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Wesley Clark to Newsmax: Israel Will Not Bomb Iran | Newsmax

Posted in Foreign Policy by James Pat Guerréro on 09/27/2012

There is little chance of Israel bombing Iran because sanctions and other measures put in place by the international community will be enough to contain the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions, former four-star general Wesley Clark tells Newsmax.

And in any case, President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is in such deep domestic trouble that his own people could be the ones who turf him out, Clark predicted.

Watch the Exclusive Interview Here.

Clark — who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and is a firm supporter of President Barack Obama — also said Republicans are crying foul over the threat of military cuts under sequestration plans and defended the president’s comment that the murder of U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya was “a bump in the road.”

Clark spoke exclusively to Newsmax.TV in New York where he was attending the Clinton Global Initiative.

Urgent Poll: Romney or Obama to Handle Foreign Crisis? Vote Here!

He said he does not believe Israel will strike Iran. “Other measures will be brought to bear by the international community against Iran,” he said. “I mean tougher sanctions and other measures. Everything’s on the table.

“President Obama said he’s going to do everything that’s required. They will not get a nuclear weapon,” Clark predicted.

He also said imposing a no-fly zone over Syria in an attempt to wear down the Assad regime would also not be effective. Instead he said the response should be “to try to seal off the conflict from Iranian weapons and also to take care of the refugees and to provide humanitarian assistance and political development assistance for the Syrian opposition.”

Clark was NATO’s Supreme Commander Europe from 1997 to 2000 and led the allied forces in the Kosovo War in 1998 and 1999. After his retirement from the military he became active in Democratic politics. He won the party’s Oklahoma primary in 2004 but dropped out of the race soon after.

He told Newsmax the defense cuts of more than $50 billion, due in January under sequestration are “highly unlikely to kick in.”

“They were put there as a sort of unimaginable, awful consequence if there’s no agreement. They were designed to generate the agreement.

“In other words, they were to be so awful in contemplation that the Republicans and Democrats would have to agree, the Democrats because this cuts primarily the social side, the Republicans . . . on the military side.

“Now, the Republicans are out saying, ‘Well, the president did this,’ “ he added. “The President didn’t do this. The president set up an agreement for $4

via Wesley Clark to Newsmax: Israel Will Not Bomb Iran.

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Morning Bell: 5 Ways Obama Disappointed at the United Nations | The Heritage Foundation

Posted in Tradition by James Pat Guerréro on 09/27/2012

Morning Bell
5 Ways Obama Disappointed at the United Nations

President Obama spoke to the United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday – and what a disappointing speech it was.

He actually scrapped his original speech outline to focus on the controversial YouTube video that many have suggested sparked recent anti-American attacks in the Middle East, including one in Libya that killed a U.S. Ambassador and other Americans. Making this video the focus of his speech was inappropriate. He should have used the international platform to make an unapologetic case for freedom. The President failed the American people—and America’s allies—in five major ways.

1. He failed to give a robust defense of free speech.

In tripping over the YouTube video that was offensive to Muslims, the President seemed to validate other countries’ disregard for freedom of speech:

I know that not all countries in this body share this particular understanding of the protection of free speech. We recognize that. But in 2012, at a time when anyone with a cell phone can spread offensive views around the world with the click of a button, the notion that we can control the flow of information is obsolete. The question, then, is how we respond.

He also admonished people for offending others, saying, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Yet to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see when the image of Jesus Christ is desecrated, churches are destroyed, or the Holocaust is denied.”

The President probably thought he was being clever, turning the argument around on those calling for restrictions on free speech. But it would not be surprising if there were a number of nodding heads in the audience agreeing that all such “incitement” should be banned. That comment could, and probably will, be interpreted as a backhand endorsement of efforts to restrict free speech like the “defamation of religions” resolutions offered by the Organization of the Islamic Conference in the U.N. and the Human Rights Council.

Heritage expert Brett Schaefer responded that:

President Obama spent less time defending free speech than he did outlining a vague vision for a world with tolerance and diversity as its key ideals. Perhaps this lopsided emphasis sought to reinforce the administration’s dubious claim that only hateful speech is to blame for the attacks on our embassies, but the overall effect was to lend credibility to the notion that governments should be policing speech.

Instead of free speech, the Obama Administration has had a policy of apologetic speech. The Administration supported a U.N. “anti-blasphemy” resolution last year that threatens freedom of speech by condemning any expression that could be deemed “defamation of religion.” The President’s words yesterday continued this weak, apologetic stance.

