the humble libertarian

out of many one

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Libertarians Never Get To Win

After publishing my Harry Reid parody of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," I sent out an e-mail to a few of my friends to ask them to promote it.

I shared the link to it and wrote: "Share this with everyone you know! We have got to take our country back and laugh these lunatics to scorn!"

Well one of my friends forwarded the link and message to her cousin who responded: "Fortunately, we just accomplished taking our country back from the lunatics."

That attitude is so prevalent among Democrats and Republicans alike (that the people in "that other" party are the clueless ones), even though the leadership of both parties over the past couple decades has been virtually indistinguishable, that I felt the need to share the comment with you along with my response.

In truth my Harry Reid song, my e-mail accusation of lunacy at our highest levels of leadership, and this entire website as a whole are not partisan rants directed at the Democrats. I equally criticize and ridicule the leaders of both parties because they are often both equally inclined to support critically flawed and ridiculous policies.

Anyways, here was my response to my friend:
I think your cousin means that the Republicans are the lunatics- sadly I think in a lot of cases your cousin is correct! That's just it- I don't take sides- I harshly criticize both because both parties are leading us down the wrong path. I wish your cousin could see that the Democrats are doing all the very same things that probably irk your cousin when the Republicans do them. I wish I could feel like your cousin, that we have taken our country back from the wrong kind of leadership, but every four years one half or the other of this country feels that way and I never get to feel that way! I always just lose : (


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Picture of President Obama in 3rd Grade

Barack Obama's third grade photo:
(H/T- Huffington Post | Star Bulletin)

I don't think too highly of the grown man- but what a cute eight-year-old! I wonder if he ran for president of his third grade class? Maybe on a platform of increased transparency about who really puts their mouth on the water fountain when they take a drink, no more picking on second graders, and more free checkups at the nurse's office?

Too bad that if his third grade presidency went anything like his first year as President of the United States, Barack Obama not only didn't deliver, but did the opposite of what he promised and made things worse.

Maybe it turned out that the class treasurer- Timmy- had been putting his mouth on the water fountain all along, little Barack assigned three more third graders to be hall monitors (and pick on second graders), and while there were more "free" checkups, it came at the cost of long lines, higher prices in the cafeteria to pay her overtime and also gave the new class president access to all his classmates' embarrassing medical records -like who had lice that year.

Cute little kid though! And rousing speaker!

Judge Andrew Napolitano: Rights vs. Goods

H/T to The Daily Paul

Monday, December 28, 2009

How To Strip US Health Insurance Companies of Their Power Forever in 1 Easy Step

Health Insurance in the U.S. Sucks!

If you support a "public option," single payer system, and/or the Democrats' health bills in Congress, you probably believe that health insurance companies have too much power and not enough competition to keep prices low and quality high. You are absolutely correct.

Health insurance is too expensive, not enough people have access to it, and insurance companies bail on their customers and deny them the coverage they paid for at the worst possible times. Something has got to be done!

But Why?

But let's examine the root causes of these disorders in the market for health insurance to see if a public option is really the solution.

It seems as if the health insurance companies can charge whatever they want, bully their customers around when they have legitimate claims, and set all the terms of insurance contracts. Why is that?

The most important reason is that Americans cannot buy health insurance across state lines. States prohibit the purchase of health insurance that does not comply with their state regulations.

Regulations Empower Insurance Companies

These regulations usually consist of a long list of ridiculous coverage mandates that require customers to be covered for all kinds of things whether or not they want or need it.
So even if a woman in Maryland doesn't want to pay $500/month to be covered for in-vitro fertilization, morbid obesity treatment, smoking cessation, substance abuse, and hair prosthesis, she has no choice.
And she can't purchase more affordable insurance without any unnecessary coverage from another state because it would be non-compliant with Maryland's regulations and mandates.

Robbing You to Enrich Corporations
The reason states do this is to provide kickbacks of money to their campaign donors in the insurance industry without overtly raising residents' taxes- a corrupt and vicious policy.
So the reason health insurance companies have so much power and are so corrupt, is not an unregulated, dog-eat-dog market for health insurance, but a tightly regulated and controlled market- a government-protected cartel for health insurance.
If there were a way to put an end to this disgusting situation in one fell swoop- it would immediately make health insurance far more affordable, a better fit for people's real needs, and a quality industry that works hard to please its customers.

The Solution in One Easy Step:

And there is such a way! The U.S. Congress merely needs to pass a bill prohibiting the states from requiring residents to purchase health insurance from within their state and according to state regulations/mandates.

The beautiful thing is it doesn't take a whole lot of words to say this, certainly not thousands of pages! It's a simple, elegant, and profoundly effective solution.

A Constitutional Health Care Reform

It's also Constitutional. Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution says Congress has the power to: "To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes. [emphasis mine]"
This Commerce Clause has been misused for decades as the justification for sweeping Federal powers that clearly do not fall under the scope of the clause.
In Wickard v. Filburn for instance, the Supreme Court ruled that even wheat grown on one's own land for one's own consumption can be regulated under the category of interstate commerce because it affects interstate commerce(!).
Yet in the instance of health insurance, we have a perfect example of exactly what the Founding Fathers wanted the Federal Government to be able to prevent states from doing- interfering with trade across their borders.

The Result:

If Congress were to pass this one piece of simple legislation on just a few short pages, it would create revolutionary changes in the provision of health insurance and grant millions access through more affordable prices.

If an insurance company in Connecticut charges too much or has a reputation for bullying its customers when they need coverage, then its customers can leave and buy insurance from a more affordable, less corrupt insurance company based in Nebraska.

A Free Market Health Care Reform

This way companies will truly be forced to compete with each other for once. They will have to provide good service at affordable prices or they'll lose customers and go out of business. No more hiding behind state lines and corrupt state laws.
And that's how to end the monopolistic power of the insurance companies quickly, cleanly, and without diminishing our civil liberties or adding to the already insane national debt. It's a non-partisan solution that members of both party can agree to. Who's with me?

Take action

E-mail this article's web address to as many people as you know! Educate your friends and family. If you want to strip the health insurance companies of their monopoly power, then you must empower yourself with knowledge and solutions!

Also share a link to this article across various social media if you're web-savvy: Facebook, Twitter, and Digg would make a good start!

Last of all, send this article to the people who need to read it the most: your Congressman and Senators!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Aquinas on Economics and Commerce

It is a project of mine and a couple of the other contributors here at THL to justify libertarian conclusions about government and civil society from classical premises (as opposed to the framework of modernity where classical liberalism "was born").

Editor's note: Content related to this project will be forthcoming in future articles here at THL.

That's why the following article "The Philosopher-Theologian: St Thomas Aquinas" by Murray Rothbard really caught my eye when an abridgment thereof was recently published at Campaign for Liberty.

Here's an excerpt I really enjoyed:

"Finally, and most charmingly and crucially, Aquinas, in his great Summa, raised a question that had been discussed by Cicero. A merchant is carrying grain to a famine-stricken area. He knows that soon other merchants are following him with many more supplies of grain. Is the merchant obliged to tell the starving citizenry of the supplies coming soon and thereby suffer a lower price, or is it all right for him to keep silent and reap the rewards of a high price? To Cicero, the merchant was duty-bound to disclose his information and sell at a lower price. But St. Thomas argued differently. Since the arrival of the later merchants was a future event and therefore uncertain, Aquinas declared justice did not require him to tell his customers about the impending arrival of his competitors. He could sell his own grain at the prevailing market price for that area, even though it was extremely high. Of course, Aquinas went on amiably, if the merchant wished to tell his customers anyway, that would be especially virtuous, but justice did not require him to do so. There is no starker example of Aquinas's opting for the just price as the current price, determined by demand and supply, rather than the cost of production (which of course did not change much from the area of abundance to the famine area).

A piece of indirect evidence is that Giles of Lessines (d. c.1304), a student of Albert and Aquinas and a Dominican professor of theology at Paris, analyzed the just price similarly, and flatly declared that it was the common market price. Giles stressed, furthermore, that a good is properly worth as much as it can be sold for without coercion or fraud.

It should come as no surprise that Aquinas, in contrast to Aristotle, was highly favorable towards the activities of the merchant. Mercantile profit, he declared, was a stipend for the merchant's labor, and a reward for shouldering the risks of transportation. In a commentary to Aristotle's Politics (1272), Aquinas noted shrewdly that greater risks in sea transportation resulted in greater profits for merchants. In his Commentary to the Sentences of Peter Lombard, written in the 1250s, Thomas followed preceding theologians in arguing that merchants could ply their trade without committing sin. But in his later work, he was far more positive, pointing out that merchants perform the important function of bringing goods from where they are abundant to where they are scarce.

Particularly important was Aquinas's brief outline of the mutual benefit each person derives from exchange. As he put it in the Summa: 'buying and selling seems to have been instituted for the mutual advantage of both parties, since one needs something that belongs to the other, and conversely.'"

Read the whole article here.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

14 Laws Everyone Believes Are Real (But Aren't)

As a libertarian (or for that matter as someone with an iota of common sense), I certainly oppose the arbitrary and often bizarre restriction of our freedoms by the many strange and inappropriate laws on the books of nearly every jurisdiction in the world, including the freest ones.

Sometimes legislators just have nothing better to do, it would seem, or are convinced that by micro-regulating every aspect of human behavior, they can produce better people and a better society. That's why I love (and had a good laugh here and there at) this list of 14 laws everyone believes are real, but aren't.

Did you know in Michigan it's illegal to curse in public? In Minnesota it's illegal to have *ahem* "relations" with a live fish (but a dead fish is fair game, apparently). In Australia you can be fined for changing your own light bulb (only a licensed electrician can legally do the screwing and unscrewing).

Yeah. Silly. Check out the details and the rest of the list here.

A Libertarian Message For 9-11 "Truthers"

I could not have better articulated my thoughts for the 9-11 "Truthers" in the libertarian movement today. Please read all of this article by Jerry Salcido at the Campaign for Liberty.

Philosophy vs. Conspiracy
By Jerry Salcido
View all 9 articles by Jerry Salcido
Published 12/23/09

'Anyone who has worked in support of the liberty movement knows an unfortunate truth: it is all too often associated, rightly or wrongly, with "conspiracy theories" -- those all too often unsubstantiated, speculative viewpoints on various topics such as the assassination of JFK, the attempted assassination of Reagan, 9/11, the role of the Rockefellers and Rothschilds in modern world history, and the current doings of the Bilderbergers, Trilateral Commission, and the Council on Foreign Relations. The problem is that liberty's enemies are very aware of this association as well and they use it to their advantage. Too often freedom's detractors slander the liberty movement as being filled with conspiracy nuts and other wackos.

But you know what? In this regard, the dissidents have a point.

