Wisdom Hunt

Combatting misinformation and disinformation with conventional wisdom

Saturday Book Review: Ron Paul Liberty Defined: Four Freedoms

If I can stomach it, I intend to review Liberty Defined chapter-by-chapter so that you never have to read it.

The idea of freedom from want and fear as a mandate of government opens up Pandora’s box. “Fear” is a nebulous term that can be subjectively defined and artificially created. Wants are endless and are unrelated to the definition of freedom. Under these conditions government is expected to provide for any need or desire. And since government never produces anything, its only option is to steal from one group and pass what it has stolen on to the next. One would expect that such a system would breed a corrupt political system of big money and lobbyists.

It is absurd to assume that government can legislate and devise a system where prosperity and all wants are fulfilled by destroying the basic premise underpinning a free society.

In the above passage, Ron Paul is attempting to attack two of the four freedoms outlined by FDR in a speech on January 6, 1941. All four freedoms are:

  1. Freedom of speech and expression
  2. Freedom of religion
  3. Freedom from want – everywhere in the world
  4. Freedom from fear

Sounds pretty good to me. What’s not to like? What more noble charge would there be for government than successfully providing these four freedoms to everyone, everywhere in the entire world.

The federal government of the United States has been working diligently towards these goals ever since (well probably well before this frankly, but nevertheless). Spreading these ideas has been used as the justification for the successful military endeavors in Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Afghanistan, Iraq and currently a huge chunk of Africa. It will (hopefully) soon be used to liberate Syria and Iran as well.

There is no more noble cause of government than providing us freedom. Obviously, in order to do so the government must remove freedoms by drafting us into the military, personal income/business income/property/sales/capital gains/cigarette/inheritance/social security/gasoline/marriage license/pet/hunting license/vehicle registration taxing us, limiting our freedom of speech (via laws such as the inability to protest near government servants), spying on our online activities, spying on us via drones, etc.

But of course, we must sacrifice all for the noble cause of more freedom.

Previous chapters reviewed:
The Introduction
Abortion
Assassination
Austrian Economics
Bipartisanship

Business Cycle
Campaign Finance Reform
Capital Punishment
Central Intelligence Agency
Civil Disobedience
Conscription
Demagogues
Democracy
Discrimination
E
ducation
Empire
Envy

Evolution Versus Creation

Executive Power

Foreign Aid

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Saturday Book Review: Ron Paul Liberty Defined: Foreign Aid

If I can stomach it, I intend to review Liberty Defined chapter-by-chapter so that you never have to read it.

…foreign aid never works to achieve the stated goal of helping the poor of other nations. The decisions as to who will receive the money are political at both ends. Our politicians make decisions on where the money is to go and the politicians in the other countries are in charge of how it will be spent.

So let me get this straight – the leaders that we elected to make decisions and spend our money for us get to decide which countries get our tax dollars as foreign aid. Then the leaders of those other countries (perhaps elected, perhaps not, but nevertheless in power) get to decide how that money is spent.

And the problem is what exactly?

These are the types of decisions that are supposed to be made by politicians. They are suppose to tax Americans, draw an administrative fee (salary and the hiring of some grant administrators) then shuffle that money off to somewhere overseas. This is why they are elected.

This is precisely why I feel that the hubub over the secret money the CIA has been giving to Karzai in Afghanistan is way overblown. Of course the CIA has been giving him secret money! It keeps us safe.

Of course, that secret money is in addition to the roughly $13 billion per year we are already giving to Afghanistan (this is not military spending by the US – just free money for the Afghanis). Look at all that we have to show for it! What do you think we could use $13 billion for here in the United States? Not much I’m sure.

That is just Afghanistan of course. In total, we giving away about $50 billion a year in foreign aid. But without our $3 billion a year in foreign aid (and over $100 billion in total), what would a poor country like Israel (ranked 25th in median household income) do? I can’t even imagine, nor do I want to.

