America Bends Over Again

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sun, 07 Nov 2004 13:00:00 GMT
From tle:
"As my daughter Rylla put it, America pulled its trousers down, bent over, spread its cheeks, and whimpered, 'Please, sir, may I have another?'" -- L. Neil Smith

From lrtdiscuss:

"The proper response to a spelling nitpick (which my message was, my brain is at half or less capacity today and I apologise) is something like, 'if I want advice from you, I'll read your entrails.'" -- Ward Griffiths

From clairefiles:

"Some friends of mine were over for a while and one of them, lets call him Tom, held the same position. I thought about it for a while and asked what is an appropriate response time for the police. He said about 5 minutes. Then it occured to me that he has no idea what can happen in just five minutes. So I took my butcher knife from the kitchen, put it on the table and told him to imagine his wife and kids alone in their house with a guy with a knife and I asked him to count the seconds in five minutes. after about three minutes he kind of turned pale.

"About 10 days later he called me up asking for shooting lessons...."


Steve Bell at Guardian Unlimited - 4-11-04 - cartoon commentary on Bushnev's election. Hehe. [whatreallyhappened]

# Keiran at Crooked Timber - Red Counties, Blue Counties and Occupied Counties - a number of different maps of the 2004 presidential vote, including the red/blue county map, one that resizes the states according to the number of electoral votes each has and Robert Vanderbei's "Purple America" map, which more accurately shows the closeness of the divide. [google]

# L. Neil Smith at The Libertarian Enterprise - Thank You, Mike! - reflections of this and other elections, the quote with which I started today's edition, and thanks to Michael Badnarik for his Libertarian run for President. [tle]

In hindsight, this election yielded exactly the results one would have expected from 120 million products of the public school system. Half of the voters wanted Daddy to protect them from the nasty bad A-rabs. The other half of the voters wanted Mommy to protect them from Daddy.

In a political environment like that--as unlike the political environment of 1980 as it could be--in which vague dread and abject cowardice outweighed any interest in a better future, there simply wasn't room for a grownup candidate, looking for a million grownup voters

# The Libertarian Enterprise - Letter from The Free State Project - the FSP currently has 6,150 signers and is recruiting about 18 a week. In order to get to 20,000 by 2006, they need 150 signers a week. This letter encourages signers to join the recruiting effort.

# George F. Smith at The Libertarian Enterprise - A Time to Kill - the Federal Reserve must die! [tle]

The Federal Reserve's overriding purpose was and is to increase the money supply. Imagine a printer with a legal monopoly on the issue of money, with limitless supplies of ink and paper. Add an aura of reverence and inscrutability, and that's the Fed, the gift Americans found under their Christmas trees in 1913.


During the 1920s the Fed continued to inflate the money supply, fueling speculation in real estate and the stock market. When the market crashed, few people blamed the Fed because prices had generally remained stable during the boom. Productivity improvements had kept prices from rising, masking the effects of monetary expansion.

The economy struggled to recover. What it needed was freedom. What it got was more government, though often to the applause of business leaders. Hoover's interventions from 1929 to 1933 turned a mild recession into a deep depression.

Promising a return to something resembling a free market, FDR took over and made intervention government's calling card. The man revered for saving capitalism removed a major obstacle to government growth by taking America off the gold standard. If you wanted to redeem your Federal Reserve Notes for gold, you couldn't, unless you were a foreigner. President Nixon cut foreigners off in 1971, making the dollar a pure fiat currency, redeemable in nothing.

# Scott Bieser at The Libertarian Enterprise - Bush Saved My Marriage: Some musings from a non-apathetic non-voter - why Mr. Bieser left the Libertarian Party, stopped voting, and started the slow process of changing the culture, and how Bush saved his marriage, hehe. [tle]

When the party was founded in 1971-72, a few dissenting voices warned that this was a bad idea, that it would be a fruitless waste of time and wealth. Whether they were famous, like Ayn Rand, highly learned and lettered, like Murray Rothbard (who was anti-party before he decided to join the bandwagon, for a while), or as obscure and un-credentialed as Samuel Edward Konkin III, or Wendy McElroy and Carl Watner, they all made the same point, pretty much.

And that is, that if you want to change a nation's politics, what you really have to do is change its culture. Change the culture, and politics will follow along naturally.

This is what I set out to do in 2000. There have been some missteps and distractions, and I haven't completely disassociated myself from those who remain in the Party fold. But I have now completed two graphic novels--the first one explains why the War on Drugs is a major cause of human suffering, the second [available in late November] explains why the right to keep and bear arms is vitally important--and I'm now working on a third, concerning the life and ideas of the French free-market economist and proto-libertarian jurist Frederic Bastiat.

I don't expect these three works to change the culture all by themselves, but they will circulate through society and do their quiet work, changing minds one by one, for years after I've labored to create them. Compare this with a typical electoral campaign, which consumes thousands of dollars and hours over several months, gets embarrassing results which discredit the ideas behind them more than supporting them, and is thereafter forgotten.

# Ron Beatty at The Libertarian Enterprise - Reflections on an Election - Bush won, Iraq will become an even worse quagmire, and civil liberties will be further eroded in Amerika with no real protection from terrorism. [tle]

Add comment Edit post Add post