Sunday, January 14, 2018

Facts, Haiti, Favelas and Property Rights

On this subject your humble blogster can claim eye witness knowledge. During 1980 and 1981 I had occasion to visit Haiti and I can state with all honesty that the living conditions of its citizens were the worst of any society I have observed; even surpassing Nicaragua which was very bad.

On one occasion I saw a complete village of ramshackle huts on low ground after a recent brief rainstorm which was several inches deep in water. People were living in these huts  which had inundated dirt/mud floors. Floating in this water was raw sewage as well as parts of dead animals. In other words, this inhabited area would literally qualify as a "shit hole." I also observed women casually defecating in the walkway adjacent to an open air public "market."

By Michael Rozeff

A lot of people live in slums called favelas, places where you and I certainly do not want to live. Search Google to find photos. Haiti is one such place.
On a scale of 0 to 100, poorest to best scores, Haiti has a property rights score of 13, the lowest even of its peers. Cuba is 32 and Jamaica is 58. America is 81. We used to be 90 before 2009. In 2010 it fell to 85 and in 2014, to 80.
Haiti’s property rights problem is also a government problem, a legal problem, a political problem and an enforcement problem. It’s a problem that has resisted improvement for a long, long time. The cited article indicates specific legal problems.
The name-calling surrounding Trump’s remarks obscures the lesson that everyone needs to be taught, respect and know, which is that secure private property rights are essential for people to make something of their lives. Without security for the ownership of what one builds or produces, one loses the incentive to own and to produce in the first place. If property can be stolen, taxed or regulated away at the unstable whim of others or government, or if property cannot be clearly obtained and defended, what incentive is there to attain it in the first place?
Property rights have to be separated from racism. We in America cannot sustain strong property rights if we override them with government powers that supposedly are aiming to create progress against discrimination. Rental discrimination is not per se or automatically racism unless the force of law stands behind such discrimination; and that has happened in our country’s history. Private discrimination should not be outlawed at the price of eroding or destroying private property rights. That accomplishes nothing. Individuals or a whole society do not become more tolerant by passing a law outlawing intolerance.
It’s novel for a president’s opinions to be expressed bluntly and revealed so quickly. It’s not novel any longer for this president to be accused on one ground after another. In this case, the accusation is racism. Well before the current incident, the case was being made that Trump is racist, such as this article in Fortune. Most of this particular article dwells on Trump’s resistance to laws that infringed on the property rights of landlords. Anyone who opposes provisions of the U.S. Code that supposedly uphold civil rights and end discrimination, while simultaneously undermining property rights, can be and many have been accused of racism. How ironic it is that Trump attempted 50 years ago to defend his property rights, not a racist position, and now he is accused of being racist for a remark made about countries that have terrible property rights, such that they produce a large stream of people seeking to escape to other countries that have more secure property rights.
The storm of remarks critical of Trump’s comment may include people of sincere belief as well as people who are politically motivated. It doesn’t much matter. The point is the confusion of racism with the defense of property rights. The point is that terrible property rights are one major cause of favelas in many parts of the world. If America decimated its property rights, we’d have the same result here.

It just so happens that most of the world is not white, something like 70 percent. It also happens that property rights vary across the world, and a variety of legal and government enforcement systems prevail. Identifying a place as having poor property rights is likely simultaneously to pick out a place that has a nonwhite population or some other ethnic or religious character. This is because much of the world is nonwhite, much of the world doesn’t have legal and governing systems that result in secure property rights, and crucially because societies with governments tend to be somewhat homogeneous along some such lines as race, ethnicity, language, legal code and religion. The cause of poor government and property rights is not skin color, which is a superficial trait. What then are the causes of poor property rights? Or the opposite: What are the reasons why some countries enjoy superior property rights?
Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Friday, January 12, 2018

Just Askin'

Can anyone explain to me why we must import thousands of these

and these

and must consider these our enemies?

A Kangaroo Court Failure (FINALLY!!)


In 2013 the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) obtained federal court orders authorizing the agency to “seize and remove to impound” hundreds of Cliven Bundy’s cattle on the public ranges around Bunkerville, Nevada.   The agency interpreted these court orders broadly, and descended on the area in April 2014 with some 200 body-armor-wearing agents, semiautomatic weapons, sniper teams, undercover informants, and surveillance cameras aimed at the Bundy residence.