Previous chapters reviewed:
The Introduction
Abortion
Assassination
Austrian Economics
Bipartisanship

Business Cycle
Campaign Finance Reform
Capital Punishment
Central Intelligence Agency
Civil Disobedience
Conscription
Demagogues
Democracy
Discrimination
E
ducation
Empire
Envy

Evolution Versus Creation

Executive Power

Saturday Book Review: Ron Paul Liberty Defined: Executive Power

If I can stomach it, I intend to review Liberty Defined chapter-by-chapter so that you never have to read it.

Most of the time, [executive power] is given up easily, out of fear in time of war and civil disturbances, and with support from the people, although the dictator will also accumulate more power with the use of force. Rarely does an elected leader truly resist the temptation to exert power over the people.

America needs a strong leader. That is why we have never elected Ron Paul.

There are an untold number of evils in the world that hate us for our freedoms. We need the executive branch to step up and get things done (read: pass laws) when our do-nothing Congress simply cannot or will not.

Just take a look at the executive orders passed by our Dear Leader Barack Obama in 2013 alone:

Executive Order 13636
Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity

Executive Order 13637
Administration of Reformed Export Controls

Executive Order 13638
Amendments to Executive Order 12777

Executive Order 13639
Establishment of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration

Executive Order 13640
Continuance of Advisory Council

Executive Order 13641
Adjustments of Certain Rates of Pay

Tell me which of the above dictatorial mandates you would prefer to have debated and reviewed by Congress which might lead us to know what is in them. I don’t see even one. We are only one quarter of the way through the year and Obama has already passed six major pieces of legislation without Congressional approval. This is actually below his normal average since 2009 of 37 per year.

When the next economic failure happens, I want the president to be able to give bankers my tax money via executive order. When the next pre-emptive war becomes necessary (I’m looking at you Syria), I want the president to be able to send troops there and take out the bad guys, as well as their wives and children.

When the next terrorist attacker strikes, I want the president to be able to declare martial law and keep us safe by unlimited search and seizure executed by the military:

Previous chapters reviewed:
The Introduction
Abortion
Assassination
Austrian Economics
Bipartisanship

Business Cycle
Campaign Finance Reform
Capital Punishment
Central Intelligence Agency
Civil Disobedience
Conscription
Demagogues
Democracy
Discrimination
E
ducation
Empire
Envy

Evolution Versus Creation

Patriot of the Week: CISPA Co-author Mike Rogers

When pondering the reasons for certain government policies and legislation, it is important to consider the underlying incentives.

As I mentioned yesterday, The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act is an absolutely crucial piece of legislation that will help the government keep us safer. How will it accomplish this? Well by sharing any and all personal information transmitted over the internet with whichever government entity is requesting it of course. This will allow the government to know pretty much everything that you are doing online and thus allow the government to monitor any and all threats.

This week’s Patriot of the Week, CISPA co-author Mike Rogers, has been fighting tirelessly to get this legislation passed so that Americans will be safer. As he correctly stated recently, the only opposition to CISPA is from 14 year olds in their basement.

Rogers (and America) got his wish when CISPA passed the House of Representatives 288 to 127 last Thursday.

So back to incentives. Mike Rogers has been motivated purely by his patriotism in getting this bill passed. The resounding vote of confidence he received in the House is testament to this fact. If there were any biases at all, they would have been vetted in the voting process of course.

So what is the motive behind his unbiased push for the passage is CISPA? I can only speculate, but it is likely due to his knowledge of the dangers of cybercrimes from a whole host of cyberterrorist cyberkooks out there waiting to cyberrob us and cyberkill us and cyberspit on our cybercorpses. His knowledge of such cyberdangers is likely unmatched, except by one person. His wife.

You see, Mike Rogers’ wife is the former CEO of Aegis LLC, a security defense contractor that she helped secure a $10 billion contract with the government. She is currently a managing director at lobbying firm Manatt where she assists with “defense and homeland security sectors, as well as senior executive service in the federal government.” She is undoubtedly very involved in protecting America via her private sector positions.

So who better to advise Rep. Rogers on the necessity of CISPA than someone who makes their living off the business derived by such legislation?

