Monday, August 21, 2017

Rand Paul Issues Fiery Statement Denouncing the Sending of More Troops to Afghanistan


President Donald Trump is expected to announce in just hours from now that he is increasing US troop levels in Afghanistan.

In an op-ed appearing in The Hill. Senator Rand Paul is objecting to this move. He writes:
The Trump administration is increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan and, by doing so, keeping us involved even longer in a 16-year-old war that has long since gone past its time.

The mission in Afghanistan has lost its purpose, and I think it is a terrible idea to send any more troops into that war. It’s time to come home now...

The Afghanistan war going beyond its original mission has an enormous cost. First and most important is the cost to our troops. Deaths, injuries and unnecessary deployments causing harm to families are certainly the most important reason as to why you don’t go to wars that aren’t necessary.

Then comes the taxpayer. We have spent over $1 trillion in Afghanistan, and nearly $5 trillion on Middle East wars in the past 15 years. Would we not be better off with $5 trillion less in debt or using these funds in other, more productive ways?

Nation-building should not be our job, and it has consistently been a fool’s errand for us, particularly in this region. There is no reason to believe we can do it in Afghanistan, and certainly no reason to believe we can do it without a permanent, costly presence in the country.

So I strongly disagree with the administration’s actions here. I’ve spoken to the president, and I know he wants to end this war. We’ve all heard him say it. But talk won’t get it done. Although I’ve been informed that the president rejected larger expansions of troops than the one announced this week, that’s not good enough. He should have rejected this one and stuck to his principles. He knows this war is over, and he – unlike the last two presidents – should have the guts to end it for real, on his watch.
In the current Congress, where there is little in the way of statesmen. these words are downright heroic. The flame that signals the dangers of the adventures of an Empire is dim but not out.

 -RW

Trump and American History Have Been Assassinated

By Paul Craig Roberts

When Trump was elected I wrote that it was unlikely that he would be successful in accomplishing the three objectives for which he was elected—peace with Russia, the return home of offshored US jobs, and effective limits on non-white immigration—because these objectives conflicted with the interests of those more powerful than the president.
I wrote that Trump was unfamiliar with Washington and would fail to appoint a government that would support his goals. I wrote that unless the ruling oligarchy could bring Trump under its control,Trump would be assassinated.
Trump has been brought under control by assassinating him with words rather than with a bullet.

The Assignment Given Today to Trump by the Generals


Hey MSNBC, Has Veritas Infiltrated Your Organization?

Stay tuned.

 -RW

The Danger of Trump Handing War Decisions over to Pentagon

By Adam Dick

Retired Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, interviewed last week by host Aaron Maté at The Real News, explained the danger that is materializing from President Donald Trump significantly decreasing presidential control over the military’s war activities.

Responding to Maté’s comment that from Trump’s January inauguration through this month, “Trump has dropped more than 20,000 bombs, about 80% of what President Obama dropped in all of 2016,” Wilkerson, who was chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell and now teaches at the College of William & Mary, advises that Trump removing presidential restraint and oversight over military actions overseas means more destruction will occur to advance purposes far removed from protecting Americans — to benefit armaments manufacturers and advance training, for example.


Wilkerson explains:

First, Aaron, we have to understand that Trump is not in control of this. Trump is not dropping these bombs. I appreciate your saying that in that way, and I realize it was metaphoric, but in a real sense, he is not. Not only is he not in those airplanes, he has given the war zones to the Pentagon. So what we're seeing is the Pentagon taking ultimate advantage of this president's not really caring about the details of what they're doing.

Any time you turn the United States military loose — believe me, I was there for 31 years — and you tell them they've got carte blanche, they are gonna drop bombs until the cows come home. They know that their bread is buttered with Raytheon and Lockheed Martin and other makers of these armaments, and they know that in order to keep a good, warm production base and a relationship with these defense contractors, that they gotta drop a lot of bombs and shoot a lot of bullets.

That's what the military does. They're training their pilots; they're testing their aviation equipment, their AWACS control and so forth. They're salivating over doing this, not to put too fine a point on it. So you let the Pentagon be in charge, and the Pentagon is gonna run, and run, and run, and that's essentially what's happening. I daresay that many of the bombs aren't really dropping on feasible targets. They're just dropping to be dropped or to train or whatever.
Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview here:



The above originally appeared at The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

Wilkerson is an Academic Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

Steve Bannon's Enemies List

There is no question that recently fired top Donald Trump adviser, Steve Bannon is going to war with the White House.

As things stand, Trump is not on the target list---for now.

From media reports and private conversations I have had, these are the people I have determined Bannon has on his enemies list:

H.R. McMaster, as I write, Breitbart already has a hit piece out on McMaster, alleging that McMaster failed to properly brief the President about the seriousness of the collision of the USS John McCain with an oil tanker.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka are also high on his list but for obvious reasons, he will have to tread carefully in going after them. He may use surrogates at other media organizations. But he hates Javanka.

