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

October 12, 2010

Aren’t You Glad To Be A Gamma?

I had a really interesting philosophical discussion with Brad Warbiany, our curator at The Liberty Papers, over a Facebook status I wrote. I had just re-listened to the CBS Radio Workshop rendition of Brave New World and had commented that it seemed like a far more livable situation than 1984.

Warbiany added that California, if Prop. 19 passes and allows the modern equivalent of soma to be freely ingested, the state really will look like Brave New World. With the state already self-organized into a caste system (Listen to someone from Northern California talk about Southern California or someone from Berkeley talk about Sacramento some time), abortion and every sort of contraceptive widely available and the domination of a vapid mass culture (seen at San Diego Comic Con or Wonder Con in San Francisco) taking precedence over civic involvement for Californians, the Golden State really resembles Huxley’s “negative utopia.”

Warbiany also handed me this great cartoon:
Orwell v. Huxley

On Twitter, alot of progressive and libertarian leaning activists tend to advocate alot for issues of freedom and emancipation in countries like Iran or China. In a way, situations in so obviously repressive countries like those are much easier for the activist. They fit into the Orwell dynamic and the villains and heroes are very clear. In his opposition to the death penalty, our own Stephen Littau does take on the American equivalent to state repression. Along with questionable foreign policy and drug policy, however, those are really the only avenues for passionate American political activism.

Beyond such clear issues of state force, however, one runs into a brick wall when faced with the mass culture, dullness and vapidity of consumer society. It seems that in this society, the majority of more normal people (myself and most people reading this strongly excepted) do not become Jeffersonians but instead “turn on, tune in and cop out,” as Gil Scott Heron once said. How does one become an activist in a society in which people freely subjugate, segregate and limit themselves?

I have a funny story that relates to this, that I didn’t even remember until I read what Brad said. While living in Alameda, California, I lost my phone. A teenage girl, around college age most likely, found it and called my mom, who e-mailed me about it. When I got the phone back, I was really grateful but had no money on hand. The only possession I had literally was a copy of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. I offered it to her.

She literally responded, “No thanks. I don’t read.”

I know. Alameda is not a low income area where reading should be rare, either. There are several bookstores in the area, along with hip restaurants, record stores and everything else you expect in cosmopolitan society. It even has an incredible vintage movie theatre that I rank as the best in Northern California, next to Oakland’s Grand Lake Theatre. This girl was obviously more involved in other factors of modern life, all of which I can safely assume are of less consequence intellectually than the work of Huxley.

It’s especially ironic given that there is a passage in Brave New World in which infants are given books while bombarded with screeching, loud noises, in order to dissuade them from being too intellectual when they reach adulthood. With video games, television, the internet and iPhones, that seems unnecessary as modern people have been incentivized out of intellectualism.

That girl did go to extra trouble to give me my phone back, with no advantage to her, however. That means she had a decency and sense of altruism that her lack of reading hadn’t impeded. Having grown up around the hyper-educated and being on that road myself, I can also attest that we’re not the nicest group of people. Perhaps then we really are on the road to progress.

• • •

July 27, 2010

I Was Wrong About the War in Iraq

The following is a post I started a little over 2 years ago explaining my 180 concerning the war in Iraq. This is easily the most difficult post I’ve ever written because of the life and death nature of the subject matter and admitting being on the wrong side of this issue for so long. As tempting as it has been to continue to ignore this issue, I felt that I owed it to the readers of The Liberty Papers to finally explain myself before moving on to other posts.

I think that most Americans on both sides of the Iraq debate have the best interests of America at heart (to the extent there even is a debate anymore).

Much of the Iraq debate seems to be based on emotion rather than reason. Emotional talking points from the Left such as “Bush lied, people died” (though I do believe he over sold the threat), “Bush wanted to be a war time president,” and “the Iraq war is really about Halliburton” or “BIG oil” remain unconvincing to me. I took great exception to war critics who resort to calling anyone who supports any war for any reason a “war monger” or a “chicken hawk” (and I still do).

I also took great exception to those on the Right who would say that “you can’t support the troops if you don’t support the mission.” Such a claim is obviously ludicrous because some of the troops themselves do not support the mission. That would mean they do not support themselves! Arguments that individuals should not criticize the president because “we are at war” have always seemed Orwellian and scary to me.

