You are browsing the archive for 2013 September 09.

Avatar of admin

by admin

Sen. Paul Issues Dear Colleague Opposing Syrian Intervention

September 9, 2013 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Sen. Rand Paul issued a Dear Colleague letter urging his colleagues in both chambers to vote against U.S. intervention in the Syrian civil war. Below is text of that letter.

TEXT OF LETTER:
September 9, 2013

Dear Colleague,
There is no greater question that is ever brought before Congress than the issue of whether to go to war.
The question before us presently is whether the United States should initiate war with Syria. In 1995, Colin Powell wrote, ‘War should be the politics of last resort. And when we go to war, we should have a purpose our people understand and support.’
I do not believe Syria passes that test.
I treat the question of war as if it would determine the fate of my son or daughter. War is not some geopolitical chess game. It is, at best, a necessary evil. It should never be the first option. It should occur only when America is attacked or threatened, or when American interests are attacked or threatened. And only when all other options have been played out.
Too often, the debate begins and ends with an assertion that our national interest is at stake, but no evidence is ever presented to convince us of that assertion. The assertion itself is thought to be sufficient. I disagree. The burden of proof lies with those who wish to engage in war.
The resolution to authorize force in Syria goes too far, and also not far enough. It does too much, but also too little.
This resolution does too much by involving us in a civil war in which there is no clearly defined American national security interest. Even the State Department argues that there is no military solution here that is good for the Syrian people, and the best path forward is a political solution. I will not vote to send my son, your son, or anyone’s daughter to fight for stalemate. The President must make the case for war. Thus far, he and his Administration have tried to make the case for ‘skirmish.’ They make the case for aseptic, surgical, see-no-blood, strikes that are pre-announced to not mean victory. The military strikes are pre-announced to be so limited as to provide no solution to the Syrian civil war.
The resolution does too little by narrowly circumscribing the President’s power to execute war. I disagree strongly with unlimited …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

Avatar of admin

by admin

DiLorenzo’s Class on Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism Begins Tonight

September 9, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

6525

There is still a little time left to sign up before the opening lecture of Thomas DiLorenzo’s Mises Academy course on Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism. (It begins at 5:30 EST tonight.) The course covers American militarism and its opponents from the eighteenth century to today. And of course, as the current threats of war against Syria coming out of Washington illustrate today, this topic is ever green. Prof. DiLorenzo notes in today’s Mises Daily:

The renowned novelist Robert Penn Warren (author of All the King’s Men) wrote in The Legacy of the Civil War that Official State Propaganda asserted that the Civil War left America with “A Treasury of Virtue” so powerful that it was henceforth assumed that anything the U.S. government did from then on was virtuous by virtue of the fact that it was the U.S. government that was doing it. All any American had to do to remind the world of “our” virtue was simply to recite a few lines from one of Lincoln’s political speeches about “the last best hope of earth,” or our alleged desire to “make all men free.”

Today’s campaign for war with Syria by the Obama administration is being based on the same kind of dubious tall tale that the George W. Bush administration used to “justify” the Iraq War, and such tactics are reminiscent of George H.W. Bush’s first war on Iraq which was based partly on the U.S. government’s discredited claims that Iraqi soldiers were pulling the plugs on Kuwaiti incubators holding prematurely born babies.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

Costs of Entering Syria Conflict Too Great

September 9, 2013 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

President Barack Obama made the right decision by asking Congress for authority to go to war in Syria. Now Congress should make the right decision and vote no.

Conflicts and crises abound around the globe, but few significantly impact U.S. security. So it is with Syria.

The bitter civil war is a human tragedy. However, the conflict is beyond repair by Washington.

President Ronald Reagan’s greatest mistake was getting involved in the Lebanese civil war, which at one point contained 25 warring factions.

Getting involved in Syria would ensnare Americans in a completely unnecessary conflict.”

The U.S. invasion of Iraq sparked civil conflict which killed tens or even hundreds of thousands of civilians. Civil wars are particularly resistant to outside solution.

Nor would the fighting likely end even if the U.S. ousted the Assad regime. Insurgent factions, including increasingly influential jihadists, then would fight for dominance. For many rebels revenge would become a top priority.

Even if nation-building in Syria wasn’t such a daunting task, the U.S. government should not risk the lives of its citizens in conflicts where Americans have no substantial stake. This nation, its territory, people, liberty and prosperity, remains the highest duty for Washington.

