The Shutdown Shows Us That Government Treats People Like Garbage

The state has become entwined in our lives, and we are much worse off because of it

The government “closed” this week. The quotation marks are meant to indicate that the worst parts of the government remain open at some level. It would be preferable to keep the monuments and national parks, like the Grand Canyon, going while closing the Pentagon, the State Department, the CIA, the NSA, ICE, FBI, ATF, and all related so-called national-security agencies.

The government is so entwined in our lives that some innocent people are hurt by the partial shutdown. Policies have consequences, creating perverse incentives and dependencies. Government intervention blocks routes out of poverty, and in self-defense, the ruling elite ameliorates some of the worst effects with handouts. If the handouts are suddenly yanked while the barriers stay in place, hardship will result.

If you were planning a trip abroad, but now won’t have your passport renewed in time, you are a victim. That is a good reason not to have government issuing passports. Before World War I, you could travel without a one. War is the health of the state.*

Government equals centralization, and centralization means that bad ideas harm far more people than would be harmed under decentralized governance.

At its heart, the state—more precisely, the pretenders who call themselves “leaders”—is capable of the most horrendous acts. The U.S. government stands out in this regard. From the micro level to the macro, we can trace the trail of blood, misery, and poverty. I’ll cite just two examples.

The other day I saw a commercial for the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that renders assistance to veterans injured in the recent American wars. It shows a former member of the armed forces who sustained a serious head injury “when his Humvee was blown up in Iraq.” Among the scenes is one of his young daughter reading to her now-enfeebled dad. Another shows her helping him walk.

These scenes brought tears to my eyes, and I said out loud, “This is what the state does to people.” I should have said, “This is what the state does to families and little girls and boys.” The biggest victim here is the daughter, who now must see her young dad in that pathetic condition, likely for the rest of his life. He volunteered for the military (no doubt after being propagandized as a teenager), but his daughter was not asked if she was willing to sacrifice her dad for…for what?

I also thought, “Why are we taxpayers forced to pay men and women to jeopardize their kids’ well-being by going off to make war in foreign lands?” Some adults may be fool enough to buy the government’s propaganda about “serving their country,” but must we who know better be forced to participate in this atrocity? We often hear public policy justified in the name of “the children.” A noninterventionist foreign policy can genuinely satisfy that criterion.

That’s the micro level. Now the macro. Someone (who? Stalin?) once said something along these lines: “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.” Well, how about some 200,000 deaths? That’s the minimum number of Bengalis killed in 1971 in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) by the dictator of Pakistan, with weapons and support provided by the regime of Richard M. Nixon and Henry A. Kissinger.

The story is told in a new book by Gary J. Bass, The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide. In 1971, President Nixon and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger (later secretary of state) badly wanted to go to Red China to, among other reasons, exploit the conflict between China and the Soviet Union, and to overshadow the impending defeat in Vietnam. Their connection to Mao Zedong was General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan, the anticommunist military dictator of Pakistan, a man Nixon liked and admired.

In those days, Pakistan was America’s ally, while Pakistan’s enemy, democratic India, was nonaligned but friendly with the Soviet Union. When India won independence from Great Britain in 1947, the subcontinent was partitioned into India and Pakistan. But Muslim Pakistan itself was divided into east and west with India in between. As Bass explains in a New York Times op-ed,

This strange arrangement held until 1970, when Bengali nationalists in East Pakistan triumphed in nationwide elections. The ruling military government, based in West Pakistan, feared losing its grip. So on March 25, 1971, the Pakistani Army launched a devastating crackdown on the rebellious Bengalis in the east.

Hundreds of thousands of Bengalis were killed—three million, according to the Bangladeshi government—and 10 million refugees poured into India, “where they died in droves in wretched refugee camps.” The onslaught helped spark a war between Pakistan and India (whose hands were also not clean), which ended in a decisive victory for India and independence for East Pakistan, renamed Bangladesh. (Before it was over, however, the world came close to a confrontation between India’s friend the Soviet Union and Pakistan’s friend China, compliments of the Nixon-Kissinger regime.)

Who outfitted the military dictatorship’s army knowing this slaughter would take place? Who kept doing so when it actually was taking place? And who offered private encouragement to Yahya?

Nixon and Kissinger.

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  • Live Free or Diet||

    Government treats people like garbage

    At least the Alington landfill is pretty.

  • Ted S.||

    Goddamn it! I thought I was going to be first!

    At least the federal government isn't involved in garbage removal. You know the Obama administration would consider that a non-essential function in a shutdown and try to blame it on the Republicans.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    My best take on this is that while the Republicans are indeed responsible for the shutdown, the Democrats are responsible for bringing them to the point of using it, and Obama is responsible for the worst and silliest effects of it.

  • SomeGuy||

    but congress has passed several budgets sooo Senate is to blame ^^ Just sayin :)

    Remember even in this partial shut down we are still using more money than we take in -_- How is that even remotely shut down or sustainable :/

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Hey, don't get me wrong. I'm all for it. I'm all for shutting down the other 80% too.

  • OneOut||

    Sustainable only matters when the topic is energy.

    Government expenditures aren't part of the conversation.

  • Its Amazing||

    hy

  • Its Amazing||

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  • Ted S.||

    If you're going to link to chomsky.info, could you talk about his views on the Khmer Rouge?

  • ||

    Even though what we're doing in Egypt is retarded, I don't think it's quite comparable. And I have no clue whatsoever what the parallel would be in "Palestine" seeing as how the United States routinely condemns Israel over actions whose legitimacy is, at the least, contentious, and has a habit of dictating their foreign policy in exchange for weapons and token support at the UN.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Yes, it's terrible how the US bullies Israel.

  • Square||

    Yes - there was that time that the US condemned Israel for that one thing - you remember. And there's all those things the US is always telling Israel to do. For example, well I know you can think of examples.

    Think of all Israel does for the US, and then all the US does in return is arm them and give them unwavering, uncompromising token support at the UN.

    Boggles the mind.

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    Israel is the major bulwark against Islamic imperialism.

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7ByJb7QQ9U

    If the West allows the muslims to conquer Israel and kill all the Jews (as Mohammed did to the Jews in Medina that weren't used as slaves), then they'll start stirring up shit about something else, probably about how Spain used to be Moorish muslim... then you'll hear about the Spanish Two-State Solution. It won't stop until they've at least retaken all former muslim lands from the infidel.
    Remember that muslim nations must follow Sharia which morally obliges political leaders to wage holy war against neighbouring infidel lands. Anwar Sadat cared more about his Nation than about his religion; he made peace with Israel. He was rewarded by being assassinated by the Muslim Brotherhood.
    Sources: Nonie Darwish's first 2 books

  • Square||

    If any of this were true, in what way is Israel stopping it? Does Israel form any kind of meaningful geographic barrier?

    If Morocco wanted to re-take Spain today, is it Israel stopping them?

    If Turkey wanted to re-take the Balkans today, is it Israel stopping them?

    If Uzbekistan wanted to re-take India today, is it Israel stopping them?

    I think you're a little fuzzy on what the term "jihad" means, and I'm guessing that you're getting your information on Islamic history from politcally partisan Christian sources.

  • SomeGuy||

    first off all your points are moot square. It is like saying, Why didn't Germany attack America? Was Poland in the way? Was Poland stopping Germany from attacking US main land? No but to say Germany wouldn't attack US mainland is ridiculous. They sure would have but not from the get go. It is called priorities and tactics, which you clearly lack -_-

  • Square||

    The two situations are not even remotely similar. Burdon of argument is on you with this one.

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    Israeli jews are the bulwark against the religious fanatics that want to turn the whole world Islamist in the same way gays are the bulwark against the Christian puritans who want to ban premarital sex... they are the ones who get criticized by them the most. Not that a ban on premarital sex or a world caliphate is achievable, just that a lot of people working on this are preoccupied by those things and once they win there they'll move on and attack something else.

    I myself used to genuinely fear a Christian Theocracy until I realized GWB was all talk & they had no hope.
    What many people, except Christian fundies & atheist activists seem to not understand is that when a suicide bomber kills himself in the name of God, sometimes, sometimes, it has nothing to do with socioeconomics or his childhood and everything to do with a religion that tells them they are going to burn in hell unless they prove themselves and spreading Islam by killing the infidel is a guaranteed way to heaven.
    Keep in mind that under sharia law muslim moderates can get killed by vigilantes. This, along with Taqiyya and Sharia's blueprint for imposing a frozen society theocracy is the major problem with Islam... it's a religion that allows its fanatics to literally get away with murder. Even Christian fanatics couldn't get away with that for long; the closest thing was the Inquisiiton and that was controversial and later condemned.

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    And yes, Jihad means war against the infidel in the House of War. It means other things in the House of Islam (House of Peace). If you believe otherwise you're either a victim of taqiyya or the muslim that explained it to you would be risking death by vigilantes by saying this in Sharia-ruled countries... or in Sharia-ruled muslim-majority parts of the U.K. where police fear the muslims.

