Nov 29

Montana’s “conservative” Secretary of State supports government takeover of the internet

by Roger I. Roots, founder and president, Lysander Spooner University

In 2016 I was the Libertarian candidate for Montana Secretary of State. I remember receiving a phone call from Corey Stapleton, my Republican opponent.

Stapleton begged me to drop out of the race, telling me that he was really libertarian on most issues and that Libertarians and Republicans had to team up to fight the big-government Democrats.

I declined. Ultimately, Stapleton rode a wave of anti-government sentiment and became Montana’s Secretary of State. (Stapleton, like most Republicans, told voters he was conservative and favored less intrusive government.)

After two years, Mr. Stapleton issued this press release. Stapleton claims “internet neutrality” (meaning a federal government takeover of the internet in the manner of the railroad industry, the power grid and the radio spectrum) is “good for business.”

Nov 27

Bovard recounts life in Soviet-era Hungary and Romania

Author James Bovard is a widely read chronicler of government stupidity and tyranny. His books include Lost Rights, Shakedown, and Freedom in Chains.

Bovard recently recounted a trip through communist-era Hungary and Romania during the 1980s. See here.

Romania was part of the Soviet bloc at the time, and its people lived in constant fear.

“Communism’s mortality toll does not capture its full horror – the daily degradation that its victims suffered,” writes Bovard.

Bovard was a westerner behind the Iron Curtain, and authorities constantly monitored him. He traveled under a ‘tourist’ visa rather than applying for a journalist’s visa–in order to avoid hassles. He was told that if he was found in possession of a map of Romania he would be arrested or denied entry. So he studied maps and tried to memorize their contents before destroying them. Bovard’s train cabin was searched 4 times by military officers with German shepherds.

“After the final search, guards bolted my cabin shut from the outside. The pseudo-luxury train had officially been transformed into a traveling jail.”

“Though Romania had been one of the world’s top grain exporters before World War One, food had become as rare as honest economist statistics.”

“Children could not get milk without a doctor’s prescription.”

“The health system was collapsing, and the infant mortality rate was so high the government refused to register children as being born until they survived their first month.”

The government prohibited distribution of contraceptives or abortions. “The government forced all women between the age of 18 and 40 to have a monthly gynecological exam to assure that no one robbed the State by having a secret abortion.”

“As I knocked around Bucharest, I assumed I was being followed. Roughly 1 in 15 Romanians was working as a government informant.”

Nov 25

Have glaciers increased in number in Glacier National Park?

It appears that NBC News visited Glacier National Park’s Grinnell Glacier earlier this year. NBC News repeated the claim of government scientists (prevalent everywhere throughout the Park) that the glaciers at GNP are rapidly melting due to apocalyptic-manmade-global-warming. See here.

Lysander Spooner University documented in September of this year that GNP’s famed Grinnell Glacier appears to have grown slightly since 2008. See here.
But NBC apparently overlooked our findings. NBC News quoted GNP’s Daniel Fagre as saying, “These glaciers have their fate sealed.” They are already doomed, according to Fagre.

Interestingly, NBC did a story just seven years ago in 2010 that claimed there were only 25 glaciers in GNP at that time (quoting the same government scientist). How did the number change to 26 by 2017?

And doesn’t this discrepancy suggest glaciers are growing in number rather than declining?

Nov 25

In the past 70 years, 11 states introduced an income tax; ALL 11 have declined as a share of the overall U.S. economy

Government is a disease masquerading as its own cure. Wherever governments grow people become poorer, sicker and weaker.

In this eye-opening video, economist Art Laffer discusses his recent study of how American tax rates have impacted American health and well-being.

Over the past 70, years, says Laffer, 11 states launched a state income tax. Each of the 11 states have since declined as a share of the U.S. economy.

These states all argued that they needed a state income tax in order to fund good schools, libraries, roads and other public goods and services.

EIGHT of the 11 states declined in their provisions of public services. Their highway systems generally became WORSE compared to other states. So did their schools and hospitals.

In prior generations, wealthy donors such as Andrew Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Rockefeller and William Clark spent vast fortunes endowing libraries. Today, libraries are almost universally a provision of governments.