Far from advancing U.S. security, getting involved in Syria would ensnare Americans in a completely unnecessary conflict. Damascus has neither the ability nor the interest to attack the U.S. Any attempt by the Assad government to strike, including with chemical weapons, would trigger massive retaliation — perhaps even with nuclear weapons, which are true weapons of mass destruction.

While the Assad regime theoretically could target a U.S. ally, it has no incentive to do so. After all, its very survival is threatened by determined insurgents. Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey all are well-heeled and well-armed. All are capable of deterring attack.

Some war advocates hope that hitting Damascus would weaken Iran. However, to the extent the latter feels more isolated, it may press for tighter ties with Shia-dominated Iraq, which faces an increasing challenge from militant Sunnis. Tehran’s divided elites also likely would close ranks against any possible peaceful deal over its nuclear program, which would be the regime’s only sure guarantee of survival.

The Syrian conflict is destabilizing, but the Mideast never has been at rest. Most of the countries are artificial, created by British and French line-drawing a century ago. War, revolution, discord and violence have been the norm for decades.

The focus on chemical …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Thomas Woods on Nullification: September 21

September 9, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

Senior Fellow Thomas Woods will speak on nullification in Wisconsin on September 21.

Dr. Woods is notable for his book Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century, and for his Mises Academy course on the topic.

Here is Woods providing an in-depth interview on nullification:

And here is Woods’s 2010 talk on nullification in Auburn, and also his 2010 talk in Las Vegas.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

New York City Comptroller Releases Report Calling for the Establishment of a Medical Marijuana Program

September 9, 2013 in PERSONAL LIBERTY

By drosenfeld

Report Shows that 100,000 Seriously Ill New York City Residents Could Benefit from Medical Marijuana

Patients, Healthcare Professionals, and Advocates Call on State Legislature to Pass Compassionate Care Act Immediately

NEW YORK – Today, New York City Comptroller John Liu released a report calling on the state legislature to pass the Compassionate Care Act, a bill that would create a carefully regulated medical marijuana program in New York. The report details how more than 100,000 seriously ill New York City residents could benefit from medical marijuana. The report notes that there is strong scientific evidence that medical marijuana can help alleviate the suffering of those living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS and a number of other serious illness

August 29, 2013

Compassionate Care New York

read more

…read more

Source: DRUG POLICY

Avatar of admin

by admin

Sen. Paul Appears on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace- September 8, 2013

September 9, 2013 in Politics & Elections

…read more

Source: RAND PAUL

Avatar of admin

by admin

Foss and Klein on Entrepreneurship and the Firm

September 9, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

Readers interested in the economics literature on management, the firm, and entrepreneurship, will likely be interested in Organizing Entrepreneurial Judgment by Nicolai J. Foss and Peter Klein.

The International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal has recently posted a scholarly review of the book. According the journal, Foss and Klein’s book features, among other things,

 a welcome overview of how entrepreneurs organize within firms, and what goods they have at their disposal to do so. An integration of capital theory into the entrepreneurial theory of the firm is essential to telling the complete story. If entrepreneurs are to exercise their judgment, they must do so by arranging the firm’s capital in such a way as to exploit opportunities to the fullest extent. It is here where management scholars will likely be on uncertain ground, as the text discusses issues more at home in an economics text. Foss and Klein do an able job of keeping the theory grounded by invoking simple examples to explain the progressively more complex theories, e.g., the discussion on the 1980 Supreme Court decision in Diamond v. Chakrabarty that removed a significant amount of uncertainty concerning biotechnology patents, and how the decision increased the potential for entrepreneurial discoveries previously shielded.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

No Matter Why Obama Backs off Syria Attack, It's Right Thing to Do

September 9, 2013 in Economics

By Gene Healy

Gene Healy

Tonight, President Obama, who rose to the presidency on the strength of stirring speeches, goes back to the well with a prime-time address urging Congress to authorize an attack on Syria.

He admits it’ll be “a heavy lift.” And how: per the Washington Post’s latest whip count in the House, even if all 170 undecideds break their way, the administration won’t be within shouting distance of a majority.

That’s good, because the Authorization for the Use of Military Force that’s on the table deserves to fail. It’s TARP with Tomahawks.

The Authorization for the Use of Military Force that’s on the table deserves to fail. It’s TARP with Tomahawks.”

The provisions purporting to restrict the president to a brief, “limited and tailored” war are too weak to stick.

What’s more, they’re undermined by the AUMF’s gratuitous overstatement of presidential power: “The President has authority under the Constitution to use force in order to defend the national security interests of the United States.”

Wrong. The Constitution gives him the power to “repel sudden attacks” against the U.S., not launch them whenever he imagines they’ll promote our “national security interests.” That language practically invites Obama to ignore the limits and wage a wider war.

“Parliament has spoken,” UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said after the House of Commons rejected airstrikes.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry continues to insist that “the president has the power” to wage war without Congress.

So what happens next? If President Obama loses the vote and launches airstrikes anyway, he should be impeached.

Impeachment was designed as “an essential check,” Hamilton explained, “upon encroachments of the executive.”

Past congresses have missed plenty of opportunities to use that power as intended, but it’s never too late to start.

Back in 1974, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., drafted an article of impeachment based on President Nixon’s secret bombing of Cambodia, carried out in “derogation of the power of the Congress to declare war.”

That charge didn’t make it into the final articles, but it should have. As war powers scholar John Hart Ely once put it:

“I’d have impeached him for it. Surely it would have been a more worthy ground than the combination of a third-rate burglary and a style the stylish couldn’t stomach.”

True, other presidents have gotten away with unauthorized war-making, including most recently, Obama himself, with the 2011 “kinetic military action” in Libya.

That’s an excuse that won’t get you out of a speeding ticket, …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Congress Must Reject Obama's Plea for an Unnecessary War in Syria

September 9, 2013 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

Give President Barack Obama his due. He went to Congress on Syria. Yet he used the right procedure for the wrong cause: to involve America in another potentially disastrous war in the Middle East.

Equally disturbing, leading members of the political opposition, led by House Speaker John Boehner, are backing the president’s war. In times of crisis bipartisan comity can represent the best patriotic impulses. Here a united political leadership is undermining America as a constitutional republic and endangering the lives and liberties of its citizens. Congress should say no to yet another unnecessary war.

For most of its early history the U.S. avoided other nations’ conflicts, especially the imperial battles of the old world. Although America aggressively overspread the continent, the idea of engaging in social engineering around the globe— intervening in other wars, liberating other peoples, fixing other societies—was alien. When the Greeks were fighting for freedom from the Ottoman Turks, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams famously declared that Americans should be well-wishers for the “freedom and independence of all,” but not “go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.”

War is not a good humanitarian tool, as Washington discovered in Iraq.”

President Woodrow Wilson broke that rule in 1917, thrusting the U.S. into Europe’s imperial killfest as part of his plan to remake the world. He failed. Instead, his treasured Versailles Treaty led to another, far worse, conflict a generation later. Out of World War II emerged a very cold peace, punctuated by occasional hot conflicts with a new totalitarian menace. Washington took on a new global role, but still, its job was defense. America’s purpose was not to transform other societies.

The end of the Cold War freed Washington policymakers from international restraint. Hubris conquered the nation’s capital as America stood alone at the summit of global power: “What we say goes,” became the U.S. watchword. That mindset well exhibited the truth of Lord Acton’s famous dictum: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

But other nations—U.S. allies as well as China and Russia—refused to go along. And reordering the world turned out to be harder than expected. Haiti remained a basket case, Somalia was not just a failed state but a non-state. American intervention in the Balkans merely changed which groups engaged in ethnic cleansing. The invasion of Iraq left death and chaos in its wake. A dozen years after 9/11 Washington …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Mises Daily: David Stockman on his Book and the Bailouts

September 9, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

Stocks Gain 87 Points Bsed On Manufacturing Revival

Writes David Stockman in his interview with the Mises Institute:

Fundamentally, the financial crisis was a product of the Fed’s repeated blowing up of bubbles, and not of deregulation. Moreover, any suffering inflicted on the 99 Percent by our system doesn’t come from the free market, it comes from the crony capitalism that is now our economic system. The Blackberry Panic of September 2008, in which Washington policy makers led by former Goldman Sachs CEO Hank Paulson, panicked as they saw Wall Street stock prices plummet on their mobile devices, had very little to do with the Main Street economy in the United States. The panic and bailouts that followed were really about protecting the bonuses and incomes of very wealthy and politically well-connected managers at banks and other heavily leveraged businesses that were eventually deemed too big to fail.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE