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Updated: 9 hours 55 min ago

When War is the Only Option

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 03:06
The world might not need diplomats if it had no nation-states. Since we do, they serve the valuable function of lubricating relations between governments. They nevertheless represent governments, not citizens. Our excerpt today is from Chas Freeman, a retired U.S. diplomat who believes the government is terribly misusing this basic foreign policy tool. He thinks the political elite resort too quickly to military force. When it fails, the only solution they will accept is even more force. Mr. ...

For Normal Relations With Cuba End US Interventionism

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 03:04
Last week we saw an encouraging sign that the 50 year cold war between the US and Cuba was finally coming to an end. President Obama announced on Wednesday that the US and Cuba would restore full diplomatic relations and that embassies could be re-opened in each country by the end of the month. For this achievement, which was resisted by vested interests in the US, Obama should be praised. However we shouldn't be too optimistic about truly establishing normal relations until we understand how ...

Greeks Vote NO To EU-Imposed Austerity

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 03:02
With 90% of the votes counted, the Greek people have voted 61% to 39% against accepting the latest round of austerity that the EU is trying to impose on the Greek people for the benefit of the One Percent. What is amazing is that 39% voted for the One Percent against their own interests. This 39% vote shows that propaganda works to convince people to vote against their own interest. The vote was not a vote to leave the EU. With the backing of the Greek nation, the Greek government hopes to ...

Production Versus Plunder Part 14

Sat, 07/04/2015 - 03:06
Empires beyond their limits do their best to enforce "austerity" upon their populace, but never agree to curtail their very expensive grandeur. This afflicted Rome, much the same as it afflicts today's European powers. Today we'll see how one Roman emperor found a way out of this predicament. Continued from last week... PLATO'S OPPORTUNITY Plato's books were widely distributed during the time of the Roman Empire. Nonetheless, as mentioned previously, their ideas were not implemented on a large ...

Clarence Thomass Confused Notion of Freedom

Sat, 07/04/2015 - 03:04
Compared to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, his colleague Clarence Thomas is well regarded by at least some devotees of liberty. This is not totally unjustified. Thomas has demonstrated a familiarity with the philosophy and history of natural law and natural rights, which he (at times) sees rooted in individual persons. For this reason, in some areas he has opposed expansion of government power; for example in U.S. v. Lopez, he broke long precedent and held that the commerce clause of the ...

Dignity and Respect in Blue

Fri, 07/03/2015 - 03:06
The curriculum in most police academies is heavy on firearms and self-defense techniques. This is necessary but not sufficient. Police need public cooperation for one simple reason: They are usually outnumbered. Top marksmanship will not help one officer control a hostile crowd of 10, 50, or 100 people. His best weapon is the ability to get them on his side. An arms-race mentality is just one sign police in many places have forgotten this principle. Armored vehicles take the place of common ...

Greece Sundays Vote Will Determine Liberty Or Serfdom

Fri, 07/03/2015 - 03:02
According to history books, democracy originated in Greece. Of course, historians could be mistaken, but this is the prevailing view among Western populations with enough awareness to be interested to know. What we are witnessing today, July 2, 2015, is that after 2,500 years in the Western World only the current Greek government is interested in democracy. The Greek government, to the surprise and consternation of every other European government, has called a referendum for the Greek people to ...

NSA Visualize Everything

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 03:06
Do you remember those "Visualize World Peace" bumper stickers? They gave the National Security Agency an idea, apparently. Now the agency that hears and reads everything wants to see everything, too. This is interesting in several ways. For one, it shows the tendency of any bureaucracy to expand however possible. The U.S. Department of Defense already has two other entities whose mission is to "create a much broader picture" like Admiral Rogers wants. Why the National Reconnaissance Office and ...

Economic Stagnation and the Global Bubble

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 03:04
You'd think with all the "stimulus" from Washington over the fifteen years since the dotcom bust, American capitalism would be booming. It's not. On the measures which count when it comes to sustainable growth and real wealth creation, the trends are slipping backwards — not leaping higher. After a look at new jobs data in April, we find the number of breadwinner jobs in the US economy is still two million below where it was when Bill Clinton still had his hands on matters in the Oval Office. ...

The Three Senses of Marriage

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 03:06
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to permit same-sex marriage nationwide has both winners and losers. One loser, at least so far, is clarity of thinking. People on all sides are discussing concepts without considering what they really mean. Let's try to bring some order. We use this word "marriage" in at least three different ways. First, marriage is a legal structure in which the government recognizes certain rights and responsibilities for people who follow a politically defined procedure. ...