Let Rep. Rogers know how you support his unbiased patriotism here.

Kook of the Week: Anti-CISPA Anonymous Members

We have had hints from Obama as recently as his state of the union address that The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, might still happen. Well we are now one step closer to that glorious day when all internet communications will be shared with the government.

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act is an absolutely crucial piece of legislation that will help the government keep us safer. How will it accomplish this? Well by sharing any and all personal information transmitted over the internet with whichever government entity is requesting it of course. This will allow the government to know pretty much everything that you are doing online and thus allow the government to monitor any and all threats.

For those of you worried about privacy, that must mean that you have something to hide. What are you afraid of? I’m so unafraid of privacy that I have already preemptively set up a webcam in my bathroom and given my email passwords to the NSA and IRS. I have nothing to fear.

Thankfully, CISPA passed the House of Representatives 288 to 127 last Thursday and is headed for a vote in the Senate soon. A great bit of news in the week of bad news just passed.

I see this CISPA news as a sign that the dark cloud over the country could pass this week. CISPA should sail through the Senate and then hit Obama’s desk posthaste.

But then I saw this:

Thank goodness that nobody takes Anonymous seriously and that they have no power or political sway. Wikipedia, Reddit and others were able to kill CISPA’s predecessors SOPA and PIPA, but don’t expect Anonymous to be able to gain much traction this time

In fact, you should take this as another sign of how good CISPA must be if Anonymous, Wisdom Hunt’s Kooks of the Week, are in opposition.

Sleep safely citizens.

Saturday Book Review: Ron Paul Liberty Defined: Evolution Versus Creation

If I can stomach it, I intend to review Liberty Defined chapter-by-chapter so that you never have to read it.

Why can’t [evolution versus creation] remain an academic debate and not be made the political issue it has become?

The answer is simple. Both sides want to use the state to enforce their views on others. One side doesn’t mind using force to expose others to prayer and professing their faith. One side demands that they have the right never to be offended and demands prohibition of any public expression of faith.

Yes, the answer is simple: we need the collective wisdom of the government to tell us how to think about important issues such as evolution versus creation. It is simply too important for the government not to be involved telling us how to think.

Which is precisely the reason why we also need the government running all education and also why the recently launched Ron Paul Homeschool Curriculum will be a complete fiasco for any kook kids that are subjected to it.

Previous chapters reviewed:
The Introduction
Abortion
Assassination
Austrian Economics
Bipartisanship

Business Cycle
Campaign Finance Reform
Capital Punishment
Central Intelligence Agency
Civil Disobedience
Conscription
Demagogues
Democracy
Discrimination
E
ducation
Empire
Envy

Saturday Book Review: Ron Paul Liberty Defined: Envy

If I can stomach it, I intend to review Liberty Defined chapter-by-chapter so that you never have to read it.

I raise [envy] in this context because envy is one of the driving forces of redistributionist policies in the United States, an emotion and motivation endorsed every day on the editorial pages. It is the secret motivation behind the unrelenting attacks on the rich heard every day inside Washington, a town whose population includes some of the most well-to-do people in the entire country.

Redistribution policies may very well be (in some cases) motivated by envy. But let’s also consider why redistribution policies may be necessary and not just motivated by envy.

Envy is one of the seven deadly sins. Another deadly sin is greed. If so many “capitalists” weren’t motivated by their greed, then perhaps so many others would not be motivated by envy that it creates.

And perhaps we need to reconsider the entire system that facilitates this greed, rather than the envy.

Previous chapters reviewed:
The Introduction
Abortion
Assassination
Austrian Economics
Bipartisanship

Business Cycle
Campaign Finance Reform
Capital Punishment
Central Intelligence Agency
Civil Disobedience
Conscription
Demagogues
Democracy
Discrimination
E
ducation
Empire

Patriot of the Week: Members of the House Intelligence Committee

Similar to its predecessors SOPA and PIPA, CISPA is another attempt by the government to try and protect you and your internet. How does it do this? By “formally legalizing the practice of sending personal user data to government agencies, including the Department of Defense and the National Security Agency.”

