Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Little Green Footballs - Overseas Contingency Operations Against Something or Other

"I’m really not sorry to see the phrase “War on Terror” being retired by the Pentagon; it’s always seemed like a complete misnomer. You don’t fight a war against a tactic, you fight against people with an ideology. This battle would have been much better described as the “War on Militant Islam,” but our government is too hobbled by political correctness to ever be that direct and truthful."

Little Green Footballs - Overseas Contingency Operations Against Something or Other

Wonders of the digital age

Who would have dreamed, while writing a book 47 years ago, as Leonard Read wrote "Elements of Libertarian Leadership" in 1962, that there would come a day when the pages of the book would be scanned and digitized, saved as a PDF file, able to be accessed in seconds from virtually anywhere in the world, and that while the student reads the book on a computer, he is able to do a Google search on any entry in the book, such as "Hugo Grotius", and be directed to a fine article on the subject on Wikipedia.

Makes me wonder whether the world will also see quantum leaps of technology commensurate with these in the coming 47 years, and whether we are any better at imagining what they might be than Mr. Read's peers likely were in 1962.

The White House - Blog Post - Open for Questions: President Obama to Answer Your Questions on Thursday

I just submitted my question and voted for several other good ones.

I wrote, "Do you have any financial advisors that are well-read in the Austrian school of economics (e.g., von Mises, Hayek, Hazlitt, Rothbard)? I agree with Ron Paul that this school has much wise guidance to offer in our current economic situation."

The White House - Blog Post - Open for Questions: President Obama to Answer Your Questions on Thursday

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Conservative Bloggers Now Labeled “Domestic Terrorists”? -- Faultline USA

"You might be a domestic terrorist if..."

Faultline USA: Conservative Bloggers Now Labeled “Domestic Terrorists”?

VIN SUPRYNOWICZ: 'Just submit ... you can protest later' - Opinion - ReviewJournal.com

Vin Suprynowicz writes:


For the first 50 years of the life of this Republic -- when things were pretty peaceful, from all reports -- America didn't even HAVE any police forces as we know them today. When was the Constitution amended, Former Officer Ron? When did they take the old part that says we're to remain "secure in our persons, houses papers, and effects," free from search and seizure unless a warrant is issued "upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation ..." and add to it your new section that reads "Oh yeah, unless someone calling himself a policeman decides to stop you and issue whatever arbitrary orders and commands he can dream up, at which point you have to 'submit' or else he can shoot you down like a dog"?

I've got my copy of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in front of me, Officer Ron -- the one every "public servant" swears an oath to "protect and defend," with no weasel words about "protecting officer safety." And I can't find that part.


VIN SUPRYNOWICZ: 'Just submit ... you can protest later' - Opinion - ReviewJournal.com

Monday, March 23, 2009

Campaign For Liberty — Iran: A Way Forward   | by Philip Giraldi

Philip Giraldi: "the Obama administration should make the decision to pursue a purely realist policy when dealing with Iran, one that is based on respective national interests while recognizing the limitations of American power. It should also concede that there might be some issues that cannot be resolved. It must accept that Iran and other players in the Persian Gulf region have legitimate concerns that must be respected by Washington, replacing the former policy of coercion with one that is inclusive and based on cooperation."

Campaign For Liberty — Iran: A Way Forward   | by Philip Giraldi

Importance Of The Promise | The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty

"In short, it does matter what one’s major premise is — in­deed, it may matter more than anything else in this earthly ex­perience."
- From Chapter 2 of "Elements of Libertarian Leadership" by Leonard E. Read, 1962

Importance Of The Promise | The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty

How to Reduce Taxes | The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty

Leonard E. Read wrote (1960), "It is only when we understand that government can have no rightful powers of control, over and beyond the powers that inhere in individuals as moral rights, that we can clearly recognize the proper limitations of the State. With this recognition will come the trimming process: government reduced to the enormously important function of securing the rights of man. Limited to this role — its only competence — government will become an aid, not an ailment; a bargain, not a burden. Taxes will then be a matter of relative unimportance. Summarized, this paper insists that the only way to reduce taxes is for each devotee of liberty to become, as best he can, a moral philosopher. Too difficult? Only if the Golden Rule, the Ten Commandments, and the Declaration of Independence are beyond one’s scope!"

How to Reduce Taxes | The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty

Free Libertarian: Environmentalists Decry "Nano" Car

Mike Renzulli: The guiding principle of environmentalism is self-sacrifice. In this case it is the sacrifice of man to nature instead of longer, prosperous and healthier lives along with higher standards of living. Human beings are not born slaves and have a moral right to their lives and, short of doing harm to others, can live them as they see fit.

Free Libertarian: Environmentalists Decry "Nano" Car

Congressman Ron Paul - Bankruptcy is Economic Stimulus - Texas Straight Talk

Ron Paul writes:


The distraction on Capitol Hill this week has to do with the jackpot bonuses that executives at AIG recently received. The argument is over a relative drop in the bucket...

