Saturday, August 31, 2013

The New Sad Bunch of 'Crossfire' Hosts

CNN's is bringing back the television debate show, Crossfire. Quite a crew of hosts this will be. Not a one seems to understand reality (or is too co-opted by power to reveal they do)

On the "Right" will be:

Newt Gingrich Gingrich supported the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, creating the Medicare Part D federal prescription drugs benefit program. With his wife, he has produced a film on the threat of radical Islam

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

and

S.E. Cupp Cupp has written about Ron Paul:

[I]t's partly because of his economic acumen, as well as his message of starve-the-beast fiscal austerity, that this sometimes-cranky, often-kooky congressman from Texas is a darling of the libertarian right [...]The problem is that Ron Paul's America would be a scary place to live in.

On the "Left" will be:

Stephanie Cutter According to Wikipedia, in the 1990s, Cutter worked as a junior aide to Mario Cuomo and also worked for the Environmental Protection Agency.She worked for former President Bill Clinton as Deputy Communications Director at the White House during his administration "to help restore Mr. Clinton’s image in the aftermath of (his) impeachment and Monica Lewinsky".

Beginning in 2001, she served as Communications Director for Senator Ted Kennedy.
In July 2003 was named Communications Director for the Democratic National Committee. In November 2003, she was named communications director for the John Kerry campaign.

and

Van Jones

Jones, in 2007, founded Green for All, a national NGO dedicated to "building an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty." In 2011, he founded Rebuild the Dream, a national advocacy organization working towards a "fairer" economy.

He may not know much about economics or climate, but one point in his favor is that he was fired from the Obama Administration for stating that Bush administration officials "may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war." But that is the only positive from this entire crew.

5 Horrifying Truths About Being a Medical Doctor

By James Altucher

On paper, being a doctor seems pretty great. The money is good, it makes everyone around you feel inferior, and you get a diploma that literally gives you permission to play God.

But being a doctor isn't just about lots of sex and cocaine parties -- in fact, it's mostly not about that at all.

#5. Doctors Hate You, and They Hate Their Lives


On average, one doctor a day kills himself. Despite what you hear about lawyers, doctors actually have the highest suicide rate, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. It's even worse among female doctors. You think they like looking at you with your clothes off? You're disgusting. How dare you. How dare you. The suicide rate among female doctors is 2.3 times the national average, and the suicide rate of male doctors is 1.4 times higher.

Dr. Charles Reynolds, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and, statistically speaking, a likely suicide waiting to happen, says, "Undiagnosed and untreated depression is the culprit here." No one is diagnosing the depression? In doctors? Do we need to create an additional breed of doctor that only doctors other doctors, or will this new super-doctor then be more likely to kill himself even harder because of all of his undiagnosed depression? How many different kinds of mega-doctors do we need to add to the doctor hierarchy until we get this suicide situation under control? And why all the suicide? Why can't they just drink their problems away, like normal people?

#4. Your Doctor Might Be Drunk

Oh shit. In a study done on the American College of Surgeons, 15 percent of male surgeons and 26 percent of female surgeons suffered from alcohol abuse and dependence. That might not seem super high, but it is higher than the national average. What's more alarming is that a significant portion reported having errors during surgery in the prior three months because of their dependence. The stress of being a doctor and being responsible for saving lives drove these doctors to drink, which, in turn, contributed to mistakes made in surgery. Which likely drove them to even MORE drinking, and now we're on an infinity loop of drunk doctors cutting noses off and leaving their scalpels in butts before going off to drink away their stress.

Doctors are also more likely to abuse "prescribed opioids and benzodiazepines," which I've never heard of but can only assume are future sci-fi drugs that only doctors know about. And you take them in weird future sci-fi, like you get high by looking at them. You smile at a pill and suddenly "OH SHIT I'M ON ACID."

If you want to be safe, it turns out, be operated on by someone who is male, who has children, and who specializes in operating on veterans. For some reason, these are the people least likely to be drunk while operating on you.

#3. The Deaths -- Oh Loooord the Deaths

People make mistakes, and we're not going to vilify doctors because they're human; most of our best friends are human. That said, 98,000 people die every year from mistakes doctors make.

98,000. No wonder they're so depressed.

Read the rest here.

The Great Global Warming Swindle

Not perfect, but pretty good stuff. ind the time, a must view.

A Scare Prediction That Bombed

Before there were climate fearmongers, there were Malthusian overpopulation fearmongers -RW

Book Review: 'The Bet' by Paul Sabin
By Jonathan V. Last

It is difficult to comprehend the hysteria about overpopulation that once gripped America. In 1965, the New Republic, one of America's foremost journals of public affairs, wrote that "world population has passed food supply. The famine has started." The magazine was so convinced of the coming cataclysm that it proclaimed world hunger to be the "single most important fact in the final third of the 20th century." This period, in which large portions of America's intellectual and political elites took leave of their senses and predicted something like the literal end of civilization, is the subject of Paul Sabin's brief, but valuable, book "The Bet: Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon, and Our Gamble Over Earth's Future."

Mr. Ehrlich, a biologist specializing in butterflies, became famous in the 1970s after publishing "The Population Bomb" (1968), in which he updated the 19th-century projections of Thomas Malthus—people were overbreeding, the supply of food and resources couldn't possibly keep up—and dialed the calamity to 11. Within a few short years, hundreds of millions of people would starve to death as civilization unraveled. Or so predicted Mr. Ehrlich. "The Population Bomb" was reprinted 22 times in the first three years alone, and its author would appear as Johnny Carson's guest on "The Tonight Show" at least 20 times, becoming a national figure and an influential player in Democratic politics. Mr. Ehrlich's ideas attracted a remarkable number of passionate adherents. They also attracted the scornful criticism of a little-known economist named Julian Simon.

