Jacob Hornberger and Richard Ebeling discuss Venezuela and the tyranny of gun control.
“Important Live Coverage” of Michael Cohen Testimony on the Radio
The news and talk radio stations are broadcasting “Important Live Coverage” of Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen’s testimony before a House committee. I think the news and program directors at these radio stations are probably mostly on the left, and extremely ignorant of what is “important.”
On the radio “Important Live Coverage” of the Michael Cohen hearings, some of the Democrats are like yapping dogs in their excitement hearing about “Trump-Russia collusions” and “hacking the 2016 election” which never occurred. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Sgt. Schultz was really, really excited to get the truth of “Trump-Russia collusions” that never existed and there’s no evidence of it whatsoever (and despite growing calls for Sgt. Schultz to be investigated for her own House IT scandal).
I enjoyed some of the bickering between Cohen and Congressman Mark Meadows (I think that’s who it was), and between Cohen and Congressman Jim Jordan. (Why do they bother?)
So, this House committee thinks that testimony by a lawyer who has just lost his law license because he was convicted of lying to Congress, and is someone who had secretly recorded his meetings with clients including Trump without their knowledge or consent, is important. And they are taking him seriously, just as the news and talk radio stations I listen to who are broadcasting “Important Live Coverage” of this historic event.
The National Security State and Cold War Mentality
Jacob Hornberger points out the similarities between what American statists criticize Russia for (its “intelligence state”) and the U.S. national security state. And then he gets into the Cold War mentality (and unnecessary trade negotiations) that are going on with Trump and Kim in Vietnam.
“What Is Socialism”?
Butler Shaffer writes, in his post, What Is Socialism?:
With so many Democrats now identifying themselves as “Socialists,” and so much public uncertainty as to what this concept means, I thought it might be useful to turn to the words of one of the best-known socialists for clarification.
“We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions.”
– Adolf Hitler (speech from 1927)
Head of National Socialist German Workers Party
More News and Commentary
Fox News with an article on Venezuelans regretting their submitting to the 2012 firearms confiscation policy that made them defenseless.
Jeffrey Tucker asks, Where did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez get her sweet potatoes?
Ron Paul says that emergencies do not trump the Constitution.
Laurence Vance on businesses that should not exist, and gambling laws.
James Caspian battles with the transgender thought police.
Jacob Hornberger on Trump’s disrespect for Maduro’s wall.
Paul Craig Roberts asks, Will no one stop U.S. government gangsterism?
And Justin Raimondo on the Chef Boyardee War: Venezuela’s clueless opposition.
Walter Block provides a good reading list on the Civil Rights Act and libertarianism.
Antiwar.com with an article on a record number of Afghan civilians killed in 2018, by suicide bombings and U.S.-led air strikes.
Carl Watner has some voluntaryist books for sale.
Gary Barnett tells of his time in the Army. Conscription equals slavery.
And New York Post with an article on Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, missing in her own district. Phony baloney.
More News and Commentary
Mark Perry on “restaurant recession” hitting NYC following $15 minimum wage.
Kerry McDonald says that Canada’s universal child care program suggests Elizabeth Warren’s plan would be disastrous for children.
And Gary North with two simple questions Keynesians can’t answer.
Freedom of Speech, and the Subjective Determination of What Is “Offensive”
There have been quite a few news items regarding freedom of speech and censorship in recent months. So I wanted to repost this post I did in 2015 on those issues.
On Pamela Geller and the Right to Offend Muslims and Everyone Else
May 7, 2015
Thanks to Pamela Geller, once again the talk shows are ablaze in their discussions on freedom of speech and what the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment protects and doesn’t protect. Even NPR talked about Geller’s recent publicity stunt in Garland, Texas, a contest for people to draw the Prophet Mohammad. Knowing how extreme some Muslims are in their intolerance of any criticism or satire of Mohammad or Islam, Geller seemed to want to push the envelope, almost as though she wanted to cause the shooting which occurred after the event, in which two self-radicalized jihadis were shot and killed by security personnel.
Sadly, there are some people who don’t understand the difference between words which are direct threats or provocations (e.g. “I’m going to shoot you,” etc., etc.) and words to criticize, mock, insult, or offend others (e.g. “Fat people should lose weight,” “Dom DeLouise is a fatso,” “Islam is extremely repressive,” “Israel oppresses Arabs,” “Jews are greedy,” “Christians are greedy,” etc., etc.). Those people are saying that Geller’s having such a Mohammad drawing contest, knowing that it would offend Muslims, can be considered a provocation or a “threat,” and so it shouldn’t be protected free speech.
