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Libertarian Saturday
Author: TriSec    Date: 01/05/2008 14:08:40

Good Morning!

I've got a double this morning from Lew Rockwell.com.

Let's start with the horse races....if you live in a major state, you've got a primary election coming up sometime in the next 30 days, and probably no later than the next 60 days. Is everyone paying attention? We here at Four Freedoms have endorsed John Edwards, and of course we are open to any candidates anyone else wants to support.

As the 'token libertarian' in these parts (and a left-leaning one at that), I have been keeping an eye on the most Libertarian candidate of them all, a certain Republican congressman from Texas. In really paying attention to the campaign this year, I've also discovered that maybe I'm not as Libertarian as I used to think. After his stance on the war....many of his policies are just way to scary to even ponder.

I was skimming my favorite lib newsclipper service at Lew Rockwell, and I ran across a handy article comparing Ron Paul and John Edwards...let's see what the author has to say.
...Many progressives, including myself, believe some of the libertarian fiscal ideas Paul espouses would be a disaster if they were ever implemented. Nevertheless, the policies of all the other leading candidates aren't about to change the course of the economic apartheid that is already plaguing most people in this country. They'd simply continue it.

The upside of Paul's campaign certainly outweighs the potential downsides. The critical issues now aren't Paul's plea to dismantle the welfare state (although cutting off all subsidies to corporate American would be fine by me), but his call to restore the Bill of Rights and drastically curb American Empire. I think most Iraqis living under US occupation would probably concur that ending the war ought to be priority number one for US voters this year. So why aren’t we listening? At this point Paul is the only candidate calling for a radical change in our Middle East foreign policy....

...During a speech broadcast at a security conference in January 2007 in Herzliya, Israel, Edwards echoed a dangerous neoconservative position. "Iran threatens the security of Israel and the entire world," he claimed, "Let me be clear: Under no circumstances can Iran be allowed to have nuclear weapons." Later in his speech Edwards went as far as to say that "all options" should be left on the table, hinting, if not admitting outright, that he believed military action may be necessary to contain America's new arch nemesis.

Most antiwar activists have been quiet regarding Edwards' I-won't-promise-not-to-nuke-Iran pose, but have gone to great lengths to discredit Ron Paul, calling him a racist because of the support he's received from the likes of David Duke and other bona fide nut jobs. Guilty-by-association politics are petty and naïve. How soon we forget the smearing of Ralph Nader in 2004 because Republicans were supporting his campaign. Some may call us hypocrites for slandering Paul in the same way....

...The Paul demographic is essentially the same group of people the Left was attempting to organize at its apex in the 1930s, before we became a mostly irrelevant group of detached naval gazers, and postmodern-bullsh***ers. If we want any kind of revolution, large or small, we better stop being diversity-mongers, claiming we embrace everyone, aside from those we disagree with. How the Left could be so out of touch with regular Americans is beyond me.

Ron Paul, unlike any other candidate in the hunt this year, including John Edwards, has tapped in to a true populist current. The people who don't typically vote and are generally disgusted with big government. And that is exactly what the Left should try and understand, if not replicate, even if they don't care for Paul or the majority of his positions....

I don't know if I agree with any of this...but it's food for thought.

Elsewhere from Lew this morning, is a story loosely connected to a topic we've been discussing on the message board.

Sony has become the last of the "big four" to offer part of it's catalog for download DRM Free. Not sure what this means for Liberty, or for the musicians, but it sounds like a good thing, no?
In a move certain to rock the distribution of digital music, Sony BMG is in the midst of finalizing plans to begin offering at least part of its downloadable music catalog DRM-free, according to BusinessWeek.com.

This makes Sony BMG the last of the Big Four record labels to cave on digital rights management schemes designed to restrict the distribution of music via peer-to-peer networks. The decision follows the Warner Music Group announcement in late December saying the label would sell songs sans DRM through Amazon.com. The EMI- and Vivendi-owned Universal Music Group announced a plan to offer DRM-free downloadable content in 2007.

As the major labels abandon DRM, it becomes increasingly likely that new distribution channels will rise up capable of challenging Apple's market-dominating iTunes Store. Amazon's DRM-free store, for instance, offers variable pricing. Social network sites like Facebook and MySpace could also potentially provide outlets for the sale of DRM-free songs as well. The record labels want that type of flexibility, which Apple has been reluctant to provide.

Adjusting the digital music distribution model is becoming more crucial than ever: The Associated Press reported Thursday that album sales fell 9.5 percent in 2007.

As for me, about the only downloading of tunes I do is via iTunes, but I have pulled some off the Podsafe Music Network and some free downloads from some artist websites, mostly downtempo and trip-hop. (which if you like that sort of thing, I cannot recommend Dave's Lounge any higher...they're my favorite non-political podcast and I've discovered a lot of music that I would have never heard because of Dave.)

And I'll wrap up by gazing over at our forlorn little Christmas Tree...a peculiar habit of both Italian and Spanish households is we have to leave the decorations up until the Epiphany (aka 'Little Christmas' and 'Three Kings'), which is mercifully tomorrow.

I'll see everyone inside. It's a Saturday; Hash and Eggs in the back!

(No Donuts For You!)



13 comments (Latest Comment: 01/06/2008 04:59:44 by Mondobubba)
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