globalism

Doc Lucky’s “The Immune” is libertarian fiction at its best

April 11th, 2011 11:10 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Books, Civil Liberties, globalism, Libertarianism, Liberty, Maven Commentary  |  Comments Off

My libertarian soul was hooked immediately. Yours will be as well. From the very first pages of  The Immune, a libertarian-infused, science fiction thriller from Doc Lucky Meisenheimer you will crave something. Something that all authors wish their readers would crave–to see what is on the next page, and the one after, and the one after that, and so on.

The Immune reads like a movie that keeps you guessing until the very end. It could easily be a huge blockbuster big screen thriller someday. Of course, that is if those in Hollywood are able to overlook the anti-government and decidedly libertarian message of the story. The great thing about Doc Lucky’s story is that it remains true to the liberty message without being overly preachy. In other words, this is not an Ayn Rand novel. I do love reading Ayn Rand, but this is much more mainstream and accessible. In fact it could be used as a gentle introduction to the libertarian ideology for those just starting down that path.

The book explores privacy, gun rights, civil liberties, foreign policy, government health care, global governance, and more. There’s even an evil character that I can only guess was patterned after Nancy Pelosi.

The story follows physician John Long in the not so-distant future when bio-genetically manufactured organisms that resemble flying “man-o-wars” (called airwars) begin emerging all over the world and killing humans randomly. Long is an ordinary physician who is lucky enough to be immune to the stings of the airwars. This makes him supremely useful to the propaganda machine of an international governing body that uses the airwar crisis as an excuse to continually strip individual freedoms from the world’s citizens. Hmm… doesn’t that sound all-too-familiar? And that’s not all they try to strip away as you’ll find out when you read the book.

This is truly a wonderful first novel for Doc Lucky Meisenheimer. The Immune succeeds on several levels. It is both heavy and light. It works equally as a “beach book” page-turner, and as an intellectual pursuit of individual liberty. Perhaps some of those that utilize it as the former will morph into using it as the latter by the time the last page is read.

If you are going to pursue liberty you might as well have fun doing it. That’s what reading The Immune is all about. I can’t recommend it enough. Add it to your reading list now. You’ll thank me later.

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The Immune by Doc Lucky Meisenheimer goes on sale May 13th, 2011. To order and find out more, see http://www.theimmune.com/

To Peg or Not to Peg?

April 23rd, 2010 2:32 pm  |  by  |  Published in Banking, Big Government, Debt, Economics, globalism, Investing, Money, Peter Schiff, Politics  |  Comments Off

Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital and author of the soon-to-be-released How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes.

While I attended an economic conference last week in Shanghai, I found it notable – but not surprising – that two former Secretaries of the Treasury, John Snow and Hank Paulson, as well as current Treasury Secretary Tim Geither, and former President George W. Bush were then in the country at the same time. The fact that so many key American power brokers (myself not included) were in China simultaneously is no coincidence. In an overly indebted world, the $2.5 trillion that China holds in foreign reserves is acting as a center of economic gravity, inexorably pulling all market participants into its orbit.

When a 10-ton elephant plods through a village of grass huts, the big question on everyone’s mind is: which way is he going to turn next? With China, that fundamental question translates to guessing when Beijing will make changes to the value of the yuan. These decisions will determine the overall direction of the global economy, and will set the path that everyone must follow. Unfortunately, no Americans, even those who travel hat-in-hand to China, have a seat at the table where these decisions are being made.

At the risk of beating a dead horse, let me reiterate my central thesis with respect to currency valuation: just as it is always better to be rich than to be poor, it is always better to have a strong currency than a weak one. Although this simple maxim puts me into conflict with much of the economic establishment, I hold its truth to be…well…self-evident.

The effect of current Chinese currency policy (which, despite Beijing’s protests to the contrary, is manipulation pure and simple) is to make the U.S. dollar more valuable and the yuan less valuable. As a result, the benefits of manipulation accrue to Americans, not the Chinese. We get pay raises; they get pay cuts. Americans use their stronger dollars to buy products they would otherwise not have been able to afford. On the flip side, the Chinese people do without products that they otherwise would have been able to afford had their government not transferred their purchasing power to us.

The same effect is experienced with interest rates. In order to manipulate the dollar’s value higher, the Chinese government has gobbled up more than $1 trillion of them.The Chinese then loan the dollars back to the U.S. through purchases of government and mortgage-backed debt, which reduces the cost of servicing our massive liabilities.

