Bad CitizenAssuming Positions; "Crony capitalism"; Flower Power; these articles have their titles and text in this color and are featured this week in -
Ender's Review of the Web

Web articles of likely interest to individualists found during the week of Jan. 4-10, 2004.

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Political Liberty
Articles showing a positive influence of political action on the cause of Liberty.
Time to Take Rights Seriously
        by Judd Legum from Center for American Progress
"The range of amicus briefs filed on behalf of Padilla underscores that the case places core legal rights at stake. Along with those that one might expect ... filing briefs in support of Padilla’s position were the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia."
Congress to Jump-Start the IRS?
        by Joe Blow from Strike the Root
"The U.S. Treasury cannot lose what it never had and what one person pays has absolutely no bearing on what anyone else pays. The notion of paying a 'fair share' is a red herring at best. The Internal Revenue Code is silent on the issue, telling you all you need to know about that popular urban legend."
Enough Is Too Much
        by Adam Engel from
"Don't you think it's Time to stop whining and deluding ourselves into thinking we're not despicable, weak …barnyard animals for not doing what must be done to secure our individual liberty and basic human freedoms? "
Life in Amerika
Articles depicting the negative impact of politics on Liberty.
Our right to be left alone
        by Robyn E. Blumner from St. Petersburg Times
"Unless you are willing to live like Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, it is nearly impossible these days to go about your business anonymously. Every time you pull out your credit card, peruse the Internet or roll through a toll booth with an E-Z pass you leave a trail that can be traced."

The Bad Citizen

        by Joel Simon from The Libertarian Enterprise
"Eight months ago...I thought to behave like a good citizen for once. I got a smog certificate for the truck. I made an appointment at the DMV office. I made sure my insurance was up to date, and that I had all the correct forms in an envelope. I knew all this was futile, but I just had to try."
Bush Grabs New Power for FBI 
        by Kim Zetter from Wired
"While the nation was distracted last month by images of Saddam Hussein's spider hole and dental exam, President George W. Bush quietly signed into law a new bill that gives the FBI increased surveillance powers and dramatically expands the reach of the USA Patriot Act."
Ordered Liberty without the State
Some people say it's Anarchy, some say it's not possible. It is an interesting topic.
Anarchism as Constitutionalism, Part 2
        by Roderick Long from Strike The Root
"It is vitally important to avoid conflating two very different claims: a) that no legal institution has the right to employ initiatory force against unwilling dissenters, and b) that no legal institution has the right to employ retaliatory force against unwilling dissenters."
Assuming Positions
        by Catfarmer from The Price Of Liberty
"It seems to go without saying that one should take sides on any divisive issue: that's a sinister hallmark of politics. Political thinking leads people to take sides on every contentious issue imaginable; peace requires that people find ways to sustain harmony. Harmony requires reciprocal respect between people, and nothing undermines respect so completely as the habit of confounding private opinions with appropriate foundations for public policies."
        by Robert Klassen from
"Every local tavern has its own list of people who will not be served. Every bank screens applicants for a criminal record, and supermarkets will not cash checks for some people. These are all forms of banishment designed to quietly protect private property, with no state coercion required."
Spreading Decentralism
Articles demonstrating an increase in the dispersal of power.
Label Me 
        by Ronald Bailey from Reason
"By the end of this decade most of the sturm und drang over labels will simply dissolve. Why? RFID and DNA. Cheap near-microscopic radio frequency identification (RFID) tags will be attached to nearly all products by 2010 making them easy to identify and track."
Lies About Guns 
        by Doug Hagin from Intellectual Conservative
"The[y] may argue all day about wanting to reduce violent crimes yet they argue against Americans arming themselves. If they were to get their way there would have been more, many more victims of violent crimes, not fewer in this nation."
Central Vermont Town Eyes Joining New Hampshire
"Tired of sending $20 million a year in taxes to the state and getting $1 million in state aid in return, officials in this ski resort town are considering leaving Vermont and joining New Hampshire."
The New World Hegemon
Depictions of the coming Imperial power
Experimental Economics, Indeed
        by Joseph R. Stromberg from Ludwig von Mises Institute
"...[T]he US authorities will probably do as they please, emboldened by their firm belief that the whims and fancies of US policymakers are, in our times, the only possible source of international law."
Leave Revolution in Saudi Arabia to the Saudis
        by Amir Butler from
"However, Saudi Arabia is not America. It was founded on the basis of Islam and Islam has provided the guiding principles for the nation. The idea that religion should be separated from the affairs of the state is viewed as a heresy."
Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic
"Reminding us of the classic warnings against militarism – from George Washington’s farewell address to Dwight Eisenhower’s denunciation of the military-industrial complex – Johnson uncovers its roots deep in our past."
Politics by Other Means
War, rumors of war, and politicians fomenting war.
Democrats, We Are Begging You
        by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. from
"What the Democrats need is a wholesale ideological gutting. They need to purge all anti-liberal sentiment in their party. They need to embrace their 19th-century heritage of opposing: centralization, protectionism, war, and government control."
Drug Warriors Try to Censor their Opponents
        by Ted Galen Carpenter from Cato Institute
"The most ominous proposal for repressing pro-drug reform speech comes (not surprisingly) from the United Nations. The UN's International Narcotics Control Board has issued a report implicitly calling on member states to criminalize opposition to the war on drugs."
Open Door Policy 
        by Karen Kwiatkowski from The American Conservative
"In my study of the neoconservatives, it was easy to find out whom in Washington they liked and whom they didn’t. ... To find out whom they didn’t like, no research was required. All I had to do was walk the corridors and attend staff meetings."
Spontaneous Order
Articles showing decentralized successes.
A Reply to Schumer and Roberts
        by George Reisman from Ludwig von Mises Institute
"Despite everything I have said about falling wages and prices, it should be realized that under a system of fiat money, such as we have today, it is practically impossible that the general level of money wages will actually fall in the United States."
Harm's a Two Way Street
        by Walter E. Williams from Cato Institute
"If you're allergic to tobacco smoke or just find its odor unpleasant, and I smoke in your presence, I harm and annoy you. However, if I'm prohibited from smoking a cigarette in your presence, I'm harmed because of a denial of what I find a pleasurable experience."
Wal-Mart: Immoral Monster?
        by Joe Blow from Strike the Root
"Of course, just because these people may prefer to pay double for consumer goods in no way obligates any store to sell them at that price. If a viable mass market existed for consumer goods at double the Wal-Mart price, stores would be falling all over themselves to deliver. How many of them have you seen lately?"
Nonspontaneous Disorder
Articles showing centrally planned disasters.
Flower Power
        by Jacob Sullum from Reason
"Louisiana appears to be the only state in the nation that treats unlicensed florists making unauthorized arrangements as a public menace."
They Pry Them from Our Cold Dead Fingers
        by Sharon Harris from
"That big yellow school bus takes our children to huge government buildings where most of their waking hours are spent. Where each day begins with an invocation of loyalty to the state. Where their most treasured spiritual values and symbols are banished."
An urban legend
        by Walter E. Williams from
"None of these cases, and many others, differs in principle from the Merv Grazinski urban legend. What's common to all of them is the absolution or the attempt at absolution from personal responsibility."
War Is The Health Of The State
War is the ultimate State intervention in society.
"Crony capitalism" - It's not personal -- only business
        by Nicholas Strakon from The Last Ditch
"That system, to give it a name, is state capitalism. Individual, opportunistic bribery and sweetheart deals with specific companies arise naturally from the system, to be sure, but only as a miasma arises naturally from a dung heap. Under American state capitalism, the ruling class, standing outside the official regime, purchases or at least rents the entire state apparatus."
The International Terror-and-Drug Cop Is On the Beat 
        by Jacob G. Hornberger from The Future of Freedom Foundation
"Never mind that people possessing drugs thousands of miles from U.S. shores are unlikely to be violating U.S. drug laws. Never mind that the seizures of their ships have been conducted without probable cause or judicially issued warrants."
America: The real danger lies within
        by Eric Margolis from The Toronto Sun
"For America's hard right...the Bush administration's aggressive foreign policy of world domination, and utter contempt for international laws and old allies, marks a new era of national greatness."
Bits of History
The Past seen with a fresh look.
Charity is Best Left to the Private Sphere
        by Adam B. Summers from Reason Public Policy Institute
"Even more important than Cleveland's observation that Americans tend to be a very charitable group by nature was his insight to the corrupting influence of government handouts. "
Lincoln’s Presidential Warrant to Arrest Chief Justice Roger B. Taney
        by Charles Adams from
"If Lincoln obeyed the Court’s order thousands of those arrested illegally would have been freed. Lincoln and most Northerners, during the war, accepted the Machiavellian doctrine that the end justified the means, when the end was to preserve the Union, and was to be achieved regardless of the Constitution...."
What Has Government Done to Our Families?
        by Allan Carlson from Ludwig von Mises Institute
"Viewing this rivalry between state and family, it is important to understand that a basic level of 'dependency' is a constant in all societies. ... Under the domain of liberty, the natural institution of the family ... provides the protection and care which these 'dependent' people need."
War and Peace
Articles showing the nature of War.
Draft Creep
        by David Wiggins from
"We are on your side. We always were. Now, stop loss has taken away your freedom. You had no say in the matter. If you want to defend anyone’s freedom, start by defending your own! Refuse this involuntary servitude called stop loss."
Global Eye – Dark Skies
        by Chris Floyd from The
"The mass British counter-raids aimed at 'breaking the enemy's morale' were targeted almost exclusively against the 'lower orders,' who died by the hundreds of thousands in the 'area bombing' that neither broke civilian morale nor substantially hampered German war production (although it did waste the lives of thousands of allied airmen)."
With Friends Like These, U.S. Enemies Don’t Seem As Bad
        by Ivan Eland from The Independent Institute
"The excessive demonization of the admittedly autocratic Iran, North Korea, and Iraq allowed the administration to build public support for an aggressive invasion of Iraq as well as hard-line policies toward these 'rogue' states. But a more appropriate moniker might be 'axis of exaggeration'.”
