LLR Pages

Monday, May 5, 2008

The World's Youngest Drummer

Check out this 3-year-old Detroit boy who's been heralded as one of the world's youngest drummer. According to the Detroit News, the kid who has a 20-pierce custom drum set jams with a number of various musicians and well-known session players.
Go check out the videos of the kid in action.

What's exciting about this kid is that, at the age of 3 months, Julian Pavone started drumming while he was in his dad's baby sling, began to do drum rolls at the age of 9 months, landed his first contract gig at 15 months of age, and has performed at the House of Blues.

'He plays like a 30-year-old with such precision, definition and focus that it's incredible,' said Grammy Award-winning guitarist and producer Michael J. Powell.

Julian, dubbed the world's youngest drummer on his Web site,, gained national recognition for his skills at age 2 and will be featured next Monday on 'Oprah,' along with other extraordinary children.

'Playing the drums is so cool,' Julian said, grinning at his proud father, Bernadino Pavone, before slowing things down with Journey's 'Lights.'

It gets even better:

'You can tell he has a passion for it because he's never forced to play. He's always asking to get on the drums,' said Powell, who's producing and network-shopping a reality television show called 'Finding Julian's Band.'

...'He's a little too young to read music, so we're developing his ear for music, which is a great skill for any musician,' said music teacher Francesco Cavallini of the Flint Institute of Music. 'If you can't really hear music, you're just a robot when you play. We're working on rhythms and from there it will be melodies.'

'He's truly a brilliant kid because he can pick up the most difficult passages of music. When I first played with him at 19 months he was playing a 7/4 rhythm, which is seven beats a measure, and then started subdividing it. That's something most young musicians can't do,' added [Ralphe] Armstrong, a Detroit native who jammed with Julian and Powell earlier in the day.

What an incredible child! Here's a piece on his family.

Maryland to Metal Dealers: Submit to Taxation and Licensure Or Else

The collectivistic criminal gang known as the State of Maryland is coercing metal dealers who heat metal to recycle, which is actually good for the environment. However, its effort to stifle these peddlers is actually outrageous to the extreme. The state is attempting to slap a huge tax on the dealers, requiring them to be licensed if they want to continue their businesses, produce and keep detailed documentation of where they procure every ounce of metal that they melt, and comply with new required regulatory waiting periods before they engage in every business transaction.

Here's an excerpt of the uproar regarding the state's monstrosity:

Carmen Micucio Jr. thinks state lawmakers may have dealt a death blow to the recycling business he's spent 26 years building in Glasgow.

And he's not alone. Scrap dealers across the state are protesting new regulations that go into effect June 1 requiring, among other things, licensing, detailed documentation on all items bought and sold and waiting periods that will slow the sale of scrap metal in a time of turbulent prices.

'The law puts Delaware dealers at a competitive disadvantage because there are dealers just over the line in Chester, Pa., who are not subject to that law,' said Scott Sherr, president of Diamond State Recycling in Wilmington, the state's largest scrap metal processor.

The law, adopted a year ago, was designed to tighten regulation of scrap metal processors, pawnshops and secondhand dealers to help police stem the flow of stolen goods.

A second law passed in April further tightened regulations on the resale of copper after a slew of thefts this spring at homes, farms and construction sites fueled by the rapid jump in world copper prices.

Violations of the new law are misdemeanors punishable by $10,000 fines and the loss of the dealer's license.

Sherr and Micucio say legislators never visited them before writing the law to see how the business works and assess how the new regulations would hurt.

'They railroaded this through,' Sherr said. 'We're going back to Legislative Hall and tell them why it won't work.'

Police and lawmakers contend the law was needed to make sure dealers keep better records so police would be able to track people who pawned or sold stolen property.

The law also requires that dealers keep metals they buy on hand for 18 days before reselling them, a step police say is needed so stolen materials can be tracked -- and the seller identified -- before they are crushed or melted down.

Every scrap metal processor must specifically state on a form how all copper, silver, gold or brass was acquired. The forms must be kept for a year and provided to police upon request.

[Hat tip to LRC blogger Chris Brunner for alerting us freedom-lovers today.]

Don't You Dare Mention 'Tasers' In Your Autopsies!

From The Valley's Home Page:

AKRON, Ohio - A medical examiner must change her autopsy findings to delete any reference that stun guns contributed to the deaths of three people involved in confrontations with law enforcement officers, a judge ruled.

