Saturday, April 30, 2011

Video- Mitt Romney: "Hang" Obama

That's it for Mitt Romney. Ron Paul's most serious competition in the GOP 2012 primary just took a major blow to his electability with one ill-advised gaffe. He suggested at a forum in New Hampshire that we should slip the economic misery index around Obama's neck and "hang" him. Of course Mitt Romney isn't racist and didn't mean what he said racially in any way, shape, or form, but it is going to be used against him for sure in what one commentator has already said is going to be the "most racist campaign" in American history.

Accusations of racism are probably unfair to Mitt, because let's be honest, if he had actually even been thinking about Obama's race, he wouldn't have said what he did at all. He obviously wasn't thinking about Obama's race, so his words were obviously not racially-motivated. He was talking about Obama just the same way he was talking about Carter-- a white guy-- and the same way he would talk about any other white politician.

But here's the most important-- and true-- accusation: Mitt Romney is obviously not ready for prime time. A libertarian friend of mine noted that Mitt Romney is trying so hard to posture as "the safe candidate" and this blunder proves he is anything but.

Watch:



Hat tip: Memeorandum

Oh yeah-- and would you like to know who really is a racist? Donald Trump

No, no, no-- not because of the birth certificate thing-- that just makes him an idiot who likes attention. Donald Trump, who recently blurted out in an interview that he has a great relationship with "the blacks," has actually had a pretty troubling relationship with the black American community, including when he was sued by the Justice Department for not renting to "the blacks" and quoting them different prices than white renters.


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

Top Climate Scientist No Better Than The Birther Conspiracy Theorists

So according to ThinkProgress, a top climate scientist has said that "it is irresponsible not to mention climate change" in connection with the devastating storms that rampaged through southern states this week (hat tip: memeorandum).

Just like the birthers, climate alarmists will interpret anything and everything as validating their dogma. Lots of storms? Must be global "climate change" --as if devastating storms did not exist prior to the Industrial Revolution. Earthquake hits Haiti? Yeah, celebrity climate alarmist Danny Glover pinned that one on global warming. It's getting warmer? Global warming. It's getting colder? Global warming-- er-- climate change-- yeah-- that's it! Climate change!

Remember that earlier this week in my discussion of the "After-Birther" movement I wrote:

That is the hallmark of a true "wingnut," "barking moonbat," or whatever other dysphemism you want to use for someone who has decided ahead of time that they believe a proposition is true so that no matter what evidence you give them to refute their belief, they will remain intransigent in their faith. 20th century philosopher Karl Popper, made an important contribution to philosophy when he asked: what would you do to prove yourself wrong?

That is a question we all must sincerely answer about our beliefs if we want to consider ourselves earnest seekers of the truth, and not merely dogmatic adherents to whatever belief we want to be true. What would you do to prove yourself wrong? What evidence or fact-- if someone could verify its truth to you-- would shake your belief in a proposition? If the answer is nothing at all-- then you are not a true seeker, but a dogmatist, as so many birthers, truthers, climate alarmists, race baiters, war mongers, welfare statists, drug prohibitionists, and so very many other "faithful" adherents to anything but the truth are.

So let me ask the climate alarmists, what would you do to prove yourself wrong? I'd really love to know.


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

Ron Paul: Why I Want To Be President

In this fantastic 12 minute interview with Judge Andrew Napolitano, Congressman Ron Paul explains why he wants to be president and gives the best answer ever: not because of all the things he wants to do as president, but all the things he wants the president to STOP doing to us.




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

#MusicMonday - Lupe Fiasco: "Words I Never Said" ft. Skylar Grey

So I know it's Saturday, not Monday; and if you've been looking forward to kicking off your week with a good tune every Monday here, don't worry: I've got another song lined up for you on Monday, but this couldn't wait. You've got to watch this music video. It's moving and powerful.




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

Fighting Amongst Ourselves

One liberty candidate is better than none, but is two better than one? To put it another way, if we were looking to preserve the GOP status quo, we would not have to worry about potentially splitting the vote or wrecking our future as a movement. If we were all divided over Romney, Huckabee, Pawlenty, Gingrich, and Santorum, we wouldn’t have a problem. Whatever fisticuffs we endured during a primary fight would be shelved in time to oppose the Democratic incumbent at any and all costs.

The problem with having both Ron Paul and Gary Johnson running for president is that having two of our horses in this race will mean that we will inevitably be pitted against each other. For those of us deemed to be on the “fringes” and out of the mainstream of permissible political discourse, we have an unfortunate history of internecine warfare. Michael Badnarik’s line that libertarians agree with each other on 98% of the issues but spend 98% of their time arguing about the other 2% would be on full display. In fact, it probably already is.

I like Gary Johnson’s potential upside and if Ron Paul was not running it would be easy to support him.

Justin Raimondo has recently called attention to an interview Johnson gave to the Weekly Standard where the former New Mexico governor revealed his support for military intervention in order to prevent “a clear genocide.”

Johnson’s partisans have reminded the skeptics that he’s opposed to the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and President Obama’s foray into Libya. This is all very well and very good for someone currently on the sidelines.

In that Weekly Standard interview, Johnson was clearly asked:

TWS: So, you think that the United States, even if it weren’t in its own narrow national interest, even if we weren’t threatened by the [other] country, but there was a genocide going on—a clear genocide—it would be the right thing to do to go in and stop that?

GARY JOHNSON: Yes. Yes, I do.

The American people have been sold on lies of atrocities and potential genocides before and we need someone with a backbone. Even though Johnson has all the right positions right now, there is still a feeling of trepidation because Johnson has exposed the way he could be manipulated into committing American troops to a theatre where there were no national interests present. It’s certainly enough to give pause over what Johnson’s convictions may be.

Again, if there was no Ron Paul in this race, it would be much easier to throw support behind Johnson. With either Paul or Johnson in the race, we would be able to better avoid the bitter in-fighting that is sure to take place with both of them running.

So far as 2012 is concerned, I’m supporting Ron Paul because I know what I’m getting. Ron Paul isn’t perfect but his vision is uncompromising and would represent a real revolution.

As for Gary Johnson, I’m afraid I have to agree with The American Conservative’s Daniel Larison in that I don’t see the point of his campaign when there is Ron Paul. Paul is the genuine article and as a social and cultural conservative he can attract a following in the GOP. With the better-known Ron Paul in the race, the Johnson campaign would be ultimately futile and fruitless. Republican primary voters are not going to vote for a pro-choice candidate who can’t top talking about pot. And if this was the NFL Draft, the smart GM would pick the best available player, not the one who might pan out.

Of course, the more candidates splitting up the vote makes it all that much easier for Mitt Romney to coast to the nomination.

So that makes this a lost cause anyway, but as Jefferson Smith famously told moviegoers so long ago, lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for.


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

I agree with Paul Krugman: Paul Ryan is a "Flim Flammer" on the budget

Writes Krugman: "...even after the cracks in the House budget proposal became apparent, much of the commentariat clung to the view that whatever you might think of Ryan’s priorities, he really is serious and sincere... But he isn’t."

Check out the rest of Krugman's piece at The New York Times to find out why. You won't hear me say this very often, but I agree with Krugman.


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

New Arrangement With Videos On Right

Those of you who are regular readers will have noticed the difference immediately (those of you who are not-- welcome!). Please let me know what you think. Feel free to be brutally honest so I can get accurate feedback on the look / functionality of featuring my most recent three or four videos in the sidebar next to the text content.

EDIT: Just thought of this. Would it be better to leave the videos embedded in the right sidebar as they are, or enlarge them to 400 pixels wide and put them directly under the list of blog posts so that they are sort of part of the stream of content? They would also appear under individual blog posts that way so visitors can go right from reading a story to watching a video that catches their eye underneath it. Thoughts?


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

Friday, April 29, 2011

Can libertarians reach the Left?

At the Mises Institute, Roderick T. Long writes: "There are many, many left-wingers whose primary motivation for their left-wing political stance is the very libertarian impulse to protect people who are being pushed around."

I cannot more highly recommend that you read his article.


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

Gingrich's Big Government Manifesto

It's so much worse than I thought. Newt Gingrich is such a classic, big-government RINO, and I can only hope that Republican Primary voters will be well-informed enough understand that. Back in 2006 over at the Cato Institute, Michael D. Tanner took a look at Gingrich's plan for America to help Republicans win the 2006 November midterms. Think Gingrich is a small-government conservative? Read Tanner's piece and follow his link to Gingrich's manifesto, then think again.


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

Iceland Declares Independence from the International Banking Cartel

Bill Wilson writes: "By Bill Wilson – Iceland is free. And it will remain so, so long as her people wish to remain autonomous of the foreign domination of her would-be masters — in this case, international bankers.

On April 9, the fiercely independent people of island-nation defeated a referendum that would have bailed out the UK and the Netherlands who had covered the deposits of British and Dutch investors who had lost funds in Icesave bank in 2008.

At the time of the bank’s failure, Iceland refused to cover the losses. But the UK and Netherlands nonetheless have demanded that Iceland repay them for the “loan” as a condition for admission into the European Union."

Read more at NetRightDaily.com.


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

50 Obama Problems More Important Than The Birth Certificate Issue

This is hilarious! Jeff Dunetz writes: "Can you believe it? President Obama released the long form birth certificate this morning, and it isn't over. There still people who don't believe the released birth certificate is real. Apparently if you have Adobe Acrobat and look at the PDF of the long form certificate and right click, with your left foot off the ground, while chewing on a Ritz Cracker and whistling the theme song from the old Barney Miller TV show, the birth certificate will reveal that the real Paul McCartney was killed in a car accent in 1968 and for the past 43 years we have been rocking to Wayne Newton's unknown brother Fig."

And then provides a list of 50 Obama problems more important than the birth certificate. Read them all here. This witty brilliance comes to us via Wolf Files, via Left Coast Rebel.


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

Constant Conservative Ron Paul

In his most recent piece, Jack Hunter notes: "As we head into 2012 more Republicans are beginning to sound like Ron Paul and yet the Texas Congressman hasn't changed one bit."




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

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Vote for Ron Paul T-shirts


Get your own Vote for Ron Paul t-shirt at The Humble Libertarian's online libertarian merchandise store. Just click the picture above or the link below. My libertarian website gets the support it needs to continue operating, you get an awesome Vote for Ron Paul t-shirt, and the public gets the message.

It's a win, win, win!



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

Obama: a citizen of America, not a citizen of Reality (Video Version)

In my latest Jack Hunter-style op ed regarding the whole embarrassing (m) "birther" controversy, I provide a short, sweet, and to-the-point analysis of the real reason Barack Obama isn't qualified to be President of the United States. Text version here.

