LRC Blog

Re: CIA’s Rectal Rehydration

Since members of the boobeoisie suffer from cranial/rectal inversion, perhaps the CIA sees this as a dietary process for keeping the state’s obedient herd well-fed!

3:38 pm on December 12, 2014

Matt Drudge on Boehner and the NSA

2:24 pm on December 12, 2014

Comment Revolution

Ralph Raico recently urged me always to read the comments on progressive MSM articles, to see the new and heartening pushback. For example, in a story in the Guardian on the US “school to prison pipeline,” we’re told that black students are suspended at a rate 3.5 times that of whites, and disparity equals racism. An un-PC commenter notes that whites are suspended at 3 times the rate of Asians, and boys at a rate 12 times that of girls.

1:52 pm on December 12, 2014

Ron Paul Is the Trailblazer for Freedom and Peace

You can know it because the neocons are always stamping their little feet in rage at his truth-speaking, this time over his heroic call to bring all the troops home, and abolish the CIA and NSA. (Thanks to Travis Holte)

1:41 pm on December 12, 2014

All I Want for Christmas Is To Bomb Iran

At a White House holiday party for the slime called members of Congress, Michele Bachmann wished the president a Merry Christmas–after she told him that he should bomb Iran.By the way, Bachmann voted in favor of the recent bill to fund the CIA and NSA. What a despicable creature she is. Sad to say, she is liked by many conservative Christians. Thank God she is leaving Congress after this term ends in January. My apologies to all real slime.

12:26 pm on December 12, 2014

Is Rectal Rehydration a Legitimate Function of Government?

Of course, says the CIA.    It’s right there in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution — assuming of course that you are a good Hamiltonian and can find “implied powers” in between the lines of the Constitution.

UPDATE:  Graham D. writes to say that rectal rehydration is right there in the Constitution next to the part that allows for the creation of the CIA.

10:52 am on December 12, 2014

Meddling Michelle

Writes Ralph Raico:

Michelle Obama is engaged in a noisy campaign to determine the eating habits of the country’s kids. To fight the “epidemic” of obesity and insure proper nutrition, school lunches are to be monitored as to calories, fats, proteins, sugars, etc. But the kids are in revolt. Many of them have taken to the Internet (of course) with photos of the paltry amounts of food, the disgusting slop on offer in the school cafeteria, and trash bins full of discarded lunches. Students are brown-bagging it as well, or skipping out for a couple of slices at the nearby pizzeria. This set me to wondering, when did it become the job of the First Lady to lead a crusade on behalf of some cause or other? The earliest case I can think of was Ladybird Johnson, who championed the cause of “beautification.” Easy to imagine what the concept of beauty meant to those two Texas hustlers. Some joker composed a tribute to Ladybird, a takeoff on Keats: “A thing of beautification is a joy forever.” Why don’t presidents’ wives simply take care of their own children and grandchildren, just mind their own damn business, and leave the American people alone.

9:40 am on December 12, 2014

Is Al Gore’s Enviro-Commie Manifesto the Word of God?

The poorly-educated communist (a.k.a. “a Jesuit”) from Argentina known as “the pope” thinks so.

Of course, the pope has no more “authority” on the issue of climate science and carbon taxation than my garbage man does and should therefore be ignored.

There may be a few exceptions, but the leading Jesuits like the pope are Marxist ideologues hiding behind priest’s collars.  They believe — and state in their writings — that capitalism is a “sin” and would like to destroy the peaceful, mutually-advantageous exchange that takes place in free markets by any means possible, including phony baloney “carbon taxes” to “save the planet from climate change.”

9:17 am on December 12, 2014

Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Lockheed Martin)

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is retiring. Here is a list, in order, of McKeon’s top five donors: Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Atomics, General Dynamics, Boeing.

Look for him to become a lobbyist for the defense merchant of death industry.

8:39 am on December 12, 2014

Infiltrating Russia

Before H.R. 758, there was H.R. 447. It passed 381-2 with 48 not voting on Feb. 10, 2014. What was wrong with H.R. 447?

