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"What's the Libertarian Party for if not launching long-shot, ideologically driven quests just to prove a point? And thus should all lovers of liberty give a round of applause to the Manhattan Libertarian Party, which -- as the mayoral campaign season gets underway in New York City -- has come out suing against New York City's fundamentally corrupt public campaign-financing system."
"At the most basic core of the First Amendment is the precept 'The answer to bad speech is more speech.' Agreeing with Marc Stern that Klein summarily violated that precept by flunking Khalidi is Greg Lukianoff of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), of whose advisory board I'm a member."
"[T]he Illinois Appellate Court took a step towards fairness by ruling that an Illinois man can sue his former lover for emotional distress over her pregnancy. Dr. Richard O. Phillips alleges that six years ago Dr. Sharon Irons secretly kept his semen after the two had oral sex, and then impregnated herself with it. Phillips claims he didn't learn of the child's existence until two years later, when Irons went to court to get child support."
"Of course, The New York Times can endorse candidates for office and promote their causes, and you might think that bloggers would enjoy the same First Amendment protections. But you would be wrong. The FEC has not given news sites or bloggers what is tellingly called 'the press exemption' from campaign finance laws. What bloggers say and do may well fall under federal campaign finance restrictions."
"The accusations brought against Cosby are almost certainly not politically inspired, but they are being used by those who oppose Cosby's political and social views to discredit Cosby's criticism of the way some black parents raise their children."
"In case you hadn't noticed, about this same time every single year, the media are rife with reports of IRS harassment, arrests, and confiscation of property, from people usually demonized as 'tax protestors', with the sole purpose of intimidating the masses into complying with the 'tax laws', laws which IRS agents themselves can't figure out."
"Instead of fairy godmother government using a magic wand to create self-destructing illusions, it seems nice to dream of government as a compliant genie happy to stay in her bottle until her services are genuinely needed. The problem with government-as-genie is that every voter can think of wishes to make and has reasons to rub the bottle - so the genie gets out and stays out, granting enough careless and conflicting wishes to destroy any chances of lasting individual peace or happiness, growing into the fairy godmother government menace so many free thinking individuals know and loathe today."
"Early American individualist-anarchists such as Benjamin Tucker opposed 'capitalism' as it was developing in the 19th century (i.e., state-capitalism), and they even misguidedly attacked some elements of real capitalism, such as interest and rent. But as I recall from my reading of Tucker (in my college days), he associated himself with the label 'socialist' not only because of his critique of capitalism but also because he saw plainly, and insisted upon, the distinction between society and the state."
"Rather than try and reform the inescapably blunt and often disastrously implemented power of the state, a civilization has to realize that there are two other ways to solve the problem of actions we don't like. The first is simple forebearance -- putting up with disagreement and other points of view is the price of living in a society. The other is recognizing that the reliance on the state as the enforcer of morals and norms displaces real morals and real norms."
"When they have raised the issue, it's usually been in the context of debating how much 'credit' Bush deserves for the elections, an issue of interest to no one but partisan obsessives. Few have paused to ponder the paradox that the most successful recent grassroots campaign in the Middle East was both a product of the American occupation and aimed at the American occupiers."
"The way they see it, Bush's victory is a mandate for war. And even though Kerry's victory would've been a mandate for war, too, Kerry didn't win. Bush did. And Vermont doesn't like him or his stinking war. So they're giving the feds two middle fingers and telling them to get lost."
"The white hats are fighting for the prosperity of the ranch and they have nature and economic realities as their ally. The black hats try to get control of the ranch as a means of realising political dreams, and are backed by mass short sightedness and gullibility. For the last decade or so ... the white hats were quietly winning the war."
"[T]o judge from history Chavez is an absolutely perfect candidate for CIA assassination. He recently publicly declared himself a socialist, he is close friends with long-time CIA nemesis Fidel Castro, he publicly criticizes the U.S. invasion and war of aggression against Iraq, he is making oil deals with Chinese communists, and his country sits on vast pools of oil."
"Citizens of U.S. allies, too, should beware: Canadian citizen Maher Arar was kidnapped by CIA operatives from New York's Kennedy airport, and taken to Syria for 'questioning.' There he remained for a year, until Syria got annoyed with the United States and returned Arar to Canada. Then, if the U.S. (or allied country) citizen confesses under torture--and virtually everyone does, even if the confession is a lie--the U.S. may try to use the confession against him in a U.S. court, as well in a foreign court."
"A police state provides security only for the elitists who run it and who benefit from the repression it imposes on the mass of citizens. By hypothesis, then, today's push for 'homeland security' actually aims, not at the security of the United States or of the American people under the Constitution, but at the Establishment's security over the Constitution and against the people."
