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 Getting a grip on the war with Iraq: The 'wrest' of the story...
What we should want, if we had brains enough to want wisely, is a world peopled by rationalists, egoists, individualists. A slow but certain way to achieve that is to give the world capitalism, which can be effected simply by dismantling the barriers to it. The world--left unmolested--runs by itself.

 The war with Iraq: Taking a better grip...
The United States is going to use Iraq to demonstrate a simple fact that other nations have sought to obscure since the collapse of the Soviet Union: America is not just the pre-eminent world power, we are, for now at least, an invincible world power.

 War with Iraq: Why the Bush Doctrine will prevail--and fail...
Our enemy is not Islam or China or the entrenchedly enstenched French. Our enemy is Abel's anti-Hellenism--irrationalism, anegoism, anti-individualism, anti-capitalism. Whether they know it or not, these are the things immigrants are escaping when they come to America, and their contraries--reason, egoism, individualism and capitalism--are the ideas United States must export.

 A Just and Libertarian war...
Whatever one might say about President George W. Bush, about the Republicans, about the state of the American body politic, it remains that this war not only will be fought, but that it should be fought. It must be fought, if the philosophical principles that undergird human liberty are to endure upon the Earth.

 Cain's world: Persephone's second coming...
The War on Terror will be won, if it is, not by the second coming of the Nazarene, but by the second coming of Persephone. When the West dares to be what it is, Cain's world, and when it dares to hold the rest of the world accountable for its expressions of murderous passion, then there will be hope for the transmission of the culture of cool deliberation that is the best and highest achievement of Western Civilization.

 Hang tough...
It is when people waver that the principles that could buttress them grow stronger. It is when people stray that the principles that should guide them prove themselves straight and true.

 Curing the incuriosity of the East...
A post-communist China may be focused outward. Islam (and many another Eastern sect) is focused eternally inward. Only Hellenism brings that which is without within, in her sciences, and that which is within without, in her arts.

 Colloquy with a goat
It's not just that antique Westerners were even worse than their Islamic counterparts, but, amazingly, the modern children of Athens can only aspire to be almost--but not quite--as morally worthy as ancient and contemporary Muslims.

 Back-handing the sinister American left...
What best fits the evidence? A left that lusts after power? A left that misunderstands the threat to freedom? A left that is perverse or distracted or over-committed? Or a left that labors persistently to undermine and destroy the West?

 To Condi, with sweetness
The West can change--the West thrives by changing--and the East never can. A President Condoleezza Rice, a conservative black woman president of the United States of America, would make that argument more eloquently than any book ever could.

 Islam and moral equivalence
The derision by the politically correct of Robertson and Falwell notwithstanding, it is nevertheless true that Islam is a warrior culture. It was born in war, and it remains committed to holy war down to the present day.

When the Scout leader regurgitates the Marxist horseshit he was force-fed without even knowing it was Marxist horseshit, without even realizing he was being force-fed, without ever once thinking about what his words might mean--that man is the most effective recruiting agent the Communists ever had.

 A tear for Wendell
And yet so much of him lingers. He was so rude and yet so courtly. So tragic and yet so unbearably funny. Such a masterful enemy to those he hated, but such a magnificent friend to those he loved.

I am caressing savages into peaceful revolutionaries, and Thumper is the young revolutionary who gave me this job. A rosebud set with little willful thorns, I have taught her nothing so valuable as what I have learned from her own patient example: to strive, to seek, to find, and never to yield.

 Cameron's legacy
This is Cameron's legacy. Not a wealth that we have not yet found (we are un-American enough that we don't expect it to find us). Not a big house or a fancy car. Not even a paid-up education trust, the only item in this list I care about. In place of those rock-hard, solid, dependable, practical values we offer nothing but intangibles. But they are intangibles of the very best quality, and we own them in abundance.

 Cameron at four
I have not picked every sweet pear from the tree of my life, but I have made a good beginning, and I am confident I will glean the tree in due course. But I am confident, too, that someday my children will leave me hopelessly behind, their minds so much better honed than my own blunt instrument that all I will be able to do is beam with pride and brag about them to strangers.

