Category Archives: Libertarianism

The Degeneration of American Society, Circa 2018

America has really degenerated over the last 60 years, and lost many of the qualities that people of that time were capable of. People of that day were just coming out of eons of Mankind living in the most primitive, violent ways because of lack of technology. When Mechanism took Command, it enabled man to live on a level, and in an orderly way, as he had never been able to in all human history. This was exemplified for a while in the 1920s, when, for the first time, a man could live an orderly life, with clean surroundings, new clothes, a modern house, and conveniences and amusements like cars and radios, if he could secure a living. The possibility of Order came into humanity, which had never, ever existed before. Imagine living in the world of Henry VIII; even the wealthy could not live an orderly life then, because of the insecurities of disease, of impoverishment through government fiat, or else having your head cut off.

As the 30s progressed, despite the Depression, the technologies just became more refined, a progress that has gone on uninterruptedly since those days. Compare the cinematography of the 1930s to that of 1963, and you will see a huge improvement in image quality. And now, unfortunately, films look like commercials, having lost that documentary realism one got from the black and white dramas of the 1960s.

This artistic degeneration also eclipsed Jazz. Jazz from the late 1950s to around 1970 was quite a popular genre, though not the major one of Rock, which also had a huge creative explosion during the same period. Both of them started to change in the early 70s, and by 1980 you had disco and jazz was using synthesizers, and sounding a bit like Soul music. The drive and elegance of Basie and Ellington, and the many, many talented trios and quartets, was really amazing, even to this lover of Rock. College kids back then would listen to Jazz in addition to Rock. Do they do that now?

So the breakdown of Art in Film, Jazz, and Rock seemed to parallel the breakdown of American Society that started to set in under Nixon, and really took off under Jimmy Carter. Since then every President has made it worse. Hopefully the current one might reverse that trend, although it is too far gone already.

In the 1960s, people were still in touch with that long past wisdom and humanism of man. People in Britain were generally very courteous and civil, and despite a hard life, alleviated only by beer, cigarettes, and football, they seemed to remain cheerful, and displayed a sharp sense of humour, based on plays, puns, and double meanings of English words. Literature was prized. In a famous, or infamous, speech of War Criminal Lyndon Johnson, in the early 1960s,on gun control, he mentions that in the US there were over 40,000 homicides in the previous year, compared to 38 in England. A murder in England would be in the national papers, and the police didn’t carry guns. In fact, if anyone attacked or shot a policeman in a robbery, the other thieves would help the police catch the criminals.

Of course, there were many very bad aspects to British society, but in general it was a civil, courteous, fairly cheerful, one.

One reason for this was Capitalism. Not the Capitalism of the behemoth corporations like GE and the major banks. But Capitalism in the form of the shop, Individually-owned. England used to be known as a “Nation of Shopkeepers”. A person would open a store dealing in something he liked, or was interested in, or knew much about. The fruitier who loved fruit and seeing people eat, the bookseller with his regulars whose favorite subjects he’d memorized, the three-chair barbershop, the antique junk shop, the cigarette card and stamp shops,— all these enabled their owners to earn a living in an age when many were virtually forced down the coal mines, or to be a dull bank or insurance clerk, scribbling away all day, while the boss rode you. To shop-ownership you probably owe the Capitalist, libertarian strains in English history, the low murder rate in a country where drinking was de rigueur for the working man and everybody else, despite alcohol’s lowering of inhibitions. Blows they’d come to, but rarely murder. And if done on alcohol, murder was rarely premeditated. The Dr. Cribbin who poisoned his wives was a figure of horrible fascination for the public, frequently referred to for decades afterwards. I doubt if many American millenials would now know who Dr. Cribbin was.

