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George Washington Would Have Loved A Large Magazine

Effective self-defense requires using whatever means is necessary and sufficient to provide for that defense. A free people have the right to effective self-defense. Therefore, our citizens have a right to whatever means is necessary and sufficient to provide for their own defense.

Most self-defense laws specify the use of only the force needed for self-defense. I don’t have the right to shoot and kill someone hitting me with a Nerf bat. I do have the right to shoot someone who is pointing a loaded gun at me threatening to shoot me. I’m not required to try a Nerf bat on them first. As the threat and weapon class increases, I am forced to keep-up to provide an effective defense.

Individuals throughout history have tried to make sure they took it upon themselves to be armed with the most advanced weaponry available when their lives depended on it. During the Civil War the standard battle weapon was the painfully slow musket. By mid 1862, the revolutionary Henry lever action rifle was being purchased by individual Union soldiers not satisfied with the risk of the old guns. The Henry was accurate, reliable, and most importantly, allowed for rapid firing of .44 caliber rim-fire cartridges. The Henry was the AR-15 of the 1800’s and, with similar rifles, also significantly influenced the frontier West; and not just for American citizens. Native Americans realized the importance of upgrading their weaponry to keep pace with the invading enemy as their life, liberty, and property were being threatened. With the help of the lever-action rifles, Cheyenne and Sioux warriors destroyed the 7th Cavalry at Little Big Horn. Using common sense to make sure you were not out-gunned was also the reason why the Texans stole the famous, “Come and Take It” cannon from Santa Anna’s army.

A common argument from the left is that even if you could arm the citizens, what good would that do in fighting off the much more powerful militarized opponent? Thank goodness the actual colonist doing the fighting against the British did not take that position. Or how about the North Vietnamese that defeated America’s advanced weaponry with Sun-Tzu tactics and the AK-47? Perhaps even more convincing is that our Government’s own bipartisan foreign policy strategy doesn’t buy the “what’s the point” argument. That is why the US arms citizens of other countries to battle their “tyrannical” governments in an attempt to “promote democracy.” Our own government is trying to promote the second amendment right, for those judged to be on the “correct” side, in other countries. They don’t pass out shotguns and .22s to these rebels, they arm them to compete.

Does anyone really believe that the colonists would not have individually purchased and used any available advanced weaponry options to fight the British? Would George Washington have used a .50 cal sniper rifle or .308 cal assault rifle with hi-tech optics if he had the option? Would he rather have a 4 round, one in the chamber rifle, or a huge magazine cartridge with multiple back-ups?

So why would our own Government NOT want us to have the right to access the same weaponry they would provide to foreign rebels fighting against tyranny?

I also wonder if law-abiding citizens surrounded by gang warfare in Chicago would like to be armed to defend their life, liberty, and property?

With all that in mind, I offer a few suggestions for the necessary and sufficient weapons for our individual defense.

In the home, a nice semi-auto 9mm with a 17 round clip is great to keep by the nightstand, especially if you can put a laser and tactical light combo on it. The recoil is manageable, less muzzle flash, quicker target acquisition than the .45 ACP, the rounds are plentiful and cheap and that allows for lots of inexpensive practice. If the semi-auto scares you, then a good ole fashioned .38 caliber double-action revolver might be just the ticket. It is definitely the easiest to learn and use. In addition, a great pump 12-gauge shotgun, with birdshot, is also handy for bad-guy clearing during a home intrusion or last stand in the closet.

When it comes to concealed-carry, it is mostly about what you feel you can handle and if you can quickly and reliably put shots on target.

For the nightmare apocalypse scenario, whatever that may be, there are still lots of options out there and I’d love to hear your suggestions. Just don’t get stuck with a musket. Personally, I like the Arsenal Firearms double barrel .45 ACP semi-auto pistol.

Whatever you choose, just make sure it provides for a necessary and sufficient defense. It is still your right.

Originally Published on ClashDaily.com

 

 

The Democratic Donkey Ride Down to the Bottom

If the fiscal cliff is a ditch, the national debt is the Grand Canyon. We are riding the Democratic Party donkey all the way to the bottom and they have no mandate, or desire, to balance the budget. The economic zombie apocalypse is waiting for us there, and they won’t be passing out granola bars.