When he began exploring demographics, Simon, too, had been concerned about overpopulation. But the more he studied the subject, the more he became convinced that Mr. Ehrlich's thesis was fundamentally flawed. Mr. Ehrlich believed that the laws of nature that governed insects also applied to humans, that natural constraints created cycles of population booms and busts. Simon believed that man's rational powers—and the economies man constructed—made those laws nearly obsolete.

So in 1980 Simon made Mr. Ehrlich a bet. If Mr. Ehrlich's predictions about overpopulation and the depletion of resources were correct, Simon said, then over the next decade the prices of commodities would rise as they became more scarce. Simon contended that, because markets spur innovation and create efficiencies, commodity prices would fall. He proposed that each party put up $1,000 to purchase a basket of five commodities. If the prices of these went down, Mr. Ehrlich would pay Simon the difference between the 1980 and 1990 prices. If the prices went up, Simon would pay. This meant that Mr. Ehrlich's exposure was limited while Simon's was theoretically infinite.

Simon even allowed Mr. Ehrlich to rig the terms of the bet in his favor: Mr. Ehrlich was allowed to select the five commodities that would be the yardstick. Consulting two colleagues, John Holdren and John Harte, Mr. Ehrlich chose chromium, copper, nickel, tin and tungsten, each of which his team supposed was especially likely to become scarce. As they settled on their terms, Mr. Sabin notes, Messrs. Ehrlich, Holdren and Harte "felt confident that they would prevail."

They didn't. In October 1990, Mr. Ehrlich mailed a check for $576.07 to Simon. Mr. Sabin diplomatically reports that "there was no note." Although world population had increased by 800 million during the term of the wager, the prices for the five metals had decreased by more than 50%. And they did so for precisely the reasons Simon predicted—technological innovation and conservation spurred on by the market.

Read the rest here.

Breaking: Obama Will Seek Congressional Approval for Attack on Syria

Developing...

UPDATE

The President from the Rose Garden:

"The U.S. should take military action in Syria."

"I will seek authorization for use of force from Congress."

"I am looking forward to the debate"

UPDATE 2:

Reaction from "libertarian" Justin Amash:
@repjustinamash: Thank you, Mr President. 
Does this mean Amash will support an attack if Congress votes in favor of it?

UPDATE 3

Senate GOP leader "Hold Your Nose" McConnell:

"Pres’s role as commander-in-chief is always strengthened when he enjoys the expressed support of the Congress"

UPDATE 4

Prepare for massive propaganda.

UPDATE 5

Keep in mind what Daniel McAdams wrote last week:
What matters is that there is no grounds for the US to make war on Syria. It has not attacked us; it does not threaten us. On the contrary, by arming and training the jihadist rebels fighting against the Syria government, it is the US that is threatening Syria. It is the US that is the aggressor. It is the US government that through its actions opens the US to all manner of retaliation in response to its initiation of aggression in Syria and elsewhere.
A debate on weapons or a vote in Congress or the mad ravings of the neocons and humantiarian imperlalists means precisely nothing in light of this simple truth.

Will the Next U.S. President be a General, as the U.S. Becomes More Like Ancient Rome?

From a Lew Rockwell interview with Doug Casey:

CASEY:  I hate to make political predictions about the U.S.  I don’t consider myself to be a good political handicapper in the U.S. because I don’t have my finger on the pulse of the hoi polloi and the trailer parks and the barrios and the ghettos, the people that actually go out and vote for these sociopaths that run for office.  But my guess is that now that Obama’s in office until 2016 — and I think the economy is really going to fall apart in the next few years with these trillions of new currency units they’re creating — that in the election of 2016, I’ll bet they run Hillary for the Democrats but she won’t win because the Democrats will be blamed for the domestic problems.  And the Republicans will run a right-wing general because everybody thinks that generals are non-corrupt and competent and, you know, they know how to straighten things out.  That could be a real disaster then because he’s likely to turn the country into something looking like a military camp.  So that’s my guess.  The Republicans win with a general in 2016.  Bad news.
ROCKWELL:  Well, that is bad news.  And, of course, they almost — I think almost nominated Petraeus this last time, until there was a coup within the CIA to take him down by his own bodyguards and other people who didn’t like him who exposed him and so forth.
CASEY:  Yeah, it was very interesting.  The military, the upper military — of course, all these top generals are really political operatives more than they are military guys at this point.  But they’re really treated like Roman proconsuls.  It was quite amazing the things that came out about Petraeus, about all the entourage that he’d get to carry around with him and so forth.  And all these top generals are that way.  This is a bad trend and a bad habit, among many others that I could name.
ROCKWELL:  I appreciate your political predictions.   And I’ll bet all our listeners do, too.  And it’s quite scary, I think.  I wouldn’t bet against you on the idea of a general, and the Republicans all do worship a general.  In fact, hasn’t that been sort of an unfortunate thread throughout American history?  I mean, everybody thought George Washington was a great guy because he was a general, and Eisenhower and William Henry Harrison and all the rest of them.  They –
CASEY:  And Andrew Jackson and –
ROCKWELL:  Yeah.
CASEY:  — you know, Ulysses S. Grant.  So we’ve got a history of liking generals.
ROCKWELL:  Yeah, Americans like killers and they like presidential killers, too.  Of course, the presidents who have killed the most people are the greatest:  Lincoln and Roosevelt and Wilson and Nixon.  Maybe they don’t like Nixon.  Although, Clinton gave him quite an encomium after Nixon’s death and really raised him to the pantheon — (laughing).
You know, you mentioned Rome.  Aren’t we becoming ancient Rome?  I mean, Cullen Murphy had a book about that.  But it seems like the proconsuls and the empire — and some are provinces, some are directly ruled — and the legislature being just a rubber stamp for the most part for the princeps.
CASEY:  Absolutely.  And the presidents are becoming more powerful and starting to resemble the Roman emperors ever more.  And that’s why I don’t feel it made any difference when Obama replaced Bush, and Clinton and all that.  It’s really like, in Roman days, when the Romans were so happy when Tiberius died.  And then after Tiberius, they got Claudius.  And after Claudius, they got Caligula.  And they thought, how can it get any worse than Caligula?  But then they got Nero.  And then they got their first civil war.  So it’s starting to resemble that in the U.S., I think.
Just wait until the next real or imagined “terrorist,” quote/unquote, incident happens in the U.S.  They’ll really lock this place down like one of their numerous new prisons.  I’ll be so happy to be out of the U.S. when that happens.

