Monday, March 31, 2008

Smells Like EPA Spirit!

The EPA is a noble idea.

On a federal level, we make sure that there are certain standards of environmental protection legislation so that we can all, you know, live on the earth and not go extinct and what-not.

Now, I'm a big supporter of state's rights. The whole idea of the American experiment is for us to be a unified nation of independent states. However, we find ourselves in a conundrum.

Last December the EPA blocked California legislation that would have made stricter vehicle emission laws. They blocked this because they claimed that California is not in danger because of global warming (Klebnikov 1)

Let's get this out of the way really quick: Global Warming is real, and humans have dramatically accelerated the process. That's what a whole BUNCH of scientists say, and I believe 'em.

Sooooooooo, Californnia can only tighten up their laws with a waiver from the EPA, and while it has let California alway tighten their legislation since 1968 (1) (even during Republican years for all you "red vs bluers"), this time it didn't.

These kind of government departments are ultimately detrimental, as they allow for the central body to interfere with state legislation processes like this one. And while they may only do it once in awhile, as in the above case, they will still interfere.

The EPA also creates a legal environment for corporations to pollute to a certain amount. They LEGALIZE pollution for their corporate buddies. This department needs a major overhaul. I say make it into a department which takes away all federal protection for polluters, and creates a legal framework of 100% liability, thereby making class action lawsuits against these polluters much easier, and likely.

Think about it: how many new law firms would spring up who would be only in the business of suing polluters for infecting our air, and our lungs?

You have to make it unprofitable to pollute.

The EPA is a noble effort, and I agree with some federal role in environmental policy, but this whole business of actually STOPPING a state from making even better environmental policies for itself is NOT the role of the federal government.


Work Cited:

Klebinikov, Peter, Ed. "Car Wars." Solutions Apr. 2008: 1-2.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Getting Used to Those Bars.

Sounds like a blues song, doesn't it? But alas, it's the mantra uttered for many a poor soul languishing in prison.

Yes, the world's leading prison state must be stopped!

Who is this TL? China? Russia? IRAQ?!

Nay, good, friendly readers, it is none of the above.

Welcome to America. That "free-society" wherein 1 out of every 100 people is in prison. Hey, it's good to be number one in something in the world, right? Why not be the leading prison-state? It's all the vogue right now anyway!

And this is the shocker: most of that population are there for the sale and/or possession of drugs. DRUGS. Not murder, rape, or pillaging, but the sale and/or possession of drugs.

I mean, yikes.

So anyhoo, America also recently sent out a big admonition to China, Burma, and Russia for arbitrarily imprisoning too many of their respective politicians (14).


A.) I'm not going to comment on the hypocrisy. That's like declaring the sun is hot.

B.) I am going to say that once again we see the necessary result of statist intervention on the part of the federal government in terms of the DEA. It should be abolished. Yes, throw the baby out with the bath water. The DEA is a frightening ethnic cleanser, clearly targeted at specific demographics. One in 15 black men is in JAIL, people, and that's compared to 1 in 106 whites (Falk 14). We all know how many white people are out there, doped to the gills, but will never see jail time simply because of the skin color. This persists due to a collectivist outlook on society, in which people are put into groups together, and therefore their individual dispositions are broadly interpreted by the powers that be (news media, statist government, and then citizens) and so individuals become targets. Let us not forget the volumes of stories there are about black individuals with no record whatsoever, being stopped arbitrarily a lot more often than whites.

Now, I'm not here to preach about racism. I AM here to preach about a free society. This kind of society is dependent on individuals being free to involve themselves in drugs if they want to. It is dependent on individualism, so as to not create false demographics in which particular individuals of a specific color or creed are singled out by the prison-state as the dominant criminals, when in fact, we all know this to be false. Does that mean we wouldn't see states enacting regressive drug laws? Of course not, but what we would see is a movement toward a freer society in which the states that voted progressively in terms of drugs would see a drop in crime, and therefore a drop in prison costs, and therefore a boost to their respective economies. This model would eventually spread, as nobody really LIKES a crappy economy.

Get rid of the federal involvement in the complex social issue of drugs, and let us deal with it ourselves. The money saved by the removal of this federal tool of racism/imprisonment would save lives and money, as opposed to the rinse/repeat cycle of death and taxes.


