Liberty Forged

the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. ` Nock

Posts Tagged ‘business’

Freedom Works -> Deny Statism

Posted by Jesse on April 3, 2009

Mises on War

War…is harmful, not only to the conquered but to the conqueror. Society has arisen out of the works of peace; the essence of society is peacemaking. Peace and not war is the father of all things. Only economic action has created the wealth around us; labor, not the profession of arms, brings happiness. Peace builds, war destroys. (Socialism, p. 59)

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Keynes’ General Theory. Much like cluster bombs for the world.

Posted by Jesse on March 5, 2008

The Crisis Point of the Inflationary Boom
By Sean Corrigan

Posted on 3/4/2008

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In a recent survey — jointly conducted by CFO magazine and Duke University — one of the top concerns being expressed by industry executives across the United States, Europe, and Asia was that of the rising cost and — to a slightly lesser extent — the reduced availability of labor, especially that of the skilled variety.

The worry most forcibly competing with this angst was that of whether “consumer demand” would hold up in coming months.

For a Keynesian this conflict can have no meaning, for the central chicanery around which the General Theory is constructed is that depressions can be warded off through monetary debasement, simply by stuffing the workers’ pockets with extra cash, while simultaneously fooling them as to the real value of the nominal wages being received in such a newly clipped coinage.

In the case where wages are rising (labor costs are mounting) because employment is near full (suitable candidates for work are hard to find) then, assuming the mythical “propensity to consume” remains broadly constant, consumer demand should be a shoe-in, and unlearned industrialists need not lose too much sleep over their prospects for either sales or profits.

Granted, “end demand” could also become (temporarily) curtailed by a sudden outbreak of thrift, that virulent, unpredictable strain of global pandemic feared by the macromancers more than dirty bombs, bird flu, melting ice caps, and a direct asteroid strike, combined, for its potency in disrupting the pristine, academic beauty of their consumption functions and ISLM curves.

The unlikelihood of this taking place in a world whose mail boxes bulge daily with unsolicited offers of new credit, and whose masses have been conditioned to view shopping as a sacramental rite, should be all too apparent.

In fact, what our survey results really display are the classic symptoms of the unhealthy discoordination that an unbacked credit expansion induces in the body economic.

What we see here is that most of the businessmen canvassed are finding their costs are rising and, in particular, the dominant cost they typically bear: that associated with retaining a competent and motivated workforce. At the same time, those who do not directly play a part in satisfying the needs of end consumers (an overriding majority, if our sample is representative of industrial and commercial organization as a whole) are beginning to fret about a slackening of demand for their (mainly higher and intermediate goods) output.

As Mises, Hayek, et al. took great pains to explain, what this means is that the seemingly golden age — in reality, a thinly gilded one — during which the first, most favored issuers of cheap credit and artificially boosted equity prices enjoyed almost effortless success, has reached the limit of its ability to postpone the workings of fundamental economic law.

Even if financial capital once appeared so abundant as to provoke strange, Swiftian fantasies about the “saving glut” and the “asset shortage,” real, physical capital was never called into being quite so readily, since its creation requires not the staccato keystroke of a fiat banker, but entrepreneurial vision, hard work, and genuine saving.

By that last we mean a voluntary abstention from current consumption, undertaken in order to improve the chance of greater plenty in the future, and not the corrupt preemption of a man’s spending power — effected with monetary trickery — which inflationists laud as “forced saving.” Being a species of initially unrecognized compulsion, this is a deceit doomed to fatal self-contradiction, once its dupes wake up to the nature of the con being practiced upon them.

Since the boom has been driven forward according to the projections of the borrowers and the low-hurdle eagerness of their lenders, rather than being predicated on meeting the imperatives of consumer sovereignty, we eventually find ambition has come to overmaster achievability and hope to have triumphed over hardheaded calculation.

To be harmonious and self-consistent, production should be guided by the wants of those whose ability to express them comes by virtue of being in harness to the same web of mutually supportive processes that help satisfy the needs of others, in turn. If not, scarce physical resources will be squandered in trying to realize misplaced visions of a world as overbrimming with affordable means as the unnaturally low interest rate treacherously seems to imply.

Worse still, once the fever of the boom spreads from its initial promoters and their preferred clients to infect the populace at large, sobriety and forbearance tends to vanish in a kind of Gresham’s Law of the spirit. A world awash with “liquidity” is not one where the steady flame of good husbandry can outshine the neon-lit promise of instant gain.

