Just Tools, Not Just Tools

I’ve been a car guy for as long as I can remember. I drew them and mildly lusted after them but mostly had an interest in the technology. I like cheap cars that I can keep running on my own because repair costs are (to me) like interest and cars should be tools not idols. I had the chance to buy a 1958 Porsche Speedster for $800 but Mom wouldn’t let me. Thanks to her I’m still alive and that car might remain an example of simpler times in high technology.

Anyone who knows what a carburetor is knows the days of do-it-yourself auto maintenance are now limited to token feats like oil changes, and it’s getting worse. Now we have Google’s driverless car technology. It is enabled by drive-by-wire systems. Throttles, for instance are largely controlled by electrical impulses in wires and computers.

Our oldest kid, Hans, loved his remote controlled dune buggy. And no doubt Michael Hastings was alright with his late model Mercedes Benz, that is until he lost control of it and hit a palm tree doing 80 miles per hour in Hancock Park, California.

Thirty-three year old Michael Hastings was an investigative journalist with ties to Rolling Stone. His big break came when he interviewed General Stanley McChrystal in 2010. McChrystal, who was commanding coalition forces in Afghanistan, made some disparaging remarks about President Obama and his administration. Soon after publication he was summoned to the White House and later resigned. I doubt being forced to quit by the criminal elite in Washington is much of a disgrace to decent people.

Hancock Park is a well-to-do part of Los Angeles and 80 miles per hour doesn’t fit. Neither does suicide by someone who just emailed his colleagues to seek legal advice before talking with authorities. Hastings’ acquaintance, Staff Sgt. Joseph Biggs, who Hastings was embedded with in Afghanistan, said the email was “very panicked,” where he wrote, “I’m onto a big story and need to go off the (radar) for a bit.”

Former Marine Gordon Duff wrote of drive-by-wire cars being manipulated remotely in a 2010 story in Veterans Today. Counter-terrorism expert, Richard Clark, has stated that all the major powers have car hacking ability.

Authorities had Hastings’ body cremated against the wishes of the family. The Los Angeles Police Department categorizes the “accident” as having “no evidence of foul play.” But they won’t release accident or toxicology reports or make the Mercedes available for inspection.

It seems we have to dig pretty deeply to get the rest of the story on these assassinations. We wouldn’t want to be like Obama and just have someone murdered without trial or charges. But where do we turn? Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden exposed minor misdeeds by our government and the propaganda machine easily convinces our democracy they are the enemy.

John F. Kennedy’s head snapped back when shot from behind as he was beginning the process of bringing our troops home from Vietnam. Martin Luther King makes his anti-Vietnam War speech and is shot on a balcony where only one agent seemed surprised. Gary Webb, who exposed CIA drug dealing, commits suicide with two shots to the head. The list is very long of these mysterious deaths that fade quickly in our complicit media. We are convinced it doesn’t affect us as the miracle of capitalism, what little is left of it, continues to provide for us the tools for the good life and not much personal reason to question authority.

Capitalism is increasingly reserved for the well-connected rather than the producers, however and that is what elimination of leakers is all about. We increasingly exist to provide for the upper crust somewhere. I don’t know who they are. Whoever might expose that is probably no longer living. It is now evident that, like drugs, drones are but a tool. Drones, like Michael Hastings’ Mercedes are just one tool in the drawer. Drugs, drones, cars or whatever will continue to be available but as long as the law has no teeth, and I mean the law limiting government power which is The Constitution, those tools will be used to destroy us.

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Rise up. Anti-Interventionists!

 

Rise up, anti-interventionists!

 

Barack Obama may be the best president we’ve ever had. He’s got conservatives criticizing the surveillance state. He’s got liberals wondering what happened to civil liberties and peace.

 

Mistrust of government is growing and Obama is primarily responsible. Mistrust of government is privately universal because it is deserved. But in the public sphere, trust in government is tolerated because we are all addicted to this despicable tool of theft. As Bastiat said, “Government is the great fiction through which everyone endeavors to live at the expense of everyone else.”

 

Because we are so widely dependent on this great fiction, little mention is made of an alternative. In recent election cycles it was mentioned, but in a way that categorized it in a combative realm that didn’t allow further discussion. This place was interventionism as opposed to isolationism and was linked to patriotism as opposed to anti-Americanism. That’s a lot of isms but bear with me.

 

Intervention is the culprit in every aspect of government failure. A recent Des Moines Register article had an ISU professor stating the food stamp program has been “effective.” This is a perfect example of Jan Mickelson’s description of an uncivilized society; short term results at the expense of future security. This ISU professor, paid with my tax money, legitimizes this program as effective. But the long term effects are a broad acceptance of theft as a new moral standard.

 

For example, when I shared a big house with several people in Oakland, California. A couple moved in from Boston whose employment was basically gaming the government trough. They even had a way of losing their food stamps, reporting them stolen and being issued more.

 

To take my argument further, there should be no public colleges. That would solve the problem of idiot professors paid by people who disagree with them. This may seem like a radical concept but the situation we deal with today is the radical one. Public colleges are just a part of a huge network of corporate welfare. And it can be rightfully called interventionism. This interventionism skews the labor market by spreading the cost of training to taxpayers instead of having that cost reflected in a simple business decision. This results in jobs that needn’t be done and products that never should have been produced. We have a society full of stuff nobody needs.

 

In another editorial, The Farm Bill was touted as beneficial because it provided nutrition to under privileged families and funds for crop disasters. My folks are dead now and along with them is the idea they taught: Money doesn’t grow on trees.

 

Vladimir Lenin said, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.” Apparently the truth ignored long enough can cease to exist. The intervention that saves the under privileged from hunger or the farmer from drought also deters the businessman from investing in new machinery or new employees. Once again from Bastiat, the seen is beneficial to some but the unseen has a larger impact in the long run.

 

In the realm of the elections non-interventionism was used in the context of foreign policy. Conservatives consistently called it isolationism, as a slur. But with Obama in the driver’s seat, conservatives are starting to see empire for what it is; a spending free-for-all that is draining our productive capacity and making us less safe and less free.

 

Politicians see interventionism as wrong for others but alright in their own constituencies. So they tolerate their comrades’ bribery to protect their own.

 

I can’t imagine anyone defending the First Family spending one hundred million dollars on an African vacation. Even though this is a tiny fraction of the waste produced by empire, farm bills or silly regulations, maybe it will put a burr under the saddles of the people who eventually see it as their money and not Obama’s. Maybe it will make people realize that government is full of people who don’t qualify for jobs in the private sector so they should have no power to intervene in any part of our lives unless we are causing harm to others.

 

Limited government is the friend of liberals and conservatives alike. A coalition of anti-interventionists would be a beautiful thing. But there are too many snouts in the trough, on either side.

 

Fans and enemies are encouraged by Fritz to share at 4selfgovernment@gmail.com.

 

Independence Day

With the Independence Day celebration coming up I dedicate this column to the Mannings, Snowdens, Reveres and Washingtons who actually try to protect our freedom.

Please send on, respond or refuse future emails as you see fit. And have a great week as we remember those who resisted their government 237 years ago so we could start out as a nation of free men.

The artist would be starving, if not for capitalism

I have a friend who, when I mentioned public radio, said he wouldn’t ever listen to it. He said he just listens to Rush Limbaugh to know how to think. I told him he’s missing out on some in-depth reporting that merely needs to be listened to while considering the source.

Well, I’ve given public radio a long trial period and they just get worse. I refer to the so-called news shows, not the music programming (especially Bob Dorr’s music history shows which are excellent).

I believe it was Ben Kiefer on Iowa Public Radio who was interviewing an artist who put up a sign that said, “Capitalism works for me,” with buttons for public input marked true and false. Neither man seemed to have any idea what capitalism was, or else they thought if their lies were repeated often enough they would come true.

The artist claimed we live in a democracy where The Constitution defines the government we have and we have the right to vote for our economic system, as if the government was one thing and the economic system was something separate. The host, Kiefer, just talked on like the artist had not made a totally false statement. If anything is a great argument against democracy, this is it. This is the kind of garbage that is supposed to inform the public so we can make informed decisions required in a democracy?

Then there’s Talk of the Nation, hosted by Tom Ashbrook. The good news is it has ended, replaced by a show that seems more focused on the workings of politics, as if we must be umbilically connected to the latest directive from government or we might just stand still and starve.

I happened to be listening last Thursday, which was the last day for Talk of the Nation. Even though the show was canceled, various government radio celebrities came on to sound the praises of the so-called civil discourse of Talk of the Nation. They accepted calls too.

One caller pointed out how Talk of the Nation has filtered out any discussion of the benefits of private ownership of property or entrepreneurial endeavor without funding from public (stolen) sources. When the caller mentioned building number seven in relation to the September 11th attacks, Tom Ashbrook exploded into a rage calling him a truther. Seeking the truth is something NPR (National Public Radio) brags about but avoids like the plague. Civil discourse, my foot.

This is where I have to temper my criticism of public radio because they are not alone. Anyone who listens to that joke called The Big Show on WHO knows this. How many billions of dollars have been wasted in this worship of the pagan idol, ethanol? And when Debra Medina, who was in the Republican primary for Texas governor, admitted she lacks enough information to pass judgment concerning 9/11 and building seven on Glenn Beck’s show, she was childishly ridiculed as a truther too. Commercial radio can misinform as well.

The truth is elusive in a world where we are so distant from an eye witness account. By the time any news arrives it can go through enough changes (like the old telephone game where the story changes as it is passed around a circle) that there is very little resemblance to the original.

Besides the fact that minority rights don’t exist in a democracy, the lack of well-informed voters should be the last nail in the coffin of democracy. A republic, as defined by our Constitution, limits the power of government to protect us from abuse by monied interests or “social justice” advocates, alike. But the exceptions brought about by each side for their own interest have been exploited by the other side so now CEOs and socialists are vilified by the people who enabled them.

I used to be an art student and I realize what art is. It is a product that is useless as a sustenance of basic life. It enriches our lives but it is not biologically necessary. It exists because we are so wealthy through the benefits of private ownership (capitalism), we have capital left over for pleasure. The artist who put up the capitalism sign would be spending every waking hour supporting his own physical existence, if not for capitalism. If he were living in the fabled democracy he spoke of, there would be no one left to produce the necessities of life because the vote would be the source of all wealth. We can’t vote food and shelter out of thin air. They must come from a selfish will to survive and voluntary exchange that distributes scarce resources most efficiently.