LRC Blog

Venetian Freedom

Lew:   The Venetians are tired of being stolen blind by a lot of shady schemes!

6:56 pm on April 19, 2014

Venetians Want Their Freedom

The Venetians lost their ancient independence to the monster Napoleon. Now they want out from under the monstrous central government in Rome. But this would be ‘illegal,” bleats a regimist. And Rome’s cops arrested 20 independence advocates for “terrorism” because of their tractor (see the photo). But highly centralized states like Italy are doomed. Long live “La Serenissima” — the Most Serene Republic of Venice. (Thanks to Robert Hiett)

4:01 pm on April 19, 2014

Complex Issues

“Talk of imminent threat to our national security through the application of external force is pure nonsense.

“Our threat is from the insidious forces working from within which have already so drastically altered the character of our free institutions, those institutions we proudly called the American way of life.  

“It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear.  

“While such an economy may produce a sense of seeming prosperity for the moment, it rests on an illusionary foundation of complete unreliability and renders among our political leaders almost a greater fear of peace than is their fear of war.” — Five Star General of the Army Douglas MacArthur  

 “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.   

(more…)

1:10 pm on April 19, 2014

Butler, Bankers, War and More

For LRC readers not familiar with Smedley Darlington Butler, I should point out that he was a Major General in the US Marine Corps, the highest rank at that time. At the time of his death in 1940, he was the most decorated Marine in United States history, having received 16 medals, five for heroism, including two Congressional Medals of Honor.

In a speech delivered in 1933, Butler said of war and the men behind it:

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it.

Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914.

I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street.  The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909–1912.

I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested. During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

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12:11 pm on April 19, 2014

The Most Revolutionary Act in History

The crucifixion, says Tim Stanley.

9:11 am on April 19, 2014

Oh, Butter Bad. Haven’t We Heard That Before?

Tom Philpott of Mother Jones has written a good article on the demonization of saturated fat, though it falls short of calling out James McWilliams for what he is: a hysterical and discreditable shill for the Industrial Food Machine. Here’s a quote from the Philpott article:

“Simultaneously, as Bittman correctly noted, trans fats—cheap vegetable oils treated with hydrogen so that they remain solid at room temperature—emerged as the food industry’s butter substitute of choice for decades, providing the main substance for margarine. Based on relentless food industry marketing, generations of people grew up thinking trans-fat-laden margarine was healthier than butter—even after science definitively showed that it was much, much worse (a sorry tale I laid out here).

These fat-related marketing triumphs, quite profitable for the food industry, coincided with a surge in diet-related health troubles, including heightened obesity, diabetes, and metabolic-syndrome rates. Bittman is correct to discuss highly processed food in the context of the controversy over fat; and in trying to force it out of the conversation, McWilliams is playing his usual role: reasonable-sounding defender of a highly profitable but dysfunctional industry.”

Philpott’s article takes on another article published by McWilliams in Pacific Standard that makes the claim that butter is back (becoming acceptable again) only because disingenuous food writers are misinterpreting studies in order to push their “eating like grandma” agenda. And this comes from a guy who has long hustled the political agenda of the food conglomerates and pseudo-scientific special interest groups.

McWilliams is a consistent force in banging the drum for GMO foods and seeds, anti-meatism, and industrial-chemical products that are barely laced with food while he carries on a campaign against locavores and self-sufficent types who pursue the traditional/real food lifestyle. Additionally, he has carried on his own private war against saturated fat while supporting his personal preferences – and hatred for all things fat – by promoting a consistent stream of political ploys and junk scientific studies.

The McWilliams article cannot possible be taken seriously at the point that McWilliams refers to the defense of meat eating as “prescribing a heart attack on a plate.” His argument loses all traction – if he ever had any – with that statement. In fact, meat eaters, or any other category of peaceful foodies, are not promoting any political agenda – they are merely forced to defend their choices from their politicized attackers who have continually used coercive tactics to ban or stigmatize traditional foods in favor promoting the wonders of chemical-industrial replacements.

What really has McWilliams all pissy is the fact that New York Times food writer Mark Bittman wrote some kind words about a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine that challenged the conventional wisdom on the saturated fat question. Bittman was called out as a zealot who believes we can “egg-and-bacon our way to heart health” when in fact Bittman is a promoter of the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle and the author of a book on that topic.

