June 4 — 10, 2006

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

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Pursuing Liberty

Articles showing the positive influence of action in the pursuit of Liberty.

Rule of Law: Whose Life Is It, Anyway?

      by Roger Pilon from Cato Institute

"Carefully following this more restrictive approach (to avoid the charge of activism), the court noted the precise description of the right the Abigail Alliance claimed, and then traced the history in America of the more generally described rights from which it is derived -- the right to potentially life-saving medication, the right to control one's body, the right to self-preservation and the right to life. Finding those rights in the centuries-old common law, the court concluded that, in contrast to those ancient principles, it is the FDA's regulation of access that is new. Accordingly, if there is a fundamental right to refuse life-sustaining treatment, as the Supreme Court had found in 1990, there is, equally, a right to seek life-sustaining medication free from government interference."


How to be a Half-Decent Democrat

      by Jesse Walker from The Perpetual Three-Dot Column

"Be good on the issues where the left is supposed to be good. When I was a lad, liberals were supposed to support peace and civil liberties…."


The Nazi Means

      by James Leroy Wilson from Independent Country

"Do I agree with the principles of white nationalism/supremacism? Of course not, but that doesn't mean the freedoms of those who do hold them should be denied. After all, censorship, prohibition, wealth redistribution, and aggressive war have all been, and continue to be, justified by the Christian faith. That doesn't mean we should take children away from Christian parents."


Life in Amerika

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

Then And Now -- Or Perhaps Here And There

      by Fred Reed from FredOnEverything

"As a Tom Sawyer simulacrum invariably carrying a BB gun, perhaps with my fielder's mitt slung on the barrel, I once passed a slow summery infinity of afternoons there, reading comic books and drinking ice cream floats. The owner at the time, Mr. Chandler (universally called Coochie, perhaps seventy then, with red Harpo-Marx hair) liked little boys, and kept a rack of comic books on the principle of a bird feeder. Today, liking little boys would be considered prima facie evidence of what would be called a 'pederasty problem,' and the comic books would doubtless have to carry warnings. ... Today some green eyeshade at corporate would notice that those books cost twenty bucks a month, and demand that they be kept in a locked glass case." Although a bit younger than Fred, my youth was spent similarly. That world now seems so long ago.


Pentagon sets its sights on social networking websites

      by Paul Marks from NewScientist.com

"New Scientist has discovered that Pentagon's National Security Agency, which specialises in eavesdropping and code-breaking, is funding research into the mass harvesting of the information that people post about themselves on social networks. ... [T]o combine data from social networking websites with details such as banking, retail and property records, allowing the NSA to build extensive, all-embracing personal profiles of individuals."


Justice Department's Black Site

      by Nat Hentoff from The Village Voice

"This would not be the first time in this administration that an investigation of the Justice Department demanded by members of Congress was shut down."


Ordered Liberty without the State

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

Citizen Jesus

      by Retta Fontana from Strike The Root

"Jesus' worst crime was and would still be that he taught his followers to listen to the love in their own hearts rather than follow the law; utterly unacceptable behavior in our advancing police state. I believe Jesus came here to show people how to love, not dominate."


Are the Salad Days for Somalia Over?

      by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. from Ludwig von Mises Institute

"What is to be gained by the creation of a state? Well, consider what a state does. First, it taxes, which means taking from the people and giving to the government, which then gives money to its friends. Second, it regulates, meaning that government tells people to do things they would not otherwise do. Third, it creates a central bank to water down the value of money. Fourth, it builds jails to put people who disobey, including political enemies."


We Don't Need No Domestication

      by Vache Folle from St George Blog

"It seems to me that states and domestication developed hand in hand in a kind of feedback loop. As men became more governable, they got more government, and so on. We were once wolves; now we are Labrador retrievers, eager to please our masters and get along with the pack."


Spreading Decentralism

Articles demonstrating an increase in the dispersal of power.

The coming of the micro-states

      by Fred Weir from Yahoo! News

"As Montenegro officially declared independence this weekend, accepting the world's welcome into the community of nations, a handful of obscure 'statelets' are demanding the same opportunity to choose their own destinies."


