Friday, January 9, 2015

On Militarization of the Police/ The Root of Police Militarization/ Pentagon Cop Aid hits Snags


Since President Obama took office, the Pentagon has transferred to police departments tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.


From: Chief Z. Z. Lawless, Mumsdorf Police Department, Mumsdorf

To: “Gifts for the Good Guys,” c/o the Pentagon

My men and I sincerely appreciated the overnight railway-flatcar delivery of the XX-B Annihilator Halftrack Urban Ambassador, which is already earning its keep. Thanks to its jumbo rubber shells and its six-hundred-per-second firing capacity, those local moms are going to think twice before they try organizing a march to protest school-lunch cuts. However, I have one question: Our XX-B is out of fuel and nobody in the department can find the gas cap. Help!


From: Gus Lard, Jr., Commander-in-Chief, Finksville Metropolitan Volunteer Fire Brigade

To: “Gifts for the Good Guys,” c/o the Pentagon

The instruction manual that came with the UT-777 Barbarian helicopter you sent appears to be printed in Chinese (next time in English, please, and no MSG!), so we’re having trouble figuring out the recommended effective height for dropping napalm bombs on the public-housing complex without torching the greens of the nearby golf and country club.

Can you lend a hand?


From: V. Vern Cudgelson, Director of Public Works and Law Enforcement, Hyena County

To: “Gifts for the Good Guys,” c/o the Pentagon

Our department’s first outing aboard the M333 Kaboom all-terrain defensive heavy tank you so kindly gave us was going great—pedestrians scattered like chickens as we traversed Main Street, rotating the unit’s suite of cannons for range-finding purposes—until we hit a glitch. My men hadn’t realized that Main Street was being repaved that day. After locking down for half an hour to set up and launch the department drone, pursuant to pursuing a suspected no-parking agitator, our crew returned to find that the asphalt had hardened and the twenty-three-ton Kaboom was stuck, completely immobilized.

Could someone at the Pentagon e-mail us a requisition-request form for the Marine Corps’s biggest crane? The M333 Kaboom is blocking traffic all the way past the Route 632 intersection.


From: Buster Mashfoot, Chief Sergeant, Pankster City Bureau of Citizen Surveillance, Pankster City

To: “Gifts for the Good Guys,” c/o the Pentagon

Me and my deputy, cousin Roy, are pleased to report complete success in uncrating the A-498-Class Mayhem Jr. automatic self-propelled semi-mobile peace-delivery system that was recently delivered by an Air Force cargo plane to this bureau. A hearty thanks to the “Gifts for the Good Guys” Law-Enforcement Self-Defense Program.

The accompanying instructional CD classifies this as a two-man item, but we reckon it needs a crew of three: one to man the laser direction indicator, one to control the computer readouts, and one to operate it. And our department’s 2014-15 budget has no room for hiring a third officer.

Also, although it was obvious right away that this item is a breathtaking technological advance, can you please inform us exactly what it is for? Roy thinks it’s something to do with intercepting Greenpeace smoke signals. If you could send a diagram, a certified trainer, and that “third man” to help us get the thing moving, it would be much appreciated.


From: Arnie Dunceforth, Acting Chief Pro Tem, Department of Human Control, Whackem Center

To: “Gifts for the Good Guys,” c/o the Pentagon

Our department hereby acknowledges receipt of five hundred fifty-litre cannisters of XXXX Lungbuster troublemaker-dispersion vapor. I am writing in place of our chief, who, in the name of speed, removed the lid of one cannister with a crowbar. So, does the Pentagon by any chance stock pairs of human lungs? If so, please forward to the Department of Human Control, Whackem Center, stamped “RUSH.”


From: Sergeant Rocco Smith, Admiral of the Silt City Regional Marine Armada, Town of Silt City

To: “Gifts for the Good Guys,” c/o the Pentagon

Thanks for the G.F.G.G. night airdrop. Question: Is the NX-900 King Crocodile Amphibious Water-Rescue and Ground-Attack Vehicle seaworthy? Reason I ask: the skipper barely escaped with his life when the King Crocodile gurgled and sank as soon as he entered deep water in our local swimming hole while pursuing semi-nude bathers. A design flaw, perhaps? Also, if we manage to locate a licensed plumber with scuba gear who can effect repairs, might the Pentagon pick up the bill? ♦

Bruce McCall is a satirical writer and artist who began contributing to The New Yorker in 1980.

Redevelopment 2.0 reviving Crony Capitalism


California Democrats are reviving crony capitalist agencies
SACRAMENTO — The same Jerry Brown who ended California’s controversial redevelopment agencies in 2011 is now considering legislation that would bring back something similar, but arguably with fewer restrictions on eminent-domain abuse and debt spending.
Redevelopment agencies sprung from the state’s 1940s-era urban-renewal law — designed to help local officials clean up blighted inner cities. But they morphed into a financing tool by which officials could clear away homes and businesses and float bonds that help developers build tax-generating shopping centers sought by city officials.
Redevelopment died in California — not because of official concern about the abuse of eminent domain, but because Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature needed a source of funds to balance the budget. These agencies diverted 12 percent of the general-fund budget from traditional public services through a mechanism known as Tax Increment Financing, which sent property-tax growth to the redevelopment agencies.
The League of California Cities and Sen. Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, have been pushing measures that would bring back redevelopment in some form, but without the tax-increment financing that let localities unilaterally grab other agencies’ tax dollars.
Brown has vetoed past measures, but reportedly is supportive of SB 628, which was one of those last-minute gut-and-amend bills that didn’t go thorough vetting before passage. It passed by one vote in the Senate, with that coming from Senate Republican leader Bob Huff, whose wife has worked for one of the bill’s prominent supporters (City of Industry’s Ed Roski, who is pursing an NFL stadium there).
Redevelopment revivalists have promoted the use of Infrastructure Financing Districts as a partial replacement for the defunct agencies. This bill would create something called Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts that puts those districts on steroids.
“It’s Redevelopment 2.0 without any protections whatsoever,” said David Wolfe, legislative director of the conservative Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. In a letter to the Legislature, Wolfe noted that under the old redevelopment law, a city would have to determine that there is blight before creating a project area.
“While in our view, this finding of blight was never comprehensive enough … at least some guidelines were in place,” he added. “No findings of blight need to be made in the EIFD process under SB 628. This makes it far too easy to use eminent domain to abuse taxpayers by taking private property for a private use.”
The old blight findings often were a joke. But now as soon as these districts are approved, there are even fewer restrictions on what kind of projects can be funded. These new infrastructure districts are pitched as a way to help cities upgrade roads, sewer pipes and levees. But nearly anything will be OK including “sustainable communities strategies,” “brownfields restoration,” “watershed land” and commercial property uses. Redevelopment offered wide latitude to publicly fund private development projects — and this bill could make it even wider.
Compared to standard infrastructure finance districts, these enhanced ones would lower the threshold from two-thirds voter approval to 55 percent approval. They would expand the bond-repayment time from 30 years to 45 years. The bill specifically allows the funding of these facilities for private benefit.
Some groups that represent low-income residents are fearful of the bill will give city officials more power to remove existing residents from downtown areas — and without requiring that they set aside money for low-income housing.
My first taste of California’s “redevelopment” law came in the late 1990s, when I reported on a “public” parking structure being built at a private shopping mall. Over the years, I wrote about many redevelopment projects that ran up public debt and ran roughshod over property rights.
Cities need to find money to upgrade infrastructure. It would have been nice had the Republican leader at least first exacted some taxpayer protections. Furthermore, this Legislature has consistently blocked city efforts to rein in their existing labor costs through pension reform and other measures. Instead it offers to replace a bad financing law with something that may arguably be worse.
Steven Greenhut is the California columnist for U-T San Diego. Write to him at

Redevelopment: A Tale of Two Cities- Eminent Domain for Smart Growth?

Recently Supervisor Susan Adams and other Marin county Supervisors removed the Marinwood Priority Development Area first proposed by Supervisor Adams on August 7, 2007.  It includes all land with 1/2 mile of the 101 corridor in Marin.  This will likely be superceded by a new redevelopment law, if passed as projected will have the same effect as a priority development area.  Property can be seized by "eminent domain" if they are determined to have "inefficient land use patterns" i.e.  less than 20 units per acre density.  All land east of Las Gallinas will be threatened.

We are in the midst of a major power grab of California property rights, not seen in our lifetimes.  It is time to fight against this intrusion on our California way of life and preserve liberty for future generations. We must defeat this Plan Bay Area and restore our freedoms.

