Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
- George W. Bush “abandoned capitalism to save capitalism.” He ignored (or was ignorant of) the fact that the economic collapse was caused by government and Federal Reserve action, and relied on his faith in central economic planning to rescue the economy, without understanding the underlying problems. He did this twice: once around 2001 when the .com bubble collapsed, and again in 2009. During his tenure, he doubled the national deficit, and spent more than ALL prior presidents combined. His successor has continued with this reckless policy of spending, bailing out, and central planning.
- George W. Bush ran his 2000 campaign on a humble foreign policy – one that would stop the senseless overseas intervention of the Clinton era. Then he involved us in our longest war in history in Afghanistan. He also invaded Iraq on false pretenses, and only sought to expand American hegemony overseas. His successor promised to close the illegal prison that is Guantanamo Bay, and end the wars, but is just now winding down Iraq. He expanded our role in Afghanistan, Bombed Libya so that Ghadaffi could be replaced by Al-Queda, and extended use of remote controlled aircraft to assassinate anybody he wants at will, even American citizens, regardless of if they have even been accused of a crime. Gitmo is still open, and and our involvement in bombing the world is only more entrenched.
- George W. Bush passed the USA PATRIOT act, which strips away the important protections of the Fourth Amendment, and allows the federal government to listen to our phone calls, read our emails, track us with GPS equipment, and spy on us without a warrant, and without probable cause. It also allows government agents to write its own search warrants, called National Security Letters, without approval from a neutral judge and without any evidence. They can arrest a person who receives one of these warrants if he tells anybody that he received one: a religious leader in a confession, a spouse, even a judge under oath! His successor, despite his rhetoric and his votes against this act as a senator, has, as a president, expanded the use of this monstrosity, and fought against its repeal. He even authorized the use of an autopen to re-authorize this act when it would have expired while he was overseas.
- George W. Bush called himself a compassionate conservative who believed that the federal government should be used to provide healthcare benefits to seniors in the form of a massive, underfunded prescription drug program. This was passed easily through a Republican congress and signed with great fanfare by Mr. Bush. His successor has continued the federal takeover of medicine, pushing through an even bigger underfunded program that requires everybody to purchase a good that fits the government's approval, as well as numerous other horrible things.
- George W. Bush, lacking the basic economic understanding that prohibition creates black markets, continued and even expanded the idiotic war on drugs, which does only makes drug running more profitable and increases the power of drug cartels. Despite libertarians' hope that this senseless policy would end with his successor, it hasn't. Despite the fact that there is no constitutional authority to control drugs, and that it is absolutely a state matter, Obama's DEA agents have continued illegal raids on legal dispensaries in states that have legalized medicinal cannabis, and on peoples homes.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
and instead ran into this video, which is a great explanation of Iranian/American relationships from a brilliant and thoughtful conservative libertarian named Jack Hunter.
By the way, make sure you check out Jack Hunter's website: http://www.southernavenger.com/
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Anybody else picturing Washington DC when they read this?
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Before I get into that, we need to understand why we were attacked, and why those attacks were planned by a man, Osama bin Laden, who was an ally of ours in the Cold War. After the attacks, President George W. Bush stated that, “they hate us for our freedoms.” This is a dangerous and overly-simplistic view of international affairs that ignores our constant meddling in the middle east. Believing that the United States was standing idly yet triumphantly by, completely innocent, and was suddenly attacked for no reason other than our freedoms is essentially saying that we were attacked because we wear blue jeans and eat at McDonalds. This view is too simple, even for children.
