Liberals Discover Their Inner Dick Cheney

Four years later, they have decided he was right all along.

To liberal Americans during the Bush years, Vice President Dick Cheney was the apotheosis of evil in the modern world. Four years later, they have decided he was right all along.

In the Bush years they detested Cheney because he prosecuted the war on terror with unapologetic zeal. After 9/11, it was Cheney who said preventing further attacks would require America to go over to “the dark side.” It was Cheney who said waterboarding—“a dunk in the water,” as he called it—was “a no-brainer.”

In fact, Cheney went so far as to say such methods were not only morally permissible, they were in fact morally required: “I think it would have been unethical or immoral for us not to do everything we could in order to protect the nation against further attacks,” he said. After leaving office, he told CBS the use of harsh interrogation techniques saved “perhaps hundreds of thousands” of lives.

And therein was Cheney’s ethical rationale: Individual rights and constitutional rules might be important, but saving lives was more important by far. As David Addison, Cheney’s chief of staff, once insisted when the Office of Legal Counsel was threatening to withhold approval of one counterterrorism program: “If you rule that way, the blood of the hundred thousand people who die in the next attack will be on your hands.”

To liberals, this was absolute hogwash. The threat of a terrorist attack—even one as horrific as 9/11—did not justify the manifold constitutional affronts, from warrantless wiretapping to demanding library patrons’ records under the Patriot Act, that the Bush administration was committing. Yes, saving lives was important—but not at the expense of civil liberties and constitutional law.

All of that, however, was before Aurora.

Since James Holmes murdered 12 people and wounded 58 more in a Colorado movie theater two weeks ago, liberal America has been screaming from the rooftops for more gun control—and insulting anyone who thinks differently.

The failure to pass more gun-control laws, says The New York Times, proves "politicians are far too fearful of the gun lobby to address gun violence." The Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne agrees, calling that failure evidence of “eternal gutlessness.” To the New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik, support for gun rights is "a belief so irrational that even death and destruction cannot alter it." (So, hey, no need to debate the merits—Those People are all crazy!)

Gopnik’s take neatly encapsulates the liberal mindset: Massacres make the need for more gun control so obvious there is nothing left to debate. Since the solution is so plainly beyond dispute, the failure to implement it can be accounted for only by something else, such as cowardice or derangement.

Gun-rights defenders have responded mostly on pragmatic grounds, by insisting gun control doesn’t work, or that mass killers can be stopped by shooting back. But there is a strong moral argument against gun control—which mirrors the liberal case against waterboarding, warrantless wiretapping, and other Bush-era counterterrorism tactics.

Sixty million Americans own firearms, and almost none of them ever will fire a shot in anger. The premise behind gun control, then, is that millions of law-abiding Americans should have their rights and liberties circumscribed in order to prevent a minuscule fraction—something like three one-hundredths of 1 percent of them—from abusing those rights.

Imagine the uproar for a moment if you applied this to, say, Muslim-Americans. Imagine saying, “We know most of you will never commit a terrorist act, but we also know some of you might do so in the future, so we’re going to ask every one of you to register with your local police department.” Americans, quite rightfully, would erupt in furious outrage at such a proposal. Why, then, do liberals embrace it for gun owners?

Answer: Because—just like conservatives who favor profiling—they consider some rights important and others not.

When the Supreme Court upheld the habeas corpus rights of alleged enemy combatants in Boumediene v. Bush, The New York Times lavished praise on its “stirring defense” of “human decency” and a “cherished right . . . so central to the American legal system that it has its own clause in the Constitution.” Two years later, when the court upheld an individual right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment (another “clause in the Constitution,” you might say) The Times struck a far different tone. Citing the thousands of lives lost to gun violence, it wrote: “The arguments that led to Monday’s decision undermining Chicago’s [handgun ban] were infuriatingly abstract, but the results will be all too real and bloody.”

Dick Cheney might have said precisely the same thing about the court’s rulings on the rights of terrorist detainees. In fact, he did. As he put it in an interview: “How does one argue with someone convinced that the routine massacre of our children is the price we must pay for our freedom?”

Oops, sorry—that was The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik, writing about those who support gun rights. But you can see how easy it is to get the two confused, can’t you?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    It's not surprising. Look at Tony; he'll tell you all day long that rights are just gifts from the government--and the government can take them back--and human beings are just fungible resources for the State to use as it sees fit.

    It's a rather odd doctrine coming from folks who call themselves "humanists", but I guess that's just the "pragmatism" talking.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Except for the right to have sex with men!

  • John||

    And get an abortion. IN prog world losing all of your rights is just great provided you can be sodomized in peace and get free birth control pills and abortions.

  • Hyperion||

    That about sums up the proglodyte bill of rights.

  • ||

    IN prog world losing all of your rights is just great provided you can be sodomized in peace and get free birth control pills and abortions.

    But don't you dare decide to use formula to feed any children you choose not to abort!

  • Grenator Bole||

    Now that was funny.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    I know. I'm not sure how he gets there since he loudly rejects natural rights.

    I wonder what he says to pro-abortion women who say "my body-my choice!" since he also rejects self-ownership.

  • ||

    Since he's a sockpuppet, what he says doesn't really matter at all. Everything he says is specifically designed to wind you up, and it appears it works.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    I think it matters to the extent that there are real people who believe as "he" does. That's why the article was written in the first place.

    I don't so much think of him as a "sockpuppet" but rather as a tackling dummy.

  • Hyperion||

    human beings are just fungible resources for the State to use as it sees fit

    biological resource is the term that I have heard used by the Agenda 21 environazis.

  • Sevo||

    Hyperion| 8.1.12 @ 10:55AM |#
    "biological resource"

    (National) Socialists used the term "Stuck" (duuno how to add the umlaut)

  • T o n y||

    Do North Koreans have all the same rights you do? In what way does it make sense to say they do?

    Many of you say the only thing governments should do is protect individual rights. Well, why is that necessary if they're innate? Government can't do anything right, except protect what's essential?

    You agree that governments can violate rights, just like individuals and other entities. So in that way they can "take them back." How is that not true? You can be bound and gagged in a basement, but you still possess the right to free speech and mobility? Aren't we being just a little too platonic at this point?

    Rights were invented by human beings at some point in time. They are not things, they are concepts. They are licenses to do certain things. If you want a right, you need to make sure some entity exists to facilitate your access to it and to prevent others from violating it. That you don't want this to be the case doesn't make it untrue. I simply don't believe in magic.

  • John||

    So you wouldn't be free to take it in the ass if there wasn't a government around to show you how? Sure Tony, whatever you say.

  • T o n y||

    Look, I believe in all the same rights libertarians do, plus a lot more. And this semiliterate frat boy homophobia bullshit is unnecessary. (Why is it the case that the more socially conservative a person is, the more obsessed with anal sex he seems?)

