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October 31, 2006

Pat Tillman's Birthday

If you haven't already read it yet, check out this powerful article written by the brother of former NFL football star and US government military prop Pat Tillman. His is a crushing indictment of the so-called "War on Terror" and the policies of the Bush Administration.

The interesting thing is that the Bushies are still counting on the support of large numbers of military men and women on Election Day. With stinging indictments from patriots like Kevin Tillman, I wonder if military folks are just not willing to see that our government is abusing our military in Iraq or if they are just burying their heads in the sand. There is a time for being a good soldier and their is a time to speak out. There must be thousands of military like Kevin Tillman out there.

Posted by PaulGessing at 12:18 AM | Comments (0)

October 30, 2006

Remember, Remember,

Over at More Liberty, Stewart Rhodes urges us to remember the Treason of September. Here's a taste, but the whole thing is a must read:

Remember, Remember the 29th of September
The Military Commissions Act, assault on the Bill of Rights by a vile lot;
I see no reason why that day of high treason
Should ever be forgot.

Remember, Remember the 11th of September
The American Reichstag Fire burned hot;
I see no reason why the lessons of history
Should ever be forgot.

Remember, Remember this is land of the free, home of the brave
Land of the scared, home of the slaves it is not;
I see no reason why Liberty or Death, Spirit of 1776
Should ever be forgot.

Posted by NormSingleton at 08:06 PM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2006

Support our troops?

Thanks to Kent Snyder for revealing how Netflix is refusing to stock Missing in Action, the excellent documentary on the government's betrayal of American prisoners of war, and the callous way DC politicians, including John Kerry and John McCain, treated the POW/MIA families who demanded the truth about the government's abandonment of their loved ones.

Posted by NormSingleton at 08:10 PM | Comments (0)

The Start of Something Big?

Now THIS story has me feeling awfully optimistic. GM and Honda both are talking not only hydrogen cars, but hydrogen homes and businesses.

Maybe it's all a pipe dream. Maybe this technology will just be too dangerous, or perhaps non-economic. But the notion that fuel starts to shift from power plants and service stations to homes could be pointing us to a day when fossil fuel dependence and the reverberating negatives like pollution and Middle East conflict are nightmares we no longer have to tolerate.

Maybe.

-Robert Capozzi

Posted by RobertCapozzi at 07:00 AM | Comments (1)

October 25, 2006

Yo, Ayn

Ain't It Cool News offers an advanced review of Rocky Balboa the sixth installment in the Rocky series, which will be coming to American theaters this December.

Judging from this description, it would not be surprising to see Objectivists lining up for the latest exploits of the Italian Stallion:

"Meanwhile,Stallone manages to talk about some big stuff (namely man's will versus the chaos of nature) without getting too cheesy. People will want to call it cheesy, but think about it. How many movies in recent years have truly had a heroic figure?

We need this movie...you see, they don't really make movies like this anymore, at least none that are any good. This is more than just a great Rocky movie; this is an ode to man, a celebration of the heroic ideal, a testament to the strength of our volition, a view of man as he might and ought to be. Here, we have in Rocky someone who does what's right and follows his calling based on his beliefs and will, damn the people who would disillusion him. (Echoing the real life story of the people who would mock Stallone for attempting a comeback.)"

Posted by NormSingleton at 10:19 PM | Comments (0)

re: Rendering unto Caesar

Joseph Farah reminds us that, as one of the leading advocates of the Bush-Theocon attempt to turn private religious charities into wards of the welfare state, David Kuo has much to atone for.

I heard Mr. Kuo speak at a debate on whether libertarians should remain in the conservative movement several years ago. Kuo, along with Jonah Goldberg, were arguing that libertarians where not true conservatives and should be kicked out of the conservative movement. I told Kuo that no true libertarian would want to be in a movement with state-worshipers like him. I am glad to see Kuo has apparently learned something about trying to advance Christ's goals by using Caesar's means.

Posted by NormSingleton at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)

Rendering unto Caesar

Father Robert Sirico of the Acton Institute takes Jim Wallis to task for claiming a hike in cigarette taxes is the "moral thing to do." Father Sirico makes several good moral and economic arguments against "sin" taxes, including citing Thomas Aquinas' warnings against making all immoral behavior illegal. However, Father Sirico's arguments are unlikely to convince a post-millennialist like Wallis, who believes the state has a scared duty to improve our behavior to create heaven on earth. Wallis' post-millennial crusade to create an earthly paradise also explains his support for US military action in the name of "human rights."