Alternate-Side-of-the-Street Parking and Spontaneous Order

      by Gene Callahan from Crash Landing

"Now, my neighborhood has no excess parking spaces -- its pretty much chock full of cars all the time. But for 12 hours a week, half the parking spaces in the area are unavailable. So where do the cars go?"


Who are we up against? Local vs. global competition influences cooperative behavior in humans

      contact Heidi Hardman release from EurekAlert!

"The impact of repeated interactions has been examined in the past by observing humans asked to play the Prisoner's Dilemma game. The dilemma in this game is that not cooperating (that is, cheating) is the best short-term option, but cooperation by both players gives greater rewards than cheating by both players. It is well known that cooperation can be favored in this game if players have repeated interactions -- such a scenario sets up the possibility of reciprocal cooperation."


The New World Hegemon

Depictions of the coming Imperial power

eBay Invites Internet Regulation, Backs Online Gambling Ban

      by Radley Balko from FOXNews.com

"Some speculate that eBay is attempting to win favor with Goodlatte, who also happens to sit on the Congressional Internet Caucus. There's probably some truth to that. But there's another, more likely explanation for eBay selling out the e-commerce world: Good, old-fashioned protectionism."


Signs of an Emerging Police State

      by Chuck Baldwin from NewsWithViews.com

"Whenever anyone objects to the illegality or immorality of ever-meddling, ever-growing, ever-menacing federal encroachments upon our freedoms, Bush and his apologists have a ready-made response: 'We are fighting a war on terrorism.' Actually, what Mr. Bush is doing is fighting a war against the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence!"


Closing Our Courts

      by Nat Hentoff from The Village Voice

"[A]s for the courts, increasingly the White House--with the full support of the president's faithful vassal Attorney General Alberto Gonzales--has been compelling judges to dismiss cases that could expose the administration's misrule of law. By invoking the 'state secrets' privilege, the administration ensures that all documents and reports central to the case at hand are excluded--and the case cannot proceed."


Politics by Other Means

War, rumors of war, and politicians fomenting war.

No Permanent Bases: Passed Both Houses, Removed in Conference Committee

      by David Swanson from OpEdNews.com

"When the House and the Senate pass similar but not identical bills, they create a conference committee to work out the differences. When they both passed amendments to the 'emergency supplemental' spending bill stipulating that none of the money could be used to build permanent bases in Iraq, the conference committee, behind closed doors this week, resolved that non-difference by deleting it. "


Iranian Nukes: U.S. Denial of Reality

      by Ivan Eland from The Independent Institute

"If the experience of Iraq is any guide, U.S. intelligence most likely does not know where all of Iran's nuclear facilities are located. Thus, air strikes could only take out some of them and thus slow, rather than eliminate, Iran's nuclear program. In fact, knowing that the possession of nuclear weapons is the only thing that could deter another U.S. attack, the Iranians would probably then work over time to get the bomb."


Zarqawi: A Bogeyman Made by the US

      by Brendan O'Neill from Antiwar.com

"Zarqawi was an isolated and fairly insignificant insurgent -- or at least he had been, until American and British officials decided to transform him into an all-purpose bogeyman and brand him the most evil man in the world. In the process, they handed him fame and notoriety on a platter, and turned this nobody into a headline-grabbing terrorist. Make no mistake: Zarqawi was a creation of Western propagandists."


Spontaneous Order

Articles showing decentralized successes.

The Separation of Marriage and State

      by James Leroy Wilson from The Partial Observer

"It makes far more sense for marriage contracts or covenants to be entered into privately, with definitions, property rights, duties, and benefits agreed to by the individuals entering into the marriage. These may or may not be blessed by a church, but the State needs no role in defining or controlling marriage and family life."


