Monday, June 30, 2008

Congressman Ron Paul - Personal Freedoms and the Internet - Texas Straight Talk

Dr. Paul writes:

The most basic principle to being a free American is the notion that we as individuals are responsible for our own lives and decisions. We do not have the right to rob our neighbors to make up for our mistakes, neither does our neighbor have any right to tell us how to live, so long as we aren’t infringing on their rights. Freedom to make bad decisions is inherent in the freedom to make good ones. If we are only free to make good decisions, we are not really free.

Socialist ideologies blur this line between self reliance and government control because the mistakes of the individual are spread to everyone else. Thus the government becomes very interested in your decisions and way of life, with the justification that you could make a mistake others will have to pay for. The end result is, of course, that everyone loses...

I can assure you of this – once the government gains a foothold into regulating the internet, even for benevolent reasons, the wonders of the free internet will soon be a thing of the past. Parents, with modern day technology, are quite capable of monitoring their children’s internet activity. The internet must remain a government-free zone to maintain its integrity and usefulness to modern society, and that is something for which I will continue to fight.

Congressman Ron Paul - Personal Freedoms and the Internet - Texas Straight Talk

Deroy Murdock on Big Oil & Alternative Energy on National Review Online

Excellent perspective from Deroy Murdock in today's issue of "The Republic" (Columbus, Indiana).


But before Congress tars and feathers Big Oil CEOs for this alleged inaction, a simple question occurs: So what?

Where is it written that any industry must spend money to subvert its business model? Since when must any company plow scarce resources into helping consumers avoid its products? If enterprises now must meet this standard, the interesting possibilities are endless:


Deroy Murdock on Big Oil & Alternative Energy on National Review Online

America Is the Rogue Nation | War On You

Excerpts.


One gets the impression that there are some people in Washington who believe that Israel or the U.S. can bomb Iran’s nuclear reactors, fly home, and it will be mission complete.

It makes you wonder if perhaps there is a virus going around that is gradually making people stupid. If we or Israel attack Iran, we will have a new war on our hands. The Iranians are not going to shrug off an attack and say, “You naughty boys, you.”

Consider how much trouble Iraq has given us. Some 4,000 dead and 29,000 wounded, a half a trillion dollars in cost and still climbing, and five years later, we cannot say that the country is pacified.

Iraq is a small country compared with Iran...

So, if you think we or Israel can attack Iran and not expect retaliation, I’d have to say with regret that you are a moron. If you think we could easily handle Iran in an all-out war, I’d have to promote you to idiot.

Attacking Iran would be folly, but we seem to be living in the Age of Folly...

For some years now, I’ve worried that we seem to be more and more like Colonial England – arrogant, racist, overestimating our own capacity and underestimating that of our enemies. As the fate of the British Empire demonstrates, that is a fatal flaw...

Exactly how the Iranians will respond to an attack, I don’t know, but they will respond. In keeping with our present policy, our attack on Iran would be illegal, since under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.

Who would have thought that we would become the rogue nation committing acts of aggression around the globe?


America Is the Rogue Nation | War On You

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Governments world wide claim citizens have no rights to film in public | Daily Newscaster

Interesting and disturbing footage.

Governments world wide claim citizens have no rights to film in public | Daily Newscaster

“Homeschoolers are only good for cleaning toilets”

"Is it any wonder that the judicial numbskulls in California and the new fascists in Germany are trying to wipe out homeschooling? They fear its superior product and how it makes public (government) education look so bad, especially when the cost of educating a student is factored in. While homeschooling has a great academic track record (also see here and here), enough so that some of the best colleges in the nation recruit homeschoolers, one of its greatest social benefits is its demonstration of true liberty. Liberals love to talk about freedom of choice as long as that freedom does not include the freedom to educate their own children. It would have been OK to kill the child while he was still in his mother’s womb, but once he’s born, he belongs to the State and its educational hacks."

“Homeschoolers are only good for cleaning toilets”

War and Inflation by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

"It comes down to this. If you hate war, oppose the Fed. If you hate violations of your liberties, oppose the Fed. If you want to restrain despotism, restrain the Fed. If you want to secure freedom for yourself and your descendants, abolish the Fed."

War and Inflation by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

It's Not Exactly a National Emergency by Don Bacon

These are the fourteen US "national emergencies" that George W. Bush has annually renewed with his signature within the past year, without a peep from Congress. Now obviously these are not truly national emergencies. They are fakes, dictated by a phony President, acceded to by a rubber-stamp Congress and abetted by a dictator-loving Supreme Court. The United States is in no way extraordinarily threatened by the Government of Sudan. But these Presidential decrees do have some purposes, don't they? First, they are ploys to give the US government some power it wouldn't ordinarily have. Secondly, they are meant to frighten US citizens about terrorism, among other things. (Terror means fright and the goal of terrorists is to frighten, so what does that tell you?) Thirdly, they might provide a President, a "Decider," some basis for military or other action against US citizens. Okay, not under a Balkans or Liberian "national emergency," but how about WMD or terrorism? Or Iran?

It's Not Exactly a National Emergency by Don Bacon

The Superfluous Man: Shut up and enjoy your freedom of speech!

"I've frequently noticed that free speech is often used as a legitimizing tool for the government, in much the same way that democracy is; as long as you have free speech, you are supposedly still “free” and have nothing to really object to. (The fact that this defends the right most valuable to academics, journalists, artists, etc. while denigrating every other right is almost certainly not a coincidence. If you start thinking about left-wing statism as an expression of the interests of the intellectual/opinion-shaping class, it starts making a lot more sense.) No matter how utterly oppressed you are, it’s not really oppression or injustice as long as you have the right to bitch about it- and you shouldn’t bitch about it, because the fact that you still have the right to do so proves that you have no cause for serious complaint. Thus, people can declare that freedom is precious- and something we ought to be grateful to our rulers for providing- while pushing a concept of “freedom” that is utterly empty. If people buy it, as many do, they’ll ignore the loss of meaningful freedom to actually govern their own lives, and instead babble endlessly about how precious the mess of pottage they’ve been given as a replacement is."

The Superfluous Man: Shut up and enjoy your freedom of speech!

SchansBlog: how Bush sold the war (an insider's view-- no, not McClellan's!)

"Before the war, administration officials said that success would mean an Iraq that no longer threatened important U.S. interests – that did not support terrorism, aspire to WMD, threaten its neighbors, or conduct mass murder. But from the fall of 2003 on, the president defined success as stable democracy in Iraq."

"This was a public affairs decision that has had enormous strategic consequences for American support for the war. The new formula fails to connect the Iraq war directly to U.S. interests. It causes many Americans to question why we should be investing so much blood and treasure for Iraqis. And many Americans doubt that the new aim is realistic – that stable democracy can be achieved in Iraq in the foreseeable future...."

SchansBlog: how Bush sold the war (an insider's view-- no, not McClellan's!)

SchansBlog: more on the GOP falling apart...

Senator Tom Coburn says of the GOP:

"Unfortunately, too many in our party are not yet ready to return to the path of limited government. Instead, we are being told our message must be deficient because, after all, we should be winning in certain areas just by being Republicans. Yet being a Republican isn't good enough anymore. Voters are tired of buying a GOP package and finding a big-government liberal agenda inside. What we need is not new advertising, but truth in advertising."

SchansBlog: more on the GOP falling apart...

SchansBlog: you go, girl!

"You're an adult," said Miss Bell. "You had that choice....Sometimes people need to think before they act."...

SchansBlog: you go, girl!

Online Books :: Mises Institute

Here is a treasury of great reading for the download.

Online Books :: Mises Institute

Founding Fathers

Another good link from StumbleUpon.com.

Founding Fathers

The Forbidden Library: Banned and Challenged Books

Good link from "StumbleUpon".