Thankfully for US citizens, the patriotic members of the House Intelligence Committee voted 18 to 2 yesterday to approve amendments to CISPA so that it can once again be voted on in the house and senate. This vote is expected to occur as early as next week.

CISPA is absolutely necessary legislation. Similar to drones, if you aren’t doing anything illegal then you have nothing to fear from the government spying and gathering data about everything you do. Besides, the IRS is already reading your emails and you didn’t even know it, so why fear more surveillance?

Please write Mike Rogers, one of the lead authors of the CISPA legislation, to express your support here.

Oh, and sleep safely citizens.

Kook of the Week: Arizona Legislators

Gold and silver are shiny, and in primitive days (read: pre-1971), presumably due to their shininess, humans used to accept them in exchange for goods and services. This was just as silly as the use of wampum by Native Americans.

Since then, we have advanced our understanding of money and advanced the concepts of central banking and economic theory. In support of these advancements, the government slowly but surely removed the ridiculous backing of Federal Reserve Notes with shiny metals like gold and silver, fully removing the United States from the gold standard. This has worked extremely well:

Now the state of Arizona wants to ride roughshod over the federal government and once again allow businesses to exchange goods and services for shiny things. This week, their state legislature approved shiny things as legal tender in the state. They now wait for the governor’s signature, and the deed is done.

Why would anyone prefer to use shiny metals that have no intrinsic value and can be easily pulled out of the ground over Federal Reserve Notes backed by the “full faith and credit of the United States government”?

The answer is that they won’t, and luckily for businesses in Arizona, this law does not mandate that businesses must accept shiny things as money. The uselessness of shiny things as mediums of exchange will thus be borne out as nobody adopts them.

But for trying to trample on the Federal Reserve and the banks they work for, and for unpatriotically calling into question the United States Dollar, Arizona legislators have earned the dishonor of Wisdom Hunt’s Kook of the Week.

Kook Alert: Ron Paul Homeschool Curriculum

Just last weekend, in my ongoing review of Ron Paul’s book Liberty Defined, I dissected his kooky ideas about education. Now Ron Paul has officially announced the new Ron Paul Homeschool Curriculum.

I am rarely worried about the rumblings of the kook minority, and I am not particularly worried about this new announcement. The power and the wisdom of the state will prevail. However, I do feel the need to provide an early warning alert to anyone looking into this dangerous venture.

To start, we simply cannot entrust the education of the future generation of Americans to parents. Parents do not know what is best for their own children. They must be molded by a standardized federal government curriculum that is uniform across the entire country, regardless of race, age, gender, socioeconomic class, etc. How can we regulate homeschool curriculums and entrust that they are teaching the proper things to young Americans?

So before I even get into the dangers of the Ron Paul Homeschool Curriculum, I should state that I believe homeschooling should be banned. Barring a full ban, it should be strictly licensed and regulated to ensure the proper government-approved ideas are being taught.

From what I can discern so far about the Ron Paul Homeschool Curriculum specifically, there are some huge warning signs:

1. No Textbooks – textbooks are approved books that summarize ideas into government committee-approved simplifications. Not using textbooks is the equivalent of creating a bunch of free-thinkers that will refer directly to the underlying reference materials and form their own opinions rather than parroting the bureaucrat-approved position from textbooks.

This is dangerous to say the least. It is the equivalent of teaching these young impressionable students to ignore the state and its rules and regulations.

The chaos that could result from a generation brought up with this creative mindset is difficult to fathom.

2. Understand Austrian Economics Austrian economics is nonsense, which is why it is so derided by the greatest economist of our time: Nobel Prize-winning-Princeton-economics-professor-and-New York Times-columnist Paul Krugman. Enough said.

Ron Paul might as well say, “We will teach the anatomy of unicorns in our biology curriculum.”

3. K-5 is Free – You know what else is free? Public education (at a cost of only $11,000 in tax money per student, of course).

I urge all WisdomHunt readers concerned about this dangerous new Ron Paul venture to share this video with anyone they know that might be interested in these ideas to scare them off: