Archive for the ‘government’ Category

By: Mark Thornton

I am regularly asked what can be done to solve the problem of “urban blight” in places like Detroit. The question is usually asked with exhausted desperation and a shrug, as if there are no possible answers. The cause of this “blight” is the root of the problem, and when ignited by police brutality, sets off riots in cities like Ferguson and Baltimore. There are a whole range of answers that we know will work to at least improve the situation.

The root problem of urban blight is government. With this in mind I want to focus on seven areas that if you eliminate government from the scene will solve the problem, or at least reduce the scope of the problem. Some of these solutions can be easily adopted by cities; others will require state and federal governments to remove or modify various forms of intervention. Some aspects of urban blight, such as the deep-seated ideology of victimhood, are likely only to be solved — as with the problem of aging tenured professors — one funeral at a time.

1. Grant “Urban Blight Status” to Free Communities from Regulatory Dead Weight

What we need are more “real” jobs because gainfully employed people commit fewer crimes. The government creates all sorts of problems in labor markets other than the minimum wage law. City governments, or city elders, should be able to request what I’ll call “Urban Blight Status” for all of the city or parts of their city. Such status will allow for the removal of the minimum wage law and all licensing requirements. It will further remove property taxes and sales taxes. This will immediately create a competitive advantage for labor contracts in the “Urban Blight Zone.” Naturally, all of these measures are decidedly non-radical and would be considered “first steps” that should later be applied to the entire population nationwide. (more…)

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Please enjoy this recent article by Paul Craig Roberts who has been a guest on the podcast                                  (PCR Interview on Political Badger):

Foreign Affairs is the publication of the elitist Council on Foreign Relations, a collection of former and current government officials, academics, and corporate and financial executives who regard themselves as the custodian and formulator of US foreign policy. The publication of the council carries the heavy weight of authority. One doesn’t expect to find humor in it, but I found myself roaring with laughter while reading an article in the February 5 online issue by Alexander J. Motyl, “Goodbye, Putin: Why the President’s Days Are Numbered.”

I assumed I was reading a clever parody of Washington’s anti-Putin propaganda. Absurd statement followed absurd statement. It was better than Colbert. I couldn’t stop laughing.

To my dismay I discovered that the absolute gibberish wasn’t a parody of Washington’s propaganda. Motyl, an ardent Ukrainian nationalist, is a professor at Rugers University and was not joking when he wrote that Putin had stolen $45 billion, that Putin was resurrecting the Soviet Empire, that Putin had troops and tanks in Ukraine and had started the war in Ukraine, that Putin is an authoritarian whose regime is “exceedingly brittle” and subject to being overthrown at any time by the people Putin has bought off with revenues from the former high oil price, or by “an Orange Revolution in Moscow” in which Putin is overthrown by Washington orchestrated demonstrations by US financed NGOs as in Ukraine, or by a coup d’etat by Putin’s Praetorial guards. And if none of this sends Putin goodbye, the North Caucasus, Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan, and the Crimean Tarters are spinning out of control and will do Washington’s will by unseating Putin. Only the West’s friendly relationship with Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakstan can shield “the rest of the world from Putin’s disastrous legacy of ruin.”

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This is a great talk that friend of Political Badger, David Theroux gave at the first annual conference of Christians for Liberty, that was held at St. Edwards University in San Antonio, TX, August 2, 2014.   Presented by the C.S. Lewis Society of California.  Please check it out:

By: Paul Craig Roberts

Financial Market Manipulation Is The New Trend: Can It Continue?
Financial Imperialists Attack Russia

A dangerous new trend is the successful manipulation of the financial markets by the Federal Reserve, other central banks, private banks, and the US Treasury. The Federal Reserve reduced real interest rates on US government debt obligations first to zero and then pushed real interest rates into negative territory. Today the government charges you for the privilege of purchasing its bonds.

