California Would Make Drug Laws “Greatly Complicated”, Let’s Hope

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 17-10-2010

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California has a initiative on the upcoming ballot to legalize marijuana, and it looks like it has the feds worried.

Attorney General Eric Holder said the Obama administration “strongly opposes” a California ballot measure to legalize marijuana, warning that federal drug-enforcement efforts would be “greatly complicated” if the measure passes.

I was under the impression the government was supposed to serve the people, and it would appear the people don’t want the federal government kidnapping their friends and neighbors because they have the wrong herb on them and then throwing them into rape rooms to be transformed into life long violent thugs. Of course, Obama, who bragged about his youthful indiscretions, doesn’t care if the average Joe’s kid is thrown in prison for doing the very thing the President has done.

Attorney General Eric Holder has said the administration would continue to enforce federal laws against marijuana if California passes a ballot initiative legalizing pot in next month’s election.

Basically, “We don’t care what the people say. It’s our decision what freedoms citizens have, and we decided they aren’t having this one.”

The Yes on 19 campaign backing the California measure said passage “would kick-start a national conversation about changing our country’s obviously failed marijuana prohibition policies.”

Joseph McNamara, a retired San Jose police chief and supporter of Proposition 19, said in response to Mr. Holder’s letter that efforts to block marijuana use “waste billions of dollars” and are the wrong priority “in the midst of a sagging economic recovery.”

A great point, but one obviously the Feds don’t give two turds about. Look at their budget.

The U.S. government will “vigorously enforce” federal laws against marijuana even if voters next month make California the first state to legalize pot, Attorney General Eric Holder says.

via Holder Says U.S. Will Enforce Marijuana Laws – WSJ.com.

We see what vigorously means. They have militarized the police to storm into suburban homes with women and children living there, killing dogs, shooting at will, terrorizing American citizens.

There is a reason the feds don’t want to give up the drug war. It’s all that is needed for tyranny. They can storm into your house at a moments notice, steal your property, take your children, lock you up, kill you, create gestapo like networks to gather info on you, and lastly enrich themselves. They can do all this whether you do drugs or not. It does not matter. They can claim probable cause, and who the hell is going to stick their necks out to vow for you. If they do, they’ll get the same treatment.

The drug war has nothing to do with the people and everything to do with tyranny, so let’s hope that California makes this tyranny “Greatly Complicated”.

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If not good for me, is it good for We?

Posted by Jason | Posted in Foreign Policy, Government | Posted on 12-05-2010

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If you’ve read my blog, I’m sure you’ve seen several times where I mentioned that you cannot expect different results from the government than you can from your own household. If you go into debt and go bankrupt, there is no reason to think a bunch of people in a group can go into debt and avoid the same destiny. There is nothing that you cannot do individually because it is immoral, unethical, or unjust, that for some reason when the collective known as the government does it will yield better and opposite result and becomes moral, ethical or just.

Let’s think about this. The government tells us that it can stimulate the economy by borrowing and spending. Can you stimulate your personal economy by borrowing and spending? Let’s say your family has hit a rough patch. Several family members lost their jobs, had their wages cut, etc. Would you be able to stimulate your way out of this by the employed members of the family borrowing money to purchase goods and services from the unemployed family members? Of course you could not. By borrowing, all you are doing is taking your future wages and pulling them to the current day. In the future, you will not have that income to use, to enjoy and to stimulate the future. Also, because of interest, you will have lost some of that income completely, which means over the long run, you are worse off than you would have been had you did nothing.

How about theft? Is it alright for you or a family member to steal from your neighbors? Let’s say one of your family member is unemployed and has no money to feed his family. Is it alright for you to rob someone in order to give your family member some money to buy food? Of course it is not. Theft is the invasion of someone’s liberty, and it is not moral all the sudden because it’s voted on. Making something law does not make it moral. Also, by legalizing something doesn’t make it moral. The law is only supposed to protect each individual’s liberty and property. Theft is a violation of an individual’s liberty and property and is immoral whether done by a stranger in a dark alley or by a collection of elected thieves in government.

