I attended the 40th Annual Gala Philadelphia Society meeting in Chicago last weekend (not this weekend). I found it to be quite interesting with high quality food. There was a keynote address by the (in)famous William F. Buckley, Jr. I heard a few attendees commenting on his speech, however, to the effect that he is past his prime. I must agree with them that his speech was full of “Buckleyisms.” Like most people, especially statists, he dismissed anarchism without serious thought by means of the standard fallacies: it’s evil, chaos, and impracticable, etc.

There was a wide range of people there though, from libertarians and a couple of Objectivists to paleocons to neocons. The neocons were disturbing, of course. Self-righteous in their confidence that they can remake the world in their image. I shudder at the thought. One of them, Midge Dector, was elected the new President of the Society for the next year or two. I would be pessimistic for the future of the Society, but I am given to understand that the post isn’t really all that important. She toed the party line, however, arguing that those who label her sort neocons are anti-semitic. News flash, neocons! When anti-imperialist, anti-welfare-warfare state people such as myself call you neocons, we do not mean by neocon: “a Jew who supports Israel.” We mean “big government, welfare supporting, neo-Jacobin imperialist.”

Anyway, to get back to the meeting. There was a video greeting by Milton Friedman, an admirable defender of capitalism, albeit flawed in his methodology. Apparently, he is too expensive, or just too old (being around 92), to get in person. :o)

I managed to get Roger Scruton to sign my copy of The West and the Rest: Globalization and the Terrorist Threat. :oD He gave a great speech. Witty and funny. And he had some interesting insights into the differences between the English and American conservative movements, namely, the lack of the former.

Overall, I had a good time. The foreign policy panel was the best of the meeting. I highly recommend Richard Gamble’s The War for Righteousness: Progressive Christianity, the Great War, and the Rise of the Messianic Nation and Claes Ryn’s America the Virtuous: The Crisis of Democracy and the Quest for Empire. Another excellent book on foreign policy, though the author was not at the meeting, is Walter McDougall’s Promised Land, Crusader State: The American Encounter with the World Since 1776. Ritual Disclaimer: I do not necessarily endorse every opinion of the authors of these books.

This excerpt from F.A. Hayek’s Why I Am Not a Conservative certainly has an appropriate ring to it considering the times we are living in:

“Only at first does it seem paradoxical that the anti-internationalism of conservatism is so frequently associated with imperialism. But the more a person dislikes the strange and thinks his own ways superior, the more he tends to regard it as his mission to “civilize” others – not by the voluntary and unhampered intercourse which the liberal favors, but by bringing them the blessings of efficient government. It is significant that here again we frequently find the conservatives joining hands with the socialists against the liberals – not only in England, where the Webbs and their Fabians were outspoken imperialists, or in Germany, where state socialism and colonial expansionism went together and found the support of the same group of “socialists of the chair,” but also in the United States, where even at the time of the first Roosevelt it could be observed: “the Jingoes and the Social Reformers have gotten together; and have formed a political party, which threatened to capture the Government and use it for their program of Caesaristic paternalism, a danger which now seems to have been averted only by the other parties having adopted their program in a somewhat milder degree and form.”

[Note that the term liberal used in the quote above does not refer to modern Leftist liberals (as in Democrats) but to classical liberals (as in modern libertarians). The Democrats are not true liberals. -G]

Antiwar Song

Here are the lyrics to a song by A Perfect Circle in their new album Thirteenth Step. A better song to describe the warmongering of the neocons one would be hard pressed to find.


Don’t fret precious I’m here, step away from the window
Go back to sleep

Lay your head down child
I won’t let the boogeyman come

Counting bodies like sheep
To the rhythm of the war drums

Pay no mind to the rabble
Pay no mind to the rabble

Head down, go to sleep
To the rhythm of the war drums

Pay no mind what other voices say
They don’t care about you, like I do, like I do
Safe from pain and truth and choice and other poison devils,
See, they don’t give a f**k about you, like I do.

Just stay with me, safe and ignorant,
Go back to sleep
Go back to sleep

Lay your head down child
I won’t let the boogeyman come
Count the bodies like sheep
To the rhythm of the war drums

Pay no mind to the rabble
Pay no mind to the rabble

Head down, go to sleep to the rhythm of the war drums

I’ll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and all your demons

I’ll be the one to protect you from
A will to survive and a voice of reason

I’ll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and your choices son
They’re one in the same
I must isolate you
Isolate and save you from yourself

Swayin to the rhythm of the new world order and
Count the bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drum

The boogeymen are coming
The boogeymen are coming

Keep your head down, go to sleep, to the rhythm of a war drum

Stay with me
Safe and ignorant
Just stay with me
Hold you and protect you from the other one
The evil ones
Don’t love you son,
Go back to sleep

If only the jurors in Martha Stewart’s trial had heard of the power of jury nullification. In our judicial system today, judges instruct juries that they can only evaluate the facts, not the law. But this is a falsehood. Traditionally, juries have had the power to judge both the facts and the law, and by right (if not always in practice) they still do. Every once in a while we still hear of a jury (sometimes in a tv show or movie) that, despite the judge’s admonition to judge only the facts, finds a law to be unjust and lets the accused go free.

Juries have final veto power over all acts of legislature. The power of jury nullification is part of the checks and balances set up in the Constitution to restrain our government. Like many other elements in the checks and balances system, it has been steadily eroded by government officials and lawyers. Jury nullification is one of the final safeguards we have against an unjust and tyrannical government. We let the government take it away from us at our own peril.

Judging from the comments of some of the jurors in Martha’s case, the power of jury nullification, if they had been aware of it, probably would not have helped her. This is due in large part to the poor education that our public education system provides and to the many sophisms uttered by politicians and the mainstream media about insider trading, the rich, economics and law in general, and Martha herself. Who knows though, if the jurors had known about the power of jury nullification, maybe they would have had a twinge of conscience and let her go.

For more information on the power of jury nullification:
Jurors’ Handbook: A Citizens Guide to Jury Duty
“An Essay on the Trial by Jury” (1852) by Lysander Spooner

Martha Stewart has been found “guilty” of… of what? Insider-trading? The prosecution couldn’t get that one to stick. Outsider trading? What the hell is that? Some new non-crime the government has cooked up? She was found “guilty” on counts of “obstruction of justice” and “making false statements.” But the fact is, she didn’t do anything wrong. Not only is insider trading not a crime in any legitimate sense (despite what the US statute books may say), but according to the government’s definition of insider trading, she didn’t even do it! As for the charges of which she was found “guilty,” apparently it is a crime nowadays to declare one’s innocence. And yet law enforcement, government lawyers, politicians, and other government officials can not only get away with what Martha will likely go to jail for, they are actually encouraged and trained to do it! Our justice system is no mere joke; it is an outrageous and tyrannical travesty of justice; it is unjust. If you are not outraged by the injustice that has been done to Martha, then you deserve the tyranny the US is turning into. America is fast becoming not a land of the free, but the home of slaves and their masters. Martha Stewart is the victim of a witch-hunt and was found “guilty” in a show trial.

Martha Stewart Found Guilty

An Open Letter from Martha Stewart
Martha is Innocent
The Lynching of Martha
Wealthy Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
What the Martha Stewart Case Means to You
Mises.org articles supporting Martha
Other blogger comments
The non-crime of insider trading
The newly fabricated “crime” of outsider trading

Another heroine who stood up to the state: Vivien Kellems.