High Speed Rail Goes Loco

California's high speed rail project could be shaping up as the awesomest catastrogeddon of 2011.

The California High Speed Rail Authority is committed to breaking ground on a leg of the train that will serve passengers between the unincorporated town of Borden and the half-incarcerated town of Corcoran.

Whether you call it the train from nowhere or the train to nowhere, nobody will be riding it even when it’s done. That’s not libertarian cant: The actual plan for the $4.15 billion leg is that upon completion it will sit idle until other sections of track are completed.

Nobody likes this plan.

Background: The CHSRA needs to break ground by September 2012 or lose $2.25 billion in federal funds. The U.S. Department of Transportation has for reasons of its own favored the sparsely populated Central Valley for this first leg of the thinly imagined high speed rail project. Although Golden State Democrats would prefer to start off by connecting San Francisco to Los Angeles or L.A. to Anaheim, they have generally accepted the humiliation rather than lose the funding and miss another start for the nearly 15-year-old project. The recent dedication of a high-speed terminal in San Francisco by outgoing Democratic House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi was for show purposes only.

Geography buffs are invited to try and make any sense out of the CHSRA’s proposed alignment. Not only does the authority plan to incur all the financial and public relations costs of driving a 150-mph train down the heavily populated and extremely wealthy San Francisco-to-San Jose corridor; but it then plans to sacrifice the only goal that could possibly make that trouble worthwhile: a direct San Fran-L.A. run. 

And after scrupulously avoiding the mostly-direct Interstate 5 route, after stops in Fresno and Visalia and Bakersfield and Palmdale, the train will then make a sharp westward turn, over toward the 5, and take that route south into L.A. There's already a Metrolink train that follows this route. As of 2002 the Antelope Valley Line was carrying 5,135 riders per day. Earlier this year, Metrolink proposed cutting service on the Antelope Valley Line, citing an 11 percent decline in ridership systemwide.

In other rail news, CalWatchdog’s Anthony Pignatoro takes another look at the fabulous ridership projections CHSRA has been making with no support.  And in a two-page letter to DOT and Federal Railroad Administration, U.S. Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced condemns Borden/Corcoran as a "gross misuse" of taxpayer money.

There’s plenty of previous Reason coverage of the Cal HSR saga. Get all you can eat.

Related: California government employees get a fleet of sweet rides during the state's worst economic crisis since the 1930s. The coolest thing about government vehicle fleets is when they auction them off.

Very vaguely related: Communist former federal green jobs czar Van Jones hosts a poetry competition where everybody wins. Proving that when government officials do poetry slams, poetry slams sound like city council meetings, a woman at the 4:30 mark launches into some lengthy testimony about the counties the bullet train will be passing through. Sing it, heartland of Cali:

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  • sevo||

    The irony of the "CA High-Speed Rail Authority" ad off the the right is jarring.
    See here for a generous helping of government propaganda and pretty pictures of things that will never be:
    http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/

  • Some other guy||

    ********
    Read below at your own peril. No alcohol allowed
    *****

  • db||

    Jesus.

  • hmm||

    Oh god, those who wait or got to 4:30 are going to have some serious comments.

    Is that a super hero outfit?

  • l0b0t||

    Thanks, I'll never be able to unwatch that.
    20,000 tons of your produce came from my soil...
    like broken levies
    lead to broken condoms
    lead to broken lives...

  • sevo||

    There is no way I'll spend one second of my life listening to Van Jones, so I missed it. And I'm not sorry.

  • Liberal Douchebag||

    The reason you won't listen to Jones is because you're racist. Admit it, white male woman-hating God-worshiping capitalist pig!

  • Jason S.||

    I think she' trying to say that she's faster than speeding bullet...train.

  • JoshINHB||

    Oh god, those who wait or got to 4:30 are going to have some serious comments.

    Is that the secret spawn of Clinton & Lewinsky?

  • PIRS||

    "The actual plan for the $4.15 billion leg is that upon completion it will sit idle until other sections of track are completed."

    At least they are being honest about it this time. It isn't often that the government admits its own lack of productivity.

  • ||

    I found that absolutely hilarious. Spend $4.15 billion [and I am betting that this particular "leg" will actually cost much more than that - $10 B is my minimum guess) for no other reason that, if you don't, the money will go unspent.

    Of course, I can find it hilarious because I am not from California or even the US, so I don't have to pay for it.

  • Binky||

    The CHSRA needs to break ground by September 2012 or lose $2.25 billion in federal funds.

    FTFY

  • PIRS||

    Agreed. If the new Congress is actually serious about cutting spending this is a place to start. This and NPR.

  • ||

    I've decided I want them to build it.

    Anytime someone says we need more taxes, I can just point them to this boondoggle without having to go into a big debate.

  • omg||

    Doesn't work here in the northeast. See: Big Dig.

  • Douglas Adams||

    From "The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

    "I'm afraid you're going to have to accept it," said Mr Prosser gripping his fur hat and rolling it round the top of his head, "this bypass has got to be built and it's going to be built!"

    "First I've heard of it," said Arthur, "why's it going to be built?"

    Mr Prosser shook his finger at him for a bit, then stopped and put it away again.

    "What do you mean, why's it got to be built?" he said. "It's a bypass. You've got to build bypasses."

  • ||

    I went to the CHSRA website you linked to, mapped out an SF to LA ride, and found that I saved a whopping 324 lbs of CO2.

    Even at the exorbitant price of $100 per ton of carbon, that is a savings to the environment of $16.

    I suppose that's worth a cost to the humans of $20 billion plus overruns. Anything to save the polar bears.

  • PIRS||

    I wonder how much carbon it takes to build a non-functioning train line?

  • Ah Duh Yea||

    exactly
    PIRS For Congress!

  • SM||

    I'll ask this again, to see if i can get a straight answer...

    Just have a quick question...

    ...say you guys win. You get your 435 ron pauls, every state/local legislator across the nation...

    ...say they follow your ideology, all the schools close, safety net gone, everything you hope for...

    ...say the country devolves into a somalia look alike...

    ...then what? Are you happy living in a country like that, just because it fits your ideology?

    I understand that some of you want to argue "that won't happen" - but my question is, IF that happens, then what? Do you stick with your ideology, or....what?

  • ||

    How the fuck does Somalia "fit libertarian ideology" you illiterate imbecile?

  • SM||

    A place with no government to steal your money and spend them on public interests...sounds like somalia to me.

    Or go ahead and make up any place you want...this is a hypothetical...if your ideology turns this country into a "enter gerneric shithole here" - do you abandon your ideology?

    If your ideology is causing mass extinction, what do you do?

  • PIRS||

    SM, do you still beat your wife? Hypothetically of course.

  • SM||

    I wouldn't do that.

    I also wouldn't spank my children, not because i think its morally abhorrent, but because it does not have the intended effects that people once thought it did, according to all evidence. I can't deny reality to fit my wishes and beliefs and ideology...it still exists no matter if i wish it did or did not, so i might as well accept it.

  • PIRS||

    Good, glad to hear you would not beat your wife. Libertarianism would not lead to Somalia. Somalia is not even anarchy. It is run by warloards. Warloards are just politicians with guns.

  • SM||

    And what do you do to prevent warlords with guns here? If a group of them decide to get together and ignore your voluntary courts...well?

  • ||

    In the last thread you got the only kind of answers you deserved.

    Your prime mistake is mistaking libertarianism with anarchy. There are a very small group of libertarians that believe in no government, but the vast majority of us believe government's only role is the protect its citizens from tyranny, including its own.

    The meme. "if people are free from tyranny they will mindlessly kill each other" is >350 years old. The great experiment called U.S.A. proved it wrong.(and before you ask, yes tyranny is a well defined term)

  • SM||

    Through what logic has this been determined - that government has authority in this "only role"?

    And all history has proven is that in one place at one time (USA) this did not happen...i could show you other places where it did...or where it didn't then did...etc.

  • SIV||

    "Small group"?

    Fuck Off Statist!

  • PIRS||

    "And what do you do to prevent warlords with guns here? If a group of them decide to get together and ignore your voluntary courts...well?"

    We would defend ourselves with our guns and refuse to do business with you.

  • cbmclean||

    I wonder then who would have the best guns?

  • PIRS||

    "And what do you do to prevent warlords with guns here? If a group of them decide to get together and ignore your voluntary courts...well?"

    We would defend ourselves with our guns and refuse to do business with you.

  • SM||

    So you would be a private tyranny, refusing to do business with others?

    What if you all agree to not do business with a certain minority - and gasp - irrational thought takes over - all the others like you do the same? I understand this is against your interest...but it wouldn't' be the first time its happened...do we just let that minority languish and die?

    Why do you people want to trade in your public masters for a bunch of private ones you have no say over?

  • PIRS||

    “So you would be a private tyranny, refusing to do business with others?”

    I don’t drink sodas that contain High-Fructose Corn Syrup. Does this make me a private tyranny?

    “What if you all agree to not do business with a certain minority - and gasp - irrational thought takes over - all the others like you do the same? I understand this is against your interest...but it wouldn't' be the first time its happened...do we just let that minority languish and die?”

    You just answered your own question. Suppose there are two competing companies. One refuses to hire anyone other than blond haired blue eyed white people. The second company hires the best qualified person it can get for each position regardless of race or ethnicity. Which company do you think will outperform the other? Most people simply want quality products and services. It is obvious which company would do better.

    “Why do you people want to trade in your public masters for a bunch of private ones you have no say over?”

    Again, I do have say over private companies. If I don’t like their products or services I do not trade with them. This is why I do not buy sodas with high fructose corn syrup.

  • SM||

    "One refuses to hire anyone other than blond haired blue eyed white people. The second company hires the best qualified person it can get for each position regardless of race or ethnicity. Which company do you think will outperform the other? Most people simply want quality products and services. It is obvious which company would do better."

    Baseless assertion. Good luck with that.

    Your fundamental problem is your refusal to accept people are not perfectly rational, even though you provide the perfect example.

    If one company owned all, and was able to force out competitors by their market advantage, again, where is your competition? You just ASSUME that people will compete, that there is no barrier to entrance. Like i said, no friction, no gravity, utopia...

    ...and unicorns. Got it.

  • PIRS||

    “Baseless assertion. Good luck with that.”

    If you buy something stamped “MADE IN USA” do you have any idea what race or ethnicity the person who made it was? Could be a combination of different people even – some white, some black etc.

    “You just ASSUME that people will compete, that there is no barrier to entrance. “

    The barriers to compete in our society come from the government. It is that which I wish to end.

  • Adam||

    "Your fundamental problem is your refusal to accept people are not perfectly rational"

    That's the beauty of it; they don't have to be rational at all. The ones who are rational will quickly out-compete the ones who are not, and lead by example.

    Irrational people are not often successful in life or business.

  • SM||

    All baseless assertions. Amazing.

    Wouldn't libertarians, the supposed rational among us, succeed the most today?

    Or could there be...gasp...OTHER FACTORS!

  • Adam||

    I didn't say "libertarian", I said "rational".

    Yes, there is a strong correlation between rationality and support for libertarian ideals, but it's not a requirement.

  • nekoxgirl||

    SM, throughout history governments enforced monopolies. A favored company would be the only one allowed to do business in an area. The liberalization of economies in Europe actually involved ending these state enforced monoplies. Natural monopolies are actually very uncommon so your scenario is more likely to occur with the presence of a state, not in the absence of one.

  • SM||

    This is what you hope will happen.

    Either one of us could be right.

    Therefore, i would like to know, if i am right, and your rigid ideology puts humanity on the brink of extinction, would you jettison it?

  • PIRS||

    "Therefore, i would like to know, if i am right, and your rigid ideology puts humanity on the brink of extinction, would you jettison it?"

    Since you keep asking the same question over and over I will use copy and paste to save time:
    Libertarianism is inherently flexible, you can set up a socialist community in a libertarian framework if you really want to. You can set up a free market based community in a libertarian framework if you want to. You can set up a “mixed” economy in a libertarian framework if you want to. All that really matters is that coercion is not used. If I found that the free market was not the best I could join a voluntary socialist community. That would be fine. What would NOT be fine is if I tried to force others into socialism against their will. Got it?

  • ||

    Since you complained about "no one answering your question" even though my original post that changed everything you said to be about communism was an answer.

    I imagine some people will change their views, and I imagine, like statists(which is where my first post came from), some people will refuse to.

    Happy now? I feel dirty.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Until he gets a "yes, Libertarianism will most definitely lead to Somalia" he will insist that no one has answered his question.

    Don't be his porn. If he can't at the very least deal away with the hyperbole and deal with just one small sliver of reality, he doesn't deserve anything at all.

  • ||

    SM: child rapist or serial killer? Come on, which one is it you despicable pedophile/psychopath?

  • PIRS||

    SM, if you would like to get into an actual debate about ideas I am happy to do so but such "Do you still beat your wife?" questions are not the best way to start such a conversation.

  • SM||

    Then phrase my question any way you like.

    "If following your ideology had terrible effects, up to and including X, Y, and Z, would you still follow it?"

    I just want to know how far we'd have to take it...

    ...if i were a socialist and it caused extreme poverty, i'd abandon it immediately. If i were a libertarian and it was causing mass extinction, i'd abandon it immediately.

    So, to libertarians, what do you do?

  • PIRS||

    Libertarianism allows people to organize themselves in any voluntary manner they wish. If the way they organize themselves is not acceptable to them they can organize themselves in a different manner. Even socialism can coexist within a libertarian framework. In fact, most households are run in a quasisocialist manner. Noone cares who bought the milk, everyone can drink it. This is fine because it is VOLUNTARY.

    So when would I change the way I organize myself? Anytime I wish. That is the great thing about a voluntary society - you can change it anytime you wish. Changing a government is far more difficult. If a governmental system does not work it often takes a violent revolution to change it.

  • SM||

    I find it strange to pretend that children "volunteered" to be under their parents control...but anyways...

    ...i understand your point about organization, but you're sidestepping the question about individual action. Say i organize myself into a system of one, and the actions i engage in ultimately will be destructive to all - but they are permitted under libertarianism - then what?

    What about people that organize themselves into groups that are destructive to others, or us all?

    And if i take an action that effects you, how do you consider that "voluntary"?

  • PIRS||

    "Say i organize myself into a system of one, and the actions i engage in ultimately will be destructive to all - but they are permitted under libertarianism - then what?"

    If they are destructive to all they are not permitted under libertarianism. I think there is a piece you may be missing here. There is a concept that is phrased differently sometimes but the meaning is the same it is called the Non-Agression-Principle. Walter Block wrote it this way "It shall be legal for anyone to do anything he wants, provided only that he not initiate (or threaten) violence against the person or legitimately owned property of another." It is simmilar in concept to the old Wiccan Rede : "An it harm none do what ye will."

  • SM||

    But we can come up with easy situations like these...building a power plan in a populous city...etc...building bombs in my house...my intention may not be to cause a nuclear explosion in a populated city, but this accident is more likely to happen if i'm trying to build a nuclear bomb in my basement...its not an "unforeseeable outcome" and to pretend otherwise...well....

    I mean, i assume there will be no zoning codes...

  • PIRS||

    Why would you want or need bombs in a libertarian society? Anyway, as for the nuclear power plant question. In tort you are judged not for your intentions but for your results. We can have people create devastating things NOW and when it is the government that is doing them you cannot sue for compensation. If it is a private person or enterprise you can.

    Can Iraq sue the United States government for all the people it killed? No, of course not.

  • SM||

    I think what you meant was "why are people irrational"? Got me.

    What good does it do to sue someone who died while killing off your entire city in an accident?

    Would it not be better to prevent people from building nuclear bombs (if that's what they want to do) in the first place?

    I agree that governments should be held liable, just like people...and sometimes they are...in too many cases, they are not.

    BTW - you should read up on history. Nicaragua sued the US in the voluntary world court and won $25 billion for invading it illegally.

    And in the world of individual countries bound by no authority (ie, "libertarianism") - the US told them to go fuck themselves, we have the guns.

    Now, why would you assume a world of irrational people would be more rational than this?

  • PIRS||

    "Would it not be better to prevent people from building nuclear bombs (if that's what they want to do) in the first place?"

    They could be through a private security aparatus. If you are really intersted in learning about it you can find out more here:

    http://mises.org/daily/3719

  • SM||

    So you trade in your government rulers who you at least have a say over, for private ones you do not? Brilliant.

  • PIRS||

    "So you trade in your government rulers who you at least have a say over, for private ones you do not? Brilliant."

    Do I have say over the companies I do business with? If not, I just contract with a different company.

    What is so hard about that?

  • SM||

    What if there is no other company? You guys seems to believe that the world will have perfectly rational people with perfectly rational markets...i look around and see irrationality everywhere...and guess what..."markets" are actually "people"....

    I agree, this is the best foundation for the perfect world. Tell me when you find it.

    You are a product of your opportunities - no more, no less. To assume there will be an infinite variety later is another folly...

    There are so many counterexamples to your vague theories its sad...at least i can appreciate the objectivists that say "i don't care what happens, we could all go extinct, as long as i am free to do whatever i want, wherever i want."

    But this wishy washy attempt to whitewash libertarianism because you too see the inherent problems is why your ideology will never spread...everyone can see right through it...

  • PIRS||

    “What if there is no other company?”

    There would be an open market for a competitor. Sounds like a good business opportunity! Go start one!

    “You are a product of your opportunities - no more, no less.”

    If you wish to be. You sound like a fatalist. You have a right to be a fatalist if you so choose but be aware of what you are giving up. In any case you have no right to oppress me because of your fatalist philosophy.

    “But this wishy washy attempt to whitewash libertarianism because you too see the inherent problems is why your ideology will never spread...everyone can see right through it...”

    These inherent problems you speak of, you have not named any so far.

  • SM||

    Ah! In magic utopia, it is always easy to open a competitor - just set up shop!

    Again...the assumptions...this is not a paper in a journal...this is reality. You cannot always "just open a competitor."

    You make so many baseless assertions as to how this magical world will work, it is hilarious. Again, you are arguing for us all to live in frictionless, gravityless fantasy land - and yes, i agree with you, in that perfectly rational world, your ideology will clearly be the best. No doubt.

