Weekend Open Thread

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This charming little post from Pandagon ought to get you started.

Be sure to read the comments too, where everyone shares a horror story about the once upon a time when they bumped into one of these mysterious, socially awkward, utterly contemptible liber-tarians.

I'm convinced!  Where do I give back my secret decoder ring? 

NEXT: No Small Matter

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  1. That post reads like it was written at least ten years ago. You mean to tell me you can make a libertarian’s head explode by mentioning the movement’s left-wing history?

    With recent talk about liberaltarians, we’d all be dead by now…

  2. At first I thought this guy was doing a pretty good, semi-amusing, Swiftian “A Modest Proposal,” but then I realized he just had his head up his ass. (Much farther up his ass than my peaceful anarchist head happens to be up mine.)

  3. And some of them are smart people despite it all: they’ve just been sadly misled.

    I have to ask, doesn’t this look like a charge of, well, “false consciousness?”

  4. What’s the more libertarian way of running the world? Coming up with ever-evolving procedures by which the largest number of people possible have the largest amount of input possible into the policy by which we run the world, moderated by recognizing certain expertise and the efficiency of delegating some decision-making – which is a bright-eyed and optimistic way of describing the mission of liberal democracy**** – or letting the people who are best at accumulating money bribe, bully, and blackmail their way into running huge sections of the world?

    And that, in a nutshell, is why I selfidentify as an “antitrust libertarian.” I am the only one left. Uncle Miltie was one until 1980. Then he reflected on his long career of study and made a key flip flop.

    So now it is just me.

    Unless I find an intellectual heir, the movement dies with me.

  5. Here’s a great way to dismiss any kind of philosophical, religious, or political belief system. You think up the most ridiculous and extreme examples of that belief system and then sweep the whole of the movement under that rug. And it works! At least judging by all the critically thinking challenged people who *nod* to some of the silly examples presented on that blog.

    Let’s try it with some other groups.

    For Liberals: “Oh, all the liberals I have met thought people need to be coddled by the government 24/7. Think of any human action and they’ll say, ‘man, there should be a law against that. People need to be protected.’ Why if they had their way, everyone would be required to walk around wearing helmets wherever they went.”

    For Christians: “Every single Christian I have met thinks gay people are going to hell, no woman has the right to get an abortion, the earth is 6,000 years old, we should kill all Iraqis, and that man walked the earth with dinosaurs. god, I hate them.”

    For environmentalists: “I really really hate those people. What they all really want is to kill all humans (except themselves) so that the earth can be left to only plants and animals.”

    Sure, you can find examples of these people like this in any of these groups. But only the really simple minded think that the most extreme and ridiculous examples define the movements as a whole.

    I’m surprised no one mentioned that all libertarians are worried about all the black helicopters secretly amassing.

  6. The argument that corporations can restrict your freedom as much as government is the biggest crock of shit I’ve ever heard in my life.

  7. Dave W,
    One of the beauties of being a peaceful anarchist is that one never has had any hopes of a “movement.”

    There IS movement, but it is like the invisible hand: myterious in its origin and machinations… not led by any human in particular.

  8. From the comments:

    Rob G Feb 23rd, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    Why on Earth would you want to engage in discourse with these people? I’ve found that “go away” works fairly well, if said in the right tone of voice.

    I’ve found that that goes both ways.

  9. Yeah, when Microsoft and Walmart have their own prisons and SWAT teams, then I’ll start worrying a whole lot more about how much power they have.

  10. When the government begins selling me my fuel, food an clothing, and provides my livlihood and medical care I will begin to worry about the kind of power it has.

  11. Isaac Bartram | February 24, 2007, 9:27am | #
    From the comments:

    Rob G Feb 23rd, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    Why on Earth would you want to engage in discourse with these people? I’ve found that “go away” works fairly well, if said in the right tone of voice.

    I’ve found that that goes both ways.

    When things get really fun is when you decide not to lissen and just keep talking.

  12. Ruthless,

    To your credit, you recognize that you do have your head up your ass. Recognizing where your head is increases your chances of some day pulling it out.

  13. Okay, I have a question. The goofiest stuff I’ve ever read on this blog–probably posted by a high school student–was a defense of Nesta Webster, an anti-Semitic crank few people have ever heard of. Is there a Nesta Webster wing of libertarianism?

  14. Amy is covering this today too.

    That post reads like it was written at least ten years ago. You mean to tell me you can make a libertarian’s head explode by mentioning the movement’s left-wing history?

    As I mentioned in Amy’s ‘blog, how did they get from “Property is Theft” to what I actually hear some Libertarians say “Taxation is Theft”? Or do they even bother?

    I also like how Amy Alkon noticed that they began the story by stealing art πŸ™‚

  15. I would like to see a democratic solution, much as corporations use. If you pay a dollar of income tax you get one vote. If you pay $1001 you get 2 votes, $2001 you get 3 votes, etc. Much like owning stock in a company. If you pay no tax, sorry, you have no say in how this money is going to be redistributed. Now, the incentive is not to hide from taxes but to pay. Someone paying a million bucks tax should have more voting power than someone on the dole. If corporations ran their companies as a democracy we’d be living a short brutish life.

  16. Hey not Will Allen, why are so worried about non-governmental bodies that sell you food, clothing, and health care? Do you fear you have nothing of value to exchange. Do you actually think that something besides your own talents provides your livelihood?

    P.S. Change your moniker; it gets too cumbersome.

  17. Actually, it seemed to me the author began by making a reasonably valid point — the distinction between libertarians (you know, sensible people like you and me) and uppercase Libertarians of the absolutist variety. Unfortunately, the latter category tends to include the most vocal (and often annoying) advocates of libertarianism and especially anarcho-capitalism as well as altogether too many representatives of the perennially bathotic Libertarian Party.

  18. My guess is that the author has conversed with MAAAAAAAAYBE two big L libs.

  19. Those comments are a special slice of hell. The ones that seem to think reality is a social construct are especially entertaining.

  20. The comments to that post are priceless.

    I smile each time read something like

    Please be my best friend. We’ll have sleepovers. It’ll be great.

    (the above exuberance brought to you by a week of battling MRA libertarian trolls)

    or

    One of the most annoying people I knew at college was a Libertarian.

    or

    I just sat there with my mouth open and then left. It was pointless, to go any further would be to cross over and get pulled into that singularity of insanity ?

    These make me nostaglic for my college days when I used to stimy my liberal classmates into frustration because I was “selfish, greedy, and just didn’t ‘get’ it.”

    When I was working for the republicans in Congress it was more that I was a “drug dealing, organ stealing pimp” who just didn’t “get” it.

  21. Why would they think libertarians would have a problem with the philosophy’s anarchist roots?

    Minarchism is “pragmatic” anarchism.

    Lefty Anarchism is nothing more than the recruiting tool Stalinists use as outreach to teenage skateboarders.

    None of those “cranial detonation techniques”
    are in a league with:

    Progressives? Oh the people who advocated eugenics.

    Hey those KGB files proved the 20th Century American left were Commies acting as agents of a foreign power. Alger Hiss….guilty as Hell- at least Nixon got one thing right.

    At least they acknowlege the “Hitler was a National SOCIALIST” one. I’ve actually seen heads explode at the mention of Nazism vs Communism as an intercine Leftist dispute.

  22. That article is long. And not funny. So I stopped reading it.

    But the comments here remind me of a question. I always thought the libertarian critique of government authority implicitly included a critique of the modern corporation, since the concept of a “limited liability corporation” is essentially a government-imposed categorization. Is this not true?

    This question also relates to the libertarian position on tort law, which I’ve never been clear on. And yes, I have actually thought about this. But I don’t have a good neighborhood libertarian source to ask about it.

    Anon

  23. That article is long. And not funny. So I stopped reading it.

    Same here.

    “Haha, those Libertarians SUCK! Know why? They want to get rid of FEMA!” Well, color me suck, and turn the page.

  24. gimme back my dog
    did well. Good fight.

  25. Red Queen Feb 23rd, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    I like to point out to Libertarians that neither government or business is always efficient, but with free elections you get to fire the government every few years. You can’t fire a giant monopoly.

    Damn I keep getting those “Florida ballots”
    where is the box to check for firing the IRS, DEA, EPA, FDA or US Dept of Agriculture?

  26. Long? Wow, your lips must get sore really fast. I thought it was funny. Fanatics of all stripes are easy targets, of course. Libertarians remind me of Jehovah’s Witnesses with a slighty better fashion sense.

  27. Hey not Will Allen, why are so worried about non-governmental bodies that sell you food, clothing, and health care? Do you fear you have nothing of value to exchange. Do you actually think that something besides your own talents provides your livelihood?

    I think that if too few individuals get control of the food supply, then things will happen like what happened in the Ukraine in the 1930s or in China after the Great Leap Forward.

    I realize around here, the received wisdom is that those “Super-Holocausts” happened because it was the “government” rather than “private industry” controlled the food supply.

    As an antitrust libertarian, I realize that the critical distinction is whether the control of the food supply is deconsolidated (eg, Invisible Hand model) or consolidated. When the food supply, the medical services supply, the communications supply or any other supply gets too consolidated, the distinction between “statist” and “antistatist” becomes a distinction without a difference.

    Think for a second about what Jimmy Smith is saying: what if all the millionaires decided that it would be a good idea to liquidate the unemployed and/or working poor for thir transplantable organs and blood? Why wouldn’t they? (Hint: they would. maybe not on their first day in power, but they would.)

  28. Your ballot is right here.

  29. Kinda goofy, but I liked the graphics.

  30. One of the commentators *did* get something right–history majors are some of the most cynical people on earth.

  31. Since when did freedom become BAD? A good documentary recently out is Freedom To Fascism.

    Anyway..

    Why is there a belief that Libertarians believe in capitalism first? Libertarians are about FREEDOM. And yes, I believe capitalism works and the free market is great. Am I crazy? Maybe I am.

    I was a conservative, then a liberal, then an independent, and now I’m a libertarian. I have never felt more at home.

    I haven’t had any political debates with strangers, but would the comments in that article and the tone of the article itself be directed at me? Why do people who love freedom and personal responsibility seem crazy?

    There’s a couple of good reasons why Federal Public Schools should go:

    1. Lower taxes.
    2. Lower taxes means more money for people to put their kids in competing Private Schools.
    3. You could have the states and the people in the state vote on what kind of school system they want. perhaps vouchers, nothing at all and maybe even small public schools.

    The argument in that article in the beginning that public schools ARE WORKING its nuts. I’m sorry but we have 12th graders who cannot read. I’ve seen this stuff first hand.

    We need change, and libertarians are the only large group who actually wants to do something, unlike morons who follow the democrats or republicans blindly.

  32. Well, yes, dave, and I can also envision a world where flying horses endanger us with falling equine apples. Now, the odds of someone getting such monopolisitic control of the food supply (is the monopolist also going to control my back yard?), are somewhat better than an airborne Kentucky Derby, but meanwhile we have governments agents in the U.S. literally kicking down doors and killing people in their beds, and your home can be taken from you because someone wealthier has petitioned the state to seize it for his benefit. I will start worrying about the food monopolists when it has a chance of happening. Until then, I am better served by devoting my attention to what actually is happening.

    Your last question is unclear to me. Yes, if violently evil things are attempted by a relatively small number of people, it is incumbent on the rest of us to meet them with greater violence. That relatively small number of people is most likely to attempt their evil means by first seizing the tools of the state.

  33. There’s a couple of good reasons why 9/10’s of US military spending should go:

    1. Lower taxes.
    2. Lower taxes means more money for people to do things they want to do.
    3. Not neccessary to defend US borders from invasion.

  34. Also, whats with all the “Ayn Rand=libertarianism” on that blog? Didn’t Ayn Rand distance herself from libertarianism?

  35. I will start worrying about the food monopolists when it has a chance of happening.

    when was the last time you got checked for diabetes, Will, if I may be so bold as to inquire?

  36. kwais,

    Thanks. But I grew weary of talking to myself and gave up.

    One of the comments was from someone who claims to be a semi-regular poster on this blog. He (or she) claimed to have asked us to define the basic tenents of libertarianism and that the question brought us to our knees. Any guesses who that could be?

  37. Now, that’s why they think we are loons, Singleton.

  38. If you think corporations, Machiavellian princes and selfish uncaring people are so evil and dangerous, what makes you think that giving them a monopoly on violence will improve them? The monopoly on violence being assigned to any government, what makes you think that corporations, Machiavellian princes, etc won’t work their way into it?

    I think we all look to some abstraction to solve the horrible details we notice in other abstractions (be it ‘the market’ or ‘the government’, the ‘US’ or the ‘UN’ or ‘the rich’ or ‘the worker’, lets face it, if you contemplate everything that’s wrong with both the market AND the government, your head will explode, so best to pick a favorite and write snarky blog posts.

    Oh, and don’t you love the box with the pink X (equal and free)… have you ever met any two people who were really equal? or really Free?

  39. I admit I giggled a little at the Ronald Reagan bit with the pink shade

  40. “And some of them are smart people despite it all: they’ve just been sadly misled.”

    Yeah, misled by such fabulous government programs as LBJ’s War on Poverty – 40 years and still going strong! Then there is Nixon’s wage and price controls, and what of the latest news about shortages of essential goods in Venezula – despite the good intentions of El Presidente Gigante?

    They’re right, I gots to get my head out of my ass and do some learnin’.

  41. Its amazing how so many of the complaints made in that article about libertarian beliefs are actually complaints about strong government.

    Corporations exist because of the government. They require state approval to come into existence, and the state can essebtuakkt terminate them at will. They gain power through the government. The stronger the government, the more power the corporations have.

    Forest for the trees, and all that..

  42. I’ve got to hand it to you Radley, reading that entire load of tripe is a true measure of your tolerance for inanity.

    Hacking, hacking, hacking. Everybody is party hacking at each other lately. It’s boring.

    As someone who has no party affiliation I say, Pandagon is a fool.

    Pandagon likes Libertarians just fine as long as the Libertarians don’t open their mouths about their policy values. Pandagon would like Libertarians even better if Libertarians would shut up and conform to Pandagon’s intolerance of Libertarian values.

