Texas and the EPA

Texas vs. EPA update: At this moment, the State of Texas is clashing with the EPA over the EPA’s arbitrary and unconstitutional changes to the Clean Air Act.  (The EPA seems to have forgotten that Congress, not a department of the executive branch, writes our laws.)  The whole story is here: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/aug/25/texas-fights-global-warming-power-grab/?page=1 Texas Attorney General…

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The War We Should Have Never Had

Immediately following the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush seemed eager to attack Iraq instead of Afghanistan. After all, Afghanistan was the home of al Qaeda, the organization credited with the travesty. Something smelled bad. Every night we seemed closer to attacking Iraq, and the media was clearly an accomplice. Both parties became “sheeple” in support. Even Senators John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, Democratic Party presidential candidates, voted for it.

Fifteen of the nineteen hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, as was Osama bin Laden. Not one was from Iraq. Later we learned that 80% of the prisoners held at Guantanamo were Saudis (“Our Enemies the Saudis,” U.S. News and World Report, June 3, 2002, p. 49). So why were we not attacking Saudi Arabia instead? Nor did any evidence exist linking Saddam Hussein with al Qaeda or Osama bin Laden. Actually bin Laden was a religious fanatic and Saddam non religious and afraid that the clerics would gain power in Iraq as they had in Iran.

Both Bushes hated Saddam Hussein, and Bush Jr. had a personal vendetta against the horrible dictator for the unsuccessful assassination attempt on his father at the Kuwaiti Airport. The dictator in question used chemical warfare against his own people, the Kurds (Congressional Record 9-13, 1988, p. E2914). But if we went to war against every human rights violating dictator, we would be at war with half the world. Prior to Bush Sr.’s confrontation with Saddam, the US provided him with equipment that later fortified his bunkers (“Building Baghdad’s Arsenal” The New American, Nov. 17, 2003, p 6.)

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“Small Is Beautiful” Guy Hearts Fed

Here’s a reply I just wrote to an email asking me where a certain person got the idea that the economy was in recession 40% of the time in the nineteenth century.  I am calling the person X, because he’s about the most uncharitable (and uncomprehending) antagonist I’ve ever faced — yes, even a genial guy like me has antagonists — and I’m all done dealing with him.

“I’d tell you where he gets it from, but my answer would be too crude.  X is a real estate agent who knows as much about nineteenth-century economic history as any other real estate agent.  (I am not saying real estate agents are ignorant, you understand, but that they tend not to be experts in this highly specialized area.) Yes, there were recessions, but contemporaries correctly blamed them on excessive issue of bank credit, often pushed by federally chartered national banks.  Austrians oppose this kind of activity in the first place, so X proves nothing by citing these panics.  Rothbard shows in his book The Panic of 1819 (Columbia University Press, 1962) that many people decided, in the wake of that panic, that the best policy was 100% reserve banking in a completely private system.  We never got that.  That system, say many Austrians, is the only one that would put a stop to the boom-bust cycle.

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Candidates advocate for state and local control

Two Kentucky candidates recently made Tenth Amendment friendly statements.

While Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Jack Conway continued to press the issue of rampant drug problems in Eastern Kentucky, saying his Republican opponent doesn’t get it and vocally advocating for federal funds, Rand Paul stuck to his guns, reiterating that he opposes federal funding for drug enforcement and addiction programs.

Paul insists the best way to deal with problems comes through innovating local solutions, adding that Washington siphoning money out of the state makes that more difficult.

“Right now we send money to Washington that comes back to us after it circulates through the Washington bureaucracy. Maybe if we weren’t sending so much to Washington, we’d have more in Kentucky,” Paul said.

Paul’s stand has apparently cost him some points in the polls. But Paul is right. And even if those dollars create some benefit when Washington deems it fit to bless the Commonwealth with a little windfall, the federal government has no Constitutional authority to fund drug programs.

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Visiting (Radical) Wisconsin

Wisconsin is the state that most defiantly nullified the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 (as I discuss in Nullification), quoting the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 and 1799 in its defense; today it’s the headquarters of the Bring the Guard Home movement.  Wisconsin Public Radio interviewed me for an hour about Meltdown and for another hour about Nullification, and I…

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