Wednesday, July 27, 2005

At first glance, these look to be

the Muslim leaders we were hoping to hear from. I haven't delved deeper though.

Pray for them.

Walter Williams recommended them. I don't think I've ever disagreed with Walter Williams. Though I think he's about 1% more statist than I am.

OK, I'll define "statist" for you: it's the tendency to want to expand the role of the guys with the LEGAL right to shoot to kill. (Note that I didn't say "moral.")

Williams wants that reduced. I want it reduced more.

Of my other idols, I think Tom Sowell is about 2% on the other side of Williams from me, and Larry Elder splits the difference. John Stossel; I want him for President.

They're all publishing at these days.

Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice.

On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire, to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen;—but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest—I will not equivocate—I will not excuse—I will not retreat a single inch—AND I WILL BE HEARD.

--William Lloyd Garrison, The Liberator [January 1, 1831]

Anybody know what he was talking about?

This quote is beautiful to me.

But, then, I was raised by my brother.

FFF is doing their Bio on Garrison today, though they don't have it up on their site yet. These are the articles they link, or will when they post them. You'll have to go there to get the actual links. (I'm mean.)

William Lloyd Garrison Short Biography
Spartacus Educational

William Lloyd Garrison Short Biography
by Bob Ellenwood

William Lloyd Garrison Short Biography
Online Library of Liberty

The Abolitionist Adventure
by Wendy McElroy
Future of Freedom Foundation

[What the heck, they've already got this one there. McElroy's great.]
The Liberator Inaugural Edition
by William Lloyd Garrison
America's Civil War

On the Death of John Brown
by William Lloyd Garrison
The History Place

On the Constitution and the Union
by William Lloyd Garrison

Garrison Bibliography
California State University

25 For Freedom folks need to check out the resources in FFF's Freedom Bios.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Speaking of "The Other White Meat"

[We were... Trust me. A couple posts back... In the comments.]

I was playing at being a porkeater over the weekend. That's what American fur-trappers called French-Canadians who otherwise lived the same lifestyle they did (generally we prefer the term "Voyageurs.") Because, I guess, when they could get it, Voyageurs preferred pork over bar, catamount 'n' buffler.

I forgot my camera [because the lady-who-has-the-whole-summer-off said she'd have us all packed and ready to load when I got home on Friday... I think she started about 4:00, so it was a big hullabaloo to get out the door by 7:30] so I didn't get any pictures for you.

Okay, I've blown off that steam. Let me just say, to redeem myself a bit in the eyes of those who'd accuse me blaming my wife for my own failings, and to defend my wife from those who wonder why I "put up with this crap," our twenty-month-old daughter is a bit of a hellion who requires quite a bit of supervision. She doesn't wreck stuff for the fun of it, like little boys do, but she's pretty fearless: she'll head right down a flight of stairs with no concern about proper technique, even though she's made that mistake twice already. ["What the heck's the big deal, anyway?! It's only a little bump!!"] My wife refers to that as The Flying Wallenda. I wonder if they're taking applications.

Anyway, we get to Forts Folle d'Avoine in Danbury, WI and our paperwork is screwed up somehow. Well, actually, we got there Friday night after dark, threw our stuff out on the ground, covered it with a tarp, blew up the airmattress and slept in the back of the truck. Then we got up at 6:00 the next morning, found our friends, pitched our tent next to them and got dressed up in our gear before we found out about the snafu.

So, we all march down to the park headquarters to straighten things out. Since Laurie sent in the paperwork, she was handling the business while I watched the kids in the little gift shop/museum there and we found ourselves, sitting there on a bench, adding color to the setting (in our Voyageur clothes). A guy sat his squalling kid on a neighboring bench, adding color of a different sort to the scene, and went off to coral his other kids. Pretty soon the kid's mother came and talked quietly to the boy and he calmed down. I was pretty engaged with Rosie and Aliina, the tourists and the stuff on display and payed them no mind. "Minding my own business is a full-time job," as that great philosopher, B. J. Honeycutt, once said.