And Capitalism in England, as in Holland, forced or encouraged people to get along with each other, so that toleration of other people’s views was necessary if you wanted their custom, and custom meant money now and money in the future. As I put it, imagine two Armenians who go into business together, and after a few years, one finds that the other is defrauding him through the business. He breaks the partnership, and takes on a Korean partner. Not only is the Korean scrupulously honest, but he’s pleasant to work with, having an excellent sense of humor. And both partners are making a good living through the business. Is the Armenian likely to hate Koreans, or does the partnership humanize what was an Ethnic identity into an Individual? Modern people have forgotten that up to 1960, Americans thought all Japanese and Chinese looked alike. But decades of frequently seeing Asian faces have now led people to see them as individually as they see Western faces. This is what made America unique; it was a place where people from many lands came to create a society where Capitalism and the law created the conditions for an orderly life (as compared to anywhere else on the earth), and its basic law was the most Classically Liberal and Libertarian in the long history of Mankind. Jefferson in 1776 was light-years ahead of most of the current leaders in the world in his Libertarian understanding of political science, Natural Rights, and the composition of a Minarchist, or minimal government, Republic, as well as being far ahead of almost all current American politicians. (President Kennedy, the last great President, once invited Pablo Casals to perform at the White House. After the performance he said, “There has never been this much culture in the West Wing since Jefferson dined alone.”) That Capitalism, combined with the radical Freedom of Conscience which some of the Christian Radicals like Roger Williams displayed, along with those other colonies that propounded a radical tolerance for different religious sects and religions, — that I think is what made America so unique in the history of Human civilizations, although there were those anti-libertarian colonies that persecuted sects mercilessly, like the terrible persecutions of the Quakers. You also see this radical Libertarianism in the later efforts of Christian radicals like William Lloyd Garrison who, in the 1830s, was speaking out against “the Peculiar Institution” of slavery, as it was so euphemistically referred to, the worst anti-libertarian Crime next to murder.

You can see this collaboration of many ethnic strains coming together in the making of Hollywood films. If you look at the names of the technicians and actors, you will find names typical of virtually every country excluding the Third World of Asia and Africa (except for cameraman James Wong Howe). Somehow all these people of different backgrounds came together to make the steady stream of excellent films that came out of Hollywood for 30 years after sound came in. And what caused all this energy to be expended was Capitalism, the desire of all these people to make a profit in order to live. As one person aptly put it, the films were written by Communists, they were directed by Social Democrats, and they starred Right-wing Republicans.

But now that Socialism has so long depleted the wealth of Americans, and the constant printing of money and piling of government debt has further weakened the currency, American society is reaching the limits where social groups start fighting for the limited resources. And that is the underlying cause of the increased social friction between the two competing large political camps in America, the Left and the Right. Like Camus, the libertarian is neither one nor the other.

The Libertarian economists Hayek and Mises both predicted this degeneration late in the socialist cycle, and now that 51% of Americans receive government benefits, and 49% don’t and pay into the system, we have crossed into a democratic-majority socialist entity that is no longer the old Jeffersonian Republic of pre-1964, when the US ended silver coinage.

I recall financial analyst Robert Prechter predicting this increase in conflict in 2009. He said that you didn’t want to be in office during that time because you would be blamed for the collapse, no matter what you did. But he recommended getting elected during the depths of the late depression because, when the economy naturally rebounded as markets always do when they’re not interfered with, you would reap the Political credit, even if you did nothing. (Re-elect Harrigan! He did nothing! (Cheers are heard from the crowd.)).

So the heated political rhetoric goes on, with very few having any idea of the libertarian political and economic Principles on which the Republic was founded.

The U.S. – A great Society that reached its peak 55 years ago, and began to die with the twin murders of President Kennedy and silver coinage.

— Paul Grad, Enviro-Vegan Libertarian

Advertisements

My Positions on Oregon Measures 7-65, 14-62, 18-111, 20-290, 22-174, 22-176, For The November 6, 2018 General Election

As promised in my previous post, these are my views on the Oregon non-statewide Measures that are specific to certain Counties in the upcoming election. As usual, I take a strict libertarian approach to these measures which may differ markedly from the positions of the political party that goes by that name.

Measure 7-65 concerns the looting of Crook County property tax payers to support the Bowman Museum in Prineville. It is pretty obvious that local taxpayers have absolutely no responsibility to fund cultural or educational museums. If this museum is that important to the State and its historical heritage, and it probably is, then it should be funded at the State or Federal level, by the State either cutting its salaries and PERS pensions, or by taxing multinational corporations doing business in the State, who currently pay no income tax whatsoever.

Moreover, if the levy fails, the Museum will not close, but will cut hours and staff. It would still be open to the public.

Crook County Government. A fitting name.

On Principle, Crook County property owners and residents should vote NO on Measure 7-65.