The BLM brought more than corralls and horse trailers.  They brought backhoes, dumptrucks and earth-moving equipment to tear up water lines and other infrastructure that had been built by Bundy and his ancestors over decades.  Defying county officials, the federal officers chose calving season—the very time when cows and newborn calves are most physically weak and vulnerable—to execute the court orders.  They orchestrated a paramilitarized roundup operation using helicopters to terrify the cattle into stampeding to the point of exhaustion in extreme heat. At least 40 cows either died from the ordeal or were shot by BLM employees and contractors.

The Feds even used the impoundment order to establish “First Amendment Zones” limiting freedom of speech in a 600,000-acre area to two small isolated parcels in the desert.  It was almost certainly the largest infringement of First Amendment rights (by area) in American history.
When Bundy’s son Dave stopped on a state highway to photograph BLM snipers on local hillsides, BLM agents threw him down, ground his face into asphalt and falsely arrested him.  And when other family members stopped a BLM dump truck to inquire if the truck was carrying dead cows, BLM agents erupted in a flurry of violence.

In response, hundreds of citizens journeyed from all over the country to protest the BLM operation.  A few were armed.  Political officials from across the west denounced the BLM’s heavy-handedness.  As a direct result of the national outcry, the BLM halted their cattle impoundment.   And on April 12, 2014, the BLM agents withdrew from the area—seemingly at the direction of the U.S. Attorneys office.  It was apparently the plan of the Justice Department to entrap the Bundys into a criminal case by constructing a narrative that Bundy supporters “extorted” the cattle from the BLM by threats and “assaults” on federal officers.  (The corralled cattle would have died had not Bundy family members released them back onto the range.)

Federal prosecutors spent tens of millions to build an elaborate criminal case designed to imprison Bundy and his sons and supporters for life.  For two years, more than a thousand FBI agents combed through Facebook comments, posed as supporters or journalists, or surfed the internet to concoct a case against the Bundys.

Meanwhile Bundy’s sons Ammon and Ryan became active in protests against the government’s mistreatment of the Hammond family in eastern Oregon.  In January 2016 protesters occupied Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in a month-long demonstration.

Again the FBI spent millions in a show of force against the “domestic terrorists.”  The entire town of Burns, Oregon—30 miles from the Refuge occupation—was fortified with razor wire, chain-link fences and concrete barriers.  Military hardware rolled through the streets and buzzed overhead.  Undercover informants dressed as rednecks in pickups harassed the populace.  At a January 26, 2016 roadblock ambush, FBI and Oregon State Police opened fire on Ryan Bundy and shot 54-year-old LaVoy Finicum in the back as he stood surrounded in a roadside snowbank.

Leftist or socialist demonstrators would likely have been charged with misdemeanors over the Refuge occupation; but government officials viewed the 2014 “armed takeover” as an affront to all that government stands for.  Federal prosecutors alleged that the protesters had launched a conspiracy to impede federal officials from performing their jobs.


In their zeal to destroy the Bundy “movement,” teams of federal prosecutors launched the most elaborate federal criminal cases in American history.  Ammon and Ryan Bundy, militia spokesman Ryan Payne, and others were flown back-and-forth between Oregon and Nevada to face hearings in two, simultaneous criminal cases.  Jurors in both jurisdictions were bussed (supposedly for their safety) from secret locations every day.  In Nevada, not one but two helicopters followed overhead while defendants were transported between prison and court daily.  In all, the federal government has likely spent a quarter of a billion dollars reacting to, imprisoning, and prosecuting the Bundys and their fellow protesters.

In October 2016, jurors in Portland acquitted the Oregon defendants in the “trial of the century.”  U.S. marshals tackled and tased Ammon Bundy’s attorney in the courtroom.   Ammon and Ryan Bundy were denied release and transported to a Nevada prison to face the Nevada indictment along with Cliven, brothers Dave and Mel and a dozen others (while a half-dozen others awaited a second trial in Oregon).

The Oregon ‘not-guilty’ verdicts gave hope to two-dozen other defendants, who mostly stuck to their guns (no pun intended) and refused to plead guilty or negotiate with prosecutors.  Courts were forced to split the Oregon case into 2 trial groups and the Nevada case into 3 trial groups.  The first Nevada trial (of “gunmen”), commenced in February 2017 with Eric Parker, Scott Drexler, Greg Burleson, Steve Stewart, Todd Engel and Rick Lovelien facing multiple serious charges.  Jurors couldn’t agree on most counts but convicted Engel and Burleson (mostly based on Facebook comments) of some accusations.  Burleson was sentenced to 68 years in prison.

