Welcome to Fearless Philosophy for Free Minds, home of Carnival of Liberty VI. Before I get started, I would like to thank Eric Cowperthwaite of Eric’s Grumbles Before the Grave (who will be hosting the next carnival, Carnival of Liberty VII) for allowing me this opportunity and assistance in presenting the crème de la crème posts from some of the most talented writers in the blogosphere. Most of the carnival’s entries are from liberty-minded bloggers which can be read daily on the Life, Liberty, and Property Group Blog and the Life, Liberty, and Property Community Homepage hosted by The Truth Laid Bear. I would also like to thank Brad Warbainy of The Unrepentant Individual for helping me with the technical side of hosting this carnival and everyone out there who promoted this carnival on their sites.
I find the term ‘carnival’ very appropriate for this alliance of bloggers known as LLP. Dictionary.com’s definition of carnival is as follows:
- often Carnival The period of merrymaking and feasting celebrated just before Lent.
- A traveling amusement show usually including rides, games, and sideshows.
- A festival or revel: winter carnival.
I think the second definition fits best when I think of The Carnival of Liberty. As with the second definition, The Carnival of Liberty travels from one blog to the next to promote the host’s blog and the LLP community as a whole. The posts are very amusing and many of these posts take the readers for a ride, challenging the readers to think of the world in a different way. Sometimes the authors play games with our minds playing devil’s advocate to challenge us even more.
My favorite part of the second definition: sideshows. As Democrats and Republicans continue to blame each other (there is plenty of blame to go around fellas) for the ills of the government and advance little or no ideas of any substance, those of us in the LLP community write about big ideas which promote the individual’s right to life, liberty, and property (in Jefferson’s words in The Declaration of Independence, “the pursuit of happiness”). Yes, we are the sideshows of the national debate who actually believe the plain language of the United States Constitution says what it means and means what it says. We believe the Constitution was written for the common man to understand.
Unfortunately, ‘law experts’ with agendas from both the Left and the Right have obscured the meaning to fit their political ends. It’s up to we, the liberty-loving people everywhere to re-educate others about what the Constitution actually says. With that, I will present my 2 February posts to this, the sixth edition of the Carnival of Liberty: The First Amendment Explained Part 1: Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses and The First Amendment Explained Part 2: Free Speech.
Next up, David V. Gulliver presents to us the results of his non-scientific poll he has been conducting on his blog Resistance is Futile to find out who his readers think should be the nominee for the Republican presidential ticket in 2008. In a field of 9 candidates and the choice of ‘other’ the overwhelming favorite among David’s readers is Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with 43%. The second highest choice is George Allen with 12%. What does this all mean? Go read David’s post where he offers his analysis.
Angry in T.O. of Angry in the Great White North (that would be Canada for us Yankees) writes a post called Kelo Decision: The march to take your property begins in the US. I think his fears are valid; if property rights are no longer safe in the U.S.A, where would they be?
David Gross of The Picket Line summarizes his carnival submission as follows:
Some liberty-minded folks suggest tax resistance as a way of battling the state, or at least reducing complicity with it. But critics - ranging from objectivists like Greg Swann to pacifist tax resisters like A.J. Muste and M.K. Gandhi -note that it is easy to take a tax resistance stand that amounts to merely a "vanity" protest and that does more to restrict than to advance liberty.
Eric Cowperthwaite of Eric’s Grumbles Before the Grave sent in 2 submissions. His first responds to a comment at a meeting in Washington D.C. concerning the District’s strict gun laws. A pastor at the meeting said: “You can’t be pro-God, pro-family, and pro-gun.” Eric skillfully tears this fallacy to shreds in his post simply titled: Really?
In Eric’s second post: A Response to Dan Melson: My Right to Property, Eric explains why there is no ‘right to privacy’ as privacy is a constructed right.
Speaking of Dan Melson of Searchlight Crusade, Melson checks in with 2 posts of his own. His first post is On Liberty and Regulation; Theory and Practicality.
Melson’s second post is an economics lesson about The Housing Bubble.
T.F. Stern of T.F. Stern’s Rantings opines about his thoughts on “rent assisted” housing units. Prior to reading Stern’s post I was unfamiliar with this term. Basically what “rent assisted” means is that the government will pay 80% of the rent on a housing unit if the renter pays the other 20%, thus explaining why he titled his post 80/20. Sounds like a sweet deal huh? Maybe to those who have no problem picking the pocket of his fellow citizen to live above their means. Stern explains:
There is something terribly wrong with a system of government when it rewards those who aspire to lower levels by rewarding them with homes paid for with tax money from their equals or barely above the same arbitrarily derived qualification level income. I have no issue with helping those “less fortunate” via my voluntary contributions at church or through other voluntary means; however, I am more than vehemently perturbed to hear that some folks are getting a free ride at my expense.
Greg of Rhymes with Right writes about President Bush’s controversial recess appointment to the U.N.- John Bolton in his post Bolton Installed; Dems Angry -- The Solution. While Democrats want Americans to believe the president bypassed the Constitutional process by not allowing the Senate to have its say, Greg correctly points out that if the Democrats had not prevented Bolton from having an up or down vote, the recess appointment would not be necessary because he would have likely been confirmed.
Kevin Boyd, the Louisiana Libertarian comments on California’s assault on freedom of association in a post titled: California courts expand “rights” for gay couples. Kevin explains that gay and straight couples should be treated equally under the law, however, he believes the court decision went beyond that writing:
I think this is a horrible decision. It uses the power of the California state government to force private businesses to give benefits to people the businesses do not want to give benefits to. A business has the right to decide how it wants to serve its customers. It happens that in this case businesses defined marriage as between one man and one woman and refused to give that same treatment to gay couples. That's their right and the government has no business telling them otherwise.
Ogre submits an informative post about Jury Nullification. Have you ever wondered if jurors are really required to follow the judge’s directions? In a word, the answer is no. Ogre explains:
“…you can quite literally make any decision you want when on a jury, and you CANNOT be punished for it. If you ever get selected for jury service, know this and get informed!”
Mark A. Rayner of The Skwib submits a humorous post to the Carnival of Liberty titled: Unfrozen caveman lawyer defends Marc Emery. Ah, the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, that was one of my favorite SNL skits by Phil Hartman.
“Your Honour, I’m just a caveman. I fell in a crevasse, froze, and later got thawed out by some of your scientists. Your world frightens and confuses me!”
Who needs F. Lee Bailey with a legal defense like that? It’s a great post for a quick laugh.
Jacqueline Passey chose to pass on an article by Walter E. Williams rather than submit an article of her own. Williams’ article titled Human vs. Property Rights is an excellent example of what the Life, Liberty, and Property group is all about in my opinion. This excerpt from the article sums up the main idea of his article:
… it's bogus to make a distinction between human, civil and property rights can be seen in another way. In a free society, each person is his own private property; I own myself and you own yourself. That's why it's immoral to rape or murder. It violates a person's property rights.
The fact of self-ownership also helps explain why theft is immoral. For self-ownership to be meaningful, a person must have ownership rights to what he produces or earns. A good working description of slavery is that it is a condition where a person does not own what he produces. What he produces belongs to someone else.
Thanks for sharing that wonderful article with us Jaqueline!
Jay of Stop the ACLU wonders why the ACLU seems to be less than interested in protecting the civil rights of gun owners and the Second Amendment in a post titled: ACLU and The Second Amendment. Jay writes:
One would think that an organization that claims it’s purpose is to protect our Constitutional rights would readily defend our second amendment. Sadly, this is not the case. The ACLU is completely absent in defending this right, and while it has not become active in fighting it, its policy clearly shows why they don’t defend it….they don’t believe in it!
I have often wondered what the ACLU’s position on the Second Amendment was myself Jay. Thanks for clarifying that for us.
John Henke of QandO Blog presents his post Taxonomy of Liberal Blogs. Henke critiques 16 blogs from the Left side of the political spectrum in as fair of a way he knows how.
Dan Morgan of No Speed Bumps offers his submission to the carnival: Nanny Disapproves of Your Old Car. Safety standards of automobiles continue to evolve...could your vehicle someday become legally obsolete? If you are a vintage car collector, you especially need to take a look at this post.
KJ of No Government Cheese presents a post called Smoking Bans—Property Rights. The cheesemiester writes:
The problem with laws like this is not that they violate smoker's rights. Nor that they favor one group like me -- people who prefer non-smoking environments (except for about 12 times a year I want a cigar in a public place). I admit that I benefit by having more places to take my whole family.
No, I don't really care about the smoker/non-smoker war of exchangeable rudeness. I do care about the true liberty denied by these unnecessary and unjust laws. These laws unfairly regulate the property/business owner. As such, they should be vetoed by any property and freedom respecting governor.
Matt Barr, the New World Man gives us his views on property rights in a post titled: Broken Windows and Liberty.
Brad Warbainy of The Unrepentant Individual uses sarcasm in his post: NCAA to end use of “Boilermaker” nickname. The NCAA recently decided to ban offensive nicknames and mascots (mostly Native American) for tournament and championship play. The Unrepentant Individual and his band of free radicals are not too pleased.
Will Franklin of WILLisms.com brings the Social Security debate to the carnival with his post: Hayek on Social Security. Will writes:
It is really no wonder, then, that the American personal savings rate is so low. People who are perfectly able to save for their own retirement are consciously deciding to save less (or nothing at all), because the government, in theory, is already taking about 1/8 of every dollar earned and setting it aside in a savings account, to be returned with compounded interest at retirement. Unfortunately, that's not how it works. At all.
Individ brings a post to the carnival titled: The Constant Assaults on America, by Amerika. What the heck does that mean? You’ll have to read it to find out.
Anyone remember a little movie called Porky’s? Robert Bell of Libertopia does. Robert has an updated version called Porky’s 2005. Unfortunately, Robert’s version is the true story of a GOP run congress which wastes the people’s money much like their hormone-driven, beer guzzling, skirt chasing, fraternity brothers in the original Porky’s. Sorry Robert, I think I prefer the original : )
Richard G. Combs of Combs Spouts Off in this post spouts off about Drawing the line on privately-owned weapons.
The final ‘sideshow’ of this Carnival of Liberty is Perry Eidelbus of Eidelblog with his post Thomas Friedman on the energy bill.
Thanks to everyone who submitted a post to this carnival. Great posts all around!
This Carnival of Liberty can also be found at The Truth Laid Bear's UberCarnival
UPDATE: The link for R.G. Combs' article has been fixed. My appologies to Mr. Combs. Thank you for pointing out the error Owlish. If anyone has trouble reaching any of the posts, please leave a comment and I'll fix it.