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I’m buying the book, An Army of Davids

Ok, I’m buying the book, An Army of Davids
by Glenn Reynolds, sight unseen.

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when large companies and powerful governments reigned supreme over the little guy. But new technologies are empowering individuals like never before, and the Davids of the world-the amateur journalists, musicians, and small businessmen and women-are suddenly making a huge economic and social impact. In Army of Davids, author Glenn Reynolds, the man behind the immensely popular Instapundit.com, provides an in-depth, big-picture point-of-view for a world where the small guys matter more and more. Reynolds explores the birth and growth of the individual’s surprisingly strong influence in: arts and entertainment, anti-terrorism, nanotech and space research, and much more. The balance of power between the individual and the organization is finally evening out. And it’s high time the Goliaths of the world pay attention, because, as this book proves, an army of Davids is on the rise.

I would guess this book will be required reading as was Blog by Hugh Hewitt.

An Army of Davids Glenn Reynolds Mover Mike

Fight Coming Over Guest Worker Program

From Townhall.com, Bush is kicking away his base by Phyllis Schlafly. Republcans are 80-20 against the guest worker program supported by President Bush. Schlafly says that the high pressure tactics by the president and his men for a guest worker program caused a fight, and allowed no debate on the resolution at the Republican National Committee meeting in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 19-20th.

…forecasts the sort of intimidation we can anticipate in the upcoming Senate debate about Bush’s guest worker plan.

Didn’t countries in the Middle East have a guest worker policy that has now turned on them?

Phyllis Schlafly guest worker program Mover Mike

GDP Growth Stinks!

From Bloomberg, The Worst News Wasn’t Even in the GDP Report: by Caroline Baum

Not only was the increase in real gross domestic product the smallest in three years, but the composition wasn’t so hot either. Inventories added 1.5 percentage points to GDP growth, which means that final demand (GDP minus inventories) fell for the first time since the first quarter of 2002. (emphasis added)

That news combined with The Philly Index release makes it look like Dr. Kurt Richebächer (The Mess That Greenspan Made) was right about slow or no growth in the economy, contrary to the “Bubblespeak” on CNBC: of Jan 19th

The Philly Fed diffusion index fell to 3.3 in January from 10.9 in December. This is the lowest reading since last June. The index is only slightly above zero, which indicates expansion. The decline was unexpected. Economists were expecting the index to rise to 12.0.

When Richebächer saw the +1.1% GDP number he slammed his fist on the table and said,

“I knew it. They cheat … they rig up the calculations and still they can’t come up with a decent number. The recovery has totally failed. This latest number is just more evidence.”

We have seen the last rate hike by the FED!

Caroline Baum Dr. Kurt Richebächer economy

Update: That prediction didn’t last long: The WSJ reports

The Fed raised the federal-funds rate by a quarter percentage point to 4.5% in Greenspan’s final meeting as chairman, and deleted its longstanding reference to the likelihood of “measured” rate increases.


Carnival of Liberty 30

It’s Tuesday, time for Carnival of Liberty 30. Mover Mike is proud to be a member of Life, Liberty, Property and host of this 30th carnival. Life, Liberty, Property is a forum to showcase writing on individual liberty. The following submissions focus on how it has been restricted, or how it is growing, or some other facet of individual liberty.

The revolution begins on Ken Lays web site. by Steven Silvers at Scatter Box.

Arguing that nothing illegal happened at Enron, citizen Ken Lay’s personal web site promotes the notion that the corrupt, abusive federal government – and not he – is going on trial.

So much for free speech and association by Gullyborg at Resistance is Futile.

New Oregon law makes it harder for independents to get on the ballot.

Suldog For State Rep by Jim “Suldog” Sullivan at Suldog-O-Rama.

This is part one of a seven-parter. It is a history of my run for state representative in Massachusetts, 1992.

Might online-game virtual currencies become a viable alternative currency? by David Gross at The Picket Line.

A dream of the libertarian, anarchist and tax resister fringe is a replacement for government money. But most proposed alternative currencies haven’t really taken off. Increasingly, though, virtual assets purchased or won in the course of massively multiplayer on-line games are being traded for real-world currency (and more recently, game-world currency is being used to buy real-world products). Are virtual, game-world economies going to succeed where Time Dollars, labor notes, and PayPal have not? (And what are the tax implications?)

Rape, or Just Wrong? by Tom Wright at The Wrightwing.

Putting on my Nomex suit and kevlar armour

(is it rape when a female teacher has sex with an underage boy?)

How Far is Too Far? by Stephen Littau at Fearless Philosophy for Free Minds.

Matt Welch over at ReasonOnline has a rather thought-provoking quiz asking pro-war Libertarians the question: “How far are you willing to go to win the War on Terror?” Being a pro-war Libertarian, I thought these questions deserved some thoughtful answers.

The New Saudi Pioneer by mensa barbie at Mensa Barbie Welcomes You.

“We can help to put an end to oppression (anywhere in the world) by speaking up! This is essential, in parts of the globe where those lack the safety to do so, on their own.”