To recap, what then we find is that not only does the availability of financial capital become wholly divorced from the extent of the pool of physical capital goods; not only does much of that pool become misused (and, hence, ultimately, stripped of its original “capitalness”); but that the wellspring of capital maintenance and augmentation — namely, voluntary saving — is concreted over to provide a gaudy, Baroque fountain of greater exhaustive consumption.

As this happens, many final-goods prices will rise as they are revealed to have been undersupplied in relation to the monetary means now pouring into the hands of their would-be consumers. Where such goods also comprise inputs to production taking place further upstream (as is archetypically the case with, say, energy), this increase in expense will primarily add to costs and may therefore begin to sap profitability, if these are not either offset with greater efficiencies or fully recouped in higher selling prices.

Furthermore, as they find their standards of living slipping, those workers who are so enabled — and they will be legion at the height of the boom — will be far less shy about insisting upon more from their employers, by way of compensation for their efforts. Labor costs will now feature in the list of boardroom anxieties.

Simultaneously, since “demand” will have come to a white-hot focus of insistency on end-consumer items, all those who can do so will be shifting resources towards meeting it. If this means abandoning half-completed schemes for long-duration projects in favor of pursuing more mundane but now more lucrative goals, such as putting food on the average man’s table and keeping his boiler stoked with fuel in the here-and-now, so be it.

Unfortunately for the Keynesians, with their quaint, quasi-hydraulic depiction of the economy, such intensified end demand will not automatically translate into higher revenues for all the businesses strung out along the chain of production, just as a sudden appetite for beef will not instantly cause the grass upon which the cattle feed to grow more luxuriantly in the pasture.

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What it will tend to do instead is to strip those not immediately involved in meeting that end demand of their ability to call upon productive resources on the same terms as before.

Squeezing margins as in a vice, this development may also diminish the orders received from those closer to the shop front, since these erstwhile business customers will now be too busy scrambling to restack their emptying shelves to contemplate closing off the sales area for a refit, much less to ponder the purchase of a gimmicky new IT system, or to think of splashing out on an expensive and distinctly nonessential corporate makeover.

This last may not wholly be a matter of discretion since, besides seeing their own wage bill expand, consumer-goods merchants are likely to see inventory replacement come complete with higher invoices, so working-capital needs may soon start to crowd out much more deferrable fixed-investment schedules.

Costs up, labor more pricey, yet demand flagging: this is the fate of all too many of the myriad businesses which comprise the vast, hidden, submarine bulk of the iceberg that is our modern, highly specialized, vertically stratified, distributed assembly-line economy — to the befuddlement of a mainstream lacking a proper theory of capital or a true appreciation of the role of time.

Welcome to the crisis point of the inflationary boom!

Sean Corrigan is Chief Investment Strategist at Diapason Commodities Management. Send him mail. See his articles. Comment on the blog.

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Obama pulls at our heart strings…

Posted by Jesse on March 4, 2008

but who’s pulling his?…

January 27, 2008

Paul vs. Obama
Posted by Anthony Gregory at January 27, 2008 03:08 PM
Anyone serious about foreign policy, civil liberties, and the war on drugs — issues on which the left is typically, if however marginally, better than the right (at least today) — has got to hand it to Ron Paul for being so principled and correct. Tom Woods points out Paul’s superiority here. And let’s keep in mind that Ron Paul has been a unique voice on all these crucial issues – issues on which his own party tends to be nearly uniformly terrible – quite consistently, at times when all popular sentiment was going in the opposite direction.

Check out Ron Paul’s warning in October of 2001, at a time when most Democrats were firmly behind the war on terror. Paul was prescient then in saying the war on terror could easily become as deadly and disastrous as the war on drugs.
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February 18, 2008

Obama: Warmonger
Posted by Anthony Gregory at February 18, 2008 09:23 PM
Although I do think he’s probably less of one than Hillary and McCain, and maybe less of one than Bush, here Obama is advocating war in Pakistan.

Sure, he sounds less bad on foreign policy than McCain, now. And Bush sounded less bad on foreign policy than Gore — before he was elected.

Ron Paul is pro-peace, pro-national defense, anti-intervention and anti-empire. None of the other major candidates have come close. Too bad the best debate the establishment wants us to get to see in November, 2008, will be one between escalated neocon aggression and old-school, someone less belligerent Rockefeller imperialism. And that is only if Mr. Change actually defeats the witch.

magcoverlg.jpg

The above photo comes from this article:

Make the World Safe for Hope
Can Barack Obama, who campaigns as an icon of peace, actually be more bellicose than Bush?
Yes, he can.

