Gary Johnson Distances Himself From Libertarianism

From a Wall Street Journal interview:

Q: What did you think of Rand Paul's initial statements about the Civil Rights Act, that the government should not tell private businesses they can't discriminate? That's consistent with libertarian views, right?

A: When he made those statements, I thought to myself, "This is probably why I'm a Republican, because maybe I would not toe the (libertarian) line." I'd like to think I would have signed the civil rights bill and wouldn't have had any issues with it.

Q: You thought about this because of what Paul said?

A: Yes. As a result of his statements, I found myself engaged in discussions over just that notion. I was trying to think of examples where I would have sided with the notion that government does have a role in that capacity. Something analogous is smoking in restaurants. I was opposed to the government mandating that restaurants not allow people to smoke, believing it becomes the customer's choice whether they go in or not. But then, I thought, what about the employees? Aren't they hostage to a smoking environment, even if they don't smoke? [...]

Q: Isn't the true libertarian position to support gay marriage?

A: I've taken the position that I support gay unions.

Q: Why not marriage? What's the difference?

A: Right or wrong, that's what I'm advocating.

Whole thing here. Reason on Johnson here.

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  • ||

    Q: Why not marriage? What's the difference?

    A: Right or wrong, that's what I'm advocating.

    Amazing how this actually counts as logic in Washington.

  • ||

    Q: Isn't the true libertarian position to support gay marriage?

    No. There is no true libertarian position on it as it does not involve government coercion, except in very indirect respects which cut both ways.

  • Jerry||

    Q: So it might be wrong?
    A: Look, it’s the notion that government probably shouldn’t be involved in marriage in the first place.
  • ||

    A: I've taken the position that I support gay unions.

    Q: Why not marriage? What's the difference?

    A: Religious baggage.

  • Spencer Smith||

    A: Because supporting unions and not marriage is the only politically tenable position available to me.

  • Mel K||

    what about the employees? Aren't they hostage to a smoking environment, even if they don't smoke? [...]

    No, they are NOT hostages. They can choose not to work there.

  • Neu Mejican||

    ...because these days there are only 5 applicants for every available job. They would have their pick of jobs at a non-smoking establishment. No problem.

    ;^)

  • Almanian||

    They can still choose not to work "there". Maybe a shitty choice, but it's still a choice.

  • Neu Mejican||

    They can still choose not to work "there". Maybe a shitty choice, but it's still a choice.

    Fixed that for ya.

  • robc||

    Still a choice.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Indeed it is.

  • robc||

    So we are all in agreement that Johnson was wrong on his hostage comment. Good.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Of course "hostages" always have a choice of not putting up with their hostage taker. They just have to choose between the consequences of staying a hostage versus leaving the situation. The negative consequences that would result from leaving the situation are the ones that keep you hostage. Sure, violence is a pretty good way to keep someone hostage, but, at least metaphorically, so can a mortgage, or the need for money to feed your family.

  • robc||

    Bullshit.

    Violence is what makes you a hostage (I will even accept emotional vs purely physical).

    A mortgage doesnt make you a hostage. Foreclosure and/or jingle mail (depending on your state, the latter might be a bad idea) is an option.

    While there are legal requirements to feed your family, which might mean there is a threat of violence, there is always the option to sell them for scientific experiments...um...give them up for adoption.

  • Neu Mejican||

    yes, there are always options.

  • ||

    When you're at the ass end of the labor market, that's the way things go. There are plenty of outdoorsy jobs like picking fruit or washing cars or delivering newspapers for those concerned about indoor pollutants. Not terribly pleasant, but then neither is carrying around a giant tray full of water pitchers all day and begging for dollar bills to be left on your table.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Yeah, "plenty" would be the word I would use...particularly for those unemployed in urban areas.

    /sarcasm.

  • robc||

    particularly for those unemployed in urban areas.

    Greyhound is cheap.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    My buddy sold half of his shit and GTFO of Detroit after quiting his illustrious Starbucks career since the engineering sector died in Michigan before he even graduated. Now he has a house, a car and a wife. Despte the latter, I'd say he's doing pretty good, and leaving the wasteland of Detroit was an excellent decision on his part. Sometimes people have to fucking move, and sometimes they have to part with what they can to make it happen. I know it sucks, but so does most of life. It would suck more just to pretend you are a hostage instead of actually doing anything about it.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Not if you are unemployed.

