MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The Bizarre, Unanimous Dem Support for the $40b War Package to Raytheon and CIA: “For Ukraine”

Posted by M. C. on May 14, 2022

 AOC, needless to say, has not bothered to reconcile this vote with the drastically divergent body of statements she has uttered her entire adult life because her blind followers do not demand anything of her, let alone explanations for why she does what she does 

Glenn Greenwald

After Joe Biden announced his extraordinary request for $33 billion more for the war in Ukraine — on top of the $14 billion the U.S. has already spent just ten weeks into this war — congressional leaders of both parties immediately decided the amount was insufficient. They arbitrarily increased the amount by $7 billion to a total of $40 billion, then fast-tracked the bill for immediate approval. As we reported on Tuesday night, the House overwhelmingly voted to approve the bill by a vote of 388-57. All fifty-seven NO votes came from Republican House members. Except for two missing members, all House Democrats — every last one, including all six members of the revolutionary, subversive Squad — voted for this gigantic war package, one of the largest the U.S. has spent at once in decades.

While a small portion of these funds will go to humanitarian aid for Ukraine, the vast majority will go into the coffers of weapons manufacturers such as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and the usual suspects. Some of it will go to the CIA for unspecified reasons. The extreme speed with which this was all approved means there is little to no oversight over how the funds will be spent, who will profit and how much, and what the effects will be for Ukraine and the world.

To put this $54 billion amount in perspective, it is (a) larger than the average annual amount that the U.S. spent on its own war in Afghanistan ($46 billion), (b) close to the overall amount Russia spends on its entire military for the year ($69 billion), 

See the rest here

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Transgender Debate Should Be about Women’s Freedom and Private Property Rights

Posted by M. C. on May 14, 2022

Too many social issues advocate for government, instead of individual, action to advance their causes even when it might come back to bite them under future governments. To achieve their aims, gender-critical feminists should fight for less government power instead of relying on the government to protect them. The transgender debate should be left to society because when you ask the average person “should biological men be allowed in women’s toilets,” they would say no. Instead, if we leave it up to a politician who faces the pressure of various militant pressure groups like Stonewall or Mermaids, they might likely give a different answer.

https://mises.org/wire/transgender-debate-should-be-about-womens-freedom-and-private-property-rights

Jess Gill

The hot topic in British politics is whether it is appropriate for transgender-identified males to go into women’s only spaces such as toilets, changing rooms, and prisons. With J.K. Rowling as their figurehead, there has been a rise of women voicing their concerns about their safety and comfort if biological males enter spaces intended for biological females.

Several gender-critical groups have used the Equality Act 2010 as a basis for excluding transgender-identified males from single-sex spaces. For example, The Women’s Rights Network welcomed the Equality and Human Right Commission’s guidance, which clarified that there “are circumstances where a lawfully established separate or single-sex service provider can exclude, modify or limit access to their service for trans people.”

However, the gender-critical argument based on human rights and progressive legislation is philosophically weak and will not last. Allowing the state to define what a “protected characteristic” is and who is allowed to discriminate will only protect women’s freedoms until the next general election. The leader of the opposition, Keir Starmer, has already given into the gender ideologues after refusing to answer questions such as “Can a woman have a penis?” or “Do only women have cervixes?” when confronted on the radio show LBC. The Labour Party seems to be dogmatic on the issue of transgender inclusion with the Labour MP, Rosie Duffield, receiving “obsessive harassment” after standing up for women’s spaces. In addition, influential LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) groups like Stonewall have been advocating for the Equality Act to make exemptions for transgender people in single-sex spaces. Extending the Equality Act to prohibit women’s only spaces to exclude biological men under the basis of “gender identity” will most likely be at the top of a Labour government’s legislative agenda. As the likelihood that the Conservatives will lose the next general election increases, the basis of women’s freedoms will probably go as well.

Instead of depending on the government’s subjectivity to protect women, gender-critical feminists should advocate for property rights as a bedrock of their campaign. Advocating for property rights means advocating for a person to be able to do as they wish with that property. Gender-critical feminists should use property rights as a basis for excluding biological men from women’s only spaces. Advocating for property rights would protect institutions that defend women’s spaces that would be punished by antidiscrimination laws. Giving businesses this autonomy would allow them to protect single-sex spaces by having the freedom to set the parameters of who’s allowed on their property.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Where is the $56 billion ‘to Ukraine’ actually going?

Posted by M. C. on May 14, 2022

The making of a money laundering operation.

