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Entitlement and Exemption from Personal Responsibility on the Conservative Side

The attitudes of supremacy and entitlement are alive and well in America today, and it’s not just from the Left. Such attitudes can be seen in the administration of the death penalty, in the U.S. government’s wars, and the same-sex marriage issue as well.

To begin, there was an execution yesterday in Georgia of a woman, Kelly Gissendaner, who was convicted of arranging the murder of her husband who was murdered by Gissendaner’s boyfriend. Ironically, while Gissendaner was given the death penalty her murderer boyfriend got life in prison by way of a plea bargain. Because she didn’t actually do the killing, she should not have been given that ultimate penalty, in my view. Theoretically, only the one who actually committed the act should be given the death penalty. And I say “theoretically” because the agents of the State do not have the moral authority to administer such ultimate punishments. But I think there are just a lot of bloodthirsty employees of the State who don’t mind at all ordering or administering such punishments.

Those who supported this particular death sentence obviously don’t believe in the idea of personal responsibility. That is because, while Kelly Gissendaner did have her boyfriend murder her husband, she herself didn’t actually commit the murder. So in this case, even if one supports the State-perpetrated death penalty it certainly is not justifiable especially because Gissendaner did not directly cause her husband’s death. She did not actually kill him. Only those who actually commit some physical action are responsible for their actions, even if, in this case, Gissendaner asked the boyfriend to do it, or even if she paid someone to do it.

I compare this to Presidents who send soldiers to invade other countries and kill the people there and destroy their property. George W. Bush ordered the invasions and wars against Iraq in 2003 and Afghanistan in 2001. And those wars (along with the previous war against Iraq started by Bush’s father in 1991) were not even justified because Iraq was of no threat to America either in 1991 or in 2003, and Afghanistan was also no threat to America. But, while criminally culpable, the Bushes were not the ones who committed the actual killing and destruction.

It was the actual soldiers who went in and murdered Iraqis, men, women and children, and the actual bomb-droppers who murdered innocent people. “Just following orders” or not, those who committed actual crimes against others are responsible for their own actions. Which is not to absolve the Bushes of criminal acts, as they used the armed monopoly power of the State to organize the actions against whole populations abroad. So deep down, those soldiers as individuals know when they are killing innocent people. Thus it’s no wonder there are so many soldier and veteran suicides each day, because their guilty consciences get the better of them, regardless of the military’s attempts to stifle such moral scruples.

Now, if you strongly disagree with all that, it’s because you probably have a distorted view of the facts of those cases, of the “War on Terror,” and 9/11, based on propaganda government bureaucrats gave us that was repeated without question by the robots of the mainstream media. And many people will say about the Iraqis and other foreigners, “But they’re terrorists!” when no, those people over there were merely responding to an invasion of their territory, by retaliating. It was the U.S. military who was the invader of foreign lands, not the other way around. (And no, such a U.S. military response to 9/11 was not moral nor legitimate, as the people of Iraq and Afghanistan were not responsible for 9/11.) Those people there in Iraq and Afghanistan had every right in the world to retaliate against the U.S. military’s invasion, just as Americans would do if U.S. territory were invaded, occupied, and the people’s homes destroyed and innocent Americans murdered by foreigners.

Unfortunately, there are millions of people in America with an “entitlement” mentality, and it’s not just those on the Left. Many of those who believe in the supremacist idea of “American Exceptionalism” really believe that America has some kind of inherent supremacy over other countries, and that Americans are entitled to go over to other territories, invade and occupy them and act criminally and murderously against foreigners. They base such supremacy on things such as their belief in God, the Bible, and the Founders’ beliefs as the Exceptionalists see them, and other rationalizations of immoral behavior toward others. So in their “American Exceptionalism” beliefs they are entitled to other peoples’ lands and resources, and are entitled to enter others’ property without permission, and entitled to violate the rights of others. And there will be those readers here who find all that absurd, especially the ones I am referring to. But of course those most in denial are those most indoctrinated of this American Exceptionalsim thing. But those who are more honest might begin to question their long-held beliefs. And some people might feel offended by my use of the word, “supremacist” even though that is exactly what it is. America is “supreme” over other countries and we can do what we want, we are above the law, and so on.

