Campaigns/Elections

Will America's Conservatives Ever Feel Comfortable Voting for What they Are Supposed to Believe In?

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Occasional reason contributor Todd Seavey explains to the mainstream conservative audience over at National Review why they should be pulling for Ron Paul.

Seavey starts off with what I think is a very doubtful premise–that Ron Paul could be a serious challenge to Hillary in a one-on-one. And he goes on to underestimate the extent to which normal American conservatives of the current day love Bush-era foreign escapades and war. Oh, he mentions it toward the end, but it's a bigger barrier to mainstream conservative embrace of Paul than he gives it credit for. See the famous Giuliani jab in South Carolina.

But Seavey certainly explains to conservatives why Ron rises above the rest of the GOP potential nominee herd in all other respects. An excerpt:

Do conservatives not really want all the things Paul has to offer? Then why do we fight at all? If it's merely for power and mainstream acceptance, one might as well support Hillary Clinton or wait until after November 2008 and support whoever comes out on top. But if we want a radically smaller government โ€” precisely that thing that a Republican Congress neglected to do for the last twelve years, which has created the current mood of conservative frustration โ€” we must support Ron Paul. Remember how small government was at the nation's founding and consider how perhaps even conservatives have since then become de facto socialists, accepting the leviathan state as inevitable. But it's not inevitable if they vote against it when history hands them that chance.

My most recent writing on Paul–on why some libertarians are leery of him–here.

NEXT: Rolling Over Ethanol

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  1. The real question is what has Todd Seavey been smoking?

  2. By the way, are American conservatives supposed to believe that the founding fathers envisioned a robust Christian nation? Ron “Every Fetus is Sacred” Paul does. There’s more to a viable candidate than anti-war rhetoric. Ron Paul is probably the one Republican Hillary could crush. But reality is a downer when you live in Loony Land.

  3. Have there been any honest conservatives in the United States? Ever? In the last couple of decades?

    Aren’t they mostly just culture warriors?

  4. By the way, are American conservatives supposed to believe that the founding fathers envisioned a robust Christian nation? Ron “Every Fetus is Sacred” Paul does.

    Wow Edward, shades of DailyKos!

  5. By the way, are American conservatives supposed to believe that the founding fathers envisioned a robust Christian nation?

    I’d appreciate a link or reference, thanks.

  6. Edward = Ed = Juanita = Jane

  7. If it weren’t for him being able to type at least as well as a high schooler, I’d suggest that Edward is actually Dondero. He’s at least as annoying.

  8. larry, barry goldwater.

  9. Out of curiosity, has anyone suggested the possibility of overhauling the H&R forums, possibly based on a karma system or *something* for the purposes of troll management? I have never seen such a dedicated population of trolls and it’s really rather a drag on any enjoyable debate that might take place.

  10. Goldwater, a fine conservative statesman, was trounced by LBJ, one of the most ruthless men to occupy the Whitehouse. Ron Paul would be similarly slaughtered by Hillary.

    Let’s vote for Hillary and give the Statists the chance to lead the Country to economic ruin, then maybe we’ll be ready for a Ron Paul type in 2012.

  11. If we don’t fight the trolls here, they’ll follow us home!

    By the way, are American conservatives supposed to believe that the founding fathers envisioned a robust Christian nation?

    Whether they’re supposed to or not, most of them do. While I find that view ahistorical, if Dr Paul has voiced it, it’ll only help him with the cons.

  12. Would the anti-war people really vote for Hillary if she were running against Ron Paul? It seems like he would pretty much get all those votes. There might be a lot of Republicans who still wouldn’t vote for him, but they’d never vote for Hillary. Pat Buchanan would run again, or Bloomberg would be the Gitmo x 10 candidate.

  13. Ron “Every Fetus is Sacred” Paul does.

    Liberals seem to have this idea that Ron wants to make abortion a capital federal offense or something.

  14. The anti-war people will not vote for Hillary, they’ll vote for Ron Paul or the Libertarian candidate. The anti-Iraq Democrats will vote for Hillary though.