The big mistake was appropriating the TARP funds in the first place. A Johnny-come-lately bill of attainder won’t stop the spending epidemic. This whole situation is a perfect demonstration of why “doing nothing” and letting failing companies fail would have been much better than sinking valuable money and resources into them...

Bankruptcies are a net positive for the economy because more productive competitors are rewarded by opportunities to buy up remaining assets at bargain prices to strengthen their operations. In an economy that allows this kind of growth and change, any jobs lost by bankruptcy are soon replaced by new ones as the most efficiently managed businesses gain access to more assets and expand...

AIG, by losing money and maneuvering their operations to the brink of bankruptcy, was telling us that they were inefficient. So what did we do? We forced the taxpayer to assume the losses, and now we are supposed to be shocked that it is not working out. Had AIG gone bankrupt, it would have been impossible to hand out these bonuses. The taxpayer would have been fleeced for $170 billion less last year. Had they gone bankrupt, the world would not have come to an end, it would just continue on with one less engine of wealth destruction.


Congressman Ron Paul - Bankruptcy is Economic Stimulus - Texas Straight Talk

Marijuana & the Bible

Interesting analysis.

"Teach God's truth. Warn your congregation that the war on marijuana is unchristian and must be ended. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you will be no priest to Me … for I desired mercy and not sacrifice. (Hosea 4:6, 6:6) Remember: Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving"

.: #Marijuana & the #Bible

Everyone is wrong about the AIG bonuses -- DownsizeDC.org

"Those upset about the AIG bonuses should focus on the fact that Congress authorized them. All the Congressional grand-standing about how bad the bonuses are is rank hypocrisy."

DownsizeDC.org

Socialism: Not a Scare Tactic | American Issues Project

Justin Higgins: The same people that argue so fiercely in defense of Darwinism are continuously fighting against social or economic Darwinism.

Socialism: Not a Scare Tactic | American Issues Project

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Legalized theft in America

Star Parker writes:


It says something about the dismal state of affairs in our country today, when you look at what outrages folks...

Where is the outrage about the ease with which politicians expropriated hundreds of billions of taxpayers' funds to do these bailouts?
...
The more secure private property is in a given country, the more prosperous it is. Countries rated in the top 25 percent in secure and safe private property have on average nine times more income per person than those in the bottom 25 percent...

The easier it is to steal in any given country, the less likely the economy will function well there.

You really don't need a fancy business degree to predict this. One of the Ten Commandments, transmitted so many thousands of years ago, instructs us not to steal...

Yet basic truths such as this are becoming increasingly lost in our country, and this is what should be driving our outrage: that we now live in a country where our private property is no longer safe and the very government that supposedly exists to protect it has become the thief we have to worry about...

We can recall that the founders of our country intended the role of government to protect our lives and property, not violate them. And that, in times when we have respected that proper use of government, our country has prospered.


Legalized theft in America

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Campaign For Liberty — Peaceful Dissent and Government Witch Hunts   | by Anthony Gregory

Anthony Gregory writes:


The right to peacefully dissent and oppose government deprivations of life, liberty and property, is an inalienable right as fundamental as any other. The right to question the government, even from a mistaken point of view, is at the heart of America's proud heritage. When America relinquishes this understanding, it comes to adopt the features of the supposed enemy...

So it is that much more important to speak up; to tell the truth; to defend the freedoms of all people to speak, live in peace, pursue happiness in a world of liberty, so long as they do not commit aggression against their fellow man. For defending this vision of a free and peaceful world, for sticking up for the rights of others no matter who they are or what they believe, we at the Campaign for Liberty and those of like mind have been wrongly targeted by an overbearing government.

But we who love liberty have the right ideas and the passion to stand by our principles. In the end, the national police, state governments, Homeland Security and all the SWAT Teams and spying powers in the world cannot defeat a idea that is true and whose time has come.

And it is this idea... -- the dream of peace and freedom for all Americans -- that truly frightens those who favor the total state, intimidation and fear directed abroad and toward peaceful dissent at home. It is the idea of liberty, not militias or terrorists, that most threatens the establishment, even as it offers nothing but hope and promise for the American people and the people of the world.


Campaign For Liberty — Peaceful Dissent and Government Witch Hunts   | by Anthony Gregory

Property and Liberty | The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty

Bovard: "Licensing laws are usually engineered by professional associations that want to “protect” the public from competitors who might charge lower prices."

Property and Liberty | The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty

AIG Bonus Demagoguery Is a Distraction. Turn the Page. - Mary Kate Cary (usnews.com)

I agree, "You can't tell me that fighting over pay for executives at one company is a top priority right now."

