The Koch Brothers' Right-Wing Conspiracy to Undermine the PATRIOT Act

In responding to our own Nick Gillespie, Jonathan Chait writes:

...the Kochs will happily put their money behind candidates and intellectuals who agree with their economic agenda but disagree with their social agenda. They will never put their money behind candidates or intellectuals of whom the reverse is true.

In the same post, Chait runs off a series of sums the Kochs have spent over the years on various right-wing causes. Curiously missing, however, is the $20 million donation the Kochs made to the ACLU to fight the Bush administration over the PATRIOT Act. Browsing various accounts of the Kochs political spending over the years, that $20 million appears to be substantially more than the Kochs have contributed to all political candidates combined for at least the last 15 years. (Their gifts to the arts and other non-political charities exceeds what they've spent on politics many times over.)

Now maybe we shouldn't fault Chait for overlooking the ACLU donation. The Kochs don't appear to have gone out of their way to publicize it. (Though, curiously, when they don't publicize their contributions to free market causes, it tends to be interpreted as stealthy or manipulative.) It's also not nearly as prominently reported on the web as the gifts they've made to free market organizations. There's another mention on the Faces of Philanthropy site, which appears to be down right now. But here's a cached version. I suspect the mere possibility that the Kochs could make such a gift didn't enter the minds of most people who have written about all of this. It wasn't mentioned in Jane Mayer's much-hyped New Yorker expose, either. I should note that both the linked sources above are secondhand, and I'm waiting to hear back from the ACLU for confirmation.

The Kochs' contributions to political candidates are often touted as the true indicator of what the family and their company really stand for. I'm not particularly fond of most of the politicians the Kochs have supported over the years, but it seems to me that this is precisely backwards. It's not only significant that the Kochs' contributions to actual politicians are dwarfed by gifts like the one they made to the ACLU, their spending to found and fund think tanks, and their contributions to non-political causes like the arts and medical research—this is precisely the point.

Yes, like most corporations, the Kochs spend money on the political process to protect their interests, sometimes on unlibertarian politicians and unlibertarian causes. Sure, go ahead and criticize them for that. But though I've never met either of the Koch brothers, I suspect that like most libertarians, they'd rather avoid the unseemly world of politics as often as possible, where winning generally means forcing other people to bend to your will. (David Koch did run for Vice President on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1980, but on a platform of legalizing drugs and prostitution, and abolishing the FBI and CIA.) They seem more interested in contributing to voluntary, civil society, by promoting ideas (yes, through think tanks and magazines like Reason), the arts, research, and by fighting particularly pernicious laws like the PATRIOT Act through the courts instead of through contributions to generally spineless politicians. (That latter strategy appears to have been the correct one—the courts have done far more to restrict executive power in the war on terror than Congress has.)

This approach is certainly reflected in their giving patterns. It's true, when you strip away all their giving that didn't go to political candidates, as Chait does, the Kochs look fairly right-wing. But you've also just stripped away the vast, vast majority of Koch giving. The more complete picture is pretty doctrinaire libertarian, with support not just for civil liberties, but donations to promote civil society in general.

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  • Hugh Akston||

    The more complete picture is pretty doctrinaire libertarian, with support not just for civil liberties, but donations to promote civil society in general.

    The most damning indictment of all.

  • Joshua||

    "...support not just for civil liberties..."
    A few seconds reading the Chait post & what struck me was that they were complaining that the Kochtopus hadn't donated any money to "liberals".

    Well... When was the last time liberals were liberal? The democrats have a terrible track record for defending even non-economic freedom lately. They support the patriot act, the drug war, war war, eminent domain for private purposes, licensing BS, etc.

    It took them almost two frickin' years to let people who like teh buttsex have the same opportunity to get shot at as everybody else fercrissakes!

  • ||

    ^^^THIS.^^^

  • ||

    I like the Kochs, and think they are patriots, but be honest, if it wasn't for the Kochs, Radley Balko would be selling insurance. Also where is the shoe-throwing at Obama for signing the Patriot Act?

  • ||

    I like the Kochs, and think they are patriots, but be honest, if it wasn't for the Kochs, Radley Balko would be selling insurance. Also where is the shoe-throwing at Obama for signing the Patriot Act?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Balko does a lot of good stuff on here and on his blog. So... fuck off, Pat.

  • ||

    It doesn't matter how many words you spill on this subject, Radley. The left (and the right) are composed of mindless partisans who take their marching orders from their functionally retarded talking heads, and once something gets in their heads, it ain't coming out--ever. Because they need boogeymen. They need someone to hate, someone who they can point to and say "that's why the world is shitty/isn't exactly the way I want it!" Once you give them one, expecting them to change about it is like asking someone to think of Mirror Universe Kirk as a good guy.

    Koch == evil right wing corporate puppet masters to them. That's it. Game over, man. Game over.

  • ||

    You know who my bogeymen are? People who spell "bogeyman" with two O's.

  • Humphry Boogart||

    I don't get it.

  • Spiny Norman||

    It really gets my goot.

  • Progressive||

    See my post below. Pwned.

  • ||

    I know, Tulpa, I know. Why do you think I haven't bothered to correct my spelling of it? Because I knew it would drive you nuts.

  • ||

    Well, is my face red or what. I won't overestimate your maturity level again.

  • ||

    Be sure that you don't. My maturity level is impossible to overestimate, as I don't have one.

  • Yer Mom||

    Episiarch wins.

  • First Prize||

    H&R's biggest asshole?

  • Should be boogie-man||

  • Boogeyman||

    Everybody spells my fucking name wrong. I've just learned to live with it.

  • Tony||

    But your pigeonholing of every person who belongs to a political party is borne of deep insight and thoughtful reflection.

  • Only mindless pigeons...||

    ..get pigeonholed. Does not take much insight or reflection.

  • ||

    Let's equate the Tony sockpuppet to Star Trek characters for laughs. I was going to start with Wesley Crusher, but I think the neural parasites of Deneva are better.

  • ||

    The flying raviolis?

  • ||

    Don't get off topic. Now you, I would equate to Harry Mudd.

  • ||

    Oh, please. Sargon at the very least.

    Besides, I wasn't off topic. I've always thought those things looked like ravioli.

    You know, Kirk had it rough. They killed his brother, his childhood included some time on a planet where Kodos slaughtered a bunch of people, his best friend becomes a god he has to kill, his son gets killed by Klingons, etc.

  • Neu Mejican||

    More fried eggs, no?

  • ||

    I was thinking more the Franco-American ravioli than the Chef Boyardee. Not to be confused with actual ravioli, which is edible.

  • ||

    Oh, dude, I have one: Hengist.

    Redjac, Redjac, Redjac!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I was thinking Tony and his ilk are more like Dr. Van Gelder from the "Dagger of the Mind" episode.

  • ||

    Anyway, what about a literal puppet from the show? Balok!

  • ||

    Tribbles - annoying pests that multiply like mad, eat you out of house and home and makes sounds that Nichelle Nichols likes.

  • DNS||

    Let's equate the Tony sockpuppet to Star Trek characters for laughs.


    The big, flying space candy bar from ST: The Voyage Home. The one that threw a fit because there weren't any whales to talk to.

  • ||

    Not bad. I'm sticking with Balok, the puppet, however.

  • ||

    What about the salt vampire?

    Would you like some tranya, Harry...I mean ProL?

  • ||

    Nah, too sophisticated.

    Though your tranya comment makes me think about that freaked out navigator who Kirk gives away to some alien he barely knows. Why couldn't Picard do that with Wesley? Like to Q? One episode and done--boom!

  • ||

    I still would have preferred that Wesley die in the type of transporter malfunction that happened in the first movie. After being molested by The Traveler. And being sentenced to death for breaking a law on that planet.

  • ||

    A painful death of some sort would be preferable. I like the idea of the death being intentional and delivered by an Enterprise crew member. Maybe Worf. Better yet, Kirk.

    You know, he actually did get killed in the second Q episode, where Q offers Riker (!?) Q powers. Shot dead. Right there, we were almost free.

    In most alternative universes, Wesley was killed off, and Wil Wheaton got to skip having to apologize for the character and became a brilliantly successful author/porn star.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Wil Wheaton got to skip having to apologize for the character and became a brilliantly successful author/porn star.

    Hanging out with Charlie Sheen...

  • ||

    I see you've been to an alternative universe with a higher probability than ours!

  • ||

    Yeah, if they were so in love with the whales, why were they trying to vaporize the ocean? Never could figure that one out.

  • ||

    It's because the actual message was a take-out order. For whale meat.

  • ||

    Who cares? We got to hear Kirk say "double dumbass on you". Do you need any further justifications?

  • Tony||

    Just an unforeseen side effect. The whales needed to be there to tell them to quit.

  • Tony||

    Obviously Epi would be the Ferengi Leck, a sociopath among anarcho-capitalists.

  • ||

    Say, that's not bad.

  • ||

    No, that isn't bad. But I'd prefer to be the animal side of Kirk when he gets split into two in "The Enemy Within". I could scream "I'M CAPTAIN KIRK" with Spizz Energi's "Where's Captain Kirk" playing in the background.

  • ||

    I was thinking the professor who tried out Nazism for fun.

  • ||

    Tulpa should be Commodore Decker.

  • ||

    Decker gets to become a superbeing via mating with a hot Indian chick. Well, Deltan, I guess.

  • ||

    There's always the M-5.

  • ||

    Wrong Decker. I linked the TOS Decker, not the TMP Decker, who was the TOS Decker's son.

    Here's Warty.

  • ||

    For once, I have no counter. That is Warty.

    Sorry I didn't look at your picture. You're right about that one, too. That's Tulpa. He stole a shuttlecraft from me just last week.

  • ||

    Here's NutraSweet.

  • BakedPenguin||

    What? I thought this was SugarFree...

  • ||

    I already called ProL Harry Mudd. Besides, isn't a criminal hippie doctor with huge ears perfect for NutraSweet?

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yes, you're right. It must have been an early photo, though...

  • ||

    Also, I have landed on the appropriate character for Tony.

  • ||

    Heh, not far off. Right down to the thirteen-o-clock-shadow.

    I'm just glad you didn't assign me Dexter Remmick.

  • ||

    The Edo of Rubicun III. They are ditzy, free-loving, child-like race that play and wish each other health and happiness. They are protected by an advanced race of beings that orbit the Edo's planet and give the Edo everything they need. In return, the Edo worship them as gods. They have no system of laws except that if they enter a forbidden zone they will be executed. They will be executed so as not to displease their protective gods. There is only one punishment: death. Unaware of the law, Wesley entered into the forbidden zone while playing with the other children; the Edo insisted he must be executed.

  • ||

    Nice. And improved with a threat to Wesley's existence.

    Those were the people in togas who ran everywhere, right?

  • ||

    Skimpy white outfits. Mostly blonds. Ran everywhere. Dance and played all the time.

  • ||

    Oh, I remember it well, since it teased me with the possibility of Wesley's execution. I mean, they killed Tasha Yar (thank Jeebus); why not Wesley?

  • ||

    They only killed Tasha because Denise Crosby quit the show.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I would suggest Lwaxana Troi: absentminded, arrogant, intolerable, and wholly unburdened by self-awareness. The fact that he likes to take mudbaths with young Klingon boys is more than a coincidence.

  • Old Mexican||

    There seems to be a mosquito buzzing around.

  • Trespassers W||

    It's going "zzzzzzzz tu quoque zzzzzzz"

  • ||

    The Koches fulfill the same function as George Soros does for the dittoheads.

  • sevo||

    "The Koches fulfill the same function as George Soros does for the dittoheads."

    If Soros donated $20m to Institute for Justice, you might have a point.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Soros has given large sums of money to anti-WoD organizations.

  • Ted S.||

    Despite Limbaugh's drug-related run-ins, I don't think dittoheads are opposed to the WoD.

    Not that I've heard a single second of Limbaugh's program in a decade or more.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'll say it again: The only admirable Soros trait is his anti-WoD stance, and even then he shouldn't be trusted.

  • ||

    Is that right, you're a bright fellow!

  • cynical||

    Pretty much. And for the same reason -- MoveOn.org got the right's attention, I imagine it was AFP that alerted the left.

  • ||

    Curiously missing, however, is the $20 million donation the Kochs made to the ACLU to fight the Bush administration over the PATRIOT Act.

    Jon Chait is a walking, talking argument for the correctness of Roe v. Wade.

  • ||

    I still haven't seen a list of viable candidates who support the full libertarian social agenda (ie, legalizing prostitution, ending the drug war, ending eminent domain abuse). The left can't honestly fault the Koches for failing to donate money to nonexistent candidates.

  • Juice||

    Ron Paul? Maybe Gary Johnson?

  • ||

    Maybe I should have put "viable" in bold.

  • ||

    I'm not sure Johnson isn't viable. He is a governor, which we usually like, and he might have a better chance if the economy stays weak.

    He appears to be a less than awesome campaigner, but he was good enough to be elected governor, and it's not like we've been awed by the campaign skills of, well, anybody in some time.

  • ||

    Reminds me of my short-lived political love affair with Bill Richardson.

  • ||

    Actually, that's occurred to me, too. I have to admit that I thought Richardson might have a chance at the Democratic nomination in 2008, which was dramatically wrong.

  • Neu Mejican||

    The skills you need to be successful in politics in New Mexico, make it difficult to get past the scrutiny given to national candidates. If you make it through, however, those skills will make you a master when dealing with other less than ethical Washington D.C. scum. Richardson has been successful dealing with Kim Jung and Saddam...primarily because he knows how they think...intimately.

    (~_^)

  • Jary Gohnson||

    Gary Johnson >> Doug Turner >> CFR

    Bill Richardson >> CFR

  • Jim||

    Candidates, or VIABLE candidates? The LP runs a lot of people all over the country on those platforms, but not being a member of the Imperial Party (with it's Blue / Red sub-units), they don't get a lot of mention.

    I get the point of the article, but seriously, the Super Kochio Bros. could make the difference to an LP guy running for state office somewhere, who just needs a little financial boost to get his name out there. A lot of times, people run for reelection in districts unopposed by the other Team, and an LP alternative could be a big deal.

  • ||

    That's because I haven't run for any office in a decade, and the last time I did, I killed a $47M blank-check bond issue.

  • Tman||

    "But then, most reporters writing articles about the Kochs' political contributions didn't bother to look."

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    (Or, worse, they looked and failed to report it.) "

    More likely. If it doesn't fit the narrative, why would they include it? It's not like the left is known for its journalistic honesty.

    That's the thing that's driving me crazy about the Union protests. The blatant dishonesty on the part of the media in covering these events is borderline treasonous. Considering we went from the media blaming the right for the Tucson tragedy -even after it was shown that the gunman had zero ties whatsoever with the right- to completely ignoring the protesters in Wisconsin calling for violent reprisals against Republicans, why would anyone trust them at all?

  • Rock Action ||

    I remember when Eric Alterman called conservatives complaining about media bias "working the refs." I thought, don't worry there, sad lefty, they're straight out of professional wrestling. Won't matter a bit.

  • Colin||

    Sorry, Radley, but the truth has no standing in the world of left-wing dogma.

    Once they've categorized you as "evil," no amount of "truth" will change this in their shallow, brittle minds.

  • ||

    What is 'truth' anyway?

    Isn't truth just a matter of perspective? Don't we all have different 'truths'? Why is one person's truth any pbetter than another.

    All I know is the voices of the powerless oppressed workers need to be heard. Lets just listen to THEIR truth, okay?

  • ||

    Detecting..trace amounts of sarcasm..

    possibly a college-dropout..
    or a Geico caveman..

    Maybe a false-positive.

  • The Dingos||

    The Koch Brothers ate my baby.

  • OUCH!||

  • ||

    All your boogeyman enemies in one happy bag:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/comm.....epublicans

  • Tman||

    Why did I click that link? Amanda freaking Marcotte?

    Ugh. Thanks for nothing CB.

  • mr simple||

    That New Yorker expose is a giant exercise in begging the question. The Kochs are presumed evil because they opposed Obama and progressive policies. They are pronounced as evil by leaders progressive NGOs, with no supporting reasons or examples, and it is taken as fact. The prog NGOs are unquestioningly called nonpartisan, while Koch supported NGOs' nonpartisanship is scoffed at because they often support right-wingy causes like lower taxes and free markets. It is very lazily written.

  • Juice||

    The writing wasn't lazy. The thinking was.

  • Old Mexican||

    Not the only one in the crossfire of the smear-o-rama:

    Hate-A-Rama: The Vulgar, Sexist, Racist, Homophobic Rage of the Left
    by Michelle Malkin

    http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=41999#

    The 20-minute phone call undermined the grand Koch conspiracy by exposing that Walker didn't know Koch at all. No matter. "Koch whore" is the new "Halliburton whore." The Captains of Civility are sticking to it. And the sanctimonious "No Labels" crowd is missing in action -- just like Wisconsin's Fleebagger Democrats.


    Paul Krugman Pulls the Race Card From the Deck's Bottom
    by John Tammy

    http://www.realclearmarkets.co.....98871.html

    For background, during Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony before Congress last week, Rep. Paul Ryan made the perfectly reasonable and economically tautological assertion that "There is nothing more insidious that a country can do to its people than to debase its currency." From Ryan's utterly harmless, though very correct statement, Krugman sickeningly derived racist overtones; his argument being that Abraham Lincoln devalued the dollar during the Civil War, and with Republicans (according to Krugman) no longer embracing Lincoln, any criticism of devaluationist policy is not just anti-Lincoln, but also racist for Lincoln's Civil War having sped the end of wrongheaded secessionist policies in the U.S.
  • ||

    Krugman may be a sulfuric acid enema for the soul, but he didn't make that argument. Just because the other side is dishonest doesn't mean we should be.

  • Old Mexican||

    Tulpa,

    but he didn't make that argument.


    Say whaaaaaat?

    What was odd about that choice? Well, Mr. DiLorenzo hasn’t actually written much about monetary policy, although he has described Fed policy — not just recently, but since the 1960s — as “legalized counterfeiting operations.” His main claim to fame, instead, is as a critic of Lincoln — he’s the author of “Lincoln Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe” — and as a modern-day secessionist.