With that all squared away, we headed back down to the tent to enjoy our primitive camping experience. Naturally, it immediately starts raining. Kind of a wimpy thunderstorm, really, but the rain continues long enough to finally drive all of us into our tent.

I'd just pulled out some reading material I'd brought along - call it home work - when a voice calls, "Al? Al Erkkila?"

I open the tent flap and look out at this tall, good-looking [I say, for descriptive purposes only - and, to be strictly accurate, I have to add the word "stunningly"]guy and a passel of kids. The tall guy is the one calling my name, so I focus on him to help settle this kaleidoscopic scene.

"Are you Al Erkkila?"


"I'm Lance Burri!"

Now I know what the expression, "You could have bowled me over with a feather" means. We did introductions all around, although, still in my stunned frame of mind, I told my wife that Lance was Mr. Pterodactyl. I was quickly corrected.

They explained the train of decisions that had led them to be there. (As the kaleidoscope settled, I realized that one of the "kids" was his wife - sadly, it will probably be ten years before she can appreciate that as a compliment). They seemed like a pretty neat family. The kids patiently endured probably the oddest conversation they'll ever witness: their Dad and an old geezer in 1790's French trapper garb talking about the internet and blogging.

If it hadn't been raining, I'd have taken them on a little tour of the neighbors' tents. Deb didn't bring her tepee to this Rendezvous, but she had all her other stuff, and she's a serious student of the Sioux. Dan and Stoni got us into this game and can explain a lot more than we can about the characters they're portraying.

After they left, I got to thinking about the series of coincidences that led to that meeting. Our own presence there was kind of a deviation from any plan as well. We've got plenty of events to attend as it is.

And how the heck did they find us?! We were way on the opposite end of the field, and only a few people there even know my name! We were long gone before they started looking.

I insisted we go to Sunday Services the next day.

And I won't even begin to get into the topic of the service!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

This Conservative blogger writes in a way that makes me think:

Slant Point.

I'm sure he wouldn't mind me posting a sample of his work:
Wrong Approach
The problem with "good" Muslims looking to distance themselves from the extremists is that they're taking a "we're not all bad" approach. This is simply wrong and, well, not enough. (Hat tip Hugh Hewitt)

What we need to see is a few signs that say, "Yeah, we have bastards among us, and we're going to find them. And expose them. And bring them to justice."

These signs are a complete lack of understanding, and merely a self-preservation tactic meant to solicit sympathy. But the only ones needing sympathy are the victims of terror.

I discovered him via Omni's Technorati link for Nietzsche (type that 20 times for practice). I left a comment on that post. Unfortunately it's in limbo right now. And I didn't realize that would be the case or I'd have copied it and posted it here before I hit 'post' there. I write my best stuff in comments.

Omni explains Karma better than any prof I've ever had. If they had I might have become a convert.

As it is, I just think its Natural Law and coincidence. Though, of course, coincidence is just what Ayn Rand would (or, rather, might) call a manifestation of the benevolent nature of the Universe.

Are there miracles for pagans too?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I said this, in response to my brothers post

Relativism refuses to understand or respect the actual relations. Concepts are hierarchically organised in the mind of the rational person; if some seem to conflict, it's because you're failing to understand their places in the hierarchy. They go from broad and deep to concrete and shallow: from dirt to Reality.

We go from individual particles to complex Human Beings (made of many trilliions of particles, and more importantly, many hundreds or thousands of ideas, to the collective of human beings - tribes, communities, races, nations; which comprise various combinations of all of the above.

Western Civilisation focuses its policies on allowing various people's ideas to reach fulfillment. Failed attempts at social organisation focus on controlling physical combinations.

The emphasized word is one I meant to say, but didn't.

I must add that not all ideas will succeed in reaching fulfillment, nor will the majority, having reached fulfillment, succeed in achieving their proclaimed goals. Their goals would be the long-term happiness of their adherents, in this life or the next, or (for atheistic ideologies) among their descendants (as long as they adhere to The Plan).

Our Founders never expected us to achieve a permanent state of Utopia or Nirvana. They only hoped to create an ideological framework within which we could find solutions to our problems.

Departures from that framework - communism, socialism, fascism, monarchy, oligopoly, theocracy and totalitarianism - have proven to be marked failures.

As has, I suppose, Atomistic Individualism, though, within the Framework of a Constitution which respects individual, natural rights, I doubt that it would.

Tribalism has yet to prove to be a failure within that framework, except in the cases where it oversteps its bounds (shown by a tribe, or clan, inflicting harm on another). The Nuclear Family certainly hasn't proven to be a failure...

Well, I need to cut this off. What, though, is the goal of political theory?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

So President Bush has chosen to nominate John G. Roberts, Jr.

to replace Justice O'Connor... Wikipedia says he's a moderate. Which worries me some, as I said while signing's petition.

That makes anyone who opposes him an extremist, right?

Update: Welcome TMV visitors! I have to add this question to my post: I wonder if John Roberts would have delivered the scathing rebuke on the Kelo case that Sandra Day O'Connor did. The contradictory vibes I'm getting from the web say otherwise. But TMV has all that. Nobody does roundups better than Joe Gandelman.

I tried to post a comment there, but I seem to have lost my password. If anybody finds it, you know where to turn it in.

HEY!!! Pudgier E. Delights AND Sexless H. Fallout

Have BOTH emailed to tell me about CIALIS!!

:O :O :O I'd better read both of these messages!!

Why --- That last guy has the same middle initial as Our LORD!!

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Old Whig Quote Machine putters on

Tom Sowell delivered a couple good ones the other day in one of his Random Thoughts columns:
Many people are so preoccupied with the notion that their own knowledge exceeds the average knowledge of millions of other people that they overlook the more important fact that their knowledge is not even one-tenth of the total knowledge of those millions. That is the crucial fallacy behind the repeated failures of central planning and other forms of social engineering which concentrate power in the hands of people with less knowledge and more presumption.

Why do we keep pretending that we know how to control child molesters after they are released from prison? How many more children must be killed before we face the plain reality that, if it is dangerous to let child molesters out of prison, then they should be kept in prison.

Those two things go together. I see on the news that MN State Corrections is planning to spread out the concentration of Level 3 sex offenders that they now have in Minneapolis and St. Paul out into the suburbs.
...[T]he state's sex offender capitol, by far, is Minneapolis, with 55 level threes.
The state wants to eliminate the clusters in the inner city by moving sex offenders to the suburbs, where there currently are very few.

There are three in Brooklyn Center, two in Bloomington, and one in Apple Valley. The rest of the 'burbs are untouched.

But that's about to change. Lawmakers gave the Department of Corrections more than a $1 million to help find sex offender housing in suburbs and smaller towns.

Glad to know "we're" doing our part, Al said drily.
"I don't think anybody wants them in their neighborhood," said Ken Carpenter.

Corrections officials hope to change their minds.

"Unless we can make sure that the whole state is safe, they're not necessarily going to be safe just by keeping them from living in their community," said Harley Nelson of the department of corrections.

I see here we have three rapists and a pedophile within easy walking distance of our house.

"They have to live somewhere," you say. Well, I beg to differ with that logic, but, since I'm not planning to lead a Vigilance Committee (or follow one either), I'd say we need to pressure our legislators to make sure these people aren't on the streets at all.

You might want to check out your own neighborhoods at The Child Safe Network


The National Alert Registry

Sunday, July 17, 2005


WIDTH="88" HEIGHT="130" ALT="Want to Get Sorted?">

a Gryffindor!

The wife and daughter, the one who's old enough to answer the questions, were both
WIDTH="88" HEIGHT="130" ALT="Want to Get Sorted?">

a Ravenclaw!

To Heck with it!

You people want pix of Sabrina Ferilli!

Christmas came early this year!