    Now can we talk about the planet we live on?

    If walmart ends up buying every single company, and there is no way to compete because of the advantage they've built up, then what?

    Time to make up another baseless assertion to get away from the harsh realities...of reality.

  • PIRS||

    “Ah! In magic utopia, it is always easy to open a competitor - just set up shop!”

    Without all of the licenses and tax forms and such, yes, it is that easy.

    “If Wal-Mart ends up buying every single company, and there is no way to compete because of the advantage they've built up, then what?”

    If Wal-Mart ends up buying every single company there will be a very easy way to compete. Offer something that they are not offering. Ask people what they don’t like about Wal-Mart and do something differently!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    government rulers who you at least have a say over

    How quaint. You really believe that, don't you?

  • SM||

    Tell me the last time you organized a campaign to vote in a new ceo of a private tyranny and i'll tell you the last time we did so to change a public one.

  • PIRS||

    "Tell me the last time you organized a campaign to vote in a new ceo of a private tyranny and i'll tell you the last time we did so to change a public one."

    Who the CEO of a private company is irrelavant from my perspective. If I don't like the products or services a company produces I will not patronize them. I have no choice but to live in a government. Even Antarctica is "governed" by a treaty as are the "international waters".

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Oooh. You wound me, sir. I acquiesce to your superiority.

    Not.

  • ||

    SM,

    Let me respond with a question, since I'm late to the discussion. Statism HAS led to the deaths of well over a hundred million people. All those under Hitler. All those under Stalin. All those under Mao. When are you going to abandon that particular ideology?

  • SM||

    Saying "statism" has caused all of those deaths is the same as someone saying "capitalism" or the idea of "private property" has led to billions of deaths...are we still going to demagogue, or are we done now?

  • ||

    In what way is it demagoguery? The states in question out and out murdered their citizens. It is far more reasonable to assign blame for the deaths directly caused by statist regimes than what you are doing - assigning the blame for every undesirable condition under a hypothetical libertarian regime to the regime itself.

  • ||

    Or is your argument more of the "No true Scotsman" variety?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I'll get it out of the way:

    ROADS! CAT FOOD! OLD PEOPLEZ! SOMALIA! STARVATION!

    Anything else, fucktard?

  • sevo||

    " all the schools close, safety net gone, everything you hope for...
    ...say the country devolves into a somalia look alike..."
    Spoof or brain-dead. You decide!

  • SM||

    Why can't anyone answer the question? Why do you all avoid it?

    It seems there are 2 types of libertarians....the ones that are at least consistent, who want anarchy...and the others that don't even believe in libertarianism, they just want less taxes.

    In either case, at what point do you abandon libertarianism?

    When i see a policy is failing, having unintended effects, is outdated, etc, i think we should remove it, and come up with a better one (or none if needbe) that confronts reality in a logical way. I understand that i have neighbors, yet want to live a private life, and have to balance these two. I'm pragmatic.

    Now, why can't anyone answer?

  • PIRS||

    "In either case, at what point do you abandon libertarianism?"

    At what point will it be tried?

  • SM||

    It may never be tried.

    But if it was, and it did cause (insert terrible effect here) - what do you do? Do you abandon it? Do we stick to it no matter what, as a matter of principle?

  • PIRS||

    See my response to your post above. It is silly for me to copy and paste.

  • SM||

    I don't want to put words in your mouth, but it is hard not to assume your intentional evasion of this question is affirmation of what i had previously concluded.

  • PIRS||

    "I don't want to put words in your mouth, but it is hard not to assume your intentional evasion of this question is affirmation of what i had previously concluded."

    And what, in particular, have you concludend?

  • SM||

    That it is more important that we follow the ideology than it is to worry about the consequences of said ideology, even if it includes extinction.

    That's a fair statement, correct?

  • PIRS||

    SM, libertarianim allows you to follow your own ideology so long as it does not harm others. What about this do you not understand?

    What part of "It shall be legal for anyone to do anything he wants, provided only that he not initiate (or threaten) violence against the person or legitimately owned property of another." [quote by Walter Block] do you not understand?

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    What about this do you not understand?

    Whatever he doesn't want to understand. He's not interested in an intellectually honest debate.

  • SM||

    You assume that only intentions matter - that i intend to use force, etc.

    I can describe 100 scenarios that are currently illegal because we know they increase the probability of harm happening to others to a level we currently consider unacceptable.

    If we know something is going to fail and cause mass harm 1 out of every 4 times, why do not all the people get a say in the matter if you are allowed to attempt said action? Why do you wait until you and all the others are actually harmed, and in reality, you have no way of getting retribution?

    There are irrational people that want to build bombs in their basements for fun. Why would you allow this, in the name of some rigid ideology?

    I personally believe there has to be some balance between where we are now, and where you want to be...but a free for all is not the "balance" i believe we should be looking for...

  • PIRS||

    "You assume that only intentions matter - that i intend to use force, etc."

    You have it backwards again. It is precisely the intentions that DO NOT MATTER.

    If my intention is to kill you but instead I save your life from a terminal ilness this is wonderfull. If I intend to save your life but instead I kill you with quackery this is prosecutable.

  • SM||

    Talk about quackery...so all doctors who fail at saving lives go to jail?

    Again...if i blow everyone up....who puts me in jail, after i'm already dead? Are we not better off preventing me from building a nuclear plant in the middle of your neighborhood?

    What about pollution 200 miles from your house, which drifts there, and gives your daughter asthma, which she dies from? Oh, did i mention there are 100 other plants that were dumping pollution too?

    Again, what prevents this?

    I can't imagine you'd want to live in the world that would exist...only the one that exists in your head...perfectly rational people...perfectly rational markets...perfectly rational decisions...sounds amazing.

    Hell, we wouldn't have to be libertarians if that were true...it'd already be so, right? Because the perfectly rational thing to do, in your mind, is to follow your ideology, correct?

  • PIRS||

    "Talk about quackery...so all doctors who fail at saving lives go to jail?"

    If a court determines neglagince, yes. Is that not the case now?

    "Again...if i blow everyone up....who puts me in jail, after i'm already dead? Are we not better off preventing me from building a nuclear plant in the middle of your neighborhood?"

    Again, since you keep asking the same questions over and over I will copy and paste: They could be through a private security aparatus. If you are really intersted in learning about it you can find out more here:

    http://mises.org/daily/3719

    "What about pollution 200 miles from your house, which drifts there, and gives your daughter asthma, which she dies from?"

    I am tired of repeating myself. We have been over the pollution thing a couple of times in here before. Look at my reply to the last time that you asked this.

    "Oh, did i mention there are 100 other plants that were dumping pollution too?"

    Oh, did I mention that you are making a false assumed premise? Are you still beating your wife?

  • SM||

    Your answer to everything is private tyrannies that i do not have a say over...how is that an improvement?

    Its funny how you say you answer things elsewhere...but when i look...same gibberish and vague statements evading direct answers...

  • PIRS||

    "Your answer to everything is private tyrannies that i do not have a say over...how is that an improvement?"

    Do I have say over the companies I contract with? If not, I contract with another company. What is so hard about that?

  • SM||

    Besides your ASSUMPTION there will be another choice?

    What could go wrong there...

  • PIRS||

    "Besides your ASSUMPTION there will be another choice?"

    If there is not a competitor this means there is an open market for a competitor. Sounds like a good business opportunity! Go start one!

  • SM||

    And if no competitor can compete?

    If its a competition, by definition, there are winners and losers.

    What do you do, when one wins, and proves themselves to be the best, whether you want them to or not?

    Your fantasy land is hilarious...

  • PIRS||

    “And if no competitor can compete?”

    What this means is that the company is doing an impossibly wonderful job and satisfying every possible want and need of every one of its customers. That would be so near impossible it is hardly worth mentioning. But, that is what it would ACTUALLY mean if no competitor can compete.

    “If its a competition, by definition, there are winners and losers.”

    “What do you do, when one wins, and proves themselves to be the best, whether you want them to or not?”

    There is no requirement I have to buy the most popular brand of anything. I use Linux on my laptop at home. This is far from the most “popular” operating system. I happen to like it. I am not sure what your point is here?

  • SM||

    For you to concede that there are not perfect substitutes for all things (linux aside) and that competition doesn't always work the way you think....ie, the point of competition isn't to play to a draw, its to win.

    So, if your "competition" thing works out...exactly...

    ...you baselessly assert that there will always be competitors, and that people will act rationally, so on and so forth...none of which is inherently true. You're just hoping it works out that way...

    ...like i said, if it fails, you ready to abandon your ideology?

  • PIRS||

    “For you to concede that there are not perfect substitutes for all things (linux aside) and that competition doesn't always work the way you think.”

    When did I ever “concede” this? And your “Linux aside” thing is oh so convenient isn’t it? Linux competes very well with Microsoft, I do not have to patronize Bill Gates if I do not so choose. Google “WINE is not an emulator” sometime. You may find it enlightening. I have never had any malware on a Linux box.

  • Adam||

    OF COURSE he doesn't want to talk about Linux....because it's the perfect refutation of his worldview.

    To recap: Microsoft had a "monopoly" during the 90's. The customers of Microsoft did not like how Microsoft was doing business, so they worked together to create a viable alternative.

    There is no such thing as a monopoly without government interference. Linux and Microsoft proved that, without a doubt.

  • nekoxgirl||

    It seems to me that there are 2 types of statists...the ones that are the least consistent, who want to eliminate all wealth...and those that really don't believe in statism, they just want to play a giant game of Risk.

    In either case, at what point do you abandon statism?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Why can't anyone answer the question? Why do you all avoid it?

    Read this. Maybe you'll actually learn something. I doubt it, but...hell, stranger things have happened.

    Loaded Question

  • C'mon man||

    Yeah, what the fuck, you libertarian homos?! Why don't y'all move to fucking Somalia, and the let the rest of us live here in the Soviet Union where we have schools and safety nets. And shit.

  • sevo||

    And unicorns. Can't forget the unicorns.

  • SM||

    And before you decide what my supposed ideology is, i'll give you some insight on how i come to it...

    ...i judge policies by their effects, and am not bound by any single ideology. I think we have to balance things between individuals, and having to live with (and be affected by) other individuals.

    You see, i believe in the law of gravity. I base all of my assumptions, all of my actions, every day, on the fact that gravity exists. But i don't believe in gravity because it is a *good* thing if gravity exists, i believe in it because we have observed it and it *does* exist, to the best of our knowledge.

    If it turned out that gravity didn't exist, i wouldn't insist that we pretend to believe that gravity exists, if there are harmful consequences to this. I am not partial to it one way or the other - i am not a slave to an ideology.

    Now...can someone answer my question...if it turns out that being a slave to your ideology has horrible unintended consequences for us all, up to and including mass extinction, would you be willing to jettison your ideology? What do you do in this case?

  • ||

    Libertarianism will cause mass extinction. With no ROOOOOOOOOOADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDsSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  • sevo||

    ".can someone answer my question."...
    "IF that happens, then what? Do you stick with your ideology, or....what?"
    OK. I'll feed the troll.
    You think privatizing schools means Somalia? You don't have a question, you have a rant based on ignorance.
    You haven't the foggiest notion of how markets work, nor a single clue as to what libertarians actually propose.
    I would suggest that before (again) you prove you're a total ignoramus, you might learn something of the subject you wish to address.
    Until then, you're a creationist raising 'issues' at a meeting of biologists.

  • SM||

    No, this was just a thread the question was put in.

    I'm asking, if you got your way, 100% libertarianism, and the effects were terrible, what do you do?

    Or, how about this: do libertarians take into considering the consequences to the policies they prescribe, or does the only thing that matters is ideology?

    Tell me what your view of libertarianism is...its hard to pin you guys down, because you all believe in different things...

  • C'mon man||

    I'm interested too. Tell me what you have discovered of these so-called libertarians so far, SM. And I would like to hear more about this mass extinction shit. I thought libertarians smoked pot and wanted a gay military and private roads.

  • sevo||

    "Or, how about this: do libertarians take into considering the consequences to the policies they prescribe, or does the only thing that matters is ideology?"
    If you do any reading at all concerning libertarian views, you'd find that one of the gripes about (non-classical) liberals is their focus on "intent", while libertarians prefer to focus on "results". It would follow that if a particular policy produced bad results, that policy would change.
    Further, it is a characteristic of the market that the outcomes are self-policing; changes are incremental and largely self-policing. When things start to go bad, they don't go far in that direction before they self-correct.
    Of course all this is a mystery to someone schooled in statist propaganda; I'd suggest starting with Sowell's "Knowledge and Decisions"

    "Tell me what your view of libertarianism is...its hard to pin you guys down, because you all believe in different things..."
    Yep, details are debated left and right (if you will). Start with the presumption that the initiation of force, or the threat to do so it wrong. Go from there, and thinking is required.

  • SM||

    You make quite a lot of assumptions there - libertarianism is self policiting, perfect outcomes, etc. My question, still, is what do you do in the situation where what you assumed to be correct, is not correct? Do you abandon your ideology, or do we live with the consequences forever?

    And if you're weighing consequences now, why not do that with every policy to begin with, to the best of our ability, instead of following an ideology first?

  • PIRS||

    SM, libertarianim allows you to follow your own ideology so long as it does not harm others. What about this do you not understand?

    What part of "It shall be legal for anyone to do anything he wants, provided only that he not initiate (or threaten) violence against the person or legitimately owned property of another." [quote by Walter Block] do you not understand?

  • ||

    How do we know that your "judgments" of policies are even remotely sane??

  • SM||

    As i said somewhere else in this thread, i realize that there is no perfection, and all the inherent problems of attempting to come to a perfect outcome, perfectly predicting, results, etc.

    But realize that my "ideology" allows for corrections if necessary - it is not rigid, and can change if there are unforeseen concequences, the world changes, etc. It has a mechanism built into it to attempt to reach the goal it will never reach. Assume it is like a limit in calculus - never quite reaching...

    Now, why will no one answer the question? If you can not answer this one question, how do you all propose you will be able to sell your ideology to the masses, except by deception?

  • PIRS||

    "Now, why will no one answer the question?"

    I have. I will again if you like. It is basicly a copy and paste but since you are asking the same question again ...

    Libertarianism allows people to organize themselves in any voluntary manner they wish. If the way they organize themselves is not acceptable to them they can organize themselves in a different manner. Even socialism can coexist within a libertarian framework. In fact, most households are run in a quasisocialist manner. Noone cares who bought the milk, everyone can drink it. This is fine because it is VOLUNTARY.

    So when would I change the way I organize myself? Anytime I wish. That is the great thing about a voluntary society - you can change it anytime you wish. Changing a government is far more difficult. If a governmental system does not work it often takes a violent revolution to change it.

  • SM||

    That is a beautiful speech...which we all can see is evading the question i asked.

    What happens if the effects of your voluntarily organizing in any way you want causes harm to others, up to and including mass extinction?

    I understand you believe you'd just "reorganize" yourself - but some might not do that.

    What if people organized themselves into a nuclear bomb building group, and were intent on building a bomb that could end civilization? Would this then be outlawed, or do you stay rigid to ideology?

  • sevo||

    "What happens if the effects of your voluntarily organizing in any way you want causes harm to others, up to and including mass extinction?"
    Are you so stupid as to presume people would voluntarily choose 'mass extinction'?
    If you are, how would you justify democracy in general?
    And I see you continue to resort to claims that no one has 'answered your question' when you've gotten several answers.
    Can we now presume you're simply a brain-dead ignoramus who chooses to troll the site?
    Please answer the question.

  • SM||

    Are you so stupid to presume that people are not already choosing mass extinction?

    Are you so stupid to presume that people are omniscient and will not accidentally do something that causes mass extinction - even if it was a foreseeable outcome for the majority of us?

    Are you so stupid to presume that people don't choose to engage in activities that cause extinction - of themselves and others - daily?

    The name calling can go on...

    ...and no one will answer the very first question i asked...what would you do if it became clear that the result of following your ideology was mass extinction? Do you abandon it, or follow it til the end?

    You see, under my "ideology" i acknowledge that there is always a chance i am wrong, and am willing to change course if need-be. I take this into account where i propose a policy. I realize people aren't perfect, and people effect other people whether they intend to or not...and we should use the acceptance of that fact when building public policy.

  • sevo||

    "SM|12.3.10 @ 9:59PM|#

    Are you so stupid to presume that people are not already choosing mass extinction?"
    Fucking ignorant troll.
    Treated entirely too kindly.
    Go suck a cock, asshole.

  • PIRS||

    "What happens if the effects of your voluntarily organizing in any way you want causes harm to others, up to and including mass extinction?"

    Since you keep asking the same questions over and over I will use copy and paste to save time.

    If they are destructive to all they are not permitted under libertarianism. I think there is a piece you may be missing here. There is a concept that is phrased differently sometimes but the meaning is the same it is called the Non-Agression-Principle. Walter Block wrote it this way "It shall be legal for anyone to do anything he wants, provided only that he not initiate (or threaten) violence against the person or legitimately owned property of another." It is simmilar in concept to the old Wiccan Rede : "An it harm none do what ye will."

  • SM||

    So, for example, under libertarianism, pollution is illegal? Building nuclear plants in highly populated areas is illegal? Examples like this?

    And who enforces these laws, and where?

    Explain to me where i go to have the power plant my neighbor built shut down...and roughly how this would work out...

  • PIRS||

    Libertarians can be roughly divided into two groups : minarchists, who support a very limited government (Ron Paul for example) and people who want no government at all [some, such as myself prefer to be called anarcho-capitalists, others prefer to be called voluntaryists] Ian Freeman of the talk show Free Talk Live is someone who opposes government entirely. For the minarchists among us the existing court structure would still exist to award restitution for any actual damages. For anarcho-capitalists and voluntaryists a free market court structure would exist. If you are really interested this is a good article.
    http://mises.org/daily/2120

  • SM||

    So sometimes its ok to determine the consequence of not having said public interest is worse than taking money to pay for it?

    You've just determined that in every other case but he courts, we should just trust you, and not have an open, public discussion?

    And how exactly are these decisions enforced?

  • PIRS||

    "So sometimes its ok to determine the consequence of not having said public interest is worse than taking money to pay for it?"

