… who support warmongering politicians.2:44 pm on March 2, 2014
He would have been 88 today. God rest his great soul.1:19 pm on March 2, 2014 Email Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
Last July Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick stated with assurance that he is “not running for president in 2016.” But this past week, in response to the same question from Politico, he answered, “maybe, maybe … Let’s just see what time tells.” Hmmm. I think there’s yet another pol from Taxachusetts who likes power, and wants more of it. And another moonbat, no less.
If he runs, we can add his name to the growing list of Massachusetts moonbats running for President just from the past 25 years, including John Heinz Kerry, Paul Tsongas, Michael Dukakis, and Willard Mitt Romney.
What, you don’t think that Romney is a moonbat? You actually think he’s a “conservative”? Only in an Orwell-like novel would Willard Romney be a “conservative.” With Romney’s support for medical insurance mandates, his welching on his promise to repeal ObamaCare, his pathologically raising taxes on businesses while governor, his loving the Fed and government bailouts, his support for gun control, yes, Romney is a … moonbat.
Heh. Some really die-hard sheeple actually want Romney to run (and lose) a 3rd time, in 2016. (Masochists, for sure.)
But this is about the current Massachusetts governor, Deval Patrick. Patrick is an old buddy of the current President, Obama. And Patrick takes after his buddy, in their taking many long vacations, their adoration for taxing and spending, and as with all Left-fascists (sorry for the redundancy), their love for the police state.1:15 pm on March 2, 2014 Email Scott Lazarowitz
We are always told that it is just one bad apple when someone in the military commits some crime or immoral act. I’m sorry to have to report to apple lovers that 587 more apples have turned up bad. According to Military.com: “The U.S. Army has removed almost 600 soldiers from counseling and other positions following a sexual assault review, a spokesperson said. After sifting through the records of some 20,000 soldiers, the service decided to remove 588 of them, or about 3 percent, due to infractions that ranged from sexual assault to child abuse to drunken driving,”12:10 pm on March 2, 2014 Email Laurence M. Vance
States aggress when their leaders feel like it, or “judge” such aggression to be in their “interests”. They aggress against their own citizens. They aggress against foreigners. Not everywhere, not always, not all the time, but when it suits them.
The U.S. aggressed in Iraq, massively. It’s aggressing right now in many places worldwide and domestically. This is what states do.
Is Russia aggressing against Ukraine? I do not know. Russia has leased a naval base in Sevastopol until 2042. My comments above are not prompted by Russia’s actions. They are prompted by this statement made by John Kerry : “You just don’t invade another country on phony pretexts in order to assert your interests.” The context is Russia and Ukraine, but what specifically is most noteworthy to me is that Kerry is condemning his own state, the U.S. It has top priority for me because the Bush adminstration, acting for the U.S., invaded Iraq on phony pretexts to assert its interests, and it did the same in Afghanistan. Then Obama repeated this in Libya and several other countries. Kerry, speaking for Obama and the U.S., has no moral or legal credibility in condemning Russia for what many states do routinely, domestically and in foreign affairs, and for what the U.S. has done and is doing. It doesn’t matter how many other governments he can rally against Russia or how many U.N. resolutions he can get on false premises or how many statements he can elicit from world “leaders” or organizations like NATO as he threatens trade sanctions, travel freezes and asset seizures. He is threatening further aggressions. Does anyone believe that these threats are for the moral reason that Kerry has presented, that “you just don’t invade another country”? That’s impossible, given that this is the usual behavior of states and the U.S. It’s impossible since the U.S. lets pass all sorts of other aggressions, such as that of Israel against Palestinians and Saudi Arabia against Syria. It has to be the case that Kerry’s and Obama’s agenda is something entirely different. The dangerous game they are playing is called “beat up on Russia”. Keep Russia down. Push against Russia. Confine Russia. Contain Russia. Prevent Russia from reconstructing an empire along the lines of the U.S. empire, that is, one based on invisible strings, pacts, alliances, aid packages, arms shipments, and so on. Keep Russian ships bottled up if at all possible. And by all means undermine Russia’s source of revenues via its oil and gas sales.
