By Liberty Report Staff
In Socialist Venezuela, they may have a Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness, but:
One would think that after the Communists killed hundreds of millions of their own people in the 20th century, there wouldn't be a place on Earth that would give Socialism even a passing thought.
But alas, the word FREE is a very powerful tonic. It gets votes baby.
As Venezuela discovers ever lower rungs of living hell, let's reflect on when U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders said the following about the country in 2011:
These days, the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina, where incomes are actually more equal today than they are in the land of Horatio Alger. Who's the banana republic now?
Socialism delivers every time.
Sen. John McCain took to the pages of the New York Times to attack Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for suggesting that it is possible that the US national interest and the export of US values abroad may not always coincide. Could McCain's screed have anything to do with developments in Syria, including the Tillerson-Lavrov meeting this week?
By Liberty Report Staff
The U.S. is on year 16 of its war in Afghanistan. There are American troops in Afghanistan that were just 2 years old when this misguided war began.
Not only does the Taliban control most of the country, but another deadly side-effect (no pun intended) has come from this disastrous war.
Mint Press News reports:
When the U.S. overthrew the Taliban in the wake of 9/11 as part of its newly launched “war on terror,” it set the stage for the explosive growth of Afghanistan’s dying opium industry. A few short months before the invasion took place, the Taliban made headlines for having “dramatically ended the country’s massive opium trade” after the leader of the fundamentalist group had declared the substance to be un-Islamic. At the time, Afghanistan’s opium was used to produce 75 percent of the world’s heroin.
President Trump will visit Saudi Arabia and Israel later this month. His meetings in Saudi Arabia will include a presentation on "religious extremism." After pledging to keep the US out of other countries' affairs, it seems President Trump is digging us deeper into the Middle East.
By Ron Paul
President Trump is about to embark on his first foreign trip, where he will stop in Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Vatican, before attending a NATO meeting in Brussels and the G-7 summit in Sicily. The media and pundits have loudly wondered why hasn’t he gone on a foreign trip sooner. I wonder why go at all?
What does the president hope to achieve with these meetings? This is a president who came into office with promises that we would finally start to mind our own business overseas. In December, he said that the policy of US “intervention and chaos” overseas must come to an end. Instead, he is jumping into a region – the Middle East – that has consumed the presidencies of numerous of his predecessors.
On Saudi Arabia, President Trump has shifted his position from criticism of the Saudi regime to a seemingly warm friendship with Saudi deputy crown prince Mohammad bin Salman. He has approved weapons sales to Saudi Arabia that President Obama had halted due to Saudi human rights abuses, particularly in its horrific war on Yemen.
While visiting Saudi Arabia, one of the most extreme theocracies on earth – where conversion to Christianity can bring the death penalty – President Trump will attend a meeting of Muslim leaders to discuss the threats of terrorism and religious extremism. No, not in Saudi Arabia, but in Iran, where Christianity is legal and thriving!
Perhaps President Trump’s flip-flop on Saudi Arabia was inspired by the ten separate Washington, D.C. public relations firms the Kingdom keeps on the payroll, at a cost of $1.3 million per month. That kind of money can really grease the policy wheels in Washington.
From there, the US President will travel to Israel. Does he believe he will finally be able to solve the 70 year old Israel-Palestine conflict by negotiating a good deal? If so, he’s in for a surprise.
The problem persists partly because we have been meddling in the region for so long. Doing more of the same is pretty unlikely to bring about a different result. How many billions have we spent propping up “allies” and bribing others, and we’re no closer to peace now than when we started. Maybe it’s time for a new approach. Maybe it’s time for the countries in the Middle East to solve their own problems. They have much more incentive to reach some kind of deal in their own neighborhood.
Likewise his attendance at the NATO meeting is not very encouraging to those of us who were pleased to hear candidate Trump speak the truth about the outdated military alliance. We don’t need to strong-arm NATO members to spend more money on their own defense. We need to worry about our own defense. Our military empire – of which NATO is an arm – makes us weaker and more vulnerable. Minding our own business and rejecting militarism would make us safer.
Many pundits complain that President Trump spends too much time golfing. I would rather he spend a lot more time golfing and less time trying to solve the rest of the world’s problems. We cannot afford to be the policeman or nursemaid to the rest of the world, particularly when we have such a lousy record of success.
By Chris Rossini
Libertarians are like people who go to a magic show, only to point out that the magician really didn't cut the girl in half, and really didn't make the tiger disappear.
