If you hate evils committed by individuals as much as you hates evils committed by institutions, and vice versa, as I think most people who are even remotely libertarian — wait, no! remotely human! — do, does it truly follow that you must condone one in order to combat the other? Maybe it does, at least in the short term, in a place and time where relationships between all these things have been so distorted. In this case, the distortion is caused primarily by the monopolization of not only judicious force, but very nearly all force, initiative and responsive, at every level, by a single institution (with many manifestations and interlocking jurisdictions). If you haven’t guessed already, that institution is the state. Continue reading
Perhaps more than any other person in the Liberty Movement (besides Ron Paul, of course), someone I would consider a mentor is Thomas Woods. Andrew Napolitano is a close second. And Frederic Bastiat is long-dead. I’ve read six of Tom’s books, but unfortunately don’t get around to visiting his site as much as I would like. So a thank you shout out to @LitMargaretNan for sharing this link on twitter: A Wikipedia Assignment for You Guys | Tom Woods
In this post he requested that some of his readers edit the wikipedia articles on The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions and the Alien Act of 1798. It’s been a very long time since I’ve done anything on wikipedia, so I made this meme to commemorate the occasion:
On Tom’s site, I left this comment:
Tom. I’m thumbing through my copy of Nullification right now. Great read by the way.
Here’s what I put at the bottom of the Alien Act page. I’ll give someone else a chance to fix the Resolutions page.
“Others maintain that nullification naturally emanates from the Tenth Amendment in the last resort. Thus they see nullification as a legitimate tool of the states. The reasoning behind this is the idea that the individual states created the union, and aside from having the right to leave it (as enumerated in the Virginia and New York Constitutions), as equal parties were able to interpret for themselves on the same footing with the other parties in the compact. This was, in theory, to prevent tyrannies that might go unchecked by the three branches of the federal government. One such person, Thomas E. Woods, in is book ”Nullification” also holds that nullification, apart from being a legitimate function of the states, is a necessary one, increasingly so as the size and scope of the federal government increases.”
I highly recommend Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century to anyone interested in liberty, history, current events, or the meaning of the Constitution. And for anyone who is not interested in at least one of these things it must be because you are one of the undead. But that’s okay, I recommend it to you as well. After all, Nullification is 100% zombie-approved!
Whether you agree with it or not, nullification is happening. Little by little, the states are reasserting their Tenth Amendment rights. If the President, the Congress, and the Courts won’t enforce it, the states will. This will more and more be the case as things come to a head with debacles like ObamaCare, cartel money, mismanagement of land, gun control, and overbearing environmental and energy regulations.
Just one example. On November 6th, the voters of Montana interposed on their own behalf against the healthcare mandate.
Here’s some related articles:
The fifth of November
The gunpowder treason and plot.
I know of no reason
Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.”
That was technically yesterday (Mountain Standard Time), though I when I started this piece I hadn’t gone to bed yet. Today is officially election day. This post is intended to bring a few things to everyone’s attention. Many people already know these things. Some don’t. Either way, as usual, I will put a little of my own spin on it.
First on the election.
On the presidential elections (I still have not voted yet today, but I think I will make it to the polls before they close), voting doesn’t really effect the election outcome unless you are in a battleground state. So I hope most people will be voting their consciences. Voting, however, does send a message, and that message for each voting block is the same REGARDLESS of the outcome. What I mean by this is, if you support someone but vote for someone else, odds are that not only will that vote have no effect on the outcome (unless, as I said, it is a tight race) in terms of who the next president is, but you are also keeping people from knowing what you truly believe. Voting to send a message therefore has much more of an impact than voting to put someone in power.
And now, the rest of the post on ongoing and attempted takeovers of the liberty movement by 1) Occupy Wall Street (this was only a minor and unintended offense on their part), 2) the rank and file of the Tea Party (originally a good thing, but now more or less synonymous with the GOP), and 3) the Kochtopus (who in my conspiratorial mind own Jesse Benton, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, and a good portion of many Republican, Tea Party, and Libertarian groups, organizations, and individuals, though I do not allege that everyone employed are receiving funds from the Koch Brothers is automatically a blind tool).
