LRC Blog

Another Rich, Powerful Victim

Although she’s a long-time beneficiary of State Privilege, FLOTUS always has a victim story to tell, although she apparently has a hard time keeping it straight.

4:16 pm on December 17, 2014

Enabling Totalitarianism via Eradicating the Fourth Amendment

There is no doubt that the Fourth Amendment has been eviscerated in favor of heavy-handed police intrusions that are too often deadly. The Supreme Court has done this. A readable historical summary is here.

Justice William Brennan tried and failed to stop this from happening, making various legal arguments and appeals, sometimes to a right to privacy. I take another approach now. I argue that watering down the Fourth Amendment in favor of police intrusions and limitless government access to personal communications (government spying on its citizens) enables oppression and a totalitarian government. It subjects everyone to possible arrest, fines, seizures, harassment, imprisonment, smears, control and destruction of one’s life and livelihood. It subjects every person to a risk of being extorted by government and turned into an informant. It destroys free speech. It gives the government unlimited control over any individual person. Unlimited domestic spying enables the government to locate and then persecute (or prosecute) people who are breaking its laws. But because many government laws are unjust and create victimless crimes, and because many laws destroy rights, and because the government can pass many restrictive laws that limit speech, making a living, dissent, and other natural freedoms, the capacity of a government to spy on its citizens and collect their communications acts as a lever by which the government enforces its oppressive laws. Government access to personal communications indeed is a tool, a major and indispensable tool, by which government finds people breaking its laws. But since government makes so many bad laws that should be broken, this power of spying enables totalitarianism.

(more…)

3:52 pm on December 17, 2014

One Cheer for Obama?

The prez is not pressing his boot on the necks of the Cuban people with quite as much virulence. It’s still illegal to travel to Cuba for tourism, and most trade is still forbidden, but all those barriers can and should come down. Surely the decades of vicious anti-civilian sanctions are more than enough, even for the Cuba lobby? Actually not. That Republican pressure group will not be satified until the CIA puts them back into power. The libertarian solution? Hands Off Havana, and Free Trade With Cuba. And good for the Vatican for negotiating this first step. Cuba has liberalized economically and religiously. Now is the time for peace, trade, and friendship. And to smoke a Cuban cigar. Oh, and kudos to Ron Paul for always taking the correct position, despite Republican temper tantrums. As will be the case with everything, Ron has been proven right again.

1:33 pm on December 17, 2014

Speaking of Snakes in Our Midst…

John “The Pervert” Pistole has resigned as Chief Deviant at the TSA, effective Dec. 31. His conscious did not awaken, nor did the screams of his gate-raped victims penetrate his cushy office, prompting a re-evaluation of a life devoted to wickedness (prior to tormenting travelers at the TSA, he “[spent] 26 years with the FBI, where he rose to deputy director“) and fear of his destination in the hereafter. No, “leaders of Anderson University contacted him, Pistole said,” and “it felt like God calling.”

Whoa. Those “leaders” must have some voice.

Like you, I’d never heard of Anderson before its deific board decided that a guy who ordered his goons to grope passengers until they “meet resistance” ought to be just the ticket for co-eds. The place claims to be “a Christian college” in Indiana; we can judge how many Christian values it instills by the fact that Perv “and his family have long ties” with it.  (more…)

12:09 pm on December 17, 2014

The Right Cookware

The right cookware makes it easier to eat healthy foods and to enjoy the preparation, too. I love my pans with their extremely durable, non-toxic ceramic lining, which also makes clean-up a snap. The price is right, and they’re from Germany, too:

The 10″ Green Earth Frying Pan by Ozeri, with Textured Ceramic Non-Stick Coating from Germany (100% PTFE and PFOA Free);

Ozeri ZP-30GL Green Earth Frying Pan Lid, 10-Inch;

8″ and 12″ sizes and their matching lids are also available in the listing above. I have all three sizes.