  15. Ammonium,

    Most of the hard-core anti-war types are not going to be at all impressed with Dr Paul’s positions on, well, anything else. Keep in mind that Hillary’s positions are completely flexible depending on who she faces. She would probably take a pretty strong anti-war stance in response to Paul getting the R nom, and any doubts about her sincerity would be overwhelmed by the lefty fear of an “ultra-right-winger” like Dr Paul.

  16. I admit, I like and agree with about 70% of Ron Paul’s platform. Aside from his disgraceful stand on the Secure Fence Act, I think he’s pretty spot on.

    However, despite his endorsment by the Congressional Quarterly as one of the 50 most effective members of congress, he has some distinct weaknesses.

    First, to become president, you’ve got to be able to consolidate some power and I don’t see this talent in Paul. Were he to become president, I believe he would only wind up being the Republican answer to Jimmy Carter…so outside, his own party screws him.

    Second, his stance on health care is – while admittedly conservo-libertarian – simply going to kill him.

    There are two issues to watch in the coming election – Iraq and Healthcare. Iraq, being a fluid situation, is still a bit of a wild card. But healthcare is where politicians will make or break themselves.

    And in an environment where Insurance companies are rapidly screwing themselves with their wan and banal reactions to Michael Moore and the increasing cacaphony of “dude, where the bloody fuck is my healthcare?”, Ron Paul is offering absolutely nothing that voters want to hear.

    Third, his economic policies, while very free market and worthy of any true conservative’s admiration, is a distinct 180 from where conservatives have manipulated their adoring ignorant, Fox-news watching public to these days.

  17. Seavey starts off with what I think is a very doubtful premise–that Ron Paul could be a serious challenge to Hillary in a one-on-one.

    Doubtful? I think it’s undeniable. So much so, I think if Paul wins a few delegates in the primaries he should make it his campaign slogan.

    *RON PAUL or Hillary – take your pick.*

    All the other Republicans are not far enough removed from GWB (especially the front runners) and the “undecideds” have already decided they’ve had enough. Hillary carries a lot of baggage outside her base, the swing voters are not inclined to vote for her. But they’re far more repulsed by what has become of the Republicans.

  18. Hillary carries a lot of baggage outside her base, the swing voters are not inclined to vote for her.

    True, but possibly not as much as you think…mainly because of your next sentence which reads…

    But they’re far more repulsed by what has become of the Republicans.

    Hard for the Republicans to muster much of an anti-Hillary offensive when many traditionally Republican voters voted for Dems in the last election and a good chunk of their base – evangelicals – is abandoning politics altogether.

  19. Well, I would suppose that if Ron Paul could win the primaries, then he’d have a good shot at Hillary.

    Yes, that is a big if.

  20. I love some of the comments here, that somehow Dr. Paul is supposed to be disqualified because he’s not telling the people what they want to hear. His whole platform is about principle and consistency.

  21. We’re over here because you’re not over there.

  22. Most of the hardcore anti-war people are Democrats or crypto-communists. None of those people would ever vote for Paul for any other reason than to try to make the U.S. look foolish. Sadly, heartfelt support for libertarian principles polls at around 10-15%

  23. “All the other Republicans are not far enough removed from GWB (especially the front runners) and the “undecideds” have already decided they’ve had enough. Hillary carries a lot of baggage outside her base, the swing voters are not inclined to vote for her. But they’re far more repulsed by what has become of the Republicans.”

    This has got me thinking. Until about a year ago, I was rather ambivalent about the war in Iraq. I initially supported it and thought GWB, though he grossly misread the situation, had good and pure intentions. I didn’t buy the argument that this was a blood for oil war — if that was the purpose we would have just gone in and taken what we wanted. And I don’t subscribe to common wisdom that Bush is as dumb as a donkey. Stubborn yes, but NOT an idiot.

    Anyway, What i’m getting at is that what I have always admired in politicians has been those who have been principled in their beliefs even when that has been detrimental to their own careers. So, yes, Barry Goldwater. But yes too to Joe Lieberman (and I voted for him back when I lived in CT). And that may explain my knee-jerk loathing of all things Clinton. Has history ever seen such a pair of unprincipled clowns?

  24. If hillary is elected, I’m going to masturbate all day, quit my job, sell my stocks, and move to another country where, hopefully, some power-grabbing cunt doesn’t rule the country.
    Personally, I’d like to see that fat woman, like, drown or something.

