Due to flooding in Texas, we are unable to broadcast the Liberty Report today. Please enjoy this speech given at a Mises Institute gathering in Houston back in 2009.
By Jacob G. Hornberger
If war ends up breaking out in Korea, President Trump, the Pentagon, and the CIA will be announcing that it was all North Korea fault. They’ll say that North Korea was “begging for war,” and that the United States was “forced” to act to protect “national security.” Of course, in the process they will be ignoring the interventionist sanctions that the United States and the United Nations have imposed on North Korea for decades, an indirect act of war that has targeted and killed countless North Korean citizens.
In the event of war, Trump and his national-security establishment will be speaking falsely and disingenuously. In fact, the root cause of another war in Korea will be interventionism, the philosophy of foreign policy that has held the United States in its grip for more than a century.
Notice something important about North Korea’s behavior: None of it is aimed at Switzerland, notwithstanding the fact that Korea is about 1,000 miles closer to Switzerland than the United States.
Why not? Why is North Korea’s attention devoted toward the United States and not toward Switzerland?
The answer lies in interventionism, the immoral and destructive foreign-policy philosophy that undergirds the United States but not Switzerland.
Notice that Switzerland has no troops stationed in Korea. The United States does — tens of thousands of troops.
Notice that Switzerland does not conduct joint military exercises with the South Korea military. The United States does, on a regular basis.
Notice that Switzerland is not committed to regime change in North Korea. The United States is.
The Swiss government minds its own business. It is committed to the principle of self-defense. If another nation-state were to attack Switzerland, the Swiss would be more than prepared to defend themselves. That’s why no one, including the Nazi regime in World War II, dares to attack and invade Switzerland. The Swiss would chew them up and spit them out.
The U.S. government, on the other hand, is the world’s premier intervenor, interloper, and meddler. That’s why it is in Korea — to intervene, interlope, and meddle in a civil war that has never been any of its business.
Don’t forget something else: U.S. troops in Korea are there as leftovers from the illegal U.S. intervention into the Korean civil war more than 60 years ago. It was illegal, given that the Pentagon and the CIA, whose officials pledge to support and defend the Constitution, waged that war without the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war.
If the U.S. government were not intervening, interloping, and meddling in North Korea, the United States would stand in the same position that Switzerland stands. The North Korean regime would have as much interest in targeting the United States with nuclear weapons has it has in targeting Switzerland — i.e., no interest whatsoever.
There is one and only one reason why North Korea is striving for nuclear missiles that can hit the United States: to deter a U.S. regime-change operation, like the ones that Pentagon and the CIA have initiated ever since their inception after World War II. The North Koreans are not stupid. They know that a nuclear capability is the one thing that might deter a U.S. regime change operation against North Korea.
Thus, there is one surefire way to bring an end to the crisis in Korea — end U.S. interventionism. Bring all U.S. troops home immediately. And discharge them. They’re not necessary, not for a nation that embraces non-interventionism.
Of course, Trump, the Pentagon, and the CIA are not about to do that. Pride and national honor are at stake, they would say.
And so the crisis continues, as it always does when it comes to foreign interventionism. Whenever one finds the U.S. government intervening, interloping, and meddling, it is a virtual certainty one will also find a crisis.
In a perversely dysfunctional way, the North Korean and U.S. governments thrive off each other. The North Korean regime cites the threat of an ever-present U.S. regime-change operation to centralize its power and its control over the North Korean people. The U.S. regime cites the threat of a possible nuclear attack by North Korea on the United States to centralize its power and its control over the American people.
War in Korea is a distinct possibility because Trump, the Pentagon, and the CIA could rationalize the importance of striking North Korea before it is able to hit the United States with a nuclear missile. They would consider the hundreds of thousands of lives lost in Korea, on both sides, to have been worth it because those lives would be considered of secondary importance to the lives of the American people.