It's not an easy job because everyone else at the show wants to believe what they see:
-"What do you mean the Patriot Act has nothing to do with Patriotism?"
-"What do you mean they don't hate us for our freedom?"
-"What do you mean the minimum wage ravages the poor and low-skilled?"
It's not an easy job spreading the message of liberty. Everyone else is trying to enjoy the show.
Well, this week President Trump attempted to bamboozle America when he tweeted the following:
Over 60,000 liked the message and more than 11,000 retweeted it, so there are plenty of people enjoying the show.
But for those who get pleasure from understanding the truth, here it comes.
Take a look at the following chart, courtesy of EconomicPolicyJournal.com. It shows that unemployment has been dropping since the 2008 financial debacle, when the Federal Reserve started counterfeiting money by the trillions:
Look all the way to the right of the chart and you'll see where Trump came into the picture.
The President tweets that his policies are "all beginning to work."
Obviously, that's complete nonsense, but it gets a lot of applause.
Now, there will be others who will look at the above chart and come to the conclusion that President Obama must have been some kind of economic genius.
That too is complete nonsense.
The truth is that presidents have minimal affect on the economic business cycle. The booms and busts in our economy are created solely by The Federal Reserve.
Presidents merely piggy-back.
When the Fed creates an artificial boom, the president that happens to be in office jumps on the opportunity to claim credit for it (like both Obama and Trump have done).
When The Fed brings on the bust (as they must) the sitting president goes into blame mode. The president won't blame himself of course, and he won't blame The Fed. But everyone else is fair game.
Since 2008, we've been in the artificial boom phase. The Fed counterfeited so much new money and credit that a new boom (albeit a very weak one) is still upon us.
At some point, The Fed will pull the plug, and the bust will be bigger than 2008.
You can bet your last debased paper dollar that if that happens when Trump is president, he won't be attributing it to "his policies."
Now, let's all get back to the show!
In the meantime, before the next bust arrives, you'd be well served to check out Dr. Paul's wonderful book:
By Jacob G. Hornberger
Given that so many Americans continue to express gratitude to the troops for their forever service in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and elsewhere, it would be worthwhile to revisit the immortal words of James Madison, the father of the U.S. Constitution:
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”
When I was college student, I heard of something called the Thirty Years War, which took place in Europe in the 17th century. I was incredulous. How in the world could a war actually last 30 years?
I’m not incredulous anymore. The Pentagon’s and CIA’s war in Iraq has now been going on for 27 years and their war Afghanistan for 16 years, with no end in sight for either one. Moreover, their wars have expanded to Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, and other parts of the Middle East. If Pentagon and CIA officials get their way, there might even be another one in Korea. Maybe Iran too. Perhaps Russia or China also.
All of this forever warfare has certainly given rise to a vast, permanent, and ever-growing military establishment (or vice versa), as Madison said it would, and to what another president, Dwight Eisenhower, called the “military-industrial complex.”
Combined with America’s ever-burgeoning welfare state, including Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, federal spending continues to spiral out of control. That’s means debts and taxes, as Madison pointed out. The federal government’s debt is now $20 trillion. Each taxpayer’s share of that debt is $165,000. To get a sense of the dangers of excessive government debt, consider the fact that the Puerto Rican government has just filed for bankruptcy owing to excessive debt.
Many Americans, especially young people, are having a difficult time making ends meet. Many young people are still living at home in their late 20s and 30s. Hardly anyone saves any money. Yet, savings in a society are the key to capital, productivity, and rising standards of living. Even if the government lowers taxes, it doesn’t reduce spending, which only means that people will owe more money as part of their share of the government’s debt.
The Pentagon’s and CIA’s forever wars have vested the president with what can only be called totalitarian-like powers — that is, powers that are traditionally held by dictators. How else can one describe the omnipotent power of the president to assassinate his own citizens? Or to round up, incarcerate, and torture his own citizens? Or to conduct secret surveillance of his own citizens? Or to rule by decree or “executive order” when it comes to matters relating to “national security.”
The federal bureaucracy? It’s ever-expanding, especially in the national-security state segment of the government.
Those are all attributes of dictatorships, included elected ones, not limited-government republics. Combined with ever-increasing federal spending, taxes, and debt, that’s how governments throughout history have ended up subjugating their own citizens. That’s why both Madison and Eisenhower warned us to be on guard: The forever wars in which the Pentagon and the CIA have embroiled our nation have destroyed our own freedom and our own economic well-being.
