October 31, 2014

Duck Dynasty A&E dispute proves Civil Rights Act obsolete

Duck_Dynasty_s800x265TAMPA, December 20, 2013 – Immediately after A&E put Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson “on hiatus,” the blogosphere exploded with reactions. Liberals decry Robertson’s alleged bigotry. Conservatives defended his right to free speech and freedom of religion.

99% of the commentary is wrong, of course. First, Robertson’s comments were not bigoted. Robertson merely quotes the Bible on homosexuality. He then says that it is not for humans to judge anyone. That is reserved for God.

You can’t be prejudiced if you don’t judge. He believes homosexuality is a sin, but nowhere does he indicate that anyone should be treated differently, either by the law or by individuals, because they are homosexual.

This has nothing to do with freedom of speech or religion, either. Those principles relate to government suppression of speech and religion. The government hasn’t threatened Robertson.

In fact, A&E’s response was the textbook libertarian answer to this kind of dispute. A&E’s management, representing the stockholders, exercised their own right to freedom of association. They have a right to terminate their business relationship with Robertson for any reason, provided it does not violate the contract they signed with him.

Read the rest of the article at Communities@ Washington Times…

Does excessive noise help cause big government?

Does excessive noise help cause big government?TAMPA, February 24, 2013 ― “If there’s one thing I hate, it’s all the noise, noise, noise, noise!”

There’s not much to like about The Grinch before his sentimental conversion at the top of Mount Crumpet. But it’s hard not to sympathize with him just a little when he utters those words. If quiet was in short supply in 1966 Whoville, it’s completely nonexistent in 2013 America.

I walked into a Jimmy John’s sub shop last week for the first time in two years. They recently began offering all of their subs as lettuce wraps, making them permissible as an occasional treat for primals. I knew I had missed the delicious #9. What I hadn’t missed was the music. At 12:30 in the afternoon, Jimmy John’s plays it at nightclub volume. Ordering and waiting the 1-2 minutes it takes to get your food is bad enough. Eating there is out of the question.

There is scarcely a restaurant anywhere that doesn’t pipe music throughout its dining room and onto its patio. Gas stations now blare music at customers while they pump their gas. Supermarkets, retail stores at the mall, and even public parks have all followed suit.

If it’s not music, then it’s television. Doctor’s office waiting rooms now bombard the ears and the psyche with vapid programming clattering off every uncarpeted surface. So do most auto repair shops.

There is virtually no spot accessible to the public that does not fill the soundscape with music or television. Even libraries are following the trend.

I know I sound like an old guy in baggy gray pants and a Humphrey Bogart hat, but I’m not. I love music. I love loud music. I played in bands for over twenty years and still like to crank up my Marshall amp and let some AC/DC rip on my vintage guitar.

I have nothing against music or television and certainly respect private property owners’ right to play either as loud as they wish to.

I just wonder when and where 21st century Americans ever experience quiet, outside of their jobs. When do they have the kinds of stimulating conversations with friends that are impossible when shouting over a restaurant sound system? When do they just sit and think, reflect or daydream?

It’s possible that the answer is “never.”

The term “noise pollution” is generally associated with the left and its never ending quest to impede commerce and industry. The war on noise fits nicely into the leftist worldview that when humans are left free to pursue their happiness, they naturally destroy the environment, including the sound environment, causing harm to themselves, each other and (gasp!) their furry co-inhabitants.

But does noise pollution also help cause big government?

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Libertarian themes pervade The Little Drummer Boy and Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town

Tampa 8 December 2012 – “And it came to pass that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. And all went to be taxed, everyone to his own city, for to disobey the Roman emperor meant certain death.”

The message in the opening lines of The Little Drummer Boy (1968) is as rich and pleasing to the ear as Greer Garson’s euphonious narration.

First, that Bethlehem was so crowded and there was “no room at the inn” for Joseph and Mary was not at all a natural occurrence. It was caused by the government, like virtually all human misery. Second, that all taxation occurs under the threat of violence, for to refuse to pay would result in “certain death.”

This is all within the first 30 seconds of the film. A libertarian couldn’t ask for a better start.

