It’s Time To Leave Afghanistan To Its Barbarism, Bring The Troops Home Now Sunday, Feb 26 2012 

With Afghanistan close to a full week of riots over the alleged burning of a Koran by US forces, many Americans are starting to ask what is the point of keeping our military forces in that country. We have fought a war there since 2001 where we deposed the Taliban and are now propping up Hamid Karzai, who is nothing more than a gangster boss posing as world leader. If the purpose was to depose the Taliban and severely weaken Al-Qaeda, by all accounts we have succeeded. If the purpose was to create a functioning, stable democracy in that country, that mission was a failure from the word “go”. If a country wants to riot over the burning of a book, then they clearly cannot sustain a functioning liberal democracy. It is time for the United States to cut our losses in that country and bring our troops home.

Even though President Obama apologized, rightfully even though it was disposing of Korans defaced by Afghan prisoners in this case, Karzai and his cronies whipped up the current and previous Koran riots because he knows the majority of Afghans now see the US and its NATO allies as an occupation force now, not as the liberating force they were seen as in 2001 and 2002. Karzai however is not seen as a legitimate leader by most Afghanis and this gives him a chance to display his nationalist street cred. Afghanistan is still largely lawless, is still a major heroin exporter, still regards women as mere commodities like camels and horses, and much of the foreign is siphoned off to the offshore bank accounts of Karzai and his cronies. The attempt to drag Afghanistan from the Dark Ages into the 21st century has failed miserably by all accounts.

It is time to stop wasting the lives of our young men and women to prop up Karzai and his gangster cronies. It is time to stop throwing away billions of dollars of American taxpayers’ money to a bad investment that will never give a return on its value. Our military presence in Afghanistan is a major contributor to Islamist attempts to destabilize Pakistan by making Islamists more popular in that nuclear-armed country than they otherwise would be. Finally, the Taliban are only growing more and more popular in both Afghanistan and Pakistan since they are seen as the only force willing to fight the American occupation. It is time to bring our troops, aid workers, diplomats, and everyone else involved in the Afghan nation building project home, with honor. We need to learn the same lesson the British and the Soviets had to learn, which is you cannot transform Afghanistan from a collection of Dark Ages barbaric feudal fiefdoms to a modern, civilized nation state.

Our only policy toward Afghanistan, and other barbaric hellholes like Somalia, should be the following:

If you want to create a place where women have less rights than goats, where you throw acid in womens’ faces if they go out uncovered, where you can perform all the child weddings you want, behead all the “infidels” you want, forbid TV and music, and generally create a hellish society; go right on ahead. We’re not going to stop you, as long as you keep your barbarism confined to your national borders. However, if you sponsor terrorist groups or anyone else for that matter that attacks American citizens or American national interests; we’ll be back. This time we won’t be coming to build schools and pass out stacks of cash to your tribal chiefs. We’ll be here launching a good ol’ fashioned punitive expedition to wipe out the attackers and those who gave them shelter, which should have been the extent of the US mission in Afghanistan in the first place. We will leave your country even more in ashes and rubble than it already is. Then we will leave, with the simple message, “don’t make us comeback”.

The folly of nation building is clearly seen in the ruins of the Roman Empire, the various European empires, and the first American Empire of McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt. It is an even more foolish idea if the nation is populated with homicidal religious fanatics who go on riots if a book is burned. If our politicians and generals do not learn the lessons of history, than you can add the ruins of the United States of America to the dustbin of history.

Chairman Maobama Wednesday, Feb 22 2012 

Today President Obama unveiled his corporate tax plan. The basics of it are:

* Lowers the top rate to 28%

* Eliminates some deductions and loopholes

* Creates incentives for investments in green energy and other projects.

* Creates a special 20% top rate for manufacturers

* Creates a minimum tax for overseas profits.

This plan is basic outline of Obama’s view of the world. Obama believes in the “state capitalism” model utilized by China and Russia, among other developing economic powers. He believes the state should direct the flow of capital to serve the interests of the state, not entrepreneurs. Plus, he believes in choosing economic winners and losers through regulations and subsidies. Money will continue to be diverted to unprofitable “green” technologies.

The only way to create lasting prosperity and preserve liberty is through a free market economy where capital flows are determined by market demand.”State capitalism” will only to corruption, cronyism, and the impoverishment of the people the state chooses to be losers.

Stand up for greater opportunity by standing up for free markets.

