Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gary Johnson tests Florida for presidential bid

But, Gary Johnson is prescribing less government as the remedy for a lot more than Washington's looming fiscal crisis, he also wants to see cannabis legalized in the United States. After even California rejected the idea by voting down Proposition 19 on the November midterm ballot, Johnson has a tough sell if he wants to stake his campaign on the drug issue.



Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Urgent: Silver Circle Movie So CLOSE to 10,000 Fans on Facebook!

What better way to multi-task then brushing your teeth while helping an independent film gain a larger fan base??? Genius, I know. Visit Silver Circle's fan page or simply share this video with your friends and colleagues and ask them to take a brave step into supporting an upcoming animated film from Cambridge, MA.




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Don't Raise the Debt Ceiling!

As of November 7th, the total U.S. public debt outstanding reached an astonishing $13.7 trillion. This means that although Congress just raised the debt ceiling to $14.3 trillion back in February, the new Congress will face another debt ceiling vote almost immediately next year. Otherwise, the Treasury will not be able to continue issuing debt to fund government operations.

The upcoming vote will provide an interesting litmus test for the new Republican congressional majority, especially those new members closely identified with Tea Party voters. The debt ceiling law, passed in 1917, enables Congress to place a statutory cap on the total amount of government debt rather than having to approve each individual Treasury bond offering. It also, however, forces Congress into an open and presumably somewhat shameful vote to approve more borrowing.

If the new Congress gives in to establishment pressure and media alarmism about “shutting down the government” by voting to increase the debt ceiling once again, you will know that the status quo has prevailed. You will know that Congress, despite the rhetoric of the midterm elections, is doing business as usual. You will know that the simple notion of balancing the budget, by limiting federal spending to federal revenue, remains a shallow and laughable campaign platitude.

Read the rest of Ron Paul's


Daryl Luna
,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page

2011's Tax Time Bomb Set to Go Off

President Obama will soon meet with the congressional leadership of both parties to reach some agreement about whether or not several critical tax rates will suddenly increase on Jan. 1. He says his "first priority is to make the middle-class tax cuts permanent." Those words conceal a well-crafted trap for Republicans.

The president can't possibly make any tax change permanent, since his term of office ends in two years. The lame-duck Congress can't possibly bind even the next Congress, much less all future ones.

At Cato.org.

Alan Reynolds, a senior fellow with the Cato Institute, is the author of Income and Wealth (Greenwood Press 2006).




Filed by Grant Davies,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page | Website

Monday, November 29, 2010

Boom, Bust, and Gold

In his interview with the CNBC on November 9, 2010, a highly regarded Wall Street economist, Nouriel Roubini, the cofounder and chairman of Roubini Global Economics, said that a gold standard is unlikely to stabilize the financial system. On the contrary, holds Roubini, such a standard can only make things much worse.

...

On a gold standard, argues Roubini, the central bank will not be able to successfully counterbalance these tendencies. An economy on a gold standard would continue to reinforce the existing negative trends in the business cycle, he maintains."

Frank Shostak refutes all this and more here, at Mises.org.


Eric Sharp
,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Corker & Pence Miss The Point

Rep. Mike Pence and Sen. Bob Corker recently spoke out in opposition to the Federal Reserve, seeing it's powers as too pervasive, opting to introduce legislation to cancel it's dual mandate of maintaining full employment and stable prices and instead have the Fed just focus on controlling inflation.

As far as the stated reasons for this spark of expediency, Pence was more combative when the Fed "unilaterally' announced its new spending, which he said was 'at odds with the goals of the American people..."

Corker on the other hand "opted a much more restrained tone, saying he merely wanted to provide clarity to the Fed’s mission and maintained that, while concerned about QE2, the legislation was not in response to it," saying further of QE2,
"None of us really will know, until we look in the rearview mirror [after] these policies have played themselves out as to whether these were good or bad policies.”

Essentially it is ambiguous why Sen. Corker drafted this bill and also why he is concerned about the Fed at all.


While their proposal may be well spirited and partially correct, they both have simply missed the point.

We can debate all day what The Federal Reserve's mandates are but really these are more like recommendations made by Congress. When Congress really wants the Fed to act a certain way, they have no way of enforcing that, short of repealing or amending the Federal Reserve Act, or auditing their books. In the past, when asked to do something by Congress, the Fed has simply refused.

The fact of the matter is that regardless of the publicly stated goals and ambitions of a central bank, there is no such thing as a "good central bank." The power to inflate will, given the proper crisis and political influences, eventually be abused.

The power to debase a currency is to have the power to halt the economy at will. The supposed benefits of an elastic currency are vastly outweighed by the danger of this power.

It is time that we stop looking at the Fed and it's Chairmen as "maestros" and start seeing them as the problem.