Though I like to think of myself as a man of reason, reasonable people will fall into emotional traps from time to time; no one is 100% logical or reasonable 100% of the time on each and every issue. I fell into the emotional traps that many on the Right (and most everyone else for at least a short time) fell into in the aftermath of 9/11: anger, hatred, and fear.

Why I supported the War in Iraq

My immediate response to the aftermath of 9/11 was anger, hatred, and fear (and I’m sure I wasn’t alone). I was angry that these religious extremists attacked my country, I hated them for their reasons for doing so, and I feared more attacks would come at any moment. I wasn’t interested in justice for those responsible for the attacks, I wanted vengeance!

Though I never believed that Iraq had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks, I believed that it was time to rethink my positions on how America should deal with rogue states such as Iraq. While I would not have supported invading a nation, overthrowing that nation’s government, and rebuilding a nation prior to 9/11, it seemed that America needed to be proactive and “preempt” such nations from even the possibility of attacking America first. I supported the invasion because I truly believed the WMD threat was real and that overthrowing Saddam Hussein would lead to liberty spreading throughout the region and thus would make America safer.

For a short time, this theory seemed to becoming a reality. U.S. and coalition troops defeated the Iraqi forces in record time. The cable news channels showed Iraqis pulling down Saddam Hussein’s statue and in broken English saying such things as “Thank you America” and “Thank you Mr. Bush.” Shortly thereafter, President Bush made his infamous tail-hook landing on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln which had a large banner which read “Mission Accomplished.” I thought for sure that this meant the troops would be coming home and that the critics of the war had been proven wrong in their dire predictions. Sure, Saddam Hussein and his sons were still at large, there was still some violence in the immediate aftermath, and no stockpiles of WMD had been found but all these things would be taken care of in a matter of time. A few more months perhaps?

It all made a great deal of sense in theory but the reality seems to be quite different.

What Changed?

It’s hard for me to pinpoint exactly when I began to realize the invasion and subsequent occupation Iraq to be a mistake. When weapons hunters failed to find the WMD in the first couple of years after the invasion, my thinking was that perhaps the “preemption” approach was wrongheaded but because the troops were already there, the damage had already been done. I believed that because American foreign policy lead to the chaos that followed the invasion, it was the duty of our government to clean up the mess (i.e. the “you broke it, you bought it” argument). I further believed that if coalition troops pulled out of Iraq “the Islamofascists will follow us home” unless the Iraqi government was stable enough to handle the violence itself.

The truth of the matter is my reasoning was clouded by fear. This post I wrote in early 2007 illustrates this fear . We could not afford to allow our enemies to claim victory in Iraq as they would become “emboldened” and be encouraged to carry out future attacks both on American soil and abroad. This is not a war we could afford to lose; failure was not an option.

But when I was challenged by readers and fellow TLP contributors define exactly what “victory” in Iraq would look like, I struggled in vain to find a satisfactory answer. I now realize that if American troops were to leave tomorrow, next year, or 100 years from now, the radical Islamists will claim victory no matter when the troops leave. They are master propagandists and those who follow their ideology do not allow facts to get in the way of their beliefs. Some of these people don’t even acknowledge that the Holocaust even happened despite all of the mountains of documentary evidence to the contrary.

The first thing that has changed in my thinking is the fear factor. The whole purpose of terrorism is to cause people to be terrorized. When we overreact and do such things as pass the Patriot Act, surrender liberties we otherwise would not, or send troops to fight undeclared wars against countries that might have WMD and may directly or indirectly use these weapons against the U.S. or her allies, the terrorist act has accomplished its intended goal.

The second big change is my understanding of contemporary history. My thinking was that America’s military might would be enough to transform the Middle East from a region of oppression to a region of freedom. These were people yearning to be free. All that needed to happen was for the despots to be deposed, the people liberated, and our world would be more peaceful as a result.

In the Point post “A Case for Non-Intervention,” Brad correctly pointed out the flaws of this logic of fatal conceit: that man can shape the world around him according to his wishes. By the time I wrote the Counterpoint to Brad’s post, I was already beginning to see the error of my thinking but still holding out hope that somehow we could avoid the “reverse King Midas effect” this time.

But why would this time be any different?

At least since President Woodrow Wilson, the U.S. has been intervening in internal affairs of other countries allegedly to “make the world safer for democracy.” But rather than making the world safer, in most cases it seems, American foreign policy has created more enemies rather than less. The conditions that led up to the adventures in both Iraq and Afghanistan are in many ways the result of American foreign policy. The continued presence of American troops occupying and nation building in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere fosters resentment among these populations.

Lessons Learned

One argument I used to make was that leaving Iraq as a failed mission would mean that those troops who had died for the cause would have died in vain. I no longer believe this necessarily has to be the case if we as a people learn the right lessons of Iraq.

There were people who opposed the war in the very beginning for very principled reasons (and I’m not talking about the so-called anti-war Democrats who seem to have nothing to say about Iraq now that their guy is in office). Others like me, unfortunately, had to learn the lessons of Iraq the hard way. I was naive and trusted that the government was acting in such a way that would make its citizens safer but I now see the error in this thinking. Neither North Korea nor Iran seems to be slowing down their WMD programs as a result of Operation Iraqi Freedom. And despite the anti-terror policies that have been enacted since 9/11 and despite this war, our cities are likely as vulnerable if not more so than before 9/11. Our own government is a much greater threat to our liberties than al Qaeda ever will be.

It’s really the open-ended nature of this “war on terror” and failure on the part of our government to define who exactly the enemy is that makes the concept of victory unobtainable. Who specifically is our enemy? Is it just al Qaeda and/or the Taliban or is it anyone and everyone the U.S. government calls a “terrorist”? If we cannot even define exactly who our enemy is, how is victory even possible?

Once the enemy has been identified, the congress (not the president) should debate whether or not to declare war on the enemy. Any declaration of war should include not only who the enemy is but define in precise terms the meaning of victory (as opposed to making it up as they go along). The idea of going into another undeclared war in the future should be considered a complete non-starter (and the notion of “preemptive” wars of choice in particular).

Now What?

Its time for the people of Iraq to decide for themselves what kind of future they want. Our brave soldiers have done the heavy lifting for far too long. Its time for our brave troops to come home to their families and let them move on with their lives.

Ditto for Afghanistan. The only troops that should be left behind should be those with the sole mission of hunting Bin Laden and his extremist followers. The nation building mission should be brought to an end.

Its time to completely rethink the American foreign policy of the last 100 years or so. Has the presence of American troops made the world, and more importantly America safer? Is it still necessary to our national security to have so many troops stationed around the globe? (Was it ever?) What ever happened to the “walk softly” part of “walk softly but carry a big stick”?

Its time to move beyond the Cold War posture and allow other nations to determine their own futures.

In the mean time, we should be doing all we can to secure our own futures and help our wounded war veterans put their lives back together.

• • •

May 10, 2010

A New Introduction

I am honored to join The Liberty Papers.

Brad Warbiany and Doug Mataconis have been very welcoming, and my new realm into libertarian thought should be fulfilling and rich.

I’ve been at United Liberty for two years, starting with the 2008 election and running all the way up to coverage of Arizona’s discriminatory immigration law. My work goes back even further, back to the San Francisco Examiner and the neighborhood newspapers North Seattle Herald Outlook and Madison Park Times in Seattle, Washington.

In the times we live in, there seems to be a political shift going on. The United States is becoming more ethnically diverse, the economy continues to stagnate, and government is making short term maneuvers without foreseeing long-term effects. On the other side of the coin, the Right, who talk a lot of jive about freedom, are parading their own twisted form of nationalism. In these times, it’s important to try to solidify and distinguish the libertarian movement as a separate alternative to the forms of authoritarianism so far proposed to us. I hope my work at The Liberty Papers will help to do that.

I am also currently working on a book on the future of race in politics. It should be finished within the year and published subsequently.

• • •

March 3, 2010

A Lack Of Output

Anyone who is still dropping by on a regular basis has undoubtedly noticed the cobwebs and tumbleweed.

For that I, and we, apologize.

We are not professional bloggers; rather we are blogging professionals. All of the contributors here have other obligations to attend to out there in the world of “real life”. It’s common at times for some of us to be more ready to write while others are occupied — it seems that we’ve hit a spell where just about all of us are slammed. Whether it be personal or professional, positive or negative, persistent or transient — and it’s been any combination of the above, depending on the author* — it’s gotten in the way of spending time writing for The Liberty Papers.

