Tag Archives: Lyndon Johnson

Black America Before LBJ: How the Welfare State Inadvertently Helped Ruin Black Communities, from ammo.com

People get hooked on getting money they haven’t earned, and it ends up making victims of those from whom the money was taken and those to whom it was given. From ammo.com:

“We waged a war on poverty and poverty won.”

The dust has settled and the evidence is in: The 1960s Great Society and War on Poverty programs of President Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) have been a colossal and giant failure. One might make the argument that social welfare programs are the moral path for a modern government. They cannot, however, make the argument that these are in any way effective at alleviating poverty.

In fact, there is evidence that such aggressive programs might make generational poverty worse. While the notion of a “culture of dependence” is a bit of a cliché in conservative circles, there is evidence that this is indeed the case – that, consciously or not, the welfare state creates a culture where people receive benefits rather than seeking gainful employment or business ownership.

This is not a moral or even a value judgment against the people engaged in such a culture. Again, the claim is not that people “choose to be on welfare,” but simply that social welfare programs incentivize poverty, which has an impact on communities that has nothing to do with individual intent.

We are now over 50 years into the development of the Great Society and the War on Poverty. It is time to take stock in these programs from an objective and evidence-based perspective. When one does that, it is not only clear that the programs have been a failure, but also that they have disproportionately impacted the black community in the United States. The current state of dysfunction in the black community (astronomically high crime rates, very low rates of home ownership and single motherhood as the norm) are not the natural state of the black community in the United States, but closely tied to the role that social welfare programs play. Or as Dr. Thomas Sowell stated:

“If we wanted to be serious about evidence, we might compare where blacks stood a hundred years after the end of slavery with where they stood after 30 years of the liberal welfare state. In other words, we could compare hard evidence on “the legacy of slavery” with hard evidence on the legacy of liberals.”

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“The Fight Started When He Hit Me Back”, by Jeff Thomas

Political leaders are always trying to get the citizenry to go to war by claiming provocation by the other side. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

There’s an old joke about an adult asking two boys how a fight started between them and one boy responded as stated above.

When two children are involved, we might choose to lecture them both and possibly punish the one who instigated the fight. But when nations are guilty of the same behaviour, we tend to simply accept the rather absurd explanation as being reasonable.

Back in the 1950s, the US sought to establish a presence in Vietnam. First, “military advisors” were sent in, then armaments. But soon, US troops were added. When the US public objected to their country instigating a war halfway around the world, where it had no business being, President Johnson made the announcement that the destroyer USS Maddox had just been attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin.

As it turned out, the Maddox had sailed into the North Vietnamese harbour uninvited and began firing on North Vietnamese ships. The ships returned fire. Although only one bullet actually hit the Maddox, several North Vietnamese ships were damaged and Vietnamese sailors were killed.

President Johnson used this incident to convince the American people that North Vietnam had attacked a US ship and they needed to be taught a lesson. It was at that point that the US began the Vietnam War in earnest. It ended in defeat for the US, but not before over 1.3 million deaths were totted up.

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The Kennedy Autopsy 2, by Jacob G. Hornberger

Investigating the Kennedy Assassination and Warren Commission diversion are what wake up many people to the true nature of the American power structure. That’s reason enough to keep trying to uncover the full story. From Jacob Hornberger at fff.org:

Fifty-six years ago today, President John F. Kennedy was shot dead on the streets of Dallas, Texas. The official story is that a lone nut named Lee Harvey Oswald, without any motive, committed the assassination. During the past several decades, however, the overwhelming amount of circumstantial evidence, much of which was intentionally kept secret, points to a national-security regime-change operation to oust Kennedy from office and elevate Vice President Lyndon Johnson to the presidency.

A key to understanding the assassination lies in a critically important event that occurred after the assassination. That event was the official autopsy that was conducted on the president’s body. By understanding the autopsy, one can gain a better understanding of the assassination itself.

That was the purpose of my best-selling book several years ago, The Kennedy Autopsy, which was a synopsis of a watershed five-volume assassination book entitled Inside the Assassination Records Review Board by Douglas P. Horne, who was a staff member of the ARRB in the 1990s.

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American Pravda: the JFK Assassination, Part II – Who Did It? by Ron Unz

Ron Unz proposes a new potential suspect in the Kennedy assassination. From Unz at unz.com:

Part 1

A strong dam may hold back an immense quantity of water, but once it breaks the resulting flood may sweep aside everything in its path. I had spent nearly my entire life never doubting that a lone gunman named Lee Harvey Oswald killed President John F. Kennedy nor that a different lone gunman took the life of his younger brother Robert a few years later. Once I came to accept that these were merely fairy tales widely disbelieved by many of the same political elites who publicly maintained them, I began considering other aspects of this important history, the most obvious being who was behind the conspiracy and what were their motives.

On these questions, the passage of a half-century and the deaths, natural or otherwise, of nearly all the contemporary witnesses drastically reduces any hope of coming to a firm conclusion. At best, we can evaluate possibilities and plausibilities rather than high likelihoods let alone near certainties. And given the total absence of any hard evidence, our exploration of the origins of the assassination must necessarily rely upon cautious speculation.

From such a considerable distance in time, a bird’s-eye view may be a reasonable starting point, allowing us to focus on the few elements of the apparent conspiracy that seem reasonably well established. The most basic of these is the background of the individuals who appear to have been associated with the assassination, and the recent books by David Talbot and James W. Douglass effectively summarize much of the evidence accumulated over the decades by an army of diligent assassination researchers. Most of the apparent conspirators seem to have had strong ties to organized crime, the CIA, or various anti-Castro activist groups, with considerable overlap across these categories. Oswald himself certainly fit this same profile although he was very likely the mere “patsy” that he claimed to be, as did Jack Ruby, the man who quickly silenced him and whose ties to the criminal underworld were long and extensive.

To continue reading: American Pravda: the JFK Assassination, Part II – Who Did It?

Paternalistic Follies of the 1960s, by Richard M. Ebeling

For lovers of freedom and individualism in America, the 1960s were almost as bad as the 1930s. From Richard M. Ebeling at fff.com:

Fifty years separate us, now, from 1968 and the two momentous legacies of the then soon to ending failed presidency of Lyndon Johnson: The declaring of war on America’s supposed domestic ills in the form of the “Great Society” programs, and the aggressive military intervention in a real war in Vietnam. Both of these “wars” reflected the arrogance and hubris of the social engineer who believes that he has the power and ability to remake and direct society in his own preferred image.

The Vietnam War still leaves a searing memory of a military conflict ten thousand miles away from the United States, which went on for more than a decade, and at the cost of 55,000 American lives and at least one million casualties among the Vietnamese people. It was a war that tore the United States apart unlike any other armed conflict in American history other than the Civil War of the 1860s.

Hundreds of thousands of young men, not fortunate enough to have a college deferment, were conscripted into the U.S. Armed Forces and sent off to fight a war that at least half of the American people either did not support or did not understand, and which finally ended with one of the most humiliating defeats in American military history.

Vietnam: The Hubris of War Planning and Conflict Fine-Tuning

A part of the Vietnam War tragedy was due to the fact that it was managed by “the best and the brightest,” as David Halberstam called them in his well-known book with that title. These were the people within the Kennedy and Johnson administrations who orchestrated and escalated the war as the conflict progressed through the 1960s.

Halberstam referred to these war managers as the “whiz kids.” They believed that they had the theoretical and quantitative knowledge and ability to fine-tune a military conflict. By incremental “escalation,” they could bring to bear just enough pressure at vital points considered crucial to the enemy in North Vietnam. This would compel the appropriate response from the communist regime in Hanoi to assure that the conflict ended in an “acceptable” outcome.

To continue reading: Paternalistic Follies of the 1960s

The best thing Lyndon Johnson ever said, 10/31/1968:

Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.