Liberty Dollar Update
Posted on 02.10.11 by Thomas L. Knapp

From Ray Waters via Nic Leobold:

SHORT ANSWER: As of today, it (Raid on Liberty Dollar, Gov’t attack on LD) has not played out fully.


NORFED was run by Bernard von Nothaus. The trial is still pending.

This was von Nothaus’s most recent “public” communication:

The Liberty dollar website was ordered closed by a judge pending the trial in June 2010, which Bernard agreed to in exchange for bond and bail leniency.

I don’t want to talk too much about the case, but the basic charges are:

(1) Conspiracy to undermine the stability of the US Dollar. Which is Ironic given count #2

(2) Making and Possessing likeness of coin. His shiny stuff vaguely resembles their shiny stuff.

(3) Mail fraud — essentially they accuse him of a ponzi scheme, because his coins would be ‘restamped’ as inflation grew.

Actually having Liberty dollars and Ron Paul coins are legal — the Fed only raided his stash; it’s perfectly legit to own yours, which kind of kills #2 but I don’t want the Fed to get any new ideas.

Note from Nic Leobold:

It was great to see the latest Liberty Dollar News from December, which I had not even received. The Liberty Dollar is a brilliant product and Bernard von NotHaus is a monetary genius. Liberty Dollar has a bright future as soon as we dispense with the unprincipled prosecution the Justice Department is pursuing. In fact, the prosecution has very little chance of succeeding, because the charges are simply immoral, dishonest and contemptible on their face.

I look forward to working with Liberty Dollar once the prosecution ends, and I hope that Kevin Innes is released as soon as possible from jail. In fact, this is another instance of our national media and news organizations totally failing in their responsibility to educate and inform the American public. There should be a national expose of what has been done to Liberty Dollar and the LD4. But rest assured, our day will come, very soon, when the government’s case falls flat on its face, and currency liberty is established in America, the land of the free and the brave.

Nic Leobold

Filed under: Feature Articles and Guest Columns

The 4th of July
Posted on 07.02.10 by Thomas L. Knapp

Guest Column by David Fanelli

The 4th of July is a dedicated day of remembrance. A day not only to remember the sacrifices our forefathers endured to free us from the yoke of tyranny, but also for us to recall how significant our Declaration of Independence and Constitution were for all of humanity. These documents, even with all the flaws of human nature self evident, were the strongest declaration of individual freedom ever created. Because of the freedom these documents provided, America became the wealthiest nation in the world.

Look at us now. A people in fear of their government, a government that has striped away our freedom, and makes us fear being kidnapped and tortured for any form of dissent, a government that places itself above the rule of law, but takes 1200 pages of legal mumbo jumbo to explain to its citizenry its Health Care policy, a government that no longer listens to the wishes and hopes of its people, a government that creates for its people a reputation for oppression and injustice internationally that makes us all ashamed, a government which feels no shame in indebting our children and our children’s children to the few making vast profits from war.

A government that totally disregards the wishes of its citizenry only does so thru tyranny and although their attempts to shred our most sacred documents has been aggressively blatant, our Constitution and Declaration of Independence still stands.

All Americans need to recall one of the most profound messages contained in that document which reads:

That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of those ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and to institute new government.

Well, we tried to do this thru elections and it hasn’t worked.

Perhaps it is time to try what the French people did to their government, after we successfully overthrew the tyranny of England. Now I’m not suggesting, this 4th of July, we place guillotines on the steps of Congress or the White House lawn; our consciousness has grown, ever if their’s hasn’t, over the past 200 years, and would not allow us to behave in such a barbaric manner. So perhaps “A Water Boarding Setup” would be appropriate. I mean it’s not like it’s torture or anything, right? Just a little fun and games, for those who oppose our wishes, by voting against our best interests. People should not be afraid of their government, governments should be afraid of their people.

Filed under: Feature Articles and Guest Columns and Twitter-Worthy

Letter to the editor
Posted on 06.07.10 by Thomas L. Knapp

Regarding the oil spill, which is totally dominating our lives right now.

Follow this link:—Spill-Cam—video-feeds/7381402

This is the link from WWL radio to all 12 robot cameras being used by BP. As you can see, oil is GUSHING out in humongous amounts.

The federal government gave a lowball figure of 12,000 to 19,000 barrels a day gushing out of the well. Then, BP puts this cap on and claims they are getting 10,000 barrels a day. If all these numbers were correct, there would be a noticeable diminution in the amount of oil that we see.

But, in fact, for those of us who are living this shit every day, we cannot tell ANY difference in the flow.

There are several possibilities:

1) Our eyes deceive us.
2) BP’s numbers are a lie.
3) The Feds’ numbers are a lie.

I pick #3. It is entirely possible that BP is getting 10,000 barrels a day from their cap. But there is no way in hell that well is putting out only 17,000 barrels a day. Independent analysts have reported they believe as much as 100,000 thousands barrels a day is coming from this well. If this is the case, then BP is retrieving only about 10% of the oil that is gushing out. I believe that such a rate is a total failure.

BP and the government are totally scamming the media. Here in South Louisiana, we aren’t buying it, not for one damned second. Please don’t send out stories with these idiotic numbers, or at least put in an editorial blurb. These flow rates are complete and utter bullshit.

Elizabeth Higgs

editor’s note: We try not to make a habit of buying government or corporate promo numbers here at Rational Review. I’m posting this letter from one of our readers/supporters for our readers’ benefit and so that I have a handy link reference to append to our future links to stories related to the spill - TLK]

Filed under: Guest Columns and Twitter-Worthy

Stealing the tax revolt is the worst theft of all
Posted on 04.14.10 by Thomas L. Knapp

Guest column by Donald Meinshausen

There have been tax revolts as long as there have been taxes. They go back to Roman times in England, and are part of the history of every era and place. The tax revolts that we have won gave us the Magna Carta, The Declaration of Independence, and the independence of India.

What labor organizing is to the Left, taxpayer organizing is to us. They are the most important tool or weapon that we have in making or protecting a free society. Why is this? The reason is that this mythos, tactic, organizing ground (or market), has worked well and gloriously and is our heritage. We have never thought of ourselves as having a revolutionary strategy, as the Marxists and Left anarchists has. But actually we do. We’re just not aware of it or really used it. That is until now.


Filed under: Feature Articles and Guest Columns

The Ten Biggest Lies of My Lifetime
Posted on 09.27.09 by J. Neil Schulman

This is my short list of “Big Lies” — propaganda which is promoted by major movements, and which denying often gets one tagged as a lunatic, denier, hatemonger, or simply irrelevant.

If you’re looking for me to put the Holocaust of European Jewry or Jihadis being responsible for 9/11 on this list, look elsewhere.

I’m 56 years old, born in April 1953. So I’m limiting myself to Big Lies present in my own lifetime.

Here we go, not in any chronological order.


Filed under: Feature Articles and Guest Columns and Twitter-Worthy

The more dangerous epidemic
Posted on 05.27.09 by J. Neil Schulman

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world”

–William Butler Yeats

I’m an anarchist. I’m supposed to be opposed to authority; but really, the commitment only requires me to oppose the State, because it is coercive.

What of the authority of words then? It’s been pointed out to me that unlike the French I owe no allegiance to a government bureau that decides “Le Car” is a bastardization of their language, or forbids the naming of children unless the name appears on an officially sanctioned list.

I opened this comment with a quotation from Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming” but I just as easily could have begun with a quote from Lewis Carroll: “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

And we are behind the looking glass, my friends. When no common agreement can be reached on what a word means, mere anarchy is loosed upon the world — and I don’t mean anarchism, which is a self-organizing system seeking a natural order. I mean the inability to communicate through language because words have no fixed meaning thus there is no longer the possibility of reasoned discussion, only of spin and propaganda.


Filed under: Guest Columns

Bill Maher’s ridiculous conceit
Author: J. Neil Schulman
Posted on 05.14.09 by J. Neil Schulman

Bill Maher should have taken a course in firing full-auto weapons at Front Sight before he made his anti-religion documentary Religulous, because his method of shooting is what the military likes to call “spray and pray.”

Maher points his weapon — in this case a movie camera instead of an M-16 — in the general direction he thinks the enemy is then fires wildly. The problem is that as a documentarian Bill Maher ignores both weapons safety procedures and military rules of engagement. Bill Maher fails to correctly identify his targets before he puts his finger on the trigger and fires. So while he can be scored for some direct hits, he both creates a lot of collateral damage and leaves half the real enemy unscathed.



Filed under: Guest Columns

War games and rotary dial phones
Posted on 05.13.09 by Michelle L

My twin sister and I will be celebrating our 54th birthday this week; or as she likes to say “the silver anniversary of our 29th birthday.” As is often the case, this causes me to look back at both past birthdays as well as childhood memories in general — I think people who have attained a certain number of birthdays probably do the same.

And because we grew up in a time that seemed to be trying to straddle the line between the puritanical fifties and the upheaval of the seventies, it isn’t hard to pinpoint exact moments in time with amazing clarity (given the fact that these days I’m doing good to remember where I put my glasses). (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

The trouble with voluntaryists
Posted on 05.03.09 by Thomas L. Knapp

Guest column by Morey Straus

That the core concept of statism is inherently unjust is not in question. Nor is the notion that the voting is unlikely to produce an acceptable level of reform. To this extent, anarchists generally agree.

