Category Archives: U.S. Politics

Should Women Have the Right to Vote? For and Against

Of course Women should have the vote, it’s absurd to even discuss the point because woman’s consciousness is not that far removed from men’s. Women are capable of having Property Rights, just like men, and are therefore liable to receive all the Inalienable Rights enumerated by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. Women are often far more intelligent that most men, and some of them seem to be able to run huge bureaucracies, like hospitals and libraries, with the efficiency that is presumably a characteristic of men.

However, I recall what my late neighbor, who was a Bluedog Democrat, used to say about women. He half-jokingly felt that America had been pretty much ruined when women were given the vote. And while I scoffed at his notion good-humordly, I thought there might be a seed of truth in his half-serious dogmatism.

(All this presupposes a certain belief in the general psychological differences that seem to characterize each sex differently, and while as we say this is only on a percentage basis of the general population, and without precluding the fact that there will be many women with many masculine characteristics, and many men with many feminine characteristics. However, we maintain and believe that there is more psychological similarity between a woman in Japan, in Uganda, and in Finland, than there is similarity between that woman and a man of her own country and ethnicity. The fact that men are generally more violent is one of those examples of a psychological difference between the sexes, and this fact is borne out by fact that the murder rate among Lesbian couples is far lower than among gay men. But the general tendency does not preclude the possibility of non-violent men or violent women.)

For I had thought in the past that women were more likely to vote socialist, or vote for government socialist programs, because they are (or were) the more sensitive sex, viewing the preservation of life and the amelioration of the social evils of the past as more important than economics. (However, such programs would eventually lead to deficits so high that the currency would be undermined, leading to inflation and social chaos, thus precipitating violence in society. Thus implementing these programs would eventually lead to Fascism, which is why Libertarians consider them so dangerous and socially destabilizing, and why they regard Socialism as so dangerous to the general peace of society).

And also women would tend to vote socialist because women tend to be in general less intellectually interested in economics and other intellectual fields than men. This is a huge generalization, because one finds many intellectual women, and many women who are far better money managers and capitalists than many or most men. But in this non-intellectual age of no reading, most modern men aren’t far behind the non-intellectual woman. Not that there is anything virtuous about intellectualism. But occasionally it can be interesting to sink your mental teeth into an essay, or the writings of philosophers like Schopenhauer, Sartre, and Camus, or Rothbard on economics, or Lord Bertrand Russell and Lord Acton on government. Or reading some meticulously-crafted fiction, like Joseph Conrad or Robert Louis Stevenson, or the intellectual novels of Alberto Moravia, which combine psychological dissection of the protagonist and main characters interlarded with a very interesting plot. I thought Alberto Moravia was the greatest novelist I’d ever read, and still think so, and told him that once at a public speech of his at a university. (Moravia wrote from 9-12am every day, and said he never gave a thought to his fiction outside of those hours. He was also a great short story writer, which is unusual, because writers are usually either great novelists or great short story writers, but rarely masters of both. Some great films have also been made from Moravia’s novels, such as The Conformist, directed by Bertolucci, and Two Women, with Sophia Loren, another Masterpiece. Moravia, like Bertrand Russell, was also a Libertarian Radical when it came to opposing all forms of censorship.)

Very few Americans, men or women, now have this intellectual addiction to mental chewing-tobacco, probably because of their addiction to the Visual Media. It is as if Cinema retained its mechanical ability to mesmerize, but after completely losing the profundity of theme that characterized even the American Cinema. We used to think American films were corny in comparison to the black and white films of the 1960s made by the new wave of French, British, and Italian directors. But now we see how great many of those American films of the 50s and 60s were in comparison to modern films. Those films were made for adults, but the modern film gears for the 14-year old boy who likes science fiction computer games.

No one can now make films like were made in the 1960s: films like Hud, the Garment Jungle, Hombre,  12 Angry Men, or The Getaway, or films that have a psychological profundity and reflect the intensity of an auteur director, the director as a strong personality, like Michelangelo Antonioni. Federico Fellini had a similar intensity, but with a humor and fun which was totality lacking in the cold world of Antonioni, or the miserable world of a child as in Truffaut’s The 400 Blows. Even when reflecting on his childhood under Fascist Italy, Fellini is full of fun in his telling of the story. You can’t imagine Antonioni or Robert Bresson ever laughing like Fellini. Bresson’s The Diary of a Country Priest is such a joyless bummer, it’s a masterpiece. No laughter there.

But with all these directors, not forgetting Ingmar Bergman, who has to be added to Antonioni and Fellini in terms of self-authorship and being near the top in the Art of Cinema, and even with the weird experimental directors like Godard, i.e. “Le Weekend”, you felt a sense of both individuality, and a philosophical exploration of some important facet of mankind’s universal life situations. Such profundity seems to have completely evaporated from Cinema into nothingness.

I put it down to the watching of television and tv commercials, which probably destroys a good part of the brain, although watching occasionally when you really have the urge to watch a film is no sin, and may actually be good for the brain if you enjoy it. (However, one should never watch or listen to a commercial on tv or the internet. Mute the sound immediately, block the screen with your hand, and skip to the video at the first possible moment.)

But starting really with the beginnings of television, and well established in the late 60s and 70s, the television took over the life of tens of millions of Americans, and such excessive viewing of images might, or must, have a deleterious effect on the human brain. The brain goes into a flabby, receptive mode, for hours, with no originality stemming from the viewer except to passively cooperate with the image on the screen by giving all their attention to it. If the story was good, profound, engrossing, or a Hitchcock, it wasn’t hard to do. But in a film like Antonioni’s The Red Desert, Il Deserto Rosso, it was necessary to exercise patience to stay with the film, although Antonioni intrigued the viewer, like Bergman, with the most incredible, beautiful shots, and cinematic juxtapositions, as when Richard Harris in the Red Desert is seen talking to some workers at a plant, and then is seen from above and in the distance, in relation to a giant piece of machinery which suddenly emits a vast cloud of loud steam. Harris so small, this vast piece of machinery so huge, dominating puny Man, who is like an ant in the face to such massive, complex, technology. Or the telephoto shots at the beginning of the film of huge factory chimneys belching forth toxic yellow smoke. And later in the film, Antonioni gliding the camera around the room’s wall while his characters converse, or the way he’d leave the camera on the scene for long seconds after his main characters had walked out of it, making you aware of the existence of objects around us, long after we’ve left them, and existing eternally on their own in silence. No other filmmaker seemed to have ever thought of such shots, or used them to deepen the mystery of the film. Or added an ending to a story like the last eight minutes of “Eclipse”, a sequence of incredible poetry and beauty, added after an intense interaction of the viewer for over an hour with the main characters, and which has no obvious direct connection to them. Seeing Antonioni’s L’Avventura and The Red Desert are musts.

So maybe television is why the movies have been so trivial for so long, compared to the masterpieces of the 50s, 60s, and even the 70s, as the Cinema began to degenerate, — that Liveliest Art that the cavemen wouldn’t have believed could be the ultimate refinement of their paintings on the walls of caves, and their petroglyphs of the American and Australian Deserts. Blame tv.

And what this all shows is that the Judaic and Islamic prohibitions against image-making are based on that primitive wisdom that image would easily take over the mind of man if it became worshiped, and that the image, like the word, is not the thing, but rather a mental illusion of thought. And the Buddhists too aim for the eliminating of all psychological images.  They all saw the danger of forming images in your mind, which are always based on the past, your past experiences. Thus, the past ends up clouding the present, and you will look at someone with your image of them based on the past, instead of seeing them in the instant now. Television, and its successor, the computer, have taken over the minds of younger Americans, because it took over their parent’s minds a generation before. And it is not only Americans, because the whole world unfortunately has been taken over by the American culture, or rather the degeneration of that culture that began in the 70s with Nixon-Carter. You can see it in the appalling sameness of dress among all people, all over the world, while not long ago each nation had a particular way of dressing that was characteristic, be it the French beret, the Englishman’s suit and tie, or the Japanese kimono or Indian Sari. Now, everybody looks like Walmart.

It is also interesting to note that these two iconoclastic organized religions, Judaism and Islam, both forbid tatooing, which is such a prominent feature of the younger generation in both  America and Europe. Obviously, such a prohibition is based on both religion’s horror of image-making, turning the human being into a picture, that human being who is supposed to give his entire worship to God, and not to any image or graven image, and who is made in God’s image. Turning the human body of someone made in the image of that God, which is an undefinable changeless process, into an fixed image, which defies the insights of these religions into the dangers of image-making, make the tatoo prohibitions completely understandable. Additionally, because of the unnecessary pain the mind is causing the body during tatooing, this torturing of the body for unnecessary reasons is considered sinful in both religions, again acknowledging the sacred nature of the human body. As an Indian non-ascetic said, the body is not a slave to be exploited by the desires of the mind, which is very similar to these religion’s views of the unnecessary suffering caused by a whim of the mind. Similarly, the use of highly deleterious drugs like tobacco, alcohol, and hard narcotics like cocaine, and the addictive opiods of the morphine family, as well as speeds and barbituates, are all looked down on as ruiners of the health of the body, while light use of caffeine in tea and coffee is tolerated, as well as the occasional glass of liquor to the non-alcoholic infrequent drinker in non-Islamic cultures, who has never been seen drunk. Or, in Islam, the frequent and sometimes vociferous debate over whether cannabis was an intoxicant that was sinful idol worship, while the other side felt it was nowhere near as bad as alcohol, and didn’t really fit into the definition of forbidden intoxication, and was also a probable prophylactic against the use of alcohol, given the hardness of life for the typical Middle Eastern Muslim in the days before technology. After reading a scholarly book in the 70s on this debate over the years on views on cannabis in Islam, of various notable Islamic thinkers throughout history, it seemed clear to me that there was a general tolerance of cannabis among many scholars, but still with a sizable minority feeling that it was forbidden. And stimulants, whether the horrendous effects of amphetamine and meth amphetamine on people, or merely the irritability of the heavy coffee drinker, are obviously to be avoided. But can you deny a morning cup of tea to the coal miner or the factory worker, or the invalid confined to one room? Such extremism imposed on others would be most unfair, as much as we might feel for ourselves that total sobriety is demanded of us by God or by our religion? One of the characteristics of Communism is its forcing of all members of the Community to live according to its standards. And that applies to religious communists too, who want to impose their religious views on the entire society. Of course, there are always Common Law rules that any sane human accepts, like prohibiting child or human sacrifice or theft. Just because you say your religion permits something, it shouldn’t mean that it contradicts Common Law, which is fairly self-evident to all. Murder, theft, rapine, and contractual fraud are all Crimes which the vast majority of Humans would object to, and they recognize the immorality of those Crimes because of their consciences. You might say the Ten Commandments are more like Laws of Human Consciousness which are common to all Humans on Earth, and Common Law is pretty similar. I believe the Anglo Saxons in England, in the 5- and 6-hundreds, had no Government, but they had Common Law and courts, and agreed to proposals fairly democratically in terms of talking the issues over together at meetings and coming to a consensus on laws and decisions without Government. But i’m not an expert on their history; I’ve merely read something to that effect. It sounds like they were better off than when they were invaded by the Normans, a virtual occupation of Britain by the French for so long that the two cultures admixed and melded together, providing an enriched language, and a rich culture, at least in literature. The architecture was interesting too, and it’s obvious that Planet Earth was meant to be covered with structures built in the Gothic Style of Architecture, the most amazing to the eye, mixed in with lots of trees and greenery. The attendees of Oxford and Cambridge were indeed fortunate to have their eyes daily filled with the beauty of the buildings, so different from our modern box-like sterile architecture. Norman Mailer, the writer and philosopher, pointed out the association between sterile architecture and violence in the cities.

England still seemed to hold off from that Kinematic degeneration a good while longer than other places, probably because of the quality of the acting, and the long tradition of British Theatre producing very interesting stories, films like “A Rather English Marriage” with Courtney-Finney now playing near-old men after giving their incredible performances as young men in the British films of the early 60s, or “She’s Been Away”, a very original story with superb acting. It began, after Room at the Top really got it rolling,  in early British New Wave films like Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Alan Sillitoe’s fiction is superb, and a real treat to read.), and A Taste of Honey with Rita Tushingham, based on a play written by a 17-year old teenage girl, Shelagh Delaney. What a masterpiece. Or Bryan Forbes’ The L-Shaped Room. All films portraying the grim realness of life in post-war Britain, or else well-crafted plays taken to Cinema, instead of the escapist bread of puerile unlikely comedies which had been the staples of pre-1957 Britfilm, clever as they may have been. Suddenly you were confronted with the problems of the factory worker, the Borstal Boy jailed for a first crime, the pregnant teenager with the fairly-indifferent mother. And all superbly acted.

And not even mentioning the Japanese films of the 60s And even later on, with films like Kurosawa’s Derzu Uzala, which will make you want to live in the forest, and wonder why you live in a house. Coming on top of the New Wave in France, England and Italy, it was too much. There was electricity in the air, and it never seemed to end.

And the degeneration of the quality of humor, since the early 60s when the new wave of intellectual comedy hit America, has tracked the degeneration of the quality of Cinema, and the degeneration of the quality of music. From the Stones, Dylan, the Beatles, and so many countless others, to a mess of boring synthesizer garbage, written by computers, and just as sterile. The humor of Berman, Winters, Sahl, and Dana was so intellectually sophisticated that it was cleanly outside any of the ruts that American humor had stayed within for so long: the wife and mother in law jokes, etc. Or Berman talking about Zen, where you are able to answer very difficult questions like, “You know the sound of two hands clapping, but what is the sound of one hand clapping?” Then Berman pauses and adds, “Unfortunately, I know that sound.” Or Sahl with his political jokes, or Winters with his space ships or auto mechanics. In England you had Sellers and the Goon Show, and a new absurdity humor that went back in some ways to The Theatre of the Absurd of Ionesco and others. Eugene Ionesco is great stuff, and Rhinoceros is a play that is so fitting for our modern times about the spread of Fascism. The Left ought to read this play, and then look in the mirror. They might find they had grown a horn in the middle of their face overnight. Jakov Lind’s “The Silver Foxes are Dead” is also a great play about Fascism, and Edward Albee’s first plays are Absurdist masterpieces, and a crack-up to read.

(I should add that, while Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” is invariably quoted as the beginning of Absurdist Theatre, I think it really began with Ionesco’s “The Bald Soprano”, which contains a humor not found in Godot, and which is great fun to read. “The Lesson” is another must-read, and Ionesco’s short one-act play “The Leader” is another work of his dealing directly with Fascism and dictatorship. It is short enough that anti-Fascist theatre groups could manage to put on a performance.)

These psychological and economic conditionings are the conditions that produced an Obama, the last straw of the  socialist continuation that had existed since Franklin Roosevelt brought in the first socialist social programs, although given the primitive technology of those times and of prehistory which was only ceasing to exist in those days of the 20s and 30s, it is understandable that many intellectuals thought that socialism would work, and was a logical, rational system that would provide food clothes and shelter for all. And given the fact that when Roosevelt took office, about 90% of the American populace was made up of poor farmers living in rural areas, it was obvious that there would have been a persuasive argument in favor of socialism, or socialism mixed with capitalism. It had never been tried by such a wealthy country in all of history, so there were high hopes that government could act like a friendly neighborhood corner grocer, helping everybody who needed it, rather than as a necessary evil as Jefferson pointed out, because of its inevitable tendency to abuse its enormous power, and its economic power. The Middle Class was tiny, and the upper class few in numbers. So socialism easily won out.

Eighty-five years on, we can see that Jefferson was right, and the socialist democrats were wrong, just as he had predicted. And part of that, I believe, is due to the Women’s vote, because, as I said, women tend to be generally less intellectual and generally less interested in economic and political theory than men are, taken as a percentage of women and men. So they will be more easily influenced in general than men by emotional arguments that are economically disastrous for others, like the minimum wage laws, which hit teenagers and Black youth disproportionally hard, and which violate the Inalienable Natural Right to Contract, one of the fundamental Rights of a Capitalist Society. Or the Social Security confiscation, which helps keep young people poor and economically shackled, and currently robs 27.6% of an American’s paycheck, 13.8% of which he even has to pay income tax on. This violates the Inalienable Natural Right to the Fruits of your Labour. The fact that many, if not most, Women support these two unConstitutional assaults on Inalienable property Rights, the Rights that Jefferson championed as being absolutely necessary for human happiness to exist in society, shows how puerile is those women’s understanding of Inalienable Rights. These programs are supported by vast numbers of Men too, which in turn shows how limited is their understanding of the fundamentals of Jeffersonian Republicanism, the most Libertarian Government theory that has ever been the good fortune of People to inherit. Far from perfect, it is yet the least flawed conception of government that Mankind ever produced.

The fact that so many men, and even more women I’d guess, don’t understand the importance of defending these Inalienable Natural Rights, which are the cornerstones of Jefferson’s conception of Government, is the real danger to America. These Rights, and their guarantee, are the most important thing about our Government, and we’d better defend them vigorously through non-violent means or go the way that all Fascist and dictatorial governments from time immemorial have gone, leading to chaos and misery for untold billions throughout History. This is why it is possible that Women’s Suffrage may actually be leading to the decay of American Government, and my Bluedog Democrat neighbor may have been correct.

And Jefferson was twenty-six when he formulated that Libertarian conception of Government, and wrote it out in crystal clear, mellifluous prose, along with the formulations of many other of the Founding Fathers and Tom Paine. This was the latest fruit of Sane Government, that had commenced with Magna Charta, and ripened with Cromwell’s Glorious Revolution against Monarchy-in-Concert-with-Mercantilism. Not that the Founding Fathers were all that pure; most of them wangled huge land contracts, and Franklin made a fortune from Government printing contracts. The rot was soon to set in, and never left. But Rooseveltian socialism took it in a different direction.