The good news is that I think things will be improving moving forward. Some of the issues being faced have definite end points in time, and others seem to have peaked and should allow more attention to the blog. I expect and hope things to start picking back up this month and return to a more consistent form from there.

In the meantime, we hope you hang in there with us, as the forces of collectivism take no respite from their cause. For as C.S. Lewis pointed out, they believe they’re working for our benefit:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

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Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 10:25 pm || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: The Contributors
• • •

December 21, 2009

United Liberty Podcast

Many readers here are also familiar with the United Liberty blog, not least because our contributor Jason Pye is the editor-in-chief of that blog, and co-contributor Doug writes at both locations.

They (Jason and UL Assistant Editor Brett Bittner) recently honored me be asking that I join them as a guest on their podcast, which you can find here or on iTunes.

Topics ranged from the Federal Reserve and Ben Bernanke, to health care, to home weatherization (a topic where I nearly defect from doctrinaire libertarianism), immigration and Copenhagen. All in all, I had a lot of fun and hopefully some of you may enjoy the listen.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 10:30 am || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: Environment,Federal Reserve,Fiscal Policy,Government Waste,Healthcare,Human Rights,Immigration,The Contributors
• • •

November 22, 2009

4 Years

Somewhere during the summer/fall of 2005, Eric started kicking around an idea with some of us on the old Life, Liberty, Property blog community. Many of us at our own personal blogs had risen to the level of Marauding Marsupial in Truth Laid Bear’s old tracking system, but Eric thought we could be a more effective force for liberty by pooling our resources. He started building The Liberty Papers, and invited a few of us (of the current contributors, that includes Chris, Doug, Kevin, Quincy and myself) to join his little experiment.

Well, today marks four years since the site began, and it’s been quite a ride since then. Some contributors have moved on, due to life intruding on blogging. We’ve expanded our rolls to replace them and try to expand our ideological coverage as well. And Eric, our founder, was put into the choice of taking a new job that would be wonderful for his family and career, but would mean he had to stop blogging. He turned the reins of the site over to me, and I’ve tried not to muck it up too badly.

In four years, we’ve written over 3500 posts, received over 31,000 comments, and we’re well on our way to 1.5M unique visits. We’ve had our successes, with Stephen Gordon breaking the DHS “domestic terrorist” report, attracting attention from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.

All in all, I think we fit into a very nice space in the libertarian blogosphere. We hail from a wide range of disciplines, with nearly none of us in a position to call “political operative” an occupation rather than a hobby. We hail from such diverse fields as technology, law, and even music. We all share, though, a common fight — for the increase of liberty.

We’ve come a long way in four years, and I’m proud of the contributors who work to make this site great and thankful for all our readers who regularly comment here and make The Liberty Papers more than a broadsheet, but a conversation. I’m very happy with what this site has become — but I’m not sure I’m satisfied. My hope is that one year from today, we can mark our fifth year as a site bigger, stronger, and more active than its ever been.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 8:00 am || Permalink || Comments (1) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Admin,The Contributors
• • •

July 14, 2009

United Liberty

I wanted to give a shout out to co-blogger Jason Pye, who is currently editor of UnitedLiberty.org, a [fairly] new libertarian group blog.

United Liberty is, much like The Liberty Papers, a “big-tent” libertarian site. They’ll run the gamut from anarcho-capitalists to Ron Paul Republibertarians. They include portions of their site for “headlines” and other news-related items, and I’m sure they’ll have great analysis, as Jason will be posting somewhat over there, and I’ve seen a few posts from Chris Moody of Cato and our own Doug Mataconis. As Jason says, “We want to be inclusive, not exclusive. If you believe in liberty, you have a home at UL.”

