Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“If our fathers, in 1776, had acknowledged the principle that a majority had the right to rule the minority, we should never have become a nation; for they were in a small minority, as compared with those who claimed the right to rule over them.”     Lysander Spooner

September 12, 2006

Hi Everybody!

by mike

First things first, time for introductions. My name’s Mike. I’m a 19 year old who currently attends Iowa State University, located in lovely Ames, IA, but I’m originally from Omaha, NE. I’m studying to be an Aerospace Engineer, which could explain part of the reason why I blog about politics: it gives me something to do that a) has absolutely nothing to do with calculus, b)I actually enjoy, and c) doesn’t make me want to tear my hair out. Anyway, I’m also in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) and I plan on commissioning as an officer in the USAF and making a career out of it, if they’ll let me. I’m an Eagle Scout, which hopefully tells you quite a bit about me right there. I used to enjoy camping and still do somewhat, but I’m a much bigger fan of climbing, especially 14′ers in Colorado. Better views, and I get to eat real food for dinner and sleep in a bed. I also enjoy hunting upland game birds, although in Nebraska the activity should properly be titled “morning stroll through field with shotgun,” because there never seems to be too many birds.

As you might have guessed, I’m a pretty big geek. I love airplanes and anything to do with them. I’ve gotten laughed at numerous times for referring to an airplane as “sexy.” I also love to read. I used to be real big into military techno-thrillers along the lines of Clancy’s work, but I’ve kind of gotten away from that in recent years, primarily because I unfortunately only have a limited amount of time to read, and so much important stuff to read it in. I have gotten back into reading fiction with some Heinlein, and fully intend on reading everything he’s written sometime in the future, but for now I’ve been focusing on military strategy documents, papers, and books, primarily on fighting counter-insurgency.

But that’s the kind of stuff that belongs over at my home blog, the No Angst Zone (shameless plug #1). What you’re interested in is the libertarian side of things. My early political views were shaped by my Dad who would best be described as a Reagan Republican. While I would whole-heartedly back the GOP if they were to return to the Reagan days, I’m much more to the libertarian side of things than a typical Reagan Republican. A lot of that change happened when I started reading libertarian blogs; Eric’s, Brad’s, Robert’s, T.F.’s, and Perry’s are all some I started reading 2 or so years ago. Since that time I’ve become closely acquainted with Jefferson, Madison, Locke, Smith, Bastiat, and several others, in part thanks to those guys. Sadly, I feel quite alone when it comes to being able to discuss these people and their ideas. I’ve become known as the “crazy libertarian” in my group of friends; I even had one come up to me and ask me to explain to her what exactly libertarianism is.

So. Now that you know about me, what do I believe in? I feel that the Founding Fathers knew what the hell they were doing, so perhaps we should stop trying to interpret what they “really” meant and simply take the Constitution for what it is. I think that the most important Amendment to the Constitution was the 10th. I believe in unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property. I believe in the right of people to act aggressively and if necessary violently to protect their unalienable rights, whether from intrusion by other citizens or by the government. I believe in a strong foreign policy. I think such a foreign policy is necessary because we’re currently engaged in a war that has been going on for 30 odd years and that will be going on for another hundred. Finally, I think having a federal drinking age of 21 is one of the stupidest things this government has done in the past 25 years. (Come on, you know that last one was coming; I am a college student, after all.)

Most importantly, I believe in me. And in every other individual out there. The individual is what always has and always will make this country great. It is the right and idea of the individual that must be protected above all else.

Like I said above, my personal blog is the No Angst Zone. It’s a mix of libertarian and military/foreign policy themed material, with some humor thrown in every now and again. Feel free to check it out if you’re interested.

Finally, I’d just like to say thanks to Brad for inviting me to contribute over here. I’m definitely excited to be given the opportunity.

(In case you didn’t get the reference in the title, head on over to wikipedia. I’m a HUGE Simpsons fan.)

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10 Comments

  1. Have fun with it, Mike!

    Comment by Robert — September 13, 2006 @ 3:31 am
  2. Mike said:
    I feel that the Founding Fathers knew what the hell they were doing, so perhaps we should stop trying to interpret what they “really” meant and simply take the Constitution for what it is.

    I couldn’t agree more with you.

    Mike said:
    we’re currently engaged in a war

    The Constitution says:

    The Congress shall have power…to declare war.

    Mike, I’m sure you can figure out my question.

    Comment by John Newman — September 13, 2006 @ 5:48 am
  3. Mike, here is some Jefferson you obviously didn’t read.

    The power of declaring war being with the Legislature, the Executive should do nothing necessarily committing them to decide for war in preference of non-intercourse, which will be preferred by a great many.

    I opposed the right of the President to declare anything future on the question, Shall there or shall there not be war?

    Considering that Congress alone is constitutionally invested with the power of changing our condition from peace to war, I have thought it my duty to await their authority for using force in any degree which could be avoided. I have barely instructed the officers stationed in the neighborhood of the aggressions to protect our citizens from violence, to patrol within the borders actually delivered to us, and not to go out of them but when necessary to repel an inroad or to rescue a citizen or his property.

    As the Executive cannot decide the question of war on the affirmative side, neither ought it to do so on the negative side, by preventing the competent body from deliberating on the question.

    Congress [must] be called [if there] is a justifiable cause of war; and as the Executive cannot decide the question of war on the affirmative side, neither ought it to do so on the negative side by preventing the competent body from deliberating on the question.

    We have already given in example one effectual check to the Dog of war by transferring the power of letting him loose from the Executive to the Legislative body, from those who are to spend to those who are to pay.

    The making reprisal on a nation is a very serious thing. Remonstrance and refusal of satisfaction ought to precede; and when reprisal follows, it is considered as an act of war, and never yet failed to produce it in the case of a nation able to make war; besides, if the case were important enough to require reprisal, and ripe for that step, Congress must be called on to take it; the right of reprisal being expressly lodged with them by the Constitution, and not with the Executive.

    The question of war being placed by the Constitution with the Legislature alone, respect to that [makes] it [the Executive’s] duty to restrain the operations of our militia to those merely defensive; and considerations involving the public satisfaction, and peculiarly my own, require that the decision of that question, whichever way it be, should be pronounced definitely by the Legislature themselves.

    Comment by John Newman — September 13, 2006 @ 5:57 am
  4. Welcome, Mike…

    Oh, and regarding the drinking age, buying homebrew equipment and ingredients has no age restriction :-)

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — September 13, 2006 @ 6:09 am
  5. Welcome.

    Two things:

    1. There is no “federal drinking age.” There is federal coercion, via the highway funds, on the states to make their drinking ages 21. Discuss.

    2. Eagle Scout and ROTC, eh? Any chance we could get some discussion of BSA v. Dale and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? Gotta make nice with us gays if you’re gonna be a proper libertarian. ;-)

    Comment by KipEsquire — September 13, 2006 @ 7:12 am
  6. Kip, the approach the Feds have taken is:

    1. A usurpation of State prerogatives
    2. a de facto “federal drinking age”
    3. Just as silly as Prohibition. The only reason they can get away with it is that such a small percentage of the voters are between 18 and 21. This, of course, would be easier to deal with if we didn’t have the 17th amendment in the way.

    Just one more example of what happens when you give all the power to one group of people.

    Comment by Eric — September 13, 2006 @ 7:25 am
  7. Thanks for the welcome, guys.

    Nice to see my first three topics have been laid out for me already. I’d be more than happy to discuss BSA v. Dale and “Don’t ask don’t tell.” And I’ve got some ideas germinating about the apparent disconnect between “mainstream libertarians” (oxymoron if there ever was one) and the war. But that’s a little more in depth, so it’ll have to wait a bit.

    Suffice to say for now that Jefferson was a very smart man, and right about a lot of things, but not necessarily about everything.

    Oh, and Robert…3:31 in the a.m.?!? That’s early/late by even my skewed AerE standards.

    Comment by mike — September 13, 2006 @ 1:55 pm
  8. Oh, and Robert…3:31 in the a.m.?!? That’s early/late by even my skewed AerE standards.

    Thr time is set to West Coast time, courtesy of Eric, my blog father. Even still, 7:31 is early for me, but school is back in session here in Jersey. ;-)

    Comment by Robert — September 13, 2006 @ 2:34 pm
  9. which could explain part of the reason why I blog about politics: it gives me something to do that a) has absolutely nothing to do with calculus, b)I actually enjoy, and c) doesn’t make me want to tear my hair out.

    lol sounds like why I started blogging politics.

    Good to have you on board bud. hopefully you won’t be as negligent in posting as I’ve been. And it’s always heartening to see another youngin (22 here) headed in the right direction.

    Comment by Nick — September 14, 2006 @ 12:48 pm
  10. You nerd, congrats on getting picked to write for the liberty papers and thanks for introducing me to them a long time ago.

    Comment by Ryan — September 14, 2006 @ 7:36 pm

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