The rhetoric of Kerry and Obama is the furthest thing from believable in this foreign affair, and if it is not believable in this matter, why should we also not strongly suspect that their rhetoric for their domestic aggressions is likewise false and far from conveying the real purposes of their laws and activities? Statesmen lie routinely because they aggress routinely and they then attempt to cover up the actual nature of their aggressions.9:26 am on March 2, 2014 Email Michael S. Rozeff
What bestows legitimacy upon a government? Views differ. I take John Locke’s view as the conventional one. Chapter VIII of the Second Treatise of Civil Government, sections 95-122, treat this question. Locke argues that citizens tacitly consent to governments in a social contract. In my opinion, neither tacit consent nor social contract are defensible grounds for declaring a government to be legitimate.
Contracts should have explicit terms and signatories. For what reasons are governments to be thought of as established by a tacit rather than an explicit consent of those governed? For what reasons are governments to be thought of as arising from a non-explicit social contract, whatever that is? There are no justifiable reasons that I can think of. Locke endorses consent of the governed, but then he completely buries it under the ideas of implicit tacit consent to an implicit social contract.
If someone should say, as they have said in criticism of libertarian thinking, that “representative government is a legitimate authority”, my response is simple. If that government is legitimate, then let that government have a referendum on its existence. Let people who are claimed to be tacitly consenting have the opportunity to dissociate themselves from or associate themselves with this government. What possible objection could there be to such a procedure if government really is supposed to be via consent of the governed? But since governments do not do this and use force to suppress breakaway movements and secessions, and since they use force to gather their taxes and impose their laws that extend far beyond the suppression of criminal activities and violations of property rights, often themselves violating property rights, I can only conclude that they are afraid that many of their citizens would reject their legitimacy if asked. So that by their own deeds and failures to obtain consent, so-called representative governments provide strong evidence that they are not the legitimate authorities they claim to be.
From a citizen’s point of view, if he is forced to pay taxes and obey unjust laws of a government he rejects, such a government is no different than a criminal enterprise that extorts money from those under its control. For such a citizen who does not consent to that government, taxes are robbery. Hence, if some critic of libertarian thought says, as they have, “The fact that taxation is a legitimate function of representative government is indisputable,” I would argue that taxation cannot be a legitimate function of a representative government if that government is not legitimate, and for those of its citizens that do not consent to that government, it is indeed not legitimate. If governments wanted to represent people legitimately, they could seek subscribers who would pay fees in lieu of taxes. That they do not do this but instead throw people in jail or steal their property if they fail to pay taxes shows again that governments are not the legitimate authorities they claim to be.
Taxation with or without representation is robbery to the non-consenting persons because they do not agree to the representation that is being claimed as a proxy for their consent. If someone tells me that I am being represented because a group of other persons have voted in someone who then declares a law imposing a tax on me, my response is that this procedure has no different result than if they all donned sheets and masks, appeared at my doorstep on horseback, and threatened to burn my house down unless I paid them tribute. Unless I have agreed to be associated with the system of voting and its outcome, it is to me tantamount to naked force. Telling me I have been represented, tacitly consented and entered a social contract is some kind of psychotic fancy.6:30 pm on March 1, 2014 Email Michael S. Rozeff
2:49 pm on March 1, 2014
Email Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
(Congratulations to the Foundation for Harmony and Prosperity)
On Thursday morning, I made one of my rare predictions: “Putin is more than posturing, however. He will use his army to hold Crimea. Over 150,000 troops are doing a ‘military exercise’. The option of splitting off part of Ukraine also remains open.” This was based on several considerations, including the military exercise, the importance of Crimea to Russia, and the additional severe political blow to Putin and Russia if Ukraine were to suppress the ethnic Russians in Crimea or boot out the Russians.
