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Freedom Is Slavery: Laissez-Faire Capitalism Is Government Intervention,

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Thu, 2006-06-15 00:15

A Critique of Kevin Carson’s Studies in Mutualist Political Economy

Kevin Carson’s new book Studies in Mutualist Political Economy (Fayettvile, Arkansas, 2004, 409 pp.) centers on the incredible claim, self-contradictory on its face, that capitalism, including laissez-faire capitalism, is a system based on state intervention, in violation of the free market: “It is state intervention that distinguishes capitalism from the free market,” declares the book’s preface.” Capitalism, writes Carson, is “a system of privilege in which the State enable[s] the owners of capital to draw monopoly returns on it, in the same sense that the feudal ruling class was able to draw monopoly returns on land; or, as the left-Rothbardian Samuel Konkin put it, `Capitalism is state rule by and for those who own large amounts of capital (p. 92).’” Perhaps not surprisingly, in view of his description of capitalism, Carson hopes his book will provide a foundation for “free market socialist economics (p. 10).

Recent Comments:
Labor theory — by Chris Cathcart on Thu, 2006-06-15 22:18
I also recommend the other — by Aaron on Thu, 2006-06-15 16:21

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User hidden's picture
Submitted by User hidden on Wed, 2006-06-14 22:55

I have zero interest in the crazy thread going on with Phil, Fred, et al, but I am interested in Penelope's comment about flirting being bad and Lindsay's post diagreeing. Either of you care to post your comments here?


Recent Comments:
Brant — by Olivia on Mon, 2006-06-19 07:21
Sense of Life Protestants — by Craig Ceely on Sun, 2006-06-18 06:09
Good point, Craig. Let's — by Ross Elliot on Sun, 2006-06-18 03:41

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The Romantic Manifesto - Chapter 3: Art and Sense of Life

JulianP's picture
Submitted by JulianP on Wed, 2006-06-14 09:05

I read and re-read this chapter about five times, each time learning something new.

These are the main impressions I was left with:

Art flows from the artist's sense of life, expressing: "This is what life means to me." In particular, an artist decides what is important about reality, according to his sense of life (revealing his metaphysics), and distils that into his art in a style compatible with his sense of life (revealing his psycho-epistemology - his view of man's consciousness and its efficacy.)

Recent Comments:
Having just looked through — by Matt on Fri, 2006-07-14 14:30
More Toiling — by Lanza Morio on Fri, 2006-07-14 11:59
Jon, — by Banned User on Thu, 2006-07-13 04:35

Questions about Objectivist Rage

Victor Pross's picture
Submitted by Victor Pross on Wed, 2006-06-14 01:52
Recent Comments:
Fred Sucks — by Gerald on Tue, 2006-06-27 19:43
Jeff, get a new writer. — by Fred Weiss on Mon, 2006-06-26 21:48
Thinking — by jriggenbach on Mon, 2006-06-26 15:29

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Chaos Theory and Objectivism

Mike_M's picture
Submitted by Mike_M on Tue, 2006-06-13 23:43

Is anyone familiar with chaos theory? The other night I had an objection to certain parts of Objectivism raised from the perspective of chaos theory. I had to say I didn't know enough about chaos theory to comment. The objector is VERY good at math (a genius, literally) and a relatively good friend. He is also an intellectually honest person from what I have observed and interested in Objectivism. I think he deserves a good, solid answer or at least beginning of an answer.

Recent Comments:
. . . — by Stephen Boydstun on Wed, 2010-01-06 04:43
. . . — by Stephen Boydstun on Wed, 2010-01-06 04:42
Nothing comes from something — by eg on Fri, 2006-06-16 06:49

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Revelation #1: Nothing is a matter of opinion by my standard.

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Tue, 2006-06-13 23:11

Recently, I have had some philosophical epiphanies, independent of Objectivism, that I want to reveal to you here, that others may find them useful too.

The first of these I discovered when reading a book by the NZ philosopher - Jamie Whtye.

In the book he states that nothing is in fact “a matter of opinion“, that a statement is always either true or false.

