Category Archives: History

James Bovard: Why I Write

Here is a terrific article by James Bovard at the Mises Institute website. Bovard’s article, “Why I Write,” goes into his many years in covering government corruption, abuses, criminality, incompetence, and buffoonery. I personally share his enthusiasm in writing, particularly when it comes to exposing the aforementioned aspects of government.

Bovard writes:

After moving to the Washington area in 1980, I was appalled to see what passed for good writing inside the Beltway. The prevailing standards seemed designed to make magazine and newspaper subscribers regret ever learning to read. Many articles resembled a numbing four-hour politburo speech. Voiceless prose with a low-watt righteous drone was the tacit ideal. “Go team, go!” was the epitome of literary excellence.

I swear to you, NOTHING has changed in 40 years! It has gone from bad to worse, as I referred to in my previous post. So, I share Mr. Bovard’s frustration or anguish. And he also explains,

If I could lucidly explain government shenanigans, perhaps people would finally recognize how political and bureaucratic racketeering were leading the nation astray.

And I believe he really has exposed a lot over the years, and certainly has informed me. And I know he has informed a lot of other people who are willing and able to learn with an open mind that the rulers we might have put on a pedestal in our childhood years are not the good people those rulers have been made out to be.

Bovard gets into a lot of memories and policy issues regarding his writing over the years during the Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump administrations.

Besides the Mises Institute, Bovard’s recent articles have also been at the Future of Freedom Foundation, USA Today, The American Conservative, American Institute for Economic Research, Counterpunch, and The Libertarian Institute. They have also been in Barron’s, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Times (and I’m sure others as well). If you like books, and those which expose government corruption and incompetence (and mainly from a libertarian-minded viewpoint), here are James Bovard’s books at

Can We Return to the American Founders’ Vision of Freedom?

Jacob Hornberger, a Libertarian Party candidate for president, has written a blog post at his organization the Future of Freedom Foundation, on the American founders’ distrust of centralized government officials. And that is why they insisted on including a Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution also includes specific enumerated powers of the federal government, so if a function or office was not enumerated, then the feds may not do it, according to Hornberger.

He expands on why the people forming a new government insisted on a Bill of Rights in the Constitution:

Why did Americans see the need to expressly prohibit the federal government from destroying such rights as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and the right to own and bear arms? Because they firmly believed that that is precisely what federal officials would do if they were not expressly prohibited from doing it!

Why did Americans demand the enactment of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments? Because they firmly believed that without those express restrictions on power, federal officials would use their power to do such things as kill or jail people or seize their money and property without due process of law, use kangaroo Star Chamber-like courts to convict them, barge into people’s homes or businesses without warrants to search for incriminating evidence, jail people indefinitely without trial, and subject people to cruel and unusual punishments like torture.

Hmmm, sound familiar? Yep. That’s today’s America. Bush-Obama-Trump’s America, that is. And there are millions and millions of Americans who agree with policies that do away with those protections in the Bill of Rights.

And what about a crisis or emergency? Hornberger writes:

The fact is that there is no emergency or crisis exception in either the original Constitution or the Bill of Rights. That is, there is no provision that says, “In the event of an emergency or crisis, the federal government will be permitted to exercise powers that are not enumerated and to ignore restrictions on its power.”

There is a good reason why the Framers and our ancestors chose not to include an emergency or crisis exception that would enable federal officials to exercise omnipotent, totalitarian-like powers over the people. The reason is that they understood that throughout history, emergencies and crises have furnished the excuse for federal officials to wield and exercise tyrannical powers.

In fact, that’s one of the reasons that rulers oftentimes do their best to generate emergencies or crises. They know that it is during emergencies and crises that people become so afraid that they are willing, even eager, to surrender their liberties and their rights, “temporarily” of course, in exchange for being kept “safe.” Of course, “temporarily” almost always means “permanently” because rulers are loath to give up powers once wielded and exercised.

And in his very next blog post, Hornberger points out how different America was during the first century or so of its freedom and independence. Back then, there was no “military-industrial complex, empire of domestic and foreign military bases, CIA, NSA, or FBI,” there were no drug laws, no immigration controls, and there were very little to no economic controls. The founders wouldn’t have approved of centralized economic planning from the feds, because the federal government has no moral authority to get involved in the people’s economic and financial lives, and it especially had no constitutional or moral authority to demand any of the fruits of their labor.