When you get a chance, head over and check it out. In addition, they do have some openings for contributors, so if you’re spilling over with things to say in support of liberty but don’t have a venue, let him know.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 8:31 am || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: Look About,The Contributors
• • •

June 5, 2009

Comment of the Day: A Welcome Voice from Liberty Papers Past

Re: Mancow gets waterboarded

It’s always a treat to hear from Eric, the founder of The Liberty Papers. Its comments like this one which make me miss his “grumbles.” This comment was in response to a discussion sparked by Stephen Gordon’s post concerning waterboarding:

Interesting discussion. Chris has a very valid point about altering the meaning of the language. He also points out that waterboarding is a form of coercion and that coercion should not be used on prisoners. But, in the heated and traumatic rejection of his assertions about what torture is, the more important point he makes is lost.

The point is, coercive interrogation is wrong to do to someone who we hold prisoner. Chris said that loud and clear, but folks are so incensed that he might not agree that something is torture that they miss the fundamentally more important point. Another fundamentally important issue, if you believe in The Rule of Law, is that we don’t have clear laws on what to do with terrorist combatants and that poses a problem. One of the keys to solving the problems of piracy in the 17th and 18th centuries was to promulgate clear, consistent, logically and legally sound laws and regulations for dealing with pirates.

We don’t have that for terrorists today, and that’s a problem.

P.S. adding to the point about use of language. We used to know that torture meant causing permanent injury to someone. When we talked about the police giving someone the “third degree”, it meant physically injuring someone to coerce them to do something. The reason we said “third degree” is that there were three levels of Inquisition used during the Catholic Inquisition.

1st Degree – Discussing the crimes someone is accused of and informing them that stronger methods of inquisition can be used if they don’t cooperate

2nd Degree – Showing the accused person the methods that can be used, like racks, knives, flails and other implements of torture

3rd Degree – Actually using those implements on the accused person, i.e. the Third Degree of Inquisition.

So, the very tortured definitions of torture that folks are trying to come up are actually changing the meanings of the language in ways that support the individual’s position. This is something that Orwell argued strenuously against and that most “libertarians” argue against, as well. Except, it seems, when being for it supports their personal beliefs.

Causing PTSD does not automatically make something torture. PTSD can be caused by a car accident, by seeing your sibling die, by participating in violent combat and many other things. None of which are “torture”. I suggest that we should return to the traditional definition that doing things which would be considered “the third degree” is torture. Let’s use the language right. AND we can still agree that things which are not torture, but are inhumane or coercive, or both, are wrong for US interrogators to do to our prisoners.

Comment by Eric — June 5, 2009 @ 8:24 am

• • •

April 30, 2009

Disharmony @ #tcot, freedom @ #tlot

tlot-logoDespite all of the hullabaloo over #tcot (Top Conservatives on Twitter), there seems to a be a bit of a scrap brewing between TCOT co-founders Rob Neppell and Michael Patrick Leahy.  To date, the argument sounds more like a quarrel between gay lovers than one between some of the God-fearing, pro-torture fag-bashing Republicans who frequently tweet with the #tcot hashtag.  Here’s the first description of the spat I’ve found online:

This morning teabagger-in-chief and “Top Conservatives on Twitter” (TCOT) co-founder Rob Neppell posted this message on TopConservativesOnTwitter.org (which has since been removed) outlining his decision to shut down the site and encouraging fellow TCOT co-founder and notorious douchenozzle Michael Patrick Leahy to, essentially, eat a bag of dicks.

According to the note, Leahy also “was recently asked to leave the leadership team of Tea Party Patriots” “due to his inability to work in a group decision-making environment.” Oh, snap.

Revolution is never easy.

While their front page says it’s under construction, the message is still online and one can peek at it though the back door here. I haven’t seen any sort of response from Leahy, yet.

Over at 7mesh.com, thespaghetticat asks::

I wonder how this will affect #tcot frequent tweeter Karl “Turd Blossom” Rove (@Karl_rove)?

In the meantime, there is also Top Libertarians on Twitter (#tlot), where folks feel that even conservative homosexuals deserve equal treatment under the law.  If you are a libertarian on Twitter, be sure to sign up here.

While we are on the topic of social networking, feel free to follow The Liberty Papers on Facebook here and on Twitter here. Here’s where you can follow or friend some of the individuals at The Liberty Papers:

Chris Byrne

Twitter

Eric Cowperthwaite

Facebook Twitter

Stephen Gordon

Facebook Twitter

Doug Mataconis

Facebook Twitter

Jason Pye

Facebook Twitter

Brad Warbiany

Facebook

Feel free to leave your social networking links in the comment section if you’d like to expand your social networking with other like-minded people.

