Another day of protecting the children. Read all about it.
There is lots of media speculation about the fate of #OccupyWallStreet (OWS) over winter. Wall Street and Washington politicians are hoping OWS will simply vanish with colder weather. At this point, I think this is highly unlikely. I suspect the size of public occupations on the East Coast will likely shrink, especially with the advent of frost and snow. Occupations will be easier to maintain in the South and on the West Coast, where winters are milder. At the same time, I’m skeptical that any former OWS activists will return to their former apolitical lives. With the growing collaboration between OWS and unions and existing environmental, peace and justice and citizens’ rights groups, I expect OWS protestors who leave public spaces over winter will be drawn into the important anti-corporate work of other movements. In this way they can continue their commitment to fighting corporate rule, while reserving the option to reoccupy public spaces in the spring — or sporadically over the winter months in response to outrageous corporate or government behavior.
One of the corporate establishment’s favorite tricks for countering dissent is fake populism — dismissing as “class warfare” any critique of genuine privilege while misdirecting the working class’s resentment toward the underclass.
It’s sometimes called “producerism”: An attempt to manufacture a sense of class solidarity between wage workers and their alleged fellow “producers” in the plutocracy, against the parasitic lower orders. See, the banksters, billionaires and cowboy CEOs aren’t to blame for the average person’s economic pain. They’re “producers,” just like us! The culprits are the 47% who “don’t pay any taxes,” an unholy alliance of ACORN, SEIU and single moms on food stamps.
The latest example of this astroturf right-wing populism is the so-called “53%” movement, created by RedState.org founder Erick Erickson, with the help of Josh Trevino of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Their website, the53.tumblr.com, features photos of contributors holding up handwritten statements on the general pattern of Mr. Erickson’s own inaugural post: “I work 3 jobs. I have a house I can’t sell. My family insurance costs are outrageous. But I don’t blame Wall Street. Suck it up, you whiners.”
One contributor, a Marine veteran, writes: “I don’t blame Wall Street because it doesn’t matter what Wall Street or anyone else does. I am responsible for my own destiny. I will succeed or fail because of me and me ALONE.”
This sort of sycophancy is just painful to read. Here are people with multiple jobs and underwater mortgages, struggling to survive while falling all over themselves trying to outdo each other in absolving the Mr. Moneypennys and Daddy Warbuckses of any responsibility for their plight. It’s like watching a dog that keeps crawling back on its belly to lick the boot of the man who’s kicking it.
The worst part of this pathetic movement is that, intellectually speaking, it’s completely incoherent. It’s not derived from any consistent principle that bears looking into. Its participants can’t claim, as a matter of principle, that it’s wrong to resent other people or to blame them for their problems. After all, their very name suggests it’s entirely appropriate to condemn parasitism — namely, that of which the 47% is allegedly guilty. And most of its contributors are the same people who’ve been loudly cheering on the likes of Joe the Plumber who complained the country was going to hell in a handbasket. So it’s OK to blame your problems on THEM — just so long as THEM is the Kenyan Marxist and not the billionaires.
“Know when to bark and when to lick,” as the saying goes. Resentment and moral outrage are entirely righteous when directed downward, but shameful and impious when directed upward against one’s betters. It’s perfectly OK to express resentment against economic injustice — just so long as you blame the poor instead of the rich. It’s like a slave blaming his troubles, not on the master, but on another slave picking cotton too slowly. Utterly contemptible.
You folks in the 53% movement are being played.
You don’t like parasitism? The billionaire banksters and corporate welfare queens who fund your astroturf movement are the biggest parasites in human history. They loot wealth from the genuine producers with a front end loader, while you worry about people scraping up welfare with a teaspoon.
You say you don’t like big government? The corporations are the government. Count the number of people from Goldman-Sachs in the Treasury, from Cargill in the USDA, and from Pfizer in the FDA. Now count the number of welfare moms. Yeah, that’s some “Marxist” in the White House, all right. Schmuck.
