A Thanksgiving Reflection

American_bison_k5680-1I was recently at an Elton John concert in Vegas during which he played a song I hadn’t heard before. The song was about Native Americans and it got me choked up, which I hate not only because it’s unseemly but because I hate being emotionally manipulated by topics that are exploited by the political class. I also know there were many atrocities committed by both sides in the battle for this country, and I have even pondered the origin of property rights to assess whether hunter-gatherers have the same rights to the land as those who mix their toil with the soil. However, there is no denying that the Native Americans suffered the greatest tragedy, and I found value in reflecting on what they must have gone through.

I recalled the Surrender Speech of Chief Joseph which my daughter’s class recently included in their performances of America’s Great Speeches. I thought about how it must have felt for these people, these tribes, cultures, nations–however you want to think about these communities of peoples–to see the past and see the future and know that their culture was dying, that their children would not be their children, would not know the values and wisdom of their own parents. I see this happening in my own age, but the profound grief of it is dampened by the fact that it is not as obvious because it is not an invading culture but our own leaders who are undermining us, and it is not happening in one generation but incrementally.

I realize the American Indians did not disappear as a culture in one generation either–the span between Christopher Columbus and the last buffalo was a full 400 years–but I can’t help thinking that many fine and proud men and women had that one moment, like Chief Joseph’s, when they knew their cause was lost. Perhaps there is a lesson in this for us before we have that moment.

Here is Chief Joseph’s speech…

“Surrender Speech”
Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce

In 1877, the military announced that the Chief Joseph and his tribe of Nez Perce had to move onto a reservation in Idaho or face retribution. Desiring to avoid violence, Chief Joseph advocated peace and cooperation. But fellow tribesmen dissented and killed four white men. Knowing a swift backlash was coming, Joseph and his people began to make their way to Canada, hoping to find amnesty there. The tribe traveled 1700 miles, fighting the pursuing US army along the way. In dire conditions, and after a five-day battle, Chief Joseph surrendered to General Nelson A. Miles on October 5, 1877, in the Bear Paw Mountains of Montana Territory, a mere 40 miles from the Canadian border. The Chief knew he was the last of a dying breed, and the moment of surrender was heartbreaking.

Chief Joseph:
Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have it in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our Chiefs are killed; Looking Glass is dead, Ta Hool Hool Shute is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets; the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are–perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my Chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.

Here’s my previous Thanksgiving post, in case you’re in the mood for more :) Thankfulness Is in the Eye of the Beholder

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Syrian Refugee Crisis (video preview of Friday fill-in)

I’ll be filling in for Erick Erickson this Friday, November 27, 5pm-7pm ET on http://www.wsbradio.com, 95.5FM & 750AM…here’s a preview of the show…


Posted in immigration, on the show, original video, syria, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

In Honor of the Anniversary of JFK’s Death

JFK_and_family_in_Hyannis_Port,_04_August_1962I don’t pretend that I would have voted for JFK, I wouldn’t have–he was no libertarian! But I have come to respect him in many ways and I find his assassination to have been one of the greatest turning points in American history. The Civil War, World War I (that was the greatest turning point for the entire West, in my opinion), and JFK’s death rank as paradigm shifts in the ideology or power structure of this country. JFK’s assassination, in my opinion, was a coup, and the cover-up signified complete control over checks and balances both within the government and without (specifically, the media). For this reason, I like to continue to mourn JFK and remember how monumental his assassination on November 22, 1963, really was.

Just this morning, by coincidence, feeling beaten down by the drums of war (“We must defeat ISIS! We must start by unseating its greatest enemy, Bashar Assad!” Huh?), I had the following thought: Imagine a world where we could spend our free time learning a foreign language or pondering the true nature of God, mastering the art of French cooking or studying Socrates? What if, instead of creating massive, violent crises by violating our founding principles, our government simply did what we charge it to do: defend us without violating our rights or anyone else’s?

If that were the state of the world today, I believe we would be awash in prosperity and peace. I believe that is actually where we have arrived technologically and that we should have the leisure to take the next step in civilization, or at least spend more time with our kids! Instead, we have to spend our efforts working twice as hard as we otherwise would to pay the taxes that fund the wars that create instability, unrest, poverty and violence all over the world, and what little free time we do have, we have to spend trying to sort through all the propaganda and rein in our government.

Then I recalled JFK’s last speech, the one he gave at American University. I think he was saying that it’s true, that we had “arrived” and that what stands between us and a more civilized existence is no longer nature, but man, specifically, those Winston Churchill called the “high cabal” of power.

For links to JFK’s speech and more of my thoughts on the subject, click here.

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More Glossary Entries! Ponerology & Pathocracy

lbj yelling

Political Ponerology
An interdisciplinary study of social issues primarily associated with Polish psychiatrist Andrzej Łobaczewski. As a discipline it makes use of data from psychology, sociology, philosophy, and history to account for such phenomena as aggressive war, ethnic cleansing, genocide, and despotism. According to Łobaczewski, all societies vacillate between “happy times” and “unhappy times.” During happy times, societies enjoy prosperity and suppress advanced psychological knowledge of psychopathological influence in the corridors of power. Though happy, these times are not necessarily morally advanced as the society’s prosperity or happiness may be premised on the oppression of a target group. During unhappy times, the intelligentsia and society at large can recover this specialized knowledge to resolve the social order along mentally healthier lines.

