Birthday Greetings to a Double Lifer

Jeffery Tucker writes to Ross Ulbricht on the occasion of his 32nd birthday.
full text at Fee

Isn’t it ironic? It is increasingly difficult to distinguish the intentions of cyber criminals from that of the government itself. They are both on the same side in lining up against the interests of the human right to liberty and property.

Talk about Politics without Sounding like Jerks

Advice from Matt Zwolinski
full article at Fee

There are at two main reasons why reasonable disagreement is so common.

1) The moral values that underlie our political debates are plural and conflicting.
2) Many of our moral disagreement are ultimately rooted in complicated empirical questions.

So be humble — don’t be so confident that the beliefs you’ve formed are the single correct way of thinking about political morality. And be tolerant. Recognize that people who disagree with you might have good reasons for doing so.

Of course, I think that being tolerant of reasonable disagreement means that we should be reluctant to impose our moral views on others by force, or to ask the state to do so on our behalf.

But then again, I’m a libertarian, so I would think that, wouldn’t I?

Another way to defeat Trump

The possibility of nominees for President that majorities do not seem to want is due to the plurality winner takes all elections and the existence of super-delegates in the Democratic Party.

If Trump wins the nomination, Republicans have another tool to block both his election and the Democratic nominee – the Electoral College.

Most states use plurality voting for electing members of the Electoral College. The Electoral College requires the person they designate as President to get a majority of electoral votes. If no one gets a majority, the House of Representatives gets to pick the President.

If the Libertarian Party nominee wins enough states to insure that no one gets a majority of the electoral votes, then if the Republicans can continue to hold the House of Representatives, the Establishment could end up selecting the President.

Could the Republican Establishment (whoever they are) give Gary Johnson or whoever wins the Libertarian nomination, enough votes to win a plurality in a sufficient number of states to deadlock the Electoral College?

John Kasich is not good for America

While he might be better than all the other major presidential candidates still active, John Kasich is wrong for America.

From his website:

“RENEW OUR MILITARY: As America’s commitment to security leadership has withered, our military has been neglected. John Kasich has called for $102 billion in increased defense spending over the next eight years to improve our conventional capabilities and create new cyber defense resources to better safeguard our security.”

There is no data that shows that the military has been neglected.

It is the foreign adventurism started years ago, and continuing to this day that is out of control.
“…during the eight years of George W. Bush’s presidency (2001 through 2008), the federal government spent $4.7 trillion on defense. During the seven years of the Obama years, from 2009 through 2015, the federal government spent $5.3 trillion. Obama still has another year to go.”

The appalling suicide rate of those who have been sent on deployment after deployment by the Bush and Obama Administrations shows there is something terribly wrong. The reports on the suffering of so many veterans, never question the fundamentals of an interventionist foreign policy that has led us to this situation. Better treatments for PTSD is not the solution. Stopping the madness of our foreign policy is.

As the last good Republican presidential candidate, Ron Paul (not Rand) says: the best way to rebuild the military is to change our foreign policy. We must stop using the military of the United States as the world policeman. Stop treating soldiers, sailors, and airmen as pawns in the neocon and “humanitarian interventionist” game of militarized American exceptionalism. Stop using the US military to protect wealthy countries across the globe. Putting troops on Russia’s border and sending warships to the South China Sea are not protecting the United States. Our bipartisan aggressive foreign policy continues to place us in danger.

At least in his public pronouncements John Kasich shows no willingness to change the direction of our foreign policy, but rather wants to double down on the failed policies that have continued to make the world so dangerous.

New Strategy for Libertarians

Jerry Taylor gives his prescription for moving toward a more libertarian future.

My take:
While it would be nice if we could have more liberty by promising a “robust” safety net, those who seem to be more interested in equality than adequacy will probably not be willing to make a bargain with the pro-liberty crowd.

It reminds me of Reagan agreeing to raise taxes and expecting Congress to cut spending.

As Taylor says, we haven’t gotten far with the strategy we have been selling, so what is there to lose by following Taylor’s suggestions.

So for now, I will only encourage increasing/maintaining non-economic civil liberties, and reducing foreign intervention (adventurism), and moving the military, CIA, and State Department savings into making a more robust safety net.

Trump and Sanders

Steven Horowitz argues that both Trump and Sanders show conservative tendencies in an essay published by FEE.
click for full article

“… despite being seen as political opposites, their distinct views converge in the idea that resources are “ours” as a nation and that it is the president’s job (and the state’s more generally) to direct them in the national interest. For Trump, that interest is “making America great again” and making sure we “beat” the Chinese. For Sanders, that interest is the attempt to protect “the working class” against the predation of two different enemies: the 1 percent and foreign firms and workers, all of whom are destroying our industries and human resources. “