THE ARCHEOLOGY OF LIBERTY: The Mises Institute has posted a ton. Jesse, The Perpetual Three-Dot Column (2010-06-11).
THE ARCHEOLOGY OF LIBERTY: The Mises Institute has posted a ton of old issues of Liberty in pdf form. My writing appeared in Liberty from late '91 through early '97, and I was a staffer there from mid-'93 to the end of '96. So I've got a lot of old...(Linked Saturday 2010-06-12.)
Free Bradley Manning! Sheldon Richman, Free Association (2010-06-12).
SPC Bradley Manning, a 22-year-old intelligence analyst stationed at Forward Operating Base Hammer in the vicinity of Baghdad, was arrested two weeks ago for having supposedly sent Wikileaks the “Collateral Damage” video of US troops shooting Iraqi civilians.Justin Raimondo has the full story here.As Mike Gogulski notes in the comments,...(Linked Saturday 2010-06-12.)
The Anthony Gregory Song Video. blog of bile (2010-06-12). This is a world of magic and delight. (Linked Saturday 2010-06-12.)
Obama Theory of the Month. Jesse Walker, Jesse Walker: Reason Magazine articles and blog posts. (2010-06-06).
Is Barack Obama a secret Muslim? communist? immigrant? extra in the video for "Whoomp (There It Is)"? Gawker weighs the evidence.(Linked Saturday 2010-06-12.)
Inconsistent Idealization in Rawls. Will Wilkinson, Will Wilkinson (2010-05-26).
Section 42, “Some Remarks about Economic Systems,” in John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice is peculiar, especially the discussion of public goods problems. Rawls cites James Buchanan and Mancur Olson as authorities on the nature these problems. However, these are political economists working from assumptions about behavior that Rawls specifically...(Linked Sunday 2010-06-13.)
Any Doubts about which is the Roguest Nation? Sheldon Richman, Free Association (2010-06-13).
From Physicians for Human Rights:In the most comprehensive investigation to date of health professionals' involvement in the CIA's "enhanced" interrogation program (EIP), Physicians For Human Rights has uncovered evidence that indicates the Bush administration apparently conducted illegal and unethical human experimentation and research on detainees in CIA custody. The apparent...(Linked Sunday 2010-06-13.)
Unarmed Student Shot by Police. bosco, blog of bile (2010-06-13).
On March 11th, 2010 police officers raided Derek Copp’s apartment, shined a flashlight in his eyes and shot him in the chest. The raid was concerning an alleged sale of $60 worth of marijuana. The officer is currently facing a felony charge with a maximum penalty of four years. It...(Linked Sunday 2010-06-13.)
From Washington state:
On Wednesday, the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee voted against two pieces of legislation, one of which called for the legalization of marijuana, and would, among other things, make it available for sale — heavily taxed — at state liquor stores. The other would have reduced possession of marijuana from a criminal offense to a civil one.
The legalization bill (HB 2401) was voted down 6-2. For a moment, HB 1177, which would have decriminalized marijuana, looked as though it might have a chance, but it too died, with a final vote of 5-3.
In his opening remarks to the committee, Chairman Chris Hurst, D-Enumclaw, said he found merit in all of the arguments, pro and con, but that it came down to the question of whether the federal government or the states should be in the business of regulating marijuana. Although he favors state regulation, Hurst said, he could not in good conscience vote for a bill that conflicted with federal law.
… Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, argued that legalization would allow the state to regulate a product that has potential hazardous consequences.A votehe told his fellow committee members,yes,is a vote for control. A votenois a vote for continued chaos.
… And that’s why I’m against legalization schemes. For decriminalization, yes, of course; but against this kind of cockamamie tax-and-regulate license-monopoly scheme, carried out in the name of exposing yet another good to government
It’s also why I’m against relying on electoral politics as a means of social change. When the political debate is constrained to the one side, who argue for arresting harmless potheads and locking them in cages, even though they think it is a bad idea, simply because their
conscience demands absolute submission to the will of the United States federal government; and the other side, who think that marijuana ought to be legalized so that the government can use a tax-stamp scheme to more fully
control people’s access to it — when, that is, the debate consists of two sides, each jockeying for position against the other to see which of them can package its policy proposals in the most authoritarian terms — when, I say, the political debate is constrained to those kind of options, it’s time to start looking for a new forum.
There’s no sense in trying to win at a rigged game; sooner or later, you need to just walk away. Go counter-economic — direct action gets the goods.
Over at PajamasMedia, Mary Grabar tells us that Libertarians Need to Rethink Support for Drug Legalization, thus:
Libertarians are fond of pointing to the wreckage caused by the abuse of alcohol: deterioration of health, traffic deaths, and domestic violence. This is true, but it is an analogy that emerges from an abstraction. Libertarians argue that the only difference between the two is traditional: we have stamped alcohol consumption with a seal of social approval.
But I would argue that tradition should be a reason for its continued legal status and for denying legal status to marijuana.
… But I would argue that it should, not only from my position as a Christian, but from my position as a citizen of a country whose foundational values spring from the Judeo-Christian heritage. The sanction for alcohol use has lasted for millennia. It has become part of our rituals at meals, celebrations, and religious services. That is a large part of why Prohibition failed.