Still, early post-Independence America was a freer and a more Capitalistic society than had ever been known in History, despite its wallowing in the Crime of Slavery, the worse anti-Libertarian Crime there is after Murder, and despite its Genocide and land-grab from the American Indian Tribes, who to this day still have the vast majority of their Tribal lands ripped off. I don’t hear any Democrats demanding that the Indians have their land returned to them. Libertarian Theory demands that stolen property be returned to its original owners, if it can be proven to be stolen. And it’s pretty obvious that the American Indian (and Canadian Indian, and Central American Indian and South American Indian) Lands were stolen by force.

So, despite my feeling that the Women’s Right to vote is one of the axioms of modern Classical Liberalism, as championed by Lord John Russell, Lord Acton, and Bertrand Russell, Jefferson, and Libertarians and Philosophers like Rothbard and Camus, and it is axiomatic that Women have the Vote, it still seems to me that there could well be a kernel of truth in my neighbor’s Bluedog view that the Woman Suffrage ruined America, and brought on the socialist mess we’ve been in for so long.

Lastly, we should recall George Bernard Shaw’s quip that when a woman seeks equality, she renounces her superiority.

— Paul Grad, Vegan Enviro-Libertarian, Libertarian Party of Oregon Gubernatorial Nominee 2014

Trump’s Libel Law Enlargement is Unlibertarian

Without going into the specifics of the President’s desire to “toughen” Libel laws, we should point out that any toughening is a move away from the Libertarian realities of America’s original political philosophy, and a move away from the Bill of Rights.

The reason is that all Libel and Slander Laws are un-Libertarian, as Professor Murray Rothbard pointed out in his discussion of this issue. This is because, to Libertarians, only assaults on people’s property Rights, including their body, can be considered Crimes or Aggression.

Now the key point is that your “reputation”, which is what the plaintiff in a Libel suit is claiming was damaged, is not your personal property. Your reputation is a thought or thought pattern in the mind and brain of another person, and so your reputation is actually their property and not your own. Thus damage to your reputation is brought about in the minds and opinions of others, which is their personal property and not yours, and thus you have no just claim to damages of that reputation. You have no Property Right in your reputation.

Professor Rothbard also pointed out that currently if someone libels or slanders someone, especially someone famous, and they do not respond with a Libel suit, then many people will start to believe the validity of the wild claim. But if Libel and Slander laws were abolished, the public wouldn’t take too seriously the claims of the wild-eyed fanatic who says he has irrefutable proof that the President has sex with goats in the Oval Office closet.

The President doesn’t have to toughen Libel laws to protect himself against the rotten propaganda machine of the media; his supporters in the public can see their incredible animus against the President very clearly.

The President was elected, and has received a bashing like no President ever did in modern history. The Democrats, 95% of the media, and apparently the intelligence community in alliance with many Republicans, all seem to just pummel the man mercilessly, despite the fact that he was elected by the People according to the Constitution. While I don’t agree with many of his positions, I do at least agree with quite a few, and much more some of his rhetoric during the campaign that he seems to be backing off on. But the bottom line is: He wasn’t Mrs. Clinton, and he wasn’t a long-term politician, and he really was just a mescolanza of Democratic and Republican programs based at core on a dollar bill.

So quash the Libel Law legislation, Mr. President. You don’t need it.

—Paul Grad, Vegan Non-Affiliated Libertarian

Animal “Rights” or Animal Welfare? A Libertarian Perspective

This discussion is solely about the use, or rather misuse, of the term “Animal Rights”. It’s a term thrown around quite frequently from my fellow vegetarian, and anti-vivisectionist, anti-hunting, animal welfare fanatics. This discussion is about a point of accuracy, but it also allows one to point out the inaccuracy of the term “Animal Rights”, for animals don’t have “Rights” according to Libertarian doctrine. To have Rights, they would have to have Human Consciousness, and the Inalienable Rights Thomas Jefferson spoke of in the Declaration of Independence can only pertain to the Human Being (or possibly, he being the closest in the animal kingdom to human consciousness, the Gorilla). You must have the intellect of a Human to apprehend the Inalienable Rights that are an implicit part of Human Consciousness. Only we humans know, instinctively, in the Justice and necessity of the Inalienable Rights, which are the Right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, the Right to Contract freely with any other human on any terms mutually agreeable, the Right to the Fruits of your Labor, the Right to Associate, or Disassociate, with or from others, and because the Right to the Pursuit of Happiness necessitates and implies the Right to Private Property, since you need to own all kinds of implements to survive as a human being, from the car to the roof to the fridge to your clothes and toothbrush —- all these must one be able to own individually, not as part of a collective, or not at all, as in the communist societies where the State owns everything in your house, and the house itself. And Private Property includes the Right to exclude all others from your property, since if someone invades or takes your property, and retains possession, then obviously you don’t actually own that property. Private Property implies an individual’s complete dominion over that property.

So in speaking of Rights, we can only speak in terms of Human Inalienable Natural Rights, which can only appertain to  Human Consciousness.

Therefore, the term “Animal Rights” is a Libertarian inaccuracy and falsehood. I believe my fellow anti-animal torture advocates should  instead always use the term “Animal Welfare”.

If anyone has a Right, it is we, who have a Right to live in a society that does not tolerate highly sensitive animals, with a consciousness and innocence comparable to a small child, being slaughtered  and terrorized daily, in the numbers of the hundreds of thousands and million, in the United States alone.

For it is One, the vegan or vegetarian Libertarian, who has the Right to live in a society that does not permit animals to be treated in such abominable ways, just as one has a right to live in a society that does not tolerate cannibalism, rapine, and child murder. Common Law courts based on Natural Law know instinctively that these are Crimes and have traditional codes of punishment that purport roughly to fit the severity of the Crime. And we know this because of our inborn Human intelligence. In a Libertarian Society, there might be no government but there would still be Law, and Common Law courts would administer justice accordingly, as they did in England before the Norman invasion, and as they did in the American Indian tribes, and as is done in the various religious courts of the major organized religions.

