Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Poking Holes in the “Anti-War” Left

This past Sunday, David Stockman’s Contra Corner ran an article entitled Lyndon Baines Kerry telling the sad tale of how the idealist young anti-war crusader grew up to become his arch nemesis. Like the President who sent him into combat a half century ago, Secretary of State, John Kerry has morphed in into a spewer of lies, distortions and half truths, all the while pushing America to the brink of war.  It happened with Syria.  It’s now happening with the Ukraine.

But this is not about Kerry.  It’s about the delusion that the American Left is the bulwark of non-aggression and pacifism.  Nothing can be further from the truth. 

It is true that in Sixties, the Left led the way in protesting the Viet Nam war.  However their objection was not based in principle.  It was based on sympathy with the Viet Cong cause which they viewed as a war of liberation.  Far from being peaceniks as the purported to be, American Leftists cheered on murderous regimes in Russia, China and Latin America.  They deified cold blooded killers Lenin to Mao, from Stalin to Castro.  From Pol Pot to Che Guevara.

Their cold blooded attitude towards human life was summed up perfectly by Stalin’s quip to Truman, "The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic."  A century and a half earlier, the collectivist French revolutionary justified the Reign of Terror with another off hand quip, "One can't expect to make an omelet without breaking eggs."  

The vanguard of America’s left wing stood in firm support Soviet communism until it became too embarrassing to endorse the 100+ million people Stalin killed once his successor revealed it to the world.

America’s collectivists have not yet given us gulags and reeducation camps, though it not necessarily a mark of their virtue.  Violence is part and parcel of the ideological DNA.  Progressives from Wilson onward have not shrunk from forcibly trying to export democracy, our own brand collectivism, via the force of arms.  This is Lyndon Baines Kerry’s agenda here in the 21st century.

In his treatise, Power and Market, Murray Rothbard is bemused to find that “people tend to regard government as a quasi-divine, selfless, Santa Claus organization. Government was constructed neither for ability nor for the exercise of loving care; government was built for the use of force”.

Rothbard correctly points out that, “There are two and only two ways that an economy can be organized. One is by freedom and voluntary choice—the way of the market. The other is by force and dictation—the way of the State.”
In his words, collectivism “is the violent abolition of the market.”

Thus when a government imposes its will upon its constituents via coercive force, it is at war with them.  John Locke explains:

“….that he who attempts to get another man into his absolute power, does thereby put, himself into a slate of war with him: it being to be understood as a declaration of a design upon his life : for I have reason to conclude, that he who would get me into his power without my consent, would use me as he pleased when he had got me there, and destroy me too when he had a fancy to it; for nobody can desire to have me in his absolute power, unless it be to compel me by force to that which is against the right of my freedom , i. e. make me a slave.”

“A slave”, he says?  Yes, that is why Hayek entitled his monumental best seller, The Road to Serfdom.  He dedicated the book to "The socialists of all parties" be they communists, social democrats, fascists, American style left-liberals or today’s elite corporatist--globalists.  In the end, their programs cannot tolerate dissent and must, by necessity, devolve into force and coercion – to the point of death if need be.

Thus the left cannot be anti-war as they are, by nature and definition, in a state of continual war with the individuals that they govern, who they strive to bend to their will.  In America their favored tools are fines, confiscations, garnishment and imprisonment.   Through political correctness, they curtail debate and honest critical thinking.  Occasionally they like to make a bold faced show of force as they did at the Bundy ranch. 

Fortunately Americans are still a well armed people so the Feds were force to back down for a moment.  Thus it is that all collectivists disarm their citizens.  A well armed citizenry is the last best defense against tyranny.  It is the only language that the warrior-collectivists truly understand and respect.  

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Half the people are drowned and the other half are swimming in the wrong direction."
Paul Simon

Friday, April 25, 2014

Cliven Bundy – Sorting Through The Rubble

I was disappointed, even sickened, by Cliven Bundy’s stupid and clumsy remarks from the other day.  Of course the media is jumping on them to obscure the very real issues that were, and still are, at stake.  