Taxation is repeatedly denounced throughout the story. Garson continues by noting that, “There were good people who could ill afford the cruel tax.” Even the film’s chief villain, Ben Haramad (voice by Jose Ferrer), who kidnaps Aaron in order to compel him to perform in his traveling show, addresses his audience as “fellow taxpayers,” indicating that as bad as he might be, he is one with his audience in suffering under a much more cruel and malicious oppressor.

I couldn’t have been happier that my seven-year-old daughter was exposed to all of this, along with a very age appropriate introduction to the gospel stories. With the central lesson of Thanksgiving – that communism is lethal and that private property is essential to human survival – effectively erased from popular consciousness, it was refreshing to see these foundational libertarian ideas surviving in a classic Christmas special.

Next, we queued up another oldie from the same DVD compilationSanta Claus is Comin’ to Town (1970). This one didn’t disappoint, either.  Again, the general misery within the aptly named “Sombertown” has the same source: government. One cannot help but see the parallels between Burgermeister Meisterburger’s idiotic law against toys and the U.S. government’s War on Drugs. All of the familiar characteristics are there.

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Peter Schiff on The Real Crash, Austrian economics and Ron Paul

TAMPA, August 30, 2012 – Like Ron Paul, Peter Schiff was predicting the 2008 economic meltdown long before it occurred. Schiff is the president of Euro Pacific Capital, a firm that pursues investment strategies based upon Schiff’s contrarian economic analysis. Clients who took his advice over the past decade did very well, even after the financial crisis.

Both Paul and Schiff are proponents of the Austrian school of economics, which emphasizes free markets, sound money and Carl Menger’s subjective theory of value. Asked to describe what the “Austrian school” is, Schiff quipped,

“It’s kind of like you’re asking me ‘What’s Science? Or what’s astronomy, because you believe in astrology. Austrian economics is economics. Keynesianism is like a witch doctor. It’s all a bunch of nonsense, but politicians love Keynesianism, because it justifies what they want to do to get elected, which is spend more money, promise something for nothing, play Santa Claus.”

Schiff was Ron Paul’s economic advisor during the 2008 campaign.

Schiff became a national sensation when the predictions documented in his 2007 book, Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse, came true. Not only was Schiff the darling of nationally televised financial and investing programs, but he found a whole new audience among Ron Paul supporters, who drove millions of page views to the You Tube video “Peter Schiff was right.”

Continue at Communities@ Washington Times…

 

Morning Joe Wrong on Ron Paul and Social Security

TAMPA, June 21 2012 — Ron Paul appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe yesterday, giving one of his most succinct criticisms of the Republican Party to date. Host Joe Scarborough had recently endorsed Paul and explained why he had voted for him in his Republican presidential primary.

For most of the segment, the hosts concentrated on Paul’s ideas, policy positions and vision for the future of the party. However, near the end of the segment, Sam Stein decided to ambush Paul on Social Security. After Paul explained his position on letting young people opt out of the program, Stein asked Paul if he collected Social Security payments himself. When Paul replied in the affirmative, Stein implied that Paul was being hypocritical by collecting Social Security payments while asking young people to opt out.

Non sequitur.

Ron Paul’s plan to phase out Social Security does not ask people who have paid into the program to forego the benefits. Those he wants to give the opportunity to opt out would also not be taxed to support Social Security. Perhaps somewhat surprised by the line of inquiry, Paul did not give the best answer he’s ever given to this question. However, he explained it in detail in my own interview with him last year.

Under Paul’s plan, those who have paid into the program would continue to receive the benefits they were promised. The funds not collected from young people who opt out would be raised from savings realized by Paul’s cuts to overseas military spending and elimination of federal departments.

So, Paul is not asking young people to do something that he is not willing to do himself. As he pointed out on Morning Joe, he’s still paying into Social Security right now.

Continue at The Washington Times Communities…

Why can’t Romney win delegates like Ron Paul?

TAMPA, May 10, 2012 – With his wins in Maine and Nevada last weekend and imminent wins at state conventions in six more states, it appears that some of us were correct when we said over a month ago that rumors of Ron Paul’s campaign demise were greatly exaggerated.

The media continues to insinuate that there is not only something underhanded about Paul’s strategy, but something fundamentally wrong with what Politico describes as “the country’s cumbersome and arcane system for nominating presidential candidates.” According to this narrative, Paul’s supporters are “undermining democracy” by using said “arcane rules” to nullify the wishes of the electorate.

One could argue that Paul’s strategy is perfectly legitimate and that the process is deliberately set up the way it is to ensure that only informed and committed voters become delegates and choose the nominee. It is a republican rather than a democratic electoral process.

This process doesn’t disenfranchise anyone because everyone has an equal opportunity to become a delegate. The rules are not “arcane.” Arcane means that the information is only available to some people. The rules for how one can become a delegate and how the nominee is chosen are published on the Republican Party website in each state and are equally available to everyone.

That brings us to the real question, representing the other side of all of the passive-aggressive attacks on Paul’s strategy and the nominating process itself.

Why can’t Romney simply employ the same strategy as Ron Paul? Why can’t he win delegate majorities in states where he won the popular vote?

Continue at Communities @ Washington Times…

The media just won’t let up on Ron Paul

TAMPA, May 8, 2012 – It’s official. Ron Paul has won two states. He’s probably going to win more.

In response, most media outlets have chosen to ramp up their passive-aggressive attacks on Paul’s campaign.

Ever since he announced that he would seek the Republican nomination for president back in 2007, Ron Paul has been covered like no other major party candidate in U.S. history.

Let’s review:

During his previous campaign for the 2008 Republican nomination, the media largely pretended he wasn’t running at all. When he was covered, virtually every article or segment described him as a “gadfly” and his campaign as “quixotic.” Even before the first debate was held, we were assured at least twice in every news piece that Paul “had little chance of winning the nomination.”

At the start of this election cycle, the gadfly’s quixotic campaign was covered in much the same manner. Admittedly, the insinuations that Paul’s views were “fringe” or “crazy” had diminished. It’s hard to call someone crazy after all of his economic predictions come true and all of the predictions of his opponents prove wrong.

Continue at Communities @ Washington Times…

Ron Paul delegate strategy is perfectly legitimate

For at least a month, the media have been ignoring compelling evidence that Ron Paul is doing much better in the Republican nomination race than he did in the primary/caucus popular votes. In their hurry to write the general election narrative, the media have forgotten to perform their primary function: to report the facts. The facts are that Ron Paul has won at least two states and will likely win more.

Now that Paul’s success is impossible to ignore, the media are writing a new narrative. Headlines like “Ron Paul’s stealth state convention takeover” and “Ron Paul People Playing Mischief with Delegates” indicate that instead of ignoring Paul’s victories, they now seek to imply that there is something sneaky or unfair about them. Some even suggest that his delegate success in states where he did not win the popular vote may even (gasp!) “undermine democracy.”

Undermining democracy would be a good thing.  If there is anything we have too much of in 21st century America; it’s democracy. The United States flourished as a free and prosperous society largely because it was founded as a republic. The reason for the bicameral legislature, the separation of powers, and the other so-called “checks and balances” was to protect us from democracy, which James Madison called “the most vile form of government.”

Based upon the belief that government “even in its best state, is but a necessary evil,” the American republic was built to check the will of the majority whenever it wished to confer more power on the government. That’s why there are two houses in Congress. In a democracy, there would be only one. Even after the House passes a law, it then has to pass the Senate, which originally represented the state governments, not the people. The 17th Amendment removed this important check on the power of the federal government.

Continue at Washington Times Communities…

Tom Mullen Interviews Ron Paul 10 minute version 7-7-2011

Tom Mullen, author or A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America interviews Congressman and Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul. You may enjoy the full version here or watch the short 10 minute version below:

10 minute epidsode

Tom Mullen Interviews Ron Paul 7-7-2011

Tom Mullen, author or A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America interviews Congressman and Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul. You may enjoy the 10 minute version here or watch the full version below:

Full epidsode