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Displaying 141-150 of 25838 results.
ID: 2031
Uid: 26
Author: 32
Category: 41
Title: FRIEDMAN'S "PRESIDENTS REMADE BY WAR"
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Body: <P>Thomas Friedman, who supports the war in Iraq, notes in his Sunday <I>New York Times</i> article,"<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/07/opinion/07FRIE.html">Presidents Remade by War</a>," that the events of war often transform presidents. Such men as Lincoln and Wilson moved toward broader,"bigger purpose" in the wars in which they were engaged. What started out for Lincoln as a war to preserve the Union became a war to fulfill the promise of the Declaration of Independence. What started out as a purely European mess for Wilson became a war to make the world safe for democracy. And what started out as a war to strip Iraq of weapons of mass destruction has now become a war of democratic nation-building, in the hands of George W. Bush. <P>It should not be forgotten, however, that both the Civil War and World War I entailed massive increases in the scope and power of government&#8212;increases that simply became institutionalized in the postwar period, as a means to achieving such"bigger purpose." As Jeffrey Rogers Hummel argues, the history of the American Civil War was one of <I>Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men</i>. It entailed a face-off between Republican neomercantilism and confederate war socialism, and while slavery ended, the war had perennial deleterious effects on American political institutions and culture. And, as Thomas Fleming argues, US involvement in World War I only provided <I>The Illusion of Victory</i>. It resulted in a massive increase in US government power at home and abroad, and laid the basis for the nightmarish events that would engulf the globe in a Second World War and beyond. <P>It matters not if such wars are pursued for petty reasons or for"bigger purpose." Cliche though it is, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. And it is often the case that the"nobler" the intention, the more hellish the long-term consequences. <P>Ironically, Friedman embraces the nobler goal of democratic nation-building. He says he's"partial to Mr. Bush's new emphasis on the freedom and democracy argument ... the only compelling rationale for the Iraqi war." But this really is not a <I>new</i> emphasis. The promise of bringing"democracy" to Iraq and to the Middle East in general has been a part of the neoconservative rationale for this war from the beginning. Mr. Bush may have emphasized the WMD issue as a rhetorical device, he may have eschewed the notion of democratic"nation-building" as a presidential candidate, but as President, he has bought into this Wilsonian neocon project in a very big way. <P>Friedman ponders"how deeply Mr. Bush has internalized this democracy agenda, which is going to be a long, costly enterprise," but he finds hope in Bush's"heartfelt, almost ... religious conviction" in the stated goals."Only the future will tell us whether his attachment to this issue is the product of epiphany or expediency&#8212;or both." <P>From my perspective, such"religious conviction" might well contribute to another"bigger purpose," with"religious" implications. It's called Armageddon, and the only thing"democratic" about it is that the majority of us will perish.
ID: 2032
Uid: 18
Author: 32
Category: 41
Title: GUEST BLOGGER GREETINGS
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Body: Thanks to Professor Beito for the invitation to guest-blog at L&P. I'm honored to share a space with so many libertarians I admire, not least for their recognition of the centrality of the war issue and their refusal to drop libertarianism at the water's edge.<p> I suppose I should say a word or two about myself. I work quite happily as senior editor at the Cato Institute, though in anything I write here or on <a href="http://genehealy.com">my own website</a>, I'm speaking for myself, not my employer. I also live inside the Beltway, though my neighborhood looks more like El Salvador than K Street. I prefer it that way. <p> I know, I'm supposed to say how <i>awful</i> it is to live and work in Washington D.C. But I like it. If you've got a sense of humor and a taste for the grotesque--which you'd better if you make your living following politics--living in D.C. gives you ringside seats. Besides, liberty isn't totally dead in the nation's capital. <a href="http://willwilkinson.net/flybottle/2003_11_30_archive.html#107056643197413987">We still allow smoking in bars</a>. <p>
ID: 2033
Uid: 16
Author: 32
Category: 41
Title: PRO-WAR LOONIES GET A FREE PASS FROM HOROWITZ
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Body: David Horowitz is <a href="http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=11211"> complaining again <a> about the role of wacko and extreme groups like International ANSWER in the antiwar movement. International ANSWER is indeed a scary, pro-Communist sect which deserves to be slammed by all people of good will. In fact, many antiwar activists, writing in journals such as Salon, have done precisely that. I find it a bit disingenuous, however, that Horowitz is so ready to criticize extremists in the antiwar movement but is relatively silent about the loonies on the pro-war side.<P> A case in point is Hal Lindsay, the author of the Late, Great Planet Earth, and a zealous supporter of the war. Lindsay believes that the <a href="http://www.middleeastbooks.com/html/books/halsell-f.html"> entire Jewish population will be wiped out <a> in the end times, except for 144,000 Jewish &#8220;Billy Grahams.&#8221; His views on American foreign policy, including support for the war, are in great part motivated by these beliefs. <P> When Horowitz leads by example and starts exposing and criticizing the Hal Lindsay faction in the pro-war movement, he might be able to make a more credible case. <P>
ID: 2034
Uid: 16
Author: 32
Category: 41
Title: FREE SPEECH/ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAWS
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Body: <a href="http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=11196"> Frontpage Magazine <a> has an interview with David Bernstein, the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1930865538/qid=1070981121/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/002-2000881-8808835?v=glance&s=books"> You Can&#8217;t Say That! <a>(Cato Institute, 2003). The book shows how anti-discrimination laws have undermined free speech. David recently gave a fine speech on this subject at the University of Alabama at an event co-sponsored by the Federalist Society and the Alabama Scholars Association.
