Libertarian and generally hilarious person Dave Barry has released his annual Year in Review. An excerpt:
In Washington, as the deadline for raising the federal debt limit nears, Congress and the Obama administration work themselves into a frenzy trying to figure out what to do about the fact that the government is spending insanely more money than it actually has. At the last possible minute, they hammer out a historic agreement under which the government will continue to spend insanely more money than it actually has while a very special congressional committee -- A SUPER committee! -- comes up with a plan, by a later date, that will solve this pesky problem once and for all.
The Young Americans for Liberty at Northeastern University drew at least 150 students to their event "Alcohol, Parties & the Law," presented by C.L. Lindsay. C.L. Lindsay is an attorney who founded the Coalition for Student & Academic Rights (CO-STAR). Through the night he spoke to students about how to have a party without getting busted by the police (or ticking off your neighbors).
Through his fun and entertaining presentation C.L. covered virtually every legal pitfall, including how to collect money legally, keg laws, underage drinking laws, noise ordinances, etc.
The best part of the event besides the enthusiastic student audience? The school helped sponsor the event and was very supportive of it, as it is in their best interest if students stay out of trouble (since they won't stop having parties).
President Obama does not get a lot of things right nowadays, but he hit the nail on the head when he said, "The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.”
The impact that Steve Jobs left on our lives is indelible. I will even go so far as to say that nearly everyone reading this owns at least one Apple product, or has at least seen a Pixar film or owns some piece of technology that resulted from the revolution he helped facilitate (and I am sure that there is no one reading this who does not at least know someone who owns an Apple product).
If you believe in capitalism, if you believe in the American Dream, and if you are a Young American for Liberty like me, then today I humbly request that you honor the unsung heroes in our lives: The entrepreneurs, the visionaries, and the business tycoons who have vastly changed our lives -- Steve Jobs surely rests near (if not at the top) of that list.
Steve Jobs is my hero. Thank you for forever changing the course of human history and improving the lives of hundreds of millions of people across the world.
If there should be any idolitry today, I would hope that in lieu of idolizing those who live at the expense of others, we idolize those who vastly improve the lives of others.
Ben Sommer, an edgy progressive rock artist who has been featured on YAL before, provides his newest releases for a YAL Exclusive preview.
Sommer's newest songs touch at consumerism, militarism, and cadaverism, all delicate issues for society. Sommer describes the songs as, "pretty 'out there' -- compared to the rest of the album" and "more than a bit tongue-in-cheek."
Recently, one of the most interesting and innovative ideas in the political field has come from The Seasteading Institute, a nonprofit organization based in Sunnyvale, California. Patri Friedman, the grandson of Milton Friedman, founded the institute in 2008. The core idea, in simplistic form, is this: Build self-sustaining islands and experiment with different political systems. With help from libertarian Peter Thiel, the co-founder of Pay-Pal and first investor in Facebook, Seasteading raised over $1,000,000 by December of 2010 and has received a fair amount of media coverage. It certainly will not be easy to carry out this project, but it is a novel idea.
Imagine if it were proven that a community without heavy government intereference can not only function but flourish? What if it could be shown that private charity, not governmental assistance, is the best way to take care of individuals in need? This idea is truly exciting and deserves more respect as a credible step toward a freer future. I absolutely hope it succeeds and proves statists wrong.
What is the most important of the following four efforts?
Punish the bad guys
Reward the good guys
Share what you know about liberty
Learn more about liberty
There are six "Which is more important" questions that will each divide people into two groups:
1. Punishing bad guys vs Rewarding good guys 2. Punishing bad guys vs Sharing what you know 3. Punishing bad guys vs Learning more 4. Rewarding good guys vs Sharing what you know 5. Rewarding good guys vs Learning more 6. Sharing what you know vs Learning more
I wanted to characterize the kind of people on each side of these questions, and see if that generates some feedback.
1. Punishing bad guys vs Rewarding good guys
Those who feel that punishment is more important than reward are, perhaps living among people who already feel pretty free, and they see more negative behaviors than positive ones. They would like to stop others from "being bad" and they sense a failure on the part of the status quo to help limit those behaviors. I submit that they haven't realized that carrots work better than sticks.