Measure 14-62 is another attempt to loot the public in order that the government can swill at your trough. It concerns a heinous attempt to impose a cannabis tax on retail sales of marijuana items in Hood River County. The tax is an outrageous 3%. I believe there should never be a tax on any drug less addictive than caffeine on the Benowitz Scale of addictive substances, and cannabis is less addictive that caffeine on that scale. Therefore it should not be taxed. And, while I would oppose any tax on any drug in a libertarian, laissez-faire society, if the taxpayers are going to be forced at gunpoint to pay for other people’s medical costs, as they are under Medicaid and other schemes, then I would not oppose a tax on substances more addictive than caffeine.

Don’t let them financially exploit you while they pay out State PERS pensions of $913,000/yr. If the State can pay that, they can do without your 3% looted contribution. Give ’em the financial finger on November 6th, and vote NO on Measure 14-62.

Measure 18-111 is another boondoggle that will suck approximately $230,000/yr from the wealth of local property taxpayers for 5 years running to fund the Klamath County Museum System. Like Measure 7-65, such educational and historical museums should be funded at the Federal level or by voluntary private organizations. If the State thinks it is that important, let them cut State salaries by $0.05/$1000 and fund it that way.

Vote NO on Measure 18-111 if you live in Klamath County.

Measure 20-290 is a Lane County attempt to get around the first-past-the-post
method of deciding democratic elections in Oregon, by substituting a very complicated point system which is actually an attempt to insert proportional representation, a terrible system, into the US electoral system. It applies only to non-partisan county elections. Each candidate will receive points from the voter, which will then be added up, the two highest point-receivers are then placed in an “automatic runoff”, and the person with the most points wins the election. In other words, not only won’t candidates have to compete in a primary, so the public can get to know their positions long before the final election, but a candidate who ran second could beat a candidate who was the first choice of the public through democratic majority.

Such measures favor socialist and mixed economy candidates at the expense of Libertarian candidates, because libertarians can usually only vote for a libertarian candidate, but would not tolerate anyone who was a partial or complete socialist, as are almost all non-libertarian candidates. Socialists or social democrats can vote for several candidates depending on the extent of the candidate’s socialism. So Libertarians are at a clear disadvantage under this so-called STAR voting system.

Don’t tinker with our first-past-the-post, democratic majority, system of deciding elections. Vote NO on Measure 20-290 if you live in Lane County.

Measure 22-174 may be quite popular with some libertarians, but not with this one. What it does, in effect, is have the local Sheriff, in this case the Linn County Sheriff, decide which firearms laws are Constitutional and which are not, and to not spend money enforcing those laws which he decides are unconstitutional. Any Individual or organization that happens to follow the Supreme Court or State Supreme Court’s decisions, can be fined $2k for an individual or $4k for a corporation if the Linn County Sheriff happens to think those laws, which have been declared Constitutional by the Courts, are unconstitutional. Which obviously means, in effect, that the local Sheriff has replaced the Courts, and the Supreme Court, in deciding Constitutional Law, a risible attempt at overthrowing our judicial system. Given the lack of legal training as to the Constitutionality of gun laws that the typical Sheriff suffers from, it is obviously absurd to have them decide by themselves which laws are Constitutional, and which aren’t, and to be able to fine people thousands of dollars if their view of gun laws (and the Court’s view) differs from the Sheriff’s. This is a real invitation to vigilante law, and is obviously an unConstitutional Measure. The Sheriff’s function is to enforce the current laws on the books, not to create new law out of whole cloth.

Defend the Constitution, and the separation of powers between the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of our government. Vote NO on Measure 22-174.

Finally, we have Measure 22-176 in Linn County, which changes the office of County Surveyor from an elected to an appointed position. Obviously, this is an aggrandizement of government power at the expense of the democratic choice of the People. County Government already has far too much power in that many county positions from dog catcher to patrolman are assigned by appointment rather than election. The office of Surveyor is too important a position to let it be filled by appointment. Let the voters decide at a general election who is the best to be surveyor.

Vote NO on Measure 22-176 in Linn County.

That concludes my positions on the non-Statewide Measures that will only be on the ballot in specific Counties. Readers interested in my positions on Oregon Statewide Measures 102 through 106 should consult my previous blog post.

— Paul Grad, enviro-vegan Libertarian.

America’s Seven Political Parties: What They Believe in a Nutshell

Osbert and Vlad were planning their political campaign for the school’s upcoming election.

Osbert: What shall we call our party?

Vlad: Do we really need a political party? Couldn’t we just run as ourselves?

Osbert: No, no. You must have a political party or people won’t know who you are.

Vlad: Well, what do these parties want to do?

Osbert: First, they all want to make things better. The Conservatives want to make things better by keeping things exactly as they are.