Obama-mania is getting out of hand. Full-grown and well-educated men—from swooning Andrew Sullivan to the entire staff of GQ magazine—are developing “man crushes” on Barack Obama, going weak in the knees for his immaculately pressed suits, oratorical skills, and shameless hope-mongering.

“I’ve never wanted anyone more than I want you,” warbles Obama Girl in a song called “I Got a Crush on Obama,” which has been viewed over 6 million times on YouTube. Celebs are queuing up to fall at his feet. “My heart belongs to Barack,” says Scarlett Johansson. There’s a palpable whiff of semi-religious hysteria at Obama rallies. As Joel Stein wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “Obamaphilia has gotten creepy,” and its “fanatical” adherents are starting to embarrass themselves.

Actually, it’s worse than that: they are deluding themselves. Many Democrats have become so goggle-eyed, so insanely convinced that Obama is the savior of American politics (potentially rescuing both the Democratic Party from political ruin and America herself from the decadence and violence of the Bush era), that they are beginning to suffer political hallucinations. They fantasize that he is pure and righteous, a miracle-worker who, in a pique of rage, will overturn the conventions of neocon-ruled America.

The blind hope in Obama-as-messiah is most clearly expressed in the widespread delusion that he would be a “president of peace,” welcomed by a world eager to bury the warmongering ways of the office’s former occupant and renew its respect for America. Columnist Michael Kinsley praised Obama’s “valuable experience … as what you might call a ‘world man’—Kenyan father, American mother, four formative years living in Indonesia, more years in the ethnic stew of Hawaii, middle name of Hussein, and so on—in an increasingly globalized world.” But from my sedate Obamarama-free home in London, I’m not cheered by the prospect of this “world man” in the White House. Rather, I see him for what he is—or for what he threatens to become. Having never been stirred by the sight of Obama giving an MLK-style speech on the need for change, I can only take the candidates at their words. And Obama’s words are ominous indeed.

President Obama would be a warmonger. He would be a wide-eyed, zealous interventionist who would not think twice about using America’s “military muscle” (his words) to overthrow “rogue states” and to suppress America’s enemies, real and imagined. He would go farther even than President Bush in transforming the globe into America’s backyard and staffing it with spies and soldiers. He would relish the “American mission” to police the world and topple tyrannical regimes.

After eight years of Bush’s military meddling in the Middle East, if you want more war, vote Obama.

Read the rest here…..

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Fascism in America, (or will it be Socialism?)

Posted by Jesse on February 26, 2008

John T. Flynn’s classic work from 1944 on how wartime planning brought fascism to AmericaThe American Right long ago slid into the abyss.
Be sure to see Rockwell’s two latest articles:
The Frightful Face of Stimulus
It’s true that confidence in the economy is waning. But the response by Washington so far has done nothing to inspire optimism. The more they do, the greater the fears grow. There is a Victorian story about a creature who wonders why everyone is running from him, until he sees a reflection of his own frightful face. It is time for the whole of Washington to look in the mirror.
Ron Paul Has Already Won
Ron Paul’s bid for the U.S. presidency ranks among the most heroic anyone has ever undertaken. We live in emergency times, with a choice between forms of socialism or fascism. The parties’ leadership have embraced this decrepit old model, despite all evidence of the bankruptcy of statism. Ron alone dared pose a challenge. His bid has also been the most unusual in modern history. Its main energy has come not from a political machine, but from millions of volunteers, most of them young and most of them exposed to new political and economic truths for the first time.

In that sense, and in addition to garnering more primary votes than any libertarian candidate in American history, Ron has accomplished precisely what he set out to do. He has re-founded the libertarian movement on a principled basis, liberated the ideas of peace and free enterprise from monopolistic control, exposed the political apparatus for the fraud that it is, and laid the groundwork for a future flowering of liberty.

This is a follow-up article to The Reality of Red-State Fascism
Triumph of the Red-State Fascists
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
[February 26, 2008]

Every Republican I’ve spoken to is mystified that John McCain has sewn up the Republican nomination. For his entire career, he has been more statist on both domestic and foreign policy than even the typical Republican. He has been considered a “liberal,” and not in a good sense. He doesn’t share any of the values that are said to make up the Republican consensus on economics or culture or religion. His personal baggage is heavy and a mile long. He had no dedicated constituency within the party.

