How Far Gone is the GOP?

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How far gone is the GOP? For many of us I guess the question is a rhetorical one. For the purpose of this writing, I won’t delve into the historical background of the utter collapse of any sort of small government solution in Washington. Rather I want to focus on the 2012 election and the presumed GOP ticket of Romney/Ryan.

Lets start first with Romney. Is there anyone out there who seriously thinks this compulsive liar will help business in this country? Will the election of Romney help entrepreneurs create jobs? Will he get the government out of the way of the private sector? I don’t think anyone who looks at him without rose colored GOP glasses can say he will. The man will simply do anything for a vote. Just take a look around the internet, for the hundreds of flip flops and contradictions this man has spouted over the years. He certainly does not have the interests of the economy at large in mind.

Anyone interested could literally spend an afternoon reading, or listening to him contradict himself over and over and over again. This is the guy the GOP is really going to nominate for POTUS? The only real supporters Romney has are those who simply believe he will be the lesser of the two evils, or people voting against Obama. Voting for the lesser of two evils, is still voting for evil.

Where has voting for the lesser of two evils gotten us? Look around, our economy is in shambles. There is no recovery. Every statistic that’s out there that is not manipulated by the masterclass politicians all say the same thing. The U.S. economy is cooked.

Head on over to Open Secrets and take a look at the top donors to Romney’s campaign in the 2012 election cycle.

Goldman Sachs $636,080
JPMorgan Chase & Co $502,874
Morgan Stanley $476,300
Bank of America $465,850
Credit Suisse Group $421,310
Citigroup Inc $345,265
Barclays $322,400
Kirkland & Ellis $295,042
Wells Fargo $276,700
Deloitte LLP $250,510
PricewaterhouseCoopers $246,700
UBS AG $240,000
HIG Capital $219,495
Blackstone Group $213,800
Bain Capital $164,000
Elliott Management $162,825
General Electric $150,000
Marriott International $137,827
Bain & Co $137,300
Ernst & Young $134,425

Notice a trend there? Nevermind the fact that Goldman Sachs is at the top of the list. Look at the rest of the list. It’s nearly all financial institutions. Those Tea Party members who were upset about the bank bailouts are now backing this guy because he isn’t Obama? Given the same choice what would a Romney white house do? Of course they would bail out the banks.

What about those who got their panties in a bundle when they found out GE wasn’t paying as much in taxes as they wished? How much did GE give Romney? This is crony-capitalism, it isn’t capitalism. We haven’t been capitalist in this nation in a very long time.

Let’s move on and take a look at the VP pick of the presumptive nominee, Paul Ryan (R-WI). An IVN article as I am sure many others have as well at this point have detailed Ryan’s big government voting record. Vote Smart lists his “key votes”. Let’s just detail those shall we?

  • Voted Yes on TARP
  • Votes Yes on the bailouts of GM and Chrysler
  • Votes Yes to extend unemployment benefits to 59 weeks from 39
  • Voted Yes to expand Medicare
  • Voted Yes on Head Start
  • Voted Yes to No Child Left Behind
  • Voted Yes on making the Patriot Act permanent
  • Voted Yes to allow warrant-less wiretapping
  • Voted Yes to go to war in Iraq
  • Voted Yes to keep troops in Iraq indefinitely
  • Voted for NDAA (three times)
  • Voted for CISPA

As the Republican Liberty Caucus states….Since 2010 Ryan has been on the wrong side of almost every important vote involving basic Constitutionally protected rights. So there you have it. That is your conservative small government choice in 2012. People, the GOP is morally bankrupt and has been for a very long time. There is no small government choice in any national election. Ron Paul gave it a shot a few times, but the machine was against him. When are you small government GOP supporters going to wake up and realize voting for the GOP will never do anything to restore the republic, bring back the constitution, or whatever other little slogan you want to use? After all what would you expect from the party of Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt?

