Thursday, June 29, 2006

It's Official!

We will have a REAL choice in November for Ohio Governor! - LJ

News Release
For Immediate Distribution
June 29, 2006
Contact: Robert Butler
w:(740) 204-3036
c:(614) 805-8292

Libertarian Bill Peirce Officially Placed on Ballot

Ohio Economist Running for Governor(Columbus, Ohio) The Secretary of State's office reports that Ohio Economist Bill Peirce and his running mate Mark Noble have delivered 9389 valid signatures, almost doubling the official requirement to be placed on the ballot for Governor this fall.

"Ohio will grow and create jobs only when the crafty, connected, and ambitious in this state can no longer get rich by grubbing for favors in the Statehouse. I believe that smart, talented, hard-working, Ohioans; set free from bureaucracy, waste, and fraud; will bring prosperity to Ohio by using their energy to build real businesses throughout this state," said Bill Peirce.

"Burdened by scandals and a divisive primary, Ohio Republicans are looking for alternatives," notes Powell Libertarian, Robert Butler. "We are ready to become the real small-government choice for Ohio."

The Libertarian Party of Ohio was not recognized by Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, so Peirce will be listed on the ballot as "Other Party". Peirce plans to present this "Other Party"'s ideas and proposals for economic growth as he travels the state.

"I have spent my entire career studying economic development, and that's what Ohio needs now. I'm well aware of the linkage between low employment and high tax rates," declares Peirce. "There's a growing consensus among many economists that economic freedom is closely linked to economic growth. The only way to get more rapid growth is to get more economic freedom."

For more information about Bill Peirce, please visit

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Libertarian Activists Stand Up for Private Property Rights; Republicans and Democrats Play Golf

Yesterday, Libertarian activists around Ohio staged protests and rallies to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Kelo vs. New London case, which reaffirmed the power of local governments to seize property from individuals to transfer to other, more politically connected, private parties. This decision was an egregious assault on one of the few remaining liberties that Americans enjoy.

In above picture, one will see Dr. Bill Peirce, gubernatorial candidate for the Libertarian Party present in one of these rallies. Peirce has made opposition to eminent domain abuse one of his leading platform issues.

I'm almost certain that no Republicans, nor Democrats, took part in any of these events. I'm not at all suprised by the lack of any "conservatives" at these events. Conservatives do not believe that individual rights precede the demands of government bureaucrats.

To give credit where credit is due, Democrats have done a decent job in calling attention to this issue here in Ohio. While they haven't gone nearly far enough to stop this monstrosity called Eminent Domain, I would give them a grade of C- for their efforts in calling for a moratorium on Eminent Domain in Ohio. Any Democrats out there reading this...your party could earn a lot of respect, and votes, from libertarian leaning voters everywhere if you guys would only put a little more teeth into your position on this issue.

And where are Blackwell and the Republicans? Hahaha! Don't be silly!! Who out there really believes that Republicans are for anything other than using government in their latest smash-and-grab jobs of looting the taxpayers, destroying small business, and running our economy straight into the ground?

In November, we Ohioans will have an opportunity to raise our voices about the direction we wish to see our State government move. Those of us who still believe in the American Dream, will be pulling the lever (or tapping the screen, as the case may be) for Libertarian Bill Peirce.

The rest of you will vote for Blackwell or Strickland.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Action Alert: Notorious Anniversary Tomorrow

From my inbox. If you can, please try to attend on of the rallies here in Ohio, or near wherever you may live. If you value the principle of private property, it is critical that people of good conscience everywhere ban together to stop the egregious violation of one of our most basic rights.


As you know, this Friday marks the anniversary of the Kelo decision, when the Supreme Court put every home, business, church and farm up for grabs to the highest bidder. This week, property owners and activists nationwide are rallying against the abuse of eminent domain. Here are the locations of those rallies; we encourage you to attend to protest the abuse of eminent domain in solidarity with your fellow property owners nationwide!