Gary Cohn is on the list but McMaster and Javanka rank higher on the "get" list.

 Kellyanne Conway, Dina Powell and Steve Mnuchin are on the list but not priorities. No one at the White House, though, is really safe, not even the President.

Gabriel Sherman reports for Vanity Fair:
At Breitbart, Bannon has a brigade of similarly happy warriors. “We’re in a loud bar celebrating the return of our captain!” Breitbart’s Washington editor Matt Boyle told me on Friday night. Breitbart’s defense of Trump has so far helped keep the Russia scandal from gaining traction on the right. But that could swiftly change if Trump, under the influence of Kushner and Cohn, deviates too far from the positions he ran on. If that happens, said one high-level Breitbart staffer, “We’re prepared to help Paul Ryan rally votes for impeachment.”
 -RW


The Current Status of Confederate Statues in America: A Situation Report


Robert E. Lee statues and those of other Confederate soldiers are coming down across the south.

They are coming down at the instigation of Lefty agitators who argue that the statues honor the Confederate soldiers who fought to maintain slavery.

I do not want to get into the complexities of the civil war here. I am more curious about the Lefty argument to take the statues down even if we grant them that the war was fully about slavery.

They are certainly not making their pull the statues down demands from a libertarian perspective. Harvard Professor Jefferey Miron comes close in making that

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Oh Boy: Trump to Address Nation on Afghanistan

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 2017
Statement from the Press Secretary
President Donald J. Trump will address our Nation’s troops and the American people tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. (EDT) from Fort Myer in Arlington, VA, to provide an update on the path forward for America’s engagement in Afghanistan and South Asia.  
###

I hope this finally stops libertarian silence on the awful Trump.

(ht Felix Bronstein)

The Libertarian Long Game is the Only Game We Have

At my post, We Are Losing the Kids, several commenters have argued that libertarian ideas are going nowhere fast.

Bob Roddis, one of the best commenters here at Target Liberty writes:
I’m not sure anyone knows or cares what libertarians say or do about Trump or anything else. I’ve been saying for a decade that absolutely no one but us understands or processes anything we are saying even in long drawn-out internet debates. No one has tried to refute me on that one. It’s been time to have a panic attack about that problem for a long time now. The left controls the schools, the courts, the churches and the media. Further, which libertarian still supports Trump in the slightest after his demonstrated incompetence in foreign policy which was the sole basis of half-hearted support? The alt-right mocks us as “cucks” on immigration and the cultural and political problems of minorities such as the oncoming demographic minority majority. That does not seem to gain us any street cred with the Antifa gang. The left will hate and defame us no matter what we say or do to the slight extent anyone pays attention to what we say or do. There are more things to worry about than how libertarians should react to Trump.

 cheddarbob316 follows up:
Agree 100% that no one cares or knows about libertarian philosophy. It's deeply ingrained in just about everyone that you must have a state to perform certain duties.
I believe a key point is being missed here. When I wrote:
The kids are being herded in the direction of socialism.

Libertarians who fail to attack Trump are making a strategic error. Trump is not a libertarian. He does not appear to hold any libertarian policy positions beyond a desire to stop government regulation of transgenders in bathrooms. Students, with some justification, view him as at least sympathetic to the white supremacist movement.

He needs to be thrown under the bus. The kids need to hear that there is opposition to Trump that is non-Leftist.
I was not suggesting that a libertarian attack on Trump was going to push hordes of students in the direction of libertarianism. That is not going to happen. We are far from the time when that will occur. All we want to do is catch a few of the more intellectually intelligent and curious. That's how you expand the base.

In his unpublished strategy paper, Toward a Strategy for Libertarian Social Change, Murray Rothbard wrote (my bold):
In the first place, libertarianism is a set of ideas, and hence the original cadre is bound to be largely intellectuals, people who are professional or semi-professional dealers in abstract ideas. Mises and Hayek have pointed out how ideas filter out from original theoreticians to scholars and followers, to intellectuals as dealers in general ideas to the interested public.

Thus, in the cardre, the body of intellectuals is of primary importance in influencing the general public, and the handful of systematic theoreticians is of decisive importance in influencing and molding the general intellectuals.

Of course, the ideas of intellectuals are removed in time from the attitudes held by the general public, and the systematic theories of scholars or political philosophers are still further removed in time, so that emphasis on intellectuals and scholars does not have an immediate "payoff" in social action; but their influence is far more powerful in the long run than immediate concentration on the public or political action...

[T]he classical liberals were trapped by their alliance with the "practical" men into foreswearing any sort of radical general principles in striking to the practical short run details, with ultimately disastrous results....

