March 14, 2006
Yes, friends, it’s that time again. Another week gone, and we’re onto the 36th Carnival of Liberty. I’ve hosted before, Carnival #1 and Carnival #20. I must have forgotten how much work it is, because not only have I volunteered to do it again, I think I’m going to have the honor of hosting the Carnival’s 1-year anniversary on July 4th! Next week, the Carnival travels to the home of Obi-Wan, Forward Biased.
One of the perks of hosting, though, is the ability to give myself top billing. I’ve championed the idea that the internet and the march of technology is the greatest hope to save liberty in this country. It’s apt to showcase a post this week in which I discuss more of the personal aspects of how the internet affects our lives:
Every day, humanity seems to be traveling faster and faster, learning more and more. What it will mean for the future of the world, I canâ€™t say. But I can say personally, itâ€™s given me access to information and knowledge far ahead of my years. And as the internet matures, itâ€™s worth as a tool for increasing the rate at which I can find information grows. As 1 billion, then 2 billion, and eventually 6 billion people in the world all start to have access to this knowledge, the availability of information will not grow two-fold or six-fold, it will grow exponentially. The implications of that are profound, and knowing that itâ€™s likely to occur in my lifetime is an exciting realization.
On to the fun!
Leading off is Different River, with a quickie. His post references the author of Shiloh Musings, who is apparently being evicted from her town in Israel. It’s a short post, but his point about a bit of a double standard is a good one:
No, of course sheâ€™s not a Palestinian terrorist â€“ if she were, to evict her would be a human rights violation. Itâ€™s nothing personal, and itâ€™s nothing she did â€“ she is being evicted for being a Jew living in Shiloh, the pre-Davidic capital of ancient Israel â€“ where Jews â€œarenâ€™t supposedâ€ to live anymore.
The Radical Libertarian, up next, does his best to debunk the statist concept of equality. One of his closing paragraphs sums up a common thought amongst libertarians, the thought that even if it were moral to enact liberal social programs, entrusting it to bureaucrats serves the bureaucrats first and society second:
In practice, however, liberalism does not offer such a system. Resources are stolen by the government bureaucracy (with the force of the gun if needed) and then redistributed according to the politicians’ interest, not in accordance with any supposed social need. And usually, the interest of politicians, liberal or conservative, does not lie in these supposed social needs, but rather to serve the popular, the rich and the powerful. So they tend to have the opposite effect – the so-called “middle class” is put in jeopardy most often than other “classes” (if you believe in social classes at all).
Batya of Shiloh Musings, referenced two posts above as getting evicted by her own government in Israel’s “disengagement”, discusses Eminent Domain. She gives the garden-variety definition of eminent domain (i.e. land taken for public uses such as roads, etc), and points this out:
That wasn’t Disengagement. None of the purposes a government normally has for the land confiscated, or should I say: “None of the purposes a normal government has for the land confiscated” could be compared to what the Israeli Government did to the land and property it confiscated from the hard-working, loyal citizens who had been living in Gush Katif and the Northern Sinai.
The principle of Eminent domain does not cover giving land won in a defensive war to terrorists whose aim is the destruction of the “giving” country.
Gullyborg at Resistance is Futile goes local on us, with a post asking Who is Gene Hallman. Given that I’ve never heard of Gene Hallman, it’s lucky that he answers the question for us. “Quite possibly the most dangerous man in Oregon politics!” Given the litany of positions Gullyborg gives us, I’m inclined to agree.
Over at Ogre’s Politics & Views, we’ve got a full round-up of all the barnburner races for the North Carolina legislature:
* crickets chirping *
That’s about it. As the Charlotte Observer notes, the majority of candidates for the North Carolina General Assembly have already “won” their elections because they face zero opposition. Many of those that do only have a primary race, so there’s not much to be decided on election day in November.
Why? Primarily because of gerrymandering. The districts are specifically drawn so that there is no competition. The current legislators are picking their “constituents” instead of the people electing people to represent them. Why? Because the legislators are part of an elite class that knows better than you what you need.
The New World Man follows Jonah Goldberg’s lead and takes on an issue that I always stay away from: abortion. But he asks a pretty interesting question, how people can be pro-life “except in the case of rape or incest”:
He concludes that the real answer is probably populist: that “huge majorities of Americans just detest the idea that women should have to have children from rape and incest.” But: “If you’re prolife,” he says, “but think when really big majorities favor killing it’s ok, you need to think things through a bit more.”
Ed, the robot guy, has an interesting post about sovereignty and property rights. I.e. what if you go to a deserted island, that a bunch of governments have decided is unclaimed land. You homestead that island, mining it and selling the minerals on the open market. Does that become your land? If you desire to be a sovereign nation, how would you go about it? Well, substitute “planet”, “moon”, or “asteroid” for “island” in all the above, and that’s what makes his post interesting:
I, too, think that if private businesses are successful in attaining space and making claims on extraterrestrial property and actually working the land, then an independent space colony/nation is inevitable; if one such colony is started there will undoubtedly be many to follow; and thus, there will be many such nations in space, each independent from earthly governments. Oh, sure, there will be some squawking from Outer Space Treaty signatory nations, and perhaps even embargoes on space colonies early in their independence – but let’s ask Saddam Hussein just how effective embargoes are.
The Charlotte Capitalist relates a story by another blogger of the pressure on workers to contribute to corporate charity drives. It seems that in many companies, there is an implicit threat against people who may choose (or simply be unable to afford) contributions to those charity drives, and they’re choosing between paying their bills and contributing to charity. That’s a choice nobody should be forced to make.
Surprisingly, the first Dubai ports post comes this late in the Carnival. RG Combs of Combs Spouts Off wonders what the fuss is about. He thinks this is much ado about nothing, and that in the long run, losing this deal is going to be a net negative. But, you can easily see whose purposes were served here:
No matter. Whoever the buyer is, this means container terminal operations in those six ports won’t become as efficient, modernized, and secure as they would have under DP World management. But the gutless, unprincipled Republicans can breathe a sigh of relief, the Democrats can puff out their chests over their newfound national security stones, the nativists and xenophobes can turn their attention back to Mexicans, and the longshoremen’s union can gloat about all the featherbedding jobs that have been saved.
Michael Hampton of Homeland Stupidity takes on the Patriot Act. Do we have to fear its abuse, or do we have to fear the incompetence of those using it? It seems an Oregon lawyer was mistakenly charged with being a part of the Madrid train bombings, and while that may have been an honest mistake, the use of the Patriot Act made it much more difficult for him to clear his name.
Doug of Below The Beltway has a three-part series in store for us on Eminent Domain. First, in a particularly heinous offense, the government of Long Island, NY, is considering eminent domain proceedings to seize a private golf course. What public work is going to replace this property? A municipal golf course! Hmm, the state seizing private businesses and taking them over? I seem to remember this sort of thing happening in China and Russia… Next, he has an update on Virginia’s attempts to curb eminent domain, followed by Marylands non-attempts to do so. We need to keep the heat on, folks! The politicians aren’t going to take their medicine unless we force it down their throats…
Dan Melson of Searchlight Crusade brings us two posts. His first post (as he is in the mortgage industry) discusses the possible factors that will sink a loan. If you’re planning on purchasing property or refinancing a loan (as I am), you need to read it. His second post is new lyrics for Tom Lehrer’s song Who’s Next? Dan champions the spread of democracy in his own version:
Afghans got the freedom and that was good
For they love peace and brotherhood
Iraq got the freedom and that’s okay
The world is safer with Saddam Away
Georgia got the freedom,
have no fears
No Old World trail of tears
Ukraine got Orange Freedom,
don’t you grieve
they’re on our side
Tom Rants reacts to the ACLU’s threat to tie up the developers of a proposed Catholic town in Florida with lawsuits. It seems some people might choose to freely express their religion, while not actually doing a single thing to restrict others from practicing religion, but since that religion is Christianity, it must be opposed:
The American Civil Liberties Union is outraged that 20,000 residents will have the opportunity to freely practice their religion and that Monaghan will freely control his own property as he sees fit. The far left has an interesting definition of liberty – the liberty to do what they want you to do and their liberty to sue to make you.
So long as the developers donâ€™t violate fair housing laws, either in their sales, their advertising or the restrictions placed on residential lots, thereâ€™s not a lot of room or reason for complaint. (I suspect that they wonâ€™t be advertising â€œCatholic only,â€ because of those fair housing laws.) The solution if ACLU members or non-Catholics want to abort babies or otherwise live lifestyles inconsistent with the new community is much simpler than going to court – donâ€™t buy a house in Ave Maria.
