Brad Miller

Archive for April, 2012|Monthly archive page

Billionaire Mort Zuckerman Misses the Big Picture

In True nature of the State on April 24, 2012 at 1:21 am

Mort Zuckerman one of the top 200 richest men in the world and current editor of U.S. News and World Report has been painted by some conservatives as a liberal that has seen the light”. But has he?

Mort Zuckerman’s latest attack on the president’s policies occurred in an editorial in the U.S. News and World Report and was linked to on the DrugeReport last Friday.  http://www.usnews.com/opinion/mzuckerman/articles/2012/04/20/mort-zuckerman-president-obamas-economic-programs-have-failed.

In it he lambasted our current president’s economic policies and labels them a “Failure”. I agree with Mort on this point. Mort like a lot of Conservatives and every liberal do not get to the heart of what has been going wrong in the halls of Congress, in the Oval Office and the chambers of the Supreme court for the last 100 years. This is what Mort fails to realize is that the Collectivist Central Planning of Our economy and governing of Individual Behavior by all the previous administrations, along with the monopoly of the money supply and the setting of interest rates by the Federal Reserve and the endless wars overseas  has led us to the where we are today.

Mort’s failure to see that the Collectivist ideology that underpins the Entire U.S. Federal Government Budget is the ONLY REASON for the “Great Recession” that most of us are endruing today. (Around Washington D.C. there is no Recession.)  Instead of advocating for less Central Planning and Control by Politicians and Bureaucrats over the lives and wallets of individuals he advocates for more. Instead of Advocating for More Individual Liberty he Advocates for more Government Intervention.

Mort and his ilk are satisfied with the way the system works as a whole. Remember he wouldn’t be one of the richest men in the world if the “system” didn’t benefit him. All he wants to do is tweak the system not overhaul it. This goes for many conservatives as well who want to keep their social security and medicare, keep the war on Terror Rolling and keep Homeland Security “hunting terrorists” at home.

Mort does do an excellent in his article accurately describing the dismal economic picture in this country. He even looks deeper into the Labor Statistics than most media folks and gets it right when he says that unemployment is really closer to 15%. (That figure alone should be enough to see another indivduals sit in the Oval Office in November.)Mort also goes on to point out the unemployment rate for minorities a “liberal honey hole for votes” is incredibly high. Among hispanic teenagers the unemployment rate is 30.5% and among black teenagers it’s almost 40%. . But Mort fails to talk about how the minimum wage in particular has kept low skilled workers out of the work force and in fact was deliberately  designed to do so. He has in the past voted for politicians who supported the very policy that is keeping unskilled workers from entering the work force.

Mort goes on to lament the loss of  manufacturer jobs in this country. It’s no secret why people would want to manufacture overseas. Mort only sees how its the lower labor cost  that is “pulling” businesses off American shores. Which is  partially true. The truth is that the U.S. Federal Government is “pushing” businesses overseas to places like Mexico, Honduras, India and China because of the  EPA, FDA, OSHA, Labor Unions, Payroll Taxes, the uncertainty of Obamacare and the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Again Mort and his liberal and some many conservatives have voted to keep the politicians in Washington who do nothing except expand the very things that are destroying jobs in America.

The Payroll Tax in particular is an insidious impediment to job creation that Mort fails to attack. If businesses weren’t forced to pay for the retirement of current retirees out of their profits they would be able to hire more people immediately.. The cost of labor is higher in America because of GOVERNMENT and programs like Social Security.

Not only does Social Security hurt the hiring of new job seekers it kills the entrepreneurial spirit of the individuals who are working and makes sedentary those who have retired. Social Security was based upon the German model and was meant to “solidify” the nation and to make both young and old subservient to the State. That has been a huge success in this country. Look how the young are manipulated to vote for Politicians who promise to keep the payroll tax holiday if only the debt ceiling is increased.  The older folks don’t fare any better. Politicians are always using scare tactics to get them to vote for more and more Collectivist Politicians (Which is almost an oxymoron)  who will “shore up” Social Security so they won’t lose their benefits. It is just another lever used to move the populace to support the ever-increasing size of the State. Mort Fails to even mention this massive Ponzi Scheme or the Socialized Medicine of Medicare and Medicaid that we suffer under today. He lets down those who love liberty by not realizing  how much these types of Calcifiying Collectivist Programs  cost us all in innovation, entrepreneurship and preventing all of us from living life to the fullest.

The corporate income tax, the crushing business regulations, the payroll tax, and the minimum wage, the looming Obamacare; are all an impediment to running a successful business in America but so is  level of intelligence and skill of the average American Worker. This  plays a huge role in determining how much value an employee can offer to an employer.  Mort  doesn’t even think to indict the American Public School system as one of the main reasons why there isn’t a more robust and vibrant economy here in America. Everywhere that government intervenes the citizens loses. The Public School System in America is no different. It was based upon the Bismark model which was implemented during the Industrial Revolution in Germany. The Public School system in America was designed to create non-thinking, obedient, and easily led individuals. And that is exactly what we have today in America. A Free Market Requires Free Minds (a nod to Reason magazine), not automitons.

What is needed to revitalize the economy is to end the monopoly of the Public School system and let parents with the child’s input direct his or her education. If there was a free market in Education there would be as many different types of schools as there are places to shop. You would have the massive low-cost big boxes and the small high-end boutique schools. There would be specific schools for specific subjects just like there are stores that just sell camping equipment or building supplies. Only when a free market in education is allowed  would we see the one million new businesses created each year instead of the 400,000 that we currently have.  The Public School system has taught individuals to embrace the entitlement mentality not the entrepreneurship attitude which is needed to create for them personal prosperity which in turn would create an increased standard of living for all.

Mort at least is no fan of the Stimulus Packag or at least the White House’s stimulus plan. He accurately labels it as useless. But again he is blind to the underlying ideology behind the bailouts. In fact at the end of his piece he goes so far as to advocate for the “investing” in  infrastructure. That is always a code world for massive government spending. This goes counter to his indictment in the very same article of the Stimulus “Shovel Ready” Program of the White House.  Mort doesn’t see that the  problem isn’t the specific policies of the White House but the underlying ideology which has been the bedrock of this country’s laws for the last 100 years. Government spending will never stimulate the economy. If it did the Soviet Union would rule the world by now, Cuba would not be instituting Free Market Reforms and Venezuela, an oil rich country, would not have frequent rolling power blackouts.

Mort is worth over $2 billion. I’m not sure what his angle is here. He is currently in the business to increase sales of  U.S. News and World Report. Maybe he just wants to sell more magazines or maybe he genuinely wants to see the economy improve. His failing like a lot conservatives  to see that the politicians that he’s voted for in the past have passed laws based upon the same Ideology that the current administration’s policies are based upon which he labels in his article as “failures”. Mort should label Collectivism in any form no matter who is the “benevolent dictator” implementing it, as an Ideology of Failure, Misery and Poverty. In his Article Mort never even speaks about Individual Liberty, Private Property, auditing the Fed, ending the wars around the world, ending the U.S. Military’s mission as the overseer of the world, or ending the devastating war against freedom being waged at home by the DEA, Homeland Security, the FDA and the EPA. I’m not sure what he believes.

Murray Rothbard described the philosophical political spectrum as a ladder; with Liberty as the top of the ladder and Collectivism as the bottom rung. Our job who love liberty he said was to help others up that ladder, and if you just helped a person up one rung that was worth the effort. Mort Zuckerman maybe is taking his first steps up that ladder from the bottom rung of Collectivism. My only hope is that continues on his journey until he fully embraces the Freedom Philosophy and blessings of the Free Market.

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” Buddha
My only motive for writing this and any of my posts is to live as free as possible.  In order to do that I need others to want to be free as well so they will no longer support the Collectivst State that destroys Liberty.  Individuals when left to pursue their own rational self-interest while living under a Government that respects their natural rights will produce in abundance food, energy, clothing, entertainment, and things yet unimagined. People argue that this idea is a “Liberty Utopia” and it is just as farcical as  “Collectivist Liberal Utopia”. I would just ask them if they would rather have lived in the United States in the 1950’s (even though it was flawed) or in the USSR during that same time.

There will never be a perfect anything in this world. That doesnt’ mean that there isn’t an enormous difference between living mostly free and living mostly unfree. That is why it is imperative that every individual on Earth to not only desire to be free but to be working towards becoming more free everyday. Human beings throughout history, have when given small amounts of liberty  accomplished amazing things. Just imagine if everyone on Earth went up just one rung on the scale of Liberty and as a result supported less Collectivist Government, which meant less Politicians and Bureaucrats with the power to menace our Life, Liberty and Property. With less Government, Society which is the Private Sector is free to grow. If Mort Zuckerman wants to see “jobs” return to America he needs to first get rid of all remnants of collectivist Thought in this own mind and then use the U.S. News and World Report to campaign for the ending of all Collectivist based Laws in this country and around the world.