With this “American Exceptionalism” narcissism and entitlement is the exceptionalism, narcissism and entitlement of the State and its agents and enforcers. This is another reason why the State-perpetrated death sentence is immoral. Because of the many people who had been put on death row who were entirely innocent and those who were exonerated or whose cases had many holes in them yet were murdered by the State anyway. Many of the agents of the State have a supremacist attitude over the rest of us. Just read any of William Grigg’s articles on the police and prosecutors, or William Anderson’s articles on prosecutors, and you can see what I mean.

And I will conclude this with some comments on Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refuses to give same-sex couples marriage licenses, who is still in the news. Now there’s someone who has a sense of entitlement, in which even though she disagrees with her employer’s duties as assigned to her, she insists on remaining at that job, when the responsible thing to do would be to just get another job. Sure, she can claim that that assignment violates her own personal religious views, but she is acting as though the employer (the government) is obligated to bend the rules to serve her beliefs. No, the employee is obligated to do the job as assigned, and if she doesn’t like it, get another job.

Now, in the private sector, sure, some employers are flexible and there have been many instances of negotiating a compromise. However, in this case when the employer is the government, which is the law, she must act in accordance with the law. Again, if she doesn’t like that, she can get another job. And that’s notwithstanding that she, in her entitlement-minded arrogance, wants to use the legal apparatus of the government, the State, to interfere with the rights of others to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. That’s what a lot of people who agree with her point of view want to do, use the State’s monopoly and legal apparatus to prevent same-sex couples from having a legally-valid marital contract which these obstructionists have no moral right to do. Many people just don’t see how immoral it is to use the power of government to act as the final decider of who may marry and who may not, when supposedly in these religiously-oriented people’s minds it is their church or their God who has the final say on that. At least that’s what they say. But true to their State-supremacist mindset, in reality they believe it is the government that ought to have the final say on how people may live their lives.

Just What Is It With These Speakers of the House?

Just what is it about being a “Speaker” that causes some people to lose control, get in trouble, or otherwise cause controversies?

This week House Speaker John Boehner announced his resignation not just from the speakership but from the U.S. House of Representatives entirely. (Thank God.) Boehner is now known for his autocratic crackdown on Tea Party dissent. And his many crying fits. And his alleged alcoholism. (Yeah, but what congressman isn’t a drunk, a drug-addict, or a womanizer, or all of the above)? And now he’s leaving. One hopes ALL these jerks will follow him out the door, and not be replaced!

Before Speaker Boehner, there was Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said about the Affordable Care Act, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it.” Pelosi also complained about “disparity in our country of income, where the wealthy people continue to get wealthier,” while she herself is part of the 0.1 percent. Of all the nerve, Nancy!

And then there was Speaker Dennis Hastert, under whose speakership earmarks (a.k.a. “pork”) increased like crazy, and especially to benefit himself. And while this year he has been indicted for the non-crime of withdrawing money from his own bank account, such withdrawals were allegedly to pay “hush money” to an alleged accuser of alleged sexual abuse while Hastert was a school teacher.

What is it with these people?!

And then there was Speaker Newt Gingrich, his House reprimand and $300,000 fine for ethics violation, his bogus “Contract With America,” his marriages, affairs and divorces (or vice versa), his anti-freedom ignorance. Yes, he was “Mr. Speaker,” but certainly not “Mr. Brilliant.”

I can’t go any further back than that, my head is spinning.

Speaking of “Speakers,” you won’t believe just how bad it is with “Speakers” in Massachusetts.

Former Speaker Sal DiMasi was put on trial in 2011 for a kickback scheme to “line his own pockets,” and found guilty of conspiracy, fraud and extortion. That was after the previous Speaker, the retroactively disbarred Thomas Finneran, pleaded guilty in 2007 for felony obstruction of justice to avoid jail time in a redistricting case. Finneran then went on to be a radio talk show host, where he was known by other WRKO hosts and listeners as “Felon Finneran,” or just “The Felon.” Finneran is now a lobbyist, in Rhode Island. I’m shocked. And before Speaker Finneran was the previous Speaker Charlie Flaherty who pleaded guilty in 1996 to felony tax evasion and violating conflict of interest laws.

