Posts Tagged ‘mccain

02
Nov
08

Liberty’s Best Week Ever!

NO, I am not talking about the impending undemocratic, non-election about to be perpetrated on us a couple of days hence between Wall Street Candidate A and Wall Street candidate A’ This one has been decided already – ordinary Americans have lost, and the banksters have won.

I am, rather, calling attention to the surprising upside to the continuing global financial collapse. The completely deserted checkout lanes today at my local wholesale club underscored the rapid retreat of consumer spending that’s occurring now. What is occurring now in the public intellectual mind is both thoroughly awful, and blindingly brilliant.

Awful, due to the present and future suffering of millions, nay, billions of people around the world, but brilliant, because the fact is that the economic predictive power of Austrian-School economics has been thoroughly vindicated, no matter what stupid, nonsensical things the Keynesians and Friedmanites say. We were right, we told them all what was coming, and they failed to listen. More Important, we have the correct answers.

And, better late than never, even some mainstream journalists, conservative Republicans, and left progressives are trying to re-orient their thinking in the midst of an unprecedented global financial calamity, where suddenly “Liberal” nor “Conservative” (as we have been brainwashed to call Socialist and Fascist policy ‘solutions’) ideas seem to have no discernible relevance at all.

This week two astounding interviews took place, between serious people of the left, and two of the current stars of the Austro-Libertarian movement.

On Thursday, the charming, brainy lefty journalist Rachel Maddow of MSNBC interviewed Ron Paul, focusing on his eerie (not to us of course) prescience on the economic meltdown, and on the significance of his recent campaign, and what it portends for the future of Republican Party as well as the electoral system.

On Friday, Lew Rockwell, founder and president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute interviewed Naomi Wolf on his podcast. This is a MUST LISTEN interview with the principled, thoughtful left-wing journalist. Ms Wolf, author of several books, including “The Beauty Myth”, and more notably “The End of America”, was last heard of in libertarian circles promoting, along with Ron Paul the American Freedom Agenda, calling for an end to America’s belligerent foreign policy and its depredations on domestic liberty.

Listen to her questioning Lew about definitions of libertarianism, and her response to his answers – I half held my breath throughout the unedited 50-minute conversation, waiting perhaps to hear Lew say something to make Ms Wolf ‘fall out of the ether’ as they say in the car business.

He doesn’t, and she didn’t. It is an extended dialog on the principled embrace of universal liberty, in honest, non-agendized terms that will speak to the heart of every thinking, compassionate person on the left, right, or middle. This shows how there is not, and never has been, such a thing as Democrat liberty, or Republican liberty, only Liberty For All.

Do yourself and your loved ones (particularly intelligent, leftish and rightish ones) a favor and get them to listen to this podcast to give them an understanding why you are a principled, onsistent advocate of liberty.

Then go to www.campaignforliberty.com , and get involved.

UPDATE: If you are still, for some unfathomable reason a McCain supporter, PLEASE watch this video of Dr. Paul taking apart McCain’s dumbass foreign policy prescriptions in the St. Petersburg debate;

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10
Sep
08

The Real Way To Stop Anthropogenic Global Warming

Ah, Close, But Not Exactly

Ah, Close, But Not Exactly

We have been listening for years now the the claims that science has ‘proved’ that man’s activities on the planet are causing a malignant accelerating warming of the atmosphere, which portends disaster and possibly the end of life on earth. Having some background in the sciences, we are nonetheless loath to point out that while the evidence for some warming is pretty convincing, and the fact that man contributes some measurable CO2 to the atmosphere is plausible, the mechanism is far from proved.

Moreover, the proposals (cap and trade, 2, carbon tax, technology subsidies) that have been seriously floated to try to slow or halt “Global Climate Change” (renamed that because the warming isn’t happening everywhere, and in some places cooling is being recorded) require an even heavier hand of government, have unknown efficacy, are vulnerable to cheating, and will have detrimental effects here and especially in developing countries. These proposals will disrupt the fundamental social and economic patterns of our civilization, and cost trillions of dollars, potentially for little to negative effect on the buildup of greenhouse gases.