Set of 6 Bamboo Kitchen Tools;

Kitchen Dish Towels: 100%Cotton, Low Lint, Professional Grade – One Dozen.

Best-Selling Books:

Suicide Pact: The Radical Expansion of Presidential Powers and the Lethal Threat to American Liberty, by Andrew P. Napolitano;

The Law, by Frederic Bastiat;

Guilt, Shame, and Anxiety: Understanding and Overcoming Negative Emotions, by Peter R. Breggin, MD.

Best-Selling DVD:

All Quiet on the Western Front.

Thank you again for supporting LRC with your Amazon purchases. To ensure that your orders are properly credited, please follow these simple guidelines.

11:19 am on December 17, 2014

Maybe Crucifixion Was Only A “Stress Position”

If you’d like to see everything wrong with American Christianity, or at least the pretender thereto, read this column at the Federalist. Actually, don’t read it: it will sicken you as it tries to justify torture from the Bible. “Yes, Christians Can Support Torture,” the headline heretically proclaims. The Prince of Peace, the Man government tortured to death on the cross, the One Who commanded us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us, actually approves stress-positions and rectal hydration—under the right circumstances, of course. “National security” is Lord for Leviathan’s idolators.

There are other reasons not to sully your mind with this garbage. It meanders on and on, in desperate need of an editor; it lacks wit and even common sense as the author commits logical fallacy after factual mistake after circular reasoning. For example, “government” is an entity rather than simply a group of politicians and bureaucrats exercising their fallen wills over the rest of us: we who oppose torture err because we “[apply] these [Biblical] commandments meant for individuals … to the government.” The writer also ascribes to 24’s fantasy: that torture yields information with which our ingeniously crafty public servants save lives. Study after study has disproved this, so much so that even the Feds themselves have admitted that hurting people into babbling only produces lies.

As you might expect, the usual misinterpretation of Romans 13 plays its usual starring role. And, in yet another insult, the article quotes the execrable John Yoo as if he were an expert rather than a sociopathic criminal.

Kudos to Michael Alford. He not only sent me the link, he also resoundingly reprimands the author in his reader’s comment (which I do urge you to read though you skip the article. And leave one yourself. We who follow our Lord, however imperfectly, should stomp these snakes in our midst).

10:31 am on December 17, 2014

Or LGBTIQ

Here is another group Lew, and one that I did not expect. At the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion in San Diego last month, there was a roundtable lunch and a reception sponsored by the “LGBTIQ [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Questioning] Persons in the Profession Committee.”

8:57 am on December 17, 2014

But Shouldn’t That Be LGBTQQA?

A friend at a liberal university sends along a chilling note from a campus group against weather change, representing “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, and Asexual (LGBTQA)” students.

2:20 pm on December 16, 2014

Cleveland Police Union Thug Cop-splains Blue Privilege

Follmer

Law enforcement is a career that selects for people of severely limited intellect. Even in that undistinguished company, Jeffrey Follmer, president of the Cleveland Patrolman’s Association, is a gopher mound among the Himalayas.

Follmer is marginally verbal and displays no capacity for critical thinking. In most occupations, these traits would be a liability. In law enforcement, they earned Follmer the title of “detective.” More importantly, they equipped him to learn the Killer Cop’s Catechism of Self-Justification well enough to recite it on cue, as he did in an interview last night on MSNBC’s “All In” program.

Speaking – perhaps “grunting” is a more suitable expression – on behalf of the privileged purveyors of state-licensed violence, Follmer demanded an apology from Cleveland Browns player Andrew Hawkins, who strode to the field Sunday wearing a T-shirt protesting the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was “armed” with a BB pistol.

(more…)

12:40 pm on December 16, 2014

Murray the Great

Writes David Carl:

Thank you for your most interesting site. Have only been reading it for the last few months and have gotten an education that I thought I’d never get. I am so glad that you post stuff by Murray Rothbard because it gives a sense of history and perspective. It’s amazing how Murray was saying things years ago that are so pertinent today.

12:28 pm on December 16, 2014

More on Misandrist Myths

Phony phone numbers and the gang-rape tale at UVA.

9:52 am on December 16, 2014

Report From Australia

Writes J.D. Steelman:

The media and government are trying to whitewash the events in Sydney at the Lindt Café.  Channel 7, whose studio facilities are directly across from the café, are reporting that a police sniper killed the gunman AND then the police firing started. If this is so then it means that the dead and injured are the result of the police not the gunman.  When you see the footage being aired on local TV here in Sydney it is a wonder anyone survived the police attack.

Curiously the Lindt company (owners of the café) official statement expresses sorrow for the deaths, injury, and trama to the customers, staff and their friends and family BUT does not mention anything about the police and government agencies handling of the matter. This suggests their displeasure with the manner in which this was handled by the police and the government agencies.

The gunman was a bit of a local publicity hound for his causes and apparently selected the café because it is in the financial and government district of Sydney and also across from the local TV station, Channel 7. I knew the Big End of Town, as the ruling class is called in Sydney, would not let the siege go into the morning trading day and so it did not.

9:26 am on December 16, 2014

Brother, Can You Spare 3 Billion?

Germany, amidst its economic war on Russia waged at the orders of the occupying US, asks for moolah for the bankrupt Ukraine, now being armed to finish the ethnic cleansing of the Russian-speakers in East Ukraine and to make war war on Russia. (Thanks to Gary North)

9:20 am on December 16, 2014

Inner City Blues

This week, the Ron Paul and Charles Goyette Weekly Podcast is on “Inner City Blues:  Entitlements and Economics.”

If we really want to do something about the poor and the growing wealth divide, says Dr. Paul, we need to understand things like the Federal Reserve, the business cycle, and Keynesianism and its enabling of welfare-ism and warfare-ism.   Until then the strife will increase as the American economy continues to worsen.

Listen here.

9:10 am on December 16, 2014

The Presidency Explained

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” — H. L. Mencken, July 26, 1920 (Thanks to Jim)

9:05 am on December 16, 2014

Re: If You Join the Military . . .

How true Tom. And before you join you might be sexually abused like this teenage girl was by a recruiter for the West Virginia Army National Guard.

8:44 am on December 16, 2014

Went to a Republican event last night..

Some were mildly critical of the Republican Congress, a pleasant surprise.   Yet one blowhard claimed that all was well because “we certainly can’t have the government shut down.” (Thanks, Ron Paul for disposing of this false concept) The status quo statists are standing on the edge of a cliff, backwards. No logic, just an echo chamber, without the common sense God gave an ant.  One small jolt, a light wind, perhaps a dizzy spell, and I suspect many government defenders will suddenly be airborne and we won’t hear from them again. Most people I run into are all wary of the state, in different degrees, and they are at least facing the right way over the abyss.  This site is more important than ever is helping educate those who are already looking for answers about US political reality.

8:09 am on December 16, 2014

If You Join the Military . . .

. . . you may come home and murder all of your relatives.

5:24 pm on December 15, 2014

Good News for Once

L.A.

Writes Ralph Raico:

One of my minor pet peeves is how L.A. is constantly referred to as “the City of Angels.” It’s not. It’s the City of Mary. The full original, Spanish name is, “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora, Reina de los Angeles.” “The City of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels.” Do you think that people are plain ignorant? Or is it that they don’t like to mention the name of Jesus’s Mother?

2:29 pm on December 15, 2014

Who Brings Government to Justice When It Does Wrong Such as Torture?

