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Frederic Bastiat, Happy Birthday

Today marks the birth of Frederic Bastiat in 1801. He is well known for writing ‘The Law‘  in 1850 which gives his view on the legitimate purpose of government.  One point being that when government does not protect liberty and property it is contrary to the legitimate function of government.  Part of his [...] [...]

A note on style.

I agree with the overall sentiment of Wilton D. Alston’s recent article “How Can Anyone Not Realize the War on (Some) Drugs Is Racist?
Unfortunately, the writing is atrocious. It contains far too many parentheticals, disjointed sentences, too many commas and too few periods.
Worse than that is the tone. Mr. Alston is justifiably passionate about the racial injustices of the drug war. The tone, however, is not designed to win converts to his point of view. It is designed to inflame the passions of those that already agree with him.
I have never found that a wise strategic choice. Inflaming passions has its place, but it is far less helpful in the long run than a reasoned appeal to the logic of those that disagree. I want to increase the overall number of lions in the zoo, not merely throw red meat to the lions already there.
Angry rhetoric, even when justified, turns people away from the message. A strong, reasoned argument brings people to the message.

A little help translating “social conservative” into “limited government,” please.

I am a fan of former state Senator Dave Schultheis.
However, this will have to be explained to me – Senator Schultheis was quoted in a Colorado Springs Independent article by Chet Hardin, “Anarchy in the GOP,” thusly:
“They [liberty groups] realize that if they start bringing in some of these cultural issues, that they will lose their momentum,” he says. “They are trying to find a common ground where they can at least agree. But what they don’t understand is that the cultural is all intertwined. You can’t have limited government be totally successful without the cultural issues.”

I do not grasp the last sentence. It seems contradictory to me. I interpret it as saying, “you can’t have limited government be totally successful without the government having the authority to tell adults how they must act in the privacy of their own home and the power to enforce that authority.”
Senator Schulteiss, as described in the article, is a supporter of the liberty groups. He is on their side. For that, he gets major props.
I, however, need some help in understanding his position in this instance.

Pammy’s Whammy: $130,000 INVOLUNTARY B.C.Taxpayer Kiss to a Christy Clark Friend

Want to read more information on Pamela Martin’s patronage appointment? Read Alex G. Tsakumis’ latest blog on it. Full [...] [...]

LOTR: A Republic, If You Can Keep It ?

Empire or Republic?      Is the U.S. an Empire ? Have the Progressive’s and Statist’s won the day?        Have we lost the Republic that Benjamin Franklin claimed we had?

You’re invited to join us as we celebrate Liberty and fellowship with other liberty lovers on June 28th, 5:30pm to 7:30pm at The [...] [...]

Colorado GOP Press Release

I am posting this because it is one of the few “task forces” I favor. Public schools’ “zero tolerance” policies are moronic, unjust and costly.
Contact: Owen Loftus, 303-866-5679
Contact: Michelle Yi, 303-866-2988
Nikkel, Szabo Named to Task Force to Study School Discipline
DENVER – Speaker of the House Frank McNulty named state Reps. B.J. Nikkel, R-Loveland, and Libby Szabo, R-Arvada, to the Legislative Task Force to Study School Discipline.
Senate Bill 133 created the Legislative Task Force to Study School Discipline, which is responsible for reviewing issues related to juvenile justice and school discipline in the pursuit of ensuring a safe environment in Colorado schools. McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, appointed House Majority Whip Nikkel as the vice chair of the task force and Szabo as one of the task force members.
“This legislative task force takes on the multifaceted challenge of finding appropriate and meaningful discipline in our schools,” said Nikkel. “Colorado’s zero-tolerance policies have led to over 10,000 referrals from schools to law enforcement last year alone and research has shown that taking students out of the classroom can lead to low graduation rates and achievement gaps.”
Colorado received national attention for cases of school and law enforcement discipline measures that many deemed as overly aggressive. Earlier this year, a 10-year-old who found a broken toy gun and brought it to school was arrested and detained for several days.
“Every situation involving the safety of our schools is different and enforcing a universal discipline policy may not always yield the best results,” said Szabo. “This task force is designed to find the balance between fair but effective policies so that schools can be a safe place for our children while ensuring those who require more disciplinary action are treated fairly.”

Liberty on the Rocks DC Day at the Ballpark

Liberty on the Rocks DC is headed to the ballpark. Join us on Friday, September 9, 2011 at 7:05PM as the Washington Nationals take on the Houston Astros. Tickets will be $23 per person total (which includes a $1 processing fee for each ticket), for the Scoreboard Pavilion section. A free drink ticket will be included in [...] [...]

Capitalism is freedom.

In his article on criminal charges against self-described anarchist Amelia Nicol (“Short Fuse“), author Josiah M. Hesse used the phrase “the authoritarian demands of capitalism.”

He was describing the mindset of Nicol, so I will not attribute the belief behind the phrase to Hesse himself. Nevertheless, the belief is pervasive. And the belief is patently wrong.
Capitalism is not authoritarian. It is the opposite of authoritarian. Capitalism describes nothing more than a system where people make mutually beneficial voluntary transactions. To wit:
I bake bread. I give some to you for some money. I had more bread than I could eat myself, so I am better off getting money for the bread. I win. You had money and could not eat it, so you are better off with the bread. You win.
There is no authoritarianism involved.
It is the self-described and completely misnamed “anarchist” that wants to use force (i.e. “authority,” the root word of “authoritarian”), to stop the baker from making “too much” money. It is the statist, not the anarchist, that wants to determine how much money to forcibly take from the baker so he can pay his “fair share” to the collective. It is the statist, not the anarchist, that wants to use force to appropriate the “ill-gotten wealth” of the rich who “exploited the working poor.”
Much to the chagrin of my anarcho-capitalist friends, I believe anarchy is neither desirable nor achievable within the next millennium or so. Nevertheless, if a truly stateless society is achieved, it will be based on the mutually beneficial voluntary transactions of its members, and not some ill-defined notion of “fairness” imposed by force on behalf of the collective by those not party to the voluntary transactions of individuals.

Facepalm of the day.

Susan Altenhofen, of Fort Collins, had her letter to the editor published in today’s Denver Post. (“Blaming the victims for economic woes.“)
She concludes with this question:
What’s wrong with soaking the rich for their fair share of tax revenue when they have all made their fortunes on the backs of the working poor?

I’m afraid Ms. Altenhofen is beyond hope. Nevertheless, there are many others who may well be saved from such ignorance. For those that can still be saved, keep citing F. A. Hayek, Henry Hazlitt, Thomas Jefferson, Frederic Bastiat and others. Cite those who, unlike the hopeless Ms. Altenhofen, understand it is the government that decides what is a “fair share” and uses guns to extract it; that without the “rich” there would be no job jobs for the “working poor;” that taking money from one group to give to another is not “compassion;” and that wanting to keep one’s own money earned from voluntary exchange is not “greed.”

June 20th Meetup — Do Elections Matter?

Independence Institute’s Justin Longo – Up On The Roof! “Why Elections Don’t Matter…but the Median Voter Does” Are you “Fed” up with politics as usual?  Were you looking for inspiration from the CNN debate?  Stuck inside a party box?  Then it’s time to challenge the status quo of stinkin’ thinkin’ with our generation Y guest, Justin Longo, [...] [...]