The Conneticut Shootings–I avoided the media blitz and waited to listen to a thoughtful analysis

The horrific crime happened on Friday. I couldn’t log on to the internet that morning, where I was staying. I looked at Facebook, and read a post on the newsfeed about how children must be wondering why their parents are hugging them and telling them how much they were loved. I knew something had happened, and then heard bits and pieces, but avoided getting sucked into the Matrix dialogue. It wasn’t until Monday afternoon, when I went on my walk in the late afternoon, that I looked to Stefan Molyneux, to listen to his latest, and in the course of listening to the podcast of the latest Sunday show, he made reference to his message about his reaction to the Connecticut shootings.

Kafkaesque: U.S. Govt. Seizes Nearly 7 Million from Foreign citizen, doing legal business in a foreign country.

My thanks to a friend on my facebook page for summarizing the point of this story. The innate evil of the State is starkly evident in this story, yet so many among us will still wring hands and agonize over what we can and should do to make government be good.

DOJ nabs nearly $7 million from Antigua resident accused of violating U.S. gambling law in Antigua–where his conduct is legal.
On December 16, 2012, Scott Alexander Meiner reports:

The United States Department of Justice settled a forfeiture controversy with William Paul Scott, forfeiting $6,976,924.00, seized from the Royal Bank of Scotland International as an amount roughly equivalent to what Scott’s company held in its foreign account when U.S. authorities first pursued the funds. Incident to the settlement, Scott was convicted of one count of conspiracy to violate the Wire Act and three counts of international money laundering. Prosecutors accused Scott, a resident of Antigua and former U.S. citizen, of making online gambling available to U.S. citizens. While such gambling is legal in Antigua, U.S. prosecutors nonetheless maintain that it is illegal if accessible and/or targeted to U.S. citizens.

Click here to read the full commentary

Feds probe drug task force in south Texas– More evidence, the War on Drugs corrupts law enforcement

The police officer sons of two south Texas law enforcement chiefs who made fighting corruption the cornerstones of their careers have been taken into custody on suspicion of waylaying drug caches coming across the border from Mexico.

Federal agents investigating several border departments west and south of McAllen arrested Jonathan Treviño, the son of Lupe Treviño, sheriff of Hidalgo County, and Alexis Espinoza, the son of Rodolfo Espinoza, Hidalgo’s police chief, the McAllen Monitor is reporting.

Blue States’ Tipping Point for Financial Ruin Gets a Boost

In Blue State Suicide Pact, Joel Kotkin explains. Here’s an excerpt:

The people whose wallets will be drained in the new war on “the rich” are high-earning, but hardly plutocratic professionals like engineers, doctors, lawyers, small business owners and the like. Once seen as the bastion of the middle class, and exemplars of upward mobility, these people are emerging as the modern day “kulaks,” the affluent peasants ruthlessly targeted by Stalin in the early 1930s.

Click here to read the article

Legend of Lincoln Deconstructed

In theaters now, everywhere, one can go see a perpetuation of the myth of Lincoln as hero, a  great example of propaganda that romanticizes the State’s grotesque use of violence to solidify and expand its power, while it glosses over obscene  violations of individual liberties.

Jeffery Tucker writes  “To be sure, this was a mind-bending experience. I watched Steven Spielberg’s movie Lincoln on the same weekend that I read Joseph Fallon’s Lincoln Uncensored, the recent “e-book of the week” released by the Laissez Faire Club. Worlds collided.

Fallon’s book, which is brilliant and the most useful Lincoln book I’ve read, sticks to the facts by organizing material from the 10 volumes of collected writings and speeches of Lincoln. The reader is given Lincoln’s own words on subjects like slavery, secession, Fort Sumter, equality of blacks and Mexicans, habeas corpus, war power, free speech, tariffs, debt, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Union, and vastly more.

Fallon (educated at American University and Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs) is, obviously, a master researcher. His editorial notes take advantage of all modern scholarship and are carefully cited.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

In order to understand Lincoln’s passion for preserving the Union, you have to put yourself into a different era of federal finance. There was but one source of revenue: the tariff. There were no internal taxes. There was no “too big to fail,” because there was no central bank capable of bailing out an entire industrial base. As Lincoln himself said by way of explanation, “The tariff is to the government what a meal is to the family” (1861). The South’s ports collected 75% of all federal tax revenue. Without that revenue — that’s what secession meant — the federal government would be starved.

Read more:  Lincoln Uncensored here, at Daily Reckoning

 

Grieving, taking account, soul searching, exploring reason, rigorously

The elections have fallen heavily upon a body of individuals who took their passion and pushed with all their heart and mind, to throw back the tentacles of the State, that grows exponentially, without pause.

Activists who thought there was momentum, and a large enough constituency whose consciousness was elevated and was present to the surreal course of policy, finance, and power, unsustainable, and accelerating towards a point where the mask of government as good, and benevolent, caring, and essential would drop away in large proportions.    But alas, most are firmly connected into the matrix.   And the losses this past Nov washed away any delusions to the contrary.

Gadfly Radio will be back soon.   I want to speak with friends about what happened, what we lost, what we got and what  is possible.

 

Are Conservatives Rethinking their Hostility to Criminal Justice Reform?

Tough-on-crime usually means tough-on-taxpayers.

by Steven Greenhut| Nov 30, 2012

For advocates of less-intrusive government, finding the good news in the recent election is like looking on the bright side after your house has been wiped out by a hurricane. You never did like that floor plan, anyway, and this seems like a great opportunity to rethink your lifestyle.

The political storm was particularly fearsome in California. Democrats already are floating trial balloons now that they have gained a legislative supermajority that allows them to pass direct tax increases without GOP support.

But there was some good news, however slim, on the ballot in the long-neglected area of criminal-justice reform. California voters passed, by a 69 percent to 31 percent margin, a measure (Proposition 36) that reforms the state’s notoriously tough three-strikes-and-you’re-out sentencing law.

In 1994, California voters passed Proposition 184, which targeted repeat offenders. Under that law, if a person convicted of two serious or violent felonies commits a third “strike,” it would automatically lead to a life term with no possibility of parole for 25 years. The verdict is out on how much “three strikes” contributed to falling crime rates, but there is little question that California’s strict version led to rising incarceration costs and high-profile instances of injustice.

Unlike any of the other 23 states that passed “three strikes” laws, California imposed the life sentence on offenders whose third conviction was for “any” felony, rather than for a serious or violent one. So we’ve witnessed cases where offenders have received that life term for stealing a piece of pizza, kiting a bad check, and other relatively minor crimes.  Click to read more.