Ago 09

Standing for your rights

In the long history of the world, very few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its maximum hour of danger. This is that moment and you are that generation! Now is the time to defend our freedoms. Judge Adrew Napolitano

Feb 07

Relato desde un tribunal egipcio

Se los paso como me vino, sin editar para no perderle el “sabor”; este es un reporte del ambiente en el tribunal durante el juicio contra Kareem:

it was so sad yesterday when we were there in the court .. i was shocked after the sentence of the judge though we were expecting from 3 to 9 years …the judge just said the decision and disappear in seconds …..i even coudnt see Kareem face ….but the other blogger who could said that he was searching in faces …want to reassured by the familiar faces he knows there was a mass of news agencies and channels and some were there just to be the first to get the more exciting stories ..which i didnt like at all they were looking for bearded man and then for any blogger to talk …. and waht was more shockin was the Egyptians reactions very simple egyptians dont know even what is the case …..and a lot of them make a more cruel sentence than the judge ” we should kill him” they said “he insult the prophet” they continue …..i just wanted to shout in their faces “if the prophet was alive he wouldnt do that and islam is not what you want to do to Kareem” ….it was sad ….kareem father and brothers didnt come and there were a rumors that the authority ordered them not to be present in the court ….at the end kareem is a victim of Mubarak regime , that Dictatorship regime that want to send a message warning for all of us the Egyptian bloggers and all of Egyptians that defends freedom and freedom of expression i think yesterday was the darkest day for the freedom in Egypt ….but as a blogger and as an Egyptian i will not stop to say what i think and i will not stop to criticize Mubarak and his regime and i will not stop to reveal all human rights violation in Egypt Shahinaz Abdel Salaman Egyptian Bloggerhttp://wa7damasrya.blogspot.com

Gracias a Constantino por enviar esta info.

Dic 06

Cuando se muera Castro

Cuando se muera Fidel Castro, los socialistas y sus amigos ¿armarán escándalos por los más de 9,000 cadáveres que él dejó atrás? (Sin contar a los miles que han muerto al tratar de escapar de su isla prisión.) Esos escándalos, ¿será iguales a los que han hecho por los 3,000 muertos que se le atribuyen a Augusto Pinochet?
Claro que un sólo asesinado es un muerto de más; pero uno quisiera ver esa clase de consistencia, ¿o no?
Esta foto, c. 1978, me la envio Pinochet cuando yo coleccionaba fotografías autografiadas de jefes de estado y jefes de gobierno. Y como yo si soy consistente, también tengo una del dictador socialista Nicolae Ceaucescu. Hasta tengo una de Jimmy Carter (¡Yuck!)
He aquí el mejor obituario de Pinochet que he leído. Su autor es George Reisman, autor de Capitalism, A Treatise on Economics, www.capitalism.net:

On Sunday, December 10, General Augusto Pinochet of Chile died, at the age of 91. General Pinochet deserves to be remembered for having rescued his country from becoming the second Soviet satellite in the Western hemisphere, after Castro’s Cuba, and, like the Soviet Union, and Cuba under Castro, a totalitarian dictatorship.
The General is denounced again and again for the death or disappearance of over 3,000 Chilean citizens and the alleged torture of thousands more. It may well be that some substantial number of innocent Chilean citizens did die or disappear or otherwise suffered brutal treatment as the result of his actions. But in a struggle to avoid the establishment of a Communist dictatorship, it is undoubtedly true that many or most of those who died or suffered were preparing to inflict a far greater number of deaths and a vastly larger scale of suffering on their fellow citizens.
Their deaths and suffering should certainly not be mourned, any more than the deaths of Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler, and their helpers should be mourned. Had there been a General Pinochet in Russia in 1918 or Germany in 1933, the people of those countries and of the rest of the world would have been incomparably better off, precisely by virtue of the death, disappearance, and attendant suffering of vast numbers of Communists and Nazis. Life and liberty are positively helped by the death and disappearance of such mortal enemies. Their absence from the scene means the absence of such things as concentration camps, and is thus ardently to be desired.
As for the innocent victims in Chile, their fate should overwhelmingly be laid at the door of the Communist plotters of totalitarian dictatorship.
People have an absolute right to rise up and defend their lives, liberty, and property against a Communist takeover. In the process, they cannot be expected to make the distinctions present in a judicial process. They must act quickly and decisively to remove what threatens them. That is the nature of war. The fate of innocent bystanders, largely those who cannot be readily distinguished from the enemy, is the responsibility of the Communists. Had they not attempted to impose their totalitarian dictatorship, there would not have been any need to use force and violence to prevent them, and thus the innocent would not have suffered.
Contrary to the attitude of so many of today’s intellectuals, Communists do not have a right to murder tens of millions of innocent people and then to complain when their intended victims prevent their takeover and in the process kill some of them.
General Pinochet was undoubtedly no angel. No soldier can be. But he certainly was also no devil. In fact, if any comparison applies, it may well be one drawn from antiquity, namely, that of Cincinnatus, who saved the Roman Republic by temporarily becoming its dictator. Like Cincinnatus, General Pinochet voluntarily relinquished his dictatorship. He did so after both preventing a Communist takeover and imposing major pro-free-market reforms, inspired largely by Milton Friedman (who in large part was himself inspired by Ludwig von Mises). The effect of these reforms was to make Chile’s the most prosperous and rapidly progressing economy in Latin America, Thereafter, in the words of his New York Times’—largely hostile—obituary, he used his remaining power to “set limits, for example, on economic policy debates with frequent warnings that he would not tolerate a return to statist measures.”
General Pinochet was thus one of the most extraordinary dictators in history, a dictator who stood for major limits on the power of the state, who imposed such limits, and who sought to maintain such limits after voluntarily giving up his dictatorship.
When General Pinochet stepped down, he did so with a guarantee of immunity from prosecution for his actions while in power. However, the present and previous regime in Chile violated this agreement and sought to ensnare the General in a web of legal actions and law suits, making the last years of his life a period of turmoil. This was a clear violation of contract, comparable to the seizure of property in violation of contract. Not surprisingly the regimes in question were avowedly socialist. As a result of their breach, it is now considerably less likely that the world will soon see any other dictator voluntarily relinquish his power. The Chilean socialists will have taught him that to be secure, he must remain in power until he dies.
Dictatorship, like war, is always an evil. Like war, it can be justified only when it is necessary to prevent a far greater evil, namely, as in this case, the imposition of the far more comprehensive and severe, permanent totalitarian dictatorship of the Communists.
Despite the fact that General Pinochet was able to use his powers as dictator to enact major pro-free-market reforms, dictatorship should never be seen as justified merely as a means of instituting such reforms, however necessary and desirable they may be. Dictatorship is the most dangerous of political institutions and easily produces catastrophic results. This is because a dictator is not restrained by any need for public discussion and debate and thus can easily leap headlong into disasters that would have been avoided had there been the freedom to criticize his proposed actions and to oppose them. And even when his policies may be right, the fact that they are imposed in defiance of public opinion operates greatly to add to their unpopularity and thus to make permanent change all the more difficult.
On the basis of such considerations, when asked many years ago what he would do if he were appointed dictator, von Mises replied, “I would resign.”

