Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Liberty & Power at APEE!

Liberty & Power bloggers will be in force at the APEE 31st Annual Conference in Las Vegas at the Renaissance Hotel next week, April 2-4 (if I've left anybody out or any of your topics and times, please add in the comments):

Peter Boettke:

  • Session 2.7 Mon 9:10-10:30am "Happiness: Philosophical and Economic Perspectives";
  • Plenary Session IV Tues 3:35-4:35pm "Liberty Vs. Power in the 21st Century. What Role for Economic Analysis?"

Donald Boudreaux:
  • Session 2.7 Mon 9:10-10:30am "Happiness: Philosophical and Economic Perspectives";
  • Session 9.6 Tues 2:20-3:30pm "Panel Discussion-Science, Evolution, and Markets"

Steven Horwitz:
  • Session 1.7 Mon 7:15-8:45am "Topics in Austrian Economics"

Jeffrey Rogers Hummel:
  • Session 3/1 Mon 1:05-2:15pm "Economic History in the Antebellup Period of the U.S. South"

Roderick Long:
  • Session 2.7 Mon 9:10-10:30am "Happiness: Philosophical and Economic Perspectives"

Amy Sturgis:
  • Session 8/2 Tues 1:05-2:15pm "The State Versus the Market II"

David Theroux:
  • Session 5.1 Mon 3:55-5:25pm "Religion and the Free Market"

Just a thought.
Just Ken
CLASSical Liberalism

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Ingersoll's Vow

Robert Green Ingersoll (8/11/1833-7/21/1899) was an orator whose brilliant lectures drew thousands.

When I became convinced that the universe is natural - that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom. The walls of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with light and all the bolts and bars and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf or a slave. There was for me no master in all the world - not even in infinite space. I was free - free to think, to express my thoughts - free to live to my own ideal - free to live for myself and those I loved - free to use all my faculties, all my senses, free to spread imagination's wings - free to investigate, to guess and dream and hope - free to judge and determine for myself - free to reject all ignorant and cruel creeds, all the "inspired" books that savages have produced, and all the barbarous legends of the past - free from popes and priests - free from all the "called" and "set apart" - free from sanctified mistakes and "holy" lies - free from the fear of eternal pain - free from the winged monsters of the night - free from devils, ghosts and gods. For the first time I was free. There were no prohibited places in all the realms of thought - no air, no space, where fancy could not spread her painted wings - no chains for my limbs - no lashes for my back - no fires for my flesh - no master's frown or threat - no following another's steps - no need to bow, or cringe, or crawl, or utter lying words. I was free. I stood erect and fearlessly, joyously faced all worlds.
And then my heart was filled with gratitude, with thankfulness, and went out in love to all the heroes, the thinkers, who gave their lives for the liberty of hand and brain - for the freedom of labor and thought - to those who fell on the fierce fields of war, to those who died in dungeons bound with chains - to those who proudly mounted scaffold's stairs - to those by fire consumed - to all the wise, the good, the brave of every land, whose thoughts and deed have given freedom to the sons of men. And then I vowed to grasp the torch that they have held and hold it high that light may conquer darkness still.

Just a thought.
Just Ken
CLASSical Liberalism

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Reasons for Celebrating St. Patrick's Day

He was not actually Irish, he didn't drive the snakes out of Ireland, nor was he ever officially canonized by the Catholic Church, but on March 17, the reputed day of his death is celebrated as St. Paddy's Day, both in Ireland and throughout the rest of the world. There are good reasons for breaking out the green beer and giving thanks, particularly if you have a drop of celtic blood, or a Christian, or just a believer in peace. In a real sense, "everybody's Irish" on St. Patrick's Day.

From what we know, Maewyn or Succat (celtic for clever in war) was born in a village called Bannaven Taberniae in Britan or Brittany in France about 387 AD. Patricius (which has evolved into Patrick) was the name given later in life by Pope Celestine after his consecration as a bishop.

Patrick was kidnapped by pirates at 16 and sold as a slave to the house of a Miliue (or Milchu), a Druid of the Dal Riada in what is now Antrim, Ireland. He stayed six years, tending sheep and taking care of the farm, and realized that he was called to live a religious life.

He entered a monastery in Gaul and studied under St. Germain, Bishop of Auxerre. At one point Patrick dreamed that a man called Victorious handed him a large number of letters, one of which was headed "The Cry of the Irish". While reading this letter he heard voices he recognized from in Ireland calling him to return.