    You have it backwards. In a libertarian society it would be EVEN MORE important to determine how your actions impact others. You would not be able to bribe a corrupt U.S. Senator to give you the pass. And no corporation would last long if it did not have its customers interests in mind.

    "You've just determined that in every other case but he courts, we should just trust you, and not have an open, public discussion?"

    Should your neighbors determine your sex life with an open, public discussion?

    "And how exactly are these decisions enforced?"

    By those who would refuse to do business with you after the decision has been reached if you do not keep up your end of the deal.

  • SM||

    "And no corporation would last long if it did not have its customers interests in mind."

    Baseless assertion.

    And relies on consequences...what is with all these libertarians now a days? First thing to go is ideology...

    ...so, again, and you ready to concede that it would be best to jettison libertarianism if your assertions of libertopia didn't turn out to be true, and instead we got the US equivalent of somalia?

    How do you assume that everything is "business"? You people and your conflation of exchange of goods and services with individual rights is scary...

    I think we should have a discussion if we think its a good idea to discuss everyone's sex life, and i think we'll come to the conclusion its not a good idea...i mean...well, the rational among us have. I have more faith in a system where we can work together to outnumber the irrational than i do in a system where we let the irrational have a free for all and make these decisions on their own, especially when it effects others. For each of your "privacy" issues, i can give you 10 things that i could do that would effect you in some injurious way, and you would have no way to compel me to make right that which i have done to you, for both practical and ideological reasons.

    Again, unless you're abandoning your ideology because it fails, you do not have any authority over me to compel action that you think should not occur because the consequences, even if completely foreseen, are too grave to even allow the action to begin with.

    In my world you do...

  • PIRS||

    My assertion that no corporation would last long if it did not have its customers interests in mind is based upon the fact that we see this now in what is left of our free market.

    "In my world you do..."

    To quote Virgil [and Alan Moore]: Who watches the Watchman?

    It is getting late, I will bid you good night. I may come back to this page tommorow so reply if you want but do not expect me to reply untill tommorow at some point.

  • SM||

    We watch the watchman.

    And in your world...the watchman is a private tyranny, unwatched...

  • PIRS||

    "We watch the watchman."

    Do you realize how unlikely it is that your vote will actually make a difference in an election? Even in the 2000 Election the "margins" of victory are as follows:
    Lenient standard. Gore by 332 votes.
    Palm Beach standard. Gore by 242 votes.
    Two-corner standard. Bush by 407 votes.
    Strict standard. Bush by 152 votes.

    So, no, you cannot "watch" over the watchmen. The politicians really do not care what you think as long as you wear your "I VOTED" sticker so you think you matter to them.

    "And in your world...the watchman is a private tyranny, unwatched..."

    In a free society you are a customer. They want to keep your business. If I walk into a restaurant for a meal am I being "terrorized" by the restaurant?

  • SM||

    But there were elections...and the people changed.

    Yes, i do not like the outcomes either...but it is the least worst system available...again, there is no perfection...

    ...and for the last time, WHAT IF THERE IS NO OTHER RESTAURANT? THEN WHAT?

    What if someone creates a monopoly?

    What about irrational people?

    You guys are hilarious when you ignore the basic problems with reality...if you make no provision for the imperfections of life...we all know where this goes...

    You are coerced by the choices available to you. You could easily be coerced by private tyrannies if they chose to consolidate their power in that way. You baselessly assert, over and over, that "freedom" means "alternative choices will always be available" - when there is no basis for that.

  • PIRS||

    “..but it is the least worst system available...again, there is no perfection...”

    [Citation needed]

    “...and for the last time, WHAT IF THERE IS NO OTHER RESTAURANT? THEN WHAT?”

    Sounds like a good business opportunity! Go start another one!

  • SM||

    Again...the whole winner/loser competition thing...

    ....and the reliance on a market that does not, and will not ever exist...

    ...which you do not dispute...you just assert your philosophy will work if all other conditions are perfect...good luck with that...

  • PIRS||

    “Again...the whole winner/loser competition thing...”

    This exists in your “democracy” does it not? Some people win elections. Others lose elections.

    “....and the reliance on a market that does not, and will not ever exist...”

    We do not have a true free market right now but in certain sectors of the economy we can and do see it at work. It works far better without government involvement.

  • SM||

    Another baseless assertion...i love it...

    ...and if that doesn't work out how you assume it will? You willing to abandon a "free market"? Or do we stick with the dogma even if it takes us to the grave?

  • PIRS||

    "...and if that doesn't work out how you assume it will? You willing to abandon a "free market"? Or do we stick with the dogma even if it takes us to the grave?"

    I am not sure why you find this hard to understand : I will try again. Libertarianism is inherently flexible, you can set up a socialist community in a libertarian framework if you really want to. You can set up a free market based community in a libertarian framework if you want to. You can set up a “mixed” economy in a libertarian framework if you want to. All that really matters is that coercion is not used. If I found that the free market was not the best I could join a voluntary socialist community. That would be fine. What would NOT be fine is if I tried to force others into socialism against their will. Got it?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    SM, your question was answered several times, by PIRS and others.

    You just didn't like the answer.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    What if people organized themselves into a nuclear bomb building group, and were intent on building a bomb that could end civilization?

    Ummm...WHAT?

  • Adam||

    Apparently, SM wants to blame libertarians for the Manhattan Project.

  • PIRS||

    "Apparently, SM wants to blame libertarians for the Manhattan Project."

    Of course, because libertarians like Ron Paul are always trying to get us into some war or other ...

  • Adam||

    THOSE DAMN INDIVIDUALIST COLLECTIVES ARE TRYING TO KILL US ALL!

  • PIRS||

    "Ummm...WHAT?"

    Anonymous, that is what I thought at first. It is the same kind of argument that Bush supporters used to justify waterboarding.

  • sevo||

    "i realize that there is no perfection, and all the inherent problems of attempting to come to a perfect outcome, perfectly predicting, results, etc."
    Which is *exactly* the point: Centralized planning never works for societies, as it presumes someone can perfectly predict the outcome.
    Typically, libertarians predict general outcomes (like the perfectly predictable failure of HSR); other than that, the messy process of finding the future is, well, messy, and offers no perfection. Just a lack of those trying to direct our lives in the hopes of finding that perfection.

  • SM||

    Two problems.

    What you meant to say is, "centralized planning never PERFECTLY works for societies" - but as i said, nothing is perfect, nothing ever will be - but that is not a counter argument to "is it better?" If choice A is worse than C and choice B is worse than C, it does not follow that A is always the same as B. One could be better than the other...and if the point is to choose the better of two imperfect outcomes...well...

    Secondly, who said anything about centralized planning? I recommend a balance between individualism and collectivism, recognizing both have faults. Please do not set up a straw man for my position.

  • sevo||

    "What happens if the effects of your voluntarily organizing in any way you want causes harm to others, up to and including mass extinction?"
    Don't put words in my mouth, asshole. I posted what I wanted to post.

  • sevo||

    "centralized planning never PERFECTLY works for societies"
    Ignore paste above.
    Don't put words in my mouth, asshole. I posted what I wanted to post.

  • SM||

    So you're saying centralized planning, in any way, shape or form, works out?

    How do you figure? What's your definition of "works out"?

    Seems to me there are thousands of examples of centralized planning in certain areas of certain countries working out just fine...

  • sevo||

    "Secondly, who said anything about centralized planning? I recommend a balance between individualism and collectivism,"
    Why, you just said something about that, didn't you?

  • SM||

    I find it funny what you consider "centralized planning" - what if the government plans to have a free market make decisions? Is that not "centralized planning"? What about a police force, courts?

    And if you're against those...what exactly happens? How does one get the legitimacy to use force against another?

  • PIRS||

    "what if the government plans to have a free market make decisions? Is that not "centralized planning"?"

    No, it is not. A true free market cannot be "planned". It is what happens when the government does not get in the way.

    "And if you're against those...what exactly happens?"

    You don't participate.

  • sevo||

    Fucking ignorant troll.
    Treated entirely too kindly.
    Go suck a cock, asshole.

  • sevo||

    @SM, not at PIRS

  • MWG||

    Ha! Keep talking like you're 'above it all'. Your ideology is liberal-progressive, plain and simple. You worship at the alter of FDR, and your doctrine is one in which we need the govt. to save us from ourselves. As you said below:

    "...keep thinking its big government keeping you down...remember to patronize your friendly democratic corporations tomorrow...quite the "freedom" you have there..."

    You 'wonder' what would happen under a purely libertarian society were one ever to exist, but as a matter of history we already know where 'progressivism', taken to its extreme, leads. (See Cuba, Chavez's Venezuela, China under Mao, Stalin's Russian - you do know many progressives were ardent defenders of both their policies, right? Finally, take a brief look at the history of your so-called libertarian extreme Somalia)

    Those govts. who stick closer to libertarian 'ideology' in terms of limited govt. and economic freedom see greater leaps in standards of living, than those who don't, plain and simple.

    http://www.freetheworld.com/20.....0_BOOK.pdf

    Of course both my views and yours are based on our own interpretation of history and we've both gone through our own evolutions (I, for one, was once a hardcore conservative) in terms of ideology. That said, don't come here and pretend you're somehow unencumbered by an ideology. You're not.

  • SM||

    I find that so many of you demagogue progressives, saying that they want to install socialists or whatnot into every position, as if that is the "end" and not a "means to the end" - when in fact, its neither. It seems that anyone who wants to also look at the consequences of actions must be dismissed out of hand because of some over-reliance on "negative rights" (or whatever you personally call this idea), and be called a "socialist" "marx" or some other name. When people have a flexible "ideology" (if you can even call it that) it seems that it is unacceptable to the gross majority of you.

    I understand your arguments as to inherent troubles of "weighing" outcomes, "weighing" different types of outcomes vs each other, where you cannot possibly ever get to a perfect outcome - this is a given.

    But given the alternative, rigid dogma which *could* have disastrous outcomes which will render the utility of your "prima facie" concerns kinda pointless...ie, we're all dead...

    ...i want to know, what do you do if confronted with this situation?

  • PIRS||

    "But given the alternative, rigid dogma which *could* have disastrous outcomes which will render the utility of your "prima facie" concerns kinda pointless...ie, we're all dead..."

    Libertarianism is not rigid. It is far more flexible than progressivism. It has an inherrent elasticity that derives from allowing individuals to change their own lives in any manner that does not harm others. Individuals can act far more quickly than governments can.

  • SM||

    What do you mean by "does not harm others"? Does my smoking near you harm you? What about working on bombs in my basement next to your house? What about doing experiments with radiation in my yard, or sunbathing nude in front of your children - on my property of course? Playing loud music 24/7/365? Am i allowed to follow your daughter around everywhere she goes, whistling at her?

    How do you determine if my action harms you - do you look at the consequences of my action?

    And are you the type that believes we can make an exception for the collection of taxes for police, courts, etc?

  • PIRS||

    Private courts have been discussed many times and for the minachists out there existing court structures would still exist. In the early days of the railroad farmers could sue for actual harm done to their crop yields. This is analagus to the noise issue or the radiation issue you discus. Following any person without that person's concent is harrassment. That is a harm. As for nudity? I frankly see no harm in nudity at all. We were all born nude, it is part of nature, this puritanical view of nudity is, in my view, absurd.

    User fees are the way an ancap such as myself would pay for private courts, security etc. If you are truly interested this is a good article :
    http://mises.org/daily/4101

  • SM||

    How is walking in public all day harassment? Seems that you are limiting my rights because of your daughters discomfort...who gives you the authority? Why so quick to abandon libertarianism?

    And if i am a corporation with more money than you and can crush you in a private court - then what? If you have no money for a private court?

    And what gives a private court the right to use force against me? What if i refuse to submit to any courts jurisdiction?

  • sevo||

    Fucking ignorant troll.
    Treated entirely too kindly.
    Go suck a cock, asshole.

  • SM||

    I can tell your frustrated you don't have an answer...its ok...maybe its time for you to rethink your dogma...

  • sevo||

    Fucking ignorant troll.
    Treated entirely too kindly.
    Go suck a cock, asshole.

  • PIRS||

    In an anarchocapitalist society all property would be in private hands. So I would inform the owner of the property of this "issue" my daugter has and they would use their property rights to ensure you are not harrassing her.

    As for the jurisdiction of courts? Courts exist as a medium of arbitration and need to be agreed upon by both parties. Reputation is a valuable commodity in a world without governments. A person who does not keep his or her word will loose customers. You would loose your reputation regardless of how wealthy or poor the opposing party is.

    If you refuse to submit to any courts jurisdiction for arbitration and continue to inflict harm I have a right to defend myself - with force if necesary. This is not an innitiation of force because I will not be the person who initiated the force.

  • SM||

    This is all hilarious...

    ...first you assume that some third party will agree with you...

    ...then you assume that reputation is everything...must be the perfectly rational world we live in...that's why walmart is empty...

    ...and now you get to shoot people who leer at your daughter? Like i suspected...somalia.

  • sevo||

    Fucking ignorant troll.
    Treated entirely too kindly.
    Go suck a cock, asshole.

  • PIRS||

    “...first you assume that some third party will agree with you...”
    On what basis do you make this claim?
    “...then you assume that reputation is everything...must be the perfectly rational world we live in...that's why walmart is empty...”
    No one forces you to shop at WallMart do they? I do not want to get into a debate about department stores here but they do provide their products at good prices and their staff is more friendly than I find in the snooty high end stores. By contrast K-Mart has shut down many stores and had to be bought up by sears because they were NOT doing what WallMart has been doing. K-Mart did not have very good customer service and their prices were not as good as those at WallMart. Many K-Marts are empty – because they had to shut their doors.
    “...and now you get to shoot people who leer at your daughter? Like i suspected...somalia.”
    You are putting words into my mouth. I said in self defense. First I would offer arbitration, then I would notify those property owners who I do business with. If this person STILL does this action I would warn him … gun in hand. If he refuses to leave her alone .. then I would, reluctantly, use force.

  • SM||

    So you would shoot your neighbor for looking at your daughter "the wrong way." I get it.

    Its somalia, you just don't get it.

  • SM||

    Oh, and if i shot you first, then shot your wife, and then your daughter...

    ...in your no court/voluntary court world...cause of course, private property, no taxes, etc...who shoots me?

    Wouldn't it be fun to buy all the property around someone's house so they couldn't leave their plot...that is..until your coerced them into doing whatever it is you wanted...

    ...sounds like a wonderful world...

    ...luckily for you, i'm sure everyone will be perfectly nice and rational in it...just like the current world we live in.

  • sevo||

    Fucking ignorant troll.
    Treated entirely too kindly.
    Go suck a cock, asshole.

  • PIRS||

    "...in your no court/voluntary court world...cause of course, private property, no taxes, etc...who shoots me?"

    Private security forces that want to keep their remaining customers.

    "Wouldn't it be fun to buy all the property around someone's house so they couldn't leave their plot...that is..until your coerced them into doing whatever it is you wanted..."

    Wouldn't work. There is a thing in Common Law /Natural Law known as an easement.

  • SM||

    What the hell are you talking about, easement? Please explain who owns this.

  • SM||

    I still need an answer to this...what is an "easement" - who owns it. And why does it prevent me from buying all the property around your house...

  • SM||

    OK...i get it...you realize what happened...now you won't respond...

    "In an anarchocapitalist society all property would be in private hands."

    http://reason.com/blog/2010/12.....nt_2033404

    Yet right here you admit that either 1) is not true, or 2) would fail.

    Checkmate.

  • sevo||

    Fucking ignorant troll.
    Treated entirely too kindly.
    Go suck a cock, asshole.

  • PIRS||

    "Yet right here you admit that either 1) is not true, or 2) would fail."

    If you are actually curious about the concept of easement.

    http://www.lawserver.com/law/s.....tes_704-01

  • Adam||

    As PIRS alluded to, "easements" are an established part of contract law, which would not be suspended in either a libertarian society OR an anarchocapitalist society.

    Isn't there a rule in chess that if you declare checkmate, and it's not, you automatically lose?

  • sevo||

    Fucking ignorant troll.
    Treated entirely too kindly.
    Go suck a cock, asshole.

  • PIRS||

    If you are actually curious about the concept of easement:

    http://www.lawserver.com/law/s.....tes_704-01

  • SM||

    Thank you for proving you need an exception to private ownership...i agree...which is why we have a government to enforce things such as "easements." I find it funny you have to resort to florida statues to prove your...er...point...i guess.

    You said before there is no private property. Now you say that will not work, that some people will have to agree to have their private property taken from them for the benefit of others.

    I agree with you that libertarianism is unworkable in its pure ideological form. Therefore, i think we should rationally discuss all issues we have living together in a collective society, while also realizing we are individuals.

    Like i said, checkmate.

  • PIRS||

    “Thank you for proving you need an exception to private ownership...”

    If you think easements are an exception to private ownership it means you do not understand the concept. The reason I provided a link to Florida statures is to prove that this is a concept that is currently in use. It is not a “pie in the sky” concept. It has already been demonstrated as practical. If you had actually clicked on the link you would have seen that it is also Common Law.

    “Now you say that will not work, that some people will have to agree to have their private property taken from them for the benefit of others.”

    If that is what you believe it shows you do not understand the concept of easement. Go to the actual link I provided and read it.

  • SM||

    No, it is clear...if i own all the property around you, i must allow you to use my land, or i assume you get to shoot me...

    ...like i said, checkmate. You realize this, i realize this, etc.

    You see, you even recognizing the necessity for an easement is conceding everything i've said - how libertarianism is unworkable, coercive, etc. You need an outlet - so you refer to "natural law" and "common law" to say - people need public ways to get around, or they could be coerced if everything is private.

    We all get it.

    Now if you will just admit it to yourself...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    SM, you came here under false pretenses. You had no intent to palaver; you have your preconceived "libertarianism is bad" mindset, and you showed your ass eventually by displaying your pro-state bias.

    Shit or get off the pot, as my grandma used to say.

  • SM||

    I came here to see if the conclusions i've reached were correct or if i was missing something...instead i'm getting the same boilerplate as i thought i would...if you have anything to add to the conversation, by all means...

