Touré, Touré, Touré: MSNBC Talker Calls for Gov't Mandates to End Other Gov't Mandates.

Over at Mediaite, Andrew Kirell watches The Cycle, MSNBC's junior-varsity version of Fox's The Five, and zeroes in co-host Touré's recent demand that that government not only force us to eat our vegetables but pass mandates to counter other mandates:

On Monday’s edition of the show, Touré was back at it again, spending an entire segment describing all the paternalistic (his words!) laws he’d like to see our government pass.

“Many Americans say they’re unhappy about the health care law, but the the popularity of the law is something of a red herring,” he began his monologue. “Sometimes, government must lead. Sometimes, government must demand people accept change they’re not yet ready for. Those are the moments when leaders with vision can change society and create the crescendos of history. In freeing the slaves, desegregating schools, enacting Title IX, and legalizing gay marriage, government led America into a new world much of the country wasn’t ready for, but in time, we adjusted. And this too shall pass.”

As Kirell notes, "three of those four examples of 'government leading America into a new world' were government having to reverse policies put into place and enforced by a paternalistic government."

But Touré wasn't finished yet and he continued to channel a mix of Carrie A. Nation and Popeye the Sailor in suggesting that once Obamacare is a rousing success that the president's second term will be bolder yet:

“Maybe he’ll go even further trying to bolster his legacy by enacting new paternalistic mandates meant to make the nation better. Saying all Americans must vote, because government works better when all participate in selecting leaders. Eat your vegetables! Maybe mandate that all citizens must go to some sort of post high school college — maybe liberal arts, maybe technical — because America works better when we are better educated and trained. Eat your vegetables! How about a mandate of a year or two of public service after college?”

To which Kirell writes:

If someone were to effectively parody a liberal, what obvious line would come out of their mouth? Something like “the people don’t know what’s best for them,” right?

Well, hey, Touré said exactly that: “I’m just saying, sometimes the people don’t know what’s best for them.”

Whole thing here.

As a postscript, I'd like to ask what the hell is it with people bringing up national service as a legitimate policy option? This isn't simply a progressive thing - Bill Buckley wrote a whole book about the idea and centrists such as Bill Bradley have been gung-ho on it too - but who seriously would look forward to blowing a couple of years in his or her early adulthood to do make-work jobs? Christ, talk about a paucity of imagination when it comes to new ways of making people miserable.

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  • Pro Libertate||

    I demand an anti-mandate, unmandating all mandates! Mandates have no place in a free society.

    Got to do something, we're 114th in happiness after all.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    115th after you and the others got to arguing about it being a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    THANKS!

  • Pro Libertate||

    116th. Your criticism makes me sad.

    Since the pursuit of happiness has only been claimed as a value by classical liberals, I suggest we restore the philosophy of the Declaration of Independence and adopt the political structure of the--the [pauses to look it up] Cons-ti-tu-tion.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    This would never have happened in Mexitopia!!

    I'll bet they have mandatory "community service"...

  • Pro Libertate||

    They should mandate service at the local level. Mandatory bus-driving.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    The unions would never allow it. National service is good for recent college graduates without talent, personality, good grades, or connections. It's like the anti-internship.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I suggest an alternative. Voluntary indentured servitude. Students work off their debts by signing on for servitude instead of debt repayment. The lending institution can sell the services of their servants to the highest bidder. The service period is tied to whatever price is paid by the bidder, based on a 40-hour work week, less costs for room, board, healthcare.

    Students can opt out at any time, with credit for the time worked, except maybe some penalty to cover costs.

  • ||

    When doctors are unionized, this is precisely how this scheme will work for med students, I suspect, Pro'L Dib.

    I called it "residency".

  • Pro Libertate||

    Exactly. It's not slavery, as you can always quit and give up your career.

  • ||

    And,of course, pay the penaltax (HT RC Dean), retroactively prorated and not adjusted for inflation. Feh.

  • ant1sthenes||

    No, we're 114th in making Gaia happy. Human happiness is of no concern to environmentalists.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Well Heinlein was big on that National Service thing too. Only in his version, you didn't HAVE to do it, you just couldn't vote if you didn't.

  • Pro Libertate||

    And he was wrong.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Andy was wrong?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Heinlein. And Andy.

  • Timrek||

    Yes, he was wrong, but he still made more sense and believed in the ideas spelled out in the Constitution far more than 98% of the people in Washington do today.

  • Pro Libertate||

    No argument here.

  • John||

    What Heinlein didn't get is that the guy who pays taxes is doing just as much national service as the private pulling a trigger. As they say, No Bucks No Buck Rodgers. Heinlein was right that there should be some kind of national service to vote. He just was wrong in not understanding that paying taxes is national service.

  • Tulpa the White||

    The guy paying taxes isn't putting himself in danger for the sake of society, so he has no right to determine its direction.