This article is copyright © 2006, by George Reisman. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce and distribute it electronically and in print, other than as part of a book and provided that mention of the author’s web site www.capitalism.net is included. (Email notification is requested.) All other rights reserved. George Reisman is the author of Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics (Ottawa, Illinois: Jameson Books, 1996) and is Pepperdine University Professor Emeritus of Economics.

Nov 06

Ayude a liberar a Abdelkareem Nabil Soliman

Your help is needed to free a jailed Egyptian blogger. Please sign the petition. It takes just a couple of minutes and it will surely help a defender of Freedom and individual rights who has participated in programs at the Cato Institute and their Arabic liberal project. Abdelkareem Nabil Soliman is living a nightmare most of us can’t imagine.

Oct 06


1. El cuestionario político más pequeño del mundo está localizado en Advocates for Self-government.

No sólo es divertido, sino que lo ayuda a uno a poner sus ideas en perspectiva; y es un instrumento muy útil para no dejarse engañar cuando, en espacio como este y generalmente por ignorancia, se pretende hacer ver como que los libertarios podríamos estar a favor de la protección para las empresas, de la guerra contra las drogas, o de la moralina sobre el sexo. Haga usted el quiz respondiendo que está de acuerdo con ese tipo de cosas y verá en dónde se ubican quienes favorecen políticas como esas.

El quiz se divide en dos: una parte personal y otra económica. En cada uno de los planteamientos, el que hace el cuestionario debe contestar si está de acuerdo, si depende, o si está en desacuerdo.

En la parte personal, los planteamientos son: 1) El gobierno no debe censurar la libertad de expresión, la prensa, los medios de comunicación, o la Internet; 2) El servicio militar debe ser voluntario, y no debe haber leva; 3) No debe haber leyes concernientes a las relaciones sexuales voluntarias entre adultos; 4) Hay que rechazar las leyes que prohíben la posesión y el uso de drogas entre adultos; y 5) No debe haber una tarjeta de identificación única y nacional.

Cuando contesté el cuestionario, respondí que estaba de acuerdo con todas.

En la parte económica, los planteamientos son: 1) Hay que ponerle fin al estado benefactor para las corporaciones, deben finalizar los privilegios económicos para las empresas; 2) Hay que acabar con las barreras del gobierno para el comercio internacional libre; 3) Hay que dejar que las personas controlen sus propios sistemas para el retiro, hay que privatizar la seguridad social; 4) Hay que remplazar el estado benefactor para las personas por la caridad privada; y 5) Hay que cortar los gastos del gobierno y los impuestos por lo menos en un 50%.

Ya que en esta parte también estuve de acuerdo con todo, el quiz me calificó como un libertario. Pero hay otras opciones. Si yo hubiera contestado diferente hubiera sido calificado como un estatista, como un liberal de izquierda, como un conservador de derecha, o como un centrista. Si quiere saber dónde se ubica usted en el pensamiento y en la práctica, le sugiero que haga el cuestionario.

Para los avanzados, y los curiosos, hay cuestionarios más completos y detallados. Uno de ellos es el de Politopia , que es particularmente interesante porque le permite a uno comparar su pensamiento político-económico-filosófico con el de sus amigos.

Otro de los cuestionarios más completos es el Mises Quiz, enfocado en la Escuela Austriaca de Economía; y aunque se centra en la ciencia económica y pudiera parecer que uno tendría que tener conocimientos de aquella, que eso no lo espante. Las preguntas están redactadas de forma que cualquiera con una formación promedio puede entenderlas y decidir sobre ellas con base en sus principios, no en sus conocimientos particulares de la economía.

Existen diferencias abismales entre libertarios y socialistas, del mismo modo en que hay diferencias profundas entre libertarios y conservadores (aunque estos últimos tengan algunos principios en común). Pero, ¿cómo podemos distinguirlas?; y ¿cómo podemos identificarlas en nuestro propio pensamiento? Una forma práctica y entretenida es haciendo los cuestionarios que le sugiero arriba. ¡Animo!

2. Mojito: Letreros en el zoológico de La Habana. Antes de 1960: Por favor no les dé de comer a los animales. Entre 1960 y finales de 1989: Por favor no les quite la comida a los animales. Después de 1990: Por favor no se coma a los animales.