Coming Wed., June 15: Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie & Matt Welch!

Got a question for a libertarian? Then give it your best shot on Wednesday, June 15, when Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch answer any and all queries, such as:

  • How do you feel about net neutrality?
  • Who are you supporting in 2012?
  • Why do you hate poor people?
  • Do these pants make me look fat?
  • Aren't libertarians just Republicans who smoke pot?
  • What about the children?

Gillespie and Welch are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America, due out on June 28th. Early reviews have called Declaration "the up-to-date statement of libertarianism" (Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution); "an enthusiastic, entertaining libertarian critique of American politics (Kirkus Reviews); and "a political alarm clock" (Amy Alkon, The Advice Goddess). For more info and to pre-order from your favorite online bookseller, go to Declaration2011.com.

On Wednesday, from 10AM ET til 6PM ET, Gillespie and Welch, will receive questions via Facebook, Twitter, and email, and, with the help of Reason.tv's crack team of videographers (who may well be on crack that day), will post rapid-fire video responses to your most probing and provocative queries.

The lines open on Wednesday, so think up your toughest question and send it our way between 10AM ET and 6PM ET.

To ask via email, send to letters@reason.com

To ask via Facebook, go to Reason's Facebook page

To ask via Twitter, send to @reason and add the hashtag #askreason

And on the day of the event, haunt the comments section at Hit & Run and our Ask a Libertarian page.

Video commercial by Reason.tv's Meredith Bragg.

Music by The Zoggs.

No Matt Welches were harmed in the filming of this video.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Gibby||

    "Coming Wed., June 15: Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie & Matt Welch!"

    Who they gonna ask?

  • ||

    Who are you supporting in 2012?

    I will be supporting my family and, given the taxes I will pay, a family of four at the median income.

  • sarcasmic||

    Will Nick be wearing THE JACKET®?

  • Ska||

    I can't watch the video, but the still from it introducing "Nick Gillespie and" makes it look like the jacket is going to be a series on AMC.

  • PantsFan||

    I would watch that.

  • ||

    If so, may I touch THE JACKET®?

  • ||

    I've heard that if you can touch The Jacket, it will grant you your most desired wish. This is how Warty ended up with a giant black cock.

  • Ska||

    Did Gillespie ask to never go bald or something?

  • ||

    Nick is completely bald. On his head there is only emanations of The Jacket. When The Jacket takes its next host is the only time Nick's entirely hairless body will be on display for the cruel world to ravage and mock.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    *SNORT*

    My keyboard takes abuse from sprayed coffee all too often.

  • ||

    That certainly explains the unibrow.

  • ||

    I thought it was neon purple. I mean, that's what you told me it looked like, at least. From when he raped you. You remember that, right?

  • ||

    Imprecations. That's all your good for.

  • ||

    I don't understand. How can "your good" be for?

    And besides, pedantry is all I'm good for.

  • ||

    Hackers! Al Qaeda hackers got in and changed *you're* to *your* in a plot to discredit me! Hackers! Hackers paid in Bitcoin!

  • ||

    NutraSweet is Chuck Schumer?!? OH MY GOD

  • Joe M||

    This is clearly the tip of teh tracktur pullz sword.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    of course you mean, "all for which I am good".

  • sarcasmic||

    Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?

  • ||

    Vegetarians can. Vegans can't.

  • ||

    You mean people from a planet orbiting the star Vega? I wonder why that is?

  • Joe M||

    Vegans are sellouts. I don't eat anything that casts a shadow.

  • ||

    A better rule of thumb is to consume only things that have no mass.

  • Photons||

    Good luck!

  • ||

    Neutrino, the Diet Photon

  • Joe M||

    Hey, Neutrinos have mass, theoretically.

  • ||

    Whatevs. If photons really have no mass, then why are plants so goddamn fat? Huh, smart guy?

  • Joe M||

    Photosynthesis, duh, it's artificial photons. Typical capitalist destruction of the natural world.

  • ||

    OMG! Photons are GMO!

  • Michelle Obama||

    If photons really have no mass, then why are plants so goddamn fat?

    I have informed my husband about this and he will soon be issuing an executive order banning photosynthesis. He said the green movement will be behind him because they oppose synthetic stuff.

  • sarcasmic||

    I've got a great boson soup recipe.

  • Joe M||

    "The God Soup"

  • Higgs||

    Theif!

  • Cliché Bandit||

    A neutrino walks into a bar. Bartender says "what can I get ya?"
    Netrino says " Nothing, I'm just passing through."

  • ||

    Never eat anything bigger than your head. (Not at one sitting, anyway.)

  • ||

    everyone but catholics?

  • OO||

    no the actual rule is; consume nothing which cant also hunt & consume you as well.

  • T||

    So monkeys, tigers and sharks are okay, but a potato is verboten?

