Tag Archives: United State

Shoulder to Shoulder With Edward Snowden

For your consideration. (E)

Bill Bonner

I’d thank my lucky stars to be livin’ here today, 
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away, 
And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.

Lee Greenwood

We’re here on a bend in the Rhine river. Enjoying the 4th of July.

From our hotel, we see the Rhine water flowing swiftly, from right to left. (Let’s see, the Rhine flows from South to North… to discharge into the North Sea. Or somewhere near there. So, if the water is flowing to the left, we must be on the west bank of the river.)

We just arrived yesterday and spent the day in business meetings. Switzerland is a good place to do business, especially for French people. But, except for a brief walk through the old part of the city, we haven’t had much time to get our bearings.

One thing we notice, however: Like Zurich, Basel is a calm, civilized place. We see no poor people. Nor are there any slums. Nor are there people who look like they shouldn’t be allowed out in public.

In short: This ain’t Baltimore. But then, what is?

Back to the news:

Poor Edward Snowden. The man performed a valuable public service. He should get a medal on this Independence Day. Instead, he will have to face the music.

“As Snowden looks for asylum, doors slam around the world, ” says the International Herald Tribune.

Tuesday, the Russians seemed to close their doors to him. Ecuador seems to be withdrawing its invitation. Venezuela and Bolivia are still possibilities.

But like Julian Assange, he may be forced to hole up in some gloomy embassy. Or worse, he may be handed over to the US for a full program of torture. Yes, they could force him to watch TV! Or a Senate hearing! Or listen to Lee Greenwood whine on the radio!

He will surely want to slit his wrists after a few hours… saving the feds the cost of killing him.

Shoulder to Shoulder With Edward Snowden

Yes, the music Snowden will face, if he is delivered to the Americans, will be grim. He will be charged with treason… which comes with a funeral dirge.

Here at the Diary, we are shoulder to shoulder with Snowden. “He broke the law, ” say the news reports. That’s what we admire about him. Sometimes the law needs be broken.

America circa 2013: History will record that laws grew up like kudzu.

One law told people they had to have health insurance, whether they wanted it or not. Another told them what they could do with their money… another gave them the right to ingest certain things, but not others.

The proliferation of laws made more and more things unlawful. You cannot smoke a cigarette where you please. You cannot have a private conversation. You cannot do this… but you must do that.

This trend gave lawmakers – including mid-level bureaucrats and unnamed officials – more and more power. And took power away from ordinary citizens, who were convinced that it made sense to limit their rights more and more to preserve their freedom.

And every day, during the summer of 2013, the sun shone, the kudzu grew, and wrapped itself around their necks. Did they fail to report a $5 tip? Did they forget to separate their garbage? Or dare to fix a clogged toilet without a permit? Americans were so proud of their freedom, they didn’t notice how fast they were losing it.

They didn’t notice (how could they?) the huge growth in secret organizations around Washington. They could scarcely remember going through an airport without standing in ‘security’ lines with their belts and shoes in their hands. They had to assume (what else could they do?) that public officials really were working to make their lives safer and more prosperous.

But, as more and more things could get you into trouble (more than anyone could possibly keep track of), it became more and more important to keep one’s affairs private.

Likewise, the controllers found it evermore convenient to tap phones and record private email conversations. Who knows when you might say something they could use against you!

Lies Are More Valuable Than Truth

Is the kind of “big data” the feds are gathering useful? Our friend Nassim Taleb tells us that it is probably less accurate… or more prone to misconstruction… than the feds believe:

We’re more fooled by noise than ever before, and it’s because of a nasty phenomenon called “big data.” With big data, researchers have brought cherry-picking to an industrial level.

Modernity provides too many variables, but too little data per variable. So the spurious relationships grow much, much faster than real information. In other words: Big data may mean more information, but it also means morefalse information.

But this is just great for the feds. They know perfectly well that the fight against terror is a pretext. They are zombies. The real goal of zombies is to increase their power and wealth at someone else’s expense. And for that, false information is better than the real thing.

False information can show anything you want it to show – even that a 93-year-old great grandmother is a threat to the nation.

Lies are more valuable, to them, than the truth.

Edward Snowden came out and revealed the extent to which the feds – under the guise of protecting us from terrorism – are keeping track of everyone and everyone’s business.

This was deeply disturbing to thoughtful people… if there still were any who feared the rise of an all-knowing, all-powerful Big Brother state from which no secrets are kept and from which no desires are hidden.

And it was disturbing too to the Big Brothers. They insist on knowing everything about everybody else’s business. But they made it a crime to reveal what they were up to!

In short, nobody likes a snitch… and a snoop especially dislikes a snitch.

Snowden was paid to snoop, not to snitch. He was paid to break the law and lie about it. And now he may have to face the law and pay the price for telling the truth.

Regards,

Bill Bonner

Bill

© Bill Bonner’s Diary of a Rogue Economist | 819 N Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Original Article: http://www.billbonnersdiary.com/articles/bonner-independence-day.html


The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance

“But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing.  It behooves you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government.” ~Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, March 4, 1837


The Man Who Should Be President

From: Chuck Baldwin

Today, I am going to do something that I have never done: I am going to devote virtually my entire column to posting another man’s words. That man is the man who should be President of the United States: Congressman Ron Paul of Texas. The following is a written transcript of a speech Dr. Paul gave on the floor of the US House of Representatives back in 2007. Had Congressman Paul been elected President in 2008, the country would be four years into the greatest economic, political, and, yes, spiritual recovery in the history of America. As it is, the US is on the brink of totalitarianism and economic ruin. And you can mark it down, four years from now it won’t matter to a tinker’s dam whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney was elected President this November. Neither man has the remotest understanding of America’s real problems nor the courage and backbone to do anything about it if they did understand.

Read the following. This is a man who understands the Constitution. This is a man who understands sound economic principles. This is a man who understands liberty and freedom. This is a man who has the guts to tell the truth. This is a man who has put his life and career on the line for the principles of liberty for more than two decades. This is a man who has returned every dollar that he has been paid as a US congressman to the taxpayers. This is the man who should be President of the United States.

[Ron Paul’s speech begins here]

 For some, patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. For others, it means dissent against a government’s abuse of the people’s rights.

I have never met a politician in Washington or any American, for that matter, who chose to be called unpatriotic. Nor have I met anyone who did not believe he wholeheartedly supported our troops, wherever they may be.

What I have heard all too frequently from various individuals are sharp accusations that, because their political opponents disagree with them on the need for foreign military entanglements, they were unpatriotic, un-American evildoers deserving contempt.

The original American patriots were those individuals brave enough to resist with force the oppressive power of King George. I accept the definition of patriotism as that effort to resist oppressive state power.

The true patriot is motivated by a sense of responsibility and out of self-interest for himself, his family, and the future of his country to resist government abuse of power. He rejects the notion that patriotism means obedience to the state. Resistance need not be violent, but the civil disobedience that might be required involves confrontation with the state and invites possible imprisonment.

Peaceful, nonviolent revolutions against tyranny have been every bit as successful as those involving military confrontation. Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., achieved great political successes by practicing nonviolence, and yet they suffered physically at the hands of the state. But whether the resistance against government tyrants is nonviolent or physically violent, the effort to overthrow state oppression qualifies as true patriotism.

True patriotism today has gotten a bad name, at least from the government and the press. Those who now challenge the unconstitutional methods of imposing an income tax on us, or force us to use a monetary system designed to serve the rich at the expense of the poor are routinely condemned. These American patriots are sadly looked down upon by many. They are never praised as champions of liberty as Gandhi and Martin Luther King have been.

Liberals, who withhold their taxes as a protest against war, are vilified as well, especially by conservatives. Unquestioned loyalty to the state is especially demanded in times of war. Lack of support for a war policy is said to be unpatriotic. Arguments against a particular policy that endorses a war, once it is started, are always said to be endangering the troops in the field. This, they blatantly claim, is unpatriotic, and all dissent must stop. Yet, it is dissent from government policies that defines the true patriot and champion of liberty.

It is conveniently ignored that the only authentic way to best support the troops is to keep them out of dangerous undeclared no-win wars that are politically inspired. Sending troops off to war for reasons that are not truly related to national security and, for that matter, may even damage our security, is hardly a way to patriotically support the troops.

Who are the true patriots, those who conform or those who protest against wars without purpose? How can it be said that blind support for a war, no matter how misdirected the policy, is the duty of a patriot?

Randolph Bourne said that, “War is the health of the state.” With war, he argued, the state thrives. Those who believe in the powerful state see war as an opportunity. Those who mistrust the people and the market for solving problems have no trouble promoting a “war psychology” to justify the expansive role of the state. This includes the role the Federal Government plays in our lives, as well as in our economic transactions.

Certainly, the neoconservative belief that we have a moral obligation to spread American values worldwide through force justifies the conditions of war in order to rally support at home for the heavy hand of government. It is through this policy, it should surprise no one, that our liberties are undermined. The economy becomes overextended, and our involvement worldwide becomes prohibited. Out of fear of being labeled unpatriotic, most of the citizens become compliant and accept the argument that some loss of liberty is required to fight the war in order to remain safe.

This is a bad trade-off, in my estimation, especially when done in the name of patriotism. Loyalty to the state and to autocratic leaders is substituted for true patriotism; that is, a willingness to challenge the state and defend the country, the people and the culture. The more difficult the times, the stronger the admonition comes that the leaders be not criticized.

Because the crisis atmosphere of war supports the growth of the state, any problem invites an answer by declaring war, even on social and economic issues. This elicits patriotism in support of various government solutions, while enhancing the power of the state. Faith in government coercion and a lack of understanding of how free societies operate encourages big-government liberals and big-government conservatives to manufacture a war psychology to demand political loyalty for domestic policy just as is required in foreign affairs.

The long-term cost in dollars spent and liberties lost is neglected as immediate needs are emphasized. It is for this reason that we have multiple perpetual wars going on simultaneously. Thus, the war on drugs, the war against gun ownership, the war against poverty, the war against illiteracy, the war against terrorism, as well as our foreign military entanglements are endless.

All this effort promotes the growth of statism at the expense of liberty. A government designed for a free society should do the opposite, prevent the growth of statism and preserve liberty.

Once a war of any sort is declared, the message is sent out not to object or you will be declared unpatriotic. Yet, we must not forget that the true patriot is the one who protests in spite of the consequences. Condemnation or ostracism or even imprisonment may result.

Nonviolent protesters of the Tax Code are frequently imprisoned, whether they are protesting the code’s unconstitutionality or the war that the tax revenues are funding. Resisters to the military draft or even to Selective Service registration are threatened and imprisoned for challenging this threat to liberty.

Statism depends on the idea that the government owns us and citizens must obey. Confiscating the fruits of our labor through the income tax is crucial to the health of the state. The draft, or even the mere existence of the Selective Service, emphasizes that we will march off to war at the state’s pleasure.

A free society rejects all notions of involuntary servitude, whether by draft or the confiscation of the fruits of our labor through the personal income tax. A more sophisticated and less well-known technique for enhancing the state is the manipulation and transfer of wealth through the fiat monetary system operated by the secretive Federal Reserve.

Protesters against this unconstitutional system of paper money are considered unpatriotic criminals and at times are imprisoned for their beliefs. The fact that, according to the Constitution, only gold and silver are legal tender and paper money outlawed matters little. The principle of patriotism is turned on its head. Whether it’s with regard to the defense of welfare spending at home, confiscatory income tax, or an immoral monetary system or support for a war fought under false pretense without a legal declaration, the defenders of liberty and the Constitution are portrayed as unpatriotic, while those who support these programs are seen as the patriots.

If there is a war going on, supporting the state’s effort to win the war is expected at all costs, no dissent. The real problem is that those who love the state too often advocate policies that lead to military action. At home, they are quite willing to produce a crisis atmosphere and claim a war is needed to solve the problem. Under these conditions, the people are more willing to bear the burden of paying for the war and to carelessly sacrifice liberties, which they are told is necessary.

The last 6 years have been quite beneficial to the health of the state, which comes at the expense of personal liberty. Every enhanced unconstitutional power of the state can only be achieved at the expense of individual liberty. Even though in every war in which we have been engaged civil liberties have suffered, some have been restored after the war ended, but never completely. That has resulted in a steady erosion of our liberties over the past 200 years. Our government was originally designed to protect our liberties, but it has now, instead, become the usurper of those liberties.

We currently live in the most difficult of times for guarding against an expanding central government with a steady erosion of our freedoms. We are continually being reminded that 9/11 has changed everything.

Unfortunately, the policy that needed most to be changed, that is, our policy of foreign interventionism, has only been expanded. There is no pretense any longer that a policy of humility in foreign affairs, without being the world’s policemen and engaging in nation building, is worthy of consideration.

We now live in a post-9/11 America where our government is going to make us safe no matter what it takes. We are expected to grin and bear it and adjust to every loss of our liberties in the name of patriotism and security.