Now the Russian Senate in a 90-0 vote has given Putin authority to use the military in Crimea. Putin’s official rationale is to protect Russian citizens and military forces in Crimea. This rationale is identical to rationales we hear from American presidents when they move forces around the world. Hence, we need give no weight in terms of a consistent position to the posturings of Obama and McCain in this matter. Not that there is any way, in the first place, to justify that U.S. forces be used to protect U.S. citizens who privately choose to do business or travel across the globe.
McCain spoke of Russia’s “infiltration” as a “great danger”. Hardly. He’s the danger if he means to confront Russia over this. It is a very good thing, relatively speaking, that McCain never made it to the White House!
Obama is bad enough. We do have to give weight to potential errors of judgment of Obama and others in the U.S. government who may decide to raise the stakes in some manner in this very dangerous game and confront Russia. We do have to understand that Obama almost blundered into war with and in Syria by foolishly adopting a red line. We do have to understand that Obama has planted the seed corn of many future U.S. involvements in conflicts by his expansion and entrenching of AFRICOM in Africa. We do have to understand that neocons still permeate official offices in Washington and that they are brainless warmongering idiots, lacking in all good sense, prudence and judgment, and totally unqualified for their positions.11:56 am on March 1, 2014 Email Michael S. Rozeff
The people running the U.S. government and shaping its foreign policies at any given time generally choose friends and enemies on the basis of what will expand U.S. influence, control, power and dominance, i.e., what will expand the empire. Unlike an empire that seeks direct territorial control and absorption of territory, the U.S. empire is content with other forms of domination and control through alliances, financing, loans, contracts, agricultural and military aid, arms sales, arms training, covert revolutionary means, and other such less visible means than borders and outright control over governments and administration.
It’s expansionism, dominance, control, influence, hegemony-seeking that’s at work. It’s empire-building that’s at work.
That, in turn, has material, ideological and semi-religious roots that go way back to the late 19th century and to the Manifest Destiny ideas that came before. It has some racist roots that go back to the late 19th century, in which the U.S. civilization was deemed superior to others and thought to be destined, even by God, to spread over the whole world. It goes back to progressivism. It is also rooted in geo-political factors. The material factors involve the control of resources and markets by large companies.
This push of empire has some imperialistic and colonialist roots, adapted for a modern age.
There is no need to be puzzled by such seeming inconsistencies as the U.S. sometimes supporting terrorists and other times fighting them; or the U.S. being anti-Nazi and yet supporting at times right-wing governments, dictators and death squads. There is no need to be puzzled by the support of democracy in one country and paying no attention to it in another or even undermining it. There is no need to be puzzled by the U.S. seeming to support the aspirations of one people while ignoring the rights of another people, including American citizens. There is no need to be puzzled by the immense hypocrisies of U.S. officials. The reason for all of this is that ideology is being made to serve the underlying purpose of the empire’s maintenance and expansion.
There are actually more than enough explanatory factors that lie beneath the surface of these seeming inconsistencies and tactical switches.
There are sometimes blunders made by those in power even if they are adhering to an agenda that has world dominance as its prime item. LBJ erred in Vietnam. Bush erred in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lines were drawn in Korea and Taiwan that may or may not have served the empire. When costly errors are made, even from the point of view of those in power so that their aims are frustrated and their power and purse dealt setbacks, they introduce noise. They make it harder for us to discern the actual underlying purpose.
That purpose is the building and expansion of an empire. In the case of the U.S. empire, this purpose is hidden by the fact that territorial acquisitions are no longer its prime means. The U.S. gave up the Philippines and Cuba. It made no attempt to absorb a defeated Germany or Japan. Instead, it used other means. This purpose is also hidden under an immense amount of ideological fictions about American exceptionalism, the self-determination of peoples, spreading democracy, and so on.9:55 am on March 1, 2014 Email Michael S. Rozeff
It’s Obama’s turn to warn Putin, plus other gangsters like McCain, Nuland and Ambassador Power. This is how gangsters behave in their frictions over turf. With governments and states, the turf is called “territory” to make it sound respectable.
People join gangs voluntarily. A turf war is “a bitter struggle for territory, power, control, or rights”. Those who fight have signed up, knowing that fights with rival gangs may occur.