You might think this should be obvious to any Objectivist, i.e. that A=A. Existence exists. What is true is true. What is false is false.

Recent Comments:
Zen and the Art — by Lanza Morio on Wed, 2006-06-21 10:10
Marcus — by Lanza Morio on Wed, 2006-06-21 10:07
Speaking of intrinsicism, I — by Matt on Mon, 2006-06-19 19:46

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Personal news

AdamReed's picture
Submitted by AdamReed on Tue, 2006-06-13 07:05

All of you probably noticed that I haven't been on SOLO as frequently as in previous years. I teach at California State University, Los Angeles, and I was in the final months of the tenure process. And I did get tenure, with promotion to full Professor of Information Systems. The tenure process is strenuous enough to test the stamina of a man in his twenties or thirties. In my youth it was said that no man got tenure after age 35. I left Bell Labs at 54, a few month before the Lucent swindle came to the surface, so I was up for tenure at 60. I would congratulate myself, except that one of my department colleagues, now 78 and still teaching full-time and still brilliant, got tenure at 66. Somehow messing with computers works like a fountain of youth.

Recent Comments:
Congratulations, Adam — by Craig Ceely on Sun, 2006-06-18 02:02
Rock on Adam!!! — by User hidden on Wed, 2006-06-14 22:38
Congrats — by John Drake on Wed, 2006-06-14 18:58

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Extending Your Optimism

Lanza Morio's picture
Submitted by Lanza Morio on Tue, 2006-06-13 07:03

This excerpt is from Ayn Rand's working notes on Atlas Shrugged. The rest can be found in Leonard Peikoff's intro the 35th anniversary edition.


...Dagny is committing an important (but excusable and understandable) error in thinking, the kind of error individualists and creators often make. It is an error proceeding from the best in their nature and from a proper principle, but this principle is misapplied...

The error is this: it is proper for a creator to be optimistic, in the deepest, most basic sense, since the creator believes in a benevolent universe and functions on that premise. But it is an error to extend that optimism to other specific men. First, it's not necessary, the creator's life and the nature of the universe do not require it, his life does not depend on others. Second, man is a being with free will; therefore, each man is potentially good or evil, and it's up to him and only to him (through his reasoning mind) to decide which he wants to be. The decision will affect only him; it is not (and cannot and should not be) the primary concern of any other human being.


Recent Comments:
Thanks for the clarification — by Ryan Brubaker on Sat, 2006-06-17 22:47
This hits way too close for home. — by Adam Buker on Sat, 2006-06-17 16:53
Ryan — by Penelope on Sat, 2006-06-17 14:37

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Studying Objectivism

Penelope's picture
Submitted by Penelope on Tue, 2006-06-13 05:10

Okay, so for my very first SOLO blog post, I want to ask a do you all go about studying Objectivism? Or maybe I should first ask: DO you study Objectivism? Do you engage in a systematic process to improve your understanding of it? Or do you just read her books once or twice?

Here's what I've been doing for the last three years, starting after I read Atlas for the first time:

1. Obviously, read Ayn Rand's books, as well as the books by other Objectivists.

Recent Comments:
Challenging someone for — by Victor Pross on Mon, 2006-06-19 20:17
How to Learn — by Rex Wilkinson on Mon, 2006-06-19 18:32
I don't entirely agree. When — by Matt on Mon, 2006-06-19 16:58

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QUANTUM PHYSICS: Objective or Subjective Universe?

Victor Pross's picture
Submitted by Victor Pross on Tue, 2006-06-13 04:24
Recent Comments:
Victor Pross... — by Olivia on Fri, 2007-09-21 03:19
I can't see the text... — by Emma Kathryn on Fri, 2007-09-21 03:02
I didn't. The great — by Victor Pross on Thu, 2006-06-22 23:08

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To Victor

Rex Wilkinson's picture
Submitted by Rex Wilkinson on Tue, 2006-06-13 00:16

I tried to add to the comment on the page but access denied so further to you definition of terms:Agnostic,the ultimate cop out too frightend to make a decision either way.The middle of the road,the place were all the agnostics go!and comment on the angry Ayn rand,Reality does not change regardless of how we percieve it and it is that which is not mere opinion but fact that I seek and my philosoph

