MonthNovember 2007

The Rise of Libertarianism

Reason editor-in-chief Nick Gillespie and Reason contributor Matt Welch have a piece on the rise of libertarianism at the Washington Post. And Gillespie is one of several people quoted in a Washington Times article on the same. From the WaPo piece:

In April 2006, the Pew Research Center published a study suggesting that 9 percent of Americans — more than enough to swing every presidential election since 1988 — espouse a “libertarian” ideology that opposes “government regulation in both the economic and the social spheres.”

They also look to Ron Paul’s success as an indication of increased popularity of the libertarian ideology.

I predicted this years ago. It’s a no brainer, really. How can an ideology that condones guns, dope, and porn while condemning taxes not catch on, especially with youth? It’s certainly a more attractive ideology than one that advocates high taxes and makes people feel bad for driving cars, eating meat, and shopping at Wal-Mart. Gillespie and Welch again:

College kids (a key bloc of Paul’s support) have seen no recent evidence that the GOP has anything to do with libertarianism. Yet there’s no reason to believe that Democrats will do anything useful about the government intrusion that so many young people abhor: the drug war, federal bans on same-sex marriage, online poker prohibitions, open-ended deployments in Iraq.

Indeed. And while many (most?) libertarians would disagree with me about various uses of the government to regulate big business or the environment, I think we can agree that the government’s intrusion into certain businesses – namely the porn, booze, prostitution, gambling, and recreational drug industries – have damaged both civil liberties and the economy. In 2002 I worried about the inevitable rise of libertarianism, concerned about their general lack of concern for the poor and marginalized. But in these days, with wars waging on against popular opinion and an ever expanding police state, I can’t help but welcome this new libertarian era.

Best stuff I read this week

Over at my other blog I have a list of the very best stuff I read this week.

Best stuff I read this week

Since I tend to post a flood of links both here and at Technoccult, some of wich I haven’t even read, I thought it might be useful both for readers and for myself to offer a list of the very best things I read each week.

Brother Theodore is Dead, a Brother Theodore obituary by Nick Mamatus.

The Big Shill. Harvey Pekar’s account and analysis of his final appearance on Letterman.

Three skeptical takes on Lisi’s e8 theory of everything.

Charles Schulz slideshow/bio.

The Liberal Candidate, Dave Weigel on Rudy Giuliani.

Naomi Wolf connects several dots and argues that we’re in the late stages of a fascist shift.

Phase II Podcast: Paul Laffoley interview

Paul Laffoley is the first guest on our Phase II podcast, we discuss for over 3 hours alchemy, magick, psychotronics, art, Paul’s work on the WTC & his plans for building the Gaudi hotel and that barely scratches the surface. We feel unable to write a descent biography on this man, we reccomend looking at his work @ Laffoley.com and our archival coverage of him here at phase II (bet you didn’t even know we had a search feature).

Download from: Phase II.

Cannabis could help stop breast cancer

A compound found in cannabis may prevent breast cancer spreading to other parts of the body, scientists believe.

Experts hope that cannabidiol, also known as CBD, could be a realistic alternative to chemotherapy.

However, the study carried out by the California Pacific Medical Centre Research Institute does not advocate marijuana use among cancer patients.

Full Story: Metro.

(via Nerdshit).

Get Your Blues Name

Hmmm, my alternym (using the S as a middle initial) is “Big ‘bad boy’ Jenkins”. Remove the ‘boy’, (because that’s not what I am) and you have “Big ‘bad’ Jenkins”. Okay, I’ll let “Curly Brown” take it from here…

Get Your Blues Name

(see also Authentic Indian Name Generator)

via J-Walk Blog

links for 2007-11-25

Gaza’s electricity to be cut by Israel

Israel will begin to gradually reduce the amount of electricity supplies to Gaza starting from Dec .2 in its latest hostile action against Hamas.

Human rights groups have denounced Israel’s policy of cutting back on utilities to Gaza, calling it collective punishment.

Israel has generally closed off Gaza since Hamas took power in June 2006, following a massive election victory in January of that year. Several weeks ago Israel also began cutting back on fuel supplies.

Two Israeli groups that press for Israel to respect Palestinian human rights, Gisha and Adala, issued a statement Thursday charging that the proposed electricity cuts would ”cause certain and serious harm to the health and well-being of Gaza residents.

The UN has also warned of ‘dire consequences’ of the decision.

Full Story: Press TV.

RIGHTS-MALAYSIA: Ethnic Indians on the Warpath

“Malaysia’s Hindus — mostly Tamil descendents of 19th century labourers — on Sunday ignored warnings by Prime Minister Abdul Badawi and braved tear gas and police batons to protest alleged official discrimination and demand a fair share of the national wealth. Their street demonstration, the first on this large scale since independence in 1957, shut down the city centre that is overlooked by the gleaming Twin Towers, the capital’s famed landmark. Commuters, shoppers and workers ran helter-skelter as teargas canisters rained on the protestors and filled the air with chemicals. Malaysiakini.com, an independent online news provider, put the number of protestors at 20,000, while other estimates said upto 50,000 people had turned up.
Many were turned away or arrested as they came into the city from the interior, said the organiser of Hindu Rights Action Force or HINDRAF, that was formed in 2005 to fight for Hindu rights. Many protestors waved the Malaysian flag and carried pictures of Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi hung around their necks to signify non-violent protest.

They also carried banners urging the authorities to let them voice their grievances peaceably. “We only want to tell you our problems… don’t treat us like animals,” one banner said. But their cry for understanding and moderation went unheeded.”

via IPS News

(see also the Attack on Sufis)

“Fundies Say The Darndest Things!”

“I just came across the “Fundies Say The Darndest Things!” site. This will keep any unbeliever or any sensible religious person (I know I have readers in the latter category) rolling on the floor with laughter for hours … well, if you’re not simply overcome with horror. You’re warned: reading and rating all the crazy stuff on the site could become addictive. But have a look anyway.”

“Fundies Say The Darndest Things!”

via Metamagician and The Hellfire Club

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