    Reread the relevant section of your mathematical ethics textbook and complete the proof of morality by the morning.

  • John||

    The guy paying taxes isn't putting himself in danger for the sake of society, so he has no right to determine its direction.

    Writing the check is every bit as necessary as pulling the trigger. If there is a sliding scale of national service, then really only front line infantry should have the right to vote. Most people in the logistics tale don't risk their lives. But without them, there would be no army. And without tax payers there would be no army. Both serve equally in the ultimate sense.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    That was before asymmetric warfare. We lost more transporters in some years in Iraq than infantry.

  • John||

    Didn't lose to many guys in Quatar did we?

  • Tulpa the White||

    In Heinlein's model, everybody in the military fought. There was no such thing about "support personnel", in fact Johnny Rico was incredulous when he was told about the ridiculous ratios of non-fighting to fighting soldiers in 20th century "North American Republic" militaries.

    I should note that Starship Troopers was the book that brought me to libertarianism.

  • John||

    And Heinlein was writing about a fantasy world where armies won by valor rather than superior logistics and fire power. In the real world, an army runs on its stomach and its firepower.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Uh, no, he wasn't. I mean, obviously there's a fictitious component since he's talking about space travel and world govt etc, but there were definitely logistics involved in warfare, it's just that the logistics people also had to fight.

  • Killazontherun||

    Starship Troopers was not an idealized world for Heinlein, but one that had been turned fascistic during a long, extended war. If you read his articles you would see that for the purpose of elections, he advocated a poll tax that you paid upfront, and took the risk of losing if you did not answer a series of questions on civics correctly, you couldn't vote nor reclaim your tax. He was also against conscription.

  • Killazontherun||

    he advocated a poll tax that you paid upfront, and took the risk of losing if you did not answer a series of questions on civics correctly., you couldn't vote nor reclaim your tax.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Starship Troopers was not an idealized world for Heinlein, but one that had been turned fascistic during a long, extended war.

    They weren't at war at the beginning of the book.

    Also, there was no conscription in the Terran Federation. Service was voluntary.

  • ||

    Incorrect, Tulpalito. I just finished this book a week ago. Not even including the opening chapter where Rico's company is attacking a city of "Skinnies", they were already at war with the bugs when Rico decided to join. The war just hadn't hit home yet (Buenos Aires hadn't been bombed).

  • Pro Libertate||

    This is a fundamental issue that a lot of people don't get. It's just as important to keep our economy going as to run the military. Really, probably more important. Not to mention that the idea of serving some collective interest is total bullshit--it's not serving the volonté générale; it's serving the special interests of those in power.

  • Tulpa the White||

    A free market economy keeps itself going (so long as coercion is kept out of the picture by some other actor). People who produce goods and services receive their reward through the market's own machinations. People who do the keeping of coercion out, and fly to Pluto and fight giant arachnids have to be rewarded in a separate way.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I call such rewards "money."

  • Tulpa the White||

    But then you're talking about mercenaries, not soldiers. Mercenaries are much more expensive.

  • Pro Libertate||

    We, um, pay our armed services personnel.

  • ||

    Mercenaries are soldiers. And non-conscripted volunteer soldiers can be as pricy as mercenaries.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Did a bunch of you read some other version of Starship Troopers?

    The Service in the book was not all military. The military units were just one aspect of it--the one we see because that's what the story is about.

  • Tulpa the White||

    And he was wrong.

    whooooooooooooooooooa.

    You don't want to go down this road, PL. Heinlein is THE MANE.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Not to the extent he advocated national service. Which I'm not positive he did--did he ever address this in any of his essays?

  • ||

    Heinlein is THE MANE.

    He is indeed the Stallion of Stallions.

  • o3||

    "As a postscript, I'd like to ask what the hell is it with people bringing up national service as a legitimate policy option?"
    _
    the FBI violent crime stats make clear that 17-24 yr old black males would, as a whole, benefit from military service. This demographic is like under 1% of the pop yet commits nearly 70% of violent crime.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Did you just advocate the return of slavery?

  • o3||

    spoken like a coddled civilian

  • Pro Libertate||

    And you sound like a slavery apologist, circa 1860.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Won't someone think of the children?

  • ||

    Too many people do. And I strongly suspect The Dread Pirate CJ Roberts did the same when crafting his final majority opinion.

  • Pro Libertate||

    They get enslaved, too.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    OK, I'll say it then - are you advocating a return to involuntary servitude? I, for one, would never have volunteered for an Army full of conscritps/draftees/slaves.

  • Brutus||

    Of course not. He's just thumping the tub for the establishment of the Obama Youth. Nice, crisp, brown shirts.

  • ||

    With matching brown prosthetic noses. Snazzy!

  • ||

    Pro L, just because 03 openly advocates enslaving black males 17-24, dont think you or I are exempt. He wants us all in chains.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Naturally. Then again, who doesn't?