6:37 am on April 19, 2014

Walter Block on deontological vs. consequentialist ethics and more

As the title reads: Dr. Block speaks about deontological and consequentialist ethics. Block claims that there are no positive obligations under libertarian theory and he applies that to raising children. Several different views from top libertarian thinkers are discussed in this terrific video. Murray Rothbard’s view on the obligation or lack there of when it comes to one’s children is interpreted by the interviewer, Daniel and Block himself. Block explains where he disagrees with his friend Dr. Stephan Kinsella on relevant issues. Daniel, presents Stefan Molyneux’s argument against evictionism and Block offers his rebuttal of which he has written about in the past. Molyneux’s argument is on that involves a tornado and crucially timed warnings to the natural disaster, listen in and hear Block’s rebuttal in which he uses an airplane scenario. There is much more thought provoking topics that appear throughout this lengthy but substance dense video.

By Luis Rivera III

Walter Block on deontological vs. consequentialist ethics and more

5:26 pm on April 18, 2014

Koch’s Dopes

Once upon a time, in July of 1978 I had the honor of attending the Cato Institute’s First Summer Seminar on Political Economy atWake Forrest University. The distinguished faculty of libertarian luminaries included Murray N. Rothbard, Leonard P. Liggio, Arthur A. Ekirch, Walter E. Grinder, and Roy A. Childs. This was before the devastating Cato Institute split detailed by David Gordon in his excellent series of articles at LRC.

The curriculum was hard-core Rothbardian – natural rights libertarianism from The Ethics of Liberty, Austrian Economics, revisionist history, and libertarian class analysis.

The Cato organizers gave us each a ton of excellent books (including Rothbard’s Power and Market) and photocopy reprints of classic articles including Rothbard’s libertarian strategy memorandum to the Kochs which served as the guideline for the Institute’s creation.

Rothbard later admitted that these early Seminars were organized as “best and brightest” talent searches for Cato.

But it was the powerful lecture presentations by Walter E. Grinder, “Libertarian Class Analysis” and “American Power Elites” which had the most truly lasting impact upon me

Reading Robert Wenzel’s perceptive observations today on LRC concerning how far the Koch-funded “libertarian” student groups have fallen in their willful ignorance and boastful hubris deeply saddens me.  Things surely do not go better with Koch; but they do with Lew and his crew.

5:09 pm on April 18, 2014

Conversations with John Judge

Two incredible interviews with the late John Judge

4:43 pm on April 18, 2014

The Ukrainian Happy-Talk Agreement

Writes Jack D. Douglas:

Have I suddenly awakened in Cloudopolis or The Garden of Eden or in Heaven itself?

The Western-ballyhooed “Geneva Agreement on the Ukrainian Crisis” is on its face nothing but U.S.-Kiev demands and pipe-dreams. It supposedly ends the threat of Civil War in the Ukraine, which is already raging with U.S,-Kiev armored forces encircling and attacking Eastern Ukrainian civilian protesters who have seized and barricade all of the major government buildings in the major cities in the East. The “Agreement” says nothing about those attacking tanks and helicopter gun ships withdrawing and disarming, nothing about how the Agreements are to be carried out and enforced, nothing about the growing chaos and financial catastrophe of the Ukrainian Junta, nothing about protecting the Russian gas lines to the E.U. from U.S. and Kiev saboteurs, nothing much about anything in the real world.

This sounds like an introductory poem of ecstatic hopes written in magical surrealism mode by the ghost of Gabriel Marquez.

I think it’s one of those Media Happy Talk Agreements which everyone involved felt the need to agree with to avoid looking like a killjoy to the great ignorati back home.

It’s possible that the Media Talk is just the SOP blah-blah, but real, hard agreements were made in top secret. The Junta said this Monday they might be willing to hold a referendum in the East on a loose federation constitution and allow the East to be free of Kiev.

Or maybe this is a total surrender by the Russians who have massive forces that can encircle  the Junta in hours?

(more…)

4:01 pm on April 18, 2014

Words Recalled

I have been reminded of some powerful words of William Carlos Williams:

It is difficult to get the news from poems/ yet men die miserably every day/ for lack/ of what is found there.

2:51 pm on April 18, 2014

When to Thank a Veteran

When should we thank a veteran? How about this: “If anyone is wondering if there is an appropriate occasion to thank a veteran, it’s when they have the moral courage to abandon their military careers and stop participating in and/or condoning the actions of an institution responsible for so much harm at home and abroad.”

