Friday, February 11, 2005

Walter E. Williams: Not yours to give

Walter Williams writes:

"What about President Bush's $350 million commitment for earthquake and tsunami relief... ? Charity is reaching into one's own pockets to assist his fellow man in need. Reaching into someone else's pocket to assist one's fellow man hardly qualifies as charity. When done privately, we deem it theft, and the individual risks jail time...

"I'd like to ask President Bush and members of the 109th Congress whether they've discovered the constitutional authority for charitable expenditures undiscovered by James Madison, William Giles, Presidents Franklin Pierce and Grover Cleveland, and Davy Crockett...

"[T]he lion's share of the blame rests with 280 million Americans. Elected officials simply mirror public misunderstanding or contempt for constitutional principles. Tragically, adherence to the constitutional values of men like James Madison and Davy Crockett would spell political suicide in today's America."

Walter E. Williams: Not yours to give

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Thomas Sowell: Ending slavery

Thomas Sowell writes:

"It seems so obvious today that, as Lincoln said, if slavery is not wrong, then nothing is wrong. But no country anywhere believed that three centuries ago...

"Nothing could be more jolting and discordant with the vision of today's intellectuals than the fact that it was businessmen, devout religious leaders and Western imperialists who together destroyed slavery around the world. And if it doesn't fit their vision, it is the same to them as if it never happened...

"As anti-slavery ideas eventually spread throughout Western civilization, a worldwide struggle pitted the West against Africans, Arabs, Asians and virtually the entire non-Western world, which still saw nothing wrong with slavery. But Western imperialists had gunpowder weapons first and that enabled the West to stamp out slavery in other societies as well as in its own...

"It was a worldwide epic struggle, full of dramatic and sometimes violent episodes, along with inspiring stories of courage and dedication. But do not expect Hollywood to make a movie about anything so contrary to their vision of the world."

Thomas Sowell: Ending slavery

Iraq: Purple or Still Black and Blue?: Newsroom: The Independent Institute

Ivan Eland writes:

"When armed guerrillas roam the countryside, even a free and fair democratic vote may be irrelevant to the outcome. According to a New York Times article from 1967, the Johnson administration was pleased as punch then about an 83 percent voter turnout in South Vietnamese elections. We all know how that conflict turned out: the majority went to the polls and the armed minority eventually went to the halls of power.

"In Iraq, as in Vietnam, the key to peace and prosperity is to get the armed minority to cease committing acts of violence. To do that, the U.S. government must honestly examine why the Sunni insurgents are fighting. Instead, the president calls the rebels terrorists, criminals, and holdovers from Saddam’s regime. In fact, although some of them fall into those categories, experts agree that most are average Sunnis battling the perceived foreign occupier and fearing that any new Shiite government would exact reprisals for years of oppressive Sunni rule. The insurgency wouldn’t be nearly so effective without substantial support in the Sunni community.

"If the president and the Republican Congress really wanted to do the Iraqi people a favor—after authorizing an unneeded invasion, which caused widespread chaos and violence against Iraqis—they would abandon the illusion that merely allowing the Iraqis to vote will eventually make them free and prosperous."

Iraq: Purple or Still Black and Blue?: Newsroom: The Independent Institute

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Bullies and Their Pulpits - Mises Institute

P. Gardner Goldsmith writes:

"Bush has opted to put a government mask on private charity. The participants of the free market, though their money will be collected, will not be seen by those who are helped...

"The government of the United States will take the credit around the world...

"Of course, this is nothing new. In an abstract way, the US government has been taking credit for private international aid since the close of World War Two. When the federal Marshall Plan showered $1.7 billion in loans and direct aid on West Europe, it was heralded as a profound success. There was little mention that the money was expropriated from the citizens of America for an entirely unconstitutional program, and that the system actually worked to retard economic growth in the area... It... has been instrumental in creating a false impression in the minds of many Americans that if international help is needed, it must be done through the 'mighty' power of government...

"Government aid, be it direct financial aid, or below-market loans through quasi-governmental entities like the World Bank, can only exist at the expense of private citizens...

"There is no way that government aid can help rebuild a devastated economy as efficiently or as fast as private enterprise...

"It is the players in the free market, who risked their own capital, and now freely donate it to causes in which they believe, who ought to be seen around the world."