Though the majority of Americans initially welcomed the declared effort to make us safe, and we are willing to sacrifice for the cause, more and more Americans are now becoming concerned about civil liberties being needlessly and dangerously sacrificed.

The problem is that the Iraq war continues to drag on, and a real danger of it spreading exists. There is no evidence that a truce will soon be signed in Iraq or in the war on terror or the war on drugs. Victory is not even definable. If Congress is incapable of declaring an official war, it is impossible to know when it will end. We have been fully forewarned that the world conflict in which we are now engaged will last a long, long time.

The war mentality and the pervasive fear of an unidentified enemy allows for a steady erosion of our liberties, and, with this, our respect for self-reliance and confidence is lost. Just think of the self-sacrifice and the humiliation we go through at the airport screening process on a routine basis. Though there is no scientific evidence of any likelihood of liquids and gels being mixed on an airplane to make a bomb, billions of dollars are wasted throwing away toothpaste and hair spray, and searching old women in wheelchairs.

Our enemies say boo, and we jump, we panic, and then we punish ourselves. We are worse than a child being afraid of the dark. But in a way, the fear of indefinable terrorism is based on our inability to admit the truth about why there is a desire by a small number of angry radical Islamists to kill Americans. It is certainly not because they are jealous of our wealth and freedoms.

We fail to realize that the extremists, willing to sacrifice their own lives to kill their enemies, do so out of a sense of weakness and desperation over real and perceived attacks on their way of life, their religion, their country, and their natural resources. Without the conventional diplomatic or military means to retaliate against these attacks, and an unwillingness of their own government to address the issue, they resort to the desperation tactic of suicide terrorism. Their anger toward their own governments, which they believe are coconspirators with the American Government, is equal to or greater than that directed toward us.

These errors in judgment in understanding the motive of the enemy and the constant fear that is generated have brought us to this crisis where our civil liberties and privacy are being steadily eroded in the name of preserving national security.

We may be the economic and the military giant of the world, but the effort to stop this war on our liberties here at home in the name of patriotism is being lost.

The erosion of our personal liberties started long before 9/11, but 9/11 accelerated the process. There are many things that motivate those who pursue this course, both well-intentioned and malevolent, but it would not happen if the people remained vigilant, understood the importance of individual rights, and were unpersuaded that a need for security justifies the sacrifice for liberty, even if it is just now and then.

The true patriot challenges the state when the state embarks on enhancing its power at the expense of the individual. Without a better understanding and a greater determination to rein in the state, the rights of Americans that resulted from the revolutionary break from the British and the writing of the Constitution will disappear.

The record since September 11th is dismal. Respect for liberty has rapidly deteriorated. Many of the new laws passed after 9/11 had, in fact, been proposed long before that attack. The political atmosphere after that attack simply made it more possible to pass such legislation. The fear generated by 9/11 became an opportunity for those seeking to promote the power of the state domestically, just as it served to falsely justify the long-planned invasion of Iraq.

The war mentality was generated by the Iraq war in combination with the constant drumbeat of fear at home. Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, who is now likely residing in Pakistan, our supposed ally, are ignored, as our troops fight and die in Iraq and are made easier targets for the terrorists in their backyard. While our leaders constantly use the mess we created to further justify the erosion of our constitutional rights here at home, we forget about our own borders and support the inexorable move toward global government, hardly a good plan for America.

The accelerated attacks on liberty started quickly after 9/11. Within weeks, the PATRIOT Act was overwhelmingly passed by Congress. Though the final version was unavailable up to a few hours before the vote, no Member had sufficient time to study it. Political fear of not doing something, even something harmful, drove the Members of Congress to not question the contents, and just voted for it. A little less freedom for a little more perceived safety was considered a fair trade-off, and the majority of Americans applauded.

The PATRIOT Act, though, severely eroded the system of checks and balances by giving the government the power to spy on law-abiding citizens without judicial supervision. The several provisions that undermine the liberties of all Americans include sneak-and-peek searches, a broadened and more vague definition of domestic terrorism, allowing the FBI access to library and bookstore records without search warrants or probable cause, easier FBI initiation of wiretaps and searches, as well as roving wiretaps, easier access to information on American citizens’ use of the Internet, and easier access to e-mail and financial records of all American citizens.

The attack on privacy has not relented over the past 6 years. The Military Commissions Act is a particularly egregious piece of legislation and, if not repealed, will change America for the worse as the powers unconstitutionally granted to the executive branch are used and abused. This act grants excessive authority to use secretive military commissions outside of places where active hostilities are going on. The Military Commissions Act permits torture, arbitrary detention of American citizens as unlawful enemy combatants at the full discretion of the President and without the right of habeas corpus, and warrantless searches by the NSA. It also gives to the President the power to imprison individuals based on secret testimony.

Since 9/11, Presidential signing statements designating portions of legislation that the President does not intend to follow, though not legal under the Constitution, have enormously multiplied. Unconstitutional Executive Orders are numerous and mischievous and need to be curtailed.

Extraordinary rendition to secret prisons around the world have been widely engaged in, though obviously extralegal.

A growing concern in the post-9/11 environment is the Federal Government’s list of potential terrorists based on secret evidence. Mistakes are made, and sometimes it is virtually impossible to get one’s name removed even though the accused is totally innocent of any wrongdoing.

A national ID card is now in the process of being implemented. It is called the REAL ID card, and it is tied to our Social Security numbers and our State driver’s license. If REAL ID is not stopped, it will become a national driver’s license ID for all Americans. We will be required to carry our papers.

Some of the least-noticed and least-discussed changes in the law were the changes made to the Insurrection Act of 1807 and to posse comitatus by the Defense Authorization Act of 2007. These changes pose a threat to the survival of our Republic by giving the President the power to declare martial law for as little reason as to restore public order. The 1807 act severely restricted the President in his use of the military within the United States borders, and the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 strengthened these restrictions with strict oversight by Congress. The new law allows the President to circumvent the restrictions of both laws. The Insurrection Act has now become the “Enforcement of the Laws to Restore Public Order Act.” This is hardly a title that suggests that the authors cared about or understood the nature of a constitutional Republic.

Now, martial law can be declared not just for insurrection, but also for natural disasters, public health reasons, terrorist attacks or incidents, or for the vague reason called “other conditions.” The President can call up the National Guard without congressional approval or the Governors’ approval, and even send these State Guard troops into other States.

The American Republic is in remnant status. The stage is set for our country eventually devolving into a military dictatorship, and few seem to care. These precedent-setting changes in the law are extremely dangerous and will change American jurisprudence forever if not revised. The beneficial results of our revolt against the King’s abuses are about to be eliminated, and few Members of Congress and few Americans are aware of the seriousness of the situation. Complacency and fear drive our legislation without any serious objection by our elected leaders. Sadly, though, those few who do object to this self-evident trend away from personal liberty and empire-building overseas are portrayed as unpatriotic and uncaring.

Though welfare and socialism always fails, opponents of them are said to lack compassion. Though opposition to totally unnecessary war should be the only moral position, the rhetoric is twisted to claim that patriots who oppose the war are not supporting the troops. The cliché “Support the Troops” is incessantly used as a substitute for the unacceptable notion of supporting the policy, no matter how flawed it may be.

Unsound policy can never help the troops. Keeping the troops out of harm’s way and out of wars unrelated to our national security is the only real way of protecting the troops. With this understanding, just who can claim the title of “patriot”?

Before the war in the Middle East spreads and becomes a world conflict for which we will be held responsible, or the liberties of all Americans become so suppressed we can no longer resist, much has to be done. Time is short, but our course of action should be clear. Resistance to illegal and unconstitutional usurpation of our rights is required. Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes.

But let it not be said that we did nothing. Let not those who love the power of the welfare/warfare state label the dissenters of authoritarianism as unpatriotic or uncaring. Patriotism is more closely linked to dissent than it is to conformity and a blind desire for safety and security. Understanding the magnificent rewards of a free society makes us unbashful in its promotion, fully realizing that maximum wealth is created and the greatest chance for peace comes from a society respectful of individual liberty.

 [Ron Paul’s speech ends here]

There it is. The speech Dr. Paul gave in 2007 seems even more relevant today than it did then. Don’t you think?

You want to elect a real American statesman? You want to elect a man who would preserve liberty and freedom in America? You want to elect a man who would resist the devilish New World Order? You want to elect a man who would reestablish sound economic principles? If so, you will vote to elect Ron Paul as President of the United States. (And, no, no one has paid me a penny to post his speech or make this endorsement.)

Forget all the smoke and mirrors and the dog and pony shows that you see and hear from the other Presidential candidates. The issues that Dr. Paul addressed in this speech are the issues that are going to determine our country’s future. Again, this is the man who should be President of the United States.

And please visit my web site for past columns and much more at:

http://chuckbaldwinlive.com

© Chuck Baldwin


Financial Illiteracy of Those Who Mock Conspiracy Theorists

 Saturday, January 28, 2012 – by Anthony Wile

Anthony Wile

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From Social Psychological and Personality Science (SPPS), a journal from the independent publisher Sage Publications, comes an article that has predictably seen wide distribution on the Internet. It implies that those who believe in globalist conspiracy theories are illogical – even downright nutty.

The article is entitled  “Dead and Alive: Beliefs in Contradictory Conspiracy Theories” and the thesis of the article is that people who believe in conspiracy theories eventually become so immersed in them and so mesmerized that they do not realize they are holding contradictory beliefs.

“Conspiracy theories can form a monological belief system: A self-sustaining worldview comprised of a network of mutually supportive beliefs. The present research shows that even mutually incompatible conspiracy theories are positively correlated in endorsement.”(SPPS Abstract)

“Conspiratorialists” become so distrustful of “government” and “authority” that they will impute any and every kind of malevolence to them.

Thus it is that people can claim, on the one hand, that Osama bin Laden is “dead” and died years ago, while simultaneously claiming that bin Laden remains alive and that US and Pakistan government authorities are not being truthful about him and his physical state.

Of course, I’ve never run into anyone, who claims that bin Laden is ALIVE. But it’s true that here at the Daily Bell we’ve run articles explaining that bin Laden probably died years ago. See, for instance, “Osama bin Laden is Dead Again?

The SPPS article would likely have you believe this is an outrageous conspiracy theory. But given that FOX news ran a report on bin Laden’s death in 2001, and given that Pakistan’s former president Benazir Bhutto herself claimed that bin Laden died in the early 2000s (supposedly as the result of an assassination), it doesn’t seem so far-fetched to speculate that bin Laden didn’t die as the result of a US raid in 2011.

But that’s almost minor stuff. Articles like this, despite their scientific patina, are deeply illiterate. Why so? Because invariably such articles won’t deal with the bedrock financial illiteracy of current economic and political paradigms.

Imagine if the world were based on lies. Well, unfortunately, that’s the truth. The lies go far beyond “who shot JFK” or whether the US government was directly or indirectly involved in 9/11.

When one uses the logical framework of Austrian, free-market analysis to analyze the Way the World Works in the modern age, one inevitably comes to the conclusion that modern society is built around fundamental untruths.

The first one is economic: It is the idea that central bankers can efficiently and effectively set the price of money. They cannot.

Every time central bankers decide on how much money to print or where short interest rates should be, the decisions are “fixing” prices – and price-fixing never works. Price-fixing distorts economies and causes a wealth shift from those who create it to those who don’t and may not know what to do with it. Over time, aggressively mis-priced money causes first recessions and then depressions.

The second lie is that laws and regulations are necessary and that they can save society from “anarchy.” In fact, anarchy is only the absence of government. That’s the real definition. And absence of government does not necessarily imply “chaos.” Just as setting interest rates fixes the price of money, so every law and regulation is a price fix as well, preventing someone from doing something within the context of the marketplace. This also constitutes a wealth transfer.

One can have a perfectly adequate and satisfying society without formal government, certainly without the kinds of intrusive and murderous governments we’ve got today. History is full of examples of societies that flourished with at least minimal government, especially societies where power truly flowed from the bottom up.

The third lie is that government is essential for purposes of defense and defending its citizens. But a quick survey of modern wars shows a disturbing tendency of governments – especially certain Western governments – to foment the very wars that citizens believe they’re being protected from.

War is the “health of the state” – the way that those in power consolidate their hold while punishing their enemies using phony pretexts having to do with “treason” and “leaking classified information.” Sound familiar?

It is what we call the Internet Reformation that has gradually shed light on the fundamental untruths permeating modern society in both the developed and developing world.

The Internet, like the Gutenberg Press before it, is a revolutionary device that has allowed people access to information that was hitherto denied or covered up, especially in the 20th century when the power elite‘s control over society was perhaps at its apex.

A conspiracy likely DOES exist. The Internet easily reveals not just facts that illuminate it, but also PATTERNS that show the same command-and-control strategies implemented throughout history, over and over.

It is easy, unfortunately, to mock those who believe in so-called “conspiracy theories” because the truth of what has occurred in this weary world is so extreme and shocking that most people simply cannot believe it. What truly horrifies us becomes a target for mockery. It’s a defense mechanism.

Here’s the seeming hard truth: A tiny group of Anglosphere banking families controlling most if not all of the world’s major central banks have used the trillions to which they have access in order to foment what can be called a “New World Order.”

This tiny group of intergenerational plotters and their enablers and associates have apparently built a seamless matrix of control around the entire globe to implement their schemes. They are building world government and are putting in place its building blocks.

What is it about the UNIMFWorld BankInternational Criminal CourtWorld Health Organization and hundreds of others lesser known globalist facilities that people who deny or decry modern “conspiracy theory” don’t understand?  

An entire gamut of globalist entities has been superimposed on the world in the past 75 years. Most recently − only this past week, in fact − the US military held a formal exercise over the skies of Los Angeles using the same black helicopters that conspiracy theorists were mocked for mentioning not a decade ago.

But the biggest issue by far – bigger than even the establishment of the facilities of the New World Order – is the fundamental illiteracy of those who choose to support modern society as it is today and as it has evolved over the past 100 years.

While human societies have always been based on fairly bizarre rituals, it is safe to say that the current crop of behind-the-scenes leaders have raised statist insanity to a new level.

Every part of modern society, from its basic economic building blocks to its liturgical belief in dysfunctional “laws and regulations” to its deep-seated reverence for the manipulated destruction of war, is questionable on a factual basis.

The reality of modern society is increasingly pathological – and the ones with the pathology are those who lead the rest of us along using paradigms that are evidently and obviously dishonest and dysfunctional.

Articles that mock the looniness of “conspiratorialists” need to deal with the fundamental economic and sociopolitical dishonesty of their own assumptions. They should begin by admitting the evident and obvious logical fallacies of the “modern” society they celebrate.

I’m not holding my breath.

Anthony Wile:   View Bio 

Internet Reformation :   View Glossary Description 

Gutenberg Press :   View Glossary Description 


Overspending on National Security Threatens National Security

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 – by Ron Paul

The administration recently released its 2013 budget proposal, and conservatives are correctly alarmed that it calls for unprecedented spending and continued annual deficits exceeding $1 trillion. But the same conservatives complain that the budget does not devote enough funds to overseas adventurism.

I continue to be dismayed that in spite of our economic problems, most of those who call themselves fiscal conservatives refuse to consider any reductions in military spending. Doug Bandow of the Cato Institute very aptly addresses this in his recent article for the American Conservative entitled “Attack of the Pork Hawks.” He points out that conservatives are using a tired liberal argument to defend the bloated military budget: Namely, that more spending equals better results. The federal education morass is merely one example that clearly disproves this.

The facts are that the President’s budget calls for an 18% increase versus the previously planned 20% increase. This is not a cut, yet Pentagon hawks continue to issue dire warnings that this “draconian” decrease in proposed future spending will seriously threaten our national security. In truth, the majority of DOD spending goes to protect other nations, including prosperous allies like Europe, Japan and South Korea − nations that could and should take more responsibility for their own defense.

Is there any amount of money that would satisfy the hawks and the neoconservatives? Even adjusted for inflation, military spending is 17% higher now than when Obama took office. Even the worst case scenarios of Obama’s “cuts,” adjusted for inflation, still put outlays at 2007 levels, which are 40% higher than a decade ago. Our total spending on overseas adventurism and nation building equals more than the next 13 highest-spending countries in the world combined. Even if we were to slash our military budget in half, we would still be the world’s dominant military power, by far.

In reality, the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about has become every bit the voracious monolith he feared. It wastes as much as any other arm of government, if not more, because it knows it can depend on unlimited blank checks from a terrified Congress.

Mr. Bandow concludes that America is more secure today than at any point since before WWII, and that military outlays should be reduced accordingly. We should, Mr. Bandow argues,

“stop garrisoning the globe, subsidizing rich friends, and reconstructing poor enemies. Instead, it’s about time Washington focused on defending America and its people.”

I couldn’t agree more. Wasting money on overseas adventurism and nation building threatens our national security by massively contributing to our debt. Both welfare and warfare spending are tipping our economy into a serious currency and debt crisis. We can afford no sacred cows in our budget. One only has to look to the violence and civil unrest in Greece and ask − is that the sort of security we envision for our nation’s future?

Ron Paul:   View Bio 

Military-Industrial Complex :   View Glossary Description 

Dwight D. Eisenhower:   View Bio 

Original article: http://thedailybell.com/3632/Ron-Paul-Overspending-on-National-Security-Threatens-National-Security

 

 

 

 


They’re Coming to Take You Away!

 Ron Paul: “They’re Setting The Stage For Violence In This Country”

Presidential candidate responds to question about detention camps for civil unrest 

Paul Joseph Watson 

Infowars.com

 Saturday, August 20, 2011

In a response to a question asked by Infowars correspondent Robert Wanek at Iowa State University during the recent Ames straw poll, Ron Paul said that the federal government was preparing for civil unrest and martial law in the United States.

 Paul was asked for his opinion on whether H.R. 645 (The National Emergency Centers Establishment Act) could lead to Americans being incarcerated in detention camps during a time of martial law.

“Yeah, that’s their goal, they’re setting up the stage for violence in this country, no doubt about it,” responded Paul.

The National Emergency Centers Act or HR 645, first introduced in January 2009, mandates the establishment of “national emergency centers” to be located on military installations for the purpose of providing “temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster,” according to the bill.

The legislation also states that the camps will be used to “provide centralized locations to improve the coordination of preparedness, response, and recovery efforts of government, private, and not-for-profit entities and faith-based organizations”.

Ominously, the bill also states that the camps can be used to “meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security,” an open ended mandate which many fear could mean the forced detention of American citizens in the event of widespread rioting after a national emergency or total economic collapse.

The legislation was referred to Committee and did not proceed any further, but it was not rejected in a vote and can be re-introduced at any time in a new session of Congress.

As we reported yesterday, in the aftermath of the UK riots, police departments in the United States are being trained to deal with rioting and civil unrest.

Back in 2008, U.S. troops returning from Iraq were earmarked for “homeland patrols” with one of their roles including helping with “civil unrest and crowd control”.

 In December 2008, the Washington Post reported on plans to station 20,000 more U.S. troops inside America for purposes of “domestic security” from September 2011 onwards, an expansion of Northcom’s militarization of the country in preparation for potential civil unrest following a total economic collapse or a mass terror attack.