Welcome to StumbleUpon

"Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear."
-- Harry S. Truman, message to Congress, August 8, 1950

The Forbidden Library: Banned and Challenged Books

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Not Tax-Funded Aid to Myanmar - Laurence M. Vance - Mises Institute

I agree with Laurence M. Vance's perspective that the U.S. government should get out of the foreign aid business. Mr. Vance writes:


The destruction and suffering in Myanmar from the recent killer cyclone is incalculable... The real question, however, is not how much aid the United States should give to Myanmar, but whether the United States should give aid to Myanmar in the first place...

The answer to the question depends on what is meant by the United States. If the United States refers to the government of the United States then the answer is no. If the United States refers to the people of the United States then the answer is perhaps...

But whether it is termed disaster relief or food relief, it is still foreign aid funded by the forced looting of American taxpayers and given to countries that most Americans can't locate on a map and in many cases have never even heard of.

According to the latest Congressional Research Office... the federal government provides some form of foreign assistance to over 150 countries... The United States is the largest international economic aid donor...

But regardless of the amount or the percentage, foreign-aid spending by the US government is only made possible because billions of dollars have been confiscated from American taxpayers. If the government sent all the households in America a list of all the countries in the world with a request to check off each country they wanted to help and the dollar amount they wanted to send to each, I suspect that very few Americans would comply — especially if they had to enclose a check to pay for it.

The US government has no business providing disaster relief to Myanmar, food relief to poor countries, or humanitarian aid of any kind. The purpose of government is supposed to be to protect the lives, liberties, and properties of the people who form it. The fact that all governments eventually deviate from their stated purpose is irrelevant...

There was a time in this country when it was recognized to be improper for the federal government to provide humanitarian relief even within the United States. President Grover Cleveland vetoed a bill in 1887 that would have provided seed for farmers in drought-stricken Texas. In his veto message, he wrote that aid from Washington only "encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character." The Texas farmers ended up getting ten times as much in private assistance as they would have received from Uncle Sam.

Although any American is certainly welcome to contribute to the relief effort in Myanmar, no one should be forced to do so via his taxes or otherwise. It is a myth that there would not be sufficient aid to Myanmar without the government being involved in some way... There is no doubt in my mind that Americans will give liberally to alleviate the suffering of the people of Myanmar. Many have done so already through donations to various relief agencies. But whether Americans give or don't give, it is still the case that it should be the decision of each individual American.

The case of Myanmar is a test of one's commitment to the freedom philosophy. A free society includes the freedom to be unconcerned, insensitive, or stingy. If the forced looting of the taxpayers for foreign-aid payments has always been wrong, then — cyclone or no cyclone — it is just as wrong now.


Not Tax-Funded Aid to Myanmar - Laurence M. Vance - Mises Institute

SchansBlog: Survey USA poll results on Hill, Sodrel and Schansberg

Interesting report on Indiana 9th district race.

SchansBlog: Survey USA poll results on Hill, Sodrel and me

Don’t Invade Zimbabwe

Excellent recommendations by Jacob Hornberger.


The situation in Zimbabwe provides an excellent example of how U.S. foreign policy should operate all over the world.

What should the U.S. government do in this horrific situation? Should it invade and occupy Zimbabwe? Should it attempt a regime-change operation? Should it assassinate Mugabe? Should it impose sanctions and embargos? Should it buy Mugabe off with foreign aid?

The answer is: None of the above. It is no more business of the U.S. government to intervene in the affairs of Zimbabwe, no matter how horrible conditions are there, then it is for, say, the Swiss government to do so.

Is there anything the United States can do to help people in Zimbabwe? Yes. Here are some ways:

1. Americans should be free to travel to Zimbabwe and do whatever they want to support Mugabe’s opposition, including armed revolution if it comes to that. What such Americans should not be permitted to do is enlist the U.S. government to come to their aid. They must take individual responsibility for their convictions and actions.

2. Americans should be free to send money and other aid to people in Zimbabwe on a purely voluntary basis. They should not be permitted to enlist the taxing power of the U.S. government to assist them with foreign aid.

3. Americans should be free to engage in economic activity with Zimbabweans. No sanctions or embargoes. Building up the economic base of the private sector is one of the most effective tools against tyranny.

4. In a larger context, Americans should be devoting their efforts to establishing a model free society here at home to serve as an example to the people of Zimbabwe and the rest of the world. This would include the end of such things as kidnapping, torture, militarism, rendition, and military tribunals at the hands of the U.S. government and the complete restoration of such principles as due process of law, right to counsel, habeas corpus, right to confront witnesses, and trial by jury. It would also include the complete restoration of economic liberty to the American people.

5. In a similarly larger context, Americans should restore their heritage of open borders, which would send a message to the world that the beacon in the Statue of Liberty has been relit, sending forth its light to people all over the world, especially those suffering tyranny, oppression, or starvation. The message would be: “We will not permit our government to come and save you with soldiers, bombs, missiles, and bullets, which would kill and maim hundreds of thousands of you. Instead, you should know that if you are able and willing to escape your plight, there is at least one nation to which you can come that will not force you to return.”

Given the interventionist debacle in Iraq, which has killed and maimed thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, fortunately there are few Americans who are calling on the U.S. government to invade and occupy Zimbabwe, despite the lack of democracy in that nation. The same holds true, of course, for such nations as Vietnam, North Korea, and China, where there is a lack of democracy and a willingness among Americans to live with that fact.

The same policy of nonintervention (i.e., no invasion, occupation, or assassination) that Americans embrace for Vietnam, North Korea, China, and Zimbabwe should be applied to every country on earth. The time has come for the American people to end the U.S. government’s role as the world’s international policeman and welfare provider, a role that inevitably only makes a bad situation worse.

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.


MWC News - A Site Without Borders - - Don’t Invade Zimbabwe

Supreme Court rules in favor of gun ownership rights - Yahoo! News

Great news for the right to self-defense in Washington, DC.

Supreme Court rules in favor of gun ownership rights - Yahoo! News

What the Government Knows About Cannabis and Cancer – and Isn't Telling You by Paul Armentano

"So what lesson can be learned from the two studies above (aside from the fact that our government has no interest in investigating the health of ordinary cannabis consumers)? It’s that pot, like alcohol, is best consumed in moderation, and that pot prohibition – even when compared to the excessive use of the drug itself – still poses the greatest threat to health."

What the Government Knows About Cannabis and Cancer – and Isn't Telling You by Paul Armentano

Do Threats Make You Nervous? by Don Bacon

My tax dollars at work again. Sigh.


So while there is no threat, the country is at war and the threat level is "elevated" even though there is no threat which means that your car can be "nearly stripped" and you can be "detained" if you have a "nervous demeanor." But you have no reason to be nervous if there is no threat, even though the threat level is "elevated."

You can't make this stuff up, and it bears repeating: "As war and government prove, insanity is the most contagious of diseases." ~ Edward Abbey


Do Threats Make You Nervous? by Don Bacon

GETLIBERTY.ORG | The Future of our Bureaucracy is at Stake

Hat tip to Kim du Toit.

The Other Side of Kim du Toit

"Across the nation, homeschoolers have demonstrated academic proficiency above that of their public-schooled peers — and that those results are independent of parental credentials. Thus it becomes clear that any opposition to allowing “uncredentialed” parents to homeschool is based purely on ideological motives, not with the child’s best interests in mind.

ALG Perspective: This case is a brilliant example of the utter stupidity of judicial activism. Homeschoolers have a solid track record of well-above average performance nationally, and are fitting into society just as well as their public schooled peers. For the state to attempt to deny parents the right to homeschool is laughable, if it were not such a threat to their rights.

The real motives of those who oppose homeschooling are to perpetuate the government education bureaucracy and support the teaching unions, not to promote the education of our children."

GETLIBERTY.ORG | The Future of our Bureaucracy is at Stake

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How to Do What You Love

Some good food for thought here.

How to Do What You Love

Anti-Positivist: Leno on WMD

"According to a Pentagon report this week, more than 1,000 nuclear missile components in the U.S. arsenal are lost and cannot be located. We can't even find our own weapons of mass destruction! Anyway, the Air Force, in their defense ... said today, there's a big difference between something being missing and just not being able to find it. Which would be okay if you're talking about a pair of lost sunglasses.

— Jay Leno, The Tonight Show"

Anti-Positivist: Leno on WMD

Price Controls Create Man-Made Disasters - Art Carden - Mises Institute

"Economic critiques of price controls are well worn. Nonetheless, these simple points bear repeating over and over again because price controls after natural disasters are so popular. The economic critique is more than an academic exercise or an attempt to apologize for the unscrupulous, as some critics maintain. Price controls have very real human costs. Some of these costs are quite apparent and some are harder to see. To the extent that they are attributable to price controls, though, they are avoidable."

Price Controls Create Man-Made Disasters - Art Carden - Mises Institute

The Yellow Press by William S. Lind

"The fact of the matter is, the whole NATO/American effort in Afghanistan is circling the drain. The American papers should be full of in-depth, multi-sourced stories about the war there. A friend just back from Britain reports that the British press is full of just such stories. In one recent ten-day period, the Brits lost nine soldiers killed, including their first woman. Was that reported anywhere in the U.S. press?"

The Yellow Press by William S. Lind

Morality – Trotskyite vs. Christian by Patrick J. Buchanan

Good perspective on World War II war crimes and criminals.

Morality – Trotskyite vs. Christian by Patrick J. Buchanan

Statement on FISA by Ron Paul

Excellent statement on HR 6304, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments before the US House of Representatives, June 20, 2008

Unfortunately, my U.S. Representative, Mike Pence, voted for this violation of the Fourth Amendment rights of his constituents.

"Mr. Speaker, I regret that due to the unexpected last-minute appearance of this measure on the legislative calendar this week, a prior commitment has prevented me from voting on the FISA amendments. I have strongly opposed every previous FISA overhaul attempt and I certainly would have voted against this one as well.

The main reason I oppose this latest version is that it still clearly violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution by allowing the federal government to engage in the bulk collection of American citizens’ communications without a search warrant. That US citizens can have their private communication intercepted by the government without a search warrant is anti-American, deeply disturbing, and completely unacceptable.

In addition to gutting the fourth amendment, this measure will deprive Americans who have had their rights violated by telecommunication companies involved in the Administration’s illegal wiretapping program the right to seek redress in the courts for the wrongs committed against them. Worse, this measure provides for retroactive immunity, whereby individuals or organizations that broke the law as it existed are granted immunity for prior illegal actions once the law has been changed. Ex post facto laws have long been considered anathema in free societies under rule of law. Our Founding Fathers recognized this, including in Article I section 9 of the Constitution that “No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.” How is this FISA bill not a variation of ex post facto? That alone should give pause to supporters of this measure.

Mr. Speaker, we should understand that decimating the protections that our Constitution provides us against the government is far more dangerous to the future of this country than whatever external threats may exist. We can protect this country without violating the Constitution and I urge my colleagues to reconsider their support for this measure."

Statement on FISA by Ron Paul

Lawyers versus Free Speech by Vaughn Treude

Good analysis.

"All things considered, the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better. The ideals of free choice and individual responsibility are dead, as far as the media is concerned. Cycling, skiing, horseback-riding, skating – all these moderately risky activities Americans have enjoyed for generations – will come under the helmet mandate, first in the media and then in real life. For the time being, I can still, as a private individual, legally ride bike without a helmet – but I'd better not advertise that fact."

Lawyers versus Free Speech by Vaughn Treude

Get a bike helmet to get ahead - or maybe not - Telegraph

Good commentary from across the pond. I think my daughters will like it. They have a rebellious streak. Personally, no one wore helmets when I starting riding bikes in the 1960s, but I don't miss those days now that inexpensive helmets are available to help us cut our risk. Same thing with seat belts.

However, I don't think government should be telling us we must wear them.

Hat tip to Vaughn Treude at LewRockwell.com.

Lawyers versus Free Speech by Vaughn Treude



We need to be clear about the trade-off. The price of liberty is a small but appreciable loss of security; the price of security is a loss of liberty. In the case of the 42 days, the increase in security is obviously too small to justify the loss of a freedom such as habeas corpus.

As for cycle helmets, we should be allowed, in our muddled way, to make up our own minds. Sometimes we will go for hatless, sun-blessed, windswept liberty; sometimes for helmeted security.

The important thing is that we assess the risk, we make the decision, and be it on our own heads - or, in the case of my helmet, sometimes not.


Get a bike helmet to get ahead - or maybe not - Telegraph

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Isaiah's Job - Albert Jay Nock - Mises Institute

Albert Jay Nock wrote:


Why, if all that were so — if the enterprise were to be a failure from the start — was there any sense in starting it? "Ah," the Lord said, "you do not get the point. There is a Remnant there that you know nothing about. They are obscure, unorganized, inarticulate, each one rubbing along as best he can. They need to be encouraged and braced up because when everything has gone completely to the dogs, they are the ones who will come back and build up a new society; and meanwhile, your preaching will reassure them and keep them hanging on. Your job is to take care of the Remnant, so be off now and set about it..."

The mass man is one who has neither the force of intellect to apprehend the principles issuing in what we know as the humane life, nor the force of character to adhere to those principles steadily and strictly as laws of conduct; and because such people make up the great and overwhelming majority of mankind, they are called collectively the masses...

The Remnant are those who by force of intellect are able to apprehend these principles, and by force of character are able, at least measurably, to cleave to them. The masses are those who are unable to do either...

If a prophet were not too particular about making money out of his mission or getting a dubious sort of notoriety out of it, the foregoing considerations would lead one to say that serving the Remnant looks like a good job. An assignment that you can really put your back into, and do your best without thinking about results, is a real job; whereas serving the masses is at best only half a job, considering the inexorable conditions that the masses impose upon their servants...

The Remnant, on the other hand, want only the best you have, whatever that may be. Give them that, and they are satisfied; you have nothing more to worry about. The prophet of the American masses must aim consciously at the lowest common denominator of intellect, taste, and character among 120,000,000 people; and this is a distressing task. The prophet of the Remnant, on the contrary, is in the enviable position of Papa Haydn in the household of Prince Esterhazy. All Haydn had to do was keep forking out the very best music he knew how to produce, knowing it would be understood and appreciated by those for whom he produced it, and caring not a button what anyone else thought of it — and that makes a good job...

... in any given society the Remnant are always so largely an unknown quantity. You do not know, and will never know, more than two things about them. You can be sure of those — dead sure, as our phrase is — but you will never be able to make even a respectable guess at anything else. You do not know, and will never know, who the Remnant are, nor what they are doing or will do. Two things you do know, and no more: First, that they exist; second, that they will find you.


[ Sounds like the writers of "The Matrix" have read some Nock. ]


if Elijah the Prophet could not make a closer guess on the number of the Remnant than he made when he missed it by 7,000, anyone else who tackled the problem would only waste his time...

The other certainty which the prophet of the Remnant may always have is that the Remnant will find him...


Isaiah's Job - Albert Jay Nock - Mises Institute

Why Be Libertarian? - Murray N. Rothbard - Mises Institute

Murray Rothbard wrote:



In the field of justice, man's will is all; men can move mountains, if only men so decide. A passion for instantaneous justice — in short, a radical passion — is therefore not utopian, as would be a desire for the instant elimination of poverty or the instant transformation of everyone into a concert pianist. For instant justice could be achieved if enough people so willed...

The true test, then, of the radical spirit, is the button-pushing test: if we could push the button for instantaneous abolition of unjust invasions of liberty, would we do it? If we would not do it, we could scarcely call ourselves libertarians, and most of us would only do it if primarily guided by a passion for justice...

The genuine libertarian, then, is, in all senses of the word, an "abolitionist"; he would, if he could, abolish instantaneously all invasions of liberty, whether it be, in the original coining of the term, slavery, or whether it be the manifold other instances of State oppression. He would, in the words of another libertarian in a similar connection, "blister my thumb pushing that button!"...

The libertarian goals are "realistic" in the sense that they could be achieved if enough people agreed on their desirability, and that, if achieved, they would bring about a far better world. The "realism" of the goal can only be challenged by a critique of the goal itself, not in the problem of how to attain it. Then, after we have decided on the goal, we face the entirely separate strategic question of how to attain that goal as rapidly as possible, how to build a movement to attain it, etc...

Actually, in the realm of the strategic, raising the banner of pure and radical principle is generally the fastest way of arriving at radical goals. For if the pure goal is never brought to the fore, there will never be any momentum developed for driving toward it...

Upon being reproached for the habitual severity and heat of his language, Garrison retorted: "I have need to be all on fire, for I have mountains of ice about me to melt." It is this spirit that must mark the man truly dedicated to the cause of liberty.


Why Be Libertarian? - Murray N. Rothbard - Mises Institute

Should Age Discrimination Be Legal? - Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. - Mises Institute

"Imagine if the state said that you may not quit your job on grounds that you dislike your boss's age, race, religion, or sex. If that is your reason, you must stay working there. We would all recognize that this is a case of involuntary servitude. It is an attack on freedom. So why do we not see that it is the same with the employer?

Under freedom, if an employer decides, for no good reason, that employees should not be older than 40, that is his judgment. If it is a bad decision, the competition will gain an edge by hiring the people who have been passed over.

A final point about the employee. Would you want to work for a company that doesn't really want you there, that is only maintaining your job for fear of the bureaucrat? That is not a prescription for a happy life. The happy life comes through permitting maximum freedom to associate and choose — a freedom that applies to everyone and under all circumstances, without exception."

Should Age Discrimination Be Legal? - Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. - Mises Institute

Who's to Say What's Right or Wrong?

Interesting propositions by Richard Sharvy. I agree with some of them that I thought I would not.

Richard Sharvy: Obituary

Hat tip to Mises Economic Blog.

Mises Economics Blog


Mr. Sharvy wrote:


Philosophers know many things about right and wrong that most other people do not know. Here are some examples of things that we know:

(F1) Women do not have the right to do whatever they choose with their own bodies.

(F2) There is no right to life.

(F9) The fact that something is illegal does not make it wrong.

(F10) Doing something wrong is not the same thing as wronging someone.

Jesus is not forbidding us to defend ourselves when attacked; he is urging us to ignore insults and to foreswear revenge. His command comes in the specific context of an injunction against revenge and retaliation...

A justified blow struck in self-defense is not wrong; it does not violate the attacker's rights...

People want to avoid making decisions; they want to avoid responsibility. People are afraid of being blamed for a bad decision; they do not expect to be given credit for a good decision. At work, they have a set of rules, and if they follow those rules, they feel that they are safe from being blamed, scolded, demoted, or fired. "I know it's stupid, but it's the policy" feels safe...
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Who's to Say What's Right or Wrong?v

2nd Amendment Patriot Update: Victory for Gun Owners in South Bend! -- HoosierAccess

Good news for my former home town (1987 to 1992).

HoosierAccess » Blog Archive » 2nd Amendment Patriot Update: Victory for Gun Owners in South Bend!

One man auctions off his entire life to start fresh : Christopher Null : Yahoo! Tech

Interesting.

One man auctions off his entire life to start fresh : Christopher Null : Yahoo! Tech

Good kids, Bad kids - Mises Economics Blog

"a state of freedom and justice leads to excellence all around. Those with good behavior enjoy reward and those who behave badly must languish in their low status and incompetence. They must suffer as those with good behavior excel in all ways."

Good kids, Bad kids - Mises Economics Blog

Scalia Cites False Information in Habeas Corpus Dissent -- MWC News - A Site Without Borders

To bolster his argument that the Guantánamo detainees should be denied the right to prove their innocence in federal courts, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his dissent in Boumediene v. Bush: "At least 30 of those prisoners hitherto released from Guantánamo have returned to the battlefield." It turns out that statement is false.

MWC News - A Site Without Borders - - Scalia Cites False Information in Habeas Corpus Dissent

why the gun is civilization -- the munchkin wrangler

Hat tip to Wilton D. Alston at "The New American".

Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You: Prison | The New American

"When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation...and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act."

the munchkin wrangler.: why the gun is civilization.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The cops came, searched and left a mess for puzzled homeowner | War On You

Philadelphia tax dollars at "work". What an outrage.

The cops came, searched and left a mess for puzzled homeowner | War On You

A Totally Lawless Regime by Paul Craig Roberts

"If a Democratic House of Representatives will pass a retroactive law in order to legalize the criminal violations of a Republican regime, the same House will pass a retroactive law making illegal what you did legally yesterday. No one is any longer safe in America. By abandoning the US Constitution, Republicans and Democrats have made America as potentially unsafe as Zimbabwe for anyone who takes exception to the government."

A Totally Lawless Regime by Paul Craig Roberts

Fear Pols, Don't Let Them Scare You by Steven Greenhut

Steven Greenhut writes:


America's big problem is the rapid, unstoppable expansion of government at every level. This isn't just a problem of affordability – as in making sure there are sufficient tax dollars to sustain the growth. It's a problem of liberty. The bigger government gets, the more it extinguishes the choices made by individuals. We all enjoy fewer freedoms as regulation grows, the number of government agents expands, taxes increase, programs grow, wars continue and laws proliferate. It's as simple as that...

For those of us still more concerned about being free rather than coddled, the best advice is to resist all the fear-mongering, regardless of whether it is Republican fear-mongering or Democratic fear-mongering. Both parties are toxic these days, and neither one values liberty as an end in and of itself...

A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have...

Be scared – but of your own government, not of whatever it is officials are selling. Be leery of officials at every level, whether it's a local redevelopment director telling you that it's OK to take someone's property to wipe out "blight" (based on whatever broad and debatable definition the director offers), or a secretary of state telling you that the government needs to suspend habeas corpus to battle terrorists, real or not.

But perhaps H.L. Mencken said it best: "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."...

Just remember that government always is about coercion – whether the promises are uttered by a likable and uplifting candidate who offers change or by a crusty old war hero who promises whatever it is he is promising this week. Fear them, but don't let them scare you.


Fear Pols, Don't Let Them Scare You by Steven Greenhut

TIME for Socialism - Thomas J. DiLorenzo - Mises Institute

What Time's "fix" involves is essentially the Sweden-ization of America, where the average working family would be handing over 65–70 percent of its earnings to government bureaucrats, with regulation-induced price increases eating up perhaps another ten percentage points. This all needs to be done at the very beginning of the next administration, moreover, for "putting off change won't be an option much longer." It is a perfect recipe for impoverishing America.

TIME for Socialism - Thomas J. DiLorenzo - Mises Institute

Great live bluegrass at Bean Blossom

Well, I got my fill of great live bluegrass music at at Bean Blossom, Indiana this week.

My wife and youngest daughter and I attended the last three days of the 8-day Bill Monroe Memorial Festival Thursday through Saturday.

Some of the highlights for me were hearing Matt Leadbetter (Phil's son) on dobro with Marty Raybon, Daily & Vincent, Cherryholmes, Alecia Nugent (with Steve Huber on banjo and Thomas Whyrot on guitar), Tim Graves on dobro with Bobby Osborne, and The Seldom Scene band.

This was my first time to see Daily & Vincent, Alecia Nugent, and The Seldom Scene live.

In other news, it was also my first time to see the legendary Ralph Stanley live. It's kind of heretical to say this in bluegrass circles, but there are a lot of bluegrass artists I like better than Dr. Stanley.


As a musical bonus Thursday evening, I attended the flood benefit at the Indigo hotel in Columbus and got to hear Barney Quick on jazz guitar with my neighbor Robert Haysmith on bass and also Tim Grimm with his wife and son. Tim did some great singing and guitar picking.

This was my first time to hear both Barney and Tim and I look forward to hearing more of both in the future.

Bill Starr
Mon, 23 Jun 2008, 12:23 am EDT

Friday, June 20, 2008

Federal Aid - Indiana

I like it. I think my grandfather's brother, Monroe Starr, served as a state representative from Connersville in this session.

