November 8, 2005
Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.
-A. J. Liebling
That’s right, ladies and gentleman, your humble correspondent is back in charge. Lord help us all. Back in the old days, when the Life, Liberty and Property Community was barely more than a twinkle in Eric’s eye, we (with the help of Quincy, of course!) understood that the greatest threat to liberty is ignorance. People who don’t think tend to prefer dependency to liberty.
So the day came that we decided to start the Carnival of Liberty. The best way to fight ignorance is with ideas, but without a venue for attracting people to ideas, we would quickly have become an echo chamber. I was honored when I was given the chance to host the first Carnival, and I am equally honored to be able to host it again. It has been quite a success so far!
As for the past week, liberty has been threatened and derided, and at the same time has been defended and expanded. Our elected officials voted down the Online Freedom of Speech act. Samuel Alito was nominated to the Supreme Court, an event which will most certainly affect liberty, although we know not how at this time. The 9th Circuit said that parents don’t have a right to object to their kids being asked questions about sex in grade school. The House of Representatives did something right for a change (amazing what a little national outrage will bring!) and voted to curb eminent domain abuses. This week, much like every week, is another battle in the war between those of us who wish to make our own decisions, and those who wish to control us.
All in all, though, I consider our side to be getting stronger every day. I consistently make the point that before the internet, the trend of media and information was towards greater central control. Immediately the growth and prominence of blogs are starting to fracture that growing centralization. Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one, and in the year of the blog, that’s a restriction on none.
Before I step into the links, a little announcement. I’ll be gone all day tomorrow, so I welcome all new readers to my little printing press. If you get a chance, take a look around. You might find something you like. To contributors, if you see anything I’ve missed or gotten wrong, let me know. I won’t be around until late tomorrow night, and thus if it’s glaring, leave a comment to alert my readers, as I can’t fix it until then. And to the “big bloggers” (you know who you are) kind enough to send a link my way, allow me to offer my gratitude in advance. Last, I chose this week to go in straight order of submission, rather than break the postings into groups, because we’d have had a few small categories and one giant miscellaneous group.
On to the show!
Starting off, Raving Conservative gives a strong defense of Israel’s defiance of the forces arrayed to do them harm. The author takes issue with the tactical choice of their withdrawal plan, and suggests that it’s likely to only solidify the base from which Palestine can launch attacks.
CLASSical Liberalism points out the ways in which American anti-Japanese racism fueled our decisions and attitudes in WWII in his post White Man’s Burden. What I would point out, of course, is that in the 60 years since that time, we have made significant progress on race. Now, we are fighting an enemy in a global war, and yet despite the fact that they tend to look “different” than the average American, we largely don’t care about the racial aspect of the conflict. It is a pitched battle between ideological opposites, not an attempt to “civilize the barbaric races”.
Critical Mastiff gives a defense of free trade in his post, Comparative Advantage in a Changing World. He rightly points out that free trade is a good thing for all parties, because it allows production and economy to be determined based on the market, the most efficient allocator of resources in the world. He also points out, again rightly, that it is our own government regulation and taxation policies making America a less competitive place to do business, and that if we don’t solve that, trying to stop “Benedict Arnold CEO’s” simply won’t work. I’d love to hear his thoughts on the FairTax!
Ogre’s Politics and Views attacks another bit of economic idiocy in his post Democrats Push for Higher Gas Prices. In their quest to help the little guy, they’ve suggested we increase taxes on oil companies. And I’ll bet when gas prices rise, they’re not going to blame themselves. Of course, Ogre points out who’s REALLY getting rich off of oil:
From 1977 to 2004, the total profits combined of every single oil company in the United States was $643 billion. Over the exact same time period, governments have “profited” $1.34 TRILLION, more than twice the amount made by oil companies*.
So who is making “too much” money off your gasoline purchases? Government, that’s who.
Resistance is Futile tells us about the failure of the Online Freedom of Speech Act. One of his questions was how to determine the worth of the activism a weblog engages in, and I tried to answer that here (hint: The Unrepentant Individual isn’t worth much). He continues to give some background on the actions of Representatives in his home state of Oregon, who didn’t much care for this piece of legislation.
Forward Biased takes some serious shots at the War on (Some) Drugs in his post There Oughta be a Law! He points out the factual evidence, showing that the War on Drugs tends to create more problems than it solves, by creating violent black markets, and the hypocrisy of those who ignore the unintended consequences of destroying more lives in the War on Drugs than the drugs themselves might end. But even going further, he gives the principled defense for why we shouldn’t simply try to write laws against things we disapprove of. The “money quote”:
What manner of system would this create, though? Would we not live in an unbearably chaotic society if this were true? What would we call a philosophy that allows for such behavior?