    Think I sound crazy? Think I'm an islamophobe?
    Don't take my word for it - watch this video on a debate w/ Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Is Islam a Religion of Peace?):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFvklPpGZtA

    Do not assume that all religions are peace-loving. Mohammed, the moral guide for all muslims to emulate, was a conqueror who killed and enslaved the Jews of Medina that refused to convert.
    He spread Islam throught the sword and gave specific instructions on what muslim minorities should do in infidel lands to conquer that country. He married a 6-year-old and had sex with her when she was 9... which means that it's legal under sharia to marry a 9-year-old, and criticizing this in front of a muslim fanatic, unless for taqiyya, can get you killed for blasphemy & apostasy. 99% of muslims, being rational humans, would disapprove but in the fanatic's mind that just means 99% of so-called muslims aren't True Muslims(tm)

  • Square||

    So you're huddling down in fear and screaming about new WWII level global threats regarding 1% of the population of some of the poorest countries in the world?

    Cost-benefit analysis can be a beautiful thing.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    If the West allows the muslims to conquer Israel and kill all the Jews (as Mohammed did to the Jews in Medina that weren't used as slaves)

    Sevo Christ, could you be more wrong?

    Middle Eastern Jews had it far better than their European counterparts after the rise of Islam. Well, until the Crusades when they too got a taste of tender White Christian mercy.

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    Interesting, it looks like I may have my timeliens mixed up. No matter. You'd have to live in a multiculturalist bubble to think the invading Islamist armies won't create a second holocaust (or first holocaust as they'd call it).

    Back in the Golden Age of Islam you could actually debate the Koran, the Hadiths, Sharia... now, doing so carries the risk of being labelled an apostate & getting shunned/murdered/arrested. This simply fact means the most fringe, fanatical elements of Islam will always have political power to police the majority.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    You have a lot of things mixed up -- probably including your chromosomes.

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    I see I have won the debate.

  • Square||

    The thing I'm seeing again and again in your posts is the assumption that the Islamic world is this monoithic thing acting in unison.

    I doubt the Muslims of SW China, for example, are even aware that there are Muslims in West Africa, or Indonesia.

    The classic, stereotypical take on the Sunni-Shia divide is that Shia see Islamic law as intent-based and open to interpretation. Sunni are more inclined toward the "frozen theocracy" you mention.

    Bottom line, the "Islamic World" is no more of a thing than the "Christian World" is. No person calling himself a Christian in Utah would expect to be judged by the behavior of tribal Coptic Christians in Ethiopia.

    By the same token, the thugs of rural Niger are not the same as the legal councils of the Iranian government, and I think your hysteria level will benefit from some real-world distinctions that way.

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    Just to put t this in context, keep in mind that Theo van Gogh was killed for making this movie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGtQvGGY4S4
    and thus insulting Islam. This is the mentality of the people we're dealing with. There was also the Mohammed cartoons riots. How would you like to be born in a muslim country with these types of people as your neighbours?

  • ||

    Try to get your Jew boner tamped down for a minute or two and let some of that blood flow to your brain.

    It wasn't controversial to suggest that Egypt was playing ball with US policymakers in exchange for its military budget before the Arab spring. Why would you think that we exert no influence on Israeli policy when we give them 10x more money? I suppose a succession of US presidents, one of which was written a book condemning Israel as an apartheid state, were all just absurdly altruistic Jew-lovers?

    You think Israel's airstrikes on Syria at the exact time when the Obama administration was unsuccessfully lobbying for US involvement was a coincidence? You think Stuxnet was written in-house in Zionland? You think operations like that aren't part of back room negotiations to keep Israel from bombing Iran and destabilizing the ME? You think the US was really ignorant of Operation Opera? On that subject, do you remember our support for the UN condemnation of that action? UN Resolution 681? 726? Or our condemnation of Israeli settlements last year? Or in 2011?

    I'm sorry you are pitifully ignorant, but it's a poor stand in for a point, if you actually had one.

  • Square||

    I think you're having a hard time distinguishing between the will of the American people and the actions of the American government.

  • anon||

    but his daughter was not asked if she was willing to sacrifice her dad for…for what?

    His daughter's opinion is irrelevant.

  • SomeGuy||

    i would have to agree with this. The whole article was flawed through and through. The government does treat people like crap but this article does no justice.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    The enormity of Nixon’s and Kissinger’s crimes cannot be exaggerated:

    The United States had great influence over Pakistan. But at almost every turning point in the crisis, Nixon and Kissinger failed to use that leverage to avert disaster...they consciously decided not to warn Pakistan’s military chiefs against using violence on their own population… They did not threaten the loss of U.S. support or even sanctions if Pakistan took the wrong course. They allowed the army to sweep aside the results of Pakistan’s first truly free and fair democratic election, without even suggesting that the military strongmen try to work out a power-sharing deal with the Bengali leadership that had won the vote. They did not ask that Pakistan refrain from using U.S. weaponry to slaughter civilians, even though that could have impeded the military’s rampage, and might have deterred the army. There was no public condemnation – nor even a private threat of it

    Nixon and Kissinger bear responsibility for a significant complicity in the slaughter of the Bengalis.

    No crimes here unless you call nonintervention a crime.

    He volunteered for the military (no doubt after being propagandized as a teenager)

    False consciousness much? There are rational people in the world who just flat disagree with you, Mr. Richman. Infantilizing them doesn't help.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I mean, in essence, Sheldon Richman has said that Nixon and Kissinger's "enormities" were failing to act. Since when is failure to act a crime? I may despise a lot of Presidents, such as FDR, but I don't hold him responsible for the Holocaust or the Rape of Nanking because he failed to act to prevent those things.

  • anon||

    I mean, in essence, Sheldon Richman has said that Nixon and Kissinger's "enormities" were failing to act.

    Yeah, and then he blames their "failure" to act for killing people.

    Richman should've put way more thought into this line of bullshit before spewing it.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    But how else could he blame America?

  • IceTrey||

    I guess you missed the part about Nixon providing the arms to carry out the genocide.

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  • pan fried wylie||

    Since when is failure to act a crime?

    When'd they pass obabacare?

  • Arn0||

    "Non-intervention" is incompatible with being ally with one of the side of a civil war.

  • PACW||

    Thank you. Exactly what I was thinking, but in concise and rational terms.

  • John||

    Yes. If they had gone in all we would hear about is how the evil US intervention made them hate us. But now it is a crime to do nothing? Reason wants anyone to take them seriously? When you read shot like this it makes you think Reason really doesn't have a foreign policy position or ideology other than it is fun to blame America for all of the world's problems. This is a new low.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    go clutch your pearls somewhere else Aunt Bea.

  • John||

    You such a tiresome asshole you manage to fuck it up even when you say something right. You say something intelligent on here maybe twice a week. But you can't help but fuck it quickly thereafter. It is as if you are terrified someone might think you have given something some thought and come to your own conclusion. Shreek and tony can't help it. They were born stupid. You seem to choose to be stupid.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    It's sad to see him devolve. He used to be a good commenter.

    I'm actually a little worried about him... he might be the next one playing bumper cars with the Secret Service.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Oh no, Tulpa thinks I've become too glib. How will I go on with my life?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    If there was a substantive response in there somewhere I failed to see it.

    Of course, your overwrought, hysterical prose has a tendency to become a bit tired after a while. Can you speak like a man instead of a hyperventilating jezebelian harpy please?

  • Mike M.||

    Go clutch your pearls somewhere else Aunt Bea.

    Lol, this here is pretty fucking rich coming from the guy who goes apeshit when I insult Obama's name.

    Go look in the mirror, because you're one of the prissiest, daintiest pearl-clutchers here in the commentariat.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Heads you lose, tails they win -
    That's the 'new' left's (60s hippies) mo on everything.

    Amazingly enough though, they dial up the truly awful shit every time they get some power.

  • Square||

    "they dial up the truly awful shit every time they get some power."

    Yeah, but they mean well, and that's the important thing.

    Well, they mean to seem that they mean well, which is almost as good.

  • OneOut||

    It's for the children you dolt !

    /sarc

  • IceTrey||

    Nixon didn't do nothing. He gave them the arms used to carry out the genocide.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think he indicates the crime here:

    -Who outfitted the military dictatorship’s army knowing this slaughter would take place? Who kept doing so when it actually was taking place?

    When you use taxpayer dollars to provide weapons to the military in a repressive nation you have already 'intervened.' When they start using those weapons to slaughter people then, especially if you continue to do so during the slaughter, you are complicit.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I already addressed that two or three times.

    Richman is attempting to conflate the arming of an ally with the deliberate arming of an ally to enable a "slaughter". But that's not how it works.
  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Certainly our government 'outfitting' their military is intervention itself, right? That was partly the basis of non-interventionists objecting to the idea of arming the Syrian rebels.

    And if you arm someone knowing what evil purpose they are using the arms for, does not that make someone complicit? I do not know any gun store owner who would sell a gun to someone who came in saying 'I really need a gun because boy, are my wife and her lover going to get it!'

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Pakistan was armed in keeping with Cold War policy to arm friendly anti-communist regimes and keep them in power. Furthermore, this is in keeping with US wartime policy to support allies regardless of domestic policy -- I hope I don't have to mention how we kept one of the world most horrific regimes afloat in Russia during WWII for the sake of destroying our foes? I somehow doubt (well actually, I know for a fact) that FDR wasted his time asking Stalin to treat his people any better or make any concessions on domestic policy in exchange for this aid.