Social Security Part D by Brad Warbiany at The Unrepentant Individual.

The Bush plan to “privatize” Social Security won’t get the government out of our retirement planning, it will push them deeper and deeper into it. Considering how well they’ve done with most of their other programs, I don’t want that to happen.

Two “takes” on the news from BB&T Corp.:
BB&T Stands Up For Property Rights by Doug Mataconis at Below The Beltway.

From Tyler Cowen at The Volokh Conspiracy, who asks the question Is Atlas Shrugging?, comes news of an apparent ally for property owners in the fight against developers and local governments who use eminent domain for private benefit.

Taking a Stand Against Kelo by The MaryHunter at TMH’s Bacon Bits.

The Kelo decision has filled Americans with fear and anger. So imagine my glee when I saw this headline: “BB&T opposes eminent domain.” This DC area bank should be praised for taking a bold and principled stand.

Riviera Beach in Palm Beach County by Mike Landfair at Mover Mike.

Here the homeowners benefit and the threat of eminent domain isn’t used.

Freezing Point by Jamie K at The Sharpener.

Forget the flap about Google.cn for a bit. In China, the main media controversy right now is the closure of Freezing Point, a popular weekly supplement of the China Youth Daily, on the orders of individuals in the Central Propaganda Department.

Calif. Says Secondhand Smoke a Pollutant by Don Melson at Searchlight Crusade.

Unlike many confused libertarians, I welcome this.

Vote early and often from the cemetery by David Gerstman at Soccer Dad.

…the Voter Rights Protection Act is an attempt to paint modern Republicans as latter day George Wallaces.

The Radical Libertarian: The relationship between anarchy and capitalism by Francois Tremblay at The Radical Libertarian.

U.S. government in technical default by Michael Hampton at Homeland Security or Homeland Stupidity.

Last week the U.S. government’s debt exceeded the debt ceiling of $8.18 trillion, passing $8.19 trillion as of Thursday, putting the government in technical default.

Why should you need the government’s permission? by Perry Eidelbus at Eidelblog.

Why should the government have the power to deny you medicine?

Google, Big Brother, and paranoia by Richard G. Combs at Combs Spouts Off.
Google put up a stronger defense against the US effort at getting information than they did fighting China’s censorship.

The Future of Liberty by Brad Warbiany at The Unrepentant Individual.
For those of us who decry the size of government and think it’s futile to change its character, Warbiany says

The internet, my friends, is the answer.

Libertarian “socially responsible” business practices by David Gross at The Picket Line.

Some libertarian-minded folks scoff at “socially responsible” business practices — “the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits,” Milton Friedman wrote — but what will they think about a business that takes a libertarian view of social responsibility that goes beyond the profit motive?

An Easy Call by Doug Mataconis at Below the Beltway.

A libertarian Republican takes a look at the proposed amendment to Virginia’s Constitution to ban gay marriage.

The right to refuse to work means you should be fired by Perry Eidelbus at Eidelblog.

What happens when government tries to protect employees’ “right to conscience”? A big headache that couldn’t be cured by all the pharmacists in the world giving you aspirin.

That’s it for this week. Good reading! Next week, February 7, Carnival of Liberty 31 will be hosted by Louisiana Libertarian.

Carnival of Liberty Life Liberty Property Mover Mike

Update:













Davos, The UN and $7 Trillion

UN unveils plan to release untapped wealth of…$7 trillion (and solve the world’s problems at a stroke)

Imagine the arrogance to think these problems could be solved “at a stroke” and half of the $7 Trillion comes from

…an international market to trade pollution permits that would encourage rich countries (meaning the US) to cut pollution and hit their targets under the Kyoto protocol.

But – and the UN admits it is a big “but” – the US would have to sign up to Kyoto and carbon trading to achieve the $3.64 Trillion that it believes the system would deliver over time.

A second major amount “of untapped wealth” of $2.9 Trillion could be unlocked by

SPECULATIVE INVESTORS:

Poor countries suffer most from swings in investment tastes by the big global investors that means money can leave as soon as it arrives.

SOLUTION: Enable countries to buy “insurance policies” against big swings in growth that would ensure that they did not have to cut public spending every time. In 1997 it wreaked havoc across South-east Asia.

SAVING: $2.9 Trillion

Another major amount “of untapped wealth”:

Once great nations such as Brazil and Argentina were reduced to the status of beggars after poor economic policy combined with debts with national and international lenders.

SOLUTION: A system to enable countries to take loans linked to their average economic growth rate to ensure that they do not have to cut public spending to raise the money to borrow needed funds during the hard times.

SAVING: $600 Billion

There is no untapped wealth here! This scheme involves extorting money from the rich countries (USA) and piling up more debt, so they do not have to cut public spending. You may say “it will never happen”, but these people at Davos, who believe

the nation-state is an old-fashioned concept that has no role to play in a modern globalised world

have a 20 year time frame and it is hard to maintain vigilence for all that time. Then there is the moderate who will compromise our Constitution away.

UN Davos Mover Mike

Update: See Michelle Malkin for a look at the star-studded “bloviating” attendees along with “bloviator” William Jefferson Clinton.


Steven E. Jones is joined by other scholars re: WTC Collapse

From the Deseret Morning News January 28, 2006, BYU professor’s group accuses U.S. officials of lying about 9/11

Last fall, Brigham Young University physics professor Steven E. Jones charged that the World Trade Center collapsed because of “pre-positioned explosives”. Now other scholars and academics have joined him in raising the stakes

“We believe that senior government officials have covered up crucial facts about what really happened on 9/11,” the group says in a statement released Friday announcing its formation. “We believe these events may have been orchestrated by the administration in order to manipulate the American people into supporting policies at home and abroad.”

Steven E. Jones WTCa Mover Mike

How About Oil at $262?

From Carl Limbacher at NewsMax, Ready For $262-a-Barrel Oil?

According to Fortune magazine’s Nelson Schwartz, two of the world’s most successful investors say oil will be in short supply in the coming months.

One of them, Hermitage Capital’s Bill Browder, has outlined six scenarios that could take oil up to a downright terrifying $262 a barrel.

What’s the one thing that could send prices to $262? The fall of the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia! (For me, I get amused by exact numbers like $262. If it only goes to $261, are they wrong? How about $262.50? It is hard enough to predict the future without an exact number like $262!)

Oil Bill Browder Saudi Arabia Mover Mike

Riviera Beach in Palm Beach County

On Dec 8th, in Still Problems With Eminent Domain, I wrote about the threat by city officials to use their power of eminent domain in Riviera Beach in Palm Beach County to take property from up to 6,000 residents to develop a new marina.

Four-term Mayor Michael Brown, who grew up here, said the plan offers a singular shot at money, stability and self-esteem, the rebirth of a faded town that lost its way decades ago.”I am using the tools available to me to try to get more jobs and build our tax base,” he said. “I am trying to take our most valuable property and leverage it to benefit the entire city.”

You will be happy to know that developers are offering 130% of appraised value to owners. Some have received up to 3 times appraised value and the city has not had to exercise its power.

See that’s the way it’s supposed to work. The developer knows he is going to have to pay up and he factors that in to his developing costs. He will not go ahead if it doesn’t pencil.

It is not the job of the mayor to rob from the few to benefit the many.

Hat tip to Ogre’s Politics and Views

Riviera Beach Eminent Domain Mover Mike

James Frey, “True Confessions!”

Oprah feels duped. James Frey of A Million Little Pieces says Lilly, the girl he was in love with, didn’t hang herself, but committed suicide by slashing her wrists. Frey can’t recall if the dentist really gave him two root canals without novocaine. Yet he calls the book a memoir.

“All the way through the book I altered details about every one of the characters,” Frey said, to disguise true identities.[…]

Frey said he had developed an image of himself for the book as “being tougher than I was, badder than I was” as a “coping mechanism.”

In my review of the book I said

It’s the story of a young man and the horror he went through before arriving at an alcohol and drug treatment center. It’s the story of getting sober. It’s the story of his parents facing the truth about their son and the son taking responsibility for his actions. The writing is honest and comes from the heart. The story may make you scream at a society that loses so many to drugs and alcohol.

Presidents have written their memoirs after leaving office and I know they write their stories to place themselves in the best historical light. They selectively choose, adding and subtracting. Is Frey any different?

Recently NM Gov. Richardson came clean about his baseball career. His bio listed him as a top baseball draft choice. Didn’t happen! We all carry around stories of our exploits that are bigger than life and we bury those things that are better left unexamined.

I have heard stories worse than Frey’s. I have heard men and women talk about living in card board boxes, about driving drunk and killing a child, about selling their bodies or their child’s body for a fix. I have heard stories of drinking at a young age and immediately getting addicted and I have heard stories about massive quantities of alcohol injested. I have heard drunk-a-logs from a recovering alcoholic that have grown over time to gain status among “the real alkies”. Who cares! Frey was a drunk and a drug addict and he recovered. He doesn’t believe in the 12-steps, so he was a “dry drunk” just holding on! Now he can get on with his eduacation:

10 Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11 Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12 Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

They say it’s the secrets we carry that will drive us back to the bottle. He should thank God or his higher power that this secret is out.

It still was a damn good book, that I shed tears over and says to us all “there but for the Grace of God”.

James Frey Oprah Mover Mike

Mover Mike is Hosting Carnival of Liberty #30

Coming Tuesday is Carnival of Liberty #30, a showcase of postings on the broad topic of individual liberty brought to you by the Life, Liberty, Property community of bloggers.

It’s a forum to showcase writing on individual liberty. Whether your writing focuses on how it has been restricted, or how it is growing, or some other facet of individual liberty, it’s something we want to showcase and expose to a wider audience.

Mover Mike is hosting this week’s carnival, so send in your pontifications to carnivalofliberty@gmail.com.

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