If you live in the shaded area your home may be subject to eminent domain.  PDAs are no longer needed

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Why the We Should Welcome More Immigrants (Even Illegals!)

Here are a few reasons why immigration is GOOD for the U.S.:
  • Immigrants make up 13% of the U.S. population, but represent 18% of small business owners
  • Immigrant businesses employ 1 in 10 Americans 
  • 18% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants, generating  $1.7 trillionin revenue
  • Immigrants are three times more likely to file a patent than native citizens
  • 75% of farm workers are foreign-born
  • As consumers, immigrants pump over $2 trillion into the economy
  • Without immigrant labor, milk prices would increase by 61%
  • Immigrants on average pay $1800 more in taxes than receive in benefits
  • 66% of ILLEGAL—ILLEGAL!--immigrants pay Social Security, Medicare, and income taxes via payroll withholding
  • Immigrants (legal and illegal) are less likely to commit crimes or be on welfare butmore likely to work than similarly situated native-born Americans
So instead of trying to reduce immigration by “securing the border,” “completing the dang fence,” and forcing ALL residents to show work papers and ALL employers to become agents of the federal government, why don’t we just...
 Let (a Lot More of) Them In...
In the new Congress, immigrant-friendly lawmakers in both parties can pass laws “that enjoy bipartisan start fixing the system.... These include a GUEST WORKER PROGRAM for low-skilled workers and DEREGULATION of the high-skilled visa program.”—Shikha Dalmia, in the February 2015 Reason.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Relax Environmental Red Tape?

You gotta have a chuckle listening to these guys justify ignoring responsible environmental planning for their "Smart Growth" projects.  They sound like any other business people crying "unfair" when the rules are difficult for them. 

The earth and the community does not care whether the negative environmental impact is caused by "for profit housing" or "non profit housing" , "smart growth" or "subdivisions".  Irresponsible environmental policy makes us all poorer.

The point of CEQA is to protect the earth. It is not to penalize developers.  We should not have special exemptions for "smart growth developers".   Is there really a difference when protected species die when an affordable housing is built vs for profit housing?

They also reveal the tactic of changing "red tape" as an essential legal strategy to shift the legal burden to the county to avoid legal action by the "pesky NIMBYS" that may have a problem with their development.  So according to them, low income, Smart Growth developers should have special legal protections not available to ordinary citizens or private developers.

In this video they acknowledge that high density infill development DOES CAUSE MORE POLLUTION AND TRAFFIC.   Somehow, they feel they should get a free pass because they are keeping pollution out of areas they didn't develop.

Some logic.

Do we really want these fools bringing pollution and traffic into our community so they can make a quick buck?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Single Mom in Marinwood Speaks Out for Fairness and Common Sense.

What about FAIRNESS for Marinwood-Lucas Valley homeowners?

A Neighbor  from Lucas Valley/Marinwood

I have been following the comments and editorials from our neighborhood forum and the IJ regarding affordable housing. This issue is complicated on many levels. Concerns I am hearing are over lower property values, higher crime rates, more traffic, negative education impact, high rise/high density apartment structures, and who will be our new neighbors. These are all valid concerns of the residents who live in neighborhoods where redevolopment is being proposed. Thankfully, my neighbors are not expressing that they don't want to live near people of color. This is not a race issue, it's a quality of life issue. Yes, everyone has the right to live in a safe neighborhood with good schools, but it's impossible to accommodate everyone.

There are a number of beautiful places I would love to live, but simply can't afford. I moved out of Marin due to the high cost of housing and was only able to move back when the recession hit. With my life savings as a down payment, I could finally afford a tiny condo for me and my son in a peaceful neighborhood with great schools. According to most statistics, I am low income, as are the majority of my neighbors (some on Section 8). The Roundtree neighborhood in which we live is a mix of young families, senior citizens, single moms, etc. There is a wide range of ethnic diversity and income levels among my neighbors. I have good neighbors and some I could do without, as with any place where you share a common wall. This is not my dream house, but it's what I can afford. Looking around my condo complex, this is affordable housing. It's not pretty, we have our share of police activity, we are very close to the freeway, and we have a high rental turn over rate. Had I know there was a plan for urban sprawl (Plan Bay Area) in Marin, I would have thought otherwise about moving back to this beautiful county that I love.