Are Mike and Bob trying to safeguard the Fed by taking an essentially meaningless action? We can't know for certain, but if our distinguished Congressmen are really worried then they both ought to support a full audit of the Federal Reserve by HR 1207/S604, competition in currencies, and even call to abolish the Fed if they are so serious about their concerns. Kid gloves won't do when it comes to the "Creature from Jekyll Island;" drastic action is required.

Until the Fed is held accountable for it's actions, by an audit or otherwise, their "mandate" is to do whatever it pleases.


Eric Sharp
,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page

The TSA's False Tradeoff

The national furor over the TSA's new procedures — culminating in yesterday's "Opt Out Day" — has elicited the typical response from the bureaucracy and its apologists. Why, these invasive scans and "enhanced pat-downs" are only for your good, in order to ensure safe flying. You don't want another attack, do you?

This is a false tradeoff. Especially in the long run, there is no tension between freedom and safety. If airport security were truly returned to the private sector, air travelers would achieve a much better balance of privacy and legitimate security measures."

Read the rest of this excellent article by Robert P. Murphy here.


Eric Sharp
,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sleep in Friday, Attend Small Business Saturday

Libertarians and conservatives tend to champion the frenzied consumerism of “Black Friday” as a glorious affirmation of capitalism and markets, but really it’s just a Big Business bacchanal — the high holiday of anti-market privilege, a form of communion in which cheap DVD players and surprise deals are served up as the symbolic body and blood of massive government subsidies to big-box retailers.

The consumers aren’t to blame. Aside from the occasional deadly Xbox stampede, they’re generally well behaved. However, they’re reacting uncritically to the existing conditions of the market, seeking only to maximize their short-term personal utility.

The same can’t be said of corporate apologists who know better but who check the details of institutional privilege at the door for propagandistic purposes. State policy intentionally skews the economic balance in favor of wealthy, geographically diverse corporations at the expense of more locally oriented and responsible firms. Conservatives claim fidelity to free market ideology while actually promoting a neoliberal mixed economy, which hopelessly muddles the political discourse, tricking people into thinking legitimate free markets are responsible for corporate centralism.

Read the rest of the essay by Ross Kenyon
At C4SS.org



Ross Kenyon is the Assistant Editor of The Humble Libertarian.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for Good Hearts in a Silly Statist World

Those who seek to expand state power even in the most dramatic of ways seldom seek to do so for some maligned desire to conquer and rule humanity. Most progressives, social democrats, and even communists I know aren’t what I would describe as evil. They have reacted to our political landscape in a way which I believe is incorrect and second-order, but in their hearts, I know their concern over inequality, exploitation and the quality of life of the worst off amongst us is sincere, not a mere justification for power-seeking. As the old saying goes, most people are for good things and against bad things. I recognize this and it gives me hope.

Chastising conservatives is practically the national sport amongst my demographic, and it’s often easy pickins’! But even the most vociferous and vicious neocons, who seek to marginalize sexual or ethnic communities and froth for indiscriminate war and revenge against the mostly innocent victims of the policies of the ruling class, are manipulated into thinking their interests or their safety actually requires such brutality. Few of them, confronted with the awful truth of this unnecessary course of action, and seeing the humanized burnt bodies, nay, smelling them from a few feet away, would still feel that such policies were acceptable.

Like Darth Vader, they will rise up and hurl the emperor into the core of the Death Star when confronted with visible insanity, when they see their sons tortured at the hands of the policies and rulers and institutions which they support. Few people are like Emperor Palpatine, beyond their own humanity. Most people I know are like Darth Vader; victims of an expertly manipulated political order and the corrupt incentive structures produced through illegitimate power.


Read the rest of the essay by Ross Kenyon
At C4SS.org


Ross Kenyon is the Assistant Editor of The Humble Libertarian.


The War on Christianity

Sunday, on the eve of All Saints’ Day, Nov. 1, 2010, the faithful gathered at the Assyrian Catholic Church of Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad.

As Father Wassim Sabih finished the mass, eight al-Qaeda stormed in, began shooting and forced him to the floor. As the priest pleaded that his parishioners be spared, they executed him and began their mission of mass murder.

When security forces broke in, the killers threw grenades to finish off the surviving Christians and detonated explosive-laden vests to kill the police. The toll was 46 parishioners and two priests killed, 78 others wounded, many in critical condition after losing limbs.

Within 48 hours, al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia issued a bulletin: “All Christian centers, organizations and institutions, leaders and followers, are legitimate targets for the (holy warriors).”

Why is Christianity being murdered in its cradle by Muslim fanatics?


Read the rest of Pat Buchanan's article
at The American Conservative.