Patrick returned to Ireland in 432 AD. He reputedly arrived at Wicklow and made his way along the coast, landing at the mouth of the River Slaney. There, a local chieftain Dichu was converted to christianity. Dichu gave Patrick a barn as his first church. Patrick got the attention of the High King (Laoghaire) by lighting a Paschal fire at Slane Hill, ten miles from Tara, where Laoghaire was conducting a pagan festival. By tradition, lighting such a fire before the King's was a capital offence and Laoghaire sent soldiers to seize Patrick. However, Patrick defeated the soldiers and succeeded in converting the King. Thereafter he preached throughout Ireland with the permission of the King. Although he did not single-handedly convert all of Ireland (he baptized over 120,000), St. Patrick played a large role, and helped lay a significant portion of the groundwork in the formation of monasteries, schools and at least 300 churches.

There are two works which are known to have been written by Patrick, Confessio, his autobiography, and his Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus. Coroticus, a Welsh chieftain (who was a Christian) had captured a number of recent Irish converts to Christianty, slaughtered some and sold the rest into slavery. The celtic tradition of internecine warfare had, once again, brought fellow Christians into battle against their brothers in Christ. This, Patrick proclaimed, must stop. Angrily, he said in the Letter...,

Like our enemies, they live in death, allies of the Scots and the apostate Picts. Dripping with blood, they welter in the blood of innocent Christians, whom I have begotten into the number for God and confirmed in Christ!...The day after the newly baptised, anointed with chrism, in white garments (had been slain)-the fragrance was still on their foreheads when they were butchered and slaughtered with the sword by the above-mentioned people...
Hence I do not know what to lament more: those who have been slain, or those whom they have taken captive, or those whom the devil has mightily ensnared. Together with him they will be slaves in Hell in an eternal punishment; for who committeth sin is a slave and will be called a son of the devil.
Wherefore let every God-fearing man know that they are enemies of me and of Christ my God, for whom I am an ambassador. Parricide! Fratricide! ravening wolves that eat the people of the Lord as they eat bread! As I said, The wicked, 0 Lord, have destroyed Thy law, which but recently He had excellently and kindly planted in Ireland, and which had established itself by the grace of God.
I make no false claim. I share in the work of those whom He called and predestinated to preach the Gospel amidst grave persecutions unto the end of the earth, even if the enemy shows his jealousy through the tyranny of Coroticus, a man who has no respect for God nor for His priests whom He chose, giving them the highest, divine, and sublime power, that whom they should bind upon earth should be bound also in heaven.
Wherefore, then, I plead with you earnestly, ye holy and humble of heart, it is not permissible to court the favour of such people, nor to take food or drink with them, nor even to accept their alms, until they make reparation to God in hardships, through penance, with shedding of tears, and set free the baptised servants of God and handmaids of Christ, for whom He died and was crucified.
...For Scripture says: Weep with them that weep; and again: If one member be grieved, let all members grieve with it. Hence the Church mourns and laments her sons and daughters whom the sword has not yet slain, but who were removed and carried off to faraway lands, where sin abounds openly, grossly, impudently. There people who were freeborn have been sold, Christians made slaves, and that, too, in the service of the abominable, wicked, and apostate Picts!
...Where, then, will Coroticus with his criminals, rebels against Christ, where will they see themselves, they who distribute baptised women as prizes-for a miserable temporal kingdom, which will pass away in a moment? As a cloud or smoke that is dispersed by the wind, so shall the deceitful wicked perish at the presence of the Lord; but the just shall feast with great constancy with Christ, they shall judge nations, and rule over wicked kings for ever and ever. Amen.
I testify before God and His angels that it will be so as He indicated to my ignorance. It is not my words that I have set forth in Latin, but those of God and the apostles and prophets, who have never lied. He that believeth shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned, God hath spoken.
I ask earnestly that whoever is a willing servant of God be a carrier of this letter, so that on no account it be suppressed or hidden by anyone, but rather be read before all the people, and in the presence of Coroticus himself. May God inspire them sometime to recover their senses for God, repenting, however late, their heinous deeds-murderers of the brethren of the Lord!-and to set free the baptised women whom they took captive, in order that they may deserve to live to God, and be made whole. here and in eternity! Be peace to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.

His demand for sodality and a change in the relations of the celts would eventually tame the violent expression of celtic life, and bring peace and an end to slavery. St. Patrick's abolitionism would find a place in Irish Christian thought--a path which the sons of Eire took into their hearts.

Now this is something to celebrate!

Just a thought.
Just Ken
CLASSical Liberalism

Monday, March 20, 2006

Dr. Chris R. Tame (20/12/1949 - 20/3/2006)

Dr Chris R Tame, founder and President of the Libertarian
(formed in 1967) has finally succumbed to his long and painful bout with cancer. According to Mario Huet, List Administrator of the Libertarian Alliance Forum,

"His end was peaceful. With him to the end were Helen Evans and Petica Evans, and Sean Gabb... The President of the Libertarian Alliance, Dr Timothy Evans, and the Director of the Libertarian Alliance, Dr Sean Gabb, both wish to say that in spite of today's deeply sad news, the work of the Libertarian Alliance will continue."

Former director of the Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco (FOREST) he wrote extensively over the years in Britain and elsewhere. Tame edited The Bibliography of Freedom for the Centre for Policy Studies and contributed to The Case for Private Enterprise, The New Right Enlightenment and The Politics of Crime Control. His essays have appeared in such journals as The Jewish Journal of Sociology, Il Politico, Science and Public Policy, The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, Werifrei and Economic Affairs.

A graduate in American Studies from Hull University, he was later awarded a PhD from Middlesex University. A public affairs professional who has worked in a variety of fields, he is one of Britain’s best known libertarian broadcasters and writers.

With his kind and generous personality, always willing to encourage young libertarians, Dr. Tame has been an inspiration to a generation of British libertarians. He will be greatly missed.

The Libertarian Alliance, one of Britain’s leading free market and civil liberties think tanks, currently has more than 700 pamphlets in print and online, as well as their periodical, Free Life. It has attracted widespread press and media interest and has been at the forefront of establishing libertarian ideas as an important part of modern political discourse.

Just a thought.
Just Ken
CLASSical Liberalism

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Paul Avrich

"Every good person deep down is an anarchist."--Paul Avrich

I regret to say that Paul Avrich (8/4/1931-2/16/2006) died a month ago due to complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was, along with James J. Martin, one of the primary historians of anarchism of our day. He was precise, careful and sympathetic in his research, having become a confidant of numerous radicals during his lifetime. His many works on American and Russian anarchism are basic works which any student of these must study in order to fully understand them.
As the anarchist Marianne Enckell said:
He was a trusted friend to many of the older members of our movement, putting them in touch with each other, following their reunions, visiting them regularly - and watching them depart from this life, one after another. Without him, much of what is remembered by the movement would be lost.

His principal works were:

The Russian anarchists. Princeton University Press, 1967; re-edition 1978 (Les Anarchistes russes; translated by Bernard Mocquot. Paris: Maspero, 1979; other translations in Japanese, Spanish and Italian).
Kronstadt, 1921. Princetown: Princetown University Press, 1970 (La Tragédie de Cronstadt, 19211; translated by Hervé Denès. Paris: Seuil, 1975; other translations in Spanish and Czech).
Russian Rebels, 1600-1800. New York: Schocken Books, 1972.
The Anarchists in the Russian Revolution. New York: Cornell University Press, 1973 (Gli anarchici nella rivoluzione russa; translated by Michele Buzzi. Milano: La Salamandra, 1976).
The history of the anarchist movement in the United States, published by Princeton University:

  • An American Anarchist: The Life of Voltairine de Cleyre, 1978.
  • The Modern School Movement: Anarchism and Education in the United States, 1980.
  • The Haymarket Tragedy, 1984.
  • Anarchist Portraits, 1988.
  • Sacco and Vanzetti, The Anarchist Background, 1991.
  • Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America, 1995.

Just a thought.
Just Ken
CLASSical Liberalism

Monday, March 13, 2006

Throwing Rosemary's Meme Out With the Bathwater

Having been tagged, here's my meme of four:

Four jobs I have had: Chess instructor, institute president, paralegal, mediator.

Four movies I can watch over and over: Rocky Horror Picture Show, Phantom of the Paradise, LOTR, Gandhi.

Four places I have lived: Richmond, Indiana; Hemet, California; Long Beach, California; Las Vegas, Nevada.

Four TV shows I love: Smallville, Passions, 60 Minutes, Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Four highly regarded and recommended TV shows I haven't seen: 24, Prison Break, Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, anything with the initials "CNN" attached to it.

Four of my favorite dishes: Tuna Sushi; avocados, lightly salted; spinach salad; blueberry yogurt.

Four sites I visit daily (besides this one): blog,, blog, blog.

Four Places I've Vacationed: Las Vegas; San Fransisco; Grand Canyon; New Harmony, Indiana.

Four albums I can't live without: Bob Marley's Greatest Hits; The Chieftans' Further Down the Old Plank Road; Tennessee Ernie Ford's The Ultimate Collection; The Hobo Minstrels' The American Hobo.

Four new bloggers I'm tagging: Stefan Molyneux , Chas Holloway, Jim Bovard and David Hart.

Just a thought.
Just Ken
CLASSical Liberalism