ID: 2035
Uid: 26
Author: 32
Category: 41
Title: AYN RAND'S "OBJECTIVISM" IS DEAD! LONG LIVE THE RANDIANS!
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Body: <P>That's the profoundly provocative message of L&P colleague Arthur Silber in his essay"<a href="http://coldfury.com/reason/comments.php?id=P1293_0_1_0">Please Do <I>Not</i> Call Me an 'Objectivist'</a>," at the Light of Reason blog. And it's a message with which I find myself largely in agreement. <P>I say"largely" because I know, deep down, that, in terms of the fundamentals of Ayn Rand's framework, both Arthur and I are certainly in sync with"Objectivism," the name that Rand chose for her philosophy. It is an <I>integrated</i> system of thought&#8212;of realism, egoism, individualism, and capitalism&#8212;and it irks me that those of us who embrace it may end up forfeiting the"Objectivist" label to those who undermine its essential radicalism. Given the fact that I've been calling myself a"dialectical libertarian" now for about ten years, I suppose I forfeited that label some time ago. <P>But it is hard to disguise one's disenchantment with what has become of"Objectivism" in an era of increasing US government intervention at home and abroad. Too many of its most visible spokespeople have become apologists for neoconservatism, at war with Rand's radical legacy, which I discuss <a href="http://solohq.com/Articles/Sciabarra/What_the_Hell_Has_Happened_to_the_Radical_Spirit_of_Objectivism.shtml">here</a>, <a href="http://solohq.com/Articles/Sciabarra/Understanding_the_Global_Crisis__Reclaiming_Rands_Radical_Legacy.shtml">here</a>, and <a href="http://www.freeradical.co.nz/content/59/Loyalty.shtm">here</a>. <P>I, myself, have suggested that there might be a developing distinction between"Objectivism" and"Randianism." As I argue <a href="http://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/essays/internet703-1203.htm#24-November-2003">here</a>, it is conceivable that future generations will distinguish between"Objectivist" and"Randian" schools of thought, where the"Objectivist" label would designate strict adherence to every detail of Rand's philosophic framework, and"Randian" might designate"of, relating to, or resembling" Rand's philosophic framework. In this instance, one can say that"Randian" is the broader designation, within which"Objectivist" is one possibility. <P>Rand herself was a bit uncomfortable with those who would have called themselves"Randians" or"Randists"; she wrote that she was"much too conceited to allow such a use of [her] name." On this point, she expressed"sympathy for Karl Marx who, on being told about some outrageous statements made by some Marxists, answered: 'But I am not a Marxist.'" So, she cautioned:"If you agree with some tenets of Objectivism, but disagree with others, do not call yourself an Objectivist; give proper authorship credit for the parts you agree with&#8212;and then indulge in any flights of fancy you wish, on your own." <P>With that advice in mind, I once entertained writing an article entitled"Why I No Longer Consider Myself an Objectivist." I long suspected that if I'd authored such a piece, my critics would have simply retorted:"Whoever said that you ever <I>were</i> an Objectivist?" Indeed, given my self-conscious absorption of lessons from Aristotle, Carl Menger, Herbert Spencer, Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, F. A. Hayek, Karl Marx, and Bertell Ollman, among others, I've long been accused of engaging in eclectic"flights of fancy" by the official, orthodox"guardians" of"Objectivism." But since these guardians themselves have become veritable performance artists in their selective re-creation of Rand's philosophy, bracketing out anything of any lasting radical political value that Rand ever uttered, I'd say"Objectivism" is dead. Long dead. We are all Randians now... even if I'm still convinced, on some level, that some of us are better"Objectivists" than others. <P>Paraphrasing Ayn Rand's conclusion from her essay,"For the New Intellectual," we might say:"There is an ancient slogan that applies to our present position: 'The king is dead&#8212;long live the king!' We can say, with the same dedication to the future: 'The Objectivists are dead&#8212;long live the Objectivists!'&#8212;and then proceed to fulfill the responsibility which that honorable title had once implied." <P>Reading Arthur's post reminds me of the heavy burden of such a responsibility, especially in an era when human authenticity, dignity, and freedom are at stake, demanding the integrated, <I>radical</i> response that Ayn Rand pioneered.