    It would nonetheless be fallacious to ascribe all of the harm done by Stalin to the US on account of Lend-Lease. It is likewise with Pakistan -- the US supported Pakistan as a counterweight against Soviet friendly states in the region. What they did with that support is on their heads, not ours.

  • Robert||

    Did they actually use taxpayer dollars? Or did they simply sign off on the munitions export license?

  • anon||

    They did not threaten the loss of U.S. support or even sanctions if Pakistan took the wrong course...

    When you use this as an example of how "bad" the US treated Pakistan, I wonder if you're just pretending to be an anti-interventionist advocate.

  • kingice||

    I also thought, “Why are we taxpayers forced to pay men and women to jeopardize their kids’ well-being by going off to make war in foreign lands?” Some adults may be fool enough to buy the government’s propaganda about “serving their country,” but must we who know better be forced to participate in this atrocity? We often hear public policy justified in the name of “the children.” A noninterventionist foreign policy can genuinely satisfy that criterion.
    We are obligated to pay because we allowed it to happen by our inaction. We are complicent in this, by not stopping our country from making war.

  • anon||

    A noninterventionist foreign policy can genuinely satisfy that criterion.
    We are obligated to pay because we allowed it to happen by our inaction. We are complicent in this, by not stopping our country from making war.

    Ok, I might just be retarded or hungover or something, but what does this mean and how does it relate to the article? Which criteria are you attempting to satisfy?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    The "criterion" line is from Richman's article. He says a noninterventionist foreign policy can satisfy the "for the children" criterion.

  • anon||

    Even then, I'm still having trouble comprehending what kingice has to say. I don't really want to put any more effort into it though.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I like to think kingice was making a brilliant point about Richman's schizophrenic point in this article.

  • kingice||

    I'm saying that we can't blame someone who was sent in our place to do some shitty job. By us not acting to change the sending of the soldier to the unjust war, we bear the obligation to make the soldier whole. If you sit on your hands while something you know is wrong is happening then you are complicit and will bear the price of the action.It is shameful what is happening right now.

  • anon||

    If you sit on your hands while something you know is wrong is happening then you are complicit and will bear the price of the action.

    That's the same exact justification the interventionists use to get us into wars.

  • Pathogen||

    *cough*..Syria..*cough*

  • kingice||

    The point is to act, not to sit on your hands. We need to show these assholes for who they are. Syria is a great example. There was so much outcry that the president had to stop or suffer the political consequences...one victory. Now we need to go after the war hawks like Mccain. If we don't heel our dogs they don't know that they are our dogs.

  • wwhorton||

    Respectfully--and I mean that, because I agree with you in principle--I and most if not all of the people on these forums are limited by the structure of our government. I can vote against someone, yes. I can rail against policies with which I disagree in every public forum. If I'm willing to break the law, I can even lead a one-man rebellion and try to physically attack the people who make decisions with which I disagree. But I can't make fundamental, dramatic changes in policy over a short period of time.

    Sitting here, right now, I don't want anyone else to die in Afghanistan. So I vote for politicians who advocate a withdrawal and against hawks who'd keep us in longer or send us elsewhere. I talk to people about why it's a bad idea, why it's not in the national interest, etc. But there's nothing I can do to stop PFC Whatnots from getting shot by a Taliban sniper tomorrow. People who weren't me made the decision to send him there without checking in with yours truly, and while I will happily do whatever I can to help him and his family, I'm not under a moral obligation to do so.

    I support my country, but I am not my country.

  • kingice||

    It has taken these people over a century to get this country as screwed up as it is right now. And they did it one inch at a time. Neocons, progressives make all issues between themselves so that you either are a neocon or a progressive and both of them have the same goal, the destruction of the consitutional limitations ( the leash ). We need to be able to see that the road to return to liberty is not going to happen overnight,but while on the road to the destination we are responsible for the carnage in our wake. Individual responsiblity must be coupled with liberty. We are our country, like it or not.

  • kingice||

    If we lived in an anarchal based system you would be correct, but we don't and until it changes I'm correct.So lets work to make you be right.

  • Square||

    "If we don't heel our dogs they don't know that they are our dogs."

    Absolutely - people greatly underestimate this danger.

  • Number 2||

    No it is not. We have no business intervening in another country. However, we are directly involved in the election of our own government.

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  • Pathogen||

    The author's lament the cost of war, in the terms of damage done to the soldiers that fight it, cries for them, claims they were probably indoctrinated to join the military, praises the virtue of non-interventionism, and then laments Nixon's apparent failure to commit those same troops to intervene in the sovereign affairs of Pakistan's pseudo civil war if need be, then purports the blood of those killed in the Pakistani wars to be on Nixon's hands, for not intervening... at least that's what I got from it...

  • Brian D||

    Who outfitted the military dictatorship’s army knowing this slaughter would take place? Who kept doing so when it actually was taking place? And who offered private encouragement to Yahya?

    Nixon and Kissinger.

    That's some textbook nonintervention there.

  • anon||

    That's some textbook nonintervention there.

    Depends on what the author means by "outfitted."

    If he means "sold weapons to," then it isn't interventionist. If he means "gave weapons to for free," then yeah..

    It's kind of hard to reconcile Richman's stated beliefs with his actual beliefs.

  • Pathogen||

    And?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Richman is attempting to conflate the arming of an ally with the deliberate arming of an ally to enable a "slaughter". But that's not how it works.

  • Pathogen||

    Well, in an era when communism was threatening to swallow most of Asia, Vietnam wasn't panning out, a country called "Kampuchea" just happened, India was expected to move from Soviet client to Soviet communist satellite, I suppose holding the line by delivering on our promises to Pakistan, as opposed to intervening on what would have essentially been India's (and the Soviet Unions) behalf could have been construed as shrewd political strategy on Nixon's behalf...

  • CatoTheElder||

    But it wasn't so shrewd after all.

    Despite US intervention on behalf of Pakistan, a country called "Bangladesh" happened. Bangladesh eventually succumbed to Indian hegemony, which was indeed a Soviet client at the time but never a satellite. The US reputation as a defender of democracy and all that is good was, for good reason, tarnished by this little adventure.

    And, yes, it is intervention when a superpower arms one hostile party at little or no cost, advises it to initiate violence against its opponents, and provides diplomatic and propaganda cover for Bengali genocide.

    It is absurd when Team America sides with military dictators who engage in genocide because they don't like the results of an election to "make the world safe for democracy". However, it is no more absurd than siding with militant Wahhabi Muslim fundamentalists against Assad.

    Just because one side is "evil" or opposed to US interests doesn't mean that the other side "good" or aligned with US interests. More often it is the case that both sides in a political conflict are bad, and US interests are best served by butting out.

    Even the Pakistanis despise Yahya Khan, and Ali Bhutto put him under house arrest.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I don't care if it is "absurd" or not -- was it prudent?

    Whatever else you can say about it, arming the USSR against Nazi Germany was necessary for the winning of WWII. Some 90% of all WWII casualties were on the Eastern front, and there were several times during which it looked like the Eastern front was going to be won or at least settled. This would have allowed Nazi Germany to reinforce the West with battle-hardened soldiers, making amphibious assault impossible (or at least more costly than the US and UK would have been willing to commit to).

    Moral of the story? War sucks; avoid it when you can and prosecute it to the bitter end when you can't, so as to ward off future belligerents.

  • Square||

    "War sucks; avoid it when you can and prosecute it to the bitter end when you can't, so as to ward off future belligerents."

    Where would you put Nixon and Kissinger on that scale?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Good question. I think their record is mixed -- the Cold War was not optional, and moving China towards our sphere was a major foreign policy coup, possibly the one major event of the Cold War. Their SE Asia policy was decidedly more mixed: Vietnamization was about as good as one could do to wrap up the war, but bombing Cambodia was excessive. I agree fully with their policy vis a vis Chile. Many of their other policies were on the whole negative.

    I'd say they were a net plus mostly on account of pulling China out of the conflict, but I am open to persuasion. "War criminal" and the like is Chomskyite bullshit that leftists never apply in the case of their favored regimes' domestic policy.

  • Square||

    Agreed - "war criminal" for providing weapons casts the "war criminal" net a little wide. Hard to see what presidents wouldn't earn that title . . .

  • Eric Bana||

    Richman wasn't arguing for military intervention to stop it. He said that the weapons the US provided Pakistan were used in the slaughter, so the US shouldn't have given weapons to Pakistan in the first place.
    Additionally, Nixon/Kissinger could have publicly condemned the Pakistani government's behavior in East Pakistan to try and pressure them. Public discourse is entirely in line with not getting involved militarily.

  • Pathogen||

    "Nixon and Kissinger failed to use that leverage to avert disaster. Before the shooting started, they consciously decided not to warn Pakistan’s military chiefs against using violence on their own population…"

    Or, perhaps they understood the duplicitous nature if the Pakistani government all too well. Maybe they decided that our proven track record of coercing allied nations with finger waging, extortion, and threat of brute force when dealing with the internal matters of sovereign nations was anything but stellar. Maybe, at the height of the "cold-war", it was no time to be a buzz kill, and get all preachy wet blanket, because it was a buyers market for favoritism, and the Chinese would have glad muscled us out. Maybe, the Nixon administration correctly perceived the lengths that Pakistan were willing to go to crush opposition, and retain their territorial integrity...

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Don't go interfering with Richman's absurd morality play with your logic.

  • anon||

    But ... but... ISOLATIONIZT!!!!111one

    /richman

  • anon||

    "Nixon and Kissinger failed to use that leverage to avert disaster.

    This line alone pisses me off. Why the fuck should I care about some assholes killing each other half way around the world? It's only a "disaster" for them, not for me.

    Who knew Richman could make the creator of the EPA look so good.

  • Pathogen||

    But.. but... Saul Alinsky's website said that Nixon was a dickhead.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Vatican official Raymond Cardinal Burke, in an interview last month with the Catholic paper *The Wanderer,* asserted Pelosi is not eligible to receive communion:

    "Q. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, when recently questioned at a press briefing about the moral difference between what Dr. Gosnell did in murdering a baby born alive at 23 weeks as compared to the practice of aborting a baby moments before birth, refused to answer. Instead she is reported to have responded: “ As a practicing and respectful Catholic this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. I don’t think it should have anything to do with politics.” How are we to react to such a seemingly scandalous statement? Is this a case where Canon 915 might properly be applied? [Editor’s Note:Canon 915 of the Church’s Code of Canon Law states that those who are “ obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”]

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "A. Certainly this is a case when Canon 915 must be applied. This is a person who obstinately, after repeated admonitions, persists in a grave sin — cooperating with the crime of procured abortion — and still professes to be a devout Catholic. This is a prime example of what Blessed John Paul II referred to as the situation of Catholics who have divorced their faith from their public life and therefore are not serving their brothers and sisters in the way that they must — in safeguarding and promoting the life of the innocent and defenseless unborn, in safeguarding and promoting the integrity of marriage and the family.

    "What Congresswoman Pelosi is speaking of is not particular confessional beliefs or practices of the Catholic Church. It belongs to the natural moral law which is written on every human heart and which the Catholic Church obviously also teaches: that natural moral law which is so wonderfully illumined for us by Our Lord Jesus Christ by His saving teaching, but most of all by His Passion and death.

    "To say that these are simply questions of Catholic Faith which have no part in politics is just false and wrong. I fear for Congresswoman Pelosi if she does not come to understand how gravely in error she is. I invite her to reflect upon the example of St. Thomas More who acted rightly in a similar situation even at the cost of his life."

    http://www.thewandererpress.co.....e=20130905

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    She has to pass the Bible through legislation to know what's in it to decide her morality.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Didn't the new Pope recently say something about the Church being too hung up on fighting the abortion wars (and in reference to this very thing)?

    I wonder why we do not see talk about denying communion to conservative supporters of the death penalty.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The death penalty isn't considered immoral in Catholicism; they'd have to shred some very explicit parts of scripture, not to mention church tradition, to say that it was.

    The recent popes have said that it's merely become unnecessary in the modern world, but that's not a "faith and morals" teaching, it's a sociological opinion, and thus not binding.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I am not a Catholic and so not well versed in their theology. I know though that the 'the Catechism declares that "the cases in which execution of the offender is an absolute necessity 'are very rare, if practically nonexistent.'" Is that not a faith and morals issue?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    It isn't. The sentence you quote is a sociological claim.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The catechism is split into 'sociological claims' which can be ignored by Catholics and 'faith and morals' issues which cannot?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The section of the CCC you're quoting actually explains the difference fairly well.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I am not seeing that explanation. I am looking at the section on capital punishment (and abortion as well, interestingly), Article 5 on the Fifth Commandment, and I do not see it. Can you point it out? Thanks.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Worst case scenario _ the pope made abortion a low enforcement priority-imagine a police department deemphasizing car thefts. But even such cops would act if someone set up a chop shop right next door to the station house. Likewise if a prominent catholic politician respectively denies the faith in public. Ifyou want the sleeping lion to leave you alone, dont poke it with a sharp stick. Even the most ldthargic animal will rdspond to that.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Back when I was a papist like you, I had trouble with making the leap from abortion being immoral to opposing laws against abortion being immoral. If the latae sententiae excommunication offense of procuring a completed abortion applies to simply not stopping abortions from happening, then pretty much every American but Eric Rudolph is damned.

    Then-Cardinal Ratzinger actually made a good argument about the rule of law requiring that abortion be treated the same as murder of an already-born person, but it didn't quite seal the deal for me.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I would guess that subsizing an abortion counts as procuring?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Justice Ruther Bader Ginsburg considers a key question in a Washington Post interview: should she resign before 2016 so that Obama can appoint her successor? Not necessary, she explains:

    "So Ginsburg understands politics but does not feel she faces a deadline to leave so that Obama, whom she admires, can choose her successor.

    "“I think it’s going to be another Democratic president” after Obama, Ginsburg said. “The Democrats do fine in presidential elections; their problem is they can’t get out the vote in the midterm elections.”"

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....story.html

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I'll give her some points for honesty. She's a partisan hack, and she's not afraid to show it.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    not afraid to show it, show it
    She's a Democrat and knows it!

  • Fatty Bolger||

    She's got partisan in her pants

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle (X4)
    Wiggle around the law

  • BakedPenguin||

  • SIV||

    Smokin' hot

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Good girls go to heaven, Bader girls go to the Supreme Court!

  • VG Zaytsev||

    She's a moron for buying into the partisan bullshit - republicans can't win derp

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    So, she does intend to retire when a Democrat is president so she can be replaced by another leftist. So much for SCOTUS being apolitical! Though the new leftists are actually worse than RBG since they don't give a crap about civil rights.

    If Scalia were publicly talking about strategically retiring while a Republican was president the media would be screaming bloody murder.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Not entirely sure where you got the idea SCOTUS was apolitical. It's one of the three co-equal branches of the federal government.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The fact that they routinely refer to the other two branches as "the political branches" might give it away, Randian.

    Being insulated from politics is the intent of the lifetime terms, as well. I recommend curling up with, well, any book on the constitution to shore up your knowledge of these matters.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    So, your evidence is how the SCOTUS styles itself? I bet you call the Democrats the party of reason too. I mean, they call themselves that, yes?

    Being insulated from politics is the intent of the lifetime terms

    Being insulated from partisanship may have been the intent, but the branches are all political:

    pol·i·tics
    ˈpäləˌtiks/
    noun
    1.
    the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, esp. the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    And this is the part of the show where Randian copy-pastes the dictionary definition of a word that neither of us were using.

    Don't ever stop being you, it's funny.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    The word "apolitical" doesn't relate to the word "politics"? That's a new one on me.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I'm not wasting another day on a nailing-jello-to-the-wall argument with you.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    In other words, you give up. OK.

  • prolefeed||

    I'm not wasting another day on a nailing-jello-to-the-wall argument with you.

    That is a wise use of your time, abandoning arguing that SCOTUS is apolitical because some of the political appointees on it, one of whom just admitted that she was explicitly making political calculations about whether to retire, say it is not a political branch of the political body called the federal government.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The relevant part of my post boldified for those like prolefeed who have reading difficulties:

    So, she does intend to retire when a Democrat is president so she can be replaced by another leftist. So much for SCOTUS being apolitical! Though the new leftists are actually worse than RBG since they don't give a crap about civil rights.

    The point I was making was that SCOTUS is supposed to be apolitical, and Ginsburg's comments are violating that supposition.

  • SweatingGin||

    That could make a great indicator following 2014 of where the election is going.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    "The enormity of Nixon’s and Kissinger’s crimes cannot be exaggerated:"

    Bull. The enormity of Nixon and Kissinger's crimes is routinely exaggerated, often by people who will spend years retuning down evidence of their involvement in the death of one more person, but who somehow can't work up any interest in looking into the deaths of millions under various Communist regimes.

    Now, I loath Nixon. He is the epitome of what os wrong with the 'Business as usual' faction of the Republican Party; a broadly big government liberal swine who seldom met a program he wouldn't fund, yet hated by the Democrats for not being Kennedy. I don't want to have anything to do with efforts to rehabilitate him. But his reputation for being the incarnation of Beelzebub is largely hogwash.

    This is a case in point; the writer first criticizes the government for endangering soldiers with interventionism, and then damns Nixon and Kissinger for NOT intervening in Pakistan.

    Make. Up. Your. Goddamned. Mind.

    And quit kicking Tricky Dicky; he's dead. If nothing else, you'll get slime on your shoes.

  • DJF||

    Its funny that if Nixon had not been driven from office he might have gotten his health care plan passed in 1974 Something that the democrats say they have wanted for the last 40 years.

    Policy wise Nixon was the great liberal Republican that the Democrats keep saying they want to work with but they hate him more then any other

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Another hypocrisy from the great Liberal Golden Age of the 60s and 70s. They've always been partisans and always will.

  • Robert||

    That's one of the things I hate about Nixon: his efficacy.

  • Robert||

    I'll keep kicking Tricky Dick because he had that great combination of venality, pettiness, ambition, dangerousness, and superciliousness that I loathe & fear. Of course he followed a president just like that too.

    The only thing that makes me take his side is the skewering he got in The Pledge by Howard Fast, who distorted facts considerably but gets away with it because "it's a work of fiction". And that's too bad because Fast had some serious points to make in that satire.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Hello.

