Archive for December, 2008

Obama Wants to Capitalize on Crisis

December 31st, 2008 1:59 pm  |  by  |  Published in Bailouts, Big Government, Economics, government spending, John Stossel, Liberty, Money, national debt, Politics, Socialism, Taxes  |  3 Responses

Two quotes, one from Barack Obama and the other from his choice for chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, spell out their intentions.

Obama said: “Painful crisis also provides us with an opportunity to transform our economy to improve the lives of ordinary people.”

One would have to know and understand the progressive politics (and adherence to socialistic policies and Keynesian economics) to be able to read between the lines.  But Emanuel is more straightforward, saying “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

Wow.  Politicians don’t even bother to hide their agendas any more.

This is the subject of John Stossel’s most recent commentary.

John Stossel Photo
So they will “transform our economy.” Obama’s nearly trillion-dollar plan will not merely repair bridges, fill potholes and fix up schools; it will also impose a utopian vision based on the belief that an economy is a thing to be planned from above. But this is an arrogant conceit. No one can possibly know enough to redesign something as complex as “an economy,” which really is people engaging in exchanges to achieve their goals. Planning it means planning them.

Obama and Emanuel want us to believe that their blueprint for reform will bring recovery from the recession. Yet we have recovered from past recessions without undertaking a radical social and economic transformation.

In fact, reform would impede recovery.

Read the rest of Stossel’s commentary.

Ron Paul 2012 On MSNBC

December 31st, 2008 2:32 am  |  by  |  Published in Election, Liberty, Media, Politics, Ron Paul  |  3 Responses

In a discussion that included Pat Buchanan on MSNBC Ron Paul was mentioned as a potential 2012 candidate for President.

This is the first I’ve heard Ron Paul’s name mentioned outside of libertarian blog circles with respect to running in 2012. I’m disappointed that Pat Buchanan wasn’t the one to bring up Paul’s name. Instead he seemed to be lobbying for Sarah Palin.

Paul’s name was mentioned by the left leaning pundit who seemed to make some good arguments. Then again I’m biased when it comes to the prospects of watching the campaign donation ticker fill up with money on RonPaul2012.com in a few years.

Here is the video. Ron Paul is mentioned right around the 3:00 mark.

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America’s New Motto: In Failure We Trust

December 31st, 2008 2:02 am  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Bailouts, Big Government, Economics, Federal Reserve, Free Market, government spending, Individual Responsibility, inflation, Libertarianism, Liberty, Maven Commentary, Money, Philosophy, Politics, Socialism, Taxes  |  Comments Off

These days I’m reminded of  the semi-jingoistic words from “God Bless The U.S.A: Proud To Be An American” by Lee Greenwood. It makes me somber and introspective. Perhaps it should be renamed “Sad To Be An American” to make it more accurate.  I’m in this mood because I’ve come to the realization that Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson, and almost everyone within our federal government have adopted the main principle of Dr. Gideon Gono. The principle is: Failure is not an option. Who is this Dr. Gideon Gono you ask?

Dr. Gideon Gono is the chairman of the Central Bank of Zimbabwe. He has been instrumental in fighting the threat of deflation in Zimbabwe. In fact, he fought deflation so successfully that inflation is now said to be growing annually at 516 quintillion percent (as of November 2008). Just to show how largely successful Gono has been, here is 516 quintillion shown with zeros on the end:

516,000,000,000,000,000,000 %

Prices are doubling every 1.3 days in Zimbabwe. Certainly that can’t happen in America right? I hope not. Of course, if that were to happen I could pay off my mortgage with about 2 minutes worth of work.

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Peter Schiff Defends Capitalism on CNBC

December 30th, 2008 9:14 pm  |  by  |  Published in Bailouts, Banking, Economics, Federal Reserve, Free Market, government spending, inflation, Liberty, Money, national debt, Peter Schiff, Politics, Taxes  |  1

Peter Schiff was on CNBC yesterday defending capitalism against a gang of regulators and anti-capitalists so prevalent on that channel.  Enjoy:

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New Year’s Resolutions for Libertarians

December 30th, 2008 8:35 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Debate, Harry Browne, Individual Responsibility, Liberty, Politics  |  Comments Off

A few years back, the late great Harry Browne (one of Liberty Maven’s Liberty Heroes) published a list of New Years Resolutions focusing on effective communication.  We’d all be better off remembering these words of wisdom in our day-to-day interactions.  Here they are again:

