Monday, December 27, 2010

Privatize the FAA

Cato @ Liberty; "Privatize the FAA" - Chris Edwards, Dec. 27, 2010:

"Bloomberg is reporting more bad news for the nation’s air traffic control system, which is run by the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA is $500 million overbudget and six years behind schedule on a $2.1 billion technology upgrade project....

"There is a better way to run air traffic control — a private sector way, as Canada has been demonstrating. In 1996, Canada converted its government air traffic control system to a private nonprofit corporation. Nav Canada has been a smashing success, providing an excellent model for possible U.S. reforms.

" A December 24 story in the Financial Post describes how Nav Canada is a world leader in efficiency, safety, and technology under private management. 'A once troubled government asset, the country’s civil air traffic controller was privatized 14 years ago and is now a shining example of how to create a global technology leader out of a hulking government bureaucracy.' It really is an impressive story of pro-market reform."

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Grand Rapids Examiner calls for 'campaign to unseat' Justin Amash

What Now? Reassessing the Amash Win and Its Impact on Grand Rapids - Grand Rapids Political Buzz |, Dec. 11, 2010:

"Like most libertarians, Rep-elect Amash views almost every government action as an infringement on some personal liberty. In the mind of Mr. Amash, government is and always will be the problem. This mentality chooses to ignore the positive actions of past administrations and governments while obstructing the present government’s ability to enact necessary legislation....

"It is still December, the new year is not yet upon us, and Mr. Amash has not yet officially begun to serve. Nevertheless, it is in the best interests of the City of Grand Rapids to already begin the campaign to unseat him."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rand Paul win tops Kentucky's 2010 news

Paul victory tops Kentucky's 2010 news |
"A small town eye doctor's rise from relative obscurity to become one of the most recognized political faces in the country has been selected by The Associated Press as Kentucky's top news story of 2010.

"Republican Rand Paul was swept into the U.S. Senate by a conservative political tsunami, trouncing Republican and Democratic contenders in the primary and general elections. Voters, exhibiting disdain for business as usual in Washington, backed the tea party favorite in what devolved into one of the most contentious, bitter political campaigns in the country.

"Jerry Boggs, editor of the Appalachian News-Express in Pikeville, said Paul's 'roller coaster ride' to the Senate was the 'logical choice' for the state's top story."

Friday, December 17, 2010

Help for the Jaworski family

Finally some good news for the Jaworskis of Clarendon, Ontario, threatened with a crippling penalty for letting their son Peter host Canada's annual Liberty Summer Seminar on their rural property. They face a $50,000 fine if convicted. Read the details here:

On Dec. 16, the Canadian Constitutional Foundation (CCF) announced that it will be providing pro bono legal counsel to the family. The CCF also served notice on the Canadian and Ontario attorneys-general that it intends to argue that the municipal bylaw under which the Jaworskis were charged, and its enabling provincial legislation, both violate the freedom of peaceful assembly guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Says CCF Executive Director Chris Schafer: “The Jaworskis escaped Poland in 1984 fearing persecution by the government for distributing pro-freedom literature. It’s ironic that they are now facing charges in Canada for allowing their son to host an event in support of freedom on their property."

Read the full release here:

You can donate to the Jaworski family's legal defence fund via CCF here:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Senator Tea Party

The American Conservative » Senator Tea Party - by Jack Hunter - Dec. 13, 2010:

"Rand points out that Democrats always want to cut the military but never the welfare queen, and Republicans are always for reducing the welfare queen but never the military — yet to overcome the debt we would have to look at paring down everything. This was never a shocking message to Tea Party ears, however unsettling it might have been for the big-government hawks who had long controlled the Republican Party’s foreign policy.

"This is a large part of what makes Rand unique not only among Republicans but even among Tea Party paladins. Many outsider candidates give voice to voter discontent with the status quo, but Rand does so while offering a deeper philosophy that ventures beyond mere populism: a substantive conservative politics. The continuing mixture of Rand’s ideas and the Tea Party could produce a more comprehensively conservative grassroots movement, just as the Tea Party has already produced a more politically successful Paul. Achieving this cross-pollination will require addressing the contradictions within the Tea Party — particularly its willingness to tolerate big government under the Department of Defense banner."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bill of Rights Day | Naples Daily News

Guest commentary: Honoring Bill of Rights Day — and Responsibility » Naples Daily News, Dec. 13, 2010, by Mark W. Hendrickson, :
"Wednesday, Dec. 15, is Bill of Rights Day, and we are in the midst of Bill of Rights Week....
      "To the founders, government’s sole legitimate purpose is to protect our rights. The Declaration of Independence specifies two essential points we need to understand about our rights: 1) They are God-given; 2) they are inalienable.
      "Divine authority is a stumbling block for some Americans, but it is the second point that is the immediate issue. That our basic rights are inalienable means, simply and unequivocally: No person or group of persons, including government, is justified (or authorized: see the Fifth Amendment) in trespassing upon anyone’s rights—that is, in taking life, liberty or property from another — except via due process of law as a penalty for having harmed or violated someone else’s life, liberty, or property. One person’s rights end where another person’s rights begin. Nobody’s rights trump anyone else’s.
      "The clear understanding of our fundamental rights has eroded over the decades. The property right has suffered the greatest damage. Under the influence of progressive/socialist ideas, the traditional American negative right to NOT have somebody take one’s property has been corrupted and inverted into a positive premise. Now, people often claim a 'right' to have certain things."...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Struggle for the Soul of the Tea Party

"The Soul of the Tea Party" - Newsweek - by Colin Woodard, Dec. 1, 2010:

"And so, the fight is on for the soul of the Tea Party. On one side: libertarian-minded grassroots activists. On the other: the leaders of the wealthy, powerful, and better-established Christian right, who’ve dominated conservative populism in the United States for decades. Roughly half the people who say they support the Tea Party also say they are part of the religious right. Christian conservative leaders have long espoused limiting government intrusion in the economy — Jerry Falwell regularly condemned social programs and praised Milton Friedman — making the Tea Party attractive to their followers. But many of them also want government to enforce moral standards — banning abortion and gay marriage, for instance — a notion that’s anathema to libertarians who want government off their backs."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Health-care plan ruled unconstitutional

Obama health-care plan unconstitutional, judge rules - National Post, Dec. 13, 2010:

"In a 42-page decision, Judge Henry Hudson of Virginia’s eastern district found the federal government does not have the authority to impose an “individual mandate” forcing Americans to purchase health-care insurance....