Bullies and Their Pulpits - Mises Institute

HUMAN EVENTS ONLINE :: Apply 'Ownership Society' to Government Schools by Terence P. Jeffrey

Terence Jeffrey writes:

"As in all socialist regimes, this one redistributes wealth in perverse ways. America's education bureaucracy takes money from working and middle class families who sacrifice to send their children to religious and private schools (because they prefer the values and perspectives taught there to those taught in government-owned schools) and spends it for the benefit of those rich families who don't mind sending their children to the government-owned schools in their neighborhoods.

"Parents who struggle to scrape together the tuition to send their children to religious and private schools are now doubly taxed--locally and federally--to support government-owned schools they do not like and do not use.

"When 'moderate' Bob Dole was the Republican presidential candidate in 1996, he ran on a platform calling for abolition of the federal Department of Education because the Constitution does not grant the federal government a role in primary and secondary education

"Conservatives in Congress should fight to kill Bush's new federal education spending plan and return to the principles of the Dole platform and the U.S. Constitution. If every American family cannot instantly be given sole ownership of their children's schooling, at least they shouldn't have to pay twice for the schools the government insists on owning."

HUMAN EVENTS ONLINE :: Apply 'Ownership Society' to Government Schools by Terence P. Jeffrey

Bush Reveals the Truth on Iraq :: PEJ News :: Features, Opinion and Analysis: Peace, Earth & Justice News

Kurt Nimmo writes:

"... the current political landscape of the Middle East is a result of American and European colonialism and direct and covert intervention in the political affairs of millions of Arabs for more than a hundred years. No mention of the fact that the borders of modern Iraq were not drawn by Iraqis, but an Oxford-educated “Arabist,” Gertrude Bell. No mention of the fact Britain spent forty years killing Iraqis, who resisted occupation from 1920 onward with the same ferocity they are now resisting the Americans. Not a word about Winston Churchill, who did “not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas” against “uncivilized tribes,” in other words Iraqis resisting occupation. No mention of the CIA’s role in the Ba’athist coup of 1961—that would result in Saddam Hussein’s brutal dictatorship—a coup the Ba’ath secretary-general at the time remarked upon as follows: “We came to power on a CIA train.” Certainly no mention of the fact Saddam Hussein “was part of a CIA-authorized six-man squad tasked with assassinating then Iraqi Prime Minister Gen. Abd al-Karim Qasim” in 1959, according to United Press International. If there are “hate-ridden psychologies” in the Muslim Middle East, they were sustained and magnified—indeed, imported—by Americans and Europeans..."

Bush Reveals the Truth on Iraq :: PEJ News :: Features, Opinion and Analysis: Peace, Earth & Justice News

Friday, February 04, 2005

To Whom Does the Bill of Rights Apply? by Harry Browne

Harry Browne writes:

"The important point is that the Constitution doesn't apply to Americans, it doesn't apply to citizens, it doesn't even apply to 'people.' It applies to the federal government. The body of the Constitution tells the federal government what it is allowed to do... The Bill of Rights tells the federal government what it is not allowed to do...

"[U]ntil a suspected 'terrorist' gets a fair and impartial trial, you don't know whether he is a terrorist. So even if you think non-citizen terrorists have no rights, how do you even know for sure that they are terrorists – or that they are non-citizens – until every facet of due process has been applied."

To Whom Does the Bill of Rights Apply? by Harry Browne

Campaign Launched Against Dietary Supplements by Bill Sardi

Bill Sardi writes:

"[A] concerted effort is being launched against dietary supplements. The obvious reason – don’t let the public discover dietary supplements as alternative to prescription drugs that can duplicate the biological action of most prescription medicines with far lower costs and side effects."

Campaign Launched Against Dietary Supplements by Bill Sardi

Thursday, February 03, 2005

WorldNetDaily: Man battles state over working sons

WorldNetDaily: Man battles state over working sons

Evolution vs. Creationism by Steve Farrell at

"... when we take a view of the universe, in its parts, general or particular, it is impossible for the human mind not to perceive and feel a conviction of design, consummate skill, and indefinite power in every atom of its composition...

"We see, too, evident proofs of the necessity of a superintending power, to maintain the universe in its course and order..."

"So irresistible are these evidences of an intelligent and powerful agent, that, of the infinite numbers of men who have existed through all time, they have believed, in the proportion of a million at least to unit, in the hypothesis of an eternal preexistence of a creator, rather than in that of a self-existent universe..."