A Libertarian’s New Year’s Resolutions

by Harry Browne

  1. I resolve to *sell* liberty by appealing to the self-interest of each prospect, rather than *preaching* to people and expecting them to suddenly adopt my ideas of right and wrong.
  2. I resolve to keep from being drawn into arguments or debates. My purpose is to inspire people to want liberty — not to prove that they’re wrong.
  3. I resolve to *listen* when people tell me of their wants and needs, so I can help them see how a free society will satisfy those needs.
  4. I resolve to identify myself, when appropriate, with the social goals someone may seek — a cleaner environment, more help for the poor, a less divisive society — and try to show him that those goals can never be achieved by government, but will be well served in a free society.
  5. I resolve to be compassionate and respectful of the beliefs and needs that lead people to seek government help. I don’t have to approve of their subsidies or policies — but if I don’t acknowledge their needs, I have no hope of helping them find a better way to solve their problems.
  6. No matter what the issue, I resolve to keep returning to the central point: how much better off the individual will be in a free society.
  7. I resolve to acknowledge my good fortune in having been born an American. Any plan for improvement must begin with a recognition of the good things we have. To speak only of America’s defects will make me a tiresome crank.
  8. I resolve to focus on the ways America could be so much better with a very small government — not to dwell on all the wrongs that exist today.
  9. I resolve to cleanse myself of hate, resentment, and bitterness. Such things steal time and attention from the work that must be done.
  10. I resolve to speak, dress, and act in a respectable manner. I may be the first libertarian someone has encountered, and it’s important that he get a good first impression. No one will hear the message if the messenger is unattractive.
  11. I resolve to remind myself that someone’s “stupid” opinion may be an opinion I once held. If *I* can grow, why can’t I help *him* grow?
  12. I resolve not to raise my voice in any discussion. In a shouting match, no one wins, no one changes his mind, and no one will be inspired to join our quest for a free society.
  13. I resolve not to adopt the tactics of Republicans and Democrats. They use character assassination, evasions, and intimidation because they have no real benefits to offer Americans. We, on the other hand, are offering to set people free — and so we can win simply by focusing on the better life our proposals will bring.
  14. I resolve to be civil to my opponents and treat them with respect. However anyone chooses to treat me, it’s important that I be a better person than my enemies.

— Harry Browne

Ron Paul’s Manifesto, Best Of 2008

December 29th, 2008 2:26 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Books, Liberty, Maven Commentary, Politics, Ron Paul  |  Comments Off

Ron Paul’s excellent book “The Revolution: A Manifesto” was recognized by Amazon.com as the book with the most positive reviews of 2008. Once again we Ron Paulians are left to wonder what could have been had he somehow won the GOP nomination.

Of course, the critics will say that we spammed the reviews on Amazon. “Spam” may not be the correct word though. It is more the online “know how” that represented much of Ron Paul’s 2008 grassroots presidential campaign. The critics like most are merely envious.

I hope Ron Paul makes a single resolution to bring in the new year. I hope he resolves to run again in 2012 if the political climate suggests it. By then we may be begging for a President like Ron Paul.

That being said, I’ll likely be begging regardless of the political climate.

Silver – The Cure for AIDS

December 29th, 2008 12:41 pm  |  by  |  Published in Commentary, Health Care, Liberty  |  Comments Off

To be fair, the United States Patent and Trademark Office makes this claim, not I.

by Jake, the Champion of the Constitution
Originally published Monday, December 29, 2008 at http://www.nolanchart.com/article5717.html

AgSilver (chemical symbol Ag from the Latin root argentum, meaning “white” or “shining”) is a special element. Of any pure element, it has the highest electrical conductivity. It has the highest thermal conductivity of any metal. As its Latin translation suggests, it can be polished into the highest optical reflectivity of any metal.

Silver has been used by mankind as jewelry, semiconductors, optics, dentistry, in the control rods of nuclear reactors, as a chemical catalyst, as a currency and other uses. In its ionized form, silver is a strong anti-microbial agent. It destroys complexes needed by bacteria to respire, which eventually kills them.

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Supreme Court Slaps Down Bush and Saves Habeas Corpus, Barely

December 29th, 2008 11:36 am  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Civil Liberties, Constitution, Court Cases, Liberty, Politics, terrorism  |  Comments Off

As reported by The Future of Freedom Foundation, the SCOTUS has narrowly ruled that the Bush administration’s policy of holding detainees indefinitely without judicial review is unconstitutional:

Once in a while the fading embers of freedom flare with defiant vigor. That happened in June when the U.S. Supreme Court sternly informed the Bush administration that it may not hold people suspected of being terrorists indefinitely without charge and without judicial review at its prison at Guantanámo Bay, Cuba.

In a too-close-for-comfort 5-4 ruling, the Court reminded the American people — indeed, the world — that arbitrary power destroys individual liberty. Where government can lock people up and throw away the key — answerable to no one at all — there liberty does not dwell. That is what the Bush administration has aspired to, but in June the Court drew a line.

In invoking the cherished principle of habeas corpus, the Court was emphatic:

[Protection] for the privilege of habeas corpus was one of the few safeguards of liberty specified in a Constitution that, at the outset, had no Bill of Rights….

The Framers viewed freedom from unlawful restraint as a fundamental precept of liberty, and they understood the writ of habeas corpus as a vital instrument to secure that freedom.

The Constitution does not distinguish between citizens and noncitizens when it talks about “privileges.” To be sure, the Constitution permits Congress to suspend the writ of habeas corpus “when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.” But the Court said that the Suspension Clause was not satisfied by the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA), Section 7, which forbade any court from considering a petition for a writ of habeas corpus for “an alien detained by the United States who has been determined by the United States [i.e., the Bush administration] to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination.”

Continue reading the article, written by Sheldon Richman, here.

Israel vs. Hamas-ruled Gaza: Blame both sides

December 28th, 2008 12:05 am  |  by  |  Published in Blowback, Commentary, Foreign Policy, Politics, War  |  Comments Off

Expect a world-wide condemnation of Israel to erupt in response to the Israeli Air Force attack today across Hamas-ruled Gaza. If that outrage is to be valid, however, it should place equal blame on Israel and the Hamas operatives who have been firing rockets into Israel. Not because those rockets inflicted major damage to Israel, or constituted a clear threat to the state- they did not- but because they offered the rationale for the Israeli attacks. Without the Hamas rockets, which achieved next to nothing strategically for Hamas, the IDF would not have been in a position to attack Gaza, and they would not have done so. As things stand, the Hamas rockets and the Israeli response have gained nothing for either side except the ego gratification derived by small entities who start major conflicts. Hamas and the IDF have been, in this sense, partners, and it’s a safe bet that both Hamas and IDF insiders are pleased with the outcome.

What we need in international affairs are chess players, that is players who make subtle moves, or non-moves that constitute moves. One finds such a player in China. We are accustomed to attributing China’s current global prowess to its nurturing in recent decades of Chinese-style capitalism, but we can find instruction in an earlier Chinese coup, in the Vietnam War. North Vietnam defeated America in that war partly because China played chess instead of poker. China’s move, or non-move, was to not invade Vietnam in response to the American invasion. This one non-move was as important as North Vietnam’s resilience in securing the American defeat. We were so clearly the aggressor against a third world agrarian state that our military vulnerabilities were greatly compounded by overwhelming propaganda defeat, both domestic and international. By playing a smart game, China emerged without a debilitating war, which would have included American bombing, and with something of the sheen of victory.

This is the kind of strategy that Hamas should have pursued, and the rage of Gazans should be directed as much against their Hamas leaders as against Israel.

Bernanke’s Great Lie – The “Gold Standard” and the Great Depression (PART 2/2)

December 27th, 2008 11:17 am  |  by  |  Published in Bailouts, Banking, Big Government, Debt, Economics, Federal Reserve, Free Market, gold standard, government spending, inflation, Money, national debt, Taxes  |  1

The claim that the “gold standard” caused or worsened the Great Depression debunked.

by Jake, the Champion of the Constitution

Originally published December 25, 2008 at http://www.nolanchart.com/article5706.html

libertyThe purpose of the following is to argue that the “gold standard,” as understood by most of the public, did not cause or worsen the Great Depression as current FED Chairman Ben Bernanke has based many of his papers, speeches, and, to a large extent, his entire career on. In our contemporary times, I do believe this blame must be firmly rejected and monetary policy should, at the very least, be debated in a national forum. Indeed many other economists, such as the Friedman family, Anna Schwartz, Alan Greenspan, and Jeffrey “Shock Doctor” Sachs, have all propagated this lie.  (photo)

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