Therefore let’s take a moment to:

1.       Briefly rehearse the original issues involved in grazing land dispute
2.       Address the “better off” comment in the deep detail it deserves

Bundy’s stand off against the Feds spotlighted some very important issues regarding the scope of the Federal government and its relationship to its constituents.  These include:

1.       What right or reason does the Federal government have for holding so much land that is non-essential to its enumerated responsibilities?  Could we not relieve a good deal of the Federal government’s financial woes by selling off and privatizing its land holdings?  And what about the “tragedy of the commons” the environmental phenomenon that privately held lands are better maintained than public lands?
2.       What right did the government have in displacing Bundy from land that his family had utilized for over 120 years?  What value did the government add to said land to feel that they were entitled to hefty usage fees?  If governments are instituted to protect the rights of men, as the founding Declaration states, then why are they persecuting farmers in defense of tortoises?
3.       Why did the Feds spend untold millions to recover a mere million?  Was it simply to make a show of force so as to intimidate other would be dissenters?  Why does Senator Reid persist in making oblique threats? Is that the kind of America we want?

These questions remain valid whether the protagonist is nasty or nice, a sinner or a saint.

With regard to his “better off” comments let me be unambiguous about this.  No one is better off as slave. 

Libertarian philosophers from Locke through Rothbard have protested that free will and self ownership are essential and inalienable properties of being human.  They insist that no person can rightfully take them from another nor can an individual surrender them.  In short, slavery is unjust and morally indefensible. 

In like fashion, libertarians deplore racism.   Ayn Rand was unequivocal in asserting that, “Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism.”  I could not agree more.

The correct question is whether all Americans and its poorest minorities in particular, are better off living under the suffocating welfare state or under conditions of freedom, empowerment and opportunity? To answer this, let me draw upon remarks that I prepared for a 2010 symposium in Trenton on the plight of the disadvantaged urban poor.


Politicians who vie for the inner city vote are often heard to invoke the class warfare mantra that America is at war with its own urban poor.

However if these politicians were to be honest, they would be forced to concede that net effect of most urban policy is to condemn the poor to a life of misery - to dependency on the new plantation master – the welfare state.  Should these leaders look into the mirror, they might echo Walt Kelly’s famous line from Pogo: “We have met the enemy and it is us”.

Nearly a century of “progressive” policies form both parties have done more harm than good to those people whom these policies are ostensibly meant to benefit.  Typically, the chief beneficiaries of progressive policies are public office holders and bureaucrats.

Time is limited so let me just touch on a handful of specific policies that hurt all Americans yet have their most devastating impact upon those on the lower rungs of the economic ladder.  These are policies that combine into a toxic cocktail that erodes social structure, lowers expectations, diminishes opportunity and breeds disrespect for life.  This inevitably leads down a path of dangerous and destructive behavior.

Monopoly Schools
It is a given that education and material success go hand in hand.  However, it is not for a want of funding that public schools are failing our kids.  Zip code monopoly schools, that are staffed by tenured union employees, breed complacency and arrogance.  We must introduce free market competition into the education system to allow parents to effectively shop for the best education options for their children.  This can be accomplished through state and private scholarships that empower parents of all means to participate in the educational market.

In 1965 Daniel Patrick Moynihan foresaw a coming crisis in Black America.  He noted that one-in-four African American children were born outside of wedlock.  I don’t think that it is necessary to recount the innumerable advantages that accrue to children who grow up in intact, two parent households.  However, since 1965 the birthrate among non-married women has tripled.  Although, this is a society wide phenomenon, the non-married birthrate among Blacks and Hispanics is double to triple to that of Whites.  In large part this is attributable to welfare policies that penalize marriage and incentivize single motherhood.  We should look to find ways to assist the poor that do not discourage family formation.

Healthcare Regulation
Government meddling in the healthcare market, which began as far back as World War II, has made both insurance and treatment less accessible and less affordable.  The Affordable Healthcare Act has already begun to put upward pressure on pricing and to force some employers to drop coverage.  Sadly, when things are bad for society in general, they are only worse among its poorest.  During the recent healthcare debates a number of free market reforms were put forward but rejected.  I submit that these should be reconsidered to drive down healthcare costs and access for all including inner city poor.  These include:

1.       Direct individual ownership rather than employer supplied health insurance
2.       Ability to shop and purchase from out-of-state insurers
3.       Removal of coverage mandates so as to allow buyers to purchase low cost catastrophic coverage plans
4.       Tax deductable health savings accounts to enable patients to cover routine out-of-pocket costs

Corporate Income Tax
Corporations do not really pay taxes.  Corporate taxes simply increase the cost of goods produced and pass those costs on to consumers.  This has two negative effects for America’s disadvantaged:
1.       Increased costs reduce the buying power of their limited incomes.
2.       It depresses manufacturing job creation by making U.S. goods more expensive for the export market, thereby depressing job opportunities for urban workers

Minimum Wage Laws
Beyond classroom learning, urban kids need real world job experience, resume builders and valid references to advance in their working careers.  Minimum wage requirements along with payroll taxes often make hiring unskilled and untested young workers unaffordable for employers.  In many cases it is likely that these stepping stone jobs will go to illegal aliens working under the table.