Jordan Schachtel

This latest replenishment bill much more resembles money laundering via the narrative of America’s undeclared war against Russia. Money is being printed and distributed to a small group of wealthy regime insiders on the backs of the American taxpayer.

The United States has now delegated some $56 billion in new money to debase the currency “for Ukraine,” but hardly any of it is actually going to the Ukrainian people.

Due to President Trump, the D.C. war machine spent 2016 to 2020 starving for a monetary replenishment. And now that they have their man in the White House, along with easy consensus in the legislature, it’s time to cash in.

Wherever your opinion resides on this proxy war/inter-slavic spat 5,000 miles away on the Russia-Ukraine border region, reality cannot be denied.

The $56 billion and counting in “aid for Ukraine” that’s passing through the American legislature primarily serves the purpose of greasing the skids of the D.C. Beltway ruling class. And you’re paying for it.

If you think the people of Ukraine are going to see one dime of this money, think again. Not even the “humanitarian aid” portions of the assistance will reach the Ukrainian people, as it will be absorbed by a variety of DC lawyers, lobbyists, NGOs, and other well connected middle men. See: Afghanistan.

ST Foreign Desk @STForeignDeskDefiant US Senator Rand Paul stymies effort to pass $56 billion Ukraine aid bill Defiant US Senator Rand Paul stymies effort to pass $56 billion Ukraine aid billThe stalemate delayed passage of the measure into next week. . Read more at straitstimes.com.straitstimes.comMay 12th 20222 Retweets1 Like

If they gave the bill a more accurate title, it would be called the “Money For Raytheon And Friends” bill, as the majority of the funds from the latest $40 billion behemoth will be used to supply weapons purchase orders, and resupply weapons that were already sent to Ukraine, which arrived with a seeming back room deal to add to the deep pockets of the weapons manufacturers back home.

See the rest here

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The Real Reason Behind the EU’s Drive to Embargo Russian Oil

Posted by M. C. on May 14, 2022

Unfortunately, we are living through a time where the most powerful people in the world (at least in their minds) are openly trying to destroy the petroleum market for their own purposes and agenda. They are actively working to make oil and gas prices volatile to the point of destroying investment in the industry.

Author: Tom Luongo

This week the European Union is expected to announce a complete import ban on Russian oil. Hungary, in its first real act of defiance, is threatening to veto this; Germany, after some hemming and hawing, has finally decided it can survive such a ban.

Assuming Hungary’s objections are eventually overcome, at first blush this looks like yet another energy “own goal” by the people obsessed with soccer. The U.S. has already issued this ban.

Because European industry is heavily dependent on Russian oil and gas, the conventional wisdom is that the EU Commission is just petulant and incompetent.

Are they petulant? Yes. Incompetent? Possibly? But only if you think in conventional terms of doing the right thing for their people. What is clear to any serious observer of EU politics is that they are not interested in what their people have to say or want.

Theirs is an agenda which will brook no opposition, even if it means destroying its own economy to bring a rival to its knees.

That said, I sincerely doubt there will be a “buyers embargo” on natural gas because there is no viable substitute for it.

Hungary is using the need for unanimous consent within the European Council to block any ‘gas ban’ in any new economic sanctions package. There are at least three other countries which are happy Hungary is willing to suffer Brussels’ wrath.

But banning Russian oil, on the other hand, is different.

So, it is interesting that Hungary would do this, given they import no oil from Russia. {Ed. this is wrong, Hungary imports 65% of its oil through the Druzhba pipeline} This veto was predicted by me the morning after the Hungarians overwhelmingly rejected George Soros’s anti-Viktor Orban coalition and handed it an ignominious defeat.

Hungary, on the other hand, has energy independence from Brussels by having contracted directly with Gazprom for natural gas via Turkstream’s train that goes into Serbia and Hungary. This should give you some context as to why the EU is trying to sanction Serbia and cut off the flows of that pipeline where it crosses EU territory in Bulgaria.

See the rest here

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Will the Pentagon Induce Russia to Use Tactical Nukes in Ukraine?

Posted by M. C. on May 14, 2022

by Jacob G. Hornberger

For the past 25 years, the Pentagon has moved inexorably toward admitting Ukraine into NATO, which would then permit the Pentagon to install its nuclear missiles in Ukraine — that is, on Russia’s border. Thus, the Pentagon has progressively used NATO, an old Cold War dinosaur, to place Russia into a position of making a choice: Either (1) accept the fact that our nuclear missiles are going to be placed in Ukraine pointing at your cities, or (2) invade Ukraine to prevent that from happening.

