You are browsing the archive for 2014 March 25.

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Breitbart Op-Ed: Obama Cutting Tomahawk Missile Makes No Sense, Leave Real Waste Untouched

March 25, 2014 in Politics & Elections

National Defense is the most important job of the Federal Government, one that can’t be done elsewhere.
I believe in a strong national defense. I believe in Ronald Reagan’s policy of ‘Peace through Strength.’ I believe there are many ways to achieve savings in all aspects of our budget, including the Pentagon. But for America to remain strong and at peace, we must cut smartly and from the right places.
In the current budget, the Obama Administration called for the elimination of the Tomahawk missile. This missile protects our troops and allows us to avoid much direct person-to-person combat. Our navy has depended heavily on them.
Now President Obama wants to get rid of them rather than do the harder work of finding the waste and fraud in our bloated Pentagon bureaucracy. This is a mistake and will weaken our defenses.
Obama’s fiscal year budget for 2015 would make significant cuts to the Tomahawk program and would eliminate it completely by 2016. There are reportedly no plans to replace it with another comparable weapon, or any weapon, for that matter.
If President Obama had plans for next-generation weaponry that might take the place of Tomahawks that would be one thing, but giving up such an essential combat tool without such a plan is dangerous and quite frankly, baffling.
Nobody wants to cut spending, including Pentagon waste and abuse, more than me. I agree with former Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen who has said that the greatest threat to our national security is the national debt.
But I don’t want to cut weapons that have been integral to maintaining a strong military.
We should retain our strength and strategic advantages while looking for ways to reform the Pentagon and cut waste.
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has identified nearly $70 billion in waste–everything from studying flying dinosaurs to making beef jerky–that somehow qualifies as Department of Defense spending. The $128 million President Obama plans to cut next year from the Tomahawk program could easily be replaced by cutting some of this $70 billion we are wasting right now.
Tomahawk missiles keep us strong, while beef jerky does not.
I’ve also sponsored an Audit the Pentagon bill. Not just to cut needless spending, but because dollars allocated for defense purposes should actually be used to defend our country.
We can have a better military and a better defense, including all the weaponry our armed forces need, if we learn how …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

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Vaccination and Free Will

March 25, 2014 in Economics

By Jeffrey A. Singer

Jeffrey A. Singer

In Steven Spielberg’s 2002 sci-fi film Minority Report, a special police agency called PreCrime nabs suspects before they ever commit an offense. No trial is necessary because the crime is seen as an infallible prediction of the future and thus a matter of fact. The movie challenges viewers to consider the tension between technological determinism and free will, between the rights of an individual and the health of a community. It’s a useful metaphor for the argument against coercive vaccination.

Some argue that mandatory mass vaccination is an act of communal self-defense, and thus completely compatible with the principles underpinning a free society. Unless people are forcibly immunized, they will endanger the life and health of innocent bystanders, goes the argument. But such a position requires a level of precognition we haven’t yet attained.

Not everyone who is vaccinated against a microbe develops immunity to that microbe. Conversely, some unvaccinated people never become infected. Some people have inborn “natural” immunity against certain viruses and other microorganisms. Central Africans born with the sickle-cell trait provide a classic example of such inborn immunity: Their sickle-shaped red blood cells are inhospitable to the mosquito-borne parasite that causes malaria. Other people are just lucky and never get exposed to a contagious microbe.

Just like not every pregnant woman who drinks alcohol or smokes tobacco passes on a malady or disability to her newborn baby, not every pregnant woman infected with a virus or other microbe passes on the infection to her fetus-nor are all such babies born with birth defects.

A free society demands adherence to the non-aggression principle. No person should initiate force against another, and should only use force in retaliation or self-defense. Forcibly injecting substances-attenuated microbes or otherwise-into someone else’s body cannot be justified as an act of self-defense, because there is no way to determine with certainty that the person will ever be responsible for disease transmission.

Ronald Bailey suggests that the choice to remain unvaccinated is analogous to “walking down a street randomly swinging your fists without warning.” But this is a poor analogy. Such a person is engaging in a deliberate action, as opposed to choosing inaction. And, unlike those prevented from opting out of vaccination, the fist-swinger incurs no threat to life or limb when prohibited from throwing his punches.

