Thursday, April 30, 2015

Enrollment Ratios at Elite Universities: Jewish, Asian...


(via @Gavin_McInnes)

VIDEO: Jon Stewart Grills Neocon Judith Miller Over Iraq Reporting

Be sure to listen to part 2. It gets pretty intense.


CNN: How Rand Paul learned to talk to black people

Tone deaf Rand Paul, who seemingly appears incredibly unfamiliar with any customs, religions or cultures beyond a five mile radius of Fountain Square in Bowling Green, Kentucky, did manage to get out of Brooklyn with at least not blurting out to the gathered at the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools that they make good hot dogs.


But trouble has followed Rand, as just a day later, he was asked to comment on the riots in Baltimore.

CNN senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson reports on Rand's latest adventure beyond Fountain Square:
How Rand Paul learned to talk to black people

Rand Paul's intensive effort to redeem himself -- and the Republican Party -- with minorities seemed to be on the verge of cratering.

He joked Tuesday to conservative radio host Laura Ingraham that he was happy his train didn't stop in the riot-scarred city of Baltimore. It was exactly the type of tone-deaf remark the Kentucky senator's group of black advisers urged him to avoid as he seeks to expand the GOP's outreach to minorities.

They immediately knew Paul's comment would pose a problem. They checked with other African-Americans to see how it was being perceived.

On Wednesday afternoon, Paul spoke for about an hour with black advisers who told him what they were hearing. The Republican presidential contender told them he understood the concern and expressed regret for his words.

"He said 'OK, I understand what everyone is saying, you're right. I shouldn't have said it that way,'" said Elroy Sailor, a senior adviser and director of strategic planning for Paul. "He recognizes that people listen and hear things differently. Certain words resonate with different constituencies.'"
It is not difficult to picture in one's mind that the train Rand is referring to is a train that Rand was on becasue he was heading back to Washington D.C., after telling the National Hebrew Day School Society that he respected the Hebrew tradition represented in Schindler's List, a film that is actually based on a novel written by the gentile, ordained deacon, Mick Keneally of New South Wales, Australia.

It's like bouncing from one absurdity to the next, with Rand.

For those enjoying the adventure, more is sure to come.

The Rand camapign has set up for the eye doctor a "major" fundraiser in Atlanta in the black community.

 -RW

More Proof That Rand Paul is Not a Libertarian But Simply a Statist Micromanager

Rand and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), and U.S. Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) yesterday reintroduced the Reclassification to Ensure Smarter and Equal Treatment Act of 2015, known as the RESET Act.

This legislation would reclassify specific low-level, non-violent drug possession felonies as misdemeanors, eliminate the distinction between crack and powder cocaine for sentencing, and ensure that food products containing drugs are weighed fairly.

Must I point out that in a libertarian world drug-possession would not be a criminal offense? Reclassifying drug possession as a  misdemeanor instead of a felony, is a small positive step, but the entire Act gives too much respect for government involvement in the drug sector. There should be none.

 "The RESET Act will end the worst sentencing injustices for non-violent offenses in our criminal justice system. It will more closely align punishment with the severity of the offense and make it possible for someone to get a second chance after a non-violent youthful mistake, instead of a lifetime punishment,” Rand  said.

Why is selling drugs a "mistake," when selling alcohol is not. Why should those in possession of drugs be punished at all. Rand is much too much of a statist busybody for me. He buys into, or pretends to, statist intrusions into voluntary exchanges.

-RW

The Early Bernie Sanders

The Complex Ethical Positions of Socialists

Recently. we heard Seattle Socialist City Council member Kshama Sawant proclaim that she was for non-violent advocacy and protest for a higher minimum wage.

Of course, a minimum wage itself is not non-violent. It is a vicious use of government to employ  force to prevent some peaceful transactions to be conducted between businesses and those seeking work.

Now, we have this from Bernie Sanders, who has just announced he is running to become the Democratic presidential nominee.  

But while Sander's is attempting to position himself as a fair and decent person with this claim, his advocacy of socialism puts him in a camp that is far from decent and calls for incredible coercion against individuals by the state.

Bottom line: Socialists love to pose as peaceful decent people, but they are advocates of massive coercion by government, and that should never be forgotten.

-RW

Ross Ulbricht's Mother: "What is enough for these people?"

What is happening to Ross Ulbricht is a terrible tragedy.

Because of his conviction for running Silk Road, he is facing a minimum sentence of 20 years, but that does not appear to be enough for the government.

The prosecutors appear to want a life sentence for Ulbricht and are using every trick in the book (and the stretching of the book, with a compliant judge) to get it.

Ulbricht's mother details the latest:
Somebody please tell the prosecution that the trial is over. They won it. They succeeded in keeping the jury from knowing about the extensive corruption of the Silk Road investigation. Or from hearing defense witnesses. They hamstrung cross examination. They kept the jury from knowing the full story and Ross was convicted on all seven counts. They bagged their trophy.

What is enough for these people? Nothing short of a life sentence for non-violent offenses?

Now the government intends to submit at Ross’ sentencing that six overdose deaths were caused from drugs bought from vendors on the Silk Road website.  These are vague, unproven allegations, the kind the prosecution seems to like. The government has not provided:

> Any evidence these drugs were actually purchased on Silk Road.
> Medical records relating to underlying or pre-existing conditions of these people.
> The actual cause of death of one of them.
> Autopsy reports verifying types and quantities of drugs used by two of them.
> Psychiatric records of one of them.
> Underlying information used to create the Silk Road user summaries about two of these people, or who prepared them or when.
> The identity of two people presenting at sentencing or the subject matter of their statements, but only that they are parents of people who allegedly overdosed on drugs bought on Silk Road....