BREAKING: President Obama to Deliver Statement on Syria

President Obama will deliver a statement on Syria at 1:15 p.m. ET in the Rose Garden .

Bitcoin-Friendly Internet Credit Union Suddenly Dumps Accounts, Citing 'Regulatory Issues'

Adrianne Jeffries reports:

The Internet Archive Federal Credit Union, an experimental financial institution run by the eponymous nonprofit that archives web history, has established itself as a Bitcoin haven. In contrast to traditional banks, which snubbed businesses built around the virtual currency, the IAFCU basically put up a Bitcoin welcome sign. "These are not drug dealers, money launderers, or whatever. These are average folks," IAFCU CEO Jordan Modell told Wired.

That all changed yesterday, however, when the credit union announced it will be dumping its Bitcoin clients.

"Certain operational and regulatory issues came up including some that apply to new credit unions like ours," IAFCU CEO Jordan Modell wrote in a blog post. "Until we have further clarity, we are unable to service some of our corporate members."

Best Ever Obamacare Ad

Rothbard on Strategy

A Strategy for Liberty

By Bionic Mosquito

The title of this post is taken from chapter 15 of Murray Rothbard’s “For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto.”  Throughout the book, Rothbard has laid out the case for the libertarian solution to the problems of politics and government.  In this chapter, he suggests how to get from here to there.  He also deals with some of the common objections to the idea of liberty and to the approach taken by some.  For these reasons, I found this chapter to be most valuable.

Education: Theory and Movement

We face the great strategic problem of all “radical” creeds throughout history: How can we get from here to there, from our current State-ridden and imperfect world to the great goal of liberty?

On one point there can scarcely be disagreement: a prime and necessary conditionfor libertarian victory (or, indeed, for victory for any social movement, from Buddhism to vegetarianism) is education: the persuasion and conversion of large numbers of people to the cause. 

Sadly, this point is missed by many.  Without education – “the persuasion and conversion of large numbers of people” – there is no hope ever to see a movement toward liberty take hold.  This was the benefit of Ron Paul’s two recent presidential campaigns – through his efforts, countless millions have had the scales lifted from their eyes. 

Many individuals and organizations contribute today to this education.  Two of the most prominent are The Mises Institute and LewRockwell.com.  There are many others that contribute as well: The Daily BellJustin RaimondoEconomic Policy Journal, and theFuture of Freedom Foundation to name a few.  I certainly am leaving off many.  Each one speaks to people in different ways, yet each makes a valuable contribution to the education of liberty.

Rothbard deals with one criticism often heard – “we” are only talking to ourselves:

Furthermore, one often hears libertarians (as well as members of other social movements) bewail that they are “only talking to themselves” with their books and journals and conferences; that few people of the “outside world” are listening. 

Keep in mind that Rothbard wrote this book more than two decades before there was even a semblance of a user-friendly internet – a world of mimeo-graphs and snail-mail lists. With the internet, the possibility of reaching out to others has increased exponentially – and the facts have proven this out.  It is still amazing to see this in tangible results – twenty-four years ago Ron Paul received less than 1% of the vote as the Libertarian Party candidate for President.  He might draw dozens to an event.  The difference today is like night and day.  Yet, the charge is often made today, as if nothing has changed – as if all the libertarians could fit in a phone booth or something.

Rothbard finds fault in this charge; he sees value in such internal dialogue:

But this frequent charge gravely misconceives the many-sided purpose of “education” in the broadest sense.  It is not only necessary to educate others; continual self-education is also (and equally) necessary….Education of “ourselves” accomplishes two vital goals.  One is the refining and advancing of the libertarian “theory….”  Libertarianism… must be a living theory, advancing through writing and discussion, and through refuting and combatting errors as they arise.  

This charge is often made – why get into debates about oftentimes minor issues when all that this does is divide an already small movement?  Rothbard makes clear why this is helpful.  There is continual education needed amongst even those who have embraced the political ideas of libertarians. 

But there is another critical reason for “talking to ourselves,” even if that were all the talking that was going on.  And that is reinforcement—the psychologically necessary knowledge that there are other people of like mind to talk to, argue with, and generally communicate and interact with….A flourishing movement with a sense of community and esprit de corps is the best antidote for giving up liberty as a hopeless or “impractical” cause.