When the federal government commits a serious wrong, there are no customary institutions outside of government that bring government officials to the bar of justice. Americans rely on divided government to do the job of policing itself. They rely on hearings, public pressures, and sometimes impeachment or threats thereof to examine cases of malfeasance and provide a public exorcism that removes the stains of wrongdoing. But these work very slowly and usually not at all. The result of letting injustices and wrongdoing go unnoticed or not faced up to squarely is a weakening of the moral character of the people and their government. This doesn’t happen overnight but through a long process of deterioration.

Torture is a case in point. The Senate has released a report but it’s almost 2015 and the abuses date back to 2002. Evidence has been destroyed intentionally by the CIA. So far, no one has been held responsible. This would require placing many high officials in past and present administrations in the docket. And torture charges are only the beginning of the war crimes with which some of these officials could be charged.

(more…)

1:00 pm on December 15, 2014

“Voluntaryists Versus The TSA”

All of us who loathe the TSA should enjoy some good reading shortly: Jaime Sherman, a “liberty fanatic and costumer … whose passion for liberty is only matched by his passion for cosplay photography” hopes to publish a comic book slamming the blue-gloved perverts. His synopsis reads:

When the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) tries to get its gloves under the public’s skin, the Voluntaryists opt to deliver justice against the invasive blue menace.  Stopping a tyrannical takeover of the body with government-mandated microchipping will take more than courage – it will take the will of the people to stand up and say “never again!” to forced molestation and radiation.

You can support Jaime’s efforts at indiegogo.

8:51 am on December 15, 2014

American Sniper

A reader notes that the new movie “American Sniper” opens on Christmas Day. Since the movie is about a Navy Seal killer, I’m sure that movie theaters will be filled with warvangelicals and other conservative warmongers. I’m sure they will also cheer when every kill is made. Are snipers heroes or murderers? I answer that question here.

8:48 am on December 15, 2014

What Would the Cops Think . . .

. . . if they ran across someone walking through town repeating, “I wanna kill Iranians!  I wanna kill Syrians! I wanna kill Russians!  I wanna kill Chinese!  I wanna kill all Muslims!”

They would probably cuff him and send him straight to the psychiatric ward for evaluation.

Or, they would say “Hey, may I have your autograph Mr. Kristol/Wolfowitz/Krauthammer/Hannitty/Limbaugh?  I’m a big fan.”

8:18 am on December 15, 2014

Taxi Drivers Protest Uber

Taxi drivers across the world are protesting Uber and the competition it brings to their monopolized (cartelized) industry. This has occurred in a number of cities and is currently occurring in Paris.

It’s Uber vs. taxi cartels. It’s personal choice vs. government monopolization. It’s peaceful choice of services vs. government-regulated services backed up by coercion and guns. It’s ordinary people vs. monopoly-suppliers. It’s open markets vs. controlled markets. It’s competition vs. monopoly. It’s freedom vs. slavery. It’s people vs. government. It’s people’s choice vs. cartelized taxicab drivers. It’s free markets vs. cartel-dominated markets.

The libertarian position should be clear. It’s on the side of the people and free markets.

6:41 am on December 15, 2014

Governments Banning Uber

The “people” are going to win. The ordinary people. The people who want easy, fast, convenient and cheap transportation. The people who cannot get this from public transportation with its fixed routes, crowds, and fixed fares. The people who cannot get it from cabs whose prices include a hefty monopoly (cartel) rent. The governments are going to lose.

But this is a question of time, and right now the governments are fighting Uber. They are banning Uber and regulating it.

No clearer case of the evil of government regulation can be found.

As always, governments are making paternalistic arguments of safety to justify imposing expensive regulations that decrease safety. If a person had a stroke, an accident, or a life-threatening attack, would not the option to use Uber be helpful? Any market for any good or service has a safety dimension that consumers and companies price out in the market without need of any bureaucratic interference. If Uber drivers are rapists and robbers in numbers greater than what one ordinarily encounters or if Uber drivers are speed demons and have accidents, this is soon discovered by consumers who then avoid the service. Uber the company has very strong incentives to recruit decent and good drivers, as do any companies where workmen come to one’s home or where a company can be sued if its employees do wrong. The more risk-averse consumers will avoid Uber right off the bat and continue to use government-regulated drivers.

Uber saves time and allows people greater access to jobs, shopping, safe areas of entertainment and places of employment they might not otherwise reach. Uber leads to a reduction in personal use of the automobile, and that provides many kinds of savings and benefits. It could lead to a net increase in auto use as opposed to other forms of transportation, but this would be efficient because of the increased benefits obtained by users of the service. The worth of these and other opportunities cannot be calculated by government politicians, who, by the way, are lobbied by the existing public transport bureaucrats and taxicab monopolists.

6:28 am on December 15, 2014

Foreign Money Sinks – Ukraine Utterly Corrupt

Even if Americans do not have a libertarian bone left in their bodies, they should reject foreign interventions (wars in particular) on money grounds alone. Interventions chew through enormous amounts of money. Costs are astronomical. Money goes completely to waste. The corruption in many foreign countries permeates the whole system, and these places become money sinks, absorbing all the American dollars they can get. Aid, medical supplies, food, arms and everything else is stolen and converted into cash wherever possible.

Ukraine is yet another one of these pits of corruption. Accounting firm Ernst and Young placed Ukraine in the top three corrupt countries in 2012, the other two being Colombia and Brazil. U.S. diplomats describe Ukraine as a kleptocracy. Other measures place Ukraine as 118th among 179 countries in corruption.

Congress is totally irresponsible to shower money and arms upon Ukraine for any reason. Those religious people and groups whom Laurence Vance finds are constantly and blindly supporting every U.S. military move need to find some other passages in their bibles that counsel not showering aid on crooks, deadbeats and no-goods and not supporting a government like that of America that is a rotten steward of the taxes it imposes. I am 100% sure that such passages exist in their bibles, but I think they should search for them, not me.

5:31 pm on December 14, 2014

Yet Another Military Appreciation Day

Yet another military appreciation day is Christmas. In addition to the militarized Christmas parade that Tom DiLorenzo recently pointed out, this one at “WinterFest” in Virginia featured two World War II veterans. Oh yes, the good war. It justifies every U.S. war and military intervention since then.

3:56 pm on December 14, 2014

Oil Malinvestment?

As the price of oil plunges, one reads that the domestic industry expanded in a leveraged way and by issuing junk bonds with low coupons. Since the FED explicitly tried to cause risk premia to shrink, it appears it may have been successful. Lower risk premia mean risk investments were made unnaturally attractive by the FED’s buying of mortgage bonds and government bonds, by the QE3 program. Risky investments were backstopped by the FED psychologically too.

The oil industry appears to have over-invested in domestic oil production (including fracking), and this looks classifiable as a case of malinvestment, as predicted by the Austrian analysis of central bank securities buying. The FED, following an aggregate way of thinking about total demand, pays no attention to such industry and sector bubbles. They completely missed the last one in the housing sector. They are not always easy to diagnose before the bubble bursts, as seems to have occurred in oil. There is some speculation that the U.S. has pressured Saudi Arabia to break the oil price in order to punish Russia. That’s another possibility. There is speculation also that the Saudis want to undermine the domestic U.S. production. While there may be truth in one or more of these hypotheses, it’s still a fact that the domestic industry found readily available financing at low rates in the junk bond market. And similarly, there are European sovereign bonds that traded up to very low yields despite the precarious finances of the governments.

1:53 pm on December 14, 2014

***REVISED Read the Negative Comments***REVISED

For a more nuanced article on the Congress’s decision to supply $350 million of aid and arms to Ukraine, at the President’s option, see this revised link through Bloomberg.

I reproduce the very enjoyable comments here and now, but I omit author names and some details. I number the comments. I’ve omitted one long comment from some sort of biblical prophetic perspective.

(more…)

12:51 pm on December 14, 2014