AIG Bonus Demagoguery Is a Distraction. Turn the Page. - Mary Kate Cary (usnews.com)

White House Says Feds Should Have Unfettered Access To Mobile Phone Location Info | Techdirt

"Many civil libertarians were hopeful that the Obama administration would be a lot more reasonable on certain issues, like warrantless wiretapping and surveillance of Americans. So far, that hasn't really been the case. The new administration has already sided with the old on the legality of warrantless wiretapping, and is now saying that it shouldn't need a warrant to demand location records from mobile phone providers. This certainly seems like the sort of private info that, under the 4th Amendment, would require a warrant, but not according to the administration(s). It feels that mobile phone providers should freely hand over records of what mobile phone tower any phone was connected to, even without the administration bothering to get a warrant (i.e., whenever and for whomever it wants to keep tabs on). This is tremendously problematic if you believe in the basic principles of the 4th Amendment."

White House Says Feds Should Have Unfettered Access To Mobile Phone Location Info | Techdirt

House Passes Mandatory National Service Bill

My thoughts exactly.

“We contribute our time and money under no government coercion on a scale the rest of the world doesn’t emulate and probably can’t imagine,” said Luke Sheahan, contributing editor for the Family Security Foundation. “The idea that government should order its people to perform acts of charity is contrary to the idea of charity and it removes the responsibility for charity from the people to the government, destroying private initiative.”

House Passes Mandatory National Service Bill

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Property and Liberty | The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty

Bovard: "It is as much a violation of property rights and liberty when government agents storm into the shabbiest of rental apartments as when they invade the richest mansion."

Property and Liberty | The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Drunk-Driving Laws Are Absurd by Mark R. Crovelli

"There is thus no need to waste billions of dollars hunting down people who have had a few glasses of wine with dinner, trying them in court, and then sentencing them to jail – especially when these laws will have no effect on those people who are truly dangerously intoxicated and who believe that they can both drive home safely and avoid getting caught by the police. As usual, the source of a serious social ill lies in the state’s own laws and regulations, and the solution lies in the realm of the free-market."

Drunk-Driving Laws Are Absurd by Mark R. Crovelli

CARPE DIEM: Market Forces Prevent Widespread Discrimination

"Individual cases of discrimination may exist, but it cannot possibly be a universal norm in a profit-driven economy. Market forces would correct such mispricings, if they actually existed."

CARPE DIEM: Market Forces Prevent Widespread Discrimination

newsminer.com • Lawmaker moves ahead with Daylight Savings bill

"A sage American Indian said that only the white man would cut a foot from the bottom of his blanket, sew it to the top and believe that he had a longer blanket."

newsminer.com • Lawmaker moves ahead with Daylight Savings bill

Campaign For Liberty — E-Verify and the Emerging Surveillance State   | by Tom DeWeese

Tom DeWeese: E-Verify won't stop illegal immigration, but it will make it much harder to keep this country free.

Campaign For Liberty — E-Verify and the Emerging Surveillance State   | by Tom DeWeese

Monday, March 16, 2009

Congressman Ron Paul - Earmarks Don't Add Up - Texas Straight Talk

"The noise over “earmarks” is a red herring and a distraction from the real issue of uncommitted spending."

Congressman Ron Paul - Earmarks Don't Add Up - Texas Straight Talk

Archive | October 9, 2000 | He said, 'If you come on my land, I'll kill you'

In his 1985 book "Takings," University of Chicago Law Professor Richard Epstein wrote that, "Private property gives the right to exclude others without the need for any justification.

Indeed, it is the ability to act at will and without need for justification within some domain which is the essence of freedom, be it of speech or of property."

"Unfortunately," replies James Bovard, author of the book "Freedom in Chains: The Rise of the State and the Demise of the Citizen," "federal law enforcement agents and prosecutors are making private property much less private..."

Archive | October 9, 2000 | He said, 'If you come on my land, I'll kill you'

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Economics in One Lesson « World is Green

May have blogged this quote before, but it certainly bears repeating.

"the whole of economics can be reduced to a single lesson, and that lesson can be reduced to a single sentence. The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups."

Economics in One Lesson « World is Green

The Cato Institute: Three Women Who Launched A Movement

"The battle, history has since shown, is not yet lost, and this is due in no small part to Rand, Paterson, and Lane's belief in the power of ideas. Unconstrained by conventional political categories, they savaged the collectivist economic nostrums of the left even while, in their lives and careers, they exploded the rigid gender roles seen as sacrosanct by so many on the right. In the process, they laid the foundations of the modern libertarian movement. This Women's History Month, on the sixty-sixth anniversary of their monumental triple achievement, the Cato Institute pays homage to three women without whom it would not exist."

The Cato Institute: Three Women Who Launched A Movement

The Legacy of Leonard E. Read

"The most powerful aspect of Read's philosophy was with respect to the evil and immorality of the welfare state. The welfare state — socialism — constituted legalized theft because the political process was used to take forcibly one person's money in order to give it to someone else. Read made it uncomfortably clear that any person who supported any aspect of the welfare state supported a violation not only of fundamental principles of morality, but also two of God's Ten Commandments: Thou shall not covet; and Thou shall not steal."