407 years ago this night was the Gun Powder plot where a group of English Catholics attempted to Assassinate James I of England. All religious considerations aside (I am not a Catholic), it was an act against oppression and thus a tradition has come down to us today, mainly in England, to celebrate the anniversary. I won’t go into any details about how the Fifth of November, AKA Guy Fawkes Day is traditionally celebrated, but I do want to call attention to the man it was named after. But not the historical man because that is fairly boring. It is to the fictionalized, mythologized, romanticized, and later Hollywoodified version that I will point you. Guy Fawkes is a Robin Hood-like hero in these later accounts, and much the same he has captured many hearts and minds. Like Robin of Loxley, he stands against the existing order, the status quo, and evades the unjust authorities, but perhaps unlike him, the whole idea of tyranny. What more could I ask for?
We’ve all seen the Guy Fawkes masks, the ones that come from the movie V for Vendetta. The first people that used them as activists, perhaps to the surprise of many, were in fact Ron Paul supporters. Not the hackers group Anonymous, and not the Occupy Wall Street movement. Just like with the Tea Party movement.
Speaking of Anonymous, Guy Fawkes, and Ron Paul, check out this “leak” and the video below.
Ron Paul raised $4.3 Million on Guy Fawkes Day in 2007. Why a similar money bomb didn’t occur in 2011 is probably due to former Campaign Manager Jesse Benton’s fear and loathing of anything resembling disorder or fringe or passion.
Most Ron Paul supporters had their suspicions of Jesse Benton. Some smelled a rat early on. Other reserved judgement until it was too late.
Adam Kokesh was one in the former category. [Warning: Foul Language!]
He regarded Jesse Benton and Campaign for Liberty (under Benton’s leadership at the time) with disdain from early one, at first for what seemed to be personal reasons, but later what turned out to be a dead-on instinct.
This all reminds me of an historical episode that occurred between another Jesse Benton, and a man who might be considered Ron Paul’s role model against the Central Bank, President Andrew Jackson.
Campaign for Liberty was perhaps the first real Tea Party organization, although in a sense Dick Armey’s Freedom Works (2004), the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity (2004) Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform 1985), and the Koch Brothers’ Citizens for a Sounds Economy (1984) all deserve honorable mention.
Even Murray Rothbard can be said to have had a role, albeit a small one.
And speaking of Murray Rothbard and the Kochtopus, I suggest you read some of these links I have done many hours worth of research looking for. I have read a number of them myself. There is some really juicy stuff in there. And it should be required reading for any liberty minded person worried about the corrupting influences to be found in politics, even in the libertarian movement. I don’t know entirely what to make of it all other than that the Koch brothers have done many great deeds for which they should be praised, but all for what appear to be the wrong reasons, reasons, which have also caused them to do a great deal of more sinister things. Perhaps enough to outshine their more praiseworthy endeavors. They are corporate fascists and elitists no less than George Soros and Warren Buffet. They just have a different strategy. Perhaps the most clever and dangerous.
May 28, 2007
March 25, 2008
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October 22, 2008
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August 28, 2009
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February 24, 2011
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March 2, 2011
March 10, 2011
April 22, 2011
May 6, 2011
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July 3, 2011
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July 22, 2011
July 25, 2011
September 6, 2011
September 29, 2011
October 3, 2011
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November 6, 2011
November 16, 2011
January 1, 2012
January 31, 2012
February 16, 2012
March 1, 2012
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April 11, 2012
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July 7, 2012
August 17, 2012
August 30, 2012
Two Additional Links I can’t put in the chronology:
One of the most interesting things (and there were many) I garnered from reading these is the Kochtopus’ love for Central Banking, despite their roots in Austrian Economics. Evokes memories of Alan Greenspan. And why the Koch Brothers put stock in Herman Cain. And why Rick Perry was derided by so-called conservatives when he called Ben Bernanke a traitor. And why their oh so brief ally Ron Paul is so hated by them and theirs anymore.
And it reminds me further of several graphics I have seen floating around on the various End the Fed sites and blogs. A stream of consciousness post like this would be seriously remiss without tying everything together with a few related images.
Do I need to spell out the connection?
Hydra/Kraken/Squid/Octopus/Kochtopus/Leviathon/Federal Government/Federal Reserve/National Bank/Petrodollar/Koch Industries/Corporations/Military Industrial Complex/Fascism Hello?!?!
Please don’t think I’m going all occult on you or anything (I do admit that I came across some pretty dubious sites looking for some of these images). I just really like mythology and history and metaphors and analogies.
You can read this also over at Liberty’s Republic. They could use the traffic!
You keep hearing this (that Obama is the worst president in history and therefore if we don’t vote for the so-called alternative we are all going to go up in flames along with our great republic), mainly from conservatives (there still are some that refuse to give in!) who don’t like Romney but convince themselves that this is a good reason to vote for him. Well, I am here to cry “foul!” There are several presidents much worse than Obama, not just from a libertarian perspective, but from a conservative perspective (though their criticisms would be different, except on economic policies, at least on the surface), but conservatives have short memories and are easily distracted by rhetoric, coming from both the persons in question and the court historians of latter days. For now, I will call attention to just three presidents many orders of magnitude worse than Barack Obama, and then apply the rules that make these men conservative heroes, to their mortal foe, our current president. To start, here is a response I gave to a RON PAUL SUPPORTER saying he was going to vote for Romney now that Paul was not the nominee.
Sorry, but I can think of worse presidents. Like the guy responsible for the deaths of 600,000 of his fellow Americans, a draft, suppression of free speech, indefinite detention, and acts of terrorism against civilians. Or the guy who got us into a world war that had nothing to do with us, leading to a stronger Federal Reserve, a new military-industrial complex, two depressions (1920-1921 and 1929-1945), the blatant suppression of free speech, involuntary servitude in the form of a draft, and the set of entangling alliances that got us into another world war. Or the guy who prolonged a depression by a factor of ten, aided and abetted one of the worst dictators in history,whose arrogance and machinations dragged us into a world war, who re-instituted the draft, got the ball rolling on nuclear weapons, detained an entire ethnic demographic on the pretext of security, and sold Eastern Europe and parts of Eastern Asia to the Soviets and Red Chinese for more than a generation. Obama doesn’t hold a candle to Lincoln, Wilson, or Roosevelt.
So why is it that people think he is the worst president? I realize that he is an awful president, but unless you have a very poor knowledge of history and/or are easily led astray, where do you get off saying he is the worst? That’s not only wrong by probably their own standards were they actually to apply them instead of getting all emotional at the first sign of wrongdoing, its borderline offensive.
So what are these criticisms of Obama that conservatives have but not necessarily libertarians don’t necessarily? Most conservatives criticize Obama for being too weak on national security and the borders. What they don’t realize is that Obama has actually been tougher on illegal immigrants than amnesty Bush ever was. And though his rhetoric would lead one to think otherwise, he has carried on the “War on Terror” and the surveillance state like its a job he was born for. But people bring up red herrings like Fast and Furious or the 30,000 surge when the generals wanted 40,000.
But Fast and Furious had nothing to do with an open-borders immigration policy. My best estimation was that it was intended to increase border violence to justify gun control and a further crackdown on border crossing. How conspiratorial of me! Sorry but I don’t buy the idea simply that “mistakes were made.” And crossing the border is not just harder for illegal immigrants (which is a useless blanket term) but for US citizens as well!
And the troop surge should have been at 0 (and yet Obama is called weak on defense because he only sent in 30,000!) And then we should have gotten out. ”We just marched in, we can just march out.” Did it really take 30,000 extra troops to find Osama and put a cap in him? No. And the fact that it took ten years is disgraceful as well. If that was really what going to Afghanistan was ever really about Bush would have gotten him in six months. And Obama in three because he at least had someone’s “legacy” to build off of. “Our” money was not worthless, “our” troops were not ill-prepared, and “our” intelligence agencies were not incompetent. And don’t get me started on toppling Gaddafi and drone warfare and the assassination of US citizens and the National Defense Authorization Act.
Do people seriously think these are things Bush wouldn’t have done (I refer here more to the national defense policies than the immigration ones) if he could have? And the only reason he couldn’t have, would have been the backlash coming from the left that is now blindly in the tank for Obama! And would the right say Bush was weak on defense for doing them? Hell no! Because he would have used fancy rhetoric about freedom and democracy and justice. Not only would he not be deemed weak, he would be lavished with praise. So why does Obama seem so weak on these pet “conservative” issues? The answer, as you have no doubt discerned by now, is rhetoric. It’s all perception. If you are casting your vote on that instead of reality, you are in fact wasting your vote, not those of us who plan on voting for neither Romney nor Obama.
Most conservatives today idolize Lincoln, Wilson, and Roosevelt. If not always for their economic policies, absolutely for their national defense policies or flag-wrapped rhetoric! But the policies are more or less the same as Obama’s, or at least in the same vein. So why don’t they just vote for Obama? Because it’s his non-flag-wrapped rhetoric that scares them, not his actual policies which they mischaracterize as somehow radical. But they are actually quite normal, just accentuated by his statements and the faux reaction coming from the establishment right.
By normal, I do not mean that they are in-line with how our nation prior to Obama’s inauguration was perceived by conservatives. What I mean is in-line with actual reality. And what is this reality? That every president from Hoover and Roosevelt, on up through Eisenhower and Kennedy, Carter and Reagan, and Bush and Obama has simply maintained the status quo, making no attempts to change it or utterly failing in their attempts to do so because they were not so courageous and upright and insightful as they made themselves out to be or once were.
If Obama had an R next to his name and was as eloquently conservative in his demagoguery as Newt Gingrich is most conservatives would support him. No questions asked. So much for vetting! For proof of this I give you Mitt Romney. And once the rhetoric is forgotten, give it 50 to 100 years, “conservatives” will idolize Obama too. The same thing has already happened right before our very eyes in the instances of the presidents I cited above.
1: That’s the traditional statistic. It has been revised upward to 850,000, but I digress. back
2: Bullying the Supreme Court, exiling of opponents, Union-busting, racism, a false flag attack, and maybe even voter fraud should be added to Lincoln’s list. Not to mention several forms of corruption and public-rent seeking long before having reached the highest office of the land. back
3: When ending slavery and cruelty is your excuse for enslaving and maiming others, you know there is something else that is afoot. back
4: Via the Liberty Bond Act, which fundamentally amended the relatively innocuous original charter; as well as exchange imbalances resulting from the different levels of inflation each nation suffered as a result of World War One, which resulted in an end to the gold standard that finally culminated with the 1971 Nixon Shock. back
5: These in fact have the same root, the fiscal and monetary policies around the world during and resulting from World War One. back
6: World War Two is often laughingly blamed on so-called isolationists. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was the interventionists during World War One and their subsequent failures (sometimes inadvertent, sometimes intentional) to seek peace and offer forgiveness after the war. back
7: The Depression of 1920-1921 only lasted about 18 months whereas the one from 1930 to 1945 arguably lasted at least 180 months. There is nothing in the fundamentals of their respective beginnings to suggest one should have dwarfed the other. The differences were the government reactions and the policies that ensued. However, part of the blame does rest on Herbert Hoover‘s head. back
8: Josef Stalin to you neophytes and deniers. back
9: FDR’s State Department refused to negotiate with the Japanese whom “we” had aggressed against and ultimately neglected to communicate with the lower echelons of the Defense Department about the threat that was posed. Pearl Harbor is not so shocking. back
10: Japanese Americans. There were a few exceptions of course. But these were made up for by the Italian-Americans and German-Americans that were detained separately. Oh, haven’t you heard? I guess the reverse-racist court historians forgot to tell you that white people have been mistreated in this nations past too! back
11: The Yalta and Potsdam Accords, as well as the occupation of former Japanese conquests by the USSR and soon-to-be Communist China. And this in spite of the fact that the pretext for the war, at least on Britain’s part (I said pretext; the reason, however, has more to do with Britain’s superiority complex, which happens to have been the same thing the Kaiser in World War One and Hitler in World War Two were suffering from; of course, a steady, sustained erosion of their century-and-a-half-or-so world hegemon status didn’t help the matter), was to “liberate” many of these regions! back
Over at the blog Liberty’s Republic, author Brandon Christensen has started a relaunch. Here are his latest two posts:
The blog was originally launched in April, and was doing just fine until Brandon got burgled and I (I am contributing, in fact it is intended to be a collaboration of a half-dozen or so authors, I’ve got a few pieces on there already, some of which you may be familiar with) got lazy and we both got busy. The effort was intended, if I may quote Brandon, to “whoop some statist ass this summer!” Well, summer’s over, but that don’t mean we can’t…well…you get the picture.
And don’t forget Amar, Brandon’s co-administrator.
Anyways, I hope you’ll check it out. It looks promising. We just have to work hard at it. I don’t know many of the other authors, but even if we disagree at times (libertarianism is not a monolith), I’m sure we’ll get along. At least we’ll try.
That reminds me, I have been contemplating getting a contributor or two. They would have to be good and they would have to be fairly frequent. Traffic is the name of the game in the blogosphere (I hate that word and yet I love it). I’ll get more details out about that one of these days. In the mean time be sure to check out Liberty’s Republic as well as Brandon’s other project, Notes on Liberty.
I have had someone called “Silver Account” posting on some of my articles recently. I want to post their comments and my replies, all of which have to do with the Gold Standard and the Federal Reserve. Judging from their chosen username and what they said, I would say they are somewhere slightly to the left of William Jennings Bryan on more than a few issues. That’s just fine by me, home grown American Leftism is usually preferable to most imported varieties, although I have developed a soft spot for mutualists of late.
Comment from my piece Why I Am Writing In Paul And Not Voting For Johnson:
She [a voter quoted in my article] should stay in it [voting this election] and vote for the president [Obama]. Real people know the repubs are being swayed by the racist teabags. Paul has a good idea, but the resultant people elected (repubs) would be a disaster for working folks.The banks would take your houses like in the 1890′s, women and blacks would not be able to vote. And the copper(aka, robber)-barons would be back in charge of owning (stealing) stuff. And the ignorant south would be worse-off than they are now. There would be no subsidies the blue states are giving them.
For Obama? I doubt she would even consider it. If only the Republicans WERE being swayed by the Tea Partiers! All they are doing is using empty rhetoric to get the Tea Party to vote for them. The Republicans were listening to half of what the Tea Party was saying, they would at least have some credibility. But even if they did all of what the Tea Party wanted, it wouldn’t truly be enough in my opinion.
I take it you are referring to the Long Depression (1873-1896) and the ill effects of the hastily adopted Gold Standard? The Gold Standard actually improved the overall economic situation, and this period was the best, economically that the country had ever known. Unfortunately, the implementation of the Gold Standard after so many years of fiat greenbacks made the situation of debtors even worse. This was unjust. But what bimetallists and silverites won’t tell you is that the same thing would have happened with a silver standard or a gold-silver standard, just to a lesser degree.
In any case, no Gold Standard (see this post) should be implemented from on high. Not only does this grant a monopoly to those who already have the most gold, but you may see a repeat of some of the goings on in the 1890s. You are correct on that count. That is why I support competition in currencies. Those whose debts are in fiat dollars won’t be forced into harder to pay off debts because they won’t be forced to use a gold standard currency. Commodity backed currencies will eventually beat out fiat currencies, but ideally at a slow enough rate that debtors in the fiat system won’t have their situation worsened. Everyone wins. No one is pitted against somebody else. Debtors, industrialists, lenders, depositors, etc. It is not a zero sum game.
