Good morning.

Disturbing dream last night.  I usually don’t pay attention to my dreams; when I remember them they are almost always too abstract and random to take seriously.  It’s the rare mundane, realistic ones that stand out. Often those seem to illustrate something that my subconscious desires.  Frankly, I wish my subconscious would keep it’s own council – there are some things I’d prefer to remain blissfully unaware of.  Nothing perverse or evil, just impractical… and there’s no one I feel comfortable talking to about it.  Argh.

One of the annoyances of being a libertarian is that if we feel like voting for someone who remotely represents our ideals, we’re usually stuck with the Libertarian Party candidate.  The LP is as political an organization as any other party, and tends to select candidates based on some combination of insider connections and ideological correctness rather than electability.  Their candidate in past years, Harry Browne, immersed the party in scandal.  This year, to everyone’s surprise, they nominated a totally unknown quantity by the name of Michael Badnarick, who turns out to be something of a kook (a not-uncommon trait of doctrinaire libertarians). 

Slashdot just did one of their interviews with Badnarick.  The interview has left me feeling a little better about the candidate.  He seems to have some grasp of the concept of pragmatism, and on some of the issues that matter to me he Gets It more than Browne ever did.  I feel a bit more confident than before in casting my vote for him in November.

Speaking of libertarianism, I heard a report on NPR about the federal lawsuit against big tobacco that begins today.  You might think that as an avowed capitalist pig and an advocate of personal responsibility I’d be vehemently against the suit.  Not so.    Libertarianism is about the freedom to do, say, think, buy, and sell anything you want so long as you don’t initiaite force or fraud.   Inasmuch as it is a fraud case, in that the tobacco companies are accused of lying to consumers about the dangers of smoking, I’m all for it.  Go get’em, boys.

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  1. Ever wish we could elect “Mike” from “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”


  2. The only thing I knew about Badnarick is what I heard on a radio interview months ago, and I loved everything he said. The kook activity is dismaying, how can you build a solid foundation for a growing party if the nominees are continually unable to be held up to scrutiny?
    I’ll vote libertarian anyway, simply because the philosophy is bigger than a personality, but a good personality to carry the message would be nice.
    And, no. I’m not clean either, so don’t look at me….

  3. Inasmuch as it is a fraud case, in that the tobacco companies are accused of lying to consumers about the dangers of smoking, I’m all for it.

    I can understand that, however for me a factor is also equitable treatment. Many companies and groups lie to their consumers and will never face the vehement legal battle tobacco will face because tobacco has become such a desirable and aceptable target for any negative action at all. I bet no serious consequences will derive from misleading parents for many years as to the real risks of putting children on certain antidepressants, and I surely consider that to be as much fraud as this.

    1. Well, it’s better than nothing. In fact, if they succeed it’ll be a substantial assist to other suits down the road, because it’ll set a precendent. Considering the amount of money in big pharma, as well as the recent attention paid to the dangers of administering SSRIs to kids, I’ll bet a lot of lawyers are eyeing the issue with great interest. I’ll be surprised if we don’t see lawsuits in the next few years over that very issue.

      1. I could be wrong, but I think SmithKline Beecham is already getting sued over it.

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