Why liberals should be against Gun Control

This is because gun control laws arose from white middle class fears of black people.  Conservatives actually wrote the first gun control laws.  Read this article from Reason magizine about gun control, it “turns on its head the modern liberal’s conceit that those who side with gun control necessarily side with the people.”

Personally I have always been confused why liberals favor gun control so much.  It should be obvious that minorities are often members of the population that are most vulnerable to violance of racist majorities to include law enforcement.  Blacks time and time again throughout American history have been able to defend themselves against the likes of the KKK because of the universal right to bear arms.  More than this, the right to self defense is a civil right.  How can someone support “civil rights” but not support gun ownership?

A true liberal should be in favor of gun rights.  So should a true constitutionalist.  Only a person with no ideology at all can favor the curtailment of gun rights because there is no philosophical school of thought that can justify gun confiscation other than total authoritarianism.

The Depresion of 1920

The depression of 1920 was horrible so why have you never heard of it?  The drop in employment and economic output was much worse than the crash on 1929 that lead to the Great Depression but no one seems to know anything about it today. 

Well there is a reason why.  The government did not stimulate and the Federal Reserve did not inflate and the economy was on its way to recovery in less than a year.  This makes perfect sense if you understand Austrian Business cycle theory but modern economists mostly ignore this episode in American history.  If you want to promote large government and Federal Reserve inflation as cures to economic down cycles than you do not want people to hear about how economies seem to recover much faster from a crash when governments do nothing. 


Tom Woods explains the forgotten depression of 1920




What is capitalism?

What is capitalism?  Are we capitalists?  The word has different meanings to many people.  Capitalism as a word was actually coined by Karl Marx.  It means, “an economy without government controls.”  Many libertarians prefer the word free market because they think that capitalism has many bad connotations, like the fat cat bankers and the Wall Street elites sticking it to the little guy.  Well, this is how Karl Marx portrayed capitalism and this is how people learn about what capitalism is while attending school.  After all, today we live in a mixed economy. The best of both worlds, right?  We saw the evils of capitalism at the end of the 19th Century and surely any moron knows that capitalism cannot be left untamed?  People would be working in horrible conditions and getting their arms blown off in factories.  The truth is that free acting individuals without the aid of the state have given us the standard of living today.  The state likes to take credit for things like the forty hour work week and minimum wage but, these things would not be possible if it was not for the massive increase in wealth that the free market brought into the world.


The confusion about the definition of capitalism is pervasive throughout society, even by many people who claim to be for it. People throw the term around loosely and seem to not even understand what it means at times.  People also seem to say that Europe and Canada are socialist.  The truth is that neither is United States capitalist nor is it European socialist. Both are a mixture, each country has free elements of their economies and varying degrees of government control and the countries of Europe have many different mixtures at that.


Just because Europe and Canada have larger social safety nets does not make them socialistSocialism is defined as: the government ownership of the means of production, that people work for the state and the state decides what everyone does.  I guess you could say that Europe has more state control over their economies than we do but, this is not really true either.  If this is the litmus test, then it is arguable that the United States is more socialist than Europe.  Look at how the American housing industry is controlled by the American government.  The same is true of banking. It is hard to believe that Europe has more control over their banking sector than the United States. Europe did not blow up a huge housing bubble through government sponsored entities like Freddy May and Fannie Mac… or whatever they are.  In fact, Canada is ranked “more free” than America economically.  So even though they have socialized health care, they are more free market or “capitalist” than we are.


To be honest, capitalism and socialism are almost without meaning anymore.  Most of the public and political pundits have no idea what they mean.  Politicians like to say we are capitalist.  The ones on the right say this because they believe that their constituents like to hear this. It is much more politically convenient than saying that we are not capitalist because that would take some inconvenient explaining that might put some of his friends in a bad light.  Politicians on the left like to say that we are capitalist as a foil to their progressive or socialist ideas.  If obvious problems in society exist, it must be because America is capitalist. The solution is whatever pet government scheme that politicians have that will alleviate the “cruel” results of a capitalist society.  If the problems exist because of government, it would not make sense to use more government to solve such problems. This is why leftist politicians describe America as capitalist.  Because their solutions are not. Under no circumstance will they ever point to the government as a cause of even the smallest of problems. As you can see, capitalism and socialism, as terms, are used for political expedience and have little to do with reality.