The GOP has to come together to decide, overwhelmingly, that we must balance the budget. The problem is that the majority of those in the GOP apparently do not see the debt as the top priority. They will pick-up right where they left off before the election and avoid the elephant in the room. And we will all go down together.

They have actually joined with the Democrats in voicing their “horror” over the prospect of forced budget cuts via sequestration. God forbid both sides cut anything. Even if the “devastating” sequestration cuts go through, it won’t even touch the 16+ trillion-dollar debt.

We have been played; very skillfully I must say, by the ruling Democratic Party elite. They have set us up specifically NOT to balance the budget – or even really debate it in a meaningful way. They did this, not in Karate fashion – it was more Aikido fashion. Instead of punching the GOP, they simply invited the GOP’s punches and directed the elephant to the ground. They used the GOP’s own willingness to expand the scope of federal government and depth of the national debt via the Patriot Act, increased military spending, no child left behind, Medicare Part D and the 2008 bailouts. In that respect, the GOP joined with the Democrats in expanding government spending and reach.

They realized two very important points. First, the GOP would not push for a balanced budget because they would have to offer up military spending cuts and they would be afraid that would anger the voters. Second, the Democrats knew that as long as the Dems continued to increase voter dependency on government programs, they would be assured a majority voting block as that dependency was already approaching 50%, all without having to even address the debt. The Democratic strategists knew there was one additional reality about their long-time foe that would guarantee that everything would come together.

The icing on the cake for them was their knowledge that the GOP was stuck in their own antiquated, failed, inter-party battle between moderates and conservatives. Why was this perfect? Because one thing the moderates and conservatives shared, while they debated over the social platform, was their love for military spending. No matter which candidate rose to the top, they knew the trap was set, and no meaningful balanced budget debate would occur. And why was that so important? Because the only thing that could derail their entire plan would be for the GOP to embrace the KEY ISSUE by merging with the Tea Party and Libertarians with their balanced budget, small government passion. That would capture a much wider base and push them over the top – with a mandate to actually balance the budget once in office.

But that didn’t happen. The Democrats knew the GOP would not open the party to that opportunity. Their prediction was confirmed during the Republican National Convention. They knew the GOP was too entrenched, too full of pride. And they were correct. And now the Dems can lead us to increased collectivism – or worse.

So what is the solution, if we are so fortunate to even have a two-party option in 2014 and 2016? The GOP needs to move away from the moderate-conservative debate and move toward the conservative-libertarian/Tea Party debate, which means having all those extra votes in the room with them. The new debate must squarely focus on balancing the budget, and thus necessarily reducing the scope of government as the critical point of focus. Yes, that will lead to discussing military spending. Fortunately, like all inefficiently run government programs, there is plenty of waste that this new alliance can agree upon and target. Who knows, maybe they can actually find a way to save billions of dollars (e.g., requiring countries like Germany to pay for their own border defense) while at the same time actually shore-up one of the most dangerous international borders in the world – the U.S./Mexico border. Defense spending is different from military spending. That distinction provides lots of room for negotiation.

At least the new alliance will be on the same page about something that actually matters – the greatest threat to our national security and the greatest threat to the survival of Democratic Party dominance – the national debt.

Given that even the magnificent Obama machine still left 40% of Americans at home, not voting on election night, I have hope some of those will join us.

Originally Published on ClashDaily.com

Ron Paul’s Congressional Farewell Speech

On November the 14th, Ron Paul delivered what may well be his last speech on the House floor. Off and on over the last 36 years he has served 23 years in office, frequently as the lone voice of constitutional and economic liberty.

His service, principles, and this speech are likely to be remembered as prophetic, like many of his earlier predictions, as our country heads down the path of increasing statism, collectivism, and economic crisis.

Below the video are a few excerpts of his 49-minute speech to give you a taste. The full transcript can be found at the Daily Paul.

May God Bless Dr. Paul – thank you for trying to lead us back to the Founders’ vision via common sense.

A grand, but never mentioned, bipartisan agreement allows for the well-kept secret that keeps the spending going. One side doesn’t give up one penny on military spending, the other side doesn’t give up one penny on welfare spending, while both sides support the bailouts and subsidies for the banking and corporate elite. And the spending continues as the economy weakens and the downward spiral continues. As the government continues fiddling around, our liberties and our wealth burn in the flames of a foreign policy that makes us less safe.

The major stumbling block to real change in Washington is the total resistance to admitting that the country is broke. This has made compromising, just to agree to increase spending, inevitable since neither side has any intention of cutting spending.

The country and the Congress will remain divisive since there’s no “loot left to divvy up.”

Without this recognition the spenders in Washington will continue the march toward a fiscal cliff much bigger than the one anticipated this coming January.

I have thought a lot about why those of us who believe in liberty, as a solution, have done so poorly in convincing others of its benefits. If liberty is what we claim it is- the principle that protects all personal, social and economic decisions necessary for maximum prosperity and the best chance for peace- it should be an easy sell. Yet, history has shown that the masses have been quite receptive to the promises of authoritarians which are rarely if ever fulfilled.

The wealth that we enjoyed and seemed to be endless, allowed concern for the principle of a free society to be neglected. As long as most people believed the material abundance would last forever, worrying about protecting a competitive productive economy and individual liberty seemed unnecessary.

If it’s not accepted that big government, fiat money, ignoring liberty, central economic planning, welfarism, and warfarism caused our crisis we can expect a continuous and dangerous march toward corporatism and even fascism with even more loss of our liberties. Prosperity for a large middle class though will become an abstract dream.

Productivity and creativity are the true source of personal satisfaction. Freedom, and not dependency, provides the environment needed to achieve these goals. Government cannot do this for us; it only gets in the way. When the government gets involved, the goal becomes a bailout or a subsidy and these cannot provide a sense of personal achievement.

Achieving legislative power and political influence should not be our goal. Most of the change, if it is to come, will not come from the politicians, but rather from individuals, family, friends, intellectual leaders and our religious institutions. The solution can only come from rejecting the use of coercion, compulsion, government commands, and aggressive force, to mold social and economic behavior. Without accepting these restraints, inevitably the consensus will be to allow the government to mandate economic equality and obedience to the politicians who gain power and promote an environment that smothers the freedoms of everyone. It is then that the responsible individuals who seek excellence and self-esteem by being self-reliant and productive, become the true victims.

The First Veterans, Remember Them?

Why was our country founded? Why were the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights written? I think the simple answer is that all of these happened in response to a coercive big government’s increasing control over individual liberty and freedom. Simply put, America’s founding fathers and first veterans had finally had enough and were tired of being told what to do and how to live their lives. And as historical as that revolution was, it was carried out by a very small minority of the actual colonists (most were just fine with doing nothing and letting it stay the way it was).

They were tired of being told what to do and how to live their lives. Something we can all relate to.

That is precisely why they wrote the Constitution and Declaration of Independence the way they did. That is why they wrote, “…all men are created equal…they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” That is why they wrote, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” That is why they wrote, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” That is why they wrote, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” That is why they wrote, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause…” That is why they wrote, “No person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of the law…” That is why they wrote, “The Congress shall have Power to…declare war…”

They did not write, “Treat some men worse than others because of their beliefs.” They did not write, “Only the ones we agree with can pursue happiness.” They did not write, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion – except Christianity.” They, however, also did not write, “Congress shall allow discrimination of Christians.” They did not write, “The Federal Government may violate the States’ and Individuals’ rights as they see fit for the common good.” Just as they did not write, “It is ok to throw out all these rights in the name of ‘protecting’ the public – therefore the Government may authorize perpetual search and grope, wiretaps, assassinations, indefinite detention of citizens, and maintain indefinite surveillance if a non-invading enemy hates our country and fights us outside our soil.” They also did not write, “It is ok for the President to authorize military force, when not being attacked, without Congressional approval.”

Finally, they did not write, “It is the goal of Congress to grossly outspend revenue in order to fund any programs the ruling party sees fit and, if need be, print more money and devalue the dollar, thus jeopardizing the liberty of the entire country.”

The problem is that we have now traded one coercive big government, that was worthy of a revolution, with another, two-party version that is on the road to becoming the same thing. The bickering back and forth over which “evil” is worse misses the point. Both the establishment Democrats and GOP want to be our masters and force their philosophy upon the people, violating our individual liberties along the way. This was NOT the way the Founders intended, and it is not just the Left that has been doing it.

The Government has no business forcing anything on the States or individuals that is not within their enumerated powers.

So why did Romney lose? I think there were simply more people, representing more electoral votes, that didn’t want the coercive GOP to tell them what to do. And, there are many that are happy to have the government give them things without worry about the debt.

And if Romney would have won? There would have been more people, representing more electoral votes, that didn’t want the coercive Democrats to tell them what to do. And, there are many in the GOP that are happy to have the government continue to spend money we don’t have in foreign entanglements and pork without worry about actually balancing the budget.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt…I am for government rigorously frugal and simple.”

Daniel Webster wrote, “It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.”

So who are the enemy and who are the patriots? Do you think the Founders would have welcomed and armed the “hemp” users who volunteered to fight the British because of the promise of individual liberty?

Our country was founded on the principle of respecting the rights of all to pursue their version of happiness and to be left alone by big government. That is the beauty and uniqueness of our founding. I am not advocating that you change your beliefs. I am advocating the respect of those you may disagree with that are willing to defend the Constitution with you.

I would suggest a return to our roots, sniff out and run-off big government politicians, and invite all that agree with the principles of our Constitution and Declaration of Independence to join. As it was with our first revolution, we may initially be in the minority compared to those content with our current “masters.”

Originally Published on ClashDaily.com

Post-Election Passion Proposal

Ah the election! What a glorious time leading up to the election. It has been a time to shine the bright light on the cockroaches and watch them run – only to see them relentlessly return each day. A time when the American people really feel they have some power, some control in the political process. It has been a time to write, to talk, to debate, to argue. A time to mutually reinforce our own views with those who have agreed with us all along. It has also been a time to attack those who will never agree with our views. Most importantly, it has been a time to try and persuade those on the fence to join our team. Hopefully that has been accomplished.

It has been a time for activist citizens to feel as if they have a say in the electoral process – that is as long as you live in one of the (9) battleground states. But then again, and because of the Internet, a conservative in California can actually influence an independent in Wisconsin. Because of the ability to organize at a grassroots level, with the power of the Internet, passionate citizens can make their voices heard across the country. As bad as Obama has been for our country, you have to give him credit for awakening that sleeping giant (as well as unintentionally helping gun and ammo sales).

There has been so much passion in the pre-election discourse. So what happens with all that passion after the election?

In a couple of days, there are going to be millions of pissed-off people. The “losers” will be passionately angry, bitter, and hopeless.

There will also be millions of passionately ecstatic, jubilant, hopeful, empowered, and vindicated “winners.” They will feel reassured that their guy will now go take care of things for them in Washington. That of course assumes you agree with his full agenda and he actually does what he says he will do.

The winning candidates will be thankful for the organization, the voice, the fight, and the service of the voters. They will be thankful for all the passion and effort. They will be thankful for what we did for them.

I may have a very different view of the appropriate post-election emotion that is reasonable for our country – anxiety and fear.

Anxiety and fear based upon the realistic threats that our country still face. And those emotions are the minimum emotions I will feel if Romney wins and the GOP controls the Congress. At least that will be better than the utter panic I will feel if Obama wins or there is a split Congress.

Unless you are a die-hard neocon who is in favor of the status quo of the GOP’s version of big-government, I propose a re-tooling of your passion if Romney wins.

If we are fortunate to take control of both the House and the Senate it will not be because the GOP has been transformed into small-government constitutionalists. The majority will remain the McCain’s, the Hatch’s, and the Graham’s that will consider this an opportunity to implement their style of failed GOP big-government that has been part of the problem all along. No matter how you slice it, they have been a part of the ineffective political process that has given us the subprime mortgage crisis, bank bailouts, NDAA, violation of individual rights ala TSA and the Patriot Act, implicit consent for any President to wage war without congressional approval, and unconditional funding to foreign countries that have harmed us. They still have not delivered immigration, Medicare, or simplified tax reform.