Enjoy!




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

Eric Dondero: Working damn hard to give the terrorists what they want

Today I got the most hilarious email from this website's new favorite neoconservative comment troll, Eric Dondero, regarding the story I covered yesterday about Miss USA, Susie Castillo's sexual assault by a TSA officer. Now if you haven't been following along, Eric broke up with me earlier this week for saying not all Muslims hate you. Now that we're ex-friends and business partners (I consulted with him on his blogging and designed a lot of his website some time ago), Eric's lobbing grenades.With a couple other bloggers CCed to his email taunt, Eric wrote:
Subject: Miss USA molested by TSA at Dallas airport

Prediction:

Girly Men on Fighting Islamo-Fascists will ignore the Muslim angle, and just report the TSA abuse. Because as we all know, "there's no threat to America from Radical Islam... It's just blowback... the Muslims hate us cause we've got Troops in their lands... has nothing to do with their hatred for who we are as a people and our culture.. laddy-daddy-di-daddy-di-dah!

Okay, Eric. I'll bite. I'm not going to ignore the role of radical Islam in all of this. I'm going to publicly answer your email so that you know I'm willing to address this subject for all my readers to see. You can't say I hid from it or was unwilling to address it.

Here's what I wrote in an email reply to Eric, readers:

Oh there's an "Islamo-Fascist" angle to it alright, Mr. Dondero. They want to destroy us, but knowing that we are a vastly superior enemy by numbers, wealth, technology, and military power, they have only one way to destroy everything great about our country-- which is to terrorize us (that's why we call them terrorists) into destroying ourselves from the inside out with fascist police state measures like the TSA and with unsustainable, unaffordable, and un-American military commitments to open-ended occupation of other countries.

I will not at all ignore the terrorist angle on this issue. In fact, I will insist, Mr. Dondero, that you cease supporting policies that the terrorists are hoping they can terrorize you into supporting. "Girly Men" get scared of the terrorists and hand in their freedoms, their money, and their dignity-- and that of their families and future generations-- freedoms that their ancestors fought and died for, money that they worked hard for, and dignity graciously bestowed upon those who are worthy of it by God Almighty. Girly Men give up all that in order to feel safe... and maybe to get more hits on their blog... I don't know. Brave men and women will stand up and say:

"I am not afraid. I will not be terrorized. I will not give up my God-given liberties. I will oppose committing America's hard-earned wealth and its bravest young men and women to fighting foreign civil wars. I will not do what you terrorists expect me to do. I am so much stronger and more resilient than you thought. You underestimated us. We are the land of the free and the home of the brave. This is America, and America it will remain long after your radicalism and bigotry has died out with you."

Eric, if the terrorists hate us for our freedoms, are you hoping they'll leave us alone after we've given up all our freedoms? In the 2008 presidential debate, Ron Paul was accused of wanting to "take our marching orders from Al-Qaeda" for supporting an end to our military occupations in Central Asia. He answered that we should take our marching orders from the Constitution. He was right, and he should have added that it is those neoconservatives who support the post-911 policies of an ever-expanding police state and military-industrial complex who are giving the terrorists exactly what they want.

If you want to make Islamic terrorism an issue here, we can damn sure make it an issue, Eric. I'd love to keep making it an issue. Bring it on.

Sincerely,
Wes Messamore
Editor, HumbleLibertarian.com

PS: Look out for this exchange at The Humble Libertarian today.


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

Obama: a citizen of America, not a citizen of Reality

To see the Republican Party fall prey to the alluring political "trump" card of Obama's non-citizenship on the premise of so many different, false, and often contradictory claims about his life and birth, is frankly embarrassing (m) when it's not outright irritating because of the party's disdain for 9-11 "Truthers" and its erroneous association of them with Congressman Ron Paul.

But there's a deeper issue here, and it's related to the Republican Party's failure to fight the battle in the ideological arena, which is the reason why it has been rapidly losing its own soul and identity in addition to elections everywhere until the Tea Party showed up. That deeper issue is the GOP's entire approach to President Barack Obama.

Why shouldn't he be President according to the Palin Republicans? "Because he's not a citizen of this country!" they say, which isn't even true. But if we delve into the world of ideas and challenge Obama's very ideological premises-- or lack thereof, then we can give an even better reason why he shouldn't be President (and it helps that this one's true): Barack Obama is not a citizen of reality.

That's right. He shouldn't be President because he's not a citizen of this universe. He doesn't live in a world of cause and effect, where you can't just go spending trillions of dollars that you don't have and expect an economy to recover. Obama doesn't live in reality, where you have to produce something before you can consume it. He doesn't live in the 21st century where heads of state have clearly defined limits on their power and are not above the letter and rule of law.

Instead, Obama is a citizen of the Big Rock Candy Mountains or something, where "handouts grow on bushes" and "where they hung the jerk that invented work." He lives in a socialist Twilight Zone where bizarre and inexplicable things happen, where you can really have your cake and eat it too. He lives in the 17th century when executives could rush off to war on a whim.

Unfortunately the rest of America lives in the real world and has to suffer for Obama's attempt to live out his contradictions and force us to live them out with him.

My problem with President Obama isn't that he isn't a citizen of the United States. It's that he isn't a citizen of planet Earth.