ID: 2036
Uid: 21
Author: 32
Category: 41
Title: PRIZE OF WAR
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Body: [Cross-posted at <a href="http://praxeology.net/unblog12-03.htm#04">In a Blog's Stead</a>] <br><br> A lot of people were outraged when <a href="http://www.nobel.se/peace/laureates/1994/arafat-bio.html">Yasser Arafat</a> won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 &#8211; a choice which people are <a href="http://www.almaz.com/nobel/wwwboard/messages/189.html">still protesting</a>. <br><br> I'm no fan of Arafat, but look at the <a href="http://www.nobel.se/peace/laureates/index.html">list of folks</a> he shares that dubious honour with. There are certainly some good people on that list (including, I believe, the only libertarian: French economist <a href="http://www.nobel.se/peace/laureates/1901/passy-bio.html">Frédéric Passy</a>, recipient of the very first prize in 1901, and perhaps the only person ever to <a href="http://herve.dequengo.free.fr/Molinari/EO/EO.htm">accuse <i>Gustave de Molinari</i> of not being sufficiently libertarian!</a>), but it also includes such pestilent warmongers as: <br><br><blockquote> Theodore Roosevelt &#8211; 1906<br> Woodrow Wilson &#8211; 1919<br> Henry Kissinger &#8211; 1973<br> Mikhail Gorbachev &#8211; 1990</blockquote> As far as I'm concerned, the Nobel Peace Prize became meaningless as of 1906. Arafat is welcome to it.
ID: 2037
Uid: 20
Author: 32
Category: 41
Title: PLAN TO EASE TRAFFIC CONGESTION
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Body: I live in Montgomery County, Maryland, often referred to as the People&#8217;s Republic of Montgomery County. It contains the suburbs to the northwest of Washington D.C. while Prince Georges County, Maryland has those to the northeast and Fairfax County, Virginia has those to the south. Traffic congestion in the entire area is absolutely horrendous. I have not been to Los Angeles since I was twelve but I find it hard to imagine anyplace worse then here.<P> Now, whenever someone is extolling the virtues of government they invariably mention roads. However, it seems the Montgomery County Council does not see the snail&#8217;s pace traffic in the area as its responsibility. They have passed an <A HREF= http://www.washtimes.com/business/20031207-114052-1773r.htm>ordinance</A> which will fine all county businesses with 50 or more employees $75 a day if they fail to come up with &#8220;traffic mitigation plans&#8221; by January first (those with less than 50 have until next January).<P> A friend of mine has a much better plan to ease the congestion. He suggests the legislative and executive offices of Montgomery County be moved to Fairfax County, while those in Fairfax County be relocated in Prince Georges County and those in that county be shifted to Montgomery County. Once the legislators and bureaucrats have to deal with the results of their negligence on a daily basis, improvements will swiftly follow.<P>
ID: 2038
Uid: 16
Author: 32
Category: 41
Title: BILLY WE HARDLY KNEW YOU, KUDOS TO OUR GUEST BLOGGER
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Body: I was a zealous Clinton hater for about ten years of my life. More than once, I turned the channel in disgust when he appeared on the news. As of late, however, my attitude has softened considerably. Looking back from the perspective of 2003, he just doesn't seem so terrible anymore, at least in relative terms. <p> After reading today&#8217;s <a href="http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/7438982.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp"> Philadelphia Inquirer <a>, I can at least take small solace that I resisted the temptation to vote for his successor: &#8220;Overall spending is up at least 16 percent since he [Bush] took office, far more than the 2 percent average annual inflation rate over the same period....after adjusting for inflation, nondefense spending decreased 0.7 percent during Clinton&#8217;s first three years in office while it increased nearly 21 percent during the comparable period under Bush.&#8221; <P> Jim Henley&#8217;s term as a guest blogger is over. We were glad to have him aboard. Jim&#8217;s own blog <a href="http://www.highclearing.com"> Unqualified Offerings<A>, is well worth visiting on a regular basis. <P>
ID: 2039
Uid: 29
Author: 0
Category: 43
Title: Pope Orrin's Bull
