Category Archives: Ethics

Meet The Kushners: First Couple In-Waiting


By ilana mercer

In itself, criminal justice reform for non-violent offenders is not anathema to Trump’s libertarian supporters (check).

For what it symbolizes in the broader political context, however, the passing of the First Step Act—as the criminal justice reform bill is called—is a bit of an abomination.

Good or bad, the First Step Act is Jared Kushner’s baby. And Kushner, Trump’s liberal son-in-law, should not be having legislative coups!

Yes, Jared and Ivanka are on a tear. The midterm congressional elections of President Trump’s first-term have culminated in a legislative victory for an anemic man, who provides a perfect peg on which to hang the ambitions of the forceful first daughter.

In no time at all have Jared and Ivanka Trump moved to consolidate power. This, as intellects like Steven Bannon and Stephen Miller were either fired, or confined to the basement, so to speak.

Today, Bannon is just a flinty glint in Ivanka’s eyes. But by January, 2017, the president’s former White House chief strategist had already “assembled a list of more than 200 executive orders to issue in the first 100 days. The very first EO, in his view, had to be a crackdown on immigration. After all, it was one of Trump’s core campaign promises.” So said Bannon to Michael Wolff, author of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.

Many a pundit has suggested that Trump give a kick-ass rah-rah address to explain immigration to the nation.

Nonsense on stilts. The Make America Great Again (S.O.S.) agenda needed to be explained daily and repetitively by someone with a brain. It should have been MAGA every morning with Miller, or Gen. John Kelly or Kirstjen Nielsen. Instead, we got stumblebum Sarah Huckabee issuing a meek, meandering daily apologia.

About that promise to put in place only “the best of people”: Ice princess Kirstjen Nielsen is super smart with a cool temperament and looks to match. Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen had been brought into the Trump Administration by retired United States Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, formerly White House chief of staff. Nielsen might not be optimal in her current position. But she would’ve made a great MAGA mouthpiece.

It’s quite clear that President Trump’s promise to hire only “the best” ought to have begun with firing The Family. Instead, Mr. Kushner‘s national security portfolio has expanded in a manner incommensurate with his skills. It now includes, I believe, China, Mexico, Iraq, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The same can be said of Ivanka, who was soon briefing the South Korean president on sanctions against North Korea. That Ivanka lacked a permanent security clearance was the least of the country’s worries, given Steve Bannon’s assessment  of her cerebral acuity: “as dumb as a brick.”

Alas, political connections ensured that two branding experts beat Braveheart Bannon of the mighty Breitbart.com! “’The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over,” he lamented, in August of 2017.

If Breitbart.com is to be believed—and it should—Ivanka was the one to give Bannon the boot (or, rather, the Choo): “Trump’s daughter Ivanka pushed Bannon out because of his ‘far-right views’ clashing with her [recently acquired] Jewish faith.” (Funny that, because my own rightist views clash not at all with my Jewish faith.)

“Jarvanka” (the Jared-Ivanka organism) were also said to have orchestrated the ousting of the last of the old MAGA Guard, John Kelly, aforementioned, a most excellent man. Kelly took his role as chief of staff seriously. He was a hardliner who limited Ivanka’s access to Pater.

One of Trump’s superb personnel choices, Kelly’s fate, however, was sealed when he stated how sick-and-tired he was of the first daughter “playing government.” The Goldman-Sachs wing of the White House, commandeered by the Kushners, had always wished him away. So, Kelly got the Choo, too.

Of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, archconservative Heather Mac Donald observed the following: Sessions was “the only member of the Trump administration who was absolutely staunch in speaking up for the right of Americans to determine what the character of their country should be.”

It takes a strong woman (Mac Donald) to recognize a scheming one. Mac Donald has recently expressed “‘no confidence’ that the president will stop being advised by his daughter, Ivanka Trump, on the issue of immigration.”

Following the midterms, the not-so-sleepy sleeper cell of leftist social climbers in the Trump administration moved to pack the court. It was out with the old (Kelly and Sessions), and in with the Nauert, the reference being to the “nomination [to the UN] of former Fox anchor and State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert.”

Again, the reason for selecting Ms. Nauert, a former “Fox & Friends” host, was that she is “telegenic.” The order came from “Ms. Trump and Mr. Kushner [ who declared Nauert] ‘a favorite and pushed for her selection.’”