That’s three felon Massachusetts Speakers in a row, folks. Can any other state beat that?

The current Massachusetts Speaker of the House, Bob DeLeo, had a close brush with corruption exposure at last year’s trial of a former probation commissioner, but DeLeo wasn’t charged with anything despite questionable ties. He wasn’t even called as a witness even though he probably should have been. And now, his fellow hacks at the State House want to help him to extend his time as Speaker by repealing Speaker term limits despite his earlier promise to quit at the end of his legal term limit. (Heh, that’s a new one.)

Poor Speaker Bob DeLeo recently had gastric sleeve weight loss surgery. I hope that helps. Coincidentally, previous to Speaker Flaherty was the 400-pound Speaker George Keverian who had gastric bypass surgery in 2002, which did help him. He died a few years later, in 2009. During the 1980s and ’90s when Speaker Keverian weighed 400 lbs, Howie Carr would refer to “George Keverian (D-Papa Gino’s)” in his Boston Herald columns. And he still does, apparently. But now the formerly donut-munching Howie Carr himself also had gastric sleeve surgery for weight loss. That’s really catching on.

Anyway, whoever replaces Speaker John Boehner will be either a drunk, a crybaby, a fatso, corrupt, or all of the above. (Unless they draft Ron Paul, of course.)

Hillary Clinton Email Scandal – But What About Romney’s Scandal That Wasn’t?

The Hillary Clinton email controversy has been in the news a little, but there are still plenty millions of people out there who will still vote for her. But why is all this attention being paid to Hillary Clinton’s possible cover-ups of things? No one made any fuss over Willard Romney’s similar or perhaps worse or more blatant acts of cover-up. According to Reuters, when he was just leaving office as governor of Massachusetts, Romney’s staff spent nearly $100,000 to hide records.

Mitt Romney spent nearly $100,000 in state funds to replace computers in his office at the end of his term as governor of Massachusetts in 2007 as part of an unprecedented effort to keep his records secret, Reuters has learned.

When Romney left the governorship of Massachusetts, 11 of his aides bought the hard drives of their state-issued computers to keep for themselves. Also before he left office, the governor’s staff had emails and other electronic communications by Romney’s administration wiped from state servers, state officials say.

Those actions erased much of the internal documentation of Romney’s four-year tenure as governor, which ended in January 2007. Precisely what information was erased is unclear.

Well, duh. I wonder how much crony corruption we would have seen during their development of “RomneyCare,” the Massachusetts version of what was to become CronyCare ObamaCare, in all the emails that were erased, and the hard drives either destroyed or taken. If there wasn’t evidence of corruption, illegalities and ethics violations, then why was it so important to cover things up and destroy the material (which may very well have been evidence of criminality)? Who the hell does that? With the exception of Watergate and some other smaller scandals in the news since then, I haven’t really heard of a governor engaged in what appears to be sneaky shenanigans of cover-up.

And why didn’t the media and political opponents pay any attention to that story? Am I way off? But Hillary Clinton is in the hot seat for possibly compromising “classified” information and “national security.” (Even though what really compromised national security was the idiots in Washington provoking foreigners by starting wars of aggression against countries that were of no threat to us, the U.S. bureaucrats imposing deadly sanctions, and firing drone bombs and continuing to murder even more innocents.)

There is talk of Romney running for President and losing a third time, and also talk of a possible third-party Romney run. How sick is that? The Establishment neanderthals hate Trump so much that they would do that! I can just imagine how the 2012 election might have been had Romney not stolen the Republican nomination away from Ron Paul. That is how corrupt, power-hungry politicians and their little minions operate. Deleting and shredding stuff, doing the “public’s” business behind closed doors, stealing elections.

Some More Misc. Items

Daniel McAdams says, Draft Ron Paul.

Paul Joseph Watson on feminists vs. facts and logic.

Joshua Krause says that CPS “workers” are now being placed in the government schools.

Kevin Ryan shows why Saudi ties to 9/11 mean U.S. ties to 9/11.

Breitbart with an article on artwork mocking ISIS removed from free speech event for being “inflammatory.”

