The Freedom to Contract has been Replaced with the “Freedom” to Beg For Permission from a Bureaucrat

Tom Bowden aptly describes the so-called AT&T/T-Mobile merger plan as “a very complicated, very expensive petition for Uncle Sam’s permission to do a deal”:

[…] AT&T and T-Mobile don’t have freedom of contract. They don’t have the right to make the final decision on whether to merge. It’s not just big companies that lack freedom of contract. Think about it: how many contracts in your own business or profession require prior permission from a bureaucrat? How many deals require the parties to be licensed? How many projects require a special permit, or certificate of need? How many exports must satisfy a quota? How many deals have to be crafted so as not to draw government attention? And perhaps most important of all: How many deals don’t make it past the back-of-a-napkin stage because permission would be too hard to get? 

What is really crazy about all this is how business people simply accept the amount of time wasted (not to mention the money wasted) on dealing with bureaucracy. The reason is that they have no conception of how life in a free society would operate based on property rights and the freedom to contract. Under capitalism, the decision to merge two businesses into one, much like the decision of two people to get married, would be essentially a private one. Government’s sole role would be one of a referee as opposed to that of a dictator. The fact that the two companies are merging violates the actual rights of no one.

Obama the Neocon

Writes Richard Salsman in “Libya Exposes Obama As Our Latest Neocon President” over at Forbes:

In violation of the U.S. Constitution, President Obama has launched a semi-war against Libya, a nation that did not attack the U.S. and was not a threat to its self-interest or national security. But Obama and the neoconservative warmongers who inspire his unjust actions don’t even pretend to put America first. They presume foreign policy is morally “noble” if it sacrifices America’s self-interest, her wealth, her soldiers and even her national security. And the more such values are sacrificed, the more “success” they presume.

Although the U.S. Constitution properly designates the president as the commander-in-chief of the U.S. military, it also specifically states (in Article I, Section Eight) that the power “to declare war” resides solely in the legislature – in the U.S. Congress — the body that also has the “power of the purse,” to provide funding for legitimately-declared wars. In the same section Congress is given the power to “suppress insurrections and repel invasions,” which implies that foreign nations properly may do likewise.

Yet Obama has invaded Libya without securing a declaration of war from Congress, and is intervening in what amounts to a civil war between equally-illiberal Arabs, one side of which seeks only to “suppress insurrection.” Does this mean an insurrection in the U.S. against an illiberal Obama can be legitimately supported by foreign powers (say Canada) in a bombing campaign to degrade U.S. defenses and establish a no-fly zone on the East Coast?

It’s simply ludicrous for Obama to rationalize his actions on the grounds that he obtained permission from the U.N., NATO or the Arab League. The U.S. Constitution neither requires nor allows any of that; though it does require that Obama get permission – an explicit war declaration – from the U.S. Congress. He hasn’t done this, which is an impeachable defense, regardless of whether his predecessors committed the same wrong.

These entities are either innocuous or dangerous, for they either do not hold America’s interests as their primary aim (NATO) or actually stand opposed to America’s interests, security and the Constitution (U.N., Arab League). That’s why Obama took this route – as did Truman, Bush I, Bush II and Clinton. They all put America second or last, the supposedly “moral” stance. We’ve seen such evil before, as when Democratic presidents pushed America into disastrous wars — see Woodrow Wilson (WWI), FDR (WWII), Truman (Korea), JFK and LBJ (Viet Nam) — not solely out of U.S. self-interest, but to “make the world safe for democracy,” which means: safe for a political system America’s Founders did not want and actively opposed… [Mar. 23
2011]

Read the rest…

Tea Party Movement Promotes Atlas Shrugged Movie

From USA Today:

Tea Party groups are talking up a new movie version of Atlas Shrugged, based on the Ayn Rand novel about a dystopian United States that collapses as government asserts control. The movie will debut in theaters on April 15. Tax Day has been a focal point for the burgeoning Tea Party movement, whose political mantra calls for small government and low taxes.

National Journal reports that FreedomWorks, the Tea Party-allied group headed by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, has been trying to get the movie opened in more theaters. The group hopes to get the movie opened nationwide on 300 screens, according to the National Journal story. Tea Party groups in Texas, Colorado and across the country have been plugging the movie trailer on their websites and Facebook pages. […] “In a lot of ways, this project reflects the ethos of the Tea Party,” FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe told National Journal. “You had both Republicans and Democrats who felt rejected by the establishment, and the same process is going to happen with Atlas Shrugged: We’re going to build a constituency of people who believe in limited government and individual liberty.” [“Tea Party groups push ‘Atlas Shrugged’ movie – On Politics: Covering the US Congress, Governors, and the 2010 Election”]

Politics Webcast from an Objectivist Perspective: “Operation Odyssey Dawn” in Libya

Here’s a link to the broadcast of Amy Peikoff’s Don’t Let It Go Unheard — webcast to talk on politics and politics from an Objectivist perspective.  This is the best podcast on politics from an Objective perspective so it is definitely worth a listen if you could not attend the live broadcast.

Topics discussed: “Operation Odyssey Dawn” in Libya; Whoopi Goldberg’s “puppy mills” comment; update on the fallout from the protest of a muslim “charity” event in Yorba Linda; two philosophy of law questions — one on obtaining civil damages from a defendant who was acquitted of the crime at issue,Not only does Amy have a great voice, she also has a clear mind. Enjoy!

Download the latest episode  and/or to register for next week’s live podcast.

Francisco d’Anconia’s Voice Mail: Is Money the Root of Evil?

From the creators of the Atlas Shrugged movie:

You can read an excerpt from the book Atlas Shrugged on the issue here: Franciso’s Money Speech

 http://www.capitalismmagazine.com/economics/money/1826-francisco-s-money-speech.html

One of our favorite quotes from the “Speech”:

“Or did you say it’s the love of money that’s the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It’s the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money–and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.

“Let me give you a tip on a clue to men’s characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.

“Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another–their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.