Let us say that a carpenter wishes to cut fifty boards for the purpose of laying the floor of a house. He has marked his boards. He has set his saw. He begins at one end of the mark on the board. But he does not know that his seven-year old son has tampered with …Read More »
Articles by Gary North
The enemies of your enemies may also be your enemies.
Just because someone joins you in opposing some government policy or political movement is no guarantee that this person shares anything more than your opposition. He may in fact be a lot more dangerous to you than the opposition.
Anarchists prior to the Russian Revolution were allies with the Bolsheviks in their attempt to overthrow the czar. After the revolution, when Lenin came to power, he made sure that the anarchists were shipped to Siberia or were executed. They would have been wiser to put up with the czar.
For approximately 60 years, I have been aware of the Left-wing movement that has systematically infiltrated the Right. I first became aware of this in 1958. My
Henry Hazlitt tried to explain economics in one lesson in his famous book. What lesson? The lesson conveyed by Frédéric Bastiat’s 1850 analogy of the broken window. This is the lesson of the fallacy of the thing not seen. An economist should always consider what the owner of a broken window would have done with …Read More »
If President Trump holds firm on the shutdown until January 20, 2021, he will have struck the greatest blow for liberty and against bureaucracy in American political history.
To achieve this, all that he to do is nothing.
In doing this, he will have overturned a classic slogan of American politics: “You can’t beat something with nothing.”
DON’T DO SOMETHING. SIT THERE
Trump is exercising his legitimate constitutional right to do nothing. All he has to do is do nothing until January 20, 2021.
These days, Congress does not get around to passing a real budget. It just keeps passing budget extensions that last a couple of months. There is not enough agreement in Congress to produce an annual budget any longer. Gridlock is here.
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” has been banned by radio stations. (Millennials may not be familiar with the phrase “radio stations.”) It should have been banned in 1949. But in 1950, it won the Oscar for 1949.
The reason why it was banned this year is silly: the song is supposedly about date rape. It is not. It is about successful male seduction. It is about female surrender. It is therefore about women’s liberation. A woman refuses to abide by conventional ethics of the late 1940’s. . . . and, I might add, the 1950’s. That’s why the complete song was not sung on-screen in 1949. The Hays Code would have banned it.
How it ever became known as a Christmas song is beyond me. On YouTube, it is introduced by a photo of a Bing Crosby
The spending never stops. It never will until the Great Default. Here is another example.
The House has passed H.R. 2887, a bill to reauthorize expiring aviation and surface transportation programs for a few months.
Embedded in the bill are Transportation Enhancements (TE). What is this? It is a program run by the Department of Transportation. It forces states to build bicycle paths, extend “highway beautification,” and build transportation museums. “In the past, federal funds have been used by states to build animal highways for salamanders, frogs, and turtles.”
States are forced to do this as a condition of receiving money to build and repair actual highways for people. This eats up 10% of all federally received highway funds.
[Reprinted from Free Market Economics: A Basic Reader, compiled by Bettina G. Greaves.] Reprinted from Mises.org
The division of labor is a subject which has fascinated social scientists for millennia. Before the advent of modem times, philosophers and theologians concerned themselves with the implications of the idea. Plato saw as the ultimate form of society a community in which social functions would be rigidly separated and maintained; society would be divided into definite functional groups: warriors, artisans, unskilled laborers, rulers. St. Paul, in his first letter to the church at Corinth, went so far as to describe the universal Church in terms of a body: there are hands, feet, eyes, and all are under the head, Christ. Anyone who intends to deal seriously with the study of
Reprinted from Mises.org
History is an easy subject to teach if you are intellectually lazy. It is the most challenging subject to teach if you have a great memory, read a lot, and care about understanding causes and effects.
You keep having to rewrite your narrative to fill the same number of lessons every year. Time marches on.
If you pad your lectures, no big problem. If you write tight lectures, you must remove material you thought was crucial.
Your school district will supply you with a new edition every few years. Teach the text — the boring, establishment text.
Almost anyone with a good memory can earn a bachelor’s degree in history. He can then teach history to high school students. American high schools have used coaches to teach history to bored students for a century. Winning
Reprinted from Mises.org
An inflationist is someone who believes that price inflation is the result of two things: (1) monetary inflation and (2) central-bank policy.
A deflationist is someone who believes that deflation is inevitable, despite (1) monetary inflation and (2) central -bank policy.
No inflationist says that price inflation is inevitable. Every deflationist says that price deflation is inevitable.
