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This is the best election cycle ever!  Isn’t it a riot watching those two prove what many of us know to be true?  Politicians are among the most despicable humans on the planet.  Usually their kind hide it pretty well, but these two are such egomaniacs they can’t help but utter populist bullshit and lie about everything they can get away with.  Politicians in general have psychopathic tendencies, but this year it is more evident to most of us, and that is the greatest outcome of all of this ugliness.

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If you happen to be firmly on one side or the other I’m sure you have well reasoned arguments based on an issue or two.  Now consider how often politicians fail to come through on promises.  It’s similar to the logic that says if you vote for a third party candidate you’re taking away votes from one of the mainstream candidates.  I’m not sure which third party candidate steals votes from which mainstream candidate, but I think it hardly matters.  If you change the channel or read a different website, you’ll find a different opinion.  If you really think it matters, you’re just living in fear of the other one taking office.  Stop it!  Don’t live in fear.  Don’t hate those you see as ignorant.  Both sides are correct.  The “other candidate” is a despicable human being.

If you’re against war, hold your nose.  Hillary has proven to be as bloodthirsty and reckless as any of the neo-cons, and Trump has spoken out of both sides of his mouth on this issue, mostly out of the ‘blow em up’ side.  I hold a very unfashionable belief.  It is that if you kill someone’s neighbors, children, or parents, they are going to want you dead as well. Yeah, it sounds crazy, but the CIA actually believes this too.  Unfortunately, few in congress seem to understand it.  They are wasting young lives and a lot of tax dollars on a corrupt jobs program for producers of military goods.  Congressmen, lobbyists and defense contractors get paid well.  The oil, banking, and other commercial businesses that now move into the area can make quite a profit.  Soldiers get paid poorly, and in return and are killed, maimed, or psychologically messed up.  The CIA created ISIS either on purpose or by accident depending on how cynical you are.  Read the missing 28 pages of the 911 report.  Prince Bandar from Saudi Arabia (affectionately known as “Bandar Bush” by GW) and others in the Saudi government aided the 9/11 hijackers.  If you’re not aware, Saudi Arabia is the oil rich country that has been holding down the price of oil to kill new industry in the US.  The US gives them foreign aid, and the US military is right now working with them to kill people in Yemen.  Oh yeah, and the Saudis behead way more people than ISIS.  Just to be clear that there are no good guys in this shit show, Obama recently tried to veto legislation that would allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia.  He’s worried that might open US officials up to similar suits from abroad.  Yes Barack, murder should have consequences.

Anybody for a reduction in federal spending?  Surely I’m joking.  Who’s going to do that?  Republicans talk about it but cut nothing.  Democrats talk about spending more and typically do.  But wouldn’t you know it, they have an excuse.  In his 1936 book entitled “The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money” John Maynard Keynes theorized that the way to get an economy out of a recession is by spending a large amount of money.  Of course only our wise overlords are smart enough to know how best to spend the large sums of money.  Amazingly, they adopted Keynes’ theories over competing ideas that said savings and investment are the keys to prosperity .  Surely you’re familiar with the effects of this roller coaster monetary policy.  Events known as “The Great Depression”, “The Dotcom Crash”, the housing bust and subsequent “Great Recession” were all created by loose monetary policy that first caused an unsustainable boom in certain sectors of the economy.  At some point the Fed fears runaway inflation, pulls away the spiked punchbowl, and down we go again.  The stock market is about at all time highs right now.  Don’t let me get you down.  Surely this time is different.  If you think either of the two main contenders are on your side vs. Wall Street, you should check the facts on their top donors.

You might be saying to yourself, “Who else but a libertarian would be stupid enough to be against both murder and extortion on an extremely large scale?  That bastard is just going to pimp Gary Johnson.”  Nope.   Johnson is not much of a libertarian, and his running mate is not even close.  If I do vote I’m not sure if it will be for Johnson or Vermin Supreme.  Yes, Vermin Supreme,  the guy that wears a boot on his head.   If you’re forced to do something, brushing your teeth seems pretty trivial, and who would not like a free pony.

Vote for who you want to vote for… don’t vote … write in yourself…whatever.  Don’t let someone else tell you that you’re wasting your vote.  I will tell you as far as the presidential vote goes, in terms of probability, you’re wasting your time.  But if it makes you feel good, do it.  They say politics is a reflection of society.  If that is true, we could stand a little personal improvement.

