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James Bovard

James Bovard



Articles by James Bovard

Collecting Old Coins Taught Me to Never Trust the Government

1 day ago

Old coins vaccinated me against trusting politicians long before I grew my first scruffy beard. I began collecting coins when I was eight years old in 1965, the year President Lyndon Johnson began removing all the silver from American coins. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original …

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Anti-Slavery Zealot John Brown Is No Hero

3 days ago

Many Americans have been aghast at violent mobs toppling statues and the widespread looting and destructive rampages that followed the killing of George Floyd. Media coverage often ignores the damage inflicted by righteous rioters and the businessmen, black and white, whose livelihoods have been destroyed. Instead, activists are portrayed as heroic because of their  political rhetoric and demands for radical changes.
Soaring political animosity is sparking fears of much greater conflicts in the coming months. More than 160 years ago, a similar pattern paved the way for a conflict that ravaged much of the nation. Few people are aware of how one of America’s most respected philosophers helped inflame the divisions that led to the

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How Collecting Old Coins Taught Me to Never Trust the Government

10 days ago

Old coins vaccinated me against trusting politicians long before I grew my first scruffy beard. I began collecting coins when I was eight years old in 1965, the year President Lyndon Johnson began eliminating all the silver in new dimes, quarters, and half dollars. LBJ swore that there would be no profit in “hoarding” earlier …

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Repealing Useless and Abusive Laws Might Do More Good Than “Defunding” the Police

19 days ago

“Defund the Police” is the latest rallying cry for protestors in many cities across the nation. Many activists, enraged by the brutal killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, are calling for completely disbanding the police, while others are seeking reductions in police budgets and more government spending elsewhere. However, few activists appear to be calling for …

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The Media Has Conveniently Forgotten George W. Bush’s Many Atrocities

June 11, 2020

George W. Bush has resurfaced to pander to the Left and the media in hopes of getting some attention. Apparently, Bush’s brutal history of lies, wars, and torture is all fine now since he said some nice things condemning racism. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original …

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The Media Have Conveniently Forgotten George W. Bush’s Many Atrocities

June 5, 2020

Former president George W. Bush has returned to the spotlight to give moral guidance to America in these troubled times. In a statement released on Tuesday, Bush announced that he was “anguished” by the “brutal suffocation” of George Floyd and declared that “lasting peace in our communities requires truly equal justice. The rule of law ultimately depends on the fairness and legitimacy of the legal system. And achieving justice for all is the duty of all.”
Bush’s declaration was greeted with thunderous applause by the usual suspects who portray him as the virtuous Republican in contrast to Trump. While the media portrays Bush’s pious piffle as a visionary triumph of principle, Americans need to vividly recall the lies and

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The Media Has Conveniently Forgotten George W. Bush’s Many Atrocities

June 4, 2020

Former president George W. Bush has returned to the spotlight to give moral guidance to America in these troubled times. In a statement released on Tuesday, Bush announced that he was “anguished” by the “brutal suffocation” of George Floyd and declared that “lasting peace in our communities requires truly equal justice. The rule of law …

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Politicians’ COVID Mania Ravages Maryland

May 29, 2020

James Bovard reports form Maryland, where the COVID-19 lockdowns have decimated employment and the rules only apply to powerless ordinary people. Cops and politicians can do as they like. Narrated by Daniella Bassi. Original Article: “Politicians’ COVID Mania Ravages Maryland​”

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Politicians’ COVID Mania Ravages Maryland

May 28, 2020

Maryland politicians have destroyed more than four hundred thousand jobs in dictatorial responses purporting to thwart the coronavirus pandemic. “Nearly one in five Maryland workers have filed for unemployment” compensation, theBaltimore Sun reported. The situation is so bad that even the Washington Post recognized that Maryland’s COVID “restrictions have crippled the economy and paralyzed daily …

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Hacksawing the Economy: How Lockdowns Are in the Tradition of Civil War Surgeons

May 19, 2020

Hacking off soldiers’ limbs was a favorite technique of Civil War surgeons, largely because doctors wanted to avoid blame for later cases of gangrene. So doctors erred on the “safe” side. Many patients may have disagreed. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original Article: “https://mises.org/wire/hacksawing-economy-how-lockdowns-are-tradition-civil-war-surgeons”

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Hacksawing the Economy: How Lockdowns Are in the Tradition of Civil War Surgeons

May 19, 2020

Listen to the Audio Mises Wire version of this article. Politicians and government health officials’ justification for decreeing shutdowns of vast swaths of American life has been deterring the spread of COVID-19. According to Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell, almost 40 percent of households earning less than $40,000 per year have a member who has …

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It’s Time to Track the FDA’s Death Toll

April 20, 2020

Many Americans could die in the coming weeks and months thanks to the FDA’s blockade on coronavirus testing. Should we consider those victims as martyrs for the principle of bureaucratic supremacy? This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original Article: “It’s Time to Track the FDA’s Death Toll”

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It’s Time to Track the FDA’s Death Toll

April 1, 2020

The Food and Drug Administration helped turn the coronavirus from a deadly peril into a national catastrophe. Long after foreign nations had been ravaged and many cases had been detected in America, the FDA continued blocking private testing. The FDA continued forcing the nation’s most innovative firms to submit to its command-and-control approach notwithstanding the pandemic. …

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Gun Seizures Could Lead to Civil War

February 6, 2020

“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15,” declared “Beto” O’Rourke at a Democratic party presidential candidate debate in September. Compelling Americans to surrender their so-called assault weapons is “the newest purity test” for Democratic presidential candidates, according to the Washington Post. O’Rourke and other Democratic presidential candidates, including Cory Booker, Kristin Gillibrand, and Bill de Blasio (now withdrawn from the race, as are Gillibrand and O’Rourke) have all endorsed mandatory buy-backs of assault weapons. Though such proposals are momentarily politically profitable, they could start a cascade of public-policy dominoes that ends in civil war.
When Australia and New Zealand mandated buy-backs of assault

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Claims that John Bolton’s Book Disclosures Are ‘Top Secret’ Ring Hollow

February 5, 2020

Ever since the 9/11 attacks, Republicans and Democrats have conspired to keep Americans increasingly ignorant of what the federal government does. The number of secret federal documents skyrocketed, and any information classified was treated like a political holy relic that could not be exposed without dooming the nation. Ironically, the fate of the Trump presidency may hinge on perpetuating the unjustifiable secrecy now pervading Washington.
John Bolton wrote a book about his experiences as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser that could provide key information regarding Trump’s dealing with the Ukrainian government, and Democratic members of Congress are calling for the manuscript to be made public. Former

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Impeachment’s Biggest Absurdity: Our Toxic Fixation on Useless and Corrupting Ukraine Aid

January 30, 2020

The campaign to convict and remove President Donald Trump in the Senate hinges on delays in disbursing U.S. aid to Ukraine. Ukraine was supposedly on the verge of great progress until Trump pulled the rug out from under the heroic salvation effort by U.S. government bureaucrats. Unfortunately, Congress has devoted a hundred times more attention to the timing of aid to Ukraine than to its effectiveness. And most of the media coverage has ignored the biggest absurdity of the impeachment fight.
The temporary postponement of the Ukrainian aid was practically irrelevant considering that U.S. assistance efforts have long fueled the poxes they promised to eradicate – especially kleptocracy, or government by thieves. A 2002 American

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Richard Jewell, Carter Page, and the Illusion of the FBI’s Power and Competence

December 20, 2019

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s reputation has been ravaged this month by the inspector general report that proved that the FBI deceived the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to secretly spy on a Trump campaign official.
Even fired FBI chief James Comey was forced to admit that “I was wrong” in a Fox News interview Sunday regarding the FBI’s abuse of Carter Page. The Russiagate controversy could not have occurred unless much of the American media docilely recited the false charges that FBI officials fed them. A stunning new movie on Richard Jewell is a reminder that this is not the first time that collusion between the feds and the media destroyed the reputation of innocent Americans.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Banning Guns Will Not Make Schools Safe

December 18, 2019

School shootings have become the latest pretext for politicians to destroy the Second Amendment. Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, declared in a Democratic presidential candidates’ debate, “I was part of the first generation that saw routine school shootings. We have now produced the second school-shooting generation in this country. We dare not allow there to be a third.” Another Democratic presidential candidate, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Cal.), invoked school shootings to justify confiscating millions of firearms across the nation: “It’s not just the violence that they’ve caused; it’s the fear, the immeasurable fear that our children live in because they are still on our streets. I want to get rid of that fear.”
In

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Will Deval Patrick be President?

November 28, 2019

Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick entered the presidential race last week. Patrick is touted as a centrist Democrat and is reportedly former president Barack Obama’s favorite candidate. Patrick is also the only candidate in the race responsible for disastrous coverups at both the federal and state level.
Patrick was assistant attorney general for Civil Rights in the Clinton administration.  Shortly before Clinton won the 1992 election, U.S. marshals killed 14-year-old Sammy Weaver and an FBI sniper shot Randy Weaver and killed his wife, Vicki Weaver, as she held their baby in the cabin door at Ruby Ridge.
An Idaho jury found Weaver not guilty on almost all charges and federal judge Edward Lodge slammed the Justice

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Buttigieg’s Biggest Boondoggle: an Army of Federally Funded Leftist Activists?