What was wrong was that it butted into the affairs of the Ukrainians. It freely dispensed its calls, its advice, and its condemnations. Ukraine was having domestic problems, but the U.S. House stuck its nose into it. This soon led to the U.S. taking sides and getting ever more deeply involved, and that too was what was wrong with this early resolution. Before long, the U.S. was sanctioning Russia. One step leads to another. That much is predictable even if the actual steps are not.

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6:25 pm on December 11, 2014

The Stupid Party Earns Its Name Once More

The revolution eats its own, as the old saying goes.

Senator Dianne Feinstein’s release of her CIA report was a masterful  move of jiu-jitsu.

As a result, the party that expected to be jubilantly celebrating its greatest victory in living memory has turned on itself.

Consider the irony: Dick Cheney, the most unpopular public figure in the country, is the leading Republican in the news, snarling with vulgarity and arrogance that torture is fine with him and he’d do it all again.

Ever since 2008, every Republican but Congressman Ron Paul has tried desperately to shove poor George W. Bush and his disasters down the Memory Hole. So-called “conservative” media immediately erase or spike any mention of his disastrous wars and his Big Brother surveillance superstate. “It’s all Obama’s fault,” they prate.

And now John Boehner, tears flowing as usual, champions legislation that fully funds everything that voters thought they were rejecting just six weeks ago. He pleads with Democrats to support him because “obstinate” Tea Party types won’t.

The scorpions are in the bottle. Feinstein now turns against Obama. Speaker Boehner turns against the Republican base. And  Mitch McConnell, in his first significant public act as Majority Leader in Waiting, endorses torture and applauds the Cheney Administration’s use and abuse of it.

The late Sam Francis was right: the Stupid Party will always be just that.

5:59 pm on December 11, 2014

Threats to Americans: Then and Now

Based on this poll from 2012, question 25, 63% of Americans think that “The United States faces greater threats to its security today than it did during the Cold War.”

During the Cold War, the USSR targeted intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) at American cities. FEMA provided a map of American targets and fallout areas. The U.S. had no defense against these weapons. It had its own missiles as a deterrent. Accident, miscalculation, ineptitude, crazy people, imperfect controls or rational calculation all could have triggered a nuclear catastrophe. The risks cannot be calculated, but the high extent of the possible damage suggests that the losses would have been astronomical. Another measure of the risk is that the USSR had an estimated peak of 45,000 nuclear warheads and the U.S. had some 31,000.

I wonder what threats Americans think now exceed those in the Cold War. Terrorism doesn’t even register as a remote threat as compared with any number of risks that occur day in and day out from weather, accident, health, suicide and crime. If the people polled were thinking of terrorists who had suitcase nuclear weapons, that might explain the result on this question; but I think that explanation is implausible. I think that Americans have heard so much about terrorism, concocted plots, airport scares, and encounter the TSA so much in their travels, and were so stunned by 9/11 that these have influenced the polling result. (The Boston Marathon bombing occurred after the poll.) In other words, what really is virtually a non-issue or a minor issue is being kept alive by continual advertising.

In my opinion, the worst threat to Americans is its own government; but I’m certain Americans do not agree. Actually, let me elaborate. Behind this government and linked to it are Americans and their opinions, many of them based on a great deal of ignorance. Americans and their government are a two-way interactive street. The irrational possibilities do not always cancel one another out; instead one or more often wins out. I view the outcomes as going off in irrational directions, without enough of an anchor or mooring in some kind of restraining codes. Therefore, I consider my neighbors and fellow Americans in combination with the government more a threat to Americans (themselves) than anything else.

2:09 pm on December 11, 2014

A Brief on Boxer

Thanks to the deaths of Michael Ferguson, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice, Americans increasingly understand that cops are sociopaths out to murder us.

Unfortunately, a few dimwits here and there still haven’t grasped this essential truth. We call them “senators.”