    You're all being willfully obtuse on this subject. There are liberties that exist in a state of nature, sure, but they don't really amount to much if someone can come by and slit your throat with impunity. I just believe in actualized rights, not ones merely declared.

  • John||

    I love anal sex Tony. And I will gladly fight off the barbarian hoards to ensure your right to practice and and other things in peace. The point is that your right to live in peace and pursue your own brand of happiness exists independent of the government. The government may be the means that you use to ensure that other people don't through brute force prevent you from enjoying your rights. But it doesn't create those rights. You have the rights because you are a human being not because some government gave them to you.

  • T o n y||

    No I'm pretty sure I only have a right to be free from, say, cruel and unusual punishment because some guy wrote it down and a democratic polity secured it in the form of a social contract, defended with a complex system of checks and balances, courts, and police guns.

    Humans are born with the ability to swallow and cry. There is no rights organ or gene. Rights are a concept humans invented. How can you possibly disagree with that?

  • John||

    Tony, by your logic, then you have no right to complain when they decide some day it is illegal to be a homosexual again. It was illegal at the time of the drafting of the Constitution and for most of our history. Since you have no right to it beyond law anyway, when the government decides things have changed and you need to be locked up as a deviant, you should gladly go away knowing that you don't have a right to such things anymore and thus is the way things have to be. You may not like it. But you will have no right to say it was wrong or that your rights as a person were in any way violated.

  • T o n y||

    So people had a right to something that was illegal in most societies? Who gets to decide exactly what this list of natural rights consists of? You?

    Thinking people came up with the concepts of rights and they have been debating what should be among them ever since. I am capable of being a materialist and disagreeing with a government policy. It's called thinking.

  • JEP||

    Also, by that logic, the Nuremberg court had absolutely no right to condemn anybody. Arguing that the government gives people rights is tantamount to arguing that the government is also right. If what you're arguing is true, then you can't argue that the Confederate government was wrong to support slavery, that Hitler was wrong to kill Jews, that the genocides in Africa are wrong.

    You may think that's it's morally wrong, but in order to say the government is wrong, then you have to believe there's a higher order than government - which is exactly what the Nuremberg trials came down to. Whether you believe that higher order is a divinity or whether it's because our rights are inherent to us as human beings, the effect is the same - the government is not the ultimate authority.

  • JEP||

    *arguing that the government is always wrong

    Shorter version - governments can't violate a person's rights, if you think that the government provides those rights in the first place. It's a contradiction. Furthermore, it's a 'might makes right' argument in the sense that government power stems from the people it oversees.

  • Contrarian P||

    ^^^ This. Exactly the point that needs to be raised, time and time again. Of course the argument that I'm sure will come back is that "international law" is superior to the decisions of one government. Never mind that nobody seems to agree on just what international law is.

    The bottom line is that Tony is somewhat right when he says that the concept of natural rights is just an idea that we came up with. He misses, though, because he doesn't realize that natural rights are principles that are based on observational data. When human beings are committed to respecting the concept of natural rights they prevent the types of horrors that we complain about here time and time again. In the absence of respect for these rights, terrible acts end up being committed.

    Natural rights are no more a law of nature than gravity is. In other words, gravity is just a concept we came up with to describe how we perceive that the universe behaves. When you throw something up in the air, it comes back down again. This happens over and over again. If you decide a human being does not own him/herself, you end up with horrible acts and tyranny, on large and small scales. It happens over and over again. So, as usual Tony starts making a decent point but then misses the larger one entirely.

  • John||

    Do North Koreans have all the same rights you do?

    Yes they do. They are just being denied those rights by an evil government. The North Koreans have rights because they are human beings entitled to the same rights every other human being is entitled to. The fact that they live under and evil government who deprives them of that, doesn't mean they are not entitled to it.

    By your logic no one can ever be deprived of rights since they are things the government created anyway. If the North Koreans really don't have the same rights we do, then their government isn't any better or worse than ours, just less beneficent.

  • T o n y||

    So which rights do they possess? First Amendment rights? Second Amendment rights? Was Madison in touch with an eternal permeating rights field? This is all so much surface semantic mental clutter. Either you are at liberty to do something or you aren't. Government can facilitate that liberty or block it. It's just a bit much to claim that human beings possess something innately that human beings for most of the period of their existence never even considered.

  • John||

    Just because we can debate about what those rights are doesn't mean they did not exist independent of government. If the world broke out in anarchy tomorrow and someone showed up with a gun and controlled what you could say and do, would they not be violating your rights? By your logic they wouldn't be since the rights necessarily would have died with the government.

  • T o n y||

    They might be violating a right I personally declared I had, but if it's not written down and/or enforced, how am I declaring anything meaningful? The other guy might declare a right too. What distinguishes my right to be free from molestation from the other guys' right to control me with force? What authority decides in a state of anarchy? Seems to me the authority of brute force alone decides and nothing else.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    So your short answer to Johns question up there is:

    No North Korea's government isn't better or worse than ours, just different.

  • The Hammer||

    The rights you tend to personally declare you have are not rights. Rights cannot infringe upon others' rights. If they do, they can't be rights by definition. Rights have to conform to first principles, which state that all men are created equal; thus healthcare, for example, while certainly something that we should aspire to provide to everyone, cannot be a right, as it would require subjugating other people to provide it.

  • perlhaqr||

    I happen to agree, but the argument I've gotten to this line of reasoning is the declaration "I have different first principles than you do".

    It appears to me that Tony has different first principles than the libertarianish readership of Reason.

    I would state my first principle as "humans own themselves and are fundamentally autonomous". Judging from the arguments Tony has made here in this thread, his appears to be "might makes right". If I am mistaken I apologize and would like to hear what that first principle is instead.

  • The Hammer||

    Should've capitalized First Principles. Because they are generally understood as they are spelled out in the Declaration of Independence. And probably somewhere in the Declaration of Independents, too, for only 11.95 on Nook!

  • T o n y||

    I agree with your first principle "humans own themselves" but as a first principle it is a mere assertion, not something deducible. That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it. All of science descends from a couple first principles. They aren't useless. They just aren't Absolute Truth, especially when we're dealing with public policy.

    I think it is beyond dispute that, however Enlightenment philosophers and founding fathers relied on self-evident claims, the notion that people have individual rights is a relatively recent innovation in human thought. It never existed before then.

    Yes, civilized society requires agreeing on a certain set of first principles, most of which I don't disagree with libertarians about. The argument here is whether they're immutable or whether we're dealing with where philosophy has come in the last few centuries.