  • Neu Mejican||

    That was referring to the bus fare.

    I agree. People have options. Doesn't make the "hostage" analogy completely inapt. Sometimes hostages need to take the risk of making that escape attempt.

  • smartass sob||

    Shanks mare is cheaper. ;-)

  • ||

    Because if you're in a place with high unemployment, it's impossible to pack up and move to a place with lower unemployment.

    Seriously, this "people aren't free if their current job isn't to their liking" line is retarded.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    When the smoking ban went into effect here in Minneapolis, my favorite watering hole saw business drop off by 20% (at least that is what the barkeep told me).

    To stay afloat, he fired his two waitresses. So now instead of being exposed to second hand smoke, they are being exposed to first hand hunger.

    I guess the law is extra beneficial now because not only am I not being exposed to second hand smoke, but I am also getting more exercise because I have to schlep my own drinks now.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Most of the systematic looks at this that I have seen indicate a general increase in business among bars and restaurants after smoking bans are put in place, despite anecdotal narratives of this nature.

    Of course, these things are pretty much impossible to do with sufficient rigor to identify cause/effect relationships.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    My unofficial polling of bars in Maryland during my cover band's last stinit of shows leads to an opposite conclusion. The same patrons might go to the bar despite the ban now, but they are usually drinking less since they have to go outside to smoke. I really wonder how many bars cut corners now to make up for the loss of revenue. For example, all of the bands in the area now get paid less. But of course, the ends always justify the means. I find it amusing that the government is trying to seem like they want to lower smoking rates, when they rake in a buttload of tax-dollars from the industry. Methinks they're a bunch of hypocrites.

  • robc||

    Most of the systematic looks at this that I have seen indicate a general increase in business among bars and restaurants after smoking bans are put in place

    I dont doubt this, which is why I argued for years that the bans were unnecessary, there was a strong advantage to doing this unilaterally.

  • ||

    As if there are no other jobs that have health risks.

    What is your cost/benefit standard for regulated risk elimination?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Of course there is all kinds of regulation regarding on-the-job health risks. Nothing special about the smoking regulation.

  • Paul||

    There is absolutely something very special about smoking regulation. Smoking regulation doesn't regulate the behavior of the restaraunt or its owners, it regulates the behavior of the patrons.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Technically, this is incorrect in many cases. But it depends upon the specific statute.

  • Paul||

    I'm not sure what your meaning is. You seemed deliberately vague.

    The smoking bans (using Washington as an example) admittedly covered all businesses. So one could make the contorted argument that it might be viewed the same way as an industrial noise regulation on a factory floor: The employees must wear hearing protection. In the office environment where there are no "patrons" per se, the employees couldn't smoke. I'm trying to remember the last time I saw someone smoking at their desk.... trying... nope, not within the last 25 years. Regardless, to make it truly equivalent, all employees in an environment where smoking is allowed should wear respirator filter masks. What's that? That's unreasonable? Exactly, so the only thing left is to stop everyone else from smoking.

    The ordinance was implicitly aimed at eating and drinking establishment, and the justification was a 'workplace health/safety' issue.

    Make no mention of the fact that if you walk through an alley in Seattle, half the staff are on a smoke break. So who are we protecting again? Oh yeah, the two employees who think smoking is icky.

    Again, the result is, that all the recent smoking bans (in my geographic area) regulate patron behavior and had no effect on the establishment's operating logistics.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Well, the Seattle bar owners I know have mentioned the fact that they had to change the logistics of their operation to handle the additional patrons...

    One mentioned an added benefit because facility maintenance is less expensive without all the smoke. He doesn't need to get drapery and such cleaned as often.

  • ||

    That wasn't my question Neu. My question was what was your cost/benefit standard. All risk mitigating regulations should be held to a cost/benefit standard.

