Bad Daddy and Bad Mommy;
Ayn Rand at 100;
Friendly Persuasion; 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. 30 - Feb. 5, 2005.
Table of Contents:
(Click on the name to go to that section)
Life in Amerika,
Ordered Liberty without the State;
The New World Hegemon,
Politics by Other Means;
War Is The Health Of The State;
Bits of History,
War and Peace,
Great Individuals In History;
The lighter side,
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Articles showing a positive influence of political
action on the cause of Liberty.
A U.S. Library vs. Fidel
"The Vermillion Public Library is now sending books to its sister independent library in Havana. The first two shipments included Spanish-language editions of George Orwell's 1984 and a collection of the works of that formidable freethinker Mark Twain."
Now for the Hard Part
"For those who opposed the war and would rather see the occupation end sooner rather than later, the election is good news. For a change, I find myself wanting to agree with the administration and Fox News on that score, even while rejecting the utopian Wilsonianism of the inaugural address and the desire to use Iraq as a base to mess with other Middle Eastern countries one found in the State of the Union speech."
Self-Ownership: The Foundation of Freedom
"There are no free societies. So, you have to search for a place where you can live with the most freedom. It's a case of choosing the 'best of a bad bunch.' But ultimately, freedom begins 'at home.' And the first test of your own commitment to freedom is to ask yourself, 'Am I willing to grant every other individual the right to his or her own life'?"
Life in Amerika
Articles depicting the negative impact of politics
on the cause of Liberty.
Differing over differences
"Harvard president Lawrence Summers has just gotten a lesson in the fierce retribution that comes with defying political correctness. Summers now knows that, in the academy, certain things cannot be said out loud, no matter how intriguing the scientific data or anecdotal evidence."
Freedom Starts at Home
"The second inaugural address by George 'Dubya' Bush promised the world that those who desire freedom would receive the full support of the United States. Given the events of the previous four years I have to wonder if the man even knows what 'freedom' means, since he's done a bang-up job of suppressing it."
War on Drugs -- and the Bill of Rights
"The drug war has been eating at the Bill of Rights since its inception. Asset forfeiture laws, for example, allow law enforcement to seize the assets of suspected drug dealers before they're ever convicted of a crime. Even if the defendant is acquitted or the charges are dropped, the mere presence of an illicit substance in a car or home can mean the loss of the property, on the bizarre, legal principle that property can be guilty of a crime."
Ordered Liberty without the State
Some people say it's Anarchy, some say it's not
possible. It is an interesting topic.
The Story of Bad Daddy and Bad Mommy
"When evil is analyzed, the first thing found is political power, the desire for power over others. The psychiatrist M. Scott Peck wrote, 'I define evil, then, as the exercise of political power---that is, the imposition of one's will upon others by overt or covert coercion...' Since the definition of the State is the Political Means (as opposed to the Economic Means of society), this means the State is an evil thing."
The Tyrannical State
"The domestic arm of the criminal American State is a plethora of alphabet agencies, the FBI being the standard bearer. Where else in the annals of history has an entity been so corrupt and incompetent, and yet given more and more of our resources with which to grow more and more corrupt and incompetent?"
Public Order and Safety Absent a State
"The absence of a state to provide law courts, property protection, and public safety and orderliness is at once a burden and an opportunity for society. There are no state-provided police or fire departments to call if needed, but there is nothing preventing a person or group from taking their own measures to provide whatever level of risk protection they deem prudent or necessary."
Articles demonstrating an increase in the dispersal of
Choose Your Own Encyclopedia
"Typos abound, and especially in articles on controversial topics like the Armenian genocide or George W. Bush, the constant wars between opposing camps of revisers can reduce texts to a state of almost Heisenbergian indeterminacy. But outright factual errors generally get corrected fast (within minutes, on average), and in the range and depth of its articles, Wikipedia handily holds its own against encyclopedias produced the old-fashioned way."
Assessment of The Hearts and Minds of America
"Many of us have been told that here in America, the people are the final voice of their government. We are told our votes are our voice like any Democracy. However, we do not have a Democracy, we have a Constitutional Republic and with this form of government, the people have a voice, a final voice, through the people's jury system."