What Detroit Can Learn From Bangalore

      by Shikha Dalmia from Reason

"Detroit has many of the trappings of wealth that come from sitting in the lap of the richest country in the world: an excellent freeway system, a sparkling riverfront, good sanitation. Bangalore, in turn, has many of the afflictions of a poor country: pollution, open sewers, slums. But there is a palpable buzz in Bangalore's air that comes when industrious people are engaged in creating wealth. That's missing in Detroit, where a big chunk of the population lives off welfare."


Incentives Matter

      by Russell Roberts from Library of Economics and Liberty.

"Despite a common belief that economics is about money, non-monetary incentives can be just as important as monetary incentives in affecting behavior. Time is one important non-monetary factor in what we do. … Adding time to the list of incentives isn't enough either. People care about their reputation and fame and their conscience. They care about glory and patriotism and love. All of these can act as incentives."


Nonspontaneous Disorder

Articles showing centrally planned disasters.

The Greater Depression – it's coming

      by Doug Casey from KitcoCasey

"How bad will it be? In historical terms, the last depression was relatively short and mild. The longest depression on record was the Dark Ages. Residents of the old USSR and Mao's China suffered through a depression that lasted decades. I'm not predicting it will be that bad, if only because the U.S. has basically much sounder traditions and institutions and vastly more accumulated capital. But it's hard to overestimate how serious this could be."


Whose Money Is It?

      by Sheldon Richman from Foundation for Economic Education

"It is absolutely true that in America's state-skewed corporatist economy, many fortunes are made illegitimately, through, for instance, huge government contracts for things government has no business doing in the first place. Fortunes are also made through the countless ways the state cartelizes and protects favored businesses, sheltering them from competition and otherwise bestowing privileges unattainable under laissez faire. ... That said, the estate tax can't be justified on the grounds that some fortunes are ill-gotten."


Is Your Town Safe From Terrorists?

      by Véronique de Rugy from Reason

" Who said that New York City had no 'national monuments or icons,' and that Washington, D.C. belongs in the bottom-25-percent risk category for terrorist attack on U.S. states and territories? The Department of Homeland Security said it. Officials from New York and Washington received the news when they asked the DHS to explain its recent decision to reduce their grant funds by 40 percent while Charlotte, Omaha and Louisville saw their funding increase by more than 60 percent."


War Is The Health Of The State

War is the ultimate State intervention in society.

War Criminal Nation -- You'd Better Shut Up

      by Paul Craig Roberts from CounterPunch

"Our elected 'representatives' are so in thrall to the powerful military-industrial complex that no amount of American shame, pariah status and military defeat can shut off the flow of taxpayers' funds to the merchants of death. Bush's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing hard-pressed US taxpayers $300,000,000 per day! These wars are lost. Yet, imbecilic members of Congress are in the process of funding the war for another year."


Reflections on Memorial Day, 2006

      by David R. Henderson from Antiwar.com

"It's true that if some governments that existed in the world had been willing and able to take over the United States, we would be less free now. But was that typically a threat that the United States faced? Work your way backwards through the major wars that the United States has been involved in over the last 100 years."


War Analogies Attack Our Freedom

      by Gary M. Galles from Foundation for Economic Education

"War imagery is invoked to show determination to win. But shooting wars have no winners, just those who lose more and those who lose less, as illustrated by gruesome casualty comparisons. And casualties are the last thing 'war on [fill in the blank]' social-program supporters seek, though honest evaluations would find many casualties. (Witness the large public-housing projects that became instant slums in the War on Poverty.) Wars also end with a formal surrender. But government wars on poverty, drugs, and the rest can never be won in a similar way."


Bits of History

The Past seen with a fresh look.

The Progressive Era, Part 1: The Myth and the Reality

      by William L. Anderson from The Future of Freedom Foundation

"One of the most enduring set of myths from U.S. history comes from the political and social developments in what is called the 'Progressive Era,' a period lasting from the late 1800s to the end of World War I. (Of course, one could argue, convincingly, that the Progressive Era never has ended.) The prevailing story told in textbooks, the editorial pages of the New York Times, and the typical classroom holds that this was the time when people began to use the mechanism of government to create the conditions for a better life for all and to begin the arduous process of reining in the excesses of capitalism."