"McCain, of course -- ever the scrappy underdog fighting for the little guy against the moneyed interests -- argues that the donations and the political help to Cablevision have nothing to do with one and other. In fact, he argues, no donation to the Reform Institute could possibly curry favor with him. (Cablevision must really just love clean government!) "
"Proud not to be 'reality based,' the Bush administration is oblivious to the situation on the ground. But reality in Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia is up close and personal. The last thing wanted by the rulers of those countries, as well as the leaders of Egypt and Pakistan, is more instability that will play into the hands of such Islamist revolutionaries as Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al Zarqawi. But instability is rising, and the rulers of those countries now fear being swept away."
"The Legislative Branch is made up of politicians elected by the people to do the bidding of Big Business, ethnic minorities, and other powerful special interests. This branch, which manufactures the laws, is primarily concerned with feathering its own nest and passing legislation (generally inane, when not absolutely idiotic) that makes its members feel good while solving no problems...."
"South Africans could bring on wider prosperity without waiting for the national government to change the law. Another approach would be to promote more private communities and replace governmental services with those provided by neighborhood associations. The financing of private communities is based on levies that are essentially site rentals. If most of South Africa was in private communities, the association levies could be used to provide worker dividends to employers, reducing their cost of labor, and so reducing unemployment and crime."
"The international monetary system has entered a stage when it becomes more difficult to manage a conflict that is getting out of control the longer it lasts. Inexorably, the constellation moves to a point where the potential loss will outweigh perceived benefits -- not only for the holders of U.S. dollar reserves, but also for the United States itself."
"An end to farm subsidies would not mean an end to farming in the U.S. Prices of farmland would decline, allowing some farmers to remain in business, and we would reshuffle production to those crops that American farmers most efficiently produce."
"Even though the air marshals are unreliable, the Bush administration has slowed down the congressionally mandated program to authorize pilots to carry guns. Though it went through the motions of setting up a program, it did so in a way to discourage pilots from participating."
"The truth is, today's politicians routinely propose and pass laws every bit as invasive and silly as those Smith and Bateman plan to flaunt this summer. There's really no area of our lives that some enterprising lawmaker somewhere doesn't feel ought to be subject to state regulations, restrictions, prohibitions or taxes."
"In bold letters on my Social Security card are the words: 'For Social Security Purposes -- Not For Identification.' According to the Social Security administration website, 'This legend was removed as part of the design changes for the 18th version of the card, issued beginning in 1972.' That statement assumes that we're idiots. We're asked to believe that the sole purpose of the removal was for design purposes. The fact that our Social Security number was going to become a major identification tool had nothing to do with getting rid of the legend."
"The neoconservative doctrine of Big Government at home and Empire abroad has attracted a wide spectrum of support, what amounts to the contemporary equivalent of the 'Popular Front' of the 1930s that supported the big-spending New Deal at home while campaigning tirelessly for war abroad."
"Torture and murder of hundreds of thousands are readily accepted, as long as it is done for the graven image called the State. Eventually, unless we take a different path, the number of those tortured and murdered will include those in this country who refuse to submit to the State as it pursues its 'mission from God.' The venom readily spews forth from the shills for the State now, building a hate and resentment in the masses for any who would challenge the official position of perpetual war for peace."
"It is the State, after all, that has mass produced the machine gun and artillery, the tank and the helicopter gunship, carpet bombing and intercontinental missiles. Faced with the potent exterminating machine that is the State, how can the small-armed equipped citizen hope to defend himself from tyranny? The free market simply does not have the incentives to encourage the development, stockpiling or use of weapons of mass destruction or even local destruction. It is likely that the average insurance/defense agency would be no more well armed than the average citizen is himself. As it should be."
"Chapman's foresight into the nature of the expanding American frontier led him to bear the risk of such real estate prospecting, and his innovative approach to land speculating secured him substantial success. Chapman's alertness to the nature of the expanding frontier had profound effects on the population shift in 19th-century America. He has even transcended the role of businessman and taken on the image of a heroic figure in American folklore."
"Thus, several companies started stringing wire, beginning with lines from Baltimore to Boston, and then from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, and from New York via Albany to Buffalo.... Not only that, but these telegraph companies started to make money. What was a money-losing proposition in the hands of the government became worth millions of dollars in the private sector."
"What's important to recognize is the underlying rationale behind due process of law -- that is, why this principle was so important to Englishmen as well as to our Founding Fathers and the Framers: Given the enormous value they placed on people's lives and liberty and given their recognition of the enormous power of the government, they wanted to ensure that as few innocent people as possible were executed or otherwise punished, even if that meant lots of guilty people went unpunished."
"In U. S. history it has been crises, most often wars, that result in a great expansion of state power. Once the crisis is over, the state and its budgets, deficits, functionaries, and regulations are cut back to more normal levels, but never to what they were before, and they go on from there."
"The drastic American military intervention into Middle East affairs had unleashed forces that could not be reversed. The tinder was dry and needed only the neocons of the Bush II administration to light the spark of a new American war, utterly transforming American policy."
