Sunday, December 26, 2010

Is Tolerance a Myth?

The conservative Wilberforce Forum released a publication called The Myth of Tolerance. Here is how they describe their own views.

“With Lawrence v. Texas decision and the debate over the federal marriage amendment, the rhetoric of tolerance is louder than ever. But what exactly is true tolerance? In today’s society, people believe that tolerant people “do not ‘force’ their views on others,” writes Gregory Koukl. “They are...committed to one of the most entrenched assumptions of a society committed to relativism: All views are equally valid.” Koukl debunks the notion: The idea that “all views are equally valid” self-destructs when put into practice—and trying to follow it results in intolerance.”

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The GOP and Bigotry

McCain learns there are gay Mexicans!
It strikes this writer that the Republican Party represents the organized forces of bigotry in America. Consider two issues that came up before the U.S. Senate today: the repeal of the widely unpopular Don't Ask, Don't Tell regulation and the Dream Act. The GOP cast lopsided votes against each.

First consider the Dream Act. American regulations and red tape make it virtually impossible for hard working immigrants to come to America legally. My ancestors "came to America legally" but that was because it was relatively simple to do so. These days it is almost impossible without decades of trying, lots of money and the use of attorneys. I looked into the matter to help a friend get out of a dangerous country, where his life was literally at risk. I was told it would take tens of thousands of dollars to hire an attorney, just to get a shot at things, that it would take anywhere from five to 10 years to process everything and that, the chances were almost 100% that all efforts would fail.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Natural law, theology and good government.

It is sometimes claimed that “natural law” theory is inherently Christian. This simply is not correct, though it is true that Christians, especially Thomistic Catholics, later adopted some aspect of natural law theory. In his work, Natural Law, A.P. d’EntrĂ©ves said that: “The Thomistic interpretation of Christianity is unthinkable without the notion of natural law.” But natural law originated in Greek culture. According to d’EntrĂ©ves, the theologian E. Troeltsch, wrote that natural law was “an alien element in Christianity” and represented “the inheritance of the ancient world which could be adapted to Christian teaching.”

Prof. Paul Conkin, in Self-Evident Truths, writes: “Natural-law theories originated in Greek philosophy. Plato and Aristotle affirmed not only a formal logical order in the world but an inherent purposefulness in all things. Nature stood for both the order and the purpose. Aristotle’s universe was one vast congeries of yearnings, of informed objects moving toward their own perfection and, in a sense, trying to imitate the objects above them in a chain of being stretching to a perfect mind which pulls all things toward it. Man, by his intellect, can grasp the formal truth in objects, can understand the structure of the universe. More importantly he can understand himself, grasp his own nature, which is also to perceive his own highest good.”

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Morality, state power and war.

Classical liberals and libertarians have often applied the morality of the individual to the collective. By that I mean they argue, and I think persuasively, that the collective is bound by the same moral principles as the individual. This was articulate nicely by Frederic Bastiat almost 160 years ago in his essay The Law.
But I think there is an error that some libertarians fall into regarding this argument. We see this error in the arguments of some of the pro-war libertarians and pseudo-libertarians. One argument may go something like this:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New Book Site Up and Running

Fr33Minds, the book distribution arm of the Moorfield Storey Institute now has a live site where you can order a range of libertarian oriented books and DVDs. Fr33minds will be expanding on a regular basis so visit often. We have some of the best prices around. And all profits from sales go to further the mission of the Storey Institute. Fr33Minds will also be selling all the books we have published. There are some great holiday gifts there.

You can also sign up for our e-newsletter there or here, immediately to the right at the top of the page.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Big Sister is out to ruin your shopping too

Big Sister, Janet Napolitano, now has "public service" messages that are supposed to play in WalMarts encouraging people to report "suspicious" activities to the police. I guess there isn't enough paranoia out there so Janet has to stir it up. After all she has justify her assault on American scrotums somehow.

If you don't want to see Janet's mug at WalMart then let the company know. Unlike the Homeland Gestapo they actually have to keep customers happy, they can't use coercion against people, not like Janet and her thugs. WalMart can be called at (1-800-925-6278). 

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Civil Rights Fight of this Decade?

Next some really odd Republican logic, after the break.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Julian Assange and the alleged sex charges.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is now the subject of an arrest warrant allegedly for sexually assaulting two women. But that case stinks to high heaven. And it appears he may well be the victim of an attack by two women who are angry that he was having a consenting relationship with both of them simultaneously, something they only discovered when they spoke to each other. 

One of the "victims" was Anna Ardin who told the police that Assange sexually assaulted her on August 14th. Ardin is a radical leftist, a feminist, an "animal rights" activist and a Christian involved with the Brotherhood Movement. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Improving State of Human Well-Being

This very short video is a brilliant demonstration as to how two major factors of human well-being (wealth and health) have increased since 1810.  In just a few minutes you can see the dramatic changes that have taken place. Hans Rosling, of Sweden, is an expert on the links between health and wealth and his demonstration ought to be viewed by everyone.

The only caveat I have is that several times he emphasizes inequality, which I consider to be a major red herring.

Watch the video and then come back for the discussion that follows below the cut.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Homeland Security's Stranglehold on America

There can be little doubt to me that the greatest threat to American liberties is not terrorism, but Homeland Security. Janet Napolitano, not Osama bin Laden, is the one attacking "our way of life."

When the Homeland Security department was created it was endowed with unheard of powers, many agencies were centralized under it's control. It used the 9/11 attacks to justify every attack on the privacy of Americans that it engaged in, and it engaged in many.

Consider the recent scanners that basically photograph airline passengers in the nude. Consider also the very intrusive "pat-downs" where federal agents feel the genitals of American citizens in the guise of
preventing another 9/11.  And we heard this all justified on the basis of how horrific 9/11 was.

To recap 9/11: a small band of terrorists hijacked airplanes and used them as missiles to take down the Twin Towers. Airplanes are massive, very fast, and filled with explosive fuels that will detonate upon impact. It was this combination of factors that made them so deadly. And this was the justification for a very intrusive government agency that routinely mistreats people and threatens anyone who complains at the airport. The entire purpose of the fondling process is to punish people who opt-out of the porno scanners that Janet Napolitano put into place.

So, what then is the excuse for TSA setting up the same sort of system at bus stations? Buses are not missiles, they won't bring down buildings. They aren't filled with enough explosive fuel to do anything close to what happened on 9/11.

Why Liberty: Personal Journeys Toward Peace & Freedom

All across the world individuals have learned that only by interacting peacefully can we achieve a more harmonious, prosperous, healthy and tolerant society. To these ends millions have optimistically involved themselves in a global liberty movement. 

These libertarians, while seeing the promotion of individual rights a worthwhile goal in itself, also believe that a free society is a universally beneficial one. Consider the stories of the diverse contributors who share with you the reasons that they were convinced to embrace freedom and the idea that men and women should govern themselves. 

Fifty-five authors from fifteen countries collaborate in this venture. Included are philosophers and physicians, economists and judges, military officers and environmentalists, police officers and soccer moms, lawyers and small business owners. You can read about the paths to understanding of people like well-known journalist John Stossel or Susette Kelo who fought all the way to the Supreme Court to try to keep her home from being confiscated and delivered to a private business. From Africa, from behind what was the Iron Curtain, Europe, Asia and Africa, and North, Central and South America there are dozens of tales of why these diverse people came to similar conclusions: freedom is best for all.