Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Thu, 03 Jun 2004 12:00:00 GMT
# I put a Badnarik for President icon in the left-hand strip. Mr. Badnarik's web site is currently under reconstruction, so there's not much there to see, but I'm sure they'll whip it into shape soon.

# Kurt Vonnegut at In These Times - Cold Turkey - an entertaining, if a bit rambling, look at today's world. [lew]

Many years ago, I was so innocent I still considered it possible that we could become the humane and reasonable America so many members of my generation used to dream of. We dreamed of such an America during the Great Depression, when there were no jobs. And then we fought and often died for that dream during the Second World War, when there was no peace.

But I know now that there is not a chance in hell of America's becoming humane and reasonable. Because power corrupts us, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Human beings are chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power. By saying that our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees, am I in danger of wrecking the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East? Their morale, like so many bodies, is already shot to pieces. They are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas.

# SuiJuris at - Constitutional Classes by Badnarik - links to videos and audios of Michael Badnarik's 8-hour class on The Constitution. Available as seven 90 to 100 meg video segments (Windows Media Player format) or three 15 meg audio segments. has lots of information on defending yourself in court. [clairefiles]

Ok, if you only read one thing on this site, and only click one link while you are here, do yourself a favor and watch these videos.

# Lew Rockwell at - Five Smooth Stones - it's time to let Iraq, and America, have their freedom back. [lew]

If this war were a dictionary entry it would read:

Iraq War, 2003-2004: An ill-fated military conflict launched by the Bush administration and justified by the false claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. The US and allies overthrew the Iraqi government, instituted martial law, and attempted to install a puppet state. Oppressive rule, the killing of some 10,000 civilians, and the torture of prisoners provoked a guerilla backlash that drove the US out of the country as US credibility evaporated and casualties became intolerably high.


Ideas Beat Power. The great myth that all public officials carry around in their heads is that the world will conform to any dictate so long as it is backed by the threat of force. Governments have always believed this because force and the threat of force are their only tools. If force does not work, government does not work.

Iraq has shown the world that power has limits. No government can rule by force of arms alone. No policy can be imposed on a country whose citizens are opposed to the policy. In the end, governments are nothing but small, well-armed minorities attempting to impose its will on everyone else. They can be held at bay and even overthrown if the people resist.

In Iraq, the result is the humiliating defeat of the largest, richest, most well-armed state in the history of the world. Small guns beat big guns. An ideology of national independence beat an ideology of national domination. The desire to be free trumped the demand to conform to the dictate of the imperial power. There is something incredibly inspiring about this.

Is it a real-life case of David and Goliath, a story that has given hope to the oppressed for two millennia? In the story from I Samuel 17, the key feature of Goliath was not his smarts but his size and armor (helmet of brass, coat of mail, brass on his legs and chest, a huge spear with an iron tip). David alone refused to be intimidated. He eschewed all the trappings of armor and chose instead five smooth stones. He aimed for Goliath's forehead, the one unarmed spot.

# Jerome Tuccille at - It Usually Begins With... Michael Badnarik? - Mr. Tuccille thinks that Aaron Russo would have been a better choice for the Libertarian Party's candidate for president. [lew]

# Doug Newman at Strike the Root - 1-2-3 What Are We Fighting For? - government power over America, that's what. But you knew that. [root]

Other than Israel, there are no enduring democratically elected governments in the Middle East. Oh sure, you might have one election in Iraq. One man-one vote will happen one time in Iraq before the whole country unravels into Islamo-chaos. Unlike Germany and Japan in 1946, there is no history of popularly elected governments in Iraq.

No matter how unapologetically America demonstrates its will, it cannot remake indigenous cultures. The Brits, French, Belgians, Portuguese and others were unable to remake African cultures. The Brits were unable to remake the culture of India or, for that matter, most places where they set up shop. The United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand were predominantly populated by -- oh this is going to open up a can of worms -- white folks who brought with them things like Christianity and notions of individual freedom and limited government.


Terrorists can fly planes into buildings, drive vehicles into pizza shops, set off bombs and so forth. However, they cannot deprive thee and me of our freedom. Only our own government can do that. And they cannot do it without our blessing.

George W. Bush has done more to take away our freedom than Bill Clinton ever did. In the name of a false sense of security, we have let him do so. Not only have civil liberties eroded through things like the Patriot Act and the turning of airports into mini-police states, but all the social programs that Republicans used to say they hated -- Medicare, government schools -- have been expanded recklessly since 2001.

How much more freedom will we relinquish after of the next terrorist attack?

Had Al Gore tightened the tourniquet like Dubya has, Rush Limbaugh would no doubt lampoon him as Kim Jong-Al. But since Bush Almighty is tightening the tourniquet, let us now bend the knee and disengage the brain.

1-2-3 what are we fighting for in Iraq?

# Bob Murphy at Strike the Root - A Connecticut Yankee in King George's Court - Mr. Murphy learns, from Mark Twain On the Damned Human Race, that the despicable American military behavior in Iraq aint' nuthin' new. They've been engaging in subterfuge and torture for at least a hundred years. I bought a used copy of that book a while back, and haven't been able to get through it. And I usually really like Mr. Clemens' writing. [root]

# Steve Trinward at Liberty for All - The Mythology of the Wasted Vote - don't vote for Bush because you can't stand Kerry, or vice-versa. Vote for the candidate whose philosophy most closely matches your own. Or, though Mr. Trinward doesn't say this, if you don't believe in voting, if you've realized that government doesn't work, ever, don't vote. [kaba]

Voting is about expressing your personal preference and conscience. The ONLY reason for voting in a Presidential election is for your OWN peace of mind, and the knowledge that however ineffectual that vote might be in the "horserace" between unacceptable alternatives, it does at least represent your own heart's preference and personal values.

You might compare it to the process of Forgiveness of others: the primary issue is not forgetting the offense, but forgiving YOURSELF ... and moving on from the whole scenario, instead of carrying the burden of resentment and anger any longer. Voting for the candidate or issue of your true choice is an act of affirmation of that choice, and a means by which you might be able to look yourself in the mirror the next day, and for the next four years...


This year, there are not quite as many obvious other paths to take; it may actually come down to a choice among the Libertarian nominee, the Green and Mr. Nader. Whatever you do, though, DO NOT vote for John Kush or George Berry -- and do what you can to convince others not to, either -- unless you truly believe that one or the other is the BEST person to sit in the Oval Office for the next four years!

Meanwhile, whatever choice you make, make it because you SUPPORT that candidate and his or her ideas, NOT because you think you have no other choice! Your vote is YOURS, and it is precious; don't "waste" it on some illusion that it means something defined by others

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