UPDATE: The old TCOT format and data seem to have survived and are available here.

Posted By: Stephen Gordon @ 3:42 pm || Permalink || Comments (1) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Activism,Media,Technology,The Contributors
• • •

April 21, 2009

Quincy’s Open Letter Picked Up By Newsblaze

Quincy’s open letter to Jan Schakowsky, the dear lady who called tea party protestors “despicable” and “shameful” has been picked up on NewsBlaze. Check it out here. Congrats!

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 7:45 am || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: Activism,The Contributors
• • •

April 20, 2009

Buy This Book — Your Stomach Will Thank You

All,

Co-blogger Chris just announced a new cookbook that he and his wife are putting together, heavily based upon a number of recipes that he’s posted on his blog. I still haven’t managed to go and enjoy any of said cooking on my trips into the Phoenix area, but I can say that based on the recipes I’ve seen him post — I’m looking forward to it.

Since the book hasn’t been released yet, I can’t offer any definitive comments. But I can tell you that I’m not expecting The French Chef; rather something more along the lines of 1,001 Ways to Cook Large Dead Animals. Either way, I expect to see a lot of tasty offerings.

Chris mentions that since it will be a limited print run, the best option is to pre-order for a book that will be officially available sometime in the next month or so. You might want to jump on this one quickly. Head on over and take a look.
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Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 9:18 pm || Permalink || Comments (3) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Book Reviews,The Contributors
• • •

April 15, 2009

A Refresher on Philosophy

In comments I have been asked to explain further my philosophies of liberty, government etc…

I’ve written extensively on the subject before, both here, and on my personal blog; and when I say extensively I’m talking tens of thousands of words; so I thought I just post some of the more comprehensive and important links here:

My Philosophy:

  1. What the Heck is a Muscular Minarchist?
  2. The Politics of Liberty
  3. Rights Penumbras and Emanation
  4. Citizen or Subject?
  5. No Philosophy?
  6. The Fundamental Problem with Involuntary Collectivists
  7. Authoritarian, Libertarian, Anarchist?
  8. -isms Part One
  9. A Couple of Sad Truths
  10. To Amy, and Others who Believe that Government can do Good
  11. I Can’t Bleieve I haven’t Explicitly Stated this Here Before
  12. Differing First Principles

Read them all and you’ll get a pretty solid idea of the philosophical, moral, and practical underpinnings for the ideas I present here.

Posted By: Chris Byrne @ 9:54 am || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: The Contributors,Theory and Ideas
• • •

Stephen Gordon On Rachel Maddow

As Jason noted last night, our own Stephen Gordon appeared on Rachel Maddow’s show last night discussing the rift between conservatives and libertarians over the Tea Party’s.

Here’s the video:

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

UPDATE: Huffpo on Gordon’s appearance here. HotAir here. Raw Story here. Maddow fan site here.

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 6:40 am || Permalink || Comments (6) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Activism,Politics,Taxation,The Contributors,Theory and Ideas
• • •

April 13, 2009

The Tax Day Coalition

A lot of digital ink has been spilled on these pages over the tax day “Tea Party” protests. Not all of it has been supportive, but I think there’s to some extent a need to clear the air and explain our position. Granted, this is a group blog and I can’t quite speak for everyone here, but we’ve had some backroom discussions so hopefully I’ll give a general enough overview.

The Liberty Papers has signed up to be a part of the Tax Day Coalition.

There are a lot of conflicting thoughts about this. There is some concern over whether the Tea Party has been co-opted by the type of folks who had no problem with the big spending of the Republicans over the last 8 years, and only seem to have that “come to Jesus” moment when they realize that it’s the opponents who are holding the purse strings. To some extent, of course, the levels of spending we’re seeing are a pretty significant expansion on those of the Bush administration, and many of those on the Right applauded his big war spending and national security spending, and forgave the NCLB and Medicare Part D spending as politically necessary to keep “the agenda” moving forward.

Either way, we see a large group of people opposed to high taxes and high spending. And that’s a good thing. The art of politics is knowing where coalitions can be formed, and making use of them. We see the populist appeal of this movement, and we see this as the tangible reaction of a group of people who have been betrayed by their own party but were too internally conflicted to organize resistance until they were out of power. They’ve come back to the correct side of the debate now, so it’s a good idea to work together rather than fight them out of a libertarian purity purge.

