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Sunday, 29 November 2020

Book Review — Faith Seeking Freedom: Libertarian Christian Answers to Tough Questions

Filed under: Media, Philosophy, Principles, Reading — Tags: , , — mikewb1971 @ 2:48 PM (14:48)

BOOK REVIEW — Faith Seeking Freedom: Libertarian Christian Answers to Tough Questions

129 pages, by Dr. Norman Horn, Doug Stuart, Kerry Baldwin, and Dick Clark


  • Kerry Baldwin has been a Facebook friend for several years now.
  • I don’t profess to be a Christian of any denomination or sect or whatever. Organized religion and I simply don’t do well together.

With those out of the way . . . .

Faith Seeking Freedom is easy reading, in that the authors don’t try to cram you chock-full of data and information and jargon, such that you would feel overwhelmed by it all.

When the authors cite Biblical content, they put the citation right there in the same paragraph as the point that they’re making, so you don’t have to keep flipping back and forth to the end of the chapter or the end of the book. This is probably for the best where electronic versions are concerned. Also, for those inclined to have a Bible nearby to check on the authors, it’s right there where you can compare and contrast the authors’ points against the Bible verse(s) itself.

The authors don’t attempt to take sides where the big divisions of libertarian thought occur, such as the minarchy vs. anarchy debate, or whether or not to be involved in the LP, with the exception of the abortion issue.


[Page numbers cited here are what listed is on the particular page. The actual pages on the PDF version that I used for this review will be that number, plus 10 pages.]

Chapter 2 (The Libertarian Basics, pp. 23-34) gives the reader a decent summary of the Non-Aggression Principle and how it applies to everyday life.

p. 26, part of the answer to Question #13 (How do libertarian Christians account for people who violate the non-aggression principle (NAP)?) takes on the minarchy vs. anarchy question rather well — the authors explain both sides without explicitly favoring one side or the other. (Disclosure: I personally lean towards the anarcho-capitalist side.)

p.39, Question #25 (Do libertarians believe any and every government is illegitimate?) also tackles the minarchy vs. anarchy adroitly, explaining both sides without favoring one or the other.

pp. 67-68 give a succinct and principled response to the “What about roads?” shibboleth.

OK, enough spoilers.

Do me a favor Do yourself a favor — Go and get a copy and read it for yourself.


Faith Seeking Freedom is an easy-to-read, principled guide for Christians who are seeking to understand libertarianism, on par with Inclined to Liberty by Louis Carabini, The Law by Frederic Bastiat, or Down With Power by L. Neil Smith.

Go get a copy, read it, then tell your friends and family.


  1. Published at The Libertarian Enterprise [TLE] — Number 1,096: 6 December 2020
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Thursday, 8 October 2015

Book Review — Incompetence by Rob Grant

Filed under: Fun, Humor, Reading — Tags: , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 12:05 AM (00:05)

A literary counterpart to Mike Judge’s Idiocracy

Incompetence is a literary counterpart to Mike Judge’s Idiocracy, a movie in which the stupid and clueless end up on top. In Idiocracy, the scene is America. In Incompetence, it’s Europe.

The laughs start on the first page when “Harry Salt’s” misses the airport (“Harry” is the narrating protagonist, and it’s not clear that “Harry” is his real name.) because the pilot forgets where to land (and to lower the landing gear). So he has to catch a cab to Rome, which would have cost him a bundle (if the cabbie had remembered to charge him). Also, gotta love the Italian police captain with anger management issues, who gives one of the best lines of the book while cussing out “Salt” :

“Your first mistake was being born, you dumb punk. Your first mistake was crawling out of the abortion clinic trash can, where your hooker momma left you. . . .”

Then there’s the dinner party which turns into a puke-fest, the living-dead farmer, the car with no ignition switch (and useless operator’s manual), the hotel room with no bed or bathroom, among others.


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Thursday, 18 July 2013

Book Review — SSN, by Tom Clancy and Martin Greenberg

Filed under: Media, Reading — Tags: , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 7:59 PM (19:59)

SSN by Tom Clancy and Martin Greenberg

Berkley mass-market edition – Feburary, 2000, softcover, 351 pages

ISBN 0-495-17353-4

When Tom Clancy takes a direct hand in writing the books with his name on the cover, they’re usually pretty good. When the writing task is handed off to someone else, it’s a crapshoot as to whether you’ll end up with a good read. Luckily, SSN seems to be one of the former.

SSN was based upon a CD-ROM game of the same name[1]. Both the book and game are concerned with the U.S.S. Cheyenne[2], a Los Angeles class nuclear-powered attack submarine of the U.S. Navy, commanded by a Captain Bartholomew “Mack” Mackey, as the Cheyenne goes into combat against the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy, which is the naval branch of the People’s Liberation Army[3].

The Cheyenne starts off by engaging a Han class submarine[4] near Hawaii, but most of the book takes place as the Cheyenne goes up against various subs and surface ships of the PLAN in and around the Spratly Islands, as China wants to establish oil-prospecting operations there.

For what it’s worth, the Spratlys are currently claimed by not only China, but also Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan. Most if not all of these nations are after the oil and natural gas deposits that are suspected to be under the Spratlys[5].

The “interview” (more properly called a “conversation” or “chat”) at the back of the book reveals that the game the book is based upon offers fifteen (15) different situations for the user to undertake, playing the role of “Mack,” and that while completing all of them successfully won’t qualify the user to actually command an attack sub in rela-life combat, they will get a taste of what it’s like. One of the participants, a Captain Doug Littlejohn, CBE (retired) from the British Royal Navy, says that the main liberty taken with the game (and thus the book) was that of time compression – tasks that take hours or days in real life are squeezed into seconds and minutes for the sake of the game, simply to avoid putting the user to sleep.

All in all, it was worth the 2 that I paid for it at the used bookstore.


  1. Tom Clancy’s SSN (CD-ROM game)
  2. U.S.S. Cheyenne (SSN-773)
  3. People’s Liberation Army Navy
  4. Han class submarine
  5. Spratly Islands


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Saturday, 18 August 2012

SF vs. Fantasy (and Horror, too!)

Filed under: Media, Philosophy, Principles, Reading, Viewing — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 2:33 AM (02:33)

Current mood: cynical

Recently I read Tomorrow, the Stars, which was edited by Robert A. Heinlein (at least in part – in the preface, he says that Truman Tailey. Judith Merrill, Frederick Pohl and Walter Bradbury helped out there). In that preface, Heinlein mentions a significant difference between science fiction and fantasy

From page 8 of the Berkeley Medallion Edition (15th printing – June, 1967)

“Science fiction is sometimes miscalled ‘escape literature,’ a mistake arising from a profound misconception of its nature and caused by identifying it with fantasy. Science fiction and fantasy are as different as Karl Marx and Groucho Marx. Fantasy is constructed by either denying the real world in toto or at least making a prime basis of the story one or more admittedly false premise – fairies, talking mules, trips through a looking glass, vampires, seacoast Bohemia, Mickey Mouse.”

In the next few sentences of that same paragraph, Heinlein sets out what distinguishes science fiction from fantasy (and horror, as well). Again, from page 8

“But science fiction, no matter how fantastic its content may seem, always accepts all of the real world and the entire body of human knowledge as the framework for the fictional speculation.”

Back in 2003, I was hanging out at Bubonicon 35 with L. Neil Smith, who summed it up very well

In science fiction, the universe is knowable and people can figure it out.

Thus my conclusion that the books in the genre of sword-and-sorcery fantasy belong together with the horror books, if anywhere, rather than with the science-fiction books.

In my view, fantasy and horror stories are more mature versions of fairy tales and campfire ghost stories.

And why do I often feel as though I’m the only one that sees most of the cast of the typical horror movie as complete idiots, simply begging to be slaughtered at whim by the monster or slasher or demon?

Copyright © 2012 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.

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Saturday, 25 December 2010

Books, Movies and TV Shows

Filed under: Media, Reading, Viewing — Tags: , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 8:59 PM (20:59)

Re: What’s a book, movie or television show you think more people should know about?

Book – The Probability Broach (the complete graphic novel version)

Movie – V for Vendetta (also the book)

TV Show – Babylon 5

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Thursday, 1 January 2009

Thought-Changing Books

Current mood: contemplative

Re: Have you ever read a book that made you change the way you think about certain things? What was it?

Some books that at least made me stop and think a bit —

Hologram of Liberty by “Boston T. Party”

I read Hologram of Liberty in 1998, and it helped me to realize that the United States Constitution isn’t the be-all and end-all of human liberty, and that America probably would have been better off if the 1787 Philadelphia Convention had ended up sticking to revising the Articles of Confederation instead of junking them.

The Probability Broach and The Nagaski Vector by L. Neil Smith

[DISCLAIMER — I’ve hosted El Neil at two LPNM State Conventions and two Bubonicons, and look to him as a mentor and friend.]

I don’t think that I would have read Hologram of Liberty with an open mind if I hadn’t read these books first in 1996, as they set the stage for HoL. What HoL covered in real-world history, The Probability Broach and The Nagaski Vector covered first in a fictional sense. In fact, Royce cites both of these books in HoL as recommended reading.

Just about everything by David Gerrold, in particular the War Against the Chtorr series. Gerrold has a talent for writing stories that are particularly mind-twisting, such as  The Man Who Folded Himself.

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Thursday, 12 October 2006

Choose a band / artist . . .

Filed under: Fun, Life, Quizzes / Surveys — Tags: , — mikewb1971 @ 6:02 PM (18:02)

Current mood: awake

Choose a band/artist and answer only in song TITLES by that band.

My Artists

Iron Maiden

are you male or female: Man on the Edge
describe yourself: The Trooper
how do you feel about yourself: Can I Play With Madness
describe your ex: Caught Somewhere in Time
describe your current bf/gf/crush: The Fallen Angel
describe where you want to be: Running Free


are you male or female: Enter Sandman
describe yourself: Damage, Inc.
how do you feel about yourself: Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
describe your ex: The God That Failed
describe your current bf/gf/crush: Nothing Else Matters
describe where you want to be: Wherever I May Roam


are you male or female: Left Hand Man
describe yourself: Soulitude
how do you feel about yourself: Can’t Kill a Dead Man
describe your ex: Use Your Head
describe your current bf/gf/crush: What I’m Missin’
describe where you want to be: Crystal Clear


are you male or female: Mean Man
describe yourself: I Wanna Be Somebody
how do you feel about yourself: Wild Child
describe your ex: Ballcrusher
describe your current bf/gf/crush: Charisma
describe where you want to be: Running Wild in the Streets

Now for the hard part! [* VBG *]

Choose an author and answer only in book or story titles by that author.

My Author — Robert A. Heinlein

are you male or female: Starman Jones
describe yourself: Starship Trooper
how do you feel about yourself: Stranger in a Strange Land
describe your ex: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
describe your current bf/gf/crush: The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
describe where you want to be: The Rolling Stones


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