Deflationists have been wrong ever since 1933.
Milton Friedman is most famous for his book A Monetary History of the United States (1963), which relies on facts collected by Anna Schwartz, who died recently.
It is for one argument: the Federal Reserve caused the Great Depression because it refused to inflate.
This argument, as quoted by mainstream economists, is factually wrong.
Reprinted from Mises.org
I have spent my whole adult life in the shadow of one man, Karl Marx.
By the age of 14, I recognized how important Marx was in history. I began to study some of his writings when I was a senior in high school. I continued to study him seriously in graduate school, and in 1968 my book on Marx was published.
Karl Marx changed the world. Yet he did not do this by himself. His colleague, Frederick Engels, wrote some of his shorter materials, such as newspaper articles, and let Marx put his name on them. He co-authored the initially anonymous Communist Manifesto (1848). He also put Marx on the dole for over 20 years. He was a successful capitalist in the textile industry. He ran the family business in Manchester. Without Engels, no one would ever have heard of Marx. It
Tonight the Smithsonian Channel will present a documentary that offers extracts of rare films of Malcolm X’s speeches.
I can make a unique claim. I sat in a mostly white audience to hear a lecture by Malcolm X in the spring of 1962. For one semester, I was an undergraduate student at UCLA. Some campus organization invited Malcolm X to speak. I would estimate in retrospect that he had about 200 people in attendance. He spoke in the student union.
I don’t think many white people ever saw him speak in person. I’m glad that I did.
I was a good public speaker in 1962. On the basis of a 1959 speech, I was elected president of my high school student body. I knew how to persuade a crowd. I did a lot of public speaking after 1959. I thought at
I must confess, I discovered Ry Cooder late. Better late than never.
I recall exactly where I was: a movie theater in Durham, North Carolina. It was 1978. I had just watched Jack Nicholson in a piece of fluff: Goin’ South. The movie closed with a panoramic scene of a desert. Then a song started. It had nothing to do with the closing scene. I could not believe my ears.
The credits started to roll. The song was still playing. I always stay for credits, but this time, nothing could have tempted me to leave. I waited for the end, where the songs are listed. The song was “Available Space.” The performer was Ry Cooder. I became an instant convert to the Cooder cult.
The man is a master of the slide blues guitar. I am a sucker for the slide
The murder of 17 innocent high school students in Parkland, Florida reminds us that public schools are dangerous. Too dangerous for children.
Yet there are pro-public school ideologues who refuse to face the facts. They shut their eyes to reality. They spout their slogan: “Public schools don’t kill public students. Killers kill public school students.” We have heard this for 50 years. Yet the killers are always one of these: (1) enrolled public school students, (2) public school graduates, or (3) expelled public school students. It’s time to turn a deaf ear on the refrain about public schools not killing public school students.
When was the last time you heard of a mass execution of students in a private school? The next time will be
Two hundred and nine years ago today, the sun rose over the English village of Shrewsbury. Susannah Darwin was about to give birth to her fifth child, Charles. Her husband Robert was a financier. Her father was a Wedgewood, of pottery fame. Times were not tough in the Darwin household.
The sun moved over the Atlantic, heading for Hardin County, Kentucky. Later in the day — the Darwins’ day, anyway — it passed over the log cabin of Thomas and Nancy Lincoln, whose son Abraham had just been born. Times were always tough in the Lincoln household.
All in all, it was a memorable day, if not for the sun, then for the rest of us.
Forty-nine years later, in 1858, Darwin was an amateur naturalist, unemployed but content as a man of leisure. He
Randy Newman is part of the Newman clan of musical geniuses.
The dynasty got its start with Randy’s uncle, Alfred, who at age ten began earning a living a a piano player. He became a fixture at 20th century Fox. He was nominated for an Oscar 45 times, and won nine times. His brother Lionel, Randy’s father, was nominated ten times. He won in 1970 for Hello, Dolly. Together, the Newman family has been nominated for an Oscar 70 times. Their story is here.
Randy has been nominated 17 times. He won twice: 2002, “If I Didn’t Have You,” Monsters, Inc, and 2011, “We Belong Together, Toy Story 3, original song. He was nominated for this in 1996, but he did not win. He even sang it.
It lost to “Colors of the Wind.” You remember “Colors of the
In order to understand the title of this article, you need to watch a video. I regard this video as the finest low-budget cartoon ever produced. It is titled “Bambi Meets Godzilla.” It was made in 1969. This will take you only 90 seconds.
On very rare occasions, a public event takes place that represents a turning point. It is not that the public event causes the great turn; rather, it illustrates it or represents it. Such an event took place in December 1998, when Matt Drudge published his brief article on the decision of Newsweek to suppress the story of Bill Clinton and an unnamed intern. That was a visible turning point of the shift of influence away from physically published journalism to digitally published journalism. It was also symbolic of the beginning of the
I share something with all four Koch brothers: prostate cancer. They have survived for over 20 years. I hope to as well.
Charles Koch is interested in free market education. He has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into free market organizational oases located on Keynesian/Democrat university campuses. These campuses remain Keynesian/Democrat.
What if he could teach a million high school students Austrian economics every year . . . permanently? Or two million? All over the world?
Meanwhile, over the last dozen years, Salman Khan has created the most successful educational program in history. He did it with no money initially. Using free YouTube videos, he created a K-12 math program. The curriculum is free.
Charles Koch is going to
Dave Brubeck played piano. He became the most famous jazz piano master in the second half of the twentieth century.
He got started in 1942. He played until he died in 2012. That was a 70-year career.
He studied music at the College of the Pacific. Only toward the end did one of his professors discover that he could not sight-read music. He was allowed to graduate only by promising never to teach piano. That was in 1942.
He was immediately inducted into the Army. He got started with jazz when he was stationed in Europe. He played for the troops at a Red Cross show one evening. They were so enthusiastic that the Army had him create a jazz band. That was one of the truly brilliant military decisions of the war. He was in the Third Army —
I began writing Marx’s Religion of Revolution in 1965. I was in graduate school at the University of California, Riverside. It was published in 1968. I was 26 years old.
I got the idea from R. J. Rushdoony. In 1965, he wrote a 20-page pamphlet, The Religion of Revolution. It was published by St. Thomas Press, the book publishing outlet of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Houston. The pastor was a conservative, T. Robert Ingram. The booklet was going to be a chapter of a book. He wrote the following at the end of his January 1966 newsletter:
During December, I spoke 31 times, having meetings in Sunnyvale, Anderson, and Redding as well as locally. I wrote another chapter for The Religion of Revolution, of which the first chapter has been
She was cute in 1967, at age 20. She just kept getting more striking. Turn down the awful cover music, and watch this: age 40 to 70.
Here, the late John Hartford introduces her to an appreciative audience. This was a performance by the singers in O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000). It was held at the Ryman Auditorium, the home of the original Grand Ole Opry, on May 24, 2000. This unique evening was filmed. It was released as Down from the Mountain that December. I was in Nashville in the week it was released. I went to a late-night showing at the Nashville Film Festival. I went back again the next day. I took my wife. I went back the day after that. This was the highlight of the movie.
I had known about Emmylou from the late 1960’s, but I did not buy any of her records.
Every January, the elite gather in Davos, Switzerland to do business deals and listen to boring lectures by people who don’t have either money or power. It’s called the World Economic Forum.
Every year, the Left-wing foundation, Oxfam, simultaneously publishes its latest finding, which never changes much, that 1% of the world’s population owns half of the wealth.
These are public relations operations. The WEF’s message: “We’ve got it, and you don’t.” Oxfam’s message: “They’ve got it, and we don’t.” They are made for each other. They are joined at the hip.
The World Economic Forum is Duffy’s Tavern for the rich and powerful: “Where the elite meet to eat.”
Why do they go to the expense of gathering at Davos every year? Because no
When I say “modern jazz,” I mean post-World War II jazz. Two things characterize it: (1) small bands; (2) it is for listening, not dancing.
Big band jazz was different. The era of the big jazz bands, meaning swing bands, lasted a decade: from about 1931 (Harlem’s Chick Webb) through 1942: mobilization during World War II. It was Benny Goodman’s band, beginning in 1935, that made the music popular.
The year 1942 was also the beginning of the strike of the musicians’ union. The union refused to allow its members to record music, except for the Armed Forces Radio Network, which was broadcast only overseas. Live performances were allowed. The strike lasted until late 1944. Meanwhile, singers branched out on their own, never to return to the
The topic of sanctuary cities comes up every once in a while. It should come up a lot more often.
We need sanctuary cities. That is because we need relief from federal regulations and laws. We also need relief from state regulations and laws. There are vastly too many regulations on the books. There are so many laws and regulations that there is no way to keep track of all of them. Every year, the Federal Register publishes over 80,000 pages of fine print, three-column regulations. There is no way that these regulations are part of a coherent plan. There is no coherent plan, which is one of the central facts of all modern administrative law.