  • ||

    An excellent brief summary of this subject can be found here: http://www.ncpa.org/pub/what-i.....liberalism

    Tony's definition of "rights" is so incomprehensibly fucked up that it is utterly incompatible with any social/political arrangement except for totalitarian dictatorship.

  • The Hammer||

    In a state of anarchy, there would likely just be smaller government units made up of adults who freely decide to join them instead of this "You consented to all this by virtue of being born" crap. There are natural rights, Tony, and they are not that difficult to distinguish from the entitlements that you want to claim as rights, at least if you are intellectually honest.

  • acidovorax||

    They might be violating a right I personally declared I had, but if it's not written down and/or enforced, how am I declaring anything meaningful?

    The meaningfulness of the statement is determined by how true the statement is. You must propose the statement of "one should do or not do x" before you can even establish this into law.

    The other guy might declare a right too. What distinguishes my right to be free from molestation from the other guys' right to control me with force?

    Again, the truth of the statement is what distinguishes a valid claim of a right. Simply because others claim something does not mean it is true and just as all other propositions, moral claims must be supported logically to be considered justified.

    What authority decides in a state of anarchy? Seems to me the authority of brute force alone decides and nothing else.

    Man acts, regardless of government structure, but this in no way argues that such acts are moral. By what compelling logic could you argue that it is good to kick old ladies in the head for fun? Since one can't, this statement is false universally.

  • Proprietist||

    So if rights aren't inherent and inviolate, you've just apologized for every heinous regime's most heinous policies, since all rights are completely subject to either democratic lynchmobism or the whim of a despot. I guess Tony agrees now that Dick Cheney was right all along, since democracy put him there?

    Your head is as empty as a eunuch's underpants.

  • T o n y||

    If that's your formulation then all you're saying is it sucks to live in a physical universe. I don't agree that just because there is no magic that we can't distinguish between right and wrong. But if you do then I feel bad for you when the day comes you realize there is no Santa Claus of rights.

    I feel rights are much more worthy of respect than you give them by attributing them to magic. They are hard-won innovations of human entrepreneurs of liberty. As such they must be vigilantly defended. Something that is conferred upon birth shouldn't be so evidently easy to take away, don't you think?

  • John||

    If they are dependent on the government, there there is nothing wrong with the government taking them if it chooses to Tony.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Stop lying.

  • Proprietist||

    Nice fallacy, but nobody attributes them to magic. Rights exist in a state of nature without interference by any outside forces. The sole role of the government in a society is to minimize violations of these negative rights for all individuals and resolve legitimate conflicts of rights.

    It will never be perfect, but most of us aren't utopians.

  • T o n y||

    In a state of nature I have the liberty of bashing you over the head and stealing your stuff. Governments exist also to police me so that I don't do that--a positive right, and you help pay for it.

    Humans are not by nature autonomous creatures; they are social, and naturally come up with rules and enforcement mechanisms. There was never a time when people were more "free" in any meaningful sense than they are today in the democratized world, in part due to technology but also to better, more humane government, which is itself a technology.

  • Proprietist||

    In a theoretical state of nature where I was the only human being on earth, I have the right to do anything I want because my natural rights aren't subservient to anyone else's. Everything I could possibly do in this state is my natural right, and it doesn't exist at the granting of any government.

    But as I said, when more than one person exists, these natural rights may potentially come in conflict (property claims and effects), and new actions exist (like murder, rape, fraud, etc.) that harm the natural rights of others and would not be possible in a state of complete solitude, thus there is no inherent right to do those things. The purpose of government is to ameliorate and prioritize conflicts of natural rights and to eliminate involuntary abuses against any individuals.

    I don't expect the stale air between your ears to process any of that. That was for my own benefit.

  • T o n y||

    I don't really disagree with anything you wrote except for the word "natural," which is another word for "God" in this context. (Natural means happening in nature, and no scientist has ever observed a right in nature. Granted, humans are part of nature, but I suspect that's not where you're going.)

    Liberals are just more creative in figuring out rights people deserve and don't presume they were all discovered in the 18th century or (as you suggest) the Pleistocene.

  • Proprietist||

    They weren't "discovered". They simply existed since the dawn of humanity and will exist until its end.

    While I admit to personally subscribing to some marginally pantheistic or "God as natural law" views, and that would give credence to the Constitutional idea that rights are derived from God and not government, you're redirecting the point with a non sequitur.

    The scenario could work equally well if there was a nuclear apocalypse or mass epidemic where only one human survived. This human cannot kill, steal, commit fraud or violate the rights of others because he is the only person remaining. Taking away any concept of society or rights violations, anything he chooses to do for the rest of his life is his natural right. It isn't granted by any government because it simply exists.

    Assuming he discovers one more person who survives the apocalypse, it causes problems if they both have claimed all land everywhere under the impression they were the last person. There are two possibilities: one of the two can violate the other's natural rights by killing, enslaving or exiling the other and thus fulfilling their claim to all land, or they can negotiate, cooperate and contractually divide or share the land. Only the latter maintains the full natural rights of both people, so this is the ideal state of society.

  • Proprietist||

    Thus right to contract is also a natural right, as is a natural right for the last two people on earth to have sex with each other, make a suicide pact or engage in any other mutual and voluntary action.

    Nothing changes with a larger population except the increased risk that someone will choose the violent path. Thus a community establishes rule of law and government to prevent violations of natural rights.

    In this natural state there is no concept of right to minimum wage, rights to be provided healthcare or education, etc. because these concepts are all purely invented by government.

    Minimum wage, even if it were a economically sound concept, violates the natural right to freely contract. The "right" to be provided anything by someone else requires either someone being willing to voluntarily provide this under the terms government demands, or it is slavery. The idea that someone will always be available and willing to provide such things voluntarily comes from living in a society of wealth and plenty.

  • hk||

    Sorry but as a reader of polycentric legal systems, I find it interesting that you think it is ok to take away rights (taxation), whenever you feel like it. I think your reasoning is still unfocused.

    I believe in peace and I follow the law perfectly, but your reasoning is still flawed.

  • ||

    Governments exist also to police me so that I don't do that--a positive right, and you help pay for it.

    That's not an example of a positive right, unless the government polices you pro-actively on my behalf for crimes you've yet to commit against me. Police intervention after one person's rights have been violated by another is a function of the state's obligation to secure negative individual rights. You're not entitled to anything until after your rights have been violated. To the extent that they don't actually work that way, the police powers of the state are mostly illegitimate in libertarian philosophy -- and mostly an exercise in the utilitarian positive rights bullshit you peddle.

  • hk||

    I think we can privatize that, so the debate is superfluous PM.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Stop lying.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Well, you certainly bear out the author's assertion that progs and Dick Cheney are soulmates.

    So, do you think that the North Korean goverment isn't tyrannical?

    You believe that the U.S. government can take away the right to get an abortion? You would have to based on what you just said.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Do North Koreans have all the same rights you do?

    Yes.

    In what way does it make sense to say they do?

    The North Koreans have the same rights I do and their government actively violates those rights to preserve its own existence.

    Many of you say the only thing governments should do is protect individual rights. Well, why is that necessary if they're innate?

    Because innate and invincible are not the same thing. You have an innate ability to breath as well. That innate ability does not prevent another actor from wrapping his hands around your neck and strangling you. Therefore, you must protect your innate ability from outside forces.

    You agree that governments can violate rights, just like individuals and other entities. So in that way they can "take them back."

    A government is not a natural person, therefore it doesn't have rights, and therefore it has no rights to initially disburse among the citizens and nothing to "take back."

    You can be bound and gagged in a basement, but you still possess the right to free speech and mobility?

    Yes. Even if someone deprives you have the ABILITY to exercise your rights, you do not lose the claim to exercise those rights.

  • some guy||

    Tony, It's clear you don't believe in rights at all. All that matters is what we can get away with.

    The way I define rights is by starting with "All people are equal." This quickly leads to the following: "We each have the right to do whatever we are able so long as we don't directly interfere with someone else's right to do the same." In other words, your right to swing your fists stops at my nose. It's a circular definition, but I think it's pretty clear. It certainly isn't arbitrary, as you seem to think.

  • T o n y||

    I certainly believe in rights. I just recognize them as sort of contractual agreements among people instead of magical absolute truths.

  • ||

    Then you not only don't believe in rights, you don't know what rights ARE.

  • dinkster||

    Contractual agreements can only be formed by consenting adults, of which adolescents are not. So we don't have rights until we are 18 years or 21 years old and the government says we are adults? You don't see holes in that?

  • Killazontherun||

    The oddest thing about that, many of you people will listen to him telling you that all day long.

  • Mainer2||

    Invoking Tony when he's not here....trolling by proxy.
    The length, and depth and breadth of my lack of interest in what Tony has to say is without limit.

  • Loki||

    ^THIS^

    It's not that hard to ignore the stupid sock puppet troll.

  • some guy||

    He has been known to make a valid argument from time to time. Also, he tends to clearly state his position, even if that position is clearly faulty. All in all, arguing with him is a decent way to solidify your own thoughts. We certainly have no chance of changing his mind on any subject, but at least the practice might help us eventually sway someone with a more open mind.

  • T o n y||

    Libertarians have helped shape my outlook in large ways. Your good arguments and your bad ones.

  • Mainer2||

    As I said, my lack of interest in Tony is boundless. Why do some of the regulars troll by proxy by invoking him before he's on the thread.

  • T o n y||

    You seem to only show up to bitch about me.

  • hk||

    Well your reasoning is preposterous from a STATISTICAL perspective, not just political.

  • ||

    You mean the same liberals that defined the Obama assassinations with cries of THEY DID IT TOO! and CHENEY STARTED IT! ?

  • ||

    defined...defended...why again doesn't Reason 4.0 have an edit button?

  • Hyperion||

    Oh my, tsk tsk, we are going to beat the dead horse some more? I already beat the dead horse to death and only his tail is left...

  • The Hammer||

    Why doesn't MP have a proofread function?

  • Hyperion||

    This. Where were you when Boooshhhh did it?

  • John||

    No Barton, that was before they got control of the military.

    When the Supreme Court upheld the habeas corpus rights of alleged enemy combatants in Boumediene v. Bush, The New York Times lavished praise on its “stirring defense” of “human decency” and a “cherished right . . . so central to the American legal system that it has its own clause in the Constitution.”

    But the NYT is a okay with drone striking someone so as to avoid that messy habeas issue provided of course a Democrat is doing the drone strike.

  • some guy||

    I still don't get this. Has anyone filed suit against the Feds for the whole "assassinating a US citizen" thing? If so, when is it expected to reach SCOTUS? If not... why the hell not!?

  • Hyperion||

    The first detail to straighten out here is that those on the left are not liberals, they are collectivists, statist, authoritarians. They are anything and everything but liberal. They are millions of little nanny tyrant wannabes. The only true liberals in this country are Libertarians. Sure the progessives care about their rights. They care about abortions, if they want one. They care about gay rights, if they are gay. They care about the drug war if they use illegal drugs. But one thing they do not care about, is your rights. Caring about liberty is when you care about other peoples rights as well as your own. The progressives would love for the state to control everything you do from cradle to grave, right down the most minute details. There is nothing liberal in that.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So-cons are also little nanny tyrant wannabes - but right this minute, there are more leftist little nanny tyrant wannabes in power.

    When the inevitable shift occurs, and the far-right little nanny tyrant wannabes get back in power, we'll be just as fucked as we are right this minute.

    Equally so.

  • John||

    The SOCONs are bad about porn and booze. But a lot of prog feminists are just as bad about porn. And Progs are now into controlling food. All and all, the SOCONS are just annoying and are fighting losing battles anyway. The progs in contrast are downright dangerous.

  • Hyperion||

    There truly is nothing more evil than a prog feminazi.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    They're both dangerous, John. In their own ways, both groups are equally detrimental to liberty.

  • John||

    MR FIFY,

    Having lived in places dominated by both, I think the Progs are worse or at least worse to my tastes. I found SOCONs made rules that I could easily ignore or work around. They could make the country dry, but I could just go to the next county and buy booze. I am sure they had indecency laws, but that didn't stop the flow of porn on the internet or the next town over from making its tax money from strip clubs.

    Living a place dominated by progs is much worse. The SOCONS never worried about the contents of my garbage. The Progs are obsessed with it and the religion of recycling. The SOCONS never made it hard to buy a gun. The Progs would ban them if they could. The Progs love red light cameras. The Progs love zoning laws that force out inexpensive restaurants or food trucks. The progs jack up property taxes to pay for boated city and county bureaucracies.

    The whole thing is so much more in your face and awful.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I agree for the most part, John, but I never trust the far-wingtips. I wouldn't trust either extreme to pull weeds from my yard by hand, let alone with my lawnmower.

  • Tim||

    Fuckin-A right they are obsessed with trash and garbage.
    This new law prohibits the disposal of compostable and recyclable material for big waste producers by the start of 2014 and households by 2020. On top of relieving pressure from the two overflowing landfills in Vermont, this bill is one of the first in the country that emphasizes the importance of composting and organic waste sorting for homeowners as well as businesses and apartments.

    Similar to Vermont’s law, California’s AB 341 is an ambitious vision of solid waste policy for the new age.

    http://www.cawrecycles.org/wha.....cling_bill

  • John||

    One thing the SOCONS are the worst at is the obsession with DUI. But it is not like the Progs are much better.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Hell, I've met anti-smokers from both Teams, John. It's THAT bad.