Then came one of the most disgraceful “trials” in U.S. history.  Parker, Drexler, Stewart and Lovelien were retried in Las Vegas in August 2017.  The prosecution exploited every possible advantage, winning rulings from the judge which barred the defendants from even mentioning most of their possible defenses.  (They couldn’t even say that the BLM was overbearing or heavily-armed, or even that there were government snipers above them.)  Jurors were treated to a one-sided display of 2014 photos showing the men with guns while overlooking BLM officers from a bridge on Interstate 15.  BLM witnesses—either exaggerating or lying—cried in the courtroom while claiming they saw the defendants pointing rifles at them.  (Not a single photo or video corroborates this—and there were hundreds of cameras recording almost everything at the time; there were even Nevada trooper dashcams capturing 80 percent of the movements of the defendants during the period.)

The judge even ordered Eric Parker off the witness stand for saying he looked “up and to the right” during the 2014 “standoff.”  Prosecutors strenuously objected (in a sidebar hearing) that such a statement might tell jurors that there were BLM snipers on a mesa above; and thus Parker was unable to rebut the government’s claim that he aimed his rifle down-and-to-the-left at a crying BLM agent (who was photographed very-much-not-crying at the time).

Defense lawyers were so stifled by the judge’s orders that they opted not to even make closing arguments—a gutsy move almost without precedent.  It was like a cry for help to the jury.  And the jury heard it loud and clear.  On August 22, 2017, the jury fully acquitted Stewart and Lovelien, and acquitted Parker and Drexler of most counts.  (They hung on a small number of charges for the two men.)

The not-guilty verdicts sent shockwaves throughout the Judiciary and the Justice Department.  Here, in the biggest case in the country, with the prosecution spending untold millions of dollars and the judge imposing rules of evidence which almost choked the defense from speaking, the Justice Department was unable to get convictions.

When the “big trial” (involving Cliven, Ryan, Ammon, and Ryan Payne) began in October 2017, defense attorneys demanded to see evidence that had been withheld by the prosecution.  There were pictures (but no explanations) of immense piles of shredded documents left by the BLM at the scene in 2014.  And Ryan Bundy remembered surveillance cameras pointed at the Bundy house in 2014 yet Bundy had never been provided with the footage.

Prosecutors insisted they possessed no such evidence.  Even if there was a surveillance camera here or there it hadn’t recorded anything.  But such questions seemed to produce more startling disclosures.  Ultimately it was revealed that there had been an elaborate FBI surveillance operation which had been concealed from the defense.  And it seemed that prosecutors had been coaching witnesses to change their reports to censor out inconvenient facts.

By the third week of trial in November, Chief Judge Gloria Navarro—the very judge who had given prosecutors everything they wished for in the previous two trials—was visibly weary of the DOJ’s barbarous tactics.  A mistrial was declared just prior to Christmas, and all defendants except Cliven were released on conditions while lawyers argued over whether the case warranted another trial.  And on Monday, January 8, 2018, in a packed courtroom in Las Vegas, the Judge granted Ryan Payne’s motion to dismiss.  A “universal sense of justice has been violated,” proclaimed Navarro.   The judge said further that she was unaware of a more egregious case of FBI misconduct.

It should be noted that there are currently a half-dozen additional pending motions to dismiss, citing even graver prosecutorial misconduct.   It has recently come to light that lead prosecutor Steven Myhre was approached during the first Nevada trial by a government case investigator who informed the prosecutor that he was breaking the law by withholding evidence from the defense.  Myhre’s response, according to some reports, was to fire the agent and order him to keep quiet.  Even as Cliven Bundy was released from jail after serving 700 days, the case continues for others.   Stay tuned!

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Monday, January 08, 2018

Algore, Say it Ain't So!

As each day passes the evidence climbs, as predicted by scientists (not politicians and Popes), that a steep drop of temperatures would ensue—first dropping temperatures to where they were in the very cold late 1800s and then going down from there to ice age conditions that will threaten a great part of the northern latitudes over the next 10 years.

We are not ready for any of this mentally or in any other way thanks to people like former president Obama, the Pope, and let’s never forget Al Gore. Some of the most unscrupulous people have been championing the cause of manmade global warming even though the science and actual conditions on the ground have been showing for ten years that there is no such thing as manmade warming.

