THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO mindbodypolitic.com (lilarajiva.com/lilarajiva.org)
James Bovard at the Future of Freedom Foundation asks, do we owe the government anything?

“Police protection

Do citizens owe a vast debt to the state for keeping the peace? Many big-city police departments have effectively abandoned serious efforts to solve robberies and other cases of nonlethal violence; the District of Columbia police, for instance, make arrests in fewer than 10 percent of burglaries and robberies. But D.C. police have set records for arresting citizens detected drinking alcohol on their front porches. They have also been valiant in cracking down on drivers with unfastened seatbelts.

Insofar as government prohibits people from owning or carrying weapons for self-defense, it is scant consolation that a policeman arrives after the crime to chalk off the body. There are more than twice as many private security guards as uniformed policemen in the United States. More citizens than ever before are living in gated communities or relying on home alarm systems. Private citizens use guns to defend themselves more than 2 million times a year, according to Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck. After comparing the effects of more people carrying guns with other popular reforms, economist John Lott concluded that “of all the methods studied so far by economists, the carrying of concealed handguns appears to be the most cost-effective method for reducing crime.”


Military defense
The one area in which it is most plausible that government could provide a unique service is national defense. However, if a government busies itself making enemies, and then praises itself for pledging to protect citizens from the enemies it makes, there is less than a transcendent benefit. The war in Iraq will very likely cost Americans more than a trillion dollars — a high price for Bush’s May 1, 2003, victory strut aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln.

What have politicians given to the citizenry that they did not originally take from them? This is the bottom line that must permeate all thinking about the “goods” or “services” that government “provides” to the citizenry. In reality, in the vast majority of cases, politicians give back far less in value than they take. The more the government takes, the less the citizen owes to the government.

Insofar as the government takes from the citizen more than it renders to the citizen, the citizen owes the state the same contempt that he would have for any other con artist….”

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Posted by: L | August 17, 2007

Housing bubble trouble….

Thanks to Rob Dawg at Exurban Nation for this:

DEED TRADE MY HOUSE NOW

Reply to: hous-393348572@craigslist.org
Date: 2007-08-09, 6:38PM PDT

TERMS WOULD BE:
If you have real estate that appraises today for $90,000 to $105,000. You give me your real estate straight out withOUT me owing you or anyone any cash at anytime. Your Deed would be an even exchange for my Deed.
IN TRADE My house:
The current assumable loan on my home is $298,000 and it is a neg am. loan @ 7%. It’s appraised value today according to the county tax assessor is $280,000. This house appraised at $383,000.00 when I bought it brand new 2 years ago this month. Plus, There is a 2nd on this house for $36,000. not assumable. Or you could negoiate a short sale with my lender. This house will easliy be a million dollar home in 20 years! In 7 years it should come back at $450 $500 when they complete building the stores gas stations and freeway access! I lost my job a year into it and can’t make the payments …… TRADE NOW! See pics of home below.

992 LAKEPORT WAY at Hyway 70 google map yahoo map
Location: 992 lakeport way 95961 plumas lake ca
it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 393348572
—–

Insane. To think this idjit spent the time to make the add. He’ll trade his $280k house for $105k if you assume his $298k loan and pay off his $36k loan. That’s $141,000 upfront and $298,000 in debt, $439,000 for something worth maybe $220,000 and eventually $160,000.
—–
Comment:

And you think our problems are all about who is in power….

Sure – there’s the larcenous bunch at the top who’ve turned the economy into a gambling den…but look at what they’re working with…

From friends in India:

Dear All,

We are performing our play SHAKUNTALA at Ranga Shankara on August 17th, 18th and 19th at 7.30pm. There will also be a Sunday matinee at 3.30pm.

Please do come and forward this to others who may be interested.

Thank you.