Russia, of course, could have simply acquiesced in the installation of the Pentagon’s nuclear missiles on Russia’s border. But for the last 25 years, Russia has made it clear that it had no intention of letting that happen. The Russian position has been the same as the U.S. position has long been with respect to Cuba: No foreign nuclear missiles pointed at the United States will be permitted so close to the United States.

Despite Russia’s steadfast opposition to Ukraine’s admission into NATO, which, again, would permit the Pentagon to install its nuclear missiles on Russia’s border, the Pentagon refused to waver. Its position remained that Ukraine would be invited to join NATO, which would then enable the Pentagon to install its nuclear missiles on Russia’s border.

Thus, the Pentagon placed Russia in the position of making a choice between two alternatives, each of which came with horrific consequences. If Russia backed down, the Pentagon would be able to install its nuclear missiles pointed at Russian cities on the Ukraine-Russia border. If Russia choose instead to invade Ukraine to effect regime change and thereby prevent the Pentagon from installing its nuclear missiles in Ukraine, it would mean worldwide condemnation of Russia, not to mention the loss of thousands of Russian soldiers. 

In the end, as we all know, Russia chose option (2) — the invasion alternative.

However, thanks in large part to a massive infusion of weaponry and other support from the Pentagon, the CIA, and NATO, Russia has been stymied in its attempt to prevail in the conflict. If Russia is not able to effect regime change, that means that Ukraine will still be able to join NATO, in which case the Pentagon will succeed in installing its nuclear missiles in Ukraine. 

Thus, the Pentagon is now placing Russia in a position of, once again, having to make a choice between two alternatives, each of which comes with horrific consequences. 

One choice is simply to acquiesce to Russia’s defeat in the war and its failure to effect regime change. That choice would then enable Ukraine to join NATO, which would then mean the Pentagon gets to install its nuclear missiles on Russia’s border, something that Russian president Vladimir Putin has long vowed will not be permitted. 

The other choice is to use tactical nuclear weapons against Ukraine in order to win the war. WIth this choice, Putin could point to precedent: The U.S. government’s use of nuclear weapons against Japanese cities in World War II as a way to shorten the war and save the lives of U.S. soldiers. Russia could maintain that that’s what it too was doing by dropping tactical nuclear weapons on Ukrainian cities.

It’s easy for Americans to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. After all, Ukraine did nothing to attack Russia. In fact, it is always easy to condemn evil in foreign regimes. 

As I point out in my new book, An Encounter with Evil: The Abraham Zapruder Story, however, it is not so easy for many Americans to identify, confront, and condemn evil within their own regime. Instead, silence or, even worse, outright support of evil becomes the name of the game, especially when it involves the U.S. national-security establishment — that is, the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, who, it is believed, keep us safe by protecting “national security.”

What all too many Americans simply cannot — and will not — see is that the Pentagon’s manipulation of events in order to place Russia into making the particular choices outlined above is evil. After all, there is no good reason that Ukraine has to join NATO, especially since NATO should have been abolished at the ostensible end of the Cold War, when its ostensible mission had been accomplished. There is also no good reason why the Pentagon has to install its nuclear missiles on Russia’s border. Steadfastly maintaining these two positions, the Pentagon’s placing of Russia into the position of making those particular choices is nothing less than evil.

Ironically, or maybe not so ironically, that is precisely what evil did to Dallas businessman Abraham Zapruder, who, through sheer happenstance, filmed the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. As I detail in my new book, just as it has done with Russia the U.S. national-security establishment placed Zapruder in the position of having to make a choice between two alternatives, both of which came with horrific consequences. The choice that Zapruder made, as a result of his encounter with evil, ended up destroying the rest of his life.

Manipulating people into a position of choosing between two bad alternatives is sometimes how evil operates. In my new book, I quote the late psychiatrist M. Scott Peck, whose book People of the Lie was about evil: “The people I’m calling people of the lie are into looking good. And they place a high premium on that. And they’re into disguising their own evil from themselves as well as from others. And so they place a high premium on respectability. And their crimes are often much more subtle than those that get people in jail.”

 An Encounter with Evil: The Abraham Zapruder Story: Buy it today at Amazon. $9.95 Kindle version. $14.95 print version.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

TGIF: Alito’s Challenge to Libertarians

Posted by M. C. on May 14, 2022

by Sheldon Richman 

Note that Alito uses the term ordered liberty. That’s a concept in the case law, apparently first enunciated in 1937, that “sets limits and defines the boundary between competing interests.” Why must the term liberty be so qualified? Because, he writes, “attempts to justify abortion [and other things –SR] through appeals to a broader right to autonomy and to define one’s ‘concept of existence’ prove too much. Those criteria, at a high level of generality, could license fundamental rights to illicit drug use, prostitution, and the like. None of these rights has any claim to being deeply rooted in history.”

