What Happens When You Cross Sarah Brady with PETA?
Apparently, you and your dog get eaten by Alligators.
No joke. This one speaks for itself.
Commentary and discussion of events, trends, and ideas from a libertarian perspective.
Apparently, you and your dog get eaten by Alligators.
Hat Tip to Police State U.S.A.
Tomorrow, Libertarian Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Peirce will be on the Ohio News Network's Capitol Square
From Free Association: Natural, Not National, Rights
Somewhere in my reading about immigration, someone made the deceptively simple point that it's not immigration we should be talking about but migration. That's another way of saying the focus has been on "us," when it should be on the people coming to the United States. The discussion has proceeded as if they have no rights in the matter but we do. We will let them come here if and only if we have a use for them. And "we" doesn't refer to a group of free individuals, but rather to a collective Borg-like entity with rights superior to any held by its constituents. The collectivist, and therefore statist, nature of the discussion indicates how far we've drifted from our individualist and voluntarist moorings.A couple days ago, I posted an entry on this blog discussing how the anti-immigrant crowd has a profound lack of understanding for the concept of natural rights. I pointed out that their position implicitly denies the existence of rights, and all "human freedom" really boils down to State-granted priveleges.
A Nebraska judge says that a man convicted of sexually assaulting a child is too small for prison, and therefore has been sentenced to 10 years probation.
The Anti-Immigrant crowd seems to have a hard time grasping the concept of natural rights. Natural rights are inherent in our natures as free-standing, self-owning, sovereign individuals. They do not come from the State. We do not need to ask permission to exercise them.
One of my favorite literature series are the Sherlock Holmes stories. Today would be the 147th birthday of Holmes’ creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
"I don't need to be lectured by you. You are no more a protector of the Constitution than am I."
Doug Bandow is back with a vengence!
For despite the nonsense emanating from President George W. Bush, his neocon acolytes, and what passes for Democratic foreign policy experts, terrorists seek to kill because they believe that America is at war with them. They didn't fell the World Trade Center because they disliked the Bill of Rights, attack the Pentagon because they detested Disneyland, or plot the destruction of the Capitol because they abhorred free elections in America. Rather, they sent the simple message: you want to be an empire? You'll pay the price for attempting to enforce your edicts on the rest of us.
Finally, and perhaps most ironically, attempting to be a democratic empire ensures that we will be less democratic – or certainly less free, to be more accurate – at home. The Bush administration's nomination as CIA head of Gen. Michael V. Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency and responsible for the Bush administration's illegal warrantless spying program, is emblematic.
Empire abroad can be sustained only by empire at home. The national security state must grow, individual liberties must diminish. We spy on you, search your bodies and cars, restrict what the media can tell you, and, of course, mislead you and lie to you. But it's in the cause of making the world democratic, so don't worry, be happy.
It's funny. The Head-in-the-Sand crowd likes to insist that Iraq is on the road to Utopian bliss, now that a courageous man like George W. Bush had the moral clarity to stare evil in the face. These people, who'd be just as likely to tell you that stories of the holocaust were an agenda of the liberal media, just refuse to entertain the idea that the State cannot create, it can only destroy.
Iraq's new unity government was approved by parliament in Baghdad yesterday in what may be the last chance to hold Iraq together as a unitary state.Biden Explains the Need for Iraqi Decentralization
Senator Joe Biden (D-Del), the senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed that Iraq should be divided into three separate ethno-religious regions, Kurdish, Shiite, and Sunni—with a central government positioned in Baghdad.A couple of things stand out... The first is that ideas Libertarians were proposing 4 years ago, are now being considered a likely possibility for Iraq's fate. Many writers discussed various plans for breaking up Iraq into three separate countries. Were these ideas taken seriously? Of course not. At the time, Americans were enthralled by Neocons Delusions of Grandeur, and the suggestion that we could not simply remove Government "A" (aka. Saddam) and replace it with Government "B" would strike a blow to their religious faith in the State. Also, an independent Kurdish state was bound piss off our allies in Turkey, who have a sizeable Kurdish population there that would love to secede from their Turkish oppressors, and we can't have that, can we?