Now before any of you David-Icke-website-readers throw your latest edition of The Committee of 300 at your computer screen out of frustration, please know that I could care less if you believe that the Queen of England is the head of a vast secret organization hell-bent on making the United States English colonies again; or, that the Illuminati has been working for 300 years to reduce all mankind to slavery; or, that the Rothschilds have surreptitiously started every war since 1850 through their financing of national governments. Obviously, what you choose to believe is your prerogative and your right.

I can even admire many of the conspiracy theorists for their zeal in trying to bring to light corruption and some of the important questions they have raised (Why did Tower 7 fall anyway?) which poke holes in the "official" story. But at the end of the day, those same issues, no matter how entertaining or interesting, only become road blocks in furthering liberty, because no one wants to discuss universal healthcare, TARP, the deficit, or the War on Terror with someone who leads the discussion with "9/11 was an inside job" or "JFK was assassinated because he was going to get rid of the Federal Reserve."

More pragmatically, with regards to the furtherance of liberty, conspiracy theories, more often than not, are irrelevant. Most people are not concerned with whether there is a secret organization or two or three, etc. that controls the world's leaders and aims to bring every nation under a one world government. Most people are, however, concerned with their individual liberties and the governmental measures that result in their loss.'

Read the rest here.

Friday, December 25, 2009

And On Earth, Peace, Good Will Among Men

These words are taken from "The Gloria" in Luke's Gospel, wherein angels announce the Condescension of the Divine. As far as I see it, my work as a libertarian is to live these words as truly and as fully as I possibly can, and to encourage others to likewise do so.

Peace and good will among men- there is little more I can think of that would make a more wonderful Christmas gift than to have peace and good will among men. It cannot and will not happen unless we acquire a spirit of peace and good will in our own hearts as individuals.

We must love and respect others and their inherent dignity as human beings. We must never aggress, we must never coerce, and we must never be so arrogant or believe ourselves so infallible as to think that we have a legitimate claim on the coercion of another human life.

Merry Christmas!

And a Happy New Year!

Best wishes to all of you, my readers, friends, visitors, and fellow patriots in the fight against tyranny, injustice, war, corruption, poverty, ignorance, greed, and hatred. Let us be as a light in a darkening world!

Here's to your health, safety, happiness, goodness, and long life this Christmas Holiday! Cheers!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Senate Passes Health Bill

From Politico: "At 7:16 a.m., the Senate passed on a 60-39 party line vote a sweeping health care bill that will tighten insurance regulations, provide insurance for 31 million more Americans and cost $871 billion over the next decade." (It will also do this.)

Here's what Mitch McConnell, the Republican Minority Leader in the Senate had to say this morning:

Those are some awfully tough words for a Senator who pulled his punches and allowed Harry Reid's healthcare bill to come to a vote this morning.

Mitch McConnell Caves

Instead of putting pressure on the Democrats and holding the vote off until this evening (which under procedural rules in the Senate, McConnell could have done), he moved the vote to this morning so he and his Republican colleagues could get home for Christmas.

In an e-mail update I received from the Campaign for Liberty: "Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell caved in on health care, rushing the bill through to an earlier vote so he and his buddies can make their vacations on time. Merry Christmas, from the spineless Republican leadership."

Unbelievable! How on earth are we supposed to keep our country free and prosperous, when freedom's alleged defenders are working with its detractors to rush through terrible legislation like this!?

I say the biggest problem on Capitol Hill, and the greatest threat to our liberties is not the Democrats, who overtly believe in a command-and-control, centrally-planned economy and society, but the Republicans, who claim to oppose such grand and critically-flawed schemes, but who always manage to end up complicit in their successful implementation.

Mitch "McCoward"

Seriously, Mitch! Why don't you just put a middle finger right up in our faces? How about a little sacrifice? We have kids over in Afghanistan who aren't going to get to see their families for Christmas, and you couldn't hold the line for just a few more hours to improve our chances of blocking this legislation? Then you have the audacity to get up and lecture about how bad this bill is? This bill whose passage you pushed up to this morning?

And patriots- if you want to witness some serious audacity/hypocrisy on the part of Senator McConnell, you should check out what Michelle Malkin is reporting in this regard:

'I listened to Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell on Sean Hannity’s radio show yesterday.

He sounded tired and barely able to rally the troops against the Democrats’ government health care takeover.

He told Sean’s guest host at the end of an obligatory-sounding critique of Harry Reid that, and I quote, “We’re going to fight ‘em all the way to the finish line.”

That’s what he said:

“We’re going to fight ‘em all the way to the finish line.”

Before the cloture vote on sneaky Sunday, Sen. John McCain had sounded the same message with more energy, invoking John Paul Jones and vowing: “We have not yet begun to fight.”

Well, the fight’s been called off.'

This is what passes for leadership. For goodness' sake get some freaking spines! Then again I should not have been surprised at this kind of behavior out of Moderate McConnell. He's an establishment Republican, not a true believer, not a grassroots Republican. Senator McConnell- you are right that voters will not forget which Senators supported this bill with an "Aye" vote. I hope Kentucky voters also will not forget who rushed the bill to a vote in the first place.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Last Chance To Tell Congress "NO!" On Dems' Healthcare "Reform"

While the Senate Democrats are bound and determined to pass the Senate version of a healthcare "reform" bill by Christmas, there are still many Americans who are concerned that this bill isn't at all what we need.