That is, we should thank a veteran just as we should thank a TSA or DEA agent–when they quit.

Thanks to TM at The Anarchist Notebook.

12:25 pm on April 18, 2014

Opposing the Government or One of Its Laws Does Not a Libertarian Make

Some have called the Nevada ranchers libertarians. They may or may not be libertarians. It is just like when some actor says he supports the legalization of marijuana. Some libertarians are then quick to label the actor a libertarian. Too quick. But opposing the government or one of its laws does not a libertarian make. What makes one a libertarian? See Lew Rockwell here and Jacob Hornberger here.

10:39 am on April 18, 2014

Government Bailouts: Picking Winners | Walter Block

This speech took place in 2009. Here, Walter Block defends greed, Laissez-faire Capitalism, speculation and attacks government spending, bailouts, regulations and the Keynesian explanations and theories as to why a recession hit. Block then tells the real reason as to why the recession has hit, The Austrian Business Cycle Theory. He goes over interest rates and how they are an extremely important indicator in the market. Listen in to listen to The Mises Adjunct Scholar explains in more detail below.

By Luis Rivera III

Government Bailouts: Picking Winners | Walter Block

10:02 pm on April 17, 2014

They Are Just Following Orders

Remember, if government agents commit violence against ranchers in Nevada, don’t forget to repeat over and over again: they are just following orders, they didn’t write their job description, it is bad government policies that are to blame, they couldn’t find another job, it is the fault of the Congress, they joined because they just wanted to serve, they are just pawns in the machine.

And when you realize how stupid that sounds, stop excusing U.S. troops who bomb, maim, and kill for the same government.

10:06 am on April 17, 2014

Re: John Judge, RIP

Charles, this is very sad news indeed. We had the pleasure of working briefly with John while he served as Rep. Cynthia McKinney’s aide in Congress. He would occasionally come by the office and I recall being so enormously impressed by his fierce intelligence and his great courage. In a world dominated by 20-something staffers who in the main were convinced they ruled the world but whose arrogance was only matched by their ignorance, you can imagine what a treat it was when John Judge stopped by. He was a giant and he will be greatly missed. I rue that I had lost touch with him over the past several years.

Here is a fascinating and wide-reaching interview with John Judge discussing his life, the Pentagon and the war machine, the police state, and much more. John was a seeker and held views on events like 9/11 and the Kennedy assassination that lead some to ignore anything he said. What a sad and one-dimensional world it is for those who discount anyone with whom they cannot agree in total.

8:36 am on April 17, 2014

Bobby Darin: A Simple Song of Freedom


(Thanks to Jack Douglas)

8:29 am on April 17, 2014

John Judge, RIP

The great John Judge has died. John was one of the most dedicated and tenacious researchers of the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and of the fascistic implications of the coup d’état by Lyndon Baines Johnson and the top tier of the National Security State. Here is how I believe John would want us to remember him, boldly speaking truth to power.

11:25 pm on April 16, 2014

Walter Block – Who Will Build the Roads?

Here, Dr. Walter Block tackles the most FAQ made to Anarcho-Capitalists: Who will build the roads? He briefly goes over some of the arguments he makes in his book The Privatization of Roads and Highways. Approximately 40,000 people die on the socialist roads in the USA per year! Block explains in the video that there are ultimate and proximate causes of traffic accidents that lead to death. He compares restaurant owners to the road socialists and shows the double standard using the terms ultimate and proximate causes. Listen in and learn from the master how to properly defend the question: “But! Who will build the roads?”

By Luis Rivera III

Walter Block – Who Will Build the Roads?

9:34 pm on April 16, 2014

Who Are Those Guys?

In the famous words of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, who are those guys — that is, the cowboys hired by the U.S. Politburo of Land Management (BLM) to steal the Bundy cattle for them in Nevada?  Why aren’t their names printed on the front page of all the newspapers in the state?  According to news reports, the Politburo paid them $966,000 in taxpayer dollars to conduct the theft of Mr. Bundy’s cattle, killing some of them (including two bulls) in the process.  You can find facts like this on the Web, but no names.  Why not?  What kind of “journalism” is this?

UPDATE:  Jerri W. has apparently “scooped” the New York Times, Washington Post, CNBC, CNN, ETC., by sending along what appears to be the actual cattle-rustling contract between the BLM and one Shayne Sampson of Meadows, Utah.

