"I said to (Haynes) that if we come up short and there are some acquittals in our cases, it will at least validate the process." "At which point, his eyes got wide and he said, 'Wait a minute, we can't have acquittals. If we've been holding these guys for so long, how can we explain letting them get off? . . . We've got to have convictions.'" - Morris Davis to William J. Haynes II (Former General Counsel for Department of Defense) on Guantanamo trials of detainees during the War on Terror.
The current War on Terror inaugurated in 2001 by Bush II ushered in an era when the US government made torture its official policy as I wrote here.  It also started a broad fusillade against every basic liberty of every human living within the borders of the American tax jurisdiction.  While ostensibly a full scale assault on “terrorists”, it has provided an object lesson in how one becomes what one hunts. I will state my desire up front:  I don’t want the police to be reformed, watched, video-recorded, monitored, disarmed, watch-dogged, controlled, quality checked, investigated, punished, prosecuted or anything else.  I simply want them gone.  I want their current employment  to cease and desist.  From the FLEAs (Federal Law Enforcement Agents) all the way to the local constabulary, all must be permanently furloughed and asked to find more productive work like mowing lawns, bagging groceries or playing video-games.  It could be somewhat cathartic to have apology tours across the nation by every cop employed or retired through the communities they “served”.  We could provide them with a by-name list of anyone they have harassed, fined, kidnapped, caged or maimed to map out their respective apology tours.  Those murdered by departments could have their graves identified for the appropriate visit by the acknowledged killer (who most likely served nothing more than a paid administrative “leave”) in the thin “black and blue” line. I have made a comprehensive case for the reduction and elimination of police forces already and will not make the case here.
They say "no man is an island", and that we all need other people for support.  Especially when things go wrong.  Sometimes it helps to have the right kind of support. Several years ago I woke up in a really bad situation.  Through bad choices, and bad people seeking to harm me, I one day found myself in the position that my wife was telling me to get out of my house within 24 hours.  She was moving her boyfriend in, and he intended to beat me up if I was still at the house when he arrived. I was living 1500 miles from the nearest family member, having moved across the country at the urging of my wife.  I did have some local friends, but most of them were not in a position to do too much to help, and I hesitated getting them involved since I felt it would show them what an idiot I had been.  They had rescued me from my wife once before on short notice (that time she had actually called someone and told them to come get me or she would kill me) and I was embarrassed that I was in trouble again and that the situation was even worse this time. At the time I was just trying to avoid having to shoot anyone.  Seriously, I didn't want to be forced into killing anyone in self-defense- especially when I knew the confrontation was coming.  It has always been my intention to get out of the way of violence when I can.  However, I had no intention of walking away from all my possessions and letting my wife and her new boyfriend have them.  She had already pretty much cleaned me out by buying the house with my money and then refusing to put my name on it.  I had asked her for some time- a week or so- to find a place and get out.  She laughed and said I had better be gone by the next night.  Then she left to drive a few hundred miles to pick up this guy she had met online.

The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass has released a statement in support of the economic stimulus activities undertaken this week in London. "Over the past three nights," said guild spokesman JM Keynes, "The brave young people of London have taken it upon themselves to guarantee the economic health of our city for years to come." Keynes went on to explain that the Glaziers expect a 10,000% increase in demand for new glass windows over the coming weeks, which will employ hundreds of new glassmakers, who are paid as much as six francs for each new window produced. Shopkeeper F Bastiat took a rather dimmer view of the stimulus package, citing its cost to his business. "Look here," he said, gesturing to his store's broken window. "They broke that, broke the door, came in and took things right off the shelves." Bastiat expects that his insurance will cover some of the damages, but that much of his inventory will be a total loss. "I had a year's profits tied up, just in what was on the shelves," he explained. "And some of it they just destroyed! This television was too heavy to steal, I suppose, so they just smashed it." Bastiat's selfishness, though, is not representative of most Londoners.  In addition to creating jobs and increasing private spending, the stimulus is providing an increased standard of living for some participants. "I got tones of stuff todayyyy!" explained one of the stimulus agents via twitter, " ...