Citizens don’t all join their governments willingly or voluntarily. In this case, citizens are forced to pay for the wars of their gangster leaders, forced to be drafted into armed forces, and subjected to the retaliations of the foes of their governments.
The U.S. has been looking for trouble in Ukraine. It has been financing democracy grants in Ukraine since July 1996. There is also the NED program. Then there is CANVAS. Are there covert CIA agents operating from the U.S. Embassy too? Nuland has said that the U.S. has spent $5 billion in Ukraine.
Are all of these efforts innocent and altruistic? Are they designed to bring democracy and attendant institutions to Ukraine? Or are they designed to influence Ukraine’s politics and political institutions and bring Ukraine into the European sphere and away from Russian ties? A strong case can be made that oil and gas considerations (and major oil companies and interests) are exceedingly important in all that has happened in this region. For these reasons (power, resources and money), is the U.S. gang attempting to infiltrate and undermine the influence of the Russian gang in this region that lies between the two gangs?
This power struggle is basically why we hear the U.S. gangsters warning Putin. But this power struggle does nothing to further the goals of those Americans who are forced to finance the wiles and machinations of their gangster leaders in government. For those Americans, these interventions, whether for democracy, control, pipelines, gas supplies, dominance, power or whatever, simply make no sense. They contribute nothing to their welfare; they absorb their resources and make the world a far more dangerous place.9:15 am on March 1, 2014 Email Michael S. Rozeff
Sec. of State Kerry is upset with the new Ugandan anti-gay law, so upset that he has “announced a review of U.S. assistance to the country.” At least he might do something to stop U.S. foreign aid, although for the wrong reason. Republicans love foreign aid. That is, they love taking money from taxpayers and giving it away to other countries. They vote for it every year. They did nothing to end it when they controlled the Congress and the White House under Bush for over four years.7:21 am on March 1, 2014 Email Laurence M. Vance
By the U.S. government. In a comment on my recent post, “Do Christians Have to Refuse Service to Gays?,” a reader makes a good point that the government, which tells us not to discriminate, forces us to discriminate when it imposes sanctions on countries (Iran, Syria, Cuba, North Korea, etc.).
Thanks to S.W.7:11 am on March 1, 2014
President Obama delivered a brief press statement today in which he stated that rumors about Russian military activity in Crimea were “deeply disturbing” to the United States. He then drew dangerous red lines that threaten a serious international military conflict.
What is the backdrop to the president’s warning?
Post-coup Kiev is not Ukraine — even the media has noted that Ukraine is deeply divided — and therefore it should have been expected that regions of Ukraine with a vast majority of Russians and Russian speakers would be less enthusiastic over the West’s picks to head up the country.
Nevertheless, what is good for the goose is definitely not good for the gander in the eyes of US foreign policy. Where the occupation of parliament in Kiev by the West-backed rebels was hailed by the US and EU as an expression of the people’s will, a similar occupation of the autonomous parliament in Crimea is condemned as an anti-democratic move. Suddenly “protesters” become “gunmen” in the US media and in statements by US politicians. The “mini-Maidan” in Crimea must be crushed because the people there have made the wrong choice according to Washington. They prefer to remain close to Russia, which is not acceptable to the West.
However Crimea and indeed much of eastern Ukraine is Russian and Russian-speaking. The breakaway of economic basket-case western Ukraine populated by Ukrainians, Poles, and others is of less concern to Russia than the threatened suppression of the Russian speaking east (one of the first acts of the new Ukrainian parliament was to overturn laws permitting the use of minority languages in Ukraine). Russia does have an interest in protect its citizens living in neighboring countries, as we saw in South Ossetia in 2008. This is not unique. The US has a similar policy when it comes to protecting Americans abroad.
Whether actual Russian troops are deployed outside their designated areas near the Russian naval facilities is a subject of some speculation. The new Ukrainian “authorities” have much incentive to exaggerate the Russian threat to excite the likes of John “we’re all Ukrainians now” McCain. Their popularity beyond the small Independence Square in Kiev is miniscule and they are no doubt bracing for a backlash from a nation bewildered by events of the past two weeks.