    All i've found is a pack of ideologues that will follow rigid dogma to extinction is necessary...and trying to spread this nonsense across the world...i see no difference between you, conservatives, statists, liberals, etc.

    I'm waiting for someone to show me we don't need balance between the individual and the collective, to deal with the imperfections of life, etc. But like i said...all i get is boilerplate...which is easily disproven...by your own logic.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    No, all you've done is bring your own boilerplate and rigid ideology, under an initial flag of good intent.

    You're a state-worshiping liberal. We don't get along with those anymore than we get along with far-right social conservatives. Make a note of that, while you're at it.

  • PIRS||

    “No, it is clear...if i own all the property around you, i must allow you to use my land, or i assume you get to shoot me...”

    What is clear is that you do not understand the concept of easement.
    “You see, you even recognizing the necessity for an easement is conceding everything i've said - how libertarianism is unworkable, coercive, etc. You need an outlet - so you refer to "natural law" and "common law" to say - people need public ways to get around, or they could be coerced if everything is private.”

    Another thing that is clear is that you are creating a straw man definition of libertarianism and then trying to argue against this straw man. Either debate the libertarian philosophy as it actually exists, easements and all, or do not debate. It is intellectually dishonest to invent a fictional libertarianism and then expect me to concede that this fictional libertarianism is reality.

  • SM||

    I am doing exactly that.

    Your problem is assuming "libertarianism" is one thing - there are two ways i look at it.

    Objectivists - take it to the extreme, we're willing to die.

    All the others - at some point you jettison the ideology because you find it unworkable. You want police, you want easements, etc. The only thing you need to do is figure out where they figure out that it does not work.

    You want easements, and "pretend" they are some "natural law" that has always been, will always be, etc. Which is nonsense. Its clear that you want exceptions to private property. I agree, this is a good thing! Call it whatever you want!

    If you are not allowed to control your own private property, how is it private? Is it not now public for some others?

    This is no different from me saying, for example, that all land should be public, because it will be better for some if it is that way.

    How do you not understand this?

    Why do you try to bend yourself into a pretzel, when you know if your libertarian heart of hearts, this is an exception to private property?

    And like i said, i assume you get to shoot me if i refuse to let you cross my property if that is your only means of reaching yours, correct? Because you realize that in a wholly private world, you can still be coerced, correct?

  • PIRS||

    “Your problem is assuming "libertarianism" is one thing - there are two ways i look at it.”

    Words mean things. If you call a Persian cat a breed of dog because it happens to have four legs you are incorrect.

    “Objectivists - take it to the extreme, we're willing to die.”
    Ayn Rand did not consider herself a libertarian. She called us “hippies of the right”. Sure, she had an impact on libertarian thought but so did George Orwell who was actually a socialist.

    “You want police, you want easements, etc.”

    I want police services to be treated as any other service – on the free market. Since you refuse to understand what easements are I will not discuss them again here but they are an inherent part of the free market system.

    “And like i said, i assume you get to shoot me if i refuse to let you cross my property”

    Then you assume wrongly.

  • SM||

    So you are willing to subjugate yourself to my coercion if i deny you passage? Or do you just lay down and die?

    Fine world you have there.

  • PIRS||

    “So you are willing to subjugate yourself to my coercion if i deny you passage?”

    If you deny easement this is indeed coercion, and no. This is where free market courts and / or the right of self defense come into play. Again with the straw man.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    The concept of an easement sort of comes from the natural property law principle that whoever uses or occupies the land has claim to it. In some cases that may be several people, or even the less tangible entity "the public".

    If someone is using a strip of land to access their own property, then clearly you could not fully "own" it as they also have a valid claim to it. You may also occupy and use the land yourself as long as you do not interfere with the easement holder's claim.

    And if members of "the public" are knowingly allowed to cross your property routinely for a significant period of time, they too can gain some claim to use that part of your land as a public easement. I imagine without government provided infrastructure, we would see a lot more of this arrangement, which can often be found in older cities.

    The only involvement of a government or courts is to determine these boundaries in a dispute and protect them.

  • Adam||

    "No, it is clear...if i own all the property around you, i must allow you to use my land, or i assume you get to shoot me..."

    *sigh*....let's try this again.

    Let's say you purchase all of the land around mine. But, as you would know if you've ever purchased property, there are things known as "covenants" attached to the deed, which are essentially part of the contract you sign in order to purchase the land in the first place. Often, these covenants will include "easements", which stipulate that some other person must have access to your land for the purpose of accessing their land.

    This does not mean that you do not own the land covered by the easement. It does not mean that anyone else gets to use that land for whatever they want, like building a house. It is your land, which they may cross without being considered trespassing.

    Is that simple enough for you, or do we need to make it into a comic book?

  • SM||

    It is simple enough.

    You hope that when property is sold from one person to the other, there are easements which essentially make "public land" for you to cross.

    Otherwise, if you found yourself on land that you purchased, but no easement was ever made for it, you could shoot me to get through my yard if i didn't let you.

    Why you people just don't agree to public roads instead of all this nonsense is beyond me...

    Quit pretending an "easement" is anything but theft of private property. Letting the PUBLIC cross PRIVATE property, by definition, no longer makes the land PRIVATE - if i didn't want you to cross there.

    You just hope and pray there are enough easements put into place beforehand, and never really think about what would happen if there were no easements, if i purchased further outlying property to which there are no easements, etc.

    Your ideology is hilarious. I know that you realize this...and it may be even more hilarious that you guys pretend not to.

  • Shorter SM||

    PUBLIC good. PRIVATE icky.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    An easement is not theft of private property.

    If you prefer to avoid having an easement form on your land, all you have to do is protect your ownership by preventing others from accessing it unless you grant them explicit permission.

    An easement takes around twenty years to be recognized under common law, unless it was specifically granted by the property owner in a contract.

  • PIRS||

    “Quit pretending an "easement" is anything but theft of private property. Letting the PUBLIC cross PRIVATE property, by definition, no longer makes the land PRIVATE - if i didn't want you to cross there.”

    You may pretend that a Manx is not a cat because it has no tail, but what you are lacking is a proper understanding of the definition of cat.

  • PIRS||

    "What the hell are you talking about, easement? Please explain who owns this."

    This may help you understand.
    http://www.lawserver.com/law/s.....tes_704-01

  • mr burns||

    OK the universe is risky, some people are crazy . Consequently I realize that I cant perfectly predict the future. Therefore the only thing to do is to give up indivisual freedom and will become the slave of ... Who ? Isnt everyone equally fallible ? How do we recognize the messiah ? History seems to show that a goverment powerfull enough to build a rational planned society ends in riun and destitution after killing millions, sort of the mass extinction you fear.

  • SM||

    Oh, and i'm still waiting for the answer to the problem of, "we're all dead"...what if i privately want to engage in an action that will lead to the extinction of the entire human race?

  • sevo||

    "Oh, and i'm still waiting for the answer to the problem of, "we're all dead"...what if i privately want to engage in an action that will lead to the extinction of the entire human race?"
    You're going to have to wait a *LONG* time for an answer to that non-sequitur.
    When did you stop beating you wife?

  • PIRS||

    I agree with sevo. He (or she) said it well. it is a non-sequitur.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    what if i privately want to engage in an action that will lead to the extinction of the entire human race?

    Then I assume you must be a progressive.

  • PIRS||

    Fatty Bolger, that is a very good point. The only people I have ever heard of who ACTUALLY want to end the Human Race belong to a group called VHEMT. Google Voluntary Human Extinction Movement if you do not believe me. They are green wackos. They fit the term "progressive" to a tea!

  • SM||

    I disagree with them as strenuously as i disagree with you, and would have as easy a time dismantling their arguments as i did here.

  • PIRS||

    You disagree with VHEMT. I am glad you disagree with VHEMT but I am curious, this might lead us somewhere. What flaws do you find in their thinking? Trust me, I strongly disagree with them also. But I am interested to know what about their beliefs it is you disagree with. Don't assume "everyone knows why" I want to see you actually state your reasons.

  • SM||

    Because although i realize that people are intrinsically damaging to this world, i think we should attempt to maintain not being extinct while balancing the individual and the collective - ie, not harming the planet we share, but not enslaving us all to hemp tents. I believe in a pragmatic balance.

    I wish you did the same instead of following an ideology without regards for the consequences.

  • PIRS||

    "i think we should attempt to maintain not being extinct"

    But why? Again, I agree we should not become extinct but I would like to hear you state why YOU believe this. This should be good.

  • SM||

    Because i realize no one is perfectly rational, ie, we have emotions.

    I don't have an ideological reason for believing this, i'm sorry.

    This is like objectivists - i can respect their ability to accept extinction for rigid ideology if necessary. I don't agree with them, but at least they're up front about it. I guess this is my "dogma." Humanity should continue, and i think we should balance the collective/individual to help it not only continue, but respect that there are individual parts of humanity which are equally important.

    But i have no uniquely rational basis for wanting humanity to continue, i realize it is a purely irrational/emotional one. We don't have some inherent right to exist, and time will go on without us.

    I guess i'm partial to humanity.

  • PIRS||

    "We don't have some inherent right to exist, and time will go on without us."

    This is the profound difference between us. I think we DO have an inherent right to exist. It is upon this right that all other rights, including the right to property, fall.

  • SM||

    Another baseless assertion...why am i not suprised...

    Now do me a favor and explain why...

    Do you not realize the irony that you believe we have an inherent right to exist, but will follow an ideology even if it causes us to cease to exist?

    I realize you hope/think it will not cause that...but i have yet to hear you say that you are willing to jettison it if it DOES cause that...

    ...i have no qualms about that...and hell, i don't even think we have an inherent right to exist! I just want us to! Irrationally!

  • PIRS||

    “Now do me a favor and explain why...”

    We are living things and every living thing is created in such a way as to propagate its own kind and strive to live and reproduce in one way or another. Humans are no exception to this.

    “but will follow an ideology even if it causes us to cease to exist?”

    Again with the straw man

    “but i have yet to hear you say that you are willing to jettison it if it DOES cause that...”

    Since you keep making this claim I will use copy and paste to save time:
    Libertarianism is inherently flexible, you can set up a socialist community in a libertarian framework if you really want to. You can set up a free market based community in a libertarian framework if you want to. You can set up a “mixed” economy in a libertarian framework if you want to. All that really matters is that coercion is not used. If I found that the free market was not the best I could join a voluntary socialist community. That would be fine. What would NOT be fine is if I tried to force others into socialism against their will. Got it?

  • SM||

    Do you understand what a tautology is? Begging the question, circular reasoning, whatever you want to call it?

    "Why does humanity have an inherent right to exist?"

    "Well, because we are living things, and all living things have the right to exist. Therefore, humanity has the right to exist."

    Again, this time think before you answer: what gives us the RIGHT to exist? Reproduction gives us the ABILITY to exist. We may conclude that it would be beneficial to humanity to exist. But what gives humanity the RIGHT to exist? Where is this derived from?

  • PIRS||

    "Again, this time think before you answer: what gives us the RIGHT to exist? Reproduction gives us the ABILITY to exist. We may conclude that it would be beneficial to humanity to exist. But what gives humanity the RIGHT to exist? Where is this derived from?"

    What gives water its “wetness”? It is inherently wet. That is part of its very nature as a compound. From the perspective of humans water could be described as the very definition of “wetness”. What gives humans the right to exist? This right is inherent. It is part of our very nature.

  • Adam||

    "hell, i don't even think we have an inherent right to exist! I just want us to! Irrationally!"

    This is a hallmark of an undeveloped philosophy. You have no basis for your your assertions; you're just swinging wildly at the pitches as they come past you.

    I think you need to do some more reading and thinking. May I suggest you begin with Locke, Kant, and Thoreau, to begin with?

  • SM||

    At least i have realized that it is completely arbitrary that i have decided that i want humanity to exist...

    ...and am intelligent enough to realize the absurdity of trying to build an entire ideology off of this arbitrary fact....

  • PIRS||

    “At least i have realized that it is completely arbitrary that i have decided that i want humanity to exist...”

    The question of whether humanity should exist or not is not a light or transient one. It is not like preferring one genre of music or another. It is tied into our very nature as a species.

    “the absurdity of trying to build an entire ideology off of this arbitrary fact....”

    This word “arbitrary”, I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • nekoxgirl||

    SM, the United States was founded on the ideas of the rights of man. That would include the right to exist. If you think that's stupid, go take it up with Thomas Jefferson.

  • SM||

    You have quite a lot to learn.

    The question is, why does HUMANITY have an inherent right to exist?

    And "because thomas jefferson said so" is not an answer.

    I will give you another shot to come up with a logical, rational reason.

  • PIRS||

    "I will give you another shot to come up with a logical, rational reason."

    What gives water its “wetness”? It is inherently wet. That is part of its very nature as a compound. From the perspective of humans water could be described as the very definition of “wetness”. What gives humans the right to exist? This right is inherent. It is part of our very nature.

  • SM||

    Again, begging the question...

    You answer to "why does humanity, the entire human species, have a RIGHT TO EXIST?" is "because it does exist."

    I get that water IS wet, and humans DO exist, but that is not the question i asked...

    ...and you cannot answer it. Hint: because we don't, and you are only going to come up with ludicrous reasons that you make up as you go...

    If our entire species stopped procreating, and we all decided indivually to end our species, are we not violating the "rights" of humanity not to exist?

    And i thought groups didn't have rights - including humanity? What gives?

  • Adam||

    You're demanding a logical, rational defense of the concept of natural rights, while simultaneously declaring that you have utter contempt for logic and rationality.

    I'd rather enjoy hearing your rebuttal to the ideas of Locke, Hobbes, and Hume. Let's hear your logical, rational arguments AGAINST the idea of natural rights.

  • SM||

    I agree that it is "good" that we agree on certain rights, but to say they are "natural" because they are "good"...arbitrary as usual.

    Which is the same thing that some libertarians say...when they want police...or national defense...or when you abandon natural rights for "self defense"...etc.

    ...or what i say when i think we should do the same for making laws...balancing the whole and the collective...

    ...which would be more consistent than pretending you don't do this all the time...except when doing so leads to a policy you personally don't agree with...

    ...in which case...back to the ideology...

  • nekoxgirl||

    The modern Western world is based on the idea of individual rights. These ideas are gradually being adopted by the rest of the world. Standard of living increases with the adoption of these beliefs, so I can only assume they are right and good.

  • SM||

    You should have stuck with "jefferson said so" because this explanation is even worse, and the rest of the libertarians would have destroyed you for saying it if they weren't more afraid of alienating another member...

  • Hugh Akston||

    I understand your arguments as to inherent troubles of "weighing" outcomes, "weighing" different types of outcomes vs each other, where you cannot possibly ever get to a perfect outcome - this is a given.

    If you really understood those arguments, you would understand why we prefer to let the people whose well-being will be affected make the decisions.

    As it is, you're just embarrassing yourself.

  • SM||

    Please inform me how the person being affected by my action gets to make the decision on *my* actions...seems to be a non sequitur in there...

  • sevo||

    Fucking ignorant troll.
    Treated entirely too kindly.
    Go suck a cock, asshole.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I'm distinguishing between people making decisions for themselves and authorities making decisions for them.

    You're equivocating that position with people being unable to control every aspect of their lives.

    You're not arguing in good faith, and are therefore a troll. One strike and you're out.

  • SM||

    You're pretending that another person making a decision for you is somehow completely different from authorities making a decision for you...one is fine with you, the other is not.

    At least you have recourse with the authority in my world...yes? If i make a decision for you in your world - what is your recourse? Vote me out of office? Petition someone else? Well?

  • sevo||

    Fucking ignorant troll.
    Treated entirely too kindly.
    Go suck a cock, asshole.

  • sevo||

    Hugh,
    Above aimed at ignorant troll.

  • Hugh Akston||

    There is most certainly a difference between me freely deciding between alternative reactions to other peoples' actions, and an authority giving me the choice between compliance or punishment.

  • SM||

    You are free to decide your reaction to either...

    ...but you are not free to "decline" the effect of either's actions after they have already been taken...you can "prevent" those actions from being taken...but only in my world...

  • sevo||

    Fucking ignorant troll.
    Treated entirely too kindly.
    Go suck a cock, asshole.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Tell you what, you ask the guy next door to turn his music down, I'll write the Defense Department for a refund of all of my tax money used to prosecute the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We'll see who gets farther.

  • SM||

    Tell you what, we can all agree to vote for people who don't wage wars...you come tell me to turn my music down...we'll see who gets further.

  • sevo||

    Fucking ignorant troll.
    Treated entirely too kindly.
    Go suck a cock, asshole.

  • PIRS||

    "Tell you what, we can all agree to vote for people who don't wage wars...you come tell me to turn my music down...we'll see who gets further."

    And if, after the election the wars are still going on then what? Many voted for Obama in hopes he would end the wars. They are still going on. Democracy is great! Isn't it?

  • SM||

    No, we all know its the worst form of government...finish the sentence...

    ....yes, libertarianism included. I would like at least the CHANCE to vote about the tyrannies i'm subject too...unlike your world of private tyrannies...

  • PIRS||

    "No, we all know its the worst form of government...finish the sentence..."

    The form in North Korea.

    "I would like at least the CHANCE to vote about the tyrannies i'm subject too...unlike your world of private tyrannies..."

    I do not know why this is hard for you to understand: In anarcho-capitalism you are a CUSTOMER. If you do not like the people you are contracting with choose someone else. You don't even need to wait two or four years to switch.

  • SM||

    Right, because, unlimited choices and all.

    Ever think how your world works if you don't have unlimited choices available?

    Seems like i'd want to consider that possibility because i don't live in frictionless fantasyland...

    You are free to chose getting stabbed by me, or shot by me...now make any choice you want, you are free...again...we'd both agree that is coercion, yes?

    If there is only one shop selling X that you need to live, because it has bought all the available supply of X in the world...again...how is that not coercion, and what is your relief?

    Seems like you realize that it is, and would now consider it harming you, and shoot me for it. I can't imagine you'd just lay down and die...

  • Adam||

    "If there is only one shop selling X that you need to live, because it has bought all the available supply of X in the world...again...how is that not coercion, and what is your relief?"