How true this is.  There is a remnant, and to know and be reminded that there are others of like-mind offers hope and encouragement.


Are We “Utopians”?

This comes up regularly – it has never worked, who will control the bad guys, you have to believe man is perfect if you advocate this, etc.  Libertarians are utopians.

Every “radical” creed has been subjected to the charge of being “utopian,” and the libertarian movement is no exception.

Some libertarians themselves maintain that we should not frighten people off by being “too radical,” and that therefore the full libertarian ideology and program should be kept hidden from view.


This is suggested by many as the right approach for seemingly libertarian-leaning politicians – hide your true feelings, and then spring it on the government once you are elected.  If only Ron Paul wouldn’t say that.  Or so-and-so-pseudo-libertarian-candidate is only talking this way to get elected.

The major problem with the opportunists is that by confining themselves strictly to gradual and “practical” programs, programs that stand a good chance of immediate adoption, they are in grave danger of completely losing sight of the ultimate objective, the libertarian goal….If libertarians refuse to hold aloft the banner of the pure principle, of the ultimate goal, who will?

This is why I support taking the approach to aim small. Those who advocate the non-aggression principle will never come close to hitting the target if they aren’t aiming for the target.

The free-market economist F. A. Hayek, himself in no sense an extremist,” has written eloquently of the vital importance for the success of liberty of holding the pure and “extreme” ideology aloft as a never-to-be-forgotten creed.

We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage….We need intellectual leaders who are prepared to resist the blandishments of power and influence and who are willing to work for an ideal, however small may be the prospects of its early realization. 

How true, and in different ways demonstrated by many of the organizations and individuals I have cited above.

They must be men who are willing to stick to principles and to fight for their full realization, however remote…Free trade and freedom of opportunity are ideals which still may rouse the imaginations of large numbers, but a mere “reasonable freedom of trade” or a mere “relaxation of controls” is neither intellectually respectable nor likely to inspire any enthusiasm. The main lesson which the true liberal must learn from the success of the socialists is that it was their courage to be Utopian which gained them the support of the intellectuals and thereby an influence on public opinion which is daily making possible what only recently seemed utterly remote.

How many times are libertarians blasted with the idea to be gradual: don’t eliminate all foreign aid, just eliminate it from our enemies; we should remove US troops from foreign zones where there is no identifiable strategic interest; let’s eliminate all of the government waste before we worry about reducing the scope of government; don’t end the Fed, let’s just make sure that they stick to rules for inflation; we need to devise a fair taxation scheme, but we cannot just eliminate income taxes.  The list is long.

The problem is no one will get excited about these proposals.  They are all versions of what every politician through time has ever proposed.  Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey, and countless others could be behind many of these statements.  These statements fully support the status quo as these statements accept the terms of the debate.  The general policies are philosophically acceptable; it is only the details or the magnitude that must be tweaked.  It continues the desired conversation: policy debate instead of debate regarding fundamental principles.

There is nothing in this approach that will inspire.  There is nothing here to draw people to a different, all-encompassing world-view. 

In short, the libertarian must never advocate or prefer a gradual, as opposed to an immediate and rapid, approach to his goal.  For by doing so, he undercuts the overriding importance of his own goals and principles. And if he himself values his own goals so lightly, how highly will others value them?

Brilliant.

Such an “abolitionist” perspective does not mean, again, that the libertarian has an unrealistic assessment of how rapidly his goal will, in fact, be achieved.  Thus, the libertarian abolitionist of slavery, William Lloyd Garrison, was not being “unrealistic” when in the 1830s he first raised the glorious standard of immediate emancipation of the slaves.  His goal was the morally proper one, and his strategic realism came in the fact that he did not expect his goal to be quickly reached….Garrison himself distinguished: “Urge immediate abolition as earnestly as we may, it will, alas! be gradual abolition in the end.  We have never said that slavery would be overthrown by a single blow; that it ought to be, we shall always contend.”  Otherwise, as Garrison trenchantly warned, “Gradualism in theory is perpetuity in practice.”

Unless someone is holding tight to the objective and regularly speaking forcefully for its implementation – the abolition of slavery or the abolition of coercion in relationships – no one will ever take the objective seriously.  Why would the objective be taken seriously if no one cares enough to defend and advocate for it?  How can one come close to hitting the target if he isn’t even aiming for it?

Rothbard then comes to identify the “true utopian” system:

The true utopian is one who advocates a system that is contrary to the natural law of human beings and of the real world.  A utopian system is one that could not work even if everyone were persuaded to try to put it into practice.  The utopian system could not work, i.e., could not sustain itself in operation.  The utopian goal of the left: communism—the abolition of specialization and the adoption of uniformity—could not work even if everyone were willing to adopt it immediately. It could not work because it violates the very nature of man and the world, especially the uniqueness and individuality of every person, of his abilities and interests, and because it would mean a drastic decline in the production of wealth, so much so as to doom the great bulk of the human race to rapid starvation and extinction.

Is it utopian to recognize that every individual is an individual, with a desire to acquire and enjoy his possessions (not only material) in quiet comfort, each individual with different preferences and values?  Is it utopian to understand that certain men (and the ones most apt to use it abusively), when offered the possibility of monopoly power, will do whatever is necessary to grab those reins and then use the power to their own advantage?

