The Ultimate Minority

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform – Mark Twain

This is must see video.

Scott Horton debates Harvey Kushner on US foreign policy.  Horton represents the philosophy of liberty and non-interventionism.  Kushner represents the neoconservative policy of aggressive interventionism and imperialism.

If you’re struggling to understand why we need to give up all this “liberty for safety”, or if you don’t understand the motivation of politicians bent on policing the world, Kushner will make the case for the State with conviction.

If you want to see every argument the statists have to justify their imperialism smashed to pieces, Scott Horton will not disappoint.  Scott is a principled advocate of liberty and a walking encyclopedia of US foreign policy.

Live Streaming by Ustream.TV

The Activity Report


faceinpalmWow – it’s been nearly a month since my last post on the Ultimate Minority.  I thought I’d take a moment to explore my reasons for the slowdown.

It’s not for lack of studying or a dearth of things to write about.  I’ve been quite active in my reading and have had a lot of thoughts to explore.  The problem is, the more I study, the more I see connections between things – and the more I see connections between things, the longer my writings become and the more I’m concerned that I don’t have a complete essay ready to publish yet.

I have 16 drafts in my backlog right now – essays I’ve started but not completed for various reasons.  When I go back to one of them to complete and publish it, I remember what stopped me first time around.  On top of the 16 drafts, there have been dozens of thoughts and observations I’ve thought to write on, and held back.  Maybe it’s a writers block of some form.

But the purpose of this blog is to get me to write, even when a thought is not complete.  I’m going to start trying to break things into smaller observations instead of more in-depth essays, and then as my thoughts gel, I’ll pull from previous essays and try and put them together into a bigger picture.

Sometimes I get concerned about repeating myself – then I read Murray Rothbard, and I find him repeating himself – not out of error, but intentionally.  He was reminding the reader, reinforcing the point at a crucial point in their study as he built on an idea.  I find it reassuring as a reader, confirming the relationship between the earlier point to the current scenario.

I will strive to do better.

pledge-allegianceI’ve been doing some thinking on statism lately, trying to understand why people will follow their government into everything and justify its wrongdoings. Even when they disapprove of government action (for example, 70% of Americans wanting out of Iraq, voting in the democrats, and getting more of the same) they still follow it and grant it legitimacy.

An enormous insight was supplied to me in this brilliant piece by Butler Shaffer:

There is a deeper explanation for the refusal of most Americans to play out the superintending role expected of an electorate by defenders of democratic states: the fear of being critical of a system with which people have so closely identified their egos. If one thinks of himself as an “American” or a “Peruvian” only in the sense of being a resident of a given territory, there is little threat of organized conflict. It is when we identify who we are by reference to nationality – or race, religion, gender, or social status – that problems arise. We have been carefully trained – primarily by government schools – to attach existential significance to our nation-state. We learn such childish catechisms as “our” group is better than “theirs”; those who are not “with us” are “against us.” The daily recitation of our “pledge of allegiance” to the flag that dominates the front of the classroom, is the most obvious example of the political conditioning that begins in the grade school classroom, and carries over to our adult lives as we watch televised newscasts presented by men and women wearing miniaturized flags on their clothing.

Once we have learned to think of ourselves as “indivisible” from the nation-state, we are as desirous of protecting the state’s image as we are our own, for that is who we have become; who we are. We have become totally “externalized” beings, whose direction and responsibility lies beyond us and, thus, beyond our control.The wrongdoings by the state become our misdeeds. What embarrasses the political establishment becomes a source of personal humiliation, a discomfort we try to overcome through internal repression and/or projection onto scapegoats. Watching Americans rationalizing the bombing and invasion of two countries that have neither attacked nor threatened to attack the United States, while killing over a million men, women, and children in the process, provides as much evidence as one would need of the dangers that lie in identifying with a nation-state.

(Emphasis mine.)

