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April 2018

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Libertopia 2018!

Greater Los Angeles Libertarian Party Meetup Group

Here's a message from the Organizers:

Hey there! I’m reaching out because I’m working with the Libertopia festival in San Diego coming up May 3-6th, and I thought your group might be interested in attending! So I’ve created a discount code, meetup10, for 10% of GA tickets :)

Libertopia is the celebration of all things peaceful and voluntary, and this year we have more than 80 speakers as well as live music, parties, and other events on liberty and blockchain-related topics. Speakers include Jeffrey Tucker of FEE, Jeff Deist of the Mises Institute, Rachel Goldsmith of the Free State Project, Josh Ellithrope of Coinbase, and more!

Get your tickets at https://libertopia.or... and use code meetup10 for 10% off!

Los Angeles, CA 90028 - USA

Thursday, May 3 at 7:00 PM

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https://www.meetup.com/LALibertarians/events/250197759/

Utley:”The Lies Behind America’s Interventions”

Official Washington and those associated with it have misrepresented the facts numerous times in the service of military actions that might not otherwise have taken place. In the Middle East, these interventions have killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Arab civilians, brought chaos to Iraq and Libya, and led to the expulsion of a million Christians from communities where they have lived since biblical times.

The most famous of these episodes, of course, was the U.S. government’s assurance to the world that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, which formed the basis for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. The government also insisted Saddam had ties to al-Qaeda, bolstering the call to war. Of course neither was true.

But even before that there was the first Iraq war in 1991, justified in part by the story of Iraqi soldiers reportedly dumping babies out of incubators to die in a Kuwaiti hospital. The 15-year-old daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador cleverly lied to a set-up congressional committee. The Christian Science Monitor detailed this bizarre episode in 2002.

There were also the lies about the Iraqi army being poised to invade Saudi Arabia. That was the ostensible reason for the U.S. sending troops to Kuwait—to defend Saudi Arabia. Writing in the the Los Angeles Times in 2003, Independent Institute fellow Victor Marshall pointed out that neither the CIA nor the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency viewed an Iraqi attack on Saudi Arabia as probable, and said the administration’s Iraqi troop estimates were “grossly exaggerated.” In fact, the administration’s claim that it had aerial photographs proving its assertions was never verified because, as we later learned, the photos never existed. The Christian Science Monitor also reported on this in 2002 ahead of the second Iraq war.

America attacked Iraq in 1991, bombing and destroying that nation’s irrigation, sanitation, and electricity plants. (See here regarding Washington’s knowledge of and planning for the horrific mass contamination of Iraqi drinking water.) Then we blockaded reconstruction supplies for nine years while some half-million children died of disease and starvation. We blamed it all on Saddam, although we controlled Iraq’s money flows through the UN food-for-oil program. Fortunately, we have a rare admission by Madeleine Albright on 60 Minutes about what was done.

fUll post by Jon Basil Utley@ The American Conservative http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-pretty-little-lies-behind-americas-interventions/

“The GOP’s Laughable Call for a Balanced Budget Amendment” by Barbara Boland

On the heels of an unpaid-for $1.3 trillion spending binge, House Republicans have announced they plan to—I’m not making this up—push for a balanced budget amendment (BBA) when they return from recess. This only proves there is no low to which the GOP will not stoop as it continues to insult the intelligence of its voter base.

The real strategy to pass a BBA, as happened with Obamacare, will most likely be to hold empty, meaningless roll call votes on measures that have no hope of passing and which the GOP has no plan to carry out. Then a Republican lawmaker can tell voters in the fall: “Look, we tried to do something about federal spending, but the Democrats voted against the balanced budget amendment.”

Here’s why the GOP’s move to prioritize BBAs should be perceived as the duplicitous pandering and vacuous virtue signaling that it is: first, there’s the timing. This gesture comes just after lawmakers from both parties passed a broad, two-year budget framework that blows up the budget caps imposed in 2011, and will lead to trillions in spending each and every year henceforth, with interest payments on the massive federal debt set to outpace the cost of the military and the cost of Medicaid in just eight years. Voting for gargantuan spending of this size and then claiming to support a balanced budget amendment is like gorging on a sumptuous feast while insisting that you want a svelte physique.

The other reason voters should not take the Republican call for a BBA seriously is that even in the best of times it is almost impossible to pass an amendment to the Constitution. A balanced-budget amendment would require the support of two-thirds majorities in both the House and the Senate, in addition to the backing of three quarters of the states. That’s an almost impossible lift, which is why only 27 amendments to the Constitution have ever been ratified.

Nevertheless, calls for BBAs have been popular since the 1980s, and gained particular steam from conservatives in 2010 with the Tea Party movement. The idea sounds deceptively simple: a balanced budget amendment would require that the government spend no more than it takes in during any given year.

But even if by some miracle one was ratified, a balanced budget amendment is a blunt instrument that wouldn’t necessarily be effective. That’s because during recessions and economic downturns, the government has to spend more on things like nutritional assistance and unemployment benefits. With a BBA in place, Congress would be unable to do so, resulting in something like sequestration on steroids.

Full column by Barbara Boland @ The American Conservative http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-gops-laughable-call-for-a-balanced-budget-amendment/