Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good Will Hunting on War

Excellent scene from Good Will Hunting and pertinent to the principles of liberty in its condemnation of killing people abroad who have done no harm to you personally. Will Hunting had it right over a decade ago:

(F-bomb warning near the end of the video)



Hat tip: Reddit


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

God, these people are SO RACIST

This past weekend, the Associated Press captured footage of Muslim protesters in Sri Lanka demonstrating against Obama's military action in Libya. Other than poignantly demonstrating what a huge mistake this was and that Mr. Obama's "humanitarian imperialism" isn't being received too kindly abroad, this just shows how totally racist the protesters must be.

If you get together a bunch of people with signs, peacefully gather in a public square, and then start stomping on effigies of America's first black president ever because you oppose some of his policies, then you are definitely just a teabagging racist. Just ask Rachel Maddow! Or Paul Krugman! Or even Obama.

Or maybe everyone everywhere just doesn't like it when other people-- regardless of their race-- start meddling in our lives. Think about it.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

(Blind) Hope and (Regime) Change

Anybody who voted for Obama still happy about it? Anybody want to fess up and admit they made a mistake? Got swindled by all the hype and the sincere desire to be rid of Bush? I freaking TOLD YOU SO. Feel free to grab the image above for your own blog or website. Just use the code below:



Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Francisco d'Anconia's Voice Mail

Francisco d'Anconia's voice mail recording summarizing in less than one minute, his notorious "Root of All Evil" speech from the pages of Atlas Shrugged. I'm getting so psyched for this movie.




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mark Levin vs. Tom Woods on Presidential War Powers and the Constitution

A battle has been raging over the weekend between neoconservative attorney and talk radio personality Mark Levin and American history scholar Tom Woods. It all started when Levin targeted Ron Paul on his radio program Friday for opposing Obama's act of war in Libya as unconstitutional.

Tom Woods just had to correct Levin's false statements in an article on his website entitled Mark Levin Wrong on War Powers:

[Levin:] “We’ve been involved in many military engagements; we’ve had very few declarations of war. And I’m including military engagements that were involved in by people you consider Founders of this nation. It’s because they’ve never, ever, required as a requisite—to defending this country, or even certain military actions—of getting Congress’ approval.”

[Woods:] Totally misleading. Everybody knows we’ve had few declarations of war. But Congress has also authorized countless lesser military actions — including the ones Levin obviously has in mind when he refers to “people you consider Founders of this nation.” Adams did not confront the French without congressional approval; same for Jefferson and the Barbary pirates. I’ve explained this.

To everyone's pleasant surprise, Mark Levin actually responded to Tom Woods in a Facebook post Sunday morning:

"Of course it is wise politically and from a policy standpoint for a president to consult with Congress or even seek resolutions to support military actions... But it is not and never has been a constitutional requisite to making war. And Woods knows it...

Is that what they said at the Constitutional Convention? Is that supported anywhere in our history? Is that how Congress is to legislate under the Constitution? Utter nonsense."

I was first alerted to Levin's response by Jack Hunter, in a Facebook link he posted Sunday evening. He made an excellent point about all this-- that Levin is actually being really cool by responding to Woods and not marginalizing and ignoring him.

So while debating and discussing this unfolding conversation with Levin, I think we should be as respectful as possible and quite vocally appreciative of Levin's attention.

Here's the comment Hunter left on his link:

"Mark Levin's reply to Tom Woods. I will also have something addressing this up very soon which makes a different point [it's now up here]. By the way, kudos to Levin for replying to Tom. A disagreement amongst conservatives in which we actually discuss them. Nice. The old National Review was full of such debate, between Frank Meyer, Russell Kirk, etc. It's always healthy to reexamine first principles."

Woods shot back with the following response to Mark Levin at LewRockwell.com:

'To my surprise, Levin replied to me – sort of. Read through the links above if you are so inclined and then see Levin’s response. Notice something? He refutes nothing I said, and then declares himself the winner. Nice.

I see nothing in what Levin thinks is a reply that should make any of his supporters proud, or that should cause me to abandon my constitutional views. I am accused of misusing the Constitutional Convention, the Federalist, etc., but Levin does not condescend to share any specific examples of this alleged misuse. We are to be satisfied with his ex cathedra pronouncements alone.