Warm regards,

Kirtana

Little Jasmine Films & DigiFunk
58 St.Mark’s Road
Bangalore 560 001
INDIA
http://www.konarakreddy.com/

Shakuntala-emailer-1.gif

Posted by: L | August 16, 2007

Lila, the demon…

Protoplasm (a dominionist for Tom Tancredo)

has me listed both under Demon Alert and Terrorist Watch. I add them to my list of epithets — nothing compares, of course, to the endearments I’ve got from my former countrymen — mostly unprintable.”Barely readable” and “borderline hysteric” are the milder ones.

People like ideological purity and camp following. Anyone who just tries to call it as she sees it makes them uncomfortable because no one is willing to relinquish the security of a predetermined party line. If they did, even for a moment, they might see something right in the enemy. And something wrong in themselves. They might find their friends more dangerous than their foes. They might – goddess forbid – change their mind about something…..or their hearts. And there is nothing people resist more than change.

From “Bye, Bye Miss American Empire,” by Bill Kauffman at Orion Magazine

“THE CRIMES AND FOLLIES OF THE Bush-Cheney administration have boosted secessionists’ fortunes, but when Bush-Cheney, like all things, passes, the case for radical devolution loses none of its cogency. The problem with the U.S. is one of scale, and it cannot be solved by electing new or different or better people to public offices. As Donald Livingston says, “The public corporation known as the United States has simply grown too large for the purposes of self-government, in the same way that a committee of three hundred people would be too large for the purposes of a committee. There needs to be a public debate on the out-of-scale character of the regime and what can be done about it.”

The average congressional district now contains 647,000 persons. And this is the “people’s house,” thought by the Founders to be the most responsive and grassroots of federal institutions. How is anything like representative government possible on such an enormous and impersonal scale?

Decentralizing power would have the additional virtue of localizing those coalition-splitters known as “social issues.” Case in point: When one of the southern delegates at the Burlington convention calls abortion a heinous crime, I sit back to watch the fireworks. They are doused in the fresh waters of federalism. There is general agreement on a mind-your-own-damn-business principle. If Marin County wants to serve joints with school lunches and Tupelo, Mississippi, wants the Ten Commandments in the classroom, well, that’s up to the people of Marin and Tupelo. Ain’t none of my business. Yours, either.

Let Utah be Utah, and let San Francisco be San Francisco. The policy will drive busybodies mad with frustration, but for the rest of us, it just might be the beginning of tolerance.

There is no reason why this kind of hands-off mutuality requires secession—they didn’t used to call the U.S. system “federalism” for nothing—but the urge to intervene is so irresistible to Dobsonian conservatives and Clintonian liberals that states and cities and towns have been deprived of the right to make their own laws, shaped by local circumstances, on such matters as the legality of marijuana and abortion and the proper way (if any) to define marriage. Does anyone really think that the Christian Right or feminist left will ever agree to denationalize such issues and trust local people to make their own laws?

Trust local people. That, really, is the soul of the case for secession. Bringing it all back home, as a small-town Minnesota boy who took the name Bob Dylan once wrote. For home is where secession must be rooted. Ideology of any sort is not so much a dead end as it is a road without end that carries the enthusiast far from any place resembling home. It unmoors him, it leaves her without anchorage, quick to blame societal ills on outsiders, on dark alien forces. I know: we live in the seventh year of the bloody and imperial Bush Octennium. If Dick Cheney isn’t a dark alien force I don’t know what is. But a healthy secessionist movement must be founded in love: love of a particular place, its people (of all ethnicities and colors), its culture, its language and books and music and baseball teams and, yes, its beer and flowers and punk rock clubs.

Maybe the Burlington conference was a sideshow, an amusing tour of the more outré precincts of American politics. Or maybe it was a harbinger.

Think what you will. This is radicalism deep-dyed in the American grain. “The military-industrial-energy-media complex is running an empire on the ruins of the republic,” says Rob Williams, who does not think that merely putting Democratic hands on the levers of power will solve anything. It’s the levers themselves that have to be removed.

Would the union miss Vermont? Sure. But as a young John Quincy Adams said, “I love the Union as I love my wife. But if my wife should ask for and insist upon a separation, she should have it, though it broke my heart.”

Besides, Vermont’s not going anywhere. Even if she were to secede, the Green Mountains will not be moved, the sap will still flow, the novels of Howard Frank Mosher and Dorothy Canfield Fisher will remain; hell, even Ben & Jerry’s will keep dishing it out. But why shouldn’t Vermonters run Vermont? Why should, say, Senator Hillary Clinton or Senator John McCain or Speaker Nancy Pelosi or President George W. Bush have even a whisper of a say in how Vermont orders her affairs?

“I want to leave my country,” says Kirk Sale, “without leaving my home.” That line packs a jolt, at least for this Little American. My home comes first. Yet I also want my country. I’m not sure what I think about leaving the U.S.A. But isn’t it time that we gave the matter some thought?”

Here are the sorts of people who support Ron Paul. Tell me, does she make sense? Isn’t this what this country is supposed to be about and not the well-heeled, smooth operators who clutter up the news and the gullible camp followers who trek behind them like rats behind the piper of Hamelin?

Claire Wolfe at the Backwoods Home Magazine writes:

12 QUALITIES OF A FREE MAN

THE FIVE OUTWARD-LOOKING VIRTUESThe free man within society

A free man:

Keeps his word. A good man’s word was once his bond. Now we expect our credit score to be our bond — but such data measures only one infinitesimal part of us. You cannot build feedom on a base of lies or habitual unreliability. Free men mean what they say and do what they promise.

Does unto others as he would have them do unto him. Helps those who help themselves. Commits random acts of decency. Aids those who are striving to be free. Does not meddle in the non-violent behavior of others, but is a good neighbor and powerful ally when one is needed.

Shuns indebtedness. This means more than shunning debt (though that, too). A free man owns his own life and thinks carefully before giving any part of it away. He rejects false loyalties and guilt trips (unwarranted claims on his life energies). If he accepts a favor he pays it back or pays it forward so others benefit by the aid he received.

Rejects coercive power. He neither seeks power over others nor accepts the right of others to hold such coercive power. You will never hear him say, “There ought to be a law.” He sees humanity not as an ignorant mass to be managed or mothered, but as individuals capable of running their own lives.

Is independent and self-responsible. A free man prefers the risks and rewards of self-reliance to the temptations of “security” provided by others. He takes care of himself and his family. The ultimate corollary to this virtue is self-defense; a free man does not delegate responsibility for his own sustenance, and certainly not for his own survival.

THE FIVE INTERIOR VIRTUES
The free man within

A free man:

Solves problems creatively. Thinks out of the box. Is fascinated by new ideas. Is perpetually self-educating. Anyone who spends a large chunk of his life sitting and whining about all the factors holding him back is by definition neither free nor ready to free himself.

Acts with daily courage and fortitude. While we await the jackboot in the door, tyranny arrives in daily demands for our collaboration. We require courage to say, “No, I won’t give that information”; “I have no interest in working for somebody who forces me to pee in a bottle”; “I won’t pay you to kill people in my name”; “My baby doesn’t need a government inventory number”; “That’s politically correct nonsense”; “Not without a warrant, you won’t”; or “It’s time for you to stand up and take care of yourself.” Free people own that kind of courage. It’s food for their souls. (Which is why I list it as an Interior Virtue rather than an Outward-Looking one.)

Lives by well-considered principles. A free man doesn’t just parrot “thou shalt not kill” or “thou shalt not steal.” He doesn’t behave just because he fears God or government may be watching. He has examined his morality. He knows why he acts or refrains from acting. Sound principles also provide the platform for standing up with courage and saying, “No” to intolerable acts.

Seeks balanced excellence. It may be a fine thing to make a million dollars or build a better mousetrap (or a more efficient solar cell or an innovative computer game). Free people do those things better than serfs. But our life is our #1 creation. Truly free people put as much energy into becoming good, wise human beings as they do into material accomplishments. To do otherwise is to remain off balance — and therefore very easy for “authorities” to push over.

