Intro- The monthly Humble Libertarian Webzine is an exciting new feature that I am proud to offer at this website. It will be issued on the first of every month as a regular post on this blog and will consist of short snippets and links to articles from the previous month in all quarters of the Libertarian blogosphere and Internet- it will be a "blog carnival" of sorts featuring the best content from the previous month (so March's edition will be published on the 1st of April, April's will be posted on the 1st of May, and so on...).
I hope you enjoy this first issue and the many to come!
-W. E. Messamore
Table of Contents
1. Last Month's Coverage of the Stimulus Package
2. Blog of the Month
3. A Month of Obama
4. The Beauty of Capitalism
5. Activism- Things You Can Do to Advance Liberty
6. A Technical Question (computer geeks help me out)
1. On Last Month's Stimulus Package
One of last month's biggest stories was the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (or "the Stimulus Package") into law. I wrote 7 detailed criticisms of the package, explaining in clear economic terms why it won't stimulate the economy and will actually do more harm than good. I also offered a sane alternative that would create real stimulus.
Over at the Entrepreneurial Mind, Dr. Jeff Cornwall explains why the hefty expansion of unemployment benefits in the package actually hinders recovery by causing fewer entrepreneurial start-ups and less employment. Over at Idols of Power, Price displays Federal Reserve data on unemployment, comparing this recession with others to show that the world isn't falling apart like the Democrats wanted us to believe while they were rushing the package through Congress. Unemployment was one of the key reasons cited by Washington Democrats for immediate passage of the stimulus package. Price says in his analysis at the end of the post that "recessions are normal." While I agree with the rest of the post, I did want to note that I disagree with that last assertion.
This is a video of Senator Harry Reid bragging that the stimulus package approaches $1,000,000,000,000 in new government spending and doesn't make any cuts in government spending:
Reality is worse than parody when politicians openly brag about how much they've increased government spending.
2. February 2009 Blog of the Month
TennZen: Enlightenment Southern Style
This really cool Tennessee wife and mother dares you to find an inconsistency in being Libertarian, Zen Buddhist, and Southern! Personally I think the three fit quite well together. TennZen is an exemplar of the "Humble Libertarianism" that we want to promote at this website. Much of her blog consists of practical ways that you can be a better person and change the world by changing yourself. From her gardening posts to phenomenal recipes for great meals that save you money, her blog creates a lot of value for her readers.
The convergence of spirituality and libertarian thought is refreshing and fitting. I'm impressed by how seamlessly she integrates unrelated topics like inflationary monetary policy, Zen spirituality, greener living, and good Southern cooking. Take for instance, her hilariously (and probably accurately) titled article "The Only Good Thing About The Senate Is... The Soup," featuring a bean soup recipe served daily at the Senate's in-house restaurant. What a great way to share recipes while taking a simultaneous dig at the tyrants in Washington.
And listen to this apology to her descendants:
Dear children and future grandchildren:
I want to apologize to you.
You're inheriting a national debt of inconceivable proportions. The currency will be inflated to the point of worthlessness. And your government will be omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.
The America that I grew up knowing will only exist in your history books - that is, if they haven't been revised or outright banned by the time you would want to see them.
I tried to stop it, but I guess I didn't try hard enough...
Wow. Seriously visit the link and read the rest. I cannot more enthusiastically recommend TennZen's blog. Bookmark it or subscribe to it right now before you forget.
3. One Month of Obama
President Barack Obama crossed the one month mark in February and his administration is already shaping up to look a lot like George W. Bush's in all the ways that he promised it wouldn't. On his one month anniversary as President, I listed 10 ways that Barack Obama is just like George W. Bush.
But some party-line Democrats just can't let go. I think it might be too painful to admit that someone you had put so much hope in has let you down, but he clearly has. I just don't see how someone can face the facts about his administration and not be disappointed, especially a committed, progressive Democrat who was happy to see Bush go. Keep drinking the Kool-Aid guys.
Here's what some other libertarian bloggers have to say about President Obama:
- Jordan at the Freedom Revolution notes that Attorney General Eric Holder has reserved the right of the government to indefinite detainment of suspected terrorists. That pretty much makes Obama's much-touted closing of Guantanamo Bay a hollow symbolic gesture.
- The American Elephant documents how every time Obama opens his mouth the stock market takes a dive.
- Norman at Libertarian Christians calls out Obama on his economic ignorance and incessant fear-mongering in "Fear is the New Hope."
Bonus- Real Men of Genius: Joe Biden
4. The Beauty of Capitalism
In this monthly section, I want to highlight the cool things that hard-working, creative people can do when given the opportunity through free markets.
- These absolutely breathtaking photos are an eloquent rebuttal to anyone who considers industry and factory production to be "ugly" in contrast to the "beauty" of nature.
- This varied assortment of really cool shower heads (of all things) makes me proud to be a capitalist. The beauty, functionality, and just plain "coolness" of these products is a testament to the creative artistry of the human race and the power of markets to give us the choices we want to have, even if they're a little weird!
- And would you believe that this map of undersea cables in the world is from 1901! We've been wired for longer than just a couple decades now. Here's what it looked like in 2008. It's just too cool for words that we are capable of such feats.
5. Activism- Simple Ways To Advance Liberty
February was a cool month for libertarian activism. Here are some things you can do:
- Rubber stamp "Tax Cheat" over Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's name on every Federal Reserve Note with his signature. (Source)
- Visit, link to (if you're a blogger or webmaster), and comment on these two articles (here and here) to let Ron Paul's son, Dr. Rand Paul know that we want him to move forward with his possible 2010 bid for a Senate seat from Kentucky.
- Sign this PledgeBank Pledge here. It's a promise to donate $50 to Rand Paul's campaign if he decides to run. This will let him know how many people are willing to pony up and help make his campaign a success. If he enjoys the "moneybomb" fund raising power that his father did, he will blow the competition away. What's really exciting is that he will likely get fund raising from people in all the other states who support his message of liberty and limited government. ONLY sign the pledge if you really mean it. Set the money aside and be prepared to donate it if Rand Paul announces that he will run for sure.
6. Technical Question
I do okay, but I'm not nearly as code savvy as I'd like to be. For future issues of the Humble Libertarian Webzine, I'd like to be able to divide the body of the post into two columns to give it a more newspaper-like feel, and to organize and fit the information in a more logical and economical way. I'll probably end up using less text than in this pilot issue and being more link heavy to fit the constraints of space (and your time).
The problem is that when I tried to use the typical table tag, Blogger really didn't like it. It made a mess of things. Is there any way that anyone knows of that I can make this happen? Any tutorials that you could link to and e-mail my way or leave in the comments? Anybody who you can refer me to who has an answer to this question? I'd really like to make this monthly webzine as awesome as possible.
I appreciate everyone's support of this blog and I'd love to hear your thoughts, feedback, and suggestions about this pilot issue. Anything I should change for upcoming issues? Anything you'd like to see next month? Just leave me a comment or send me an e-mail.