Instead, we need to take a step back, have a real dialogue about the problems with our system and how to solve them, and then carefully craft good legislation that will solve these problems without giant expenditures to buy off votes and reward corporate lobbying. That's the right thing to do. That's the statesmanlike thing to do. That's what Americans deserve.

So today's your last chance to tell your Senator to vote against Harry Reid's monstrosity of a bill and support a careful, measured, sane, transparent, non-lobbying, non-corrupt, pragmatic approach to healthcare reform moving forward.

Use the Campaign For Liberty's simple tool to quickly find the Senators from your state, their contact info, their bio, and their voting history. Then leave them a well-written, polite, and urgent message entreating them to vote against Harry Reid's bill. Call them too if you can (calls are better than e-mails). If you have a fax machine, print out a letter and fax it to them (faxes are even better than calls). You can even do all three, which is the very best of all.

Speak out today and make sure they hear your voice before this comes to a final vote.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How Harry Reid Stole Christmas

(Click here to enlarge)

Song: "You're A Mean One, Harry Reid"
Sung to the tune of: "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" by Dr. Seuss
By: W. E. Messamore (The amazing thing is I didn't
even have to change that many of the words!)

You're a mean one, Harry Reid.
You really are a heel.
You're as cuddly as a cactus,
But you love to cut a deal.
Harry Reid.

You're a greasy, bad Senator
Who loves backroom deals.

You're a monster, Harry Reid.
You've spent us into a hole.
Your healthcare bill will only,
Put more people on the dole.
Harry Reid.

No wonder it's doing so bad
At only 39% in the polls!

You're a vile one, Harry Reid.
And the lobbyists love your smile.
You make all our tender worthless,
Printing dollars by the pile.
Harry Reid.

Given the choice between you and Danny Tarkanian,
I'd take Danny by a mile!

You're a foul one, Harry Reid.
You're a nasty, wasty skunk.
Your bill is full of rotting pork
Your sleeve is full of bribes.
Harry Reid.

The three words that best describe you,
are, and I quote: "Lies. Lies. Lies!"

You're a rotter, Harry Reid.
You're the king of sinful plots.
Your heart's a dead tomato splot
With moldy purple spots,
Harry Reid.

Your health bill is an apalling dump heap
overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment
of deplorable rubbish imaginable,
Mangled up in tangled up knots.

You nauseate me, Harry Reid.
With a nauseaus super-naus.
You're a crooked jerky jockey
And you run a crooked house.
Harry Reid.

You made us eat a three-decker crap sandwich
But in 2010, it will be your loss!

Jim Rogers: Audit the Fed, Then Abolish It

Awe yeah! No spin. No partisanship. Just straight talking, sound logic, and compelling arguments. I love how matter-of-fact he is about it. Why on earth wouldn't we want to end the Fed?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Breaking! Hundreds Gather To Protest Global Warming [Picture]

Heidi e-mailed me the above picture with the headline "Hundreds gather to protest global warming." Nice. I decided to repost it here for all of you and am sad that I couldn't find who originally produced it so that I could credit them.

In the corner of the photo (click the image above to enlarge) there's a URL, but it doesn't seem to work when I type it into my browser. Google Image search turns up this same photo with this same headline here, here, and here.

I thought this was very fitting considering all the snow we've had in Copenhagen. And it's not just Copenhagen- Mother Earth has dumped the cold stuff all over the place, including Washington D.C. at the most inconvenient possible time for climate alarmists.

Mr. Boaz of the Cato Institue sums it up quite nicely: "True enough, as President Obama’s courtiers... remind us, one day’s weather doesn’t change the climate... Still, I think we know that if it were unseasonably warm this week, there’d be people pointing that out on television from Copenhagen."

The Independent Forum

After a successful blog makeover at The Left Coast Rebel last month, three new bloggers (who prefer to remain anonymous) commissioned me to build a brand for their new blog, and develop a very simple, clean, professional Blogger-based blog and layout.

The result: The Independent Forum, "Your source for non-partisan, grassroots news, analysis, and policy solutions." They've been plugging away for a month now and producing some great work, so I wanted to be sure and give them a plug here and also to advertise my very valuable, but imminently affordable blog consulting work to make your blog better!

So go check out The Independent Forum, browse their fantastic articles (because they're so practical and reasonable, they often end up by espousing very libertarian positions), add them to your blogroll (then contact them so they'll add you to theirs), and if you want to get featured on their website, they are delighted to take submissions for articles. I'll be taking them up on that really soon- you should too!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Coca Cola and Hopenhagen

An Open Letter To The Coca Cola Company
Re: Hopenhagen Sponsorship

Dear Coca-Cola Company,

I have always loved your products and your brand. Some people are Coke people; others are Pepsi people. I have always been a Coke person. One of my favorite things about this time of year has always been drinking an ice cold Coca-Cola straight from the glass bottle, and seeing those endearing polar bears on television finding similar refreshment in your perfect, carbonated beverage.

It is because of this intense brand loyalty that I was deeply saddened to hear about your corporate sponsorship of Hopenhagen, a project to persuade the parties at the UN climate conference in Copenhagen to enact substantial restrictions on the commercial and industrial activity of the world's people.

To begin with, I am shocked to see your company so willing to jump into the fray of a polarizing and bitter controversy. Whether or not Coca-Cola's top executives and board of directors believe the question of anthropogenic, CO2-driven global warming has been settled, it remains clear that many of Coca-Cola's customers do not consider the question settled or the controversy closed.