Marijuana, in contrast, has always been counter-cultural in the West. Every toke symbolizes a thumb in the eye of Western values. So it follows that in order to maintain our culture, we need to criminalize this drug.
The prohibition against marijuana is one brick in the foundation of our society.
This is an idiotic argument logically. Factually, it’s an exercise in politico-historical fantasy.
The prohibition against marijuana in the United States dates back to A.D. 1937; my grandparents were older than marijuana prohibition. There is no such thing as a
tradition of criminalizing pot; cannabis was well known throughout the Fertile Crescent, Central Asia, and the Far East for millennia, and it was completely legal everywhere in the world throughout all of human history, right up until a couple of decades into the 20th century.
Of course, the main thing to say here is really that
maintaining our [sic] culture is not a good enough reason for criminalizing nonviolent people. If your culture can only be maintained at the point of a gun, then your culture sucks, and the sooner you stop
maintaining it on the backs of harmless pot-smokers, the better.
But if you’re a frequent reader here, that much should, really, go without saying. Apply the usual libertarian defense of the liberty to decide how you use your own damned body, and the usual anarchist indictment of legally sanctioning police violence against harmless people.
The reason that I mention the story here[*] is that it’s another fine illustration of the mindset of a certain sort of conservative — for whom
tradition means invincible ignorance about what actually happened in the past, for whom
conservatism means a felt need to pretend that the peculiar legal conditions and parenting panics of your own childhood years are really civilizational norms stretching back into time out of mind, and for whom politics is the belligerent expression of an urge to use absolutely any means at your disposal, no matter how intrusive, police-statist or violent, to politically march us all back into a past which, fortunately for the people of Antiquity, never existed in the first place.
* Well, the main reason for most of it. The pull-quote about every toke being a thumb in the eye of Western civilization is something I just threw in for laughs.
- Is Thomas Friedman "the stupidest man alive" ? firstname.lastname@example.org (Angus), Kids Prefer Cheese (2009-09-30).
Well he certainly has stiff competition (most notably Donald Luskin (see here and here), but this NY Times column puts Sir Thomas directly in the running.His argument is that "Red China has decided to become Green China" and since (according to him) going green is a zero sum game, they...(Linked Wednesday 2009-10-07.)
- Weed Culture Is Boob Culture. Amanda Hess, The Sexist (2009-09-23).
Why aren’t there more female marijuana activists, Marijuana Policy Project employee Laura Greenback asks in High Times. Ooh! Pick me! I know the answer! It’s not that women don’t like smoking weed. We do. And it’s not that we don’t care about the ass-backwards war on drugs—despite Greenback’s fears, half...(Linked Wednesday 2009-10-07.)
- On Becoming Ungovernable. Brad Spangler, BradSpangler.com (2009-09-30).
“This movement should create a situation in which authorities will control empty stores, but not the market; the employment of workers, but not their livelihood; the official media, but not the circulation of information; printing plants, but not the publishing movement; the mail and telephones, but not communications; and the...(Linked Wednesday 2009-10-07.)
- Closed Border, Closed Economy, Closing Opportunities. John Gruber, Daring Fireball (2009-10-05).
David Eaves on the “harrowing experience” of entering the United States as a tourist or visitor. ★(Linked Friday 2009-10-09.)
- All the President's Demons. email@example.com (Jesse Walker), Jesse Walker: Reason Magazine articles and blog posts. (2009-09-09).
The president has attacked the enemies of ObamaCare as "well-financed forces" and "those who are profiting from the status quo." So Tim Carney of The Washington Examiner put in calls to the White House and to Obama's group Organizing for America to ask who, specifically, these vaguely defined enemies are....(Linked Friday 2009-10-09.)
- Obama Is No Radical. firstname.lastname@example.org (Jesse Walker), Jesse Walker: Reason Magazine articles and blog posts. (2009-09-30).
The conservative firebrand David Horowitz has declared the Obama White House a "radical regime." For the Republican radio host Sean Hannity, the ousted ex-communist "green jobs" czar Van Jones "signifies the radicalism of this administration." Even Andy Williams, the Branson crooner who sang "Moon River" and "Days of Wine and...(Linked Friday 2009-10-09.)
- New Oklahoma Law Will Put Details Of All Abortions Online - Oklahoma abortion website - Jezebel. jezebel.com (2009-10-09).
A new Oklahoma law will require the details of every abortion to be posted on a public website. Proponents say this will prevent abortion — apparently by shaming and burdening women and doctors.(Linked Friday 2009-10-09.)
- Free Talk Live, 10/07/09. Technorati Search for: radgeek.com (2009-10-07).
Wage Hurts People / City Police Chiefs Advocate Snitch Program / The Vaccine Controversy Continues / Rascism / Michael Moore and John Stossell / Rosa Parks and Civil Disobedience / Violence vs Peace / Podcast-only Interview with Charles Johnson from RadGeek.com.” [MP3] (10/07/09)(Linked Friday 2009-10-09.)