Dr. T of In the Belly of the Beast also gives us two posts, his first being the extended version of the title for Hillary Clinton’s It Takes A Village. Funny stuff. His second is an investigation on how the public-run VHA has skewed their numbers. Ten years ago, the care provided by the VHA was roundly criticized, and so they’ve reformed. Well, they’ve appeared to reform, anyway:
After receiving well-deserved negative publicity and chastisement from Congress, the top administrators of the VHA knew that change was needed. Here’s what was done. First, the VHA asked for and received approval for expanding eligibility among veterans. Why would a healthcare system already in trouble try to increase its patient load? The answer is that Congress uses a very strange formula for determining VHA funding. The budgets of VA facilities are based on the numbers of “uniques.” A “unique” is an active (seen at least twice per year) VA patient. By expanding eligibility and luring younger and healthier veterans to VA healthcare, the VHA budget would increase. Why would fairly healthy veterans use the VA system? Free medications with no copayments. The net effects of adding these less ill veterans were increased budgets (that more than covered the added expenses of the newly eligible veterans) and better health scores for the average VA patient.
Jack Cluth, premier of The People’s Republic of Seabrook, takes on South Dakota’s attack on Roe v. Wade. He wonders how two Supreme Court nominees have given them the cojones to start swinging for the fences:
With John Roberts and Samuel Alito now occupying seats on the Supreme Court, slash-and-burn Social Conservatives are now feeling pretty good about themselves. It was just a matter of time before they could no longer resist the urge to flex their newly-found political muscle, eh? While there has been some debate among Evangelical Republicans about the approach to be taken, there can be no doubt that the goal is to take down Roe v. Wade. Some feel that the most effective and longest-lasting results can be achieved by nibbling at the right to abortion around the edges. Others are convinced that they can take down Roe v. Wade with a frontal assault. South Dakotaâ€™s new anti-woman abortion law represents nothing if not a frontal assault.
Weasel then lobbied Ongaâ€™s father, Bushenior to force Thag to take her back. The Elder was fairly influential within the tribe, and he told Thag that if he did not take Onga back, he would install his son, Dubyag, as the new leader of the hunters over Thag.
â€œDubyag not good hunter,â€ Thag said.
â€œMaybe,â€ Bushenior said, â€œbut heâ€™s my son, and Onga is my daughter. I can convince the other Elders that I am right.â€
â€œWhat of hunters?â€ Thag asked. â€œBad for hunters Dubyag lead them. He get kicked in head by wooly rhino. Other hunters get kicked in head. Bad for hunters.â€
Perry at the Eidelblog was giving blood the other day, and in an oxygen deprived haze, made quite a funny joke to a friend. But after he drank some juice and recovered, he explained how the government is killing people:
The need for new platelet donors may become critical if the feds have their way. The Food and Drug Administration has been looking to restrict platelet donors to 24 pints per year, but healthy patients could give up to three pints per visit. Not all give that much, but some blood center officials told ABC News that they fear the FDA’s proposed restrictions could cut platelet supplies in half. Why should the state have any reason to get involved here? Is it not the donor’s decision to donate a pint or three, and the center’s decision to accept it?
The FDA’s restrictions will be just another way by which government kills people, or at least worsen their suffering by denying them easy access to things like non-prescription insulin. Then government does the converse, attempting to appear benevolent and creating the illusion that it’s protecting us from harm, by “approving” new medicines like inhalable insulin. Would it make any difference to my body whether federal bureaucrats decide a medicine is “safe” or “dangerous”? The truth is independent of their decision, particularly since they are known to be wrong.
Finally, finishing up on the same topic we started with, Mensa Barbie brings up Peace for Israel. She links to a video showing Gush Katif, evacuated late last year. But I’m sure the vibrant, beautiful community will continue to flourish under its new management! Uh, yeah…
(Linked to TTLB Ubercarnival)
Mensa Barbie Welcomes You linked with Peace for Israel
the skwib linked with Carnvivial
Searchlight Crusade linked with Links and Minifeatures 03 15 Wednesday - Beware the Ideas of March!
Target Centermass linked with Carnival of Liberty XXXVI
Committees of Correspondence linked with Carnival of Liberty XXXVI
Below The Beltway linked with Carnival Of Liberty XXXVI
The Liberty Papers»Blog Archive linked with Carnival of Liberty XXXVI
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