Next, we are told by government regulators that without their protection, there would be corporate monopolies that would hold us hostage and force us to buy their products at artificially high prices. Luckily for us, we have a “benevolent” government that just so happens to be willing to step in and save the day. Since we are on the topic of me vs we, would it be OK for me to force you to buy my goods and services? Could I tell all other IT service firms they can no longer operate, and if they do, I’m going to send my goons to haul them off to prison? Maybe, I let them still operate but tell them they must run their businesses exactly as I tell them. They much charge what I tell them to charge, cover what I tell them to cover, and pay me a portion of the proceeds. Would this be considered moral or just? Well, this is what the government has done in industry after industry, health insurance being at that forefront of most people’s minds. If I cannot do this because it is unjust, at what point in time does it become just? Does justice come from the consent of 50.5% of the congress?

How about empire? Is it just to put bases in other sovereign countries against the will of many of their people? Let’s say I’m coming home from work , and I find my two neighbors in an all out brawl. I knew they have been arguing back and forth for a few weeks, and the one neighbor is completely wrong. Well, it just so happens this is the guy who as we speak is pounding the life out of the other neighbor. Being a great friend, I jump out of the car and break it up. The stronger guy takes a swing at me, but luckily I know a little something something and put him on his back. I force him to agree to the argument as I see it. Then I tell both of them, I’m going to monitor the situation, so it doesn’t happen again. I setup cameras, and I decide to set one of my trained attack dogs at both of their houses to maintain the peace. After a while, the two guys make amends and realize how stupid their argument was. They ask if I’ll remove my dogs, but I say no. I need to maintain the peace. Eventually both guys turn against me, but I say to hell with them. I’m right. If it wasn’t for me, one of them would be dead right now. One day they notice that I have my dogs at several other neighbors houses, and everyone seems to be talking about how I’m using these dogs to control the neighborhood. So, would this be considered a just thing to do if I did it? If not, then why do we have millions of people advocating more US troops on foreign soils?

I’m sure by now you are getting the point. If something is unjust for an individual to do, such as sticking a gun to someone’s head to force them to do what you want, it is just as unjust for a group of individuals known as the government or We The People to do to any individual or another group. We must realize this if we are ever going to stifle the growth of government, mitigate the oppressive hand of government, and end the march toward tyranny. In ever political debate, people of good will need to ask themselves, if I took these actions or my neighbor took these actions on me, what would I think about it? Would I think it’s just or unjust. Is it taking someone’s liberty, life or property? There are those who profit from government force, so they will be hard to turn away from their masters. If they claim to be for individual rights though, you must show them the errors of their ways, because you can’t be for your own rights and not the rights of others. If that’s the case, then neither have rights, and it’s just a battle to be the one holding the gun.

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Your Garden Is A Problem For The System

Posted by Jason | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 27-04-2010

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If you think you can always grow your own food when food prices sky rocket with inflation, think again. Government is already making sure you cannot get outside the system. Government must always make sure you are trapped within the system.  This is very similar to Obama going after people who move their money overseas to avoid our oppressive tax system. Instead of realizing that our tax system is driving money out of the country, our government attacks the people who have the money. The government never realizes it’s the problem, but why would it when it’s a coercive monopoly.

With the Fed holding interest rates extremely low by printing money, there is going to be inflation. I know personally my grocery budget has doubled in the past decade, and we are not consuming any more food. In order to save money, more and more people are planting gardens, but this takes away government’s power and the big farming industries’ profits. How is government going to keep Monsanto’s bribes coming if it cannot deliver? Your garden is becoming a problem for them, so it’s time for them to pull out the guns and tell you to stop. Oh I know, the government isn’t going to shoot you for your garden, but they are going to fine you over and over until you submit. If you don’t submit and pay your fines, they will imprison you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JnwqqSdtD4

liberty-cafe-vlog.