Fusion Energy

      by Jesse Walker from Reason

"Ballot fusion is the practice of allowing more than one party to nominate the same candidate, who is then listed on multiple ballot lines. It used to be common around the country. According to Lisa Disch's 2002 book The Tyranny of the Two-Party System, 'In 1870 there were 250 such candidacies in congressional and gubernatorial races in more than twenty states.' It wasn't until the Progressive Era that anti-fusion statutes started to take over; today the practice is allowed in only a handful of states."


American History

      by Charles Johnson from Rad Geek People’s Daily

"So the people in North America whose backwardness Rumsfeld was referring to were not, actually, white Americans like Rumsfeld, but rather American Indians. Thus we have the fascinating sight of a white man trying to turn on the intercultural charm and express some cultural humility -- by mentioning the primitive living conditions of people in a different civilization from his own that happened to be living, at the time, on the land that he now lives on. I guess that's one way to practice internationalism."


War and Peace

Articles showing the nature of War.

Bad Apples Keep Bobbing Up

      by Robert Higgs from The Independent Institute

"Yes, George Bush told the soldiers to go, but they chose to obey. When the Nazis at Nuremberg claimed that they were "only obeying orders," they received no mercy, nor did they deserve any on that account. Perhaps the enlisted men and women who merely tagged along ought to be seen as less culpable than the Big Chief—I'm not sure, I'm not God. But I do not see that anybody involved in this huge criminal undertaking is entitled to a clean bill of moral health."


Haditha, Bush & Nuremberg's Law

      by Peter Dyer from Consortiumnews.com

"The simple truth is that had President Bush not ordered an illegal war of aggression, the 24 civilians in Haditha, along with countless thousands of other Iraqis and Americans, would be alive today."


Baby Killers at Haditha

      by Margaret Kimberley from BlackCommentator.com

"Opposition should always come from the perspective that the U.S. committed a terrible act in March of 2003 when the occupation began. We should be glad that the story of Haditha is now being told, yet no one should think it is an isolated incident or that it was caused merely by over stressed Marines who don't know what [their] mission is."


Great Individuals In History

Some people stand out from the crowd.

Composer -- Cole Porter : June 9, 1891

      from ColePorter.org

"A 1990 album brought Cole Porter music to many younger listeners as the fundraising album Red, Hot, and Blue. The album features Cole Porter songs sung by popular musicians of the 1980s and 1990s. Porter songs still maintain a strong presence in movie soundtracks (from Woody Allen Movies, to Tank Girl), with the most popular songs Lets Do It (Let's Fall In Love) and Night and Day."


Actor -- William Boyd : June 5, 1895

      by Ed Stephan from Internet Movie Database

"In 1935 he was offered the lead role in Hop-Along Cassidy (1935) (named because of a limp caused by an earlier bullet wound). He changed the original pulp-fiction character to its opposite, made sure that 'Hoppy' didn't smoke, drink, chew tobacco or swear, rarely kissed a girl, and let the bad guy draw first."


Tax Resister, Feminist, and Industrialist -- Vivien Kellems : June 7, 1896

      by David T. Beito from Liberty & Power

"Already a prominent industrialist in Connecticut, she waded into the fight for the Equal Rights Amendment. In stating her case, she put forward her own brand of individualist feminism. ... In 1948, however, Kellems took the national spotlight in the cause that would dominate the rest of her life. She refused to withhold income taxes from the paychecks of her 100 employees."



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

Batman Begins (2005)

      Reviewed by Tom Ender from Endervidualism

"Comic book" heroic action/adventure stars Christian Bale, Katie Holmes, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman; written by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer and directed by Christopher Nolan. "Although I enjoy and recommend other comic book genre movies, I believe Batman Begins achieves a quality, both with its story and presentation, that other similar films have not. Director Christopher Nolan and screen writer (with Nolan) David S. Goyer have created a modern masterpiece."