Obviously the prosecution wants to make Ross an example and give him as high a sentence as possible. We were warned by more than one attorney that they do this. The higher the sentence, we were told, the better it looks on the resume. The mandatory minimum, two decades of a young man’s life – arguably the most productive, rewarding and important years he’ll have – just aren’t enough.
There is a lesson here for libertarians who believe that any direct confrontation with the government is a go. You are playing with fire. If you think Bitcoin "anonymity" is going to protect you, if the government turns its focus on you, you are terribly mistaken.

The idea that an underground market exists, where all illegal goods can be exchanged without risk, is a fairy tale. It is twice as dangerous when Bitcoin is involved because of the blockchain, which is a public record of all transactions.

Murray Rothbard was right, drug dealing should be left to drug dealers. The advancement of libertarianism is an intellectual battle, fought at many levels from high theory to street propaganda. Drug dealing may be a noble career but it should be left to specialists who are willing to assume the risk. In the market, there is everything from drug dealers to plumbers. But an advocate of liberty does not have to choose a career in either to show the efficiency of markets and prove his libertarian creds.

Do you want to advance liberty? Then read Rothbard, Mises, Hayek and Block, Get the theory down cold and think about the best way to present to others what you have learned.That's the way liberty will be advanced, not by competing against the Bloods, the Crips and the Black Guerilla Family in the drug business.

--RW

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

David Simon: Want to fix Baltimore? ‘End the drug war'

Christopher Ingrham writes:

No, The Wire does not explain what's happening in Baltimore this week, asmy colleague Alyssa Rosenberg wrote yesterday. Still, the show's creator and former Baltimore Sun reporter David Simon knows a lot more about the city than most of us. And in a wide-ranging and riveting interviewwith The Marshall Project today, he offers an unequivocal assessment of how to turn things around in that city today.
"So do you see how this ends or how it begins to turn around?" Bill Keller asks him.
"We end the drug war," Simon says. "I know I sound like a broken record, but we end the [expletive] drug war. The drug war gives everybody permission to do anything. It gives cops permission to stop anybody, to go in anyone’s pockets, to manufacture any lie when they get to district court... Medicalize the problem, decriminalize [it] — I don't need drugs to be declared legal, but if a Baltimore State’s Attorney told all his assistant state’s attorneys today, from this moment on, we are not signing overtime slips for court pay for possession, for simple loitering in a drug-free zone... then all at once, the standards for what constitutes a worthy arrest in Baltimore would significantly improve."..."Probable cause was destroyed by the drug war."

Walter Block: I Ran With a Commie Presidential Contender

Senator Bernie Sanders, President?

By Walter Block

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has now tossed his hat into the presidential ring, challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

I think the last sight I had of Bernie was his rear end receding in the distance in a half mile track race somewhere in Brooklyn. Nor was this the only time. We were both on the track team of Madison High School in Brooklyn; he was one of the best runners in the city in anything from the half mile up to cross country (2.5 miles) and I was a mediocre runner. So the view of his butt moving away from me in a distance run was far from a rarity.

We had other things in common. We graduated from Madison in the same year, 1959, and even spent a year together, right afterward, at Brooklyn College as freshmen. We lived not too far from each other so would sometimes walk to and from school together. I don’t remember what we talked about; probably, girls, track running, girls, our teachers most of which we had in common, girls, the other members of the track team, girls, our track coach Nate Krinsky, girls, and other such subjects. We certainly did not discuss politics or economics, because this was long before I got interested in those subjects. Probably, our views were very similar: of two Jewish boys from socialist Brooklyn this could be expected.

I had one other conversation with him, much later in life, via e mail. We agreed that our two political economic philosophies had diverged from one another.

Finger-In-The-Wind Hillary on Coppers

By Chris Rossini

Progressives, Neocons and Keynesians all share a common pattern of behavior. First, they take the world as it is and screw things up with their ideas. Then, after the screw up, they turn around and pose as the saviors to the problems that they've created.

This behavior seems to be on a perpetual cycle of rinse and repeat. Hillary Clinton has made a long career of the process.

Here's finger-in-the-wind Hillary today:


Then there's the former "First Lady" Hillary Clinton, back in 1994 on her husband's "crime bill":
The sad truth is that, unfortunately, there are those who would rather talk about fighting crime than actually give you the tools that you can use to fight crime...Because this crime bill will make a difference in your lives as police officers and in the lives of the communities you serve.

There will be more police on the street, a hundred thousand more police officers, with flexibility given to local communities to determine how best to use them...

We will also finally understand that fighting crime is not just a question of punishment, although there are many dollars in the crime bill to build more prisons...
Hillary went from flooding the streets with coppers and "many dollars in the crime bill to build more prisons" to now calling for an "end to mass incarceration".

Rinse and repeat.