Cronyism ALERT

They’re not even trying to cover it up anymore.

Hunter Biden, the youngest son of Vice President Joe Biden, will be joining Ukraine’s largest private gas producer, the company announced in a statement.

“The company’s strategy is aimed at the strongest concentration of professional staff and the introduction of best corporate practices, and we’re delighted that Mr. Biden is joining us to help us achieve these goals,” Alan Apter, Burisma Holdings’ chairman of the board of directors, saidin a statement, which was reported by The Moscow Times on Tuesday.

Biden, joining the board, will be in charge of the legal unit, the company said. He will also provide support for Burisma Holdings “among international organizations.”

One of my favorite blogs is The Altucher Confidential.  James Altucher is a dynamic individual and his writing is often very introspective which makes for interesting reading.  This blog entry is a nod to James’ style.

Last week I had a discussion with a couple guys at work about the value of living in a militaristic society. In case you’re wondering, yes, I’m talking about the USA. Outspending the next ten nations combined is pretty militaristic. Another indicator is when your local police are wearing battle gear and driving tanks around, and yet another clue is when your country is consistently the largest military arms exporter, but I digress.

swatOne point in favor of living in a highly militarized country was that WWII cured the Great Depression. Another point was that there are a lot of inventions borne out of military necessity. I argued the first point was absolutely false and the second was likely the opposite of the truth.  It was a quick discussion on the way back from lunch, but was still on my mind during the drive home. I thought of a funny way to spin the first point, referring to the military inventing the internet: “It took the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent people so we could shop for household goods in our underwear.” So I had to share this quip the next day and offer a reference with reasonable proof that his assertion about WWII was wrong.

Later that day I read a quote posted on Facebook by an acquaintance. The quote compared a hoarder of cash to a hoarder of cats or newspapers, and implied that we give the hoarder of cash too much credit. I could not help myself but to comment and inform him that if that rich person holds their wealth in a bank or investments, then it is actually doing all of us a huge favor. Corporate investment buys equipment for corporations, which enables us to produce more than other nations which do not have the same number of rich people investing there. This increased production is what enables us to have a high income per capita in comparison to most of the world. Obviously there are crooked businesses as there are crooked politicians, but this relationship generally holds true. It’s called capitalism and can be credited with bringing humans up from a level of bare, hand-to-mouth subsistence to a  place where the poorest of society have many more amenities than the kings of only decades ago.

someone-on-the-internet-is-wrongSo all this debating got me thinking, “Why do I argue about politics?” It’s probably not good for my health. Sometimes I start sweating a bit when I can’t come up with a good counterpoint.  At least I’ve overcome the urge to get angry, perhaps with a firmer grasp of where I stand and why. There must be some element of thinking I’m right. In the last few years that thought might have a bit of merit for all the reading I’ve done, but I was arguing about politics before I started researching libertarianism and Austrian Economics.  Before 2007 I was only concerned with making a living and having fun in the interim, but still felt my view was the correct one.  I guess that is human nature and the reason most people do not debate about politics or religion.  In my opinion though, any position you can’t defend is no position at all.  I’ll respect religious differences, they shouldn’t affect me, but your beliefs about the nature of government do affect me, so that’s why I think we need to consider them.

Keynesian economics (spend our way to prosperity) seems intuitively wrong as does our foreign policy (killing someone’s family makes them want to vote for your puppet dictator). The government has a motive to whitewash its sins and embellish the victories.  Who approved those textbooks you learned from in school?  Should we believe our government is unique in history in being totally honest with its citizens?  Then there is the fact that an astonishing number of guys involved with Austrian Economics called the recent crash.

I am concerned about the present state of affairs in our nation, and hardly any of the issues that are presented in the nightly news. Loss of civil liberties, a growing police state, perpetual war, economic calamity caused by central banking, an incompetent government and a corrupting elite class are some of things that make me want argue.  If you want an earful, suggest that the state is the natural solution to any of these ills that it created.