People pay to park their money in Treasury debt obligations, because they do not trust the banks and they know that the government can print the money to pay off the bonds. Today Treasury bond investors pay a fee in order to guarantee that they will receive the nominal face value (minus the fee) of their investment in government debt instruments.

The fee is paid in a premium, which raises the cost of the debt instrument above its face value and is paid again in accepting a negative rate of return, as the interest rate is less than the inflation rate.
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By: Paul Craig Roberts
paulcraigroberts.org

When Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, they don’t know what they are celebrating.

In American folklore, Thanksgiving is a holiday that originated in 1621 with the Pilgrims celebrating a good harvest. Some historians say that this event is poorly documented, and others believe that the Thanksgiving tradition travelled to the New World with the Pilgrims and Puritans who brought with them the English Days of Thanksgiving. Other historians think the Pilgrims associated their relief from hunger with their observance of the relief of the siege of Leiden.

The Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving, if it happened, might not have been the first in the New World. Historians say the Virginia colonial charter declared a Day of Thanksgiving in 1619, and other historians say the first Thanksgiving was observed by the Spanish in Florida in 1565.

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By: Tom DiLorenzo

Several times a week I force myself to be subjected to five minutes or so of neocon chatter by Rush Limbaugh, Marc Levin (“The Grate One”), Sean Hannity, or the FAUX News Channel morning show. Their bloviations are filled with extreme hypocrisy and delusional contradictions.

For example, during the Bush administration the neocon mantra was “9/11 changed everything!” by which they meant, “to hell with the Constitution.” Whenever Judge Andrew Napolitano would challenge any of his FAUX News Channel colleagues over warrantless wiretaps, NSA spying, undeclared and unconstitutional wars, torturing of prisoners, the murder-by-drone of American citizens, etc., this was their mantra, their all-purpose slogan designed to censor all discussion. “Constitution Schmonstitution” was their unofficial motto.

Now that a Democrat is in the White House that has all changed. Marc Levin, who slavishly supported Bush’s “War on Terra” and all of its constitutional subversions, has even written a very silly book on the importance of sticking to the Constitution. His fellow neocons all sounded more like Mussolini than (James) Madison during the Bush administration but today they have all become born-again constitutionalists. At least until the next Republican is elected president. (more…)

From http://www.davidstockmanscontracorner.com today:

http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/how-financial-bubbles-fester-and-burst-even-as-the-fed-says-not-to-worry/

Great stuff from David Stockman:

Stockman on ISIS

A must read for some perspective on our latest and greatest war:
Napolitano Article

We had a great conversation recently with Ed Krayewski of reason.com about the Ferguson, MO situation. We also got into some other current issues of concern to Americans including ISIS and Mexican drug cartels. Enjoy!

Here’s a great post by bionic mosquito where he offers some possible ways we could function without central planners. For more on this topic listen to our interview with Dr. Gerard Casey under the podcast tab.

An Anarchic Possibility for the Modern World

Today we spoke with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts on a number of topics including our troubled economy, how we created the mess in Iraq, and the possibility of nuclear war with Russia.  I hope you enjoy this really interesting conversation.

http://www.amazon.com/How-America-Was-Lost-Warfare/dp/0986036293

It’s fun to listen to Jeffrey Tucker speak about anything really.  He is so eloquent and such a wonderful communicator of the message of liberty.  I was really excited to get to speak to him first hand recently about one of my favorite topics to explore: anarchy.  I hope you enjoy:

 

http://liberty.me/

http://lfb.org/

Whether you’re anti-war or not, shouldn’t we always exhaust all possibilities before bombing innocent civilians? Why were we not taught in school that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was an awful and inhumane thing?

Check out this great little piece by my boy, bionic mosquito:

Truman Knew

Today I was very lucky to have the opportunity to chat with Dr. Walter Block.  What struck me most was the courage and conviction he has to hold, disseminate and defend some very unpopular, un-PC opinions.  It was a very enlightening conversation for me.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 

http://www.walterblock.com

Just Kidding… but this is pretty cool.