And now, your moment of Zen:


(adapted from an article I wrote in 2009)


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

Word of the Week: "After-Birther" Movement

Even after the White House released a PDF of President Obama's long-form birth certificate from Hawaii, "birthers" still aren't satisfied. And honestly-- why should they be? Don't get me wrong; I'm no birther. I think the whole birther theory that Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States is silly and improbable. The differing and often contradictory claims birthers make are-- like so many other conspiracy theories-- based on circumstantial evidence, wild speculation, and often plain falsehoods.

But if you're going to buy into all of that and believe that the President really wasn't born in America, it's not a huge leap at all to believe that he could and would release a faked PDF of his long-form birth certificate. If all the rest of the theory is true, and the President and his allies have been faking his citizenship this whole time and covering their tracks, of course they could also create a doctored "birth certificate." Anyone could have predicted that this wouldn't satisfy the birthers-- and many did.

That is the hallmark of a true "wingnut," "barking moonbat," or whatever other dysphemism you want to use for someone who has decided ahead of time that they believe a proposition is true so that no matter what evidence you give them to refute their belief, they will remain intransigent in their faith. 20th century philosopher Karl Popper, made an important contribution to philosophy when he asked: what would you do to prove yourself wrong?

That is a question we all must sincerely answer about our beliefs if we want to consider ourselves earnest seekers of the truth, and not merely dogmatic adherents to whatever belief we want to be true. What would you do to prove yourself wrong? What evidence or fact-- if someone could verify its truth to you-- would shake your belief in a proposition? If the answer is nothing at all-- then you are not a true seeker, but a dogmatist, as so many birthers, truthers, climate alarmists, race baiters, war mongers, welfare statists, drug prohibitionists, and so very many other "faithful" adherents to anything but the truth are.

Orly Taitz, the so-called "birther queen" says Obama's birth certificate is invalid because it lists his race as "African" instead of "Negro." She argues that birth certificates at that time should have said "Negro," not the more politically-correct "African" which sounds more like it would have come from the mid-90s (Hat tip: Memeorandum). Notice that Taitz doesn't bother conclusively showing us that Hawaiian birth certificates from that time used the word "Negro." It honestly wouldn't be hard for a true investigative journalist to find out what birth certificates said back then in that state, but Taitz can't be bothered by facts. It just doesn't "sound right" to Taitz, so it must be wrong.

Meanwhile The Smoking Gun has a list of "a few nutty points about the birth certificate sure to be seized upon by the nonbelievers," including questions about the curvature of the certificate and the seamlessness of the green background on it. This is getting ridiculous, and I am extremely aggravated that so many Republicans who slandered Ron Paul as a "truther" when he unequivocally denied any belief in that facile theory, have become so completely infatuated with this stupid conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was born in Kenya.

That's why my hat is off to Ryan J. Reilly for coining a term that I will now use to describe any birther who adheres to their theory after Obama released his long-form birth certificate: "After-Birther."



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

Rand Paul's "birther" demand: I'd like to see Donald Trump's Republican registration

Reports The Hill: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday took a swipe at billionaire businessman Donald Trump, demanding to see his "Republican registration."

While speaking at a breakfast with New Hampshire Republicans one day after "The Donald" visited the Granite State, Paul riffed off the potential GOP presidential candidate's "birther" questions.

“I’ve come to New Hampshire today because I’m very concerned,” said Paul, according to The New York Times. “I want to see the original long-form certificate of Donald Trump’s Republican registration.”

Read the entire story at TheHill.com.
Hat tip: Memeorandum


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

Keynes vs. Hayek Rap Round Two: Fight of the Century (Hilarious and Educational Rap Video)

EconStories is at it again with a hilarious and incredibly educational Keynes vs. Hayek rap sequel entitled, "Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Round Two." What I particularly like about it is how Hayek tackles the misconception that World War II got us out of the Great Depression, an obvious mistake in reasoning that has fooled a lot of really smart people. Enjoy:



And in case you missed it or want to watch it again, here is the first Keynes vs. Hayek rap video entitled, "Fear the Boom and Bust," and below that is an excellent commentary on both the video and the history of the economic debate between economists John Maynard Keynes and F. A. Hayek, by Jeffrey Tucker:



The Brilliance of That Hayek vs. Keynes Rap
By: Jeffrey Tucker
(Originally ran on Mises.org)

Hat tip: Campaign for Liberty

The debate between J.M. Keynes and F.A. Hayek, both living and teaching in Britain in the 1930s, was one of the great debates of the century. Sadly, the charming globetrotter Keynes had the podium and the audience, to the point of influencing policy the world over even to the present day. Meanwhile, the quiet and studious Hayek never really did gain an audience. Like his colleague and mentor Mises, Hayek wrote in scholarly journals and was heard only by those with skeptical minds, people who doubted the theoretical and policy conventions and looked beneath the surface.

In one sense, then, the debate between these two was one of the most critical for the shape of the world over the last 75 years. In another sense, however, this debate never really occurred, for the Hayekian point of view has been systematically marginalized and kept at bay by the political and economic establishment ever since Keynes was prematurely declared the victor in the late 1930s.

The beauty of new media is its capacity for showing us what we otherwise might miss. Fear the Boom and Bust, a YouTube video made by producer John Papola and economist Russ Roberts, and backed by the Mercatus Center of George Mason University, turns this advantage to the point of genius, pitting Keynes and Hayek against each other in a rap that captures a reality few have fully understood until now.

