Friday, November 17, 2006

Nobel Prize-Winning Libertarian Dies

Milton Friedman, Libertarian Economist, died yesterday at 94.

Socialists in Stockholm literally stood up and screamed when this Free Market economist won the Nobel Prize. Watch this CNBC report. He was frequently heckled when he spoke publicly.

He was a radical libertarian. The New York Times wrote:
As a libertarian, Mr. Friedman advocated legalizing drugs and generally opposed public education and the state’s power to license doctors, automobile drivers and others. He was criticized for those views, but he stood by them, arguing that prohibiting, regulating or licensing human behavior either does not work or creates inefficient bureaucracies.

Mr. Friedman insisted that unimpeded private competition produced better results than government systems. “Try talking French with someone who studied it in public school,” he argued, “then with a Berlitz graduate.”
Professor Walter Block remembers Friedman as a perpetual campaigner, someone every libertarian candidate can learn from:
The honor once befell me in the 1980s to serve as Milton Friedman's chauffeur. I drove him around Vancouver, British Columbia during the day of one of his speaking engagements there that evening. The trip was part tourist and part business: pick up at the airport, lunch, a few radio and television interviews during the day, setting up the podium for his evening's speech, etc. I was amazed and delighted at his pugnaciousness in defense of liberty. He would engage seemingly everyone in debate on libertarian issues: waitresses, cameramen, the person placing the microphone on his lapel. He was tireless, humorous, enthusiastic.
Like Friedrich Hayek, another towering giant in defense of the Free Market, Friedman was not a consistent libertarian, and unintentionally sowed the seeds of statism. Gary North recalls Friedman's role in setting up income tax withholding, an "emergency" measure enacted during World War II, which has long outlived the emergency and conceals the real impact of government theft. And the CNBC report shows that his "criticism" of Federal Reserve policy, unaccompanied by a clarion call for its outright abolition, has been used by present Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to undergird a claim that another Great Depression will never happen again (because the Fed, thanks to Friedman, is now so much wiser).

Still, Milton Friedman was a superb communicator (unlike most scholars), eager to communicate with those outside academia (also unlike most scholars), and generally unafraid to pursue the implications of Liberty consistently, even when unpopular. The Free Market has lost one of its greatest defenders.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Elton John: "Ban religion"

Perhaps he didn't mean what he said. But he did say, "I would ban religion completely."

"I think religion has always tried to turn hatred toward gay people," Elton John said in the Observer newspaper's Music Monthly Magazine. "Religion promotes the hatred and spite against gays."

To propose a "ban" on something is to propose that heavily-armed SWAT teams be sent to homes of violators, to be locked up in prison with sociopaths to be raped, unless they resist arrest, in which case they can be shot.

And this is the antidote to "hate?"

Muslims imprison Christians, atheists imprison Christians, now homosexuals want to "ban" (imprison) Christians.

There are 200 million self-described Christians in America. What percentage of them want to "ban" (imprison) homosexuals, atheists, or Muslims (apart from any crimes they may commit)? How does this compare with atheists and homosexuals?

Does Elton John also want to "ban" the religion of Secular Humanism? No, of course not. By "religion" he means Christianity, primarily.

Christianity has moved the world away from "banning" things. Jesus Christ was the Banned; the Bannee, not the Banner. The Bible commands us to "follow His steps." That command was not immediately heeded by those who followed pagan Rome, but the salt has done a remarkable job of seasoning Western Civilization.

More Christians are interested in having the freedom to use their money to propagate their own values than they are in using force against ideas they disagree with. Christians don't want their tax dollars used by Elton John teaching their children that homosexuality is OK. Simple.

Instead of banning Christianity, atheists should try to get Christians to follow Christ more consistently. With just a little nudge, millions of Christians could become libertarians. But Elton John is not a libertarian. He is a fascist.

Every single person who signed the Constitution believed that homosexuality was contrary to "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." Jefferson proposed castrating them. But Christians, as they become more consistent with the Savior's teachings, move away from force and violence as a solution to personal and social problems. On the other hand, as atheists become more consistent with their underlying philosophy that humans are no more valuable than cockroaches, they set up gulags in the Soviet Union and laogai in China.

God created human beings "male and female." God, not government, defines marriage. Jesus commands His followers to pray for, bless, love, and even give their lives for those who rebel against God's Law. This is called "homophobia."

Friday, November 10, 2006

Send the Marines?

November 10 is the birthday of the U.S. Marines (1775). "Semper Fi," from the Latin Semper Fidelis , means "always faithful." Not faithful to God, but faithful to the Marine Corps:

That Marines have lived up to this motto is proved by the fact that there has never been a mutiny, or even the thought of one, among U.S. Marines.

What would "faithful to God" look like?

The American response to British tyranny was armed resistance. This was not "faithful to God."

The result has been the creation of a government more tyrannical than Britain by several orders of magnitude.

The response of the Marines to Muslim terrorists in the years 1775-1805 was armed resistance. These wars, called "Jefferson's Wars" ( pdf html ) ended with a treaty that was imposed by the Marines and which attempted to deny the central religious conflict that existed between the two nations. This was not "faithful to God."

The result now evident in 2006, after 230 years of allegiance to the military, is the creation of an enemy more threatening and more powerful than it was in 1775.

When will we try peace? Or,
When will we try real war with real weapons?

America's Founding Fathers trusted in God far more than today's politicians. But they didn't take a consistent stand with the Prince of Peace. They didn't act against slavery like their more faithful progeny. If they could have seen where the Marines and U.S. military policy would lead the world, what would they have done? What would they advise today?

By the time Bush leaves office, the U.S. will have spent $500 billion in its War in Iraq, creating an Islamic Theocracy in Iraq that will be aligned with a nuclear-armed Iran. We are looking at the possibility of the deaths of millions of people. We are living in a police state, where the Constitution is "just a piece of paper."

By giving the federal government such power, we have also created a generation of atheists.

When we sing "God Bless America" do we really believe it? If we were to follow the advice of America's Founders when they were most consistent with the Christian principles upon which this nation was founded, would God Bless our efforts?

Would there be peace and security if we repented of imperialism, made restitution for our destruction, and removed the Marines from over 130 nations?

The Bible repeatedly promises us peace and salvation if we obey God's Commandments.

Are we brave enough to trust God, or will we continue to cower behind the military-industrial complex?

When the Marines are considered as individuals, as human beings created in the Image of God, there is much to admire in every Marine who makes it out of boot camp. Every war in America's history has seen individual acts of heroism, self-sacrifice, devotion, bravery, skill, physical endurance, love of country, and other admirable human traits. Every individual in the war zone rises to extraordinary levels of human achievement. But when the Marines are considered as a political philosophy, we see the antithesis of the Christian faith. Why are these individuals in the war zone in the first place? War is where honorable individuals inescapably and deliberately become "killing machines." ( html pdf ) The Image of God becomes warped into a demonic counterfeit.

It's time to repudiate this idolatry.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Post-Election Spin

In Missouri's 7th Congressional District:
  • the party that increases government spending while hypocritically pandering to "moral values voters" got 23.3% fewer votes than in 2004.
  • the party that increases government spending while denouncing moral values voters got almost 14% fewer votes than in 2004.
  • the candidate that promises to cut all government programs and affirms moral values while rejecting government violence and coercion to impose those values received over 1,000% more votes than in 2004.

When I say "hypocritically" panders to moral values, I mean

I believe "moral values voters" are becoming increasingly suspicious of power-holders in both church and state.

Republicans lost 50,000 votes in this district. While Democrats re-gained the House, they lost 12,000 votes in this district. I suspect more Democrats in Southwest Missouri voted anti-Blunt than pro-Truman.

My conceited personal fantasy is that if I could talk to a voter and explain the ideal of "Liberty Under God," that voter would likely be inclined to vote for me, and if not, if I could say, "Tell me why you won't vote for me," and respond to that voter's answer, I could clinch the vote in a majority of cases. The problem, of course, is communication: physically reaching all those voters.

There is dwindling support for the two-party monopoly, with the prevailing attitude shifting from apathy to opposition. Voters are hungry for moral values separated from coercion and political power. I'm already looking forward to 2008.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saddam Will Hang

Saddam Hussein has been sentenced to death by hanging.

Watch "What's Next for Hussein -- 3:13 Video

Now what about Donald Rumsfeld?

On my Iraq webpage, I link to a number of instances of U.S. Support for Saddam Hussein, especially during Saddam's war against Iraq, but now more notably a meeting between Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein over a year after the crime for which Saddam has now been sentenced to death.

Rumsfeld Shakes Hands with Saddam

Will Rumsfeld fly to Iraq to again shake hands with America's old friend Saddam Hussein as he awaits execution?

Americans continue to support the neoconservative empire which now masquerades as "America," and this support depends entirely on Americans not knowing what the empire is doing, and has been doing for several decades.

Willliam Norman Grigg notes on his blog that American support for the neoconservative empire is not limited to "conservatives," but even "liberals" have supported the neoconservative agenda:

In 1987, about five years after Saddam presided over the massacre that prompted today's death sentence, The New Republic -- a consistent supporter of military action against Iraq since 1990 -- published an essay entitled "Back Iraq," which urged Washington to offer Baghdad material and strategic support against Iran (which had, in fact, been Washington's policy since the beginning of the decade, although it offered occasional support for Tehran as well).

Back in October 21, 2002, The New American Magazine detailed how Rumsfeld, during the 1980's, and with the support of many "liberals," had been "Building the Beast of Baghdad" as part of the broad agenda of "Kissinger Associates and a shadowy network of financial cut-outs."

Like the Bush-Clinton-Bush Administrations, Saddam was a secularist who presided over a secular dictatorship, which occasionally appealed to the religious sentiments of his electoral "base," but really did nothing to move his government toward becoming a "theocracy." (It's amazing how many liberals are as fooled as the religious right is about the Christian commitment of the Dubya Administration.)

Unlike the Bush-Clinton-Bush Administrations, Saddam Hussein did not go around the world stationing Iraqi troops to compel foreign nations to adopt "pro-Iraqi" policies. As Grigg observes:

It is those for whom Saddam acted as a subcontractor -- the architects of the Glorious Global Democratic Revolution -- who lust to re-order the lives of millions through the use of lethal violence.

If Saddam deserves to experience the long drop to the end of the hangman's rope, he should be joined on the scaffold by those who gave him the material means and political support to commit his crimes, as well as those who are exploiting the memory of those atrocities to advance their own murderous designs.

America's Founding Fathers insisted on a non-political foreign policy. That vision, along with the rest of the Constitution, was long ago discarded in favor of "U.S. hegemony." Both Republicans and Democrats are united behind this modern imperialism. Only the Libertarians stand with America's Founding Fathers and their "experiment in liberty."

Your vote on Tuesday is your declaration of whether you stand with America's Founding Fathers and "Liberty Under God." If you vote for a Republican who has voted with the neoconservatives during his time in office, you are choosing to stand with Saddam, Rumsfeld, Kissinger, and all those who have funded murder and dictatorship around the world.

Be an informed voter:


Is is a SIN to Vote for Roy Blunt?