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Body: There was a <a href="http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/News/Editorial+/+Commentary/0FD8BB0203606D6D86256D80004B04FD?OpenDocument&amp;Headline=A+Catholic+former+judge+denounces+the+tactic+as+shameful,+hypocritical++">good column in the Post-Dispatch</a> today by a former Clinton judicial nominee regarding the Republican claim that a&nbsp; Democratic bias against Catholicism is behind the opposition to Bush's nomination of Alabama Attorney General William Pryor to the federal bench. <a href="http://www.hillnews.com/news/061803/hatch.aspx">According to Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Orrin Hatch</a>, &quot;Pryor’s opponents display 'a prejudice against traditional religious beliefs. But I’m not saying Democrats are anti-Catholic … there is a developing hostility to religious Catholic beliefs.”</p><p>Hatch's concern is rather amusing, coming as it does from the party that once flayed the Democrats as the party of &quot;rum, Romanism, and rebellion.&quot; There would be no GOP if the anti-Catholic (and anti-immigrant) Know-Nothings had not come first, smashing the Whigs and forming a major component of the new northern party, the Republicans, that soon replaced the Whigs in the two-party system. Going back to the early stages of Irish Catholic immigration, the Democratic party has been the historic home of American Catholics. Of course, times can change. The Catholic-Democratic relationship has weakened in the face of abortion and other post-60s social issues, and modern Republican know-nothingism is considerably broader in scope than it was in the 1850s, extending as it does to science, economics, international law, and basic standards of honesty.&nbsp; Yet I am guessing that it remains true that heavily Catholic areas are still pretty heavily Democratic, though not always as reliably so.</p><p>The Clinton nominee, who is Catholic, points out the major reasons why this might be so. The Catholic Church agrees with the modern, Southern WASP-dominated Republican party on very little except on sexual morality, and even if you don't agree, the Church's position on abortion is actually much better grounded than the Republican one. Here are some quotations from the column by Michael D. Schattman:</p><blockquote><p><span class="title">I was opposed by Republicans because my adherence to Catholic principles of social justice put me at odds with them and their values of social injustice.</span></p><p><span class="title">I helped a police chief prevent a race riot. I believed in the 14th Amendment, equal rights under the law, and the dignity of every individual. I questioned the wisdom of the death penalty but not its constitutionality. I rejected war's morality but recognized its historic unavoidability.</span></p><p><span class="title">They did not.</span></p><p><span class="title">Why? It begins, I think, with Pope Leo XIII. In his 1891 encyclical &quot;Rerum Novarum,&quot; he taught the dignity of work, the rights of the worker to a living wage and the justice of organized labor. Since then, the principles of Catholic social justice have matured under successive popes and the leadership of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to include:</span></p><ul><li><span class="title">An end to racial discrimination.</span></li><li><span class="title">A minimum wage.</span></li><li><span class="title">Equal employment opportunity.</span></li><li><span class="title">Housing assistance.</span></li><li><span class="title">A consistent respect for human life, encompassing opposition to abortion, euthanasia, eugenics, the death penalty, and war (with the current pope condemning the U.S. attack on Iraq).</span></li><li><span class="title">More generous immigration and refugee policies.</span></li><li><span class="title">An end to the embargo against Cuba.</span></li><li><span class="title">Increased Medicaid eligibility.</span></li><li><span class="title">National health insurance and a patient's bill of rights.</span></li></ul><p><span class="title">And the list goes on.</span></p><p><span class="title">As the bishops (not Hatch) put it in the publication &quot;Faithful Citizenship&quot; before the 2000 election, America needs a kind of politics focused on &quot;the needs of the poor . . . the pursuit of the common good&quot; and a system designed &quot;to pursue greater justice and peace.&quot;</span></p><p><span class="title">Republican rhetoric aligns with Catholic teaching on abortion, but that is the only point of convergence.</span></p></blockquote><p>Hatch's ploy reflects two major features of the current political and cultural landscape: the Christian conservative persecution complex, which impels many evangelical Protestants especially to seize the mantle of victimhood for themselves from those (the poor, racial minorities, political dissenters) they feel have unjustly stolen it; and the campaign to redefine such highly valued concepts as faith, tradition, family, and patriotism in the most narrowly Southern Baptist terms imaginable. So Orrin Hatch embraces Popery, and Tom DeLay thinks he's an Orthodox Jew. <a href="http://hnn.us/articles/913.html#081203">link</a></p>
ID: 2040
Uid: 29
Author: 0
Category: 43
Title: Minnesota Fathead (with apologies to my wife's home state)
