About This Blog

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the greatest economist of my time. His greatest works can be accessed here at no charge.

Mises believed that property, freedom and peace are and should be the hallmarks of a satisfying and prosperous society. I agree. Mises proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the prospect for general and individual prosperity is maximized, indeed, is only possible, if the principle of private property reigns supreme. What's yours is yours. What's mine is mine. When the line between yours and mine is smudged, the door to conflict opens. Without freedom (individual liberty of action) the principle of private property is neutered and the free market, which is the child of property and freedom and the mother of prosperity and satisfaction, cannot exist. Peace is the goal of a prosperous and satisfying society of free individuals, not peace which is purchased by submission to the enemies of property and freedom, but peace which results from the unyielding defense of these principles against all who challenge them.

In this blog I measure American society against the metrics of property, freedom and peace.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Chris Cuomo's Tears Of A Clown

CNN reported "BREAKING NEWS" this morning: Trump officials other than Michael Flynn were in "constant" contact with "the Russians" during the campaign!

Wow! Stop the presses and the World! I want to get off!

Chris Cuomo, who always strikes me as being at the point of tears, breathlessly reported on this "crisis," calling it "explosive" and saying it is stirring up a "firestorm." He peppered his reporting with references to violations of the "Logan Act." Several times he asked rhetorically: "Who knew what and when?" In an interview he even suggested that Congress should appoint a "Special Prosecutor" to investigate!

Give me a break!

Cuomo's parody of reportorial Watergate angst was quite good. If it had been performed on another network during Saturday Night Live, it might even have been funny.

Apparently, Trump stepped on some toes over at CNN with his criticism that the network reports "fake" news. If this morning's performance by Cuomo and company is any indication, CNN also drums up fake crises.

Trump has been President now for only a few weeks and his administration has been under concerted fire from Day One by Democrats, the mainstream media and George Soros, who has funded political disruption by hooligans around the country.

I get it. Trump won. The Washington snakes and frogs are hissing and croaking at the prospect of their swamp being drained.

As far as I'm concerned watching guys like Cuomo squirm at CNN is great entertainment. But I could care less about his blather.

Carry on, Mr. Trump!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

When Bubbles Burst

November 8, 2016

November 9, 2016

Nowadays it's easy to live in a bubble. Today if a man has a computer and internet access he can build an imaginary world of his choosing and live in it seemingly unscathed by reality. Examples are everywhere and infamous. Anthony Weiner is only the latest specimen.

Yesterday one had to be filthy rich -- or regal -- to live insulated from life's slings and arrows. Kings and Queens lived in bubbles of opulence exacted from their subjects and bubbles of turbulence created by their own imaginary demons. If reality drew too close, it could be commanded away by the wagging of a pinky finger adorned by a ruthless and powerful ring.

Political sycophants and their adoring press are today's version of royalty. They live in Washington, D.C. in tax-built palaces surrounded by ideological moats and fanatical armies of partisans that scour the hinterlands for unguarded loot that they can shower upon their benefactors in exchange for favors and a fair share of the good life.

And then there are our coddled youngsters who ensconce themselves in a dorm room in the belly of an ivy-covered bunker and dream up ideal rules for the rest of us to live by, rules guaranteeing perfect justice, rules which only they are wise enough to enforce, justice which only they are educated enough to distribute in appropriate and equal measure, as we the peons toil on the hardscrabble earth producing what life, reality and our betters demand from us.

But every once in a long while the stars align, the heavens smile and the bubbles burst. The Kings lose their heads, the politicians lose their positions and the youngsters lose their pacifiers.

And Anthony Weiner? He loses his computer.

However, Weiner will quickly recover. He's already diligently fashioning himself another fantastical life in a new bubble prescribed for him by a compassionate culture. He's exorcising his demons in a clinic for those afflicted with the disease of sexual deviancy.

How long will it be, I wonder, before all the bubbles are repaired and all our lives return to normal?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

One Last Simple Question For Those Still Planning To Vote For Hillary Clinton

As reported by CNN, Hillary Clinton said she and Bill Clinton were "dead broke" and had "no money" when they left the White House in January, 2001.

After their stint in the White House, Hillary served in the US Senate for eight years and served as Secretary of State for four years. Bill has lived the life of a retired US President.

Yet today, 15 years later, a simple Google search reveals that Hillary Clinton has a net worth of $31.3-million and that she and Bill have a total net worth of $111-million.

