Hat tip: Mises Daily
by Mark Thornton
Thursday, November 14, 2002
For a few billion dollars you might expect to be able to bribe some small third world country into cleaning up its act, to defend the property rights of its citizens, to provide a stable currency, and to establish a non-interventionist economic and foreign policy.
With little Switzerlands and industrial revolutions developing around the globe, the U.S. could provide the examples that would establish a classical liberal world order within one generation with less than 1% of the federal budget.
Alas, Americans are united in their opposition to foreign aid—and with good reason! Foreign aid, military aid, debt relief, economic development assistance, and even disaster assistance money—all with “strings attached” to ensure proper behavior—are associated with “fraud, waste, and abuse.”
U.S. aid designed to bring about peace in the Middle East is an ideological seedbed of hatred, war, and terrorism. The big players in foreign aid, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, are more likely to bring about economic meltdown and social calamity than economic stability.
Ludwig von Mises pointed out (Planning for Freedom) that foreign aid doesn’t create friends in foreign lands, it creates ideological enemies who wish to do us harm:
The United States, they think, is aiding them because its people have a bad conscience. They themselves pocket this bribe but their sympathies go to the socialist system. The American subsidies make it possible for their governments to conceal partially the disastrous effects of the various socialist measures they have adopted.
Mises is here referring to our “friends” in Europe, but the same could be applied to the Middle East, Africa, the Western Hemisphere, and Asia, with the only possible exception being countries like Vietnam and Australia who receive limited or no foreign aid from the United States or the international organizations that we control.
The fraud and failure of foreign aid is now so obvious that it has ended up in the pages of the American Economic Review!
The major news media was replete with reports over the weekend that the coffee company, Starbucks, “has no problem with customers packing heat while placing their orders.”
“The coffee giant says it won’t take issue with gun owners who take advantage of ‘open carry’ laws and bring firearms into their restaurant.” (Source: NBC News)
To tell you the truth, I’m not sure why this is even considered “newsworthy.” Perhaps because Starbucks is a Seattle-based company that caters to the “yuppie” crowd? Maybe because the anti-gun national news media is shocked and chagrined at Starbucks’ statement? Who knows? That Starbucks would not want to alienate millions of gun owners (many of whom lawfully carry concealed weapons for personal protection) makes perfectly good sense to me. I’m sure the statement by Starbucks has little to do with guns and everything to do with business. But the fact is, there are tens of thousands of lawfully armed citizens who carry either concealed or open that have been peacefully doing business with thousands of companies around the country for years.
Editor’s Note: Sometimes it’s good to listen to the other side with an open mind because perhaps they know better. This article about Ron Paul was sent to us by our neo-conservative friend, Richard Deekbag, founder of the following website (we apologize for the length of the URL):
I mean just look at the guy. Ron Paul is all skinny, old, and wrinkly. His speeches are rambling diatribes supporting the long debunked conspiracy theory known as the U.S. Constitution. Everyone knows the Constitution expired more than 100 years ago and has no place in our Conservative-Progressive-Democratic-Socialist-Liberal-Republican (ConProDemSocLibRep) society.
After all it was Ru Paul’s isolationist ideas that lead America into its darkest period following the Revolutionary War after his idiotic idols, the Founding Fathers, defeated the British occupiers. Well, they were more like friendly visitors than occupiers. Visitors that honored the American colonies by taxing them heavily and treating them like peasants.
Everyone knows by now that Ron Paul’s efforts to abolish the massively successful Federal Reserve bank is kookier than cookies. The Fed has been our savior over and over and over and over and over again over the years. If it weren’t for the Fed the so-called “Great Depression” would have been much shorter. That’s a gigantic problem because we needed it to last much longer just to prove that government regulation is the lifeblood of the economy!
You’ve seen “ER” and I’ve seen “ER” and I think we can both agree that if bipartisan health care reform were a patient, Doctor Obama would be dejectedly dropping the paddles, ripping off his mask and asking Nurse Pelosi to call it.
Oh, yeah. It’s finished. Done with. Kaput. Defunct. Deceased. Extinct. Artifacto. Fuggedaboutit. Game over, man. Part of the vast past tense. Washed up. Down the drain. Sleeping with the fishies. Sheer finito. Totally obliterated. See ya. Wouldn’t want to be ya. Pushing up daisies. Eaten by the undertoad. Down Goes Frazier! Rests in peace. Bereft of life. Shuffled off its mortal coil. Crossed the distant shore. Run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible. Stick a fork in it. It’s history. A memory. In the archives. Way gone. Say bye. Then again… you never know. Reconciliation. Such an innocent word.
With the deftness of Houdini, the president conjured up a seance where Democrats and Republicans sat down together and aired out differences like actual humans, and while the festivities conspicuously lacked any hand-holding choruses of “Kumbaya,” the two sides did refrain from physically throttling each other and nobody staggered out in full view of the cameras cradling a bloody stump. Which, for these guys, is a leap. They did, however, continue to lock out ordinary Americans by talking in a special Congressional code known as Politico-Speak. And I’m here to decipher.
by Ilona Trommler
Guest columnist of The Liberty Voice
Throughout the forty years since immigrating from Communist Hungary I watched many changes take place, political climates shift, as slowly I was beginning to recognize signs of what I knew growing up. Whenever I tried to talk to people about the changes I was noticing, they simply told me it could never happen in America!
As I am getting more politically interested and involved, realizing how we all slept through the decades while politicians took more and more liberties limiting our freedoms, I realized my story was becoming important for people to hear. It tells what is to come unless we take a stand, and force those we send to Washington to lead by that wisely written document, that allowed our country to be the best the world has ever offered. That incredible document that made this land the sanctuary to all people who ran from tyranny, and they found safety and freedom on our shores…… under the protection of the Constitution.
I often wondered why my search for freedom took me so far from my homeland, and not long ago it dawned on me, maybe the history of my country is important knowledge for America’s freedom. Maybe my story needs to be told to open eyes, and make what is happening today feel real, and more believable. Maybe I am here so I can tell what happens when a people sleep, and take their eyes off what their government is doing! I came from where we are heading, and this road was paved by tyrants!
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, the following are excerpts of his speech given at Riverside Church, New York, N.Y. on April 4, 1967 — exactly one year before his assassination.
I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. [There comes a time] when silence is betrayal. The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty.
Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation’s history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movements, and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.
The Lafayette County Republican Central Committee put up a message billboard on I-70 near Grain Valley, Missouri.
Russian Military Analysts are reporting to Prime Minister Putin today that US President Barack Obama has issued orders to his Northern Command’s (USNORTHCOM) top leader, US Air Force General Gene Renuart, to “begin immediately” increasing his military forces to 1 million troops by January 30, 2010, in what these reports warn is an expected outbreak of civil war within the United States before the end of winter.
According to these reports, Obama has had over these past weeks “numerous” meetings with his war council about how best to manage the expected implosion of his Nations banking system while at the same time attempting to keep the United States military hegemony over the World in what Russian Military Analysts state is a “last ditch gambit” whose success is “far from certain”.
And to Obama’s “last ditch gambit”, these reports continue, he is to announce in a nationwide address to his people this coming week that he is going to expand the level of US Military Forces in Afghanistan by tens of thousands of troops, while at the same time using the deployment of these soldiers as a “cover” for returning to the United States over 200,000 additional American soldiers from the over 800 bases in over 39 countries they have stationed around the Globe bringing the level of these forces in America to over 1 million, a number the US Military believes will be able to contain the “explosion of violence” expected to roil these peoples when they learn their economy has been bankrupted.
These reports further state that at the same time Obama will be attempting to keep his Nation from violent disintegration, the tens of thousands of additional troops he will send to Afghanistan are to be ordered to Kandahar where the Americans and their NATO allies will begin their final attempt to secure their TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India) pipeline, which without the Western Nations, due to their grave lack of alternative energy resources, and being cut off from these vast Central Asian supplies (which both Russia and China are seeking to insure), are warned will totally collapse.
Iranians do not need or want us to teach them about liberty and representative government. They have long embodied this struggle. It is we who need to be taught. It was Washington that orchestrated the 1953 coup to topple Iran’s democratically elected government, the first in the Middle East, and install the compliant shah in power. It was Washington that forced Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, a man who cared as much for his country as he did for the rule of law and democracy, to spend the rest of his life under house arrest. We gave to the Iranian people the corrupt regime of the shah and his savage secret police and the primitive clerics that rose out of the swamp of the dictator’s Iran. Iranians know they once had a democracy until we took it away.
The fundamental problem in the Middle East is not a degenerate and corrupt Islam. The fundamental problem is a degenerate and corrupt Christendom. We have not brought freedom and democracy and enlightenment to the Muslim world. We have brought the opposite. We have used the iron fist of the American military to implant our oil companies in Iraq, occupy Afghanistan and ensure that the region is submissive and cowed. We have supported a government in Israel that has carried out egregious war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza and is daily stealing ever greater portions of Palestinian land. We have established a network of military bases, some the size of small cities, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Kuwait, and we have secured basing rights in the Gulf states of Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. We have expanded our military operations to Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Egypt, Algeria and Yemen. And no one naively believes, except perhaps us, that we have any intention of leaving.
We are the biggest problem in the Middle East. We have through our cruelty and violence created and legitimized the Mahmoud Ahmadinejads and the Osama bin Ladens. The longer we lurch around the region dropping iron fragmentation bombs and seizing Muslim land the more these monsters, reflections of our own distorted image, will proliferate. The theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote that “the most significant moral characteristic of a nation is its hypocrisy.” But our hypocrisy no longer fools anyone but ourselves. It will ensure our imperial and economic collapse.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s speech at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum Davos, Switzerland January 28, 2009
Good afternoon, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to thank the forum’s organizers for this opportunity to share my thoughts on global economic developments and to share our plans and proposals.
The world is now facing the first truly global economic crisis, which is continuing to develop at an unprecedented pace.
The current situation is often compared to the Great Depression of the late 1920s and the early 1930s. True, there are some similarities. However, there are also some basic differences. The crisis has affected everyone at this time of globalization. Regardless of their political or economic system, all nations have found themselves in the same boat.
There is a certain concept, called the perfect storm, which denotes a situation when Nature’s forces converge in one point of the ocean and increase their destructive potential many times over. It appears that the present-day crisis resembles such a perfect storm.
Responsible and knowledgeable people must prepare for it. Nevertheless, it always flares up unexpectedly.
The current situation is no exception either. Although the crisis was simply hanging in the air, the majority strove to get their share of the pie, be it one dollar or a billion, and did not want to notice the rising wave.
In the last few months, virtually every speech on this subject started with criticism of the United States. But I will do nothing of the kind.
I just want to remind you that, just a year ago, American delegates speaking from this rostrum emphasized the US economy’s fundamental stability and its cloudless prospects. Today, investment banks, the pride of Wall Street, have virtually ceased to exist. In just 12 months, they have posted losses exceeding the profits they made in the last 25 years. This example alone reflects the real situation better than any criticism.
The time for enlightenment has come. We must calmly, and without gloating, assess the root causes of this situation and try to peek into the future.