Liberty & Power: Group Blog
Amy H. Sturgis
Seven years is a long time to wait for a trial, especially considering Georgia law presumes a violation of speedy trial rights for delays of over eight months between indictment and trial [Scandrett v. State, 279 Ga. 632 (2005)].
For more information:
"Truth, Justice, and Ed Kramer" from American Jewish Life
Ed Kramer Defense Site
Ed Kramer Official Site
The Thessaloniki Center for Public Service Professionalism has been audited by the U.N. Office for Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) and her article contains the following two paragraphs; "The center was conceived to train public servants in the Mediterranean region and former Soviet states to be more transparent, accountable and effective in running their respective government bureaucracies.
The OIOS audit paints the center as an expensive project, plagued by staffing troubles, spotty record-keeping and the inability to complete projects."
Roderick T. Long
Some recent posts on my main blog that might be of interest:
Roderick T. Long
David T. Beito
Hat tip Mike Tennant.
Amy H. Sturgis
The situation has consumed an enormous amount of broadcast air time and generated tons of printed material. To my mind and in the opinion of many others the most cogent and important comment on this came from Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock who happens to be black. He wrote, “In the grand scheme, Don Imus is no threat to us in general and no threat to black women in particular. If his words are so powerful and so destructive and must be rebuked so forcefully, then what should we do about the idiot rappers on BET, MTV and every black-owned radio station in the country who use words much more powerful and much more destructive?
I don’t listen or watch Imus’ show regularly. Has he at any point glorified selling crack cocaine to black women? Has he celebrated black men shooting each other randomly? Has he suggested in any way that it’s cool to be a baby-daddy rather than a husband and a parent? Does he tell his listeners that they’re suckers for pursuing education and that they’re selling out their race if they do?
When Imus does any of that, call me and I’ll get upset. Until then, he is what he is — a washed-up shock jock who is very easy to ignore when you’re not looking to be made a victim.”
Cross posted on The Trebach Report
Amy H. Sturgis
U.S. author Kurt Vonnegut, born 1922, died yesterday at the age of 84. His novels include such titles as Player Piano (1952), The Sirens of Titan (1959), Cat's Cradle (1963), God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (1965), and Slaughterhouse Five (1969), and others, along with later works Galapagos (1985) and Timequake (1997). His short story"Harrison Bergeron," quoted above, is widely regarded as a classic political dystopian work.
Read the New York Times obituary.
I’m hoping that folks on the list will be able to help me out – I’m in
a real knot about this.
I have a student in the U.S. survey, education major/social science
emphasis (he’ll be teaching high school). He’s a transfer student
from a conservative college just outside of Fort Wayne. Decent
student – B range – absolutely loves history – and a libertarian (he
told me at the beginning of the semester) – friendly guy, not a jerk
(at least to my face).
He has also just signed up for my fall course,
upper division, U.S. history 1919-45. He wrote a paper (most of it
dealing with Anne Moody’s The Coming of Age in Mississippi) – and in
the last section, where he was supposed to contemplate whether or not
he would have been involved in the civil rights movement, he utterly
criticized the whole civil rights movement -- blacks asking
for “special privileges” and such – and called the Civil Rights Act of
1964 “despicable.” (He said it may have been fine for the gov’t to
prohibit discrimination in public spaces, but not, absolutely not, in
private places). He ended with a quote from Ayn Rand.
Frankly, I’m at a loss to understand how anybody (esp. anyone who
attends a university and who has some education) can reject the entire
CRM – but perhaps there are other students out there who aren’t
letting me know what they really think. I’m not sure what to do about
it – do I sit down have a chat with him? Try to talk sense? Leave the
lines of communication open – hoping that he will learn something?
Hoping perhaps, that by taking college course he will begin to
question some of his assumptions? (although I am not naïve enough to
think that I can really change his world view)? I’m scared to think
that this guy is going to get a teaching job.
Note that this student also wanted the history department/history club
to sponsor a speaker (about whom the student was almost giddy) whose
books include The Politically Incorrect Guide to U.S. History (from
Amazon – the entire New Deal/Great Society are socialist plots and
historians in academe are all radicals) and The Politically Incorrect
Guide to Islam (need I say anything here?)
Colleagues, I am so troubled about this and I don’t know what to do.
Thanks from the trenches,
The Washington Post begins thus:
“President Bush, summoning the American spirit and"a faith in God no storm can take away," vowed from the heart of the Hurricane Katrina disaster zone Thursday night to rebuild this devastated city and the rest of the Gulf Coast with"one of the largest reconstruction efforts the world has ever seen."