Who Knew? Koch Brothers Have a Military Relations Manager

Not Good for Rand: He is Raising Money Only at a Rick Perry Pace from Top Donors

From NYT:
Roughly half of the nation’s top 250 Republican donors have given money to Mr. Walker in his campaigns for Wisconsin governor, according to an Upshot analysis of Federal Election Commission records and state records... Among the donors who have given to Mr. Walker’s campaigns are Sheldon Adelson, the Nevada casino magnate 


Rand also doesn't appear to have the grassroots money support that his father had. His latest small donor camapign has only raised $81,000 as I write. This would be a very impressive raise for someone running for Cemetery Commissioner in Ludlow. Vermont, but not for someone running for president of the United States.

--RW

An Inside Report on the Charge By Max Keiser That RT Reporter Defection Was Staged American Propaganda

As a follow up to my post, Max Keiser: RT Reporter Staged Defection Is American Propaganda, I checked in with a former RTTV America employee.

The employee emails me:
Bob,

I know nothing of Max Keiser being approached by VoA, but would not be surprised.  I know most of this account of Liz Wahl's on-air resignation to be true:

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/how_cold_war-hungry_neocons_stage_managed_liz_wahls_resignation_20140319

I personally know some of the sources quoted in the story.  Also, I clearly remember the day when she was kicked off the anchor desk, as you could hear her yelling across the office (through the news director's door).  She spent the latter half of 2013 and early 2014 as a correspondent.  Within a few days of her being allowed to anchor again, she resigned on air.  Clearly, it was calculated.  However, my knowledge of the VoA connection comes second hand from other RTTV employees who knew her better than I did.
 --RW

Saliboat Liberals: Spend a Weekend with the Kennedys for $38K

The Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port

Ethel Kennedy, Massachusetts Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have sent out invites for a weekend “filled with politics, picnicking, sailing and friends” in Hyannis Port, starting with cocktails at Ethel’s home on June 13, then dinner at the former home of President John F. Kennedy hosted by Kiki and Ted Kennedy Jr., reports NyPo.

The next day, guests will sail at 10:30 a.m. Admission starts at $38,800 for five tickets for cocktails, dinner and the sail, down to $10,800 for two tickets for drinks and dinner (sorry, no sailing). Proceeds go to Joe Kennedy’s re-election war chest.

-RW

Max Keiser: RT Reporter Staged Defection Is American Propaganda



(ht Jay Stephenson)

The Blasphemy Of Freddy Gray

By Victor J. Ward

Freddy Gray is dead because of his irreverence.

Here is what I have read and heard: Gray made eye contact with a police officer. Gray started to run. The police gave chase and caught him. Gray did not resist arrest. Witnesses report that Gray's leg seemed to have been injured. The police handcuffed Gray and put him into the back of a police van. The police took Gray to a hospital. Gray's family said that Gray was treated for three broken vertebrae and a crushed voice box. Gray died from the injury to his spine. At least one doctor said that Gray's type of spinal injury usually occurred in severe car accidents.

After I heard a person reporting on the story, I had to rewind it and listen again.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Everything You Need to Know About ‘Clinton Cash' and the Friends of Bill and Hillary Who Made Big Bucks, in Three Minutes

Jeb Wants Puerto Rico To Be The 52nd U.S. State

By Chris Rossini

Jeb Bush on Puerto Rico:
“I’ve favored statehood for a long time,” Bush told the crowd of statehood supporters and former Governor Luis Fortuño, whom invited him to the event. “I think there should be a statehood referendum and the next president should work on it.”
Of course, we all know that Jeb wants to be "the next president" and money is rolling in hand-over-fist to help make that so.

When I think of Puerto Rico becoming the 52nd U.S. state, it makes me want to grab my wallet to make sure it's still there.

Puerto Rico, after all, is swimming in debt....$73 billion of it.

Jeb wants to scoop up the Greece of the Caribbean and add it to the Empire, which itself is the largest debtor on the planet.

I'll tell you one person who might not be happy to see Puerto Rico formally join the Empire....Peter Schiff.

Schiff recently announced that he's moving to Puerto Rico in an effort to shake off Uncle Sam's grubby hands. Looks like Peter might have to pack up his stuff again!

(Note: Please do not comment that Puerto Rico would be the 51st state, and not the 52nd.)







Rand Paul: This, This and This, But, So Far, Not This

This:

This:

and This: 



But, so far, not this:

Note well, my effort to help Rand out: The Rothbard T-shirt I ordered for him has been delivered:




Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei Tweeting Up a Storm Over Police Brutality in US





Prof Fails Entire Class in Final ‘F You’

By Kate Briquelet

A professor at Texas A&M University at Galveston just jumped ship—but not before failing an entire class for what he calls a pattern of cheating, backstabbing and all-around bad behavior.
That’s one way to teach students a lesson.
In a drama fit for an after-school special, Irwin B. Horwitz sent a withering email to the 30 students in his strategic management class to announce he was giving each student an “F,” before walking out and never coming back.
“Since teaching this course, I have caught and seen cheating, been told to ‘chill out,’ ‘get out of my space,’ ‘go back and teach,’ [been] called a ‘fucking moron’ to my face,” Horwitz wrote in the missive obtained last week by Inside Higher Ed.
The disgruntled egghead continued to unfurl a litany of offenses including: students cheated by signing in for classmates, didn’t show up when they claimed they did, and spread “hurtful and untrue rumors about myself and others” online.
“None of you ... given the behavior in this class, deserve to pass,” Horwitz, 53, wrote in the dispatch.
“I am frankly and completely disgusted,” he added. “You all lack the honor and maturity to live up to the standards that Texas A&M holds, and the competence and/or desire to do the quality work necessary to pass the course.”
Horwitz, who only joined the university last year, didn’t stop there. He also sent an email to school administrators, telling them the unruly pupils are “your problem now.”

Rand to Rabbis on Sitting Shiva

Will someone please tell Rand that Jews do not come from a different planet, Rand talking about Jews sounds like Donald Trump talking about "the blacks.-RW

Olivia Nuzzi reports:

Rand Paul seemed uneasy in a meeting with Orthodox Jews in which he stressed “tradition”—not surprising for a 2016 hopeful who some previously have accused of being anti-Semitic. 
 So "When I think of, um, the things that I've learned about your faith and where your faith intersects with my faith, one of the things I think about and one of the things that first comes to mind is tradition." 
Rand Paul was uneasily addressing about a dozen Orthodox Jews in a small conference room in Midwood, Brooklyn, at the headquarters of Torah Umesorah, the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools on Monday. It was an odd sight to behold: a sea of men, styled in Orthodox fashion, crowding around the tiny, folksy senator and presidential candidate from Kentucky. 
Few attendees were willing to explain why they were here. I walked up to a large man with gray hair who, when I asked his name (after he reminded me he couldn't shake my hand) said, "I'm a person who was invited here today and I don't know why." I asked his name again, and he replied, curtly, "Abe." Abe what? "Leave it alone, ok? I don't mean to be rude, especially because you're too pretty, ok?" 
Goldie Goldberger, director of the teachers’ center, said she believed Paul was "a great politician," but she wouldn't say whether or not she supported him for the nomination, admitting she knew little about American politics, having moved here just 10 years ago from Israel. "She'd know the answer," Goldberger said while pointing toward a different woman. 
At least Paul knew why he was here: "Tradition," the central theme of his remarks. "Freedom requires tradition the same way you could say liberty requires virtue," Paul says. "Bounded by tradition…a stabilizing force for civilization, a stabilizing force for our country, is our traditions…. When I was in Israel, we went to a Shabbat dinner. I love, uh, just sort of the traditions. A lot of the traditions aren't necessarily our traditions, but you know, I see things that I ask Dr. Roberts about, like Schindler's List, placing a rock on the, on the gravesite; the tradition of sitting shiva…" 
Oh boy.



The Unrest Upclose: Last Night in Baltimore

Earlier in the day:
And when your Mom catches you rioting:

 

-RW

No New Trial for Ross Ulbricht, Judge Rules

The judge who never ruled in Ross Ulbricht's favor on any significant defense objection during his trial, didn't change her tune during a  post-trialruling.

Judge Katherine B. Forrest, who presided over the Silk Road trial, denied Ulbricht’s motion for a new trial, writing in her 25-page opinion, “The evidence of Ulbricht’s guilt was, in all respects, overwhelming.”

The opinion comes on the heels of revelations of pervasive law enforcement misconduct during the Silk Road investigation, including the arrest of a secret service agent and a DEA agent for among other charges, theft of bitcoins and money laundering. Both agents conducted their alleged crimes while investigating Ubricht and, indeed, allegedly engaged in communication with Ulbricht to cause to act in an illegal manner, blackmail him and steal from him.

In her opinion, though, Forrest wrote, “[T]here is no basis for this Court to believe that any undisclosed materials relating to the Rogue Agents would have been remotely useful, let alone exculpatory."

Sentencing is scheduled for May 15. The defense has asked that the sentencing date be pushed back.

-RW

(via Forbes)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Turning America into a Battlefield: A Blueprint for Locking Down the Nation

By John W. Whitehead
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.—President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961
A standing army—something that propelled the early colonists into revolution—strips the American people of any vestige of freedom. How can there be any semblance of freedom when there are tanks in the streets, military encampments in cities, Blackhawk helicopters and armed drones patrolling overhead?
It was for this reason that those who established America vested control of the military in a civilian government, with a civilian commander-in-chief. They did not want a military government, ruled by force. Rather, they opted for a republic bound by the rule of law: the U.S. Constitution.
Unfortunately, with the Constitution under constant attack, the military’s power, influence and authority have grown dramatically. Even the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which makes it a crime for the government to use the military to carry out arrests, searches, seizure of evidence and other activities normally handled by a civilian police force, has been weakened by both Barack Obama and George W. Bush, who ushered inexemptions allowing troops to deploy domestically and arrest civilians in the wake of alleged terrorist acts.

Jennifer Rubin Distorts the Nature of Charity (Just like Obama)

In a tweet, using Rand Paul as target practice, hey I get it Rand is an easy target, Jennifer Rubin manages to distort the nature of giving.

First off, if Rand for one second thought that Sheldon Adelson would pay to have the image of Rand's face carved into Mount Rushmore, (or perhaps even have a drink named after him in the Las Vegas Venetian Hotel), Rand would come out in favor of government aid to Nepal. Rand  phraseit this way:

"Well before we stop US government aid to Nepal victims, let's stop aid to the terrorists in Palestine."

On another level I must object to Rubin's characterization of objections to government foreign aid as "heartless." This is a typical government propaganda method used by all statists, and something Rubin has in common with President Obama whenever he says, "It is the neighborly thing to do."

This is pure evil misdirection. Objection to government run operations is not an objection to charity. It is an objection to the coercion of government, No libertarian who objects to government coercion would object to charity, Indeed, there are reams of libertarian articles discussing how voluntary charity would do a much better job of helping those in need than government crony charity operations.,

In the end, Rubin and Obama are just running different ends of the same government con game.

 -RW




Jeb Bush's Super PAC On Track to Raise $100 Million by the End of May

Bush told a group of 350 top donors that his 'Right to Rise' PAC is raising money at a record-setting pace; he could hit $100 million by May 31, reports The Daily Mail.

It is not clear whether Rand has raised any money beyond the roughly $2 million he has raised since he announced his candidacy.

In a sign money may be tight, there is no indication that Rand has yet opened a San Francisco office that he said he would open back in September of last year.

 -RW

All Hell Breaking Loose in Baltimore: Seven Police Officers Injured

A battle of the state versus urban primitives is joined.

This a developing story return to this post for updates.

UPDATE 1

Police spokesman: "We have broken bones. One officer unresponsive."

UPDATE 2

Baltimore police spokesman: "We are going to use tear gas and other chemicals."

UPDATE 3


UPDATE 4



UPDATE 5




UPDATE 6

Maryland Governor declares state of emergency. National guard called out.

UPDATE 7

Baltimore Mayor orders week-long 10:00PM to 5:00AM curfew.

UPDATE 8:

Latest tally: 15 officers injured, 2 remain hospitalized.


Rand Paul's No Jeans for Jews Approach



Ditching his normal campaign attire of jeans and a blazer, Rand Paul, today, donned a suit to meet with a round table of Jewish leaders at the  Torah Umesorah Hebrew Day School in Brooklyn.

According to the New York Observer, he told the gathered that religious faith should be the backbone of any society and  "tried to win over the hawkish, right-leaning crowd with a mix of foreign policy nuance and conservative religious values."

In his comments, Rand said he supported vouchers and charter schools.

Alexis Levinson tweeted from the event:





After the event, Rand "sped away from the event without taking questions from reporters," according to NYO.

 -RW

BREAKING Two Navy SEALs Found Dead in Swimming Pool

A Navy SEAL from Queens and another from Michigan were found dead in a swimming pool at a base in Virginia.

Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Seth Cody Lewis of Queens and Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Brett Allen Marihugh of Livonia were found unresponsive Friday at the bottom of the Combat Swimming Training Facility at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Address Congress

For the record.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is visiting the United States

On Wednesday, Abe will become the first Japanese leader to address a joint session of Congress.

He gave brief remarks and took student questions this morning at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

His comments came as some 100 protesters stood silently outside holding signs and banners calling for Abe to apologize for World War II-era crimes, including sexual slavery in Korea.

Abe next heads to MIT. He then flies to Washington D.C. to meet with President Barack Obama.

Abe will also visit Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Rand Paul Defends Obama's Use of Drones

Adam Weinstein captures well the disgusting Rand support of the drone activities of the Empire:
Rand Paul, the great white hope, presumed enemy of extrajudicial killings from the air, shocked and disappointed his libertarian disciples today by embracing drone warfare and defending President Obama’s use of flying death machines to immolate two hostages held by Al Qaeda.

The Republican senator, who earlier this year vowed that he would shoot a drone over his old Kentucky home with a shotgun, once made his bones with a 13-hour Senate filibuster of drone warfare in which he took an unequivocal stand for the constitutional rights of Americans not to be fried with a missile from an R/C doohickey...


Discussing the White House’s somewhat shady admission last week that two January drone strikes had inadvertently killed American hostage Warren Weinstein, Italian hostage Giovanni Lo Porto, and two American citizens accused of supporting Al Qaeda, Paul told Fox News Monday the attacks were a “difficult situation” and defended the president’s use of slightly discriminate fire from above to kill whoever:
“There is a valuable use for drones and as much as I’m seen as an opponent of drones, in military and warfare, they do have some value,” Paul said on Fox News’s “Fox and Friends.”
“I’ve been an opponent of using drones about people not in combat, however if you are holding hostages, you kind of are involved in combat.”
You see, we had to kill whoever was in that hut, because they were probably in possession of the hostages we had no idea were in that hut. That’s strategic logic, people! Presidential strategic logic. Right? Right?

Battling the Crazed Building Regulations in San Francisco

Did you miss my interview with Sonja Trauss, founder of the San Francisco Bay Area Renters' Federation

Here's what the Libertarian Party of San Francisco had to say about it, in an email to its members:
Hi All,

If you all have a chance, please listen to this interview with Sonja Trauss.  Robert Wenzel of the Economic Policy Journal did an amazing job at getting Sonja to bring out some excellent background on our current housing situation, as well as a list of hurdles developers face in building anything at all in this town.

It was very rewarding that Robert Wenzel mentioned the LPSF and our Tax Day during the interview.

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2015/04/the-robert-wenzel-show-sonja-trauss.html


   -RW

UPDATE:

Marcy Berry, Vice-Chair of the Libertarian Party of San Francisco, emails:

Hi Bob,

This was an excellent interview!  Sonja has a way of making everything sound doable, and therefore, promoting hope and action.

Marcy


This is How Bad Things Are Getting at Rand Paul Central

Rand Paul's brain, Jesse Benton, is tweeting up a pro-Mitch McConnell storm. Including a re-tweet that originated with the super-neocon  WaPo columnist Jennifer Rubin, in which she named McConnell as "Distinguished pol of the week":

"Hold your nose" Benton also piled on in other tweets without a Rubin nudge:


Just what the libertarian movement needs, a tweet homage to one of the most evil men in a city of evil men.

(ht Felix Bronstein)

 -RW

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Emperor's Learning Curve

By Chris Rossini

Marco Rubio claims to have the skills of an Emperor. You see, he's on the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees. That's a much better position to be in than some punk Governor:
“Governors can certainly read about foreign policy in briefings, and meet with experts, but there is no way they’ll be ready on day one to manage U.S. foreign policy because the learning curve alone would take a number of years, and you see that reflected in the history of the presidency.”
You know what doesn't take "a number of years" to learn?

The U.S. Constitution.

I know...I know...these "public servants" raise their right hand and swear to uphold the U.S. Constitution as a matter of tradition only. We all know that the whole ceremony is nothing more than a politician's very first official lie.

Instead, there's a very steep learning curve that apparently takes a number of years. And for what? The destruction of foreign peoples and lands, as well as the subjugation and bankruptcy of your own.

Yes, the learning curve is tough. The Emperor must decide which country to ruin next. He must decide whether to back Sunni here, or Shia there. He must decide whether a foreign goon is a "freedom fighter" or the enemy....a "moderate" or an "extremist".

It's all just a learning curve.

Rubio says he's got it. Ready "on day one to manage U.S. foreign policy".

Sheldon Adelson's lucre is starting to jingle.





Spotted at the Cato Institute: A Take on Rand Paul's View on Audit the Fed

There is a great object lesson provided by a recent Cato Institute panel discussion. It provided great insight into why it usually makes sense to go for the jugular and call for dismantlement of government agencies, rather than measures that are unclear in objectives and which can be co-opted by the established order.

The panel discussion took place on April 17 at the Washington D.C. headquarters and was titled. Should GAO Audit the Federal Reserve?.  Remarkably, the discussion hardly touches on the evils of the Federal Reserve and how it is the creator of the business cycle and a generally unstable economy. Instead, it is a discussion of the minutiae of what an establishment conducted audit would do and what it would look like. That's co-opting Ron Paul's call for auditing the Fed, which I am sure was aimed more at exposing the evils of Fed money manipulation.

The topic of gold doesn't even come up until the question and answer period at the end of the secession, where an audience participant brings it up. Panelist David Wessel of the Brookings Institute answered the question with utter contempt and said, "We tried the gold standard. It didn't work very well and we shouldn't go back."

Another panelist for this inside the Beltway Cato event was David Walker, a former United States Comptroller General who oversaw the General Accounting Office. His reply to the question was, "I don't see how practically you could go back to a gold standard."

And that's the kind of "broad policy discussion" you get at Beltway institutions these days.

There was one on point observation, however, and it came from Wessel, when he discussed Rand's view on Audit the Fed:






 -RW

What Neocons Could Learn From an Understanding of the Horrors Created By Woodrow Wilson

An important essay is out by John R. Schindler who was formerly a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, where he taught courses on security, strategy, intelligence, terrorism, and military history. During his career, he was also an intelligence analyst at the National Security Agency and a counterintelligence officer.

In the essay, Schindler surveys the many foreign policy errors that Woodrow Wilson committed that  led to horrific killing and  ultimately World War II.

It is not difficult to see many parallels between Wilson's march into Europe, fueled by his religious liberal Protestant fever, and then his grave error in calling for the breakup of the Hapsburg monarchy, with current day war activity encouraged by neocons and Evangelicals.

This time it isn't the Hapsburg monarchy that is broken up that has led to turmoil in Europe. This time it is the takedown of Saddam Hussein and the resulting breakup in Iraq that has led to turmoil in the Middle East.

As Schindler makes clear, there was no good reason for the U.S. to enter Wold War I, the war was petering out when the U.S. entered. Presently, there is no good reason for the U.S. to be involved in the regional flare ups in the Middle East, which were triggered, in the first place, by the U.S. attack on Iraq.

Read Schindler's full account of Wilson's follies here.

 -RW

"Neither London nor New York Will be Livable in Ten Years"

By Taki Theodoracopulos

A recent column in the FT had me mad as hell and not about to take it any more. The writer, Simon Kuper, calls Vienna a backwater, a bit like calling the Queen a busted flush because of her age. Sure, he writes how great Vienna was back when the Habsburgs ruled the roost, attracting people from all over, “some of them nuts.” He includes Freud, Hitler, Stalin, and Trotsky. Not the nicest bunch I can think of, but then the paper is a pink one at that. He fears London might go the way of Vienna, and price itself unaffordable to everyone but a few Chinese, Russian and Indian billionaires. The trouble is he’s right about London and dead wrong where Vienna is concerned. Vienna, incidentally, is dirt cheap.

Feeling myself inflate like a blowfish at the insult to my beloved city, I thought back to all those Schoenburg – Hartensteins gallivanting in fancy pantaloons around those beautiful palaces since the beginning of the 18th century. These were noble German counts who moved to Austria and became princes, a smart course however upwardly mobile. The place is still full of them, and my daughter recently visited Vienna and reported back that it was the most livable city in Europe.

Read the rest here.

Modern Day "Reality"

By Walter E. Williams

One of the wonders of modern times is that reality is often seen as a social construct and therefore optional. Thus, if one finds a particular reality offensive or inconvenient, he just "changes" it.

Say that one is born a male or a female but believes that nature made an error. Some believe that nature's "error" can be corrected by calling oneself another sex. Possibly a medical procedure on one's genitalia can correct nature's error. However, Mother Nature is ruthless. Sex determination is strictly chromosomal. Females are XX, and males are XY. There is no medical procedure that can change that. Once a male or female, always a male or female.