The War on Drugs
No one can deny that drug abuse and addiction are deadly serious problems. However, the War on Drugs has proven to be ineffective in keeping drugs off the streets and out of kids’ hands.  Additionally, drug related arrests, prosecutions and incarceration have disproportionately fallen upon inner city minority youth.  This puts them on the path to a life of criminality and outside of mainstream careers.  Like Alcohol Prohibition before it, the War on Drugs has created a lucrative underground economy that enterprising criminals are eager to exploit. 

Repeal of the Federal Controlled Substances Act can open the door to sensible State and local oversight of drug policy.  This was the net effect of the repeal of the Volstead Act, which led to a mosaic of differing regulations from state to state and even from town to town.  This is what the founders had in mind when they called the various states “laboratories for democracy”.

Abortion on Demand
Nothing says that African American life is more disposable and worthless than the abortion epidemic in the Black community.  Alveda King has called the abortion industry “lynching in the womb”.  Pro-choice advocates have held up legalized abortion as a magic bullet that would help alleviate many social and economic ills that plague the African-American community.  It has turned out not to be magic, but simply a bullet for self inflicted African American genocide.  Over 14 million African American children have been aborted since Roe v. Wade.

The abortion rate among African American women is three times higher than that of the general population.  Since 1973 more African Americans have been killed by abortion than the total number of African American deaths from AIDS, violent crimes, accidents, cancer and heart disease combined.  This brings to fruition the racist vision of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret who wrote "We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities.  The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal.  We don't want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members."

Rev. Denise Walker, who operates a post-abortive healing ministry, put it squarely: “What the slave ships couldn’t do to us, what slavery itself couldn’t do to us, and what the Ku Klux Klan couldn’t do to us, abortion has accomplished.”

America’s founders envisioned a nation rooted in human freedom.  A nation where “all men are created equal” and “are endowed by their Creator with …unalienable Rights…Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”

The founders were not perfect men, and their actions often fell short of their lofty ideals.  Nonetheless, the American journey has been has been a pilgrimage to the land of the founders’ vision by abolishing slavery, overcoming Jim Crow and expanding voting rights to include women and young adults.

My prescription to my inner city brothers and sisters is the same that that I hold out for all Americans:

1.       Cherish life.  Protect and defend it.
2.       Embrace liberty.  It is only though liberty, through free thought, free expression and free markets that the human race will achieve broad based happiness and prosperity.

Therefore, escape  dependency on government and put your trust in your God, your family, your community and yourself to create a free, peaceful and prosperous America.

And while it is wonderful that a handful of African Americans have achieved phenomenal success in the fields of sports and entertainment, these gifted individuals are, as Charles Barkley puts it, “no role models”.  It is outside of the reach of all but the very gifted to earn a livelihood in these rarified pursuits. 

Therefore, I call upon a new generation of African American role models to step up to the plate to mentor at-risk youth.  These kids need to see and interact with successful Black professionals, businessmen, shopkeepers, tradesmen and contractors.  Voluntary mentoring, apprenticeships and internships can give kids hope and show them the lawful path up and out of the vicious cycle of poverty, despair and criminality. 

I know that I am the outsider here.  Perhaps that is why I was invited, to provide a libertarian, free market perspective.  I am honored and humbled to do so.  Still, I believe that with legal barriers broken down, the sky is the limit for all Americans.  I hope that young African Americans take heart in the fact that we have arrived a new day, where a Black family now lives in the White house, that opportunity is unlimited in the lawful free market.

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Paul Simon

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Two Percent Home

The 2 Percent Point of View

Welcome to the 2 Percent Point of View – a place for libertarian musings with a Jersey attitude.

Why 2 Percent? 
The Two percenter (a.k.a as Joe Siano, a.k.a Joey 2 Percent) is an erstwhile libertarian activist who twice stood as the Libertarian Party candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in central New Jersey.  On each occasion he amassed more than two and less than three percent of the vote, prompting a friend to label him a "Two Percenter" in the proud tradition of Hell's Angels 1%ers. 

The Soprano State where he resides is controlled by three types of politicians:  The Investigated, The Indicted and The Incarcerated.

