By Chris Rossini
Once legalized theft is accepted, the downward spiral that ensues can be pretty extraordinary. It's a rabbit hole unlike any other. Black becomes white. Up becomes down. Left becomes right. Alice In Wonderland fantasy becomes the reality.
Let's look at an example. Former Clinton Administration official Robert Reich writes the following:
Trump’s proposed cut would reduce the top tax rate from 39.6 percent to 25 percent – creating a giant windfall for the wealthy...
Windfall for the wealthy?
They're keeping their own money! There are no windfalls!
Here's a good way to look at it: Imagine that you decide to get some exercise today by walking 10 city blocks. In your pocket, you have your wallet which contains your money.
When you return home safely, do you think to yourself: "Phew! I didn't get mugged today, what a giant windfall I've received."
Of course not. That would be insane.
Keeping your own money, and not being robbed, does not produce any type of "windfall" for anyone.
A windfall would only apply to a thief and the beneficiaries of a theft. It doesn't matter whether it's a single mugger who's performing the robbery on a street corner, or a group of muggers (who call themselves government) and make it legal to steal.
Robert Reich goes further into bizarro world by claiming that people keeping their money equals "redistribution":
we could see the largest redistribution in American history from the poor and middle-class of America to the rich.
In other words, if the government doesn't steal from (A) and give the money to (B), it constitutes a "redistribution" from (B) to (A)!
Let that one sink in.
This is the rabbit hole that was dug back in 1913 with the institution of the income tax.
Once the very well-known concept of "Thou shalt not steal" becomes "Thou shalt steal," the wheels come off the wagon and humanity spirals ever deeper down the rabbit hole.
What a dark place.
"None of the above"
By Ron Paul
The notorious "Rule 40" that the Republicans used against my campaign has now come back to bite them. Changing the rules against Trump won't be so easy now. I wouldn't put it past them though. Who would I vote for? I'd like to see "none of the above" on the ballot. I discussed this and more on CNN earlier today:
Who's Hillary Trying To Kid?
By Chris Rossini
Presidential campaign seasons are a free-for-all. Candidates can say whatever they want to get votes. Nothing that is said is binding. Nothing promised ever has to be implemented. Candidates don't know who votes for them. Voters can't say: "But you promised..." Actually, they can say it, but it doesn't matter. They'll still vote the next time. Election campaigns are the ultimate swindle.
Here's a quick 34 second YouTube clip of Hillary Clinton making a very common and deeply flawed statement. She tells a complete lie, but lies are just as valuable as the truth to politicians. They can both be used to get votes.
"There is no evidence that the minimum wage being raised costs jobs."
Common statement. Totally untrue. Gets votes.
So if the minimum wage is $10/hr, it means that all individuals without the skills or productivity to earn $10/hr are forced into unemployment. They cannot get a job (by law) even if they are ready and willing to work for less.
If government raises the minimum to $15/hr, the squeeze is put on even more. Now, even if you really want to work, but only have the skills to earn $10, or $9, or $8/hr, you're out of luck. Even if employers would have gladly paid you, government had different plans for you ... unemployment.
That's really all the minimum wage does - it creates unemployment for individuals of a certain skill and productivity level. The minimum wage doesn't create anything. It only destroys.
If, as Hillary states, "there is no evidence" that raising the minimum wage costs jobs, why be so stingy? Why not raise the minimum wage to $50/hr? If it won't cost jobs, what's the holdup?
If the minimum wage was raised to $50/hr, a vast majority of the people reading this would be instantly thrown out of work. If your skills and productivity can only fetch $20 or $25/hr, why would someone pay you $50? Because the government says so?
Government has no problem throwing the lowest skilled people out of work, which is why they move so slowly in raising the minimum wage. They don't care about the poor and low-skilled. Instead of working, those people can just go on the government dole. They can become loyal dependents who will then vote to keep the their welfare coming in the next election.
The minimum wage (any minimum wage) is strictly and exclusively a job killer.
The only determination is which jobs will be killed. If you're poor, low-skilled, a teenager, or not very productive, Hillary is coming for you.