THE MESSIANIC STATE
The modern state is messianic. It operates on the assumption that government
I like Peggy Noonan. I am a wordsmith. She is a tremendous speech writer. I appreciate her abilities.
Recently, she wrote a response in The Wall Street Journal to the Netflix series The Crown and Steven Spielberg’s movie on The Washington Post, appropriately called The Post. She pointed out historical inaccuracies in both dramas. In both cases, these inaccuracies had to do with politics. She is an expert on politics. Here’s how she ended her column:
Why does all this matter? Because we are losing history. It is not the fault of Hollywood, as they used to call it, but Hollywood is a contributor to it.When people care enough about history to study and read it, it’s a small sin to lie and mislead in dramas. But when people get their
Anthony Easton offered insights on the coup here.
There was a follow-up by a site member on a forum.
August 1991 Coup attempt “The failed coup against Gorbachev occurred on August 18, 1991” My wife and I were returning from a couple of months in Eastern Europe, mostly in Russia. Our hosts were Ham Radio operators that had invited me to tour Russia. My call sign was well-known worldwide and that is why it happened.We later learned how the Coup was stopped. Our Russian Ham Radio friends just happened to have a Ham Radio station in the building where Gorbachev was located. The telephone and power lines had been cut to stop the military from learning of the Coup. One of our Ham friends was able to get a message out that quickly got to the
I devote an entire department to the fiat money Greenback lawyer Ellen Brown. She doesn’t understand economics. She also doesn’t understand historical documentation. I proved this in 2010. You can read the proof here.
She still publishes articles on her website. Occasionally, they are picked up by Left-wing sites. The article I analyze here is an example. It was posted on Truthdig. Truthdig is a Leftist site.
Incredibly, people who regard themselves as conservatives cite her as an authority. In the case of Max Kaiser, he actually brings her on his show. He has been doing this for a decade.
GOVERNMENT-FUNDED HIGHER EDUCATION
She is a big promoter of government-subsidized higher education. She thinks higher education should be free of
William Lind is a specialist in 4th-generation warfare: non-state warfare. He is also an observer of culture.
He has written an assessment of the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand on June 28, 1914. Within five weeks, this led to the outbreak of World War I on August 1.
With the commemoration of Christ’s first Advent, the end of the calendar year and a widespread (and justified) sense that we are all walking on the edge of a precipice, an old question pops up again: when will the world end? Many seers, prophets, and charlatans have predicted a date when the world will end, only to find themselves both relieved and disappointed. Unlike them, I know with complete certainty when the world will end. It will end on June 28, 1914.
Paul Krugman won the Nobel Prize in economics. He is also the resident economist for The New York Times.
In his latest article, he laments the power of Donald Trump and the Republican Party. He tries to offer eschatological hope. He assures his readers that there is hope politically because the Democrats may eventually come back into power. But this is only hope, he says. The United States of America is on the path to becoming a Third World tyranny. He actually believes this.
I want to stress this fact: he is as sound a political analyst as he is a sound economist.
The obvious silliness of all this should be apparent to anybody who knows about bipartisan American politics since approximately 1953. There has been a bipartisan American
The Wall Street Journal is trying to match The Washington Post for anti-Trump investigative journalism.
Consider this article: President Trump Spent Nearly One-Third of First Year in Office at Trump-Owned Properties. It is a screed on Trump’s time spent vacationing.
It has a subhead: “Unlike his predecessors, president traveled frequently to places he owns but where others pay to stay.” That is because his predecessors did not own several billion dollars’ worth of prime vacation real estate.
Would you rather stay at a Motel 6 or Mir-a-Lago if someone else was picking up the tab? To ask the question is to answer it.
I, for one, applaud the time that he spends vacationing. Any time that a politician spends doing anything other than
This was posted yesterday.
Demis Hassabis, the founder and CEO of DeepMind, announced at the Neural Information Processing Systems conference (NIPS 2017) last week that DeepMind’s new AlphaZero program achieved a superhuman level of play in chess within 24 hours.The program started from random play, given no domain knowledge except the game rules, according to an arXiv paper by DeepMind researchers published Dec. 5.
“It doesn’t play like a human, and it doesn’t play like a program,” said Hassabis, an expert chess player himself. “It plays in a third, almost alien, way. It’s like chess from another dimension.”
AlphaZero’s ‘alien’ superhuman-level program masters chess in 24 hours with no domain knowledge