Therefore J2P is not ashamed of his poll performance in this political sewer.   Like the Marines, Joe and the freedom lovers who supported him, are the few, the proud.  Ron Paul calls us “the remnant” that coterie of true believers who will save America.  Sam Adams nailed it when he said, “It does not take a majority to prevail... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.

Why Blog?
1.       Researching a topic and organizing your thoughts helps sharpen your thinking.
2.       Blogging “preaches to the choir” and helps to stiffen the resolve of like minded individuals
3.       It helps educate those who are new to the liberty movement
4.       It sends a message to The Man that we are watching and will not go away quietly

Enjoy!  Click here to view the full listing of articles.

Go back to:  2 Percenter Home      Article Archive

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Half the people are drowned and the other half are swimming in the wrong direction."  
- Paul Simon

The 2 Percenter Archive

The 2 Percenter Archive

Rothbard on Ireland and the Stateless Society - A St. Pat's Day Special        3/17/2015
President Nucky O                                                                                          3/3/2055
ISIS, Rabbinical Wisdom and Jihad Jujutsu                                                   2/24/2015
Piltdown, Polar Bears, Ponzi and Fiat Money                                                2/13/2015
Don't Cry For Christina, Argentina                                                                 1/26/2015
A Yuletide Meditation - The Miracle of Markets                                          12/26/2014
David, Absalom, Prosecutors and Cops                                                         12/12/2014
Beware of the White Democrats                                                                    11/30.2014
Liberty Uber Alles                                                                                         11/25/2014
Decision 2014 - Cosmetic Surgery                                                                11/17/2014
No Farms, No Food, No Logic                                                                       11/10/2014
Consent Withheld                                                                                          11/2/2014
Terms of Endearment                                                                                    10/30/2014
Where Do You Go To Go Galt?                                                                    10/16/2104
The Practical Anarchist Faces Unemployment                                              10/9/2014
Tax Collectors and Prostitutes                                                                        9/30/2014
The Laborers In The Vineyard - An Austrian Perspective                             9/21/2014
No Joke                                                                                                           9/17/2014
Are Goofy Ideas Racist?                                                                                 9/10/2104
In Heaven There Are No Jobs                                                                        9/6/2104
Blinded By (Pseudo) Science                                                                         9/1/2014
Ferguson - A Human Tragedy In Three And A Half Minutes                        8/29/2014
A Note From The Sports Desk                                                                        8/22/2014
The State (Huh - Good God Y'all) What Is It Good For?                               8/20/2014
Guns, Common Decency And Common Sense -  The Shaneen Allen Case   8/15/2014
Stay The Course, Mr. President                                                                       8/14/2014
A Day In Hollywood A Night In Vienna                                                        8/6/2014
Freedom Boot Camps: A Voluntary Middle Ground On Immigration           7/29/2014
D.C. Gun Ban Lifted                                                                                       7/28/2014
Ayn Rand - The Only Immigrant the Left Ever Hated                                   7/23/2104
Anarchist, Theist & A-hole                                                                             7/21/2014
Is The Democrat Party Changing Bases?                                                        7/15/2014
Comping America's Guests                                                                             7/12/2014
Is Death The Answer?                                                                                     7/10/2014
Blessed Are The Peacemakers                                                                        7/5/2014
Getting F***ed by Statists (Literally)                                                             6/25/2014
The Washington Redskins Settle Name Dispute!                                           6/21/2o14
The Producer and the Politician                                                                      6/20/2014
 Immigration, A Libertarian Case for Tariffs                                                  6/16/2014
 Donald, Adam, Milton & Will                                                                       6/14/2014
 Adam and Eve Visit Vienna                                                                          6/6/2014
 I Slob                                                                                                              6/4/2014
 The Separation of Marriage And State                                                          5/31/2014                          
The Lie of "Tax Expenditures"                                                                        5/29/2014
  Occupy the Tea Party                                                                                    5/27/2014
   God, Guns and Misplaced Faith                                                                   5/24/2014
   "Why Did You Make Sister Hit You?"                                                        5/19/2014
  The Flawed Legacies of Hamilton and Jefferson                                           5/15/2014
  How Socialism Makes You Stupid                                                                5/10/2014
  The Hook Up Truck                                                                                       5/2/2014
  Poking Holes in the "Anti-War" Left                                                             4/30/2014
 Cliven Bubdy - Sorting Through The Rubble                                                 4/26/2014

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"Half the people are stoned and the other half are waiting for the next election.
Half the people are drowned and the other half are swimming in the wrong direction."  
- Paul Simon