FOR A WELL-REASONED and well-written treatise on the virtues of property ownership as the salve for what curses us as a people in constitutional crises, check out this essay by Ludwig von Mises of which the following excerpt is provided...Most social problems which perplex national leaders could be solved fairly simply by an increase in the amount and type of property owned. This would entail the equally important, general recognition that ownership is and must be total, rather than merely a governmental permission to possess and/or manage property so long as certain legal rules are complied with and "rent" in the form of property taxes is paid. When a man is required to "rent" his own property from the government by paying property taxes on it, he is being forbidden to fully exercise his right of ownership. Although he owns the property, he is forced into the position of a lessee, with the government the landlord.
The proof of this is that if he fails to pay the taxes the government will take his property away from him (even though it is his property and not the government's), just as a landlord would kick out a tenant who failed to pay the rent. Similarly, if a man must comply with laws dictating the use or upkeep of his property (or any other rule except that of not using the property to initiate force or fraud against others), he is being forbidden to fully exercise his right of ownership.
Because a man must use his timewhich is part of his lifeto acquire, utilize, and care for property, he has a right to own and control that property fully, just as he has a right to fully own and control his life (so long as he doesn't use it to coerce any other man). Any form of property tax or regulation denies the individual's right to fully control his own property and, therefore, his own life. For this reason, taxation and regulation of property is always wrong — taxation is theft and regulation by initiated force is slavery.
In a governmentally controlled society, the unrestricted enjoyment of property ownership is not permitted, since government has the power to tax, regulate, and sometimes even confiscate (as in eminent domain) just about anything it pleases. In addition, much potential property is not permitted to be owned. In a laissez-faire society, everything which was valued and rationally claimed would be owned, and this ownership would be total.
Property is anything which is owned. Ownership is the right to possess, use, and/or dispose of anything to which one has a moral claim. Property may be acquired by producing it, by exchange with others, as a gift, or by claiming an unowned value. The claiming of unowned values is the way in which all property originally came to be owned.
Welly, welly, welly, welly, welly, welly, well. To what do I owe the extreme pleasure of this surprising news, as young Alex in Anthony Burgess' Clockwork Orange might have put it.
Forecasts of climate change are about to go seriously out of kilter. One of the world's top climate modellers said Thursday we could be about to enter one or even two decades during which temperatures cool.
"People will say this is global warming disappearing," he told more than 1500 of the world's top climate scientists gathering in Geneva at the UN's World Climate Conference.
"I am not one of the sceptics," insisted Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University, Germany, and one of the foremost recognized experts on climate change in the world. "However, we have to ask the nasty questions ourselves or other people will do it."
Few climate scientists go as far as Latif, an author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But more and more agree that the short-term prognosis for climate change is much less certain than once thought.
Update: January 23, 2011
For two decades or so we have been told to urgently act against unprecedented global warming, changing every habit industrial man has grown to embrace, or else there will be fiery gloom and doom for the world and be careful not to confuse weather for climate. Yet, the opposite seems to be occurring all over the globe.
Facts. The entire planet has stopped warming since 1998 and, more significantly, has started to cool since 2003. Instead of warning people of cooler weather for the next 30 years, there’s still the distinct false sense of expectation of unprecedented warming. People and governments are being urged to go entirely in the wrong direction for the wrong reasonsand at a potentially horrendous price.
Just look at what happened in UK. Ten years ago Britons were told to expect global warming only and that snow would be a thing of the past. Yet the opposite has arrived, three winters in a row. This winter it crippled the entire nation for nearly a month in December 2010. Alternating periods of warm and cooler weather have been with us as far back as our climate records go. Some of the past cooler periods have been more severe than others, like the Sporer, Maunder and Dalton Minimums. Professor Don Easterbrook has documented some 20 such cool periods over the last 500 years,
A FEW DAYS AGO Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stated that the $100M dollars in cuts the White House is requesting being made is a LARGE sum of Money.
