The downing of a US spy drone near (or within) Iranian airspace has - conveniently for neocons - raised tension and further boxed in President Trump. Pressure on Trump for a military response to Iranian "aggression" will increase. Will he take the bait this time? Or will more such provocations be needed?
By Norm Singleton
Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865 when the slaves in Galveston, Texas learned that slavery had ended. Galveston was the last location in the United States to be informed of the Emancipation Proclamation, so Juneteenth marks the end of slavery in America. Juneteenth is thus a day that should be celebrated by all supporters of liberty.
Here is Campaign for Liberty Chairman Ron Paul's 2007 official statement commemorating Juneteenth:
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to support H. Con. Res. 155, legislation commemorating a monumental day in the history of liberty, Juneteenth Independence Day. Juneteenth marks the events of June 19, 1865, when slaves in Galveston, TX, learned that they were at last free men and women. The slaves of Galveston were the last group of slaves to learn of the end of slavery. Thus, Juneteenth represents the end of slavery in America.
This article was originally published at The Campaign For Liberty.
By Chris Rossini
Back in 2003, Antiwar.com's Justin Raimondo reported:
Time magazine devotes a lot of attention to the new, "streamlined" plan for an invasion of Iraq that Defense Secretary Donald "Know it all" Rumsfeld is trying to shove down the throats of the boys in the Pentagon, who don’t like it much.
Let's fast-forward to yesterday. The Washington Post reports:
Administration officials interviewed by The Washington Post said that national security adviser John Bolton has dominated Iran policy, keeping a tight rein on information that gets to the president and sharply reducing meetings in which top officials gather in the White House’s Situation Room to discuss the policy.
Substitute Rumsfeld with Bolton (and Pompeo).
Substitute Iraq with Iran.
On yesterday's Ron Paul Liberty Report, we noted how Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took the extraordinarily unusual move of traveling to Miami to meet with (and browbeat?) heads of US Centcom and Special Operations Command.
Are military leaders balking at plans to attack Iran, causing Pompeo to go down to Miami?
Back to 2003:
The Rumsfled plan is to zoom straight to Baghdad after a mere 7-day bombing campaign, a "quick victory" scenario that angers many in the Pentagon.
Of course, the monumental disaster of the Iraq invasion ended up being anything but a "quick victory."
But the same "quick" euphemism is being used to sell a U.S. attack on Iran. Just yesterday (also discussed on the Liberty Report) it was reported that the U.S. was debating a "tactical strike" on an Iranian nuclear facility.
The opening wedge to war is often portrayed as "quick" and "tactical," because once the war is started, the warmongers are off to the races and there's no going back.
This is not the first rodeo for those who desire war. They know the drill. They've left more than one destroyed country in their wake. They know the words to use. They know the arms to twist. They know the lies that need to be told.
It's all been done before ... many times.
But we are certainly not caught in a perpetual loop of doom.
History may rhyme, but it does not repeat exactly.
2019 is not the same as 2003.
Americans now have the disaster of Iraq (and other war disasters) to look back upon for reference. The U.S. government is in much worse financial shape today than it was in 2003. The U.S. economy is a massive bubble.
Alliances around the world are different today.
But those who desire war know of only one speed --- Push harder. Nothing else matters.
Our job, as individuals, is to not fall for any of it ... and then to speak the truth to those who are around us that are willing to listen.
In the end, the truth (i.e., peace) will out.
The sooner one aligns oneself with the truth (peace), the better.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made it clear to Members of Congress that he does not believe any Congressional authorization is necessary for a US war against Iran. Pompeo claims the post-9/11 authorization to fight al-Qaeda is sufficient. Will Congress roll over?
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has taken the extraordinarily unusual move of traveling to Miami to meet with (and browbeat?) heads of US Centcom and Special Operations Command. Are military leaders balking as neocon plans for "tactical assault" seem to be gaining ground? Where's Trump? Where's Congress? Where's the Pentagon? Who's in charge?
By Ron Paul
Last week, the House of Representatives voted in favor of a Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill amendment to repeal the prohibition on the use of federal funds to create a “unique patient identifier.” Unless this prohibition, which I originally sponsored in 1998, is reinstated, the federal government will have the authority to assign every American a medical ID. This ID will be used to store and track every American’s medical history.
A unique patient identifier would allow federal bureaucrats and government-favored special interests to access health information simply by entering an individual’s unique patient ID into a database. This system would also facilitate the collection of health information without a warrant by surveillance state operatives.
The health records database could easily be linked to other similar databases, such as those containing gun purchase records or education records. If mandatory E-Verify becomes law, the health records database could even be linked to it, allowing employers to examine a potential employee’s medical history.
The possibility that the unique patient identifier system may be linked to a database containing information regarding gun ownership is especially disturbing given the bipartisan support for “red flag” laws. These laws allow the government to deny respect for someone’s Second Amendment rights without due process and based solely on an allegation that the individual is mentally unstable and likely to commit an act of gun violence. Combining red flag laws with the unique patient identifier system would leave a gun owner who ever sought psychiatric help for any reason at risk of losing his ability to legally possess a gun.
Unscrupulous government officials could use medical information to harass those whose political activities challenge the status quo. Anyone who doubts this should ask themselves what a future J. Edgar Hoover or Lois Lerner would do with access to the medical information of those involved in political movements he wishes to silence.