"Under the law, most Americans would be required to purchase health-care insurance by 2014 or face a $695 annual fine. The bill also provides subsidies, on a sliding scale, to families earning up to $88,000 a year to make purchasing insurance more affordable.

"The individual mandate is considered vital to the legislation’s goal of providing coverage to 32 million Americans who currently do not have health insurance. It creates a much larger pool of customers for private health insurance companies that, starting in 2014, will be legally banned from refusing coverage to Americans with pre-existing medical conditions.

"Without healthier, low-risk customers purchasing health care, insurance companies had argued they would not be able to afford payouts to others in greater need of coverage."

Read more:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

New pic for Amash article

I've found another picture, this one on Flickr, for my November article on Justin Amash: his supporters marching in the Hollyhock Parade, July 3, 2010, with what looks like Rep. Amash on the extreme right.  As it's licensed under Creative Commons CC-BY, I should add that it was taken by Steven Depolo.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ron Paul Claims Chairmanship of Monetary Policy Subcommittee ... | FavStocks

Ron Paul Claims Chairmanship of Monetary Policy Subcommittee, Prepared to Subpoena Fed | FavStocks, Dec. 8, 2010:

"Proving that on occasion the little guy can occasionally win, Ron Paul announced tonight that he will be named Chairman of the Monetary Policy Subcommittee.

"When asked if he would take over chairmanship of the subcommittee, Paul replied 'The chairman of the financial services subcommittee, Spencer Bachus, has told me today verbally that I will be the chairman of that subcommittee. He was the one who appointed me as the ranking member and he is sticking to his guns and that I will have responsibility of that committee.'

"When asked about subpoenas and 'audit the Fed', Paul went on to say that he can issue subpoenas but would need agreement from the chairman as well as speaker" (ie, from both Bachus and John Boehner).

Update, Dec. 10 - I learned today that Paul's announcement had been made on Andrew Napolitano's FBN show, Freedom Watch -- another coup for the Judge and his show.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Will The Tea Parties Fight For Ron Paul?

Will The Tea Parties Fight For Ron Paul?: by Walt Thiessen (libertarian)
Nolan Chart, Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"With the Republicans taking control of the House of Representatives in January, many opponents of the Federal Reserve thought that Ron Paul as chairman of the  House Subcommittee for Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology would be a slam dunk. After all, he has, by far, the most seniority of any Republican on the committee. Yet, already there are reports that incoming speaker John Boehner is trying to find a way to keep it from happening....

"Rep. Boehner's house office phone number in Washington, DC is (202) 225-6205. I suggest that those people who want to see Ron Paul get the chairmanship of that committee should call his office Wednesday and make their wishes clear in a civil, responsible manner."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ron Paul-like anti-TSA bills in NJ Senate

EXCLUSIVE: Ron Paul-like anti-TSA bills in NJ Senate - Newark Essex County Conservative | "Senator Doherty's bills actually amend New Jersey's current statutes specifically to bring the actions of individual Transportation Security Administration agents under those statutes, and also create a brand-new statute. Specifically:
  • Bill TSA-1 provides that touching the genitals or the breasts (the 'junk') during a body search is a third-degree sexual assault unless the subject of the search is under arrest or in prison, or the actor has a lawful warrant....
  • Bill TSA-2 is a brand-new statute that directly forbids the TSA to use any sort of body-image scanner, including the terahertz ('millimeter-wave') scanner(s) in use at Newark Liberty International, to screen any passenger, flight officer, or flight attendant.... The fine for operating such a scanner would be $1000 each instance.
  • Bill TSA-3 provides that creating or viewing a body-scan image that includes the "junk" will be a pornography offense, unless the person involved is under arrest, or an inmate, or the TSA has a warrant, or the subject (or the parent or guardian if the subject is a minor) has provided written permission....
"Andrew L. Schlafly, a local attorney who has lately argued several constitutional cases, told this Examiner very briefly that these statutes could precipitate a constitutional crisis on the basis of federal supremacy."

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ron Paul: Wikileaks should not be stopped

Rep. Ron Paul: Wikileaks should not be stopped | The State Column:

"Representative Ron Paul said Friday that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange should not face prosecution for his distribution of nearly 250,000 classified and Top Secret documents.

"Mr. Paul came to the defense of Mr. Assange after Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department was studying whether to charge Assange with a crime for releasing thousands of leaked government documents.

"Mr. Paul told [Andrew Napolitano, on "Freedom Watch" on] Fox [Business] News that the notion of prosecuting Mr. Assange for the release of information is disturbing and it should not be pursued.

'In a free society we’re supposed to know the truth,' Mr. Paul said. 'In a society where truth becomes treason, then we’re in big trouble. And now, people who are revealing the truth are getting into trouble for it.'" (Beltway Confidential reports that Dr. Paul also tweeted that quotation.) 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

North Korea: The invisible gulag

The Invisible Gulag | World Security Network - by Jonathan Kay, National Post:

December 10, 2010 - "The world remains pock-marked by countries that still insist on calling themselves 'communist.' But in reality, Joseph Stalin's totalitarian dream of exterminating the individual human spirit survives in only one tiny corner of the world: North Korea....

"North Korea is a giant prison. Worse than a prison, in fact, because prisoners in normal countries don't have to forage for wild grass, or catch rats, to stay alive. For most Westerners, who aren't permitted to see this real-life Mordor with their own eyes, the country's horrors are so vast that they lie in a surreal place beyond our political imaginations. North Korea seems less an actual country than a sort of sovereign theme park dedicated to the glorification of evil....