I have been told arguing on the internet is like running in the Special Olympics.  I guess that is supposed to mean that it is pointless, which is pretty mean, and sadly somewhat accurate, as I am not exactly in the same league as someone like economist Robert Murphy who has raised $105,000 to try and get Paul Krugman to debate him.  Obviously Krugman is scared since Ron Paul whooped on him and Murphy is much sharper than Paul.  My own father told me that my effort on this blog was not going to change any minds.  He also believes socialism is workable, so I take that opinion with a grain of salt.  Perhaps the naysayers are right and I am just flapping my arms here trying to fly.  My goal is to expose the ideas of libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism to a few new people, so I’ve already achieved success in that.  People do change their minds about political philosophy.  I did, so there is some hope, and not the kind you get from a poster.Hope-you-dont-get-indefinitely-detained-Obama

I have a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.  Two to three years into the program I was having a tough time and wanted to quit, but my parents encouraged me to step up to the challenge.  I studied hard the next semester, got on the Dean’s List, and continued to do well through fairly intense study.  After college there were a few years where I didn’t feel like learning except for occasional “edutainment” on the Discovery or History channels.  That changed when I lost my job and my 401K dropped by a third. In the search for an answer to why that happened, I found the subjects of libertarian philosophy and Austrian Economics.  Now I’m driven to absorb as much as I can about history, economics, philosophy, and logic relating to the non-aggression principle.  There are many sources for information out there, but in my opinion, the most prolific communicator in the circle of Austro-Libertarian thought is historian and author, Tom Woods.

Dr. Woods holds a B.A. from Harvard and a Ph.D. from Columbia, both in History.  He has written eleven books, including two that I have read and were also on the New York Times best seller list, The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History and Meltdown.

Tom is the creator of an educational website called LibertyClassroom.com, which includes several courses in History, Logic and Economics.  The classes are presented in approximately 30 minute segments that are perfect for a commute or a short nightly session.

I recently finished the “Western Civilization to 1500” course.  It was very interesting to learn about ancient societies and get a broader understanding of the origin of many laws and mores in our current culture.  Religion, political arrangements, and economic activity were discussed from the time of Mesopotamia through the Middle Ages.

Presently, I’m listening to  “History of Political Thought Part 1”, and just got through some lectures on Plato’s thoughts on political philosophy.  It’s interesting to note that what he advised entailed slavery and totalitarianism.  I’m glad we have continued to discuss the ideal conditions for man to live under.

Tom also hosts a daily podcast called The Tom Woods Show.  I highly recommend tuning in as the guests are varied and always interesting.  You will learn a lot just by listening to the show.  If you tune in you will also get updates about another project he is working on, the Ron Paul Curriculum.  All this and his wife just had their fifth child, so you understand that he is prolific by all definitions of the word.

Considering that kind of schedule, I feel like a loafer for complaining about how tough college was or how busy my current schedule is.  We always have a little time in our day to learn something new.  It is in fact necessary if you want to live a full life.  If you generally agree with what I’ve been talking about on this blog, you should really look into LibertyClassroom.com   If you subscribe through a link on my blog I will get $30.  I’ll send you $10 via paypal and donate the rest to Antiwar.com, or donate it all to Antiwar.com if you wish.  Currently you can save 50% by using the coupon code DISCOUNT.

lvrMedia coverage of national politics would lead you to believe that there is gaping chasm between the two political parties.  One party pretends to be fiscally sound while the other pretends to strive for a peaceful foreign policy.  If you observe the actions of our representatives and ignore their words, the small degree of difference between the Democrats and Republicans is painfully obvious.  They often argue about issues where the federal government should hold no position. Thankfully most people agree with me on one thing:  the approval rating for CONgress is around 13% right now.  These positions of power naturally attract those who desire control over others.  Some people think that most of our public servants have our best interests at heart.  According to Nobel Laureate, F. A. Hayek, this trust does not stand up to reason.  Here is an except from Road to Serfdom.

“There are three main reasons why such a numerous and strong group with fairly homogenous views is not likely to formed by the best but rather by the worst elements of any society.  By our accepted moral standards, the principles on which such a group would be selected will be almost entirely negative.

In the first instance, it is probably true that the higher education and intelligence of individuals become, the more their views and tastes are differentiated and the less likely they are to agree on a particular hierarchy of values.

It is a corollary of this that if we wish to find a high degree of uniformity and similarity of outlook, we have to descend to the regions of lower moral and intellectual standards where the more primitive and “common” instincts and tastes prevail.

This does not mean that the majority of people have low moral standards; it merely means that the largest group of people whose values are very similar are the people with low standards.

It is, as it were, the lowest common denominator which unites the largest number of a numerous group is needed, strong enough to impose their views on the values of life on all the rest, it will never be those with highly differentiated and developed tastes it will be those who form the “mass” in the derogatory sense of the term, the least original and independent, who will be able to put the weight of their numbers behind their particular ideals.”

When looked at objectively, modern politics is an abhorrent practice.  Those who hold steadfast to their party will admit to this somewhat, but of course it’s always the other side that is corrupt, negligent, power hungry, etc.  In reality both parties are doing their best to polarize the public on trivial differences, while acting virtually the same in all the areas that are most damaging to the future of the citizens of the United States, such as fiscal policy and overuse of military force.

Republicans claim to be light on taxation and public spending.  Under Reagan, the constant threat of the Cold War greased the skids for big spending on national offense.  Reagan’s tax cuts also were nothing of the sort.  The following except is from a Murray Rothbard article:

“The much-heralded 1981 tax cut was more than offset by two tax increases that year. One was “bracket creep,” by which just inflation wafted people into higher tax brackets, so that with the same real income (in terms of purchasing power) people found themselves paying a higher proportion of their income in taxes, even though the official tax rate went down. The other was the usual whopping increase in Social Security taxes which, however, don’t count, in the perverse semantics of our time, as “taxes”; they are only “insurance premiums.” In the ensuing years the Reagan Administration has constantly raised taxes – to punish us for the fake tax cut of 1981 – beginning in 1982 with the largest single tax increase in American history, costing taxpayers $100 billion.”

The now famous “Read my lips: no new taxes” lie by George H. W. Bush is a great example of the myth of tax busting Republicans.  Though his son, GW, was relatively easy on taxes, the increase in the rate of debt accumulation under a new president had never been greater since LBJ.  The failed “No Child Left Behind Act” cost tens of billions.  He passed MediCare Part D, a program obviously targeted at getting the votes of elderly citizens.  The estimated cost of this program has far exceeded the estimate by the Congressional Budget Office.   This kind of underestimate is not an uncommon occurrence.  As a despicable bonus George junior uttered the phrase “I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system.”  What kind of BS is that?  I’ll tell you.  It’s the same kind of BS that says we have to spend massive amounts of money to cure a problem that is the result of spending too much money.

Democrats are not historically peace makers as they are purported to be.  Woodrow Wilson got us into World War I, and it is his pro-imperialist example of foreign policy which is getting us into trouble today.  Franklin D. Roosevelt knew about the planned attack on Pearl Harbor and basically let it happen so that the public would consent to entering World War II.  More recently, Bill Clinton approved missile launches on a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory that resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of lives of innocent civilians.  He got the U.S. military involved in a questionable intervention in Kosovo, sent some bombs to Iraq, and presided over sanctions that killed an estimated 500,000 Iraqi children.  When his Secretary of State, Madeline Albright was questioned about this figure, she estimated that the price was “worth it” to keep the previous CIA lackey, Saddam Hussein, under their thumb.  Obama holds the distinction of being the first president to ever order the death of a US citizen and his 16 year old son.  Hundreds of innocent children have been killed by drone in Pakistan and Yemen.  No doubt, terrorists commit horrific acts.  I only argue that killing innocent civilians with a drone is no more civilized than with a suicide bomb or IED.  Obama claims responsibility for getting us out of Iraq, when in fact, GW committed to that date during his term when he was pressed by Iraqi officials to do so.  Both have poured resources into Afghanistan, the graveyard of empires.

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”  -H. L. Mencken

What I propose is that we figure out how to live without the state wherever possible.  We really can’t afford to let the parasites in fancy buildings live off of us any longer.  Unfunded liabilities for Social Security, Medicare, and public pensions are around 200 trillion dollars.  That means we would have to come up with that much right now, and earn around 5% on it in order to make all the payments that are promised.  This debt will be defaulted on through inflation or other, more direct means.  There is no other way around it.

The budget for the military is larger than the next 10 countries combined.  I hope everyone can agree with me that this is insane.  I think most would agree that “Love thy neighbor as thyself” is a great command to live by.  Is it the large scale of war that supposedly makes murder a heroic act?  For the most part, citizens of other countries are just over there trying to eke out an existence…same as you and I.  Unfortunately there is one group of psychopaths who claim to be in charge of us and another set of psychopaths who claim to be in charge of them.

Politics is definitely a dirty business.  What is seen could be compared to professional wrestling.  What is unseen resembles the dealings of organized crime.  The real two parties are them and us, and it’s the us party that is getting raked over the coals while they live the high life.  This is not democracy, it’s plutocracy.