The Epic Failure of Tantrum Politics Reply

By Jim Goad

In politics as in life, the squeaky wheel usually gets the grease, but the other three wheels are finally telling the squeaky wheel to shut the hell up.

Fast food and public protests typically hold as much appeal for me as rectal cancer, yet last week I simultaneously exposed myself to fast food and a public protest with a pair of visits to the local Chick-fil-A franchise.

I popped in last Wednesday at around 9PM to find the restaurant still overflowing with customers like muffin-top fat rolls over tight polyester trousers because it was Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. Many of the patrons were obese, red-cheeked, flat-topped, checker-shirted, effusively wholesome Southern peckerwoods, which is atypical for the neighborhood and suggests a smidgen of Astroturfing from the pro-Christian, anti-gay-marriage crowd.

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For Libertarianism To Be Taken Seriously … 1

By Andrew Sobeiro

With the national debt rising, military and entitlement spending skyrocketing, and the state expanding left and right, libertarianism is becoming increasingly popular.

People realize that the state must be scaled back. This is evident in the tea party and in Occupy Wall Street. While neither movement is libertarian, both borrow heavily from libertarian principles.

Unfortunate-ly, this libertarian renaissance may be just as fleeting as the liberal-progressive resurgence of a few years ago. The majority of the public seems not to take libertarianism seriously. By broadening our mindset, we libertarians can appeal to a broader section of the public without compromising our principles.

For one thing, libertarians should embrace environmentalism.

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Why Aren’t Murderous Communists Condemned Like Nazis Are? Reply

By Walter Williams

In Europe, especially in Germany, hoisting a swastika-emblazoned Nazi flag is a crime. For decades after World War II, people have hunted down and sought punishment for Nazi murderers, who were responsible for the deaths of more than 20 million people.

Here’s my question: Why are the horrors of Nazism so well-known and widely condemned, but not those of socialism and communism? What goes untaught — and possibly is covered up — is that socialist and communist ideas have produced the greatest evil in mankind’s history.

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Empire and the Denial of Death Reply

By Thomas Naylor

I was so taken by James Howard Kunstler’s book The Long Emergency back in 2005 that I immediately invited him to be the keynote speaker for the Vermont Independence Convention that year in the Vermont State House in Montpelier.  After reading his compelling novel,World Made By Hand, about life in a post oil world, I invited him to speak at our 2008 convention as well.  In both appearances he made it clear that while he thought the Empire was in deep trouble, a secessionist he was not.

More recently I have been reading his blogpost bearing the quaint title Clusterfuck Nation, which is one of the most vitriolic attacks on America and Americans I have ever read.  Kunstler really does not like Americans.

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Freedom, Equality, Justice, and Liberty Forever Reply

By Thomas Naylor

The new American flag forever postage stamp series recently released by the U.S. Postal Service represents a degree of hypocrisy heretofore unimaginable.  Below the American flag on each stamp is one of the following four words – freedom, equality, justice, or liberty – followed by the word “forever.”  For example, “freedom forever.”  The not so subtle message of American exceptionalism is that the United States is a country in which freedom, equality, justice, and liberty will surely live forever.  The sheer arrogance underlying this postage stamp series is almost beyond belief.

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Dissident News Update August 7, 2012 Reply

WHITE HOUSE CONSIDERS EXECUTIVE ORDER, LEAVES INTERNET TAKEOVER A POSSIBILITY

The White House has left open the possibility of enacting its Internet agenda via executive order after the failed effort to bring the Democrat-supported cybersecurity bill to a full vote in the Senate last week. In response to a question from The Hill, a Washington, D.C. political newspaper, about whether President Obama…

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Resisting America’s Torture State Reply

By Nathan Goodman

On July 27, The Real News Network reported that the prisoner hunger strike in Georgia entered its 47th day. The strike began with ten prisoners participating; it has since dwindled to two remaining strikers.

At this point, the strikers have only a few demands. They demand medical care for injuries they suffered as a result of beatings by guards 19 months ago. They ask that their families be granted visitation rights, which were arbitrarily revoked without explanation. Perhaps most notably, according to Bruce Dixon, the prisoners demand “that their status in solitary confinement be reviewed, as per written state procedure, every 30 days, so that the state should give a reason for why they are in solitary.”