Hollywood, June 23, 4 p.m., Bernard Luggage, 1642 N. Vine Street Contact: Ziggy Kruse,

San Bernardino, June 23, 7:30 p.m., Victory Chapel, 1156 North F. Street Contact: Deanna Adams,

Moorpark, June 23, 4 p.m., Cactus Patch, 197 East High Street Contact: Jillian Clark,

Derby, July 27, Classic Counter Tops, 176 Main Street Contact: Carl Yacobacci,

Riviera Beach, June 23, 5:30 p.m., Ocean Reef Park, 3860 N. Ocean Drive, Singer Island Contact: Martha Babson,

Olathe, June 23, 11 a.m., Gazebo between Johnson County Courthouse at 100 North Kansas and the County Administrative building
Contact: Mike Kerner,

St. Louis, June 23, 11:30 p.m., St. Louis City Hall, 1200 Market Street (at Tucker Boulevard) Contact: Jim Roos,

Norborne, June 24, 8 a.m., 407 E. 2nd Street Contact: Rod and Diana Cowsert,

New Hampshire
Lancaster, June 23, 3 p.m., Roger’s Campground, 10 Rogers Campground Road Contact: Kat Dillon,

New Jersey
Asbury Park, June 23, 11 a.m., City Hall, One Municipal Plaza (Press Conference) Contact: Kerry Butch,

Long Branch, June 23, 6:30 p.m., March begins at 38 Ocean Terrace Contact: Bill Giordano,

Westville, June 23, 4 p.m., Grabbe’s Seafood Restaurant, 19 Delsea Drive Contact: Al Achilles,

New York
Brooklyn, July 16, 2 p.m., Grand Army Plaza (Prospect Park West and Union Street) Contact: Develop Don’t Destroy - Brooklyn/Daniel Goldstein,

Columbus, Jun e 22, 12:30 p.m., Westside of Statehouse (by McKinley Monument) Contact: Robert Butler,

Cincinnati, June 23, 7:30 p.m., Fountain at Clifton and Ludlow Avenues Contact: Josh Weitzman,

Ardmore, June 23, 5 p.m., Hu Nan Restaurant, 47 East Lancaster Avenue Contact: Scott Mahan,

Philadelphia, June 23, 3 p.m., Meet at corner of S. 6th Street and Market Street Contact: Lisa Segarra,

El Paso, June 22, 12 p.m., Camino Real Hotel, 101 S. El Paso Street Contact: Jerry Rosenbaum,

Renton, June 23, 3:30 p.m., Meet at corner of Grady Way South and Talbot Road South Contact: Inez Petersen,

West Virginia
Charleston, June 23, 11 a.m., Meet in public parking area at corner of Piedmont Avenue and Sidney Street Contact: William Bennett,

Please let me know if you have any questions. We hope to see you at a rally!

Christina Walsh
Assistant Castle Coalition Coordinator
Institute for Justice
901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22203
(703) 682-9320

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A Good Buying Opportunity?

Gold has been on a tear the past year or two, reaching highs not seen in decades. However, in the past month, it has plummeted from $730/ounce to about $560, including a 7 percent drop in price today. Silver, platinum, and palladium are doing similar things.

Is now one of those "dips" that present a good buying opportunity? I think so. The Federal Reserve is still committed to a policy of systematically devaluing the currency, so in the long run, that only makes gold, as a hedge against inflation, look more attractive.

Been Busy, Lew Rockwell, and Homeowners Insurance

I've been pretty busy lately, what with work and life and all, so I haven't had time to do much blogging. For those that stop by on a regular basis, thanks for doing so, and I hope in the next day or two to get back to cranking out stuff here.

In the meantime, you've always gotta be excited when a new Lew Rockwell article is published on , as there was this morning. Check it out. Here is an excerpt:

Unexpected events occur in life. Preparing for every possible contingency is not only too expensive; it is crazy, as in obsessive-compulsive. We don't drive around in steel tanks because we prefer the lower expense and ease of smaller cars. We prefer driving to the safer alternative of staying home because we need to get somewhere and we willingly take the chance.

In the case of hurricanes, homeowners might actually prefer to pay less for an already expensive roofing job by employing a less experienced or less thorough worker or by requesting cheaper materials. If the roofer bangs in the nails well enough to hold at most times – even if the roof gives way in a hurricane – that is a risk that might be economically worthwhile for the homeowner. Indeed, most homeowners are interested in cosmetics; the underlying construction is something that people would otherwise gladly scrimp on.

Is this a market failure? Not necessarily. Life consists of tradeoffs. Whatever resources are expended in one area cannot be expended in another area. Provided the homeowner is bearing the full liability, choosing shoddy construction is certainly his right. If he makes a mistake, no one pays but the homeowner.

However: liability is a big proviso. Most homes are not owned outright; rather the owner holds a mortgage that is marketed as a financial instrument. And how does the owner of the financial instrument assure the quality of his investment? The critical institution here is insurance. It is the insurance company that provides the market service of bearing the liability in the case of unexpected disaster. It is up to the insurer to make the calculation concerning the likelihood of this or that contingency: whether it is fire, hurricane, flood damage, theft, or whatever.

It is for this reason that homeowners spend far more on construction and upkeep than they otherwise would. Homeowners may only care about landscaping and paint color, but the insurer cares about the thousands of tiny issues that appear in the inspections that take place before the bank approves a mortgage.

What if the inspection is not thorough? Well, there is a competitive market for inspections as well. Insurers work with mortgage lenders to find the best ones. An inspector who does not do his job will be pushed out, while those who do more thorough inspections and catch more issues than insurers and mortgage lenders care will gain reputations.

This is not speculation. This is how the market works every day, when it is allowed to. (emphasis mine -LJ) Homeowners are constantly jumping through hoops that they otherwise wouldn't care a flip about, solely because banks and insurers do care. And it's even true for those homes that do not carry a mortgage. Homeowners insurance is a way for every homeowner to slough off the liability of financial losses coming their way through unexpected events like extreme weather.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

First They Burn Books, Then They Burn People

Vin Suprynowicz had an article published on Lew today about four librarians that were recently "allowed" to speak out about Federal Agents snooping through library records looking for "suspicious" activity.
What is the recommended procedure now, if Americans want to buy or read a book which our own government might consider "suspicious" or "terrorist-related"? Whether the would-be reader is a college kid preparing a report, a journalist on assignment, or a novelist researching his or her next story line, dare we head to the library and borrow books on demolitions, hijackings, power plants and nuclear fission? Is it OK if your name is Thomson or Jones but not if it’s Faisal or Bashir?

Is there any procedure we can use to get these readings "cleared" in advance with the FBI, the HSD, the CIA, the NSA, the DIA and the TSA before we inadvertently cause our local librarian to receive a call from two officious guys in black suits and shiny shoes who insist on seeing all our records – followed up with a nice, crisp "national security letter" informing her that if she even tells us they’ve been snooping around, SHE could be sent to prison?

We are past the point of warning that if we don’t watch out an American police state "might happen." This is precisely what it looks like. They’re taking it around the block for a test drive, and we’re supposed to believe we can trust them – we have nothing to fear so long as we haven’t done anything wrong.

Yes, but which books? Which book or magazines or newspapers are the ones that, if we borrow and read them, will lead the G-men to suspect we’ve "done something wrong"?

They don’t have to tell you. You don’t need to know.

This reminds me of a great book that I have on my bookshelf at home (which presumably, is still legal for me to own), called 100 Banned Books. It is a fascinating book which chronicles the history of censorship and intimidation of people with "controversial" views. I wrote a (rather poor, admittedly) review of it a few years ago on You may read it here.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

A Question from A Reader

“Timerty”, a visitor to my article, The Principles of the Anti-Immigrant Crowd, Reductio ad Absurdum, posted the following question:

Help me out here.

With the right of association comes the converse right of disassociation, or exclusion. I can choose who I want to hang around with, only if I can choose not to be with others. Right?