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We’re Better Off Governed By Random People….and safer too

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government, Health Care | Posted on 08-04-2010

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William F. Buckley, Jr. once said he’d rather entrust our government to the first 400 people in the phone book than the faculty of Harvard. What he meant was he trusts the common sense wisdom of the average American more than the political elites, who think they know best how everyone else should live. This video shows how true this is.

Also, while Republican party loyalists think the GOP believes in the Constitution and liberty, here is the GOP’s biggest stalwart showing how false that is.

From HotAir.com

The lady in the audience, who Tom Coburn basically ridicules in another part of this discussion as a brainwashed idiot who only watches Fox News, seems to understand how government works better than the senator. She simply points out that people can have their liberty taken from them and put in jail if they don’t buy insurance as our overlords have mandated. What’s Coburn’s reply? “Putting people in jail is not the intention.” Really? That makes me feel better. As long as that’s not the intention, who gives a rat’s ass what the outcome is.

I’m sure it wasn’t the intention of the slave master to kill his slave either. He just wanted him to work. When he refused to work, he beat him. Then when he tried to defend himself, the slave master just had to kill him.

He then goes on to say the intention is for the IRS to coerce you into abiding by your overlord’s dictates. This is different how? Does Coburn know what the IRS uses to back up it’s threats? If you do not pay your taxes what happens? Oh sure, they’ll start off by only fining you, but what happens if you insist on claiming your right to make your own choices about what you should do with your own money? You will quickly find yourself being arrested and sent to prison. Then what happens if you try to defend yourself against your imprisoners? Wonder what Coburn thinks would happen then? You would quickly find yourself dead, just as the slave who defies his slave master.

Every demand the government makes on you is backed up by that one underlying threat of taking your life from you. Sure they’d rather you comply without resorting to killing you, but if it becomes necessary, you will comply or die. If you do not comply, you’ll be fined. If you don’t pay your fines, you’ll be imprisoned. If you fight for your freedom from imprisonment, you will be killed. While most Americans think this is OK, because you should just have did what they told you, it is just proof that you are not free. You are a slave to the government, who just wants you to work like you’re told.

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Even Neocons Are Noticing How Big Big Brother Is Getting…well sort of

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 24-03-2010

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Are the neocons now starting to see the error of their ways? Do they realize that you cannot give up liberty for security, for as Franklin told us, you’ll have neither? Here is a post from Hot Air, where it seems like they are actually catching on.

This should prove an interesting conundrum for those who supported the NSA’s warrantless terrorist-surveillance program. The FBI and local law enforcement agencies have been accessing cell-phone tracking data, possible with the newer generations of GPS-embedded smart phones, in order to solve regular crimes as well as in the national-security arena, using a low bar for cause on warrants. Does this constitute an intelligent leverage of new technology, or a danger to civil liberties?

Of course it’s a threat to civil liberties. If the government turns tyrannical, well more tyrannical than it is, and if we condone this or pass laws like say the Patriot Act to give the government the power they claim to need, then they can use those powers to squash any group of citizens who do not like what the government has become. While you may be able to accept handing some powers to the government when you think it’s your side running the government, “your side” is not always going to be in power. This is the fundamental reason for Franklin’s famous quote. The Hot Air post goes on to quote an article from Newsweek.

Amid all the furor over the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program a few years ago, a mini-revolt was brewing over another type of federal snooping that was getting no public attention at all. Federal prosecutors were seeking what seemed to be unusually sensitive records: internal data from telecommunications companies that showed the locations of their customers’ cell phones—sometimes in real time, sometimes after the fact. The prosecutors said they needed the records to trace the movements of suspected drug traffickers, human smugglers, even corrupt public officials. But many federal magistrates—whose job is to sign off on search warrants and handle other routine court duties—were spooked by the requests. Some in New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas balked. Prosecutors “were using the cell phone as a surreptitious tracking device,” said Stephen W. Smith, a federal magistrate in Houston. “And I started asking the U.S. Attorney’s Office, ‘What is the legal authority for this? What is the legal standard for getting this information?’ ”

The Justice Department doesn’t keep statistics on requests for cell-phone data, according to the spokeswoman. So it’s hard to gauge just how often these records are retrieved. But Al Gidari, a telecommunications lawyer who represents several wireless providers, tells NEWSWEEK that the companies are now getting “thousands of these requests per month,” and the amount has grown “exponentially” over the past few years. Sprint Nextel has even set up a dedicated Web site so that law-enforcement agents can access the records from their desks—a fact divulged by the company’s “manager of electronic surveillance” at a private Washington security conference last October. “The tool has just really caught on fire with law enforcement,” said the Sprint executive, according to a tape made by a privacy activist who sneaked into the event. (A Sprint spokesman acknowledged the company has created the Web “portal” but says that law-enforcement agents must be “authenticated” before they are given passwords to log on, and even then still must provide valid court orders for all nonemergency requests.)

Again, Franklin’s warning comes to mind. Neocons, including myself at the time, thought the warrantless wiretapping was needed. How could Bush track those evil terrorists without it? Well, what happens once you give that power to the government for terrorists? Shouldn’t they use it on child molestors? I mean is there any bigger group of terrorists than child molestors? Heck, what about murderers? How about drug dealers, bank robbers, oh and what about that rich ponzi scheme guy? No, not the government. I’m talking about Bernie Madoff. Shouldn’t we be able to track him? How many lives did he ruin? As you can see, this never ends. Before you know it, to government is tracking you down for your outstanding speeding tickets.

Most of us would understand that law-enforcement agencies have a need occasionally to track a suspect in a criminal matter and certainly for the FBI in counterterrorist operations (give up those liberties for the boogiemen).  However, according to this Newsweek report, the Obama administration and other agencies are using a particularly weak type of claim in order to make thousands of requests a month, most of which have nothing to do with national security:

The grounds for such requests, says Smith, were often flimsy: almost all were being submitted as “2703(d)” orders—a reference to an obscure provision of a 1986 law called the Stored Communications Act, in which prosecutors only need to assert that records are “relevant” to an ongoing criminal investigation. That’s the lowest possible standard in federal criminal law, and one that, as a practical matter, magistrates can’t really verify. …

A potentially more sinister request came from some Michigan cops who, purportedly concerned about a possible “riot,” pressed another telecom for information on all the cell phones that were congregating in an area where a labor-union protest was expected. “We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of abuse on this,” says Gidari.

I’m no fan of labor-union activism, but Americans have a right to peaceably assemble for political purposes without the government conducting covert surveillance.  Just as with the NSA’s program, this is a very powerful tool that law enforcement can and should use — but for legitimate and very limited purposes.   This requires a much higher standard for warrants on law enforcement investigations than what is described in this article.

via Hot Air » Blog Archive » Hmmm: Feds, local law enforcement accessing cell phone tracking “thousands of times a month”.

What a minute. Are you telling me the government was using these laws to track American citizens, who did nothing illegal? No way! Not our government. Not the American government. This is the home of the free and the land of the brave, right? Are you getting the point yet? Governments do not obey rules, and they don’t sit back and say, “Well, the people really meant to give us this power to protect them from overseas boogiemen. We can’t really use it on Americans themselves.” No, they will use every means necessary against their own people to maintain and grow their power. Do not be fooled by their stated intentions of protecting us. All tyrants claim to be looking out for and protecting their people. Do you think for one second Chavez doesn’t claim to be looking out for the Venezuelan people? Of course he does. All governments are the same. They all want to grow and control every aspect of the economy, society, etc. Under Bush it was warrantless wiretaps, and now under Obama it’s ObamaCare, Net Neutrality and Financial reform.

