Monthly Archives: March 2008

Why Mike Gravel Is Not A Libertarian

This list seems to sum it up nicely:

  • The Fair Tax. Anti-Libertarian redistribution of wealth by another name.
  • Single-Payer Medicine. No. No, no, no, NO. There is a libertarian proposal for medicine, and this is just about the exact opposite.
  • Social Security. He’s pro. Libertarians are anti.
  • Carbon tax. Another anti-libertarian value. Sin taxes by any name.
  • The US acting as a guarantor for the demilitarization of Israel’s border with a future Palestinian state. Again, no. Libertarian value = stay the fuck out of other people’s business.
  • That the US should immediately sign the Kyoto Protocol. Again, no. Anti-libertarian agenda through and through. (This doesn’t even Begin to touch on the fact that the Kyoto Protocol is by all measurable standards an absolute failure, including the standard of the impact it would have had if successful.)
  • At the February 2007 Democratic Presidential Candidates Forum he has said that he is in favor of some degree of public financial assistance to the campaigns of Presidential candidates. This, again, is an anti-libertarian view. No subsidizing campaigns with taxpayer money. (Yes, I am aware this is already done via funds-matching. We’re against it.)
  • Senator Gravel proposes an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and an accompanying Federal Law to bring about a means of citizen-initiated national lawmaking in addition to the existing means of lawmaking through the institutions of representative government (i.e., Congress and the President). — Democracy is a principle which while many view beneficial, in many cases is viewed by libertarians as anti-freedom. There’s a simple reason for this. “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what’s for dinner.”
  • His position site states: “One thing we know for sure: No Child Left Behind has left too many children behind. It needs to be reformed and adequately funded. ” I.e.; he wants to expand spending here. We’re already spending so much we’re getting nothing done. This is throwing good money after bad. No.
  • Net Neutrality. Like it or not, the net neutrality legislation is actually anti-libertarian. It expands the authority of the government to inform businesses how they may or may not operate. This is the literal definition of fascism.

I’ve honestly got to say that by welcoming the likes of Gravel into it’s ranks, the Libertarian Party has pretty much abandoned it’s principles.

Newt Gingrich: Federal Control Of Education Is A National Security Issue

There are some things that Newt Gingrich has said over the years that I agree with, and I’m somewhat a fan of his alternate history novels, but this is just plain daffy:

Newt Gingrich gave a luncheon talk about education at the American Enterprise Institute today.  Among other things, he said he’d “argue with any conservative” about the role of the federal government with respect to education.  It’s a matter of national security, he said.  He called on the secretary of defense to give a speech every year on the state of our schools.

You want an argument on this one Newt ?

I say bring it on.

So Much For That Theory

Well, it looks like President Bush’s theory that the phony economic stimulus package would actually accomplish anything will be proven to be untrue:

NEW YORK ( — Tax rebates are the centerpiece of the government’s plan to stimulate the economy, but many Americans are planning to put the money in the bank or use it to pay off debt, according to a survey released Monday.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll found that 41% of respondents plan to use their rebates to pay off bills, and 32% will put the money in savings. Just 21% of those polled intend to spend the money, while 3% said they will donate the extra money to charity.

Come on Americans, don’t you realize that what your President wants you to do is be entirely irresponsible and use that stimulus check to go out and buy a nice new high definition TV ?

If you don’t spend it all within 24 hours of getting it, you’re letting the terrorists win.

Or maybe you’re realizing the truth, which is that the entire economic stimulus package is a sham.

Mutual Enemies Of Freedom: The Hillarys And The Huckabees

Cato’s David Boaz has a great column about the mutual threats to freedom posed by the philosophies of the left and the right:

[D]espite [America’s] heritage of freedom, we’ve always got the Hillarys and the Huckabees and the other people who think they could run our lives better than we can. The Huckabees on the right continue to resist the cultural changes of the 1960s, and the Hillarys on the left continue to resist the economic changes of the 1980s.

The “Huckabees” want to censor cable television because they don’t think you can be trusted to decide what your family should watch. They support bans on drugs, pornography, gambling and violent video games because you just don’t know what’s good for you. They want prayer in the schools and sound science out. They want to subsidize heterosexual marriage and ban gay marriage. They want government to take the place of God and stamp out sin on earth. Former Sen. Rick Santorum, a classic Huckabee, complains about “this whole idea of personal autonomy, … this idea that people should be left alone.”

The “Hillarys,” meanwhile, want to raise taxes because they think they can spend your money more wisely than you can. They don’t believe in school choice because you don’t know how to choose a school for your children. They think they can handle your retirement savings and health care better than you can. They think, as Hillary Clinton has advocated, that the government should produce video lectures on how to burp a baby and how to brush your teeth and have them “running continuously in doctors’ offices, clinics, hospitals, motor vehicle offices, or any other place where people gather and have to wait.”

The Huckabees want to be your daddy, telling you what to do and what not to do. The Hillarys want to be your mommy, feeding you, tucking you in and setting your curfew. But the proper role for the government of a free society is to treat adults as adults, responsible for making their own decisions and accepting the consequences. And the good news is that mostly we do that.

Free men and women, of course, don’t need a mommy and daddy. They just need a government that will keep civil order and otherwise get out of their way.

A Bob Barr For President Update

Former Congressman Bob Barr is now talking seriously about running for the Libertarian Party’s Presidential nomination:

On an Internet site called Anti-War Radio, former Georgia congressman Bob Barr confirmed on Wednesday that he’s “very seriously” looking at joining the race for the White House as a Libertarian — and had harsh words for both the Iraq war and for the Bush Administration’s defense of “enhanced interrogation techniques.”


On a presidential run, Barr said:

“There’s been a tremendous expressed to me both directly and indirectly on the Internet. I take that support very seriously, and I think it also reflects a great deal of dissatisfaction with the current candidates and the current two-party system. So it is something, to be honest with you, that I’m looking very seriously at.”

Barr said a Libertarian candidacy would essentially be an extension of the Ron Paul campaign.

“Ron Paul tapped into a great deal of that dissatisfaction and that awareness. Unfortunately, working through the Republican party structure, it became impossible for him to really move forward with his movement. But we have to have ….a rallying point out there to harness that energy, that freedom in this election cycle,” Barr said.

On Iraq:

“What we’ve fallen into in recent years — not just since 9/11, but particularly since 9/11 — is this notion that, in order to protect ourselves, we have to preemptively go into and — in the case of Iraq — occupy another sovereign nation,” Barr said. “Simply saying, ‘Gee, it’s better to fight over in this other nation and destroy another nation, so we’re not potentially attacked here, is the height of arrogance.”

As for the Bush administration’s refusal to define waterboarding as torture, Barr referred to the practice as “sophistry of the worst and rankest order.”

You can listen to the full audio of the interview over at my personal blog.

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