Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Corruption in the Military

Many people are willing to privatize the Post Office, cut government welfare, education, and corporate welfare programs, but they draw a line at the military. Let private charities help the poor, give parents choice in education, and get government out of commerce, but "national defense" is too holy to be touched by the unclean hands of the Market. All other government programs may be wasteful inefficient socialist programs, but the military (which is also socialist) can never fall to the same criticism.

"Government" -- being a monopoly enforced by threats of violence and shielded from competition -- encourages the worst in human nature. Government is inescapably a culture of waste and corruption as Citizens Against Government Waste confirms on a daily basis.

Why should we think there's no waste or personal selfishness in the government military?
Why should we think that the military is any more efficient at providing promised benefits than any other socialist government program?

MSNBC recently carried a story on how Iraq fraud whistleblowers are vilified. Government inherently resists efficiency and accountability. That's what "the chains of the Constitution" are all about; that's our whole theory of government in America.

Theory is borne out in practice: Bush's "War on Terror" Tactics Make America Less Safe, Less Free. Government makes everything it attempts to solve worse. Government claims to be protecting our freedoms, but we have less freedom as a result of their efforts. Government claims to be protecting us from terrorists, but the terrorists are stronger than ever, thanks to the government slaughter of terrorists' relatives and creation of a terrorist recruiting paradise. And the war in Afghanistan is making opium production better than ever.

Socialist programs are always good for the government and bad for America, and America's socialist military programs are no exception. Privatize them. Like the Post Office. The same economic laws that make socialism a disaster in the economy make socialism bad for "National Security."

The Myth of National Defense

"Corruption" is Inescapable

If you're like most Americans, you don't vote.
If you're like most Americans, you're not interested in politics.

I sympathize with those who don't vote.
I basically stopped voting for politicians in 1982.
I realized they all had basically the same message:
"Vote for me, and I'll confiscate wealth from your neighbor and give it to you."
Even if you're stealing from the rich, you're still stealing.

Some politicians will promise you benefits (if you vote for them) without stealing directly from your neighbor, but indirectly. They promise to "cut taxes," while still promising benefits for those who vote for them. This means DEBT.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis recently released a report which revealed that politicians have legally obligated the United States to pay out over $60 trillion in government benefits at some point in time -- money the government doesn't have now, and does not expect to have unless taxes are raised significantly. How much? A "terrifying" amount, to quote the St.Louis fed report.

Over $60 trillion in unfunded legally-obligatory promises made by politicians to those who will vote for them. Unbelievable.

The report is entitled, "Is the United States Bankrupt?" The answer is "yes." If these politicians were officers of private corporations like Enron, these politicians would be in jail.

These practices are fraudulent and unethical.

But these practices are not an aberration. They are not "abnormal."

Stealing from Peter to buy the vote of Paul is what "the government" is all about. This is how it preserves its life.

The only reason "the government" exists is to permit the governors to do things against the governed that would otherwise be immoral and unethical:
  • Take money from other people.
  • Kidnap people.
  • Kill people.
  • Take vengeance on one's enemies.

All these things are unapproved in polite society, unrewarded by the Free Market, but they are legal and taxpayer-financed in the world of "the government."

We cannot eliminate "government corruption" without eliminating the entire concept of "the government." It is an out-dated idea. It was never a good idea.

If you disagree with this, but do indeed want less "corruption," your best bet is to vote for a candidate that believes all government action is corrupt. If you vote for someone who believes some government confiscation of the life, liberty or property of others is morally and ethically legitimate, you vote for someone who has no ultimate restraints on his corruption. America's Founding Fathers crafted what they believed was the greatest political charter in the history of the human race. It was designed as carefully as they knew how to prevent the rise of the very government we have today. Obviously the Constitution is a failure. The promises of today's politicians are worth even less than the Constitution. Everything the greatest sages of the ages have discerned about human nature warns us that a license to steal (taxation) will never atrophy, but will always be used with increasing frequency.

Computers, automobiles, medical supplies, air conditioners, telephones, refrigerators, and everything else that raises our standard of living, can be produced better, more efficiently, more inexpensively, with higher quality, by the Free Market than by "the government." There is nothing that human beings need that can be produced with higher quality and a lower price for more people by "the government" than by the Free Market.

Our system of government is supposedly based on "the consent of the governed." "We the People" don't need to consent to anything anymore. History has taught us that socialism always fails, and capitalism triumphs. Government lowers our standard of living, capitalism raises it.