We call it LIBERTY, and we founded a country upon that philosophy.
Libercontrarian asks what would happen if a candidate started avocating his Twelve Planks of the Platform. These twelve planks are eminently sensible, and a candidate that could espouse them would be very brave. You see, they actually require making bold, tough choices, which politicians, by there very nature, are incapable of.
TF Stern brings us two great posts this week. The first, The Ultimate in Psychopathy– Anything Goes, gives an explanation between some of the differences between libertarian and libertine, with a little help from Robert Bork. He goes on to explain how the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are largely ignored by the courts and the arguments of the “progressives”. The second post, Double Standard, asks why a circuit court can hold that a parent cannot object to the school teaching their child anything they want to about sex, but it doesn’t take much for one parent who opposes to calling a holiday “Christmas Break”– or even reciting the Pledge of Allegiance– can push the school into acquiescing to their demands. I’m not a religious man like TF, but I constantly find myself asking the same questions…
Shiloh Musings gives us a post on Israeli government entitled Government by Leaks and Bounds. It seems that the Israeli government, when encountering public opposition to a policy, tends to simply keep pounding the issue, polling, pushing it, until the people are so confused that they’re effectively forced into going along. I’d certainly point out that this isn’t a quality restricted to the Israelis; we’ve got quite a few here who have taken baby steps towards socialism only to result in a nation that hardly resembles anything like the one envisioned by our Founders.
New World Man, on the 25th anniversary of Reagan’s first election, gives us Reaganite = libertarian. He explains that there are three types of conservatives (at least with respect to their thoughts on the judiciary), and Reagan held to the ideal that the judiciary was a check on the legislature, not a partner to it. That also tends to be the same idea that most of us ’small-l’ libertarians adhere to. 25 years later, the Republican Party finds itself looking for another Reagan, and those of us right-libertarian types certainly hope they find one.
the skwib, an incredible satire writer, brings us The Gruntwerx Paradigm. Any of us who’ve dealt with management fads, the types of days where you enter a meeting only to realize you end up hearing more buzzwords than useful words, will get a kick out of this little blurb. And it only gets better from there.
He would survive it. Heâ€™d survived countless other management fads: TQM, quality circles, excellence, matrix management, and on, and on. He would survive the Gruntwerx paradigm too. He sat down at his desk and began the work day, content with the knowledge that he would rise above von Werthog and her corporate censorship.
Below the Beltway explains the tenets of Republican Socialism. Lord Acton once said that power corrupts, and our current group of socially-conservative, fiscally-liberal Republican elected officials haven’t learned the problems of centrally-planned economies. Of course, when they’re the planners, I’m sure they believe they can do it right this time.
Political Calculations also defends free trade in his post The Road to Serfdom or Globalization. Quoting heavily from Fareed Zakaria, he asks why the “urban intellectuals”, who fight any sort of program that will lift countries out of poverty if they’re not environmentally perfect, should be listened to. And he further asks that if we determine that their policies are absolutely wrong for the undeveloped world, could we not also make the point that they’re just as wrong for the developed world?
Tom Rants tells us that Eminent Domain Could get a Chilling. The House has written a bill denying federal funds to governments who invoke eminent domain for projects that will transfer the land to private uses. It might not be the most perfect bill, but it’s a big step in the right direction.
Peter Porcupine asks us Is Paris Burning? He points out just what has led to the current situation, in France, Europe, and the world. He sums up with a statement which I think accurately describes just what the war on terror consists of:
We need to recognize that this war is only partly on Iraqi soil, and pay our opponents the respect of taking them seriously. Even as the intelligentsia sneers at Homeland Security and terror alerts, the Paris that is burning is in France, not Kentucky or Maine or Texas.
Mr. Completely gives us an obituary– Common Sense: R.I.P. It certainly seems that way, most days. But alas, I can’t say it any better than he already has:
Common Sense finally gave up the ghost after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot, she spilled a bit in her lap, and was awarded a huge financial settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by two stepbrothers; My Rights and Ima Whiner.
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.
Searchlight Crusade tells us of the Virtues of the Housing and Mortgage Market in the US. There are some problems, but compared to the 9% interest rates in Europe, the 14% interest rates in Mexico, coupled with the easy access to capital in the US, really makes us stand out. Dan regularly explains many of the tips & tricks (i.e. ways to screw the consumer) in the mortgage industry, in order to better arm us against the swindlers. But as with much in the world, the better you get at the big problems, the more you notice the “little things”.