Of course I’m not talking to the run-of-the-mill Republican. There are vast hordes of these people” who have never read a book and vote only by the most sordid political instinct known to man. McCain is their candidate. It comes down to one thing only: the simple-minded, unthinking impression that he is a war hero and, more than anyone else, has what it takes to smash the evil foreign peoples who want to kill us. In short, he appeals to the militaristic, nationalistic impulses of the base Republican base.

The real question is why that one issue would trump every other concern alive among Republicans. How is it that imperialist nationalism has come to trump every other issue?

Murray Rothbard used to tell the story of speaking to conservative and Republican audiences in the late 1950s and early 1960s. There would be large groups gathered for various talks on economics and politics. He would give a lecture on the problem of price controls, or protectionism, or high taxes. People really liked what he had to say. They would clap, and learn from his lecture.

Then he would sit down. At some point in the course of the conference, the appointed anti-communist speaker would rise to the podium. He would decry the evil of Russia and its atheistic system of government. He would call for beefing up nuclear weapons and hint darkly of the necessity of war. He would end with an apocalyptic statement about the need for everyone to completely dedicate themselves to eradicating the communists by any means necessary. No talk of limiting or cutting government; quite the opposite.

So how would these people, who clapped for Murray, respond to the warmonger? Insanely, wildly, uncontrollably. They would stand and scream and yell and cheer, getting up on their chairs and putting their hands together high in the air. The applause would go on for five minutes and more, and the speaker would be later mauled for autographs. His books would sell wildly.

Meanwhile, poor Murray would stand there in alarm. How could these same people cheer both a call for liberty and a call for empire, and, most notably, give their hearts over to the maniacal nationalist while being merely polite to a call for the same liberty that had led this party to oppose FDR’s domestic and foreign-policy? It was experiences like these that led him to write the most important dissection of the Republican party ever to appear: The Betrayal of the American Right. It is here that Murray engages in a deep, soul-searching look at his own role in red-baiting in the 1950s. He had hoped to use the anti-communist movement to educate people about the need for freedom.

“It is clear that libertarians and Old Rightists, including myself, had made a great mistake in endorsing domestic red-baiting, a red-baiting that proved to be the major entering wedge for the complete transformation of the original right wing,” writes Murray. Instead of supporting freedom, the anti-communist movement ended up acculturating Republicans to the imperial mindset. The moral priority of crushing a foreign government trumped every other issue.

At the same time, the libertarianism of the GOP’s domestic agenda was supplanted by a belief that “big government and domestic statism were perfectly acceptable, provided that they were steeped in some sort of Burkean tradition and enjoyed a Christian framework.” Fiery individualism and radicalism were replaced by a longing for a static, controlling elite of the European sort. Liberty was washed away.

That was fifty years ago. Today the same priorities abound on the right: first, nationalism and empire, and, second, longing for order in the domestic area. The switch from anti-communist militarism to anti-Islamic imperialism was not difficult. They took a chapter out of Orwell, and merely changed the name of the enemy.

All of this laid the groundwork for McCain. Each Republican presidential contender has been worse than the last: Nixon and Reagan felt the need to endorse some libertarian themes in their campaigns, and even the two Bushes used limited government and anti-big government rhetoric. But that has evaporated, replaced now by the most virulent jingoism combined with domestic statism.

Many of my Republican friends criticize McCain as a leftist. I can see the point. But we ought not be too quick to believe that all forms of anti-libertarian ideology are leftist. We need to recognize that there is a form of non-leftist statism of a very distinct kind. It is not socialist in the traditional sense. It believes in a corporate state, combined with protectionism and belligerence in foreign policy. The right-wing predecessors here are Mussolini, Franco, and Hitler, and the name of the ideology is fascism.

For more on this, see John T. Flynn’s As We Go Marching. He listed some points of the fascist program. It is a form of social organization “in which the government acknowledges no restraint upon its powers,” is managed by the “leadership principle,” and in which “the government is organized to operate the capitalist system and enable it to function – under an immense bureaucracy.” In fascism, “militarism is used as a conscious mechanism of government spending,” and “imperialism is included as a policy inevitably flowing from militarism.” “Wherever you find a nation using all of these devices,” he wrote, “you will know that this is a fascist nation.”

Republicans are prepared to push this agenda, altered to fit the American political context, in this election. Their number one tactic to retain power is impugning the patriotism of Barack Obama. It seems like a puzzle, but an opinion piece by William Kristol in the New York Times offers a clue into the basis of the Republican campaign. He first makes a big deal out of the fact that Obama used to wear an American flag pin on his coat, but now no longer does so. He drags this up as if to accuse him of disloyalty to the American cause.

It is hard to imagine a more brainless and low-level tactic than to harp on such things. It compares only to the periodic campaigns by Republicans on the issue of flag burning, as if whether a person burns a privately owned flag has any bearing at all on the well-being of the country. But then Kristol goes further into the depths of depravity by attempting to paint Obama’s wife as guilty of treason for saying that she is proud of America “for the first time in my adult lifetime.” By citing these words, he is implying that she is an America hater.

Now, what buttons is Kristol trying to push here? It is the now familiar fascist theme: loyalty to the nation state and its wars must be the first and only test of worthiness to serve in public office. Folks, this is a cloud no bigger than a man’s hand that is very likely to mutate into a full storm. Sad to say, the Republican faithful, the same people that were stupid enough to vote for McCain, will probably go for it.

How I recall those heady days of the 1970s, when everyone said that the move of the neoconservatives into the Republican party portended a raising of the intellectual level. Quite the reverse. These people are taking things straight into the gutter, where they had already been tending since the late 1950s.

His follow previus article
The Reality of Red-State Fascism
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
[December 31, 2004]

Year’s end is the time for big thoughts, so here are mine. The most significant socio-political shift in our time has gone almost completely unremarked, and even unnoticed. It is the dramatic shift of the red-state bourgeoisie from leave-us-alone libertarianism, manifested in the Congressional elections of 1994, to almost totalitarian statist nationalism. Whereas the conservative middle class once cheered the circumscribing of the federal government, it now celebrates power and adores the central state, particularly its military wing.

This huge shift has not been noticed among mainstream punditry, and hence there have been few attempts to explain it – much less have libertarians thought much about what it implies. My own take is this: the Republican takeover of the presidency combined with an unrelenting state of war, has supplied all the levers necessary to convert a burgeoning libertarian movement into a statist one.

The remaining ideological justification was left to, and accomplished by, Washington’s kept think tanks, who have approved the turn at every crucial step. What this implies for libertarians is a crying need to draw a clear separation between what we believe and what conservatives believe. It also requires that we face the reality of the current threat forthrightly by extending more rhetorical tolerance leftward and less rightward.

Let us start from 1994 and work forward. In a stunningly prescient memo, Murray N. Rothbard described the 1994 revolution against the Democrats as follows:

a massive and unprecedented public repudiation of President Clinton, his person, his personnel, his ideologies and programs, and all of his works; plus a repudiation of Clinton’s Democrat Party; and, most fundamentally, a rejection of the designs, current and proposed, of the Leviathan he heads…. what is being rejected is big government in general (its taxing, mandating, regulating, gun grabbing, and even its spending) and, in particular, its arrogant ambition to control the entire society from the political center. Voters and taxpayers are no longer persuaded of a supposed rationale for American-style central planning…. On the positive side, the public is vigorously and fervently affirming its desire to re-limit and de-centralize government; to increase individual and community liberty; to reduce taxes, mandates, and government intrusion; to return to the cultural and social mores of pre-1960s America, and perhaps much earlier than that.</strong>

This memo also cautioned against unrelieved optimism, because, Rothbard said, two errors rear their head in most every revolution. First, the reformers do not move fast enough; instead they often experience a crisis of faith and become overwhelmed by demands that they govern “responsibly” rather than tear down the established order. Second, the reformers leave too much in place that can be used by their successors to rebuild the state they worked so hard to dismantle. This permits gains to be reversed as soon as another party takes control.

Rothbard urged dramatic cuts in spending, taxing, and regulation, and not just in the domestic area but also in the military and in foreign policy. He saw that this was crucial to any small-government program. He also urged a dismantling of the federal judiciary on grounds that it represents a clear and present danger to American liberty. He urged the young radicals who were just elected to reject gimmicks like the balanced-budget amendment and the line-item veto, in favor of genuine change. None of this happened of course. In fact, the Republican leadership and pundit class began to warn against “kamikaze missions” and speak not of bringing liberty, but rather of governing better than others.

Foreshadowing what was to come, Rothbard pointed out: “Unfortunately, the conservative public is all too often taken in by mere rhetoric and fails to weigh the actual deeds of their political icons. So the danger is that Gingrich will succeed not only in betraying, but in conning the revolutionary public into thinking that they have already won and can shut up shop and go home.” The only way to prevent this, he wrote, was to educate the public, businessmen, students, academics, journalists, and politicians about the true nature of what is going on, and about the vicious nature of the bi-partisan ruling elites.

Read the rest of this article here..

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Ron Paul’s Foreign Policy advisors (Ivan Eland writes about NATO)

Posted by Jesse on February 21, 2008

Ron Paul: Currently, the United States maintains hundreds of thousands of troops in more than 100 foreign countries. In many cases, they are there to defend foreign borders. Maintaining such a global empire drains nearly one trillion dollars from the U.S. economy each year, while offering very little real security for the American people. What’s worse, our U.S. Border Guards are sent overseas to places like Iraq while our own borders remain porous and vulnerable.

“Too often we give foreign aid and intervene on behalf of governments that are despised. Then, we become despised. Too often we have supported those who turn on us, like the Kosovars who aid Islamic terrorists, or the Afghan jihadists themselves, and their friend Osama bin Laden. We armed and trained them, and now we’re paying the price.”

Payback for NATO Expansion [July 17, 2007]
“Those of us who opposed the expansion of NATO in 1999 (admitting Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic) and 2004 (Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, and the former Soviet republics of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania) warned that it would lead to problems with Russia. Those problems have arrived……. NATO has added 10 new countries. And the United States would like to add more, including Ukraine, Russia’s largest and most powerful neighbor. No wonder Russia is beginning to feel encircled.

“In the NATO Treaty, an attack on one alliance member is considered an attack on all – meaning the United States has essentially pledged to provide security for an additional 10 nations in proximity to Russia. In fact, protection from Russia is the reason these small countries wanted to join NATO in the first place. In 1999 and 2004, however, U.S. politicians thought such paper commitments would never have to be fulfilled and that expanding the alliance would help “stabilize” the former Eastern Bloc.

Only now is it becoming apparent that such U.S. security guarantees, handed out promiscuously, might someday have to be honored in a potential tangle with a strengthened, more assertive, nuclear-armed Russia. In fact, the recent surliness of the Russian bear originates from having sand kicked in its face over a number of years by this U.S. encirclement in Europe – not merely from U.S. plans to install a limited, anti-Iranian missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic.”

Read the whole article here….
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Don’t miss Phillip Giraldi, also on the Ron Paul team:
Former CIA counter terrorism officer and Antiwar.com columnist Philip Giraldi discusses his information that Secretaries Rice and Gates have once again been sidelined by Vice President Cheney who remains bent on war with Iran, the truth about al Qaeda and what is to be done about them and the case of former FBI translator-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds and her allegations of crimes by powerful government officials and foreign spies.

This is the MP3 interview and the transcript.

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Also of note: Isabel McDonald, communications director at FAIR, discusses how do-gooder liberals in the American media distort the truth about the situation in the Darfur region of Sudan, the negative consequences for the people there, the precedent set by the NATO intervention in Serbia/Kosovo in 1999 and the general implausibility of American intervention in Africa benefiting anyone.
This is the article mentioned:
The Humanitarian Temptation: Calling for war to bring peace to Darfur

Here is the MP3 of the interview.

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Advisors

Doug Bandow is a political writer and the Robert A. Taft Fellow with the American Conservative Defense Alliance. He has been widely published in leading newspapers and periodicals and is the author of several books – including, most recently, Foreign Follies. Mr. Bandow served as a special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and as a senior policy analyst in the 1980 Reagan for President campaign.

Philip Giraldi is a former officer of the Central Intelligence Agency who writes regularly on intelligence and foreign policy issues. Mr. Giraldi is a partner in the international security consultancy Cannistraro Associates, a contributing editor at The American Conservative magazine and a fellow at the American Conservative Defense Alliance.

Leon Hadar is a Washington-based global affairs analyst whose commentary on U.S. foreign policy has been published in leading newspapers and foreign policy journals. A former UN correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, he is the author Quagmire: America in the Middle East and Sandstorm: Policy Failure in the Middle East.

Ivan Eland is senior fellow and director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at The Independent Institute. Dr. Eland spent 15 years working for Congress on national security issues, including stints as an investigator for the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Principal Defense Analyst at the Congressional Budget Office. He is the author of several books, including The Empire Has No Clothes: U.S. Foreign Policy Exposed.

Charles V. Peña is a senior fellow at the Independent Institute, a senior fellow with the Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy, a senior fellow with the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute, and an adviser to the Straus Military Reform Project. Mr. Peña is the author of Winning the Un-War: A New Strategy for the War on Terrorism. Organizations are listed for identification purposes only.

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