We didn't need London in 1776, and we don't need Washington D.C. today.

Abolish the USA!

Here is a popular representation of federal spending:

Politicians who have taken an oath to "support the Constitution" have violated one of its most central principles: that of "enumerated powers." They have exercised powers which were never given to the federal government in the Constitution. In the above graph, this includes job training, environment, education, nutrition, housing, income security, health, and, most likely, "other." Cutting "unconstitutional" programs would mean cutting more than 90% of the federal government. Instead of the people of Missouri sending their money to Washington D.C. where bloated bureaucrats take their cut and send the rest back to Missouri in a long, leaky hose, the People of Missouri could spend their money in more efficient ways, on more effective local programs, and eliminate the federal middleman.

In recent posts we have observed that "corruption" is inescapable in government, even in the military, because transactions which are governed by force are inherently corrupt and corrupting, unlike voluntary transactions. Therefore if we were to abolish all "unconstitutional" federal programs, as well as all inherently corrupt and inefficient federal programs, we would abolish the federal government altogether.

There is no service which is necessary for an orderly and prosperous society which can be better provided by the Federal Government than by the Free Market.

Back in June I asked, How Big is America? Based on those numbers, let's ask two additional questions:

  1. How big would Missouri be if we abolished the United States?
  2. Why should we even think about abolishing the United States?

We just answered the second question in part, but there's more. Here is the answer to the first question:

If we abolish the United States federal government, and create 50 new sovereign nations, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of top nations, based on data from the 2007 CIA World Factbook, compiled here, would be as follows:

1. Japan $4,911,000,000,000
2. Germany $2,858,000,000,000
3. China $2,512,000,000,000
4. United Kingdom $2,341,000,000,000
5. California/France $2,154,000,000,000

What's wrong with a world where Japan is the largest nation, followed by Germany, China, the UK, and California? Would Japan, Germany, China, or Great Britain have any reason to invade California? Right now Japan's military is non-existent, provided for by the U.S.

7. Italy $1,780,000,000,000
8. Texas/Canada $1,089,000,000,000

Would the Republic of Texas and Canada be safe from Italy and those other nations above?

10. Spain $1,081,000,000,000
11. India $796,100,000,000
12. Florida/South Korea $768,500,000,000
14. Illinois/Mexico $741,500,000,000
16. New Jersey/Russia $733,000,000,000
18. Ohio/Australia $645,300,000,000
20. New York/Brazil $620,700,000,000
22. Pennsylvania/Netherlands $612,700,000,000
24. Georgia/Switzerland $386,800,000,000
26. North Carolina/Sweden $371,500,000,000
28. Massachusetts/Belgium $367,800,000,000
30. Washington/Turkey $358,200,000,000
32. Taiwan $353,900,000,000
34. Virginia/Austria $309,300,000,000
36. Tennessee/Saudi Arabia $286,200,000,000
38. Missouri/Poland $265,400,000,000

Should Bill Gates tremble in the state of Washington for fear of an invasion by the superior power of Belgium?

Should Missouri fear an invasion by Saudi Arabia?


But why is this?

Because the federal government of the United States sells weapons to the nation that gave us 17 of the alleged 19 9-11 hijackers. Saudi Arabia is the federal government's largest Arms Client. Just last month the federal government offered another $20 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.

Do we really need the federal government to keep us safe?

The federal government in Washington D.C. is the greatest threat to peace in the world today. Abolish it entirely and we will all be better off.

America's Founding Fathers would see this instantly.

Just as they worked to abolish the government set in place by the British Empire over the colonies, they would work to abolish the government they themselves set in place over the states, were the Founders here today.

They risked their lives, their fortunes, and the sacred honor in defense of the principle of "Liberty Under God." They were motivated by Micah's vision of everyone owning private property and dwelling safely under their Vine & Fig Tree. That vision is threatened more by the U.S. federal government than by any other nation or terrorist organization on the planet.

OK, so Belgium and Germany won't be attacking Missouri if we abolish the federal government. But would Osama bin Laden attack the Republic of California or Texas or Missouri?

No, because Osama stated clearly why he issued a Fatwa calling for Holy War against the U.S.:

(1) the U.S. has troops in the Saudi Arabian holy lands
(2) the U.S. bombed Iraq
(3) the U.S. supports Israeli terrorism against Palestinians.

Abolish Washington D.C. and these grounds for attack on the American people are eliminated completely. Let California go on record as

(1) opposing sending troops from the California Republic to Saudi Arabia,
(2) opposing sending B-52's from the California Republic Air Force to bomb Iraq
(3) opposing sending military and financial aid to the Israeli government

and California will enjoy more prosperity and security than it does paying tribute to the U.S. federal government so the feds can sell arms to dictators that harbor terrorists at the same time the feds anger terrorists by killing the terrorists' relatives.

America's Founding Fathers understood that national security comes primarily from trusting God, and secondarily from not selling arms to your enemies.

OK, but why should we think about something like abolishing the United States? We opened the post with the reason: It is 99% unconstitutional and what is not unconstitutional is inherently corrupt.

But there is a second reason we should think about abolishing the United States.

The answer is, Because THEY already are.

THEY want to Abolish the United States

Find out who "they" are, and their goal.

We must take control of this movement.

The U.S. federal government is at war with the principle of LIBERTY which animated America's Founding Fathers. The federal government is at war with the principle of non-aggression, which the Libertarian Party has traditionally embraced:
I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals.
The federal government teaches all of us that violence is a better way to get what we want than persuasion. Because in addition to opposing the "Liberty" part of "Liberty Under God," the feds oppose the "Under God" part. The federal government prohibits us from teaching "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" in our neighborhood schools. We can't even post a copy of the Ten Commandments on a classroom wall.

I grew up thinking that kind of tyrannical atheistic stuff only existed in the Soviet Union.

God's laws are opposed by Washington D.C. because Washington D.C. is fundamentally unethical and corrupt. They have no moral scruples against killing a million Iraqis or seizing hundreds of billions of dollars of other people's money, if that's what it takes to solidify their political power.

There are a handful of exceptions, of course, but even the exceptions believe in "reform" rather than abolition.

I want to be as RADICAL as America's Founding Fathers would be if they were here today.

I propose a change as momentous as that described by Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, upon hearing of Locke's rejection of the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings:
Never before had I heard the authority of kings called in question. I had been taught to consider them nearly as essential to political order as the sun is to the order of our solar system.
Lawrence Cremin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Professor at Columbia Univ. writes:
For Rush, the events surrounding the creation of the Republic marked nothing less than a turning point in the course of human history. "I was animated constantly," he reflected in later years, "by a belief that I was acting for the benefit of the whole world, and of future ages, by assisting in the formation of new means of political order and general happiness."
The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush, edited by George W. Corner (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1948), p.161, quoted by Cremin in American Education: The National Experience, 1783-1876, NY: Harper & Row, 1980, p. 114-15.

We don't need a king to rule us.
We all agree with this statement, radical as it was in 1776.

We don't need the federal government either.
Not all agree with that statement, even though it flows logically from the premises laid down by America's Founding Fathers.

We don't need the post office. We don't need federal control of education, welfare, business, and every other area of human action and society.

We don't need Homeland Security and federal arms sales to terrorists.

America didn't need London in 1776, and America doesn't need Washington D.C. today.

By being an anarchist, I am, like Benjamin Rush, "animated constantly by a belief that I am acting for the benefit of the whole world, and of future ages, by assisting in the formation of new means of social order and general happiness." That new means is nothing less than 100% pure laissez-faire capitalism, conducted "with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence," in accord with "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God," "appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions." In short, "Liberty Under God."

The 21st century will be an incomparable blood-bath if human beings do not repudiate the political mythology of institutionalized vengeance and pursue the anarchist policy of "non-aggression." Christians brought liberty to the Western world by questioning the universally-accepted belief in "the divine right of kings." Now is the time for a "paradigm-shift" of equal magnitude. Our concept of social order should depend on personal responsibility nurtured by Godly families, not institutionalized political violence.

"Power tends to corrupt" -- Lord Acton
"Liberty has not subsisted outside of Christianity." -- Lord Acton

"I agree we need smaller government," you say, "but I think abolishing the federal government entirely is taking that too far."

Fine. Is there another candidate for Congress that is even going in the right direction? Is there another candidate who is committed in any meaningful way to smaller government? No. Look at the graph at the top of this post. Our current Congressman has been voting us in the wrong direction for 10 years, expanding the federal pie year after year. I want to abolish the pie altogether, piece by piece. You and I both agree that cuts must be made. Politicians do not get elected by cutting, but by promising a bigger pie. You need to battle these politicians with someone who is philosophically opposed to the pie. If you really believe in smaller government, you must vote for the candidate that's going in the right direction. Give that candidate a two-year term, then maybe another two-year term, and when you finally conclude that this candidate has abolished enough of the unconstitutional and wasteful programs and agencies of the federal government to suit you, don't send him to Congress for another term. (You won't live that long.)

So far, in the last 100 years, we haven't even started cutting. The pie has only been expanding. It's time to start moving in the opposite direction. Only a radical can be trusted to move that way, against the tide.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Secret Military Intelligence

Libertarians face their fiercest opposition when it comes to the military.

Any meddling with the Pentagon whatsover -- even modest cuts in the defense budget, proposals for reorganization, or criticisms of strategy in Iraq and elsewhere -- are met with rebukes based on the idea that the military has "intelligence" that we (the lowly general public) do not and should not have access to. This "intelligence" renders the Pentagon qualified to make decisions costing us hundreds of billions of dollars and millions of lives, and "We the People" have no basis for criticizing military policy.

This is a myth.

I believe it was in the movie "9-11 Press for Truth" where I first heard CIA analyst Ray McGovern say
Here I have to reveal a trade secret, which punctures the mystique of intelligence analysis. Generally speaking, 80 percent of the information one needs to form judgments on key intelligence targets or issues is available in open media.
This is important for those of us who wish to privatize national defense.

Arthur Silber has taken McGovern's observation and concluded in his worthwhile essay, You, Too, Can and Should Be an "Intelligence Analyst". Not that an ordinary American can render judgments on specific, detailed, bullet-level covert operations, but ordinary Americans have enough facts that they can render judgments about theatre-wide foreign policy commitments. We have and had all the information needed to conclude that the federal government should not spend $900 Billion to overthrow Saddam Hussein and set up an Islamic Theocracy in Iraq. There is no arcane "intelligence" hidden away in the untranslated transcript of a foreign wiretap available to and comprehendable only by highly-trained intelligence specialists which can justify the entire war and authoritatively silence any public opinion to the contrary.

"We the People" may not be able to identify specific species of trees by genus and phylum, but we can see a forest.

And we can see a forest fire.

The Bush foreign policy is going up in flames.

But the inferno cannot be blamed only on Bush and his adivsors. The same policies animated Clinton, LBJ, Truman and Roosevelt. Ordinary well-read Americans have every right to criticize all their wars without being told they don't have access to "the same intelligence" they did. All of these Presidents and those who supported them believe that the State is our Savior. There are no classified technical intelligence briefings that can possibly justify the idolatry of the Messianic State.

America's Founding Fathers would still agree.

Now let's have that discussion about privatizing "national defense."

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"Suspicious Behavior"

"I love these people," said Gregory Gibson, 47, a tall man in dreadlocks who regularly eats at the Los Angeles Catholic Worker's skid row kitchen at 6th and Gladys. He said he has been living on skid row for 13 years, landing there after a run of "personal problems."

"They do it out of the kindness of their heart," Gibson said of the Catholic Worker. "Isn’t that amazing?"

He was waiting for a friend at the dental clinic, which sees patients on Fridays. Rolling Hills Estates dentist Rich Meehan has been volunteering there for 16 years.

"I don’t have any financial worries, so why not do something?" said Dr. Meehan, 72, whose workspace in the clinic is set off by a rickety 5-foot partition. The dental chair is a relic.

"This is pretty basic," Meehan said with a laugh. "We don’t do crowns."

Rich Meehan has worked as a volunteer dentist at the Hippie Kitchen for so many years, and has been to Skid Row so many times he probably couldn't even guess at the total number. But last month was the first time he was ever arrested, on Skid Row, or any place.

Ed Pilolla, who lives and works with the Los Angeles Catholic Worker part-time and is also busy writing a book, describes the incident in an article which appeared in the August 2007 Catholic Agitator. The following is Pilolla's account of Meehan's arrest:

chainAll he was doing was leaving "the Hippie Kitchen" after doing his usual four-to-five hour shift filling cavities, scraping off plaque, and pulling rotten teeth for free.

Rich, 72, recalls the incident as if he made some sort of mistake. "I was parked on the wrong side of the street," Rich recalled, a couple weeks later while working on a patient sitting in the worn leather examination chair. "I was saving goodbye to Jesse, and he put his arm in the (car) window and I shook it," Rich said.

Jesse, a full-time community member, supervises the garden on Fridays while Meehan sees as many as a dozen or more patients. Jesse helps homeless folks get comfortable, refills water jugs, fetches folks’ plastic bags, and asks others not to play the radio in the garden. Basically, Jesse runs a tight ship, and when Rich is done seeing patients without any means to pay for dental work, Jesse feels it's appropriate to shake his hand in order to say thanks.