The moderate Democrats want to make things better by changing things, but not so much that anybody notices.

The Republicans want to make things better by changing things, but not so much that anybody notices, and only if it benefits themselves.

The Progressive Democrats and Socialists want to make things better by taking everything away from everybody who isn’t a Progressive Democrat or a Socialist.

The Fascists and Communists want to make things better by killing everyone but themselves.

The Libertarians want to make things better by letting everyone do whatever they please as long as they do not assault someone else.

Vlad: We’d better not run as Libertarians. They sound dangerous.

— Paul Grad, enviro-vegan libertarian

Economics, History, and Polly Sigh: The Fatal Non-Conjunction

One of the very important points that Professor Murray Rothbard makes is the fact that few economists are historians, and few historians are deep scholars of economics (and if so, they’ve usually studied Keynesian economics), and so, in looking at history, the average writer and reader is fully unaware of the importance of certain events. The history book mentions that John Williams became Secretary of the Treasury during James Smith’s Presidency, but the historian fails to note that Williams, the son-in-law of the daughter of the sister of the Secretary of the Treasury, had been a corporate lawyer for XYZ Inc. before appointment, and joined the board of ZYX Corp. after leaving office.

Add to this the fact that few economists have studied Political Science, and,for historians, their studies have usually been confined to Rousseau, Hobbes, and Locke. The intimate connection between political Philosophy and Austrian School Free-Market economics, which, face it, was the economics of the first large Capitalists in Renaissance Italy, has been overlooked.

So, to find someone steeped in political philosophy, Classical Liberal Free-Market economics, and American Economic History, like Professor Rothbard, is extremely rare, although it is obviously absolutely essential to any valid analyses of past history and economics.

In “The Ethics of Liberty”, Rothbard lays out the philosophical basis of the American System of Property Rights, which puts the Individual and his Property above any governmental or collective powers. It is a moral doctrine which says that the means must be pure, that the end does not justify the means, and that no one may aggress against anyone else’s property. This philosophical basis for Capitalism seems to me to be sorely lacking in prominent “Libertarian” or “Conservative” commentators.

For example, rarely do two “Libertarian” or Classical Liberals, or Conservatives, start with the Property Rights argument when approaching any problem. I’ve listened to long discussions by Dave Rubin and many of his guests, or free-market conservatives like Ben Shapiro and Dennis Praeger, and not once do they bring up this rock-solid basis of Property Rights in their discussions. And they seem so shocked at the antics of the Left when the Left’s understanding of economics, history, and political philosophy is so puerile, and its’ ignorance of the Libertarian roots of the American Revolution is vast. The Left’s histrionics are completely predictable as the economic situation worsens under socialism.

Likewise with historians like the British historian, Vernon Bogdanor, or even the venerated Arthur M. Schlesinger — a complete non-understanding of economics which makes many of their historical observations invalid.

So without a simple understanding of the interconnection between economics, history, and political science, it is rather futile to read any of these topics in isolation. Libertarianism can only adumbrate certain main routes to Human Liberation in the political realm, but it leaves it up to those who do not understand the interconnections we are discussing to delineate the minor details and combinations of specific political issues with their adversaries, as in the long-suffering Democrat vs Republican football game.

But without also a deep understanding of the three basic principles of Classical Liberalism or Libertarianism — the Non-Aggression Principle, Natural Rights theory, and the idea of Self-ownership —, there can be no laying of the foundation for an orderly, non-violent society.

— Paul Grad, Enviro-Vegan Libertarian

Tariffs: Another Word for State Theft

Libertarians and Classical Liberals oppose tariffs as an interference in Free Trade. The British Liberal Party in the 19th Century firmly agitated against tariffs as do modern Libertarians.

But tariffs are actually just plain old theft. And that theft is conducted by “The State”, whatever the name of the country or the ruling party in that country happens to be. In essence it is the State interfering in the Free Market and extorting Capital from Capitalists to enrich the coffers of the State instead of the coffers of the Traders. This is an evil and pernicious activity.