From what I’ve heard so far, such attitudes are coming from the Left. However, during the 1980s many on the Left came to the defense of artist Andres Serrano when his disgusting “Piss Christ” was the controversy back then, and they defended the homoerotic and sadomasochistic artist Robert Mapplethorpe and his offensive works which sparked controversies around the same time. Oooh, the Christians and loud conservatives were up in arms over all that stuff, that’s for sure. But for the “liberals,” who now want to ban “hate speech,” the anti-Christian and sicko-sexual stuff is righto with them.
And there are others who can’t distinguish between mere words and actual physical actions. On one NPR show yesterday, On Point, a guest compared the Mohammad cartoon contest to throwing rocks in someone’s window. I couldn’t believe it. Apparently, some people are so thin-skinned they perceive some manner of speech or expression as being an actual physical action. Do they want to arrest and jail the offender, charged with assault or destruction of property? In Saudi Arabia, their rulers and minions behead those who are “blasphemers” and who “insult Islam” or Mohammad. Of course, Saudi Prince So-and-So obviously has direct communication with the Prophet Mohammad and knows for sure that the Prophet has been “insulted,” and so followers should act accordingly.
Some commenters have argued that Geller’s Mohammad drawing contest amounted to a form of “incitement.” She incited the jihadi fanatics to go over there to shoot up the place. No, not really. She may have provoked them or angered them, but because there is something called “free will,” those two wackos went over to the contest area and acted by their own free will. They deliberately chose to do that. The same goes for those accused of “inciting a riot,” by the way, such as Michael Brown’s stepfather in Ferguson who yelled at the crowd to “Burn this ***** down!” as though his speech had criminal responsibility for others’ subsequent acts of arson. No, only the rioters who set fire to cars or buildings — acting on their own free will — are responsible for their own acts, as Murray Rothbard noted.
Even the conservatives are confused on Geller’s right to hold whatever contest she wanted to have, regardless how offensive. While some conservative commentators such as Jeffrey Kuhner and Megyn Kelly have been defending Geller and Co.’s freedom of speech rights to hold that Mohammad-drawing contest, other conservatives (as well as people on the Left) such as those at National Review have been critical of the whole thing.
But while some conservatives defend the right to criticize Islam and “sharia law,” I wonder how many of them defend the right to criticize Israel. Not many. As I have noted before, criticizing Israel is to many people a blasphemous act, and such critics are immediately viewed as “anti-Semitic,” etc. That is because criticizing Israel is the epitome of “political incorrectness” in our modern, intolerant and ignorant Amerika. For instance, many conservatives protested the Metropolitan Opera’s performances of The Death of Klinghoffer (an opera based on the Palestinian terrorist hijacking of cruise ship Achille Lauro), and demanded that such performances be canceled. They referred to the opera as anti-Semitic or Jew-hating, which it was not, and as “glorifying terrorism,” which it didn’t. Obviously, these critics probably didn’t even see the opera but wanted to proudly show the world their ignorance. Does Pamela Geller defend the right of the Met to put on that opera? Hmmm.
But many of these same people who defend the right to criticize the entire religion of Islam and make fun of the Prophet Mohammad just cannot hear any criticism of Israel (and I mean the state of Israel to be specific, not the religion of Judaism). They probably wouldn’t like my bringing up what a generally racist society Israel is, as shown in poll after poll after poll after poll after poll. But we’re not allowed to say the truth about all that. Let’s all live in a world of myths about Israel, and if someone brings up the truth about it, label him “anti-Semite.” And we can’t talk about Israeli soldiers’ war crimes against Palestinian innocents, so that is why an organization called Breaking the Silence had to be created. Let’s stifle and bury the truth, so that the others won’t know about the sad truths of modern “civilization.”
So, I can’t criticize Israel because the Israel Firsters get all upset over it, and an opera can’t be performed so shut it down and don’t let opera-goers decide for themselves whether it’s “anti-Semitic.” And also — speaking of myths — I can’t express skepticism of so-called human-caused global warming or I’ll be called a “denier” in the same way that Holocaust-deniers are called “deniers,” even though we know the Nazi-perpetrated Jewish Holocaust really did occur, but human-caused global warming? Not so sure about that one. The warmists who rely on junk science and computer models but not actual empirical data want to actually throw in jail skeptics or those who disagree with them. They and the anti-Muslim collectivists seem too much like the witch hunters and Inquisitionists if you ask me. Can you people possibly evolve yourselves into the 21st Century? Ya think?
And of course there are those people who call you a racist if you criticize Obama, his fascist health plan a.k.a. ObamaCare, and all of Obama’s terrible policies that have nothing to do with his race but with his incompetence, corruption and criminality. But, because some people are so obsessed with race they really believe that such criticism of Obama = racism. And freedom of speech also means I can make fun of Obama’s alleged homosexuality (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and that he was an alleged Chicago bathhouse frequenter, just as I can make fun of Michelle Obama the food and nutrition buttinsky.
So I say good for Pamela Geller for in some way stimulating a renewed debate on freedom of speech vs. censorship, mere words vs. actual physical violence, for waking people up to the dangers of Islamic extremism and “sharia law” that’s hiding under our beds like the communists in the 1950s, even though she completely ignores (or supports) our own government’s starting wars of aggression overseas these past 25 years which have done nothing but provoke said Muslims to become jihadi fanatics and killers in the first place.
Time to Drop Social Media?
Melissa Dykes presents this video on the hive mind, social media, the tyranny of the majority (rule by social media majority “opinion”), MK Ultra, communication and control, brain implants. It’s a very unusual video. I really don’t know what to write about it. Except that some of the points made are a little disturbing.
War Crimes, Murder, Biblical Fanaticism, Jihad, and Venezuela’s Totalitarianism
Antiwar.com with an article on the nearly 12,000 civilians murdered by U.S. government-led air strikes in Syria and Iraq since 2014.
USA Today with an article on the 20 top war-profiting companies. Lockheed Martin #1, Boeing #2 and Raytheon #3 (I’m sure they’re proud of themselves.)
Jonathan Cook on how the rule of the rabbis is fueling a holy war in Israel. (Are they really this nutso in Israel now? P.S. Don’t show this article to Dennis Prager and Michael Medved. They will not like it.)
Daniel Lazare says they’re telling only part of the story on Jihad.
And Daisy Luther and J.G. Martinez D. on the Venezuelan biometric ID, the “Fatherland Card,” in Venezuela. (It’s here in the U.S., too. What a bunch of nazis ruling over us in Washington, and the sheeple in the state legislatures who rubber-stamp them!)
The Control Freaks Want to Complete the Total Ruination of Amerika
We’re getting it from all over now. From the activists, the socialists, the fascists, the drug-addicted and the boozers, and the general statist control freaks who love their enmeshment with government powers.
First, Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley says that a Louisiana woman was arrested for posting online a video of a fight between two boys at her son’s school. She was not there to see the fight but found the video on her son’s cell phone. She was charged with…with…I can’t even remember now, some stupid thing, charged by some stupid government police bureaucrats.
Of course people have a right to post a video of a school fight. In fact, as the actual law (that Turley quoted from) shows, there are exceptions to the prohibition including the video being used as a “public service.” In my view, the woman is providing the public with actual video of a school fight, especially when both students in the fight were charged by police.
Turley describes the law as a “poorly conceived law that criminalizes the ‘Unlawful posting of criminal activity for notoriety and publicity’,” and was first introduced by Democrat state Rep. Barbara Norton (obviously a relative of Ed Norton from the Honeymooners), and signed into law by then-Gov. Bobby Jindal, the fast-talking politician who ran for President in 2016, but dropped out of the race in 2015. (Does he look like Yoda?)
Now, the answer to these problems occurring at public schools is to abolish public schools, a.k.a. government schools. And regarding posting videos of a fight or other incidents happening on the promises of public property, of course that would be in the public interest, and in the public domain.
The response to someone posting something online that meddling statists don’t like is to prohibit such an act, by law. That is what dictators like to do. They like to give orders and boss people around. For instance, another example is Carl Tuckerson who wants to ban kids from having Smartphones, by law, by federal law as well. Not let parents decide whether or not they think their kids should have a Smartphone, no. The Nanny State should decide for us.
According to the Blaze, Tuckerson compares that to the age restrictions to buy cigarettes, because phone addiction is harmful to one’s health. Tuckerson stated, “Smartphone use makes your kids sadder, slower, and more isolated, and over time, can kill them.” Yeah, but so can watching Fox News, Carl.
“There’s no reason why the Congress, which made smartphones possible in the first place, shouldn’t be part of the solution,” he continued.
What? Congress made Smartphones possible? Are you serious? That sounds like the typical mindset of someone who worships our Washington overlords. Here is the history of the Smartphone. I see nothing in there about “Congress” or anything government! What are you, Al Gore?
