LLR Pages

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, Libertarian for President?

Former Minnesota Governor (and 9/11 Truther) Jesse Ventura is mulling over a possible LP presidential bid, according to Third Party Watch.

Watch this Google Video of him talking about it (but skip to the 32 minute mark to see and listen to it):

Wayne Allyn Root's 'Hit Piece' Attacks Mary Ruwart Even More on Third Party Watch

Republican-in-Libertarian clothing presidential candidate Wayne Allyn Root allegedly writes this claptrap entitled "Anarchism, Age of Consent Laws and the Dallas Accord" for Third Party Watch, in which he continues his slam on true-blue libertarian and LP presidential candidate Mary Ruwart on her position on child pornography (which was the basis for the pumped-up brouhaha surrounding her new campaign).

It's no secret that this is the same creep who called for her to drop out of the LP race and then denies it on TPW.

Here's a big excerpt of his piece from TWP:

Recently a controversy has arisen over statements Mary Ruwart made in her book Short Answers to the Tough Questions regarding the rights children possess. The most salient quote on this subject is found on page 43 in her book:

Children who willingly participate in sexual acts have the right to make that decision as well, even if it’s distasteful to us personally. Some children will make poor choices just as some adults do in smoking and drinking to excess; this is part of life.

And when given an opportunity to clarify her beliefs, Ms. Ruwart recently made it clear that she continues to be opposed to all age-of-consent laws, even in the case of pre-pubescent children. In a May 1, 2008 prepared statement posted on her website she states:

Dr. Ruwart did not elaborate on how predators would be prosecuted without legislation specifying age of consent. In other discussion, she explained to delegates that courts were likely to consider that pre-pubescent children had been coerced, since desire would be absent. The burden of proof would be on the pornography producer or older sex partner to show that coercion, e.g. rape, had not occurred.

One presumes that Ms. Ruwart is referring to a system of private courts in her quote, since she opposes having courts run by the state.

Ms. Ruwart readily admits to being an anarchist, and her beliefs lead her to take a position that is at odds with the vast majority of Americans, as well as with most members of the Libertarian Party.

Before I demonstrate with logic the fallacy of this position, bear with me for a moment while I speak from the heart.

I readily admit my beliefs are colored by my being the father of four young children, whom I love more than life itself. The nature of who I am and the underlying foundation of what I believe drives me to protect and nurture my children. As a parent, when I read Ms. Ruwart’s statements on child porn and the removal of all laws to protect the most innocent and helpless among us, I had a visceral reaction. I became physically ill. And I can guarantee you that my feelings on this topic are not unusual. I am certain that just about every other decent, caring parent in America would have the same gut-level reaction upon hearing this controversy.

George Phillies: Sensible Answers to Tough Questions, Part 2

LP Presidential Candidate George Phillies unveiled the second and last part of his "Sensible Answers to Tough Questions" series, in which he contrasts his positions and disagrees with Mary Ruwart at the same time.

Global warming is now widely accepted as a fact within the scientific community. What is not yet accepted is the extent to which the planet will warm and the impact that it will have. What will Libertarians do about this issue?

Ruwart: When our weather reporter’s can’t get tomorrow’s temperature right, it’s difficult to believe that global warming can be predicted, isn’t it? (This sentence should be told lightly, as a joke, to elicit agreement.)

As you mentioned, we really don’t know what the effect of global warming might be. High temperatures and CO2 stimulate crop and other plant growth, so global warming could actually be good for us. Any action we take has to be based on the facts, and we just don’t have those yet.

In a libertarian society, if a chemical such as CFC caused a problem, victims could sue the manufacturer for damages. The high cost of restitution would be passed on to CFC consumers, driving up the price. People would turn to cheaper alternatives and CFC production would be automatically curtailed.

People could sue before actual harm was done, so long as they could convince a judge or jury that CFCs actually posed a threat.