"Norbert Vollertsen, a blond middle-aged German doctor, first travelled to North Korea in 1999, as part of his charity work with an international NGO. Taking shifts in a Pyongyang emergency room, he was horrified by the scenes he witnessed. Even patients with treatable diseases such as diabetes and tuberculosis lay dying on gurneys. Meanwhile, the medication that had been sent from Germany to save their lives was on sale for American dollars at a special Pyongyang store reserved for foreign diplomats.

"One day, Vollertsen saw a line-up in front of his hospital. He learned that a tractor-factory worker had been severely burned by molten metal, and that the people queuing up were donating pieces of their own skin so that the man could be saved.... Vollertsen made the fateful decision to join the line-up....

 "A week later, Vollertsen was asked to make another skin donation. But this time, when he showed up at the hospital, North Korean TV cameras filmed the whole thing. The event was broadcast on the country's (only) newscast, and Vollertsen was celebrated as a national hero.... The regime even awarded him the "North Korean Friendship medal" and -- more importantly -- a driver's licence that permitted him to roam the North Korean countryside unimpeded. No Western journalist has ever had such access....

"Nothing Vollertsen had seen in Pyongyang prepared him for the even more piteous scenes he witnessed in the rural provinces.

"All around were desolate landscapes -- the forests having been chopped down for firewood. Starvation was rampant: Most peasants survived on bags of donated rice from the West (which the North Korean government claimed to be a form of 'tribute' delivered from fearful Western powers)....

"The patients Vollertsen treated in children's clinics were scarcely more animated than corpses. He recalled to me one particularly haunting specimen -- an emaciated 12-year-old whose striped pajamas, reminiscent of a Nazi concentration camp prisoner, struck a grim historical chord with Vollertsen. 'He looked straight into my eyes,' the German doctor remembers, 'so full of sorrow and despair. No future. No hope. Nothing. It reminded me of the photos of the people you see at the Washington Holocaust museum.'"

Read more:

Friday, December 3, 2010

Weigel : "ALEC: The Libertarian Powerhouse that No One Covers"

ALEC: The Libertarian Powerhouse that No One Covers:
"'I've learned a few things,' said Daniel Knodl, a second-term assemblyman from Wisconsin. 'For example, I hadn't heard about this idea of forming interstate compacts to opt out before.' He was referring to a fairly new spin on the compact idea, being pushed first by libertarian think-tankers in Texas, that would have states declaring a federal government intervention illegal, forming a compact with another state that was taking the same approach, and forcing a legal showdown with the government."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Picture added to Dance Wikipedia article

I'm pleased to report that the above picture, from my Libertarian Party days, has been added to the "George Dance (politician)" article at Wikipedia. The photo, "George Dance in June 1987," is by Maureen Dance, and is licenced under a Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 3.0 licence.

On a related note, The Political Animal's Metaweb widget is now working properly: clicking either the "more" or "Wikipedia" links takes one to the current Wikipedia page, so current that it already contains the above picture.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tea party's other half

Tea party's other half - David Kirby and Emily Ekins -
"Just under half, or 48 percent, of tea partiers at the recent Virginia Tea Party Convention held views that are more accurately described as libertarian — fiscally conservative, to be sure, but moderate to liberal on social and cultural issues. Many of these activists, however, are unfamiliar with the word 'libertarian.' Rather, 60 percent of the libertarian tea partiers label themselves as 'independent' or 'something else,' compared to 37 percent of tea party conservatives.

"The other half of our survey sample, roughly 51 percent, held traditional conservative views — agreeing on “the less government the better” but also believing that government should promote traditional values.

"Many still mistake the tea party as one large group, sharing common interests, which our research shows is incorrect. Understanding the tea party’s two halves — libertarian and conservative —
may help unravel the seemingly contradictory impulses of the group"

Sunday, November 21, 2010

David Nolan, Libertarian Party founder, has died.

David Nolan, founder of Libertarian Party, has died - Powell Gammill, Freedom's Phoenix:

"David Nolan, who along with eight others founded the Libertarian Party in his living room in Denver in 1971 has unexpectedly died yesterday (Saturday, Nov. 20). He apparently suffered a stroke while driving alone. His car went off the road and struck something which may have contributed to his death.

"He would have been 67 years old this Tuesday, and ... is survived by his wife Elizabeth....

"In Libertarian circles he is also known for having developed what became known as the Nolan Chart.

"He just finished running against John McCain for his Senate seat in Arizona having received over 80,000 votes in a four way race".

Friday, November 19, 2010

Right-wing media promote private airport security

Right-wing media promote call for private security at airports | Media Matters for America - Justin Berrier, Eric Schroeck, & Melody Johnson:

November 17, 2010 - "On the November 16 edition of Fox Business' Freedom Watch, Andrew Napolitano hosted former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (R) to criticize TSA. Napolitano asked Johnson, 'Does government even keep us safe? Or would private industry -- that obviously has a strong financial interest in keeping the planes flying and keeping us safe -- do a better job than the government does, and let us choose the level of scrutiny that we want depending on the plane we ride?' Johnson replied that 'they would definitely do a more effective job ... and probably [be] a lot more safe.' Napolitano later asked Johnson, 'Would you abolish the TSA?' Johnson said that 'abolishing the TSA' is something that 'ought to be looked into.' "

Read more:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tea party groups push GOP to quit culture wars, focus on deficit

Tea party groups push GOP to quit culture wars, focus on deficit -
"The letter, signed by 16 tea party groups and a conservative gay organization, points to an emerging rift between the tea party movement and the GOP, which still counts social conservatives seeking 'moral government' as a key constituency.

"The signatories, ranging from conservative commentator Tammy Bruce to local tea party group leaders, say the key lesson the GOP should draw from the election is that Americans are concerned chiefly about taxes and the size of government, not their neighbors' lifestyle choices or personal decisions."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Burma's junta releases Aung San Suu Kyi

Burma's military junta releases Aung San Suu Kyi - CTV News:

"In 1990, Suu Kyi's party won Burma's elections by a wide margin. However, the military barred her from taking office. She has been in jail or under house arrest for more than 15 of the last 20 years. Her latest period of house arrest lasted seven-and-a-half years."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Blast from the Past

Now that I've learned how to put jpegs into my column, by (1) saving them on my harddrive, then (2) uploading them to Picasa, then (3) copying them onto The Political Animal, and finally (4) embedding the url into the column, it occurs to me that I can put (2) and (3) to other uses as well. So here's a blast from the past: a picture of yours truly from 22 years ago. It's from the Libertarian Party of Canada, Toronto Region, meeting of June 1987, at which I ran for Toronto member of the Board of Directors. I lost to Dr. Clarke Slemon (who would also defeat me for Party Leader at the Ontario Libertarian Party convention that fall).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Justin Amash photo

When I was writing my recent article, "Justin Amash elected to Congress," I couldn't find a picture of Justin Amash online that I was licensed to use. So I contacted the Amash for Congress campaign at their website, and they sent me this picture as a jpeg. (Thanks, Poppy!) I'm placing it here to have it on a url location, so that I can embed the latter into the Chart article.  We'll see how that works out; all of this is first-time stuff to me.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Justin Amash elected to Congress

Justin Amash elected to Congress - George J. Dance:

November 5, 2010 - "Endorsed by Ron Paul, dubbed a 'rock star' by the Club for Growth, this young libertarian Republican wins a House seat on his first try."

Read the article here:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rand Paul has commanding lead in Kentucky

Well, it could be wishful thinking (or early prediction) regarding the vote today. But it was a reference to the last-minute lead Paul's built up in the polls. Today we'll see how that plays out at the ballot box.

Rand Paul has commanding lead in Kentucky 
Published: November 1, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Second Gary Johnson article tops 1,000

A second Nolan Chart article of mine on former New Mexico governor, and possible 2012 Republican presidential candidate, Gary Johnson has gone over 1,000 reads. "Gary Johnson and Our America" was published in the Chart on Jan. 11, 2010, and racked up 286 hits or reads that month. By the end of September, that total had climbed to 936. As of today, the article has received another 65 in October.
The article will not be added to "The 1,000 Club" until the end of the month, but I wanted to announce the news early to keep it close to the news about the other article, "Ron Paul: Gary Johnson is the best alternative for 2012."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Gary Johnson article breaks 1,000 reads

The June article I wrote on Gary Johnson's presidential campaign, "Ron Paul: Gary Johnson is best alternative for 2012," received another 120 hits or reads in September, to end the month with 1,098. Accordingly, it debuts on the "1,000 Club" chart this month at #45.

A second article, Government or Anarchy?, also broke the 1,000-mark, ending the month just one point behind at 1,097, However, G&A had already made the 1,000 Club at year-end of 2009, and is currently at #20.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Update on Arizona's U.S. Senate Race

Update on Arizona's U.S. Senate Race: "by David F. Nolan
Thursday, September 30, 2010
September 26, 2010 may go down as a turning point in the history of our efforts to restore liberty to America. On that date, I participated in a televised four-way debate among Arizona's candidates for U.S. Senate� -- and I won!"

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Tale of Two Articles

The main venue for my political writing online is web mag Nolan Chart. I've published between 100 and 200 articles there over the 3 years I've been there. Some were hits, some were  flops.

I love it when a NC article of mine that originally flopped suddenly gets new life. The classic examples were my June, 2008 article "Government and Anarchy", and "Health Care vs. Pizza" from that July, both of which received less than 100 reads when first published, but both of which went on to break 1,000 reads the following year. For that I have to thank (1) the anarcho-libertarians who criticized the first article, but also linked to it; and (2) Barack Obama, who turned health care into a major issue in the U.S. last year. 

This summer may be seeing two new examples. The first was an article I wrote in October, 2008, "Barr and Nader agree to debate." That one is completely dated, except for one thing: as an update I included a link to the debate, the entire hour of which the Barr campaign had archived on You Tube. The Barr 2008 campaign has taken down its web site long ago; however (I discovered in June) it has left its videos up on YouTube, including the debate video. Accordingly, I rechristened the above article "Barr / Nader / Baldwin debate 2008",  rewrote its abstract to describe it as a portal to the debate, and moved it to the "Libertarian History" section of the chart. The result? The article went from 77 reads in the first five months of this year (15/month) to 123 over the next three (almost 3 times as many). 

Even more dramatic has been the change in my article "Smokin'" (another June, 2008 article, which was actually a 2000 review of the Fraser Institute book, Passive Smoke). That one has gone from 81 reads in the first seven months of 2010 (12/month), to 64 in August alone; more than 5 times as many. What accounts for that? 

In August I became a Wikipedia editor -- one of millions, so that is not a big deal. It has, though allowed me to clean up minor errors in articles when I'm reading Wiki, which I do frequently. One should not edit articles on oneself (or anything else one is personally involved in), so I have not edited the text of the Wiki article on me. However, since that article was flagged for being completely uncited, I've been adding footnotes to some of the claims. One was that I oppose "restrictions on public smoking" (which is close enough; what I oppose is government restrictions on smoking on private property), and I added "Smokin'" as a cite for that. 

I also added "Government and Anarchy" as a cite to the claim that I oppose anarchism, which has also given that article a boost: it has 140 reads for August, the most it's ever received in a month -- not bad for a 3-year-old article at all. 

Unfortunately neither change can be seen by accessing the widget on the right side of this page; that leads to an older, cached version of the Wiki article. To see the changes, one has to go to the "George Dance (politician)" page on Wikipedia. 

Whether those two articles will continue their surges, and end up passing the 1,000-reads barrier, is unknown at this time, but I'm optimistic. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day!

A happy Canada Day to all, and a happy midsummer.

Originally I posted a Betty Blog post under this title, and had to remove it; but I didn't want to simply delete the post, as there's not enough being posted on TPA to begin with. But what to put instead? What?

Finally I decided I could at least fly the flag: so I registered TPA with Canadian Planet this morning. CP is an all-Canadian blog & website directory. I'm not sure if TPA even belongs there, in the long run, as it's almost all about USAmerican politics, anyway. Let's face it, Canadian politics are boring.

