LRC Blog

The Empire’s Justification

The American Empire’s goal is expansion of the regions under its dominance, seemingly without any limit. That is why the U.S. continued to push and push after the Cold War ended and that is why it pushes to this day.

The Empire’s justifications to the American people of fighting for freedom and fighting terror do not hold up under scrutiny. They do not explain the Empire’s actions. Neither do its appeals to prevent dominoes from falling or not appeasing aggressive forces.

There is yet another basic justification for the expansionary push of the American Empire, not articulated but understood, which is that if “we” good guy Americans don’t dominate some territory, then some other bad or worse guys will, like the Russians.

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3:42 pm on November 22, 2014

Justina Pelletier Back in Hospital

 Justina Pelletier is the teenager whose life was torn apart by zealous psychiatrists at Children’s Hospital who suddenly discontinued her treatment for Mitochondrial Disease and made her physical condition severely deteriorate — all in the name of “behavior modification” fanaticism. And she is the one whose life was torn apart by Massachusetts Department of Children and Families who abducted her away from her family and kept her imprisoned in mental health facilities even though she had no apparent “mental health” issues. She has since returned home to her family in Connecticut, last June. I have written about her case several times now. Here is the Miracle for Justina Facebook page, and the Free Justina Pelletier Now Facebook page.

Apparently in late September Justina was taken to the hospital because of experiencing “serious pain,” and then rushed to Yale/New Haven Hospital on October 5th, according to the #freejustina Twitter account and the Twitter account of a major Pelletier family advocate, the Rev. Patrick Mahoney. And yesterday, Rev. Mahoney asked to pray that Justina could be transferred to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and it seems his prayers were answered just today. Whatever is going on with Justina Pelletier now, I sure hope she gets better.

Besides Justina, I have also mentioned the case in Arizona of Kayla and Hannah Diegel who were kidnapped from their mother Melissa by CPS on behalf of Phoenix Children’s Hospital. See the Miracle for Two Sisters Facebook page. It is criminal what these government agencies and federally-funded hospitals are doing to kids and to families! And there are many hundreds of victims now.

As far as I’m concerned, if Justina does not survive this ordeal, then those Boston Children’s Hospital doctors must be criminally charged. They already should have been charged, in my view.

Given the cultural, moral and ethical decline of our society, and the pervasiveness of narcissistic tendencies, there really do seem to be practitioners who are obsessed with getting government funding as well as with using human beings in experiments to “prove” their theories. So I think the hunger for research funding has become as much a religious fanaticism as this “behavior modification” ideology seems to be. Sadly, the inclination of an increasing number of doctors as “Hmm, what can I do to make this patient better?” now seems to have become “Hmm, what can I do with this specimen to further my career in receiving government grants?”

2:54 pm on November 22, 2014

Truth Obscured in the Afghanistan Morass and Confusion

Obama has approved an expanded U.S. military role in Afghanistan. It’s against the Taliban. The administration debated this. The Pentagon won this one. They wanted an expanded mission.

A normal country is one in which people do not make constant wars in other lands and do not butt into the affairs of others with a degree of deep engagement that is reserved for how the federal government meddles with the 50 states and their citizens. From any rational standpoint of a normal country, as America once seemed to be, Afghanistan is a morass, a muddle, a swamp, and entanglement that the U.S. got into 13 years ago and counting.

An abnormal country, such as America now is, is subject to the irrational standpoint of the government, the Pentagon and a bevy of contractors and interest groups. They don’t want to get out of Afghanistan. Being there is their bread and butter. Otherwise, they’d be long gone; because from the rational standpoint of a normal country, there is no American enemy in Afghanistan.

From the empire’s standpoint which makes and breaks governments or tries to, and which has arcane geopolitical and imperial interests, any challenge to its presence, including its military presence, such as by the Taliban is to be countered and regarded as that of an enemy. That is why White House spokesman Jay Carney and the government think of the Taliban as an “enemy combatant.”

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12:23 pm on November 22, 2014

Excellent Books Exposing The State

LRC readers will be interested in the two new Amazon Listmania! book lists which I have added to my previous catalog of titles. The American Deep State and American Police State bring the total up to 118 book and DVD lists. Be sure to purchase your items through the LRC Amazon portal.

10:18 am on November 22, 2014

Fmr. Bush National Security Advisor: Start WWIII With Russia!

Stephen Hadley, who served as National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush, believes that the United States should begin delivering lethal military equipment  to the US-backed government in Ukraine as that government moves ever-closer to another assault on eastern territories seeking independence.

Thus far, more than 4,000 have been killed in Kiev’s attack on the breakaway Lugansk and Donetsk regions, many if not most civilians. That is not enough for Hadley.

Bush’s old security chief has no interest in dialogue or diplomacy. He wants action, stating yesterday at an Aspen Institute conference that:

If I were in my old job I would be thinking of lethal assistance [to Ukraine], yes. But this is why you have a CIA. This is why you have covert action. I would be thinking: do we want to do it explicitly and send a message to [Russia's President Vladimir] Putin? Or do we want to do it covertly? I think we tend now to talk too much and act too little.

Russia has already warned that direct US involvement in the Ukraine crisis would be seriously destabilizing and that US provision of military equipment to Kiev would be a violation of several international agreements and indeed international law.

It could also trigger World War III, as NATO proxies armed with US weapons would be fighting right on the Russian border — just two months after a Ukrainian official threatened Russia with nuclear weapons.

Normally one might write off such statements as the nostalgic waxing of a frustrated former power broker, but Stephen Hadley is not alone. The “arm Ukraine and escalate” faction has recently seen its stock rise in the Obama administration and in the incoming Republican-dominated Senate.

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1:30 am on November 22, 2014

U.S. in Total Confusion in the Middle East

Did the neocons ever have a clear policy in the Middle East? Did either Bush? Did Obama? What were they after?

Whatever their objectives may have been, they are dead and buried. They are even forgotten by their perpetrators. They have been replaced by total confusion. There are a dozen countries here, each one with cross rivalries, spats, ethnic divisions, religious divisions and conflicting interests. At this point, the U.S. is just another player in this endlessly confusing and conflicted region, albeit one with money and air power. The U.S. is being pulled this way and that by a dozen or more different forces, and it doesn’t have any clear objectives or policies or instruments to implement them if it did.

Confusion like that being seen now was never intentional. It is not testimony to some deviously concealed plan that has been using ISIS as a pawn. What it shows is that the U.S. government and the CIA are inept, which is what we expect of government and government agencies that have their incentives and face lack of control or monitoring over their activities.

6:20 pm on November 21, 2014

Missing the Latin Mass

Bill Murray. (Thanks to SC)

3:59 pm on November 21, 2014

Terror Is Also Not a Reason or Argument for Foreign Wars

We have come a long way even from the mistaken actions of yesteryear. On September 1, 1950 Truman said “We do not believe in aggressive or preventive war. Such war is the weapon of dictators, not of free democratic countries like the United States.”

Bush overturned that completely. The Bush Doctrine makes preemptive war a pillar of American policy. Preemptive wars are not the weapon solely of dictators. They are also the weapon of free and democratic countries. The question of launching such wars is not one, as Truman supposed, of differences in the commonly observed political structures on the planet. The question of who launches such wars and who does not has to do with other factors, such as the moral stance a people and/or its government takes with respect to aggression. How far is a government willing to go to reduce the pretext for a war or to manufacture excuses for it or to cause pretexts itself? The U.S. government and the American people in this respect have gone downhill morally. The use of torture was another signal of this decline.

Bush used terrorism as a pretext for making war overseas: preventive war or aggressive war. Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with terrorism in America. Neither did Gaddafi in Libya, the Taliban in Afghanistan or Assad in Syria. They all became targets with one excuse or another, under the shadow accusation of terrorism or terrorist sympathy or of not being “with us”.

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3:16 pm on November 21, 2014

Immigration Insanity

Kinda hard to find words other than “tyrant” and “dictator” for a politician who announces as Obummer did, “…to those Members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill.” In other words, “Do as I decree, Congresscriminals, or I’ll usurp your legislative role.”

Then again, those sorry wimps in Congress deserve all the contempt Obummer can dish out. Here’s hoping they return every bit of it, given how egregiously that two-bit thug in the White House has earned it.

Tragically, however, Obummer’s power-grab victimizes millions of real people, not just 535 Congressional comrades—people with hopes and ambitions, families, skills and talents, jobs, futures, and the courage to leave everything familiar for the dream of a better life. (Ha! Talk about barking up the wrong tree! Have these poor immigrants studied none of the surveys that document the USSA’s plunge into totalitarianism?) Which makes it doubly sad that “immigration advocates rallied behind Mr. Obama’s actions, describing them as a much-delayed victory for millions of people.” What a shame these “advocates” are so foolish when it comes to despotism: either they’re too stupid to realize or too cynical to care that what a tyrant grants he can also revoke.

