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Libertarianism is…

09/06/2011 Leave a comment

an underlying belief that an individual ought to have the freedom to live his/her life as he/she likes as long he/she respects the individual rights of other hes/shes. Critics always seem to ignore the latter half of the idea. Imaginary anarchy, racism, and hedonism ensue.

I grabbed this line from this article. Thanks David Harsanyi.

Categories: Consider This

illegitimi non carborundum

08/27/2011 Leave a comment

I recently changed the name of the website. I didn’t like the apostrophe.

I also withdrew from the Libertarian Controversies class at Mises. I have too much on my plate currently. Hopefully, I will have more time this winter when all outdoor activities cease chez moi.

Categories: Consider This

President’s Speech 06-22

06/22/2011 Leave a comment

I usually brush off presidential speeches. They are typically pointless, often full of party talk and overall uneventful. This one, for whatever reason, really got my gourd. The overall tone of this speech was to announce the withdraw of U.S. troops from Afghanistan; a positive note that should not be understated. This speech, along with some good news, was also chock full of misleading quips. Soon after it was over, I found the transcript here. I have taken small sections and commented as I felt necessary.

Our mission will change from combat to support.

I believe we’ve heard this lie before.

Of course, huge challenges remain. This is the beginning — but not the end — of our effort to wind down this war. We will have to do the hard work of keeping the gains that we have made, while we drawdown our forces and transition responsibility for security to the Afghan government. And next May, in Chicago, we will host a summit with our NATO allies and partners to shape the next phase of this transition.

We do know that peace cannot come to a land that has known so much war without a political settlement. So as we strengthen the Afghan government and Security Forces, America will join initiatives that reconcile the Afghan people, including the Taliban. Our position on these talks is clear: they must be led by the Afghan government, and those who want to be a part of a peaceful Afghanistan must break from al Qaeda, abandon violence, and abide by the Afghan Constitution. But, in part because of our military effort, we have reason to believe that progress can be made.

We will have to do the hard work because we are responsible, but when are we going to set definite limits on these “transitions?” Was it not then-Senator Obama and the same Democratic majority who were screaming for President Bush to fully withdraw. Now they sound more like Bush Cabinet members. The Boehner-led conservatives must be ECSTATIC to have a new section of believers. But certainly President Obama doesn’t believe we should continue a policy of being world police.

 Some would have America retreat from our responsibility as an anchor of global security, and embrace an isolation that ignores the very real threats that we face. Others would have America over-extend ourselves, confronting every evil that can be found abroad.

Like generations before, we must embrace America’s singular role in the course of human events. But we must be as pragmatic as we are passionate; as strategic as we are resolute. When threatened, we must respond with force — but when that force can be targeted, we need not deploy large armies overseas. When innocents are being slaughtered and global security endangered, we don’t have to choose between standing idly by or acting on our own. Instead, we must rally international action, which we are doing in Libya, where we do not have a single soldier on the ground, but are supporting allies in protecting the Libyan people and giving them the chance to determine their destiny.

COME ON! Where in the U.S. Constitution, and by what authority have we become the anchor of global security? I believe we ARE over-extended Mr. President. Withdrawing all troops and personnel from Afghanistan, Iraq, and North Korea – as well as all covert operations, is hardly embracing isolation. It’s called minding our own business, which we have been failing at miserably! Mr. President, would you care to guess which country is seen as endangering global security? One hint:  it ain’t found in the Mid-East.

Which brings us to Libya. Sure, perhaps we don’t have a single soldier on the ground, but what about the CIA operatives you sent over? Is this a step toward giving them the chance to determine their destiny? Seems like we are forever doomed to repeat the worst of our historical mistakes.

In all that we do, we must remember that what sets America apart is not solely our power — it is the principles upon which our union was founded. We are a nation that brings our enemies to justice while adhering to the rule of law…

I assume you are not referring to Guantanamo Bay as an example of bringing enemies to justice while adhering to the rule of the law. It’s also becoming more difficult to believe you have any interest in the true intent of our nation’s founding.

We protect our own freedom and prosperity by extending it to others.

Oh, so this is the reason we invade other countries.

We stand not for empire, but for self-determination.

Empire. Check. Self-determination. Check and check. It’s what we do.

That is why we have a stake in the democratic aspirations that are now washing across the Arab World.

That and oil. And I’m not sure I would say it’s washing across the Arab World. A slow drip at best.

Above all, we are a nation whose strength abroad has been anchored in opportunity for our citizens at home.

I can only assume these opportunities you speak of are warmongering and forced participation in tax appropriations, because there is no way you can stand there with a straight face knowing our current unemployment rate and be speaking of actual job opportunities. Those are all overseas.

