Friday, July 14, 2006

No Freedom For You!

Jerry Seinfeld gave us a memorable character in the Soup Nazi back when he had a show on TV, (sorry, I wasn't a big fan but as a chef the Soup Nazi was memorable to me). Now CATO has apparently given us our very own Freedom Nazi and his cry seems to be "No Freedom For YOU!" where the people of Taiwan are concerned. Mr. Carpenter seems to think that Taiwan should avoid independence and they should keep a corrupt government in place because whomever replaces them might just be a balls to the wall freedom lover.

The stance that Taiwan should not declare their independence from the Communist Chinese mainland seems odd when you hear it from a "libertarian" writer in a "libertarian" organisation. Mr. Carpenter seems to think that the threat of upsetting the mainland Chinese government is enough that Taiwan should not assert its independence as a free and sovereign nation. Is this a "libertarian" stance? If it is, it certainly isn't any which I am familiar with. Waving the old "China would go to war" white flag has become rather old and trite as a reason to deny people their freedom and sovereignty. One would think that supporting a free and independent Taiwan would be the libertarian stance, not urging maintenance of the status quo.

Would the PRC really go to war and risk losing their greatest trading partner, the US? Thirty years ago I would have said yes, but with the PRC's economy resting on the good wishes of their customers around the globe it is unlikely that they would choose this particular hill to die upon. It would be a certainty that the US would shut down all trade with China should that happen and other nations would quickly follow. The Naval blockades and sub warfare would halt the flow of supplies that so desperately requires if it is to remain an economic power. China could ill afford any sort of armed conflict over Taiwan's declaration of independence and they'd hardly wish to alienate the world economic community. Mr. Carpenter, and one presumes the CATO organisation seem to think that freedom is something that isn't for everyone. That a hollow threat of war and violence is more than enough reason to caution the Taiwanese against declaring themselves to be a free and sovereign people. And they're a "libertarian" think tank? quote the great philosopher Inigo Montoya: "I'm not sure that word means what you think it means".

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Libertarians In The News And Leading The Way

I know this is going to upset certain people. Those people who think libertarians should shut the hell up for electoral expediency or to promote some in the closet vision of what the political arm of libertarianism is supposed to be about. That's too bad, live with it. Here's the news of a libertarian who has spent years doing something rather than planning for electoral victory.

From the Washington Post we have the story of Starchild, sex worker, Libertarian candidate, sneered at and mocked freedom warrior of LP conventions. Yep, our Starchild. He's a character, a wacky freedom lover without peer and the bane of the Reformista tight asses everywhere. Oh, and did I mention he was a sex worker, too? Starchild has apparently taken up a new cause. Workers rights for the sex industry! Awesome!

Starchild, a 36-year-old former Army Reservist stood amid rallying sex workers in Las Vegas on Thursday and boasted of his bid for a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

"And that ballot is going to say 'escort/exotic dancer,'" he said, beaming.

I, and many other libertarians have said for years that the sex worker trade has needed a guild or even a (shudder) union-like organisation to protect them from the State and to look after their interests, (voluntary collectivism due to self interest is not necessarily a bad thing). Sex worker rights have been a key platform issue for the LP in the past, (who knows what the stance is now) and should be addressed as a standard issue. The sex trade is everywhere and these people are accorded no protections, in fact they are routinely persecuted by law enforcement. There's no reason for the sex trade to not be on candidates radars. Starchild is leading by example. Kudos!

"We just want the government off our backs," said Starchild, adding he used the conference to link up with other sex workers interested in restoring the "spirituality and dignity" the profession enjoyed in Elizabethan England.

"We're like courtesans," he said.

That's a solid, libertarian message, eh? And good old Starchild is running on the LP ticket. How embarrassing, eh? Nope. Not to me. Starchild is the exemplar of the Liberty movement. No staid tie and suit for him, fiercely independent and willing to be just who he is. If I lived out there, he'd get my vote in a heartbeat. I may not agree with things which he espouses or causes he embraces sometimes, but Starchild doesn't worry about crap like making people look bad, or electoral expediency.

There are some out there who will always point their fingers at Starchild and the others like him and issue their pod people like cries of "This is what's wrong with the LP! They accept people like him and everyone thinks we're all like him! Waaaah!". We should all be more like our Starchild. Perhaps not so flamboyant, (altho he does cut a daring picture in his Lady Liberty robes) but definitely with his conviction, courage and willingness to be who he is and not who some invisible hand at the polls would wish us to be.

Viva Starchild! Maybe his action will stand as an example, altho I suspect there are a few neo-libertarians who are even now rushing out to buy up all the copies of the Postthey can get their hands on.

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Monday, July 10, 2006

It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood...Well, It's A Day At Any Rate!

Now that I'm done talking about the gangsta's in blue and their "Rights" extortion let me take a moment or two to tell you about some of things I ran across this morning while looking for "news". I didn't find much at all and what I did find was mostly at Libertarian Enterprise, which I assume most of you are familiar with. If not...go visit them and get enlightened.

L.Neil Smith, one of my favourite authors and libertarians spoke his piece on the recent developments in Portland and the aftermath of the Reformista's destruction of the LP Platform. I cannot say that disagree with him in any way. He, like so many libertarians is outraged at the events and I do not blame him. These people came into the LP intent on changing things. Some signed the ZAP and either outright lied about it or had no understanding of what they were signing. So we either have evil or stupid, I so hate to choose between these two.

He also touches upon something which I have mentioned a time or two as well. The possibility that some of the Reformista have, much like Buchanon and others in the now defunct Reform Party have been sent, or have chosen to sabotage the LP isn't as far fetched as it might seem. That someone other than myself see's the possibility is little comfort given the present circumstances, tho. We're just going to have to sit back and watch what happens. What is has become painfully evident, tho is that there is currently a schism occuring which the political arm of libertarianism may not survive. The Reformista are gloating over their perceived victory and doing their utmost to further alienate the "purists" and activists whom they managed to snake at the convention. Regardless of the why's and wherefores this whole thing will become an ugly, festering sore on our landscape and the resulting sore must be treated or the current rot will become much worse.

Politics to advance the cause of Liberty or to increase individual Liberty may well be an exercise in futility. George W. Bush is the seeming master of bringing Liberty to foreign lands, if this is what we can expect the Reformista to bring us then we could find ourselves as Liberated as the Iraqis. Abandonment of principles for electoral expediency is a lose/lose situation for real Libertarians and a "winner" for the Reformista. Fortunately, L.Neil has a solution....

Make sure none of their candidates for office ever appears at a public gathering without some real libertarian (remember that phrase) hecklers to ask embarrassing questions about what real libertarianism is.

Make sure none of their candidates ever runs for office without a real libertarian (remember that phrase) opponent on the ballot with him. All the neolibertarians will have accomplished, conspiracy or not, is to split the libertarian vote in half for the remainder of history.

I don't have to worry about that too much, myself. All the candidates I know are good enough to sit at the same table with me...should that change, tho....well, they'll know what to expect.

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My Hero...And He Has Virtual Fur!

I have a hero. He's got a site that I visit fairly often when I need a laugh or just a moment of foamy rationality. Now, if you visit the site send the kiddo's out of the room and enjoy a good laugh or six. Ladies and gents I present for your viewing pleasure my Hero...Foamy The Squirrel! Star of internet and, well...internet. If you haven't already met him.... Feel the Squirrely Wrath it'll have you foaming at the mouth with laughter, rather than rage!

Check out the list of past episodes and enjoy!

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Paying Protection Money To The Gangsta's

This past Friday I finally got everything together and went down to the local gangsta hideout and paid them my protection money. You see, I give them money and they promise not to kill me and my family should they catch me out and about my business on their turf while I'm packing. They hate the idea that I might decide to defend myself from a rival gang or something. So, I pay them off in the hope that they don't murder me for exercising my right to self defence.

Make no bones about it, folks...these are some bad dudes. They are, by their own admission the largest gang in the nation. They have their gang signs on their rides, even on the ones their wives there's no accidents, right? They wear their dark, intimidating colours and are always making damned sure you know they're gonna cap you or beat you if you mess with them. Frightening people and there 796,000+ of them with more joining every day. It's their world out there, apparently.

And, hopefully they will keep their word and not kill me for carrying. That's the only reason I bother to bribe them anyway, just so they won't shoot me to death or kidnap me and imprison me for exercising my right to defend myself and my family. Shoot, I don't fear their rival gangs more than is prudent. I do fear them, tho because they tend to shoot first and ask questions later.

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