Rothbard sees that there are two issues when it comes to the idea of “utopian” and these must each be identified and dealt with separately:

In short, the term “utopian” in popular parlance confuses two kinds of obstacles in the path of a program radically different from the status quo.  One is that it violates the nature of man and of the world and therefore could not work once it was put into effect.  This is the utopianism of communism. The second is the difficulty in convincing enough people that the program should be adopted. The former is a bad theory because it violates the nature of man; the latter is simply a problem of human will, of convincing enough people of the rightness of the doctrine.

I have already mentioned the work of many who are providing the latter: education.  As to the former: the communist ideology, for example, like all coercive and controlling ideologies behind state power, holds to the implicit assumption that such centralized power can be kept in check.  What is true for communism is equally true for any form of centralized, monopolized, state power.  In other words, equally true for virtually every state in the world today.

But such power cannot be kept in check.  To believe otherwise is quite utopian.  It is utopian to believe that man can fundamentally change the nature of his fellow man.  That somehow monopoly power will not attract those to whom monopoly power is attractive; that once in control, those in power will keep themselves in check.

The libertarian is also eminently realistic because he alone understands fully the nature of the State and its thrust for power.  In contrast, it is the seemingly far more realistic conservative believer in “limited government” who is the truly impractical utopian.  This conservative keeps repeating the litany that the central government should be severely limited by a constitution….The idea of a strictly limited constitutional State was a noble experiment that failed, even under the most favorable and propitious circumstances….No, it is the conservative laissez- fairist, the man who puts all the guns and all the decision-making power into the hands of the central government and then says, “Limit yourself”; it is he who is truly the impractical utopian.

The difficulty of limited government: the governed and the governors won’t agree on the definition of “limited.”  And as it is the governors to whom monopoly power is granted, guess who will win that debate?

Rothbard leaves open the possibility for transitional steps, but only with certain objectives kept at the forefront:

If, then, the libertarian must advocate the immediate attainment of liberty and abolition of statism, and if gradualism in theory is contradictory to this overriding end, what further strategic stance may a libertarian take in today’s world?  Must he necessarily confine himself to advocating immediate abolition?  Are “transitional demands,” steps toward liberty in practice, necessarily illegitimate? No…

How, then, can we know whether any halfway measure or transitional demand should be hailed as a step forward or condemned as an opportunistic betrayal? There are two vitally important criteria for answering this crucial question: (1) that, whatever the transitional demands, the ultimate end of liberty be always held aloft as the desired goal; and (2) that no steps or means ever explicitly or implicitly contradict the ultimate goal.

Always a reminder of the ultimate objective; only movement toward the ultimate objective is acceptable.

An example of such counterproductive and opportunistic strategy may be taken from the tax system.  The libertarian looks forward to eventual abolition of taxes. It is perfectly legitimate for him, as a strategic measure in that desired direction, to push for a drastic reduction or repeal of the income tax.  But the libertarian must never support any new tax or tax increase.  For example, he must not, while advocating a large cut in income taxes, also call for its replacement by a sales or other form of tax.

Again, such arguments only play into the hands of those who desire to control the dialogue.  Instead of always moving toward the elimination of taxes (as in this example), it turns into a discussion of which taxes, some are better than others, some are more “efficient” than others, one should replace another, etc.


Why Liberty Will Win

The case for libertarian optimism can be made in a series of what might be called concentric circles, beginning with the broadest and longest-run considerations and moving to the sharpest focus on short-run trends.  In the broadest and longest-run sense, libertarianism will win eventually because it and only it is compatible with the nature of ma n and of the world.  Only liberty can achieve man’s prosperity, fulfillment, and happiness. In short, libertarianism will win because it is true, because it is the correct policy for mankind, and truth will eventually out.

I will add that it is not only the only system compatible with man’s nature and desire for prosperity and happiness.  It is also the only system that recognizes the dark side of man and therefore disallows the concentration of political power.

But such long-run considerations may be very long indeed, and waiting many centuries for truth to prevail may be small consolation for those of us living at any particular moment in history. Fortunately, there is a shorter-run reason for hope….

Hooray, I hope.

The clock cannot be turned back to a preindustrial age….We are stuck with the industrial age, whether we like it or not.

But if that is true, then the cause of liberty is secured.  For economic science has shown, as we have partially demonstrated in this book, that only freedom and a free market can run an industrial economy.  In short…in an industrial world it is also a vital necessity.  For, as Ludwig von Mises and other economists have shown, in an industrial economy statism simply does not work.

This is an interesting observation.  Drastic interruptions to the free-market can only occur for a (relatively) short period without risking civilization. 

In the twentieth century, Mises demonstrated (a) that all statist intervention distorts and cripples the market and leads, if not reversed, to socialism; and (b) that socialism is a disaster because it cannot plan an industrial economy for lack of profit-and-loss incentives, and for lack of a genuine price system or property rights in capital, land, and other means of production.

We do not have to prophesy the ruinous effects of statism; they are here at every hand.

Significant interruption to the free-market will end up in destruction.  Without relatively free prices and the discipline of profit-and-loss, resources are wasted.  Are we currently passing through the final convulsions?  Is this the root of the calamity we are seeing – the protests and revolts due to high double-digit unemployment throughout much of the developed world?  The high unemployment brought on by the disruptive policies of the state?

But now statism has advanced so far and been in power so long that the cushion is worn thin; as Mises pointed out as long ago as the 1940s, the “reserve fund” created by laissez- faire has been “exhausted.”

It is interesting to note: this observation from Mises was seven decades ago.  Yet here we are, continuing in the convulsions.

