Brad Miller

Archive for May, 2012|Monthly archive page

Remeber This on Memorial Day…

In True nature of the State on May 24, 2012 at 12:27 am

Memorial Day is a  holiday that most Americans take for granted. They enjoy the unofficial start of summer by making their first pilgrimage to the beach or by celebrating in the backyard with a barbecue. It is a joyous occasion where people relax, eat, drink, soak up the sun and hang out with friends. But the majority of Americans don’t even realize why they have the day off from work.

A few Americans actually follow the spirit of the Federal Holiday and remember those who have died “defending” their freedom in wars waged by the U.S. Government. Unfortunately the list who have died fighting and dying at the behest of politicians is still growing  longer everyday. Those names of the dead and maimed are continually added to the over 1.3  million who’ve already died and to the other 1.5 million who have been wounded fighting under the banner of Old Glory.

But does any citizen really understand why the 2.8 million fellow Americans were killed or wounded fighting in Wars Waged by the U.S. Government?  Most people believe that all the wars the U.S. has fought have been to make the “world (including the U.S. homeland) safe for Democracy?” But when you delve deeper beyond the patriotic propaganda of why the wars were truly waged in the past and continue to be waged in the present you begin to find a disturbing pattern of why the United States Government goes to War. We should all remember on this Memorial day that the wars that the United States of America has waged, have been waged not to protect our freedom but to enrich a very few at the expense of the very many.

Today in the United States the Federal Military and Intelligence budget stands at over a trillion dollars.  That is something that should not be forgotten on this Memorial Day.  Who profits from that defense Budget and who pays for it? In Smedley Butler’s classic Anti-War booklet “War is a Racket” he explains exactly who pays for this horrendous bill.

“The 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 to come.”

Now you would think that statement could have been written to describe the last decade of the War on Terror. In fact it could have been written about any time throughout the History of the United States. He could have been describing  the Indian Wars, the Banana Wars, the Spanish-American War, the War of Annexation of the Philipines, the Great War, or about WWII, Korea, Vietnam or the modern-day War on Terror and current Wars against the Dictators. The same pattern of Aggressive Imperialistic Warfare  unfortunately spans the History of the Untied States of America. And these wars were not waged to protect “the home front”. It was waged to line the pockets of politicians and their friends.

Smedley Butler wrote “War is a Racket” in 1930 in response to WWI. One hundred seventeen thousand American service men died and another two hundred thousand were wounded  in the Great War. Were they killed and maimed in order to make the World safe for Democracy? No. According to Smedley Butler the main reason why the U.S. got involved in the war was so that Great Brittain and France would pay back their war debt. Those killed and wounded during the “War to end all Wars” did so to ensure the repayment of some 5 to 6 billion the allies owed  to various U.S. banks, arms manufacturers and other war profiteers. Today how much blood are U.S. service men giving on the battlefield to pad the balance sheets of defense contractors and banks today?

Even before WWI the United States military and especially the U.S. Marines were used in many wars around the world to ensure huge profits for certain corporations. Smedley Butler (two time medal of honor winner) describes his experience while serving in the Corps:

” I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

Smedley Butler says that he was a “gangster for Capitalism”. I believe he was not describing Free Market Capitalism but what we call today “Crony Capitalism” or what some in Iceland call “Devil’s Socialism”. That is when big government and big business get together and ensure that some corporations enjoy the gains while the public shoulders the cost. War is the epitome of the practice of Privatizing the Gains while Socializing the Losses.  War is the greatest example of how Crony Capitalism benefits the very few at the expense to the many. Too bad not many remember that the wars of the past and those of the present  follow this same horrific pattern.

The U.S. military unfortunately continues on spreading the Imperialism of Washington throughout the world with its 900 military installations, 11 aircraft carrier strike groups, and over two hundred thousand U.S. military personnel on foreign soil round the world. This does not lead to an  increased “peace” but only increased pain for some and increased profit for others. And as John T Flynn wrote after WWII that U.S. military presence overseas can be used as a pretext for the next war.