Why would Coca-Cola deliberately alienate and offend so many of its customers like myself? Whatever Coca-Cola's intentions may be, it is my conviction that schemes to restrict carbon-emissions are less about saving humanity and the planet's ecosystems from an imminent climate disaster, and more about establishing control over the world's citizens and lining the coffers of climate "entrepreneurs" like Mr. Al Gore.

It is because of this conviction that I can no longer in good conscience purchase Coca-Cola products, at least for a time. I cannot contribute to the profits of an organization which uses them to support, whether deliberately or unwittingly, policies that will harm the very poorest of the world for the profit and benefit of the powerful, wealthy, and influential.

Other than the publication of this open letter, I am not going to be a loud and boisterous boycotter, because I love Coca-Cola and its products too much. Instead I am a very sad and very reluctant boycotter. And I am very angry that your company has driven me to this by its partisan actions. Global warming alarmists and global warming skeptics alike enjoy your beverages! Why not just focus on pleasing your customers?

A Disillusioned W. E. Messamore

Friday, December 18, 2009

I Give Obama an F

In an interview that aired earlier this week, President Obama told Oprah Winfrey that he gives himself "a good solid B-plus" grade for his presidency so far, noting that the only thing standing in the way of an A is no health care reform so far, and jobless rates.

So I decided to put together a little report card of my own, and the President definitely didn't get a B-plus:

How Libertarian Am I? My Quiz Results

Earlier this week, I published a list of ten political and libertarian quizzes along with my ratings and commentary. Below are my own personal results for each of the ten political quizzes so that you'll know where The Humble Libertarian's Editor stands on the issues (according to these quizzes). Enjoy!

1. The World's Smallest Political Quiz
(take this libertarian quiz here)

My result:

It also clarified the definition of "libertarian" as follows: "LIBERTARIANS support maximum liberty in both personal and economic matters. They advocate a much smaller government; one that is limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence. Libertarians tend to embrace individual responsibility, oppose government bureaucracy and taxes, promote private charity, tolerate diverse lifestyles, support the free market, and defend civil liberties."

2. Nolan Chart Survey
(take this libertarian quiz here)

My result:

"Your answers suggest that you are a libertarian. The yellow star shows more precisely where you fall within the libertarian region of the Nolan chart."

3. Libertarian Purity Test
(take this libertarian quiz here)

My result:

91-130 points: You have entered the heady realm of hard-core libertarianism. Now doesn't that make you feel worse that you didn't get a perfect score?

4. "Yet Another Libertarian Quiz
(take this libertarian quiz here)

My result:

Total Inefficiency: 56.6%

What it means: A high inefficiency score indicates that you favor policies that make people more unhappy than they could be otherwise.

Your score breaks down as follows:

Authoritarian: 0%
What it means: A high score under authoritarian indicates that you advocate policies that inefficiently restrict the rights of individual people, placing these rights under government control instead. You believe that in many cases the government knows better than individuals what is good for them.

Anarchic: 80%
What it means: A high score under anarchic indicates that you are probably a stereotypical extremist libertarian. You believe that people ought to be inefficiently within their rights to perform certain actions, even if those actions make others worse off without compensation. You have arbitrarily selected certain behaviors as unquestionable natural rights and the impact they have on people who disagree is of no consequence.

Your position on the chart is shown as a blue dot. The lower left corner indicates the highest efficiency. The arcs indicate progressively worse efficiency with the upper right corner being the most inefficient possible based on the questions asked.

5. Political Ideology Quiz
(take this political quiz here)

My result:

You Scored as Libertarian

You're a libertarian. That kind of means you're a right wing Anarchist. Go buy a gun, some gin, and wait for the hippies to show up.

Libertarian 90%
Anarchism 80%
Republican 57%
Democrat 23%
Fascist 17%
Socialism 17%

6. "What Kind of Libertarian Are You?" Quiz
(take this libertarian quiz here)

My result:

You Scored as

Minarchists are libertarians who advocate a strictly limited government and usually a more decentralized form of it. Minarchists may vary in the degree to which they think that government should be limited, although the bare bones position is essentially nothing more than police, courts and the military. Minarchists tend to think that some minimum level of government is a necessary evil, or at least an inevitability. The contemporary libertarian movement in America is dominantly minarchist, although it has had a long history of dialogue and debate between minarchist and anarchist libertarians.

Minarchist 75%
Left-libertarian 58%
Agorist 58%
"Small L" libertarian 58%
Paleo-libertarian 50%
Anarcho-capitalist 33%
Neo-libertarian 25%
Geo-libertarian 8%
Libertarian socialist 0%

7. "Are You A Libertarian?" Quiz
(take this libertarian quiz here)

You are 85% Libertarian Material

You are a tried and true libertarian! ::gives you the secret handshake:: What more can be said? You value freedom, you value capitalism, and you loathe all the right things and people! The Ron Paul revolution lives on!

Are you a Libertarian? Find Out!
Take More Quizzes

8. Libertarian or Authoritarian Quiz
(take this libertarian quiz here)

My result:

You are a strong libertarian. You believe that the government should be much smaller and that the U.S.A. would be better that way.

9. Political Ideology Quiz
(take this political quiz here)

My result:

10. Political Philosophy Quiz
(take this political quiz here)

My results:

The following are your scores. They are based on a gradual range of 0 to 12. For instance, a Conservative/Progressive score of 3 and 0 will both yield a result of social conservative, yet 0 would be an extreme conservative and 3 a moderate conservative

Conservative/Progressive score: 6
You are a social moderate. You think the progressive movement is overall well meaning, but sometimes it goes too far. On issues like abortion and affirmative action, you see the negatives of both extremes on the issue. You probably value religion, but at the same time you think it should still stay separate from the government

Capitalist Purist/Social Capitalist score: 0
You're a Capitalist Purist. You believe that the market should be completely free, and that the invisible hand of the market will make sure that the people get what they want and will do it in the most efficient way possible. You believe in small government, less taxes, and more privatization.

Libertarian/Authoritarian score: 0
You are libertarian. You think that the government is making way too many unnecessary laws that are taking away our innate rights. You believe that the government's job is primarily to protect people from harming other people, but after that they should mind their own business, and if we give the government too much power in controlling our lives, it can lead to fascism.

Pacifist/Militarist score: 2
You're a Pacifist. You are angered that the United States thinks it should dominate the world through its military force. You think that the only time war is necessary is when we are in direct danger of being attacked. You also believe the US spends way too much of its money on defense, as we can practically cut it in half and still easily defend ourselves, and use that money to fix all our economic problems.

Overall, you would most likely fit into the category of Hardcore Libertarian

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ben Bernanke, TIME's Person of the Year

Hat tip to The Huffington Post for this fantastic image! Wouldn't it be absurd and grossly inappropriate for TIME to announce the CEO of Goldman Sachs or AIG as its person of the year for 2009? Wouldn't it be a slap in the face to the rest of us Americans who were hurt by their irresponsibility?

That's why I love the image above, because it captures exactly what TIME did with its selection of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke for Person of the Year. If TIME wanted to pick one of the architects of America's economic woes, who operates in secret, behind closed doors, gambling with and using other people's money for who-knows-what purposes, then it may as well have nominated the CEO of Enron or Goldman Sachs.

It is in this category of people and with this company that Ben Bernanke belongs and that is exactly how we should think of him- the leader of a giant, corrupt, disinterested, soulless corporation whose leaders and friends profited and lived nicely while hard working Americans suffered for its sins. That is in fact, exactly what the Federal Reserve Bank is- just another fat, clunky, terrible dinosaur like AIG.

The following is a list of videos I published earlier this year when Bernanke received President Obama's nomination for another term as Federal Reserve Chairman (proving again that Obama is not interested in change, but continuing the Bush era status quo). They all consist of TIME Magazine's Person of the Year, Ben Bernanke squirming as he's called to account for his actions to the US Congress:

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I)

Rep. Dan Burton (R)

Rep. Bill Posey (R)

Rep. M. Bachmann (R)

Rep. Jim Jordan (R)
Rep. Alan Grayson (D)

Rep. Scott Garrett (R)

Rep. Ed Royce (R)

Rep. Ron Paul (R)

"Ben Bernanke Was Wrong"

Nullification: Friend of Liberty

By: Daryl Luna at:
In Defense of the Constitution

Editor's Preface: It is a real thrill to publish the following article here at THL. As events unfold in Washington, I have found my own thoughts turning more and more to nullification as a means to defend our liberties. Here, Daryl Luna, who blogs at In Defense of the Constitution, explains what nullification is and skillfully lays out the historical, Constitutional, and political case for nullification and the 10th Amendment assertion of states' rights against an ever-more-abusive Federal government. I'll let Daryl take it from here:

Thomas Jefferson once proclaimed when referring to the checking of federal power, “In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

In our current age it is rare to find anyone who reveres the rule of law, understands adherence to a standard, or seeks preservation of a covenant. Because of a deficiency in those willing to check federal power we have seen our Constitution and the liberty it protects trampled at every turn. Therefore, if freedom is to long endure and weather this current storm, we must fight back against unconstitutional encroachment. Nullification may be the most viable option to see this accomplished.

Nullification is the act of a state declaring federal legislation that is repugnant to the Constitution to be unconstitutional, thereby rendering it void and inoperative within the borders of that state. In other words, nullification is an act by the state to resist unconstitutional acts by the federal government and thus protect liberty. With the feds lacking legal authority for such legislation, a state has every right and duty to protect its citizens. In fact, this concept is at the heart of Federalism and American Constitutionalism.

The concept of nullification truly found its genesis in America after the passage of the grossly unconstitutional Alien and Sedition Acts under President John Adams. Seeking fidelity to the Constitution and wanting to protect the liberty of the citizenry, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison crafted the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions (respectively), asserting that a state could judge the constitutional merits of federal legislation and—if found wanting—nullify the law.

Since that time nullification has been evoked a number of times with differing degrees of success. While it has throughout our history been admired by those who love liberty and have a strong view of states’ rights, statists of all sorts have long been harshly critical of the concept. Whether their motive be a desire for concentrated power or one’s own ambition exceeding the bounds of the Constitution, those who have made themselves enemies of nullification have often been enemies of liberty (see Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Jackson for proof). But not even all who favor strong, centralized power have been against nullification. Our very own “big government” Founder, Alexander Hamilton, legitimized the idea in Federalist #85 noting, “We may safely rely on the disposition of the state legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority.”

Nullification is definitely one such barrier, and it can be an effective one at that. For proof of this, remember how the Bush-era Real ID Act was gutted by state legislatures. But we must ask, “Is nullification a constitutionally permissible barrier for states to erect?” I would answer, “Absolutely.” In fact, nullification is more than merely permissible; it is necessary for liberty to prosper and our Constitution to be protected.

