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I’d rather have 1,000,000 dollars. Or maybe even 1,000,000 airline miles.

But I suppose it’s worth a brief mention that International Liberty, as of this morning, has received more than 1,000,000 views.

I don’t know if that’s good or bad after two-plus years of blogging, but I’ve mentioned before that I’m encouraged to continue so long as there is a steady increase in the number of readers.

And that seems to be happening. Here’s a screen capture from my administrator page earlier today (click for larger image). In addition to breaking the one-million mark, last month was my first with more than 100,000 views.

I suppose this might be the time for a few additional observations about blogging. I’ve learned that Glenn Reynolds is the Top Dog of the Blogosphere. Nothing generates traffic like an Instapundit link. Indeed, traffic from his site is responsible for 9 of my top 10 posts and 22 percent of my total views. I owe him a steak dinner.

I’m also semi-gratified that International Liberty is at least somewhat international. It wasn’t until the end of last year that I learned to put up a “flag counter,” but in the past 7-plus months the blog has been visited by people from 193 jurisdictions, accounting for about 13 percent of total views.

I figured people from the Anglosphere would be most likely to visit the blog, but I’m surprised India is in 5th place. I also never would have guessed that Greece would be in 13th place and that I’d have more visitors from Portugal (18th place) than Spain (19th place).

I’d like to break the 200 mark, so the folks in places such as North Korea, Greenland, Chad, Niger, Turkmenistan, Pitcairn Island, Vatican City, and American Samoa need to join the parade.

Last but not least, I want to thank those of you who comment, as well as those who share blog posts with others, either via email, Facebook, or Twitter. You have played a role in whatever modest success this blog enjoys.

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I don’t care one way or the other about the gay marriage debate, for the simple reason that I’ve never been convinced it is the job of the state to sanction marriages.

So you won’t be surprised that I find Steve Chapman’s column about de facto polygamy rather persuasive.

When it comes to sexual relationships and cohabitation among consenting adults, Utah takes a permissive approach. If a guy wants to shack up with a lady, that’s fine. If he wants to shack up with several, no problem. He can father children by different roommates, with no fear of the law. But if he marries one woman and represents three others as his “spiritual wives,” like Kody Brown? Then he’s committed a felony. Not because of the stuff that goes on behind closed doors. It’s the public act of claiming to be part of a lifelong “plural marriage” that raises the specter of jail. …So Brown went to court claiming that his constitutional rights have been violated in various ways. Though it may come as a surprise to hear, he’s got a perfectly reasonable argument. Brown and his lawyer, George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley, don’t say the state must sanction such arrangements in law. Nor did Brown try to get multiple marriage licenses, in defiance of the state ban on polygamy. His case is about freedom, not state recognition. Unlike gay couples who say they should be allowed to legally wed, Brown isn’t asking the state to officially accommodate his chosen form of matrimony. He’s just asking to be let the hell alone. Other people, after all, are exempt from such control. Turley says Brown and his women “would not be prosecuted if they claimed no religious obligation and merely had casual or purely sexual associations.” He notes, “Monogamists are allowed an infinite number of sexual partners, and consequently have the right to bear children with multiple partners, so long as they do not claim to be committed to such partners in a union or family.” The law doesn’t prevent any man from living with several women, having sex with them and siring their offspring. This behavior is a problem only when a man claims to be permanently wedded to the women — only, that is, when he behaves more responsibly than a tomcat. …If Brown wants to live with five women and call them his girlfriends, his shorties, his harem, the Seattle Storm or the 101st Airborne, it is of no earthly concern to the rest of us. And if he wants to call them his wives, the state of Utah should say, “Knock yourself out, dude.” That, or nothing.

I will admit that I don’t like the idea of children being born into that situation, but I’m also not happy about children being born to single mothers. What really matters, though, is that I certainly wouldn’t want the government to interfere in such matters, absent real proof of abuse.

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I’ve already pointed out the two nicest things ever said about me. One was intentionally flattering, as Dick Armey mentioned in his book that I was one of the few people to take a principled stand against the TARP bailout back in 2008. The other was meant to be negative, as a left-wing English journalist said that I was “a high priest of light tax, small state libertarianism.” But I thought it was a wonderful endorsement.

Now the time has come for me to confess the nastiest things ever said about me. But I’m not thinking of the people who occasionally rip me in the comments section of this blog or attack me in the comments section of my videos.

Instead, I think it’s terrible when people say things that imply I might be getting soft and selling out.

This happens a lot in Washington, so much that free-market supporters call it the “strange new respect” award – a term that became infamous in certain circles after the Washington Post used it to applaud former Senator Bob Dole for acquiescing to the left on some issue.

Simply stated, if some statist person or institution is saying nice things about you, that probably means you’re doing something very bad. With that bit of background, here are the two awful things that were written about me.

o Albert Hunt used to write a weekly column for the Wall Street Journal, and was also a regular on CNN’s Capital Gang.  He was a scion of establishment left-wing thinking, so I was horrified in 1994 when he wrote that I was a “responsible economic expert on the right.” After all, left wingers usually say people like me are “responsible” if we are willing to roll over and surrender.

o More recently, Nicholas Shaxson just wrote an anti-tax haven book called Treasure Islands. In one of the chapters, he wrote that I was one of the “noisiest and most active defenders” of low-tax jurisdictions. That was fine, but then he cold-cocked me by writing that I was “a man of striking warmth and great personal charm.” It goes without saying that this means I wasn’t vigorous enough in my defense of liberty during our meetings.

I don’t know if there’s a three-strikes-and-your-out policy, but I will work diligently to make sure I don’t receive any more praise from the wrong people.

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It was wonderful to wake up this morning in Austria and learn that Osama bin Laden is dead.

I’m proud of America’s special forces for their courage and ability. And I tip my hat to the Obama Administration for nailing OBL rather than capturing him (at least I hope that was the plan). Apparently the CIA Director got to watch live from Langley and see the loathsome maggot meet his long-overdue fate. Very cool.

Time for some old-fashioned patriotism.

And here’s one of the most touching renditions of America’s national anthem I’ve ever seen, performed at Buckingham Palace after 9-11.

Let’s enjoy this moment.

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I would not be a very good juror, particularly if a judge expected me to suspend my moral judgments and narrowly follow the law. And I say this even though I realize that a good legal system should be based on that principle.

I’ve cited some tough cases in previous posts, dealing with thorny topics such as brutal tax collection stories, Sharia law, healthcareincest, and vigilante justice.

Our latest you-be-the-judge story comes from Massachusetts, where a 57-year old man in a wheelchair is in legal trouble for slugging a 27-year old guy with a baseball bat because of allegations that he molested a little girl. Here are excerpts from a story in the Daily Mail.

A wheelchair-bound paraplegic grandfather could face up to 10 years in jail after using a baseball bat to hit a man he suspected of molesting his three-year-old granddaughter. Frank Hebert, 57, has been hit with a felony assault charge over the incident involving 27-year-old Joshua Hardy. …Computer salesman Mr Hebert said: ‘I’m not a hero, that’s for sure. I’d do it again tomorrow, knowing the consequence. …Mr Hebert, who was left confined to a wheelchair with only partial use of his arms after a car crash in Falmouth a decade ago, was summonsed to Edgartown District Court on March 25 and charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. …Mr Hebert claims it was over Christmas that the child began asking her grandparents to protect her. He said that on February 22 his partner took her daughter and granddaughter, who were visiting, back to the mainland to talk to police, while he lured Hardy to his Mac PC Sales and Service shop in Vineyard Haven. According to the Boston Herald, Mr Hebert said ‘fear’ prompted him to bring a baseball bat and to call state police to back him up. Mr Hebert said he pointed the bat at Hardy and ordered him to stay seated until police arrived. He said he used the bat after Hardy stood up and laughed at him.

If the government insists on bringing this case to trial, how would you vote?

I almost certainly would practice jury nullification and vote “not guilty.” To be sure, I say this with some hesitation because we don’t know for sure if the guy who got slugged, Mr. Hardy, actually did molest the child. And we also don’t know whether he was seriously injured or just bruised. It might also affect my decision if I found out that Mr. Herbert hit Hardy one time or twenty times.

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Some of these numbers are a bit dodgy, and some of the assumptions are pathetically flawed (more spending by government leads to less poverty being a clear example of faulty thinking), but this comparison of big numbers is very interesting.

I now know, for instance, that the net worth of Bill Gates is supposedly equal to the annual earnings of the porn industry. Maybe that will help me win a game of Trivial Pursuit some day.

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The world is filled with evil governments run by evil people who do evil things to innocent people. Libya is a stark example of this tragic reality. But that does not necessarily mean it is the responsibility of the United States government to intervene in Libyan affairs – particularly if there is no clear mission or implication for U.S. national security.

George Will opines on this issue today, asking more than a dozen probing questions about the wisdom of another nation-building experiment in the Muslim world. This excerpt has a handful of the questions that I think are most important. I’m especially concerned that the U.S. government might intervene after asking permission from the kleptocrats at the United Nations – thus doing the wrong thing in the worst possible way.

Today, some Washington voices are calling for U.S. force to be applied, somehow, on behalf of the people trying to overthrow Moammar Gaddafi. Some interventionists are Republicans, whose skepticism about government’s abilities to achieve intended effects ends at the water’s edge. All interventionists should answer some questions:

The world would be better without Gaddafi. But is that a vital U.S. national interest? If it is, when did it become so? A month ago, no one thought it was.

Before we intervene in Libya, do we ask the United Nations for permission? If it is refused, do we proceed anyway? If so, why ask? If we are refused permission and recede from intervention, have we not made U.S. foreign policy hostage to a hostile institution?

Would it be wise for U.S. military force to be engaged simultaneously in three Muslim nations?

I’m surely not an expert on these issues, but my aversion to nation building does not mean I’m opposed to slapping around people who attack the United States. If the President happened to drop a cruise missile on Gaddafi and said it was a delayed response for the Pan Am Lockerbie bombing, I wouldn’t lose a second of sleep.

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