Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Carnival of Liberty XXI

Wow! Hard to believe how quickly this year has flown - here it is Thanksgiving already! Well, if you need some fodder for conversation around the turkey table that is sure to generate lively discussion, you've come to the right place. Of course, you can always save this for the down time - after that big dinner, drag out the laptop and take your time browsing through this weeks submissions to the Carnival of Liberty XXI - there is sure to be something of interest to all.

I'm posting these submissions in the order that I've received them - and hope I can do each one justice - we've got some great writers submitting to the Carnival of Liberty!

First off, we head over to The Unrepentant Individual to see what he has to say about the right to privacy and abortion in his post Right to Privacy Means Nothing to Abortion. It is a very well written diatribe which points out very succintly that:
The right to privacy basically exists insofar as the government is not supposed to be granted the powers it would need to overextend itself and violate your privacy. I think the government has no legitimate right to butt its nose into areas where it doesn’t belong, and to the founders, that’s a pretty wide swath of territory they’re not supposed to touch. But that means nothing when it comes to abortion.
I couldn't agree more! You have to read the entire piece to follow the logic (if you haven't done so already - I have, but have never put it so clearly) when he writes:
When the left and the right have to completely invert their prior idea of Constitutional jurisprudence to decide a moral issue according to their other beliefs, what respect will they have for that document once they’re done?
Good job! I'm glad you got that off your chest, Brad - it was a pleasure to read!

Now, let's go take a look at Leah Guildenstern's take on a recent speech by President Bush in Veteran's Day Speech Concerns. While she generally approved of what he had to say, Leah brings up three points that she feels bear watching to see what actions (if any) are taken. First, she questions the point of making a constitutional amendment against burning the flag. As she says:
I can understand the desire to ban it, and could see the passage of such a law, but why a constitutional amendment? Why is this part of the fundamental foundation of the country? And is there a like law/movement for a law for burning copies of the constitution?
Her other points I also consider very valid, and think we all should be very aware of the possibilities of governmental interference and scrutiny in our private lives whether it be via our internet or phone connection, or otherwise. She sums up nicely:
It is good to see the recognition of the threat, but the response itself must be watched. The ends do not justify the means; both the means and the ends must be in consonance.
For a matter that is close to my heart, being a Homeschooling mom, let's see what The Pubcrawler has to say about The USSC Rules on Special Education. TKC says:
The Schaffer's, the parents in this case, did disagree with the course of action taken by the Montgomery County school system and put their kid in a private school. This is all fine and well. What the contention is over is the $17,000 in tuition for that private school. Some will say that since the Schaffer's sent their kid to the private school then they should pay the tuition. I agree with this, except they're still paying for the Montgomery County school system of which they think has failed them.
I can understand, too, that as homeowners and taxpayers, we all bear the burden of educating our young - whether we have children or not, and whether those children are grown or not. But when are we going to get a clue and stop double charging parents who choose to educate their children privately - whether in a private school or at home? Are the sacrifices that some of us make to stay at home with our children so small and few that we deserve to have to support public schools in addition to paying for tuition and supplies privately? TKC has several good points here that deserve an answer.

Moving right along, lets stop in at Forward Biased where Obi-Wan asks (about the President)Dare We Hope That He Really Gets It? Obi-Wan has, as indeed many of us have, been disappointed at the President's lack of stepping up to defend his policies. In response to his firing back with both barrels at his critics last weekend, Obi-Wan says:
Now, with the president's Newly Revealed Testicular Enhancements of Polished Copper/Zinc Alloy Composition™, we—or, I should say, I—have been afraid to hope that he just suddenly gets it.
This a really fun post - regarding the non-war supporting (but we support the troops) left, he has this little gem:
That's right, you treasonous, unprincipled sacks of putrid, fermenting used cat litter, I'm questioning your bloody patriotism. No—I'm not questioning it, I'm downright DENYING it.
Isn't language fun? If you can't think of a socially acceptable invective that is vile enough, make one up! Go. Read. Chuckle. Be Converted.

For a libertarian take on a different subject lets visit Fearless Philosophy for Free Minds to see what Stephen Littau has to say in his posting More Mandatory Minimums Madness. I'd guess that most of us of a libertarian bent see the "war on drugs" as a waste of time and money - and frankly unconstitutional. Referring to a Denver Post article about Weldon Angelos, a first time offender who was sentenced to 55 years for having a gun in his possession whilst he was selling a small amount of marijuana to an informant, Stephen juxtaposes the guns/drugs mandatory minimums question thusly:
Is the motivation behind the mandatory-minimum sentencing law to take guns out of the hands of otherwise law-abiding citizens or is the motivation to put away drug offenders for a longer period of time or is it both?
and he clenches his argument:
We put people in prison for extended periods of time and then we wonder why the prisons are filled to capacity. We cannot seem to find enough space for pedophiles, rapists, or murderers but by god we better make sure that someone selling a dime bag of weed never sees the light of day! Can anyone say ‘cruel and unusual punishment’? Is this our idea of justice?
Now we've got another entry from The Unrepentant Individual titled State of Fear. Seems Brad was inspired this time by the Michael Crichton novel - and I can see why - there's a lot to think about here. And Brad bottom-lines the state of fear here:
Nothing is safe. Everything has risk. All day, every day, you might die. It could be a crazed mass murderer. It could just as easily be slipping in the shower. Hell, you could choke on your own saliva while sleeping in bed and asphyxiate yourself. Let me repeat this, because it’s important. Nothing is safe. Everything has risk. Once you get your mind around that little whopper, you can start to live your life again.
Francois Tremblay at The Radical Libertarian enlightens us with a two part posting on Value Based Politics which has spurred me to work on a submission of my own. The upshot, to my way of thinking, is expressed in one of his closing statements:
The value of limited government is more immediate. The bigger government is, the less place private citizens can hold in a given society, and thus there is less possibility for value expression. The smaller the government, the better.
If you'd be so kind, as I mentioned that Francois inspired me to work on my own submission, take a gander now at your humble hostess' entry for this week, Libertarianism = Personal Responsibility.

Next up for perusal is Sen Stevens (R-AK) Resigns! by our friend the Ogre over at Ogre's Politics & Views. He points out that:
He said that he wasn't kidding. Senator Stevens clearly stated that he would resign if the bridge to nowhere in Alaska wasn't given all the pork-barrel money he wanted for it.
Imagine that? A US Senator who has something in common with some of our illustrious Hollywierd stars who told us that if President Bush were re-elected they'd move to France?! Check out Ogre's post to see what some are doing to try to strengthen Steven's resolve to do what he promised!

Fiction (with a libertarian bent) comes in Mark Rayner's The Skwib in the form of a retelling of the classic tale of William Tell in Alternate History Fridays: The Tragedy of William Tell. Mark has a slightly different take on the ending of the story - but I'll not give it away here - other than this tiny exerpt!
He shot his last bolt, and the townsfolk moved, as one, to subdue the other two. The rebellion had begun.
Greg at Rhymes with Right submitted his post Not a First Amendment Violation???????? about a clergyman in Staten Island who is fighting in court against a violation of his free speech. Greg asks the question:
Have freedom of speech and freedom of religion been eviscerated in this country because of the hyper-sensitivity and political clout of the sodomy lobby?
We follow this up with Stop the ACLU where Jay takes on the issue of Freedom of Speech?. In this article, Jay, with a hat tip to fellow LLP'r Rhymes with Right remarks:
Political Correctness has taken priority over freedom of speech. Homosexuals are now granted special rights, and anyone who speaks against it are treated as second class citizens.
I agree - but homosexuals are certainly not the first group which has officially been granted special rights by the courts - and they're not likely to be the last. The posts are well written, so meander on over and see what they're all about!

Another gem on personal responsibility is next on the list - this one The Sovreign Individual by Eric over at Eric's Grumbles Before the Grave. Eric puts it so clearly that you can't misunderstand without help!
Whether you choose to acknowledge it, or not, you are responsible for everything that you do, or don't do. Trying to shift that blame is self-delusion. You, ultimately, are sovereign, subject to no law or rule other than your own morals and ethics.
Eric also explains the idea of "Rational Anarchist" which I had not really understood before - and I'm about persuaded that I'm in that category as well!

Next, Eric submits on behalf of Eric Raymond at Armed and Dangerous this post on Why "Commons" language gives me hives. I personally have run across Commons a few times, and while it vaguely disturbed me, I couldn't have put my finger on exactly "why". Maybe this excerpt really defines it most for me:
My problem with the language of “the commons” is that to me it it sounds, at best, like idealistic blather. At worst, and far more usually, it sounds like an attempt to conceal all kinds of individual decisions about cooperation under a vague collectivist metaphor so the individuals who made those decisions can be propagandized and jerked around.
It also seems to me to be a practically unenforceable policy, so I find myself shrugging my shoulders and saying fuhgetaboutit - if someone "borrows" from me without my knowledge or permission, I hope they use it to good effect and in good health!

Eidelblog provides us with a look at Mugabe's assault on the poor, continued.
Some of you may remember my original "Mugabe's assault on the poor" from last June. I strongly recommend reading it so you know precisely what this evil man has done. I detailed how that monster destroyed the homes of at least hundreds of thousands of people, arrested another 32,000 on baseless crimes, and tightened his Marxist control of an economy that he sinks further just when we think it couldn't get any worse.
The atrocities committed by Mugabe and his thugs are simply unspeakable, and the UN response is pathetic. I've forgotten where I read it this week, but I agree - when oh when will the UN finally go the way of the League of Nations?

On a lighthearted (some might say silly) note, go see Mr. Completely for his little tidbit Nothing's worse than a depressed hamster . . . which he follows up with a more sober Latest News from France.

More seriously, Peter Porcupine asks IS History Still Written by the Winners? Peter recommends a viewing of the Blogcast, Dishonest on Iraq and remarks:
Juxtaposing words is one matter, but juxtaposing videotape is a much more compelling argument.
Dan Melson at Searchlight Crusade always has some great financial information - and this weeks post is no exception: Buying off a Prepayment Penalty check him out - and yes, he does take requests!

TMH's Bacon Bits posts this week Eghad, I've Been Googled! which explores our need, as it were, to fit in and be recognized - and the price we have to pay for that recognition - kinda goes along with the "Commons" posting mentioned earlier in the Carnival :
With little or no ability to easily opt out, and no guarantee that an author's creation will not be shared for free to the masses (while Google rakes in the advertising cash), the financial incentive for creativity would be seriously undermined. Publishers, who are often profit-driven and yet provide a valuable service to authors, would find it hard to compete with free content and could conceivably close shop, leaving the creators with few options for distribution of their work in a revenue-sharing system. So the "free for everyone" information society of which Google dreams would only result in a desolate landscape where creativity and free expression are even less likely than it is now to put food on the table and shoes on the kids.
Maybe I should rethink my laissez-faire attitude towards copyrights!

Combs Spouts Off gets to the heart of Libertarianism and how it translates into real-life politics with his posting on Rothbard, Rand and Real Politics.
Rand argued that most people don't think critically and deeply about philosophy. Instead, they accept the values of the intelligentsia. I suspect that, like Milsted's "conservatism," this willingness to be guided by "experts" is a "feature" of human nature.
This was an interesting read - after reading the Rothbard thesis, I found myself thinking of Will singing to Ado Annie from the musical Oklahoma:

"With me it's all er nuthin'.
Is it all er nuthin' with you?
It cain't be "in between"
It cain't be "now and then"
No half and half romance will do!

Sorry, I couldn't resist exposing my love for the musical - particularly when that little snippit just popped into my head and seemed so appropriate!

Angry in the Great White North chimes in with the story of a Pedophile with body guards in Elected judges and crown attorneys? Frankly, I can see why he's angry!
He has bodyguards. Or to be more accurate, you and your children, should you live in Kelowna, British Columbia, have been assigned bodyguards, who will appear whenever Shaun Joshua Deacon is nearby, ready to intervene when, not if, Deacon makes a move to attack your family.
Coyote Blog give us a great post on Immigration, Individual Rights, and the New Deal. It's a long one, but if you've been with *me* this long, I'm sure you can handle it!
Like the founders of this country, I believe that our individual rights exist by the very fact of our existance as thinking human beings, and that these rights are not the gift of kings or congressmen. Rights do not flow to us from government, but in fact governments are formed by men as an artificial construct to help us protect those rights, and well-constructed governments, like ours, are carefully limited in their powers to avoid stifling the rights we have inherently as human beings.
New World Man blogs about some political shenanigans going on in Ohio in Petro's CAP Plan Isn't.
Petro isn't running TV ads saying he wants to keep the status quo, he's saying he wants to "cap" taxes. (He's cleverly named his proposal the Citizens' Amendment for Prosperity.) While I may be picky, it's a little sneaky to run on wanting to "cap" anything when your proposal would result, in real terms, in the same tax burden as without the "cap."
Norm Leahy of One Man's Trash brings us some politics local to Virginia in Brushing Up . . . And Brushing Back . . . Bolling. Seems a Times Dispatch Political Columnist has got a bee in his bonnet - and is throwing darts at the Virginia Lieutenant Governor-Elect before he takes office:
Jeff has sown the field with mines -- covered ever-so-thinly in the language of "maybe" and "perhaps." Schapiro has no more idea of how Bolling will act in his new office than the next guy. But he has made it abundantly clear that his sources and his worldview are mortally offended by the mere prospect of this Hanover Hun swinging the gavel in Virginia's "House of Lords."
Winding down we have a post submitted by Tom Rants regarding some of the President's latest remarks, George Bush and the Century of Peace.
Assuring moves toward democratization in China and continued moves toward economic liberalization in India alone will move over 2.3 billion people in the direction of living in countries that are both economically and politically free. I guess I’m a neocon, because I don’t see how that could not be a good thing. Bush using his bully pulpit to those ends is likely to have far more lasting positive effect than any of Harry Reid’s posturing on Iraq, Olympia Snowe’s attempts to raise taxes on investment or Ted Steven’s threats to resign from the Senate.
And finally Iris Blog (Information Regarding Israel's Security) joins our round up with IRIS Exposes Reporters Stealing Others' Errors. This is an important post that needs to be widely disseminated!
Journalists repeatedly act like students cheating on an exam, where the same error propagates around the room because of "group-think."
Well, that about wraps it up for this edition of Carnival of Liberty XXI! Thanks for hanging in there - I know I can get a bit wordy (call me the queen of the editorial commentary) you know how we women are - gotta get in my several thousand words for the day somewhere! Thanks to all the contributors for this weeks carnival - I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your writing and learning a bit about you all. If you've contributed and I've missed your trackback, please help me out by letting me know so I can correct the omission.

Don't forget, Carnival of Liberty XXII will be November 29, and hosting will be Doug Mataconis at Below the Beltway! (Sorry for the mixup, Doug - I inadvertently advertised the Dec. 6 carnival for anyone who was sharp-eyed enough to catch it!) Visit all the Carnivals at the UberCarnival!

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