In his essay, Biden justified this argument by writing that this proposition was designed to, "maintain a united Iraq by decentralizing it, giving each ethno-religious group…room to run its own affairs, while leaving the central government in charge of common interests."
Today marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of philospher John Stuart Mill. The Wall Street Journal has a decent article about his contributions to modern thought.
Not that this has anything to do with politics, economics, or the like, but a recent conversation with a friend of mine prompted me to do some research on the topic.
Hammer of Truth posts the story at Libertarians Won, Government Zero
Hat tip to the Hammer of Truth
Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later.
This may be the first time in history a politician has broken his central campaign promise to cut state and local taxing and spending BEFORE getting elected.
WestEnder, over at Clark Street Blog asks A Fair Question :
What if SCOTUS justices began to make recommendations to Congress and the White House about specific legislation and policies? What if they had press conferences, went on Meet the Press, etc.-- to express their views about what the other branches of government should or should not do?
Would you have a problem with that?
Is there any reason to accept one branch of government exerting control over other branches? Isn't this specifically what the Founders sought to prevent?
So why is it that no one bats an eye when the White House tells the other branches what to do? Is it because it happens with such regularity that it "hides in the open"? Shouldn't the White House mind its own business and do its own job instead of sticking its nose into Congress and the Courts?
I've heard from many people that I shouldn't be alarmed that the NSA is establishing a massive database of every call made in the U.S. The reasons offered to pacify me come down to the argument that the NSA isn't actually listening to the content of the calls, but simply collecting the time stamp of every call. This suggests I shouldn't worry because the NSA isn't collecting anything of any real substance that might be able to accidentally railroad me in the future.
When you think of classic essays - and I mean truly, classic, as the word tends to be thrown about much too carelessly - there can be no other peice better than Murray Rothbard's Anatomy of the State. Every now and then, I go back and re-read it, and find it as fresh and inspiring as it was the first time I came across it. LewRockwell.com has it as their lead article this morning.
This one is old, but I recently came back across it lately. Could you tell the difference between statements made by Al Gore in his book, Earth in the Balance, and the Unabomber in his manifesto? Take this quiz and find out.
Many people ask me - or accuse me, as the case may be - if what I really want is no government. Because I express more than my fair share of disdain for the State, and all its programs, taxes, regulations, rules, wars, and other intrusions on individual liberty and basic human rights, I must in fact be an anarchist, who wants to abolish government altogether. So, is it true?
Not that I'm a big fan of federalizing common crimes, but I do have a profound disdain for violence against animals (and children)...so knowing that these kinds of terrorists are being brought to justice warms my heart.
The activists were found to have coordinated a campaign of intimidating late-night phone calls, harassing emails, rocks thrown through windows of homes, vandalism of personal automobiles, vandalism of homes, and veiled death threats. To illustrate the effect of the intimidation campaign, prosecutors on the opening day of the trial showed the image of a young boy who, in response to activists' stalking of his mother, would run and hide whenever his home doorbell rang.
"He was cowering behind the door because he thought 'the animal people' were coming to get him," executive assistant U.S. Attorney Charles McKenna explained to jurors.
During the first two weeks of the trial, a woman testified she received an email threatening to cut open her 7-year-old son and poison him; a man testified activists overturned his wife's car and smashed all the windows in his home, showering him with glass; a woman testified masked protestors parked outside her house and videotaped her and her young children, while other protestors verbally abused her through megaphones; and several witnesses testified they felt compelled to change phone numbers, constantly check to see if they were being followed while walking or driving, move to new homes, keep their children from playing outside, and purchase guns for self-defense.
For those that argue our Constitution was set up to empower the Feds to restrict and control who people may or may not do business with (including "illegal aliens"), I point to this little excerpt:
[Art.] 2. [Natural Rights.] All men have certain natural, essential, and inherent rights - among which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting, property; and, in a word, of seeking and obtaining happiness. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by this state on account of race, creed, color, sex or national origin. - NH State Constitution 1784Granted, it is the New Hampshire state Constitution, but I think it paints a pretty good picture of the thought processes and values of the people at the time. Note the phrase "or national origin". It seems those patriots from yesteryear recognized that a person's natural-born rights were not dependent upon the geographic locality under which they were born, nor a function of some artificial construct called "citizenship". These patriots recognized that the purpose of a Constitution was to restrict the power of politicians to infringe upon individual rights and liberties.... rights and liberties possessed by ALL men, in ALL places, at ALL times.
The President will be on TV tonight, alledgedly to let Americans know what bold new initiative he is planning to "solve" the immigration "crisis". I'm sure it'll be a speech filled with the same old platitudes. However, what every person listening to the speech should keep in mind is the following:
From Free Association: Rush to Fallacy
Rush "Jail All Drug Users But Me" Limbaugh did it again yesterday. His Blowhardedness, ever striving to be George II's No. 1 brownnoser, condemned the Democratic critics of the NSA's mass collection of our telephone records and showed he is either a demagogue or is actually unable to tell a sound argument from a fallacy. (I guess he could be both.) Here's his standard pitch: The Democrats oppose something George II's men are doing even though they have done or approved of the same thing in the past. Therefore their criticism is baseless.
Wrong. Hypocrisy doesn't invalidate a criticism; it just undermines the standing of the person making it. If Democrats condemn something the Bush administration does that they praised when Clinton did it, that's hypocrisy. But it doesn't mean the Bush administration is right to do it. It may mean Clinton was wrong to do it. What about princpled critics who condemn both administrations for their misconduct? Doesn't Limbaugh have to concede that criticism from a principled person is valid? That sounds like relativism to me: For Limbaugh, an argument is valid or invalid depending on who makes it.
I love high-speed internet access!
I came across these two quotes recently. I think in many ways, they sum of the thought processes of Liberals and Conservatives alike.
Government Monitoring About 200 Million Americans' Calls
My Other-Half’s mother lives over in Indiana, and recently came to visit. She is your typical run-of-the-mill Christian-Conservative John Bircher type. On these occasions, I typically avoid engaging in political discussions, as its never productive to argue with someone who has their head up their ass.
Doesn't it bother you in the least bit that George W. Bush put his hand on a Bible, swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, and then promptly ignored that oath?
From my inbox. Rumor has it that there will be some people attempting to organize local rallies, including one down in Cincinnati near the area where the Norwood theft took place. Stay tuned!
The Libertarian Party of Ohio held their annual State Convention this past weekend. I would have blogged about it sooner but for a couple of intervening factors: one, the hotel had absolutely atrocious internet connectivity so getting online was a logistical nightmare, and two, a quick trip to Fort Meyers, Florida for a friend's wedding on Sunday-Monday sapped a lot of my energy (and not to mention sleeping hours).
There's been quite a ruckus over the translation of the national anthem into Spanish. Personally, I don't see what the big deal is. After all, isn't it a song about a hispanic guy?
I admit, I'm pretty hard on Conservatives. At least with Liberals, you find honesty in the principles that guide their actions. They love government, they think government can do wonderful things, and they want to expand government as much as possible, so as to create a better society.
The problem with American conservatism is that it hates the left more than the state, loves the past more than liberty, feels a greater attachment to nationalism than to the idea of self-determination, believes brute force is the answer to all social problems, and thinks it is better to impose truth rather than risk losing one soul to heresy. It has never understood the idea of freedom as a self-ordering principle of society. It has never seen the state as the enemy of what conservatives purport to favor. It has always looked to presidential power as the saving grace of what is right and true about America.
Lost in all the hoopla of the publicly-financed proceedings to decide which candidates will represent Socialist Parties "A" and "B" in November, comes this bit of news from Monday:
Libertarians, Greens, Turn in Ohio Signatures
May 1st, 2006
On May 1, the Ohio deadline this year for the independent candidate procedure, the Libertarian and Green Party candidates for Governor each submitted more than twice the required 5,000 signatures. Libertarian Bill Peirce turned in 13,400, and Green Bob Fitrakis turned in 10,900. The Green running for Secretary of State turned in 9,000. Under Ohio election laws, neither is permitted to have his party label on the ballot. Instead, Ohio will only print “other-party nominee” on the November ballot. The Libertarian lawsuit against Ohio’s procedures for new parties, argued in the 6th circuit in early September 2005, is still awaiting a decision.
Another independent candidate for Ohio Governor, Jim Lundeen, did not succeed in collecting the required 5,000 signatures.