Most importantly, they share the blame for our national debt, the fiscal cliff and allowing the FED to continue to devalue our dollar.  They talk balanced budget, but have avoided actually proposing meaningful cuts that would obviously have to involve the three taboo “career-killers”: Medicare, Social Security, and the wasteful part of our military spending.

The career GOP folks in Washington who will be “mentoring” some of our newly elected constitutional heroes may blame all of the above on the Democrats. Year, after year, after year, after year they’ve had an excuse – and they will be running things now.

They will not want our passion, our hyper-vigilance turned upon them. But that is exactly where it should be focused. The passion and grassroots tidal wave that fought Obama now needs to be focused on tracking each and every important piece of legislation, both proposed and not proposed. That passion can be directed via coordinated mass emails, calls, and petitions demanding they actually fix the problems that threaten our country.

The organization, the voice, the fight, the service, the passion and effort will no longer be for them. They now need to deliver for us.

And God help us if Obama wins.

Originally Published on ClashDaily.com

 

Is It Time for the Term Limit Debate, Again?

What do Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and independent candidates Gary Johnson and Virgil Goode have in common?

They are in favor of a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits.

During the recent Independent Candidates debate, when asked what one amendment would they propose for the Constitution, both Johnson and Goode proposed congressional term limits.

The Washington Post reported that during a recent town-hall meeting in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Paul Ryan said he supported congressional term limits. When asked he said, “I agree with that. I’ve always supported that in Congress. That takes a constitutional amendment. What you don’t want to do is have a state do it to itself and short-change its seniority and its clout in Congress. But I’ve always been a fan of term limits. I’ve always supported that. I’ve always believed that this should be something that you serve temporary, not for an entire lifetime.”

Mitt Romney had discussed this concept earlier during a town hall meeting in Hudson, NH on December 11, 2011. When asked if he agreed with term limits, Romney said, “I surely agree with you…I would love to see term limits in Washington for our Senators and for our Congressmen…the vision in this country I’m sure in the mind of the founders was we would have citizen legislators…the great early leaders of this country and they went to Washington, served, and went home…wouldn’t that be nice…(but) some people go to Washington and then they stay to serve themselves …”

Yes, times were different then. George Washington turned down a third presidency, after barely agreeing to his second. It wasn’t until after FDR died during his 4th presidency that Congress finally decided enough was enough and the 22nd amendment was born, at least limiting the President to only two terms.

Given that the current Real Clear Politics average Congressional Job Approval rating is 15.4%, it is not that surprising that PollPosition.com found 71% of Republicans, 65% of Independents, and 55% of Democrats were in favor of congressional term limits. That poll number fluctuates and so there is work to do for a vote on a term limit amendment to succeed.

It is also not surprising that Congress has yet to adopt limits for themselves. There are a few brave souls out there, however, proposing to do just that. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) has sponsored S.J. Res. 11: A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States … relative to limiting the number of terms that a Member of Congress may serve to 3 in the House of Representatives and 2 in the Senate. The bill currently has (10) co-sponsors including: Ayotte, Kelly [R-NH], Coburn, Thomas [R-OK], Ensign, John [R-NV], Hutchison, Kay [R-TX], Johnson, Ron [R-WI], Lee, Mike [R-UT], Paul, Rand [R-KY], Rubio, Marco [R-FL], Toomey, Patrick “Pat” [R-PA], Vitter, David [R-LA].

The career politicians will argue that the American people should be trusted to choose their own leaders and if we don’t like them, we should vote them out. They may also argue that having congressional term limits amounts to showing we lack of faith in the voters’ judgment. They also typically argue, like Orin Hatch for example, that “having Senators and Representatives with experience in the legislative process can ensure that a particular state’s interests are being served” and “over time” the politicians, “become better equipped to help their constituents deal with the burdensome federal bureaucracy.”