What separates anti-political libertarians from principled partyarchs is the advocacy of a vulgar form of unilateral disarmament.* This form of pacifism is more in line with the LeFevrian stripe than in the simpler sense, in that the anarchist is more concerned with becoming part of the problem than with straightforward avoidance. But it still walks and talks like pacifism. This willful disassociation from tactics used by statists is as doomed to catch fire as was Quakerism. (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns and Twitter-Worthy

Grand(standing) Old Party
Posted on 04.12.09 by Michelle L

The 10th amendment to the United States Constitution reads as follows:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

According to many Constitutional scholars, this amendment was intended to highlight the fact that while the original 13 States were one independent nation, this new nation was comprised of 13 independent and sovereign entities, capable of creating legislation pertinent to their particular areas that were not expressly delegated to Congress by the other articles contained in the Bill of Rights.

(This of course is leaving aside the argument that the War Between the States did away with the sovereignty of the states by asserting that the South had no right to leave the Union — there are opinions aplenty concerning this issue.)

That was then — and in the generations since, state governments have historically ignored the 10th amendment in order to feed at the federal trough. Entire political dynasties and multi-generational careers have been made on the basis of how many federal dollars could be funneled to the states’ coffers from dear old Uncle Sam.


Filed under: Guest Columns

My Movement of the Movement Address
Posted on 04.09.09 by J. Neil Schulman

You know how U.S. presidents deliver State of the Union addresses and governors give State of the State addresses?

My old friend Samuel Edward Konkin III would rise from his grave to haunt me if I were to deliver a State of the Movement address so this address is guaranteed to be state-free. But movements presumably move in one direction or another so my very personal report on This Movement of Ours is My Movement of the Movement Address.


Filed under: Guest Columns

Quitters, Incorporated*
Posted on 04.01.09 by Michelle L

*(A none-too-subtle reference to Quitters, Inc., a short story concerning heavy-handed methods of smoking cessation by Stephen King.)

Why am I always in the minority when it comes to public opinion? You’d think the law of averages would occasionally work in my favor and I’d check the local news website’s latest poll or comment section and find this:

“CUTE KITTENS — fer ‘em or agin ‘em?”

Oh, easy. *clicks fer ‘em*

But oh, hell no.

The local newspaper and television has been abuzz with articles concerning the tobacco tax hike and the possible benefits to society as a whole. By far the vast majority of comments run along these lines:

“Ewww, smokers are totally gross so it’s totally kewl to tax the crap out of them so they quit and don’t bother me. OMG! I’m so texting all my BFFs on Twitter right now and they so agree with me. Totally.”

“Harrumph! Smokers cost me and the boys down at the country club bazillions of dollars in health care taxes. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the 19th Hole to enjoy a bourbon and branchwater. Cheers. Harrumph!”

Do you see what I did there? I personally don’t own a cell phone or drink … so I have zero problem with demonizing people who do! It’s so easy a caveman can do it!

“But won’t someone think of the CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!”

Okay, let’s think of the children. (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

Hazardous conditions
Posted on 03.11.09 by Michelle L

Moral Hazard a risk that somebody will behave immorally because insurance, the law, or some other agency protects them against loss that the immoral behavior might otherwise cause.

Because I’m blessed with an unusually high level of disdain for bureaucracy and government in general, it’s extremely rare for me to experience jaw-dropping shock when confronted with the empire’s mouthpieces and their paid pontifications, which are excreted with dreadful regularity in the mainstream media. Then I came across this:

Sheila Bair, the chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., said the agency has set aside $22 billion to cover any projected losses over the next year, leaving $19 billion. The deposit insurance fund now stands at its lowest level in nearly a quarter-century and is raising the assessment on banks and thrifts to give it more money in reserve. “Overall, we’re fine. But it is important for people to understand, we’re backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. The money will always be there. We can’t run out of money,” Bair said.

The money will always be there? We can’t run out of money?” Surely this is mere hyperbole, right? I mean, even the government can’t sincerely believe that money is some sort of infinite resource, right?

Perhaps not. (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

Why gay rights activists need to straighten up
Posted on 02.18.09 by J. Neil Schulman

I’ve been a libertarian my entire adult life. Libertarianism, as I’ve been an apologist for it, is a philosophy promoting individual rights, civil liberties, and the freedom to have manifest destiny over one’s own life and property. I am opposed to the government telling people what they can do with their minds and bodies. I am consistent on this whether the issue is consensual intimate relations between adults, or the freedom to self-medicate and self-entertain oneself using the agricultural or pharmaceutical product of one’s choice, or the responsibility of parents to choose what their children are taught about how the human race came to be, or whether it’s regarding the decision of a woman not to carry a fetus to term in her womb.

So when I have to explain to my daughter, who phone-banked in the November 2008 election against California’s Proposition 8 by which the California electorate voted to amend their Constitution restricting marriage to heterosexual couples, why I’m opposed to California courts overturning the vote she lost, it requires an explanation of my grounding principles and my firmly grasping sharp ideological nettles.

Let there be no mistake. I favor absolute equality in law for adult individuals who prize the liberty to have intimate relations with, fall in love with, and make life commitments to other individuals of their own gender. I favor laws enabling institutions to grant equity to same-sex couples in matters of habitation, inheritance, taxation, hospital visitation and fiduciary decision-making. If there are to be civil rights laws forbidding discrimination in employment, housing, and use of common facilities, and laws forbidding hate crimes, on the basis of race, color, religion, or ethnic origin, then I see no reason why gender preference is worth neither less nor more than these other collective categories for receiving grants of legal protection.

But none of that means I’m going to favor up-ending constitutional principles to favor a specific group’s pleadings, nor do I think a struggle for civil rights entitles one to thuggery, nor am I willing to embrace hypocrisy, the destruction of language, rewriting history, and lies just because some people have justifiable grievances.

Let’s start with the lies contained in the use of two common terms: “homosexual” and “gay.”


Filed under: Guest Columns

Fireproof — Review of a Movie that Tested My Faith and Made It Firmer :-)
Posted on 10.10.08 by J. Neil Schulman


As an independent filmmaker whose own new feature, Lady Magdalene’s, was made on about the same budget IMDb Pro shows Fireproof was made for –about $500K — I have closely been following the theatrical box-office success of Fireproof with gratitude.

Getting an ultra-low-budget film into theatrical distribution is a journey through Hell and Purgatory that Dante Alighieri could have written about.

To emerge into the theatrical-release paradise of wide release, an opening weekend ranking of #4 among movies costing 100 times as much to produce, and achieving tickets sales in the amount of $13,055,530 domestically in its first 12 days of release, is spectacular to the
point one must suspect a miracle.

As the hymn goes, “God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.” My own faith tells me that for God to allow this movie into theatrical release and achieve the box-office success it has, He must have deep plans … because never have I seen a worse movie in my life.


Filed under: Guest Columns

The next step toward getting the republic back
Posted on 09.30.08 by J. Neil Schulman

Yesterday’s House vote can be the Concord Bridge of a renewed American Revolution — if the idea gets out fast enough.

The congressional representatives — both conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats — who yesterday stood up to the water-boardings given to them by President Bush, Treachery Secretary Paulson, Federal Reverse Chairman Bernanke, and the McCain-Obama Presidential Ticket — voted against the Bail Out of OPEC. Why else would the price of oil have plummeted when the bail-out went south? The failure of the bail-out showed us who was really going to get bailed out.

The House made a good first step yesterday. But they need a second step.

Now the representatives who voted in good faith with the American people should vote to reject their foul bought-and-paid-for party leadership and caucus together into a new political party.

This idea needs to get out before the Jewish holidays are over and the House reconvenes.

Let’s show them a path back to the Republic. Spread the word virally and quickly.

J. Neil Schulman, author of the 1979 novel Alongside Night, which predicted this crisis

Filed under: Guest Columns

Does the First Amendment forbid Congress from Prohibiting Abortion?
Posted on 09.09.08 by J. Neil Schulman

In the wonderful movie Contact, from Carl Sagan’s novel about first contact with extraterrestrial intelligence, scientist Ellie Arroway must convince a panel that she’s the right candidate to be earth’s first ambassador to non-humans. When asked by one selector whether she believes in God — as does most of the human race — Ellie answers that, as a scientist, she only believes what can be proved, and doesn’t believe there’s proof either way. Ellie is rejected in favor of the opportunistic David Drumlin, who cynically gives the panel exactly the pious affirmation of faith they need to select him over Ellie.

The Saddleback Church presidential forum cast Barack Obama as Ellie Arroway and John McCain as David Drumlin.


Filed under: Guest Columns

My 2008 Presidential Endorsements by a Small-l Libertarian
Posted on 08.31.08 by J. Neil Schulman

Let’s start with my voting history, so you’ll know where I’m coming from.

In my first eligibility to cast a ballot in a presidential election — in 1972 — I could not bring myself to vote either to re-elect Republican Richard Nixon or replace him with Democrat George McGovern. I cast a write-in vote for the 19th century libertarian, Lysander Spooner, for president.

In 1976 I was one of the activists in the “Vote for Nobody!” campaign, and did not vote either for Gerald Ford or Jimmy Carter.

In 1980 and 1984 — even though I liked him better than any other major-party candidate for president since I’d become eligible to vote — I refrained from voting for Ronald Reagan. I remained a non-voter on the Jack Parr principle that “voting only encourages them.”

In 1988 without even a major-party candidate on the ballot as appealing to me as Reagan, I again refrained from voting.

By 1992 I’d argued myself into becoming a voter again, on the principle that if I believed in self-defense with a gun, I could believe in self-defense with a proxy gun — the ballot. But unable to vote for either George H.W. Bush or Bill Clinton, I voted for Ross Perot.



Filed under: Guest Columns

Gentle engagement
Posted on 06.09.08 by Thomas L. Knapp

Guest column by Barry Klein.

– Gentle Engagement –

How free market activists can achieve a pattern of victories
at the local level while laying ground work to influence politics
at the state and federal levels. — by Barry Klein


… Recognize that money to fund an organization office with staff is critical. The following package of ideas probably cannot be done well without a budget of
$200,000 per year, per city or metro area.

This is a strategy to reach the small number of opinion setters in each urbanized area. I call this group the “political village.” They are the civic activists and members of business groups who are watching the issues, developing opinions and sometimes trying to shape policy. It is much more affordable to reach and educate this relatively small number of people than a whole population of voting adults. I estimate 10,000 people fit this description in the Houston area where I live, and people are entering and leaving the village continuously.


Filed under: Feature Articles and Guest Columns

Can A Leopard Really Change His Spots?
Posted on 06.01.08 by Michelle L

I have recently heard from many wonderful folks in the Libertarian Party that support the Barr-Root ticket; people that say we need to rally round the candidates and that I’m committing the cardinal sin of “cut and run” rather than putting the Party first. While I have utmost respect for all members of the Libertarian Party, I am having a very hard time believing that these particular leopards can change their spots.


Filed under: Guest Columns

Dear Libertarian Party: I want to break up
Posted on 05.28.08 by Michelle L


Please don’t act surprised, we both know it’s been over for a long time — it’s just that now, after Denver; I can’t pretend otherwise.

Some people are thrilled when their exes make fools of themselves — fortunately for you, I am not one of them. That was, until you decided to announce to the world that your new BFF is Bob Barr; that he is the one you’d rather been seen around town with and who is being marketed as the chosen one to finally put you into the mainstream of political parties. I mean, seriously … Bob Barr?? And to think, I put your signs in my yard for all the world to see.

I can’t honestly say that the warning signs weren’t there — the way you seemed to disregard my loyalty in favor of the prospect of national coverage; the way you looked at other parties when you thought I wasn’t looking, the way you were never there for our children; Liberty, Freedom and Values like you once were — just paying them enough lip service to make it appear that they (and I) were still important to you but really only using us for photo ops.

I felt betrayed because of how much I had believed in you; how honorable you seemed compared to the other parties — how, when all the cool kids asked how I could possibly stand by you when you had zero chance of winning, I defended you and told everyone that you were different — that you had real values! (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

Phillies 2008: A polite difference with a fellow candidate
Posted on 05.12.08 by George Phillies

We’re Libertarians. There is no issue we all agree upon, except perhaps how we spell our party’s name.

It’s not surprising, then, that sometimes some members of our party will support an isolated Democrat. Or a lone Republican.

If you are an LNC member, your burden is more severe. You made a commitment to your fellow Libertarians. You ran for our office so you could leverage your time and energy to build a stronger Libertarian Party. If you instead spent your time building an opposing party, you are not doing what you implicitly promised.

I’m state chair of LPMass, the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts. I’ve worked vigorously to revive my state’s Libertarian Party. Our State Committee is now meeting monthly. Our State newsletter is now appearing monthly. We’ve revived fundraising. I’ve committed thousands of dollars of my own money for our Presidential ballot access campaign.

You may rest assured, I haven’t given a Democrat or a Republican a dime or a minute.

And I’m a Presidential candidate. When I identify my political beliefs, I say I’m a *Libertarian*.

Here we come to one of my differences with LNC member Bob Barr, who I view as a friend.

While on the LNC, Bob Barr has also been the champion of the Bob Barr Leadership PAC. Since the start of 2007, his PAC has raised more than a million dollars. That’s very impressive. Now, raising that money was expensive. Much of it went to general expenses.

But when Bob Barr PAC money went since the start of 2007 to individual political candidates, it largely went to Republicans. And that means?

If I’m your nominee this Summer, that means I hope to be in Georgia to campaign with Libertarian Senate Candidate Allen Buckley. His opponent Saxby Chambliss received $3,500 from Bob Barr’s PAC.

I hope to be in New Hampshire to campaign with Libertarian Senate Candidate Ken Blevens. His opponent John Sununu received $3,000 from Bob Barr’s PAC.

I hope to be in Virginia to campaign with Libertarian Senate Candidate Bill Redpath. The Gilmore for Senate campaign received $1,000 from Bob Barr’s PAC.

I hope to be in North Carolina to campaign with Libertarian Congressional Candidate Thomas Hill. His opponent Robin Hayes received $1,000 from Bob Barr’s PAC.

I hope to be in Texas to campaign with Libertarian Congressional Candidate Ken Ashby. His opponent Jeb Hensarling received $3,500 from Bob Barr’s PAC.

I hope to be in Idaho to campaign with Libertarian Senate Candidate Kent Marmon. His erstwhile opponent, Larry Craig, dropped out, but not before he received $1,000 from Bob Barr’s PAC.

That’s Republicans who have a Libertarian opponent. Bob Barr supported a longer list of Republicans who don’t yet face Libertarian opposition.

The longer list matters, too.

When you donate to a candidate, your money counts twice. It counts once for that candidate. It counts again for the candidate’s party.

When I invest money in my campaign, I am building our Libertarian Party. And when Bob Barr through his PAC invested in Republican candidates, he was building up the Republican Party.

And that leads to the question. What do we want and expect from a Presidential candidate?

I urge you to consider: We only get one Presidential campaign every four years. It’s your decision.

George Phillies is a candidate for the Libertarian Party’s 2008 presidential nomination. His campaign web site is located at As a matter of course, Rational Review will publish, unedited, the submissions of libertarian presidential candidates. For more information, or for assistance, contact us at

Filed under: Guest Columns

New movies for my Pro-RKBA, libertarian, and patriotic friends
Posted on 02.25.08 by J. Neil Schulman

Often enough I hear my pro-RKBA, libertarian, and conservative/patriot friends complaining that Hollywood doesn’t make movies for us and that the movies they do make are hostile to our core values.

Here’s your chance to turn that tide by supporting some new movies made by friends who do share our values.

First up is the new comedy Witless Protection, starring Larry the Cable Guy, Jenny McCarthy, and Yaphet Kotto, released this past weekend by LionsGate. (This is the same studio that is producing Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.) The writer/director of Witless Protection is Charles Carner, a friend I met through our long attendance at the pro-Second-Amendment ATF nights (where Alcohol and Tobacco were consumed and Firearms discussed). This being a Larry the Cable Guy movie with a lot of redneck humor, don’t expect an evening of Oscar Wilde or Noel Coward, but Charles emails me, “I managed to put some politically-incorrect humor into the movie, which was fun.”

The critics are, of course, attacking the movie because it’s not aimed at them but targeted to people who actually have to pay to see movies. So it didn’t have the biggest opening weekend and, without support, might be gone from the theaters by next weekend. So please pass along the message to go see this movie sometime this week to all Second Amendment, libertarian, and patriot lists. If there’s enough business during the week it might be held over another weekend and have time for a viral word-of-mouth campaign to boost its box office.

Next up is Second-Amendment scholar David T. Hardy’s feature documentary, In Search of the Second Amendment, which is having its film-festival premiere at the Backlot Film Festival at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Culver City, CA, April 2-5, 2008. The website for this excellent analysis of the history and legal status of the Second Amendment — more timely than ever with the Heller case on DC’s gun ban being reviewed by the Supreme Court this year — is at

The Backlot Film Festival is the same festival where my own suspense-comedy feature, Lady Magdalene’s, starring Nichelle Nichols, is having its first LA-area screening the evening of April 3rd. I don’t think it takes much convincing that a movie written and directed by the author of the libertarian-award-winning Alongside Night and Charlton-Heston endorsed Stopping Power has plenty of pro-individual-liberty and pro-Second Amendment content. Nichelle Nichols will be present to introduce our screening plus the one after it, a restored print of the classic MGM all-black musical, Cabin in the Sky — and Nichelle will be singing live between the screenings with piano accompaniment, Because of Nichelle’s association both with Star Trek and now Heroes we expect this to be a star-studded event. And the timing couldn’t be better for our prospects to achieve distribution since at our February 2nd film-festival premiere at the San Diego Black Film Festival, Lady Magdalene’s won the festival’s Best Cutting Edge Film Award. Full details on our website at

Discount tickets to the Backlot Film Festival, including all film screenings, will be available through various pro-RKBA and libertarian groups. Details on the where and how will be forthcoming.

Remember, if we don’t support the filmmakers who embody our own values, they might not remain in the business so they can keep on trying to balance Hollywood’s politically-correct offerings.

Filed under: Guest Columns

Cry Havoc And Let Slip The Dogs Of War
Posted on 01.14.08 by Michelle L

I find war detestable but those who praise it without participating in it even more so.” — Romain Rolland 1866-1944

Bear with me while I engage in what can only be termed journalistic masturbation.

After watching wall-to-wall coverage in the mainstream media concerning the incident in the Strait of Hormuz between Iranian speedboats and US warships, one would be hard pressed to not experience a feeling of deja vu — the parallels to the Gulf of Tonkin are amazing.

For a few days now, the major networks have breathlessly trumpeted the provocative confrontation and reported that “US warships were seconds away from firing on the speedboats.” Everybody panic!

Eh, not so much.


Filed under: Guest Columns

Your neighbor could be a marijuana grower — thanks to misguided policies
Posted on 11.26.07 by Thomas L. Knapp

Guest Column by Rob Kampia

Would you like to see criminal gangs growing marijuana in your community, making large profits, which in turn would fund other criminal activities?

A new federal report says that our current marijuana policies are actually making this more likely. If you live in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, California, or parts of New York State, you may be particularly at risk.