Government shouldn’t have the power to ban anything! Not Smartphones or football for kids, or cigarettes or booze for that matter. Let parents decide. And government shouldn’t be banning anything by law, not drugs, booze, phones, or guns. These people are real meddlers when you get right down to it.
And there’s someone in Washington now who wants to do some serious banning, prohibiting, forbidding, restricting, punishing, meddling, intruding, interfering, dictating, ordering, controlling, and all-around messing things up, that being Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who Roseanne Barr is now calling a “Farrakhan-loving bug-eyed b*tch.” (Is she related to Bill Barr? What about Bob Barr?)
Ocasio-Cortez wants to ban cars and trucks, and apparently go back to horse and buggy, and she wants to ban airplanes, and cows. And apparently she wants to have some kind of “public bank or system of regional and specialized public banks, public venture funds” to pay for the
Greed New Deal Green Wheel-Deal those Washington communists are foaming at the mouth about. So they’ll just give everybody phony Monopoly money to play with, that’s worth nothing, and they will just move the whole society further into total impoverishment more quickly, that’s all.
And this is all in the name of not environmentalism but Social Justice i.e. control. Ocasio-Cortez has been joined by many of her fellow crazies in Congress including Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Kamoolah Harris. And
Bernie Goetz Bernie Sanders if I’m not mistaken. These people in Washington are really nuts, not just ignorant and low-IQ.
Some More Items of Interest
John Whitehead discusses rule by fiat: national crises, fake emergencies, and other dangerous Presidential powers.
Ben Freeman on how Middle Eastern powers fund think tanks.
Butler Shaffer says, Dr. Lao for President. (Played by Tony Randall. But who will play Butler Shaffer?)
Jacob Sullum on the phony Houston drug warrant that prompted an FBI investigation.
And Max Blumenthal and Alexander Rubinstein discuss eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s funding of a global media information war.
Some Misc. Items
It is possible that the “special counsel” Robert Mueller will issue his final report of his 2-year-long fishing expedition on behalf of the national security state and the Democrats, maybe next week. However, some people have expressed concerns that some of the report may be redacted. If so, then that will be for no good reason, as there is nothing that should be classified in that report. The only reason to redact anything will be to prevent embarrassing the FBI awww poor precious FBI, and embarrassing themselves the Mueller people in their indicting people in “crimes” having nothing to do with “Russia hacking” or “collusions,” but never having presented ANY evidence of any Russia hacking, or hacking at all, or evidence of Trump-Russia collusions, because no such evidence exists!
Now, will the new AG William Barr present the whole report to the people? I say no. He’s a national security state apparatchik as I’ve stated before. I’ll be shocked if he presents an unredacted report to us, the people (and not just to Congress!) — let the New York Slimes and the Washington Pest publish it in its entirety. Although those two rags won’t want to do that because it doesn’t contain any smoking guns that they had desperately been trying to fabricate these past two years. Let Fox News and Unz publish it.
Wendy McElroy lists a whole bunch of links to articles that I’m not going to bother linking to here. So, I’ll just comment on some of them.
The Chinese regime is banning millions of its people from flights because of a social media crackdown. They are very totalitarian scum, in my view. And Donald Trump says he likes China’s President Xi Jinping. But then, Trump himself is quite the totalitarian. After all, who but a totalitarian would put a government wall along the whole government border and support a horrific police state to harass and terrorize one’s own fellow people as well as immigrants? And a police state to enforce this prohibition of drugs! In Donald Trump’s totalitarian Amerika, the gubmint may have the power to tell you what you may or may not put into your own body, and throw you in jail if you disobey!
Oregon wants to mandate rent control, statewide. Because of a housing shortage. They do not understand that price controls and other regulations already in place distort these markets and cause shortages. The solution is not fascism as Oregonian legislative dictators want, but freedom. Repeal all those laws. Just like in Venezuela, in which food price controls (and outright government seizure of food production and distribution) have caused shortages, long lines, mass starvation, chaos, and violence. Government interventionism causes all these problems.
Arizona wants to require all citizens to give their DNA to a centralized database. Arizona legislative creeps have not read the U.S. Constitution and its Fourth Amendment. As far as I know, Arizona is still part of the U.S. and has not yet been sucked down into Mexico. And the FBI also wants to have a national database of everyone’s DNA. Abolish the FBI!
And that’s what I have to say about that.
More News and Commentary
Stephen Beale asks, Who is policing the prosecutors?
Jennifer Kabbany with 50 campus hate-crime hoaxes since 2012.
