.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

AgnostoLibertarianTechnoGeek

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

What about my common good, Hillary?

Your government at work again

Hillary: We'll take your money for 'common good'
'Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you,' Clinton said, according to the Associated Press. 'We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you.

'We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.'

Get that? They're not going to give us our own money. According to the government, the money we earn is not ours except by government largesse. It's all theirs, and whatever we get to keep is only that portion they believe we are entitled to.

This is your government at work folks. It's all theirs: everything, including you. You earn money slaving away at your chosen profession, maybe you'll get to keep some of it. But don't make any plans, because next year they may decide to take more of it. You think you or your children can choose your own profession? Think again, because when the military draft is reinstated, your life is not your own, but it belongs to the government to do with what it wants, "for the common good".

People, the common good is when each individual does what they think is best for his or her own good. Does that mean everyone will be kind and virtuous and everyone will be equally wealthy and justice will be meted out fairly to all? No, of course not. But do you think government (1) will do any better job of it than individuals working for their own self-interest (name me one example in history), (2) has the moral authority to tell me what to do with my life or take anything from me against my will?

But what about the poor? As Dr. Mary Ruwart says:

In a Libertarian society, the poor would almost certainly have more than they do today. A voluntary society would more efficiently provide aid and actually give the poor an opportunity to become rich.

Vote them out. If you have to choose a political party, the only one with any principles, principles which don't change with the latest poll, principles which are morally and philosophically consistent and defensible, is the Libertarian Party. And the only choice for President this election is Michael Badnarik.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

RNC Protest (I didn't tell you about it)

I post the following without comment:

No Permission Required: Libertarians Announce "Unauthorized" RNC Protest
New York, 6/25/04 - Claiming that the only permit they need to peaceably assemble is the First Amendment, members of the Manhattan Libertarian Party announced today that they will gather on the Great Lawn on Central Park on the eve of the Republican National Convention to protest the Iraqi war and occupation and the PATRIOT Act.

'If you ask the government for permission to protest it, you deserve to be told no,' said Manhattan Libertarian Party chair Jim Lesczynski, referring to the city's denial of United for Peace and Justice's request for a permit for a massive protest on the Great Lawn on August 29th.

'Organizers will not be available to negotiate with the NYPD, because we don't have any organizers,' said Lesczynski. 'Absolutely nobody is in charge. Libertarians are individuals, not a collective.'

Lesczynski expects word of the unauthorized protest, which will unofficially begin on Sunday, August 29th at 12:00 p.m., to spread through the Internet and other grass roots communications channels. Don Silberger, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate, and Nic Leobold, Libertarian candidate for State Assembly, are among the individual activists expected to attend.

The Manhattan Libertarian Party advocates a foreign policy of non-intervention, peace and free trade. Unlike other RNC protesters, the Libertarians reject socialism in favor a free-market economy, individual liberty and personal responsibility


Thanks to McBlog for the link

Saturday, June 26, 2004

And you think Rush is pretentious?

Anthony Mariani, in Fort Worth Weekly online, has written what is in fact a very positive article on the current Rush tour, but in doing so, he can't stop himself from being overly satisfied with his writing, and in so doing, has on occasion taken to the oddly turned phrase, and every so often, being outright inaccurate. For example,
Drummer/lyricist Neil Peart ... has reined in his notoriously abstract stickwork for the sake of plain ol' pounding

His "stickwork" was "notoriously abstract"? His drumming is sometimes very complex, as suited Rush's song structures, which often have shifting time signatures, and his virtuosity allows him to add his own polyrhythmic textures layered on top of this. Now, I haven't yet heard all of Feedback, Rush's "EP" of covers coming out on Tuesday, but on Vapor Trails, their previous studio album, Neil's drumming was a complex and subtle as at any time in the past. And I'm sorry, but I just can't forgive anyone for using the word "lambent":

Guitarist Alex Lifeson hasn't lost any of his touch, but he's become just as comfortable adding lambent texture as he is detonating open chords.

And I just don't get this:

They're still holistic sci-fi naturalists at the mercy of metaphysical sturm und drang. The problem with this approach is that some of their lyrics are better read quietly than sung aloud. Emotionally fraudulent, these numbers court destruction despite their intellectual fervor.