    Please refer to the Reason article titled "Peak Everything", by Ronald Bailey. It explains what the free market has done when faced with this situation in the past.

    http://reason.com/archives/2010/04/27/peak-everything

  • SM||

    I tried, but i had to stop as soon as i got to government subsidized research being portrayed as "private market entrepreneurship."

    I agree, when the collective realizes it is collectively running low on something, we will subsidize research into alternatives.

  • Adam||

    Oh really? And which part of the article was that?

    Was it the part about the Swiss company developing zinc-air batteries, or was it the part about the privately-held Fluidic Energy developing metal-air batteries?

    Was it the part about General Motors developing the neodymium magnet to overcome the cobalt shortage? Or was it the part about privately-held Chorus Motors developing a neodymium-free AC motor?

    Exactly which article were you reading?

  • SM||

    When i got to the part about electric cars that need batteries...

  • Adam||

    Yeah, I thought so. How was it that you phrased it earlier? Oh yes.

    "Checkmate."

  • PIRS||

    “You are free to chose getting stabbed by me, or shot by me...now make any choice you want, you are free...again...we'd both agree that is coercion, yes?”

    Depends. Suppose I am a masochist and I enjoy pain. I might be willing to even pay you to stab me. Suppose I cannot breath. Stabbing me in my neck might actually save my life!

    “If there is only one shop selling X that you need to live, because it has bought all the available supply of X in the world...again...how is that not coercion, and what is your relief?”

    This is getting old. This is a business opportunity for someone to start a new business.

  • SM, simplified||

    I'd gladly take government tyranny over private tyranny. Why you libertarians can't simply let go and trust the state, is proof of your selfish ideology.

  • nekoxgirl||

    The only person on my ballot to vote for this past November that wouldn't wage war was a libertarian. If you vote Democrat, you aren't voting for people who won't wage wars.

  • SM, simplified||

    I'd rather have authorities making my decisions. Life is hard.

  • SM||

    I realize other people will be making decisions in my life whether i want them to or not...

    ...i'd just prefer to get to vote on them...

  • Shorter SM||

    I trust government implicitly. You should, too.

  • SM||

    I trust government more than private tyrannies. Short enough?

    Tell me the next time you and your fellow citizens vote out a monopoly...or a corporation who is coercing you in some way...even though you don't want it to and wish there was another competitor but realize that option doesn't always exist by default...

  • Shorter SM||

    Government good. Corporations bad.

  • PIRS||

    "Tell me the next time you and your fellow citizens vote out a monopoly...or a corporation who is coercing you in some way...even though you don't want it to and wish there was another competitor but realize that option doesn't always exist by default..."

    If no competitor exists - start one.

  • Adam||

    "If no competitor exists - start one."

    PIRS, liberals hate this line of thought, because it demands personal responsibility. They'd rather blame someone else for not having unicorns and rainbows at every step in their lives.

    You can see it in SM's comments, plain as day...it's never "I", it's always "we" and "they".

    "when the collective realizes it is collectively running low on something, we will subsidize research into alternatives."

    See? Not a single drop of personal responsibility in that declaration at all. Just an amorphous "we". "We" will choose rulers. "We" will choose technologies.

    Even when he says "I'd rather vote", he still won't take responsibility, because he knows that his is one vote out of millions, and is ultimately meaningless. The only valid form of voting is voting with your feet. Yet that's the one form of voting that SM refuses to acknowledge.

    Sometimes it's nice to have a troll come through to help crystallize these observations :)

  • PIRS||

    "Sometimes it's nice to have a troll come through to help crystallize these observations :)"

    Agree. This is one reason I sometimes "feed the trolls". Another reason is, to quote Adam below, "It's not the troll that you should be trying to convince. It's the undecided person lurking in the comment section who is reading both sides of the argument who is your real audience, not the troll."

  • SM||

    In that case...you better hope no one is lurking in this comment section...all people have learned is that hopefully there will be competitors, hopefully this and that...and you no longer even get a single vote on anything. Oh, and i can buy all the land around you as long as you haven't walked down the same path for 20 years, and shoot you if you step on my property, or you will shoot me cause i won't let you...

    ...the more i talk to you, the more i realize you're the conservatives you despise...but more refined in your ideology...

  • SM||

    You still cannot answer - what if no competitor can survive?

    Then you do without, right?

    You live in a world or monopolies, if that's what happens, right?

    If someone buys all the oil wells and jacks the price of gas to just under that of batteries, and does everything he can do to get every last dollar out of you...prices it at the maximum he can without letting electric cars from being economically feasible...

    ....then what? You just pay, right?

    What if people start drilling for oil in the gulf, flood your property with oil...and then go bankrupt? Then what?

    What about accidents, invasions, all the irrational of life, etc?

    Better to die in misery, if need be, than to pay single dollar in taxes...got it.

    Good luck selling your philosophy to the masses, or even anyone who isn't deluding themselves into thinking they're 100% "rational"...

  • mr burns||

    which private tyranny can kill you, imprison you, or take your money without your consent ?

  • SM||

    Seriously - which can kill me?

    Wow...you must not know about corporations...

    Take your money without your consent? Same.

    And in your private prison world...i'd have to answer, "all."

  • PIRS||

    "I realize other people will be making decisions in my life whether i want them to or not..."

    If you choose to let them.

    "...i'd just prefer to get to vote on them..."

    Every time I walk into a store to buy something I am voting between different brands. I am always a majority of one.

  • SM||

    Not if i choose to let them - if i choose to be alive.

    Your actions have effects on people every day of your life - whether they want them to or not. Its silly to pretend otherwise. I'm not sure why you guys do...

    If your neighbor plays loud music for 24 hours straight, even though you don't want him to, does it effect you in any way?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    But given the alternative, rigid dogma which *could* have disastrous outcomes which will render the utility of your "prima facie" concerns kinda pointless...ie, we're all dead...

    ...i want to know, what do you do if confronted with this situation?

    Stop proposing dilemmas that will never happen in this life or any other, and you might actually start getting answers to your questions. As it stands right now, you're just throwing out a loaded scenario to make yourself feel superior.

    It sounds like you are far more intellectually engaged in creating a utopian society where no one gets hurt and no one is abjectly poor, and subsequently casting any individuals that don't strive for this unrealistic ideal as heartless monsters. The whole fucking sum of human experience should have taught you long ago that this will never, EVER happen, yet you persist in trying to pigeonhole people into a corner that could never possibly happen in real life. Your "Somalia" canard pretty much gives the game away as to how unserious you are--and it's typically the boilerplate fallback position for any progressive who views ANY lack of centralized state planning (by the "correct people," of course) as an immediate devolvement to a Hobbesian nightmare of murder, rape, poverty, and endless corruption, ignoring the impacts of scale and social dysfunction that inevitably result when governments attempt to sling about their own people like sacks of concrete.

    So forgive us if you continue to be mocked and ignored. Your tune is one that has been sung countless times in many other forums, and it's no more intellectually valid now than it was all those other times.

  • SM||

    Considering one of the first things i've conceded is that there is no perfection...i find it funny that i'm being accused of trying to make a utopian society. I'll settle for "less worse" please...

    ...now, why you all dismiss a simple question like this with long winded responses is beyond me...

  • sevo||

    Fucking ignorant troll.
    Treated entirely too kindly.
    Go suck a cock, asshole.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Considering one of the first things i've conceded is that there is no perfection...i find it funny that i'm being accused of trying to make a utopian society. I'll settle for "less worse" please...

    And yet, you imply that libertarianism would result in mass murder and abject poverty, while using a non-applicable example to support it. No wonder you're looking like a clown.

    ...now, why you all dismiss a simple question like this with long winded responses is beyond me...

    Perhaps if your line of questioning wasn't so simplistic, there would be no need to detail nuances.

  • SM||

    I do not imply it will cause any such things...i question that if it did, would we stick with it?

    I ask for change of our current system when it fails - but i do not do so on the basis of any rigid ideology.

    I want to know if your model is as flexible - not on the individual level, but on the collective level? If it is failing us all, do you reject it and go back to discussions about the proper role of government, or not?

  • Shorter SM||

    Collectivism = good.

  • Adam||

    "I want to know if your model is as flexible - not on the individual level, but on the collective level?"

    That's not even wrong. It's complete drivel when talking about an individualist social philosophy.

    This is what we've been trying to explain to you....there is no "collective decision-making" in Libertarianism. You make your own choices, based on your own situation. As long as your choice does not impact the equal right of everyone else's choice, you may make whichever choice you want.

    In Libertopia, nobody will stop you from living in a collectivist compound, if that's what you wish to do. Or you can be a hermit living alone. That is the fundamental difference between Libertarianism and Collectivism; Collectivists can exist within a Libertarian society, but Libertarians cannot exist within a Collectivist society.

    There simply is no "collective level" to speak of within the bounds of Libertarianism.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I do not imply it will cause any such things...i question that if it did, would we stick with it?

    What a silly argument. The question of whether it will or won't cause these things has to be grounded in some sort of reality. Your scenario--indeed, your entire argumentative premise-- is nothing more than an exercise in mental masturbation.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "you demagogue progressives"

    Not many of those here. Tony, Chad, Max, shrike, MNG to some extent though he has glimmers of sanity now and then... but that's about it.

    Are you sure you're using the term "progressive" correctly?

  • cynical||

    I dunno. If I hook up with a Heidi Klum, but then she turns out to be insufferable, should I break up with her or just deal with it for the sake of doing Heidi Klum? These are important philosophical questions!

  • ||

    Can't be answered without more context: do you have a shot at nailing Padma Lakshme?

  • ||

    If that happens, you can tell me I told you so. That's if you can get past the guards of my walled yuppy neighborhood.

  • SM||

    I think its funny what you presuppose a libertarian world would look like...

    ...based on the foundation of the last couple hundred years of progressivism of course...

    ...nice internet we have here...

  • sevo||

    Fucking ignorant troll.
    Treated entirely too kindly.
    Go suck a cock, asshole.

  • SM||

    Well, i see my work is done here...go back to your utopian circle jerk...as i expected...same old tripe, no answers to the obvious questions...

    ...just a bunch of basement dwellers mad at the world...

    ...keep thinking its big government keeping you down...remember to patronize your friendly democratic corporations tomorrow...quite the "freedom" you have there...

  • sevo||

    Fucking ignorant troll.
    Treated entirely too kindly.
    Go suck a cock, asshole.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So, you DID come here under false pretenses, SM. You finally show your true colors.

    Now, go away. DemocraticUnderground is over --->

    thataway.

  • MWG||

    "...keep thinking its big government keeping you down...remember to patronize your friendly democratic corporations tomorrow...quite the "freedom" you have there..."

    So basically your ideology is that of 'liberal progressive'. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • SM||

    oh...and what shift do the intelligent libertarians take? cause that was entirely too easy....

  • sevo||

    Fucking ignorant troll.
    Treated entirely too kindly.
    Go suck a cock, asshole.

  • Adam||

    Yeah, it is an awfully nice Internet we have here.....wait, why are you allowed on it?

    Oh, yeah, because it was PRIVATIZED in 1992! Before that, only the military, defense contractors, and research universities were allowed to use it.

  • SM||

    I love libertarians taking credit for publicly created institutions...that are later turned over to the private market...unreal...

    Could you explain why it could have not been turned over? I'll tell you why it wasn't privately created...

  • Adam||

    Did you use the internet before 1992?

    Do you know what it was like?

    Hint: There weren't any pretty pictures or video to look at.

    Okay, so the government paid some private companies back in the 70's to create the protocols underlying the internet, then used it for a few years, before releasing it all to the public.

    Only *after* it was privatized did any of the really wonderful applications of the technology appear.

    If the government were still running the internet, you wouldn't be here to tell us about how wonderful the government is for creating it, because you wouldn't be allowed on it.

  • SM||

    You realize how silly this is? Taking credit for government research because you added bells and whistles...

    ....look around...your entire country, everything you do, is based on government/collective research and subsidies, which is only later turned over to the private market.

    Go ahead and name one major advancement that was created in private...i'd wait here, but i know i won't live forever...

  • SM||

    PS. FULLY created in private...no subsidies later either...

  • Adam||

    "FULLY created in private...no subsidies later either..."

    Oh, so now even if the private sector creates something, and the government pushes money at it LATER, the government is the one that gets the credit?

    That's awfully convenient.

    But anyway, here, I've got a small list for you:

    The LIGHTBULB.
    The STEAM ENGINE.
    The ELECTRIC DYNAMO.
    The TELEPHONE.

    I can go on all day....really, government-funded research is a fairly new concept. You only have to go back before WWII to find that most inventions were created by private individuals, not government-funded labs.

    There's even good examples from the modern era:

    The Laser printer (Xerox)
    The Transistor (Bell Labs)
    The Integrated Circuit (Intel)

    You were educated in a state-run school, weren't you? It shows, with your ignorance of history and basic legal concepts.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Adam, on the transportation side, we can add the airplane and the automobile.

  • SM||

    Its not "convenient" - its reality. To pretend we have railroads and the industrial revolution, the foundation for technological innovation, etc, because of "private entrepreneurship" is absurd.

    If someone is educated in a public school that is in a country created and defended by a public army, then they go and "invent" something - its absurd to say it was done "on their own." Nothing we do here is "on our own." We are provided choices that we choose from, we stand on the foundations that were built before us. Where we start is pure luck, and completely arbitrary.

    Stop pretending we're some amazing being that is fully rational, independent, etc.

    All those inventions required public subsidies at some point, and all are based on other public goods. Quit trying to strip part of reality away.

    I recognize there is an interaction and a balance between the individual and the collective - and i believe we should strive to find the best balance of the two. You people deny one of these to adhere to a rigid ideology - which you conveniently only follow until it is proven absurd in your own minds.

    Never have i found a group that makes so many arbitrary and baseless assertions as the foundation of their ideology...while...besides conservatives...

  • Adam||

    you keep throwing this phrase out, "baseless assertions", hoping that it will cover for the fact that you're ignorant of an entire body of economic, historical, and political research.

    What was the foundation of the Industrial Revolution? It sure as hell wasn't subsidies from the Crown. Try "private property rights" and "cheap energy made accessible by the improved steam engine developed by James Watt".

    In so far as the government was involved, it was by upholding the concept of private property, a political innovation which stemmed from common law developed over several hundred years, not handed down whole cloth from the King.

    Your debate style is pathetic; you keep trying to set up impossible dilemmas and non sequiturs, as if nobody around you had ever taken Logic 101. You keep trying bluff your way around the fact that you have a kindergartener's understanding of history, and hoping that nobody will notice.

    If government is so wonderful, why have all previous attempts to implement totalitarian command economies failed so miserably?

  • Adam||

    "impossible dilemmas" erp...make that "false dilemmas".

  • SM||

    Land grants for railroads.

    Still waiting for answers...

    Public utilities and electric companies.

    Still waiting for answers...

    I love how you ignore the "inconvenient" parts of history...

    ...i realize there is positive and negative on both sides...public and private...you people refuse to believe one side even exists...or attribute all the "bad" to it, arbitrarily, again...

  • PIRS||

    "Its not "convenient" - its reality. To pretend we have railroads and the industrial revolution, the foundation for technological innovation, etc, because of "private entrepreneurship" is absurd"

    The railroad was invented to meet the needs of the coal mining industry. It was not invented using government handouts.

    http://www.sdrm.org/history/timeline/

  • SM||

    Landgrants.

    Next...

  • mr burns||

    Are these your own thoughts ? why do you think for yourself , it's risky and dangerous and you are fallible . You could end up a libertarian or other form of madman. Only publicly funded government thinking should be allowed , just as it was in the USSR and other great collectivist societies, before they somehow mysteriously imploded and collapsed after murdering millions of people.

  • Mike Laursen||

    One-click ordering!

  • Mike Laursen||

    Hey, you're almost writing in complete sentences, with periods and capitalization and everything! Good work!

  • ||

    Look, if you're upset about the walled compound thing, we'll let you come inside during the day to mow lawns or something.

  • MS||

    I judge policies by their effects, and am not bound by any single ideology. I think we have to balance things between individuals, and having to live with (and be affected by) other individuals.

    But say my mindless judgments on policies prove to be wrong over and over, and lead to mass extinction, because I really don't understand what the hell I'm talking about...

    What should I do?

    Should I just abandon my principle?

    Should I post the same retarded thing over and over on a message board?

    What should I do?

  • Adam||

    you claim that you're "not bound by an ideology", but your comments have revealed that you actually don't have any philosophy.

    You're like a leaf in the wind, totally enslaved to the currents around you. You have no anchor point from which to evaluate the thoughts and ideas around you.

    I'm sure you'll try to pass this weakness off as being "flexible", and try to smear us as "rigid ideologues".

    In fact, it is your brand of ignorant, mindless wishy-washiness that tyrants love to exploit to further their designs.

    It's not surprising that you are fond of liberal progressivism, and hateful of individualists. Without any underlying philosophical foundation, you are limited to just liking whatever sounds good at the moment.

    Your arguments here have relied upon gross misunderstandings and mischaracterizations of the very language which libertarianism uses to express its ideas.

    For example, you pull out this old strawman:
    "If someone is educated in a public school that is in a country created and defended by a public army, then they go and "invent" something - its absurd to say it was done "on their own." Nothing we do here is "on our own.""

    Nobody made the argument that any man is an island. That argument only exists in your mind. Libertarianism and individualist anarchism doesn't advocate that people act as hermits. What they advocate is non-coercive relationships between individuals.

    It's not surprising that you have a hard time imagining that relationships can be anything other than coercive. After all, you were educated in a state-run school -- although "educated" may be too generous of a term.

    We believe that slavery is one of the worst evils that can possibly be perpetrated by men, but you want to elevate it to a virtue. How else can we interpret your assertion that having a 1/300 millionth say in our overlords is superior to being able to freely choose on an individual level the people and institutions we interact with on a daily basis?

  • SM||

    I'm glad you've arbitrarily thrown down an anchor on which to base your entire philosophy...i'm not sure how that makes it the correct place to put an anchor...or if an anchor should be put down at all...

    ...to finish your silly analogy.

  • SM||

    Its amazing how you have also redefined racism and coercion to fit your ideology...