    Yes, I do subscribe to the libertarian purist standard of no risk mitigating regulations, but if you're going to argue in favor of such regulations, you need to have some sort of cost/benefit bright line. Anti-smoking regulations incur tremendous costs on smokers and establishments that smokers frequent, while providing benefits (in at least the form of enjoying smoke-free environments) to non-smokers (both as patrons and as employees). But anti-smoking regulations also extend the Police Power and incur costs of enforcement.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    It is also interesting that there is no option for an office or bar to install a ventilation system that could effectively scrub smoke out of the air to the point where the risk of second hand smoke becomes negligible.

    If the reason for banning smoking is the danger to people, there would be exemptions for offices and bars who could demonstrate that their air filtering system reduced smoke to an acceptable level.

    Of course there isn't such an exemption because they want to ban the activity of smoking. And if they had to define an acceptable level of smoke, they would be forced to admit that 2nd hand smoke is BS anyhow.

  • Neu Mejican||

    How did this become "my cost/benefit analysis?" Each community would do that for their particular community on a case-by-case basis.

  • Tom||

    Five applicants for every job is not bad at all, considering one could apply to dozens of jobs.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Clearly you are currently employed.

  • Spencer Smith||

    And clearly your unemployment has hindered any objectivity you could have once had on the subject.

  • Neu Mejican||

    I am currently employed and in an industry with less than 1% unemployment.

  • Spencer Smith||

    Of course, but see how much fun it is to make assumptions about people based on a few comments in a forum!

  • Neu Mejican||

    sarcasm is difficult to convey in blog comments.

  • Jason||

    Tom, the truth is that there are five unemployed people for every available job, not that there are five applicants for every available job. There are, in fact, many more applicants on average than five.

  • ||

    In most restaurants it is rare to find an employee who is a non-smoker.

  • ||

    Also, all the bans do is create more of a desire for the blossoming gorilla restaurants industry across the U.S.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    blossiming goriila?

    Is that kind of like a blooming onion?

  • ||

    Should be guerilla ... more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.....restaurant

    The larger your underground economy, the more screwed up your government is.

  • Tank||

    Well, that was super disappointing.

  • ||

    Pretty stinky. But he's still better than Huckabee.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Not even the best NM governor in the last 30 years...and that is a pretty low bar. Sure, better than Carruthers, but ...

  • robc||

    Gonna call bullshit on this. Other than the prison thing, you never point out anything he did bad, despite all his positives.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Schools/Prisons- both bad. That's a pretty big chunk of what the governor does in NM. The prison thing was spectacularly bad.

  • robc||

    Schools, IIRC, he had the RIGHT plan and the legislature failed to pass it. That is entirely on the legislature.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Some hold that opinion. Others point to his veto of "the right plan(s)" as the problem.

  • robc||

    Not knowing details of NM, Im assuming he didnt veto his voucher plan.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Was his voucher plan the right plan?

    Maybe. Maybe not. The "right plans" from the view of the majority of legislators were the ones he vetoed.

  • robc||

    The majority is always wrong.

  • robc||

    But seriously, my point is you cant blame him for the schools if it wasnt his plan. If they had passed his plan and it flopped, blame him.

  • robc||

    Or, my simply:

    Not responsible for advice not taken. -- Niven's Law #18

  • Neu Mejican||

    So if I actively stop you from doing the right thing (hypothetically), I bear no blame for the negative consequences.

    (Because he thinks I should call 911 instead, robc holds me back and the baby falls off the ledge to his death--which is not his fault at all. Interesting logic).

  • Spencer Smith||

    What a false analogy. I think that might belong in the false analogy hall of fame.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Please elaborate. Hyperbole, sure, but how is it inapt?

    robc is saying that GJ is not responsible for the consequences of his active choice. It isn't even like GJ passively didn't support...he actively opposed attempts to fix a problem simply because the weren't doing it his way. In my mind a person is responsible for the consequences of their choices.

  • Spencer Smith||

    First, your analogy supposes that there was only one reason he vetoed the legislation (i won't even get into the fact that you've equated baby killing to vetoing legislation. Second, it presupposes that the legislation would have fixed the problem- much like swooping in to save a baby from falling.

    It also supposes that there are no third party actors in the scenario- such as the parents of their children or the teachers themselves, etc.

    It's a silly analogy- and a false one.

  • Neu Mejican||

    The same complications would be involved in robc's giving him credit for the solution had his plan been implemented.