Prior to the attack, a political scientist named Chalmers Johnson wrote a book that describes the growth in overseas militarism that the United States has carried out since the end of the Cold War, and states that our increased efforts to grow our empire will result in something called “Blowback” (also the title of his book). Examples are plentiful: In 1953, the CIA overthrew a democratically elected government in Iran and installed the Shah, who turned out to be a repressive military dictator. Historian Stephen Kinzer (author of All the Shah's Men) believes that, without our intervention, Iran would have developed into a stable, modern representative democracy. Instead, the people of Iran overthrew the Shaw in the Iranian Revolution of 1979, and installed the current Ayatollah government, which is a closed-down, repressive theocracy and is (for obvious reasons) unfriendly to the United States. We also installed Saddam Hussein to represent U.S. Interests in the Iraq/Iran war, and then turned against him in Operation Desert Storm. We were heavily involved in arming and supporting the Muhajadin (led by Osama bin Laden) in Afghanistan against the Soviets in the Cold War. Muhajadin, by the way, refers to Freedom Fighters who simply desire to be left alone by foreign powers. This organization eventually became the Taliban. It is probably only a matter of time before our “friends,” the so-called rebels, in Libya become our enemies, just as have countless other regimes we support when they do our bidding, and bomb when they try to act independently.
Today we use our military to tell countries what they can or can't do. If Iran pursues nuclear weapons , we will first starve, then bomb them. We refuse to even allow travel to Cuba, a country that has not been any threat to the United States for decades. Instead of trading with other countries, respecting their sovereignty and independence, and showing by example the fruits of liberty, we pursue a truly isolationist foreign policy wherein we attack (verbally or physically) any country that disagrees with us. This behavior is absolutely hypocritical. It seems as though any time an (especially Islamic) country expresses a desire to do anything that might negatively affect the American Empire, you hear the pounding of the war drums to threaten (or even force) the country back into compliance by means of sanctions (starvation, which repressive leaders easily blame on the United States) or outright war. Of course, those who committed the 9/11 attacks committed horrible crimes, but to assume that they acted without motive, is dangerous, stupid, and utterly defiant of history.
Finally, a word needs to be written on what we have lost since the attacks. We are less free and less prosperous:
- We have lost more than 5,000 of our men and women in uniform and wounded tens of thousands more fighting wars that were largely unnecessary.
- We spilled that blood and spent trillions of dollars trying to remake the political landscape of tribal cultures that we do not understand.
- We have been the instrument of death of more than one million Iraqis and Afghans, most of whom were innocent civilians; and we have displaced millions more.
- We have “given up essential liberties to purchase a bit of temporary security,” showing the prophetic Benjamin Franklin that we were undeserving of our liberty to begin with.
- As Franklin prophesied, we will likely loose our security as a result of our lost liberty
- We passed the PATRIOT act, allowing government bureaucrats to tape our phone calls and monitor our electronic communication without a warrant, and have given federal agents power to write their own search warrants. This is a disgusting breach of our right to privacy, in excess of any law passed since King George's tyrannical rule over the American Colonies.
- We have, through the same abominable piece of legislation, given the FBI the ability to break into our houses, make it appear as though a robbery had occurred, plant bugs, confiscate evidence, and leave without a warrant, and without disclosing anything for 18 months
- We have also given the government power to tap into our cell phones and use the microphone to listen to anybody within its range, again without a warrant of any kind.
- We have entrusted our airline security to government agents, absent any market discipline, and have empowered them to either sexually molest us or photograph our naked bodies with heavy doses of radiation as a precondition of our freedom to travel.
- We have allowed ourselves to become a nation that operates secret military prisons; a nation that engage in the kinds of torture that we abhorred when the North Vietnamese did it to us.
- In short, we have become a mere shell of the free country that made us a beacon to the world. We are no longer an example of freedom or prosperity, as are thus likely destined to fade into the pages of history, just as every empire before us has. If in fact they did attack us for our freedoms, everything I mentioned above proves that they won.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Last night's Republican debates brought a heated exchange between Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. Paul was asked if his policy on Iran is unchanged from 2009, when he said, “Sanctions are not diplomacy. They are a precursor to war and an embarrassment to a country that pays lip service to free trade. […] One can understand why they (Iran) might want to become nuclear capable if only to defend themselves and to be treated more respectfully.” Dr. Paul, of course, stood by his position that the United States has no business meddling in the internal affairs of other countries, and not fight wars that are not directly related to our national security. Senator Santorum accused Dr. Paul of “seeing the world the same way Obama does.” and went on to discuss his mis-named “Iran Freedom Act,” which starves the impoverished masses of Iran in the name of making Iran want to be a free, democratic country like the United States supposedly is. Ironically, Mr. Obama's foreign polciy has more in common with Santorum and the rest of the Neo-Conservitaves that were at the debate than he does with Dr. Paul's. A Neo-Con Obama is the topic of another post, so, I'll get back to the purpose of this post, which is:
A nuclear Iran is not a real threat to our national security (or anybody else's for that matter), for reasons I will explain below. But first:
Why would Iran even want nukes?