By the same token, if China were to stop manipulating the dollar higher, it would remove the props currently supporting our dysfunctional economy. American interest rates and consumer prices would soar, and our economy would collapse. Meanwhile, China would experience the opposite effect. Chinese consumer prices would fall, immediately raising living standards for average Chinese workers, whose higher real wages would finally allow them to fully enjoy the fruits of their labor.

What strikes me as particularly dangerous is that no one, not even the Chinese, appear to understand these fundamental dynamics. All of the Shanghainese with whom I spoke last week were unaware that a stronger yuan would be in their own best interest. The way most people see it, a stronger currency is a bullet that China must be prepared to take in order to save the rest of the world from further pain.

And so we watch the strange spectacle of China stubbornly resisting actions from which it will immediately and substantially benefit. In reality, an appreciating yuan is the bitter medicine Americans must swallow if our sick economy is every to regain its health. (An allegorical explanation of this is contained in my new illustrated book, “How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes.”)

When Beijing finally comes to it senses, the transition will be unavoidably disruptive. For China, the long-term growth would far outweigh the short-term shock. America, however, would face a much less certain outcome. There is no question that, for Americans, the immediate effects would be very painful, with the gains only developing with time and prudent decision-making. Still, that does not mean we should resist the process, for the longer it is delayed, the more severe the pain and the longer the road back to prosperity.

Given this reality, why are our political leaders so adamant that China effectively pull the rug out from under our economy?  Are they really that clueless?  Perhaps they are – or perhaps they are a bit more devious. Perhaps they are using reverse psychology. Maybe they feel that the best way to get the Chinese to maintain the peg is to demand that they remove it. Historically, the Chinese have always resisted outside interference.

However, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, you cannot fool all of the Chinese all of the time. Soon they will see the light, and when they do, it’s lights out for American hegemony. If you think China is important today, just wait a few years. For example, while the Chinese automobile market is now the largest in the world, 90% of Chinese car buyers pay cash. In contrast, only 15% of American car buyers do so. In other words, Chinese consumers can actually afford their cars, while most Americans cannot. Without huge car payments, Chinese consumers are in much better shape not only to trade up to newer cars in the future, but to purchase other products as well. This suggests huge future growth, not only in automobiles but also in other consumer products as well.

This eruption of consumer demand, made possible by pent-up savings, is creating historic opportunities for investors. When the Chinese start using their wealth to expand their own economy rather than to subsidize ours, infrastructure may well be a primary beneficiary. (For more information on this, see Euro Pacific’s new special report: Investing in China’s Infrastructure.)

Whenever the Chinese government decides to end the peg, the Chinese economy will benefit as a result. While as citizens we can hope that U.S. leaders respond with the right policies to enable our economy to regain its former glory, as investors we should position ourselves to benefit from the more certain outcome.

For in-depth analysis of this and other investment topics, subscribe to The Global Investor, Peter Schiff’s free newsletter. Click here for more information.

Liberty-lovers should see “The Light of Day”

January 4th, 2010 7:05 am  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Books, Civil Liberties, climate change, Commentary, Environment, globalism, Libertarianism, Liberty, Market Regulation, Maven Commentary  |  Comments Off

I spent the holidays reading a wonderful new libertarian-themed novel by first time author James Byrd called, “The Light of Day“. The book explores what could happen if the environmentalist movement is permitted to “run the world”. It’s the future and everyone is required to live underground because living above ground is too environmentally unfriendly.

It is certainly a sci-fi page turner with a fast moving plot and interesting characters. The novel juxtaposes two societies, a society with very little freedom and another that is about as libertarian as you can get. Byrd accomplishes this effort quite effectively without getting overly preachy. There are no multi-page John Galt style speeches. Byrd uses the plot to emphasize the free vs. non-free “fight” in a quite understated way.

I’m sure there are those that will balk that Byrd’s vision of a future where environmentalists control society in such a way, but that’s not really the point here as I see it. The point really is to illustrate that your individual freedom is being assaulted on all fronts, not just the obvious ones.

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Change we desperately need

October 27th, 2009 12:11 pm  |  by  |  Published in Blowback, Foreign Policy, globalism, History, Neo-con, War  |  2 Responses

Here is yet another example of why we should remove ourselves from Afghanistan.

Decorated Marine, Foreign Service Official resigns

Copenhagen Treaty, Cap and Trade… Will international organizations govern you?