Nevertheless, I'm happy to put up the flag for the month at least. Maybe I'll even get some Canadian politics in here as well.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ron Paul; Johnson is "best" alternative for president

Ron Paul says GOP will be more open to libertarian-minded nominee in 2012 | The Daily Caller - Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment: "Asked to name other potential presidential candidates he could support, Paul replied, “I guess the best one would be Johnson from New Mexico — Gary Johnson.”"

Update, June 28: The above was my first attempt to use Google Chrome's Blog This! Feature. (For the lazy writer: you're reading another article, and see a quote you'd like preserved; so you highlight the text, click the Blog This! button, and voilà.

I may try to work this into an article. In the meantime, I should link to my earlier article that profiled Gary Johnson

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Look at "Freedom Watch" hits #1 on Chart

Lately I've posted two new articles on Nolan Chart, and made it back to #1. The article I posted on Friday (a look at the 1964 Civil Rights Act through the eyes of Prof. Anne Wortham) peaked over the weekend at #2 on the Most Popular chart, and #3 on the Libertarian and Most Visited charts; while Monday's article (a look at the cable TV launch of Judge Andrew Napolitano's libertarian talkshow "Freedom Watch") hit #1 on all three charts.

Civil Rights and Wrongs (I): Human Rights vs. the Civil Rights Act

Liberty Hits Primetime (I): "Freedom Watch"

Monday, June 14, 2010

Introducing "The 1,000 Club"

I'm pleased to announce the addition of a new Blog Page, "The 1,000 Club," on TPA.

Pages are a new feature recently added by Blogger. As Blogger explains: "Blogger pages let you [...] publish static information on stand-alone pages linked from your blog. For example, you can use pages to create an About This Blog page that discusses the evolution of your blog, or a Contact Me page that provides directions, a phone number, and a map to your location." As stand-alones, these pages do not disappear like normal blog posts; rather, they are always immediately accessible from the home page "via the new Pages widget. The Pages widget lets you add links to your pages as tabs at the top of your blog, or as links in your blog's sidebar." ("The 1,000 Club" is accessible as a tab at the top.)

I've been looking for a way to use Pages on this blog, and this looks like a good one. One of the purposes of  this blog was to be a portal to my other writing on the internet. 

"The 1,000 Club" is a listing of articles on my online column at Nolan Chart, "The continuing rEVOLution," that have gained at least 1,000 "reads" (or "hits" or "page views"). The intent is to provide a one-stop, quickly-accessible entry to all my most popular articles only. (All my articles are archived together at my columnist's page on Nolan Chart, but that includes everything regardless of popularity.)

I was pleasantly surprised to find almost 50 articles in the club already. Since the data used goes up to 2009 only, that does not include my two (so far) 2010 articles that have broken 1,000 reads, "Paul Surges to Leade in Senate Race" and "The Battle of Kentucky." Nor does it include a half-dozen articles that had less than 1,000 reads on Dec. 31 but have climbed over that figure in the half-year since.

I hope this portal becomes of value for those researching the various subjects, not to mention those who just want a good read. You can access "The 1,000 Club" by using the tab at the top of this page, or by using this link.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Civil Rights and Wrongs (I)

I really have to write more on this blog; few are reading it because little is being written on it. I need to get into the habit of recording whatever strikes me as notable in politics that day, no matter how consequential.

What's notable for me today is my publication of a new Nolan Chart article, "Civil Rights and Wrongs (I)", on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which is back in the news after a Rand Paul incident -- well, you can read about that in the article). Here's the link:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Defending Rand Paul (II) D.T. Strain

by George J. Dance

Rand Paul's views on Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act have been widely and fiercely condemned. Paul himself has been smeared as everything from a racist to a moron. However (as I noted yesterday) a few voices can be found defending him, if one looks for them, often from the most unlikely sources.

One of the most unlikely is D.T. Strain, a humanist minister from Texas and a writer for As Strain himself writes, "I am about the last person on the planet you might expect to defend Rand Paul, Libertarians, or Republican candidates... I am socially liberal....  I also view the kind of complete laissez-faire capitalism espoused by Libertarianism as unrealistic, logically misguided, and morally deficient as well."

Nevertheless, Strain adds, "above all of that I am firstly concerned with truth and its offspring: honesty, fairness, and accuracy."And he sees little of that in the depictions of Paul as a racist: "when you look more closely at what he's said, there isn't even good reason to suspect it.... Racism is a powerful charge to throw around and no thoughtful and moral person should do so lightly."

Rather, Strain sees Paul's objections to the act as being not racist but libertarian. "He is opposed to limiting individual freedoms, even if that means people will sometimes be bad to one another." He adds: "Paul is thinking of a private business like a home. A person owns a building and whether they live in it or decide to sell bread out of it, it's their property - and an individual should have the right to say who comes onto their property or who they do business with for any reason."

For those who don't understand how one can condemn both discrimination and laws against it (as libertarians do), Strain adds a helpful analogy:
Should lying be illegal? Given that enforcement would require a huge bureaucracy and expense, and that it would create a veritable police state given the amount of oversight and intrusion necessary to police it, most people would agree it should not be illegal. But does that mean those people are liars or that they condone lying? Certainly not. Many of them are honest people who abhor deceptive behavior, and yet they believe these things are better handled through social pressures and the like, rather than through law enforcement.
Strain's conclusion: "Those who are distorting [Rand Paul's] words, or framing his position to sound as though he is a racist or in favor of racism are acting immorally. Either they are reacting out of a well justified but misplaced anger regarding racism, or they are cunningly using the event for political gain."

Strain, who as he says is no libertarian, goes on to argue against that libertarian position. And here, of course, is where I disagree with him. For example, he undercuts his earlier analogy by saying that "Enforcing non-discrimination in places of business does not, in fact, require the same level of intrusiveness and bureaucracy as would laws against everyday lying." However, that is not true, not just in regard to Section II but even more so to Section VII of the CRA (which bans discrimination by race or sex in hiring). Precisely because dishonesty and racism are mental states, they cannot be seen but only inferred from objective conditions; and the bureaucracy that investigates the latter conditions has become large and intrusive indeed -- much larger than the average American (or Canadian) may think.

But refuting Strain's argument is not my objective here. In fact, I'd encourage readers to read his arguments against the libertarian view, and think it through for themselves. Giving a hearing to opposing views (even those we find repugnant), and the arguments for them, does not endanger our own views -- provided we have thought our own views through in the first place. It is indeed a pity that the voices mocking and distorting Rand Paul's coments do not understood that.

DT Strain, "In defense of Rand Paul,", June 2, 2010.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Defending Rand Paul (I) Lanny Davis

by George J. Dance

For two weeks now I have been following the flap over Rand Paul's interview with Rachel Maddow on Title II of the Civil Rights Act, making copious notes and getting little writing done. It just occurred to me that the TPA blog is the ideal place to put those notes: this is the place for rougher, immediate commentary, with the more polished, detailed work still appearing on the Nolan Chart pages.

One encouraging sign is those few voices, mostly drowned out in the widespread chorus of vilification but breaking through from time to time, that have been raised in Dr. Paul's defence. Not only his supporters, but some of his erstwhile political opponents have spoken up.

One early piece out was by former Clinton aide Lanny Davis, in a column called "The Paul-Maddow Interview: A Liberal's Second Thoughts" reprinted in both The Hill  and The Daily Caller.  Davis says that, while initially he enjoyed "the media and political piling-on of Paul," after a while he became uncomfortable with it and decided to do his own research. Which led him to the Libertarian Party platform, from which he quotes, “property rights are entitled to the same protection as all other human rights. The owners of property have the full right to control, use, dispose of, or in any manner enjoy, their property without interference,” as the root of Paul's opposition to Title II.

Davis also explains Paul's apparent contradiction -- his later statement that he would have voted for the Act, and supports it today -- by quoting from the platform section on racism: "We condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant. Government should not deny or abridge any individual’s rights based on sex, wealth, race, color, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference or sexual orientation.”

Davis gets some factual points wrong. For one thing, he calls Paul's father Ron the 2008 Libertarian presidential nominee (Paul ran for the Republican nomination that year; he was the Libertarian nominee in 1988.) For another, based on the LP platform, Davis concludes that Paul is pro-choice, when in fact, as a good Republican, he wants abortion almost completely outlawed. However, the article is a good one on balance which makes its points effectively. As well, it appears to have been influential: media commentary by and large has shifted from labelling Paul a racist and even a Klansman, to calling him a libertarian, and I conjecture Davis's article had much to do with that.

It is certainly worth noting, and quoting at length, Davis's conclusion: 
We liberals can and should strongly disagree with Rand Paul and libertarians on the positions they take on various issues, especially their belief in the lack of governmental power to ensure racial and economic justice in this country. But mocking him and trivializing a man who is so intellectually honest in applying his libertarian principles does not feel right to me anymore.
Maybe too many of us have grown so cynical with today’s political culture that we have a hard time coping with, much less believing in, someone who is running for political office who is actually authentic and sincere, even if it means he or she is taking positions that offend, at times, both the left and the right.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rand Paul money bomb today

Just a quick reminder of the Rand Paul "Give me Liberty" money bomb today, on the anniversary of Patrick Henry's famous quote. You can donate at Rand's website, or through this site, which looks well worth checking out:

Please read the letter from Congressman Ron Paul regarding the money bomb  (posted on TPA on Saturday), and for background, my newest Nolan Chart article on the Rand Paul campaign, The Battle of Kentucky [].

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ron Paul tells base: "We need you more than ever" on March 23

Subject: URGENT! Help Keep Rand on TV!!
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2010 19:32:24 -0400
From: Congressman Ron Paul
To: [undisclosed recipients]

Congressman Ron Paul

Dear Friend,

My son Rand is running a great campaign in Kentucky. Through hard work and your support, he is winning! We have a real chance to send the most principled, limited government leader to the United States Senate in a generation.

But now, he needs you more than ever.

The big government establishment has turned on their fundraising machine to try and defeat Rand. According to media reports, Rand's challenger has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past several weeks. The sources? Disgusting! PAC's, special interests and the banking industry - all of whom are opening up their wallets for Rand's opponent.

Remember when AIG took billions of taxpayer bailout dollars not once, but twice? Well, I have it on good information that AIG's chief lobbyist just held a high dollar, big money fundraiser for Rand's rival. I am sure you can figure out why.

Rand has shrewdly purchased all the television airtime he needs from mid-April through his May 18th Primary. The commercials are produced, the voter data is being assembled and a tremendous turnout machine is being put in place.

Rand's career politician opponent is lashing out - he has turned on an attack machine of vicious distortions and outright lies. Rand is working hard to knock them back and fight for our principles.

But, Rand does not have enough money to stay on TV and fight off the establishments smear tactics over the next few weeks. Unless he gets a substantial infusion of cash, he will not be able to purchase airtime from March 24 through mid April. And with all of his opponent's lies and fear mongering, he needs your help to stay on Kentucky statewide television during this critical time.

On Tuesday, March 23, the grassroots have organized a Money Bomb for Rand. If we have a successful day, Rand will be able to purchase the airtime he needs for the next few weeks and fund the last several mail pieces he will need down the stretch. You can donate directly at Rand's website,

We need you more than ever. I dearly hope I can count on your support. We have a tremendous opportunity, and if we come together on March 23, I know we can win.

In Liberty,

Ron Paul

P.S. Please view this video Rand's team out together, and forward it to your friends and family. Every single person's contribution counts, and anything you can do to spread the message is greatly appreciated!

Pol. Adv. Paid for by Committee to Re-Elect Ron Paul * 1-800-RON-PAUL

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Modern Politician / Archibald Lampman

The Modern Politician

What manner of soul is his to whom high truth
Is but the plaything of a feverish hour,
A dangling ladder to the ghost of power!
Gone are the grandeurs of the world's iron youth,
When kings were mighty, being made by swords.
Now comes the transit age, the age of brass,
When clowns into the vacant empires pass,
Blinding the multitude with specious words.
To them faith, kinship, truth and verity,
Man's sacred rights and very holiest thing,
Are but the counters at a desperate play,
Flippant and reckless what the end may be,
So that they glitter, each his little day,
The little mimic of a vanished king.

Archibald Lampman

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dick & Betsy DeVos endorse Justin Amash for Congress

Spokesman: Dick and Betsy DeVos endorse Justin Amash for Congress | - Jim Harger:

February 12, 2010 - "GOP power couple Dick and Betsy DeVos have thrown their early support to State Rep. Justin Amash's quest to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Vernon Ehlers, R-Grand Rapids.

"Amash, R-Cascade Township, announced his candidacy on Tuesday, one day before Ehlers announced he would retired at 17 years in the U.S. House.

"They enthusiastically support and endorse his candidacy and believe he has a strong record of standing up for smart but limited government," said a spokesman for the DeVoses....

"Amash, a 29-year-old legislator in his first term of office, would not have won the DeVos endorsement had Ehlers not announced his retirement, said their spokesman, Greg McNeilly.

"'They have known Vern pretty much all their lives,' said McNeilly, noting Betsy DeVos took a physics course from Ehlers while a student at Calvin College.

"Dick DeVos, son of Amway Corp. co-founder Rich DeVos, ran a largely self-funded campaign for governor as a Republican in 2006. Betsy DeVos is a former GOP National Committee member and state party chairwoman."

Read more:

'via Blog this'

Friday, January 29, 2010

Rand Paul article tops 1,500 reads

This week, my Nolan Chart article on Rand Paul's Senate campaign in Kentucky, "Paul Surges to Lead in Senate Race," passed the 1,500-read mark for January. (It currently has 1,550.) That's the first time in more than a year that an article of mine has attracted that many readers in a month.

I'd like to thank the kind folks at Liberty Forest and The Daily Paul for helping the article find its readership.

Paul Surges to Lead in Senate Race

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Medina's star rises in Texas

Associated Press reported on Jan. 20: "After months of being largely dismissed in a race dominated by the state's two Republican heavyweights, Debra Medina is making her presence felt with an anti-establishment message that has evidently struck a chord among a segment of Republican voters.

"Buoyed by her performance against Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in last week's televised debate, the conservative activist has climbed to 12 percent in the latest Rasmussen Reports poll, up from 4 percent in November, a showing that prompted organizers to include her in a second debate Jan. 29."

(AP) Dave Montgomery, "Medina's star is rising in Texas GOP gubernatorial race", Politics AP, The Miami Herald, Jan. 20, 2010.

I am currently working on an article about the Medina campaign, and will blog the link when it is completed.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Massachusetts election: Where was the left?

by George J. Dance

In the wake of Republican Scott Brown's upset election victory in Massachusetts for Ted Kennedy's former Senate seat, Toronto Star columnist and blogger David Olive asked a pertinent question: Where were the progressives? Tea Party activists were all over the state (from reports I've read), providing the cadre -- the "boots on the ground" -- instrumental in Brown's win. Where were their counterparts in Coakley's campaign?

Olive points out that the Obama's progressive troops have been "AWOL" for some time: 
Vander Heuvel ... should be admonishing fellow progressives. Where were they during the Tea Party mania of August, when the tide of public opinion began to turn decisively against change. Progressives embraced Obama, or change, or both. Yet when a gaggle of liberatarians [sic] with posters depicting their champion - yes, there [sic] one best chance in a generation for significant progressive change - showed up on the Mall or at the local rec centre, where was the army of progressives with their own signs, slogans and expressions of popular will? AWOL is where.
Just hours later, at the Huffington Post, Frank Schaeffer cranked up the rhetoric a notch, blaming the entire loss on "Lefty Obama-Haters."

It is probably unfair to blame loss of liberal or progressive support for the Democrats' Masschusetts defeat – others have been arguing that what hurt them most was loss of support among white working males and seniors – but it is fair to wonder what has been happening to the President's support on the left.

Here's a Nolan Chart article I recently published on the subject:

The Left abandons Obama

Friday, January 22, 2010

Grayson won't recuse himself

Trey Grayson is the Secretary of State for the state of Kentucky. Which means that he oversees Kentucky elections, and certifies the winners. Which means that he is overseeing his own election campaign for the U.S. Senate, currently against Bill Johnson, Gurley Martin, Brian Oerther, Rand Paul, and Jon J. Scribner in the Republican primary.

Associated Press reported on January 21 that: "In a letter sent to Grayson's Capitol office, Paul asked Grayson to recuse himself from overseeing the Senate election" due to the obvious conflict of interest.

In reply, "Grayson spokesman Les Fugate called the request absurd and blatantly self-serving. Fugate said Grayson won't recuse."

Source: "Paul Doesn’t Want GOP Opponent To Oversee Election" (AP), WKRG, Jan. 21, 2010.

For other coverage of the Grayson-Paul race, please read my articles:

Paul Surges to Lead in Senate Race

Steve Forbes endorses Rand Paul

Sunday, January 17, 2010

GD's Top 50 of 2009

In my last column, I talked of using TPA as a venue for posting either (1) links to my columns published on Nolan Chart or  (2) the text of rejected columns. This article is a good way to do both. It's a chart of my Top 50 articles of 2009, as judged by page impressions ('hits') by unique readers. All articles are live-linked, so that any one can be read with one click of the mouse.

"GD's Top 50" was submitted and rejected on New Year's Day. I'd had a similar chart for 2008 published the previous New Year's (see #48); however, the 2009 edition was rejected as 'self-promotion.'

2008 was an extremely prolific year for me on the Chart: I wrote and published over 100 articles, and received 92,000 hits. In contrast, last year I published only 10 articles, and the number of hits fell to 38,000. So most of the top 50 listed here are from 2008. It's interesting, to me at least, to note that some of those were more popular, attracting more hits, in the following year; an indication of which parts of the corpus are likely to stand the test of time. I look forward to running similar charts here on future New Year's Days.

What follows, including the prefatory note in italics, is the full text of the article submitted to NC. 


Here are my top 50 Nolan Chart articles of the year, ranked by number of reads. I compiled only a top 50 this year (vs. last year’s Top 100) as I took a break from politics in this non-campaign year. I published only 10 new articles. However, several of my 2008 articles continued to be popular, some attracting more readers last year than when originally published.  I hope this look back introduces more readers to my work. (To view all of my articles, please click the "More articles" link at the end.)

