Life's Better Ideas

Occasional links to, and comments on, ideas that I think will make this a better world, and remarks about things that need fixing, too.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Monday, October 31, 2005

Judge Alito

I emailed Senator Ken Salazar and asked him to vote to confirm Judge Sam Alito. You can do the same. I suspect that Senator Allard won't need any encouragement.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Arabs wanted Iraq war?



Here's a good summary of the pension mess. HT Kevin Drum


James C. Bennett's The Anglosphere Challenge has this to say about anarcho-capitalism (p 139).

We do not know for sure whether something like anarcho-capitalism would work, because it has never been tried, but I uspect that even a strong and advanced civil society would falter if anarcho-capitalism were tried today. It would be like the experience of Albania or Russia in trying to implement Anglo-American capitalism in the 1990s. It would fail not because the concept itself was invalid but because civil society was not yet strong enough and the habits and expectations of the people had not developed sufficiently to support it. Advocates of anarcho-capitalism would thus be best occupied not in undermining government but in strengthening civil society and trying to increase the level of trust among people. Being antinomians by nature, however, they tend to do the opposite today. Silly conspiracy theories and black-helicopter fantasies spread the idea that all governments are equally evil and all government personnel are corrupt and totalitarian. This cynicism has historically paved the way for fascism, not libertarianism.

I think there's some real truth here about the direction the libertarian movement, and the Libertarian Party, should take in trying to build a libertarian society.

I would disagree with the author's use of antinomian, although maybe he's referring specifically to anarcho-capitalists and not libertarians.

Hanseatic League

The Hanseatic League, as described in The Anglosphere Challenge (p 132-133), by James C. Bennett, sounds like a libertarian society. It existed for 500 years in the Middle Ages between the 13th and 17th centuries and "was a coalition of the willing. It never required unanimity for action, nor did it act by majority vote. Those parties that felt a need to do something consulted each other and upon reaching consensus, proceeded to execute the decision, while those who remained outside the consensus disassociated themselves from it. ... The only common institution was the Hanseatic Diet, which was stirctly a forum for mutual discussion and the formation of suballiances to accomplish specific tasks."

From the wikipedia entry, the League sounds less like an organization organized along libertarian lines, but the entry seems more descriptive of the bare facts rather than a discussion of its structure and implications that follow, as is true in Bennett's book.

Bush bad?

If you think Bush is bad, read this. HT anchoress

Mass Hysteria

from the 1980's. HT anchoress

Cuba's population declines

by more than 20. Seems they didn't like it there.


Ward Churchill

No Polls?

I couldn't find any polls on Referendums C and D in this morning's Denver Post. You would think that 2 days before the election for arguably the most important ballot issue in the last 5 years, that there would be a poll. Nope. Not even a hint. Anybody know why? In this story, they say it's too close to call, but it would be nice to know the trends. You can find links to all of Colorado's TV stations here.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Libby Indictment

Neo-neocon asks a rather good question about the perjury charges. Are the statements made by Libby material to the case? What case? You mean there isn't one? Oops.

Weekend Reading

Head over to shrinkwrapped and read this and this. HT Combs Spouts Off


Here. So if you want lower gas prices, tell your congressman to open it up. HT redstate

Cat Travels

If you have a cat, you'd better hope it doesn't take this trip. HT Kevin Drum

Friday, October 28, 2005

Tough Liberalism

The fundamental divide is whether you believe that jihadist totalitarianism is produced by a lack of freedom and opportunity, or whether you believe that jihadist totalitarianism is created by American and Western imperialism. The Democratic Party has not fundamentally, internally decided about which of those it believes. Much of the Kerry campaign's inability to be totally coherent on these issues was, I believe, an attempt to straddle rifts in the party that had not yet come to an honest debate on this basic question.

Author Peter Beinart says the Democrats need to answer those questions before they can win the White House. HT oliverkamm

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Federal Budget

Here's a no-brainer for budget reform. Which means that it probably won't pass. HT tapscottscopydesk

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Wheels coming off?

The Miers nomination? HT patterico Here's more. Read all the comments, too. George W. Bush has a comment. LOL!


Here. Cool. HT patterico

Condi vs Hillary

You can read the first chapter here. Fascinating.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Noam Chomsky

Capitalist. HT americanfuture


I saw Serenity this afternoon and I liked it> Good science fiction. Good story. Good message. I'd even go see it again.


In Oregon, there's a 700 square mile hotspot with free service to the general public. HT donklephant

Political Change

Here's a discussion on how political change happens with some important ramifications for libertarians. HT donklephant

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Wine and Cheese Party

The Wine and Cheese Party is here! Or is it the Whine and Cheese Party? HT betsyspage

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Harriet Miers

Set to music. HT neo-neocon

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Perfect Dictatorship?


Sunday, October 16, 2005

Ideal Platform?

Over at Voices of Reason, they're talking about a platform for people fed up with the D's and R's. He's got 5 planks, so far. 1) "The role of government should be limited to those things that the government does best or which only the government can perform"; 2) "guaranteed minimum income"; 3) "The tax system should be as simple and transparent as possible"; 4) "People should be free to engage in whatever type of behavior they want to as long as it doesn’t directly harm others"; 5) "Put an end to corporate subsidies of every kind".

I like everything but 2, the guaranteed minimum income, an idea from Richard Nixon, Republican. VOR is a left of center blog, so it's not unusual that they would support this sort of thing. The libertarian perspective is that this would not be needed once you get rid of the corporate subsidies, war on drugs, and all the other bureaucratic stuff that comes with government. All that money would be left in the hands of the people which should eliminate the need for a guaranteed minimum income. Whether the left will ever buy that is questionable.

By corporate subsidies, I hope he includes support for unions and lawyers as something that needs to be eliminated.

It will be interesting to see his take on foreign policy, due out sometime in the near future, I hope.


Getting ready for a breakup? HT janegalt

More Michael Barone

Here. HT instapundit

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Political Parties

Here's a must read column by Michael Barone for all Libertarians. No, he doesn't talk about Libertarians, but if you replace "Democrat" with "Libertarian", you might notice some striking simalarities. And maybe you'll get a sense of why the LP does so poorly. HT instapundit

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Doug Anderson needs your help

The Doug Anderson for Lakewood city council campaign needs people to wave signs at Alameda and Union in Lakewood on Friday (10/14) 4:30pm to 6:30pm and Saturday (10/15) from 11am to 4pm. Call Doug Anderson at 303-988-6827.

Carnival of Liberty

Over at Combs Spouts Off.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Parasites, Sex, and Democracy


Saturday, October 08, 2005

A decent man

Here. HT anchoress

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Richard Cohen

hammers on the Democrats. Good for him. HT anchoress

A view of the media

from Iraq. HT thenationofriflemen

Sunday, October 02, 2005

More Ghandi


Suicide bombing

at the Oklahoma football game. One person killed (the bomber). Here comes the police state. HT instapundit

Saturday, October 01, 2005

More Reasons

not to trust the press.

When you need another one

the barmaid will know. HT goyishekop

Here's one way

the media distorts the message. HT instapundit