The early progress of the movement  is necessarily slow; the number of converts is miniscule and the amount of effort in obtaining their conversion is extensive. In short, any cadre must begin slow with a tiny handful. A few rare individuals arrive with their own conversion in a self-contained way; but the vast majority have to be converted by others--either directly, through personal contact, or indirectly, through books or lectures. At first, the movement will be encompassed by a few living rooms or salons, then if the movement grows there will be the stage of local discussion groups... Hopefully, then, the cadre begins as a tiny few and then grows in quantity and impact.
Rothbard wrote this in the late 1970s, just when the libertarian movement was emerging from his living room. We have come along way since then.

But the advance of liberty will not be a straight line. The presidential run of Ron Paul 2012 played an enormous role in introducing many people to liberty. With the election of Trump, growth in the libertarian movement has entered a quiet period.

The idea of attacking Trump at this point is not because someone may or may not care about whether libertarians support Trump but because the more attacks that are made, from a libertarian perspective, against Trump, the more opportunities we will have created to "catch" some bright students that can be future leaders in the libertarian movement/

By failing to attack Trump aggressively, we are losing opportunities to deliver our message to the important second-hand dealers of the new generation.

There might be a case that could be made for keeping quiet about Trump if he was good on something other than transgender bathrooms but he is not. If he were actually going to take some steps in a libertarian direction perhaps we should be quiet to support those moves, but he is not. The establishment hating him is not enough. It means nothing policy-wise.

To advance liberty during this quiet period, it is going to be a long slog.

As I have said before, if you don't like the battle, the intellectual butting of heads against pretty much everybody--with tiny short-term payoff----you are better off spending your time watching ESPN. This battle is not going to be won anytime soon.

The long game is the only thing libertarians have right now. There is no short game for us. There are no big conversions coming. We are pretty much down to one on one debates with the limited few who have open minds. But it is a noble pursuit. We have truth, decency and principle on our side. These are powerful weapons to take into intellectual battle.

And at some point, an opening will emerge for us to advance aggressively thanks to the inevitable twirl and clash of events in a centrally planned world. The more people we already have on our side to take advantage of such an opening, the greater the advance will be at that time.

Ex glande quercus.

 -RW

Gender@Google

By Richard A. Epstein 

Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” the memo written by Google’s now-fired software engineer James Damore, addresses a taboo topic in modern American life—namely, sex differences that relate to the abilities and occupational choices of men and women.
Damore’s critique of diversity and inclusion, which he supports in the abstract, hit the tech industry hard for this very simple reason: firms like Google and Facebook have tech workforces dominated by white and Asian men. As Damore observes, Google has spent millions on programs to recruit and hire more women and non-Asian minorities, with little to show for its efforts. He urges Google: “Stop restricting programs and classes to certain genders and races,” and to “de-moralize diversity.” In his view, this reverse discrimination drives Google’s rigid, ideological conformity, lowers overall production, and undercuts professional morale.
Damore’s memo did not sit well with the Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who quickly fired Damore for “advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.” According to Pichai, “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK.”
Damore’s memo should come as no surprise. Just three months ago, a smaller flap, reported here in the Wall Street Journal, resulted from accusations of gender bias at Facebook. My article, Gender@Facebook, took a view broadly consistent with Damore’s by pointing to a wealth of evidence that suggested that biological differences could account for the differences in employment patterns. According to a detailed study by psychologists Richard Lynn and Satoshi Kanazawa, “at the ages of 7 and 11 years girls have an IQ advantage of approximately 1 IQ point, but at the age of 16 years this changes in the same boys and girls to an IQ advantage of 1.8 IQ points for boys.” More specifically, they present numbers that for general IQ show a mean of 101.461 for boys with a standard deviation of 15.235, and a mean of 99.681 for girls with a standard deviation 14.085.
There are two different ways to view this kind of evidence.
Read the rest here.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Murray Sabrin Sets Down Some Identity Rules for When You Address Him

Murray Sabrin, a Polish, West German, Jewish, heterosexual, white male. emails:
We live in an era of identity politics. Therefore, you must identify me as a Polish, West German, Jewish, heterosexual, white male, otherwise you will reveal your gross insensitivity.
  -RW

UPDATE

Tom DiLorenzo writes:

The PWGJHWM Community

Murray Sabrin writes that since we now live in an “era of identity politics,” if you wish to avoid being accused of the mortal sin of “insensitivity,” you must now refer to him as a “Polish, West German, Jewish, Heterosexual, White Male.”

Murray is a finance professor at Ramapo College in New Jersey.  Since he is now the founding father of a new victim group, he is bound to be honored with a named, endowed chair, maybe two or three of them, very soon.