The Nation Posts a Narrow Apology. And Publishes Another Error.

Over the weekend, The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel posted something that sort of resembled an apology for the whiff at investigative journalism Mark Ames and Yasha Levine attempted at the magazine's website last week. Ames and Levine, remember, wrote a meandering, conspiracy-mongering, wholly unsubstantiated article trying to link the anti-TSA backlash to the Koch family.* All the piece was missing was Glenn Beck's blackboard.

True contrition would have included apologizing to The Nation's readers for the article's inexcusably shoddy journalism, to the many legitimately outraged activists and TSA victims that the article maligned as hired guns, and to the general public for providing a forum to an "everyone should spit on libertarians", "lets murder the people we disagree with" nut like Ames. Instead, vanden Heuvel delivered a heavily conditioned apology only to John Tyner, aka The Don't Touch My Junk Guy, while standing by the broader theme of the Ames/Levine smear. That theme, basically, is mindless D.C. tribalism.

The priorities on display here tell all. Both vanden Heuvel and Ames/Levine concede that the TSA's new policies are worrisome. But civil liberties violations and the encroaching security state take a backseat to a more important task: Smearing the people they're programmed to hate. It's very D.C. You stake out your position not by applying a consistent set of principles, but by making sure your position puts you in opposition to all the right people. (Kevin Drum of Mother Jones did the same thing, describing the TSA backlash as "catnip" for the right wing.)

Thing is, even if Ames/Levine had more convincingly (or at all convincingly) connected all the Koch conspiracy dots . . . so what? You'd think that the Kochs suddenly deciding to spend a bunch of money on the civil liberties side of libertarianism would be the sort of thing The Nation would welcome. But that's assuming The Nation is as concerned about protecting civil liberties as it is with protecting Barack Obama from criticism. A few years ago I attended a drug policy debate at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance was arguing for legalization. Some David Horowitz flack was arguing for more better drug war. The Horowitz flack's entire argument was that Nadelmann's organization is funded by George Soros, therefore no good conservative should listen to anything he says. It's an unserious argument when it comes from the right. And it's no more serious when it comes from the left.

Getting back to vanden Heuvel's apology, this sentence-ish clause is particularly galling:

We have long opposed, and exposed, the continuing encroachments of the national security state, though we also think that those who applauded each sacrifice of liberty for security under the Bush administration should expect to be regarded with skepticism if the presence of a Democrat in the White House suddenly prompts libertarian concerns.

So in the course of responding to two articles on her magazine's website that engaged in mindless partisan tribalism, vanden Heuvel accuses libertarians . . . of partisan tribalism.

As Matt Welch has pointed out, if the accusation that anti-TSA backlash has a partisan aftertaste were directed at conservatives, vanden Heuvel would have a point. But it isn't. Her awkwardly-structured hedge is specifically directed at libertarians. (The Ames/Levine follow-up post linked to this site, and named the Reason Foundation's Bob Poole as part of the conspiracy.) Thing is, vanden Heuvel is factually and provably wrong.

A vanden Heuvel education might start with our February 2004 cover story, titled "Dominate. Intimidate. Control. The sorry record of the Transportation Security Administration." She could continue with this 2007 cover story warning of the privacy implications of emerging search technologies. For further reading, a quick search of our archives turns up dozens of Bush-era TSA articles and blog posts. There are far too many to list them all, but she could get reading here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Of course, Reason isn't the only libertarian outfit around. Let's move on to the also Koch-funded Cato Institute. Here's a white paper Cato published devoted solely to documenting Bush's contempt for the Constitution, much of which addresses the security state. Or check here for countless studies and opinion pieces critical of Bush's DHS, TSA, and counter-terrorism policy.

Outside the Great Koch Conspiracy, other libertarian organizations have also been documenting TSA abuses since the agency's inception. Here's an archive of "TSA" mentions at LewRockwell.com. There's a flury of articles related to the recent backlash, but you'll find plenty of articles predating January 2009. Here's the archive from the Ludwig von Mises Institute, which produces similar results.

As it turns out, libertarian organizations actually did a far better job holding Bush's TSA accountable than The Nation. That doesn't surprise me, but it may surprise vanden Heuvel.

A search for "TSA" and "Transportation Security Administration" on the Nation website returns just 16 articles dated 2008 or earlier. Weeding out for glitchy search results and articles where the phrases appear only in reader comments, we're left with just six stories that substantively address the TSA in some way. Included among those six is....

  • This David Bacon article, which criticizes Bush for fighting attempts to unionize the agency.
  • This David Corn article, which criticizes Bush for cutting funding to the security state, including TSA.
  • This Michael Flaherty article, which criticizes the Bush administration for attempting to fire several TSA employees who aren't American citizens.
  • This Robert Scheer article, which criticizes Bush for possibly contracting U.S. port security to a firm based in Dubai (or as Scheer delicately put it, "Now they tell us it's OK to have some Arab as the guy in charge of checking our shoes--excuse me, ports?").

I found two articles in the The Nation's archives that indirectly or briefly criticize the agency on civil liberties grounds:

  • This vanden Heuvel article gives one paragraph to a TSA privacy breach among a litany of other Bush outrages (most of which are indeed outrageous).
  • This John Nichols article talks about an Army Lieutenant Colonel's inclusion on the no-fly list, though it's more a suggestion that the inclusion was politically motivated than a broad criticism of TSA.

Finally, I could find just one article published by The Nation during the entire Bush presidency, in its magazine or on its website, that was a broad criticism of the TSA and its effect on civil liberties. That would be this David Jones article from 2003. In the last week alone, The Nation has published three times as many articles attacking the motives of libertarians who have spoken up to defend their civil liberties from TSA.

It's possible that not all of the magazine's archives are online, or that the search engine didn't pick up every example. But hey, I at least made the effort, which is more than we can say for vanden Heuvel. Even if I missed a few, I think my point is made: Libertarians have been out in front on this issue from the start. And contra vanden Heuvel and Ames/Levine, not only was libertarian criticism not muted when a Republican occupied the White House, during that time libertarian journalists, wonks, and pundits did a damned sight better job covering TSA abuses, inefficacy, and theatrics than The Nation.

(*Disclosure: David Koch serves on the board of the Reason Foundation, which publishes this website. Also, between my four years at Reason and five years at the Cato Institute, the Koch family has for the better part of the last decade decade partially funded my corporatist, right-wing work on police militarization, prosecutorial misconduct, reforming the drug laws, and the inadequacies of the criminal justice system.)

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  • ||

    Well. That was brutal.

    And well-deserved.

  • Abdul||

    It was so good, the Kochs are sending Matt an xbox Kinect for Christmas!

  • ||

    Liberals vs. Liberals! I love it.

  • Brian||

    It's about time Radley's daily nut punch was directed at someone other than his readers!

  • Cosomotarian||

    We keep saying we hate the Republicans and luddite Conservatives too - why won't they love us?!

  • Liberaltarian||

    The beatings are how we show our love.

  • ||

    You know I hit you because I love you baby.

  • ||

    Yes, the second post in is inevitably the cosmo/paleo war, the stupidest division among libertarians since, well, forever. I mean, it's as if some libertarians have created partisan TEAMS within libertarianism, and act just like the TEAM RED TEAM BLUE morons! Can you believe it?

    Shut the fuck up, you douchebag.

  • robc||

    I agreed, about two years ago, as my part in this stupid feud, to stop using the c word. No one else joined me.

    Sigh.

    Still sticking to it, because its just stupid.

  • ||

    It is fun to listen to the Reason staff whine about being accused of being liberals. It really gets under their skin. They will actually come on and post in response. If there wasn't some truth to it, they wouldn't be so defensive about it.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I thought your stance was that the Reason staff went out of their way to avoid being accused of being conservatives.
    I'm so confused.
    I blame the Kochtopus' mind rays.

  • ||

    No one ever accuses them of being conservatives. And if they did, the accusation is so self evidently ridiculous, there would be no need to respond. It is only truthful insults that hurt.

  • robc||

    No one ever accuses them of being conservatives

    See the Obama pay freeze piece. The SF Chronicle just did.

  • ||

    No one ever accuses them of being conservatives.

    John are you drunk today?

  • cynical||

    "No one ever accuses them of being conservatives."

    Except lefties.

  • pancakes||

    C-word? cunt? cotton candy? colored?

    No, it's definitely cunt. I think the whole left-libertarian thing is to get away from republican social conservatives. Let's face it, so-cons are icky and if you hang out with them you don't get to go to the cool parties where you get to do blow and bang strippers.

    Oh, it was cocaine! wasn't it? Wait, what was this post about? 4loco?

  • robc||

    I would tell you, but I cant use the word.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    pancakes is definitely NOT going to be invited to the cocktail parties.
    Wait, was "cocktail" the word?

  • ||

    "Cocktail" was the secret word of the day.

  • ||

    That would be "Koch-tail" parties?

  • ||

    That would be "Koch-tail" parties?

    GTFO. Seriously... GTFO.

  • Ska||

    Yeah, everyone knows it's pronounced like Kochaine, not Kochtail.

  • Tom W.||

    I'm a recovering Koch addict, but I keep relapsing.

  • Cosmotarian J||

    That's why I never understood that whole "Kochtopuss" thing.

  • robc||

    Let's face it, so-cons are icky and if you hang out with them you don't get to go to the cool parties where you get to do blow and bang strippers.

    You are hanging out with the wrong so-cons.

  • bobchild||

    Based on the number of so-cons Congressmen that get caught in bathrooms, they might actually be a wilder bunch than their liberal counterparts.

  • waffles||

    you know, people on this site keep saying it, but I don't believe it. where are these fun so-cons? what do they look like?

    I think you're making stuff up, robc.

  • ||

    What are you talking about lame? So-cons LOVE to party. No strippers and blow perhaps, but like Ted Haggard with meth binges and male hookers...

    Wow, so-cons are pretty lame.

  • Almanian||

    *looks around to make sure the coast is clear*

    It's a CONSPIRACY, man!

    *looks around again to make sure the coast is still clear*

  • Richard Stands||

    Tourist: Yes I saw your advert in the bolour supplement

    Bounder: The what?

    Tourist: The bolour supplement

    Bounder: The colour supplement?

    Tourist: Yes I'm sorry I can't say the letter 'B'

    Bounder: C?

    Tourist: Yes that's right. It's all due to a trauma I suffered when I was a spoolboy. I was attacked by a bat

    Bounder: A cat?

    Tourist: No a bat

    Bounder: Can you say the letter 'K'

    Tourist: Oh yes, Khaki, king, kettle, Kuwait, Keble Bollege Oxford

    Bounder: Why don't you say the letter 'K' instead of the letter 'C'

    Tourist: what you mean.....spell bolour with a K

    Bounder: Yes

    Tourist: Kolour. Oh that's very good, I never thought of that what a silly bunt

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcCuBWXd-hc

  • Lew Rockwell||

    I mean, it's as if some libertarians have created partisan TEAMS within libertarianism

    I have no idea where you got that idea from.

  • Hypocrisy Calling||

    Says the guy who uses the term "Hit and Runpublicans."

    Face it, Episiarch. As Thacker said a while ago, you have no problems with teams. You've just created a third, based on hate of the other two.

  • ||

    ^^This^^

  • ||

    Weak attempted insults from anonypussies don't exactly sting, tuff gai. Claiming that I have a team because I hate teams is like saying I love Roland Emmerich because I hate Michael Bay. But hey, you can't conceive of not having a team, so what can I expect from you?

    If you don't like being called a partisan...don't act like one.

  • ||

    Unless you are just a crank who spouts crazy shit that no one no matter how crazy can buy into, everyone is on some kind of team at some point.

    It is more your pretentiousness that is annoying. Whenever you go on one of your Blue Team versus Red Team rants, which is most of the time, you act like you have no biases or intellectual blind spots and that anyone who disagrees with you about anything must be doing so out of team loyalty rather than having reasonably concluding something different from your opinion.

  • robc||

    Team Green (or Yellow, what color does the LP get when they win a state?) 4ever!

  • ||

    Team Black. Which is ironic.

  • Chuck Schumer||

    That's racist!

  • ||

    Poor John, he hatesses being called what he is. Because he's on a team, everyone must be!

    Sure, I'm on a team: a team of one. Think you can understand that, John? Maybe we could go get a Happy Meal and I could explain it to you? How about an ice cream, big guy?

  • ||

    "I'm on a team: a team of one."

    Yeah you and the guy who lives in the dumpster behind the hospital near my house. Please tell me that was a joke because if it was, it was a good one. If not, I really don't know what else to say.

  • ||

    Please tell me that was a joke because if it was, it was a good one. If not, I really don't know what else to say.

    That line says everything about you that needs to be said, John. Everything.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    John, there's no "u" in team.

  • ||

    There ain't no "We" either.

  • Ted S.||

    There is in the British spelling.

  • ||

    but there's 3 u's in "shut the fuck up"

  • ||

    but there's 3 u's in "shut the fuck up"

  • T||

    Sure, I'm on a team: a team of one.

    Mainly because nobody else will join a club that has Epi as a member.

    I kid, Epi.

  • robc||

    I have no trouble admitting Im partisan.

    Im a partisan libertarian. My problem is with those who claim to be libertarian who support the Rs or Ds way too often.

  • ||

    My problem is with those who claim to be libertarian who support the Rs or Ds way too often.

    Right on the money, robc.

  • ||

    Though this is the majority of what I'm doing when I call out people for being partisan, it really rubs those who claim to be libertarian but support the Rs or Ds way too often the wrong way.

    Which it's supposed to.

  • bobchild||

    "Im a partisan libertarian. My problem is with those who claim to be libertarian who support the Rs or Ds way too often."

    Devils advocate; So? Why should you have to have some arbitrary split between D/R?

    You can be an intellectually consistent libertarian and happen to be in one camp more frequently than the other. That's not sufficient proof of partisanship- you need to show actual intellectual blind sports.

    Hell you're still letting Red team/Blue team stuff define you if you spend forever worried about being too much on one side or another.

  • robc||

    Devils advocate; So? Why should you have to have some arbitrary split between D/R?

    You can be an intellectually consistent libertarian and happen to be in one camp more frequently than the other. That's not sufficient proof of partisanship- you need to show actual intellectual blind sports.