Indeed, we can confidently say that the United States has now entered a permanent crisis situation, and we can even pinpoint the years of origin of that crisis: 1973–1975.  Happily for the cause of liberty, not only has a crisis of statism arrived in the United States, but it has fortuitously struck across the board of society, in many different spheres of life at about the same time.

Rothbard goes on to list the many economic and social problems of the 1970s. 




Rothbard’s observations are almost four decades old, yet the convulsions continue – still no final collapse.  Perhaps this serves to demonstrate the vast amount of wealth in reserve available to be destroyed (see here and here). The west had behind it centuries of wealth (not only or even primarily financial, but cultural and intellectual) – see “From Dawn to Decadence” by Jacques Barzun. 

Conclusion

There is no magic formula for strategy; any strategy for social change, resting as it does on persuasion and conversion, can only be an art rather than an exact science.  But having said this, we are still not bereft of wisdom in the pursuit of our goals. There can be a fruitful theory, or at the very least, theoretical discussion, of the proper strategy for change.

Rothbard does this wonderfully well.  Throughout this book and especially in this chapter he gives much to those who remain open to consider that there can be success in achieving this “radical creed” of libertarianism.

The above originally appeared at Bionic Mosquito.

If Paul Krugman's Wife Understood Anything About Supply and Demand Economics, She Would Throw Him Out of the House

But she is also an elitist economist denier of supply and demand economics. That's why she probably wasn't bothered the day he wrote:
 Bill Clinton presided over a substantial expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and a rise in the minimum wage, both doing a lot for African-American workers.[...]
I don’t usually write about what motivates my columns, but I thought it might be worth saying a bit more [...]  You see, my wife is African-American, which gives me at least a bit of a personal connection to race issues.
The minimum wage coupled with the poor quality public education, especially in the inner city, are the primary reasons a large core of black kids have little chance of getting a job. With their lack of basic skills, they are simply priced out of the market at the current minimum wage.  Currently, the unemployment rate for blacks between the ages of 16 to 19 is 41.6%--twice that of white youth in the same age bracket. Yes, Krugman should be proud of his support of a high minimum wage.


As The World Turns

By, Chris Rossini






Below you'll find snapshots of how major markets around the world ended the week.






U.S. - Dow Jones Industrial Average -1.33%

China - Shanghai Composite Index +1.99%


EPJ Week In Review - Week Ending 8/30/13



By, Chris Rossini






Below you'll find everything that has been published on EPJ for the week ended Friday August 30, 2013. The hottest posts for each day are highlighted in red.






Friday 8/30/13
Thursday 8/29/13
Wednesday 8/28/13
Tuesday 8/27/13
Monday 8/26/13
Sunday 8/25/13
Saturday 8/24/13

Bravo Britain

By Ilana Mercer

BBC News fails to lead its Internet page with the magnificent news that Parliament, for once, has executed the will of the people, and that the UK will be staying out of Syria.

Instead, the left-liberal interventionist at BBC News (people of Samantha Power’s ilk) have buried the item in an article about “I, Obama” (America’s imperial president), and his administration’s various ahistoric, idiotic pronouncements.


BBC News makes only veiled allusions to the “unexpected outcome in the parliament,” to “British MPs [ruling] out London’s involvement in any US-led strikes against Syria,” and to “British members of [parliament's rejection] of the principle of military action against Damascus in a 285-272 vote.”

UPDATE: TOTAL WAR.

“The BBC footage is grisly; the British media have been far more invested in the Syrian civil war than their U.S. colleagues,” confirms Mark Steyn.
This week, David Cameron recalled Parliament from its summer recess to permit the people’s representatives to express their support for the impending attack. Instead, for the first time since the British defeat at Yorktown in 1782, the House of Commons voted to deny Her Majesty’s Government the use of force. Under the Obama “reset,” even the Coalition of the Willing is unwilling. “It’s clear to me that the British Parliament and the British people do not wish to see military action,” said the prime minister. So the Brits are out, and, if he goes at all, Obama will be waging war without even Austin Powers’s Union Jack fig leaf.
Steyn here advances the staid neoconservative tack (in dazzling style, as always). When neocons lose an argument for war, they just regroup and renew their efforts.

“What the British people are sick of, quite reasonably enough,” claims Steyn, “is ineffectual warmongering.”

Yeah, give us total, all-out war and we’ll march in goose step with Chuck Krauthammer.
Actually, re-reading “An Accidental War,” I can’t quite tell what Steyn advocates (all in dazzling style, of course).

For further updates to this post visit here.

Kerry Caught Using Fake Photo to Fuel Syrian War


Infowars reports:

Secretary of State John Kerry opened his speech Friday by describing the horrors victims of the chemical weapon attack suffered, including twitching, spasms and difficulty breathing.


Attempting to drive the point home, Kerry referenced a photograph used by the BBC illustrating a child jumping over hundreds of dead bodies covered in white shrouds. The photo was meant to depict victims who allegedly succumbed to the effects of chemical weapons via Assad’s regime.
However, it was later exposed the photograph used had been taken in 2003 in Iraq.  It was not related to Syrian deaths whatsoever and was later retracted.

UPDATE:

Note: The above photo was published by the BBC and it is not clear that it was the one referenced by Kerry. Kerry was not clear about the source for the pic he cited. There is no doubt that the picture is a fraud  and not related to events in Syria.  BBC wrote:
Mr di Lauro, who works for Getty Images picture agency and has been published by newspapers across the US and Europe, said: “I went home at 3am and I opened the BBC page which had a front page story about what happened in Syria and I almost felt off from my chair.

“One of my pictures from Iraq was used by the BBC web site as a front page illustration claiming that those were the bodies of yesterday's massacre in Syria and that the picture was sent by an activist.
“Instead the picture was taken by me and it's on my web site, on the feature section regarding a story I did In Iraq during the war called Iraq, the aftermath of Saddam.[...]

He added he was less concerned about an apology or the use of image without consent, adding: “What is amazing it's that a news organization has a picture proving a massacre that happened yesterday in Syria and instead it's a picture that was taken in 2003 of a totally different massacre.

“Someone is using someone else's picture for propaganda on purpose.”

A spokesman for the BBC said: “We were aware of this image being widely circulated on the internet in the early hours of this morning following the most recent atrocities in Syria.

“We used it with a clear disclaimer saying it could not be independently verified.

“Efforts were made overnight to track down the original source of the image and when it was established the picture was inaccurate we removed it immediately.”

Friday, August 30, 2013

Gary Johnson Issues Statement on Syria

Former Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson has issued a statement regarding potential U.S. military intervention in Syria. It is a much stronger statement than Rand Paul's. Here is the full Johnson statement:
No one disagrees that the use of chemical weapons in Syria is despicable, and the results tragic. However, those facts alone do not make going to war either justified or even a good idea. And while the Administration can parse words all day long, launching missiles or dropping bombs constitutes going to war.

There is no clear U.S. interest in what is, in reality, a civil war on the other side of the globe. Likewise, there is nothing to indicate at this time that intervening in that civil war will benefit anyone -- either here in America or in Syria.

The consequences of our military actions in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan should be a lesson to President Obama and others who appear determined to act without any meaningful strategic or national defense justification.

My Fog Making Machine in Operation



Any mentally confused crazed lefty or warmonger out there who would like to buy one should email me. I only have a couple left.

The More Attention on The Next Fed Chair, The Better!

By, Chris Rossini

Obama's selection of the next Federal Reserve Chairman has been receiving a lot of press over the last several months. This is not part of the normal script.

The public is not supposed to be interested in such a "boring" and "complicated" institution. Just about every American has been born into this monetary "system" that was concocted 100 years ago. We're supposed to treat the Fed like the we treat the Sun. It's just there, and that's all you need to know.

One hundred years is a pretty good run...but unfortunately for those that run the "system", Ron Paul and the Internet came along. Now millions of people are making comments like "The Fed just prints the money out of thin air." In other words, like a fire spreading across a prairie, the victims are starting to get wise to the crooks.

Neil Irwin writes:
There are the dueling op-eds over who ought to be in the job. The New York Times editorial board strongly endorsed Yellen; some quick searching of the paper’s archives suggests it has never before made such an endorsement before a Fed chair was even nominated. So did Bette Midler. Just yesterday, Richard Trumka, the head of the AFL-CIO, came out in favor of Yellen as well.
The head of the AFL-CIO and Bette Midler are making Fed Chair endorsements??!!

That has to make the establishment's skin crawl!
Consider the last time a president was selecting a new Fed chair, in the summer of 2005. It was known that Alan Greenspan would soon be stepping down as chairman of the Federal Reserve, that President Bush would need to appoint a replacement, and that two leading candidates for that choice were Ben Bernanke and Glenn Hubbard. If you search the Nexis database from June through August of that year for “Bernanke,” “Hubbard,” and “Greenspan,” there were 27 articles in major newspapers. Do the equivalent search today, for “Summers,” “Yellen,” and “Bernanke,” and you turn up a whopping 143 articles.
People are talking...and that's not good for The Fed.

The more that people talk, the more they will find out...or hopefully want to find out. Senator Barry Goldwater once said “Most Americans have no real understanding of the operation of the international moneylenders. The bankers want it that way.”

Josh Barro at BusinessInsider also noticed the current "circus" between Yellen and Summers and blames Obama (my emphasis):
The White House appears poised to make a demonstrably bad choice for Fed Chair. If Larry Summers withdrew himself from consideration, or the White House announced that it isn't going to pick him, the circus tents would pack up and we could all go home. The Fed Chair race would become uncontroversial and boring again, Business Insider's existence notwithstanding.
Nah! Let's keep the focus on The Fed.

Let's not pack up the tents, but pitch millions more.

Let's turn Ron Paul's ever expanding prairie fire into a raging inferno!


Follow @ChrisRossini on Twitter

What My Father Told Me About LBJ and "Niggers"

By Robert Morrow

In honor of yesterday's 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, I would like to give you a little tidbit about Lyndon Johnson as president, his take on civil rights & his attitudes towards black Americans. LBJ called up George Wallace to visit him in the White House. Wallace brought along his right hand man and #1 Alabama political operative Seymore Trammell. His son Warren Trammell is one of my Facebook friends.

Here is how the meeting of Lyndon Johnson and George Wallace went. This meeting was on March 13, 1965. It was the following Saturday after the previous "Bloody Sunday" in Selma. Actually this meeting was highly publicized, but the actual contents of it as relayed by Warren Trammell are not well known. Also, I do not know if the USA was bombing the Ho Chi Minh trail at that time, but I think Trammell catches the unvarnished behind the scenes "flavor" of LBJ quite well.

Go to LBJ's presidential schedule and look up March 13, 1965: http://www.lbjlibrary.net/collections/daily-diary.html

On the diary it says 12:05PM Meeting - LBJ, George Wallace, Seymour Trammell, Katzenbach, Bill Moyers and Burke Marshall.

By the way, like Wallace and the Trammells, I am a native of Alabama so this is of special interest to me.

WARREN TRAMMELL:

On Wed, Aug 28, 2013 at 5:52 PM, Warren Trammell  wrote to Robert Morrow:

"To Robert Morrow: to whom it may concern....my father's (Seymore Trammell) memories of his and Alabama Governor George Wallace's private and not really publicized meeting, with President Lyndon Johnson in his Oval Office, concerning the racial violence in the Southeast in the 60s. It's been impossible to nail down the exact day since it was not well publicized.

 In the mid 1960s in America, white/black racial unrest had reached the most violent levels the South had ever seen in modern times! Alabama Governor George Wallace and his number one adviser my father Seymore Trammell had their hands full "managing" the black/white racial violence all the Southern politicians thought was caused by the Reverend Martin Luther King and his growing crowds of black followers!

 At the same time in a lesser known part of the world, the LBJ's USA was deeply embroiled in a massive war in North Viet Nam over oil (the real reason we know today). America's President at that time, in charge of "managing" these two violent situations, was Lyndon Baines Johnson, affectionately know by his Southern political buddies as just LBJ or just Lyndon. Unknown to the public, Southern politicians privately shared Lyndon's hatred of what he called in private, "niggers". Lyndon hated "niggers'! He called them "niggers" in private. He cussed "niggers" every day, my father said, and called them all kinds of vile names!  He had his hands full with the Viet Nam war and hated being "bothered by those G--damned niggers" my father said Lyndon said.

 To rid his hands of those "G-damned niggers" he called my father and Governor Wallace to his Oval Office officially to have a "friendly informative talk" about the disturbing violence in the South. George and Seymore were very excited! They just knew their buddy Lyndon was going to give the massive help in "managing those niggers" Lyndon said.

However, in typical trickster style, when George and Seymore got into Lyndon's Oval Office, they were shocked! Lyndon began to cuss like a sailor and ask them, "What in the hell are you boys (Lyndon called them boys) doing with those G--damned niggers down there?" Shocked and taken back, the "Guvna" said "Well Mr. President, we're doing the best we can! What do ya want us to do?"

 At that Lyndon began to cuss "niggers" again. They were sitting on either side of a narrow coffee table in the Oval office and big Lyndon with his long strong arms and big powerful Texas rough hands reached over and slapped both Seymore and George hard on their knees and held their legs a moment and said "Now you boys, you gotta get your G--damned asses back down to Alabama and make those G--damned niggers act right and calm the hell down! I am G--damned tired of hearing 'bout those G--damned niggers on the G--damned news every night!  Every night at midnight, I hafta get on that damned Red Phone over there on my desk and give the G--damned orders for the B-52 Bombers to fly over the Ho Chi Minh trail  and all over that G--damned North Viet Nam and bomb the the hell outta the whole G-damned country every G--damned night and this G--damned war is killing me!"

"You boys got it lucky. Hell George (Lyndon called him George and "boy"), all the hell you got is those G--damned niggers throwing rocks and tot'in signs! Hell, here, I had to get the Secret Service to put-up double thick bullet proof glass to the White House windows cause these G--damn niggers and hippies up here are shootin' bullets at me and my wife and 2 little girls are scared to death!  I hate those G--damned niggers and hippies"

At that point my father tried to tell Lyndon something but again Lyndon slapped him hard on his knee and said "Now be quiet boy, here, take this pad and pencil and take some G--damned notes". My father gave me the pad and pencil with the Presidential Seal on them!

The short meeting was over and Lyndon lastly said "You boys go back to Alabama and get them G--damned niggers quiet! And I don't want to hear nothin' else on the news about them G--damned niggers!"  At that point Lyndon said to the "Guvna", "Come-on boy we gotta go outside, wave at the press and tell'em we had a very productive meeting 'bout them G--damned niggers!" As they stepped up to the mic, Lyndon said kind words about the blacks in the South and indicated that the "Guvna" agreed with him and was going back to Alabama to help them get their justice.

Lyndon grabbed George by the arm before he could speak, turned him around and with his huge hand on the Govna'a back, pushed him back into the Oval Office and out the door to get on one of the Presidential Planes back to Alabama! The "Govna" and Seymore were sadly disappointed and grumbled all the way back to Alabama, the Guvna angrily chewing on his cigar and Seymore clutching his blank Presidential note pad with great frustration.
---

More from Morrow

From Ronald Kessler, Inside the Whitehouse, pp. 33-34:

During one trip, Johnson was discussing his proposed civil rights bill with two governors. Explaining why it was so important to him, he said it was simple: “I’ll have them niggers voting Democratic for two hundred years.”

That was the reason he was pushing the bill,” said [Robert M. MacMillan, an Air Force One steward], who was present during the conversation. “Not because he wanted equality for everyone. It was strictly a political ploy for the Democratic party. He was phony from the word go.”

 MacMillan said Johnson’s younger daughter, Luci, then seventeen, was a “wretched witch.” On one stopover in Florida, she was having a tantrum because she did not know where a servant was. She blamed MacMillan for it.

“She said, ‘Damn you. You go find my nigger right now,’” MacMillan said. Playing dumb MacMillan asked for a description of the man.

 “She screamed again. ‘Find my nigger.’ People around were smiling. She drew her hand back as if she was going to slap me. I said, ‘Miss Johnson, I don’t think that would be a good idea.’ She said, ‘Dammit, I’ll find him myself.’ This was the attitude of these people who were championing civil rights.”