One such moron, the inimitable Barbara Boxer, is busily exploiting these tragedies for some personal publicity while exonerating Leviathan’s hired killers. These public slayers—sorry, servants aren’t trigger-happy; no, not at all. Their shooting of unarmed taxpayers and children arises not from relentless brutality but from mere mistakes, such as differentiating toy guns from real ones in Tamir Rice’s case.

I sympathize. You know, as a writer, I often can’t distinguish play typewriters from computers: I see the former in the nursery at church, and by gum, the impulse to pen my next magnum opus strikes; I push the tot already pounding the keys out of the way and plop myself down. I’m sure all of you suffer likewise, trying to tell toys from the “real” objects you encounter each day at work.

At any rate, Boxer’s boxers are in a wad: it seems someone, presumably the children who play with toy guns, is “removing” those “orange safety cap[s]” and “the legally required orange colored band[s]” that busybodies such as she require “fake” weapons to sport. What’s a cop to do when a child insists on veracity? We can’t expect him to withhold fire for a second or two while he reaches for the common sense he’s mislaid or, better yet, resign from such a thuggish and anti-Constitutional job, now, can we? Ergo, Ms. Shorts has written to the Consumer Product Safety Commission to “suggest” that it punish—sorry, protect the kids: she “propose[s] that you require all toy guns to have the entire exterior surface colored white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright pink, or bright purple.

If this idiocy prevails—and knowing bureaucrats, it will—, expect another “suggestion” in a year or two: all metallic paints must be registered and sold only with Our Rulers’ approval.

Update: Mark Higdon points out–

A mandate to paint toy guns some garish color? Box-brained, to be sure. Follow the criminal logic. Armed robbers, “active shooters” et al. malefactors who want to really succeed BIG TIME will first spray paint their real lethal weapons so as to disguise them from police and constitutionally-armed good citizens (well, maybe that trick won’t work with the latter). Bring on the casualties!

1:44 pm on December 11, 2014

5,042

According to a new report by the BBC World Service and the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) at King’s College London, “Jihadist attacks around the world in November killed a total of 5,042 people, showing Islamist extremism is ‘stronger than ever’ despite Al-Qaeda’s declining role.” What a bunch of pikers these terrorists are! The U.S. military killed 100,000 women and children with just one bomb drop on Hiroshima in 1945.

1:37 pm on December 11, 2014

The U.S. Navy Does Not Protect Cargo Shipping

Based on this poll (question 39), about 64% of Americans agree that “The U.S. must maintain its current naval forces in Asia and the Pacific to protect the cargo ships that carry most of [the] trade between the United States and Asia.” 27% have no opinion and 9% disagree.

What the vast majority of Americans do not know is that the U.S. Navy doesn’t protect cargo ships in the Pacific or anywhere else. My authority on this is Milan Vego, a professor at the Joint Military Operations Department at the Naval War College in his paper Trade Protection.

In May 2012, a U.S. ship threatened by pirates was saved by a warship of the navy of Iran, yes, the very same Islamic Republic of Iran.

It can be argued strongly that the U.S. Navy’s surface fleet is obsolete, at best useful against third-rate armed forces.

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1:11 pm on December 11, 2014

Microsoft Standing Up to US Government

Microsoft is fighting a US search warrant served against data held in a datacenter in Ireland. Their brief illustrates the arrogance and unilateralism of the US government perfectly:

“Imagine this scenario. Officers of the local Stadtpolizei investigating a suspected leak to the press descend on Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany,” Microsoft said. “They serve a warrant to seize a bundle of private letters that a New York Times reporter is storing in a safe deposit box at a Deutsche Bank USA branch in Manhattan. The bank complies by ordering the New York branch manager to open the reporter’s box with a master key, rummage through it, and fax the private letters to the Stadtpolizei. This case presents a digital version of the same scenario, but the shoe is on the other foot,” the Redmond, Washington-based company said in its opening brief in a closely watched appeal.

Full article here.

11:48 am on December 11, 2014

Makes a Lot of Sense

Ferguson protestors, not content with shutting down highways, bridges, and stores like Apple, now have blocked a speech at Berkeley by German-American tech libertarian genius Peter Thiel.