  25. Is everyone else getting the annoying floating ads on this page, with certain words in green?

    I’m pretty sure my comp isn’t infected with anything, but who knows…

  26. “Is everyone else getting the annoying floating ads on this page, with certain words in green?”

    Not me.

  27. Is everyone else getting the annoying floating ads on this page, with certain words in green?

    I see those ads everywhere, not just on the screen.

  28. “what I think is a very doubtful premise–that Ron Paul could be a serious challenge to Hillary in a one-on-one.

    Are you kidding? RP would wipe the floor with Hillary. Half the voters already hate her guts, and RP would peel off big chunks of anti-war Democrats and libertarian swing voters.

    He’d win 49 states. It would be a 1980 redux.

  29. Do conservatives not really want all the things Paul has to offer?

    That might actually be germane if “conservative” meant today what it did in 1957. But by this time the brand name has become so diluted Russell Kirk wouldn’t recognize it. Basically, all “conservative” means today is “not a liberal”. And even that could be argued.

    If it’s merely for power and mainstream acceptance,

    Well…yes!

    Remember how small government was at the nation’s founding and consider how perhaps even conservatives have since then become de facto socialists

    Anyone who hasn’t figured out that the conservative “National Interest” is pretty much the equivalent of the socialist “Good of Society” must be named Rip Van Winkle.

    And he goes on to underestimate the extent to which normal American conservatives of the current day love Bush-era foreign escapades and war.

    No shit. And that’s the main difference between conservatives and socialists. One of them supports a welfare program for inner-city crackheads, the other one is running a welfare program for trigger-happy crackers. At least you get a choice of which welfare program you want to support.

  30. Out of curiosity, has anyone suggested the possibility of overhauling the H&R forums, possibly based on a karma system or *something* for the purposes of troll management? I have never seen such a dedicated population of trolls and it’s really rather a drag on any enjoyable debate that might take place.

    Many porn websites have a “bad link” button you can push if you object to the content. Other websites have a policy of bouncing people who offend the standards of whoever is running the website. I suppose Reason could insert a “troll” button by each post in a thread, and if someone accumulates a really huge number of objections — say, 1,000 troll “votes” — any submissions from that particular computer would be banned for awhile, let them think it over.

    On the other hand, wouldn’t that amount to an authoritarian form of governing on an allegedly libertarian website? Could the trolls gang up and bounce the reasonable folks? Wouldn’t it be a lot easier to ignore or flame the trolls, depending on your views? How much would all this cost, and could it be defeated by Dan T. becoming Dan Toohey or some such? And how about folks like me who think that, annoying as they usually are, folks like Dan T. or joe occasionally say something thoughtful or witty that provokes an interesting discussion?

    Seems like less trouble and more logically consistent with libertarianism to use community shaming or shunning to rein in the troublemakers.

  31. Jamie says: “If hillary is elected, I’m going to masturbate all day, quit my job, sell my stocks, and move to another country where, hopefully, some power-grabbing cunt doesn’t rule the country.
    Personally, I’d like to see that fat woman, like, drown or something.”

    It is thoughtful, considerate, reasoned comments like that which will finally drag libertarianism away from its completely untrue image of being populated by angry fringe nutjobs with poor social skills and no sex partners, and move us into the mainstream, yeah?

  32. Basically, all “conservative” means today is “not a as liberal”.

    Fixed that for you.

  33. Get rid of the ultra annoying green lined pop up ads. Did reason’s server get hacked?

  34. The Hit & Run server squirrels are trying to make pocket change to buy their nuts…

  35. Get rid of the ultra annoying green lined pop up ads. Did reason’s server get hacked?

    Ok how much do i have to pay reason not to see these things?

    If this is not an option I will deploy other means.

  36. If we went to an ostrakon system, I predict Dan T/Juanita/Edward/their clones getting bounced and Joe remaining.

    Joe’s not a troll, he’s a liberal. He has actual reasoned arguments, grammar, sentence structure, and paragraphs. He’s smarter and better at arguing than the liberals who drove me from the Democrat party around 2004-5. He would survive any sane ostrakon system.

