Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Now, more than ever.

The Moorfield Storey Institute put in its application for 501(c)3 tax-exempt status a year ago. We were told a few days ago that it will be granted. But, while waiting for the IRS to process the paperwork, we went through our start up capital. To put it mildly, we are currently in financial distress. Waiting a full year before we could ramp up fund raising hurt our bottom line very badly.

We need to raise about $10,000 to stay afloat. And the only way we can do that is with your support. Would you please consider making a donation today. You can click the "Donate Now" button under the photograph of Moorfield Storey, in the top right corner of this page. Any amount will help us avoid closing.

In the last year our Cobden Press published the first, complete collection of Lysander Spooner's essays on religion. We also published a new collection of essays on taxation, edited by Carl Watner, Gary Chartier's The Conscience of an Anarchist, and James Peron's Within Reason: Essays on Objectivism, Ayn Rand and Christianity.

We have published almost 40 columns at Huffington Post which have been read by hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of people. We are contributing a Hayekian perspective on the evolution of marriage for a new anthology edited by Sharon Presley. And we are working on several new books of our own. Of course, our book service, www.fr33minds.com, continues to be the ONLY libertarian source for steeply discounted books. Our prices beat those of Amazon, on average.

Without your help we are going to have to close.

For any donation of $100 or more we will send you a free copy of Capitalist at Large, in appreciation. For $500 or more we will send, Capitalist at Large, Liberty in a Globalized World, and Why Liberty. If you can donate $1000 or more we will send you all those titles, plus Within Reason, The Conscience of an Anarchist and Render Not. Larger donations will receive selections of DVDs as well.

We believe that when the economy recovers we can survive mostly on the income we earn through the sale of books. Until then we must rely on the kindness of friends. Donate via PayPal using the "donate now" button. To donate by phone call toll-free at 866-254-3701. Donations by check can be sent to:

Moorfield Storey Institute
20258 US Hwy 18, Suite 430-500
Apple Valley, CA 92307

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Uncomfortable Questions for the DOMA Defenders.

There are numerous court cases that are investigating the legality of the sort of discriminatory policies which where imposed by the Defense of Marriage Act.  The Republican congress passed a measure to spend millions of taxpayer’s dollars in order to defend this intrusive regulation. They even created a misnamed  Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group to handle defending the undefendable.

 One of the cases winding its way through the coursts is Golinski v. U.S. Office of Personnel Management. The court that will be hearing the case has asked BLAG and attorneys for Golinski to address numerous questions in a hearing scheduled for December 16. These are all good questions and we are reprinting them here, though in shorter format geared for non-legal audiences. These questions get to the heart of DOMA and why it was such a radical assault on the traditional separation of powers between the states and the federal government. I shall be curious to see how the Republicans answer these question and what mental gymnastics will be required for them to justify this unprecedented attack on the federalist principles that apply to marriage laws.

Monday, December 12, 2011

British Police Trample on Free Speech Apologize

Jules Mattsson was 15 years old when he went to a parade of military cadets in Romford, England. The police immediately came after Mattsson claiming that he was committing a crime by photographing the parade.

Several things were involved here. First, was the paranoia about people photographing children. The cadets were under the age of consent presumably and thus considered children. You listen to the actual recording of the incident. Note how the paranoid officer is attacking the boy for taking "photographs of children." Next, the police officer tries to claim that the boy has no right to take photographs of "military personnel" in in a public parade. Are they children or military personnel?

You can hear Jules standing up for his rights below. This is a recording of the actual incident. The police try to intimidate him by demanding his personal details. They are telling him that they don't need a law to do what they are doing. The police then try to claim he must have permission from everyone in a public place to take their photographs. Next they return to the claim that he was taking photos of children. Next they claim that the "military personnel" have to have parental permission to be photographed.

The police claimed he was disturbing the peace, hazardous to the public and that the police "were concerned about terrorism and that photographing police and police officials is a criminal offense." When the boy asks under what law it is a criminal offense (there is none) the office says: "You are an agitator." Then the police officer just announces: "You know what. I consider you a threat under the terrorism act." He has the boy arrested for NO legal reason at all. The police officer steals the boy's camera and they they grabbed the boy. And when the boy asks: "Under what law am I being detained," the police refuse to tell him, push him down stairs and threaten. Once again they return to the bogus claim that he has no right to "photograph" children.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Randian Insight on Today's Prop 8 Trial

Listening in to parts of the hearings today regarding the Prop 8 trial brought to mind something Ayn Rand had said, and how her insight could help make a decision about one factor of the hearing.

It wasn’t Rand’s thoughts on legal theory that came to mind. It was what she wrote about art and artists. She held that art and artists were very important as they indicate the state of the culture.
Rand said that art was a selective recreation of reality by the artist. This is not the part that I found particularly insightful, but her next observation was. She also noted that because as artist is selectively recreating reality that they are revealing what they find to be of metaphysical importance. There is much from which they can pick and choose, that they pick certain aspects of reality, over others, indicates what they find to be of importance.
So, how does this apply to today’s hearings?

Rugby Star on Why He's Fighting Anti-Gay Bigotry and Bullying

Monday, December 5, 2011

Why Life Expectancy Can't Be Used to Judge Health Care.

Here is how the infamous Daily Mail, a paragon of tabloid journalism, reports on health care in the United States. “The study said Americans pay more than $7,900 per person for health care each…but still die earlier than their peers in the industrialized world.”

Now, perhaps this sort of bad reporting is not the Daily Mail’s fault. They do claim they get this from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

It just doesn’t work to compare life expectancy rates to quality of health care. There are dozens of factors involved in life expectancy. The paper reports that in America the average life expectancy is 80.6 now. The highest in the world is 86.4 in Japan.

A lot of people are trying to claim that this proves that state-run health care is better because people in those nations live longer. Well, the nation that I keep having thrown at me regarding nationalized health care is the United Kingdom. Their life expectancy is lower than for the United States. While the Daily Mail mentions life expectancy in the UK, it never divulges what it is in the UK.

Using life expectancy to judge health care is similar to using the supply of apples to determine the price of oranges. Life expectancy is more about life style than it is about health care.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fundamentalist Church Defends Marriage: Bans Interracial Couple

Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church in Johns Creek, Kentucky recently faced something they just never considered before. Stella Harville, 24, a member of the church brought her fiance to church and he was black! Not even a good ol' American black, but a genuine negro from darkest Africa. The fiance, Ticha Chikuni is from Zimbabwe. The couple came to the church and sang—once.

The pastor of the church, Melvin Thompson, then banned them from further performances. But Thompson resigned due to health and a new pastor said they could perform. But then Thompson proposed that the church pass a resolution condemning interracial marriage. It said "parties of such marriages will not be received as members, or will they be used in worship services" or other church activities, unless it is a funeral. A meeting was held and by a 9 to 6 vote the proposal was passed. The proposal claimed to be a measure to enhance unity.

Of course, Rev. Thompson insists he's not racist. He said he is "not prejudiced against any race of people, have never in my lifetime spoke evil about a race. That's what this being portrayed as, but it is not." Stella's father, Dean Harville, asked: "If he's not racist, what is this?"

Where have we heard this before?