The same goes for church-created hospitals. Churches endowed major hospitals throughout early American history. In recent years, however, governments have essentially taken over the provision of medicine; and now the cost of medicine grows faster than inflation every year and medical mistakes kill more people than all other homicides combined.

Nov 22

The Lie that will not die: “Net Neutrality”

by Dr. Roger I. Roots, J.D., Ph.D., founder and President of Lysander Spooner University

I first heard the words “net neutrality” a few years back when I noticed that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was promoting it. I have been a card-carrying ACLU member for more than 15 years, and I generally support the organization on 1st and 4th amendment issues.

However, the ACLU’s position on “net neutrality” was quite illogical. The ACLU claimed that there was a danger that the internet was controlled by a very small number of media corporations. (That type of danger, of course, is undoubtedly real–but the remedy is always freedom: smaller providers can compete with the bigger firms as long as there are no regulatory barriers.)

The ACLU’s membership is composed mostly of people who call themselves liberals–and many of them hate and despise capitalism even while they claim to support civil liberties. “Net neutrality” was a proposal to “keep the internet free” by allowing the federal government to CONTROL AND REGULATE IT LIKE A PUBLIC UTILITY. (You can’t make this stuff up.)

During the Obama presidency his Federal Communications Commission (FCC) actually voted to concoct and impose just such a scheme of government control over the internet (without so much as an act of Congress authorizing such an imposition).

Of course, the FCC’s “net neutrality” rules produced THE VERY OPPOSITE RESULT OF WHAT THEIR PROPONENTS PREDICTED: “In the two years after the FCC’s decision, broadband network investment dropped more than 5.6%,” and thus the internet has been getting LESS COMPETITIVE, according to Ajit Pai (Trump’s FCC chairman).

And now that Trump is president, Trump’s FCC is moving (thankfully) to gut and abolish the stupid “Net Neutrality” scheme that Obama’s FCC put into place.

Every human being should cheer!

But the world’s bloggers and commentators are now condemning the FCC’s move as a gift to corporations. “Net neutrality” is a lie that will not die.

Here is a Reason Magazine story on the topic.

Nov 21

Bombshell: “Sandy Hook Dad” drops lawsuit just before being deposed

Is this the beginning of the end of the Sandy Hook Hoax?

Two-and-a-half years ago, the “mainstream” (meaning government approved) news sources reported that a courageous “Sandy Hook dad,” Lenny Pozner, was (finally, after supposed months of emotional torment and harassment) suing “Sandy Hook Truther” Wolfgang Halbig for supposedly publishing Pozner’s address and phone number online. (The address is a P.O. box and Pozner apparently uses 5 or 6 different spellings).

The lawsuit was widely reported. See here (“Sandy Hook dad battles truthers nearly five years after Newtown massacre: ‘I’m not the type to turn a blind eye’”), and here (“Sandy Hook Dad (Lenny Pozner) Fights back Against ‘Hoaxers’ with Lawsuit and Hilarious Trump Pranks”).

But two weeks ago, a Florida judge ordered Pozner to be deposed and to provide answers to some of Halbig’s questions. And days ago–just before Pozner was scheduled to be deposed–Pozner DROPPED THE LAWSUIT.

This leaves Halbig not knowing Pozner’s real name.

Here is Halbig’s recent bombshell interview.

Nov 18

Brazil descends into government control, socialism and mass violence

For years Brazil has been the leader of South American tourism and commerce.

But yesterday’s New York Times featured a story on Brazil’s descent into violence over the past couple years. Last year, there were 61,619 people killed across Brazil.

At least 800 of those killings were by police.

The Times story suggests that government “corruption” and failure to invest in infrastructure is to blame.

What the New York Times did not report is that the scope and size of government in Brazil has been exploding in recent years. Even as Latin American countries such as Mexico are becoming more free, Brazil’s politicians have pushed for higher taxes, regulations and other burdens.

Cops are now seen all over the streets of Brazil’s major cities. Tanks roll through the streets.

Brazil is now ranked 104th out of 180 countries in press freedom; it was ranked 58th just 7 years ago in 2010.

Nov 17

Huffington Post predicts 2018 will be “the year of the climate voter”

The “Huffington Post” is a pro-government extremist online “newspaper” that delivers a steady stream of news reports from the government’s perspective.

The “Post” frequently repeats the government meme that “climate change” is a major issue for the common man (even while all polling continuously shows the issue is important only to wealthy elitists in government and government-supported academia).

Huffington Post, (like NPR and other government cheerleader sources), also repeatedly trumpets the line that skepticism of the government’s climate-change-socialist messaging is a product of oil- and coal-industry-funded libertarian think tanks. In fact, skeptical think tanks such as the Heartland Institute receive PENNIES ON THE DOLLAR compared to the massive funding that is received by pro-government-climate alarmists. And the largest oil and coal enterprises SPEND MUCH MORE money to promote the government’s climate agenda (and thus appease their masters) than such companies spend on skeptical science.

Today’s Huffington Post includes a preposterous prediction that 2018 will be the “year of the climate change voter.” See here.

“After record seasons for hurricanes, wildfires, heat waves, and flooding, the impacts of climate change have never been more apparent,” says the piece.

Of course this is science fiction. Not a single major record was set regarding such disasters, with the possible exception of some spending records (which can be mostly attributed to inflation, increased unionization of the government sector, and increased government focus on such things).

In fact, this past season’s wildfires were barely above average. The same goes for hurricanes and floodings. 2017 “heat waves” were actually below average, by any measurement: intensity, severity, numbers, etc.

Nov 16

The world’s richest 1 % now own half the world’s wealth due to overregulation

Government regulations are essentially a wealth redistribution program from the poor to the rich. Those in poverty increasingly find themselves trapped by licensing and other regulatory barriers.

In the 1950s, only one in 20 U.S. workers needed the government’s permission to pursue their chosen occupation. Today, that figure stands at almost one in three. See here.

Even barbers, makeup artists and manicurists are now required in many states to undertake hundreds of days of government-approved “education” (at a cost of as much as $20,000 in many cases) just to start working.

A new study shows that these governmental barriers are having a profound effect on the world distribution of wealth. The wealthiest 1 percent now have more money and property than the bottom 50 %. See here.

This is true even though the U.S. and other western countries now have very “progressive” tax structures (meaning that the richest earners pay most of the taxes).

The wealthiest 1 percent are the greatest beneficiaries of government regulations. A recent study found that the surest pathway to becoming a 1%er is to work in a heavily-regulated industry (because the government does most of the work of eliminating your competition for you). See here.

Poorer households spend a higher proportion of their incomes on more heavily regulated goods. Consequently, the costs of regulations falls disproportionately on the poor.

And increasingly, licensing barriers prevent poor people from traveling like they could in previous generations. See here.

Nov 16

Federal Election Commission now seeks to control political discussion on the internet

Forget the Alien & Sedition Act prosecutions. Forget Lincoln’s arrests of pro-secession newspaper editors. Forget the Palmer Raids of World War I, the “Red Scares,” the imprisonment of Eugene V. Debs or the McCarthy Hearings of the 1950s.

By far the greatest threat to freedom of speech and press that America ever faced was and is, “campaign finance reform.”

Campaign finance “reformers” mask their agenda under cloaks that appeal to a mass audience: “Money Isn’t Speech!,” “Corporations Aren’t People!,” etc.

Yet their agenda threatens to gut the very heart of the First Amendment.

Here is a news story about the FEC (the Federal Election Commission) voting recently for new policies which empower the federal government to monitor and control political advertising or paid political discussion on the internet.

This move paves the way for the federal government to monitor political blogs, political news sites, and ideological content on the web. It empowers the agents of the U.S. government to investigate who pays for what, and which show/video/post/article is secretly a campaign ad.

Every single claim made by campaign finance reformers is untrue. Hillary lost to Trump despite spending SEVERAL TIMES more money on her campaign than Trump. Then the “campaign finance reformers” shifted to a claim that “Russia” secretly influenced American voters to vote for Trump.

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