  37. Granted, Edna, but he was the only one I could think of.

  38. Edward,

    “By the way, are American conservatives supposed to believe that the founding fathers envisioned a robust Christian nation? Ron “Every Fetus is Sacred” Paul does. There’s more to a viable candidate than anti-war rhetoric. Ron Paul is probably the one Republican Hillary could crush. But reality is a downer when you live in Loony Land.”

    1) The Founding fathers spoke often about religious principles (see George Washington’s farewell speech), they simply didn’t want a national state church, like the church of England.

    2) First off, Ron Paul, since he honours his oath to uphold the constitution, says that he believes acts of violence are the domain of the States. Therefore, he wants the States to decide on abortion. Even though he is against abortions, as he is a medical doctor who has delivered 4000 babies, he believes the constitution does not give the president powers to ban or allow abortions.

    Second off, the president cannot overturn a Supreme Court ruling, so this whole abortion thing is a non-issue. Focus on the real issues.

    Please don’t be so damn ignorant.

  39. America became the most powerful and prosperous country in the world while it was the most free, in the 19th century. The 19th century and early 20th century is when America’s economy pulled ahead of all the others nations of the world. Free markets started to be interfered with, and coercion of citizens (by forcing them to hand their money over) started to pick up during and after WW2. The result has been that since the 1960’s, other economies, some of them extremely resource poor- like South Korea and Hong Kong, have made made great gains against the American economy. If you ever travel to places like South Korea and, you’ll see how much more free people are from government regulations. Street markets spring up on busy sidewalks in downtown Seoul without anyone having to pay a fee or get a permit. Try doing that anywhere in the West and you’ll have to submit 20 forms and to different bureaucratic agencies to get permission. The founders of the United States realized that coercion of citizens was the anti-thesis of freedom. They often spoke about the dangers of government and pointed out that government is force (coercion) and therefore must be limited.

    For example:

    “How soon we forget history… Government is not reason. Government is not eloquence. It is force. And, like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

    George Washington

    Since that started being ignored, the results have been devastating:

    Real median wages, that is the wage the largest number of Americans make, is actually lower now than it was 35 years ago, despite massive gains in productivity.

    American savings rates are the lowest they have ever been in history, now in the negatives.

  40. I love some of the comments here, that somehow Dr. Paul is supposed to be disqualified because he’s not telling the people what they want to hear. His whole platform is about principle and consistency.

    If the voters are looking for principle and consistency, he’s got it in the bag over all the others. I’m merely asserting that most voters are probably more interested in what he’s going to do about health care.

    As a message, principle and consistency have been wrung to death by Republicans who didn’t deliver.

    Now, people want to be mollified by someone with a good plan. Unfortunately, the Republicans have poisoned their own well over the past 10 years by propping up authoritarian loony crap and putting conservative label on it.

  41. I don’t think the troll problem is that bad. I know most of them on sight and skip on down. Personally I’m more annoyed with the troll feeders. Though, I sometimes am lured into their ranks myself. When that happens I’m annoyed with myself.

    The point is, what make H&R the Best Blog in the cyberworld, is the freedom to say any damn thing you want. How may other sites have I registered/signed up for, only to have my third comment deleted because they didn’t like my tone or some such BS. And then I quit reading, because I know it’s just a propaganda machine designed to echo the views of the gatekeepers.

    I’ve had comments deleted from H&R but it’s rare, and usually I get an explanatory email. I could see how trolls could overrun the place. Then they’d have to be dealt with, but for now at least, I say more speech is better speech.

  42. The modern Republican party was built on merging anti-Communist militarists with religious conservatives. This merger was facilitated by traditional conservatives and libertarians, who were promptly thrust aside and bounced from any position of actual influence in the party by the Frankenstein’s monster they had created.

    Those anti-Communist militarists are still around and are delighted to have a new enemy to fight. It’s a Potemkin enemy, all smoke and mirrors, and not even a molehill compared to the mountain that was world Communism, but they’ll take what they can get. And the religious conservatives are delighted to have the opportunity to slaughter Muslims. So there’s just no way for Paul to win the nomination. It’s not going to happen. Even after the Iraq War ends, the “fight” against “Islamofascism” and revenge against the “November criminals” whose stab in the back “lost” the Iraq war will continue to be the prime focus of Republican party politics for election cycles to come. They aren’t going to let it go.

  43. The southern strategy has achieved its goal, and the GOP will never be the party of small government. See, rednecks aren’t for small government. They just don’t want the cops telling them they can’t park their RV in front of their house. Any kind of thoughtful conservativism died with the rise of god+war=superawesomeUSA conservatism.

  44. In the American two party system, if one party gets enough power for enough timee it inevitably manages screw the pooch. I’m not sure this has much do with conservative or liberal political philosophy. I think it has more to do with the ugly, imperfect process of forming coalitions and difficulty in maintaining cohesion. I think conservative thought is more just material for GOP talking points depending on the audience. In power, the Republicans want what the Democrats want, the power… the power to reward friends, punish enemies and social engineer the nation. Sure, there are some actual political thinkers in both parties but I don’t think the thought has nearly the influence as the marketing.

  45. Reason: Free Minds* and Free Markets

    * unless you disagree with the dogma, in which case you’ll be labeled a “troll” for your blasphemy and people will try to figure out how to get rid of you

  46. dude, you keep confusing your obnoxious, thoughtless comments with actual dissent. Make a substantive point. Don’t be like that guy in Mystery Men that’s all like “You can’t fear the spoon… until you spoon the fear.”

  47. The southern strategy has achieved its goal, and the GOP will never be the party of small government. See, rednecks aren’t for small government. They just don’t want the cops telling them they can’t park their RV in front of their house. Any kind of thoughtful conservativism died with the rise of god+war=superawesomeUSA conservatism.

    Take it a step further – nobody is really for small government. “Small government” is code for “cut my taxes and eliminate other people’s social programs”.

    As for Ron Paul, here’s a guy who has figured out to to turn the fact that since he’s not a serious contender he therefore can hold onto his principles. He has nothing to lose. But it would be very interesting if his support reached the level where he began to think that he might have a chance at the GOP nomination if he was willing to start making compromises. Would he make those compromises?

  48. It would seem that some posters have the freedom to wish Dan T would post somewhere else and that Dan T has the freedom to post here to whine about the posters who wish he were somewhere else.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but it looks to me like big, steaming plates of freedom are still on the menu here at the H&R diner.

  49. Lot of issues here.

    –What the hell is a “conservative” anymore? Whatever the heck the political wing of the evangelical movement is, it ain’t conservative. Neo-cons? Former lefty imperialists with little or nothing in common with Calvin Coolidge and Robert Taft.

    –I support Ron Paul and would gladly vote for him, but I admit he has major weaknesses as a presidential candidate. He’s over 70, not very telegenic, and prone to obscure discourses. Maybe that says bad things about the state of American politics today, but he probably would be unelectable regardless of his ideals.

    –the Iraq issue is too muddled on both sides to be the decisive issue in 2008. Democrats will do their best to use it, but remember that George Bush isn’t running. I suspect the Republican nominee will attempt to distance themselves from Bush and the war. We might well be in a recession by then, and of course the supposed clamor more legalized theft in the name of health care will be out there. It’s going to be an ugly election–heck, it’s pretty ugly already.

  50. dude, you keep confusing your obnoxious, thoughtless comments with actual dissent. Make a substantive point. Don’t be like that guy in Mystery Men that’s all like “You can’t fear the spoon… until you spoon the fear.”

    Tried that a few weeks back. Didn’t really seem to changes things except thoreau was willing to pay me a few compliments.

    Anyway, it’s not as though both the Reason staff and the majority of commenters aren’t full of snark and sometimes outright bile (you know – news, views, abuse). You guys can dish it out just fine but when a little bit of it gets thrown back you all become really thin-skinned.

  51. Was it Jefferson who said, “People get the government they deserve.”

    I’m not sure if we truly deseve it but come November, 2008 I suspect we will get to choose between a Republican who thinks he talks to Jesus Christ and a Democrat who thinks he is Jesus Christ.

    I’m not sure if we actually deserve it but it certainly is what we keep getting.

  52. It would seem that some posters have the freedom to wish Dan T would post somewhere else and that Dan T has the freedom to post here to whine about the posters who wish he were somewhere else.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but it looks to me like big, steaming plates of freedom are still on the menu here at the H&R diner.