2. He tiptoed around Iran.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will speak to the U.N. today, but he’s already made his positions quite clear. This week, Iran has escalated threats against Israel and the United States, and Ahmadinejad has said that Israel should be “eliminated” and that a “new order” should emerge, without the U.S. as a superpower.

In response, the President made a “milquetoast statement,” said Heritage’s Nile Gardiner, projecting “a dangerous leading-from-behind mentality at a time when the free world needs bold U.S. leadership.” The President continues to pay lip service to diplomacy with Iran, when the time has clearly passed for this approach.

3. He failed to give Israel strong backing.

Heritage’s Gardiner lamented that “Yet again, Obama drew moral equivalence between the Israelis and the Palestinians, a theme he has frequently expounded upon since taking office.” Palestine continues to edge its way into U.N. organizations, pursuing statehood without negotiating with Israel. The President should have taken a hard line against this. Instead, he made U.S. support for Israel—America’s steadfast ally in the Middle East—a mere footnote in his speech.

4. He did not promote economic freedom.

Heritage experts said ahead of the speech that President Obama should call for “a new era of economic liberalization to expand economic freedom around the globe and ensure that the opportunities of a globalized and interdependent world economy are available to all citizens.” This is the key to raising people out of poverty and giving them alternatives to joining radicalized groups. However, the Obama Administration has failed to increase economic freedom at home or to promote it vigorously abroad.

5. He failed to project American strength.

The United Nations General Assembly is an odd place where oppressive dictators are given the same platform as free nations. It is a unique opportunity to remind the world why people risk their lives to come to America, and to recommit to protecting the freedoms that make that risk worthwhile. As Heritage’s Kim Holmes has said:

We should never allow the U.N. or anyone to abuse the mantra of human rights to undermine our sovereign constitutional system which not only protects our God-given rights and the liberty to govern ourselves but also offers the best model for others to do the same.

No American should speak apologetically about America. Especially not the President.

Heritage and The Hoover Institution will examine Obama’s speech and America’s relationship with the United Nations today at noon ET. Click here to watch it live online.

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Print | Comments | Forward

Romney’s Tax Plan Doesn’t Have to Raise Taxes on the Middle Class

Obamacare Spends More Than a Trillion in Taxpayer Dollars and Still Leaves 30 Million People Uninsured

Obama at U.N. in Defense of Free Speech—Sort Of

Obama Has Another Jimmy Carter Moment at the U.N.

Iran Escalates Threats Ahead of Ahmadinejad’s United Nations Speech


President Obama is not meeting with any other world leaders during his time at the U.N., though he found time to put in appearances on David Letterman’s show and “The View.”

Today at the U.N. General Assembly, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will speak, followed by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and British Prime Minister David Cameron. See today’s schedule.

The president of Libya says that the YouTube movie trailer for Innocence of Muslims had nothing to do with the September 11 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

Theft of Apple products such as iPhones and iPads is up 40 percent in New York City since last year.

How to debate President Obama | Newt Gingrich

Posted in Presidential General by James Pat Guerréro on 09/27/2012

Newt Gingrich | Powerful Conservative Voices
How to debate President Obama

Dear Fellow Conservative,

Newt Gingrich

The upcoming Presidential debate on October 3 is the most important single event in Mitt Romney’s political career.

The elite news media is doing everything they can to convince Romney’s supporters that the election is lost.

Americans will be tuning in that evening to see if Governor Romney turns this media narrative on its head.

This will be the first time Americans will see President Obama and his challenger side by side.

Click Here to Read Full Article »


Newt Gingrich Signature
Newt Gingrich

P.S. I have an essay on this same subject — Presidential Debates — in the new e-book “Taking Turns: Political Stalemate or a New Direction in the Race for 2012” by my friend Barry Casselman, a journalist and astute political observer. It’s a fascinating look at the Race for 2012.

Newt Gingrich | A Nation Like No Other Land of the Pilgrims’ PrideIn the New York Times bestseller, “Sweet Land of Liberty,” Ellis the Elephant sets off on a quest to find out how America became a free and exceptional nation. Now Ellis is back and ready to learn about the birth of our great nation.ORDER NOW
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In the Middle East, The More Things Change…

Posted in Tradition by James Pat Guerréro on 09/22/2012

Dear Friend,

cpac_liberty.pngThe events in the Middle East last week prompted me to look back at a chapter on radical Islamism in a book I wrote seven years ago, Winning the Future. It’s amazing how relevant the material is today. We still have no strategy for dealing with this enormous long term threat. In many ways, the willful blindness of our elites has actually gotten worse. This remains as valid an essay today as it was the day I wrote it:

“We have two immediate opponents, the irreconcilable wing of Islam and the rogue dictatorships that empower the radical Islamists. The irreconcilable wing of Islam considers America the great Satan. The Islamists cannot reconcile with a secular system of laws. They cannot tolerate a West that maintains a presence in the Arabian Gulf or that would defend Israel’s right to survive as a country. They cannot tolerate freedom of speech, freedom of religion, or freedom for women. In short, their demands are irreconcilable with the modern world.

