As I'm sure you've already heard, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is building a giant fortress in Bluffdale, UT that will store huge swaths of information including 'all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter,"' according to this Wired magazine article. Read more about The Utah Data Center
Those of you following websites with a similar perspective might be familiar with the story of the boiling frog. It is assumed that if a frog is placed in boiling water it will jump out. However, if it is placed in cold water, and the heat slowly increased, so it gradually reaches the boiling point, the frog doesn't notice anything and slowly dies.
It seems quite strange to me that even some of those more libertarian-minded can be in support of compulsory national service. Even the likes of Milton Friedman believed that compulsory military service could be defended on libertarian ground in Capitalism and Freedom. What seems to have become popular today is the idea of requiring some kind of community service, such as working in a nursing home. Problems abound with this idea, including unintended consequences. First and foremost is that no man has the right to force another to work, unless as recompense for harm done to person or property (including the breaking of contractual agreements) and, for whatever it's worth, the 13th Amendment outlaws slavery (but what else could one call the 16th Amendment?). Read more about Compulsory Service
On March 6 I had the displeasure of attending a Republican Presidential Caucus. It happened to be the largest one in the state, was very poorly organized, and took hours longer than necessary. Instead of being able to vote right away, attendees had to endure the speeches of representatives for each of the candidates. Read more about Ignorance Is No Excuse
Some signs of the largess or influence of a nation include religion, language, technology, media and money. Looking at the rise and fall of Empires over the last few centuries, there has been one consistent rise among many smaller collapses. Before the British Empire there were many smaller Empires. The British Empire collapsed only to morph into the American Empire, which seems to be turning into the United Nations Empire. Today is the West or the Anglo-American Empire, as the Daily Bell likes to call it and it is the largest Empire or power structure on Record.
No doubt you have heard of the proposed legislation in the U.S. Congress called SOPA and PIPA and of the protests of various websites against them. These measures are ostensibly intended to fight against copyright infringement and piracy on the web. Most of the protesting websites did not express disagreement with the enforcement of intellectual property (IP) laws, but that there would be privacy issues and regulation of websites by the feds. Read more about An Unconventional Perspective on Intellectual Property
Reading through the current list of predictions from analysts outside of the mainsteam media, it looks like the outlook for 2012 isn't very different, just more of the same. If anything things look a bit worse, because we haven't managed to air any of last year's laundry. We'll probably see more of that return to normal, where paper is worth nothing and real assets are considered wealth again. In other words, paper continues to depreciate and real assets continue to appreciate.
As you might have read previously, I have attempted to appeal to a local Tea Party to embrace more consistent and libertarian principles. When I was first introduced to the Tea Party during a tax day rally, I was left with more enthusiasm than I have now. Individuals were passing out literature asking, "Who is John Galt," as well as other free market materials. It seems that these individuals are just that: individuals attending a rally to spread ideas and not necessarily having any association with the Tea Party itself. Still, this organization likes to use terms such as free market, low taxes, low spending, and Constitution. Read more about Commentary for the Tea Party
I find it interesting how large the variety is of things people cite to be the "death of America." Some list the birth and death date as 1776-2008 in reference to the election of Barack Obama. Some say it was September 20, 2011 when the same person declared his right to assassinate anyone, including Americans, who he deemed to be a threat. Another suggestion is that it was in 2005 when the Supreme Court ruled that it was constitutional for the government to take property and give ownership to private interests. Is America sufficiently dead yet? Read more about The Death of America
Here is an interview with Egon von Greyerz, from King World News. Clearer and more direct words are hard to find. I'll let not take away from his message and let him paint the picture for you.