So what do we do then? We have come up with a plan that;

1) Will measurably reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the US

2) Is guaranteed to work, if conscientiously and carefully implemented

3) While not costless, will require no forced transfer of funds from taxpayers to polluters

4) Will actually free up trillions of dollars for productive investment

5) Will massively incentivize innovators in clean energy-production technologies.

Our plan to reduce greenhouse gases, and clean up the environment?

The SSS Plan.

What does that stand for?

Stop Subsidizing Sh*t.

Stop subsidizing ethanol.

Stop subsidizing coal (by “permitting” pollution and destroying property rights in our lands and bodies).

Stop subsidizing oil (see coal above, also military intervention in the middle east, South America, and coming soon, Russia)

Stop subsidizing nuclear (state PUCs, the NRC, the DOE, and Price-Anderson have fundamentally retarded this very important energy source).

Stop subsidizing hybrid and electric vehicle development (it rewards the biggest culprits (GM, etc) while disadvantaging innovators).

Stop subsidizing highways (causing massive pollution, energy wastage, corruption, and economic malinvestment / dislocation)

Stop subsidizing airports and airlines (airports and skies jammed with planes jammed with people, absolute violations of 2nd, 4th, 7th , 9th, 10th, and 14th amendments).

And while we are at it, stop subsidizing solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, waste-to-energy, all of it.

When you get right down to it, pollution is a property-rights problem, but more importantly, it is an ECONOMIC problem, and a GOVERNMENT problem. Government disadvantages sustainable methods when it subsidizes unsustainable methods. Moreover, government investment in new technologies, meant to correct the previous mistake, serve to misdirect investment down particular avenues favored by particular interests, the very opposite of allowing the market, correctly incentivized, to determine the pace and direction of innovation.

It is said that if government could have seen the automobile coming, it would have outlawed it. It is, by its policies, outlawing sustainable energy policy economically. Before our leaders commit us to a path of dubious efficacy and certain harm, let us insist that they go through the books and strike every law, order, and policy that has the net effect of destroying property rights against polluters.

In just the coal-fired power generation sector alone, the costs of pollution, if fairly assessed, would make the industry as currently constituted extinct almost overnight. The resulting increase in the cost of electricity would both force conservation and incentivize innovation and production. all without a single cent of tax or seziure of property.

SSS.

(Image from Paul Goscicki’s blog)

05
Sep
08

The Mad Genius Of McCain’s Palin Pick

The Future President Palin?

The Future President Palin?

I watched her speech on youtube last night, it was perfect, as in she hit
all the ‘right’ notes for the base. Her fresh, glamorous (in a midwest /
rural west kind of way) MILF-y appearance, her ordinary, all-American
background, her status as the ultimate Washington outsider (geographically,
politically, culturally,) and the fact that she’s a woman will draw a lot of
votes from soft Republican centrists, of which there are many, maybe enough
to win.

Put yourself in the shoes of the average suburban Republican. No idealogue,
he or she increasingly faces assaults on every tenet of civilization they
hold dear, marriage, family, business, the country itself, economics, and so
on.

They see inflation, terrorism, terrible wars, and societal decline, and seek
explanations that comport with their backgrounds, upbringings, and
prejudices, just as Democrats do (though they seem to do slightly less
research and reading beyond the popular press on the matter.)

When a politician comes along and purports to explain it all to them, in a
manner consistent with their beliefs, they will vote for them, never mind
that their beliefs are factually challenged, their upbringings are
blinkered, their prejudices wrong, and their politicians pandering and
dishonest climbers.

They reject out of hand the solutions being sold by the other party,
because, well, it’s the other party, the ones who caused all this stuff in
the first place, right?.

And they recoil in horror from people with different, but empirical
observations that challenge, rather than pander to their beliefs, that
wacky, crazy, sound-money, non-interventionist Ron Paul, to name one.

I think the Huffingtons and Sullivans of the world are dead, dead wrong
when they assert that this was a mistake for McCain. Indeed, if you think
about it, it was the best possible pick for the warmongering cadaver. Having
on his ticket a 44-year old working suburban wife and mother with a son
going to Iraq is going to blunt a lot of criticism. It will completely
neuter any possible substantive advantage Obama has or had on the war issue
among the soft Republican center.

I think picking her is a slam dunk right in Obama’s face, strategy-wise.