If someone chooses the inaction of non-vaccination based upon the belief-right or wrong-that the vaccination is harmful or even life threatening, then …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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McConnell, Paul, Alexander, Rogers and Whitfield Praise Decision to Restore Lake Cumberland Water Levels to 723 Feet

March 25, 2014 in Politics & Elections

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Congressmen Hal Rogers (KY-05) and Ed Whitfield (KY-01) announced today that Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell personally informed them that Lake Cumberland’s water level will be restored to 723 feet by mid-May.
The members said, ‘Recently we met with Administration officials to request that the water levels of Lake Cumberland be restored to pre-2007 water levels in a timely manner, and we appreciate the Secretary of the Interior making an expedited, 45-day decision for their Biological Opinion, which prompted the Corps to sign the order today allowing water levels to be restored to 723 feet – levels adequate to support robust tourism in 2014. This announcement is great news for the thousands of people who rely on the lake for recreation and tourism, and to the local communities, businesses, and individuals whose livelihoods are being impacted because of the lower water levels.’
Background: On February 11, 2014, at the request of Senate Republican Leader McConnell and Senator Paul, Daniel M. Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, met with Senators McConnell, Paul and Alexander and Congressmen Rogers and Whitfield to discuss the water levels at Lake Cumberland. During the meeting in Senator McConnell’s leadership office, the members urged the agency to complete its study on the Duskytail Darter, a 2.5 inch fish on the endangered species list, in a timely manner that would allow for restoring the pre-2007 water levels on which the local community relies. In addition to that meeting, Senators McConnell and Paul and Congressmen Rogers and Whitfield contacted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the issue.

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…read more

Source: RAND PAUL

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Audio: Joseph Salerno Discusses Minsky Moments with the BBC

March 25, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

Joseph Salerno discusses Minsky with the BBC. Audio here.  

From the BBC site:

American economist Hyman Minsky died in 1996, but his theories offer one of the most compelling explanations of the 2008 financial crisis. His key idea is simple enough to be a t-shirt slogan: “Stability is destabilising”. But TUC senior economist Duncan Weldon argues it’s a radical challenge to mainstream economic theory. While the mainstream view has been that markets tend towards equilibrium and the role of banks and finance can largely be ignored, Minsky argued that in the good times the seeds of the next crisis are sown as the financial sector engages in riskier and riskier lending in pursuit of profit.

Salerno’s comments begin at 25:00.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Gerard Casey Explains Libertarian Anarchy

March 25, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

MP3 version.

Tom Woods talks to Mises Institute Associated Scholar Gerard Casey of University College, Dublin, about the ideas in his book Libertarian Anarchy.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Hobby Lobby Isn't Today's Most Important Case

March 25, 2014 in Economics

By Michael F. Cannon

Michael F. Cannon

Tuesday, all eyes will be on a high-profile Obamacare case before the Supreme Court. But just a few blocks away, a lower court will hear a lesser-known Obamacare case that could have a far greater impact on the future of the law.

The Supreme Court hears oral arguments Tuesday in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, a case challenging the Obama administration’s attempt to force private companies to purchase contraceptives for their employees contrary to the owners’ religious beliefs. A ruling for Hobby Lobby would restore the religious freedom of potentially millions of employers and workers.

Obamacare supporters call Halbig “the greatest existential litigation threat to the Affordable Care Act.””

Just down the street, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear oral arguments in Halbig v. Sebelius. Obamacare supporters call Halbig the greatest existential litigation threat to the Affordable Care Act.”

That description, while colorful, is not quite accurate. Halbig does not ask the courts to strike down any part of the law. It merely asks the court to force the administration to implement the law as Congress intended, a prospect that absolutely terrifies Obamacare supporters.

The issues in Halbig are simple.

Obamacare authorizes the IRS to provide health-insurance subsidies (nominally, tax credits) to consumers who purchase health insurance “through an Exchange established by the State.” That’s not a drafting error. The subsidy-eligibility rules employ that language a total of nine times, without deviation. The rest of the statue is fully compatible with this language.

The statute is therefore clear and unambiguous: the IRS may issue subsidies in the14 states that established an exchange, but not in the 34 states that left the job of establishing and operating their state’s exchange to the federal government. Congress’ purpose is likewise clear. It wanted states to operate the exchanges, so it conditioned subsidies on state cooperation. Medicaid and countless other federal programs do the same.

The IRS’s philosopher-kings have decided to issue subsidies in those 34 states anyway.

The Obama administration has acquired a reputation for unilaterally rewriting laws (to say nothing of abusing the IRS’s powers) for political purposes, but this one takes the cake. The IRS is literally spending billions of taxpayer dollars not only without congressional authorization — itself a federal crime – but contrary to the clearly expressed will of Congress. And it gets worse. Since that spending triggers penalties under Obamacare’s employer and individual …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Ben O’Neill’s Series on the NSA

March 25, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

6672

If you haven’t already, be sure to read Ben O’Neill’s series of Mises Daily articles on the NSA.

