Monday, November 24, 2008

From RR
  • Airport-security ‘behaviour-detection’ technology wrong 99 per cent of the time.
  • The case for pessimism. Justin Raimondo on why the putative peace president-elect is assembling an old pro-war crew.
  • Same as the old boss: civil liberties. Obama seems far more likely to hitch the anti-freedom agenda of the Clinton administration to the rogue wagon of Bush ‘unitary executive’ doctrine than to substantially change the US government’s approach to habeas corpus, detention without trial, torture and illegal wiretaps.
  • Science fiction and politics. With every failure of socialism, the promises made by socialist-inspired SF rang more hollow until, sometime in the late 1950s, the genre tried to turn itself inside-out, becoming skeptical of science and technology — instead of junking its broken ideology — becoming increasingly inner-directed and “psychological” as the real world grew more unbearable for disappointed leftists to look upon. Sliding into something resembling nihilism, SF writers lost interest in a future that — however else it might turn out — would not be socialist. And as SF writers lost interest in the future, readers lost interest in SF. The sweeping nature of this change may have been difficult for the average consumer to notice at first. As literary SF was dying a slow, agonized death on the racks, SF in the movies and on TV appeared to flourish. But it was a narrowly defined kind of SF, wedged between the anachronistic feudalism of Star Wars and the paramilitary fascism of “Star Trek” [which of course was really the US in the 1960s] without any room remaining for individuality, let alone individualism.
  • Against and for the LP. Against: libertarians have had some genuine successes over the last 35 years. ... What all these successes have in common is that they were achieved either by working within the two major parties or by efforts outside the context of party politics altogether. The Libertarian Party didn’t play a significant role in any of them. Pro: While it is indeed hard to measure the educational impact of the LP’s efforts on the electorate, there is no doubt that the LP has attracted many more people to the freedom movement than it currently retains as dues-payers. Electoral politics is a very cost-effective way to put the Libertarian label in front of a lot of people who otherwise would never hear of it. Like Ron Paul I’m a Republican on paper (which I used to vote for him) which doesn’t mean anything and am in the LP.
  • Gay marriage, religious rights and freedom of association. Neither the sickle (the mainline-Protestant intelligentsia) nor the swastika (the Protestant right). We should be advocating for more freedom for everyone rather than restrict freedom of a group or class of people.
  • Restricting freedoms and choices. Ron Paul calls it: ‘pro-choice’ really means pro-abortion.
  • The truth about bailouts. Washington can only offer funds that it has borrowed from abroad or printed. Unfortunately, the nation is in the grips of a delusion that money derived from these sources has the power to heal. But history has clearly shown that borrowed or printed money only has the power to destroy

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