    So-called defenders of property rights, championing telling privately-run businesses what their smoking policy is by God going to be. Makes you sick.

  • John||

    I am convinced the worst is the upper middle class moms. They combine the worst of both sides.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You just gave me a flashback to the PMRC hearings, John. "The Washington Wives", getting Congress to try to thrown freedom of expression out the window, just because John Denver wrote "Rocky Mountain High" and Twisted Sister recorded "We're Not Gonna Take It". "Porn Rock", they yelped, and people bought into it.

    Thank [insert deity of choice] for Frank Zappa leaving a verbal steamy at those hearings.

  • Hyperion||

    I agree. All we can do is try to replace every GOP NeoCon and SocCon with libertry leaning candidates, and when one is not available, vote for the Libertarian if one is running. That means voting for the Libertarian POTUS candidate this time around.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I've been doing that for years. More people oughta do that.

    Hell, I even voted for a couple of local-level Democrats, because a) there were no even semi-trustable Rs on the ballot and b) there were no Libertarians running for those offices.

    But beyond the county level? Fuck, no. I don't vote for Congress or state senate unless they're Libertarians.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Except for Ron Paul, I should point out - the only non-L Prez candidate I *ever* vote for, which made that R ballot pretty damn skimpy, as it was the only mark on that ballot.

    The pain and suffering of having to ask for an R ballot, however, made me feel pretty fucking dirty.

  • T||

    I vote in the republican primary. It's teh only way to get rid of some of them. But come teh general, it's LP all the way.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I can't bring myself to vote for any Republican other than Ron Paul.

    If we had open-primary voting, with every candidate on the ballot, I'd get to pick-and-choose like I should. But Missouri hasn't caught up with the 20th century on primaries.

  • Lord Humungus||

    at least I can vote for Amash-R.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    So-cons are also little nanny tyrant wannabes

    So Cons are former leftwing democrats that left that party because it was insufficiently violent in foreign affairs.

  • John||

    And they only care about gays because it is fashionable to do so. The day it is no longer fashionable or caring about gays gets in the way of their seeking power, they will turn on gays in a heart beat. If this were Europe and we had a large Muslim minority who supported the progs, the gays would be politely told that they will have to go back in the closet in the name of cultural sensitivity.

  • Hyperion||

    There seems to be a little conflict of interest going on with the Dems in regards to their urban plantations. Many blacks are revolting against the gay marriage platform. Not sure how that works out for the Dems, I just hope it means they lose more elections.

  • John||

    The black middle class is more religious than the white middle class and more socially conservative. I really think the gay marriage stance is going to hurt Obama. Not that they are going to vote Republican. But it will cause blacks not to come out in record numbers like they did in 2008. And that in itself is 1.5 million votes, which is half of his winning margin in 08. That is a big deal.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    This:

    http://www.c-span.org/Events/C.....737432751/

    Gotta do a story on this one, Reason.

  • some guy||

    I hate it when someone uses the word "evolved" instead of the word "changed".

    Thanks for posting that tidbit, though, Mr. FIFY. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. It is certainly more evidence that the magic of "hope and change" is gone.

  • John||

    And if even 20% of the black vote went Republican over gay rights, the Progs would throw the gays overboard in a heartbeat. Don't kid yourself.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    And if even 20% of the black vote went Republican over gay rights, the Progs would throw the gays overboard in a heartbeat.

    I'm not so sure about that. Right now, gays are higher than blacks on the Progressive Victim Totem Pole--just look at what happened to Tracy Morgan after he honestly admitted that he didn't want his kid to be gay.

    Gays have a tremendous amount of political stroke right now, due in no small part to the elite Hollywood apparatchiks being so populated by them and their sympathizers, who in turn are incestuously tied to the media and Democrat political circles (just look at all the media figures who came out bloo-blooing about overrated director Nora Ephron after she died).

    The entertainment industry's done a great job of giving the impression that gays are a lot more numerous than they really are. To be quite honest, whites are much more likely to feel guilty over socially "incorrect thoughts" than blacks are, and the left has no compunction at all punishing those it feels has committed thought crimes. I think it's a lot more likely right now that a black exodus to Team Red would result in the left resorting to Amos n' Andy type caricatures of blacks than them tossing gays under the bus, even if it meant losing a key voting demographic. There are a lot more whites than blacks, even in the South, for example, but that didn't stop the Democrats from embracing affirmative action and expanded social welfare programs.

  • Killazontherun||

    And they only care about gays because it is fashionable to do so.

    I catch Conan O'Brien like once a week or so, and anytime he brings up a gay rights related matter the sound of the audience patting their own backs for holding the right beliefs goes up to volume level ten. It's suspicious. I could not trust the feelings of a mass of people not to change on a dime when they are that high pitched.

    I couldn't be more apathetic. If 100% of gays decided not to engage in same sex sex, I could care less. If the population of gays doubled over night, it still doesn't effect me. As for the legality of matters, I don't have much regard for the law in my only daily existence so its up to them to figure out how to ignore it as well as I do. To be beholden to the O'Brien audience, iow, the ignorant masses, to bestow you the right to anything is not a satisfactory way to go about life.

  • R C Dean||

    If this were Europe and we had a large Muslim minority who supported the progs, the gays would be politely told that they will have to go back in the closet in the name of cultural sensitivity.

    Bingo. All of a sudden, we would be hearing about the need to be respectful of multi-cultural sensitivities, and there would be murmurings on the fringes about how gays tend to white, well-off, and, well, sort of privileged in some ways.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    OT: I've just learned that Chewbacca will be speaking on my campus tomorrow. Some of my colleauges are over the moon for the opportunity to ask him what it's like to be the first mate of the Millennium Falcon or how he feels about not getting a medal after the Battle of Yavin.

  • Tim||

    SOme advice: let the Wookie win.

  • Ron||

    Profiling for a specific type of terrorist is a little different then lumping all gun owners into one group since in America every race, religion, age, sexuality, etc.. own guns.
    When a bank robber is a white guy wearing mickey mouse ears you profile all white guys with mickey mouse ears. You don't look for little old ladies or a cripple in wheel chair. Profiling is a very effective tool just ask Israel.

  • John||

    No one is arresting Muslims. They would just be asking them to register so we know where they are in the example. I don't see how that is any different than asking all gun owners to register.

  • Mad Hungarian||

    Yes but profiling is not defined as having people register themselves with the government according to race. It is an effective tool and a poor analogy to leftist gun control.

  • John||

    Then having all Muslims register is not profiling. So the analogy still stands.

  • hk||

    BTW gun rights shouldn't be regulated at all. Gun rights are natural, just like stopping someone with a gun when they use it incorrectly, is natural.