  • o3||

    nah, most of yall would be too fat outta shape

  • Tulpa the White||

    If they kill brown people in Iraq, they won't kill brown people in America.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    If true, I wonder if any government policies contribute to that situation. As usual, you're talking about a new government policy to deal with the effects of previous government policy, but you don't question the need for government policy.

    If you hired a handyman who had to keep coming back to your house to commit ever bigger mistakes to cover up his previous mistakes, you'd have an issue. But when it's the government doing the same thing, you're golden. Why is that?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Yow. This is good to know about you, o3.

  • o3||

    yep, im a vet support our military

  • LTC(ret) John||

    No thanks - that kind of "support" can be done without.

  • Sudden||

    Shorter o3: "If they're gonna be shooting guns and dying during these years in their life, we might as well force them to shoot, kill, and die in our service instead of theirs"

  • ||

    17-24 yr old black males would, as a whole, benefit from military service

    "as a whole" does not serve -- "individuals" serve. and those actual individuals might think they have a better idea of what benefits them then some idiot authoritarian commentator on HNR -- and they'd be right, since value is subjective.

  • BoscoH||

    We could always embrace paternalism and make this guy shut the fuck up.

  • Nick Schweitzer||

    My brother-in-law and I argue about the whole "National Service" thing every once in a while when we have our bi-annual 4 hour debate about everything and anything.

    I've started referring to his particular political philosophy as "Heinleinian" now... and it amazed me that he never read Starship Troopers, because it matches him very well. He buys into the whole concept of mandatory service, and that you cannot be considered a citizen until you've done it.

    Oddly enough, he thinks it will actually decrease the amount of times we go to war if we have a large, dedicated standing army made up of conscripts... because people will be more engaged.

    It's always a tough debate.

  • Raven Nation||

    Thoughts on the Swiss model? National service but no large standing army.

  • John||

    I think taxes should count as national service. How about this idea, you don't vote unless you pay taxes. You ought to have some skin in the game before you get a voice. And I would include government employees in that group. I would disenfranchise myself. Only those employed in the private sector whose income tax bill was something greater than zero can vote.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Why should we even bother to have votes when Thunderdome is a much better way of deciding things.

  • T o n y||

    Are you trying to be funny... or what? Because, failing at that, you seem to be advocating for tyranny (that is, people being governed without their consent).

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    You mean like now?

  • o3||

    so move. we'll live

  • John||

    For centuries only property owners could vote. That is not tyranny. The fact is government employees cannot be trusted to judge government impartially. If you spend your life dedicated to a particular department or program, it is unlikely you are going to objectively look at its value. For this reason government employees should not be voting. And no one who is on welfare or taking money from the government should be voting. If you don't pay the bills, you don't get a say. It is that simple.

    What is that matter Tony are you afraid the working people of this country might not be so keen on you taking their money?

  • sarcasmic||

    You mean people without property shouldn't be allowed to elect redistributionists who will steal on their behalf and get away with it because they are the ones tasked with punishing theft?

    How the fuck can you achieve a socialist utopia if you can't use government to give you the right to the private property of other people?

  • John||

    It is no coincidence that the broadening of the franchise was accompanied by the rise of redistributive government.

  • o3||

    so as you treat the least of these, you treat Me

  • sarcasmic||

    I always find it humorous when liberals use the teachings of Jesus as an excuse to use government force.

    "Jesus said to help the poor, and we want to force you to help the poor while you want people to do it out of the goodness of their own hearts.
    That puts us on the moral high ground, because more people will pay in when they are forced than if they do it voluntarily.
    Since more will pay in when the only other option is prison, we can help more people since we'll have more money!
    Hooray for philanthropy!
    Now pay up, or else."

    You folks truly see no difference between voluntary charity and threat of violence, do you.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    By compulsion of force? Some Christain you are. Sound more like Talib - society won't be GOOD until all men have beards, all women are back under the veil (and the fist) and the zakat is paid! Who cares what is in your heart, the outward forms must be obeyed!

  • sarcasmic||

    By compulsion of force? Some Christain you are.

    In once sentence liberals will bring up some obscure quote from Leviticus to mock Christians, and in the next they'll claim the Christian moral high ground by equating government charity (through force) to the teachings of Jesus (be nice because you want to).

    Show me a liberal and I'll show you a disingenuous sack of shit.

  • ||

    O3's rewriting of Luke tale of the Good Samaritan ("The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."):

    The expert in the law replied, "The one who advocated using centurions to rob other people, and keep some of the swag for themselves, and use some of the ill-gotten proceeds to "have mercy" on him, but only if he appears to be a meek supporter of Caesar." Jesus told him, "WTF?"