  43. Corporations exist because of the government.

    and versa vice.

  44. Anyone have new weekend open thread recipies, fellow Reasonites?

  45. The Pandagon post, while dimwitted, does touch on a topic that has long confounded me: the idea that libertarianism is a relatively new school of thought. While the writer’s analysis of its origins is wildly off the mark, his underlying assertion — that libertarianism was not born in the 20th century — happens to be right.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always viewed libertarianism as just another name for the mindset that guided America’s founders. You know, all that “freedom” and, yes, “liberty” stuff. Far from being new or radical, modern libertarianism is quite reactionary, to my mind. It’s simply a push to return to that state of grace, so to speak — to remove the impediments to freedom that were erected during the intervening years.

    That’s always been one of my basic frustrations in debates, with leftists AND conservatives, in which libertarian positions are discussed. You’ll often hear variations of “God forbid America suddenly decides to adopt your crazy ideology.” It’s like, um, America DID adopt this ideology. That’s what America WAS.

    It’s one thing to say, “OK, we tried a form of libertarianism 200 years ago, and I don’t think it worked.” It’s something else altogether to talk as if the idea of “libertarianism” is suddenly coming out of the blue. (To his credit, the Pandagon poster is one of the rare libertarian opponents who does acknowledge America’s onetime libertarianism, even if only to disparage it.)

    Of course, none of the above is worth anything if it’s not the view of most others who describe themselves with the term “libertarian.” If others define it differently, and their subsequent arguments are based on this different definition, then I’m simply arguing about the semantics of a word.

  46. When I first read it I thought it was a joke. Something made up by a group like Bureaucrash, or the like, to make liberals look like a bunch of jackasses. Sadly, no.

    You can tell he’s a real intellectual because he uses cranial and detonation, insead of head and explode. What wit! And then calls it a technique to make it sound scientific. Now that’s hilarity!

    Reminds me of a Prof. I had in college who was always overly amused by his own jokes that you could tell he spent far too much time trying to come up with.

  47. “I’m surprised no one mentioned that all libertarians are worried about all the black helicopters secretly amassing.”

    well, a lot of the 9/11 truth stuff has been drawing people away primarily on the left, so i think that’s refocused things a bit on the “conspiracy nutzoid” end of things. it seems to be a big internal thing on that end, at least in nyc, with plenty of group acrimony to go around.

    recipe: i’m making guinness chili tonight. it’s mas delicioso con venganza!

    or something like that.

    anyway a pound of ground beef (lean), a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (or dice your own, i think about 3.5 cups will do it) a bottle of guinness, and i like to throw veggies in there too. (yeah, i know not a traditional recipe, but whatever, my wife has acid reflux and can’t eat garlic or onions or anything too spicy, and thus i must make do) usually i put some corn and some peas in there, or maybe even broccoli stalks.

    anyhoo, brown the meat. while you’re doing that mix together a slew of spices; a lot of rosemary and some basil, a tiny bit of oregano, some garlic salt, a decent amount of chili powder, a smaller amount of black pepper, some cumin and some curry. (i like a dry low heat so i go heavier on the cumin and curry than the chili powder) and a bay leaf.

    i like black beans myself, but they wait until the end anyway.

    mix it up, and toss it in after you drain the beef and it’s brownish. stir it around and finish cooking the beef (i like mine hella cooked) and then add the tomatoes and the corn and peas or whatever (frozen works fine) and after stirring that around a bit add about six to eight ounces of beer. wait until the mixture starts to boil up real good and then bring the heat down to medium low and cover that shit for an hour, stirring occasionally.

    after that hour is up you put in your beans and boil it again, then cook it uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring more or less constantly. i like to serve it over rice; the wife likes some aged irish or canadian cheddar on top. it goes good with a cold beer or six if you’re into that sort of thing.

  48. And some of them are smart people despite it all: they’ve just been sadly misled.

    I love this beautiful arrogance.

    Yes, everyone is wrong but us.

    And just in case anyone wants to take issue with that, remember it is they who are saying we have to live their way. We just want to live our way, we don’t care, I mean we really, really don’t fucking care how they want to live.

    Oh, and Dave W. go away.

  49. Does anyone else have the suspicion “Single Issue Voter” is really “tzs” from Pandagon?

  50. “Antitrust libertarians” need a lesson in Law and Economics.

  51. Today, while making scrammbled eggs, I first put some olive oil into the pan and fried some white bread until they where nice and brown. It was awesome.

  52. Speaking of Dave W., could someone please tell me what the hell the name ‘Farces Wanna Mo’ is supposed to mean?

    I get irritated every time I see that URL with his posts. Yes, I’m an asshole, yes I’m probably too dumb to interpret some simple pun or anagram, etc. etc.

  53. Reading through the comments section, it pains me to feel the same contempt they feel for the big L liberterians as I do.

  54. Hey… These Pandagon fruitcakes are alright

  55. “…they hold as an article of near-religious faith that they derive no benefit from the modern regulatory apparatus that they could not duplicate on their own with the homebrew FDA they have in their garage.”

    Yup.

    “Or even worse, they manifestly hold the welfare of others as far less important than their own profit and comfort”

    Yup

    “In a cutthroat economic free-for-all, with the mass of people on the bottom and a handful of ruthless Machiavellian princes at the top, each one of these goobers thinks it’s inevitable that he (gender specificity deliberate) will inevitably become one of the princes.”

    Yup, yup, and yup.

  56. joe,

    After thirty or forty years of reading this blog, do you really believe that last paragraph you quoted? Have you understood anything you’ve read here?

  57. It is Lithuanian. No exact translation is possible because of deep divergences in the Indo-European roots between Lithuanian and English. The closest rough translation I acn come up with is: “10 years ahead, artistically, of its closest competitor.”

    See also:

    “Do Your Pappy Proud (Proud Soldier)”
    http://tinyurl.com/24hkef
    (relating the story of the band in song form)

    “What FWM Has To Say”
    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=169495
    (Band interview with many of the band members)

    To answer another question:
    The audio content is ftp because the web master, not being a total nerd, created the website with Website Creator Lite.

    Don’t forget to visit our blog at:
    http://farces-wanna-mo.livejournal.com/

  58. “…they hold as an article of near-religious faith that they derive no benefit from the modern regulatory apparatus that they could not duplicate on their own with the homebrew FDA they have in their garage.”

    Nope. They hold, based on no little evidence in support, that the modern regulatory apparatus often does more harm than it does good and that private solutions to the problems those regulatory schemes attempt to fix might often work as well or better.

    “Or even worse, they manifestly hold the welfare of others as far less important than their own profit and comfort”

    The key word there being “manifestly,” as the vast majority of the rest of humanity merely pretends otherwise.

    “In a cutthroat economic free-for-all, with the mass of people on the bottom and a handful of ruthless Machiavellian princes at the top, each one of these goobers thinks it’s inevitable that he (gender specificity deliberate) will inevitably become one of the princes.”

    Ha, ha and ha. The pejorative adjectives are beneath your concurrence (and my contempt), joe, as is the sexist slur. Libertarians more typically expect far fewer poor people than exist today under the variously abysmal collectivist alternatives we have so far witnessed.

  59. I am not impressed: it’s all pretty much your run-of-the-mill straw-man stuff. Oh well, at least he didn’t call us dope-smoking Republicans…

  60. Dog,

    Absolutely. Every single libertarian who posts here thinks that the Politically Corrrect government oppression is what’s stopping him from being the next Bill Gates.

  61. I got down to the “governments aren’t as overbearing as monopolistic corporations” posts and found this gem:

    Exactly Hava. And how many of us get to choose our electric or gas or water company.

    Who does she think selects or runs local utility companies? Yeah, government will rescue us from the corporations they grant monopolies to.

    Then there’s:

    That’s why Theodore “UniBomber” Kaczynski was such an influential Libertarian. He showed us all how to throw off the constraints of government and live free!?

    Wasn’t the Unibomber the one that targeted corporations, not government? An enviroluddite? Well outside the libertarian camp.

    Governments such as the various forms of democracy (republic, constitutional monarchy, direct democracy, etc), which as a rule do not have a profit motive, cannot be considered equivalent to corporations.

    1. Which is why we have so many Congresspersons in the poorhouse?
    2. In government, for-profit corporations, and not-for-profit corporations power is a greater motivation than cash. Power over your life. Backed up by guns and prisons.

    I’d keep going, but I’m selfish so I’ll spend my time more profitably.

  62. And just in case anyone wants to take issue with that, remember it is they who are saying we have to live their way. We just want to live our way, we don’t care, I mean we really, really don’t fucking care how they want to live.

    Yep, exactly.

    Just like every woman or homosexual who has to throw a fit (not all of either, just the ones who throw a fit about it) about my advocating marriage as nothing but a social status, no government status. Somehow, the homosexuals who object think I am trying to force something on them. Somehow, the women (always quite Leftist of the mansion variety) just say it is “bullshit, you just don’t want to pay support” or something.

    In both cases, it is them wanting to force others into some convoluted state system of property distribution.

    How about you just give/share your stuff to who you want to and I give/share my stuff to who I want to? How about enforcing THAT without a piece of “who you can do” paper?

    Same with chairty to others, helping the poor, etc.

    Neil Cavuto hit one square on the head when he was taking Buffet and others to task. They advocate higher taxes on everybody, but when they give money to organizations it is rarely to the government. If the government getting all of my money is good enough for them, why isn’t giving all of their money to the government good enough for them?

  63. 1. Sheltered middle/upper class kids who never bothered to ask their parents how the family finances work who never read anything other than Ayn Rand. And yeah- a huge number of them are engineering/computer science/hard science students, probably because of the minute amount of time they spend in Humanities classes, which require some amount of critical thought.

    Unfortunately, most of the engineering students I knew who took Humanties/sociology courses managed to get through them with their critical thinking faciilites turned off. I’ve heard “I got an A by just telling the teacher what they wanted to hear in my essays,” as if they’d gotten away with something. This always makes me angry – I just want to say, “congratulations, you’ve managed to spend 10 weeks in a class without learning anything.”
    “How can they not believe in God if they never been to church? How could they still not believe in God even though they never went to church!”

  64. joe,

    Absolutely. Every single libertarian who posts here thinks that the Politically Corrrect government oppression is what’s stopping him from being the next Bill Gates.

    I don’t.

  65. I mean; “How can they not believe in God if they never been to church? How could they still not believe in God even though they went to church!”

  66. Don’t worry dave, I don’t have diabetes. Now tell me; where are the food monopolists? Out by my vegetable garden? In my neighbor’s chicken coop? By the way, I live in an urban area.

  67. joe,

    In other words, I’m clearly not like Bill Gates because I don’t want to be like Bill Gates.

  68. You, Grotius, most of all.

    You think the PC government oppression is stopping you from being a Platonic philosopher king.

  69. Every single libertarian who posts here thinks that the Politically Corrrect government oppression is what’s stopping him from being the next Bill Gates.

    At first I thought you didn’t answer my second question. But after thinking about it for a while, I realize that you did.

  70. Now tell me; where are the food monopolists? Out by my vegetable garden? In my neighbor’s chicken coop? By the way, I live in an urban area.

    They are having coffee and donuts with the SWAT team that is going to raid your house later this year, and the eminent domain folks who are planning to low ball you, or perhaps your estate, after the po pos leave a big mess.

  71. “In a cutthroat economic free-for-all, with the mass of people on the bottom and a handful of ruthless Machiavellian princes at the top, each one of these goobers thinks it’s inevitable that he (gender specificity deliberate) will inevitably become one of the princes.”

    Yup, yup, and yup.

    But that would require arrogance. I have found that people around here strongly prefer those who take a humble attitude. The meek shall inherit the Earth. That’s a well known fact.

  72. joe,

    I’m really not going to get into this sort of conversation.

  73. Dave W.,

    The meek shall inherit the Earth.

    They were supposed to inherit the Earth because the apocalypse was supposed to come quickly after Christ’s death.

  74. Hate to say it, but the people over at Pandagon have most everyone here beat. They are bringing up some pretty valid (and amusing) points. Rather than poking fun at writing styles and choices of words, how about addressing the actual issues Pandragon is raising?

  75. ornerycat,

    From what I can tell they are dealing mostly in exagerrations and simplistic caricatures.

  76. Ornerycat-

    Im afraid theres not much to respond to. For God’s sake, they can’t tell the difference between libertarians, anarchists, and objectivists. I don’t think very many people on this board would suggest (as they do) that we think there should be *no taxes at all*. Or that we should go on the gold standard. Or that the amount of money one has is a measure of their worth as a person. Or that the poor should starve. I could go on.

    It would be like them responding to a post on a conservative blog that says, “Liberals just want to raise our income taxes to 95%, kill little babies, destroy the family, and surrender to Al Qaeda.”

  77. joe,

    do you endorse

    Or even worse, they manifestly hold the welfare of others as far less important than their own profit and comfort

    as applied to radley balko, julian sanchez, jesse walker, and nick gillespie? really?

  78. Well, dave, people within five miles of me people have had SWAT teams invade their homes on the basis of bad informant tips, and I also have had people within five miles of me who have had their homes seized so it could be given to real estate developers. Food monopolists? Not a one on the horizon. What should be cause for greater concern by people in my city? We await your insights.

  79. Hate to say it, but the people over at Pandagon have most everyone here beat. They are bringing up some pretty valid (and amusing) points. Rather than poking fun at writing styles and choices of words, how about addressing the actual issues Pandragon is raising?
    Why? They have tied us up with the most radical of our political beliefs, people that we here on the blog often critize. There is no point in defending ourselves from positions we don’t even believe in;
    Stuff like this;
    honestly, I enjoy demonstrative brutal violence. as much fun as they have blathering about Randian Objectivism, it basically means “We get to use the government to enforce the power we like, but all other force isn’t FAAAAIR.” Which is why they want cops with guns to prevent people from robbing them. but a system rigged where they get rich at others expense, it’s “legal” so it doesn’t count.

    they want rigged anarchy, and I shall have none of that. Gimme your beer money, or I’ll crack you in the head with a blunt object. It’s my will to power that grants me a right to swing my club, so you better give me a damn good incentive to take my crowbar and leave.

  80. Well, dave, people within five miles of me people have had SWAT teams invade their homes on the basis of bad informant tips, and I also have had people within five miles of me who have had their homes seized so it could be given to real estate developers.

    Okay, now compare that to the number within five miles of you who have developed diabetes. You may also want to add the number of people within a 5 mile radius who have died from diabetes complications.

    Now subtract the number of diabetes victims who would have, actuarially, developed / died from the disease if it were 1975 rather than 2007. Those are your net victim counts. Compare these net numbers to the numbers of eminent domain victims and SWAT deaths, respectively.

  81. Now subtract the number of diabetes victims who would have, actuarially, developed / died from the disease if it were 1975 rather than 2007. Those are your net victim counts. Compare these net numbers to the numbers of eminent domain victims and SWAT deaths, respectively.

    2007 minus 1975 is 34! “victim count” has 11 letters! 34 minus 11 is 23!

    DON’T YOU SEE????

  82. This illustrates why all the talk about liberaltarianism is largely bullshit. For every half-hearted overture made by Democratic strategists towards the libertarian-leaning block, you’ll get a dozen of these vitriolic rants from the leftist base about how libertarians want to condemn the unwashed masses to an unregulated Darwinian nightmare. That’s their worldview.

  83. von Laue-

    (Sarcasm on)But, three of the four of those people are Straight White Males! And Sanchez is just pleasing the Racist Patriarchy ™. How can we believe anything they say?(Sarcasm off)

    Seriously, there are people over that blog who discount anything a non-liberal white male says, based on their gender and ethnicity alone.

  84. Dave, the rate of diabetes would be relevant to our conversation if it was somehow a function of the alleged food monopolists. It isn’t. People choose to eat lousy food while keeping their asses glued to couches. They get diabetes. They die. They could choose to eat better food, not keep their asses glued to couches, and thus not die from diabetes. This has exactly nothing, nada, zip, zero, to do with propspective food or health care monopolists. Stop engaging in non-sequiturs.

    LOOK! OVER THERE!! A CITIZEN IS BEING FORCED TO EAT SIMPLE CARBOHYDRATES WHILE DUCT-TAPED TO A LAY-Z-BOY! THE HORROR! THE HORROR!

  85. Humm, I am willing to guess on the SWAT team and drugs thing. It is the cotton lobby behind national SWAT teams! Don’t forget ‘big paper’ and all of the corporate suspects keeping pot illegal!

    Ah, yea on the takings clause property redistribution thing, it is the big developers behind it, that’s it! Could not be big government, since we all know they are owned by big paper/cotton/realestate!

  86. DON’T YOU SEE????
    DON’T YOU SEE=4+15+14+20+25+15+16+21+5+5
    =149=1+4+9=-1+4+(4+5)=-1+4+(4*5)
    =23
    DON’T YOU SEE
    AAAAH! I DID IT AGAIN!

  87. “Does anyone else have the suspicion “Single Issue Voter” is really “tzs” from Pandagon?”

    Yeah that is some great detective work there.All you had to do was scan Pandagon’s archives till you found my prolific postings defending cockfighting. They love “The Sport of Kings” over there-because we don’t fight hens.

    “Every single libertarian who posts here thinks that the Politically Corrrect government oppression is what’s stopping him from being the next Bill Gates”

    One of my liberal friend’s job is to stop people from selling tamales,barbecue, fried fish and other tasty-usually ethnic-eats for not complying with “government oppression”.
    They may not be the next Bill Gates or Ray Kroc
    but the extra cash can really help out their families. Not to mention earned and learned through hard work, modest capital, and a business plan.
    He is ostensibly protecting the consumer from health risks.I like to think of it as pure evil.

  88. if it was somehow a function of the alleged food monopolists

    Btw, “monopolists” is not my preferred terminology. I never alleged “monopolists.” Not with respect to food producers and not with respect to the people who have convinced you that the diabetes epidemic is a function of increased sweetner intake and laziness.

  89. Nor the people who sell the victims their insulin for that matter. I bet dollars to donuts that vigorous Coke versus Pepsi competition has been maintained in that market, too.

  90. Off topic, but The Number 23 movie tries to scare us by saying that 2/3 is .666. Too bad it is .6666666666666666

  91. “Liberals just want to raise our income taxes to 95%, kill little babies, destroy the family, and surrender to Al Qaeda.”

    Sounds about right- a little hyperbole with the tax rate although I’ve seen %100 tossed around for earnings over $___ .

  92. Americans (and Europeans and Japanese people and …) have greater access to a greater diversity of food than any population of humans has ever had on this planet. I say bring on more of this monopoly!

  93. when was the last time you got checked for diabetes, Will, if I may be so bold as to inquire?

    WTF? Over.

  94. SIV-

    If you really believe that then you are little different from the Liberals at Pandagon who think all Libertarians are Rand worshipers who want to return to the gold standard.

  95. I am a rather harsh critic of big “L” libertarians myself, but I thought the essay missed the point. It’s pretty easy to poke fun at strict dogmatists of any stripe. Yes, there are some bona fide nutjobs out there, but the political nonrelevance of the Libertarian party has very little to do with the validity of libertarian thinking. The simple fact is that intelligent persons should be able to discuss a policy decision (like the one to “shrink” a public library or a fire system) rather than simply dismiss the mere notion as a “logical extreme.” It is also useful, in the discussion of history, government or public policy, to challenge orthodox assumptions (such as the one that assumes Big Government is the only reason we no longer have fires in shirtwaist factories). Perhaps it’s just me, but the essay reminded of the type of unfunny, intellectually preening essay one might read from, say, a big “L” libertarian.

  96. 19 Months for taking a bottle of pop?

    17 months, actually

    17 months, says the Sun Times

    “Homeless man spends 17 months behind bars for stealing soda?

    February 24, 2007
    CROWN POINT, Ind. — Officials are at a loss to explain how they allowed a homeless, mentally ill man accused of stealing a soda to languish in jail for 17 months.

    Edward Perez’s lawyer, his court- appointed psychiatrist, the judge in his case and Lake County jail officials apparently thought he had been released a year ago.

    The mistake wasn’t discovered until this month, after a new warden ordered a review of inmates’ files, Sheriff Roy Dominguez told the Post-Tribune.

    The jail released Perez, 29, and transferred him to a mental health clinic Feb. 7, Dominguez said.

    Perez had stayed in the jail’s medical wing since July 2, 2005, after allegedly stealing a Pepsi from a Wal-Mart, Dominguez said.

    AP

    Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.”

    Hey, Warren, you’re in the Hoosier State, what think you of this?

  97. Btw, “monopolists” is not my preferred terminology. I never alleged “monopolists.” Not with respect to food producers and not with respect to the people who have convinced you that the diabetes epidemic is a function of increased sweetner intake and laziness.

    I’m kinda convinced that diet and lifesyle are responsible for the “diabetes epidemic”. Improved detection and reporting are also a factor. Dave W., What’s your theory? You can’t use HFCS because it’s disclosed on the label.

    Eagerly awaiting an intelligent response,

    J sub D

  98. What’s your theory?

    That we should have better help speculating on this than we do now. I tried to enlist T. back in ’05 bcs he is a medical researcher. Project didn’t interest him. I must admit, the salary and benefits I was offerring were probably less than he could have made elsewhere.

  99. or to put it another way:

    it ain’t easy being a homebrew FDA out of your own garage. but it is the libertarian way, so I do my best.

  100. Well, dave, if you don’t like the term “monopolist” we’ll us your clunkier phrase, “the food supply, the medical services supply, the communications supply or any other supply gets too consolidated”, and then maybe you can clue us all in as to how this relates to our negighbors having diabetes. Ya’ know, give us the Grand Unified Theory, or something.

  101. Supposedly, conservatively, 6.5% of US adults have diabetes now. So just count up the number of people who live within a 5 mile radius of you and multiply by 0.065 for the gross diabetes rate.

    How many people does this calculation yield, will allen?

  102. “So just count up the number of people”

    should have been:

    –So just count up the number of adults–

    not trying to steal a base here.

  103. I tried to enlist T. back in ’05 bcs he is a medical researcher.

    I thought he was a physicist. At least until he flubbed that simple algebra problem. Now I wonder.

  104. I thought he was a physicist.

    If you know a libertarian epidemiologist, please pm me.

  105. I’m kinda glued to the couch enjoying a Coca Cola
    so I didn’t read all the above.Something about Government ethanol subsidies reducing diabetes?
    Win! Win!……Doh!

  106. Dave, I wasn’t inquiring about the overall rate of diabetes. I was asking for your Grand Unified Theory of diabetes rates, and “the food supply, the medical services supply, the communications supply or any other supply” getting “too consolidated”.

  107. I have to ask, doesn’t this look like a charge of, well, “false consciousness?”

    Yes it does. If one were intellectually dishonest, one could say that’s because all liberals are Marxists. Fortunately, this is Hit & Run, not Pandagon.

  108. your Grand Unified Theory of diabetes rates

    That if there was true competition in the soda markets, then they all wouldn’t have switched to the same sweetner at the same time.

    That if the agriculture sector were less consolidated, then there would have been less lobbying for the price supports that came to exist.

    That if the insulin sector were less consolidated, the FDA wouldn’t have us whistling past the graveyard.

    My theory is that consolidated business plus big government is a recipe for disaster.

    That is why I am an “antitrust libertarian.” I want less effective consolidation of power in both the public and private sectors. And that, in a nutshell, is why I selfidentify as an “antitrust libertarian.” I am the only one left. Uncle Miltie was one until 1980. Then he reflected on his long career of study and made a key flip flop.

    So now it is just me.

    Unless I find an intellectual heir, the movement dies with me.

  109. The fact that the author put W so close to the shaded libertarian area speaks volumes about his understanding of it.

    This one time, at band camp, I met this computer nerd guy with pimples and he was like, “we should privatize the schools” OMG N00B ROFLMAO!

    I found the comments section unbearable once the sociology PhD candidate started leading the hate-on for hard science majors. God forbid there should be fields of study that are impervious to the leftist fetish for politics.

  110. Look, dave, if you are convinced that the agricultural consolidators are doing bad things, then I would suggest you stop buying their stuff. I don’t buy much of it really, and they have yet to force me to file annual reports regarding my rates of consumption, nor have they informed me of their intention to garnish my wages or seize my property. Remarkable.

  111. sociology PhD candidate

    That’s “waiter” to those of you watching at home.

  112. Look, dave, if you are convinced that the agricultural consolidators are doing bad things, then I would suggest you stop buying their stuff. I don’t buy much of it really, and they have yet to force me to file annual reports regarding my rates of consumption, nor have they informed me of their intention to garnish my wages or seize my property. Remarkable.

    1. some insulin is government funded. my taxes.

    2. most of the rest is paid for by health insurers like mine.

    3. ergo, effectively my property is seized and wages garnished, at least in substance if not form. I also feel bad for friends and family to unparanoid to cut the HFCS the way I did. Most especially the infant nephew. He is just an infant, after all. It also sucked when Uncle Adolf had to have his leg amputated, but he was 90.

  113. Mr. PhD candidate did say (correctly) that history majors such as myself are extremely cynical people who don’t believe in utopias. However, contrary to his line of thinking, this makes us *more* likely to be libertarians, not *less*.

  114. Well, dave, since I don’t think the state should be funding at least half the stuff they do, I fail to see what your first point has much to do with anything I’ve written. Lemme know when people are held down and given insulin against their will. I wish you well in your efforts to convince people to be as paranoid as you about things that nobody is forcing them to consume. I prefer to mostly worry about stuff that I am not given the choice to refrain from participating in.

  115. I prefer to mostly worry about stuff that I am not given the choice to refrain from participating in.

    I have a choice as to whether to maintain my family’s health insurance? Oddly my wife failed to see things in quite that way. Are u single?

  116. On second thought, I don’t think I could marry a man, mostly cause I m straight, but do you know any single women who believe health insurance is discretionary?

  117. “Joe, After thirty or forty years of reading this blog, do you really believe that last paragraph you quoted? Have you understood anything you’ve read here?”

    He’s a troll.

  118. Well, yes, dave, you do, if you find that insurance companies paying for insulin to be sufficiently obnoxious.

    Shhh! The High Fructose Corn Syrup Force Feeding Squad is at my door! I’m gonna go hide down in the root cellar! Don’t worry though; I’ve got a year’s worth of venison jerky that I made myself, and 500 bottles of rum, made purely from cane sugar!

  119. Well, yes, dave, you do, if you find that insurance companies paying for insulin to be sufficiently obnoxious.

    by the same token, I s’pose moving to Nigeria or Costa Rica is an option for libertarians who feel strongly about taxes.

  120. Absolutely, although it is easier to stop paying health insurance premiums than it is to move to Nigeria oe Costa Rica. What any of this has to do with the proposition that the average citizen has more to fear from his government than Archer Daniels Midland, as obnoxious as the corn lobby is, is still a bit of a mystery.

  121. He’s a troll.

    I’ve found that joe seems to be on a cycle. When he’s waxing he actually provides good counterbalance to die-hard “live free or die” radical libertarianism, and when he’s waning, he just acts like a prick.

    Now, he’ll respond with disparaging comments about my mother.

  122. it is easier to stop paying health insurance premiums than it is to move to Nigeria oe Costa Rica.

    Moving to a foreign country to avoid statist policies that you disagree with is difficult, a’ight. Yull get no argument with me on that point, for sure.

  123. Happy Jack-

    I am a physicist. I apply physics to biological problems. And the mathematical symbol in that problem displayed really funky on my screen, for some reason. I thought it was an integral sign.

  124. I don’t know what happened to my previous comment, but Dave, if you’re looking for a libertarian epidemiologist, I’m probably about as close as you’ll get considering the funding you’re offering! I’ve got this fancy master’s in public health degree and I’m always looking to wield it. So what exactly is the question at hand re: HFCS?