It has been a big snow job, pure propaganda and now the gig is up as it starts snowing in Florida of all places. Now we have temperatures crashing, almost the entire continental United States frozen over, snow accumulating in record amounts and ice forming in the great lakes at breathtaking speed. It is not just record breaking cold but record breaking snow fall that is showing us just how difficult global cooling will be compared to global warming.

Winter is here but it’s not a regular winter as just about every American can feel if they step outside. Boston tied a 100-year-old record on Tuesday when it marked seven consecutive days of temperatures that did not top 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6.7 degrees Celsius). New York’s airports have registered new lows and Chicago has enjoyed its coldest New Year’s Day ever.

In Nebraska, temperatures hit 15 below zero (-26 Celsius) before midnight Sunday in Omaha, breaking a record low dating to 1884, which is 134 years ago. The temperature in Indianapolis dropped to -12°F (-24C) on the 2nd, tying the previous record for the date set in 1887.
Forecasters warned people to be wary of hypothermia and frostbite from the arctic blast that’s gripping a large swath from the Midwest to the Northeast, where the temperature, without the wind chill factored in, dipped to minus 32 (minus 35 Celsius) Thursday morning in Watertown, New York. Temperatures rose to minus 7 (minus 22 Celsius) early Friday morning before the really cold air moved in for New Years. Officials are urging people to assist the homeless and elderly.

On the second of January the National Weather Service issued winter storm watches and warnings all the way from northern Florida to northern Maine, a distance of about 1,500 miles. By Friday morning, the fifth of January, wind chills could drop as low as minus 30F (-34.4C) from the Midwest to the Northeast. “This is about as intense cold as I can remember,” said Judah Cohen, director of seasonal forecasting for Atmospheric and Environmental Research.

 More than five feet of snow has pummeled Erie, PA., last week, shattering at least seven city and state records. Record cold across Michigan, New York, Kentucky, Ohio, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Nebraska at the end of last year smashing 100-year-old records all across the country.

One wonders if Obama has one honest bone in his body. Let us see if he ever comes up with some truth about what is affecting hundreds of millions of Americans as the cold comes to stay.

Back on December 17, the Great Lakes had a total of 5.7 percent ice coverage. That may not sound like much, but on December 17, 2016, only 3.8 percent of the Great Lakes were ice-covered, and in 2015 on that date, no ice had been reported. Now fast forward to December 31. According to, ice covered close to 10 percent of Lake Superior yesterday. Typically, in late December. Lake Superior has about five percent of total ice cover.

The decline in the energy output of the sun is extremely rapid at this point.  Satellite and NASA datasets show that rapid cooling is underwayThe cooling we are seeing in the troposphere really is spectacular. What we are experiencing is the second largest cooling in 37+ years of satellite records.

This is not new news. We have had plenty of warnings through the last 10 years, which politicians have deliberately ignored. Scientists warn that the Earth is just 15 years away from experiencing a “mini ice age” — something that has not happened in 300 years. Solar scientists say that the latest model shows the Sun’s magnetic waves will become offset in Cycle 25, which peaks in 2022. Then, in Cycle 26, solar activity will fall by 60 per cent.

Special Note: If you still believe in manmade global warming understand you are suffering from a deliberately implanted mental disease. Like many mental disorders reality is left behind for something else, delusions, paranoia, aggressiveness and even violence. We have read in the last few years how global warming fanatics want to prosecute what they call climate change deniers. Also, global warming champions never talk about the sun. They are also incapable of doing any research that challenges their beliefs.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Thursday, January 04, 2018

The Final Days

Today, Anno Domini 2018 any sentient student of history understands what is being played out on the streets and in the halls of governance in what were once the seats of Western Civilization. As sure as the Teutonic, Gallic and Slavic barbarians fleeing into the provinces of the Roman Empire escaping the hordes of Mongols of Asia's steppes provided a catalyst for its demise we, today are living through a similar migration and make no mistake; todays "refugees" are in fact the spearpoint of a massive migration. Posted on :