I keep thinking to myself, there has to be a better way for the county to implement affordable housing without making it such a big deal. How could Marin accomodate the working class with housing that is not built next to a freeway? (I have lived near high traffic areas and it's not pleasant.) Could existing, privately owned apartment complexes be offered funds through the state to offer cheaper rent? Could Marin implement rent control? Could Marin build single family homes below market value so these families could actually own and add to the tax revenue of the county? I am no politician or city planner, and maybe these are silly suggestions; but is there a way to have a civil county meeting where other suitable options are offered by the community? Affordable housing is definitely needed in Marin, yet it needs to work for the existing residents who will pay a high price if this plan fails.

So what's on my mind lately? Should I continue with small remodeling projects on my condo, or should I sell before my neighborhood is transformed into ??? Here is that fear again of the unknown. Does that make me an elitist, a racist, or a white entitled person? No, just a concerned mother who works hard and wants the best for her child. 

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead

Monday, January 5, 2015

Housing Activist promotes Smart Growth and Plan Bay Area to Google Employees

Here is a slick presentation by a leading Housing Activist group, SPUR.  Egon Terplan makes a persuasive appeal to the employees at Google.  He speaks of high density development in urban settings as the acme of living.  I expect many of these young employees will discover that life is not so grand in a small apartment with young children who need to play.  

A Citizen Marin member makes a cameo appearance at 9:40.   He concludes his message about 40:00 with "solutions".

One of the "solutions" is to create changes to zoning and regulations BEFORE the project stage so citizens will not have a chance to challenge questionable development with concerns about traffic, parking, impacts on schools, tax burden on the community, etc.  He views all of us as NIMBYS and anti-growth and dismisses our concerns as superfluous .  He also suggests that local government should be replaced with appointed regional authorities like ABAG, MTC, and others.

In my experience, most members of Citizen Marin support thoughtful growth and local democracy as opposed to the rapid high density growth advocated by SPUR.  

Clearly they are worried about the growing unrest as people learn of Plan Bay Area.  Palo Alto successfully defeated a monster development in a residential area and elected council people who will represent local interests.

Comments from a Viewer:

Implementation of Sustainable Development: don't give away your political power

*Affordable housing (below market rate) as 30% of income all income levels in high density stack and pack, no one owns property nor will they have the chance to own property nor will they have equity in their house from which to borrow on to start a business. Breaks the free market for housing. Government assignment of housing through public private partnerships of tax exempt housing organizations. Small space limits your ability to own stuff, have children and organize politically.

Federal housing plans encroach on States rights and rights of we the people to make our own decisions. If the government decided you're a problem, they can reassign you to another house and maybe another job.
Housing would be affordable if government policy did not take land off the market. PDA's of Plan Bay Area limit growth to high density.

Government regulation makes building more expensive. Regional housing needs are associated with "policy based" population projections. Who is making the policy?

*TOD/Active transportation: walk, bike, mass transit: carbon cap and trade gas tax, regional road pricing, vehicle miles traveled, automated collection of fees via fastrak for highways and bridges amounts to public surveillance. Tax payer to rate payer. Limits your mobility and distance as well as takes more of your time. Congestion robs you of minutes, "active transportation" robs you of hours and days. GAO report states goal is to reduce miles traveled not help people get to where they want to go. 

*Governance: regionalism is about breaking jurisdictional boundaries and bypassing the democratic process. No one in regional government is elected to that regional government board that they sit on. The MTC board includes State and Federal agency staff. MTC is an MPO (metropolitan planning organization) a federal register construct to funnel federal transportation funds to regions not state's to implement sustainable development.
*Public participation is a governance mechanism to give the public a chance to speak while taking their real legal political power away from them. This process is about manipulation of the public and shows a profound lack of respect for both our government process and the rights of the public to self govern.

*Stakeholders/public private partnerships are about special interests corrupting our government denying people the equal justice under the law that is our founding tradition.

*Our city > County > State > federal government jurisdictions become local > regional > global governance non-jurisdictions.

No jurisdiction means we the people have no legal political power. If we the people don't have the legal political power, then who does and to what end?

Our government is being expanded, boundaries dissolved, replaced, infiltrated, overlain, bypassed and sliced and diced in so many ways, it looks like a divide and conquer strategy to me. If we are to maintain any semblance of a government of the people, by the people and for the people we need to separate/consolidate/limit government and return to the three branch government structures and systems that are constitutional, representative and democratic and leave the rest to society to figure out.

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -Frederick Douglass

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Housing — or “safe deposit boxes in the sky?”

Housing — or “safe deposit boxes in the sky?”

By Tim Redmond
DECEMBER 29, 2014 – In the earlier days of San Francisco urban environmental movement, we talked about the “Manhattanization” of the city – the threat that highrise buildings would turn SF into a another version of New York – except without the subways or the city income tax or the rest of the financial and public infrastructure needed to handle that much density.

Now, of course, the official line in some of the environmental world is all about urban density. There’s some value to that; there’s also some value to realizing that part of the reason we have a housing crisis is that we’ve built too much office space and attracted more jobs than we can handle with the existing housing. Part of what’s now known as the slow-growth movement (it used to be the “anti-highrise movment”) is the concept that the city doesn’t have to, and shouldn’t, accommodate every single office developer who wants to build a project here.

But now there’s a different type of “Manhattanization” happening – and you can see the outlines in this fascinating Bill Moyers report.

Moyers talks about the gap between the rich and the poor in American cities. He also talks about how real-estate developers use political clout to get their way. He complains about new towers for the richest of the rich blocking the sunshine in Central Park (at least San Francisco has laws protecting our parks).

But the main point of his piece, I think, is how much of the new housing is being bought up by people who don’t live in the units, don’t rent them out, and just see them as “safe deposit boxes in the sky” – places to park extra cash. Places that only get visited a few times a year.

We’re seeing that new kind of Manhattanization in San Francisco. And while Mayor Ed Lee says he’s open to doing something about vacant units, what he’s not doing, and what sounds like heresy these days, is to talk about whether we should allow these buildings to go up in the first place.

Why take scarce urban real estate and turn it into empty boxes of part-time pieds a terre for the ultra-wealthy? Mike Bloomberg talked about how billionaires were good for New York – but as Moyers points out, they aren’t much good for anyone if they don’t actually live in the city and pay taxes.

The San Francisco City Planning Department has its own video, which promises that 50 percent of the 30,000 new housing units the mayor wants to build will be accessible to the middle class. I don’t see how that’s possible with the current market conditions – if we are relying on the private developers to provide most of that housing.

We’re all proud of the $15 an hour minimum wage that’s coming to San Francisco – but it takes more than four times that amount to afford a new market-rate apartment in the city. So the minimum wage, valuable as it is, can’t be even remotely seen as an answer to the housing crisis.

And so far, we aren’t doing so well on the mayor’s goal. According to the city’s own dashboard, 3,980 units were completed by October, 2104, and 968 were affordable. That’s 24 percent affordable – and it means that 76 percent of all new housing is high-end condos and apartments, some of it available only to the wealthiest people in the world, who don’t even live here.

Happy new year.

Take Back the Word “Liberal”

Take Back the Word “Liberal”

A resolution for 2015


For 2015, I would like to pick up an old campaign to take back the word “liberal” for the cause of human liberty. Or perhaps that’s too ambitious. Perhaps it is enough for each of us to do our part not to keep conceding the use of this glorious word to the enemies of liberty. It does not belong to them. It belongs to us.

This is not a tedious argument over definitions; this is about the proper identification of a magnificent intellectual tradition. Liberalism is about human liberty and its gradual progress over the last 500 years. It is not about state control. In the coming year, I’m determined to at least make my own language reflect this reality.

Yes, I know this is an old campaign. It was a cause pushed by F.A. Hayek, Leonard Read, Frank Chodorov, John T. Flynn, Milton Friedman, and countless others.

My favorite case is Ludwig von Mises. In 1927, he wrote a book called Liberalismus. It was an attempt to recast and update the intellectual foundations of the entire liberal movement. To his knowledge, this had not yet been done.

“The greatness of the period between the Napoleonic Wars and the first World War,” he wrote, “consisted precisely in the fact that the social ideal after the realization of which the most eminent men were striving was free trade in a peaceful world of free nations. It was an age of unprecedented improvement in the standard of living for a rapidly increasing population. It was the age of liberalism.”

But by the time the English edition of his book came out in 1962, he worried that the word liberal had been lost. The book appeared under the title The Free and Prosperous Commonwealth. Very soon after, he changed his mind again. He had decided not to give up the great word, not because he was spiteful or belligerent or did not understand that language evolves. He decided that the term could not be given up.