November 22, 2019

Democratic presidential frontrunner Pete Buttigieg is calling for a vast expansion of “national service” to enlist a million young Americans to perform federally approved activities. Buttigieg says his program will “repair the social fabric in our nation” and “build social capital.” But Buttigieg’s “call to service” could quickly become a “summons to submission.”
Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, wants to create “a universal, national expectation of service for all 4 million high school graduates every year.” Buttigieg declares, “The goal is for ‘where did you serve?’ to be as important a question at a job interview as ‘where did you go to college?’” What right does any politician have to decree the questions by which

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My First Time to East Berlin

November 11, 2019

This is the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall — one of the most glorious moments in the modern history of freedom. I first passed through that wall while hitchhiking around Europe in the summer of 1977. After camping in West German woods within mortar range of the Iron Curtain, I headed …

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Foreign Aid Makes Corrupt Countries More Corrupt

November 1, 2019

Counting on foreign aid to reduce corruption is like expecting whiskey to cure alcoholism. After closed House of Representatives impeachment hearings heard testimony on President Trump’s role in delaying U.S. aid to Ukraine, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer declared: “Numbers don’t lie. It’s even more clear now that President Trump is not the anti-corruption crusader he claims to be.”
Most of the press coverage has tacitly assumed that American assistance is vital to fighting corruption in Ukraine. But that ignores foreign aid’s toxic record and Ukraine’s post-Soviet history.
A 2002 American Economic Review analysis concluded that “increases in [foreign] aid are associated with contemporaneous increases in corruption,” and

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War on Terror Is the Biggest Sham of Our Era

September 13, 2019

The War on Terror quickly became the greatest political sham of our lifetimes. Politicians exploited the 9/11 attacks to seize boundless power over Americans and much of the world. President Bush invoked the 9/11 attacks to launch an unjust and foolish attack on Iraq, destabilizing the entire Middle East. President Obama provided massive military aid and other support to Al Qaeda-linked terrorist groups in Libya and Syria – and the Trump administration continued the Syrian idiocy. The feds claim a right to treat every American like a terrorist suspect every time they buy an airplane ticket. The terrorist watchlist has over a million names compiled in a process that is a parody of due process. Will this BS ever end?
Eighteen years

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2002 Landmarks on the Road to “1984” Orwellian Hell

August 31, 2019

Next month will be the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Politicians and bureaucrats wasted no time after that carnage to unleash the Surveillance State on average Americans, treating every person like a terrorist suspect. Since the government failed to protect the public, Americans somehow forfeited their constitutional right to privacy. Despite heroic efforts by former NSA staffer Edward Snowden and a host ofactivists and freedom fighters, the government continues ravaging American privacy.
Two of the largest leaps the largest leaps towards “1984” began in 2002. Though neither the Justice Department’s Operation TIPS nor the Pentagon’s Total Information Awareness program was brought to completion, parcels and precedents from

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America’s Benevolent Bombing of Serbia

August 17, 2019

Twenty years ago, President Bill Clinton commenced bombing Serbia in the name of human rights, justice, and ethnic tolerance. Approximately 1,500 Serb civilians were killed by NATO bombing in one of the biggest sham morality plays of the modern era. As British professor Philip Hammond recently noted, the 78-day bombing campaign “was not a purely military operation: NATO also destroyed what it called ‘dual-use’ targets, such as factories, city bridges, and even the main television building in downtown Belgrade, in an attempt to terrorise the country into surrender.”
Clinton’s unprovoked attack on Serbia, intended to help ethnic Albanians seize control of Kosovo, set a precedent for “humanitarian” warring that was invoked by

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Antifa Hits Washington D.C.

July 9, 2019

Washington’s Pennsylvania Avenue saw two competing protests near the White House on Saturday—a Proud Boys’ “Demand Free Speech”  rally, and a left-wing counter-protest organized by #AllOutDC which promoted the immediate expulsion of all accused Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists from the nation’s capital.
I slipped into the latter protest and took some close-up photos of black-drabbed Antifa activists gathered there to ostensibly lend a hand. After I posted a few photos online,  I saw a copy of the notice that AllOutDC organizers distributed warning the media not to photograph the faces of the left-wing demonstrators without “their explicit, stated consent.”
Mea Culpa! At least I didn’t violate the first rule of furtive

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Lincoln and Trump: Two of a Kind?

July 5, 2019

President Trump has outraged legions of political opponents with his plan to give a Fourth of July speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. A Washington Post columnist frets that Trump’s speech will leave a “stain” that “won’t ever completely wash away.” But before any more teeth-gnashing occurs, we should recognize the surprising parallels between Trump and President Lincoln.
Trump sparked an uproar in 2017 by tweeting derisively about the “so-called judge” who blocked his order severely restricting immigration from seven nations. Twitter was not around in the 1860s so Lincoln never took online swipes at the judiciary. However, when Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney ruled in 1861 that Lincoln had no right to

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Dem Debate Night #2 – Cheers & Jeers

June 29, 2019

My take on the gun-grabbing, government-loving, tax-exalting, climate-fearing, and severely amnesiac #DemDebate Round 2… Second Democratic debate with 10 candidates seemed more vacuous than the first round of 10. Nobody asked Rep. Swalwell about his plan to use nuclear weapons to punish gun owners who refused to surrender their AR-15s. Lots of wailing about police abuses but nobody wants to curb TSA’s power. “History need not apply” seemed to be the rule for candidates’ comments on economics, govt. policy, and most other subjects. At least the scene was energized by that crazy cat lady.

#DemDebate How many gun owners is Swalwell willing to kill in order to confiscate all private AR-15s?
— James Bovard (@JimBovard) June 28, 2019

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