The Liberty Papers has been fighting against this taxation and spending since we formed this blog in 2005. We’re not joining the Tax Day Coalition, we’re excited that the Tax Day Coalition is joining US.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 9:35 pm || Permalink || Comments (3) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Activism,Fiscal Policy,Taxation,The Contributors
• • •

February 28, 2009

Contributor Jason Pye On Fox News

Congrats to my fellow blogger Jason Pye, who was selected for a roundtable discussion on Neal Cavuto’s show on Fox News. Jason was one of the “Tea Party” protesters in Atlanta. Good job!

Cavuto was somewhat flippant about the limited nature of these protests. I sincerely hope that future protests grow, because this is an issue too important to be dismissed as a “tiny minority” viewpoint.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 9:07 am || Permalink || Comments (1) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Strategies For Advancing Liberty,Taxation,The Contributors
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February 6, 2009

1,000,000

Early this morning, The Liberty Papers recorded our millionth unique visitor. A visitor from Terre Haute, Indiana. I’ve got fond memories of Terre Haute; from a mardi gras party at Rose-Hulman [I attended Purdue, but visited a friend there] and a visiting Indiana State coed… But that’s a story for another time.

The Liberty Papers was started in November 2005, just over three years ago. In the interim, we’ve written almost 3,000 posts, had nearly 27,000 comments, and the blog has grown from a little outpost on the libertarian frontier to at least a midsized suburb around the libertarian center of action.

I’d like to thank the contributors of this blog, both past and present, for everything they’ve done to make this site what it is today. I’d also like to thank the regular readers and commenters for helping to make this a conversation. Finally, of course, I’d like to thank the founder of the site, Eric, for having the thought to create The Liberty Papers in the first place.

Where are we headed in the future? I’m not sure that the roadmap is clear, but I do know that we’re kicking around ideas. We’d like to see The Liberty Papers ascend to become a more regular stop for those who appreciate liberty, as well as a site where our political opponents are welcomed for cordial debate. We’ll continue to work hard at what we do, and to try to expand the scope with new ideas and new contributors over time, and hope that one day The Liberty Papers will move out of the ‘burbs and into a mid-town high-rise.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 8:05 am || Permalink || Comments (3) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Admin,The Contributors
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January 14, 2009

Fanning Freedom’s Flames

Thanks to Brad and the rest of the folks here for affording me the honor of writing at a website which I’ve read nearly daily for years. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make some contributions to what I consider a really good blog.

As I am frequently involved in a wide range of political activities, my hope is to be able to provide a bit of inside scoop about the people, events, legislation, organizations, etc. with which I’m involved.  In the meantime, I’ll try to provide my two cents about current events and how they relate to the freedom movement.

My political philosophy:  I’m as opposed to bailouts of the automobile industry today as I would have been to a bailout of the buggy and carriage industry some 110 years ago.  I’m a military veteran opposed to any form of involuntary national service.  I’m a sports fan opposed to government-funded sports stadiums and arenas , or any federal meddling with the NCAA Bowl Championship Series.  I enjoy a fine cigar and feel restaurant owners should have the right to determine smoking practices within their own business premises.   Of course, I’d feel the same way even if I didn’t enjoy cigars.

The law should apply equally to all, but we would certainly benefit if we eliminated a significant portion of current laws from the books.

In other words, I don’t want the government in my wallet, my bedroom…   …or my holster.

While I write at several other websites about other topics, my goal is to help fan the flames of freedom at The Liberty Papers.  I hope you’ll enjoy the ride as much as I probably will.

You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter.

Posted By: Stephen Gordon @ 3:29 pm || Permalink || Comments (3) || TrackBack URI || Categories: The Contributors
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Administrative Notes

Two main things:

1. I’ve changed the “Contributors” blogroll to make a distinction between currently active contributors, and those who (for whatever reason) no longer have the time or inclination to post on a regular basis. This is part of a wider effort, to become a little bit more consistent in our output… Which brings me to:

2. Welcome Stephen Gordon, the newest contributor to The Liberty Papers. Stephen has a long history with the libertarian movement, but I’ll let him speak for himself when he puts an introductory post up in the next few days.