A Libertarian Gets Cultured–Or My Take On The Culture Wars Monday, Feb 20 2012 

One of the biggest misconceptions about this particular libertarian is that I don’t care about cultural issues or the culture in general. That’s simply not true. I am an evangelical Christian and I worship, most Sundays at least, at a Southern Baptist (or whatever they’re going to start calling it now) church. I am not going to lie and say it does not play a significant role in my worldview. However as someone who believes in the separation of church and state (and by extension, politics); my default position on most issues is that of greater personal freedom for the individual.

Having said all that, here’s a libertarian’s perspective on some of the big culture war issues that have recently come up:*

  • Abortion: I am generally pro-life. I have noticed that younger libertarians, such as myself, are generally more pro-life than older libertarians. This is mostly because of Ron Paul’s disproportionate influence among young libertarians. I believe Roe vs Wade was poorly decided and should be overturned, returning control over the abortion issue back to the states under the Tenth Amendment. Frankly, I do not believe there is a right to murder your unborn child. Having said that though, I struggle with the problem of enforcing a ban on abortion in the first trimester without unnecessary invasions of privacy of women. I also would not have a problem with exceptions for rape and incest. I was strongly opposed to Mississippi’s Personhood  Initiative last year because I thought it was overly broad and the explanations were contradictory. My overall goal is to find common ground to reduce the numbers of abortions and increase the numbers of adoptions.
  • Contraception: My general feeling on this is that it should be legal, but that government should not mandate insurance companies to cover them nor should taxpayers foot the bill for them. The only exception would be for the morning after pill in the case of rape.
  • Gay Marriage: Marriage should not be role of the state. The state should not be issuing marriage licenses at all. What the state should have instead is civil unions for everyone with all the tax benefits, property rights, hospital visitation benefits, etc. that married couples have; along with the statutes necessary for dissolving them. Marriage itself should be solely the role of the church by its own rules, as long as the parties involved are old enough to be able to contract; with the state’s only role to enforce the contract.
  • Pornography: The government should not setup a rating system for movies, video games, etc. and should leave that to the industry and concerned consumers themselves. However, there should be strict enforcement of laws and international agreements against child pornography since the children are not old enough to consent. Whether or not school systems and public libraries should install filters and what to filter should be a local decision.
  • School Prayer: I do not have a problem with voluntary school prayer at the beginning of the school day and before school events.
  • Religious Holiday Displays: This is truly one arena where atheists need to get a life. Christmas, Easter, etc. are national and/or local holidays and believers should be allowed to display the religious imagery that is appropriate for those holidays, even if it is public property. That goes for Jews for Hanukkah, Muslims for Ramadan, etc. The First Amendment was not written to banish religion from the public square, only to merely prevent the establishment of a state religion and to prevent any religion from having undue control over the government.
  • Mosque Construction: I don’t have a problem with Muslims building mosques anywhere as long as they play by the same rules every other religion has to play by.

These are just my general positions on some of the cultural issues that have popped up recently. I look forward to your response and to start a dialogue in general on the culture, because even with the economic and political troubles in this country and the world; these are still very important. Please respond on Twitter or in the comments section below.

*Unlike many libertarian bloggers and pundits, I will never claim to speak for the entire liberty movement. I speak for myself and myself alone.

Why The Libertarian-Conservative Alliance Can’t Survive Rick Santorum Saturday, Feb 18 2012 

Rick Santorum, after his recent wins in Minnesota, Colorado, and Missouri; appears to be the GOP frontrunner. If you look at Santorum’s record and rhetoric, he would appear to be the  best fit for the Republican Party. Indeed, it is almost hard now not to imagine a scenario where Santorum is not the nominee. However, if the GOP decides to nominates him, it will put an end to the fiction that the GOP is a limited government party. It will also put an end to what is left of the conservative-libertarian alliance.

Santorum is the only candidate running for president who is openly hostile to libertarianism. Santorum’s record is abysmal on fiscal issues. He voted for the Medicare prescription drug entitlement, No Child Left Behind, numerous earmarks and pork barrel projects, voted against NAFTA and is generally opposed to free trade. His proposals on foreign aid have won praise from Bono, the rest of the Third World poverty pimps, and their allied Tranzi NGOs. The Sweater Vest also wants to maintain a tax code that is riddled full of deductions and loopholes rewarding selected constituencies, instead of proposing a simpler system that is fairer to all.  Rick Santorum, far from being the next Reagan, appears to be a compassionate conservative in the mold of George W. Bush. Finally, Rick Santorum last summer in a speech declared war on libertarians.

In a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon in Harrisburg last summer, Santorum declared, “I am not a libertarian, and I fight very strongly against libertarian influence within the Republican Party and the conservative movement.”

This begs the simple question, why should we libertarians be politically aligned with people who hate us? If the GOP nominates Rick Santorum, it is a signal to libertarians that their votes and support are not wanted by the Republican Party. What I would love to know from my conservative friends is how they plan on defeating Barack Obama without us?

Conservatism and libertarianism are political cousins spawning from the common tree of classical liberalism. The first split was over the French Revolution when Thomas Jefferson was a supporter and Edmund Burke warned that the French Revolution was going to devolve into mass murder and tyranny because the revolutionaries were trying to remake French society. History proved Edmund Burke right in the end. Long story short, Edmund Burke is considered an intellectual father of Anglo-American conservatism and Thomas Jefferson is a major libertarian influence. While at the same time, classical liberals still proudly claim both men. Indeed classical liberals understand that conservatism and libertarianism really need each other. Conservatism needs the ideals of liberty in addition to just defending tradition whereas libertarianism need the respect of tradition and the historical perspective that conservatism offers to moderate its own excesses. It’s an alliance that has generally worked since the Cold War, with some exceptions.

However, as conservatives have decided that libertarian ideas are no longer welcome, we’re seeing the rebirth of conservative statism, aka compassionate conservatism. Conservatism is more interested in waging culture wars against what they see as the “secular progressive agenda” than restraining the size and scope of government. Indeed, conservative statists want to expand the government to “promote the family” and “rebuild American industry” among other goals. Basically, they want to engage in the same social engineering they decry progressives for doing.

The best institutions for defending and rebuilding the family and marriage, promoting fatherhood, and indeed rebuilding the basic moral fiber of the nation; which the Financial Crisis has shown is very weak, is the church and civil society in general. These are private institutions that are not subject to the corrupting influences of politics and government. Indeed, these goals are so vitally important that conservatives and libertarians alike should resist transferring them to the same government that screwed up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and screws up Amtrak and the Postal Service. Finally, these ideals and goals should be universal goals and in a pluralistic society, government cannot be the moral conscience of the nation.

Rick Santorum by his words and deeds has shown he cannot be the president of all Americans. Ultimately, you have to accept the way things are, not that way we want them to be and with that in mind, he is too divisive and too narrow minded to serve a pluralistic society of many different religious beliefs and cultures. By rejecting the impulse to limit his potential power, he proves himself to be every bit of a social engineer as Barack Obama is. There is no way libertarians can support a Santorum candidacy and there is probably no way libertarians can ever trust conservatives again if he is the nominee. That ultimately means, there is no way libertarians or conservatives will ever have influence on government again.

Choose wisely my Republican friends, choose wisely.

What’s Been Going On With Kevin Sunday, Feb 5 2012 

If you follow me on Twitter or on Facebook, you probably have noticed I haven’t been myself lately. My mood has been much darker and more cynical than usual.

I finally realized this weekend I have a problem with depression. I’m not ready to get into the why or how I probably got here, not now at least, but I decided I’m going to get help with it. My work, writing, family, and life in general have been suffering.

What I need from all of you is your prayers. I hope something good can come out of this, eventually.

A Libertarian Case Against Right To Work Laws Thursday, Feb 2 2012 

Yesterday, Indiana passed a so-called “right to work” law. These laws bar mandatory union membership or payment of union dues as a condition of employment. The laws are generally supported by free-market advocates and opposed by labor unions. Free marketers generally claim that these laws prevent forced unionization, however I think that’s not necessarily the right way to look at it. “Right to work” laws are a violation of both the right to freely associate and to contract.

While I oppose “right to work” laws, I oppose public sector unions entirely. I believe that if you choose to work in the public sector, you are choosing to serve your community. In addition public sector unions can wield extraordinary influence over politicians to force to fund more benefits and higher pay which result in more debt and taxes. As a result their power can grow unchecked. Whereas private sector unions, I believe, provide a valuable service, even in a free market. They can serve as a check against overexploitive employers and improve working conditions. I do not have a problem with workers organizing as ling it is voluntary and through a secret ballot. At the same time I do not object to employers who refuse to sanction unions at their businesses.

If an employer and a union want to agree to run a “closed shop” meaning that all employees must be in the union, fine. If an employee does not want to join the union is free to seek employment at a non-union business. The marketplace will punish the added costs of running a closed, union shop as opposed to a non-union shop. The best example of this are UAW produced and bailed out domestic car manufacturers vs the non-union imports. If we let markets do their work instead of using state coercion, we will be more free and more prosperous as a society.

%d bloggers like this: