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Showing posts from August, 2011

Consistent For 30 Years

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The below video demonstrates rather briefly the consistency in the fight for liberty, sound economics, and a non-interventionist foreign policy that has permeated Ron Paul's congressional career.

"How It's Made" - Market Miracles

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My 6-year-old son's always asking me how different things are made. He sometimes has some unusual requests. I can only tell him so much before he just gets confused. Enter the Science Channel's "How It's Made". I've watched this program in the past, but he was too young to care. I re-discovered it while channel surfing. I quickly got him to watch it with me, and he fell in love with it. We set up our DVR to record the last 2 episodes, so there's always something new for him to watch.

What is "How It's Made"? To me, it's Leonard Read's "I, Pencil" on steroids. For those unfamiliar with Read's essay, it's a story of creation from the perspective of an everyday pencil. The essay's thesis is that it's impossible for any single person to make a pencil. The story traces the pencil's coming together after it's parts are found all over the world. It takes thousands of people, all of whom are working to satis…

Ron Paul, Electable, IF He Survives

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I've been debating with myself on whether or not I should even make this post. My thoughts on what I'm about to say have a dual meaning. First, on just how far-reaching and consistent Ron Paul's libertarian principles are, and Second, how far I believe we've strayed as a society from the Christian principles to love our neighbor as well as our enemies.

In theory, everything points to Ron Paul being electable. He can out-left the Left and out-right the Right. But I think that's also his downfall. He has too many enemies, and those enemies have too much power. Just look at this list:
The Federal ReserveWall Street BankersMilitary ContractorsFederal Drug WarriorsBig Labor, UnionsBig AgricultureForeign Recipients of Federal AidAnd the list goes on. I see too many special interests with too much on the line (money) to allow a Ron Paul victory. He wants to capsize the boat that is Big Government. And here's the really disturbing part, I even go as far as believing in …

When Does Law Become Criminal?

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If you've ever criticized taxation in front of an average statist, be them liberal or conservative, you know that it quickly turns awkward. They insist that taxation is necessary for certain services and that they're happy to pay it. They sometimes even assume you're advocating not paying taxes, then the conversation turns towards a discussion on the merits of "obeying the law".

We are just supposed to obey the law, people say. My fellow Latter-day Saints are even more insistent on this, throwing out the knee-jerk 12th Article of Faith reaction. We are supposed to support "government" and obey the law. We are supposed to be good little citizens. If we don't like the law, we can write a letter to our congressman, our run for office ourselves, etc.

But what about when the law becomes criminal? What, you don't believe the law can be criminal? You say: "Taxation isn't criminal. Government interventions in my business transactions isn't …

Ron Paul, Raising the Title of Liberty

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Chapter 46 of the Book of Alma, in the Book of Mormon, chronicles the time that Captain Moroni of the Nephite Armies rallies his people together to fight for their liberty. The seminal moment came when he created "the title of liberty":
And now it came to pass that when Moroni, who was the chief commander of the armies of the Nephites, had heard of these dissensions, he was angry with Amalickiah. And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it:

"In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children,"

and he fastened it upon the end of a pole. And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so l…

Scarcity and Property Rights

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It is a simple fact that our world is a world of scarcity, that is, that human wants exceed the amount of usable resources to satisfy them. This is not say that usable resources are not being discovered, or that human wants will not change. Of course change happens. Oil was once considered a nuisance, but now it's considered a usable good.

When people need the same resources (economic goods) to satisfy their wants, conflict ensues. This is what economists call the "economic problem": How are things to be produced and the factors of production allocated in a world of scarcity? There are ways of handling conflict over scarce resources. People can fight over them, and to the victor go the spoils. Or, people can reason. They can use the resource between their ears to come up with ways of ending, reducing, and preventing conflict, leading to the creation of wealth and prosperity. One of those ways has been through the formulation of a theory of property rights.

Every school o…

Ron Paul, a Scholar, Not a Politician

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It's perfectly clear to me that Ron Paul is unlike anyone else in Washington, and unlike any of the other candidates vying for the Republican nomination for President. But it may not be perfectly clear to you. I'd like to invite anyone unfamiliar with Ron Paul's breadth of principle and scholarship to look at a few things.

Books - Ron Paul has written or co-written several books, all of them (except his medical works) with one purpose: to spread the message of freedom. You'll also notice that not a single one of them engages in self-aggrandizement, unlike many others. In chronological order: 1981 - Gold, Peace, & Prosperity1982 - The Case for Gold1983 - Abortion and Liberty1983 - Ten Myths About Paper Money1984 - Mises and Austrian Economics1987 - Freedom Under Siege1990 - Challenge to Liberty: Abortion1991 - The Ron Paul Money Book2007 - A Foreign Policy of Freedom2008 - Pillars of Prosperity2008 - The Revolution - A Manifesto2009 - End the Fed2011 - Liberty Defined

Multi-Million Dollar Copyright Infringement, Every Day

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Over the last few years, I've pitched my tent on the anti-copyright and anti-patent side of the libertarian camp. In other words, I don't hold that ideas are property, or can be property, and the granting of such monopoly privileges by the state is an act of theft and wealth redistribution of all real property owners.