October 22nd, 2009 3:47 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Big Government, congress, DownsizeDC.org, energy, Environment, globalism, Liberty, Market Regulation, Politics  |  Comments Off

D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h


Will President Obama sign a treaty in Copenhagen this December that will give international bureaucrats control over the U.S. economy?

Our own James Wilson has analyzed this issue on our blog.

The good news is that President Obama isn’t going to Copenhagen to sign a treaty, but he may sign a proposal that could lead to a treaty at a later date. The Copenhagen proposal is designed to create an international scheme to control carbon emissions (and the entire world economy in the bargain).

President Obama wants to have the “cap and trade” (cap and tax) bill passed before he goes to Copenhagen.

Our goal should be to send him to Denmark empty-handed.

Cap and trade should be defeated because . . .

  • It hasn’t worked in Europe
  • It probably isn’t the best way to control carbon emissions, assuming you believe that’s important
  • The climate models that supposedly justify cap and trade have been consistently wrong

Cap and trade needs 60 votes to come to the floor in the Senate. If we can stop that from happening now then there’s no way that 67 Senators will come together later to ratify a treaty for the same purpose, especially if that treaty cedes American sovereignty to international organizations.

We must defeat cap and trade. We must send Obama to Denmark empty-handed.

Please send Congress a letter opposing cap and trade.

You can use my letter to Congress as a guide . . .

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Ron Paul on Obama’s Nobel Prize, “The Anti-war Left doesn’t exist anymore!”

October 11th, 2009 1:01 am  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Commentary, Foreign Policy, globalism, Liberty, Maven Commentary, Neo-con, Obama, Politics, Ron Paul  |  4 Responses

Ron Paul published a video answering the question, “What do you think about Obama winning the Nobel Peace Price?”

Ron covers many of the same points critics have made already, but he interestingly points out that the anti-war Left is AWOL now that Obama is in office. Projecting a bit into the future I’m curious what will become of these “Tea Partiers”  if another big-government neo-conservative Republican wins the White House in 2012. Will they go AWOL too? I fear they will. Can we please, for the love of liberty, break this vicious cycle?

Partisanship is an evil drug and too many Republicans and Democrats are addicted. The Constitution was not created for convenience or whim. It was once the “supreme law of the land”, but now it really has become “just a god-damned piece of paper” for far too many people.

Fill in the blank: Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize is like…

October 9th, 2009 10:49 am  |  by  |  Published in Blowback, Commentary, Foreign Policy, globalism, Maven Commentary, Obama, Politics, War  |  6 Responses

I expect there are many people out in the world today, some of them even Obama’s most staunch supporters, wondering why Obama deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. Saying that I’m incredulous is an understatement. He just bombed the moon. He has continually bombed and killed civilian innocents in Pakistan. We are not out of Iraq. We are not out of Afghanistan.

Louis Armstrong’s famous song “What A Wonderful World” is now officially satire.

Maybe the Nobel Prize Committee was afraid of being called racist?

Or maybe it was just another giant middle finger to former President George W. Bush. Apparently, he is now being blamed for Obama winning the prize by at least one source.

The award of this year’s Nobel peace prize to President Obama will be met with widespread incredulity, consternation in many capitals and probably deep embarrassment by the President himself.

Rarely has an award had such an obvious political and partisan intent. It was clearly seen by the Norwegian Nobel committee as a way of expressing European gratitude for an end to the Bush Administration, approval for the election of America’s first black president and hope that Washington will honour its promise to re-engage with the world.

Instead, the prize risks looking preposterous in its claims, patronising in its intentions and demeaning in its attempt to build up a man who has barely begun his period in office, let alone achieved any tangible outcome for peace.

Perhaps Obama winning this award is not surprising after all. The only other two sitting U.S. Presidents to win the award were Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt. Hmmm, do I detect a pattern here? Perhaps it should be renamed, “The Nobel Progressive Prize”. It certainly has nothing to do with peace.

What if this obvious political move has the unintended consequence of spreading more resentment for America overseas than less? In effect this would be using the prize as a strategic chess piece for wishes that will never come true.

Here is a quite appropriate reaction from a student in Kabul:

“I don’t think Obama deserves this. I don’t know who’s making all these decisions. The prize should go to someone who has done something for peace and humanity,” said Ahmad Shabir, 18-year-old student in Kabul. “Since he is the president, I don’t see any change in U.S. strategy in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Exactly Ahmad, Exactly.