Nowhere does he address my refutations of his arguments, whether regarding the real eighteenth-century meaning of "declaration of war," the intentions of the Framers, or the cases of unilateral presidential warmaking Levin wants to cite that I have shown were nothing of the kind.

And no wonder: there is no evidence for his position at all. People coming to a discussion of war powers and the Constitution for the first time may assume, understandably, that Levin can probably cite some sources, I can cite some sources, and the whole thing is probably a stalemate. But Levin can cite nothing.

Wait, I take that back. He can cite Pierce Butler’s view at the Constitutional Convention in support of "vesting the power in the President, who will have all the requisite qualities, and will not make war but when the nation will support it." Unfortunately for Levin, Butler’s motion did not even receive a second.'

Woods concludes:

"Let’s get to the primary sources. Mark Levin, here is my challenge to you. I want you to find me one Federalist, during the entire period in which the Constitution was pending, who argued that the president could launch non-defensive wars without consulting Congress. To make it easy on you, you may cite any Federalist speaking in any of the ratification conventions in any of the states, or in a public lecture, or in a newspaper article – whatever. One Federalist who took your position. I want his name and the exact quotation.

If I’m so wrong, this challenge should be a breeze. If you evade this challenge, or call me names, or make peripheral arguments instead, I will take that as an admission of defeat."

Your move, Mark. And thanks for giving my man Tom Woods the time of day.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Be Part of Atlas Shrugged History!

Be part of Atlas Shrugged History by submitting a 2-3 second clip of you stating "I am John Galt." Submit your video as a video comment response to this video by April 15th to be included in the upcoming Atlas Shrugged Movie's DVD and Blu-ray releases.




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Asking the Right Questions

Sometimes it's just a matter of asking the right questions. In a recent article, Bill O'Reilly asked Ron Paul the following question about American foreign policy as it relates to the intervention in Libya:

"Would you be comfortable, congressman, watching thousands of human beings being slaughtered by a terrorist dictator when you know that your country had the power to prevent it?"

Derek Sheriff, a good friend to and supporter of The Humble Libertarian, has some better questions to ask right back to Bill O'Reilly, like:

1. Were you comfortable when $470 million in weapons were sold to terrorist dictator Gadhafi's military in 2009 by our European allies? How about the $46 million in U.S. "defense" sales approved by the Bush administration in 2008? Or the $41 million the year before that?

Visit Derek's blog to read the rest of his questions.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Rand Paul Address on Libya

Following President Obama's national address Monday evening regarding the situation in Libya, Sen. Rand Paul released the following remarks in response to the President:



Photo by: Gage Skidmore


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Monday, March 28, 2011

Where A Nation Was Born

The United States received formal recognition of their independence and sovereignty by way of the Treaty of Paris between the English monarch and representatives of the Confederation Congress. That treaty was, as its name suggests, signed in the city of Paris, France where I'm presently staying. Today I wandered to the very building where this took place, what was formerly the Hotel d'York on Rue Jacob.

I got lost and overshot the site, so I had to come back down the street from the east. Any time I want to go somewhere, I look at Google Maps just long enough to get a pretty decent idea of where it is, and then I just take off without a map or set of specific directions. Having to wander a little, search a little, and get lost now and then is half the reward.

In this case, I was treated with an interesting little piece of graffiti on a wall just down the street from the site... an "All Seeing Eye" suggestive of the one on the Great Seal of the United States.

As I progressed down the street, I recognized the placard on the building ahead of me and to the right. My steps slowed and my heart quickened. Here I was standing on ground tread by Benjamin Franklin. The placard below commemorates the building's significance, saying:

In this building, once Hotel of York, on September 3, 1783, David Hartley, in the name of the King of England, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, John Adams, in the name of the United States of America, signed the Definite Peace Treaty recognizing the independence of the United States.

I had my picture taken with it below:

Oh yeah... and of course the whole thing had to be ruined by a freaking surveillance camera, hovering ominously above the placard. Perhaps it's there to protect the placard from vandalism, in which case, at least please find a more tasteful place to put it. Either way, it made for a darkly funny symbolism, contrasting the two items, one above the other.

#MusicMonday - "Why They Fought"

In this hilarious music video featured by Reason.tv, recording artist Remy parodies patriotic country music, but instead of giving us the real reasons that American patriots have fought and died over the years, he lists all the absurd things our government is doing to us. This is satire at its finest.




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Michael Moore versus Obama

Michael Moore takes a stand against Obama for his unconstitutional and cowardly move to take the country to war with Libya while Congress was in recess and he was in South America. Obama tries to use the force to dissuade Moore from his criticism.



Michael Moore versus Obama


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

States Should Be Test Tubes


"If you hate this country so much, why don't you just move to Canada?!?!"
"Because I want to make this country better!!!"

Ever catch yourself saying one of these two lines? If so, you probably should have ended the conversation a few minutes ago. But this classic dead-end argument brings up one of the greatest benefits of state rights.


States should be test tubes. If some state has a terrible idea, they can try it and fail, without the rest of the Union having to suffer the consequences. If a state has a great idea, and it proves itself to be effective, the rest of us will willingly adopt it. We won't need a federal mandate. We'll want the benefits.

In the latest issue of Reason, Tim Cavanaugh references a post-census study by Americans for Tax Reform, and looks for correlations between states slated to gain seats in the next reapportionment. In short, what states are growing and attracting movers? "They have lower taxes, less government spending, and, in most cases, right-to-work laws that weaken unions."

States that make smart decisions reap the rewards. You don't have to leave the country to escape bad government. Sometimes, you just have to cross state lines.


Eric Olsen,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page | Critical Thinking Blog

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Tea Party Goes to Washington Book Review

"Perhaps most striking, however, is not the book's boldness and specificity on matters of public policy, but how much and how convincingly it defends Rand Paul's father, Ron Paul. Whether or not Paul and Hunter consciously wrote the book with this purpose in mind, it functions suspiciously well as campaign material for a potential Ron Paul presidential bid in 2012.

Through anecdotes about Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater-- and the establishment Republicans who opposed them-- The Tea Party Goes to Washington draws a line in the sand between true conservatism and its counterfeit, and goes to great lengths to prove that historically, Ron Paul is the heir apparent of true conservatism, while his many potential opponents in the 2012 Republican primary-- like Newt Gingrich-- are merely stooges of the power-hungry, Republican-in-name-only establishment."

Read my entire book review at CAIVN.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

The Phony Case for Presidential War Powers

A brief overview of the false claims made on behalf of the alleged presidential power to initiate hostilities abroad. Long version with a lot of details and great arguments is at TomWoods.com. Enjoy!

You Are Completely Useless

Twitter status update from @GeorgeBray: "Your mobile phone has more computing power than all of NASA in 1969. NASA launched a man to the moon. We launch a bird into pigs."

Lol- doesn't that make you feel totally useless? Reading it has actually motivated me to try to be more epic. I gotta start working on my non-fiction book proposal again for a manual of politics and history for Tea Partiers. After several false starts this winter (that went something like: write paragraph, read paragraph, delete paragraph, loathe and hate myself, rinse and repeat), it kinda fizzled out.

Can't let myself be discouraged. I have more advantages, resources, and time than any author ever had who published amazing works of fiction and non-fiction. The status update above poignantly illustrates that. I'm whoring here a little... but could I get some love in the comment thread to motivate me even more?

:-P

Oh yeah- and what epic goal are you putting off in favor of Angry Birds or whatever your personal equivalent of that happens to be? And what's stopping you? Don't say Angry Birds- that's a distraction we use to keep us from pursuing epic goals because of the real reason that's stopping us (Hint: it usually has something to do with fear).

Onward we march!

Via Reddit.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Friday, March 25, 2011

Libertarianism in Paris

While rollerblading through the 12th arrondisement (borough) of Paris the other day, I saw some interesting-looking graffiti on the sidewalk. Upon closer examination, I discovered much to my delight that it was a message with a nice libertarian streak to it- an illustration of a surveillance camera with an admonition to resist Big Brother. Very nice.




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Summer Marketing Internship Opportunity at the Silver Circle Movie

Description: "Working here in our small studio, you will be assisting with social media, events, and marketing. A normal day (though we rarely see this) will consist of updating the blog with thoughtful articles on economic policy, current events, among other politically driven topics as well as various marketing tasks."

Full Time. Starts: May 1. Ends: TBD. Pay: TBD.

Full information here.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Just Sayin About 2012.....

Just wanted to make sure that Republicans know their choice next year isn't between Ron Paul and Mitt Romney or any other establishment clones who will be vying for the White House... it'll be between Ron Paul or Barack Obama. Take your pick.


Ron Paul 2012




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

CONTRACT FEUDALISM


Elizabeth Anderson recently coined the term “ contract feudalism” to describe the increasing power of employers over employees’ lives outside the workplace.

According to Anderson, one of the benefits that the worker traditionally received in return for his submission to the bosses’ authority on the job was sovereignty over the rest of his life in the “real world” outside of work. Under the terms of this Taylorist bargain, the worker surrendered his sense of craftsmanship and control over his own work in return for the right to express his “real” personality through consumption in the part of his life that still belonged to him.

Read the rest of Kevin Carson's article

James Tuttle,
Regular Columnist, THL
Articles | Author's Page | Website

Thursday, March 24, 2011

David Boaz on Freedom Watch: Where's the Anti-War Movement?

What has happened to the anti-war movement in the Obama era? Did they really care about the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, or were they just anti-Bush partisans? This program aired on March 22, 2011.




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Elizabeth Taylor, the pre-feminist woman

"She wields the sexual power that feminism cannot explain and has tried to destroy. Through stars like Taylor, we sense the world-disordering impact of legendary women like Delilah, Salome, and Helen of Troy. Feminism has tried to dismiss the femme fatale as a misogynist libel, a hoary cliche. But the femme fatale expresses women's ancient and eternal control of the sexual realm."

--Camille Paglia, Penthouse 1992

Camille Paglia has been for me over the past few years, one of those voices that I stop and listen to, whatever she may happen to say and whatever I may happen to think about it. When she speaks out on matters of art, culture, and society, I can always feel the weight of her robust worldview at the very least. Often I agree with her and am delighted by both her perspectives and her means of expressing them, especially in her assessment of what is genuinely erotic and what is merely a manufactured, very nearly "android" contrivance of our mass media industries-- like Lady Gaga.

In the aftermath of Elizabeth Taylor's passing, Paglia has given an excellent interview with Salon (which she helped found) in which she discusses her admiration-- bordering on a Randian hero(ine)-worship of every ideal and virtue which is possible to (wo)man-- for Elizabeth Taylor; the presently sorry state of typical cinematic depictions of the erotic and feminine; and which current Hollywood stars measure up to Taylor (hint: she doesn't think any of them do).

Here's a fantastic summary of her thesis:

"To me, Elizabeth Taylor's importance as an actress was that she represented a kind of womanliness that is now completely impossible to find on the U.S. or U.K. screen. It was rooted in hormonal reality -- the vitality of nature. She was single-handedly a living rebuke to postmodernism and post-structuralism, which maintain that gender is merely a social construct."

Here Paglia, a "liberal" Democrat and lesbian speaks the kind of language that you could expect to hear from Christian evangelical icon Dr. James Dobson... and they're both right. Gender is not an infinitely malleable social construct, but a deeply-rooted, vital, chemical, and metaphysical force of nature. It is not anti-feminist, misogynistic, patriarchal, or repressive to say so. Perhaps it's old fashioned-- as Greek mythology is old fashioned-- but here originality should be considered the transgression.

Another reason for Paglia's adoration:

"Elizabeth Taylor has been a colossal pagan goddess to me since I was 11 or 12. I was so lucky to have seen her at her height. And my sensibility as a culture critic and as a feminist was deeply formed by her. In the U.S. in the 1950s, blondes were the ultimate Aryan ideal. Perky blondes like Doris Day, Debbie Reynolds and Sandra Dee ruled the roost! And then there was Elizabeth Taylor with that gorgeous, brunette, ethnic look. She looked Jewish, Italian, Spanish, even Moorish! She was truly transcultural -- it was a radical resistance to the dominance of the blond sorority queens and cheerleaders."

You can read the entire interview at Salon.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page