To answer this question, we are going to try to see things from the point of view from the Iranian leadership. Yes, I know that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a bad guy, but it is naive and dangerous to sit around and think that “they hate us for our freedoms,” when they have real reasons to not like how they are treated by the Western world. It is not difficult for Iran, or any other isolated government to see how they are treated compared with the rest of the world. Nuclear powers, such as Pakistan, Israel, India, and China never have sanctions imposed against them, and are welcome trading partners, even if our relationship with them is not entirely peaceful. Iran, on the other hand, sees that it has two options:
Option 1: Give into the international community, and give up their nuclear programs. This option is unattractive because it would effectively make Iran submissive to the whims of the international community. If they give in over nukes, then it is understood that they will give in to any mandate passed down from a body of countries that shows no respect toward them.
Option 2: Plow through the sanctions and disapproval of the international community, develop nuclear weapons, and then command the respect of the international community. This is the best of the two options for any country in Iran's circumstances that wishes to be respected.
If the international community, however, would back off of Iran and stay out their internal affairs, Iran might develop a nuclear weapons program, but they might not. If Iran saw that it was respected and treated as a peer in the international community, it would no longer feel obligated to build nuclear weapons in order to command the world's respect. More importantly, talking and trading freely with countries does more to bring about democratic and Western reforms than sanctions and other punishments ever could. This brings me to:
Sanctions don't work, and interfering with Iran's internal affairs is immoral.
The four-decade long failure of sanctions is so painfully obvious that I'm surprised that they are so unilaterally supported on both so-called sides of the political aisle. Basically, they prevent Western countries and their allies from selling or doing business with set countries, depriving of them of food, water, medicine, and other goods. (The international sale of goods and services on the free market are totally voluntary, and exist within they private sector. They should not be confused with foreign aid, wherein, to borrow a phrase from Ron Paul, money is stolen from the poor people in rich countries and given to rich people in poor countries.) Sanctions punish free trade and commerce. Sometimes they are targeted on specific goods, while other times they are more broad. The idea behind sanctions is that they will deprive the people of nutrition, healthcare, and other goods and cause the people to blame their government and enact reforms. Sanctions fail time and again, because repressive regimes who are sanctioned simply use state media to explain to the citizenry that the evil Western countries are the ones starving them, so the anger that sanctions hope to direct at, for example, Machmoud and the Ayatolla, are instead directed toward the United States government.
Apart from being ineffective, they are immoral. It is a natural right to engage in trade with whomever we wish, and sanctions violate that natural right
Iran is no threat, even with nukes
As crazy as Mahmoud is, he presents no threat, even with nukes, to Israel, the United States, or anybody else. Yes it's true that he believes that Israel has no right to exist, and that he denies the holocaust. However, it is absurd to even think that Iran would engage Israel, the United States, or anybody else militarily. They have almost no military, and they understand that any attack would be met with swift military action from the rest of the world. They know that they could not possibly get away with nuking Israel, as it would be an effectual committal of suicide.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
7:33 - Huntsman doesn't answer a question
7:34 - Romney flip-flops again. - We only want immigrants with PhD's
7:36 - Cain has another list of 4 things - this one on immigration - that says lots of words and conveys nothing. High fences and wide open doors built our country? Ha!
7:37 - Newt refuses to answer his question on immigration and answers Cains question instead.
7:38 - Ron Paul touches on ending the War on Drugs, ending overseas militarism, and ending the welfare state as responses to immigration.
7:40 - Romney says nothing at all, attacks Obama on taxes, balancing budget
7:42 - Pawlenty attacks Obama again, says he regrets the cigarette tax now that he finds out it was unpopular
7:43 - Bachmann will vote for something if you stick some phony pro-life language in it.