Robert Wenzel with some questions to ask Rand Paul on the campaign trail.

Charles Burris on the “Deep State” and the JFK assassination.

U.K. Daily Mirror with an article on a Russian spy in the British GCHQ.

Harrison Koehli on sadistic Saudi princes and Washington warmongers vs. Russia’s civilizing force.

Kit O’Connell with an article on rumors that CIA helping export opium from Afghanistan.

More Political Correctness Censorship: This Time from NY Gilbert and Sullivan Players

The New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players (NYGASP) were going to perform The Mikado in December. But, according to WQXR, because of complaints of “perpetrating Japanese caricatures,” and because of not including actual Asian performers, the group has canceled their performances of The Mikado, and will instead perform The Pirates of Penzance.

C’mon, you ultra-sensitive nudniks out there, it’s only a show, it’s only a comic opera, a dramatization, for crying out loud. As Joan Rivers would say, Grow up!

In their announcement of this most recent caving to the extremists of the political correctness industry, NYGASP writes that they “never intended to give offense and the company regrets the missed opportunity to adapt its production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s 130-year-old satire of Victorian society to respond to contemporary criticism of some elements of traditional performance practice.”

Talk about nuts. You see, these are performances with actors. The actors don’t have to be of the same ethnic origin as their characters, as long as the actors are talented in portraying the characters they are supposed to portray. And also, some artistic works do “perpetrate ethnic caricatures” in one way or another. It’s only a play, or comedy. And Mikado is from 1885.

I can’t believe that so many people are so offended by this that they would write a letter or call this group to complain. There are so many thin-skinned people in America now, and in Europe as well, as we can see from the Europeans’ own idiotic “hate crimes” laws now. What a bunch of morons. (Ooops, I hope they don’t sue me for “hate.”)

And it’s one thing for NYGASP to apologize for possibly offending someone (or presenting a show which someone perceived to be “offensive”), but it’s another thing to actually cancel the whole thing.

Even the Metropolitan Opera went on with the show, with their performances of The Death of Klinghoffer (which one could argue has much more potential to elicit hurt or offense than The Mikado). The Met went on with the show despite complaints, the massive letter-writing campaign, the push for censorship, the push to have that production closed down, the protesters with signs outside the opera house. (And those protesters and calls for censorship tend to be from the conservative side of things. After they constantly criticize college campuses for intolerant speech codes, and criticize the whole political correctness industry, the conservatives — and “liberals,” too — then go on to try to suppress any criticism or negative portrayal of Israel as possible. Hypocrites. But I digress.)

So the Met courageously goes on with the show, but New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players cave to the thought police and they self-censor. That’s life in the 21st Century, the Era of Ultra-Thin-Skinnedness.

A New, More Accessible “Human Action” Book for the Layperson

Economist Robert Murphy has a new book titled, Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action. The Independent Institute’s notes on the book informs readers,

The most ambitious, and arguably greatest, treatise on economics ever written was published in 1949—Human Action by Ludwig von Mises. In that masterpiece, the learned scholar, who had fled war-torn Europe in 1940 and landed a visiting professorship at New York University five years later, summarized the state of economic science, especially as it related to the flourishing of a free and prosperous society. Mises valued the importance of educating the public about the basic teachings of economics, because public opinion ultimately shapes government policies that either support or sabotage the workings of the market economy. Human Action was Mises’s most painstaking effort to instill in the thinking public the profound notion that civilization rests on the basic fact that human society is vastly more productive when individuals work in cooperation with one another.

Mises was uncompromising in his commitment to teaching the deepest truths about economic science and to enlisting the public in the defense of the free society. But as brilliant as Human Action is, its length and depth can intimidate many potential readers. Hence the present book. In Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action, economist Robert P. Murphy distills the essence of Mises’s treatise into a more reader-friendly package. But Murphy’s book is not a mere study guide to the great treatise; it is a stand-alone work that elucidates Mises’s most important teachings in a style designed to engage the reader but without sacrificing the rigor of the master’s arguments.

In some of the reviews, Ron Paul wrote, “Robert Murphy’s Choice is the perfect book for those new to the Misesian paradigm and those in need of a ‘refresher course’ in Austrian School economics. All those who share my belief that increasing understanding of sound economics is vital to the triumph of liberty owe him a special debt of gratitude.”

