A provocative take on politics and culture from a skeptical, libertarian point of view

Location: Long Island, New York, United States

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

John Tierney on the "Party of Pain", the GOP and the war on some drugs

John Tierney's excellent piece on "Party of Pain" (New York Times 1/21/06) rightly condemned the Administration's assault on Oregon's assisted suicide law as disrespecting state's rights and the federal system properly understood. But he failed to point out that the Controlled Substances Act used by Ashcroft as justification was itself unconstitutional as violating the rights reserved to the states and to the people. As the "constitution-in-exile" jurisprudential movement would remind us, the US Constitution is composed of enumerated powers and unenumerated rights. The Oregon assisted suicide case was rightly decided, while the Raich marijuana and Kelo eminent domain cases were wrongly decided. The disrespect for the Constitution and individual rights shown by the Republicans and Democrats causes pain in foreign and domestic policies.

When Federal alcohol prohibition was enacted, its proponents understood that a constitutional amendment was needed as the Federal government lacked authority to prohibit the ownership and production of alcoholic beverages. But something happened along the way to the prohibition of marijuana and other psychoactive drugs--the revolution in jurisprudence wrought by the victory of the New Deal. The New Deal represents nothing less than the betrayal of the American republic and the US consftitution. The war on some drugs represents the same betrayal.

Are your politics hurting someone?

Friday, January 20, 2006

Mythsmasher At The Movies: Sideways

Sideways tells about two men on the cusp of middle-age who are former college roommates. One is an aging handsome man pursuing an acting career who never quite hit the big time while his friend is a dumpy nobody. The latter is depressed over his divorce. Both like wine. On the eve of his wedding the actor brings his depressive friend with him on a jaunt through the California wine country near Santa Barbara in the hopes of getting wine and sex.

Not a terrible film, but terribly overrated. These two men are obviously alcoholics, which passes without much notice. Drinking in the car while you drive is not a good sign.

The best thing in the film was the remark to the effect "Don't drink and dial" referring to making phone calls while drunk.

Well-acted, scenic and adorned with the beauties Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh "Sideways" is a passing diversion but not the great film it was acclaimed by some.

Friday, January 06, 2006

DC City Council Smokes Out Freedom With Smoking Bans

The City Council of Washington, DC has voted to ban smoking in bars and restaurants.
More happenings from Aggressor Homeland.

I have always been a nonsmoker and disliked the habit intensely. But today smoking in "public places" is a battleground of freedom.

Bars and restaurants are not public places. They are privately-owned. It should be entirely up to the owner whether or not smoking is permitted. Don't like it? Don't patronize that place. Don't like it? Work somewhere else.

Smoking bans extinguish freedom.

For some gear to express these sentiments check out

The Gutless

Another year went by that President Bush did not veto a single bill.

He is a stubborn man, but essentially gutless. The GOP has been transformed into the Dixiecrat Party.

Rev. Pat Robertson on Sharon's Health

So, Pat Robertson suggests that Sharon's critical stroke is God's punishment for the Gaza disengagement. Have you noticed that conservative Christians seem more interested in the Old Testament's fulminations and jeremiads while less interested in Christian "love" and turning the other cheek?

The White House condemned Robertson's remarks as offensive. Politically, it seems that Robertson has outlived his political usefulness to Bush & Co.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Forgotten Meaning Of The Abramoff Affair

The scandal involving Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff provokes two thoughts. Abramoff set a new low by taking money from both sides in a political conflict of his own creation.

The key point will be missed by nearly everyone. The problem is not campaign contributions or even lobbying. The problem is that nonagressive behaviors like gambling are heavily regulated by governments at all levels. If anybody could gamble or run a gambling establishment or website without licensing or other special privileges, there would be no reason to pay anything to a Jack Abramoff. Regulation means privilege. Privilege means corruption.

There is no place for a Jack Abramoff in a libertarian society based on individual liberty, free markets, and personal responsibility.

Moreover, it shows that the real difference between Republicans and Democrats is who gets on the favored list.