–Raise The Black Flag —

Be Careful With the “Expat Forum” Information

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I happened across Expat Forums about a year ago. Not sure how I really got there,  but at the very least, for the sheer entertainment value I started reading around the various forums. It was interesting to take a look at some experiences people were having moving to other countries, and what people’s thoughts were about other places in the world. At the very basic level, I am fascinated by culture the world and people in general, so I was interested in reading some of the stories.

I can say quite frankly that I was amused and enlightened at the same time reading personal experiences from expats all over the world. I closely studied Mexico in particular, because it’s our closest neighbor (other than Canada of course) and the closest to us that is culturally different. Sure our friends to the north are different in many ways, but for comparison sake Canada and the United States are much more closely related culturally than the United States and Mexico.

None the less that’s not the point of this article. If you or your family is seriously considering expatriation, I am sure one of the first things you might do is scour the internet looking for resources to begin your quest to leave the the U.S.A. or Canada, or Western Europe, or any other place on the globe. It’s likely many people have landed on the Expat Forum page. There is a ton on information there.

After months of reading various accounts and exchanged people have had with each other, and their experience in varied degrees of freedom/slavery abroad, I finally realized a few days back that there are articles related to the various country’s. As an example, here is Mexico’s. I was immediately drawn to a pair of articles listed on the site. The first is titled “International People Retire to Mexico” and the second is titled “Hyperinflation in U.S., how will it Affect Mexico?”. Since I consider myself a follower of the Austrian School of Economics, and had an immediate compulsion to read the second article.

The first one is there if you want to read it, but let’s address the second article. Granted it was written a few years ago, although its still on the front page for people looking for information about Mexico. The author begins by linking people to the discussion on the forum concerning the same subject, then proceeds to give his analysis of the events to the readers of the site.

Here is the info linked directly from the article…..

Inflation

These three scenarios are discussed in great detail as are their differing impacts upon the US economy and for example Mexico. Inflation, in moderate terms, is required to keep an economy growing and allows businesses to expand and reinvest for the future. This is pretty much taken for granted and as long as governments are able to keep inflation under control there should be no real problems.

Deflation

Deflation is one of the most hard-hitting and potentially dangerous economic scenarios you could ever imagine. In effect in a deflationary environment the cost of goods and services spirals downwards as consumers hold off on spending, which then leads to significant cost-cutting in the business arena and eventually redundancies. As consumers see their income falling they hold back further on purchases under the impression they will be cheaper “tomorrow” which then forces prices lower, further cost savings in the business arena, more redundancies and less income for consumers and there we have the downward spiral of deflation.

Hyperinflation

While traditionally many people assume that hyperinflation is the figures we have seen in places such as Zimbabwe where the dollar in your pocket will be worth substantially less tomorrow, this is probably an extreme example of hyperinflation. It is widely known that in the current economic environment, where businesses are suffering and prices are falling, the continued rescue packages and fiscal stimulus programs introduced by government around the world have the potential to turn economies around in the short to medium term. As suggested by the Bank of England recently there is a substantial risk of hyperinflation (or possibly just high inflation) as and when an economy turns and consumers suddenly move back into buying mode.

To this end it seems almost inevitable that as and when worldwide economies improve we will see interest rates rocket upwards to try and offset consumer demand (making debt more expensive) and “hyperinflation” although this will be a very difficult and potentially painful situation to control.

If you aren’t utterly baffled by this nonsense, let’s break it down one by one shall we?

Inflation

What? Inflation is required to keep an economy going? So what you are saying is that state sponsored required theft of the populace is required for economic growth? It’s taken for granted? Possibly by the masses, but it certainly isn’t ideal or beneficial for the vast majority of individuals in an economy. Then the author ends with saying, “as long as governments are able to keep inflation under control there should be no real problems.” Again, as long as the theft is minimal and the state schooled population doesn’t notice then it’s ok? As Henry Hazlitt stated in “Economics in One Lesson”, “Inflation itself is a form of taxation. It is perhaps the worst possible form, which usually bears hardest on those least able to pay.” But as long as the state sponsored thugs manages it we are ok right?