"The composition of a coherent historical narrative is no easy task. Fortunately, the aspiring historian of the current U.S. war in Iraq can draw upon earlier narratives to ease the burden, merely substituting a word here and there in order to make the text accord with the specific names and places that are now pertinent."
"To set out the character of the personalities and the actions that led to this war, historians need only employ the narrative of a past war, altering the names and places to suit the present occasion. ... McKinley in the war of '98, however, is not the only presidential warmonger who might be employed as a model for George W. Bush in his war against Iraq."
"He is one of the greatest artists of all time, a man whose name has become synonymous with the word 'masterpiece': Michelangelo Buonarroti. As an artist he was unmatched, the creator of works of sublime beauty that express the full breadth of the human condition."
"[W]hen they said she must give up her children so that they could be raised as Communists in another country, she would not allow them to push her any further. Against all her cultural and familial teachings she defied authority and arranged for her children to escape from Greece and go to find their father in America. She was charged with treason, tortured and condemned to death by firing squad."
"It was in 1948 that he appeared in his first film, The Big Punch. He soon began an on-screen partnership with Doris Day. This was followed by starring appearances in two major films of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals [Oklahoma! and Carousel], opposite Shirley Jones."
"There are other great Billy Wilder films which showcase business in its positive aspects, such as 1954ís Sabrina; and there are other movies whose screenplays were written by Wilder which showcase Stanwyck: for example, Ball of Fire is one of my favorite films. However, Double Indemnity stands out as a classic which isn't usually considered as a pro-liberty film. It shows ways that market forces solve problems which are often used as a justification for the existence of a State."
"Now 66 years old, Tommy Chong radiates the temperament of a warm and articulate monk. We talk about jazz, we talk about comedy. I mention a recent show at the Universal Amphitheater, a duel between Bill Maher and Dennis Miller. ... So we analyze the (de-)evolution of Dennis Miller. Chong's theory: 'Dennis Miller morphed into what he really was, which is a trend-seeker'."
"An admirer of many of Clint Eastwood's films, I found, when [interviewing him] some years ago, that he has no resemblance to 'Dirty Harry.' Moreover, as a working jazz pianist in his youth, he felt the life force of that music. But in his current success, 'Million Dollar Baby,' he is tone deaf to the life force of the disabled as he encourages euthanizing some of them."
"Almost a year after the cessation of major combat and a month after the nation's first free democratic elections, President Bush unveiled the coalition forces' strategy for exiting Iraq."
"Moments after the video was delivered to all of the networks late Wednesday night, news executives examined it thoroughly for tidbits about the self-styled King of Popís trial before being giving it a unanimous thumbs-down."
"It's not only funerals, but memorial services and various other pagan rituals; we are all supposed to weep on the anniversary of 9/11, and defer publicly to soldiers, and cheer for whichever bland milquetoast cine-blob wins Best Picture. But some of us don't want to cheer for the little girl who gets pulled out of the well, or get misty-eyed before the leader's casket. In fact, some of us get physically ill, and angry, during each and every one of these orgies of rote media emotion."
"Early on, I noticed three things about evolution that differentiated it from other sciences (or, I could almost say, from science). First, plausibility was accepted as being equivalent to evidence. Ö Second, evolution seemed more a metaphysics or ideology than a science. ... Third, evolutionists are obsessed by Christianity and Creationism, with which they imagine themselves to be in mortal combat."
"The true measure of a person is not revealed in situations where help is a phone call away or when he knows that others will extricate him -- at other people's expense -- from the messes he creates for himself. It is when a person finds herself weary and discouraged and downhearted and gets to the bottom of her soul to see who and what she truly is; when she discovers whether or not she has the resolve, the determination, the courage -- the will -- to lift that aching, exhausted leg to reach that one next high step...and the next one and the one after that; when she realizes that in the final analysis we are all responsible for ourselves, for our decisions...for our own lives."
"Libertarian societies in all their variety would not be utopias, of course. Libertarianism does not propose an end to evil or even to coercion, but only the flourishing of civilization in the absence of institutionalized coercion. Crime would not disappear, poor taste would still exist, and even conservative communities would remain beset with imperfection. Removing the privileges of the state would make these evils smaller, less centralized, and more manageable, however."
"The only 'difference' today is which party (Dem or Rep) and which end of the conventional political continuum ('liberal' or conservative) can run up the biggest deficits, debase the currency the fastest, destroy what is left of the manufacturing sector, and kill or injure the most little brown people all over the world."
"In a new century with world opinion changing, it is dangerous to allow usually inept governments to have the authority to kill their citizens for any reason, especially when the death penalty does not deter future violent crime, is applied unfairly on the basis of race or religion, and is not reversible."
"I was intrigued by the story of Sarah Scantlin, the victim of a drunken driver back in September 1984. The driver served six months for driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident. Scantlin, 18 years old at the time, fell into a coma. For the next 20 years, she could communicate only with her eyes -- one blink for 'no,' two blinks for 'yes.' Last month, she finally spoke, the AP reported."
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