Therefore, I urge all those campaigning for “animal rights” to desist in the use of that term and to begin using the term “animal welfare” instead, or an equivalent that they prefer. And I urge them to point out to the Public that it is we, the Human Beings, who have the Right to live in a society that does not tolerate animal slaughter, animal torture, and other abuses like zoos and circuses.

Animal welfare is an issue that cuts across all party lines. Whether you are a Libertarian, Democrat, Republican, or non-Affiliated, you can usually see eye to eye on many Animal Welfare issues with your fellow animal welfarers, and any politician who includes the sort of radical planks for animal welfare such as outlawing hunting and trapping, and slaughterhouses, as I did in my 2014 campaign for Governor of Oregon, will gain a certain constituency because he is the only one speaking out on this issue. Ask for it all, don’t compromise and merely ask for more humane methods of mass butchery. Be radical in your demands. But insist they be passed by a democratic vote of the people, not merely by the legislature, or unilaterally ordained by the Governor.

Professor Murray Rothbard, the founder of the Libertarian Party in the U.S., and who loved his ham sandwich on wonder bread, when the topic of Animal Rights was brought up, used to quip a bit contemptuously (and followed by his famous infectious giggle), “Animals will have their Rights when they petition the government for them.” (Rothbard’s economic-historical lectures were full of little jokes and humor, a lot of which he laughed at himself.)

But since the Animals can’t petition the government themselves, it’s up to us Human Beings to do it for them. And the only two petitions the government really cares about are the Vote and the economic Boycott, both Libertarian non-violent tools of change.

—- Paul Grad, Vegan Libertarian, Libertarian Party of Oregon Nominee for Governor 2014

No News Is Bad News: The Propagandizing of the News Media

Where can one go for news? Unfortunately nowhere. The objectivity of news sites has become as rare as a whelk-stand in the Mojave Desert.

On the Left and the Center-conventional, one finds such tainted and polluted news sites as Politico, the Hill, the Washington Post, the New York Times, PBS Newshour, the Guardian,  the BBC, Bloomberg, the Forward, Haaretz, and the Daily Beast.

On the so-called Right, one finds tainted sites like Fox News, Breitbart, the Daily Caller, the Daily Mail, the Sun, and RT.

Both sides slant their news to fit their ideological allegiances  About the best one can do, short of abstaining completely from reading the news, is to adjust ones’ skepticism to each site in accordance with their naked biases, and try to glean the basic facts shorn of the particular site’s ideological prejudices.

However, one must keep in mind one basic fact: propaganda is a lie. And if you’re making propaganda, you’re lying. And who can trust a liar?

This is one of the tragedies of modern political life.

—Paul Grad, vegan libertarian

I Unregister from the Libertarian Party

Due to the castrated response of the Libertarian National Committee to a situation in which members whose views are, in my opinion, completely antithetical to Libertarianism are being permitted to remain members, I have unregistered as a Libertarian Party member after 20 years, and now will remain unaffiliated unless another party comes along preaching the Jeffersonian-Rothbardian principles of inalienable Individual Rights and their accompanying economic principles.

Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig Mises, and Murray Rothbard all pointed out how the worst rise to the top in any bureaucracy, and that has clearly happened in the Libertarian Party. The puerile reasons given for continuing to include what are, in my opinion, anti-Libertarians in the party show that the worst have risen to the top in this organization, and at this point to continue as a member of the party is to enable its very opposite.

A parallel situation would occur if a group of Stalinists established themselves at the head of a state or county party committee and the party refused to throw them out. Obviously, to remain in the party in such a situation would be to promote and enable Stalinism.

And a similar situation arose in the dispute over which Libertarian Party of Oregon group was the legitimate one. The Hebdor/Wagner group was obviously the valid group and had been so determined several times by the Oregon Secretary of State, but the Burke group, which had forced the real LPO to waste vast sums of money and energy in legal disputes, was still invited and accepted at the LP’s national convention as an alternative and valid Libertarian group. The Burke group even supported President Trump in his election bid, instead of Governor Johnson, and basically bought their way into some kind of pseudo-legitimacy.

I suggest true libertarians either remain unaffiliated, or form a new party under a name like “The Liberal Party” (as the old Liberal Party in the British Parliament was the closest to the libertarian philosophy — however this would obviously cause confusion because modern Liberals in America have come to mean the antithesis of Classical Liberalism), or the Classical Liberal Party, or the Jeffersonian Party if they are Minarchists like Jefferson, or the Anarcho-Capitalist, or Capitalist, or Rothbardian Party if they are Rothbardians.

If the fascist elements are micturated out of the Party, I would gladly rejoin, since all the other political parties in America are far worse.

Disassociation is one of the few non-violent libertarian actions that one can take against tyranny, or mediocre, caponed bureaucrats.

—Paul Grad, enviro-vegan libertarian

The Degeneration of the Socialist Delusion in America

Back in the early and later 1960s, it was still easy to believe that the Left and the Socialism of the Liberal Democrats of that time, or some melange of a lot of Socialism with some Capitalism thrown in, could reform society and make America a sort of paradise. Disagreeing with Thomas Jefferson, the Left and Liberal Democrats said Government was a good thing, and not an Evil as Jefferson stated (though perhaps necessary), and, if there were problems, it should and could be reformed until it was honky-dory. Government was like a friendly, helpful neighborhood corner grocer, and if his assistant short-changed you, or sold you moldy bread as being fresh, well, you could have him fired and hire someone else.

That delusion is now breaking down, and we are seeing the degeneration of a society that was probably the most Libertarian and the most orderly that had ever existed, and considering how un-Libertarian and how disorderly America was, it shows you how bad things all over the world were, for centuries and beyond, when you compare.

Because America has followed Socialism for so long, and could run from 1950 until now borrowing money, it was able to buy off the People with both welfare, and the chance to make a fortune for those who were Capitalists. Both sides were content enough not to rebel, although the Principled Capitalists complained about the Income Tax and all the other taxes.