Phillies: Research on climate and climate change represents an enormous effort by thousands of people. Vast computer facilities exist primarily to study climate change. Billions of dollars are spent to deploy specialized earth satellites and other scientific instruments to study our atmosphere. Polar expeditions set forth, at significant risk to the lives of participants, to examine arctic ice conditions.

What about the question “When our weather reporter’s can’t get tomorrow’s temperature right, it’s difficult to believe that global warming can be predicted, isn’t it?” For almost all academic scientists, the reward of scientific research is almost entirely the personal satisfaction of untangling a scientific puzzle. If there were no hope of predicting climate accurately, wouldn’t real scientists have noticed, and transferred their work elsewhere?

The answer, of course, is that it is actually almost infinitely easier to predict climate than it is to predict the weather. Why?

It’s actually very simple. To predict climate, you only need to predict odds accurately, and it’s much easier to predict odds than to predict results. If I roll a quality Las Vegas die, the odds are very exactly one in six that I will roll a “two”. If I roll that die 600 times, I will roll 'two' a hundred or so times. If you try to predict whether you will roll a 'two' on your very next roll, well, that’s a lot harder, isn’t it? For the same reason, predicting climate is a lot easier than predicting weather.

In dealing with pollution, litigation can make sense if there is a single source that does a lot of damage to specifically identifiable people. If the local power company decides to save money on disposing of clinker ash by dumping ten tons of it on my front lawn, the responsible party is identifiable, the repair costs are identifiable, and the responsible party’s pockets are deep enough to support litigation.

In the global warming case, the responsible parties are everyone mining or using any fossil fuel or any process that vents methane into the air, the persons damaged include almost everyone, and the cost of assessing responsibility is astronomical. You have around the world several billion damaged parties, each with different facts of their cases requiring separate adjudication, against a similar number of differenced defendants. That’s trillions or potential lawsuits.

Where do you find the lawyers? Furthermore, for most of the injured parties, money is not the issue. They don’t want money, they want an ozone layer. For this sort of diffuse case, the litigation-restitution approach is completely unworkable.

How do we deal with global pollution? (page 30)

Ruwart: Thankfully, most pollution does more local than international damage, thereby discouraging polluters. For example, governments try to prevent Chernobyl-type accidents because their local population is put at greater risk than the international community. The country that polluted the oceans enough to cause global damage, for example, would destroy its own fishing first. The country that polluted its own air enough to disturb other nations would asphyxiate its own population in the process. Thus, global pollution is a highly unlikely event.

Phillies: While our understanding of atmospheric chemistry and its effects on meteorology has advanced considerably in the last decade, it remains clear that individual countries have created and are creating global atmospheric pollution.

A simple example of global atmospheric pollution is supplied by the chlorofluorocarbons, substances that are nearly inert and harmless on the ground. These safe, harmless materials were once manufactured all around the world. When transported to the stratosphere and brought in contact with stratospheric ice crystals, these substances had a catastrophic effect on the ozone layer near the poles. The effect is only now coming under control, as a result of rigorous planet-wide treaty restrictions on CFC production.

Similarly, there is massive evidence that the current global changes in climate are being driven in considerable part by man-made releases of carbon dioxide and methane. The huge increases in energy consumption in China, India, and Russia lead to matching increases in production of carbon dioxide. Fortunately, there is appreciable evidence that natural law will do what legislative law has not, namely the supplies of oil and coal will be exhausted before atmospheric carbon dioxide reaches levels vastly higher than those now encountered.

In the atmosphere, levels of carbon dioxide and methane are essentially never harmful to local populations. However, rising ocean levels are causing property protection questions along the coast. An increase of a foot or two in sea level is really bad if your home started a foot or two above sea level.

U.S. Immigration Policy Is So Backwards

Federal immigration bureaucrats are arresting independent migrants who are trying to leave the United States.

Right. That really makes sense.

The government has a new approach to border enforcement. Instead of just focusing on people who are entering the country illegally, the Los Angeles Times says federal agents are also arresting undocumented foreigners who are trying to leave the United States.