Already, the video has been viewed a half million times and has made international news. Aside from its high production values, what's remarkable about it is its theoretical accuracy and transparency. It has brought Austrian business-cycle theory from the background to the forefront of debate.

It is true that in 1974, Hayek received the Nobel Prize and thereby gained attention for work that had been long forgotten. The Nobel committee specifically cited Hayek's work on business-cycle theory. But the Hayek revival that occurred in the years following did not focus on that aspect of his work. Instead, it centered on elaborations of his evolutionary social theory, his process-based conceptions of the market order, and his studies on law.

In fact, his books and most of his articles on the business cycle had not even been reprinted since they were first issued -- until last year, when the Mises Institute came out with a massive collection: Prices and Production and Other Essays (as well as Tiger by the Tail). The video, then, goes public in an accessible way with a major contribution that Hayek made to economic literature, which is essential for understanding current events.

As with the classical music show on public radio that takes apart a symphony to explain "why it is great," I want to explain why this video is great.

The video opens with Keynes and Hayek standing at the front desk of a hotel, both in town for the "World Economic Summit." The clerk dotes on Keynes, treating him like the star he is. Keynes arrogantly announces that he needs no agenda because he is the agenda. Meanwhile, Hayek humbly notes his presence. The person behind the desk has never heard of him. This captures the ethos of the 1930s to the present: the world-famous Keynes vs. the unknown Austrians.

It's all true to life: a number of students report having sent this video to their economics professors, who report back that before seeing this, they had never heard of Hayek.

Meanwhile, the character depiction is fantastic in this video. Keynes is popular and beloved by all, promoting a high lifestyle, parties, and living it up -- the future be damned. Hayek's personality here is more intellectual, sober, and even a bit puritanical, with a focus on reality and the long-term good.

Hayek makes his way to his hotel room only to find a Keynes book in place of the Gideon Bible in the nightstand drawer. The phone rings and it is Keynes, who announces that the festivities at the Fed begin shortly. Hayek is stunned because he thought they were going to seminars and meetings.

They meet in the lobby and head out, Hayek with his subway ticket in hand. Keynes orders a stretch limousine, while Hayek shakes his head in disgust.

The theme of the party animal vs. the sober economist continues throughout the story. The terms of the argument are laid out very clearly. Hayek says business cycles are caused by "low interest rates" born of intervention, whereas Keynes wants to blame "animal spirits" loose in a market crying out for management.
Keynes then gets his turn at explaining depression. It is caused by sticky wages and can only be cured by boosting aggregate demand through government spending and the printing press. He favors public works, war, and broken windows, warns against the liquidity trap, favors deficits, brags that he has changed the economics profession, and concludes, "Say it loud, say it proud, we're all Keynesians now!" All the while, the viewer is witness to wild antics of drunken partying.

It is left to Hayek to restore reality to the discussion. He dismisses Keynes on the grounds that there is too much aggregation in his equations, which ignore human action and motivation. Hayek compares postrecession stimulus to drinking the "hair of the dog" to cure a hangover. He points out that there can be no prosperity without saving and investment, and he proceeds to school Keynes in the Austrian perspective.

"It's, like -- legit. And it's really good raps. It's really good rapping!" — Pop Superstar Ke$ha

He begins by changing the focus from the bust to the boom, which he regards as having planted the seeds of disaster. The boom starts with an expansion of credit. The new money is confused with real, loanable funds and is invested in new projects like housing construction.

But sufficient resources to complete these projects are lacking. They are malinvestments. The "grasping for resources reveals there's too few" and the boom turns to bust. As for the liquidity trap, that is only evidence of a broken banking system. The lesson: "You must save to invest, don't use the printing press."

This entire explanation takes place against the backdrop of Keynes trying to sleep off a hangover and then hurrying to the bathroom to throw up -- the aftereffects of partying the night before.

What Hayek is discussing in the video is his own theory of the structure of production. But note here that there is a structure of production working in the world of ideas too. The first pieces of the Austrian business-cycle theory were being put together 100 years ago, while Mises was working on his first book, which appeared in 1912.

Here we have the first treatise that puts together interest and production theory with the theory of money. Mises's main point is that central banking will end up causing more cycles, not fewer. Hayek followed up in the 1920s and 1930s with a series of studies on the topic. Later came Mises's own improvements in his 1949 book Human Action. Roger Garrison's studies in the 1990s provide some of the language that appears in the video. Still later, there is Jesus Huerta de Soto's book on economic cycles, which explains the role of fractional-reserve banking -- a book that builds on insights from Rothbard from the 1960s.

What we see in this video, then, is the culmination of many threads of thought that began a century ago. That's a long and complex production structure for ideas, but it is precisely what is necessary to build a theory of this complexity that can be reduced to a rap video anyone can view and learn from.

A hearty word of congratulations to Russ Roberts and John Papola for putting all this together and providing a fantastic example of how economics can be communicated to every person. It was Mises's own view that economics should not be relegated to the classrooms but should be part of the study of every citizen. Roberts and Papola have taken his injunction very seriously and done something wonderful for Hayek, for Austrian ideas, for economics in general, and for the intellectual progress of the world.

That's why this video is great.

###


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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

UNACCEPTABLE! Miss USA Susie Castillo Sexually Assaulted by the TSA

Susie Castillo, who held the 2003 Miss USA title, posted an article and video to her blog Monday to courageously share with her readers an experience that no woman should ever have to go through-- a sexual assault by a TSA agent at the Dallas Fort Worth Airport-- and urge her fans to take action to end the TSA's invasive pat downs. Here's the video that Susie Castillo recorded moments after the assault happened, relating how her vagina had been fondled four times by a TSA officer:



Castillo actually started off her April 25th blog post with a quote from Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, writing: "Those that would give up their liberty for security deserve neither and lose both." She went on to write:

Dear Friends,

...in the situation I’m about to describe, I felt truly violated and believe I should let my voice be heard. Ultimately, I hope others will do the same....

On my flight back to Los Angeles last week... I connected in Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) where I had the misfortune of being selected to go through one of those full body scanners that emits radiation... after “opting out,” I proceeded to follow a very nice older female TSA employee to the “pat down” area. It was an inconvenience, but I thought, “No biggie. I just went through this at LAX for the first time and it wasn’t too bad, so let’s just get it over with.”

Well, this pat down was completely different. It was MUCH MORE invasive than my first one at LAX, just a week before. To say that I felt invaded is an understatement. What bothered me most was when she ran the back of her hands down my behind, felt around my breasts, and even came in contact with my vagina! Honestly, I was in shock, especially since the woman at LAX never actually touched me there. The TSA employee at DFW touched private area 4 times, going up both legs from behind and from the front, each time touching me there. Was I at my gynecologist’s office? No! This was crazy!

I felt completely helpless and violated during the entire process (in fact, I still do), so I became extremely upset. If I wanted to get back to Los Angeles, I had no choice but to be violated, whether by radiation or a stranger. I just kept thinking, “What have I done to deserve this treatment as an upstanding, law-abiding American citizen?” Am I a threat to US security? I was Miss USA, for Pete’s sake!

Besides, is this procedure really protecting us? I remember hearing about an Al Qaeda terrorist successfully evading security detection by placing a bomb in his rectum. All in an attempt to assassinate Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef. So what if that happened in the US? Would we then be subjected to random rectal exams in addition to x-rays and being groped by strangers? How far is this going to go? More specifically, how far will WE let this go? As they say, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. I think it’s time to stand up for our personal liberty.

...I have never felt more violated in my life than I did that morning at DFW, and I’ve heard of others feeling the same way after these “pat downs.” Just a couple weeks ago, a video of a six-year-old girl being patted down by TSA made headlines. Talk about unjust and unacceptable. So I decided to speak to a TSA supervisor about how I felt, and make a video about what happened to post on my blog.

This “pat down” is a total violation of our rights (we shouldn’t be searched this way without probable cause or a search warrant), therefore I will be filing a complaint via phone, online and also in writing with the TSA to complain each and every time for as long as the TSA is violating my rights. I’m 100% against it, and if you care about your freedom, you should be too. This is precisely the kind of unjust search and seizure our Constitution was created to protect us from.

In my conversation with the TSA supervisor, I expressed to her how physically violated I felt. She was kind and understanding, but was nonetheless in charge of a department that was violating the rights of countless Americans every day. At one point during our conversation, I told her, “the fact is, if someone wanted to harm us, they simply would.”

Guess what. She agreed! She even went so far as to say, “We’re not allowed to touch children like we do adults. If someone really wanted to hide something, they could use a child. I know. There’re definitely loop holes with this.” So apparently, not even TSA employees believe this unconstitutional invasion of privacy works!

Here’s the video I made right after going through the invasive, unjust, unconstitutional and ineffective “pat down.” Honestly, I don’t like that I’m putting myself out there like this, but I wanted you to know what happened, what I was feeling, and that I hope you, too, will speak up if and when this happens to you. We shouldn’t be giving up our liberties as Americans because of our fears. The government can’t keep us safe. No matter how much they promise us they can, it’s a false promise...

You can read her entire blog post at SusieCastillo.net. It is absolutely heartbreaking to watch a girl describe an assault she just suffered through on video only minutes after it happened, and it is at the same time incredibly heartwarming and encouraging to read Castillo's words and see how brave, principled, and articulate she is. The beauty pageant queen understands constitutional law better than our sitting President.

While it is good to keep our pressure on the U.S. Congress and White House Administration as she suggests, Castillo should absolutely contact the local police and D.A. for the Dallas Forth Worth area and file a criminal report that she was sexually assaulted. We cannot rely on the Federal Government to police the Federal Government. When comedian and magician Penn Jillette was sexually assaulted by a TSA officer in 2002, he called the local police right on the spot and refused to leave the airport until the police arrived and took his report that a crime had been committed. You can read Jillette's incredible story of that incident here. If any of you go through what Castillo did, do what Jillette did and call the local police.

My hat's off to you, Susie. You are a true hero and I admire you for your courageous stand against tyranny and institutionalized sexual assault by the TSA in this country. Even in your Final Answer segment of the 2003 Miss America pageant, you described the power of cell phone and computer technology as characterizing our era. Now you are using that technology to help fight against Washington's out-of-control police state. I wish you all the best.

Sincerely,
Wes Messamore

A final note for two GOP contenders for the 2012 nomination: You want to play politician, Mr. Trump? One of the contestants in your beauty pageant was sexually assaulted. Please SPEAK OUT against this injustice and stick up for your 2003 title winner. Show us you mean to really change things by lending your voice and celebrity to this grave matter and I will start to have a little respect for you.