  • Neu Mejican||

    In addition, you are assuming that my desire to swoop in would have been effective. robc may have been making the right choice (maybe he saved me). I think given the molarity of the discussion at hand, the analogy is apt. I am saying that actively preventing an attempt to solve a problem carries at least as much responsibility for the problem continuing/progressing as attempting to solve the problem with the wrong solution. Johnson actively prevented attempts to solve the problem. Therefore he owns (at least some of) the blame for the problem continuing/progressing.

  • Spencer Smith||

    "I am saying that actively preventing an attempt to solve a problem carries at least as much responsibility for the problem continuing/progressing as attempting to solve the problem with the wrong solution."

    This is absolutely untrue. Not all progress is good. We don't move to keep moving. We don't solve problems with broken solutions. It is better to do nothing, and to prevent others from doing further harm, than it is to let them exacerbate the problem with bad ideas and solutions.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Again, you assume that you know which solution is the right one. All that was known for sure at the time was the way it was being done was the wrong way. True, some of the proposals may have made it worse (including Johnson's), but it was certain that continuing without addressing the problem would make things worse (and that is indeed what happened). Johnson's action was to assure that the situation would degrade by blocking attempts to improve it.

    Government works through trial and error. Johnson's actions prevented the "trial" part of that process, making it impossible to assess and adjust. The fact that this went on for as long as it did because Johnson and his opponents couldn't come together to address the problem, means that both hold some blame for the results. robc's attempt to give Johnson a pass for his role in that doesn't pass mustard for me.

  • Spencer Smith||

    He, as governor, decided he would not let them make things worse, in his opinion. Therefore, he- the person given the power to decide what was the right way here, decided to let them first do no harm by taking bad action.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Spencer...and that is why he gets to take responsibility for the results of his action (which was a bad situation getting worse). robc wanted him to get a pass on that since the other people he was supposed to be working with, who also had power to say no, decided that his alternative plan was also a non-starter. An effective governor would have found a way to address the impass, hence my assertion that he was "bad" on education.

  • ||

    I admit to having a soft spot for Bill Richardson. Either that or it's infected.

  • SIV||

    Well you are on the right bog-comments!
    Richardson used to be the Great Liberaltarian Hope around here. Then he up and went all off the reservation by declaring homosexuality a choice or something.

  • Paul||

    And the meaningful difference between Republicans and Democrats is?

  • Spencer Smith||

    Some pretend to help black people and the others don't even try to pretend.

  • ||

    Well, the attempts to change "libertarian" to mean "racist Tea Party member" have succeeded. Awesome.

  • Caleb||

    Congratulations to Bill Maher. May that asshole get the European-style socialist republic he desires.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    Bill Maher? Founding member of the un-funny comedian-turned-irrelevant-pundit club? I thought he was dead.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Dude, there is a difference between "thought" and "wished". I had the same problem.

  • ||

    Yeah, I wish he would just come out and say what (I think) he means: "I want to distance myself from the term 'libertarian' because lots of people misunderstand what it means." Hell, there are times when I'm hesitant to describe myself as libertarian but it is by no means a repudiation of libertarian beliefs; it's acquiescing to other people's ignorance of what libertarianism is.

  • Raven||

    I saw Gary Johnson on Judge Napolitano's show a few weeks ago. Color me pretty unimpressed. He was advocating the legalization of marijuana- but no other drugs. He's a libertarian, except on anything too controversial.

  • #||

    if you ever want someone libertarianish to ever hold power, then you cant hold out for purists. If a gary johnson ever became president, it would be the most libertarian president we have had since maybe coolidge or cleveland.

    He would start to move the needle in the right dirrection. When society has moves so much in the libertarian dirrection that arguments over legalizing pot vs crak actually is within the realistic political window, then we can worry about that. But right now, there just simply isnt a large enough voting block. Until then, i don't want to be someone who is just sitting in the corner while the country goes further down the shit hole- i would gladly take a johnson in office right now.

  • Raven||

    Don't get me wrong. I'd gladly take Johnson over Bush or Obama, or anyone else who has a snowball's chance in hell of winning. But I am still critical of anyone who can't be consistent in their logic.

  • Government of Wolves||

    But the polls say people OPPOSE drug legalisation. How could legalisation be logical if it's unpopular?

