Liberty and Power

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  • Welcome to the Desert of Huckabee

    by Roderick T. Long


    Mike Huckabee projects such an aura of cuddly friendliness, and in reality he is such a vile, bloodthirsty creep.

    Just saw him favourably quoting these words from MLK’s Letter from Birmingham Jail:

    One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.” Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.

  • Why Fight for King and Country?

    by Robert Higgs

    There is something monstrously out of whack about going to war for a large nation state.

    I can understand why a man might take up arms in defense of himself, his family, his friends, perhaps even his neighborhood or his town. But once we get past the lived-in milieu, a man’s risking his life, limbs, health, and mental composure to fight for a large politically defined unit makes less and less sense, the larger the unit. Why, for example, should a man from Arizona go to war on behalf of people from New Jersey, people with whom he is not acquainted, people about whom he knows little or nothing. The man from Arizona might well have more in common with and greater concern for a typical “enemy” soldier than he has for the people of New Jersey. He might even dislike people from New Jersey and like the enemy people.

  • Dry Humor

    by Roderick T. Long


    Although she did not drink martinis, she graciously prepared a double for me every evening before dinner. I introduced her to Tanqueray gin and Noilly Pratt vermouth, the ingredients for a perfect martini. Sensitive husband that I was, I courteously congratulated her every day on a fine martini, cautiously suggesting that it might be a touch drier. Day after day, I congratulated her, suggesting that it might be a touch drier still. One day I sipped the martini and bathed her in kisses: “Betsey, you’re wonderful, it’s perfect.” She did not take well to my gushing. Betsey almost never raised her voice, but raise it she did: “I knew it! I knew it! Of course I’m wonderful! Of course it’s perfect! You’re drinking straight gin.”
    (Eugene D. Genovese, about his wife Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, in Miss Betsey: A Memoir of Marriage)

    (No, I haven’t read the whole book. If I want to read a radical socialist turned right-wing opportunist, I can always read Marx.)


  • Climate Change Fear Mongering

    by Keith Halderman

    Those who would use the natural fact that earth’s climate has been continuously changing since it existed to increase the power of government to control and steal from ordinary people gave away their game in two ways.  First they started calling global warming climate change and that highlights the point that their theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming ignores the fact that the extreme instances of climate change occurred long before mankind was releasing any significant amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. For example when world temperatures changed around the year 1000 altering Greenland into a temperate agriculturally productive area, there were no gas guzzling SUVs or coal fired electricity generating plants.

  • Just Wondering

    by Sheldon Richman

    Has the NSA spying ceased pending the debate?  

  • The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies: A New Era Begins

    by Chris Matthew Sciabarra

    The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies begins a new era this year: a collaboration with Pennsylvania State University Press, which will manage all aspects of design, production, distribution, and subscription fulfillment, while leaving the Editorial Board in full charge of the intellectual side of this grand adventure. As I state in the "Editor's Introduction: Change and Continuity," which appears in the new July 2013 issue: "In embarking on this new arrangement, the journal unveils a new look, but retains its commitment to introducing new writers to the ever-expanding world of Rand studies." And what a new look it is!

    Check out the Notablog entry here.


    by Wendy McElroy

    [This article was originally published at The Dollar Vigilante which I urge you to browse at length. Click here.]

    Two events recalled a passage from the Irish poet William Butler Yeats:


  • Readings in Revisionist History

    by Sheldon Richman

    I've been asked to post my list of readings in revisionist history separately so the link can be distributed. I haven't read all these books, but those I haven't gotten to yet come highly recommended by people I respect. I will add to the list from time to time.

  • The Subversive Implications of the Fugitive

    by David T. Beito

    I have been enjoying episodes from "The Fugitive" on ME TV from the 1960s starring the great, but vastly underrated, David Janssen. The show communicates a highly subversive message and reveals some interesting contrasts between the 1960s and today. The main character, Richard Kimball, a respected physician in his community, has been convicted of first-degree murder by a jury of his peers but escapes on his way to the death house.

    Throughout the run of the series, dozens, perhaps hundreds, of people brazenly lie to the police and otherwise commit potential felonies to protect him. They make most "extreme" anti-government folks of 2013 look like wimps by comparison in their willingness to defy authority in the service of a higher moral cause.

    Revealingly, Kimball, for his part, is able find a wide range of jobs without, apparently, once being asked to provide his social security number! Federal law enforcement authorities are almost completely absent and Kimball's pursuit seems to be completely a matter for local police departments.

  • The Continuing Relevance of Philip K. Dick

    by Amy H. Sturgis

    From J.R. Dunn: Philip K. Dick and Our Predicament


    What is this but a Philip K. Dick universe?

    Dick, it seems, was a far superior prophet than the colleagues who disdained him, because, unlike many of them, he had a line on human nature, which never changes.

    So what does Dick have to say about surviving and prevailing in this world?

  • The Koch Brothers

    by Keith Halderman

    I have great admiration for the Koch brothers who seem to be arch villains to the academic and news media elite who spend their time relentlessly spewing out disingenuous and ultimately destructive propaganda supporting the idea that organizing principle of our society should be the use of force and coercion, the methodology of government and the condition of slavery, rather than cooperation for mutual benefit, the methodology of the free market and the condition of free men.

  • The Stooges v. Japanese Internment Escapees

    by David T. Beito

    Viewing this is quite an experience. Larry, Moe, and Curly capture several menacing men who "escaped" from a Japanese "relocation camp" during World War II. The actors, who are all Asian, wear false buck teeth. They are dressed like convicts, thus better fitting the private comment of Franklin D. Roosevelt (the Teflon president in nearly every history department) that his executive order would create "concentration" rather than "internment" camps.

    Three Stooges - The Yoke's On Me by XxChevellexX

  • Demagogy of Machin-Toomey

    by Sheldon Richman


    The Manchin-Toomey expansion of background checks to private gun sales was reasonable legislation, its advocates insist, because it would have forbidden the creation of a federal registry and exempted transfers of guns between family members and between friends.

    Those features appear to be in the bill, but why should that matter? The champions of Manchin-Toomey would have us believe that once the bill passed, no more gun laws would ever be proposed again. That is, they’re either naïve or dishonest. I don’t think they’re naïve.

    MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, a former member of the House and self-styled Second Amendment man who supported Manchin-Toomey, is an egregious example of this dishonesty. He spent weeks mocking opponents for not being mollified by the bill’s compromises. Can he be unfamiliar with the legislative tactic of gradualism? Start a program small to minimize opposition, then expand it in later years when people have become inured.

  • Panarchical Panegyric

    by Roderick T. Long

    It’s often been speculated that Paul-Émile de Puydt’s 1860 essay Panarchy might have been influenced by his fellow Belgian Gustave de Molinari’s similar ideas about competitive security services in his 1849 works The Production of Security and Soirées on the Rue Saint-Lazare.

    Well, I don’t have new light on that question, exactly, but I have discovered that De Puydt’s essay received a highly favourable review in a journal edited by Molinari. I’ve just translated and posted the review, here. 

  • Finalists Announced for the Prometheus Awards (Pro-Liberty!)

    by Amy H. Sturgis

    The Libertarian Futurist Society will present its Prometheus Awards ceremony Labor Day weekend at the World Science Fiction Convention. Winners for Best Novel and Best Classic Fiction (Hall of Fame) will be presented in San Antonio, Texas at LoneStarCon3, the 71st Annual World Science Fiction Convention to be held from August 29th through September 2, 2013.
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