And Tom Woods wrote, “If there is an economist out there who combines scholarly rigor with accessibility to the layman the way Robert Murphy does, I have not met him. If you are looking for an excellent, intermediate book between Henry Hazlitt and Ludwig von Mises, you will find it in Choice.”

The Pope, the Banksters, and the Police State

Ron Paul says that real charity is voluntary.

Butler Shaffer has some thoughts on capitalism and the Pope.

Jacob Hornberger on the Pope, socialism, and capitalism.

Thomas DiLorenzo on common good, common nonsense.

Brandon Smith says that the worst part is central bankers know exactly what they’re doing.

David D’Amato on a bloodstained legacy: police violence and the Fourth Amendment.

John Whitehead notes how Americans are distracted and diverted from the ever-encroaching police state.

And Ryan Gallagher analyzes the U.K. regime’s spying on Internet users.

More News and Commentary

A classic by Hans-Hermann Hoppe on why the State demands control of money.

David Stockman on clueless Carly — crony capitalist warmonger with flash cards.

Alex Newman writes about the U.S. government’s support for al Qaeda and ISIS.

Jacob Hornberger writes about the U.S. military and Afghan child sex abuse.

Chris Rossini says that as Greeks return to barter, the lies of government money are laid bare.

Oliver Stone on the untold history of the United States.

Richard Ebeling says that low interest rates cannot save a house of cards.

William Grigg with more on the government police bureaucrats’ 4th and 5th Amendment-trashing obsession with drugs.

Paul Craig Roberts says that all Republican Presidential candidates stand for war.

Doug Bandow on the collapse of Iraq and the rise of ISIS: made in America?

Justin Raimondo on the rape of Afghanistan.

Andrew Napolitano asks, Is the Pope a false prophet?

Simon Gardner says that Margaret Thatcher wasn’t just a terrorist sympathizer, but close friends with one.

Karen De Coster comments on “food insecurity.”

Jonathan Turley on France’s lack of freedom of speech because of so-called “hate speech” laws.

Gareth Porter says Iran’s Parchin nuclear myth begins to unravel.

Laurence Vance discusses gambling laws and federalism.

Philip Giraldi discusses the CIA’s torture defenders.

Micah Lee writes about Apple’s app store getting infected with the same type of malware the CIA developed.

And Frank Shostak says that central banks don’t dictate interest rates.

More from the Dictators, Gangsters, and Misfits of the UN

Glenn Greenwald writes that the U.S. State Department “welcomes” news that Saudi Arabia will head UN Human Rights panel.

Last week’s announcement that Saudi Arabia – easily one of the world’s most brutally repressive regimes – was chosen to head a U.N. Human Rights Council panel provoked indignation around the world. That reaction was triggered for obvious reasons. Not only has Saudi Arabia executed more than 100 people already this year mostly by beheading (a rate of 1 execution every two days), and not only is it serially flogging dissidents, but it is reaching new levels of tyrannical depravity as it is about to behead and then crucify the 21-year-old son of a prominent regime critic, Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, who was convicted at the age of 17 of engaging in demonstrations against the government.

Most of the world may be horrified at the selection of Saudi Arabia to head a key U.N. human rights panel, but the U.S. State Department most certainly is not. Quite the contrary: they seem quite pleased about the news. At a State Department briefing yesterday afternoon, Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner was questioned by the invaluable Matt Lee of AP, and this is the exchange that resulted: (Read full article…)

While Ukraine Turns Even More Fascist, the Mainstream News Media Yawn

Justin Raimondo has this article on the rising totalitarianism in Ukraine, with their regime in Kiev censoring and banning journalists and actors from entering Ukraine. The regime’s fascists are also banning books and movies. This is a U.S. government-backed regime, with such backing mainly based on the U.S. central planning apparatus’s Cold Warriors’ hatred for Russia. If the neo-Nazis of Kiev are against Russia, then the U.S. apparatchiks love them.

I think that politicians and bureaucrats only appreciate history if it is useful toward their justifying their hatred for this or that foreign element. For example, besides their hatred based on Cold War-with-Russia history, the morons in Washington also hate Iran, based on the Iranian extremists holding Americans hostage for 444 days in 1979-1981. Even though the cause of the hostage taking was the U.S. government’s own CIA coup of Iran’s Prime Minister in 1953 and the U.S. interventionists’ 25-year-long support for the Iranian Shah’s Savak regime leading up to the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

In other words, power-wielding political hacks in Washington only appreciate history to justify petty hatred and revenge. But they never appreciate history when the facts of history constantly reinforce a rightful condemnation of their own actions, such as their bombing Iraq in 1991 and imposing sanctions in Iraq throughout the 1990s, which led to 9/11. But in this case with Ukraine, because the morons in Washington are so fixated on the Cold War (which could have ended with the John F. Kennedy Administration had he not been murdered by the Cold Warriors themselves), they will do anything, including supporting Kiev backed by neo-Nazis, to act out their childish little immature anachronistic Cold-War animosity against Russia.

One Kiev-born American who has had quite a few things to say about the current Kiev regime is classical pianist Valentina Lisitsa. She is very anti-Kiev, especially given her strong connection there. When she wrote a Facebook and Twitter rant against Kiev, she was ostracized by many people including classical music listeners. Because of today’s climate of political correctness, intolerance and censorship of opposing points of view, especially those points of view which tend to elicit strong emotions in those most brainwashed influenced by Western mainstream media propaganda, as I have written previously, Valentina’s concerts in Toronto were canceled by the Toronto Symphony. Most critics and classical fans condemned such a ban as pure and unnecessary censorship. She was essentially blacklisted merely for expressing her views. However, she then went on to perform with the Calgary Philharmonic and received an immediate standing ovation following her performance of a Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto.

Some Valentina critics say that she is “pro-Putin,” which may or may not be true. But when Putin’s abuses come to light just as the abuses in Ukraine, she would speak out against them, too. While Putin was persecuting members of the activist music group Pussy Riot, Valentina posted a tweet promoting the group’s appearance discussing art and activism. So, I would say there’s an example of her not being “pro-Putin.”

On her Twitter feed just recently, Valentina posted a link to this Google Translate page of an article on a recent incident of vandalism, the burning of a “Babi Yar” Holocaust memorial, which is located in Kiev. This Jerusalem Post article provides some more info. There is a rise in anti-Semitism in Ukraine coinciding with the empowerment of the new rulers backed by the West. And she also posted this tweet showing some activists in Crimea with a sign reading, “Crimea shall be Ukrainian — or uninhabited!” and posted a link to this blog with an example of cronyism in Ukraine.

I know, there’s cronyism everywhere, especially the more control a country’s government has over the people (like in the U.S.!). But many people just go with the propaganda being pushed onto them by mainstream news sources, especially in today’s age of lazy and incompetent “journalists,” many of whom find it easier to just repeat what government bureaucrats tell them, rather than doing actual digging and investigating. This is especially the case when the “journalists” have an agenda — when information they come upon may contradict their agenda, it gets suppressed. Or they get threatened or jailed by government bureaucrats, such as Obama persecuting James Risen of the NYT, James Rosen of Fox News, and Bradley Manning.

This is why many people tend to believe the anti-Valentina propaganda out there, and not the anti-Kiev facts, such as Kiev now turning more fascist with its censorship of books and movies, and banning journalists and actors from even entering the country! “Our government wouldn’t back ‘neo-Nazis’!” Nope. So, Valentina Lisitsa knows what she’s talking about.

Anyway, as long as I’m bringing up Valentina again, if you are interested in seeing her play, she will perform the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Nuremberg (Germany) Symphony on September 26th and 28th, and she will play the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 20 (my favorite Mozart concerto, by the way) with the Baltimore Symphony on October 23rd, 24th and 25th, and she will also play Chopin Etudes, Scriabin Preludes and other works at the Grande salle-Philharmonie in Paris on November 2nd. And she also plays at the Old Theater in Oriental, North Carolina on December 8th (sold out).

More News and Commentary

Alex Newman comments on Obama’s executive diktat to “nudge” the people with “behavioral science.”