Get your unemployment forms ready.
By Daniel McAdams
The big news out of Syria over the past couple of days has been that Syrian government forces with the help of the Russian military have taken back control of Palmyra from ISIS. The fall of Palmyra and subsequent destruction of the spectacular Roman ruins there by ISIS horrified the civilized world. The US government had claimed from the beginning that the Russians were not targeting ISIS at all, but only the "moderate" rebels supported by Washington. That lie now stands bare in newly-liberated Palmyra and onward, as Syrian government troops aided by the Russians speed east toward the "capital" of the Islamic State, Raqqa.
Meanwhile, the five year US "regime change" effort in Syria chugs along in a very different way. We learned in a Los Angeles Times report yesterday that the US is now at war with...itself in Syria.
Yes, that's right. While Syrian government troops and the Russians are dealing a death-blow to ISIS in Syria, one set of rebels supported by the Central Intelligence Agency is at war with another set of rebels supported by the Pentagon!
Apparently for the past several months CIA-backed Fursan al Haq and Pentagon-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have intensified their war against each other. According to the Times piece, US Rep. Adam Schiff )D-CA) -- a staunch interventionist -- finds the situation "an enormous challenge," adding that "it is part of the three-dimensional chess that is the Syrian battlefield.”
Schiff here epitomizes the total cluelessness of the Washington political class. It is not a challenging situation nor is it three-dimensional chess to those capable of non-Washington thinking. It is a matter of US policy being to wage war against both the Assad government and Assad's main enemy, ISIS. When you fight an enemy and the enemy of that enemy at the same time it is not called three-dimensional chess. It is called madness.
If Euripides is correct that "whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad," it seems we are half-way to destruction in the US.
This article was originally published at The Ron Paul Institute.
Why the Shock Over Belgian Terrorism?
By Jacob Hornberger
For the life of me, I just don’t get it. Why are so many Americans shocked over the terrorist attacks in Brussels? Horrified, I can understand, given the carnage and the loss of so much innocent life. But shocked? How in the world can people be shocked? They certainly wouldn’t be shocked if they had been reading FFF’s articles for the past couple of decades.
Ever since 9/11 and even before, we have been emphasizing that terrorism is a cost of empire and intervention. As just one example, among many, see my 2009 article entitled, “Terrorism Is a Cost of Empire.” It’s like lightning and thunder. Terrorism comes with imperialism and interventionism just as thunder comes with lightning. You can’t have imperialism and interventionism without terrorist retaliation.
An interventionist would respond, “But Jacob, they had no right to kill all those innocent people. The victims didn’t have anything to do with the imperialism and interventionism. It’s the military, not the civilians, who are doing the killing in the Middle East.”
Fair enough. I agree. The terrorists had no right, either moral or legal, to kill those innocent people. Of course though, we probably should acknowledge that even if the terrorists had limited their attack to military targets, they would still be considered terrorists.
But the fact that the terrorists had no right to inflict death on innocent people is quite irrelevant. What matters is that they’re going to do it whether they have a right to do it or not. That’s what people need to come to understand so that they stop being shocked whenever there is another terrorist attack, which there will be.
Let me restate the central point: There are going to be more terrorist attacks, including here in the United States, because the U.S. death machine, which is supported by such former colonialist powers as Great Britain, France, and Belgium, continue killing people in the Middle East.
That’s just a reality that everyone needs to get used to. It will eliminate the shock over the next terrorist attack. Indeed, what would shock me is if the U.S. killing spree continued in the Middle East and there were no more retaliatory terrorist strikes, including on the citizens of nations whose governments are participating in the killing spree.
I know what statists would say. They’re would say the same thing they’ve said since the 9/11 attacks. They would say that the U.S. death machine in the Middle East has nothing to do with the terrorist attacks. They would say that it’s all because the terrorists are Muslims and because they hate the United States, France, Belgium, and Great Britain for their freedom and values.
