Feb. 12 - 18, 2006

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Web articles of likely interest to individualists found during the preceding week.

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Political Liberty

Articles showing a positive influence of political action on the cause of Liberty.

Where does freedom come from?

      by B.W. Richardson from Montag ...

"The reality, however, is you and I are the ones who give the government permission to act this way. You are free to do anything you like, if you are willing to accept responsibility for your actions and if you do not intrude on anyone else's freedom. Authority can only limit your freedom, and then only with your permission; it cannot give you permission to be free anymore than it can give you permission to breathe. Just as breathing comes naturally and automatically, so does freedom."


Illinois May Permit Use Of Medical Marijuana

      from CBS2Chicago

"Illinois could soon be the 12th state to permit the use of medical marijuana. On Tuesday, a bill that would protect patients from arrest for using it passed a Senate committee by a 6-5 vote."


Alternative medicine advocates want "Health Freedom Act"

      by Stella Shaffer from Radio Iowa

"McHenry says she isn't opposed to Western medicine, and in fact goes to a University of Iowa doctor herself. But she says Iowans should have the freedom to seek out alternative medicine as well. To be the healthiest person, she says you'd want every avenue available."


Life in Amerika

Articles depicting the negative impact of politics on the cause of Liberty.

Curb Your Enthusiasms

      by Radley Balko from Cato Institute

"Neither Spurlock nor Shapiro would like to be compared to the other, which of course is half the fun of doing it. But although they come from opposing sides of the left-right divide, the two are fellow travelers in a time-honored tradition: Both are merchants of moral panic. The term moral panic was popularized by the British sociologist Stanley Cohen in 1972's Folk Devils and Moral Panics. Cohen described the phenomenon as the process by which prejudice or prudery isolates for scorn a subset, trend, or habit in the broader culture."


Sexual Harassment Policies Need Reform

      by Wendy McElroy from ifeminists.com

"What does it say of a law that is blatantly unjust when enforced as written? I think it says the law should be scrapped along with the assumptions it rode in on. The law should be ripped to shreds, not just modified."


What Are We Fighting For?

      by James Leroy Wilson from Independent Country

"Children are subject to the most arbitrary and unjust rules. They are over-drugged and over-disciplined. They are let down by the very people who have taken it upon themselves to raise them and educate them. They are being conditioned to live as subjects in an authoritarian society. The noncomformists will be jailed, and the violent thugs among them will join the police or army, where they will impose the same torture and arbitrary rules on others that they themselves suffered as kids."


Ordered Liberty without the State

Some people say it's Anarchy, some say it's not possible. It is an interesting topic.

The Evil of the PhD

      from { ~ Black Guile ~ }

"If we, as libertarians (or left-libertarians, or anarchists), deem state-backed medical licensing to be illegitimate, we probably ought to do likewise for state-backed higher education licensing, and for its creature, the PhD institution. But let's say we don't yet accept the illegitimacy of state cartelization. If we don't, we have to begin by simply noting that the PhD institution stands at the fulcrum of some pretty important pieces of our society. We should therefore (to borrow a phrase from Sandra Day) apply strict scrutiny to it, to see if it's what it's cracked up to be."


William Greene on the Labor Theory of Value

      by Kevin Carson from Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism

"This third alternative considered all exploitation to be based on force; and the exploitative features of existing society to result from the intrusion of the element of coercion. Unlike utopianism, the third theory treated the law of value as something that operated automatically when not subject to interference. Unlike Marxism, it believed the unfettered operation of the law of value to be incompatible with exploitation. This school included, especially, the market-oriented Ricardian socialist Thomas Hodgskin, and the later individualist anarchists in America; they saw capitalism as exploitative to the extent that unequal exchange prevailed, under the influence of the State. Without such intervention, the normal operation of the law of value would automatically result in labor receiving its full product."


Sumner's Anarchist Moment

      by David T. Beito from Liberty & Power: Group Blog

"In 1941, economist Irving Fisher opined that William Graham Sumner 'was one of the greatest professors we ever had at Yale, but I have drawn far away from his point of view, that of the old laissez faire doctrine'."


Spreading Decentralism

Articles demonstrating an increase in the dispersal of power.