  • Zeb||

    And it wouldn't entirely disenfranchise all that many people. Most people pay some state taxes, at least. What I'd most like to see is for only local property tax payers to be able to vote on local spending. As much as local control is a good thing, those people can be pretty bad when they get their hands on a little power and other people's money.
    I'm rebuilding my house right now, so I am particularly sensitive to how local government fucks with you. Fortunately, we seem to have a pretty laid back building code inspector.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    I didn't vote for Pelosi, Reid, Obama, or Roberts yet here they are telling me what to do. For that matter, I couldn't possibly have voted for or against three of them and Obama lost my state.

  • sarcasmic||

    I find I can accurately predict the outcome of an election by taking the inverse of my ballot.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I can predict sports scores the same way.

  • tarran||

    (that is, people being governed without their consent).

    If my kid gets caught with a beer he gets arrested. You think he consented to that?

  • some guy||

    How would they be governed without consent? Once the laws are in place they would know the rules. If they wanted to vote they would simply have to not work for the government and pay some taxes.

  • John||

    That is exactly right. You want a cush government job with a good retirement, give up your right to vote. That is a fair trade.

  • ant1sthenes||

    In a recent poll, less than a quarter of respondents believed that the government had the consent of the people. Just sayin'.

  • Restoras||

    Tyranny is what you advocate, Tony.

  • CharlotteHaze||

    Only those employed in the private sector whose income tax bill was something greater than zero can vote.

    Amen.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    We can't open it up to subsistence farmers who take nothing from the state?

  • some guy||

    The state is set up so that everyone must take something from it. Defense, education, roads, etc. all run through the state. It's designed so that no one can ever say "I'm independent!"

  • sarcasmic||

    What about government contractors?
    They are technically private sector, but the majority of their income is derived from taxes.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    A minor quibble:

    but the majority of their income is derived from taxes

    Depends on the contractor. My company is a govt contractor, and a TINY fraction of our income is from gummint contracts. Most is from private citizens in retail transactions, a smaller portion is private wholesale, and a wee, tiny piece is govt.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Might I suggest some sort of fraction based compromise?

  • The Hammer||

    Like if you get 3/5ths of your income from government, you get 3/5ths of a vote? Sounds vaguely familiar for some reason...

  • sarcasmic||

    What if you work for the Subway in the Pentagon?
    Subway gets most of its business from the private sector, but the location you work at gets all of its business from government.
    Are you allowed to vote or not?

  • tarran||

    It's really not a workable system. The voter is incentivized to loot the commons that is the public treasury and the economy that the state predates upon.

    Coming up with a system of voting that doesn't involve people getting plundered is as futile as attempting to come up with a way of forcing someone to have sex with you that isn't rape.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Well you could kill them first.

  • sarcasmic||

    How can government protect private property rights while also giving some the right to the private property of other people?

    It can't.

  • ||

    It's really not a workable system. The voter is incentivized to loot the commons that is the public treasury and the economy that the state predates upon.

    Except the only people paying into the treasury are the voters themselves. So if taxes are voluntary, they would only be looting themselves. They then have an incentive to either a) manage the treasury properly, or b) not pay taxes at all.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Dude, John brings up this retarded idea about once a month and what usually follows is a sub-thread of implementation bickering.

    I argue that within a couple election cycles so many exceptions would be carved out that we'd be back to where we are now. I also argue that we'd just end up with a tighter 50/50 blue red split that would further the two party agenda. But if makes you feel good to say, "Yar! Only landed white male should be able to vote!oneERP!" go ahead.

    One thing that I've noticed isn't that people are mad that they pay taxes; they're pissed that the other guy isn't paying any. I feel the assumption that the taxed are going to A. vote for a smaller government and B. vote themselves out of a vote through lower taxes to be simplistic and dangerously myopic to unintended consequences.

  • John||

    "Yar! Only landed white male should be able to vote!oneERP!" go ahead.

    No said anything like that. I don't care if you are black or purple or a women, man or something in between. If you pay taxes you can vote. If not, tough shit. So shut up with the racial straw man dipshit.

    Second, it may not lead to smaller government. Who knows. But even if it lead to bigger government, it would be a more just government since those paying the bills would at least be agreeing to pay said bills. If the taxpayers of this country want to pay higher taxes for bigger government, that is their right. But what should not happen is people who don't pay taxes and just take taxes be able to outvote and take the money of those who do.

  • ||

    I think John's idea is workable, and WOULD lead to smaller government. If taxes are voluntary, people will only pay in if they want something funded, but they can't force other people to help. They would have to use their own money along with that of other volunteers. If they want more money, they have to convince people to pay up.

    Government would shrink as people would pay less taxes. "Looting" wouldn't work because people would be looting themselves, and anyone who thought their money was being spent uselessly would withdraw some or all of their funds.

  • General Butt Naked||

    If taxes are voluntary, people will only pay in if they want something funded, but they can't force other people to help.