The statism involved in food stamps and TANF is barely a rounding error on the statism involved in the privilege of the super-rich. The central function of the state is to enforce the artificial property rights, artificial scarcities, entry barriers, regulatory cartels, and other monopolies from which the privileged rich extract rents. Welfare is just a way of giving back a miniscule fraction of this stolen loot to the poorest of the poor, to prevent politically destabilizing levels of starvation and homelessness. Ever hear the phrase “straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel?”
So here’s a message for those of you out there who pride yourselves on licking the spittle of the rich and powerful while you kick those who are down. You think you’ll get a gold star or a pat on the head if you suck up to them enough? If you work hard enough building their pyramids, maybe they’ll make you Pharaoh someday? You really think the folks on Wall Street whose apples you’re polishing admire you as fellow “producers?”
They’re laughing at you.
If you’re like most people, then the one thing you probably think you know about Herbert Spencer is that he was a “Social Darwinist.” And that one thing is wrong.
Libertarians like George Smith and Roderick Long (over and over again) have long defended Spencer against the unjust charge of Social Darwinism. And the point is now, thankfully, generally recognized among serious scholars.
But if Spencer was no Social Darwinist, then what was he, and why have so many people misinterpreted his views? Can contemporary libertarians find something of value in his work? Can bleeding heart libertarians?
In my recent Reason TV interview, I said something that could quite reasonably be interpreted as implying that Spencer was a “cold-hearted beast.” That’s certainly not what I intended to communicate, but alas, this was not my most articulate day. So I think I owe it to Mr. Spencer to engage with his views more thoroughly. And what better way, I thought, than by continuing the series I began so long ago: A Bleeding Heart History of Libertarian Thought. I’ve been meaning to write another entry in it for quite some time. And now seems an especially appropriate occasion, given that John Tomasi and I have just begun writing A Brief History of Libertarianism for Princeton University Press. So we’re hoping to use this forum to gather some useful feedback on a first draft of some of our ideas.
Let’s start, then, by examining the myth of Spencer’s Social Darwinism.
New York (CNN) — A New York Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Occupy protesters will be allowed to return to Zuccotti Park, but they can’t bring their tents and generators — once a mainstay of the movement.
The Lower Manhattan property has been a home for the loosely defined group for nearly two months, spawning similar demonstrations in cities nationwide and around the world.
Police in riot gear cleared them out early Tuesday morning, a move that attorneys for the demonstrators say was unlawful.
But Justice Michael Stallman ruled in favor of city officials and Brookfield Properties, the park’s owner and developer, who have each raised health and sanitation concerns.
These days, living in the United States and having a questioning mind is becoming more and more hazardous, forcing many of us to consider our options as to where we might want to spend the next few years. While no country is perfect, it is the continuous erosion of rights that has made many Americans look at options available in living abroad, because the increasing militarization of the police forces has frightening fascist overtones. There are more Americans afraid of their own government today than there ever have been… and justifiably so!
Meanwhile, all around the world, people are taking to the streets in protest of their governments. From Greece to Chile, from the UK to the US, anger and social networking have brought people out of their living rooms and into the public square in ever-increasing numbers. On October 15, the worldwide “Occupy” movement gathered people together for protests large and small in hundreds of cities throughout the world, with the most massive turnouts occurring in Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Chile. These protests often end up in violent clashes with government forces that range from police officers who are trigger-happy with their pepper spray to militarized riot police wielding an armory of “non-lethal” weaponry aggressively moving to corral the dissidents and disperse the crowds. The dramatic images hark back to that time of violence and civil unrest in the United States that was the 1960’s.
All indicators point downward, I tell you. On the lobotomy box the other night I stumbled on what seemed to be sock puppets standing behind rostrums and hypnotically intoning “The American People, the American People, the American People.”
Puzzled, I speculated that it might be a convention of performing autistics, but soon understood that it it was a debate among Republican candidates for the presidency. Why use people, I wondered? We could do it as well in software. Computer graphics, small recorded vocabulary, narcotic rhythm. Easy.