INDIANA needs no guardian and intends to have none. We Hoosiers -- like the people of our sister states -- were fooled for quite a spell with the magician's trick that a dollar taxed out of our pockets and sent to Washington, will be bigger when it comes back to us. We have taken a good look at said dollar. We find that it lost weight in its journey to Washington and back. The political brokerage of the bureaucrats has been deducted. We have decided that there is no such thing as "federal" aid. We know that there is no wealth to tax that is not already within the boundaries of the 48 states...

Federal Aid - Indiana

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Townhall.com::Legalize All Drugs::By John Stossel

Excellent arguments for drug legalization by John Stossel.

"in a free country, adults should have the right to harm themselves."

Townhall.com::Legalize All Drugs::By John Stossel

So-Called, Quote, Candidate McCain

"Sounds like what people have said about his meanness is true. He can’t seem to oppose a policy or a person without denigrating them using of language of ridicule."

The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » So-Called, Quote, Candidate McCain

FBI & Homeland Security behind martial law exercises in Indianapolis | Daily Newscaster

D.H. Williams writes regarding the U.S. Marines / FBI / Homeland Security martial law exercises in Indianapolis:


The preponderance of the evidence strongly suggest that the Marines in Indianapolis are being prepared for civilian law enforcement functions in direct violation of Posse Comitatus which prohibits federal troops from exercising state law enforcement police or peace officer powers to maintain “law and order” on non-federal property. I suspect most of the Marines in the 26th are not even aware of their role in this joint law enforcement exercises. Neither the Marines nor Indiana police have been briefed on the significance of the Posse Comitatus Act...

[I]t is the military veterans of this nation who are sounding the alarm as rogue elements within our government have decided to Cross the Rubicon misusing the relationship between the public and U. S. Armed Forces to desensitize military and law enforcement personnel and encourage them to accept what was once considered unacceptable...

The ultimate mission of the Marine Corps is to protect and defend The Constitution, not to practice waging war against America.


FBI & Homeland Security behind martial law exercises in Indianapolis | Daily Newscaster: "The ultimate mission of the Marine Corps is to protect and defend The Constitution, not to practice waging war against America."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Gov. Napolitano Approves Prohibition on Real ID (ARIZONA) | War On You

Good for Arizona! Are you watching, Hoosier legislators?

Gov. Napolitano Approves Prohibition on Real ID (ARIZONA) | War On You

Waterboarding in American History: Using the “Water Cure” in the Philippines 1898

Sad history.

Psyche, Science, and Society » The “Water Cure” as a cure for unruly “natives” in the Philippines

Regulating Us to Death | The New American

Selwyn Duke writes:


Simply put, when you don’t believe in an afterlife — in a spiritual world — you often become obsessed with staying in this world as long as possible. I believe this breeds a deep-seated fear of injury and death and at least partially explains our safety-freak mentality. Jesus said, "And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell." Without a belief in the soul, the body is all there is. And then the sins against it — smoking, drinking, etc. — become mortal.


Regulating Us to Death | The New American

Ordinance could ban guns on all South Bend city property

Here's some folly.

Ordinance could ban guns on all South Bend city property

Hat tip to Hoosier Access.

HoosierAccess » Blog Archive » South Bend Seeks to Ban Guns on City Owned Property

My Government, Never Wrong

Jacob Hornberger writes:


Pointing out the relationship between U.S. foreign policy and terrorist blowback implies that the federal government has done wrongful things to foreigners. That’s considered blasphemy among conservatives because their federal deity is incapable of doing bad things to anyone...

Libertarians, who would never consider deifying the federal government, take the view that what matters, first and foremost, is the exercise of conscience, which means that sometimes a person has to take a firm stand against the wrongdoing committed by his own government. Conservatives rail against the libertarian view because it suggests that their deity is capable of wrongdoing. Thus, the conservative mindset steadfastly maintains, “My government, never wrong.”


MWC News - A Site Without Borders - - My Government, Never Wrong

FEMA - The Secret Government

Scary information of which I was unaware. I had no idea FEMA had been around since at least 1979 and had such a broad charter beyond disaster relief.

Seems like a pretty severe violation of the authority granted to the national government by the Constitution.

I would have thought by a reading of the U.S. Constitution that all disaster relief would rightly be handled by the states and charitable and volunteer efforts, following the precedent laid down by U.S. Congressman Davy Crockett.

Not Yours to Give

FEMA - The Secret Government

The Media Versus the State

Good words for 2008 too.

"On March 9, 1954, in a broadcast that has been called television’s finest hour, Murrow stated,"


The line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one... We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law.

We will not walk in fear, one of another.... We are not descended from fearful men — not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.... We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.


The Media Versus the State

How to be a better daughter to your father

Some good advice to daughters, especially in Christian families.

VisionaryDaughters.com

Masson’s Blog - A Citizen’s Guide to Indiana » Evansville Courier Press on The Great Writ

Good commentary by Doug Masson and the Evansville Courier Press on the SCOTUS ruling on habeas corpus (Procedure for obtaining a judicial determination of the legality of an individual's custody).

Masson’s Blog - A Citizen’s Guide to Indiana » Evansville Courier Press on The Great Writ

Monday, June 16, 2008

Afloat on an Ocean of Oil

The next time you hear a politician say we need to be “energy independent,” ask him or her why Americans cannot have access to the oil reserves known to exist in California, in Alaska, and in many of our other States or off the coastlines of Florida and elsewhere.

Ask them why the fate of the condors and little known species is more important than the family budget of Americans forced to make choices between more food and more gasoline.

Ask them why they continue to claim that global warming is a threat when the entire Earth is now in a decade-old cooling cycle.

Ask them why they insist on blaming investor-owned oil companies whose own reserves are barely four percent of the world’s known oil reserves? Ask them how they expect these oil companies to compete in the global marketplace when they threaten to seize their profits.

Energy is the master resource. It determines which nations thrive and which lag behind. For now, America is being ill-served by a Congress that refuses to permit access to our own energy resources.

Ask yourself how we have arrived at a point in time when both candidates for President believe in a non-existent global warming and whose proposals offer no practical solution to our current and future energy needs.

Intellectual Conservative Politics and Philosophy

Drill Offshore – For a Seafood Bonanza by Humberto Fontova

"The panorama of marine life around an offshore oil platform staggers anyone who puts on goggles and takes a peek, even (especially!) the most worldly scuba divers."

Drill Offshore – For a Seafood Bonanza by Humberto Fontova

Albert Jay Nock: Forgotten Man of the Old Right - Jeffrey A. Tucker - Mises Institute

"Pass the Memoirs on to a twenty-year-old student and you stand a good chance of arming him against a lifetime of nonsense, whether it comes from the tedious Left that loves redistribution and collectivism or the fraudulent Right that is completely blind to the impossibility of reconciling war and nationalism with the true American spirit of freedom."

Albert Jay Nock: Forgotten Man of the Old Right - Jeffrey A. Tucker - Mises Institute

Edwin Vieira, Jr. -- "Homeland Security" -- For What and For Whom?

Edwin Vieira, Jr. wrote, 8 March 2005:


Make no mistake about it: To maintain its own economic and political positions, the Establishment will sacrifice the economic welfare and the constitutional rights of everyone else. And to succeed it will be compelled to crack down: first, on people's resistance to its propaganda, agitation, disinformation, and other techniques of psycho-political manipulation; then on refractory dissent; then on rebellion at the polls; then on mass refusals to obey its oppressive "statutes", "regulations", and "judicial decisions"; and, at length, on revolt against every aspect of its misrule. The Establishment is building a domestic police state today for the purpose of deterring, cowing, and if necessary smashing this opposition tomorrow. So, even if the supposed threat from Islamic terrorists were to disappear today, the Department of Homeland Security would continue to grow tomorrow. Also, the breakneck speed at which the Department of Homeland Security is being constructed should warn America how much the Establishment fears that monetary and banking crises of serious proportions cannot be long delayed.

The danger will continue to exist as long as this country's Ponzified monetary and banking systems remain in place, increasingly shaky and prone to collapse. Americans need to begin working now to replace these systems with sound money and honest banking.