Deflation

Where do we even start here? If anyone looks at history like Austrians often do they find the answers. A recent article by Gary North thoroughly debunks the entire argument made by the author. Prices have come down for electronics for years right? It must be tough to be Microsoft or Apple to Samsung these days. With falling prices, people simply wait to buy that new cell phone or laptop, or do they? How prevalent are those devices in modern life right now? I have three cell phones and two laptops in my home. How many would I have if prices never came down?

Hyperinflation

I’m not even sure where he is going here, but it sounds as if he’s saying, “Zimbabwe was an anomaly, have faith in your slave masters, for they will avoid hyperinflation, through as little pain as possible to their constituents. ”

For my sake, I don’t have any faith in anything the government tells me, hence the reason for this site. If you want a more sophisticated answer of what governments may do, revisit Gary North for a possible answer.

If you are looking to expatriate, I would start with The Dollar Vigilante. Among the numerous resources they offer are second passports available at TDV Passports, if you are looking to get your ass out of Dodge, and actually want to deal with professionals who know how to help you.

– Raise the Black Flag –

What if Mexico Came After Holder?

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Operation Fast and Furious keeps popping up here and there in the media. Moreso since the GOP controlled House found Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt. As we creep closer to the clown fest known as the 2012 Presidential Election, I am sure it will be brought up by those on the right, looking to villify the Obama administration.

One question begs to be asked. What if the Mexican government treated Eric Holder like we treat foreign criminals (government officials) that we don’t agree with? What if Mexico had drones patrolling the skies, and thought it not only possible but right to seek out “enemies of the state abroad?”

Take a step back from your supposed moral high ground for a minute Americans. The United States has gone into foreign nations before and taken out people that they considered terrorists. The U.S. killed a few terrorists in strikes in Yemen. They’ve even killed U.S. citizens abroad, and even a London Guardian article questioning drone strikes targeting terrorists.

Since the United States government has set the precedent in this issue, what would our reaction be if Mexico classified Holder as a terrorist? The Mexican government has widely criticized the gun running scandal. “The leading left-leaning newspaper La Jornada went so far as to ask in an editorial Wednesday whether the U.S. is an “ally or enemy,” and a columnist in a right-leaning paper accused the Americans of violating Mexico’s sovereignty.” Manuel Jauregui of the daily Reforma newspaper wrote, “In sum, the gringo government has been sending weapons to Mexico in a premeditated and systematic manner, knowing that their destinations were Mexican criminal organizations,” This is old news in a sense. What I want to get to is state funded terrorism, and what would happen if Mexico responded like we did?

Is it out of the question they take the next step? If Mexico classified Holder as a terrorist. Let’s look at it this way. Let’s say the Canadian government allowed guns to cross into Detroit and these guns were used in crimes committed by drug runners and gangs. Dozens of Detroit citizens and maybe a few police officers are killed. How would you expect the U.S. Government to react? Chances are they would be in the media daily railing against the gun violence and the irresponsible Canadians for allowing it to happen.

Would it be out of the question for the United States to go after these Canadian nationals if they allowed it to happen, even if they were government officials? There are criminals in government all over the world. Because one of them happens to work for the strongest gang of criminals in the world, does not mean that they should not be held accountable for the killing of others regardless of what country it happens in.

Eric Holder singledhandedly put Mexican citizens in danger. They should be able to classify him as a terrorist. It would be no different if he funded a group to commit acts of violence on the other side of the border. He allowed it to happen. As I write this, an article popped up on Al-Jazeera titled “Gunmen launch deadly attack on Mexican bar.” Could the guns used in this crime have come from Fast and Furious? If they are, Eric Holder is a criminal, on both sides of the border, and since the U.S government set the precedent, how could we fault Mexico if they wanted to bring him to whatever form of justice they felt like?

 

— Raise the Black Flag —

Lysander Spooner “No Treason, The Constitution of No Authority

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The first inclination I had to read Lysander Spooner’s work “No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority” was when I came across an argument Spooner gave which stated that southerners who fought against the United States in the War for Southern Independence, were not traitors. This was some time ago.