Interview with Bacchus of ErosBlog

      Interviewed by Sunni Maravillosa from Sunni's Salon

"I see us moving to more of a Snow Crash world, where coercive institutions start to lose their monopolies in various realms and begin to compete more with each other. As the big stumbling dinosaurs get slower and slower and spend more time chewing on each other, there will be more room in the ecosystem for bands of speedy little mammals."


Susan Witt on Independent Local Economies

      by Kevin Carson from Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism

"The smaller the market area, the more likely that there will be ongoing relationships between buyers and sellers, regulated by local social ties; the expectations of sellers in regard to their market, and buyers in regard to their source of supply, will likewise be more stable and predicable. And local economic networks like LETS systems enable providers of goods and services to deal directly with one another, and translate their skills directly into exchange-value, without depending on the whims of an institutional employer."


Home Schooling and Histrionics

      by Isabel Lyman from Cato Institute

"Home-schooled students receive a more varied education than does a child who is conventionally schooled. Let's not forget that schools, no matter what the National Education Association preaches about the advantages of a racially diverse student body, are rigidly conformist institutions. Young people are subjected to the same predetermined curriculum, grading policies and behavioral guidelines and are expected to arrive and depart at the same time every day."


The New World Hegemon

Depictions of the coming Imperial power

Diagnosing Decline

      by Alan Bock from Antiwar.com

"What suggests a larger malady in American society is that all these presidents, and perhaps especially the Bushes and Clintons, have attracted legions of ordinary Americans who are fiercely loyal to them. It is always dubious to be loyal to any political figure, of course, but that so many place faith and confidence in people of such unimpressive moral or intellectual character suggests a society with deep and lingering problems."


Torture Pictures That Didn't Make the Exhibition

      by Lila Rajiva from CounterPunch

"These are -- in part -- the pictures that the government has been battling to keep under wraps for more than a year now. Even when last year a judge gave the ACLU access after a Freedom of Information Act request, the government appealed, claiming publication might fan anti--American sentiment ---- and who could possibly dream of doing that? Funny how freedom of expression -- so indispensable for the survival of Western Civilization when it comes to inflammatory and dangerous anti--Muslim imagery -- gets jettisoned in a hurry when it comes to exposing war crimes."


The War on Privacy

      by Nat Hentoff from The Village Voice

"Because of the continually expanding surveillance technology available to the government, no administration in our history has been engaged in more pervasive 'experiments' on our liberties than Bush's regime. And even more penetrating means of surveillance will be available to future presidents who claim that their 'inherent powers' in a war on terrorism allow them to ignore laws and the other branches of government."


Politics by Other Means

War, rumors of war, and politicians fomenting war.

Book Review: Attention Deficit Democracy by James Bovard

      Reviewed by Sunni Maravillosa from Sunni's Salon

"Electoral politics is an ugly, messy business by all accounts; it is one that I wish to avoid as much as possible. So how to account for my eager anticipation of James Bovard's latest book, Attention Deficit Democracy? Two simple reasons: first, Bovard, like Vin Suprynowicz, is one of very few journalists who are both pro-freedom and willing to dig to get to what's behind the pretty scenery that's propped up for show -- which is what most of the mainstream media are content to report on; and two, it helps to know what those who want to throttle you are up to."


From Conservatives to Brownshirts -- Our leader über alles

      by Paul Craig Roberts from CounterPunch

"There are only two reasons for Bush to refuse to obey the law. One is that he is guilty of illegitimate spying for which no warrant would be issued by the FISA court. The other is that he is using 'national security' to create unconstitutional powers for the executive."


Masters of Deception

      by Justin Raimondo from Antiwar.com

"While the country -- or, rather, the American media -- is fixated on an accidental shooting by the vice president, and the airwaves are filled with the natterings of the chattering classes over this inconsequential albeit unfortunate matter, the real shooting is being largely ignored: the slaughter continues in Iraq. While reporters and pundits rush to track down every niggling detail of Quailgate, the story of how we were lied into war -- and set up for a sequel -- is largely untold."


Spontaneous Order

Articles showing decentralized successes.

This Asphalt Is Mine!

      by Jesse Walker from Reason

"Property rights emerge for many reasons, but two are especially important. One is scarcity: When you don't have an infinite supply of a valuable good, it's important to figure out who is entitled to what. The other is effort: If a man has put his sweat into something--mixed his labor with it, in Locke's famous phrase--he's more likely to claim his creation for himself."