Edwin Vieira, Jr. -- "Homeland Security" -- For What and For Whom?

McCain: Habeas Corpus a Privilege not a Right | War On You

Hat tip to the Ron Paul War Room for this one.

McCain: Habeas Corpus a Privilege not a Right | Ron Paul War Room


Excellent commentary from Scott Ritsema. He writes:


By now, it is widely known that the Supreme Court has weighed in on the debate over the rights of the prisoners at Gitmo. The court has stated that the detainees’ habeas corpus rights (the protection against an indefinite detention without charges and a trial) ought to be respected.

Referring to the human beings who are still being detained at Guantanamo Bay, McCain stated, “These are people who are not citizens. They do not and never have been given the rights that citizens in this country have” (emphasis added).

So our rights are given to us? Interesting.

I might ask McCain at the out-set, since you apparently believe that only citizens have rights (presumably “given” to them in the Constitution) where exactly in text of the Constitution does the Constitution give this right the right of habeas corpus?

You won’t find it. The Constitution only puts limits on the removal of habeas corpus, which implies that human beings possess this right naturally, and that habeas corpus is not some peculiar civil privilege, such as welfare, or some right that only citizens have, such as voting in our elections.

Similarly, human beings possess the rights in the Bill of Rights naturally, and as such, government is prevented from infringing upon them in the first ten amendments to the Constitution. But the rights are not granted by the government or the Constitution; we already had the rights as human beings!

I recommend that McCain read the Declaration of Independence. He has admitted that he is ignorant of economics, so perhaps he needs to brush up on his political theory and History, as well.

The Declaration of Independence declares the self-evident truth that God gave us our rights and that we are “endowed by our creator” with “unalienable rights,” such as, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Unalienable. Can’t be taken away. God-given natural rights. This is extremely important. Pay attention.

You see, if governments have “given” you “rights,” well then guess who can take them away at their will. Governments! McCain’s dangerous philosophy of rights as privileges is a recipe for tyranny. Government gives us our liberty? Is he serious? Well then that makes the state our god.

In reality, when something is granted, it is not a right at all. Something that is granted is, by nature, a mere privilege that can be revoked upon the whim of the entity which granted it–in this case, government... a scary notion, indeed.

A right, on the other hand, is unalienably possessed by somebody because he is the rightful owner of his life, liberty, and property. His own body, his thoughts, his decisions to move about, his money and possessions, etc.

These rights are his naturally. They are his property.

Rights are rooted in ownership of the property in question, and this very concept is God-ordained, thus we say that our rights are “God-given.”

They are NOT granted by government. They are NOT merely a privilege of citizenship.

Under the American philosophy of government where our rights are natural, or God-given, we have the power of free action that is limited only by the equal rights of others. And only when we impede upon the rights of others can government legitimately intervene to punish the criminal aggressor…and it can only do that through due process (they have to prove your guilt in a fair, speedy, jury trial).

The right of habeas corpus has been recognized as a basic right since the Magna Carta.

McCain is reversing the progress of human rights 800 years.

It doesn’t take the great mind of an ACLU liberal to figure this out.

As Ronald Reagan said, “The very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.” McCain, once again, betrays conservative values of limited government and God-given property rights. His is the view that the state is supreme.

Liberty and justice for all. But for McCain... just the privileged few. Just pray that you stay in the good graces of an arbitrary McCain government, because where the government grants “rights,” it can take them away. So watch yourself dissenters... especially because McCain has a “volcanic temper.” Will the American people let this man be the next ‘decider’?

[Scott Ritsema teaches Economics, Government, and Advanced Placement U.S. History at a Christian high school, and possesses a master's degree in those three disciplines. Visit his new site CIVICS NEWS.com ...news with a conscience.]


McCain: Habeas Corpus a Privilege not a Right | War On You

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Speculation and the Housing Bailout - Mark A. Pribonic - Mises Institute

"But speculation is inherent in any transaction involving debt. When debt is assumed, we speculate that we will be able to meet the terms and the eventual retirement of the loan. We therefore speculate as to the future status of our income, which consists of factors such as health, employment, and marital status. Without speculation, money would never be lent, and few houses would be built."

"Yet this or any other government-guarantee plan relies exactly on the economic forces that posturing politicians publicly abhor. It forces all of us to put our faith in those who failed with their own money to honor the commitments made with the money of strangers. If Congress wants to end speculation, then I would suggest beginning with the deal makers at the Federal Reserve."

Speculation and the Housing Bailout - Mark A. Pribonic - Mises Institute

The Absent Father: A surprising lesson from history « Doug Wead The Blog

"If a father only spends his life serving his sons, reducing himself to the role of a taxi driver, running them to little league and soccer practice and math camp, all to show that they are a loving father willing to sacrifice their own advancement to give their sons an opportunity they never had, don’t expect the sons to grow up to be major league ball players or brilliant engineers. They will likely grow up to be taxi drivers just like their fathers, driving their sons all over suburbia as well."

"On the other hand, if a father does something great with his life, achieves something significant or heroic, then, even if he is absent, his son will likely follow and may even do better, just to rub it in."

The Absent Father: A surprising lesson from history « Doug Wead The Blog

Telling the Truth by Charley Reese

Charley Reese gives us some great reminders.


The Constitution does not give the president power over any of the topics the candidates like to talk about. The president can't raise or lower taxes; can't legislate on any matter, including Social Security and health care; can't declare war; and can't make treaties or appoint Supreme Court justices without the advice and consent of the Senate.

The authors of the Constitution had just finished a long and bitter war with Great Britain, whose king they saw as a tyrant. The last thing they were going to do is give kingly powers to their own chief executive.

The duties of the president are simple to state: He can require reports from department heads; he may grant pardons and reprieves; with the advice and consent of the Senate, he can make treaties and appoint ambassadors, consuls, ministers and judges; he can receive ambassadors and other public ministers; he must take care to faithfully execute the laws; and he commissions all U.S. officers. He is the commander in chief of the armed forces. From "time to time," he is to report to Congress on the state of the union.

The last duty to be listed says he may "recommend certain measures" to Congress. Congress, of course, is under no obligation, legal or otherwise, to accept his recommendations or, in fact, to do anything he asks Congress to do. The one exception is that under extraordinary circumstances, he can order Congress to convene.

Thus, in the case of presidential candidates, honesty really would be the best policy. Whatever the candidate hopes to accomplish, he will need the people to pressure Congress. Otherwise, Congress will listen to the lobbyists, who represent the selfish interests of their clients.

Even presidential candidates, however, seem to get a sniff of what they suppose is the power of the presidency and thus go around saying, "I will do this" and "I will do that." They should be saying, "I need your help, first to get elected, and second to pressure Congress to adopt my recommendations. Otherwise it will be business as usual in Washington."

Clearly, the framers of the Constitution intended for Congress to be the most powerful part of the government. The only influence, other than persuasion, the president has is to veto legislation, but here again Congress has the power to override a presidential veto.

Moreover, the president does not have the power to veto only a part of a bill (commonly referred to as the line-item veto). This was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

The concept of an imperial president took root in the post-Eisenhower years. Before that, Harry Truman was fond of taking walks in downtown Washington. Franklin Roosevelt, when he was in Warm Springs, Ga., would drive up into the Pine Mountains, pull over to the side and have a picnic on the ground with a few friends.

The Bush presidents, when they traveled, took an entourage that included at least 16 limousines and greatly inconvenienced whomever they were visiting.

Our president is not a king or an emperor. He's a hired public servant working on a temporary basis. It was no accident when the Founding Fathers decided that the only title a president could claim or deserve was "Mr. President." He is a citizen just like you or me, he puts his pants on just as we do, and he answers the call of nature in the usual manner. As the French essayist Montaigne observed, "No matter how high the throne, the king still sits on his arse." So do all presidents.



Telling the Truth by Charley Reese

Sic Semper Tyrannis by Becky Akers

Enjoyable and scary commentary on our government at work in the airports.