From now on, however, Jesse is going to shake Rich's hand inside the garden and not out on Gladys Street. "I don't reach into any white person's car anymore because I don't want them to get arrested," Jesse explained.

After laughing and saying goodbye to Jesse, Rich put his gearshift in drive and headed back home to Rolling Hills Estates—or at least tried to.

As Rich pulled his car away from the curb, two mounted police officers up the block waved for him to pull over. "What's going on?" Rich remembered asking.

"That's what we want to know," one of the officers responded.

The officers explained that they witnessed "suspicious behavior" when Rich shook hands through his car window. The police are trying to eliminate the drug trade on Skid Row and that behavior appeared to be a drug exchange, they said.

Rich, who described the officers' behavior as both professional and courteous, handed over the usual things: driver's license, registration, proof of insurance. The officers asked why he was on Skid Row, and Rich told them about his "job" with the LA. Catholic Worker, and showed the officers his dental license with the hope of proving to the officers he was telling the truth. While one of the officers continued to ask questions, the other officer began searching his car. (Rich doesn't remember whether the officers asked to search the car or not.)

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The Bill of Rights, Amendment IV

"I wasn't worried," Rich said. "There was nothing there (in the car). Then he came out with a Zip-Lock bag, with a bread crumb inside the size of your thumbnail. And he says, 'Here's the evidence.'"

Rich's response: "Evidence of what?"

The officers said the substance looked like cocaine. The plastic bag was inside a paper bag, and the cocaine-like substance was a bread­crumb. The officer found it on the floor of the car beneath the seat.

At this point, Rich went fishing, so to speak. He dropped a name. Rich asked the officers if they happened to know a police officer he knew. Turned out, the man Rich knew for many years was the officers' lieutenant. Still, the officers patted Rich down, handcuffed him, and informed him the substance must be tested at the police station. The officers did allow Rich to make a phone call from his cell phone, and Rich phoned his daughter to inform her that he was, apparently, going to be late coming home that day.

After the phone call, Rich's daughter called the lieutenant, and the lieutenant, according to Rich, said he couldn't do anything, and that the substance had to test negative before Rich was let go.

I want to give credit to the lieutenant and the officers for not giving Rich any break based on the fact that he happened to know a high-ranking Skid Row police officer. The officers did do him one favor: they handcuffed Rich's wrists together in front of his body instead of behind his back, which was nice.

The conclusion of this story is that one of the officers drove Rich's car, with Rich sitting in the passenger seat, back to the police station. Rich sat on a bench and waited until they tested the bread crumb and found it not to be cocaine. Then Rich was released. (A short time later, Jeff and Catherine, leading a throng of summer interns, burst into the police station intending to stage a sit-in until the LA. Catholic Worker dentist was released.)

What's the moral of this story? Police officers are all over Skid Row looking to make arrests, any kind of arrest, especially drug arrests.

In the ongoing effort to please wealthy developers and clear Skid Row of its low-income and not aesthetically pleasing residents, the police, with the blessing of the mayor, have been jailing as many folks as possible. Routinely, the police handcuff people on the street and search their property, hoping to find drugs. This sort of search is only legal, though morally indefensible, to anyone on parole. However, the Los Angeles Police Department handcuffs and searches residents of The Row who are not on parole, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which has interviewed dozens of folks over the past year or so.

Rich was able, and thankful, to drive out of The Row. "I was probably treated a little better than some of my patients,” Rich said.

For those living on Skid Row, there's no escaping the police, guilty or not. You walk from your low-rent hotel room to the grocery store and the police might stop you, handcuff you and search your pockets. It happens routinely, every day for many people.

One homeless man in the garden at the Hippie Kitchen described the police behavior this way: “they’re terrorizing people, man."

At random, I asked a homeless man the other day how often the police search him on the street. "Every day," he said.

Skid Row is the poorest neighborhood around. Some people like living on The Row, but many live there because they can’t afford any other neighborhood. So you're stuck on The Row if you don't have much money. You think to yourself, "I'd like to get out of here." But you can't because you don't have enough money to move. Meanwhile, the police stop and search you every time they see you on the street.

A sincere Thank-You to Rich, who has helped so many low-income and homeless folks with his years of dedication. A Head-Shake to the police for dedicating themselves to arresting as many as possible by searching as many as possible.

Readers of Pilolla's fine article may recall that Benjamin Franklin was about Meehan's age when he signed the Declaration of Independence, risking his "Life," his "Fortune," and his "sacred Honor" to defend liberty against tyranny. Did Franklin or any of the other Founding Fathers risk so much to give us a "War on Drugs" which would arrest Dr. Franklin and Dr. Meehan without probable cause, without warrant, with no oath-bound witness, for the "suspicious behavior" of volunteering dental services to the poor and shaking hands with a social worker, a war with a total cost of about $100 billion per year (according to Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker), with no measurable success in accomplishing its stated goal?

No, without question, the Framers would have opposed the "war on drugs." Had the British imposed police forces upon the colonies such as are now waging the "War on Drugs" in America today, this alone would have fomented the American Revolution.

Why do Americans put up with this costly, unconstitutional, failure of a "war?"

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Inventions and "National Security"

• On this day in 1851, Isaac Singer was granted Patent No. 8294 for his sewing machine.
• Also on this day, Henry Ford built the first Model T. (The first production Model T was built on September 27 [or October 1], 1908, at the Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan, a plant secretly built by Ford in 1906.)
• Finally, on this day in 1981, IBM first released the IBM PC. (The Hewlett-Packard 9100A was the world's first personal computer, first appearing in 1968. The cost was about $5,000. or $30,000 in today's money.)

If Osama bin Laden were to figure out a way to disable all of America's cars, computers, and appliances like sewing machines, his attack would be deemed a "national emergency" and a "national security crisis." Dozens of "Executive Orders" would go into effect giving the federal government nearly complete control over the economy in order to "restore the Free Market."

One might even agree that Osama's actions would constitute a grave threat to our "national security" even without his firing a single shot, hijacking any planes, or detonating any bombs. There can be no doubt that automobiles, computers, and appliances are vital for the "American way of life." Three hundred million Americans would quickly be thrown into poverty without them. All Americans -- and the rest of the world -- lived in poverty before capitalism.

But if these things are so important, why didn't Congress pass a law bringing these critical inventions into existence? Why did we have to wait for the unpredictable vicissitudes of the Market? Why didn't Congress step up to bat decades sooner to end poverty?

Most Americans might correctly answer that Congress doesn't have the power to end poverty the way Capitalism did, but they don't know why this is true. Americans don't understand why Capitalism is creative and productive, and why Government can only forcibly redistribute the fruits of capitalism. Government cannot lead, but can only follow, and never keep up. Capitalism grows from an acorn into a mighty oak; government is a parasite that sucks the lifeblood out of the oak until it dies.

If Congress could not have passed a law creating the computer, automobile and labor-saving devices, why do we believe it can pass a law which will protect all these vital inventions and "save capitalism from itself" through "New Deal" regulations?

Government efforts to "reduce poverty" create more poverty. Capitalism's efforts to increase wealth -- even when capitalists are oblivious to the poor -- eliminate poverty.

Friday, August 10, 2007

IRS and the Rule of Law

What would you do if your "income" increased by half a million dollars this year?

Are you behind in your house payments? You can get caught up! Need a new water heater? Use your "income" to buy a new one! Is the old jalopy leaking oil onto the floor of your garage? With your increased "income" you can buy a new car and hire some teenager to degrease the floor!

Think of all the things you could do with $500,000 in additional "income."

Of course, with all that "income," you'd find yourself in the highest tax bracket for individual income, and you would face a tax rate of about 35 percent, meaning that nearly $200,000 of your "income" would be taxed to kill women and children in Iraq and build bridges to nowhere.

But you would still have lots of "income" to spend.

Now consider the case of Matt Murphy, the 21-year-old Mets fan who caught Barry Bonds' record-breaking home run ball in San Francisco, a ball reportedly worth $600,000. John Barrie, a tax lawyer with Bryan Cave LLP in New York who grew up watching the Giants play at Candlestick Park, says Murphy now owes nearly a quarter of a million dollars in "income" taxes.

He hasn't pre-paid his mortgage, gotten his teeth whitened, enjoyed that "new car smell," or anything else that one might do with lots of "income," but he must now fork over a large amount of dough to the IRS as "income taxes."

At least that's what some tax attorney's are saying. The IRS isn't talking.

The tax is due based on the "fair market value" of the home run ball; what the ball could possibly bring on Ebay, if Murphy decided he wanted to sell it. He's currently leaning toward keeping it for sentimental reasons, but even if he doesn't sell it, even if he doesn't make any "income" as a result of the sale, he still owes "income taxes" on the "fair market value" of the ball.

Suppose the IRS gave you a present and announced it was worth a half a million dollars (based on the consensus of IRS agents at the IRS "My Space" page), even though you don't think it's worth that much. Quel dommage! You now owe taxes on the "fair market value" of the "present," even though you haven't been able to spend a penny.

This same situation was encountered back in 1998 when St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire was on the verge of smashing Roger Maris's single-season record of 61 homers. There were some cute public relations ploys by then-IRS commissioner Charles Rossotti, but nobody really learned definitively what the law was, and the IRS doesn't want to play the ogre by telling anyone the truth.

So this is what America is like in the 21st century. In 1776 the British were attempting to tax the colonists at rates that never exceeded 5%. Today the IRS wants 35%. Maybe. Maybe more. Maybe less. We don't know. We giggle nervously. We can be locked up with a psychopath if we don't pay, but we don't know what the law requires us to pay. We are no longer a government of laws, but a government of men, of faceless bureaucrats who won't tell us what they demand.

But we think we are free, and we feel in our hearts that this is "the land of the free and the home of the brave," and our feelings are what really matters.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Nagasaki, August 9, 1945

Sixty-two years ago, at 11:02 in the morning, the American B-29 bomber dropped a 10,200 pound plutonium bomb (nicknamed “Fat Man”) over the city of Nagasaki, a tourist destination, industrial center and sea-port in southwestern Japan with a population of about 230,000. The bomb exploded about 500 yards above Nagasaki, creating a fireball, a shockwave, and a massive burst of radiation. Some 74,000 civilians — about 1/3 of the population of Nagasaki — were burned alive, crushed to death by the shockwave, or sickened and died over the next few months due to severe radiation poisoning (the burning away of their internal organs by intense radiation) and cancer.


This culminated a 6 month-long wave of bombings that killed nearly a million Japanese civilians, including the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima three days earlier, and the firebombing of Tokyo with nearly 2,000 tons of napalm bombs on March 9-10, 1945.

Japan had indicated a willingness to surrender and end World War II, but the U.S. demanded that Japan un-deify the emperor. "Fat Boy" thus became the most powerful missionary in the history of this once-Christian nation.

The crew of the B-29 that dropped the bomb were all Christians. Their target was the Urakami Cathedral, the oldest and largest Christian church in the Orient. Nagasaki was the oldest and most influential Christian community in Japan, having been founded by Francis Xaviar in 1550.

After killing nearly 2 million non-combatant civilians in Iraq, America the once-Christian nation has now succeeded in setting up an Islamic Theocracy there, governed by Islamic law. This because we didn't want Saddam Hussein to use "weapons of mass-destruction."

Beginning with Sherman's destructive march of terror through the South, continuing with the bombings of Dresden and Tokyo, the United States has perfected the use of "weapons of mass destruction," even apart from being the only nation to use atomic bombs.

Probably most Christians in the U.S. support the murder of civilians in Nagasaki and Iraq - to effect a change in religion. The United States is the greatest anti-Christian evangelist on earth.

We are no longer entitled to pray the popular song, "God Bless America."

The Point: Savage Ironies

War Crimes at Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The Bombing of Nagasaki August 9, 1945: The Untold Story by Gary G. Kohls

Enola Gay, Just War, and Mass Murder

Dulce Et Decorum Est » Nagasaki

Rad Geek People’s Daily 2005-08-09 – A day that will live in infamy

A Negotiated Surrender for Japan Was Another Alternative

US Radiation In Iraq Equals 250,000 Nagasaki Bombs

Green Left - Issues: Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Worst terror attacks in history

Official U.S. history of atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is more fiction than fact

Death From Above

Some Cheer, Some Cry, Many Die

Atomic Bomb may have Carried Hidden Agenda

Dropping the Bomb
"From at least January 1945, the many thousands of dead and wounded on both sides of the Pacific war must be counted as victims of the treacherous determination to extend the conflict in order to benefit the Soviet Union and use the bomb. Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and all who supported this perfidy must be held historically accountable. "

Iran and "the Bomb"

The Roe Revolution William Norman Grigg
In 1939, the Rockefeller Foundation — which continued financing the pro-Nazi labors of the American Eugenics Society — prepared for war with the Axis and its aftermath by financing a secret project called “Studies on American Interests in the War and the Peace.” Conducted by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) on behalf of the U.S. State Department, this Rockefeller-funded initiative created the framework for what would become the United Nations. Among the studies prepared for the project was a paper by eugenicist Frank Notestein that called for “propaganda in favor of controlled fertility as an integral part of a public health program.”

This admonition was eagerly endorsed by Julian Huxley, the first director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In his 1947 book UNESCO: Its Purposes and Its Philosophy, Huxley declared, “though it is quite true that any radical eugenic policy will be for many years politically and psychologically impossible, it will be important for UNESCO to see that the eugenic problem is examined with the greatest care, and that the public mind is informed of the issues at stake so that much that is now unthinkable may at least become thinkable.”

The horrors of World War II — the atrocities committed by Hitler’s Reich, as well as the indiscriminate bombing of civilian populations by both sides, culminating in the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — place Huxley’s statement in a chilling context. After all, what was “unthinkable” in the aftermath of Auschwitz and Hiroshima? Huxley explained that one of UNESCO’s “major tasks” would be to offer “a restatement of morality that shall be in harmony with modern knowledge and adapted to the fresh functions imposed on ethics by the world of today.” Rendered into plain English, UNESCO’s mandate was to eradicate the moral and ethical obstacles to the creation of the total state on a global scale. To this end, UNESCO and its allies began a propaganda barrage to indoctrinate the masses into believing that population was a “global problem” to be managed by a governing elite.

The Last American Missionary The New American

The “Other” September 11: Stimson, the Bomb, Bush and Iran: The Independent Institute

How We Bungled the Japanese Surrender By Rear Admiral Ellis M. Zacharias, USN (Ret.), Look Magazine, June 6, 1950

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Bridges One Week Later

It's been a week since the collapse of the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis. Are we any closer to preventing similar collapses of the nearly 70,000 other bridges that are "structurally deficient?"

Some would say it's too soon to expect answers. But the question was not raised for the first time one week ago. Indeed, it was asked over 200 years ago. And politicians who took an oath to "support the Constitution" and yet ignored the answer are to blame for the loss of lives on U.S. highways every day of the year.

The Constitution is a document of enumerated powers, meaning that the federal government rightfully exercises only those powers which are expressly delegated to it by The People in the Constitution. The Constitution does not give the federal government the power to build bridges.

James Madison, "the Father of the Constitution," along with Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, John C. Calhoun, Andrew Jackson, and other men who wisely bound the government down "by the chains of the Constitution," urged rejection of proposals to use government funds to build highways for the benefit of private businesses. That job was left to those in the business of providing transportation for the benefit of businesses: the Turnpike Companies of early America, which built thousands of miles of roads and proved their ability to do a job now done by the government.

When businesses must pay for roads, they don't tolerate such things as "the bridge to nowhere," ordered by and for the benefit of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens and nobody else. And the wisest of the Founding Fathers recognized the injustice of taxing all to pay for roads which benefit only a few, such as roads that go nowhere except to the business owned by a politician's favorite campaign contributor.

When FDR originally conceived of the Interstate Highway System (of which the collapsed I-35 bridge is a part), he thought three east-west and three north south routes would be sufficient. Obviously Roosevelt was completely mistaken about the demand for highways. Are politicians ever able to out-forecast hundreds, thousands, or even millions of informed consumers and entrepreneurs? Never. Then why should they be in charge of their planning and construction?

When the Interstate Highway System finally became a reality, it was announced as The National Defense Highway System. During the Cold War, Eisenhower envisioned nuclear missiles roaming around the nation on the Interstate Highways, making tougher targets for the Soviets to hit, even if they were more likely to obliterate some American suburb in an accident.

Most people have give little or no thought to how private companies can provide transportation; the reigning assumption is that this is something only the government can do.

Now, as the dead are still being recovered from the Mississippi River, we see that it's just one more thing the government cannot do very well at all.

Liberty and the Public Sector: Streets and Roads

Bridge Collapse: Part of Road to Ruin

Pro Libertate: The Imperial Collapse

Property owners steamrolled by highwaymen Business solutions from

Prof. Walter Block on Privatizing Roads

Hiroshima - Gulf of Tonkin

On this day in 1945 President Harry Truman announced the bombing of Hiroshima with an atomic bomb while returning from the Potsdam Conference aboard the heavy cruiser USS Augusta (CA-31) in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

On this day in 1964, the U.S. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution giving US President Lyndon B. Johnson broad war powers to deal with alleged North Vietnamese attacks on American forces. A grand total of two people in the entire Congress were able to resist a blood-drenched blank check for the Vietnam War. Standing alone on Aug. 7, 1964, senators Ernest Gruening and Wayne Morse voted against the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.