Boy, did we get in trouble last week! I better not say anything controversial this time.
Nothing to see here
Everybody remembers where he was when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Everybody — with one tiny, insignificant exception — remembers where he was when president Kennedy was shot. Everybody remembers when science discovered that there is an infinite multiplexity of genders that can be changed at will. Now, friends, be sure to center yourselves and enter into your permanent memory banks your exact location when North Korea launched nuclear missiles at Hawaii.
Batten down the hatches — there’s a whole new year of weird a’comin’!
Look! Up in the sky!
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s certainly not the U.S. government’s multi-billion-dollar, super-duper secret "Zuma" satellite. Because that’s at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.
As libertarians, we’re used to a sort of goofy sectional squabbling between self-styled "purists" and "realists," which often manifests itself as an argument about whether to pursue attainable changes now, or to deride that as "selling out" and remain focused on the long-run goal. Murray Rothbard pretty much had this one dead to rights years ago: the libertarian can, in good conscience, support anything that advances the libertarian cause without deviating even one iota from libertarian principle. So it’s fine for libertarians to go to bat for tax cuts or regulatory relief, so long as they aren’t packaged with something evil also.
So there’s lovely. That’s not really what we’re here to talk about today. I’m here to consider whether or not libertarian involvement in politics has been a fool’s game from the get-go; whether or not it’s all been a massive redirection of energy into a solidly negative direction. To put it as provocatively as possible: was Ron Paul a net negative for the liberty movement?
That nutty old Dr. Walter Block is at it again, being a principled libertarian and rationally evaluating even difficult situations. This time around, his interlocutor has cut right to the chase, and set up an extremely blunt limit situation to challenge him with:
Should the following situations be considered evil?:
– A man who steals food because he has no money to feed his family, assuming that in the place where he lives there is no charitable entity that can provide free food.
– A man who is forced to kill an innocent person because the survival of the entire human species depends on it.
On the other hand, certainly, these are violations of the Non-Aggression Principle, which any libertarian would condemn, but could not previous cases constitute exceptions?
The question of evil is always a vexing one. Dr. Block, rather sensibly, begs off from professing to be some universal moral authority, and evaluates the situations in his capacity as a libertarian theorist, as we’ll see.
I’ll be honest with you: I haven’t read Reason since Radley Balko left. Does anybody still bother with that dilapidated old libertarish rag? Why? Is it for sterling insights like this one?
[T]he courage of [Judge Roy] Moore’s convictions frequently clash with both the plain language and contemporary interpretation of the Constitution. Such as that time, oh, LAST WEEK when Moore suggested that kneeling during the National Anthem is "against the law" (it’s not, and if such a law were passed, it would surely be declared unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds).
ZeroHedge is an occasionally-reliable, often-interesting source for news from a vaguely libertarian perspective, in addition to financial news from a vaguely Austrian perspective and breathless reportage that, any day now, the stock market is going to go either down or up unless of course it stays the same, so you should probably buy futures contracts, gold, and bitcoin all at the same time.
Hey, things could be worse. They could start running openly communist claptrap about how capitalism has failed and needs to be replaced with something more "fair."
It looks like Anthony Weiner — otherwise known as Carlos Danger, and otherwise otherwise known as Hillary Clinton scapegoat #347 — is actually going to do time for having cybersex with a fifteen-year-old girl [n.b.: link is saucy]. Granted, Weiner’s only looking at two years in prison whereas you or I would be locked up forever and a day, but that’s neither here nor there.
That’s not what I came to talk about today anyhow. What I want to talk about is this part here:
A more perfect union
Long ago, in the halcyon days of January — specifically, on the halcyon day of January second — I boldly predicted that an utterly madcap editorial run by Slate would be the worst opinion piece of the year. That article, if you recall, was advocating that the government encourage a sufficient level of traffic fatalities to maintain the supply of "free" donor organs. Surely nothing would top that!
Your humble narrator is nothing if not humble, and is thus forced to admit that the ever-faithful, true-
redblue New York Times has certainly given it the old college try. The Times has been running a regular column called "Red Century" for a few months now, in which the luminaries of the modern left wax poetical about (so help me) the Soviet Union and how wonderful life was there. So that’s already pretty stupid, but I am compelled to point out that this week’s "Red Century" column has finally vaulted into the heady stratosphere of stupidity occupied by Slate’s explicitly pro-traffic-fatalities glurge. It’s a bit of historical ignorance about how positively liberated Soviet women were compared to the stupid rubes in the Free World, but… well, just you wait. You won’t believe this one.
Fish in a barrel
I feel a little bit bad picking on a publication like Teen Vogue. This is a celebrity gossip rag for little girls that, in one of the most hilariously wrong management decisions of all time, has decided that it can arrest its plummeting sales by branching out into politics and current events. So, yes: this is presently a politics and current events gossip rag… aimed at little girls. It’s like it’s scientifically designed to be the least intelligent thing ever created, so I do sort of feel bad making fun of it.
Which is actually a complete lie. I love this stuff.