This Open Thread Was Brought to You by the Libertarian Party

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This weekend I'm traipsing around the Libertarian Party state chairs' conference in Florida, prepping for a panel on Libertarians and the media early in the evening. Just a few minutes ago I ran into Wayne Allyn Root, the TV host, sports handicapper and—until recently—Republican Party donor. He just joined the LP (as a life member) to explore a presidential run. "You need an issue that's going to grab people," he told me, "Twenty million people gamble online. They just watched the government come after something that they were having a lot of fun doing."

Since this is an issue Radley Balko predicted would backfire on the GOP, I'm curious to see what people think about that; or what you think about Root as an LP presidential candidate.

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  1. Damn what do you think would happen if they put 20 million people IN JAIL for someting as harmless as online gambling.

  2. Man, wouldn’t it be great is the the State of the Union Address was issued by a toll-free number, and every other caller receieved one of two messages!?

  3. It would also be great if I could type.

  4. Twenty million people gamble online. They just watched the government come after something that they were having a lot of fun doing.”

    Ah, but unfortunately, while those 20 million people might not like the government sticking its nose into their online Texas Hold-em games, I’m sure most of them don’t mind the jack booted thugs swooping down from D.C. to ban abortion, confiscate handguns, forbid a gay couple from getting hitched, or deny a cancer patient pot.

  5. More than twenty million people download porn online. More than twenty million people download music in violation of copyright. And way more than twenty million people use or have recently used illegal drugs.

    Politicians of both parties consistently support measures to crack down on these activities, but good luck forming a party around any of those issues. The people who do these things are not likely to publicly admit it. They may be a large group but they will always be a silent one.

    And the same is true of online gambling.

  6. Dondero must be wetting himself

  7. No haiku faggots?

  8. What, does he think signing up for a lifetime membership is going to make people forget his previous political positions?

  9. Those fucking assholes
    I want my Party Poker!
    Nanny state bullshit.

  10. Ah, but unfortunately, while those 20 million people might not like the government sticking its nose into their online Texas Hold-em games, I’m sure most of them don’t mind the jack booted thugs swooping down from D.C. to ban abortion, confiscate handguns, forbid a gay couple from getting hitched, or deny a cancer patient pot.

    Converting the moron masses, one personal issue at a time.

  11. What?
    Is not
    What What? wots.
    So what.

  12. The masses will never be converted to libertarianism, or even supportive of it, except for when it is there pet interest (many lifestyle libertarians seem to oppose economic libertarians as if they are pedophiles are something.)

    In order to appeal to the masses there will have to be oppression. The masses need to feel better than someone.

    If Goldwaterism, Sweet rational Goldwaterism, couldn’t make it, I doubt the direct libertarianism will.

    Might = Right is the paradigm of the masses. And it is hard to establish libertarianism via force…unlike every other ideology.

    P.S.
    The AnCappers are a huge liability.

  13. Damn! There = Their.

  14. HI THIS IS WAYNE ALLAN ROOT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND I’VE JUST UNCOVERED INFORMATION THAT I ***GUARANTEE*** WILL LOWER THE MARGINAL TAX RATE FOR ALL AMERICANS!! AND YOU CAN GET IT NOW ON A RECORDED MESSAGE–IF YOUR TAX RATE DOES NOT GO DOWN I GUARANTEE THAT YOU’LL GET A DEDUCTION ON NEXT YEAR’S TAXES!! CALL NOW!!

  15. Senator Goldwater,
    Unlike his extant voter,
    Said “America first!”
    And was unknown to have cursed.

  16. Man, wouldn’t it be great is the the State of the Union Address was issued by a toll-free number, and every other caller receieved one of two messages!?

    If anything, Root’s experience at having an opinion on both sides of the same issue makes him uniquely qualified to hold political office…

  17. “thugs swooping down from D.C. to ban abortion, confiscate handguns, forbid a gay couple from getting hitched, or deny a cancer patient pot”

    I hate the State as much as the next guy, but when have the Feds done any of these things(yet)?

    Did I miss something?
    The last one is true in some sense I suppose.

  18. Gamblers are too few
    Many more voting millions
    Want freedom crushed


  19. I hate the State as much as the next guy, but when have the Feds done any of these things(yet)?

    Did I miss something?
    The last one is true in some sense I suppose.

    Akira’s just off his(her?) nut again.

  20. Libertarianism is just too goofy to appeal to large numbers. Continuing to run candidates on a party platform that only a minority of loonies will ever support may seem, well, loony. So what do libertarians get out of it? Probably the same thing adherents of any religion get–a sense of belonging and the comfort of a worldview that is at least internally coherent. It’s amusing that libertarians see themselves as political at all. Libertarianism clearly has more in common with religion than with politics. Being faithful to the ideology is all that really counts; actually winning in electtoral politics is for that vast sea of ordinary mortals who haven’t seen the light. The Libertarian party is very similar to the American Communist party in its decline. We Americans are very fortunate that our political cults have always remained marginal.

  21. Continuing to run candidates on a party platform that only a minority of loonies will ever support may seem, well, loony

    libertarianism =/= Libertarian Party

    libertarianism is a philosophy.

    It’s the same BS people try when they want Conservative to mean The Conservative Party (i.e. the haven’t been conservative since we turned our backs on Barry GOP)

    We Americans are very fortunate that our political cults have always remained marginal.

    If you crack open a history book, you may have noticed that major parties tend to usurp the ideas of minor parties. It isn’t that libertarianism or socialism are marginal, they are just competing within big tent parties.

    I’ll tell you want is marginal: Fucking classical conservatism in the Republican Party.

  22. Hmm, what do I think of Root as the Libertarian party candidate? Well, let’s see. Here’s one of his own press releases, from which I quote the following tidbit:

    An avid philanthropist, Root supports quality charities such as The Rainbow Center in Burundi, Africa, which used his recent donation to build “Wayne Root Stadium” – a place where AIDS orphans can play soccer.

    Hey, what’s not to like?

  23. Edward’s
    Said words
    True of those rootin’
    For Newton.

  24. P.S. The AnCappers are a huge liability.

    Hey, Goldwater Conservative, which of these 36 people are you?

    Hint: When you use lingo nobody else uses, a lot of people won’t get what the fuck you’re trying to say.

  25. Hint: When you use lingo nobody else uses, a lot of people won’t get what the fuck you’re trying to say.

    You know, it’s probably best that they don’t quite get it.

  26. Goldwater Conservatism

    You know you’re marginal when you’re exchanging platitudes with a handful of fellow true believers and an occasional troll.

  27. You know, it’s probably best that they don’t quite get it

    Edward’s
    Dead words
    Don’t arouse
    As do similar ones by Leo Strauss.

  28. What could be worse
    than rebutting a curse
    with silly,
    ambiguous
    doggeral
    verse?

  29. I like the idea of the LP having a few signature positions and downplaying the rest. People can only remember about 3 things at once, 5 is max.

    Let’s go with some combination of

    Medi-Pot
    Eminent Domain
    Out of Iraq now
    Markets for Organs
    15% Flat Tax
    Online Gambling

    Unfortunately, Wayne Allan Root is a shmuck. You can judge a person from their website. Ron Paul is a pimp; Wayne Allan Root’s a ho.

  30. Edward (the Confessor) –

    I give up. What? Co-opting one’s opponent’s tactics without adducing new, let alone persuasive, information?

  31. C

    Maybe leave out markets for organs.

  32. M

    I accept your surrender. Who’s try to persuade anybody of anything? I’m just a visitor at your temple.

  33. One false claim per sentence. Elegant.

  34. What we didn’t get here is any reason to believe that gambling supporters will have any more success inflating a powerless political party to power than they would have converting a powerful political party to their side of this issue.

  35. People who converse with themselves in blog threads are the saddest people of all.

  36. jf

    That’s way hurtful. You owe M an apology.

  37. The reason they gamble online is that they find it hard to get anywhere after having been kneecapped so many times.

    The LP – All our base are belong to Tony Soprano

  38. Is scanning exchanges for their apology and surrender quotients – ie the currency of the pecking-order – characteristic of those who distrust consensual arrangements?

  39. “Converting the moron masses, one personal issue at a time.”

    I’m no political consultant, but probably the LP could get more votes by avoiding attitudes like that.

    It’s *theoretically* possible to respect another person’s rights while having contempt for the person himself, but it’s hard to get votes that way.

  40. Yes, we are VERY fortunate we have the great Democrats and Republicans as the mainstream, rrrrrrrright.

  41. Twenty million people gamble online. They just watched the government come after something that they were having a lot of fun doing.”

    And there are eighty million gunowners. Given the last four years under Bush and the current slate of Republican candidates, they may be looking for an alternative as well.

    How many smokers are out there? (Both kinds.)

    Bush received 62,040,610 votes in the 2004 election. Kerry received 59,028,111. There were 122,293,332 total votes cast; half of that is 61,146,666.

  42. Edward,

    You’re right that I shouldn’t call it “markets for organs.” People are uncomfortable with language like that.

    But we do have an artificial shortage of organs in this country.

    How about “tax credits for organs.”

    I know it’s not pure libertarianism but once we alleviate the shortage, we can point to that victory and say “markets work.”

    Once we have enough donors, we can use them as a constituency for liberalizing transfer regulations.

  43. What? | March 17, 2007, 4:17pm | #

    No haiku faggots?

    Stay calm. What? has voluntarily entered rehab for reeducation.

  44. Tell him not to pick up the soap if he drops it in the shower.

  45. It’s been a while since I said this here, so I guess it’s time…

    The primary reason, the *overwhelming* reason why a third party cannot gain momentum around libertarian positions is that the electoral/legislative systems in this country make third parties not just ineffectual but profoundly counterproductive. People ought to be horrified that two of our last four presidential elections went to a different candidate then they would have without the participation of a third party spoiler. Yet we rarely hear it mentioned, and when we do too much time is devoted to mathematically ignorant denials of the fact, and it appears completely taboo to suggest that there is a major flaw in the Constitution, which should be moved into line with mainstream 20th century voting theory.

    If third parties had a chance, then of course enough people with strong support for one or more of the aforementioned libertarian positions could be brought together in sufficient numbers to make a difference. The roadblock is most definitely not the inability of pot advocates and online gamblers and entrepreneurs and general pro-freedom ideologues to get along, it’s the lack of proportional representation in our system.

  46. The scuttlebutt at church about the internet gambling ban was that it would be God’s hand at work. The belief is that gambling is as likely as porn or drugs to ruin a christian family. It is a gateway sin. Stop laughing, I am dead serious. I know a lot of people that got rid of their internet access, (and some sold their computers), when they realized what was available online. The preacher warns against even the play money games being immoral.
    Point is, a stand for internet gambling would scare away the christian vote before they took a real look at the party. Like it or not, the church vote,(yes the preachers tell the folks who to support) is a substantial number of voters.

  47. brotherben – What do they say about Pascal’s Wager?

  48. a stand for internet gambling would scare away the christian vote before they took a real look at the party.

    Better stay hush-hush about the LP position on drugs and porn then…

    How about “tax credits for organs.”

    What, are we trying to get the musicians’ vote? 😉

  49. where he bets the dog if he rings the bell…

    just kiddin, and by the way,
    I am not condoning the baptist churches behaviour on some things. I just want you all to have some understanding of how a large block of voters tend to “think” and how that can effect an LP candidate.

  50. Seriously though, as a committed Christian myself, who considers porn and drug use immoral and gambling stupid in the extreme, I don’t see a logical reason for Christians not to accept that just because something is immoral means it should be illegal.

    In fact, in Scripture it is written that God looks with far more approval on someone who avoids immoral things by choice, rather than out of fear of punishment. If one believes this, wouldn’t it be more pleasing to God if Christians caused people to refrain from gambling, porn, and drugs by persuading them to do so of their own volition, rather than by force?

  51. Hope you are having a great time in Florida, David!

    You would not have believed your eyes in DC this weekend. At least, I didn’t for a while.

  52. crimethink – Zackly. Statists fear for the stumbling weaker brethren; so does the Grand Inquistitor. One interpretation of Judas’s impatience with Jesus was that He wouldn’t take Jerusalem by fiat. Chritsianity’s eschatology is gradual and voluntary.

  53. What do they say about Pascal’s Wager?

    There are a lot of Christians, myself included, who think Pascal’s Wager is pretentious garbage, a great example of false dichotomy.

  54. crimethink – I meant, not quite ingenuously, would they outlaw it as a species of gambling.

  55. The primary reason, the *overwhelming* reason why a third party cannot gain momentum around libertarian positions is that the electoral/legislative systems in this country make third parties not just ineffectual but profoundly counterproductive.

    I’m sorry, this excuse never flies. It still doesn’t excuse Americans away from group think (can’t vote for a third party because the vote is a waste, the candidate has no chance, or it may cause xxx to be elected). In our current system, so sharply divided, a third party would only have to get 25% to be highly effective, and 10% to be relevant.

    The proportional voting and alternative voting schemes is too easy. All it will lead to is a handful of seats from a few distracts and more hand wringing, in addition to European style coalitions. The fault rests with voters, not the system. When 98% of an entire voting population only votes for 2 candidates, the system is pretty much exempt from blame.