Yeah right. They appear to become the burdensome bureaucracy. If the people want term limits, maybe they should “show some faith in the voters” and allow it to happen.

Yes, Governor Romney, it would be nice to have citizen legislators that are actually interested in serving their states and country and not themselves. Then we may actually have elected officials that can take time out of their successful business, engineering, economics, medicine, farming, and teaching careers to actually make a difference in mending this country, instead of better honing their manipulation skills.

There are a number of organizations promoting this concept. For more information you might start with www.termlimits.org.

Originally Published on ClashDaily.com

Making Vietnam Safe for Communism

The final debate will focus on Foreign Policy. A time for both parties to explain exactly how they are different.

Obama is likely to focus on how he has weakened al-Qaeda by killing Bin Laden. He will echo Biden’s assertion that it is now the job of the Afghan people to provide their own security. Romney is likely to discuss the importance of being actively involved in intervening in the Middle East to ensure American interests are protected, including going to war with Iran “if necessary.” China also has to be kept in check, particularly when it comes to how they have manipulated their currency. He will echo Ryan’s assertion that we need to stay in Afghanistan long enough to ensure the Taliban don’t just move back in and use the country as a safe haven for their terrorist activities.

Let’s consider some of the arguments and ask yourself a few questions.

Did killing Bin Laden cripple al-Qaeda? Will one man’s death destroy their war effort? Do you really believe al-Qaeda has no one to replace him or their other leaders that have been killed? Would the same logic apply if they were able to kill some of our leaders? I’m guessing it only emboldens them, as it would us. I wonder if the next guy may be an even brighter, more evil mastermind than the first. If you want him dead because of what he orchestrated, then just say so. I understand revenge. There is no need to say his death will lead to the demise of al-Qaeda.

If Biden was correct in saying the Afghan people need to provide for their own security, then why can’t the same be said for Germany, Japan and South Korea …? Maybe we can spend those resources on securing our southern border – you know, the concept of “deficit neutral”.

We will hear other theories of how to manage the Muslim world. Identify whom to fund and arm and then hope they establish democracy. Do we actually believe that we will establish democracy in these Muslim countries? Have they so far? And what kind of democracies are we creating? We can’t even trust our own citizens to pick the “right” constitutional candidates. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised when they vote in radicals. And if they actually voted them in, isn’t that democracy? Alas, if that happens we’ll just go back in and start all over, and over, and over. Cha-ching.

In the Middle East and North Africa alone, there are 20 countries with 392 million people and 98% are not free – including Saudi Arabia our “ally.” Why don’t we force freedom on Saudi Arabia?

Do we want to bring them our version of economic freedom? I thought the free market does best without government intervention. Our own country seems to be struggling with that concept. Maybe if their economies were not forced to be based on the dollar then they would feel, and be, more “free.”

So now we are going after China because they have manipulated their own currency. What about the unelected FED’s manipulation of our own currency and how that has hurt our dollar? Where’s the talk about going after the FED (hint – not in the debates but from brave House constitutionalists)?

What makes us think our politicians, who are so horribly inept at managing virtually anything they touch, somehow are geniuses when it comes to perpetually spending our money to become entangled with foreign countries?

So I guess I will be labeled as “naive” because I question our politicians’ foreign policy decisions. Because I am more concerned with making America safe for democracy than making the world safe for democracy. Maybe I am naive like Washington, and Jefferson, both of whom cautioned about meddling in the affairs of other countries.

I am not anti-military. I am anti-poor-foreign-policy. The military is never the problem. The military is a well fashioned weapon – and when used incorrectly, like the gun, it is not the military’s fault – it is fault of the person pointing the weapon irresponsibly.

We can always find a war to fight, but our country is in an economic crisis. All I ask is that these decisions are debated and judged to be the will of the people and constitutional.

So during the debate, ask yourself – how much will this cost, how many Americans may die, what is the certainty that we will succeed, what is success, what is the risk for a broader war – even world war? If country x is so bad, what about countries y z a b c d e? Where does it end? Why is it that we think we can solve the violence in other countries when we can’t solve it in Chicago or Detroit? What would Jefferson do? What would Jesus do? WWJJD?