How does something like that happen?

We all know that it is possible for great sports figures, actors and entrepreneurs in business to earn many millions of dollars in the private sector in this great country of ours in a short period of time. But the Clintons are not great sports figures, actors or entrepreneurs. They are ex-politicians and "public servants."

Donald Trump is, supposedly, worth $3.7-billion. But he is an entrepreneur. He has built a huge business. He has created thousands of private sector jobs and built hundreds of buildings. The Clintons have built nothing.

$111-million is a lot of money. How exactly did they earn it?

Friday, August 5, 2016

Crony Capitalism: A Real Life Example -- How Big Government And Big Tobacco Are Teaming Up To Kill Teenage Vapers

I write about crony capitalism here all the time. It all seems pretty abstract until you read something like this: Today's Teens Say No to Drugs and Tobacco, Yes to Vaping.

Apparently, the electronic cigarette craze is tremendously popular with young people. Teens today are smoking less and "vaping" more. Great news, right?

Not if you're a billion dollar cigarette company or a big-time tobacco grower. Not if teens are one of your most profitable demographics. So what does big tobacco do? It runs to government to put the vaping industry out of business, thus killing the competition and potentially millions of teenagers who will be deprived of their preferred, non-tobacco alternative to cigarettes:
Though this is the first YRBSS report that includes any data on teens and their use of vaping devices, 44.9 percent of the teenagers surveyed said they have used a vaping device.

The release of this report comes at an interesting time for the vape industry. Recently, the FDA has passed new regulations that classify e-liquid, the substance used in vape devices, as a tobacco product. Though the rise of vaping is largely attributed to the fact that the e-liquid contains no tobacco and is, therefore, a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes, the FDA’s new rules will require vape product manufacturers to go through the same regulatory process as big tobacco companies.

These new regulations require that each vaping device be put through a “Pre-Market Tobacco Applications” (PMTA) process before it can be sold on the market. However, this is not something that can be done by simply filling out some paperwork. For each separate device needing approval, it will take the FDA upwards of 1,700 hours and cost the manufacturer millions of dollars.

Since the vaping industry is relatively new and comprised of mostly small business owners, many of whom are Millennials, the new regulations will put many of these companies out of business. The only players in the vape industry who will not be subject to these new regulations are the big tobacco companies, who have seen a major decline in sales since vaping has become more widespread.
Of course big tobacco is spinning these new regulations as "safety measures" to protect naive and vulnerable consumers. And politicians are happy to concur because the cigarette lobby is a huge source of campaign income.

Oh, did I forget to mention that cigarettes are punitively taxed as a tobacco product and e-cigarettes are not? Do you think the politicians might also be worried about lost government revenue if cigarette sales decline?

Nah, everyone knows that politicians look at tax revenue as property that rightfully belongs to the taxpayer and NOT to the tax collector. LOL

Today's Earth-Shattering Controversy: Melania Trump Is An Illegal Immigrant And May Be Deported!

So this morning I get up and tune in FOX and Friends. The three hosts are in the bag for Trump. Everybody knows that. They are showing video of Hillary Clinton saying that FBI Director James Comey said she had been totally honest about her emails and that she had done nothing wrong.

Then the hosts start complaining that she said this Wednesday and "doubled-down" on it three times since and Donald Trump has not said one word about Hillary Clinton's oft-repeated lie because he's been beating up on the father of a KIA US soldier and a crying baby.
So I tune to CNN. The big story there is Melania Trump. Did she enter the country and work as a model in 1995 or 1996? She says 1996, but they've got evidence she did a photo-shoot in 1995!

What difference does one year make?

Well, Melania obtained a work visa in 1996, so if she got paid for the photo-shoot in 1995 she would have violated US immigration laws. Ergo, she could have her citizenship stripped from her. Ergo, she could be deported.

But wait, CNN ends their prerecorded expose by interviewing the photographer who took the pictures of Melania in 1995. He said Melania did the photo-shoot for free. She was young, needed exposure and WASN'T PAID!

End of report, right?

No. No. No. They followup the prerecorded expose with a five to 10 minute panel discussion with "experts" on US immigration policy. Then, they put a statement from Melania on the screen in which she says she followed all immigration laws...period.

So, CNN goes through all this nonsense to allege (contrary to its own prerecorded conclusion) that Melania is a liar.

