Tag archive

liberty

Politics

Declaration Of Independence No Longer Expresses ‘The American Mind’

For most Americans, Independence Day means firecrackers and cookouts. The Declaration of Independence—whose proclamation, on July 4, 1776, we celebrate—doesn’t feature. Contemporary Americans are less likely to read it now that it is easily available on the Internet, than when it relied on horseback riders for its distribution. It is fair to say that the Declaration of Independence has been mocked out of meaning. Back in 1776, gallopers carried the Declaration through the country. Printer John Dunlap had worked “through the night” to set the full text on “a handsome folio sheet,” recounts historian David Hackett Fischer in Liberty And… Keep Reading

Culture

A Not So Awful Explanation Of Why “Wonder Woman” Wasn’t So Awful – And Why It Was Pretty Good

Getting past the sexiness exuded by Gal Gadot in her role as the lead, Wonder Woman wasn’t the narrative of preachy Hollywood feminism I thought it would be. In fact, the film was so much more than just a hot Amazonian showing how wicked strong female leads can be in the male-dominated genre of superhero cinema. DC Comics has a track record of screwing up heroes. But, I believe it is safe to say that this time around, they didn’t miss the mark that far. Granted, I will contend that this wasn’t the greatest dedication to an iconic hero (at least not… Keep Reading

Culture/Politics

A Revolution Squandered: National Libertarian Events Show a Moribund Movement On Its Last Legs

Back in 2013, Ron Paul had recently retired from Congress, and spirits were high. Libertarians felt that Ron Paul would be remembered as a historical figure after his Presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012 with his legacy lasting for generations to come. Optimism permeated through the movement, and it was widely believed that his son, Rand, would realize its full promise. His anti-drone filibuster was a huge hit to pretty much everybody, and the sky was seemingly the limit. It took less than four years for all of those gains to be completely pissed away. All of the credibility, the… Keep Reading

Philosophy/Politics

Authority As National Sanity

Somalia is not known for its natural beauty. Its landscape is rocky and dotted here and there with dusty shrubs and acacias poking through the sand. Less than two percent of the land is arable. It must be said that the ocean there is very beautiful and very blue, but turning away from the ocean to face the shore again brings back into view the rocky hillsides and the crumbling hovels that the Somalians call home. The political landscape of Somalia fares no better. It is a patchwork of warlords who have each parceled out a slice of mud to call… Keep Reading

News

Libertarian Party Of Nevada Endorses Sabotaging Own Party’s Convention With Leftist Tactics

The Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of Nevada has proposed an elaborate sabotage campaign based on far leftist tactics – to take down their own conference! David Colborne, Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of Nevada, used the official website of state party to propose a sabotage campaign of their own Party’s conference to deny certain libertarian undesirables their right to organize within the Party. Although he was not mentioned specifically in the article, many links clearly indicate that the “polarizing” figure referenced by the article is Augustus Invictus. In his post titled “The Max Power Way” on the… Keep Reading

Politics

When Protecting Free Speech Isn’t Easy, It’s Still Right

The Constitution of the United States is one of the most truly revolutionary documents of political theory ever penned by mankind. It grants an enormous amount of power, authority, and autonomy to the individual citizen and makes each American a sovereign power unto themselves. A big part of this empowerment comes from the recognition in the Bill of Rights that there are certain powers, rights, and privileges that are beyond the power of the government. The BoR does not “grant” citizens these rights, it merely recognizes them and places them off-limits to the interference and control of the government. It’s… Keep Reading

DMV
Culture/Politics

Scrounging For Respect In Soviet America

In his Netflix special, famed comedian Dana Carvey uses a simple analogy to explain the main difference between free market capitalism and socialism. “To me,” the former Saturday Night Live star launched, “capitalism is an Apple store.” But socialism, he continues, “is the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) … [where] sweaty, pissed off workers … can’t get fired.” What’s worse, Carvey added, is that “they laugh at you … ha, ha, ha ha … ‘you got the wrong line you f***ing idiot’.” Perhaps unbeknownst to the comedian, this analogy may also help to describe a sentiment shared by any American… Keep Reading

History/Politics

Today In History: Republic Of Texas

October 22, 1836 – Freedom isn’t free, but sometimes it is more costly to live for than to die for. Deep in the hill country of south Texas, Col. William Barret Travis and 181 of his fellow patriots hunkered down in a crumbling adobe church and fended off over a thousand professional soldiers under the command of Antonio Lopez Santa Anna for thirteen days of heroic sacrifice. Thirteen days that the Texian reinforcements under General Sam Houston desperately needed. Now we all know they won their freedom, but I’m interested in what came afterward. October 22, 1836, marks the anniversary… Keep Reading

Politics

Career Politicians – President Trump Says “You’re Fired!”

Congressional term limits have been a topic of conversation for decades in political circles.  Should members of Congress only be allowed to serve a certain number of terms?  Are career politicians a bad thing or is consistency good?  Well, the subject was once again thrust into the limelight when Presidential Candidate Donald Trump announced on Tuesday at a campaign rally in Colorado his plans to push for a Constitutional amendment imposing Congressional term limits.  Just as he would do in his ever so popular television series The Apprentice, Trump would like to look across the boardroom table at Congress, stick out… 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… Keep Reading

Politics

Lessons Learned: What The Liberty Minded Can Take Away From Trump’s Triumph

I have noticed a troubling trend amongst liberty conservatives that is growing lately. Instead of forging alliances with the anti-establishment Republican grassroots, they are pouting, whining, doing the bidding of the Bill Kristol’s of the world, abandoning ship, taking their ball and going home. They are proving all the worst stereotypes about the liberty minded: that we are marginal, petty, flaky, unreliable, melodramatic and undeserving to enjoy the blessings of freedom. Although events in the last year have killed morale and bruised many of our egos, there is a silver lining. The Trump phenomenon has harmed our enemies more than… Keep Reading

Politics

How Liberty Supporters Can Capitalize On The Trump Phenomenon

This was supposed to be our big year, but it all went awry. Liberty conservatives had two strong horses in the race: Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. It was more conceivable than ever before that one of those men could win the GOP nomination for President, but they were upstaged by a reality TV blowhard instead. Every liberty-minded conservative should be asking themselves the following simple question: How did we allow this to happen? Arrogance and haughtiness is not going to make the situation any better. Brushing it off and making rationalizations will only ensure that more crushing defeats are… Keep Reading

Culture/Philosophy/Politics

The Price Of Free Speech

As a nation we must realize that our words are powerful and have consequences far beyond our control. While we have the freedom of speech to say anything, we must calculate the unintended cost of the words we use. It is easy to blame the access to guns for tragedies, but that is simply a false narrative, used by those that promote divisiveness in order to deflect responsibility away from themselves and their words. As Americans we’ve always understood that that the greatest freedoms came with the greatest restraint. Liberty was never about unfettered freedom to do as we please… Keep Reading

Toward Libertarian Unity: How To Bridge The Gap Between Anarchism And Constitutionalism

A robust discussion last week between Jeff Deist, President of the Mises Institute, and Michael Boldin, Executive Director of the Tenth Amendment Center, showed how libertarians of different stripes can come together while reaching out to the broader public by sticking to the issues that matter. Boldin appeared on the Mises Institute’s Audio/Video Podcast for a spirited discussion about libertarian strategy. This is an essential topic that has been glossed over for far too long, to the detriment of the movement as a whole. While Deist, a staunch anarchist, and Boldin, a political reformer, may seem to be at odds,… Keep Reading

Politics

Republican Liberty Caucus Vice Chair Betrays His Own Cause, Pushes Gun-Grabbing Warmonger

It was a very humiliating spectacle this past weekend at the Libertarian Party National Convention in Orlando, FL. And I’m not referring to the now infamous streaker who gained national headlines. Sadly, the shame brought on by the nude anarchist paled in comparison to the wretched ticket that Libertarian Party members had the audacity to put up for the Presidency. In fact, it could be argued that the slovenly naked man was acting valiantly as a whistleblower effectively exposing the party to the world as a colossal disgrace with his lascivious antics. What was really so disgraceful is the Libertarian Party, for… 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… Keep Reading