    I didnt see it needed to be an even balance, I said "too far". I probably support the Rs more than the Ds. I voted for Rand Paul afterall, and I dont think Ive ever voted for a D for senate.

    But, its the support of the R or the D in those blind spots that is the problem. That is going too far.

  • ||

    As a libertarian, I know I'm a libertarian because I strongly disagree with whoever is in power, whether its the R's or the D's.

    But I have to admit, the D's are a little worse in my book these days. For all the R's faults, they still hated them some Dr. Obama and Carbon Rape.

    But the Republicans' worst excesses? Patriot Act? Part D? Iraq War? Warrantless Wiretapping? All that shit was bipartisan.

    Its not the ideology of the D's that make them more repugnant to me than the R's, its their seeming wishy-washiness, the ease they roll over and fooled by the opposition as much as their own Puppetmasters. The D's are suckers to make a long story short.

  • ||

    Most people are not pure anything. There are degrees of belief. There is nothing wrong with supporting one side or another. Where people go astray is when they lack the intellectual integrity to admit the faults in both sides (see for example liberals who won't admit that Democrats have been horrible on civil liberties or conservatives who won't admit Republican failings on the drug or corruption in Congress)

    But I think it is equally disingenuous and lazy not to admit the differences between the parties where they exist. Libertarians have a bad habit of doing that and in the process excusing the sins of one side or the other by providing the "they are just as bad" defense.

  • ||

    They are just as bad. The only reason you won't admit that is because you're on one of the teams.

    Do you even comprehend how obvious this is to anyone not on the TEAM RED TEAM BLUE bandwagon? You must not, because if you did, you wouldn't spend so much energy denying something so clear to many of us.

  • Tony||

    Hehe I'm with John on this one.

    You are not above it all and smarter than everyone else because you refuse to pick a side.

    Why are we supposed to be impressed that you, rather than do your part to affect policy changes in your community (meaning choosing a side), prefer to sit around and jerk off to abstract principles that have no relevance in the real world?

  • ||

    :"They are just as bad."

    Bad is a subjective term. Maybe they are maybe they are not. Depends on what you value. But that is so objective as to be pretty meaningless. There are real objective differences between the two parties. And depending on the issue one side can and often is worse than the other.

    You just don't want to admit that because it goes against your core belief that you are the only person in the world capable of rational thought. Team of one and all of that.

  • ||

    John, you do realize that you're exactly like joe, right? joe repeatedly accused me, and struggled endlessly, to paint me as partisan as well. Because you know you are, and you know that's it's a shitty thing to be, so the only thing you can do is try and drag me down to your level.

    He failed, and so do you.

  • ||

    I don't think you are a partisan Episiarch. I just think you are full of shit. Call me a partisan all you like. I don't care. I am one. But, I also often do admit fault in my own side. I have never said the Republicans are perfect or don't deserve scorn for a lot of things. But I am not buying the bullshit you put out that they are exactly the same thing as Democrats.

  • ||

    joe repeatedly accused me, and struggled endlessly, to paint me as partisan as well.

    He did the same thing to me!!!! That two timing son of a bitch!!!!

  • Tony||

    Bad is a subjective term. Maybe they are maybe they are not. Depends on what you value. But that is so objective as to be pretty meaningless. There are real objective differences between the two parties. And depending on the issue one side can and often is worse than the other.

    You just don't want to admit that because it goes against your core belief that you are the only person in the world capable of rational thought. Team of one and all of that.

    +10

  • T||

    Team Efenant and Team Donk both suck about the same amount, John, just on different things. And lately the differences are more of magnitude than kind.

  • Almanian||

    What T said

  • ||

    Team R at least doesn't suck on the 2nd Amendment and at the federal level at least the real nanny state bullshit. Having lived in states dominated by Team R and other states dominated by Team D, I think living in the states dominated by Team R is a whole lot better.

    If you and Episiarch were right, there would be no difference between California and Texas or Maryland and Virginia. And that is just obviously not true. There is a difference between the two.

  • robc||

    Ive found a state dominated by uber-conservative democrats doesnt entirely suck. You know, as long as you dont mind being poor. And 75% dry.

  • T||

    There's also a world of difference between a California Republican and a Texas Democrat, John. Given that I've listened to prominent movement Republicans in Houston freaking Texas tell me that nobody needs assault weapons, you'll pardon me if I don't take the Rs being good on 2A at face value. I think it was the last republican president who said he'd sign another Assault Weapons ban, wasn't it?

    Any difference between the two parties is fading fast in their desire to tell all of us what to do.

  • ||

    I don't think the fact that some Republican in Houston thinks the assault weapons ban is a good idea is exactly strong evidence. I can tell just as many anicdotes as you can. And it will get us no where.

    But you what isn't an anecdote? The difference in the gun laws in states and cities dominated by Democrats and those in states and cities dominated by Republicans. That difference is pretty damned noticeable. And it puts lie to this bullshit idea that there is no difference between the parties.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    But you what isn't an anecdote? The difference in the gun laws in states and cities dominated by Democrats and those in states and cities dominated by Republicans. That difference is pretty damned noticeable. And it puts lie to this bullshit idea that there is no difference between the parties.

    Are you really sure that this is a top-down influence of the party in power in the state, or a bottom-up influence of the culture of the state's electorate? After all, when you look at Democrats from rural states, they tend to be 2nd amendment supporters, wheras urban state Rebpublicans swing the other way.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The goal is the same; the difference is that they see different paths to getting there.

    The only real difference between Team Donkey and Team Elephant is in managerial philosophy.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    It's all in how you pick them. There are some good blue states and lousy red ones. You might pick California or Texas as examples, but you could just as well look at Oregon vs. Alabama. What is sometimes considered good governance is more a matter of individual priorities. You'd have no problem getting a gun in Alabama, but getting a microbrew? Frankly, I have more use for the latter.

  • ||

    I am not saying the differences are all good Tacos. I am saying there are differences.

  • ||

    And having been to Birmingham a few times, there are no problems getting a micro brew there. I didn't find the bars in Birmingham to be any different than Portland. So I don't buy your difference.

  • robc||

    If the Ds are a 4 and the Rs are an 8, that is equally bad on a 100 pt scale. Fuck 4 pts.

    The problem is Team Red and Team Blue are playing on a 10 pt scale and do realize there is a world between 11 and 100.

    The difference between Rs and Ds is rounding error.

  • ||

    The difference between Rs and Ds is rounding error.

    You are on fire today.

  • ||

    I am so using that.

  • ||

    Fine words from people that claim to believe a principle that means that those who argued for closing Gitmo intended for assassinations via drone to be accelerated.

    OTOH, since that policy change, like any other absent revolution, is only a "rounding error," who cares?

  • BakedPenguin||

    If the Ds are a 4 and the Rs are an 8, that is equally bad on a 100 pt scale. Fuck 4 pts. ...The difference between Rs and Ds is rounding error.

    Thank you. This is what I try to explain to "lesser of evil" types. Shit that smells marginally less bad than other shit is not an improvement when you are looking for flowers.