You Treat Me Like Property

      by Vedran Vuk from Ludwig von Mises Institute

"The truth of the matter is that private property is the most important thing in our lives next to our loved ones (and in some cases even more important than that). Private property is the reason we get up in the morning to work and relinquish our leisure time in trade for currency. This currency is then used to purchase private goods."


How Should States Encourage Entrepreneurship?

      by Joshua Hall from The Independent Institute

"[P]olicymakers should follow the example of states like North Carolina and Nevada and focus on lowering taxes, securing property rights, minimizing regulatory barriers and other public policies consistent with individual freedom. By doing so, it will increase the rate of new business start-ups, and the venture capital necessary to help fund these new ventures will flow into the state automatically."


Nonspontaneous Disorder

Articles showing centrally planned disasters.

Snow Job

      by Becky Akers from The Foundation for Economic Education

"It isn't really my sidewalk, of course. I don't own it, and I can't prohibit anyone from doing as he pleases on it. Dog-walkers consider it their pets' bathroom; kids treat it as their roller-skating rink or baseball field; revelers raucously congregate on it, smack-dab below my bedroom window, at 2 a.m.. I am powerless to prohibit any of this, regardless of how it disturbs me, because the sidewalk is public property. Let that sidewalk buckle, crack, or shed a chunk of concrete, however, and it suddenly belongs to me."


Self-Deception about Medical Care

      by Sheldon Richman from The Future of Freedom Foundation

"On days they are thinking about distribution, the furthest thing from their minds is collection. It's self-deception, but it's effective. This may be why such people can't see government for what it is: a massive transfer machine. In the end, all government can do is move money from one person to another. Whether you think that's right or wrong, let's at least agree on what it does. Government takes from A to give to B, and it uses the threat of physical force (such as incarceration) to ensure that A will surrender whatever is demanded of him."


The Legal Trade in Illegal Drugs

      by David Wiggins from Strike The Root

"It may worry you that you are costing society billions of dollars for unnecessary ambulance rides, medical tests, hospital and doctor's fees, and medications. It may worry you that this contributes significantly to the cost of health insurance premiums. If all of this does worry you, you are in luck. You can use that anxiety to justify your request for more drugs! Xanax is a popular choice for anxiety. Valium, Ativan and Klonopin are also good."


War Is The Health Of The State

War is the ultimate State intervention in society.

Iraq and the Democratic Empire

      by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. from LewRockwell.com

"We have lost freedoms and rights. The military and spying sector has grown enormously. Big government abroad is incompatible with small government at home. To the extent we cheer war, we are cheering domestic socialism and our own eventual destruction as a civilization."


War Planning

      by Mark Davis from Strike The Root

"The American people have mostly believed their elected government officials and the media who duped them into supporting nearly every war that the United State government has ever fought. Once the nationalist knuckle-draggers get their emotional war slogan, like say 'Remember 9-11,' the band wagon picks up steam and away we go. It usually takes several generations before it is even considered rational to question official lies because of the emotional attachment people have to these lies that justify their backing a program of mass murder."


New Name, Same Conflict

      by Tim Harper from Common Dreams

"U.S. analysts and government officials this week point to the rebranding as another attempt to gird a skeptical public for an ongoing, generational commitment of troops at war, a bid to try to revive and augment international co-operation with Washington and a way of justifying ever-expanding presidential powers under Bush. They believe it is an attempt by a self-described wartime president to entrench his cherished wartime powers, helping him fend off attacks on an electronic surveillance program some say is illegal. Or, some say, it could be a return to a tried-and-true tactic from this White House, the use of fear."


Bits of History

The Past seen with a fresh look.

The End of Dollar Hegemony

      by Ron Paul from LewRockwell.com

"The agreement with OPEC in the 1970s to price oil in dollars has provided tremendous artificial strength to the dollar as the preeminent reserve currency. This has created a universal demand for the dollar, and soaks up the huge number of new dollars generated each year. Last year alone M3 increased over $700 billion. The artificial demand for our dollar, along with our military might, places us in the unique position to 'rule' the world without productive work or savings, and without limits on consumer spending or deficits. The problem is, it can't last."