But these deficit-spending years finally led to inflation, and, as we know from Weimar Germany, Ron Paul, and Norman Mailer, inflation wipes out the middle class, leads to social chaos, and the chaos leads to tough talk and Fascism. Inflation brought about Hitler.

This is what is currently  occurring in the United States. Violence is growing; the epidemic use of abysmal drugs like meth and opioids is merely one of the symptoms of this degeneration in America. (A Liberal will drive a young person into poverty, and then, when they take to Meth or Opiods because of the despair generated by Socialist taxation and bureaucracy, the Liberals clamor for more government treatment centers, and more juvenile detention “shelters”, funded with more taxes….making people poorer… etcetera. You have to wonder what they haven’t been smoking.)(As Libertarians, you know, we believe absolutely in the self-ownership of adults, and, if an adult wants to take any drug, and he never violates the Non-Aggression Principle of Libertarianism, he should not be arrested and has violated no law except man-made law. That said, when I ran for Governor of Oregon in 2014, and utilizing environmental laws, I proposed a measure that would, in effect,have arrested I’d guess 99% of the meth users who commit crimes, and for far longer terms. I also proposed an initial legalizing of heroin only for the terminally ill, and would have debated further legalization in the Oregon Legislature. And I was once fascinated to hear Dr. Dean Edel, on his radio medical program, tell of a small class of heroin users who use the same low dose regularly, for years, without ever increasing their dose, and hold down jobs. Kinda like the person who can occasionally smoke a cigarette and not get hooked, while, for the overwhelming majority of tobacco users, they soon have this death’s-head-monkey on their backs all the way into the emphysema of the nursing home.)

Tobacco is for losers, (but who am I to criticize Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein? Lord Russell once explained that Tobacco usage had actually led to his long old-age, because he was once on a plane flight over Norway that segregated the tobacco addicts in the tail of the plane from the non-smokers in the front. The plane crashed into a fjord with the nose submerged, and the tail in the air. All the passengers in the front were drowned, but Russell managed to escape through a window, swim to shore, and write again.).

This is all somewhat removed from our main point that Socialism leads to Anarchy (i.e. Common Law crimes) which is now leading to Fascism. Trump is a reaction to that Anarchy, and, we judge, probably the least harmful in the long run. There is perhaps none less dangerous to absorb this call for a tough guy to cope with the appalling disorder in America than he, but of course one must never trust these “leaders”. Yet, I can think of ten demagogues in America (mostly Democrats) who would have been far worse and far more dangerous than Mr. Trump. The Democrats have become the Klan in terms of their fanaticism.

But it is the Bipartisans who have destroyed America, the milksop middle, that talk Capitalism but groan when you talk of eliminating the Socialist program or tax loophole that is benefiting their own individual case, while never questioning the basic crime of taxation. (All funding for a Libertarian government could come through excise taxes on imports from foreign countries that violate our Bill of Rights, and contract insurance offered by the government in order to settle contractual disputes decided in government courts. This would preclude individual taxation, which is a crime according to the Declaration of Independence which delineates the Inalienable Rights of the Individual.)

So thank the do-nothing wimps for whom you voted, Governor Jerry Brown and Governor Kate Brown, the Brownshirts whose college and university campuses spew Jew-hatred, while they stay mum. Oregon State University and the California State Universities and Colleges spew racism and violence against Jews comparable to the racism of the old Segregationist South against Black People, before the Kennedy Administration had the huevos to bust their asses. But the Governors Brown, both Democrats, the wimps who don’t speak out against the Hitlerians,  as well as Oregon Democrat Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, stay silent and do nothing. Real trash politicians.

Additionally, we are seeing a crime wave of unprecedented proportions in Southern Oregon, where criminals who would have received 5-10 years in jail for Grand Auto Theft in the 1950s in California, are being consistently plea-bargained down to “Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle” and are soon out of jail stealing again. Grants Pass has now become the auto vehicle theft center of Oregon, thanks to Governor Kate Brown’s unwillingness to place them in State Prison for long terms, so that her beloved mega-corporations can continue to pay no income tax, and her beloved 1,195 PERS pensioners can continue to suck their $100,000/yr plus pensions out of the State’s taxpayers. The Oregon State Constitution requires that the first priority of the Government is, to quote, “The peace, safety, and happiness” of the People, i.e. Law Enforcement, but this is being ignored by this immoral Governor, who jeopardises the safety of the Citizenry in order to safe money for her Government and Corporate clients. I have heard from two sources that the State has told the Counties to send 5% less criminals to State Prisons in exchange for more money to those Counties, thus throwing the burden of jailing these criminals onto County property owners who fund the Counties’ jails. The Counties in turn, would rather spend the money on their commissioner’s $90,000 plus salaries in a County where the average income is approximately $20,000 and lower. Another example of how Socialism is wiping out the middle class to finance State bureaucrats. State workers salaries in Oregon often run from between $150,000 to $250,000 plus benefits. They can now do better than successful commodity traders just by showering and showing up for work. As in the Soviet Union, membership in the Party, or now working for the State Government, is a sure ticket to easy street, while the private sector worker, like the minimum wage worker, can barely survive — more fruits of the Democrats’ and Republicans’ Socialism

So between the Meth Heads and the Democrat Politicians, you can see what is wrong with America, and the Libertarian Solutions, which only Congressman Ron Paul and a few Rothbardian-Libertarian economists have ever espoused for the last 35 years, are no longer possible. America is like an old old car battery just on the brink of failing

Welcome to Criminal Anarchy under the Governors Brown and Socialism.

— Paul Grad, 2014 Libertarian Party of Oregon Gubernatorial Nominee

Against Government Pensions: The Early State Constitutions

One of the Socialist Institutions that makes life so miserable for the lower classes in America is the obligation to pay governmental pensions to a vast number of retired citizens, both private and governmental. These pensions ultimately bankrupt the State, which leads to inflation and social chaos. The private citizen pension-recipient is the Social Security Pensioner who worked for a private business or was self-employed. The governmental citizen is the Federal worker, Congressman or other politician, retired military receiving some form of pension, and State or County worker receiving a pension.