  56. Few people would change their voting habits because of “fun.”

  57. M,

    Perhaps a Baptist would say that it’s OK to gamble with your life, but not with your money. I’m a Catholic, so I don’t believe gambling is immoral in itself (though, for instance, it would be immoral for a man to gamble away all of his family’s money).

  58. Goldwater Conservative,

    Not to mention that Perot got 19% of the vote in 1992, and 8.4% in 1996. This is even more impressive when you consider that Perot had no preexisting party structure to help him get on the ballot in ’92.

  59. I have heard a lot of folks tryin to convince people to turn to God arguing as Pascal. “If you turn to God and it’s true, you win. If it is untrue , you have lost nothing.” It reveals an intense lack of faith.
    It is my opinion that folks try to legislate christian principals because they can feel real special about themselves. And it is much easier than walking on the narrow path. but dont get me started on that sermon.

  60. Goldwater Conservative,

    Right you are.

  61. Hey Weigle,

    Are you lurking incognito? I mean don’t they know you’re a Democrat spy?

  62. People ought to be horrified that two of our last four presidential elections went to a different candidate then they would have without the participation of a third party spoiler

    They should be even more horrified by the fact that any of the candidates won.

  63. What could be worse
    than rebutting a curse
    with silly,
    ambiguous
    doggeral
    verse?

    That wasn’t doggerel, that was the title.

  64. I’m no political consultant, but probably the LP could get more votes by avoiding attitudes like that.

    The LP blows. It’s a bunch of dorks that got beat up on in high school trying to assert some sort of power over others.

  65. I don’t understand Pascal’s wager. I don’t believe in God, and if I tried to put my money on God I wouldn’t be able to.

    It assumes people can pick and choose what to believe. Like if I said I would give you a million dollars if you believed George Bush was secretly a martian. Could you just convince yourself it was true, all the while knowing that you’re trying to convince yourself in order to get some kind of reward?

    Did Pascal believe in a God that was just happy if you went through the motions?

  66. crimethink and I are beginning to wonder:
    If Big Brother had a pair of ice tongs gripping the scrotum of every voting male and whatever pinching some equally painful part? of every voting female, assuming Big Brother said this was good for us, would we vote to have Big Brother stop causing us the pain?
    What if God said Big Brother is his Earthly deputy?

  67. I suppose that as scamdicappers go, Root is better than Stu Feiner or Jim Feist. That’s not saying much….

  68. if I said I would give you a million dollars if you believed George Bush was secretly a martian. Could you just convince yourself it was true

    Yup – that’s how deep my skepticism runs concerning my basis for believing that he’s not a martian. After all, what do I know about martians? But I would choose to decline your offer, because I prefer to keep what sanity I believe I possess. But that’s just me. When the market for organs, such as the brain, is opened…


  69. The LP blows. It’s a bunch of dorks that got beat up on in high school trying to assert some sort of power over others.

    Do you have evidence they were beat up? There are few social groups in American High Schools, so it shouldn’t be hard to provide evidence. I find it odd that a people arguing to reduce the use of force and the size and scope of the government are trying to exert power. Conservatism, Liberalism, Socialism, Religion all work to that end. Libertarianism leaves one with power of themselves and only consensual power over another, and that is scarier to humans that a dictatorship. For in a dictatorship one can always blame someone else when problems occur.

  70. Do Libertarians only aspire to impose their “system” at the Federal level? I would like to pay less taxes on the profits from my monopoly
    beverage distributorship that was licensed to my Great-grandfather by the State legislature.
    If this Libertarian thing is for State and local government I must oppose it as it threatens the family business model of %150 markup at the wholesale level.

  71. if I said I would give you a million dollars if you believed George Bush was secretly a martian. Could you just convince yourself it was true?

    I’d have problems believing the secretly part.

  72. Do Libertarians only aspire to impose their “system” at the Federal level? I would like to pay less taxes on the profits from my monopoly
    beverage distributorship that was licensed to my Great-grandfather by the State legislature.
    If this Libertarian thing is for State and local government I must oppose it as it threatens the family business model of %150 markup at the wholesale level.

    Sorry, your monopoly would most likely fall apart, since states usually impose absurd prices for liquor licenses that impede small start ups and competition to the satisfaction of their local contributers. If you provide superior products for reasonable products then local citizens will decide, by their dollars, how you survive.

  73. “Being faithful to the ideology is all that really counts;”

    So, tell us about your days in the Seminary of Supercillious Snottiness, Eddie.

    -jcr

  74. Why are some countries rich and some countries poor?

  75. John C.

    I see I’ve struck a cord. Makes my day.

  76. We Americans are very fortunate that our political cults have always remained marginal.

    Yeah, thank Jesus you got a “mainstream” president, and not a Libertarian kook who never would have done something like invade Iraq.

    We’ve only lost what – 3,500 Americans thanks to you and the politics you love. Asshole.

  77. Wow, corporatarianism (right wing corporate feudal “libertarianism”) has reduced this site to gibberish. I warned you.

  78. The voters are idiots! It feels good to say that, right?

    Alas, pragmatically speaking, that won’t change any minds. And it sure won’t get them to vote for you!

    In a market — one of your beloved markets — an entrepreneur who presents the same product over and over, deriding customers for not buying it, would be the real fool. You’d laugh at such a fellow and tell him he deserves what he gets — bankruptcy. Yet, you never view your political program that way, do you?

    No. Instead, it’s the same lapel-grabbing doctrine.

    …..

    Listen to some of today’s true believers rail against society. You’d think we lived in a wretched Orwellian dictatorship filled with bovine Democrats, porcine Republicans, and sheeplike voters, all of them too stupid to perceive The Truth.

    Alas, nothing causes these delightfully articulate firebrands to go tongue-locked more efficiently than asking the following question: “Can you name one human civilization, past or present, that was even half as close to what you desire as contemporary America is today?”

    Like their spiritual cousins, radical feminists, these fellows enjoy the indignant rush of knowing they are right. And like radical feminists, they find it galling to be reminded how far freedom has already come.

    Here’s a thought that might help freedom-loving men and women win office and gain influence over society’s future course: Perhaps our fellow citizens aren’t fools after all!

    Isn’t that the central basis for the libertarian creed? The notion that educated free adults can be trusted with matches… not to mention their bank accounts and votes? If the masses are intrinsically stupid — sheep — then the paternalists are right and no future society of maximized freedom will ever be possible.

    The fundamental premise of libertarianism is an assumption that people are basically rational and wise. Yet this flies right in the face of the most common libertarian lament — that those idiots out there keep electing statists and every resulting policy has been just plain awful.

    One of these two deeply held beliefs is just gonna have to go!

    My advice? Distrust the one that feels too good to be true — contempt. It’s a delusional addictive drug, fellas and gals. Let it go.

    Consider instead the possibility that your fellow citizens have been doing pretty damned well with the crude tools at hand. Rising up out of the Cro-Magnon ooze, then shrugging off the tyranny of chiefs and kings and priests and magicians and clerks and robbers of all kinds, they have somehow managed to build the first civilization that raised millions of… libertarians!

    You, yourself, are proof that there’s something right about society. No?

    So grit your teeth and then chew on this: Your fellow citizens have been doing the best they can.

  79. How does that vary from a description of Weimar?

  80. backfire on the GOP

    Like most bad politcal ideas, it was actually pretty much bipartisan:

    http://www.techlawjournal.com/crime/20000723.asp

    Vote on HR 3125 Internet Gambling Prohibition Act July 17, 2000
    ———– Yeas Nays NV
    Republicans 165 44 12
    Democrats — 79 114 18
    Independents- 1 1 0
    TOTAL —– 245 159 30

  81. The fundamental premise of libertarianism is an assumption that people are basically rational and wise.

    Rational, maybe; but wise, Dr. Brin? Dubious, highly dubious.

    In any case, I’d say “the fundamental premise of libertarianism,” assuming there is such a thing, is that it doesn’t matter whether other people are wise or not, they nonetheless have no right in general to coerce those who disagree with them. That is to say, while there is a consequentialist argument in support of libertarianism — no comparing interpersonal utility and whatnot — even if that were not the case there would still be the (more fundamental) deontological argument that what is in my best interests is none of your damned business and vice versa unless and until we both agree to make it so.

    Two points. First, yes, our “fellow citizens have been doing the best they can” inasmuch as that means acting (voting) in their own subjective, rational best interests; but that is only to say that liberty is not perceived in general as an unqualified good. People desire security as well as freedom and are perfectly willing (we might even claim too readily willing) to trade some of that freedom for security, or at least the promise of security. Indeed, that is the case even among libertarians, anarcho-capitalists excepted.

    Second, I think it is fair to assume that the overwhelming majority of those who self-identify as libertarians would no sooner endure the inanity that is (and, as far as I can tell, has always been) the Libertarian Party than they would voluntarily have themselves committed to a mental hospital. True, the LP attracts scores of the lapel grabbing ideologues of whom you speak — the adolescents (of all ages) who never quite got over their political epiphany from reading Rand or Heinlein or whomever; but, worse yet, it positively rejects any sense of political pragmatism. “What? You don’t believe individuals should have the right to own nuclear weapons? Well, there’s no place for you here, you Nanny-State Fascist!”

    So, sure, the U.S. and the West in general are (still) far superior to the rest of the world now and the entire world historically. But isn’t the more critical question which direction our fellow citizens are heading in and taking us along with them now?

  82. Mr. F. LeMur,

    Overwhelming Republican support paired with 42% of Democrat support is “pretty much bi-partisan”?

  83. David Brin | March 18, 2007, 8:51am
    Consider instead the possibility that your fellow citizens have been doing pretty damned well with the crude tools at hand. Rising up out of the Cro-Magnon ooze, then shrugging off the tyranny of chiefs and kings and priests and magicians and clerks and robbers of all kinds, they have somehow managed to build the first civilization that raised millions of… libertarians!

    Libertarianism. So easy, even a caveman can do it!

  84. Mr. F. Le Mur | March 18, 2007, 10:02am
    Like most bad politcal ideas, it was actually pretty much bipartisan:
    http://www.techlawjournal.com/crime/20000723.asp
    Vote on HR 3125 Internet Gambling Prohibition Act July 17, 2000
    ———– Yeas Nays NV
    Republicans 165 44 12
    Democrats — 79 114 18
    Independents- 1 1 0
    TOTAL —– 245 159 30

    David | March 18, 2007, 10:34am
    Overwhelming Republican support paired with 42% of Democrat support is “pretty much bi-partisan”?

    209 Republicans voted on the bill. 79% of them voted for it.

    193 Democrats voted on the bill. 41% of them voted for it.

    2 independents voted on the bill. 50% of them voted for it.

    There were 245 votes for the bill. 67% of the votes for it were Republican, and 32% of the votes for it were Democrat.

  85. In what sacred scripture does it say that no one has a “right” to coerce anybody else? What utter drivel. The history of the human race is the history of coercion, and anybody who thinks coercion is going to disappear anytime soon is dreaming. Of course such utopian dreams have always been with us, too. They’re the consolation prize for the coerced (aka the losers.)

  86. Dr. Brin is worth listening to.
    Read the article linked under his name.

    For further discussion on the gun issue.

    http://pandagon.net/2007/03/15/shooting-off-guns-and-feeling-good/

    “So I woke up this morning thinking about the political aspects of pleasure. Also, coffee. The reason is, bizarrely enough, that this post of Lindsay’s where she wisely dimissed the “home protection” pro-handgun argument made me realize that the bad faith nature of pro-gun arguments is one reason anti-gun people find them so irritating. If you posit that you “need” a handgun for home protection, you open up all sorts of debates about whether that’s paranoid, what the risks are compared to the risks of someone in your household misusing the gun, and whether or not it’s worth spraying someone’s brains all over your carpet in order to protect your $250 TV. (Answer: no. Get some insurance.) Plus, the home protection argument sort of ignores the fact that having a bunch of fancy guns is one reason people get targeted for burglary, because guns are both easy to steal and easy to get a lot of money for on the streets.”

  87. The history of the human race is the history of coercion, and anybody who thinks coercion is going to disappear anytime soon is dreaming.

    True, as well, of arrogance and stupidity. Your point?

  88. blah blah blah blabedy-blah and whether it’s worth spraying someone’s brains all over your carpet in order to protect your 13-year-old daughter from rape. (Answer: no. Get her some counseling.)

  89. Vote on HR 3125 Internet Gambling Prohibition Act July 17, 2000

    That’s not the bill that was signed into law.

  90. Meanwhile, in Vermont, the rights of the individual are on the march, not being rolled back. story .

  91. Graphite,

    I don’t think you read the essay.

    But just for a quick note…

    Compare

    “whether it’s worth spraying someone’s brains all over your carpet in order to protect your 13-year-old daughter from rape.”

    with

    “what the risks are compared to the risks of someone in your household misusing the gun”

    On a relative risk scale, your daughter is in greater danger with the gun in the house.

    Now as a gun rights advocate, I don’t think that means you shouldn’t have your gun, but use a better argument.

  92. I did read the article, don’t actually have a daughter but was pretty annoyed by an attempt to trivialize home invasions as a matter of $250 TV sets.

    If you lump everyone who has guns in the house into one undifferentiated, statistical mass — if you treat the gunowners who keep guns locked and hidden, but accessible, as exactly the same as some dolt with a loaded revolver in his bedside dresser — then yeah, I’ll concede that having a gun in the house probably increases the risk to your child. But since these statistics ignore things like proper gun storage and education of everyone in the household about gun safety, they’re pretty useless.