Ok, gotta go. I should have yanked the battery out of my cell phone before starting this blog.

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You May Not Have Freedom, But At Least You’ll Have Health Care…Sort Of

Posted by Jason | Posted in Health Care | Posted on 22-03-2010

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Last night, our supposed representatives passed the health care bill that says you no longer have the freedom to decide what services and products you want to buy. You have to buy what they say you have to buy. Don’t forget this is just the beginning. Government never stops growing. This bill will continue to grow and grow, and more liberty will be lost. Say goodbye to ownership of your own life, body and health decisions.

The biggest transformation of the U.S. health system in decades won approval on Capitol Hill late Sunday, the culmination of efforts by generations of Democrats to achieve near-universal health coverage.

Let’s be clear here. This isn’t the biggest transformation of the U.S. health system. This is the biggest transformation in our liberty. The health system was not made better last night. If anything, it will get progressively worse. What did happen last night is your decisions and options in health care were stripped from you hands and placed into the cold, unaccountable hands of a bureaucrat.

President Barack Obama, who staked his presidency on the health-care overhaul, helped push it toward passage with a last-minute promise to issue an executive order making clear that no money dispensed under the $940 billion bill would pay for abortions. That persuaded Rep. Bart Stupak, a holdout Michigan Democrat, to vote yes and bring at least seven colleagues with him.

Yeah, some hold out Stupak was. He was just looking for the tiniest crack to crawl through. If you were so concerned would you trust someone promising to make an executive order? Now that the bill has passed, what recourse does Stupak have? Zero.

President Obama spoke just before midnight at the White House. “At a time when the pundits said it was no longer possible, we rose above the weight of our politics,” he said in hailing the vote. “We proved that this government … still works for the people.”

Please. The government hasn’t worked for the people in my lifetime. This is nothing more than Democrats turning everyone into slaves who will keep pulling the lever for their party begging them to fix an ever worsening system. The people will forget about this bill, and when the system is getting  worse, they will fall for the Democrats cries of exploitation by insurance companies and medical companies.

Minority Leader John Boehner (R., Ohio) condemned the legislation, and said Democrats are moving against the will of the public. “Shame on this body. Shame on each and every one of you who substitutes your will and your desire above your fellow countrymen,” he said. “By our actions today we disgrace their value.”

Republicans hope to use the health overhaul to drive Democrats into the minority, citing polls that show a plurality of Americans oppose it, while Democrats believe the immediate benefits brought by the bill will work to their credit.

Hopefully, people are starting to see how this game is played. Democrats got the bill through. There will be backlash, and Republicans will win elections. The bill won’t be repealed, and eventually after Republicans steal some of our liberties for wars, Democrats will regain power again. Nothing will change. We’ll just keep marching on toward complete tyranny.

The legislation will extend health coverage to 32 million Americans now without insurance, according to the Congressional Budget Office. It will mandate that almost every American carry health insurance—a provision that opponents are set to challenge in the courts. To help people get covered, the legislation expands Medicaid, the federal-state health program for the poor, and gives subsidies to families making as much as $88,000 a year.

If the courts up hold this, then what? I guess the government can mandate anything it wants. It can tell us how to live and what to buy in every aspect of our lives. Oh, but they are just looking out for us stupid normal people. We are all too dumb to live without the wonderful government telling us how to live properly.

The focus Sunday was largely on resolving the abortion dispute. Several Democrats, led by Rep. Stupak, had been withholding support, saying the legislation didn’t go far enough to keep federal funds from being used to pay for abortions. They praised Mr. Obama’s executive order, while Roman Catholic bishops and other antiabortion groups said it wasn’t good enough.

While I wish the bishops were opposed on the merits of the bill, at least they stuck to their guns on abortion. What they realize and what the paper doesn’t mention is executive orders mean nothing. Obama can make an executive order, and that order can be overturned by any President including Obama at any time they choose. It will be used as a political tool, just like government funding of embryonic stem cell research and government funding of overseas abortions was. Bush made executive orders and Obama overturned them. Both appeased their base.

A large swath of the business community opposed the changes, arguing the legislation was too broad and had too many taxes. “This will make us one of the highest-taxed regions in the world, and that’s going to have an impact on the appetite for people to invest in medical innovation,” said Bill Hawkins, chief executive of Medtronic Inc., which makes medical devices. He said his company could cut at least 1,000 jobs to absorb a new 2.9% excise tax on medical-device makers.

Bye bye recovery. This is definitely going to cost jobs and economic growth. The money that would have been invested else where will now be forced into health care, where it will be lost. Health care will not be improved by the increase money flowing into it. It will just be wasted by paperwork and bureaucracy.

Insurers will see the heaviest regulations, with new rules that dictate how much they can reap in profit and whom they must cover.

So much for a free market, not that it was before.

The bulk of the legislation wouldn’t take effect until 2014. Once the tax credits and Medicaid expansion are in place, most Americans will be required to carry health insurance or pay a fee, topping out at either $695 a year or 2.5% of income.

Well, I guess I should just drop my insurance and buy it when I need it. I pay almost $500/month right now. I could just pay the government $695/year and save over $5,000/year. Don’t worry though. That $695 will quickly skyrocket once they realize it has the opposite effect of what they want. Oh, and in case you thought you still had freedom, ask yourself what happens if you don’t pay that fine. Time to go to jail for you.

Employers would have to provide affordable insurance or pay a penalty of up to $3,000 per worker. Those figures assume the Senate ultimately adopts the package of changes the House approved.

Tax increases needed to finance the program would hit a range of industries, from insurers to tanning services. Over the next decade, $108 billion in new fees will fall on insurers, drug makers and medical-device companies. Families earning more than $250,000 a year will pay a higher Medicare payroll tax, and see that tax expanded to investment income such as dividends. High-value insurance plans would be hit with a 40% tax starting in 2018.

via House Passes Historic Health Bill – WSJ.com.

So we are going to improve health care by pulling $108 billion outt of the companies who create health products. That makes sense.

Also, families making over $250k/year is where this starts. That is never where it ends. That will quickly become families making over poverty income. Ask those who thought the income tax was only going to be on the rich.

Lastly, this is just hilarious. For those of you who have too much insurance, by government standards, you are going to pay a 40% tax on your insurance. That’s brilliant. In order to make sure everyone has insurance, we’ll tax people who have a lot of insurance. How long do you think that option will be around? Man I love the government. They just take away options slowly until you are left with only one. That option is government enslavement. You either submit, or you’ll be fined. Oh that fine of $695 will quickly become much larger. They can’t leave an option that you can actually take. They will raise that $695 so high, paying it won’t be an option. What is left is submit or go to jail.

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Good Bye Freedom. Hello Homeland Security.

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government, Video | Posted on 14-03-2010

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I don’t know if it gets any scarier than the thought of having to go through interrogations like this just to go to some event.

I’m sure one day this will be standard operation procedure for road blocks. Better hope you don’t get flustered easily. You’ll end up being waterboarded and shipped off to Egypt for interrogation by people not held back by US law. Worst yet, maybe you’ll be added to Obama’s hit list and assassinated.

From The Daily Paul

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Democracy is a horrible system says….Founding Fathers

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government, Video | Posted on 09-03-2010

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Following up on an earlier post about democracy, here is a great find from The Daily Paul. I constantly hear about us being a democracy, even by conservatives. It’s considered taboo to say anything bad about democracies, but we were not founded as a democracy, which is why our government was supposed to be extremely limited in what it could do. Our founders knew that democracy was a horrible system.

Democracy is …

…the majority turning their guns on the minority.