What about the chant "Hands up; don't shoot," echoed during street demonstrations and rioting and even in the halls of Congress? The lie was that Michael Brown had held his hands up to surrender to a white racist Ferguson, Missouri, police officer, Darren Wilson, who then shot him in cold blood. Even after it was proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the reality was entirely different, it didn't matter. "Hands up; don't shoot" became the chant across the land.

"More women are victims of domestic violence on Super Bowl Sunday than on any other day of the year." That's the lie produced by feminists in 1993. It received a boost at this year's Super Bowl game in a 30-second, multimillion-dollar ad co-sponsored by the NFL, currying favor with women's groups as a result of a few players' misbehavior. Regarding the grossly bogus study, feminist writer Christina Hoff Sommers concluded, "How a belief in that misandrist canard can make the world a better place for women is not explained."

Saudi Propaganda About the Middle East

By Patrick Buchanan

For a month now, the Saudi air force has been bombing Yemen to reverse a takeover of that nation of 25 million by Houthi rebels, and reinstall a president who fled his country and is residing in Riyadh.

The Saudis have hit airfields, armor and arms depots, and caused a humanitarian catastrophe. Nearly 1,000 dead, 3,500 wounded and tens of thousands homeless. The poorest nation in the Arab world is near collapse. Dependent upon imported food, Yemen faces malnutrition and starvation.

And the United States has been an accomplice in the Saudi bombing of Yemen.

Why? Why is Yemen's civil war America's war?

What did the Houthis ever do to us?

While they bear us no love, their Houthi rebellion was an uprising against a pair of autocrats who had been imposed upon them, and against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

The Houthis' main enemy, AQAP, is America's worst enemy.

Why are we then making ourselves de facto allies of al-Qaida?

A Major New Attack on Libertarianism?

The book, One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America by Princeton University professor Kevin Michael Kruse, is being marketed this way:
We’re often told that the United States is, was, and always has been a Christian nation. But in One Nation Under God, historian Kevin M. Kruse reveals that the idea of “Christian America” is an invention—and a relatively recent one at that.

As Kruse argues, the belief that America is fundamentally and formally a Christian nation originated in the 1930s when businessmen enlisted religious activists in their fight against FDR’s New Deal. Corporations from General Motors to Hilton Hotels bankrolled conservative clergymen, encouraging them to attack the New Deal as a program of “pagan statism” that perverted the central principle of Christianity: the sanctity and salvation of the individual. Their campaign for “freedom under God” culminated in the election of their close ally Dwight Eisenhower in 1952.
An Amazon commenter notes:
I did not read this book yet, but was disturbed by the "Fact" stated in the write-up was that the national motto, "In God we trust" was a recent addition. Whatever you may think of our motto, Francis Scott Key quotes it in the Fourth stanza of the "Star Spangled Banner," Written in the year, 1814 AD/CE (which ever you prefer.) Thus, law making it a motto may have been enacted in the 1950, but it has been a de facto motto for a lot longer than that. I will give it PROVISIONAL 1 STAR, so I can publish this comment. This may be a good book; I intend to find out. But, I will be wary of the facts presented.

More disturbing is that there are indications of a vicious underlying attack against libertarianism in the book.  @FriedrichHayek  tweets:
Kevin Kruse's UG is a history in which New Deal Democrats & progressive GOPers place new God slogans in gov & libertarians are the villains.
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Kevin Kruse's Under God is a history where anyone who opposes Stalin or socialism is labeled a libertarian & vilified as one of the bad guys.
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Kevin Kruse's Under God is a history where Hayek & Mises have not upended everything by showing that the dream of socialism is impossible.
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Kevin Kruse's Under God is history were the Christian Socialists & Nationalists haven't just sent a generation to pointless slaughter in WWI
  -RW

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Christie’s Wife Quits as Managing Director at Wall Street Firm

Mary Pat Christie, the wife of Chris Christie, resigned as a managing director from the hedge fund manager, Angelo, Gordon & Co., raising speculation that New Jersey Governor Christie will soon announce that he will enter the crowded field for 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

“Mrs. Christie has decided to take a hiatus from her work in the finance world to spend more time with her family and young children,” Kevin Roberts, a spokesman for the governor said.

Who Was Really Behind the Assassination Attempt on Ronald Reagan?

It does not appear that political insider Roger Stone is buying the idea that John Hinkely was a "lone nut":

Political Insiders on Rand's "Interview Problem"

The National Journal asked a slew of political insiders, and I mean a slew, this question: "How much of an issue is Sen. Rand Paul's interview problem for his 2016 campaign?":

Block vs. Vacek on Rights

The following email exchange recently took place between Walter Block, Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics, Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business, Loyola University New Orleans, and Edward Vacek, S.J., Loyola University,Religious Studies.


To; Walter Block:

Thanks for the panel presentation, Walter.  You are courageous.

Yes, I really do not understand a lot about libertarianism.  The very name led me to believe that you would hold that people have a right to make choices about their own lives, but – consistent with your one-only  principle, I now see – you do not hold that.  I keep learning.

Ed

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The Boring Ronald Reagan

Gore Vidal writes:

I first saw Ronnie and Nancy Reagan at the Republican convention of 1964 in San Francisco’s Cow Palace. Ronnie and Nancy (they are called by these names throughout the book under review) were seated in a box to one side of the central area where the cows—the delegates, that is—were whooping it up. Barry Goldwater was about to be nominated for president. Nelson Rockefeller was being booed not only for his communism but for his indecently uncloseted heterosexuality. Who present that famous day can ever forget those women with blue-rinsed hair and leathery faces and large costume jewelry and pastel-tinted dresses with tasteful matching accessories as they screamed “Lover!” at Nelson? It was like a TV rerun of the Bacchae, with Nelson as Pentheus.

I felt sorry for Nelson. I felt sorry for David Brinkley when a number of seriously overweight Sunbelt Goldwaterites chased him through the kitchens of the Mark Hopkins Hotel. I felt sorry for myself when I, too, had to ward off their righteous wrath: I was there as a television commentator for Westinghouse. I felt sorry for the entire “media” that day as fists were actually shaken at the anchorpersons high up in the eaves of the hall. I felt particularly sorry for the “media” when a former president named Eisenhower, reading a speech with his usual sense of discovery, attacked the press, and the convention hall went mad. At last Ike was giving it to those Commie-wierdo-Jew-fags who did not believe in the real America of humming electric chairs, well-packed prisons, and kitchens filled with every electrical device that a small brown person of extranational provenance might successfully operate at a fraction of the legal minimum wage.

As luck would have it, I stood leaning on the metal railing that enclosed the boxed-in open place where, side by side, Ronnie and Nancy were seated watching Ike. Suddenly, I was fascinated by them. First, there was her furious glare when someone created a diversion during Ike’s aria. She turned, lip curled with Bacchantish rage, huge unblinking eyes afire with a passion to kill the enemy so palpably at hand—or so it looked to me. For all I know she might have been trying out new contact lenses. In any case, I had barely heard of Nancy then. Even so, I said to myself: There is a lot of rage in this little lady. I turned then to Ronnie. I had seen him in the flesh for a decade or so as each of us earned his mite in the Hollyjungle. Ronnie was already notorious for his speeches for General Electric, excoriating communists who were, apparently, everywhere. I had never actually spoken to him at a party because I knew—as who did not?—that although he was the soul of amiability when not excoriating the international monolithic menace of atheistic godless communism, he was, far and away, Hollywood’s most grinding bore—Chester Chatterbox, in fact. Ronnie never stopped talking, even though he never had anything to say except what he had just read in the Reader’s Digest, which he studied the way that Jefferson did Montesquieu. He also told show-biz stories of the sort that overexcites civilians in awe of old movie stars, but causes other toilers in the Industry to stampede.

I had heard that Reagan might be involved in the coming campaign. So I studied him with some care. He was slumped in a folding chair, one hand holding up his chins; he was totally concentrated on Eisenhower. I remember thinking that I had made the right choice in 1959 when we were casting The Best Man, a play that I had written about a presidential convention. An agent had suggested Ronald Reagan for the lead. We all had a good laugh. He is by no means a bad actor, but he would hardly be convincing, I said with that eerie prescience which has earned me the title The American Nostradamus, as a presidential candidate. So I cast Melvyn Douglas, who could have made a splendid president in real life had his career not been rejuvenated by the play’s success, while the actor whom I had rejected had no choice but to get himself elected president. I do remember being struck by the intensity with which Reagan studied Eisenhower. I had seen that sort of concentration a thousand times in half-darkened theaters during rehearsals or Saturday matinees: the understudy examines the star’s performance, and tries to figure how it is done. An actor prepares, I said to myself: Mr. Reagan is planning to go into politics. With his crude charm, I was reasonably certain that he could be elected mayor of Beverly Hills.

Trouble for Rand in Nevada?

Nevada voters will have an early say in 2016 in the Republican race for the presidential election, right after New Hampshire primary and at the same time as the South Carolina primary where Rand Paul is not expected to do well.

The early thinking must have been from the Rand camp that Nevada results  would give Rand a powerful boost, since Rand's father always put in a very strong showing in the state.

But things may be changing and not for the better for Rand. The Nevada GOP may move from a caucus system to a primary.

WaPo's  Katie Zezima explains what this would mean for Rand:
If the bills -- one which would create party primaries instead of caucuses, or another that would mandate an open primary -- pass, it could be bad news for the Paul running for president this year.

The Kentucky Republican is tapping into his father's infrastructure in the state, hoping to harness its supporters as he draws in others who may not have been affiliated with his campaign. Paul is trying to appeal to the state's libertarian bent, telling an audience in Las Vegas this month that he is "unafraid to challenge the status quo" and railing against excessive government regulation.

Caucuses tend to bring out only the most passionate supporters, making them a natural fit for Paul. A primary system -- which increases turnout, lessens the impact of motivated outsider groups, and can make it more difficult to add additional delegates by way of a selection process that falls after Election Day -- would make it more unlikely for Paul to claim the sort of insurgent showing his father did.
  -RW

A Last Minute Entry at the Neocon Summit

The Weekly Standard  is holding a 20th Anniversary Summit at The Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs on May 14-16, 2015.

Not surprisingly, Bill Kristol, editor of the warmongering mag, will be a speaker, As will Charles Krauthammer and  John Bolton.

Most noteworthy, though, is that Carly Fiorina, who is about to announce that she is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, has just been announced as a guest and panelist at the event.

It appears the neocons have the Republican Party surrounded.

  -RW