Telegenic, too, is 36-year-old Nick Ayers. He was slated to replace Gen. Kelly. Why? Because he “had the endorsements of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.”

It so happened that Ayers chose not to play. A trial balloon was quickly floated, but was punctured just as fast. The idea that Jared would be chief of staff was just too preposterous. But oh, the audacity of that fleeting experiment!

So, here we are. The promised land (America) is without the promised Wall. But, liberal legislation in hand, the “Honorable” Kushners (so listed) are off to hobnob at the World Economic Forum in Davos, in January of 2019.

First Lady Melania has been shoved aside, or ceremonially shivved, to use prison parlance. The first couple in-waiting will get to press flesh with local and global elites, while flashing their liberal credentials: criminal justice reform.

Oh how fun it is to schmooze the gilded globalists, rather than to woo Trump voters.

 

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Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & “The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook, Gab & YouTube

 

 

 

 

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Why Libertarians Should Read Mises – Part Three


Why Libertarians Should Read Mises 

Part Three 

By Duncan Whitmore

In this final part of three essays exploring the importance of Ludwig von Mises’ for libertarian thought, we will examine Mises’ views on the fundamental importance of economics in society, and the meaning of this for understanding the particular nature of the state and statism in our own time. We will then conclude (in a separate post) with an annotated bibliography of Mises’ major works.

 The Fundamental Importance of Economics in Society

Mises had a particularly insightful understanding of the special, foundational status of economics and the influence of economic theory in human society. In his own words:

Economics […] is the philosophy of human life and action and concerns everybody and everything. It is the pith of civilization and of man’s human existence.

[…]

Economics deals with society’s fundamental problems; it concerns everyone and belongs to all. It is the main and proper study of every citizen.

[…]

The body of economic knowledge is an essential element in the structure of human civilization; it is the foundation upon which modern industrialism and all the moral, intellectual, technological, and therapeutical achievements of the last centuries have been built. It rests with men whether they will make the proper use of the rich treasure with which this knowledge provides them or whether they will leave it unused. But if they fail to take the best advantage of it and disregard its teachings and warnings, they will not annul economics; they will stamp out society and the human race.1

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Godfrey Bloom vs. Socialist ‘Worker’


This morning, on the JVS Show, on BBC Three Counties Radio, Godfrey Bloom tangled with Tomáš Tengely-Evans, a socialist ‘worker’, while discussing the recent welfare story concerning Claire Young. This lady recently spent £2,000 pounds on Christmas presents for her children whilst living entirely on state welfare benefits.

If you’d like to listen to this debate, please click on the audio link below.

Mr Bloom actually stops speaking at 12:15, but if you would like to hear Mr Tengely-Evans being handsomely shredded by Jonathan Vernon-Smith, please keep listening:

Ready for the Red Pill?


By Andreas Tiedtke

This article first appeared recently at the Ludwig von Mises Institut, Deutschland. It has since been translated with permission from the original German into English, by Andy Duncan. Here is the original article. The references in the article below link directly to the glossary attached to the original piece. 

The fight for public opinion currently consumes the Internet. Campaigns like Hatespeech, Fakenews or Post-Facts try to denounce dangerous opinions. Two types of keyword are employed [1]. First, we have the absolutely good keywords. These triggers include ‘social democracy’, ‘justice and education’, ‘freedom and democracy’, and so on. Second, we have the necessarily bad keywords. These triggers include ‘alt-right’, ‘right-wing populism’, ‘the evils of capitalism’, and so on. Why does this never-ending fight for public opinion end up becoming so important? Well, it’s because it concerns your beliefs. It’s ultimately about your perception and your thinking. It really is all about the generation of propaganda and the consequent indoctrination of the masses, one mind at a time.

Propaganda and Indoctrination – The Matrix: A “prison for your thinking”

The Wachowski Brothers artistically described “indoctrination” within their seminal 1999 movie, The Matrix. This was understood by many at the time as simply a science fiction romp. However, it also became a Kafkaesque metaphor to describe our entire modern western society.

If you’ve seen the movie, you may recall the following pivotal scene [2] : Our hero ‘Neo’ feels that something has become misplaced within the world around him. He feels that his appraisal of reality may have always been incorrect. This confuses him, and then he encounters the enigmatic Morpheus [3]. This coolly-bespectacled figure then offers to show Neo the reality of truth. In this relatively early scene, upon which the entire movie turns, Morpheus offers Neo a choice between one of two pills; a red one or a blue one. This is the temptation he lays before Neo:

“This is your last chance. After this, there is no return. You take the blue pill – then the story ends right here, you wake up in your bed and you can believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I’ll show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” [4]

Neo wants to know what’s going on, so he immediately chooses to swallow the red pill. He fails to hesitate for a second!

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An Epistemological Criticism: The Lack of Proof for Man-Made Climate Change


By Andreas Tiedtke

This article first appeared at the Ludwig von Mises Institut, Deutschland. It has been translated with permission from the original German into English, by Andy Duncan. Here is the original article. The detailed references in the article below link directly to the glossary attached to the original piece. 

On the 17th of November in Bonn, the 23rd UN Climate Change Conference (COP 23) finally concluded, with 20,000 participants from all over the world, accompanied by a substantial contingent of journalists. [1] This conference continued the process of the Paris climate agreement, one of the largest state control projects in human history. From 2020 onwards, ‘industrial countries’ are expected to provide an annual sum of $100 billion U.S. dollars to restructure the world’s energy supply. This money will also be used to ‘eliminate any damage caused by climate change’. Much of this cash is expected to flow into private sector investment within developing countries, with only a relatively small proportion going to the public sector for the ‘already necessary remedy of climate-related damage’[2]

Of course, the politicians of these nominated ‘industrialised countries’ will hardly expect to pay all of this cash out of their own pockets, but will instead mandate their taxpayers to pick up the tab. As far as this ‘private investment’ is concerned, there would be no need for any agreement if these projects were actually profitable within a genuine free market. Instead, the relevant financial incentives are created through regulation and subsidy, which then restricts freedom of choice for private producers and also blunts the free choices of taxpayers. In addition, the International Monetary Fund is calling for a carbon tax [3], even though net taxpayers have already been heavily burdened by energy taxes, vehicle taxes, and other such charges and regulations within the housing construction business.

However, if citizens decide that politicians are unable to provide substantiated evidence to back up a massive encroachment upon assets and freedoms, this could prove catastrophic for politicians, as well as for entire industrial segments that no longer rely upon the freely chosen demands of customers, but instead rely upon taxpayer subsidy and government regulation. These industries range from the manufacture of wind turbines and electric cars through to that of electric lamps and polystyrene thermal insulation panels. And let’s not forget the climate conference industry itself.

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Bottom up versus top down


Bottom up versus top down

By Neil Lock

Today, I’m going to look at two diametrically opposed ways of thinking, and at the practitioners of those two ways. One way, I call bottom up; the other, top down.

Bottom up thinking is like the way we build a house. Starting from the ground, we work upwards, using what we’ve done already as support for what we’re working on at the moment. Top down thinking, on the other hand, starts out from an idea that is a given. It then works downwards, seeking evidence for the idea, or to add detail to it, or to put it into practice.

These two opposed methods bear on far more than just the way we think. The idea of bottom up versus top down can be applied to many dimensions of our lives. It can be applied to our overall world view, and to our views on religion. To how we seek knowledge. To our ethical and political views. To our conception of government and law. To our opinions on economics and environment. To how we communicate with others. To our views on education and media; and many more. Bottom up versus top down isn’t a single scale of (say) 0 to 100, but a multi-dimensional space, in which each individual’s position is represented on many different axes.

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Book Review: Cosmopolitanism, by Kwame Anthony Appiah


Book Review: Cosmopolitanism, by Kwame Anthony Appiah

By Neil Lock

September 2017

Although it was first published in 2006, I only recently became aware of this book. One advantage of being so late to the party is that I had plenty of reviews to look at, and so could judge what others think of the book before trying it. And the judgements were varied and interesting. Many of them, indeed, told me as much about the reviewers as they did about the book itself. Those on the political left tended to be dismissive of both its substance and its style. Of the rest, some seemed bemused by it, but many were enthusiastic. So, as the subject is in an area of great interest to me, I decided to read the book and add my twopennyworth.

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