    If this were implementable and stable it would basically be anarchy. If a goal is pursued by people volunteering their resources and time without coercion how would that be different from a charity or corporation? Would that even be considered a government?

  • The Hammer||

    "If this were implementable and stable it would basically be anarchy."

    How awful!

  • General Butt Naked||

    I always knew there was a Tony-esque majoritarian hiding under that conservative facade. Me personally, I don't give a shit about fairness and who pays the bills, I want a small easily drownable government.

    I don't think it's right that 51% of the greater population gets to decide what to do with the money of the other 49%, and just because it's 51% of taxpayers deciding doesn't make it moral to me. Not to mention the implementation leviathan that would grow out of your little scheme. And hey, because only the income taxed get to vote, hello VAT, or national sales tax. That's right, we can tax and inflate the working poor's income by half and the hoi polloi still won't get to vote. Har har, it's fair because we pay the bills!

  • ||

    Except you're ignoring the idea of taxes being voluntary. If the only people deciding what to do with tax dollars are the ones GIVING the tax dollars, it gets rid of some of the growth and "majoritarian" problems.

  • ||

    Ah. "Taxes being voluntary" wasn't in John's original proposal, so your criticism is accurate. I didn't notice that was my own insert until I looked back at John's original proposal. I do believe, though, that his idea is workable with a "voluntary taxes" provision.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Dude, John never said anything about voluntary taxes. Jeeze.

    If we got to a point where taxes were voluntary I wouldn't give a fuck who could vote because government would be dead. Everyone could vote all day long for anything they want, and it wouldn't fucking matter if they ain't got cash.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I see that you see, sorry for the terse response, but I couldn't understand your adamance regarding the voluntary thing.

  • sarcasmic||

    Taxes are monies paid to those who do violence on your behalf so that they don't commit violence against you.

    Calling them voluntary is an oxymoron.

  • ||

    Except you're ignoring the idea of taxes being voluntary. If the only people deciding what to do with tax dollars are the ones GIVING the tax dollars

    No such thing as voluntary taxation. If you are actually giving money to the government, and have the choice to not purchase that service from them and look elsewhere for a provider of those services, it's not taxation OR government.

  • John||

    The hoi polloi would absolutely get to vote in my system. That is the whole point. The guy digging ditches for minimum wage ought to have a vote before the SES working in the Pentagon.

    And the poor people of this country want to vote themselves a VAT so they can vote, have fun. Government employees still wouldn't be voting.

  • General Butt Naked||

    You said net income tax payers. That would exclude most minimum wage earners.

  • John||

    But not all. Just the ones who don't pay taxes.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Okay, I thought you meant only "income tax" technically. Not taxes on income. Because all working persons pays SS tax but not all pay income tax. So your tax would be more like a 'have a job tax' which is a little better, but I still see major problems in implementation.

  • John||

    In an ideal world, they wouldn't vote either. But the problem is that it would be impossible to figure out who is a government contractor and who isn't. So just cut it off at government employees.

  • sarcasmic||

    Then government would just contract everything out. You know how these weasels work.

  • John||

    True. I guess it would be anyone who provides the government a service for more than say 70% of their work. Just because say a plumber fixes a toilet in a government building shouldn't automatically deprive him of his vote. It would get complicated sadly.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    They're not that bright. Plus, they wouldn't do that since being 'above' filthy contractors is more important to them than voting.

  • ||

    I don't think it would matter if they're government contractors. Where are they getting the money? From volunteer tax dollars. If the dominant players in government started using too much money, other voters would withdraw some or all of their tax dollars, leaving the dominant players to loot themselves if they want something done.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    I've pursued this as a thought experiment. I can never figure out how/where to draw the line for contractors.

  • Brendan||

    I like the idea of that, but in a slightly different way.

    It does require budgeting.

    Technically everyone is required to pay taxes, but the bill is collected by mailing out monthly statements to registered voters.

    The more people there are to mail to, the smaller everyone's individual bill.

    We could even fold into a cute soundbite: Those who want to have a say have to pay.

  • General Butt Naked||

    That's an interesting idea. Given human nature it's extremely unlikely to succeed, but I would support that.

    Hell, you could go a step further and give people paying the power to earmark their tax money. Don't like war, don't pay for it. Don't like welfare, don't pay for it. Let the various government agencies compete for your money. The upshot is that it would make lawmakers obsolete. Sure they could pass laws and regulations but without funding they'd quickly die.

  • ChrisO||

    Oddly enough, he thinks it will actually decrease the amount of times we go to war if we have a large, dedicated standing army made up of conscripts... because people will be more engaged.

    I actually think there's something to that argument, even though I don't favor reinstating the draft.

    Our military is increasingly professional--which makes it more effective, but also more isolated from society at large. It's easier for politicians to justify using the military constantly in an interventionist way, since it's "their job."