…the majority enslaving the minority.

…the creation of human sacrifices for the majority.

…the destruction of the individual.

…constant growth in government as the majority votes more to themselves.

…the road to absolute tyranny.

YouTube – Democracy is not Freedom!.

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The Misesian Vision by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Posted by Jason | Posted in Economics, Government | Posted on 26-01-2010

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This is a must read. Click the link at the end to read the entire article. It is definitely worth the time.

I’m finding it ever more difficult to describe to people the kind of world that the Mises Institute would like to see, with the type of political order that Mises and the entire classical-liberal tradition believed would be most beneficial for mankind.

It would appear that the more liberty we lose, the less people are able to imagine how liberty might work. It is a fascinating thing to behold.

* People can no longer imagine a world in which we could be secure without massive invasions of our privacy at every step, and even being strip-searched before boarding airplanes, even though private institutions manage much greater security without any invasions of human rights;

* People can no longer remember how a true free market in medical care would work, even though all the problems of the current system were created by government interventions in the first place;

* People imagine that we need 700 military bases around the world, and endless wars in the Middle East, for “security,” though safe Switzerland doesn’t;

* People think it is insane to think of life without central banks, even though they are modern inventions that have destroyed currency after currency;

* Even meddlesome agencies like the Consumer Products Safety Commission or the Federal Trade Commission strike most people as absolutely essential, even though it is not they who catch the thieves and frauds, but private institutions;

* The idea of privatizing roads or water supplies sounds outlandish, even though we have a long history of both;

* People even wonder how anyone would be educated in the absence of public schools, as if markets themselves didn’t create in America the world’s most literate society in the 18th and 19th centuries.

This list could go on and on. But the problem is that the capacity to imagine freedom – the very source of life for civilization and humanity itself – is being eroded in our society and culture. The less freedom we have, the less people are able to imagine what freedom feels like, and therefore the less they are willing to fight for its restoration.

This has profoundly affected the political culture. We’ve lived through regime after regime, since at least the 1930s, in which the word freedom has been a rhetorical principle only, even as each new regime has taken away ever more freedom.

Now we have a president who doesn’t even bother to pay lip service to the idea of freedom. In fact, I don’t think that the idea has occurred to Obama at all. If the idea of freedom has occurred to him, he must have rejected it as dangerous, or unfair, or unequal, or irresponsible, or something along those lines.

To him, and to many Americans, the goal of government is to be an extension of the personal values of those in charge. I saw a speech in which Obama was making a pitch for national service, the ghastly idea that government should steal 2 years of every young person's life for slave labor and to inculcate loyalty to leviathan, with no concerns about setting back a young person’s professional and personal life.

How did Obama justify his support of this idea? He said that when he was a young man, he learned important values from his period of community service. It helped form him and shape him. It helped him understand the troubles of others and think outside his own narrow experience.

Well, I’m happy for him. But he chose this path voluntarily. It is a gigantic leap to go from personal experience to forcing a vicious national plan on the entire country. His presumption here is really taken from the playbook of the totalitarian state: the father-leader will guide his children-citizens in the paths of righteousness, so that they all will become god like the leader himself.

To me, this comment illustrates one of two things. It could show that Obama is a potential dictator in the mold of Stalin, Hitler, and Mao, for the presumptions he puts on exhibit here are just as frightening as any imagined by the worst tyrants in human history. Or, more plausibly, it may be an illustration of Hannah Arendt’s view that totalitarianism is merely an application of the principle of the “banality of evil.”

With this phrase, Arendt meant to draw attention to how people misunderstand the origin and nature of evil regimes. Evil regimes are not always the product of fanatics, paranoids, and sociopaths, though, of course, power breeds fanaticism, paranoia, and sociopathology. Instead, the total state can be built by ordinary people who accept a wrong premise concerning the role of the state in society.

If the role of the state is to ferret out evil thoughts and bad ideas, it must necessarily become totalitarian. If the goal of the state is that all citizens must come to hold the same values as the great leader, whether economic, moral, or cultural, the state must necessarily become totalitarian. If the people are led to believe that scarce resources are best channeled in a direction that producers and consumers would not choose on their own, the result must necessarily be central planning.

via The Misesian Vision by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr..

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William McGurn: My Big Fat Government Takeover – WSJ.com

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 08-12-2009

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The Vice President of News Corp, has a pretty good op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about the Obama administrations belief that they are so smart that they can make big government work. I’m not sure why everyone says they are so smart. Would you consider someone smart who despite all historical examples still believes that socialism or big government works? That seems pretty stupid to me. I would not consider someone smart because they can explain the dynamics of jumping off a cliff and some how despite all the previous deaths from jumping, they think they have figured out how to jump and survive. Even worse, they think they are so smart that they are going to make us all jump.

Some mistakes are so big that only smart people are tempted to make them. One is the faith in Big Government.

Many of the people in the Obama administration, the president included, enjoy all the credentials we associate with the best and the brightest: the right schools, the good grades, the successful careers. Alas, whether it be allocating health care or defining the kind of jobs the economy ought to create, the policies they favor suggest a strong belief that they know what’s best not just for themselves, but for everyone else too.

Of course, the kind of people who are apt to push for government-imposed solutions are those who are also apt to believe they will be the ones imposing decisions, not the ones who have to live with decisions imposed by others. Sometimes that’s because they enjoy the wealth that gives them escape hatches unavailable to the less affluent, such as their ability to ensure that their own children never have to set foot in a public school. Mostly, however, their trust in government reflects their confidence that they have all the answers and that it’s government’s job to enforce them.

Does this sound any different than any king, dictator or General Secretary of the Communist Party? They all believe they know what is best for all of us lower peasants, and they all preclude themselves and their children from the policies they impose.

Detroit is in decline because its automotive giants no longer build the kind of cars Americans want to buy? Let’s have the president sack the CEO of General Motors, and then use the bailout money as leverage to appoint a car czar and get GM and Chrysler to build the kind of cars that Washington wants.

Wall Street execs are getting sweet bonuses at a time when millions of other Americans are unemployed? Well, instead of encouraging these financial concerns to pay back the Troubled Asset Relief Program monies and get the taxpayers off the hook, send in Ken Feinberg to set their salaries.

Health-care spending is inefficient? The answer is obvious: Expand the Department of Health and Human Services and give its secretary more power. Under the bill now before the Senate, for example, Kathleen Sebelius would have the authority to decide what care insurance companies could offer, who could get an abortion under a government-run plan, what prices were fair, and so on.

Of course we shouldn’t draw any conclusions from an advisory task force that recently created a stir when it suggested women get fewer mammograms—and Ms. Sebelius’s disavowal in the face of public heat. She pointed out that the task force does not set government policy. But at some point some government task force will—and there will be fewer ways around it.

Is there any difference between Obama and the King of Dubai? The King thought he was visionary (so did the media), and he was doing what is best for his people. Instead of letting the free market develop his country, he issued dictates from his palace.

That’s government by the smart. The good news is that it doesn’t seem to be selling. According to a recent poll, 57% of Americans believe government is doing things that should be left to business and individuals. Not only do most Americans object, Gallup says the opposition is the “highest such reading in more than a decade.”

via William McGurn: My Big Fat Government Takeover – WSJ.com.

This may be true, but that won’t stop anyone. Health care is about to be jammed down our throats even though 85% of people like their current plans. It does not matter what the people want when the “king” decides he is a visionary, when he’s going to “fundamentally transform the country”, or when the media repeatedly tells him he’s the smartest President in history. Obama thinks he knows what is best for all of us, and he’s going to use government force to make us comply to his vision. There used to be a word for rulers like this that no one seems to use anymore. That word is TYRANT.

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