Work Cited

Falk, William, et al, eds. "America, Land of the Unfree." The Week. 28 Mar. 2008: 14.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Education is NOT just for federal judges.


So a federal judge in California ruled that home-schooled kids must be taught by a certified teacher (Falk 5).

Again, sigh.

Now, the judge made this decision based on an education law passed in California in 1950. But I'm going to go ahead and say it: this has nothing to do with a law passed in 1950. This has everything to do with our bumbling, bureaucracy of a government again stepping into the lives of citizens. It is a microcosm of a bigger picture.

I understand that many parents home-school their kids so as to cloister them from a world they believe to be too secular, and I know that many of them teach their kids that global warming doesn't exist, and that the world is 10,000 years old.

Do I think these people are narrow-minded nuts that would rather sign on to superstition and myth rather than empirical evidence that gives much credence to a planet billions of years old and getting hotter as hell everyday?


Do I think, therefore, that the government should step in and make sure such narrow-minded nuttiness is curbed as much as possible so as to save the commons from such idiocy?

Nay, good readers, nay.

Here is the scenario: The Federal government muddles with an education issue in California. Advocates of said education issue get mad. The governor also gets mad and declares that he will fight this decision. The system gets more bogged down, nothing really gets done, and we all pay for it in one way or another.

People of this country have a right to be stupid individuals. They have the right to opt out of the federal education system and do their own thing. They pay taxes too, and they can decide what they want to do, even if we all think they are the aforementioned narrow minded nuts.

And that is why, as a practical libertarian, I say: leave em alone judge! Don't worry your pretty little gavel about whether or not home-schooled kids are getting what the Federal government defines as education. Do we really need to talk about the broken machine known as the Department of Education?

That is what is happening here, not a decision based on a technicality, but continued statist intervention into the lives of individual citizens.

I've got an idea! Get rid of the DoE, give us our money back, create the legal framework to protect competition of private education institutes, thereby providing as many educational options as possible with lower prices, and let individuals decide ALL of their educational needs for themselves and their children.

Hell, I'll even compromise and say give us our money back and let each independent state maintain it's own department of education. At least that way, those legislators couldn't hide in some tower in D.C.

Is it practical to say that education can be handled by the states, and even the people?


Will some states have crappy education systems?


Should we allow that?


But why, TL, why?

Because to be free, we must allow others to be free. They must be free to create and manage their own affairs. To assume that crappy educational for all is worth a Federal DoE, consider this:

They take our money for this department, yet schools are being forced to make contracts with soda pop companies to get money. Now, maybe a new administration will come in, take more of our money, and seemingly improve the system a little bit; but then those same resources are subject to the next administration's moral whim, and they keep the extra money the previous administration took while letting the program degrade.

I have 60 years of American domestic policy history on my side to show the pendulum constantly swinging, and costing the people ever more as the years go on. In order for the system to improve, we the people MUST reclaim it.

The federal government cannot manage education anymore than it can manage the other social issues facing us today.


Work Cited

Falk, William, et al, eds. "The World at a Glance..." The Week. 21 Mar. 2008: 5.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Practicality of Change

It seems I've decided to start blogging about practical libertarianism. As a writer of fiction, I have, as of late, found myself less interested in Harry Potter, and more interested in F.A. Hayek's The Road to Serfdom. Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to finish Harry Potter because it's awesome, but Hayek has really grabbed my attention.

So why blog about practical libertarianism? Is there such a thing? So many in the libertarian party (which will from now on be referred to as LP, as I am clearly too lazy to type full words when I don't have to) argue for change, but I don't feel we talk enough about how to pragmatically move into the system we espouse.

Let us keep in mind that America finds itself up to it's teeth in a 3 trillion dollar war (Falk 16), a broken welfare state, and a marketplace prominently owned by a few parties. How do we begin to get out of this muck? How long will it take?

And how in God's name do we find ourselves here?!

I'm not here to figure it all out, but this libertarian is a practical one, and I am here to look at the complex issues facing us today, and share what one libertarian perspective is on it all.

I am one individual, but I have a voice, and hopefully my writings will find an audience, no matter how small, so that ideas can continue to swim amongst us, freely.


Works Cited

Falk, William, et al, eds. "The $3 Trillion Dollar War." The Week. 21 Mar. 2008: 16.

Hayek, F.A. The Road to Serfdom. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1944.