September 19, 2006
Another week in, another Carnival of Liberty. I’ve been ultra-busy this week, so I’m not going to try to impress with flowery prose or exotic themes (even though I’d considered a beer-themed CoL). What I will do is give you a no-nonsense look at this week’s posts.
Grab your cup of coffee, or if I finish this that late in the day, your favorite adult beverage, have a seat, and prepare to see the world through a bunch of cranky libertarians’ eyes…
Phil for Humanity starts us off with A Solution for Politicians. I’ve got a couple to add, mostly in the same frame of mind as the joke starting with “What do you call 20,000 politicians at the bottom of the ocean”, but Phil’s already touched on my voting strategy this November: anti-incumbent.
To solve this problem, I believe that we should re-elect no one. No person should be allowed to run for a political position while being in a political office. As a result, politicians will be more connected to the outside world since they will periodically be the outsiders, and this would leave plenty of room for new politicians with new ideas and noble goals to take office. Therefore, career politicians will become a thing of the past and political corruption should decrease.
Please remember on election day: RE-ELECT NO ONE!
The esteemed Peter Porcupine, a founding father born about 200 years too late, asks Should Talk Be Cheap? Considering that Hahhvahhd is inviting a humanitarian sure to win a Nobel Prize for peace in the near future, Iranian President Mohammed Khatami, there will undoubtedly be state-provided protection for Khatami. While it’s certainly Hahhvahhd’s right to bring in whoever they would like to speak, who should foot the bill? Internalize the externality, Hahhvahhd. How do you like dem apples?
Gov. Romney has had heads of state visit before, and must know the cost of the security details incumbent upon such an operation. Porcupine suggests that he present his alma mater, Harvard University, with an invoice, payable in advance, for these services and thus take the burden entirely away from the taxpayers for the schoolâ€™s repellent misjudgment.
Porcupine is certain that Harvard and its endowment will be pleased to foot the bill for what the university is pleased to refer to as, â€œthe tradition of the free exchange of ideas that is a central part to the life of the University.â€ Perhaps the school will learn that not all exchanges are free.
Cody Herche Legal Redux looks at 9/11: a place in the law. Whether we like it or not, whether the changes follow the limits proscribed in the Constitution, or whether those changes are long-term benefits to our world, law changes. Typically those changes in laws are responses to major changes in society or major events like war. Cody looks at some of the ways that 9/11 impacted this process, and how the law has changed as a result:
While there are several other events that have dramatically impacted the way laws are administered both here at home and abroad, the above serves as a suitable introduction to the 9/11 terror attacks.
As we near the 5th anniversary, the â€œwood anniversaryâ€ for all my guy readers, we should pause to reflect on the legacy the infamous attacks have left on our legal system. How is the law different today because of 9/11 and the resulting War on Terror?
The big doing of the blogosphere for the 5-year anniversary of 9/11 was the honoring of the 2,996 folks who died in the attacks. Taking part was Tracy Coenen of Sequence, Inc., who profiles John Patrick Tierney, a firefighter who lost his life that day:
Johnny was a new firefighter, with only 8 months on the job. He graduated from the academy in July 2001, and his new assignment with Ladder Company 9 in Manhattan began only six weeks before the tragedy. His mother said that he wanted to be assigned to Manhattan â€œto be where itâ€™s busy and he could learn the job and really get out there.â€
While still on probationary status, Johnny had his five minutes of fame. He was pictured in a newspaper fighting a fire in Queens. This was Johnnyâ€™s first fire.
On September 11, Johnny was finishing a night shift with Engine 33, that was to end at 9:00 a.m. He was supposed to go home, but was so dedicated to his job that he stayed to help. He jumped onto a fire truck that was so crowded as it headed toward the World Trade Center, he had to sit on another firefighterâ€™s lap.