Therein lies a large piece of the puzzle, and why I have advocated that the first step in recognizing the reality of the government we have inherited is to separate ones self from the State.  The baby who noted that the Emperor had no clothes could see clearly because he had not identified himself with the State.

iPatriot Act Ready

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The fascist government has long been fretting over the Internet and its ability to inform people and expose government lies. As if this is a surprise, it has been determined that there is a plan in place for the government to take control of the Internet; a plan lying in wait for an event to catalyze the takeover.

Personally, I remember feeling the transformational power of the Internet when I began to read opinions that agreed with my philosophy – opinions that I never heard in the media. When people feel isolated in their ideas, they tend to feel marginalized. When they see that they’re not alone, they are empowered.

The government established control over opinion through the Federal Communication Commission, established, of course, to protect the people from media conglomerates controlling information. As is always the case with government action promoted to protect the people, it is actually designed to protect special interests and grant monopoly power to favored political connections. It has artificially chopped bandwidth into large chunks available only to major corporations, erected as a barrier to competition. It wields regulatory power over its privileged bandwidth holders, and exerts pressure on them to keep the content to its liking.

The mainstream media we have today is a sham, nothing more than a propaganda horn for the government. In the place of journalism that questions government action, we get talking heads that read government press releases. In the place of skepticism and criticism, we get promotion of government and statism. In the place of important news and events, we get entertainment, murder and mayhem reports, and Paris Hilton.

The Internet changed it all. No longer is there a barrier to competition. No longer is there a monopoly control over information. And no longer is there a lack of diversity in opinion.

This is dangerous to government legitimacy, and they’re dying to squelch it.

In this video, Lawrence Lessig mentions the “iPatriot Act,” governments plan to get the Internet under control. He makes the point that the Patriot Act, a long, heavy piece of legislation, was presented to the House twenty days after 9/11. It was not written in twenty days, it was written long before, and sat in wait of a catalyzing event to prompt its introduction.

I’d like to say that this can’t happen – that an attemt to take control over the Internet would be the last straw.  But I know it will happen when the government can play on fear, and when it will be sold as a measure to protect the people.  They’re already selling incremental control to the masses with the fascist push for “net neutrality,” with “Internet freedom” advocacy groups lined up behind the government to get “protection.”  A catalyzing event is all that is needed, and free speech will be squelched – again.

gas_pricesIn my previous entry, for which this follow-up entry is long overdue, I cited government intervention in free markets in the form of war, sanctions, imperialism, and mercantilistic policies as a primary cause for our current woes at the pump.  Today, I’d like to address the other primary cause:  How inflation affects gasoline prices.

As a first step, it is important that we do not improperly associate the word inflation with rising prices.  In today’s terminology, it is commonly accepted that inflation is a rise in prices.  This is incorrect.  Rising prices are the result of inflation.  Inflation is an increase in the money supply.  This conflation of terms is intentional, as the government and its unconstitutional central bank, the Federal Reserve, seek to shift blame from their wealth-extracting policy of inflation to the marketplace.  When the money supply is increased, it devalues the currency as more dollars are competing for the supply of goods available in exchange.  To understand why the government inflates the money supply, I’d recommend a reading of my entries titled What is Money? and Fiat Money.

When the government inflates the money supply, it issues new bills of credit to finance its operations.  This is debt.  This newly created money is then funneled to politically connected special interests, such as the Military Industrial Complex, and is used to fund government intervention to support corporatism, for example, supporting “Big Oil” through the manipulation of foreign governments in oil producing countries and subsidization of military dictatorships that will bow to the empire.

When a fiat money is accepted in world markets as a standard and reliable currency, other nations are willing to accept that money in exchange for their goods and services.  They are not acquiring real wealth, such as they would if they were exchanging their oil for gold;  they are accepting debt paper.  This ability to exchange debt instruments for real goods is known as exporting inflation.  Foreign governments are now holding US debt in exchange for oil.

inflation_adjusted_gasoline_priceThis chart is the key (click on it or; source:  It shows how the US government has successfully exported inflation since 1981 to drive down the cost of gasoline at the pump.  Oil producing countries accepted more debt and provided oil in exchange, artificially reducing the cost of their product for two decades.  Americans enjoyed cheap gasoline over this time period, as is reflected in our usage habits:  We shifted from vehicles of high fuel economy to large SUVs and bigger cars because gasoline was inexpensive, but we were doing it with a national credit card.  The chickens have come home to roost, as the saying goes, and now it’s time to pay for it.