Battling Racism Through the Marketplace

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 03:04
After a psychotic man murdered nine people in a black South Carolina church last week, much of the nation has turned its attention to whether the Confederate flag should be removed from all public forums. Although this reaction itself speaks volumes about the current racial climate in America and the media, there is another important lesson to be gleaned: Racism is absolutely toxic in the marketplace. Regardless of whether you think the Confederate flag is racist, the symbol of the Confederate ...

The Emergence of Orwellian Newspeak and the Death of Free Speech

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 03:02
How do you change the way people think? You start by changing the words they use. In totalitarian regimes – a.k.a. police states – where conformity and compliance are enforced at the end of a loaded gun, the government dictates what words can and cannot be used. In countries where the police state hides behind a benevolent mask and disguises itself as tolerance, the citizens censor themselves, policing their words and thoughts to conform to the dictates of the mass mind. ...

Central Bank Lies Consequences

Tue, 06/30/2015 - 03:06
Fractional reserve banking is intrinsically dishonest. Bankers promise depositors instant access to their money, even as they lend that same money to unrelated persons. The depositor agreement is a contract the bank knows it cannot possibly fulfill. This pyramid-scheme business model would be unsustainable without the backstop of a central bank as "lender of last resort." Bank runs are (theoretically) impossible if the central bank does its job. The European Central Bank is failing one of its ...

FA Hayek and Why Government Cant Manage Society Part II

Tue, 06/30/2015 - 03:04
It is seventy years, now, since near the end of the Second World War Austrian economist, and much later Nobel Prize winner, Friedrich A. Hayek published his most famous article, "The Use of Knowledge in Society," in September 1945, demonstrating why it is impossible for a system of socialist central planning to effectively manage a complex and ever-changing economy better than a functioning, competitive free market order. All the necessary knowledge to comprehensively and successfully plan an ...

They Must Be Controlled

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 03:06
In a 1968 Star Trek episode titled "The Gamesters of Triskelion," disembodied aliens abduct Captain Kirk and two of his crew for their own entertainment. They fit the humans with special collars that create enormous pain on command, thereby ensuring compliance. Of course, Captain Kirk finds a heroic way to escape the situation. Actual 2015 prisoners fitted with "Stun-Cuffs" from Myers Enterprises are not so lucky. Their keepers can inflict agony on command from up to 100 yards away. Myers looks ...

Obamacares Best Allies The Courts and the Republicans

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 03:04
By ruling for the government in the case of King v. Burwell, the Supreme Court once again tied itself into rhetorical and logical knots to defend Obamacare. In King, the court disregarded Obamacare's clear language regarding eligibility for federal health care subsidies, on the grounds that enforcing the statute as written would cause havoc in the marketplace. The court found that Congress could not have intended this result and that the court needed to uphold Congress's mythical intention and ...

Production Versus Plunder Part 13

Sat, 06/27/2015 - 03:06
It's an amazing fact, but humans nearly always assist their oppressors by obeying them. And not only that, but they defend their obedience and persist in it, even as their oppression gets worse. This week we'll examine one of the deep reasons why. Continued from last week... Chapter Four: Plato's Empire: Toward the middle of the classical era (about 380 B.C.) the Greek philosopher Plato developed a new mysticism of the state. This formulation was of little effect upon the classical civilizations ...

Keep the Tinfoil Handy

Fri, 06/26/2015 - 03:06
Critics often deride those wary of government surveillance as paranoid tinfoil hat wearers. We're learning now that paranoia may be entirely appropriate. It turns out the FBI really is watching Americans from the sky. We know this because the FBI itself said so. The AP story reads like a twisted Alice-in-Wonderland tale. FBI officials told Congress the program is unclassified and not secret, but then refused to answer certain questions in public. They were simple questions, too. How many planes ...

Dumping the Euro Isnt a Cure-All Easy Money Lets Governments Avoid Free-Market Reforms

Fri, 06/26/2015 - 03:04
The Greek drama continues to unfold with the risk of "grexit" becoming increasingly likely. Yet, a large majority of the Greek people want to keep the euro. This, however, would require the Greek government to live within its means — something it has not been able to do for decades. With anti-austerity parties gaining strength continent wide, Greece may be the first, but not the last, to leave. For many years, it has been fashionable among some economists to blame the euro for all of Europe's ...

What Exactly is Racism

Fri, 06/26/2015 - 03:02
I want to look at two words that the State and its hangers-on have employed with much success on behalf of increases in government power. One is racism. The other is equality. What exactly is racism? We almost never hear a definition. I doubt anyone really knows what it is. If you're inclined to dispute this, ask yourself why, if racism truly is something clear and determinate, there is such ceaseless disagreement over which thoughts and behaviors are racist and which are not? If put on the spot ...

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