“In a prime-time address televised from the storm-battered French Quarter, the president appeared without coat and tie to promise help for hundreds of thousands of victims to rebuild their lives with unprecedented federal assistance to secure a home, a job, health care and schooling.
“"You need to know," he said, directly addressing the dislocated and desperate,"that our whole nation cares about you, and in the journey ahead you are not alone. . . . And tonight I also offer this pledge of the American people: Throughout the area hit by the hurricane, we will do what it takes, we will stay as long as it takes, to help citizens rebuild their communities and their lives."”
They will stay your lifetime and the lifetime of your children. Your wallets will be picked by the federal government for the next two generations. And, if you wish to alleviate the pain, buy a portfolio of stocks in the construction industry.
“Although he cited no price tag, the president committed the nation to a plan that officials and lawmakers believe could top $200 billion, roughly the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined, and is certain to reorient government and the remainder of the Bush presidency. It will create much larger deficits in the short-term, siphon off money that would have been spent on other programs and dramatically shift the focus of the White House, Congress and many state governments for the foreseeable future.”
Prepare for few or no future tax cuts.
“While he embraced a big-spending program the scale of which few liberal presidents have ever advanced, Bush also signaled plans to use the reconstruction to enact long-term conservative goals. Adopting a policy option typically used in much smaller scale, he proposed creation of a Gulf Opportunity Zone that would grant new and existing businesses a variety of tax breaks, loans and loan guarantees through 2007. And in documents released before the speech, Bush called for displaced families who send their children to private schools, including religious ones, to get federal money.”
Well, that’s all right then. None of this one-size-fits-all welfare that creates a dependency culture but targeted programs that use market mechanisms to, err, create a different sort of dependency culture. Market liberals everywhere should rejoice. To be alive at this very hour is bliss!
Of course, free-market Republicans will tell us how much worse it would be if the Democrats were in power:
“"The families in the Gulf . . . certainly don't need to hear another speech from President Bush," Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said."What they need is leadership. . . . Let's be clear about what Katrina was: a failure of leadership." Reid called for"an American Marshall Plan" to rebuild the Gulf Coast and accused Republicans of balking at even greater spending on health, housing and education for victims.
“As he did on Tuesday, Bush accepted accountability:"Four years after the frightening experience of September 11th, Americans have every right to expect a more effective response in a time of emergency. When the federal government fails to meet such an obligation, I as president am responsible for the problem, and for the solution."”
In an earlier era, accepting accountability in a situation like this might have meant resignation. But, of course, these days, no president resigns for such a reason. GWB just goes on and on—spending our money to try and bail himself out from the swamp into which he has climbed.
David T. Beito
Foster appears to have been solidly in the radical libertarian wing of abolitionism both on slavery and war. A strong proponent of natural rights, Foster advocated resistance to the Fugitive Slave Law, individual rights for women, rights in land to the ex-slaves who he regarded as the true owners, and, like his fellow New Englander, Lysander Spooner, opposed the Civil War.
In Revolution the Only Remedy for Slavery (1855) he endorsed both slave rebellions and a general anti-slavery revolution against the federal government. The entire tract is online (see link above) but here is a sampling:
In the Federal Union lies the grand secret of the strength of the slave power. Of itself that power is contemptibly weak. If in the countenances of their masters only the slaves discovered the visage of a foe, not another sun would go down upon an unbroken fetter. Backed by the entire body of non-slave-claimants of the south, it could have no strength to stand against the combined forces of the slaves, and their many sympathizers in the north, and in Europe. But in its alliance with the free States, through the Federal government, its strength is immense. It rules with a rod of iron, and none can say to it, “Why do ye so?” It kills, and it makes alive....It is able not only to command the services of the entire body of our militia when an insurrection is to be suppressed, an invasion to be repelled, or a slave to be recaptured, but it has seduced into its willing service, or awed into submission, nearly every prominent man throughout the entire north....