All these violate one of the most fundamental principles of the American Revolution, which was enunciated in most State Constitutions. It ran, “That no man, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services.”

This “Fathers of the Constitution” Principle clearly bans any “emoluments” going to public servants except as salary. “In consideration of public services” clearly refers to labor done. The retired worker does no labor or “services” for the government or his former employer. Once they retire from service, they should be entitled to nothing further from the public taxpayers.

There is no reason why these people could not set up their own retirement plans with private companies, and certainly a well-run, well-capitalized pension fund could easily be set up by one of our famous “public-spirited” deca-billionaires, or a consortium of such, which would provide a pension system equal, if not better, than the current Federal Social Security system.

I would also not object to a fund set up and administered by the Government, as long as all liabilities, costs, and short-falls would be born solely by the pension fund participants, and not the general taxpayer. But in that case, the Government fund would not differ fundamentally from a private fund, though it would fulfill the patriotic fervor of those on the Left who thing the Government is the greatest invention since The Pill.

In Oregon, a Democrat-Administered State with many poor people and much crime, there are currently at least 1,195 former State workers receiving annual pensions of at least $100,000/year. The Kitzhaber and Brown Administrations have continued to increase the State’s Debt so that it is in the high $80 billions range, equating to a personal debt share of about $28,000 for each of the 3 million Oregon State Residents. Add this to a child’s burden of $160,000 share of the $20billion Federal Debt, and you see that a child born in Oregon already owes the Democrats and Republicans $188,000. No wonder he’s howling at birth! This clearly shows the extreme Injustice that soon flows from Socialist governmental programs, and clearly shows why the Founding Fathers were so adamant about preserving Individual Rights and Liberty, and why they were so wary of governmental power.

They knew that Power Corrupts, and Jefferson had stated that Government was evil, though perhaps necessary, and because Government had Power and Power always Corrupts, it was therefore necessary to keep Government as small as possible, and to set up various checks and balances on the power of Individuals in Government.

Compared to anything else that had gone on before in World History, what the Fathers of The Constitution (and mostly Jefferson) produced was nothing more than the most Libertarian Doctrine that had ever existed since Magna Charta. And unlike the English Bill of Rights of 1689, the Americans declared that these Inalienable Rights applied to All Mankind, not just Englishmen, although the Americans had to take it not too seriously so they could continue with their filthy slave trade — the quintessential antithesis of Libertarianism.

America should return to its Libertarian roots, and get government off the backs of the newborns and the lower-paid workers. They have no responsibility to pay cushy pensions to anybody, and if they feel they have such a responsibility, they are free to exercise it through charities or private companies.

Those who have paid into government pension funds should, of course, have those paid-in funds returned with the accrued interest.

Let’s abolish these immoral contracts that the newborn have no say, power, or vote on. Let’s abolish governmental pensions.

—Paul Grad, Libertarian Party of Oregon Gubernatorial Nominee 2014

Socialism and Meat-Eating Lead to Fascism

It’s amazing how ignorant the Left is, and how in their complete blindness they have brought about the conditions that lead to Fascism. They are calling the President a Fascist, but they never called Obama a Fascist when he behaved like one, and that is why they now have Trump.

The Left is completely blind to the parallels that exist between Germany in the 1920s under the Social Democrats, who were Socialists very much in the vain of the modern U.S. Democratic Party, and the current drift in American politics. They fail to see that in their coercive overthrow of Jeffersonian property rights (mainly in the form of taxation, but also in heinous assaults against individual rights such as the “shared responsibility” penalty for not buying corporate medical insurance under Obamacare), they laid the groundwork for the Fascists to violate those same rights with impunity.

They also fail to see that the inflation they have caused, by doubling the national debt from under $10billion when Obama took office to almost $20billion when he left, is having the same destabilizing effect on American society as the German inflation had on the Germany of the 1920s. Inflation brought Hitler to power, and inflation has, in large part, helped bring Trump into the White House. But that inflation was seeded by Obama and the bipartisans in Congress. Only the Libertarians have spoken out in opposition.

I noticed, in the two dull Bernie Sanders speeches I wasted my time watching, that there was not one word about the massive spending of the military-industrial complex driving the deficits and inflation, but much talk about “the 1%”. Sanders, in his narrow ideological mind, likes to think a tiny minority of capitalists are responsible for all of society’s ills. But it is really the pea-brain mentality of Leftists and Liberal Democrats like Sanders, who never call out the monumental governmental waste inherent in building useless military hardware which is highly inflationary, who have no inkling of the real problem.

This overthrow of Individual Property Rights inherent in Socialism, combined with the callousness and violence to which widespread meat-eating inevitably leads, has brought Donald Trump into the White House, to the horror of those who saw no horrors (or were blind to them) in Ms. Rodham.

Moreover, the laziness of the Left and the Liberals in understanding Jeffersonianism and Austrian Economics means that fools are creating and enforcing policy, based solely on whether it fits into their preordained list of Liberal causes. Minimum wage law is a perfect example. The minimum wage itself, and constant calls to increase it, have been standard Liberal causes for many years. Yet few Liberals every reflect that minimum wage laws violate the Inalienable Right to Contract. If two people willingly agree to a wage, but the State intervenes and says that such an agreement is illegal, the State has aggressed against the inalienable Rights of the two individuals. And for well-fed, prosperous Liberals and Leftists to tell a man who is completely destitute of money, who is willing to accept a wage he has been offered, and who might even like the work he has been asked to perform, that he cannot work for less than a certain wage seems to me the height of haughty callousness. Minimum wage laws have devastated the lives of millions of poor young Blacks and Latinos, who have effectively been kept out of the workforce by absurdly high minimum wage levels, designed to neutralize labor competition that would lower the level of union wages. The racist unions are exploiting the minimum wage law to crucify Black, Latino, and poor White youth, who have no way of gaining any income except to engage in that primitive form of free-market capitalism known as drug-dealing. And then the Liberals create draconian drug prohibition laws, which enables them to imprison the very same youths they are exploiting through the minimum wage laws.