The unique patient identifier undermines one of the foundations of quality health care: the doctor-patient relationship. Accurate diagnosis requires that patients share intimate details about their lives — ranging from details about their diet and exercise habits to their sexual history and alcohol and drug use — with their physicians. If patients legitimately fear information shared will be compromised, they will be unwilling to be completely honest with their physicians, making it impossible for physicians to effectively treat their patients.
Proponents of the unique patient identifier claim it will improve efficiency. But, in a free society, the government should never endanger privacy or liberty for efficiency. Besides, when has any government intervention in health care ever improved efficiency or increased patients’ or health care providers’ satisfaction with the system?
The unique patient identifier system puts the desires of government bureaucrats and politically powerful special interests ahead of the needs of individual patients and health care providers. Instead of further intervening in health care and further destroying our privacy and our liberties, Congress should give patients control over their health care by giving them control over health care dollars through expanding access to Health Savings Accounts and health care tax credits. In a free market, patients and doctors can and will work tighter to ensure patients’ records are maintained in a manner that provides maximum efficiency without endangering privacy or liberty.
By Jacob G. Hornberger
While Democratic Party presidential candidates are stumbling over themselves in offering people free college tuition and other political candy in the hope of buying their votes, I’ve got a better idea. Let’s end all state support of colleges and universities entirely.
State support of colleges and universities is part of the mandatory-charity system that we call the welfare state, a system that is supported by both Democrats and Republicans. It is a system in which the state forces people to be good, caring, and responsible by forcibly taking their money from them and giving it to others. In the case of higher education, the state taxes people and then doles out the money to colleges and universities, which the state then uses to control their activities.
Where is the morality involved in a system based on mandatory charity? Where is the care, compassion, and responsibility in such a system? How can a system that is based on mandatory charity be reconciled with the principles of a free society?
In a genuinely free society, a person has the right to keep his own money and decide what to do with it. A university has the right to ask people to donate to the school. Freedom entails the right of a person to say either yes or no to the university.
Suppose John says, “No, I do not wish to support your school and, therefore, I choose not to make a donation.” Suppose that an agent of the school pulls out a gun and forces John to go with him to an ATM, withdraw $10,000, and hand it over to the school.
Would we say that John has displayed care, compassion, and responsibility toward the school? Would we say that the school has behaved honorably and morally? Would we say that this is an example of how a free society operates?
Of course not. No one in his right mind would say such things. The school is engaged in armed robbery. It deserves to be condemned and prosecuted, not honored and praised.
Now, suppose the school heads to the state legislature and says, “John is an evil, greedy man who doesn’t understand the value of education. He needs to be compelled to be good, caring, and responsible. Please enact a tax, through majority vote, that takes $10,000 from John and gives it to us.”
Is there any difference in principle between those two scenarios? Of course not. In one instance, it’s the school doing the robbing to feather its nest, while in the other instance it’s the state doing the robbing to feather the school’s nest.
One might say, “But Jacob, it was done by majority vote. Doesn’t that change things?”
Of course it doesn’t. An immoral act — the forcible taking of John’s money to feather the nest of the school — cannot be converted into a moral act simply by having a majority of elected representatives do the robbing and the handing out of the loot.
Equally important is the concept of natural, God-given rights, something that America’s Declaration of Independence points out. Liberty is a right that preexists government and that cannot legitimately be infringed upon by government. Liberty entails having the natural, God-given right to decide for one’s self what to do with his own money. If people don’t want to donate to a college or university, that is their right. It’s their money, not the school’s, not society’s, and not the state’s.
One might say, “Jacob, if people weren’t forced to subsidize colleges and universities, they would go out of business. There would be no more institutions of higher learning.”
But doesn’t that critique expose the real nature of the problem when it comes to freedom? It’s saying that a free people might choose to use their money in ways that don’t involve donations to higher education and, therefore, that it’s necessary to force them to fund colleges and universities. How can force and freedom be reconciled given that they are opposites?
Moreover, the fact is that in a genuinely free society there would likely be lots of people who would voluntarily choose to donate to higher education. Many years ago, two colleges — Hillsdale College in Michigan and Grove City College in Pennsylvania — refused to accept government monies, not only on moral grounds but also on the basis that they didn’t want to come under government control, which comes with the receipt of tax monies. Those two schools are still in existence and still prospering, voluntarily and independently.
Moreover, churches all across America rely entirely on voluntary support, not tax-funded largess. If they can do it, why can’t colleges and universities?
Americans should reject all the political freebies that both Republicans and Democrats offer them in return for their votes and instead raise their vision to a higher level, one that asks the following question: What does it mean to be free? Once people reflect deeply on that question, they are likely to arrive at the following answer: At the very least, freedom means that everyone has the right to do what he wants with his own money. That inevitably leads to more questions: Why should anyone be forced to fund colleges and universities or anyone else with his own money? Why shouldn’t people be free to make that call for themselves on a purely voluntary basis?
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's rush to judgement that Iran was behind the apparent attacks on two tanker ships last week has not galvanized world opinion against Iran, as the neocons hoped. Instead, it was met with high skepticism even among Washington's closest allies. Has the neocon practice of massively exaggerating and endlessly issuing threats finally destroyed US credibility on the world stage?
By Liberty Report Staff
Donald Trump is out there, upset, that we didn't get more monetary stimulus from the Fed. But we got record fiscal stimulus from Congress and the White House.
America was never meant to be an Empire. Liberty and Empire are mutually exclusive. But alas the road of Empire was taken long before any of us were born, and it has been in steady decline for the last 50 years. Empires always end in a melange of moral and financial bankruptcy. America is following this script to the letter.