Sic Semper Tyrannis by Becky Akers

SchansBlog: Ron Paul vs. (some) Libertarians

Some interesting libertarian history I had not seen before.

SchansBlog: Ron Paul vs. (some) Libertarians

Digital Journal - McCain Condemns Guantanamo Verdict

I hope to see more analysis, but my first impression is that I am glad to see the court uphold the right of habeas corpus.

This seems to be in line with the intent of H.R. 3835, to restore the Constitution's checks and balances.

H.R. 3835: To restore the Constitution's checks and balances and protections against government abuses as envisioned by the Founding Fathers (GovTrack.us)

"10/15/2007--Introduced.

American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007 - Repeals the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

Prohibits the President from detaining any individual indefinitely as an unlawful enemy combatant absent proof by substantial evidence that the individual has directly engaged in active hostilities against the United States. Prohibits the detention of any U.S. citizen as an unlawful enemy combatant.

Entitles any individual detained as an enemy combatant by the United States to petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

Prohibits any civilian or military tribunal of the United States from admitting as evidence statements extracted from the defendant by torture or coercion.

Prohibits any federal agency from gathering foreign intelligence in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Subordinates the President's constitutional power to gather foreign intelligence to such prohibition.

Gives the House of Representatives and Senate standing to file a declatory judgment action in an appropriate federal district court to challenge the constitutionality of a presidential signing statement that declares the president's intent to disregard provisions of a bill he has signed into law because he believes they are unconstitutional.

Prohibits any U.S. officer or agent from kidnapping, imprisoning, or torturing any person abroad based soley on the president's belief that the subject of the action is a criminal or enemy combatant. Allows kidnapping if undertaken with the intent of bringing the kidnapped person for prosecution or interrogation to gather intelligence before a tribunal that meets international standards of fairness and due process.

Provides that nothing in the Espionage Act of 1917 shall prohibit a journalist from publishing information received from the executive branch or Congress unless the publication would cause direct, immediate, and irreparable harm to U.S. national security.

Prohibits the use of secret evidence by the President or any other member of the executive branch to designate an individual or organization with a U.S. presence as a foreign terrorist or foreign terrorist organization for purposes of the criminal law or civil sanctions."

Digital Journal - McCain Condemns Guantanamo Verdict

I, Pencil | The Foundation for Economic Education: The Freeman, Ideas on Liberty

"The lesson I have to teach is this: Leave all creative energies uninhibited. Merely organize society to act in harmony with this lesson. Let society's legal apparatus remove all obstacles the best it can. Permit these creative know-hows freely to flow. Have faith that free men and women will respond to the Invisible Hand. This faith will be confirmed."

A classic by Leonard Read.

Hat tip to Eric Schansberg.

SchansBlog: the mystery and miracle of markets

I, Pencil | The Foundation for Economic Education: The Freeman, Ideas on Liberty

SchansBlog: Iran's progressive approach to the War on Drugs

I favor our government treating addicts as people who need help rather than as criminals too.

SchansBlog: Iran's progressive approach to the War on Drugs

SchansBlog: now that's how you take care of smoking in public!

I agree with Eric -- voluntary smoking bans are much better than giving government yet a bigger reach into our lives.

Let the restaurants compete with each other on the basis of their smoking policy.

SchansBlog: now that's how you take care of smoking in public!

The Government Wrecks the Economy - Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. - Mises Institute

Another good prescription from this page.

"What is the right response to a recession? The first rule must be to do no harm. When it comes to government, that is asking a lot and enough. Beyond that, in an ideal world, we would shut down the Fed, reduce the cost of employment, reduce taxes, zap environmental controls on exploring for and refining oil — this would be a good beginning. We could expect the recession to last less than a year under these policies. As it is, we could be in for a very long and deep recession."

The Government Wrecks the Economy - Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. - Mises Institute

The Government Wrecks the Economy - Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. - Mises Institute

"In an act of incredible stupidity, Congress has passed an extension of unemployment benefits. The old rule remains true: if you subsidize something, you get more of it. So this will give us more unemployment. No question about that. It will thereby worsen and prolong the problem."

The Government Wrecks the Economy - Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. - Mises Institute

Revolution liberating an idea -- Albert Jay Nock, 1943

I am reading Memoirs of a Superfluous Man" by Albert Jay Nock, written 1943.

I really like the following quotation (page 86 of 326) in the 1964 Henry Regnery printing.

"If a revolution liberates an idea, that idea will emerge and take hold of the public mind for good or ill, thus making the revolution successful, whether its immediate object be attained. If it does not liberate an idea, it amounts only to a riot which fizzles out with the gain or loss of its immediate object, and leaves no mark."

This quotation seems relevant for those, like me, who support the concepts of liberty so well articulated by Congressman Ron Paul, now that he has formally ended his campaign for the presidency and converted it to the new Campaign for Liberty to "promote and defend the great American principles of individual liberty, constitutional government, sound money, free markets, and a noninterventionist foreign policy, by means of educational and political activity.".

Ron Paul's Campaign For Liberty | The Revolution Continues

Friday, June 13, 2008

Paul out of the presidential race but just beginning to alter the face of GOP politics | Daily Newscaster

"Ron Paul is certainly out of the race but his position as a leader in Republican Party politics is just beginning."

Paul out of the presidential race but just beginning to alter the face of GOP politics | Daily Newscaster

SchansBlog: Reagan vs. Huckabee on "conservative" and libertarian

Mike Huckabee says:

"The greatest threat to classic Republicanism is not liberalism; it's this new brand of libertarianism, which is social liberalism and economic conservatism. But it's a heartless, callous, soulless type of economic conservatism because it says 'look, we want to cut taxes and eliminate government. If it means that elderly people don't get their Medicare drugs, so be it. If it means little kids go without education and healthcare, so be it.' . . . That's not historic Republicanism. Historic Republicanism does not hate government."

Ronald Reagan said:

"If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. . . . The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is."

"Mike Huckabee, you're no Ronald Reagan."


SchansBlog: Reagan vs. Huckabee on "conservative" and libertarian

Thoughts for your weekend -- Justice and Fortitude

Some good quotations here.

Justice and Fortitude » Blog Archive » Thoughts for your weekend

Bob Barr, the Libertarian Choice -- Justice and Fortitude

Good review of presidential candidate Bob Barr -- his background and position on some of the issues.

Justice and Fortitude » Blog Archive » Bob Barr, the Libertarian Choice

Ron Paul's Campaign For Liberty | The Revolution Continues

"The mission of the Campaign for Liberty is to promote and defend the great American principles of individual liberty, constitutional government, sound money, free markets, and a noninterventionist foreign policy, by means of educational and political activity."

Ron Paul's Campaign For Liberty | The Revolution Continues

Libertarian Quotes

Libertarian Quotes

What If Public Schools Were Abolished? - Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. - Mises Institute

Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. throws out some very thought-provoking ideas. He writes:


[T]he true origin and purpose of public education is not so much education as we think of it, but indoctrination in the civic religion. This explains why the civic elite is so suspicious of homeschooling and private schooling: it's not fear of low test scores that is driving this, but the worry that these kids aren't learning the values that the state considers important...

All studies have shown that average cost per pupil for public schools is twice that of private schools...

This runs contrary to intuition, since people think of public schools as free and private schools as expensive. But once you consider the source of funding (tax dollars vs. market tuition or donation), the private alternative is much cheaper. In fact, the public schools cost as much as the most expensive and elite private schools in the country. The difference is that the cost of public schooling is spread out over the entire population, whereas the private school cost is borne only by the families with students who attend them.

In short, if we could abolish public schools and compulsory schooling laws, and replace it all with market-provided education, we would have better schools at half the price, and be freer too. We would also be a more just society, with only the customers of education bearing the costs...

But let's pretend. Let's say that a single town decided that the costs of public schooling are too vast relative to private schooling, and the city council decided to abolish public schools outright...

If we can somehow make it to phase two, something completely different will emerge. The existing private schools will be filled to capacity and there will be a crying need for new ones. Entrepreneurs will quickly flood into the area to provide schools on a competitive basis. Churches and other civic institutions will gather the money to provide education...

After this phase two, this town would emerge as one of the most desirable in the country. Educational alternatives would be unlimited. It would be the source of enormous progress, and a model for the nation. It could cause the entire country to rethink education. And then those who moved away would move back to enjoy the best schools in the country at half the price of the public schools, and those without children in the house wouldn't have to pay a dime for education. Talk about attractive!

So which town will be the first to try it and show us all the way?


What If Public Schools Were Abolished? - Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. - Mises Institute

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Monday, June 09, 2008

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Paul makes bestseller list - 2008 Presidential Campaign Blog - Political Intelligence - Boston.com

"The GOP (with lots of help from the media) may have stopped the man Ron Paul in this go-round, but the message of Ron Paul will never be stopped. The genie is out of the bottle. The Revolution will move forward with its agenda of personal liberty, freedom, responsibility, sound money, an end to illegal wars, and strict adherence to the Constitution."

"This book will be around for years to come, influencing the thoughts and decisions of the next generation of political movers and shakers, not to mention voters."

Paul makes bestseller list - 2008 Presidential Campaign Blog - Political Intelligence - Boston.com

Ron Paul Revolution? | The Next Right

"Paul is a little out there for me, but I think it's fair to say that Ron Paul Republicanism is just about the only kind of Republicanism that's thriving at the moment. Has Ron Paul reshaped the party? Will Ron Paul-lite candidates succeed in 2008 and beyond? Does the GOP only borrow a few thoughts from the Paul crowd and discard the rest, or return to its pre-internationalist past? The world wonders..."

Ron Paul Revolution? | The Next Right

Machiavelli Was Right by Charley Reese

"If the gun controllers' claim that the mere presence of arms leads to mayhem were true, the Swiss would have wiped themselves out years ago. There are guns and gun ranges all over the place. You would be hard-pressed to find a Swiss home without a firearm and ammunition. Yet, the Swiss have a very low crime rate."

Machiavelli Was Right by Charley Reese

Legislating Tyranny by Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence M. Stratton

"... the Bush administration’s assault on the Bill of Rights is a greater threat to Americans than are terrorists."

Legislating Tyranny by Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence M. Stratton

Jon's Political Ramblings: Ron Paul Interview on CNN

... unity might be secondary to principle...if you can unify a party and reject your principles, what is unity worth?

Jon's Political Ramblings: Ron Paul Interview on CNN

The Cause That Won't Go Away - Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. - Mises Institute

"People suspect that the gold standard would disempower the nation-state as we know it, including its ability to wage endless wars. To me, this is the strongest case for reform. If we want freedom and peace, the gold standard is the topic that cannot and will not die."

The Cause That Won't Go Away - Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. - Mises Institute

HoosierAccess » Blog Archive » Post Convention Thoughts

"And one final note on the Paulistians. Daulton’s Briefs made a good observation by noting that these people cared about the process probably even more than those of us who were elected as a delegate. Sure, some (maybe most) ran to cause disruption and to prove a point. Did they? I’m not sure, but even though their tactics annoyed me at times, they showed they cared. They came to fight for their values, and more often than not, I share their values on a limited conservative government. So I applaud them and the fact they were there. Maybe we can learn a thing or two from them in the long term."

HoosierAccess » Blog Archive » Post Convention Thoughts

The Hoosierpundit: Anatomy of a Thumpin'

Good analysis of Indiana GOP Attorney General race.

The Hoosierpundit: Anatomy of a Thumpin'

Don't Buy Political Bulbs by John R. Lott, Jr.

The hidden costs of compact fluorescent bulbs.

Don't Buy Political Bulbs by John R. Lott, Jr.

Friday, June 06, 2008

The real public service

Thomas Sowell wrote:

Those who have helped the poor the most have not been those who have gone around loudly expressing "compassion" for the poor, but those who found ways to make industry more productive and distribution more efficient, so that the poor of today can afford things that the affluent of yesterday could only dream about.

If you really want to be of service to others, then let them decide what is a service by whether they choose to spend their hard-earned money for it.

Thomas Sowell

Indiana GOP Convention Ups & Downs -- Hoosier Access

Excellent commentary on winners and losers at the Indiana Republican Convention Monday by Hoosier Access, including the following "sound bites":


But what blogs have done is provided unprecedented transparency to a process that would have otherwise happened entirely in the shadows. Never again will a state party in Indiana hold a convention where delegates will be strong-armed. No candidate will want to risk the backlash that would come with being exposed... No contested convention campaign in Indiana is going to be able to ignore blogs in the future...

The Governor’s peeps... were utterly unable to deliver a victory for the man their boss had endorsed. Not only did they fail to deliver a victory to Jon Costas, but word of their apparent use of antiquated strong-arm tactics spread via the internet and caused a backlash that contributed to the impressive margin of Zoeller’s victory...

Hopefully, the Governor will learn from the bungling of his underlings before they ruin something else that can’t be so easily undone...

These are arrogant, bullying people who have yet to realize that they will get much further with the base of the party with friendship, respect, and persuasion...

The chairman of the Marion County GOP worked hard to deliver his county for the Governor’s man. He packed his delegate appointments with dependable votes... He also reportedly demanded loyalty oaths... In the end, however, his packing scheme failed to help Jon Costas carry the day and it caused a popular backlash on the internet and out in the rest of the state that probably more than offset the gains such tactics provided...

Indy Establishment... support seems to be the kiss of death in Indiana politics these days...


HoosierAccess » Blog Archive » Convention Ups & Downs

Senate Panel Says Bush Administration Based Iraq Invasion on Exaggerations | The New American

"Had the Bush administration been able to wrap up business in Iraq neatly and quickly, the American public would probably be as disinterested in the behind-the-scenes intrigue leading up to it as it has typically been regarding previous wars. But the botched-up and prolonged way that this war has been playing out has given too many people too much time to ask too many questions... The time for the American people to demand credible answers is long overdue."

Senate Panel Says Bush Administration Based Iraq Invasion on Exaggerations | The New American

How the GOP kept the Pauliacs Quiet on Monday

Excellent report on the Indiana GOP Convention from fellow delegate Eric Rowe.

The Facts Were These… » Blog Archive » How the GOP kept the Pauliacs Quiet on Monday

The Hoosierpundit: Ignorance Is Bliss, I Suppose

The Hoosierpundit: Ignorance Is Bliss, I Suppose

Becky Skillman the most underestimated politician in Indiana

I am impressed with Lieutenant Governor Skillman as well.

Too bad they saved her speech for last at the convention when the crowd was dribbling away, after the AG results had been announced.

Prosper Group Think: Becky Skillman the most underestimated politician in Indiana

Ron Paul revolution at the Indiana GOP Convention?

Interesting comments here too.

Prosper Group Think: Ron Paul revolution at the Indiana GOP Convention?

Random Indiana GOP Convention Thoughts

Some interesting thoughts on the GOP convention I also attended as an elected delegate.

HoosierAccess » Blog Archive » Random Convention Thoughts

Thursday, June 05, 2008

McCain Staffer Supports Dictatorship | The New American

Salon's Glenn Greenwald has reported that Michael Goldfarb, a Weekly Standard staff member, has been named Deputy Communications Director of John McCain’s campaign. Goldfarb believes, or so he says, that a president of the United States has near dictatorial powers.

McCain Staffer Supports Dictatorship | The New American

The Hoosierpundit: The Zoeller Convention Video

The Hoosierpundit: The Zoeller Convention Video

The Revolution: A Manifesto

Good review.

"Ron Paul's outstanding book is must reading for everyone who values liberty."

The Revolution: A Manifesto

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sowing More Big Government with the Farm Bill

Ron Paul writes, "Subsidies for agribusiness should be stopped and the free market should be allowed to work. With commodity and food prices on the rise, Congress had an opportunity to scale down government controls and taxpayer funding of agriculture. Instead, despite the warning sent by an 18% approval rating, Congress stubbornly opted for more of the same."

Farm Bill