    The Swiss model is probably the best, but it helps that the population is already small, well-armed and not inclined to foreign adventurism. It's a true defense force, unlike our current military.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Liberal use of the NG and Reserves has somewhat eliminated the "isolated from society" point.

    That said, I had a harder time dealing with Pentagon types and folks who spent their whole lives in Big Army than other Guard and Reserve types.

  • Nick Schweitzer||

    You bring up a good point Raven... but look at the scales...

    Swiss Population: ~7.8 Million
    US Population: ~311.6 Million

    I don't think they're comparable because there is only so much you can do with a small army... standing or not.

  • ||

    Now, let's extrapolate these stats to say...UHC. Not so pretty now, is it?

  • Raven Nation||

    True. But Swiss used their army as part of the reason to deter a German invasion in WWII. Basically: you can occupy us but we'll make life a living hell for you if you do. And, besides, if you leave us alone we'll be happy to accept everything you got from looting Europe.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Again, is this a different version of Starship Troopers?

    There are no conscripts in the book--nor is entering the service mandatory

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    You know who else promoted a paternalistic society and promoted national service...

  • ||

    Mike Godwin?

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Don Garlits?

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    +320MPH

  • ||

    + "Big Daddy"

  • o3||

    abraham lincoln?

  • ||

    George H.W. Bush?

  • tarran||

    Must be a yearning deep in human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws — always for other fellow. A murky part of us, something we had before we came down out of trees, and failed to shuck when we stood up. Because not one of those people said: Please pass this so that I won't be able to do something I know I should stop. Nyet, tovarishchee, was always something they hated to see neighbors doing. Stop them for their own good.

    -Robert Heinlein Moon is a Harsh Mistress

  • John||

    Lets ban McDonalds and big fountain drinks but Capital Grill, with its epic portions is just great.

  • Pro Libertate||

    We have to protect the proles, not the aristocracy. Come, John, let us be reasonable.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    And when every restaurant is Taco Bell, we will have achieved Nirvana

  • ||

    "You really licked his ass!"

  • ||

    Only if weed is legal.

  • Brett L||

    Party officials are already enlightened. Of course they don't need rules. And some day the proles won't either. But today is not that day. Now get this limo to my dacha, I have several attractive young women of the proletariat who need my attention.

  • John||

    After all we are not communists.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I do drink oily gin though.

  • ||

    A dirty martini is practically a necessity these days.

  • Ska||

    Just put down the Gordon's, man. There's no reason to do that to yourself.

  • ||

    "I'm just saying, sometimes the people don't know what's best for them."

    Well, they don't. They also don't know what's best for others, so maybe they shouldn't be given that control, hey Toure?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    As a postscript, I'd like to ask what the hell is it with people bringing up national service as a legitimate policy option?

    Yeah, that's pretty much part and parcel with leftist and/or statist thinking. Subservience of the individual to the greater good. (Forced, if necessary.)

  • Dylan||

    It also exposes "moderates" for the statists they truly are.

  • Raven Nation||

    And Toure isn't exactly right on segregation, slavery, or Title IX. Those three things were really government responding to large scale shifts in public attitudes just not necessarily everywhere in the country.

    Slavery was, obviously, deeply unpopular in many parts of the US before the CW but Congress had an unofficial, tacit agreement to not discuss it. Even during the war, it took Lincoln several years to commit to emancipation and even then, there was a large political component.

    School desegregation ditto.

  • John||

    Few people wanted to ban slavery in the North before the war. Abolitionists were a fringe movement even in the North. It was only after the civil war and 600,000+ deaths that the North decided to end slavery and thus the entire antebellum culture once and for all.

  • Raven Nation||

    Hmm, not sure I totally agree with that, but I wasn't clear in my original post. There were variations within the anti-slavery movement. The "end it now" group were definitely fringe (can't think of the name of the guy who decried the "constitution of death.").

    But Dred Scott, and KS-NE did amp up the anti-slavery groups. Most of them weren't motivated by moral opposition to slavery but by growing sense of rage over the political power of larger slave owners in the south. It didn't lead to widespread abolitionism but it did lead to a growing determination to reign in the political power of slave owners. There was a jump in voting for the Liberty Party in 1856 and then the Republicans after that.

    My original point was not that there was overwhelming anti-slavery sentiment in the country but that when government moved to end slavery, it was not really leading from the front but reflecting the opinion of a large portion of northern society.

  • John||

    People in the North, at least initially didn't want slavery spreading west and they didn't want southerners bringing their slaves north to compete with their labor. They really didn't care about the blacks and didn't care how the South treated their blacks. But the southerners were so aggressive and imperialistic they left the North no choice. Dred Scott, the fugitive slave law and southern terrorism in Kansas resulting from the Kansas Nebraska act, forced the North to deal with slavery, something most northerners would have preferred not to do.

  • Raven Nation||

    Agree.

  • o3||

    wrong, my family participated in the underground railroad

  • John||

    And every Frenchman was in the resistance. And so what?