  • OO||

    damn skippy

  • Joe M||

    My question is, will Brian Doherty be doing another awesome semi-live blogging of tonight's debate?

  • Matt Welch||

    Sadly, the answer to that one is "no."

  • Joe M||

    Perhaps an open thread then, so we humble commenters can provide our own entertainment?

  • Matt Welch||

    At the very least, yes!

  • Joe M||

    The system works!

  • Spencer||

    The A system works

  • sarcasmic||

    If a man is speaking in the forest and there is no woman to hear him, is he still wrong?

  • OO||

    assuming the man doesnt want any fm her, then he's not wrong & should tell the hoe to get lost.

  • T||

    Did Adam and Eve have navels?

  • OO||

    analogies dont have navels

  • Spiny Norman||

    No, the Garden of Eden only had Valencias.

  • Tim||

    Bash a Libertarian, more likely.

  • Jeff P||

    Touch a Libertarian.
    Gently, oh so gently.

  • Too cheap to buy hardcover||

    When does the book come out in paperback?

  • Sudden||

    Buy the kindle version then. It'll be comparably priced and the authors will get more from your purchase than they would from paperback.

  • Middle Age Crazy||

    And, for those who don't know, you don't even have to buy a kindle. Download the kindle app for your PC/Mac from Amazon.

  • ||

    Is Gary Johnson really shorter than Dennis Kucinich?

  • Matt Welch||

    No.

  • rts||

    Is the right to an attorney a positive right, in the same way that right to health care (and hence a doctor's time) is?

    If so, do libertarians support this (one and only?) positive right?

    Genuinely curious.

  • sarcasmic||

    The right to an attorney is in context of the government initiating legal proceedings, and is more analogous the right to self defense from violent attack than a right to health care.

  • ||

    It's not really comparable, in that the right to an attorney is really the opportunity to engage an attorney in your defense. For it to be an analogy to doctors, the "right" would include the ability to force an attorney to work on your case.

    Your access to an attorney and your access to a doctor are about freedom of association, not fractional enslavement.

    The "or one will be appointed to you" is not a right per se, but rather an artifact of our adversarial system. It balances out the fact that prosecutor is hired by the state.

  • rts||

    Thanks SugarFree (and sarcasmic). Phrasing at "the right *to access* an attorney" makes it much clearer.

    I'm also pretty interested in how criminal justice works in a stateless society, but there are many more Google hits for that question that I can read on my own.

    (The question I asked doesn't seem to be adequately represented on the Intertubes; my Google-fu must be weakening).

  • MWG||

    Excellent question and one that I, as a libertarian, had never thought of.

  • ||

    You have a right to an attorney in a criminal proceeding. If the government doesn't feel like paying for your attorney, it shouldn't prosecute you.

    An open question in my mind is should you have a right to court-appointed counsel if you are the defendant in a civil matter. The government is helping the plaintiff by establishing the forum. Of course, the question is purely hypothetical, as anyone worth suing can afford his own lawyer.

  • OO||

    question (not on list) for the jacket -why do you hate massachusetts yet love somalia?

  • OO||

    also - is the commerce clause all we need or want?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Are you guys gonna be advertising this on non-libertarian blogs too, or are you just going to be playing softball?

  • ||

    Our trolls can provide all the insightful challenges to libertarian hegemony that are needed.

  • Matt Welch||

    Tell all your frenemies, and they'll tell two frenemies, and they'll....

    Yeah, Facebooks, and Twitters, and non-libertarian people who hate us even more than libertarians do, and so on.

  • Sudden||

    What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

  • Colin||

    African or European?

  • Irresponsible Hater||

    Tide go in, tide go out. Explain that.

    Also, why do Mexicans wear jean-shorts when they swim at the beach?

  • ||

    They think they are swimming nude.

  • Hugh Akston||

    And T-shirts? What's up with that?

  • ICP||

    And fucking magnets, how do they work?

  • Sparky||

    Good one. As far as I'm concerned they're magic.

  • Colin||

    Why do you hate the poor? /progressive.

  • PantsFan||

    they smell bad and have bad fashion sense.

  • Kristen||

    In the FSM bible, is the Kochtopus the devil?

  • Bee Tagger||

    I admit, I wouldn't mind seeing Max ask Nick if he's removed Atlas Shrugged from his ass, yet.

  • ||

    Weiner has been tagged...

  • Name Nomad||

    > Aren't libertarians just Republicans who smoke pot?

    My favorite response to this one is: "No. They're Democrats who've learned economics."

  • Tony||

    But Krugman! Nobel! Laureate!!!1!

  • ||

    Or perhaps, Democrats who got jobs in the private sector.

    Seriously, has anyone done any polling research on Dem/Rep/other affiliation that filters out people on the government teat?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I think Michael Barone has touched on that when he writes about the "political class." Rasmussen also breaks down some polls that way.