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be either good or evil.” - Hannah Arendt
America has been a dangerous place for innocent citizens for a long time.  Whether one was an indentured or chattel slave in the 18th and 19th century or a hapless member of the pensioners who got beat down in the Bonus Marchers Protest in 1932 or one of thousands of Americans kidnapped, caged, maimed and killed by the police annually in the Land of the Free, you live in a country that has not only practiced this behavior but even legally endorsed it in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks in New York and Mordor on the Potomac. Bush did have the hubris to deliver a speech condemning torture on 26 June 2003 with full knowledge of what his regime was doing: "Freedom from torture is an inalienable human right. The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, ratified by the United States and more than 130 other countries since 1984, forbids governments from deliberately inflicting severe physical or mental pain or suffering on those within their custody or control. Yet torture continues to be practiced around the world by rogue regimes whose cruel methods match their determination to crush the human spirit. Beating, burning, rape, and electric shock are some of the grisly tools such regimes use to terrorize their own citizens. These despicable crimes cannot be tolerated by a world committed to justice." When one examines the first through fourth Geneva conventions and associated protocols, you make a grisly discovery.  Your treatment at the hands of the US government and its associated police agencies down to the local level is better afforded to you as a Prisoner of War than an ordinary civilian in America.  Mind you, even that has become more Orwellian with the abandonment by the Bush administration of even these and a complete reversal of the UN Convention Against Torture ironically passed in 1984.  POWs, in the countries that respect the Geneva and Hague conventions, have more rights than ordinary citizens in the American penal system.

This is drivel, drivel in disagreement with drivel; my short sermon to you, my members of a silent choir in a forgotten cathedral. We had a good run; we tried, and volumes of history will be written in Red, White and Blue ink. Our dear leaders are nearly finished yelling at each other for the time being, and have settled on a course of action which will allow them to continue on toward catastrophe. Republicans cheer for fiscal responsibility; fiscal responsibility is confused, because he was not invited to the party. Democrats decry the impending doom the Republicans have wrought this term, ignoring the centuries of proud expansion and deficit spending which have brought us to our fate. Here's the problem: borrowing is only right when you can pay back your creditors. US policy is to fund our debt payments with additional debt. Tax revenues, even vastly increased tax revenues, cannot pay back the present debt. Growing that debt more slowly is not a solution; if the federal government can't pay its bills without perpetual borrowing now, how is it supposed to pay those bills later? At some point, some creditors must be left holding the bag. But our elected representatives provide us with political theater in the meantime. They've agreed to "cut" the deficit by $2.3 trillion over the course of the next decade or so. In order to do this, the debt ceiling must be increased $2.1 trillion dollars. I am not sure how the latter can possibly lead to the...