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.
Had Archduke Franz Ferdinand lived, we would almost certainly inhabit a better world.  There would have been no war; he was the leader of the peace party in Vienna.  Without the vast civilizational catastrophe that was World War I, the West would not have lost faith in itself, its culture, and religion.  Instead of cultural Marxism, we could still have Christian, conservative monarchy as the West’s leading paradigm.  I doubt the House of Hapsburg, which had twice repelled the Moslem hordes from the gates of Vienna, would have opened those gates to more than a million Islamic “refugees” (really migrants).  Interestingly, it is mostly states that were part of the Empire, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, that have the moral courage to say no to the EU’s refugee quotas.  Had the Archduke lived, there would be no Lenin, no Stalin, no Hitler, no Holocaust.  Israel might have been established as a province of the Ottoman Empire, under German and Austro-Hungarian protection; the Zionists were quite influential at the Viennese court and Kaiser Wilhelm II had a number of close Jewish friends.  Russia, which by 1910 had reached the economic takeoff point, would not have lost the 60 million people killed by Soviet Communism, the figure revealed when the Soviet archives were opened in 1989.  Economically, the Russian people might enjoy the same standard of living Americans have today, while still residing under a Christian monarch in an Orthodox country.
Vienna was not only a political capital, it was a cultural capital as well, the rival of Paris.  While the cultural pessimism that now rules the West was already stirring, without World War I and the fall of the Empire it probably would not have become dominant.  Music, art, and architecture would still strive for beauty, not alienation (thank you Adorno). Nietzsche’s “transvaluation of all values,” where the old sins become virtues and the old virtues sins, would have remained the delusion of a syphilitic philosopher instead of the guiding rule of Western elites.  In the year 2017, a Hapsburg Vienna might well be the source of much of the world’s cultural and intellectual greatness.
Only a handful of people are left who understand how much was lost on that June day in 1914.  With those pistol shots in Sarajevo, the West put a gun to its own head and blew its brains out.  Our history since has been the twitching of a corpse.
In 1971, when doing graduate work in Vienna, I had the good fortune to meet the Empire face-to-face.  My landlady was Frau Baron von Garabedian-Elislago.  Her father was General von Krauss-Elislago, Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s aide-de-camp and favorite soldier.  She knew the Archduke and the last Emperor, Kaiser Karl.  As you entered her apartment, you saw two magnificent Renaissance chests, gifts to her father from the Archduke.  She could remember the picnics on the decks of Austrian battleships in the Adriatic.
The good Frau Baron was lively, funny, and a window into all that was lost.  She spoke six languages fluently.  She enjoyed high culture as only a truly educated person can.  One night as we were coming out of the Burgtheater she gestured dismissively to two statues and said, “Those are the monkeys who founded the republic.”
Now, we Americans live in a country where the monkeys seem to be running everything.  Our downward spiral accelerates.  Soon, education and cultural levels will be so low that no one will be able to understand the value of a place governed by Christian monarchy and devoted to the life of the mind.  But Hapsburg Vienna was such a place.  Until, on June 28, 1914, the world ended.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Censored by YouTube!

The below video from Pat Condell has been removed from YouTube. Thanks to the functions of what remains of the free market you may enjoy it (or not) here.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Killing for Fun and Pelf

—–Original Message—–
From: E
Sent: Monday, January 01, 2018 4:20 PM
Subject: war is a racket

Dear Dr. Block:
I applaud your proposal for a new peace with N. Korea. Unfortunately, I don’t believe it is possible because there is too much money to be made by those who are in the business of wars in far off lands. In the 1990’s I worked for a NASA lab that created a computer war game simulation. Every 6 months or so, I and dozens of others would travel to Seoul for wargames with the S. Koreans and Americans. I was there to monitor their computer networks, which were somewhat flakey. I spent 3 weeks at the US base in Seoul. This base is about 1×1 mile and has a hotel, several fancy restaurants, a bowling alley, football and baseball fields, etc. Since the on-base hotel was full, I was put up at the Hilton Hotel in a private room. All my expenses were paid for; I could ride a free bus from the hotel to the base, or hire a cab and be reimbursed. In addition to all this, I was also getting $105 CASH per diem, to spend on anything I wanted ­ or just save tax free. And that’s in 1990, when $105 was still a lot of dough. I had such a great time, I asked to be sent back.

However, instead they next sent me to Germany at a place called, get this: “The Warrior Preparation Center”. The networks there were much better and I didn’t need to do anything. I asked if I could go home early, but they said no and told me to just go have fun. I spent much of my time touring Europe in my rental car. Driving the Autobahn at 110 mph was quite an adventure. I was set up at a nice place that served free breakfast. At night, I would go to various fancy restaurants with my co-workers. I could also go onto the air-force base next store and buy gas for my car at 20% of the cost outside, thus saving my per diem for more enjoyable things. All this, of course, was on the taxpayer’s nickel. For this reason, I don’t think you will ever see peace in your time or even our children’s time. There simply is too much money to be made. As S. Butler said, “War is a racket”.

Regards, E

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