Archive for January, 2011

On climate, another libertarian bravely fights to keep Mises' light under a bushel

January 25th, 2011 No comments

I just left the following closing comment on Jim Fedako‘s December 30 Mises Economics Blog post, “What?!? No one mentioned the cult or kooky parts“:


TokyoTom January 25, 2011 at 12:37 pm

You’re done here, Jim? Hardly, as you never even started — in the sense of honest engagement.

Once more, as you flee from engagement, you fail to address ANYTHING I’ve actually said, while continuing your penchant for attacking strawmen of your own making. I “continue to advocate for government interventions”, you say? Oh? Anywhere on this thread? I did offer you the following link to my thinking, but if you had troubled yourself to look, you’d see it’s a libertarian proposal for de-regulation:

You might not like to hear it, but the apparent lack of sincerity in your engagement IS shameful — even if one of a piece of many other libertarian/Misesean thinkers here who forget their thinking caps in favor of falling into partisanship and cognitive traps:

My reference to ‘libertarians’ was to this pantheon, who quite obviously have not really troubled themselves at LvMI pages to engage on climate or natural issues, other than in the most pathetic and shallow way.

A good recipe for libertarian irrelevancy, as I keep pointing out. Am I wrong to hope for better?



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Gerald Celente sees global uprising of repressed+linked youth, rise of ‘progressive libertarians’ in 2011

January 25th, 2011 No comments

Good summary at The Raw Deal of an interview of Gerald Celente of the Trends Research Institute, conducted by Russia Today on January 10.

Here’s a clip of the interview:


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More by Nader and Napolitano on pushing a libertarian-progressive alliance

January 25th, 2011 1 comment


:550:0]From The Raw Story on January 12 (‘Nader: Progressive-libertarian alliance ‘the most exciting new political dynamic’ in US’)(emphasis added):

Prepare for the rise of libertarian progressives.

That was the message earlier in the week from trends analyst Gerald Celente, who predicted that the rapid acceleration of wealth into the coffers of the ultra-rich would drive a global youth resistance movement in 2011 and reformat long-held political boundaries. …

Longtime American politics gadfly Ralph Nader, a man of many ideas almost diametrically opposed by most libertarian conservatives, said Wednesday that he sees a coming convergence of liberals, progressives and libertarian conservatives in the wake of a worsening financial crisis and dogged partisanship that’s put the government into gridlock.

Speaking to Fox Business’s libertarian host Judge Napolitano, Nader called these shifting alliances “the most exciting new political dynamic” in the US today.

Nader has long been an advocate of overturning “corporate personhood“: an oft’ criticized legal principle that treats massive organizations with vast stores of wealth as individuals under the law.

So how will this left-right alliance begin?

Nader suggested that it already has, thanks to the unity of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the most conservative and most liberal members of their respective chambers. They’ve teamed up to propose cuts to the US defense budget, which has long been by far the largest sector of America’s annual budget, and to push a more thorough audit of the Federal Reserve, the private central bank which controls America’s currency. …

Republicans in Congress have instead championed their success in extending President George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. The Congressional Research Service reported (PDF) that extending debased tax rates to the wealthy will add an additional $5.08 trillion to the US deficit over the next 10 years.

Nader added that the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, which recently failed due to a secret hold by a Republican Senator even in the face of support by libertarian conservatives and progressive liberals, could be the linchpin that brings the two groups together.

“The authentic tea partiers hail from the conservative libertarian wing of the Republican party that has been so disrespected and corporatized by the likes of Bush and Cheney,” Nader said. “So here they come into town and they’re going to go after a lot of things the Republican establishment is opposed to.”

He added that a coming “liberal-conservative connection” will ultimately “draw that distinction between the corporatist and the genuine libertarian conservatives.”

Even Napolitano agreed that there’s a “certain philosophical agreement” underlying “the role of government in our lives” that’s become shared by libertarians and progressives.