    Yes, I suppose the freedom to wish that we didn’t have freedom is indeed a freedom. But the fact that dissenting views are not met head-on but rather with attempts to suppress show that the spirit of freedom is kind of lacking here.

  53. Take it a step further – nobody is really for small government. “Small government” is code for “cut my taxes and eliminate other people’s social programs”.

    Ummm.. unless you actually think that eliminating government management of hugely unsuccessful programs will better serve the people those programs were supposed to be helping.

  54. But it would be very interesting if his support reached the level where he began to think that he might have a chance at the GOP nomination if he was willing to start making compromises. Would he make those compromises?

    Perhaps his record in congress might provide some indication. How may times did he betray principal on some meaningless vote when no one was watching?

    Brian’s post is dead on. Republicans don’t believe a word of what they claim to believe. They are certainly no friend of liberty, and NEVER have been.

    RON PAUL is the real deal. I think Republicans would turn out to vote against Hillary regardless. Some anti-war Democrats would also cross the aisle. The question is, how many of the unaffiliated are more attracted to freedom than to socialism?

  55. * unless you disagree with the dogma, in which case you’ll be labeled a “troll” for your blasphemy and people will try to figure out how to get rid of you

    But, Dan T., just yesterday you were arguing for the existence of tooth fairies. How the hell is that not a trollish view???

  56. However, I will say that recently you have made some very interesting points in some other threads. Unfortunately, the old you pops up now and then.

  57. As far as the dilution of “true conservatism” is concerned, I remember being taught in high school (in the ’70’s) about “natural monopolies” aka Bell Telephone/ AT&T. Much similar claptrap regarding economics and social justice took decades to unlearn.

    What are they teaching now? If high school kids don’t know who wrote the Declaration of Independence, they certainly don’t know who wrote The Tyranny of the Status Quo. And they undoubtedly have no working understanding of the concept of creative destruction.

  58. Loose summary of The Daily Show transcript:

    JS: You’re a principled and honest politician [pause] … voters don’t normally go for that.

  59. What the fuck are you smoking Dan. T? Now show me who is “suppressing” you. K THX. Seriously, take a clue from others who disagree, like joe, and try and debate, not troll.

    Sorry you’re not succeeding with your campaign of lies. Keep trying though. It’s cute.

  60. Perhaps his record in congress might provide some indication. How may times did he betray principal on some meaningless vote when no one was watching?

    The real question would be whether he’d betray principle on a close vote where he might make a difference?

    Or another way of looking at it is that if Ron Paul wants to become President, he’s got to reflect the interests of at least a small majority of Americans, not just a handful of Texans that he currently represents. So he’s got to moderate his views a little if he wants a chance to win.

  61. Hokae –

    Dan – Small government” is code for “cut my taxes and eliminate other people’s social programs”.

    Certainly there is an element of that in many people’s views. They feel that they, or theirs, shit marble, while the rest of us don’t. Also, you hear stuff about “freedom” from certain quarters that does entail “for me, but not for thee”.

    You are certainly correct about that.

    If you look at the groups hier, it is undoubtedly possible to break us out into those groups.

    (although I’m not sure if you can find consistent views – for example, Paul’s fetus and gay marriage stances (and his “gold standard” loonieness [sic]) mean that I will never support him – but for others, those views are perfectly consistent or reconcilable with them)

    And this is a discussion board. It lends itself to sound bite (DEMAND KURV) argumentation instead of deep substance.

    See Douglas Gray’s comment up above. “leading the country to economic ruin”????? that’s exactly the hyperbole that works well on these boards.

    You have perfected such a style, too: you hit and run, and you generate lots of comment – you and your nom de keyboards really get people up and commenting.

    When looking at issues that do not have black/white solutions, the quick format makes it tough to discuss.

    What do you see as the five most important issues that have to be confronted/changed, and what are some thoughts of implementation do you have?

    Others – check out the Center for Advanced Sarcasm site – there is some really funny stuff there.

    But having it both ways – trolling (highly effective and oftentimes funny) but then wanting serious discussion – is rather difficult…

  62. Dan,
    I think the frustration is more with when you make posts that show a fundamental (and maybe intentional) misunderstanding of libertarian thought, e.g. “Well why shouldn’t murder be legal? If it’s not legal people don’t have all the ‘freedom’ they should, right?”