“Politically correct secularists cannot understand that we are participants in a global civil war between the modernizing and irreconcilable wings of Islam. While the irreconcilable wing must be fought militarily, this is also a cultural, political, and economic war (as was the Cold War). This war is not primarily about terrorism, it is about an Islamist insurgency against the modern world.

“A reasonable estimate would be that this war will last until 2070 (the Soviet Union lasted from 1917 to 1991, or seventy-four years). An optimist could make a case for winning by 2025 or 2030. Alternatively this conflict could be a fact of life for several centuries (as the Catholic-Protestant wars were during the Reformation and Counter Reformation).

“Because secular post-modern analysts refuse to take religion seriously, we describe "suicide bombers" while our opponents describe "martyrs." We see them as psychologically deranged where they see themselves as dedicated to God. We focus on body counts while our opponents see their dead as symbols for recruitment. We focus on weeks and months while our opponents patiently focus on decades and generations. We think of trouble spots while they think of global jihad. We are in a total mismatch of planning and understanding.

“We are hunting down al Qaeda (a loose grouping of 3,000 to 5,000 people) while our opponents are vastly larger. As one counter-terrorism analyst suggested to me "about the time we wipe out al Qaeda there will be five to ten new organizations of equal or greater size." We can reasonably guess that about 3 to 4 percent of the 1.3 billion Muslims on the planet are potential terrorist recruits-a pool of 39 to 52 million young men. There might be more than 10,000 potential recruits for every current member of al Qaeda.

“Virtually every expert believes the number of militants available to the Irreconcilables is growing much faster than we are killing them. We have no effective communication counter-strategy to the television stations like Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya that serve as multimillion (maybe multibillion) dollar force multipliers for the insurgency. Consider the tiny cost bin Laden pays for an audio tape that these stations broadcast to more than a third of the Arab world at no cost to al Qaeda.”

There is one obvious response to the turmoil:

North American Energy Independence now.

In the last several years, technology and engineering advances have enabled access to vast domestic oil and gas resources we never thought reachable before.

I sat down with Scott Noble – who runs the largest privately held mineral royalties company in the United States – and Exploration & Production magazine to discuss the impact of these enormous changes, and the opportunity to move beyond dependence on Middle Eastern oil.

You can watch our conversation here.

And if you want to know all the facts on this new reality, you can watch our full session on energy at Newt University, which contains some truly amazing information on American energy potential I can guarantee you’ve never heard.

Your friend,


The cornerstone leadership trait: Unselfishness | Quantico Sentry Online | Col. James C. Brennan

Posted in Leadership by James Pat Guerréro on 09/20/2012

The process of leading others is a human endeavor, not a science that can be quantified and categorized to fit into a neat set of instructions for success. Every individual is gifted with different levels of ability and capability to lead others; however the resulting success or failure is not solely based on those abilities.

Leadership is not only the purview of those with a talent for the task, but can be developed through mentorship and discipline and raised to a level unobtainable through individual effort alone. The traits of a good leader have been defined for us in our training as a guide for the development of our abilities while providing both a goal we should all seek to achieve as leaders and mentors of others along with a yardstick by which we measure ourselves.

There is no one single leadership trait more important than any other. All play an important role in developing our leadership philosophy. However, some traits rise to a higher distinction than others and mold the foundation of our individual philosophies influencing how we will lead when called to do so.

One of those essential traits to setting the foundation of a good leader is the willingness to sacrifice for others; putting our own personal needs and desires second to do what is in the best interests of those%2

via The cornerstone leadership trait: Unselfishness | Quantico Sentry Online.

It’s the Senate, Stupid | Advocacy

Posted in U.S. Senate by James Pat Guerréro on 09/20/2012 AdvocacyBelow please find a special message from one of our advertisers, Senate Conservatives Fund. From time to time we find special opportunities we believe you as a valued customer may want to see. Please note that the following message reflects the opinions and representations of our advertiser alone, and not necessarily the opinion or editorial positions of or Eagle Publishing.
Fellow Conservatives:This is U.S. Senator Jim DeMint.

You may remember the slogan “It’s the economy, stupid” used by Bill Clinton during the 1992 presidential campaign to make the point that George H. W. Bush had not adequately addressed the economy.

Clinton’s political strategist, James Carville, posted the phrase inside campaign headquarters as a way to keep the team focused and on message. The phrase later became the de facto slogan for the Clinton election campaign.

The slogan is relevant again in 2012 as Americans consider Barack Obama’s dismal economic record, but if you consider yourself a freedom-loving American, I have a different slogan for you.

“It’s the Senate, stupid.”

Most Americans are focused on the presidential race right now, but winning the White House — as critical as it is — won’t be enough to save the country we love without a strong, conservative majority in the United States Senate.

  • Without a conservative Senate, we won’t repeal Obamacare.
  • Without a conservative Senate, we won’t balance the budget.
  • Without a conservative Senate, we won’t secure our borders.
  • Without a conservative Senate, we won’t stop the bailouts.
  • And without a conservative Senate, we won’t enact the pro-growth policies needed to get America back to work.

Be Smart. Change the Senate.
If you’re reading this letter, chances are, you follow current events more closely than most and you probably understand the point I’m making — winning the Senate is key to restoring America’s greatness.

The simple fact of the matter is this: a Republican president without a conservative Senate is a waste of a Republican president.

A president can campaign on good policies, but he doesn’t write the bills. As long as liberals are in charge of writing legislation, it will be difficult for a Republican president to sign the right bills into law.

Does anyone think Harry Reid will ever send a bill to the President’s desk to repeal ObamaCare? The answer is “no” and that’s why I am focused on sending strong conservatives to the Senate who will make that a reality.

Act Now. Support Senate Conservatives.
As we head down the home stretch of the most important election in our lifetime, my challenge to you is this: keep your focus on electing true conservatives to the U.S. Senate. These Senate races aren’t getting the same media attention as the presidential race, but they’re no less important.

This is why I founded the Senate Conservatives Fund, an independent, grassroots organization that helps elect principled leaders to the U.S. Senate, and it’s why I so strongly support its efforts today.

SCF has endorsed eight standout leaders in 2012:

  • Josh Mandel (Ohio)
  • Ted Cruz (Texas)
  • Jeff Flake (Arizona)
  • Richard Mourdock (Indiana)
  • Deb Fischer (Nebraska)
  • George Allen (Virginia)
  • Tom Smith (Pennsylvania)
  • Dan Bongino (Maryland)

These candidates share a strong belief in the principles that make America great and they understand the critical role the U.S. Constitution plays in preserving our freedoms.

These leaders also have records that prove they not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk. And they’ve all shown the courage to stand up to their own party’s leaders when it was necessary to support and defend our principles and values.

So if you agree that winning a conservative majority in the U.S. Senate is vital to our nation’s future and if you’re willing to engage in these races even at a time when the media ignores them, then please do three things today.

  • Sign up for SCF email updates so you can stay informed.
  • Make a contribution to help SCF’s endorsed candidates. Without financial support, these candidates won’t win.
  • Forward this email and encourage your family and friends to support these outstanding Senate candidates.

Thank you for your commitment to principles of freedom. We live the greatest country in the world and if we work together in smart and effective ways, I’m confident we can preserve it for generations to come.


Jim DeMint
United States Senator

The Senate Conservatives Fund is a grassroots organization with more than 100,000 members that raises money for conservative candidates running for the U.S. Senate. SCF is an independent organization and is not affiliated with the Republican Party or any of its campaign committees.

Not paid for at taxpayer expense. Contributions to Senate Conservatives Fund are not deductible as charitable contributions. Contributions from corporations or foreign nationals lacking permanent resident status are not permitted. Federal law requires Senate Conservatives Fund to report the name, mailing address, occupation and employer for each individual whose contributions aggregate in excess of $200 in a calendar year.

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Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee

From time to time we find special opportunities we believe you as a valued customer may want to see. Please note that the following message reflects the opinions and representations of our advertiser alone, and not necessarily the opinion or editorial positions of Erick Erickson or To advertise in our e-letters or email list, please click | One Massachusetts Avenue, NW | Washington, DC 20001


**BREAKING** Rigell’s Drywall Legislation Passes House | Congressman Scott Rigell

Posted in U.S. House of Representatives by James Pat Guerréro on 09/20/2012

2nd District
of Virginia
327 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
T: (202) 225-4215
F: (202) 225-4218
Contact: Kim Mosser Knapp
(202) 225-4215


Rigell’s Bipartisan Contaminated Drywall Legislation Passes House of Representatives