Mapmaster of The London Fog tells us about Pro-poverty activism in public education. It seems that in Ontario, a new school popped up to “instill a passion for social justice and humanitarianism in the students”. They don’t teach you basic logic and history, because that might make you understand that a passion for social justice and humanitarianism is a lot less likely than individual freedom and capitalism to generate positive results. And in publick edukashun, we’re all stuck paying for it, and not only with our dollars:
If parents want their children to have a facile and fruitless education in this sort of mindlessly celebratory dalliance with a pop-lite expression of a criminal ideology, I am defenseless. But not only am I and every other Ontarian forced to directly subsidize this fantastic debasement and enervation of children’s minds through the publicly-funded education system but we will also be condemned to subsidize just as directly their future NGO or civil service aspirations or else otherwise unemployable welfare prospects. Of the cost to civil society and political conversation in this country, it is incalculable and will exact far greater tolls than only taxes.
Lisa, also of The London Fog, brings you the next group of authoritarians looking to control you for your own good, with The Obesity Messiahs. In addition to pointing out how taxes on fatty foods actually hurt the poor by making it less likely that they can even afford to eat, she puts her finger squarely on the nature of government. Create a problem trying to fix a problem, try to fix that problem while creating new ones, and so on and so forth:
From the government’s perspective, it is more “cost-effective” to increase taxes on shit that people actually want, while at the same time forcing taxpayers to subsidize tofu and granola consumption. And if the sugar farmers suffer from the increased taxes on sugary food, they too will be eligible for subsidies, just like the tobacco farmers. As for “after-school physical” activity, why not just devote even more of the school day to jumping-jacks? So long as the marginalized minority is the minority, they are entitled to more rights than the majority.
The Atlantic Review gives us a snippet of the Speech of Hope, which “set the course for American-German relations 60 years ago”. After WWII, the question of what would happen with a nation who had started two World Wars in a short period of time was brewing. Some were worried about the future of Germany, and the “Speech of Hope” helped to calm the noise:
Some critics argue that there is a dearth of gratitude in Germany for America’s monumental support for the countryâ€™s reconstruction. I think that gratitude is not only ubiquitous but a vital component of postwar German identity. Yet in recent years some Germans have forgotten what America is — a land of diversity and debate, of writers and innovators, of checks and balances â€“ and that it deserves a measure of confidence in turn.
Over at The Liberty Papers, I relayed a story about a coworker and his roommate. If The Government Wonâ€™t, Who Will? is the story of a debate over gay marriage. It highlights a classic mistake, where people on the left act as if the government is the provider of our rights, not the protector of those rights. We don’t need government to recognize marriage at all, but that’s a difficult point to get across:
But his roommate just simply could not see it. She could not understand that a marriage could be a marriage without a license from the government. She could not understand that society doesnâ€™t require government to stick its grubby fingers into every one of our institutions to give them some sort of legitimacy. This sort of blindness is one of the major barriers to people moving towards small government. Theyâ€™ve lived with government intrusion deep into their personal affairs for so long that they canâ€™t even imagine life without it.
One Man Bandwidth: An American Professor in China tells us about an editorial cartoon depicting Chinese President Hu Jintao, resulting in the cartoonist being fired. It could be worse, though, this may be a sign of progress. Years ago, his punishment would be much more severe…
A few months ago I was altering a picture of Mao in Photoshop. I thought it would be funny to bald my friend Geoff and have him presiding over Tiananmen square in Beijing. But, when Ms. Yue caught sight of my laptop in Starbucks she let out an uncharacteristic shriek. She implored me to erase the photo right away. She was genuinely concerned that I might publish the shot and subsequently get deported or. worse yet, jailed for my transgression. I did not know, but it should have been clear to me, that defacing a cultural icon (manufactured or not) was beyond taboo.
A cartoonist after he drew a weeping Chinese President Hu Jintao, learned the same lesson this week the hard way: According to Reuters Kuang Biaoâ€™s cartoon HERE of a weeping Hu replying to a letter of the daughter of a mainland professor who died of overwork (aged 48) caught the eye of PRC censors and the reaction was not as benign as Ms Yueâ€™s response to my screw-up. He was summarily sacked.