At some point, this privilege of being able to print money in exchange for real goods is bound to fail.  The rest of the world is only willing to take on so much debt, and when they see their largest debtor running up a bigger balance and financing its operations with exponential deficits year in and year out, they begin to shift their desire to accept more paper.  We can see this in the world oil markets, where many of the oil producing countries are no longer pricing their product in dollars, but have instead shifted to pricing in euros (another fiat currency produced by the European Union.)  As of today, it will cost you $1.59 to buy one Euro.

This exporting of inflation led to a shift in markets that would not have occurred had we been paying for oil with real money (gold) all of this time.  Consumer preferences for large, fuel-thirsty vehicles may have never come about, or perhaps demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles (both larger and smaller) may have created innovation in fuel economy.

Central banking creates booms and busts.  What we are witnessing here is a gasoline boom, followed by the inevitable bust.  Don’t be angry at oil companies, they are only taking advantage of what your government has bestowed upon them.  The government and its central bank are to blame.

National Service

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timenationalsvcIn January, 2007, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D) of New York introduced H.R. 393; The Universal National Service Act of 2007. This bill would make mandatory national service for everyone 18-42 years old. It is a draft, both for military and “peaceful” purposes.

As the story goes, Rangel introduced the bill as a strong arm tactic to force Bush to get out of Iraq because, according to his logic, people will oppose the war if it looks like we’re going to draft anyone and everyone to fight. Good ol’ Charlie didn’t really want a draft or national service, but he was trying to “make a point.”

Now, we have Time Magazine and a number of “leadership” organizations pushing the national service agenda, and they will invite both major party candidates to a summit on the issue, as both are strong advocates of “service.”

Mandatory service is nothing more than slavery.  It denies the right to self ownership, the right of each individual to choose what he will do with his labor.  And it is a precursor to a fully militarized nation, an empire run by a few employing the services of the many.

This socialist agenda is being pushed on the nationalistic premise that the state comes before the individual, that the needs of the whole are more important than the selfish aspirations of the individual.  It is New Deal II; it is state worship.

It is also the next step in giving government full control over the economy.  The dynamics of the free market are to be replaced by central planning, giant public works projects, and government funding of everything.

It was introduced to get a feel for public reaction, and it was met with apathy.  The waters have been tested, now it’s time to move forward with full advocacy.  It’ll be sold on the public with visions of national greatness, platitudes on the virtue of service, and promise of jobs and education grants.  Free stuff from the government for all, and all you need to do is “serve.”  Service is virtuous.

It won’t be voluntary, it will be mandatory.  Those who resist will be labeled unpatriotic, traitors, perhaps even terrorists, and will be jailed.  Thoreau suggested that it is better to let the government try and jail us all rather than to support its totalitarian actions.  If involuntary servitude is enacted under the guise of “service,” then the time to resist is upon us.


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2_great_depressionIt is often said that we don’t know we’re in an economic recession until we’re two years into it. That is because there are many statistics that signal a recession, not all acting in harmony, and the statistics are twisted and debated until finally, no one can deny it.

But when the mass media and the government are finally admitting it, you can be assured that it is upon us. The words depression, recession, slowdown, downturn, etc. have made the headlines recently. It should be noted that all of these words mean the same thing, it’s just that they fall out of favor as time passes. The Bureau of Euphemisms is always hard at work, softening terminology to divert blame from the government and its disastrous manipulation of the market. Lew Rockwell tells the story of Alfred Kahn, an economist in the Carter administration, who was taken to the woodshed by the president for using the word “depression,” so when speaking to the media, he advised that he was forbidden to use that word and would instead use the word “banana.” He then stated that “we are in a banana.”