  • Mr Whipple||

    ...IF that happens...

    What IF shit tasted like butter?

    You could spread it on your fucking toast.

    Fuck you ,and your hypothetical.

    You want an answer? Here's an answer: I don't know. How's that? What I do know, is just about anything is better than this bullshit we have now, and it is only getting worse. If you can't see that, then you are fucking blind. Personally, I don't even want 536 Ron Paul(s). I want Agorism. Ron Paul, and his types, are merely stepping stones to a Voluntaryist society free from COERCION.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Sorry for my outburst. Look, if you a reading list, start here, and pay particular attention to Lysander Spooner, Murray Rothbard, and Sam Konkin III. If you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

    http://www.voluntaryistpunk.com/words.html

  • Mr Whipple||

    And, if you don't like to read, here's a nice video: A simple argument that proves that anarchy will work.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIs5r3ujBmw

  • SM||

    I am sorry to tell you, perfection does not exist, and to assume you can create a place that is free from coercion is the height of folly....

  • Mr Whipple||

    Bad wording on my part. Coercion, or the use of force can only be used as a response to the initiation of coercion. This is the moral and ethical standard known as the "non-aggression axiom". If you had read some of those essays, you would have been able to properly correct me. However, I guess you didn't read any of them. Your loss.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The world YOU seek is also "the height of folly", SM.

  • Adam||

    Clearly, you know nothing of Somalia's political history....how did they end up as a failed state?

    Simple, really....they were run into the ground by Socialists and Communists.

    Don't point at Somalia and say "Look! Libertopia!"....look at Somalia and say "Oh, so that's what Hayek meant when he said 'The Road to Serfdom'."

  • nekoxgirl||

    Libertarians don't want to close close and destroy the safety net. We just don't want a coercive government run monopoly of the schools and safety net.

  • nekoxgirl||

    And to answer your original questions: Of course I would change my mind about libertarianism if it was obvious it was destroying the civilization, the world, etc.

    I actually started out my political orientation as a socialist (and by socialist I mean progressive mixed economies). After learning about history and economics, I became a libertarian. In other words, I'm a libertarian because I believe socialism is destructive to society, kind of the opposite situation from the one you envision.

    Somalia, and any other horrible country you can name, did not become that way because of libertarianism. Although far from being a libertarian paradise, the United States is still the most libertarian country on the planet. We also are the wealthiest country.

    Going back hundreds of years, the most prosperous countries have always tended to be the one's that were the most free. The worse have been the least free. Just considering the 20th century, the three countries you'd least want to live in, Germany under Hitler, USSR under Stalin and China under Mao, all were excessively statist, not excessively libertarian.

    Quite frankly, I think it is you that needs to change your idealogy. The world has tried command economies since the dawn of civilization. It was only after the implementation of free markets that things actually improved. We already have the evidence and know what works. If in the furture, there is evidence to the contrary, I'm open to it, but as of now, our way seems to be the best.

  • SM||

    I think it is funny that you think "freedom" or "liberty" is what made us the most wealthy...that is a very selective reading of history...including who built railroads, highways, schools, computers, internet, etc...and why they were built...

    ...if your goal is to use "wealth" to prove which is the best type of government, it would be the one that publicly creates inventions and infrastructure, then turns them over to a private market...if we're bound by only empirical examples. Not that i agree this is the best way...but i'm still waiting for the private market to create the next greatest thing...and the infrastructure to support it...for the first time ever...

  • Shorter SM||

    Wealth = evil.

  • Adam||

    Yeah, who built those railroads, anyway?

    I'm sure you're right, it couldn't have been done by the private sector!

    And who built those computers for the government, anyway? Is "IBM" just another 3-letter agency?

  • SM||

    Oh the irony...who built computers FOR THE GOVERNMENT?

    How about, WHO BOUGHT COMPUTERS? Who SUBSIDIZED RESEARCH THROUGH PROCUREMENT?

    Exactly...

    And the landgrants for those railroads?

    How can we discuss this if you don't have even a fundamental grasp of history?

  • Adam||

    So now you've gone from claiming that the government is the source of all technological progress to merely claiming that government helps progress by buying things from the private sector.

    Is it really such a stretch to imagine that those same things could be possible without government interference?

    "How can we discuss this if you don't have even a fundamental grasp of history?"

    HAHAHAHA, now you're just projecting. I notice you didn't bother replying when I pointed out the basic historical flaw in your assertion that Somalia = Libertopia.

  • SM||

    I have consistently said there is a balance between the individual and the collection. You provide a false dilemma: all or nothing, public or private. I realize the two have both contributed to everything we have here. I do not deny that the "one i dislike" has, unlike yourself.

    Obviously, all of these things *could* have been created without government interference, but they *weren't*, now were they? So for you to point to them as proof that your theory works...well...i think you get the point.

    Now, go ahead and tell us that you think libertopia *would* create more things, that the state is terrible for innovation, blah blah blah. There is a chance you are absolutely right.

    There is also a chance you are absolutely wrong, and i want to know, if it turns out you're wrong, are you willing to abandon your ideology if it does indeed create "terrible place X" or makes us worse off?

    Can we stop with the boilerplate already? None of you have said anything i haven't heard before...and its not hard to disprove everything you've said...

  • Shorter SM||

    Me liberal elitist, smarter than you.

  • SM||

    You: concede everything when absurdities pointed out.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The problem* with you collectivists, SM, is that you always want more collectivism and less private enterprise... never the other way around. Government can never shrink, not even a bit (except for the military, where YES there needs to be shrinkage), and the cost and scope and power of government can, likewise, never trend downward.

    Your turn, slick.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    * that is, one of many problems with collectivists.

  • SM||

    That's right, there is no individual and collective. Only one. Individuals.

    Ignore the other and it will go away...

    ...and if you recognize both exist, it means you only support the one i hate.

    Got it.

  • mr burns||

    What great inventions, art , music and literature have the various communist societies of the last century contributed to civilization? Contrast to the contributions of england and the united states, especially before 1933 when the united states was considerably more libertarian than it is now. Explain the difference. What government funded Clerk Maxwell, Albert Einstein, Nicholas Tesla, what governement developed the radio , the television , electric motors (A.C and D.C.) ? Everytghing is done by men, individual men working together. The question is whether they work together by choice or by coercion. Free choice works better, as both reason and history demonstrate, and that is what libertarians hold as well . Progressive prefer coercion, managing to ignore both reason and history.

  • Adam||

    "What government funded Clerk Maxwell, Albert Einstein, Nicholas Tesla, what governement developed the radio , the television , electric motors (A.C and D.C.) ?"

    Oh, but as SM told us earlier, it doesn't matter that these things were created by individuals without government direction.....the government was responsible anyway, because it happened to purchase a few radios and electric motors afterwards!

  • SM||

    You people crack me up. AGAIN, the "good" parts of history are relegated to the individual, the BAD parts are relegated to the "state."

    I understand. This is the same as communists saying all the "good" is from the state...

    ....you're all wrong. You can't rip little bits of history out of their context.

    If someone was educated in a public school and goes on to later create something, YOU CANNOT SAY THAT IT IS A PURE INVENTION OF AN INDIVIDUAL.

    Same with infrastructure in a country, defense of that country, etc, that allows individuals WITHIN IT to create.

    How about the cure to polio? Do i need to list all the things created, invented, subsidized, etc, including the goddamn internet?

    Oh, but that's right, its not the "invention of the internet," it was the "privatization" that was the "good" part.

    But, railroads, it WAS the invention, not the landgrants for the tracks. Got it.

    Unlike you people, i realize that both play a part in history, and am not afraid to accept that because it will destroy the false narrative i've created to support my ideology.

    You all want to pretend there is always a single answer to every problem - well, i agree, and the answer is, BOTH.

    Now come back when you have a complete, THOROUGH understanding of history and how our country has managed to become "wealthy" even though it is run "terribly" by "irrational" people and whatnot.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Create the next greatest thing? What, the "Singularity"? AI? AGI?

    So, what has the government created? New ways to kill people? The nuclear bomb? The Predator Drone? Do you think the government will use AGI( Artificial General Intelligence, or Strong AI) for peaceful purposes? Fiber optic communications was developed by the military as a means to secure battlefield communication. Right now, the DoD, in conjunction with the DoE/NREL and a couple of private companies, are developing new ways to produce algae for fuel. For the good of the citizenry and global warming? No. To fuel jet planes in the case of an oil embargo in a time of war.

    Was the Interstate Highway System developed for peaceful purposes, or a way to move the military? Is the space program for peaceful purposes, or is it a way to develop new rocket technologies for missiles? The government has their own reasons for developing technology, and it's not always for the betterment of mankind. In fact, much can be for the destruction of mankind.

  • SM||

    Oh, i agree in the stupidity in our national offense. No arguments there.

    That's our fault for not convincing enough fellow citizens of the folly of their ways...we must all work harder.

  • SM, simplified||

    That's our fault for not convincing enough fellow citizens of the folly of their ways...we must all work harder for the common good, and damn the private sector.

  • Mr Whipple||

    To what end? Good government? Is there such a thing? We still have statism. Statism is slavery, enforced with the threat of coercion. Regardless of the intent, it is still morally wrong.

    A truly free market, is the effect, not the cause of a free society. It is the result of free people, freely exchanging goods and service, on mutual, voluntary contract, with no external interference, except in cases of fraud, theft, robbery, and misrepresentation.

    Any external system, which controls the exchange of goods and services, is authoritarian, and possibly Totalitarian. Religion, politics and economics are types of external controls, to rob people of their freedom. Everything the government has to give, it has to take, by the use of, or the threat of force. Therefore, it is not possible for the government to create any good, if you accept the premise that taking without permission, through the use of force, is morally wrong. The only good that come from the government, is if the government is voluntary.

    Mike Shanklin explains it better than I can in this 10 minute video, entitled, Statism is Slavery

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOGq_1710U4

  • SM||

    Because a market that answers to no one is freedom...strange world you live in.

    More baseless assertions on which you build your ideology.

    Hint: it is not possible to live in a world free from all coercion.

    Living on a piece of land in poverty because i am unable to leave is not my definition of "freedom" - which could absolutely happen in your world. Your world is no more "free" than mine, there are just different masters.

    I get it, you people will do anything to avoid taxes. Why can you not also feel this way about coercion?

    Would you prefer to live in a world full of corporate coercion with no redress, just to pay no taxes, if that's what it comes to?

    Whether you want to believe it or not, everything i or anyone else does has an effect on your life. In your world you have no say whatsoever over this. How you think that makes you "more free" is beyond me...

  • Shorter SM||

    Freedom is slavery!

  • SM||

    Libertarian: Corporate slavery and coercion is freedom!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Now you're sounding like the big-government statist you truly are, SM.

    The only difference between you and big-government "conservatives" is your ideology.

    "I trust government tyrannies more than private tyrannies."

    There, fixed your earlier statement to better fit what you wanted to say, but didn't/couldn't man up to say. No charge.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Okay, I incorrectly italicized a word above, but the point still stands: You would choose a tyrannical state over tyrannical businesses, which means... zip. Either way, you're fucked.

    Your confidence in being able to "vote the bums out" come election time, however, is rather quaint. Senators and Congressmen can be in office for *decades*, and are not easily unseated. (Thankfully, presidents are limited to "only" two terms.)

    The game is rigged, old son. Railing against "the Kochtopus" and "corporations" does no more good than engaging in wealth-envy and bitching about how not enough people are on the dole in one way or another.

    Me? I'm a minarchist, an adherent to the concept of the "night watchman state". Look it up, even though it won't be sufficiently bullyish to suit your tastes.

    Anyway, in my conceptual take on how things should work, any politician/public official who breaks the law or betrays his/her oath to serve within the boundaries of their power... go straight the fuck to prison. If you can argue against that, I wouldn't be surprised.

    So... it's your turn, Sparky. Tell us what knuckle-draggers we are for not bowing towards Washington DC every day, praying for Their Divine Grace and guidance for every mundane activity we filthy humans perform. I, for one, need to be told which way to hang a roll of toilet paper and not run with scissors, according to your high-pedestalness.

  • SM||

    Your problem is you equate democracy with communism.

    You people are communists hung by your ankles, and you don't even realize it.

    One wants ruled by government, the other by private tyrannies.

    I am squarely in the middle, realizing the need for balance.

    PS. Equating people who recognize both "black" and "white" as "white lovers" because you love black, does not make it so. I vote for "gray."

    Even with your false dichotomies...

  • Charlie Rangel ||

    "I get it, you people will do anything to avoid taxes."

    Best apologize, racist cracker.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Railroad land grants and subsidies to private railroads were destructive to the economy, land use patterns, and the railroads themselves.

    Too many railroads were built as a result of land grants, to too many middle of nowhere places. Indeed, government subsidization of railroads resulted in a bubble that burst in the late 1800's. And again around the 1960's because the railroads were struggling financially, and the government prevented them from abandoning service on unprofitable routes.

    Without land grants, railroads would have been financially healthier throughout their history, because fewer railroads would have been built and they would have been able to take advantage of a more centralized population.

    The same thing has happened with roads- too many are built, resulting in unrealistic upkeep costs, and a less centralized population that requires the existence of endless road subsidization.

    A free market in transportation infrastructure and services would have resulted in a more efficient, more centralized system with more options.

  • SM||

    Wow...you got a time machine? Portal to alternative world?

    All baseless assertions. You would HOPE those things would happen...but to say they absolutely would...well..we all understand.

    PS. I love how all the positive effects of anything (invention of railroads!) gets assigned to the "private market" but all the negative effects (railroads in wrong places!) gets assigned to the public...amazing...truly amazing...

  • Shorter SM||

    State good. Private sector bad.

  • SM||

    Libertarian: state bad, private sector good, even if faced with evidence to the contrary!

    (My actual position is "balance" between the two...but it seems nuance is not your strong suit...nor rational thought...ironically enough...)

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Balance", from the liberal dictionary:

    The state must always grow bigger and more intrusive. Profit is bad. The "mixed economy" must always add more socialism; never less. Taxes are never high enough on filthy rich white male Christian woman-hating gay-bashers (even if they engage in none of the above).

    You really would be happier posting at DU. The internet can take you there. Head east, young man.

  • PIRS||

    "Libertarian: state bad, private sector good, even if faced with evidence to the contrary!"

    We have yet to see this supposed evidence. By the way, yes, there are some "bad" individuals in the private sector as there are in the government sector. The difference is that I can more easilly avoid those in the private sector. I am required at the point of a gun to pay taxes to the "bad" people in the government sector whether I want to or not.

  • SM||

    A bank blows up the whole economy, and you're going to avoid it by using another bank...i get it.

    Same with pollution...etc...

    ...keep pretending its better to be ruled by private tyrannies...oh, that's right, in libertopia, there will be no private tyrannies...because...you know...just because...because if that did happen, it would be terrible...so you know...it can't...obviously...

  • SM||

    I am still waiting for the examples of individuals creating all these wonderful things without a state...which...as far as i can tell...well..look around...its still here...and has been for a while.

    Did america become wealthy before it existed?

  • PIRS||

    "PS. I love how all the positive effects of anything (invention of railroads!) gets assigned to the "private market""

    The invention of railroads came as a result of needs in the coal mining industry. They were not invented using government funding:

    http://www.sdrm.org/history/timeline/

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Too many railroads were built as a result of land grants, to too many middle of nowhere places. Indeed, government subsidization of railroads resulted in a bubble that burst in the late 1800's. And again around the 1960's because the railroads were struggling financially, and the government prevented them from abandoning service on unprofitable routes.


    The government did have a good reason to subsidize railroads, in that rails are useful for moving soldiers around.

  • SM||

    Thanks for conceding my point...again...

  • nekoxgirl||

    SM, we've had government dating back to at least ancient Sumeria but little improvement in the standard of living until the last few hundred years. Many roads were built and still most people were poor and died young.

    So what happened?

    Economic liberation and the industrial revolution went hand and hand to create the high standard of living enjoyed in ever increasing parts of the world. Do you like electricity in your house and fuel for your automobile? Don't thank any government. Thomas Edison invented the first coal burning power plant and some German guy invented the internal combustion engine.

    Even if you did want to credit the government with the invention of some of our technology, where did the money to fund this innovation come from? Wealth has to first be created by individuals before the government to make use of it.

    I believe it is possible to have our high standard of living without a highly centralized government. I know that the opposite is not possible. History shows unequivocally, government without private industry equals abject poverty for all.

  • SM||

    I stopped reading when you told me not to thank the government for forcing the public utilities to wires up my house with electricity...

    ...you really have no idea what you're talking about.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Still at it, SM? What do you hope to prove here, other than affirming your state-worshiping tendencies?

  • SM||

    Waiting for you to admit your errors...

    ...again, why do libertarians demagogue anyone who thinks there should be a balance?

    Do you do this to each other too?

    It seems the only ones who don't "state worship" by your definition are the anarchists.

    And those guys i can respect...as long as they fully admit they do not care what happens to humanity - that rigid ideology is paramount, even if faced with extinction.

    You see, him and i can have an honest disagreement. You people cannot find a consistent position for me to disagree with...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Leftists can be anarchists, too. Or is that okay by you?

  • ||

    Because when you say "balance" you are really talking about forcing someone else to pay for something you want. You either don't realize it or don't give a fuck.

  • SM||

    I want a say in something that i'm going to have to pay for either way...

    ...you just want to ignore that fact...

  • Adam||

    So, because the government has created a legal monopoly for itself in the form of public utilities, that's supposed to be an argument against the free market?

    That's like trying to say that theft is an argument against private property.

  • nekoxgirl||

    "...you really have no idea what you're talking about."

    I *heart* irony.

  • TMLutas||

    You mean the schools costing $10,000 in government money get replaced by schools that have better results and cost $5,000 private money? That's the reality of how much my local public school costs and how much my local parochial school costs. The parochial school is better and costs less but only those who can afford to pay for two schools get to go to it.

    Or are you deluded and think that libertarians are going to use government to close down the private schools?

    There are a lot of people who provide a safety net that's privately funded. They'd still be around and more efficient and likely better funded as charity will get more donations as people realize that their tax dollars aren't taking care of the safety net they want.