Post-millennialism does not just exist on the Christan left. One can detect traces of it among certain segments of the Christian right. For instance, there is definitely a post-millennial ring to some of the rhetoric used by the leaders of "Jesus Camp." I have mixed feelings about the people and activities presented in the movie. On the one hand, many of the children are remarkably well-spoken and seem genuinely devoted to spreading the word of Christ. As I pro-life libertarian, I also share their goal of ending abortion, which is the political issue emphasized in the film. I was also favorably disposed to think well of the subjects of the film because I saw the movie in DC with a liberal crowd who snorted with derision or gasped in shock whenever the children, their parents, or the camp leaders, expressed opposition to abortion, or skepticism about global warming or evolution.


However, I was disturbed, to put it mildly, by the mixture of religion and nationalism. Christian libertarians will be put off by the constant waving of the American flag, and the "blessing"" of George Bush for putting "holy men" in charge of the US state.

I wonder what the owners and operators of Jesus Camp make of the revelation that the godly men George Bush brought to Washington think that many conservative Christians are "nuts." Hopefully, both the Jesus Campers and the followers of Jim Wallis will learn from David Kuo's bad example of the dangers of Christians become caught up in politics:

"In some ways White House power is like [J.R.R.] Tolkien’s ring of power. When you put it on, it feels good and it’s dazzling. But after a while it begins to consume you in ways you don’t realize. That’s the nature of White House power. I have no doubt that Christian political leaders have gotten involved for all the right reasons. I just think over time it becomes harder and harder to stand up against that ring of power and the White House, to say no and walk away.

The Christian political leaders have been seduced. If you look at their comments that they know what they’re doing, I’m not quite sure how to read that—is it wonderful or a little troubling? That’s one of the reasons I call for this fast from politics."

Posted by NormSingleton at 10:03 PM | Comments (1)

October 24, 2006

End of the Dot-Com Era?

Jeffrey Skilling -- Enron's smartest guy in the room -- has been sentenced to 24 years. He still contends he's innocent. Never underestimate the power of denial.

Are they all in the slam now? "They" are the high-profile predatory capitalists like Bernie Ebbers, Dennis Koslowski, and John and Tim Rigas. It seems so. It seems that the dot-com era excesses, and the scoundrels that set the pace for defrauding and destroying confidence in the markets, are now pretty much all in the hoosgow.

Can we now turn the page? We may not agree that these excesses have been dealt with properly, but the executive suite and board rooms maybe, just maybe, have gotten the message that cheating your way to fabulous riches is a passing thing. The bad karma boomerang has smacked these bad actors upside the head.

-Robert Capozzi

Posted by RobertCapozzi at 07:08 AM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2006

Keith Olbermann

I rarely watch cable news because of its negative impact on actual knowledge, but Keith Olbermann has been saying some really strong stuff recently and his show might actually be worth tuning into. Unlike most of the media who have acted as lapdogs as opposed to watchdogs throughout much of the Bush Administration, Olbermann understands the perils now facing this nation and is not shy about it.

Posted by PaulGessing at 10:57 PM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2006

More on Libertarian Democrats

Before we get too far away from the discussion of libertarian Democrats, I want to throw another log on the fire. Justin Raimondo over at Antiwar.com recently wrote an excellent piece in which he really lays the case out for at the very least a libertarian protest vote against the Republican Party's war-mongering ways.

While I think Raimondo is a bit too hard on Nick Gillespie of Reason and the folks over at the Cato Institute I don't think that anyone who is genuinely concerned about limiting government can vote for the Republicans. So, while the Democrats may be distasteful and unpleasant to deal with once they reach power, voting for them as a replacement for the Republicans makes the most sense. Plus, in showing their independence from the Democratic Party, libertarians may put themselves in the enviable position of "swing voter" for whom so many policies still seem to be tailored.

Either way, libertarians should not let themselves become too attached to Republican Party politics as we have seen the African American voting block repeatedly taken for granted by the Democratic Party.

Posted by PaulGessing at 11:49 PM | Comments (0)

Speaker Pelosi

The rightwing radio pundits all seem to've gotten the memo that says: "Scare people with the prospect of Speaker Pelosi."

Me? These last six years have demonstrated the dangers of one-party rule. On the margin, Congress seems to take its cues from the White House. They don't ask the tough questions, because they don't wish to embarrass the President.

Historically, the years of the most restraint of government have been ones in which the executive and legislative branches were run by opposing parties. From a free liberal perspective, these were relatively better years than one-party rule ones.

It could be that Speaker Pelosi's questions won't be all that insightful. Harry Reid may not inspire much confidence, either. But at least they ask questions!

Two cheers for divided government! This is a hope, not a prediction.

-Robert Capozzi

Posted by RobertCapozzi at 06:39 AM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2006

300 million people

As of Tuesday, it is estimated that the United States will have 300 million inhabitants. There has been a lot of hand-wringing about immigration and whether the United States can handle so many people, but it is hard to see what is different about the current spat of overpopulation and immigration worries.

The Malthusians have been wrong before and will continue to be wrong because they simply fail to understand that human ingenuity can overcome the problem of scarce resources in a free society.

Now, if we actually heed the advice of some of these doomsayers, who knows how that might negatively-impact our ability to support all kinds of life.

Posted by PaulGessing at 01:11 AM | Comments (0)

October 16, 2006

Enough to make any libertarian (or red-blooded Ayn Rand fan) drool.

In what will undoubtedly be an interesting screenplay interpretation of a significant American novel, Angelina Jolie will play Dagny Taggart in the film adaptation of Atlas Shrugged. The only question to be asked now is "Who Plays John Galt?"

Posted by PaulGessing at 07:41 PM | Comments (1)

October 13, 2006

Gangster Politicians

Check this video on eminent domain out. The sad thing is that gangsters' views of our property rights are little different from those of our political leaders.

Posted by PaulGessing at 12:56 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2006

Libertarian Democrats: NOT

Overr at CATO, Nick Gillespie lays out the case against libertarians making jackasses of themselves and becoming Democrats. As Nick points out, the Democrats are bad on economic liberty, squishy on opposition to war, and proponents of sacrificing civil liberties to the police/nanny state.

For those still not convinced of the evils of the Democratic Party, check out CounterPunch where Joshua Franks details how Clinton pushed through an early version of the PATRIOT Act in response to the Oklahoma City bombings. In fact, many of the PATRIOT Act's most egregious provisions where items sought by Janet Reno's Justice Department, but rejected by a Congress that still understood the dangers of trading liberty for illusions of security.

Monday, I received first-hand evidence of Democratic unreliability on the question of war and peace at a left-right forum on "The Peace Voter's Dilemma." I asked the leftists on the panel about the contradiction between opposing Iraq yet calling for intervention in Darfur. One leftist said she hoped the problem could be resolved without military force, but pointedly did not rule out sending in the troops. Another leftist said his group opposed "unilateral" US military action in Darfur--meaning he has no problem with US military intervention as long as the soldiers are clad in UN blue.

For all the noise they make about opposing the GOP's war and deficits the Democrats have a long way to go before any self-respecting libertarian or free liberal could even consider joining their party.

Posted by NormSingleton at 09:25 PM | Comments (0)

October 09, 2006

"Immigration reform and its challenges" -- event this Wednesday

I'd like to invite our Free Liberal readers to join me for an event at Northern Virginia Community College-Woodbridge Campus, where my friend Eneas Biglione will be speaking.

11am in the Theater
Guest Speaker: Eneas Biglione on
“Immigration Reform and its Challenges”

Mr. Biglione is an expert in Latin American politics and economics. He is program director of the Hispanic American Center for Economic Research (HACER), as well as Latin American Senior Fellow of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. Also, he serves as a counselor of the federal government of Mexico through the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IMA). Mr. Biglione makes frequent appearances on television and writes a regular column for Tech Central Station, a Washington, D.C.-based Internet news service.

He will discuss the economic reasons for why people come to America, the effects of immigration, and strategies for improving the system.

If you are interested in attending, please e-mail me at kevin at kevinrollins.com to get a parking pass.


