Overdue update

[Note 2/24/04: Zhubin starts off a discussion on Bush's support of a Constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage and the future of the libertarian-conservative alliance in the comment section.]

OK, I’ve been getting some complaints about the lack of updates. Sorry about that, but it’s been an exceptionally busy week. Sleep has been at a minimum and work at a maximum, a situation only exacerbated by the onset of Aerobie-friendly weather.

Several weeks into classes things are still going well, though I’m having to devote much more time to them than I’d expected. French has been by far the most difficult. The last time I took French was my sophomore year, so my class is full of freshmen who are much better at it than I am. I’m catching up, however. In doing my last assignment I learned that the French word for porcupine is porc-Úpic — literally, spiked pig. Interesting.

My most enjoyable course has been Philosophy and Literature. Maybe that’s because all we’ve done is read things our professor likes and talk about them. He has good taste, though. This class has turned me on to a writer I’d never heard of till now named Peter Taylor. Most of his stories are set in the South, especially Nashville and Memphis, and they are saturated with both ambiguity and keen observation. I’ve never read anything quite like them before, and I enjoy them very much.

I plan on updating more soon. In the meantime, read about the adventures of Cato’s Tom Palmer on the ground in Baghdad. He goes armed with 500 copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and recounts events on his recently improved weblog.

Comments

  1. Zhubin says:

    So what does the libertarian philosopher think about Bush’s statement today supporting a constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriages? How, one wonders, does he reconcile his enthusiastic support for the deregulation of the free market, which his president endorses, with his disgust for government intrusion on that most private of social liberties, which his president wholeheartedly supports?

    Since I consider you the bellwhether for the libertarian demographic, I’m interested to see if this is pushing you far enough from Bush that you find yourself in Democratic territory, or just enough so that you don’t show up to the voting booth at all.

  2. Jacob Grier says:

    Damn, does it mean that I don’t check the news enough during the day that I found out about this via a comment on my own weblog? For what it’s worth, I didn’t vote for Bush the first time around (I voted for Harry Browne), and it’s near inconceivable that I will do so in ’04.

    I don’t know what my friends at Cato would think about me being the bellwether for the libertarian demographic, but there are a lot of libertarians infuriated by Bush. It’s not just he wants to intrude into personal life, but that he doesn’t even live by the free market principles he professes. What’s left to like about him? Unless he decides to make something like Social Security privatization a big part of his campaign, most of the libertarians will be glad to see him leave (and then we can start hating his successor).

    See my friend Justin Logan’s list of 10 reasons to vote against Bush to see why libertarians are so fed up with the guy:
    http://justinlogan.typepad.com/justinlogancom/2004/02/top_ten_reasons.html

    I was having a conversation with a libertarian intellectual this weekend about the libertarian-conservative alliance. We agreed that it grew out of the Cold War, and that now that that’s over there are fewer and fewer reasons to ally ourselves with the right. The libertarian-conservative relationship is fragile at best right now.

    On the gay marriage issue, I think the best solution is to just get government out of the marriage business altogether. I support same-sex marriage as a second best alternative, albeit one that has a chance of happening. What infuriates me more than anything on this issue is some conservatives’ willingness to amend the Constitution to settle it now. A Defense of Marriage Amendment would enshrine today’s contingent biases, just as the 3/5ths Clause or the Prohibition Amendment recalls shameful mistakes of the past. This is not an issue that belongs in the Constitution. Conservatives should know better and should show more respect for the document.

    I don’t approve of all the tactics used by some gay rights activists, such as the current situation in San Francisco, but conservatives need to face the fact that they’re eventually going to lose on this issue. As far as I’m concerned, it’s time they bend over, take it, and get back to liberating the economy.

  3. Zhubin says:

    I was actually going to mention this in the first comment, too, so I’m glad you got to it: Besides the legal and historical problems that would arise from a DOMA amendment, I know we can’t be the only two who have an aesthetic problem with having “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude” and the like suddenly placed right alongside “Queers can’t marry.”

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