  • Tulpa the White||

    there was a large political component

    Absolutely, in fact I'd say it was purely political.

    Emancipation was a means of (a) punishing states that continued in rebellion, and (b) getting the abolitionists to really push for the war effort.

  • Raven Nation||

    True. But, again, government was pushed by the people (whatever their motivation), government wasn't leading out in front.

  • ||

    People somehow think that force will instantly make a population do what you want it do to. Paternalists rarely think about how to enforce it for the people who say No.

  • Spoonman.||

    It's not that they don't know how it will be enforced, it's that they don't care.

  • Brendan||

    They usually hand wave that part or toss out some adorable euphimisms.

    Obama's campaign commercial says he's going "ask" the rich to pay more for rebuilding the middle class.

    The part of the ACA that says you have to be insurance is not a 'mandate' because you have a choice-you can either have health insurance or pay a tax/penalty. But the tax is really mild because the IRS can deduct it from your refund. If you don't get a refund, it'll be an additional tax you will be "asked" to pay. They usually leave off the last part about what happens if you don't pay.

    The other fun one is the whole "well, you have to take the bad with the good" line of reasoning. This is outright comical and nausea inducing when you realize the same people saying this (progressives) are the same ones to attack any libertarian proposals because they're not perfect.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    They generally don't have to worry about it - most people comply.

    Look around the US - who's "resisting" anything? Oh, yes, the odd few here and there.
    The vast majority?

    "Oh, sonofabitch, I hate this, but I'm doing it....bitch, bitch, bitch...."

  • Tulpa the White||

    The people getting groped at the security checkpoints are resisting the nudie scanners.

    TBH, for the average person, there isn't really much coercion going on against them.

  • ||

    Not very many resisting the nudie scanners. When I flew back from the LP convention, I was the only person in line who opted out -- and that opting out took about a half hour, since I wasn't about to submit meekly. Hundreds of people, and I was the only opt out.

    FN sheep.

  • Tulpa the White||

    He's a talking head on MSNBC who's been surrounded by people telling him he's a great thinker for his whole life. Not the best environment for someone to learn to double check their cogitation against reality.

    I mean seriously? If you've survived till 25 or whatever he is with a name like "Toure", you must have been sheltered.

  • John||

    He is a black liberal who tries to be cool. You think the douche bag beta white liberals around him would ever call bullshit?

  • ||

    Racist! (not really)

  • JW||

    He dropped that last 't' after the medication started working.

    That is why he goes around yelling, "Medicare!", Subsidized bikes!" "jobs!" and "stimulus!", right?

  • ||

    Wonder what would happen if the state told this guy the HAD TO go to church?

    Or that he HAD TO buy a Chevrolet?

  • some guy||

    Or he HAD to carry a firearm? Or he HAD to stop drinking alcohol?

    When statists propose giving new powers to the State, they always assume their preferred party will be in the majority forever.

    Statists are short-sighted.

  • Brendan||

    I would so love to see this sort of poke in the eye to the left.

    A $5000 tax on all doctors. Exemptions for those who don't perform abortions.

    A $500 or $5000 tax for 'public safety purposes' that is exempted if you own a gun.

    A $5000 tax for 'alcohol related problems' with exemptions for those who live in dry counties.

    My my, the socons could have a field day with this 'mild' encouragement power that left has polished up and legitimized.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Say, I saw Touré, Touré, Touré!. Damned Japs.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    +BANZAI!

  • ||

    This toure piece of cheese is just shilling for captain zero. It is propaganda in pure form. All of these ideas were advanced already by sunstien and obama, but were scoffed at as being too extreme. They kicked the selling of it down to the bottom of the ladder so that captain zero wont look like the radical extremist that he is.

    SOP for the left is to put crazy ideas out there until they dont look so crazy anymore. Our own trolls are the same kind of despicable shit. They arent righteous individuals who come here day after day trying to help us see the light, you can bet on that.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Sometimes, government must lead. Sometimes, government must demand people accept change they’re not yet ready for. Those are the moments when leaders with vision can change society and create the crescendos of history.

    BAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRFFFFFFFF

  • John||

    Sometimes I think these assholes deserve a real no shit dangerous totalitarian government. Sorry Toure but sometimes the government must lead. So it is off to the camps for you.

  • ||

    "...these assholes deserve a real no shit dangerous totalitarian government."

    I think that is what he is explicitly calling for John.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Indeed, anyone who waxes ecstatic about "crescendos of history" should be kept as far as possible from the levers of power. God damn! Most of us are getting crushed against the catgut, not sitting in the audience for those historic violin flourishes.

  • John||

    "Crescendos of history" describes the Nazis and Communists quite well. History is a wave of being that can't be stopped. You just ride it. Think pompous and demonic shit like Streuss' Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    You misspelled the composer - are you feeling straussed?

