Archive for September, 2012

A few compass points on regaining control over our destinies

September 14th, 2012 No comments

A few compass points (thrown together in response to someone poking me at FB):

– To control our destiny, we need to bring governments, corporations and the institutionalized looting and risk-shifting they engender under control.

– We do this in part by re-asserting ourselves, and demanding accountability and skin in the game by all, and in part by disavowing, backing away from and eschewing government “protections” that serve to constrain and enervate us and our communities, while providing tools of control, wealth-extraction and market exclusion to self-interested men who are outside of our communities.

– We are not islands unto ourselves, and it behooves us to cooperate and build healthy bonds with others.

It’s a bit general, but it’s a start. Your thoughts are welcome.

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A short Walter Block: Let's Pretend that the Problems of State-Supported Unions Have Nothing to Do with State-Supported "Capitalists"

September 14th, 2012 No comments

Yesterday I stumbled across the July 23 repost in LvMI Daily of Walter Block’s article, IsThere a Right to Unionize?, which apparently originally appeared on, January 1, 2004.

I left the following comment:

Funny how Walter finds not worthy of mention the coercive role of the state in setting up limited liability corporations, whose founders and owners are absolved from personal responsibility for the injuries their creatures and managers (whom otherwise would be the Agents of the shareholders) cause to others (including to workers).

These favors to “capitalists” led naturally to abuses against workers (both by corporate-hired thugs and by formally “public” policemen) and more broadly to society (pollution, anyone?), which in turn led to the pro-labor laws and vast public health and safety regulatory state that Block and others at LvMI decry.

Is libertarianism only skin-deep here? Where are the heavyweights who see that the only way to roll back Big Government is to insist on an end to limited liability and other “protections” of shareholders that have served only to generate institutionalized moral hazard, opacity and unaccountability?  

One does not have to scratch very hard to see the hand of the state, via corporations, police and the military, in both initiating violence against workers and in forcefully ending it.

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BLOWBACK in Benghazi and Cairo – it’s not a BUG, it’s a FEATURE

September 13th, 2012 No comments

For those befuddled about the “Global War on Terror” and the attacks on US embassies/consulates in Libya and Egypt, perhaps this bit of fun from The Onion in 1998 might help:

State Department To Hold Enemy Tryouts Next Week (excerpts below; go to link for full piece)

Taking steps to fill the void that has plagued the American military-industrial complex since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright announced Tuesday that the U.S. will hold enemy tryouts next week. …

The decision to hold enemy auditions was made during an Oct. 16 meeting at the Pentagon attended by a number of top military-industrial-complex officials, including Albright, Defense Secretary William Cohen, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Strom Thurmond (R-SC) and Lockheed Martin CEO Thomas Reuthven.

“Everyone was of the opinion that an enemy was needed–and fast,” said Reuthven, whose company has laid off 14,000 employees since the end of the Cold War. “Nobody wins when there’s peace.”

General Electric CEO Jack Welch, who was also at the meeting, agreed. “Our profits are down 43 percent from 10 years ago. We sold more tritium hydrogen-bomb ICBM/MIRV triggers in 1988 than in the last six years combined,” he said. “Something had to be done.” …

Speaking to reporters, McDonnell Douglas CEO Richard Klingbell said the State Department should have foreseen the possibility of peace and taken steps to avoid it years ago.

“For decades, we took Soviet aggression and the arms race for granted,” Klingbell said. “We failed to realize that one day it might all come to an end. We failed to sow the seeds of future foreign discord, for our children’s sake. Thankfully, though, we’re finally setting things straight. We’re finally remembering that to make it in this world, you’ve got to have enemies.”

[Earlier posts by me on “defense” issues here: and here:]

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