A form of government interesting to ponerologists is one they have called pathocracy, in which individuals with personality disorders (especially psychopathy) occupy positions of power and influence. The result is a totalitarian system characterized by a government turned against its own people. A pathocracy may emerge when a society is insufficiently guarded against the typical and inevitable minority of such abnormal pathology, which Andrzej Łobaczewski asserts is caused by biology or genetics. He argues that in such cases these individuals infiltrate an institution or state, prevailing moral values are perverted into their opposite, and a coded language like Orwell’s doublethink circulates into the mainstream, using paralogic and paramoralism in place of genuine logic and morality.

There are various identifiable stages of pathocracy described by Łobaczewski. Ultimately, each pathocracy is foredoomed because the root of healthy social morality, according to Łobaczewski, is contained in the congenital instinctive infrastructure in the vast majority of the population. While some in the normal population are more susceptible to pathocratic influence, and become its lackeys, the majority instinctively resist.

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Why Is It Always a Lone Nut?

I was adding “lone nut” / “crazy” and coincidence to my list of official narrative excuses that get my alarm bells ringing and I came upon this article written by Murray Rothbard in 1972! Change the examples, and it could have been written today.

Source: Why Is It Always a Lone Nut?

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New Glossary Entry: The Incompetence Canard

A phrase I coined to explain the false notion that the reason the government does things that serve the opposite of its stated purpose is incompetence. For example, the US government spent months going on years as well as hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars allegedly fighting ISIS only to see it grow. At the same time, the DIA wrote a report saying a “Salafist Principality” or an Islamic State on the border of Syria and Iraq is “exactly what [we] want” to justify taking action to unseat Syrian President Assad. The official explanation for the waste of money and manpower in an ineffectual effort to fight ISIS is that the government is incompetent, but I think they were never fighting ISIS, rather they were using those resources to attack Assad. This is an example of the “incompetence canard.” (Two other canards: coincidence and crazy–that is, when someone’s actions are explained away by labeling him crazy or a “lone nut.”)

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Captive Institutions


Yesterday I posted a great video in which an Irish writer, Gearoid O Colmain, reporting from France, explained beautifully what is happening in the world today. He really nails it and puts it succinctly, so I didn’t want to put a caveat on my endorsement of his report, but there is one thing that’s been rankling me.

Colmain explains that what’s happening today is the work of a power elite whose goal is total dominance of all the people and places of the world. He further states that this is the inevitable result of “financial capitalism.” I understand what he means by that term…it’s really an extension of (or the core of) the military-industrial complex, which I have clunkily defined as the financial-defense-energy corporate-governmental continuum.

Colmain is right that the financial side of the M-I-C is becoming (or has been since its inception) the main power in the world. My objection is to using the term “capitalism” in this context. I was really on the verge of giving up on trying to salvage the term capitalism because it feels like a losing battle, but I can’t. I think it’s just too important to distinguish between the economic concept of capitalism, which includes free enterprise, free markets, mom & pop entrepreneurship, competition, the pricing mechanism and property rights and is the source of all surplus in the world, from the crony-centered fascistic capture of institutions, governments, quasi-government entities, think-tanks, academia, the media, central banks, etc., which is the source of much of the suffering in the world today.

As a sincere libertarian, I think it’s critical to distinguish between capitalism and fascism and I believe sincere socialists should do the same, that way we can discuss ideology separate from abuse of power. We are most certainly on the same side in recognizing and fighting the deceitful and criminal actions at the top, differing ideologies notwithstanding.

Ideologically, libertarians and socialists disagree fundamentally on the basic morals of society. It’s the classic choice between Platonic collectivism and Aristotelian individualism. What is the basic social unit, the individual or society itself? I believe human nature dictates that the individual, from whom all action originates, must be recognized as the central figure or incentives for action would not align with the best outcomes. This equates with what I recognize as morality. The alternative moral ideology, on the other hand, holds that social health is a goal that can be realized collectively through central planning which can ensure the greatest good for the most people.

I simply disagree. Ron Paul said it best in his farewell speech to Congress:

I have come to one firm conviction after these many years of trying to figure out “the plain truth of things:” the best chance for achieving peace and prosperity, for the maximum number of people world-wide, is to pursue the cause of LIBERTY.

For this reason, I continue to defend all liberties–economic, personal and civil–that contribute to personal fulfillment and success, and most important, to a just society, bearing in mind, however, that many times these principles are abused by left and right to promote unjust policies or bestow privilege.

Unfortunately, I believe the collectivist ideology and its requisite faith in the state blinds its adherents to the fact that these unjust policies and privileges would not be possible if they were perpetrated on an unwilling public without the force of government to back them up. Could McDonnell-Douglas send F-15s to bomb Syria without Assad’s permission if it did not have the endorsement and funding of the US government? Could JP Morgan Chase have cleaned out your bank account to help bail them out if TARP had not been passed to do the same thing though the IRS? (Even Jon Corzine, who did exactly that, got away with it only because of his government connections.)

Killing and stealing without consequence is strictly the prerogative of institutions that enjoy legitimacy in the eyes of the public. The evils of so-called “financial capitalism” could not exist without captive institutions.

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