Recent Comments:
Marnee — by Rex Wilkinson on Tue, 2006-06-20 21:23
Take a fundementalist and shove it — by Rex Wilkinson on Tue, 2006-06-20 21:12
Worse — by AdamReed on Tue, 2006-06-13 22:23

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Monsters for the Sake of Being Monsters

PhilipC's picture
Submitted by PhilipC on Mon, 2006-06-12 23:00

I just found this on NRO by Deroy Murdock citing in part an article in the Daily Telegraph:

[telegraph] Falafels [following after] alcohol, pop music and foreign films [have been ] labelled theologically impure by the country's growing number of Islamic zealots...militants visited falafel vendors a fortnight ago, telling them to pack up their stalls by today or be killed. The ultimatum seemed so odd...until two of them were shot dead as they plied their trade...said Abu Zeinab..."I said I was just feeding the people, but they said there were no falafels in Mohammed the prophet's time, so we shouldn't have them either." ...[This is] just one of many Islamic edicts to hit Baghdad in recent weeks, prohibiting everything from the growing of goatee beards to the sale of mayonnaise - because it is allegedly made in Israel....News of the latest strictures surfaced 10 days ago, when the coach of Iraq's tennis team and two players were shot dead for wearing shorts...Another group of traders to have felt the Islamists' unexpected wrath is Baghdad's ice merchants, who sell large chunks of ice for storing food and chilling drinks. In a city facing constant power cuts and summer temperatures of up to 50C (122F), the service they provide is little short of essential...they too have fallen foul of the claim that their product was not a feature of life during Mohammed's time. Akram al Zidawi, 19, an ice seller from al Dora, thought the threats were too ludicrous to be true - until it was too late..."My mother begged him to quit the job, but he laughed, he thought it was impossible they would kill him. But they came back two days later and shot him dead, along with three other ice sellers nearby." Meanwhile, barbers have been inundated with young men anxious to shave off their goatee beards. Last month, Mustapha Jawad, 17, was allegedly killed for wearing one, which Islamists deemed a Jewish facial hairstyle.

Recent Comments:
Sharia Shaves — by Craig Ceely on Sun, 2006-06-18 02:00
Monster Madness — by Rex Wilkinson on Fri, 2006-06-16 22:17
It seems Iraqis don't have — by Laure Chipman on Tue, 2006-06-13 17:34

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Landon Erp's picture
Submitted by Landon Erp on Mon, 2006-06-12 22:27

I don't know if any of you here have read this but there's been an interesting development in DC comics recently.

In all their publications they just finished a big mega crossover and immediately after finishing it pushed all the company's books one year forward. The premise is that for one whole year Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman were totally MIA and the aftermath.

One series entitled 52 (as in weeks in one year) is being published in Real time and filling in the gaps. A good reason for Objectivists to check this out is Steve Ditko's Question is getting a lot of face(less) time, he's hevily involved in a storyline with lesbian police officer Rene Montoya.

Recent Comments:
I did have a point though, dammit. — by Landon Erp on Tue, 2006-06-13 22:32
— by Chris Cathcart on Tue, 2006-06-13 21:18
Victor: — by Victor Pross on Tue, 2006-06-13 19:05

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Superman Returns..but to Where?

JoeM's picture
Submitted by JoeM on Mon, 2006-06-12 02:47

SUPERMAN RETURNS is being heavily advertised now for the June 28th release, and I've noticed something somewhat disturbing. In the story, Superman's been gone for 6 years since the end of SUPERMAN II, and in the commercial, someone asks is he still stands for "truth, justice, and all that stuff?", all that stuff being "the American Way." Anyone else afraid of where this is headed?

This isn't the first time America has been given the shaft by DC Comics.

Recent Comments:
I'll give it a shot, but — by JoeM on Wed, 2006-06-14 01:43
AMERICAN and "American" — by AdamReed on Tue, 2006-06-13 08:07
Typical — by Landon Erp on Mon, 2006-06-12 21:59

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The Hatred of Objectivism is the Hatred of objectivity.

Victor Pross's picture
Submitted by Victor Pross on Mon, 2006-06-12 02:18
Recent Comments:
Mark — by Victor Pross on Wed, 2006-06-21 05:25
Hello Victor — by Mark Dow on Wed, 2006-06-21 05:09
[Somewhere Ayn Rand wrote — by Olivia on Tue, 2006-06-20 22:50

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Patrecia Neil at the Tony's

JoeM's picture
Submitted by JoeM on Mon, 2006-06-12 01:57

Patrecia Neil is on the Tonies as I write this. God, I didn't realize she was the old, barely recognizable! But the voice! I can still detect a bit of Dominque...

Recent Comments:
Thanks Penelope — by Kenny on Tue, 2006-06-13 08:25
I enjoyed Miss Neal very — by Marnee on Tue, 2006-06-13 05:38
Kenny — by Penelope on Mon, 2006-06-12 17:27

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Angry at Ayn Rand and Objectivism.

Victor Pross's picture
Submitted by Victor Pross on Sun, 2006-06-11 06:13

I had written an article on some other “general philosophy” site about Objectivism and Ayn Rand. One post wrote in a rather hostile tone—-no surprise---taking on some of my points. I want to share sections from that post with Solo members here for some feed-back and comments.

The poster begins: “I really don't understand you at times Mr. Pross; actually most of the times. I read your 'endearing' essay only to find it full of self contradictory statements. As a 'philosopher', I am duty bound to analyze your assumptions and beliefs..."

Recent Comments:
Mike, I’ll tell you, I — by Victor Pross on Wed, 2006-06-14 00:31
I've only been an — by Mike_M on Tue, 2006-06-13 23:33
I also recall him writing a — by Mike_M on Tue, 2006-06-13 23:19

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Radio Live Rant, June 11

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2006-06-11 04:41

This one was delivered as scheduled. It begins identically to last week's undelivered one, but changes part-way through.—Linz

There’s been lot of it about since I last spoke to you. Barking madness, I mean. Some of it’s good, most of it is innocently bonkers, some of it is quite intentionally evil.

Michael Cullen has certainly gone barking mad. The flaky Finance Minister went nuts at press gallery journalists for letting their own desire for tax cuts get in the way of their objectivity in reporting the issue. This after a catastrophic poll showing Labour trailing National by nine points, after omitting tax cuts from the latest budget, notwithstanding that they take $9 billion more of our money than they spend so lovingly on our welfare. Now Mad Michael must surely know that not only is it in fact the first recourse of a desperate politician to blame the media for his woes, but it’s also seen to be by voters, notwithstanding their quite extraordinary stupidity—so his impromptu tirade will send his fortunes plummeting further. But even crazier is his claim that journalists in general and those he singled out in particular, are in favour of tax cuts. At least three of those and 99% of all journalists are raving lefties who’d probably favour tax increases, especially for the evil rich. The idea that the current Fourth Estate, and the supinely subservient press gallery in particular, are zealous protectors of our liberty and our money from the greedy intrusiveness of Big Government is ludicrous. Crazy Cullen was screaming at his own allies. Barking mad, bad.

Recent Comments:
Zar — by eg on Sun, 2006-06-11 05:27
Pain deserved — by Craig Ceely on Sun, 2006-06-11 05:07

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Want Ads

Landon Erp's picture
Submitted by Landon Erp on Sat, 2006-06-10 22:21

This is a writing sample featuring Raven from my comic project Frontier War. She is a young woman working as a stripper with the power to comunicate with and transform into any type of animal, as well as keep a few animalistic traits at all times

Sometimes when I come home from the club I can't get to sleep. I shower off the sweat (my own and others'), the grit the smoke and on the nights I don't bring someone home I lay on my soft sheets and try to sleep... It doesn't come. My mom wound up as a stripper, I keep promising myself I'm not going any further than being one. There are nights it's great and there are nights I want to just go feral and just rip every human in the world to shreds.