Free Image Hosting at

And here's the pic I thought was going to get me in trouble:

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Friday, July 15, 2005

My friend Smichael says I can post

this (scroll way down, he's having some kind of Blogger issue):
Free Image Hosting at

BTW, check out that alternate 'skin,' eh?

Just don't do it at work.

Here's some knowledge, gained by experience, of how the Free Market works

at Ebay (from a long post at Human Advancement, all of which is worth reading):
The idea I described there is a form of the old practice of ostracism. Ostracism has gotten a bad rap over the years, partly due to a history of forced participation, but it is the one method of social influence that can be effective even when completely decentralized and absent the use of force. One of the key features is that, when it is voluntary, it is never absolute. The punishment truly fits the crime in that every single person gets a vote, on a continuing basis, and their vote actually counts. If one person decides to give the perptrator a break, his punishment is mitigated to that extent. If the perpetrator is unrepentant, or unwilling to make restitution, he is still free to live his life, just without the benefit of social and economic relations with his fellow man. If he does work to make amends, his punishment is gradually reduced as his efforts soften the hard feelings.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Here's another great post on Eminent Domain

at Uncommon Sense.

It's a round-up, but he's good at quoting.

Here's a topic for discussion!

I said this in answer to Ron's comment to my last post. Oh, I should cite that, so it doesn't become forever unavailable to everyone who isn't willing to hack my password [or bribe it out of me (some currencies are more attractive than others, if you know what I mean)]:

Yeah I have an explanation for the corruption that has destroyed Africas credibility.

The 4 horseman and the king of the desolate places.
ron | Homepage

Here's what I said:
The evidence I've seen seems to indicate that the supernatural realms are purely reactive to what we humans decide to do with ourselves here.

The prayers I've prayed that seemed to have had an effect in this world, seem to have been a matter of people accepting the mood I wanted them to accept and either acting carefully or carelessly based on that.

The choice is always ours.

BTW, I pray to Jesus, accepting the filter he (He) gave as an example in the Garden of Gethsemane, "Nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done," but I don't forget the Parable of the Unjust Judge:
"In a certain city there was a judge, who neither feared God, nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, 'Grant me justice against my opponent.' For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, 'Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.' " (Luke 18:2-5)

But keep in mind that it was Justice that he was offering. He wasn't merely giving in to her whim.

For the sake of discussion, keep in mind two things:

1. I don't believe in determinism - i.e. that our choices are merely illusory. You'd have to present a pretty impressive argument to persuade me change my mind on that score.

2. I base my beliefs on MY experience - the evidence of my OWN senses, and my interpretations of them. I'm willing to entertain others' accounts and interpretations of their own experiences, but I won't necessarily consider them definitive, and...

Well, make it three things,

3. I grant great respect to tried and true ideas. I won't throw out a traditional way or idea without solid historical evidence that it's crap. For instance, I'm a great fan of the Founders of America, but I do wish that many of the ideas of the Scholastics (Thomists within the Catholic Church) had been more strongly held by them and their successors. If I could, I'd claim St. Thomas Aquinas as my patron. If I knew how. (It'd probably help to read him, eh? I've only read bits from some of his more brilliant intellectual descendants, and a fair bit of his philosophical inspiration, Aristotle. Though, "study" would be too strong a word.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

John Rogers explains the importance of national selfishness


He starts thusly:
Thursday, July 07, 2005

African corruption explained

I witnessed so much waste and corruption when I was in Sierra Leone that interviews like this come as no surprise:

The Kenyan economics expert James Shikwati, 35, says that aid to Africa does more harm than good...
SPIEGEL: Mr. Shikwati, the G8 summit at Gleneagles is about to beef up the development aid for Africa...

Shikwati: ... for God's sake, please just stop.

SPIEGEL: Stop? The industrialized nations of the West want to eliminate hunger and poverty.

Shikwati: Such intentions have been damaging our continent for the past 40 years. If the industrial nations really want to help the Africans, they should finally terminate this awful aid. The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape. Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor.