Secession backers see hope
"Despite the long odds of getting their wish, officials from Killington, Vt., have delivered a simple request to Gov. John Lynch and state lawmakers -- please adopt us."
The New World Hegemon
Depictions of the coming Imperial power
The Fair & Balanced Election
"The occupying army manned the polling areas to assure that there would be no voting irregularities. Meanwhile, the population went to the polls and voted in unprecedented numbers. When the votes were counted, to no one's surprise the party in league with the occupying military won the election and began to run the country -- while the foreign occupying army got a series of military bases and stayed on and on and on. Iraq in 2005? No, it was Poland in 1947, and over 40 years passed before the Soviets left. But that was different! Then why did you assume I was talking about Iraq?"
An Anti-Democracy Foreign Policy: Iran
"It is impossible to overstate the magnitude of anger and hatred that the Iranian people had for the U.S. government in 1979, not only because their world-famous democratically elected prime minister had been ousted by the CIA but also for having had to live for the following 25 years under a brutal and torturous dictatorship, a U.S.-government-supported dictatorship that also offended many Iranians with its policies of Westernization."
Are Iraqi Elections a Panacea?
"Thus, democracy matters less in Iraq today than does liberty -- that is, minority rights. Many despotic governments have come to power through elections, including Hitler's Third Reich. Although the Shi'ite politicians are paying lip service to the notion that they will avoid an Iranian-style 'Islamic republic,' that is their preference. If minority rights are not honored, civil war is very likely to occur."
Politics by Other Means
War, rumors of war, and politicians fomenting war.
Moderates and Radicals
"The moderates always seem to come down on the side of the prison wardens. Only when the radicals have broken through the wall, and the path is perfectly clear and safe, do they grab the chance and make a run for it. "
How we got the Statue of the Drunken Cowboy
"Hardyville had never been much on democracy, either the small-d or the Big-D kind. We've always been a do-your-own-thing town, rather than a do-what-everybody-else-thinks-you-should-do sort of place. But we'd been hearing a lot of impressive stuff about what [DRUMROLL] Democracy could do for us."
We've Been Warned -- The state of our union: perpetual war
"Laced with explicit threats, pumped up with hubris, shameless in its exploitation of the American war dead, this speech was a warning to us all -- get ready for more wars, more death, more neocon lies in the service of a foreign policy founded on madness."
Articles showing decentralized successes.
Mexican Medicine: A Freer Market at Work
"I chose the largest pharmacy in the town, after stepping into a few to see how they were run. All were organized just like every pharmacy I'd been to in Mexico -- clean, neat, and well-staffed. I asked for the items I wanted; I received factory sealed boxes with expiration dates that were sufficiently distant for me. The pharmacy offered, for an additional fee, a consultation that would provide me with prescriptions for the medicines I wanted; I declined that service. (That's to help decrease the likelihood that the U.S. border thugs will steal one's pharmaceuticals when returning to this 'land of the free.')"
On the Centenary of America's Radical for Capitalism
"Rand's great achievement was to give capitalism a moral justification. Too often advocates of free markets emphasized the efficiency of markets and abandoned morality to the socialists. Rand passionately declared that capitalism isnít only efficient; it is also good because it is the only social arrangement in which each individual is free to pursue his happiness --
'exist for his own sake' -- without being made a beast of burden forced to serve others."
Capitalism and Morality
"Had folks in the West a deep and fundamental sense of the moral basis of capitalism, their governments would not have grown to control almost half the GDP in their nations. A firm belief in the moral value of capitalism would have kept governments to their absolute minimum size, about 10 percent of GDP, according to Milton Friedman."
Articles showing centrally planned disasters.
State of the Union Double Speak
"Bush promises that under his plan 'the money in the account is yours and the government can never take it away.' We should not kid ourselves. Just like other private money, the government can always reduce the value of these accounts through future changes in the tax laws and inflation."
Cashing in on Cons
"This is part and parcel of an industry in the business of locking up human beings. As the industry has grown, the ACA has moved away from the ideals of rehabilitation and redemption of the human spirit. Today, human beings behind bars are little more than commodities to be traded on the open market."
