Color me uninterested

Yeah, I don’t think so:

The dream of a libertarian-liberal alliance has been a staple of libertarian strategizing forever. Lindsey’s boss, Ed Crane, has trotted it out every few years since Cato was founded in the ‘70s. Before Crane, it was a bedrock precept of Murray Rothbard, the true mastermind of American libertarianism. Rothbard adopted this strategy around 1950.

The hinge of the strategy is something Lindsey doesn’t discuss: foreign policy. Rothbard’s foreign policy trademark was radical non-interventionism – WWII, WWI, Viet Nam, Civil War, Cold War, doesn’t matter. He was opposed to all of them. The idea of liberals aligning with libertarians is based on their common hostility to American foreign policy. That was true in 1950, and it’s true today.

It’s a strategy as foolish as it is unprincipled. Liberals, in the modern America sense of the word, FAVOR GOVERNMENT EXPANSION. Foreign adventurism is a very good way to justify this, which is why liberals such as Woodrow Wilson, FDR and Bill Clinton have been every bit as exo-interventionist as faux conservatives George Bush, George W. Bush and Richard Nixon.

There is no grand alliance that will bring libertarians into power. Too many people love government and its seductive promises at this time. The only thing to do is to continue to seek the truth and speak the truth as best one understands it.

Beware the Belichick

DJ Gallo is actually funny on occasion:

New England very nearly lost to the Detroit Lions. At home. But of course the Patriots are fine heading into the playoffs. It would be wrong to question them in any way. Anyone who looks past the Pats is simply falling into Bill Belichick’s trap. Underestimate him at your own risk, but all you will see is a loss. And your wife in his arms.

You might not think that Bill Belichick is an irresistible romantic force. You might look at those sagging shoulders, that ratty, sleeveless old grey hoody that he wears with almost a complete absence of the panache displayed by clothes horses like Mike Nolan and Pat Riley, that bleary-eyed seeming indifference to life, the universe and everything, and conclude that here is a man who has no chance with any woman, let alone yours.

And that’s just what Bill wants you to think. Because he is the cobra of love. What most people don’t realize is that Tom Brady actually looks like Martin Gramatica and throws like Tim Robbins, only the Belichick has mesmerized everyone into believing differently.

In like manner, Brad Johnson is actually a washed-up, ex-quarterback who has lost his ability to read a defense… okay, that’s not fair. I like Brad as a backup, but I still don’t know what Childress was thinking by deciding to go with him as a starter. Of course, it could be worse. He could be Rex Grossman.

Yikes, that may have been the worst quarterbacked game I’ve seen in my life.

Mailvox: no idea

I’m reasonably sure that this wasn’t a case of a column getting killed as happened once before with the infamous “Fascists and Faggotry” piece four years ago, but for whatever reason, my column wasn’t up today.

So, in case you were curious, here it is:

Godless Criminals

One of the more unexpected themes in the critical responses to my three “Clowns of Reason” columns was the counterintuitive assertion that atheists are more moral than religious individuals in general and Christians in particular. This assertion was usually supported by various rationalizations, one historical, one theoretical and one statistical.

The historical argument for atheist morality is the most easily addressed, as it is simply a variant on the demonstrably false “religion causes war” claim. The critic usually pointed to the Spanish Inquisition or the European witch-burnings and said: “see, atheists don’t burn people at the stake.” Well, that’s technically true, although since atheists are currently crushing Christian skulls with bulldozers in North Korea and beating them to death in China, it’s an argument that is as nonsensical as it is outdated.

The theoretical argument is that since atheists don’t require the threat of punishment in the afterlife to behave morally in the here and now, they are better, more moral individuals. Of course, this would be true, if it could be established that they were, in fact, better behaved… and that they possessed a universal morality to which their behavior could be reasonably compared.

Now, some atheists have claimed that the irreligious are better behaved in term of Christian morality, but little evidence to support this has been offered, while John Stossel and Arthur Brooks have both found that “the single biggest predictor of whether someone will be charitable is their religious participation”; religious people give four times more than the non-religious.

Charity, of course, is far from the only measure of morality. And this leads us to the third argument, the statistical one. It should come as a surprise to no one that the last and least of Reason’s clowns leans heavily upon it; in his latest proselytistic pamphlet, “Letter to a Christian Nation, Sam Harris writes:

While political party affiliation in the United States is not a perfect indicator of religiosity, it is no secret that the “red states” are primarily red because of the overwhelming political influence of conservative Christians. If there were a strong correlation between Christian conservatism and social health, we might expect to see some sign of it in red-state America. We don’t. Of the twenty-five cities with the lowest rates of violent crime, 62 percent are in “blue” states and 38 percent are in “red” states…. Of the twenty-two states with the highest rates of murder, seventeen are red.

As with so much that Harris writes, this immediately triggers the thinking man’s bovine ejectus detector. Since Christian conservatives aren’t generally known to be big city dwellers, the implication would seem to be that Texas Christians are driving into Houston, Dallas and San Antonio to wreak lethal havoc. Of course, as with his blatant errors on war and suicide bombers, it’s easy enough to prove that Harris not only has it wrong, but backwards.

Consider Florida, which went Republican in 2004. It has 67 counties, and the ten which supported John Kerry most heavily, (thus, by Harris’ reckoning, the least religious), were home to 367 murders in 2006. The ten counties wherein Bush found his strongest support, on the other hand, had only 19. Even taking population differences into account, the murder rate per 100,000 in the “blue” counties was more than twice that of the “red” counties, 4.7 to 2.0. And the two most murderous counties in the state, Gadsden and Madison, averaged a murder rate of 13.9 to go with their 60 percent support for the Democrat.

It is clearly perverse, bordering on the intellectually dishonest, to attempt charging these godless “blue-county” murders to the religious “red-state” account.

Nor are American statistics the only means of demonstrating a godless proclivity for crime, the inherent problem of equating legality with morality notwithstanding. A comparison of a 2000 survey of the British prison population with the 2001 national census revealed that whereas individuals claiming atheism or no religion make up only 15.5 percent of the British population, they comprise 31.9 percent of those imprisoned.

Of course, it stands to reason that those who do not believe in Biblical morality would not subscribe to it. The fact that so many atheists behave as well as anyone else is not testimony to superior atheist morality, but rather, the moral inertia fortuitously intrinsic to Western civilization.

UPDATE – the commentary editor emails: This is the first we’ve seen this column. Did you send it in earlier? I’ll put up your piece now and run it tomorrow as well.

See? No worries.