These prisoners are simply demanding that the government give a reason to keep them held in solitary. This is an extremely moderate demand when we consider that solitary confinement is widely recognized as a method oftorture.

In 2011, UN Special Rapporteur on torture Juan E. Méndez declared that “Considering the severe mental pain or suffering solitary confinement may cause, it can amount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Furthermore, he called for an absolute ban on solitary confinement lasting longer than 15 days, citing evidence that it could cause permanent psychological damage.

If the UN strikes you as too liberal a source, ask John McCain about solitary. The Republican senator and former presidential candidate has written, “It’s an awful thing, solitary … It crushes your spirit and weakens your resistance more effectively than any other form of mistreatment.”  McCain, like many other Vietnam veterans subjected to torture, found solitary confinement to be as damaging as any of the physical abuses he faced.

Yet today, the United States government is the world’s largest perpetrator of this torture technique. In addition to having the largest prison population on the planet, the United States holds approximately 80,000 prisoners in solitary. Bonnie Kerness of the American Friends Service Committee’s Prison Watch Project points out that Americans concerned with torture abroad need to realize that they are “living with black sites in their own backyards.”

These domestic “black sites” are not just for violent criminals. According to a 2010 study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, more than 60% of American prisoners are nonviolent offenders. And once they’ve been locked up, they can be sent to solitary without ever posing a real threat. A recent report in The Nationby Jean Casella and James Ridgeway found that the second most common reason prisoners in New York were sent to solitary was that their urine tested positive for drugs. “In a prison system where 85 percent of inmates are in need of substance-abuse treatment, drug use alone can get you up to ninety days in solitary, and a year if it happens multiple times,” Ridgeway and Casella explained.

A year in solitary confinement is more than enough time to cause permanent psychological damage. Yet the US government is willing to hold people in solitary for far longer than a year. Herman Wallace and Albert Woodcox have now spent over 40 years in solitary in Louisiana’s Angola prison. Many believe they were targeted for their prison activism with the Black Panther Party. The stated reason for their confinement is a crime that occurred over 40 years ago, a murder charge built on questionable evidence.

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Property and Freedom Society–7th Annual Meeting–Speakers & Topics Reply

By Stephan Kinsella

Below is the proposed list of speakers and topics for the upcoming Seventh Annual Meeting of the PFS, which will be held in Bodrum, Turkey at the Hotel Karia Princess, from Thursday September 27 through Monday October 1, 2012. Those interested in attending should contact Dr. Hoppe or Mr. Grözinger, Administrative Secretary, regarding conditions, availability, and requirements.

(Note: The list of speakers for the Sixth Annual Meeting (May 26-30, 2011) may be found in theProgram; video of the presentations are available here.)

Property and Freedom Society

7th Annual Meeting

September 27 – October 2, 2012

Bodrum, Turkey

Karia Princess Hotel

Speakers & Topics

Philosophy and Law

Economics

Literature and Literary Criticism

  • Sean Gabb: On Literature and Liberty
  • Benjamin Marks: On H. L. Mencken as a Libertarian Model (and some Romantic Libertarian Delusions)

History

  • KarlPeter Schwarz: Between Restitution and Re-Expropriation: Desocialization in Eastern Europe
  • Norman Stone: Comparative History: Turkey and Spain
  • Tom DiLorenzo: The Myth of American Exceptionalism
  • Hunt Tooley: Engineering Tragedy:  The Meaning of the CIA Coup d’Etat in Iran, 1953

Society and Politics

Murray Rothbard: Towards a Theory of Strategy for Liberty 1

The man had it right. I was thrilled when I first encountered this essay sometime in the 1990s as I had already come to a similar conclusion myself.

By Murray Rothbard

THE ELABORATION OF A systematic theory of liberty has been rare enough, but exposition of a theory of strategy for liberty has been virtually nonexistent. Indeed, not only for liberty, strategy toward reaching any sort of desired social goal has been generally held to be catch-as-catch-can, a matter of hit-or-miss experimentation, of trial and error. Yet, if philosophy can set down any theoretical guidelines for a strategy for liberty it is certainly its responsibility to search for them. But the reader should be warned that we are setting out on an uncharted sea.