Josh Rogin of the Daily Beast speculates that the military-looking personnel spotted around Crimea may in fact be a private security force contracted by Viktor Yanukovich, who having not been impeached according to the Ukrainian constitution still legally retains his office — despite US and EU claims. The theory goes that Yanukovich is preparing for a return to Ukraine in Crimea from where he will struggle to regain control. Whatever the truth, Russia denies claims that its troops are operating outside areas permitted by treaty.
Into this incredibly tense mix swaggers President Barack Obama and his foreign policy team.11:11 pm on February 28, 2014 Email Daniel McAdams
I am on RT’s Crosstalk program, debating Ukraine with a neocon and a French left-wing politician. Does the Heritage Foundation really believe that there was no Western influence in Ukraine’s revolution?9:07 am on February 28, 2014 Email Daniel McAdams
Previously, I announced several upcoming speeches: http://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/walter-blocks-upcoming-speeches-3/. Sorry, but there are some slight changes with regard to only the events at Columbia University (March 27, 28). Both are free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Please register for either event at the following links and bring the printed receipt to the event for guaranteed admission: “Adam Smith, F.A. Hayek, Ludwig von Mises” (March 27):https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/9887231“Me and the NY Times” (March 28):https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/98872339:48 pm on February 27, 2014 Email Walter E. Block
This video shows a line of police, looking like a firing squad, that opens fire on a man at some distance from them, not attacking them or anyone else. Their shots kill him. The murder occurs 1 minute into the video.
No criminal charges have been brought against these despicable killers. The Department of (In)Justice and the FBI issued a statement: “After a thorough investigation, federal authorities have determined that this tragic event does not present sufficient evidence of willful misconduct to lead to a federal criminal prosecution of the police officers involved.”
This murder and the aftermath evidence the breakdown of justice in America. How can I second-guess these feds? Look for yourself. It’s easy. The police decided to shoot. That was willful. Misconduct hardly gets worse than murder, unless one counts rape-murder or torture-murder. Numerous alternatives were and are available to deal with a man who has stolen a cup of coffee, short of murder.11:52 am on February 27, 2014 Email Michael S. Rozeff
The US is acting like a “poor country,” with Americans not realizing that everything good about their lives is based on the mass-murdering global empire (or is it the imperial solar system?) and its corporate state. The billionaire Skull & Bonesman Kerry first came to public attention when he ran a “swift boat” in the US war on Vietnam. He delivered and picked up the CIA’s Operation Phoenix death squads, which targeted civilian leaders who. for some strange reason, did not want the USG occupying their country, and killing 6-8 million people. More and more, however, thanks to Ron Paul and other libertarians, Americans are waking up to the horrendous costs of world domination. The government’s Mt. Everest of corpses is quite high enough. (Thanks to Steve Bartin)10:37 am on February 27, 2014 Email Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
John Kerry’s mouth is a danger to us plebes and rubes out here in the sticks. He said “Any kind of military intervention that would violate the sovereign territorial integrity of Ukraine would be a huge, a grave mistake. The territorial integrity of Ukraine needs to be respected.”
There is no discernable threat posed by either the Ukraine or Russia to ordinary Americans. Kerry’s capacity to create frictions or confrontations with the Russians is a definite threat to Americans. The game between Kerry and Putin is between two governments, the U.S. and Russia. It’s the equivalent of two gangsters having a spat and posturing with one another. Putin is more than posturing, however. He will use his army to hold Crimea. Over 150,000 troops are doing a “military exercise”. The option of splitting off part of Ukraine also remains open.
Hence, what Kerry is saying is already academic unless the U.S. wants to match Putin’s raise and call him by some concrete measures.
Kerry claims his warning is not power politics: “It is not a zero-sum game. We do not view it through the lens of East-West, Russia-U.S. or anything else. We view it as an example of people within a sovereign nation who are expressing their desire to choose their future. And that’s a very powerful force.”