Brad Miller

AdvocateofLiberty and Searching for the Truth

Are you Pro-Peace or Pro-War?

In True nature of the State on April 19, 2012 at 12:16 am

ARE YOU PRO-PEACE OR PRO-WAR?

This is a question not only every politician should have to answer but also every American should ask themselves. 

Most Americans would answer that question by saying that in their daily lives they are Pro-Peace and as a corollary they would agree that Force should only be used to defend a person’s life or Property. Why is it then when these same Americans whose daily lives are built upon Peaceful interactions with their fellow human beings vote for politicians who are anything but  Pro-Peace,  and committed to being Pro-War?

Everyone around the world is just trying to live the best they can. That includes those folks in this country who not only advocate for Collectivism but also advocate for war. In this country the citizens who advocate for war overseas and “Obamacare” at home really believe that this is the best way to better their own lives and the lives of their families.

To subsist to better one’s condition to bring up a family are not affairs of time, or place, or taste, or opinion, or choice, they are the daily constant and unavoidable concerns of all men at all times and in all countries” Frederic Bastiat

There are only two ways to gain what you desire in this world, that is from free and voluntary exchange or by appropriating it from others force. Those who are Pro-Peace believe in their own lives and for others around the world believe in free trade, those who are Pro-War believe in forcibly taking what another has produced by force or as Bastiat called it “spoliation” or “plunder”.

Man can gain by production or by theft. If he produces and voluntarily exchanges with others that is an act of Peace, when he waits for someone else to produce and then steals that production from him, that is an acts of war.  Collectivism is an ideology based upon the plunder of the production of others, whether it is at home or abroad. I would say 99% of the world live their daily lives in Peace with the individuals they come in contract with on a regular basis. Why should the interaction between groups of individuals called “nations” be anything different?

Think about the billions of peaceful transactions that occur on a daily basis. Think about all the products and services that are produced and purchased by others everyday without the threat of force or fraud. The great majority of people on Earth want to trade squarely with people. The Golden Rule is not some supernatural law. It is grounded in simple Human Physics. If an individual wants to thrive in a society the best way to do that is to live “honestly” with the other folks he comes into contact with. Other wise he would lose the trust of his neighbors, his reputation would suffer and no one would want to trade with him.

But unfortunately the politicians in this world are anything but honest. They lie, steal, cheat and murder on a regular basis.  No other entity on Earth except Government can get away with constantly violating the Natural Rights of individuals.  The question is why do the majority of people accept this unacceptable behavior? It is because the majority of people in this country receive some form of redistributive benefit from government. Couple this redistribution of wealth with the lies of the politicians and war profiteers about the imaginary enemies abroad you begin to see why there is a war at home between citizens who are the taxpayers and the tax consumers and why the United States Federal Government has cart blanche to go to war without restrictions abroad.

If we take Lysander’s Spooner’s definition of War; than anyone who uses force to exact the fruits of the labor of another individual is at war with that individual. That is exactly what the ideology of Collectivism is based upon, the forcible redistribution of wealth from some to benefit others. And it’s always done by force. Whether that redistribution of wealth done at a barrel of a gun is done on U.S. soil or in the Middle East.

Social Security and Medicare are in essence declarations of war. These programs were sold to the American people shrouded in lies like most of the wars the politicians and war profiteers have dragged this country into.  Americans were told back in the 1930’s that Social Security was needed badly to help out a few Seniors. It was sold as an “old age insurance” that would only help a few. Now the program encompasses every working individual, its been proven to be a Ponzi Scheme and worst of all  you can’t opt out of it. The full force of the Federal Government is used to keep everyone chained to the system.  Current workers are forced to support current retirees.

This is an act of war. It is spoliation. It is the plundering of one generation by another. What is even more insidious is that more and more is being borrowed by the Federal Government which is stealing yet more from the as yet unborn generations. The National Debt is a war on the FUTURE prosperity, peace and freedom of Americans yet unborn. What is the sad truth is that people will continue to vote for these collectivist, promising something for nothing, war mongering politicians right up to the point when the Feds come into their homes and put them in physical chains.

In a poll I think it was done last year, Teaparty members  were asked about National Debt and what should be done with the out of control spending in Washington. They all of course said they wanted to cut Federal Spending but surprisingly 65% didn’t want their entitlements – or what could be termed spoils of war cut. That is the hook that gets people to continue to vote for Pro-War politicians and keeps the battle between groups of individuals brewing at home.

And it is because of this domestic war waged in which  citizen  is pitted against citizen, that politicians who support and gin up war overseas are continued to be elected year after year. Political campaigns have even stooped so low as to send out flyers to Seniors saying that if they voted for the other candidate they would lose their social security. So no matter what plans this politican had for wars overseas it mattered not, as long as he didn’t cut seniors social security he would have their support. The same thing is done to garner votes for any program in which the government violently extracts wealth from some and delivers to the pockets of others.

This is another reason why all the talk about the Federal Government rests upon the consent of the governed is ridiculous.  So many people gain their sustenance from the Federal Teat, that they will support any Pro-War candidate even if they themselves are Pro-Peace, as long as the politician doesn’t end their “Entitlement” or reduce their “piece of the plundered pie”.  .That is why most people are going to voting for two candidates this November who are indistinguishable in their foreign policy and both will keep the entitlement programs as they currently stand.

(Now there are two Politicians running for President who do have a very different take on Foreign Policy and I would call both of them Pro-Peace, they are former Governor Gary Johnson running on the Libertarian ticket and Ron Paul who is seeking the Republican Nomination.)

Currently Mitt Romney and President Obama who are the two men Americans will be voting for to fill the White House are both Pro-War and Collectivists. They believe in redistribution of wealth at home and using the threat of violence and the use of physical violence against the government and the people of other nations who do not submit to their “plans”.  They both believe that the United States Federal Government’s Department of “Peace”, I mean the Department of “War”, I mean to say the Department of Defense has the responsibility for “protecting American interests” overseas and defending our security abroad, and making the world safe for Democracy.” Which in reality means putting into place politicians in governments around the world who will comply with their collectivist schemes which benefits the few at the expense of the many.

This is also the same rhetoric used to gin up support for WWI almost a hundred years ago. But this war like most wars by the United States of America so that a few would profit while every else paid the price. The true reason why the United States went to war in Europe in 1917 was to ensure that the billions of dollars that the French and English owed to American Bankers, Arms Manufacturers and other War Profiteers was paid back. Those in power knew that if the Germans won they were not going to settle the Allies debts with American interests. So when you hear Mitt Romney or our current president speak of defending American interests around the world think about the interest that were defended by the dough boys who were sent to the meat grinder of trench warfare in Europe so politicians and those who profit from war didn’t take a loss.

Check out Smedley Butler’s excellent pamphlet of “War is a Racket” to read his account of who profits and pays for war. http://archive.org/details/WarIsARacket

Mitt Romney advocates for an “American Century” in which he tells us “It is only  American power—conceived in the broadest terms—that can provide the foundation for an international system that ensures the security and prosperity of the United States and our friends and allies”  That is classic Collectivist Thinking. For those who love Liberty and Peace the only “international system” that can ensure our security and prosperity is FREE TRADE. That is because as Bastiat wrote “Where goods fail to cross borders, troops soon will”.

It is only through the “Spontaneous Order” of the Market where free people are free to exchange with one another regardless of their geographical location will usher in not an “American Century” but the “Century of Individual Liberty and Prosperity”. A century in which for the next hundred years everyone no matter where they live on Earth lives in Peace and is secure in keeping what he produces so that he can freely trade with other s to increase and sustain his life. This is the best chance for the 7 billion people on Earth to have the best chance at not living the “American Dream” but living their own individual dream and pursuing their own definition of happiness.

The system Mitt Romney proposes to defend and the one our current president defends with the  blood and stolen tax dollars of individuals in the United States, is in fact a system that would not and could not exist without the Trillion dollar military budget used to force others around the world to comply Central Plans from Washington D.C. This international System he speaks of is the International Banking system, the multi-national corporations who go into the third world and use the United States Military to enter markets that would other wise be too hostile for them or too risky to allow them to invest in those nations and reap the huge profits, and this is all done with the aid of the military-security-intelligence industrial complex that is currently funded at over a TRILLION DOLLARS per year. And of all these groups lobby incessantly to ensure tax payer dollars are funneled either directly to them or redirected in ways that ensures the current “International System” continues so they continue to profit at the expense of the many.