Bill will prevent further victims of toxic homebuilding material

Washington – Tonight the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4212, the bipartisan Drywall Safety Act of 2012, offered by Congressman Scott Rigell, to prevent Americans from suffering the devastating effects of contaminated drywall imported from other countries including China. The legislation sets chemical standards for domestic and imported drywall; establishes remediation guidelines for disposal of all drywall; and expresses a sense of Congress that China must be held accountable for the damage this product has already caused in our community and across America. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

“This is a bill about protecting American families – their health and financial well being. Too many of our local families have suffered enough, and it is up to Congress to ensure that preventative standards are in place so no American family is faced with the hardship and heartache from contaminated drywall ever again,” said Rigell, co-chair of the bipartisan Contaminated Drywall Caucus which has worked to put forth legislation to address this issue since the beginning of the 112th Congress. “This legislation is the right step in protecting our friends and neighbors. But China must also be held accountable for the devastation this product has already caused, and we will continue to fight for these victims as well.”

H.R. 4212 is the culmination of nearly two years of work by the Contaminated Drywall Caucus, which Rigell co-chairs with Democrat Ted Deutch of Florida. A full list of the caucus’ membership and actions to date can be found on the Contaminated Drywall Caucus website at this link:

Specifically, the Drywall Safety Act of 2012 achieves the following:

  • Expresses a sense of Congress that the Chinese manufacturers need to come to the table and make restitution to the victims.
  • Institutes a labeling requirement so that contaminated drywall can be traced to the manufacturer.
  • Sets chemical standards to limit the amount of sulfur that can be present in domestic and imported drywall.
  • Requires the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to update its remediation guidelines to prevent contaminated drywall from being recycled or reused.

Background on contaminated drywall:

  • Contaminated Chinese-manufactured drywall was imported and used in home construction from approximately 2001-2009. Some of that material was used in Hampton Roads construction.
  • Scientific studies have shown this drywall to cause a corrosive environment for fire alarm systems, electrical distribution systems, gas piping, and refrigeration coils.
  • The CPSC has received reports of contaminated Chinese drywall in more than 3,991 homes in 43 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico.
  • The Chinese manufacturers, some of which are state owned, have refused to submit to the jurisdiction of U.S. courts.
  • Reports from homeowners indicate that some contaminated drywall may be entering the recycling stream for use in new home construction or renovation.



What Should Freedom Lovers Do? | Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.

Posted in Tradition by James Pat Guerréro on 09/19/2012

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Ludwig von Mises Institute
Advancing the Scholarship of Liberty in the Tradition of the Austrian School

September 19, 2012

Mises Daily

Other Dailies
The Candlemakers’ Petition
by Frederic Bastiat

Private Property and Collective Ownership
by James A. Sadowsky, S.J.

Father James A. Sadowsky, SJ, RIP
by David Gordon


What Should Freedom Lovers Do?
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. on September 19, 2012 [Free Market, May 2004. You can subscribe by becoming a member.]

How can one combine professional life with the advancement of liberty? Of course it is presumptuous to offer a definitive answer since all jobs and careers in the market economy are subject to the forces of the division of labor. Because a person focuses on one task doesn’t mean that he or she isn’t great at many tasks; it means only that the highest productive gains for everyone come from dividing tasks up among many people of a wide range of talents.

So it is with the freedom movement. The more of us there are, the more we do well to specialize, to cooperate through exchange, to boost our impact by dividing the labor. There is no way to know in advance what is right for any person in particular. There are so many wonderful paths from which to choose (and which I will discuss below). But this much we can know. The usual answer — go into government — is wrongheaded. Too many good minds have been corrupted and lost by following this fateful course.

If often happens that an ideological movement will make great strides through education and organization and cultural influence, only to take the illogical leap of believing that politics and political influence, which usually means taking jobs within the bureaucracy, is the next rung on the ladder to success. This is like trying to fight a fire with matches and gasoline. This is what happened to the Christian right in the 1980s. They got involved in politics in order to throw off the yoke of the state. Twenty years later, many of these people are working in the Department of Education or for the White House, doing the prep work to amend the Constitution or invade some foreign country. This is a disastrous waste of intellectual capital.

It is particularly important that believers in liberty not take this course. Government work has been the chosen career path of socialists, social reformers, and Keynesians for at least a century. It is the natural home to them because their ambition is to control society through government. It works for them but it does not work for us.

"To become a bureaucrat to fight bureaucracy, to join the state in order to roll it back, makes as much sense as fighting fire with matches and gasoline."