Traveling, settling, and living where and when we please (subject, of course, to the rights of those who own any property we may affect by such actions) are among those “inalienable rights” with which the Creator endows us. Perhaps that’s one reason the Constitution never gives the federal government any authority whatsoever to control our movements into or out of the country: the most those bozos in DC can do is “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,i.e., set the parameters of citizenship, such as how many years of residency are required or what sort of oath to administer. But the Constitution wisely leaves determining who will or will not cross an imaginary line on the ground to each individual; it never entrusts so momentous a decision to a bunch of pin-headed bureaucrats. Nor may those goons chase, harass, shoot, and kill those who dare assert their God-given rights. Predictably, that deficit of power spurred the Supreme Dorks in the 1870s to invent an “interest” for the feds in immigration. No wonder Leviathan has triumphed almost completely over our liberty of movement since then.

Meanwhile, the Blasphemer-in-Chief “cited scripture’s call ‘that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger.’ Some might say that charging usually impecunious immigrants $680 for the privilege of paying taxes to Our Rulers—which, I’m sure only coincidentally, yields a tidy $2.7 billion to Obummer’s treasury if all 4 million of his victims pony up— very much qualifies as “oppression.” And fiendishly establishing bureaucratic hurdle after bureaucratic hurdle for them to jump while they struggle to learn a new language and hunt jobs descends from mere “oppression” to downright “persecution.”

Welcome to Amerika, newcomers. If you want to head back home, we certainly understand. Can we go, too?

10:44 am on November 21, 2014

Clint Eastwood Wants an Oscar for His Snuff Film

Will he get it?

8:47 am on November 21, 2014

Gary North: ‘This Means You’

Added Gary:

With the spotlight trained on the New York Fed, Mr. Dudley has come to the defense of his organization. Mr. Dudley said last month that “I don’t think anyone should question our motives or what we are attempting to accomplish.”

12:29 pm on November 20, 2014

I Am No Fan of Neocon Michele Bachmann

But I do have to give her credit for tweeting this extremely un-PC photo. (Thanks to Bob Wenzel)

11:07 am on November 20, 2014

U.S. Is Creating A New Enemy: Russia

Russia will soon publish a revamped military doctrine. Rumor has it that the U.S. and NATO will be designated as threats or adversaries or enemies. This speculation is bolstered by the statements of a senior Russian Defense Ministry General.

Even without an official document having yet been published, we can say now that the U.S. and NATO policies, especially as they have transpired over Ukraine, have caused this hardening of the Russian position. The U.S. is creating a new enemy: Russia. This is purposeful. Only a big enemy like Russia can get Americans to accept the costs of the American military levied upon them. Only a big enemy like Russia can be used to justify a big military establishment. The war on terror no longer provides enough of a justification for a people tired of such losing propositions.

Although Obama conceives that he is in the right over Ukraine and Russia in the wrong, and although he conceives of sanctions as justifiable and measured, he has still nonetheless made Russia into an enemy. Russia is responding in kind. Obama’s sanctions came along with strong NATO rhetoric and a history of broken promises or betrayed understandings about the expansion of NATO. What Obama has done didn’t occur in a vacuum. The anti-Russian policy stance goes back to the end of the Cold War. If Obama wanted a friendly or cooperative Russia, he certainly didn’t achieve it.

Warmongers and neocon hawks will seize upon an altered Russian military doctrine that names the U.S. as its primary adversary as evidence that Russia is indeed a threat and an enemy. This will be a lie. From the ending of the USSR to several years ago, there was no evidence that Russia was an enemy. It made no hostile moves on any surrounding countries or on the U.S. The recent moves of Russia with respect to Ukraine are responses to the U.S. moves, namely, the U.S. supported a violent change in Ukraine’s government and then a Ukrainian military campaign against its own people. Russia is still not an enemy of the U.S., even if it identifies the U.S. and NATO as its prime adversaries. However, it is still the case that the U.S. is creating Russia as a new enemy.

5:47 pm on November 19, 2014

Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014

This proposed act is here. Its current co-sponsors are here. Among other provisions that sanction Russia, this Act commits America to reestablish the territorial integrity of Ukraine by providing advanced weapons to Ukraine’s government. This sets America against Russia, which supports Crimea as a Russian federal district. Russia also respects the eastern Ukraine Donbass republics whereas the U.S. does not.

The U.S. already has committed America to Ukraine in substantial ways.

A few days ago, President Poroshenko of Ukraine said

“We are prepared for a scenario of total war… We don’t want war, we want peace and we are fighting for European values. But Russia does not respect any agreement.”

