The Sharon Statement
Via Sean Hackbarth, here’s an interesting statement of principles (Young Americans for Freedom, 1960) that should be broadly acceptable to the Right/Fusionist coalition. I’ll excerpt the relevant portions...THAT foremost among the transcendent values is the individual’s use of his God-given free will, whence derives his rig
 
People are a Problem
Eric Scheie at Classical Values...Those who most want to be president are those who least deserve to be elected. The best presidents are those who are forced or persuaded by others into accepting the job....reminds me of this great Douglas Adams quotes...One of the many major problems with governi
 
Morally Innocent?
I probably shouldn’t do this. But, sometimes, I just can’t help myself, because certain things get up my nose. And one of those things is that so many of the ACs who’ve kited in here over the last few weeks haven’t just been sympathetic to Steven Rhett, the man I voted to convict on drug importation charges; some of them have been positively glowing in their admiration of this "peaceful trader" who is a "hero of capitalism". Most commonly t
 
This isn’t your place, it isn’t 1999 and it damn sure isn’t USENET
Wow ... go away for a day and come back to snow in Atlanta, 800 emails and "the collective" in residence in the comment section going after their outrage du jure.A few points, at least as I see them. Others who write here may disagree, but since this is my portion of the blog, I’ll have my say.1. Anyone is welcome to comment here and disagree with whatever is written. But you know what, I’m tired of the petulant children who can&
 
Debating Anarcho-capitalists
Dale’s About The Anarcholibertarians post has resulted in a lengthy, uninformative shouting match which is best ignored. There is simply no way to have a useful discussion when there are two mutually exclusive premises... One side believes that government is an inevitable product of human nature, and to some extent may even be a necessary social organization due to the evolutionary human tendency t
 
About the Anarcholibertarians
Well, it seems my post on jury duty last week ruffled a few feathers among the "real" libertarians. They proceeded to do what "real" libertarians always do, which was excoriate me for everything from intellectual inconsistency, to "chust followink orders" like a Nazi concentration camp guard. In other words, their usual style of argument—one which, by the way, has made the Libertarian Party so beloved of voters.The trouble with their analyses is t
 
More on the Torture Tapes
Over at BlackFive, Uncle Jimbo has a bit of a different take on the CIA torture tapes.There are two good reasons to destroy the tapes. Hayden put the first one front and center, our interrogators are shown on them. Keeping their identities secret is very important, and something Valerie Plame could have paid more heed to. Once the interrogations were completed and tr
 
Crossing the Ronulan Neutral Zone
Whenever you criticize Ron Paul, a number of defenders—usually people who are not regular readers or commenters—pop in to take you to task. I don’t mind it so much, even when they copy and paste their comments from other blogs to make their points, such as comment #6 here at Blogs for Victory and the ninth comment to  
Ron Paul’s Statement on Racism
Ron Paul, as we’ve mentioned several times, has garnered some attention due to the support that white supremacist groups have given to his campaign. Apparently, this attention has caused to issue a forthright official statement about the evils of racism.But, while it a statement against racism, it’s kind of an...odd one. Let’s go through his statement in its entire
 
Tools
Two quotes that seem somehow related. "[L]iberals view government instrumentally — unlike conservatives or libertarians, its size, in the abstract, is of no particular interest. The choice of tool isn’t a question of morality." - Ezra Klein "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." -
 
Ahmadinajad and Gus Hall
Back in 1962, Yale University’s Political Union invited Communist bigwig Gus Hall to speak. William F. Buckley Jr., a Yale Grade, gave a speech to the Political Union urging that they disinvite him. As a result of this speech (PDF), Gus Hall’s invitation
 
Ayn Rand
Recently, Bruce noted the 50th anniversary of Ayn Rand’s "Atlas Shrugged". Apropos of that, here is a 1980 interview with Ayn Rand, in five parts, from the Donohue show.I’m also curious about how many of our readers are familiar with Rand, and what they think about her philosophy.<
 
"Atlas Shrugged" is about to turn 50
Among a great number of faux intellectuals, it is fashionable to put down Ayn Rand and to characterize her works and philosophy as "something that’s OK when you’re a teenager". Or my favorite, "yeah I read her and then I grew up".For those that believe that, I’d just say, if that’
 
Populism
A number of bloggers have been trying to settle on a definition of Populism lately.(e.g., Jesse Walker at Reason, Daniel Larison and Reihan Salam of The American Scene)  
The Rise and Fall of the Right
Many people have been predicting that we’re heading into a "Permanent Democratic Majority" period. Sean, at My Election Analysis, examines that hypothesis and finds it unpersuasive, arguing that "one should beware supposed seers bearing deterministic theories of history."He makes a strong case. Read it.I tend to view the Republican Party and the Right as it is described by  
Libertarian?
Michael Gerson has an interesting take on libertarianism, and one that isn’t unusual among traditional Republican conservatives. Writing in the Washington Post, he takes a look at the online virtual world game, Second Life. He doesn’t like Second Life life much, and apparently not libertarianism, either. In fact, he  
Moral Questions for our Liberal Friends II
So far, no one in the left blogosphere seems interested in answering any of the philosophical questions I posed yesterday. They’re all keen to jump questions about Iraq, but this type of conversation...not so much, apparently.One commenter to yesterday’s post gave it try, though.One thing people have to keep in mind: it’s not like you or anyone else would have all they have if they did not live in a society where there was r
 