And the women and blacks statement is absurd. No one jumps all over themselves, disgustingly so, to appease women and blacks more than the Republican party. Real racists and sexists will never have a real voice in the GOP. They can’t afford to be bludgeoned by the Democratic party. Besides, it was historically the Republican party that stood for equal rights for all races and genders, at the same time that they were the party of corporatism and corruption.
And for your information, the robber barons of today are much worse than the ones around the turn of the last century, and they are already in control. Most of the robber barons were monopolists and thugs, but at the same time, they brought many good things to this country, to all classes, races, and genders. Maybe not as good or as cheap as a more free system would have, but still faster than bureaucrats, populists, proletarian revolutionaries, or simply “nobody” could have.
The South is full of ignorant people to be sure, but no more so than most other regions. But you are on shaky ground to label an entire region or its entire population ignorant. The patronizing collectivism inherent in your statement is in fact responsible for most of the ignorance you allude to. Do you know why the South needs subsidies? Because it STILL hasn’t recovered from the Civil War. White and black alike are still suffering from Reconstruction, and exploitation from Carpetbagging Yankees. They are both kept on the two-party plantation. They have both been utterly destroyed by the public school system, in both the segregation and integration eras.
Comment from my piece Let Us Not Be Crucified Upon A Cross Of Gold:
The Fed’s performance since 1991 has been unquestionably superior to its record at any time since 1913. However, the larger, long-run question remains: Can the Fed as an “independent” central bank maintain price stability contrary to the wishes of an executive branch that seeks to use its fiscal powers to manage the federal government’s burgeoning long-term debt?
I am not sure what metric you are using to say the Fed is doing a good job, but I really beg to differ.
From 1913 (actually 1915) to 1917 was the Fed’s best era. This was before they were allowed to trade bonds, which is when the fiat currency really got off the ground.
Its policies from 1917 to 1919 led to two depressions, one lasting from 1920-1921 and the other 1929-1945. This latter Depression was the worse of the two, and obviously worse than anything we have experienced since. Having said this, the Fed’s main role was to trigger it. The length was more the result of the Federal Government’s reaction to the Depression, though the Fed did have something to do with it as well. Keynesians and Monetarists claim that the Fed didn’t expand the money supply enough. They are wrong. While contracting the supply of money would have its own problems, expanding it was what caused the problems in the first place. The best thing to have done would have been nothing, whether by the Federal Reserve or the Federal Government. During this period, the price of gold was fixed. One of the reasons the dollar didn’t collapse in this period is because gold (including that which was stolen from the American public) was used to prop it up.
But because price fixing eventually leads to shortages, this arrangement couldn’t last either. Hence Bretton Woods, which increased the flow of and access to gold. But just as before, this could only last so long. Shortage was still inevitable. At the same time the money supply was increasing. Hence the Nixon Shock.
As if the money supply wasn’t increasing at an insane rate before, taking the dollar completely off of gold only accelerated the process. Now the only thing holding the dollar up is its reserve status, something which coincided with the period between 1945 and now because of the United States’ increased influence after World War Two, which had greatly diminished the other powers.
Fed Policy didn’t really change much in these early years. But as it was no longer constrained by a scarce commodity, it could let lose. We saw the effects of this with stagflation, the dot com crash, and the housing crash. I put it to you that the Fed actions that caused these three things have only gotten worse since 1991, and continue to go down that path.
Price stability is only good in the short run or relative to increased prices. Decreased prices are not evidence of a recession, they are the result of deflation, which is a natural economic trend that has nothing to do with monetary policy.
The debt can not be managed. It can only grow until default. Default will occur whether hyperinflation happens or not. So you either have a default without Fed involvement (the better option) or default with Fed involvement (instead of just “austerity”, it will be austerity AFTER currency collapse).