And Liberals have wholeheartedly support this tyranny for decades.

The Liberals, and anyone else gnashing their teeth over the Trump victory, should remember their own silence in the face of the suffering of all those youths whose lives were ruined because of minimum wage laws, and compulsory attendance laws which forced them to attend the rotten government schools. And the Liberals should remember their silence as the screaming animals they eat were herded into the slaughterhouses, day and night, and they cared not a whit about their suffering and terror.

Because of their indifference to the cause of Jeffersonian Rights adumbrated in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, and because of their indifference to the suffering of the animals they butcher by the billions every year, the Liberals — and everyone else — may end up with the Fascism that they have brought about under Obama, but which they always verbally condemn.

The Liberals were mum in the face of Obama’s Fascism, as they cheered and promoted Socialist programs, and stuffed themselves with dead pigs and birds. Now they will face the rule of President Trump.

—Paul Grad, Libertarian Party of Oregon Gubernatorial Nominee 2014

Ten Little Democrats: A Political Poem Sort Of

Ten Little Democrats going out to dine

One choked to death trying to eat a copy of the Constitution

And then there were nine.

Nine Little Democrats sat up very late November 8

One cried himself to death

And then there were eight.

Eight Little Democrats travelling in Devon

One was told his citizenship had been revoked and he’d been deported

And then there were seven.

Seven Little Democrats chopping up some sticks

But then one was prosecuted for wasting strategic resources necessary for Homeland Security

And then there were six.

Six Little Democrats playing with a hive

A Libertarian Bee stung one

And then there were five.

Five Little Democrats going in for law

Alan Dershowitz sued one

And then there were four.

Four Little Democrats going out to sea

A red-herring-baiting House Un-american Committee Chairman subpoened one

And then there were three.

Three Little Democrats walking in the zoo

A Russian bear hugged one

And then there were two.

Two Little Democrats sitting in the sun

The  climate change frizzled one

And then there was one.

One Little Democrat Left all alone

So he joined the Libertarian Party

And then there were none!

—Paul Grad

The Women’s March: Why Didn’t They March When…

The Women were out marching on the first full day of Trump’s Presidency.

I wonder why they didn’t march when Obama added $9.3 trillion to our national debt, fueling inflation in necessities like food, rents, gas, and insurance, and driving tens of millions into poverty, thus vastly increasing the crime rate.

I wonder why they didn’t march when Obama proposed, early in his administration, that indefinite detention without trial be implemented in America, completely overthrowing the Jeffersonian concept of Individual Rights, and a speedy trial before a jury of one’s peers for anyone arrested and charged with a crime. For this proposal alone Obama deserved to be Impeached.

I wonder why they  didn’t march when Obama murdered hundreds of innocent civilians along with a few guilty terrorists with his countless drone attacks, thus creating a whole new crop of jihadists who use footage of those murdered women and children to recruit fresh terrorists. The Immorality of these Murders was never questioned by “The Women”.

I wonder why they didn’t march when Obama enabled Iran to get nuclear weapons within ten years. Perhaps they and their children are not the ones who will live terrorized, in constant fear of nuclear attack from a regime that stones women to death and hangs 15-year old children for being gay or sexually promiscuous.

I wonder why they didn’t march when Black Americans were gunned down by the police every few days in America, and Obama did nothing to Federally intervene and prosecute the crimes. Compare his passivity to the vigorous action taken by John and Robert Kennedy who went after the segregationists, and busted open the Southern Universities to Black students.

I wonder why they didn’t march when Obama forced every American to do business with the huge corporate insurance companies under Obamacare, or be forced to pay a huge cash penalty. This heinous overthrow of Individual Jeffersonian Rights — inalienable Rights which no man or government may overthrow — institutionalized economic Fascism in America, Fascism being a union of Government and Big Corporations against the Individual.

I wonder why they didn’t march when the Obama Administration helped overthrow an elected government in the Ukraine, and, by participating in the insane build-up of armaments near the Russian border with the NATO Warmongers, helped to bring the world closer to a U.S-Russian nuclear war than it has been since the Cuban Missile Crisis, according to Princeton Professor and Russian scholar Stephen Cohen. I wonder how these Women would feel if Russia was placing nuclear missiles and masses of conventional weapons in Northern Mexico, or if a flotilla of Chinese battleships were off the coast of California, just outside U.S. territorial waters. These women don’t seem to mind dishing out terror to people all over the world, as long as it doesn’t get near them.

I wonder why they didn’t march when Obama continued to persecute tens of thousands of Americans suffering from conditions which medical cannabis could have alleviated. These people sat in pain and terror while Obama played golf and smoked his tobacco cigarettes. Where were these Women when those other women and children, like Shauna Banda and her son, were harassed and prosecuted by their Fascist State Governments (like Kansas) for using cannabis for their medical diseases? The Women didn’t seem to give a damn about those women’s suffering, unlike the Libertarian Party and Ron Paul, who relentlessly hammered away at the Fascistic overthrow of Jeffersonian Inalienable Rights which the Democrats and Republicans had supported for 80 years. But Obama didn’t have the huevos to stand up for Jeffersonian Rights and propose Federal legalization of cannabis. What a wimp!

And I wonder why they didn’t march when the Clinton Foundation took up to $25million from Saudi Arabia, a dictatorship which treats women abominably. Or when Hillary Clinton took Huma Abedin as an advisor, a woman who is an associate editor of a publication which promotes Sharia Law. The hypocrisy of these Women demonstrators, who never once attacked Hillary Clinton on her Saudi Arabian Collaboration, stinks of Fascism.

In short, the Women never marched when Obama and Hillary committed crime after crime, but they marched when someone they couldn’t control finally got into office.

Obama’s Fascism brought on the Presidency of Donald Trump, but the Women were silent in the face of that Fascism. Now they will face the consequences of that silence.

— Paul Grad, Libertarian Party of Oregon Gubernatorial Nominee 2014