  • ||

    That's fine, so long as everyone is consistent and doesn't get upset about the latest little encroachment of rights or Radley's latest story or the latest tiny increase in civil liberties violations. After all, it's all just "rounding error" compared to the previous shit that the government did, so it's not any worse when you're looking for flowers.

    After all, if marginally less bad is not an improvement, then marginally worse isn't getting worse, right?

    We already had bad airport security theater before, so who cares about this latest one? It's a rounding error.

    Medicare was already unsustainable, so who cares about Medicare Part D? Rounding error.

    The government already intervenes in health care, so, rounding error.

    Almost all the changes to the status quo, whether those that make it more statist or those that don't, are marginal changes. Our political system guarantees that.

    The people who welcome Obamacare and the TSA's latest outrages because it will "heighten the contradictions" and so forth, well, at least they're being logically consistent. But it's simply illogical to find two things significantly different when measured from one direction but not from the other.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    "After all, if marginally less bad is not an improvement, then marginally worse isn't getting worse, right?

    We already had bad airport security theater before, so who cares about this latest one? It's a rounding error."

    It's not that the latest TSA antics are marginally worse than before 11.1.2010, but that the "marginally worse" increases have finally hit critical mass.

    It's that cumulatively these encroachments have tipped the scale, not that we're marginally worse than just a month ago.

  • ||

    "If the Ds are a 4 and the Rs are an 8, that is equally bad on a 100 pt scale."

    And they swap places depending on whether they are in power or not.

  • robc||

    Most people are not pure anything. There are degrees of belief.

    Of course, and if you stray "too far" you arent a libertarian any more.

    Using the Nolan chart, you would be a conservative, liberal or centrist, depending on the direction of stray.

    I consider myself fairly "big tent". Hell, earlier today I supported the federal government spending 18% of GDP.
    But 19% is too damn far.

  • bobchild||

    I don't get this debate; you can be a partisan without being a member of Red team/Blue Team.

    I don't see why intellectual blindness towards say... poor actions by Democrats is somehow worse than intellectual blindness of the form "Everyone from all parties is stupid and none of them can ever have value"

    Not saying anyone in here has that position, but blindness is blindness. You can be a "Team of one" and still be a partisan.

  • ||

    we need more cowbell

  • But||

    Episiarch|11.29.10 @ 3:40PM|#
    "Weak attempted insults from anonypussies"

    Everyone here is anonymous, including you.

  • bobchild||

    Even if you allow it is all some grand conspiracy... so what? How is that even slightly relevant to the validity of the damn blowback?

    If an idea's worthwhile, it's worthwhile no matter who it comes from.

    This obsession tribal types have with what "front group" - Soros, Koch, Rove, whoever- pushed an idea is pathetic.

  • ||

    This has been my problem with the larger Koch Conspiracy madness from the beginning. Even if the Koch Foundation were behind every right-leaning group out there, it doesn't change the validity of the claims that those groups make. Classic logical fallacy, and one I see in use all too often.

  • ||

    Exactly. IT is the whole personal is political bullshit. It doesn't matter to these people what you think. All that matters is that you think it for the right reasons and be the right person. It is just madness.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I give give a shit what those Nation fuckers say, I haven't received check goddamn one yet for all my TSA yapping.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    first "give" should be "don't".

    Fuck.

  • ||

    I contend that Radley's work in reforming the justice system is appreciated more by right wing conservatives than your typical Nation reader.

  • ||

    Democrats are good on civil liberties because they say they are, Radley. What they do doesn't matter. The sooner you learn that, the sooner they'll stop attacking.

  • The Nation||

    Our butt hurts now.

  • Sal||

    Here's some hot sauce for that.

  • ||

    You actually are going easy on The Nation Radley. Not only are their accusations of hypocrisy wrong, they are projection. The other half of the story is that The Nation is guilty of precisely the kind of beltway tribalism they are accusing people. The Nation spent 8 years of Bush talking about the dark night of fascism was falling on America. Now that Obama is President, anyone who objects to a naked body scan is just a tool of the kochtopus.

  • bobchild||

    When you see the police state at work in the available toppings at TGIF, it's pretty hard to have perspective on actual police stats stuff.

  • Joshua Lyle||

    To be fair, it really is the fault of the police state that TGIF doesn't offer cannabis-butter.

  • ||

    I'd like to think that the beat-down put upon The Nation by Radley would have them engaging in second thoughts about their behavior, but I've been around too long to think for a moment that they'll even consider this worthy of their notice.

    Facts are for the little people.

    Still, nice job Radley.

  • ||

    It is about emotion for these people. For them to accept the fact that Obama is no better and in some cases worse than Bush was on civil liberties would mean questioning pretty much their entire world view. They are too emotionally invested in the idea that their side is pure while everyone else is a racist tool of the corporate establishment to ever question it.

  • ||

    Only the most obvious of a lifetime of poor decision making.

  • ||

    My BiL *had* to watch 60 Minutes last night because they were going to interview that Supreme Court justice that just retired!" Stevens? "Yeah, Stevens, that's the guy!"

    I had no interest, so I went and played FO:NV instead. Still, I could hear the tee-vee and when Kroft (it sounded like him) got to Citizens United, he asked him how he felt about the ruling where it allowed corporations to make unlimited donations to campaigns.

    I just about lost my nuts there. Are you fucking kidding me? They can't drop the political narrative long enough to even get the most fundamental facts straight? They just have to outright fucking lie?

    I left the CU decision page up on my computer for him to read, since he obviously only depended on naked partisans for his news. He read it and immediately started to parse out why it was still wrong.

    Thank god I only see him at the holidays.

  • ||

    Was he the first of your sister's mistakes or the culmination of them all?

  • Juvenile Lurker||

    Just the first to call back and fuck her again.

  • waffles||

    Oh, I thought BiL meant Bisexual Lover. NTTAWWT.

  • ||

    Can't it be both? NTTAWWTE.

  • J||

    Exactly. If you something ridiculous to Obama supporters, like "He wasn't born in the US" "He's a Muslim," they'll just laugh because they know it's not true.

    If you point out one of his many lies, broken promises or similarities to Bush, they'll get very surly very quickly, because they know you're right.

  • ||

    How long before we have Nation readers over here, posting "TRUCK NUTZ!"?

  • ||

    Let them come. The beatdown would be epic and effortless.

  • ||

    Maybe we just need to prime the pump...

    OMG! AYN RAND! SOMALIA! HURR DURR!

  • ||

    ROADS!!!1! STARVING CHILDREN!!!

  • ||

    OLD PEOPLE EATING CAT FOODZ!

  • ||

    Yay!

  • ||

    JERBZ! AJUNS!

  • Almanian||

    KOCHTOPUS! ANARCHY! EVUL CORPORASHUNZ BUY ELECTIONS! EXTERNALITEEZ!

  • Almanian||

    KOCHTOPUS! ANARCHY! EVUL CORPORASHUNZ BUY ELECTIONS! EXTERNALITEEZ!

  • hmm||

    That isn't much fun. At least the Wonkette crowd was like watching a monkey jackoff. Mildly entertaining if not disturbing.

  • ||

    Incidentally, while on a bike ride yesterday, I saw a black corvette with chrome TRUCK NUTZ!. I didn't get a chance to see if the driver was wearing a monocle.

