Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Hoppe on the Praxeology of Democracy

The traditional, premodern state form is that of a (absolute) monarchy. Yet monarchy was faulted, in particular also by classical liberals, for being incompatible with the basic principle of "equality before the law." Monarchy instead rested on personal privilege. Thus, the critics of monarchy argued, the monarchical state had to be replaced by a democratic one. In opening participation and entry into state government to everyone on equal terms, not just to a hereditary class of nobles, it was thought that the principle of the equality of all before the law had been satisfied.

However, this democratic equality before the law is something entirely different from and incompatible with the idea of one universal law, equally applicable to everyone, everywhere, and at all times. In fact, the former objectionable schism and inequality of a higher law of kings versus a subordinate law of ordinary subjects is fully preserved under democracy in the separation of "public" versus "private" law and the supremacy of the former over the latter.

Under democracy, everyone is equal insofar as entry into government is open to all on equal terms. Everyone can become king, so to say, not only a privileged circle of people. Thus, in a democracy no personal privileges or privileged persons exist. However, functional privileges and privileged functions exist. Public officials, as long as they act in an official capacity, are governed and protected by public law and occupy thereby a privileged position vis-à-vis persons acting under the mere authority of private law.

In particular, public officials are permitted to finance or subsidize their own activities through taxes. That is, they do not, as every private-law subject must, earn their income through the production and subsequent sale of goods and services to voluntarily buying or not-buying consumers. Rather, as public officials, they are permitted to engage in, and live off, what in private dealings between private-law subjects is considered "theft" and "stolen loot." Thus, privilege and legal discrimination — and the distinction between rulers and subjects — will not disappear under democracy. To the contrary. Rather than being restricted to princes and nobles, under democracy, privileges will be available to all: everyone can engage in theft and live off stolen loot if only he becomes a public official.

Predictably, then, under democratic conditions the tendency of every monopoly of ultimate decision making to increase the price of justice and to lower its quality and substitute injustice for justice and is not diminished but aggravated. As hereditary monopolist, a king or prince regards the territory and people under his jurisdiction as his personal property and engages in the monopolistic exploitation of his "property."

Under democracy, monopoly and monopolistic exploitation do not disappear. Rather, what happens with democracy is this: instead of a prince and a nobility who regard the country as their private property, a temporary and interchangeable caretaker is put in monopolistic charge of the country. The caretaker does not own the country, but as long as he is in office he is permitted to use it to his and his protégés' advantage. He owns its current use — usufruct — but not its capital stock. This does not eliminate exploitation. To the contrary, it makes exploitation less calculating and carried out with little or no regard to the capital stock. Exploitation becomes shortsighted and capital consumption will be systematically promoted.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Strike the root.

What is law?

Given what appears a nearly willful historical amnesia, it is easy for the popular imagination to suppose that existing political and social conventions have always been so, or that preceding social norms are by necessity inferior to the current "enlightened" perspective promulgated via public education and popular media.

As such it would be inconceivable for many that "the law" has any other source than legislative bodies.  For an American the answer to the question "Where do laws come from?" is, if goes beyond a nebulous "the government," is Congress, where democratically elected representatives compose the rules of society.  Before that, if before that is even considered, kings ruled arbitrarily with absolute power, always fighting wars and throwing people in dungeons.

But the idea that law is either the will of the king or the work of the legislature is a very recent idea, arising  in America at least, in the early 20th century with the Wilsonian concept of democracy as a transcendental ideal and the ultimate "good" form of government..

Today, while reading, On the Impossibility of Limited Government and the Prospects for a Second American Revolution by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, I came across a reference to Kingship and Law in the Middle Ages By F. Kern.  Translated by S. B. Chrimes. 2nd imps., 1949.

I did a little digging and found this nugget.

The idea is that law is independent of kings and legislatures, that like the rules of logic derived from axiomatic first principles, the law is the logical structure derived the from the moral principles of human interaction.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Society of Mutual Benefactors

An excerpt from It's a Jetsons World.

By Jeffrey Tucker

Checking out at the grocery store the other day, I paid for my sack of rolls. The checkout person handed me my bag.

"Thank you," I said.

"You're welcome," she replied.

I walked away with a sense that something was wrong. Do check- out people usually say, "You're welcome," and nothing else? Not usually.

Usually they say, "Thank you," same as the customer says. (Remember, we are talking about the American South, land of politeness, here.)

I was left with an inchoate sense of: "Hey, I did something for you too."

When do we say, "You're welcome"? We say that when we give a gift (a good or service) to a person without receiving anything in return. For example, I might hold a door for a person. That person says, "Thank you," and I say, "You're welcome." Another time might be at a birthday party when the recipient of a gift expresses thanks.

These are one-way examples of benefaction. We are giving but not necessarily getting anything tangible in return. What makes the case of the commercial exchange different? Why do both parties say, "Thank you"? It's because each side gives a gift to the other.

When I bought those rolls, this is precisely what happened. I saw rolls available and I decided that the rolls were worth more to me than the $2 I had in my pocket. From the store's point of view, the $2 was worth more than the rolls being given. Both parties walk away with a sense of being better off than they were before the exchange took place.

The checkout person is there to facilitate this exchange and speak as a proxy for the interests of the store. The store was receiving a gift of money (more highly valued than the rolls) and I was receiving the rolls (more highly valued from my point of view than the $2 I gave up to get them).

This is the essence of exchange and the core magic of what happens millions, billions, trillions of times every day all over the world. It happens in every single economic exchange that is undertaken by virtue of human choice. Both sides benefit.

Each side is a benefactor to the other side. This system of mutual benefaction, unrelenting and universal, leads to betterment all around. It increases the sense of personal welfare, which is to say, it increases social welfare when everyone is involved in the activity.

To be sure, a person might change his mind later. I might arrive home with my rolls and discover that I'm out of butter and that I would have been better off buying half as many rolls and using the rest of my money to buy butter. I might decide to drop bread from my diet. I might conclude that rolls are really not that tasty. All these things can happen.

Such is the nature of the universe that the future is uncertain and human beings are inclined to be fickle. But at least at the time of the exchange, I believed I was better off, else I would not have made the exchange in the first place. I walked away with a sense of gain. The store owners had the same sense of gain. We both expect to gain, which is enough to recommend the exchange system, since no social system can guarantee a happy outcome for every action.

Now, if all of this seems obvious and not even worth pointing out, consider that most philosophers in the history of the world have missed this point. Aristotle, for example, reflected at length in his Nicomachean Ethics on the issue of economic exchange, but he started with the assumption that exchange takes place when valuation is equal or commensurate. But what about cases in which it seems obviously incommensurate, such as when highly valued and rare physician services are traded for something widely available like corn? Aristotle believed that the existence of money serves to somehow equalize the exchange and make it happen, when it should be apparent that money itself is only a good introduced to make exchange more convenient.

The problem he faced was his initial premise that economic exchange is based on the equal value of items in the exchange. This is just wrong.

If two people value goods equally, an exchange would never take place, since no individual could be made better off than before. If exchange is based on equal value, people are merely wasting time engaging­ in it at all. Exchange in the real world is based on unequal valuations of goods and expectation of being made better off. It is a matter of two people who give each other gifts in their own self-interest.