Yes, there were some positives. We are going to withdraw troops. We are at least looking at ending these atrocities and speaking about taking care of our own citizens. However, we all know the abysmal rift between speech and action in the political realm.

Categories: Quote Me

Post-Election Exhumation

11/03/2010 Leave a comment

I have posted this line from Network before, but it’s a classic worth repeating. It’s the moment in the film when Peter Finch’s character Howard Beale flips out and announces his rage. Fair warning, there is language below that some might find offensive.

“We all know things are bad — worse than bad — they’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out any more. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we’re living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, “Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials, and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.”

Well, I’m not going to leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot. I don’t want you to write to your Congressman, because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street.

All I know is that first, you’ve got to get mad.

You’ve gotta say, “I’m a human being, goddammit! My life has value!”

So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

It does seem that for most, yesterday was that winning moment. Here in liberty land, however, I’m not half as excited. I was not surprised how bad things became. I won’t be surprised when nothing changes. After all, even those of us who didn’t vote for President Obama in 2008 secretly hoped for that promised change. I believe in benefit of doubt, but once reality hits, doubt fades. We can point fingers or blame the past, but it’s easy to see nothing has truly changed for the better.

I can only cross my fingers and wish for actual progress, regress, or whatever formulae will initiate a wholeness of liberty and freedom never before realized. I don’t care under which banner you stand, as long as you stand for the U.S. Constitution and the promises of liberty, justice, and the American Way.

I’m not a pessimist, but I am not here to fluff up a rock and tell you it’s a pillow. I am a realist. We may have elected some decent individuals yesterday, but I think we could have done a mite better overall.

-RJP

Categories: General

Here Come The Judge

10/21/2010 Leave a comment

The vote for Minnesota Supreme Court and the Minnesota Court of Appeals will not be an easy vote. I doubt it ever has been. There isn’t much information out there for any candidate and unless you are heavily involved in the court system, you may have no idea anyone is up for election until you step into the booth on election day.

The following are the individuals running for the Minnesota Supreme Court and the Minnesota Court of Appeals. The info is limited, but may give you a little more insight into each candidate. I would suggest using your search engine skills to find out more about each of these individuals before you vote.

Associate Justice – Supreme Court Seat 2

Helen Meyer – Judgepedia; Project Vote Smart; Campaign web site

Greg Wersal – Judgepedia; Campaign web site

Associate Justice – Supreme Court Seat 6

Alan Page – Wikipedia; Project Vote Smart; Campaign web site

Tim Tinglestad – Judgepedia; Project Vote Smart; Campaign web site

Judge – Court of Appeals – Seat 13

Randolph Peterson – Judgepedia; Campaign web site

Roxann Klugman – Judgepedia

Judge – Court of Appeals – Seat 14

Larry Stauber, Jr – Judgepedia; Campaign web site

Dan Griffith – Judgepedia; Campaign web site

November 2 is less than two weeks out. Please don’t wait until you get into the voting booth and flip a coin or vote for the party. Due diligence does not disappoint.

Thanks for reading,

-RJP

Suggested Reading

10/20/2010 Leave a comment

No one should ever proclaim they are bored. Reading not only expands the vocabulary and increases knowledge, it could possibly save sanity. This prompts me to proffer a few items you might consider reading today.

A Minimum Let-Down – How Congress can even ruin American jobs employing foreign workers. (Washington Times)

Tax Cuts Won’t Cut It – Peter Schiff on the real impediment to economic growth. (Liberty Maven)

A View of Eco-Terrorism – These are the people who damage the environmental movement. (Mises)

Enjoy,

RJP

The Trees and The Axe

10/19/2010 Leave a comment

During my reading today, I came across an article in The Art of Manliness about Aesop’s Fables. One of the tales retold was of The Trees and The Axe, which follows below.

A Man came into a forest, and made a petition to the Trees to provide him a handle for his axe. The Trees consented to his request, and gave him a young ash-tree. No sooner had the man fitted from it a new handle to his axe, than he began to use it, and quickly felled with his strokes the noblest giants of the forest. An old oak, lamenting when too late the destruction of his companions, said to a neighboring cedar, “The first step has lost us all. If we had not given up the rights of the ash, we might yet have retained our own privileges, and have stood for ages.”

Beware of small concessions.

We often have no choice but to lay aside certain qualifications when looking for the right candidate to win the election. However, let us not forget this fable and the possible consequences of making small concessions. You may just be providing the handle for someone’s axe.

Thanks for reading,

RJP

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