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Politics & Law

Yaron Brook – Tea Party Patriots American Policy Summit

Yaron Brook gives a rousing speech at the Tea Party Patriots American Policy Summit 2011 on 2/25/2011. His speech focuses on the idea that freedom lies in stresses a single, fundamental principle, the principle of individual rights, rather than vague terms such as fiscal responsibility (can be done through taxation) or limited government (can suggest democracy rather than a republic). An engaging speech which ended in an 1800 person standing ovation, the only one that night.

Art Against Jihad

In this wide-ranging and exclusive Capitalism Magazine interview, ex-Muslim artist extroadinaire Bosch Fawstin discusses: his new graphic novel series The Infidel and its’ hero Pigman — the Jihadist’s Terrorist; the influence of Frank Miller, Alex Toth and Ayn Rand on his work; the errors of George W. Bush and his contempories; his appearance on the Daily Show and the solution to dealing with Islamic terrorists. Definitely worth reading!

Link: Art Against Jihad: An Interview with Bosch Fawstin Creator of The Infidel and Pigman

Pigman: The Jidhadist’s Terrorist

 

Some scenes from issue #1 of Bosch Fawstin’s graphic novel series The Infidel.

The Infidel is a story about twin brothers Killian Duke and Salaam Duka, whose Muslim background comes crashing to the forefront of their lives on 9/11.

Salaam’s response is full submission to Islam.

Killian responds by creating a comic book featuring a pigskin-clad superhero named Pigman, who takes on Jihad. 

 

” The idea of Pigman” explains Bosch in a recent interview with Capitalism Magazine “came about when I started thinking about the enemy and what would be their worst nightmare personified. He’s a pigskin-clad superhero, a physically big, strong, ruthless defender of Western Civilization who fully understands the enemy and speaks his language. He is the perfect weapon against jihad.”

Order a copy of issue#1 of the Infidel at Bosch’s website.

Free Speech Under Attack in Europe

Geert Wilders in the WSJ  on Islam/Multiculturalism vs Freedom of Speech:

The perverse result is that in Europe it is now all but impossible to have a debate about the nature of Islam, or about the effects of immigration of Islam’s adherents. Take my own case, for example. My point is that Islam is not so much a religion as it is a totalitarian political ideology disguised as a religion. To avoid misunderstandings, I always emphasize that I am talking about Islam, not about Muslims. I make a clear distinction between the people and the ideology, between Muslims and Islam, recognizing that there are many moderate Muslims. But the political ideology of Islam is not moderate and has global ambitions; the Koran orders Muslims to establish the realm of Allah in this world, if necessary by force.

Stating my views on Islam has brought me to court on charges of “group insult” and incitement to racial hatred. I am being tried for voicing opinions that I—and my constituents—consider to be the truth. I am being tried for challenging the views that the ruling establishment wants to impose on us as the truth. [ “European Free Speech Under Attack“, WSJ ]

Bosch Fawstin’s Graphic Novel The Infidel Now Available for Download

Objectivist Cartoonist — perhaps the first major one since Spiderman creator Steve Ditko — whose debut graphic novel, TABLE FOR ONE, received the praise of Alex Toth, along with an Eisner Award nomination, has just released the first chapter/issue of his latest comic book, a graphic novel, in PDF form. 

Fawstin’s  THE INFIDEL, is a story about twin brothers whose Muslim background comes to the forefront of their lives on 9/11. One responds by creating a counter-jihad superhero comic book called PIGMAN, as the other surrenders to Islam. Pigman’s battle against his archenemy SuperJihad is echoed by the escalating conflict between the twins.

You can order it here.

The Influence of Legal Pragmatism on the 4th Amendment Privacy Doctrine

From Amy Peikoff:

My paper, “Pragmatism and Privacy,” is now available online at the NYU Journal of Law & Liberty’s website. In the paper, I demonstrate the influence of legal pragmatism on the development of Fourth Amendment privacy doctrine and, towards the end of the paper, I have the opportunity to apply some of Tara Smith’s criticisms of Justice Scalia’s Originalist methodology. (You may also be interested to read an article appearing in the same issue: Prof. Randy Barnett’s article on why the Obamacare individual health insurance mandate is unconstitutional.)

Lindsay Lohan, Hollywood Voice of Reason

Writes Mark Topson at his blog:

[Lohan on Twitter:] I pray Egypt maintains it’s [sic] treaty with Israel and sets the trend for its neighbors to create peace with Israel and the entire region.

What a pleasant surprise, to hear someone in the entertainment world not only talk about something other than 1) themselves, 2) their uninformed socialist fantasies, and/or 3) their hatred/sexual fantasies of Sarah Palin, but actually express support for Israel’s security for once, instead of bashing the country as a “genocidal apartheid state,” banning its films from film festivals, and boycotting musical performances there. Good for you, Ms. Lohan.

Read the rest.

For why you should support Israel see Yaron Brook’s Israel Has A Moral Right To Its Life.

Another Illiberal Democracy — In Egypt

Richard Salsman takes on the concept of Democracy as an end to itself over at Forbes:

History makes very clear to nearly everyone (except history’s democrats) that democracy–the mere voting power and rule by some majority–is no necessary guarantor of genuine liberties or individual rights; indeed, more often than not, democracies have trampled rights.

[…]

For faith-based democrats like Presidents Bush and Obama, democracy means voting — and voting is considered an end in itself, not a means to some other, truly legitimate end like securing and protecting individual rights. [“Another Illiberal Democracy — In Egypt“] 

Read the rest.

Commentary by Richard Salsman @ Forbes

Some great commentary at Richard Salsman at Forbes:

“Another Illiberal Democracy – in Egypt,” February 10, 2011
Democracy is no guarantor of genuine liberties or rights; indeed, far more often it brutally tramples them.

“The Actual State of the Union,” February 1, 2011
Presidents no longer bother to give objective assessments of America’s current and future state.

“Krugman, ‘Toxic Rhetoric’ and the Smear-Mongers,” January 20, 2011
Political programs – but not political “rhetoric” – can inflict violence; let’s start recognize the difference between the two.

“New Congress, Same Old Leviathan,” January 11, 2011
Neither GOP control of Congress nor the arrival of 50 or so Tea-publicans will reduce federal spending in 2011-2012.

“A Golden Decade of Government Failure,” January 4, 2011
The best investment asset of the past decade was gold – because government policies were a complete failure.

“A Well-Earned Capitalist Christmas,” December 23, 2010
The real meaning of Christmas — and all that we enjoy about it – is thoroughly pagan and capitalistic.

“The Virtue of Lower Tax Rates On The Rich,” December 15, 2010
The rich have a right to their earnings and deserve huge tax-rate cuts; they have no duty to create jobs or reduce deficits.

“Where Have All The Capitalists Gone?” December 5, 2010
Almost everyone acknowledges that capitalism delivers the goods – but most people still claim it’s immoral.

What Egyptians Really Want: Islamofascism

Here are some “highlights” from a 2010 Pew poll of Egyptian attitudes as listed by a recent IBD Editorial:

  • 49% of Egyptians say Islam plays only a “small role” in public affairs under President Hosni Mubarak, while 95% prefer the religion play a “large role in politics.”
  • 84% favor the death penalty for people who leave the Muslim faith.
  • 82% support stoning adulterers.
  • 77% think thieves should have their hands cut off.
  • 54% support a law segregating women from men in the workplace.
  • 54% believe suicide bombings that kill civilians can be justified.
  • Nearly half support the terrorist group Hamas.
  • 30% have a favorable opinion of Hezbollah.
  • 20% maintain positive views of al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.
  • 82% of Egyptians dislike the U.S. — the highest unfavorable rating among the 18 Muslim nations Pew surveyed.

Google Art Project

The Google ‘Art Project’ lets you view more than a thousand works of art online from some of the world’s most popular art museums. The site allows you view featured artworks at high resolution and use the custom viewer to zoom into paintings. 

http://www.googleartproject.com/

As Good As One Could Expect: Notes on Judge Vinson’s Opinion of Obamacare

Amy Peikoff writes in her blog, Don’t Let It Go, on Judge Vinson’s 78 page opinion in which he held that Obamacare was unconstitutional:

[…] When I first read the opinion, I was not pleased. I was not pleased that Vinson began by using an Originalist approach; I was not pleased that he seemed to concede the propriety of treating the Constitution as, in effect, a “living” document; I was not pleased that he implied that the Supreme Court could — in fact that he seemed to invite them to — eliminate the activity/inactivity distinction. I feared that the Supreme Court might just decide that, in our modern commercial age, yada, yada, yada, an economic decision can constitute “activity” for purposes of the Commerce Clause, and that Vinson hadn’t done enough to prevent this. I found his basic argument — that, given the current state of Commerce Clause jurisprudence, if this law were to be upheld, no real distinction could be made between the “individual mandate” and anything else Congress wanted to make people do, and therefore, if this law were to be upheld, our government would no longer be a limited one whose powers are enumerated — terribly unsatisfying. But today, after sleeping on it (even if only for a few hours), and having a brief interchange with an actual Constitutional Lawyer, I realize that my expectations are unrealistic. This is about as good as one could expect.