7:43 - 7:46 - Bachmann and Pawlenty argue about nothing at all and get really really annoying.
7:47 - Santoru talks vaguely about his non-existent plan to grow the economy, willing to compromise for big government.
7:49 - Newt says something almost intelligent about the super-committee, still dead wrong on "gutting the military"
7:50 - Tim Pawlenty talks about ObamneyCare - offers no real solution of his own.
7:52 - Romney supports the Tenth Amendment - only on Healthcare. Apparently not on Drug policy, or any other aspect of human behavior, constitutional or not.
7:53 - Romney will come up with some other federal bureaucracy for healthcare to replace obamacare, allow states to force people to buy health insurance
7:54 - Bachmann makes the true argument that states cannot force people to buy a good, doesn't understand the tenth amendment
7:55 - Ron Paul eloquently defines a federal system - explains that healthcare costs are caused by the lack of the free market, wants to use the free market
7:57 - Santorum makes it apparent that he doesn't understand the tenth amendment.
8:01 - lightning round
8:02 - Ron Paul happy for Rick Perry entering - he further shows Ron Paul as the standout contender
8:04 - Santorum avoids a question.
8:05 - Pawlenty thinks that saying nice things about the military will make people love him
8:06 - Romney flip flops on Afghanistan again. - too spineless to be a commander in chief, and willing to let the generals do whatever they want
8:08 - Newt mad again that he has to answer a question about his rhetoric on Lybia. - accusses Obama of flip flopping and refuses to answer a question
8:09 - John Huntsman is a cyber-Neo-Con. Wants to use the military to attack countries where cyber criminals live.
8:10 - Santorum the interventionist talks vaugely about preventing Iran from getting a nuke, wants to cyber-attack Iran (terrorism), Continues
8:13 - Ron Paul kicks some neo-con ass, realizes why Iran wants a nuke, advocates diplomacy over starving children and war-mongering.
8:16 - Herman Cain reminds my sister of Stanley from The Office and would probably spend his time in the oval office doing crossword puzzles. I agree.
8:18 - Michelle Bachmann reveals that she really doesn't believe that the constitution protects anybody that she deems to be a Terrorist,
8:20 - Santorum believes that our military has brought freedom to the world, doesn't understand why terrorists hate us.
8:22 - Ron Paul kicks Neo-Con ass again!
8:26 - Newt wants Muslims to take loyalty tests.
8:27 - Cain explains Southern views on Mormonism with all of the eloquence of an elephant giving birth at a wedding rehersal dinner.
8:29 - Bachmann says something about marriage and family values that comes from one of those nauseating commmercials.
8:31 - Romney flip-flops on marriage again, beleves that a constitutional amendment on marriage will ensure taht nobody will procreate out of wedlock
8:32 - Huntsman - "I believe in civil unions because it polls well."
8:33 - Paul says that marriage should not be a government issue at all. He is (as usual) right.
8:36 - Bachmann supports constitutional amendment
8:37 - Yeah, we know - everyone is pro-life
8:39 - Mitt Romney blames the president for an economic policy that is equal to his, would extend unemployment benefits. He has no real economic differences from Obama
8:40 - Huntsman: "blah blah blah blah" talking points
8:42 - Bachmann kind of has a clue on economic issues
8:44 - Cain, once again, suggests nothing.
8:46 - Newt is a shill for a central bank, just not as much as most other politicans.
8:47 - Ron Paul on the Fed - get rid of legal tender laws, don't pay the fed.
8:49 - Santorum thinks he's a Tea Party guy! Gimme a break! "Of course we have to raise the debt limit"
8:54 - Huntsman looks like a scary, creepy man, says something kind of smart on education, and then screws it all up for supporting the so-called debt deal.
Santorum is clueless, bottom dweller
Stanley "Herman Cain"- no substance
Ron Paul kicks more ass
Romney says he believes in capitalism - an obvious lie.
Bachmann - OK
Pawlenty - says he wants to protect freedom, despite running over the tenth amendment
Huntsman - We have a cancer, it is debt" - says the guy who supported the debt limit increase.
Newt - Cheezy thanking everybody because he has nothing better to say.