Yet, a short while ago we were told 8 Billion dollars in earmarks is a small amount. And Mr. Gibbs even restated this just a few weeks ago. So, can someone please demonstrate or explain how $100 million is larger than eight billion dollars? I am sure if someone can come up with the answer, it will make an interesting mathematical equation...
These sheiks are simply itching for a fight, and the Sh'ites may oblige them if we damned Yankees won't, but what's all this fuss about "i" before "e" except after "c" that we were taught as dirty kaffir kids?
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMS' internal documents show that the major oil producing nations of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) gives almost nothing to the food organization, even as skyrocketing oil prices and swollen oil revenues contribute to the very crisis that the U.N. claims could soon add 100 million more people to the world’s starving masses. The overwhelming bulk of the burden in feeding the world’s starving poor remains with the United States and a small group of other predominately Western nations, a situation that the WFP has done little so far to change, even as it has asked for another $775 million in donations to ease the crisis.
Donor listings on WFP’s website show that this year, as in every year since 1999, the U.S. is far and away the biggest aid provider to WFP. Since 2001, U.S. donations to the food agency have averaged more than $1.16 billion annuallyor more than five times as much as the next biggest donor, the European Commission. One might suppose that the same oil rich Muslim nations, led by Saudi Arabia, who continues to spend hundreds of millions every year constructing madrassas and erecting mosques in every corner of the globe to spread its virilent Wahabi doctrine must believe that man does not live by bread alone, but by Islam alone.
This year, the U.S. had contributed $362.7 million to WFP just through May 4, according to the website. That figure does not include another $250 million above the planned yearly contribution that was promised by President George W. Bush in the wake of WFP’s April warning that a “silent tsunami” of rising food costs would add dramatically to the world population living in hunger. Nor does it include another $770 million in food aid that President Bush has asked Congress to provide as soon as possible.
1. USA - $362,728,240 2. Canada - 103,770,270 3. United Nations - 84,446,788 4. Japan - 69,653,009 5. Sweden - 61,290,322 6. Netherlands - 54,231,878 7. Denmark - 50,479,875 8. Italy - 41,544,151 9. United Kingdom - 36,014,081 10. European Commission - 32,451,039 11. Switzerland - 29,132,661 12. Germany - 28,456,272 13. Private Donors - 23,084,971 14. Finland - 18,736,010 15. Australia - 13,868,115 16. Spain - 13,716,100 17. Russian Federation - 12,500,000 18. Luxembourg - 11,338,301 19. Ireland - 9,186,704 20. France - 9,140,161 21. Bangladesh - 5,787,465 22. Norway - 5,404,288 23. New Zealand - 4,894,327 24. Austria - 3,414,417 25. Greece - 3,213,770 26. China - 2,500,000 27. Republic of Korea - 1,951,010 28. Iceland - 1,603,498 29. Zambia - 1,250,000 30. Mauritania - 1,237,445 31. Congo - 800,000 32. Burkina Faso - 603,768 33. Peru - 316,652 34. Egypt - 309, 096 35. Turkey - 300,000 36. South Africa - 213,841 37. Brazil - 200,000 38. Liechtenstein - 110,091 39. Mozambique - 105,048 40. India - 75,472 41. Syria - 62,630 42. Czech Republic - 56,818 43. OPEC Fund - 50,000 44. United Arab Emirates - 50,000 45. Thailand - 47,755 46. Slovenia - 47,319 47. Estonia - 46,581 48. Jordan - 42,118 49. Pakistan - 37,127 50. Faroe Islands - 30,425 51. Israel - 30,000 52. Guinea - 19,716 53. Belgium - 14,793 54. Vatican City - 10,000 55. Bhutan - 5,014 56. Malaysia - 4,213 57. Panama - 1,000
On the other hand, Saudi Arabia, with oil revenues last year of $164 billion, does not even appear on the website donor list for 2008. And while Canada, Australia, Western Europe and Japan have hastened to pony up an additional $260 million in aid since WFP’s latest appeal, the world organization told FOX News, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the international oil cartel, tossed in a grand total of $1.5 million in addition to the $50,000 it had previously donated.