    Paranoid dude.

  • ||

    To liberal Americans during the Bush years, Vice President Dick Cheney was the apotheosis of evil in the modern world.

    I think he is pretty god damn evil. It wouldn't surprise me if someone innocent had to die for his heart transplant.

  • John||

    How many American citizens did Cheney order killed? How many public victory laps did he ever take over other people doing the dirty work of killing America's enemies?

  • Proprietist||

    Who knows how many extraordinarily renditioned citizens were tortured to death at his whim? Moreover, the clandestine legal environment and infinite executive powers he built are exactly the reason Obama can do these assassinations without any legal retribution, and GOP shills can't even criticize him for political purposes without being total hypocrites after apologizing for Cheney's practices.

  • John||

    He never reditioned any US citizens. And Clinton reditioned a lot more people than Cheney ever did. That is where the practice came from. So it is a bit rich of you to claim Cheney or Bush created the legal framework.

    And Bush never claimed the right to kill US citizens outside of a war zone. That was too far even for Yoo.

    And the point is not to defend Cheney. It is to point out that you can't call Cheney "evil", whatever that means, and not then admit that Obama is just as evil or worse.

  • Proprietist||

    And I suppose you're privy to all the internal workings of the US clandestine agencies and the executive directives they followed, so I'll just take your word on it.

    Obama's likely no better or worse, but is also an evil, heinous person. His administration is just more of a sieve when it comes to secrecy and more incompetent in their execution of their directives.

  • wareagle||

    pro,
    when you are asking a question that implies a conclusion - that Cheney knowingly had Americans killed - what sort of response do you expect? It is probably true that neither Cheney nor anyone else in the Bush WH takes issue with al-Awlaki's killing.

    The issue is one of hypocrisy. For instance, it's obvious that not only has Obama continued every Bush-era terror initiative, he has expanded the use of drones, Gitmo remains in business, and we have the hit list. But, we don't have the anti-war left, which is highly conspicuous by its absence. It's like the homeless advocacy, only visible during Repub administrations.

  • Proprietist||

    It is an issue of hypocrisy -- for BOTH the anti-war Left and the Johns of the Right. It's the problem with political partisanship: your guys can do no wrong and the other guys can do no right. Usually the second half IS a mostly true statement, but that doesn't make the first half more true out of sheer contrast.

    I'm just not afraid from everything I know about John, I doubt we'd hear him complaining much if Bush was the one administering the al-Awlaki killing or setting up ill-fated gun traps for Mexican cartels.

  • Proprietist||

    I'm just not afraid...

  • hk||

    I agree completely, John is a fucking apologist who wouldn't say shit if Cheney were doing it. The fact that he knows exactly what Bush did, and it was all ok, is a laughable argument.

  • Proprietist||

    And John Yoo wasn't an executive, he was a legal advisor. Cheney is widely considered the primary driver behind most of the Bush administration's actual executions in this field because he was always the most unapologetic defender of the administration's actions. Now whether he actually implemented these things personally is up for debate and probably something that can't be answered until it come out of a higher-up's mouth.

  • Tim||

    Bush. Dick Chain-ee.

  • ||

    Aurora?

    Try health care reform.

    Liberals were perfectly happy to force people to purchase insurance, in violation of the fundamental spirit of the constitution, in order to "save lives", because it was necessary to regulations forcing insurance companies to provide free healthcare to people who are sick and uninsured.

    I even heard them argue that if Congress could force the militia to buy weapons, then we should just declare everyone to be a member of the militia to make them buy things.

    They're a bunch of facists.

  • T||

    Not the time to point out to them they (gasp) already are members of the militia, is it?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    SPLC will tell you, T:

    Every goddamned person flying a Ron Paul or Gadsen flag sticker on their car = militia member.

    Hell, even shrike knows that. Cuz he's a genius.

  • widget||

    But Cheney has a lesbian daughter and he stands up for her. Good for him and her. That's what's important now. Never mind that just about any other less sophisticated grease-monkey of a dad would do the same.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I made this same point the other day in another thread.

    Using sensational tragedies to justify crimping our freedoms is something both parties do well. They just use these tragedies to justify different things.

    Just goes to show that the enemies of liberty are coming after our freedom from both sides. And they both want to use their authority to limit our freedom in the name of security. The left wants to limit our economic liberties, supposedly, to make us more financially secure, where the right wants to limit our civil liberties in order to make us secure in other ways...

    The fact that limiting our freedom almost never actually leads to more security is really a secondary point for me--the main point is that neither side of this false dichotomy we call "liberals and conservatives" is really about defending our liberty. They're both the enemies of freedom, both a threat to freedom, and every chance they get? They both use any sensational headline that happens by to attack any freedom they disapprove of.

    "The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians."

    ---George Orwell

  • Mr. FIFY||

    What you said, Ken.

  • widget||

    Ken,

    If haven't already you might want read the blog foseti.wordpress.com. Foseti is anonymous and works the USG. Weird scenes from inside the gold mine.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'll check it out.

    Thanks.

  • rshoffman||

    Liberals do not suddenly change their minds because of a tragedy like Aurora. The vast majority of liberals think that gun rights should be vastly limited, always. Aurora just gives them a reason to express that opinion because the media will hopefully actually cover it.

    And please, PLEASE shut the fuck up about "coming after our freedoms". There is no right to own any gun, any amount of ammunition, and keep it on you at all times. The 2nd amendment is not specific, all it says is that you have the right to BEAR arms. Why can't I read that as, You have the right to serve in an army or militia. THATS IT. SHUT THE FUCK UP

  • Proprietist||

    I am convinced by your arguments and want to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • Proprietist||

    But seriously, the First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law..." So by your logic, is it cool if the executive branch starts unilaterally torturing and executing people who claim to "hate America"? After all you're guaranteed "freedom of speech" but it doesn't explicitly say you can say things that cause people offense.

    Seriously, anyone who believes the Founding Fathers were limiting the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution to militias needs to read additional interpetations of the amendments by the people who wrote them.

  • The Hammer||

    What the fuck do you think the word "Bear" means, you subliterate fuck?

  • wareagle||

    if there is no right to own any gun, where exactly is the prohibition to that spelled out? Shouting that your wrong does not suddenly make you right.

  • Ken Shultz||

    And please, PLEASE shut the fuck up about "coming after our freedoms". There is no right to own any gun, any amount of ammunition, and keep it on you at all times. The 2nd amendment is not specific, all it says is that you have the right to BEAR arms. Why can't I read that as, You have the right to serve in an army or militia. THATS IT. SHUT THE FUCK UP

    There are a number of things you don't understand about this. If I were you, I'd start with getting to know the 9th Amendment:

    "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

    Given your level of discourse, it wouldn't surprise me if you needed some help understanding that.