“we have managed to acquire bases around the world…There is no part of the world where trouble can break out where we do not have bases of some sort in which if we wish to use the pretension we can claim that our own interests are menaced. Thus menaced they (the bases)  must remain when the war is over…a continuing argument in the hands of imperialists for a vast naval establishment and a huge army ready to attack anywhere or to resist an attack from all the enemies we shall be obliged to have. Because always the most powerful argument for a huge army maintained for economic reasons is that we have enemies. We must have enemies.”

Today the United States Government continues its policy of “Perpetual War” against “its” enemies. But what we must remember on this Memorial Day is that the United States Government wages wars to benefit the very few at the expense of the very many. Let us remember that we pay the price for the Trillion dollar military industrial complex with higher inflation and higher taxation. We also suffer at home with a continual erosion of our Natural Rights  to the ever  increasing aggressiveness of the “Police State”, put in place to kow the public and  to protect the Federal Government’s growing power. And lets remember the over 6000 who’ve died and another 40,000 who’ve been wounded during the “War on Terror”. They and their families have paid the steepest price of all defending the interests of a few at the expense of everyone else.

If you want to support the troops demand that the wars for profit end. And the only way to do that is to severely cut the military budget and force the Defense Department to only “defend” American land, sea and air.  When you turn off the spigot of war spending, close the military bases around the world and keep our military close to home, we will find that the supposed enemies of the United States of America will dry up over night.

I think it was Garet Garrett a member of the “Old Right” who wrote back in the 1940’s in the midst of WWII that “There are no longer citizens in the world only subjects.” When we accept  increased militarism at home and the inevitable Imperialism that follows abroad, we will continue to be “Subjects” to the State and young Americans will continue to be sent to fight and die in foreign countries to benefit Big Government, Bankers, and their Friends.

We should Remember on this Memorial day that the wars waged by the United States Federal Government “instead of making the world safe for Democracy, American wars have been fought as Nock wrote to “make the world safe for U.S. investments, privileges and markets”. That is not something anyone should be ordered to die protecting.

Brad Miller

AdvocateofLiberty and Peaceful Trade For All

http://library.mises.org/books/Murray%20N%20Rothbard/The%20Betrayal%20of%20the%20American%20Right.pdf “Betrayal of the American Right” by Murray Rothbard

http://archive.org/stream/WarIsARacket#page/n3/mode/2up “War is a Racket” by Smedley Butler

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_casualties_of_war List of U.S. wars and those who paid the steepest price

Rand, Rush and the Religious Rigtht

In Advocates of Liberty on May 14, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Thomas Jefferson ” I don’t care what my neighbor does as long as he doesn’t pick my pocket or break my leg.” I wish Rush and Rand Paul believed the same thing.

Recently President Obama changed his mind on Gay Marriage. That’s not a big surprise since 1 out of six of his bundlers, those who raise huge amounts of cash for his campaign, are gay. Neither is it a big surprise that Rush Limbaugh and the Religious Right are still against Gay Marriage. What is surprising is that Rand Paul agrees not with those who want more liberty for folks but with those who want some people to have less. I had hoped that Rand Paul would carry the Torch of Liberty into the 2016 presidential race, but I don’t think so after his remarks he made last Friday.

Rand Paul has been an ardent supporter of Liberty in the Senate since being elected. Often times he has been the lone dissenting voice arguing against war in Syria and Iran and the expansion of the Federal Government at home. That is why it shocked me to hear what he said about Obama and the president’s stance on Gay Marriage. Rand Paul said that:

“Obama’s remarks could not get any gayer.”

That is a shocking statement coming from a man who is on record as being a champion of Individual Liberty. Now he did make that remark while speaking in front of the Faith and Freedom Foundation, a part of the Religious Right. So I’m not sure if this is what it takes to win an election in Kentucky, or since he said it in Ames, Iowa he is groundwork for a run for president in 2016. This maybe his ploy to garner votes in the future but it is the wrong way to advance the cause of Liberty today. Unfortunately this is the remark that will be remembered come 2016 and not all of this other statments concerning the 16 trillion-dollar deficit, the massive military industrial complex running rough shod over the world, and the growth of the government regulatory apparatus at home.