I like the term ‘free market’.  It is really the same thing as capitalism but, it emphasizes freedom.  Some people use the term ‘freed market’ to differentiate from the market we have today, which is not free at all.  This being said, ‘free market’ is good for me and is less confusing than ‘freed market’.  At the same time, it is important that advocates of the free market are making it clear that they are advocating human freedom, not Wall Street or profits, or whatever smear socialists like to use.  Economic Freedom is just as important as religious or any other type of personal freedom.  In fact, they cannot be separated.  It is a contradiction to say that a person should be free in personal areas of his life but, must be controlled economically by the state.  Humans are meant to be free by their nature.  Both economic and social freedoms are intertwined.


In the end, America does not have a free market.  It is a corporatist hybrid. Though government may not own companies outright, it protects large corporations at the expense of the public and smaller firms.  Our regulatory state does not and never has protected the public from public monopolies but, has instead entrenched monopolies through government privilege. The state pretends to protect us from contaminated food but, it has been large food producers who pushed for food regulation that have flexed out small time competition using compliance cost muscles.  The government pretends to protect bank depositors through FDIC insurance but, has protected banks from bank runs allowing them to leverage their assets up to the hilt with no check in place whatsoever.  The government pretends to protect from monopolies with antitrust laws but, has instead used these laws to destroy the competition of politically favored businesses.  Worst of all, the government created the Federal Reserve to end the boom-bust cycle. Instead, it gave us the first Great Depression and is about to give us the second.


A true free-market society benefits the individual and the society as a whole.  Society becomes healthier over time and even the poorest among us have the opportunity to become successful.  Though that American dream still exists, it only exists because of the last vestiges of the free-market.  When freedom disappears, so will the American Dream.

Progressive Left Dissatisfaction

I ran into this video clip on the Internet recently.



I watch the young Turks to get a feel for what the sincere left is thinking.  MSNBC and publications, like “The Nation,” mostly support the Democratic Party.  This is not true for The Young Turks.  They have sincere convictions and will not compromise just because there is a Democrat in the White House.  Watching the Young Turks is a good way to feel the pulse of the thinking left.  As I suspected, there is much dissatisfaction with the President’s foreign policy and his continued attacks on civil liberties.

I think it is obvious that the idealistic left feel totally betrayed by President Obama.  He has continued the operation of Guantanamo Bay, he has continued the rendition program, continued the Patriot Act, continued the War on Drugs, has plans to continue the Afghan war for another ten years at minimum, has put a health care program in that favors big insurance companies at the expense of the little guy, has failed to reinstate Glass Stegal and has killed American citizens without charges.  Most of the fake left in the media roll over and accept whatever the Democrats do because they think that they are better than the Republicans.  The sincere left does not think this.  They worked tirelessly to get the President into office and expect him to follow his promises.  They have been waiting decades for reform and the President seems totally deaf to his constituents. During his campaign he portrayed that he was going to be the most progressive president in history but, instead he looks little different than George Bush.

Other members of the sincere left have attacked Obama as well. Liberal leaning John Stewart seems to look at the President’s term as being politics as usual with little being accomplished.  In an interview, John Stewart sincerely asked what the president has done since he has been in office.

John Stewart is unique among the leftists in that he wields a lot of influence even though he is not an official member of the media.  Often he will cover stories that the media does not and forces much of the media to report on the things he has been talking about on his show.  John Stewart’s comedic style of reporting also allows him to take shots at people that other members of the media would not be able to get away with.  This has allowed his TV show to become one of the sharpest critics of the Obama administration.

So what does all this dissatisfaction on the left mean?  Is this just temporary, or will the left once again rally around their politicians in the future in the vain hope that they are better than the other guys?  Only time will tell but I think we are seeing the left starting to fracture as they become less confident that the changes they want can happen through political means.  After all, not only do politicians only care about re-election rather than being true liberals but, the left also has to deal with some very important contradictions in their own ideology.  The most obvious off the top of my head is that they think Wall Street controls the government and politicians but, want political change at the same time.  How can they expect the same politicians to reign in Wall Street when they are all bought off by Wall Street?  It does not make much sense but, more and more of the leftists are starting to realize this.  Some might become more radicalized. Others may start to reconsider their ideology or the politicians they support as seen here.