Alito hastens to add that other court-protected rights that are not deeply rooted in history — such as the rights to contraception, interracial marriage, and same-sex marriage — are not jeopardized by his opinion because abortion is unique. How confident can others be about that?

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/tgif-alitos-challenge-to-libertarians/

In his recently leaked first draft of an opinion that would reverse the abortion-rights cases Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito gives Americans a choice between judges who read their personal preferences into the Constitution and judges who recognize only rights that they find “rooted in [our] history and tradition” and deem “essential to our Nation’s ‘scheme of ordered Liberty.’”

Is that it? Neither choice seems an adequate safeguard for individual freedom.

Whether one likes the result or not, Alito’s draft in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization raises important issues apart from abortion. Indeed, he unintendedly draws attention to whether the Constitution can be relied on to protect liberty. Unsurprisingly, Alito is not concerned with rights as a philosophical matter. That’s not his job. Rather, he’s concerned only with constitutional rights — liberties that satisfy criteria making them worthy of protection by the government. By that standard, an otherwise perfectly defensible right might not qualify. That would be left to the legislative process. That’s the constitutional game. The framers understood this, though some libertarians do not.

The Constitution may seem to clearly endorse a general notion of liberty in the 14th Amendment’s due process clause, but does it really? Alito, like other conservatives, thinks not:

Historical inquiries … are essential whenever we are asked to recognize a new component of the “liberty” protected by the Due Process Clause because the term “liberty” alone provides little guidance. “Liberty” is a capacious term. As Lincoln once said: “We all declare for Liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing” In a well-known essay, Isaiah Berlin reported that “[h]istorians of ideas” had catalogued more than 200 different senses in which the terms had been used.

In interpreting what is meant by the Fourteenth Amendment’s reference to “liberty,” we must guard against the natural human tendency to confuse what that Amendment protects with our own ardent views about the liberty that Americans should enjoy. That is why the Court has long been “reluctant” to recognize rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution.

So, Alito writes elsewhere in his opinion, “[G]uided by the history and tradition that map the essential components of our Nation’s concept of ordered liberty, we must ask what the Fourteenth Amendment means by the term ‘liberty’ when the issue involves putative rights not named in the Constitution” — such as a woman’s putative right terminate a pregnancy.

Note that Alito uses the term ordered liberty. That’s a concept in the case law, apparently first enunciated in 1937, that “sets limits and defines the boundary between competing interests.” Why must the term liberty be so qualified? Because, he writes, “attempts to justify abortion [and other things –SR] through appeals to a broader right to autonomy and to define one’s ‘concept of existence’ prove too much. Those criteria, at a high level of generality, could license fundamental rights to illicit drug use, prostitution, and the like. None of these rights has any claim to being deeply rooted in history.”

If that counts as “proving too much,” libertarians would say let’s do it.

Alito hastens to add that other court-protected rights that are not deeply rooted in history — such as the rights to contraception, interracial marriage, and same-sex marriage — are not jeopardized by his opinion because abortion is unique. How confident can others be about that?

See the rest here

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Student Loan Crisis: Yet Another Government-Created Problem

Posted by M. C. on May 13, 2022

Government is not a problem-solver, but a problem multiplier. In an effort to make college “more affordable” and “more accessible,” students now live under mountains of debt. All of this credit has naturally driven up the price of going to college as well. Now government, in yet another effort to “help,” is thinking about forcing everyone else to pick up the tab. The worst words in the English language remain unchanged: “I’m from government, and I’m here to help.”

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

The Future of Capitalism | Q&A With MIT Students

Posted by M. C. on May 13, 2022

I recommend the entire interview. Go to 17:00~23:00 for Peterson’s opinion of the US free market system vs China.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Money: What Is It? The More Important Question: Why Is It?

Posted by M. C. on May 13, 2022

Because the type of money a society uses largely determines whether it will prosper or ultimately falter, an individual, or group of individuals, who prefers justice over injustice, prosperity over poverty, and liberty over tyranny must flatly reject fiat money regimes and embrace sound money.

https://mises.org/wire/money-what-it-more-important-question-why-it

Manuel Tacanho

Money is not the root of evil as many people mistakenly think. Corrupted money (i.e., fiat money and currency debasement), however, is the root of many economic, social and cultural evils. 

Most people know what money is, superficially, yes. Also, most don’t quite understand the concept of money. Otherwise, as Henry Ford put it “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” Indeed, if money was well understood, today’s fiat money system would not exist.