Someone named Romney was speaking. I checked the Wicked Pedia to see what manner of creature he might be. No surprises. Pampered rich kid, apparently not too bright, mediocre student in fancy private schools. A Mormon. Only one wife, though. A former missionary in France. It might have been worse. We could have bombed St. Denis.
I thought of all the Mormon missionaries I had seen in various countries, black-suited in Taiwan in August, peddling around like bicycle-borne undertakers, earnest, solemn, living in some eerie head-bubble inaccessible to outsiders. Oh help.
I’m going to become an ant, I decided. It would be less embarrassing. I don’t know how to go about it, but there must be a way. I’ll live in one of those high-rise mud nests in the Australian desert, except I think those are termites. How can they be termites with no wood to eat? Maybe they have it shipped in.
Among the American-Peoplers was Rick Perry, a Son of Texas in the mold of Bush II, dumb as turnips, inarticulate, a wing-nut Christian. I guess he’s waitin’ for thet ol’ Rapture-suction to whoosh him up to drink Lone Star with Chay-suss. Poor Chaysuss. Rick wants to invade Mexico militarily, but only with the permission of the Mexican government. Thoughtful of him to ask.
The British Medical Association has called for a smoking ban in cars. Sean Gabb of the Libertarian Alliance denounces this call for the following reasons:
- It is not the business of the State to protect individuals from the alleged effects of their own actions. The argument that smokers may impose costs on others via treatment on the NHS is really a comment on the totalitarian implications of the coerced pooling of risk at the heart of state health care. Even if valid, this argument would also justify recriminalising gay sex to reduce the cost of treating aids, or banning all dangerous sports.
- The argument from “passive smoking” is based on falsehoods. There is no way of gathering meaningful data, nor even sound epidemiological evidence that passive smoking exists. The alleged figure of 300,000 children harmed every year in the UK by passive smoking is what is called a “junk statistic.” It is in the same league as the claims made in the 1980s about the number of people who would die of aids by 1990, or the claims made in the 1990s about the numbers who would soon be dead from mad cow disease. It is almost as gross a falsehood as the fraudulent global warming claims made by British scientists.
- These statistics produced by pressure groups and politicians are plainly dubious on their own account. Every single statistical claim reported by the media and accepted by the politicians seems to justify higher taxes or tighter controls on adult actions, or both. There was a time when it was necessary to bribe priests into saying that God wanted if before the authorities could oppress ordinary people. Nowadays, a set of junk statistics is produced.
- The demand for a smoking ban in cars is also an instance of the “saving the kiddies” argument. This proceeds by hiding the agenda of control behind a cloud of hot air about the need to protect children.
Therefore, the Libertarian Alliance is against any smoking ban in cars.
As the Supreme Court gets ready to hear oral arguments in a case Tuesday that could determine if authorities can track U.S. citizens with GPS vehicle trackers without a warrant, a young man in California has come forward to Wired to reveal that he found not one but two different devices on his vehicle recently.
The 25-year-old resident of San Jose, California, says he found the first one about three weeks ago on his Volvo SUV while visiting his mother in Modesto, about 80 miles northeast of San Jose. After contacting Wired and allowing a photographer to snap pictures of the device, it was swapped out and replaced with a second tracking device. A witness also reported seeing a strange man looking beneath the vehicle of the young man’s girlfriend while her car was parked at work, suggesting that a tracking device may have been retrieved from her car.
Then things got really weird when police showed up during a Wired interview with the man.
The young man, who asked to be identified only as Greg, is one among an increasing number of U.S. citizens who are finding themselves tracked with the high-tech devices.
A bipartisan group of senators is poised to force through dramatic changes to how the US government handles suspected terrorists—over the objections of the White House and Senate Democratic leadership.