    And then comes your big non-sequitor, the devolution into clan-warring Somalia. Where's that coming from? Unlike Somalia which has relatively equally warring parties all similarly incapable of imposing their will on the country, the likely clan breakdowns in the US have very different armament levels. I expect a Somalia period would, if it happened at all, be very brief.

  • SM||

    I love how libertarians are allowed all the non-sequitors necessary, but if i ask a hypothetical...

    ...anyways, if you want to have a discussion about public and private schools, in context of course, go ahead and start it...

    ...i think its funny that you think educational results have to do with the "ownership" of a school and not the socioeconomic status of the students...but you know...that wouldn't fit your narrative.

  • ||

    California without high speed rail is basically Somalia!

  • sevo||

    With more debt.

  • Jerry||

    You know who planned railroad lines for Somalia?

  • sevo||

    http://cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/?

  • Jerry||

    Errh, no. Mussolini!

  • C'mon man||

    Good training video.

  • ||

    The California Benefits PDF also claims 600,000 construction jobs will be created and 450,000 permanent jobs will arise because of the project.

  • sevo||

    "450,000 permanent jobs will arise because of the project."
    And the fares will fund, oh, 10 or 12 of them....

  • ||

    Why would you propagate the disease that is slam poetry???

  • ||

    ROADS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mr. Mistoffelees||

    "Geography buffs are invited to try and make any sense out of the CHSRA’s proposed alignment."

    It's high speed rail. It doesn't matter how indirect the route is, you'll still get there wicked fast. The longer route allows Central Valley residents to benefit from this project too.

  • sevo||

    "It's high speed rail. It doesn't matter how indirect the route is, you'll still get there wicked fast."
    So if it goes through, oh, Snakes Navel, ID on the way from SF to LA, it's still rapid transit?

  • Atanarjuat||

    Er, the train stops in 10 or so cities between LA and SF. That's 10 times you have to slow the train to a stop (during acceleration and deceleration you're not moving at high speed) and wait for passengers and luggage to on-and-offload.

  • Mr. Mistoffelees||

    It's all done using magnets, so they can make the acceleration really fast too.

  • sevo||

    Yeah, and stuff!

  • Xenocles||

    The train starts and stops instantly. The people on board are protected by the inertial dampers. I saw it on TV once.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Bah! We're talking CA-ians here. Why add all those frilly inertial dampers and stuff?

    It would actually make it a lot easier to sell this project to the federal taxpayers if they knew that $2B of their dollars were being used to beat the shit out of progressive CA trainophiles.

  • Mr Whipple||

    The problem with acceleration is, the passengers have to adjust to it. The rate of acceleration is limited to the physical limitations of humans, not all of which will be in the best physical shape. A 20-year old athelete can adjust a lot better than 92-year old Granny.

  • Mr. Mistoffelees||

    They can just wear seat belts.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Like on an airplane? Will there be a seat belt instructional at every stop, before resuming?


    Briefing passengers before takeoff.

    (a) Each certificate holder operating a passenger-carrying airplane shall insure that all passengers are orally briefed by the appropriate crewmember as follows:
    (1) Before each takeoff, on each of the following:
    [...]
    (iii) The use of safety belts, including instructions on how to fasten and unfasten the safety belts. Each passenger shall be briefed on when, where, and under what conditions the safety belt must be fastened about that passenger. This briefing shall include a statement that the Federal Aviation Regulations require passenger compliance with lighted passenger information signs and crewmember instructions concerning the use of safety belts.
  • Kolohe||

    It's all done using magnets, so they can make the acceleration really fast too

    Fuck, how does that work?

  • ||

    Umm, you're confusing mag-lev (a scam) and/or linear induction motors with HSR.

    HSR does not use either. Except for much better suspensions annd electric motors, High Speed trains don't use any technology that wasn't around pretty much at the end of the 19th century.

  • ||

    It's Not just a train to nowhere, it's a train to the town that Charles Manson calls home.

  • ||

    I like how this is defended as a source of jobs for the Central Valley, as if Fresno were the home of several firms specializing in high-speed rail construction.

  • ||

    Well there's a lot of people railing speed there but it's not really the same thing. ;-)

  • Adam||

    clearly, this is a threadwinning comment. Bravo, sir.

  • Anyone? ||

    Friday night choices:

    1) Slam poetry reading - Oakland, CA
    2) Guest lecturer at Smith or Mount Holyoke - gender indentity issues and normative proposals for further examination
    3) Outdoor rink - High School Div. III Women's Hockey - you don't know anyone there
    4) CBA Negotiation - Teachers' union vs. City of Trenton
    5) Nora Ephron double feature - drive-in, popcorn, no soda!

  • ||

    Well what a pathetic piece of propaganda.. love the story about Nazi propaganda I see your following their footsteps. Of course the Koch brothers mouthpiece would have a silly story about high-speed rail without any kind of substance or truth. You know damn well its the first section and it will never be just those two little towns.. but oh you're going to have some stupid fossil brain comments and all your cult fans chime in with their equally T. Rex thoughts...As the number one donor state we fully expect our money to be coming back to help build this forward thinking project and the rest of you Neanderthals that think freedom means a baby semitruck stuck to your ass.. enjoy it nobody is taking it away..We are building a HSR system... go suck an egg if you don't like it

  • sevo||

    Another Fucking ignorant troll.
    Treated entirely too kindly.
    Go suck a cock, asshole.

  • Whiskey Muscles||

    How about if we buy you a toy choo choo for Christmas? Will you stop holding your breath and stamping your feet?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    LAME/REASON WANT PONY!

  • Mr Whipple||

    We are building a HSR system...

    Yes, with money that was stolen,a t gunpoint, from the masses. When will you be paying them back? It's a simple question that any lender would ask. If you can't provide specifics, you can't have the money. You are the one that needs to go suck an egg if you don't like the terms. Perhaps you would have more success if you built a magic wand, instead.

  • nekoxgirl||

    Fuck you. I don't go to Daily Kos and blog about George Soros.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Why not? Except for the George Soros thing. I go to Truthdig all the time. I actually enjoy the debates. As long as it kept open and honest. Guilt by association is a fallacy. So, the Koch and/or Soros thing is unacceptable on either side. Other than that, I'm more than happy to engage in discussion. Unfortunately, here at Reason, we get a lot of trolls. Like the one above, who still has a Hotmail account. Go figure.

  • oaktownadam||

    I used to debate at DailyKos, until I finally got banned as a troll.

    It was quite entertaining, while it lasted. They're really not quite sure how to handle someone arguing from the libertarian perspective, except to junk their comments.

    Oh, and calling the labor union-affiliated posters "collectivist thugs" REALLY gets under their skin ;)

  • Mr Whipple||

    I don't like the format of the website at Kos. I still have an account there. I actually got some good responses when I said the zombie banks should be liquidated. There are a few anarchists there. Most of them, however, are anarcho-syndicalists. And of course, they are quick to agree on certain civil liberty issues, and anti-war positions. I think there are some common goals. The difference, is how to achieve those goals.

    Yeah, they are very pro-union. They don't like it when you mention Jimmy Hoffa. But hey, I live in NJ. I've seen union corruption first hand, and I gotta call 'em like I see 'em. Sometime when you have some free time, look up George Norcross III and Steve Sweeney, and their respective brothers. Both brothers are union presidents.

  • oaktownadam||

    "And of course, they are quick to agree on certain civil liberty issues, and anti-war positions. I think there are some common goals."

    Indeed, and that's what seems to throw them off; they much prefer to think of their opponents as anti-gay, anti-science, racist conservatives. To have someone agree with them on many topics, and then tell them they're dead wrong on economic issues is deeply troubling for them.

    While I was there (posting under this name), the Card Check issue was the hot union topic....I kept asking them why secret ballots were okay for a democratic state, but weren't okay for the workplace. They never really had a good answer.

  • nekoxgirl||

    The Koch brother thing really annoys me. I didn't even know who they were until about two weeks ago. I think it is akin to going to a liberal blog and saying, "You are all tools of teh Soros!" I sometimes blog on liberal sites too. But I try to not be an asshat.

  • Mr Whipple||

    There's a lot to know. There's a difference between being called a Koch supporter form liberal/progressives, and from anarcho-libertarians.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/gordon/gordon37.html

    and

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/gordon/gordon39.html

    Personally, what I hate, is being called a racist for associations with Lew Rockwell. The fact is, there has been quite a bit of turbulence in libertarian circles, and the Libertarian Party, and some progressives will try to exploit that.

  • nekoxgirl||

    Interesting articles. I had always been a little wary of Cato. Now I know why they give me a disingenuous vibe.

  • Mr Whipple||

    I've seen some really good stuff at Cato, and I've seen some not-so-good stuff. Most of the good articles are on civil liberties. The economics articles, not so much.

    Don't forget, David Koch is currently on the Board here at Reason. Well, actually, the Reason Foundation.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "David Koch is currently on the Board here at Reason. Well, actually, the Reason Foundation."

    So?

  • Mr Whipple||

    So, nothing. Just stating a fact. Draw your own conclusions. I'm not trying to start a war here. Just pointing out some "differences" within libertarian circles. Specifically, between Cato and Mises, and Charles and Rothbard. The two articles from Rockwell describe the details. Matt Welch and Reason were mentioned in the articles. David is also still on the Board at Cato, as well.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Okay.

    BTW, I dig on the economics stuff at Cato, so different tastes and all that.

  • Adam||

    Nobody was ever pure enough to satisfy Murray Rothbard.

  • nekoxgirl||

    Yeah but the Federal Reserve piece is kind of imporant. As long as the federal government can inflate instead of directly tax, we'll never have a chance at limited government.

  • nekoxgirl||

    Yeah but the Federal Reserve piece is kind of imporant. As long as the federal government can inflate instead of directly tax, we'll never have a chance at limited government.

  • ||

    Speaking of the Antelope Valley:

    It takes 1 hr-46 min if you commute from Palmdale to Downtown Los Angeles on Metrolink.

    If you try and drive---who knows? Maybe 1 1/2 to 2 hrs.

    If you could take high speed rail the commute would take 27 minutes----Even a libertarian might think this one over.

  • sevo||

    "If you could take high speed rail the commute would take 27 minutes----Even a libertarian might think this one over."

    And if unicorns were purple, why, we'd have purple unicorns!
    And if my grandma had wheels, why, she'd be a wagon (thanks to OM)!
    And if john burrows had a brain, why, he wouldn't posit such a silly hypothetical!

  • ||

    Except every stop along the way will demand access to the "high speed rail" line. Making it no longer high speed. Don't even get me started on the speed issue. The Acela in the BosWash corridor can't use its full speed because the tracks are accessible by cars and pedestrians in many spots. Thus ruining the whole HSR concept.

    Oh, and if there were a market for passenger rail travel in this country, let alone HSR, then Amtrak wouldn't need to be subsidized. This whole boondoggle is simply grass is greener syndrome with tax dollars.

    "OOOO the Europeans have HSR, they're so much more enlightened then us. Forget how European countries are the size of American states, and how they have existing rail infrastructure we don't. Forget how America already has a well functioning transportation network in the form of existing roads. HSR is teh future, and it must be built with government money!!!!!"

  • johnl||

    Build a lightspeed train with free tickets and I am still not moving to that tumbleweed plantation. And there is no justice in taxing me to pay someone else to move out there.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Speaking of the Antelope Valley:

    It takes 1 hr-46 min if you commute from Palmdale to Downtown Los Angeles on Metrolink.

    If you try and drive---who knows? Maybe 1 1/2 to 2 hrs.

    If you could take high speed rail the commute would take 27 minutes----Even a libertarian might think this one over.


    And are enough people willing to pay for this commute to cover the operational costs, as well as depreciation of the capital assets?

  • Joe M||

    Jesus, it's amateur night in here. We have a simple response when anyone brings up Somalia...

    DRINK!!!

  • ||

    It's like HotAir comments, people there are so easily trolled. North Korea is a far more realistic result of progressive policies than Sweden. North Korea is a progressive wet dream since there is no private ownership, and free universal healthcare.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "North Korea is a progressive wet dream since there is no private ownership, and free universal healthcare."

    And all the tree bark you can eat! It's a Bernie Sanders wet dream!

  • Adam||

    and universal military service! It's a Charles Rangel wet dream!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Good point. Amazing how liberals want people to be free, yet want to force them to serve in the military.

  • Adam||

    Your mistake was in assuming that liberals want people to be free.

    Liberals more often want people to make the "correct" choices, as determined by the same liberals. If the people don't make the "correct" choices, the liberals have no problems making that choice for them.

    Case in point: banning happy meals, salt, trans fats, cigarettes, etc, etc, etc, etc

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I meant in theory. My bad. It's getting harder to type after my fourth shot of Jagermeister.

  • Adam||

    between SM and lame/reason, anybody seriously following the drinking game is going to the hospital :)

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I've killed off half a fifth of Jager so far. Typing skills not so mad now.

  • Banjos Kick Ass!||

    i"m finr, i Can keeop figting th trlls still hae beer to keep plauin, statist coksuckets not make me stopp

  • PIRS||

    Joe, I think it is important to respond to these people in a thoughtfull way. It may be frustrating sometimes but the very fact that such questions are raised is evidence we have a great deal of educating yet to do.

  • johnl||

    The train will never be built. Californians all died off in a mass extinction in 1970 caused by a reckless experiment whereby the residents had no taxpayer subsidized long distance passenger rail service.

  • ||

    Just gobsmacked at the progressive turds who get their pussies wet over this CA HSR shit. It's expensive, it won't be built completely, and it will absolutely bankrupt California forcing it cut even deeper in programs that progressives cherish. Why are progressives so stupid? Why do they want California taxpayers to subsidize German and Asian rail companies?

  • ||

    As far as I can tell they are genetically incapable of doing the cost part of cost-benefit analysis. And internalizing really big numbers. The government has infinite money, or at least it would if "the rich" weren't hoarding it all.

  • Paul||

    and it will absolutely bankrupt California forcing it cut even deeper in programs that progressives cherish. Why are progressives so stupid?

    As long as the progressives remain employed, they win.

  • Rock Action ||

    No, it's a pissing match victory they want to stuff up people's asses. That's all. Even they know they're lying.

    The sign? Their universal response to the sheer stupidity of it will be something like, "It's a first step."

  • Rock Action ||

    That was a response to Apologetic CA.

  • ||

    It would never get built. CAHSR only has two years to break ground or lose the money and the Democrat congressman said it plainly: no fucking way this is getting built.

    "If they proceed along this path, they'll have a very strenuous opposition from me," Rep. Dennis Cardoza, whose district includes counties north of the proposed route, said Wednesday. "We'll look at every crack and crevice in how they can justify this proposal that ... was done in a secretive and deceptive way."

  • Rock Action ||

    I was agreeing with your sentiment, really. Because from the looks of it, no rational person would support this unless it's a pure political stance or an attempt to sink enough money into a project that voters won't accept a sunk cost.

  • ||

    So presented with the choice of being a child rapist or serial killer, which would libertarians choose?

    Come on, just answer the question you despicable pedophile/psychopath!

    I can't believe people here don't realize that SM is using one of the oldest trolls in the book: the false dilemma.

    There is no way to answer a false dilemma. The only proper way to respond is just to ignore the asshole of a troll who thinks he's being clever. Yup you sure showed libertarians how wrong they are! Too bad the false dilemma can be used to convince any idiot that you are winning an argument on literally any subject. Really try it some time!

    So SM, what if utilitarianism led to the realization that humanity is really better off not existing at all, that the net suffering of humanity always outweighs the net happiness? Would you destroy all of humanity because of utilitarian ideology? So choose one way, and you're a hypocritical flip-flopper with no integrity. Choose the other and you're a mass murderer. HAHA I WIN, YOU LOSE, SUCK IT!

  • Tb||

    Actually an easy choice for a false dilemma. I'd be a Dexter-style serial killer who used Radley Balko's posts to find my targets.

  • Mr. Mistoffelees||

    But some libertarians ARE child rapists or serial killers.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "But some libertarians ARE child rapists or serial killers."

    Is there a point to this?

  • PIRS||

    I guess I was hoping that if I tried to find out what his / her actual concerns were I might be able to convince this person. Perhaps I was being too optimistic.

    I don't like the idea of just "blowing someone off" if I detect even a hint of curiosity.

  • ||

    PIRS, there is no such thing as "convincing" a troll.

  • Adam||

    It's not the troll that you should be trying to convince. It's the undecided person lurking in the comment section who is reading both sides of the argument who is your real audience, not the troll.

    That's why tactics such as sevo's are so unhelpful. All that does is make it look like the troll has actually made a point that can't be refuted.

  • PIRS||

    "It's the undecided person lurking in the comment section who is reading both sides of the argument who is your real audience, not the troll."

    Very good point. But if I "could" convince SM that would be a nice bonus. Brazen insults help noone in any case.

  • PIRS||

    But you are correct it is a false dilema he is presenting.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Do you know what it's like to fall in the mud and get kicked... in the head... with an iron boot? Of course you don't, no one does. It never happens. Sorry, Ted, that's a dumb question... skip that.

  • Mr Whipple||

    I'd choose to be a sheep fucker. But only with the consenting sheep.

  • SM||

    I provided no false dilemma...i asked a hypothetical....that could absolutely happen.

    And no one here has answered it.

    Its a simple question: if you realize your ideology leads to terrible effects compared to the alternatives, would you be willing to abandon it?

    I'd say yes, if i was stuck following a rigid ideology. What about you?

  • juris imprudent||

    Lying troll. You did indeed assert a false dilemma, and brushed off every counter as a "baseless assertion".

    I wondered what the hell caused an almost 500 comment thread on CA HSR - a brilliant bit of performance art.

  • Turd Feruson||

    wow what an amazingly dishonest asshole. you guys got trolled good. this is a funny comment stream. SM must work for Reason...

  • ||

    So presented with the choice of being a child rapist or serial killer, which would libertarians choose?

    Why do I have to choose?

    Kill, rape, eat. Repeat.

    Have you seen my kidskin gloves?
    Soooooft.

  • Jason S.||

    Never forget that this section of the proposed rail project goes right through the Mussel Slough area. That's where settlers were killed in 1880 over disputed land prices that the greedy rent-seeking Southern Pacific Railroad tycoons had advertised. The tragedy was the inspiration for Frank Norris' "The Octopus" and for California populists.

    Greedy capitalist Kochtopus pig dogs should never forget that. California will lead the way to liberty and environmental social justice once again, step-child.

  • PIRS||

    "California will lead the way to liberty and environmental social justice once again, step-child."

    How is that unemployment rate working out for you California?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I propose we make the mention of "Kochtopus" by socialists, a "DRINK!" moment. Who's with me?

  • PIRS||

    I second the motion. The motion is now on the floor.

  • Jason S.||

    California's HSR will bring 80,000 new jobs to suffering "New Appalachia" of the San Joaquin Valley. Yes, there will be much drink. And food and poetry slams.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    *ahem*

    DRINK!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    That was a test drink.

  • Jason S.||

    It's never too early to salute California's bitch sisters Stockton, Merced, Bakersfield and Fresno with a taste of the old purple drank.

    High speed rail, yes we can! A new railroad for a new California, Meg Whitman.

  • PIRS||

    Drink

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I hoist my third mid-Saturday shot of Jagermeister in your direction, sir.

  • Jason S.||

    Aye, Jagermeister. Why do libertarians enjoy abuse?

    I'll stick to my grape Kool-Aid without the alcohol, thanky much. It's the awesomest catastrogeddon.

  • Mr Whipple||

    How about mention of the "Kochtopus" by Voluntaryists, and other anarcho-capitalists and Austrians? There's still a little tension there.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    That may be, but IMO it's as unfounded as the anti-Koch bleatings of the far left.

  • Mr. Mistoffelees||

    Yes. With Magnets!

  • Mr Whipple||

    ...and the greedy billionaire enviro-fascist Maurice Strong? I'm sure there's plenty of Social Justice for him trading carbon credits.

  • ||

    But if I "could" convince SM that would be a nice bonus.

    You crazy dreamer, you!

  • prolefeed||

    This craziness echoes the stupidity of the rail they're trying to build on Oahu. First leg: starts in an empty dirt field and runs to a residential area.

    At one point it wasn't planned, for insanely stupid political reasons, to go to Waikiki, the airport, or the University of Hawaii. They've now added the airport (but are running into problems because the projected terminal is too high and would put planes taking off at risk of running into it), but not Waikiki or UH.

  • Adam||

    Hawaii actually had a railroad system before there were roads, but it got wiped out by a tsunami:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaii_Consolidated_Railway

  • Kolohe||

    I agree that building out vice in first (and especially from Kapolei to Waipahu) is massively stupid*, but if one were to have a mass transit system (that is, aside from TheBus) there's a case to be made for preferring running the line from Salt Lake to Downtown for commuters, to mitigate the massive historic fail of the Middle Street merge.

    The tourists going from HNL to Waikiki are already pretty well served by Roberts (and other shuttles) going down Nimitz highway.

    *every other city rail system in history started in and then worked their way out.

  • prolefeed||

    To further explain the crazy political logic above: to get this train authorized, they needed to get 5 out of 9 members of the city council on board, and 50.1%+ of the voters on Oahu to vote for it. To get that vote on the city council, they yanked the route away from the airport and ran it through a residential area for the crucial 5th vote. This plan barely squeaked by the voters, then after the vote someone on the city council died and her replacement made it possible to reconnect the airport to the planned route.

    Don't even get me going on the clusterfuck of the obviously fake numbers on projected ridership or costs to build and maintain it.

    A mass of lies and subterfuge all the way.

  • Kolohe||

    And then you had one of the other five, then councilmember and now soon to be ex-congressman Charles Dijou, that several months after all you describe, finally said 'Hey why aren't we starting from Downtown to Ala Moana and then work are way out?"

    The whole bunch make Rich Daley (sr.) and Boss Tweed look like paragons of technocratic leadership.

  • prolefeed||

    +well over $4.5 billion

  • prolefeed||

    I propose we make the mention of "Kochtopus" by socialists, a "DRINK!" moment. Who's with me?

    PIRS|12.4.10 @ 12:12PM|#

    I second the motion. The motion is now on the floor.

    If we drank every time this happened, the motion would not be the only thing on the floor (and passed out in a pool of vomited 4Loko).

  • hmm||

    I really need to get a job working for Koch. That will complete my trifecta of evil doing and world domination.

  • ||

    Don't even get me going on the clusterfuck of the obviously fake numbers on projected ridership or costs to build and maintain it.


    In response to this editorial supporting high speed rail between Detroit and Chicago in the local rag I made this comment -

    Should this get funded, it will -
    1) Cost more to build than projected.
    2) Cost more to operate than projected.
    3) Have fewer riders than projected.
    4) Increase the state's budget woes.

    I think support for high speed rail among the progressives can be explained by some people never getting over not finding a Lionel set under the tree.

    I make this prediction whenever a public transit project is discussed, confident that I will never be proved wrong.

  • ||

    @SM 12.3.10 @9:34pm (submitted here because the nested "reply to this" buttons quit working for me a month or two ago:

    "I find it strange to pretend that children 'volunteered' to be under their parents control...but anyways..."

    I was at the Bill Cosby show in Santa Cruz over the Thanksgiving Holiday, and he proposed an interesting answer to the common child's whine: "I didn't ask to be born!" In this story, his daughter had once hurled that venerable chestnut at her parents.

    Bill pointed out that about ten months before his daughter was born, he initiated a race of several tens of millions of potential babies. (He seemed very proud of this.) In competition with all those others, his daughter reached the finish line first, thus qualifying for birth and also making it impossible for any other baby to be born on that occasion. As Bill put it, "you could have made a left turn."

    So even though asking to be born isn't technically the same as winning the race, being born is the natural consequence of participating in and winning that race. Similarly, if you get in your car and drive until you run out of gas, maybe you never "ask" to end up in Needles or Lodi. But if you are honest, you can trace your own actions back through the causal chain that led there. At some primal level, the winner of Cosby's race "wanted" to live, though without comprehension of (or even the possibility of comprehending) the consequences of taking the steps to achieve the goal. This is the way it is for all of us, throughout life. Clearly, the potential baby wanted to live, enough to win the race. Clearly, a helpless child needs support, in order to continue living; in order to provide that support effectively, parents must exert a certain amount of control over their children until they can exercise self-control. In most cases, most of the time, putting up with parental control gives the child the best chance at continued life; and at some primal level, I think children understand this. Once they mature and acquire the conviction that the opposite is true, they go their own ways.

  • prolefeed||

    Once they mature and acquire the conviction that the opposite is true, they go their own ways.

    If they don't mature and also fail to acquire the oftentimes dubious conviction stated above, sometimes they are forcibly ejected from the nest.

  • PIRS||

    Both beautiful and profound!

  • Liberal Douchebag||

    But... but... children are still children until the age of twenty-seven!

  • prolefeed||

    I make this prediction whenever a public transit project is discussed, confident that I will never be proved wrong.

    You might be wrong occasionally on number 3, but exceeding the projected ridership on a rail line that requires massive subsidies per rider is perhaps even more of an economic (though rarely political) fail.

  • ||

    I remember the "overpasses to nowhere" that were so prominent in the Silicon Valley (San Jose) skyline for so many years during the 1980s. But they finally did finish them (in part because the unfinished overpasses were so absurd that the people clamored for them to be finished), and the new highways did prove to be helpful. So I'm not that quick to mock the HSR to nowhere. Politicians aren't stupid. Once we have committed so many resources to a useless and idle stretch of the route, people will be loath to write off that expense; instead, they will push to connect the cities to each other through this already-commenced line, thus committing even more billions of dollars and other resources to the project. The politicians can also say that they looked after the interests of the less-advantaged in CA first, by putting the first stretch through the Central Valley, engendering "good jobs" and guaranteeing that Central Valley locations will be served by the resulting system. The decision looks mad, but there is method in't.

    I think, nevertheless, that the decision-makers made a mistake. They should have worked to increase transit ridership in future HSR hub regions, so as to stimulate the demand for HSR trips. The least expensive, most effective way to do that, in my opinion, would be to build up Personal Rapid Transit systems in each targeted locality. These would serve first as local transit, getting people accustomed to using mass transit instead of cars for many trips, in more comfort and security than via bus, and at a fraction of the cost of light-rail.
    With PRT systems in place, the HSR terminals could then be built on the outskirts of town, and the HSR lines could avoid having to pass through suburbs and inner-cities, making their construction easier, quicker, and less expensive, too.

    In a properly designed PRT system, everyone in the service area lives or works within a block of a PRT access point; HSR passengers would use the 3-4 person vehicles of the PRT to get to and from the local HSR terminal. Their cars would stay garaged at home or wherever they were normally stored, not needing to be parked in huge, short-term or long-term lots at the terminal.

    If this approach is at all interesting to you, learn more about PRT in general here: http://kinetic.seattle.wa.us/prt.html

    You can also learn more about the ULTra implementation of PRT, which is now serving Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport in London, here: http://www.ultraprt.com/

    As to why a self-professed Libertarian favors this idea, I have two big reasons:

    1) I think PRT, alone of other transit approaches I have experienced or studied, has the potential to break even or make a profit as a privately funded and operated enterprise.

    2) If government maintains a stranglehold on (mass) transportation, at least the PRT approach can make best use of the dollars confiscated from us by government for transit purposes, minimizing the damage that the tax man does to our pocketbooks, and maximizing the utility we get for our money.

  • alan||

    It's not the troll that you should be trying to convince. It's the undecided person lurking in the comment section who is reading both sides of the argument who is your real audience, not the troll.

    That's why tactics such as sevo's are so unhelpful. All that does is make it look like the troll has actually made a point that can't be refuted.

    Take the tact that you are most comfortable with of course, but from my own formative experience, that is not the only valid course. I was a libertarian leaning democrat as a teen up to a few months after the Dukakis fiasco which forced me to reexamine my political beliefs, and for a year or so I thought I might have been a conservative until one Sunday I saw something that convinced me libertarianism was the only creed consistent enough for me. William F. Buckley was promoting a book on national service, involuntary servitude to the state, on his PBS show. Milton Friedman was the guest. From the moment Michael Kinsley finished with his preamble, Uncle Milty got up and bitched slapped WFB from one end of the studio to the other. A right hook here, a left there, a snap kick to the plexes, he had WFB tossed on the ground, defenseless, and, relentlessly, he then preceded to snap every bone in the effete patrician's body. He ended the show by tossing him into the audience and pissing on his head. It was truly amazing. I had watched every episode up to that point only to see guest give at best as much to the spar as WFB did, but the Uncle Milty match up was entirely one sided.

    So, it wasn't playing nice that got my attention.

  • MNG||

    I doubt Friedman called Buckley an asshole...

    But who didn't want to at some time in that guy's life?

  • alan||

    I may have exaggerated a wee bit.

  • MNG||

    Wow, you have to give this SM credit, here we have a 300+ thread with no evolution, Sarah Palin or existence of God debates. In fact it was once a debate about mass transit for Pete's sake!!!!

    SM, stick around. Me, Tony and Chad can take a lot more vacations.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Jesus, MNG... don't encourage him.

  • SIV||

    Me, Tony and Chad can take a lot more vacations.

    Fuck!

    Is MNG really just a commenter/editor posing as a douchebag liberal? I never engage the "trolls" but now I'm second guessing myself.

  • SIV||

    Me, Tony and Chad can take a lot more vacations.

    Fuck!

    Is MNG really just a commenter/editor posing as a douchebag liberal? I never engage the "trolls" but now I'm second guessing myself.

  • SIV||

    Me, Tony and Chad can take a lot more vacations.

    Fuck!

    Is MNG really just a commenter/editor posing as a douchebag liberal? I never engage the "trolls" but now I'm second guessing myself.

  • SIV||

    Me, Tony and Chad can take a lot more vacations.

    Fuck!

    Is MNG really just a commenter/editor posing as a douchebag liberal? I never engage the "trolls" but now I'm second guessing myself.

  • SIV||

    Me, Tony and Chad can take a lot more vacations.

    Fuck!

    Is MNG really just a commenter/editor posing as a douchebag liberal? I never engage the "trolls" but now I'm second guessing myself.

  • SIV||

    Me, Tony and Chad can take a lot more vacations.

    Fuck!

    Is MNG really just a commenter/editor posing as a douchebag liberal? I never engage the "trolls" but now I'm second guessing myself.

  • SIV||

    Me, Tony and Chad can take a lot more vacations.

    Fuck!

    Is MNG really just a commenter/editor posing as a douchebag liberal? I never engage the "trolls" but now I'm second guessing myself.

  • SIV||

    Me, Tony and Chad can take a lot more vacations.

    Fuck!

    Is MNG really just a commenter/editor posing as a douchebag liberal? I never engage the "trolls" but now I'm second guessing myself.

  • SIV||

    Me, Tony and Chad can take a lot more vacations.

    Fuck!

    Is MNG really just a commenter/editor posing as a douchebag liberal? I never engage the "trolls" but now I'm second guessing myself.

  • SIV||

    Me, Tony and Chad can take a lot more vacations.

    Fuck!

    Is MNG really just a commenter/editor posing as a douchebag liberal? I never engage the "trolls" but now I'm second guessing myself.

  • SIV||

    Me, Tony and Chad can take a lot more vacations.

    Fuck!

    Is MNG really just a commenter/editor posing as a douchebag liberal? I never engage the "trolls" but now I'm second guessing myself.

  • SIV||

    Me, Tony and Chad can take a lot more vacations.

    Fuck!

    Is MNG really just a commenter/editor posing as a douchebag liberal? I never engage the "trolls" but now I'm second guessing myself.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The squirrels got you something fierce there, SIV.

  • -||

    This is a thread to nowhere.

  • Threadjacker in MNGs Nitemares||

    Wow, you have to give this SM credit, here we have a 300+ thread with no evolution, Sarah Palin or existence of God debates. In fact it was once a debate about mass transit for Pete's sake!!!!

    Do you know who rides government trains? Sarah Palin! And she talks about God and how evolution is a crock of shiite!!!11!1

  • shrike hopping the boxcar||

    and Palin's one of those capitalist stooge Christ-fag gay-hating anti-woman types

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Tell me the last time you organized a campaign to vote in a new ceo of a private tyranny and i'll tell you the last time we did so to change a public one."

    How long did Ted Kennedy serve? Or Roy Blunt from Missouri? That fucker's STILL in office.

    And that's just two examples of people who pretty much can't get unelected at the snap of some fingers, SM.

  • Torqeedo electric motor||

    torqeedo

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Any time now, SM is going to turn into another Max or shrike or Tony or Chad. The thinly-veiled pretense of wanting civilized discourse will slip, and out will come the "you're all just a bunch of pot-smoking Republicans"-style bullshit.

    The veneer is cracking. Wait for it, the hideous grain will soon show itself.

  • ||

    What thinly-veiled pretense???

    I'm pretty sure a false dilemma involving Somalia is the opposite of civilized discourse...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt re: his initial posts in other threads, which I have not looked up due to having too much fun with him on this thread.

    But, yeah, Somalia is usually the first false dilemma his kind use in their "I'm right, everyone else is fucked in the head for not being liberal" arguments.

  • Xmas||

    I think SM is actually a computer program with an auto-reply function.

  • ||

    When i see a policy is failing, having unintended effects, is outdated, etc, i think we should remove it, and come up with a better one (or none if needbe) that confronts reality in a logical way.

    Yet, as I noted, statism has led to the deaths of hundreds ofmillions, yet you still cling to it.

  • ||

    Well, As near as I can tell SM believes that we should have learned what a failure libertarianism is from the administration of that great libertarian George Bush.

  • ||

    SM|12.4.10 @ 9:38PM|#

    I stopped reading when you told me not to thank the government for forcing the public utilities to wires up my house with electricity...


    OK, now we've established who has no idea what he's talking about.

  • ||

    Not that it wasn't firmly established earlier.

    SM|12.4.10 @ 2:17PM|#

    Tell me the last time you organized a campaign to vote in a new ceo of a private tyranny and i'll tell you the last time we did so to change a public one.

  • ||

    This is the cost to the American taxpayers for a last ditch effort to save Jim Costa's seat in the house of reps. Thanks America for the redistribution of your money to a lame project that could only be seen as a make work political payment.

  • ||

    This High Speed Rail Train to nowhere is no more INSANE than the IDIOTS in California who keep voting for Democrats.

    The little poetry session with Van Jones and the untalented "talent" was a waste of time.

    THIS is indeed California - Socialist Wasteland. Bye, bye.

  • Paul||

    Why does the fat white girl try to sound like Eve? Is there something about poetry slams that turn erstwhile white'n nerdy kids into 'hip hop' artists?

    Nothing like a red-headed white kid saying stuff like "You wouldn't understand 'cause it's a ghetto thang."

  • Rhywun||

    Yeah, this plan is pure boondoggle. Moreover, it's a slap in the face to "market urbanists" like me who are sick and tired of being played for fools by successive generations of politicians who think they can get our support by tossing us shiny new projects the need for which has no basis in reality. Of course, they don't need support from folks like me any more - which is why we're all over-paying for stuff like this rather than paying market rates for stuff we actually need. I like to toss in an additional argument that's heretical to the folks who benefit from the current arrangement but is gaining ground even in certain, usually left-leaning circles I sometimes hang around: the notion that fares ought to cover the actual cost of building, running, and maintaining this stuff. Americans tend to think that transit is only for losers so it became the standard practice to charge no more than even the most menial laborer would find trivial. It's encouraging that people who put a lot of thought into these matters, with the goal of improving mobility rather than lining their pockets or buying votes, are coming around to the notion that "you can't get something for nothing" anymore. If only all those damn politicians weren't standing in the way.

  • LifeStrategies||

    As only libertarians seem to appreciate, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. So politicians continue to promise free lunches to gullible citizens who then vote for them. When will they realize? And when they do, how to get rid of them?

    Answer: Amend the US Constitution. Switzerland copied the US constitution, eliminated many such flaws, and is now one of the most prosperous and safe countries in the world. See http://www.lifestrategies.net/switzerland

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