PurpleSlog, responding to one of the things that is also my own pet peeve, tells us Democracy != Elections, Modern Democracies areâ€¦ and gives us a list. While I’d take issue with using the word “democracy”, as the principle of majority rule makes it ambiguous, it is clear that modern free nations have elements much wider than simply voting to describe their society. Telling us why we should promote the nation-state he describes as a democracy, he gives us these points:
* Democracies donâ€™t fight each other (Democratic Peace concept)
* Democracies donâ€™t mass enslave/murder their citizens (Death by Government concept)
* Democracy gives individuals their best chance at achieving their personal goal, whether those are economic, entrepreneurial, familiar, artistic, etc. (maximizing human potential and return on human capital)
* Democracy enables prosperity
* Democracies are future focused and constantly getting better at the above.
In a second post, he outlines SLOE/Future, giving a template to any politician who wants his vote:
Security â€“> from bad guys: transnational, national and local
Liberty â€“> free to organize and associate etc as one wants (includes religion, contracts, etc)
Opportunity â€“> all humans should have lots of opportunities to achieve there potential (opportunity creating stuff = good stuff)
Enrichment â€“> of wealth, knowledge, experience etc, for all members of ones community (local, national, global). All humans should be uplifted by the exercise of liberty and opportunity maximization
Future Oriented â€“> No status Quo! I want 200 year life spans, cheap limitless energy, asteroid mining, orbital communities and mars settlements â€“ a better future of all humanity!
The Ogre highlights another attempt by government to get their hands on the internet, with his post The ADA Screws Some More. In an effort to ensure fairness and accomodation to all of humanity’s creatures, a Federal Judge has said that the Americans with Disabilities Act should apply to web sites… Great… Next they’ll be trying to protect the Illegal Immigrants with Disabilities…
That’s right, all the “accomodations” that are required by the ADA that often crush competition, destroy freedom, and force private companies to go out of business are now supposed to apply to the internet. Government is really angry that they don’t have control over the internet, and they’re doing all they can to GET control.
In this one specific issue, the complaintant is actually crying and whining because one company’s web site doesn’t have alternate text for some images. For those who don’t know much about web stuff, that’s an element of a tag — when you use the IMG tag, you’re “supposed” to include a section that says ALT=”imagename” or something. And now, according to this judge, if you do not include it, you’re in violation of the ADA and subject to huge fines.
The ADA: yet another horrible law that does nothing more than grow government and crush freedom. Well, the case is being overseen by a San Francisco Federal judge — and they absoultely despise anything to do with freedom.
Stephen Littau from Fearless Philosophy For Free Minds remembers 9/11 with Never Forgive, Never Forget. Stephen takes a look at today’s political climate, wondering how we ever got to a point where we are so divided over the prospect of fighting terrorism. As much as I hate to say this, I think that many Americans have forgotten, and that it may be tough to keep our resolve without another attack occurring. Stephen’s post is a great reminder to keep that from happening:
Well believe it. Welcome to the America of 2006. Itâ€™s an election year. It is a time when honest discussion on the threat of Islamofascism is nearly impossible. But you know something? Bin Ladenâ€™s henchmen did not care if they killed Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, or even other Muslims. These Islomofascists only wanted to kill Americans. I am certain that the passengers of United Flight 93 had a diversity of political opinions but they had one goal: to stop the hijackers from hitting their intended target. We should keep that in mind as we move forward.
Greenman Tim from Walking the Berkshires gives us a history lesson in Patriotic Covers. After receiving some collectible material from his family, he posted with some pictures and descriptions of Civil War-era patriotic memorabilia. Good stuff, and I highly suggest you check it out.
NOTE: I left off an excerpt, because it would be out of context without the pictures.