First, even if Vinson were an Objectivist, his job would be to apply the law, as it exists, to the facts of the case before him. Thus, even if he rejected the Originalist approach, he would still be stuck with the language of the Commerce Clause itself, plus all of the horrible precedent expanding Congress’s powers under that clause. Especially given that Vinson is a district court judge, it seems the best he can do is to explain why, in the context of this binding precedent, Obamacare goes too far, and is therefore unconstitutional. So, given that I’ve concluded this was Vinson’s assignment, is there something significant he could have done that would have been more satisfying to me? I did find his expressing “reluctance” in striking down the legislation to be annoying. I mean, at least he needn’t be reluctant! He is, after all, assuming he is right, saving us from a government whose powers are no longer enumerated and limited, right? He should be glad about this! I also was annoyed that he seemed to be inviting the Supreme Court, twice during the course of his opinion, to reformulate its Commerce Clause jurisprudence in a way that allows them to uphold this legislation. However, what I realized today is the only significant thing I found missing was some sort of argument as to why it must be an activity that Congress regulates under the Clause. I wanted some sort of positive justification for the activity/inactivity distinction. It was no good to just hang one’s hat on the idea that, if you get rid of this distinction, Congress could do whatever it wants. I needed more!

What sort of argument could one provide?

Find out in her enlightening post, Notes on Judge Vinson’s Opinion.

Obamacare: Null and Void

From Judge Rules Health Care Law Is Unconstitutional:

A U.S. district judge on Monday threw out the nation’s health care law, declaring it unconstitutional because it violates the Commerce Clause and surely reviving a feud among competing philosophies about the role of government.

Judge Roger Vinson, in Pensacola, Fla., ruled that as a result of the unconstitutionality of the “individual mandate” that requires people to buy insurance, the entire law must be declared void.

[…]

“While the individual mandate was clearly ‘necessary and essential’ to the act as drafted, it is not ‘necessary and essential’ to health care reform in general,” he continued. “Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire act must be declared void.”

Tax Reparations…for the Rich?

Forbes.com has just published the latest column by Yaron Brook and Don Watkins, which looks at the role class warfare rhetoric is playing in the debate over taxing the rich.

Americans, historically, have not been envious of wealth. The predominant attitude has been: let a person make as much money as he can, provided he earns it. The reason class warfare rhetoric has been effective of late is because the practitioners of class warfare have largely succeeded in painting the rich as unproductive parasites.

[…] if we’re talking about the creation of wealth in a division of labor economy, the most productive Americans don’t benefit the most: They contribute the most. Thirty years ago, if you were a shop owner, you spent a large chunk of your time poring over inventory, keeping your books, clinking away at your calculator, double checking your numbers, and going through enough correction fluid to whitewash a fence. But thanks in large measure to software pioneers like Microsoft founder Bill Gates, most of those tasks now take a fraction of the time, can be performed far more accurately and have become so simple that you can probably delegate them to an entry-level clerk. You gave Bill Gates a few hundred bucks; he gave you a better life.

Super-wealthy Americans — men like Gates, Warren Buffett and Fred Smith — are predominantly thinkers and innovators who succeeded by contributing new ideas to the productive process. Not just new inventions, but new methods of organization, marketing, worker motivation and production, distribution and finance. That’s to say nothing of the fact that wealthy people are the primary contributors of capital to the economy — the factories, tools and technology that make the average American worker hundreds of times more productive than his Third World counterpart.

This is what John Galt, the fictional character in Ayn Rand’s best-selling novel, Atlas Shrugged, called the “pyramid of intellectual ability” :

In proportion to the mental energy he spent, the man who creates a new invention receives but a small percentage of his value in terms of material payment, no matter what fortune he makes, no matter what millions he earns. But the man who works as a janitor in the factory producing that invention, receives an enormous payment in proportion to the mental effort that his job requires of him. And the same is true of all men between, on all levels of ambition and ability. The man at the top of the intellectual pyramid contributes the most to all those below him, but gets nothing except his material payment, receiving no intellectual bonus from others to add to the value of his time. The man at the bottom who, left to himself, would starve in his hopeless ineptitude, contributes nothing to those above him, but receives the bonus of all of their brains. Such is the nature of the “competition” between the strong and the weak of the intellect. Such is the pattern of “exploitation” for which you have damned the strong. [Atlas Shrugged]

You can read the entire op-ed here.

Part 2 of Lisa VanDamme’s Response to “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior”

Lisa VanDamme takes the Wall Street Journal Article “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” to task methodologically, exposing that it is premised on a false dichotomy. Is our choice only to be high-handed or hands-off? Domineering or deadbeat? Abusive or permissive? Or is there another alternative?

Click here for the first video: Lisa VanDamme Slams WSJ Article “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior”, Part 1