I’ve often wondered if the libertarian/anarchic principle of less government, fewer laws would apply to traffic lights. Central planners suck at everything. Do they really know precisely where traffic lights should be placed? Or at what intervals they should change? Or like most things they do, do they actually make the situation worse? I found this brief video enlightening:

Traffic Lights

He’s a contrarian. He’s a prognosticator. He’s a bear on the US economy. He’s Dr. Doom and he was kind enough to chat with us recently:

Given our tendency towards more government, at least since FDR, is there actually hope for an eventual small government in this country? A recent Reason-Rupe survey suggests there may be! We recently spoke with Reason Foundation director of polling Emily Ekins to discuss the results of this fascinating survey.

http://reason.com/assets/db/2014-millennials-report.pdf

On Independence Day, I had the opportunity to chat with Kmele Foster of Fox Business’ The Independents and Freethink Media. We talked about Kmele’s path to libertarianism and to television. We talked about the founders and whether we’ve retained their principles or abandoned them altogether. At times our “movement” can tend to have a negative outlook on our future. The biggest thing I took away from my chat with Kmele is that there is a lot to be optimistic about… which was definitely refreshing for a change.

Also, here are links to the films Kmele mentions in the interview:

http://www.amazon.com/Honor-Flight-Bert-Brach/dp/B00BU984DK/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1405045292&sr=1-1&keywords=honor+flight+the+movie

http://www.amazon.com/2081-based-Vonneguts-22Harrison-Bergeron-22/dp/B002Y2BDEE

Submitted by Dirk Tripp, former Marine.

The American experience in Vietnam once had a real bite to it. Second only to the Civil War in the way it affected the American psyche. These two wars go hand in hand in that respect, for they were both firsts when it came to seeing the blood, and guts, and bones of dead Americans in living color. After the Civil War we sure kept waging war on the Native Americans, but after Vietnam we actually stopped the killing for a minute, took a pause, and actually reflected on what we had done. (more…)

Recently we had a really interesting chat with Ed Krayewski of reason.com
We spoke about recent events in Iraq and Ukraine and US foreign policy in general. It was a real education. Enjoy…

Dinesh D’Souza is a conservative author and filmaker. He made big waves with his 2012 documentary, 2016: Obama’s America. He is now promoting his new film, America: Imagine the World Without Her. He was kind enough to take a few minutes out of his crazy schedule to talk about the movie and discuss a few issues with us. Enjoy…

Coming up in the next 2 weeks, Political Badger talks with Amity Shlaes, Ed Krayewski, Dinesh D’Souza, Kmele Foster and Marc Faber. Please stay tuned!!!

Many of you have read his pieces on his blog bionic mosquito. You have seen his stuff all over the place: on lew rockwell, economic policy journal, lions of liberty

After hearing some talking head on CNBC refer to Ron Paul as a mosquito, the author thought to himself, “If Ron Paul is a Mosquito, he is a powerful one.” Hence the name. Jonathan Goodwin is bionic mosquito and was kind enough to give us a peek into his not-so-mosquito-sized brain.

Political Badger: What was the impetus for starting your blog?

Bionic Mosquito: I had been thinking about doing something like this for quite some time. I thought it would be a good way for me to improve my thinking on several subjects – economics, libertarianism, politics, and empire (I think history wasn’t originally on my mind); I am not trained in any of these. I felt that the act of writing, and posting it publicly, would force an improvement of discipline in my thought. I also thought that receiving feedback online would be a wonderful, free, learning tool. Finally, I wanted to document my own learning / progression.

But what drove me finally to take the step was a minor technical problem (you asked). For a time I was a regular feed-backer at The Daily Bell. Early on, I was not able to post a comment of more than a few characters (it turned out to be a browser problem on my end). In order to get around this, I would post my longer comments on my blog, and DB graciously copied the comments from my blog to their thread.

Pretty dull, I know.

PB: When did it really take off?

BM: Have you looked at the alexa ratings? “Take off” is not a phrase I would use, but thank you.

I guess bionic mosquito first started gaining some recognition (beyond the comments section of Daily Bell, EPJ, and Mises) when Lew Rockwell ran a post a couple of years ago – something I wrote about Pearl Harbor, based on a book by George Victor, “The Pearl Harbor Myth: Rethinking the Unthinkable”. Since then, Lew has re-posted many of my blog posts, as has Robert Wenzel at EPJ and Marc Clair at Lions of Liberty. A few other sites occasionally pick up a post as well.

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Submitted by Dirk Tripp, former Marine.

I look around frustrated and confused at people who seem so ignorant, or apathetic, or worse yet just down right stupid, and I realize they one and all revel in easy thinking. I studied a principle in college that mass media was becoming more and more suited to the individual by way of the internet. For the first time in history we can chose what news we see, and this had led to people only concerning themselves with what they want to see. Profound thought and meaningful reflections rarely occur when other perspectives or views are not included in the process. A conservative only pays attention to conservative news and a liberal concentrates on only liberal news. Then there are the few who realize neither side is worth a grain of salt, to which the news quit mattering long ago. It all comes down to people thinking easy. Instead of thinking for themselves, it is much more convenient to have a paid commentator form one’s opinion for them. By the looks of things now easy thinking seems to be the trend of the future, problem is, with easy thinking there might not be a future.

Submitted by Dirk Tripp, former Marine.

It has been no joy spending over a decade trying to inform folks that George W. Bush and his administration flat out broke the law by using deception to start an aggressive war. It has been the equivalent of trying to dig a trench on a beach of marbles. I just keep digging in, only to have ignorance, apathy, stupidity, and partisanship fall in on the sides filling up the same stupid hole. Now conservative republican’s have taken to photoshopping Obama onto the deck of the Carl Vinson with that stupid ‘mission accomplished’ banner. They are literally rewriting history, in real time, and it is literal truth to them. Neocons have become so stooped in denial that now if you seek justice for Bush, Cheney, and the rest of those liars, you are attacking their ‘moral’ standards and spreading hate speech. I hate stupidity. I hate apathy. I hate war crimes. I hate the inability of people to accept responsibility for their mistakes. It has been over ten years since the Bush administration pounded home how we had to invade because of al Qaeda in cahoots with Saddam, and to this very day even the most independently minded republican says ” accusing the president of lying is pretty serious, gonna need some hard evidence for that.” The problem is the only hard evidence they’ll accept is that Benghazi is the worst scandal in all of history. By George W. Bush getting away with doing whatever he wanted it has set a precedent that is as perilous as it gets; the president is above the law. Denial is not a moral standard, it is dangerous. Expressing the truth is not hate speech unless of course you hate the truth.

If you pay attention to financial media even the slightest bit, you have no doubt heard the talking heads freak out over the prospect of deflation. Bloomberg, CNBC, Fox Business, Wall Street Journal, you name it… they all mindlessly repeat the bloviations of Bernanke, Yellen, Krugman, etc. that what we need is for people to spend (not save), to borrow, and for prices to rise. All of this is wrong.

To give you a real basic econ lesson, this attitude is largely inspired by the economist John Maynard Keynes. Bernanke and company are devout Keynesians. They believe an economy is built on consumption and is stimulated by spending. Paul Krugman is outspoken in his conviction that the US does not carry enough debt. That $18 trillion is not nearly enough. He believes we need to spend much, much more and that increasing the debt does not matter in the least. I sh%t you not. These are the people running our economy. Bernanke, Yellen, Jack Lew, the financial media, republicans and democrats alike all believe we must spend our way out of this funk we’re in. And as Shaq once said, “Don’t fake the funk on a nasty dunk.” That literally means nothing, sorry.

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Submitted by Dirk Tripp, former Marine.

There was absolutely no doubt as to what the outcome would be if we removed Saddam Hussein from power. Any student of history worth a grain of salt at all knew that there would be no democratic, self reliant, peaceful Iraq if we tried to reproduce our way of life there by way of occupation. The outcome was always going to be the same; Sunni vs. Shiite, Sunni vs. Kurd, Kurd vs. Shiite, and so on and so forth. And so it is coming to pass, that horrible truth that reasonable people have known from the very beginning of it, we should have never gone into Iraq. We should have been better as a people than a hand full of neo con warhawks with oil on the brain. We weren’t better than them, we became their pawns, and to this very day dumbass after dumbass tries to shirk responsibility by blaming Obama. This is by far and away the most pathetic chapter in the history book of America. Before we went into Iraq terrorists had to train in the middle of the dessert using closelines and cardboard boxes to represent urban warfare. When we invaded Iraq they began their training against the most fearsome, deadly military force on earth in real cities under real world conditions. We trained ISIS with American blood, and if you survive an engagement with pissed off Marines, then you are going to be one hell of a hand full after that. Many Americans are playing the “this is such a surprise card” to which I pull that card and soundly fart in their general direction. What is surprising is the level of apathy, stupidity, fear, and recklessness this nation displayed while Bush made this happen. What is happening now is no shock at all. When one single architect of Operation Iraqi Freedom stands trial for crimes against the people of the United States of America, that will be shocking.

Presented without comment: NY Times 1985 Article

Unless you’re living under a rock or in a badger cave (I’m actually not sure where badgers live, a den?) you’ve probably heard of Andy Johnson. He has been all over national media outlets in recent weeks telling his story of his battle with the US Environmental Protection Agency: Fox News Story

Johnson and his wife spent 5 long months of hard labor (labor of love) constructing a beautiful pond intended to be an oasis for his livestock and for wildlife, and more importantly, a place of recreation and memory making for his family to enjoy for generations. Johnson did his due diligence jumping through all the necessary hoops as instructed by the state of Wyoming.

Johnson revealed he is confident his neighbors alerted the Feds which ultimately turned his family’s life upside down. Without any indication of a violation, he was informed by the EPA that he was being fined $187,000 per day (not the $75,000 originally reported in the media) unless he filled in his pond. Johnson has vowed not to pay their fines and to fight to the bitter end.

He tells his story and discusses why he thinks they came after him in our recent interview:

We in America have been so indoctrinated to believe there are only two ways of looking at our political system: from the perspective of a Republican and from that of a Democrat. The media, our friends and family, and our culture in general all propagate this myth. The truth is the parties are for all intents and purposes the same. If you are for either, you are for massive, all encompassing government. It’s a pick your poison scenario. (more…)

Great excerpt on lewrockwell.com today from Ronnie P’s book, A Foreign Policy of Freedom:

Ron Paul

Seeing as our government bungles and mismanages nearly everything it gets it’s hands on, I decided to do a series of pieces on their ineptitude. Given the endless fodder available, this promises to be an infinite project. My hope is to show that government does almost nothing well and to illustrate that more government necessarily equals more waste, inefficiency, ineffectiveness, and in this case death. And therefore the less government we have, obviously the less we get of these things. (more…)

Great zerohedge.com article today called The Typical Characteristics of a Stock Market Mania. On Wall Street history repeats itself over and over and over… and no one ever notices a pattern. Read the article and decide whether you think we’re in a boom phase:

The Typical Characteristics of a Stock Market Mania

Hello my flock of badgers. Or is it a herd? Or a gaggle? What’s the word for a group of badgers? Whatever that word is… Wait, I just looked it up! It’s a cete! Hello my cete of badgers! There’s a common objection I get from time to time from people when I mention that I believe in a small (or zero) government. People often say something to this effect, “Not only has our population increased, but things have changed so much since our founders drafted the constitution. This obviously necessitates a bigger government.”

This line of thinking is as dangerous as it is scary. Let’s get one thing straight. Government is responsible for the worst of the bad things in this world. (more…)