Tag Archives | Libertarianism

40,000 New Laws For New Year Across United States

The libertarians are really onto something ... From MSNBC:
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...
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Ron Paul Scored Higher Than President Obama on the ACLU Report Card

This is embarrassing for anyone who voted for "Hope and Change" ... and the highest score goes to former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, who was not even allowed to debate in televised debates. So reports Bob Egelko in the San Fransisco Chronicle:
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.
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Ron Paul and Right Wing Extremists: It’s Complicated

Lew Rockwell. Photo: Mises Institute

Lew Rockwell. Photo: Mises Institute

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:

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.

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Ron Paul’s Campaign Mastermind Died Of Pneumonia, Penniless And Uninsured

ronpaulkentsnyder1In 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:

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.

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Internet Billionaire Wants to Create ‘Libertarian’ Islands

Freedom IslandVia the NY Daily News:

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.

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Is Ron Paul the Only Republican Candidate Who Could Beat Obama?

Paul vs ObamaThe times they are a-changin’ via Rasmussen Reports:

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.

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How Ayn Rand Ruined My Childhood

ayn-rand-cigaretteIn keeping with the Ayn Rand ruins everything meme in honor of the release of Atlas Shrugged: The Movie, enjoy a blackly amusing recollection of what can happen when your Rand-obsessed parent attempts to raise you by the dictates of Objectivist philosophy. (Big mistake!) Alyssa Bereznak writes in Salon:

It was odd growing up in an objectivist house. My father reserved long weekends to attend Ayn Rand Institute conferences held in Orange County, California. He would return with a tan and a pile of new reading material for my brother and me. While other kids my age were going to Bible study, I took evening classes from the institute via phone. (I half-listened while clicking through lolcat photos.)

“We were wondering if you would petition to be emancipated,” he said in his lawyer voice. “What does that mean?” I asked, picking at the mauve paint on my hands. I later discovered that for most kids, declaring emancipation is an extreme measure — something you do if your parents are crack addicts or deadbeats.

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How Ayn Rand Tanked The Economy

Screen-shot-2011-04-11-at-9.46.35-PM-e1302612380309Ayn Rand was a godawful writer, and in ironic fashion her philosophy failed disastrously in her personal life. Yet decades after her death, her work’s destructive influence has never been stronger. The Awl rips apart the “Objectivist” doctrine championed by Rand and one of her most adoring disciples, former Fed chief Alan Greenspan:

That pill-popping, boy-crazy nincompoop Ayn Rand has got a lot to answer for. Indeed, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that we owe at least part of the recent economic crisis to her and her philosophy of Objectivism, since former Fed chief Alan Greenspan was a lifelong disciple of both.

The two first met in the ’50s. Back then, a gang of acolytes, calling themselves the Collective, used to gather at Rand’s apartment on East 36th Street every Saturday night so they could tell each other how smart they all were. Along came Greenspan one evening, shy and somber.

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