In the midst of the debates about banning firearms with certain features, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s failed attempt to ban New Yorkers from drinking soft drinks he felt were too large, and the debate over whether or not same sex couples should have the ability to enter into a legal contract to have the same legal rights and responsibilities as married heterosexual couples, a thought occurred to me: “Gee there are a lot of people out there who just want to ban things!”
Why is this impulse so prevalent in our society? It seems that nearly everyone wants to be free to live their lives as they see fit. I haven’t met too many people who favor any notion of limiting their freedom because elected officials passed a law or majority of fellow citizens took a vote. When it comes to one’s own personal liberties, everyone is a libertarian! Consider that the Gadsen flag underneath the coiled rattlesnake reads: “Don’t Tread on Me.”
But far too many of these same people who jealously defend their own liberties are more than eager to limit someone else’s when that someone else engages in an activity that, for whatever reason, offends them. No, when it comes to other people, these people who don’t want their liberties tread on are not libertarian but majoritarian (i.e. political might makes right).
Via Reason, Kennedy gives a rundown of the best and worst Christmas films from a libertarian perspective.
From Reason.TV, Nick Gillespie- the “Fonzie of Freedom” interviews Greg Gutfeld on his new book, The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage, why liberals can’t stand punk rockers with conservative politics, and deep-vein thrombosis in Melville’s Moby-Dick.
A long title, and a hilarious guy:
Written by Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.
Reason magazine has a characteristically excellent video about the gas shortages in New York and New Jersey. Which is to say, the video is really about the insane responses of officials in those states to the scarcity of gas. Reason‘s Jim Epstein writes: “Govs. Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo…threatened to prosecute any station owners caught raising prices, thus removing any incentive to truck more gas in from other parts of the country.” Here’s the video:
The Washington Post reports Christie responded with an age-old government-rationing scheme:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ordered…drivers with even-numbered license plates being allowed to fill up on even-numbered dates and odd-numbered cars on the other days. But several motorists said they hadn’t heard the news because they had no power at home, and gas station managers said they didn’t bother to look at the plates.
For libertarians who watched Tuesday night’s debate, there really wasn’t much about which to be happy. It was the same old, tired rhetoric that we frequently hear from Republicans and Democrats, no matter who is running.
There has been a lot talk about the libertarian vote in this election. Our conservative friends, many of whom loathe President Obama, are pushing hard libertarians to get on board with Mitt Romney, while also in the next breath, they deride us, claiming that they really don’t need us. Strange how that works, isn’t it?
But as David Kirby recently noted, the overwhelming majority — some 70% — of identified libertarians are voting for the Romney/Ryan ticket. That, however, is not going to prevent conservatives from railing about how voting for any other other Romney is a “vote for Obama.”
If conservative Republicans are really interested in getting our support, Nick Gillespie of Reason.tv explains how that can be accomplish (here are some hints: cut spending, end the wars, and stay out of the bedroom):
On Friday, Atlas Shrugged Part II will hit theaters. With an entirely new cast, producers are hoping that they will be able to capitalize on the political and economic angst that has consumed the country over the last several years, which play into many of the themes in Ayn Rand’s most well known book.
From what I’ve read from people who’ve seen it, the film is much better than Part I, which had good moments, but it was largely a disappointment. Writing at Forbes, John Tamny says that the Atlas Shrugged Part II is a “must see film,” explaining, “Atlas Shrugged II is a very interesting movie to watch, and its message about what holds us down in terms of freedom and freedom to achieve couldn’t be timelier.”
The folks from Reason.tv recently caught up with the cast at the Hollywood premier of Atlas Shrugged Part II, asking them what they thought about the film and some of the ideas laid out by Ayn Rand in the book:
The release is much more broad this time around. Make sure you find a theater near you, take a friend and see this movie.
In a recent web ad for a pro-Obama PAC, Samuel L. Jackson explained to complacent voters that they need to “wake the f*ck up” and start doing more to help President Obama in his campaign against Mitt Romney.
In the bedtime story-ish ad, Jackson toes the usual leftist pro-union, class warfare lines, rips Romney and Ryan as being against a social safety-net to get the family he’s talking to motivated. Much of the rhetoric in the video is exaggerated to the point of being absurd.
The folks over at Reason.tv decided to parody the video, using it to point out President Obama’s horrible record on foreign policy and civil liberties — points that Obama supporters, often gloss over: