Some Nice Articles to End the Year – Happy New Year!
Laurence Vance has these observations on the CIA torture report.
Lew Rockwell writes about Murray Rothbard and the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and the neocons vs. LewRockwell.com.
David Gordon of the Mises Institute writes about Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s new book, From Aristocracy to Monarchy to Democracy: A Tale of Moral and Economic Folly and Decay.
Jacob Hornberger on the New York Times, of all things, suggesting that it might be a good idea to abolish the CIA.
Philip Giraldi explains why he still dislikes Israel.
John Whitehead comments on the growing Orwellian police state in 2014. Such a review of the past year’s police state may seem depressing, but Richard Ebeling looks forward to the future and winning liberty.
Some More Recent Items
Here is a transcript of Lew Rockwell’s 2013 interview of Warren Commission critic Mark Lane. (Here is the audio.) More truth-telling on the JFK assassination.
Here is a long-lost interview with Murray Rothbard by The New Banner.
The Daily Bell interviews Gerald Celente who says that bankism has replaced capitalism, and comments on the Trans-Pacific/Atlantic Treaties and legalization of marijuana.
And Daniel McAdams on why millions of Christians would mourn on Christmas.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra, Charles Munch, and Mendelssohn’s 3rd
I was looking at some information on the Boston Symphony Orchestra, many of whose performances I saw from the late 1970s to early 1990s, and there were some very nice videos on YouTube. But this one video was especially interesting. This 1950s-era video shows then-music director Charles Munch conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3, the “Scottish.” The performance was probably from the mid-to-late 1950s.
One example of the conductor’s keeping his cool is around 15:35 in the video in which he gets a little too excited, his baton slips out of his hand and he catches it and continues conducting normally. (Now, if I were a member of the orchestra, that probably would’ve cracked me up, but these are mature professionals, and not one of them cracked up!)
Another interesting aspect of this video is that, at that time there was only one woman in the entire orchestra. Starting in 1952, Doriot Anthony Dwyer, now 92 according to her Wikipedia bio, had become the BSO’s first female player in the orchestra, and had been principal flute until retiring in the early 1990s. She was the first female principal chair in a major orchestra at that time, so it was quite a milestone.
Worshiping the State Is Bad for You
Wendy McElroy explains the ideas of statolotry, state heretics and state infidels.
James Carroll says that the CIA’s poisonous legacy starts with who we are.
Michael Rozeff says that U.S. Presidents have dictatorial powers.
Brendan O’Neill on Sony, North Korea, and saying No to self-censorship.
Paul Joseph Watson writes about a wacko gun control advocate who urges kids to rat on gun-owning parents and take the guns away.
And Russ Baker provides a primer on the Boston Marathon bombing investigation.
Jacob Hornberger discusses the cold war spy games showing the moral bankruptcy of the U.S. national security state.
William Jasper says: Abolish the EPA. (Yup.)
Sheldon Richman writes about monopoly and aggression.
Chris Rossini on what Sony and movie theaters really admitted.
The Daily Bell interviews Gary North on the Ron Paul Curriculum, free market education vs. government schools.
Murray Rothbard on egalitarianism as a revolt against nature.
Charlotte Allen on the top 10 feminist fiascoes of 2014.
Ralph Nader’s recommended holiday reading for the agitated mind.
Why Are Government Police Brutal?
Steven Rosenfeld of AlterNet lists 15 reasons why America’s police are so brutal (and getting away with it). But he doesn’t mention a particular reason, which happens to be the very most important reason why. And that is because the government police are . . . government police! There is no good reason why community policing and security can’t be de-monopolized by the government. Monopolists are not accountable.
Interventionism Causes Blowback? Who Knew?
Via Infowars, WikiLeakes releases a 2009 report in which the CIA admits that U.S. government’s drone assassinations program has backfired, after which the Obomber Administration increased its drone bombing and murdering of innocent foreigners. So it seems to me that these bureaucrats know about the blowback, and they continue murdering innocents overseas in order to escalate their provocations of those foreigners. That is how bureaucrats operate. Interventionists cause problems and blowback with their interventions, and then they invent new interventions in response to the blowback their previous interventions caused.
