Archives for July, 2003

Blog to Watch

Liberty and Power group blog hosted by History News Network. An all-star line-up including some real libertarians (sorry, social tolerance and distaste for the drug war aren’t enough to get you there if you’re also for permanent war and imperial social engineering): David T. Beito; Stephen J. Davies; former colleague Ivan Eland; ; David M. Hart; and Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, author of the great Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men.

Posted on Jul 31, 2003 in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Liberian Adventure


I don’t think we should do military interventions in search of good P.R. But even if I did, I wonder how good it will look if and when U.S. Marines find themselves forced to shoot one or two of Liberia’s child-soldiers.

Posted on Jul 31, 2003 in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Hearts and Minds

Tom Delay just gave a speech to the Israeli Knesset, that–I gotta admit–tugs at the heartstrings in places. But it engages the heart far more than the brain. It’s a bit wordy, and dusty, but in the end, I prefer an older speech:

a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld.

Posted on Jul 30, 2003 in Uncategorized | 3 Comments


Empire for the information age: the Coalition Provisional Authority has a website. “The Mission of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) is a free and democratic Iraq that is at peace with its neighbors. Beyond the accomplishment of this mission, CPA will not stay a single day.”

College friend Jerry Russello reviews a bio of John Winthrop and outlines the legacy of the Puritains:

Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-smoking ban, Christian evangelicals, the 19th-century doctrine of “manifest destiny,” and the belief that America has a duty to bring democracy to other nations all derive from the same intellectual source: the strict Reformation theology of the collection of Protestants known as Puritans. A sense of mission and a strong desire to lead pure lives animated these early settlers, and their ideals, in a secularized form, continue to shape American public life.

“If you want your family released, turn yourself in”: Jim Henley laments “the callous policy of an evil government.”

And Radley has a nice piece on NRO on pro-life themes on the decidedly unconservative Six Feet Under.

Posted on Jul 29, 2003 in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Committee for a Living D.C.

A promising development–a group of D.C. residents has started to organize against the pinched-souled enemies of fun who populate the ANCs and make running bars and restaurants such a nightmare for District entrpreneurs. God bless them, they even cite Jane Jacobs. Sign up right now. Let’s get to Nurse Ratched before she gets to us.

Posted on Jul 24, 2003 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

What Is It You People Are Conserving, Anyway?

A prescription drug entitlement is not inherently unconservative, unless the welfare state itself is — and it isn’t.

–George Will, from today’s WaPo. Hat tip to Sheldon Richman.

Posted on Jul 24, 2003 in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Dimestore Psychoanalysis

from academic hacks at Berkeley purporting to show the psychological insecurities at the root of political conservatism:

Four researchers who culled through 50 years of research literature about the psychology of conservatism report that at the core of political conservatism is the resistance to change and a tolerance for inequality, and that some of the common psychological factors linked to political conservatism include:

Fear and aggression

Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity

Uncertainty avoidance

Need for cognitive closure

Terror management

Yeah: fear, dogmatism, and risk aversion–don’t find those on the Left much, do you? I certainly have my differences with the Right, but this sort of political phrenology from a distance irks me. It has a long and checkered pedigree, reaching back at least to Theodore Adorno’s The Authoritarian Personality. (Take the F-Scale test right here, and determine your susceptiblity to fascism. I got a 3.4: “disciplined but tolerant; a true American.”)

However, I suppose we’re all susceptible to the ad hominem. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine as well.

If you’re interested in how personality shapes political beliefs, I’ve always been partial to the Myers-Briggs test. Overwhelmingly, libertarians are heavily TJ (Thinking, Judging–i.e. rational, justice-oriented).

Posted on Jul 23, 2003 in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

D.C. Gun Ban Update

Here’s an op-ed in today’s Washington Times by Bob Levy and myself, describing the NRA’s continuing efforts to quash our lawsuit–most recently through their ally Senator Hatch.

Posted on Jul 23, 2003 in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

That Settles It

Draft the Articles of Impeachment.

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Former US president Bill Clinton said he understood how flawed intelligence was used in a presidential speech and that the White House did the right thing in admitting they were wrong.

Posted on Jul 23, 2003 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Seventh Sign of the Apocalypse:

Krugman is good today.

Posted on Jul 23, 2003 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Sex and the City Tonight

I can’t tell you just how much I was hoping they’d crash that motorcycle.

Posted on Jul 20, 2003 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Being a Hawk Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry…

Wow: from the latest (print) issue of National Review, (Adam Garfinkle, “The Daunting Aftermath”) among the results of the Iraq war may be (emphasis added):

increased Islamist mobilization, and hence more violence in the region, and, quite possibly, more terrorism directed outside of it. In short ‘we’ could do quite well in Iraq in due course and still exacerbate the problem–apocalyptical terrorism–that sent us there in the first place.

As trouble goes, that’s the best-case scenario. If we end up instead with an insurgency we cannot staunch, there is little reason to hope for any benign outcome… We will have set the stage for a civil war, either one we are in the middle of trying to control, or one we bug out of to our own humiliation. The general effect of a civil war on the region will be to devastate American credibility and start a feeding frenzy, by Islamist terrorists and others, on American interests and allies worldwide. Now this is really trouble.

Sure is, Sherlock. Of course, we should have gone to war anyway, says Garfinkle, because “the dangers of of letting a regime like Saddam’s slither and sneak its way to WMD capabilities were simply too great to countenance.” How long can NR continue to clutch at that straw of a rationalization?

Posted on Jul 16, 2003 in Uncategorized | 19 Comments

Where Do I Sign Up?

From the WSJ: An unusual manifesto is circulating through the e-mail boxes of prominent Washingtonians from an ad hoc group calling itself the “Committee for the Republic.” Its five sponsors include conservative C. Boyden Gray, a White House lawyer in the first Bush administration; Chas. W. Freeman, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia; and Stephen Cohen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

The manifesto is a work in progress, its authors say. But the goal is clear: to educate Americans about the dangers of empire.

“The American Revolution was a nationalist revolt against the British Empire,” the draft manifesto argues. “Our country was born as a defiant rejection of the legitimacy of imperialism.” Citing the lessons of the classics, it argues that the “inevitable cost of empire” is a loss of political and economic freedom at home. “Domestic liberty is the first casualty of adventurist foreign policy.”

While the draft was written before the latest flap over bad intelligence used in the State of the Union address, it also argues: “To justify the high cost of maintaining rule over foreign territories and peoples, leaders are left with no choice but to deceive the people.”

Posted on Jul 16, 2003 in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

“We’re All Colonialists Now”

Via Radley, Max “Bodybags” Boot calls upon the U.S. government to creat a “Colonial Office.” By another name, of course.

In related news, Rich Lowry of the National Review declares that “We’re all colonialists now,” and a good thing too.

Why is it that the self-appointed guardians of 100% Americanism so often back ideas that are so, you know, un-American?

Posted on Jul 15, 2003 in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

That’s Not How I Remember It

From today’s WaPo:

Defending the broader decision to go to war with Iraq, the president said the decision was made after he gave Saddam Hussein “a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in.”

In the history you and I lived through, Hussein let the inspectors back in, and Bush pulled them out because they hadn’t found anything, and he wanted to get started with the bombing already.

Is it really asking too much that the president keep the details of his own war straight?

Posted on Jul 15, 2003 in Uncategorized | 4 Comments