  • ||

    It should be noted that Lew Rockwell/LvMI and the Kochs don't have the *best* relationship . . .

  • ||

    Sure. That's just what they want you to think.

  • ||

    That is because the Kochs are serious people and Rockwell is a crank. Rockwell knows that if Libertarianism ever became a serious movement with actually affected things, it would kick cranks like him to the curb and embrace more serious people like the Kochs. And he is none too happy about it.

  • Banjos Kick Ass!||

    I find it funny how that "crank's" website gets more traffic than this one does.

  • ||

    No one ever said there were not a lot of cranks in the world.

  • RyanXXX||

    How do you qualify as a "serious" person?

    Funding Trey Grayson's campaign against Rand Paul?
    http://63.e5bed1.client.atlant.....ey+Grayson

    Snubbing his father Ron? Hanging around with neocons?

  • Anonymous||

    That's part of his whole point. It's silly to refer to "libertarian" as though the entire concept is defined by Koch money. Yes, CATO and Reason are popular and partially funded by them, but there's quite a lot of dissent between their writers, let alone the Mises Institute and other Rothbard-is-my-homeboy types who really resent the label since they hated the Kochs before it was cool.

  • Greg||

    Right. I was backing up Radley's point that libertarian criticism of the TSA isn't unique to Koch-related entities* by pointing out that Rockwell (who, of course, is a crank) has criticized the TSA AND hates the Koch family.

    (disclosure: I have worked for organizations that are partially Koch-funded!)

  • a||

    Greg: Go sniffle about the bad libertarians who make you uncomfortable in another thread, asshole. Balko was actually giving credit where credit is due.

  • Greg||

    Wait, what?

  • a||

    You know, Greg, the bad libertarians who live outside of Washington, D.C. If you spent half as much time kvetching about all the non-libertarians who live in D.C. as you do blacklisting libertarians outside it, you might be marginally useful.

  • Greg||

    Would that I could blacklist libertarians...

  • Tony||

    While it's clear that some people call themselves libertarians out of devotion to principles, I'm not convinced that "libertarianism" has ever existed as a coherent political philosophy outside of the context of corporate whoring.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Thank you for your assessment, Tony.

  • bobchild||

    Woof.

    For a second I thought Tony was going to say something interesting. Thank God for the stupid in the last ten words.

  • MattXIV||

    Or to paraphrase - "I am incapable of understanding this, ergo, it must not make sense."

  • nekoxgirl||

    Libertarianism is essentially classical liberalism. The United States was founded on those ideas.

  • Tony||

    The US was founded by a bunch of people who didn't agree on very much. And what's the point of liberalism that's stuck in the 18th century when it was acceptable to treat entire classes of people as less than fully human?

  • oncogenesis||

    what's the point of liberalism that's stuck in the 18th century

    That's a beautiful strawman you've erected there, Toni.

  • ||

    The US was founded by a bunch of people who didn't agree on very much

    But the parts they did agree upon were agreed upon so fiercely that it inspired defiance of the world's military superpower of their day.

    We could have remained loyal to England and helped them with their uplifting human rights projects across the Indies, Asia, and South Africa.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I don't get a fucking dime from the Kochs, and I goddamn hate the fucking TSA.

    I even have the gall to write about it too.

  • nj||

    It is also important to note that Koch's have given money to the ACLU

  • ||

    They just do that to throw people off the scent.

  • bobchild||

    So the ACLU is in on it too?

    HOW DEEP DOES IT GO?

  • hmm||

    The rabbit hole is bottomless.

  • Ska||

    Thank God, I was beginning to worry Johnny Depp would show up and ruin the fucking movie.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    It's Kochtopuses, all the way down.

  • Kristen||

    Now this belongs on a t-shirt on Cafepress!

  • ||

    its turtles all the way down

  • robc||

    49 minutes later and fail, compared to CN.

  • Zeb||

    Not to mention Public Television.

  • ||

    Remember when Radley setup a website just to Fisk Morgan Spurlock?

    I nominate this post for Fisk of the Month.

  • robc||

    Odds that the Nation responds to this?

  • ||

    3:1

  • Mike M.||

    You should never let yourself get drawn into a fight with a midget. There's no way to come out of it looking good.

  • hmm||

    unless the fight is in a pool of Jello.

  • ||

    It can't be considered a substantial response unless they make fun of Radley's name.

  • Whatever||

    The beatdown would be epic and effortless

    Or obscure and ineffectual. Blog commentary has the same effect on events as yelling at your TV during a football game.

  • ||

    You're so bitter and passive aggressive. I love it. You have no idea how much joy your suffering brings me.

  • Whatever||

    How sad for you.

  • waffles||

    By which you mean a lot, right? I yelled at the Steelers a whole lot yesterday. I think I yelled so hard I caused a dropped pass in OT.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I didn't have to yell at all because my Dolphins, after a crushing defeat against the Bears last week, beat the ever living hell of the Raiders in every facet of the game (except ST, but when your D only gives up 1 yard to the RBs in the 2nd best rushing offense in the league who gives a shit about special teams?).

  • ||

    Donimante. Intimdate.

    Spell check, much?

  • Sean W. Malone||

    I really like the way the word "Donimante" rolls off the tongue if said with a Spanish inflection... Try it!

  • hmm||

    If that wasn't a, "Here's your ass article." I don't know what is.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    It's not an "error" when you know what you're doing.

  • Max||

    Everybody should spit on libertarians my ass. A tiny minority of Americans would know where the fuck to spit. You libertoid assholes really do nurture the belief that you're relevant, don't you? Pathetic fucks.

  • ||

    Excellent parody of the extensive cluelessness of Edaxorrisiti.

  • ||

    They're clearly relevant to you, Edward.

  • xaM||

    And yet, here you are again. We own you, loser. Arf arf arf arf arf!!!

  • xaM||

    And yet, here you are again. We own you, loser. Arf arf arf arf arf!!!

  • mad libertarian guy||

    We're so irrelevant that publications like The nation (and others) have spent the better part of the last 2 years smearing libertarianism and libertarians.

    Good try, fuckface.

  • oncogenesis||

    Don't worry, scrote. There are plenty of 'tards out there living really kick-ass lives. My first wife was 'tarded. She's a pilot now.

  • hmm||

    Wasn't Reagan that made fun of Nation magazine?

  • Sean W. Malone||

    I totally beat Radley to the punch on this one :P

    http://seanwmalone.blogspot.co.....anden.html

  • Citizen Nothing||

    You libertoid assholes really do nurture the belief that you're relevant, don't you?
    Well, us and The Nation.

  • Almanian||

    1) Radley, this is excellent journolizm, and makes up in advance for your weekly nut punch that will inevitably follow. Good stuff - well done!

    2) And with all this, I am still strangely attracted to Kat VandH, even as she fades and ages like a once-regal abandoned house in Detroit. If I squint my eyes, I can still see the spoiled young rich bitch of old...dreamy.

    *sigh*

  • ||

    And with all this, I am still strangely attracted to Kat VandH,

    I know what you mean, but I find my attraction is fading slightly faster than her collagen.

  • rac||

    I would have to say, emaphasis on "strangely".

    She is a word that my wife won't let me say anymore, but that George Will always looks like he's about to blurt out on that Sunday show they are on.

