• LRC Blog

    How We Know the “Civil War” Was Not About Slavery

    Lincoln and the U.S. Congress publicly declared that their invasion of the southern states was not about slavery but “saving the union.”  The Northern-controlled House and Senate had also passed a proposed constitutional amendment (the Corwin Amendment) in March of 1861 that would have prohibited the federal government from ever interfering with slavery.  Lincoln endorsed this amendment in his first inaugural address, saying that he had no opposition to making the protection of slavery “express and irrevocable” (his exact words) in the text of the Constitution.

    So if the North was unequivocally not fighting to end slavery, how could it be that the South went to war only to protect slavery, asks Paul Craig Roberts.

    2:38 pm on August 23, 2017

    Evidence Inconsistent with CO2 Global Warming Hypothesis

    Lew’s blog today on debunking CO2 global warming by using medieval data is important. I’ve found an article written by one of the co-authors of that scientific article. This article is quite readable, but that will depend on the training of the readers. Their entire paper is free here.

    The artificial neural networks (ANN) method they use is a form of sophisticated curve-fitting and extrapolation. They “forecast what temperatures would have been in the absence of human-emission of carbon dioxide – for the last hundred years.”

    “We figured that if we could apply the latest data mining techniques to mimic natural cycles of warming and cooling – specifically to forecast twentieth century temperatures in the absence of an industrial revolution – then the difference between the temperature profile forecast by the models, and actual temperatures would give an estimation of the human-contribution from industrialisation.”

    “The average divergence between the proxy temperature record from this Northern Hemisphere composite, and the ANN projection for this period 1880 to 2000, is just 0.09 degree Celsius. This suggests that even if there had been no industrial revolution and burning of fossil fuels, there would have still been some warming through the twentieth century – to at least 1980.”

    The blue line is an actual temperature series. The orange dotted line is what the ANN forecasted. Greater variation in actual data versus forecasted data is typical of forecasts.

    2:14 pm on August 23, 2017

    After 59 Years, We Finally Learn

    What the song said, writes Vinnie.

    and…how to:

    2:06 pm on August 23, 2017

    Pentagon Attacks Extremists At Home…But Finances Them Overseas

    12:42 pm on August 23, 2017

    U.S. Continues Strategic Blunder in Afghanistan

    Syria is on the verge of defeating ISIS. The final big battle is about to occur at Deir Ezzor. The Syrian forces have been greatly aided by Russian air forces. Russia has a large interest in defeating ISIS because it has experienced so many terrorist attacks on its soil.

    Why is Russia succeeding in Syria after only 2 years with limited forces while the U.S. has failed in Afghanistan after 16 years and trillions of dollars?

    Syria had its own conventional armed forces to fight ISIS on the ground. They have fought loyally for the government. The population was against ISIS. Syria invited Russia to help. They worked together. They used the right military strategies to defeat ISIS.

    The U.S. quickly defeated the Taliban government of Afghanistan in 2001. However, the Taliban under Mullah Omar began an insurgency. The new government of Afghanistan didn’t have armed forces that could defeat the insurgency. The insurgency found support from important elements within Afghanistan and in Pakistan. The corrupt government didn’t command the loyalty of all Afghans. The U.S. forces in Afghanistan didn’t have a good Afghan armed force to work with. The U.S. counter-insurgency strategy (COIN) failed.

    The U.S. applications of COIN are proven failures. This has been known since Vietnam. If a country doesn’t already have a strong government and strong armed forces, COIN fails against insurgencies. The U.S. cannot simultaneously build up a nation-state and fight an insurgency, even if it commits 500,000 ground forces and drops more bombs than in World War II. When we have experienced soldiers telling us “This needs to be a 50- to 100-year campaign. It requires persistence and presence. Colombia should be a model, not Iraq”, we know that COIN is a loser.

    Bush and Obama made the same strategic mistakes again and again that Johnson and Nixon made in Southeast Asia. Trump is now repeating these mistakes. To name a few:

    1. They think that the U.S. has interests in these distant lands important enough to require American armed forces and warfare. This is false.
    2. They think that they can secure these interests by military means. This is false.
    3. They think that the potential benefits are worth the costs. They aren’t.
    4. They listen to over-optimistic top brass military and political advisors. They shouldn’t.
    5. They listen to war hawks in Congress and intelligence agencies. They shouldn’t.
    6. They fail to gather independent information. They fail to listen to lower-level military figures who have experiences with failed COIN strategies. They should.
    7. They personally don’t want to preside over defeat or be blamed for defeat. This is an institutional defect built into any system of power that attracts ambitious men and women who want fame.
    8. They personally do not bear, experience or even feel the increased misery of both their own and foreign peoples brought about by their decisions to make war. This is a human characteristic shared by all human beings, but it becomes a huge negative when its consequences are amplified by placing huge power into the hands of a very few.

    The American people attempted to install a president who would exit Afghanistan. They failed. The system has thwarted them. Trump, a man who explicitly and repeatedly spoke up for withdrawal, has changed his mind. Presidents do this all the time. They often get away with it and get re-elected. There is a deep and continuing evil in a system of government in which the sound instincts of both a people and their president are perverted.

    8:47 am on August 23, 2017

    The Libertarian Afghanistan Plan

    Get out. Stay out. Don’t go back. No matter what.

    7:24 am on August 23, 2017

    Another Asian White Nationalist!

    Now I think I was careful enough to make sure this is not satire. It is not. An Asian-American announcer named Robert Lee was removed from announcing a University of Virginia game. Once again, ESPN offends most of its customer base so they do not offend anyone else. Die quickly, ESPN.

    The network’s full statement: “We collectively made the decision with Robert to switch games as the tragic events in Charlottesville were unfolding, simply because of the coincidence of his name. In that moment it felt right to all parties. It’s a shame that this is even a topic of conversation and we regret that who calls play-by-play for a football game has become an issue.”

    6:25 am on August 23, 2017

    Women Veterans

    Not doing so well, especially the ones who were sexually assaulted in the military.

    8:25 pm on August 22, 2017

    DNC Fundraising Not So Bad After All

    In July, the Democrat National Committee raised $3.8 million, a paltry sum when compared with the RNC’s staggering $10.2 million.

    But the Left’s smart money isn’t going to the decrepit DNC. It’s going to the super-rich SPLC – the fomenter-of-hate group – with George Clooney and Apple raising millions in tax-deductible “donations” for the radical socialist group that opposes Catholic, pro-family, and pro-life groups as well as free-market and anti-terrorist advocates.

    Curiously, SPLC shares the KKK’s pro-abortion, anti-Catholic hatred, but that doesn’t matter. Because asking about that is a forbidden question.

    3:36 pm on August 22, 2017

    The Eclipse: How Markets Could Have Prevented the “Traffic Nightmare”

    After the eclipse, access to major roadways should have been priced according to highway capacity and demand:

    [W]ere there market-based, controlled access to the major roadways, access in the first hour after the eclipse could have been priced very high, and would therefore have limited access to those who really wanted to leave as soon as possible. It may even be that a toll of, say, fifty dollars may have been sufficient to convince many thousands of travelers to wait an hour or two before departing. Rather than spend fifty dollars, many might have elected to simply play card games for an hour, visit local shopping areas, or have a meal in town. (In Scottsbluff, Nebraska, where I took in the eclipse, restaurants and shops were hardly overflowing with people.)

    An hour after the eclipse ended, the highways could then have been opened up to travelers willing to pay, say, thirty dollars to get on highways. At this point, more travelers would be willing to pay the toll, and would have departed at that time.

     

    As it actually played out, many travelers simply rushed to crowd onto the highways in the hopes of “beating the traffic” since access was equally “free” for everyone, and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Except what we ended up with was far worse than a “first-come, first-served” situation since access to the highways wasn’t closed once the highways were at full capacity. The highways remained upon even after reaching capacity, meaning that, in many areas, traffic came to a complete standstill.

    3:12 pm on August 22, 2017

    Trump’s ‘New’ Afghan Strategy: Protect The Empire!

    12:44 pm on August 22, 2017

    Central Banks Are Hiding the True Price of Risk

    Risk premiums determined in an unhampered market align the interests of savers and investors. When central banks interfere with this, trouble results. Thorsten Polleit explains:

    Central banks have thus not only artificially reduced interest rates by lowering credit costs, they have also artificially reduced risk premiums by (explicitly or implicitly) signaling to the financial markets that they are prepared to basically ‘do whatever it takes’ to prevent another meltdown as witnessed in 2008/2009. The consequence is that financial markets and economies depend on central bank action more than ever before.

    There is no easy way out of this situation. If interest rates go up — be it through rate hikes or the elimination of the ‘safety net’ — the current recovery will most likely come to a halt, if it does not turn into a bust straight away: With higher interest rates, the economic structure, built on artificially low interest rates, would run into serious trouble. The idea of central banks ‘normalizing’ interest rates without output losses or even a recession appears illusionary at best.

     

    10:39 am on August 22, 2017

    Wars Make DC Area Richest In Country

    From a friend:

    “Most of our forces in Afghanistan reside on bases totally supplied with generated electricity. It costs $40 per gallon for US taxpayers to provide diesel fuel necessary to power our military installations. In order to maintain volunteer military stationed in Middle East, US provides food to troops such as prime rib, lobster, etc.  For breakfast there was always buffet much like a fine US restaurant – omelets made to order, huge selections of pastries, meats, fruits. Costs $2,000,000.00 annually to deploy 1 service member overseas. Absolute insanity.”

    Insanity? Think again. Yes, ten (lowball) to thirty (more likely) percent of total war spending in Iraq and Afghanistan went directly into the hands of the corrupt – Chalabis, Najibullah, et al.

    But untold billions more went to “legal” contracts that have fattened the Deep State to the point that seven of the nation’s ten richest counties are those that surround Washington DC.

    Insanity? Or Crazy like a pack of very successful parasites?

    UPDATE: Afghanistan has vast mineral reserves, including lithium, “a soft metal used to make the lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries essential for powering desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. And increasingly, electric cars like Tesla’s. …

    “In Silicon Valley and beyond, tech companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, Sony, and Tesla rely on continual, and uninterrupted, access to lithium, as lithium-based batteries are the primary power storage devices in their mobile hardware.

    “Without these batteries, MacBooks, iPads, iPhones, Kindles, Nooks, Galaxy IIIs, Chromebooks, and, yes, Tesla Model S cars would be largely worthless. If forced to use older, nonlithium batteries, their battery lives would certainly be much shorter.”

    And don’t forget the corruption. Iraq and Afghanistan rank 166th and 169th (out of 179 countries) – ranking them among the Dirtiest Dozen corrupt countries in the world. Where could you find a better place where both war profiteers and international corporate plunder elites could prosper – all in the name of democracy and fighting terrorism!

    The generals running the country’s Deep State undoubtedly threatened Trump: Oppose us – fulfill your promises – and we’ll ruin you. Your deplorables have no power, and right now it’s power, not votes, that runs this country and the world. You’ll be branded as the president who “lost Afghanistan” and “betrayed the free world.”

    (Average Pashtuns, who sodomize little boys as a way of life, will take little notice. Life will go on, as it has since Alexander the Great.)

    10:38 am on August 22, 2017

    Decentralize the Gun Laws

    Having the feds impose nationwide reciprocity of gun licensing might sound like a good idea. But it really is just a scheme to federalize gun policy:

    The Constitutional arguments are all well and good, but the US Constitution should never be viewed as the final word on any matter. The current constitution has always gone much too far in terms of centralizing political power in the United States, and the United States should never have been anything more than a loose military alliance and customs union. It’s no more necessary that the federal government regulate gun laws than it is necessary to define marriage or prohibit prayer at school sporting events.

    In fact, gun policy, like abortion policy, wage policy, land-use policy, and everything else, should be relentlessly decentralized.

    10:38 am on August 22, 2017

    The Neocon Memory Hole Lives

    Ironic how many of those insisting that we “preserve history” do their best to erase from the record their fervid support of Bush’s disastrous invasion and occupation and destruction of Iraq and the elimination of the majority of the Christians there and in the rest of the Middle East.

     

    10:27 am on August 22, 2017

    Psychotic Hatred on Display in Boston

    Here’s video of modern-day New England “Yankees” in Boston at that anti-free speech riot.  The foul-mouthed, violent, rampaging rioters who threw bottles filled with urine at the police are the people who Trump PRAISED two days later, reportedly on the advice of Jared and Ivanka, the new co-presidents (who would have supported Hillary Clinton had Trump not run for the office).  In the video a young man wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat with an American flag draped over his back says “I support President Donald J. Trump,” after which hundreds of people screamed at him “F _ _ k You!” “You have no right to be here!”  And much worse.  Trump publicly praised the foul-mouthed, anti-free speech punks who assaulted his few brave supporters who attempted to speak up in favor of free speech (unsuccessfully, thanks to the Boston police, who Trump also praised lavishly).

    To reward him for being a good little kept swamp puppy, Raul Ryan held a “town hall” meeting in which he described Trump’s praise for the rioting Hitler Youth of Boston as “perfect.”

    9:26 am on August 22, 2017

    Lyndon Baines Trump

    Oh boy, talk about deja vu all over again.  I’m old enough to recall LBJ claiming that “American boys” will not be sent to fight a war that “Asian boys” should be fighting themselves.  Now comes Lyndon Baines Trump, who ran on a platform of leaving Afghanistan after sixteen years (a “hasty retreat” and a cowardly policy of “cut and run”according to the latest neocon lies and propaganda).  He immediately became the darling of the neocons, with smarmy, serpentine, sanctimonious, smirking Lindsey Graham appearing on FOX after Trump’s speech to say how “proud” he is of his president, whom he referred to as “my friend.”  His new main squeeze.  I could almost hear Al Green singing “Let’s Stay Together” (“I, I’m, I’m in love with you . . .”).

    Graham also threw “senate decorum” out the window by smearing and lying about Rand Paul, hysterically blaming him for 9/11!  We tried “General Paul’s” approach on September 10, he said, and look what happened the next day.  Well, no, Lindsey (I always thought that was a girl’s name, by the way), the approach of Senator Paul, who was not in politics at the time, would have been to not have waged a war of conquest and occupation that created the blowback that was 9/11.  It was YOUR policies that caused 9/11.  “The next 9/11 will be your fault” if you don’t support the further Vietnamization of Afghanistan, he warned his congressional colleagues.

    8:36 am on August 22, 2017

    I Am Emoji Illiterate

    I learned a new word today: emoji. I am emoji illiterate. Chances are I’ll remain mostly emoji illiterate, only learning a bit here and there when I have to. This depends on whether or not emoji will help me understand words better and communicate better. I can’t predict that.

    Will schools teach emoji? Will emoji become an essential part of communicating? Will “Thou shalt not kill” be injected with a graphic emoji or two in order to make the point emphatically?

    This blog editor has no easy access to emoji that I can see. It tells me that the readability of this blog needs improvement, which means I’m supposed to reduce it to a fourth grade level or lower. I am being told that I’ve made it too difficult for readers in the preceding paragraph by starting three sentences in a row with the same word. Maybe emoji will help. They’re on mobile devices, but I have none.

    Ten-year olds will be emoji literate. Near-eighty year olds will be wondering whether that road sign means stop, one-way street, or under construction. Not to worry. Individual driving will become a thing of the past anyway. Learning and memory will be achieved by brain implants as in the movie “Total Recall”. Will parents shape the purposes, talents and choices of their children by the implants they buy for them? Today these are shaped by more haphazard processes.

    The nature of human nature and free will are unanswered questions. Human nature is going to be called into greater and greater question as technology changes. The question of what defines us critically as human beings forces itself on us. Answers to this question shape political philosophies.

    8:25 am on August 22, 2017

    Trump’s Afghanistan Strategy: What To Expect. With Jacob Hornberger

    2:07 pm on August 21, 2017

    Communist Criminals Vandalize Christopher Columbus Monument in Batimore

    The Christopher Columbus monument in Baltimore is 225 years old, and is the oldest monument to Columbus in America.  Young communist criminals videotaped themselves vandalizing the monument with a sledge hammer in protest of “the initial invasion of European capitalism” by Columbus.

    Nancy Pelosi, the Italian-American daughter of a former mayor of Baltimore, should be asked what she thinks of this, seeing how she and her Demo-Bolshevik pals are behind the funding of all these violent, criminal Bolsheviks.

    The Washington Monument in Baltimore is older than the one in D.C., and is sure to be on the commiecriminal hit list.

     

    1:04 pm on August 21, 2017

    Sell the Predator Murderer Center…

    … and remove all reference to the hateful Kennedy name from history. Jack seduced a young intern and kept her as his concubine and travel companion in the White House, even ordering her to pleasure his pals at the WH pool; and Ted, of course, killed his heart throb, Mary Jo Kopechne, paid off her parents, and got off without a day in prison.

    Same goes for Jack’s “eternal flame” – the only one he ever had, of course – just ask Jackie.

    8:40 am on August 21, 2017

    The Assassination of American History

    And, figuratively speaking, of Trump, by The Swamp and the cultural Marxist Alt-Left.  Paul Craig Roberts explains.

    8:22 am on August 21, 2017

    Another Question that Only Libertarians Are Asking

    What is a U.S. Navy ship doing off the coast of Singapore? I note also that “ten sailors on the ship were unaccounted for, and five others were injured.” Another reason to stay out of the military. You don’t have to be in combat to be senselessly killed in the military.

    7:31 am on August 21, 2017

    Time to Ditch My Apple Computer and i-Phone

    Apple Computer is donating $1 million to the Soviet Poverty Lie Center.

    7:27 pm on August 20, 2017

    Let’s Stop Sponging Off of Others

    A sponger or sponge is a person who lives on others. Government power encourages sponging. To understand someone’s politics, find out where they stand on sponging. If they speak about the people running the government or about unity or about a revolution of the people in the country, they favor sponging. They implicitly are thinking about and advocating replacing the current government monopoly by another. In the new system they envision, the names of the parasites will change. The names of their victimized hosts will change, but sponging will go on. As long as there is government without the consent of the governed, government power will always be wielded for the sake of spongers.

    The conservatives in America have no credibility in speaking against spongers on welfare because they support their own spongers in the military-industrial complex. The liberals can’t credibly decry military spending because they cater to their own favored spongers. Both sides agree on some groups being spongers, including those in government generally.

    If you want some group to get financing, you should not get it by sponging off other people and making them pay through the power of a territorial government that controls everyone in its borders, including the non-consenters. Most people would agree in their personal lives that sponging is wrong, yet we live in a system of sponging that’s baked in the cake by government power.

    There is more to it. There are constant struggles for control of the apparatus of sponging that we call government. The power to sponge is taken for granted and the battles are over who gets the power to control the directions of sponging.

    If people in different groups hate each other’s guts, how much of that hatred has arisen because of perceptions of sponging? A certain amount of sponging will be tolerated by people, but at some higher level of sponging, people are going to perceive the basic injustice of sponging and they are going to protest against those who they think are sponging off of them. The hatreds being expressed on American streets from left and right, that appear to be based upon such things as race, religion, and ethnicity, are fueled by the prevalence of sponging and its accompanying injustice. The sponging is fueled by the territorial monopolies of governments. Government power is bound to be misused. It has to be. There are no effective controls over it. The temptations to use it are impossible to limit, simply because the powers are monopolistic in nature. Once they are delegated, the battlefield shifts to fights over who will gain from the sponging and who will lose.

    It is this sponging that libertarians include under the term aggression.

    9:48 am on August 20, 2017

    Let’s Make America Eclipse Again

    Last night, I heard ABC use the term “the great American eclipse.” So I say: Let’s make America Eclipse again. And I guess that means my neighbors to the South (for those of us in Detroit) cannot partake of the American Eclipse Exceptionalism.

    8:26 am on August 20, 2017

    Can They Boycott the “Racist” Eclipse?

    Unless The Atlantic magazine became a satire site overnight, this is all too real. Are you ready for this one? The eclipse is symbolic of racism. Alice Ristroph, a white Harvard grad and law professor in Brooklyn, uses the path of the eclipse to construct an America that is everywhere and always “racist.” Nothing new here in the era of everyone’s-a-racist, but the author employs a rather innocuous event to set minds afire with anger and divisiveness. And all those clever, decision-making editors at The Atlantic got together in a safe-space conference room named after some left-wing activist, with fair-trade coffee, baguettes, and vegan spread being served, and they went “yea, this is so brilliant!”  To quote from the article:

    …From Oregon, the Great American Eclipse will travel through Idaho and Wyoming. (It will catch a tiny unpopulated piece of Montana, too.) Percentage-wise, Idaho and Wyoming are even whiter than Oregon.

    …The total eclipse will be visible from Lincoln, Nebraska, the state’s capital, which reports a black population of 3.8 percent.

    …From Kansas, the eclipse goes to Missouri, still mostly bypassing black people, though now much more improbably.

    …Moving east, the eclipse will pass part of St. Louis, whose overall population is nearly half black. But the black residents are concentrated in the northern half of the metropolitan area, and the total eclipse crosses only the southern half.

    8:17 am on August 20, 2017

    Anti-Semitic Communist Rioters in Boston . . .

    . . . who outnumbered free speech organizers by 50,000 to 50 chased and assaulted a man wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat and an Israeli flag draped over his back.  “Get the F _ _ _ out of our town!” they screamed at him while stealing his hat and jerking him around.

    There were no Nazis or “white supremacists” in sight, yet the crowd insisted on screaming about Nazis and white supremacists.  According to news reports, some thirty people were arrested, mostly for assaulting the police by throwing bottles filled with urine at them, in keeping with the general theme of the police-hating “Black Lives Matter” division of the American communist movement.

    One photo of the riot shows two young men who appeared college age wearing “Make America Great Again” hats being screamed at and chased down by hundreds of maniacal communists carrying signs saying “Socialist International” along with at least fifty professional news photographers feverishly snapping pictures.   The police sent everyone home at this free speech event, thereby censoring free speech, after which they were praised lavishly by President Trump.

    8:15 am on August 20, 2017

    Just Like the Often-Vilified Russia!

    Conway[, South Carolina,] Pastor Phillip Miles was arrested Thursday by TSA for carrying an unloaded pistol into Myrtle Beach International Airport. … Miles was charged with carrying weapons into restricted places and was released on $500.00 bond.”

    You probably see articles similar to this one, in which the TSA brags about having stolen some poor victim’s weapon while exploiting said weapon to persecute, cage, and rob its owner. Such stories are only the Thieves and Sexual Assailants’ pathetic attempt to justify their existence. No studies anywhere prove that disarmed passengers are safer than armed ones—none. And in fact, common sense argues the opposite. If a terrorist were to commandeer your plane, wouldn’t you appreciate armed folks’ fighting back? Of course, when those terrorists wrap their extra 200 pounds in blue polyester shirts with pinchbeck badges, armed folks can still fight back, which explains the TSA’s jihad against our self-defense.

    But I digress. It seems Pastor Miles has had run-ins with authoritarian, anti-gun zealots before: “Miles previously spent time in a Russian prison after Russian Police found hunting ammunition in his suitcase.”

    Thank you, TSA, for disarming us just as thoroughly and tyrannically as an Eastern Bloc country does its serfs. Have your morons been taking lessons from the KGB?

    8:58 pm on August 19, 2017

    The PWGJHWM Community

    Murray Sabrin writes that since we now live in an “era of identity politics,” if you wish to avoid being accused of the mortal sin of “insensitivity,” you must now refer to him as a “Polish, West German, Jewish, Heterosexual, White Male.”

    Murray is a finance professor at Ramapo College in New Jersey.  Since he is now the founding father of a new victim group, he is bound to be honored with a named, endowed chair, maybe two or three of them, very soon.

    1:27 pm on August 19, 2017