    No, really: calls for secession run through many of Mr. DiLorenzo’s writings — for example, in his declaration that “healthcare freedom” won’t be restored until “some states begin seceding from the new American fascialistic state.” Raise the rebel flag![??????]

    [...]

    Wednesday’s hearings aren’t likely to have any immediate effect on monetary policy. But they offer a revealing — and appalling — look at the mind-set of one of our two major political parties. We’ve always known that the modern G.O.P. wants to take America back to the way it was before the New Deal; but now it’s clear that the party wants to build a bridge to the 19th century, and maybe even to the antebellum era.[??????] Backward, march!

    Wait, being anti-Fed makes one long for the antebellum era???

    So, Tulpa, WHO'S BEING DISHONEST?

  • ||

    He never said anything about opposing the Fed being racist, which was the point of the RCP "article".

  • Old Mexican||

    I don't know... Maybe I need to adjust the gain in my inuend-o-meter a little bit... maybe, but that seemed like innuendo to me.

  • Tncm||

    Paul Krugman has been relegated to total obscurity, with only his Ivy League PhD and Nobel Prize to comfort him. It won't be long until his mind completely deteriorates, leaving him only with the ability to mindlessly scream "AGGREGATE DEMAND!" over and over again.

  • ||

    "and sneered that she had "pulled a train" (a crude phrase for group sex)."

    -Michelle Malkin, explaining crude phrases to stodgy conservatives since 2004.

  • Jim||

    You're killing me, OM. Much like Michael Moore, anytime I see that I'm agreeing with Michelle Malkin, it makes me want to seriously examine all aspects of my thoughts to make sure I'm really not temp. crazy.

  • Old Mexican||

    Sometimes the easy-on-the-eyes, blood-thirsty neocon will be right. What can I say?

  • Jim||

    Broken clocks I suppose. But you're correct. I would do her.

  • David Koch||

    Don't hate me because I'm not into pole-dancers.

  • ||

    LASIK will fix that eye problem...

  • ||

    "...the Kochs will happily put their money behind candidates and intellectuals who agree with their economic agenda but disagree with their social agenda. They will never put their money behind candidates or intellectuals of whom the reverse is true."

    They won't give money to advance stupid economic policies?!

    That's unconscionable!

  • Steve Chaos||

    But they will give money to candidates who advance stupid social policies. That dichotomy is kind of the point, here.

  • ||

    Why?

    Why does caring more about economic policy matter?

  • Jim||

    ...because then you're just a non-socon republican. They do exist, and if we're going to say that we consider economic matters to trump social ones, then that's exactly what we are.

    Now I happen to think that since they donate heavily to areas which promote social libertarianism, they certainly aren't neocon monsters like the left likes to make them out. But the point of the article was to emphasize that, not to say that it's OK to weigh econ more heavily than social in our promotion of liberty.

  • ||

    People get to care about what they care about!

    Who died and said everybody has to care about the same things?!

    They're not a church. They're not Jesus!

    They care about what they care about--so what?! Why do they have to care about everything?

    They're giving money to the civil libertarians AND to the economic libertarians--but they're not giving money to socialists! ...and that's not fair?

    Why?!

  • Jim||

    We care IF we're defending them as libertarian standard-bearers. If they aren't, that's also OK, because as you correctly point out, people can care about whatever they want, and give money to whomever they want.

    The point is, a paragon of libertarianism shouldn't sacrifice the social for the economic. There'a a Team for that already.

  • ||

    "There'a a Team for that already."

    No there isn't.

    Not when the highest ranking Republican, John Boehner, supported both TARP and championed Medicare Prescription drug benefit.

    I don't know who's defending them as a paragon of libertarianism. How 'bout just as people? They have a right to give to whatever causes they like.

    I'm also defending myself and my fellow libertarians from being characterized as a class of dupes who wouldn't believe what we believe if it weren't for the Koch Brothers supporting whatever causes they care about.

    ...and if you haven't picked up on it yet? That's the base insinuation underlying all of this. They're saying that you--if you're a libertarian, if you were against TARP and against ObamaCare and are against bloated pensions for government employee unions--that you wouldn't believe what you believe if it weren't for the Koch Brothers giving their money to various causes.

    We should all stand up and make the people who are making those stupid charges look as foolish as they are.

    Demonizing the Koch Brothers, in other words, is just a way of saying that we regular libertarians are just a bunch of stupid dupes.

  • Jim||

    I'm not demonizing them at all. But I'm not going to blindly defend them, either, because they financed candidates whom I would oppose. Gave money to GW. I'm not going to defend that.

    But it's their right to do what they want with their money, and they certainly aren't part of any grand conspiracy, and I'll spit on any leftist that says so.

  • Apogee||

    is just a way of saying that we regular libertarians are just a bunch of stupid dupes.

    It's not so much of a personal insult, as it is a method to enable the left to avoid actually discussing the libertarian arguments.

    They've had it so easy for so many years - banging away at the SoCon nonsense that was just the flip side of lefty control.

    What really scares the shit out of them is the propensity for the libertarians to go after the GOP as well as the Dems.

    They have to try and construct a 'difference' between the policies of Bush and Bush Lite, because the exposure of so many people on the payroll is ruinous to their meme of helping 'the little guy'.

  • ||

    "What really scares the shit out of them is the propensity for the libertarians to go after the GOP as well as the Dems."

    I agree.

    The reason the Dems hate us isn't because we're economic conservatives--it's because we're farther to the left than they are on civil rights.

    P.S. The reason the Republicans hate us isn't because we support civil rights either--it's because we're farther to the right than they are economic issues.

  • ||

    Sure. That's why the linear political line actually curves back onto itself, with the libertarian ends converging at the top--of the Nolan Chart!

  • Joshua||

    Seriously - are there ANY Democrats who advance non-stupid social policies? As far as I can tell, the only social policies they seem to support are the ones where they take credit for giving my money away.

  • sevo||

    "are there ANY Democrats who advance non-stupid social policies?"

    1) Abortion access
    2) Same-sex marriage (some Dems)
    3) Uh...........

  • ||

    Why does Reason feel the need to respond to the bullshit the Democrats are spewing about the Kochs? Best to ignore them, they're only making fools of themselves.

  • Humphry Boogart||

    Why does Reason feel the need

    It gives us something with which to occupy our pointless lives?

    Also page-views.

  • ||

    I think there's something to giving these jokers enough rope to hang themselves with...

    It's sort of like the conspiracy theory nuts who are always going on about the Bildeberg Group?

    It's not about refuting that stuff--it's about exposure. The last thing the Scientologists want anybody to know is their beliefs--and with good reason! Their beliefs are hilarious.

    These jokers that are blaming how much I hate my state government squandering my paychecks on fat benefits packages for public unions--on the Koch Brothers?!

    They're so dumb, they don't realize what they're saying is making them look stupid--so everything Reason does to get them to keeping saying it in public is probably good for the cause anyway.

  • ||

    This Koch Brothers thing really is a red herring conspiracy theory too.

    Progressives always run into the same wall--they're so convinced that they represent the people!

    And when it turns out that the people really do know and understand what the Progressives are all about--and the people wholeheartedly reject them like they did during the last mid-term election?

    Then they think it's gotta be the result of a conspiracy or something!

    Because it just couldn't be that the people reject the Progressives! That just can't be.

  • Juice||

    Really! What's the matter with Kansas? The people are too stupid to realize they are voting against their "best interests" by voting against "progressivism."

  • ||

    The people are so stupid, they think the government squandering our paychecks on bloated pensions for government employee unions--is a bad thing!

  • Juice||

    Honestly, I can live with the teachers unions if they cut off the military contractors that squander people's paychecks much more expertly.

  • ||

    Either way, what we libertarians and fiscal conservatives care about?

    We'd care about even if the Koch Brothers made their donations to the Service Employees International Union.

  • Apogee||

    I can live with the teachers unions if they cut off the military contractors that squander people's paychecks much more expertly.

    Of course, the false choice disappears immediately when you're honest enough to actually go after waste and inefficiency, not just the funding source for "the other team".

  • LBJ||

    "I know the Kochs aren't pigfuckers, I just want to make Reason editors DENY it!

  • Progressive||

    Don't fuck with our boogeyman. You know how long it takes to bring another one on line?

  • Old Mexican||

    Takes years to break a person...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qLzQ4uOvio

  • Sausage Links||

    Is it morning already?

  • Barry Loberfeld||

  • ||

    Yellow on black? You expect people to read that?

  • Urkoboob™||

    Damn right!

  • ||

    This is what I have repeatedly stressed to The Urkobold, yet my concerns have gone unheeded.

  • Urkoboob™||

    It isn't 1998?

  • ||

    That's white on black. I suppose I could change it, but highnumber might gut me in my sleep.

  • ||

    I'm willing for you to take that risk.

  • ||

    Maddox got to keep white on black.

  • cynical||

    Are you comparing yourself to Maddox?

  • ||

    No.

  • ||

    Why not? Maddox hasn't put out new material in years. Go for it.

  • ||

    It's a Pittsburgh thing, you wouldn't understand.