Philosophy/Politics

The Libertarian Party Vs. Austin Petersen

On the night of the first ever nationally televised Libertarian Party presidential debate, myself and a small group of fellow writers, editors, and activists were invited by Libertarian Party candidate Austin Petersen to an after party of sorts in downtown New York City. It was history in the making – for the first time, national news had covered a debate between candidates seeking a nomination for this party, which was not one of the two viable political parties in the Republicans and Democrats (though if the state of those factions as of 2016 counts as “viable” today, I’m not sure… 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… Keep Reading

Politics

Why Rand Paul’s Campaign Will Go Down In History

I haven’t written much about Rand Paul in a while – not because I don’t like the guy, but because I feel like his most loyal endorsers are often the better sort to be writing about his current campaign. After all, those who love you most are the best voices to have in your corner when you’re trying to become the next leader of the free world. But now that Rand’s campaign looks to be coming to a forced, rousing, and highly resisted end sooner than later (though I would be happy to be wrong on that prediction), I feel… Keep Reading

Philosophy

My Brand Of Liberty Isn’t Dictated By Yours

By any sensible, historical definition, I am a libertarian. I also find myself more often than not feeling the need to apologize for other libertarians’ behavior in the social sphere. And some of the most fiery debates I have these days are with fellow self-proclaimed liberty lovers who would rather tell me how wrong I am about monetarist economics, how fascist I am for having gone to a publicly recognizable school, how I’m a leftist because I’m pro-choice, and how, because of all of these disputes and more, I couldn’t possibly be a “real” libertarian. Both of these realities are… 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… Keep Reading

Politics

Muskets, Militia And The Second Amendment

“We need to do this every day of the week and just really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.” – Eric Holder, former U.S. Attorney General   There has been a Gun-Free Zone shooting every day of President Barack Obama’s second term. It has become yet another hallmark of Omerica. And now he’s calling for national “gun safety laws” to stop “gun violence” in America. Many Politicians and pundits point to “assault rifles” and “high-capacity magazines” and insist they don’t belong in a civilized society. Back in the 1970s, they said the same thing about “Saturday… Keep Reading

Philosophy/Politics

Is America a Democracy Or a Republic?

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is two wolves and a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”– Benjamin Franklin Our Constitutional Republic is designed to do exactly that – to prevent mob rule. We hear a lot of talk from politicians about the will of people and political mandates. They point to polls and focus groups for agreement. They justify passing laws that hurt some Americans for the benefit of others under the banner of shared responsibility or personal sacrifice. President Barack Obama says it’s how our Democracy works. A democracy is… Keep Reading

Politics

Wanted: Dead Or Alive – What The RLC Vote Really Says About The Liberty Movement

It turns out the death of the Liberty Movement has been greatly exaggerated. At the first sign of some sputtering from the presidential campaign of “libertarian-ish” Sen. Rand Paul, critics and pundits gleefully took to the web to declare the so-called “libertarian moment” over. But those seeking evidence of the continued relevance of America’s youngest and most vibrant political faction may just be looking in all the wrong places. Of course one shortfall in the arithmetic of those waiting to dance on the grave of libertarianism is that it attempts to judge the fate of a movement by the electoral… Keep Reading

Politics

No Wonder Ted Cruz Hates DC – He’s a Marvel Fan (VIDEO)

Last week I had the chance to interview Senator Ted Cruz backstage after his “Believe Again” event at Drake University in Des Moines. Considering Cruz’s reputation as an avid gamer, I decided to spice things up by challenging him to a chess match during the interview – doing my best to keep the former Princeton debate champ in check, while also hitting him with questions ranging from campaign strategy to comic book wars. It turns out that when he’s not haunting the nightmares of Capitol Hill Democrats, the conservative firebrand enjoys swimming, science fiction, and the irreverent political satire of “Team… Keep Reading