The report is the U.S. Department of Justice’s “National Drug Threat Assessment 2008,” released to the public on November 8. The only mention it got in the press had to do with supposed shortages of cocaine in some areas, but the report’s findings on marijuana will affect many more Americans. Marijuana, after all, is far and away the most commonly used illegal drug.


Filed under: Feature Articles and Guest Columns

Phillies 2008: Helping Families Educate Their Children
Posted on 10.08.07 by George Phillies

… (and Help Businesses Reward their Employees).

There is no family responsibility more important than educating the next generation. You may be wealthy or poor. You may be healthy or sick. No matter your conditions, you can be sure: If your children are not educated well, they will end up poor and sick.

As Libertarians, we believe that competitive private and market solutions will generally provide superior answers to challenging questions. Private and home schooling should offer children a richness of individually-designed education programs that other arrangements will find difficult to match. However, sensible Libertarians also recognize that public schools enjoy two huge advantages, namely large tax subsidies and a huge market and production base already in place.


Filed under: Guest Columns

Phillies 2008: Defending Our Constitution
Posted on 09.04.07 by George Phillies

A few pithy thoughts and quotes:

Civil Liberties — The Oath of Office of the President is to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States. When a President takes office, he should place his hand on one place: the Constitution he is swearing to protect. When an advisor tells the President “The Constitution is not a suicide pact” as a justification for his illegal deeds, he is urging that our government be overthrown. As President, I will appoint officials and advisors who support the Constitution.

A Loyal, Patriotic Civil Service — Loyal Americans honor our Constitution and obey the Law of the land. They do not make warrantless searches of your home. They do not wiretap your phone calls without court orders. They do not throw Americans into jail and detain them without trial or access to attorneys. We need a Federal government composed of loyal Americans who love our country. Federal employees who made warrantless searches, performed warrantless wiretaps, and detained citizens without trial will be replaced with patriotic Americans. And then the facts of their actions should be presented to grand juries.

Presidential Royalism — We have a President, not an Emperor. Americans who dissent from elected Federal officers are true patriots who understand where America was born. Advocates of Free Speech zones, into which protesters are herded and hidden from the press, are dangerous subversives attacking our Constitution. Patriotic Americans do not grovel. They should not mindlessly stand and applaud because a President walks into the room. [Mind you, if you want to stand, applaud, or throw yourself on your kneepads, that’s your privilege.] Libertarians reject royalism.

Torture. Rendition. Secret Prisons. — Real Americans do not torture. Real Americans do not kidnap so others can torture for us. Real Americans support timely public trials with juries, not military kangaroo tribunals. Real Americans should ensure that torture, renditions, and secret prisons are ended, and the people who committed crimes, such as torture, kidnap, and secretly imprison, are brought to justice.

George Phillies is a candidate for the Libertarian Party’s 2008 presidential nomination. His campaign web site is located at As a matter of course, Rational Review will publish, unedited, the submissions of libertarian presidential candidates. For more information, or for assistance, contact us at

Filed under: Guest Columns

Phillies 2008: A sensible defense policy
Posted on 08.09.07 by George Phillies

The Cold War is over. Bring home the army that defends Europe against the Soviet Union. World War II is over. Bring home our post-war garrisons. Transform the National Guard into state defense forces not available for overseas service, as the law currently allows. Only a Libertarian will bring our men and women home.

We have the best navy in the world. We maintain a huge Atlantic fleet, when no hostile nations border the Atlantic. We build the world’s finest amphibious landing ships, which are only useful for launching invasions. We aren’t planning any. We should right-size our armed forces to an order of battle matching the threats we face. Only a Libertarian President will
right-size our military.

Finding Mr. Bin Laden is a job for spies and special forces, not a job for tank divisions. The Afghan people have been governing themselves for hundreds of years. They will not long tolerate foreign occupation. Only a Libertarian President will give the Bin Laden problem to the right people.

The real foundation of our national security is our technology and industry. They let us deploy real defenses against real threats. Resources spent by our standing military are resources extracted from our industrialists and farmers and educators. When we spend our resources on a pointlessly large military, we weaken the foundation of our national security. Only a Libertarian President will strengthen our national security by right-sizing defense spending.

George Phillies is a candidate for the Libertarian Party’s 2008 presidential nomination. His campaign web site is located at As a matter of course, Rational Review will publish, unedited, the submissions of libertarian presidential candidates. For more information, or for assistance, contact us at

Filed under: Guest Columns

Phillies 2008: Thoughts on Social Liberties
Posted on 07.26.07 by George Phillies

Family Values - There are few parts of family life more sensitive than guiding medical care for family members unable to act for themselves. In the Terry Schiavo case, Congress tried to steal control of her medical care. Congress voted against real family values. If you support real family values, you should elect Libertarians. We believe Uncle Sam has no business making life and death decisions for you and your loved ones.

The Kelo Decision - Your house should belong to you, not to the lounge lizard who bribed your city council. Eminent Domain takings should be limited to traditional public purposes. Eminent domain should not be used to steal your house for a developer or sports team.


Filed under: Guest Columns

A major pain in the gut
Posted on 07.16.07 by Michelle L

I seriously doubt that there are too many folks out there who haven’t heard about Michael Chertoff’s gut feeling by now. That government officials are reduced to using such obscure rationalizations in order to get our attention, I believe really speaks volumes for the sorry state of affairs existing today.

A quick search for the word “gut” happlily confirms my suspicions; the online dictionary of Merriam Webster starts the definition of gut with the word, bowels. I have long suspected that the administration’s facts are rectally sourced or, in other words, they pull them out of their collective asses.


Filed under: Guest Columns

How to tell if Bush is lying
Posted on 07.05.07 by Michelle L

My husband thinks it’s cute the way I always seem to be surprised by all the fairy tales, falsehoods and fabrications that emit from the White House; that I must somehow hold out hope that our elected (or not elected as the case may be) officials have some deep seated humanity that would cause them trouble sleeping at night should they lie to their constituents.

Odd, I always considered myself to be rather cynical and jaded about politicians.

Now we come to Bush commuting (not pardoning because after all, he still has to pay money and be on probation and he is still convicted — and we all know that convicted liars have no place in politics) Scooter Libby’s sentence.

You can read the entire pack of lies at:

For your convenience, I have graciously copied the pertinent parts and noted the pants-on-fire-level whoppers for your enlightenment.


Filed under: Guest Columns

Phillies 2008: We Want Soldiers Who Shoot Straight
Posted on 07.05.07 by George Phillies

Six decades ago, President Harry Truman ordered that the Armed Forces be desegregated. No longer would there be separate military units for different people, sorted by the color of their skin. Instead, all soldiers were to be the same color: Army Green. All airmen were to be the same color: Air Force Blue. And so on across all our Armed Forces.

Armed Forces desegregation actually began in Arizona, where the Air National Guard’s commanding officer was a prominent social liberal: He and his wife later brought Planned Parenthood to Tempe. His later political book warned emphatically about the dangers of overpopulation and the need for population control. The officer in question eventually went into politics, continuing to espouse his principles of individual freedom and equality before the law: In 1964, he became the Republican Party’s nominee for President of the United States.

It is now 2007. Six decades after the Armed Forces were desegregated by race, the Armed Forces are segregated by gender orientation. (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

Phillies 2008: An Open Letter to Goldwater Conservatives
Posted on 06.03.07 by George Phillies

Rational Review is a wonderful place, if not precisely a conservative site. This message is directly applicable to some readers. For the rest of you, the following is a message to forward to any conservative sites you know, because some conservatives already have been saved. They just need to learn where the pearly gates are located.

Let me draw a few comparisons:

Barry Goldwater wanted to reduce the size of government.

George Bush conservatives offer “big government conservatism” and the largest expansion in welfare since Lyndon Johnson.

Barry Goldwater supported a balanced budget.

George Bush conservatives offer the largest budget deficits, funded and unfunded, in our history.

Barry Goldwater said that “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.”

George Bush conservatives give us extremism, just not in the defense of liberty: extraordinary rendition, detention without trial, and torture.

Barry Goldwater knew that secret police who listened to phone calls were Commies working for the KGB and Chairman Mao.

George Bush conservatives bring us bigger and better American secret police, who use computers to listen to every single phone call and Internet message.

Barry Goldwater was in love with technology. He was a jet pilot. His home was filled with high-tech gadgets. He ran for President of a country that strove to be the world leader in technology and science.

Modern conservatives oppose stem cell research. When asked about evolution, four Republican Presidential candidates expressed disbelief. Worse, the other six did not burst into laughter.

Barry Goldwater believed in personal privacy.

Bush conservatives want to introduce state identity papers. (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

Phillies 2008: Torture — Crime against Civilization
Posted on 05.23.07 by George Phillies

At the South Carolina debate, Republican candidates were asked if they would torture prisoners. Some of them thought torture was just fine.

What is the libertarian answer to the torture question? It’s the American answer, the answer the American people have already given. Torture is a crime against civilization, reviled by all patriotic Americans.

Let’s take it from the top.

First, there is nothing for a President to decide. Inside the United States, torture is a felony. If you are anywhere in the United States, and you torture someone, you are committing more crimes than I care to list. There is no exception in those laws for government officials.

If you are an American abroad and torture someone, it’s a felony. If your victim dies, you have earned the death penalty. There is no exception in those laws for government officials.

Second, those laws reflect the wisdom of the American people. Torturers are the filth of the earth, properly grouped with child molesters and mercenaries. We need not ask what the founding fathers and their fellows thought of mercenaries. Their position is enshrined in the third verse of The Star-Spangled Banner:

“And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave,”


Filed under: Guest Columns

None Of The Above always gets my support
Posted on 05.21.07 by Jim Davidson

Special to Rational Review

People persist in asking me for whom should they vote. I strongly believe that if you are voting for any incumbent, you are making a grave error, which is likely to be deadly to many, disastrous to private property, and beneficial only to graft and corruption. In the case of nearly every challenger I’ve ever scrutinized closely, the same is true. There are a few exceptions, but they are indeed rare.

So, for whom should you vote? I think the Libertarian Party has an excellent idea. In every election, for every office, a legitimate candidate to consider is “None of the Above.” If you vote for “None of the Above” in a Libertarian Party primary, and that choice wins the most votes, then the party runs no one for that office. Where allowed by law, they place “None of the Above” on the ballot for that office. So, you would have the opportunity to elect no one to that office, and, in the event that any jurisdiction allowed such a vote to be credentialed, no one would serve in that office.

Isn’t that a fine idea? Wouldn’t you be better off? Can you think of any office at any level that would not be improved by sitting empty for a year, two years, four years, or six years — depending on the relevant term?


Filed under: Guest Columns

It’s Way Past Miller Time for the War in Iraq
Posted on 05.20.07 by J. Neil Schulman

Sometimes I wonder if people even listen to themselves talk.

The Bush administration tells us that the United States has not yet achieved its objectives in the War in Iraq so American troops have to stay there until a stable Iraqi democracy can fend for itself against an insurgency fueled by al Qaeda-fed Sunni Muslims and Iranian-fed Shia Muslims: that the Iraqi InSurgency has to be fought with an American Surgency.

The Democratic Party opposition tells us that, because of this InSurgency, the Bush administration already lost the War in Iraq so it’s time to cut our losses and bring American troops home.

Neither the Bush administration nor its critics see the obvious fact that Operation Iraqi Freedom was a total victory, and any discussion of whether American troops should stay or go have to follow from that fact.

Filed under: Guest Columns

Time for a GOP smackdown: Paul should challenge Giuliani to a policy debate.
Posted on 05.20.07 by Ben Kalafut

It could be called the “diss heard ’round the world.” Rudolph Giuliani’s dismissal of Ron Paul’s assertion that U.S. foreign policy makes us more likely to be attacked by terrorists may have won him the debate, but its long-term impact on his credibility has yet to be seen.

The war in Iraq remains the issue of greatest importance to voters. In Paul and Giuliani we have two candidates for a major party’s nomination whose views on the matter couldn’t be farther apart and whose disagreement has become perhaps the most talked-about event to date of the 2008 Presidential race.

It’s thus a natural time for a real debate, a structured intellectual dispute over an issue as opposed to a soundbite-generating Q and A session. The resolution: The United States should adopt a noninterventionist foreign policy. Paul takes affirmative, Giuliani takes negative.


Filed under: Guest Columns

Phillies 2008: Civil Disobedience by Government
Posted on 05.09.07 by George Phillies

Civil disobedience is a political act. It may be nonviolent or violent. We may greet it with approval; we may condemn it. Civil disobedience remains a political act.

When Gandhi led Indians to the sea to protest the British salt monopoly, he committed an act of nonviolent civil disobedience, an act that many Americans would approve. When George Washington led the Continental Army against the British, he committed an act of civil disobedience, an act of violent civil disobedience that most Americans also endorse. The attacks of the Iraqi resistance against our Army of Occupation in Iraq are equally acts of violent civil disobedience, acts directed against our fellow Americans.

Peaceful or violent, approved or disapproved, acts of civil disobedience are extraordinary political acts. For better or worse, acts of civil disobedience have the intent of causing political change.

The opposite of Civil Disobedience is Civil Disobedience by Government. (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

Phillies 2008: Support any Republican->Support Torture
Posted on 04.02.07 by George Phillies

Your Vote Counts Twice
Your Support Counts Twice

When you vote for a candidate, your vote counts twice. It counts once for the candidate. It counts again for the candidate’s party.

Even when your candidate loses, your vote for the candidate shows that the candidate’s party and the ideas it represents have support. When a D.C. resident votes for a Republican Presidential candidate, or a Utah resident votes for the matching Democrat, they know their candidate will lose in their state. There is almost no chance that their popular votes will translate into electoral votes for their candidates. Their popular votes are still important, because they show that their candidate enjoys popular support for his views, popular support that may well manifest itself in other elections for other offices.

That’s why there are no wasted votes. Every vote counts as a show of support for the candidate’s positions and ideas.


Filed under: Guest Columns

Phillies 2008: Help Families Educate Their Children
Posted on 03.15.07 by George Phillies

(and Help Businesses Reward their Employees)
(and move away from the public school monopoly, along a nonthreatening track)

There is no family responsibility more important than educating the next generation. You may be wealthy or poor. You may be healthy or sick. No matter your conditions, you can be sure: If your children are not educated well, they will end up poor and sick.

As Libertarians, we believe that competitive private and market solutions will generally provide superior answers to challenging questions. Private and home schooling should offer children a richness of individually-designed education programs that other arrangements will find difficult to match. However, sensible Libertarians also recognize that public schools enjoy two huge advantages, namely large tax subsidies and a huge market and production base already in place.

How can Libertarians change America from where we are, to where we want to go, on a path each of whose steps is positive? Any proposed change must add to choice, not take away options from parents anxious for their children, or the change will not be adopted.


Filed under: Guest Columns

Phillies 2008: Looking ahead to 2009
Posted on 03.05.07 by George Phillies

When It’s All Over

The Libertarian Party nominating convention is more than a year away. The General Election, results unpredictable, is far beyond that. Nonetheless, someday the election campaign and its outcome will have come to an end.

I have no idea whether I will win or lose the race for the nomination. I am doing my best to win, as are each of my serious opponents.

What should the candidate do when the election is said and done?

I realize that there have been past Presidential candidates, who have faced the same question. I’m not talking about them for the moment. They will answer to higher judges, namely to our party’s members and to the weight of history. Here I am only talking about my perspective on my possible future.


Filed under: Guest Columns

This Movement We Have Chosen
Posted on 02.21.07 by Jeff Riggenbach

Books cited or discussed in this essay:

Doherty, Brian. Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement. New York: Public Affairs, 2007.

Mencken, H. L. “Newspaper Morals” [1914] in A Gang of Pecksniffs: And Other Comments on Newspaper Publishers, Editors and Reporters. Ed. Theo Lippman, Jr. New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1975

- - -. Minority Report: H. L. Mencken’s Notebooks. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1956.


Brian Doherty’s Radicals for Capitalism is an outstanding book. Anyone who has read Doherty’s work over the past fifteen years or so in Liberty and Reason knows he’s an excellent writer, but as an historian of the libertarian movement, he’s also comprehensive, evenhanded, and continuously interesting.

This is not to say, however, that there are no significant problems with this book. And thereby hangs a tale …


My own small part in Doherty’s “freewheeling history of the modern American libertarian movement” begins with a walkon in a key scene on page 449. (Overall, my part is what you’d call a bit part, though I do have a few lines — and this is exactly as it should be. I’ve been around for a long time and I’ve known and worked with many of the major players in this story, but I was never a major player myself.) The situation, as the scene opens, is touch and go. It’s the late spring of 1978, a full year and a half since Charles Koch bought Libertarian Review (LR) from Bob Kephart, and a full year since he assumed control of the magazine, moving it to New York, reinstalling founding editor Roy A. Childs, Jr. in the office of editor-in-chief, and sitting back to await the steady stream of scintillating and provocative issues he knew young Childs was capable of.

Childs was capable, no doubt about that. He was brilliant. He was a fine writer and a gifted editor-in-chief, the kind of man who could talk well-established intellectuals into writing for his magazine for a tenth of what they’d earn (and a fraction of the audience they’d reach) if they sold the same article to Harper’s or Esquire or the Atlantic. He was the kind of editor who planned issues months ahead, who saw the big picture, where the magazine was heading, and why. He was also, as Doherty styles him, “the sort of man whose presence put smiles on people’s faces. He was the sort of figure all ideological movements need … the tireless networker, letter writer, phone caller, dedicated to a larger vision of a long-term libertarian project that extended beyond whatever work he happened to be doing, as dedicated to promoting and connecting other libertarian comrades as producing specific tangible work of his own.” In the late spring of 1978, as our scene opens, he was already, as Doherty puts it, “the most consistent personal inspiration and support to a rising generation of young libertarians.” (450) In the years to come, he filled that role ever more impressively and effectively.

But he could not meet a deadline. (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

Kubby 2008: In Distinguished Company
Posted on 02.17.07 by Steve Kubby

I’ve recently been asked a number of times — by friends, fellow Libertarians, supporters of other candidates and even my own campaign volunteers — if my personal legal situation has any bearing on my presidential candidacy.

More pointedly, I’ve been asked if the fact that I’m on probation in the state of California might not disqualify me as a candidate, if for no other reason than that it might limit my ability to travel.

I’d like to turn these questions into an opportunity: An opportunity to explain my situation, and to explain why it’s not only not a problem, but a positive factor in my campaign.


Filed under: Guest Columns

Phillies 2008: 2008 Is Too Late
Posted on 02.16.07 by George Phillies

2008 is Too Late!

2008 is too late to end the Bush Republican War On Iraq.