Kerry’s argument about sovereignty doesn’t hold water because there are no objective ways of determining what borders justifiably constitute a state be it an existing one or a new one. Borders invariably rest on a number of factors that include military, political, geographical, resource, possession and arbitrary matters. There are no objective ways to say when such a state is legitimate or not, what the relevant nation is, and what people must be subject to that state and borders. Who decides these matters? How do they decide? What happens to people who do not consent to be governed by some state? Abraham Lincoln decided it by military means on a portion of this continent. If a new state forms, it often happens that it must confront breakaway movements within it and it’s against them. What sense does this make? If eastern Ukrainians by the usual murky means decide to break off from western Ukrainians who have by their murky means decided that this should not be allowed, what sense does that make in terms of such notions as consent of the governed, the rights of free association, or even simple consistency. (more…)9:33 am on February 27, 2014 Email Michael S. Rozeff
According to Dr. Mercola, “Deaths caused by overdosing on painkillers now surpass murders and fatal car accidents in the US.” The war on marijuana and other “illegal” drugs is against the wrong target. If those in the U.S. government had half a brain, they would wage war against painkillers instead of pot and cocaine. But that’s government for you. All drugs should be legal, with no prescription required. See my The War on Drugs Is a War on Freedom.8:03 am on February 27, 2014 Email Laurence M. Vance
The governor of Arizona has vetoed SB1062, which supposedly allows businesses to refuse to serve gays. The bill is actually an amendment to an existing law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1999. It has to do with claiming religion as a defense in discrimination lawsuits and proving that one’s religious practice is genuine. Here is everything you wanted to know about the bill, but didn’t bother to ask.
But let’s just suppose for a minute that the bill actually states something like: “Any business owner can refuse to provide a good or service to gays.” As you can see in all my writings on discrimination, I believe that anyone should be able to discriminate against anyone else for any reason and on any basis. If you want to discriminate against me because I am “a pro-life, Christian, culturally conservative libertarian,” then go right ahead. But do Christians have to refuse service to gays? No they don’t. As I said in my most recent article on discrimination: “A Christian’s acceptance of the Bible’s negative assessment of homosexuality does not necessarily preclude him from providing certain ‘services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges; provide counseling, adoption, foster care and other social services” or providing “employment or employment benefits’ to gays or ‘other perverts.’” For example, a Christian landlord might refuse to rent an apartment to a gay couple (just like he might refuse to rent to an unmarried straight couple) and at the same time sell a broom to a gay couple at the hardware store he owns.
Discrimination means freedom. Without it there could be no Heinz 57 varieties. Try picking a spouse without being able to discriminate against every other woman in the world.7:56 am on February 27, 2014 Email Laurence M. Vance
As reported by The Hill, “President Obama will announce his plan to spend more than $300 billion over the next four years to fix the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges during a trip to Minnesota on Wednesday.” Now, although the Constitution nowhere authorizes Lincoln-Clay-Whig “internal improvements,” let’s put this proposed $300 billion spending for infrastructure in perspective. The last time I checked, it cost over $1 million dollars a year to keep one U.S. soldier in Afghanistan. And the last time I checked, there were still over 35,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Do the math. Hey Obama, bring home all the soldiers from Afghanistan and use the money you save to fix the nation’s roads and bridges. It will be “revenue neutral,” as they say in Washington.7:17 am on February 27, 2014
I wasn’t shocked when I heard that an 18-year-old family member had made the above remark (he uses Instagram and texting), though I was some years ago when another young family member told me that email is for old people. She turned out to be right, as I am sure he will. I still use email and FB, but it sure is fun trying to keep up!2:29 pm on February 26, 2014 Email Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
I have speaking events coming up in Idaho (this weekend), Kansas, Arkansas, Florida, and Virginia. Here are the details.
The Kansas event, on March 5, is why I am writing. I’ll be speaking at Washburn University (Henderson Learning Center) in Topeka on the financial crisis, at 5:30pm. We have lived here for nearly four years, and it’s a good thing I’m so busy with work and family: finding like-minded folks around here is a struggle.
