Tag archive

freedom

Philosophy/Politics

The “Skim Milk” Mentality On The First Amendment

Yeah, you’re probably scratching your head, aren’t you? Despite the ambiguity of the title of this op-ed, the comments you are about to read throughout are listed in an effort to illustrate the damaging state of the First Amendment. A few days ago, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit concluded in one of the most obscure federal lawsuits in recent years that government regulators in the State of Florida violated the first amendment rights of an all-natural dairy producer in a rural part of the state. Specifically, the dairy is known as Ocheesee Creamery and the lawsuit was over a rift between the company and the state over the simple identification of “skim milk” on dairy products. Keep Reading

Economics/News/Politics

The Trump Rally: Stocks Fly High As Confidence Surges

The election of President-elect Donald Trump last month has awakened, what some people are calling, the “animal spirits” of capitalism. Anyone with a 401k or money in the stock market could tell you that things are going very well at the moment. The election of President-elect Trump and conservative, pro-market Republican majorities in the House and Senate represents a turning of the page from eight years of growing tax burden, government spending, and red tape. The Trump Rally, as some pundits are calling it, has resulted in the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumping 1,600 points since 2016’s election day. Such a large jump — well up into the nineteen thousands — has many market watchers discussing the prospect of the Dow breaking 20,000 points. The result has been nearly two trillion dollars in wealth generated for the tens of millions of Americans with money in the stock market. Keep Reading

slippery slope
Culture

The Slippery Slope Of Progressivism

In the lexicon of modern American politics, there are few pieces of rhetoric more likely to elicit an eye roll from the Left than the slippery slope argument. Whether it’s in response to gun control measures or gay marriage legalization, progressives never tire of castigating conservatives for their hysteria in the face of progress and equality. This argument has recently found reincarnation in the form of debates surrounding the use of gender pronouns and fake news. Those against any legislative attempts at regulation of these issues assert that such laws would pave the way to the restriction of the First Amendment and freedom of speech. While those in favor of such legislation contend that it is necessary for the improvement of society. Setting aside for a moment the irony of progressives criticizing emotional rhetoric, it is the nature of the progressive ideology that creates the slippery slope. Progressivism feeds on the correction of perceived injustices and inequalities. It is also an ideology that is incredibly absolutist in its views. It doesn’t merely try… Keep Reading

Culture/Philosophy/Politics

Marriage & The State – A Case For Privatization

Outside of abortion, the definition of marriage and the role of the state is probably the most contentiously debated topic in social politics today. Over the last decade, same-sex couples have ramped up their battle for the state to recognize their unions and receive the same benefits (including legal recognition) that is given to traditional marriages. The proponents of the expansion of marriage were (and still are) vehemently opposed by organizations, mainly religious, that believe same-sex marriage is not marriage at all, but a redefinition of marriage altogether. Over the last 15 years or so, and certainly for the coming years, the debate has taken over legislatures and courts. Of course, this battle culminated last summer in the Obergefell v. Hodges decision by the Supreme Court of the United States forcing states to recognize same-sex marriage. However, the battle is not over. Many religious persons are concerned with the tension that will ultimately exist between the protection of same-sex couples to be legally married and the First Amendment’s protection of the religious objector.… Keep Reading

Philosophy/Politics

The Importance Of Startup Political Publications: Entrepreneurship And Information

Years ago when I was in my first year of undergraduate study at my university, I had an inkling of what I desired to do as a career outside of pure academia: political journalism. But in order to do it and make something of a living at it, I didn’t quite know where to start – politically, I was a bit of a square peg, with my socially liberal views oftentimes seen as directly contradictory to my fiscally conservative ones. And yet, a handful of smaller publications that shared my vociferously individualistic approach to political writing, and fortunately, they decided to take a chance on me. These outlets were essentially start-ups; virtual magazines without printing presses and major publishing houses behind them; backed my passionate and ingenious entrepreneurs rather than bug businessmen in overprices suits and bottom lines. Seeking the truth and shooting straight – not selling fixed narratives to a certain demographic – were the desires that drove these guys to build their own little media empires. I felt… Keep Reading

Culture/Politics

The Gun Debate

As could be expected, the gun debate reappeared in full force after the tragedy that took place in Orlando.  All of the typical arguments from both sides are again being repeated ad nauseum.  From “we need to prevent this from ever happening again” on the left, to “from my cold, dead hands” on the right, and everything in between. In the post-9/11 world, both major political parties are increasingly coming out in support of restrictions on gun ownership.  The idea that anyone who is on a government watchlist (such as the no-fly list) should not be able to own a gun is now supported by both Republicans and Democrats.  Libertarians beg to differ. The problem is the way that these watchlists are assembled.  One simply must be accused of “potentially” being a terrorist for their individual rights and civil liberties to be severely restricted.  There is no presentation of evidence, no opportunity for refutation, little to no recourse for clearing one’s name, and no assumption of innocence until proven… Keep Reading

Politics

3 Ways To Become a Conservatarian Superstar Over Summer Vacation

Hooray!!! The semester is over. But deep down, you know you miss the intellectual political conversations with friends from campus and are yearning to still be politically engaged. Here are three ways to hone in your political philosophy and become a conservatarian superstar while away from your college on summer vacation. 1. Don’t allow that free time to go to waste, educate yourself! The summer is prime time to get up to date on all political happenings. While relaxing and working on your tan by the pool, bring a copy of  The Libertarian Reader with you or read the trending news stories of the day on your iPad. On that same note, stay “social.” Social networking sites, like Twitter, often give readers access to news information that is not covered by the mainstream media. And many times, twitter users get access to breaking news faster than news outlets. If you’re not much of a reader, attend educational seminars like The Leadership Institute’s Youth Leadership School, the Institute For Humane Studies Summer Seminars, or Turning… Keep Reading