Friday's decision was a victory for Taser International Inc., which had challenged rulings by Summit County Medical Examiner Lisa Kohler, including a case in which five sheriff's deputies are charged in the death a jail inmate who was restrained by the wrists and ankles and hit with pepper spray and a stun gun.

Kohler ruled that the 2006 death of Mark McCullaugh Jr., 28, was a homicide and that he died from asphyxiation due to the 'combined effects of chemical, mechanical and electrical restraint.'

Visiting Judge Ted Schneiderman said in his ruling that there was no expert evidence to indicate that Taser devices impaired McCullaugh's respiration. 'More likely, the death was due to a fatal cardiac arrhythmia brought on by severe heart disease,' the judge wrote.

Schneiderman ordered Kohler to rule McCullaugh's death undetermined and to delete any references to homicide.

The judge also said references to stun guns contributing to the deaths of two other men must be deleted from autopsy findings. Dennis Hyde, 30, died in 2005 after a confrontation with Akron police, and Richard Holcomb, 18, died the same year after being hit with a stun by a police officer in suburban Springfield Township.

L. Neil Smith: 'Time for A Purge?'

Four-time Prometheus Award-winner and The Libertarian Enterprise publisher L. Neil Smith has penned a new op-ed for TLE entitled "Time for a Purge?," which blasts the LP's recent press release calling for more federal oversight and urging state and local authorities to "cooperate" for the purpose of cracking down on the scourge of kiddie porn.

Neil writes:

[T]he first priority of any real libertarian is to ensure everybody knows and thoroughly understands that anyone who refuses to take the Zero Aggression Principle seriously, as the central, indispensable tenet of the movement—or in the case of the LP, to take the oath of zero aggression—should not be regarded as a libertarian at all, but just another thug reserving a right he mistakenly imagines he has to initiate force against his fellow human beings whenever he finds it convenient.

I don't know enough these days about the internal politics of the national LP to say whether these specimens have anything to do with the vermin who raped the party platform last time around (in the 70s, the platform called for the abolition of the FBI), but they are of exactly the same ilk, not 'moderate' libertarians, not 'gradualist' libertarians, not even 'neo' libertarians, but anti libertarians, whose effect—whether they intended it that way or not—is the single most destructive force against individual liberty that I know of.

If this was indeed meant to embarrass all those pesky radicals out of the party, then it's bound to misfire. The trouble is, by 'radical' this collaborationist trash means anyone standing on principle, rather than navigating by perceived political expedience (which, as I've demonstrated on numerous occasions, usually proves incorrect in a practical, as well as ethical sense). 'Radicals' have been fighting this particular fight (some of them for half their lives or more) for better than three decades. They are hardened to an extent their opponents can't conceive. If anybody's going to get embarrassed out of the party, it's going to be these Vichy Quisling concentration camp trustees.

If they really want to play it this way—accusing anyone they dislike of favoring child pornography—then let them stand accused in public of ethically signing off on Waco, Ruby Ridge, the FLDS raid, and every other evil, murderous thing the state has ever done to children.

On the other hand, if this sort of ugly struggle is to be avoided, what needs to be done—and immediately—is for the LP board of directors to hand Cory and Davis their walking papers, and then to publicly retract and apologize for their original anti-libertarian statement. If the board fails with regard to principal in this affair, they, too, should be replaced, at the upcoming national convention in Denver.

To that end, THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE is asking you to join us in rectifying this sorry situation. We will shortly have an online petition up. Check back for it, look it over, and add your name to those demanding what's right.

George Phillies: Sensible Answers to Tough Questions, Part 1

LP presidential contender George Phillies unveiled the first part of his "Sensitive Answers to Tough Questions," which he contrasts his positions with and disagrees with Mary Ruwart at the same time.

We Can Politely Disagree:

Sensible Answers to Tough Questions, Part 1

Having urged civil disagreement between candidates, I now enumerate a few points where Mary Ruwart and I take different stands on issues. The following are issues that have significant national interest: The National debt. National defense. Climate Change. Pollution. Our answers differ a great deal. Which do you prefer? That choice is up to you.

Dr. Ruwart describes herself as being from the libertarian wing of the Libertarian Party. I view myself as being from the centrist wing of the Libertarian Party: I'm not Republican Lite, and I'm not an anarchist.

#1 What is the Libertarian response to handling the National Debt?

*Ruwart* (pp. 91-92, Short Answers to the Tough Questions by Mary J. Ruwart): The national debt represents loans to government secured by its willingness to tax (steal from) its citizens. Thus, some Libertarians view buying government bonds as encouraging a thief and have no qualms about repudiating the debt. Others believe that government property (including over 40% of the U.S. landmass) should be liquidated to repay the debt, wholly or in part.

*Phillies*: Three choices for solving the national debt are paying it, selling assets, and repudiating it. I say that we should eliminate the National debt by paying it. Can we? It's exactly like paying off a house mortgage. If you want to
pay off a mortgage over 30 years, your monthly payment on the principal starts near a tenth of a percent of initial debt. We have nine trillion dollars of national debt. A budget surplus around $100 billion a year and constant future payments makes our funded national debt go away by 2040. What about alternative solutions?

Sell Federal lands? That won't work. Why? America has around a billion acres of Federal land. Parts of that land, such as the Grand Canyon, simply will not be sold. To pay off the national debt by selling the rest, we'd need to clear around $10,000 an acre. In contrast, in eastern Kansas and Western Missouri, real estate ads show farmland for one or two thousand dollars per acre. Selling all our Federal lands might raise, being optimistic about central Alaska, perhaps a trillion dollars, ignoring what happens to real estate prices if 40% of our land area hits the market. A trillion dollars is barely a tenth of the funded National debt.

Repudiate the national Debt? Ask yourself: What happens next? Huge numbers of Americans bought T-Bills for their retirement. Their retirement savings are wiped out. Foreign governments hold dollar reserves in Treasury bonds. The value of the dollar vanishes. Banks hold financial reserves in Treasury bonds. Those banks are insolvent; their doors close. The economy collapses. Furthermore, no one -- neither foreign governments nor our own citizens would be willing to lend the U.S. money again since by this point we would have established that we renege on our obligations.

My good friend Mike Badnarik always asks: 'Is it Constitutional?' No, repudiation is not constitutional. The 14th Amendment says so. And the opposition parties chant 'Repudiation is Theft'.

#2: Libertarian National Defense

*Ruwart*: Free trade is the best national defense we could ever have. No country bombs their trading partners. (page 77)

*Phillies*: A real defense requires real defenses. Trade is no defense. Countries that trade with each other go to war regularly. A few examples:

Consider the Latin American countries attacked and occupied, sometimes repeatedly, by their major trade partner, the United States. World War I was fought between countries that had traded substantially with each other. In 1937, Japan invaded major trade partner China. In 1941, when Germany invaded Russia, and 1945, when
Russia invaded Manjukuo, each country attacked a major trading partner. In 1943, Italy declared war on Germany, which had been not only its largest trade partner but its primary military ally.

National defense requires a real national defense policy, such as the national defense policy that I have previously proposed [here].

[Hip tip to TPW for its posting on this as well.]

Mary Ruwart: 'When We Will Ever Learn?'

Mary Ruwart, in an outstanding piece at, posits how she would have dealt with al Qaeda on 9/11 and how we can get out of Iraq:

What should we have done after 9/11? Clearly, we had not only the right but the responsibility to track down and punish the aggressors behind the attacks and destroy their ability to conduct further attacks. We had the tools at hand to do so – the Rewards for Justice Program had previously been successful in bringing terrorists, including 1993 World Trade Center bombing architect, Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, to justice. Bounties work, as we learned in our own history with the use of privateers and letters of marque and reprisal.

Instead, we invaded Afghanistan to pursue "regime change" and "nation-building." Nearly seven years later, the invasion has become an endless occupation, the new government we set up controls only 30 percent of the country, the Taliban menaces Pakistan – and al-Qaeda's leadership remains very much at large.

After that, we invaded Iraq to topple Saddam's Ba'athist regime – a regime that Osama bin Laden ranked second only to the U.S. as an enemy and a country in which al-Qaeda had no significant presence. Five years later, we continue to expend blood and treasure trying to bring peace to a nation we ourselves tipped into chaos. Our occupation provides the only remaining excuse for foreign al-Qaeda fighters to be tolerated by local populations. Indeed, while Shi'ite and Kurdish populations have always opposed Sunni al-Qaeda, even the Sunnis are turning against foreign al-Qaeda forces in areas where the U.S. forces have gotten out of the way. Let's get completely out of the way.

Mary's absolutely right. If we hadn't engaged in "nation-building" and government-approved "regime change," we could have sent mercenaries to take out the entire terrorists without so much as inflicting collateral damage in Afghanistan. We could have avoided the war in Iraq had we pursued this course of action.

Now it's imperative, more than ever, to restore our foreign policy of non-interventionism and not just ending the war in Iraq.