Liberty & Power: Group Blog
Wynn also has operations in China, and he remarks that he “has no qualms about dealing with the Chinese government. Macau has been steady. The shocking, unexpected government is the one in Washington.” Not very long ago, such a statement would itself have been shocking.
The gambling and real estate magnate expresses concerns about inflation, FHA’s making the same mistakes Fannie and Freddie have made, and the business costs arising from the new health-care law. “We’re on our way to Greece,” he declares, “in the hands of a confused, foolish government.” Exasperated, he mutters, “It’s got to stop. It’s got to stop.”
These observations remind me of similar statements made by investor Lammot du Pont in 1937: “Uncertainty rules the tax situation, the labor situation, the monetary situation, and practically every legal condition under which industry must operate.” Even members of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s cabinet eventually appealed to him to clear the air in which private investors were finding it difficult to breathe, but he refused to do so, preferring to plunge ahead with the New Deal and to publicly blame “economic royalists” for his policies’ failures.
Du Pont was hardly the only one making such observations in 1937 about regime uncertainty’s negative effect on recovery, and Wynn is hardly the only one now making such observations.
How does it become a man to behave toward this American government to-day? I answer that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it. ... What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.
There are two principal demands that governments make: your taxes and vote. (Of course, there are many other 'demands', such as military service, send your children to school, have a drivers license, etc., but many of these are ancillary to the primary means of government survival, which is the collection of taxes.)
Now, of these two principal demands, taxation carries criminal sanctions: pay your money or we imprison your body and/or confiscate your property. However, as yet in most nations of the world, failure to vote in government elections carries no penalty.
Governments, like all other hierarchical institutions, depend upon the cooperation and, at least, the tacit consent over those whom they exercise power. In other words, government soldiers and police can force people to do things they don't want to do, but in the long run - in the face of adamant opposition - such coercion is either too expensive or too futile to accomplish its goals of subjugating entire populations. It is far simpler to motivate people to do what you want them to do, rather than forcing them to do it by pointing guns at them all the time. As Boris Yeltsin supposedly said,"You can build a throne with bayonets, but you can't sit on it long."
Educating generations of parents and children in government schools and teaching them to be patriotic and support their government in political elections is one of the fundamental ways governments garner public support. Citizens are taught that it is both their right and duty to vote. But all this is done with an ulterior motive in mind. As Theodore Lowi, in his book INCOMPLETE CONQUEST: GOVERNING AMERICA pointed out:
Participation is an instrument of [government] conquest because it encourages people to give their consent to being governed. ... Deeply embedded in people's sense of fair play is the principle that those who play the game must accept the outcome. Those who participate in politics are similarly committed, even if they are consistently on the losing side. Why do politicians plead with everyone to get out and vote? Because voting is the simplest and easiest form of participation [of supporting the state] by masses of people. Even though it is minimal participation, it is sufficient to commit all voters to being governed, regardless of who wins.
Not voting in government elections is one way of refusing to participate; of refusing to consent to government rule over your life. Non-voting may be seen as an act of personal secession, of exposing the myth behind"government by consent." There are many reasons, both moral and practical, for choosing"not to vote," and they have been discussed in my anthology, DISSENTING ELECTORATE. To briefly summarize:
Truth does not depend upon a majority vote. Two plus two equals four regardless of how many people vote that it equals five.
Individuals have rights which do not depend on the outcome of elections. Majorities of voters cannot vote away the rights of a single individual or groups of individuals.
Voting is implicitly a coercive act because it lends support to a compulsory government.
Voting reinforces the legitimacy of the state because the participation of the voters makes it appear that they approve of their government.
There are ways of opposing the state, other than by voting"against" the incumbents. [And remember, even if the opposition politicians are the lesser of two evils, they are still evil.] Such non-political methods as civil disobedience, non-violent resistance, home schooling, bettering one's self, and improving one's own understanding of voluntaryism all go far in robbing the government of its much sought after legitimacy.
As Thoreau pointed our,"All voting is a sort of gaming, like chequers or backgammon, ... . Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it." So whatever you do, don't play the government's game, Don't vote. Do something for the right.
For more commentary, please visit WendyMcElroy.com.
Libertarianism = Anti-racism
David T. Beito
The standard libertarian answer is, "Yes, although I don't approve of the racist policy."
I say, "No. He shouldn't be allowed."
He shouldn't be allowed, but it's not the literal force of government or private parties that should disallow it. It's the metaphorical force of social pressure -- led by libertarians, of course -- that should disallow it.
There, that's cleared up. Next controversy.
Jeffrey Rogers Hummel
"A new strain of populism is metastasizing before our eyes, nourished by the same libertarian impulses that have unsettled American society for half a century now. Anarchistic like the Sixties, selfish like the Eighties, contradicting neither, it is estranged, aimless, and as juvenile as our new century. It appeals to petulant individuals convinced that they can do everything themselves if they are only left alone, and that others are conspiring to keep them from doing just that. This is the one threat that will bring Americans into the streets. Welcome to the politics of the libertarian mob."
"Now an angry group of Americans wants to be freer still--free from government agencies that protect their health, wealth, and well-being; free from problems and policies too difficult to understand; free from parties and coalitions; free from experts who think they know better than they do; free from politicians who don't talk or look like they do (and Barack Obama certainly doesn't). They want to say what they have to say without fear of contradiction, and then hear someone on television tell them they're right. They don't want the rule of the people, though that's what they say. They want to be people without rules--and, who knows, they may succeed."
The analysis, if not the evaluation, is in many respects similar to that put forward years ago by Jeff Riggenbach in In Praise of Decadence. And David Henderson comments on the article over at EconLog.
as the Palace of Versailles is to a two-car garage.
The Code of Federal Regulations is to the rule of law
as a trainload of cyanide is to a nutritious diet.
A member of Congress is to the preservation of our liberties
as a member of the Mafia is to the propagation of Christianity.
The Pentagon budget is to the cost of adequate national security
as the Taj Mahal is to low-income housing.
The IRS is to serving the public
as a hungry shark is to a school of small fish.
A government prosecutor is devoted to seeking justice
as a wolf is devoted to preserving a flock of sheep.
Eminent domain takings are to the public interest
as plague epidemics are to the public health.
Government “stimulus” spending is to economic recovery
As a sadistic physical therapist is to physical recovery.
Government planning is to rational allocation of resources
as tone deafness is to musical composition.
Most federal statutes are to the Constitution
as the Crusaders’ plundering and killing were to the Holy Bible.
The Supreme Court flees from logic
as a vampire flees from holy water.
Taxation is to extortion
as extortion is to extortion.
"Professor Sulston, who is based at the University of Manchester, said patenting would be"extremely damaging".
"I've read through some of these patents and the claims are very, very broad indeed," Professor Sulston told BBC News.
"I hope very much these patents won't be accepted because they would bring genetic engineering under the control of the J Craig Venter Institute (JCVI). They would have a monopoly on a whole range of techniques."
Read the full story here.
So when North Korea recently torpedoed and sank a naval vessel of the South Korean navy her mouth leapt into the fray demanding an “international response” to such shameless provocation. And here we have America’s political elite, circa 2010; utterly incapable of understanding the hypocrisy of beating their breast over the very same behavior that, in the wake of their unprovoked attack upon two small, defenseless nations, has become as American as apple pie.
She has more important things to think about anyhow. Come this weekend Mrs. Clinton, along with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, is tasked with going to China to beg for more loans to keep those other two wars going.
When you travel the world, hat in hand, it is best to project an image of calm, rational restraint. After all, who wants to lend money to a raving, warmonger lunatic? China for one (so far) but the day they wish to see the US fleet drift with the tide due to lack of fuel, and two American armies abandoned to their fate due to lack of transport to bring them home, they simply will stop lending us money.
Hopefully, Hillary is playing the part of an empire’s chief ambassador and has no intention of upping the ante; that she is merely pretending for the mob back home things are Under Control. America has neither the resources, will, nor reason to get involved in yet another Asian land war – we’re already losing two and there’s no need (or money) to make it three.
I do not recall any interview in which he was asked if he was prejudiced or about his views of non-whites. In fact, in all the interviews I've seen, he's made it clear that he personally finds racism to be unacceptable etc..
What's under debate are his views on political economy and constitutional theory. Right or wrong, those are a separate issue from his views on race, I would think.
For example, could not an African-American think that the right to free association means that firms have the right to serve who they wish? Would that make said person a racist for holding perhaps the same views that Paul is being criticized for?
It's fine to say"Rand Paul thinks white store owners should be able to deny service to black customers." But that makes the store owners the racists not Rand Paul, yet no one wants to point that out. What's worse is that Paul, from what I've seen, thinks it would be a bad thing if a white store owner did that. He just thinks it's a worse thing to for government to interfere with people's rights of property and association to address it.
Again, whatever one thinks of that argument, it runs square in the face of most people's assumption that every social problem must be, and is best, solved by government. Thus opposing government as the solution to the problem in question must mean that one does not think it's even a problem. The idea that there are other ways to address the problem that might work better isn't even in play.
So opposing government action to redress racism means one thinks racism is fine, which makes one a racist. QED.
That's how far statist assumptions have penetrated our national discourse.
* * *
Your people, sir, is a great beast.
― Secretary of the Treasury
Alexander Hamilton, 1792
I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.