Another emailer who says he grew up on a cattle ranch in Texas writes to say that no real cowboys would have killed several bulls in a roundup, as the BLM’s cattle rustlers did on the Bundy ranch.  That’s the kind of thing one expects from cattle rustlers (i.e., criminal thugs), not real cowboys, he said.

3:05 pm on April 16, 2014

Shock, Shock

“US now controlled by rich and powerful,” says a new study. This is as versus during the 20th, 19th, 18th, and 17th centuries. (Thanks to Robert Hiett)

1:26 pm on April 16, 2014

Warmongering Deadbeats

A bunch of 2012 Republican presidential candidates. Ron Paul, needless to say, is not among them.

1:23 pm on April 16, 2014

In a Sack

Writes Jack D Douglas:

I doubt that the Kiev Junta has sent its best military and secret police forces into the E. Ukraine Sack. The “armor” is old, weak, and easily destroyed by weapons the pro-Russian freedom fighters and old lady demonstrators seem to have. The troops seem generally rag-tag and unreliable.

Russia, Kiev, and the local militias in the E. Ukraine report that “armored” units, generally said to be about eight, were peacefully taken over by the demonstrators against Kiev. The locals and Russians apparently say that they took them over with the help of the ” tank” crews, who apparently defected to avoid killing brother Ukrainians. Kiev disagrees, apparently.

In any event, it indicates the Kiev “Army” is not quite on a level with Russian special strike forces on their border. Whether the Kiev forces can slaughter the local militias and old ladies and take back police stations and city halls from determined resistance, remains unclear.

But there is no doubt that, IF the Kiev “Army” starts using fire power to attack the locals, Russia can, if Putin et al. choose to stop their slaughter,  totally envelope the Kiev “Army” in hours with helicopter and other forces, cut off their supply lines, destroy their depots of supplies, and offer amnesty to all who choose not to fight.

(more…)

11:59 am on April 16, 2014

More Indictment of the Mistranslated Romans 13

Tyrants through time and around the globe have wielded the erroneous translation of Romans 13 (“God’s ordained the State, so shut up and obey, you Christian, you” — yep, I’m paraphrasing) as a weapon against believers. And Amerikan dictators are no exception:

In our attempts to rescue babies at abortion mills throughout America, several times civil authorities from local police to the FBI all started their interrogations by quoting Romans 13:1-4. Their basic premise for quoting this one passage was to deflect their guilt for protecting baby murder and violating God’s law “Thou shall not kill” to make us the guilty party. In the case of Roe vs. Wade, however, it is civil government that is the law breaker. Whereas, those who seek to peaceably rescue the innocent unjustly sentenced to death are the law keepers (Proverbs 24:12, 13). Our response was, “That is interesting you should mention this passage. Hitler quoted it often to condemn Christians who opposed his bloody atrocities as well.” Immediately, their tactics of investigation changed.

Oh, I’ll bet they did. They probably charged this courageous brother who dared compare them to Adolf with “resisting arrest” and “disturbing the peace” in addition to whatever other “crimes” they’d invented.

11:49 am on April 16, 2014

More on the “Transgender” Issue

In an earlier post my reference to “transgender” issues seemed to bother some emailers. Well, I have my particular views and I will stick to them. I certainly haven’t “attacked” anyone or used uncivilized language. One emailer felt that I was “hurtful” in my continuing to describe the male transgender teen (being tormented by the DCF) with the pronouns “him” and “he” when the youth feels he is a “she.” Now, if you are a male but prefer to be called “Mary” or “Susan,” then I have no problem with calling you your preferred name. But if someone is a male I will refer to him as “he.” If my doing that is “hurtful,” then I would say that there may be some unresolved issues which may need to be addressed. That’s my view on that. And one’s gender is not just associated with one’s physical genital apparatus, by the way, as one emailer thought that I had implied. One’s gender includes other aspects associated with it and associated with one’s self, in my view. It’s part of the whole individual.