Legislative language that emerged from the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday afternoon would mandate the automatic, indefinite military detention of noncitizens apprehended in the United States who are suspected members of Al Qaeda or associated groups. The wording, which is part of a must-pass bill to fund the military, also appears to allow the indefinite military detention of citizens and legal permanent residents. The bill would also extend restrictions on transfers of detainees from Guantánamo Bay, though only for one year.
Welcome to the revolution. Our elites have exposed their hand. They have nothing to offer. They can destroy but they cannot build. They can repress but they cannot lead. They can steal but they cannot share. They can talk but they cannot speak. They are as dead and useless to us as the water-soaked books, tents, sleeping bags, suitcases, food boxes and clothes that were tossed by sanitation workers Tuesday morning into garbage trucks in New York City. They have no ideas, no plans and no vision for the future.
Our decaying corporate regime has strutted in Portland, Oakland and New York with their baton-wielding cops into a fool’s paradise. They think they can clean up “the mess”—always employing the language of personal hygiene and public security—by making us disappear. They think we will all go home and accept their corporate nation, a nation where crime and government policy have become indistinguishable, where nothing in America, including the ordinary citizen, is deemed by those in power worth protecting or preserving, where corporate oligarchs awash in hundreds of millions of dollars are permitted to loot and pillage the last shreds of collective wealth, human capital and natural resources, a nation where the poor do not eat and workers do not work, a nation where the sick die and children go hungry, a nation where the consent of the governed and the voice of the people is a cruel joke.
When I team taught a course on corporate strategy back in 1980 at the Yale School of Management with economist Martin Shubik and former New York Timeschief financial officer Leonard Forman, I never dreamed I would be invited back to Yale thirty years later to be the keynote speaker for a debate on, of all things, secession. Yet on the evening of November 9th, the Yale Political Union, the largest student organization on campus, held such a debate to consider the resolution, “Be it resolved that the United States of America be peacefully dissolved.” One can’t even imagine how long it must have been since a politically correct Ivy League college organized a major debate on secession?
Founded in 1934 as a debate society, members of the Yale Political Union include Democrats, Republicans, Socialists, and others. Each member belongs to one of seven political parties: either the Liberal Party, the Party of the Left, the Independent Party, the Federalist Party, the Conservative Party, the Tory Party, or the Party of the Right. Past presidents have included Senator John Kerry, New York Governor George Pataki, and writers William F. Buckley and Fareed Zakaria. The YPU’s list of past speakers reads like a veritable Who’s Who in American Politics. Right wing writer and darling of Fox News, Ann Coulter, was there a couple of weeks earlier.
My charge that the U.S. Government is an immoral, undemocratic, over sized, materialistic, unsustainable, ungovernable, unfixable military machine run by and for the benefit of the superrich precipitated a lively and very intense response from the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed Yalies.
The liberal Democrats and the neoconservatives, both apologists for big government, didn’t like what I had to say one bit. The rebuttal speaker, a young Filipino, made the case for America’s role as the global policeman. The fate of America’s nuclear arsenal was the primary concern of another participant. A conservative woman worried about the possible impact on copyright protection. My favorite response came from a student from Rochester, N.Y., who feared that dissolution of the American Empire might threaten the future of the Super Bowl, which he considered to be an integral part of American exceptionalistm.
A lot more students came to my defense than I had expected. They included several libertarians, some hard core leftists, and a Mexican socialist. One student even claimed to be a fan of the Second Vermont Republic.
What was particularly gratifying about the debate was the extent of the engagement of these very bright, articulate Yale undergraduates in a conversation about a politically incorrect topic which had been summarily rejected by most Americans for over 150 years. There seemed to be a willingness to think outside of the box and openly discuss heretofore unimaginable political options such as radical decentralization, Internet based direct democracy, secession, and even peaceful dissolution.
Many of the Yale debaters appeared to have been influenced by the Occupy Wall Street movement. Although not everyone was in agreement with the goals and tactics of OWS, the movement has produced a tailwind of support for political change which was clearly evident in the debate hall.
After two hours of intense discussion, there was a motion to end debate and vote on the resolution. Much to my surprise 45 percent of the participants voted to dissolve the United States. Maybe there is hope after all, if that many Yalies opt for secession rather than empire.
Thomas H. Naylor
November 14, 2011
Founder of the Second Vermont Republic and Professor Emeritus of Economics at Duke University; co-author ofAffluenza, Downsizing the USA, and The Search for Meaning. www.vermontrepublic.org
Former Penn State President Graham Spanier’s connection to the university’s football related sex scandal was not his first brush with scandal involving a major organization under his watch. In 1994, while he was Chancellor of the University of Nebraska, Spanier was also Chairman of the Board of the Christian Children’s Fund, the largest child sponsorship organization in the world, located in Richmond, Virginia. After serving on the CCF board myself for two years, in March, 1994, I was kicked off the board for whistle blowing. Subsequently, I went public with my charges of corruption against the $112 million organization, which claimed to support 400,000 children in 40 countries, whose board Spanier chaired.
Not unlike hundreds of thousands of other Americans, I too had been seduced by emotionally charged television advertisements extolling the virtues of sending a monthly check to a private child sponsorship organization such as Childreach or World Vision. Long before I joined the board of CCF, I had been a sponsor of a child in Bangladesh through Save the Children. The possibility of sponsoring one’s own child in an impoverished third-world country has enormous appeal. It is neat, clean, tax-deductible, and hassle-free. You do not have to travel anywhere; you need not see or touch any smelly, filthy children; and you avoid the risk of disease and sickness. Even though you are completely detached from your child, writing a check makes you feel good.
During my first year on the CCF board I sat on the audit committee, where I was exposed to a series of quarterly horror stories describing incidents of fraud, theft, and mismanagement in CCF projects in places such as Brazil, Haiti, India, Thailand, Ethiopia, Oklahoma, and North Dakota. After awhile I realized that none of these problems were ever reported to have been resolved. Then one day a new board member, upon hearing the stories of the internal auditor, proclaimed, “This is scary stuff.” And he was right. I decided to dig deeper into the matter.
The bedrock on which child sponsorship organizations based their fund raising appeals was the so-called 80-20 rule. CCF was no exception to the rule. For every dollar received from sponsors, CCF claimed that 80 cents went to support children and that the remaining 20 cents was used for management and fund raising. There was only one catch. It was not true.
Trending online news topics often cough up amusingly odd juxtapositions, such as when “Auschwitz” was #2 behind “LeAnn Rimes” and right ahead of “Holiday Bread Recipes” on Yahoo!’s home page. Although I didn’t get a screen capture, I swear to whatever God will listen to me that a few days ago, Kristallnacht was trending on Yahoo! amid a pack of similarly weighty topics such as Justin Bieber and Snooki.
What the hell was Kristallnacht doing in the news?
I won’t deny that it was horrible—I mean, especially if you were Jewish. But apparently it was trending because November 9th was the 73rd anniversary of the “Night of Broken Glass.” Only two more years, and they’ll be celebrating the Diamond Anniversary. Or the Platinum. I’m not sure. I always get those two confused.
Either way—long time ago, no? Why are we still “celebrating” it? Godwin’s Law dictates that “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” Godwin’s Law should be extended to include online news sites—check enough headlines, and you’ll inevitably see something about the Holocaust. It’s inescapable. When they—and by “they,” I of course mean “the Jews”—said “Never forget,” they weren’t kidding!
Godwin’s Lawmen invoke their law as a sort of reductio ad absurdum argument to discredit anything perceived as even slightly to the political “right” of center. If you believe that some people in your mid-sized Midwestern city exploit their welfare checks, well, you obviously want to roast Jews alive and naked in open-pit barbecues while force-feeding them pork.
To counteract its lamentably pervasive effects, I propose Goadwin’s Law: Any time someone mentions Nazi atrocities, remind them that the communists killed more people.
Is a vote for the Republican Party in 2012 a vote for war?