Posted by KevinRollins at 07:52 PM | Comments (0)

North Korean Tests Test the Theory

Rising to the news that North Korea has, in fact, tested a nuke is bracing. While it's been coming for a while, now it is done. North Korea is not Iran. It's not Pakistan, nor India. Near as I can tell, filtered by the flippant mainstream media and therefore accepted with a grain of salt, North Korea is the very definition of a rogue nation. N. Korea in the nuclear club is not a fact that one can just easily dismiss as a matter of national sovereignty, IMO.

Here's a case where the US and UN seem to be doing more or less the right thing. It's basically impossible to say, but it appears that China is somewhat on board. The world seems to be surrounding Kim Jung Il with nets, trying to corner this obvious candidate for the rubber room. Thus far, he alludes the world's orderlies, but perhaps his long-suppressed sane self is getting the message.

It does, however, seem to me that it's in just about every man, woman and child's interest that N. Korea not develop a full-blown nuclear program. That the US -- the only nation to use a nuke -- comes off as hypocritical and lacking "moral standing" seems irrelevant to me. Whether governments are inherently equipped to prevail on other governments to stand down in a reasonable and peaceful manner seems dubious, but what's the alternative? Private Lincoln Brigades don't seem to be in the offing.

-Robert Capozzi

Posted by RobertCapozzi at 05:44 AM | Comments (0)

October 06, 2006

Atoms in the Here and Now

This is only a blog, not a fully fleshed out response, but here’s perhaps some food for thought. Dmitry Chernikov recently criticized those who suggest that “atomism” or “methodological individualism” are wanting. He states:

“Given liberty, people are settled into a system of social cooperation that permits all of them, through mutual self-interested assistance, to satisfy their sometimes vastly different desires at the same time.”

As a general and theoretical statement, I agree. But, could it be that Chernikov’s model of liberty is a construct that has not, is not, and for the foreseeable future (if ever) will not be achieved. Is there an imperative that says that all analysis must be tied back to Chernikov’s liberty construct?

That’s up to the “atom” – the individual, but in my case, the answer’s No. There are simply too many areas that require more immediate resolution. There’s no time to wait for Chernikov’s liberty construct to develop before non-atomistic aggression to be checked, if not reversed.

One obvious exception is the environment. At the moment, broad swaths of the Earth are effectively owned in common…the air and water come to mind. Any individual polluter could be said to be acting in their own interest. Yet, in aggregate, unchecked pollution is a palpable threat to the health of all. I for one am open to non-atomistic analysis of this situation, and open to steps to remedy the danger. Of course, longer term, I am open to the evolution of real property rights in what is now common resources.

Does anyone deny that we’re nowhere near anything like property rights to the air? Does the emphysema patient have to sue all those who – again, in aggregate – violated his or her rights by spewing toxins into the air? Or until some sort of system of torts evolves in the common law?

Personally, I don’t find waiting to be satisfying. Perhaps Chernikov does. I suggest, however, that the charge of atomism isn't a "bogeyman." Not all human action fits neatly into the methodological individualism box.

-Robert Capozzi

Posted by RobertCapozzi at 06:50 AM | Comments (0)

October 03, 2006

Hyphens Are More Helpful Than None

Bridging on Paul Gessing's blog, well, yes, of course, that some Democrats are suggesting that a libertarian-Democrat outlook is a positive, helpful thing. I find it quite amusing that some find Kos's flirtation with liberty to be somehow injurious to be, well, sorry, but kinda laughable.

If Democrats start talking about liberty as a means to advance their values, let's encourage that! Sure, some of Kos's views may not be entirely satisfying, but so what? Last I checked, more liberty is preferable to less liberty, so why not encourage it?

-Robert Capozzi

Posted by RobertCapozzi at 09:37 PM | Comments (0)

Libertarian-Democrats?

The idea of libertarians who, when forced to choose between the lesser of two evils (Democrats and Republicans), lean Democrat, has been a founding concept of the Free Liberal from the outset. It looks like the debate is now mainstream, though, or, at least as mainstream as the Cato Institute's blog. Markos Moulitsas of "Daily Kos" fame has fired the first salvo and it will be interesting to see what people come up with.

Personally, I think the case for voting Democrat comes down to two simple words, "split government."

Posted by PaulGessing at 12:30 AM | Comments (2)

Free-for-all (frfr-ôl) -- n. A disorderly fight, argument, or competition in which everyone present participates.

from Dictionary.com



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