Part 1: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the US Courts

Part 2: FISA, the NSA, and America’s Secret Court System

Part 3: How the NSA Made Your Legal Defense Illegal

Part 4: The NSA’s System of Secret Law

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Triumph of The Permanent Warfare State

March 25, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

502px-Nagasakibomb

by David Stockman

From David Stockman’s Contra Corner. Remarks to the Committee For The Republic, Washington DC, February 2014 (Part 6 in a 6-Part Series) Go to Part 1.

After America’s earlier wars there occurred a swift and near total demobilization: the Union Army of 2 million had been reduced to 24,000 within months of Appomattox, and the 3 million called to arms by Woodrow Wilson was down to 50,000 within a few years of the armistice.

By contrast, the American Warfare State became permanent and self-fueling after World War II. So doing, it both catalyzed new extensions of Keynesian statism and monetary central planning and simultaneously flourished from their rise.

How Truman Lost the Battle To Contain the Warfare State

President Eisenhower famously warned about the dangers of the military-industrial complex in his 1961 farewell, but it was Harry Truman who first felt the sting of its political power. Truman was an old-fashioned budget balancer and made remarkable strides in the immediate post-war years toward traditional demobilization— cutting military spending from $70 billion to $15 billion by 1948 and balancing the Federal budget two years in a row.

Unfortunately, his government was still crawling with warriors—like Admiral Leahey and General Curtis LeMay and civilian hardliners like Secretaries Forrestal and Acheson—-who had thrived during WWII and were looking for new enemies to vanquish. Moreover, the unschooled haberdasher and machine politician from Missouri had made it far easier for them with his deplorable decision to drop atom bombs on an already beaten Japan.

There is now plenty of evidence from the archives of both sides that Truman’s brusque treatment of Stalin at Potsdam (July 1945) based on his “atomic secret” was the catalyst that began the Cold War. Thereafter, Tuman’s unwillingness to over-ride the brass and the hardliners and negotiate international control of atomic weapons—eloquently urged by the legendary statesman, Henry Stimson, in his last cabinet meeting after serving presidents for half a century—assured a nuclear arms race and perpetual cold war.

Indeed, upon Truman’s rejection of Stimson’s plea, another Cabinet participant presciently queried, “…. (so) the arms race is on, is that right?”

Truman famously agreed and insisted “but we should stay ahead”.  Except that he could not both continue the demobilization and stay ahead in the arms race and nascent cold war.

So by spring 1950 Truman had already lost the battle. His government had become increasingly populated with hardliners in response to alleged Soviet provocations.  In fact, fearful of encirclement yet again and Truman’s atomic …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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A Lifetime of War—Explained

March 25, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

760px-ACAV_and_M48_Convoy_Vietnam_War

by Kirkpatrick Sale

[LewRockwell.com, March 25, 2014]

A few days ago, my partner, turning from something about Afghanistan on the television news, said to me, “It seems there’s been a war going on as long as we’ve been alive.”

And we’re well into our 70s.

But think about it: she’s almost right.  This country has been at war, or at least has deployed troops, every year since 1940, when we were tots, except for occasional sporadic periods of quasi-peace amounting in all to about 18 years. Not our whole lives, but three-quarters of it.

Let’s do a little of the history.  In 1940 we deployed troops throughout the West Indies, to protect those countries and free British troops, and the next year we took over Greenland and Iceland militarily. The next five years saw world war, and after the war we had troops in Germany, Austria, Japan, and South Korea, sent troops into Greece in 1947, and used the Air Force for the Berlin airlift in 1948-49.  Then came the Korean War, Indochina, and Vietnam until 1975.  From 1960 on we sent troops to the Congo, Colombia (where they’re still at war), the Dominican Republic, Lebanon, and we invaded Grenada in 1983.

After a lull of three years we bombed Libya in 1986, then launched a full-scale invasion of Panama in 1989. (I say “lull,” but of course each year we still sent troops to military bases throughout the world, numbering about 750posts by 2000, established six military commands on every continent but Antarctica, and continually built and deployed new armaments and munitions.) The Gulf  War came the following year, then Somalia in 1992-94, Bosnia and Kosovo from 1992 to the end of the century. A short respite of two years and we invaded Afghanistan, where we’ve been fighting ever since, and then deployments to the Philippines and Somalia from 2002 on, capped by the Iraq War from 2003-2011.

Certainly feels like “every year.”  And what could be the point of all this warification of America?  Certainly not defense, for we were attacked but once, and all the rest of the time we either initiated action or fabricated an excuse for doing so.  No, this all was in aid of what has been called “military Keynesianism,” the idea that if you kept huge standing armies and had frequent wars the military-industrial complex would get constantly bigger and richer and there would be scant unemployment. (And states …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Sen. Rand Paul Appears on Fox and Friends with Brian Kilmeade – March 25, 2014

March 25, 2014 in Politics & Elections

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Source: RAND PAUL