The responsibility of philosophy to deal with strategy—with the problem of how to move from the present (any present) mixed state of affairs to the goal of consistent liberty—is particularly important for a libertarianism grounded in natural law. For as the libertarian historian Lord Acton realized, natural law and natural-rights theory provide an iron benchmark with which to judge—and to find wanting—any existing brand of statism. In contrast to legal positivism or to various brands of historicism, natural law provides a moral and political “higher law” with which to judge the edicts of the State. As we have seen above,1 natural law, properly interpreted, is “radical” rather than conservative, an implicit questing after the reign of ideal principle. As Acton wrote, “[Classical] Liberalism wishes for what ought to be, irrespective of what is.” Hence, as Himmelfarb writes of Acton, “the past was allowed no authority except as it happened to conform to morality.” Further, Acton proceeded to distinguish between Whiggism and Liberalism, between, in effect, conservative adherence to the status quo and radical libertarianism:

The Whig governed by compromise. The Liberal begins the reign of ideas.

How to distinguish the Whigs from the Liberal-One is practical, gradual, ready for compromise. The other works out a principle philosophically. One is a policy aiming at a philosophy. The other is a philosophy seeking a policy.2

     Libertarianism, then, is a philosophy seeking a policy. But what else can a libertarian philosophy say about strategy, about “policy”? In the first place, surely—again in Acton’s words—it must say that liberty is the “highest political end,” the overriding goal of libertarian philosophy Highest politicalend, of course, does not mean “highest end” for man in general. Indeed, every individual has a variety of personal ends and differing hierarchies of importance for these goals on his personal scale of values. Political philosophy is that subset of ethical philosophy which deals specifically withpolitics, that is, the proper role of violence in human life (and hence the explication of such concepts as crime and property). Indeed, a libertarian world would  beone in which every individual would at last be free to seek and pursue his own ends—to “pursue happiness,” in the felicitous Jeffersonian phrase.

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Murray Rothbard’s Take on Where Rand Paul Stands on the Political Spectrum Reply

The Rand Paul phenomena vindicates Rothbard’s prescient warning against “right-opportunism.” He also warned against “left-sectarianism” (listen up, left-libertarians and social anarchists).

From the Economic Policy Journal

Dan Cotter emails:

I think Murray Rothbard laid out the best strategy for the liberty movement ever in this letter to F.A. Harper, George Resch. It appeared in Strictly Confidential and was titled “What Is To Be Done?”

Rothbard’s Confidential Memorandum to the Volker Fund,
“What Is to Be Done?”
July 1961
To: F.A. Harper, George Resch
STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL

I think he made the perfect distinction between Ron and Rand Paul in this letter and described why Rand Paul’s strategy will fail to create positive change.

He laid out three types of strategies.

1.The sectarian strategists (e.g., the current Trotskyite sects) are those who pass out leaflets on street corners, state their full ideological position at all times, and consider any collaboration in halfway measures as “opportunist,” “selling out the cause,” etc. They are undoubtedly noble, but almost always ineffective.

2.The opposite “deviation” is “opportunism”: the willingness to collaborate with any halfway measures or organizations, and, in effect, to abandon the true principles in the name of gradualist advance, “realism,”
“practical life,” etc. These are the real sellers-out of the revolution, and they almost always, in historical Leninist experience, end by turning “reformist” and abandoning—in fact and later even de jure—their
revolutionary principles. These people are ignoble, and, if they are at all effective, they are not effective in the proper, revolutionary direction.

{This is the group I see Rand in.}

3. But I believe that there is a third, “centrist” course—certainly hard to find in practice, but the broad outlines of which can be sketched, and then perhaps used as a guide for our future activities. This “middle way” (Ugh! How I hate that concept!) may, for convenience, be dubbed “centrist” or “Leninist,” and it runs,
I believe, roughly as follows:

{I see this as the group that Ron Paul is a part of}

Rothbard goes on to lay out the strategy and it is just a brilliant letter. I was extremely moved when I read this back when the book first came out. I think your readers would benefit greatly from reading this since there is so much debate over what Rand Paul has been doing.