Money is first, foremost, and fundamentally a medium of exchange. A generally accepted good (physical and now digital also) that intermediates transactions within societies and between societies. In his new book Understanding Money Mechanics, which I recommend as it provides an easy-to-digest yet comprehensive overview of the theory, history, and practice of money, economist Robert P. Murphy wrote:

A formal definition for money is that it’s a universally accepted medium of exchange. Menger’s explanation showed how such a commodity could emerge from its peers merely through voluntary transactions and without any individual seeing the big picture or trying to “invent” money.

Besides being a medium of exchange, money can and does function as a unit of account and store of value.

Medium of Exchange

Before the concept of money emerged spontaneously (yes, money is an invention/discovery of the market, not of the state) early humans traded goods directly—the barter economy (direct exchange society). 

Direct exchange means for a trade, a purposeful and voluntary exchange of goods or services to take place, let’s say, between a hunter and a farmer, their wants would have to coincide. The farmer would have to want a piece of meat and the hunter a portion of the farmer’s potatoes. This is what economists call the coincidence of needs. 

Money emerged naturally as the solution to the ‘coincidence of needs’ problem and ushered in a new, more efficient way of trading and a superior social system altogether—the indirect exchange society. Human societies have been indirect exchange economies for thousands of years now thanks to money, a medium of exchange. 

Unit of Account (A Measure of Economic Value) 

See then rest here

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

The Right to Self-Defense

Posted by M. C. on May 13, 2022

If there can be no compulsion against jurors or witnesses, then a libertarian legal order will have to eliminate the entire concept of the subpoena power. Witnesses, of course, may be requested to appear. But this voluntarism must also apply to the defendants, since they have not yet been convicted of crime.

https://mises.org/library/right-self-defense

Murray N. Rothbard

If every man has the absolute right to his justly-held property it then follows that he has the right to keep that property—to defend it by violence against violent invasion.

Absolute pacifists who also assert their belief in property rights—such as Mr. Robert LeFevre—are caught in an inescapable inner contradiction: for if a man owns property and yet is denied the right to defend it against attack, then it is clear that a very important aspect of that ownership is being denied to him. To say that someone has the absolute right to a certain property but lacks the right to defend it against attack or invasion is also to say that he does not have total right to that property.

Furthermore, if every man has the right to defend his person and property against attack, then he must also have the right to hire or accept the aid of other people to do such defending: he may employ or accept defenders just as he may employ or accept the volunteer services of gardeners on his lawn.

How extensive is a man’s right of self-defense of person and property? The basic answer must be: up to the point at which he begins to infringe on the property rights of someone else. For, in that case, his “defense” would in itself constitute a criminal invasion of the just property of some other man, which the latter could properly defend himself against.

It follows that defensive violence may only be used against an actual or directly threatened invasion of a person’s property—and may not be used against any nonviolent “harm” that may befall a person’s income or property value. Thus, suppose that A, B, C, D … etc. decide, for whatever reason, to boycott the sales of goods from Smith’s factory or store. They picket, distribute leaflets, and make speeches—all in a non-invasive manner—calling on everyone to boycott Smith. Smith may lose considerable income, and they may well be doing this for trivial or even immoral reasons; but the fact remains that organizing such a boycott is perfectly within their rights, and if Smith tried to use violence to break up such boycott activities he would be a criminal invader of their property.

Defensive violence, therefore, must be confined to resisting invasive acts against person or property. But such invasion may include two corollaries to actual physical aggression: intimidation, or a direct threat of physical violence; and fraud, which involves the appropriation of someone else’s property without his consent, and is therefore “implicit theft.”

Thus, suppose someone approaches you on the street, whips out a gun, and demands your wallet. He might not have molested you physically during this encounter, but he has extracted money from you on the basis of a direct, overt threat that he would shoot you if you disobeyed his commands. He has used the threat of invasion to obtain your obedience to his commands, and this is equivalent to the invasion itself.

It is important to insist, however, that the threat of aggression be palpable, immediate, and direct; in short, that it be embodied in the initiation of an overt act. Any remote or indirect criterion—any “risk” or “threat”—is simply an excuse for invasive action by the supposed “defender” against the alleged “threat.” One of the major arguments, for example, for the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s was that the imbibing of alcohol increased the likelihood of (unspecified) people committing various crimes; therefore, prohibition was held to be a “defensive” act in defense of person and property. In fact, of course, it was brutally invasive of the rights of person and property, of the right to buy, sell, and use alcoholic beverages.

See the rest here

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »