:: Saturday, September 28, 2002 ::
I have just noticed that the below noted John Hasnas' has wrote a paper on the philosophical basis of anti-discrimination law. This will be interesting. I have often had a hard time dealing with this from strict libertarian theory (see below)--so I will have to read and perhaps report back.
:: Mike 5:47 PM [+] ::
What would a system of "libertarian law" look like? This is something I have sometimes wondered. A few years back I was captivated by John Hasnas' critique of modern legal systems in toto. Basically he writes that there can be no way to interpret the constitution clearly. That is to say that you cannot interpret the first amendment's free speech clause without, well, putting your own spin on it. You may say that art should be considered speech, or perhaps you consider actions speech, or whatever. There are no ways to interpret the word "speech" non-politically. You just can't. He concludes that it would be better if courts devolved, for the most part into semi-anarco-capitalist insurance agencies (with the US government overriding them when certain problems appear). (note: his web page linked above contains all of his works).
This solution seems unlikely. I think he is correct. However, I still think that the constitution is important--interpreted under the light of the orriginal meaning. This may seem somewhat contradictory. I know, it is. You can't have a non-political interpretation of the constitution. Nevertheless, I also think that the constitution is the only thing holding down our freedoms. The first amendment, the second amendment, the fourth amendment (not to mention the fourteenth amendment) all provide important protections--and in the real world it is judges and justices using the constitution and interpreted doctrine that actually keep some (unfortunately not all) of these freedoms in operation. Recently I have read Randy Barnett's "An Originalism For Non-Originalists". This is a very good work. It basically says that one of the ways to recognize a government's legitimacy is to look to a constitution and see how the constitution comports with natural law. And of course, in order for the constitution to be valid it must be followed. He also ties this into his theory of natural law. OOh I think I am going to have to read Barnett's "The Structure of Liberty".
:: Mike 5:43 PM [+] ::
Kathy and I went to Jazland today. It was nice. We decided to go because a local radio station ("The Zone") sponsored a day where it only cost $10.53 to get in (the radio station is 105.3 on the FM dial). This was much better than the usual price of $32. While the park was nice, I have to say it was somewhat of a dissapointment. Of course, as far as rides go, no amusment park competes with the roller coaster rider's dream park, Cedar Point (which is near enough to my hometown that I could go there most of my life). However, this park also had few shows or displays or reviews or whatever. In fact, today it only had two shows: a water ski show and "dancing in the streets". The ski show was, well, a ski show. We didn't see the other. As far as rides go, they had a minature "power tower" that lifts you up quickly and surprisedly. However, it isn't too big and doesn't have a "demon drop" like track, so it can't really drop you safely. Jazland also has a wooden roller coaster. That was nice, all though not too big of a deal. The park also has an interesting coorkscrew type ride with a surprise. Once you finish the track, it goes up the first hill backwards, and you ride backwards through the ride. A nice effect.
:: Friday, September 27, 2002 ::
This is a nice little park. Probably not $32 worth. You would never expect it to be much. It reminds me of a smaller and less popular "Boblo Island" (which is now not even an ammusment park at all, thanks to competition from Sandusky's Cedar Point). With some work it could be better, but it could never be all that.
:: Mike 5:21 PM [+] ::
Some thoughts on values and Libertarianism
Recently I have been re-analyzing parts of Hans Hoppe's Democracy the God that Failed. In his book, he talks about the clash between himself and more liberal libertarians such as David Boaz and Clint Bolick. Hoppe's critique is that he (and Rothbard) favor local governments above much larger federal governments always. Boaz and Bolick favor whichever levil of government favors freedom. This difference leads up to Hoppe critizing one of the most widely known and (much desirvedly so) well loved cases: Brown v. Board of Ed. of Topeka. Hoppe opposes this case because it takes freedom away from local governments to discriminate. He further leads to the idea that it would be fine if private communities in Anarco-Capitalist communities to discriminate against those they don't like including people of poor behavior (drug users), unfavored sexual identities, and even race.
The problem is that all of this is perfectly consistant with Rothbardian theory. This is something that I find incredibly problematic. While I favor local control over local government resources, if the local governments create racially segregated schools, this should not be allowed--I think there is some sort of interest compatibal and coherent with freedom to keep local governments in line. Furthermore, if I lived in an Anarco-Capitalist world, I would not invade against discriminating communities but I do wish that there would be some value that libertarians had that would oppose this. Hoppe certainly can't recognize why discrimination would be a bad thing--or at least he doesn't seem to mention it. At least Rand's Objectivism can do this.
:: Mike 9:11 PM [+] ::
"The American Conservative and the Populist Right
I have to put some conflicting information here. As I have wrote below, I am becoming more and more interested in The Nation. However, I am also interested in the new Conservative magazine The American Conservative. While some of Pat Buchanan's anti-immigrant, anti-trade, and even anti-business bothers me, I have to say that Taki (the magazine's other editor) makes up for that.
:: Mike 8:53 PM [+] ::
Libertarians as Left??
:: Wednesday, September 25, 2002 ::
I have written about this elsewhere and talked about it before, but my girlfriend disagrees. I think that Libertarians are obviously close to the left. Well, of course we have our differences. But look at The Nation! This is the premiere left magazine. What does it talk about? It is focused on the war on terrorism at home and abroad. The slant is both anti-war and pro individual rights. Check out the interesting article on the war splits (basically Cockburn and Chomsky (anti-war) and Hitchens (pro-war).The Left after 9/11. Also, there is an interesting column suggesting that the constitution provides freedom from religion.Katha Pollitt's Column. There is definately a lot to agree with here.
:: Mike 8:48 PM [+] ::
Its been a looooong looooong time since my last post. Thanks to Mr. (Huricane/Tropical Storm) Isidore, I have some time on my hands. Things have been crazy. I moved out. I now have my own apartment!! I am having some fun with it. The new TV season is on. I have been going to "go" meetings. The campus libertarians have become active. Everything is working out fine. Now I have to get a job! And get back to studying too!
:: Mike 3:13 PM [+] ::