From the ever funny ’cause it’s true Married to the Sea.
Tag Archives | Libertarianism
Matt Bruenig writes on his blog:
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George Monbiot had an article in the Guardian on Monday about bastardised libertarianism and its inability to understand the real freedoms being fought for by environmentalists and social justice advocates. However, Monbiot’s treatment of environmentalism’s threat to libertarianism was a bit sloppy. He got sucked into the negative freedom and positive freedom debate, and although he worked his way to the correct conclusion ultimately, I felt like the clarity was lacking.
So I want to explain more clearly just how much environmentalists stick in the side of libertarian ideology. First, consider what libertarians of the sort Monbiot criticizes are really about philosophically: they favor a procedural justice account of the world based heavily on property rights. This is the newest face of libertarianism. Gone is the appeal to utility and desert. The modern libertarians try to prop up their political ideas almost solely through a rigid formalism of property rights.
About 40,000 state laws taking effect at the start of the new year will change rules about getting abortions in New Hampshire, learning about gays and lesbians in California, getting jobs in Alabama and even driving golf carts in Georgia. Several federal rules change with the new year, too, including a Social Security increase amounting to $450 a year for the average recipients and stiff fines up to $2,700 per offense for truckers and bus drivers caught using hand-held cellphones while driving. NBC News, the National Conference of State Legislatures, The Associated Press, and other organizations tracked the changes...
The highest overall rating went to former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, a Republican-turned-Libertarian, who opposes the Patriot Act and — unlike Obama — supports the right of gays and lesbians to marry. Among the leading Republican candidates, libertarian-leaning Rep. Ron Paul also got a higher score than Obama despite low ratings in several categories.
Now that Ron Paul’s presidential candidacy is undeniably viable, no stone can go unturned in the effort to paint him as an extremist. Jim Rutenberg and Serge F. Kovalesky for the New York Times:
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The American Free Press, which markets books like “The Invention of the Jewish People” and “March of the Titans: A History of the White Race,” is urging its subscribers to help it send hundreds of copies of Ron Paul’s collected speeches to voters in New Hampshire. The book, it promises, will “Help Dr. Ron Paul Win the G.O.P. Nomination in 2012!”
Don Black, director of the white nationalist Web site Stormfront, said in an interview that several dozen of his members were volunteering for Mr. Paul’s presidential campaign, and a site forum titled “Why is Ron Paul such a favorite here?” has no fewer than 24 pages of comments.
In an arresting moment at Monday’s Republican presidential debate, Wolf Blitzer asked Ron Paul about the hypothetical case of an uninsured young man who needs medical care, and whether “society should just let him die.” The debate audience cheered in approval, and Paul more or less agreed.
Gawker writes that the question wasn’t so hypothetical. Kent Snyder is credited with convincing Paul to run for president, and served brilliantly as his campaign manager, raising an astonishing $19.5 million. In 2008, just two weeks after the campaign ended, Snyder died at age 49 from pneumonia. He did not receive insurance through Paul, and was unable to afford it on his own due to a preexisting medical condition. His death left his mother with $400,000 in medical bills. (She is now in debt.) Say what you will, but he exemplified the free-market libertarian principles that he worked for while healthy:
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After Snyder’s death, Paul posted a message to the website for his Campaign for Liberty — a pre-Tea Party organization which served Paul as both presidential marketing tool and platform to promote his non-interventionist, free market ideals.
Via the NY Daily News:
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Peter Thiel has made his fortune by being part of the next big thing: He was a co-founder of Paypal and one of the early investors of Facebook. But a new Details profile sums up his new plans: “Forget startup companies. The next frontier is startup countries.”
Thiel has donated $1.25 million to the Seasteading Institute, the brainchild of Patri Friedman, a former Google engineer and grandson of economist Milton Friedman. Here’s the gist: creation of libertarian, sovereign nations built on oil-rig-type platforms anchored in international waters and free from the laws and moral codes of any other country.
Plans for the prototype include a movable, diesel-powered 12,000-ton structure that could house 270 residents. The goal would be to eventually link hundreds of the structures together. Friedman’s timeline is to launch offices off San Francisco next year, get a full-time settlement within seven years and eventually diplomatic recognition from the UN.
The times they are a-changin’ via Rasmussen Reports:
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Congressman Ron Paul may be a long shot to win the Republican presidential nomination, but he runs competitively with President Obama right now.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows Paul picking up 37% of the vote, while the president earns 41%. The Texas congressman joins Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachmann, and Rick Perry as candidates within hailing distance of the president at this time.
Rudy Giuliani is another potential candidate who is considered a long shot for the nomination but is competitive with the president. The former mayor of New York City trails Obama by five, 44% to 39%.
But the real story in the numbers is that the president continues to earn between 41% and 49% of the vote no matter which Republican is mentioned as a potential opponent. This suggests that the race remains a referendum on the incumbent more than anything else.