That’s why the South Koreans are missing the big point here. It is they, not the American people, who will pay the price for another U.S. interventionist war in Korea. The smartest thing the South Koreans could do is to give the United States the boot and throw all U.S. troops out of their country. That would save their country from the consequences of U.S. interventionism.
Given that reason will be in short supply if war breaks out, what everyone should realize now is that no deaths are necessary in Korea. No war is necessary. All that needs to be done if for America to abandon its morally bankrupt and destruction foreign policy of interventionism and bring all U.S. troops home now. Forget pride and national honor. Just bring them home.
But if war does break out, perhaps the deadly and disastrous consequences will finally cause a critical mass of the American people to force a change in foreign policy, one that mirrors that of Switzerland and, for that matter, the non-interventionist foreign policy on which our country was founded.
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.
Due to flooding in Texas, we are unable to broadcast the Liberty Report today. Please enjoy this short speech given in front of the U.S. House of Representatives on Feb. 12, 2009.
By Chris Rossini
The two-headed snake, known as Republicans and Democrats, have been bamboozling Americans for a very, very long time.
Both parties are for more warfare and more welfare. Both are for the expansion of state power and destruction of liberty.
Both switch positions whenever conditions dictate. In other words, Democrats are usually antiwar when out of power, but pro-war when in power. Republicans are for limited government when out of power, but for massive government when in power.
The beauty is that their supporters always accept the switch. There were anti-war rallies when W. was president, but total silence when Obama bombed 7 nations.
There were 68 votes for the abolition of Obamacare when it was certain to be vetoed, but now with Republicans controlling Congress and the Presidency, the monster stays!
This is a nefarious system for the destruction of freedom. It's voted for and accepted every step of the way. Every ratchet up in state power is met with complete silence.
Here is the great Henry Hazlitt back on Jan. 24, 1955:
"The New Deal policies now adopted by Mr. Eisenhower are so numerous, in fact, that it is easier to point to exceptions...
That was 62 years ago.
It could have been written today!
One party (either one) increases state power. The other poses as opposition, gets elected, and then does nothing about it.
Eisenhower kept the fascist New Deal.
Reagan kept the Dept. of Education that he was going to close.
Trump is keeping Obamacare.
Each time, a few voters are surprised and disgusted, but the vast majority bite their tongues and hope for the next election.
It's one snake....with two-heads.
The snake wants every last drop of liberty that we have left.
The war hawks surrounding President Trump - and the president himself - are determined to start a war with North Korea that will take millions of lives. It is an entirely trumped up war based on the usual war propaganda. Trump threatens a trade blockade with China. Guess what that would do to the US economy? Will he take the United States down just to satisfy the neocons surrounding him?
Press Play to hear Ron Paul deliver his Weekly Update:
By Ron Paul
Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey, including my family and me, appreciate the outpouring of support from across the country. President Donald Trump has even pledged to donate one million dollars to relief efforts. These private donations will be much more valuable than the as much as 100 billion dollars the federal government is expected to spend on relief and recovery. Federal disaster assistance hinders effective recovery efforts, while federal insurance subsidies increase the damage caused by natural disasters.
Federal disaster aid has existed since the early years of the republic. In fact, it was a payment to disaster victims that inspired Davy Crockett’s “Not Yours to Give” speech. However, the early federal role was largely limited to sending checks. The federal government did not become involved in managing disaster relief and recovery until the 20th century. America did not even have a federal agency dedicated solely to disaster relief until 1979, when President Jimmy Carter created the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) by executive order. Yet, Americans somehow managed to rebuild after natural disasters before 1979. For example, the people of Galveston, Texas successfully rebuilt the city following a major hurricane that destroyed the city in 1900.
FEMA’s well-documented inefficiencies are the inevitable result of centralizing control over something as complex as disaster recovery in a federal bureaucracy. When I served in Congress, I regularly voted against federal disaster aid for my district. After the votes, I would hear from angry constituents, many of whom would later tell me that after dealing with FEMA they agreed that Texas would be better off without federal “help.”
