Christopher Preble, Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies at the CATO Institute, explains the libertarian way of war and foreign policy. The video is approximately 21 minutes.
In domestic affairs, libertarians believe that the sole purpose of government is to advance human liberty. The state should interfere as little as possible with an individual’s ability to earn an honest living and to enjoy the fruits of his or her labor. A prudent and effective government possesses only a few enumerated powers, and it derives those just powers from the consent of the governed.
In foreign policy, libertarians believe that people should be free to buy and sell goods and services, study and travel, and otherwise interact with people from other lands and places, unencumbered by the intrusions of government. We’re skeptical of direct foreign assistance from one government to another, but confident that the myriad, voluntary interactions between individuals that define modern society, are conducive to economic prosperity. Most important, it is a basic human right. As such, a libertarian foreign policy is confident and cosmopolitan. Whereas others fear what might happen if government were smaller and less intrusive, libertarians are optimistic that, on balance, those governments that govern best, govern least.
A wise foreign policy, explained Thomas Jefferson in his first Inaugural Address, was a modest one: peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none. This is what libertarians believe. But questions of war and peace, though only one aspect of foreign policy, two sides of the same coin, really, are arguably the most important. And the question of when and whether to wage war abroad, distinguishes libertarianism from other philosophies. Though few libertarians are doctrinaire pacifists, libertarians have traditionally favored peace over war, and have done so more consistently than progressives and conservatives.
Last night, I went for a ride in my car. When I left, it was several minutes after 2:00 a.m. You might be asking, “Moose, why are you driving around in the middle of the night?” There are barely any other drivers on the road at two in the morning! I’m almost always the first car at a traffic light. When the light turns green, I don’t have to wait for inattentive drivers to realize the color of the light. There aren’t people traveling at 10-15 MPH below the speed limit. I don’t have to deal with people stepping on the brakes at every street corner, presumably to read the street signs. During the daytime, some intersections are incredibly busy, and even if the light is green, if you’re far back in the line, you might not make it through until the next green light.
Along with that, the world’s a quieter, prettier place at night. At least it usually is. Once in the town, I notice another driver — a happily rare occurrence — but think nothing of it until they happen to turn down the exact same four streets as I did. Then I figure I’m being followed and try to ditch them, which is rather difficult when you’re moving at the speed limit. I get out on a main road and they pull around the corner. A short way up the road, I pull over, hoping they just pass by. Instead, they pull alongside my car and stop and I just see a woman staring at me. After honking for a couple seconds, I throw my car in reverse and back up. The other driver drives up the street and I turn around and continue on my way. Fortunately, I had my GPS on, which kept recalculating the route to the park and it told me which way to go. A moment later, I’m sitting at a traffic light (and I’m first in line!). The light turns green and I go through. A moment later, I see red and blue lights flashing and I start wondering why I’m being pulled over. I had only been driving about 5 MPH over the speed limit and the light was green.
About a minute passes and an officer walks up to my car and knocks on the window. Her first question wasn’t about my license and registration, not that I was expecting it to be. She asked where I was going, and I told her I was going for a ride. When she asked where, I said the park. Shining her flashlight at my radio, she told me, roughly, what time it was and the conversation went something like the following.
“You’re going for a ride at 2:30 a.m.?”
Now, I have been called weird before and considering some people I know, I take it as a compliment. Still, it’s rude for someone to call you “weird” when they haven’t even met you. Anyway, the officer told me that they had had a couple burglaries in the area and that it was suspicious that I was driving around in circles. By the way, I was driving around in circles because there was a car traveling in the exact same direction around all those corners. All I could see was a pair of headlights. The officer asked me, “Couldn’t you see the bar across the top?” apparently not realizing how difficult it is to see when it isn’t lit.
She then asks for my license and registration, and heads back to her car. Her partner then comes over and asks me some questions, telling me he overheard some of the conversation. He asks if I’m going to meet anyone in the park, whether I was on medication, whether I smoked pot, etc. Long story short, the other officer returned my license and registration, reiterated her justification for pulling me over, and we each went on our way.
As with the rest of the enumerations in the Bill of Rights, the 9th Amendment acknowledges rights retained by me and all individuals. The 9th Amendment states that I have rights even though they are not listed in that document. Among those rights is my right to be weird.
James Holmes, the suspect behind the recent massacre at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater, called himself “The Joker.”
Accused killer James Eagan Holmes, 24, maniacally laughed at cops like Batman’s archenemy and declared, “I am the Joker” after he was arrested outside the Century 16 theater in the quiet Denver suburb of Aurora at about 1:30 a.m. yesterday, police sources told The Post.
In the 2008 film The Dark Knight, the second of the trilogy, there is a scene which may shed some light on Mr. Holmes. The actual Joker, decked out in a nurse’s uniform, lectures badly injured former DA Harvey Dent about plans.
Friday afternoon, I drove about an hour to an elementary school gymnasium for Governor Chris Christie’s latest town hall, and my first. Having never been to the school before, I parked in front and wondered where to go. Fortunately, I noticed a few people walking up the road and decided to follow them. When I got to the front door of the building, I heard one of the men say that according to the fire marshal, they had reached capacity. So I thought, oh well, I guess I’m going home. Then a group of people behind me headed toward the side door, and what the heck, I went with them.
We went inside, walked through a couple doors, and ended up seated in chairs on stage. Whenever the Governor’s staff gets around to uploading a clip or two, you might see me in the back, scrunched in between two other people.
Anyway, there I was, on stage, seated in front of a giant American flag, listening to some Brad Paisley songs, waiting for the Governor.
Supposedly the subject of Erin Burnett’s segment was Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed ban on 16-ounce beverages in restaurants, movie theaters and food courts (not grocery or convenience stores, and there are exempted items like milkshakes, diet soda, and alcohol). However her arguments in favor of the ban bear little if any relevance to the issue.
Burnett talks about revenue. She mentions how much money Coca Cola and Pepsi — “Big Sugar” — brought in last year, but not how much of that was profit, assuming that Coke’s bottom line is important to the discussion. Burnett rattles off several factoids about the “obesity epidemic,” that 190 million Americans are so-called “overweight,” that 25 million are diabetic, and that we spend hundreds of billions of dollars on healthcare costs that are somehow connected to sugary drinks.
“So maybe we really do need a superhero to help us fight the food-cocaine dealers and help us help ourselves,” says Burnett, not explaining why cocaine dealers are inherently wicked or how Coke is as addictive as coke. That aside, let’s say there is an obesity problem and that large servings of carbonated beverages are a contributing factor. Why should the first (or any) step in solving the problem, be to beg the government to save us from ourselves?
Thankfully Matt Welch was there to set her straight.