 
“A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers.” - H.L. Mencken
There are 27,000 pages of Federal code and many criminal offenses sprinkled in them.  Most of these laws are malum prohibitum and not malum in se; in other words, they are criminal offenses because the government says they are.  That enormous figure is the figurehead of the code, the respective executive agencies charged with interpretation and enforcement divine their own regulations and code.  The EPA alone has 25,000 pages of Federal regulations comprising almost 15 percent of the total Federal corpus by some estimates. Mordor does not even know how many laws there are now: “Counting them is impossible. The Justice Department spent two years trying in the 1980s, but produced only an estimate: 3,000 federal criminal offenses. The American Bar Association tried in the late 1990s, but concluded only that the number was likely much higher than 3,000. The ABA's report said "the amount of individual citizen behavior now potentially subject to federal criminal control has increased in astonishing proportions in the last few decades." A Justice spokeswoman said there was no quantifiable number. Criminal statutes are sprinkled throughout some 27,000 pages of the federal code.” The numbers are staggering but the inherent madness even more so.  The EPA is currently trying to bankrupt the good citizens of an Alaska town for non-criminal environmental offenses totaling in the tens of millions for a town of several thousand.  Sometimes water can even be “too clean” for fish.  This madness goes on every day. No one sums it up better than Keith Richards in view of consensual crimes:  “I've never had a problem with drugs.  I've had problems with the police.” The governments seek to make victimless crimes punishable. Take a look at these statistics.  There are four times as many folks ensnared (not counting families and friends of the convicted) in the US penal system than the peak population of both criminal and political prisoners combined in the gulag system in the USSR.  The Land of the Free has the highest per capita prison population on Earth. I have written before about the size of the American criminal penal systems and the innocents and political prisoners ensnared in it.  The sheer obscenity of so many laws dictated from on high that make no sense whatsoever to reasonable men (this was Blackstone’s expectation).
Publisher’s Note: Tom is one of the smartest observers of the impending collapse out there.  He wrote Starving the Monkeys after experiencing the big surprise that is small business in America:  the sky darkens as regulators and tax collectors parachute in to ravage and manage your business to their advantage.  This journey, of course, led to other unpleasant discoveries he will regale us with in this scintillating interview.  He and I share military experience and I am always amused at how that informs one’s evolving worldview when it comes to government. Later he speaks to the conclusions about the Founding that has been a very large turning point for plenty of sober thinking libertarians in the past decades.  I, too, owe Royce for what was a critical turning point in my own philosophical journey. -BB Why did you write Starving the Monkeys? My original intention was to write a book for entrepreneurs to teach them how to cut through a lot of the red tape and employee issues that keep business owners from focusing on their original business purpose, and that keep employees from behaving in a more independent and productive way. I had run several small businesses, and found out the hard way that the more one can get by without hiring anyone, the better. Also, I intended to teach people to stop seeing themselves as employees, but instead to run their own small businesses themselves and perform work on a contract basis for their previous (and other) employers. I had successfully applied this change in attitude from the employee/employer to client/consultant from all sides of the equation, to much profit. I knew that I had a lot to offer others to help them make the same transition. Just as I started to write that book, the real estate collapse of 2008-2009 hit, and wiped out essentially everything I had ever earned, and more. Practically overnight, despite a long track record of business successes, I, along with many others across the country, found myself destitute for reasons which had nothing to do with decisions I had made, other than owning property to house my family and businesses. Essentially, we had our heads down working while thieves snuck up behind us and legally robbed us all blind. While reorienting to this new reality, I realized that the environment that keeps an adversarial relationship between employee and employer, rather than the ideal of a cooperative relationship of client-consultant/contractor, is a consequence of regulations that are put in place by the legislative lackeys of large corporate interests to protect them from competition from below. And, that it is this same system of institutionalized theft and deceit that is at the heart of practically every problem we face as a people. Reacting to this revelation, and drawing from the classics of economic, political and military history, I decided to expand the simple entrepreneurial book into a guide that people can use to orient to the economic terrorism that is waged on us all daily. Essentially, “Starving the Monkeys: Fight Back Smarter” is a handbook for what is today a necessary guerrilla war that individuals must fight on an economic and political level today, and a military level tomorrow, followed by additional levels afterward. By the way, the original title “Starving the Monkeys: An Entrepreneurial Horror”, reflected that early business-only basis. The current title is more descriptive of the expanded scope. • I am also a former military man who found his way to anarcho-capitalism, tell us how your path started and where it went. Wow, that’s a long and winding path! I went to the Naval Academy because I wanted to be an astronaut and Navy and Marine Corps pilots were considered to be top of the heap in the early space program. When it became clear that the space program was effectively dead in terms of actual progress and exploration, after graduation I decided to go into the Marine Corps on the ground side and became an Air Support Control Officer.

The Greek default isn't total, yet. Perhaps it won't be. But more defaults, across Europe and the rest of the world, are an inevitable consequence of modern banks' and governments' twisted corruption of capitalism. Modern capitalism is built on the idea of investment: that by stockpiling more resources than are immediately needed and dedicating those resources to productive tasks instead of consuming them, you can end up with more resources. This works very well, and has been the policy of every Homo sapiens sapiens who bothered to plan past his next meal. Capital accumulation allowed us to progress past our hunter-gatherer roots, although we didn't have a name for it at the time. The concept of capital accumulation leads directly to the idea of lending. If you have more resources than you can effectively employ, you might as well lend those resources to someone else, so that he can use them to go produce even more. In exchange for this loan, you expect to receive your resources back, plus a share of those the borrower has produced. Once you're comfortable with the idea of lending, another concept might occur to you: that of fractional reserve banking, the backbone of modern finance. In fractional reserve banking, depositors lend their money to a bank, which then lends it back out at interest. This works because the depositors will not, presumably, come to the bank en masse and request the full return of their deposits. There is a tacit understanding that depositors will at some point have...

“Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. “ - P. J. O'Rourke
The alleged debt crisis is at the top of the news now.  The usual suspects in Mordor on the Potomac are proclaiming that if they do not leverage the unborn into further debt they will be unable to fulfill their fiscal and fiduciary obligations to a wide variety of parasites and looters at the government trough ranging from pensioners to killer robots. I would submit to you that there should be no limit on the government’s debt ceiling.  None.  It should be unlimited.  It is illusion and misdirection to think that any entity which can simply force assets and wealth from a captive population would think these limitations important except as a good, if insincere, public relations campaign with the host they are draining.  Within the next six months, these united States will achieve a signal triumph:  an alleged national debt that is equal to the established consensus on the amount of the GDP.  We are presently at 95 percent of that goal and rising.  Russia is at 19 percent and China is at 11 percent.  Even communist countries know better. Mind you, I didn’t mean to besmirch the communist idea in front of the chattering classes as they may find that disturbing since that is their philosophical touchstone for economic prosperity.  Much like a demonic telethon to enslave young and unborn generations to enormous debt obligations, the good ship USS Leviathan continues to happily navigate toward these dangerous fiscal shoal waters.  I say alleged debt because we are all certain the government cooks the books and hides spending it wishes not to reveal, therefore future financial historians may discover evidence of the real debt as they poke and prod the ruins of a former global hyper-power in North America. Non-funded obligations approaching anywhere from 60-115 trillion dollars loom in the future as the demographic tsunami of pending entitlements crashes on the shores of the Potomac.  Some estimate this as high as 202 trillion dollars.  A slight grasp may be entertained by realizing that there are two trillion seconds in 64,000 years.  In reality, this bespeaks one devilish conclusion:  not only is the Federal government NOT too big to fail but it should have failed decades ago.  What the usual suspects and the punditocracy fail to grasp is that the government has reached such gargantuan and unmanageable proportions, its failure is inevitable.  The entropy of imperfect information used on such a large scale and steered by the kakocracy that is the American political class and the shambling bureaucratic masses employed by the State will end in history’s largest collectivist car crash.

Peter over at Western Rifle Shooters turned me onto this.  Codevilla wrote this scintillating short essay on why Obama is who is and why Communism is far from a dead letter.  I always enjoy Codevilla, he is a thoughtful and clear-headed writer.  I caution anyone to carefully pick and choose what you read at the Claremont Institute which is the world headquarters for Lincoln hagiography and idolotry & ground zero for Straussian Trotskyists.  It is ironic that they would publish an essay critical of someone so close to their own ideological pedigree as Obama.  -BB In sum, Barack Obama grew intertwined with the narrow, self-referential left side of the American Left. They helped one another believe they had come up the hard way, as underprivileged but brilliant, square-jawed tribunes of the common man. Their common problem, however, is that their agendas are antagonistic to people unlike themselves, and that they cannot keep from showing their contempt for the common folk in whose name they would ride to power. Since the days of Karl Marx's First International a century and a half ago, this very human opposition between socialist theory (egalitarianism) and socialist reality (oligarchic oppression) has bedeviled the Left. Marx laid the problem bare in his "Critique of the Gotha Program" (1875). Lenin dealt with it honestly and brutally in What Is to Be Done? (1902)—the foundational document of Communism. By acknowledging that the Communist Party is not the common people's representative, but rather its "vanguard," Leninists were comfortable with a...