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2:03 pm on November 19, 2014

Time to Wind Down Veterans Day

Another bad thing about Veterans Day is that the signs praising veterans are often not removed for days or weeks after the holiday is over. I just drove by a sign that said: “Thank a Veteran for Your Freedom.”

I thank God for any freedom that I still have left in the police state United States. The more veterans we get, the more our freedoms are taken away. Not sure why we should thank veterans for anything other than bombing, killing, invading, and occupying on command when it has nothing to do with defending the United States.

12:16 pm on November 19, 2014

Good Advice From Jesse Ventura

Don’t join the military! (Thanks to Jay Stephenson)

12:15 pm on November 19, 2014

The Evil and Economically-Ignorant Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Would it make sense for a corporation to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a new business with a business plan of competing with Wal-Mart by charging higher prices than Wal-Mart does?  Of course not; the biggest idiot in the entire business world would never contemplate such a stupid idea, yet that is the cornerstone of the Federal Trade Commission’s argument for holding up a proposed merger between Dollar General and Family Dollar.  The FTC is demanding that Dollar General sell 4,000 of its existing stores as a condition of the merger.  If not, say the bureaucratic ignoramuses there, the merger will create “monopoly power.”  In the language of the FTC, “monopoly power” means the power to raise prices.  This of course would allow Wal-Mart (among other corporations) to wipe out the newly-merged corporation.

Obviously, the intent of the merger is to achieve synergies that will allow the new company to CUT prices and become more competitive with Wal-Mart — exactly the opposite of the FTC “analysis.”  This doesn’t mean that the new company would necessarily succeed, but that is certainly the intent.  That is why the Web site, TheStreet.com, published a headline about the proposed merger declaring that it would mean “BIG Trouble for Wal-Mart.”  Big trouble for Wal-Mart would in turn mean great news for consumers.  The FTC is doing everything it can to see to it that that never happens.   So-called antitrust regulation has for 125 years been a tool of the crony capitalists.  Its effect has always been to protect (politically-connected) competitors from competition, all in the name of “the public interest”!

 

10:14 am on November 19, 2014

Conservative Pastors Take Libertarian Stance

Writing in a conservative Catholic journal, two prominent Protestant ministers have called on ministers and priests to refuse to perform government marriages.

Therefore, in our roles as Christian ministers, we, the undersigned, commit ourselves to disengaging civil and Christian marriage in the performance of our pastoral duties. We will no longer serve as agents of the state in marriage. We will no longer sign government-provided marriage certificates. We will ask couples to seek civil marriage separately from their church-related vows and blessings. We will preside only at those weddings that seek to establish a Christian marriage in accord with the principles ­articulated and lived out from the beginning of the Church’s life. Please join us in this pledge to separate civil marriage from Christian marriage by adding your name.

Like homeschooling, this is an important act of personal secession. Indeed, it can have a huge and salutary social effect, especially if civil marriage is rejected entirely, as it ought to be.

10:13 am on November 19, 2014

U.S. Senate Votes Against Freedom in the USA (Again)

The U.S. Senate yesterday voted against a motion to allow a vote on the USA Freedom Act, which proposed to end NSA/CIA spying on American citizens who are in no way suspected of being criminals or terrorists.  “CIA and NSA surveillance continues unfettered,” announced a UPI headline.  Yay!  The senators cited “growing terrorist threats” as their reason for voting against American freedom this time.

What could be more American these days than the U.S. Senate voting AGAINST something called the “USA Freedom Act”?

9:12 am on November 19, 2014

Seeing the State for What It Is

Writes Tim Tesluk:

In today’s Murray Rothbard article, Chuang-tzu is quoted as perhaps the first theorist to see the State as a brigand writ large: “A petty thief is put in jail. A great brigand becomes a ruler of a State.”

This just resonated so perfectly with a stone classic Bob Dylan song “Sweetheart Like You” (from the 1980 album “Infidels”, produced by no less than Mark Knopfler and Sly Dunbar, and on which the great – and greatly under-rated – Mick Taylor plays lead guitar) where in the third verse Dylan writes “Steal a little and they put you in jail, steal a lot and they make you king”.

Maybe you were thinking of this song when you posted Rothbard’s article. In any event, a timeless concept in timeless classic. And if you don’t know the song, check it out.

In his City of God, St. Augustine tells the story of a pirate captured by Alexander the Great. Alexander demands of him, “How dare you molest the seas?” The pirate replied, “How dare you molest the whole world? Because I do it with a small boat, I am called a thief. You, with a great fleet, molest the whole world and are called an emperor.” St. Augustine called this answer “elegant and excellent.”

UPDATE from Bill Fangio:

Lew, the Dylan quote sounded familiar. Then I remembered:

“Steal $100, they put you in stir. Steal a million, they call you sir.”–James Cagney in the movie “Never Steal Anything Small,” 1959.

8:59 am on November 19, 2014

The New Mises.org Is Here

The brilliant and much-needed new Mises Institute site is live today. See the announcement by Jeff Deist.

4:17 pm on November 18, 2014

Romans 13 Redux on Radio

I’ll have the honor of chatting with Katherine Albrecht today at 5 PM EST on “The Biblical case against Satan’s citadel, the State. Why anarchy (a.k.a., anarcho-capitalism) is the Christian response to government’s atrocities.”

One of the many reasons I appreciate Katherine is that she doesn’t content herself with puffball questions: she never fears to explore the more challenging aspects of freedom. So I hope you’ll join us. Our exchange may supply you with ammo for the annual Government Vs. Liberty debate around the Thanksgiving table this year.

11:04 am on November 18, 2014

Less Faith in the State?

The Atlantic: “Watching the battle between Obama and a Republican Congress for two years may shake Americans’ faith in the Framers.” Thanks to Gary North, who notes, “We can only hope.”

9:52 am on November 18, 2014

A Reader Comments on the Lincoln Cult

Steve M. writes of how much he appreciates my book, The Real Lincoln.  He also has some choice comments about the Lincoln cult:

“Unlike many of your critics (many of whom should be sued for slander), my interest is not in propping up a massive, overbearing federal government, but in the sort of freedom a good moral person deserves.”

And getting to the heart of the matter:  “Your critics are lying, dissembling losers.  The facts are so sharp, they are like cornered rats.  And predictably, they act like it.”

UPDATE:  Joe J. writes to say that Lincoln cultists remind him of “Holocaust deniers.”

8:07 pm on November 17, 2014

The Nationalist Football League

It’s too socialist to make it in London, says this Brit.

7:12 pm on November 17, 2014

Ignorant Warvangelicals

Do warvangelicals know anything at all about the military god that they worship? For example, this lesbian soldier was welcomed home by her “wife.” I guess this is one soldier that won’t be asked to speak at a church on Veterans Day.

4:15 pm on November 17, 2014

Political Relativity and the Infinite Cynicism of Prohibitionists

The evil singularity called “government” warps space-time in such a way that those closest to it are exempt from law’s effects — not merely the moral law, mind you, but some aspects of the laws of physics, as well.

Last June, Boise, Idaho resident William James Esbensen, who operated a medical marijuana co-op in Ontario, Oregon, was found guilty of receiving “proceeds” from marijuana sales, under a law that was no longer in effect. During the trial, prosecutor Michael Dugan — acting on the assumption that time must yield to the imperatives of power, in this case exercised on behalf of marijuana prohibition — repeatedly insisted that it was impermissible, under Oregon law, to receive money in exchange for medicinal cannabis provided to an approved patient.

Esbensen is serving a two-year probation term, and paying tens of thousands of dollars in fines and fees, for doing something that would be indisputably legal under Measure 91, a flawed but significant marijuana decriminalization initiative approved by Oregon voters earlier this month. That law goes into effect next July. As someone who lives outside of the political singularity, Esbensen cannot benefit from the time-displacing properties of power. The same isn’t true of some municipal political elites, however.

Just prior to the election, several Oregon cities enacted marijuana sales taxes. Among the cities enacting such measures was Vale, the seat of Malheur County, where Esbensen was prosecuted. In fact (as I’ve previously noted) the Vale City Council includes two members of the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office, which investigated the 45th Parallel — including Deputy Brad Williams, who headed the investigation and slapped the handcuffs on Esbensen as he was led away to jail.

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12:58 pm on November 17, 2014

Thanks to Zero Hedge

For publishing my talk on anarcho-capitalism. (HT Luis Almeida)

11:09 am on November 17, 2014

Join ISIS To Change Them

Writes bryan Stevenson:

Trying to promote freedom through political systems is like joining ISIS to change them from the inside.

It is a fool’s errand, and you legitimize the evil that you are trying to defeat.

9:25 am on November 17, 2014

Yankee Bases Go Home

The people of Okinawa resist being occupied by the US, whose military bases radiate crime and social degradation.

9:11 am on November 17, 2014