Carl Wicklander,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page | Website

How Capitalism Saved the Pilgrims - A Thanksgiving Story


When I was growing up, my father would occasionally tell me the story around this time of year of how private property rights saved the Pilgrims from starvation.

When the Pilgrims first arrived in 1620, as my father told the story, they tried to live communally according to the spirit of the Mayflower Compact. What crops they grew were put in a common storehouse and then apportioned according to each family’s need. The small colony struggled to survive for two or three years until its leaders declared that every family henceforth would be responsible for growing its own food. The new system proved much superior at putting food on the table.

At Cato-at-Liberty.org

Daniel Griswold is The Director of Trade Policy at The Cato Institute


Filed by Grant Davies,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page | Website

Ron Paul Denounces TSA on Freedom Watch

This week Ron Paul stopped by the Freedom Watch studio and presented a clear, cohesive view regarding the abuses of new TSA policies as well as the existence of the TSA itself.

My favorite quotation from the interview: "I don't think of government as protecting private property; I think the Second Amendment protects your private property."




Daryl Luna
,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Earmarks - The Gateway Drug To Government Addiction

"It’s theoretically possible that congressional leaders will use earmarks to help pass legislation shrinking the burden of government. It’s also possible that I’ll play centerfield next year for the Yankees. But I’m not holding my breath for either of these things to happen."

"Earmarks are utterly corrupt. The fact that they are legal does not change the fact that they finance a racket featuring big payoffs to special interests, who give big fees to lobbyists (often former staffers and Members), who give big contributions to politicians. Everyone wins…except taxpayers."





Filed by Grant Davies,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page | Website

Tea Party Conservatism

Other than being the highest-profile Republican victims of Tea Party candidates, what do Lisa Murkowski, Mike Castle, Charlie Crist and Arlen Specter have in common?

Other than being tea party insurgents who routed establishment Republicans in high-profile primaries, what do Joe Miller, Marco Rubio, Christine O’Donnell, Pat Toomey, Sharron Angle in Nevada, Ken Buck in Colorado and Mike Lee in Utah have in common?

The answer, writes Tim Carney of The Washington Examiner, is that all the former are pro-choice on abortion, all the latter pro-life.

Tea Party types and pro-life conservatives seem to be twins separated at birth. Carney continues: “Almost without fail the strongest advocates of limited government in Congress are pro-life and vice versa. Think of (Jim) DeMint and (Tom) Coburn in the Senate and Ron Paul and Jeff Flake in the House. They top the scorecards of the National Taxpayers’ Union and also have perfect scores from National Right to Life.”

Carney’s point: While all Tea Party insurgents and Tea Party-backed candidates seemed to agree on the economic issues — deficits, debt, taxes, Obamacare — they also seem united on other issues. Looking at the down-ballot battles in 2010, being pro-life is just one of them.


at The American Conservative.


Carl Wicklander,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page | Website

Deadlock of Democracy


The message America sent Obama and the men and women America sent to Congress to replace his allies impel one to ask: Why would he want a second term?

Why would the most liberal president since FDR wish to preside over the major surgery on the social safety net that must be done in the era of austerity we have entered? The liberal hour is over. Why would the Party of Government not prefer that Republicans do the painful work of paring back programs for which Democrats have fought since the New Deal?




at The American Conservative.







Carl Wicklander,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page | Website

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Why Every President Sucked

In an excellent work of art and political commentary, created primarily as an educational tool for history teachers, THL contributor, Eric Olsen has boldly and humorously taken one of the most honest looks at U.S. Presidential history with his project: "Why Every President Sucke d."

Visit his website and you will be treated to a scrolling bar with a picture of every president the United States has had from Washington to Obama. Click on any of their pictures and you'll be taken to a page where you can watch a YouTube video with an original song written and performed by Olsen uncovering the flaws of each president.

In a culture that reveres and deifies its presidents (if you think that word too strong, examine The Lincoln Memorial and compare it to classical depictions of the god Jupiter or ancient Christian icons of Christ Pantocrator), it is a breath of fresh air to hear someone proclaim that every president actually sucked... especially since it's true.

Even model presidents that classical liberals (or libertarians) admire like Thomas Jefferson are not without their major flaws, as you can learn from the video below:



So if you want to delve into U.S. Presidential history, be enlightened and entertained at the same time, and learn a thing or two that may surprise you, check out Why Every President Sucked and peruse the presidents there. If you're a teacher, Olsen encourages you to use these materials in class to teach your students.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Debate Heats Up Over Bush Tax Cuts

Commonly referred to as the "Bush tax cuts," the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 cut taxes on personal income, the estate tax, dividends, and capital gains- with a sunset provision for the tax cuts to expire at the end of 2010. As December 31st looms closer, the debate over whether or not to extend the Bush-era tax cuts is heating up.