In the first half of the 20th century, libertarians knew how to oppose statism. They went into business and journalism. They wrote books. They agitated within the cultural arena. They developed fortunes to help fund newspapers, schools, foundations, and public-education organizations. They expanded their commercial ventures to serve as a bulwark against central planning. They became teachers and, when possible, professors. They cultivated wonderful families and focused on the education of their children.

It is a long struggle but it is the way the struggle for liberty has always taken place. But somewhere along the way, some people, enticed by the prospect of a fast track to reform, rethought this idea. Perhaps we should try the same technique that the left did. We should get our people in power and displace their people, and then we can bring about change toward liberty. In fact, isn’t this the most important goal of all? So long as the left controls the state, it will expand in ways that are incompatible with freedom. We need to take back the state.

So goes the logic. What is wrong with it? The state’s only function is as an apparatus of coercion and compulsion. That is its distinguishing mark. It is what makes the state the state. To the same extent that the state responds well to arguments that it should be larger and more powerful, it is institutionally hostile to anyone who says that it should be less powerful and less coercive. That is not to say that some work from the "inside" cannot do some good, some of the time. But it is far more likely that the state will convert the libertarian than for the libertarian to convert the state.

We’ve all seen this a thousand times. It rarely takes more than a few months for a libertarian intellectual headed for the Beltway to "mature" and realize that his or her old ideals were rather childish and insufficiently real world. A politician promising to defang


later becomes the leading expert in applying tooth enamel. Once that fateful step is taken, there are no limits. I know a bureaucrat who helped run martial law in


who once swore fidelity to Rothbardian political economy.

The reason has to do with ambition, which is not normally a bad impulse. The culture of

Washington, however, requires that ambition work itself out by paying maximum deference to the powers that be. At first, this is easy to justify: how else can the state be converted except by being friendly to it? The state is our enemy, but for now, we must pretend to be its pal. In time, the dreams are displaced by the daily need to curry favor. Eventually the person becomes precisely the kind of person he or she once despised. (For Lord of the Rings fans, it’s like being asked to carry the ring for a while; you don’t want to give it up.)

"It is far more likely that the state will convert the libertarian than the libertarian will convert the state."

I’ve known people who have gone this route and one day took an honest look in the mirror, and didn’t like what they saw. They have said to me that they were mistaken to think it could work. They didn’t recognize the subtle ways in which they themselves were being drawn in. They recognize the futility of politely asking the state, day after day, to permit a bit more liberty here and there. Ultimately you must frame your arguments in terms of what is good for the state, and the reality is that liberty is not usually good for the state. Hence, the rhetoric and finally the goal begin to change.

The state is open to persuasion, to be sure, but it usually acts out of fear, not friendship. If the bureaucrats and politicians fear backlash, they will not increase taxes or regulations. If they sense a high enough degree of public outrage, they will even repeal controls and programs. An example is the end of alcohol prohibition or the repeal of the 55 mph speed limit. These were pulled back because politicians and bureaucrats sensed too high a cost from continued enforcement.

The problem of strategy was something that fascinated Murray Rothbard, who wrote several important articles on the need for never compromising the long-run goal for short-term gain through the political process. That doesn’t mean we should not welcome a 1 percent tax cut or repeal a section of some law. But we should never allow ourselves to be sucked into the trade-off racket: e.g., repeal this bad tax to impose this better tax. That would be using a means (a tax) that contradicts the goal (elimination of taxation).

The Rothbardian approach to a pro-freedom strategy comes down to the following four affirmations:

  1. the victory of liberty is the highest political end;
  2. the proper groundwork for this goal is a moral passion for justice;
  3. the end should be pursued by the speediest and most efficacious possible means; and
  4. the means taken must never contradict the goal — "whether by advocating gradualism, by employing or advocating any aggression against liberty, by advocating planned programs, by failing to seize any opportunities to reduce State power, or by ever increasing it in any area."

Libertarians are not the first people who have confronted the question of strategy for social advance and cultural and political change. After the Civil War, a large part of the population of the South, namely former slaves, found themselves in a perilous situation. They had a crying need to advance socially within society, but lacked education, skill, and capital. They also bore the burden of pushing social change that permitted them to be regarded as full citizens who made the most of their new freedom. In many ways, they found themselves in a position somewhat like new immigrants but with an additional burden of throwing off an old social status for a new one.

The Reconstruction period of Union-run martial law invited many blacks to participate in politics as a primary goal. This proved to be a terrible temptation for many, as the former


slave Booker T. Washington said. "During the whole of the Reconstruction period our people throughout the South looked to the Federal Government for everything, very much as a child looks to its mother." He rejected this political model because "the general political agitation drew the attention of our people away from the more fundamental matters of perfecting themselves in the industries at their doors and in securing property."

"The state chews up and either eats or spits out those with a passion for liberty."

Washington wrote that "the temptations to enter political life were so alluring that I came very near yielding to them at one time" but he resisted this in favor of "the laying of the foundation of the race through a generous education of the hand, head and heart." Later when he visited DC, he knew that he had been right. "A large proportion of these people had been drawn to


because they felt that they could lead a life of ease there," he wrote. "Others had secured minor government positions, and still another large class was there in the hope of securing Federal positions."

As it was in the 1870s it is today. The state chews up and either eats or spits out those with a passion for liberty. The extent to which W.E.B. DuBois’s Marxian push for political agitation has prevailed over

Washington’s push for commercial advance has been tragic for black Americans and for the whole of American society. Many obtained political power, but not liberty classically understood.

We can learn from this. The thousands of young people who are discovering the ideas of liberty for the first time ought to stay away from the Beltway and all its allures. Instead, they should pursue their love and passion through arts, commerce, education, and even the ministry. These are fields that offer genuine promise with a high return.

Mises, Ludwig von

$8.00 $5.00

When a libertarian tells me that he is doing some good as a procurement officer at HUD, I don’t doubt his word. But how much more would he do by quitting his job and writing an expose on the entire bureaucratic racket? One well-placed blast against such an agency can bring about more reform, and do more good, than decades of attempted subversion from within.

Are there politicians who do some good? Certainly, and the name Ron Paul is the first that comes to mind. But the good he does is not as a legislator as such but as an educator with a prominent platform from which to speak. Every no vote is a lesson to the multitudes. We need more Ron Pauls.

But Ron is the first to say that, more importantly, we need more professors, business owners, fathers and mothers, religious leaders, and entrepreneurs. The party of liberty loves commerce and culture, not the state. Commerce and culture is our home and our launching ground for social reform and revolution.

Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. is chairman and CEO of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, editor of, and author of The Left, the Right, and the State. Send him mail. See Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.’s article archives.

A version of this article appeared the Free Market, May 2004. You can subscribe by becoming a member.

You can subscribe to future articles by Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. via this RSS feed.

Copyright © 2012 by the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided full credit is given.


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Two US Marines Killed in Taliban Attack on Prince Harry Base | Newsmax

Posted in U.S. Marine Corps by James Pat Guerréro on 09/17/2012

Two U.S. Marines were killed and other Americans were wounded on Friday during a Taliban attack on a base in southern Afghanistan where Britains Prince Harry is stationed, U.S. officials told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. A spokesman for NATO-led forces in Afghanistan said Harry was on the base at the time of the attack but was unharmed.”Prince Harry was never in any danger,” spokesman Martyn Crighton said, adding that the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force ISAF would investigate whether his presence on the base had motivated the attack.The attack involved rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and small-arms fire, with insurgents breaching the perimeter of Camp Bastion in volatile Helmand province, U.S. officials said.Crighton declined to offer that level of detail or give the nationalities of the victims. Crighton also did not say precisely how many people were wounded in the attack.Earlier this week, the Afghan Taliban said they were doing everything in their power to either kill or kidnap Queen Elizabeths grandson in what they dubbed their “Harry Operations.”Crighton said ISAF would investigate whether his presence on the base had motivated the attack.A U.S. official told Reuters that an initial report estimated five Americans were wounded but added that the extent of their in

via Two US Marines Killed in Taliban Attack on Prince Harry Base.

Horwitz’s Misreading of Mises | Daniel James Sanchez

Posted in Economics by James Pat Guerréro on 09/14/2012

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Horwitz’s Misreading of Mises
by Daniel James Sanchez on September 14, 2012 Steven Horwitz has an essay up at Cato protesting that, contrary to common perception, “modern” Austrian economics is actually very empirical. Much of his argument stems from his treatment of economic history as being a subset of economics, in stark contrast to Mises’s position that

There is economics and there is economic history. The two must never be confused.

For example, Horwitz points to several instances of Austrian-influenced scholars working in economic history (which of course is empirical) as evidence that “modern” Austrian economists resort to empiricism a great deal (as if there were ever a time when Austrian scholars did not use empirical evidence in their efforts to study economic history).

In his discussion of the history of thought, Horwitz does make one rather good point:

Despite the impression that one might get from reading some Austrians, Mises’s term “praxeology” was not intended to be a “method” for economists.

I agree with this. Also, I brought this up with David Gordon at Mises University, and he agrees too. “Praxeology” itself should not be confused with the distinctive “praxeological method.” Praxeology is a science with a distinctive method; it is not itself a method or methodology. Moreover, it is not an approach to economics; it is a science that includes economics.