Of course, the Pentagon and the CIA say that the “terrorists” (or Muslims, Assad, Putin, North Korea, Iran, ISIS, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, drug dealers, or whoever), not their forever wars, are the real threat to our freedom, just as they said that the communists, North Korea, North Vietnam, Red China, the Soviet Union, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, and others were the real threat to our freedom.
So many Americans have fallen for this palpable nonsense, which is why they effusively thank the troops for their service for waging these forever wars on our behalf. It’s a perfect demonstration of Madison’s point about how forever wars seduce and corrupt the minds of their citizenry.
The fact is that no one is coming to get us and take away our freedom. That’s because no nation state or non-governmental group has the military capability that it would take to cross either the Pacific Ocean or the Atlantic Ocean and successfully invade, conquer, and occupy the United States. Carrying out such an enormous undertaking would require hundreds of thousands of transport ships, fighter jets, and bombers, billions of dollars in ammunitions and supplies, and millions of troops. No nation or group has that type of money, armaments, supplies, or personnel. Not Russia, not China. Not North Korea. Not ISIS. Not the Taliban. Not anyone. The United States is under no danger — no danger whatsoever — of being invaded, conquered, and occupied by some foreign nation or group.
All too many Americans just don’t get that. They are convinced that America is under siege and that the federal government is about to fall to the “enemy” at any moment. It’s only because the Pentagon and the CIA are “over there” waging their forever wars, they are convinced, that the “enemy” is prevented from coming over here and taking over reins of the federal government and taking away our freedom.
Most important, all too many Americans fail to recognize the obvious — that it’s what the Pentagon and the CIA are doing over there that generates the “enemies” that the Pentagon and the CIA then use to justify their forever wars and their ever growing spending, debts, taxes, and destruction of liberty here at home.
Thanking the troops for fighting over there has caused so many Americans to lose sight of the fact that America’s forever wars has meant the destruction of their own freedom and economic well-being here at home, at the hands of their own government. We have learned the hard way that Madison was right: No nation, including the United States, can preserve its freedom in the midst of continuous warfare.
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.
By Liberty Report Staff
Sorrowful news comes from yet another area of the world where the U.S. has no business having troops stationed there. A U.S. Navy Seal has been killed in Somalia, marking the first death there since the 1993 'Black Hawk Down' incident when two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down and bodies of Americans were dragged through the streets.
Unfortunately, the U.S. has been meddling in Somalia for years now. Since 2007, the U.S. has killed at least 500 people via drone strikes alone.
The U.S. says that it's there fighting against a terrorist group called al-Shabab, but as Daniel McAdams points out, the U.S. had an inadvertant hand in the the creation of al-Shabab. The group sprang up after an earlier U.S. intervention in Somalia:
..the United States inadvertently helped create al-Shabab in the first place. Al-Shabab did not arise until after 2007, long after 9/11, when the US sponsored an Ethiopian invasion of Somalia to wrest control of the country from a milder Islamist council. The more virulent al-Shabab rose to attempt to repel this foreign invasion.
Sounds very familiar doesn't it?
ISIS didn't exist prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. ISIS was the unintended consequence that rose up as a result of the invasion.
U.S. interventions create new enemies, which lead to calls for more interventions.
This vicious cycle acts as a gold mine for the military-industrial-complex. But for the rest of us, it costs trillions of our hard-earned dollars, along with the loss of one liberty after another, as the government clamps down on all of us here at home.
In the case of this Navy Seal, it sadly cost him his life.
Bring all the troops home.
By Robert Wenzel
I have already posted some details of what is in, at this point, the Trump version of the American Health Care Act.
That is, what is in the bill before the Senate runs it through its salami cutter. It will change and change dramatically from its current version after Deep State healthcare operatives push, and push even more, to make sure their clauses and paragraphs get into the Senate version. The devil, or in this case, the crony anti-consumerism is in the details.
Of course, the framework will remain the same as it was in Obamacare.
There are two fundamentals to Obamacare--the essence of which haven't been touched in Trumpcare. Namely that they are both coerced government-run charities combined with coerced centrally planned healthcare insurance.
By a charity, I mean the so-called "coverage" for pre-existing conditions.
No insurance company in its right mind would ever on its own insure someone after an illness has been discovered, You can't get fire insurance for a house after a fire has burnt down the house. You can't get collision insurance for a car after it has been totaled in car wreck. The fundamental structure of insurance tells you that you can't get coverage for an event or situation that has already been discovered.
If we all just waited to get insurance for a health problem until we discovered a health problem and insurance companies wrote such policies, insurance companies would go bankrupt.