    I’m not going to drop the home defense argument because I believe in the right to self-defense, I think it’s a more important right than sport-shooting, and I believe that I should be allowed to possess reasonable weaponry to defend that right, if necessary.

    Plus I have a sweet TV.

  93. Here’s a blog that’s chock full of people who bump the risks-of-gun-ownership statistics up a few notches: http://idiotswithguns.blogspot.com/

  94. Graphite –

    How is an unloaded and/or not-instantly-accessible weapon going to be useful in self-defense?

    If you’ve answered this somewhere that I’ve overlooked, please don’t shoot me.

  95. You’re right, I’m sure there’s never been a case where a criminal was scared off with an unloaded gun. Totally useless for self-defense.

    Actually, now that I think about it even more, Marcotte is making a remarkably stupid argument here. If you truly believe that having a gun in your house poses more of a risk than a home invasion, and therefore cannot justify gun ownership for purposes of self-defense, does it make any sense at all to accept that risk because you think “shooting is just plain fun”?

  96. C wrote:

    I like the idea of the LP having a few signature positions and downplaying the rest. People can only remember about 3 things at once, 5 is max.

    Let’s go with some combination of

    Medi-Pot
    Eminent Domain
    Out of Iraq now
    Markets for Organs
    15% Flat Tax
    Online Gambling

    The only one of the above which will grab people is the Flat Tax. Eminent Domain can, but will take a strong publicity push, aimed at the individual voter.

    Out of Iraq is a nonstarter — if you look at the poll numbers, most people don’t have a strong opinion on it, and many of those who do have solid reasons for OPPOSING a pull-out (including myself).

    Medi-Pot will likewise take a strong publicity push, which I think it should be getting anyhow. If we start now, it could be an issue come election time, but it won’t get there without a lot of help from a lot of people like me, who can show that we’re not interested in so-called “recreational use” of dope (I don’t even use tobacco or coffee). In fact, it was this issue that kept me away from the LP for many years, until I realized that the Dope War was counterproductive, expensive and an excuse for rights erosion.

    Markets for Organs and Onling Gambling are nonstarters. If we focus on them we waste resources which would be effective elsewhere.

    In each case, there is of course a niche constituency which SHOULD be penetrated with the libertarian message, but for the broad audience, only a brief mention will do more than hammering a nonstarter issue.

    Other niches include gun rights, school choice, local political issues, and the overall Dope War incursions into our rights and wallets.

    However, if it really gets down to it, WE NEED TO FORGET ABOUT FEDERAL ELECTIONS and work on the LOCAL offices.

    In other words, if you can’t walk to every house in the electorate, it’s the wrong battle to be fighting. If we take over the local political scene, in a decade we will start putting Libertarians into Foggy Bottom.

  97. And here I thought the primary use of a gun lay in its actual, not theatrical, use. Duh me.

  98. brotherben wrote:

    Like it or not, the church vote,(yes the preachers tell the folks who to support) is a substantial number of voters.

    Maybe in your church. In mine, we are told to consider the issues in light of the Gospel, and make our own decisions in keeping with that — but there is no endorsement of any person for any office, and rarely anything about a specific proposal.

    For strongly religious voters, such as myself, it is necessary to discuss the most basic principles of libertarianism, and show how they mesh with the Gospel to a greater extent than any other political philosophy.

    The mistake that so many libertarians (including a bunch here) make is to put up a wall between themselves and people with strong moral bases, instead of exploring the many ways that libertarianism is strongly moral itself, and finding ways to communicate that to people who don’t know yet.

  99. Root takes aim and shoots
    Falling unheard in the woods
    A magic bullet

  100. The mistake that so many libertarians (including a bunch here) make is to put up a wall between themselves and people with strong moral bases, instead of exploring the many ways that libertarianism is strongly moral itself, and finding ways to communicate that to people who don’t know yet

    I think you’re right, but it may go against that bunch’s morals to do so (really).

  101. Pandagon is unreadable.

  102. Still with the haiku?
    Some of us: oblivious.
    Haiku: yesterday.

  103. I can’t type. I’m too busy wetting myself over Wayne Root’s potential candidacy.

    And I’m a heterosexual male. So you know it’s gotta be good.

  104. Graphite wrote:

    You’re right, I’m sure there’s never been a case where a criminal was scared off with an unloaded gun. Totally useless for self-defense.

    You lose. In the vast majority of cases, no shot is fired, thus the loaded/unloaded issue is moot.

    However, I personally know of one case where a young mother protected her daughters and a neighbor from a thug with a tire iron. She was safekeeping it for a friend who hadn’t left any ammunition.

  105. Americans can still play poker online for money. Check into it. Anyone who is that serious a player knows they still can. Oh, and it’s legal.

  106. I liked the Brin – DAR exchange.

  107. Still, I think some of the resistance to treating handguns like the toys they really are goes back to puritanical attitudes that pleasure itself is suspect. That, and reducing a man’s phallic symbol to a “toy” is emasculating.
    I’ve always found the post-modern-silly-ninny-neolinguist-femminst fixation on how men are drawn to phallic-shaped objects to be fucking ridiculous. In some instances it can be true, like Prince’s guitar in the half-time show, but alot of times I think it ignores the fact that phallic-shaped objects are used because the shape is the most effecient form to get certain tasks done (space ships wouldn’t be able to get to space if they where shaped like vaginas) not to mention that about 85% of all objects are either long, cylinderal, or some combination of the two.

  108. Everything’s either
    Concave or convex,
    So that everything, everything, everything’s
    Sex.

  109. Progressives need to start being more aggressive in making pro-pleasure arguments as a way to combat mercenary advertising, as well, since the mainstream discourse about the values of pleasure is almost completely owned by marketers that argue that the main and possibly only way to feel pleasure is to buy their crap.
    As always, Pandagon is striking all the things I hate most about liberal idology. The purpose of advertising isn’t to brainwash people into buying products, it is to provide an image in people’s heads long enough that they remember it next time they are in the store.

    I’m watching a commerical break right now, and so far there has been an ad for eHarmony, toilet paper, toilet bowl cleaner, (I guess the people who watch the WE network have bad bowelsl), hair color products, and Mortin. None of them imply in any means at all that the people watching the ads would be unhappy if they don’t use it, each of them simply state that if the audience where to want to use the products that they sell, that theirs is the best and most effieient type.

    And don’t even get me started on how finding happiness through materialism isn’t exactly a bad thing.