Recent Comments:
art vs propaganda — by Landon Erp on Wed, 2006-06-21 23:28
Rex, Rex, Rex... — by Victor Pross on Wed, 2006-06-21 22:18
Fantasy Land — by Rex Wilkinson on Wed, 2006-06-21 22:12

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Philosophical Detective Caps.

Victor Pross's picture
Submitted by Victor Pross on Sat, 2006-06-10 21:51

Philosophical Detective Caps.

Question: here is an excerpt from my novel The Hungry Artist. The character is Ivan Wine, a postmodernist scholar and “artist.” There is no need to set-up the scene or to describe the person he is speaking to---as the excerpt is enough to glean what type of person Ivan Wine is. What is the implicit--underpinning philosophy (besides what is obvious) that can be detected here? You’re feed-back is most appreciated.

Recent Comments:
Oh, hell yes---some do. — by Victor Pross on Sat, 2006-06-10 22:26
Ok, do people notice this — by Landon Erp on Sat, 2006-06-10 22:22
If you mean by — by Victor Pross on Sat, 2006-06-10 22:19

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Diana's Takedown

PhilipC's picture
Submitted by PhilipC on Sat, 2006-06-10 21:18

I'm finally posting my point by point essay-length analysis of "dialectical dishonesty".

I wrote a much longer version, but to have mercy on the readers I've shortened it and condensed it enormously, often reducing four paragraphs of argument to one. Since this is condensed and contains many points or arguments stated relatively briefly and since a lot of people have been awaiting my finally posting this (as opposed to simply asking questions or addressing isolated points), I would urge that it not be skimmed but read more slowly and carefully than the usual post. Some posts -can- be skimmed without misstatement. This is not one of them.

Recent Comments:
"Victor, I specifically — by Victor Pross on Fri, 2006-06-23 01:15
For the record — by eg on Fri, 2006-06-23 01:12
WTF :) — by Victor Pross on Fri, 2006-06-23 01:08

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EMOTIONS: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Victor Pross's picture
Submitted by Victor Pross on Sat, 2006-06-10 01:16
Recent Comments:
The example of actual shifting sand in debate: — by Victor Pross on Mon, 2006-06-12 06:19
Tag, I'm it? — by Victor Pross on Mon, 2006-06-12 06:08
? — by Mark Dow on Mon, 2006-06-12 06:06

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Debunking Defeatism

Michael Moeller's picture
Submitted by Michael Moeller on Fri, 2006-06-09 23:22

I've lifted this from the "Phil's Plan for World Conquest" thread because it's inspiring—Linz


"Moving in a steady decline over the past century"? Really? Then what do you make of the Red Decade? How about the counter-culture of the 60s? The philosophical and cultural underpinnings of those days are favorable compared to today?

I wasn't alive during either of those decades so my finger isn't exactly on the pulse of the culture during those times. However, for evidence look no further than the acceptance of Rand's ideas. What do you make of her early struggles just getting her fiction published, compared with the resounding success the novels enjoy today? I think you are looking at a significant change in the culture--albeit it a subtle one--when even a hardcore Hollywood Lefty like Oliver Stone wants to make a movie out of one of her novels.

Recent Comments:
No need for translations -- especally in India. — by Jason Quintana on Sun, 2006-06-11 21:44
> I don't have the — by PhilipC on Sun, 2006-06-11 20:23
Translations — by Fred Weiss on Sun, 2006-06-11 03:39

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The Oxford Objectivist Society

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Fri, 2006-06-09 09:15

Last Tuesday (6th of June) I delivered a talk to a recently formed Oxford Objectivist Society. The society was started by a small group of students studying humanities in Oxford, mostly philosophy and economics.

The founder of the group had learned of my name from another Objectivist when recently in the states.

The speech I gave went down really well, and the students asked highly intelligent and probing questions afterwards. This was followed by a long, but enjoyable debate. We were having discussions long into the night at the college bar.

