Category Archives: Libertarianism

The pro-war libertarian quiz

The ever interesting reason magazine posted

How far are you willing to go to win the War on Terror?

These days I’m more for finishing Iraq favorably than pro-war, but I am strongly against just “declaring victory” or “strategic redeployment” without really changing anything.

Recently, here are my answers

  1. Should the National Security Agency or CIA have the ability to monitor domestic phone calls or e-mails without obtaining judicial approval?

    Nope. I think this is an impeachable offense too. The current case (supposedly) only monitored calls that crossed borders, which is legally a different matter, if I’m understanding things correctly.

  2. Should the government have the ability to hold an American citizen without charge, indefinitely, without access to a lawyer, if he is believed to be part of a terrorist cell?

    No. If caught on the battlefield I support stripping them of citizenship (by virtue of them being a foreign army and then treating them as one would a foreigner).

  3. Can you imagine a situation in which the government would be justified in waterboarding an American citizen?

    Yes. This question doesn’t belong here at all. This should be subject to warrants as well, but there are several situations where this could be the right thing to do.

  4. Are there American journalists who should be investigated for possible treason? Should Sedition laws be re-introduced?

    If they committed treason (using the standard definition that is unrelated to journalism) ,then yes. If not, then no. No to sedition laws. FYI – I consider freedom of the press to mean publishing, not protecting confidentiality of sources. They should be able to publish whatever they want, its the cover-ups and withholding information that I don’t consider protected.

  5. Should the CIA be able to legally assassinate people in countries with which the U.S. is not at war?


  6. Should anti-terrorism cops be given every single law-enforcement tool available in non-terrorist cases?

    No. I guess this is really asking is if we should have super-cops or not.

  7. Should law enforcement be able to seize the property of a suspected (though not charged) American terrorist, and then sell it?

    No. Absolutely not. Due process of law in all things.

  8. Should the U.S. military be tasked with enforcing domestic crime?

    No. With a possible exception of keeping order in case of natural disasters.

  9. Should there be a national I.D. card, and should it be made available to law enforcement on demand?


  10. Should a higher percentage of national security-related activities and documents be made classified, and kept from the eyes of the Congress, the courts, and the public?

    No. Anything classified should have an automatic sunset date commensurate to it’s secrecy, but nothing should be indefinite.

8 out of 10.

Thursday rapid fire

  • Bush Urges End of Trade Tariffs, Subsidies – this would actually be a legacy worth remembering, and probably the first “Conservative” thing he’s done (with the exception of the tax cuts) since becoming president.
  • You Don’t Save What You Don’t Own – a nice summation of the bus thing in NOLA
  • Trial Of The Century: Keillor V. – Someone else approximately shares my feelings about Garrison Keilor
  • Via the Agitator

    …if I can’t have a libertarian paradise where state power defers to social power, or use recent events to urge others to the wisdom of such a state of affairs, I’m willing to propose a second-best for America: replace the three branches of republican government with permanent joint rule by Wal-Mart and the Salvation Army. Go on, tell me you could honestly do worse.

    From Colby Cosh

  • I can’t find a link to this anywhere, but Commie-Rocker Steve Earle sold one of his songs to be used in a truck commercial. It was quite the talk of the DBT email list (which I still read periodically)
  • Since we don’t hear anything about hurricane relief in Alabama and Mississippi can we assume that state and local government did their jobs there?

Got the I-Sticker

A few days ago I got the “i” (for individualism) stickers from this site. The sticker seems to be of good quality and is pleasantly tasteful. I have seen the counterpart of this sticker (the yellow and blue “=”) which is intended to represent egalitarianism in a subtle way. May all bumper sticker debates be this civil.

The whole thing seems to be the brainchild of one Sean Rife, who evidently works in a sign shop and can produce these at a low cost and can give them away. Thanks Sean!

I see by reading his blog that he’s attending (or just finished) an IHS Seminar, which I think is one I went to in 1998. I hope he finds it as helpful as I did.