To the enlightened vision there is for this evil but one remedy. Our strength all lies in a single force—the conscience of the nation. All else is on the side of the oppressor. But conscience, that force of forces when properly instructed, is all, and always, on our side. It is to this element of strength, then, that our attention should be mainly directed. Our only hope is in being able to bring the conscience of the nation into active conflict with its present position, in respect to slavery, and thereby induce a radical change. What that position is we have already seen. The Constitution requires of the general government the protection of slavery in such of the States as choose to retain it, with no power to regulate or abolish it. Hence the private citizen has no course left to him but either to aid in upholding the system, or renounce his allegiance to the government. By this subtle device of the slave power the whole country has been leagued in defence of the institution, and the north reduced to a mere subjugated province of the plantation. The heart of the church has been corrupted by it, the conscience of the country fettered, and our statesmen converted into syncophants fawning at the feet of the slave power. Here, then, is the seat of this terrible disease, and here especially must the remedy be applied. Our first great work is to cut this Gordian knot,—the Union,—and set free the northern conscience from the restraints of the constitutional oath. Till this is done, all other efforts will prove of little avail. There is no hope for the slave, nor for the country, but in revolution.
David T. Beito
Unfortunately, what we face in Iraq today is a vacuum of power, a lack of stable institutions needed to govern, and the problem that the promise of democracy for which our nation stands may be lost in the essential scramble for safety and stability in the streets. This is one of the reasons I am uneasy about the war we have made here--for we have helped to create the chaos that has overtaken the country, and we may have reduced rather than promoted the pace of democratic reform.
Amy H. Sturgis
"Heinlein's Ghost" by Dwayne A. Day
"Robert Heinlein at One Hundred" by Ted Gioia
For additional information:
The Heinlein Society
The Robert A. Heinlein Page
Robert A. Heinlein Centennial Website
And, dear readers, as you submit your federal tax returns for 2006, remember it's your tax dollars that make it all happen.
Jeffrey Rogers Hummel
Anderson previously wrote a much longer book on the same subject, CRUCIBLE OF WAR: THE SEVEN YEAR'S WAR AND THE FATE OF EMPIRE IN BRITISH NORTH AMERICA, 1754-1766 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000). One of the few comprehensive studies of that conflict since the classic, multi-volume works of Francis Parkman and Lawrence Henry Gipson, it became the basis for a PBS series on "The War that Made America," which in turn was converted into the newer, shorter book. Yet of the two books, THE WAR THAT MADE AMERICA is of much greater interest to libertarians, not only because it is more succinct, but also because it goes deeper into the war's background, becomes less caught up in military minutia, and does a better job of keeping the Indians in proper focus throughout the later stages of the war.
Rather than treating the conflict as primarily between the British and French empires, THE WAR THAT MADE AMERICA places the Indians center stage right from the outset. And it does so without viewing them all collectively as victims. Indeed, they become sophisticated and diverse players in Anderson's account. Like Rothbard, he singles out the Iroquois for their brutal imperialism against other Indian groups, and he even goes further in implicating the Iroquois' Covenant Chain alliance with the British for the war's outbreak. Also like Rothbard, Anderson is sympathetic to Pennsylvania's pacifism in earlier conflicts, explaining how it contributed to the colony becoming one of the most prosperous in British North America--until the policy was undermined by, among other factors, the conniving of Benjamin Franklin. Anderson's account coincides with Rothbard in making clear that the British were all along a major aggressive threat to the French in North America rather than vice versa, as alleged in so many Anglo-centric accounts. Anderson likewise emphasizes attempted land engrossment by men such as Franklin and George Washington. Finally, like Rothbard, Anderson demonstrates how costly to the British were the ultra war policies of William Pitt the Elder after his rise to power.
Anderson's discussion of the war's conduct, although obviously far more detailed than Rothbard's, has intriguing parallels with Rothbard's treatment of the later Revolutionary War in a subsequent volume of CONCEIVED IN LIBERTY. Rothbard followed the then "new" military history in stressing the critical but often neglected role of the American militia during the Revolution. Anderson does the same for the military role of the Indians, who in previous accounts tend to be treated as superfluous auxiliaries of little genuine value. Anderson illustrates how the Indians gathered intelligence, affected logistics, and provided other vital services that could spell the difference between battlefield victory or defeat. He furthermore chronicles a strategic debate among the French that was echoed in the debate about military strategy that American revolutionaries would later carry on. Whereas New France's Governor-General Vaudreuil favored LA GUERRE SAUVAGE, an irregular strategy that relied heavily on Indian allies and Canadian militia, the marquis de Montcalm preferred imposing the strictures of conventional European warfare with nearly exclusive reliance on regulars. Anderson suggests that Montcalm's winning of this strategic debate was a major cause of France's ultimate military defeat in the war.
To top if off, Anderson's WAR THAT MADE AMERICA is exceedingly well written, and an excellent introduction for anyone unfamiliar with the period.