  • waffles||

    It's cunt, isn't it? I knew it!

  • rac||

    Yes, it is. I'm sorry, the only balls I have left are the Trucknutz I bought at Sepncer's Gifts.

  • ||

    Ten years ago she was fairly attractive. But she is not aging well.

  • ||

    I know the type though. They always talk a big game, but when the scrunchy is on the dormroom door they get all fussy. Or start crying when you slip it in. Or get all huffy when you won't go down on them when they are on the rag. Or blurt out a confession about the time they let their brother watch them masturbate in the bathtub and how it was exciting and then he died and she just wants to cuddle. Daddy was emotional distant and drank. Mom was so wonderful but she would never leave him. Oh, oh... she has trust issues. Unless you are some ska-band fuckstick in a fedora. Then she'll fuck him in the world's most disgusting toilet and then call you later to blubber about it. And the food co-op deodorant never works and her hairy armpits smell like burnt garlic. And she has a yeast infection on the weekend you go to a romantic bed-and-breakfast and going down on you is just too patriarchal. I fucking hate hippies.

  • rac||

    I'm picturing Jack Nicholson in Carnal Knowledge with Rita Moreno. Not that I disagree mind you.

  • ||

    My God Sugar Free. I honestly don't think you made that up. You couldn't make that shit up. That had to have come from woman you have actually interacted with. You poor bastard. How did you ever survive college? Did anyone ever get you the help you so clearly would have needed after that?

  • ||

    It's his mom, John. And the truly sad part is, he still goes back and fucks her all the time.

  • ||

    Bits and pieces happened to me. The rest is from friends' experiences.

    Although I will admit that about 2/3 is from one girl.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    What the fuck ever made you think it would be a good idea to date a hippie?

    For fuck's sake.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Bravo, sir.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    I know the type though.

    No shit.

  • Ska||

    You know what dude? I don't wear fedoras or Vans slip-ons, and I play reggae not English ska. Yes, I fucked your hairy girlfriend in a shitty bar bathroom once, and I cringe at the memory.

  • rac||

    Is your name really Ben Rothlisberger?

  • Ska||

    That would go a long way in explaining the free time I have on weekdays.

  • ||

    Well, you can't wear a fedora with that blowout you have going, so that's not really an excuse.

  • ||

    Don't get your Jah-love panties in a twist, Ska.

  • ||

    What the fuck is a Fedora?

  • ||

    Wow.. My experiences with hippie girls were far more enjoyable. All I had to put up with was the occasional attempt to guilt-trip me for eating meat.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Hit 'n' Run: Come for the puppy shootings, stay for the psychodrama.

  • ||

    I fucking hate hippies.

    You ran with a fake rich girl grad school hippy. You need a poor hippy who grew up poor and dropped out of college. They cook awesome food and fuck like there is no tomorrow.

  • ||

    amen brotha. fuckin-a-men

  • ||

    You'd think that the Kochs suddenly deciding to spend a bunch of money on the civil liberties side of libertarianism would be the sort of thing the The Nation would welcome.

    You addressed this point, but I'll pile on: I marvel at the ability of so-called libertarians to completely ignore Soros' good works on drug legalization, just because he's also involved in progressive/liberal causes of which I disapprove.

    I *try* to give credit where credit is due.

  • ||

    But doesn't libertarianism stand for something besides drug legalization? The fact that Soros does so much harm in other areas, ought to outweigh him supporting drug legalization. If not, then Libertarianism is like the NRA and a single issue advocacy group. It is okay for the NRA to endorse someone like Harry Reid. It shouldn't matter to the NRA what Reid thinks about anything but gun rights. That is the NRA's sole issue. But Libertarianism is different. It is about a lot of issues. And being good on one of those issues doesn't make up for being awful on everything else.

  • T||

    And being good on one of those issues doesn't make up for being awful on everything else.

    Really, is there anything I need to add to this? Anything at all?

  • ||

    That's at least two amazingly unintentionally telling statements by John on this thread now. Good stuff.

  • ||

    Good stuff why? Where have I ever claimed that either party is perfect or that you should join one? All I have ever said is that they are not both the same and that people actually do come to reasonable but differing conclusions about things.

    I don't think Tony is says what he does out of loyalty to the Democratic Party. I think he says what he does because, although he is wrong, he actually believes it. That is where you and I diverge.

  • Tony||

    I'm enjoying agreeing with you, John. Of course we each think the other has chosen the wrong side, but it's good to see someone else articulate the pragmatic value of choosing a side.

    I'm willing to be convinced, though, and haven't settled on the idea as absolute truth. I used to be proudly independent, till I realized that all it got me was not being able to vote in primaries. That is, not choosing a side is merely an exercise in vanity.

    I believe that choosing sides is important because there are only two realistic choices, an inherent quality (many would say flaw) of our system of government. Until lots of 3rd parties start filling seats in Congress, I don't see that changing.

    But I'm still willing to be convinced that it is morally unjustifiable to support either major American party.

    What is simply fallacious and wrong is the idea that both parties are equally bad on all issues. It's just lazy thinking. It is highly improbable for this to be true.

  • Tony||

    What evil things does George Soros support? Anti-communism? Philanthropy? Is he just evil because he happens to be a liberal?

  • ||

    What evil things does George Soros support?

    A larger and more powerful state, for the most part. With the Right People in charge, of course. And fewer drug laws.

  • CatoTheElder||

    I make small donations to Cato, Reason, Mercatus, Mises, Drug Policy Alliance, and Families Against Mandatory Minimums. Just because Soros is behind the latter two groups doesn't mean their objectives are wrong any more than the Koch's support for the first three detracts from their work. Ideally, I prefer Mises. But outfits supported by the likes of Koch and Soros are more likely to influence policy rather than just educating people.

    I also get a small bonus for supporting the Soros groups. I now get junk mail from all sorts of left-wing groups and Democrat-affiliated organizations. Usually I just throw it away after checking for a stamped envelope inside, but left-wing propaganda can be really amusing as long as one can avoid infuriation. If it's really bad, I return it with the enclosed business-reply envelope at their expense.

  • cynical||

    He's not a candidate for anything, and doesn't need endorsements. He can get his kudos and his finger-wags separately.

  • ||

    I don't understand either. For a libertarian, or anyone who disagrees with the many of his other works, isn't it a win-win to have him (or the Kochs or whomever) spending money on something with which you agree? Not only does it mean more spent on things you like, but less spent on things you don't.

  • ||

    I don't like Soros but even a broken clock is right twice a day. The drug laws in this country only benefit prisons, law enforcement and the big banks that launder the drug cartel money

  • ||

    Well, I will admit this much.

    After the way AEI beat the drum for the invasion of Iraq (and a shitload of other American Exceptionalist Neocon bullshit), it doesn't matter one goddam bit where they come down on tax policy, or any fucking other thing; they can all die in a fire.

    So, sometimes I'm just as guilty as anybody else.

  • ||

    You stake out your position not by applying a consistent set of principles, but by making sure your position puts you in opposition to all the right people.

    Sort of like Reason did when unleashing their full throated support of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

  • ||

    Everyone has their blind spots. Reason's blind spots are usually things that are cause celebre of urban liberals. That is why they get so pissed off when you call them Cosmotarians.

  • ||

    Crimethink! Abortion! Stem Cells! Masturbation!

  • ||

    At least he's consistent. Like, for example, a dialtone.

  • ||

    I haven't been around here much lately, but I thought crimethin;s comment was right on. Is Ron Bailey still here? His shillery was the thing that really bugged me.

  • ||

    :D

  • juris imprudent||

    Damn, next thing you know, joe will make a guest reappearance.

  • cynical||

    Federal funding of scientific research!

  • ||

    I don't want to get bogged down in a lot of niggling about the "essence" of true libertarianism.

    Soros spends money to fight the drug war, which is an immediate and unequivocal violation of freedom (the lock-you-up kind).

    Where, among his other nefarious interests, does Soros advocate depriving citizens of their freedom?

    I'm not obsessed with Soros (or cocktails, for that matter), so I need help.

  • ||

    Where, among his other nefarious interests, does Soros advocate depriving citizens of their freedom?

    With his funding of multifarious leftist groups that have that as their goal, perhaps?

  • ||

    I think it's his fairly significant support of organizations like Moveon,org and other Dem. Party groups, which can hardly claim to be for the expansion of liberty.

    Far be it for to be an expert on the man, but on the whole, I think he's done more harm than good.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    You know... Story time... I once got into a heated argument about the word "niggardly" which is related to the word "niggle" through the older root, "nigla".

    Even after I explained what it meant, and still after much dictionary and online etymology demonstrations discussing that the word is old Swedish/Norse and refers to making a fuss about small matters.

    No matter how much explaining I did, no matter how many dozens of sources backed me up, the person who got pissed off at me remained pissed for days... not even so much about the word, but about the fact that I had the audacity to claim that it was unrelated to the word "nigger", which obviously comes from the latin terms for "black" - i.e. "negra".

    I used a brick to facepalm myself.

  • cynical||

    Ah, that's where you went wrong. The brick was supposed to be used for hitting them. You failed evolution yet again.

  • MattXIV||

    I don't understand the Soros hate either. I don't particularly like him, but he manages to be good on the issues that liberals are actually supposed to be useful on, which puts him ahead of the Democratic party and most of the liberal policy mag and think tanks.

    MoveOn and CAP do seem to have represented a pretty big blind spot for him - by being pretty much straight partisan organizations, it's empowered Democrats without getting any policy concessions on the issues that he's put a lot of money into. If Soros's main concerns are executive overreach and drug policy, getting the Democrats into power has delivered a suprisingly poor ROI.

  • alan||

    I don't understand the Soros hate either.

    What I don't get is the Soros love. Everybody is deserving of a good deal of hatred, and it is up to them to prove otherwise. Also, his admirers seem a little too cult of personalitish. The same kind of guys who bought Lee Iococa or Donald Trump biographies in the eighties talk up Soros by the water cooler in the ought nots.

    My personal dislike has to do with being forced to read Alchemy of Finance to write a summary for a professor nearly twenty years ago. It was such an all too obvious attempt at being the next JMK. When reading it, the part of you who naturally empathizes with the author is fatigued with embarrassment by the end. It has been a while since I read it, but what I retain of the basic idea is the current world market is bad. It is a a dinosaur that needs to be replaced with the more democratic principle of reciprocity as Soros lays it out. Replacing supply and demand with hippie shit, is that something worthy of your serious consideration?

    Here is another butt nugget from Soros

    Although I have made a fortune in the financial markets, I now fear that the untrammelled intensification of laissez-faire capitalism and the spread of market values into all areas of life is endangering our open and democratic society.

    Why would I not hate him for being a liar and a shithead?

  • ||

    What I hate is the seamless transition from "I made lots of money in the financial markets" to "Free market is bad." when anyone who knows anything abou them knows they're not free. In particular Soros made billions off the results of massive failed government policies.

  • SIV||

    Libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism are right wing ideologies. Everyone but a few libertarians are pretty much in agreement on that.

  • Bingo||

    I would love to hear your explanation for this. The 1 dimensional political spectrum isn't doing the libertarian movement any favors and practically encourages the two party mentality.

  • SIV||

    I would love to hear your explanation for this.

    People such as yourself conflating "right wing" with "center right" and the GOP come to mind.

  • Bingo||

    I don't understand. Are you saying that forms of classical liberalism and progressivism are the extremes of the spectrum?

  • SIV||

    In American terms classical liberalism has largely been subsumed by the "right".
    Progressivism is and always was pure authoritarian collectivism.

  • Bingo||

    I agree with the idea of the scale being freedom vs. authoritarianism. Unfortunately, that's not how people view the scale in the modern sense.

    Also, I would disagree with your labeling of left vs. right. Historically, the Left wants change and the Right resists it. Libertarianism represents a much larger and much more revolutionary change than either the modern "Left" or "Right". Both the Modern Left and Modern Right want incremental change in some areas, but are left defending a much large portion of the status quo than libertarians. This leaves libertarianism to be on the far left of the political spectrum, using historical terms. Libertarianism is absolutely a revolutionary ideology, and belongs on the far left of the political spectrum.

  • Nj||

    Great post, if anything we are radical leftists

  • Corey S.||

    Didn't Bastiat sit on the left?

  • Sean W. Malone||

    I disagree... a lot of left-libertarians would disagree, and more importantly it makes no goddamn sense.

    To paraphrase how Walter Block put it in his discussion on the political spectrum (see it on YouTube here), if you put libertarianism as the far right, then you put it right up next to where most people also put fascism/nazis... Fail. Likewise, to put it on the extreme left would put it right up next to where people tend to put communism.... Again... Fail.

    But it's also not "moderate" in the sense of "center-right" or "center-left".

    So how exactly does the standard Left vs. Right bullshit even apply??

    It doesn't. That's why David Nolan (RIP) made a 2D axis, and why Walter Block in the video linked above eliminates the axis altogether and instead goes for a series of stand alone variables.

    Left and Right is a meaningless delusion that really may have only ever applied to the French Parliament. We try to cram different ideologies into it today because people have been too blind and stupid to think their way out of the box they put themselves in decades ago.

  • Bingo||

    To me, it sounds like SIV is reversing the left/right labels on the Rothbardian anarcho-capitalist spectrum where libertarians are on one end with various forms of statism at the other end.

  • CatoTheElder||

    "too blind and stupid to think their way out of the box"

    Hell, they're too blind and stupid to think their way off a line.

  • SIV||

    if you put libertarianism as the far right, then you put it right up next to where most people also put fascism/nazis... Fail.

    National Socialism and fascism have nothing in common with American political "right" traditions or ideologies. They are European manifestations of non-communist socialism and progressivism

  • ||

    Fascism does not equal socialism. Fascism believes in concentrating power in monopolist, government-fueled corporations as incestuous arms of an oppressive "security state" while socialism supports a bureaucracy-administered economy and oppressive security state. Socialism has the supposed end-goal of decentralized wealth for all (just ignore that ruling class that has all the wealth and political power) while fascism is mostly unconcerned with economic equality, beyond promises of prosperity for all. You can argue there's not much difference in the end beyond semantics, and I'd mostly agree with you. There's not much difference between anarchocapitalism and anarchocommunism either. That's why the philosophies meet at the extreme ends of the political diamond.

