9-12-15 Hodgepodge

Saturday, September 12, 2015

What War Is For

On yesterday's anniversary of the jihadist atrocities of September 11, 2001, Capitalism Magazine republished pieces on the subject by Leonard Peikoff and the late John Lewis. Here is an excerpt from Lewis's "Hatred of Western Civilization: Why Terrorists Attacked America:"

So the first question is, how do we seize the initiative in this war, to make us, and freedom, safe again? Note that the question is not how to bring "disenfranchised peoples" back into the world community, and neither is it to correct the alleged cultural deformities that are supposed to have lead terrorists to kill us. The issue is not how to resolve the Middle East problem, or to find a homeland for one group or another. We hold no such responsibilities to our enemies or their children.

I repeat. The first question is how to protect ourselves, and, coincidentally, others who value freedom, from such attacks. Our self-protection must be our first, and only, motive. It is an end in itself. [bold added]
I highly recommend reading or re-reading the whole thing, and pointing it and Leonard Peikoff's "End States Who Sponsor Terrorism" out to others.

Weekend Reading

"Why should the FDA be allowed to play God with our lives?" -- Peter Schwartz, in "'Women's Viagra' -- Why Should Government Decide?" at The Huffington Post

"If people better understood how anger can be disguised by the mind, there would be less verbal, emotional and physical abuse." -- Michael Hurd, in "I'm Resentful ... But I Will Never Say Anything!" at The Delaware Wave

"[Conservatives] are failing to offer constructive criticism, making themselves look bad and, worse, missing a golden opportunity to present pro-liberty policy alternatives to the public." -- Gus Van Horn, in "With Gold King Mine Spill, U.S. Right Mimics the Left" at RealClear Markets

"Sometimes people are so intent on getting their message across that they don't take the listener into consideration." -- Michael Hurd, in "Ten Keys to Reasonable Communication" at The Delaware Coast Press

"[The Federal Reserve] spins the price of a house, with the help of credit and debt, into something many times its original size." -- Keith Weiner, in "The Fed and the Cotton Candy Market" at SNB & CHF

A Word of Thanks

I thank reader Steve D. for his comments on an earlier version of my column (linked above), and everyone who wrote me in reply to this post.

A Not-So-Anti-Labeling Bill

Congress recently passed HR-1599, titled "The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015." When I first heard about this, it was from a somewhat deceptively labeled story, "5 Things: House Bill Would Prevent Mandatory GMO Labeling." One needed only read that one to see that, rather than being principled legislation getting the government out of the food labeling business, this bill was just a different flavor of government meddling:
The House bill would create a new certification process at the Agriculture Department for foods that are labeled free of GMOs. That would mean anyone wanting to use that label would eventually have to apply.

Organic foods would be automatically certified, since they are already required to be free of engineered ingredients.

The voluntary labeling program has some bipartisan support. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Maine Democrat who is also an organic farmer, strongly supports mandatory labeling but says the certification program would at least ensure that foods currently labeled as free of GMOs are held to a uniform standard.
Given that the government already improperly involves itself in such legitimate activities as evaluating the merits of proposed scientific research (for funding decisions) and evaluating scientific theories (for educational or regulatory purposes), this bill will lend the government's implied credibility to the ridiculous anti-GMO position in addition to having a "standard" in place in the event there ever are enough Congressional votes to pass a national GMO-labeling law. This is on top of it simply being wrong for the government to tell people how and how not to label their own products. Fraud is already illegal, and independent standards bodies can research and rate brands for the existence of real and imagined hazards for those concerned about them.

-- CAV

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