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

April 18, 2007

Welcoming A New Contributor

I’d like to give a hearty welcome to tarran, our newest contributor.

As the site has expanded, we have realized that we’d like to offer content from the full spectrum of the pro-liberty movement. On the upper bound, this would be the libertarians who simply believe that our federal government is too large and want to return to a Constitutional, federalist system. There are several contributors here who head up to the upper bound of that spectrum. On the absolute lowest bound is anarcho-capitalism, and we have had no contributor that officially takes that title. Tarran is a self-described anarcho-capitalist, and will offer that point of view.

When the time comes that we start really getting into the Point/Counterpoint debates, and in general, this could lead to some rather interesting discussions. So say welcome to our newest contributor, tarran, who will be putting up his introductory post shortly.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 1:58 pm || Permalink || Comments (2) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Admin,The Contributors
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April 10, 2007

A Quarter Million

Earlier this afternoon, The Liberty Papers had its 250,000th visitor. That’s a quarter of a million visitors to this blog since we started back in November 2005. Thanks to everyone who’s stopped by and to my fellow contributors who’ve helped turn this place into something that people are noticing.

Related Posts:

200,000
100,000

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 12:59 pm || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: Admin,The Contributors
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March 26, 2007

The Web As Collective Property

Last night, in a comment to Jason’s post on Venezuela & “collective property”, I suggested that the Pilgrims showed that collective property doesn’t work. As I was listening this morning to an EconTalk podcast, the discussion turned to the web, and how the web has grown into an enormous community, largely due to the people who wish to put out information, not a profit motive.

It occurred to me that such an idea may be used by socialists as a defense of collective property. After all, you see an enormous– largely free– medium, where the work of individuals has put together an enormous wealth of information. They may claim that something like Blogger or geocities is an example of how collective property (i.e. a free “printing press” for anyone to publish upon) has enabled an amazing increase in available information that we see throughout online society.

On its face, it sounds like a pretty reasonable claim. However, it fails to take into account the difference between “freely-provided and open to all” and “collective”. Take, for example, the Blogger service. It’s owned by Google, and as with most things that Google does, they provide the hosting forum for free to whoever wants to set up a blog. One of the advantages to a non-physical realm like the Internet is that there is a near-infinite amount of “space” to offer up. Google provides space to whoever wants it, and the act of using that space has made the internet a richer place.

But that doesn’t mean that it’s “collective property”. While Google offers Blogger blogs to anyone who wants one, that doesn’t make those blogs collectively owned or governed. The blogs are more of a “homesteading” situation than collective property. Someone makes a claim to a certain URL within the blogspot.com domain, sets up their blog, and thereafter they are the owner of that space.

Collective property doesn’t work because of the tragedy of the commons. As an example, let’s say that Google put into the terms of service that if you set up a blog within Blogger, you have to allow anyone to contribute posts to it. Thereafter, every blog on Blogger would truly be collective property. I predict that within a few months, Blogger would cease to exist. While a free blog on Blogger may not seem like “property”, it certainly feels like property to those who have one. The people who have those blogs talk about “my” blog or “our” blog (if it is a group blog like this one), not a blog belonging to “the community”.

A similar issue is currently occurring with Wikipedia. Wikipedia is truly a commons, where anyone has the ability to edit entries on any subject, without consideration to the credentials of those who make the edits. At the beginning, Wikipedia was fairly reliable. Over time, though, Wikipedia has proven to be a completely unreliable source of information. When you’re looking up information on a topic even remotely political, Wikipedia is a source that must be corroborated by multiple other sources before it should be trusted. The reason is that Wikipedia’s design as a commons ensures that the topics it covers may be more exhaustive than other encyclopedias, but it cannot claim any reasonable expectation of accuracy. Such a tendency to put out false information is almost expected on a topic of political significance, or anything controversial, but as Sean Lynch of Catallarchy pointed out, this is the case even on such non-controversial topics as the storage of hydrogen peroxide. The advantage of a commons like Wikipedia is that everyone can use it. The disadvantage of a commons like Wikipedia is that you can’t trust people to use it wisely.

The difference between a commons and private property is profound. Property is a very real, human idea. Whether that property is a house, a car, a stereo, or a blog, there is a human desire to control that which is “mine”. There is further a human desire to protect that property from the control of others. When that property cannot be defended, the property becomes worthless.

If tomorrow, the government told me that I had to open my house or my car to let anyone in the community use it as they pleased, I would expect that my house and car would rapidly deteriorate, because there would be no incentive for the people who use it to contribute to its upkeep. Likewise, if tomorrow the government declared that I had to open The Liberty Papers to anyone who wished to post to the front page, you can be sure that The Liberty Papers would deteriorate. The contributors who were first invited to this blog when Eric started it 18 months ago were chosen because they shared a common political outlook, and because Eric believed that they would add to a richer blog. Those who we invited (“we”, because while this blog may have one legal owner, we share decision-making amongst the group) after I took over for Eric were invited for the same reason. If we were forced to allow anyone to post here, it would cease to be The Liberty Papers, as the new contributors would not be “selected” in order to provide a libertarian message. It might become, based on some of our recent comments, the “We Love Hugo Chavez Papers”. At that point, you can be sure that pretty much all of the original contributors would stop caring and stop contributing. And you can be sure that we contributors wouldn’t be willing to put up money for hosting costs to espouse a political ideology on “our” blog that goes against our own beliefs.

Humans have amazing capacities and desire for creativity. Some may think that some of the pages on the web are designed for others, but I would say that this is not the case. For example, I regularly check out beeradvocate.com. This is a site devoted to all things beer. Now, some may suggest that it was created by the Alstrom brothers in order to give a beer-related web site to the world. I don’t agree. I think it was created by two brothers who love beer and wanted to build something. It wasn’t so much about giving something to beer drinkers worldwide, so much that it was about creating something they were interested in and could call their own. If, again, the government said that they must open the inner workings of their site to anyone who wanted to control it, I think they would be forced to throw up their hands and stop caring, because the work that they created out of love and interest for beer would cease to be what they wanted it to be.

The web has become the wonderful collection of information and communication because people have a desire to create and build, not a desire to donate. When you take away the ownership, the ability to control what you’ve built, you take away the incentive to build. This isn’t like building a home and selling it to someone, there’s not a lot of money to be earned by building the average blog or web site. Most people in this world build what they want to build because they love to do it. You take away a person’s ability to control their creation, and they will cease to build. Some would say that the world would be a better place if this were not the case, but those people are tilting at windmills. Human nature and private property rights are inextricably linked. When you try to break that link, bad things happen. And, like Venezuela under a “collective property” arrangement, we’d all be poorer if the Web was collective property.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 8:12 pm || Permalink || Comments (8) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Property Rights,Socialism,The Contributors,Theory and Ideas
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March 19, 2007

200,000

Within the last few minutes, the 200,000th unique visitor as recorded by Sitemeter passed through The Liberty Papers. We reached the 100,000 mark on January 23, 2007 and it took about 428 days of posting to get that far. In other words, in the past 55 days, we’ve had as many visitors as we did during the first 14 months of existence.

The one thing I attribute that to is the great group of contributors that we’ve got here, and the great job they’ve all done in posting things that people want to read, even when it causes no small degree of controversy.

We’ve been having some discussions about where to take The Liberty Papers next, so keep an eye out for what will hopefully be some exciting additions. The great writing will still be here, of course, but we’re hoping to bring some new things that will keep all you new readers coming back for more.

And that, is where I’d like to end this little bit of self-congratulation. If you’ve found this site thanks to a link from Reddit, or Google News, or anyplace else for that matter. Stick around and read what else we’ve got here, and come back often because there’s more to come.

Related Posts:

100,000

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 6:38 pm || Permalink || Comments (2) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Admin,The Contributors
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January 23, 2007

100,000

According to Sitemeter, The Liberty Papers crossed the 100,000 mark as far as unique visits today. It’s quite a milestone, especially considering that over 40,000 of those visits occurred in the last two months.