    It means that just becasue each and every one of my rights aren't spelled out in the Bill of Rights, that doesn't mean I don't still have them.

    In this case, what you're saying is especially bizarre because you're saying I don't have a right to "bear arms", which actually is spelled out in the Constitution. But, more to the point, the Constitution even says my rights aren't circumscribed by what's in the Constitution...

    So who are you to tell me what my rights are?

    That's the kind of assault on our freedom that I'm talking about--the kind of assault where you imagine that what my rights are somehow up to you to decide. From what you've written, I'd guess you probably think my rights are a popularity contest!

    They're not.

  • triclops||

    You can read 2A however you want.

    You would be an idiot, and objectively wrong to think it means only that you have the right to serve in a militia or army, but you can think whatever nonsense allows you to justify ignoring the constitution.

  • Proprietist||

    We support his 1st amendment rights to misinterpret the 2nd amendment and ignore the 9th Amendment.

  • ||

    Hai guise/gals. Admittedly, this is an absolute thread jack. I am contemplating purchasing the following guns:

    http://www.gunsamerica.com/907.....WASR10.htm

    http://www.budsgunshop.com/cat.....s_id/80363

    As I own nice guns already, my thinking is thus, I'm looking for quantity over quality in large part. Anyone have any opinions about those two or others? Thanks in advance.

    I really haven't posted here much as of late as I am going through a rather amicable divorce.

  • ||

    The evul multinational corporashun I work for is apparently blocking any and all gun websites. The bastards!

  • perlhaqr||

    My opinion is that you don't want a WASR10 because they're built to only take these ridiculous, proprietary 10 round single stack magazines. Which are hard to find and expensive. And if you're contemplating the 28 rd capacity .22LR M4gery, you presumably don't live somewhere that limits you to 10 round magazines.

    I wouldn't buy either of them, personally. If you already have an AR-15 of some sort, getting a .22LR upper so you can practice shooting cheaply makes sense, but other than that, I don't think that second rifle makes a lot of sense.

  • Generic Stranger||

    My opinion is that you don't want a WASR10 because they're built to only take these ridiculous, proprietary 10 round single stack magazines. Which are hard to find and expensive.

    Err...Are you thining of the Saiga? AFAIK, WASR's aren't neutered in anyway (besides lacking da fun switch). Saiga's, on the other hand, require a fairly extensive conversion to allow them to use the 30 round magazine.

  • Generic Stranger||

    *thinking*

    Also, I'd rather have a 10/22 over that abomination of an M4rgery. Lots of aftermarket customizations available for it, plenty of large cap magazines, etc.

    Failing that, getting an upper for an actual M4rgery, as you suggest, is probably a better deal.

  • triclops||

    And while I don't fully agree with Tony's interpretation of natural rights, I don't get how natural rights exist, in any meaningful sense.

    Reality/nature seem extremely indifferent to our rights, but we have used our evolved senses of empathy and fairness to enforce a system that somewhat secures our freedoms by reciprocation.

    You and I like natural rights, and I think they fit very well with what humans need to get pleasure and satisfaction out of life, but I don't understand how they exist in any objective sense.

  • Proprietist||

    Natural rights exist in an objective sense because they are the rights that would exist in a state of nature without interference or outside influence. Since the state of nature can become brutal when there are conflicts of these liberties between more than one person, there needs to be a government to make sure all people are able to freely maximize their natural rights.

    When that is not possible (for instance the conflict between my right to dump toxic chemicals on my own property, and the right for my neighbor to not be harmed by my actions), they need to prioritize rights. That doesn't change that the rights are objective, it just means that the legal prioritization of the rights in conflict aren't. If there was just one person on earth (or several people in full agreement), dumping chemicals on his own property would be his inalienable right.

    It's unfortunate, but the alternative is conflicts of rights sorted out by either duel where the stronger/better armed party wins or resignation to the violations by the weaker party. The idea that the weak and feeble deserve full protection of their rights as well is the basis for miniarchism as the least of all evils.

  • The Hammer||

    Well put, P.

  • T o n y||

    Rights are only meaningful in a social context. The only thing you're able to do if you're totally alone in the world is go insane and die. We are social creatures. The concept of rights didn't exist until long, long after governments came into being. Thankfully governments have evolved to be more responsive to the needs of whole populations rather than the enforcers of the "rights" of an elite class, though libertarians are trying their damnedest to turn back that particular clock.

    That's what's so bullshit about all this. Libertarians don't believe in maximizing rights, but minimizing them. You said so yourself. Only the rights "in a state of nature" matter. Meaning in practice, if we disregard all of the rights innovations you guys don't like, such as those granted to workers, people live in a state of slavery most of the time anyway. Just as long as the slaver is a private party.

    Real political philosophies have spent the last century or two coming up with more rights, not excuses to minimize them. Those new rights (minimum wage, maximum work hours, right to healthcare, etc.) have in practical reality enhanced the lives of people at least as much as the innovations that came in the 18th century. And your rejection of them rests on the very flimsy premise that there is some meaningful distinction between them and previously invented rights.

  • Proprietist||

    The concept of right didn't exist have to be codified until long, long after governments came into being and spend centuries violating innumerable natural rights.

    I don't know of a single libertarian willing to defend involuntary slavery by private party. That's amongst the worst and most reprehensible lies you've ever told. Didn't I just explain that sort of thing was exactly the purpose of government, or have you no reading comprehension? Even 99% of anarchocapitalists would argue a slave has the right to kill his master for his own freedom.

    And the invented rights your "real political philosophers" invented conflict with natural rights like freedom of contract - which two individuals are neither forced nor "allowed" to do so by any government in a state of nature. The right to voluntarily sacrifice claims and liberties to cooperate with each other for benefit naturally exists.

    These political "rights" you assert also generally harm poor people because they are devoid of real world market economics. But the modern Left constantly harm and manipulate the "uneducated poor masses" in order to maintain their captive audience.

  • T o n y||

    The concept of right didn't have to be codified...

    You have to see how silly this is. So not only did "rights" exist somewhere out there, but they were very specific rights that inevitably required a very specific type of society. One that has yet to be realized. Sounds like religion to me. No, it sounds like theocracy.

    involuntary slavery by private party

    Do third-world sweatshops not actually amount to slavery? Maybe, but that's the type of workplace you get with maximum employer rights and minimum worker rights. One thing libertarians are consistent about is that you have only the bare minimum of liberty in the environment in which most people spend most of their waking hours.

    Liberals by contrast hate all forms of tyranny, not just government tyranny.

    The right to voluntarily sacrifice claims and liberties to cooperate with each other for benefit naturally exists.

    Oh good, so you do support a pragmatically arranged government. Or how do you suppose populations of millions of people might implement and enforce their cooperative decisions?

