Gag Me with a Spoon

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Mon, 25 Oct 2004 12:00:00 GMT
User Friendly - Why Commercial Spaceflight Has Been Given Such a Push Lately - cartoon commentary. Hehe. [smith2004]

# Alan R. Weiss at The Libertarian Enterprise - Why "Liberty" Magazine Isn't - takes Liberty Magazine to task for smearing Michael Badnarik for standing by his friend. [tle]

# Jonathan David Morris at The Libertarian Enterprise - Maybe, Maybe Not: Assorted Thoughts on the Coming Election - Mr. Morris doesn't know whether he'll vote on November second. But he knows that if he goes to the polls, he won't be voting for Bush or Kerry. [tle]

I suppose I could live with voting for Badnarik. Not because I met him, or because he can win, but because the fact that I met him means he can't win. I kind of like that in a president. Armored cars and secret services are for kings and emperors.

# Elias Alias at The Claire Files Forum - Reflections on Voting: An Open Letter - my title. Questions on getting out to vote this year in the light of the creation of the State Department's Office of the Coordinator of Reconstruction and Stabilization. [clairefiles]

# Manuel Miles, aka Kapt Kanada at The Libertarian Enterprise - The Need for Manners - an entertaining rant on manners and the difference between manners and tact. [tle]

I once received an email from a reader who wished to inform me that I was an opinionated idiot. I wrote him back to say that he could bother to begin his epistle with a greeting if he wished to have a reply from me. To my surprise, he apologised in his subsequent, properly written email letter, and we entered into a brief but informative correspondence. Neither man changed his views, perhaps, but we were better able to berate one another once the suitable format was established.

# Ron Beatty at The Libertarian Enterprise - A Comparison of the Presidential Candidates - Mr. Beatty gives his personal impressions of the five main candidates: Bush, Kerry, Nader, Badnarik, and Peroutka. Short and sweet coming to the obvious conclusion for a Libertarian rag such as this (or for any informed and rational human being). [tle]

Again, these are my personal opinions, and I have no intention of telling you who to vote for. That is entirely up to you. It is up to you to decide who can be trusted to govern the nation that was once called the 'last, best hope' for freedom on Earth.

As always, I encourage each and every one of you to check out the facts for yourself, do the research, make your own decision. Never, ever take my unsupported word for anything, and still less that of any governmental or media outlet. You are responsible for your own freedom, not me, and definitely not them!

# Cat Farmer at The Libertarian Enterprise - Imagine There's No Healing - Home Depot is a wonderful place to get everything you need to maintain your living space. Unfortunately, because of government interference, there's no Health Depot, where you could get self-serve advice and supplies to maintain your body. [tle]

Once upon a time, a man claimed to be the Son of God and released God from the hands of an established priesthood into the hearts and minds of ordinary people. So may true healing be at all of our fingertips when the priesthood of medicine loses its deathly grip on free minds and precious lives. Health Depot, your market awaits. Amen, say I.

# Dr. John Hospers at Free Republic - An Open Letter to All Libertarians - Mr. Hospers was the Libertarian Party candidate for President in 1972. In this article, he endorses George W. Bush for president in 2004. Yep. Bushnev may be evil, but he's our kind of evil. Gag me with a spoon. [smith2004]

There is a belief that's common among many libertarians that there is no essential difference between the Democrat and Republican Parties -- between a John Kerry and a George W. Bush administration; or worse: that a Bush administration would be more undesirable. Such a notion could not be farther from the truth, or potentially more harmful to the cause of liberty.

The election of John Kerry would be, far more than is commonly realized, a catastrophe. Regardless of what he may say in current campaign speeches, his record is unmistakable: he belongs to the International Totalitarian Left in company with the Hillary and Bill Clintons, the Kofi Annans, the Ted Kennedys, and the Jesse Jacksons of the world. The Democratic Party itself has been undergoing a transformation in recent years; moderate, pro-American, and strong defense Senators such as Zell Miller, Joe Lieberman and Scoop Jackson are a dying breed. Observe how many members of the Democrat Party belong to the Progressive Caucus, indistinguishable from the Democratic Socialists of America. That caucus is the heart and soul of the contemporary Democratic Party.


When the stakes are not high it is sometimes acceptable, even desirable, to vote for a 'minor party' candidate who cannot possibly win, just to "get the word out" and to promote the ideals for which that candidate stands. But when the stakes are high, as they are in this election, it becomes imperative that one should choose, not the candidate one considers philosophically ideal, but the best one available who has the most favorable chance of winning. The forthcoming election will determine whether it is the Republicans or the Democrats that win the presidency. That is an undeniable reality. If the election is as close as it was in 2000, libertarian voters may make the difference as to who wins in various critical "Battle Ground" states and therefore the presidency itself. That is the situation in which we find ourselves in 2004. And that is why I believe voting for George W. Bush is the most libertarian thing we can do.

# Charlie Demerijan at The Inquirer - Prepare to get screwed by digital rights management - it appears that the world's big content providers are intent on building a walled garden for their content. It will be playable only if payed for and only on equipment that they approve. Mr. Demerijan asks the $10,000 question, and they ignore him. [wes]

Hands up everyone who thinks the RIAA threatening to sue 12 year old girls and octogenarians made them buy more records? Hmm, I see no hands out there. OK, here's an easier one for you. Hands up everyone who feels the poor underpaid RIAA members would starve to death peddling $18 CDs laden with crap if they couldn't trample your rights? Nope, no hands there either.

Now, how about this one. Hands up everyone who would buy more CDs if they actually worked in your car without having to use illegal programs to rip them? Wow, lots of hands there. How about if they were forced to put out good music you wanted rather than what they want you to buy? Wow, more hands. Think it means something? If you are a record exec, or a DLNA member, it means the thieves are barking at your door. Call the lawyers, start the lawsuits


Until they can answer the question, they are doomed to failure. Can anyone in the DLNA answer it?

Here it is again: "Why would a consumer want to buy something that has more restrictions and less functionality for more money than current solutions?"

I just wish one of you spineless but very rich companies had the balls to stand up and do the right thing for the consumer. Fat chance, but I thought I'd ask.

# Brian Micklethwait at - Silence in church - a church in Mexico has solved the problem of cell phones ringing during the service. Hehe. From this article at Wired. [samizdata]

MONTERREY, Mexico -- It was the reporters who noticed first. Unable to call their editors while covering the weddings of the rich and famous, they asked the priest why their cell phones never worked at Sacred Heart. His reply: Israeli counterintelligence.

In four Monterrey churches, Israeli-made cell phone jammers the size of paperbacks have been tucked unobtrusively among paintings of the Madonna and statues of the saints.

The jarring polychromatic din of ringing cell phones is increasingly being thwarted -- from religious sanctuaries to India's parliament to Tokyo theaters and commuter trains -- by devices originally developed to help security forces avert eavesdropping and thwart phone-triggered bombings.

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