In Washington, D.C. on Nov. 4, Mitt Romney promised attendees at the Defending the American Dream Summit that if elected, he would end funding for several federal programs. Conservative Republicans, however, may not have been comforted by Romney's reasons for denying these programs federal funding. At the event, sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, he stated: For each program that we have in the government, I'm going to look at them one by one. I’m going to ask this question: Is this program so critical, so essential, that we should borrow money from China to pay for it? Now, for example, I like Amtrak. But I’m not willing to borrow $1.6 billion dollars a year from China to pay for it.

 

The New York Times called the November 5 "debate" between Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain — supposedly styled on the Lincoln-Douglas debates — "congenial." That was an understatement. The Los Angeles Times came a little closer, calling it a "Vulcan mind meld."

Go ahead, ask this commentator: What was the main difference between the 1858 Illinois Senate debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas and the Gingrich-Cain "debate"?

The main difference was that Lincoln and Douglas actually disagreed about a few principles, such as the expansion of slavery into the U.S. territories of Kansas and Nebraska. The tone of the entire Gingrich-Cain "debate" was ably summed up by Herman Cain in his first statement after Newt Gingrich's opening remarks: "At this particular juncture, I'm supposed to have a minute to disagree with something that he said, but I don't." And it didn't get any more testy than that.

As a debate, this event — so fervently sought by Gingrich since the race began — was a real snoozer. The point of debates is to draw out the differences between candidates. Cain and Gingrich hardly disagreed on anything. They might as well have called it a joint press conference. Cain actually hinted that Gingrich would be his vice presidential choice, asking Gingrich (in what was probably the toughest question of the night): "Mr. Speaker, if you were the Vice President of the United States, what would you want the President to assign you to do first?"

The police in New York will have a hard time complaining about being overworked given the terrible story of 21-year-old Samantha Zucker. The Carnegie Mellon College senior was in Riverside Park in the early hours of October 22 with her boyfriend Alex Fischer. Fischer related his version of what happened: “We’re there five minutes when a police car came up and told us we had to leave because the park was closed. We said, ‘O.K., we didn’t know,’ and turned around to leave. Almost immediately, a second police car pulls up.”

Police stopped the couple, and the two were given tickets for trespassing. Fischer was able to produce this driver’s license as identification, but Samantha had left her driver’s license in her hotel room a couple of blocks away. She asked if a friend could retrieve the driver’s licenses from her room, but, Ms. Zucker relates: “He said it was too late for that, I should have thought of it earlier.”

The officer then arrested Zucker, handcuffed the young woman, and took her to the 26th Precinct Station House. She was then transported to central booking in Manhattan, and because one of the officers was ending his shift before Zucker could be photographed, the young woman was moved back to the 26th Precinct Station House. Then Samantha Zucker was taken by two officers who had just started their shifts back to central booking where she spent a second night in jail.

With the U.S. Justice Department and Attorney General Eric Holder continually under fire these days, it was something of a surprise, even to Capitol Hill insiders, that the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, is now in the crosshairs, and that new rules are being advanced not only to deny the public access to documents, but to lie outright, telling requesters that either the documents never existed or don’t exist now. Washington Times reporter Luke Rosiak quoted portions of the nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Center’s (EPIC) letter to the Justice Department lambasting its 180-degree turn: “These changes [to FOIA] … are contrary to law and exceed the authority of the agency.” EPIC’s letter called the move a “retreat from current practice.”

“The administration’s proposed changes to the Freedom of Information Act guidelines would allow the Department of Justice to deny the existence of documents and [even] prevent judicial oversight,” wrote Seth Mendel in Commentary Magazine. He noted that even the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) agreed that Obama was “authorizing agencies to lie.”

The changes were announced October 30 and promptly picked up by most major news outlets. Legal Counsel for the Sunlight Foundation, John Mr. Wonderlich, wrote a strongly worded letter to the Department decrying the blatant retreat from open-government policies.

Wisconsin's AB 237 would make all civil forfeiture offenses into arrestable offenses.

The Supreme Court has declined to take up the appeal of a lower court ruling that bans crosses placed along Utah’s highways in honor of fallen state troopers. The justices ruled 8-1 on October 31 not to hear the appeal filed by Utah and a state troopers’ group that had wanted the court to overturn the decision and give more leeway on the display of religious symbols on public lands.

Reported the Associated Press: “Since 1998, the private Utah Highway Patrol Association has paid for and erected more than a dozen memorial crosses, most of them on state land. Texas-based American Atheists Inc. and three of its Utah members sued the state in 2005.” Two years later a federal court upheld the constitutionality of the crosses, but that ruling was later overturned by the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver.

In April the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) took up the case on behalf of Utah and the Highway Patrol Association, asking the Supreme Court to review the case. ADF Senior Counsel Byron Babione expressed his disappointment in the High Court’s refusal. “One atheist group’s agenda shouldn’t diminish the sacrifice made by highway patrol officers and their families,” he said. “Thirteen heroic men fell, leaving their survivors to mourn and memorialize their loved ones, and now those widows, children, parents, colleagues, and many more must suffer through losing the very memorials that honored those heroes. Justice is not well served when unhappy atheists can use the law to mow down memorial crosses and renew the suffering for the survivors.”

This brilliant book was published shortly before the Occupy Wall Street mobs began their infantile vigils against capitalism, the banks, and anything remotely conservative. Which proves that Ann Coulter understands the liberal left better than practically anyone else in America. Her latest book, Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America, provides incredible, bone-chilling insights into the mind of the liberal. Everything she says in the book about the psychology of mobs applies one hundred percent to what we are now witnessing in cities all across America. She describes the OWS mobs to a tee when she writes:

A mob is an irrational, childlike, often violent organism that derives its energy from the group. Intoxicated by messianic goals, the promise of instant gratification, and adrenaline-pumping exhortations, mobs create mayhem, chaos, destruction, leaving a smoldering heap of wreckage for their leaders to climb to power.

Coulter was inspired by a book published in 1895 by Gustave Le Bon, a French physician, scientist, and social psychologist, with the intriguing title, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. In it, Le Bon analyzed the mind of the mob and its potentially lethal behavior. Coulter writes: “Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini used his book to learn how to incite a mob. Our liberals could have been Le Bon’s study subjects.” It is also quite possible that George Soros also read Le Bon’s book, for it is obvious that he is the invisible hand behind all of the efforts to use the mob in the campaign to reelect Barack Obama. Coulter writes:

When word surfaced from Politico last Sunday of sexual harassment allegations against presidential contender Herman Cain dating back to the late 1990s, questions naturally arose as to the source of the leak. The fingers have pointed in a number of directions, most notably to two of Cain’s Republican rivals, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.

And in the midst of questions of who is responsible for the breaking story, another female National Restaurant Association (NRA) employee has levied allegations against Cain, as have others not employed by the association.

On Sunday, Politico broke the story that during Cain’s 1996-99 stint as president and CEO of the NRA, he had been accused of sexual harassment by two different women. According to Politico, the two women ultimately left the NRA with financial settlements and signed agreements not to disclose any details regarding their departure. Politico reported today that one of the women received $45,000 (Cain had said she received three to six months of pay), while the other woman received $35,000 — equivalent to a year's worth of pay — according to a New York Times story earlier this week.

Cain’s campaign chief of staff Mark Block flatly accused Perry’s campaign of being the source behind the leaked information. In a town-hall meeting Wednesday night, Cain stated, “We’ve been able to trace it back to the Perry campaign that stirred this up in order to discredit me, my campaign, and slow us down.”

Students at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) evidently learned the hard way that speech is no longer free, at least not on their campus. After receiving permission from the school, on September 22 four students groups  — SHSU Lovers of Liberty, Bearkat Democrats, Sam Houston Democratic Socialists, and College Republicans — had  erected a "free speech wall" in protest against SHSU’s new social media policy.

The four groups also garnered 130 signatures on a petition indicating that “they never want the Social Media Policy and Procedures Manual” to go into effect. According to the school's policy, the letters “SHSU” and all similar terms have been trademarked, and therefore any student organizations seeking to use those terms in their online identities must join a speech-restrictive “Official Community,” which gives the university the authority to approve any member group’s “official profile images/avatars” and to edit and/or delete its social media content. If a group refuses to adhere to this policy, it may not use the terms trademarked by SHSU.

On this wall students expressed a vast array of philosophies and dispositions — ranging from “Legalize Weed” and “My boyfriend is a liar!” to “If you make less than $200,000, Republicans don’t care about you." Only when Professor Joe Kirk discovered that “F*** Obama” had been written on the wall, did he take action against any of those posting messages.

I have noticed that there are some on the libertarian right who appear to consider themselves kindred spirits with those who have spent the last few weeks “occupying” Wall Street and other cities throughout America and beyond. This is disheartening, for what it reveals is that those who should presumably know better than all others how best to nurture and strengthen liberty are, in actuality, as ignorant of its true character as its greatest enemies.

Note, I do not suggest that the libertarian’s professions of love for liberty are insincere. Quite the contrary, for it is most likely his fanaticism for his beloved that imperils the latter. It is the libertarian’s zeal for liberty that corrupts his intellect. Like the hyper-jealous husband whose obsession with his wife renders him either forgetful of or oblivious to the real nature of marital love, so the libertarian is similarly forgetful of or oblivious to the real nature of liberty. 

Bear in mind that the libertarianism that is the object of my critique is not the only school of thought so-called. “Libertarianism” is a term invariably associated today with a particular cast of mind. But there is another, older political philosophic orientation that, though of a fundamentally different kind, is no less deserving of the name.

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