Ron Paul says to blame not America but the neocons for the refugee crisis.

Walter Block loves Thomas Sowell’s economic brilliance, but his foreign policy views not so much.

Jason van Tatenhove clarifies the “M” word — militia.

Jacob Hornberger discusses Pope Francis and the U.S. welfare-warfare state.

Donald Boudreaux says that Pope Francis misses the sizable moral dimensions to capitalism.

Thomas Sowell says the Left has its Pope.

Ryan McMaken suggests to pray that no Pope (or President) visits your home town.

Cliff Kincaid says that socialist journalism is mainstream.

Laurence Vance on Old Testament Christians.

Shane Harris and Nancy Youssef write about the ISIS intel the U.S. military dumbed down.

James Bovard discusses the supreme neglect of liberty at the highest court.

Jacob Sullum responds to Bill Bennett’s call to “bring back the war on drugs.”

William Anderson discusses the economics of Hillary Clinton.

Michel Accad on 100 years of “managed” health care.

B.K. Marcus on homeschooling, the threat to public education.

And Lee Fang discusses the emails showing close ties between the Heritage Foundation and Lockheed Martin.

Envy, Economic Destruction, and Moral Decay: Pope Francis and Bernie Sanders

Both Pope Francis and Bernie Sanders seem to be down on capitalism and they support the imposition of more economic regulations, and higher taxes on “the rich,” in the name of reversing “income inequality.” Which means taking more wealth and income away from the producers, the innovators, the entrepreneurs, the providers of jobs. Which ultimately causes slowed productivity, factory shut-downs and higher unemployment. And then these socialists and fascists call for more interventions, more bureaucratic intrusiveness into private industry, and ultimately, government seizures of whole industries (like health care).

Yes, they are both fascists as well as socialists. But “fascist” sounds bad, unlike “socialist.” That has “social” in it. “We love people!” So Bernie calls himself a “socialist.” And while I don’t think Pope Francis calls himself a “socialist,” I’m sure he probably doesn’t object to that description.

As opposed to “fascist,” which sounds like “Hitler” and all that. But both words have economic meanings, and that’s important.

In my simplistic view of things, I see socialism as “public ownership of the means of production” which really means government ownership, which means bureaucrats usurping ownership away from the people. It is theft, in actuality. And fascism supposedly allows for private ownership, but the controls over the industries, property, contracts and labor are seized by those covetous and power-grabbing government bureaucrats. Both socialism and fascism are enslavement of the people.

As I have stated in the past, minimum wage is an example of economic fascism. Bureaucrats order employers to pay workers not less than a certain amount. The choice is: pay the worker less than demanded by ignoramus bureaucrats and go to jail, or cut those jobs if the employer can’t afford it. Most employers choose the latter rather than going to jail. So that’s a fascist control usurped by bureaucrats over the wage part of the private contract between employer and employee.

Interesting how “liberals” are concerned when private businesses engage in “price gouging,” even though the free market’s raising prices at certain times actually benefits those most in need (as opposed to anti-price-gouging laws which backfire and cause shortages). But when the “liberals” artificially raise the price of labor (minimum wage), they really are “price-gouging” by legal force, and thus causing people to lose their jobs! (Some “liberals”!)

Now, Pope Francis and Bernie Sanders’s complaints are supposedly of the greed of “capitalism” and the “1%“. They want to crack down on Wall Street. In my view, Wall Street is just a de facto branch of the federal government, and is rigged to enrich the insiders at the expense of small investors. Wall Street is also a beneficiary of socialism. Example: The Wall Street Bailout at involuntary taxpayer expense. So Wall Street is not an example of actual free market capitalism.

Actually, there has been very little capitalism, that is, free market capitalism, in America, certainly not in Europe or any of the other areas of the world. There is crony capitalism, in which the established firms get in bed with the bureaucracy’s major power wielders, who write special legislation to pay off the insider established firms’ bigwigs, who have all the legal forces at their fingertips to get around whatever legislation is written that the smaller firms can’t afford to do. This is a main component of fascism, by the way.

Besides the minimum wage, one textbook example of crony capitalism and fascism (that some people have been mistakenly referring to as “socialism”) has been the ObamaCare law, or the Affordable Care Act. This law was largely written by the lobbyists of the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. They have benefited a great deal from this new health insurance racket.

In contrast, real capitalism is this: Free markets, i.e. freedom, in which everyone is free to do with one’s own person, labor, property, capital and wealth whatever one wants, as long as you don’t steal, use fraud, coercion or aggression against others. And that’s it. No governmental intrusions or guilty-until-proven-innocent controls, mandates, licensing, or reporting anything to the government. For those are all trespasses, in my view, and thus they are criminal intrusions, which is what socialism and fascism are all about.

In contrast, free market capitalism is the way of life which during the 19th Century led to the greatest expansion in human prosperity and raised the standard of living of most of the people in society. It raised the standard of living of those at the bottom, as well as the middle.

And then in the 20th Century the socialists and fascists came in and wrecked all that. Besides the Europeans and their socialist and fascist centrally planned economic policies and wars, in America there were Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt, the two major players whose socialism and fascism gave us the income tax, the Federal Reserve System, and FDR’s many, many fascist bureaus and programs, ordering people to do this and do that, or else.

The socialist redistribution-of-wealth schemes and takeovers of whole industries and/or fascist controls that Pope Francis and Bernie Sanders want to impose on America are an expansion of those which began over the last century. The policies they support are not those of promoting freedom, of liberating the people from the shackles of the State, but just the opposite.

Socialism and fascism are government enslavement of the people. Of course, they would never admit to that, just as the “tax” theft advocates don’t want to call their policies “stealing.” As I wrote in this earlier post, there are some people who mistakenly view the relationship between a capitalist employer and employee as like an “enslavement.” I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “wage slavery.” But in free market capitalism everything is voluntary. The worker is not being forced to work at that place of employment. In a free society, all relationships and contracts are voluntary. In socialism and fascism, they are not voluntary — they are coerced, forced, compelled, ordered, mandatory, or prohibited by government bureaucrats who just like to order people around. And that’s one of the biggest differences between free markets and the socialist/fascist utopia envisioned by Bernie Sanders and Pope Francis.

Besides the personal enslavements, the results of economic policies that Bernie Sanders wants to impose on America and Pope Francis wants to see globally, would be like the terrible conditions in Venezuela. Government’s socialist takeovers of industries and fascist price controls cause shortages and empty store shelves and long lines.

In America, just look at all the free market-directed grocery stores and food distributors we have, with minimal or non-existent bureaucratic intrusions. Prices are set by wholesalers and retailers, not government bureaucrats. No long lines and empty store shelves. That’s capitalism, freedom, and prosperity.

The motivations of Pope Francis and Bernie Sanders, and most of the people on the left, should be viewed as dubious when they continually support policies of government theft of private wealth and government regulations which have mainly succeeded in causing higher unemployment, inflation and economic distress. The Left’s most recent anti-capitalist hero, French economist Thomas Piketty wrote in his book, Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century, that a progressive, global tax on capital and individual wealth “would not bring the government much in the way of revenue, because it would quickly fulfill its objective: to drastically reduce remuneration…” As quoted in this Mises Institute article, Piketty writes his main point, which in my view mirrors most on the left: “The primary purpose of the capital tax is not to finance the social state but to regulate capitalism.” i.e. not as important to help the poor as it is to make the rich less rich. Which ultimately takes more opportunities away from the middle class and the poor, and it makes the poor poorer as well — that’s how things work with these government interventions. We know that from actual historical and empirical evidence.

So really Pope Francis and Bernie Sanders reflect the Left’s general sentiment of envy toward the successful, the entrepreneurs, and producers and creators of wealth. They promote the policies of wealth destruction and economic and moral decay. After all, promoting the stealing from others’ honestly acquired wealth and property is just that: stealing. And that’s immoral. They can rationalize the institutionalized theft all they want, but that’s what it is. This is also what motivates their obsession with higher taxes on producers to cure “global warming/climate change,” as well. In my view, they are not as concerned with cleaning the environment and preventing “melting polar ice caps and rising sea levels” as they are obsessed with taking more wealth away from the producers of society (and thus taking jobs away from the workers!).