Thomas Jefferson, 11 April 1823

Evolution vs. Creationism

Let's Look Within Ourselves for Iraq's WMD by Jacob G. Hornberger

Jacob G. Hornberger writes:

"Why were U.S. officials so certain that Saddam had WMD? Because they knew that the United States was one of the nations that had supplied them to him. The entire experience will ultimately go down as one of the biggest setups in history. Give a dictator WMD, encourage him to use them against others, and then invade his country for possessing them...

"But something went wrong along the way. What all the brilliant and calculating U.S. politicians and bureaucrats never figured on was that Saddam Hussein had already “disarmed”... that he could be telling the truth when he repeatedly told the world that he had, in fact, destroyed his WMD... that he might in fact have complied with the UN resolutions... that Saddam Hussein had in fact rid Iraq of the WMD that the United States and other Western nations had delivered to him during the 1980s.

"And so the principal justification for the invasion and war of aggression had to be shifted in the minds of the American people – to a supposed love for the Iraqi people, manifested by a need to “liberate” them, and to a purported devotion to “spreading democracy” in the Middle East, both of which could be achieved with a brutal war and military occupation that would kill upwards of a 100,000 Iraqi citizens, not to mention the tyranny and chaos that the war and occupation have produced...

"To do otherwise – to admit that tens of thousands of innocent people have been killed, maimed, tortured, sexually abused, and murdered as a result of a mistake or a lie is simply too painful, psychologically...

"After all, if love for the Iraqi people was the principal rationale for the war, then why the imposition and continuation of the brutal sanctions against the Iraqi people for some 11 years preceding the invasion? When it became increasingly clear that the sanctions were contributing to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children, wouldn’t people who were concerned about the well-being of the Iraqi people have called for the sanctions to be lifted? But they didn’t...

"... as the brutal effect of the sanctions imposed against Iraq increasingly became clear, year after brutal year, the U.S. response was to implement a deadly and corrupt new government policy on top of the old deadly and corrupt policy... the infamous “oil-for-food” program... a program that actually entrusted money to Saddam Hussein – the brutal dictator who we were told was refusing to disarm his WMD – in the supposed hope that he would use the money for the well-being of the Iraqi people. What a cruel joke...

"It is impossible to overstate the horrific consequences of an imperial foreign policy based on “regime change” that U.S. officials, especially those in the CIA, State Department, and the Pentagon, have wrought for the American people..."

Let's Look Within Ourselves for Iraq's WMD by Jacob G. Hornberger

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Tsunami and Abortion

J. Dominguez writes:

"The death toll of the Tsunami topped 150,000 today, about 50,000 children, the greatest natural tragedy in centuries.

"By abortion, 54 million children have been killed worldwide in the last year, over one million per week."

Tsunami and Abortion

No tsunami compares to U.S. abortion law -- The Herald Democrat

Jerome J. Jones writes:

"If we compare the Indonesian tsunami deaths to American abortion deaths, simple mathematics demonstrate it would take 300 Indonesian-size tsunamis to equal the death toll from 32 years of abortions in the United States of America."

The Herald Democrat

America, Iran, and Operation Ajax: The Burden of the Past by Steven LaTulippe

Steven LaTulippe writes:

"In essence, the United States [in 1953] had engaged in a massive covert operation designed to remove a democratically elected [Iranian] leader from power and reinstall an authoritarian monarch (a move which makes a mockery of our currently stated desire to 'spread democracy' in the Middle East)...

"If Mossadeq’s regime had been permitted to continue, it is entirely possible that Iran could have evolved into an authentic democracy. American interventionism destroyed that opportunity and set the stage for many of the tragedies currently haunting the Middle East...

"If America is ever to have even remotely cordial relations with Iran, we must accept responsibility for the terrible effects of Operation Ajax and admit that we had no right to intervene in a controversy that was wholly the business of the Iranian people...

"While the American public often quickly forgets the interventions and mischievous actions of its government, our overseas victims seldom do. The current climate of international terrorism should prompt the American people to take a more active interest, since these transgressions often come back to haunt us in the most unexpected ways."

America, Iran, and Operation Ajax: The Burden of the Past by Steven LaTulippe

Joel on Software - Who hires the top one percent?

Joel Spolsky writes:

"By the way, it's because of this phenomenon—the fact that many of the great people are never on the job market—that we are so aggressive about hiring summer interns. This may be the last time these kids ever show up on the open market. In fact we hunt down the smart CS students and individually beg them to apply for an internship with us, because if you wait around to see who sends you a resume, you're already missing out."

Joel on Software - Thursday, January 27, 2005