    Here is an example from Rasmussen.

  • Lucy||

    That would be true if not for all the Democrats who ignore the drug war. Snappy retort, though. I may use it.

  • ||

    Do you agree that beloved TV personality Hank "Hey Now" Kingsley should get another chance to host? And this time with support from the writers and staff.

  • Sudden||

    Where can I find a really good deal on a monocle? Ideally, one made in a fashion that causes the most human suffering. I'm thinking like mercury-death-clock gold plating to kill a few poor kids in Asia and encrusted with discounted blood diamonds that have resulted in many deaths in Sierre Leone.

  • Gibby||

    I can help you with that as I have just that very thing and I will send one to you. All you need to do is provide me with your name, address, SSN, bank account routing numbers and mother's maiden name (or favorite sports team or dream vacation) and then I'll FedEx Overnight it to you.

  • Sudden||

    By ripping off poor and stupid people, you are doing God's work in some of the toughest neighborhoods in this country. Thank you.

  • Ron Paul II||

    How long 'til Im beatified?

  • Joe M||

    If you had to decided between destroying all the rainforests in the world and making all the homeless people even more homeless, how many babies would you eat for breakfast?

  • The Gobbler||

    How are they prepared and plated?

  • Sudden||

    At Sudden Manor, the cooking staff offers several options for the preparation of human children. We have a baby sauteed with psylosibic mushrooms, espresso and ground $1000 bill encrusted baby stuffed with foie gras and served with couscous, but the most popular choice is clearly baby carapaccio. It's not your traditional carapaccio, though. The baby is actually brought out strapped to a specially made plate fully alive. The diner then has the joy of cutting the baby's flesh while alive in order to hear the screams of anguish and pain emanating from the baby as its being eaten alive by a superior (and far richer) being.

  • Sparky||

    Sounds interesting. Have you ever considered baby human stuffed in baby seal stuffed in baby cow? Maybe fried baby with a side of freshly cut kitten heads?

  • Sudden||

    I should add, we recommend the 151 proof limoncello reduction with the baby carapaccio as it causes the most intense pain and whining from the suffering baby, kills any and all bacteria from the raw meat, and gives a real quality zest to the meal.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Could Matt Welch microwave a burrito so hot that even would choose to sue the microwave manufacturer over the burnt tongue?

  • Scott Baio||

    If I became a libertarian, would you call me Liber-Chachi?

  • Helen Lovejoy||

    Here's my question:
    Won't somebody please think of the children!?!

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Who do libertarians hate more, children or poor people?

  • ||

    Poor children.

  • Almanian||

    Poor excuses for children

  • Ska||

    Poor children, or the parties responsible for child labor laws that prevented us from exploiting more of them?

  • Sudden||

    We want poor children to be less poor, and we propose 22 hour shifts in dimly lit and poorly ventilated coal mines in order to achieve that dream.

  • Joe M||

    People.

  • Zuo||

    How can libertarians ever hope to affect government change on a large scale?

    Should property owners own the mineral rights beneath their property, by default? What about liquid hydrocarbons that are spread beneath multiple landowners but can be depleted from only one of the properties?

    And: will we ever be as free as the Germans, to drive on a highway at a reasonable speed?

  • ||

    Should property owners own the mineral rights beneath their property, by default?

    Don't they? Unless a previous owner sold them off?

  • Sudden||

    Read the preliminary title reports on the standard property transfer. Generally speaking, a property purchase almost never transfers the rights to minerals underneath. Makes me wonder who gets those.

  • Trespassers W||

    In other words, how does libertarianism address the Tragedy of the Milkshakes?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Currently, I am allowed to see men's nipples in public but not lady nipples. In a libertarian utopia, could this situtation be reversed and still be considered a libertarian utopia?

  • PantsFan||

    I was going to post a hilarious clip about Man Nipples, but keep getting spamfiltered.
    Try this.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YS71CtZ_Bs

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I should clarify. The reverse situation is where eveyone is forced to look at my nipples in public.

  • Sparky||

    For those of us who don't live near you, will you send pictures?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Do you have a valid credit card?

  • Sparky||

    I do but the number is in the safekeeping of a young prince from Nairobi. Once he has transferred my $10 million I will gladly give you the number.

  • ||

    If I get to touch THE JACKET®, that is going to be my wish.

  • Serious Man||

    What should the new NHL team moving to Winnipeg (formerly Atlanta Thrashers) be named?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    They should be called the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

  • Whappan?||

    ROUGHRIDERS!!

  • Sparky||

    When will Matt Welch get a real hairdo?

  • Spiny Norman||

    You mean his current one is fake? Did he touch The Jacket?