Hell’s Handmaiden tries to determine who will win The battle for the mind of North America by looking at the conflation of journalism, corporate media, and the government. He points to a corporate-sponsored YouTube sensation “Lonelygirl15″, a recent case of the government fueling anti-Castro propoganda through the media, and the ABC miniseries “The Path to 9/11″ as examples of how powerful interests are trying to control information to mislead us. I’m reminded of a mantra I also once heard on TV: “Trust no one.”
NOTE: Again, the nature of the entry didn’t lend itself to an excerpt.
Preparing for November, RG Combs of Combs Spouts Off tells us about The GOP’s Wrong Turn. He is feeling the worry that a lot of us are these days, after having watched the GOP leave their fiscal conservatism and expand their social conservatism, it’s tough to stomach voting for them as a party. But when it’s considered a vote against their opposition, it may just make sense:
Personally, I think a good portion of that turnaround isn’t due to anything the GOP did — it’s disgruntled Republicans looking at and listening to the country’s leading Democrats, and saying, “Whoa… are these folks for real?!?” — and then swallowing real hard and deciding that the good-for-nothing, unprincipled Republican who they had no use for a few weeks ago may be tolerable after all.
I can understand that. I hate that things are that way, but I can understand it. My best-case scenario for this November’s election is that the Republican base is just pissed enough to badly scare and chasten the GOP, and maybe get some of them listening to people like Sager (or even Gingrich) — but that we avoid having to live with Speaker Pelosi. [shudder]
Similar to RG Combs above’s sentiments, Divided We Stand, United We Fall is a blog devoted to the prospect of divided government with All we are saying, is give divided government a chance. They even have a catchy hook!
Can’t you just imagine William Niskanen picking up a guitar and singing a duet with Yoko Ono while sitting on a bed in a Montreal Hotel: “Give divided government a chance”? Um. Nevermind. Neither can I. In the article Niskanen repackages and freshens some of his previous work on divided government. Ok… All Together Now! Take off those suit coats… Loosen those ties… Roll up those starched white shirt sleeves… Hands in the air, sway to the beat, lets hear it people! Sing along!:”All we are saaaying, is give divided government a chance.”
Celebrating Constitution Day, Matt Barr of the Socratic Rhythm Method brings us a Constitutional Quiz! I’m going to have to warn you though, it’s actually quite difficult. I thought I knew a lot until I took a look at this quiz! Here’s a sample:
6. The General Welfare clause, according to the Supreme Court:
A. Has no legal force and effect, being part of the Preamble
B. Is a limitation on the power of Congress to spend on local projects
C. Authorizes New Deal-type legislation during widespread economic depression
D. Is an expansion of Congress’s powers enumerated in Article I
Last, but not least, we have the snark and satire patrol. Ion Zwitter of Avant News tells us that there are still Nearly 21 Million Iraqis Not Yet Killed or Wounded. Heck, that’s like most of them, isn’t it?
“I think massaging the facts in this particular manner really helps put the whole so-called Iraqi insurgency, quagmire, civil war, catastrophic disaster or what-have-you into proper perspective,” Gerald Bulpuppit, spokesman for Donald Rumsfeldâ€™s secret task force on fact massage, said. “What this says is that nearly 21 million Iraqis are doing very well, particularly if you discount the nearly universal absence of reliable food, fuel, water, electricity, government, security, or the extremely high likelihood of getting killed or kidnapped.”
And that’s all she wrote. Tune in next week at One Man Bandwidth, a bit of a juxtaposition of the Carnival of Liberty being hosted from China!
Watcher of Weasels linked with Weekly Roundup of Weekly Roundups
Below The Beltway linked with Carnival Of Liberty XLIII
hell’s handmaiden linked with Carnival of Liberty LXIII
Carnival of Liberty LXIII « PurpleSlog linked with Carnival of Liberty LXIII « PurpleSlog
Don Surber linked with Carnival
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