  • Paul||

    I read the article, but when I clicked back to H&R, I'm BLIIIIIIIIIINNNDDD!

  • ||

    So the ACLU Patriot Act fund is now the Libertarian equivalent of a Catholic Church dispensation?

    Drop $20 Million in the box, and we forget all about the serried ranks of neocon drug warrior Christianists you fronted?

    Sweet deal, if you're the type to have a spare $20 Million lying around.

    All is forgiven! All is forgiven!

  • ||

    First, you mean "indulgence", not "dispensation", and that's not how indulgences work anyway. Indulgences aren't supposed to prevent you from going to hell, they only reduce your time in purgatory. A better comparison would be Mr Gore and his greenie friends with their carbon offsets for their globetrotting trips promoting themselves environmentalism.

    And as Radley notes, $20M dwarfs the sum total of their contributions to candidates....not to mention the fact that 95% of Democrats holding federal office are drug warriors.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Danny,

    So the ACLU Patriot Act fund is now the Libertarian equivalent of a Catholic Church dispensation?


    Dispensation for what, exactly?

    Drop $20 Million in the box, and we forget all about the serried ranks of neocon drug warrior Christianists you fronted?


    Linkey-link, please.

  • ||

    Balko linked to Chait.

    You can take it from there.

    Chait's tally of the candidate support is not in question here. Balko is hanging everything on the $20M to the ACLU.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Danny,
    Take your Thorazine. The voices in your head are flaring up.

    THERE WAS NO LINK OR EVEN A MENTION OF ANTI-DRUG CHRISTIANS in that article.

  • ||

    You need to follow the links, retard. Chait links in his post, too.

    "Separately, the company’s political-action committee, KochPAC, has donated some eight million dollars to political campaigns, more than eighty per cent of it to Republicans. So far in 2010, Koch Industries leads all other energy companies in political contributions, as it has since 2006. In addition, during the past dozen years the Kochs and other family members have personally spent more than two million dollars on political contributions. In the second quarter of 2010, David Koch was the biggest individual contributor to the Republican Governors Association, with a million-dollar donation.

    During the 2000 election campaign, Koch Industries spent some nine hundred thousand dollars to support the candidacies of George W. Bush and other Republicans.

    Next time FOLLOW THE LINKS YOU STUPID MORON. By the way, nobody cares about your stupid blog, where you have never had a single original idea. I don't know why you even bother trying to gin up traffic by posting on every single thread on the Reason boards.

  • ||

    So the Koches have donated over 2.5 times as much to the ACLU as to GOP candidates. If anything, that means their support of GOP is the token offering, rather than their donation to the ACLU.

  • Jack On||

    Not really. I'd much rather purchase a congressman than an ACLU lawyer. The congress critter can make rules that everyone else has to follow!

  • Apogee||

    Shhh Tulpa.

    Danny needs this.

    He really needs this hatey thing.

    He's willing to overlook Obama's retreat on pretty much every single election promise, because, you know, *It's in Obama's interests, and you have to play the game*.

    He needs to believe. For the children. And the Unicorns.

  • sevo||

    "FOLLOW THE LINKS YOU STUPID MORON"

    Sounds like good advice; you should follow it. ASSHOLE

  • ||

    Not every Republican is an anti-gay anti-drug Christian.

  • Apogee||

    Oh yeah? That's not what Media Matters says.

  • Paul||

    Not every Republican is an anti-gay anti-drug Christian.

    But shrike said they're all christ-fags!

  • ||

    True. Some of them actually are gay druggie Christians. We call them the Religious Right.

  • ||

    serried ranks of neocon drug warrior Christianists you fronted

    You're slipping in and out of that fantasy world again, buddy. I know you don't like to take your meds because they make you feel shitty and mess up your sleep, but you really need to take them every day. If you take them, we can go get a Happy Meal! Would you like that?

  • ||

    Chait's tally of the candidate support is not a "fantasy." As I said above, Balko is hanging everything on the $20M to the ACLU.

  • ||

    You do want that Happy Meal, don't you, buddy? Now be a good boy and take your pills.

  • ||

    Supra, once more, you trolling a$$clown.

  • ||

    Now, now, Danny. You know how you get when you get excited. I don't want to have to change your diaper again so soon.

  • ||

    Personally I would like to see a breakdown of whether those Republicans can legitimately be characterized as social conservatives, or are members of the Republican Liberty Caucus.

  • Apogee||

    Danny doesn't do detail.

  • sevo||

    Danny|2.25.11 @ 6:04PM|#
    "Chait's tally of the candidate support is not a "fantasy.""

    Funny, that's not what you were claiming. It was:
    "the serried ranks of neocon drug warrior Christianists you fronted?"

    Please prove one = the other, or shut up.
    "

  • ¢||

    Hey, guys.

    Remember when, back in the day, the Kochtopus ganged up with the UN and all of old-money NYC to try to stop that upstart vulgarian Donald Trump from building his dirty new-money vanity Tower in their (in the sense that they own it) 'hood?

    And did they try to stop him by, say, buying the land from him, all libertarian-like? FUCK NO! The 'Pus went straight to the Law! To the zoning board!

    It's the leftest story ever told.

    Except that in the end the struggling little guy finally won against the Man. And the Man bought $20,000,000 apartments in the little guy's new building. Then they all went happily to the Hamptons together and did coke with politicians, whores, and cops.

    Except for the little guy. He wasn't invited, because he was still icky. So it's still a lefty-victory story.

  • ||

    If the "struggling little guy" in your tale is Donald Trump, you need to adjust your meds.

  • ||

    The Donald is icky. Very icky.

  • sevo||

    "And did they try to stop him by, say, buying the land from him, all libertarian-like? FUCK NO! The 'Pus went straight to the Law! To the zoning board!"

    It's possible it happened as you claim, but I'd sure like to see a bit of evidence.

  • $||

    And the Kochs use ROADS!!!!!

    RODEZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!

  • ||

    I never realized that you can't comment at TNR's website unless you subscribe to the magazine.

  • ||

    Your first mistake was attempting to comment at TNR.

  • Jim||

    Tits N' Rears? I didn't realize I could leave comments! Oh man, I'm never going to bed again!

  • Ted S.||

    Tasers N Roses.

  • ||

    The NeoCon Retards

  • ||

    Speaking of Krugabe, I inadvertently followed a link to an utterly incomprehensible post on his blog, earlier.

    Apparently, all contributions to Wisconsin teachers' pension and health care are deferred compensation, which means...STFU REPUBLIKKKANZ1111

  • ||

    As a classic liberal I say if the Koch foundation donated $20 million to the ACLU then I am on their side.

    Most conservatives despise civil and personal liberties (the domain of the ACLU) - which is why I hate conservatives as much as I do.

    Good for them. If they donate to the Sierra Club too I might send them a Xmas card.

  • ||

    If they donated to the Sierra Club, I'd despise them.

    The Sierra Club is a bunch of upperclass gliberals who want the rest of the world to live in poverty so they can enjoy 'unspoiled nature.'

  • ||

    Because there is no free market in land preservation?

    Fuck you - you anti-free market goon.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Shrike,

    Because there is no free market in land preservation?


    Yes, there is, you imbecile. What do you think hunter ranches do?

  • ||

    Buying land to preserve it: free market environmentalism.

    Writing regulations to restrict what landowners can do on their land: dictatorial douchebaggery.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Which is why I support the Nature Conservancy and not the Sierra Club.

  • Apogee||

    ^This

  • -||

    The Nature Conservancy used to buy privately held land and resell it to the government. Have they stopped doing that?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Because there is no free market in land preservation?

    Please--you think the great "public works projects" from the Depression the left loves to brag about would have even come off the drawing board if the Sierra Club and the rest of the current environmental lobby had been around at the time?

    If Brower had been politically active during the construction of Hoover Dam, he'd have spent the rest of his life lamenting the creation of Lake Mead instead of Lake Powell.

  • ||

    Apparently classic liberals are to classical liberals as Bob Dylan is to Mozart.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    ...the Kochs will happily put their money behind candidates and intellectuals who agree with their economic agenda but disagree with their social agenda. They will never put their money behind candidates or intellectuals of whom the reverse is true.

    So what?

    I think the more salient question here is, why bother to expend so much effort to legitimize the Kochs, and by extension, libertarianism, to the left? Libertarians need lefty approval - exactly why?

    How about a nice, short, sweet, "If you don't like it, bite me?".

  • ||

    Libertarians need lefty approval - exactly why?

    Ooh, I know this one!

    Cocktails!

  • ||

    You mean Kochtails.

  • ||

    So they donate to the ACLU to appease liberals?

    Fuck you.

  • ||

    That didn't take long. Bipolar much?

  • ||

    that was intended as a reply to "Slap the Enlightened".

  • Juice||

    During the 2000 election campaign, Koch Industries spent some nine hundred thousand dollars to support the candidacies of George W. Bush and other Republicans.

    The Koch's supported Dubya? OUCH!

  • ||

    They couldn't foresee the Pharma Welfare Act, the Patriot Spy Act, NCLB, and a $1.3 trillion annual deficit.

    to be honest in 2000 I could not either - I just saw a fucking idiot named George W Bush.

