July 4, 2006
One year ago, the libertarian end of the blogosphere was reeling from the Kelo decision. While the decision wasn’t that big of a step to expand precedent, it’s significance was clear: your property is no longer yours, and the government will take it any time they think there’s a better use for it.
A few days later, the Life, Liberty, and Property blog community was born. Started by a small group of bloggers irate over one Supreme Court decision, the community has now bloomed. Now boasting nearly 150 members, it serves as one of the core forces in the blogosphere for mobilizing libertarians to act on issues affecting us. Perhaps Kelo may be our Stamp Act, and the egregious violation of what our entire country perceives as essential liberties will result in us gaining the strength to win those liberties back.
Shortly after the formation of the LLP community, we asked ourselves what more we could do to bring attention to the constant battles between freedom and government. At the time, we suggested hosting a blog Carnival, a place where each week’s best liberty-oriented posts would be collected. I was given the honor of hosting the first Carnival of Liberty, which we aptly posted on Independence day. I have again been given the honor of posting the anniversary edition. Kelo may have slipped below the radar, but the battles for liberty rage on, as we saw our Senate debating whether or not to take our rights to freedom of speech just last week. The anti-liberty forces have taken no rest, and thus we must not either.
I would like to take a moment to thank Eric and Quincy, without whom the LLP community would never have gotten off the ground. Unfortunately for us (although not for him), Eric had to stop blogging due to a grand new career. Quincy, too, has largely stopped blogging, although I’ve seen him leaving comments here or there. Thankfully, though, Doug has taken over the reins, and the LLP group is stronger than ever.
Next, I’m going to do the same as Doug. I had intended to follow strict chronological order with the posts, but this one deserved more. Matt Barr over at New World Man has a post titled Lives, Fortunes, and Sacred Honor. I can honestly say that after 20-odd postings, this one hit me right between the eyes. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what the Founders really did. And about what I’m doing in life, now that I’m approaching 30. Apparently, Matt’s been thinking about the same things. It makes you wonder, what drives your life? The Founders had something, do you?
This really tells us why the Declaration should be celebrated as having the effect of independence without a treaty or a Constitution or whathaveyou. Better men than we pledged everything they had — a not inconsiderable amount of stuff, by the way — to the cause of indepenedence. Their fortunes, their honor, and really, their lives were forfeit if it didn’t work out. If we can look ahead 15 years and see an actual nation with a Constitution and a bicameral Congress and a President and all that, it’s because those men committed themselves to the cause on July 4th.
What cause have you committed yourself to lately? Immigration reform? Painting the map red? Supporting the emasculation of an Islamic jihad network? Peanuts. Make something, something that squares with and exalts the dignity of man, that makes generations, hundreds of millions, free and prosperous; and say that if you destroy this, you destroy me. Then you’re on the right track.
Free people pay a price. Freedom demands it. A guilded cage is immensely safe. But those inside it are not free. A totalitarian systemâ€“ xenophobic, locked away from the outsideâ€“ can provide impressive protection for its people, but that protection is only from outside forces. That protection is not of liberties and there is no protection from government itself, which, if one recalls history, was a primary concern of our founders.
The Debt Free blog examines the issue of the United Nations gun-grabbing proclivities, in Should the United Nations Determine Your Civil Rights? Even if you’re for gun control, ask yourself if you want to accept that at the price of giving your freedom to the boys at Turtle Bay:
However, if you examine the big picture, you will come to the realization your personal feelings vis-a-vis the 2nd Amendment are missing the broader issue. The issue is weather or not we, as U.S. citizens, want unelected representatives of other nations deciding our fate in any measure.
Stephen Littau of Fearless Philosophy for Free Minds, who was one of the first LLP members after Kelo, gives us The State of Property Rights One Year Later. Unfortunately, it’s not that good. There are positive signs, but it is clear that government doesn’t want to give up this power.
Francois at The Radical Libertarian gives us the “What If” Disease. Francois is a market anarchist (about as radical as a libertarian can get), and takes on several of the statist criticisms of anarchy, which fall under the “what if?” category:
In short, the error of the statist arguments discussed above lie in their confusion between the state and agencies in a market anarchy. In a market anarchy, there can be no such thing as a state by definition. Individuals in a market anarchy, therefore, are subject to extremely different incentives, ones which are based on personal freedom and responsibility. This means that the total depravity and irresponsibility or the state cannot be imputed to such individuals.
One Man Bandwidth exposes the insanity of a still-unfree society in THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A PUBLIC EXECUTION TO START OFF AN EDUCATIONAL EVENT IN CHINA. I can’t say it any better than this:
Dave reports, via a Shanghai newspaper, that three drug dealers were executed yesterday after hearing their sentences read out in front of 1,300 Shanghai residents who were invited to a university campus to witness an object lesson on the ills of narcotics: Remember! Drugs donâ€™t kill people, drug enforcement agents kill people.
Mensa Barbie interviews George Washington in The Interview: “Father of our Country”. The fact that we libertarians often need only revive the words of the Founding Fathers to construct an argument about modern issues shows just how forward-thinking those men were.
Dan Melson of Searchlight Crusade, who works in real estate, gives us another look at eminent domain in Kelo: One Year Later. With his knowledge of the real estate business, it puts into much better perspective just how badly the ordinary citizen gets screwed in the eminent domain game, and offers his suggestion on how to fix it:
Indeed, the point of this is to make it worthwhile for the condemning agency (or developer) to offer a good price for a voluntary sale. If they’re paying legal and evaluation expenses for both sides, not to mention employee time tracking and coordinating and documenting the necessity, and because of this, the suit’s victim can stop them from getting the property on the cheap, it becomes the most cost effective thing to do to offer a price where the owner will want to sell – voluntarily – in the first place.
Peter Porcupine takes aim at the writers for the man in tights with Truth, Justice, and the American Way. While Superman is now fighting for “all that stuff”, rather than the American Way, Peter Porcupine, explains cynically why that just might be appropriate:
So by all means, letâ€™s bring our children to see another voice mocking the once noble ideal of Truth, Justice and â€˜all that stuffâ€™. Let us instill them at the earliest age possible with a sense of shame and stamp out any patriotism that they may feel. After all, that is the new American Way.
Sonja at The Atlantic Review tells us how folks are Importing the American Spirit of Civic Responsibility to Germany. While some view America as the haven for dog-eat-dog capitalism, others are starting to realize that we have a civic society, and in many cases without government support:
Defying traditional European prejudices, American society is not based purely on the survival of the fittest. Quite on the contrary: public engagement here is much more common, volunteer services for the underprivileged are diverse and creative, and public-private partnerships usually work more smoothly than in my home country. The KÃ¶rber Foundation in Hamburg has set their minds on importing this spirit of civic responsibility to Germany with their competition called USable. Every round, overall prize money of $180,000 is awarded to good ideas and best practices people have picked up in the U.S. to be realized in Germany, too. There is also a special text competition.
Michael Hampton of the Homeland Stupidity blog explains how the Surgeon General clouds tobacco smoke issue. It appears that the actual report didn’t ever claim secondhand smoke to be anywhere near as dangerous as the Surgeon General claimed in his press conference. But since most people only read what the news media reports, it’s unclear whether he’ll get away with it. Michael does bring up a very important point, much like the statement that conventional wisdom is often wrong:
In his speech, Carmona spoke of the â€œscientific consensusâ€ regarding secondhand smoke. Yet there is no such thing as scientific consensus. When someone says that phrase, theyâ€™re about to lie to you. Science does not work by consensus. It works by experiment. Either a hypothesis can be demonstrated to be true, or demonstrated to be false, or when neither is the case, more research is needed.
Jon Swift, in an beautiful display of snarkiness, suggests that we Declare Supreme Court Justices Enemy Combatants. After all, since some folks believe Bush can unilaterally declare people as enemy combatants, with no judicial oversight, where’s the problem. And if he does, how can these justices fight it?
Undoubtedly, these terrorist-sympathizing Justices will go to court in an attempt to fight being designated enemy combatants. But if the case makes its way up the Supreme Court, they will be forced to recuse themselves, allowing for the other four justices to uphold the ruling. Then these justices can be taken to Guantanamo or an undisclosed location and held until hostilities have ended; that is, when terrorism has been completely eliminated from the face of the Earth.