Yet for every pretentious lump of coal, Rush has produced about a dozen gems, the best involving musical and spiritual liberation. Some critics have said that since Peart's tragedies, his lyrics have grown more personal, meaning more "mature." Bullshit. Nothing he's penned since is any more or less substantial than his previous three decades' worth of wordsmithery. (Could sympathetic critics be reading Peart's personal life into his words?)

Of course people read Peart's personal life into his words. How else could one read "Ghost Rider", "Sweet Miracle", or several other of those tracks? They are clearly about dealing with life in time of tragedy, and anyone who is reasonably familiar with Rush is aware of the tragedies in Neil's life, so it is impossible not to hear his lyrics without hearing (and feeling like one is participating in) his healing process as well.

Where the writer starts getting a bit inaccurate again is in describing what is happening instrumentally, for example in this description of the intro to the sone "The Pass", off the album Presto, we read this:

The intro, a metallic call-and-response, pits Lee's thick four-note chordal bass line against Lifeson's one-note kerrang.

In actual fact, we have a two-note chordal base life, against Lifeson's power chords. Quibble? Perhaps, but in trying to sound like he knows what he's talking about, he comes across as a bit of a poseur.

But it's all ok after all, because this reviewer is obviously quite taken with the band.

Lee's bass suggests a massive dragon whose flame has gone nuclear. Peart's polyrhythmic drumming dramatizes speed, bombast, and agility, even as wind chimes and other assorted non-traditional percussion doo-dads leaven the gravitas. And Lifeson's fretwork belongs to the music the way that the sky possesses thunder and lightning.

I'm very much looking forward to seeing them in August.

Friday, June 25, 2004

New Badnarik banner

Just because I could, (where have we heard that phrase before recently?), I created a quick and dirty Badnarik banner, and I'm displaying it down there at the bottom right of the right panel. No big deal, but I figured what the hell. If any Badnarik folks want it, feel free to take it.

The appropriate code would be:

<a href="http://www.badnarik.org"><img src="http://tinyurl.com/2t8yf" width="160" height="98"></a>




Happiness as a disorder...

No one but me will appreciate why I like this quote from The New York Times Magazine
As the British psychologist Richard P. Bentall has observed, ''There is consistent evidence that happy people overestimate their control over environmental events (often to the point of perceiving completely random events as subject to their will), give unrealistically positive evaluations of their own achievements, believe that others share their unrealistic opinions about themselves and show a general lack of evenhandedness when comparing themselves to others.''

Link via the Liberty and Power blog.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Judge Jerkoff

How could I not comment on something like this?

Judge Suspected of Masturbating in Court
Oklahoma's attorney general wants a state judge removed on suspicion he frequently masturbated and used a device for enhancing erections while his court was in session, a spokesman for the office said on Thursday.

[snip]

"On one occasion, Ms. (Lisa) Foster (Thompson's court reporter for 15 years), saw Judge Thompson holding his penis up and shaving underneath it with a disposable razor while on the bench," the petition reads.

C'mon Judge T, a disposable razor? At least go for one of those classy four-bladed deals if you're going to be shaving your balls while listening to lawyers present their cases.

Badnarik for President advertisement

From the badnarik.org website. And yes, they encourage people to show this ad on their own sites:





Not bad, but I think they could use a better photo of Mr. Badnarik

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Another reason I'm not a Republican

Texas Republicans Urged to Drop 'Christian Nation'
'The Republican Party of Texas affirms that the United States of America is a Christian nation, and the public acknowledgment of God is undeniable in our history,' reads the plank in the party's 2004 platform, which was recently adopted.

"Public acknowledgment of God" is fine, go ahead and acknowledge anything you like, anywhere you like. Go sit on top of a flagpole with a megaphone and acknowledge as loudly as you can. But:

  • Don't use public (i.e. MY) money to do it
  • Don't write this acknowledgement into any laws, procedures, or official statements by any organ of the state
As Mr. Jefferson said, "the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion"

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Re: SpaceShipOne, 'nuff said

Monday, June 21, 2004

Up, up, and away...

It's nice to have some good news once in a while.

Private U.S. Rocket Plane Soars Into Space
The privately funded rocket plane SpaceShipOne flew to outer space and into history books on Monday as the world's first commercial manned space flight.

The white rocket plane was released from a larger plane called the White Knight and ignited its rocket engine to enter space and reach an altitude of 328,491 feet, or 62.2 miles above the earth.


Fun with Iran sooner than expected

Iran Detains Three British Vessels
Iran on Monday seized three British vessels and arrested more than five crew, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard said.

'This morning we got news that a number of foreign vessels entered Iranian waters without permission. Three boats were guided to Iranian shores and more than five crew were arrested,' Revolutionary Guards spokesman Massoud Jazaeri said.

It looks like we'll be having our way with Iran even sooner than I had expected. (Please note sarcasm before believing that I would approve of this.)

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Father's Day is nice

It's nice to be recognized for the ability to have procreated. Well I guess I was being recognized for a little more than just the procreation act, but regardless, it's nice to have everyone saying Happy Father's Day.

Disgusting educators

This is a practice I may have heard about in the past; I'm not quite sure. In the name of "diversity-training", a group of people is divided into two subgroups, based solely on their eye color. One group is granted "privileged, superior" status, and the other group is designated as the "inferior" group. The superior group degrades the inferior group in various ways, and this is supposed to teach the participants of the horrors of racism and discrimination. The true horror is that this is occasionally being used in public schools to teach children!

See: LINDA SEEBACH: A diversity-training tool we don't need
'The teacher made my son wear a blue card on a string around his neck. He was required to smile ingratiatingly, bow his head, and beg people to tie his shoes for him,' she wrote. 'The teacher wore a yellow card, that of the superior race, and she petted and made much of the other yellow card students.'

In a particularly nasty wrinkle, the teacher told the students chosen for the subordinate group that they would all receive Fs for their work that day and that the failing grades would be on their final transcript. And she sent them home still believing that lie.

If that had been done to me in ninth grade, little Miss Perfectionist that I was, I'd have gone home and killed myself.

'Teaching children about abuse should never include abusing them,' the mother wrote. 'Committing a hate crime should not be the way we teach our youngsters about hate crimes.'

What a vile, disgusting person, so wrapped up in her own political beliefs, she can't see what damage she is doing to children.

Another "educator" who goes to almost as heinous lengths in advancing the agenda of the politicos instead of thinking about the needs of the children under his care:

Principal Apologizes For Mock Shooting During School Drill
For the first time, the principal at the center of a controversial school safety drill in Brighton is talking about what happened.

The Bromley East Charter School principal said he was checking for three things as he walked the halls last Wednesday during a lockdown safety drill. He wanted to see if the students were out of sight, if the lights were out in the classrooms and if the classroom doors were locked.

When he came to the last room of first graders, Principal Robert Bair found that the teacher had not locked the door.

"I became angry, opened the door, and to send a message to the teacher, I opened the door, stuck my hand in and said, 'Bang, bang, bang, bang. You're dead.' I looked at the teacher sternly and stepped back out into the hallway," Bair said.

Sometimes I wish I could homeschool my kids.

Thanks to the Liberty & Power blog for the link.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Just haven't felt like blogging...

The things which are going on with me personally make it difficult to be anything but self-absorbed. When all one's thoughts are basically about oneself (except the -- thankfully -- more important thoughts and activities concerning the family), it doesn't leave much time or drive for the ever so insightful, thoughtful, meaningful commentary on the state of the world for which I have become rightfully renowned.

My apologies to my legions of admirers for the dearth of pearls to which you have become accustomed.

If we <insert anything>, then they've won

Powell Hopes Americans Stay in Saudi Despite Risks
Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) said on Friday he hoped foreigners would stay in Saudi Arabia because their departure would be a victory for the kind of people who beheaded kidnapped American Paul Johnson.

Powell's remarks in an interview on the Radio America network flew in the face of the advice of his own department, which 'strongly urges' Americans to abandon the world's largest oil exporter because of the threat of kidnappings, suicide bombings and other attacks on Westerners.

'If they leave, then the terrorists have won,' Powell said in the interview shortly after news of Johnson's death in Riyadh.

No, how about, if they leave, they're protecting their asses, as well they should be. If I was in a country where people violently wanted me to leave, then I don't think I would feel bad about taking off and going back where I came from.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Badnarik's site

Haven't said much really about the Libertarian Party's Presidential candidate, Michael Badnarik. Don't really know much about him. But he has a blog going here. And on his blog, I saw a link to a straw poll for the presidential election, which includes Nader and Badnarik (in addition to the usual suspects), and Badnarik is currently running #2. Caution: casting your vote requires site registration (how noxious).

