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politics

Culture

Ludwig Von Mises Understood “Meme Magic”

One of the most consistent themes through the works of Ludwig von Mises is the role ideas play in shaping society. As he wrote in Theory and History: “Thoughts and ideas are not phantoms. They are real things. Although intangible and immaterial, they are factors in bringing about changes in the realm of tangible and material things.” How those ideas are transmitted has changed dramatically over time: from reliance on the spoken word, to the spread of print, to the rise of television, and to today’s digital word. Even within each era, new forms of communication have arisen. For example, print transformed from a privilege of noble elites to a medium created for the masses. Today’s age of digital communication is one that is constantly changing, but there is one phenomenon that may be particularly useful in the battle of ideas: online memes. Keep Reading

Culture/Politics

Donald Trump Isn’t Palpatine, He Is Valorum

Let’s get some things straight. I voted for Donald Trump because I wanted the best effort to defeat Hillary Clinton (the Star Wars equivalent of Mother Talzin), so, I admit there may be some levels of hypocrisy associated with this piece. Moving on… The simplest of ways to put this is that Donald Trump is not the image of the corrupt Sheev Palpatine (a.k.a. Darth Sidious) that the Left has characterized him to be. In fact, it is my belief that Trump – when applying Star Wars canon — holds similar characteristics of Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum, Palpatine’s predecessor. Keep Reading

Law/Politics

Why The Endangered Species Act Needs To Be Reformed

A little over two weeks ago, our friends in Washington D.C. held a committee meeting to discuss the possibilities of modernizing the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The ESA is one of the several environmental laws passed in the 1970s that served as provisional attempts to protect species considered a risk of going extinct due to economic growth and the alleged lack of concern for the conservation of our environment. Keep Reading

Politics

House Agriculture Committee To Discuss Placing Restrictions On SNAP

With President Donald Trump quickly fulfilling promises made on his campaign trail (from cutting down a number of federal regulations present today to ordering a withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership), we can expect fast changes to be made to inefficient welfare programs such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).  SNAP has been called out multiple times by President Trump and other well-known conservatives for reform. The House Agriculture Committee comes together this Thursday to debate placing food restrictions onto the program. Keep Reading

immigration
Philosophy

The Only Fair Immigration Policy? None At All

The immigration debate is one of contention, hurt feelings, and misinformation. Groups defending different approaches often use faulty knowledge and divisive rhetoric, all while ignoring important points being made by both sides. As a result, truth and basic moral principles are ignored — by everyone. Especially those who mean well. As explained by Mises Institute’s president Jeff Deist, national borders mark “the edge of a particular territory over which a political entity — a state — claims exclusive jurisdiction.” By definition, anything under the control of the state requires a border — physical or otherwise. Much like the market, where governments claim to have the power to regulate service and product providers, setting the standards both consumers and entrepreneurs must meet. The state sets boundaries by default. The natural rights of man aren’t the state’s problem. In a stateless society, however, boundaries are set by the individual. Keep Reading

trump
Economics

Awkward: Trump’s Wall Is A Progressive Policy

‘This Congress is going to be the busiest Congress in decades — maybe ever.’’ With these words, President Donald Trump urged fellow Republicans in Congress to help him halt illegal immigration by supporting his plan to build a United States-Mexico border wall. But a wall that isn’t erected by the private land owners bordering Mexican land owners isn’t a wall. It’s government spending. And if government is spending, someone else is footing the bill. That someone is you and me. 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

Politics

Term Limits: a Policy Proposal When The Barrel Is Empty, Part 2

This is Part 2 of a series on term limits. See Part 1 here. 2. The people will naturally tend to vote for smarter choices for their representatives if given open elections free of incumbents. This is, again, just not true. The same people who send back an incumbent you don’t like will probably send in a freshman you don’t like. The reason for this: they like people you don’t like. Sorry, it’s a fact of politics. If you don’t like that, perhaps I suggest you try getting involved in campaigns to try to influence the choices you have rather than waiting for it to happen to you. Just a thought. The average open congressional seat sees about seven candidates jump in for the nomination contest of the predominant party in the district. In the jungle that is a seven-way primary or caucus election, you’ll realize that the same factors that favor the incumbents you didn’t like (money, media bias, the favor of the party establishment and political insiders)… Keep Reading

Politics

Don’t Believe The Polls Anymore?

If you’ve seen the news, opened social media, or generally lived anywhere other than a desert island for the past few months, you’ve inevitably seen a plethora of presidential polls that all say the same thing: Donald Trump is losing to Hillary in every swing state and a good number of red states. Badly. Like, we are talking Barry Goldwater 1964, in your guts you know he’s nuts, badly. Republican strategists from across the ideological spectrum range from cautious optimism that it’s not all over to circling the wagons around down-ticket campaigns. With the cascade of public opinion falling down around him, what is the Republican nominee doing? Why, writing it off, of course. According to The Hill, Mr. Trump told an audience Tuesday in battleground Colorado, “I don’t believe the polls anymore.” Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a candidate’s job to be optimistic, even in the face of a lost cause. It’s the candidate’s job to keep believing that the party will bounce back from every setback.… Keep Reading

Culture/Politics

Seven Rules For Christian Battle

My people are generally conservatives, church-goers, traditionalists and home-schoolers, the sort of people who fear God and fold their underwear neatly — which means they are usually idiots on the political battle field. There are different standards, my gentle Christian friends, for warfare, courtrooms, and political elections.  You had better learn them.  Your enemies — as WikiLeaks and James O’Keefe have made clear — are willing to lie about you, question your motives, and bring the full weight of the law down against you, even if you’ve done nothing wrong.  Anyone who has watched Debbie Wasserman Schultz speak, for even five minutes, knows she is quite willing not only to spin, but to lie through her teeth, yet some of you nice folk think your enemies will respond to kindness and reason.  How many ambassadors have to be killed, how many bribes have to be taken, how many “tough” oversight hearings must that nice Jason Chaffetz youngster conduct, without any real penalties being imposed, before you realize that you… Keep Reading

Culture/Philosophy/Politics

An Army, Not An Audience

If your faith isn’t directing you to plant vineyards and guard them with the sword, it might not be faith at all. If you’ve ever nurtured an apple crop through to harvest, enduring heat waves, hailstorms, coddling moth infestations, and property taxes, only to see a family in a brand new SUV stealing apples during a pick-your-own visit, you might have some sense for why I write about God a lot. I know some people proceed straight to the justice question when they are wronged. They lawyer up. They make complaints. They take solace in a withering Yelp review. Me? I want to dig up the bitter root, the spiritual sickness, and burn it in the public square with a blow torch. I’m aching to know what went wrong with the American soul, to know why families could camp overnight in Central Park in the 19th century, but wouldn’t do that now without the help of a SWAT team. When I see a trunk full of stolen apples, gathered… 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

Economics/Philosophy/Politics

Economics & History: Why This Connection Matters

In a recent article of mine, I debunked the red herring of  the “roads” argument that many modern socialists throw around. It turns out that lately this article has gotten some pretty lively responses from its critical readers. One such commenter was someone I might have expected to be on my side (politically speaking) as he was presumably a libertarian himself, but the road forked for us at economics. It seemed as if this gentleman was an adherent of the Austrian school (a.k.a. the fantasy football of economics), and he had a thing or two to say about my reasoning behind my aforementioned debunking. But before we get to that, it might be prudent to first scan briefly the shoal of my original argument: the modern socialist mantra is to call their capitalist fellows “hypocrites” for accepting such “socialist” elements of society as roads and a postal service. My rebuttal to that claim is simple enough in that these very elements of public convenience (as well as many others) predate socialism’s inception; therefore… 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 without any regard to our conscience. Instead, it referred to the ability to live without oppression, guided solely by our conscience. As a nation, we have bought the misguided philosophy of “it’s all about me,” and that being an American is being a “tough guy” who shouts down those who oppose you. Our words are used for the purpose of personal destruction and self-promotion, instead of advocacy for common… 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 there is now something more I can say about it worth listening to – even for people like myself who weren’t 100% on board with his decisions made along the way. First and foremost, Rand Paul aligns with many of American voters’ views on the issues. He may be more staunchly right-leaning than more outwardly libertarian politicians like Gary Johnson, but his anti-establishment, anti-spying, anti-war, anti-drone, and anti-drug war… 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 unfortunate and philosophically needless. Getting libertarians to hold a ubiquitous opinion on much of anything aside from the autonomy of the individual is oxymoronic. Grouping libertarians is a lot like herding cats, and as the great Michael Shermer has already pointed out, our individualistic nature is somewhat incompatible with party politics. Even so, we try so very hard. We formed a political party with a mission statement and real life candidates, and… 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 Night Specials” in New York City. Gun control zealots will target firearms whether they carry 30 rounds or 5 bullets in a snub-nose revolver. And they’ll come up with scary names. Then they trot out the nonsense statistics and scenarios. “You have a greater chance of having a gun taken and used against you than if you don’t have a gun.” Really? Well, what chance do we have to… Keep Reading

Politics

Should Libertarians Vote?

Midterm elections take place tomorrow and it’s around this time of the political cycle where we witness a bevy of propaganda aimed at various political goals. Some of this propaganda is aimed towards the support of specific candidates or ballot initiatives, while others simply push a generic “Get out the Vote!” message, without any specific reasons for doing so given. Those who travel in libertarian circles (i.e. social media newsfeeds), are also likely to be met with propaganda of a different message, that being “DON’T VOTE!!!!”  There are various reasons given for this blanket proclamation, among them: “Voting is a tool of the State, and to participate validates the system.” “Voting is aggression.” “If voting were effective, they’d make it illegal.” “Voting is irrational because a vote is mathematically insignificant.” “The system is rigged.” It should first be recognized that there exist elements of truth in these statements. It is true that many politicians will use the cover of “the will of the people” in order to justify the… Keep Reading

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