Both the current president and Mitt Romney fail to heed Admiral Mullen’s testimony he gave before Congress in 2009 when he spoke about the greatest threat to the people of the United States of America. He did not say it was the destabilization of the “international system”, or terrorists or a nuclear Iran, or an undpredicatable North Korea or a belligerent Russia or China. He told Congress that the greatest threat to the Security of the United States of America is the National Debt which currently stands at a mind-blowing 15.7 trillion dollars. http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Check out this link to Zerohedge to get an idea of what a trillion dollars of hundred-dollar bills looks like: http://www.zerohedge.com/article/what-does-trillion-dollars-look-0

And don’t forget that those trillions of dollars has ended up in someone’s pocket.

Those who profit from war will always use whatever means possible to exaggerate and create enemies around the world. In an article on Huffington Post written right after Bin Laden was “killed” the experts quoted in the article urged the American people not to support cuts to the intelligence budget. One of the experts was a  former Pentagon official who guess what was then working for a defense contractor who “sells products and services to the  intelligence community, and the other expert was a former politician looking to gin up support for a re-election bid. Both of them wanted to ensure that the taxpayers weren’t so naive as to think intelligence spending could be cut and that great threats against the U.S. citizenry still exists. Everyone acts with self-interest in mind but the problem arises when they use the force of Government to extract what they desire from their hands who have peacefully produced it. This article is the perfect illustration of  how the “profiteers” of war collude with politicians to keep the taxpayer dollars flowing their way.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/24/budget-cuts-cia_n_866055.html

The article is also an indictment of the media in which they fuel the terrorist and war hysteria so they can sell their product. Newspapers, politicians and other War-Profiteers benefit from a frightened populace and that is another reason why no matter who is in the White House wars of aggression continue overseas.

President Obama the current resident in the White House is just as enamored with war as his challenger Mitt Romney. He like Romney supports even tougher sanctions on Iran and both pledge to keep Iran from getting a Nuclear Weapon. Make no mistake about it Sanctions are an act of war. And because of the seriousness of these actions by our politicians it would seem that your chances of being killed by an Iranian Nuke today must be very high. But in reality the odds of you being killed by a Iranian Nuke today is ZERO!!! They don’t have one and it looks like they won’t for years. And even if they did do you think anyone in the Iranian Government is crazy enough to detonate a Nuclear Bomb inside of another country? They are fully aware of the hell that would be unleashed if they used a nuclear device. Iran would no longer be inhabitable after the retaliatory nuclear strike from the United States War Department. This view is backed up by A former Israeli Mossad official recently came out and said that the leadership of Iran was “rational”. http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7401417n So let’s not vote for folks who have their finger on the trigger when it comes to Iran. They are simply not an imminent threat. This goes for North Korea as well.

For me Iran’s and North Korea’s military capabilities are summed up best by the scene in Iron Man II, when Tony Stark is testifying before a Senate Subcommittee. Heading the hearing is  Gary Shandling who plays the arrogant pompous power mad senator perfectly. Gary Shandling’s character wants to take the Iron Man Suit because he fears the technology is being developed by North Korea and Iran. Tony refutes the Senators claims by taking over a display monitor. He hacks into it and shows camera footage of the Iranian and North Korean tests of their versions of the Iron Man suit. The attempts by the weapons researchers of the “Axis of Evil”  are laughable, ineffective, and years away from being a threat to anyone except  those who are performing the tests.  The failed North Korean rocket launch recently is a perfect example of this.

With our current president’s lust for war you would think his “anti-war” constituents would be up in arms with the wars he is waging overseas. But they are silent  because they and the current president both belong to the left side of the Governmental War party. As long as he continues to increase the emollients to the masses he can go to war overseas against whom ever he wants to. He sells these “overseas contingencies” and the assassination of individuals overseas as a means of spreading  “democracy”, or making it safe to deliver “humanitarian aid”. He has taken the U.S. to war against the Libyan government, against rebels in Uganda, funded the insurgency in Syria, killed hundreds of civilians in drone strikes inside of Pakistan and has escalated the unending United States war on drugs in Central and South America. And yet the “anti-war” folks are silent.

Where is Code Pink and the other so-called “Anti-War” groups?  They were just anti-Bush, or anti-Republican or stated differently, they just wanted their Pro-War President in Office. That is one reason why I don’t like the moniker “Anti-War”. It brings to mind those groups who are only against specific wars and not Pro-Peace. Another reason I don’t like the label of being “anti-war” is that it argues the issue on the Collectivists  and War Mongers terms and not upon the side of Liberty and Peace Instead of having them debate why they are not “Pro-Peace” many who love liberty instead debate from the side of being “Anti-War”.

Ninety-nine point nine percent of the population on Earth want to live free and peacefully. It is only when Politicians and War Profiteers get together and use propaganda and fear coupled with government giveaways are they able to gin up support or induce apathy in the American people so wars of aggression continue overseas. The more Collectivism is embraced at home the more “sedated” the American people will become to the true cost of war overseas. http://costofwar.com/en/

The Freedom Philosophy or Individualism, or the idea of individual Liberty is all based upon Peaceful principles. As Leonard Read wrote that the Freedom Philosophy can be summed up as simply “Anything Peaceful.” Ayn Rand’s definition of a man’s sphere of action in society is that he was free to do what he likes but that he doesn’t have  a right to initiate force against another human being. That is simple. Lysander Spooner wrote that a man need only do three things to live at peace with his neighbor and that is  “Deal with others honestly, hurt no one and give each person their due (he was referring to fulfilling voluntary contracts). He called this the basis of Natural Justice. When Governments wage wars overseas they lie, they kill and maim, and they violate they seize property of those overseas and at home to benefit the few at the expense of the many..

Our job who Love Liberty is to counter the War-Mongering propaganda which we are all  inundated with today with the Pro-Peace Message and not the Anti-War message. I am Pro-Peace. That is my position. I want to live in Peace. I want to see the most people on Earth living Peacefully with one another. Wars in Iraq. Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Uganda and God only knows where else the Guardians of the State are shedding blood, are ginned up by politicians and war profiteers who are not Pro-Peace but Pro-War.

Let us not forget that there was no armament industry in the United States until after WWII. And it wasn’t a standing army, or massive military-intelligence complex that won WWII. It was the factories of the private sector which went from making cars and washing machines to making tanks and machine guns that won the war. It was the wealth created by the Free Market under peaceful conditions that allowed for the “ploughshares” to be turned into “swords

War is terrible. That can not be said enough. But what is almost never spoken of is the blessings of Peace. What happen to “Blessed be the Peace Makers”? Peace is when individuals do not initiate force against another individual. It’s that simple

Being Pro-Peace doesn’t mean Anti-Defense. On the contrary if you are Pro-Peace you are Pro-Self Defense. If you believe that God has endowed you with certain inalienable rights, then you also believe that you have the right to defend your life, liberty and property from those who violently violate those rights. Self defense is a God-given right. The second Amendment doesn’t grant us the right to bear arms. It is an admonition to the United States Federal Government that they shall make no laws infringing upon that right.

Today those in Power continue to label those who desire peace as “ignorant” or “callous” by the left and “unpatriotic” and “naive” by the right. It’s funny how the two parties claim to be so different when in reality they both justify the increase of the State’s power because they and their friends benefit from its growth.

As Murray Rothbard wrote “power is acquired to accumulate wealth”. That should not be forgotten. I am Pro-Peace because I am truly amazed at what individuals can accomplish when they are free to pursue their definition of happiness. Man can either trade or steal to sustain his life. If you are Pro-Peace you want to be voluntarily trade with others to improve and increase your life and you want everyone else free in the world to do the same. A system of peaceful trade doesn’t require a trillion-dollar budget to “enforce”. It occurs spontaneously when people are secure in their property and are free to trade with others of their choosing.  Your life is not improved by the Politicians and War Profiteers wage wars against people around the world or at home.  In fact you are less safe, you are less prosperous and you are less free  when State goes to War.

Brad Miller

AdvocateofLiberty and Peace

Freedom in Film Friday: District B-13

In Freedom in Films Friday, True nature of the State on April 13, 2012 at 2:00 am

District B-13 is not an alien movie like District 9. Instead it is a 2004 French Film which reminds us that any government today against its own citizens just like the Nazis perpetrated agaisnt the Jews during WWII.

I give District B-13  “3.5 beacons of Liberty out of five”. It has a great message about the evil that government will perpetrate against its own people. And that by exposing the dastardly plans of the politicians lives can be saved.