John Tehranian of the University of Utah's S.J. Quinney College of Law has written a fantastic paper for the Utah Law Review that looks at the disparity between copyright law and copyright norms. It's worth a full read, however, what I wanted to share here is his making plain just how often the average person, in this case the average college professor, infringes on copyright, to the tune of billions per year:
To illustrate the unwitting infringement that has become quotidian for the average American, take an ordinary day in the life of a hypothetical law professor named John. For the purposes of this Gedankenexperiment, we assume the worst-case scenario o…

It's About Love

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I am wont to harp on non-libertarian political philosophies because of their foundation in violence. I'd like to take just a moment to explain something that I haven't done a good enough job explaining.

Libertarianism to me is about one thing, Love. I've said that the libertarian political philosophy can be summed up in one phrase, "Keep your hands to yourself." Why should we do this? There're all sorts of reasons why we should practice libertarianism, but I believe the primary reason should be out of love and respect for other people.

I want liberty for you as much as I want liberty for myself. I know that freedom is the only way that prosperity can be achieved, and I want you to have prosperity. I want you to pursue and find happiness. I want you to be free from the control of others. And I want you to be free to serve your fellow man.

Liberty implies responsibility. If the social contract exists, it exists as an implied contract between civilized men to ke…

Supporting Ron Paul

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I have shared content and posted about Ron Paul a little more often than usual lately. For those who know me, you know that I don't care to waste my time voting nor get involved in elections. However, Walter Block has convinced me that I should be doing all I can to promote Ron Paul.

Now, let me explain why Ron Paul is different. Yes, he's the only candidate, nay, the only member of the Federal Government that can be considered a voluntaryist. All the rest are coercivist crooks. The entire lot of them. Ron Paul has been battling these crooks for 30 some-odd years, in and out of Congress. He's been consistently principled, and has consistently fought for liberty. He's truly an anomaly. That's not a platitude. That's not something that you can say about any candidate since the founding of the United States. That is a fact.
I've studied Ron Paul the last few years and own several of his books. I've added him to my list of people I consider Great. He truly is…

Ron Paul is a Voluntaryist

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I've noticed a certain type of libertarian that not only follows and promotes Ron Paul, but that Ron Paul keeps around him. They include Lew Rockwell and the crews at LewRockwell.com and Mises.org. The overriding theme among them all is that they are voluntaryists, or anarcho-capitalists. Since first studying Ron Paul and following this crowd, I've believed that Ron Paul is in actuality a voluntaryist, posing as a Constitutionalist. The video below demonstrates this using quotes from Ron Paul's books, and clips from a few interviews.

The By-product of Freedom

I am primarily a libertarian for philosophical reasons. This wasn't always the case. My ascent into libertarianism began with a study of economics. It began with the columns of Walter Williams. He frequently gives an economics lesson woven within his commentary on current events. I read almost every one of his columns available in his archive. I soon discovered his "Economics for the Citizen" series, a concise introduction to several principles of economics.

From here, I discovered Thomas Sowell, a close friend of Williams. His "Basic Economics" was the first book I purchased on economics. (I've since purchased several of his books.) It taught me all about supply and demand, and why price floors and price ceilings have negative unintended (supposedly) consequences in an economy. I understood, from an economics point of view, the disaster that is government interference with voluntary trading among people, ie. "the market".

I soon discovered the Au…

You've Got a Gun Pointed at Your Head

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You can't truly embrace liberty and the libertarian political philosophy until you understand something very important. Every second of every day, you have a gun pointed at your head.

What do I mean? It's obvious. Right now, you have a gun pointed at your head, ready to shoot and kill you. But you can't see it. My goal is to help you see it. It's there. It's always been there. Since the day you were born, it's been there.

There are people in this world, many of them, who want to control you. They aren't content with controlling only themselves. They want to control you, too. And the only way to do this is with violence. Some of them will walk up to you, point a gun at your head, and tell you to either hand over your money, or to get into their car. Others will walk into a ballot box and file a secret ballot, voting for the candidate who's made all sorts of promises that amount to controlling you. The means are somewhat different, though not really, but …

Button Pushing and the Radical Libertarian

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Since I claim to be a radical libertarian, the question presents itself, "What is a radical libertarian?" Though I'll give my own thoughts on the question, I could not answer this any better than one of the greatest of radical libertarians, Murray Rothbard:
The true test...of the radical spirit, is the button-pushing test: if we could push the button for instantaneous abolition of unjust invasions of liberty, would we do it? If we would not do it, we could scarcely call ourselves libertarians, and most of us would only do it if primarily guided by a passion for justice.