Economics/Politics

A Letter To The Government

Dear Government, As tax season comes to a close, the existing arrangement between you and I has recently been at the forefront of my mind. Looking back over my year’s W2’s, and contemplating the amount of money you’ve taken from me, I couldn’t help but write to express my displeasure with our situation and to insist upon an alternative. The current arrangement is such that you receive somewhere in the neighborhood of 35-40% of all my income. The services, and the quality thereof, which are provided in return are not adequate to meet my value demands based upon what I… Keep Reading

Politics

I’m a Ron Paul Guy, And I’m Supporting Ted Cruz

The other night as my wife Kelsey and I were getting ready for bed, we were talking about the 2016 presidential race and discussing how things would shape up for the first-in-the-nation caucus state – our home state – of Iowa.  We had both heard that Ted Cruz was set to announce his candidacy at midnight, and were keeping a finger on the pulse of the reaction within our liberty-heavy political circles. My wife’s phone buzzed, and then I heard her groan. Another of our friends had asked her who we would be supporting for president in the state where… Keep Reading

Economics

Hayek, Statistics, And Trade-Cycle Theory

Austrian economics is often caricatured and criticized because of its approach, or deliberate lack of an approach, to mathematical models, multivariable calculus, and econometrics. Attacks are leveled against Austrians such as Mises, Rothbard, and Kirzner for their failure or refusal to avail themselves of applied empirical research in their scholarship. The Austrian methodology most frequently targeted is praxeology. It is not the purpose of this short article to refute these attacks or to explore their errors and merits. That has been done ably by others (see, for example, the series of debate-essays available here, here, here, and here). Nor does… 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… Keep Reading

Economics/Politics

Getting Conned By CONs

In the healthcare industry, a certificate of need, also known by the acronym CON, is an anticompetitive licensing restriction allegedly designed to promote fair competition by requiring hospitals to demonstrate the need for certain projects and services in order to receive governmental permission for those projects and services. Under a CON scheme, a hospital–-let’s call it Hospital X–-that wishes to expand its facilities applies to a state health planning agency for a CON. Nearby hospitals–perhaps Hospital X’s competitors, Hospital Y and Hospital Z–may oppose Hospital X’s CON application. An administrative law judge (ALJ) reviews Hospital X’s CON application and supporting… Keep Reading

World

A Time For War: How Foreign Policy Can Make Or Break The Liberty Movement

The Middle East is in flames again, and for once, Liberty people seem unsure what to think about it.  For years our only rallying cry was “no more nation-building – bring the troops home!” And for a while, that was enough.  Our foreign policy ideals were so diametrically opposed to those in play for the last few administrations, we didn’t need to nail down all the details of our ideology.  Mere assertion sufficed. But the situation in Iraq has brought the Liberty Movement to a crossroads. On one side, Ron Paul’s steady non-interventionism is what first drew many people to… Keep Reading

Politics

An Open Letter To Social Conservatives

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” – St. Augustine Dear Social Conservatives, I hesitate to address you by that name in a political sense, because being socially conservative isn’t really a theory of government, it’s a theory of culture.  One could be socially conservative in a totally stateless environment.  That’s why there’s been a high degree of overlap between your endeavors of late and those of the Liberty Movement, and that’s why many of us can comfortably identify ourselves as socially conservative libertarians. Now of course the Liberty Movement is incredibly diverse, and has shown an… Keep Reading

Politics

Things You Can’t Do In The Land Of The Free

Independence Day has always been one of my favorite holidays.  In fact, if Thanksgiving didn’t land squarely on the intersection of food, football, hunting, colorful leaves, hoodies, and cool weather, the 4th of July would be the undisputed champion of my holiday list. Independence Day is one of only a couple holidays that hasn’t yet been completely adulterated by irrelevant mythical beings or stained by a liberal re-telling of history. Better yet, the copious commercialism surrounding this holiday is actually cool. Ask any red-blooded American to choose between easter eggs, plastic Santas, and roman candles, and see which one brings out the… Keep Reading

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