Ron Paul's A Revolution: A Manifesto #1 on NYT Bestseller List

Ron Paul's A Revolution: A Manifesto will be #1 on the New York Times' bestseller list on May 18. This is done to the satisfaction of every Ron Paul supporter -- libertarian and conservative -- and to the chagrin of every statist who can't stand him.

A Hilarious Leftist Review of The Revolution: A Manifesto

A typical leftist scribes a hilarious yet interesting review of Ron Paul's new book The Revolution: A Manifesto. You would think someone like him would say nice things about the book, just because Ron is an honest guy and makes sensible and courageous salient points to back up his facts.

It's interesting alright, although the man makes some snarky comments about Ron's pro-liberty ideas along the way.

That Vile and Diabolical Fed

Take a look at this following disgusting headline. It surely makes the Onion look like a rank amateur!

From the piece "U.S. Fed Now Accepts Credit Card Debt as Collateral":

The Fed is now expanding that list of asset-backed securities to include collateralized car loans, credit card receivables, and student loans. It's doing so because the lack of demand for bonds backed by those assets has had a real political impact in an election year. Students can't get loans for American universities because investors won't buy bonds issued by the banks who made the loans to the students. No funding, no college.

The Revolution March Is Coming on July 12

The most radical event will be arriving in D.C. on July 12. Check it out here!

Here's the video:

Americans Becoming Mistrustful of the Fed

Finally, it's happening, considering the American Empire's central bank is the purveyor of an expansionist money supply and the generator of inflation, business cycles, war mongering, and redistribution of money from the poor to the rich and infamous.

John Bolton - Neocon Thug Extraordinaire

Neocon thug extraordinaire John Bolton is anxious to "test the waters" for the nuking the Iranians.

Here's an excerpt of the Daily Telegraph:

John Bolton, America’s ex-ambassador to the United Nations, has called for US air strikes on Iranian camps where insurgents are trained for war in Iraq.

John Bolton was an influential member of President Bush's inner circle
Mr Bolton said that striking Iran would represent a major step towards victory in Iraq. While he acknowledged that the risk of a hostile Iranian response harming American’s overseas interests existed, he said the damage inflicted by Tehran would be 'far higher' if Washington took no action.

'This is a case where the use of military force against a training camp to show the Iranians we’re not going to tolerate this is really the most prudent thing to do,' he said. 'Then the ball would be in Iran’s court to draw the appropriate lesson to stop harming our troops.'

Mr Bolton, an influential former member of President George W Bush’s inner circle, dismissed as 'dead wrong' reported British intelligence conclusions that the US military had overstated the support that Iran was providing to Iraqi fighters.

Ron Paul on FOX News' Your World with Neil Cavuto

Ron Paul appeared on Your World with Neil Cavuto yesterday. Read the transcript here.

A Scoop Tribute to the Death of 'Baskin Robbins' Co-Founder and Entrepreneur Irvine Robbins

Irvine Robbins, ice cream entrepreneur and co-founder of the Baskin Robbins ice cream eatery chain, passed away of natural causes at age 90 this past Monday.

Let's give a warm 31-flavored-cone salute to the enterprise who gobbled "3 or 4 scoops a day."

[Hat tip to Mike Tennant who brought this to the LRC blog readers' attention.]

Web Poll: Libertarianism and Retribution

I've been discussing the issue of restitution versus retribution with some other libertarians. One of them maintains that force may be used against an aggressor only in self defense, or to compel restitution, but that it is unjust to ever purely punish an aggressor--that it is always disproportionate, and in fact violate's the aggressor's rights. I disagree. He also maintains that most libertarians are restitutionists not only in the sense that they prefer or predict a restitution-based justice system (as I do), but they also believe as he does that punishing an aggressor necessarily violates the aggressor's rights. I do not think proportional punishment violates the aggressor's rights, nor do I think most libertarians believe this. Participate in the poll below, so we can find out.

Libertarianism and Retribution

Does proportionally punishing an aggressor violate his rights?

Maybe/not sure