Friday, 30 January 2004

Don't be cruel and unusual

Via Beth Plocharczyk at Crescat Sententia, I’m pleased to see that the Democratic and Republican parties don’t have a monopoly on nutjobs. From the campaign website of Michael Badnarik, who is campaigning for the Libertarian presidential nomination, we have a new idea about criminal justice:

Given the opportunity, Michael would like to change one aspect of prison life to increase the safety of the people guarding them. Instead of allowing them to lift weights and exercise several hours per day (making them violent AND powerful), Michael would require them to remain in bed all day for the first month, and twelve hours per day after that. This lack of activity would allow their muscles to atrophy, making them helpless couch potatoes incapable of inflicting very much violence on each other, the guards, or unsuspecting citizens should they manage to escape.

Elsewhere on the same page,

Michael Badnarik has studied the Constitution for twenty years, and has been teaching an eight-hour class on the subject for the last three years. All of his political positions are derived from the principle of individual rights, and are consistent with the Constitution. He would like to see strict enforcement of the Bill of Rights, and would establish a “zero tolerance policy” for all elected officials who violate the supreme law of the land.

Except for the Eighth Amendment, that is.

Saturday, 31 January 2004

Presidential candidate encounters

Most people see presidential candidates at big rallies—my two experiences seeing Presidential fodder in the flesh were at a Clinton-Gore campaign stop in Ocala in 1992 and Harry Browne in Atlanta on Election Day in 2000. Other presidential candidates, however, are more low-key. Take Brian Noggle’s encounter with Michael Badnarik in the basement of a St. Louis pizza parlour, for example.

Badnarik sound familiar? Brock blogged his unusual views on prison rehabilitation below.

Sunday, 15 February 2004

How to lose my vote

Alex Tabarrok continues his insightful criticism of Democratic rhetoric on free trade.

Let me take this opportunity to say that the one thing likely to make me push the Libertarian button on the Shouptronic machine in November is continued protectionist demagoguery from whoever the Democrats nominate: and all of the remaining candidates are guilty of this to some degree.

(This, of course, assumes that the Libertarians manage to nominate someone who isn’t a total crackpot, which is not guaranteed.)

I’m not a single-issue voter in the usual sense. Free trade vs. protectionism is not the biggest issue facing this country. But it is a good issue for determining whether a candidate is more interested in policy or politics (or, as I suspect of Gephardt, whether he’s totally ignorant of basic economics). Our current president is clearly more interested in politics.

The presumptive nominee, John Kerry, deserves credit for voting in favor of NAFTA. I hope he has the courage to stick by what he knows is true: that tariffs and other protectionist measures do more harm to the country than good.

Monday, 16 February 2004

Time to get ready to vote for Gary Nolan

Brock rather optimistically wrote below:

The presumptive nominee, John Kerry, deserves credit for voting in favor of NAFTA. I hope he has the courage to stick by what he knows is true: that tariffs and other protectionist measures do more harm to the country than good.

Brock apparently missed tonight’s Democratic debate, in which Kerry virtually repudiated NAFTA by advocating wider use of its environmental and labor side-agreements for protectionist ends—even though, in fairness, he was the best of a horrible field on that score. I’ll let Alex Knapp speak for me on Democrats’ commitment to our nation’s international agreements on trade:

You know, for a bunch of people who criticized Bush for being unilateral on military issues, they sure are eager to act unilaterally in rescinding our international obligations on trade issues. Or does international law not mean anything to these candidates?

Of course, since France is also a highly protectionist country, any issue where we agree with France but repudiate agreements with other countries apparently doesn’t meet the Democratic definition of “unilateral”.

Monday, 31 May 2004

Libertarians nominate crackpot

I learned from Mike Hollihan that the Libertarian party has nominated Michael Badnarik for president.

So despite my threats, I won’t be voting Libertarian in November. I couldn’t bring myself to vote for someone who doesn’t respect the eighth amendment.

UPDATE: According to the Blogcritics article linked to above, "Badnarik is clearly a genuine connoisseur of N/A beer." Like I said, he's a crackpot.

Bad(narik) Idea

Like Brock, I can’t be excited about the Libertarians’ nomination of Michael Badnarik. And his enthusiasm for non-alcoholic beer makes me wonder about some other possible faults he may have—like, perhaps, support for the designated-hitter rule or liking the taste of broccoli.

Elsewhere: MNSlog misidentified Brock as a Republican (thanks for correcting it ☺), Q and O considers this evidence that the LP is a collection of “losertarians,” and Brian J. Noggle reminds us that he and his wife met Badnarik earlier this year in a basement. Oh, and some dude named Glenn Reynolds has some links. Heh.