There has always been an opposition between the Free Market Capitalists and the State looters, who extort money from the Capitalists by assaulting them through taxes, tariffs, and excise taxes (although the excise tax, especially on pernicious products like tobacco, is the least immoral of all taxes, and was used to fund the fledgling American Republic prior to the immoral income tax). The justification for tariffs is always to “protect” certain favored home country industries in a process not unlike the Mercantilists of the various European monarchies of the past. Monarchs would sell “monopolies” to favored nobles and bureaucrats who formed themselves into “Companies”. The modern day Statists do the same thing by putting tariffs on products to protect their favored client industries which are akin to those mercantilist companies under the monarchies. As you may recall, the American Colonists had some division of opinion with King George over this matter, which caused quite a ruction.

However, what happens when one country imposes tariffs on trade with the U.S., but the U.S. charges no tariffs on its own products? Is that not one way theft? And if tariffs are sauce for the socialist-country geese, are they not also sauce for the Free Market-country ganders that do not charge tariffs?

It sounds like the retaliatory tariffs that President Trump is throwing at various socialist and totalitarian countries are really a matter of saying, if you’re going to ream us, financially-speaking, we’ll ream you back in like fashion.

However, tariffs, whether they’re put on as mercantilist looting mechanisms for the State and their client industries to legally rob the Consumer, or whether they are put on in response to other countries current tariffs, always hurt the consumer. As Rothbard pointed out, it is the size of bank balances held in a country that is the important item. That is, if I can buy a manhole cover from the U.S. for $125 or a manhole cover from India for $50, it is better for the U.S. nation as a whole if I buy the Indian cover and keep the extra $75 in the bank, where it is loaned out to buy capital equipment that increases productivity, rather than if I pay the $125, have a smaller bank balance, and the extra $75 goes to the wealthy owners of the “protected by tariff” U.S. manhole-cover manufacturers’ cartel.

Tariffs strengthen the Leviathan State and weaken the Consumer and the individual Capitalist. Free Trade Capitalism weakens the Leviathan State and enriches the Consumer and the Free Market Capitalist.

That said, tariffs as a form of punitive punishment for the Crimes of Totalitarian Regimes are, to me, no sin. If a country abuses the inalienable Jeffersonian Rights that are germane to any modern democratic Republic or democracy, then I will not object to tariffs on that country’s products and industries. Fascists should not be tolerated in the modern world. Their regimes should be overthrown and undermined by every non-violent means available.

The ultimate solution is for all nations on Earth to abandon tariffs completely, so that any nation that did try to impose tariffs would be viewed by the rest of the world as a looting moral pariah, little different from a gang of highwaymen.

Our first motto should be, “No democratic-elections Republic or Constitutional Monarchy, no trade.”

Our second, “What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”

— Paul Grad, Libertarian Party of Oregon Gubernatorial Nomineee 2014

Senator Rand Paul’s Attacker Gets 30 Days: A Travesty of Justice

A great and heinous travesty of Justice has just taken place in America. The attacker of a US Senator, Rand Paul, who was grievously injured in the assault and sustaining five cracked ribs, pneumonia,and a lot of physical pain,— that attacker was given a slap on the wrist by the “Unjustice System” in the U.S. There was no “with Liberty and Justice for all” for Senator Paul when the court in effect gave a green light to any Democratic nutcase who wants to assault a U.S. Senator who doesn’t agree with their immoral agenda.

In a previous post I stated that the attacker of a U.S. Senator should get 30 years in Federal Prison without Parole as a deterrent to this very serious crime. I’m sure there are a lot of Leftists in America truly disappointed that this assassination attempt on the most (and only) Libertarian member of the Senate did not succeed.

The Congress must immediately pass legislation making it a Federal Felony of the highest order to physically assault a U.S. Senator, Congressman, or member of the Administration Cabinet.

Only then will Justice be done, and those chosen to serve by the free vote of the American public will not have that choice negated by violent political agitators.

Rene Boucher deserved 30 years in the Pen. He got 30 days. When will we have Justice in America?

— Paul Grad, vegan-libertarian

Ron Paul Was The Reason Trump Got Elected

It struck me the other day, with a pellucid clarity, that the real reason Donald Trump got elected was because Ron Paul had laid the groundwork for his victory through the influence on the electorate that his two campaigns for the Republican nomination, in 2008 and 2012, had wrought.

Ron Paul was the psychological nerve-primer that prepared the American body-politic to accept the Trump offer to run the country. Paul’s infusion of Libertarian ideals and ideas  rekindled the romance that was implied in the Jeffersonian Covenant with Mankind. For once the public had a politician who reminded them that the Republic was not about GDP or full employment or security but rather was about Human Adventure, taking the risk, and chasing the girl that was the Statue of Liberty and whose face used to be incused into the Silver Dollar of the United States of America.