Rand Paul would have been a whole lot better off reading from his father’s book “Liberty Defined” at the Faith and Freedom talk. This would have been a better way to talk about gay marriage not as a moral issue but one of Individual Liberty. Ron Paul believes as Rand does that marriage should be between a man and a woman. But in “Liberty Defined” Ron Paul stresses that the reason that this is even a political issue is that it’s the Growth of the meddling government into the private lives of individuals that is the real problem. Whether you personally agree with the choice of who someone marries, it is still their  God-given natural right to choose.

Ron Paul asks the fundamental question in the chapter on Marriage in “Liberty Defined”:

“Why should the government give permission to two individuals who want to call themselves married?”

Even though Ron Paul is not in favor of Gay Marriage for himself, he understands that Liberty is indivisible. Everyone’s Natural Rights are Inalienable.

Ron goes on to argue that he believes gay marriage is actually a First Amendment issue.

“Though there may be a traditional dictionary definition of marriage, the First Amendment should include allowing people to use whatever definition they like as long as force and fraud are excluded.”

Ron Paul also in “Liberty Defined” believes that marriage should be a private contractual matter.

“In a free society…all voluntary and consensual agreements would be recognized. If disputes arose, the courts could be involved as in any other civil dispute.”

Marriage is a partnership between two people who voluntarily agree to share their life and their property. If a religious organization doesn’t approve of the union they should not be forced to perform the wedding. And if a person doesn’t agree with Gay Marriage they have no legal obligation to marry a member of the opposite Sex. There is no need to use the force of Government to prevent people from engaging in peaceful voluntary behavior.

Ron Paul goes on to equate government licensing of marriage to that of any other government licensing, which Rand Paul is usually opposed to.

“In economics, licensing is designed by the special interest groups to suppress competition. Licensing for social reasons reflects the intolerant person’s desire to mold other people’s behavior to their standard. Both depend on the use of illegitimate government force”.

While Rand Paul’s position on gay marriage was a surprise to me, Rush Limbaugh’s is not. He had a discussion with himself on his radio program about how the people in this country do not want Gay Marriage. He made a point to show that what Obama really said was that he was for gay marriage and that the states should decide the issue. Rush said that 32 states had decided that gay marriage shouldn’t be allowed. Why I’m even brining up Rush’s name is that he went on in another segment to talk about how “Conservatism” was based upon Liberty. I’m sorry Rush you can’t advocate for the use of Government force to limit individual’s ability to choose how they live and call that “Liberty”. Conservatism actually agrees with the fundamental tenets of Collectivism in which the majority has the right to use government force to mold other people’s behavior. I’m sorry to tell Rush and Rand Paul that Liberty is not based upon the will of the Collective.

“Man has inalienable rights which cannot be taken away from him by any other man, nor by any number, group, or collective of men.” Ayn Rand “Textbook of Americanism”

A lot of Conservatives and members of the Religious Right do not believe that if they vote to prevent two individuals from entering into a voluntary contract of marriage they are expressing authoritarian collectivism. Conservatives, the Religious Right and Obama all believe that Government is not limited but it is “unlimited” according to the will of the masses. I’m not surprised at their agreement in the matter. But I am surprised that Rand Paul is on the opposite side of individual Liberty when it comes to Gay Marriage. Maybe he will come out and clarify his position like his father did in his book “Liberty Defined” and realize that it is about Individual Liberty and not religious belief.

During his speech in Ames, Iowa Rand Paul further disappointed those who love Liberty when he said “It did bother me though that he (Obama) used the justification for it (his reversal on Gay Marriage) in a biblical reference. “He said the biblical Golden Rule caused him to be for gay marriage. And I’m like what version of the Bible is he reading?”

For me the Bible’s basic tents are  to treat others the way you want to be treated, love yourself and love others, and be self-responsible. Gay marriage in no way violates these basic tenets. Just as Gay Marriage doesn’t violate the basic tenets of the Natural Right to Life, Liberty, Property and the pursuit of happiness of those who oppose it.  It is hard for me to understand how those who claim to “Love thy neighbor as thyself” could be against the right of two people to enter into the most meaningful of human contracts; marriage. When you deny a person or group of person’s their Natural Rights you are in essence dehumanizing them and unfortunately in the past when this has occured it has led to the commiting of horrible attrocities.

Gay folks have been persecuted for centuries if not for millenia. In fact so many gay people were burned alive in the Middle Ages they were called as a disparaging term, by the common word for kindling,; Faggots. During WWII thousands of gay men were killed in concentration camps and through the extermination through work programs. Himmler one of Hitler’s henchmen set up in 1936 “The Reich Central Headquarters for Combating Homosexuality and Abortions.” When you use the force of government to prevent people from getting married it is a form of violence and follows in the horrible tradition of persecuting people for who they love. And once people get used to thinking that someone is “less than” they are  or “sinful” in the eyes of their God its much easier for them to close that gas chamber door or work them to death in concentration camps.

What is encouraging though today is  that Gay People are a lot less likely to be persecuted physically for their biology. But the “us” vs “them” mentality of many Christians and Conservatives who view Gay People as immoral still allows them to justify preventing same sex marriage. Its so easy to forget that we are all just  individuals on this blue and green orb trying to live our lives the best way we know how.  The only real difference that matters between people is not their sexual orientation but  if they use force or fraud to limit the peaceful behavior of others.  Peace and love are always a better way than Hate and War and Freedom is always better than Slavery.

Rand Paul’s Remarks about Gay Marriage and the president hurt the cause of Liberty and not just for those who want to marry a member of the same-sex. When people hear a high-profile ,up until now, defender of Individual Liberty, say something that is totally anti-Liberty it makes all his other positions seem hypocritical or insincere. When politicians pander to the Religious Right or Conservatives who don’t like “people who are different”, it undermines everyone’s liberty. Either government is limited or it is not. Either you have the right to live your life as you see fit and marry who you choose or you do not. This goes the same for those who believe in any form of Collectivism as well, and that is why its a shame Rand Paul missed a great opportunity to further the cause of Liberty last Friday by simply expressing the views of people he admires; Thomas Jefferson, Ron Paul and Ayn Rand.

“The Smallest Minority on Earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities” Ayn Rand

Brad Miller

AdvocateofLiberty and the philosophy of Live and let live.

Freedom is a lot like Broccoli…

In True nature of the State on May 4, 2012 at 1:13 am

Have you ever wondered why other people don’t  have the same burning desire within that you have to want to be FREE? I know I have. Its because : FREEDOM IS A LOT LIKE BROCCOLI. (Not just because George W Bush hated them both )

Broccoli is awesome and so is Freedom. Broccoli contains all kinds of great stuff including iron, potassium, magnesium, tons of vitamin C and cancer fighting compounds. Freedom is also great for people. In the last two hundred years or so, more people have enjoyed more wealth and health than all the other people who have ever lived , and its all because of Freedom.

But unfortunately most people will today choose to eat junk food, like doughnuts over eating broccoli; and will vote for Collectivism instead of Freedom.

Why do seemingly rational human beings who know broccoli is good for them choose to eat junk food like doughnuts? The reason why seemingly rational individuals choose junk food is the same reason human beings voluntarily choose to live under ever-increasing amounts of Collectivism.

It all has to do with Time Preference. Every human being on Earth factors in Time Preference when they make a decision, whether its voting for a Collectivist Candidate versus a Freedom Candidate or eating a stalk of broccoli over a box of doughnuts. Time Preference dictates that humans instinctively favor the immediate satisfaction of a need in the now versus the satisfaction of a need in the future.

This is why we succumb to grabbing the sugary or salty treat instead of a bag of broccoli. I’ve never heard of anyone standing in line for their “Broccoli” on a Friday morning or making sure meetings are stocked with stalks of broccoli. But maybe folks should. The immediate satisfaction of consuming a doughnut and its 200-300 calories of sugar, flour and fat, satisfies a part of the brain that is concerned with keeping a human being alive in the moment. This often overrides the person’s knowledge that in the long-term broccoli even though lower in calories now, will have huge health benefits for the entire body in the future. When doughnuts are chosen short-term “pleasure” is favored over the long-term health of the individual.

After years of giving into temptation in the moment people will eventually have to reap what they have sown. They will eventually suffer from increased incidents of diabetes, obesity, impaired neurological function, and other nasty health effects related to consistently consuming fried sugary treats. These health effects greatly reduce the quality and quantity of that person’s life. It is interesting to note that the increase in the rate of both Diabetes and Obesity in this country has corresponded to the public’s increasing support for Collectivist Laws at all levels of Government.

Collectivism is the doughnut of Political Ideology.

It is exactly like junk food. Collectivism is tasty at first and is all about the immediate satisfaction of needs without regard to the long-term effects of how those needs are being met. When redistribution of wealth occurs the majority of people at first are thrilled. This “Socialist High” is short-lived because the people soon become aware of the long-term effects of their choices. They are much less happy with what accompanies these Collectivist Laws, and that is always taxation, regulation and inflation, that are necessary to make them “work”. These side effects of the Consumption of Collectivist ideology in the long run impair everyone’s ability to live a healthier and happier life.

But not everyone succumbs to eating the sugary fried balls or Collectivists’ false dreams of Utopia. More and more people are choosing to eat more wisely and demand their Freedom because they realize that their long-term happiness depends on it.

Eating broccoli today means you have a better chance at a better life in the future. You are sacrificing the short-term pleasure of consuming junk food, like doughnuts now, because you value the knowledge that the stuff in broccoli is the best stuff for your body and brain. When you eat badly you are actually “redistributing” the positive effects of the good foods you’ve eaten in the past and consuming these good “effects” in the present because of your bad food choices. This prevents the “healthy capital” from being accumulating over time which is now not available to promote and produce a better tomorrow. Collectivism does the same thing, when politicians redistribute accumulated wealth of the past in order to satisfy the immediate needs in the now,  they destroy the future benefits this accumulated capital would have produced.

When this occurs everyone is impoverished, just as every cell in your body suffers when you eat poorly.

In this country today with the epidemic of consumer debt, public debt, obesity and diabetes, these side effects of Time Preference of the Now, demonstrably shows that most people in this country lack the ability or have never learned how to delay or defer gratification. And it is this ability to delay or defer gratification which is the key to being able to live and thrive in an environment of Freedom. It is essential to be able to defer consumption in the now in order to save up for the future. That is how all capital is accumulated, and that is the secret to “capitalism”.

I don’t think things are hopeless though. Most people do have the capacity to value the long-term over the short-term if they develop their “will power”. People are all the time adjusting their diets learning to defer gratification. If people can do this with food, there is no reason why they can’t apply the same mental processes to political philosophy. Instead of choosing the sugary seemingly easier path of Collectivism, they will choose what appears on the surface to be the harder route of Freedom because in the end it is ultimately the more satisfying choice.

Freedom in the long run, like broccoli, has amazingly positive effects. In order to delay gratification people simply have to embrace these long-term benefits over the short-term “high” of eating doughnuts and reaping the short-lived hollow benefits produced from Collectivist Laws. Both Freedom and eating well help individuals develop their true potential. Collectivism and eating poorly enslave an individual’s mind and body and limit who they can become.

Some people believe that if people are freer they will in fact eat more Doughnuts instead of more broccoli. Experiments and Experience has proven this theory wrong. It has been demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that over the last 200 years the freer individuals are in a society the more they are self-responsible and thus are better able to see the long-term effects of their choices and weigh those against any short-term “hollow” pleasures. Overall instead of becoming more hedonistic in and environment of Freedom people tend to become more responsible, because there is no one to separate them from the long-term consequences of their choices. It was even shown with an experiment with Rats, that if given freedom to eat “good” food or bad “food” the rats would eventually self-regulate their diets and consume more and more of the good food. They seem to be able to naturally defer gratification of the pleasure of eating badly now in order to reap the health benefits of the good food for the future..

Today we are suffering more and more under the strain of Collectivism in this country. People are eschewing the ancient wisdom of Christianity, Stoicism, and Buddhism by satisfying the wants of today with no regard to the effects those actions will have on their future. Living in the moment is awesome. But in order to live in the moment you must be alive. Freedom and Broccoli are the best ways to live and to thrive. Collectivism and eating poorly on the other hand decreases the quality and quantity of your life. Let’s not forget that over the last century Collectivist Governments have murdered 170 million of their own citizens and those who suffer from type II Diabetes die 30% quicker than those who’ve avoided the disease by choosing to eat more wisely.