District B-13 is the name of the inner city slum near Paris that has been walled off by the French Government.  It is an inner city war zone, where the drug dealers have taken over and all government presence has fled including the police. The innocent civilians are left in there with the drug dealers to fend for themselves.

One Resident Leito, played by one of the founders of Parkour, is a vigilante defending his building in District B-13 against Taha the local drug kingpin. The movie starts with Leito flushing down 2o kilos of Taha’s coke. Needless to say Taha doesn’t take too kindly to the destruction of his property and kidnaps Leito’s sister in retaliation.

Using awesome Parkour moves Leito infiltrates Taha’s lair, rescues his sister and escapes with Taha’s men in hot pursuit. Leito and his sister make it to the police station in the wall separating B-13 from the rest of Paris. There they hope to have the cops arrest Taha. But instead the cop in charge arrests Leito and allows Taha to take his sister back into District B-13.

Now fast forward six months later. Our hero is still in jail but guess what the Government now needs him to lead an undercover cop back into to District B-13 to retrieve a stolen neutron bomb.  Capt Damien and undercover cop is ordered by Kruger the Secretary of Defense to pose as a fellow prisoner, gain Leito’s trust, break him out of a prison van and convince him guide him to the bomb inside of District B-13. Now whenever there is a bomb in the movie you know there is a countdown too. Damien only has twenty-four hours to find the him find the Neutron Bomb before it blows.

Leito is reluctant to help find the bomb at first because all he wants to do is find his sister. But after some cool fight scenes against Taha’s men he decides to help Damien find the bomb. They actually give themselves up so they have access to Taha’s lair. Inside they begin to negotiate with Taha so they can disarm the bomb. But Taha wants 20 million dollars or he will take the Bomb into Paris and leave it to go off. So Damien calls Kruger to wire the money to Taha’s account. Kruger tells him no deal.

Damien pretends the wire has gone through. This gives Damien and Leito time to escape to go and disarm the bomb before Taha realizes the rouse. Taha is hoisted on his own petard when his men turn on him. They kill him after his accountant announces that the government used the information he provided for the wire that never happened, allowed the government to wipe out all his bank accounts.  His second in command and the rest of his crew fill him full of holes.

Leito and Damien are stopped by Taha’s second in command in front of the building that has the bomb on the roof. But he lets them go inside. In order to get to the elevator they must fight a huge guy named Yeti. It’s a well choreographed fight scene where they work together to defeat the bigger man. Leito and Damien then scale the exterior of an exposed elevator shaft to the top of the building. On the roof is the bomb and Leito’s sister. She has tipped over a gas can and is about to light the pool of gas under the rocket with the Neutron Bomb on it when Leito grabs the match out of her hand.

Now the ending of this film puts a cool twist on the old “disarm the bomb” before the counter hits zero cliché.  (spoiler alert). This is the best part of the film Instead of the movie ending with Damien heroically entering the code as the timer strikes zero the filmmakers put a new twist on the cliché “bomb disposing scene”. The heroes actually fight each other as the timer ticks down.

When they reach the bomb it is rapidly ticking down… and Damien calls Kruger for the disarm code. The Secretary of Defense confirms that the bomb is still inside District B-13 before he gives the code to Damien. As Damien is entering the code onto the  warhead’s key pad, Leito grows suspicious.The code is made up of the area codes for District B-13, the next set of numbers are the date and  final part of the code is B13.

Leito tries to tell Damien that the code is not to disarm the bomb but to detonate it. He tells him the bomb was not stolen. Earlier in Taha’s warehouse they saw the transport van the neutron bomb had been in when it was stolen and there were no signs of forced entry. It was allowed to be stolen.

Leito tells him that they bomb is meant to level District B-13. Damien being a guardian of the State can’t believe it.

“They would not kill 2 million people.”

Leito in return utters the best line in the movie when he tells him that

“6 million people were killed for not having blonde hair and blue eyes.”

Damien still doesn’t believe him and a cool fight ensues where Leito is trying to keep Damien from entering the code on the bomb’s keypad.   The timer continues to tick down. And with only seconds left Damien gets free, he charges for the key pad on the warhead and is about to put in the last of the code when Leito’s sister grabs him from behind and they both fall to the ground. All three watch as the timer hits zero. But there is no explosion;  Leito was right.

The code was the detonation code.   Leito  and Damien take the warhead to the office of Kruger the Secretary of Defense who planned the mission and they set the neutron bomb on his desk.  Damien uses the bomb to get Krueger to confess to his murderous plan.

Kruger “District B-13 is out of control. The taxpayer’s are scared and sick of paying for it”. “It’s Undemocratic but solves the Problem.”

Damien “Not for you”. He puts in the last of the code but it doesn’t go off. (He must have disarmed it earlier the film isn’t clear on that.)

Damien ” Violence isn’t the only way to solve problems. There are democratic ways.”

He then he points out the window to a t.v. crew filming and that recorded and broadcasted his confession to all the t.v. channels.  So in the end the Government official gets his due.

During the resolution Damien  tells Leito at the resolution of the film that the wall will come down on Monday. Leito’s is still skeptical but Damien assures him that he will make sure they keep their word. (Have you ever met a politician who did?

Overall a fun moving with lots of free running, hand to hand fights, some gun play and a lot of cool stunts.

I didn’t give District B-13 a higher rating than “3.5 Beacons of Liberty out of 5” because the filmmakers fail to grasp the inherent Collectivist Nature of “Democracy”.

The filmmakers put their faith in “Democracy” instead of individual Liberty. They do a great job showing the violent nature of the state but fail to realize that it was the “Democratic Process” which caused the walling off of the slums in the first place. If it weren’t for Drug Prohibition the gangs would not have any funding. If it was not for Public Schools the children would have  places to learn because of the Spontaneous Order of the Free Market. When individuals forget that they and everyone else have a God-given Right to their Life, Liberty and Property the Government becomes and instrument of plunder and murder.

That is the main fault I find with the Film as far as the freedom angle is concerned.  I liked how they portrayed the callousness of the politician towards the 2 million people walled inside of District B-13 and how the State was willing to sacrifice one of their “Loyal Servants”, Damien, in order to carry out their dastardly plan. The walling off of District B-13 is  an illusion to the “walling off of the ghettos” of Warsaw by the Nazis in the 40’s. There the Nazis killed tens of thousands of Jews, used the ghetto as a staging point for the deportation of thousands more to the gas chambers, and eventually razed it to the ground when some of the Jewish prisoners revolted against the Nazi murderers. This is what the filmmakers remind us of when the politicians are willing to “raze” District B-13 to the ground to solve their “problem”.

It amazes me how easily human beings forget the terrible things politicians, bureaucrats, police and soldiers have done in the past and how easily they now swallow the tripe of the current political class who prattle on about  how their plans will create a utopia on Earth . The politicians today convince the people that their brand of “collectivism” will work becuase they are the one’s at the helm. But all the Socialist, Fascist, Communists Schemes are all based upon the same ideology of Collectivism. That ideology is not based upon the  Natural Rights of Individuals but on the whim and brute force of the Majority.  Kruger, the Defense Secretary, is willing to kill two million people who are deemed undesirable so the rest of the “socialistic” system of France can continue on. That is the definition of “Democracy”.

This is the same mentality that led to the 170 million citizens of collectivists countries being slaughtered by their own governments last century.

The film also highlights how government intervention as Mises wrote never accomplishes what it sets out to accomplish. And that every government intervention instead of solving the original problem creates more problems and leads to more and more intervention. The final government intervention in the lives of the residents of District B-13 is to wipe them off the face of the Earth. Central Planners can’t plan their own lives let alone anyone elses. When they try they have to use force to make people conform to their plans. And when people fail to conform to their plans they kill them.  All government action rests upon the threat or use of force.

Overall the film was very enjoyable. It reminded me a lot of a French Jackie Chan movie. If you like Parkour, a.k.a  Free Running, you’ll love this movie because there is a ton of it, the actor playing Leito is one of the founders of  Parkour and the actor playing Damien is an accomplished  Free Runner as well.  The pacing of the film is great, there is never a slow spot with  plenty of action and cool stunts and a great twist ending I would defnitely recommend this film, to those who love action movies and love Liberty.

If you are looking for a fun action film that reminds you that the your government today can kill millions of individuals just like the Nazis killed during  WWII, then check out “District B-13” which I give “3.5 Beacons of Liberty out of Five”.

Brad Miller

AdvocateofLiberty and Learning Lessons from the Past

Give your Consent or Pledge your Allegiance: Either way the State Wins – and You Lose

In FreedomLand, Liberty, True nature of the State on April 11, 2012 at 3:05 am

“Your silence gives consent. ” Plato

Just because you live in a country does that mean you’ve consented to everything the Government of that country has done or is doing? When you say the pledge of Allegiance are you pledging to uphold the ideals of Liberty, Peace and Free Trade or are you pledging your loyalty to an entity that Lies, Steals and Kills on a regular basis?

Consent.(Synonym: Acquiesce): To give assent or approval

I’m sure you’ve heard of Government resting on the “consent of the Governed”. I think that is a theory created to justify the existence of tyrants in the past and our current over bloated, over regulating, war machine of a Federal Government in the present. I like the phrase “acquiescence of the governed” to more accurately describe what is happening in this country. Most individuals including myself acquiesce to the power of the State and more accurately the power of the shifting majority whose only purpose is to extract wealth from some individuals and give it to others. If there was no government force or just extremely limited government force which adhered to the Constitutional limits based upon the principles of Natural Rights, then everyone who believed in Liberty would “Consent” to that type of Government. But why would anyone who loves freedom give his consent or pledge his allegiance to the current Federal Government which flaunts the Constitution and denies even the existence of the concept of Natural Rights?

“No attempt or pretence, that was ever carried into practical operation amongst civilized men — unless possibly the pretence of a “Divine Right,” on the part of some, to govern and enslave others — embodied so much of shameless absurdity, falsehood, impudence, robbery, usurpation, tyranny, and villany of every kind, as the attempt or pretence of establishing a government by consent, and getting the actual consent of only so many as may be necessary to keep the rest in subjection by force. Such a government is a mere conspiracy of the strong against the weak. It no more rests on consent than does the worst government on earth” Lysander Spooner

Now if you still feel that you haven’t given  your consent to the State , it reminds you that you have an obligation to be loyal to the it because it protects you from other Governments around the world.  This is by the way the basis for the “Social Contract” theory that is bandied about by liberal pundits across the airwaves and college campuses. It states that individuals freely give up certain rights in order to be protected and taken care of by the state. This is not a new idea. It’s as old as Feudalism. And today that ancient concept of Feudalism is mixed with a healthy dose of “patriotism”.

Allegiance:  The obligation of a feudal vassal to his feudal leige.

(or) The fidelity owed by a subject or a citizen to a sovereign or state.

Now, when you say the pledge of Allegiance do you know who the authored the words you are mindlessly repeating? It was written by a Socialist Flag salesman looking to gin up flag sales to schools. And by the way the “Under God” part was added decades later. Did you also know that the original salute while people said the Pledge not a hand over their heart but an outstreched arm.  You maybe familiar with this gesture, it’s not because you have done it but because it was the salute adopted by the Nazis as back in the 1930’s. There is actually a picture of Woodrow Wilson giving what would today be described as a “Nazi Salute” while saying the pledge with school children. My refusal to say the pledge is not because of its origins but for the words that constitute it. I don’t say the pledge because my allegiance is not to a Flag or to a Non-existent Republic, my allegiance is to the Natural Law. Stated differently I belive that I have the God-given right to pursue my definition of happiness as long as I don’t interfere with the equal liberty of others. Why would I “pledge” my allegiance to the State which violates my Natural Rights and limits my peaceful pursuit of happiness and those of millions of others here at home and around the world?

Government is meant to protect all individuals life, liberty and property and no one man or collection of men should be able to violate the Natural Rights of a single individual even if the entire population is against him. That is what Government is meant to be, a night-watchman, instituted to carry out the Natural Right of Each individual to protect his life and property.  But what we have today is not a protector of our Natural Rights but a violator of them.  I myself look forward to the day when everyone pledges their allegiance not to nations or States but to themselves and the upholding of the principles of Natural Rights as inalienable for every individual on Earth.

“When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion — when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing — when you see money flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors — when you see that men get richer by graft and pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you — when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice — you may know that your society is doomed.” Ayn Rand

I don’t think we are doomed. I am an optimist and everything that man has done was done because of his thoughts. Our job is to educate ourselves about the blessings of Liberty, incorporate that into our thoughts, words and deeds and share with others the slice of the truth that we’ve discovered.

Lysander Spooner in his essay “No Treason” does a beautiful job eliminating any pretense to the idea of consent of the minority being ruled by the majority. His take is that not  no “contract” is valid unless two parties agree to it VOLUNTARILY. And this alone is what destroys the statists’ idea of “Social Contract Theory”. That is because I can not forego my end of the “Social Contract” by refusing to pay my taxes or more accurately defend my property as its being stolen every two weeks out of my paycheck, without the Police Power of the State being used to punish me until I submit. This is the Concept of not “Consent of the Governed” but “Acquiescence of the Governed”.

http://lysanderspooner.org/node/44

“In truth, in the case of individuals, their actual voting is not to be taken as proof of consent, even for the time being. On the contrary, it is to be considered that, without his consent having ever been asked, a man finds himself environed by a government that he cannot resist; a government that forces him to pay money, render service, and forego the exercise of many of his natural rights, under peril of weighty punishments. He sees, too, that other men practise this tyranny over him by the use of the ballot. He sees further that, if he will but use the ballot himself, he has some chance of relieving himself from this tyranny of others, by subjecting them to his own. In short, he finds himself, without his consent, so situated that, if he use the ballot, he may become a master; if he does not use it, he must become a slave. And he has no other alternative than these two. In self-defence, he attempts the former. His case is analogous to that of a man who has been forced into battle, where he must either kill others, or be killed himself. Because, to save his own life in battle, a man attempts to take the lives of his opponents, it is not to be inferred that the battle is one of his own choosing. Neither in contests with the ballot — which is a mere substitute for a bullet — because, as his only chance of self-preservation, a man uses a ballot, is it to be inferred that the contest is one into which he voluntarily entered; that he voluntarily set up all his own natural rights, as a stake against those of others, to be lost or won by the mere power of numbers. On the contrary, it is to be considered that, in an exigency, into which he had been forced by others, and in which no other means of self-defence offered, he, as a matter of necessity, used the only one that was left to him. ” Lysander Spooner

The idea that we consent to the government we live under because of our “silence” is ridiculous. Social Contract theory and the idea of the “Consent of the Governed” are used to enshrine and protect Politicians, Bureaucrats and those who suckle at the Government’s teats,  while at the same time enslaving individuals whose property is seized against their will to fund the very Government largess used to enslave them. My ultimate goal is to see the idea of Government disappear and in its stead to have everyone  live in a “Free Market Society”, where the production of defense as well as policing would be done by individuals freely contracting with one another.  But until that happens I want to see the Federal Government chained down to the (2nd) Constitution or even go back to the first Constitution, The Articles of Confederation.

If any law is passed that takes a person’s life, liberty or property away from them without them first committing a crime against another’s person or property is fundamentally flawed and violates what Gustave Molinari referred to as “Natural Law”. The current Constitution and the Articles of Confederation are the first 13 original states’ constitutions were the first and in my opinion the closest man has ever come basing his law upon the Natural Law. But how many of the laws of man since those heady revolutionary days  have violated the “Natural Law” ? And how many of these laws, regulations and executive orders  that have violated the “Natural Law” have you yourself “consented” to?

http://library.mises.org/books/Gustave%20de%20Molinari/The%20Production%20of%20Security.pdf (Production of Security -Gustave Molinari)

Let me ask you this: Did you consent to the drones flying hundreds of missions over IRAN? Did you consent to the assassination of the American Citizen the suspected terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki or his 16 year son by U.S. drone attacks in Yemen? Did you consent to the use of unmanned drones over the skies of South Dakota to catch a suspected cattle thief who was by the way a “Sovereign Citizen”. Did you consent to Home Land Security buying 450,000,000 .40 pistol rounds?

(To put that last figure into perspective imagine a four mile stretch of highway. Now imagine that stretch of highway with 383 semi trailers, not with a tractor attached end to end for those four miles. Now imagine that each is slam full of .40 pistol rounds not destined for a war overseas put for your own backyard which by the way has been deemed by several Senators now as a battlefield with the war on terror.)

Did you consent to the GSA throwing a lavish $820,000 party in Vegas? Did you consent to the Federal Reserve and the trillions of secret bailouts to Foreign CEntral Banks? DId you consent to the Fractional Reserve Banking System or FDIC? Did you consent to the ever-increasing inflation? Did you consent to the prohibition of Marijuana? Did you consent to the DEA given carte blanche to basically infiltrate and militarize the entire police force of Latin and South America? Did you consent to the 900 military bases overseas? Did you consent to the Korean War or the Vietnam War? Do  you currently consent to the continued war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia?

 Did you consent to the establishment of the United Nations?  Did you consent to the billions of dollars given to the Uber-Collectivists in the United Nations to carry out their plans for a one world government? Did you give your consent for the founding and funding of the World Bank, the IMF, and Bank of International Settlement? Did you consent to FDR confiscating all the gold in the thirties or Nixon taking us off the last vestige of the gold standard in the 70’s? Did you consent to any of this?
I could go on and on but my point is that the idea of our current government resting upon the  “Consent of the governed” is false. Those who support the government and are in turn supported by the growth of government point to two things why you give your “tacit” support and consent to the government everyday.
1. You don’t move to another country. (Which is a losing proposition because there is no place on Earth where there is no government. This maybe changing though with the idea of Seasteading and offshore independent communities)
2. You are not openly rebelling against the government. So unless you are trying to violently overthrow the government somehow you are “consenting” to everything that is done in the Halls of Congress, the White House and the thousands of Bureaucratic offices around the country.
That is your consent. That is the “Social Contract” theory  you acquiesce to the force of government which rests upon the force of the majority who “Do consent” because they are living off the stolen property off the minority who do not “consent” to the theft of their property. But it doesn’t matter what they want because the majority has spoken through the god of “Democracy”.
 Government is built upon the decisions of the past. Social Security and the other entitlements are so engrained into the minds and lives of most Americans they are afraid to voice their “discontent” about the programs for fear of losing the benefit that is keeping their mother in the nursing home or the Social Security Check they get coming into their bank account each month. This is why Frank Chodorov wrote “Individuals can vote themselves into Socialism but they can’t vote themselves out.”
If you are still not on board with big government at home then the propagandists have an answer for that. They tap into the fear that people have of those who live in other countries. And they gin up the “Terrorists” or other “threats” to The United States of America so that a large portion of the population being loyal subjects as they are okay with the killing of thousands of individuals overseas because the bad guys want to “Attack the good ole “USofA.”  But the politicians and bureaucrats know that the fear mongering and endless wars eventually wear thin so they must institutionalize this “Allegiance mentality” and not leave it to mere chance. They do this by inculcating our kids in public schools by making them recite a loyalty oath every morning.
The loyalty oath I’m talking about is the “Pledge of Allegiance”. Most Americans hold it almost as sacrilegious for an individual not to say the pledge. But what are you pledging your allegiance to and  who benefits from your loyalty to “The Flag” and “to the Republic for which it stands”?
Every time you see the flag it engenders these feeling of fidelity. But where do these flags fly? Over Federal Building’s at home and military bases around the world. And then we fly them on our houses. I think that’s insane. Why doesn’t every family have a family flag? Why doesn’t every individual have an individual flag? Why isn’t there a Natural Rights Flag? The closet thing I’ve seen is the “Don’t Tread on Me” Flag”.
 The Terrorists and civilians being killed overseas are being killed because the “Patriotic Allegiance Individuals” in this country believe the propaganda and believe that when if the United States Federal Government is threatened that means they are as well. This is simply not true. If the Federal Government was dramatically shrunk down to pre-1900 levels there wouldn’t be anyone on Earth who would want to retaliate against the United States Government because all it would do is protect the borders of the country and have a limited court role to adjudicate cases arising between the 50 states. That is what the Federal Government should be doing. That’s it.
Allegiance can also mean : “Devotion or Loyalty to a person, cause or group”.  I like this definition better because it is not predicated on the force of government or the will of the majority. And that is the allegiance I talk about when I say I “Pledge my Allegiance to the principles of Natural Rights, the golden rule, non-aggression, giving each man his due (in regards to voluntarily agreed upon contracts) and treating everyone honestly.
If each of us pledges to do that and only give our consent to contracts that we voluntarily agree upon then government would be less and less necessary, thus becoming the limited night-watchman State that those who love liberty are working for. And for those like me who advocate for “Anarcho-Captialism” or  a purely “Free Market Society”,  would welcome a night-watchman state as a giant leaps towards a stateless future.
The State is built upon the fact that human beings are adaptable creatures and it uses subtle means to gain the “consent” and “allegiance” of millions everyday. It is our job who love liberty to point out the truth about what is going on and give an alternative to the out of control Government we live under today. What advice would we give to those who are desperately seeking an alternative to the Leviathan and its unending coils? I would give them the advice that Leonard Read offered in a speech he gave down in Argentina back in the 1950’s
“…everything else has been tried…Why Not Try Freedom?”
I advocate for a peaceful revolution. One in which  the external political revolution we seek  first takes place in the minds of individuals. I believe that once a third of the population has had what I call a “personal revolution” in which they have embraced their individuality, their and everyone elses’ God-given right to their Life, Liberty and Property and the responsibility that comes along with those rights; true individual  freedom will spread around the world.   Once a third of a population believes in these principles there will be such a “gravitational pull” others will see that there is a much better alternative to “consenting” to an oppressive Government and that their only “pledge of allegiance”will be to the ideas Liberty, Peace and Free Trade.
Brad Miller
AdvocateofLiberty and Anything Peaceful

Freedom in Film Friday: Elite Squad 2- The Enemy Within

In Freedom in Films Friday on April 6, 2012 at 4:58 am

The Motion Picture industry has been a bastion of Collectivist thought for decades. Ayn Rand famously tried to help  stem the “Red Tide” in Hollywood when she wrote her classic “Textbook of Americanism”. I hope to carry on her crusade but to do so in a different way. Instead of focusing on the negative my goal is to bring to light those films from around the globe that exemplify the struggle between Liberty and Coercion.

That is why I am starting a new post on Fridays to rate movies according to if they are  pro-liberty or pr0-tyranny. Each movie will be given a rating of zero to five “Beacons of Liberty”. A film receives a rating based on how well it exemplifies the ideas of Individualism or brings to light the terrible evils of Collectivism. An example of a movie that gets a rating of “5 beacons of liberty out of 5” is the film “1984”. That is the film version of  George Orwell’s classic novel which shows what the logical conclusion of collectivist thought leads to, which is the total annihilation of the individual.   I like all types of movies and I love Liberty so I thought this would be a great way to combine the two together. I’m also working on a Zombie Screenplay, so I will be reviewing tons of Zombie Movies in the future as well.

My first review is Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within. It is a Brazilian film that deals with corrupt police and politicians and their ties with organized crime in Rio de Janeiro. I give it “4 Beacons of Liberty out of 5” because it shines the light on corrupt politicians  who use the power of government to buy votes, enrich themselves and use dirty cops to kill individuals to protect their interests.  The Main Character Lt. Colonel Roberto Nascimento discovers the corruption and is forced to confront the system when his best friend and son are shot.

Elite Squad Two is a sequel. The first Elite Squad focused on the war between cops and drug dealers. That is how  Elite Squad 2 begins but like Lt. Col. Nascimento says toward the end of the film “the system is much more comprehensive than I expected”. In the film Lt. Col. Nascimento is a member of an elite Para-Military Police Unit. He is a gung-ho hard charger ready to get rid of the drug dealing scum. After a prison riot where a drug cartel leader is shot he is promoted to head the wire tapping division at the Rio de Janeiro’s Department of Public Security. That is where he uncovers how the politicians are really the biggest criminals of all in Rio de Janeiro. At the end he testifies before a congressional hearing and because of his testimony he makes many of those corrupt cops and politicians pay.

He is helped throughout by an unlikely ally, a Diogo Fraga who is married to Nascimento’s ex-wife and is president of Human Rights Aide, a Non-Governmental Organization  that is critical of the brutal tactics of the Rio de Janeiro police.  At the beginning there is a prison riot scene where Fraga goes in to negotiate the release of the hostages where Nascimento  is in charge of the police force trying to end it. Things go wrong and the leader of the prison riot is shot as he is surrendering.  This catapults into the public eye both Fraga who is seen as a hero for risking his life to negotiate the end of the violence and Nascimento because his team killed the leader of the riot who was in the process of surrendering. Fraga pushes for Nascimento to get fired but after  public support for Nascimento becomes apparent the governor relents and instead of firing him promotes him to the Department of Public Security.

From there Nascimento goes to war against the drug dealers in the slums of Rio. As his para-military units  kills and captures the drug dealers the corrupt cops with their militias  backed by vote seeking politicians move in to fill the power vacuum.

Fraga and a Journalist are the only other one’s beside Nascimento who see that the politicians are in league with the militias. It all comes to a head when the journalist is murdered after she finds campaign posters and stolen police weapons in a house being rented by the corrupt cops and their militia, which ties the governor and two other corrupt politicians to the criminal activity of the militas.

The finale occurs at a Congressional hearing headed by Fraga in which Nascimento tesitifies and calls out the guilty politicians who are in league with the dirty cops. It is a great scene and one of my favorite lines from Nascimento’s speech is when he  questions his own brutal behavior in the past “I’ve been in the police force for 21 years. And in that time I can’t say why I’ve killed or in the name of whom I’ve killed for. But a cop doesn’t pull the trigger by himself. Half of your (talking to Fraga) colleagues should be in prison…over half.”

What I love most about this movie is the ending sequence or the resolution of the story. There is a sweeping camera shot of the Brazilian Capital, Brasilia. The Brazilian Capital built back in the 50’s was inspired by Socialist Utopian thinking and it was done on a grand scale.. It is stark and isolated. It is surrounded by the poverty and chaos outside its border. But the politicians live in its protected isolation. And that really sums up how the villains in the movie would have stayed in protected isolation if it had not been for Nascimento and Fraga. At the end Nascimento narrates over the sweeping shots of the Brazilian capital.

“The System is much more comprehensive than I expected. No wonder the drug dealers, cops and militiamen kill so many people in the slums. No wonder there are so many scandals that occur in Brasilia and despite the successive administrations the corruption persists.”

Nascimento continues his narration and asks ” Who do you think pays for all of this?” there is a pause then “Exactly and it’s quite expensive. Very Expensive”

Another excellent aspect of the film was the condemnation of the prison system in Brazil.   Diogo Fraga is introduced at the beginning of the film while  giving a lecture on the exploding Brazilian Prison Population. He is giving statistics and gets a chuckle out of the audience when he tells them that with the current rate of incarceration everyone in Brazil will be in prison by 2087. We shouldn’t be laughing in America though. The United States of America has the highest reported incarceration rate in the world. The prison population has exploded since the 1970’s and the biggest reason for that is the “War on Drugs”.

And that is one of the reasons I didn’t give “Elite Squad 2: Enemy Within a “5 Beacons of Liberty out of 5” because it doesn’t  address the real reason why the corrupt police and politicians have the excuse to expand their power and enrich themselves in the process.  When you destroy individual liberty through the law, the law enforcers must become increasingly totalitarian to keep the population in compliance.

The story is fiction but deals with real issues not only in Brazil but in every Government on Earth.  I also didn’t give it “5 Beacons of Liberty” because while the film does highlight the criminal activities of the police and Politicians, it fails to indict the real “System”, which is Government. That is where the few through legal means enrich themselves and their friends.  Stated differently, the film fails to get down to the bedrock of the problem which is Government itself.

Frederic Bastiat beautifully defined Government  which still applies today.

“Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else”.

That being said, anytime you have a congressional scene at the end of a movie in which Government officials are called to account and are shown being led to jail is an exciting and cathartic experience.  The story is one that anyone who loves liberty can get behind and the movie does illuminate corruption of politicians within the “System”.

But like Nascimento says in the film “the system will give up a hand to save an arm…and it is resilient.”
Overall I really enjoyed the film. It has some great action sequences, the  acting is first-rate and the story has a good pace. There is a subplot between  Nascimento and his son that will definitely pull at your heart-strings and reminds us that the force of government seems fine when it is used far away or against someone else but when it comes close to  home it becomes apparent how deadly it truly is.

Check out “Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within” and let me know many “Beacons of Liberty” you would give it.

Brad Miller

AdvocateofLiberty and Living a life Free of Coercion

If you’re on Twitter you can follow me @bmill247

War: Who Profits and Who Pays?

In True nature of the State on April 4, 2012 at 3:54 am

War is a violent competition between two Governments to determine who will make the laws, levy the taxes, and regulate the behavior of individuals within a given geographic area.

War is ugly. It is brutal. It is about killing others until they submit. There is nothing more serious in the world than the taking of another individual’s life.  It is the most grave of businesses. And If you believe in Natural Rights and the Principles of Individualism it should only be conducted as a defensive act against an aggressing Government.

Unfortunately today like in the past War is looked upon not as a grave business but business as usual for the United States Government.

Today the United States Government has military personnel on 900 installations around the world and over a trillion dollars of taxpayer money is used to fund the wars overseas and the continued “projection” of military power around the world. This is all done for the production of security for the American People. We are told by the propagandists inside and outside of the United States Government that we are all safer because of the endless war in Afghanistan, the continued military presence in Iraq, and the continued military drone assassinations of individuals deemed “terrorists” across the world. Then are also told that it is  our moral imperative to kill warlords like Kony in Uganda, to help oust dictators like Assad in Syria and help kill Dictators like Gaddafi in Libya so rebels could take over the reigns of government and bring about democratic reforms (which is usually code word for socialism). We are told that this is in the big scheme of things being done to protect “American Interests” overseas which in turn benefits all of us at home.  Which in reality is a lie perpetrated by the Government and its allies in the media to benefit itself and the few who profit when it goes to war.

Smedley Butler the most decorated Marine at the time of his death wrote a short essay entitled “War is a Racket”   back in 1935. It is a powerful work written by a man who served all his life in the military, won 2 medals of honor during combat around the world and saw first hand the horrors of war. He described war as the following:

“WAR is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”

http://archive.org/details/WarIsARacket

He goes on to expose who benefited from the United States entry into WWI.

“In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows. How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?”

Today the big defense contractors are reaping huge profits from the wars overseas. I don’t know how many millionaire have been created since the “War on Terror” and the “War on Dictators” began but I’m sure its more than you think. The trillion dollars a year flowing through the Defense Department definitely doesn’t all end up in the pay checks of the soldier, marines and airmen doing the fighting.

Smedley goes on to explain who has paid for these profits of war.

“The general public shoulders the bill. And what is this bill? This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations”

When its put into those terms it really hits home how terrible war is. It should be avoided at all costs and only entered into when it is to defend person and property. The United States Government should be under the “Castle Doctrine” which is a principle which states that deadly force is to be used only to protect person and property from imminent threat. And if the MIlitary were not overseas that would be a purely defensive act against an invading army. But that is not the current policy nor has it been of the United States since 1898. Recently the Secretary of State of the United States Government told the world that the President of Syria’s “time was up and that he should go” and the discussions of attacking Iran grow in seriousness in  the Chambers of the House and Senate everyday.

Smedley goes on to warn:

“Yes, they are getting ready for another war. Why shouldn’t they? It pays high dividends. But what does it profit the men who are killed? What does it profit their mothers and sisters, their wives and their sweethearts? What does it profit their children? What does it profit anyone except the very few to whom war means huge profits? Yes, and what does it profit the nation?”

Admiral Mullen Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2010 answered Smedley’s question,  the Nation doesn’t profit from War nor from the profligate War Spending. In fact every United States citizens is  threatened by it and the other out of control spending by the United States Government.

“The single biggest threat to national security is the national debt, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday, underscoring the importance of good fiscal stewardship and a need to stimulate economic growth.”

He went on to add that:

“American taxpayers are going to pay an estimated $600 billion in interest on the national debt in 2012”.

You would think such a strong warning from the man who is basically in charge of surveying the threats against the citizens of the United States  would prompt a tidal shift in the way in which the United States Government defends us. But Admiral Mullen’s warnings in 2010 as well as Smedley Butler’s warnings in 1935 have not been heeded by the American people or their Representatives. But there is still hope that the war can be averted with Iran and Syria and the policy of violent intervention by the United States Government can be curbed and even ended.

In the Senate recently a bill was being considered which had already passed the House, to increase the sanctions on Iran(sanctions are by the way an act of war) which had wide bipartisan support and was seen to be destined to become law. But one Senator, Senator Rand Paul stopped it by proposing an amendment that reiterated the principles of the Constitution. Senator Rand Paul felt like if the bill was passed it would be used by the White House as a pretext for waging physical war against the Government of Iran. His one sentence amendment that has yet to be voted on or overturned with a 60 vote major to overcome his objection simply reads:

““To clarify  that nothing in the Act shall be construed as a declaration of war or an  authorization of the use of force against Iran or Syria.” That’s it and the United States Senate will not vote on that. Why not? He went on to give an explanation.

“Our Founding Fathers were quite concerned about  giving the power declare war to the Executive,” Paul said on the Senate floor.  “They were quite concerned that the Executive could become like a king.”

“Before sending our young men and women into  combat, we should have a mature and thoughtful debate over the ramifications of  and over the authorization of war and over the motives of the war,” he  added

“Many in this body cannot get boots on ground fast  enough in a variety of places, from Syria to Libya to Iran,” said Paul. “[I]  urge that we not begin a new war without a full debate, without a vote, without  careful consideration of the ramifications of a third or even a fourth war in  this past decade”

I like how he mentioned the motives of war. It seems that the White House and those in Government do not want an open debate when it chooses to go to war, like it did against Libya.

Well this trend of waging wars overseas did not just happen with the “War on Terror” or the current “War on Dictators” or the huge additions to the National Debt needed to the territory over which the United States Government exerts its control. In fact it goes way back in the Untied States Government’s history.

 Smedley Butler addresses the extension of government power overseas with the huge increases in government debt and where in his opinion it all started.

“Until 1898 we (United States Government) didn’t own a bit of territory outside the mainland of North America. At that time our national debt was a little more than $1,000,000,000. Then we became “internationally minded.” We forgot, or shunted aside, the advice of the Father of our country. We forgot George Washington’s warning about “entangling alliances.” We went to war. We acquired outside territory. At the end of the World War period, as a direct result of our fiddling in international affairs, our national debt had jumped to over $25,000,000,000.”

Smedley Butler as well as George Washington would turn over in their graves if they could see the 16 trillion-dollar National Debt.

It’s easier to reckon the dollar cost of war than the cost in terms of human life. We should not forget that when you hear of politicians talk of boots on the ground they are talking about live human individuals who think and feel and have families and hopes and dreams. There are  almost 5,000 dead and over  42,000 wounded soldiers, marines and airmen from the current “War on Terror” and “War on Dictators”. These men and women who’ve died have left behind broken hearts and homes and those wounded bring home shattered minds and mangled bodies. And I would be remiss not to point out that hundreds of thousands of civillians have also died in these wars overseas, been maimed and suffered horrible mental and physical wounds as well as had their homes and businesses destroyed. Individuals are paying a huge cost for the hubris of politicians and the profits of the war contractors, bankers and others who profit when men are sent to kill other men by their government.

 Smedley Butler wrote about the horrors of the maimed men who returned from WWI. Today the numbers aren’t as great but still the impact is huge.

“So much for the dead — they have paid their part of the war profits. So much for the mentally and physically wounded — they are paying now their share of the war profits. But the others paid, too — they paid with heart breaks when they tore themselves away from their firesides and their families to don the uniform of Uncle Sam — on which a profit had been made. They paid another part in the training camps where they were regimented and drilled while others took their jobs and their places in the lives of their communities. The paid for it in the trenches where they shot and were shot; where they slept in the cold and the rain with the moans and shrieks of the dying for a horrible lullaby”

Smedley Butler saw first hand the horrors of war and was disgusted by how the few profited safely at home while men died in horrible conditions overseas. These war profiteers included bankers, arms manufacturers, meat packers, big agriculture, oil companies, steel companies, and the others who sell to the United States Government during war-time or have their interests protected by the U.S. military overseas.  Today the same types of industires are using the Force of Government to accomplish the same things today. War profiteering and using the force of Government to secure profits overseas is another form of Crony Capitalism and we’ve seen that grow exponetially in the last decade along with the wars overseas.

Where I think Smedley misses the bigger picutre when doesn’t  fully indicts the United States Government or the ideas of Collectivism on which Big Government is founded upon, for the waging of wars overseas. Smedley forgets that “War is the Health of the State”.  He instead focuses on the profits made by “private” companies during wartime. I can appreciate his view of profits from blood. That is a horrible concept and one that Eisenhower warned about in his farewell speech when he briefly spoke of the Military Industrial Complex growing in America back in 1961. But the profits of war wouldnt’ exist if the ideas of Collectivism  which lead to the growth and power of the Federal Government didn’t exist in the minds of most Americans.

I don’t agree with everything Smedley Butler writes about in “War is a Racket” but he gets most of it right. Another place he does fall a little short on is with illuminating the Federal Reserves role in War Making. The Federal Reserve has been instrumental in facilitating the ability of the United States Federal Government to wage war since its inception. That is because the American People would never stand for the amount of taxation required to pay for wars of aggression upfront and thus there would be no support for the wars the politicians and bankers desired to prosecute.  The people do support the wars because the Central Bank can facilitate the borrowing of trillions that will be someone elses’ problem in the future, and most Americans at least up until now have been okay with gaining perceived security in the present while passing the cost onto taxpayers in the future. But what most Americans don’t realize is that they are impoverishing themselves now and enriching a few now because they are supporting the Federal Reserves devaluing of the dollar which is causing the inflation that we are all feeling today.

The average Citizen doesn’t profit from war. It impoverishes us. It doesn’t make us safer it actually makes us less safe. The greatest defense against aggression is a prosperous and Free Economy in which individuals are free to innovate, save, invest and create new product and services that enrich all our lives. It was the tremendous Free Market and Division of Labor that “won” WWII. American production lines were not created when war broke out with Japan and Germany but were already in place because they were manufacturing an ever-increasing quanity and variety of goods that consumers demanded. If the arms industry had existed in America like it did in Japan and Germany in the preceding decade before WWII the outcome of the war may have been quite different. Today we have a huge military industrial complex and a voracious appetite for war in the Government. As that grows the Free Market Shrinks and consequently our ability to actually defend ourselves in the future from the real threats diminishes as well. A bankrupt nation can’t feed itself let alone field an army.

If the Collectivist ideas that has gripped the minds of most Americans is not proven to them to be wrong and impovershing,  the United States Government will continue on its current path. It will continue to print and borrow more and more money, continue to expand its dominion over more and more territory by waging more and more wars overseas, which in the end will lead to the collapse of the dollar  and at the same time destroy what’s left of the Free Market at home.

This can be avoided if more and more people understand embrace the ideas of Individualism, Liberty and Peace and see that there are other options besides what we currently have.

The First Option is a limited government non-intervetionist idea and it’s from Smedley Butler. He proposes the following limits on the United States Military: The Navy can’t go beyond 200 miles off the coast, the Airforce can’t go over 500 miles byeond the coast and no armed troops of the military can ever leave the territory of the United States of America.

What he was proposing  is a purely defensive force. This is a radical idea today. I think its brilliant. The Defense budget would be a fraction of what it is today, the National Debt would shrink, less taxes would be taken by the Feds and instead would be spent by the productive individuals who earned that income, and the Federal Reserve would stop devaluing our currency. That is a win-win for everyone except for the politicians, bankers, bureaucrats, war contractors, and others who profit from war. This is a Constitutional Limited Government position or a non-interventionist position not too far off from the foreign policy of the founders. I think that if more people hear it the more traction it will get. People are tired of the “new normal” of the stangnate growth of their own personal economy and the ever expadning “economy” of the Federal Government.

The third option is what I prefer and that is the allowing of competition of the production of security by privately owned companies. This would mean the elimination of the government’s monopoly of the production of security. That would at least end the aggressive wars that are currently caused by The United States Government.  In Gustave Molinari’s book “Production of Security” published in 1850  he argues that if freedom of exchange and division of labor are superior to monopolies and collectivism in every other aspect of production why is it not in the case for the “production of security” as well. He stresses that Freedom of Exchange and division of labor are like Natural Laws no Different than gravity and they either apply everywhere or not at all. http://library.mises.org/books/Gustave%20de%20Molinari/The%20Production%20of%20Security.pdf

You and I don’t profit from war. If you want to know who does, follow my dad’s advice and “follow the money”. The United States Military budget is over a trillion dollars a year. That is insane. What is more insane is that the Department of Defense has had its financial statements deemed  “unauditable” by the Government Accounting Office (which is an oxymoron). That means that the Department of your Federal Government that is responsible for you and your family’s security can not even keep a set of books like every other business in America has to. And people think its a radical idea not to want these same people who can’t account for the trillion dollars they spend each year to fight wars thousands of miles overseas. The Dept of Defense has not been auditable since 1998. Congress in all it’s wisdom has given it a deadline of 2017 to be “audit ready”. I’m sure that makes you feel better about the Trillion Dollars that’s running through it every year.

People in the military pay a terrible price for the wars they are ordered to fight around the world and we pay a horrible price at home as well. It is only the few who profit . They use lies,  propaganda, patriotism, scare tactics, and every other trick in the propagandist playbook to gin up public support to support the wars overseas so the few can profit at the expense of the many.

“Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don’t want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” Herman Goering

I am an advocate of liberty and a free market society in which Peace is the goal and war is only used as defense against aggression.

“Don’t mistake a man’s desire for peace as weakness or a man’s desire for war as strength”

 Brad Miller

AdvocateofLiberty and Peace