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Body: <p>Thomas Friedman of the <i> New York Times</i> has always set my teeth on edge, combining as he does my least favorite aspects of two cultures in which I spent some formative years. A native of Minneapolis, he's got the aw-shucks, self-satisfied over-optimism of the born upper Midwesterner AND the airy disregard for the people and institutions of the U.S. --- as anything but political counters or symbols --- that suffuses the national media. In <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/03/opinion/03FRIE.html?n=Top%2fOpinion%2fEditorials%20and%20Op%2dEd%2fOp%2dEd%2fColumnists%2fThomas%20L%20Friedman">his Sunday column</a>, Friedman manages to invoke the need for &quot;the Arab-Muslim world&quot; to embrace &quot;modernity&quot; (meaning modern American culture) to &quot;make it less angry and more at ease with the world&quot; (like Mel Gibson and the Christian coalition, I suppose), while evincing a near total lack of concern for the damage that his darling Iraq War has done to the institutions that made political modernity possible in the U.S. and Great Britain.&nbsp;</p><p>Friedman claims to be taken aback by &quot;the degree of European-style anti-Americanism and anti-Bushism&quot; he finds in Britain, &quot;which Mr. Blair's personal and overt pro-Americanism has disguised.&quot; Of course, this &quot;disguise&quot; was effective only to a mind inclined to equate nations with their elites and to place little value on demonstrable public opinion. An occasional glance at British press web sites supplemented by chats with, quite frankly, any random selection of actual British people would have prepared Friedman for the shocking discovery that many or most of them do not seem to approve of their prime minister's special relationship with Bush's posterior.&nbsp;</p><p>Friedman rosins up the bow for Tony Blair, who wanted to join George's dragon-slaying mission but knew the British public was even less likely to buy it than the American public would have been without the Bush administration's fictionalization of Saddam Hussein as a supervillain on the brink of world domination. Had the case for immediate war on Iraq been made in terms that were even close to reality, I suspect a lot more Americans would have wondered whether Iraq was really something worth sidelining the economy, short-shrifting the actual war on terrorism, and scrapping age-old foreign policy traditions for. The real case would made the Iraq War seem optional as opposed to immediately imperative: &quot;Listen there's this evil dictator who looked like he was going to be big back when he was our ally, but these days, after a crushing defeat and a decade of isolation, he's got only the most hypothetical ability to threaten neighboring countries, much less us. No, he didn't have anything to do with 9/11 and hates Islamic extremists even more than we do. He's just really, really evil, and it sucks that he is still around after we kicked his ass before. Whacking him now would be ever so much cooler than guarding airports and poking around mountains and deserts looking for terrorists, who are freakin' hard to find.&quot;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p><p>In the time-dishonored fashion of the 20th-century foreign policy intellectuals and pundits, Friedman really couldn't care less how decisions are made or whether the citizens of a nation understand or support them, as long as they are the correct ones in some grand strategic or ideological sense, as determined by the great minds of foreign policy intellectuals and pundits.&nbsp;During the Cold War, the deceptions and secrets and bold strokes were a breeze to rationalize, what with the threat of imminent nuclear annihilation and all. What really bugs people of this mindset is how very hard it has become justify the grand strategy, imperial military forces, and superpower outlook they love in the absence of another superpower to compete with us.&nbsp;&nbsp; </p><p>Friedman calls the Iraq War, &quot;a war of choice&quot; -- &quot;but a good choice,&quot; he insists, as though fighting a war that Friedman now admits was not absolutely necessary could ever be a good choice. He defines the Bush-Blair lies as their solution to a p.r. problem; they needed to make Iraq seem like &quot;a war of necessity,&quot; because &quot;people in democracies don't like to fight wars of choice.&quot; What fuddy-duddies we are!&nbsp;</p><p>I am not a pacifist, but it does seem to me that there are reasons that democratic republics have made war a special case --- not just another policy option, but an extremely serious collective decision that must controlled by law and avoided whenever possible. At a basic level, democracy and republicanism are rooted in a commitment to the supreme value and dignity of the individual human life, to the idea that people have rights, that they deserve some say in decisions that affect their lives. Respect for a person's life and for their wishes go together, it seems to me. Dictators and absolute monarchs are not required to regard the latter, and in practice have shown equally little concern for the former.&nbsp; If there really is a democratic tendency to balk at merely optional violence, that is something to cherished and nurtured, not crushed with lies.&nbsp;<a href="http://hnn.us/articles/913.html#080503">link</a></p>