"[P]rivate investment accounts represent genuine savings, as opposed to claims on other people's money. There is no getting around the fact that requiring people to save also involves the use of force, but this sort of paternalism seems preferable to the predation at the heart of the current system."
War Is The Health Of The State
War is the ultimate State intervention in society.
American Police State -- Abandoning Liberty; Gaining Insecurity
"Americans fearful of terrorism should keep in mind that their country is a very large place. If further terrorist attacks occur, very few Americans are likely to witness them except on TV. The police, however, are everywhere, and like all bureaucracies will have to show results for their new powers. If no real terrorists show up, our protectors will invent them, or they will interpret their powers expansively and apply them to ordinary felonies."
'W' is for Wilson?
"Moreover, presidential persona aside, a basic political reality cuts against cutting back the size of government. What reality is that? War is collective. Sacrifice is communal. And when blood is being spilled in the name of the country, it's hard to advance a politics based on anti-statism and individualism."
The Execution of Eddie Slovik
"Who really won World War II? Tragically, the winner was theory and practice of perpetual war for perpetual peace and the rise of the collectivist state, all at the price of true peace and individual liberty."
Bits of History
The Past seen with a fresh look.
Ayn Rand at 100
"The other great book of 1943 was The Fountainhead, a powerful novel about architecture and integrity by Ayn Rand. The book's individualist theme did not fit with the spirit of the age, and reviewers savaged it. But the book found its intended readers."
The Idea That Brought Slavery to Its Knees
"The interests they were taking on were entrenched and influential. Britain dominated the Atlantic slave trade. Roughly half the slaves taken across the ocean to its lucrative West Indian sugar islands, to the United States and to other European colonies were transported in British ships."
Remembering Ayn Rand's legacy of reason & freedom
"Born 100 years ago in Holy Mother Russia and educated under the Soviets, Ayn Rand became the quintessential American writer and philosopher, upholding the supreme value of the individual's life on Earth."
War and Peace
Articles showing the nature of War.
The Dangers of Abstract Nationalism
"By attempting to turn will into a substantive value, fascism destroyed itself: will led to Mussolini's entry into World War II (had he remained neutral, like Franco, he would probably have survived Hitler's defeat), to Hitler's offhand declaration of war on America (even after Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt would have had trouble getting an offensive declaration of war on Germany through Congress) and, ultimately, to the Holocaust...."
The 'Oil-for-Food' Smokescreen
"Let's face it: The U.S. government should never have imposed the brutal sanctions system against the Iraqi people as a way to force them to oust their dictator from office or even as a means to persuade their dictator to 'disarm' Iraq of the infamous WMD that the U.S. government had furnished him just a few years before to use against the Iranian people."
Making the World Safe for Imperial Democracy
"In the end, 'democracy' simply describes a government that does not deserve to be violently overthrown by the United States. And this can change at the whim of the United States. If we want to be honest about it, perhaps we should call the whole idea, at least as embraced by the hawkish believers, 'democratic war theory'."
Great Individuals In History
Some people stand out from the crowd.
Writer - Ayn Rand : Feb. 2, 1905
"Rand wrote, 'As man is a being of self-made wealth, so he is a being of self-made soul.' Thus an ethos of rational self-interest justifies and supports individual liberty; a free market -- not a communist, socialist, fascist or welfare-state system -- is the only one that protects the rights of each individual."
Filmmaker - George Pal : Feb. 1, 1908
Quote from the Legacy link on the bio page: "We grew up watching George Pal movies. We loved them, because, whatever their budgets, those were not small movies. They were grand! George Pal organized a group of private American businessmen in DESTINATION MOON and they, not a government agency, sent the first spaceship to the lunar surface."
Athlete - Jackie Robinson : Jan. 31, 1919
"Breaking baseball's color barrier was a serious challenge, and Robinson met fierce racial resistance from many players on opposing teams and the Dodgers, and from fans. ... With the support of Brooklyn owner Branch Rickey and the encouragement of some teammates, the determined Robinson survived these attacks and helped the Dodgers win the National League pennant. That season he was named rookie of the year."
Books, Movies, TV, Media, Music, poetry, etc.