I’d like to thank the contributors here, who have turned a blog that was fairly inactive a few months ago into a very vibrant site. I’d also like to thank all those who come here to read and comment, as some of the discussions generated have been quite interesting.

2007 should mean big things here, so stick around!

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 8:47 am || Permalink || Comments (3) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Admin,The Contributors
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December 24, 2006

Christmas Day Post

The contributors would like to wish all of our readers a Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas.

Posted By: Kevin @ 11:07 pm || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: The Contributors
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December 3, 2006

Liberty Slate 2008

If you have been reading this blog for quite some time, you’ll know that we’re not exactly big fans of the Republican party in its current state. We think they’re for big government, that they are hypocrites on free trade, and that they don’t realize how out of touch they are with limited-government voters.

However, I would like to break the news on this blog about an effort by libertarian and small government conservative Republican activists to take back OUR party from the big government conservatives who run it. The effort is called LibertySlate08. The purpose of the project is to find and recruit at least 12 candidates to challenge big government Republican incumbents in the Republican primaries in 2008. Some of the main issues being championed are a return to fiscal discipline, term limits for Congressmen, opposition to the draft, and an end to war in Iraq (although I don’t see the latter two being serious issues in 2008).

For full disclosure, I am involved in this project and I have applied to be one of the project’s bloggers.

Right now, we are identifying possible Republican incumbants to challenge and we are already beginning to recruit candidates to take them on. What we need right now are the following:

1) People who are willing to take on these entrenched incumbants.
2) People who are willing to work on the campaigns for the people we have recruited in any capacity from campaign manager on down.
3) Someone who can design and build a website for cheap.
4) Any suggestions for what you can do to help this project along.

The time to take back our party is in 2008. We have the plan to do it, now join us. I will be keeping you informed over the next two years with updates and plans for how we’re going to do this. Hopefully, I will also be giving you some candidate profiles and about the men and women who already have and will step up to challenge these entrenched big government incumbants.

Posted By: Kevin @ 10:48 am || Permalink || Comments (2) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Politics,The Contributors
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November 22, 2006

Hello all…

First let me say thanks to Brad for allowing me to post here. This is a blog that has been a regular read for me for a several months now and I’m honored to be given the privilege to post here.

As Brad has said, I have my own site, JasonPye.com, which is a blog which is generally focused on my home county and Georgia politics. I live in a very “red” county and my blog has become a source of news to my community, so it’s hard for me to get into libertarian and capitalist philosophy. I also contribute to Peach Pundit, a blog dedicated to Georgia politics.

I look forward to posting here so I can get more into libertarian philosophy in current events.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go watch the third season of Bullshit! that came in the mail today.

Posted By: Jason Pye @ 12:30 pm || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: The Contributors
• • •

Comrades, I Hereby Declare the Revolution

A revolution? Comrades? But this is a classic liberal blog, isn’t it? In a word, yes. And it will remain so. I use the word “comrade” in it’s older sense, not the socialist meaning of egalitarianism and absolute equality of class, but in the fraternal sense. We are comrades, brothers and sisters seeking liberty.

But, a revolution? Yes, a revolution. Not a violent one, I don’t advocate that. A revolution in thought, a continuation of the Liberal revolution that began in Scotland nearly 300 years ago.

Who am I and why am I posting here? You may recognize the name and the quote that I chose to introduce myself with. Like Heinlein’s celebrated novel, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”, I am a construct, a false front. This is a nom de guerre, appropriate to a revolutionary. I’m a concerned citizen, a believer in liberty, a classic liberal following in the footsteps of giants. Men like Adam Smith, Thomas Paine, and Milton Friedman. I have no illusions that I am their equal, that I will start revolutions in thought and theory on par with theirs. Perhaps, though, I can sway one of you out there to see the value of liberty and the danger of collectivism. And you can touch one person yourself. And so on. And we change some portion of the world.

So, citizens, lend me your ears, for I have things to say, things I hold dear. Things of deep importance if we are to retain those small amounts of liberty that our masters in Washington have decided are meet for us to keep. I intend to share my thoughts on the nature of the individual, the society, the government, the rights of man. And we will see if I can change the world in some small way.

p.s. You might want to keep an eye out for my pal Simon Jester, I hear he may get into the swing again as well.

Posted By: Adam Selene @ 12:18 pm || Permalink || Comments (3) || TrackBack URI || Categories: The Contributors
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Announcements

All,

I’d like to welcome two new contributors to The Liberty Papers. The first is Jason Pye, who currently hosts his own blog, and will now be contributing here. The other is Adam Selene, who does not currently have a personal blog, but has been around the blogosphere for a while and will be an excellent addition. So to the both of you, welcome!

UPDATE: One more to come… Simon Jester will be joining us soon.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 11:41 am || Permalink || Comments (3) || TrackBack URI || Categories: The Contributors
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November 21, 2006

Happy Anniversary

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the first posting here at The Liberty Papers.

Twelve months and exactly 400 posts later, and thanks to some great contributors, I think its fair to say we’ve done alot. Hey, 52,000+ visitors can’t be wrong.

Great work everyone !

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 6:40 pm || Permalink || Comments (6) || TrackBack URI || Categories: General,The Contributors
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September 12, 2006

Hi Everybody!

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.)

Posted By: mike @ 10:13 pm || Permalink || Comments (10) || TrackBack URI || Categories: General,The Contributors
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July 9, 2006

Interrupting Serious Blogging

I don’t care about Italy winning the World Cup or the latest Pirates of the Carribean movie setting a new Hollywood record.

Serious, liberty-minded blogging will now resume.

Posted By: Kevin @ 7:33 pm || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: General,The Contributors
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May 26, 2006

Just Call Me Token…

My Blog

I make it my business to understand what makes people tick. In high school, by virtue of being big, older-looking, and trustworthy, my peers laid upon me the mantle of lay psychologist. In undergrad, I studied the biology of the brain itself. And then on a lark I went off to england to get a master’s in human evolution and primate behavio(u)ral ecology. Now, at 22, I’m trying (mostly failing) to keep playing primatologist as I enter my second year of medical school, eventually to become a child and adolescent psychiatrist. Understanding a man’s political ideology is in many ways merely a matter of understanding his psychological mindset. Understanding the nuts and bolts of how a person interacts with and within a political system merely an extension of behavioral ecology (of which economics is a subfield).

I blog because I love to write and I love to think. I love writing about why I think the way I do (philosophy). I blog because I think I have an interesting take on the world, being a broadly educated guy who attempts to apply the lessons of evolution and ecology to human interaction. I blog because you can only have one (1.25 in my case) career, but you can have many interests. And, of course, I blog because it’s a good ego boost.

Words and Numbers. That’s how I see the world. Words are important, they define what we experience, they help us categorize and systematize it. They help turn the infinite complexity around us into an intelligible construct. And numbers. Whether Newton’s Theory of Universal Gravitation or the Laws of Supply and Demand, numbers are a powerful predictive force, even when it comes to understanding the choices that as complex a being as a human makes.

I call myself a classical liberal because I’m dissatisfied with both groups claiming to be the tradition’s ideological heirs. Libertarians deify self-interest in an almost Randian way while failing to acknowledge that the market has limitations. Progressives on the other hand, posit that freedom and comfort are interchangeable and close their eyes to the evidence that humans are and will always be self-interested. One group takes too superficial a view of a valid concept (the efficiency of the market). In addition to its oxymoronic motto of “greater freedom through increased regulation!”, the other posits a political system based upon assumptions known to be completely invalid (group selection). Both are childish.

As a classical liberal I believe government’s role should be minimal, to protect our inalienable rights and to intervene where self-interested individuals acting in a self-interested manner will fail to do what is necessary to preserve their rights and maintain their liberty(Tragedy of the Commons). It’s what Chris calls minarchy. The market isn’t perfect. If it was we wouldn’t need any government. I will from time to time talk about where government intrusion may be necessary (education for instance…although not as it is now), but I will never say the state intrusion is good, merely necessary. Just like an amputation that could save your life.