SPIEGEL: Do you have an explanation for this paradox?

Shikwati: Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa's problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn't even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit. Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid.

He goes on to explain the problems with tribal cultures and gives hope for the future... If we stop doing to them what would be called "dumping" if they did it to us.

Did I miss the Sierra Leone trip? When was that?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Over at a Blog Named Write Lightning

Deb Thompson makes a good point about the Eminent Domain issue:
From now on the term "blight" is probably going to be one of those words pulled out of the proverbial top hat any time a city wants to build up its tax base a bit. It will become a developer's favorite word. Homeowners will see it as a bulldozer to be used against their individual interests and a battering ram to be used by collective homewowners (or business owners) to force undesirables out of the 'hood. So attorneys will now be hard at work to make the term "blight" mean as many different things as possible for their client's interests, while holding the other side's interests to as narrow a definition as possible.

And, btw, the whole idea of a City Manager disturbs me. We elect a Council and a Mayor... Who's this guy?

Salman Rushdie has a brilliant quote

in this month's Reason Mag. (This link works for me, but it's for my local library. You can find the article the same way, I'm sure, if you have a library card.)
Rushdie: The idea of universal rights--the idea of rights that are universal to all people because they correspond to our natures as human beings, not to where we live or what our cultural background is-is an incredibly important one. This belief is being challenged by apostles of cultural relativism who refuse to accept that such rights exist. If you look at those who employ this idea [cultural relativism], it turns out to be Robert Mugabe, the leaders of China, the leaders of Singapore, the Taliban, Ayatollah Khomaini. It is a dangerous belief that everything is relative and therefore these people should be allowed to kill because it's their culture to kill.

I think we live in a bad age for the free speech argument. Many of us have internalized the censorship argument, which is that it is better to shut people up than to let them say things that we don't like. This is a dangerous slippery slope, becasuse people of good intentions and high principles can see censorship as a way of advancing their cause and not as a terrible mistake. Yet bad ideas don't cease to exist by not being expressed. They fester and become more powerful.

I was still a Conservative Christian (actually, I was again a Conservative Christian, after a spiritual affair with Nietzsche) when the fatwa was issued against Salman Rushdie, in 1989, for the Satanic Verses. I have a confession to make: I was pleased at the time that there was a religion in the world that took its beliefs seriously enough to take action against those who ridiculed them.

Now, I see that, in a free market of ideas, the best will win. So there is no point in forcably suppressing any of them. And I see that it is evil to do so.

I cited the title of "An Arrow Against All Tyrants," by Richard Overton, in a comment at Libertopia earlier tonight. Rulers, and terrorist leaders, "may profit by this example."

Saturday, July 09, 2005

I'm deeply ashamed.

Last Thursday I promised to go to the Minneapolis Townhall meeting and didn't make it.

They were going to talk about Eminent Domain, and I did a whole bunch of reading on the subject, but in all that activity, I failed to inform my wife of my plans. So she went and did her own thing that evening, leaving me with the kids (she needed a break - she worked out and went to the grocery store).

The problem is, that she doesn't listen to me any better than I listen to her.

So, I let Tracy and Cory down. I hope that didn't result in anyone being demoralized. Other than me, I mean.

(I generally tend to minimize my own impact on others, and generally I'm right, but I've discovered once or twice that I was devastatingly wrong. I just wish I had some idea ahead of time when that can happen.)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

I just left this comment over at

The Lost Liberties Hotel site:

I've got bad news for you, Emma [A liberal objector]. Phil really responded to your point about most of the believers in Libertarianism being unbalanced, vengeance driven wackos pretty well, but I must say that most followers of most "isms" who are passionate enough to take action for their beliefs are not great salesmen for their beliefs. That's probably the first thing new converts need to get to work on. The Advocates for Self-Government focus on that particularly.

Libertarianism is based on the non-Aggression principle, which I'll define with the clause from the Fourth Amendment, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..." We would like to see this clause raised to a higher status in American jurisprudence.