New blog name

So I've changed the name of this blog from "Nothing About Nothing" to "AgnostoLibertarianTechnoGeek". I was motivated by the fact that, although I'm not really writing this for anyone but myself, if anyone were to see "Nothing About Nothing" listed somewhere, that would not say much to them, whereas "AgnostoLibertarianTechnoGeek" says a little bit about what might be going on here. I was inspired by Libertarian Geek (which I have not read, but I have seen linked to on Aaron Russo's website), and Libertarian Jackass (which I do read sporadically, and which I find moderately entertaining).

Why "AgnostoLibertarianTechnoGeek", you may ask? Figure it out for yourself, dumbass.

More Yahoo mail space... big deal.

Yahoo has increased its storage limit to 100MB, in obvious response to Google's yet-to-be-released-to-the-public GMail service, which will boast 1000MB (1GB). They've also "streamlined" the interface, which apparently means tweaking the fonts and layout ever so slightly. What does this mean for me? Not a whole lot. It means I can let my mailbox fill up with a great deal of junk before I have to start emptying out, as opposed to now, where I must empty it more often.

Oh, they're also allowing up to 10MB of attachments per message. But hey, if someone is sending me *that* big an attachment, I think I don't want to know about it...

Would the "perfect joke" be lethal?

This is apparently serious:
Scientists have devised a mathematical equation for the perfect joke.

The calculation c=(m n0)/p considers the length of time it takes to build up the joke, the number of puns and how many times a character falls over.

The funniness of a joke - c - is worked out by adding the comic moment - m - to the 'pratfalls', or the number of times someone falls over - n0."

This is not:

Opening Scene:
A suburban house in a boring looking street. Zoom into upstairs window. Serious documentary music. Interior of small room. A bent figure (Michael Palin) huddles over a table, writing. He is surrounded by bits of paper. The camera is situated facing the man as he writes with immense concentration lining his unshaven face.


Voice Over:
This man is Ernest Scribbler... writer of jokes.
In a few moments, he will have written the funniest joke in the world... and, as a consequence, he will die... laughing.

Ernest stops writing, pauses to look at what he has written... a smile slowly spreads across his face, turning very, very slowly to uncontrolled hysterical laughter... he staggers to his feet and reels across room helpless with mounting mirth and eventually collapses and dies on the floor.

Voice Over:
It was obvious that this joke was lethal...
no one could read it and live...

Monday, June 14, 2004

Good Riddance to the Pledge

An old column by Brad Edmonds
The court was correct in adjudging that "under God" is unjustifiable. The phrase could as easily be "under Buddha," "under atheism," or "under Allah." Any of these would be threatening to nonadherents. Hurrah for the court. Unfortunately, the primary reasons the Pledge is nonsense were not at issue (understandable given the reason the case was brought -- the separation of church and state).
...
The Pledge would have been patently absurd, even comical, to our founders, all of whom risked their lives, fortunes, and families to overthrow the government under which they were born and to which they were expected to show allegiance.
...
To pledge allegiance is to say that our future will is subordinate to the government's, be the government right or wrong. This thought would have horrified the founders, and to entertain such a thought today would be to ignore the lessons of the Third Reich and other government atrocities over the last several centuries. As the founders proclaimed, liberty requires constant maintenance. Pledging allegiance to a government is not the way to maintain liberty, and abdicating even implicitly the dictates of one's own conscience is insane.

Link via LewRockwell.

Worth repeating here...

Do Not Recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Public Schools
WHEREAS freedom of religion is one of the founding principles of our nation, and

WHEREAS freedom of religion includes freedom to worship or not worship any god, or gods, or no god, and

WHEREAS the United States government is expressly forbidden from establishing or endorsing any religion by the First Amendment to the Constitution, and

WHEREAS acknowledging the existence of a god is endorsing a religious belief, and

WHEREAS the public school system is a branch of the United States government,

We the undersigned believe that having public school teachers or administrators lead their students in any recitation or song acknowledging the existence of a god (such as the Pledge of Allegiance as currently composed, or 'God Bless America') is an unconstitutional endorsement of a religious belief as well as an unconstitutional requirement that students acknowledge this belief, in those schools where students are required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

We do not wish to ban all discussion of religious concepts in the public forum, as all forms of public and private speech are protected by the First Amendment. We believe students and teachers should be allowed to discuss religious concepts with each other both during and outside of school hours. However, we believe there is a vital difference between discussing religious concepts and leading groups of people in observances containing religious endorsements.