Following natural disasters, individuals who attempt to return to their own property — much less try to repair the damage — without government permission can be arrested and thrown in jail. Federal, state, and local officials often hinder or even stop voluntary rescue and relief efforts.
FEMA is not the only counterproductive disaster assistance program. The National Flood Insurance Program was created to provide government-backed insurance for properties that could not obtain private insurance on their own. By overruling the market’s verdict that these properties should not be insured, federal flood insurance encourages construction in flood-prone areas, thus increasing the damage caused by flooding.
Just as payroll taxes are unable to fully fund Social Security and Medicare, flood insurance premiums are unable to fund the costs of flood insurance. Federal flood insurance was almost $25 billion in the red before Hurricane Harvey. Congress will no doubt appropriate funding to pay all flood insurance claims, thus increasing the national debt. This in turn will cause the Federal Reserve to print more money to monetize that debt, thus hastening the arrival of the fiscal hurricane that will devastate the US economy. Yet, there is little talk of offsetting any of the costs of hurricane relief with spending cuts!
Congress should start phasing out the federal flood insurance program by forbidding the issuance of new flood insurance policies. It should also begin reducing federal spending on disaster assistance. Instead, costs associated with disaster recovery should be made 100-percent tax-deductible. Those who suffered the worst should be completely exempted from all federal tax liability for at least two years. Tax-free savings accounts could also help individuals save money to help them bear the costs of a natural disaster.
The outpouring of private giving and volunteer relief efforts we have witnessed over the past week shows that the American people can effectively respond to natural disasters if the government would get out of their way.
By Robert Ringer
Heroes are people who accomplish extraordinary feats under extraordinarily difficult circumstances, such as the firefighters who marched into the World Trade Center towers on 9/11 in an attempt to save lives while everyone else was scurrying to get out.
But there’s another kind of hero — one who makes a living accomplishing extraordinary feats under extraordinarily difficult circumstances, day in and day out. The hero I’m referring to is the individualist known as an “entrepreneur.”
In our current age of envy, the entrepreneur is perhaps the most misunderstood, underappreciated, and reviled human being on earth. He represents everything that thug-infested groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter hate. The truth is that the entrepreneur is not the greedy, win-at-all costs monster that haters like to portray him as.
On the contrary, it is the entrepreneur who is the primary driver of a healthy economy, not only by creating products and services but, in the process, jobs. And through the invisible hand of the marketplace, he improves the lives of people (sometimes millions of people) whom he will never even meet.
It should not be surprising, then, that many of our Founding Fathers were entrepreneurs, perhaps the two most famous examples being George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. They are also good examples of just how far apart the results of individual entrepreneurs can be.
Though they were both farmers, Washington was one of the richest men in America, while Jefferson struggled financially throughout his life and died broke. But Jefferson’s financial difficulties never dampened his enthusiasm for entrepreneurial pursuits, which resulted in the building of his beloved Monticello estate and the founding of one of America’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning, the University of Virginia.
It’s important to understand that there are no guarantees for the entrepreneur. On the contrary, he labors long, hard hours without the luxury of a safety net. Either he gets results or he starves. And that’s what makes the entrepreneur unique — his willingness to shove all his chips to the center of the table and bet everything he owns on the farm, literally.
Plain and simple, the entrepreneur is a risk-taker who is willing to risk losing everything if he fails. By everything, I’m not just referring to his savings, stocks, collectibles, and even his kids’ college education funds. I’m talking about his house, his furniture, his cars — everything he owns. Not to mention his credit, his self-esteem, and, all too often, his “friends.”
The willingness to risk everything is just part of the price the entrepreneur pays for having a big upside potential. He fully understands that if he fails, he will get hurt — often badly. One of the things that makes the entrepreneur heroic, then, is that he is not afraid to risk failure — and perhaps look foolish in the process.
Those who look their noses down on entrepreneurs who have failed have no understanding of how treacherous the road to success can be. When things go south on the entrepreneur, his employees have the luxury of moving on to another job, while he is left behind to face his creditors. And that can get pretty ugly.
By Lew Rockwell
Remember, these people are your enemy:
By Jacob G. Hornberger
The leftist shibboleth that undergirds America as a welfare state is that Americans, if left to their own choices, would never voluntarily help out others to a sufficient degree. Given such, it is necessary, liberals say, for the state to enter the picture and force Americans to do their moral duty.
That’s what Social Security is all about — forcing people to care for others. No, there is no retirement fund, and there never has been one. Social Security is based on the state’s forcible taking of money from younger people through taxation and then giving the money to seniors to fund their retirement.
Why not simply leave young people free to make that decision on their own? Why not leave children free to decide for themselves whether to help their parents and to what extent? Why not leave it to Americans in general to decide whether to donate to organizations that would help seniors whose children won’t help them or, for whatever other reason, lack the ability to help themselves?
The welfare state shibboleth explains it: Americans can’t be trusted with such a decision because everyone “knows” that they would fail the test.
Of course, it’s not just Social Security. The welfare state also encompasses Medicare, Medicaid, farm subsidies, FDIC, welfare, food stamps, corporate bailouts, public schooling, and a myriad of other programs that are based on forced funding.
This week the New York Times carried an interesting editorial about private charity and Hurricane Harvey. The editorial begins with a statement that seemly contradicts the liberal welfare-state shibboleth:
It’s admirable that Americans’ first instinct when disaster occurs is to open their wallets and volunteer their time. Since this has never been a nation that relies wholly on government to take care of those in need, citizens’ first impulse is to pitch in, whatever their politics or faith.
The Times then advises Americans though to take care with respect to their donations:
Yet it’s inevitable that not all this largess will reach Harvey’s victims, or be well spent. For that reason, it is important for Americans to be as discerning with their money as they are philanthropic, avoiding scams and asking for greater accountability from trusted charities like the American Red Cross.
The Times’ admonishment raises an important point about private charity, one that distinguishes it from government welfare: When people become dissatisfied with how a private charity is using their money, they have an immediate remedy: They can stop donating. Sometimes it’s a way to get the charity to become more efficient with the monies that are being donated to it.
What about welfare? Since welfare-state funding is by force, the same principle doesn’t apply. If people become dissatisfied with how the government is doling out its Social Security payments, they are not permitted to stop paying their Social Security taxes. If they do stop paying their taxes, they are prosecuted, incarcerated, and fined and also have their assets seized to cover the amount of the taxes, interest, and penalties.
The moral questions, of course, are: Why shouldn’t Americans be free to keep all their earnings and decide for themselves what to do with them? Why should they be forced to fund any charitable activity, including aid to seniors, aid to the poor, aid to churches, and aid to hurricane victims? Why not simply leave them free to make all decisions relating to charity? Why not separate charity and the state in the same way our ancestors separated church and state?
The answer lies in the liberal shibboleth that underlies the welfare state: Americans just can’t be trusted to do the right thing, the liberals say. They have to be forced to do so by the politically elite who enact and enforce welfare-state programs.
But even if that’s true — even if Americans can’t be trusted to come to the assistance of those who need it — that still doesn’t address the core issue — freedom. Why shouldn’t people be free to say no when it comes to helping others?
What does it really mean to be free? Does it mean being forced to do the right thing? Does it mean being forced to care for others? Does it mean being forced to be good and responsible?
Actually, it means none of those things. Freedom entails the right to say no. It entails the right to be uncharitable, irresponsible, selfish, self-centered, bad, immoral, and uncaring, so long as a person keeps his conduct within the realm of peaceful and non-fraudulent activity. When people are not free to make the “wrong” decision, then they cannot truly be considered free.
That’s in fact why our American ancestors, when they founded the United States, decided to bring into existence a society in which there was no welfare state and no income tax. They wanted a society in which people were free to decide issues relating to charity on an entirely voluntary basis. They wanted people to keep what they earned and decide for themselves what to do with their money. Their decision to bring into existence that type of society was based not so much on trust in people to do the right thing but rather a desire to establish a free society with respect to charity — that is, a society in which people were not forced to help out others but instead free to make that decision on their own.
The irony is that notwithstanding slavery and various other infringements on liberty, our American ancestors ended up bringing into existence the freest, most prosperous, and most charitable nation in history. Too bad 20th-century Americans threw it all away with their decision to adopt a welfare-state way of life.
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.
By Nick Giambruno
Doug Casey, Jeff Thomas, and Nick Giambruno recently discussed a critical topic—the rise of a police state in the former “free” world.
Nick Giambruno: In my experience, the US has some of the most aggressive police in the world. I first noticed this when I started traveling many years ago.
I’ve also noticed that law-abiding citizens are more likely to encounter the police in the US. Both of these trends are accelerating.
What happened to “the boys in blue”—the friendly cop on the beat that everyone knew personally and trusted?
Doug Casey: The fact is that police forces throughout the US have been militarized. Every little town has a SWAT team, sometimes with armored personnel carriers. All of the Praetorian style agencies on the federal level—the FBI, CIA, NSA, and over a dozen others like them—have become very aggressive. Every single day in the US, there are scores of confiscations of people’s bank accounts, and dozens having their doors broken down in the wee hours of the night. The ethos in the US really seems to be changing right before our very eyes, and I think it’s quite disturbing. It’s a harbinger, I’m afraid, of what’s to come.
Jeff Thomas: Yes, this change has certainly been more prevalent in the US than elsewhere. And I don’t doubt that the black combat uniforms are intentional. Psychologically, combat gear is very threatening. It serves only one purpose—aggression. And blue is the color of officialdom, whilst black is the color of death. This, to me, was a very conscious change—maximum intimidation.
Nick Giambruno: Police training has also changed. The War on (some) Drugs and the so-called War on Terror have turbocharged police militarization. What are your thoughts?
Doug Casey: As a general rule, police are no longer trained as “peace officers.” They’re trained to be, and view themselves, as “law enforcement officers.” This is a very different thing. The police are a bigger threat to your property and your liberty, not to mention your life, than actual criminals.
I started writing about the militarization of American police back in the 1990s, when it started happening in earnest. And it’s very disturbing, because the way a solider deals with the enemy is necessarily quite different from the way the police are supposed to deal with citizens.
The US has these numerous continuing wars around the world, so they wind up with lots of spare military equipment. And what to do with it? They bring it home and give it to the police because they think it might be helpful. And then, driving APCs and wearing body armor, the police get the wrong idea.
Furthermore, all the military vets—many of whom have extra Y chromosomes, as do most police generally—like the idea of wearing a uniform and like the idea of carrying a gun and giving and taking orders. They’re preferred hires for police forces. But they shouldn’t be, because you inevitably pick up bad habits, and inappropriate skills, hanging out in a war zone.
Jeff Thomas: Yes, this is very clear. Not long ago, I saw a training video where recruits were lined up, being drilled—punching their fists in the air, shouting in unison, “I have the power! I have the power,” over and over. This is the antithesis of the helpful neighborhood cop. It’s unquestionably Gestapo training and it’s borne out on the street. Police in the US, especially younger, recently-trained police, see the public as a threatening enemy and behave accordingly.
Nick Giambruno: So, what comes next?
Doug Casey: All these things compound upon the other. It’s a very bad trend. I see no reason why that trend is going to turn around. In fact, I expect it to accelerate, especially as the economy turns downhill and people become more restless and the Deep State feels that the plebs have to be kept under control. So, yeah, it’s a trend that’s been accelerating for several decades. And it’s going to keep accelerating until some type of a crisis blows it all up.
Jeff Thomas: The US government has consciously created a police state. Historically, whenever governments have done this, it was because they planned increased controls that they thought might incite rebellion. So the police state is created in advance to demonstrate that opposition to greater controls would be futile. We can therefore surmise that the controls that are on the way in the US are likely to be far more oppressive than at present.