  • Juice||

    That's true. He was running on a platform of noninterventionist foreign policy. But he was also all about the "compassionate conservatism" and No Child Left Behind.

    I think the Kochs were more interested in Bush's energy handouts, I mean policy.

  • Apogee||

    Yep, and with the new guy, that disgusting practice has ground to a halt

  • ||

    Because there is no free market in land preservation?

    And this has to do with the Sierra Club how?

    Nature Conservancy, perhaps; but on the Sierra Club, I'll go with Areson's analysis.

  • Cyto||

    To the idea of "speaking truth to conspiracy theorists" - there was a mediocre documentary on the 9-11 conspiracy theory on the History Channel. "9/11 Conspiracies: Fact or Fiction." They invited some truthers to view pre-publication versions of their debunkings of the conspiracy theories - particularly as espoused in the truther film "Loose Change".

    In every case the truther experts gave strong support for a theory as proof of a conspiracy - that burning jet fuel cannot soften steel for example - only to completely move the goalposts and ignore the evidence when proven wrong.

    In the case of the burning jet fuel, the producers simply took a pit full of jet fuel and laid a heavy steel beam across blocks above it. They set the jet fuel on fire and after a few minutes the beam began to sag and twist off of the blocks. The truthers viewed this footage and refused to accept the evidence as a test of the theory that jet fuel burning doesn't get hot enough to soften steel.

    In every case they firmly believed that a scientific test of their pet theories was just more evidence of a cover-up. It was fascinating to watch them spin new rationalizations in real time to avoid confronting holes in their theology. The 3 truther panelists all rapidly agreed on new reasons why the tests were invalid in a kind of group-think blindness. It was very informative to the mental tricks that go into belief systems.

  • sevo||

    "It was fascinating to watch them spin new rationalizations in real time to avoid confronting holes in their theology."

    Pretty sure is was Skeptic magazine that published a study of 'end-of-times' religions, and what happened when the end *didn't* come.
    They made up excuses and picked a new date. That's all, and hardly anybody left the religion.
    And sure wish could credit this:
    What's the difference between a religion and a cult? Cults can't deliver enough votes to count.

  • ||

    Any self-respecting cult responds to the failure of the end times with mass suicide.

  • ||

    I love those guys.

  • ||

    Good. I hope this happens to the Marxists.
    They've been waiting for the Revolution for 150 years.

  • ||

    It already has, in spades. Communists have killed more Communists than any other political group. However, unlike UFO cults, they tend to have much more collateral damage.

  • Juice||

    Browsing various accounts of the Kochs political spending over the years, that $20 million appears to be substantially more than the Kochs have contributed to all political candidates combined for at least the last 15 years.

    That's only if you don't count lobbying, 3rd party advertising, and PACs.

    I'm pretty sure that in all that the Koch's political spending dwarfs $20 million.

  • sevo||

    "I'm pretty sure that in all that the Koch's political spending dwarfs $20 million"

    I'm pretty sure you don't have an ounce of evidence for your fantasy.

  • Juice||

    Ezra Klein mentioned it, so it's obviously fact.

  • ||

    But now you're including a lot of Koch contributions to social liberty groups like Cato and Reason.

    Watching you liberals chase your tails was fun at first but frankly it is getting a little boring.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    "It's true, when you strip away all their giving that didn't go to political candidates, as Chait does, the Kochs look fairly right-wing."

    Would someone please clear this up for me? I thought libertarianism *is* right wing. I don't understand these political spectrums that have anarchy on one side and anarchy on the other with Fascism and Socialism on oppisite ends just shy of anarchy. This makes no sense. It seems like Fascism and Socialism should be right next to eachother and anarchy should be far far away and as near as possible to anarchy because, well, anarchy and anarchy are the same thing. What am I missing here?

  • ||

    Socialists have control of the dialogue, so they get to slap libertarianism right down next to facism on the spectrum.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    So why does balko say the koch's are less right wing than people think because of their libertarian views when those views would put him to the right of the GOP?

  • Tony||

    Depends on if you're talking about authority or economic policy. Anarchy is on the extreme left in terms of authority, with totalitarianism being the extreme right. Laissez-faire policy is on the right economically because it cedes authority to oligarchs while a progressive system, being more democratic, is to the left. Some say these labels make no sense.

  • sevo||

    "Laissez-faire policy is on the right economically because it cedes authority to oligarchs"

    Are you familiar with the term "Poisoning the Well"?
    You should look it up before you embarrass yourself. Again.

  • Tony||

    I'm not sure that's what I was doing but I'm aware that you guys probably don't accept that formulation. It's still true. You guys only care about individual freedom with respect to government. You don't acknowledge the power centers that emerge in an unchecked economy, or if you do, that such power is not something to be concerned about.

  • sevo||

    "It's still true."

    Oh, well,
    Bullshit.
    ..................
    "You don't acknowledge the power centers that emerge in an unchecked economy, or if you do, that such power is not something to be concerned about."

    For the very good reason that, absent government intrusion, there is no "power centers", what ever that's supposed to mean.

  • Tony||

    Without government an industry, say Koch industries, can assert power over you by polluting your water supply with impunity. This is where magical thinking comes in. The idea that corporations won't abuse their power if left unchecked, because somehow the magical market will stop them, even though it's in their market interest to engage in such abuse.

  • sevo||

    Tony|2.25.11 @ 7:57PM|#
    "Without government an industry, say Koch industries, can assert power over you by polluting your water supply with impunity."

    Strangely enough, *with* government, you fave boogeyman can assert power over you by polluting your water supply with impunity.
    And, worse, the government can do so no only with impunity, but with guns!

  • Tony||

    That's quite possible, and why nobody should vote republican.

  • sevo||

    Tony|2.25.11 @ 8:09PM|#
    "That's quite possible, and why nobody should vote republican."

    And as a clear example of your lack of knowledge. That, too.

  • Apogee||

    Tony believes in "Magic" people, who never corrupt.

    He keeps his beliefs pure by never reading anything about the practices of his heroes.

    He knows that reading will get him kicked out of the cult.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    You don't think a political spectrum should be limited to "political" power for the sake of clarity Tony? Whats to stop you from including say, religious power as well as economic power? It seems intentionally convoluted. Like the perfect rhetorical tool for someone who wanted to be able to shift narratives at any given time and never suffer the fate of being held to any clearly defined measurements.

  • sevo||

    "Like the perfect rhetorical tool for someone who wanted to be able to shift narratives at any given time and never suffer the fate of being held to any clearly defined measurements."

    Yep. See Tony's "left/right" weaseling in general.

  • Tony||

    I'm not value judging these terms, and I dont think they're all that instructive anyway. But it is important to talk about other spheres that have power over people. Religion is one, though it usually is one and the same with politics where it has real power. But think of it this way with respect to the economy. In politics your power rests with your vote. In a dictatorship one guy has all the votes. In a democracy you have essentially a communism of votes. In an economy your votes are dollars. Liberals just believe in making it a little bit more democratic.

  • Tncm||

    Equating "dollars" with "votes" is fallacious. I don't have to perform any task or do any work to get a vote; I can vote just by virtue of being a citizen. I get my vote by fiat, without having to do really anything at all. To get dollars, however, I have to work. I can only get my dollars legally through voluntary exchange. You equate the two to hide the fact that you're advocating for stealing the property of the productive and giving it to the parasites.

  • Tony||

    No I'm pretty sure you are the one advocating policies that take money from teachers and janitors (the productive) and giving it to hedge fund managers (the parasites).

  • Tncm||

    The TARP and other such bailouts were attacked ferociously by libertarians but were backed by every liberal I knew (including you), so thanks for playing.

  • Apogee||

    That's why he was 'pretty sure' and not 'absolutely sure'.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    A political spectrum is an abstraction. The word "Spectrum" only makes sense in reference to a quantifiable progression. A progression from something to something else. Paired with the qualifier "Political", the meaning is clear. It is an abstraction of those political attributes which can be scaled, excluding all those that can't be scaled as well as all those that aren't specifically political. Introducing private property as a political player *is* a value judgement. Just like deciding that religion is not a political player is a value judgement.

  • Tncm||

    What's even more ridiculous is that the underlying assumption in charts like the Political Compass is that things like "economic liberty" and "social liberty" can be quantified. It's insanity to make the statement "Fascism is 1.75 times more authoritarian than Neoconservatism", though all these stupid spectrums imply that you can do just that.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    @Tncm

    I agree that you probably can't get it down to straight numerical values, but you can certainly stack them. I think a good chart would exclude all criticism or speculation and just deal with the limitations that the system explicitly puts on individual action. Ie while there is a huge difference between full communism and anarchi capitalism from a social perspective, there is no difference politically because they both claim to eliminate government they should be treated as the same thing on should occupy the same space on a scale that is strictly concerned with political power. It seems like the most scientific way to go about it.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    Difference being it doesn't matter how many dollars you have, you still cannot 'vote' someone else's dollars into your own pocket.

  • Tncm||

    "Difference being it doesn't matter how many dollars you have, you still cannot 'vote' someone else's dollars into your own pocket."

    And that democracy is a zero-sum game, whereas in a voluntary exchange both sides benefit.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    So you think socialism is the least totalitarian system besides anarchy? No, that doesn't make any sense to me at all.

  • Tony||

    It's all about whether power is concentrated or dispersed. Communism is the furthest left you can go economically, anarcho-capitalism the furthest right. You can have a very "left" economy with a very "right" government, and curiously they seem to go together, with a dictatorship over the most "democratic" economic system, communism. Other combinations have existed too.

  • sevo||

    Tony|2.25.11 @ 7:39PM|#
    "It's all about whether power is concentrated or dispersed."

    Hint:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World's_Smallest_Political_Quiz
    David Nolan got your number when you walked in the door.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    The problem I have with the Nolan chart is why should we, as libertarians, accept everyone else's definition that economic and personal freedom are separate things?

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Me too. How about anarchy on the right totalitarianism on the left.

  • Paul||

    Anarchy is on the extreme left in terms of authority, with totalitarianism being the extreme right.

    By what metric? Totalitarianism is on both ends. Or did you actually believe in that trope about "dictatorship of the proletariat"?

  • Tony||

    Right = concentrated authority, left = dispersed authority. You can be for individual freedom politically while being for concentrated power economically. That would be libertarianism.

  • tarran||

    Right = concentrated authority, left = dispersed authority

    Comedy gold!
  • Tony||

    What I'm saying is that liberals are indeed to the right of libertarians with respect to government authority.

  • Apogee||

    What others are saying is that your Nolan Chart is in need of calibration.

  • Tony||

    David Nolan of course being a libertarian and wanting to be on the side of freedom on all counts. I as a liberal think I'm on the side of more freedom. I don't think you can separate laissez-faire economics from oligarchy. Which is to say libertarians are fir more economic freedom, but only for the economic elite, less for everyone else.

  • Tncm||

    "Which is to say libertarians are fir more economic freedom, but only for the economic elite, less for everyone else."

    Only because you're an idiosyncratic schizophrenic who arbitrarily redefines words and conflates positive rights with negative rights. No one here is buying what you're selling, Tony. This may pass for intelligence at "The Nation", but it doesn't here.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    But socialists are where on an authority scale? To the left of libertarians while liberals are to their right? This spectrum is just as confusing to you as it is to me which was my main question. It's unintelligibility is a feature not bug for the purpose of narrative flexibility. To at any point conflate individual liberty with fascism and then socialism with freedom from authority without having to give up the practice of belittling freedom lovers as fetishists who are irrationally afraid of authority and never having to answer for that contradiction because there's always an escape hatch.

  • Tony||

    Socialism is an economic stance so it can be paired with any form of government, democratic to totalitarian.

  • Apogee||

    What form of government is paired with Socialism wasn't the question - It was "where are Socialists on an authority scale?"

    Because to answer that requires divulging whether someone is empowered to remove wealth/property from individuals and by what means.

    But you don't like Nolan's scale, so like every other argument you put forth, you just make up some nonsensical definition and pretend to yourself that you've reached a substantiated conclusion.

  • sevo||

    Tony|2.25.11 @ 9:34PM|#
    "Socialism is an economic stance so it can be paired with any form of government, democratic to totalitarian."

    It can be associated with democratic government very easily; voting other people's money into your pocket is no problem at all. But it takes an authoritarian/totalitarian government to enforce that transfer.
    Which is the reason we have a republic; to protect us from sleazebags like you.
    Oh, and the 'socialist democracy' seems to have a life-span a bit less than the 70 years it took communism to self-destruct; see Wisconsin. Or Greece.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Your scale doesn't include individual rights.

  • sevo||

    Brand new poly-sci 'theory', courtesy of Tony:
    "Right = concentrated authority, left = dispersed authority."
    Which clearly explains the "Right" government of, oh, North Korea. Or not.

    Compare with:
    "Communism is the furthest left you can go economically, anarcho-capitalism the furthest right."

    Seems Tony has some sort of trouble keeping definitions in mind. Or Tony has the presumption that Tony gets to declare that a word means exactly what Tony says it does, no more and no less.

  • Tony||

    North Korea has a very right-wing government with an ostensibly left-wing economy.

  • sevo||

    And in Tony's world "up" = "down". Except when it doesn't.

  • Apogee||

    The party is widely viewed as the last old-style Stalinist ruling party in the world.

    Wasn't there some sort of Left Wing appreciation for Stalin at one point or another?

    I mean, before all the movies and plays that came out about his mass-murders?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Some say these labels make no sense.

    Only the ones who think about them for longer than two seconds.

  • ||

    I've figured out the correct Star Trek character for Tony. Finally.

  • tarran||

    Yesss, because nothing keeps oligarchs from amassing power like people voting for one of five people hand-picked by two political parties to hold some office.

    Tony, don't ever change. Reading your fallacy-ridden posts gives me hope that some day humanity will move past your discredited philosophies designed in the late 19th century to lull the people into once again accepting the rule of aristocrats.

  • Tncm||

    "Depends on if you're talking about authority or economic policy. Anarchy is on the extreme left in terms of authority, with totalitarianism being the extreme right."

    I love how you love to compartmentalize things into neat little pigeon holes. Economic liberty cannot be divorced from social liberty. Countries that attempt to liberalize commerce but maintain rigid control over other types of human interaction (i.e. Pinochet's Chile and today's People's Republic of China) often find that control over society is wrenched out of their hands regardless.

    Anarcho-communism, despite its claims otherwise, is incredibly totalitarian in nature. While a formal government may not exist, you are still expected to work mindless for the benefit of the commune. The existence of an individual is denied in Marxist dogma; there is only social class.

    On the other hand, an absolutist dictator could allow his citizens freedom of speech, contract, assembly, immigration, and so on.

    "Laissez-faire policy is on the right economically because it cedes authority to oligarchs"

    Under laissez-faire capitalism, the consumer holds the reigns of society. The consumer decides what is produced, how much is produced, what firms succeed and what firms fail. Capitalism breaks up oligarchs, it doesn't create them. Corporatism, the economic system we currently live under thanks to policies you support, does however create an entrenched oligarchical class. We've arrived at this system through Fabian incrementalism, hurried along by the fact that people like you can vote.

    "a progressive system, being more democratic, is to the left."

    The original progressives were racists who supported using eugenics to purge unwanted ethnic groups from the human gene pool. I really don't know why you're so endeared to the ideology.

    "Some say these labels make no sense."

    None of what you said in that paragraph made any sense. What matters most about a political ideology, what decides the policies that its adherents will push for, are its first principles, not where it falls on some arbitrary spectrum.

  • Tncm||

    TL;DR

    Tony posted his mental diarrhea on the Internet again and should consequently be ignored.

  • sevo||

    It was worth reading.

  • Tncm||

    Thank you. I'm glad someone is getting something out of me bashing my head against a wall (i.e. discussing politics with Tony).

  • sevo||

    It's fun to snark at Tony, Da Troof, Realist, etc, but they do serve the (to them) unintended purpose of drawing out some good comments.

  • Tony||

    Economic liberty cannot be divorced from social liberty.

    This sentiment alone, apart from the rest if your Beckian rant, is something I can agree with. But I define economic liberty in part as "having more money." that necessitates a more redistributed system. One of the biggest fallacies here in my opinion is the idea that money and power have nothing to do with each other.

  • sevo||

    "But I define economic liberty in part as "having more money.""
    Your definitions are NWS.

    "One of the biggest fallacies here in my opinion is the idea that money and power have nothing to do with each other."
    Prove it.

  • Tncm||

    "apart from the rest if your Beckian rant"

    With a simple wave of his hand, Tony no longer has to address any of the points I brought up. A true master of structured debate.

    "But I define economic liberty in part as 'having more money.'"

    I'm not going to be baited into a debate over semantics with you. You being an idiosyncratic dullard who redefines words to suit his arguments has been addressed above.

    Economic freedom is the freedom to produce, trade and consume any goods and services acquired without the use of force, fraud or theft. I don't care that you wish it means something else, that is what it means.

    "that necessitates a more redistributed system."

    Your Keynesian redefinition of concepts does not necessitate anything. The fact that you have to torture logic and bend over backwards this much to justify your ideology just serves to show everyone here what a tool you are.

    "One of the biggest fallacies here in my opinion is the idea that money and power have nothing to do with each other."

    Money is the most liquid commodity on the market, and is exchanged for goods and services. That is it. I suppose I could set a house on fire with Federal Reserve notes or give people bruises by pelting them with gold bullions, but beyond that money does not imbibe me with mystic powers like you seem to think it does. One of your argumentation tactics is to be so vague that your opponents spend half of their time trying to address all the points you could possibly be making instead of the point you are making, so I'm going to ask that you give me an example of where you think "Money=Power".

    You have no principles. You are simply a pragmatist who supports government intervention in the economy to satisfy your guilt over being moderately wealthy. At least MNG claims that he bases his policies on utilitarianism, even though that ethical system is full of bologna.

    I have no absolutely no clue as to why you frequent this blog. You clearly aren't learning anything from these dialogues, and you've been ripped to shreds in just about every debate you've gotten into with a commenter. A glutton for punishment or masochism, I guess.

  • sevo||

    "One of your argumentation tactics is to be so vague that your opponents spend half of their time trying to address all the points you could possibly be making instead of the point you are making,"

    Or (Fiscal Meth, above):
    "It seems intentionally convoluted. Like the perfect rhetorical tool for someone who wanted to be able to shift narratives at any given time and never suffer the fate of being held to any clearly defined measurements."

    To make it clear, Tony hasn't the ability or desire to be honest in a single one of Tony's "arguments"; Tony simply hopes others are as ignorant of logic as Tony is.
    Sleazy or stupid; you decide.

  • Apogee||

    I have no absolutely no clue as to why you frequent this blog. You clearly aren't learning anything from these dialogues, and you've been ripped to shreds in just about every debate you've gotten into with a commenter.

    I've thought the same thing recently

  • Tncm||

    In all fairness to Tony, MNG and Chad make like a tree whenever they're cornered in an argument, too.

  • Apogee||

    In all fairness to Tony, MNG and Chad make like a tree whenever they're cornered in an argument, too.

    Sometimes, but I'll give MNG the benefit of the doubt because of periodic statements that kick the 'team Blue' membership to the curb.

  • Tony||

    I don't know why I come here. Probably has to do with my mild OCD.

    To me, money self-evidently equals power, which is similar to freedom. You have more money, you can do more things. You can also control more people. I don't favor communism but I do favor more egalitarianism so that we can have the virtues of capitalism, innovation and prosperity, without it's vices, increasing concentration of power in the hands of a few. The underlying motivation is maximizing freedom for everyone.

  • Tman||

    Tony,

    I still stand in awe of your ability to completely ignore what people are trying to explain to you, especially in terms of your arguments.

    Tncm explained clearly that you don't even realize how badly you are torturing logic just to try and make your points sound moderately coherent, and then you proceed to waterboard your definition of money=power.

    Well done.

  • Apogee||

    Probably has to do with my mild OCD

    The symptoms of OCD don't seem to manifest as an inability to absorb or examine political concepts or engage in debate.

    Yet, that is entirely your problem. So to your claim that "money...equals power, which is similar to freedom" - That would mean that an embezzler spending the rest of his life in prison is 'free'?

    Are these concepts so confusing to you in detail that you'd rather other people handle it for you?

  • sevo||

    Tony|2.25.11 @ 9:13PM|#
    "To me, money self-evidently equals power..."

    To me, governments self-evidently equal evil.
    The difference is that I have evidence.

  • Tncm||

    "To me, money self-evidently equals power, "

    If it's so obvious that money is equivalent to power then you shouldn't have any problem explaining what you mean.

    "You have more money, you can do more things."

    No, you can just purchase more things. Not to mention the fact that the other party has to be willing to trade their good/service for my money in the first place.

    "You can also control more people."

    Again with money giving people magic powers. So money gives me the ability to mind control people? What else can it do? Make me fly, teleport, understand what the hell you're saying?

    "I don't favor communism but I do favor more egalitarianism"

    No one here cares what you favor. Egalitarianism is as much of a joke as utilitarianism is. People are not equal, and they will never be equal. Inequality is actually a wonderful thing; without it, the division of labor would be almost impossible.

    "so that we can have the virtues of capitalism, innovation and prosperity,"

    This shows how little you've been paying attention. We've pointed out time and time again the disastrous unintended consequences your fiscal and monetary policies have, among them retarding innovation and destroying prosperity.

    "increasing concentration of power in the hands of a few."

    Keep repeating it all you want, it doesn't make it true. Diseconomies of scale, calculation problem, competition, consumer sovereignty, so on.

    "The underlying motivation is maximizing freedom for everyone."

    No, just your convoluted definition of freedom.

  • Brian||

    Many say you don't make any sense so I suppose it all evens out.

  • ||

    We do not concede that it cede authority to oligarchs.

    That's just a bunch of dogma which originates from Marx's theory that capitalism inevitably tends towards increasing concentration of wealth.

  • Tony||

    I realize that. Unfortunately for you evidence is on the side of Marx here. The idea that capitalism leads to a form of egalitarianism is not so supported, and tends to be supported by merely claiming it to be thus.

  • sevo||

    "The idea that capitalism leads to a form of egalitarianism is not so supported,"

    Nor is is claimed. What it leads to is prosperity.
    One more of Tony's 'duck-and-weave' efforts.
    Sleazy or stupid, you decide.

  • Tncm||

    "Sleazy or stupid, you decide."

    Why not both?

  • sevo||

    "Why not both?"

    Sleazy and/or stupid.
    You're right.

  • Tncm||

    The fact that you think that Marx was an egalitarian shows how little you know about what he actually said about economics and society. I'm sure you think you know what Marxism is and what Marx advocated, but you really don't. Like most Marxists, you probably think that Marx was a pacifist and that communism would be open to everyone in society. It is not so.

    I haven't seen anyone here claim that capitalism leads to egalitarianism. We don't care about equality, we care about freedom. And actual freedom, not your bastardized definition it.

  • ||

    It is demonstrably superior to the known alternatives at kindling social mobility, which is a decent proxy for equality.

    It is not coincidental that the policies Tony supports both invariably impede that mobility and find their most fervent support among members of the class most threatened by it.

  • Tncm||

    "It is demonstrably superior to the known alternatives at kindling social mobility, which is a decent proxy for equality."

    Very true. What most liberals don't understand is that it's social mobility both upwards and downwards; a trust fund baby who squanders his money will quickly lose his comfy position in the upper-class.

    "It is not coincidental that the policies Tony supports both invariably impede that mobility and find their most fervent support among members of the class most threatened by it."

    Corporations love choking economic regulations. They can afford to pay for them, but their competitors can't. Reason magazine did a really good article about how increasingly stringent FDA regulations on agriculture have rapidly sped up the speed of consolidation. Leviathan firms have always been the enemy of the free market, not its friend, despite what Tony and his ilk say.

  • ||

    How is the evidence on the side of Marx?

    Most of his theories have failed to be realized. 150 years after The Communist Manifesto, there still hasn't been a socialist revolution, most societies are still organized on capitalist lines, and the "mode of production" has shifted from factory assembly lines to engineering and information technology.

    The economy has not consolidated into a few large monopoloes. Old large companies continue to choke and go belly up after years of market dominance to the advances of smaller more innovative startups.

    New technologies continue to upset established corporations.

    And then, when the wealthiest financial interests proceed to lose all their money building houses for people with no jobs or assets, it's the socialists who appear to bail them out.

  • ||

    Try the Nolan Chart at advocates.org. Your confusion will be resolved almost immediately.

  • wef||

    To even respond to Chait has to say shows that you guys are still in high school.

  • Almanian||

    Shhhh! The truck race is about to start!!

    Also - Tony is stoopider than usual today. Good work, Tony - idiot.

  • ||

    I see somebody finally decided to play with the little retarded boy; everybody was ignoring him, earlier.

  • RyanXXX||

    The Koch bros. donated to Trey Grayson, Rand Paul's opponent. Fuck them. Donating to the ACLU (itself a statist organization) doesn't absolve them of anything

  • Hugh Akston||

    How exactly is the ACLU statist? Don't they regularly sue the government over civil rights abuses? Don't they regularly defend cases where the government has overstepped its bounds, often all the way to the Supreme Court?

  • jacob||

    I look at RyanXXX's post as a push. On the one hand, there is no logical way you can say the ACLU is 'statist.' But he's right - if in fact the Koch brothers donated to Grayson, this is very disappointing.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Eh, donating to any politician is pretty disappointing. But when you have as much bread as the Koch's, buying the influence of politicians is pretty much par for the course.

  • RyanXXX||

    But they donated to the opponent of the most libertarian Senator in memory.

    http://63.e5bed1.client.atlant.....ey+Grayson

    They must have such an irrational hatred of the Pauls that they threw all their "principles" aside for this race, or they just have no principles.

  • sevo||

    "They must have such an irrational hatred of the Pauls that they threw all their "principles" aside for this race, or they just have no principles."

    Does not follow.

  • ||

    The Koches donated to Jack Conway?

    No, didn't think so. Blow.

  • RyanXXX||

    You think Grayson would have been any better than Conway?

  • RyanXXX||

    The ACLU believes in all sorts of "positive rights" and has fought to see them imposed on people

  • Tom Blanton||

    The Koch brothers are among the GOP's largest contributors of all time. Now, that may be fine for all the idiots that think Sarah Palin is a libertarian, but it tells me that the Koch boys are up to no good.

    So, they don't like the PATRIOT Act? Perhaps they shouldn't support a bunch of warmongering neocon pigs who really don't support free markets either.

    The Koch boys give money to CATO and Reason, and it is always the moderate libertarian voices from these organizations that tell us that the Kochs are all about libertarianism. Funny how libertarians that aren't funded with Koch money aren't defending the Koch boys so much - or at all.

    But, hey, if they send me a few grand I'll talk 'em up, too.

  • sevo||

    "The Koch boys give money to CATO and Reason, and it is always the moderate libertarian voices from these organizations that tell us that the Kochs are all about libertarianism. Funny how libertarians that aren't funded with Koch money aren't defending the Koch boys so much - or at all."

    Funny how innuendo /= anything worth considering.
    You've pointed out how the funding goes to libertarian causes, and other than that, your rant sounds like sour grapes. Didn't get your grant?
    Awwwwww.

  • ||

    "But, hey, if they send me a few grand I'll talk 'em up, too."

    A cheap whore is indeed apt to imagine others are both cheap and whorish too, but alas that does not make it true.

    A pity.

  • ||

    "You are simply a pragmatist who supports government intervention in the economy to satisfy your guilt over being moderately wealthy."

    The self-loathing theory may do more to impede libertarian/conservative efforts to understand the Left (sic) than anything else.

    It is not themselves that the Left (sic) loathes - they may well be the most narcissistic class of people the world has yet seen - but rather the wrong kind of white people, i.e. the most immediate threat to their status.

    Hate is ever both an excuse to evade potentially painful introspection and an attempt at/means of maintaining dominance.

  • ||

    FREEDOM!
    the idea that blood has been shed for
    the Kochs appear to support it
    Obama doesn't
    who do u support

  • a||

    Hey, here's Matt Welch's idiot friend Ken Layne:

    http://wonkette.com/439258/boy.....ntributors

  • a||

    Welch thought this dude was a credible commentator on Iraq around 2002, IIRC. Karma, bitch.

  • Voxpo||

    Wonkette? I prefer "'Tardette".

  • T||

    Wow. The comments on that are a festering cesspool of stupid and insane.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Them and HuffPo:

    Eagleman 4 hours ago (8:50 AM)
    69 Fans
    Yes you are correct

    We need the next October revolution where we raid all the corporatio­n, confiscate and nationaliz­e the wealth and evenly distribute it.

    We are long overdue for this revolution­. I was hoping our president will do it. But he is a disappoint­ment.

  • ||

    God, that's beyond stupid.. It's scary.. I'm sure he's frothing at the mouth for a chance at getting even . "Radical times, radical means" yada, yada.

  • Mouth Piece||

    Fucking history, how does it work?

  • ||

    That article is written in The New Yorker was right on the money. No, the billions that the Koch Brothers use to manupulate nonprofit organizations and politicians. They have contributed financially to 34 non-profit organizations and 3, according to The New Yorker article --- they direct. The Koch Brothers hate, hate, hate taxes, that's why one of the brothers live in Monoco. During David's run in 1980; as a Libertarian their platform was to abolish Social Security, the FBI and CIA, mimimum wage laws (so they can work us for Asian wages), the Securities Exchange and Energy Department. They hate President Obama; because he stands for "spreading the wealth." Libertarians believe in individualism and no government input or control. There father use to work in the Soviet Union on pipelines. The Koch Brothers still amass wealth in oil and the pipeline industry. President Obama put a moretorium on off-shore drilling and they went after the vulnerable people in Wisconsin. Governor Scott Walker received $34,000 dollars in campaign funding from the bad Koch Brothers. That's the money we know about. Governor Scott Walker isn't all that bright---obviously! The Tea Party protesters are being used big time! The Koch Bros are using them to frame THEIR message and saying the script that they foster. Alls I know is that Wisconsin better fight this issue like a mad pit-bull or else its a wrap for the rest of the states.

  • sevo||

    "Alls I know is that Wisconsin better fight this issue like a mad pit-bull or else its a wrap for the rest of the states."

    Looks like that and the rest of your lies are far beyond anything you "know".
    Your propaganda probably won't fly here.

  • Spazmo||

    During David's run in 1980; as a Libertarian their platform was to abolish Social Security, the FBI and CIA, mimimum wage laws (so they can work us for Asian wages), the Securities Exchange and Energy Department

    Horrors! Do you even know what site you're on?

  • JB||

    Jonathan Chait = retarded fetus.

  • Tom Blanton||

    Perhaps "sevo" and "desiderius", bloviators that fear using their actual names, can refer us all to some libertarians (not conservatives) that lavish praise on the Koch boys who DO NOT receive funding from them. These "libertarians" also always seem to favor a bit more government in our lives than the typical libertarian.

    For many years, I have only heard how fucking wonderful these GOP backers are from "libertarians" who directly or indirectly get cash from the Kochtopus.

    Sour grapes? Right. As if Republican billionaires are standing in line to give me cash to promote a free market system that would make it much harder for the rent-seeking bastards to line their pockets.

    Real libertarians don't support the GOP. Period. They don't support Democrats either. Hell, most of them don't even support the Libertarian Party.

  • Tncm||

    "Perhaps 'sevo' and 'desiderius', bloviators that fear using their actual names"

    There's nothing wrong with them staying anonymous.

    "lavish praise on the Koch boys who DO NOT receive funding from them. These 'libertarians' also always seem to favor a bit more government in our lives than the typical libertarian."

    I think the Koch brothers are okay. They're by no means the libertarian standard-bearers, but they do back a lot of good libertarian organizations like the CATO and Ludwig von Mises institutes.

    "Real libertarians don't support the GOP. Period. They don't support Democrats either. Hell, most of them don't even support the Libertarian Party."

    You can be a philosophically consistent libertarian and still work within both or one of the two main parties to try and form pro-liberty coalitions. Indeed, our electoral system is so rigged against a third party that I don't think libertarians will be able to gain ground politically without "taking over" one of the two political parties. But then again, I'm very pessimistic when it comes to the outlook of the libertarian movement.

  • sevo||

    Tom Blanton|2.26.11 @ 10:02PM|#
    "Perhaps "sevo" and "desiderius", bloviators that fear using their actual names,..."
    Perhaps that's none of your business.

    "...can refer us all to some libertarians (not conservatives) that lavish praise on the Koch boys who DO NOT receive funding from them...."
    Didn't get your grant? Awwwwwwwwwww.

    "These "libertarians" also always seem to favor a bit more government in our lives than the typical libertarian."
    Speak for yourself or prove I ever did.

    "For many years, I have only heard how fucking wonderful these GOP backers are from "libertarians" who directly or indirectly get cash from the Kochtopus."
    post hoc ergo propter hoc.
    Oh, and tell your definition of a "real libertarian" to someone who cares.

  • Tom Blanton||

    Again, perhaps the bloviator known only as "sevo" can refer us all to some libertarians (not conservatives) that lavish praise on the Koch boys who DO NOT receive funding from them. Or, perhaps he can't because they do not exist.

    I've really got no problem with whatever the Koch boys do with their cash - I just object to holding them up as Gods of the libertarian movement. Whatever they may have been at one time, or whatever their agenda actually is, they appear to be rather consistent Republicans - despite their $10 or $20 million contribution to ACLU for whatever purpose it was made. Was anyone present when the cash changed hands to overhear what the deal was?

    I need to go take a shower - I voted for the Clark/Koch ticket in 1980 and I'm feeling kind of grubby.

    I'll shut up now so that "sevo" can go play video games in his mom's den.

  • RyanXXX||

    Indeed, lewrockwell.com and antiwar.com are both anti-Koch. Rockwell almost obsessively so. Raimondo at least wrote an article defending them during the "AstroTurf" controversy.

    Though to be fair, it goes both ways. The Kochs donated to Rand Paul's primary opponent, which makes no sense given their supposed Libertarianism.

    Either the intercine libertarian hatred is mutual, and they worked against Paul since Ron is a friend of Rockwell's, or they really are just unprincipled repubs in libertarian clothing

  • sevo||

    Tom Blanton|2.27.11 @ 4:59PM|#
    "Again, perhaps the bloviator known only as "sevo" can refer us all to some libertarians (not conservatives) that lavish praise on the Koch boys who DO NOT receive funding from them. Or, perhaps he can't because they do not exist."

    Perhaps the asshole known as Tom Blanton can stop asking me to prove Tom Blanton's point. You claim it's true, you prove it, asshole.
    Oh, and mommy has a snack for you; time to stop playing your games, asshole.

  • RyanXXX||

    How is he supposed to prove his point farther than he already has? No libertarian names supporting the Kochtopus have emerged from you, as of yet

  • sevo||

    RyanXXX|2.27.11 @ 9:24PM|#
    "How is he supposed to prove his point farther than he already has?"

    The claim is non-falsifiable.
    "...libertarians (not conservatives) that lavish praise on the Koch boys who DO NOT receive funding from them. Or, perhaps he can't because they do not exist."
    We have a claim where the definition of "libertarian" is reserved to the claimant, added to the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc.
    Asshole's "proof" has not been shown; the request is to disprove a non-proof.

  • sevo||

    Oh, and just for the hell of it, I think the Kocks are pretty hot stuff, since they fund what I call Libertarian causes.
    And I haven't gotten a penny.

  • Tom Blanton||

    Now I understand why this "sevo" kid doesn't want people to know his real name.

    Perhaps he will outgrow his confusion one day.

  • ( @ )( @ )||

    My real name is Hooters Magoo.

  • ( @ )( @ )||

    Anyone who helps fund the demise of the so called "Patriot" Act can't be all bad.

  • Gregory Perry||

    I did not know that Captain Kirk was a libertarian.

  • دردشه عراقية||

    Thanks

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