The Legacy of Leonard E. Read

You Can't Be a Christian and Tolerate Torture - by Thomas R. Eddlem - Antiwar.com

I agree with Thomas Eddlem, "Americans – and especially Christians – need to recognize that torture by our own government is a far graver threat to liberty than a small number of wackos out in the world blowing themselves up in car bombs..."

You Can't Be a Christian and Tolerate Torture - by Thomas R. Eddlem - Antiwar.com

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Leonard Read! - Mises Economics Blog

"Leonard Read called his book Talking to Myself. But the subtitle, which I overlooked at first, made it clear. He was talking to himself because “I am the only part of society I have been commissioned to save.” He recognized that “reforms” that do not originate in people’s individual commitments to liberty founder on the shoals of coercion, and that only by living lives that entirely avoid coercion is liberty completely understandable or possible."

Happy Birthday Leonard Read! - Mises Economics Blog

Free PDF of entire book here.

http://www.mises.org/books/talkingtomyself.pdf

Hit & Run > "Ignoring the Austrians Got Us in This Mess" - Reason Magazine

"Barron's columnist Randall Forsyth tips his hat to the Austrian school--shaped by libertarian luminaries Ludwig von Mises and F.A. Hayek--for providing a set of useful ideas about the Current Crisis that have been largely ignored"

Hit & Run > "Ignoring the Austrians Got Us in This Mess" - Reason Magazine

Are libertarians greedy?

Darren writes, "Is it greedy to not want your wealth confiscated by force? I can’t see how it could be. Rather, it seems to me that it’s the authoritarian left who are greedy. They have some goal they want to achieve (educating children or helping the poor and homeless perhaps), and rather than spending more of their own money and time and attempting to peacefully persuade others to contribute money or time to their cause, they instead resort to the use of force to compel others to contribute to the cause against their will, by which I mean they use the power of government to collect taxes and spend the money on their cause."

Are libertarians greedy?

The Brokest Generation by Mark Steyn on National Review Online

Mark Steyn, "Just between you, me, and the old, the late middle-aged, and the early middle-aged: Isn’t it terrific to be able to stick it to the young? I mean, imagine how bad all this economic-type stuff would be if our kids and grandkids hadn’t offered to pick up the tab."

The Brokest Generation by Mark Steyn on National Review Online

POLITC$: Young Americans: Luckiest Generation in History

"What a difference 60 years of free market capitalism makes!"

POLITC$: Young Americans: Luckiest Generation in History

Friday, March 13, 2009

Samizdata quote of the day | Samizdata.net

"Expecting schools to instill a respect for liberty is like expecting churches to instill a respect for Satan. The first lesson every child learns as they are dragged through the school gates for the first time is that they are the property neither of themself, nor of their family, but of the State which compels them to years of degrading institutionalisation, and that they will only be allowed to live a reasonable life if they are sufficiently compliant and collect sufficient scraps of paper which bear testament to that compliance"

Samizdata quote of the day | Samizdata.net

The End of the US Piano Industry - Jeffrey A. Tucker - Mises Institute

"Today government is even more arrogant and absurd, and it actually believes that by passing legislation it can save the US car industry. It can subsidize and pay for uneconomic activities, and pay ever more every year. The government can also pay millions of people to make mud pies because mud pies are deemed to be an essential industry. You can do this, but at what cost and what would possibly be the point? Eventually, even the government will have to accord itself to the reality that economics reminds us of on a daily basis."

The End of the US Piano Industry - Jeffrey A. Tucker - Mises Institute

Why I Hate To Hear the Star Spangled Banner and Refuse To Say the Pledge by Christopher Gaddy

Christopher Gaddy wrote, "I was more a terrorist than any Iraqi I meet on the street or in battle. The only difference was I had a state sponsor."

Why I Hate To Hear the Star Spangled Banner and Refuse To Say the Pledge by Christopher Gaddy: "I believed the honest people of America would hate me and call for"

The Dream That Was America by Robert Hawes -- Campaign For Liberty

I agree with Robert Hawes, "God forgive us. The men who froze at Valley Forge, who crawled up the beaches of Normandy into the murderous teeth of Nazi machine gun fire, who faced undreamed of horrors in steamy jungles thousands of miles from the comforts of home, did not fight so that we could let our country slip into the hands of those who would re-make us in the image of our enemies. Whether you agree with every cause that Americans have spilled their blood for or not, we can acknowledge that most of them believed that they were fighting for freedom, to protect the whisper-fragile American dream. They didn't sacrifice to give us Moscow on the Potomac. We owe them, ourselves, and the future generations who must live with the world we give them, more, much more, than to let this happen with so little struggle. There was once a dream that was America. And friends, this is not it. This is not it."

Campaign For Liberty — The Dream That Was America   | by Robert Hawes

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Myth that Laissez Faire Is Responsible for Our Present Crisis - George Reisman - Mises Institute

Excellent. George Reisman writes:


What this brief account has shown is that the politico-economic system of the United States today is so far removed from laissez-faire capitalism that it is closer to the system of a police state. The ability of the media to ignore all of the massive government interference that exists today and to characterize our present economic system as one of laissez faire and economic freedom marks it as, if not profoundly dishonest, then as nothing less than delusional...

The Federal Reserve's policy of credit expansion based on the creation of new and additional checkbook money has thus served to give capital to unworthy borrowers who never should have had it in the first place and to deprive other, far more credit worthy borrowers of the capital they need to stay in businesses. Its policy has been one of redistribution and destruction...

A discussion of the housing debacle would also not be complete if it did not mention the role of government guarantees of many mortgage loans. If the government guarantees the principal and interest on a loan, there is no reason why a lender should care about the qualifications of a borrower. He will not lose by making the loan, however bad it may turn out to be...

The myth that laissez faire exists in the present-day United States and is responsible for our current economic crisis is promulgated by people who know practically nothing whatever of sound, rational economic theory or the actual nature of laissez-faire capitalism...

In claiming to see the existence of laissez faire in the midst of such massive government interference as to constitute the very opposite of laissez faire, they are attempting to rewrite reality in order to make it conform with their Marxist preconceptions and view of the world...

Very few of the professors and their students have read so much as a single page of the writings of Ludwig von Mises, who is the preeminent theorist of capitalism and knowledge of whose writings is essential to its understanding. Almost all of them are thus essentially ignorant of sound economics...

Their fear and hatred of economic freedom and laissez-faire capitalism, and their need to be able to denounce it as the cause of all economic evil, is so great that they pretend to themselves and to their audiences that it exists in today's world, in which it clearly does not exist even remotely.

By making the claim that laissez faire exists and is what is responsible for the problem, they are able to turn the full force of their hatred for actual economic freedom and laissez-faire capitalism against each and every sliver of economic freedom that somehow manages to exist and which they decide to target...

In this way the enemies of capitalism and economic freedom are able to proceed in their campaign of economic destruction and devastation. They use the accusation of "laissez faire" as a kind of ratchet for increasing the government's power...

It seems that so long as anyone manages to move or even breathe without being under the control of the government, laissez faire allegedly continues to exist, which serves to make necessary yet still more government controls...


The Myth that Laissez Faire Is Responsible for Our Present Crisis - George Reisman - Mises Institute

We Need Our Heads Examined, Says Harvard by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Thomas Woods: "People who believe in the market economy support a social order in which free individuals make voluntary contracts with each other, and no one can initiate physical force against anyone else. Is that vision so obviously unattractive that we have to refer its supporters for psychological evaluation? We might instead wonder at the psychological condition of those who would denounce such a system: might they be motivated, for all their noble talk, by nothing but base envy of those with more material wealth than they, or by a pathological desire to dominate other people?"

We Need Our Heads Examined, Says Harvard by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Twitter / Bill Starr: Improvement of a man's character

My little attempt at a quotable quote, itself a gift of the Holy Spirit, I hope.

Inspired by reflecting on my letter to the editor that got published today.

Free market beats gov’t interference (may require a subscription?)

"Improvement of a man's character is better much performed by the scalpel of the Holy Spirit than by the bludgeon of government."

Twitter / Bill Starr: Improvement of a man's cha ...

Judge orders homeschoolers into public district classrooms

"The North Carolina ruling also resembles a number of rulings handed down against homeschool parents in Germany, where such instruction has been banned since the years of Adolf Hitler's rule."

Judge orders homeschoolers into public district classrooms

God, Guns, & Church

Right Rev. Rowland writes, "What would the outcome have been if there were responsible members of the congregation there that morning who were trained and licensed to carry concealed weapons? I predict that Rev. Fred would only have been wounded, and that the gunman would have died after his first or second shot. Oh, and two others would not have been stabbed, requiring surgery. God is not against guns. God is not even against violence when it is used in the defense of others. The sooner churches, Christians, and our community leaders figure this out, the safer we will be."

God, Guns, & Church

Hoffa Commends Sponsors of Employee Free Choice

"Since when is the secret ballot a basic tenet of democracy?" Hoffa said

Hoffa Commends Sponsors of Employee Free Choice

Wikipedia scrubs Obama eligibility

"Wikipedia, the online "free encyclopedia" mega-site written and edited entirely by its users, has been deleting within minutes any mention of eligibility issues surrounding Barack Obama's presidency, with administrators kicking off anyone who writes about the subject"

Wikipedia scrubs Obama eligibility

WendyMcElroy.com: Less Government is a Good Thing

"Demanding that the government provide fewer services, and stop charging us for those services, means that we can obtain those services for ourselves... and we can choose what services we get, who provides them, and how they are provided. Freedom of choice is a Good Thing. Also, a competitive market -- unlike a government monopoly -- tends to drive business to the most efficient providers of those services, thus lowering costs and freeing up resources (money) for other ends. This also is a Good Thing."