  125. Actually, as libertarians, we should be concerned about HFCS and what it does to people. The only reason it is in just about every food out there (including baby formula!) is because of Big Food sucking on the government’s teat to get cheap subsidized sweeteners that are “Made in America” (I’m in a big corn state and if you suggest getting rid of corn subsidies here you might as well be suggesting public funding of Al Qaeda). Because of artificial/government-created price differential created by price supports and tariffs on cane sugar vs subsidized corn, we get HFCS put in everything, all thanks to yours and my tax dollars getting shoveled to Coca Cola, Pepsi Co, et al.

    Perfect example of why the government is doing harm to us and a great example of why we should reduce government, not start trying to use it to force us all to exercise and get thin. Half the problem wouldn’t be there in the first place if it wasn’t for the government using our money to support corporations.

    Somehow, though, I don’t think the folks over at Pandangon would see it this way. They’d start blabbing about ethanol and why we need to support corn and why the government needs to get us thin.

    (Don’t even get me started about ethanol: how can it be a “good thing” if a 10% admixture cuts my fuel efficiency by 25% [which is what I have repeatedly measured]]? Sounds like a good way to make me more dependent on foreign oil, not less… But the government makes me buy the crap since it’s mandated by state law here.)

  126. I’ve got this fancy master’s in public health degree and I’m always looking to wield it. So what exactly is the question at hand

    Two initial questions, actually:

    what proportion of US adults had diabetes in 1975?

    What proportion in 2006?

  127. And the mathematical symbol in that problem displayed really funky on my screen, for some reason. I thought it was an integral sign.

    Mmmkay. Not that I don’t believe you, but have you ever considered the exciting opportunities that owning an ice cream parlor would present?

    I apply physics to biological problems.

    When I was younger, I use to apply physics to the behavioral problems of others. I don’t think they liked being the subject of my experiments.

  128. Hater, I have absolutely zero difficulty avoiding HFCS, and yes, my grocery budget is quite reasonable. Of course, I agree completely that the corn lobby is awful.

  129. I am not sure I like you horning in on my territory this way, HJ. Can T. learn from two teachers at the same time. Won’t that confuse his learning process?

  130. “There’s a big conspiracy to poison everyone with HFCS. I’d expose it but I’m too lazy and stupid to do the research.”

    Click your name above for all the health statistics you could ever want, you lazy jackass.

  131. Oh, the old “Dan T. treatment.” Niiiice. Radley, is that u?!?

  132. Not so much fun when your weaknesses are exposed, is it?

    Not so much fun when someone keeps poking and poking and poking at you, is it?

    We’ll be keeping an eye on you.

  133. “I’ve found that joe seems to be on a cycle. When he’s waxing he actually provides good counterbalance to die-hard “live free or die” radical libertarianism,”

    There’s plenty of people who do that, a good example was the thread about the woman who wanted to amputate both her legs to feel “whole.”

    ‘joe’ on the other seeks only to inflame and annoy the people who post here, hence he’s a troll. Whether he makes a good point now and then or whether he’s funny now and then, that’s irrelevant. His main motivation is to get his jollies by pissing people off. IE, troll.

    He’s much more sophisticated (and prolific) than Dan T., to be sure but still a troll.

  134. But it it weren’t for trolls, wouldn’t all the staying within the orthodox perameters get boring? Martin Luther was a troll, for heaven’s sake (no pun intended.)

  135. Dave, welcome to the wonderful world of government work. Without further ado:

    First, diabetes trends from 1980-2004. (Data sources and further breakdowns linked below the graph.)

    Second, diabetes prevalence data from 1976 measured a couple of different ways. Divide rates by 10 for comparability, though if you really want to parse it you’re going to have to get into changes in methodologies for collecting diabetes stats over the last 30 years, and that wasn’t covered in my research grant.

    Roughly, 45-64 year age group, between 4 and 5.4% in 1976 and 9.5% in 2004.

    Since I don’t have much of a clue about the history of diabetes treatment, I don’t know if things have gotten better for diabetics and thus they live longer with their diabetes, but if you want to dig into that and see if that might be why prevalence rates are higher, it’s probably necessary for a good accounting (see above re: government work).

  136. Hater, I have absolutely zero difficulty avoiding HFCS, and yes, my grocery budget is quite reasonable. Of course, I agree completely that the corn lobby is awful.

    You can do it, no question about it, and I mostly do, but the point is that a lot of products have it that would otherwise have cane sugar, which avoids many of the problems. The prevalence of corn sweeteners is not because they are inherently better or cheaper than cane- or beet-based sweeteners, but rather because it’s a big slab o’ pork to the corn producing states and a rather large indirect transference of money to food and beverage manufacturers who get cheaper sweeteners.

    Of course, if you aren’t aware of the issues with HFCS in particular (which probably 95% of Americans aren’t), you don’t avoid it, so the government here is complicit in giving it to millions of Americans with one hand who don’t know any better and then with the other trying to force them to get off their lazy asses and lose weight. Of course, if it weren’t doing the first, the second wouldn’t be as big an issue.

  137. Probably actually more than just that required for a good accounting, but I just heard something about naked pictures of some hot girl from American Idol that I need to, ah, research before I go drink my troubles away.

  138. By the way, next time someone complains about the “obscene” profits of the oil companies, point out to them that they pay far more per gallon for soda and that it’s cheaper to make soda than gasoline…

  139. Adam, if this were a test, your “answer” would score a zero. To repeat the questions:

    what proportion of US adults had diabetes in 1975?

    What proportion in 2006?

  140. Dave W –

    …or letting the people who are best at accumulating money bribe, bully, and blackmail their way into running huge sections of the world?

    This might be the very best “definition” of ‘Government’ I have ever seen enunciated on this board by a clueless moron of the leftist ilk!

    Well done!

  141. libertarian socialist?

    Ummm, that is an oxymoron I believe.

  142. Not to the Libertarian National Socialist Green Party, TWC!

  143. Oh, I see now.

    They take down some misattributed comments, but not others.

    Is that really fair, Radley?

    Because from where I sit it looks like chickenshit.

  144. and, Radley, if you need help sorting out which comments were mine, and which comments were people pretending to be me, feel free to get in touch at:

    farces(at)usa.net

    same email address I emailed you from last week, of course.

  145. Dave, I’m not sure what your problem is, unless you missed the part about government work to cover the fact that there isn’t quick and easy data from the years you’re so hung up on.

    And if it’s the age groups and not the years that bother you, please notice that “adult population” isn’t that easy to get to considering the readily available recent data have age groups of 0-44, then 45-64 etc. and this research grant did not include funds for further parsing.

    Oh and well I’m at it and before I really leave for the night, just a thought, maybe you could try not being a dick..give it up for lent or something? I don’t know, just an idea.

  146. Hey, Instapundit made post which has actual bearing to the original post of this thread!

  147. Dave W.-

    What does diabetes have to do with the original point of this thread, exactly?

  148. “Unless I find an intellectual heir, the movement dies with me.”

    And thank the Gods for that.

  149. “But it it weren’t for trolls, wouldn’t all the staying within the orthodox perameters get boring? Martin Luther was a troll, for heaven’s sake (no pun intended.)”

    No, he aired his complaints once and then left to start his own blog.

    Totally different.

  150. What does diabetes have to do with the original point of this thread, exactly?

    Everybody knows that the point of “Weekend Open Threads” is where Radley Balko embraces antitrust law, his overarching career with the Cato Institure be d**med. He has that much integrity and your baiting will not deprive our hero of the opp 2 show it!

  151. “d**med” should have been –d**ned–

    and

    “mediageek” should have been –completely, utterly, put-me-in-a-straightjacket-for-I-have-descended-into-undeliberate-self-parody crazy-geek–

  152. I did find the mockery of The World’s Shortest Political Quiz funny.

  153. re: linkage between diabetes and diet

    Looking at changes in U.S. diabetes rates are one thing, but they do not necessarily prove the point that appears to be asserted about HFCS

    1. Change in demographics between 1976 and 2006. People are older and “browner”, both of which are independent risk factors for diabetes.

    2. Look outside the US. HFCS is favored in the USA because of the corn lobby. Outside the US, the corn lobby is weaker. Often weaker than the sugar lobby. As a result, soda overseas is more likely to be made with sugar than HFCS. Yet diabetes is rising overseas too.

  154. “Liberals just want to raise our income taxes to 95%, kill little babies, destroy the family, and surrender to Al Qaeda.”

    Maybe not ALL liberals but all true

    1:No one needs more than $_____
    Scandinavian Liberal Paradise has something like this

    2: Forget Abortion just read Princeton Professor John Peter Singer

    3:Goal of Feminists-partial success-good argument FOR immigration as foreigners have not
    yet taken Women’s Studies courses

    4: Look in the mirror America, there is the real terrorist.

    Tenured Liberal Academics advocate all these things.

  155. peter singer is an intriguing fellow, i must say, though i don’t particularly agree with him on anything.

    then again, i am not headfirst into the partisan k-hole.

  156. meaning that i miss out on the niceties of belonging to a team, that is.

  157. How to think like a progressive:

    1) Take some cause you want to subject everyone to

    2) Draft plans and laws, bureaus and departments – attach a huge monetary amount that will cure said social injustice. Make sure it reduces some civil liberties because we can’t be too free

    3) Put politicians into place to support your new plans, laws, bureaus and departments. Whine, cry and throw temper tantrum about how “unfair” the world is until someone in government takes action.

    4) Ignore the full impact of said plan, add marketing to make people feel good about plan. Ignore how overblown the budget is, how poorly it performs until called out by an opponent

    5) Demand progressive change in government to “fix” said plan put into place. Introduce more policies, laws, departments, procedures and propose a bigger budget.

    6) Loop through step 5 repeatedly.

    6a: Make fun of libertarians who become irate at said plan and point out some of the outer fringes of self-identified libertarians as stereotype that should be used against all libertarians.

    6b: Continue to ignore full impact of plan, marginalize the real need for civil liberties

    6c: Continue marketing ignorance

  158. jimmy-

    I would like to see a democratic solution, much as corporations use. If you pay a dollar of income tax you get one vote. If you pay $1001 you get 2 votes, $2001 you get 3 votes, etc. Much like owning stock in a company. If you pay no tax, sorry, you have no say in how this money is going to be redistributed.

    See Twain’s “The Curious Republic of Gondor”…

    No representation without taxation…

  159. “I would like to see a democratic solution, much as corporations use. If you pay a dollar of income tax you get one vote. If you pay $1001 you get 2 votes, $2001 you get 3 votes, etc. Much like owning stock in a company. If you pay no tax, sorry, you have no say in how this money is going to be redistributed.”

    This would make sense, if the only job of government was to redistribute tax dollars through social services and entitlement programs. However, the use of many services the government provides–such as courts, police, the military, etc.–is prefaced not on our contribution to the government in tax dollars, but on a genuine debt the government owes to individuals to provide these things or respect certain rights. Everyone gets an equal say in those issues, no matter how much they pay in taxes, because everyone has the right to an equal say in those issues.

  160. People, please: charity for all. To get into a war of wits with Bill Donohue and lose, you’d pretty clearly have to be mentally retarded. For a whole group of to so at a heavily trafficked web site indicates a Terri Schiavo level of mental inactivity. The Pandagonettes deserve our deepest sympathy.

  161. I saw a video of the Pandagonettes on YouTube, and they show clear signs of mental activity.

  162. TWC,
    “libertarian socialist?

    Ummm, that is an oxymoron I believe.”

    That was how the article predicted libertarians would see it. Hmmmm…

    Maybe you ARE unfamiliar with the history behind the terms you bandy about…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialism

  163. They constitute a mutual masterbation society.
    Creating and burning straw men can be fun.
    This is Burning Straw Men.

  164. A nice essay…

    ” How a Libertarian Capitalist Became a Libertarian Socialist”

    http://world.std.com/~mhuben/wilson_1.html

  165. Be sure to follow the link at the bottom…

    http://www.primitivism.com/mass-society.htm

  166. CROWN POINT, Ind. — Officials are at a loss to explain how they allowed a homeless, mentally ill man accused of stealing a soda to languish in jail for 17 months.

    Dillinger busted out of there in a couple of days. If this guy is smart enought to steal a coke . . .

    er, never mind.

  167. I found this on a link on the Socialist Liberterian wikipedia page;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squatter
    Squatting is the act of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied space or building that the squatter does not own, rent or otherwise have permission to use. The author Robert Neuwirth suggests that there are one billion squatters globally, or about one of every six people on the planet. By 2030, he suggests there will be two billion squatters, or about one in four, and by 2050, he predicts three billion squatters, or one in three.[1]
    Sounds just a tad high. Any thoughts on this?

  168. Enthusiast Hugh Hewitt

    WTF? Romney?

    Will you be reviewing the book in the LATimes? I hope so, as this sounds like some top-notch comedy.

  169. The squatter numbers for the present actually sound plausible, albeit on the high side of plausible. It probably depends on how one defines “squatter.” If one only considers land that a non-resident has some formal title to (but isn’t receiving rent for) then the number sounds a bit high. OTOH, if one includes people who live on land that is either completely unowned (because the local legal system does not recognize formal property rights) or else in a genuinely murky situation, then it sounds plausible. (As I understand it, a lot of rural Chinese live in all sorts of precarious situations with respect to land and legal residency, since many of them have left their town to find work without permission from government authorities. Those numbers alone could contribute a few hundred million to the number of squatters.)

    However, I wonder if the places with no “formal” property rights might still have some method that tribal elders or other local figures recognize for assigning property rights, but not a method that people in a Central Government building the the capital city would recognize. If so, then on a day to day basis they aren’t really “squatters” since their situation is secure as far as their neighbors and immediate business associates are concerned. However, without some peace of Legally Binding Paper that the Central Authorities will recognize, their land could quickly become insecure if some politically connected businessman in a distant city takes interest in that area.

  170. Many, my spelleen and grammur were bad in that post.

  171. Where do so many get the idea that they have some control over the government?
    Is it because they get to vote on overlords?

  172. Mr. Tim Cavanaugh! You have been missed!
    ——————————————-

    Dave W: When the government begins selling me my fuel, food an clothing, and provides my livlihood and medical care I will begin to worry about the kind of power it has.

    Fortunately, the government only claims the power to regulate and control your purchases of fuel, food, clothing; your working conditions and in some cases the kind of work you can do; and your access to medical care.

  173. Every single libertarian who posts here thinks that the Politically Corrrect government oppression is what’s stopping him from being the next Bill Gates.

    And let me assure you, joe, that once I come into my rightful power, I shall crush you like a grape! You and all your liberal friends! And your little dog, too! And your ilk!

    And I shall always say “ilk” a lot! Ilk! Ilk! Ilk!

    Enjoy the mouthings of the Left while you can! My day shall come! Ilk! Ilk!

  174. I forgot to add:

    Beware my corporate army of cloned vat-grown ninjas, joe! Bwa ha ha ha!

  175. No, Mr. Darkly, you will bow down before us.

    Your levity has shown you to be an unreliable element. Please contact us so that we might correct you.

    Archer Daniels Midland Company
    Sweeteners – High Fructose Corn Syrup
    P.O. Box 1470
    Decatur, IL 62525
    United States

    800.553.8411
    217.424.5978

    We already have the real Dave W. under our control. We use his ravings to control our enemies.

  176. NJ, I’m not terribly unfamiliar with the terminology. And, btw, by the Wiki definition of libertarian socialsism, the Amish are libertarian, which is entirely in keeping with the modern day propensity of people as disparate as the Daily Kos and Governor Scwarzzengroper to consider themselves as somewhat libertarian.

    Libertarianism as socialism is perfectly plausible in small scale privately owned communities, but when you enlist the (government) to prevent private ownership of the means of production, it just ain’t libertarianism any longer. Sort of like a rose by any other name or if it walks like a duck.

  177. Guess I meant N MJ, or Neu Mejican, which is a great handle.

  178. I think the most disturbing part of this article is all the negative comments from the peanut gallery about the sciences and scientists. For example:

    “And yeah- a huge number of them are engineering/computer science/hard science students, probably because of the minute amount of time they spend in Humanities classes, which require some amount of critical thought.”

    Having studied both the humanities and the sciences in university, I can tell you that both require critical thought. Databases designed based upon emotional responses to the data don’t tend to work very well.

  179. Neu Mejican,

    … provided that one doesn’t attempt to hoard more resources than one uses or employ people for a wage……

    From your linked essay on libertarian socialism, this statement in and of itself repudiates libertarianism.

    Freedom includes the right to hoard and the right to employ or to be employed. To prevent either by force, is well, the antithesis of libertarian thought. Something like the difference between being a vegan and making it illegal to eat meat.

    Or maybe I need to find a new place to hang my hat.

    I’m going to bed.

  180. 1. Change in demographics between 1976 and 2006. People are older and “browner”, both of which are independent risk factors for diabetes.

    2. Look outside the US. HFCS is favored in the USA because of the corn lobby. Outside the US, the corn lobby is weaker. Often weaker than the sugar lobby. As a result, soda overseas is more likely to be made with sugar than HFCS. Yet diabetes is rising overseas too.

    1. On oldness and browness: the question is whether HFCS consumption is independent of these factors (in the US). How does per capita HFCS consumption correlate with race?

    2. Is per capita HFCS use rising or falling overseas?

  181. Roughly, 45-64 year age group, between 4 and 5.4% in 1976 and 9.5% in 2004.

    Radley Balko characterizes this doubling as an “uptick.”
    https://www.reason.com/blog/show/118589.html

    I was going to make a snark here, but suffice it to say that that is just plain old bad word choice and bad journalism.

    The Pendragon article said:

    “[C]orporations extend their control to people outside their employ, with . . . increasingly prevalent, shameless propaganda”

    Shoe fits, Mr. Balko.

  182. Dave W. has done what none other could accomplish: he has convinced me that mental illness is real. Having acquainted myself with his unique theories over the past few weeks, I can nearly taste and smell it. Now, is there no way to shut him up? Do I need to call the men in the white coats?

  183. Fortunately, the government only claims the power to regulate and control your purchases of fuel, food, clothing; your working conditions and in some cases the kind of work you can do; and your access to medical care.

    Like I said: I am an antitrust libertarian. That is why I post here. I am one of you guys. I made the post you are critiquing as “Not Will Allen” to mirror Will Allen’s post and thereby establish with the syntactical symmetry that he was correct, so far as his post went, but woefully incomplete. Or, like the Pandagon article here under discussion acknowledged:

    “Now don’t get me wrong! Most smart people are, to a certain extent, libertarians with a lower-case “L.” We all like to be left alone to determine the course of our own lives without state intrusion.”

  184. This article is not about them, the people who concede that some taxes are necessary to pay firefighters…

    Got a chuckle out of this. Apparently the author is unaware that, outside the big cities, it’s common for firemen to be unpaid volunteers.

  185. joe, I’ve always enjoyed your comments, but you’re acting really dumb in this thread. I don’t think I’m being victimized by the government. I don’t have any grand ambitions. I just have libertarian-leaning opinions on politics. Jesus.

  186. Got a chuckle out of this. Apparently the author is unaware that, outside the big cities, it’s common for firemen to be unpaid volunteers.

    In smaller cities and counties it is common for firefighting to be done by private firms on a subscription basis too.

    Note to smaller communities with a large federal presence: this is a method to avoid having to cover federal property with your tax payer funded emergency services. Go to private services and the feds either need to roll in their own or subscribe like everybody else.

  187. Not that I don’t believe you, but have you ever considered the exciting opportunities that owning an ice cream parlor would present?

    Believe it or not, I have. I really enjoy making ice cream.

    Maybe after I get tenure I’ll take a sabbatical and try to open an ice cream parlor. Everybody loves my ice cream flavors: Peanut butter chocolate chip, mint oreo, mango, and pineapple raspberry.

  188. How do you guys pronounce Nietzsche? I’ve always said NEET-SCH-KEE but I’ve heard a lot of people see NEE-CHEE.

  189. Do Libertarian Socialists have any affiliation with the (presumably defunct) Anarchists for Kerry ?

  190. Dave W:

    What in the hell are you talking about? Anti-trust? Cato? Diabetes? If you’re going to attack my motivation and credibility, at try to do so coherently, so I can respond.

    Also, if you post under my name again, you’ll be permanently banned.

    __Radley

  191. Dave W:

    What in the hell are you talking about? Anti-trust? Cato? Diabetes? If you’re going to attack my motivation and credibility, at try to do so coherently, so I can respond.

    Also, if you post under my name again, you’ll be permanently banned.

    __Radley

    People are posting under my name on this thread, saying nonsense things. It seems that the management of this blog doesn’t see that as a problem. So I decided to do what is being done to me to you to see whether you considered it problemmatic.

    Because you don’t like it when people do this to you, can you please help stop this same thing from happening to other people like “Dan T.” and myself?

    Respectfully yours,

    Dave W.

  192. essentially the point of that article was the best way to attack libertarian thought is not by attacking the ideas but by pointing out that libertarians hang out with nutjobs and have ideas based in socialist idiologies.

  193. Dave W. —

    I don’t care why you did it. And I don’t have time to monitor the several hundred comments this site gets every day to make sure everyone is who they say they are.

    There are very few things you can do to get banned from H&R. Posting under the name of a Reason staffer is one of them.

  194. I could be wrong, but I think the writer is confused about big and small L libertarians.

    Isn’t this correct?
    – A libertarian is a person with libertarian views.
    – A Libertarian is a Libertarian Party member.
    – A Libertarian is libertarian, but a libertarian is not always a Libertarian.

    The impression I get from the article is this:
    – A libertarian is a moderate American who believes in responsibility.
    – A Libertarian is an anarchist.

    Maybe I’m just not familiar with it, but I don’t believe this is a popularly accepted system. In fact, most people I know who identify themselves as “small L” libertarians are more radical than the Libertarian Party members I know.

  195. Absolutely. Every single libertarian who posts here thinks that the Politically Corrrect government oppression is what’s stopping SOMEONE from being the next Bill Gates.

    FYP.

  196. What fascinates me is the vehemence directed at Libertarians. If they’re so few and they’re all cranks, why bother?

  197. as applied to radley balko,

    Obviously. He does nothing to help others, all he does is sit in is McMansion and pontificate about how the world would be better if the poor all would just die.

  198. Since this is the open thread, let me say this:

    Kerry, your article about the human tissue industry that appeared in the most recent issue was amazing. I know of two people that are going to subscribe to the magazine (one conservative and one liberal) based on that article alone. Great work – I hope you’re able to keep spreading the word.

    Nick, you should start the push for Kerry to get some sort of reporting/journalism awards for that article. Amazing work.

  199. Dave W.

    I see that at least 1 post under your name links to a different email address. Is this true of all of the fake posts?

  200. Dave W. —

    I don’t care why you did it. And I don’t have time to monitor the several hundred comments this site gets every day to make sure everyone is who they say they are.

    There are very few things you can do to get banned from H&R. Posting under the name of a Reason staffer is one of them.

    Question then:

    Is it similarly acceptable to post under the names of other regulars, such as “thoreau,” “joe,” or “joshua corning?”

  201. This thread makes me appreciate the filter.

  202. Or “Thomas Paine’s Goiter?”

  203. Joe claims that I’m libertarian because I think the government is preventing me from becoming like bill Gates?

    How stupid. Obviously, the government didn’t keep Bill Gates from becoming what he is.

    I’m libertarian because I think that political governance brings about the collapse of civilizations and generally screws over people, the poor most of all.

  204. thoreau: Dude, I’d totally come to your ice-cream parlor. I hope it’d have a biophysics theme, that’d be totally sweet.

  205. Apostate Jew,

    I think it is because our arguments imply that they are immoral or evil people.

    Take joe, for example. Joe thinks that he is a good guy. He believes that he is working to make the world a better place. He has a family who loves him, and he tries to bring up his children to hold simmilar charitable views*.

    Then along comes some raving lunatic** who argues that he works for an organization that practices theft and extortion. This lunatic argues that his efforts are counterproductive and leave people worse off. This lunatic argues that his heroes such as FDR were in fact villains who litterally have the blood of thousands or, in some cases, even of millions on their hands.

    Furthermore, this lunatic is starting from principles that joe was taught to respect from childhood. When I went to public school in Massachusetts, we weren’t taught that the revolutionary war was a mistake, that the ideas of the declaration of independence were anachronistic or wrong. We were taught that they were right, but that guys like FDR reformed the old order kind of like Jesus reforming Judaism to create Christianity.

    If joe is to accept our values as being correct, then he has to also accept that he has been advocating for and taking evil actions for a good part of his life. It’s only natural that he will emotionally be driven to reject the lunatic’s ideas. Road to Damascus conversions happen very rarely.

    We are attacking cherished, core-beliefs, and we are plucking enough emotional strings that those that hear us feel a need to answer our charges.

    We are, in short, heretics who threaten to lead true believers to apostasy and make uncomfortable accusations about the true-believers practices/beliefs. The vehement denunciations are a pretty common reaction of orthodox believers when confronted with a heresy that is not easily brushed aside.***

    *These biographical claims concerning joe are impressions from reading his posts. If they are in error, I apologize, it is not my intention to mislead.

    ** The lunatic is me – at least he has called me that in the past.

    *** Incidentally, these emotional rejections of “heresies” by the “orthodox” happen within libertarianism as well. One person’s heretic is another person’s orthodox believer.

  206. most people I know who identify themselves as “small L” libertarians are more radical than the Libertarian Party members I know.

    You know a libertarian party member?

    What do they look like?

    πŸ™‚

    If anyone from Pandagon came and read this thread, i think it would largely affirm their assumptions.

  207. I forgot to state, that the heresy is sufficiently disturbing that the number of heretics is pretty much irrelevant. The mere existence of the heresy provokes a visceral response.

  208. Is it similarly acceptable to post under the names of other regulars, such as “thoreau,” “joe,” or “joshua corning?”

    That was not exactly the impression I got. My interpretation was that it’s not so much OKAY as it is difficult to monitor and prevent.

    If enough people do that, then I suppose the whole thing could break down into a cacophony of fake voices with Satanic backward spinning commentary that might resemble the Biblical Tower of Babel.

    The few times the problem has gotten out of hand it has been policed by the commenters themselves and seemed to resolve. Then again, who knows.

    TPG, filter? I’m missing that, do tell?

  209. Tarran, well said, well said.

    But you know that in reality it isn’t you and me who are the lunatics, they’re in the hall, the paper holds their folded faces to the floor, and every day the paperboy brings more. πŸ™‚

    I am dead serious though, that was well said and is spot on. You just can’t run around calling everybody a whim worshiper or the non-Randian corrolorary.

  210. Gilmore, I know a LOT of LP members and they look like GUYS who enjoy the hell out of a good Star Trek convention. πŸ™‚

    Come on, I’m just yanking your chain. Well, sort of.

  211. Folks, now that Dave W appears to have vanished down the memory hole (much to my relief), I have a request.

    No matter how annoying someone is, please don’t hijack their handle. It really reduces the value of discussions here. If we drive out one troll, but in the process lose ten or fifteen posters who have something reasonable to contribute, I feel that we are worse off.

    It’s profoundly disrespectful of not the troll, but the other readers of the board. By hijacking a handle, you are, in effect, preventing people from forming their own opinions about the troll based on the troll’s behavior. It’s very much a frame-up job (except there’s no crime or jail time involved).

    We can ban trolls, we can filter them out (either at the browser level, or the eyeball level). The bulletin board cannot survive a breakdown of the social customs regarding identity.

  212. Trolls can be annoying but sometimes they have legit offerings as well, even if it only means you get to sharpen your wit or your arguments. Unless they’re truly wicked people, I don’t care if trolls hang around. Except sometimes they get really tedious.

  213. von Laue, from way back up-thread, you asked:

    “do you endorse

    Or even worse, they manifestly hold the welfare of others as far less important than their own profit and comfort

    as applied to radley balko, julian sanchez, jesse walker, and nick gillespie? really?”

    The key word here is “manifestly.” I don’t believe that, on an individual level, they so value their profit and comfort above the welfare of others.

    But they endorse a political philosophy which does. They honestly seem to recognize the implications of libertarian ideology, and to try to formulate answers to this dilemma. Tellingly, this almost always involves looking outside of libertarianism for those solutions, and making jokes about decoder rings.

  214. NO! Not the ilk!

    Anything but the ilk!

  215. What fascinates me is the vehemence directed at Libertarians. If they’re so few and they’re all cranks, why bother?

    I think you meant Vitriol. ‘Vehemence’ is, like, ‘con gusto’… fervor. etc. Vitriol is “abusive or venomous language used to express blame or censure or bitter deep-seated ill will [syn: vituperation]”

    I agree with your point though.

    Lefties (as much as any) play the ‘identity politics’ game better than they do the ‘political theory’ thing. They’ve made the Christianservatives their de facto arch nemesis…and consequently often have little to say about them, since everyone takes it for granted that anti-abortion/gun toting/anti-gay people are nuts.

    It’s the ones they arent sure about – those that dont fit into their preconceived boxes about whether they’re ‘with us or against us’ – that drives them to label any alternative point of view as necessarily flawed.

    I personally think their criticism is driven more by fear of the fragility of their own identity than it is of any real threat libertarianism presents to Suburban Leftism.

    Eric Hoffer’s ‘True Believer’ (one of the best books i’ve ever read, btw) points out that the main targets of ideologues are usually not their primary ‘enemies’, but the tertiary side-groups that may present any viable options from their ideological binary view (‘with us or against us’). They are more likely to visciously slander and malign those that Fail To Join them – rather than those that directly ‘oppose’ them – because those that have decent arguments for not participating in their ‘movement’ present a threat to the unity of their ideal, and must be preemptively discredited.

    I know that might sound like a bit much… but it’s been consistent with my experience. There Can Only Be Two Sides In Their World. The Third Way is Worst.

    Just a thought. It could be the guy is just an asshole.

    JG

  216. It really reduces the value of discussions here.

    Responding to Dave reduces the value of the discussion.

  217. The bulletin board cannot survive a breakdown of the social customs regarding identity

    Hmm. Digital Identity Cards? I think this is the slippery slope to a regulated, moderated discussion… πŸ™‚ The board will survive through spontaneous emergence of order!

    Also, like Whitman, I contain multitudes. I cant be expected to be the same person every day. How droll.

    JG

  218. There have always been a number of people on this site who dismiss any expression of dissenting opinions as “trolling,” but fortunately, they have always been a minority.

    Heck, I often get accused of being by some third party after I’ve been going back and forth with opponents on facts and ideas for fifty comments.

    So I don’t let it worry me. There are enough of you out there – more than enough – who can engage in principled with an opponent to overcome the intolerant minority, like “Again.”

  219. …and many of you even have the grace to overlook my typing.

    It’s a sign of how fast my mind works. Yeah, that’s it…

  220. I see all of these defenses of libertarian compassion when libertarians are specifically called on the issue.

    But when poverty and misfortune themselves are put front and center as the issue, the “not my problem,” “it’s their own fault,” and “they’re just making that up to steal my money” arguments make up the overwhelming majority of the comments on the threads.

    I don’t think that’s an accident.

  221. TWC =

    I’ve always thought Libertarian Party members were like the ones that the Cool Star Trek Fans studiously avoided at the convention…the ones that even other dorks found kind of weird. πŸ™‚

    I like the IDEA of a libertarian party… I just havent ever seen a group of Libs all in one place that looked appealing. Reason-reader drink-nights excluded, of course. At least we got a few hot chicks up in this piece. Plus i think the readership of this mag runs the spectrum… We’ve got our ‘FDR=SATAN’ types, and…. well…. uh…. joe? and some people (like me) that arent necessarily driven into paroxyms by the slightest hint of Statism. I just want to keep my damn money! (pandagon I guess puts me into the Me-First/Greed Camp… fair enough… no hippy ever did me any favors)

  222. [shivers]UH uh Huh huh uh UH

    It has happened on a few occasions that I post a comment that instigates replies to the effect that people find me creepy. But I ask you, is there anything creepier than a flock (gaggle?) of smug liberals disappearing up their own ass?

  223. I’m sorry I made a Things That Make Libertarians Heads Explode comment the other day. Look, some of my best friends are Libertarians. Technically, I am a Life Member of the Libertarian Party, mostly because I want to keep getting the newsletters to keep track of how the party is doing. I still think sensible libertarianism is one of the cornerstones of a decent society.

    I just absolutely cannot stand extremists and true believers of any philosophy. It made so sad reading the Pandagon comments; one subculture of libertarians has done so much damage to public perception of libertarians in general.

  224. joe,
    I don’t agree with you at least 50 percent of the time but I enjoy the fight you bring to the pitch. You’re at your best when you stick to the issues and avoid the sarcastic ad hominems. When you do that, you are often incisive and reasonable. A tip of the hat to you, sir.

  225. I see all of these defenses of libertarian compassion when libertarians are specifically called on the issue.

    But when poverty and misfortune themselves are put front and center as the issue, the “not my problem,” “it’s their own fault,” and “they’re just making that up to steal my money” arguments make up the overwhelming majority of the comments on the threads.

    I don’t think that’s an accident.

    I’m the boogieman you’re talking about.

    Fuck compassion. Did we evolve into what we are today due to compassion? No, we evolved because the stupid and the unresourceful had the decency to die out.

    I’ve never heard a good reply from lefties against the charge that their philosophy leads to us becoming stupider, weaker and an overall worse species. Goodby to science, art, and everything that seperates us from the animals.

    In the shorter term, its competence, rather than compassion that makes the world go round. All the compassion in the world doesn’t give me the food I eat or the computer I type on, they were brought to me by people working towards their own ends. Insert Adam Smith quote.

  226. “A libertarian is a person with libertarian views.”

    And when a libertarian is mentioned at the start of a sentence, he or she turns into a Libertarian. This little quirk of the English language causes all kinds of confusion. Unless you want to go all e e cummings.

  227. I was rejected by a Libertarian girl once.

    I guess that’s not a good reflection on me.

  228. BTW,
    Does anyone get the comic at the top that post? Something about pouring water down a pigs ass, and a shoe???

  229. But it it weren’t for trolls…

    Exactly. Reading and commenting on Hit & Run is largely about entertainment. Trolls provide a valuable service.

  230. joe,

    You do realize that you can have all the compassion you want in a libertarian society? You can have the welfare programs, social security and all the other forms of wealth distribution you want.

    All you have to do is get people to give you the money instead of taking it at gun-point.

    How many people support the idea of a social safety net? I bet it’s more than 40% of the population. If you convince them them to give up 10% of what they produce, you’ll have 4% of the wealth created in society to give to those in need.

    That’s about 500 billion dollars’ worth of wealth per year to help take care of some fraction of, what, 400 million people?

    Let’s say you had 100 million people in need of assistance (which is high – I’ll bet it’s more like 10 million), that’s $5000 per person. Which may not seem like much, but if all the production we waste via governmental programs was returned to producing goods for consumers, should be sufficient to take care of basic comforts (an increased supply of goods per unit population generally resulting in reduced prices assuming a relatively constant monetary supply ).

    Of course reality is more complicated than that back-of the envelope calculation, but I think this is broadly correct.

  231. Really,
    That whole Dave W thing was… Well I don’t know. But I read it all. I was curious.

    I was wondering if there was any logic, that he wasn’t very good at expressing. I was curious if there was enough logic that could be right or wrong, and could be logically disagreed with.

  232. “Valuing profit and comfort above the welfare of others.”

    This assumes that profit is mutually exclusive or antagonistic towards the welfare of others. I think that is largely untrue. “Generally” they go hand in hand. “Often” it is profit and wealth creation that supports the welfare of others. Certainly this is true of how profit has worked historically to improve everyone’s lot. With profits, new investment in new businessnes are started, new jobs are created, new services are offered, and the general lot of everyone has improved.

    Only some 100 years ago or so only the rich had electricity. Now most people, including the poor, do. Same for refrigeration, television, or any number of technological gadgets or even food stuffs. It’s the profit motive that helped to bring that about.

    This is not to say the picture is always rosey. But the advantages to the profit motive clearly outweigh the problems or disadvantages.

  233. Tarran,
    I made the same argument to my brother who is liberal-socialist.
    And his response was something to the effect that in that scenario we are using darwinism to reward the generous.

    That the selfish would get ahead in life and everyone with compassion would be handicapped.

    Thus we all decide what is fair, and at gunpoint everyone has to give up their fair share.

    Something to that effect.

  234. “Did we evolve into what we are today due to compassion?”

    actually, yes. at least in part.

    or is social bonding not important?

  235. Kwais

    I think Dave W childishly wanted life to hand him stuff on a platter.

    He wanted grylliade to provide him with a soap box to “teach” people to follow his views, and couldn’t grasp the idea that grylliade expected certain reciprocal behavior.

    He liked anti-trust law since he thought that through those laws he could compel large firms to produce goods for him at prices he was willing to pay. Again, he seemingly couldn’t grasp the idea that it is hardly bein libertarian if you are going to force people to produce for you regardless of their wishes.

    He struck me as a person whose judgement was mainly intuitive rather than rational. For example, on the 9/11 discussions, the guy is absolutely convinced that the U.S. shot down the aircraft that crashed in Pennsylvania – despite the patent impossibility of the claim. It’s one thing to intuitively conclude that that likely happened initially, (my brother who is a very intelligent person speculated just that in the first few days after the incident). It’s another thing to refuse to change your mind as facts contradicting that initial conclusion come out.

    On the food thing, he thinks HFCS is unhealthy (something I agree with BTW). He logically asks Cui Bono. well, we see Big Corn, which keeps sugar prices high in the U.S.. But he also sees people benefitting from the health effects. He intuitively feels that both groups have an interest in a regime where people eat HFCS and then get diabetes. The problem is that intuition is not enough for most people. They demand facts (shich is as it should be). He can’t provide them. But he wants them to see the truth which he knows in his gut is correct. So he keeps trying to make them see the truth, and than lashes out childishly when people refuse to believe.

    At least that is my evaluation of his mental state, based on 0 years clinical experience, and 0 years of medical training. πŸ™‚

  236. “Did we evolve into what we are today due to compassion?”

    actually, yes. at least in part.

    or is social bonding not important?

    You’re talking ompassion towards family and those we bond with which obviously helped us evolve and is generally a good thing. Also we look out for those who we expect to look out for us, mutual reciprocity and all that

    But we didn’t evolve due to compassion for “humanity” or “society” or “the workers” or whatever. Too much of a concern for others is a mental illness in my humble opinion.

  237. One of my favorite things in the Panda comments section is how one person with an obscure political position that will most likely never see fruition is debating with another person who’s obsucre political position will most likely never see fruition over who is more right.

  238. Grand Chalupa =

    I dont disagree per se, but I’d avoid linking your Neitzcheian (sp) social-darwinist ideas to somehow being essential to libertarianism. I think there’s some different valuation of the egalitarianism and altruism… with altruism being a bad basis for political order, but i think discounting ‘compassion’ as failing to be central to any just order is mistaken. Government is not simply the guiding principles of Nature enacted in law… it also to some degree compensates for the inequities of nature.

    Ever done the John Rawls ‘original position’ thought-experiment thing? Its an interesting exercise = http://www.humanities.mq.edu.au/Ockham/y64l13.html

    JG

  239. “But we didn’t evolve due to compassion for “humanity” or “society” or “the workers” or whatever. Too much of a concern for others is a mental illness in my humble opinion.”

    ignoring for a moment that the category above and the category below (the family v. “society”) were one and the same for thousands of years, applying a meaning to evolution beyond “it worked really fucking well and thus we’re still here” is generally ill-advised.

    also, color me mentally ill, but i deeply care about others, even people i don’t know. i can explain this in several ways, from a position of selfishness to one that treats compassion as a biological outgrowth of human evolution, but at the end i yam what i yam, much like yourself.

    anyway, i hope i’ve pointed out the central role of compassion and mutualism for social animals. (none of which is an argument for anything, mind you; i just like keeping people honest.)

  240. I made the same argument to my brother who is liberal-socialist.
    And his response was something to the effect that in that scenario we are using darwinism to reward the generous.

    That the selfish would get ahead in life and everyone with compassion would be handicapped.

    Kwais, I find that argument very telling – it demonstrates a world-view intent on punishment rather than on practicing compassion.

    first, life is not a race. Let’s compare Linus Torvalds to Bill Gates. Now, one could argue that Bill gates with his billions has been rewarded more than Linus with his millions, since Linus “gave” away his creation.

    But if you asked Bill gates if he felt well-rewarded, then asked Linus if he was felt well-rewarded, both would probably answer in the affirmative. Hell – ask Richard Stallman the same question, and he would probably answer yes too.

    Because, in the end, they are all three pusruing ends which provide them with psychic satisfaction.

    So compare Bill Gates the philanthropist with Bill Gates the tightwad in a parallel universe. Tightwad Bill Gates is happy because he keeps his money. Philanthropic Bill Gates is happy since he gave some of his money to those in need. Philanthropic Bill Gates chooses to give rather than be a tightwad precisely because he feels better off having given away that money instead of holding on to it.

    So, let us say we established an anti-socialist dictatorship. No collectivism or charity allowed! So we send our gestapo agents to philanthropic Bill Gates and inform him that if he so much as gives away a penny, he will be arrested, that by law he has to be a tightwad. Do you think Philantrhopic Bill Gates would thank the gestapo agents for making him better off? Or would he ill-disposed toward them?

  241. thwap,

    You bring up a good point, and one anti-corporate progressives seem to have no answer for:

    The more poor people there are, the more profit is to be made by providing services to them at a price they can afford. Wal*Mart had proven this to be true, and while some people don’t care for their employment practices (while instead of actually worrying about the employees, instead use that issue to grow unions, or complain about the decline of the independent retailer, or what have you) not everyone works for Wal*Mart, and certainly more people benefit from their ability to provide quality goods at everyday low prices than if Wal*Mart didn’t exist.

    Now, if Wal*Mart’s low low prices are a result of Chinese slave labor, that’s a different matter. As a rule, though, that’s not the argument I generally see from progressives in their anti-Wal*Mart screeds. A shame, because that’s the only issue regarding Wal*Mart that concerns me, with the claims of cheating employees out of overtime and benefits (not denying, but cheating) coming in second.

  242. While joe maybe condescending, spiteful and generally lacks the common decency of most human beings, he’s certainly not a troll.

    A snotty prick, but not a troll.

  243. I see all of these defenses of libertarian compassion when libertarians are specifically called on the issue …

    Well, that one is easy joe. We just disagree about who is deserving. It is most folks fault, it usually isn’t my problem, and so forth. Take the Katrina disaster. I gave to the folks that relocated in my town, and I gave several hundred dollars to evacuate the animals they left behind. But there is no way in hell I’m going to give a single dollar to those f*cking morons who are going to rebuild. That isn’t my problem and it is their fault. They know what can happen. I’m also not the type to give out spare change on the street, in stark contrast to my more liberal friends who do so with a smug satisfaction. The last time I did was to a pregnant woman who claimed to have been mugged and needed bus fair. As I was loading groceries in my car I watched her drive out of the grocery store parking lot smoking. Enabling isn’t compassion.

  244. … philosophy leads to us becoming stupider, weaker and an overall worse species. Goodbye to science, art, and everything that seperates us from the animals.

    A few years ago you all mocked my Theory of De-Evolution when I reminded you of it on this board.

    I suppose you’ll still be mocking me but I’ll still be right.

  245. Philosophers from my hometown of Akron always get my respect, even though they may not receive my blind allegiance.

  246. I dont disagree per se, but I’d avoid linking your Neitzcheian (sp) social-darwinist ideas to somehow being essential to libertarianism.

    Never said it was. Its just my main reason for being a libertarian. Im happy to have egiltarians and even Calvinist type Christians who think people get what they deserve as allies.

  247. A few years ago you all mocked my Theory of De-Evolution when I reminded you of it on this board.

    I tried looking up the term “de-evolution” on wikipedia and got “devolution fallacy”.

    According to the article there is no such thing as “devolution” because any adaptation is by definition evolution.

    It also says it is a mistake to think of human beings as the goal of evolution and to even think in terms of “progress”.

    Ok, scientifically that’s all well enough true, but how bout an article on the theory that humans are losing their intelligence and self-reliance? There must be somebody who wrote about this at some point, no?

    We use words to help us communicate and share ideas. If we want to use the term “devolution” to mean people going back to an ape like form that is just fine.

    Somebody let me know if there have been any studies done on this. Maybe looking at people at the time of the Greeks and people now.

  248. Contrary to the prevalent liberal mindset, liberty is closely tied to property rights, as libertarians emphasize. However, we libertarians should also recognize that this tie is even closer the less property an individual has, and hence the closer he is to poverty and the unfree realm of need and necessity.

    I think the first priority of libertarians, along with less overall government spending, should be the repeal of the income tax for the vast majority of Americans, e.g. all those making less than $50k per year. The loss in revenue could be made up with expanded inheritance taxes (which relative to other forms of taxation — except “use” taxes — seem most congenial to libertarian principles; see, e.g., Andrew Carnegie’s The Gospel of Wealth), as well as a federal consumption tax (which I think should exempt food and medical care).

    An important incidental benefit of inheritance taxes is the check they put on vast accumulations of wealth. Just as we libertarians (and federalists) are concerned about the threat that concentrated political power poses to individual liberty, we should be similarly concerned about the analogous threat posed by vast concentrations of inherited economic wealth, which wealth typically translates to corresponding political power.

    Progressive taxation is further justified by the fact that the economic infrastructure protected by government makes accumulation of wealth possible (Warren Buffet has pointed out that if he had been born in some third world country he’d have stayed about as poor as everyone else), and the fact that the wealthy benefit more from government than the poor (What need have the poor for a battleship?)

  249. Take the Kim Jong-il 65th birthday quiz:

    hier

    (Hat tip: the Pragmatic Libertarian)

    Join in the fun so he’s not so ronery anymore!

  250. Things fall apart, it’s scientific.

  251. A few things:

    1) To Gilmore-

    Funny you should mention Hoffer’s book. I read it last week and am planning to blog a few favorite excerpts from it.

    2) Regarding identity and trolls: Yeah, at first I thought the fake “Dan T.” posters were funny, then I realized the problem. It’s funny at first, but if it catches on then we’re screwed.

    3) Regarding “ilk”: We are the Knights Who Say Ilk!!!

    4) Regarding why people direct so much scorn at libertarians: It’s because in a 2-party system, with everything neatly polarized, we’re the oddballs who scramble the calculations. Even people who don’t agree with me often find me at least intriguing because I’m not the standard devil from the other side.

    Because we offer a genuine third way, we are a threat. It’s not that the extremist LP stance will ever gain mass acceptance, but if the general approach of economic conservatism and social liberalism were to catch on it could threaten one or both parties. Either a third party (presumably not the LP) would displace a major party, or else a coalition would get shuffled. Or, horror of horrors, we might even become a multi-party country like Canada or England. (I cite them rather than other multi-party countries because they use first-past-the-post voting in single-member districts. The other multi-party countries tend to use proportional representation or instant runoff or something like that.)

  252. tarran,

    Nobody likes to be the sucker. People who shovel their sidewalks stop doing so when they move to a street where no one shovels the sidewalk.

    Decent businessowners are supposed to give them a structural disadvantage vs. their less ethical competitors? Why? So they can lose, and cede the market to the worst actors?

    Grand Chalupa, you need to spend an afternoon being clicking on Rick Barton links.

  253. BTW,

    Liberal blogs don’t pick on libertarians a great deal. They spend most of their time picking on neoconservatives and the Religious Right. You people overestimate the amount of specifically anti-libertarian sentiment that gets expressed because the Reason writers don’t link to the far more numerous examples of Pandagon posts bashing those other two targets.

  254. Nobody likes to be the sucker.

    And there, ladies and gentlemen, is the logic of liberalism: “I think it’s the right thing to do, but if you disagree I will have to force you to do it as well; otherwise, I’m a sucker.”

    Except, of course, this doesn’t account for any number of things people do voluntarily, e.g., contribute to charity, without feeling like suckers as a result when others choose differently.

    And, by the way, unless it really is my> sidewalk (rarely the case as a matter of law) or I choose to clear it for my own convenience and safety, why the hell should I shovel it?

  255. “Decent businessowners are supposed to give them a structural disadvantage vs. their less ethical competitors? Why? So they can lose, and cede the market to the worst actors?”

    not always true, as the rise of whole foods shows.

    “Ok, scientifically that’s all well enough true, but how bout an article on the theory that humans are losing their intelligence and self-reliance? There must be somebody who wrote about this at some point, no?”

    i’m sure it has shown up in conservative and objectivist magazines, as well as with social darwinist types. it is a rather common theme.

    using various kinds of metrics you can no doubt portray any time period as being less or more self-reliant than the present; alternately, since most of history has involved slave states and a deeply unequal legal structure, those same metrics can be used to pollute any model that might be drawn.

  256. Rawls’s original position is such horseshit. It’s like Calvinism for egalitarian liberals.

  257. “Liberal blogs don’t pick on libertarians a great deal. ”

    that’s true, though it definitely seems to have seen an uptick lately (not just counting reason links, obviously, but as a general survey)

    the same thing seemed to be happening over the past two years with conservative outlets as well, either as a “you can’t leave us because no one else will love you, you crazy stupid bitch” or “goddamn fucking degenerates want to put gay heroin in christian babies.”

    it’s rather odd.

    regardless, it will be entertaining when the conservatives suddenly rediscover this constitution thingy and democrats suddenly rediscover that presidential power is really fucking great in the right hands. in my darker hours i’d hypothesize that it’s related to the amount of bootblack they digest – i.e. as bootlicking levels increase resistance to shredding principles lessens – but i don’t quite know what the score is.

    maybe it’s tribalism, the same old song…

  258. “There have always been a number of people on this site who dismiss any expression of dissenting opinions as “trolling,” but fortunately, they have always been a minority.”

    I give dissenting opinions all the time, troll. Particularly with regards to Iraq. I’m calling you a troll because you clearly _are_ one, and I get infuriated when a promising thread gets sunk when you take it over with your half-assed contrarianism.

    If you think automatically taking the opposite opinion on everything just to annoy is interesting, then you have a very bizarre definition of the word ‘interesting.’

  259. Grand Chalupa, there are two main ways to pronounce Nietzsche: NEE-chuh, and NEE-chee. In both of them the formidable -tzsch- is just a humble little ‘ch’ sound (as in ‘cheese’ and ‘cherries’ and ‘C.H.U.D.’). The first one (with the schwa sound at the end) is the more common, and I believe the more faithful to the German pronounciation:

    http://m-w.com/cgi-bin/audio.pl?bixnie08.wav=Nietzsche

  260. Joe,

    I am confused, why is a business owner who does not donate to charity “unethical”? You could argue that he is a louse and a jerk, but so long as he is not stealing why does it matter?

    Couple of points though, being charitable does not necessarily put one at a structural disadvantage. It can build up goodwill, it can be a vehicle for advertising.

    The notion that free market competition is like some winner take all game is patently ridiculous. Is a charitable restaurant owner going to go out of business because there is a tightwad running a restaurant across the street? Is Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream going to go out of business because Hood does not give away a significant portion of their profits?

    Incidentally, when the majority of people don’t shovel their walks its because of sidewalk socialism: the state builds a sidewalk and then orders people to maintain it for the benefit of other pedestrians.

    It’s not too much to ask people who want to use the sidewalks to arrange for their clearing. For example, I regularly shovel my elderly neighbor’s walk since a) I hate to see him struggling to cross the snow, b) I like to walk my dog on a non-snow covered sidewalks. No compulsion needed. If the problem was acute enough, I might form an association of dogwalkers and buy a couple of snowblowers, or hire some kids to shovel the sidewalks.

    Honestly, it’s kind of ironic to see the problems inherently caused by socializing stuff trotted out as “proof” that free societies are unworkable.

  261. For those who replied, thanks and I think you’re right.

    It’s similar to the reaction one gets in explaining to especially provincial* Christians that, no, the Jews do not accept the divinity of Christ and that they in fact deny it.

    Libertarians, by declaring “I reject your left-right dichotomy!” are in effect declaring themselves to be not simply heretics – who are, after all believers albeit those who espouse an incorrect dogma – but apostates. They are unmasking themselves as deniers of the one true religion.

    Woe be unto you, libertarians!

    *There’s a lot of them about, I’ve found. Not bad people, either.

  262. On the whole left right thing:

    When it all started in the Paris General Assembly, the rightists were the conservatives who were loyal or sympathetic to the Ancien Regime, and the radicals who wished to end special privileges and the like were the Radicals sitting on the left.

    Guess where the “Classical Liberals” sat? Yep, the left.

    In fact, anarcho-capitalists like me would have been viewed as ultra-extremist left-wingers 150 years ago.

    The story of how socialists became identified as being leftists and libertarians came to be seen as ultra-rightists is pretty torturous.

  263. Timothy-

    I don’t know about biophysics, but there will be definitely be a physics theme, with liquid nitrogen ice cream on the menu!

  264. “But we didn’t evolve due to compassion for “humanity” or “society” or “the workers” or whatever. Too much of a concern for others is a mental illness in my humble opinion.”

    Recent studies on altruism in primates and other species would contradict your axiom here.

    A recent article…

    Proc Biol Sci. 2007 Mar 7;274(1610):749-53.Click here to read Links
    Partner choice creates competitive altruism in humans.

    * Barclay P,
    * Willer R.

    Department of Neurobiology & Behaviour, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.

    Reciprocal altruism has been the backbone of research on the evolution of altruistic behaviour towards non-kin, but recent research has begun to apply costly signalling theory to this problem. In addition to signalling resources or abilities, public generosity could function as a costly signal of cooperative intent, benefiting altruists in terms of (i) better access to cooperative relationships and (ii) greater cooperation within those relationships. When future interaction partners can choose with whom they wish to interact, this could lead to competition to be more generous than others. Little empirical work has tested for the possible existence of this ‘competitive altruism’. Using a cooperative monetary game with and without opportunities for partner choice and signalling cooperative intent, we show here that people actively compete to be more generous than others when they can benefit from being chosen for cooperative partnerships, and the most generous people are correspondingly chosen more often as cooperative partners. We also found evidence for increased scepticism of altruistic signals when the potential reputational benefits for dishonest signalling were high. Thus, this work supports the hypothesis that public generosity can be a signal of cooperative intent, which people sometimes ‘fake’ when conditions permit it.

  265. The commenter “Again” wrote to Joe: “I’m calling you a troll because you clearly _are_ one, and I get infuriated when a promising thread gets sunk when you take it over with your half-assed contrarianism.”

    Amen. It’s disgusting how many debates and conversations here get fucked up because of joe and his single-minded combativeness. It’s not just that he’s a contrarian; it’s that he reliably manages to steer threads into the most boring tangents possible. Of the infinite ideas and discussion angles that could be spawned by a new Hit & Run post, joe seems to pick the most mindnumbing — and posts it right at the top of a thread nearly every time, ensuring that the conversation will derail from the get-go.

    It’s called baiting. Baiting is what trolls do. And joe is a troll. Period.

    Nearly as bad are the commenters who not only abide him (“he’s our joe”), but who actively defend his presence (“he keeps us on our toes” and such bullshit). There’s no need to be diplomatic about a troll just because he’s become familiar.

  266. Stevo,
    Got M?

  267. I don’t know about biophysics, but there will be definitely be a physics theme, with liquid nitrogen ice cream on the menu!

    Now you’re learning, grasshopper. My plan for world domination is falling into place. Now I have to get you to develop an Anthrax Ambrosia flavor, plus franchise opportunities.

  268. i don’t think joe is a troll, though he’s been in a bad mood lately.

  269. http://secondlla.googlepages.com/

    There is a people’s revolution brewing in ones and zeros world… aka second life.

  270. No way joe’s a troll. Dan T is quite trollish. M1EK was definitely a troll. Many more trolls pop up for a few comments on a thread dealing with their favorite troll topic then slip away to troll another day. But joe? He’s just a goddamn dirty hippie.

  271. thwap — re your Feb. 25 post, at 12:46 pm: YES. Liberals refuse even to consider the idea that the free market can accomplish their own goals faster and better than government can.

  272. “He’s just a goddamn dirty hippie.”

    c’mon. We disagree with him, but he’s got the balls to be here and to ask the tougher questions. He doesn’t accept boilerplate answers, nor does he accept talking points. He rips those who worship (without understanding) the “Free Market” (“Demand curve” – said like “Matt Damon” from Team America).

    Just because he and I don’t agree on a lot of (most?) points, doesn’t mean that he’s just a “… dirty hippie”. He and I don’t agree on lots of points, but there definitely are times when addressing his questions are to the benefit of understanding the difference between the Liberal and liberal responses. And there are times where I don’t know what to say in response to some of his points. (e.g., We vehemently disagree on Yugoslavia, and I don’t think anything he says strengthens his case)

    However, I am uncomfortable with the “pile on joe sessions” that happen (see some of the minimum wage discussions, where that asshole kept yelling, “demand curve”). He clearly knew more than whatever quibbledick was arguing with him, but the quibbledick never used economics, policy arguments, or anything beyond freshman year in junior college arguments.

    Instead, why not engage, discuss, and enlighten? Sparky – ignore the barbs and don’t answer with boilerplate arguments. You’ve got a good arsenal of rhetoric – use that instead. Elevate.

    Maxwell – I’ve been posting here from pretty much the beginning (different handle), but I don’t recall you being a regular. As someone who is obviously in the final camp of your post, I call bullshit on you. Either post more or shut the fuck up with your “he’s a troll” crap.

    I say you’re the troll, newbie. Now post as a grown up, and you’ll be treated as such. Since I’m not familiar with you – after my first post in Jan 2003 – I am freed from the bonds of diplomacy, per the Maxwellian rule. So go fuck yourself and come back after you’ve had more than a few posts to make such comments.

    This is a paid endorsement. Or in short: see what Dhex wrote. He’s a regular, too. Not a faux one.

    Mr Crane will verify. Stand by.

  273. VM,

    That “goddamn dirty hippie” line was just meant as a silly joke, but I guess it’s not surprising that it didn’t translate well in print, especially on a thread where troll accusations are flying. I suppose it’s the price I pay for being philosophically opposed to using the “:)” symbol. Imagine it being said by Dana Carvey’s “…and we liked it!” old man character from SNL, and I think you’ll agree that it’s still a pretty crappy joke.

    I was serious about joe not being a troll though. I’ve posted here off and on for 4-5 years (also under a different handle way back in the day); I’ve had several interesting exchanges with him, and read many more. Needs a haircut and a bath though. Damn hippie….

  274. I spent a good bit of time and energy a couple of years ago over at a now defunct blog written by liberal academics called Left2Right, and I played basically the same counterpoint position joe plays here. I have no problem with him at all, which is not to say I don’t find his comments sometimes over the top. (So, occasionally, or so I’m told, are some of mine.)

    I’ve seen no sign up anywhere on Hit & Run saying “No Liberals (or Progressives or, for that matter, Conservatives, etc.) Welcome” and I think the site is, on the whole, better for having him. If you don’t want to engage him or respond to his comments, whatever you may think of them or him, no one is forcing you to do so. But I learn more from people with whom I disagree than with those who see matters as I do. I learn nothing from ad hominem attacks regardless of and except about the source of those attacks. (Mind you, I don’t exactly have a spotless record in that regard, myself, as far as that goes.) So if joe is a troll, I say we could do with a couple more trolls just like him.

  275. If you don’t think joe is a troll, go back and read what he wrote about the Dixie Chicks.

    Seriously, I’m gone for a week and this is what I come back to?
    Come on, Britney shaved her head and has been in and out of rehab more times than I’ve crapped in the last week. They still don’t know who fathered Anna Nicole Smith’s baby (the poor thing). The Oscars are on.
    All this real news and all you care about is liberals who hate you.
    So sad.

  276. highnumber,

    You forgot to mention that Al Gore was about to announce he was running for president when the music cut him off…

  277. joe has his moods, no doubt, and based on certain exchanges I can’t blame certain posters for wanting nothing to do with him.

    But he’s still pretty damn interesting much of the time, and unlike some people who mix noise with signal he’s not just here to wave his dick in the air or get attention or whatever. He’s actually here to debate, not just play his game. It’s a shame that at times he’s gone to the point that some have been (quite legitimately) turned off, but I still like him.

  278. Interesting how collectivizing actions leads to absolution of bad results.

    In discussing the internment of American citizens for being of Jepanese descent with my Japanese in-laws, they regarded it as a “mistake”.

    What other entity can violate people so without being indentified as criminal, even by its victims?

  279. Blogging sure does feel like highschool sometimes. πŸ˜‰

  280. Except I don’t have to ride the short bus to go to blogging.

  281. This is the short bus, Sparky.

  282. Ah, that explains all the protective headgear and drooling.

  283. This is the short bus, Sparky.

    Ridgely wins the thread.

  284. Yeah – Sparky – I have the headgear and the +5 amulet of “Not Getting the Humor”. And I rolled 1D20= 18, so I missed the hell out of it πŸ™‚

    High#: you’re actually watching the oscars? mercy! πŸ™‚

    Although I did read your words with the tone of Han Solo right after he was reunited with Chewie in RotJ, [paraphrased] “I’m out of it for a bit, and people have delusions of grandeur?”

    (Just watched, “Mindhunters”)

    Sorry again for missing the humor, Sparky. hrumph.

    /kicks pebble. Abuses cupcake.

  285. Well, all we need now is to designate the geeks, stoners, jocks, goth, etc. πŸ˜‰

  286. No worries, VM. Jokes in blog posts are touchy under the best of circumstances, and bad jokes like mine are more fraught with peril than a battle between a first level magic-user and a red dragon.

    (I’m reaching way back for D&D memories, so that’s probably not much of an analogy. I’m proud to say I haven’t played D&D in years – now I just work and read blogs until past midnight on a Sunday night….)

  287. “Well, all we need now is to designate the geeks, stoners, jocks, goth, etc.”

    I wonder if we could develop a grossly oversimplified ten-question quiz that would fit conveniently into your wallet? We could divide the questions into high school “academic success” and “athletic success.”

    I would score about 90 on academic success and 40 on athletic success (club soccer and JV tennis! take that, you pasty nerds!). I suppose that would still leave me comfortably within the realm of the geeks, but I think I would be in good company here.

  288. bout Joe,
    This thread alone proves that Joe is useful. Well to me at least.

    First off, the argument he makes for socialism is the exact same as the one my brother makes.

    So when that argument is made here online, and he is responded to by various people. I know the argument that Joe and my brother make are wrong, but maybe I don’t explain why it is wrong in the clearest most succinct way. So Tarran and others take a shot at it. And even some people take a shot at it (and do much worse than I would). So I can make a note of it, and hopefully remember that line of thinking next time I am in a discussion with a liberal.

    Also, those of us who are relatively new to libertarianism don’t have all the dots connected. And there are some of the gaps that we don’t have answers to. There are some things that we don’t know answers to, or have any concept to how they should work in a more free society.

    When Joe espouses those same doubts, other posters give us the answers. Maybe those answers don’t change Joe’s mind, but they educate me, and maybe others.

    Also Joe’s debates with John might be of some use to John.

  289. Joe said -“Absolutely. Every single libertarian who posts here thinks that the Politically Corrrect government oppression is what’s stopping him from being the next Bill Gates.”

    That’s odd. I have always posted that I am poor and it is my own fault. Even with the “disabilities” I have, I don’t consider it “society’s ” job to take care of me. Libertarians take responsibility for their own lives.

    I don’t think government is preventing me from being “a Bill Gates.” I just don’t think government(taxpayers) should be the one who CREATES/decides who is “a Bill Gates” at the expense of others.

    Sure, there are some wingnut Libertarians who think everyone is out to get them or the government/man/commies/nazis/jews/etc are “holding them down.”

    But I find that Libertarians are overwhelmingly just “regular” people who support freedom and believe in personal responsibility.

    Liberals and Conservatives are the ones who want to make up excuses and BLAME everyone else from corporations to gays to Muslims or whatever scapegoat for their own personal faults.

  290. Eddy:
    Stevo,
    Got M?

    No, I never do that. Honest.

    But I did have a BM.

  291. OK stevo, I don’t get that one
    I’m so lost on these jokes.

  292. That’s odd. I have always posted that I am poor and it is my own fault.

    You, sir, are a brave, wonderful man.

    “I’m poor and it is my own fault.”

    Music to my ears! No shame in your situation my friend.

  293. So, what’s the Hit and Run record for the most posts?

    Also, I think you could believe that the circumstances that you are in are more complicated than “just your own fault” but still believe that a generally libertarian political/legal system is the most sensible.

  294. “”So, what’s the Hit and Run record for the most posts? “”

    this doesn’t even come close. It was like 1k or so. Usually about abortion, the death penalty, or guns.

  295. I am mainly poor because it is my fault. I mean dudes who make less than me planned a lot more smartly and have more wealth than me. I feel like I am turning that around now.

    My family has always been poor, going back generations. My brother working with computers has made a ton of money, but he is still poor.

    I remember reading a while back about the amount of people that win the lottery and are shortly thereafter broke again. It is a crazy number.

    A lot of boxers make millions, and then go broke when they are not pulling millions in anymore.

    “I some of the money on booze, drugs and women, and the rest I wasted”

  296. thoreau | February 25, 2007, 5:33pm | #
    Timothy-

    I don’t know about biophysics, but there will be definitely be a physics theme, with liquid nitrogen ice cream on the menu!

    Man, liquid nitrogen ice cream is totally delicious. Freezes so fast the crystals are tiny, makes for an excellent texture. My uncle used to do that in his lab all the time, I loved visiting when he’d make it.

  297. Like high school?
    I don’t want to go back to being straight edge.
    Can it be more like college when I experimented with crazy stuff?

  298. D A Ridgely, dhex,

    Yes, people give money to charity. Yes, Whole Foods and the like account for a tiny fraction of the produce sold in America. But the very insignificance of the amount of money involved makes my case for me.

    DAR,

    “And, by the way, unless it really is my> sidewalk (rarely the case as a matter of law) or I choose to clear it for my own convenience and safety, why the hell should I shovel it?” Because there are other people on the planet. Gee, “Or even worse, they manifestly hold the welfare of others as far less important than their own profit and comfort” sure is grossly unfair to the libertarian mindset.

  299. Sparky,

    I got the “goddam dirty hippie” reference, and I appreciate the sentiment.

    – joe, making Hit & Run smell of patchouli and soy since 2001.

  300. Kwais: Because my last few posts were a little weird, I think Eddy was asking if I was stoned (“Got M?” = “Got marijuana?”)

    So I honestly replied:

    No, I never do that. Honest.

    But I did have a BM.

  301. “Yes, Whole Foods and the like account for a tiny fraction of the produce sold in America. But the very insignificance of the amount of money involved makes my case for me.”

    So, by implication, all grocers other than Whole Foods are unethical jerks who would never donate to charity?

  302. I don’t think anybody would accuse me of liking Joe, but I think he brings a lot to these threads. He writes clearly, and he argues well so he should be here. The fact that his head is usually up his arse only makes him more endearing.

    I have tried to post on some liberal blogs. I have found them to be unfriendly, inhospitable, closed minded places. I suspect that the conservative blogs might be half as bad, which is very bad. Reason should never resort to that.

  303. There is nothing is all of liberaldom more idiotic and counterproductive than their sense of being screwed by people who create the only means to be productive in the world.

    Why do employers have power over employees? Because there are relatively few successful employers who can offer jobs.

    Why do companies have power over consumers? Because they produce goods that consumers want, and in some cases feel entitled to as a basic human right.

    How do companies exert their awesome power? They sell underwear and gasoline and maybe hamburgers to people who want the same. They offer employment contracts to people who would otherwise be … what?

    Is industry demanding policy of the government a flaw of industry or a flaw of government?

    A company is nothing like a government. If you don’t like monopolies, you shouldn’t like government solutions for all the same reasons.

  304. whole foods is an interesting example if only because this is part of their branding and marketing strategy. they’re also a gourmet grocery chain, which is already a subset of a larger industry.

    there’s also pressure for nearly every large business to get involved in some kind of “community outreach” – normally attachment to a charity or umbrella of charities, and doing sponsorship of events for various not-for-profits.

  305. Is joe a troll? Well, I don’t really think so. But he spends a LOT of time calling other people trolls. Frankly, I think the whole troll thing is just another ad hominem attack, used by people who should really either just 1) ignore the person they think is a troll or 2) go ahead and refute their points and suffer the arguments and deal with the name-calling that goes with that approach.

    I often take the latter approach, especially with joe. It irritates me when he goes ad hom and/or condescending, but that just comes with the territory.

    Is joe a troll? Not in my opinion. And sometimes he’s even a very thoughtful and intelligent guy.

    There are other times when his Partisan Blinders Syndrome not only prevents him from understanding simple numberical comparisons, but leads him to rabidly attack anyone who disagrees with him as belonging to Team Red. He has also often shown that, to him, the “War Between Team Red and Team Blue” is the most important conflict the U.S. has ever seen.

    In other words, jf pretty much hits the nail on the head: “I’ve found that joe seems to be on a cycle. When he’s waxing he actually provides good counterbalance to die-hard ‘live free or die’ radical libertarianism, and when he’s waning, he just acts like a prick.”

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