  • Government of Wolves||

    Well we'd all like a fire-breather to fight the Good Fight and Testify, but what are you gonna do in this climate? Best to try to shift the Overton Window so it shows a few more sunlit uplands.

  • ¢||

    Someone should post in this thread as Weigel, gloating about how after his fake non-firing he's still safely ensconced in the circle of People Who Matter at the Post, while here at H&R an unspeakable sehnsucht re: him seems to shape about half the left-behind contributors' commentary.

    I'm not TEAM BLUE! enough to sock him properly.

  • ||

    Of course "hostages" always have a choice of not putting up with their hostage taker. They just have to choose between the consequences of staying a hostage versus leaving the situation. The negative consequences that would result from leaving the situation are the ones that keep you hostage. Sure, violence is a pretty good way to keep someone hostage, but, at least metaphorically, so can a mortgage, or the need for money to feed your family.

    SWING, and a miss!

    This might be a good time to step out of the batter's box, and take a deep breath.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Wait, baseball analogies are okay, but kidnapping analogies are not? What are those rules for using metaphors in an argument on H&R? I must have missed them.

    ;^)

  • Fluffy||

    Your use of the word "consequences" is what is really mealy-mouthed and dishonest, Neu.

    Basically you are saying that the man who shoots you in the face is the same as the man who doesn't hire you for a job, because both of them impart "consequences" to you.

    In that case - please give a job, Neu.

    Oh wait, you can't or don't want to? Silly you, you are now the same as a guy who takes hostages and kills them when they don't do what he says.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Analogies are never perfect. The consequences a kidnap victim risks when escaping are certainly more dire than those that an employee takes when quitting a job.

    But, you've got the analogy twisted. There is no sense in which the employer is the hostage taker here. It is the need for money that is the hostage taker.

  • Neu Mejican||

    And Fluffy,

    Mealy-mouthed and dishonest?

    Consequences is a term that includes a range of severity. Analogies use the power of the more severe case to make a point, but they don't equate in the way you imply.

  • Fluffy||

    There is no sense in which the employer is the hostage taker here. It is the need for money that is the hostage taker.

    If there's no sense in which the employer is the hostage taker, then there should no sense in which the power of the state is directed at the employer.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Some would say the law is aimed at the situation, not the employer. Others would disagree.

    There seems to be a really strong "this is a black and white" issue reaction to this one. I kinda think it is more a matter of shades of gray and balancing interests.

  • Steve Chaos||

    (sigh)

  • ||

    Looking at my computer screen all day strains my eyes. I am held hostage to an eye-straining work environment. Help me, Gary Johnson!

  • ||

    Maybe people sufficiently convinced a market for a nonsmoking dining experience exists could band together and open a restaurant of their very own....

    Naah, that's just crazy talk.

  • #||

    it was actually true in Virginia prior to its ban that just went into effect. In 70 percent of localities the majority of resteraunts and bars were already smoke free.

  • ||

    it was actually true in Virginia prior to its ban that just went into effect. In 70 percent of localities the majority of resteraunts and bars were already smoke free.

    But there aren't any jobs in non-smoking restaurants! Neu Mejican is certain!

    I wonder if there are any less restaurant jobs available since smokers such as myself frequent them less often because we can't smoke? Naw, there are never any unintended consequences for the Nanny because their hearts are in the right place.

  • Neu Mejican||

    You are putting words in my mouth.

    As for the market impact of smoking bans...look it up. The studies have been done. As I mentioned...hard/impossible to draw cause/effect relationships with this kind of thing, but the bulk of the evidence I have seen seems to lean in the opposite direction.

  • Zeb||

    This was true where I live in NH as well. Two years before the smoking ban went into effect, there were no restaurants in town which allowed smoking. Why do we need this law? Seems like a pretty clear case of the market working to everyone's satisfaction (except people who want to smoke in bars).

  • Virginia||

    Yeah, it's the sprint toward the center that I hate most about election posturing. But it's how the game is played b/c so much of the electorate, media, et al frame everything as blue vs red.

  • ||

    Close enough. I'll vote for a President Johnson. Is there anyone else with even an outside chance of winning that's even slightly libertarian?