Read the rest of my article at CAIVN to find out what the majority of American people think according to a recent Gallup Poll, and what the majority of leading economists said about extending the tax cuts. Find out here!


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Does Obama Need a War?


Though Obama “may lose control of Congress,” says columnist David Broder, he “can still storm back to win a second term in 2012.”

How does Broder suggest Obama go about it?

“Look back at FDR and the Great Depression. What finally resolved that economic crisis? World War II.”

Conceding the prospect of a new war is “frightening,” Broder goes on to list the rich rewards of
Obama’s emulating FDR.

“With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran’s ambition to become a nuclear power, (Obama) can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve…

“(T)he nation will rally around Obama because Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century. If he can confront this threat and contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he will have made the world safer and may be regarded as one of the most successful presidents in history.”

Cynicism aside, what is wrong with Broder’s analysis?



at The American Conservative.


Carl Wicklander,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page | Website

Are Air Travelers Criminal Suspects?

The growing revolt against invasive TSA practices is encouraging to Americans who are fed up with federal government encroachment in their lives. In the case of air travelers, this encroachment is quite literally physical. But a deep-seated libertarian impulse still exists within the American people, and opposition to the new TSA full body scanner and groping searches is gathering momentum.

I introduced legislation last week that is based on a very simple principle: federal agents should be subject to the same laws as ordinary citizens. If you would face criminal prosecution or a lawsuit for groping someone, exposing them to unwelcome radiation, causing them emotional distress, or violating indecency laws, then TSA agents should similarly face sanctions for their actions.

This principle goes beyond TSA agents, however. As commentator Lew Rockwell recently noted, the bill “enshrines the key lesson of the freedom philosophy: the government is not above the moral law. If it is wrong for you and me, it is wrong for people in government suits… That is true of TSA crimes too.” The revolt against TSA also serves as a refreshing reminder that we should not give in to government alarmism or be afraid to question government policies.

Read the rest of Ron Paul's

Daryl Luna
,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Monday, November 22, 2010

Wes Interviews Barack Obama

Tonight from 8 - 9 pm Central I will be interviewing President Barack Obama live on my radio program! How awesome is that!? Call in with your questions- this is your chance to tell Mr. Obama what you think about his policies.

You can stream the show live here, and if you've missed the show, you can click that same link and listen to the archived recording.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

The Second Mexican-American War?


Speaking on MSNBC, Texas Governor Rick Perry said the United States ought to consider a military invasion of his neighbor to the south, Mexico, arguing that it was needed to fight the drug war as well as to secure the border between the two nations.

Perry, who is also the incoming chairman of the Republican Governors Association, said the Mexican government would have to approve the invasion, but didn’t see this as a serious obstacle, adding that the new war might be an important part of immigration reform.

Read the rest of Jason Ditz article here.


Cuylor Reeves,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page


Video: Wes Messamore Speaks at Nashville's End the Fed Rally

"There is seriously nothing in this country or in the world that is a bigger threat to the future of our nation, to the future of our prosperity, to our national security -than inflation." Check out a video excerpt of my speech at Nashville's End the Fed Rally this past weekend:




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Ron Paul refuses to join Tea Party Caucus

Umm yeah Bachmann's so called "Tea Party" caucus has members who actually voted for the $700B Wall Street Bailout. Read my article at CAIVN for all the gory details...


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

GOP Congressman, Rights Groups Want Bush Probed Over Torture


Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R - UT) even said he was willing to participate in an official Congressional probe of the former President Bush's torture. This may be a tough sell for many longer serving officials, who have their own culpability to worry about but Chaffetz, elected in 2008, says he was not elected to protect the Bush Administration, and his votes against the Afghan War suggest he is more than willing to defy party pressure.

Click here for more by Jason Ditz

Cuylor Reeves,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page

A Tuxedo Rental and the Tragedy of the Commons


I recently had the privilege of being a groomsmen in my friend's wedding. The day before the big event, I went to the store to pick up my tuxedo rental. $139.99.

I don't own an outfit that costs that much money. And I only got to wear that uncomfortable mess for 8 hours.

A couple of days after the wedding, we were talking with the newly happy couple about their lovely day. And the tuxedo rental cautiously came up. The bride then said, "Yeah, that was a great surprise! When we got to the store, we found out that the groom's tux is free with the paid rentals from all the groomsmen. So we just decided to get the most expensive one."

She said this. In front of me. Without batting an eye. She saw the benefit of a free suit. And didn't think through the fact that her closest friends and family would have to pay double for theirs.

I experienced the law of the commons. And it was indeed a tragedy.


Eric Olsen,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page | Website