If my neighbors and I want to form a member only association, we are then excluding all non-members. Our individual property ownership gives us the right to exclude all non-members from our collective property. We have the right to create fences (borders) and/or hire a security force to prevent non-members from crossing our property. This works fine for a small group. What happens when this association grows into the size of a city, a state or a country? Do we not still have the right, as an association of private property owners, to prevent non-members to come on to our collective property?

I guess my question is – at what point does the right of association not apply?

My response:

Timerty -

You are exactly right. With the right of association comes the inverse right of non-association (or exclusion, as you put it.) Such associations may be exclusive and private based on the mutually and voluntarily agreed upon terms of each and every individual that enters into such a compact.

The right of association does not apply when someone you want to associate with doesn't want to associate with you in return. You can't force someone in to a relationship...that would be slavery.

If you and a bunch of people wanted to form such a collective as you speak of, that would be perfectly fine. But you have no right to force someone else to erect such barriers around their property. Free association necessarily means voluntary association.

Also, as the size of this group increases in number, having a consensus of opinion would become less and less likely. Hypothetically speaking, if the group grew to a size of a city, state, or even entire country, that is still fine...but in reality, how likely is that? If it really were a unanimous consensus that a specific group of people should be excluded, then its fairly obvious that you wouldn't need government to enforce such edicts. The fact that the anti-immigration crowd is turning to government is a de facto admission that they do not respect the rights of others.

The issue here is that the anti-immigrant crowd wants to use government to force their views on EVERYONE, regardless of whether they want immigrants here or not. If I am an American businessman, and I _want_ to hire Mexicans, and these Mexicans _want_ to work for me...the anti-immigrant crowd says that we should be punished because such an arrangement offends their sensibilities as to what is politically "correct". What they are doing is taking people who have not given their agreement to such a compact as the one you describe above, and saying, "too bad, we're making this decision for you." They are violating the right of association of the people they disagree with.

Hope it helps.


Remember, any government in a free society is dedicated solely to the protection of the rights and property of its citizens. It does not endeavor to tell people how they must use their property, but simply to back up the right of property owners to use their property as they see fit.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Explaining the Free Market

In one of the best blog essays I've read recently, Francois Tremblay over at the Radical Libertarian takes on a State-Worshipping critic, who insists that without big, activist government, baaaaaaad things will happen. He pulls out three main principles that are very common among Statists:

1. Without the state, "the rich" would take over.
2. We need the state because the state protects "the poor" against "the rich".
3. In a market anarchy, we would be ruled by giant corporations.
I often find myself running up against these principles, argued mostly by Liberals, but also by Conservatives to a frightening degree. (I might even go so far as to say that Conservatives are the ones who are MOST passionate about big, activist government.) After dissecting each one of these arguments and tossing them down the garbage disposal, Francois delivers the final blow in his closing paragraphs:

The root cause of these errors is the belief that power is a constant in human relations, and that we are simply arguing over who gets to hold that power. This is a statist mode of reasoning, made to marginalize all criticism of the state as a human construct. They desperately want you to take the state as a given, because their legitimacy depends on it, and without legitimacy - without the important-sounding names and the uniforms and the rituals - it is quite easy to realize that they are nothing more than a parasitical gang of thugs. And class warfare is just a smokescreen designed to hide that fact. Right or left, liberal or conservative - their leaders all partake of the benefits of the monopoly of force.

As long as there is a ruling class, as long as there is a concentration of power that exists for powerful people to exploit, there will be class warfare and social warfare. People like the anonymous coward quoted above think that politicians, financed by big corporations and activist organizations, who can raise as much money and manpower as they want, even send people to be killed in foreign countries, with little impunity (as long as they can build a propaganda campaign the months before), are somehow interested in the well-being of people who can contribute absolutely nothing to their success, apart from a captive audience.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the definition of a "sucker".

Read the full post:
The Radical Libertarian: Using "the poor" as a moral totem