But violators of others must be stopped, hence the remainder of that amendment. I think it needs to be clearly stated that the first part defines "probable cause" and that protection of that security is the only excuse for any seizures or "takings."

I don't find this debate boring, I probably wouldn't have read many comments without it. Personal attacks don't advance one's position. Drown your opponents with your constructive views if you think they're full of it.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

So, it begins: Eminent domain in Brooklyn Center.

I like this article, Eminent Domain Ruling Emboldens City Governments
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision on eminent domain is just days old and already it's being called upon to backup action already underway in the Twin Cities.

The city of Brooklyn Center is bulldozing the 'Hmong American Shopping Center' to make room for something more profitable.

The center's owners say it reminds them of the communism they left behind. But supporters say they have a better use for the land.

The attorney for Brooklyn Center, Marc Manderscheid says, this is not a David-and-Goliath story.

"In this case in Brooklyn Center, the shopping center was blighted. The Hennepin County District Court found that it was obsolete and had a negative and blighting influence on the neighborhood."

The city plans on leveling the mall, then taking public bids on who will develop the site, which may or may not involve Dan Vang and his father in law.

"They have the right to bid along with any other company to become the developer for the redevelopment of this shopping center," said Manderscheid about Vang.


Well, how much to I want to f___ with city hall?

Update, from the Hmong Times:
In the year 2000 Mr. Lee [Mr. Vang's aforementioned father-in-law] purchased the run down Northbrook Shopping Center for 2.5 million dollars. With his investment of an additional 2 million dollars and hard work he turned the failing, 70 percent vacant shopping center into a thriving business. Mr. Lee’s three businesses, Asian Supermarket, King Laundry, and Asia Fabric and Fashion brought in a 300 percent growth in business. The Asia Supermarket itself generated 4 million dollars annually. Mr. Lee's success with the Hmong American Shopping Center generated so much profit that he was able to open a second Asian Supermarket in Saint Paul at 400 Western Avenue (He also owns two Asia Supermarkets in California).

After two years of successful business in Brooklyn Center, Mr. Lee partnered with the City of Brooklyn Center EDA (Economic Development Authority) to turn his property into a "Smart Growth Twin Cities" site. [ed. note: that was your first mistake] Mr. Lee and Dan Vang worked closely with the EDA and followed their suggestions and leads, but after two years of developing, redeveloping, market studies, consideration of a new location, market studies again, redevelopment again, and consideration of another new location Mr. Lee and Dan Vang were pushed back into their previous property because they were unable to work with one of the developers provided by the City Manager of Brooklyn Center.

So, here's what our beloved town is up to (18 page pdf, with pictures). To summarize, the part involving the Hmong-American Shopping Center is just a tiny part. On that first picture, it's the area designated "Future Development" on the lower right. Interesting that it's the first piece taken.

They like the Target and Best Buy better, I guess. Blight? Well, their parking lot needed a lot of work, and there were a couple empty shops, but it wasn't exactly a hotbed of crime that I noticed.

It'll do wonders for our property values, I'm sure.

Oh, Msrs. Vang and Lee are getting $3.6 mil. They want 4.1. I don't think that argument will make it to the Supreme Court.

Oops! I appear to have been misinformed. From The Star Tribune:
The title to the land was transferred to Brooklyn Center in April, and Lee has collected the $3 million, city-appraised price for the land that he hoped to sell for $4.6 million. "All we're asking for is fairness," Vang said. "If you own a $500,000 house and they give you $300,000 and say: 'Well, we've given you something, you should be happy,' that's not fair. Mr. Lee wants his land back and the opportunity to do something on it."

That gets us back into the "hmm" range.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Dear Editor:

The Senate did well to approve the Central American Free Trade Pact.

The government should eliminate all tariffs and quotas on imported products because Americans have the moral right to pursue their self-interest and buy cheaper goods from abroad, without government interference.

The proper purpose of government is to protect the rights of its citizens, not to protect the market share of domestic producers.

The right to trade is part of the right to life and liberty, and is essential to the survival and prosperity of all individuals. An individual's right to trade is based on his right to the use and disposal of his property, and is a basic human right.

Government's role in trade should be to protect it, not to forbid or obstruct it. As long as trade is done voluntarily, there should be no legal impediments to block it.

David Holcberg
Ayn Rand Institute

2121 Alton Parkway #250
Irvine, CA 92660
(949) 222-6550 ext. 226

I agree with everything he says, but this letter doesn't address all the issues brought up by The Libery Committee. Or doesn't seem to.

I agree that it's better than what we have now, but are layers of bureaucracy going to strangle this agreement?

UPDATE: Perhaps I should post the Libertee Committee's objection here:
The pro-CAFTA forces aren't really for true free trade. They are for global managed
trade...because that is what CAFTA (like NAFTA) really is. Think about it. Why
does it take over 1,000 pages to define free trade?

We've had over 10 years of NAFTA so we should know what to expect with CAFTA.
Again, "CAFTA is NAFTA on steroids!"

CAFTA fits hand-in-glove with the world-government agenda to make the U.S. just
another client state. How?

Consider: CAFTA article 10.16.3 places the United States under the jurisdiction of
international tribunals supervised by the United Nations.

Consider: CAFTA article 10.5.2(a) states that these international tribunals must use
"customary international law" as established by the "principle legal systems of the
world" when deciding cases.

Welcome to the United Nations' world court system!

And then there's the unconstitutional granting of "fast track" authority to the
president. Article I, section 8, clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the
sole authority to regulate international trade. But CAFTA, like NAFTA, treats the
U.S. Constitution as a relic.

We already suffer from the World Trade Organization and its international
bureaucrats. CAFTA will add another layer of unaccountable world elites who will
tell us what we can and cannot do.

Even the French understand the critical importance of national sovereignty. They
recently rejected the proposed constitution of the European Union. Remember that
the E.U. started as a trade agreement in 1957, and now it is a regional supra

NAFTA. CAFTA. And then the Union of the Americas.

We strongly urge a "no" vote on CAFTA. Tell your U.S. senators to reject CAFTA.

Free Trade is great. Is that what we're getting here?

Monday, July 04, 2005

Here I am!

I was off being a sorry-excuse-for-a Frenchman in Cloquet (meaning, I can't act, not that it was my intent to portray such a character). We also popped in on my sister and brother-in-law and their kids who were visiting Greg's parents. (OK, where do I squeeze the fact that they're AG Missionaries to the former German "Democratic" Republic into that sentence?)

Then, yesterday we bopped up to spend the night at the in-law's place on Lake Vermilion. Mr. In-law let me drive the boat for about 15 minutes. Or maybe a half-hour. Then he took over again to take it back into the wind.

She, the SS Tassu (Finnish for bedroom-slipper, because it looks like one), goes about 23 mph at 2800 rpm. That's where f.-i.-l. starts hinting about overheating and other such things.

No, he's a good guy. He considers himself to be teaching me at this point, so he's pretty clear about how he thinks it should be done. Of course, twenty years of dealing with Minnesotans might be helping more than I imagine.

The HP digital camera ran out of space before I'd made many pictures, but here are a couple:

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There are a couple other pics that I like, but... I think you'd have to be in my immediate family to agree on that.

Oh, this one might be better than that:

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The Core of Natural Rights Doctrine

as Thomas Jefferson so succinctly restated it in The Declaration of Independence, (you might call it The Heart of the Declaration of Independence.):
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying it foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

That's the part people need to memorize. The rest is very interesting, but not universally applicable, though the long list of "abuses and usurpations" illustrates the theory well and rulers need to take note of it, keeping in mind that the list doesn't exhaust all possible mortal insults to one's subjects, nor does democracy provide a perfect guarantee against them.

I'm going to post date this, so it will remain at the top until July 4th.