None of the above should be construed as an endorsement of McCain – Palin,
quite to the contrary.

(photo scarfed from US magazine)

31
Aug
08

The Suppression Of Dissent At The Democratic And Republican Conventions

George Orwell, Stop Spinning and Call Your Office

George Orwell, Stop Spinning and Call Your Office

From the United States Constitution, Amendment One, retrieved on 8/30/2008;

Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

From a journalist friend in Denver comes a story about the Democratic National Convention that you probably haven’t quite heard;

This is a belated post after a night in the free-speech pen (“Gitmo on the Platte”), but on Wednesday at noon, Rage Against the Machine and Flobots held a free benefit for Iraq Veterans Against the War at the Denver Coliseum.

Performances were incredible, RATM brought out Wayne Kramer of MC5 to play guitar with them, and at the end of the concert, the bands and 60 uniformed vets led about half the audience (7000 people) on an unauthorized march through downtown Denver to the Pepsi Center, for IVAW to deliver a letter to Obama.

The cops shit their pants, they were going to use tear gas about four times on the route, then the DNC and Denver officials decided tear-gassing veterans would not be such a good idea, so they conducted negotiations and “held” people temporarily, then everyone went home.

From today’s Minneapolis Star-Tribune;

Executing search warrants on Friday night and Saturday morning, Ramsey County authorities raided a building in St. Paul and at least three homes in Minneapolis in an effort to head off disruptive protests of the Republican National Convention.

In a statement, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher described the Friday night raid at 627 Smith Avenue South in St. Paul as targeting the RNC Welcoming Committee, a group he described as “a criminal enterprise made up of 35 self-described anarchists who are intent on committing criminal acts before and during the Republican National Convention.”

“These acts include tactics to blockade and disable delegate buses, breaching venue security and injuring police officers,” the statement continued. Fletcher’s statement said no one was arrested. “Numerous items were recovered,” the statement said.
In response to the raids, the RNC Welcoming Committee issued a statement denying any criminal intent and described the officers’ actions as “violence” that was a sign of more extreme police measures to come.

On Saturday morning, three people were arrested and detained for probable cause conspiracy to commit a riot following a raid at 3240 17th Ave. S. in Minneapolis after authorities executed the search warrant. Ten other people in the house were processed and released after about 90 minutes, said Bruce Nestor of the National Lawyers Guild.

Nestor said he has not seen documents that support a reason for searching any of the locations, but that the warrant, signed by a judge on Friday, seeks multiple items, including electronics and mp3 players, rags, jars, Molotov cocktails, communication between RNC Welcoming Committee members, urine and feces (emphasis mine.)

Utter, complete, transparent bullshit. Rough them up, intimidate them, confiscate all their materials, photograph them so they will have ‘prior’ arrests, by the time you get a hearing the moment is over, the RNC is over, freedom is over. “Oh, sorry, our bad, here’s your shit back, HAHAHAHAHAHA.”

The three arrested, two 23-year-old women and a 25-year-old man, could be held through the weekend, Nestor said. A judge will review their case within 48 hours.  Nestor said the conspiracy to commit a riot charges are vague.

“This is a charge that police use for preventive detention,” he said. “It requires that no actual criminal act be committed and borders on criminalizing political advocacy.”

BORDERS ON? Nestor is being far too kind, BORDERING on aiding and abetting this thuggery.

Via Infoshop Newsvideo of massive police assaults, including threats, intimidation, and confiscation of computers and papers, on alleged “potentially disruptive” protestors, charging them with “conspiracy”;

Glenn Greenwald documents this, he and a colleague were at two of the houses;

There is clearly an intent on the part of law enforcement authorities here to engage in extreme and highly intimidating raids against those who are planning to protest the Convention. The DNC in Denver was the site of several quite ugly incidents where law enforcement acted on behalf of Democratic Party officials and the corporate elite that funded the Convention to keep the media and protesters from doing anything remotely off-script. But the massive and plainly excessive preemptive police raids in Minnesota are of a different order altogether. Targeting people with automatic-weapons-carrying SWAT teams and mass raids in their homes, who are suspected of nothing more than planning dissident political protests at a political convention and who have engaged in no illegal activity whatsoever, is about as redolent of the worst tactics of a police state as can be imagined.

Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff’s department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than “fire code violations,” and early this morning, the Sheriff’s department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying…

As much as I hate to write this, I must agree with professor Michael Rozeff, who writes in an article about the E-Gold prosecution on lewrockwell.com today, the government of the United States of America has descended into a police state. Here’s hoping the Rally For The Republic fares better.

Like the opponents of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, we have arrived at the realization that, as vigilant as we think we have been about preventing the emergence of such a state, we have found ourselves, as Garet Garett wrote, with that revolution already behind us.

We’re sorry. We tried, we really tried.

(photo from thorough Denver Post article via the lewrockwell.com blog)

05
Aug
08

Are Obama And McCain Economic Illiterates?

What Obama And McCain See When They Look At Us

What Obama And McCain See When They Look At Us

…Or are they just being cynical?

Yesterday, McCain repeated, ad nauseum his moronic new mantra for energy autarky, “Drill Here, Drill Now!” all over the airwaves, from safe inside the factory belonging to a top supporter in Fairless Hills, PA. Obama’s Great Factory Adventure Of The Day was to an auto plant in Lansing, Michigan, where, while no longer mouthing complete opposition to more drilling, annonced a plan to reinstate a windfall profits tax on oil companies, to be re-distributed to “American Families”at $1000 each, and a $4 BILLION subsidy to US automakers for the purpose of developing ‘plug-in hybrid’ cars, whatever that means. Both of these proposals, if ever enacted, will have exactly the opposite effect, as Harry Browne would have been able to tell them.

Let’s take more drilling, whether offshore, on Federal lands, etc. Never mind that any truly free-market actor, individual, partnership, or company should be free to homestead and drill any unused property subject to penalties for trespass on any other property, and cleaning up the mess before abandoning it. If due to congressional subsidies (you didn’t think they would just remove restrictions and let the oil companies do the rest, did you?) a modest increase in domestic production occurs, the principal effect would be to lower demand for oil coming from abroad, depressing the price and causing a net INCREASE in imports!

Well then, how about the windfall profits tax? Well, this would only affect profits earned within the LEGAL (but not ACTUAL) jurisdiction of Congress, which would tend to depress production, where class? That’s right, the good old USA – good for you!

OK, but ‘plug-in’ hybrids are good, right? And union jobs in Michigan are important, right? Well, here I am afraid one of these abominations will have its intended REAL effect – $4 BILLION dollars funneled to US Auto companies for the development of ‘plug-in’ hybrids (why, one might ask, aren’t the manufacturers investing in this technology already, one might ask) will go directly toward retaining a surplus of union employees by said plants. Or, the automakers might just sweep the extra money onto their balance sheets, and screw the union workers, whatever.

Look, these are two smart men (Obama is manifestly smarter than McCain, makes no difference here).So there can only be one reason they are calling for such ridiculous, moronic programs that will have the exact inverse of the stated intended effect. The reason they come out with these insane public announcements is that they both sincerely believe that the American electorate, every single last one of us, are grasping idiots.

Remind me why I should vote for either one of these clowns again?

(Image from smashed frog)

08
Jul
08

How High Can Oil Go, or Are We Prophets?

From a 2005 Mises blog discussion about the real economics of corn ethanol as a motor fuel;

“…The fact remains that the energy input deficit alone is enough to kill ethanol until gasoline reaches $8 – $9 per gallon, without subsidies. Until this occurs, it will not be economic to replace gasoline with ethanol on a national scale.”

Today, from an article on the Bush Administration’s imputed plans to “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran”;

“Sinking or crippling a couple of the 50 supertankers as they pass each other every day in the strait (of Hormuz) would not be much of a challenge for Iranian gunners…ship-owners the world over would ban any attempt to navigate around the shipwrecks. A barrel of oil would quickly jump to $500 and gas would reach $12 a gallon…

Dwayne Andreas, please call your office.

(links courtesy of the Mises and Lew Rockwell.com blogs)

19
Jun
08

Dead Men Tell No Tales

The headline in the Boston Globe:

Bin Laden will be killed, McCain promises

Yup, just like every other covert operative is once the US government no longer has any use for him. Saddam Hussein, please call your office. Oh, that’s right, you’re dead.

mccain-angryu