Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Round Two

Here it is--the awesome sequel to the popular "Fear the Boom and Bust" rap battle between Keynes and Hayek. I am still amazed at how these videos are so well done and properly present the positions of each economic school involved. What do you think?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Liberty Define: Abortion

As I am reading through Ron Paul's new book Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom, I have decided to briefly provide summaries of his arguments put forth on each issue--or at least the biggest and most contentious ones. Chapter one deals with Abortion.

For those who have followed Dr. Paul's career for some time, it is well know that he is an ardent supporter of the pro-life position. So not surprisingly, in this early chapter, he pulls no punches regarding the issue.

On the first page, Congressman Paul insists his position is the one truly consistent with liberty. He states, "Some people believe that being pro-choice is being on the side of freedom. I've never understood how an act of violence, killing a human being, albeit a small one in a special place, is portrayed as a precious right." He continues by noting that such reasoning "ignores all thought of any legal rights of the unborn" and that "cavalierly accepting abortion diminishes the value of all life."

Dr. Paul  points out the hypocrisy of those who support the termination of a child within the womb and oppose the same for a child outside the womb. For Paul protection of life is an absolute; either we protect it or destroy it; there is no middle ground. Moreover, we cannot trump the right to life of the child merely for the sake of the mother.

It should be noted: Paul's argument is not at all lacking in compassion for the mother. He wants to assist these women and make the alternatives of adoption and the like even easier for them by addressing adoption regulation and the costs of carrying a child to term.

Since it is Ron Paul writing on the issue he is quick to layout the constitutional reasoning that bolsters his argument. He notes that any attempt to justify abortion in the constitution will go unfounded. It is simply not in the document, and the federal government has no right to prevent states from protecting the life of the unborn. Moreover, he is critical of those within the pro-life movement which seek to use unconstitutional means to achieve and end even with which he agrees. Abortion can be dealt with in a constitutional manner that would work to protect life.

Ron Paul understands that more federal government is not the answer to the problem, nor is waiting on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Paul believes that the Constitution leaves the issue of abortion up to the states and that is where we as pro-lifers have the best chance of making real change. For years and years each side has done nothing to make in-roads on the issue. Instead the status quo is upheld--a status quo that leads to further death.

Unlike many politicians, Ron Paul has been trying to make honest in-roads for years. One example is a bill he annually sponsors which would instantly overturn Roe v. Wade in a constitutional manner. The bill would use Congress' right to change the Supreme Court's jurisdiction over abortion--instantly making the Court's Roe ruling a non-issue.

Paul notes that his position "does not oppose looking for certain judges to be appointed to the Supreme Court, or even having a constitutional definition of life," but these actions will only help in the long run, doing little to protect life immediately.

Not wanting to steal the good doctor's thunder, I will leave most of his arguement for you to read when you pick up the book, but I would like to address a few things I appreciate about his position.

1. Paul realizes that the way we treat the abortion issue as a society directly influences the amount of innocent life that is destroyed. If we act cavalier about abortion, we will reap the negative effects. Moreover, our unwillingness to protect life leads to more people deciding to flippantly take life.

2. Paul is quick to point out hypocrisy on both sides of the issue. In addition to the pro-choice hypocrisy discussed above, Paul points out the hypocrisy of those who claim to be pro-life but support unnecessary war.

3. Paul, unlike many, does not merely run on emotion. You can sense that his position is on thoroughly grounded in fact and conviction.

Please pick up Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom and read his position for yourself. You can buy the book at the link below.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ron Paul's Liberty Defined

I was pleased to find a copy of Ron Paul's new book Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom waiting for me, after arriving home this afternoon. I had ordered a copy when it came out on Tuesday, and look forward to soon devouring the 325 page work by the Texas congressman in which he tackles over 50 essential issues ranging from Abortion to Zionism.

I intend to write up a review of the work when I finish it, but let me go ahead and recommend you pick up a copy for yourself. I seriously doubt from reading his other books, that Dr. Paul will disappoint. Agree with with him in totality or not, Ron Paul always presents solid arguments and passionate defenses in his books that benefit all who take the time to read them.

If you do purchase the book, please consider buying it through the Amazon link posted below. A portion of the proceeds will go to helping finance In Defense of the Constitution.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

An Ayn Rand Movie Recommendation

I've not seen the new Atlas Shrugged movie; therefore, I cannot offer a comment on it at this time. I heard it is a bit clunky and suffers from poor technical film-making, but without seeing it myself I cannot deny or confirm these claims.

What I can do is recommend another movie based on an Ayn Rand novel that I have seen. That film is the 1949 classic The Fountainhead--a film written by Ayn Rand in which she exercised a large amount creative control.

If you have never seen The Fountainhead, I recommend you remedy that loss as soon as possible. More than just a great defense of individualism, the film is a great movie experience. While I do not endorse Rand's Objectivism as a political or moral philosophy, I do appreciate her contributions toward the pursuit of human freedom and free markets. 

I have heard from those who have read the book, which the movie was based on, that the book will satisfy any Rand fan.

Below is a video of the philosophical highpoint of the movie.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Reflections for Tax Day

George Washington once truly opined, "No taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant."  While this is true, we should always attempt to make taxation as fair as possible and strictly confined to its constitutional limits. Sadly, our current system is both unfair and unconstitutional in a number of ways (look to graduated income taxes for a good example).

Government is force, and taxation come at the point of a gun. If you question the truth of that statement, refuse to comply with tax collection and you will see its truth. It should be a primary goal of ours to only levy taxes based on consumption and confine all taxation to what is necessary and proper to meet the demands of government's specified constitutional duties.

Based on one's own humanity, one has the right to keep the fruits of one's own labor. Any attempt to remove that fruit without the consent of those being taxed is plunder--legal or otherwise. As members of a free society we must strive to defeat this plunder.

My problem is not necessarily with taxation. In a constitutional society we have agreed to the collection of some of our wealth to meet certain pre-agreed upon government functions. These functions are clearly defined in our constitution. Therefore, being taxed for government functions and services not defined in the Constitution is where the problem lies. 

Because we have gone far beyond constitutional boundaries in the functions and services of our government, we now have a bigger bill to foot than we should. Our problem is not that we are undertaxed--quite the opposite. Rather, our problem is that our government is involved in unconstitutional activities that demand more of our money. This is wrong, and it is illegal.

Any fight against taxation should find its battle cry in a demand for a return to constitutional government and a stop to the provision of unconstitutional services--charitable or otherwise. Not only can we not afford to meet the current unconstitutional demands of government with our taxes, liberty cannot endure such demands.

Finally a Voice of Reason in the Budget Debate!

It is so refreshing to finally hear someone in Washington refusing to play the partisan game and standing up, like an adult, offering a real voice with real solutions to our national spending and debt crisis. Thank you Senator Paul for taking a stand against the status quo that is being supported by both parties.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rand Paul and Mike Lee on the Unconstitutional Libyan War

Yesterday, Sen. Rand Paul took to the Senate floor, championing the constitutional requirement for congressional authorization before military action and calling out the hypocrisy of the Obama administration. It was a rousing speech and a great moment for my favorite young senator.