The discovery of the correct theory of exchange had to wait until the late Middle Ages when the followers of St. Thomas Aquinas saw the logic for the first time. They saw that economic exchange was mutually beneficial, with each party to the exchange seeing an increase in personal welfare, subjectively perceived. Therefore the action of exchange on its own becomes a means of increasing the well-being of all people. Even if there is no new physical property available, no new innovations, no new productivity, wealth can be increased by the mere fact of exchange-based human associations.

As with many postulates of economics, this seems very obvious once you see it but it is evidently not obvious at all. In fact, I've observed that many people's underappreciation of the contribution of the market order is rooted in the perception that buying and selling stuff really amounts to nothing wonderful at all. It is just a swirl of churning and burning for the sake of nothing in particular. Society could easily do away with it and be no worse off.

I have a hard time figuring out what people who believe this are thinking. Let's say that I proposed abolishing gift giving. Wouldn't it be obvious that society would be worse off if I got my way? We would no longer enjoy the material manifestation of the appreciation of others, and we would all be denied the chance to show others our appreciation of them.

Well, if it is true, as I've argued, that an economic exchange is a two- way gift, an instance of mutual benefaction that is pervasive throughout society, it becomes clear that society would be completely sunk without as many opportunities as possible for economic exchange. Anyone who champions the well-being of society should especially celebrate commercial centers, stock markets, international trade, and every sector in which money changes hands in exchange for assets or goods. It means nothing more than that people are finding ways to help each other get by and thrive.

As sixteenth-century Spanish theologian Bartolomé de Albornoz, known mostly for his opposition to slavery, wrote,

Buying and selling is the nerve of human life that sustains the universe. By means of buying and selling the world is united, joining distant lands and nations, people of different languages, laws and ways of life. If it were not for these contracts, some would lack the goods that others have in abundance and they would not be able to share the goods that they have in excess with those countries where they are scarce.
However, if we do not quite see the underlying logic of exchange and how it works to help everyone, it is easy to underappreciate what market trading means to society. This is a tendency in the circles that discuss issues of social justice. The market is rarely given the credit it deserves for helping humanity improve its lot. In fact, the market is nothing but the cooperative interaction of humanity in improving the commonweal.

The fallacy of value equivalence in exchange has been refuted for some 500 years, and yet it keeps reappearing. Economics is one of those sciences that require careful thought. It can't be quickly intuited from a handful of moral postulates. It must be studied and understood with deductive tools and patient delineation of a wide range of concepts. It is because of this that economics as a science was so late in developing. But it is not too late for us to understand.

The understanding of economics leads to a direct appreciation of the contribution of free markets to the well-being of all. If you read something that seems to disparage the market economy, it is more than likely that a fallacy such as the above is at the root.

At some point today, you will undoubtedly engage in some economic exchange. Use the opportunity to reflect on what a glorious dynamic underlies it. You can say, "Thank you." The person who takes your money can say, "Thank you." Such opportunities account for most of the peace and prosperity we enjoy this side of heaven.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Share this everywhere.

This is a very good video.  It is worthy to be shared widely.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

From FOFOA: An American Horror Story

Dear Diary,
Today I awoke to the news that the dollar is no longer acceptable in settlement for the purchase of foreign goods from foreigners. This news was immediately disconcerting because I have hundreds of thousands of these dollars saved up over the past 30+ years, and I'm planning to retire soon. 
The President was on all channels assuring us that this is not a big deal, and certainly meaningless unless we're planning to buy a foreign car or travel abroad. My dollars, he said, will still be "as good as gold" here in the United States. The US, he said, has the most important economy in the world, and the dollar is our currency. The government, he said, would not miss a beat. The government, he said, can never run out of money. Our dollars are safe. 
The President said that this news today was only because of the international money speculators who, because they thrive on crises, help to create them. He said that these "speculators" have declared war on the American dollar. He said that this is extremely foolish because the American economy has the largest GDP and also because the American government can never run out of money. 
So, in response, he has directed his people to halt all international payments except those deemed to be in the vital interest of the United States. And for those deemed vital, he said that any government agency can independently authorize payments of any size needed to keep the vital foreign goods flowing in. America won't be held hostage by either our own internal budgets or foreign currency exchanges, he said. 
I'm not generally one to panic at anything, but even as reassuring as the President's words were, I started to panic. So after a little reflection I decided that I needed to call in sick to work and run out to stock up on a few last-minute necessities, just in case. What I found was deeply troubling. 
Many stores were simply closed for the day, and the ones that were still open were overrun with people who, I guess, had the same idea as me. Most of the stuff on my list was already gone from the shelves. So I went back home to call my broker. 
I've been talking about a dollar collapse and buying gold for weeks now. Ugh. And I've been reading about it for months, but I was so sure that this was just one of many possibilities. And even if it happened, all signs seemed to be pointing to 2014 or later, so I was goddam cocksure that I had plenty of time before making a big move. To my credit, I did at least have my broker sell all of my bonds and put the proceeds into cash and money markets, just so I could move quickly into gold on a good dip. 
I called my broker to make sure it was still liquid, what with the news and all. He said it is, as long as I'm not planning an international transfer. Next I called the largest gold dealer in my state, the one that had been recommended to me. But he said that he is only buying today, not selling. He said he couldn't make any sales because his suppliers aren't quoting sell prices today to replace his inventory. He said I should try again tomorrow. I tried a couple more dealers and got the same run-around. WTF?
So here I sit, writing this pathetic entry. I'm not sure what comes next, and I am literally beside myself in confusion, dismay, dread, despair and regret. I cannot decide what to feel. I have this deeply foreboding sense that I really screwed up this time. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what tomorrow will bring. But I think I already know. 
The dollar is crashing abroad and my government's response is going to compound the problem taking it to depths never before imagined in a global reserve currency. My retirement money is already as good as gone. It's not gone, but it is now trapped while being sapped of all real value. It is trapped because I waited one day too long, even though I knew what I wanted to do with it. This is the real world, and there is no reward for knowing, only for doing. I didn't do, and now I will have to face whatever reality delivers while knowing what I knew. What an absolute horror. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fighting fire with fire?

"This essay is written to serve as an introduction to everyone about the possibilities of civilian drone technology.  You will need to do technical research on your own.  Please note, what you choose to do with your drone is your own business."

DIY Drones on the Homestead

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Webster Tarpley.


Webster Tarpley: Libertarianism  = Neo-Feudalism: Peter Thiel.  Ron Paul = Fascism.

Adam does a good job of defending a voluntary society.

Tarpley is kind of a douche.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Difference

Foreign policy: We agree. We love American military power and will extol it every chance we get to score points with patriotic voters. America should continue to police the world, bully other nations, and fight undeclared wars.

Unemployment: We agree. It is government's role to manage the economy and create jobs. What kind of nut case doesn't know that?

Medicare and Social Security: We agree. We love them. Taxing young people to pay for old people's retirement checks and government-rationed medical care is the American way. We should continue it forever.

Taxes: We agree. We love them. We will always claim that we'll give the middle class a break because that's where the votes are. People are too stupid to understand that "loophole" is just another name for "deduction," so it's a slam dunk that they will cheer when we promise to get rid of them. Then--surprise!--their taxes go up even though the rate went down! Such a deal! We will fiddle with the tax code to get votes and to manipulate people's economic behavior, but the one thing we will never do is question the morality or efficacy of taxing the pants off of productive people in the first place.

Afghanistan: We agree. Our troops are wonderful. Voters feel good when we say that. Did we mention how brave they are? With just a little more training, the people whose country the US government invaded and is now occupying will be able to provide their own security so we can leave--sort of. Foreigners love it when we help them like this. Fragging is but one way they show their appreciation.

Syria and Libya: We agree. Khadafy had to go. Assad has to go. Voters think we're cool when we say somebody "has to go." Phrases like "slaughtered his own people" help too. Supporting killers in other countries at the expense of productive Americans is a splendid idea, especially when we aren't sure who the killers are, who they might kill, or what they aim to accomplish. If we assure voters that we won't put "boots on the ground," they'll think we are soooo reasonable and restrained. A nice bonus is that these adventures always create more instability that we will have to fix later. Hey defense contractor campaign contributors, can we hear a big "cha-ching" from ya?

Abortion: We agree. We love this issue because we know that questions about the role of government in this will never be resolved, since they boil down to a fundamental disagreement over what constitutes an individual life. Thank goodness this tool will always be there when we need it to demonize opponents and whip up our base.

The tone of the campaign: We agree. God bless the hero who asked the question. Hero, hero, hero! We never get tired of saying that word. Voters get tears in their eyes when they hear it, and voters with tears in their eyes tend not to notice that our policies are exactly the same. Only the other guy engages in negative campaigning. Our side simply cites the record and tells the truth.

What I could give to this country that no one else could: That would be my unique ability to manage the biggest government in the history of the planet so it can fix all problems. Unemployment, poverty, the shrinking wealth of the middle class--government can fix those things and more if you'll just put my team in charge. Hey, how about that, we agree!

In conclusion: We agree! Things are bad. But cheer up: government can fix it! More debt! More deficits! More deceit! More drones! More dead foreigners! God bless America! Oh, and remember: There is a huge difference between Republicans and Democrats. Never in the history of Our Sacred Democracy have there been differences that are more differenter, so everybody vote!

[Hat tip to Lew Rockwell and Roland Walkenhorst]

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Quote of the Day, October 11, 2012

"There is no such thing as 'government investment.' All government spending is consumption spending, not investment. An investor is someone who puts up his own money, takes a risk, and reaps the profits or suffers the losses from his decisions. No politician or bureaucrat ever puts up his own money, takes on any personal risk whatsoever, or is punished with financial losses for his bad decisions. In fact, his bad decisions are routinely subsidized by taxpayers for decades on end with no negative personal consequences to him. ~Thomas J. DiLorenzo

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

America is Dead

I ran across this on TFMetalsReport.com today...

1950's - one wage earner for a four-person family. Mortgage paid off in 25/30years. Comfortable retirement.

1960's - one wage earner (plus overtime) for a four-person family. Mortgage paid off in 25/30years. Comfortable retirement.

1970's - two wage earners (plus overtime) for a four-person family. Mortgage paid off in 25/30years. Modest retirement in own home.

1980's - two wage earners (plus overtime) for a four-person family. Mortgage not paid off - has to be rolled. Sell home on retirement for a modest retirement experience in a retirement home.

1990's - two wage earners (plus overtime) for a four-person family. Mortgage interst-only basis. Sell home on retirement for a modest retirement experience.

2000's - two wage earners (plus overtime) for a four-person family. Mortgage interest-only basis plus necessity to make repeated "equity" drawdowns from housing value in order to enjoy life and send the kids to college. Sell home on "retirement" from main job. Continue working in deadbeat store/Mc-job until drop dead in harness.
I'm not sure if the poster has actual stats to back it up, but it sure sounds about right to me.

This was my response...

I was born in 1955. My grandparents raised me and two older siblings. My grandfather had worked for DuPont since the 1930s. In 1963 he sold the house they'd had since before I was born because it was too small. He bought a 5 bedroom house with a finished basement on a double lot for $20,000! He retired a couple of years later and died of a heart attack not long after. My grandmother collected his pension until she died in 2002 at 97 years old. She was able to keep that house and put my older brother and sister through college. (I didn't go that route, but joined the Air Force). After we were all on our own she was able to buy a four-plex. When she got to old to run it she sold it and moved in with my sister. She pretty much kept my sister and brother in-law out of poverty. When she was too infirm to live at home she moved into a nice assisted care/hospice and finally departed this world in peace after living on her late husband's pension for almost 40 years! My grandfather was not an executive or anything like that. He helped maintain his plant's power systems. That was a very typical blue collar job back in the day.

I probably earn at least 5 times what my grandfather made and I'm lucky to be able to afford the rent on the second floor of a private home. I have about two or three months buffer in my bank account, not counting my stack, and unless my metal makes me a bazillion dollars in the great collapse, my retirement plans are work until I can't, then hope I can still play the guitar well enough to do some busking at DC Metro stops. (If my dreams of subsistence farming don't pan out).

America is dead.

Monday, October 8, 2012

China and Gold

While Federal Reserve is pumping 40 to 60 billion fiat dollars into the economy and Ben Bernanke calls gold "tradition" and "an awful big waste of resources" to mine, the Chinese are loading up with the wasteful tradition.
There are two important reasons why any of this matters. First, the scale of China’s gold initiative is unprecedented in world history. This alone should make us take notice. Second, China is signaling that the currency wars of the past decade are changing. Soon, the battle will be influenced by gold. Here in the West, we cling to the notion that our experiment with floating exchange rates and unreserved currencies will somehow save the day. We forget that it was only 41 years ago, when the US suspended dollar-gold convertibility, that our current system was born. China suffers from no such delusion. It is voting with its wallet that the experiment has failed. It is preparing for the demise of the US dollar.
Read the rest here.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Why I am not a constitutionalist.

This is a reiteration of an earlier post with a bit more of a contextual wrapping.

Many libertarians and small government conservatives have this notion that if a strict contructionist view of the U.S. Constitution were just followed the American Republic could be restored and things would be great. So let's read some of it just as it was written.

Article 1, Section 1
All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress...

Law is not created, it is discovered. And it was discovered long before the US Constitution was written.

Assault, murder, theft and fraud are crimes. Any behavior that that does not fall into one of those categories is lawful, regardless of what anyone says. The question of whether or not a person is guilty of one of those crimes and the punishment for them is decided by a judge and/or jury acceptable to the all parties disputing the question, not by whoever won the latest popularity contest.

Article 1, Section 8
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes...
To borrow money on the credit of the United States...

By what moral authority are they able to take my wealth or go into debt and hold me liable for it? I never signed on to that, did you?

I'm not even going to go into war making powers, the control of money and that ever so wonderful "general welfare" thing.

If you can find the flaw in the following reasoning, please point it out. If you can you might just make a constitutionalist out of me. If you can't then you are perfectly free to feel bound by a contract you did not sign, just don't expect me to do the same.

"...once there is no longer free entry into the business of the production of protection and adjudication, the price of protection and justice will rise and their quality will fall. Rather than being a protector and judge, a compulsory monopolist will become a protection racketeer--the destroyer and invader of the people and property that he is supposed to protect, a warmonger, and an imperialist.

"Indeed, the inflated price of protection and the perversion of the ancient law by the English king, both of which had led the American colonists to revolt, were the inevitable result of compulsory monopoly. Having successfully seceded and thrown out the British occupiers, it would only have been necessary for the American colonists to let the existing homegrown institutions of self-defense and private (voluntary and cooperative) protection and adjudication by specialized agents and agencies take care of law and order.