If you’re in the area, I’d love to have a chance to meet you. We can commiserate. And plot.11:31 am on February 26, 2014 Email Thomas E. Woods Jr.
I’m not sure what rare.us is, but it looks like a conservative/libertarian-lite site. Today a Douglas Barclay. a conservative writer there, is angry that some people believe in property rights, and that no one should be forced, say, to bake a cake for someone if he doesn’t want to. This is John Locke 101. The nonaggression principle, if you prefer, though as a conservative he may not like that term.
His article is called “If Supporting the Gays Is Wrong, I Don’t Wanna Be Right.” (“The gays”?) Interfering with the decisions of property owners, in his view, is “supporting the gays.” So there is a political philosophy that holds property rights to be inviolable except when homosexuals and cakes are involved. I see.
He’s then angry when an Oklahoma legislator accidentally falls into the correct position and says the state should have no place in the marriage business one way or the other. The writer calls this “taking marriage away from everyone.” Got that? A conservative thinks that without the state, there’s no marriage. Poor, poor people during the centuries of Christendom: little did they know none of them were validly married.11:19 am on February 26, 2014 Email Thomas E. Woods Jr.
The Faux News Channel talking heads really surprised me this morning by criticizing welfare bums and parasites for the first time in my memory. The Republican Party, which expanded the welfare state more than Lyndon Johnson did when they were in power, does not oppose welfare statism. The Stupid Party, as it is appropriately labeled, stupidly believes that America’s welfare bums and parasites may some day vote Republican. Therefore, it always supports an expansion of the welfare state, as Romney did when he was the Stupid Party candidate. His position was the sky should be the limit with welfare spending, but the system may just have to be managed better by a businessman like himself. The Stupid Party’s propaganda organ, the Faux News Channel, generally spouts the party line.
But today there is a little dissent in the ranks because — horror of horrors! — they have discovered that welfare bums in Colorado are using their EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards to buy pot now that it is legal in that state. Is there anything more stupid than the war 0n drugs and those who so rabidly support it?
7:48 am on February 26, 2014 Email Thomas DiLorenzo
While I am not a big opera fan (as Dr. Donald Miller obviously is), I nevertheless do enjoy classical symphony and concerto music. But I found it interesting that the Metropolitan Opera has scheduled for next season performances of the opera The Death of Klinghoffer by composer John Adams and librettist Alice Goodman. The Met’s premiere production in New York will be on October 20th, and is a co-production with the English National Opera whose performances began in February, 2012. David Robertson, currently music director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, will conduct these Klinghoffer performances. According to the L.A. Times, the production “will be broadcast to cinemas in November as part of the Met’s Live in HD series … scheduled for Nov. 15 at 9:55 AM PST.” (The L.A. Times also notes that the Long Beach Opera will perform the controversial opera next month, March 16th and 22nd.)
Once again, we can expect the obsessively vexed and concerned to come out in the rain to protest these performances in New York this Fall. I assume the Met’s long time music director, James Levine, gave final approval to the programming, and is well aware of this opera’s controversial nature. Maybe Levine likes controversy. (I know I do.)
The opera is based on real events — the hijacking by Palestinian extremists of the cruise ship Achille Lauro and murder of a handicapped passenger, 69-year-old Leon Klinghoffer. Klinghoffer’s two daughters Lisa and Ilsa attended the New York premiere in 1991 and were both angered by the opera. They believed that it exploited their father, and that it was inappropriate to mix the plight of the Palestinian people with the murder of an innocent Jewish man in an artistic work of this sort.
While the opera does convey the “plight of the Palestinians” it also attempts to treat the Israeli perspective equally. Mainly, perceptions of the opera are subjective.1:18 pm on February 25, 2014 Email Scott Lazarowitz
Writes Gary North:
12:17 pm on February 25, 2014 Email Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
Mt. Gox, the world’s largest bitcoins exchange, is gone. Vanished. It’s now a virtual company. It took its investors’ money with it — an estimated $172 million. But no one knows. Investors now get to prove in a Japanese court that they invested money. How will they prove this? You can read about this here.