Is a vote for Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich a vote for yet another unfunded war of choice, this time with a nation, Iran, three times as large and populous as Iraq?
Mitt says that if elected he will move carriers into the Persian Gulf and “prepare for war.” Newt is even more hawkish. America should continue “taking out” Iran’s nuclear scientists—i.e., assassinating them—but military action will probably be needed.
Newt is talking up uber-hawk John Bolton for secretary of state.
Rick Santorum has already called for U.S.-Israeli strikes: “Either we’re going to stop them … or take the long term consequences of having a nuclear Iran trying to wipe out the state of Israel.”
But if Iran represents, as Bibi Netanyahu is forever reminding us, an “existential threat,” why does not Israel itself, with hundreds of nuclear weapons, deal with it?
Bibi’s inaction speaks louder than Bibi’s words.
He wants the Americans to do it.
For the retired head of Mossad, Meir Dagan, calls attacking Iran “the stupidest thing I have ever heard of.” He means stupid for Israel.
Why? Because an Israeli attack would be costly in planes and pilots, and only set back Iran’s nuclear program. And such a pre-emptive strike would unify Iranians behind the regime.
Moreover, Israel would be inviting Tehran’s ally Hezbollah to rain down rockets on Israel, igniting another of the bloody Lebanon wars that Israel was desperate to end the last time.
As for the United States, the only way we could eliminate Iran’s nuclear program would be days of air and missile strikes.
Iran could retaliate by cutting off oil exports and mining the Strait of Hormuz, tripling the world price of oil, and hurling the European Union and United States into recession.
Iran could also turn Hezbollah loose on Americans in Lebanon and urge Shias to attack U.S. troops, diplomats and civilians in Bahrain, Iraq and Afghanistan, and here in the United States.
No one knows how this would end. A U.S.-Iran war could force us to march to Tehran to remove the Islamic regime and scour that huge country to ensure that it was shorn of weapons of mass destruction—for an Islamic regime that survived a U.S. war would be hellbent on acquiring the bomb to pay us back. Yet, we lack a large enough army to occupy Iran.
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On Sunday October 16, troops from Kenya entered Somalia, not to help end the famine by planting food (as it is planting season), or to help with irrigation, but to kill more Africans.
It has been reported that the French army is also assisting them by transporting weapons and other logistical equipment to attack the horn of Africa.
The neocolonial government of Mwai Kibaki agreed to send in troops to attack al-Shabaab citing the usual imperialist propaganda: “Al-Shabaab presents a clear and present danger to the security of the world and especially of the East Africa region.”
This was what the government spokesman Mutua stated in a press conference reported by the Associated Press.
The Kenyan army is not alone. It will be amongst other African Union soldiers and Ethiopian security personnel, already occupying Somalia.
To add to the suffering of millions of Africans in Somalia facing drought and starvation, the U.S. has stepped up its bombing of the country which began in 2006 under U.S. president George Bush.
Today the military attack on Africa’s impoverished people is led by the first U.S. African president, whose father was also from East Africa.
NYPD Whiteshirt Gestapo are raiding Zuccotti Park on orders from Bloomberg, evicting protestors, conducting mass arrests.
Let’s shut down the NYC government. Swarm the phone lines, emails and faxes of the Mayor’s office and NYPD.
Bloomberg’s Fax: (212) 312-0700
NYPD 1st precinct: (212) 334-0611
NYPD Central Booking: (718) 875-6303
NYPD Internal Affairs: (212) 487-7350
City Hall: (212) 788-3058
Circulate this far and wide, jam the city government’s phone lines, and demand Bloomberg’s thugs STAND DOWN NOW!
A new American Civil Liberties Union report documents an area of public policy you’ll never hear much debate about within the political class: “How private prison companies have capitalized on the nation’s addiction to incarceration.” The report sheds light on a societal cancer that generates billions for plutocrats.
The Drug War is among the ruling class’s expedient multitools, used to justify every totalitarian extension of the state from domestic repression to global meddling. As it does with everything else, the use of authority to constrain the drug trade creates in illegal drugs a new and artificial importance, a pot of gold materializing from “restrictionist price.”
Since drug prices are determined not by free exchange between consenting adults, but by arbitrary legal controls, drugs become far more profitable than they would otherwise be. The result is a state-created point of intersection with society that not coincidentally serves the ruling class’s interests.
Whatever its outward objectives, the War on Drugs is in fact primarily an economic distortion, formulated — deliberately or not — to accomplish specific goals. Among these goals is to provide life support for an unparalleled and well-documented mass incarceration society.
Per Damon Barrett’s exhaustive study of drug policy Children of the Drug War, America’s War on Drugs “giv[es] ‘the land of the free’ the contradictory distinction of having the highest incarceration rate of any country on the planet,” by no insignificant margin. US political administrations from Reagan’s through George W. Bush’s, Barrett points out, increased imprisonment of drug offenders by more than 1,000 percent.
This has naturally redounded to the benefit of America’s overgrown, welfare-hounding prison companies, firms like Corrections Corporation of America, which consume hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Even as states throughout the country go functionally bankrupt, prison companies are doing better than ever, cashing in on their relationships with policymakers and regulators.
Given that the Drug War hasn’t corresponded with anything like a reduction in drug use or drug-related crime (indeed, most data indicate that drugs are more readily available than ever), we can only conclude that monopoly capitalism is the true engine behind that war.
But we should take care to note that using the coercive mechanisms of the state to profit by caging human beings is not characteristic of a free market. Genuine free markets stand in stark contrast to the dishonest system of profiteering that binds the state and capital together today, colluding to produce prisoners faster than the prisons can swallow them up.
Market anarchists believe, in the words of Benjamin Tucker, that “attempts to arbitrarily suppress vice [are] in themselves crimes.” However one regards participation in drug use, alcohol consumption, or any other popular vice, a free society treats only invasion against others as a criminal act.
And it is invasion against peaceful society that the Drug War prescribes, allowing elites to capitalize on a market that would not exist but for that invasion. Like alcohol prohibition before it, drug prohibition has been a blessing only for organized crime — the “legitimate” sort sitting in Washington, and the gangs that wish to protect the high prices rendered by illegality.
Genuine free markets would vastly decrease the destructive power of drugs within society, a power that is today guarded greedily by powerful interests.
By Malcolm Moore, Shanghai
The US Senate Armed Services Committee said its researchers had uncovered 1,800 cases in which the Pentagon had been sold electronics that may be counterfeit.
In total, the committee said it had found more than a million fake parts had made their way into warplanes such as the Boeing C-17 transport jet and the Lockheed Martin C-130J “Super Hercules”.
It also found fake components in Boeing’s CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter and the Theatre High-Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile defence system.
“A million parts is surely a huge number. But I want to repeat this: we have only looked at a portion of the defence supply chain. So those 1,800 cases are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Senator Carl Levin.
Americans are in the crosshairs of terrorists worldwide purely due to Washington’s policy in the Muslim world, not because there is an Islamic enemy whose only aim is to kill Americans for their freedoms and lifestyle, insists a former CIA officer.
Historian Michael Scheuer, an author of “Through our enemies’ eyes”, who worked for the agency for over 20 years till 2004 and at one time was the chief of the CIA’s ‘Bin Laden unit’, says America’s greatest enemy – radical Islam – never existed: neither when Bin Laden was alive, nor now.
Israeli lobby drag America into wars
Actually, “it is America’s relationship with Israel that is causing this war [on Islam]”, and until Americans accept this, “we are not going to defeat this enemy,” the author says.
Michael Scheuer believes it is the Israeli lobby in America that is dragging the US into wars.
“In Israel itself as a country, it is not a problem. The real problem is the leaders of the Jewish American community in the US, who influence and corrupt our Congress to support Israel when we have no interest there,” he states.