That’s certainly not what the terrorists say. Consider the headline of this article in The Independent soon after the attacks in Belgium: “Isis claims responsibility for Brussels attacks ‘in revenge for Belgian’s role fighting militants in Syria and Iraq.” That’s also what Ramzi Yousef, one of the terrorists who struck the World Trade Center in 1993, said—that it was in revenge for all the people, including Iraqi children, that the U.S. Empire was killing in the Middle East. That’s what the terrorists have been saying consistently before and after the 9/11 attacks.
What role does the U.S. death machine in the Middle East play in producing terrorism, according to U.S. interventionists? Apparently none. The death machine can kill hundreds of thousands of people, including children, and people over there won’t mind it at all. After all, don’t forget what U.S. officials said when they were killing tens of thousands of Vietnamese people during the illegal war that the U.S. Empire was waging over there in the 1960s and ’70s: that the Vietnamese were nothing but “gooks” who didn’t really mind losing friends and family members to the U.S. death machine because (1) there were so many Asians anyway and (2) they didn’t put the same value on human life as Americans do.
So, the U.S. death machine can kill as many people as it wants in the Middle East and none of that will adversely affect people in the Middle East, according to the interventionists. It’s all because they’re Muslims and all because they hate America, France, Great Britain, and Belgium for their freedom and values.
But let’s take note of something interesting: The terrorists haven’t bombed anyone in Switzerland.
Why not? If it’s because of their Muslim beliefs that they are attacking innocent people in Belgium, France, Great Britain, and the United States, why not bomb airports and train stations in Switzerland? If the terrorists hate Americans, French, Brits, and Belgians for their freedom and values, why don’t they hate the Swiss too?
Could it be because Switzerland hasn’t participated and isn’t participating in the U.S. killing campaign that has been going on in the Middle East for some 25 years?
Instead, Switzerland has a non-interventionist foreign policy, one that is oriented solely to the defense of the country. No enormous standing army. No foreign military bases. No foreign interventionism. No killing spree in the Middle East. No partnerships with foreign dictatorships. No assassination program. No massive secret surveillance system. No system of torture and indefinite incarceration. No entangling alliances with other nations.
And no terrorism against Swiss citizens.
I’ll bet most Americans don’t realize that the American Founding Fathers used the Swiss anti-interventionist philosophy as their model when they called the United States into existence. After all, it wasn’t until after World War II — some 150 years after the nation was established — that the United States acquired the national-security establishment, a type of governmental apparatus that characterizes most totalitarian regimes and that has orchestrated and run the U.S. death machine in the Middle East since the end of Cold War some 25 years ago.
For Americans who would like a normally functioning society — that is, one based on freedom, peace, and prosperity — there is but one solution: Stop the U.S. government from killing even one more person in the Middle East. Leave that part of the world alone. The U.S. Empire has made a big enough mess for everyone over there, including the various civil wars that now ravage the region, all of which are a direct consequence of the various regime-change operations undertaken by the U.S. national-security establishment.
For Americans who would like a normally functioning society and also the continuation of U.S. imperialism, interventionism, and killing in the Middle East, forget it. It ain’t gonna happen. You might as well hope for lightning without thunder.
One thing is for sure: As long as the U.S. death machine continues to kill people in the Middle East, there will be more terrorism. Be horrified when it comes. But there is no reason to be shocked.
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.
Planting The Ideas of Liberty
By Chris Rossini
Ideas rule the world. Whether those ideas are helpful or harmful, true or false, there is no escaping that our outer world is a mirror reflection of what's going on in people's minds.
Libertarians believe in the idea (or principle) of non-aggression. That is, no individual or group of individuals have the right to use aggressive force against others. Only the use of defensive force (against an aggressor) is justified.
Belief in the idea of non-aggression necessarily leaves libertarians with only one way to convey such a view: by communicating it to others who voluntarily choose to hear it. Libertarians cannot use force to "make others believe" in non-aggression. That would be contradictory.
The only viable path available for the spread of libertarian ideas is voluntary communication. That is, inform everyone that you're able to reach, and that has an open mind about the non-aggression principle.
There are great challenges and obstacles that libertarians must face. It's not as easy as it sounds.
First, most people do not have open minds. Herd mentality and a desire for safety in numbers is a default human trait. People naturally resist change, and prefer homeostasis.
People resist change even if they are bound up in chains. After all, the Declaration of Independence stated so eloquently: "all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." Only when a person deems it safe to hold an opinion will he ultimately come around (if at all).
So the first thing that a libertarian must deal with is massive resistance. Such resistance breaks the will of many libertarians. They determine that the hill is much too high for them to climb. They look at the size of the entire hill, instead of staying focused on the single (and easy) step that's right in front of them. These libertarians become what Thomas Paine called the "sunshine patriot," who buckles to the resistance and gives up. Then, as a sign of total defeat, these libertarians convince themselves that aggression is OK, and discard the idea of peace.
Along with a non-stop stream of massive resistance, the libertarian must also deal with opponents who do use force to spread their ideas and get what they want. These individuals use government force to achieve their ends. The political correctness crowd falls into this camp. The military-industrial-complex does the same on an international scale. They seek to force "those people" who are "over there" to live as they are told.
You can also add the nefarious Federal Reserve into the mix. After all, gold has been money for thousands of years. It did not become so by dictate, but by market interactions. Yet here comes The Fed to tell us: 'You are forced to use dollars as money and you're obligated to accept it as payment. We can and will create as many trillions of these dollars as we wish. Deal with the consequences.'
So libertarians face massive resistance and opponents who attack with government barrels blazing.
Despite these very challenging obstacles, the libertarian has two supremely powerful tools that are always working in his favor. First, the libertarian has truth on his side. And in addition to that, the libertarian has time. The combination of truth and time are unbeatable. That's why you've no doubt heard the expression that "truth always wins in the end".
Those who live by force inhale and exhale lies, and are always battling the clock. They are constantly scheming, plotting, and looking for just one more rabbit to pull out of their hats.
Aggression is never permanent. You wouldn't be reading this, and I wouldn't be writing this if it was. We're here today because every hair-brained government scheme always ends, no matter how much damage it creates while it exists.
Ultimately, the military-industrial-complex will reach into their hat and find no more rabbits to pull out. The same definitely applies to the Federal Reserve, the political correctness crowd, and all the other legions that gravitate to force.
Libertarians never have to worry about time. There's no rush. The truth will be true in the year 2016, 3016, 5016 and beyond....It never expires.
So how should a libertarian approach the world as it is? How do you deal with one government intervention that is always followed by another....one empire that's always replaced with another...one welfare state that's followed by another....
How does the libertarian deal with this merry-go-round?
Plant the ideas of liberty.
Plant the idea of non-aggression as often as you can, and to as many people as you can.
Picture a farmer with a bucket of seeds. He reaches in, grabs a handful and tosses the seeds far and wide. The farmer doesn't stress out over each individual seed. He knows that many of them won't make it. The birds will eat some. Rain will wash others away. But the farmer knows very well that enough of the seeds will make it. Enough will take root and spring forth.
So does the libertarian adopt the same attitude. He conveys the message of liberty without worry of who believes him and who doesn't. Many won't and never will as long as they live.
But the libertarian knows that you don't need everyone to believe in non-aggression. You don't even need a majority. Like the farmer and his seeds, you just need enough.
How much is enough? One million people? Ten million? Thirty million?
Will enough people believe in non-aggression in our lifetime? In our kids lifetimes? Our grandkids?
Again, nobody knows.
The "not knowing" is enough to cause most people to give up and just join the herd. It's so much easier. There's so little resistance.
But these questions of 'how many people do we need' or 'how long will this take' is of no significance to the big picture. We're here on this Earth for such a short time anyway. The big picture is too big for any individual to grasp, so why not just have some fun and do the right thing? Why not do the right thing regardless of our wants having to show up when we want them to?
What if doing the right thing carries its own reward?
Plant the ideas of liberty seems like a good philosophy. Let everything else unfold as it should, and on its own time.
We've got the right seeds.
"If you would plant for days, plant flowers
If you would plant for years, plant trees
If you would plant for eternity, plant ideas!"