Nov. 25 — Dec. 1, 2007

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Ender's Review
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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.

Catching Up

      By James Leroy Wilson from Independent Country

"[P]erhaps we should focus on the joy we receive from life, and on the pleasure we receive from investigating topics we find interesting, rather than dwelling on the misery. It is in that spirit that I write the rest of this post."

http://independentcountry.blogspot.com/2007/11/catching-up.html

The QuestionAuthority Proposal

      By RU Sirius from 10 Zen Monkeys

"It is time for all those who oppose this gathering trend towards the worst type of authoritarian governance and culture to put aside their differences and join together in a coalition that can act as a counterforce to this gathering threat to our liberties."

http://www.10zenmonkeys.com/2007/11/26/the-questionauthority-proposal/

Anarchist Forum Statism

      By Per Bylund from Strike The Root

"As a market anarchist, I believe it is my full right to moderate the forum I have invested time and money in establishing, and I also believe I have the right to require registration if I want to. But I see no reason for doing so – if I want the discussion to be free and let as many people as possible express their views (which would actually be anarchism in action), I cannot moderate. So I refuse to moderate my forum and I do not ever require registration. This is the only way you can have a free discussion, and I very strongly believe a free discussion is what anarchism is about."

http://www.strike-the-root.com/72/bylund/bylund6.html

Church, anarchists come to each other's rescue

      By Sam Sessa from Baltimore Sun

"The partnership was born out of necessity. Last year, the congregation at St. John's needed an influx of money and ideas to keep it from putting the space on the market. ... Meanwhile, members of the Red Emma's anarchist collective started hunting for a larger space."

http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/bal-to.stjohns27nov27,0,3234535.story

Let's ... Be Careful Out There

      By William N. Grigg from Pro Libertate

"Pending that welcome day when the public can force the political class to revise or abolish the institutional impediments to genuine individual liberty, the most useful reforms would be to end the Drug War, and to begin the comprehensive de-federalization of law enforcement at all levels."

http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2007/11/lets-be-careful-out-there.html

Life in Amerika

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

No Money, No Justice

      By Radley Balko from Reason

"According to the U.S. Department of Justice, two in three people charged with felonies in federal court can’t afford an attorney. In state courts, the proportion is four in five. These people are assigned public defenders, the much-maligned advocates who represented the accused in most of the wrongful convictions mentioned above."

http://reason.com/news/show/123025.html

Why we must destroy the government schools

      By Vin Suprynowicz from Las Vegas Review-Journal

"Learning and education are wonderful. The question is whether it's wise to allow this truism to justify the creation of a vast schooling monopoly and unionized jobs program for reliably thankful socialist worker-voters by a state which has obvious incentives to use the resultant vastly expensive propaganda academies to turn a once free people into a docile and malleable mob, eager to trade our dwindling wealth and freedoms for the largely mythological 'services' of a burgeoning government master that sends us shrieking from pillar to post, seeking 'protection' from global warming or Iranian nuclear power plants or whatever it is they've dreamed up this month."

http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/11801941.html

Whitewash on Taser incident

      By J.D. Tuccille from Disloyal Opposition

"The Utah Highway Patrol has, perhaps unsurprisingly, given Trooper Jon Gardner an 'attaboy' for attacking motorist Jared Massey with a Taser during a traffic stop for speeding. ... Cops are good at closing ranks, even when the public rises up in mass revulsion at their actions."

http://www.tuccille.com/blog/2007/12/whitewash-on-taser-incident.html

The Myth of a Risk-free Life

      By Tibor R. Machan from The Future of Freedom Foundation

"What I seriously suspect is that all this supposed worry about risks to everyone, including birds, is nothing more than posturing and catering to the fears many people have at certain times in their lives, vis-à-vis life’s hazards. By pretending that the risks of ordinary life in their jurisdictions can be erased with the stroke of a pen, provided enough politicians want that, these people are engaging in gross deception. Of course, they couldn’t do it without the cooperation of their constituents who, sadly, have come to expect the impossible dream that’s being promised to them."

http://www.fff.org/comment/com0711n.asp

Do Welfare Applicants Forfeit the Fourth Amendment?

      By Radley Balko from The Agitator

"Yes, applicants were free to refuse the searches, though I suspect that refusing a search would itself be (unofficially) enough to trigger further investigation. Refusing a search also means forfeiting welfare benefits. This is part of a series of incidents across the country over the last few years using administrative or regulatory procedures to conduct warrantless searches for criminal activity...."

http://www.theagitator.com/archives/028382.php

Ordered Liberty without the State

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

Dorothy Day's anarcho-Catholicism: The way of love

      By Joshua Snyder from Spero News

"Her Christian Anarchism was born out of her exposure to Wobbly anarcho-syndicalism and her reading of Peter Kropotkin, and, above all, Leo Tolstoy's non-fiction magnum opus, The Kingdom of God Is Within You. Anarchy need not mean a descent into chaos and violence, a nightmare world where the strong prey off the weak. To prevent this, institutions providing moral clarity and 'mutual aid' were needed."

http://www.speroforum.com/site/article.asp?id=12548

Benjamin Tucker on Anarcho-Capitalism

      By Rad Geek from Rad Geek People's Daily

"Social anarchists and anarcho-capitalists spend quite a bit of time fighting with each other over who gets to claim the individualist anarchists of the late 19th and early 20th century. ... In any case, since I am myself an individualist anarchist, and not an anarcho-capitalist or a social anarchist, I don’t have much of a dog in the fight, except insofar as it gets a bit tiresome watching the two bicker over the individualist tendency within the movement as if they were arguing over the contents of their dead grandmother’s will. We are still about and hardly need a bunch of anarcho-capitalists and social anarchists to do the talking for us."

http://radgeek.com/gt/2007/12/01/benjamin_tucker/

Constitutional Rule

      By Jim Davies from Strike The Root

"So when a Ron Paul proposes to cut the FedGov down to the size permitted by the Constitution, we must concede that the result would be an enormous reduction, and that indeed our society would be vastly improved as a result. But my point here is that that reduced size and scope of government would still be absolutely unacceptable and repugnant to freedom; for the above list of Constitutional powers is infinitely too great and is added to the huge piles of powers claimed and exercised by each state and town, presumably unaffected by his cut."

http://www.strike-the-root.com/72/davies/davies7.html

Meanwhile, Down at the Crossroads…

      By PintofStout from Murphy’s Bye-Laws

"Regardless of the actual or philosophic validity of a vote - irregardless for whom it was cast - implying consent, these bearers of the contracts perceive it as such (note President Bush’s “mandate” after his 2004 election victory), and perception is reality in this case. Unlike with the mythical dealing devil, the products are never received as intended and the elected take payment before anything is delivered, thus eliminating the need to actually deliver."

http://pintofstout.wordpress.com/2007/11/27/crossroads/

Undercover restorers fix Paris landmark's clock

      By Emilie Boyer King from The Guardian

"Klausmann and his crew are connaisseurs of the Parisian underworld. Since the 1990s they have restored crypts, staged readings and plays in monuments at night, and organised rock concerts in quarries. The network was unknown to the authorities until 2004, when the police discovered an underground cinema, complete with bar and restaurant, under the Seine. They have tried to track them down ever since."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/france/story/0,,2217067,00.html

Spreading Decentralism

Articles demonstrating an increase in the dispersal of power.

Big Ideas Need Small Places

      By Jesse Walker from The American Conservative

"In real life—or, at least, that mode of life that isn’t as fictional as a novel—micronations fall into three rough categories. There are the places that actually achieved a somewhat sovereign status, at least until a larger neighbor invaded or the head of state found another way to occupy his time. There are quiet backyard countries like Molossia, which may lay claim to territory but don’t do anything that might aggravate the empires that surround them. And there are entirely virtual nations—a humorless grump might call them imaginary—that don’t exist outside a pamphlet or a website."

http://www.amconmag.com/2007/2007_11_19/review1.html

Google Wants a Slice of the Wireless Pie

      By Betsy Schiffman from Wired

"In the event that Google does win the spectrum, it won't have entirely free reign over it. One of the provisions attached to the C block of spectrum is an 'open access' stipulation that prohibits the winning bidder from imposing limitations on the mobile devices or the applications used to access the network -- so users can download any software they want on any wireless device."

http://blog.wired.com/business/2007/11/google-wants-a.html

China wins from credit crunch fallout

      By City staff from Telegraph

"For a decade, China has deliberately insulated itself against the boom and bust cycles of the capitalist West by building up the greatest cash fortune ever assembled: a staggering $1.3trillion (£650bn) in foreign exchange reserves. China's colossal war chest reflects its emerging status as a superpower challenging the West not only economically but politically, with potentially profound implications for us all."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2007/11/28/ccrock128.xml

The Open Source Party Proposal

      By RU Sirius from 10 Zen Monkeys

"But I'm not an absolute believer in the wisdom of crowds and all that. I prefer another idea. I would bring together people who feel they are in agreement with at least 5 of the 7 points in the party platform below – giving us a starting point from which to launch activities on the basis of the platform and to have interesting fun in a democratic process that adds to or subtracts from the platform. "

http://www.10zenmonkeys.com/2007/11/26/the-open-source-party-proposal/

Let the People Decide

      By Mike Gravel from LewRockwell.com

"If the people were in charge, the drug wars would be ended, personal accounts for Social Security and medical savings would exist, the war in Iraq would be over, the income tax would end and other taxes would be lower. But the people aren’t in charge and Congress isn’t about to pass any sort of National Initiative legislation that would put the people in charge. Why should they, since they know it will mean the end of their ability to pass out goodies to the people who buy influence? The solution is to use the Bill of Rights to let the people decide!"