But unfortunately, right after accurately clarifying what Mises did not intend with the term “praxeology,” he gets entirely wrong what he claims that Mises did intend:

Instead, that term, which has roots in the Greek for “action,” described a field of study. That field comprised all the “sciences of human action.”

This is simply incorrect. Mises wrote, “There are two main branches of the sciences of human action: praxeology and history.” For Mises, praxeology is one of the sciences of human action, and history is another science of human action. Praxeology does not include “all” of the sciences of human action.

Horwitz then writes,

So what today we would call economics, political science, anthropology, and sociology would all fall in this group.

This too is incorrect. Of those, only economics is classed by Mises as a branch of praxeology. Mises wrote,

History is the collection and systematic arrangement of all the data of experience concerning human action.… It is on the one hand general history and on the other hand the history of various narrower fields. There is the history of political and military action, of ideas and philosophy, of economic activities, of technology, of literature, art, and science, of religion, of mores and customs, and of many other realms of human life. There is ethnology and anthropology, as far as they are not a part of biology, and there is psychology as far as it is neither physiology nor epistemology nor philosophy. There is linguistics as far as it is neither logic nor the physiology of speech.[1]

And then in a footnote:

Economic history, descriptive economics, and economic statistics are, of course, history. The term sociology is used in two different meanings. Descriptive sociology deals with those historical phenomena of human action which are not viewed in descriptive economics; it overlaps to some extent the field claimed by ethnology and anthropology. General sociology, on the other hand, approaches historical experience from a more nearly universal point of view than that of the other branches of history. History proper, for instance, deals with people or with a certain geographical area. Max Weber in his main treatise deals with the town in general, i.e., with the whole historical experience concerning towns without any limitation to historical periods, geographical areas, or individual peoples, nations, races, and civilizations.

Horwitz also writes,

Some Austrians argue as if one can deduce all of economics in one’s armchair, but Mises was pretty clear that this core of economics was fairly limited.

This, again, is wrong. Mises wrote that “All the concepts and theorems of praxeology are implied in the category of human action.” Not just a “limited core,” but all of praxeology, which includes all of economics, is “implied in the category of human action.” This would explain why, according to Percy Greaves, one of Mises’s closest friends,

Mises used to say that all a good economist needed was some sound ideas, writing materials, an armchair, and a waste basket.

Horwitz tries to support his characterization of Mises’s position:

He points out that even the notion that labor is unpleasant is not part of that core, but rather an auxiliary assumption we make based on observation. So too is the existence of things like money. When the economist goes to analyze the world, the core toolkit that comes only from reflection on action is a rather small set of basic propositions. Most of the interesting work in economics is institutionally contingent. For example, even if we recognize the importance of being able to engage in economic calculation, our ability to do so effectively depends upon the set of institutions in the economy under analysis. Moving from what Carl Menger called “exact laws” or pure theory, to applied theory means we must include the human beliefs and social institutions of the empirical world.

This would seem to imply that, for example, the theory of indirect exchange is not part of the “core toolkit” of pure theory but is rather applied theory. This, of course, is incorrect. Horwitz’s error is to think that, if you introduce assumptions to your theorizing because of experience, that makes the result “empirical” or “applied theory.” But that is not the case. For the truth of a theory, it makes no difference why it was constructed the way it was (that is to say, why it includes the assumptions it does). A self-contained theorem is true or false based on its logical structure, regardless of whether the assumptions are introduced because of experience, because of pure fancy, or for any other reason.

The theory of indirect exchange is pure, aprioristic theory, not applied theory. We choose to formulate it, because we observe that indirect exchange is part of the world around us. We take the effort to formulate it, because we want to later apply it to economic history. But the theory itself is true independent of experience. Whether it is applicable to any given experience is another question. It only becomes “applied theory” when it is applied to particular historical episodes.

Again, Mises:

But the end of science is to know reality. It is not mental gymnastics or a logical pastime. Therefore praxeology restricts its inquiries to the study of acting under those conditions and presuppositions which are given in reality. It studies acting under unrealized and unrealizable conditions only from two points of view. It deals with states of affairs which, although not real in the present and past world, could possibly become real at some future date. And it examines unreal and unrealizable conditions if such an inquiry is needed for a satisfactory grasp of what is going on under the conditions present in reality.

However, this reference to experience does not impair the aprioristic character of praxeology and economics. Experience merely directs our curiosity toward certain problems and diverts it from other problems. It tells us what we should explore, but it does not tell us how we could proceed in our search for knowledge.

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