Government trash collection in my home town of Columbus, Indiana is a great example of this principle. They want to start charging for the "service", which has traditionally been supported by property taxes (which are now capped by the state legislature), but won't allow people to opt out and go with a (probably more efficient) private service (or self-service by dropping off trash at the county landfill).

WendyMcElroy.com: Less Government is a Good Thing

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Some Christian Leaders Don’t Make the Grade

"Further, while public schools aren’t in the business of teaching the Ten Commandments, they have become the main venue to disseminate inaccurate information to millions of gullible students who are taught that socialism is a touchy-feely, compassionate philosophy of governance and that the Constitution grants citizens the right to health care, the right to an education, and a host of other non-existent rights."

Some Christian Leaders Don’t Make the Grade

The 545 People Responsible For All of America's Woes

Excellent article by excellent columnist. Written mid-1980s, but as timely now.

Thanks for the e-mail, Dan Patton.

The 545 People Responsible For All of America's Woes

Milking us dry -- DownsizeDC.org

"This is the nature of price-fixing, and of regulation in general. Such schemes protect some businesses some of the time, gouge most consumers most of the time, and make the economy less productive all of the time. Everyone suffers, especially the poor."

DownsizeDC.org

Plain Right -- Mark Sanford -- The American Conservative

This article is my first close look at South Carolina governor, Mark Sanford. I like what I read so far.

The American Conservative -- Plain Right

Campaign For Liberty — So-Called Isolationists Are the True Internationalists   | by Doug Bandow

I agree with Doug Bandow.

"The battle today is not between internationalists and isolationists. Today's self-identified internationalists are not internationalists at all, but believe in imposing Washington's agenda on the rest of the world. They believe internationalism means intervention and war, political meddling, government bribes in the name of aid, and state capitalism and mercantilism In contrast, those commonly accused of being isolationists are the true internationalists. They believe in respecting the interests of others around the world. They do not believe that initiating death and destruction is the best way to help other nations or peoples. For these supposed "isolationists," internationalism represents peaceful cooperation, free trade, cultural exchange, travel and tourism, private investment, and charitable assistance. In fact, the highest form of internationalism is private action -- voluntary cooperation and exchange -- rather than government intervention. Americans should be involved in the world. But they should reclaim America's tradition of nonintervention. Peace and prosperity should be Washington's goal. Promoting them represents genuine internationalism."

Campaign For Liberty — So-Called Isolationists Are the True Internationalists   | by Doug Bandow

Monday, March 09, 2009

Max Borders: America's New God

"worrying about whether the word “God” appears on a nickel is like worrying about a spider in the bathtub while someone torches your house"

Max Borders: America's New God

“In God’s Name, I Beg of You to Think.” | For Freedom's Sake

"There is small danger that the majority of Americans ever will embrace a radical anti-American ideology actively. But there is considerable danger that the majority of Americans may fail to oppose such movements intelligently."

“In God’s Name, I Beg of You to Think.” | For Freedom's Sake

Raising a white flag in the drug war

I agree with Vox Day. "The greater evil is eminently clear. The greater evil is the evil that requires repeated violations of the American Constitution, the continuous rape of American liberties, the pointless imprisonment of millions of harmless Americans and the probable collapse of the Mexican government. The fact that the Obama administration is now citing Mexico's narco war as an excuse to limit Second Amendment rights should suffice to prove to conservatives that the time has come to end the war on drugs... And if America's young should elect to narcotize themselves into oblivion, is that not their right in a country that claims to be free?"

Raising a white flag in the drug war

Pro Libertate: The Martial Law Mind-Set

"Under the martial law mind-set, civilians are to give instant and unqualified obedience to any armed individual in a state-issued costume"

Pro Libertate: The Martial Law Mind-Set

George Washington Had It Right - by Charley Reese

"We have no legal authority, no moral authority, and certainly no divine authority to interfere with the internal affairs of any other nation. It should not matter to us what kind of governments other people have or what their cultures are. There is nothing in the Constitution to authorize the federal government to tax Americans and then write checks to foreign countries. There is nothing in the Constitution that authorizes the president to take us to war. That is a power reserved exclusively to Congress"

George Washington Had It Right - by Charley Reese

Michelle Malkin » Another unhinged Democrat to taxpayer: “Get the f**k out of my office!”

Outrageous. Chicago City Council 22nd Ward Alderman Ricardo Munoz attacks voter in his office.

Michelle Malkin » Another unhinged Democrat to taxpayer: “Get the f**k out of my office!”

Congressman Ron Paul - Imagine - Texas Straight Talk

"Why do so many Americans feel as if we have a right to a military presence in some 160 countries when we wouldn’t stand for even one foreign base on our soil?"