The Palin-Cons are the same old Neo-Cons

October 7th, 2009 2:29 pm  |  by  |  Published in Blowback, Commentary, Foreign Policy, globalism, Libertarianism, Liberty, Neo-con, Politics, Ron Paul, Sarah Palin, War  |  22 Responses

I saw a bumper sticker today that said, “I Love Sarah”. I assumed it meant Sarah Palin and not Sarah Jessica Parker, but I can’t be sure. Last month Palin was echoing Ron Paul on the role of the Federal Reserve in America’s economic crisis. I encouraged her (not that she gives one moose about what I think) to echo Ron Paul on foreign policy as well.

Yesterday it became quite clear that she was never in danger of becoming a foreign policy non-interventionist like Paul.

From CNN:

Palin published a note on her Facebook page Tuesday that encourages President Barack Obama to grant a request for the tens of thousands of additional troops reportedly requested by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in the country.

“Now is not the time for cold feet, second thoughts, or indecision,” Palin wrote on the site. “It is the time to act as commander-in-chief and approve the troops so clearly needed in Afghanistan.”

Noting the possible consequences of not helping to build up Afghanistan’s institutions, the former Alaska governor also wholeheartedly endorsed McChrystal’s counterinsurgency approach to continued U.S. military presence in the country.

“We can win in Afghanistan by helping the Afghans build a stable representative state able to defend itself. And we must do what it takes to prevail. The stakes are very high. The 9/11 attacks were planned in Afghanistan, and if we are not successful there, al Qaeda will once again find a safe haven, the Taliban will impose its cruelty on the Afghan people, and Pakistan will be less stable.”

She is just confirming that she never was and never will be a libertarian, especially when it comes to foreign policy. Don’t let the new designation (or Eric Dondero) fool you. The Palin-Cons are the same old Neo-Cons.

Trade Battle Explained

September 23rd, 2009 1:59 pm  |  by  |  Published in Economics, Free Market, globalism, Market Regulation, Money, Politics  |  Comments Off

by John Browne – Senior Market Strategist, Euro Pacific Capital

The Obama Administration waited until the wee hours of September 11th, 2009 to quietly inform Americans of its decision to slap new tariffs against low-end tire imports from China. Coming only days before this week’s important G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh, an occasion when China will likely renew its campaign to push the world towards a post-dollar economy, the timing of the announcement seems particularly ill-advised. To be frank, it is like waving a red flag in front of a bull. It is not surprising that China instantly retaliated with their own duties on U.S. auto parts and agricultural products.

The Administration’s action could be simply explained by the president’s need to mollify the trade unions that played a big role in his ascendancy to power. However, the equation may be more complicated.

Despite the mindless chortling of those who believe that the United States will experience a “jobless recovery,” employment holds the key to a healthy economy. It is also a potent political issue. In particular, labor unions subscribe to the idea that protectionism, in the form of trade barriers, preserves domestic jobs.

It is increasingly apparent that America and China are competing partners in a delicate and momentous power struggle, held together, temporarily, by mutual interest. America is the great consumer of the world; China, the great producer.

As a result of this relationship, America’s manufacturing base has been eroded severely, perhaps even mortally. This industrial destitution has been a key factor in the run up of American unemployment, now approaching twenty percent. Although this number is roughly twice the published official unemployment level of some ten percent, it is in fact a truer indication of the health of the labor market.

The difference is due to the fact that the official unemployment figures exclude all those who have given up searching for full-time employment or are only able to find part-time work. No such pass was given to out-of-luck workers during the Great Depression or the ‘stagflation’ days of the 1970s. Unfortunately, this propaganda campaign to hide the true level of unemployment has been a smashing success.

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Alan Grayson grills Ben Bernanke on Foreign Lending

July 21st, 2009 1:51 pm  |  by  |  Published in Bailouts, Banking, Big Government, Constitution, Debt, Economics, Federal Reserve, globalism, government spending, inflation, Money  |  17 Responses

Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat who has been very critical in the past of Fed actions takes it to Bernanke today regarding foreign central bank lending. If the 90 or so Democratic cosponsors of Ron Paul’s HR1207 bill doesn’t convince you that Fed transparency is bipartisan then Grayson’s grilling of Bernanke should.

What I find especially horrid about this is that the U.S. is bankrupt and the Fed is not only printing money and handing it out to U.S. financial institutions, but is handing it out to foreign central banks so they can hand it out to their own financial institutions. Meanwhile the value of the dollar takes more of a hit exacerbating the “hidden” inflation tax on every person in the world who holds dollars.

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