Click here for the PDF table for the years 2001-2007. By our calculations, using this table, the total 2007 contribution to the WFP by the Islamic nations (pop. 1.5bn and including some of the world's richest oil exporters) was around $34.3m, equal to that of the Republic of Ireland (pop. 4.3m). These oil-rich Muslim countries DO share generously with the world one thing in abundance: sharia oppression which is the mating call to violence.
The OPEC total amounts to roughly one minute and 10 seconds worth of the organization’s estimated $674 billion in annual oil revenues in 2007revenues that will be vastly exceeded in 2008 with the continuing spiral in world oil prices. The only other major oil exporter who made the WFP list of 2008 donors was the United Arab Emirates, which kicked in $50,000. UAE oil revenues in 2007 were $63 billion.
By contrast, the poverty-stricken African republic of Burkina Faso is listed as donating more than $600,000, and Bangladesh, perennial home of many of the world’s hungriest people, is listed as donating nearly $5.8 million.
This outrage highlights two of the big lies about Islam:
1. All Muslims are Brothers togetherall too often overlooked, but old-fashioned tribal racism, particularly Arab racism, is alive and well in the Muslim world. Arabs use the same word for "black" and "slave." Berber Muslims and South Asian Muslims are not considered equals with Arab Muslims. A fierce article on this subject by Jon Clay entitled "Islam: Universal religion or Arab tribalism?" can be found here.
2. One of the noble pillars of Islam is zakat or charitable givingthe way this "tax" is administered, however, is a farce. The heavy burden is on poor farmers, but most of modern sources of wealthoil revenue, banking, and corporate equity are exempt from zakat because those enterprises didn't exist in Muhammad's time. Note how, selectively, the letter of the law or the spirit of the law is emphasized, depending on the situation.
How convenient is thy liar's mind!
A fascinating exposé of the absurdities of Islamic economics can be found in the book Islam and Mammon written by Timur Kuran.
What this study leaves out is that Muslim countries disproportionately receive aid throughout the world. Even oil-drunk terror-producing nations like Saudi Arabia receives foreign aid in what must be the most ill-conceived policy blunder of Bush's eight years.
It is by design that the oil-rich Muslim nations turn a blind eye to any human crisis around the worldeven when other Muslims are involved. After all, in the mind of an Arab supremacist, it surely must be Allah's will that these other Muslims and kaffirs alike are impoverished or struck with tragedy while the Arabs themselves are growing richer by the gallon.
The following is the transcript of Rep. Bernie Sanders' question-and-answer period with Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan during Tuesday's Financial Services hearing.
SANDERS: Thank you, Madam Chair.
And, Mr. Greenspan, nice to see you again. Mr. Greenspan, I have long been concerned that you are way out of touch with the needs of the middle class and working families of our country, that you see your major function in your position as the need to represent the wealthy and large corporations. And I must tell you that your testimony today only confirms all of my suspicions, and I urge youand I mean this seriously, because you're an honest person, I think you just don't know what's going on in the real worldand I would urge you come with me to Vermont, meet real people. The country club and the cocktail parties are not real America. The millionaires and billionaires are the exception to the rule.
You talk about an improving economy while we have lost 3 million private sector jobs in the last two years, long-term unemployment is more than tripled, unemployment is higher than it's been since 1994.