Great Individuals In History
Some people stand out from the crowd.
Economist - Jean-Baptiste Say : Jan. 5, 1767
        by Larry J. Sechrest from Ludwig von Mises Institute
"...J.B. Say was in a number of ways truly a precursor of the Austrian School, but one must not leap to the conclusion that he was a full-fledged Austrian who was simply ahead of his time."
Agronomist/Researcher - George Washington Carver : Jan. 10, 1864?
        from Iowa State University
"He was born in about 1864 ...[TE: one resource I use said Jan. 10, but I suspect that is a guess] on the Moses Carver plantation in Diamond Grove, Mo. His father died in an accident shortly before his birth, and when he was still an infant, Carver and his mother were kidnapped by slave raiders."
Historian - Lord [John] Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton : Jan. 10, 1834
        from The Acton Institute
"Although he never finished his anticipated universal history, Lord Acton planned the Cambridge Modern History and lectured on the French Revolution, Western history since the Renaissance, and the history of freedom from antiquity through the 19th century."
Books, Movies, TV, Media, Music, poetry, etc.
Buckley Gets It Wrong
        by Justin Raimondo from
"The purge of dissident elements within the conservative movement did not lead to the triumph of the Right, however, but to the victory of 'big government conservatism.'."
"A great country is being propelled by the wrong forces"
        by Laura Miller from
John le Carre talks about his new war-on-terror novel, the "medieval stupidity" of the Bush administration's misuse of intelligence, and why he wound up marching against the war in Iraq. (Subscription or single ad view for a day pass required)
An early glimmer of Heinlein's sci-fi future
        by Geoffrey A. Campbell from
"Lost novels are usually greeted with great fanfare and loud hosannas. Truth be told, most of these lost novels should have stayed lost." Heinlein tried to destroy this book.
Review of The Moon is A Harsh Mistress (Bonus - for Heinlein lovers, like me)
        Review by bkMarkus of Robert A. Heinlein's book from
"Robert Heinlein's The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress tears at the heart of serious, freedom-loving readers. It was the first story to get many of us to seriously question the legitimacy of government."
The lighter side
Humor, satire, cartoons, parodies, food, popular music and other things to amuse.
Dead Animals With Salt
        by Brad Edmonds from
"Up until maybe the mid 1600s, 'meat' for the English was an idiom for 'meal' or 'food.' They referred to 'sitting down to dinner' as 'sitting down to meat.' This linguistic practice no doubt, and wisely, lasted for hundreds of years."
That Pesky Bush-Hitler Thing
        by Marc Ash from t r u t h o u t
"Take that German Justice Minister, Herta Däubler-Gmelin, who compared Bush's dealings on Iraq to those of Hitler. That really takes the cake, now doesn't it? What do the Germans know of Hitler anyway?" Maybe this is Satire, maybe not.
Pétanque's the best, bar none
        by Dave Barry from The Miami Herald
"It's a French word, roughly pronounced 'pay-TONK,' but you have to get really nasal on the 'TONK.' The only people who can say it correctly are the French, who lift weights with their sinuses."
Deep Thought
Scientific and scholarly studies, philosophical essays, in-depth and longer articles.
Insanity Defense Has No Place in a Free Society
        by Sheldon Richman from The Future of Freedom Foundation
"Could he have chosen otherwise? To answer no, one would have to believe that Hinckley had no choice but to purchase a gun, book a flight, board an airplane to Washington, ascertain the whereabouts of President Reagan on March 30, 1981, wait for him to exit the Washington Hilton, and pull the trigger several times. Are we to believe that an illness made him do all this? "
Random Thoughts On The Decline Of English
        by Fred Reed from FredOnEverything
"English grows ugly and lapses into deformity. My mail creaks under the weight of misused pronouns and homeless participles. People seem to spell by ear: 'Your' and 'you’re,' 'it’s' and 'its' are mixed like salads. The young assert that 'me and him was talking,' and really don’t know better."
What Is the Objectivist View of Free Will?
        by William Thomas from Navigator
"Today, people who want to fly from responsibility are greatly aided by a view of man that attributes our actions to factors beyond our control. ... But to take such a position seriously, one has to deny free will and accept its contrary, determinism."
Articles not easily classified.
A visit to Brudnoy
        by Brian McGrory from
"He answered the door of his Back Bay condominium yesterday looking like a shadow at high noon on a summer's day. David Brudnoy has melted away. Already thin, he has lost 50 pounds over the past few months."
Queers for Capitalism
        by Ari Armstrong from Colorado Freedom Report
"However, while both the Old and New Testaments condemn homosexuality, Objectivism's promotion of reason and self-actualization has made for a quicker, more complete acceptance of homosexuals."
Stupid Vogue
        by Jeffrey A. Tucker from
"Stupid Vogue accounts for how it is that otherwise smart people could defend the preposterous propaganda on Fox day after day, the howls of talk radio hosts, the spewing forth of James Taranto in the Wall Street Journal, the blathering lunacies of political activists who consider a criticism of Bush to be the equivalent of treason."
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