Loves life. No, this does not mean a free man always goes around with a happy-face painted on his mug. It does mean that conscious, human life is the foundation of freedom. Despite its manifold flaws, human life is a miracle to be appreciated and defended against forces that waste or destroy it.

THE TWO FOUNDATION VIRTUES
What all the rest is built on

A free man:

Is self-aware. He knows who he is, what he loves, what he finds intolerable. Knows his own inner drivers, good or ill. Self-knowledge enables us to set satisfying goals and effective boundaries. It shows us our true path. Without self-understanding, we find ourselves constantly in bad relationships and bad jobs, living in conditions we hate — unable to say no and unable to articulate why we want to say no.

Has a spiritual center. A few years ago I’d never have put spirituality on any list of a free man’s traits. Now, I see it’s a foundation stone. Spirituality doesn’t necessarily mean religion. A person can be spiritual without even believing in God. Spirituality is simply the sense that an individual life has a deeper meaning than is evident on the surface. When daily temptations, disappointments, or demands for collaboration threaten to push us off course, transcendent purpose keeps us walking the path.

There it is. A free man is, in his own realm, an astonishingly civilized and moral being. To those who live by controlling others, however, he is a wild beast who can’t be tamed and who is too tough to make good prey.

A free man is also the cause of freedom. The sole cause of it.

When we have sufficient free individuals, political, social, and institutional freedoms will follow. They will arise not through revolution or politically driven reform, but from who we are and the choices we make every day.

We don’t require superhumans. We don’t even require a majority of free people. We do, however, require a larger minority of free individuals than we have today. “Doing your own thing” is one part of being free. But lasting freedom is a consequence of that old-fashioned and presently out-of-favor ideal: personal character.

We require that to create what so many of us crave: freedom that lasts.

My question for next time: “Can we create Sustainable Freedom?”

Posted by: L | August 16, 2007

Imus to be sued by Rutgers bb player..

From ABC:

“Don Imus is facing his first lawsuit from a player on the Rutgers Women’s Basketball team for derogatory comments that cost him his job as a radio host in April, ABC News has learned.

Kia Vaughn, star center for the Rutgers Women’s Basketball team, has filed a lawsuit against Imus for libel, slander and defamation — the first civil suit to be filed against the former radio host. Vaughn is asking for monetary damages of an unspecified amount….

Comment:

Obviously her lawyer thinks this suit will fly, but the young woman is a public figure. A tangential one, no doubt, but still, in the public eye.

And today, everyone from front runners for President to fundamentalist preachers gets to be bashed obscenely in public in the free-for all of modern media. It’s coarse, intrusive, and vulgar. No question. But it’s also standard fare. Why suddenly jump on Imus for doing what he’s paid to do? It’s not as if he was courtly to everyone else…

In the BB boo-boo he was trying to be hip and down with street talk…..and tripped up — big time. But no one could seriously have drawn a negative picture of the Rutgers women’s team from what he said. No one could possibly have thought the Rutgers players were “ho’s” from the tone and context of his remarks.
Of course, the public is always free to change its level of tolerance for mud any time it wants to, but if Imus is going to be rounded up and branded, let it be for something he said that really was malicious — his remark about Gwen Ifill being the cleaning lady. That was a truly reprehensible comment – because it came off as contemptious of her professional abilities. And it had to have damaged how she would be seen in her work environment.

But with the Rutger’s team, he was simply horsing around in the dumbest possible way and happened to put his foot in his mouth – not a difficult achievment when you have an aperture that wide and constantly agape….

The guy’s even been sued by his nanny. 

So – no to Kia Vaughn. But yes, to a lawsuit…..by Gwen Ifill.

In a recent circular, Front Page Magazine importunes its readers thus:

“Center’s E-newsletter

As you know, the Freedom Center fights the culture war on many fronts at once. I want to make sure that you know what we’re doing and how we’re doing, so you’ll be getting this insider’s report at regular intervals.

Having an Impact on National Security

One strong measurement of the effect we’re having (and the need for what we do) came in the form of request from the head the FBI-California Highway Patrol Joint Counter-terrorism Task Force who called this week to ask if their group could use our flash video “What Every American Needs to Know About Jihad” as a training film. We’ve put this video in over one million e-mail boxes, with a heavy emphasis on those of college students. It has been reproduced on innumerable websites across the web and is now a YouTube video. To view the video and remind yourself of what the FBI-CHP will be teaching to its agents when it tries to get them to know the enemy, go to http://www.terrorismawareness.org/know-about-jihad/.

Jimmy Carter Exposed

Jimmy Carter’s anti Semitic, anti Israel campaign has gone on long enough! The David Horowitz Freedom Center has just published a booklet, “Jimmy Carter’s War against the Jews,” that analyzes with devastating effect the former president’s support for Israel’s enemies, which happen also to be enemies of the United States. Carter’s unreasoning attacks on Israel, growing more shrill with each new pronouncement, have gone beyond national embarrassment. They’re an outrage.

This booklet will be a powerful weapon in our fight against this deceitful, one-sided view of Israel that is being pushed on the American public and especially on college students. The view that sees Israel as the source of all evil in the Middle East is the same view that blames America for everything wrong with the world, including Islamic terrorism.

The author of the booklet, Jacob Laksin, has pulled together the shameful history of Carter’s partisanship in Middle East politics, including the ex-President’s acceptance of Arab oil money to fund his Center. Laskin masterfully exposes the anti-Semitic distortions and outright fabrications in Carter’s latest book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. He shows that Carter’s coddling of tyrants like Fidel Castro is one side of a coin whose other side is embossed with anti Israel and anti American fulminations.

Carter is a symptom of a deeper sickness which blames Israel, and America, first. The Center has the means to do something about his intemperate attacks. For a start, we need to print 250,000 more copies of “Jimmy Carter’s War against the Jews.” Then we need to organize as many events as possible along with an accompanying publicity campaign as we try to get the truth about the source and meaning of Carter’s anti Israel and anti Semitic views into the hands of college students.

To order a copy of the booklet, please contact Stephanie at Stephanie@horowitzfreedomcenter.org.

Islamo Fascism Awareness Week: Is your alma mater on our list??

We are now planning what will be the largest campus demonstrations ever staged by conservative students for October 22-26. We are calling the event Islamo Fascism Awareness Week. We already have student coordinators on 150 campuses and we are hoping that the event will touch close to 200 universities and colleges across the country. We are offering these campuses a full menu of activities including panel discussions on the origins and implications of Islamo Fascism; keynote speakers such as former Sen. Rick Santorum, Christopher Hitchens, Robert Spencer, and Nonie Darwish; and a showing of the uncut version of ABC’s milestone docudrama “The Path to 9/11,” and other documentaries about the threat of radical Islam, including Obsession and Suicide Killers. In addition we are working with our student coordinators to organize protests at women’s studies departments which have been shamefully silent about the violent oppression of women in the Muslim world, and to stage a memorial for the international victims of jihad. Among the campuses already committed to major activities during Islamo Fascism Awareness Week are Columbia, UC Berkeley, Penn State, Temple, Penn, Emory, UC Irvine and Ohio State, This Week has the potential to be a major news event as well as a transforming political experience for our college students.

Details on the event will appear in subsequent Newsletter updates. If you want further information or would like to see your alma mater or a school of special interest added to our list of targets, please call Jeffrey Wienir at jeffrey@horowitzfreedomcenter.org. This is our chance to bring the truth about the war on terrorism to campuses dominated by an unholy alliance between pro jihadists and the hardcore left.

Sold Out Liberty Film Event in Hollywood!!

Not everyone in Hollywood is a trendy leftist. The Freedom Center had a tremendous success this past Tuesday when we premiered a new documentary called “Border” by director/actor Chris Burgard at the Harmony Gold Theater in Hollywood. Talk show host and television personality Larry Elder was the host. Cyrus Nowrasteh, the writer of ABC’s “Path to 9/11,” and other Hollywood celebrities attended. The film, a frightening look at the chaos caused by uncontrolled illegal immigration, filled the house with a paying audience of over 300 people. The showing, first in a series of screenings of conservative films we are developing, took place under the auspices of the Liberty Film Festival, a program of the Freedom Center which has had a growing impact on the entertainment community over the past two years. We will show “Border” again on August 15th in Santa Barbara. Thanks in large part of Mary Belle Snow and Andy Granatelli, the Freedom Center has established a conservative presen ce in that liberal city.

Sign up for Restoration Weekend

The Restoration Weekend will be held this year November 15-18th at the Breakers Resort in Palm Beach, Florida. Called by one newspaper “a blue ribbon gathering of the conservative tribe,” The Weekend provides an occasion for concerned and politically involved conservatives to explore with leading intellectuals the crucial domestic and international developments of the moment. So far, we have confirmed appearances by Dick Morris, former Secretary of Defense Richard Perle, ex-CIA Director Jim Woolsey, Sen. Jim Bunning, Lou Dobbs, Fred Barnes, Michael Barone and many others. For more information please contact Missy Woodward at mwoodward@horowitzfreedomcenter.org

Comment:

Dear reader, were you aware that you have not been sensitized enough to terrorism? No. Even though your face creams and bath gels are regularly thrown away at airport security, even though random strangers get to suss out your bare tootsies, and your underwear is groped by overweight baggage-checkers all in the sacred name of antiterrorism, even though not a solitary TV or radio show can unfold without reference to Osama, terrorists, or the Iraq war…even though every newspaper and magazine and wesbite remotely involved with politics (and most of those that have nothing to do with it), have spent the last 7 years talking about nothing but 9-11 and terrorism….though societies, think-tanks, and foundations have sprung to life like dragon’s teeth solely for it….though droves, nay, battalions and armies of analysts have grown rich on the subject…though half the DC population owes its living to it (and the other half lives in mortal fear of being water-boarded on suspicion of abetting it)…though entire nations have been wheedled and threatened to join forces against it — still, dear, dear reader, we just don’t know enough about it….

We must be such slow learners…

Posted by: L | August 15, 2007

Indian independence day…

NEW DELHI – India celebrated the 60th anniversary of its independence from British rule Wednesday in a triumphant mood, with many here feeling the country is finally taking its rightful place as a major global player.

“I assure you that for each one of you, and for our country, the best is yet to come,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the nation in his traditional Independence Day speech.But with many of India’s 1.1 billion people being left behind by the country’s lightning economic growth, Singh warned: “we must not be overconfident.”

Blah, blah, blah………

Who is “we”? There’s the trouble with the state…

Who is “we,” Mr. Singh? Who is this entity that’s a “major global player”?

A small group of people (some of Indian nationality living abroad, some resident in India, some of ethnic Indian origin but foreign nationals) have made themselves and their families very rich; or come to occupy important positions: another larger group has benefited from new job creation from multinationals in India; a further group is doing well abroad. The middle class is expanding. But with all that, we are still talking only about about 250 million people in India. What about the rest? The three quarters of the iceberg below the radar of the media…

So — Indians are now independent from colonial rule by the British. A good thing.

It would be an even better thing when Indians are no longer ruled by corrupt, parasitical government bureaucrats and their corporate cronies…

Heard on Chris Matthew, Hard Ball, this evening:

(Paraphrasing) “We went to Iraq not because of WMD, not because Saddam was a bad guy, but essentially because we needed to take over a country to have a base from which to pursue our global policies….”

I wasn’t really paying attention to the show until I heard that. Now I wait all agog to find out who the wet-behind-the-ears pundit was who let an entire tribe of mountain cats out of this particular bag…a body bag, I should add.

What’s even more amazing is that after registering a small intellectual double take, Matthews just babbled on as usual.

If anyone ever wanted proof that the respectable, non-Fox, “liberal” media long ago took leave of its senses — here it is. They don’t think there’s a need to keep up even the faintest pretence in the eyes of the rest of the world….let alone do their job.

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