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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Blog Roundup

1. At his web site, Objectivist journalist Peter Schwartz has published a lengthy email exchange between himself and Robert Levy of the Cato Institute regarding its tacit anarchism. The following, from Schwartz, cuts to the core of the problem he addresses and comes from a forum post (by himself) that he quotes in full just before the exchange:
This anti-state attitude is why Cato has as its slogan, "Individual Liberty, Free Markets and Peace." The first two are absolute values; the third isn't. The refusal to wage war is not a virtue if we face foreign threats to our freedom. A genuine advocate of individual liberty would not hold "peace" as a fundamental principle. But an anarchist -- whether overt or covert -- would.
In addition, I thought the following analogy was particularly good:
When the Democratic Party declares, for example, that it supports "single-payer" medical care (along with many of its other statist measures), that is a tacit endorsement of the principle of socialism. It doesn't matter that the Party nominally declares itself to be in disagreement with socialism. The logic of its premises leads to socialism and to the acceptance of socialists as allies in achieving its political goals.
I agree that that the Cato Institute should explicitly disavow anarchism.

2. At the blog of the Texas Institute for Property Rights, Brian Phillips exposes a double standard in wide use among "fair housing" advocates:
Image via Wikipedia (public domain).
Housing advocates don't like how some landlords choose to use/trade their property. And so they seek to force landlords to act as the advocates believe best. They think that many landlords judge tenants based solely on the fact that they hold a Section 8 voucher. But those same advocates judge landlords based solely on their refusal to accept those vouchers. The reasons for that refusal are largely irrelevant.

It is irrational for a landlord to judge a tenant solely on the basis of holding a voucher. It is equally irrational for housing advocates to judge landlords solely on their refusal to accept vouchers. If housing advocates truly want to advance their cause, they would quit calling the kettle black.
This might be helpful to remember down the road as the upcoming presidential election starts heating up: I know of at least one candidate, Julian Castro, who falls into that category.

3. At New Ideal, the blog of the Ayn Rand Institute, Elan Journo discusses "Trivializing the Islamist Menace," whether it be by focusing on mass-casualty attacks or dismissing the Islamist threat as overblown:
The wider lesson is twofold. First, this assault on the principle of freedom of speech is an integral feature of the Islamist threat, reflecting the essentially ideas-driven nature of the enemy. Second, it's a serious error to assess the scale of the Islamist threat solely, or even primarily, in terms of mass-casualty attacks, which are difficult to carry out. Doing so misses the full context. Islamists have managed to advance their agenda in several ways that have impacted our society.
Journo correctly notes that the effectiveness of our enemy is due primarily to our allowing it to become effective. The two incorrect ways of thinking about that threat go a long way in explaining why we have.

4. In the interests of comic relief, and as a potential resource to fellow travelers interested in a constructive discussion of immigration, I offer a lengthy post at Selfish Citizenship:
In future, both you and I can save time related to [this] trolling by replying ... with a link to this post. You're welcome.

-- CAV

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