Oh. For those of you who don’t get the joke in the title, here you go. I’m not black, but I do own a few do-rags, can rap along with Twista and Busta when I feel like it, and…I can dance.

Posted By: Nick @ 8:16 pm || Permalink || Comments (24) || TrackBack URI || Categories: The Contributors
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November 22, 2005

About Quincy – The (highly) abridged version

In the blogosphere I go by Quincy, which is a nickname I picked up in high school. I’m a twenty-something working as a software designer at an insurance company here in Marin County, CA. Odd place to find someone with my pro-liberty beliefs, I know. More on that in a moment. I spend my off time as a trumpet player, classical singer, composer, and conductor. I also spend it blogging, obviously.

So, why the nickname? Well, as you may have imagined, Marin County is not exactly friendly to those who don’t ascribe to the progressive ideology, and as you can gather from my presence at this blog, I don’t. Actually, my interest in liberty was born out of Marin’s progressive orthodoxy. I grew up here, and for a while as an early teen bought into the progressive ideology. Then I began to compare Marin’s politics with the writings of the founding fathers and realized something was wrong. By the time I was a senior in high school, I was quite Jeffersonian in my beliefs and a constant pain in the rear to my civics teacher, who was a devotee of FDR.

So, that’s it. If you want to get to know more about my personal views, come on by my blog, Pith ‘n Vinegar, and check it out.

Posted By: Quincy @ 9:31 pm || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: The Contributors
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Robert: a thumbnail sketch

I, along with my co-contributors, recognize that liberty inheres to the generic viagra individual; liberty is not that which is granted by governments or benevolent rulers. It's as an individual that I think and act, with the full understanding that I, alone, am responsible for the consequences of my thoughts and actions. In light of that, it is incumbent upon me to cultivate a set of core principles—guided by ethics and morals—by which to govern my life. But don’t misunderstand, I’m not speaking of moralism, but rather morality. Among other things, that is what informs my world-view, my political philosophy, etc.

I’m not real fond of any of our major political parties, but I have, in the recent past, held my nose and

voted Republican. However, the way things look at present, I’m seriously thinking of voting for gridlock. It may be the best short-term solution to the problem of ever-evaporating individual liberties.

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While I happen to be a Christian, I'm somewhat atypical. My beliefs are inconsistent with the religious right, as well as the religious left. In short, I’m not a proselytizer, so suffice it to say: my faith will rarely, if ever,

be the subject of my posts on this particular blog.

I’m happily divorced and the single father of three kids: Kelsey, Levi and Amaris. I’m viagra or cialis a residential architect, primarily focusing on the various classical European styles; those of the 17th through the 19th centuries.

One more thing. I just want to emphasize the fact that I own my life…who owns you?

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Posted By: Robert @ 9:22 pm || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: The Contributors
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Who Am I ? Why Am I Here ?

A very good question, some people who know me might say.

I’m a 37 year old attorney living in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. Those of you who know Washington know that it is surrounding by an eight-lane highway called the Beltway. My homestead is about 30 miles south of the Beltway, hence the admittedly unoriginal name for my blog, Below The Beltway

My experience with politics goes further back than I care to remember sometimes. I can remember following the Presidential election of 1976 as a class project in 3rd grade. I was in 6th grade when the Iranian Hostage Crisis took place and recall celebrating with a few friends the day Ronald Reagan was elected President. For a time in high school and college I was involved in politics on the local and state levels in the Republican Party, volunteering on campaigns, serving for several months as unpaid volunteer/intern in the District office of what was then the only conservative Congressman in the entire State of New Jersey. And, it was probably my interest in politics that most signficantly motivated my decision to go to law school.

On the intellectual side, I guess its fair to say that I started out as a conservative of some variety and gradually became a libertarian. In college, I was a subscriber to National Review and started reading Milton Friedman and other economists. That eventually led me to Hayek, Mises, and Rothbard. Then the floodgates started to open. I discovered Ayn Rand and read everything she wrote as fast as I could. For a time, I considered myself an Objectivist but, that infatuation started to fade as I became more familiar with some of the more cult-like elements of that philosophy.

I’ve also distanced myself from the more extreme elements of the libertarian movement. I was, I will admit, not entirely a supporter of the first Gulf War. I found the idea of American soldiers being sent into battle to defend the Kuwaiti and Saudi Royal families and their 15th Century ideologies to be offensive. I opposed the interventions in Somalia and the former Yugoslavia. But then, September 11th happened. Call me a pro-war libertarian who watched the Twin Towers fall live on television. All I know is that the evidence is clear that Western Civilization is in a fight for its own survival right now. Following the naive foreign policy advocated by the Libertarian Party and its pacifist allies is, quite frankly, a prescription for suicide.

Anyway, I started blogging, most appropriately I might say, on July 4th 2005. I’d been reading blogs for years before then and had told myself on more than one occasion that I would start one myself. Along with research, writing is one of the things I enjoy most about being an attorney and its nice to have an outlet to write about the things that interest, amuse or annoy me on a daily basis.

In addition to writing, I enjoy listening to music, specifically jazz. Being from New Jersey, I suppose its inevitable that I’m a big Frank Sinatra fan, although the one regret I have is that I passed up the one opportunity I had to see him in concert. When I’m not enjoying time with my wife and dog, writing, practicing law, or listening to Sinatra, I am also a fan of the New York Yankees and, thanks to my lovely bride, the Ohio State Buckeyes. I am a huge science fiction fan and have read pretty much everything written by Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke; currently, I am in the process of continuing to discover the alternate-history fiction written by Harry Turtledove.

Cross-posted at Below The Beltway, because I’m really in need of a biographical post.

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 7:38 pm || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: The Contributors
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A Bit About Kevin

I am a 21 year old university student attending Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. My majors are history and political science. My politics are roughly classical liberal, like everyone else here, and I normally self-identify as a libertarian though I have been described and self-identify sometimes as a conservative. I believe the only legitimate use for government is to protect the rights to life, liberty, and property against those who seek to violate those rights.

My political experience is mostly in the Republican Party. From September 2004 until March 2005, I was the Director of Communications for the SLU College Republicans. Then in March, I became Assistant Minister of Truth for Bureaucrash and in April, became Minister of Operations until I left in September after Hurricane Katrina.

I believe that our Founding Fathers were the continuation of much older and broader trend toward liberty that began in Classical Greece and Rome, developed further in Britain, and was exported throughout the Anglosphere and blossomed into our own revolution and successful (so far) Republic. I also believe that the way to preserve the libertarian-conservative alliance is for us to rediscover our Anglosphere perspective that yes calls for a strong civil society including families and other voluntary community and cultural institutions, but at the same time supports the free market, individual liberty, and keeping these institutions voluntary.

Other than writing, I enjoy listening to both new and classic rock, reading great writers like Clancy, Heinlein, Pournelle; playing strategy games on my computer, debating history and politics with my friends, shooting my Mosin-Nagant 91/30 and .22, and occassionally watching baseball and football.

My other blog is Louisiana Libertarian where I write about everything from foreign policy to heckling the idiots, lunatics, populists, and socialists who run Louisiana.

Posted By: Kevin @ 12:48 pm || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: The Contributors
• • •

What the Heck is a Muscular Minarchist?

I am a Muscular Minarchist.

I believe in an absolutely minimalist government that provides a strong defense. I want a government that stays out of my wallet, out of my bedroom, and out of my business.

I realize that’s a lot to ask, but I don’t believe it should be.

I write, because from time to time I must express my anger, frustration, ire, pique, and general cussedness in a format that is unlikely to result in my imprisonment.

I can just see it now “Radical right wing gun nut takes out entire joint session of congress”…

Hey a guy can dream can’t he?

Of course I’m not a radical right wing anything; I’m a radical about liberty. I make a careful note that I am a philosophical libertarian (note the small L) and I take those principles seriously. Since I hold all collectivism as an inherent evil, that by the very definition used by modern media, is radical right wing.

The thing is, my opposition to collectivism is from all sides. I reject collectivist government, as much as I reject collectivist social policy, as much as I reject collectivist moral policy, or religion, or any other concentration of the power to coercively limit liberty.

I believe in Liberty, Responsiblity, Service, and Honor… I guess I’m just funny that way.

Okay so who am I?

Well I’m an eight year veteran of the United States Air Force, and an information, physical, and electronic security consultant, and systems architect.

Personally, I’m an ex husband, a boyfriend, a brother, a friend, and a son; a shooter, a singer, a guitar player, a driver, a rider, a sailor, a pilot, a builder, a craftsman, a hunter, an outdoorsman, a cook, a reader, a writer, and a poet.

I’m also a hard core geek; in fact I revel in my geekitude. I work, play, game, read, speek, think, drink and live geek.

And now, I’m getting tired of talking about me, so if you want more, look at my personal site and blog… and let the ranting begin

Posted By: Chris @ 9:47 am || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: The Contributors
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Who is Kay?

Wife, Mother, Political “Junkie”, Teacher, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Photographer . . . Not necessarily in that order! As a home-schooling mom, I wear a lot of hats.

I’m Kay (known to some of you as Left Brain Female), a 40-something who loves her life, family, and freedom. In my work life before children, I was a secretary, sales representative, catering manager, reservations manager, typographer & editor. In my personal life before children, I was a student pilot, amateur actress, genealogist and bookworm. My widely varied background has translated fairly well to being a stay-at-home mom. I no longer fly (never did get my pilots license – I was young and it became cost prohibative – but I did solo a few times). I’m no longer involved in little theater (although that could change one day), I still love genealogy and have traced my family history back to the 1500′s in early America. I don’t read as much as I used to read, and I tend to be more familiar these days with children’s authors than others. I generally prefer great literature rather than bubble-gum non-nutritional junk food for the mind, and I’m trying to instill that preference in my daughters, who at 9 and 11 enjoy reading and learning about history.

My hubby, Tony (aka SurfinDaddy) is a 50-something who enjoys surfing (having grown up about two blocks from the beach) and rather than be a surf widow, when the waves are good, we go with him to play on the beach and I do some amateur surf photography. Tony is very laid-back and has patiently listened to me over the years as I’ve ranted over political issues that irritate me – and in the process has become a great sounding board as well. He often helps to congeal my thoughts into something a bit more cohesive – and encourages me to put them in writing.

I became a real computer geek after I quit my job when our youngest was born – I’ve built and maintained several computers and played around with a number of websites. I really got inspired after 9/11 and the Iraq War began to try to see if there were anything I could do to make a difference. Bloggers 4 Freedom was born of that thought, and while it hasn’t set the world on fire, it certainly helped with my mental attitude – just the act of “doing something” is cathartic for me.

While my family attends church regularly, and I am daughter of a minister, you won’t hear a lot from me on the subject of Christianity. For one thing, it was (and is) ingrained in me that talk is cheap – and actions speak louder than words. Words are powerful – but only if they’re directed at someone who is interested in hearing what you have to say – and as most people are not looking to be “converted” to anyone’s way of thinking, my personal credo is that in the public forum, God doesn’t need me to open my mouth to anyone – He just expects me to conduct my behavior in such a way that others will see and glorify Him. And believe you me, when I don’t, I suffer the pangs of my own transgressions. And, politically, there are a number of so-called Christian “hot-buttons” that I refuse to touch, because, frankly, I don’t believe they have any business in politics. So while I may personally hold strong feelings about the morality of those issues, don’t expect to see me asking the government to legislate on them.

So you see, I’m very much on the side of the Sovreign Individual be it Libertarian, Rational Anarchist, or whatever you choose to call it.

Posted By: Kay @ 6:21 am || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: The Contributors
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