We believe that schools should teach about and discuss various religions, as religion is a valid topic of cultural and historical study. However, leading students in recitations or songs with religious concepts does not constitute teaching about religion, rather it constitutes endorsing religion.

Based on the above points, we the undersigned indicate our agreement with the Ninth U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals regarding their recent decision and their subsequent confirmation of the same decision determining that leading students in recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance containing the phrase 'under god' is unconstitutional, and we urge the Supreme Court of the United States to affirm this ruling, if it should come before them. We likewise encourage others who wish to see complete religious freedom restored to the United States, for both nonbelievers as well as believers, to bring similar lawsuits.

What a cop-out

CNN.com - Court dismisses Pledge case - Jun 14, 2004
The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that a California atheist could not challenge the words 'one nation under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance, sidestepping the broader question of separation of church and state.

The ruling -- delivered on Flag Day -- means that the full pledge will continue to be recited in the nation's public schools.

Five justices -- led by Justice John Paul Stevens -- said Michael Newdow, the father, did not have legal standing to bring the case. Newdow, who is involved in a custody dispute with the mother of their third-grade daughter, could not speak for the girl, the court ruled.

A total cop-out. Now it will be years until this issue comes up again. Granted, it's not that huge a deal, but deal with it already.

Oh good...

IAEA: Iran Must Dispel Nuclear Doubts 'In Months'
Iran is not fully cooperating with U.N. inspectors and must provide full answers within months on the extent of its nuclear program, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said Monday.

I was worried that it would be years before we invade another country. I shouldn't have been concerned.

Slowing down...

So after all the hoopla about my starting a blog of my own (well, the hoopla in my own head at least), things have slowed to a trickle. I guess I just haven't been feeling the need to reveal my innermost self all that much lately. I'll just have to wait and see if this is a quiet phase or if my earlier verbosity was a phase.

Time will tell...

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Fred Reed on Israel

Read this one a while back, just remembed to post a bit of it now. Fred Reed is a very entertaining, very politically-incorrect columnist. I've seen his stuff over on LewRockwell.com, but this is from his personal site. As I see it, it's a pretty accurate assessment of the options open to Israel right now:
Best I can tell, the Israelis have these choices:

1 March into the sea and drown. It would be a solution of sorts, but the smart money doesn’t like it.

2 Emigrate to Brighton Beach. If they had wanted to, they would have already, so they probably won’t. Leaving isn’t really a choice. Who would take more than some of them?

3 Give the land back and retreat to the borders of 1967. This sounds like a nice idea, from Cleveland. You know, like Mikey grabbed Billy’s ball on the playground, and he should give it back and learn to share and be all friends with Billy.

Maybe it would have worked, once. This isn’t once. There is too much bad blood. It doesn’t follow that because the Israelis do bad things, the Palestinians don’t. They blow up shopping malls.

Leaving aside territorial ambitions, which exist, returning the land would be dangerous on military grounds. For example, look at where the West Bank fits into what is today Israel, note the shape of what remains when they are removed, and reflect on the range of a .105 howitzer. If returning the land would guarantee that the Palestinians would live peacefully with the Israelis, and grow olives, and invite them to drumming circles, OK. But it ain’t likely. Everybody hates everybody else too much. If I were an Israeli, I wouldn’t risk it.

4 Kill all the Palestinians or, in the less brutal school of ethnic cleansing of, say, 1493, shove them into Jordan. I’ll get email disagreeing, but I don’t think, despite Sharon and Kahane and such, that the Israelis would go for the former, even if they could get away with it, which they in all likelihood couldn’t. Expulsion would be a lesser but a huge gamble. I wouldn’t do it.

5 Build that fool wall. I guess that’s what I would do. It’s a bad idea and probably won’t work, which distinguishes it slightly from bad ideas that certainly won’t work.

Re: They're baaaaack

Not that I'm complaining, but what ever happened to all those
cicadas we were supposed to get? I've seen maybe one dead one lying on the ground, but I've been expecting to be bombarded with these unguided missiles for weeks now. Are they waiting to catch us unprepared? I sense a conspiracy. Perhaps we should have a "Cicada Threat Level" color code...

Saturday, June 05, 2004

SpaceShipOne images



Second photo and quote courtesy of NASA

Slung below its equally innovative mothership dubbed White Knight, SpaceShipOne rides above planet Earth, photographed during a recent flight test. SpaceShipOne was designed and built by cutting-edge aeronautical engineer Burt Rutan and his company Scaled Composites to compete for the X Prize. The 10 million dollar X prize is open to private companies and requires the successful launch of a spaceship which carries three people on short sub-orbital flights to an altitude of 100 kilometers -- a scenario similar to the early manned spaceflights of NASA's Mercury Program. Unlike more conventional rocket flights to space, SpaceShipOne will first be carried to an altitude of 50,000 feet by the twin turbojet White Knight and then released before igniting its own hybrid solid fuel rocket engine. After the climb to space, the craft will convert to a stable high drag configuration for re-entry, ultimately landing like a conventional glider at light plane speeds.

More about the privately funded Ansari X Prize here.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

SpaceShipOne set to launch

Via Yahoo News
The world's first privately funded rocket plane plans to shoot beyond the uppermost layers of Earth's atmosphere later this month in a bid to demonstrate the viability of commercial space flight, organizers of the project said on Wednesday.

"Every time SpaceShipOne flies we demonstrate that relatively modest amounts of private funding can significantly increase the boundaries of commercial space technology," [Paul] Allen, a well-known technology and science fiction fan, said in a statement.

But will future privately-funded spacecrafts be festooned with advertisements a la race cars? Let's hope so; it would certainly be more fun.

The meaning of sovereignty

Yahoo! News - Powell: Iraq Will Have No Veto on U.S.-Led Force
Iraq's new interim government will have no veto over future military operations by American-led forces after the U.S.-British occupation formally ends on June 30, Secretary of State Colin Powell said.
So:
  1. The "occupation" officially ends on June 30.
  2. The interim Iraqi government will be given "sovereignty" on that date.
  3. The U.S. military will stay exactly as long as the U.S. government wants them to.
What exactly is the meaning of sovereignty once again?

Isn't double-speak a wonderful thing to witness? Thank you, Mr. Orwell, for at least coining a phrase we can use to describe the phenomenon.

They can't both be right, can they?

Interesting juxtaposition of articles on the "success" of the Iraq war...

From the ever-entertaining Ann Coulter:
The invasion of Iraq has gone fabulously well, exceeding everyone's expectations -- certainly exceeding the doomsday scenarios of liberals. The Bush-haters' pre-war predictions -- hundreds of thousands dead, chemical attacks on our troops, retaliatory terrorist attacks in the United States, an invasion by Turkey, oil facilities in flames and apocalyptic environmental consequences -- have proven to be about as accurate as Bill Clinton's "legally accurate" statements about Monica Lewinsky.

And from the ever-informative Lew Rockwell:
Whatever else you want to call this, don't call it a success. Of course, the Bush administration will forever put its spin on events (freedom = occupation; democracy = martial law; liberation = war), but the prevailing attitudes in Iraq and around the world render a more decisive verdict of decisive failure.

If this war were a dictionary entry it would read:

Iraq War, 2003-2004: An ill-fated military conflict launched by the Bush administration and justified by the false claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. The US and allies overthrew the Iraqi government, instituted martial law, and attempted to install a puppet state. Oppressive rule, the killing of some 10,000 civilians, and the torture of prisoners provoked a guerilla backlash that drove the US out of the country as US credibility evaporated and casualties became intolerably high.

For some reason, one of these sounds just a little more convincing than the other. I leave it to the reader to decide which.

And before anyone thinks that Mr. Rockwell is some kind of left-wing, commie-pinko Democrat, perhaps you should read a few of his articles, or articles from some of the other writers at LewRockwell.com.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Other people are not your property

Courtesy of Libertarian Jackass:
David Bergland once offered Libertarianism in One Lesson. I would like to offer libertarianism in one sentence.

The most succinct formulation of libertarianism I can think of is this:

Other people are not your property.

In other words: They are not yours to boss around. Their lives are not yours to micromanage. The fruits of their labour are not yours to dispose of.

It doesn't matter how wise or marvelous or useful it would be for other people to do whatever it is you'd like them to do. It is none of your business whether they wear their seatbelts, worship the right god, have sex with the wrong people, or engage in market transactions that irritate you. Their choices are not yours to direct. They are human beings like yourself, your equals under Natural Law. You possess no legitimate authority over them. As long as they do not themselves step over the line and start treating other people as their property, you have no moral basis for initiating violence against them - nor for authorising anyone else to do so on your behalf.

Whole thing here.

Excellent, excellent, excellent essay.