11:05 am on December 11, 2014

Posner on Behalf of Whistle-Blowers

Given the firmness of Posner’s views opposing the idea of “privacy” – a concept that he imagines to be useful only to those seeking to hide illegal, immoral, or other embarrassing conduct – can we expect him to publicly support Chelsea Manning’s, Ed Snowden’s, Julian Assange’s, and Glenn Greenwald’s efforts to expose the hidden record of U.S. government officials and agencies? If individuals have no expectation of privacy – derived from a deeper understanding of the concept of private property – on what basis might the state insist upon not having its behavior exposed? Given that the conduct of the state is far more destructive than that of individuals [e.g., the capacity to start wars, assassinate people, etc. vs. the video-taped sexual practices, or distasteful phone calls] would the state’s claim to not having its publicly-damaging corruptions revealed? It’s nice that Boobus Americanus is finally provided open admissions of the self-serving nature of all political action.

10:42 am on December 11, 2014

It’s Business As Usual at the CIA

Just a day after the CIA report was released, the House cleared the intelligence authorization for fiscal 2015 to fund the CIA and the NSA. The vote was 325-100. The Republican vote was 184-45. The bill originally passed in May by a vote of 345-59. It had to be voted on again because the Senate amended it and passed it by voice vote on the very night the CIA report was released.

The Warfare/National Security state is the biggest danger we face. Republicans are all for it. Ignore their rhetoric about free markets and limited government. They are enemies of freedom.

10:30 am on December 11, 2014

The Harmful Nature of Low Prices

Tom: When I was a youngster, there was an energetic “price-war” going on amongst service stations in the city in which I lived. I recall prices dropping to as low as ten cents a gallon. My father told me how harmful this practice was, and I – in my defense of unrestrained economic behavior – asked him how it could be harmful to him to pay a lesser amount for gasoline than he had been accustomed to. I received the answer young kids generally get from parents who can’t explain their reasoning: “you’re too young to understand this.” I later put two-and-two together and figured out his rationale: a good friend of his owned a service station and, I imagine, told my father how harmful the gas-war was to his business.

10:18 am on December 11, 2014

Jim Grant on Gold as the Antidote to Harebrained Fed Schemes

10:08 am on December 11, 2014

Posner Revealed

I wonder if Judge Posner is prepared to apply his hostility to privacy to his own work. Will we next hear of him coming into court some morning stark naked? After all, wearing robes – and other clothing – must, in his warped view, be for the sole purpose of hiding dishonesties in his work, correct?

By the way, I studied under Aaron Director, the founder of the “law and economics” program at the University of Chicago Law School, and I cannot imagine Aaron subscribing to Posner’s anti-privacy nonsense!

10:08 am on December 11, 2014

WaPo Getting Ready To Tell the Truth?

About the gang-rape hoax at UVA. And did “Jackie” make it all up, or is the Rolling Stone reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely a fabulist, too?

9:10 am on December 11, 2014

The Most Despicable Torture Defender

The most despicable torture defender has got to be Jeffrey Addicott, director of the Center for Terrorism Law and Professor of Law at St. Mary’s University. He was interviewed on “On Point” yesterday.

9:10 am on December 11, 2014

Are Lower Gas Prices Bad for Your Economic Health?

A headline in USSR . . . er, I  mean, USA Today says “yes” by declaring that declining oil prices may “Threaten the Recovery.”  If this were true, then the 1970s would have been the most rubust period of economic growth in all of American history.  So come on, OPEC, get your act together!  Give us another oil crisis!  Please!

In reality, the only thing that is “threatened” by declining oil and gas prices are the profits of the oil companies and the pay, perks and bonuses of oil industry executives.  You know, the kind of people who spend BIG BUCKS advertising in places like USA Today.