By 2008, thousands more of our brave American men and women will have died totally pointless deaths. They won’t have died to protect America. They’ll be dead because George Bush is afraid to admit that he was wrong. By 2008, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis will have joined them. They’ll all be together, united in the grave. (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

Why Rightists Should be Chanting “Run Ralph Run!”
Posted on 02.08.07 by Dan E. Phillips

According to News Max consumer activist Ralph Nader is leaving open the possibility of running for President again in 2008. He will decide whether to run later this year. He is reportedly unhappy with Sen. Hillary Clinton, a (the?) likely Democratic nominee. Per News Max, Nader described Sen. Clinton as a “panderer and a flatterer.” You don’t say?

Major candidates are almost always overly “handled.” Nader’s observation that Hillary is a “panderer and a flatterer” is no doubt true, but the same thing could be said of all the major candidates. As a result you get a centrist, “handled” politics. Former Senator Edwards is a “panderer and a flatterer.” Former Governor Romney is a “panderer and a flatterer.” Pandering and flattering may well be the price of entry to major candidate status. Perhaps Sen. McCain is not your prototypical panderer, but he is definitely attempting to make nice with the base and evangelicals after routinely thumbing his nose at them. If anything his previous contrariness and independence was possibly pandering to moderates and the media.

For rightists of all varieties, conservatives, Republicans, libertarians, paleoconservatives, Constitutionalists, third party advocates, etc., I believe a Nader run would be a positive development and should be encouraged. Cynically it potentially draws votes away from the Democratic candidate. Nader arguably cost Former Vice President Al Gore the election in 2000.

However, there is a potentially more important reason to encourage ideological revolts on the left. American politics, despite frequent allegations of extremism on both sides, is actually totally dominated and paralyzed by the center (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

Phillies 2008: The Real State of the Union
Posted on 01.26.07 by George Phillies

The American people can see the truth.

The United States is on the wrong track. The state of the Union is not good, and it is getting worse by the day.

Our brave men and women perish in Iraq, fighting for ever-changing objectives. The trade deficit soars toward a trillion dollars a year. The national debt of the United States climbs three-quarters of a trillion dollars a year. The Federal government treats our Bill of Rights as a doormat. Our immigration laws are an unenforced joke. Some children receive excellent educations. Others face a dismal future with little studying or learning. Medical care costs are through the ceiling. Energy and environmental issues endanger our national safety. Take-home pay is stagnant. A third of young African-American men are someplace on their way through the justice system, in jail, on probation, or disenfranchised.

And what has Congress debated, the past few years? Gay marriage. Abortion. French Fries: Congress renamed them. Twice. (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

Ron Paul for President: What is Free Republic Afraid of?
Posted on 01.26.07 by Dan E. Phillips

Since the beginning of the Bush administration genuine conservatives have been taking a beating, but now there is hope. Friday 12 January 07 finally brought some good news for the conservative movement and the cause of authentic conservatism and constitutionally limited government! Rep. Ron Paul has set up an exploratory committee for a possible presidential campaign for the GOP nomination in 2008. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Rep. Paul, he is a Republican Congressman from the 14th District of Texas. In the Congress he is a bright shining light of limited government in a bastion of big government darkness. In an age when many Republicans have embraced the cause of activist, “big government (sic) conservatism” at home and abroad, Rep. Paul has been keeping the limited government faith. (Of course “big government conservatism” is an obvious oxymoron.) Rep. Paul’s, who is a physician by trade, support of constitutionally limited government has earned him the moniker “Dr. No,” because he so often votes against big spending bills. Rep. Paul, in an era marked by the abandonment of core principles, has remained a genuine constitutionalist.

For awhile, I have had to set back and listen to conservatives debate whether Sen. McCain or Gov. Romney was the least objectionable candidate. Or even worse if that is possible, I had to listen to speculation about whether Mayor Rudy Giuliani could win the Republican nomination. Almost in despair I listened as conservatives mentioned amnesty supporters Sen. Brownback and Gov. Huckabee as possible conservative alternative candidates. I wondered to myself and also aloud, “Has the conservative movement really sunk this low?”


Filed under: Guest Columns

Inaugural Address of the next President of the United States
Posted on 01.16.07 by J. Neil Schulman

Inaugural Address of the President of the United States
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
By J. Neil Schulman and Brad Linaweaver

The candidate for president of the United States who pledges to deliver this speech upon being inaugurated will get our support, whether he or she is a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, other party, or Independent. - J. Neil Schulman & Brad Linaweaver January 12, 2007

[After acknowledging the assembled dignitaries] . and my fellow citizens.

The inauguration of a new president of the United States can be either a time for hope or a time for despair. It can be a time for hope when your choice was between a good presidential candidate and a better one, between two candidates who told you clearly what they thought, meant what they said, and who you could believe when either of them raised their right hand and swore the oath I just took to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

It’s a time for despair when the best you could do with your ballot was to cast it for your favorite among TV reality show contestants, all of whom were packaged media personalities with no real beliefs, no principles, no ideas, no courage - and no imagination - in other words, someone who would do anything or say anything to be the last one standing at the end of the presidential contest, and whose oath of office is as empty as the words spoken to win the election.

You will not know for sure which sort of president stands before you now, until you see the job I do. But what I can do today is to tell you my vision of the job that needs to be done, so that you’ll be able to write out a report card at the end of my term and grade my performance.


Filed under: Guest Columns

Kubby 2008: An open letter to the 110th Congress
Posted on 01.09.07 by Steve Kubby

To the returning and incoming members of the US House of Representatives and the US Senate:

On January 3rd, our nation’s 110th Congress opened its first session, following an election in which America’s voters gave control of both bodies composing that institution to the Democratic Party for the first time in 12 years. Incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced that the “first 100 hours” of Congressional work time will be spent righting wrongs and pointing American government in a new direction. Change is in the air — but what kind of change?


Filed under: Guest Columns

Phillies 2008: Peace with Iraq
Posted on 01.05.07 by George Phillies

For three thousand Americans, their relatives, and their families, peace with Iraq is now too late. Those three thousand Americans made the ultimate sacrifice for their country: They died fighting a pointless war in a foreign land. We cannot undo the sacrifice that they made. We should seek to ensure that more Americans do not go forth, courageously, only to make the same sacrifice in the distant desert sands of Iraq.

Our soldiers in Iraq face hazards unknown in past wars. They are under constant attack. No matter how often George Bush claims that we are winning, the number of effective attacks against us continues to climb, in the past year from 70 to 180 per day. Worse, that count of attacks does not include vastly more “violent acts” committed against us. Those violent acts apparently number more than one thousand a day. Over the course of a year, that’s two violent acts for each serviceman and each servicewoman in Iraq. No matter where our troops go, to Iraq’s teeming cities, to the remote wastes of Al Anbar province, or even to their bases and bunkers, Iraqi guerrillas continue their incessant war on our men and women. (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

Phillies 2008: Repeal No Child Left Behind
Posted on 12.27.06 by George Phillies

Building a Better America …
Educating our Children for a Complex Future

The American future is going to be very different from its past. Our children and grandchildren will live in a world in which originality, creativity, and meticulous workmanship are prized. Thoughtless assembly line tasks will be done by robots. People who adapt to new circumstances and tools will thrive. People who choose not to change may find life is more challenging.

We all want a bright, happy life for future generations. How can we best help our children?

To give our children and grandchildren the shining future of that sunlit city on the hill, we must give them the most effective education that we can. We must give them an education that prepares them for the American future. (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

Introducing the Sovereigns of the High Frontier Society
Posted on 12.21.06 by Jim Davidson

One of the difficulties of many existing space settlement advocacy groups is their insistence that the government play a leading role. Some groups are better than others, in that they suggest that current governmental policy is problematical, and they want less government interference with private space projects. The Space Frontier Foundation has been a class act in this respect, calling for less government and more private enterprise.

But not all that much less government. Even those groups that want to see less government space activity are still focused on the government as the prime mover. I believe this idea is essentially mistaken. Government policy should not be the focus. After all, governments do not open frontiers.


Filed under: Guest Columns

Funny Money Meltdown
Posted on 12.18.06 by Rob Latham

The warden says ‘The exodus sold.’
If you want a way out …
Silver and gold, silver and gold.

U2, “Silver & Gold”

“Nothing restrains a central government like sound money.”
– Thomas DiLorenzo

News Item: U.S Mint bans melting pennies, nickels

The motivation for the melting and export ban of U.S. pennies and nickels is the reality that the market value for the coins’ metal exceeds the faith-based denomination value stamped into them by the federal government. “In God We Trust,” indeed.

Why is the federal government in the money business? (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

Phillies 2008: Repeal the Military Commissions Act
Posted on 12.07.06 by George Phillies

American law and tradition make clear: The accused are entitled to speedy trials before a jury. The accused may not be tortured until they confess. Evidence obtained through torture is not admissible. The accused has the right to cross-examination of the witnesses against him.

Older readers will recall the days before Miranda, when prisoners in American jails were likely to be abused until they confessed, especially if they were dark of skin or spoke with an accent. Fortunately, the Supreme Court brought those days to an end.

The Military Commissions Act turns all American law and tradition on its head. The Military Commissions Act is un-American to its core. It should be repealed immediately.


Filed under: Guest Columns

Posted on 11.28.06 by David M. Brown

Just got this business opportunity by email. Can anyone tell me whether it’s legit?–me

Dear Idiot,

I am the son of a Nigerian multi-millionaire who was recently decapitated in a coup attempt in my war-torn country with lots of millionaires but not before hiding his wealth from his enemies in a secure bank account. PLEASE KEEP THIS INFORMATION TOP SECRET BETWEEN YOU AND ME.

Scouring the Internet for someone avec whom I could communicate in strictest confidentiality I was given your name by a mutual friend who said you were trustworthy and would like to receive millions of dollars, if this is not you please to forgive.

Trusting you to keep this matter in strictest confidence. Only you and the billion other people receiving this letter will be privy to this opportunity, which is occasioned by the desperacy of my circumstances here in the war-torn impoverished Nigeria, things suck here. Me and the other millions of tribally spat-upon sons of millionaires here are just frantic to get our money into the hands of Internet acquaintances like you so you can get the millions-of-dollars fee. Please help! Cuz there’s just no fucking way we Nigerian sons of millionaires have any idea of how to set up a bank account of our own outside of Nigeria without the help of a complete stranger I’m contacting off a spam email list. (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

Phillies 2008: Repeal the Internet Poker Ban
Author: George Phillies
Posted on 11.27.06 by George Phillies

Recently, Congress took a radical step to protect our nation. Under the guise of protecting our country from terrorists trying to attack our harbors, it passed a ban on Internet poker games. Of course, it may be the case that someplace, somewhere, someone actually believes that Internet poker players are third-world terrorists out to destroy our way of life. Unfortunately, one of these people is a United States Senator.

Real Americans know: Internet poker players are not terrorists. They are regular Americans, just like you and me. They have a hobby. They play cards. To meet more opponents, they play over the internet: On the internet, they can meet thousands of new opponents, from the safety of their own living rooms.

Real Americans know: Poker is as American as apple pie. (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

Milnes 2008: Open Letter about Iraq
Posted on 11.21.06 by Robert Milnes

I am, among several others, presently exploring and pursuing an interest in the Libertarian Party’s nomination for President of the UNITED STATES in 2008. Like most concerned Americans I have been following developments there over the years. Recent developments include the American midterm elections and the anticipation of a Memorandum opinion by the bipartisan Baker/Hamilton Iraq Study Group. Quite a while ago I formulated a proposal/plan for Iraq. It is on my campaign website and remains substantially little changed with perhaps some alterations/additions.

Unfortunately I have seen little indication of any other proposal/plan similar to mine. Whenever the possibility of partition is brought up, it is associated with autonomy over sovereignty and presumed violent reactions and is quickly dismissed or discredited. I believe it is viable and I stand by it and I hereby attempt to publicize it further for the consideration of the American people. (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

Phillies 2008: An Open Letter to Libertarians
Posted on 11.16.06 by George Phillies

We have glorious prospects before us. The Democratic and Republican parties shot themselves in the feet. With hand grenades.

Our national debt increases a half a trillion dollars per year. Congress debates flag burning.

Income of nonsupervisory workers is stagnant. Congress debates gay marriage.

The trade deficit approaches eight hundred billion dollars a year. Congress renamed French fries. Twice!

The cost of energy soars. Congress tried nationalizing the Schiavo family.

The War On Iraq drags on. Congress banned internet gambling.

It’s time for a change. The libertarian change. It’s time to elect grown-ups to Federal office.

I urge you to consider two questions. First, how should we choose our next Presidential candidate? Second, who should you choose as that candidate? (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

Ask Dr. Know-It-All
Posted on 11.16.06 by David M. Brown

Have a weird, impossible problem that only someone with a thimble of common sense could solve? Ask Dr. Know-It-All!


DEAR DR. KNOW-IT-ALL: Should I move to Mars? I heard that our own planet is doomed — global warming is going to dunk several continents under a mile of water soon — and that this will cause quite a big dent in the economy. I’ve seen a Green Peace press release confirming this. First one polar ice cap is going to melt, then the other. (I forget the order, sorry.) Also, some movie I saw showed how things would be getting so hot that there would be constant blizzards, and people would be forced to announce traumatic developments to each other in stentorian cliches as cars crash through the window. Should I get off this globe while the getting’s good?
— Sincerely, Frank Lee Gullie Bull

Seems you’re onto something, Frank.

Filed under: Guest Columns

Kubby 2008: An open letter on Iraq
Posted on 11.15.06 by Steve Kubby

Dear fellow Libertarians,

Since I declared my candidacy for our party’s 2008 presidential nomination back in August, one of the most frequently asked questions of me has been “where do you stand on the war in Iraq?” Some of you have found my answers unsatisfactory. I apologize. I’ve been thinking through a problem and haven’t found an answer … so I’m just going to bring it to you. We need to talk about it.

First, let me make my own position on the US war in Iraq crystal clear: I oppose it. I opposed it when it was proposed, I opposed it when it began, and I oppose it now. If the American people put me in the White House, I’ll end it immediately with a unilateral and unconditional withdrawal of US forces from that country.

But that’s the easy part. The hard part is re-uniting a country and a party that’s been divided by this war, and that’s the part that has to start NOW. If you haven’t found my previous answers satisfactory, please understand that I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the hard part.


Filed under: Guest Columns

Pick Your Poison — Social Fascists or Economic Socialists?
Posted on 11.08.06 by James Landrith

Well, it is all over but the crying — at least for the GOP and their sell-out neo-libertarian buddies. For my libertarian readers who still labor under the delusion that we owe the GOP our support, please read:

Lew Rockwell on War Loses, Again:

“It’s a pathetic fact that the Republican Party squandered yet another opportunity to make a difference for the good in this country. They forever promise freedom but forever deliver despotism. They might have shrunk government, really cut taxes, balanced the budget, reformed money, freed up trade, or decentralized government. Instead, they threw it all away to defend an indefensible war.”

“If the Democrats inch us closer to socialism at home, the Republicans must share in the blame for having attempted socialist-style planning on the international level, and more welfare and economic controls at home, not to mention an expansion of the police state.”

Jacob G. Hornberger on They Deserved to Lose:

“Having lost control over the U.S. House of Representatives and possibly also the U.S. Senate, Republicans have no one to blame but themselves. They deserved to lose.”

“For years, Republicans have used libertarian rhetoric in their political campaigns. ‘We favor freedom, free enterprise, limited government, and responsibility,’ Republican candidates have so often proclaimed. ‘We’re opposed to big government,’ they loved telling their constituents.”

“Recall what Republicans used to tell people during the 1980s, when they controlled the White House but not the Congress: ‘The only reason we’re not cutting federal spending is because Democratic control of Congress prevents us from doing so. If we only had control over both the executive and legislative branches, we would slash federal spending and abolish departments and agencies.’

“People believed them, but it was all a lie from the get-go. The libertarian rhetoric was employed for one — and only one — reason: to deceive people into putting Republicans into power so that they could take control over the federal government and its vast IRS-collected resources and then consolidate their power over the lives and resources of the American people.”

We are long past the time when thoughtful libertarians should be confused about our role in the political process. (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

Libertarianism and the partition of Palestine
Author: David Tomlin
Posted on 11.07.06 by David Tomlin

Books Cited or Mentioned in this Column:

Gilbert, Martin. Israel: A History. William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1998.

Morris, Benny. The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949. Cambridge University Press, First paperback edition, 1989.

Morris, Benny. Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-1999. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1999.

Segev, Tom. One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate. Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 2000.

This is the second in a series of columns [first one here] commenting on Thomas Knapp’s “Context is everything: American libertarians and Israel, part 1.”

Tom wrote the article as a response to “Is Applying Libertarian Principles to Israel Anti-Semitic?” by Carol Moore.

One of the most important claims in Carol’s article is that “Israel holds just claim to only a small percentage of even Israel proper.” Carol links to a scholarly article, “The Alienation of a Homeland: How Palestine Became Israel,” by Stephen P. Halbrook, which estimates the amount of land owned by Jews in 1947 as less than 7% of Palestine, and less than 10% of the Jewish state proposed by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 (UNGAR 181) in that year. [Map]

Tom doesn’t acknowledge the point, much less respond to it. (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

Morality’s Role in Law?
Posted on 11.02.06 by Elizabeth Price Foley

There is a growing tension in American law between individual liberty and public morality. Exit polling from the 2004 presidential election revealed that “moral values” is the most important issue among voters, surpassing the economy, war in Iraq, and terrorism. Little wonder, then, that Americans increasingly feel the need to codify majoritarian morality into law in a desperate attempt to stem the perceived moral decline. We must restrain the liberty of morally deficient individuals, the argument goes, to prevent their pestilence from spreading throughout society. But are such morality-based laws legitimate exercises of governmental power? In my new book published by Yale University Press titled, Liberty for All: Reclaiming Individual Privacy in a New Era of Public Morality, I answer this question “no.”

The American judiciary has been more than happy to bless the constitutionality of morality-based legislation. According to orthodox legal theory, judges should not read too much into constitutional language such as “liberty,” “privileges or immunities,” or “[other] rights … retained by the people” because doing so will allow undemocratic, appointed-for-life judges to sit as a super-legislature and frustrate the will of We the People. The message from the judiciary is that citizens unhappy with morality-based laws should complain to their elected representatives and lobby for change.

The problem with this logic, of course, is that it presupposes far too much about the proper scope of legislative power and far too little about the proper scope of judicial power. (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

My father’s “Time of Silence”
Author: Pierre R. Beaumier
Posted on 10.09.06 by Pierre B.

We probably all remember stories our parents passed down when we were small of the “olden days” — some of them true, some of them legend. Often (when we got older, and in my case, after my father had passed on) we may only then realize the greater significance and value of the given story, and don’t we wish we’d paid a wee bit more attention to the details? Well, here’s one story where I wish I had.

According to the history books, the British and the French fought a massive war over North America between 1755 and 1763, resulting in the loss of what is now Canada to the English. France abandoned some 70,000 French-speaking inhabitants, most of them living in farming communities that they had founded generations earlier, mainly along the St. Lawrence River. By the end of this conflict, these people suddenly became fearful of the unthinkable: that their entire culture — especially their language and religion — was now threatened, by a conqueror who had already exiled thousands of French-speaking Acadians in an “ethnic cleansing” move from Nova Scotia earlier in the course of the war. What would he do now?


Filed under: Guest Columns

A welfare market?
Posted on 10.09.06 by Ben Kalafut

From a certain perspective, it’s rare to receive solicitations for “libertarian solutions” in the mail. The ad circular, of course, is full of free-market solutions to problems such as bald tires and an empty pantry, but pitches no goods or services in competition with the government or overlapping with those which many reasonable people believe ought or must be provided by the State.

From my credit card issuers, however, I receive at least one offer every other month — in the form of a $10 check! — for either medical discount and savings plans or, even more interestingly, a service which will postpone payments on my debts if I become unemployed or wipe them out totally if I am permanently disabled. Although (probably for legal reasons) they don’t call them such, these programs are social insurance.


Filed under: Guest Columns

Stuck in the statist past
Posted on 09.21.06 by Tibor R. Machan

There are small signs showing that many, many people even in this relatively free society are wedded to statism — the belief that the government is the head of society, which is itself a sort of organism. Those of us not part of the government are, in turn, its subjects, subservient to it.

According to the political philosophy of the American founders and many of the framers, government is not the head of society. Instead it is instituted or established to perform a specific function, not very different from how other professional organizations, such as educators, scientists, doctors, and so forth are. In a complex, modern society all these have grown into nearly permanent agencies. But none of them is authorized to rule us, only to perform services for which we employ them. In other words, the relationship between citizens and government is akin to that between clients and professionals, fully voluntary and with both parties enjoying equal legal status.


Filed under: Guest Columns

America’s migration madness
Posted on 09.21.06 by Mike Renzulli

During July of this year, the Arizona Republic reported that a Scottsdale woman was indicted for trying to evade federal banking deposit rules. After Lucy Lu took over $300,000 from her massage business, she hid over half of the money in a safe in her house and then made small deposits with the rest into her mother’s bank account. Aside from the obvious question of: “who cares what this woman does with her money?” there’s a bigger issue here: When (not if) the economy here goes down the tubes, it may give Americans an incentive to look for jobs elsewhere.

A number of government actions have accelerated this process: new passport requirements enacted by the State Department (for Americans traveling to Mexico, some Caribbean islands and Canada); the legalized monitoring and tracking of citizens resulting from the USA PATRIOT Act; and National Guard troops stationed at the U.S.-Mexico border and in our nation’s airports. As these things continue, the ability to leave the U.S. will be made even harder, and I’d dare to argue the stage is set for the time when the U.S. government can forcibly keep Americans in the United States.


Filed under: Guest Columns

Cruisin’ Crackistan
Posted on 09.01.06 by swainc55

Come with me, I wanna show you something. It’s just up the road from here, one of those large chain grocery stores — we call it Crackistan. As in, “Good God, these people are all smokin’ crack.” Pay close attention, there’s gonna be a test later. This is a huge parking lot, wouldn’t you say? About the only time it’s not crowded is at 4:00 in the morning, and then only during the week. Navigating one of these mega parking lots should be on all driving tests, don’t you think?

Take note of the vehicles here; no shortage of glandular pickups with the obligatory huntin’ decals. Lotta SUVs, most of ‘em taking up two parking spots, due in large part to the fact that cities weren’t designed with these land whales in mind, and most of their operators are unable to negotiate the tight turns involved with steering these behemoths. Sleek oily-looking imports ooze alongside those slutty little domestic jobbies in a veritable palette of retina-searing colors — don’t look directly at them.

Now note the bumper stickers on these vehicles. (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

Posted on 09.01.06 by Michelle L

kak·is·toc·ra·cy: Noun. Inflected forms: pl. kak·is·toc·ra·cies Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens.

In what can only be serendipity, I have finally found the perfect description of our government; all but the most rabid Bushites would recognize both “least qualified” and “unprincipled” in our administration. Where crony is a job prerequisite and blind allegiance always trumps knowledge, the current residents of Washington are a case study in reverse evolution — where the weak prey upon the strong.

We citizens are strong, aren’t we? (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

How to Have a Love Affair with Superman
Posted on 08.04.06 by David M. Brown

It may be tough for a gal to find romance with the severe and avenging Batman of “Batman Begins.” But the Superman of “Superman Returns” is a different story. He’ll show up under the pretext of granting you an interview, but with the plan of sweeping you off your feet. (Not just a metaphor here: actual sweeping-off-feet is involved: he can fly. Something to do with the difference between the sun of his home solar system and our own sun, it’s all very technical.)

Although a romantic relationship with Superman might start out easily enough, the road will not always be smooth, and there are many complexities to keep in mind. (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

Operation Wolf Watch
Posted on 07.26.06 by Refused

[editor’s note: This article is by Donald Meinshausen and was posted on his behalf - TLK]

As we all should know by now the state survives and grows by getting information through informants. It was estimated that East Germany had at least half the population informing on the other half.

Turnabout is fair play. Let us create a hotline where IRS employees can call, anonymously if they wish, and give us information about their associates, bosses, and targets. This could be a website as well. To advertise in this service (yes, it is a service) to describe the bureaucrats we could leaflet IRS offices, conferences and any place they might hang out such as a nearby bar, which could be a good source of information in itself.


Filed under: Guest Columns

Sports and the free society
Posted on 07.17.06 by Christopher Awuku

As a libertarian, I often discuss my political views with family members, friends, acquaintances, co-workers and other people I interact with on a regular basis. On numerous occasions we would go back and forth on topics including the war on drugs, non-interventionist foreign policies, ending state-run education or ceasing the welfare state. Still, there is one question which even I, a hardened libertarian, admittedly struggle to answer in the course of my conversations. How shall a libertarian society cater for and successfully fund sports? I would acknowledge that it’s a worthy question in itself and certainly has given me plenty of food for thought.

Sports are an aspect of life that many people enjoy. A lot of people take pleasure from observing and actively participating in them. Apart from the evident physical benefits, sports are also beneficial for emotional and mental health. Whenever the Olympics come around, we all desire our country to do well and win as many medals as possible. Sports are often central to a country’s sense of pride.


Filed under: Guest Columns

The future path of a libertarian movement
Posted on 07.12.06 by Christopher Awuku

As a libertarian, I like to keep abreast of happenings within the libertarian movements of countries around the world, since they are naturally seeking to create a freer society and freer world. Within these nations there are a number of think tanks, political parties and other organisations dedicated to promoting and disseminating ideas about liberty. This is all well and good, nonetheless how does the future path of liberty present itself?

Let me focus on the libertarian movement in one specific country. The United Kingdom has a rich freedom-oriented tradition. A number of the greatest figures in the liberal (note I mean classical liberal) and libertarian tradition were from Britain, which include such people as Locke, MacCauley, J.S. Mill and Lord Acton. The primary libertarian organisation in Britain at present is the Libertarian Alliance, which was led for many years by Dr. Chris Tame. Sadly, Dr. Tame died of cancer in the spring of 2006. Nonetheless, his viewpoints provided the basis for the strategy and policies of the Libertarian Alliance. In essence there are four central pillars that Dr. Tame stressed were paramount for the Libertarian Alliance to follow.


Filed under: Guest Columns

New & Recent Books: Rain of Terror
Posted on 07.10.06 by Jeff Riggenbach

Books Cited or Discussed in This Essay:

Eisler, Barry. The Last Assassin. New York: Putnam, 2006. (LA)

Bourne, Randolph S. War and the Intellectuals: Collected Essays, 1915-1919, ed., Carl Resek. New York: Harper, 1964.

Eisler, Barry. Rain Fall. New York: Putnam, 2002. (RF)

—. Hard Rain. New York: Putnam, 2003. (HR)

—. Rain Storm. New York: Putnam, 2004. (RS)

—. Killing Rain. New York: Putnam, 2005. (KR)


It’s truly a bummer when you find yourself wishing the best series character in contemporary crime fiction would get himself whacked. And there can be little doubt that hired assassin John Rain is the best series character in contemporary crime fiction. He’s intelligent, cosmopolitan, a man of considerable refinement, a man appreciative of the perks of civilization. Think a Japanese-American version of Sean Connery’s version of James Bond. Rain is a superb craftsman in his work, creating deaths that appear to have resulted from “natural causes,” expecting nothing less than perfection from himself and the few close associates with whom he sometimes works — and tolerating no excuses for “inferior” performance. His mind is subtle and complex; he is thoughtful, if not exactly intellectual; and he reflects often on the events of his past and thinks frequently about the moral implications of his actions then and now.

A “contract killer with a conscience,” Entertainment Weekly calls him, but he is far more than that. (more…)

Filed under: Guest Columns

Ann Coulter ain’t got all the dots on her dominoes
Posted on 07.05.06 by Michelle L

What’s the deal with this chick?

In her latest rant, Dame Colter has the audacity to equate the New York Times‘ publishing revelations concerning the US government’s examination of international banking records with “treason” (her seemingly favorite word; at least when it comes to liberals and not the current residents of the White House).

Okay, so Ann has a hard-on for the New York Times, certainly her prerogative — what I find odd is her obvious obsession with the word “treason.” Every time someone disagrees with you can’t possibly be an act of treason; at least not in the true meaning of the word. Maybe the word she is groping for is heresy. Is everyone who is not a fan of transparency of our elected government , by definiton, guilty of treason? I doubt Thomas Jefferson would agree with that position, after all one of his many enlightened statements was, “The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.” — Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1787.

Now let’s listen to what Ann Coulter had to say:


Filed under: Guest Columns

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