For those from the left out there reading this, I want you to consider something.  The current President is not the first to be undermined by corporate power but has instead been in a long line of Democrat and Republican presidents that have done so.  The book a “Renegade History of the United States” is written by a liberal who goes into how many of the progressive heroes of the 20th century actually looked out for corporate interests rather than the people.  He even goes into how FDR’s New Deal benefited Wall Street and the corporate establishment and was totally devoid of true progressivism, which many liberals today think it enshrines.  Democracy has been undermined by corporate interests for a long time and anyone with a liberal bent should read “Renegade History” by Thaddeus Russel.

Who is Howard Buffett?

Howard Buffet was a man of the Old Right.  He was a Congressman from Omaha, Nebraska in the middle of the 20th century.  He was firmly opposed to government inflation.  He passionately wanted to restore the dollar’s redeem-ability in gold.  He was for free markets and opposed to foreign adventurism.  He was Warren Buffett’s father and one of the greatest representatives of the 20th century.  To understand how the ideas of conservatism changed from the middle of the 20th century to today, Howard Buffet is a great example of what “conservatism” was and what it may be again.


Sometimes it is interesting how life and history bring out connections that a person never expected.   Howard Buffet graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1925.  He also attended Dundee Presbyterian Church, which is a couple of blocks away from my house and is still a beautiful building today.  He was personal friends with the greatest economist of the 20th century, Murray Rothbard, whose works I still find enjoyable and relevant today, even for being decades old.  He was also friends with “Mr. Republican”, Robert Taft, who is almost universally considered one of the top three most influential Senators of the century, and who I also look to for inspiration.  Howard Buffet was considered as the “conservative firebrand” of his time, though most conservatives today would find many of his ideas very different from their own.


Conservatives today would find many of Buffet’s ideas strange, quirky, or maybe even isolationist.  This is unfortunate because Buffet’s ideas were mainstream conservatism at the time and still represent true conservatism in its real form as opposed to today’s Neo-conservatism which passes for generic “conservatism” with the general public.   Howard Buffet believed in a firm gold standard and understood that true liberty could not exist without it.   Buffet pointed out that the first thing that dictators such as Mao, Stalin, and Hitler do is to end the gold standard in their respective countries.  This should make any citizen hesitate when considering whether the state should control the money supply or whether it should be independently held by the people.  Howard Buffet’s prediction in the 1950s in which the gold window would collapse were finally proven correct in 1971.  Whether a complete monetary break down happens remains to be seen but, the United States seems to be getting closer every day.  Howard Buffet also pointed out that a gold standard is the only real restraint on government largesse and that scraping the gold standard would lead to runaway deficits financed by inflation.  Most importantly, Howard Buffet understood how a gold standard was important to human liberty as the right to bear arms.  Without the gold standard, man is a slave to the whims of bureaucrats and the banking interests.


Howard Buffet was opposed to the Korean War and was “convinced that the United States was largely responsible for the eruption of conflict in Korea”.  Such a statement today would likely draw boos at a republican convention today but, this was the widely held view of most conservative republicans at the time.  Howard Buffet was wise to understand the limits of government intervention at home and abroad.  He correctly looked at the Korean War as an extension of Wilsonian progressivism in the Pacific.  He pointed out correctly that wars such as this also bring about tyranny and socialism back home.   Howard Buffet pointed out that


            “Even if it were desirable, America is not strong enough to police the world by military force. If that attempt is made, the blessings of liberty will be replaced by coercion and tyranny at home. Our Christian ideals cannot be exported to other lands by dollars and guns. Persuasion and example are the methods taught be the Carpenter of Nazareth, and if we believe in Christianity we should try to advance our ideals by his methods. We cannot practice might and force abroad and retain freedom at home. We cannot talk world cooperation and practice power politics.”