Lisa of The London Fog has submitted four posts this week. The New Truth Replaces the Old Truth, again, “They aren’t engineering society to anybody’s benefit” but their own, A Course In Miracles, and Publik edyoocashun.
Likewise, RG Combs of Combs Spouts Off has submitted two posts this week. First, he asks what might have happened: Financial privacy: what would Kerry do? It seems that the financial monitoring Kerry advocates is far stricter than those Bush implemented. Yet Bush is accused of violating civil liberties. Would the accusations come if Kerry were in office? Second, he points out that Reading Hamdan: now, that’s torture. It appears that it’s 185 pages of twisted logic. Which, with the house of cards our “living constitution” jurisprudence has become, isn’t a surprise.
Principled Discovery gives us a story about Something to Be Proud of. Not all occupations are identical, and sometimes the threat we protect people from is much greater than the threat they feel we bring:
But the summer of 1994 was the first time I remember feeling a strong sense of pride at my national heritage and the principles upon which our nation was founded. I was in a small suburb of West Berlin, just a brief walk from where the Berlin wall once stood. I opened up the Berliner Zeitung to find a full page spread thanking the American miitary as they prepared to withdraw from the American quadrant. America’s military presence had been continuous and visible since 1945, but we had never treated Germany like an occupied country. The harrassment, violence and even rape suffered by East Germans at the hands of the Soviet Union was unheard of in the American sector. Heartfelt memories of the Berlin airlift were shared. My friend’s parents told me of their fear when the Soviet Union first closed off Berlin. And tears welled in their eyes as they told of the arrival of the first packages. As America, an occupying military force, prepared its withdrawal, the people of Berlin thanked us for establishing and preserving their own liberty.
Doug of Below the Beltway, following up on several posts about the Flag, free speech, and flag-burning, and points out Congressâ€™s Next Victim: Our Right To Contract. Congress wants to blast a hole in the ability of Homeowner’s associations from setting rules, in this case requiring an HOA to allow you to display a flag.
Over at the Liberty Corner, Tom Anger spends a little time Parsing the Vote on the “Flag Burning Amendment”. He wonders why it is that those 34 nay votes really chose to protect free speech. A few, he says, are clear, but quite a few may be motivated more by the desire to see flags burned than the desire to allow freedom of speech. Can you guess which ones?
I’m sure that many of the Democrats voted nay for the same valid reason as that of Senators Bennett and McConnell. But many others, I am equally certain, voted the way they did for one or both of these reasons:
—They can no longer find it in themselves to believe that America, in spite of its faults and mistakes, is better than its enemies.
—Their partisanship so consumes them that they oppose the Republican president’s efforts to defend America — of which the flag is a reminder.
I won’t name names. That’s an exercise for the reader.
In a post over at The Liberty Papers, I announced the opening of Bradâ€™s Smoking and Bare-Knuckle Boxing Emporium!. I argued that when entering into private agreements on private property, some things that would be violate rights in the outside world become acceptable. I use this as a defense against the pro-smoking-ban crowd claiming injury on private property from cigarette use.
I think thereâ€™s another problem with that analogy. To go on with the â€œyour right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my noseâ€, what if I wanted to start my own little â€œFight Clubâ€. I buy a little store, set up a boxing ring, and everyone who wants can come in and get into a fistfight.
Assault is illegal. But if I have consenting adults fighting in my ring, are anyones rights being violated? And if so, how is the sport of boxing (or football, or any other contact sport) any different? Itâ€™s true, it might not be knife-throwing, but I think thereâ€™s undoubtedly be the occasional injury in my â€œFight Clubâ€. And the normal rules, if I remember the movie correctly, is that you come to â€œFight Clubâ€, you fight; there are no spectators.
TF Stern reminds us of several unsung verses of the national anthem in his post First Verse Only, Please. While I’m not a believer, I agree with TF that the effort to “cleanse” our history of any mention of Christianity is not useful for anyone. TF brings up the “separation of church and state”, which he points out does not exist in our Constitution:
The separation of church and state which has been spoken of so forcefully by those who would deny our history is a stone wall being erected by those ungrateful reprobates who would deny our Father in Heaven credit for having established this great land, the author of liberty; itâ€™s the stone wall in their hearts and minds, not one that is in the Constitution of the United States of America.
Carola over at deep qt has fled the urban for the suburban, and responds to those who thinks she lost her soul in the process with O My Suburbia. Without thinking she’s been replaced by a drone from the pod she mentioned, I’ll let her explain:
But sometimes, when I sit on the porch and watch the joggers, kids on bikes and old people out for strolls with equally old dogs, I shudder to think how sedentary and unhealthy demon Kar has made suburbanites. Take me for instance. Kar now carries me to my favorite supermarket. A local outlet of a vile mega chain. It’s several miles away and features a large stock and low prices. In urban days I shopped at another store with similar advantages. It too was several miles away. But then I walked or used public transportation. How I miss those bracing hikes through rough terrain with arms full of grocery bags. Made more exciting by the chance that the bottom of a bag might drop out. Who knew what might explode on the sidewalk and mingle with the existing impasto? A quart of milk? A jar of jam?
Doug, writing at The Liberty Papers, asks whether Thomas Jefferson was wrong, and that it is Mitt Romney who really knows The Source of Our Rights? You see, Romney said that rights are determined by majority rule. I guess that makes slavery alright, as long as enough people vote for it, right? Funny, though, both Doug and Jefferson might disagree:
If there is one idea fundamental to the American Republic, it is the idea that individual liberty derives not from the will of the majority â€” whether that be the majority of the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusettes or a majority of the members of the Supreme Court â€” but is an inherent part of who we are. Individual rights do not need to be recognized by the state to exist, they exist because we are free human beings and if the state fails to recognize them it is the oppressor.
Tom Wright at the Wrightwing also takes on the Flag Burning debate. He pointed out the two previous times the constitution was used to deny rights, rather than protect them: the three-fifths compromise and the 18th Amendment:
Both of these attempts to restrict rights through the Constitution led to violence and death. It could be argued that Prohibition still does, through the never abandoned idea that simply banning something potentially harmful, can make society all better.
And last, but most certainly not least, The Bull Speaks provides his birthday wishes to the nation on July 4, 2006. It’s an apt way to end the 52nd Carnival of Liberty, the one-year anniversary of its inception, and the 230th Birthday of the true land of the free:
Just like they did in the Lexington Green on April 19th, 1775, for the following eight years, and for the two centuries since, Americans have willingly fought and died for Freedom. Let us not forget that we, too, once wore the yoke of Tyranny. We threw it off at great cost. Proving that Freedom is a worthy Cause cost us much more during the years from 1861 to 1865. Liberty was tried by fire – and was proved True. In 1917 we took that Truth to Europe. Again in 1941 we went to Europe, and to the Pacific, to fight for the Freedom of Mankind. Though those wars were won, the Fight for Liberty continued in Korea, Vietnam, the long Cold War, Kuwait, and today in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. Forever Faithful, our Heroes continue to protect us and our Constitution from â€œAll enemies, both Foreign and Domesticâ€. The Founding Fathers knew one Truth about the fight for Liberty most of us have long forgotten:
It is a fight that will never end.
Have a happy holiday, everyone. I’d point out that it’s more than just grilled food and cold beer, but you already knew that. And make sure to check out Homeland Stupidity next Tuesday, where the Carnival will be hosted.
Carnival of Liberty LIII call for submissions - Homeland Stupidity linked with Carnival of Liberty LIII call for submissions - Homeland Stupidity
Watcher of Weasels linked with Weekly Roundup of Weekly Roundups
Searchlight Crusade linked with Links and Minifeatures 07 05 Wednesday
Mensa Barbie Welcomes You linked with The Interview: "Father of our Country"
Don Surber linked with Carnival
Liberty Corner linked with Carnival of Liberty LII
Quotulatiousness linked with First anniversary of the Carnival of Liberty
The Liberty Papers»Blog Archive linked with Carnival Of Liberty LII
Below The Beltway linked with Carnival Of Liberty LII: Celebrating Independence Day And A First Anniversary
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