On a free market, this type of insurance wouldn't exist. Which raises the problem of a person who has been diagnosed with a serious health problem, who doesn't have insurance.
Note: This isn't an insurance problem. As I say, no insurance company of its own free will writes policies against already discovered events and situations. It is a question for charity.
Obama cleverly marketed his government bureaucratic health charity as insurance coverage for "pre-existing conditions." What it really is, is a complex method to get government involved in charity work that is paid for by the rest of us (without pre-existing conditions) via the threat of a gun if we don't comply, Some charitable plan this is.
There is nothing wrong with charities when they are private. They provide services for the down and out but government charity is a different thing. Governments have every incentive to get as many people as possible indebted to them. Thus, it has a perverse incentive to structure an economy in a manner that causes as many people as possible to take advantage of the "charity." Then, of course, the structure of the charity itself is run through the Deep State. That, in the end, is never good for the masses. The Deep State is many things but charitable it is not.
This is what Obama delivered to the American people.
Trump's revised healthcare plan continues pre-existing conditions coverage. In other words, the healthcare wing of the Deep State will do just fine under Trumpcare.
The other fundamental feature of Obamacare is the setting of insurance rates by the government. That is, free market healthcare insurance did not exist under Obamacare. The main reason for Obama getting involved in setting rates is because he needed to pay for his Deep State healthcare charity program---and he wanted to hide the fact that it was coming out of our hides. Thus a complex insurance high-cost premium rate schedule that would never ever emerge in a free market.
Trumpcare continues to maintain this government controlled rate schedule. The tell is in this part of Trump's plan:
The Trumpcare bill does away with the mandate under the ACA that requires people have health insurance or pay a fine. However, under the new bill people who go 60 days without health coverage will be penalized when they rejoin a health plan.
Where in the hell do you see in the free market any company say, "Hey come back to us. And as a bastard for leaving us in the first place, we are going to jack your rate up by 30% more than the rate for anyone else"?
No firm does this, certainly not the insurance companies GEICO, AllState, Nationwide, Metropolitan Life, etc.
Trump is running coercive Deep State pricing of health insurance just like Obama. This is the tell.
To be sure, it appears that Trump is trying to pass some of the expense of pre-existing conditions on to the states because he is looking for a way to find more funds to blow people up rather than patch them up. The military part of the military-industrial complex is very important to Trump.
But in the end, with a continued government charity influenced by the Deep State and policy rate schedules influenced by the Deep State, Trumpcare in not a repeal of Obamacare, it is a nip and tuck with a different color lipstick on the pig.
This article was re-printed with permission from EconomicPolicyJournal.com
Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of EconomicPolicyJournal.com and Target Liberty. He also writes EPJ Daily Alert and is author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics, on LinkedIn and Facebook. The Robert Wenzel podcast is on iphone and stitcher.
By Liberty Report Staff
Think back to when President George W. Bush was conducting his wars. Democrats were rallying in the streets. It was anti-war fever!
Obama wins and Bush was literally booed at the new President's inauguration. Obama promised to end the wars with his Nobel Peace Prize, and then he proceeded to bomb 7 foreign nations.
But here's the interesting part --- Democrats were silent. No anti-war protests.
What a fascinating phenomenon. But it is not purely a Democratic phenomenon.
Next comes President Trump. He's the anti-establishment. The media hates him. He's the anti-Hillary.
But then Trump does the following:
And this is just the beginning.
More Hillary policies are on their way for sure.
But here comes the interesting phenomenon again.
Republican Trump supporters?
Wait for it ......... They're completely silent!
This has been going on since (at least) the time of Nixon. The media hated Nixon too. Yet he laced his administration with the establishment and went to work on out-Democrating the Democrats.
It got to the point where even LBJ had to give Nixon a high-five in the media:
The Washington Star stated in 1971: “Former President Lyndon B. Johnson acknowledges that Richard Nixon, as a Republican President, has been able to accomplish some things that a Democratic President could not have. ‘Can’t you just see the uproar if I had been responsible for Taiwan getting kicked out of the United Nations? Or if I had imposed sweeping national controls on prices and wages? Nixon has gotten by with it. If I had tried to do it, or Truman, or Humphrey, or any Democrat, we would have been clobbered.”
The Republican and Democratic Parties have turned this into an art form.
They know that no matter what campaign promises the President breaks, his supporters will remain completely silent.
The increase in government power - whether it be in the form of welfare or warfare is guaranteed! The destruction of liberty isn't even questioned.
Are you one of the people that they've fooled?