  • Sparky||

    Oh, just thought of a couple more. Which eye is the proper eye to wear your monocle? When adjusting your monocle is it proper to use the hand on the same side or the opposite?

  • Sparky||

    Follow-up to monocle adjusting: is it necessary to laugh maniacally or can that be left out on occasion?

  • Nipplemancer||

    are you wearing a tophat? details are important!

  • Sparky||

    Sorry, I thought by posting a monocle question the tophat was implied. So to answer your question, of course.

  • Zuo||

    Its awkward to adjust with the opposite hand. Should monocles be loose, or secured to one's jacket by a chain?
    But I'm really more concerned about mustaches. What are the standard parameters for a libertarian mustache?

  • Sudden||

    Think of the villians in silent movies that tie innocent damsels to train tracks. That's the mustache you're looking for, but you tie poor people and infants/toddlers to train tracks instead. (old/infirm also permitted)

  • Spiny Norman||

    You use your dominant hand to adjust your monocle and your other hand to twirl your mustache. Maniacal laughter is optional.

  • ||

    Stolen from ProL: How can you tell if a brown towel is clean?

  • ||

    Somalia. Discuss.

  • ||

    DRINK! (then discuss)

  • MWG||

    The commentariat has done well on this thread.

  • ||

    Oh, just thought of a couple more. Which eye is the proper eye to wear your monocle?

    The bloodshot one.

    When adjusting your monocle is it proper to use the hand on the same side or the opposite?

    What, you don't have people for that?

  • Sparky||

    Thanks for the info, I want to make sure I keep up with proper monocle etiquette. As for the monocle adjusters, I couldn't find any poor children that could reach high enough.

  • Sudden||

    Simple fix, feed them HGH since it will be legal, sold over the counter, and lead to a race of super HELP in libertopia.

  • ||

    Read the preliminary title reports on the standard property transfer. Generally speaking, a property purchase almost never transfers the rights to minerals underneath. Makes me wonder who gets those.

    Its been awhile, but I think what you're talking about is the disclosure that the title insurance doesn't cover mineral rights.

    If you get fee simple title, you get everything that the seller had to transfer. If the seller didn't have the mineral rights to transfer, because they have previously been sold off, you don't get them. If he still has them, you get them.

  • ||

    If a Libertarian is driving down a state-built road at 55mph and hits a poor person while adjusting his monocle, what is the terminal velocity of his tophat?

  • sevo||

    =/< his monocle.

  • Spiny Norman||

    That's a trick question. Libertarians don't drive 55.

  • Sparky||

    Ordinance 5175(II)(a) clearly states that a tophat should at no time exceed 35 mph unless being worn. We have detected that your flying tophat scenario ends with the tophat moving at or about 40 mph. Please remain where you are, a SWAT team has been sent to collect your hat.

  • PantsFan||

    Question: What colour do you choose when playing Risk?

  • Joe M||

  • Sudden||

    Force all American Re-investment and Recovery Act employees to use spoons for digging ditches.

  • Middle Age Crazy||

    Props to Meredith for the vid, and to Matt for doing his own stunts. I half-expected those guys to leap into a muscle car and peel off down the alley.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Until an open thread for debate is, uh, open, I guess this is it.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Robot Romney needs to activate his lean-on-podium process

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Did Anderson Cooper get rhinoplasty to moderate this debate?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    First question from an obvious immigrant? TOTAL PLANT!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Santorum has trademarked the phrase "this president".

  • Sudden||

    9/11 was taken by Ghouliani

  • Bee Tagger||

    Herman doesn't like to stick his fuel in the caboose? He just lost my vote.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Ok, Pawlenty, I already know you're anti-drug, no need to take another jab at Portugal

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Reduce regulation? Where were the jobs when Bush deregulated everything??????? Ask that, CNN.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    NEW THREAD! GO!

  • ||

    Can one of these bozos explain that Bush *didn't* in fact de-regulate the economy?

  • Sudden||

    Newt beat Reagan's corpse first!

  • Bee Tagger||

    Shorter Newt: Hey everyone, look how old I am, I was giving Reagan fatherly advice

  • SIV||

    Michelle is in!

  • Patrick||

    Bachman: let me avoid this question I have no answer for (in a Presidential debate) to say I am running for president!

  • Sudden||

    Can't stand that woman. She almost makes me happy to be represented by Waxman... eh, ok, maybe not.

  • ||

    What do you think of objectivism as a philosophy?

  • ||

    Matt,

    How do you feel about the death penalty with regards to Dave Henderson?

  • ||

    What is your philosophical basis for belief in maximal liberty?

  • Ben Bramble||

    What is the role of government?

  • ||

    What cultural, or public trend will have to change in order to achieve a sustainable and limited-scope government?

  • Ben Bramble||

    Should obsolescence be the goal of all unions, lobbyist and special interest groups?

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