 Whoredom, boredom, love, lust and a great big tree
I am frantic and abrasive and arrogant and self-absorbed--who could argue with these evaluations? Moreover, I am driven, and not moderately so. I am very much aware that I will die someday, and I take that prospect very seriously. My work is here, on the printed (or virtually printed) page, and I haven't done enough of it, not nearly. Consciousness of mortality drives me to keep working, working, working, so that I might finish my work in time, before I die.

 The Band rocks from the Rockin' Chair
One of the most unique and beautiful sounds of The Band was the sound of silence, a silence punctuated and made utterly perfect by the interruption of a single note.

 Oxford's Torment: The Latest Chapter in the Shakespeare Mystery
As we can easily see, the matter is now settled to the satisfaction of all who dare not whisper a word of dissatisfaction. Shakespeare wrote poems and plays that parallel the life of Oxford, and for his vengeance Oxford wrote plays that parallel the life of Shakespeare. What could be clearer?

 Sneaking peeks at the personals
The personals combine the two products with the highest conceivable profit-margins: desperation and the intangible. Desperation is the product sold by prostitutes and porn shops and "exotic" bars and romance novelists and women's magazines and cosmetics companies. And the intangible is the most perfect product of all, one-size-fits-all, keeps indefinitely, folds away for easy storage. Sell the sizzle, not the steak? Nah. Just sell the sizzle and keep the steak. There is no customer more satisfied than the one who has traded his hard-won something for a fine and perfect nothing with a gilt-edged guarantee.

 Is that AOL there is...?
I am left with the impression that America Online is a kiddie pool situated beside the great, wide oceans of information. And that is fine with me. The kiddie pool is always jammed, but everyone in it seems always to be having a great time. If the kiddies shriek at an ear-splitting volume, at least they're doing it over there, where they can't hurt themselves, and where they can annoy only each other. It wouldn't be a pleasant thing if they got out in the deep before they're ready, but we all know that the sharks clean up after the undertow.

 Sacrificing Diana
Diana Spencer died in an automobile accident. She wasn't wearing a seatbelt, and the car was virtually destroyed. Despite what you might infer by watching television, she wasn't actually flogged before Pilate and Herod, then forced to drag a cross up Calvary Hill while wearing an elegant crown of thorns. But amid the media feeding frenzy about the evil nature of media feeding frenzies, a new story is emerging.

 Why I vote YES on rec.music.white-power
Very probably, neo-nazis are everything we think they are: stupid, self-destructive, overgrown victims of child abuse spewing pointless bile as they wait out the slow process of death by alcoholism. But: so what? Speech is merely speech, and, glorious or depraved, elevating or denigrating, sublime or putrescent, it is still nothing but speech.

 Defusing the Unabomber
Technology is not our enemy. By means of technology, we have created the wealth that permits five billion people who use the cortex to survive on a planet that will only support five million people who refuse to use the cortex. Our enemy, always, is the state. Our enemy, always, is the chimp who, by his screeching, screeching, screeching, demands that we return to the veldt.

 Liberty and compromise...
We won't win anything until we win everything all at once. But we won't win ever if we don't fight for what we really want, and not what seems practical or necessary or expedient or profitable. The smallest compromise with the tyrant is a victory for tyranny, and we cannot win anything for liberty by lending our strength to tyranny.

 Let 'em eat steak...
We are free because we must be. Not because we should be or want to be or are ordained by god to be. Not because our liberty is the wellspring of all the wealth humanity has ever produced. Not because that accumulated wealth is a treasure no one man could ever produce--or steal--on his own. Not because leaving us alone will produce more for everyone else or even for anyone else. We are free not for the collective, not for utility, not for practicality, not for beauty or divinity or dignity or art. We are free because we cannot be otherwise, ever, no matter what. We are free because we cannot be chained by anyone without our consent.

 Dancing with the infidel
We are libertarians, and we define ourselves, in large measure, by what we rebel against. But we are as much defined by what we are loyal to. The infidel won't be converted when he claims to hate the state or to uphold the individual. He will be converted when he discovers that the interests of one's own self come before any other claim. He will be converted when he dares to dance, awkwardly, gracelessly, proudly, joyously free...

 Escaping Room 101...
I spend a lot of time thinking about the love of life and its antithesis. For me, the quest for human liberty has little to do with laws or strictures or jack-booted thugs hiding behind mirrored shades. We are not enslaved or set free by other people, and we will not change our interior existence by convincing other people to change their behavior. We are free as we dare to rejoice in the beauty and glory of life, and we are enslaved as we shrink from that rejoicing. The ego is a realm infinite in extent, and it cannot ever be invaded from the outside.

 Meet the Third Thing...
Our appeal as libertarians to the rest of the political spectrum is our immense consistency. They see us from a distance, and we appear to them to be monolithic in our advocacy of human liberty. Well we are, almost. But that little bit of corruption, that tiny little claim that force can sometimes justified, will in due course destroy the rest. Just like the last time.

Living is what you're doing when you're too enthralled to notice. Dying is what you're doing when all you can do is notice. Our destiny is not to die without ever having dared to live. Our destiny is to thrive. Without shame. Without apologies. And without one instant of shrinking. I worship what you can become. I beseech you to become it and rejoice boundlessly in your enormity.

 The art and science of Kay Nolte Smith, Novelist
What makes Smith's works art is not what she shouts, but what she whispers. She is enervatingly expert at leading the reader away from her real message, blinding you with a public point of view that is really no more than a screen for her quietly private truth, the truth of a self that can never quite hide itself. If we can borrow an image from the drama, it is as though we are seeing the role of a matron played by a very young girl, precociously wise and knowing, yet somehow too winsome, too timorous, and much too shy.

 Why I read Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen confronted the newly liberated Europeans and demanded that they take the next step, liberation from the bonds of their own hypocrisy, their fears, their prejudices and superstitions. Unsurprisingly, Europe--and America, and modernity--turned its back on Ibsen. But truth is that gentle scrubbing from which there is no escape, no safe refuge. And Ibsen is always waiting by the fjord for the day when you, brave reader, dare to brace the waters of his art.

 Hating Clinton
Hating Bill Clinton would accord him much more respect than he deserves. Bill Clinton is a bug, a disease, a virus. Bill Clinton is literally a louse, a parasite of virtually no consequence, and he deserves no more attention than it takes to get him out of one's hair.

 A GOP strategy that can win
The Framers of the U.S. Constitution anticipated that the states would comprise laboratories of democracy, each seeking to find the best balance between individual rights and collective authority. Devolving political power from the Federal government to the states, and from there to the counties and municipalities, most closely mimics the grand idea expressed in the Declaration of Independence: The consent of the governed.

 The price of "free" organs
People are dying, and we are gravely trying to figure out how best to be the choosers of the slain. But we need not choose the slain, and we are criminals--murderers--when we do. If we free the market, people will decide for themselves what is best within the context of their own lives, just as they do with cars and houses and vacations and legacies for their children.

 The right to be self-destructive...
And it is a cognizance of this last point - that drug prohibition serves mainly to victimize the innocent - that makes Elders' statement praiseworthy. She didn't make the principled argument - and the 'private sector' will find immediate need for her unique expertise on the very day that she dares to make the principled argument. But she made a principled argument, however badly, and she stood behind it with the courage she owns in abundance.

 Why taxpayers always get milked...
Socialism is a perverse but consistent idea of humanity-as-herd. It cannot be fought with perverse but inconsistent ideas of humanity-as-herd - not Reagan's Utilitarianism nor Bush's Pragmatism. The contrary to the view of man as a cow to be milked is Individualism, the moral philosophy that argues that each individual person is sovereign in himself, that he solely owns his body and his mind and the wealth he produces from their use. That a human being is not a cow, and that even attempting to milk him of his property is a crime.

 First reflections from The Valley Of The Sun
Truly, I am stunned. I tried not to form any preconceptions about this place, when I was studying it. But no preconceptions could have prepared me for the reality of it. Everything is wonderful, and, so far, nothing has hurt.

 A small matter of principle...
I am gloried that I am able to see so much in something you thought was so very small, if you dared think of it at all. I have no fear of thought. I don't betray it, so it can never betray me. I can look at my life, at my surroundings, and I can make of them what I will in words made flesh, in worlds made fresh by my fingertips. The things that we own and treasure are precious to us because they are trophies of our work, the work our minds.

 A short history of creatively powered spaceflight
Even in the days of chemically powered spaceflight, humanity knew that the very best spacedrives were designed by science fiction writers. Unfortunately, the people of that distant age also believed that spacedrives were bound to the laws of physics. It was the discovery of the plausibility principle that delivered us from that grim prison, the recognition that "that which has the ring of plausibility to the untutored ear can be made to work".

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