As I have mentioned here recently, the Democrats and Republicans are all the same, except for their social programs that each wants to shove down our throats. They all believe in government central planning, central economic planning, and coveting your earnings but letting you have some of your earnings by their acts of legislation. They all believe in tax-funded empire abroad in search of monsters or opportunities to create new monsters to destroy. They do not believe in civil liberties and due process.

More recently the Libertarian Party candidates for president have been largely in agreement with the Demopublicans and Republicrats, such as Gary Johnson and Bob Barr. Those were terrible presidential nominations, and the Libertarian Party really should be ashamed of that political compromise of principle. But in the old days of the Libertarian Party, there were Ron Paul, Harry Browne, and David Bergland. Let’s hope the Libertarian Party nominates Jacob Hornberger for president to present a real choice between the usual statists, authoritarians and communists.

Interventionism: The Main Contributor to America’s Conflicts Abroad

I have been a supporter of non-interventionism and anti-war for about 35 years now, and that will never change. Recent events in the news are reinforcing such views. How could they not?

First we have the supporters of Iranian-backed Shiite militia in Iraq protesting and breaking into the U.S. embassy in Iraq, and then we have Donald Trump ordering the assassination of an Iranian general in Iraq, further escalating tensions between Iran and the U.S. Then we have an attack by Iran into areas where U.S. military are stationed but no injuries or deaths reported. Supposedly the Iranians gave advance warning that they were going to do that. As the Church Lady would say, “Isn’t that special?”

And all this caused some people to fear a nuclear confrontation or World War III, but The Donald gave his little talk yesterday to ease tensions. Yay!

But why is all this going on? The real question is, why are there U.S. troops stationed anywhere in the Middle East? Especially when the Bush Presidents shouldn’t have started wars over there in the first place.

You see, these events are caused by government interventionism in the first place. These are very good reasons to oppose foreign interventionism and the U.S. government installing its military personnel and bases in other parts of the world that are not part of the U.S., and U.S. “security” agencies such as CIA engaging in assassinations, coups, and otherwise death and destruction. The only actual results of those actions of provocation have been “blowback,” or very negative consequences boomeranging against the American people.

A most relevant example today is this: In Iran during the 1950s Operation Ajax was the CIA’s coup to overthrow the prime minister of Iran. After the CIA and Brits replaced the Iranian prime minister with the “Shah,” they also imposed a totalitarian police state known as SAVAK. This police state was backed by the CIA and it tyrannized the Iranian people for 25 years. Why did the CIA do this? I don’t know. Ask them!

And that led into the Iranian “Revolution” of 1979 that we are hearing about from all the warmongers and interventionists who don’t believe in national sovereignty, and who conveniently forget the history prior to the events of 1979. Very corrupt and dishonest people.

The bottom line is that there probably would be no real conflict between U.S. and Iran had the CIA not forced a regime change in Iran in 1953. I know that’s a very simplistic conclusion. But Lindsey Graham might have been able to save his anxiety for more important things, otherwise.

Other examples of the U.S. government’s needless and counter-productive interventionism include the Vietnam War. President Lyndon Johnson’s sending U.S. troops to go to Vietnam to die or be injured and maimed for life and psychologically damaged as well, based on a “Gulf of Tonkin” incident that didn’t happen, was for the purpose of “preventing the spread of communism,” mainly.

Yet, as “All the Shah’s Men” author Stephen Kinzer observed, the Vietnam War ended with a united, communist Vietnam. North and South united. A waste of several million lives over there, and 58,000 or more U.S. troops dead and many injured and crippled for life and many cases of PTSD, for no good reason.

And look at Iraq, and Afghanistan. Or better yet, don’t look at them. Two presidents named Bush, and Clinton, Obama and Trump have destroyed and continue to destroy those countries. The foaming-at-the-mouth warmongers surrounding Trump want to expand the bombings and include Iran! Can you imagine another government’s military invading the U.S. and bombing and murdering innocent civilians and occupying America? We probably wouldn’t like that very much. (Sadly, it seems that Americans have forgotten the Golden Rule, oh well.)

A main motivation for various terrorist attacks over the past 30 years, since before September 11th, 2001, include the “Gulf War” that the older Bush started in the early 1990s and the subsequent sanctions and no-fly zones. All this led into 9/11, but to many people “history began with 9/11” and all that.

However, the American “Founding Fathers,” at least most of them, meant for a U.S. government to have a non-interventionist foreign policy, no “entangling alliances,” no CIA or other extra-Constitutional “warriors” interfering with other countries’ policies or governments.

So I’ll conclude here by stating that the Presidents we have had have merely been continuing the interventionist policies as dictated to them by the “military-industrial-complex,” as President Eisenhower would call it, including “liberals” Clinton and Obama. The Democrats are no different from the Republicans, regardless of the Democrats’ rhetoric of “peace” and “ending the wars,” which was a theme of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, by the way. (But we see that Trump is no different from the rest of the statists.)

Even the Libertarian Party, which I have mentioned here before, has sucked as far as its candidates diluting the non-interventionist principles of that party. Gary Johnson was the worst I have seen so far. But now, Jacob Hornberger at least is consistent in his principled policy proposals. Some people might think that Jacob Hornberger is a radical, but maybe that’s what the U.S. needs now. Someone who really will take all the troops back home because they don’t belong in those other countries, and someone who believes in the Golden Rule. Hornberger recently explained how the lack of freedom in America is a main cause of societal dysfunction, and that freedom works much better and should be restored.

World War II Veteran Simone Faflick Has Died

World War II veteran Simone Leboulanger Faflick has died at the age of 96. I knew her during the 1980s during my college years, and she was a very nice lady and an excellent teacher. Simone was born in France and went with her family to Algiers in North Africa during the start of World War II. After her experiences as a Second Lieutenant during the war, in which she was a translator for American, British and French personnel, she came to the U.S. and settled in Lexington, Massachusetts and she taught French at Boston University.

I had done some Googling, and found this page on North Africa 1942-43 survivors’ stories. Apparently a documentary film had been in the works, and the website includes some video excerpts with veterans, including an interview of Mme Faflick.

In the article on Simone Faflick it mentions that during the first year of the war, she had been a student at the University of Algiers while her parents ran a school for children. But in a short time she and her parents were not able to return to visit Brittany in France because of the German subs.

As a student Simone was part of a French resistance movement, and, according to the article, in 1942 her fellow student Ferdinand Bonnier de la Chapelle had assassinated Admiral Francois Darlan, a Nazi Germany collaborator. As part of the interviews for that WWII veterans project mentioned above, Simone explains the incident here. Bonnier de la Chapelle was tried and executed the next day, but a posthumous acquittal after the war noted that his assassinating Admiral Darlan was “in the interest of liberation of France.”

That sure must have been quite a thing for Simone to have known that kind of dedicated resister of fascism.

The article also quotes from Simone’s diary from the war years, in which she described some of her more intense moments during the war. In one instance, prior to her being made a Second Lieutenant and beginning work as a translator in 1943, Simone wrote:

“One morning was as I was riding the bus, there were the shrieking sounds of sirens. Everyone had to get off the bus. I could not miss my class. Taking a detour through a small park I felt somewhat protected by the trees. Once in the avenue I started running from building to building, stopping at each doorstep to inspect the sky. I did get to my class alive and in time. Another day, a very gruesome sight welcomed the students at the University. A German soldier, all entangled in his parachute, had fallen and died impaled by the spikes of the main gate.”

I am certainly impressed that SImone was a part of a Gaullist French resistance movement with other students, and I’m sure glad that she was able to survive throughout the war in North Africa and come to the U.S. and teach French at B.U.

Independence Day in the U.S.

It’s not really “Fourth of July Day,” or “Fireworks Day,” but Independence Day, the celebration of America’s independence. I don’t think we have as much “independence” in America as people may have had many decades ago here, but whatever.

So the Declaration of Independence is an important read, I think.

The Declaration of Independence

Written by Thomas Jefferson, with changes made by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin

July 4, 1776

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.