You can find it here. (page 7)

 

NYC: Solidarity Action for Northwest Anarchist Fighters Reply

From AnarchistNews.Org

In the early morning hours of August 2nd, we dropped two large banners from the Williamsburg Bridge in New York City facing traffic. One read “SOLIDARITY WITH NORTHWEST ANARCHISTS” while the other read “FUCK GRAND JURIES.” We did this as a gesture of solidarity with the Anarchist fighters of the northwest, currently facing down the investigative apparatus of the state. Strength, comrades! Whether on the street, in a courthouse, or in a cell, our passion for freedom is stronger than their prisons.

Northwest revolutionary forces, you have inspired many of us while instilling fear in the hearts of politicians and police in your region. You have consistently shown nothing but love for your comrades in struggle and nothing but hatred for the reactionary forces of law and order. Repression does not mean you have done something wrong, it means you have done something right.

We would also like to take this opportunity to send revolutionary greetings to the Cleveland 4 and the Tinley Park 5. Your struggle is our struggle.

TOTAL SOLIDARITY
TOTAL COMPLICITY
LONG LIVE ANARCHY

NBC forced to apologise after ill-timed ad features a monkey doing gymnastics – right after showing Gabby Douglas’ gold medal victory Reply

A keen observation from Neil Hiatt of N-AM:  “So it is racist to feature a monkey after a Black person but not an Asian, Oriental, or White person? Hmmmm, seems that the very same PC stormtrooper goon squads crying for an apology are actually the ones that think monkeys resemble blacks in the first place! Stop projecting your own prejudices on us!”

There’s an interesting discussion of this incident here as well.

From The Daily Mail

NBC has become the centre of a race storm after airing an ad featuring a monkey performing gymnastics, right after showing the performance of Gabby Douglas, the first African-American to win Olympic gold.

The network has since apologised for the advert’s poor timing, explaining: ‘No offense was intended.’

The controversy ignited as sportscaster Bob Costas wrapped his analysis of her incredible routine during the all-around competition last night.

Costas said: ‘There are some African American girls out there who tonight are saying to themselves: “Hey, I’d like to try that too.” More from London in a moment.’

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New Hampshire Adopts Jury Nullification Law Reply

By J. D. Tuccille

Jury nullification, in which jurors refuse to convict defendants under laws they find objectionable or inappropriately applied, is a favored tactic of many libertarians who, rightly or wrongly perceive individual liberty as, at best, a minority taste among their neighbors. They like the idea of a tool that can be wielded on the spot to shield people from powerful control freaks without first having to win a popularity contest. But nullification is useful only if people know about. And last week, New Hampshire’s governor signed a law requiring the state’s judges to permit defense attorneys to inform jurors of their right to nullify the law.

On June 18, Governor John Lynch signed HB 146, which reads:

a Right of Accused. In all criminal proceedings the court shall permit the defense to inform the jury of its right to judge the facts and the application of the law in relation to the facts in controversy.

Short, simple and to the point. Nullification advocate Tim Lynch, of the Cato Institute, thinks it’s a step in the right direction, though not necessarily a game-changer. Says he:

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Roseanne Barr Gets Presidential Nomination Of The Peace And Freedom Party Reply

By Josh Feldman

You may recall that comedienne Roseanne Barrattempted to run for president on the Green Party ticket, and was even seriously considered as the party’s vice presidential nominee. Now Barr has joined up with another third party called the Peace and Freedom Party, and won the party’s nomination vote in Los Angeles yesterday, making her the official presidential nominee of the party.

RELATED: Roseanne Barr Seeks Green Party Nomination For President
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Arranged marriage is not forced marriage 2

From the CNN Freedom Project

Worldwide, every three seconds a girl under the age of 18 is married.

In India, 90% of these marriages are arranged between families.

And with a divorce rate of just above 1% proponents argue arranged marriage is an effective way for young people to find a partner.

But what happens when a proposed marriage goes awry?

CNN’s Sumnima Udas looks at the pros and cons of arranged marriage.