The People’s Republic of Seabrook defends gay marriage in his post, And the knucKKKle-dragging troglodytes shall always be among us. For those who think you can judge a lot about character by the company one keeps, he points out that the opposition to Prop 2 is largely trumpeted by the KKK. I wonder if the Klan has noticed that their opposition is likely to increase support for the measure? I might think that tactical considerations would take precedence over outright blind hatred, but sometimes I’m known to give people too much credit…
Mover Mike expands on an earlier post with It’s Our War to Lose! Part 2. Suffice to say, I agree with what Mike has written pretty closely, and I’m willing to let one very important statement speak for itself. Few words, to be true, but they speak volumes:
We, the nations of the world, are in a strange war. It is strange because its outcome hinges primarily on whether the side being attacked will admit that war has been declared against it and decides to fight back.
TMH’s Bacon Bits asks for ACLUâ€™s Opinion Requested on Bird Flu Pandemic Planning. It seems that the ACLU is extremely worried here about civil liberties being infringed in the wake of natural disasters or a pandemic. That’s interesting; I don’t seem to remember them denouncing the seizure of guns in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina. But I guess the right to keep and bear arms doesn’t mean much to a group interested in civil liberties.
Eric’s Grumbles Before the Grave brings us A Few More Things to Say. It’s a post explaining Eric’s thoughts on the failure to pass of the Online Freedom of Speech Act. As usual, I don’t disagree with a word of it. His summation is quite crucial to those of us who believe in liberty. Not liberty or protection for US, but liberty and protection for ALL:
I don’t want any protection, one way or the other. I want Congress to be neutral, which is what the Constitution calls for. And it’s up to me, and the thousands of political bloggers like me, to make this nascent medium work. In a straight up fight between the “old media” and the “new media”, we are going to win. In fact, even with Congress doing everything they think they can get away with to suppress our voices, we are still going to win. But Congress listening to the Constitution sure would be nice.
Rick Sincere News and Thoughts brings us a post called Fever. It’s all well and good to criticize Hollywood liberals. It’s quite another to show up and ask them pointed, relevant, questions, and to do so in a calm and respectful manner (as opposed to the shouters-down who protest against conservatives). As with many arguments, Rick didn’t really change Venessa Redgrave’s mind, but he made those folks sitting in the audience think. I’ve often said, when arguing with leftists on this blog and elsewhere, that I highly doubt I’ll change their minds (in most cases). But it’s the bystanders, observing the debate, that I hope to reach. Kudos to Rick for reaching a few.
Last, Quincy at News, the Universe, and Everything gives us The Clarification Amendments. Given the brevity, I’ll post them in their entirety. I’m concerned that if our government didn’t listen to the first two amendments we already have, that they might not listen to these, but there’s not much downside.
Amends Amendment I: The freedoms of speech and the press, being fundamental to a functioning democracy, shall not be infringed upon in any manner by any entity of government in the United States. Furthermore, since speech is only effective if it can be heard, no entity of government shall interfere in or regulate the use of private funds or resources used to disseminate speech at any time or on any topic.
Amends Amendment II: No entity of government shall infringe upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Infringement includes, but is not limited to, efforts to regulate the types of arms, efforts to license or track firearms, and efforts to regulate access to or types of ammunition. The only exception to this is that state governments have the right to deny firearms to convicted felons.
So that’s it, dear readers! Another Carnival of Liberty in the bag.
Wow, I’ve forgotten just how much work this is!
Eric's Grumbles Before The Grave linked with Carnival of Liberty
Watcher of Weasels linked with Weekly Roundup of Weekly Roundups
Owlish Mutterings linked with This Week's Carnivals
Forward Biased linked with Two more carnivals are up
Blog Carnival linked with Blog Carnival index: Carnival of Liberty XIX
Modulator linked with Carnivals Provide Information and Post Material
Target Centermass linked with Carnival of Liberty XIX
Eric's Grumbles Before The Grave linked with Carnival of Liberty XIX
Searchlight Crusade linked with Links and Minifeatures 11 08 Tuesday
Mover Mike linked with Carnival of Liberty XIX
The Jawa Report linked with Annoy A Pain In The Ass
New World Man - he's got a roadmap of Jupiter linked with Carnival of Liberty XIX
The Wrightwing linked with Carnivals!
The Art of the Blog linked with Carnival Of Liberty XIX
Below The Beltway linked with Carnival Of Liberty XIX
Don Surber linked with Election Day Open Post
Lest Darkness Fall linked with Carnival of Liberty XIX
Life, Liberty, and Property Group Blog linked with Carnival of Liberty XIX
News, the Universe, and Everything linked with Carnival of Liberty XIX
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