“The key thing is when they go after all the bloated corporate welfare subsidies, handouts, give-aways, bailouts — they’re going to alienate all these corporate Republicans, but they don’t care,” he said. “The one’s I’m talking about, in the House and Senate, they operate on principle. They don’t care if they’re overruled, if they don’t get the monuments or the freebies. They operate on principle and they’re going to make an alliance with the liberal progressives.”

Here is the video:



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A productive, progressive, anti-corporatist libertarianism? Ron Paul and Ralph Nader build bridges at Judge Napolitano's

January 25th, 2011 No comments

Ron PaulRalph Nader and Andrew Napolitano are joining forces to emphasize common ground between right-libertarians and progressive Left.

This holds some promise of steering dissastifaction with government by the Tea Party Right into positive directions, possibly blunting efforts by Big-Government GOP to capture and emasculate the Tea Party movement. It may also lead some on the Left to question their reflexive hatred of Tea Partiers and re-examine their assumptions that what is needed is MORE government.

Here’s a clip of a joint appearance by Paul and Nader on Judge Napolitano’s Freedom Watch program on the Fox Business channel on January 19, 2011: 


As noted by the liberal The Raw Story (‘Ron Paul, Ralph Nader agree on ‘progressive-libertarian alliance’) (emphasis added):

In this corner, a libertarian, tea party hero who ran several campaigns as a candidate for US president on the Republican ticket. And in that corner, a progressive icon of the left who also ran several campaigns for the US presidency but on the Green Party ticket.

One might think the two men, seemingly ideologically opposed to one another, would rather argue than help one another.

However, on Wednesday’s broadcast of Freedom Watch on the Fox Business channel, Judge Napolitano sat down for an amiable interview with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and Ralph Nader to discuss a progressive-libertarian alliance in the 112th session of respective chambers in Congress.

Nader, who has recently called this coalition “the most exciting new political dynamic” in the US today, explained that it works well because both groups stand against corporatists who believe government should be run in the interests of corporations.

“I believe in coalitions,” Rep. Paul echoed. “They talk about we need more bipartisanship, and I say we have too much bipartisanship because the bipartisanship we have here in Washington endorses corporatism.”

Paul added that he agreed with Nader on a host of issues, such as cutting the US military’s budget, ending undeclared US wars overseas, restoring civil liberties and civil rights by dumping from the Patriot Act, and withdrawing from the NAFTA and World Trade Organization agreements.

“I think we should come together and work together, and I think we can,” he said, noting that the coalition had previously worked on deficit financing solutions.

Rep. Paul and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the most conservative and most liberal members of their respective chambers, joined forces last session to fight for an audit of the Federal Reserve, a private institution that handles America’s monetary policy, which Nader explained is under no legal control of Congress.

 I would add:

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The "Oath Keepers" on principles, rule of law and Federal judge John Roll

January 17th, 2011 No comments

Worth a quick read.

Judge John M. Roll: A True American Hero, By: Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff who took a stand against federal control of state police in connection with the Brady Bill (fmore here on Roll by Wikipedia) (emphasis added):

January 8, 2011, Federal District Judge John Roll was gunned down by a maniacal coward lunatic. Since this unspeakable and unimaginable tragedy much has been said about who caused this tragedy or who may have prompted its occurrence. Some of this rhetoric bordered on the absurd. I would much rather talk about the good people who had their lives snuffed out before their time and to pay tribute to who they were and what they stood for. Certainly, a beautiful little nine year old angel, named Christina Green, deserves to have her life displayed as an example to others to learn from and enjoy. So, I will do that regarding a man who changed my life and helped alter American history; Judge John M. Roll. He was an honest man and a principled judge. He stood for what he believed was right despite the possible consequences. I met Judge Roll back in 1994, in fact, it was in his courtroom. He was the judge who first heard my lawsuit against the Clinton Administration. Judge Roll had the courage to take a strong stand against the very entity that controlled his salary and career. He actually had the audacity to tell Congress and President Clinton that they exceeded their authority when they made the Brady bill a law.