“This usage is imperative,” he wrote in 1966, “because there is simply no other term available to signify the great political and intellectual movement that substituted free enterprise and the market economy for the precapitalistic methods of production; constitutional representative government for the absolutism of kings or oligarchies; and freedom of all individuals from slavery, serfdom, and other forms of bondage.”

Doesn’t that just sum it up beautifully? The core conviction of liberalism was that society contained within itself the capacity for self-management. The social order was self-organized. We didn’t need masters and slaves. Society did not need to be hierarchically organized. Everyone could have equal freedom. This was a radical idea, and it did indeed build the best of modernity as we know it.

Liberalism secured private property. It ended slavery. It brought equal freedom to women. It stopped wars of conquest. It broke down the class and caste systems. It freed speech. It stopped religious persecution. It opened economic opportunities for everyone. It cast moral disapproval on despotisms of all sorts.

It put the consumer in charge of production. It brought education, culture, leisure, and even luxury to the mass of men and women. It lengthened lives, brought down infant mortality, raised incomes, ended plagues and starvation, and ignited the fire of invention that gave humanity the ability to travel, communicate, and cooperate as never before and as one human family. It brought peace.

This is what liberalism did! How can we give up this word? We cannot. We will not.
It is because of liberalism’s great achievements that the term itself became such a prize. We began to lose the word about 100 years ago, when the partisans of state power began to use the excuse of "liberalization" to push their agenda.

Gradually "liberalism" became about using public policy to create opportunities and improve the world, with the best of intentions. The statists' goals were the same as those of liberalism but the means they used to achieve their goals were completely antithetical and even dangerous to liberal ideals.

Matters became especially intense after the economic crash of 1929. Suddenly the market economy itself was on the hot seat and self-described liberals were forced to choose. Mostly they chose wrongly, and mainstream liberalism hooked up with big government and corporate statism. By the end of the New Deal, it was all over. The word had been stolen and came to mean the opposite of the original idea.

In the postwar period, there was a new coinage to describe people who opposed the political agenda of these new fake liberals. That word was “conservative,” which was a highly unfortunate term that literally means nothing other than to preserve, an impulse that breeds reactionary impulses. Within this new thing called conservatism, genuine liberals were supposed to find a home alongside warmongers, prohibitionists, religious authoritarians, and cultural fascists.

It was a bad mix.

All these years later, this new form of liberalism remains intact. It combines cultural snobbery with love of statist means and a devotion to imposing the civic religion at all costs and by any means. And yes, it can be annoying as hell. This is how it came to be that the word liberalism is so often said with a sneer, which you know if you have ever turned on Fox News or Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck. And quite often, the right-wing attacks on liberalism are well deserved. But what does the right offer as an alternative? Not liberation but a new type of party control.

Given all these confusions, why not make another attempt to take back the word liberalism? Again, this is not an argument over the definition of a word. It is an argument about the proper means to build a great society. Is the goal of political life to maximize the degree of freedom that lives in the world, or is it to further tighten the realm of control and centrally plan our economic and cultural lives? This is the critical question.
The other advantage to using the word liberalism properly is that it provides an opportunity to bring up names like Thomas Jefferson, Adam Smith, Frédéric Bastiat, Lysander Spooner, Benjamin Tucker, Albert Jay Nock, Rose Wilder Lane, plus the more modern tradition with Rand, Mises, Rothbard, and Hayek, plus the tens of thousands of people who long for liberty today in academia, business, punditry, and public life generally. Just using the old term in its proper way provides an opportunity for enlightenment.

It’s true that liberalism of the old school had its problems. I have my own issues with the positions of the old liberals, and they include a general naïveté over democracy, too great a tolerance for the mythical “night-watchman state,” and some latent affection for colonialism.

The more important point is that genuine liberalism has continued to learn and grow and now finds a more consistent embodiment in what is often but awkwardly called libertarianism or market anarchism, both of which are rightly considered an extension of the old liberal intellectual project.

Still, even libertarians and anarcho-capitalists need to reattach themselves to the old word, otherwise their self-identifications become deracinated neologisms with no historical or broader meaning. Any intellectual project that is detached from history is finally doomed to become an idiosyncratic sect.

Let’s just say what is true. Real liberalism lives. More than ever. It only needs to be named. It’s something we can all do.

If you agree, there is a statement you can sign at

This post originally appeared at