― U.S. Senate candidate Abraham Lincoln, 1858
We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to their extermination, men, women and children.
― General William Tecumseh Sherman, 1866
It may be necessary to kill half the Filipinos in order that the remaining half of the population may be advanced to a higher plane of life than their present semi-barbarous state affords.
― Major General William Shafter, 1899
Just because we fight without rancor and without selfish object, seeking nothing for ourselves but what we shall wish to share with all free peoples, we shall, I feel confident, conduct our operations as belligerents without passion and ourselves observe with proud punctilio the principles of right and of fair play we profess to be fighting for.
― President Woodrow Wilson, 1917
I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again; your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.
― President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1940
The question was how we should maneuver them [the Japanese armed forces] into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves.
― Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, 1941
We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.
― President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964
John [Erhlichman], we have the power. Are we using it now to investigate contributors to Hubert Humphrey, contributors to Muskie―the Jews, you know, that are stealing in every direction? Are we going after their tax returns? I can only hope that we are, frankly, doing a little persecuting.
― President Richard M. Nixon, 1971
Money talks and bullshit walks.
― Congressman Michael Myers, 1979
Bitch set me up . . . . I shouldn’t have come up here . . . goddamn bitch.
― D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, 1990
I did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinski.
― President Bill Clinton, 1998
There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more. And he has the ability to dispense these lethal poisons and diseases in ways that can cause massive death and destruction. … Our conservative estimate is that Iraq today has a stockpile of between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agent. That is enough agent to fill 16,000 battlefield rockets. Even the low end of 100 tons of agent would enable Saddam Hussein to cause mass casualties across more than 100 square miles of territory, an area nearly five times the size of Manhattan. … Let me turn now to nuclear weapons. We have no indication that Saddam Hussein has ever abandoned his nuclear weapons program. On the contrary, we have more than a decade of proof that he remains determined to acquire nuclear weapons. … Iraq could use these small UAVs which have a wingspan of only a few meters to deliver biological agents to its neighbors or, if transported, to other countries, including the United States. … Iraq today harbors a deadly terrorist network headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi an associate and collaborator of Usama bin Laden and his al-Qaida lieutenants. … We are not surprised that Iraq is harboring Zarqawi and his subordinates. This understanding builds on decades-long experience with respect to ties between Iraq and al-Qaida. … Leaving Saddam Hussein in possession of weapons of mass destruction for a few more months or years is not an option, not in a post-September 11th world.
― Secretary of State Colin Powell, 2003
Naturally this AP report has caused a great deal of reaction most of which is positive. However, former drug czar John P. Walters laments the article arguing that “to say that all the things that have been done in the war on drugs haven't made any difference is ridiculous.. It destroys everything we've done. It's saying all the people involved in law enforcement, treatment and prevention have been wasting their time. It's saying all these people's work is misguided."
Moreover, this is precisely the point made in the preface to Fatal Distraction: The War on Drugs in the Age of Islamic Terror four years ago. One of the main story lines of the book “deals the many reasons why drug prohibition and the war on drugs fail because of their own internal contradictions and the immense harm they cause.” The book goes on to contend that “the war on drugs is based on many cherished myths. Such cherished myths die hard. Destructive cherished myths die even harder. Yet, in this book I argue that thinking people everywhere should work, as an urgent matter, to seek to accomplish that very objective – the killing of a cherished destructive myth. That myth is so destructive because it is so seductive – and also because it has been allowed to grow to gigantic proportions by the enthusiastic worldwide support of millions of well meaning and sincere people.” (page 14)
We must hope for all of our sakes that this AP analysis is a significant step forward in the dismantling of the ignoble canard that drug prohibition is both necessary and good.
Cross posted on The Trebach Report
David T. Beito
"In some respects this is worse than Bush,"worse than Bush....First, because Obama has claimed the right to assassinate American citizens whom he suspects of 'terrorism,' merely on the grounds of his own suspicion or that of the CIA, something Bush never claimed publicly."
Well-written and deeply researched, the authors immerse the reader into Dr. Howard’s world, one that crossed paths with a litany of American greats such as MLK, Jesse Jackson, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, and Jesse Owens. Four days after seeing Dr. Howard give an impassioned speech at MLK’s Baptist Church, Rosa Parks took her famous stand against Jim Crow. She insisted that it was the thought of Emmett Till, who’s lynching was the subject of Dr. Howard’s speech, which spurred her to refuse to give up her bus seat.
As to why the memory of a man with such a litany of famous friends and accomplishments – a man of whom the authors insist “the modern Civil Rights movement could not have succeeded” (p.228) -- should have faded so quickly and completely from our collective memory, this book will answer to any reader’s satisfaction.
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