I was extremely nervous when I walked into Judge Roll’s courtroom. There was a big crowd of supporters and numerous reporters and cameras outside the courthouse. Although I had been to court many times before, this was the first time it was in front of such a crowd of onlookers and the Press and in Federal court. I remember looking at Judge Roll and relaxing somewhat; he was nice looking and rather young, about my age. He had already defended me with at least two pretrial motions that he ruled on, both in my favor. The first one was the Federal Government’s attempt to remove me from the case entirely by claiming I had no standing to sue them in the first place. They argued that only the county’s Board of Supervisors could represent the county in such legal actions. Judge Roll said this was wrong because it was the sheriff being commandeered by the Federal Government, both officially and personally. Next, my lawyer asked for an injunction against the government from being able to arrest me for “failure to comply.” (There was an actual provision in the Brady bill that threatened to arrest the sheriffs if we failed to comply with this unfunded mandate from Congress.) Judge Roll seemed legitimately concerned about this threat throughout the entire lawsuit. Janet Reno herself wrote a memo to the Judge and assured him that the Feds had no intention of arresting me and that the threat of arrest within the language of the Brady bill, was only intended for the gun shop owners, not the sheriffs. Judge Roll, as he announced his decision regarding the injunction said that Janet Reno was not allowed to change the law “by fiat” nor interpret the law for Congress. “Mack’s injunction is hereby granted,” the Judge said calmly and sternly.

Then as the hearing proceeded I was called to the stand. The butterflies returned big time. As the Justice Department’s lawyer cross examined me, she did something unusual; she actually began to address the Judge while I am still sitting on the stand. She said, “why your honor, already in just the first four months of the implementation of the Brady background checks, we have denied over 250,000 felons from gaining access to handguns in this country.” I was thinking to myself what a crock her numbers were and wondering why we had so many felons on the streets all trying to buy handguns in government checked gun shops. Suddenly, Judge Roll interrupted the attorney and rebuked her with, “Counselor, do not pretend in this courtroom that your statistical analysis somehow equates to constitutionality.” I have to say that Roll’s understanding of principles amazed me. He was so professional and knowledgeable. He took his job and the Constitution so seriously. He was truly an exemplary Justice.

When Judge Roll issued his ruling on the Mack v. US case on June 28, 1994, he said two things that absolutely floored me. The first one was the order of the court which summarized his findings:

“The Court finds that in enacting (the Brady bill) Congress exceeded its authority under Article 1, section 8 of the United States Constitution, thereby impermissibly encroaching upon the powers retained by the states pursuant to the Tenth Amendment. The Court further finds that the provision, in conjunction with the criminal sanctions its violation would engender, is unconstitutionally vague under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

Judge Roll, of all the dozens of Judges who had heard this case from me and the other six sheriff defendants, was the only one who ruled that the Brady bill violated the Fifth Amendment as well as the Tenth. It was pursuant to Judge Roll’s insight and sensitivity to the threat this “law” posed to us, the sheriffs, that this case made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

When I read the other Judge Roll principle, it truly brought me to understand how astonishing this man really was. He said:

“Mack is thus forced to choose between keeping his oath or obeying the act, subjecting himself to possible sanctions.”

To have a federal Judge actually grasp the full extent of my personal motivation for filing this case was absolutely remarkable. He touched my soul with this comment and it is recorded in my books and memory forever. He was truly before his time. Now, his work is a part of American history. His legacy should be one of honesty, courage, and living up to his oath as a true defender of our nation’s rule of law. He changed my life and showed us all that the Constitution is still the supreme law of the land.

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Actually, a very commendable job: NPR's Ira Glass/This American Life on "The Invention of Money"

January 15th, 2011 No comments

Even Ron Paul gets a chance to talk! Listen for yourself:


In particular, I like Act Two, starting at 29:12 (and don’t miss the closeout song, “We Do (The Stonecutters’ Song)”, The Simpsons)::

Act Two. Weekend At Bernanke’s.

