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Monday, July 21, 2014

What Happened to the Malaysian Airlines Flight?

From the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity:


What the Media Won’t Report About Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17

Written by Ron Paul

Sunday July 20, 2014


Just days after the tragic crash of a Malaysian Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine, Western politicians and media joined together to gain the maximum propaganda value from the disaster. It had to be Russia; it had to be Putin, they said. President Obama held a press conference to claim – even before an investigation – that it was pro-Russian rebels in the region who were responsible. His ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, did the same at the UN Security Council – just one day after the crash!

While western media outlets rush to repeat government propaganda on the event, there are a few things they will not report.

They will not report that the crisis in Ukraine started late last year, when EU and US-supported protesters plotted the overthrow of the elected Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych. Without US-sponsored “regime change,” it is unlikely that hundreds would have been killed in the unrest that followed. Nor would the Malaysian Airlines crash have happened.

The media has reported that the plane must have been shot down by Russian forces or Russian-backed separatists, because the missile that reportedly brought down the plane was Russian made. But they will not report that the Ukrainian government also uses the exact same Russian-made weapons.

They will not report that the post-coup government in Kiev has, according to OSCE monitors, killed 250 people in the breakaway Lugansk region since June, including 20 killed as government forces bombed the city center the day after the plane crash! Most of these are civilians and together they roughly equal the number killed in the plane crash. By contrast, Russia has killed no one in Ukraine, and the separatists have struck largely military, not civilian, targets.

They will not report that the US has strongly backed the Ukrainian government in these attacks on civilians, which a State Department spokeswoman called “measured and moderate.”

They will not report that neither Russia nor the separatists in eastern Ukraine have anything to gain but everything to lose by shooting down a passenger liner full of civilians.

They will not report that the Ukrainian government has much to gain by pinning the attack on Russia, and that the Ukrainian prime minister has already expressed his pleasure that Russia is being blamed for the attack.

They will not report that the missile that apparently shot down the plane was from a sophisticated surface-to-air missile system that requires a good deal of training that the separatists do not have.

They will not report that the separatists in eastern Ukraine have inflicted considerable losses on the Ukrainian government in the week before the plane was downed.

They will not report how similar this is to last summer’s US claim that the Assad government in Syria had used poison gas against civilians in Ghouta. Assad was also gaining the upper hand in his struggle with US-backed rebels and the US claimed that the attack came from Syrian government positions. Then, US claims led us to the brink of another war in the Middle East. At the last minute public opposition forced Obama to back down – and we have learned since then that US claims about the gas attack were false.

Of course it is entirely possible that the Obama administration and the US media has it right this time, and Russia or the separatists in eastern Ukraine either purposely or inadvertently shot down this aircraft. The real point is, it's very difficult to get accurate information so everybody engages in propaganda. At this point it would be unwise to say the Russians did it, the Ukrainian government did it, or the rebels did it. Is it so hard to simply demand a real investigation?

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Copyright © 2014 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

How the Global Warming Scare Began

From KUSITV9:

A great scientist named Roger Revelle had Al Gore in his class at Harvard and the Global Warming campaign was born. Revelle tried to calm things down years later, but Gore said Revelle was Senile and refused to debate. John Coleman documents the entire story and shows how our tax dollars are perpetuating the Global Warming alarmist campaign even though temperatures have not risen in years and years.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hardy Macia - Samuel Adams Award

The late Hardy Macia, whose soft whisper boldly asked New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan to allow cancer patients in need of relief to grow their own marijuana plants, was awarded the Samuel Adams Award for Activism at the Libertarian Party 2014 National Convention.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Harry Browne - Hall of Liberty

From the Libertarian Party:
Congratulations to the late Harry Browne, two-time LP presidential candidate, who was inducted into the Hall of Liberty at the 2014 Libertarian Party National Convention.
The “Hall of Liberty” program is to honor lifetime or significant achievement that has made a lasting affect on the Libertarian Party and/or libertarian movement.
Those honored will be featured on the LP web site and on a “Wall of Liberty” in the LP national office.


Richard Winger - Hall of Liberty

From the Libertarian Party:
Congratulations to Richard Winger, longtime editor of Ballot Access News, who was inducted into the Hall of Liberty at the 2014 Libertarian Party National Convention. Richard is a walking encyclopedia of ballot access laws.
The “Hall of Liberty” program is to honor lifetime or significant achievement that has made a lasting affect on the Libertarian Party and/or libertarian movement.

Those honored will be featured on the LP web site and on a “Wall of Liberty” in the LP national office.


Surf Without Surveillance?

From Reason TV:

"People are under the impression that the Internet is sort of anonymous by default," says Karen Reilly, development director of the Tor Project. "They don't know how many digital trails they're leaving behind."

As the latest NSA scandal has alerted the public to the threat of widespread government surveillance, Reilly shows us how to restore our privacy in the digital world. Reason TV editor Nick Gillespie spoke with Riley about Tor, a set of software encryption tools that empowers people to use email and surf the web anonymously.

"There's a lot of everyday reasons why people would use Tor," Reilly says. "You don't necessarily have to be somebody who's under a particular threat to want privacy." Among the half million people who use Tor include victims of violence, people with medical conditions, people who don't trust their Internet service provider, and those who object to government surveillance on principle.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wars Are Not Good For The Economy (Paul Krugman's Space Aliens Included)



From James Corbett, BoilingFrogsPost.com:


The idea that the Great Depression was finally brought to an end by the onset of WWII has been a staple of history textbooks, documentaries and various war propaganda for decades. This myth continues to be perpetuated to the present day.

The idea that war is good for the economy is, needless to say, a fallacious argument which itself is based on incorrect economic data.

The idea that the economic activity surrounding militarization represents a net economic gain is called the “broken window fallacy.” This fallacy was named and identified by French economist Frédéric Bastiat in his 1850 essay, “That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen,” in which he imagines the case of a shopkeeper whose careless son breaks a pane of glass in his shop window. In Bastiat’s example, ‘that which is seen’ is that the glazier comes, performs the task of fixing the window, and receives six francs for his effort. Onlookers to the scene believe that the economy has actually been bolstered by this act of destruction, since six francs have been spent into it that otherwise would not have been.

But Bastiat notes that what is important is not what is seen, but what is not seen: “It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.”

Similarly, production for war is the broken window fallacy writ large. Economic “gains” produced by government spending on munitions and vehicle manufacture and supplying and equipping the troops are not gains at all; money has merely been diverted to the pockets of the defense contractors via the political cronies in their back pocket.

So why is this important? Because sadly, this myth is being played on by the warmongering class to once again push the idea that war is good and even necessary for economic progress. This time it is not just manufacture of supplies or munitions that are being touted, but war’s ability to justify government spending on investment. No matter how unlikely the threat, or whether it is indeed completely made up, this warped thinking holds that such lies and exaggerations are the answer to our current economic problems.

Sadly, it is not just intellectual deficients like Paul Krugman making this case. In a new op-ed in the New York Times, Tyler Cowen of George Mason University argues that technological advances from nuclear research to rocketry to internet and robotics have all been spurred by defense spending, and thus war or threats of war are necessary to continue the advance of civilization.

Why these technologies are ends in themselves, or more valuable than the tens of millions of lives lost in the previous “great wars” is a question left unexamined. Perhaps more to the point, Cowen never addresses why such advances could not take place in the absence of war or without the motivation of advancing the methods of killing as their impetus.

What is most fundamentally upsetting about the mindset that justifies carnage in the name of “economic gain” is that economic gain is usually measured in abstract concepts like GDP growth or increasing equities markets that have no or even negative correlation with the livelihood of the poorest members of society. Income actually shrank by 0.7% for 99% of Americans during the supposed “recovery” of 2009-2011. For the top 1%, income grew 11.5%. This is the type of “help” that massive government spending on bank bailouts and other stimulus measures invariably creates. In times of war, the situation is even more perverse: money is created as debt owed to the banks, backed up by the average working taxpayer, to pay politically-connected defense contractors to create bombs to kill poor brown people on the other side of the planet. This is called economic progress.

Taken to its logical conclusion, there is only one more effective way of solving the problem of poverty. After all, if we are willing to believe the lie that sacrificing lives is good for the economy, why not go that one step further…


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

No to Iraq War III

Haven’t We Already Done Enough Damage in Iraq?
By Ron Paul
June 17, 2014

In 2006, I invited the late General Bill Odom to address my Thursday Congressional luncheon group. Gen. Odom, a former NSA director, called the Iraq war “the greatest strategic disaster in American history,” and told the surprised audience that he could not understand why Congress had not impeached the president for pushing this disaster on the United States. History continues to prove the General’s assessment absolutely correct.
 
In September, 2002, arguing against a US attack on Iraq, I said the following on the House Floor:
No credible evidence has been produced that Iraq has or is close to having nuclear weapons. No evidence exists to show that Iraq harbors al Qaeda terrorists. Quite to the contrary, experts on this region recognize Hussein as an enemy of the al Qaeda and a foe to Islamic fundamentalism.
 
Unfortunately, Congress did not listen.
 
As we know, last week the second largest city in Iraq, Mosul, fell to the al-Qaeda allied Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Last week an al-Qaeda that had not been in Iraq before our 2003 invasion threatened to move on the capitol, Baghdad, after it easily over-ran tens of thousands of Iraqi military troops.
 
The same foreign policy “experts” who lied us into the Iraq war are now telling us we must re-invade Iraq to deal with the disaster caused by their invasion! They cannot admit they were wrong about the invasion being a “cakewalk” that would pay for itself, so they want to blame last week’s events on the 2011 US withdrawal from Iraq. But the trouble started with the 2003 invasion itself, not the 2011 troop withdrawal. Anyone who understands cause and effect should understand this.
 
The Obama administration has said no option except for ground troops is off the table to help the Iraqi government in this crisis. We should not forget, however, that the administration does not consider Special Forces or the CIA to be “boots on the ground.” So we may well see Americans fighting in Iraq again.

It is also likely that the administration will begin shipping more weapons and other military equipment to the Iraqi army, in the hopes that they might be able to address the ISIS invasion themselves. After years of US training, costing as much as $20 billion, it is unlikely the Iraqi army is up to the task. Judging from the performance of the Iraqi military as the ISIS attacked, much of that money was wasted or stolen.

A big US government weapons transfer to Iraq will no doubt be favored by the US military-industrial complex, which stands to profit further from the Iraq meltdown. This move will also be favored by those in Washington who realize how politically unpopular a third US invasion of Iraq would be at home, but who want to “do something” in the face of the crisis. Shipping weapons may be an action short of war, but it usually leads to war. And as we have already seen in Iraq and Syria, very often these weapons fall into the hands of the al-Qaeda we are supposed to be fighting!
 
Because of the government’s foolish policy of foreign interventionism, the U.S.is faced with two equally stupid choices: either pour in resources to prop up an Iraqi government that is a close ally with Iran, or throw our support in with al-Qaida in Iraq (as we have done in Syria). I say we must follow a third choice: ally with the American people and spend not one more dollar or one more life attempting to re-make the Middle East. Haven’t we have already done enough damage?


Copyright © 2014 by Ron Paul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given

Saturday, June 14, 2014

What Can Happen In A Society That Is Conditioned To Obey Authority

What can happen in a society that is conditioned to obey authority. A society that willingly consents to security theater at the airport and elsewhere.



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Dayton's Libertarian Challenge

An Open Letter from Chris Holbrook, Libertarian Candidate for MN Governor:

Dear Mark,
After a hard day of collecting signatures and talking to voters about my upcoming campaign, I was rather excited to see the piece that Baird Helgeson penned for the Star Tribune about your ‘strong libertarian impulses.’ The fact that you vacillate between Libertarian and Liberal on a daily basis is one of the many reasons I’ve stepped forward to run, as an option for Minnesotans who want someone who doesn’t waver on liberty. Over 50% of the voters polled have stated they want more choices on the ballot, which is an inherently libertarian position. Furthermore, when asked to identify themselves, a growing population of people state they are “fiscally conservative, and socially liberal” a.k.a. Libertarian.Chris_Holbrook_headshot
Among these people are Millennials, who are disenfranchised with the status quo of present day politics. Politicians often misrepresent themselves to gain favor with specific groups or simply to get votes, and both major parties have been guilty of this in the past. Again people want more choices. And while your fiscal actions have rarely been Libertarian – read the massive Vikings Stadium subsidy, $2.1 Billion dollar tax increase, your move to unionize the daycare workers by executive edict or the abdication of the marijuana bill to special interests – I’m glad that you are adopting freedom and liberty, taking our platform and criticisms seriously, and rethinking some of your old beliefs.
Here’s the thing: my party, the Libertarian Party of Minnesota and my friends, family and co-workers have been collecting thousands of signatures to gain our candidates access to the ballot in November. Despite the obstruction of your government, from timelines to arrests, we’ve met our goal and will be turning them into the SOS today (along with our other independent comrades in the Green Party, etc.)!! This is grassroots politics in action!
Unfortunately, even though we have talked with literally thousands of Minnesotans (and will talk to many thousands more by November), and they want to hear from MORE candidates like me, at this time I and the other Libertarian candidates will not be allowed to participate in any of the televised debates. Honestly Mark, that’s not very libertarian.
What I’m asking from you, my Libertarian Brother, is that you advocate for the libertarian idea of free speech and transparency in government by supporting the inclusion of me and the other minor parties in all candidate debates this year. I know you’re only one man, but you’re the man in charge. Someone of your stature protesting the exclusion of debate and refusing to participate until free and open (more libertarian) electoral practices are followed would be a great step towards A BETTER MINNESOTA and the causes of free speech and electoral transparency.
I look forward to hearing from you and discussing the issues this election cycle.
Your friend in Liberty,
Chris Holbrook
Libertarian Candidate for Governor