The NYPD Officer Ambush
Melissa Melton writes at Activist Post on the NYPD notice to LEOs in response to the recent incident in which two officers were murdered by a deranged wacko, and she quotes from the NYPD’s notice: “Absolutely NO enforcement action in the form of arrests and or summonses is to be taken unless absolutely necessary and an individual MUST be placed under arrest.”
And Melton asks, “Are they admitting openly what we already know? That not all enforcement actions and arrests are ‘absolutely necessary’ to begin with?”
In my view, it is morally wrong for someone to harm others who haven’t harmed anyone themselves. The murderer of those two NYPD officers probably didn’t know their records, which may very well have been spotless, I don’t know. In contrast, during the incident involving Eric Garner there was one police thug “chokeholding” Garner while the other officers aided and abetted that criminal act. Had someone else intervened with force in order to save Garner from imminent death, and the intervention caused injury or death to those criminal officers, then I see that as acceptable. If you are in the process of brutally murdering an innocent human being, then you’re at your own risk, in my view. All innocent human beings have a right to protect themselves against acts of aggression and violence being perpetrated against them — by anyone, regardless of one’s occupation — and it would be morally acceptable for bystanders to intervene at that point in this Garner incident.
But randomly targeting a cop just because it’s a cop is not acceptable.
As long as I’m writing about this, I’ll say that it was clear that the chokeholding officer who killed Eric Garner knew what he was doing. I believe that particular method of use of force against someone is illegal, from what I’ve heard. And there’s a reason for that. Especially given the video of the incident, the officer should have been charged with murder, first degree, and take the evidence and witness testimony and video to the jury. There should never be anything like this “Grand Jury” thing. If that is something that takes place behind closed doors or in secret, then it is thoroughly unconstitutional and un-American. If you already have evidence and witnesses, and reason to suspect that someone has acted criminally, then that individual must be charged. There should be no policy which separates any group of people from being exempt from the law, as government police officers currently are. That is why many people now don’t like them.
On Recording the Government Police Neanderthals
Steve Silverman has these very important and useful rules on recording police, and on dealing with certain situations involving interaction with government police goons and thugs.
The Extremists and Their Torture
Justin Raimondo explains how Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney pressed for extreme torture measures because they were obsessed with connecting Iraq to 9/11.
And Amy Goodman interviews Alfred McCoy on how psychological torture had been enshrined in U.S. law long before Bush and Cheney.
Governments Can Hack Computers and Frame Other Governments
Kit Daniels explains how the NSA can hack a corporation such as Sony Pictures and blame it on North Korea.
Government Criminality: What’s the Big Deal?
My latest article is now up on LewRockwell.com:
Recent polls show that, despite the Senate’s torture report, most Americans still support the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of torture on suspects. Obviously the mainstream media misinform the public, neglecting to tell them that such torture techniques do not even produce reliable information and are mainly used to extract false confessions from innocent detainees.
And on the National Security Agency’s spying on innocent Americans, people love it, and then they hate it, and now they’re back to loving it again. Alas, most people are ignorant of the actual criminality being committed by the federal goons.
But one American who shows enthusiastic support for NSA intrusions, a Federal Appeals Court judge, says that privacy is “overvalued,” and that “much of what passes for the name of privacy is really just trying to conceal the disreputable parts of your conduct.” If some unauthorized individual intruded into his cell phone, one would find a picture of the judge’s cat and some emails.
“What’s the big deal?” Judge Richard Posner asked, contemptuously wisecracking, “Other people must have really exciting stuff. Do they narrate their adulteries, or something like that?”
So, yeah, he’s all for NSA spying on innocent people without any reason to suspect them of anything.
He is one of those, “well, if you have nothing to hide. . .” kinds of judges, so people should just let government goons have complete access into all their personal information. After all, it’s in the name of “security” and to protect us from “terrorism.”
Never mind the fact that the government and its enforcers having the power to search people’s cell phones, get information on their calls and emails or search their cars and homes is a power which makes the people less secure. And that is the kind of power which enables government tyrants to terrorize the people, as Michael Rozeff correctly noted.