  • robc||

    How slight?

    Johnson, Paul. Ummm....yeah, thats about it. Maybe the guy from Indiana? Mitch somethingorother. At least he would be good on economics, better than the last 7 GOP presidents, anyway.

  • Government of Wolves||

    Paul Ryan on economics.

  • Steve Chaos||

    Bailout, bailout, bailout.

  • ||

    I've been thinking, and I believe that the term bailout is inaccurate. A better term for this type of legislation is bailjob.

  • ||

    the blossoming gorilla restaurants industry across the U.S.

    Deep fried gorilla liver on a stick.
    Mmmmmmm...

  • ||

    That's how the Planet of the Apes gets started.

  • ||

    What are those rules for using metaphors in an argument on H&R? I must have missed them.

    Don't worry about the rules regarding metaphors; check the section of your User's Guide for pertinent tips on definitions.

  • Fluffy||

    But then, I thought, what about the employees? Aren't they hostage to a smoking environment, even if they don't smoke?

    Blah blah blah blah purity tests are bad, but I think we're kinda outside purity test territory here.

    If I can be said to be taking people hostage if I employment terms that include standing next to me while I smoke, then basically there is nothing in the writings or position papers of any progressive or statist that isn't true.

    This isn't "failing to toe the libertarian line". This is "granting the basic statist premise and basic class warrior premise in their entirety".

    This will make John happy:

    If we need to have an imperfect candidate, I'd much rather have one who said "Gary Johnson was an ass to say that, but by the way we should have compulsory prayer in schools" than Gary Johnson now.

  • ||

    God damn the Tobacco Nazis for turning an otherwise normal guy into a fucking nanny stater. Second hand smoke doesn't hurt anyone, but now, because of the Nazis, the government has gotten it's nose under the private property tent.

  • robc||

    The CRA was the nose-under-the-tent moment.

  • Tony||

    A libertarian who doesn't think that his entire society must be organized to suit his individual preferences and whims, otherwise it's evil tyranny? BURN HIM!

  • Fluffy||

    Actually, Tony, it was the smoking restrictionists who demanded that the entire society cater to them.

    They didn't like it when some restaurant owners catered to them and some didn't, so they employed jackbooted thugs to make them ALL give them what they wanted.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    No kidding Fluffy. I thought libertarians were all about people living their lives by satisfying their individual preferences and whims without violating the rights of others. Apparently, we're all a bunch of aspiring dictators with a desire to have smoking everywhere, especially Hospital delivery rooms. Fuck the babies.

    Personally I hate smoking, it killed my uncle(he did it to himself), and raped my cousin(family guy reference), so I do my best to avoid it. I even found a couple of the mythical non-smoking bars before the ban was instituted in this state. The hottest girls usually went to those places as well. Coincidence, I think not.

  • marlok||

    "his entire society must be organized to suit his individual preferences and whims, otherwise it's evil tyranny"

    Quit being so hard on yourself, you big progressive-face.

  • Zeb||

    Johnson is a health nut (not trying to be derogatory, everything I have read about him includes a bit about how into health and exercise he is), so his line on smoking is an example of his personal preferences guiding his policy preferences.

  • ||

    Just finished reading the thread.

    Gosh Neu, you forgot to throw "wage slave" into the argument. Your leftie cred can be tarnished by omissions like that.

  • Neu Mejican||

    I am not a leftist. I am a moderate. You have to be on the right to see my views as leftist.

    I said all along that people have a choice. But to deny that they make those choices in the context of real consequences and that those consequences can restrict the range of possible choices is, well, just dishonest.

    Yes, employees have the choice to not work somewhere that allows smoking. But the short-term consequences of that choice may prevent them from realistically being able to consider the choice they would prefer in the long-term.

  • Chris||

    No, you claim to be a moderate because you want to seem open minded and level headed, but in reality you are so ignorant of the roots of any of your beliefs that you don't see where they contradict.

    Next.

  • Neu Mejican||

    I am, in fact, a moderate. I have done many of the "political compass" type questionnaires and consistently come out dead-center moderate. I get accused of being right wing by people on the left and leftist 'round here. Pretty much what would be expected from a moderate.

    As for "ignorant of the roots" of my beliefs...I am pretty sure I am at least as aware as anyone on this board with one or two exceptions.

  • ||

    Nobody is denying that people make choices in the context of personal consequences, but you're advocating the notion that it's reasonable to force private business owners to curtail a vice of their customers (smoking) to accommodate at-will employees who they could fire for any reason whatsoever, and who could likewise terminate their employment for any reason whatsoever. That doesn't strike me as particularly reasonable regardless of whether the employee "really needs this job." It's certainly not similar to being held hostage.

  • Neu Mejican||

    I believe all I have done on this thread is defend Johnson's use of the analogy.

  • ||

    Sure, which I why I was specifically attaching your defense of that analogy. You're saying it's reasonable to describe a voluntary relationship in terms of hostage-taking because of external pressures on one participant. And we're not talking about gun-to-the-head, either -- you're just talking about economic pressures in a first-world country. It's absurd.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Dude...it is an analogy. It is not meant to be taken literally. It is meant to highlight specific aspects of the situation.

    I mean, for gawdsake...libertarian arguments are built upon this kind of analogy all the time. Government is violence, taxation is theft, yadda yadda. The sad thing is that many people read Rothbard and think what he says is literally and exhaustively true, rather than a useful analogy for highlighting the dangers of certain aspects of how governments operate in societies. Having a conversation with libertarians about policy can sometimes be nearly as frustrating as having a discussion with engineers about science.

  • ||

    I am not a leftist. I am a moderate.

    I have not seen that moderation. I have seen knee-jerk leftism on most every topic.

    Please enlighten us on the vast array of topics where you disagree with leftists, otherwise STFU about how you're moderate.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Prolefeed...

    If you look back at the history of my comments here, I very seldom advocate a particular position. What I tend to do when commenting on H&R is question/challenge the reasoning behind positions that people commenting on these boards take. I have, in my history of commenting here, found myself to the right of commentators on certain issues, to the left on more (as expected given that this sight leans right), and agreeing on occasion.

    The "knee jerk" leftism you see if more a result of the "right lean" of the commentators on this sight. If I take a contrary position to people on the right...even if it is just to explore their reasoning, it would be easy to think that I am supporting the left's argument. From my perspective I am exploring one side of the argument in discussion with those who hold that position.

    So how do I come out as moderate? I tend to reject the extreme versions of the arguments from both sides. When commenting here, I don't get a chance, much, to respond to the extreme left side of the argument. That would be something you would see if/when I am commenting on leftist discussion boards. Who (sometimes) accuse me of being a knee-jerk right winger.

  • ||

    A libertarian who doesn't think that his entire society must be organized to suit his individual preferences and whims

    You get dumber every day. How do you even find your way home at night?

  • Tony||

    Government.

  • ||

    The CRA was the nose-under-the-tent moment.

    I don't know whether to run and hide, or start the popcorn.

  • ||

    How did this become "my cost/benefit analysis?" Each community would do that for their particular community on a case-by-case basis.

    Here's a crazy notion: what if it were private individuals making the determination on a case-by-case basis?

    I, a non-smoker, went to a dingy crowded ultra-smoky venue to see Link Wray many years ago, because I really wanted to hear him play. I would not, however, have gone there to hear Lady Gaga.

    Go figger.

  • Neu Mejican||

    That's one way to handle it. Many communities have used a different strategy.

  • Spencer Smith||

    Neu,

    By using a "different strategy" do you mean pick on a social minority and disregard the rights of business owners in the name of "public good"?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Take away the loaded language and you might have an accurate descriptor there...it's hard to tell.

    "Disregard" seems a bit black & white as does "pick on."

    Social minority? Or social practice? It seems these laws are aimed at actions, not people, for the most part.

  • slayer of pancakes||

    Oh, like laws banning homosexual sex acts.

  • ||

    And as P. Brooks intimated, that "different strategy" essentially consists of preventing individuals from making decisions for themselves.

  • robc||

    Each bar is its own community. So they arent allowing communities to use a different strategy.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Wait...are those business owners hostage to the rules of the community in which they do business?

    Can't they get on a bus and find another community in which to operate their business that has different rules?

  • robc||

    The community is the bar. Cant you fucking read?