    My name is Brad.

    I represent the state. I'm your state-angel. I came across your statement:

    "These scenes brought tears to my eyes, and I said out loud, “This is what the state does to people."

    The state does what to people? The state is the people. The people is the state. It is kind and it is benevolent. I have arranged to send you tissue. Until then, cheers and be happy. The alternative I assure you, that is no state, is hell and it will kill everything you love. Take care!

    Sincerely,

    B

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Government intervention blocks routes out of poverty, and in self-defense, the ruling elite ameliorates some of the worst effects with handouts. If the handouts are suddenly yanked while the barriers stay in place, hardship will result.

    Yes, just like with every aristocracy. At least ours isn't hereditary. Yet.

  • Pathogen||

    Except for the Roosevelt's, and the Bushes, and... maybe..*erp*..*cough* *wretch*..Clintons...*gasp*

  • Killazontherun||

    Don't worry, I've got pictures of Chelsea while I administered a dirty Sanchez to her face. I did it for the Team (America!). Oh, you mean, Hillary. 'Fraid I'm not properly equipped for her liking.

  • Pathogen||

    Man up, and take one for the team... get in there!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Finally, someone has the courage to point out who's causing so much trouble in Egypt - the Coptic Christians!

    "Obama-linked Islamists Downplay Coptic Suffering on Social Media

    "...In a Sept. 15 Twitter post, Mohamed Elibiary, a member of the Department of Homeland Security's Homeland Security Advisory Council, accused American Coptic activists of fanning hatred of Islam.

    ""For decade since 9/11 attack extremist American #Coptic activists have nurtured anti #Islam & anti #Muslim sentiments among AM RT wing," Elibiary wrote."

    http://www.investigativeprojec.....-suffering

    Copt killer - but tonight we get even!

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    This is truly sickening.

  • Pathogen||

    And I'm absolutely certain that we would get an entirely objective opinion out of Mohamed Elibiary... absolutely 9.999% certain, yes sir..

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    "Obama-linked Islamists" indicates a right-wing nutcase source like CNS, Horowitz, or Bratfart.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    "Mohammedfags" just doesn't roll off the tongue.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Allahfags does.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Hmm, that's more like Godfag than Christfag. But I'm sure they'll take it.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Just checked the links - they're to his Twitter account, Palin. In other words, in his own words in 140 characters.

    Care to spin that?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    OH, THE IRONY! JOHN ONDRASIK IS KICKED OUT OF JEFFERSON MEMORIAL

    From there he continued on to the Jefferson Memorial. There was a sign saying the Memorial was closed, but he climbed the stairs anyway, and encountered more yellow tape: [picture]

    This brought an angry guard out to confront John. Note how John has protected the guard’s identity; I’m not sure, actually, that he deserves anonymity: [picture]

    The guard gave John the bum’s rush. John tweeted: “This [photo] is where he grabbed my shoulder and started pushing me down the stairs.”

    The irony of an American citizen being chased away from a memorial to Thomas Jefferson because, well, you can’t visit monuments when our government is 17% shut down, is almost too much. But consider the significance of the fact that a guard was present. That expense was being incurred, just as if the memorial were open; so why did it need to be closed? The difference was that instead of being there to provide security, the guard’s role was to chase away any visitors who were bold enough to ignore the signs and the yellow tape.
  • DJF||

    It looks like yellow tape installer is an essential government job.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    He's lucky he didn't try to dance.

  • CatoTheElder||

    The thug who guards the Jefferson memorial has some impressive tattoos. Are they gang related?

  • SweatingGin||

    Shutdown Theatre throwing people out of privately owned homes

    Joyce Spencer is 77-years-old and her husband Ralph is 80. They've been spending most of their time in the family ice cream store since going home isn't an option.

    The Spencers never expected to be forced out of their Lake Mead home, which they've owned since the 70s, but on Thursday, a park ranger said they had 24 hours to get out.
  • anon||

    - The government shutdown is being felt close to home for some locals. They say they're being forced out of private homes on Lake Mead because they sit on federal land.

    Hey, here's a fucking idea: Don't build your house on federal land.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Why the hell isn't BO getting forced out of the White House?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    It doubles as his office, so he can stay. But his wife and children need to find different accommodations.

  • SweatingGin||

    I'd be interested to see more on what happened there. If the house was built before it was federal land, or something along those lines. How they ended up owning the house but not the land.

    Might be a situation where they can't sell it or pass it on, as the park service intends to take it after they die. Hard to say.

    But yea.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The Lake Mead properties are considered vacation homes; one of the lease requirements to own a plot is people must have an alternative residence.

    While I'm as disgusted by BO and company's actions re: the shutdown as anyone, these are vacation homes, not primary residences.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    So what?

  • Pathogen||

    You're too late...

  • DK||

    The Lake Mead properties are considered vacation homes; one of the lease requirements to own a plot is people must have an alternative residence.

    So, will the government continue to collect lease payments?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Scott Walker refuses federal order to close state parks

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has officially rebuffed a request from National Park Service to close several state park sites. In rejecting the order, Walker explained that the Badger State, not the feds, provides the majority of the parks' funding so there is no need for a closure.

    The feds ordered Wisconsin officials to close the northern unit of the Kettle Moraine, Devil's Lake, and Interstate state parks and the state-owned portion of the Horicon Marsh, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.

    The state Department of Natural Resources not only ignored the orders but also removed a barricade federal officials had put before a Mississippi boat launch.
  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Sounds like he's threatening the president's credibility.

    Walker better hurry up and lease a naval base to the Russians to get some backup.

  • SweatingGin||

    "THE TEATHUGLICAN WON'T CLOSE MY BOAT LAUNCH! THE PEOPLE MUST BE PUNISHED!"

    Oh, to be a fly on the wall in the WH this weekend.

  • Pathogen||

    Obama's sending furloughed workers and union cronies to tear up and repossess all Wisconsin's interstates and highways as we speak, that project should be completed in about 2104...

  • SweatingGin||

    Just have the national guard do... oh, right...

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Will BO stand in the entrance of the boat launch like Orville Faubus?

  • SweatingGin||

    "MR. WALKER! TEAR DOWN THIS BOAT LAUNCH!"

  • Robert||

    I guess they haven't had the guts yet to close all the federal hwys. Because it seems the other moves, which were generally not part of earlier shutdowns, are calculated to make it obvious they're holding us hostage, I wonder why they don't just go all the way & close the hwys. I mean, if that's the message you want to send, why hold back? The public will either hate you or fear you, it's just a matter of degree, so why not pull out all the stops?

  • Agammamon||

    I hear you can lease a nuclear deterrent from one of the former 'stans.

    No wait - I've been reading too much Ken MacLeod.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    For some reason I read that as "nuclear detergent"

  • Agammamon||

    Well that would certainly take care of an odors in your clothes

  • ||

    We can debate the details of what this government has and is doing until we run out of breath and pass out, but until we do something to get rid of the political class in this country, it will be pointless. We never should have allowed a political class to develop in the first place. Now we need to kill it.

    Term limits. No benefits. Serve two terms then get a real fucking job.

  • db||

    Hand in hand with term limits, something needs to restrain the bureaucratic class, which has the real staying power.

    I'd suggest, in a system with true term limits for politicians, that the executive politicians sbould have the ability to fire bureaucrats without appeal for cause--i.e., if the bureaucrats stonewall changes by a new politician in charge, they get fired. Plus, make sure that any bureaucrat fired once for cause is prohibited from holding a Federal job ever again.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    How does term limits fit into libertarian philosophy? 'You silly voters, you cannot keep choosing the same guy, even if you want to. We've decided that is bad for you (and us).'

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Libertarian philosophy doesn't speak to how the government is chosen. In theory, you could have a libertarian dictatorship.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    But libertarian philosophy does place a great deal of weight on allowing people to follow their own choices and resists the idea of putting restrictions on those choices, consistent with the limits of the NAP. That certainly seems violated at least in spirit by term limits.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Not necessarily. Libertarian philosophy is fundamentally about coercion (and the lack thereof), not about choice. A noncoercive act that restricts choice would be totally kosher in libertarianism.

    You're veering toward the left-libertarian heresy which tries to justify coercion in the name of "increasing choice".

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Are not you the one veering there? 'I know you want to choose this fellow, but we are telling you that you cannot, for your own good.' There is no coercion to letting people pick who they want to represent them.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I never said a lack of term limits was coercive, just that term limits aren't coercive.

    Libertarianism is silent on how to conduct elections, or even whether to conduct elections.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    A core tenant of libertarianism is that people's choices should only be restricted when they cause rather direct violations of other's rights. That some people might vote for some politicians who might use their seniority to make some bad laws hardly seems to qualify.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Ah, tenet, not tenant!

  • Robert||

    I think the key point of analysis here is what things people are choosing about. Gov't is of necessity a product of collective choice. Every facet of gov't laid out represents choices not taken as well as one taken. You might as well say that having an election in an even numbered year deprives someone of the choice of holding it in an odd numbered year. But more obviously, the fact that it's a group election, where the votes are counted, and not everyone gets to elect their choice, means that in comparison, ruling out someone who's already served in that office a certain duration is a relatively minor depriv'n of choice. It might even increase choice by making room for another candidate who wouldn't otherwise have a chance.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    And in fact, that seems like a good differentiator between right-libertarianism (aka "libertarianism") and left-libertarianism. LL seeks to maximize choice while RL seeks to minimize coercion.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That's actually a really good distinguishing point between the two. I had never thought of it that way.

  • ||

    Term limits fit into libertarian philosophy by preventing the development of a de facto aristocracy which is very dangerous to liberty.

    You sound a bit like an ideologue there Bo.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    So people's free and voluntary choices should be restricted because those choices may, in some long run and indirect way, reduce liberty in the future?

    I doubt that is a position we want to take generally.

  • ||

    "...may, in some long run and indirect way...."

    There is no 'may' about it. It doesnt take long, and it is not indirect.

    A political class is incompatible with a free society. Your argument is the equivalent of saying that people should be free to choose to be slaves if they wish, and to choose whom their masters will be. Fuck that. Outlaw slavery.

  • Robert||

    Whose choice is being restricted? If the incumbent is allowed to run again, those who want someone else are having their choice restricted just as much.

  • wwhorton||

    While I get the reticence to restrict choice by limiting the number of consecutive terms, I think you have to look at the nature of democratic elections before you write off any limits to terms as "coercive" or "anti-choice".

    You're limiting choice in terms of the representative, not the ideology, platform, etc. You're not saying, "Ok, you've voted for someone in favor of sidewalks for two terms, now we'll give the anti-sidewalk faction a shot." If President Snuggleworth's policies regarding the Middle East, financial regulation, and subsidizing rocking-horse factories are popular, they can be carried on by another. The point is to avoid political power accumulating in one person.

  • wwhorton||

    I realize that my second paragraph edit doesn't make sense alongside my first. What I meant to say was that any election based on a majority-rule, winner-take-all type of thing nullifies the choices of the losing votes. If you are part of the 49% who didn't win, your opinion doesn't count. That's an oversimplification, of course, but the point is that we've accepted a system of government where we routinely disempower the minority view with the caveat that the minority has the right to try to sway others to their side through election.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    I'm detecting a small flaw in the left-wing thinking pattern. If the government is the people and vice-versa ergo it can't commit violent acts against itself, then why - if we use Federal lands as an example - should these parks be closed since, you know, they belong to the people anyway. The Federal government and the people are one and the same, no? Shouldn't people have the right to visit those parks since they paid for it?

    And if the shutdown is the Republican's fault, then why is the administration doing all the forcing? I may be showing my limited knowledge of American politics but feels as though at the very least Obama actually wants the shutdown to make a cynical point.

    It's good there's a guy like Walker willing to challenge Obama's authority. If he succeeds, it'll give confidence to other states to do the same.

  • db||

    Expecting consistent principled thinking from a political faction not expressly dedicated to consistent adherence to principle is your mistake.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    It belongs to the People, but the Top Men, provided they are Democrats, are allowed to control the People because they are Top Men from the right party.

  • CatoTheElder||

    They rule in the Name of the People, and that makes everything -- every single thing -- legitimate.

    You must OBEY, for you are counted among the People and have repeatedly pledged allegiance to their rule.

    Provided they are Democrats, of course. Otherwise, dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -And if the shutdown is the Republican's fault, then why is the administration doing all the forcing?

    Well, that is kind of what the executive does...

    I think both sides are silly.

    Obama is silly because it is clear that some of the actions they are taken in response to the shutdown are being taken because of the 'political optics.' So much for 'empathy.'

    But the Republicans look silly too. Conservatives welcomed the shutdown, they said no one would be hurt by it, (some said other than Democrat constituents, which of course do not count, the 47% and all) and people would see how useless much of what the government does is. Then when government stopped doing certain things they started showing up in lab coats urging funding of NIH and rushing to pass bills to fund...federal parks?

    It is to laugh. How third parties have not become more relevant in the face of the silliness of the Big Two is, frankly, beyond me.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Conservatives welcomed the shutdown, they said no one would be hurt by it...and people would see how useless much of what the government does is.

    Er, who exactly said this?

    If you're talking about some loony powerless commentator, that's dirty pool since you're comparing their actions to those of a guy who actually has power.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well, many commentators here said it, and at the least that would make their outrage at Obama's selective closings suspect, no?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Then go after those commentators. If you're going to cite them as the voice of conservatives, then cite the lefty loony commentators as the voice of the left, not a guy who's (marginally) careful with his words like BO.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well, some elected Republicans, such as Rep. Massie have publicly said the shutdown would not be 'a big deal,' and 'powerless commentators' such as Limbaugh and Hannity have said the shutdown would show government's uselessness. Now they have all condemned things shut down. So, let my comments apply to them and the commentators here who have done the same, I am happy to restrict it to them.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Not this again.

    Obama is taking affirmative action to inflict pain. Which reinforces the point that a partial shutdown would be painless.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I would be interested in how the NIH thing the GOP threw a dramatic 'hissy fit' over the other day is 'an affirmative action.'

  • VG Zaytsev||

    And your still lying about that I see.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Huh? Obama is shutting down things like open air memorials, parking lots, and even fucking forests. Do you really need the government to hike through the woods? Hell, they're putting guards on previously unguarded sites, in order to keep people out.

    The "pain" is being deliberately and unnecessarily inflicted, so passing individual bills to stop it makes perfect sense and is not hypocritical in the least.

  • Robert||

    Even part of the ocean off Fla.! Worse than "no lifeguard, no swimming", it's "no guided fishing boats allowed".

  • Agammamon||

    So, who's being hurt by *the shutdown* rather than by the actions of the current administration to make the shutdown as painful as possible?

    What I see are a lot of people getting a paid vacation, along with a government spending *extra* money to keep people out of open air monuments and parks. Along with private businesses being closed down simply because a small part of the federal government is.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    When you say 'bring on the shut down because 90% of what the federal government does is useless anyway' then it is silly to complain when some part of that 90% is shut down, even if shutting down that part does not make a lot of sense.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    What's silly is your "all or none" argument. If they shut down something that doesn't make sense, rather than shutting down something that does, then the problem is not with the shut down itself but with the people managing it.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Posting guards to keep people out of an open space is not 'shutting down'.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    What's getting totally lost in this debate is that most of the stuff being shut down shouldn't even be run by fedgov. There's no reason the NPS couldn't be privatized.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    This is quite surprising, seeing so many posters on a libertarian website feeling so much need to carry water for the GOP in this spat that they are reduced to aligning themselves with and defending those who would don lab coats and lament 'the children' while declaring the NIH to be a 'core mission of the federal government.'

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Bo, I don't think they carry the GOP water in as much they believe the Democrats are too far left to consider the libertarian option.

    Bourbon!

  • Agammamon||

    That's not what I asked - who's being hurt by the shutdown itself, rather than by the administrations actions?

  • wwhorton||

    You mean, if the government owns, not rents, the land, it's already paid for, so it shouldn't be subject to the shutdown? Well, to put it briefly, FYTW.

  • SweatingGin||

    And if the shutdown is the Republican's fault, then why is the administration doing all the forcing? I may be showing my limited knowledge of American politics but feels as though at the very least Obama actually wants the shutdown to make a cynical point.

    Executive branch is the only one with the ability to close parks like that and such. Republicans in Congress couldn't do much to stop that, or shutdown other parts. All they can do is say what they will/won't support and try to get Reid and Obama to agree to one of them.

  • 4thaugust1932||

    Every regime fears transparency and hates people who can think out of the box.

  • John||

    Remember this article the next time Reason talks about how wrong the US was to intervene and keep the communists from taking over Iran.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    remember this next time we tell you for what will be the millionth time that Reason is not monolithic and different writers have different opinions.

  • John||

    Can lick their boots any harder? Look they already have a court ass kisser. His name is Alan Venneman and he is not giving up his position for the likes of you.

    And "we have different writers" does not excuse the rank hypocrisy of this article. It is like this guy is some consistent interventionist.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    You'll note I'm the one who formulated the first substantive criticism.

    Of course, the fact that there are different writers does not excuse this article. That said, you said this:

    Remember this article the next time Reason talks about how wrong the US was to intervene and keep the communists from taking over Iran.

    The problem is that "Reason" is not a monolithic entity, and the fact they have different writers does explain why there are different points of view. Why this has to explained to you over and again like you're four years old is the real mystery here.

  • John||

    They have published like ten articles a week for like twenty years about the evils of interventionism. Now they tell us Nixon was criminal not to intervene in Pakistan 40 years ago. You only deny the obvious hypocrisy of that because you want Venneman's position.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Stop shilling for Team Red, Red Tony. It long ago became tiresome.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Stop shilling for Team Stupid shriek.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Stop shilling for Team Stupid shriek.

    It's more "leading by example" than shilling.

  • Calidissident||

    You can bring this up next time Richman writes an article about non-interventionism. I fail to see why ever other Reason writer needs to answer for his article.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I guess we have to start checking bylines whenever we criticize NYT or WaPo inconsistency, too?

    Reason's articles are not a public discussion forum, they are chosen by Reason itself. Therefore Reason is responsible for them. If they want to denounce what they disagree with, go ahead.

  • Calidissident||

    If you regularly read and commented on the NYT or WaPo, then I would expect you to have a general idea of who their writers were and when they were being inconsistent. Reason isn't a hive-mind - as seen by the commentary on the government shutdown, where Suderman and Welch were hammered for criticizing the GOP strategy of "shutting down the government" to try to defund Obamacare, while Gillespie said he agreed with it. So is Reason hypocritical for taking two different positions on the same issue? Should they be praised or criticized?

  • Killazontherun||

    There is a general tone argument to be made, but I don't think Richman really reflects that here. I doubt if anyone else at Reason would support intervention in Pakistan in 1970 or 2013.

    And even in the example above, Welch and Suderman had substantial different points of emphasis where I pretty much agree with Welch about the squandered opportunities, and think Suderman overreached on his criticism on the grand stand Cruz took to highlight what a fuck up we are getting into with Obamacare. Also, his idea of what he would have done differently sounded like the kind of 'waste, fraud and abuse' he has complained about in other context.

  • Arn0||

    He was a criminal to be the accessory of Pakistan.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    No, John is right. Richman in particular really likes flogging the Iran horse; I'd say he's the Reason writer who most brings up that bloody trope. (He's also the idiot who says that libertarianism is really descended from the socialist "progressive" tradition, natch.)

    They publish a lot of stupid shit about foreign policy. Not as bad as Rockwell, but they have their moments.

  • Calidissident||

    I don't see how John is right. NK criticized Richman for the article before he did. The dispute is over the fact that John seems to be blaming all of Reason for Richman's seemingly hypocritical arguments. What other Reason writer would criticize the US for failing to intervene in that sort of situation (though I think Richman would have been fine had he limited his criticism to the Nixon administration's weapons deals, which, regardless of your view on their morality or necessity, were illegal and in violation of a Congressional embargo)?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I have an idea. The Washington professional football team should change their name to "Parasites".

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    OK, Rand Paul was a moron for talking about winning and losing in front of an open mic given Boehner's comments last week.

    The MTP rent-a-host is a moron for moving the goalposts from "technical default" (which RP explained doesn't need to happen) to "default in spirit" (?!).

    And finally, the Congressional Black Caucus are morons for picking someone named Marcia Fudge as their leader.

  • John||

    Rand Paul is a moron for embracing he military sexual assault witch hunt which is right now ruining the lives and careers of a dozens of innocent people. It is by far the most disappointing thing he has done.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It is entirely consistent with the NAP to be for vigorous action against sexual assault. Of course it should be just and fair action, but wanting to get rid of it is spot on.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Just because something is consistent with NAP does not make it a good idea.

  • Killazontherun||

    What? You are not looking forward to the military being under the scrutiny of Pat Shroeder as she glosses over her colleagues being rapist and literal lady killers to persecute some assgrabbing aces, all over again? Don't you have any appreciation for the Greatest Hits of the 90s?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I have an idea. The Washington professional football team should change their name to "Parasites".

    How about The Flukes? Some people will think parasites and other will think heroic free shit fighters.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Some others might think of whale tail fins, anchor points, or flatfish.

  • Mickey Rat||

    No, "Cronies" is more appropriate.

  • Robert||

    The D.C. Divas -- http://www.dcdivas.com -- are named in that vein. You know, self-important, above mere mortals.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Whatever their name is, they're playing like the Washington Generals right now. But I guarantee they won't lose this weekend.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Is NPS trying to win the crown for evilest government agency during a shutdown? And yet both Wolf Trap and the Kennedy Center are still open because they cater to the right type of people.

    If the Repubs weren't statist loving shitheads themselves (for the most part), they'd pass legislation to turn over those playgrounds and the land to the city of D.C. Why the fuck should the National Park Service be operating playgrounds?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I've said it before -- the park police are probably the most loathesome federal LEA right now. Even the DEA pales in comparison.

  • Agammamon||

    No, that's just hyperbole.

    Spending extra effort to keep people out of a park during a 'shutdown', at its worst, does not equate to the DEA turning a blind eye to informants running murder-houses across the border. It doesn't compare to the NSA trapping 'metadata' and tapping most of the internet. It doesn't compare to the ATF running guns across the border 'to see what happens'. It doesn't even compare to the DOJ raiding Gibson guitars because 'maybe' they might possibly have not completely complied with some foreign law dealing with wood export.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    All true. Though at least those other guys keep their transgressions less visible.

  • Agammamon||

    I'd give the NPS props for being *openly* dickholes. At least we know where we stand with them.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The city of DC is essentially part of the federal govt...

  • Cdr Lytton||

    True, but things like playgrounds shouldn't be under the control of the NPS.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Yeah, that's hard to argue with, unless the playground is on some larger piece of land for which NPS management makes sense. Which doesn't seem to be the case here.

  • Agammamon||

    But is it an *essential* part of the federal government?

    Personally I'd say no - you could shutdown all of DC's government services and it wouldn't affect me on iota.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Dramatic raids in the Global War on Terror! Seal Team Six!

    Truth, Justice, and The American Way!

    Fuck yeah. President Lone Justice saves the day, again.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yes, the new millennium has turned everything upside down. The GOP became the big-spending and lousy-on-national defense party while the best golfer in the world is black and the best rapper is white.

    Most of you are still confused.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    But the left is still populated by douchebags, liars and morons.

    So we have that rock to hang onto.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    You're still an insufferable nitwit, so not quite everything has been turned upside down.

  • Nazdrakke||

    Bonus points for Richman for selecting a title for his article. I know when I read "Government Shutdown" the first thing that comes to mind is American foreign policy during the Cold War.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    I briefly saw the light bulb go on over the head of my Obama loving school teacher gf when I mentioned how the Dept of Ed was sent home and I asked if she even noticed.

    It was only 2 seconds of hope, but I'll take it.

  • Agammamon||

    My teacher friend thinks it will become very difficult for his school if the shutdown lasts for long - he can't *quite* explain how.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    So sad these people can't extricate themselves from the government. What, he can't teach without a government? Man, such fear.

  • Killazontherun||

    As I explained it to one pal who taught Spanish for a decade before getting out of the field, if he collected a buck a day from every student who entered your class, how much dough would he be rolling in? He was already half way there being a Mormon and a fundamentalist, but that really nailed any argument that the systemic excess of administration overhead was anything but a superflous jobs program.

  • Killazontherun||

    change that 'your' to 'his', missed it on the reworded editing done for the sake of brevity.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Boehner says we cannot continue to spend unlimited amounts of money.

    Stephanopoulos goes for the throat: "So you admit we need more revenue!"

    Good grief.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    You didn't watch Press the Meat today?

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Do they honestly think "spending" means they need "more revenues?" It's fucking beyond illogical. It's patently retarded.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I'm watching This Week and am stunned by the open partisanship of Stepho. The media douchebags seem to have dropped any pretense of objectivity.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The Fox News Effect.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    What does the FOX say?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Jesus Christ dude.

    Stepho wasn't conducting an interview, interrogation maybe but he spent all his time telling Bohner what his (Bohner's) postion or thought were (WTF) or repeating administration talking points.

    It was a fucking parody of Hannity.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Georgie Boy has to make up for pressing BO on whether Obamacare was a tax or not back in 2010.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    What was Cronkite's excuse?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Palin's Buttwipe,

    The Fox News Effect [sic].


    Yeah, sure, Buttwipe. Partisan hacks playing make-believe journalists on TV is a FOX invention. Sure.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I did watch MtP. Mostly I learned Savannah Guthrie is not very bright.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The valley girl accent isn't terribly conducive to rational discussion either.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Where's Krugabe? How can you have a discussion about the shutdown without his weepy outrage?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    So many people here accuse Richman of contradicting his expressed non-interventionism. Can I ask, where does he do that in the article? I see him condemning the intervention of outfitting the Pakistan military. I see him quoting another author who condemns Nixon and Kissinger for not rebuking the military, for threatening to cut off further support, and for not threatening sanctions (this could be considered interventionism of some sort, but certainly not necessarily). I frankly do not see it.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Randian quoted the relevant parts of the article, whose general thrust was it's America's fault.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Ah, so you are upset about a perceived slight to the U.S. of A.

    Of course, that is not the same as evidence of Richman breaking the philosophy of non-interventionism.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Nah, I'm saying that blaming the US for Pakistan's mass murdering Bengalis is moronic and derives from the same belief in the omniscience of the federal government that leads other left wing morons to advocate intervention.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    You do not think there is complicity involved when someone knowingly provides the tools used to harm others?

    I can see saying 'we are not complicit if we sold them arms and they then went out and used them badly' if, and it is a big if, we did not have good reason to know they would use them in such a way. But Richman points out that we continued to arm the Pakistani military during and after their murderous actions committed with our arms. If that is not complicity, I do not know what is.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    You do not think there is complicity involved when someone knowingly provides the tools used to harm others?

    No, is the gun store owner responsible for the murders committed with guns he provided?

  • Calidissident||

    I don't think the USG's role was comparable to that of a gun store owner.

    "Kissinger disclosed that the U.S. would be moving some ships into the area, and also that military aid was being sent from Jordan, Turkey, and Iran. Some of this aid was illegally transferred because it was American in origin."

    "In a discussion of the India-Pakistan situation, Haig declares that the U.S. is doing everything it can do to facilitate transfers of fighter planes and military supplies from Jordan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia to Pakistan."

    "Embassy Iran reports that three F-5A Fighter aircraft, reportedly from the United States, had been flown to Pakistan to assist in the war efforts against India. A Northrop official matches the aircraft to a group of planes originally slated for sale to Libya, but which were then diverted to USG control in California. This information suggests that not only did Washington look the other way when Jordan and Iran supplied U.S. planes to Pakistan, but that despite the embargo placed on Pakistan, it directly supplied Pakistan with fighter planes."

  • Calidissident||

    Here's the link to those quotes:
    http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB79/

    The administration was violating a Congressional arms embargo in multiple ways. And according to Wikipedia (the source is a book, so I can't link to it), the administration reimbursed the other countries mentioned for those arms (which makes sense - why would those other countries give them away for free?).

    IMO, that's a lot more than playing the role of a gun store owner. (And if a gun store owner sold guns to someone who he knew was using them to commit murders, then yeah, I would at least hold him somewhat morally responsible - but that's besides the point)

  • VG Zaytsev||

    But Richman points out that we continued to arm the Pakistani military during and after their murderous actions committed with our arms. If that is not complicity, I do not know what is.

    And the alternative is what?

    Telling Pakistan how to run their country?

    Or simply restricting trade?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Our government not giving them weapons, especially after they knew they were being used for slaughter?

  • Calidissident||

    I'm not defending or agreeing with Richman's arguments (except on weapons deals), but he wasn't blaming the US. He was blaming the US government. That's not the same thing. Don't conflate government and society like leftists do.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Good point.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    How about The Flukes? Some people will think parasites and other will think heroic free shit fighters.

    Flukes? Have some sensitivity to Cetacean-Americans, please.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    For the heck of it I went to the Dept of Ed Site, and here were the titles of the top articles.

    There's nothing left to cut! That's about $250 million in "awards" in one day!

    Government Shutdown
    MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
    University at Buffalo Awarded $924,512 Grant to Advance the Transfer of Rehabilitation Technologies for Individuals with Disabilities
    MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
    U.S. Department of Education Awards Nearly $32 Million to Local Education Agencies and Community-Based Organizations for Nutrition and Physical Education
    MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
    Beyond The Beltway Bubble
    MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
    Default Rates Continue to Rise for Federal Student Loans
    MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
    U.S. Department Of Education Awards Nearly $1 Million to George Washington University to Support Educational Facilities Clearinghouse
    MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
    Department Awards $211 Million for the Promoting the Readiness Of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) Initiative
    MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
    U.S. Department of Education Awards $2.8 Million in Charter School Grants for Planning, Program Design, Implementation and Dissemination
    MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
    Remarks of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to the Congressional Caucus Hispanic Institute

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Last day of the fiscal year. Got to get those monies out the door or they won't get more next year.

  • Agammamon||

    its *because* of the shutdown that all this money is being given out - if the DOEd were fully staffed they'd be able to afford to better vet the grants.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Watch out, Jay Carney, someone's after your job.

  • Ken Shultz||

    In both libertarianism and the world, there's an ideological battle going on between those who talk about what we should do given the way things are and those who talk about the way things should be.

    It's possible to have a foot in more than one camp at the same time. Usually, when I'm talking about foreign policy, I'm talking about what we should do given the way things are--that's why they call it "realism". But that doesn't mean I don't share Richman's view about the way things should be, too.

    I give money to Reason 'cause they do a great job of preaching the gospel, making the day come sooner when we get enough people who agree about the way things should be to the point that it really starts effecting the way things are. Until that day comes, I hope our government keeps pressing for foreign policy goals based on whether they're in our best interests--given the way things are.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Deciding whether something is in our best interest is tricky.

    Arming the Mujahadeen in AFG in 1987 seemed totally in our interest. In 2001 it started to become a tad questionable.

    Considering you full-throatedly supported the kinetic clusterfuck in Libya as being in our best interest -- it was supposed to win hearts and minds on Arab St. or some other claptrap -- I don't see how you can continue to think it's an easy thing to determine.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, seeing what's in our best interests is always tricky.

    On the other hand, trying to impose a pipe dream on the rest of the world because it satisfies some inner urge to be pure and true fails reliably.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Well, there's a place for both principle and utilitarianism in foreign policy.

    Choose a good principle -- noninterventionism -- and stick with it almost always, and make exceptions ONLY when the gain for our interests is sledgehammer-to-the-face obvious and significant.

  • Calidissident||

    Tulpa, I know we have our disagreements, but that's a good comment. Agreed.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "make exceptions ONLY when the gain for our interests is sledgehammer-to-the-face obvious and significant."

    You're living in a fantasy world predicated on the way you think things should be. The real world just doesn't work that way.

    Uncertainty is a fact of our existence like a limited perspective and time.

    We pursue our best interests as we see them--just like every business and every investor does every day. We can be wonderfully successful despite the uncertainty, but if you told an investors they could only take risks if the results were obvious and certain, then none of them would ever be able to make an investment.

    And when we're talking about foreign policy, we don't get to choose not to invest. If Iran developed nuclear weapons, long range missiles, and pointed them at us and our allies, it wouldn't matter whether the results of responding or not responding were obvious or certain. We'd need to pursue our best interests, whatever they are in that situation, anyway.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "I don't see how you can continue to think it's an easy thing to determine."

    I see you haven't lost your knack for claiming other people said things that they never said.

    It's kind of your trademark, isn't it.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Are you claiming you didn't argue for intervention in Libya and denigrate people who disagreed with you on it?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "I don't see how you can continue to think it's an easy thing to determine."

    Can't you read your own writing?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    There was no hint during your advocacy for intervention that you thought it was unclear whether it would benefit our interests.

  • sarcasmic||

    Randian and Tulpa, shitting on a thread.

    *sniff*

    Ugh. Gross.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    One day you'll be ready to participate. Till then, back to the kids' table.

  • sarcasmic||

    No thanks. I'm more than happy to watch you flog straw men while running with the goalposts (aka Tulpafy) from a distance.

  • OldMexican||

    I also thought, "Why are we taxpayers forced to pay men and women to jeopardize their kids' well-being by going off to make war in foreign lands?"


    Because "America, fuck yeah!" People get a sense of satisfaction and participation for accomplishments made by others in "their name," in lieu of any sort of personal achievement.

  • Cloudbuster||

    I thought I was going to be reading an article about the shutdown. I was surprised to find it was a thin cover for a bitter rant about 40-year-old events.

  • OldMexican||

    The historian Ralph Raico observes that critics of the libertarian world view complain that the market treats people like commodities. Maybe, Raico replies. But the state treats people like garbage.


    Burn!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Archer Blood

    It pleases me to no end that the U.S. State Dept. employs people with Silver-Age Comic Book Hero/Villain names.

  • Almanian!||

    Man, the fucking Lions are in Green Bay and people are srsly talking about a chance of the Leos winning. SRSLY.

    So...what was Richmond on about, again? Jooz and Nixon or something?

    Whatever...

  • Killazontherun||

    I'd take that bet.

  • Robert||

    Never mind that, half the games in the Warrior Pee Wee Div. so far have come out tied! I haven't seen this many ties outside a soccer league: http://www.eteamz.com/bronxwar.....on=5931571

    I've never seen the competition this close here. My Navajos (the 'Jos) are 0-1-1, but since only 3 teams even have a win, we feel we're very much in contention. We've lost players to appendicitis and a fall down stairs, and are down to 15 from the 19 we started with, but that means we don't have to play some of the poorer players we started with; every player has to play the entire 1st half on either offense or defense.

    I was shocked that the Black Knights tied the Javelins yesterday after the shellacking the Knights took from the Saints. Meanwhile it's bizarre that the Rams are atop the standings at 1-0-2 (arguably tied with the 1-0-1 Saints) even though they've scored only one TD in 3 games, and that with 20 secs. left in last week's game.

  • Almanian!||

    Well, the Leos lost but good. Order has been restored to the universe.

  • Sugarsail||

    Is it me or does this article kind of suck? It leads you in with the title about the government shutdown and micromanagement by government and then goes off track into an unrelated 40+ year old tirade against Nixon and Kissinger's foreign policy that's water under the bridge. I actually backtracked to make sure I was still reading the same article.

  • Almanian!||

    It's not you. It's....it's...me.

    And the article sucked.

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  • ||

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.....death_toll

    The deaths of the poor beleaguered "Palestinians" (i.e. Israel vs. the Arab world) according to Wikipedia: 1281 per year. Never a full article without mention "Palestine", is it?

  • Winston||

    So is Richman saying that the US, as long as it funding some other country, should interfere said country's internal affairs? A bit of a problematic viewpoint for a non-interventionist to have.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Don't Chomsky and write, folks... just don't.

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  • Daniel C||

    This is an excellent article. I completely agree, a free society is not utopia, and one cannot expect to be treated perfectly all the time by all people. But, one can expect to be treated poorly by those who weild the monopolistic force of government.

  • elfieareeda||

    my roomate's mother-in-law makes $62 hourly on the internet. She has been fired for 8 months but last month her income was $19895 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read Full Article================

    http://www.Works23.Com

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