Recent Comments:
Another suggestion, Marcus — by Kenny on Mon, 2006-06-12 13:38
Hayek vs Rand — by Kenny on Mon, 2006-06-12 13:35
Thanks for the suggestion — by Marcus on Sat, 2006-06-10 23:10

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Victor Pross's picture
Submitted by Victor Pross on Fri, 2006-06-09 05:15

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silverheartangel's picture
Submitted by silverheartangel on Thu, 2006-06-08 23:38

My fiancee sent me this link and I thought "hey see what it's about". We had a rousing debate on the cover of the Free Radical, which ended in me deciding to join this site and see what it's all about.

Recent Comments:
Welcome — by Kenny on Mon, 2006-06-12 13:29
Samantha, Yes, as Ross says, — by Victor Pross on Fri, 2006-06-09 04:00
Welcome! — by Ross Elliot on Thu, 2006-06-08 23:58

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Fun little question.

Landon Erp's picture
Submitted by Landon Erp on Thu, 2006-06-08 22:57

I just thought this might be something fun to throw out there, but as writers what is the weirdest source of an idea you've ever had.

Since I suggested it I'm obviously going first.

I'd been developing a super-hero team book for a while and to some degree I was following the "Stan Lee/Jack Kirby format for a team,

Ie: mix and match the following traits/powers into between 4 and 7 characters and have at it

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Not Feldstein’s Gasoline Rationing Scheme but Economic Freedom Will Improve the Environment and Promote National Security

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Thu, 2006-06-08 15:35

A noted economist, Prof. Martin Feldstein of Harvard University, has written an article for the supposedly pro-free-enterprise Wall Street Journal, in which he proposes a system of government gasoline rationing as a means of improving the environment and promoting national security. (The article, titled “Tradeable Gasoline Rights,” appears in the June 5 issue, on p. A10.)

Surprisingly, or perhaps not surprisingly, the word “rationing” does not appear in Prof. Feldstein’s article. Yet that is exactly what he proposes.

Prof. Feldstein would have the government issue what would essentially be ration coupons to motorists, the total amount of which would equal its chosen level of aggregate gasoline consumption. In purchasing gasoline, it would be necessary for the purchaser to supply the necessary coupons along with the money price of the gasoline.

Recent Comments:
Martin Feldstein is still around? — by Chris Cathcart on Thu, 2006-06-08 20:26
Professionally teaching — by F L Light on Thu, 2006-06-08 17:58

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Sedition Verdict Gives New Meaning to 'Helengrad'

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2006-06-08 11:57

Another nail in Liberty's great coffin: A man has been charged and convicted of, wait for it, sedition. TV3 report here.

Not in the nineteenth century, but today. Not in time of war or great conflict, but in the "benign strategic environment" that is the South Pacific. Not in a third-world banana republic -- not in a Kafka-esque, Eastern European Soviet hell-hole -- not even in Mugabe's Zimbabwe -- but here, today, in Auckland's District Court. Convicted of sedition for an act of vandalism in Sandringham Rd eighteen months ago that was accompanied by five -- count them, five -- five leaflets scattered down Ponsonby Rd early one morning that tried to explain the vandalism, and invited NZers to "commit their own acts of Civil Disobedience" in opposition to the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Recent Comments:
Fantastic commentary, — by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2006-06-09 00:13
He already copped to the — by Duncan Bayne on Thu, 2006-06-08 20:38
The Axe Man — by Rex Wilkinson on Thu, 2006-06-08 14:59

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One Saddamite Maggot Less!

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Thu, 2006-06-08 09:02

A huge setback for Islamo-fascists and their anarcho-Saddamite "libertarian" fellow-travellers, as reported a few minutes ago by the BBC—

Zarqawi killed in Iraq air raid

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has announced that militant leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been killed. "Today we have managed to put an end to Zarqawi," Mr Maliki said, sparking sustained applause.

The Jordanian-born leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq was considered the figurehead of the Sunni insurgency. Reports say he was killed in an air raid near Baquba.

Recent Comments:
There may be circumstances — by Duncan Bayne on Mon, 2006-06-12 23:20
"...whether killing people, — by atlascott on Mon, 2006-06-12 21:52
Another View of Zarqawi's Death — by jriggenbach on Mon, 2006-06-12 15:44

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