As I have continued my quest for self knowledge, I kept coming across references to this book. In fact Murray Rothbard called No Treason “the greatest case for anarchist political philosophy ever written.” Since I respect Rothbard’s work greatly, and am now looking to swim in the deep end of anarchist thought, I figured I’d give the book a try. I did not expect however that the book would change the way I viewed man’s relationship to the government, especially that in the United States with our written constitution.

As my views and opinions evolve along the freedom/slavery spectrum, I continued to think, “We’d be ok in the United States if we could just get back to the Constitution.” Then I came across the following quote by Spooner in the work. I’ve seen it before but to hear his entire case in this pamphlet spelled out, it hit home. Spooner writes, “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain-that 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.”

Now keep in mind when this book was published. The book was published in 1867. If Spooner had these thoughts in 1867 what would he think now, with the addition of the income tax, the federal reserve, the draft, indefinite detention, coming internet censorship, drones patrolling our skies, TSA fondling in airports (and coming to a highway, train station, bus stop, mall or grocery store near you)? I’d only have to assume that he would be completely outraged by how far the U.S. has fallen. Sadly though, he’d likely have predicted it. After all he claimed over 150 years ago that the Constitution was unfit for the nation.

The crux of Spooner’s argument is as follows: The Constitution is a contract between government and people. Since the people living (in 1867, and now of course in 2012, or in any other time in our history) never signed and never consented to the Constitution, that the document is essentially invalid.

The point he makes is weighty and he spends time detailing how through various interactions with government or the apparatus of government, people still have no signed off and given their consent to the government or the Constitution.

Among some of the quotes I thought to be the most impactful are as follows:

“Doubtless the most miserable of men, under the most oppressive government in the world, if allowed the ballot, would use it, if they could see any chance of thereby meliorating their condition. But it would not, therefore, be a legitimate inference that the government itself, that crushes them, was one which they had voluntarily set up, or even consented to,”

“But this theory of our government is wholly different from the practical fact. The fact is that the government like a highwayman, says to a man: Your money or your life. And many, if not most, taxes are paid under the compulsion of that threat.”

“A man is none the less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.”

“No man can be my servant, agent, attorney, or representative, and be, at the same time, uncontrollable by me, and irresponsible to me for his acts.”

“The only idea they have ever manifested as to what is a government of consent, is this-that it is one to which everybody must consent, or be shot. This was the dominant one on which the war was carried on; and it is the dominant one, now that we have got what is called “peace”.”

The book/pamphlet is choc full of other examples such as the ones listed above. It has changed the way I view our government in the United States. With history as our guide, it’s plain to see that the Constitution has been ineffective to prevent the train of abuses from government and downright tyranny of the majority.

Let’s simply look at what the government is supposed to “protect”. The U.S. government was established to protect life, liberty and property. Ask yourself, if any of those are “protected” by government. How about our life? If men can still be drafted into military service, and they can be imprisoned for victimless crimes, I’d say our government utterly fails in this regard.

What about property? Are the fruits of our labor not our property? If so, then how can any government justify an income tax? How can they force young laborers to pay for the retired? What if you own your home free and clear of any mortgage, do you still owe property tax? Of course you do, we don’t own our land; we are simply renting from the state.

Now how about liberty? Where do we start here? Warantless wiretapping, indefinite detention, drones, NSA surveillance, air travel? The list here is endless. It looks like Spooner was right. The Constitution is inadequate. Only natural law and voluntary exchange are adequate for civilizations to flourish.

In all, Spooner’s pamphlet is a good read. It’s very short. I believe it’s listed as 90 pages. It can be read easily in one or two sittings. It’s also very cheap. I am sure it can be found for free online. I got my copy on Kindle for 99 cents. I guess the U.S. dollar can still buy something (for the time being). If you are looking for an introductory primer to some anarchist thought, it’s here and well argued. He does use the same justification for many ideas, which do become a little redundant, but it’s well worth the time, and will provide you with some ammunition the next time someone question’s your beliefs.

– Raise the Black Flag –