  • Proprietist||

    Your worship of government and its benevolence sounds more like religion to me.

    Third world sweatshops do not inherently amount to slavery because the worker voluntarily chose that the bad factory job is preferable to no job or subsistence agriculture. Sure, it's opportunistically exploiting their lack of other better choices, but it's not slavery just because the wage is not comparable to domestic workers'. If anti-trade progressives had their way, they probably wouldn't even have the option.

    That said, I do believe real slavery IS rampant in some sweatshops, brothels, etc. and should be cracked down upon by government if it is found. But you would never give me credit for that because I'm a meanie libertarian who obviously hates the weak and workers.

    "Liberals by contrast hate all forms of tyranny, not just government tyranny."

    That is absolutely true if you are talking about classical liberals, which I consider myself. If you are referring to modern liberals, I think you mixed up the order of "not" and "just".

  • T o n y||

    We're just not aware of another entity with the ability to enforce sanctions against tyranny in the private sector. It's not worship of government, it's recognition that government is necessary and useful and so should work in the best possible way.

  • Proprietist||

    I think I've said here repeatedly government is necessary and useful for enforcing sanctions against tyranny in the private sector. I'm a miniarchist and not an anarchist, and I certainly don't deny the existence of private tyranny in the same way you seem to deny the existence of government tyranny.

    But I've also pointed out repeatedly that removing the government-created moral hazard of limited liability would lead to insurance companies enforcing more obvious sanctions against violators. All stockholders would expect their own liability risks covered and a company with a bad track record or increased risk would harm profits and investment, and liability costs would be sky high, as it is with driver's insurance. The insurance companies have actual financial incentive to regulate the companies, unlike the government. Their financial interests are purely based upon their customers not committing egregious acts.

  • ||

    Management at the individual level is already on the hook without limitation for "egregious acts" even under current limited liability law. You still keep using the term "limited liability" in a sense that is completely divorced from its actual legal meaning. That your grandma's house, car and bank account isn't on the line because her mutual fund invested $10,000 of her savings into a company whose management committed some type of impropriety isn't the model of moral hazard you have created in your mind - that is a legal fiction.

  • Proprietist||

    No, I'm really not getting them confused. I'm fully aware management can be prosecuted for criminal actions occasionally. My point is that owners that profit from the company should pay for the external damages caused by that company before the victims damaged by the actions should. If corporate liabilities exceed corporate value, who pays the excess costs, even assuming government prosecutes the corporation instead of ignoring or assisting them in their liability?

    Note that grandma's house, car, etc. won't normally be on the line because no mutual fund would ever invest in a company that hasn't purchased owner's liability insurance. The liability insurance cost acts as a deterrent, and the insurance company has the responsibility and self-interest to monitor the corporation's practices closely.

  • The Hammer||

    So your objection to the concept of natural rights is purely semantic?

  • Matrix||

    Politicians don't need to fear the gun lobby. They need to fear gun owners.

  • Pippers||

    The only people I've seen screaming out gun control since the shootings has been the Republican from New York.

  • The Hammer||

    Because you've been closing your eyes, covering your ears and screaming "LALALALALALALA" since the shootings?

  • buybuydandavis||

    Gopnik’s take neatly encapsulates the liberal mindset: ... Since the solution is so plainly beyond dispute, the failure to implement it can be accounted for only by something else, such as cowardice or derangement.

    That's their mindset for *every* issue. They're right, and only illiterate moronic racist sexist homophobes who kick puppies could possibly disagree.

  • The Derider||

    "And therein was Cheney’s ethical rationale: Individual rights and constitutional rules might be important, but saving lives was more important by far."

    This was exactly the rationale of the large majority of democrats during Bush's 8 years.

    How many Democrats voted against the Patriot act in 2011? 17. How many voted against it when it was passed initially? 1. So few Democrats have suggested that the constitution should always trump pragmatic safety concerns post 9-11, and yet more democrats than ever hold the position you assert they have abandoned.

    If Fox news informs your understanding of the Democratic party, that understanding will probably be wrong.

  • dinkster||

    I'm glad I read the full article, because the first half made me want to eat my shirt.

  • jason||

    It means this will boost their election campaign.

  • Lisa||

    This attempt to link gun control and national defense is weak. I can't even address the logic because there is none. "I don't like gun control. Terrorists are people, too. See my point?" Uh, no.

  • Lisa||

    And for the person who quoted Orwell, earlier....he wasn't exactly thrilled by pacifism, so I'm not sure I would use that libertarian quote of his to support a pacifist foreign policy.

  • Ardelle||

    The threat of a terrorist attack—even one as horrific as 9/11—did not justify the manifold constitutional affronts, from warrantless wiretapping to demanding library patrons’ records under the Patriot Act, that the Bush administration was committing. Yes, saving lives was important—but not at the expense of civil liberties and constitutional law.

  • Lincoln||

    Well, police kill more people every year with guns than, likely, everyone else combined domestically. In order for gun control to have better than a snowball's chance in hell we have to start with those who are most abusive of firearms.

  • russcelt||

    One of the things that encourages the Liberal blood lust for more gun control is the United Kingdom. Birth place of civil liberties yet that nation now has the 'Gold Standard of Gun Control'. According to ALL THE WAY DOWN THE SLIPPERY SLOPE: GUN PROHIBITION IN ENGLAND AND SOME LESSONS FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES IN AMERICA by Joseph E. Olson and David B. Kopel, it only took a century to wipe out most of humanities gains in civil liberties. And so confident is the British oligarchy that an article in The Independent 'Blair laid bare: the article that may get you arrested' by Henry Porter, describes the shackles being applied and the key thrown away, yet doesn't even mention The Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1997 which outlawed handguns. Guns around the world are vilified by the British media at every opportunity. In fact it is an article of faith among the British public that 'more guns cause more crime'. Like a cancer, the patient won't recover until treatment is applied.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    "Since James Holmes murdered twelve people..."

    You shouldn't make slanderous statements. It has not been established beyond a reasonable doubt that James Holmes shot and killed anyone. Anyone. No one saw him in the theater. No one has identified him as being the person behind the gas mask shooting at people. This event has all the earmarks of a false flag: multiple, independently verified participants that are not reported, a patsy that appears to be drugged, no explanation of how the operation was financed, how did Holmes learn how to create sophisticated booby traps, etc. There are many details that are not being reported in the mainstream news, just like Columbine, just like Littleton. Colorado is a hot bed of the Cryptocracy.

  • Searchub||

    The liability insurance cost acts as a deterrent, and the insurance company has the responsibility and self-interest to monitor the corporation's practices closely.I'm glad I read the full article, because the first half made me want to eat my shirt.Check out my search engine http://www.searchub.com

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement