Thursday, November 30, 2006


A verbal shellacking, like only Prof. Will can deliver. Hillarious.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Mr Libertarian

I finally watched the recent HBO Documentary: "Mr. Conservative: Goldwater on Goldwater". Absolutely amazing. My gut reaction is one of both awe and wonder. Wonder in a sense of curiosity as to what this country could have been had Barry Goldwater defeated Johnson in '64. I'll forego the list of 'Great Society'-based catastrophes that LBJ wrought upon us; but, needless to say, I believe that we are worse off for the loss. And awe in the sense that Goldwater was, and is, probably the closest our country has ever come to electing a true-blue, classical liberal (e.g., libertarian) to the White House. O' to dream.... Indeed, Goldwater was a staunch individualist in the wild-west, John Galt mold. A man's man who believed that America was great because of its people and inspite of its government. To be sure, he morally despised the growth of the federal government and spent his 30 years in Senate fighting to tear down the New Deal, Fair Deal, and Great Society. At the same time, Goldwater believed that the social-conservatives, led by the religious-right, would ultimately prove to be a cancer upon the Republican Party - what amazing foresight. He was pro-choice, with respect to abortion, and pro-gay rights because he simply believed that the state had no right interfere in one's personal life or limit the rights of any individual simply because that person's lifestyle fell outside of the mainstream. This same belief, with respect to the constitutional limits placed upon state power, dictated his views on Civil Rights legislation, which in turn, won him few supporters within the black community and media establishment. Most importantly, he was a politician with consistent convictions, an intellectual ability to articulate those convictions, and an enviable confidence as to the correctness of his views. A testament to this assertion is the fact the Senator Goldwater and President Kennedy, great personal friends, planned to travel together by plane across the country throughout the '64 campaign in efforts to duplicate the Lincoln-Douglas campaign model. Too bad there aren't any Goldwater-Republicans left.
Side note: Newt has been proposing that the '08 Campaign adopt the basic facets of the Lincoln-Douglas model. We can only hope...

Monday, November 27, 2006

What Would You Do?

Let's wax hypothetical for a moment: You live in a neighborhood with one of the highest crime rates in the country. As an elderly person (85+), you are, naturally, concerned about your safety, as evidenced by the 3-inch bars on all of your doors and windows and the revovler that you keep in your nightstand. Then one night as you sleep, you are awakened by the sound of those bars being ripped from their bindings. Amidst the swell of voices, you next hear the wood from your front door splinter across the living room floor. Fearing the hell that is certain to follow at the hands of these intruders, you grab your handgun and blast away at the dark silhouettes that are running towards you. Right? It seems perfectly rational to me.
This is absolute crap.
I hope that this sad occurrence encourages people to take a hard look at the asinine para-military tactics employed by police departments across the country. Radley Balko has been on top of this for a long while. Please read his latest.
Of course the Waco raid made us angry? Of course we were sickened by FBI slaughter of the Weaver family in Ruby Ridge. And the proliferation of no-knock raids conducted by Imperial Guard-like stormtroopers wielding automatic weapons and tear gas is nothing short of disgusting. Gotta keep those drugs off of the street, eh? And check out this latest nugget from this sad story. Do you think you're safe? Well, sleep tight with the knowledge that any cop or prosecutor with an agenda can get one of these nice little warrants for your home on little more than uncorroborated circumstantial evidence supplied by any "informant" said warrant-seeker can roundup off of the street. Thanks.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Tributes to Milton Friedman

The WSJ.

CATO blurb here.

Excellent interview with NPR here - must read.

Reason here.

Tyler Cowen here.

David Bernstein here.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

RIP -- Milton Friedman

He was a GIANT. Much more to come relating to this man, whom I believe to be the most important thinker of the last 50 years.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Cool maps

Check them out here.