9:07 am on December 11, 2014

On Richard Posner

In view of the horrid views of Richard Posner on NSA spying on innocent people (see Glenn Greenwald’s magnificent critique of Posner), I thought it might be of interest to consider some other shortcomings of this University of Chicago economist and Federal judge:

Block, Walter E. 1994. “Total Repeal of Anti-trust Legislation: A Critique of Bork, Brozen and Posner, Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 35-70. http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/rae8_1_3.pdf

http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/r81_3.pdf

Block, Walter E. 1996. “O.J.’s Defense: A Reductio Ad Absurdum of the Economics of Ronald Coase and Richard Posner,” European Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 3, pp. 265-286;

http://www.walterblock.com/publications/block_oj’s-defense.pdf

Block, Walter E. and David Gordon. 1985. “Blackmail, Extortion and Free Speech: A Reply to Posner, Epstein, Nozick and Lindgren,” Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, Vol. 19, No. 1, November, pp. 37-54; http://141.164.133.3/faculty/Block/Blockarticles/blackmail.htm

I think Prof. Posner is the only man on the planet with a reasonable, albeit outside chance of being awarded both the Nobel Prize in Economics and a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court (if the Republicans win the Presidency in 2016). All the more reason, then, to show other flaws of his, apart from his support of the NSA.

1:15 am on December 11, 2014

Posner on Privacy

At a recent conference on cybercrime, Judge Richard Posner, a well-known federal appeals court judge and one of the founders of the “law and economics” movement, said that the needs of national security trump a supposed right to privacy. The NSA spying programs should be allowed to proceed unimpeded by the wishes of people to keep their private activities from the public.

Posner said, “I think privacy is actually overvalued. . Much of what passes for the name of privacy is really just trying to conceal the disreputable parts of your conduct. . .Privacy is mainly about trying to improve your social and business opportunities by concealing the sorts of bad activities that would cause other people not to want to deal with you.. . If someone drained my cell phone, they would find a picture of my cat, some phone numbers, some email addresses, some email text,What’s the big deal?. . .. Other people must have really exciting stuff. . .Do they narrate their adulteries, or something like that?” Posner’s comments are taken from this account: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141208/14063329364/judge-posner-says-nsa-should-be-able-to-get-everything-that-privacy-is-overrated.shtml

Posner has wrongly posed the main issue at stake in the NSA programs. It is not national security versus an untethered right to privacy, but people’s natural rights to life, liberty, and property versus assaults on these rights by the government. As Judge Andrew Napolitano, a jurist far better grounded in moral theory than Posner, points out in his outstanding new book Suicide Pact http://www.amazon.com/Suicide-Pact-Expansion-Presidential-American/dp/0718021932/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418256040&sr=1-1&keywords=andrew+napolitano “security” is a derivative good that cannot be balanced against inherent rights. The government has no right to examine telephones against the wishes of their owners. The choice we face is not between national security and privacy, as Posner imagines, but rather between respect for rights and an Orwellian police state.

6:30 pm on December 10, 2014

The Ron Paul Show on RT?

The neocons are livid, this time over the fact that Ron Paul is a rock star in Russia, as in so many countries. Why do the Russians love him? Because he  speaks the truth, eloquently and persuasively, about the US empire and especially its vicious and dangerous war on Russia. There is vast Russian interest in Ron’s views on gold and 101 other issues, too.

I do not speak for Ron, but I sure would love to see him reach the whole world with an international, professionally produced, top-notch news and opinion TV show of the sort RT could do. He’d be a one-man embassy for peace and freedom, a thrilling extension of his life’s work.

Does RT’s government connection make this undesirable? No more than a show on a government organ like PBS, FOX, or MSNBC, in the unlikely event one of them would let Ron speak his mind.

 

1:52 pm on December 10, 2014

Gruber and Bush

We have all heard about Jonathan Gruber openly admitting that Obamacare was passed due to the “stupidity of the American voter” because the average American is “too stupid to understand” how the law works. What we haven’t heard is that the Bush administration paid Gruber $1,248,000 to be an “expert witness.”

1:20 pm on December 10, 2014

The GOP Is a Branch of the State, Like the Dems

Republican campaign rhetoric–surprise, surprise–was a lie. McConnell, Boehner, and the rest of the gang are using your money to fund Obamare and “Amnesty.”

11:47 am on December 10, 2014