"This did not happen, however. The Americans not only did not let the inherited royal institutions of colonies and colonial governments wither away into oblivion; they reconstituted them within the old political borders in the form of independent states, each equipped with its own coercive (unilateral) taxing and legislative powers. While this would have been bad enough, the new Americans made matters worse by adopting the American Constitution and replacing a loose confederation of independent states with the central (federal) government of the United States.

"This Constitution provided for the substitution of a popularly elected parliament and president for an unelected king, but it changed nothing regarding their power to tax and legislate. To the contrary, while the English king's power to tax without consent had only been assumed rather than explicitly granted and was thus in dispute, the Constitution explicitly granted this very power to Congress. Furthermore, while kings--in theory, even absolute kings--had not been considered the makers but only the interpreters and executors of preexisting and immutable law, i.e., as judges rather than legislators, the Constitution explicitly vested Congress with the power of legislating, and the president and the Supreme Court with the powers of executing and interpreting such legislated law.

"In effect, what the American Constitution did was only this: Instead of a king who regarded colonial America as his private property and the colonists as his tenants, the Constitution put temporary and interchangeable caretakers in charge of the country's monopoly of justice and protection.

"These caretakers did not own the country, but as long as they were in office, they could make use of it and its residents to their own and their protégés' advantage. However, as elementary economic theory predicts, this institutional setup will not eliminate the self-interest-driven tendency of a monopolist of law and order toward increased exploitation. To the contrary, it only tends to make his exploitation less calculating, more shortsighted, and wasteful." ~Hans-Hermann Hoppe, On the Impossibility of Limited Government

What the U.S. Constitution did was take powers that absolute monarchs had usurped, that they had always been criticized for, and legitimized them. The natural opposition such powers had always fostered was blunted by giving the illusion, through voting, that anyone could now become an exploiter and enjoy the benefits of legalized plunder. Because of the disincentive and dis-utility of labor people will always choose the political means over the economic means when given the chance to do so. The U.S. Constitution provides those political means. As Lysander Spooner said, "...it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist."

Friday, October 5, 2012

The most concise critique of the US Constitution I have ever read

From the mind of the man I consider to be the greatest living philosopher and economist.

"...the inflated price of protection and the perversion of the ancient law by the English king, both of which had led the American colonists to revolt, were the inevitable result of compulsory monopoly. Having successfully seceded and thrown out the British occupiers, it would only have been necessary for the American colonists to let the existing homegrown institutions of self-defense and private (voluntary and cooperative) protection and adjudication by specialized agents and agencies take care of law and order.

"This did not happen, however. The Americans not only did not let the inherited royal institutions of colonies and colonial governments wither away into oblivion; they reconstituted them within the old political borders in the form of independent states, each equipped with its own coercive (unilateral) taxing and legislative powers. While this would have been bad enough, the new Americans made matters worse by adopting the American Constitution and replacing a loose confederation of independent states with the central (federal) government of the United States.

"This Constitution provided for the substitution of a popularly elected parliament and president for an unelected king, but it changed nothing regarding their power to tax and legislate. To the contrary, while the English king's power to tax without consent had only been assumed rather than explicitly granted and was thus in dispute, the Constitution explicitly granted this very power to Congress. Furthermore, while kings — in theory, even absolute kings — had not been considered the makers but only the interpreters and executors of preexisting and immutable law, i.e., as judges rather than legislators, the Constitution explicitly vested Congress with the power of legislating, and the president and the Supreme Court with the powers of executing and interpreting such legislated law.

"In effect, what the American Constitution did was only this: Instead of a king who regarded colonial America as his private property and the colonists as his tenants, the Constitution put temporary and interchangeable caretakers in charge of the country's monopoly of justice and protection.

"These caretakers did not own the country, but as long as they were in office, they could make use of it and its residents to their own and their protégés' advantage. However, as elementary economic theory predicts, this institutional setup will not eliminate the self-interest-driven tendency of a monopolist of law and order toward increased exploitation. To the contrary, it only tends to make his exploitation less calculating, more shortsighted, and wasteful." ~Hans-Hermann Hoppe, On the Impossibility of Limited Government

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Listen and Learn

What Has Government Done to Our Money?

By Murray Rothbard

Why I Want a Democratic Landslide

Why I Want a Democratic Landslide

I want to see the Democrats win all the way around; the Presidency, the Senate and the House of Representatives. It is not for the reasons you might think. I have no illusions. I do not think they will do anything to address any of the issues I consider important. I think they will do all the wrong things and it will accomplish nothing but to make things worse. Not that I think the Republicans are any better. They would also accomplish nothing either.

I have no doubt that the United States are headed for a financial crisis that will make 2008 look life a picnic. None of the underlying issues that rose to the surface then have been addressed.1 They have simply been papered over with lies and flimflammery. Sound and fury signifying nothing.

The problem is the media and the punditry have created a false narrative. Voters have been told that there is a clear choice. On one side is a Democratic party that believes government should take extraordinary measures to stimulate the economy and alleviate the effects of unregulated greed among the big Wall Street banks. On the other side is a Republican party offering radical free market policies that would cut government spending to the bone and take us back to gilded age of robber barons and sweatshops.

The portrayal of the Democrats is for the most part accurate. They really do believe that government should act despite the fact that every time such policies have been enacted they have failed. One only has to compare the responses to the depression of 1920 to those 1929. One resulted in a quick recovery, the other lead to fifteen years of stagnation was only relieved by the demobilization at the end of World War II and the explosion of prosperity in the 1950s brought about by the reduction of federal economic management.2

It is the image of the Republicans that bothers me. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are being portrayed as champions of free markets. Nothing could be further than the truth. Ryan's proposed budget has been criticized as drastic.3 The truth is even Fox News recognizes that Ryan's "budget plan doesn't actually slash the budget."4 In reality, the Republicans wouldn't know a real budget cutting plan if it were presented to them.5

However, the people who vote don't look at details, they listen to the sound bites and rhetoric that tell them what they want to hear. Herein is the source of my desire for a Democratic landslide. As I said, I believe the worst is yet to come. There will be a collapse worse than 2008 and if Romney is President what the majority of the people will believe is that the “free market” plan did not work. All they will know is Romney's “radical capitalism” caused a disaster and the very idea of genuine free market solutions will be set back for decades, if not generations. My hope is that if the Democrats are in charge when the collapse comes the idea of government as an economic savior will collapse as well and that maybe a real free market solution6 will have a chance.

  1. State or Private-Law Society, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

Slave food

For the past few months, as I have begun trying to follow the Primal Diet, the though has occurred to me that grain is slave food.  If became a staple of the human diet in the relatively recent past, with the advent of the Neolithic Revolution and the first historical states, when elites established themselves and exploited the agricultural peasants.  I thought the grain = slave food idea was one not many people would grasp, so it was a pleasant surprise to see this today...
It came to me like a revelation on my morning commute: Bread is a tool of the state. It sounds crazy, I know, but it is clear, and in the weeks since then, the "staff of life," the very symbol of food itself, has become to me a symbol of the domestication of humankind. It has also suggested one more way I can work to strengthen the individual and weaken the state...
Read the rest here...