Governor Romney: Susie Castillo represented your state of Massachusetts when she won Miss USA in 2003. Speak up for this role model and resident of your state. Defend her against Washington's encroachments and prove to us that you are more than an empty suit.

Obama releases birth certificate: now I'm cool with him taking away our freedoms!

Now that the White House has released a PDF of Barack Obama's long-form birth certificate (hat tip: Memeorandum) and proven once and for all that Obama was born here in the United States, Americans can rest at ease knowing that a genuine American citizen is violating their liberties, taking their money, spending our republic into an economic crisis, trampling on the rule of law, and consolidating Washington DC's hold on every aspect of their lives from cradle to grave.

For a second there, we actually had to contend with the real possibility that someone born in a foreign country was doing all those things, so it's a relief to know that an American is responsible for them. If I'm going to spend the rest of my life on my back with a boot to my neck, that boot sure as hell better be "Made in America" and have an American foot in it crushing down on my throat. I'm very, very glad that Obama was born in America. Now I can close down this blog and do something else for a living.

God bless you, Donald Trump, you brilliant, crusading warrior for the truth, and best-looking Christian I've ever seen! God bless you and that beautiful head of hair.


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

Gary Johnson: I Am The Underdog

Gary Johnson hits a home run interview on ABCNews. His answers are concise, rational, and correct. Gary-- Don't let them badger you with your relative obscurity. Just fire back that many recent presidents and candidates on presidential tickets were relatively obscure governors like Bill Clinton, Sarah Palin, and Jimmy Carter. They often do well because they are outsiders to DC, have executive experience, and without the name recognition, are less polarizing than other figures might be.




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

Gary Johnson on Foreign Policy, National Defense, Intervention, and Long-Term Alliances

Gary Johnson is a 2012 candidate for the Republican Party's presidential nomination with an impeccable record as a small-government libertarian while governing the state of New Mexico for eight years. I daresay that absolutely no one in this country has an executive record as good as Gary Johnson's of limiting the size role and influence of government-- even while battling a majority Democratic legislature in a very blue state.

But some of his statements on U.S. foreign policy have a few libertarians worried that he won't take a hard line on controlling the size, role, and influence of government the way we could expect Congressman Ron Paul to should he become our nation's next president. Others disagree. AntiWar.com founder and editor Justin Raimondo had some harsh criticism for Johnson in a recent piece entitled, "Gary Johnson: Caveat Emptor." Raimondo wrote:

...what’s the problem?

Well, frankly, it’s this:

"Johnson is open, in principle, to waging humanitarian wars. ‘If there’s a clear genocide somewhere, don’t we really want to positively impact that kind of a situation?’ he says. ‘Isn’t that what we’re all about? Isn’t that what we’ve always been about? But just this notion of nation building—I think the current policy is making us more enemies than more friends.’"

At a time when the Obama administration has, in effect, announced a new foreign policy doctrine which avers that we have a "responsibility to protect" the victims of alleged "genocide" all over the world, Johnson’s devotion to the libertarian principle of non-intervention in the affairs of other nations is really questionable. Especially now that the Libyan adventure is well underway, and we find ourselves sliding down that slippery slope into full-scale support for the Libyan rebels, Johnson’s position is rather too close to the Obama Doctrine.

And it has to be asked: is saving the world, or even a small portion of it, really "what we’re all about"? Maybe over at the Weekly Standard, where Johnson gave this interview, it is, but not in the libertarian precincts where he hopes to garner support.

Yes, Johnson is against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: and yes, he wants to bring the troops home from Europe and other places where they have no business being, but he is clearly tailoring his campaign to suit the softcore sensibilities of the Beltway crowd. For example, he’s supposedly against foreign aid – except, perhaps, when it comes to Israel. It’s not clear if, like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), he would end that particular boondoggle, but in this interview he was clear that maintaining our military alliance with Israel is "key" – although key to what, he did not say.

Furthermore, he went on to say that our military alliances is general are also "key" in fighting the "war on terrorism" that he believes we must continue to wage, albeit not in Afghanistan and Iraq. The vagueness of all this is disconcerting, especially when one senses the echo of Obama-ism in this "libertarian" version of multilateralism.

The problem with Johnson’s benign view of military alliances is that they are a tripwire for US intervention: after all, what does a military alliance mean if not joint defense – or offense – against a common enemy? Johnson emphasizes our alliance with Israel, and yet what does this alliance mean other than a guarantee that the US will come to Israel’s assistance in case of war — and that is not to say who will start the war.

Asked what he would do if Iran acquired nuclear weapons, Johnson blithely replied that surely Israel wouldn’t just stand idly by and let that happen. So Johnson’s position is that the IDF will take care of the problem. That he followed this up with the observation that the Israelis are known to possess nuclear weapons I find macabre. Would he approve if the Israelis nuked Tehran? As President, sitting there in the Oval Office – his feet up on the desk, toking on the presidential pipe – what would he say when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informs him of the imminent strike?

You can read the entire article here at AntiWar.com. Over at the Republican Liberty Caucus, in a piece entitled, "Making the Perfect the Enemy of the Awesome," Aaron Biterman takes issue with several of Raimondo's points, writing in defense of Gary Johnson:

“Humanitarian Wars”

Is stopping genocide the same as a humanitarian war? Is it possible to stop human rights abuses via government action without engaging in a war?