A general understanding of the Constitution makes a few things clear. First, as Madison noted in Federalist 45, "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite." The Tenth Amendment is meant to assure this truth, and conversely, that legitimate federal power is indeed quite limited. Second, only the powers laid out in the Constitution are legitimate, which we can clearly see from looking to Article 6 paragraph 2 of the document:

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” (emphasis added)

As can be seen, only laws made in pursuance of the Constitution are to be the supreme law of the land. It follows, therefore, that laws not made in pursuance of the Constitution are not the supreme law of the land. The Constitution sets the legal bounds in which government can operate. When our government acts outside these bounds it practices lawlessness; Alexander Hamilton called such unauthorized lawmaking an “act of usurpation.” Therefore, state governments have a duty to not adhere to these liberty-forsaking “acts of usurpation.” In fact, such state protection is one of the very reasons our Founders chose federalism for our governing system: the states could act as a check on federal actions.

Only legitimate acts should be treated legitimately. Federal acts which break the covenant with the people of the states and their government are and must be void. And it is up to the very states that entered into that covenant agreement (i.e. the Constitution) to protect the liberty of its citizenry through nullification.

As I have already mentioned nullification has spanned our Constitutional history in this nation from the founding to the present—the Real ID nullification being a good, recent example. Currently, “Tenth Amendment” legislation proposed (and in many cases passed) by state legislatures has been a shining example of states seeking to nullify federal firearms legislation within state lines. Moreover, some states have fought back against the federal drug war, seeking to allow the states to handle their internal matters.

Furthermore, plagued with the looming possibility of a national health insurance mandate, the state assembly of Missouri has introduced a bill which would prohibit the federal government from compelling national health coverage its citizens. These are all great examples of how liberty has been defended through nullification. If we had a proper view of nullification, things like the national healthcare plan would not scare us as greatly. Federal tyranny finds no roots when states stand for liberty and constitutional obedience.

I am convinced the issue of state sovereignty as laid out in the Constitution will be the battle line on which our cause for liberty will be won or lost. We cannot give up ground on the issue of states’ rights and we cannot expect to succeed in protecting our liberty from federal encroachment without states willing to nullify legislation that is repugnant to the constitution. It is not the job or the responsibility of the court to do so. It is up to you and me and who we choose to represent us.

We have the tools to call for an end to this usurpation of our rights and liberties. We can demand faithfulness to the constitution and nullify any law that fails in that regard.

If we elect governors and representatives at the state level who are willing to let the Constitution be their guide, stand up against a federal government that’s out of control, and invoke nullification as a legitimate means of protecting liberty and the Constitution meant to defend it, there may yet be hope. If we neglect to stop unconstitutional acts at the state level, our liberties will die at the hands of unchecked tyranny.

In Defense of the Constitution,

Daryl Luna

Note: For answers to some common criticisms and a more thorough study of nullification I recommend the articles found here and here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Top 6 Political and Libertarian Quizzes

More and more I'm hearing from people who say things like "I always used to consider myself a conservative, but now I'm starting to wonder if I'm a libertarian," or "I am a recovering liberal who understands government is more often the problem than not- I'm starting to lean libertarian."

With the relentless acceleration of government growth and abuses, there is a deep and growing interest in libertarianism in America today. So I've compiled a list of six libertarian political quizzes I found on the Internet, along with my ratings and commentary:

1. The World's Smallest Political Quiz
(take this libertarian quiz here)
Rating: x x x x x

This is perhaps the most popular and well-known libertarian political quiz on the Internet, a project of the libertarian Advocates for Self Government. Indeed, it's presently one of the top search results for "libertarian quiz" on Google. It is also self-billed as the "World's Smallest Political Quiz," clocking in at just ten short, simple statements that quiz-takers mark as "Agree," "Maybe," or "Disagree."

After filling out the survey, users will get the following result, which is where their political views fall on a Nolan Chart- a grid with two axes, one for the amount of government control over "personal issues" that is acceptable to the quiz-taker, and one for the amount of government control over "economic issues" that is acceptable to the quiz-taker:

2. Nolan Chart Survey
(take this political philosophy quiz here)
Rating: x x x x x

The Nolan Chart Survey operates very similarly to the quiz above. Just ten questions then a graphic result displaying the quiz-taker's position on a Nolan Chart. The difference is that the questions are longer and a little more involved and nuanced than those on "The World's Smallest Political Quiz" above, and the website is not itself committed to libertarianism. Both of these differences could be considered either positive or negative things depending on what you're looking for in such a quiz.

3. Libertarian Purity Test
(take this libertarian quiz here)
Rating: x x x x x

This 64 question libertarian quiz is designed to rate how truly libertarian the quiz-taker actually is. The quiz maker seems to equate libertarianism with anarcho-capitalism. That could make this a better or worse libertarian quiz depending on your point of view.

4. "Are You A Libertarian?" Quiz
(take this libertarian quiz here)
Rating: x x x x x

This is a fun quiz, but not a very serious one. For example, one of the questions is: "Milton Friedman. Smart economist? Or smartest economist?" If you don't think he's the smartest (like say for instance, that you think Ludwig von Mises was smarter), then you get docked as less libertarian. But it is a fun quiz. I'll let the author's description speak for itself:

"Am I a libertarian? You ask yourself this question every day, I am sure. And until now there has been no way to find out if you are a libertarian. That's where this quiz comes in. The Ron Paul revolution lives on. Are you one of us?

This quiz tells if you are a libertarian, which is a political philosophy celebrating freedom, markets, capitalism, and personal responsibility. It'll weed out the dirty socialist thieves. Long live libertarianism!"

5. Libertarian or Authoritarian Quiz
(take this libertarian quiz here)
Rating: x x x x x

Another ten question libertarian quiz. The quiz-taker gets to choose from between five answers to each question, which span pretty well-representative gradations from extreme agreement to extreme disagreement with questions like "Free trade: Yes or no?" and do so in a humorous way and with a lot of personality.

6. Political Ideology Quiz
(take this political quiz here)
Rating: x x x x x

What's your political philosophy? Take the "Ideology Selector" Quiz and find out. As the quiz states: "This selector tests for a number of specific contemporary ideologies in the United States, including 'neoconservative,' 'paleolibertarian,' 'Third Way,' etc."

What I really like about it is that it is pretty sophisticated, and what I mean by that is that you can express your agreement or disagreement with the question (or say you're unsure), and then you can express what level of priority you place on the issue and your agreement or disagreement with it.

This allows for a much more nuanced understanding of the quiz-taker's political views because you might agree with something, but not care very much about it or give much thought to it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sorry for the Lull...

Hey folks, sorry for the diminished posting frequency the past couple days (and no posts other than this one today). Between wrapping up my last set of undergraduate final exams ever(!) with my last one tomorrow afternoon, and coordinating three or four other hectic and wonderful aspects of my life at present, I have just not been able to deliver what you guys deserve.

Stay tuned tomorrow for your regularly scheduled programming and a great post for people who are curious about libertarianism.

UPDATE 12/15/09 5:09- Make that one more day (sorry)!

Thanks for bearing with me!

I hope you are all likewise bustling with joyful activity this Merry time of year!

And here's a little somethin' somethin' for you:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Real Conservatives Must Rethink War

An illuminating video by the Southern Avenger:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tea Party Co-Founder Blasts Mainstream GOP Imitators

By: Chad Peace

"In 2007, the modern tea party movement took shape, in a vastly different form than it now presents itself. Spurred by an impending recession, a government overrun by deception and corruption, and an unprecedented expansion of government under eight years of 'conservative' leadership, the first modern day tea partiers had positive causes of action: honesty, respect for the rule of law, and protection of the rights of the smallest minority; the individual.
In late 2007, on the anniversary of the original Boston Tea Party, positive protestors laid hope in a solution. In a 24 hours period, in concert with symbolic and peaceful re-enactments of the Boston Tea Party in over 50 cities across the country, energetic tea partiers dumped over 5.2 million dollars into a long-shot presidential campaign to support a candidate that embodied honesty, respect, and sincerity in the pursuit strict constitutional leadership. The goal: to entrust our highest office to a man of principles, who would be shackled by a devotion to the constitution, rather than obligations to special interests."

Read the rest here.

Liberty Pulse Podcast Available

Last night's 2 hour show at Liberty Pulse Radio was fantastic! Give it a listen (podcast is at the bottom of the post here) for some great interviews with two fantastic libertarian guests and to hear my take on things as I co-hosted the show with Liberty Pulse's Kurt Wallace and Austin Seraphin.

Friday, December 11, 2009

2012 GOP Candidates

Now all we have to do is start moving Gary Johnson toward the center...

W. E. Messamore On Liberty Pulse Radio

I will be guest co-hosting the Liberty Pulse Radio Show tonight at 9 PM Central Time until about 11 PM Central. Guests will include's Scott Horton, Jack Hunter (the Southern Avenger), and Adam Kissel of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. It should be a great show!

You can listen in live here.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Barney Frank's Financial Regulatory Bill H.R. 4173 Up For A Vote

The following is the latest call to action from Ron Paul's perpetual Campaign For Liberty on the Federal Reserve. If you want to get these letters delivered right to your inbox along with many invaluable opportunities for local, state, and national involvement in political activism, visit the link above and sign up with one of the most important libertarian organizations of our era.

Here's the letter:

December 9, 2009

Dear Friend of Freedom,

This week, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on Barney Frank's financial regulatory reform bill, which is yet another thousand page-plus attempt to increase the powers of Congress and the Federal Reserve while destroying more of what little free market our country has left.

Contact Congress and tell your representative you have seen enough of the federal government's thousands of pages of regulations and tinkering around in our economy.

Composed of several bills, the final package up for vote is H.R. 4173, slyly titled "The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act." With amendments, this legislation now exceeds 1500 pages!

H.R. 4173 would create more government bureaucracies to interfere with market operations, and, according to Subtitle G of the bill, the federal government would also have direct authorization to take over and break up any financial institution it deems to be "too big to fail."

So imagine what Congress, well-skilled in articulating pseudo-justifications, would then be able to do, by law, to any institution that resisted its interventions!

Your representative needs to hear from you immediately! Find your congressman's information here.

Be sure to urge your representative to set a new tone in Washington by instead supporting an up or down, standalone vote on Audit the Fed, H.R. 1207. Before Congress even considers the Federal Reserve's future role in our economy, it should know what the Fed is up to with the powers it currently has.

It's long past time to deliver the answers the American people want and deserve about what is being done with their money.

Tell your representative to oppose H.R. 4173 and to push for a standalone vote on Ron Paul's Audit the Fed bill!

In Liberty,

John Tate