  110. Jonathan C. Hohensee wrote:
    I’m watching a commerical break right now, and so far there has been an ad for eHarmony, toilet paper, toilet bowl cleaner, (I guess the people who watch the WE network have bad bowelsl), hair color products, and Mortin.

    Was that the WEE network???

    And perhaps all this other stuff they need is why they also need eHarmony, di ba?

    Seriously, ads are there to program you to recognize their junk in the store. That’s why so many ads now have some little set of musical notes set under or next to the product name as it’s spoken, and radio ads repeat the product name over and over, then the phone number 3 times in a row. It’s all PsyChrap.

  111. J Golden Rockwell
    It has been my experience that many mainline denominational churches here in the deep south are full of sheep that are easily lead,(and mislead). By coming out in favor of internet gambling, the candidate would be putting up that wall you spoke of. I am not saying this behaviour is correct or christ-like from the churches, simply that this is what occurs. Some issues turn the churches away and the churches here represent a large block of voters.

  112. I think the extremism of the Libertarian party is less useful than it once was.

    And it WAS useful, once. Back when the Republican party had a lot of soft-libertarian positions, the only reason for a libertarian party to exist in the first place was to define the extreme and push it.

    But that Republican party of yore is gone, ideologically and demographically. In its place is the Evangelical Nationalist party. You’d think they’d have the good grace to change their name, but for some reason they want to hold on to that good old “R”.

    I think that means that there is an opportunity for an ersatz Libertarian party to stake out a somewhat more incrementalist approach than “Sell All Public Lands! Cancel Social Security! Eliminate the Income Tax Immediately!” Even if these are good positions, they aren’t what the public is willing to accept as possible on the first day of governance.

    A set of positions are needed which are electorally possible, and create the conditions for additional steps in the direction of “liberty” as we move along.

    I think those positions would be:

    Flat Tax
    Elimination of certain federal departments with their more popular elements folded into remaining departments [Education, for example.]
    Means test for Social Security [this sets up the long term doom of the program without coming right out and saying it]
    Regulatory “simplification” [read: deregulation]
    Additional free trade pacts
    School Choice [got to set up the death of the public schools, again without coming right out and saying it]
    Campaign Finance reform “simplification” [read: stealth repeal]. Got to have something in there to get George Will to write nice columns about you.
    Gun control repeal

    Many of these line items are in the Evangelical Nationalist Party platform – oops, sorry, I meant the Republican party platform – but they have no real interest in pushing them, not when they can spend time sending people to concentration camps and handing them over to third parties for torture and, you know, fun stuff like that.

  113. I’m still playing poker online. Also, there’s a pretty interesting site, e-pokerusa.com, which offers something called Duplicate Poker (modeled after Duplicate Bridge). Because you’re playing with the same cards that people in your same seat position on other tables are dealt, it’s considered a skill-based game rather than a game of chance. The site operates out of New York and you can load your account with a Visa or Mastercard.

  114. Seriously, ads are there to program you to recognize their junk in the store. That’s why so many ads now have some little set of musical notes set under or next to the product name as it’s spoken, and radio ads repeat the product name over and over, then the phone number 3 times in a row. It’s all PsyChrap.

    It’s Head On! Apply
    directly to the forehead!
    Repetition sells

  115. “You need an issue that’s going to grab people”

    My nomination for a position that would grab people and should be a major focus of libertarians: Recognition of our natural right to not pay any taxes on those fruits of our labor that are needed to establish and maintain a decent and reasonably secure life. More concretely, no person should pay any income tax on their earnings up to the mean U.S. household income; nor any consumption, property or wealth taxes on the “necessaries of life,” including food, medical care, and housing.

    No tax returns for the majority of Americans, following recognition of this natural right, would certainly be a position that would grab people.

  116. You need an issue that’s going to grab people

    That’s what someone said to King Kong’s sire.

  117. Fluffy:

    The only American political party which has sent anyone to concentration camps is the Democratic Party, who cheerfully sent 110,000 “persons of Japanese ancestry” to camps in 1942.

    If your reference to “concentration camps” is regarding Guantanamo, let me remind you that those people were mostly captured IN BATTLE (which is why the USSC decided that they are protected by the Laws of Land Warfare). They are lucky to be alive — each is in Guantanamo because he is believed to be of value in the war against terrorism, otherwise they would have been handed over to the Afghan or Iraqi government (and likely rendered slightly dead).

    The problem with exaggeration is that it leads to marginalization, because once one thing you say is disproved, it puts all other things that you say in doubt (think “Clinton”). It also lets you be categorized. Once this has happened, what you say is ignored — those on each side assume that they know your whole point, that you are just another warm body on one side or the other. If you’re going to do that, you might as well be a Republicrat.

    Accuracy at all times (even with it serves your opponent) pays off later, when the opposition is caught exaggerating. Just as you put more weight on the ankle that you never broke, you put more faith in the source which has worked to be honest, letting the chips fall where they may.

    Example:
    Once, during a petition drive, I was in a public debate with one of the proponents, who was completely mangling his position through a lack of ability to explain. I spent several minutes “cleaning up” his side of the issue, and once he had agreed that I had given the accurate position, including his arguments in favor, I proceeded to shred his position by showing how what they said the petition would do actually couldn’t be done by the petition as it was worded. After I was done, a number of people asked how they could strike their signatures from the petition. I told them not to worry about it — I’ve never seen an issue so dangerous that it couldn’t be voted on. If it came up to a vote, they could vote against it. The petition failed to make the signatures, and I take a certain pride in whatever part I had in that failure.

    If you are scrupulously as accurate as possible, then people WILL pay attention to what you say. If you have a problem with Guantanamo, express yourself, don’t just parrot the catchphrases you’ve heard from others.

    After all, if you can’t come up with your own way to explain something, SOMEONE ELSE IS THINKING FOR YOU.

  118. Simian:

    “I wasn’t bullets that killed the beast.”

    Well, yeah, actually, it WAS . . .

    “You picked a fine time to leave me, Fay Wray . . .!”

  119. Once, during a petition drive, I was in a public debate with one of the proponents, who was completely mangling his position through a lack of ability to explain. I spent several minutes “cleaning up” his side of the issue, and once he had agreed that I had given the accurate position, including his arguments in favor, I proceeded to shred his position by showing how what they said the petition would do actually couldn’t be done by the petition as it was worded. After I was done, a number of people asked how they could strike their signatures from the petition. I told them not to worry about it — I’ve never seen an issue so dangerous that it couldn’t be voted on. If it came up to a vote, they could vote against it. The petition failed to make the signatures, and I take a certain pride in whatever part I had in that failure.
    I see what you’re saying, but sometimes things that are “clearing things up” to you means “tricking them into making strawmen arugments” and “being a smug prick” to others.

  120. This is where it’s important to be as accurate as possible. If someone came back with the videotape and only played my own explanation, they would be unable to tell that I wasn’t on the pro-petition side.

    This is what INFORMED consent is all about. When you trick someone into supporting you, they really AREN’T supporting you, and next time around they will remember how you faked them out.

    That’s what really sunk Al Gore, if you recall. Even his core constituency got tired of all the lies, from inventing the Internet to being the inspiration for “Love Story.” It’s one thing to make false campaign promises, it’s another to toss out so many EASILY DISPROVED lies FOR NO REASON.

    If you do your best to make the issue clear in someone’s mind, then explain why your position is the best one, they either agree or not, but either way, they have an honest, informed opinion. If they don’t agree this time, they will again remember next time how hard you worked to make sure they knew what the whole story was, and they will listen to you on the new issue.

  121. what was the petition about?

  122. Dave, I don’t know anything about online gambling. But I do know this:

    What happens in Orlando, stays in Orlando.

  123. It was a Unilateral Victim Disarmament issue.

  124. I’m still playing poker online. Also, there’s a pretty interesting site, e-pokerusa.com, which offers something called Duplicate Poker (modeled after Duplicate Bridge). Because you’re playing with the same cards that people in your same seat position on other tables are dealt, it’s considered a skill-based game rather than a game of chance. The site operates out of New York and you can load your account with a Visa or Mastercard.

    http://www.betzip.com operates a monthly fee poker site where all tourneys are freerolls.

    Pretty interesting.

  125. What happens in Orlando, stays in Orlando.

    Unless you have an R behind your name.

  126. The only American political party which has sent anyone to concentration camps is the Democratic Party, who cheerfully sent 110,000 “persons of Japanese ancestry” to camps in 1942.

    Ummm, actually a key player in that act was Earl Warren, then Attorney-General of CA.

    Warren was later either praised as a great civil libertarian or damned as a bleeding heart soft on crime liberal depending on one’s leanings. He was, however, a Republican his whole life.

    Like most of the bad things in this great country Japanese internment was a huge stinking pile of BIPARTISANSHIT.

  127. I don’t the LP, or libertarians in other parties, have to worry about selling certain positions, it’s about selling others. I’m not even a Libertarian (really it’s semantics at this point) but I’ve found the biggest weakness within the movement(s) is that proponents do a poor job of explaining, or brush off, what happens on other issue. Someone voting for a (L)libertarian on the issue of the flat tax, may want stronger gun control or oppose the rights of people to get high.

    I’m sure you noticed, especially when coming up against self-righteous liberals, that it’s always the issue at hand that is minimized (say supporting Gay Rights) and the perceived results of libertarianism that are hyped up (people addicted to meth, and Grandma on the street).

    In my estimation 80% of liberals are simply not debatable, I don’t know what it is, but even Christian Evangelicals are more reasonable, because even if you can’t convince them that homosexuality isn’t immoral, you can get them to budge on outlawing it (this was a big deal in the 80’s and 90’s) and allowing civil unions.

    Also, only 19 percent of voters identify as liberals, 60-70 percent identify as moderate to conservative, yet liberals are prone to speak as if libertarians are Utopian cranks that will never appeal to America.

    I miss the days in which this would be my favorite shirt

    The Republican Party has no idea what the Old Right is nor do they know what conservatism is. It wouldn’t be so bad, except, they, like liberals, act as if their new fangled manifestations are actually helping America.

  128. An old poll, but shows a point I was trying to make earlier. I don’t think majorities can be won over in certain categories. Interesting that only 85 percent of Libertarians supported it. I assume the other 15 percent opposed regulation and taxation. I think this is one of those issues where the issue is a non-starter if one opposes taxation and regulation of Marijuana.

    —————-

    Respondents’ support for marijuana law reform was strongly influenced by age and political affiliation. Nearly two-thirds of 18-29 year-olds (65 percent) and half of 50-64 year-olds think federal law should be amended to allow states the option to regulate marijuana, while majorities of 30-49 year-olds (58 percent) and seniors 65 and older (52 percent) oppose such a change.

    Among those respondents who identified themselves as Democrats, 59 percent back taxing and regulating marijuana compared to only 33 percent of Republicans. Forty-four percent of Independents and 85 percent of Libertarians say they supported the law change.

    Respondents’ opinions were also influenced by religious affiliation. Nearly 70 percent of respondents who identified themselves as Jewish, and nearly 60 percent of respondents who said they were non-religious believe that states should regulate cannabis, while only 48 percent of Catholics and 38 percent of Protestants support such a policy.

    http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=6838

  129. Isaac Bartram wrote:

    The only American political party which has sent anyone to concentration camps is the Democratic Party, who cheerfully sent 110,000 “persons of Japanese ancestry” to camps in 1942.

    Ummm, actually a key player in that act was Earl Warren, then Attorney-General of CA.

    Warren was later either praised as a great civil libertarian or damned as a bleeding heart soft on crime liberal depending on one’s leanings. He was, however, a Republican his whole life.

    Like most of the bad things in this great country Japanese internment was a huge stinking pile of BIPARTISANSHIT.

    The order was signed by FDR. The order was not contested by the ACLU (co-founder Norman Thomas ranted about that one), and when one ACLU lawyer in San Francisco DID take the issue up, this caused a rift between that chapter and the national leadership that lasted for decades.

    Yes, there was bipartisanship, but the ringleaders were the Democrats. Isn’t it ironic that the DP was pro-slavery, put the Nikkei behind barbed wire, fought the Civil Rights Act tooth and nail, but somehow get the minority vote year after year?

    Interestingly, most of the Japanese Americans were Republicans, including Iva Toguri (later jailed as “Tokyo Rose,” then pardoned by Gerald Ford).

  130. If we have a camp set up for detention outside the conventional legal system, and it’s not a prisoner of war camp, it’s – what, exactly?

    Among the terms we have available, “concentration camp” is the one that fits best. The term has a meaning dating back to the Boer War and the Spanish war against Cuban revolutionaries prior to the Spanish-American war.

    I’m not going to stop using the most applicable term just because many Americans aren’t able to properly assess whether that term can be applied to the actions of their own country, and just tune out instead.

    It’s possible that the Guantanamo detainees might have fared even worse had we simply turned them over to the sovereign power in the area where they were detained, once that nation was in a position to receive them. But it doesn’t really matter. That would be Afghanistan’s moral problem and not mine.

    What words would you want used instead, exactly?

  131. Too much bickering
    Write more amusing haikus
    or shut the fuck up.

  132. IB,

    Hell I grew up in GA thinking his full name was Impeach Earl Warren- thats what all the billboards said.

  133. andy,
    it’s dandy,
    but bicker
    is quicker

  134. A camp set up for detention = “detention camp.”

    You aren’t using the “most applicable term,” you are using the term which fits your political views.

    In keeping with that rule, my preference for them would be “cemetery.” Very few people return to combat from a cemetery, which can’t be said about the people released from Guantanamo.

    I think that Bush was wrong not to put them on trial, to solidify their legal status. The Laws of Land Warfare apply differently to soldiers serving their nation than to combatants fighting ad hoc, as most of these were.

  135. liberterians had a platform
    that was a hard sell
    the people didn’t like it
    and screamed “go to-

    hello operator
    give me number nine
    and if you disconnect me
    I’ll kick your-

  136. -Behind FDR’s desk
    He made one law pass
    to throw the Japanese in jail
    and spend money out of the-

    -ask me no more questions
    tell me no more lies
    Nixon’s in the bathroom
    zipping up his-

  137. Flies are in the medow
    bees are in the park
    banning internet gambling
    leaves me in the-

    dark, dark, darker than the ocean
    Darker than the sea
    Darker than Al Gore’s version
    of how global warming will be

  138. Jonathan Hohensee
    Sends us zen koans. He
    Writes them artistically
    And minarchistically.

  139. The LP will be having its national 2008 convention here in Denver. That’s superb as it will serve as a far more intelligent counter-point to Americas socialist party, AKA the Democrats, who will also be convening here.

    BTW, Denver is second only to San Francisco in yearly per/capita consumption of books.

  140. I think the extremism of the Libertarian party is less useful than it once was.

    Interesting comments, Fluffy. I never thought of the Libertarian Party’s extremism as doing a lot of damage to the libertarian movement, but maybe you’re right. Maybe it WAS useful in the past.

  141. Aaargh. Meant, ” I always thought of the LP’s extremism as doing a lot of damage to the libertarian movement,…”

  142. That’s what really sunk Al Gore, if you recall.

    When was Al Gore sunk? He and Bush virtually tied in the Presidential race. And he’s tremendously popular with liberals right now.

  143. A Matt Stone – Trey Parker ticket would make the most sense. I can’t think of anyone else worth even considering as the next president. The South Park creators have shown more common sense and deeper understanding of the real world than any corrupt career politician in Washington – ever.
    Unfortunately these guys are unlikely to volunteer for the job, and the sheep will keep voting for democrats and republicans. It’s pretty sad and hopeless…

  144. I think that means that there is an opportunity for an ersatz Libertarian party to stake out a somewhat more incrementalist approach than “Sell All Public Lands! Cancel Social Security! Eliminate the Income Tax Immediately!” Even if these are good positions, they aren’t what the public is willing to accept as possible on the first day of governance.

    And I suppose the next thing you’ll do is call me a dupe for believing in conspiracy theories. Right?

    🙂

    I hear you. But it won’t work without some genuine True Believers behind it. The Offical Voice of The Party, of course, will have to moderate them in order to get the platform to sell.

    Sounds a lot like the problem we’ve already got. All we need are some neo-sorta-libertarians. Which the rank and file will summarily drum out of camp.

    But if we started using haikus we might have a chance. Though as someone said earlier, you can’t have haikus without having Zen.

    to be lib-
    ertarian, without BEING
    libertarian

    er, maybe

    we are libertarain
    without being LIBertarian
    (we are too)

    er, maybe

    we want you
    to vote for us now
    just do it

    er, shit. I give up.

    we are, but
    we are NOT vote for
    us today

    Who’d have thought that Zen haikus would save liberty in America?

    If you want to sell a platform in politics you must say something, without saying anything.

    Only then can you do what you want.

  145. JGR,

    If they don’t agree this time, they will again remember next time how hard you worked to make sure they knew what the whole story was, and they will listen to you on the new issue.

    Your dedication is admirable. But how come historically, the Boy Scouts almost never win? And by the time they do, they aren’t The Boy Scouts they started out to be?

    Zen looks like a better prescription to me. Your tactic is only going to work on people who actually think. There ain’t enough of those to win an election.

  146. Getting back to the subjest at hand, early reports from last weekend’s LP conference have Wayne Root “blowing the LPers away.” Plus, the LP of Florida elected a mainstreamer Karl Dickey, friend of the Republican Liberty Caucus, as State Chairman.

    Could the LP be mainstreaming itself, finally?

    Let’s hope so.

  147. J Golden says…

    “it’s another to toss out so many EASILY DISPROVED lies” regarding Al Gore and the internet.

    Some facts are in order.

    “Gore never claimed that he “invented” the Internet, which implies that he engineered the technology. The invention occurred in the seventies and allowed scientists in the Defense Department to communicate with each other. In a March 1999 interview with Wolf Blitzer, Gore said, “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.”

    Some reactions from those in the know to his comment.

    According to Vincent Cerf, a senior vice president with MCI Worldcom who’s been called the Father of the Internet, “The Internet would not be where it is in the United States without the strong support given to it and related research areas by the Vice President in his current role and in his earlier role as Senator.”

    The inventor of the Mosaic Browser, Marc Andreesen, credits Gore with making his work possible. He received a federal grant through Gore’s High Performance Computing Act. The University of Pennsylvania’s Dave Ferber says that without Gore the Internet “would not be where it is today.”

    Joseph E. Traub, a computer science professor at Columbia University, claims that Gore “was perhaps the first political leader to grasp the importance of networking the country. Could we perhaps see an end to cheap shots from politicians and pundits about inventing the Internet?”

  148. Al Gore produces so much hot air, he might be the cause of global warming.
    The next and last news I want to read about him is that he’s living in the wild on recycled berries and bear droppings.

  149. I’ll vote for this fellow, provided that he is actually a combination of Wayne Knight and Stephen Root.

  150. Rick Barton wrote:

    The LP will be having its national 2008 convention here in Denver. That’s superb as it will serve as a far more intelligent counter-point to Americas socialist party, AKA the Democrats, who will also be convening here.

    It would be more accurate to say “America’s LARGEST socialist party.” There are more people registered as Democrats than as Republicans, which is thus the second-largest socialist party . . .but far from the last on that list.

  151. Neu Mejican:

    Actually, the Internet was invented in 1962, while Prince Al was still in prep school.

    The Father of the Internet was Lick Licklider (whose name I keep wanting to misspell) of MIT.

    His “Galactic Network” proposal included email, streaming video, RAOS (remotely accessible online storage — aka “web pages”), and newsgroups. It came online (as ARPANet) on the anniversary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty, in 1969.

    In fact, I believe that I was on the Internet long before Prince Al ever heard of it — I got there (officially) in April of 1974. This is long before Gore came into the picture.

    Perhaps the Internet wouldn’t be where it is today without Gore’s influence, but that’s far from saying that he “created” anything.

    BTW, “invented” and “created” are synonymous in most usage.

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