For today’s Neo-conservatives, this talk would be political heresy.  No country is too small to intervene militarily.  Howard Buffet also raised a similar view on the Vietnam War that the socialist Lyndon Johnson dragged us into, “When the American government conscripts a boy to go 10,000 miles to the jungles of Asia without a declaration of war by Congress (as required by the Constitution) what freedom is safe at home? Surely, profits of U.S. Steel or your private property are not more sacred than a young man’s right to life.”  Once again, this would make modern Conservatives cringe:  “Surely it is irresponsible to bring up who is making profits during such a noble crusade?  As far as the constitution goes, we can’t let a dreary old thing like that keep us from carpet bombing a bunch of savages in Cambodia!”  Though maybe strange today, Howard Buffet’s view on war is what conservatism really means.  The constitution is the highest law of the land and should be obeyed.  There is no quicker way to enslave free men at home than to conscript them and send them by force to wars of political convenience abroad.   There is nothing American about conscription, it is a throwback to the European idea that the state owns every citizens’ life and can dispense with it at will.  As Milton Friedman pointed out, and as the wars today demonstrate, there is no real need for conscription, it is simply a way to force people into a life threatening job at below market wage rates.


For conservatives to understand what conservatism really means, they should look into the history of the conservative movement.  They might be surprised to find that the leaders of conservativism in the last eighty years are very different from most fraudulent politicians that claim the title “conservative” today.  They might even find people like Howard Buffet staring back at them through the pages of history gently reminding us of the true meaning of the constitution.


Backdoor Martial Law?


Just recently the United Sates senate passed a bill that would allow the military to detain any American citizen indefinitely anywhere in the world, including the United States, without presenting any charges.  You read this correctly.  The United States military can pluck anyone off the street at will if the president does not veto this bill.  So far a wide array of government organizations have come out against this to include the Pentagon and the FBI but, the 60 senators voted for this bill anyway.  Many people thought that after the killing of enemy number one, Osama Bin-laden, that such Orwellian legislation would no longer be passed but, I guess this is not the case.   We truly live in bizarre times, such legislation is almost unbelievable! Then again, the state of society today would have almost been unbelievable 20 years ago.  We really do live in a fantastic age.


I don’t think I should have to go into how monstrous this legislation is.  It should be obvious to anyone that this totally uproots the constitution and the hundreds of years of precedent not to use the military to police the civilian population.  Instead of focusing on this law that is obviously immoral, I think it would be better to focus on how we got here.


To most lovers of liberty that understand the constitution and the law, this bill is unlikely to surprise them.  The eroding of the constitution has been happening for a very long time and no one really seems to care.  Children are not taught about natural law in schools and have no idea what it truly means to have a “right.”  Most people take their freedoms for granted and never expect the institutions that they have grown to respect to betray them.  They are taught that governments are the protectors of liberty but, in reality it is liberty’s major enemy. It can be seen throughout history.  When populations are forced into serf like existence, it is usually by their own government, not a foreign power.  To expect our country to be somehow unique in all of history in this regard is comfortingly naïve but, is not true, especially when one takes a hard look at our own history thus far.  The Federal government deported congressmen in the civil war and used union troops to intimidate Supreme Court justices in the middle of the night.  Woodrow Wilson also locked up thousands of people that wrote articles or spoke critically about our involvement in World War I and the draft.  FDR locked up thousands of Japanese without charge while allowing German Americans to live unmolested.  Though the American people are naturally good human beings, the American government, like any government, often has little qualms about crushing individual liberty if it thinks that it can get away with it.  I think part of this is the kind of people that are attracted to government positions.  They are not the kind of people that want to work or serve the public but, they want to shape society into their ideal image.  They truly think that people are too dumb to rule themselves and must be forced to behave in ways that conform to its rulers ideals.


Another reason that we are here today is because the government over the last hundred years has entered into every sphere of human activity.   Slowly the public has become desensitized to government involvement in even the most personal activities.  If the government says who you can marry and what you can put into your body, regulate every single economic activity under the sun, and take a cut of every monetary transaction, is it so hard to believe that the government might treat us as their property?  If I can’t decide what to put into my own body, is it truly mine?   Once you claim that the government has the right to protect you from yourself and violate property rights in every area, it is hard to make the argument that you are still your own person and are entitled to any right whatsoever.