Despite propaganda to the contrary, depression is not an inherent property of a free market economy. Yes, there is variation in markets – at any given time, some businesses, and to some degree sectors of industry, are doing better and some are doing worse. But on the whole, the system stays relatively stable. Depression is created by government manipulation of the economy.  The fraudulent scheme to print money with no value other than government decree inflates the money supply and devalues the currency.  But more importantly, the power to manipulate interest rates distorts the temporal pattern of savings and investment in the market, causing large-scale entrepreneurial error across the entire economy.  Periods of over-investment (booms) are always followed by liquidation of both bad and good investment (busts.)  In a free market economy, absent central bank manipulation, the pattern of savings, investment, and consumption is a self-regulating system.

With its tools of monetary inflation, regulation, and interest rate manipulation, government can disturb and distort the market, but it cannot repeal economic law.  The market is resilient and adaptive, it can deal with perturbations, but ultimately it will cleanse itself of all the bad investment, and the bust will be inevitable.  It will recover despite government because individuals will change their pattern of behavior.

People will stop spending on things they don’t need.  They’ll reduce consumption and stop taking on new debt, despite government urging to consume, consume, consume.  They’ll cut back on travel, they’ll work harder, picking up second jobs if necessary (or possible) to keep up with expenses.  They’ll save money by doing things themselves;  changing their own oil in their car, mowing their own lawn, starting their own garden to save on groceries.

Murray Rothbard taught us to understand this correctly – when we take all the actions to cut back consumption, we turn back the dial of economic progress.  By doing things ourselves, we begin to roll back the division of labor, the hallmark of the free market economy.

Ultimately, the market will recover.  The duration and depth of the recession are determined by the amount of government intervention – both in the intervention leading to the bust and the intervention during the downturn in a futile effort to stave off its effects.

Please understand:  The boom/bust cycle is not inevitable.  It is not an accident.  It is not the result of mistakes made by well-meaning bureaucrats who miscalculated.  It is the result of intentional action of the government and its central bank.  It is the result of a system designed to produce immense profits for the banking sector, and to promise to cover any losses they have from bad business decisions with taxpayer money.  It fuels the growth of government, and facilitates a redistribution of wealth from the people to Wall Street bankers, who will confiscate real property when the rest of us lose our shirts.

For all of this, we should be angry about depression, and our anger should be directed at those who cause it and profit from it.  Your targets are the US government and its central bank, the Federal Reserve System.  Don’t look to the government to bail us out of a depression, they caused it!  And anything they do to try and reverse it will only make it last longer, and run deeper.  Don’t let them blame the market and businessmen again, they do it every time.  Study, understand, and point the finger where it belongs.  This illegitimate, unconstitutional government and its central bank are the source of all our woes.

For the reader who desires to better understand the boom/bust cycle, I recommend a study of Austrian Business Cycle Theory.  The site is a veritable treasure chest of information, and a good introductory article may be found here.

Are You on the List?

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infoawarenessofcThe terrorist “watch list” is now over a million names long.  This is your government’s list of people to watch, in the name of protecting you.  With 300 million people in the US, this means that the government has deemed one of every three hundred people a potential danger.

Government watch lists are always justified in the interest of protecting the people, but always turn out to be lists that target the people.  Ultimately, they are lists of the enemies of government itself, as the government begins to view the people as a threat to its authority.  See also the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, a piece of legislation passed in the House that will specifically target free speech on the Internet as a potential threat to government.

How far will it go before the people say enough is enough?  Frankly, it doesn’t look good.  It appears as though the populace is willing to trade any amount of liberty for safety, despite being advised against it by the founders.  Of course, these are “different times” we live in…

trackingbracelet071108If you’re one of the 1 in 300 people on the terrorist watch list, the first thing you can expect is to encounter a lot of difficulty should you choose to travel by air.  And even if you’re not on the list, they’re dreaming up a new bracelet for you to wear if you want to travel by air, stepping up the attack on your right to travel unencumbered a notch.  This bracelet will not only keep all of your personal information and make you trackable wherever you go, it will contain a stun feature that will knock you out – that’s right – render you unconscious at the push of a button.

Note that “terrorism expert” Neil Livingstone cited in the Raw Story article advises us that flying is not a right, it’s a privilege.  This is the method of the state, to claim that rights are not inherent in the individual, but are granted to us by the government in the form of privileges.

This is the exact opposite of the American System, as designed.  The people have rights that precede government, rights we understand to be self-evident.  Government establishes nor grants any rights to the people.  The people are sovereign.  The people established the government, and granted the government limited powers to protect their rights, not to grant them privileges.

All of this does not bode well for the future of the airline industry.  Personally, my interest in flying is diminishing with every new encroachment on my liberty.  Maybe ten hours in the car won’t be so bad after all.

Notwithstanding the fact that the Federal Reserve System (the US Government’s unconstitutional central bank) destroys wealth through the inflation tax, it is the enabler of empire and the warmongering aspirations of the imperial government.

Consider this:  Without the ability to create money out of thin air, a government must finance a war via taxation.  The cost of the Iraq adventure is now at about $20,000 per US household.  If George W. Bush and the lapdog congress had to appeal to the American people to pony up $20K each for this war, how many do you think would have willingly opened their pocketbook?

Of course, government regularly forces taxation on the people without their approval, but there is a practical limit to how much they will take.  It brings about revolution when it goes too far – a scenario government would prefer to avoid.

The Federal Reserve is the engine that runs the Military Industrial Complex.  Billions of “off budget” dollars are funneled to the favored manufacturers of the war machine, and their powerful lobby that pushes our government toward intervention.

A nation should be at peace by default.  War should be conducted only when necessary and just to respond to an attack, or to prepare for an eminent attack.  And when you fight a war, as we did in the American Revolution, it should break the bank.  It should drain all the nations resources, and everyone should feel the pain.  War should be painful and taxing.

Instead, war with fiat money, courtesy of the Federal Reserve, seems painless to the masses who willingly follow government propaganda.  We don’t feel its effects until years later, and when we do the government can blame it on everything but government.  Market failures, greedy capitalists, “irrational exuberance,” and (currently) speculators are blamed for all our woes.

War is funded with inflation.  Inflation must always be paid for with recession.  It is inevitable that we should experience financial crisis as a result of our current military adventurism in Iraq.

Without the ability to fund wars with printed money, government would be “chained down” by the constraints that Thomas Jefferson envisioned.

Israel is Evil

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The more I study the dynamics of US interventionism and imperialism in the middle east, the more I understand: Israel is evil.

This is to say nothing of the Israeli people, and has nothing to do with anti-semitism. As an individualist, I do not view people simply as members of groups, so this is not an entry about Jews. It is about the state of Israel, its government. One should make clear the distinction because it is both incorrect and unjust to characterize a people based on the actions of their government.

The Israeli government is a client state to the empire, and it is the tail that wags the dog. AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is by far and large the most powerful foreign policy lobby in Washington, rivaling even the AARP and the NRA in its influence – and you’re paying for it.

Even though Israel ranks as the sixteenth most wealthy nation in the world, the US Government sends billions annually in foreign aid and military weaponry, courtesy of the American taxpayer. Fully one-third of all unconstitutional US foreign aid goes to the state of Israel. And what do we get in return?

The Israeli government uses the money to spy on us, and pushes our government to use its military machine to fight their wars. And for all of this, our government officials pledge the lives of Americans to “protect” Israel for centuries to come, the epitome of an “entangling alliance” that Jefferson and Washington warned us about.

There is substantial evidence that Israeli spies had information that may have prevented the 9/11 attacks, but did not share the information with US intelligence agencies. Israel is pushing hard for a US-led war against Iran, supplying fraudulent information in the form of “smoking laptops” to make the case for war. Israel demands that Iran – a signatory to the Nonproliferation Treaty – does not have the right to pursue peaceful use of nuclear research while they, a non-participant in the NPT, possess hundreds of nuclear weapons.

The state of Israel is a creation of western governments, displacing others from their homeland. And where Israel was once viewed as acting defensively in the face of hostility directed toward them, it is clear that they have for decades been an aggressive force in the region.

As Michael Scheuer said, the nation of Israel is not worth the life of one American, and John McCain doesn’t have any authority to pledge the lives of Americans to protect it.