The genuine libertarian, then, is, in all senses of the word, an "abolitionist"; he would, if he could, abolish instantaneously all invasions of liberty, whether it be, in the original coining of the term, slavery, or whether it be the manifold other instances of State oppression. He would, in the words of another libertarian in a similar connection, "blister my thumb pushing that button!&qu…

Legend of the Guardians - A Libertarian Allegory

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What a wonderful movie this was! I was enthralled the entire time. It had everything a libertarian could hope for. "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole" is a story about good versus evil, cowardice versus bravery, slavery versus freedom. I don't want to give away any spoilers but allow me to run it down.

The story begins with a family of 5 owls, 2 parents, 2 brothers, and a little sister. One of the brothers, Soren, loves to repeat his father's stories about "the Guardians of Ga'Hoole", a "mythical group of warrior owls, who once saved all owlkind from the evil 'Pure Ones' in a great battle in which the Guardians' leader, Lyze of Kiel, defeated the Pure Ones' leader Metal Beak" to his little sister, Eglantine. The other brother, Kludd, teases Soren for his "dreams" and soft-headedness.

After the brothers are given a lesson in flying from their father (Soren being the better flyer) and their parents leave…

Call Me Mr. Radical Libertarian

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A few months ago, my Bishop, as part of an introduction of sorts to someone else, called me a "radical libertarian". Ever since then, I've put a lot of thought into that title, and have decided to completely embrace it. I've since added some flare to my website in that same vein (adding "anarcholibertarian" to my title image and an anarchocapitalist emblem I designed 2 years ago on the left panel). I've become very comfortable with these types of titles. In fact, I've started to wonder why more people don't wear their politics "on their sleeve", as it were. And I think I have an answer.

You see, unlike my "radical libertarian" politics, Democrats and Republicans rely on the coercive and violent power of the state. Their political philosophies depend on government force. Mine doesn't. The only way that Democrats can "spread the wealth around" is by picking up a gun and pointing it at the heads of the wealthy. The …

Joseph Smith's Prophecy on the US Government

I just read this great paper titled "Joseph Smith: The Profile of a Prophet". On page 16, he shares a prophecy given by Joseph Smith while in conversation with Stephan A. Douglas, which reads:
unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the saints in the state of Missouri and punish crimes committed by her officers, that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left, for their wickedness in permitting the murder of men, women and children and the wholesale plunder and extermination of thousands of her citizens to go unpunished, thereby perpetrating a foul and corroding blot upon the fair fame of this great republic, the very thought of which would have caused the high-minded and patriotic framers of the Constitution of the United States to hide their faces with shame.The author of this article goes on to explain that he believes this prophecy concerned mostly the Whig party (see 3b) at the …

Social Contract Theory, Defined & Destroyed

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Social Contract theory has been a thorn in my side for quite some time. I knew it was bogus, have studied some things that argue such, but could never quite shake it. Stefan Molyneux to the rescue:

Stanislaw Burzynski, Saver of Lives, Modern Superhero

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I've recently watched an incredible documentary detailing the bitter and greedy persecution of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski. As of this post, that documentary can be viewed here for free.

I highly recommend watching this documentary in order to completely understand the evil and tyranny that has slowed down this very important progress in cancer therapy. It shows the relentlessness of the Texas Medical Board, the Food & Drug Administration, the US Federal Government, and the devious practices of the National Cancer Institute, in protecting the profits of special interests in the cancer therapy "industry".

For his courage, his perseverance, and his medical breakthroughs, I am adding Dr. Burzynski to my list of people who I consider "great". More information on this documentary can be found here. Dr. Burzynski's clinic's website can be found here.

I will also add, if I or any of my loved ones have to go through the ordeal of treating cancer, I will do ever…

Polygamy and the Liberation of Women

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Yesterday, I shared three articles that have given me a brand new perspective on the institution of polygamous (plural) marriage. I thought I'd say a little bit about them. Here they are again:
Article: Why Most Americans are PolygamousArticle: Why Most Women Benefit Under Polygamy, Men SufferArticle: A Feminist Studies Mormon Polygamy And, Remarkably, Finds That It Liberated the WivesThe first one does a good job at expelling the notion that polygamy is weird or unusual. It explains how many Americans are today polygamous, mathematically speaking. I don't have much else to say about this one.

The second one introduced to me something about polygamy that I had never considered, how it's beneficial for women. Married men of high status (prestige, wealth, or both), would no longer be considered off-limits. They would very much still be in the running, competing with other men. I think this would cause a higher number of men to improve themselves, their skills, their attractiv…