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig8/gravel1.html

The New World Hegemon

Depictions of the coming Imperial power

Imperial Dread

      By William N. Grigg from Pro Libertate

"The key quid-pro-quo in the arrangement is this: US forces will remain in Iraq in some configuration to prop up the Shi'ite-dominated regime (even as they build little Sunni fiefdoms ruled by al-Qaeda-connected warlords). For their part, Washington's Iraqi puppets will permit politically connected corporate interests [to] rape and plunder Iraq."

http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2007/11/imperial-dread.html

Meet the Only Two Candidates Worse Than Bush and Cheney: Hillary and Rudy

      By Paul Craig Roberts from CounterPunch

"Americans are unable to connect their dissatisfaction with the current political leadership with their choice of new leaders. All polls show that Hillary Clinton is far in the lead for the Democratic presidential nomination and Rudy Giuliani is far in the lead for the Republican nomination These are the only two candidates guaranteed to be worse than Bush/Cheney."

http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts11272007.html

A Nation on the Edge of the Final Descent (III): Obey or Die

      By Arthur Silber from Once Upon a Time...

"America's self-induced trance of mythic self-conception leads not only to denial and lies on a massive scale, but also to the institutionalization of role reversal and projection. In the increasingly terrifying reality we inhabit, Sam cannot be confined to the attic, or anywhere else. Sam owns the house containing the attic, the entire town, most of the state, and most of all the surrounding states."

http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2007/11/nation-on-edge-of-final-descent-iii.html

Barbarism On The Rise – Civilization On The Wane

      By Siv O’Neall from Countercurrents Update

"Europe is slavishly following in the steps of the Empire in the West, and so is Russia. Concentration of power in the executive, which is a Siamese twin of the Big Corporations, is an essential step in the direction of making people powerless pawns. The legislators and the judges are easily bought up by the corporations and so we have a powerless Congress...."

http://www.countercurrents.org/oneall271107.htm

A Nation of Speculators

      By David Calderwood from LewRockwell.com

"How long does a condition last before people generally consider it permanent and adjust their behavior to accommodate it? Credit inflation created by Federal Reserve Bank policy has been uninterrupted since prior to World War II. How permanent is that, and what kinds of perverse behaviors does such an assumption of permanence foster? For one, people no longer save. Permanent inflation destroys the value of any savings held in dollars so people rapidly adopt actions that avoid this invisible tax. People immediately spend whatever money they have, before the cost of what they want inevitably rises (actually, before the value of their dollars declines in the sea of fresh dollar credits). "

http://www.lewrockwell.com/calderwood/calderwood18.html

Politics by Other Means

War, rumors of war, and politicians fomenting war.

Blame the People Who Elected Them?

      By Robert Higgs from The Independent Institute

"If the people at large are to be blamed, they must be blamed not for the way they cast their ballots, but for their toleration of the whole predatory political set-up that shamelessly passes itself off as a regime 'of the people, by the people, for the people'—surely one of the most successful Big Lies of all time. Yet the people have been so massively miseducated, propagandized, cowed, and treated with cynical disregard of their rights for so long that, for the most part, not only have they lost all capacity to stand on their own feet, but, worse, they have in most cases come to love the Big Brother whose boot is grinding their faces."

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=2076

The Vigilante Journalist

      Matt Taibbi interviewed by Justin Elliott from Campus Progress

"[Taibbi’s] staying power is not [his] near-acrobatic talent as a takedown artist or his occasional undercover stunt, though those things do make his work great fun to read. Rather, it’s the solid research and reporting that informs everything he writes. Taibbi spoke with Campus Progress last week about the war, stalking Thomas Friedman, and Jack Abramoff’s College Republican days."

http://campusprogress.org/5mw/2226/interview-matt-taibbi

lib•er•tar•ian

      By Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch from The Washington Post

"When a fierce Republican foe of the wars on drugs and terrorism is able, without really trying, to pull in a record haul of campaign cash on a day dedicated to an attempted regicide, it's clear that a new and potentially transformative force is growing in American politics."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/23/AR2007112301299.html

The Goal Is Freedom: Bad Partisanship Drives Out Good

      By Sheldon Richman from Foundation for Economic Education

"Depending how you look at it, we have both too much and not nearly enough partisanship. The dictionary defines partisan as 'A fervent, sometimes militant supporter or proponent of a party, cause, faction, person, or idea.' That indicates both a superficial and a profound sense of the word. Superficial partisanship is loyalty to a party. Profound partisanship is loyalty to a set of ideas, a philosophy. I would say we have far too much superficial partisanship and far too little profound partisanship."

http://www.fee.org/in_brief/default.asp?id=1734

The Bankruptcy of the National Libertarian Party

      By Alan R. Weiss from The Libertarian Enterprise

"The sound you just heard is the sound of the coffin closing on the 'brand name' known as the Libertarian Party. Good riddance. Like the American Dollar, the American Libertarian Party has become a bad brand. Proctor and Gamble would kill it and relaunch the product under another name. ... [T]he Libertarian Party is no longer useful as a gathering place for liberty-minded individuals, nor as a vehicle for influencing hearts and minds."

http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2007/tle445-20071125-06.html

Spontaneous Order

Articles showing decentralized successes.

Google hopes to undercut coal with cheap, renewable energy

      By Jonathan M. Gitlin from Ars Technica

"By now, everyone is familiar with Google's corporate motto, 'Don't be evil.' In an effort to spread that message of not-being-evil, the search engine behemoth has announced a plan to develop sources of renewable energy that will be cheaper than coal."

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/
20071127-google-hopes-to-undercut-coal-with-cheap-renewable-energy.html

The Free Market Does It Better

      By John Stossel from RealClearPolitics

"I've argued that even if global warming is something to worry about, it's dangerous to look to government to fix the climate. Government is a blunt instrument, riddled with self-serving politics and special-interest pandering. To expect it to do something as complicated as calibrate regulations and taxes to fine-tune the climate -- without making many people poorer and a few cronies richer -- is naive. But that doesn't mean we can do nothing. We have a powerful generator of solutions if we let it work: the free market. "

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/11/the_free_market_does_it_better.html

Government and the Process of Design Change

      By Glen Allport from Strike The Root

"Intelligent (human) design does not preclude error. New products are sometimes less wonderful than their predecessors: Microsoft Windows Vista is a current example, many would say. Mistakes and miscalculations are part of life. When allowed to function freely, the market culls these mistakes and life goes on, as consumers spend their finite supply of money on products that they prefer, leaving suppliers of less-favored offerings to improve, or to lose customers and eventually go out of business."

http://www.strike-the-root.com/72/allport/allport20.html

Why license marriage?

      By J.D. Tuccille from Disloyal Opposition

"Just why do you need government permission to get 'officially' married? And is there anything aberrant about couples who choose to intermingle their lives without the benefit of a piece of paper issued by a surly civil servant?"

http://www.tuccille.com/blog/2007/11/why-license-marriage.html

Exporting and Importing at the University

      By T. Norman Van Cott from Foundation for Economic Education

"But the quintessential connect-the-dot failure, at least to my thinking, is how the pundit/political class describes international negotiations ostensibly designed to increase international trade. To wit, actions that increase Americans’ access to imports are labeled U.S. negotiating 'concessions.' That is, permitting Americans to import more is a bargaining chip to secure comparable foreign 'concessions' for U.S. exports. That’s like my reluctantly accepting the housing, food, and clothing that my economics exports make possible. Make sense? Yeah, if you’re a workaholic.”

http://www.fee.org/in_brief/default.asp?id=1731

Nonspontaneous Disorder

Articles showing centrally planned disasters.

The Fallacy of Money Mania

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

"So what good does the new money do? From the perspective of Wall Street, it forestalls a recession. But what if a recession is needed? That is to say, what if a business downturn is what the economic fundamentals call for? In that case, new money injections do positive harm by preventing a correction and only add to the eventual problems that we all must face. It is no favor to the drug addict to keep him high until he is a corpse, and it is not good economic management to keep an economy drugged up until it hits the wall."

http://www.lewrockwell.com/rockwell/money-mania.html

Welcome to Universal Health Slavery

      By Garry Reed from River Cities' Reader

"All bureaucracies exist primarily to benefit the people who run them. Patients will be nothing more than the fodder that fertilizes the federal medical factory that feeds the bureaucrats. Expect to sit for months while cynical civil servants decide whether to rubber-stamp requests for cancer treatments or critical surgeries - or to simply let you die waiting." {I have the RCR link below, but more information about Garry's new efforts can be found on his home page.}

http://www.rcreader.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12390&Itemid=42

A Dollar The Size Of A Postage Stamp

      By Mike Whitney from CounterPunch

"Central banks across the globe are trying to figure out how to ditch their dollar reserves without triggering a stampede for the exits. No one wants to see that. But, then, nobody wants to be stuck with vaults full of Uncle Sam's green confetti either. ... It's only a matter of time before the Petrodollar System---which links the dollar to petroleum sales and creates a de facto 'international currency'---unravels completely, precipitating the final collapse of Breton Woods."

http://www.counterpunch.org/whitney11272007.html

The Nanny State Says No to Payday Loans

      By George Leef from Foundation for Economic Education

"Last year North Carolina became the first state to ban 'payday lending.' Payday loans are small short-term loans to provide workers with cash until their next paycheck. The cost is high, reflecting both a substantial risk of nonpayment and the high overhead costs of handling many little transactions. I wouldn’t borrow money that way, but there is enough demand to support thousands of payday-lending stores across the nation, making several million loans per year. But not in North Carolina."

http://www.fee.org/in_brief/default.asp?id=1728

At a penny per pound, a little adds up to a lot

      By Robyn E. Blumner from St. Petersburg Times

"Sales of the labeled, premium priced items actually rose, up to 30 percent for the candles and 20 percent for the towels. If this holds more generally, the researchers say, there may be a strong latent consumer demand for high labor standards, and companies that start to position themselves as leaders in ensuring decent wages and working conditions could capitalize on it."

http://www.sptimes.com/2007/11/25/Opinion/At_a_penny_per_pound_.shtml

War Is The Health Of The State

War is the ultimate State intervention in society.

Road to Empire

      By Justin Raimondo from AntiWar.com

"What stands out is the stated intention of the Iraqi government to give what news accounts describe as 'preferential' treatment to U.S. investment in the country, which presumably means the vital oil production sector. One imagines that the bidding process is already taking place, with all sorts of sub rosa agreements being made to divvy up the country's potentially lucrative oil reserves."

http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=11966

Jim Talent's Untalented Defense Analysis

      By Ted Galen Carpenter from Cato Institute

"A nation that spends as much on the military as the rest of the world combined, has weak and friendly neighbors and faces no serious peer competitor anywhere in the world for at least the next 15 to twenty years should not have to increase military spending from its already lofty height."

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=8809

Iraq 3.0

      By Sheldon Richman from The Future of Freedom Foundation

"There you have it: an agenda that can be accomplished. Every American should be proud of this can-do attitude. Never mind that armed Americans are patrolling other people’s country, entering homes, stopping them at check points — and are ready to shoot to kill if they can’t divine the intentions of the persons approaching them. It’s for their own good."

http://www.fff.org/comment/com0711m.asp

Playing Roulette in Pakistan

      By Robert Scheer from Truthdig

"It’s been a good deal all around. Dick Cheney’s old company, Halliburton, profited so much from the Iraq war that it could afford to relocate its world headquarters from Texas to Dubai. And this Tuesday, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority agreed to help salvage Citigroup by becoming the beleaguered bank’s largest shareholder."

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20071227_playing_roulette_in_pakistan/

A Change Ain't Gonna Come: Democrats Openly Embrace Aggression and Torture

      By Chris Floyd from Empire Burlesque

"'[B]ipartisan foreign policy' has never gone away. It has continued to operate smoothly at the highest levels throughout the Bush imperium, greased by the blood money flowing to both parties from the spoils of war (H. Clinton now receives more legalized bribery from military-related industries than any of the Republican candidates), and by their shared vision of armed American hegemony over world affairs."

http://www.chris-floyd.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1367&Itemid=135

Bits of History

The Past seen with a fresh look.

The Party of Jefferson

      By Damon W. Root from Reason

"A fierce critic of imperialism and militarism, Storey was a founder and president of the Anti-Imperialist League, which opposed U.S. annexation of the Philippines after the Spanish-American War and counted Mark Twain, Andrew Carnegie, and President Grover Cleveland among its members. An advocate of free trade, freedom of contract, and the gold standard, Storey also helped organize the independent National Democratic Party, also known as the Gold Democrats, who fought the anti-gold populist William Jennings Bryan’s presidential bid in 1896. An individualist and anti-racist, Storey was the first president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), where he argued and won the group’s first major Supreme Court victory...."

http://www.reason.com/news/show/123020.html

Liberty Dollars

      By Alvaro Vargas Llosa from The Independent Institute

"All in all, financial instability has been far greater since the creation of the Federal Reserve. What did the Great Depression teach us? Essentially that even with the best of intentions, it is impossible for the authorities to manage the supply of money in accordance with the exact needs of the economy. A country’s economy is the sum of millions of people making decisions that no single individual is in a position to anticipate."

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=2075

Unnatural History

      By Patrick J. Michaels from Cato Institute

"Part of the modern climate mythology is the assumption that every significant climate burp, such as the big El Nino of 1998, or the big hurricane season of 2005 is portentous of ecological disaster. Hardly. In fact, if today's species were not adapted to these extremes, they simply wouldn't be here."

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=8814

How Grandma Got Legal

      By Mae M. Ngai from The Future of Freedom Foundation

"In the early 1900s, immigrants from Europe provided cheap, unskilled labor that made possible the nation’s industrial and urban expansion. They shoveled pig iron, dug sewers and subway tunnels, and sewed shirtwaists. Even then, people born in the United States complained that the newcomers stole jobs, were ignorant, criminal, and showed no desire to become citizens."

http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0708f.asp

The Precedent for the Ron Paul Dollar

      By Clifford F. Thies from Ludwig von Mises Institute

"The issue of whether money should be the sole prerogative of government has been controversial for a very long time. Advocates of limited government have always argued that money should be something of value as a commodity independent of its monetary use, although many of them have allowed a role for government in attesting to the weight and fineness of coins and the soundness of banks. Advocates of big government have always argued, contrariwise, for fiat money. "

http://www.mises.org/story/2785

War and Peace

Articles showing the nature of War.

“The 'good old days' of total war.”

      By Andy Nowicki from The Last Ditch

"There are certainly many tales of bravery, heroism, and noble sacrifice among those who fought 'the good war.' Unfortunately, there are many more tales of horrible and senseless slaughter and destruction, committed by those fighting on both sides of the terrible conflict. According to traditional Christian just-war doctrine, wars are sometimes justified and even necessary, provided that they are waged in self-defense with a proper sense of proportionality, and provided that civilians are never targeted and that their injury or death is never callously viewed as 'collateral damage.' Given the alternatives (and leaving aside for a moment the fact that the Allied victory strengthened the hand of Josef Stalin, a more brutal and sinister dictator than Adolf Hitler), it is fortunate that the Allies won the war; however, the manner by which they emerged victorious — through endless, murderous campaigns against civilian centers in Axis countries — is an immoral travesty, one that should make us hide our head in shame rather than brazenly pump our fists and thump our chest."

http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/nowicki_total_war.htm

In the Fox’s Lair

      By William S. Lind from AntiWar.com

"Why are the Iranians asking their allies in Iraq to give us a break? I doubt it is out of charity, or fear, although elements within Iran that do not want a war with the United States seem to be gaining political strength. Here's a hypothesis. What if the Iranians had determined, rightly or wrongly (and I suspect rightly), that the Bush administration has already decided to attack Iran before the end of its term?"

http://www.antiwar.com/lind/?articleid=11975

What Do You Know of War?

      By Monica Benderman from CounterPunch

"We tell the soldiers to do what they can to get out of the military ­ to avoid returning to Iraq. It will not solve the problem. Building a multi-million dollar chapel complex on one military installation is not going to fix what has been broken inside a man or a woman who has been to war. The anger and rage of those who have been in combat will not go away simply because we tell them to get out while they can, to 'walk a different road' without showing them where that road will lead."

http://www.counterpunch.org/benderman11262007.html

Unwinnable war

      By Vox Day from WorldNetDaily.com

"Most wars go through a period of ebb and flux. Even World War II, after a violent onset that saw the rapid fall of Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland, featured a relatively tranquil period that was known in England as 'the Phony War' for seven months prior to the invasion of France. Given the evidence of various unrelated events ranging from the election of the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, in Turkey and the clashes along the Turkish-Kurdish northern border, to the movement of U.S. naval forces, and perhaps most significantly, the imposition of martial law in Pakistan, it should be obvious that the relative peace and quiet bought by 30,000 additional U.S. Troops is only a momentary lull."

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=58857

American-backed killer militias strut across Iraq

      By Hala Jaber from The Sunday Times

"US-backed Sunni militias have spread eastwards from Anbar across Baghdad. They already number 77,000, known collectively as 'concerned local citizens'. This is more than the Shi’ite Mahdi Army and nearly half the number in the Iraqi army. Exotically named groups such as the Knights of Ameriya and the Guardians of Ghazaliya strut the streets in camouflage uniforms, brandishing new AK47s that the Americans say they have not supplied. "

http://timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article2937104.ece

Great Individuals In History

Some people stand out from the crowd.

Logician/Mathematician -- Ernst Schröder : Nov. 25, 1841

      By J J O'Connor and E F Robertson From School of Mathematics and Statistics – University of St Andrews, Scotland

"In 1877 ... Schröder, influenced by Boole and Grassmann, emphasised the duality of conjunction (intersection) and disjunction (union) showing how dual theorems could be found. He seems to be the first to use the term mathematical logic and he compares algebra and Boole's logic...."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Schr%C3%B6der

Musician -- Merle Travis : Nov. 29, 1917

       from Country Music Television

"His father was a coalminer, and the family lived on the bare edge of poverty; eventually this experience, coupled with a phrase that Travis' father used to describe their lives, became the basis for the song 'Sixteen Tons'."

http://www.cmt.com/artists/az/travis_merle/bio.jhtml

Singer/Actor -- Robert Goulet : Nov. 26, 1933

       from RobertGoulet.com

"His rich baritone voice, equally adept at picking up nuances of a Broadway musical, caressing the lyric of a romantic ballad, or amplifying the excitement of a swinging melody, has enriched the lives of music-lovers worldwide."

http://www.robertgoulet.com/bios.php

Actress -- Hope Lange : Nov. 28, 1933

       from IMDb

"In 1968, Lange turned to television, taking on the role of Carolyn Muir in the popular series 'The Ghost & Mrs. Muir' (1968). She won two consecutive Emmys for that role in 1969 and 1970."

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0486136/bio

Comedian/Actor/Writer -- Richard Pryor : Dec. 1, 1940

       from RichardPryor.com

"Pryor is best known and loved for his live comedy where he presents the truth as he sees it in a hyperkinetic, expletive-laced, free-form style. His subject matter includes black life on the streets, the drug culture, sex, and other topical issues, including the many tragedies of his own life...."

http://www.richardpryor.com/0/4113/0/1240D1271/

Culcha'

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

Dystopia: Past, Present, and Future

      Reviewed by James Leroy Wilson from The Partial Observer

"Both films have good stories and hopeful endings; I recommend them and do not want to imply that they're relentlessly depressing. But both are effective in showing the nature of the State. In Captain Vidal, Pan's Labyrinth shows the ... State as an instrument of brutality. In contrast, The Lives of Others shows how the State attacks the soul and destroys hope. "

http://www.partialobserver.com/article.cfm?id=2753

The Golden Compass: The Alethiometer

      By IGN Staff from IGN » Entertainment » Movies

"Created centuries ago by a metaphysical scientist, the truth-telling, future-seeing machine points not to true North like an ordinary compass, but to Truth itself. The alethiometer's face is ornamented with 36 arcane symbols, each of which may convey different meanings in combination with any of the others and according to the subtleties of the machine's motions. As you can imagine, this makes it incredibly difficult to read. In fact, there's no-one left in the world that possesses the ability, except for the story's young heroine, Lyra."

http://movies.ign.com/articles/836/836835p1.html?RSSwhen2007-11-27_142500

Futurama Is Back! Grab a Can of Slurm and Settle In

      By Chris Baker from Wired Magazine

"Futurama was killed [Fox again], but like some B-movie cyborg it refused to stay dead. The fans watched the 72 episodes religiously in syndication and shelled out $170 to get the entire run on DVD. So, in 2005, Fox green-lighted 16 new episodes. Cohen and Groening have reassembled many of the hundreds of writers, animators, and voice artists who'd gone on to other projects to create four DVDs of new material, including sexy robot stage shows."

http://www.wired.com/entertainment/hollywood/magazine/15-12/ff_futurama

A Freezer Menagerie – The carnivore's life

      By Katherine Mangu-Ward from Reason

"It’s an exercise in enjoying the most notable fruits of globalization. I can have anything I want to eat, anywhere, anytime, with just a bit of effort. A keystroke on my Mac sends a man out to drag a crocodile from its watery wallow, conk it on the head, and send me a filet from its tail, just so that I can have a novel dinner. Such power was once reserved only for the very rich and very powerful. Now, anyone with a strong stomach and a collector’s instincts can have what Louis XIV and his ilk enjoyed exclusively while their subjects ate plain bread day after day."

http://reason.com/news/show/123685.html

‘The Golden Compass’ Provokes Furious Religious Backlash - Proving The Point?

      By Dave Parrack from Snarkerati.com

"[W]hat are Christians frightened of? The books, and atheism in general, is just another viewpoint, and belief system, with people who firmly believe it, and others who refute it entirely. Surely that is no different than any religion? I would have thought parents who are bringing their kids up to believe one thing, would be secure enough that they are right in what they are doing and believe, that they wouldn’t fear a book or movie being able to influence their children enough to follow another path."

http://snarkerati.com/movie-news/the-golden-compass-provokes-furious-religious-backlash-proving-the-point/

The lighter side

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

Dave Barry's Holiday Gift Guide

      By Dave Barry from MiamiHerald.com

"The holiday season is a time when we should ponder the message of the classic tale A Christmas Carol by the great English writer whatshishame. In this story, the miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who cares about nothing but money, is visited in his house on Christmas Eve by three ghosts -- the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and Vice President Dick Cheney. They make Scrooge see the error of his ways by showing him what the town of Bedford Falls would have been like if James Stewart had never been born."

http://www.miamiherald.com/375/story/316652.html

CIA: America May Have An Unknown Number Of Secret Admirers

      By staff from The Onion

"Intelligence officers were able to narrow the original field of 190 suspects to a more manageable 47, including Egypt, the European Union, and Antoine Martin, a 36-year-old tennis instructor from Monte Carlo. The agency also stepped up surveillance on Mexico and Canada, the two countries the CIA considers closest to the United States."

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/cia_america_may_have_an_unknown

The Surge at Home

      By Mark Fiore from MarkFiore.com

Animated flash cartoon video w/audio

http://www.markfiore.com/surge_home_0

Never Enough Gold Jewelry

      By The Mogambo Guru (Richard Daughty) from The Daily Reckoning

"[T]hey called me mad! Mad! Hahahaha! I'll show them madness! But this is not about stupid sanity hearings or about psychiatrists recoiling in horror at what I 'see' in their stupid ink blots, or how traitorous neighbors and family members are lying their heads off in their testimony, but about why I am so bullish on gold."

http://dailyreckoning.com/Writers/Mogambo/DREssays/MG112607.html

Rep. Gary Nelson (R-CT) Introduces The Gary Nelson Personal Pay Raise Bill

      By staff from Onion News Network

"Congressman Gary Nelson has an economic plan to raise his family's standard of living."

http://www.theonion.com/content/video/rep_gary_nelson_r_ct_introduces

Deep Thought

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

A Handout for Statists

      By Stefan Molyneux from Strike The Root

"In the interests of efficiency, I have decided to distill every argument I have ever had with your average statist, so that I can hand it out to those who argue that government is voluntary, if I don’t like it I can leave, taxation is not violence, etc. I thought this might also be of use to you, because life is short."

http://www.strike-the-root.com/72/molyneux/molyneux4.html

Things Lost – Reflections on an Empty Time

      By Fred Reed from Fred On Everything

"Scientism is of course utterly materialistic, having no way of dealing with (and therefore not admitting the existence of) anything other than space, time, matter, and energy. However, the sciences have been enormously successful in doing what they do. Thus we have airliners and curious pronged boxes crawling about on Mars. These are impressive, which gives to them overwhelming moral authority. They do not deserve it. Scientism and religion are brothers in intent; they have just chosen different roads. Both are evasions."

http://www.fredoneverything.net/DarkAge.shtml

A Nation on the Edge of the Final Descent (IV): A Country Ready to Follow Orders -- Even into Hell

      By Arthur Silber from Once Upon a Time...

"[P]olice approach you about some matter; in many instances, you have committed no crime at all; if you question the police -- or do anything at all that the police will later construe as 'resisting arrest' -- then the police get you for that. In this manner, the police have free rein to arrest anyone and everyone. All they have to do is come up to you, for any reason or for no reason. If you do anything, if you even continue to breathe, you may be accused of resisting arrest. Out come the tasers, among other instruments of torture. If you manage to keep breathing and live, off to jail you go. This is the 'freedom' that 'they' hate us for."

http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2007/11/nation-on-edge-of-final-descent-iv.html

The Unexamined Navel

      By PintofStout from Murphy’s Bye-Laws

"Challenging one’s self physically or exploring the world around us is only half of the examination, though; there is also the essay portion of this test. The essay portion consists of the introspection previously talked about. This half of the self-examination involves assaying one’s actions and motivations, thoughts and reactions, convictions and goals, examining who we are and our relationship with our surroundings. These two aspects of self-examination aren’t mutually exclusive; there is overlap."

http://pintofstout.wordpress.com/2007/12/01/the-unexamined-navel/

Our Duty to Save the Planet.

      Interviewed by Sean Gabb from Le Québécois Libre

"According to all the newspapers and television stations and all the politicians, we are facing a serious environmental crisis. We are told that global temperatures are rising, and that they are rising because of economic development, and that, unless we make radical changes to the ways in which we live, sea levels will rise and the world in general will become less pleasant. I am not a scientist, and I am not competent to examine the detailed claims about the nature and extent and causes of global warming. But I believe these claims are all lies. I believe they are the latest attempt by some very nasty people to stop the progress of the human race to unlimited self-improvement."

http://www.quebecoislibre.org/07/071125-4.htm

Miscellany

Articles not easily classified

Antidisestablishmentarianism

      By Marina from HotForWords at YouTube

"We all know the word, but what does it mean?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fv2_rSCnBQQ

"Hey Meaty, You're Making Me So Hot!"

      By Katherine Mangu-Ward from Reason

"The idea, it seems, is to convince people who bike to work, buy carbon offsets when they fly, and only exhale CO2 when they absolutely must that they're still terrible environmentalists. They simply haven't given up enough. Meat will have to go as well. And eggs. And milk."

http://reason.com/news/show/123662.html

The Stupid "Boomer" Myth

      By Ed Henry from The Price of Liberty

"The government usually puts out a lot of propaganda and fear stories, but most of it is somewhat believable or at least within the realm of possibilities. This one is ludicrous, unreasonable, and out of the question. How gullible do they think we are? If it were true it would be a miracle. The truth is that roughly half of the population never makes it to full retirement age."

http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/07/11/26/henry.htm

Inequality Is the Threat to Liberty

      By Per Bylund from Strike The Root

"What I mean when claiming inequality is the greatest threat to liberty is that we will not see liberty or freedom for as long as people accept the notion that some people are superior to others and also have superior rights. The threat to liberty is first and foremost a malign state of mind, not a state of society. In a society where people accept that some 'special' people have the right to treat others in a way that nobody else can – and nobody ever, from a moral point of view, should – freedom doesn’t stand a chance."

http://www.strike-the-root.com/72/bylund/bylund5.html

Microsoft "learning" from WGA failures, but the lesson should be: kill it

      By Jeremy Reimer from Ars Technica

"On the one hand, it's great the Microsoft is ready for a disaster. On the other hand, it raises the question: is any of this really needed? The idea of Microsoft employees practicing WGA outage 'fire drills' would be merely comical if it weren't for the dismal reality of the drills needing to happen in the first place."

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/
20071126-microsoft-learning-from-wga-failures-but-the-lesson-should-be-kill-it.html

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