Finally, to leave you with an example of how unpredictable all of this is – consider the latest from the South China Sea. The U.S. aircraft carrier George Washington was cruising over there as a show of power to China. Vietnamese security and government officials were flown onto our nuclear-powered ship. The visit will, “likely reassure Vietnam…” of our growing support. I thought Vietnam was communist? Are we now making Vietnam safe for their own brand of communism? I guess Vietnam didn’t turn out so bad after all if they are now trading partners worth helping.

Originally Published on ClashDaily.com

Smart Economic Planning: An American Oxymoron

I wonder if the Romans knew they were about to fall, before the fall. I wonder how their debates went. “Well Maximus, I disagree, I think we need to pass out more bread and increase the number of lions at the games!” “No, no Commodus, we need to expand our forces even further in order to control more of the world!” “I have it! Perhaps we can do both if we simply trim the amount of gold in the coins.” “Excellent, then we are agreed!”

How do countries/empires fall? Seems like they are either invaded, over-run, and conquered or taken down by their own people. There is another way – their economy collapses first, and then they are invaded or taken down by their own people.

I’m not really seeing an imminent outright foreign invasion of America. Our politicians have actually planned well ahead for that possible threat. I am more concerned about the thing they can’t seem to plan for past the next election cycle. They seem to have extraordinary difficulty preparing for medium or long-term economic problems. Other countries seem to have figured that out (c.f., Sweden, Chile, Norway, even South Korea). As EcoMonitor notes, “The centerpiece of Chilean fiscal policy is a balanced budget rule of a much more sophisticated variety than the one endorsed last week by the U.S. House of Representatives.”

And I think it is in this vein that the Libertarian passion is often misunderstood. One of the quickest roads to the destruction of individual liberty is via economic crisis. During economic crisis or collapse, countries can become more vulnerable to foreign invasion as well as increasing totalitarian practices and influences.

So the real question becomes, how can one foresee economic crisis and what does a government do about it once it is recognized? The problem is getting that question answered from the very people who have apparently been unable to foresee it/defend against in the first place. I’m not sure I trust their answers. Maybe they don’t see it. Maybe they do see it but are afraid to acknowledge it. Maybe that is why the discussion is often avoided.

For example, if the Fed is engaged in unlimited QE and artificially lowering interest rates – is that good for the economy? Why is QE3 and the FED not a topic for the current candidates? Why is there no discussion about how QE3 and our debt may influence the stability of the dollar in the global market? Why is there no mention of China entering into partnerships with multiple countries (Germany, Russia and Brazil to name a few) to use their own currencies instead of the dollar? Analysts said that Beijing has been trying to push for trade to be settled in yuan, rather than in US dollars, as part of its plans to seek a more global role for its currency. “The motivation is to be less reliant on the US dollar,” Sean Callow, chief currency strategist at Westpac, told the BBC.”

Why is there no mention in the MSM or on the campaign trail about Saudi Aramco partnering with China’s Sinopec Group for a new 400,000 bpd refinery in Yanbu (on the Red Sea coast in Saudi Arabia)? “China’s investment in oil infrastructure and refining capacity is unparalleled. And more importantly, it executes a consistent strategy of developing world-class refining facilities in partnership with OPEC suppliers. Such relationships mean economic leverage that could soon subordinate U.S. relations with the same countries.”

I thought one of the reasons we’re told not to be worried about the dollar and debt is because the dollar runs the world – they have to have the dollar – right? That is why they are willing to buy our Treasuries even when they’re getting little to no return – because the dollar is “safe.” What if they stop buying them?

Here are a few props I’d love to see at the next debate (you can find these and much more at the Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) site).

How safe do these look?

I’m not sure but I think that helps to explain why China and Russia are stockpiling gold (Wall Street Journal Market Watch).

So, yes, yes, we get it. Obama must be defeated. But with Romney in office we are still going to not only need less bread and fewer lions, but also less world military expansion and “control” if we hope to keep any value in our coin.

Originally Published on ClashDaily.com