For over a hundred years the American government has also been in charge of education and for over a hundred years the old studies of philosophy, law, and natural rights have given way to simple accreditation instead of learning.   The nonsensical idea of appreciating cultural diversity instead of embracing natural law is now the style of education.  The public simply does not have the cognitive tools to deal with such assaults on liberty because reason is no longer taught.  Children are told what to think, not how to think.  Docile consumers are much better than a free thinking public that understands the rule of law.


In more recent times the loss of liberty and the flagrant violations of the constitution have accelerated.  The Patriot Act allows roving wire taps and the FBI to search a person’s house without a Judge’s authorization.  The TSA is ruthless in sexually abusing old ladies, house wives, and children, while taking pornographic pictures of them.  SPC Manning was held for almost a year with no charges being filed.  The president has ordered the assassination of an American citizen, an act which also resulted in the death of a sixteen year old, who was an American citizen as well, with no authorization whatsoever.  This recent bill is the next logical step of a government that is slowly ratcheting up its police powers.  It simply codifies into law what the government has been doing anyway.  Hopefully this law is a wakeup call to people telling them where this country is headed.  But for those that love liberty, this bill is shocking only in degree, not in kind.


If there ever was anything to the slippery slope argument, this bill is it.  I generally don’t like using the slippery slope argument because the incredulity of most people usually just results in them rolling their eyes.  But this is a glaring example of how totally true the argument is.  If you let the government kill citizens overseas with no charges, one day they will grant themselves the power to lock up citizens at home without charges.  Predator drones flying over cities might not disturb some people but, in a few years they might by flying up to people’s windows looking to make sure that you are not doing anything in your house that the government deems a crime.  With the list of non-violent nanny state crimes growing everyday, this is truly a scary thought. This is the natural way governments work and when the government starts routinely flying drones up to people’s windows, it is likely most people won’t really care that much, even though we would find it outrageous today.  People would have also found the idea of a President assassinating American citizens outrageous during Reagan’s day but, the people today barely raise an eyebrow.  We have been headed down this slippery slope for a long time now and I don’t like to think about what the bottom looks like. But if history is any guide, it will be pretty darn scary.  Let’s hope we never get there.


Liberty is never taken all at once.  It takes years, often decades until one day people start waking up and realizing they are no longer free and have not been for a long time.

Maybe a decade or two from now Americans might wake up thinking the same thing.  Maybe liberty is truly the greatest under-appreciated gift in the history of the world.  Maybe the constitution’s greatest hour of danger is now.

Black Friday

I don’t really like crowds, shopping, or lines. So Black Friday sounds like complete torture to me; I never really participate in it.  One person even told me that more people shopped on Black Friday than voted.  At first this surprised me and I thought this was yet another indication of how the public has little care for national politics but, then I got to thinking…  Is this not a somewhat rational thing to do?  Shopping might actually be better than voting if you think about it.  If I go shopping, at least I will be getting something cool at a cheap price (assuming I don’t get pepper sprayed or assaulted by the police).  If I vote, I will get more of the same. The creeps in politics never really change. 95% of the people in congress are complete liars.  Whatever party you vote for, they are all corrupt. So hey, if politicians are sending the country to Super Huge Financial Armageddon and can’t even reduce the deficit within a Super Secret Cloak and Dagger Committee that no one has access to except for lobbyists, we might as well go out with a big bang and rack up as much credit card debt as possible on Black Friday!  I guess the shopping public are smarter than I give them credit for. At least they know what a value is when they see it.  If the Republican primaries are any indication of what the mindset of the voting public is it means that the voting public can’t decide what the heck they want.  Primary voters will apparently forgive any transgression for whatever politician that is the media’s darling that week and can be led around like lambs.  Black Friday shoppers on the other hand are hard core idealists that will not let anyone stand in their way to get what they want!  You might not like their ideals, but hey, they have commitment!  Dreary primary voters will apparently clap at any made for TV slogan and like whatever flavor they are told, (sigh), it makes me bored just thinking about it.  Just look at any political debate in the last 30 years, totally boring, the only thing we can hope for is that some candidate will make some kind of gaffe that the media will hound him relentlessly about for a week until the next guy messes up.  Black Friday though, now that is ACTION!  I don’t even have to be there, I can just watch it on TV!  Maybe in the next debate someone will at least bring pepper spray or something, that should make things more fun.


