Thursday, February 21, 2008

LTE: Ron Paul

Ron Paul is the only hopeful providing real solutions

This election season, millions of Americans will go to the polls and voluntarily vote for slavery, theft and endless war.

No candidate in the 2008 Presidential election maintains the political philosophy of limited government, individual rights and free markets: There is no candidate who would devolve political power from the federal to the local level; who would do only what is authorized in the Constitution to defend this country against foreign aggression; who would fully dismantle the income tax monstrosity that maintains a prior claim on your labor; who would expose the folly of the central banking system responsible for boom-bust business cycles, inflation, and consequent poverty; who would place the control of the nation's money supply in the hands of the federal government instead of a private bank, the Federal Reserve; who advocates a foreign policy of non-interventionism; who would respect the sovereign right of every individual to exercise their civil liberties as they see fit, barring violations of other’s rights.

In short, there is no candidate in this race who consistently opposes the tyranny of statism into which America has descended.

There is no candidate. None, that is, with the sole exception of 10-term libertarian Congressman Ron Paul.


Regarding the idea of the existence of God, it is the theist who makes the positive claim and it is his, therefore, to prove. The atheist has no negative obligation to disprove another's wild claims. It is an impossible task to soundly refute any and all fantastic claims through all of history every time they're made using logic and evidence -- there would be none. It is a logical impossibility to prove a negative. An inability to disprove does not prove.

No -- someone has to bear the burden of proof when making a claim and it should be the storyteller not the audience.

Atheism is not the positive claim that "there is no God." The atheist says, instead, "I don't believe in God." Non-belief is the proper logical starting point in thinking about God. The position of the atheist is that he remains unconvinced of the theist's claims. If someone maintains the positive claim that "God exists," then it is the claimant who should be eager and able to provide logical or physical evidence.

Atheism should be properly described as the mere non-belief in the unfounded and fantastic idea of God in the absence of any logical, legitimate and provable arguments.

Likewise, the person who makes the positive claim that there is no God is obliged to provide proofs for their claim. That person would not be an a-theist, but an anti-theist.


Reason vs. Faith, Ayn Rand Institute. Yaron Brook and Onkar Ghate discuss the roles of reason and faith in Western civilization.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Gordon Lightfoot

Folk music legend Gordon Lightfoot performed at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in Asheville tonight. His first ever performance here. I don’t want to say that the audience skewed a little older, but three people died before the intermission.

Seriously, it was a fine concert — really fine. More of a tribute to a long and great career. Lightfoot was all about bidness. Very little onstage banter. He came on stage and started the first set before the applause died down. This continued, workmanlike, for each song on through to the encore. He did, at one point, share some old stories and one bad joke. His old bandmates were there: Terry Clements and Rick Haynes. The song selection was wide-ranging, but he seemed to favor his middle period, and "Shadows" in particular.

As was to be expected, the arrangements were spare, gentle, and masterfully punctuated. Lightfoot, gaunt and approaching seventy, sang quietly and sometimes strained for his old register. All in all, I was proud to be in his presence and say: “Farewell old friend, good friend.” I have always considered Lightfoot to be the Walt Whitman of folk music.

Monday, February 04, 2008

LTE: Highway Blogging

City efforts in stifling highway bloggers ‘grasping at straws’

Tim Peck, Asheville
February 4, 2008 12:15 am

I have participated in several “highway blogging” parties and I’ve had only pleasant encounters with law enforcement.

If any law enforcement officer asked me to cease my peaceable and safe “highway blogging,” I would have to ask him to cite the law that is being violated. The bottom line is that there is no law that prohibits highway blogging. Who has pressed any charges?

First highway blogging was supposed to be impeding pedestrians on the sidewalk (which it doesn’t). Then it was a highway traffic hazard for the drivers below (which it is not, given the general atmosphere of common distractions that drivers face every day).

Then it was a violation of state advertising regulations. Now Assistant City Attorney Curt Euler wants a verbal opinion from the attorney general in order to enforce the advertising regulation — which, by the way, has no connection to traffic safety.

I call it grasping at straws. What we really need is law enforcement officers who know the law about political speech in public places and who can consistently enforce that law. Where there is no violation of the law (and in this case there is none), then police officers should wish us well.