On the matter of whether or not Hillary Clinton is lying about Comey's testimony? Crickets...

Now CNN is interviewing the 11-year-old kid who asked Mike Pence yesterday if he was Donald Trump's apologist!

Whether or not the media is dead in this country is debatable. However, I think it's safe to say we can all agree that the media is BRAIN-DEAD.

*Footnote: You have to kind of smile about Melania getting beat up over her iffy citizenship status in view of the fact that The Donald made a huge point of saying in the primaries that Ted Cruz was not able to be President because he was born in Canada and is not an American citizen. LOL. I wonder if Trump is going to take this bait and waste another week or two of campaign time responding to it?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

To Trump Or Not To Trump?

A great many Americans are having a hard time this year deciding who to vote for. Folks who normally vote conservative Republican have to decide whether or not to vote for a nationalist candidate who gives a whole new meaning to the acronym RINO. Some Democrats are sailing in a similar boat. Those who are far-left, progressive Democrats are wondering if they can vote for a candidate who is the epitome of the play-for-pay Washington establishment and easily lies about it.

As an individual who believes in private property, individual freedom and peace, I'd have to have a screw loose to vote for Hillary Clinton. Anyone who can't understand that hasn't been paying attention. On the other hand, blackening that circle next to Trump's name is about as easy as putting Fido to sleep.

When I say I believe in property, freedom and peace I'm not just speaking rhetorically. I believe that just about everything in existence should be owned by somebody. I believe that just about every exchange possible between human individuals should be free and voluntary. I believe in free market capitalism, small government and The Constitution...literally. Anyone who has been listening to Donald Trump knows that his ideas and mine have very little in common. Indeed, lately I read the Republican platform and have a difficult time rationalizing my Republican voter registration.

I register as a Republican because the party is one of the two major parties in our American system. Virtually all of our modern Presidents have been either Republican or Democrat. Our federal legislators with a few exceptions belong to these major parties. As a Republican, I can vote in the Republican primaries. I like to think I am instrumental in sending hard-core conservative Republicans to Washington.

Lately, however, I've become frustrated. I've helped send a Tea Party Republican to Congress and was deeply disappointed when he turned into a RINO after his first term. I don't know what it is about Washington. Maybe it's an ego thing. A young man wins a seat in Congress and heads east thinking he's going to change the world. Then, like Jefferson Smith, he soon discovers that Washington is an exclusive club of "good ole boys." In order to become a member you have to pay your dues and sell your soul, i.e., learn the fine art of "you-scratch-my-back-and-I'll-scratch-yours."

I'm tired of getting my hopes up, thinking that the Republicans are going to actually put their money where their mouth is and stand up for my principles. First they tell me that the Democrats control everything -- House, Senate and the Presidency. Before they can get anything done they need some clout.

So I work hard to elect some Tea Party boys and the GOP wins the House. But when our guys are still rolling over and playing dead, they say they only control 1/3 of what they have to in order to affect real change. So I work hard again and the GOP takes over the Senate. But now they tell me they need the Presidency or it's just like smashing their noggins up against a brick wall.

So here I am this year being told by the Washington GOP that I should vote for Trump. With the Presidency in hand, they say, I'll see some real honest-to-goodness action. Well, I have my doubts. I'm wonder how Trump can lead a free market/individual liberty rebellion in Washington when he doesn't seem to understand what that means -- at least the way I understand what that means.

Maybe I should vote for a 3rd party candidate who believes in what I do. Yeah, but then I'm criticized for "wasting" my vote on a candidate that is sure NOT to be elected. I'm told voting 3rd party will somehow help Hillary get elected. (I guess the GOP strategists are projecting she's going to win by one vote.) And then there's that bogeyman about the Supreme Court. You know, Hillary gets elected and appoints a Supreme Court leftist or two, and there goes the country down the crapper.

I don't know what I'm going to do. Sometimes voting for Trump appeals to me. He's got that independent, unpredictable, anti-establishment persona that would surely shake the good ole boys out of their knickers. On the other hand, Trump's unpredictable part worries me. The Donald brags himself up so much as the best deal-maker whoever lived, I'm thinking he just might make too many deals with the good ole boys and things would get worse than ever for us saps in flyover country.

We might even wind up with an interloper on the Supreme Court if Trump becomes too enamored with his  deal-making prowess.

LOL. Maybe I'll flip a coin.