  • John||

    It was Richard and he was Nazi anyway. So we probably ought to change the spelling who he stops being associated with the non Nazi Johann. When you think about what it is, it really is the most ridiculous and evil piece of music. It really deserved to be Elvis' opening. That pretensions piece of crap deserved to be followed by a bejeweled Elvis doing CC Rider. I hope that is piped in to Straus's flat in hell.

  • JW||

    But, they'll only do really kewl things like free national Internet access and free health care, right? RIGHT?

  • ||

    Naked Authoritarianism. What isnt to like Tulpa?

  • ChrisO||

    Nitwits like this Toure fellow always find authoritarianism appealing, because they naturally envision themselves at the top of the pyramid making the rules for everyone else.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Yes. This is why authoritarianism is the most appealing to losers in life.

  • ||

    The notion of The Guaranteed Favourable Outcome is not limited to just "losers in life", Tulpington.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If someone were to effectively parody a liberal, what obvious line would come out of their mouth? Something like "the people don’t know what’s best for them," right?

    Well, hey, Touré said exactly that: "I’m just saying, sometimes the people don’t know what’s best for them."

    I think this misses the point.

    For the record, I don't think "the people" know what's best for them either--I think what's best for them is free-market capitalism and an end to the culture war.

    The difference between me and this morally reprehensible "liberal" is that I'm not willing to use the government to force "the people" to do what's best for them.

    That's the real difference between libertarians and everyone else.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    MSNBC is evolving into an elaborate parody of the left.

  • ||

    has evolved. Statists don't evolve, strictly speaking. They simply improvise on the same basic premise. They have gotten much more comical, however.

  • rac||

    They're laughing all the way to ruining anything good about this country. Namely, the Consitution.

  • Tulpa the White||

    No, it used to be a parody of the left. Now it's the reality.

    They are SO insufferable now, even in real life.

  • ant1sthenes||

    MSNBC The left has evolved into an elaborate parody of the left.

    Rather hilariously, they believe that it's everyone else that has changed.

  • Brendan||

    It's got a 'meta' feel to it.

    Sort of how Dennis Miller (when he was funnier) joked that Elvis impersonators always impersonated 70s Elvis because NO ONE could do 50s Elvis, not even Elvis himself, and that in fact Elvis was the highest paid Elvis impersonator.

  • flye||

    I love the idea that in a democracy, everyone must vote. We cannot be truly free until people who are otherwise too lazy, stupid, apathetic, busy, disillusioned, and/or ornery to vote are forced into it under penalty of law.

  • Spartacus||

    ...government led America into a new world much of the country wasn’t ready for, but in time, we adjusted. And this too shall pass.

    This is pretty much what Charlemagne said, right before "converting" the Saxons.

  • ||

    Change the nouns around, and those are probably the same words that were spoken on slave ships bringing Toure's black ancestors here.

  • Ken Shultz||

    P.S. There's something I can't quite put my finger on about people who casually use the definite article with the word "people"--as if "people" were a single, inanimate object or something...

    When I think about what the government does to my fellow Americans, I don't think of it in terms of what it does to "the people"; I think about it in terms of what it does to the people.

    It's like their brains can't even conceive of a group of people as a number of individuals, and in the context of him wanting to force "the people" to do what he wants?

    Hearing my friends, my family and me talked about that way as "the people" makes me want to spit.

  • Brendan||

    Well of course.

    If they start thinking of 'people' as individuals, the idea of forcing one-size-fits-all mandates on them becomes grossly immoral. Better to pretend that you're doing it for "the people" and not to Bob Smith down the street.

    Dehumanizing is absolutely necessary for most people to engage in inhumane conduct.

  • JW||

    S.E. Cupp, Krystal Ball

    At least half of the line-up is easy on the eyes.

  • Brett L||

    I think they're trying to boost ratings by catering to businesses who show the picture but mute the sound.

  • ||

    Krystal Ball...fake name, democratic strategist.

    *PUKE*

  • ||

    Maybe mandate that all citizens must go to some sort of post high school college — maybe liberal arts, maybe technical — because America works better when we are better educated and trained. Eat your vegetables! How about a mandate of a year or two of public service after college?

    If you mandate telescreens that watch your movements, then they can be sure there will be no evasion of all this mandated goodness.

  • Horologium||

    (quoting Nick Gillespie) centrists such as Bill Bradley

    I'd expect to see this in the left-wing fever swamps of MSNBC (or from some of the groupthink which dominate the NYT or WaPo fora), but never from an editor at an allegedly libertarian magazine. Bradley was clearly to the left of Gore 2000, who was clearly to the left of Bill Clinton (or Gore 1988, for that matter). Yes, Bradley is more moderate than Obama, but that's the "Taller Than Danny DeVito" award--it's not hard to achieve.

  • General Woundwart||

    ^^This^^

    Or that.

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