Libertarian Commentary on the News 11 November 2015 (Veterans Day), #15-45B: Paranoia & Armistice Day

by Nathan Barton

Do not expect me to laud or sob for Veterans Day. Originally Armistice Day, it commemorates the official end of that bloody horror called “The Great War” and 22 years later renamed into “The First World War,” a tragic “comedy” of errors that destroyed the future of most of Europe and more than a few of the Fifty States (Arkansas, for example, has never recovered the combination of bloodbath and mass exposure to other places that made my grandfather’s saying “Arkansas is a good place to BE from – far from,” a fact of life for many). But instead of a somber remembrance of the horrors of state-mandated and -encouraged war, it has become an excuse for paid patriotism and mindless glorification of militarism by too many people – as well as a holiday from work for millions who never wore a uniform and never (whatever their reason) put their necks on the line for an ungrateful population and a power hungry Congress and White House.

Self-defense, whether individually or in cooperation with others, is both a human right and an essential occupation. It is good to honor those who have volunteered to provide defense for their family, community, and society; and especially those who have given their lives in that defense. And it is good to honor those who thought that is what they were doing. But that honor must be tempered by an understanding that it is too easy to move from defense to offense – to aggression. We did that long, long ago in the Fifty States.

Lets move on to the subject which quickly came to mind, today: paranoia.

Paranoia reigns supreme, at least at Natural News, which reports in tones of panic about a Trident missile launch off the coast of LA last week, claiming that it is part of a “secret war” between the FedGov, China, and Russia. Their logic makes even less sense than the logic attributed to the US Navy. You do NOT launch a missile (no matter WHAT kind of warhead it has) “in anger” (instead of as a test or training exercise) in a “secret” war and do it within view of tens of millions of people, and after giving warnings for days – and rescheduling commercial air space.  Even to supposedly send a message to your enemy. The logic attributed to the FedGov in this article makes no sense. There is no indication that the FedGov is trying to prevent war with China, but rather, the opposite.

Spain: The politicos in Madrid are clearly being paranoid, and their actions here in the past few months are now one of the key factors driving the Catalan push for independence.  The Guardian reports that as the Catalan parliament approves a plan for secession, the Cortes is unable to do anything but appeal to the lawyers (including judges) and whine and threaten ANY attempt at local autonomy. So Catalonian institutions are pushing back VERY hard, severing ties with the rest of Spain very quickly. Good!  it is interesting, that when Spain’s agent, Columbus “discovered” America, Spain was one of the most free nations in the world, its nature as a federation and individual liberties of all classes overcoming much of the legacy of 700 years of war against Muslim occupation.  But it quickly became a centralized and authoritarian state that beggared itself while being the wealthiest nation on the planet, and sold its liberty for not much more than a bowl of porridge – giving up liberty, security, society, and culture for a bunch of promises all of which were broken time and again. Is it any wonder that after 600 years (the Iberian people have LONG memories) that Catalonia might want to do something different?  Sadly, they will just replace the sickness of Madrid government for a similar sickness based in Barcelona, and depend even more on the more diabolical powers of Brussels.

When you are truly paranoid, the facts just don’t matter.  There is a perfect example of this at Popular Liberty where the crazies, the uninformed and unobservant form an unholy triad that creates a “Wonderland” feeling (of falling down the rabbit hole).  The claim is that a US Apache attack helicopter is escorting a Caliphate (ISIS/ISIL) convoy between Syria and “Iraq.”  When a number of people point out the obvious that it is most likely a Hind and not an Apache (the Hind is distinctly different than the Apache but the video is pretty bad) and the convoy doesn’t match standard Caliphate identifiers, it is still left up as “proof” that the FedGov is really, secretly behind the Caliphate. (PS: the Hind is a Russian-built helicopter that is ubiquitous in the Middle East from the Cold War. It does NOT mean that Russian warcraft are escorting these folks.) And then they can’t understand why they are dismissed as nutcases.

I don’t think this is paranoia; it IS insane and stupid.  The website Popular Resistance screams that the squatter in 1600 PA is trying to put “Big Pharma” in charge of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And breathlessly tells us we must write our senator RIGHT NOW to tell him (or her) to NOT vote to confirm the nominee from the White House and so “save” the FDA.  What rot!  The FDA has been in the hands of “Big Pharma” (whatever name the food and drug industry goes by, now or in the past) virtually from its creation, and certainly for the last few decades.  Like many federal regulatory agencies, it is designed to promote the interests of the big producers and investors, in the guise of protecting the public, trashing small business and ignoring anyone who is NOT “average” and “normal.” (Indeed, if I were paranoid, I’d think that websites and “alternative media” like this are nothing more than red herrings designed to suck in the gullible.) It does not matter if the “chief” is a “Big Pharma” ally or not: his bureaucracy is and always has been in the pocket of industrial  interests allied with the powers that be in Congress.  Big Food and Big Drug gave up a few things (like being able to use floor sweepings in their sausage (ala The Jungle) for the control and suppression of small firms that might rise up and challenge their market dominance.  It hasn’t been 100% successful, but they don’t need that.

Over at Global Economic Analysis there is an interesting thread of discussion about automation (“evil robots” stealing jobs from real people) and a reader who asks “if robots get rid of all the jobs, how will people buy the things the robots make?”)  It isn’t a bad question, given the complete lack of understanding of economics and society that the vast majority of people have.  And the answers aren’t too bad, either, but they ignore one key element.  Go stand near the cashier of virtually ANY grocery store, Wal-Mart, or convenience store (especially but not just in urban areas) and see how many people pay for their purchases with SNAP (Food stamp) cards.  And observe how many more people are buying all these other goods with welfare money.  And then also look at how many MORE people are paying for their goods with their government salary checks.  The “government” economy doesn’t need industrial/manufacturing job-holding people to function, folks, as long as they can put off the day of reckoning.

Mama’s Note: Indeed… the day of reckoning will come when there are no more people to rob. Socialism only works as long as they can steal someone else’s money. When the productive people stop producing, the music will come to a crashing end. Atlas will shrug, one way or another.

Steve may sound a bit paranoid, but I think he has it right.  Raw Story reports from Ohio that new evidence has emerged of vote counting subterfuge in pot initiative which was defeated last week. “More evidence is emerging calling into question the officially reported results of Tuesday’s marijuana legalization vote in Ohio, where Issue 3 was defeated by a two-to-one margin. On Friday, the Columbus Free Press published a series of screenshots of live televised election returns from Dayton’s WHIO-TV provided by Ohio’s Secretary of State. The sequence showed hundreds of thousands of votes flipped within minutes from the ‘yes’ to ‘no’ column of Issue 3. The controversial measure would have established a state-licensed cartel of 10 licensed growers operating regulated indoor grow sites of up to 300,000 square feet each. The pro-marijuana activist community was divided on the measure.” (Steve’s note: This was such a two-edged sword, given the crony-corporate control of the ‘market’ it would have created, that the battle lost was almost a win!)

Actually, it WAS a win: this kind of regulation is worse than the normal “liquor” and “tobacco” type regulation seen in most states, and imposed (on steroids) by Colorado and Washington: it was just going to create yet another black market. Several commentaries have appeared recently in libertarian circles pointing that out:

Gee, for once, maybe the journos are NOT being paranoid.  In the wake of students forcing the University President out, the racial protesters are taking over, and that includes manhandling media reporters, as Breitbart reports. It is, I admit, hard to feel too much sympathy for mainstream media news-types, but it seems as though the students (and faculty) of this university (government-run, tax-funded) care little or nothing for free speech, much less freedom of the press. Or, indeed, the truth, fair play, or justice.

Mama’s Note: They are all reaping what they have sown. Let the dead bury their own dead, but it would be nice if the stolen goods could be cut off.

About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (a christian), Pahasapan (resident of the Black Hills), Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer, Evangelist. Successor to Lady Susan (Mama Liberty) at TPOL.
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