  • ||

    They are European manifestations of non-communist socialism and progressivism

    The New Deal was a manifestation of non-communist socialism and progressivism.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    ^this^

  • ||

    There's not much difference between anarchocapitalism and anarchocommunism either

    From wiki:
    "While anarchist communists Peter Kropotkin and Murray Bookchin believed that the members of such a society would spontaneously perform all necessary labour because they would recognize the benefits of communal enterprise and mutual aid,others such as Nestor Makhno and Ricardo Flores Magon had the conviction that all those able to work in an anarchist communist society should be obligated to do so"

    Anarcho-communism bullshit is a complete fucking oxymoron.
    basically:
    "We believe that the state, private property, and capitalism shouldn't exist. Also, if people don't like it, they should be forced to do it anyways...."

    One is against government with an emphasis on self-governance. One is against government and individual rights, but a magical cooercive force should exist to keep people from realizing what a crock of shit communal living is. But it's not government, we swear.

  • ||

    This was TOO good Radley. I can't wait for the inevitable counterattack... "but, ummm, well, we were busy writing about other things to talk about civil liberties.."

  • ||

    Last one.

    With his funding of multifarious leftist groups that have that as their goal, perhaps?

    Where "that" = actually scooping people up and JAILING them?

    I'm not a big Soros fan (or apologist), but I am not aware of his advocacy (unlike AEI) of policies which have DIRECTLY RESULTED in wholesale death and destruction.

  • Not The Nation||

    This place is like the Plastics clique in Mean Girls. Their shallow, superficial leader is being played by Episiarch, of course, but who gets Lindsay Lohan's part?

  • SIV||

  • SIV||

    Little libertine Lindsay Lohan with a bong.

  • waffles||

    my lord, you're right. you know this means Epi's due to get hit by a bus any minute now.

  • ||

    "Who gets Lindsay Lohan's part?"

    Half of the state of California?

  • episiarch||

    Your mean to. Watch my cat videoes! Their puuurrrfect!

  • ||

    I'm not a big Soros fan (or apologist), but I am not aware of his advocacy (unlike AEI) of policies which have DIRECTLY RESULTED in wholesale death and destruction.

    Enough with the binary thinking, already. This isn't a "who's the bigger statist tool, AEI or Soros" discussion.

    The point was that Soros's influence, on the whole, is on the side of the Total State. His anti-drug-war stuff is kind of anomalous, really, and certainly not enough, on balance, for me to consider him a force for Good.

  • ||

    Even when you factor in his anti-drug war and anti-war stances, the way he earns his money you'd think would be utterly sickening to the Left. The third world poor get fucked while he makes billions by devaluing their currency.

  • ||

    the way he earns his money you'd think would be utterly sickening to the Left.

    On the tolerance to sickening scale it is only the left who could tolerate him for this.

    Hell throw a rock at any gathering of leftists and you will have a hard time not hitting a Mugabe apologist....I don't even need to talk about the US history of left wing engineering at our own fed.

  • ||

    Really? I know a heck of a lot of leftists (and indeed consider myself to be one) - but know zero Mugabe apologists. I just think the Left doesn't really pay attention to how he earned his money (nor do they understand how money really works) - if they did, I do believe most would be repulsed.

  • MattXIV||

    RE Picking sides:

    The problem is that the behavior of both sides changes in a decidely authoritarian direction as they get closer to welding substantial political power. This change is almost always far larger than the average difference between the sides, so consistently supporting one side or another inevitably means that at some given time, you're going to be actively working to advance the more authoritarian agenda.

  • Kristen||

    My only problem (thus far in that I don't know much about him) with Soros is he pays fro his employees to attend scam-cult Werner Erhard "classes". That's his perogative, I guess, but I don't want to have to deal with any more of my friends almost getting sucked into one of those vortexes.

  • ||

    This is a FANTASTIC response to The Nation's article.

  • seanmahair||

    I'm somewhat confused. I thought a conspiracy was something people did in secret. All that clandestine sneaking around, lurking in corners, passing notes in code and breaking into rooms at the Watergate Hotel.

    I'm reasonably sure the Koch brothers and their organizations have been upfront about their political leanings since the get go. I could be wrong but even here in fly-over country we've heard about them and their political views.

    So where is the conspiracy again? Given a list of the Koch organizations and the Soros organizations which has done more harm over the last 5 years? Which list contains the more militant, violent groups? Just wondering.

  • ||

    Hey, I'm with Robert Scheer - we can't trust those Ayy-Rabs. Oh, wait...he only meant it as a club to beat Bush with....nevermind.

  • TallDave||

    Give 'em hell, Radley!

  • ||

    I don't like Soros but even a broken clock is right twice a day. The drug laws in this country only benefit prisons, law enforcement and the big banks that launder the drug cartel money

  • Bill McGonigle||

    All correct, so now put two and two together:
    The Nation is now publishing about TSA atrocities.
    The record of libertarians is clear.
    The Nation is now smearing libertarians.

    They've been caught on the wrong side of the issue, and recognize who's been right here. But their ideology prevents them from saying, "Oh, look, the libertarians have been right all along" (because what _else_ have their spooky certainly-not-informed-logic predictive powers been right about?) So, the goal is to discredit the libertarians and then try to claim the mantle of being the people who 'get' civil liberties. Their editor is not mis-informed.

    The 'apology' was merely damage control to shut up the critics. Good for you for not taking the bait. If this hypothesis is right, we'll see continued stories from the Nation, both about TSA atrocities and attacks on libertarians. As you point out, rank tribalism, but also political jockeying for public perception.

  • Jessica Hughes||

    Beautifully done Radley! I was a pretty poorly informed supporter of the security state until the SS showed up on my doorstep during the '08 election. Not proud that it took so much to wake me up but I sure as hell am not going back to sleep!

    Thanks for your terrific reporting on police abuses et al.

  • ||

    Mark Ames is a total poser fraud. I have it on very good authority that The Exiled Online changes posts in their comments threads that they don’t like.

    Check out Ames’ elitist view of Americans:

    "If the left wants to understand American voters, it needs to once and for all stop sentimentalizing them as inherently decent, well-meaning people being duped by a tiny cabal of evil oligarchs—because the awful truth is that they’re mean, spiteful jerks being duped by a tiny cabal of evil oligarchs. The left’s naïve, sentimental, middle-class view of ‘the people’ blinds them to all of the malice and spite that is a major premise of Middle American life."

    http://mailman.lbo-talk.org/pi.....00615.html

    Wow. Just...wow. Americans are "mean, spiteful jerks." I suspect projection.

    If Americans as a whole population are mean, spiteful and malicious, and Ames is trying to convince the Left of this so that they can win votes, what, then, is the implied strategy? I guess lies, frauds, deceits...I mean, how else are noble do-gooders supposed to convince a nation of mean, spiteful and malicious jerks to hand power over to them for the good of the country, right?

  • دردشه عراقية||

    Thanks

  • Diogenes||

    You have also gotten right wing Koch money for your endless pandering for the for-profit prison industry, which has been more significant in expanding the prison population in the U.S. than has your decriminalization advocacy been in shrinking it.

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