Congressman Ron Paul - Imagine - Texas Straight Talk

Ogden on Politics: Council Committee Votes to Boot Libertarian Ed Coleman From Committees; Republicans Concede At-Larger Republican Council Seats in 2011

"Republicans will look back at March 2, 2009 as they day when they shot themselves in the footing, giving up all hope of winning the council majority in 2011. All that was traded for a retaliatory act against a councilor, who would have voted with Republicans 90% of the time. Stupid is as stupid does. And today, Council Republican leadership displayed stupidity on a legendary scale. "

Ogden on Politics: Council Committee Votes to Boot Libertarian Ed Coleman From Committees; Republicans Concede At-Larger Republican Council Seats in 2011

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Rush to Judgment by Peter Schiff

"Rush is right on this one: Obama's agenda must fail now, lest we wander too long down the road to destitution."

Rush to Judgment by Peter Schiff

Friday, March 06, 2009

Watch Your Mouth Kid: The suppression of free speech on college campuses

"Think you have the right to freedom of speech? If you're a college student, you might want to think again"

Watch Your Mouth Kid: The suppression of free speech on college campuses

We Need Cynics

Will Wilkinson: One needn't be a "cynic" to be wary of surging popular passions or unchecked executive power. This caution is built into our Constitution. The American system of government was designed to moderate ambition and thwart big plans. Checks and balances do embody skepticism of unregulated power, but that skepticism is the soul of good government, not its nemesis. Yes, the bottlenecks in the system aggravate crusading popular presidents, which is why so many have chipped away at their constraints. That's why the system no longer checks nor balances as it should. That's why Obama entered the Oval Office with unprecedented executive power.

We Need Cynics

How to stop the drug wars | The Economist

I don't agree that it is the proper role of government to be involved in the regulation of drug use at all, except to the extent necessary to protect life, liberty, and property (which I foresee would be a very minimal role if drug production, trade, and use were legalized).

But I agree with the following comments by "The Economist", "Legalisation would not only drive away the gangsters; it would transform drugs from a law-and-order problem into a public-health problem, which is how they ought to be treated... Most consumers of illegal drugs, including cocaine and even heroin, take them only occasionally. They do so because they derive enjoyment from them (as they do from whisky or a Marlboro Light). It is not the state’s job to stop them from doing so."

How to stop the drug wars | The Economist

Economic Fascism and the Bailout Economy - Gary North - Mises Institute

Gary North writes:


As the Internet grows in its influence, alternative views can get to a minority of educated people. The success of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in getting Austrian School economics in front of hundreds of thousands of young people, all over the world, who would never have heard about Mises or Rothbard had it not been for the World Wide Web, indicates that the foundations of the modern fascist economy are being undermined where it counts, which is in the minds of bright people who are no longer buying into the system...

These scholars agree: we are seeing the bankruptcy of every Western government that has made too many big promises to too many voters regarding free healthcare and guaranteed retirement. All of it will collapse. The tatters of the promises will point to the tatters of those who made the promises — politicians — and the tatters of the system that was supposedly going to guarantee delivery of the promises.

The academics still believe in the healing power of the state. The voters still believe this, too. But voters are catching on more rapidly than the academics that the state is running out of wiggle room. Millions of voters have figured out that they are going to get stiffed. They don't know what to do about it, but at least they understand that they really are going to get stiffed...

What I am saying is this: this time it's different. This time the fractional-reserve banking system has shot its wad. It is begging for ever-larger handouts from the Treasury Department, which needs central-bank fiat money to bail out the economy. The public is accepting this grudgingly, and the academic economists are cheering, but the reality is that this time it's different. You had better adjust your portfolio, your career plans, and your retirement plans accordingly.


Economic Fascism and the Bailout Economy - Gary North - Mises Institute

Would Allowing Firearms on Campus Protect Students? | LibertarianChristians.com

"Clearly, the body of data suggests that guns on campus would reduce violence. I’m sure more instances of guns preventing campus violence could be cited, so if you know of any more incidents like the ones above please comment with a link below. I will add any stories that you can find to the list."

Would Allowing Firearms on Campus Protect Students? | LibertarianChristians.com

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Standing up for Liberty » Tenth Amendment Center

Ray Bilger, "If we do not stand up, and act, and take back America, the federal government will lead us into a great depression, the likes of which no one will want to see. The choice is up to us, take back control of America, or be controlled by evil forces, yes, evil forces, bent on the total destruction of liberty and justice for all."

Standing up for Liberty » Tenth Amendment Center

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Two Checks on Tyranny

Jacob Hornberger, "While all of the rights and guarantees enumerated in the Bill of Rights — as well as those that were not enumerated — are critically important to a free society, it is worth noting that two rights — one fundamental and one procedural — are intended to provide the citizenry with a means to resist federal tyranny should such ever befall our land. These two rights are the right to keep and bear arms and the right to trial by jury. The gun right is found in the Second Amendment and the jury right is contained in the Sixth Amendment."

Two Checks on Tyranny

Government Equals Force

Good excerpt from "Freedom in Chains" by James Bovard.

"To regulate means to use or threaten force to subordinate private behavior to governmental commands."

Government Equals Force

Bureaucrash - Join the Resistance » Blog Archive » A Fool and His Gun Rights…

"Any man who claims to believe in the 2nd Amendment but asks the government for permission to bear arms, in whatever manner, is fooling himself"

Bureaucrash - Join the Resistance » Blog Archive » A Fool and His Gun Rights…

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Another War-on-Terrorism Success Story in Afghanistan

Jacob Hornberger: Permitting the feds the option of treating terrorism as either a criminal offense or an act of war has been a horrible and disastrous mistake.

Another War-on-Terrorism Success Story in Afghanistan

Our Troubled Economy Is a Response to Barack Obama's Policies - WSJ.com

"As the Dow keeps dropping, the President is running out of people to blame"

Our Troubled Economy Is a Response to Barack Obama's Policies - WSJ.com

Debunking the Hemp Conspiracy Theory | DrugReporter | AlterNet

Interesting look at the role of racism in drug prohibition.

Debunking the Hemp Conspiracy Theory | DrugReporter | AlterNet

Similar material in the following book chartered by President Nixon's research committee (just before he ignored the committee findings and started the "War on Drugs").

Amazon.com: The Marijuana Conviction: A History of Marijuana Prohibition in the United States (Drug Policy Classic Reprint from the Lindesmith Center): Richard J. Bonnie, Charles H. Whitebread:

BOVARD » Freedom is Still the Preeminent Issue

"It is a delusion to think of the state as something loftier than all the edicts, penalties, prison sentences, and taxes it imposes."

BOVARD » Freedom is Still the Preeminent Issue

A-TEAM WERE ANARCHO-CAPITALISTS, ACCORDING TO STUDY « spectre footnotes

I like this analysis of the old "A Team" TV series. I remember my wife particularly enjoying it.

A-TEAM WERE ANARCHO-CAPITALISTS, ACCORDING TO STUDY « spectre footnotes

Monday, March 02, 2009

Book Review - How Capitalism Saved America

Just starting on this book. Great so far.

George C. Leef writes, "It is in the interest of politicians, government functionaries, and those who plead for special favors from the state to make people think that freedom just doesn’t work. Their efforts at controlling and expropriating people are made far easier if the population is largely composed of people who are predisposed to think that government does a good job of identifying and solving problems; to think that they shouldn’t question, but just obey. For that reason, since time out of mind, governments have subjected the common people to a blizzard of misinformation calculated to make them servile. This mind-conditioning begins at an early age."

Book Review - How Capitalism Saved America

The Libertarian/Independent Alliance - Libertarian Blog - Bonzai: A Libertarian Blog

Mike Farmer: then I saw the whole right/left game as a sham to hide a growing statist movement...

The Libertarian/Independent Alliance - Libertarian Blog - Bonzai: A Libertarian Blog

What We Believe | The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty

Great manifesto by Lawrence Reed, president of FEE (Foundation for Economic Education).

What We Believe | The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty

Miracles We Take For Granted | The Beacon

Robert Higgs reminds us, "Yet, how often do we pause to reflect on the near-miraculousness of this manner of living? Fresh fruits delivered in the middle of winter even to remote places all over this country! Who arranges this vast and complex distribution so successfully? How is it even possible to organize all the people who had to cooperate peacefully in order to make my splendid dessert possible. I have no idea who planted the fruit trees, tended them for years until they matured, picked the fruit, packaged and transported it through successive stages until it was ultimately placed on display in the grocery store I patronize. Of course, every one of these unknown people had to have the cooperation, directly or indirectly, of thousands of others, who manufactured the equipment and materials they used, produced the necessary fuels and lubricants, kept the accounts, insured the properties, arranged the payments, and so on and on and on."

Miracles We Take For Granted | The Beacon

Read "I, Pencil" too at the following link.

I, Pencil | The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The “Atlas Shrugged” index | Atlas felt a sense of déjà vu | The Economist

Regarding Ayn Rand's 1957 novel, "Atlas Shrugged," The Economist writes, "Even if Washington does not keep the book’s sales booming, Hollywood might. A film version is rumoured to be in the works for release in 2011. But by then, a film may feel superfluous to Rand’s most loyal fans; events unfolding around them will have been dramatisation enough."

The “Atlas Shrugged” index | Atlas felt a sense of déjà vu | The Economist

Anarcho-capitalist FAQ

Lots of great food for thought here, whether you subscribe to anarcho-capitalism or not.

Anarcho-capitalist FAQ

"Do You Austrians Have a Better Idea?" - Robert P. Murphy - Mises Institute

"Given the diagnosis, we can be sure that efforts to borrow and spend our way back into prosperity, or massive bailouts of the banks and homeowners, are only pumping air into a flat tire with a gaping hole"

"Do You Austrians Have a Better Idea?" - Robert P. Murphy - Mises Institute

Anti-trust, Anti-truth - Thomas J. DiLorenzo - Mises Institute

"Antitrust has always been a protectionist racket"

Anti-trust, Anti-truth - Thomas J. DiLorenzo - Mises Institute