Though the name of the Federal Reserve includes the word “federal,” it’s not actually part of the government. It’s an independent institution tasked with something very simple, but very huge: Creating money out of thin air. And during this last financial crisis, the leaders of the Fed did things that they would never have considered doing in the past. Alex Blumberg and David Kestenbaum report on what the Fed usually does, and how, since 2008, it’s taken a trip to what amounts to Fed Crazytown. (26 minutes)

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Inspiration for further human action? "Here's to you, Mr. Jefferson"

January 13th, 2011 No comments

I’ve commented quite a few times on Thomas Jefferson, chiefly in the context of the rights of corporations (as opposed to the rights of the individuals who form them, own their shares or are employed by them).

I just stumbled in to the following YouTube clip on a conservative grassroots organizing site – not particularly a stunner, but nice, nonetheless (other YouTube clips I’ve blogged here) – and thought I’d share it with my friends here with the question: while much ‘political’ action is self-deluded, is all such action now foolish?



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Great find! Anthony Watts and fellow 'skeptics' have nihilistic fun with new report on long-lasting effect of human changes to atmosphere, oceans & albedo

January 10th, 2011 No comments

Gitchyer climate fun here, at this January 10 post by Anthony Watts at his skeptic climate blog, Watts Up With That: “Abandon all hope, ye who read this”!

Most of the post is a copy of the entire press release concerning an article slated to appear in Nature Geoscience: here is the sub-heading and the initial paragraph:

New paper in Nature Geoscience examines inertia of carbon dioxide emissions

New research indicates the impact of rising CO2 levels in the Earth’s atmosphere will cause unstoppable effects to the climate for at least the next 1000 years, causing researchers to estimate a collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet by the year 3000, and an eventual rise in the global sea level of at least four metres.

The full article is now available online behind a paywall; the free first paragraph is here.

Wanting to share in the fun that Anthony and his fellow skeptics were having with the press release, I left the following comment (now in [out of] moderation):

TokyoTom says:

January 10, 2011 at 1:17 am

This is REALLY funny — because we all know that there is NO inertia to the climate system and that it’s physically impossible that the CO2, methane and other multi-atom radiation-absorbing gas molecules that man is releasing/accelerating release of, and the soot release and other albedo-changing activities of man, will have any physical effect whatsoever, much less one that might be felt for a millenia or so, right?

Pielke, Sr., Christy, Michaels & Lindzen all agree that there is no greenhouse effect, that soot has no effect, and that paleorecords of other long-felt climate influences are the sheerest nonsense, right?

Thanks so much for the fun and reassurance, Tony!

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Is Philip Klein's "A Study in Contrasts: NYT on Ft. Hood and Arizona Shootings" a study in shallow partisan self-deception?

January 10th, 2011 No comments

Judge for yourselves – but I left the following comment on Phlip Klein’s piece at The American Spectator blog::

TokyoTom| 1.10.11 @ 12:50AM

I love the hypocrisy with which the right points out the hypocrisy of left, in order to dodge its obvious responsibility for fuelling the religious and political divisions that the right finds convenient as a way to mask their desire to control a fairly naked kleptocracy behind their small government rhetoric.

Perhaps hypocrisy is in the eye of the beholder, Philip, but it doesn’t seem so hard to distinguish these cases: in the first the NYT is seeking to keep fears of “Islamofascists” from running out of control, and in the second is drawing attention to the political polarization and hatred that are clearly on the rise.

One can disagree with the policies favored by the NYT and the left (like gun control) yet still recognize that at least the left deserves to be taken seriously, unlike you.

Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind appears to t\e the Right’s political strategy. Sadly, it’s one that heightens distrust and not only makes the country even less governable, it also undermines the basis for private cooperation. The upside, of course, is that it makes it easy to mask kleptocracy.

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Judith Curry, climate scientist who is controversial because she talks with 'skeptics', wonders about "Libertarianism and the environment"

January 10th, 2011 No comments

See this post and comment thread on Dr. Judith Curry’s blog. Here is Scientific American on the controversy around her.

Anyone interested in jumping in?

Yours truly has left comments, and Dr. Curry promises a follow-up post.

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