We have a $4 trillion national debt, 1.4 million Americans have lost their health insurance, millions of seniors can't afford prescription drugs, middle-class families can't send their kids to college because they don't have the money to do that, bankruptcy cases have increased by a record-breaking 23 percent, business investment is at its lowest level in more than 50 years, CEOs make more than 500 times of what their workers make, the middle class is shrinking, we have the greatest gap between the rich and the poor of any industrialized nation, and this is an economy that is improving. I'd hate to see what would happen if our economy was sinking. Now, today you may not have known thisI suspect that you don'tbut you have insulted tens of millions of American workers. You have defended over the years, among other things, the abolition of the minimum wageone of your policiesand giving huge tax breaks to billionaires. But today you have reached a new low, I think, by suggesting that manufacturing in America doesn't matter. It doesn't matter where the product is produced. We've lost 2 million manufacturing jobs in the last two years alone; 10 percent of our work force. Wal-Mart has replaced General Motors as the major employer in America, paying people starvation wages rather than living wages, and all of that does not matter to youdoesn't matter. If it's produced in China where workers are making 30 cents an hour, or produced in Vermont where workers can make 20 bucks an hour, it doesn't matter. You have told the American people that you support a trade policy which is selling them out, only working for the CEOs who can take our plants to China, Mexico and India. You insulted Mr. Castle. Mr. Castle, a few moments agoa good Republicantold you that we're seeing not only the decline of manufacturing jobs, but white-collar information technology jobs. Forrester Research says that over the next 15 years, 3.3 million U.S. service industry jobs and $136 billion in wages will move offshore to India, Russia, China and the Philippines. Does any of this matter to you? Do you give one whit of concern for the middle class and working families of this country? That's my question.
GREENSPAN: Congressman, we have the highest standard of living in the world.
SANDERS: No, we do not. You go to Scandinavia, and you will find that people have a much higher standard of living, in terms of education, health care and decent paying jobs. Wrong, Mister.
GREENSPAN: May I answer your question?
SANDERS: You sure may.
GREENSPAN: Thank you. For a major industrial country, we have created the most advanced technologies, the highest standard of living for a country of our size. Our economic growth is crucial to us. The incomes, the purchasing power of our employees, our workers, our people are, by far, more important than what it is we produce. I submit to youmay I?
GREENSPAN: The major focus of monetary policy is to create an environment in this country which enables capital investment and innovation to advance. We are at the cutting edge of technologies in the world. We are doing an extraordinary job over the years. And people flock to the United States. Our immigration rates are very high. And why? Because they think this is a wonderful country to come to.
SANDERS: That is an incredible answer.
We feel the topic and the tenor of the arguments are even more critical in understanding the slide from the America that Mr. Greenspan describes to the nation that Bernie Sanders knows is now a reality.
So I ask you, Project readers, is Rep. Bernie Sanders of Vermont a working class hero or a commie socialist pig? Neither. But I like the man. I like his radical middle approach. The poor you will always have among you saith the realist, and mostly, the problems of acute poverty in this country are created by the poor themselves. It is very easy if dedicated to correct thinking to rise above the carp and crap of poverty by application of a few hard-won principles this country's founders once and Bernie Sanders now seems to stand for. The problem however, is that the middle class is shrinking for the very real quite avoidable reasons Sanders continues to pound. Who gets richer off the exporting of American manufacturing jobs? Rich people safe in their posh, talking head adminstrative jobs and leisures, not working class Americans needing a sweat and toil job. Yes, in order to stabilize the planet, other nations must have meaningful and lucrative work as well, but most of these very same nations are the first ones either banning or burning down hapless American restaurants every chance they get, and decrying American imperialism. Social distortion is a double-edged sword. The only winners shouldn't be the strutting suits wearing Ferraris and yachts and highbrows up their noses, while swearing up and down in their golden parachutes they're surely not to blame...
We agree with every word that this self-confessed socialist congressman from Vermont has testified. Now why can't a Republican feel the same pain in his gut about the state of the working poor that this socialist does? When Asia makes all the steel in the world, how can we possibly be safer as a nation, safer from internal and external enemies, than when we made our own steel? our own cars, washing machines, refrigerators, air conditioners...?
(Originally published at The Bellicose Augur on July 17, 2003, now a part of the Project Scenewash archives. We feel the topic and the tenor of the arguments are even more critical in understanding the slide from the America that Mr. Greenspan describes to the nation that Bernie Sanders knows is now a reality.)