Moral Questions for our Liberal Friends
Over the past several days, Hillary Clinton’s interesting statements have been highlighted by Bruce. Stuff like this:[A]n uninsured person who goes to the hospital is more likely to die than an insured person. I mean, that is a fact. So what do we do? We have to build a political consensus. and that requires pe
 
"....they have never questioned their fundamental ideology..."
And I suspect they never will.
 
Morality and Politics
Let me continue with the theme in my previous post. It isn’t just the self-righteous tone of the left that gets up my nose. It is the assumption that their brand of politics is uniquely moral that irks me more than anything.First of all, all politics involves some level of immorality, because political power is the power, at the end of the day, of government coercion. To give money and power to the government is to give it the power to c
 
Fuzzy Kitties and Pink Unicorns (Updated)
One of the commenters to my last post on Microsoft weighed in with this gem.Linux and open source are gaining popularity with the generation that really believes that information, entertainment, and software should just be free.And how, pray, is that supposed to work precisely? The "Linux generation" may believe all sorts of things should be so. That has no effect whatsoever on how the world actually works.In the real w
 
Talking Past Each Other
There’s a bit of a dustup going on between Billy Beck and Lindsay Beyerstein. The dustup, in and of itself is mildly interesting, and you can catch the particulars of Mr. Beck arguing at Ms. Beyerstein’s place here. Essentially, in response to Ms. Beyerstein’s pooh-poohing the idea of using force to protect one’s home against a burglar, Mr. Beck
 
Happiness is a relative thing
Interesting article in Scientific American about happiness.It seems that happiness is a relative thing. And, according to Michael Shermer, it is also a genetic thing.Consider a paradox outlined by London School of Economics economist Richard Lay­ard in Happiness (Penguin, 2005), in which he shows that we are
 
Let us Reason Together
Let’s discuss a hypothetical situation. Let us suppose that there is a taxi driver who is a rabid racist. This taxi driver regularly works fares from the local airport. He happily picks up white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant travelers at the airport, and ferries them briskly to wherever they wish to go.Whenever he is approached a person of a more dusky persuasion, however, he locks the doors to cab, and refuses to give them any service. He refuses, fo
 
Tradition, tradition, tradition!
Awhile back, Julian Sanchez responded to Jonah Goldberg on the conservative reverence for tradition..[T]o say we should "rely on tradition" doesn’t actually relieve us of the responsibility for making our own moral judgments, for much the same reason [that] the argument that we need religious texts as a guide to morality doesn’t go through. There are multiple tradition
 
The 1930s Redux
Victor Davis Hanson echoes some thoughts I have been having recently, especially since finishing up one of my occasional re-readings of William Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.When I used to read about the 1930s — the Italian invasion of Abyssinia, the rise of fascism in Italy, Spain, and Germany, the appeasement in France and Britain, the murderous
 
What Would Thomas Jefferson Do?
Arising from Glenn Greenwald’s recent citation and condemnation of the Anti-idiotarian Rottweiller’s statement "Five ropes, five robes, five trees. Some assembly required." I’ve been having an interesting conversation with Wulf from Atlasblogged on t
 
Skepticism
Will Wilkinson on confirmation bias in politics...Michael Shermer has a nice piece in Scientific American on confirmation bias, the process “whereby we seek and find confirmatory evidence in support of already existing b
 
Going ape over "rights"
Apparently the Spanish government has pretty much taken care of all of its human business and now turns to a very pressing subject: rights for apes:Spain could soon become the first country in the world to give chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and other great apes some of the fundamental rights granted to huma
 
Liberalism VS Conservatism: tendencies, not philosophies
Andrew Sullivan and Jonathan Chait have some of the best bite-size, genuine (i.e., non-caricatured, non-contrived) descriptions of liberal and conservative philosophy I’ve read.Jonathan Chait, on Liberalism:Liberals may favor expanded government in many cases, but that view is based entirely on the belief (correct or n
 
Natural Rights: A Counterpoint to Jon
I’m not much of a philosopher, I’ve always been more of a concrete guy, more comfortable with reality than with airy-fairy notions of metaphysics. So, until recently, I never thought much of the whole idea of natural rights. And, when I did think about them, I regarded them much as Jon does. Over the last two years, though, I’ve taken a closer look at this issue, and I’ve come around to a much different view of natural rights.I
 
Natural Rights: useful fiction
Billy Beck asks an absurd question..."Your rights and mine are only as objectively valuable as we mutually agree they are."(The abject moron, Henke)[...]If he were confronting his own murderer, how consistently do you think he would stand on this socially-constructed notion (that’s all i