And Philip Weiss says the Israel Lobby is built on the biggest guilt trip in the world.
Covington School Teen Suing Washington Post; Clarence Thomas Loves Libel Laws
There was an incident in January in Washington in which some Catholic school teenagers were attending a “March for Life” event and while waiting for their bus were being met by a group of Native Americans led by an “elder” named Nathan Philips, and harassed by a group of so-called Black Hebrew Israelites who were shouting obscenities at the teens.
However, because of a brief video clip of the incident that went viral, the news media especially the Washington Post and social media were calling the teens racists and accusing them of doing the harassing. (Hmm. Given the terrible racist things the “Black Hebrew Israelites” were shouting at the Covington school teens, why didn’t the Washington Post also go after that group? Just askin’.)
So now, the main teen in question, Nicholas Sandmann, is suing the Washington Post and several other people for millions of dollars for libel. I guess the suit is suggesting that the false accusations of “racism,” etc. against the teen may result in affecting his future college applications or job prospects, as well as the smearing of his otherwise reputation up to now. Many news media journalists, politicians and show-biz celebrities jumped to conclusions based on the very brief video that went viral, until the entire two-hour video was publicized in which the whole picture of the incident could be seen.
In a related development, the Supreme Bureaucrats turned down a chance to hear a libel case in which a Bill Cosby accuser sued Cosby for libeling her by calling her dishonest. Supreme Bureaucrat Clarence Thomas wrote in a concurring opinion that libel laws should be more flexible and allow public figures to sue for libel. He doesn’t like the New York Times vs. Sullivan decision, which protected the Freedom of the Press in regards to writing about public officials.
The reason that public officials, such as Justice (sic) Thomas, don’t like the Freedom of the Press is because they don’t like members of the Press (that is, anyone) to exercise their right to criticize government officials, government policies, and fascist members of the U.S. Supreme Court, like Clarence Thomas.
Now, I can see why Thomas is sensitive to these matters, given that he was the victim of a “high-tech lynching,” led by Anita Hill, who accused Thomas of sexual harassment which Thomas denied.
And Donald Trump, by the way, has cheered on the libel lawsuit against the Washington Post by the high school teen. Trump has for years been saying that we need to strengthen libel laws to protect fascist politicians such as himself. What these government officials really want is to stifle free speech that includes criticism of them and their terrible policies. Not to mention the fact that The Donald is extremely thin-skinned. He sure can dish it out, but he wants to shut up his critics.
And I understand the opposition to fake news. But I believe that fake news is protected by the First Amendment, unfortunately.
The laws are clear in distinguishing between writing about public figures (such as Bill Cosby or government officials) and private people who are not public figures. In my view, Nicholas Sandmann the Catholic school teen is not a public figure. However, he has been made a public figure by all the false allegations and rumors against him that were viral on videos and social media. That’s not his fault.
Now, notwithstanding “public figures” who are not government officials, government officials especially don’t have a right to sue others for libel, no matter how false an accusation or assertion, no matter how malicious an intent. Why? Because government officials possess an artificial legal authority over others that is entirely illegitimate. Their rule or jurisdiction over others is not a “government by consent of the governed” when even a small minority of those who are being ruled over do not voluntarily agree to such a usurpation of power over them.
There actually shouldn’t even be any libel laws, and Murray Rothbard and Walter Block tell us why.
As Prof. Block has written, in a 2008 article in which he quotes from his book, Defending the Undefendable,
“…obviously, protecting a person’s reputation is not an absolute value.
“If it were, if, that is, reputations were really sacrosanct, then we would have to prohibit most categories of denigration, even truthful ones. Unfavorable literary criticism, satire in movies, plays, music or book reviews could not be allowed. Anything which diminished any individual’s or any institution’s reputation would have to be forbidden…
“… what is a person’s ‘reputation’? … Clearly, it is not a possession which may be said to belong to him in the way, for example, his clothes do. In fact, a person’s reputation does not ‘belong’ to him at all. A person’s reputation is what other people think of him; it consists of the thoughts which other people have.
“A man does not own his reputation any more than he owns the thoughts of others — because that is all his reputation consists of. A man’s reputation cannot be stolen from him any more than can the thoughts of other people be stolen from him.”
So, while I don’t favor the existence of libel laws, I nevertheless support the Covington school teen’s lawsuit against especially the Washington Post, given the Post’s having been acting as the propagandist bureau of the U.S. government and its evil national security state, and has played a major role in the apparatchiks’ witch hunt of “Trump-Russia collusions” and “2016 election hacking,” none of which ever happened.