Best Thing I've Read All Day

Commentary on Iraq by Tom Smith (USD Prof extraordinaire):

I thought we had to go into Iraq because of WMDs and I still think so. I thought that's what we learned from all those dangerous documents the Pentagon put up on the web that the NY Times was complaining about. I just thought the idea of hanging around and building Athens on the Tigris was a lot of nonsense, inspired by people whose training included too much political theory and not enough political science. Just because you've read the Symposium in Greek doesn't mean you know how to cater a big party. So yes, we should not have de-Baathified so much, should have kept more of the Iraqi army, should have sent in more troops, planned to get out earlier all along, and probably let the Iraqis split up, but just left with a little promise to the Sunni and Shiite stans that we would be watching them, and would be back at the first sign of uranium enrichment or thousands of mysteriously dead goats. I put a lot of this down to an unwillingness to act like the hegemon we are. If some benighted dictatorship in the armpit of the world is working on a nasty surprize for us, we shouldn't have to promise that life will be wonderful for them after we finish blowing up their army and bioweapons seminar rooms. What's wrong with, it sucks to be the enemy of America? Nobody expects the French to make Africa better; we could learn something from them, as much as I hate to admit it. I personally thought the whole nation building idea sounded stupid, suspected it would fail, and still thought we should have invaded, and I'm glad we did. We are safer for it, not counting whatever stupidity we plan for the future. If failure to acheive the impossible in Iraq turns into a reason for propping up those whirling dervishes in Iran, that will really be the worst combination of farce, tragedy and disaster.

While I may differ with TS on the need to invade Iraq in the first place, I certainly agree with his lack of confidence in the ability of the US Gov. to "build" a levee, let alone, a "nation."

One Size Fits All Coffee Shop

If coffee shops were run by the state...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Kick 'em While They're Down

My ex-professor, Mike Rappaport (a Reagan-era DOJ man), takes a nice, accurate, shot at GW the fallen. If you ask me, the President has been lingering in that "circle" for quite a while now - say, uh, since about 2001... Nonetheless, I am happy to see that many of the President's (and Republicans') most ardent apologists are now dropping off of the reservation. I suppose going down with the ship is only for captains and idiots.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Silver Linings

I have to say that I am quite pleased with the outcome of yesterday's election; but, for the benefit of those that are not so sure, consider the following:
1. An anti-war, anti-Bush, Democratic-majority in the House (and perhaps the Senate) is certain to reign in the neo-con-influenced foreign policy embraced by the administration since 9-11. This means a new policy in Iraq and hopefully a re-evaluation of our role in the Middle East.
2. Gridlock, gridlock, gridlock!! We can only hope that G.W. will finally discover the meaning of the term "veto." Learn it, Mr. Pres; love it; and, please, for the sake of us all, live it.
3. Two years of statist, big government policy and rhetoric, led by the forever-grimacing, Nancy Pelosi, is probably the best single preemptive antidote that the believers in liberty can hope for to combat Hillary in '08. I am guessing that Mrs. Clinton is not very happy this morning. Poor Bill.
4. And last, but certainly not least (rather, probably most importantly), maybe the so-called "conservatives" within the Republican Party will use this opportunity to perform a philosophical self-analysis of the collective direction of the Party. The Revolution of '94 was, in essence, a ratification of the small-government, libertarian-leaning tendencies of the Goldwater-Reagan-Gingrich philosophy. However, in the past 12 years, the Republicans in power have completely abandoned those principles in favor of something completely abhorrent to many of us who once supported them. Now that the good people of PA, MO and OH, respectively, have purged the Party of the nanny-state-Republicans, Santorum, Talent and DeWine, perhaps the Party will take a hint, change its course, and return to its small government roots. Please.
Now, let's cheer for government shutdowns in '07!

Foxy Waterboarding

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A House Divided is WAY Better Than the Alternative

Let's go divided government! You don't have to vote Dem (I didn't), vote libertarian (I did), or just abstain. Regardless of your M.O., just do what you can to spank an incumbent today - particularly one of the Republican variety.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Kerry Does Homer

Via Reason.