers of other species to have failed the life force’s wondrous experiment on this planet.

March 8, 2011

Butler Shaffer [send him e-mail] teaches at the Southwestern University School of Law. He is the author of the newly-released
In Restraint of Trade: The Business Campaign Against Competition, 1918–1938 and of Calculated Chaos: Institutional Threats to Peace and Human Survival. His latest book is Boundaries of Order.

Copyright © 2011 by Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy Articles of Confederation Day!

Articles of ConferationToday is the 230th anniversary of the ratification of the Articles of Confederation! Here's a brief description of the Articles from the Mises Wiki:

The Articles of Confederation was the first constitution of the United States of America, describing the purpose and function of the federal government. The Articles were drafted by a committee appointed by the Second Continental Congress in June 1776, and the final draft was approved November 15, 1777 and sent to the states for ratification, a process that completed in March 1781. During this time, however, the Articles were the de facto system of government in use. Once ratified by all thirteen states, on March 1, 1781, Congress became the Congress of the Confederation.

The Articles established rules for the operation of the federal government, giving it the power to make war, engage in diplomacy, and handle issues in the western territories. Under the Articles, the states retained all powers not granted to the national government.

The representatives in the Second Continental Congress felt a need for a confederacy that would secure the independence of the United States while in the midst of the American War of Independence. However, Nationalists argued that the Articles were inadequate because they did not grant the federal government a taxing power, nor did they create executive or judicial powers. The Nationalists prevailed in the writing of the United States Constitution in 1787, and succeeded in gaining its ratification by 1788.

I highly recommend taking a few minutes to read the Articles and admire their simplicity. For more on why the Articles were so much better than the Constitution that (illegally) replaced them, see Scott Trask and Murray Rothbard (PDF, scroll to Chapter 45, page 253).

Under the Articles, the "President" was nothing more than a presiding officer. Just imagine: a government with no executive!

Friday, January 21, 2011

"Senseless," or did the perpetrator of the Tuscon massacre have a reason? (Thomas Szasz)

Thomas SzaszThe great Dr. Thomas Szasz takes to task those who blame Jared Loughner's act of mass murder on his supposed "mental illness":

Do people really want to know why, on January 8, 2011, in Tucson, Arizona, a young man named Jared Lee Loughner engaged in mass murder? I submit they do not. Politicians, psychiatrists, pundits, and the press univocally assert that Loughner’s deed is the “senseless” product of mental illness. This belief in a non-existing mental disease causing mass murder is on a par with young children’s belief in Santa Claus. It is false but satisfies the believers. The great French essayist Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) sagely observed: “Nothing is so firmly believed as what is least known.”

Before his shooting spree Loughner had produced a video he called “My Final Thoughts,” stating: “All humans are in need of sleep. Jared Loughner is a human. Hence, Jared Loughner is in need of sleep.” On the morning of his massacre he posted a message on his MySpace account acknowledging his sense that he was at the end of his rope and his decision to let go: “Goodbye. Dear friends . . . Please don’t be mad at me.”

“War is a continuation of politics by other means,” said Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831). I suggest that, similarly, mass murder in plain sight, such as Loughner committed, is a continuation of suicide by other means. Sometimes it is called “suicide by proxy” or “suicide by cop.”

Loughner, to use his metaphor, has gone to sleep. And so have we if we prefer to believe that his self-destructive and destructive act is the senseless product of his “mental illness” rather than the result of his planned, “sensible” decision. The latter view is unpopular and unacceptable because it acknowledges Loughner’s humanity and free will, precisely the qualities that psychiatrists – aided and abetted by the criminal justice system – are intent on removing from persons they label “mad.” This medicalized view of certain offenses – usually crimes that particularly upset people – has, for reasons I have presented elsewhere, become widely accepted in our society, embraced equally by the right and the left.

Read the rest, and for more information on Dr. Szasz and his groundbreaking work on what he calls the "myth of mental illness," check out his website.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Lysander Spooner!

Lysander SpoonerI would like to take the opportunity on this, the 202nd anniversary of the birth of Lysander Spooner, to recommend reading one of the most important articles I've ever read on political philosophy: "The Constitution of No Authority," where he makes the stunning conclusion that the Constitution is not binding to us in the least:

The Constitution has no inherent authority or obligation. It has no authority or obligation at all, unless as a contract between man and man. And it does not so much as even purport to be a contract between persons now existing. It purports, at most, to be only a contract between persons living eighty years ago. [This essay was written in 1869.] And it can be supposed to have been a contract then only between persons who had already come to years of discretion, so as to be competent to make reasonable and obligatory contracts. Furthermore, we know, historically, that only a small portion even of the people then existing were consulted on the subject, or asked, or permitted to express either their consent or dissent in any formal manner. Those persons, if any, who did give their consent formally, are all dead now. Most of them have been dead forty, fifty, sixty, or seventy years. And the constitution, so far as it was their contract, died with them. They had no natural power or right to make it obligatory upon their children. It is not only plainly impossible, in the nature of things, that they could bind their posterity, but they did not even attempt to bind them. That is to say, the instrument does not purport to be an agreement between any body but "the people" THEN existing; nor does it, either expressly or impliedly, assert any right, power, or disposition, on their part, to bind anybody but themselves.

Read the rest, and while you're at it, also check out Spooner's terrific work "Vices are Not Crimes." (these two articles had a tremendous influence in my journey to radical libertarianism)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Don’t Accuse Me of Blaming America When I Blame the Government (Bob Higgs)

The great Robert Higgs takes on those who like to bring out the "Blame America" nonsense when people criticize government actions:

Robert HiggsIn discourse about public affairs, words matter much more than most people appreciate. We live immersed in language so twisted and abused, in part by the design of interested parties and in part by the sloth of inattentive speakers and listeners, that we often fail to notice or object to linguistic miscarriages that pass for intelligent expression. The examples are legion, but here I have in mind a particular turn of phrase that American conservatives, especially neocons, have employed in recent years as a counterstrike against critics of U.S. foreign and defense policy: They describe such critics as “blaming America” or sometimes as “blaming America first” for attacks against this country or its citizens abroad.

Thus, for example, those who fault U.S. Middle East policies for creating the conditions that caused Muslim fanatics to attack Americans, both at home and overseas, are said to be blaming America for what the policy’s defenders’ take to be the unprovoked acts of terrorists bent on imposing Sharia on the United States, destroying this country’s freedoms, or attaining another such farfetched objective.

Read the rest