That was before not only the womanization of America, but the womanization of politics.

Before that, Man chased the Woman, be it the girl on the other side of the class, or Liberty extended over a 3,000 mile-wide paradise stolen from the Indians. Since the Indians were only 0.5% of the population, and nobody outside of them mentioned the theft or seemed too bothered by it, the theft was institutionalized — after all, there were treaties, the White Man said. Everything was legal. And not even the Indians were calling for the expulsion of the White Man and his deportation back to the countries of his ancestors, which would be the obvious just solution. Libertarian theory requires at the least the restoration of stolen property back to the original owner. The penalty for theft is paying back twice the amount stolen plus something for the amount of fear or endangerment produced (for example, the fear generated by a child shoplifting a candy bar when the owner isn’t looking would call for far less fear-compensation that an armed robber using a gun).

So Ron Paul’s Jeffersonian alarum calls prepared America to hear a modified version of this philosophy coming from Trump. Trump, for example, scoffed at NATO, put down the FED, criticized the Nipponese whale-butchers for not paying their “fair share” while Americans subsidized the national defense of their extremely wealthy nation, and said “Let’s get along with the Russkies”, all positions from the Ron Paul Political Bible.

We even heard Mises member and perennial Libertarian, Llewellyn Rockwell, supporting Trump as a wild card that might be libertarian, as well as Ron Paul fellow economic-traveler David Stockman going over to Trump, and both bypassing the official Libertarian milquetoast candidate, Gary Johnson, as did Ron Paul.

Additionally, Trump was an unapologetic Capitalist, and obviously, with Ron Paul as a pro-free marketeer, and with the other side blatantly pro-socialist and big government, it was inevitable that a large part of the old Ron Paul support would seep into the vote totals of Donald Trump. And it did.

Another factor was that both Ron Paul and Trump were individualists in that they both went their own way and didn’t fret over what other people thought of them. Ron Paul was known as Dr. No when he was in Congress, often casting the lone “No” vote on a bill that he felt was either unConstitutional or anti-Libertarian. Trump, too, obviously didn’t care very much what people thought of his outlandish, boorish behavior, although in courtesy and refinement Ron Paul and Donald Trump couldn’t be more dissimilar. But they both obviously didn’t give a damn about what others thought of their political stances.

So the verisimilitude of Trump’s message and iconoclasm to that of Ron Paul’s was the factor that led many former Ron Paul supporters, frustrated by Johnson’s feeble campaign, to vote for Trump. And those votes, going to Trump instead of Johnson, were the narrow margin that Trump needed to drive a wedge into the cracked stump of the Clinton campaign, and split it into oblivion. Those votes were the razor thin edge that Trump needed to gain the White House, and possibly change the direction of America.

President Trump ought to say a prayer of thanks every day to the man whose philosophy got him elected: Dr. Ron Paul.

— Paul Grad, enviro-Libertarian

 

Thom Paine on the Difference between the Democrats and Libertarians

Thomas Paine, that doughty blowtorch of the American Revolution, summed up succinctly the  difference between the pathetic Democratic Party and the Libertarian philosophy that founded The Republic.

In his third chapter of “The Rights of Man”, Paine states “Government, on the old system, is an assumption of power, for the aggrandizement of itself; on the new, a delegation of power for the common benefit of society. The former supports itself by keeping up a system of war; the latter proposes a system of peace, as the true means of enriching a nation. The one encourages national prejudices; the other promotes universal society, as the means of universal commerce. The one measures its prosperity by the quantity of revenue it extorts; the other proves its excellence by the small quantity of taxes it requires.”

Though Paine lived a quarter of a millennium ago, he must have been reading all the news since Clinton got elected.

I can just hear the Democrats calling him a Fascist.

Paul Grad, enviro-libertarian

Against Proportional Representation: The Statist Boondoggle

One of the most vile, and most seductive, political ideas is that of proportional representation — the idea that a political party should have as many representatives in government as its proportion of the vote in the general election.

Firstly, this violates the principle of first past the post as the winner. Instead, you vote for a political party, and that party picks the members who will serve in the representative legislative branch of government such as Congress or the UK Parliament. But who is going to pick these representatives? Ultimately a Party hack or a group of them, who will shoo the election over to their favorite fellow-party members. There is no direct choosing of representatives, but only an endorsement of an “in group” who will decide for you who will represent you.

