Links for January 16, 2012: Ron Paul’s Libertarian Principles vs. Racism; Romney on employer-based health care; scads of great satire; others….


  1. Rigodddamndiculous.

  2. This is an analysis that makes sense only within the airtight confines of libertarian doctrine. It dissipates with even the slightest whiff of exposure to external reality. The entire premise rests upon ignoring the social power that dominant social groups are able to wield outside of the channels of the state. Yet in the absence of government protection, white males, acting solely through their exercise of freedom of contract and association, have historically proven quite capable of erecting what any sane observer would recognize as actual impediments to the freedom of minorities and women.

    Here is the libertarian response: Yes, there is a grain of truth to this. Yes, there are social powers that dominant social groups are able to wield outside of the channels of the state. But this is not a free process. This comes at a cost to the racist and the harasser. The businessman who refuses to hire a qualified worker because of the color of her skin misses an opportunity to be productive and incurs further costs while waiting for and finding an alternatively pigmented replacement. The sexual harasser risks losing the value of an employee who may not be as effective in a hostile environment. Quitting a job and finding a new one may not be as easy as 1, 2, 3, but it is not impossible. The harasser would incur the costs of slowed output and/or finding a replacement. Markets punish these unsavory behaviors and reward those who do not engage in them.

    Contrariwise, government regulations banning the thought-crime of racism in the workplace tend to over-punish. When every employer who fires a minority opens herself to a potential lawsuit, that puts economic restrictions on the types of minorities that will be considered for certain jobs. Furthermore, fighting meritless discrimination lawsuits carries a opportunity costs that businessmen might apply more effectively toward running their businesses.

    In summary: Markets punish racism. Governments over-punish racism.

  3. ThePresident.com endorses Ron Paul. Here is a clip they posted about Ron Paul’s blowback theory. A little history goes a long way. I’d like to research this a bit earlier to see whether the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company’s interest in Iranian oil was legitimate. Nationalizing the oil industry of Iran is not legitimate, in my view.

  4. I’m not a Romney fan, but, SRSLY? This seems to me to be as uncontroversial as it gets. What will MoJo write up next? “Rick Santorum: ‘I Ate a Ham Sandwich For Lunch'”.

  5. Whoops! Looks like I spoke too soon. Here comes the lamestream media! And notice the pattern here. All these wonks are saying: “We all know he meant something completely uncontroversial, but look how bad it sounds when taken out of context!” Lame. Lame, lame, lame.

  6. On the eve of the New Hampshire vote, Romney unintentionally provided campaign fodder to his rivals with an offhand remark. Touting his health policy as a means to increase competition among health insurers, Romney said he likes to fire people.

    “When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” -Sherlock Holmes

    Whoops! Looks like I spoke too soon again. I know that Amy Goodman is smarter than this. She did not misunderstand Mitt Romney. That’s impossible. Like the shills above, she understood exactly what he said. Unlike the shills above, she reported that he said something else. What remains, however improbable, is that Amy Goodman deliberately misquoted Mitt Romney for the purpose of confusing the issue. That is unfortunate.

    Democracy Now! also cut all the great context out of their clip. DN! listeners did not hear Romney criticize the employer-based health care system that limits competition and obscures the costs of health care. I’m not endorsing Mitt Romney, but the full “I like being able to fire people” clip was one of the smartest things I’ve heard him say yet.

  7. Amy does right by her listeners and viewers by introducing them to this alternative Republican candidate: Former senator and Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer. You probably will not learn about him from the lamestream media in a timely fashion. See? Democracy Now! is a valuable program. I just hate to see these occasional lapses in judgment.

  8. What is libertarianism? Well, we might say that it’s the presumption of liberty in human affairs. That is, sometimes we may need government to act, but you have to demonstrate that. You have to make the case for government action. It is the exercise of power, not the exercise of freedom that requires justification.

    Libertarianism.org: a new project of the Cato Institute to explain the basics of the philosophy. I like what I see. It looks a lot like LearLiberty.org, but with longer videos. Let a hundred flowers blossom.

  9. This video adaptation of Naomi Klein’s critique of “disaster capitalism” of 2009 is summarized in three words: Guilt by association. Nary a criticism of the merits of Milton Friedman’s free market economics is to be found, but his free market economics get a bad rap because they are associated with various campaigns of State violence. I have not yet read Naomi Klein’s book of the same title.

  10. “Free ponies for all Americans. One of the overlooked issues in America today. My free pony platform is, of course, a jobs creation program. It will create lots and lots of jobs. Once we switch to a pony-based economy, we’ll also lower our dependence on foreign oil. We’ll also be able to turn all that pony poop into methane gas and wonderful compost so we’ll be able to re–uh–up our soil that is being depleted by agro-chemicals, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And, of course, the important thing to realize is that it is a federal pony identification program, where you will need your pony with you at all times. Thank you very much.

  11. A variation on a theme explored earlier by reason.tv, among others. Tell it again. Keep telling it until people wake up. Let a hundred flowers blossom.

  12. More juicy satire pours forth. In libertarian circles, we call this libido dominande, or, the lust for power.

  13. A low-power station . . . can only be owned by a nonprofit organization. It has to be noncommercial, [100 watts, with a three-mile signal radius], and primarily devoted to a neighborhood or small town. [It has to broadcast at least 12 hours a day, with at least eight hours of locally produced programming.]

    What could possibly be the purpose of these regs? What great harm will come to the people if a licensed radio station broadcasts only 11 hours a day with only 6 hours of local programming? This is simply libido dominande on the part of government. They do it because they can.

  14. It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed a good NORML podcast. I used to listen years ago, when Chris Goldstein used to host. Back then, you got a ten minute podcast once a week of condensed marijuana news and you stayed informed. Now, it’s like an hour a day every day, with a whole lot of weed culture, cheesy songs, and commercial stuff mixed in that I don’t particularly appreciate. That aside, you’ll still get yourself a decent education about the American justice system by tuning in and sticking around for the Hemp Headlines. Kicking off the new year in 2012 is a countdown of the biggest pot news stories of 2011, plus a segment on the dog sniff Supreme Court case, Florida v. Jardines.

  15. A twisted anecdote about AHCCCS, Arizona's Medicaid agency.

    It makes perfect sense. This is how the regulatory/welfare state works: Government intervention reduces the availability of health care and distorts the price of health care until nobody can afford it. Government welfare programs then incentivize unemployment. If it looks messed up, that’s because it is.

  16. A facebook friend posted this story from a socialist web site, sans video. You can never take what these socialists say at face value, so I had to take a closer look. The Orange Juice blog posted the video in question.

    Right in the beginning, you kinda see what this is about. The police ram his car several times, and he’s still going. I don’t know where he thinks he’s going. He said he was “trying to pull over to a well-populated area,” but that seems a stretch to me. Once you get rammed, I think it’s game over. If the police think you are leading a chase, they don’t show mercy when they catch you. I don’t know how well that justifies a dog attack and a beating, but it sort of at least explains it.

    The trumped up charge of “harming an officer’s horse or dog”, of course, is bizarre and Kafkaesque. The man needs to be defended from that crap regardless of what he was really up to.

  17. States don’t have rights. People do.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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