Philosophy/Politics

The GOP Is Finally Dead. What That Means For Real Conservative Voters

Yesterday, the Republican Party gasped its final breath as Ted Cruz, the candidate I named in my last article as the only remaining viable option in the party, dropped out of the 2016 race for the GOP nomination. Rand Paul supporters had for months been disparaging this man’s campaign for no other tangible reason other than the fact that he wasn’t Rand Paul. I criticized this idle purism at the time, and I implicate it now as the cause for Cruz’s narrow-but-meaningful losses in votes and delegates that ultimately left Trump just enough in the lead to count Cruz’s campaign as done for in Indiana. Congratulations to those #StillRanding – you got your wish. Cruz will not be the Republican nominee. I hope you prefer Trump, because Cruz was the only person standing between you and the aforementioned quasi-fascist tycoon. I for one, however, do not prefer Trump to anything but cancer. But now I’m just being redundant. And I can’t help but trust that plenty of people still… Keep Reading

Culture

#LegalizeItNJ: A Movement Needing Traction

This past Monday, pot enthusiasts swarmed the statehouse in Trenton, New Jersey – Chris Christie’s second home after some Town Hall venue in New Hampshire – with a simple message: legalize marijuana. In March 2014, Democratic State Senator Nicholas Scutari introduced a bill that would legalize and treat marijuana like alcohol for any adult over the age of 21. Finally, after all the hard work of the past two years that consisted of implementing new baby car seat rules ‘and’ somehow getting more money out of our pockets, it was finally time for the bill to get some forward traction. A hearing took place. Yes, a hearing. Basically it was a orgy of people wanting to legalize a plant to some small degree – or large depending on who you were – to which some people on the judiciary committee were a bit upset that the only opinions that were heard were of people wanting to legalize this plant. Sounds like a dandy, good old time. See, this concept… Keep Reading

Philosophy

Freedom Is Everything

Although there is very little on which we agree, Marxists and socialists have provided me with some excellent philosophical discussions.  One such person recently wrote this article in which he attempted to take to task the libertarian concept of freedom.  The piece starts out well enough as he does a decent job describing how libertarians view the concept: “What the libertarians mean by freedom is that the government does not interfere in the lives of private citizens.  If we were freed from government coercion, people would have a good life, because the free market would regulate our lives, and we would need no bureaucrat to tell us how to live wisely.” Nothing there that I take issue with.  The rest of the piece, though; is littered with logical fallacies and false conclusions.  His primary thesis is that if an individual must work in order to survive, then he is not free; true freedom is to choose leisure over labor.  Throughout, he draws on his personal experiences in education and… Keep Reading

Philosophy/Politics

Kingsmen – End Sovereign Immunity!

The doctrine of sovereign immunity derives from the English notion that “the king can do no wrong” and hence cannot be sued without his consent. The purpose of this doctrine was, in England, from at least the Middle Ages until eighteenth century, to bar certain lawsuits against the monarch and his or her ministers and servants. With the rise of the English Parliament after the death of Elizabeth I, government officers and politicians sought to gain the power of immunity that the monarch and his or her agents had enjoyed. In practice, however, English subjects were not totally deprived of remedies against the monarch or the government. The doctrine of sovereign immunity was not an absolute prohibition on actions against the crown or against other branches of government;[1] subjects could avail themselves of petitions of right or writs of mandamus, for instance, and monarchs fearful of losing the support of the people would often consent to be sued. It was not until the monarchy had been demonstrably weakened that… Keep Reading

Philosophy/Politics

You Are Perfectly Free To Say Nice Things

Continuing in its fifth year, the Broadsides series published by Encounter Books consists of paperback pamphlets modeled on 18th-century political pamphlets such as The Federalist Papers and Thomas Paine’s Common Sense. Short and accessible, polemical and jargon-free, speedily produced and mass-marketed, these pamphlets examine any number of policy issues from immigration and climate change to gun control and Obamacare. Published this year, the 39th book in the series is Greg Lukianoff’s Freedom From Speech, a vigorous and cogent refutation of the increasingly popular notion that people have a right not to be offended. Lukianoff is an attorney and the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving civil liberties in academia. His first book, Unlearning Liberty, earned high acclaim from pundits and reviewers with diverse political leanings. Who gets to decide what is offensive and what isn’t? How do we determine who is worthy of such power? “It seems as if every day brings a new controversy regarding the purportedly offensive… Keep Reading

Politics

End The Wrong-Headed War On Drugs

The great debate on the effectiveness of the War on Drugs has emerged and caused tremendous angst to big government social conservatives. We are told by authorities that violent crime, rape, and murder will become the norm if marijuana is legalized. While libertarians question the effectiveness of spending $45,000 a year to put a non-violent drug offender behind bars for 5-20 years. That’s right. The War on Drugs requires us to pay salaries, benefits and pensions to law enforcement, the prison system, the judiciary, and myriad other personnel. It’s cheaper to send these drug offenders to Harvard. Yet libertarians are misguided if we think society will tolerate irresponsible behavior. There are two sides to freedom. One is our right to privacy, the other is personal responsibility. It is interesting to note that many conservative icons associated with morality and civic virtue have called for the decriminalization or the complete legality of smoking marijuana. They include Sarah Palin, who says, “What people do in the privacy of their own living… Keep Reading

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