Secondly, proportional representation completely ignores the Libertarians and Independents who are outside of any political party, and registered as non-affiliated voters. How are they to “choose” anyone, since they may be opposed to all political parties, or have a cynical attitude towards such parties based on long experience and observation of the American Political Scene? Proportional representation also flies in the face of Anarchists who want no association whatsoever with any political system or political party. How are they to be represented, since their “religion” forbids them to further Government by voting for it? In a first past the post system, those Anarchists might find someone who represents their philosophy, or they might vote for the candidate who is closer to anarchism. But under proportional representation they are forced to vote for some political party, which of course is an endorsement of government, something completely anathema to their “religion”.

Proportional Representation is touted around joyously as a panacea for impotent government by the various socialist-capitalist melange parties in the US and other developed so-called democracies, as is voting for a second or third tier candidate if your first choice fails to win. But all it guarantees is the election of more Keynesian-economics politicians who have no comprehension of correct Minarchist government and Austrian-school economics, and believe in the philosophies of the major parties in the US and UK, which is to print money, inflate, and pay off the welfare- and military-industrial- tranches in their political populace. Republicans and Democrats, Tory and Labour, they are all deeply corrupt and incorrect in their political and economic beliefs. And that is why both these societies are slowly rotting.

Proportional Representation also leads to fractured parliaments in which coalitions must be formed to pass any legislation, resulting in impotent governments that have trouble passing any significant legislation (or de-legislation in terms of rescinding unjust and anti-Jeffersonian laws).

So no, no proportional representation in your political systems. First-past-the-post is the best in that it forces people to vote for individuals, not vague and inchoate political ideologies.

—Paul Grad, Vegan-Libertarian

California Fire Storms, Texas and Florida Hurricanes: The Price of Logging

As I predicted long ago, the price of the continued deforestation of the West Coast of the United States, as well as massive logging around the globe, would be a catastrophic rise in temperatures that would lead to unstable air masses and intense fires.

But in the face of these predictions, by both myself and the Greens, ineffectual as we have been, the Democratic Governors of California, Oregon, and Washington, who have been in power for decades, have continued to rape the forests in kowtowing supplication to the Republican timber companies, and the Democrat timber-worker’s unions. The environmental terror that Governors Jerry Brown, John Kitzhaber, Kathleen Brown, and the Washington governors, as well as Democratic Senators Wyden and Merkley, and pro-logging Democrat Congressman Peter DeFazio, have unleashed has been sweeping over Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, the hapless Caribbean Islands, and is currently decimating Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino, with thousands of homes destroyed, and possibly hundreds dead (over 100 currently unaccounted for).

When I ran for Governor of Oregon in 2014 as the Libertarian Party of Oregon Nominee, I proposed a 40-year moratorium on cutting of live trees, with some obvious exceptions like diseased trees, or those that posed a danger to human life. Dead trees could still have been harvested, as proposed in Orville Camp’s logical forestry plan which I included in my platorm, and which would have provided both profit and fire safety of local rural Oregon communities.

The reader should investigate for himself how much deforestation of land in these three Democrat-ruled States has occurred during 2005-2015. Recall that John Kitzhaber, served three terms, and had to resign his fourth due to allegations of corruption. Under him, the forests of Oregon were raped. Huge amounts of cancer-causing chemicals, which are banned in Europe, were helicopter sprayed all over the state, near residential communities and structures, so that the spray poisons drifted onto adjacent properties and were breathed in by local residents. And that hypocrite Kitzhaber was a registered medical doctor. It shows you the deep corruption of the Democrat Party, and how dangerous they are to the survival of the planet and yourself.

Now the people of the North Bay as well as the Floridians, the Puerto Ricans and the Texans, are paying the heavy price for their indifference to the environment and politics, and for their continued re-election of, in my opinion, Environmental Criminals like Governor Brown, and the Oregon and Washington Governors. Unfortunately, the Environmental Criminals will never be tried, but will live out their days comfortably on their governmental rich-man’s pensions, mulcted out of the taxpayer’s pockets, and their gold-plated healthcare plans, which will guarantee they live to 100. These politicians trample on Man’s Inalienable Property Rights while letting the Earth be destroyed by their corporate clients.

It is probably too late now for the environment. The tipping point has most likely been passed. Which means that all action is now futile, and we will quickly come to live in a world of survival only.

As they say, “when there is no insight, the people perish”.

— Paul Grad, Vegan Libertarian