Well, after getting a little side tracked there, what does interest me about Black Friday is how it is touted as some kind of economic gauge for the nation’s economy.  These economists say how great the day was because sales went up something like 6% over last year.  These are likely the same economists that never saw the crash of 2008 coming or thought that TARP and all the other stimulus packages would bring us to a new era of prosperity.  The first thought that came to my mind was the 6% increase has been about the same rate of inflation or lower even when considering real inflation which is around 12%.  So this statistic means nothing really, it is all inflation driven at best and most likely it is a worse year for buying than last year.  Then the next obvious thought that came to mind was, who cares?  Consumption does not equate to economic growth, production does.  If these people saved their money and put it into banks, these banks would lend it to people who would make long term capital intensive projects that produce things like cars and computers.  Instead, all this consumption in the present actually makes us poorer, because we are consuming our stock of capital now, in the present, when it could bring much more wealth in the future.  Lastly, even if consumption was a valuable economic indicator (it isn’t), this could actually mean that people are buying now instead of buying in the future because people are cash strapped in a bad economy. They are buying now when there are good deals rather than over the next month, overall consumption might be the same or even less during this holiday season.  This is similar to the Cash for Clunkers program, when people who were planing to buy cars in the fall, and instead came in during the summer to sell their “clunkers” so the government could pulverize them to save Gaia or something.  That is a whole other topic but, instead of destroying billions in economic wealth, we could have given all those cars to homeless people or single mothers or somebody like that but, Mother Earth comes before mere Human Beings, citizen!  So calm down and watch me poor salt in the gas tank.

Well, anyway, back to Black Friday.  The lack of understanding of economics concerning Black Friday is also pervasive in every other area as can been seen from cockamamie programs like Cash for Clunkers, to the Fed printing of 7.7 trillion in secret (that is currently blowing up the next super bubble).  The list could go on and on but, if people want to know how we got here just look at what pundits and most economists are saying on TV.

The FED pumped in 7.7 Trillion

The Federal Reserve pumped in 7.7 trillion into the banking system in 2008 to keep the American banking system afloat.  This had been secret information until Bloomberg used a freedom of information act request to get these numbers released (thank god we still use the FIA).  This number is almost unimaginable.  For those that believe that the Federal Reserve should not be audited, they should really think about what a mind boggling sum of money this is.  I heard not so long ago that a trillion dollars in one thousand dollar bills would create a stack of money 67 miles high. 7.7 trillion would make that stack 515 miles high.  I read on another website what 7.7 trillion could buy:

  • 199 Warren Buffets.
  • 22 Apples (the multinational corporation, not the fruit).
  • 10 Manhattans (the major metropolitan area, not the cocktail).
  • 71 times the cost of Hurricane Katrina.
  • 76 percent of the value of all the gold mined in human history.
  • About half the entire U.S. national debt.
  • $24,624 for every man, woman and child in the U.S.

The whole idea that the country and the stock markets are concerned about our national debt when the Federal Reserve can create half of that amount at the stroke of a pen without any congressional oversight is almost unbelievable.  I should not have to remind people that at least a couple trillion went to foreign banks!

The inflation from this huge surge of liquidity into the monetary system has not been felt as of yet in the economy.  The banks are still holding onto large amounts of this money.  But, this can not last forever.  When this money does start finally rushing into the economy, we can expect a massive surge in prices in all the items that people need most, like food and fuel.  If this is not a large enough number to make people wonder about the stability of our banking and monetary system, then I do not know what is.  If you have the resources, you should invest some money in commodities.  If you do not, you should try to buy the necessities that you use everyday ahead of time instead of waiting for the coming inflation. If you like stocks, you should buy them in commodity rich countries with strong currencies like Norway, Australia, and New Zealand.  Or maybe you just want to sit like a bump on a log and trust our wise Federal Reserve bankers.  The choice is yours.