    Property rights are not controlled by the surrounding town.

  • robc||

    The surrounding town is NOT the fucking community.

  • robc||

    Are you now stealing Dan T 2007 arguments? Really?

  • robc||

    are those business owners hostage to the rules of the community in which they do business?

    Yes. If they violate them, violence will be done to them.

  • robc||

    You are really having bad analogy day, arent you?

    Now you are comparing getting on a bus and moving to where the jobs are and getting on a bus and moving to where the government doesnt violate property rights.

    You are a fucking analogy moron.

  • Neu Mejican||

    My oh my. Angry much?

    If you want to pretend that the hostage analogy is not applicable to the job seekers, because they have choices, then you can't turn around and say that the business owner, who has equivalent choices can't relocate. They are symmetrical arguments...even if the "hostage takers" are very different in nature. The degree to which a business is hostage to a community's rules is, perhaps, greater than the degree to which the employee is hostage to their financial situation, but that doesn't mean their situations are different in kind...just in degree.

    As for "the bar is the community" argument...it is a community embedded within larger communities, as is true of almost all communities.

  • ||

    It's not the same. The bar owner owns something; he hasn't simply entered into a voluntary employment arrangement. The terms of the ownership of his property are being altered without his consent. This is completely different from a barmaid being exposed to second-hand smoke -- something she knew would happen when she accepted the job, and an arrangement she has no property interest in whatsoever. None of her rights are being truncated. Your analogy doesn't work.

  • Neu Mejican||

    OC,
    The analogy does not depend upon rights being or not being violated. That is beside the point. When someone says that the barmaid is "hostage" to the situation they are not speaking literally. Likewise, when robc posits that the bar owner is "hostage" to the rules of the community, he, I hope, is not speaking literally. The situation which keeps the bar maid in the job she would prefer to quit does not literally imprison her at her place of employment. Likewise the rules of the community that marginally impact how a bar owner runs his business do not imprison him in that community. Both have the ability to remove themselves from the situation. Just as employees frequently relocate to find a better job, businesses sell their property and relocate to find a friendlier business environment. The analogy is well formed and apt. If it doesn't apply to the barmaid...it doesn't apply to the bar owner.

  • Neu Mejican||

    It's not the same. The bar owner owns something; he hasn't simply entered into a voluntary employment arrangement.

    It's like you are saying the bar owner is in an involuntary ownership arrangement with her property. She has made choices. She can make choices moving forward. The only thing holding her hostage is her fear of the consequences of those choices.

  • Neu Mejican||

    The terms of the ownership of his property are being altered without his consent.

    I think it could be argued that this is a distortion of the situation. Ownership in many ways is more about restricting others, defining what others can't do with your property, than it is about what you can do with your property. Use of your property is restricted by the impact that use has on others who also have rights (rights end at the tip of your neighbors nose and all). When your property is incorporated in a community your use of that property is restricted by the system of rules that community has instituted to minimize the inevitable conflicts that will arise as community members exercise their liberty. This does in fact restrict the rights of the property owner at the margins. It also provides benefits as the community agrees to protect the property owner against others attempting to use their property in ways they would not sanction. Property owners work within these boundaries and because the rules are set, for the most part, locally can relocate to find the community whose rules most closely aligns with their preferences. That is one of the beauties of ownership. You can sell your property and transfer that ownership to someone else giving you the resources to try something else.

  • wow||

    wow! aren't we the lepers. it's just a label anyways gary johnson, just a label.

  • LucyB||

    Distancing himself from the libertarian party is his best chance at getting any recognition in the 2012 election. I can see where he is coming from. As for those who have said Gary was a horrible Governor… sorry, but would you have preferred someone who raised taxes and increased the debt? Because if so you must love the Governor you have now.

    I think it is crazy the way Gary is beings attacked on his statements. It is pretty obvious that everyone feels a little bit different on the issue so why when he voices his feelings they are incompetent and wrong? Granted, I like Gary and I will not pretend to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but I think there is more to be examined here then an abridged interview excerpt when he is much better then anything we have now.

  • wtf||

    Q: Did you vote for Obama?

    A: No. I voted for the Constitutionalist candidate, Chuck Baldwin.

    epic fail...

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