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Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr

War for Hong Kong?

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President Trump faces trouble, and he is handling it in a dangerous way. Our economy is reeling, as the Fed pours out billions of dollars in a futile effort to avert disaster. We know to our cost that politicians, faced with crisis at home, provoke war “to busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels.”

Unfortunately, this is just what Trump is doing. According to a CNN news report on Friday, May 28, “President Donald Trump launched a blistering attack on Beijing Friday, naming misdeeds that range from espionage to the violation of Hong Kong’s freedoms, and announced a slew of retaliatory measures that will plunge US-China relations deeper into crisis.
‘They’ve ripped off the United States like no one has ever done before,’ Trump said of China, as he decried the way Beijing has ‘raided our factories’ and ‘gutted’ American industry, casting Beijing as a central foil he will run against in the remaining months of his re-election campaign.

Trump called out China for ‘espionage to steal our industrial secrets, of which there are many,’ announced steps to protect American investors from Chinese financial practices, accused Beijing of ‘unlawfully claiming territory in the Pacific Ocean’ and threatening freedom of navigation.
The President also blasted Beijing for passing a national security law that fundamentally undermines Hong Kong’s autonomy, announcing that going forward the US will no longer grant Hong Kong special status on trade or in other areas and instead will apply the same restrictions to the territory it has in place with China.
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The End of Civilization?

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Governments all over the world are using the alleged threat of a COVID-19 pandemic to shut down the world’s economy. Daniel Lacalle, an authority on energy economics, writes: “The decision to shut down air travel and close all nonessential businesses is now a reality in major global economies.
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War on China?

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People are understandably upset about the coronavirus epidemic, but if we’re not careful, an even greater danger lies ahead. Sinister forces in American political life are using the crisis to incite war with China and to stir up bad feelings towards the Chinese people. The Chinese people are in fact heroic. They are our friends, not our enemies. But the forces of evil want you to think otherwise.

Concerning the coronavirus, the key fact to remember is that we know very little about it. The worst mistake we could make is to become jittery and panicked. As Bill Sardi, an outstanding expert on health issues, has pointed out, “There are two hotspots in the world for coronavirus infections: Wuhan, China (Hubei Province) and Italy.  Both of these geographic areas were grappling with tuberculosis outbreaks prior to the eruption of the mutated COVID-19 coronavirus.  Strangely, coronavirus appears to spread to the rest of the world from these hotspots via airplane travel.  But the infection remains in those infected and may spread within a household, but not into the community.  Other geographical outbreaks must be questioned as there are too many false positive tests to confirm COVID-19 coronavirus, which at this point in time may be nothing more than a passenger virus that accompanies tubercular infections.” If Sardi is right, the main thing we can do to keep safe is to close our borders to immigrants.

Unfortunately, people are using the epidemic to stir up bad feelings toward the Chinese people, because the epidemic began in Wuhan Province there. Ironically, there is evidence the virus was really sent to China from the US. Larry Romanoff, whose “Global Research” column often uncovers items others miss, says: “Not only did the virus not originate at the seafood market, it did not originate in Wuhan at all, and it has now been proven that it did not originate in China but was brought to China from another country. Part of the proof of this assertion is that the genome varieties of the virus in Iran and Italy have been sequenced and declared to have no part of the variety that infected China and must, by definition, have originated elsewhere.
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Blago Is Free

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On Tuesday, February 18, President Trump with excellent judgment commuted the 14 year prison sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, aka “Blago.”
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Ron Paul, Hero

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I had the rare honor of serving as Ron Paul’s congressional chief of staff, and observed him in many proud moments in those days, and in his presidential campaigns. People today sometimes compare Ron Paul with Bernie Sanders. The comparison of Bernie to Ron goes like this: both launched insurgent, anti-establishment presidential campaigns while in their 70s, shook up their respective party establishments, and attracted large youth followings. But Bernie is no Ron.
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Rothbard and War

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Murray Rothbard was the creator of the modern libertarian movement and a close friend of both Ron Paul and me. His legacy was a great one, and at the Mises Institute I try every day to live up to his hopes for us.
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Wars and Domestic Massacres

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This past weekend, 22 people were killed in El Paso, Texas and 9 in Dayton, Ohio.  There have been a number of other mass shootings in the past two decades or so; the largest was in Las Vegas in 2017, with 58 killed. This is sad, but it is a drop in the bucket compared to the real perpetrators of death in America - the US military.
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The Truth About War and the State

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Not long ago I was thinking about the legacy of Murray N. Rothbard, the brilliant scholar and the creator of the libertarian movement, as well as a dear friend to both Ron and me. Would that movement have come into existence without Murray? I don’t think so. And whatever might have developed in its place would undoubtedly have been less pro-peace, and more willing to reach an accord with the warfare state, than Murray ever was.

“I am getting more and more convinced,” he wrote privately in 1956, “that the war-peace question is the key to the whole libertarian business.”

Murray refused to stop talking about war and peace even when, by the late 1960s, his antiwar views had alienated him completely from the mainstream right wing and had left him with a vastly smaller audience. It reminds me of how Ron himself, despite all the conservatives who pleaded with him to leave foreign policy out of his speeches in order to win more support and influence, refused to do so. The issue was too important – morally, economically, and in every other way – and these men were too principled.
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Bill Buckley Conservatism Is Dead...Meanwhile, Rothbard Soars

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Fifty years ago this year, Murray N. Rothbard offered his thoughts on National Review, the flagship magazine of American conservatism, which had commemorated its tenth anniversary in late 1965.

He went on to tell the full story in The Betrayal of the American Right, at once an intellectual history and a memoir.

Murray’s primary complaint: what had once been a movement skeptical of or opposed to overseas adventurism and empire-building had now, under the influence of editor Bill Buckley, come to be defined by those very things.

In Buckley’s infamous formulation, it would be necessary to erect a “totalitarian bureaucracy” within our shores in order to battle communism abroad. The implication was that once the communist menace subsided, this extraordinary effort, domestic and foreign, could likewise diminish.

Since government programs do not have a habit of diminishing but instead seek new justifications when the old ones no longer exist, few of us were surprised when the warfare state, and its right-wing apologists, hummed right along after its initial rationale vanished from history.
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Ron and Bernie

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Super Tuesday may have been the beginning of the end for the Bernie Sanders campaign, but the ideas that propelled it are likely to linger for quite some time. With some writers comparing Bernie to Ron Paul (not in terms of economics and philosophy, of course, but as insurgent candidates), now seemed like an opportune moment to examine the Sanders message and legacy, and compare it to Ron’s.

Like Ron, Bernie surprised all the pundits with his fundraising, polling, and electoral success. In fact, so successful has Sanders been that Hillary Clinton has been reduced to a pathetic and unconvincing “me, too” campaign – I can be just like Bernie, if that’s what you rubes want!

Bernie has gained a lot of traction from his complaints that Hillary is in the tank for Wall Street and the big banks. He’s likewise pointed to the six-figure honoraria Hillary has earned from speeches given to the big banks.

The best the now-hapless Bill Clinton could do in reply was to note that Bernie, too, had been paid to give speeches. Technically, Bill was right. Bernie had earned money from public speaking: a whopping $1800 over the course of a year. The year before that, Bernie had earned $1300 from public speaking. All of this money was donated to charity, as is the requirement for U.S. senators.
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