“The American political establishment is caught between two things. They are extremely pro-Israel and they are almost Marxist in their belief that the spread of democracy is inevitable in all places, in all peoples, in all time,”evaluates the former CIA officer, adding that in their desire to protect Israel, the US establishment cannot tell what’s real.
Radical islamists will benefit
Michael Scheuer predicts that in countries caught up in the Arab Spring like Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, “there is not going to be a democracy that in any way resembles democracy in the west.”
At the same time, the anarchy being created in the Muslim world will make radical Islamists the only beneficiaries of the chaos engulfing the Arab countries.
According to Michael Scheuer, further radicalization of Islamist groups, particularly in Africa, is inevitable – thanks to guns becoming more affordable.
The endless flow of uncounted weapons and the opened prisons in the above countries have reinforced Islamist groups around the world, believes Scheuer.
“Their [American political establishment’s] mindless pursuit of secular democracy at the end of the day endangers the stability of the region and probably the whole world,” he says.
If Syria falls to Islamists – Israel will go down
As for the situation in Syria – it has been interfered in by the US unconscionably.
“Until they [the Syrians] removed the US ambassador, he was running around their country trying to encourage groups to overthrow the Syrian government. That is not the role of any diplomat, US, Russian, Chinese or British,” the author points out, saying that “Syrians were urged onto the streets cold-bloodedly,” without mention of the possibility of being shot dead by the government.
The author recalls that Syria, with its traditional support of Hezbollah, is naturally an Israeli zone of interest, not an American one.
“Syria is a country with no US interest. Since I was a little boy, we’ve been afraid of the Syrians,” the author says, laughing at the fact that “if you look at the map – it’s hard to imagine that this little blat of country called Syria could be a threat to the US.”
Clarifying a possible result of any American success in Syria, Scheuer says that “this is another good example of dichotomy in the thinking of the American leaders. Because as we call for democracy in Syria, if Assad goes – Israel’s security goes straight down.”
Israel sets US plans on Iran
Michael Scheuer reveals that America’s ‘plan on Iran’ depends on that of Israel.
“Both Republicans and Democrats are deathly afraid that Israelis will attack Iran off their own work. If Israel attacks Iran, the Americans will get blamed for condoning it, whether we did or not,” he explains.
“What we are seeing is a slow, almost non-accelerable advance toward some kind of a conflict with Tehran.”
He labels the alleged plot of eliminating a Saudi Arabian ambassador in the US with the help of a Mexican drug cartel“a comic uproar”, saying he can hardly believe Iran would risk a war with the US, Israel and much of NATO, just to kill somebody who is not even a member of the ruling family of Saudi Arabia.
“They’ve come down under belief that democracy is better for everybody. The truth is, American and western foreign policy interests in the Middle East have depended for 50 years on the maintenance of tyranny that gave us access to oil, that protected Israel and persecuted Islamists to protect us. All of that going by the wayside,” acknowledges the author, recalling the Israelis, who were first to realize that democracy might not be good for their security.
‘Libya will be anti-American’
Answering a question about war-torn Libya, the author pointed out that this country is notorious for having its Islamists fighting against the Soviets in Afghanistan, and then the same men encountering the Americans in Iraq and also in Afghanistan. Michael Scheuer is uncertain whether Libya will become a hotbed for terrorists, but “it will decidedly be anti-American and anti-NATO”.
‘We are fighting a religious war’
Despite being largely well-educated and technologically advanced,
“America lacks common sense”
, claims the former CIA officer, maintaining that for the last 20 years, the US has been very efficient in creating enemies and endangering security. The last four American presidents have been telling the population that the wars the US wages abroad are against a bunch of madmen, and in no way religious wars.
“We are definitely fighting a religious war. And until we come to realize that – we are never going to be able to defeat it,” Scheuer concludes.
“Let the Chinese deal with these [Islamist] people for the next 50 years, we’ve had enough of it, but the point is – the Americans cannot get out.”