Further, self-determination is an important aspect of personal growth and liberty. We should respect who someone is as a unique individual (except those who aggress against others). However, with the gender identity issues as with other issues, I really believe that the influence that one’s primary caretakers have during the first 1 or 2 years of life has a lot to do with these issues later on, and that much of the time, who one really is as an individual may not have been genuinely respected by one’s primary caretakers during that first important phase of life. In psychology, some of the effects of that can be referred to as narcissistic disturbance, which affects a wide range of personality and life aspects, including one’s gender identity, in my view. I’m sure that some people will disagree with me, but if someone says that some particular male person feels he is really female then she should be respected for who she is, well, okay but I believe there is more going on inside — in other words, my view is that the taking on of the opposite gender is part of the “false self,” and isn’t part of who one really is, and which has its origins in the earliest years of the relationship between that individual and one’s primary caretakers.

I would say that during the 1980s Alice Miller had a big influence on my thinking, particularly in her books, The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self, For Your Own Good, and Thou Shalt Not Be Aware: Society’s Betrayal of the Child.

10:35 am on April 16, 2014

Calling Them on Their Hypocrisy

I hate to applaud The Daily Caller since it was “founded … by Tucker Carlson, a 20-year veteran journalist, and Neil Patel, former chief policy advisor to Vice President [sic for 'War Criminal'] Cheney,” but since New York’s führers happen to be Democrats, The Caller has superbly highlighted their utter, gallingly double standards. You’ll recall that these elected criminals tirelessly work to strip everyone, not just the victims geographically under their thumbs, of our inalienable rights to keep and bear: they’ve arrested, jailed and fined numerous tourists who’ve either forgotten the guns in their luggage or mistakenly assumed that their license to carry elsewhere allows them to arm themselves against New York’s unelected criminals.

Now the shoe’s on the other foot. One of the NYPD’s hired guns neglected to remove three rounds of ammo from his bags prior to departing the land of the free for India; alas, at New Delhi’s airport, he fell into the clutches of their version of the TSA. That has all New York’s slime from Upchuck Schumer to Bill “Comrade” De Blasio excoriating India for “detaining” their absent-minded minion (possibly for seven years, should India continue as merciless as New York and convict him of this “crime”). After all, the poor brute simply forgot about his ammo.

Listen to the pigs squeal at receiving what they so cavalierly dish out. Or maybe they’re in a snit: seems their serfs aren’t complying with New York’s abolition of the Second Amendment any more than those in Connecticut did. Go, patriots!

10:21 am on April 16, 2014

It’s Official: Amerika Is Fascist Economically (and in Other Areas, Too, If Our Rulers Have Their Way)

I doubt any of us labor under the illusion that the criminals in Congress or the White House heed our desires; tyrants never do, not even exceptional Amerikan ones. But you probably have friends and family who drink the Kool-Aid. In that case, here’s a study that confirms DC’s oligarchy (but don’t be surprised when the sots dismiss these facts, too: statism is a false religion to which its victims adhere fanatically. Wasn’t it CS Lewis who observed that men always worship something, and God help us when it isn’t the Lord?)

The researchers, from Princeton and Northwestern Universities, summarize their findings: “The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government  policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence. Our results provide substantial support for theories of Economic Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism.”

Thanks to Andreatta Geerdes for alerting me to this useful paper.

9:29 am on April 16, 2014

Questions that Only Libertarians Are Asking about the Bundy Ranch Incident

Why does the federal government have a Bureau of Land Management? Why does the federal government still own land outside of D.C.?

8:41 am on April 16, 2014

Thoughts on Bundy

Writes Kathleen Sheridan:

One thing I keep thinking about this whole business is how U.S. forces waged war against the native populations of the mid-west and western part of this country to conquer them, take their land, and give it to “settlers.”  Maybe Mr. Bundy and his ancestors had no direct involvement in that, but I cannot help but think in this context that, “What goes around, comes around, Mr. Bundy—and you’re just feeling the brunt of it.”

The British did the same to Ireland, and those people now living in the six counties of northern Ireland who pledge their allegiance to that criminal government can trace their ancestry to “settlers” who came to occupy stolen land.  And still do.

8:36 am on April 16, 2014

re: The State Is a Jealous Gawd

Writes Roland:

Yes, it’s scary to think that the feds could squish these people like bugs any time they feel like it, but the saddest part of this whole thing for me is every time I see one of the Bundy supporters waving a giant red, white, and blue symbol of the very organization that they claim to oppose. What on earth are they thinking? These folks need to start reading LRC.

UPDATE from Bill Udy:

Yes, the flag waving is despicable, as when the national anthem is played and they all freeze in place, remove hats from their heads, and reverently place them over their hearts. It’s as if an anesthetic had been sprayed in the air.

8:31 am on April 16, 2014