I must admit that this is a subject I wanted to stay away from but the continuing “uproar” saddens me. I want to like Sarah Palin but she makes it hard sometimes . At some point she is going to have to stop playing the victim card and act like a big girl.
I heard the Rahm Emanuel “retard” comment before Palin responded to it (I actually agreed with him). But something told me somebody would say something. Somebody would be offended. Somebody would act like a speech Nazi. Somebody would express an opinion that would attack the natural right of free speech.
As a former member of the GOP I can remember getting into debate after debate with “lefty” Statists on the subject of language. I guess because of who I am and how I was brought up I feel like I have a right to speak my mind and if you’re the “political correct” type you can get over it (Being raised in NYC probably contributed a ‘lil as well). I am not offended by anything that comes out of somebody’s pie- hole. Many people say things that alarm me, but being offended is somehow being “hurt” by what is said. Ms. Palin kept referring to her “thick skin” on the campaign trail. Did it somehow disappear?
I’ve already heard other people make the point that Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck use the word “retard” on their shows and Sarah hasn’t criticized them. Blah, blah, that isn’t nearly the issue here. The fact that the “Right” is now acting like the language police leads me to believe I left the GOP at the right time.
Let me create a scenario for dear Sarah and see how she would handle it.
Recently I was prompted by an anthropology student at the University of Washington to answer several questions about libertarianism. The exchange was great, and provided a means to clarify several things that have been otherwise muddled.
1. How do you define a libertarian?
To me a libertarian is someone who believes in a limited government, which provides basic needs that most people believe to be necessary but does not try to stuff ideology down the citizens’ throats, the freedom of the individual to become whatever it is they want to be and a free market that allows great deals of mobility and ingenuity.
2. What influenced you to become and/or remain libertarian?
I love this country (for the ideals it was founded on, not because of nationalism, regionalism or nativism), and when I entered college, it became very clear that other students and professors didn’t. A bit of a blanket statement, I know, but it’s relatively true. I found myself defending slanderous left-wing statements about this country’s history, and in that process I realized I was libertarian. Liberty is the foundation of American society and government, and even if they don’t call themselves such, I think most Americans who love their country and find it exceptional are libertarians to a certain extent.
I am in regular contact with an old friend and frequent reader of United Liberty, who also happens to be what is popularly termed these days as a “progressive.” He likes Barack Obama, thinks Hillary Clinton is wonderful and, like most lefties, slumps all non-progressives together as “thieves” and similar terms.
He’s a good guy, but because of my libertarian rhetoric and his progressiveness, I often get the feeling that he doesn’t comprehend what I’m saying. That’s not an insult to intelligence, but more of a testament to the limited comprehension of political thought that is pervasive in today’s America. (I personally blame the onslaught into politics of social issues, which do alot to dumb down and simply discourse and amplify the irrelevant.) I find this most common amongst progressives, who generally don’t get libertarians. Because they see that libertarians are generally laissez faire on social issues, they often disregard libertarians as contrarians who have been brainwashed or caught up with right wing thieves and fascists.
Conservatives, unlike progressives, seem to (for the most part) at least get us. Conservatives have a good share of difference with us (just take a look at the 2008 Republican Presidential Debates to see what I mean) but they at least aren’t inherently hostile to our core ideas.
What is a libertarian?
It’s the last day of 2009. We made it through a crazy year that saw liberty put at risk on an all to regular basis. We decided the best way to recap the year was to take ten of 2009’s biggest stories and write a blurb about each one of them (we tried to keep it short and to the point).
Before you continue on, each of us here at UL want to thank you for a great 2009. We appreciate you reading. We’re planning for world domination in 2010 and hope that you’ll join in the fun.
So, here they are in no particular order, United Liberty’s Top 10 Stories from 2009.
Tea Party Movement (Brett Bittner): The wave of “hope” and “change” that swept Barack Obama into the Presidency of the United States closed out 2008 and opened the door to a new movement in American politics, the Tea Party movement. I believe that his election was merely a catalyst for many groups of a conservative nature and strong views on limited government to unite to form one voice to stand up to the political status quo, calling out Democrats and Republicans alike for their affinity to grow the size of government to a breaking point.
Last Sunday the Washington Post ran an op-ed from Maggie Mahar, health care fellow for the left-wing think tank The Century Foundation. Her concern? That eventually a conservative Republican administration running a government health insurance option or, worse, a single-payer system, might shut off access to abortion, end-of-life care, birth control, or fertility treatments.
Mahar has, perhaps unwittingly, revealed the problem with having government run anything. Depending on government for anything means depending on whomever is running that government. Administrations, Cabinet secretaries, members of Congress (though not often enough), and budget priorities change. Too many people think only of the here and now when considering the greater implications of policies, but they should be thinking longer-term.
Before ceding any power to government (especially the federal government), just ask yourself one question: Would I trust my greatest political enemy with this power? There are some exceptions to this rule (only government can provide national security, raise a military, etc.), but consider longer-term implications to any policy being proposed. If you don’t trust Democrats with the power to use surveillance on the American people, then don’t give that power to a Republican administration and Congress. Likewise, if you don’t trust Republicans to run health care to your liking, don’t give a Democrat administration and Congress the power to run your health care.
Me? This is why I don’t trust government with, well, any of it. In the words of John Galt, leave me the hell alone!
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend candidate forums for my upcoming local elections in Marietta, Georgia. To give you some background, I live in the county seat of one of the “reddest” counties in what would probably be the “reddest” state, if not for the ultra-“blue” Atlanta, in the nation. During the candidate forums for mayor, city council, and school board, nearly all of the candidates amazed me by saying nothing remotely “conservative” when it comes to the spending by the government in our community.
Though our mayor, city council, and school board are elected via non-partisan elections, I estimate that the vast majority of the candidates align themselves with the Republican Party. As I can attest from what I saw at the candidate forums, Republicans have learned nothing from their drubbings in the Congressional elections of 2006 and 2008, as they are STILL all too happy to spend other people’s money under the banner of the party who keeps promising to be one of limited government. As the Tea Party Movement develops, many establishment Republicans highlight their “libertarian streaks,” and the “progressive” wing of the Democrat Party dominates the Congressional agenda, these local aspiring politicians seem content to continue operating as the “compassionate conservatives” of the George W. Bush era, marginalized by being “more of the same.”
The following was written by Jorge Gonzalez, founder of the 1776 Project, as sort of a new Declaration of Independence. Please read through it carefully and repost if so inclined.
Our nation has seen many grim days from the hopelessness of blood stained snow at Valley Forge to the tarnishing mark of slavery. We have suffered a war between states and endured a foreign power’s brutal attack on December 7, 1941. We have seen towers crash down on our own people on a sunny September morning.
On June 23, 2005, the United State Supreme Court dealt a fatal blow to private property rights with the decision issued in Kelo v. New London. This landmark ruling allows state and local governments to use the previously redefined meaning of “public use” from the Fifth Amendment (also known as the Takings Clause) to use eminent domain to essentially steal property from one private entity and transfer it to another.
In case you’re not familiar with Kelo, here is some background. The City of New London, Connecticut sought to redevelop the Fort Trumbull neighborhood in hopes of increasing the city’s tax base (“economic development”). Several property owners refused to sell to the city, including Susette Kelo, and condemnation proceedings were started by New London Development Corporation, a private body acting on behalf of the city. Ms. Kelo received her condemnation notice the day before Thanksgiving in 2000. oThe case worked its way through the courts and as we know, it was unsuccessful.
As of today, the property taken by New London sits vacant, with not even the slightest appearance of development.
Pete Eyre is the former “Crasher-in-Chief” at Bureaucrash and former Director of the Campus Network at the Institute for Humane Studies. Pete is now part of the Motorhome Diaries, currently traveling around the country spreading the message of liberty.
The Motorhome Diaries (MHD) is a project that places me and Jason Talley (as the crew) and Adam Mueller (our current fellow-traveler) in a RV to film an almost-real-time documentary while traveling across North America in search of freedom. Jason and I had worked in the DC think tank world for a number of years and thought that we could have a greater impact advancing the freedom movement through a project such as MHD.
Protesters continue to press on inside Iran as the government has become increasingly violent in response:
Thousands of protesters defied Iran’s highest authority Saturday and marched on waiting security forces that fought back with baton charges, tear gas and water cannons as the crisis over disputed elections lurched into volatile new ground.
Some bloggers and Twitter users claimed that there had been numerous fatalities in Saturday’s unrest, reports that could not be immediately verified.
The clashes along one of Tehran’s main avenues — as described by witnesses — had far fewer demonstrators than recent mass rallies for Mousavi. But they marked another blow to authorities who sought to intimidate protesters with harsh warnings and lines of black-clad police three deep in places.