By Chris Rossini
No matter what one's knowledge of mankind's history, whether it be an understanding of just a few decades ago, or even a few centuries ago, everyone can answer the following question with the same exact answer:
Which man-made institution has produced the most violence and death...whether it be in the current year of 2019, or thousands of years ago in 2019 BC?
The answer, of course, is the government, or the state.
No other group of people can come even close to matching the violence inflicted by governments.
It's very easy to understand why this is so. Government, after all, is the only institution that is granted a pass on how it collects its revenues. Government is able to do what no one else can do legally, and that is to confiscate its revenues through the threat of force.
If any other individual, or even a group of individuals, try to confiscate their revenues by force, they are punished for the crime of theft.
But government gets a pass, and because of this pass, those who are taxed have no way to withdraw their consent to financing government's violence. You either pay up....or else. So you pay up.
With such power to confiscate revenues, governments are able to build themselves into violence-wielding machines who have weapons that can destroy life on Earth many times over.
Again, no other group can do this. If a corporation tried to do it, customers could withhold their funds. Likewise for churches, non-profits, charities, or any other combination of individuals.
Government doesn't allow a way out, so you may hate the wars and destruction with every fiber of your being, but you still have to go to work and send in your money to pay for the reprehensible acts.
This violence has to be directed by someone, or some group...and that's where politics comes in. That's when the other groups get into the fray.
Various factions get together and ruthlessly fight with one another in order to get in control of violence-wielding apparatus. The factions want to control the violence for their own benefit. No one wants the violence directed at them. Everyone wants it directed at everyone else.
In America, government started out very small, hence the name "land of the free." But today, the violence-wielding apparatus is so big that it appears no one, and no single group, can control the whole thing anymore. It's like riding a wild bull. Politicians pop-in for a few short years, grab and steal whatever they can, and then pop-off into the Caribbean sunset.
The wild bull gives politicians and their friends a few gray hairs, and they definitely have to suppress any moral principles that they may have been taught, but the money is great....and lots of people cheer them on and idolize them.
If there's one thing that history teaches us, it's that man-made creations (and especially governments) come and go like dust in the wind. It's only logical since their existence runs directly against human nature.
Violence and theft are not the building blocks of life and civilization. If they were, none of us would be here right now.
Peace and voluntary exchange are the bedrock of civilization. That's why we're still here.
With this being the case, mankind goes through ups and downs. Life accelerates forward at break-neck speed when the ideas of peace and voluntarism dominate, only to fall back when the violence-wielding apparatus of government is believed to be everything to everyone.
Where we are in this cycle in 2019 is obvious. You'd be hard-pressed to find any aspect of life where government hasn't invaded in some form or another.
But there is very good news. While history teaches us that man-made governments rise and fall (as they must) there is always one thing that is constant and remains no matter where we are in the cycle: individual liberty.
Individual Liberty is not man-made, but a part of our nature as humans. America's Founders (of the Declaration of Independence persuasion) identified this to be "self-evident."
Individual Liberty is not bestowed on us by other human beings.
Liberty is "Universal," to use the language of people who foolishly look for government to bestow "universal" things on them.
We always have individual liberty, and it's what makes us truly individuals.
The only difference between, say an American in 1776, when government was minuscule, to an American today is the degree to which we can enjoy and express our inherent Liberty.
Obviously today, it's much more difficult, since there are so many hands picking away at our earnings, and so many busy-bodies looking to "regulate" everyone but themselves.
But if you're creative, use your imagination and are entrepreneurial, which lots of Americans are, you can still create a wonderful life for yourself and your family.
The American spirit might be against the ropes, but it is not dead.
You'll notice that those who believe in government the strongest are always the biggest complainers about it. Their expectations can't possibly be met......ever!
As we went over at the beginning, government is a violence-wielding apparatus that produces the greatest destruction of any institution.
How odd that people would expect this very same institution to educate the people, care for the poor, provide healthcare for everyone, take care of the most vulnerable.....etc...etc...etc...etc....ad infinitum.
Why would anyone ever expect a violence-wielding apparatus to do any of these things?
Bad means can never produce good ends.
Violence is a bad means.
The use of one's mind and one's individual liberty to voluntarily interact with other individuals is a far better idea.
Somehow even more sanctions are going to be slapped onto Iran today, with the Administration admitting they increase suffering of the civilian population. If the US claims it does not want to punish the Iranian people, why does it keep punishing the Iranian people?
By Liberty Report Staff
With cascading events taking place with Iran, and neocons yearning for another disastrous war, President Trump called off a disproportionate response to Iran's downing of an unmanned U.S. spy drone. The President should build off this and move towards diplomacy and peace.
Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams discuss below:
It took a little over a decade, but the fantasy that The Fed has had things under control since the 2008 collapse has turned into the reality. It was all a lie. QE failed and is no longer just a “temporary” measure. Add in the prospect of yet another war and the motivation to own real money like gold is accelerating!
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.