Top 50 of 2009

[Article, date published, number of reads/hits]
  1. The Ron Paul Terrorist Report.  Mar. 29, 2009. 1,669.
  2. Government or Anarchy?  Jun. 29, 2008. 1,139.
  3. FBI: No hard evidence linking Bin Laden to 9/11.  Apr. 10, 2008. 802.
  4. George W. Bush, American poet? Jan. 18, 2009. 790.
  5. Ron Paul endorses Amit Singh for Congress.  May 5, 2008. 658.
  6. Bob Barr and the Gun Ban (I).  Aug. 24, 2008. 644.
  7. Ron Paul's Delegate Wars (I).  Apr. 13, 2008. 600.
  8. Ron Paul and his rEVOLution.  Mar. 28, 2008. 597.
  9. Libertarian politics in Ontario, Canada.  Nov. 10, 2008. 595.
  10. Monds wins a million votes in Georgia.  Nov. 7, 2008. 559.
  11. Health Care vs. Pizza.  Jul. 6, 2008. 549.
  12. Childs's argument for anarchism. Jun. 12, 2009. 537.
  13. Ron Paul on Bob Barr: "We're allies."  Jun. 3, 2008. 535.
  14. Paul: Pelosi spiked Iran bill.  Jun. 17, 2008. 531.
  15. Ron Paul supporter Chuck Baldwin runs for President.  Apr. 25, 2008. 526.
  16. "Government or Anarchy?" revisited. Jul. 1, 2009. 518.
  17. Bob Barr's Gun Record.  Aug. 6, 2008. 506.
  18. Ron Paul's former aide reveals: "We needed" Barr to vote for the PATRIOT Act. May 24, 2008. 500.
  19. Baldwin will free Ramos and Compean.  Sep. 15, 2008. 497.
  20. Smokin'. June 10, 2008. 495.
  21. Bob Barr and the Gun Ban (II).  Aug. 24, 2008. 492.
  22. Paul supporters Lawson and Jones win NC primaries.  May 8, 2008. 487.
  23. Talking Trash. Jun. 24, 2009. 486.
  24. Bob Barr's Real Record (I). May 22, 2008. 472.
  25. Libertarian kittens. Jul. 7, 2008. 471.
  26. Barr vs. McCain (II): The Wasted Vote. Nov. 3, 2008. 462.
  27. Ron Paul's Delegate Wars (II).  Apr. 20, 2008. 456.
  28. Ron Paul helps launch Young Americans for Liberty. Dec. 7, 2008. 455.
  29. Bob Barr's Real Record (II). May 22, 2008. 450.
  30. Ron Paul's Delegate Wars (V). May 11, 2008. 447.
  31. Third-party debate in early October.  Sep. 27, 2008. 421.
  32. Injustice at Nolan Chart! Nov. 23, 2008. 419.
  33. Sarah Palin and "Troopergate."  Aug. 30, 2008. 413.
  34. Ron Paul's Delegate Wars (IV). May 4, 2008. 413.
  35. Barr vs. McCain (III): Socialism. Nov. 3, 2008. 408.
  36. Third-partying the rEVOLution in Louisiana. Oct. 31, 2008. 399.
  37. Ron Paul's Delegate Wars (III). Apr. 27, 2008. 399.
  38. A sonnet on the Iraq War. May 18, 2009. 399.
  39. ACLU sues Transportation Security Administration over Ron Paul staffer's detention. Jul. 19, 2009. 391.
  40. Boston Tea Party nominee smears Barr. Jul. 13, 2008. 390.
  41. Obama warned not to take peace vote for granted. Jul. 26, 2008. 389.
  42. Trouble in Boston Tea Paradise. Oct. 24, 2008. 382.
  43. Rare Ron Paul footage in new Barr video. Jul. 27, 2008. 381.
  44. Ron Paul's No-Third-Party Deals. Nov. 14, 2008. 377.
  45. Bob Barr on the Bailouts. Sep. 21, 2008. 374.
  46. Third-Party Debate Fiasco: Oct. 19 debate(s) cancelled. Oct. 18, 2008. 370.
  47. Trans-Texas Corridor changes direction. Jun. 27, 2008. 358.
  48. GD's Top 100 of 2008. Jan. 1, 2009. 357. 
  49. Barr - Paul Alliance Buzz Builds. Jul. 5, 2008. 354.
  50. Vince Miller RIP. Jun. 29, 2008. 349.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Introducing The Political Animal

I suppose that, if I wish to make a proper introduction, I should begin by introducing myself.

George Dance is my real name. I'm 56 years old, and live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with my family.

I am a long-time member of both the Libertarian Party of Canada and the Ontario Libertarian Party. I was the Leader of both parties for brief periods, and the Chairman of the provincial party for 12 years. You can read the details of my political biography here.

For all of that period I wrote for, and for some time edited, both parties' newsletters. Those newsletters were my zines in those days. (The blog's title is a hommage not only to Aristotle, but also to one of my 1980's-era columns.)

In 1996 I discovered mailing lists, and began posting on a few.

In 2000 I became interested in political philosophy and aware of the internet, and began writing on usenet. Ten years later, I am still writing on usenet and Google Groups.

Inspired by Ron Paul's carpe diem Presidential campaign, in early 2008 I began writing a Nolan Chart political column, in particular on the U.S. election, in particular on the Paul and Libertarian campaigns. That column continues, with an eye on the 2012 election.

I've been considering writing a political blog for some time, but hesitated because I didn't want it to conflict with my NC column. However, I've come to realize that, not only will the two activities not necessarily conflict, but that the blog can actually help the column. In particular I can use the blog to publish:

- links to my new articles, and the best of my old, that are published on NC.
- the text of any articles that NC rejects. (Yes, there have been a few)
- reprints of my other political writing scattered about on the net. (NC has a policy -- actually a google ads policy -- against reprinting material.)
- short takes on political events, and ideas, that wouldn't by themselves constitute an article, or that could become the genesis of an article.

I hope that's sufficient information to introduce you to the blog. The only thing I can think of to add is: Welcome.