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Archive for August 2012

Go, Clint!

Posted on: August 31, 2012

Posted by Lew Rockwell on August 31, 2012 07:14 AM
Why is everyone, including the Romuluns, dissing Clint Eastwood this morning? First, because his segment was the only interesting moment during the entire Republican convention. And second, because he said this to the invisible Obama by his side:

I know you were against the war in Iraq, and that’s okay. But you thought the war in Afghanistan was OK. You know, I mean — you thought that was something worth doing. We didn’t check with the Russians to see how did it — they did there for 10 years.

This was the only non-warmongering foreign policy comment in Tampa, and, worse, one that mentioned the otherwise banned word, Afghanistan. It even garnered some cheers from that mostly bloodthirsty crowd. Oh, and he mentioned another dread word, Libertarian.

UPDATE from Travis Holte:

That speech was epic. Twice he made anti-war cracks, like telling Obama to just bring the troops home. Watching the strained faces in the crowd was a pleasure indeed. Chis Christie looked like a balloon waiting to burst. Wolf Blitzer was absolutely livid afterwards. I’ve never seen him so opinionated. Apparently, Clint had tossed his vetted speech. Good for you, Clint!

UPDATE from Jive Dadson:

I have little doubt that Mr. Eastwood knew it was Ron Paul who asked why not bring the troops back from Afghanistan “tomorrow,” not Mr. Romney. Made my day.

Source: LRC

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

If you haven’t heard yet, the United States of America just hit $16 trillion in debt yesterday. On a gross, nominal basis, this makes the US, by far, the greatest debtor in the history of the world.

It took the United States government over 200 years to accumulate its first trillion dollars of debt. It took only 286 days to accumulate the most recent trillion dollars of debt. 200 years vs. 286 days. This portends two key points:

1. Anyone who thinks that inflation doesn’t exist is a complete idiot;
2. To say that the trend is unsustainable is a massive understatement.

At an average interest rate of 2.130%, Uncle Sam will shuffle $340 billion out the door just in interest payments this year… and it’s a number that’s only going up. To put it in context, China owns so much US debt that the INTEREST INCOME they receive from the Treasury Department is nearly enough to fund their entire military budget.

It’s rather disgusting when you think about it.

Yet when you look at the raw numbers, there is no sign of improvement anywhere on the horizon. Last year, the Treasury Department brought in about $2.3 trillion in tax revenue. They spent $2.9 trillion JUST on -mandatory- programs like Social Security and Medicare, plus the very sacrosanct defense budget.

In other words, the US government was $600 billion dollars in the hole before paying a dime of interest on the debt, or paying the light bill at the White House. In fact the government’s own numbers reflect a budget deficit through the end of the decade, i.e. the debt level is only going to get higher. These are their own figures.

In the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire was facing a similar debt crisis. In just 11-years, the Ottoman central government went from spending 17% of its tax revenue on interest payments, to spending over 52% of its tax revenue on interest payments. Then came default. Eleven years. The US is at 15% right now. How long will it take for the interest burden to become unbearable?

History is full of examples of superpowers bucking under the weight of their debt. This is not the first time that it’s happened, and it won’t be the last.

Sovereign debt is a giant confidence game. Investors buy bonds on the belief that governments can (and will) pay. When that confidence is chipped away, the cost of capital becomes debilitating. And people tend to notice a $16 trillion debt burden.

This is banana republic stuff, plain and simple… and smart, thinking people ought to be planning on capital controls, wage and price controls, pension confiscation, and selective default. Because the next trillion will be here before you know it.

Source: Sovereign Man

1. Eviscerate Entitlements: Believes that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are unconstitutional, and has compared the failure of federal courts to strike them down to the courts’ failure to abolish slavery in the 19th century.

2. Lay Off Half His Cabinet: Wants to abolish half of all federal agencies, including the departments of Energy, Education, Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Labor.

3. Enable State Extremism: Would let states set their own policies on abortion, gay marriage, prayer in school, and most other issues.

4. Protect Sexual Predators’ Privacy: Voted against requiring operators of wi-fi networks who discover the transmission of child porn and other forms online sex predation to report it to the government.

5. Rescind the Bin Laden Raid: Instead of authorizing the Navy Seals to take him out, President Paul would have sought Pakistan’s cooperation to arrest him.

6. Simplify the Census: The questions posed by the Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey, which collects demographics data such as age, race, and income, are “both ludicrous and insulting,” Paul says.

7. Let the Oldest Profession Be: Paul wants to legalize prostitution at the federal level.

8. Legalize All Drugs: Including cocaine and heroin.

9. Keep Monopolies Intact: Opposes federal antitrust legislation, calling it “much more harmful than helpful.” Thinks that monopolies can be controlled by protecting “the concept of the voluntary contract.”

10. Lay Off Ben Bernanke: Would abolish the Federal Reserve and revert to use of currencies that are backed by hard assets such as gold.

11. Stop Policing the Environment: Believes that climate change is no big deal and the Environmental Protection Agency is unnecessary. Most environmental problems can be addressed by enforcing private-property rights. Paul also thinks that interstate issues such as air pollution are best dealt with through compacts between states.

12. Not Do Anything, but Still…: Would not have voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because it was a “massive violation of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of a free society.”

13. Let Markets Care for the Disabled: “The ADA should have never been passed,” Paul says. The treatment of the handicapped should be determined by the free market.

14. First, Do Harm: Wants to end birthright citizenship. Believes that emergency rooms should have the right to turn away illegal immigrants.

15. Diss Mother Teresa: Voted against giving her the Congressional Gold Medal. Has argued that the medal, which costs $30,000, is too expensive.

Source: Mother Jones

I was asked today: “If you were at a meeting and a military officer was speaking and at the Q&A you had a chance to ask him/her/it one question, what would it be?”

My reply: ” How does the military defend our freedoms fighting foreign wars thousands of miles away against people that were no threat to the United States and didn’t harm any Americans until our military invaded and occupied their countries?”

Source: Laurence Vance @ LRC

Now that Romney is the official nominee, I would like to give my official prediction about the election.

Prediction 1: If Romney wins, in four years we will have a higher national debt, and still have a drug war, a police state, troops in 150 countries, and a national security/warfare state. Prediction 2: If Obama wins, in four years we will have a higher national debt, and still have a drug war, a police state, troops in 150 countries, and a national security/warfare state.

Source: Laurence Vance @ LRC Blog


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