We’re working internally on finding ways to improve The Liberty Papers in a more general sense, and we hope to become a bigger force for liberty in the future. As always, if you have suggestions, I’m happy to take them.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 12:00 am || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: Admin,The Contributors
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October 13, 2008

Personal Attack Ad…Against Myself!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be on the receiving end of a personal attack ad? I have. During the 2006 campaign, I thought it would be fun to write my own personal attack ad…against myself! Like many attack ads, everything I wrote about myself was (is) technically true but lacked context (the full context of each charge can be found by following the links).

I found the exercise to be very cathartic and enjoyable. I highly recommend you try it sometime! Feel free to write your own personal attack ad against yourself or write your own against me in the comments section of this post.

Now, cue the unflattering grainy black and white video with dreary music and enjoy my personal attack ad:

Who is Stephen Littau and why can’t we trust him?

For starters, he often advocates ending the war on drugs, suspending drug raids on suspected dealers, and repealing mandatory minimum sentencing laws for drug offenders. He has even gone as far as to defend a man who shot and killed a police officer who was simply serving a lawful search warrant.

But that’s not all…

Stephen Littau once wrote “Go ahead and call me an infidel, I will readily embrace this label” and that “an end of faith is way overdue.” Do we really want to put our trust in such a Godless heathen?

Not if you want to defend marriage, the flag, and traditional family values. Stephen Littau opposed the Defense of Marriage Amendment and the Flag Desecration Amendment. He also wants to take God off our currency, out of the Pledge of Allegiance, and remove religious monuments such as the Ten Commandments from government property using the tired old “wall of church and state” argument.

Stephen Littau is so morally depraved that he considers selfishness a “virtue” and wants to eliminate social welfare and entitlement programs leaving Americans to fend for themselves. Stephen Littau wants us to believe that such selfish attitudes are actually compassionate by allowing people to suffer from their poor choices.

Let’s be sure not to suffer from this bad choice. This November, send Stephen Littau a clear message:

Yes to the war on drugs!
Yes to religion in government!
Yes to defending marriage, the flag, and the Ten Commandments!
Yes to a compassionate government!
And No to the secular philosophy and dangerous ideas of Stephen Littau!

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October 2, 2008

Off Topic — New Snack Treat Becomes Available


Hey, folks, as most of you know (or can tell), there are no ads on this site. It’s not something that we as contributors are expecting to make income from, and in all honesty, I want it to remain as non-commercial as possible.

However, my wife and her sister have just launched a brand new business, and I wanted to give them some publicity. They sell nationwide, and I know we have a decent readership from all across the nation. I’m posting it here and hope you enjoy it, but rest assured, this is not going to become a regular occurrence here. Without further ado, I give you:

Krispy Dips!

I’ll let their description cover it for you:

A Krispy Dip is the grown-up version of the crispy marshmallow treat you loved as a kid.

We start with our signature recipe for the original “Krispy” square made from real imported Madagascar vanilla, creamery butter and the gooiest marshmallows we could find. Each hand-crafted square is then dipped in the finest chocolate and topped with an array of decadent toppings including rich caramel, real espresso beans, sweet coconut and roasted nuts.

Customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance to us. Every order is dipped then shipped to ensure quality and freshness. We are dedicated to providing a superior product that you will come back to again and again. So come dip into delicious!

They’ve worked very hard to create a truly unique and elegant product. For those of you looking for new gift ideas for friends and family over the holidays, you won’t be disappointed. And for anyone who either owns a small business or sends out corporate gifts to thank important clients, they can customize the packaging to give it the personal touch. They’ve already been involved in a wedding, a baby shower, have provided Dips for an LA Dodgers function, and will be doing a major function later this month with another SoCal sports team. For SoCal residents, they’re working towards entry into local gourmet markets.

And last, but most certainly not least, they taste great. If anyone happens to be a fan of dark chocolate and espresso, the espresso bean flavor is my favorite. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, and that one blows me away!

So head on over and give it a look. It truly is a new and refined twist on a familiar treat, and it’s sure to please!

And now, back to your regularly-scheduled programming…

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 4:30 am || Permalink || Comments (3) || TrackBack URI || Categories: The Contributors
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