Author Justin Raimondo claims that Governor Gary Johnson supports humanitarian wars. However, nowhere does Johnson mention the word humanitarian, the word war, or both words in conjunction with each other.

Instead, Johnson says that “in principle” he would try to “positively influence” or “stop” genocide in foreign nations. He doesn’t say he would intervene in ALL foreign nations where genocide is occurring, but he does say that he does not support nation-building in any form or fashion. Couple this with his principled opposition to the wars in Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and you have a candidate who is a non-interventionist with the possible exception of using government to aid people being oppressed in foreign nations.

Call me crazy, but this is hardly the least libertarian position I’ve heard on foreign policy — especially among those running for President. Most libertarian Republicans I know supported intervention in World War II, in part because the United States was attacked, but also because millions of Europeans were being slaughtered and tortured.

To rule out supporting Governor Johnson on the basis of his policy position to potentially stop genocide in a foreign nation is silly.

Unsurprisingly, Justin Raimondo misleads his readers to draw the conclusion that Governor Johnson’s foreign policy is similar to the Obama Doctrine. Raimondo’s false conclusion ignores the fact that Governor Johnson opposes the the War in Libya. How is a candidate opposed the Obama war equated to supporting the Obama Doctrine? It doesn’t add up.

Big, Bad Israel

Raimondo’s favorite topic — undoubtedly — is bashing Israel. Gary Johnson’s Our America Initiative issues page indicates that Governor Johnson supports Israel’s right to defend itself. That is a reasonable position for any libertarian to take, as I explain in my article “Rand Paul’s Stance on Israel A Lesson for the Liberty Movement to Follow.”

Senator Rand Paul (son of Ron Paul), during his 2010 campaign, defended Israel’s right to self defense, saying, “As a United States Senator, I would never vote to condemn Israel for defending herself. Whether it is fighting Hezbollah in Lebanon, combating Hamas-linked terrorists in Gaza or dealing with potential nuclear threats in the Persian Gulf, Israeli military actions are completely up to the leaders and military of Israel, and Israel alone.” More recently, Senator Paul has advocated ending U.S. aid to Israel.

In a document I obtained from Gary Johnson’s (c)(4) group the Our America Initiative, Governor Johnson says that “a clear national security interest and the fundamental defense of the United States” justifies U.S. support for Israel. “Our direct military funding support to Israel totals about $3 billion a year, and the majority of that money is spent buying equipment and technology from U.S. companies. That $3 billion is less than we gave General Motors, and the cost of not having a strong, democratic ally in the Middle East is incalculable,” Governor Johnson concludes in the document. He says the costs of the continued relationship are “paltry when compared with th(e) benefits”(3).

Gary Johnson also says that, as President, he would work to support Israel in case it is attacked “militarily.” That’s a big if, since the Arabs have lost six wars in the Middle East in the last five decades. Governor Johnson, like many others, sees the United States having a strong relationship with the one nation in the Middle East region which provides rights and liberties to its people as valuable. While most libertarians do not support alliances in any form or fashion (including this libertarian), obviously Governor Johnson does in one instance. He should explain more about why the U.S.-Israel alliance is more important than other alliances.

Fortunately, you don’t have to agree with Governor Johnson on the issue of Israel to support his candidacy in the same way that you don’t have to agree with Congressman Paul’s vote to ban gay adoptions or build a fence along the Mexican border.

Mr. Raimondo attempts to paint Gary Johnson as a statist throughout his article, but he concludes that Governor Johnson is “Ron Paul Lite” — a palatable, principled advocate of individual liberty and limited government.

Gary Johnson, says Raimondo, is “Paul Lite, Paul without the hard edges, without the ‘kooky’ end-the-Fed stuff, without the social conservatism, without the stubborn devotion to principle and to Austrian economics, specifically – in short, a hollowed out libertarianism, without any style and surely without its soul.” (Note: Gary Johnson has said he would audit and abolish the Fed and adheres to the Austrian school of economics.)

Welcome to real politics, Mr. Raimondo, where (unfortunate as it may be) kooky doesn’t win elections.

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson won election in a majority-minority state — a state that is two to one Democrat — twice (1994 and 1998). In Johnson, we’re fortunate enough to have a Presidential candidate who is committed to principle, has a record to prove it, and is a willing and able-bodied standard-bearer to spread the libertarian message to the masses.

There’s simply no reason you should accept Justin Raimondo’s bid to make the perfect the enemy of the awesome.

You can read the entire article at RLC.org. The internecine struggle between these two libertarian candidates, Ron Paul and Gary Johnson, is already getting hot. I for one, hope that it doesn't destroy either candidates' chances of becoming president. Either one would be the best we've had in a century.


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

Video: Senator Rand Paul On His Father Ron's Exploratory Announcement

The two best parts about this interview with Senator Rand Paul are where he explains just how healthy and robust Ron Paul is these days, and especially where he just tears Donald Trump to shreds. Absolutely classic. Enjoy:




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

RonPaul2012.com Launches

...and it's looking beautiful. Check it out here at: RonPaul2012.com, the official website of Ron Paul's presidential exploratory committee and possibly his full-fledged presidential campaign, which he will announce by mid-May.


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