Friendly Persuasion (1956)
"There are few movies which address the issues of conscience as well as Friendly Persuasion. Conviction permeates the situations, from Josh Birdwell's confession that he doesn't know whether he is afraid to fight, to his father's statement: 'I'm just his father, Eliza, not his conscience. A man's life ain't worth a hill of beans except he lives up to his own conscience'."
Feminists for Porn -- Thus I Refute Chyng Sun
"If I learned one thing when I started my career in 1983, myself the product of an ivory-tower upbringing in Berkeley, California, it was to rein in my received ideas about my fellow sex workers and to see them as individuals struggling with all kinds of situations."
The Empire in Space
"The film is also about the lust for power, and how it degrades. The soldiers are not bad people; indeed in some ways they are admirable. Gary Busey, as a commander, especially illustrates this. He does care about his men. On the other hand, the political types are portrayed as utterly despicable, people only interested in power, unconcerned with who they murder."
The lighter side
Humor, satire, cartoons, parodies, food, popular music
and other things to amuse.
It's a Go! -- If only Sy Hersh knew the half of it.
"Nobody tells me anything. It's like the other day, they bring some guy into my office. Big guy, craggy face, desert fatigues, a full bird. He's got this fresh scar running all the way from the corner of one of his eyes right down the side of his neck. One arm in a sling. He salutes, then he drops this stack of photos on my desk with all these pictures of dead bodies. And he's like, 'We got them, sir. We killed all those fuckers.' And I'm like, who are you? And he's like, 'My God, Dad. Don't you recognize me'?" Satire, I think.
Fox News Buys Al-Jazeera -- 'Hannity and Hussein' Among New Network's Programs
"[A]ccording to Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox parent company News Corporation, the merger was a natural because, in his words, 'We took a look at their format and realized that it was almost identical to ours'."
Nation's Leading Alarmists Excited About Bird Flu
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued neither an epidemic warning nor a public-health alert in connection with bird flu. According to leading alarmists, the CDC's lack of immediate concern is a cause for alarm."
Scientific and scholarly studies, philosophical
essays, in-depth and longer articles
Ayn Rand at 100
"For all her flaws, Rand remains a towering figure on the last century's cultural landscape. She arose in an era of competing totalitarian ideologies and declared that communism and Nazism were not opposites but evil twins, and that their true opposite was freedom."
Ayn Rand's Contribution to the Cause of Freedom
"Rand's influence on the libertarian movement is incalculable; despite her own frequent antipathy toward that movement and even toward the word 'libertarian,' Rand played a crucial role in helping both to create new advocates of laissez-faire and to radicalize existing ones; Rand encouraged libertarians to view their standpoint as an alternative to, rather than a branch of, conservatism, and to base the case for liberty on moral principle and not on pragmatic economic benefits alone."
But do we have enough freedom to export?
"[N]ear the front of the chaplain's book is printed a large color photograph of men sitting on the floor waiting to take their cases before the local magistrate ... who sits on the floor with them. The magistrate has to be identified in the caption as 'third from right.' His clothing does not immediately give evidence of any exalted rank. He is not surrounded by clerks, transcriptionists, or law books. He does not sit symbolically elevated behind a bench. As he listens to the cases, all he holds in his hand is a fan to deal with the heat."
Articles not easily classified
Anti-intellectualism among the academic elite
"If you're a good computer technician, engineer or specialist in the higher reaches of science and technology, and you leave your job for a few years, much of your skills and knowledge will be obsolete when you return. The same obsolescence is virtually absent in occupations such as editor, librarian and schoolteacher. This factor, instead of sex discrimination, might explain some of the career choices made by women."
"Now, even those of us who would like nothing more than to see intelligent design theory disappear should be uneasy with our government taking sides in this ideological dispute. ... [I]t's just not right for the state to impose compulsory schooling that uses public funds to push one side or the other in any ongoing controversy with such deep scientific and religious consequences."
I Want My Flying Car!
"There should be cures for all diseases, we should be pulling energy straight out of the fabric of space, and I SHOULD HAVE A FLYING CAR! I want a robot vacuum cleaner! And maybe it should wash my clothes, too! That's what the State has done to the human race -- put us behind 2000 years!"
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