The Lost Lessons of Titan

      by Adrienne Martini from specfic floozy at Bookslut

"As much as I enjoy these recent titles, Titan always pulls me back in but not because of skillful prose or high-concept artsiness -- both of which it lacks. Titan, in so many ways, is a book that offers hope to girls who wonder when the world will finally change, simply by assuring them that it won't unless they suck it up and take charge."


Springfield Theory -- Mathematical references abound on The Simpsons

      by Erica Klarreich from Science News

"Although nobody would call The Simpsons a science show, the writing staff boasts an impressive array of former mathematicians, scientists, and computer scientists. Over the years, they have injected their brand of geeky humor into the show. They've written hundreds of math jokes, ranging in subtlety from Cohen's fake Fermat equation to open jabs at the mathematical illiteracy of the general public. Math has occasionally even provided the theme of an episode."


The lighter side

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

Back in Black: Immigration

      by Lewis Black from The Daily Show

Lewis Black recommends building the border fence out of money -- take away the middle man!


Rogue Scientist Has Own Scientific Method

      from The Onion

"While his peers employ meticulous testing and protracted deliberation, Hapner often refuses to formulate a hypothesis until midway through an experiment. 'Anyone who tells you that chemistry is an exact science is overthinking it,' he said."


Core Values Training

      by Mark Fiore from MarkFiore.com

Animated Flash cartoon


Deep Thought

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

Pipe Smoke and Flannel Shirts

      by L. Neil Smith from The Libertarian Enterprise

"The object, once idyllic times have been established for somebody, anybody, is to try--without threats, without coercion, without guilt trips or government--to make them just as idyllic for everybody. That's called 'improving the human condition' and 'the advance of civilization.' Trouble is, that isn't enough for those with an ideological axe to grind. They aren't content to help arrange things so that each of us can live the life that he or she wants to live. We must be forced to live the life that others want us to live--although, as members of the nomenklatura, the ideologues won't be compelled to live that way themselves. "


Iraqi Death by Political Abstraction

      by Sheldon Richman from The Future of Freedom Foundation

"So who is ultimately responsible for the massacre of the 24 unarmed Iraqis at Haditha? The one who put the Marines there: President George W. Bush. Many things about war are uncertain, but one thing we know for sure: men of the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, would not be under investigation for cold-blooded murder had they never left Camp Pendleton in southern California. ... Realization that responsibility rises to the very top does not, of course, exonerate anyone below. "


Theories on Domestic Violence Being Questioned

      by Wendy McElroy from FOX News

"Ask yourself, is a man who slaps his wife after discovering an infidelity the same as one who does so for the pleasure of inflicting pain? Is a woman who flies into a drunken rage the same as one who uses violence to get her own way? The betrayed man and the drunken woman are reacting to circumstances that may never reoccur. The sadistic man and manipulative woman are expressing character traits. It is far from clear that all four of them are destined to 'hit again.'"



Articles not easily classified

A laughing matter

      by Lea Winerman from Monitor on Psychology

"In general, he's found, laughter isn't inspired by particularly funny remarks. Instead, it's a ubiquitous response to social situations. People laugh when they're interacting with other people regardless of the 'jokiness' of the conversation, but they don't laugh when they're alone."


They Died to Defend my Freedom in the War of 1812

      by Vache Folle from St George Blog

"I can't think of a single person that I know of who died defending my freedom. None of the troops who died in Iraq or Afghanistan were involved in the defense of my freedom. The same goes for the Balkans or Somalia or the First Gulf War. I can go all the way back to the 1950s before it even becomes arguable that [a] soldier, sailor or airman died defending my freedom."


The Most Absurdities per Kilo

      by James Bovard from The Future of Freedom Foundation

"At a time when political leaders warned that a terrorist attack on the homeland could be imminent, more than 1,200 federal law officers were involved in Operation Pipe Dreams, conducting raids in Pennsylvania, Texas, Oregon, Iowa, California, and Idaho. Fifty-five people and 10 companies were indicted in the biggest attack on glass bowls in American history. ... By far the biggest catch of Operation Pipe Dreams was 64-year-old Tommy Chong...."


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