But the obedient defenders of the State and its sick criminality seem to assume that the NSA and other State enterprises such as CIA,TSA, etc., really are protecting people from terrorism.
Like DC District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer, who rules based on not wanting to “second-guess” the CIA and its authoritarian judgments, Judge Posner believes that we needn’t second-guess the NSA, as its agents’ authority and judgment ought not be questioned.
So, what kinds of security-protecting deeds have the good folks at the NSA actually been doing that we shouldn’t be concerned about? Well, according to Glenn Greenwald, we know that the GCHQ (Britain’s NSA equivalent) presented the NSA with classified documents on GCHQ’s own sleazy tactics of posting false material on the Internet to destroy reputations and turn people against one another. And GCHQ’s main targets are not even alleged “terrorists” but private companies just doing business, and political activists.
That sure sounds like they are protecting us from terrorism, if you ask me.
And, according to James Ball of the U.K. Guardian, we know that NSA and GCHQ have been infiltrating online gaming networks such as Xbox Live and World of Warcraft to collect gamers’ buddylists, profile photos, geolocation information and chats. But Ball notes that there is no evidence that such gaming network infiltration has thwarted any terrorism plots or even that members of any terror groups actually use these kinds of gaming networks.
A main purpose of such warrantless Internet intrusions is to put together biometric information of gamers and others. Governments just love to have as much information on each individual as possible such as biometric information that includes facial recognition photos, location, personal associations, etc., despite the overwhelming number of false positive matches and incorrect facial recognition results those databases give officials. Such databases of personally identifying information are just as unreliable as fingerprint databases and DNA testing as well.
But Judge Posner says, “What’s the big deal?”
And according to Glenn Greenwald, the NSA uses a tool called XKeyscore to collect “nearly everything a user does on the Internet.” With XKeyscore all the NSA agent needs is a user’s email address or IP address, and is only required to fill out a form giving some general rationalization for such criminal intrusions that don’t even require a warrant. Greenwald notes that NSA agents “can also search by name, telephone number, IP address, keywords, the language in which the internet activity was conducted or the type of browser used.”
Obviously, Judge Posner is very comfortable with all this. He isn’t exactly doing a Danny Thomas spit-take when hearing about all this stuff. What could possibly go wrong? And there are many other Americans who don’t mind their personal lives being an open book for the government, despite so much potential for abuse, such as blackmail.
But the truth is, only the most naive and gullible could endorse such powers of intrusion wielded by the State. (Or someone who has been blackmailed, of course.)
As the ACLU has pointed out, J. Edgar Hoover and his FBI and the Chicago Police Department used private, personal information to intentionally blackmail politicians and members of religious and political organizations. I’m sure other law enforcement agencies and bureaus have been doing exactly that since the days of J. Edgar Hoover and 1970s Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley.
From an interview with Peter B. Collins, Washington’s Blog quotes NSA whistleblower Russell Tice, stating that the NSA has been spying on and targeting “high-ranking military officers; they went after members of Congress … lawyers and law firms. All kinds of–heaps of lawyers and law firms. They went after judges. One of the judges is now sitting on the Supreme Court that I had his wiretap information in my hand. Two are former FISA court judges. They went after State Department officials. They went after people in the executive service that were part of the White House …”
And Washington’s Blog also quotes other government whistleblowers such as William Binney, Sibel Edmonds and Thomas Drake as to the various blackmail schemes of these criminal government spy agencies.
The NSA, FBI, CIA – the agents of all these bureaucracies take oaths and swear to obey the U.S. Constitution, which includes the Bill of Rights, yet they seem to violate such oaths every chance they can. (Oh, wait – CIA Director John Brennan took his oath of office using an early draft Constitution, without the Bill of Rights included. Never mind, as Emily Litella would say.)
But there are some CIA or NSA employees who really do believe in upholding their Constitutional oaths. Former CIA officer and torture whistleblower John Kiriakou is the only CIA officer in prison – not because of torturing people, but because of revealing information about the CIA’s torture.
But Kiriakou in an interview asserted that the CIA clearly didn’t care about his possibly revealing classified information, as they encouraged him to write op-eds and do interviews as a way to use such communications against him even though information he gave was cleared through the agency.
Kriakou concluded throughout his ordeal that “everyone is corrupt” in that agency. Or most everyone, that is. And the same thing is probably the case in all these other criminal agencies, NSA and so on.
I just can’t imagine anyone with a moral conscience actually inflicting the kinds of sick, deranged and sadistic torment on others as CIA agents have committed.
And I can’t imagine anyone, such as NSA personnel, with any moral conscience actually listening in on people, recording or videotaping them, breaking into their emails or phone calls or their cars or bedrooms without any suspicion, and “digging up some dirt” to use against innocent people including judges and military generals.
But “if you have nothing to hide …” as some judges have asserted, you should be okay with goons watching you and recording your actions. Alas, those who guard themselves against criminal intrusions and attempt to protect their private lives are labeled as “suspicious” in the eyes of the State and its statist defenders, toadies and dupes.
Sadly, “those who resist being inventoried present a problem for the state,” as Wendy McElroy observed.
Yes, honest and moral people are a problem for the State.
As McElroy points out, there should be one standard of morality. If it’s wrong for your neighbors to dig into your private life, it’s wrong for government agents.
To cure the problem, NSA whistleblower William Binney and several other well-intentioned government whistleblowers have presented 21 recommendations toward reforming the NSA. But the truth is, it is impossible to reform an agency that is part of a monopolistic governmental “security” apparatus, unless it is de-monopolized and we remove restrictions on free competition.
In any case, Future of Freedom Foundation President Jacob Hornberger has the best solution I’ve ever heard: Abolish the NSA.
And the CIA has outlived whatever usefulness it may have had after World War II, so we should get rid of that, too.
In fact, as Hornberger has suggested, it really is the entire evil National Security State that has long ago outlived whatever usefulness it may have had after World War II. So the real solution to restoring freedom and security is to thoroughly dismantle the entire National Security State apparatus, root and branch.
Was the Sony Hack an “Inside Job”?
Here is a very good article by Paul Joseph Watson with links to several other articles which explain why North Korea is not responsible for the Sony hack, but in all likelihood it appears to be an “inside job.” The totalitarians of the U.S. government want more excuses to censor the Internet.
Something in the Water at the NYT
New York Times sheeple David Brooks says that Elizabeth Warren can win the 2016 Presidential race. I am not sure whether he really just believes that to be the case, or perhaps it’s more the case he is hopeful that she will win. His writing sure seems to indicate that he is hopeful, like in an encouraging kind of way. And Brooks writes of Warren as though she would be an anti-Establishment candidate. No, David Brooks, Ron Paul was the anti-Establishment candidate, while Elizabeth Warren represents the statist quo.
Or perhaps Brooks just wants to see some sort of cat fight between Elizabeth and Hillary in the fight for the Democrat nomination. I know I do. Actually, Brooks does bring up how Warren uses the word “fight” in her rhetoric, particularly in her memoir,
Fat Chance A Fighting Chance. And Brooks thinks her chance of getting the nomination is good because of her using that word, “fight.” (But it didn’t help Geraldine Ferraro in 1984. Didn’t she say something like, “We have just begun to fight!” in her convention speech? And then she and Mondale lost 49 states. Someone tell sheeple Brooks that fact of history.)
But the reality of today’s politics is that Elizabeth Warren will not win in 2016, and neither will Hillary Clinton. Nor will Rand Paul. The hard reality is that Jeb Bush has been given the approval of the high-and-mighty, and he has launched his way to the White House, following in the footsteps of his war-criminal brother George and his war-criminal father George. It was just meant to be, that’s all. That’s what you get here in the USSA.
Sometimes I wonder if all this is just planned and staged to keep TPTB entertained, with pretend campaigns as though they actually mean anything. If you read Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s Democracy the God That Failed and his more recent book From Aristocracy to Monarchy to Democracy: A Tale of Moral and Economic Folly and Decay you’ll see that elections don’t mean anything, except for choosing who gets to have more power over the lives of others, and who gets to be above the law and who doesn’t. That’s about it.