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'Production Versus Plunder' ~ Part 14
July 04, 2015
Empires beyond their limits do their best to enforce "austerity" upon their populace, but never agree to curtail their very expensive grandeur. This afflicted Rome, much the same as it afflicts today's European powers. Today we'll see how one Roman emperor foun ...
Clarence Thomas's Confused Notion of Freedom
July 04, 2015
Compared to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, his colleague Clarence Thomas is well regarded by at least some devotees of liberty. This is not totally unjustified. Thomas has demonstrated a familiarity with the philosophy and history of natural law and natu ...
Dignity and Respect in Blue
July 03, 2015
The curriculum in most police academies is heavy on firearms and self-defense techniques. This is necessary but not sufficient. Police need public cooperation for one simple reason: They are usually outnumbered. Top marksmanship will not help one officer contro ...
Greece: Sunday's Vote Will Determine Liberty Or Serfdom
July 03, 2015
According to history books, democracy originated in Greece. Of course, historians could be mistaken, but this is the prevailing view among Western populations with enough awareness to be interested to know. What we are witnessing today, July 2, 2015, is that af ...
NSA: Visualize Everything
July 02, 2015
Do you remember those "Visualize World Peace" bumper stickers? They gave the National Security Agency an idea, apparently. Now the agency that hears and reads everything wants to see everything, too. This is interesting in several ways. For one, it shows the te ...
Economic Stagnation and the Global Bubble
July 02, 2015
You’d think with all the “stimulus” from Washington over the fifteen years since the dotcom bust, American capitalism would be booming. It’s not. On the measures which count when it comes to sustainable growth and real wealth creation, the trends are sl ...
The Three Senses of Marriage
July 01, 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to permit same-sex marriage nationwide has both winners and losers. One loser, at least so far, is clarity of thinking. People on all sides are discussing concepts without considering what they really mean. Let's try to bring s ...
Battling Racism Through the Marketplace
July 01, 2015
After a psychotic man murdered nine people in a black South Carolina church last week, much of the nation has turned its attention to whether the Confederate flag should be removed from all public forums. Although this reaction itself speaks volumes about the c ...
The Emergence of Orwellian Newspeak and the Death of Free Speech
July 01, 2015
How do you change the way people think? You start by changing the words they use. In totalitarian regimes – a.k.a. police states – where conformity and compliance are enforced at the end of a loaded gun, the government dictates what words can and cannot be ...
Central Bank Lies & Consequences
June 30, 2015
Fractional reserve banking is intrinsically dishonest. Bankers promise depositors instant access to their money, even as they lend that same money to unrelated persons. The depositor agreement is a contract the bank knows it cannot possibly fulfill. This pyrami ...
F.A. Hayek and Why Government Can't Manage Society, Part II
June 30, 2015
It is seventy years, now, since near the end of the Second World War Austrian economist, and much later Nobel Prize winner, Friedrich A. Hayek published his most famous article, "The Use of Knowledge in Society," in September 1945, demonstrating why it is impos ...
They Must Be Controlled
June 29, 2015
In a 1968 Star Trek episode titled "The Gamesters of Triskelion," disembodied aliens abduct Captain Kirk and two of his crew for their own entertainment. They fit the humans with special collars that create enormous pain on command, thereby ensuring compliance. ...
Obamacare's Best Allies: The Courts and the Republicans
June 29, 2015
By ruling for the government in the case of King v. Burwell, the Supreme Court once again tied itself into rhetorical and logical knots to defend Obamacare. In King, the court disregarded Obamacare's clear language regarding eligibility for federal health care ...
'Production Versus Plunder' ~ Part 13
June 27, 2015
It's an amazing fact, but humans nearly always assist their oppressors by obeying them. And not only that, but they defend their obedience and persist in it, even as their oppression gets worse. This week we'll examine one of the deep reasons why. Continued fro ...
Keep the Tinfoil Handy
June 26, 2015
Critics often deride those wary of government surveillance as paranoid tinfoil hat wearers. We're learning now that paranoia may be entirely appropriate. It turns out the FBI really is watching Americans from the sky. We know this because the FBI itself said so ...
Dumping the Euro Isn’t a Cure-All: Easy Money Lets Governments Avoid Free-Market Reforms
June 26, 2015
The Greek drama continues to unfold with the risk of “grexit” becoming increasingly likely. Yet, a large majority of the Greek people want to keep the euro. This, however, would require the Greek government to live within its means — something it has not ...
What Exactly is Racism?
June 26, 2015
I want to look at two words that the State and its hangers-on have employed with much success on behalf of increases in government power. One is racism. The other is equality. What exactly is racism? We almost never hear a definition. I doubt anyone really know ...
Democracy and Baboons
June 25, 2015
After reading the quote above, our first thought was that baboons already have run for office and even won. This would explain legislative behavior in many democratic countries. Scientists missed the opportunity to study this, however, by focusing instead on fu ...
Charleston and Gun Rights
June 25, 2015
Dylann Roof's racially motivated murders of nine black churchgoers have brought predictable calls for new restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms. How ironic this is we shall soon see. Advocates of gun rights argue that the best way to prevent such atro ...
More Dangerous than ISIS?
June 24, 2015
During the Cold War, American soldiers learned to fear the Soviet Union's advanced weaponry and fanatical communist foot soldiers. Where did we get this fear? Our leaders instilled it in us. As it turned out, the fears were misplaced. We learned in the 1990s th ...
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Violates Free-Trade Principles
June 24, 2015
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) violates fundamental free-trade principles and should be rejected by those who advocate for honest free trade. Free Trade Principles: The essence of free trade is that trading partners should be able to trade lawful goods and ...
Keeping Government Bureaucrats Off the Backs of the Citizenry: The Supreme Court Responds
June 24, 2015
In one swoop, on June 22, 2015, a divided U.S. Supreme Court handed down three consecutive rulings affirming the right of raisin farmers, hotel owners and prison inmates. However, this push back against government abuse, government snooping and government theft ...
Attention Millennials: Daddy Warbucks Wants You!
June 23, 2015
Ron Fournier of National Journal knows "a better way to fight ISIS." Obviously, Pentagon planners should have consulted him months ago. He has just the ticket to solve their vexing challenge. What is this solution? Give more people "skin in a very dangerous gam ...
F.A. Hayek and Why Government Can't Manage Society, Part I
June 23, 2015
This year marks the seventieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War. On May 8th, Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allied Powers in Europe. On September 2nd, Imperial Japan surrendered to the Allies on the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay, thus ...
The Catholic Church and the Market
June 23, 2015
The release of the encyclical Laudato Si by Pope Francis last week had the predictable result of winning the Pontiff plaudits and huzzahs in the world’s press, and another round of bewildered head-shaking among observant Catholics. Whether in his formal remar ...
On Charleston, Fear and 9/11
June 22, 2015
In a literal sense, the word "tragedy" does not describe what happened in Charleston, South Carolina last week. Storms and earthquakes are tragic. No human summons these events and no human can stop them. Murder, on the other hand, is entirely human. It occurs ...
Death Penalty: The Ultimate Corrupt, Big Government Program
June 22, 2015
Nebraska's legislature recently made headlines when it ended the state's death penalty. Many found it odd that a conservatives-dominated legislature would support ending capital punishment, since conservative politicians have traditionally supported the death p ...
'Production Versus Plunder' ~ Part 12
June 20, 2015
Power is always grandiose and self-glorifying. But it is also self-destructive. It is the great error of productive people that they blindly obey power and contribute to its stupidity. Nonetheless, power always seems to hit its limits, where it rots in place an ...
Another Silly Jab at Libertarianism
June 20, 2015
The problem with responding to Alan Wolfe’s feeble attempt to critique libertarianism is that one might appear to be defending the particular people he targets: namely, Rand Paul and Ayn Rand. (Rand Paul was not named after Ayn Rand. At least Wolfe avoided th ...
Peace at Last in the GMO War?
June 19, 2015
The war between those who oppose and embrace genetically modified food crops has almost no middle ground. Those who know what "GMO" means are enthusiastically for or against it. We explained back in April how The Free Market is Solving the GMO Problem. Consumer ...
Prohibition Corrupts Character on Both Sides of the Law
June 19, 2015
If you want a recent, vivid example of the corrosive effect the Drug War has on the character of law enforcement, look to the actions of the officers who raided Sky High Holistic, a medical marijuana dispensary located in Santa Ana, California, on May 27th of t ...
U.S. Navy: Up to No Good?
June 18, 2015
We saw the Navy's "Global Force for Good" commercials on TV a few months ago, and thought them strange at the time. The service it portrayed bore no resemblance to reality. Instead of carrier-launched fighter jets pursuing terrorists, it showed earnest youngste ...
The Washington Intellectual Gravy Train
June 18, 2015
Intellectuals have long been glorified as champions of truth and defenders of society's highest values. But in Washington, they serve as Leviathan's Praetorian Guard. Intellectuals are thriving in DC thanks in large part to the ruinous policy advice they proffe ...
Top Leaker Invited to Bilderberg Insider Fest
June 17, 2015
The secretive Bilderberg group held its annual conclave at an Austrian mountain resort last weekend. As the Guardian article says, the event was private in every imaginable way. Invited guests only, Chatham House rules, everything off the record and certainly n ...
Starvation Is the Price Greeks Will Pay for Remaining in the EU
June 17, 2015
Syriza, the new Greek government that intended to rescue Greece from austerity, has come a cropper. The government relied on the good will of its EU "partners," only to find that its "partners" had no good will. The Greek government did not understand that the ...
Prisons Without Walls: We’re All Inmates in the American Police State
June 17, 2015
“Free worlders” is prison slang for those who are not incarcerated behind prison walls. Supposedly, those fortunate souls live in the “free world.” However, appearances can be deceiving. “As I got closer to retiring from the Federal Bureau of Prisons ...
Stop Blaming Snowden, Start Questioning Obama
June 16, 2015
Newspapers once had journalistic standards, one of which was not to report events as factual without a primary source and a confirming second source. Those standards fell away long ago. The Sunday Times claims National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowd ...
American Progressives are Bismarck's Grandchildren
June 16, 2015
American "progressives" portray themselves as "forward-looking," advocates of a higher and better freedom than the traditional American conception of liberty as freedom from government coercion and control. In fact, they are the intellectual great-grandchildren ...
Barron's Handicaps the GOP
June 15, 2015
The quadrennial American presidential slugfest is right around the corner. Our wish here at Chez Gastonne is that all the candidates would lose and the country proceed into the future confidently leaderless. Sadly, that is not one of the options. We took note o ...
Soros Pushes US Bailouts and Weapons for Ukraine
June 15, 2015
If you look at the track record of the interventionists you might think they would pause before taking on more projects. Each of their past projects has ended in disaster yet still they press on. Last week the website Zero Hedge posted a report about hacked ema ...
'Production Versus Plunder' ~ Part 11
June 13, 2015
As many of us have noted (loudly and often), centralization is the executioner of liberty and prosperity. That truth is seen very clearly in the history of Rome. Continued from last week… THE ECONOMIC FALL OF ROME This slave economy was a crucial factor in th ...
Police, Pool Parties and Whiny Bureaucrats
June 12, 2015
News coverage of the McKinney police incident faded quickly once the out-of-control Cpl. Casebolt resigned. Most commentary has been on the racial dimension, but we are more interested in the growing disconnect between the American public and those who are supp ...
Fact Checking Paul Krugman's Claim To Be 'Right About Everything'
June 12, 2015
"But can the debate really be as one-sided as I portray it? Well, look at the results: again and again, people on the opposite side prove to have used bad logic, bad data, the wrong historical analogies, or all of the above. I’m Krugtron the Invincible!" Thus ...
Janet Yellen's Crocodile Tears
June 11, 2015
That the Federal Reserve is an insular institution should surprise no one. Nor should the fact that it lets valuable information leak to the benefit of its friends. This time, however, members of Congress are taking an interest in the matter, and the Fed is not ...
Should Freedom of Association Be Conditional?
June 11, 2015
Sir Patrick Stewart, of Jean Luc Picard/Professor X fame, has recently come under fire for defending the embattled North Irish bakery, Asher's Baking Company, that refused to bake a cake with a pro-gay rights theme: "Stewart called the Asher's case "a delicious ...
The TPP is Not About Free Trade
June 10, 2015
This Reuters opinion article makes some odd claims about China and international trade. It ends by condemning the nascent Trans-Pacific Partnership. There are plenty of better reasons to oppose TPP. The author first blames economic interdependence for China's " ...
The Truth About Gurus
June 10, 2015
Reflecting on my life, I find a warm sense of kinship with Forrest Gump. For the handful of you unfamiliar with the fictional Mr. Gump, he’s a cranially challenged individual who by pure happenstance ends up living an extraordinary life brimming with interest ...
Slave or Rebel? Ten Principles for Escaping the Matrix and Standing Up to Tyranny
June 10, 2015
“Until they become conscious, they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled, they cannot become conscious.”—George Orwell. The more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s a shell game intended to keep us focused on and distracted b ...
Hungry FBI Creating Fake Terrorists
June 09, 2015
The FBI has a problem. Not enough terrorists are plotting to attack the United States, so agents find they must manufacture more of them. The method appears to be working, too. Dozens of FBI-appointed terrorists now sit safely in prison and no longer threaten t ...
The Tyranny of Trigger Words and College Safe Spaces
June 09, 2015
The media has been full of stories recently about the new sensitivity on college and university campuses concerning the avoidance in courses or assignments of the use of "trigger words" or phrases that may have a "hurtful" effect on students when thoughtlessly ...
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