The United States has continuity of government plans in place should martial law be declared by the President. However, the details of those plans have been so tightly guarded that even Congressman and Homeland Security Committee member Peter DeFazio (D – OR), who has the necessary security clearance, was denied access to view the material when he requested to do so back in July 2007.

“I just can’t believe they’re going to deny a member of Congress the right of reviewing how they plan to conduct the government of the United States after a significant terrorist attack,” DeFazio told the Oregonian at the time, adding, “Maybe the people who think there’s a conspiracy out there are right.”

Congressman Paul has warned about preparations for martial law before, telling the Alex Jones Show, “They’re putting their back up against the wall and saying, if need be we’re going to have martial law.”

Watch Alex Jones’ special comment on this issue below.

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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show.


RON PAUL ISSUES STATEMENT ON DEBT CEILING DEAL

Ron Paul at the 2007 National Right to Life Co...

Image via Wikipedia

“THIS DEAL DOES NOTHING TO SOLVE OUR SPENDING PROBLEM”

LAKE JACKSONTexas – Today, 2012 Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul issued a statement outlining his opposition to the debt ceiling deal struck between the White House and Congress. See statement below.

“While it is good to see serious debate about our debt crisis, I cannot support the reported deal on raising the nation’s debt ceiling.  I have never voted to raise the debt ceiling, and I never will.

“This deal will reportedly cut spending by only slightly over $900 billion over 10 years.  But we will have a $1.6 trillion deficit after this year alone, meaning those meager cuts will do nothing to solve our unsustainable spending problem.  In fact, this bill will never balance the budget.  Instead, it will add untold trillions of dollars to our deficit.  This also assumes the cuts are real cuts and not the same old Washington smoke and mirrors game of spending less than originally projected so you can claim the difference as a ‘cut’.”

“The plan also calls for the formation of a deficit commission, which will accomplish nothing outside of providing Congress and the White House with another way to abdicate responsibility.  In my many years of public service, there have been commissions on everything from Social Security to energy policy, yet not one solution has been produced out of these commissions.

“By denying members the ability to offer amendments and only allowing an up-or-down vote that will take place in the hectic time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, this Commission essentially disenfranchises the vast majority of members from meaningfully participating in the debate over reducing spending and balancing the budget.  Furthermore, despite the claims of the bill’s proponents, there is nothing to stop the commission from recommending tax increases.

“One of the reasons why I humbly suggest that I am the most qualified Presidential candidate is my experience to see and understand the long track record of failure, disappointments, and bad recommendations made by such commissions.  Times like these require statesmanship and steady leadership, which I and the grassroots activists who have joined my campaign believe I am uniquely qualified to provide.

“What should bother Americans most is that under cover of this debt ceiling circus, we learned from a recent GAO one-time, limited audit that the Federal Reserve secretly pumped $16 trillion into American and foreign banks over three years.  All of the Fed’s fat cat cronies were taken care of at the expense of the American public.

“To put that into perspective, our entire national debt is $14.5 trillion, and our annual deficit will be about $1.6 trillion, meaning the Federal Reserve created and appropriated more than our entire national debt to banks around the world in a few short years.  We have been fighting in Congress these past few weeks over raising our debt ceiling by $2 trillion, an amount the Fed secretly gave away to just one big bank.

“For decades, politicians have promised future restraint in exchange for hikes in the debt limit.  We are always told that we must act immediately to avoid a crisis.  But time and time again, politicians reveal themselves to be untrustworthy, and we soon find ourselves in a crisis being led by the same folks who wish only to maintain the status quo.

“I believe in the great American traditions of free markets, sound money, and personal Liberty.  But we are moving far away from what made us the greatest nation in human history. We must cut spending and balance our budget now, before it is too late.

“Let me be clear.  The cuts we must make will not be easy, and there will be difficult times in the short run.  But I have the greatest confidence that if we come together as a People, work hard, and do the right things, our country will be back on track in no time and on its way to unprecedented prosperity.  But, if we continueto print money and pyramid debt, we will destroy ourselves and lose the promise of America forever.

“These difficult times require a President willing to stand against runaway spending.  If elected, I will veto any spending bill that contributes to an unbalanced budget, and I will balance the budget in the first year of my term.  I will not allow the Federal Reserve to destroy the value of our money by shoveling dollars into the pockets of its banker friends.

“I remain committed to working on behalf of the American people to drastically reduce spending and implement fundamental changes that will reform government and restore our nation’s prosperity.”

 

 www.RonPaul2012.com

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Word War II-What You Think You Know As Opposed To What Is True.

Truncating the Antecedents
How Americans Have Been Misled about World War II
March 18, 2008
Robert Higgs

Whereas historians obsessively trace every event’s causal lineage further and further into the past, nonhistorians tend toward the opposite extreme: they assume in effect that the world began immediately before the event they have in mind. I call this unfortunate tendency “truncating the antecedents.” Among the general public, it has given rise to mistaken interpretations of historical causation in cases too numerous to mention, and mistakes of this sort continue to occur frequently, in part because politicians and other conniving parties have an interest in propagating them.

I was recently struck by this tendency while reading comments at a group blog associated with the History News Network. A commentator there had mentioned that the blame for World War II is not as cut and dried as Americans typically assume it to be, and hence some revisionism is long overdue. In response, another discussant, whose previous contributions to the blog show that he is an intelligent man, expressed bafflement: “Yes, obviously some revisionism regarding the ‘great allied leaders’ of WWII is called for. But an attempt to be revisionist about the justness of a war where U.S. territory is attacked by one opponent and war is declared on the U.S. by the other opponent is sort of like justifying the War on Iraq on the basis of mythical WMD.”

Like Americans in general, this man takes the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and the German declaration of war on December 11, 1941, as dispositive evidence that Japan and Germany started the war that ensued between these nations and the United States, and therefore he concludes that they should be held responsible for it. In a later post, he persists in this interpretation by saying: “Nation X attacks Nation Y. One or the other is right. Either Nation Y is a victim or the attack was a ‘justified pre-emptive attack.’ Yes, the response may be disproportionate, etc., but those really aren’t reasons to declare Nation Y ‘wrong.’ Or the two ‘equally wrong.’” This view represents a classic case of truncating the antecedents.

Many people are misled by formalities. They assume, for example, that the United States went to war against Germany and Japan only after its declarations of war against these nations in December 1941. In truth, the United States had been at war for a long time before making these declarations. Its warmaking took a variety of forms. For example, the U.S. navy conducted “shoot [Germans] on sight” convoys, which might include British ships, in the North Atlantic along the greater part the shipping route from the United States to Great Britain, even though German U-boats had orders to refrain (and did refrain) from initiating attacks on American shipping. The United States and Great Britain entered into arrangements to pool intelligence, combine weapons development, test military equipment jointly, and undertake other forms of war-related cooperation. The U.S. military actively cooperated with the British military in combat operations against the Germans, for example, by alerting the British navy of aerial or marine sightings of German submarines, which the British then attacked. The U.S. government undertook in countless ways to provide military and other supplies and assistance to the British, the French, and the Soviets, who were fighting the Germans. The U.S. government provided military and other supplies and assistance, including warplanes and pilots, to the Chinese, who were at war with Japan. The U.S. military actively engaged in planning with the British, the British Commonwealth countries, and the Dutch East Indies for future combined combat operations against Japan. Most important, the U.S. government engaged in a series of increasingly stringent economic warfare measures that pushed the Japanese into a predicament that U.S. authorities well understood would probably provoke them to attack U.S. territories and forces in the Pacific region in a quest to secure essential raw materials that the Americans, British, and Dutch (government in exile) had embargoed.

Consider these summary statements by George Victor, by no means a Roosevelt basher, in his recently published, well-documented book The Pearl Harbor Myth: Rethinking the Unthinkable (Dulles, Va.: Potomac Books, 2007).

Roosevelt had already led the United States into war with Germany in the spring of 1941—into a shooting war on a small scale. From then on, he gradually increased U.S. military participation. Japan’s attack on December 7 enabled him to increase it further and to obtain a war declaration. Pearl Harbor is more fully accounted for as the end of a long chain of events, with the U.S. contribution reflecting a strategy formulated after France fell. . . . In the eyes of Roosevelt and his advisers, the measures taken early in 1941 justified a German declaration of war on the United State—a declaration that did not come, to their disappointment. . . . Roosevelt told his ambassador to France, William Bullitt, that U.S. entry into war against Germany was certain but must wait for an “incident,” which he was “confident that the Germans would give us.” . . . Establishing a record in which the enemy fired the first shot was a theme that ran through Roosevelt’s tactics. . . . He seems [eventually] to have concluded—correctly as it turned out—that Japan would be easier to provoke into a major attack on the Unites States than Germany would be. (pp. 179–80, 184, 185, emphasis added)

The claim that Japan attacked the United States without provocation was . . . typical rhetoric. It worked because the public did not know that the administration had expected Japan to respond with war to anti-Japanese measures it had taken in July 1941. . . . Expecting to lose a war with the United States—and lose it disastrously—Japan’s leaders had tried with growing desperation to negotiate. On this point, most historians have long agreed. Meanwhile, evidence has come out that Roosevelt and Hull persistently refused to negotiate. . . . Japan . . . offered compromises and concessions, which the United States countered with increasing demands. . . . It was after learning of Japan’s decision to go to war with the United States if the talks “break down” that Roosevelt decided to break them off. . . . According to Attorney General Francis Biddle, Roosevelt said he hoped for an “incident” in the Pacific to bring the United States into the European war. (pp. 15, 202, 240)

These facts and numerous others that point in the same direction are for the most part anything but new; many of them have been available to the public since the 1940s. As early as 1953, anyone might have read a collection of heavily documented essays on various aspects of U.S. foreign policy in the late 1930s and early 1940s that showed the various ways in which the U.S. government bore responsibility for the country’s eventual engagement in World War II—showed, in short, that the Roosevelt administration wanted to get the country into the war and worked craftily along various avenues to ensure that, sooner or later, it would get in, preferably in a way that would unite public opinion behind the war by making the United States appear to have been the victim of an aggressor’s unprovoked attack. (See Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: A Critical Examination of the Foreign Policy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Its Aftermath, edited by Harry Elmer Barnes [Caldwell, Id.: Caxton Printers, 1953].) As Secretary of War Henry Stimson testified after the war, “we needed the Japanese to commit the first overt act” (qtd. in Victor, Pearl Harbor Myth, p. 105).

At present, however, sixty-seven or more years after these events, probably not one American in 1,000—nay, not one in 10,000—has an inkling of any of this history. So effective has been the pro-Roosevelt, pro-American, pro-World War II faction that in this country it has utterly dominated teaching and popular writing about U.S. engagement in the “Good War.” Only a few years ago, when an essay of mine was included in a collection being considered for publication by the University of Chicago Press, the press’s expert outside reader expressed shock that I had mentioned in passing Roosevelt’s pre-Pearl Harbor maneuvers to bring the country into the war, and he declared that crackpot statements of this sort would discredit the entire volume. (In deference to the editor and to discourage the volume’s rejection by the press, I removed the single obnoxious sentence, which was not central to my purposes in the essay in any event, and eventually the book was published, notwithstanding this “expert’s” negative appraisal of my own contributions to it.)

Observations such the foregoing ones tend to elicit angry accusations of “Holocaust denial” and “moral equivalence,” among many others. For the record, then, let me avow that I do not deny the Holocaust, nor do I regard the Roosevelt administration as morally equivalent to Hitler’s regime. While I am making my innocence plain, let me also avow that I do not regard the Roosevelt administration as morally equivalent to Stalin’s regime. This latter comparison comes up surprisingly seldom, however, given that the two regimes were close allies in the war, and, most important, that the major outcome of the war was to leave Stalin and his puppet regimes astride the greater part of the European continent in an area that stretches from the Urals to Bohemia and from Estonia to Azerbaijan. In short, if anyone deserves to be recognized as the war’s “winner,” that person is Stalin. Somehow this fact has never seemed to me to fit comfortably into a characterization of this horrible conflict as the “Good War.” Perhaps I’m just unduly squeamish.

The fate of the European Jews also requires mention, inasmuch as after the war many people professed to believe that saving the Jews was the war’s prime justification. Aside from the fact that none of the Allied leaders held that view—Roosevelt himself was a genteel anti-Semite of the sort typical in his time, place, and class—the undeniable truth is that the Jews were not saved: approximately 80 percent of them had perished by the end of the war. Little wonder, too, because U.S. and British war plans did not give high priority to saving them; as a rule, those plans completely disregarded the urgent need to rescue the surviving Jews.

Few Americans have ever entertained the idea that their country ought not to have entered World War II. They persist in believing that they—the ordinary people of the country, as distinct from its political leaders and their foreign legionnaires—were genuinely threatened by the Japanese and the Germans and therefore that the war “had to be fought.” Even George Victor, from whose honest and useful book The Pearl Harbor Myth I quoted earlier, has brought himself to believe that Roosevelt had excellent motives for his persistent provocation of Germany and Japan. Thus, he writes: “As Germany began to prepare for conquest, genocide, and destruction of civilization, the leader of only one major nation saw what was coming and made plans to stop it. As a result of Roosevelt’s leadership, a planned sequence of events carried out in the Atlantic and more decisively in the Pacific brought the United States into one of the world’s greatest cataclysms. The American contribution helped turn the war’s tide and saved the world from a destructive tyranny unparalleled in modern history” (p. 16).

Unparalleled? What about Stalin’s tyranny or Mao’s? Regardless of one’s answer to this question, however, another question remains—whether Nazi Germany, as evil as it certainly was, had the ability to defeat the United States, much less to “destroy civilization.” Americans love to speculate about German acquisition of atomic weapons, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and other military capabilities the Nazis, in fact, never came close to acquiring. As things actually stood, Germany lacked the capability to invade and conquer even Great Britain. Conquering the United States, thousands of miles across the Atlantic, was realistically inconceivable. Whatever else one may take U.S. leaders’ motives for war to have been in the early 1940’s, national self-preservation could not have been among them, unless they were shockingly ill-advised as to the economic, logistical, and technological constraints on the German war machine. In reality, that machine had its hands more than full in dealing with the Soviets on the eastern front, not to mention the British and others who were pestering it on other fronts.

Thirty-six years ago, Bruce M. Russett’s little book No Clear and Present Danger: A Skeptical View of the U.S. Entry into World War II (New York: Harper & Row, 1972) was published. Russett noted at the outset that “[p]articipation in the war against Hitler remains almost wholly sacrosanct, nearly in the realm of theology” (p. 12). In this regard, nothing has changed since 1972. Yet Russett argued forcefully, with logic and evidence, that this orthodoxy rests on shaky grounds. He concluded that World War II “may well have been an unnecessary war that did little for us and that we need not have fought” (p. 20). Nor did he concede that although the war may have been imprudent on instrumental grounds, it was well justified on moral grounds: “it is precisely moral considerations that demand a reexamination of our World War II myths,” he insisted (p. 21). Although much has been added to the corpus of World War II scholarship since the publication of Russett’s book, this little volume remains unjustly neglected, and its argument deserves serious consideration even now.

Of course, many other great events in American history might be examined as I have suggested U.S. participation in World War II ought to be examined—by taking the relevant antecedents fully into account. For historians, this advice should be unnecessary; if they know anything, they know that history did not begin yesterday. The American people at large, however, remain extremely vulnerable to misleading descriptions of the government’s actions, especially its plunges into foreign wars—accounts of which generally disregard many relevant antecedents, particularly those that cast blame on the United States for stirring up enmities abroad. Yet, any honest account of U.S. foreign policy reveals that this country’s government has engaged again and again in foreign interventions whose official justifications cannot withstand critical scrutiny. Many of these interventions amounted to little more than armed errand-running for privileged American business interests seeking to beat foreigners into line and, not coincidentally, to line their own pockets. This aspect of U.S. foreign policy famously led General Smedley Butler to declare that war is a racket.

Time, some wit has said, is God’s way of keeping everything from happening at once. Taking this idea to heart, we may remind ourselves and others that whenever the U.S. government launches a new war abroad, we would be well advised to look into what happened in that part of the world previously, perhaps over the course of several decades. We may well discover that the locals have legitimate grievances against our government or some of its corporate cronies. Or we may simply discover that the situation is more complicated than it has been made out to be. We know one thing for certain at the outset, however: we cannot rely on the government to tell us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Unvarnished truth is to our rulers as holy water is to vampires.


Robert Higgs
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Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy for The Independent Institute and Editor of the Institute’s quarterly journal The Independent Review. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and he has taught at the University of Washington, Lafayette College, Seattle University, and the University of Economics, Prague. He has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and Stanford University, and a fellow for the Hoover Institution and the National Science Foundation. He is the author of many books, including Depression, War, and Cold War.

Full Biography and Recent Publications


NeitherNew from Robert Higgs!
NEITHER LIBERTY NOR SAFETY: Fear, Ideology, and the Growth of Government

Economist and historian Robert Higgs illustrates the false trade-off between freedom and security by showing how the U.S. government’s economic and military interventions have reduced the liberty, prosperity, and genuine security of all Americans. Learn More »»

Copyright 2010 The Independent Institute

 

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The “Ground Zero Mosque” and the Prospects for Liberty

I have to say I agree with this writer. American/Christian exceptionalism has no place in our nation. The attitude christians seem to take against muslims, hispanics and others who have as much right to have the kind of life they choose as any of us, is despicable and completely contrary to The Gospel of The Kingdom.

Muslims did not crash planes into the twin towers on 9/11. a group of radicals did. Hate is a very scary thing. You see the scripture implies that what we hate is what we ourselves become.

As Americans, but especially as believers, we need to welcome the foreigner. In part because we are strangers in a foriegn land ourselves-we are not of this world. More importantly because Scripture commands that the foreigner among us is be treated fairly and kindly. E

by Jacob Huebert on August 19, 2010
The furor over the “Ground Zero Mosque” (which is neither a mosque nor at Ground Zero) doesn’t make me very optimistic about the prospects for liberty.
As a libertarian and just a live-and-let-live kind of guy, I can’t imagine caring much about, let alone vocally protesting, what someone is building two blocks away from me.

Yet apparently many of my fellow Americans are such busybodies that they’ll whine for weeks about something being built hundreds or thousands of miles away from them, in a city where they don’t live and probably won’t even visit. And many of the complainers are among the Tea Party set whom we are occasionally told are “libertarian,” even though they seem to hate Muslims and Mexicans and love war at least as much as they hate the federal government and love liberty.

Jonah Goldberg claims that the conservatives who object “mostly” recognize that the Muslims have a legal right to build their center. But what I hear on talk radio makes me doubt this. A common argument there seems to be that since “liberals” don’t care about the constitution or property rights in general, they aren’t entitled to invoke them now — as though liberals somehow have the power to waive Muslims’ rights.

In any event, even if Goldberg is correct, it’s hard to imagine that the spirit of liberty resides in the sort of people who get so worked up over this sort of thing. The ease with which they’ve been distracted by this issue suggests that reducing government isn’t going to be their top priority once their team is back in control in Washington.

Jacob Huebert is an attorney, a law professor, and the author of Libertarianism Today (Praeger 2010).

Jacob Huebert
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