The Glorious Swiss Guards

      by Eric Margolis from EricMargolis.com

"Amidst all the world's woes, it may seem out of place to discuss the recent 500th anniversary of the Vatican's colorfully-garbed Swiss Guards. But their story, and what they represent, offers us a timeless symbol of courage and loyalty. ... This epic tale begins at the end of the 13th Century amidst the lakes and forests of central Switzerland. The Austrian Habsburg Empire ruled the region through a system of feudal lords and vassals."


Conservative Nonsense in the War on Drugs

      by Jacob G. Hornberger from The Future of Freedom Foundation

"During Prohibition, there were undoubtedly people such as Last claiming, 'Booze consumption is down. We're winning the war on booze. Al Capone is in jail. We've got to keep on waging the war on booze until we can declare final victory.' Fortunately, Americans living at that time finally saw through such nonsense, especially given the massive Prohibition-related violent crime that the war on booze had spawned. They were right to finally legalize the manufacture and sale of alcohol and treat alcohol consumption as a social issue, not a criminal-justice problem."


War and Peace

Articles showing the nature of War.

Iran: The Next War

      by John Pilger from Antiwar.com

"Next month, Iran is scheduled to shift its petrodollars into a euro-based bourse. The effect on the value of the dollar will be significant, if not, in the long term, disastrous. At present the dollar is, on paper, a worthless currency bearing the burden of a national debt exceeding $8 trillion and a trade deficit of more than $600 billion. The cost of the Iraq adventure alone, according to the Nobel Prizewinning economist Joseph Stiglitz, could be $2 trillion. America's military empire, with its wars and 700-plus bases and limitless intrigues, is funded by creditors in Asia, principally China."


Why They Hate Us

      by Jacob G. Hornberger from The Future of Freedom Foundation

"U.S. officials knew full-well that that their decades-old U.S. interventionist policies in the Middle East were at the bottom of the volcanic rage that people bore in that part of the world."


Gold, Silver and the Coming Crisis in Iran

      by Douglas Herman from Strike The Root

"The nuke scare is an excuse, an ingenious government propaganda device for control of the masses. Scare 'em and terrorize 'em but nary a word about the Iran Oil Bourse. The Real reason why Iran is the next target has nothing to do with nukes. But nukes might be used, of course, by us or Israel."


Great Individuals In History

Some people stand out from the crowd.

Libertarian -- Frank Chodorov : Feb. 15, 1887

      by Kenneth R. Gregg from CLASSical Liberalism

"Thus Chodorov began analysis, his four-page broad sheet which ran for seven years until its merger with Human Events, which he would write for another four years. After which, he became editor of the Foundation for Economic Education's The Freeman for a couple of years. It is in the essays found in analysis and The Freeman where Chodorov the libertarian poet excels."


Comedian/Violinist -- Jack Benny : Feb. 14, 1894

      from JackBenny.org

"Jack's television program continued airing every two weeks, featuring a variety of plots and skits including: a spoof of 'You Bet Your Life' with Groucho Marx, Jack instructing a very young Johnny Carson on comedy, Jack standing in for Fred Astaire with Ginger Rogers, and spoofing 'The Honeymooners' with Audrey Meadows. In 1957, Jack won an Emmy for 'Best continuing performance [male] in a series by a comedian, singer, host, dancer, MS, announcer, narrator, panelist, or any person who essentially plays himself.' In 1958, the show took the Emmy for Best Comedy Series."


Dancer -- Vera-Ellen : Feb. 16, 1921

      from FredAstaire.Net

"Of all of Fred's dancing partners, only Vera-Ellen Westmeyer Rohe (it rhymes with go) matched him in versatility, ability, and work ethic. Together, they created some of the most incredible dance routines ever seen onscreen. She was, in fact, the only woman to ever be considered the peer of both Fred and Gene Kelly."



Books, Movies, TV, Media, Music, poetry, etc.

The Crucible (1996)

      Reviewed by Tom Ender from Endervidualism

Historical drama stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder, Paul Scofield, Joan Allen; screenplay by Arthur Miller, directed by Nicholas Hytner. "Though set in Salem, Massachusetts centuries ago, this film has tremendous relevance for our times. The rising influence of behavior not based on rationality in today's world makes the story of a people, whose belief in the 'invisible world' dominates their lives, seem strangely familiar."


Miller on Sin City 2

      by Hilary Goldstein from IGN > Entertainment

"It was already revealed that the film would adapt one of the best Sin stories, 'A Dame to Kill For'. That, however, won't be the only story featured in the next movie. Miller is writing a brand new story to weave throughout the film. The new tale follows Nancy Callahan after the events of 'That Yellow Bastard' and shows how she was affected by Hartigan's suicide."


Joss Whedon on Wonder Woman, X-Men and the future of Serenity

      by Robert Sanchez from IESB

"[W]hat a great surprise the movie gods had in store for us. Joss Whedon showed up to support Alyson Hannigan's newest project. We took the opportunity and asked Joss about a few projects including a sequel to Serenity, Wonder Woman, a possible Spike spin off movie and all things Whedonesque."


The lighter side

Humor, satire, cartoons, parodies, food, popular music and other things to amuse.

Senate Ethics Committee To Meet In New Ethics Committee Mansion

      from The Onion

"In the wake of several major lobbying scandals, the Senate Select Committee on Ethics announced Tuesday that it will hold a special series of intensive sessions inside its recently completed 200-room Ethics Mansion. 'In this time of rampant corruption, it is essential that we have a sufficiently lavish setting in which to enforce laws that ensure the integrity of public officials,' said committee member Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), wearing a gold-lined cashmere robe donated by pharmaceutical lobbyists."


George and Tony's Excellent Little Gulf War

      by Garry Reed from Loose Cannon Libertarian

"Alright folks, as you know, we here at Oxidental-Moronthaller Peaceful Solutions Consulting Resources won the $2.1 million secret contract from the Bush administration to dream up a pretext for starting a war with Iraq. You're my creative team, so let's make Oxi-Moron proud. Nerdman, what have you got?"


Use the Force

      by Jon Stewart from The Daily Show

Evil Democrat Empire? If we're gonna do the Star Wars analogy, the Democrats are Ewoks. At best.


Deep Thought

Scientific and scholarly studies, philosophical essays, in-depth and longer articles

ambiguous collectives & other statist myths

      by freeman from freeman, libertarian critter blog

"Recent examples include: 'we invaded iraq', 'we need some sort of government to exist', 'we love the fuggin power ballads'. My question to those who use the ambiguous collective term 'we' is this - who the bloody hell is 'we'???"


Brain Researchers Discover the Evolutionary Traces of Grammar

      from Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science

"Why can we understand complex sentences, while our nearest cousins - apes - only understand individual words? Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig have discovered that two areas in the human brain are responsible for different types of language processing requirements. They found that simple language structures are processed in an area that is phylogenetically older, and which apes also possess. Complicated structures, by contrast, activate processes in a comparatively younger area which only exists in a more highly evolved species: humans."


Phaedrus on the Church of Reason

      by Kevin Carson from Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism

"The Church attitude is that civilization, or 'the system' or 'society' or whatever you want to call it, is best served not by mules but by free men. The purpose of abolishing grades and degrees is not to punish mules or to get rid of them but to provide an environment in which that mule can turn into a free man."



Articles not easily classified

Dealing with Debt, Hardyville Style (Part I)

      by Claire Wolfe from Backwoods Home Magazine

"But every debt is a pledge to surrender part of our future. And you know what Mark Twain said about pledges: 'To make a pledge of any kind is to declare war against nature; for a pledge is a chain that is always clanking and reminding the wearer of it that he is not a free man.' And when the pledge we're making is a pledge to spend hundreds or thousands of hours of our future for gratification today ... we really are planning our own unfreedom."


In Search Of Darkness

      by Fred Reed from FredOnEverything

"With the debasement of society came a simultaneous, though not necessarily related, extension of childhood and adolescence. In the remote prehistorical past, which for most today means anything before 1900, the young assumed responsibility early. It wasn't a moral question, but a practical one. If the plowing didn't get done, the family didn't eat. By the age of eighteen, a boy was likely to carry a man's burdens. Today, no. Now a combination of the enstupidation of the schools, the inflation of grades, and the threat of class-action suits by the parents of failing students means that an adolescent can graduate without assuming any burden whatsoever."


Freedom Rider: Halliburton Detention Centers

      by Margaret Kimberley from The Black Commentator

"Vice President Dick Cheney's personal cash cow is the lucky beneficiary of yet another government contract. ... Halliburton's latest contract strikes close to home, literally ... What ought to shock and terrify every American is that KBR, a Halliburton subsidiary, was awarded a $385 million contract to build 'temporary detention facilities' in case of an 'immigration emergency'...."


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