Get your stickers here

An interesting blog find

Via Tom Palmer, comes the interesting blog Right Watch, which is dedicated to keeping an eye on the self-styled “Paleo – Libertarian” section of the American political landscape, the Paleo libs being those who identify strongly with the later thought of Murray Rothbard and (improbably) the Confederate States of America. While a small group, they do seem to speak for a somewhat larger group of anti-war right wingers.

I’ve seen these folks in print for a while, and one thing always jumps out at me. For all their pro-CSA rhetoric, they have no visible connection to the actual South. One does not see any mention of a Southern birthplace or education on their bios. Any actual tie to the South, old or new, is conspicuous by it’s absense.

Shaking my faith in the role of women in society

Whenever I need to feel smugly superior I read the “Woman to Woman” feature in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, where a pretentious left-leaning woman debates a cloying right-leaning woman. Naturally I was interested in this weeks topic Should medical marijuana be legalized?

The left starts out with an irrelevant racial remark, then takes the remark back, taking up about half of her column, and then somehow using up all of her remaining space to issue a strawman attack at religion (why? Who knows), then closes with

While some argue medical marijuana can be addictive, few would contend it has the same dependency risk as the medications hospitals routinely administer for debilitating pain. Conservatives aren’t clamoring for hospitals to turn off the morphine drip for dying cancer patients because there?s a heroin problem in the world. But they want to draw a line in the sand over medical marijuana? Please. Show me the logic.

Which is to say….. Well, I’m not sure exactly. Marijuana is being treated differently than heroin, which is not the same thing as marijuana? Is that actually a reason?

And quote frankly, how can she miss the actual strong arguments in favor of legalizing medical marijuana, namely, federalism, wasted government resources, the fact that none of the “dangers” of marijuana apply to say, 60 year old cancer patients, the chilling effect this has on medical research and treatment, the loss of privacy, etc.

That was the logical cesspool that is left-leaning Diane Glass. Then she gets topped by right- leaning Shaunti Feldhahn. She leads with a personal story, then closes with

I suspect that pro-medical marijuana opinions are less about ensuring the availability of treatments unavailable anywhere else, and more about legally getting high.

When I oppose legalizing backyard marijuana, I am not being heartless toward those with chronic conditions who use it to relieve their suffering. By championing other effective, controlled options, I am trying to spare other individuals and the public health the even greater suffering from, yes, that ‘slippery slope’ that countless of us have experienced firsthand: that marijuana is not a harmless drug and its use can go terribly awry.

To answer her ad hominen attack, I support the legalization of medical marijuana, and I have no interest in getting high, legally or otherwise.

As for her closing paragraph, it so uniformly ridiculous I don’t know where to begin. None of the problems associated with marijuana as a “gateway” drug (even if you believe in that as a concept) apply to the people who would take medical marijuana.

What combination of circumstances would have to exist for her statement to be true, accurate and altruistic? You would have to have cancer patients who have no interest in selecting the best treatment for their cancer, who are utterly incapable of differentiating between treatments like Marinol (incidentally, Marinol must be swallowed and kept down for a prolonged period of time, not the easiest thing to do during chemotherapy) and smoked marijuana.

It would also have to be true that outsiders, with no specific knowledge of the medical condition in question would know more about the cancer and the patient than the patient and his/her doctor. They would also have to be more concerned about this patient than the patient himself.

It would also have to be true that the same dangers that exist with marijuana as a “gateway” drug (even if you believe in the concept) apply to a 60 year old woman with breast cancer the same way they apply to 17 year old angst ridden teenagers. And what substance doesn’t have the potential to go “terribly awry”?

This turned into quite a little rant.

Time to end the Libertarian Party

I just finished watching Jim Lazinski’s second appearance on the Daily Show. It is now clear that political Parties are simply NOT something libertarians do well. Throw in the recent Badnarik campaign and the matter is a metaphysical certainty.

What to replace it with? Why not a PAC? There are no signature requirements and much less regulation. Imagine what could be done if all of the money, time and effort spent on just keeping the Libertarian Party going actually was spent on rogue candidates of both parties and ballot initiatives? Something might actually happen.