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Quote of the Day, September 29, 2012

"For a rule to aspire to the rank of a law--a just rule--it is necessary that such a rule apply equally and universally to everyone." ~Hans-Hermann Hoppe

The Genius of Hans-Hermann Hoppe

I am currently reading The Great Fiction, by Hans-Herman Hoppe.  At the end of the first chapter I came across this gem of a thought experiment.  In my mind it is one of the most devastating and bullet proof arguments against the necessity or even the utility of the state.  Hoppe suggests that whenever one is debating a statist one present it.  I intend to do just that.  

I suggest that you always and persistently confront [statists] with the following riddle. Assume a group of people, aware of the possibility of conflicts between them. Someone then proposes, as a solution to this human problem, that he (or someone) be made the ultimate arbiter in any such case of conflict, including those conflicts in which he is involved. Is this is a deal that you would accept? I am confident that he will be considered either a joker or mentally unstable. Yet this is precisely what all statists propose.

This is intellectual Kung Fu at it's finest.


Monday, September 24, 2012

More Portents for Katie Rose

More news from Katie Rose on the alfalfa front.

more on alfalfa and grass hay

After putting the goats out to pasture I drove down the hill to the local hay dealer. I just have a gut feeling I am going to want one more ton. Folks had told me he still had hay.
What he does is grow about 2000 acres of alfalfa and then buys copious amounts from other farmers - some here, some in Montana, and some around Yakima/ Ellensburg. I usually avoid him as I'm not certain that his bale weights are accurate.
I drove in and it was eerily empty. He had no alfalfa at all. None. Then I asked him about grass hay, and he told me he had "just a little bit." He went on to tell me that he had just called his regular suppliers in Montana, asking for a few semi truckloads. He was told that the ranchers had sold all their hay "for quite a bit more" than he was used to paying. He could locate no hay, and the 2000 acres he grew has been sold to local folks like me.
Then he looked at me with this shocked, befuddled look and said, "Folks who haven't gotten their hay aren't going to get any. Come Spring..." he just shook his head, whistled and walked away.
I ran out of hay last spring, and came running to him. I wonder how many of his regular customers are planning on him having hay for them when they run out?
I have been fretting and fretting about stacking alfalfa instead of PM's this Fall. Now I am extremely grateful I chose alfalfa.
The hay really is all gone.

Minarchy vs. Anarchy

My problem with this video is the idolization of the Constitution and the Founding Fathers. People don't seem to realize that if we were to go back to the kind of limited government they think they want it would just start all over again. The following snippet from a debate between Stefan Molyneux and Michael Badnarik on the relative merits of Anarchy vs. Minarchy summarizes the issue well

This graphic, also from Molyneux, expresses the idea succinctly.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I've probably posted something like this before

But it bears repeating. Often.

When we are children we all are taught what I consider to be a pretty good set of rules:
1)Don't hit or hurt people. Violence doesn't solve anything.
2)Don't lie.
3)Don't take other people's stuff.
For the most part kids get it.
The problem is for the next twelve years or so we are taught all the exceptions:
1)Unless you are a soldier or a cop.
2)Unless is for national security, to prevent a panic or to protect someone's feelings.
3)Unless you call it taxes, asset forfeiture or eminent domain.
One set of rules for the common folk, another set for our leaders.
If morality doesn't apply to everyone it is not morality, it is ideology and propaganda.
Is it any wonder most people can be lead around by their noses?  They have no firm principle to stand on.

Just War

Good Stuff From Chris Duane

100 Things That Disappear First

1. Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. Noisy...target of thieves; maintenance etc.)
2. Water Filters/Purifiers
3. Portable Toilets
4. Seasoned Firewood. Wood takes about 6 - 12 months to become dried, for home uses.
5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First Choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!)
6. Coleman Fuel. Impossible to stockpile too much.
7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats & Slingshots.
8. Hand-can openers, & hand egg beaters, whisks.
9. Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugar
10. Rice - Beans - Wheat
11. Vegetable Oil (for cooking) Without it food burns/must be boiled etc.,)
12. Charcoal, Lighter Fluid (Will become scarce suddenly)
13. Water Containers (Urgent Item to obtain.) Any size. Small: HARD CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY - note - food grade if for drinking.
14. Mini Heater head (Propane) (Without this item, propane won't heat a room.)
15. Grain Grinder (Non-electric)
16. Propane Cylinders (Urgent: Definite shortages will occur.
17. Survival Guide Book.
18. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. (Without this item, longer-term lighting is difficult.)
19. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula. ointments/aspirin, etc.
20. Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry)
21. Cookstoves (Propane, Coleman & Kerosene)
22. Vitamins
23. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder (Urgent: Small canister use is dangerous without this item)
24. Feminine Hygiene/Haircare/Skin products.
25. Thermal underwear (Tops & Bottoms)
26. Bow saws, axes and hatchets, Wedges (also, honing oil)
27. Aluminum Foil Reg. & Heavy Duty (Great Cooking and Barter Item)
28. Gasoline Containers (Plastic & Metal)
29. Garbage Bags (Impossible To Have Too Many).
30. Toilet Paper, Kleenex, Paper Towels
31. Milk - Powdered & Condensed (Shake Liquid every 3 to 4 months)
32. Garden Seeds (Non-Hybrid) (A MUST)
33. Clothes pins/line/hangers (A MUST)
34. Coleman's Pump Repair Kit
35. Tuna Fish (in oil)
36. Fire Extinguishers (or..large box of Baking Soda in every room)
37. First aid kits
38. Batteries (all sizes...buy furthest-out for Expiration Dates)
39. Garlic, spices & vinegar, baking supplies
40. Big Dogs (and plenty of dog food)
41. Flour, yeast & salt
42. Matches. {"Strike Anywhere" preferred.) Boxed, wooden matches will go first
43. Writing paper/pads/pencils, solar calculators
44. Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in Wintertime.)
45. Workboots, belts, Levis & durable shirts
46. Flashlights/LIGHTSTICKS & torches, "No. 76 Dietz" Lanterns
47. Journals, Diaries & Scrapbooks (jot down ideas, feelings, experience; Historic Times)
48. Garbage cans Plastic (great for storage, water, transporting - if with wheels)
49. Men's Hygiene: Shampoo, Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash/floss, nail clippers, etc
50. Cast iron cookware (sturdy, efficient)
51. Fishing supplies/tools
52. Mosquito coils/repellent, sprays/creams
53. Duct Tape
54. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes
55. Candles
56. Laundry Detergent (liquid)
57. Backpacks, Duffel Bags
58. Garden tools & supplies
59. Scissors, fabrics & sewing supplies
60. Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, stews, etc.
61. Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)
62. Canning supplies, (Jars/lids/wax)
63. Knives & Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel
64. Bicycles...Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc
65. Sleeping Bags & blankets/pillows/mats
66. Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered)
67. Board Games, Cards, Dice
68. d-con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer
69. Mousetraps, Ant traps & cockroach magnets
70. Paper plates/cups/utensils (stock up, folks)
71. Baby wipes, oils, waterless & Antibacterial soap (saves a lot of water)
72. Rain gear, rubberized boots, etc.
73. Shaving supplies (razors & creams, talc, after shave)
74. Hand pumps & siphons (for water and for fuels)
75. Soysauce, vinegar, bullions/gravy/soupbase
76. Reading glasses
77. Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers)
78. "Survival-in-a-Can"
79. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens
80. Boy Scout Handbook, / also Leaders Catalog
81. Roll-on Window Insulation Kit (MANCO)
82. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, Trail mix/Jerky
83. Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Nuts
84. Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras)
85. Lumber (all types)
86. Wagons & carts (for transport to and from)
87. Cots & Inflatable mattress's
88. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.
89. Lantern Hangers
90. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws,, nuts & bolts
91. Teas
92. Coffee
93. Cigarettes
94. Wine/Liquors (for bribes, medicinal, etc,)
95. Paraffin wax
96. Glue, nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc.
97. Chewing gum/candies
98. Atomizers (for cooling/bathing)
99. Hats & cotton neckerchiefs
100. Goats/chickens

From a Sarajevo War Survivor:
Experiencing horrible things that can happen in a war - death of parents and
friends, hunger and malnutrition, endless freezing cold, fear, sniper attacks.

1. Stockpiling helps. but you never no how long trouble will last, so locate
    near renewable food sources.
2. Living near a well with a manual pump is like being in Eden.
3. After awhile, even gold can lose its luster. But there is no luxury in war
   quite like toilet paper. Its surplus value is greater than gold's.
4. If you had to go without one utility, lose electricity - it's the easiest to
   do without (unless you're in a very nice climate with no need for heat.)
5. Canned foods are awesome, especially if their contents are tasty without
    heating. One of the best things to stockpile is canned gravy - it makes a lot of
    the dry unappetizing things you find to eat in war somewhat edible. Only needs
    enough heat to "warm", not to cook. It's cheap too, especially if you buy it in
6. Bring some books - escapist ones like romance or mysteries become more
    valuable as the war continues. Sure, it's great to have a lot of survival
    guides, but you'll figure most of that out on your own anyway - trust me, you'll
    have a lot of time on your hands.
7. The feeling that you're human can fade pretty fast. I can't tell you how many
    people I knew who would have traded a much needed meal for just a little bit of
    toothpaste, rouge, soap or cologne. Not much point in fighting if you have to
    lose your humanity. These things are morale-builders like nothing else.
8. Slow burning candles and matches, matches, matches


Monday, September 17, 2012

Yeah, it's like that.

Katie Rose is not the only wise person posting in "Turdville." I'd like to offer the following from a fellow who goes by the name of California Lawyer.

Yeah, It's Like That

By California Lawyer
As seen on tfmetalsreport.com
September 17, 2012

One of my favorite movies, Training Day, has that line. The scene is where Jake and Alonzo have their fight and confrontation at the end of the movie. In a split second, the power shifts. Alonzo asks the neighborhood leader, Bone: "It's like that, Bone?" Bone says "yeah, it's like that."

It is mesmerizing, and fantastically powerful, watching the power ebb from the once untouchable Alonzo, to the rookie cop and the neighborhood leader who announces to Jake "go on and bounce up out of here homie, we got your back." The now powerless Alonzo, realizes he just lost EVERYTHING, gets petulant, while the neighborhood citizens, realizing what just happened, walk away understanding that everything just changed.

We in turdville, are at that moment. Bernanke is Alonzo, doing the bidding of TPTB. Us turdites are like the neighborhood citizens, watching, realizing what just happened, with QE to infinity, MOPE, rumors of war, uprisings in the middle east, sabre rattling over Iran, drones, Hillary the warmonger, all of it. Who is Jake? Turd? Anyhow, that is how I see it. Now for the analysis.

Let's all operate from the same macro understanding.

(1) There is a system of global governance, banking, military, what not.

(2) That system is controlled, as opposed to being random.

(3) Those in charge of the system desire to keep the system in place, that is, to perpetuate the system, rather than see it collapse. This desire to perpetuate the system includes recognition of the ending of the current paradigm, to be replaced by another permutation of the system, allowing those in charge to remain in charge.

(4) As a result, those in charge, understand that there are but three methods to maintain system stability, that is, to keep the system from uncontrolled collapse, which collapse WILL occur from the accumulation of DEBT which cannot ever be repaid:

a-dilution of the existing fiat currency to prop up the system, that is, repaying debt by devaluing the currency and stealing from savers by inflation;

b-default on sovereign debt to prop up the system, that is, forgiveness of debt by creditors, or insolvency; or


Choose one.

We are there now, clearly.

Fiat devaluation has been ongoing for years, and has grown exponential, including since 2008. There is a race to the bottom, says Jim Rickards, proven correct time and time again.

Default or forgiveness is not an option, since the entire system in intertwined by massive derivatives. That is, each unit of debt translates to trillions of derivatives, each of which to be viable requires that the underlying debt NOT default, or else the derivative explodes into worthlessness.

That leaves WAR.

Look backwards in time.

The great depression, societal collapse, and a changing paradigm, from agrarian to production in factories, cities. Collapse was ongoing, and FDR radically altered the landscape. When FDR's fixes proved unable to solve the problems, including confiscation and devaluing the currency, the only solution left was WAR. Debts were thus defaulted/forgiven/repaid in blood and treasure. The world changed.

Economic prosperity ensued, because the US was the world's economic engine. That paradigm lasted for a while, then it changed, of course.

Currently, we have a basic world structure:

(1) Producers of size with regard to goods, China, BRICs, rest of the third world;

(2) Consumers of size with regard to goods and energy, USA, Europe, Japan, China;

(3) Producers of size with regard to resources, Africa, China, Russia;

(4) Producers of size with regard to energy, OPEC, Russia, etc.

EACH needs the other in this global world. NONE individually can go it alone any more.

The producers of goods need resources, energy and consumers. If there is a fall off in ONE of the three, chaos ensues, and those in charge face revolution and death.

The consumers need cheap goods, cheap energy, and the means to consume; hence, fiat devaluation and credit, since labor prices have fallen off the cliff, the unproductive outnumber the productive, and those in charge use bread and circuses to control the masses by propaganda and distraction and MOPE. Without consumers, the producers collapse. The producers holding the fiat, face ruin, revolution, and societal upheaval, including death to those in charge.

Producers of energy need producers of goods and consumers, or else the energy produced falls in price due to collapsing demand. Revolution likely ensues, see Venezuela. Shifting alliances of political and tribal factions are on balance, insignificant, but are useful as distractions.

Putting it all together reveals:

(1) The USA is the consumer part of the puzzle. Those in charge will keep it this way, for now.

(2) China produces goods, and will keep it this way for now, with India the other third world countries with their cheap labor continuing to produce at rates the USA cannot match.

(3) Energy and resources continue to be the shifting targets, with each pillar of the system dependent upon cheap energy.

(4) In balance, all players mutually benefit the others. Out of balance, there is chaos.

(5) The US military is the enforcer. So long as the US military engages and keeps the order, the other countries will accept and hold our worthless fiat. If the USA reneges, then the fiat system collapses. If the holders of fiat try to dump them, the USA will not support those in charge, and revolutions and coups will result.

See, simple?

What then, when there is too much fiat sloshing all around? Food prices get too high, citizenry goes hungry, risk of revolution and death of leaders. Cannot have that, no sir.

So, the world needs a distraction, and a reset.

WAR IS COMING, as certain as I sit here and type this.

Please, please prepare...

Are you listening?

More wisdom from Katie Rose

When I read this earlier today it made me weep.

We are headed for war.

This time it will be different. We have lost our factories and steel mills. We have lost our shoe manufacturers. We have no manufacturing base anymore.

Things are so different than they were during WWI and WWII.

Our borders are nonexistent. There have been many reports of ME men entering our land via the southern border disguised as Mexican and South Americans.

The men in WWI and II were primarily raised on farms. They were used to hardship. They were used to discipline and hardwork.

This time I believe it will be fought here on our turf. We have brought it to others. They will bring it to us.

Listen to what my 86 year old Mother says. She lived through the Great Depression and WWI. She cries nearly every day as she watches the news. She knows what is coming.

She has asked me to ask all you parents to please buy underwear, socks and shoes in incrementally larger sizes for your growing children. She says people forget that children grow, and there are no shoes, no new underwear, no new socks available during war. If your child wears size 6 shoe, get a size 7, 8, 9, 10, etc for them now. If you are a grandparent and you know your children won't listen to you about this, buy the clothing for your grandchildren yourself. And buy it now.

My Mother also said that there was no or very little sugar available. Sugar is necessary for canning fruit. Yesterday we canned 4 dozen pints of crabapple jelly. We used 25 lbs of sugar. (Crabapples are sour) I will be replacing that sugar ASAP.

There also was no oil for cooking. She has us buying lard from Wally World. She insists that it will outlast cooking oil and not grow rancid.

There are other things we need to be stacking besides silver and gold right now.

The handwriting is on the wall.

Prepare Accordingly.

Are you listening?


Sometime I feel like a stick in the mud, but every time I see someone reference The Money Masters, The American Dream or Money as Debt, I feel obligated to point out that while all three do a excellent job of pointing out the problem, i.e., fractional reserve, fiat central banking, the solution they offer is no solution at all. All three are suggesting that the Treasury take over the issuance of currency. They talk about "spending money into existence" via the Treasury issuing "interest free" money that would essentially be backed by whatever it was spent on. I haven't grasped the exact detail of their plan and I might not be describing it exactly right because frankly I had already taken the economic red pill before I was exposed to them. I didn't waste a lot of time figuring out how something I knew would never work would work.

I'm always of two minds in referencing Gary North because his theology is terrifying. He is a follower of the late Rousas John Rushdoony. In fact he married Rushdoony's daughter. If you are not familiar with Rushdoony I would suggest you do a google search for "Dominionism" and "Christian Reconstructionism." If they don't scare the bejeezus out of you, you either don't grasp what they are getting at or else you think they are good ideas, in which case you are dangerous. Forgive the digression, but I had to get that out.

North, however, is an outstanding economist and he has addressed the ideas in those documentaries far better than anyone. What they are talking about has a name: Greenbacking. Greenbacking is being pushed hard by a woman named Ellen Brown. Gary North has written a masterful series of rebuttals of Brown and the whole idea of greenbacking. I highly recommend anyone who is tempted by Bill Sill or Ellen Brown to read them.

More generally I recommend everyone who views this blog read What Has Government Done To Our Money? by Murray Rothbard. In my opinion, after Ludwig von Mises, Rothbard was the greatest economic and political thinker of the 20th Century. I actually think he is better in some way because his presentation is far more accessible to people without an extensive economics background. If anyone here has found my ramblings on economic and political issues to be of any value understand I am just presenting Rothbard's thinking as best I understand it. Other than a semester of basic economics I took in college many, many years ago, I have no specialized economics training. I have to credit Rothbard for enlightening me. If you have any respect for Ron Paul and his ideas know this: if it were not for Rothbard there would have been no Ron Paul. Rothbard was Ron Paul's mentor.

The bottom line is this: money is a purely a free market phenomenon. It has always emerged from market interactions and every time government has attempted to take it over it has always been a disaster. As I said above, The Money Masters and the other two films I mentioned are absolutely right on the problem and absolutely wrong on the answer.

Creepy Flashback

For some reason I just flashed on the feeling I had many years ago when my best buddy and I were on the flight line sitting on our mobility bags while the C-130s had their engines idling and the loading doors open.  It was the height of Yom Kippur War.  The Soviets had been supplying Syria and Egypt.  The Israelis had already sunk a Soviet transport ship.  Soviet destroyers were in the Mediterranean off the coast of Syria and the Soviet Air Force was on alert.  The DoD had just gone to DEFCON 3.

It was a beautiful autumn day in Arkansas.  There was very little talking among the people sitting with us.  It felt very unreal.  I kept telling myself I was just an avionics specialist, I wasn't going to be going anywhere near the shooting if it started.  Deep inside, though, I knew if it came to that, the shooting would involve nukes.

Fortunately, the Soviets finally stood down.

It's is a sad commentary on our day that I can look back at Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev and realize, compared to today, those men were great statesmen.  Sad, sad, sad.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Even More Portents from Katie Rose

Mitt Romney, Monsanto Man

I became interested in Monsanto because of the hideous birthing season I had last Spring with my dairy goats.
One died in my arms. Another nearly did. I have never been so traumatized as I was by these births. I didn't know animals could cry. Mine did. I sobbed along with them.
So I went looking for answers. And that is when I found out that all the terrible happenings were listed in one article or another as being caused by the GMO laced feed I was feeding my animals.
What good does it do to BTFD's and Prepare Accordingly if the very ones we are preparing for (our children/grand children) are potentially/slowly being poisoned by GMO foods?
Farm animals reproduce quickly. One of my four year old goats is a grand mother. We can see the generational GMO side effects much sooner in animals.
Reading about Mitt Romney's ties to Monsanto makes me want to throw up. 
It appears that Monsanto owns both major candidates.
We are soooooooooooo screwed. 

More Portents From Katie Rose

More On Alfalfa
By Katie Rose

We are one of the few places in the nation that was able to grow and harvest alfalfa this year. We were not able to get a third cutting due to lack of rain and a late first harvest, but our fields were green and lush. We are extremely fortunate.
I don't know how the hay dealers in the rest of the country found us, but they surely did. And farmer, after farmer, after farmer sold their entire crop before harvest. I have never scrambled like I had to this Fall in order to secure food for my animals. I am 1/2 ton short, but feel extremely blessed to have enough to squeak through till Spring. I would like another ton, but have no idea where to get it. Oh, there are unethical folks who are saying their 60 lb. bales weigh 90-95 lbs., but I am not interested in doing business with them. They still have a few bales of hay left. No Thank You!
I am hearing that many were not so lucky. The alfalfa is gone, sold right out of the field. Usually there are hay barns stacked to the brim waiting for buyers, with farmers hoping that it will all sell. Not this year! It is all gone.
One of the local feed stores has begun to sell Timothy Pellets by the pallet (half ton) to those not fortunate enough to find any hay. Unbelievable! This is Fall and people are going to be buying pellets all Winter long!?!?
Last month I ordered a half ton of barley for my Redneck Fodder Experiment. I ordered it directly from a local farmer. He pre-sold it to me at the going rate, 12 cents a pound, $120.00 a half ton. When I went to pick it up this week I could tell I would need more, as I had no clue how much volume a half ton of barley was. So I asked if I could purchase another half ton. He smiled sweetly and said, "I haven't any. Since we spoke last month, the price I receive for barley went up to 18 cents a pound. I sold my entire crop. It's gone."
That is the word around here. GONE! Sold! GONE!
No full hay barns. No bales languishing in the fields waiting for buyers. No barley for sale. No wheat for sale. No oats for sale. It's all gone.
I will be driving over 200 miles round trip to pick up 80 lb bags of oats, wheat, and barley for my fodder experiment. There is none available locally. Every time I speak with the mill, it has gone up in price.
People who come to TF Metals are usually a cut above average. I'll let you draw your own conclusions from my personal experiences.
One thing I have learned from all this. Having personal relationships with local farmers has really paid off. And having been ethical with the farmers in the past, having kept my word when I have ordered from them, has made it possible for me to feed my animals this winter.
I hope you are filling your pantries right now. With QE III, a terrible Midwest harvest, and saber rattling everywhere, it is only a matter of time before the food shortages lead to food riots.
I truly do not see any other outcome.

War clouds gathering

I spent Saturday afternoon at the Values Voters Summit in DC. Normally I would not go to such a thing because I am no longer a Christian and the treatment Ron Paul got from his own party in both 2007-8 and 2011-12 makes me want to have nothing to do with the Religious Right. However, a friend and colleague of mine paid my way and there was an pretty good breakout session on "Surviving the Coming Economic Earthquake" which we both wanted to attend. Also I just wanted to hang out with my friend cause we don't see each other enough.

At any rate, there was another breakout session called "Radical Islam 101" which I also wanted to attend at least partially because of all the folderol over that video. I'm not one to ignore the position of others just because I have some disagreements with them so I wanted to let them present their case. I definitely learned a few things. I have never been soft on Islam. I am an atheist. I think all religions--particularly the monotheistic ones--are irrational and they stunt the advancement of civilization, but I do have to admit that of the Big Three Islam is the worst. The presentation today definitely reinforced that opinion.

But the big takeaway I got from that seminar was this: we are headed for a war that's going to make Afghanistan and Iraq look like a picnic. As Bob Dylan once said "The line it is draw, the curse it is cast." There are intractable factions on both sides--fueled by the aforementioned irrationality--that will not quit until the blood is flowing as deep as a horse's bridle. This is what they want. They will not be happy until they have destroyed everything.

Fuck Islam, fuck Judaism, fuck Christianity. You lunatics are going to get us all killed for a fairy tale. I know each group thinks God is going to save them because they are his special little jewel, but I've got news for you: when the shooting starts your invisible friend will be nowhere to be found and if anyone survives what's coming they are going to piss on your moldering corpses for the miserable ruin of a world you've left them.

G. Edward Griffin on the war on terror.

This interview from 2009 actually covers a wide range of topics, but this part is germane to the current situation in the Middle East.

Daily Bell: From our point of view, the Middle Eastern wars are intended to spread Western-style collectivist democracy to the Islamic world. Has the West stumbled in its war against the Muslim religion (failure in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, etc.)?

Griffin: Have they stumbled? In my view, the conflict between the Western world and Islam is largely manufactured. There is no question that there are extreme groups within Islam, but my own research leads me to the conclusion that those are the very groups that have been fronted, aided and abetted by forces within America because they wanted to create an enemy – a dreaded foe to justify all the other schemes.

Daily Bell: The BBC, in a program last year came to a similar conclusion.

Griffin: Without an enemy, they cannot fight a war. Without a war, they cannot justify being in the Middle East. If they are not in the Middle East, they can't control the oil and on and on you go.

Daily Bell: So ... it's at least partially manufactured?

Griffin: The war against Islam is manufactured and is actually a war that need not be. Did they fumble the war? No they created it! They created it and it is just a meme. They don't want to win the war! They want to fight the war for ten years, twenty years, thirty years. They are not fumbling it. It is exactly what they want. It is not a question of winning or losing, it's a question of just having it, prolonging it and using it as a means of scaring the daylights out of the American people and conditioning them to accept the loss of their freedom at home.

I almost hate to say it...

...but I have considered these guys to be populist hucksters. I'm listening now.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Quote of the day, September 13, 2012

"However, everyone reading this must realize that today is the first day of new paradigm."~Turd Furguson

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Another good day

Another good day

Roger Williams

From Wikipedia

In the spring of 1636 Williams and a number of his followers from Salem began a settlement on land that Williams had bought from Massasoit, only to be told by Plymouth that he was still within their land grant. They warned that they might be forced to extradite him to Massachusetts and invited him to cross the Seekonk River to territory beyond any charter. The outcasts rowed over to Narragansett territory, and having secured land from Canonicus and Miantonomi, chief sachems of the Narragansetts, Williams established a settlement with twelve "loving friends". He called it "Providence" because he felt that God's Providence had brought him there. (He would later name his third child, the first born in his new settlement, "Providence" as well.) He said that his settlement was to be a haven for those "distressed of conscience", and it soon attracted quite a collection of dissenters and otherwise-minded individuals.

From the beginning, the settlement was governed by a majority vote of the heads of households, but "only in civil things", and newcomers could be admitted to full citizenship by a majority vote. In August 1637 they drew up a town agreement, which again restricted the government to "civil things". In 1640, another agreement was signed by thirty-nine "freemen", (men who had full citizenship and voting rights) which declared their determination "still to hold forth liberty of conscience". Thus, Williams had founded the first place in modern history where citizenship and religion were separated, a place where there was religious liberty and separation of church and state.

In November 1637, the General Court of Massachusetts disarmed, disenfranchised, and forced into exile the Antinomians, the followers of Anne Hutchinson. One of them, John Clarke, learned from Williams that Aquidneck Island might be purchased from the Narragansetts. Williams facilitated the purchase by William Coddington and others, and in the spring of 1638 the Antinomians began settling at a place called Pocasset, which is now the town of Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Some of the Antinomians, especially those described by Governor John Winthrop as "Anabaptists", settled in Providence.

In the meantime, the Pequot War had broken out, and it was a great irony that Massachusetts Bay was forced to ask for Roger Williams' help. He not only became the Bay colony's eyes and ears, he used his relationship with the Narragansetts to dissuade them from joining with the Pequots. Instead, the Narragansetts allied themselves with the English and helped to crush the Pequots in 1637-1638. When the war was over, the Narragansetts were clearly the most powerful Indian nation in southern New England, and quite soon the other New England colonies began to fear and mistrust the Narragansetts. They came to regard Roger Williams' colony and the Narragansetts as a common enemy. In the next three decades Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Plymouth exerted pressure to destroy both Rhode Island and the Narragansetts.

The Puritans

17. The Religious Factor
Murray N. Rothbard
Conceived in Liberty: Vol. I - A New Land, A New People: The American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century

18. The Founding of Plymouth Colony
Murray N. Rothbard
Conceived in Liberty: Vol. I - A New Land, A New People: The American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century

19. The Founding of Massachusetts Bay
Murray N. Rothbard
Conceived in Liberty: Vol. I - A New Land, A New People: The American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century

20. The Puritans "Purify": Theocracy in Massachusetts
Murray N. Rothbard
Conceived in Liberty: Vol. I - A New Land, A New People: The American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century

21. Suppressing Heresy: The Flight of Roger Williams
Murray N. Rothbard
Conceived in Liberty: Vol. I - A New Land, A New People: The American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century

22. Suppressing Heresy: The Flight of Anne Hutchinson
Murray N. Rothbard
Conceived in Liberty: Vol. I - A New Land, A New People: The American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century