    If you have enough time to find a libertarian web site, read the posts, and post your own comments, you know enough to avoid that kind of stupidity.

    Just remember, you’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like you.

  63. But, Dan T., just yesterday you were arguing for the existence of tooth fairies. How the hell is that not a trollish view???

    But of course I wasn’t making that argument, but rather pointing out that libertarianism often comes across like a religion in the sense that there’s no evidence you’d be willing to accept that sometimes the government really is trying to improve things.

  64. “Let’s vote for Hillary and give the Statists the chance to lead the Country to economic ruin, then maybe we’ll be ready for a Ron Paul type in 2012.”

    I think Nehemiah Scudder is supposed to win in 2012.

  65. “Yes, I suppose the freedom to wish that we didn’t have freedom is indeed a freedom. But the fact that dissenting views are not met head-on but rather with attempts to suppress show that the spirit of freedom is kind of lacking here.”

    There is probably an assumption about the quality of the dissenting view buried in there somewhere.

  66. “Anyway, it’s not as though both the Reason staff and the majority of commenters aren’t full of snark and sometimes outright bile (you know – news, views, abuse). You guys can dish it out just fine but when a little bit of it gets thrown back you all become really thin-skinned.”

    My gut response to this, Dan, is “boo fucking hoo.” I’m among the first to acknowledge that libertarians (particularly the big “L” ones) are all too often obnoxious, pedantic and dogmatic assholes. So what? H&R is the deep end of the pool where you and I are going to encounter people we don’t like. Reason provides this little online pond free of charge and they have chosen to let everyone write what they want to write… including you. Right now, you are just reminding everyone of the character in the Holy Grail who is yelling, “I’m bein’ oppressed.”

    Man up.

  67. At the risk of who-knows-what, I will say I find it easier to deal with (that is, ignore) Dan T than our resident pompous scold, Joe.

    And, Dan- I’m still waiting for your working definition of a “necessary” government project.

  68. We have to get the Zod for 2012 ball rolling. His 08′ chances are dwindling…

    But then again, he could just show up on inauguration day and make them all bow before him.

  69. Dan,
    I think the frustration is more with when you make posts that show a fundamental (and maybe intentional) misunderstanding of libertarian thought, e.g. “Well why shouldn’t murder be legal? If it’s not legal people don’t have all the ‘freedom’ they should, right?”

    You’re right that I sometimes take this approach but it’s more like I’m just taking the princples and questioning the common assumptions.

    For example, most libertarians would agree that the government should not use violence to enforce somebody’s moral code. But they usually will say that it’s okay to use force to protect property rights. But of course, the idea that property rights deserve protection is in itself a moral code, so you’d be violating your own dictum.

  70. There is probably an assumption about the quality of the dissenting view buried in there somewhere.

    Exactly – if a midget kept challenging and insulting Michael Jordan and demanding that Jordan play him one-on-one, Mr. Air would brush the midget aside, not engage him in a futile expenditure of energy.

  71. But of course I wasn’t making that argument, but rather pointing out that libertarianism often comes across like a religion in the sense that there’s no evidence you’d be willing to accept that sometimes the government really is trying to improve things.

    See, I know that. Just as you know that your statement is not entirely true, but yet continue to exaggerate it, I chose to use the same technique. See how it can become frustrating trying to argue those types of points??

    I mean, I could just keep repeating that you believe tooth fairies exist….right??

  72. But of course I wasn’t making that argument, but rather pointing out that libertarianism often comes across like a religion in the sense that there’s no evidence you’d be willing to accept that sometimes the government really is trying to improve things.

    YES!
    Let me cite something I like about your statement:

    “often comes across like a” is a good qualifying phrase that doesn’t outright accuse libertarianism of actually BEING a religion. This is less likely to anger people because it’s referring to how libertarianism is perceived.

    I, for one, do think that the government (via the people) sometimes does TRY to improve things. I am frustrated though about the attitude that the government even should try to improve things by increasing their influence over the economy and otherwise. So this attitude you describe does not apply to all people who comment here or all those who call themselves “libertarians,” and I think a few more qualifying phrases are just what you need to be better received.

    There was a while back, Dan, that you decided not to troll anymore. At that point, I thought your argumentation was stronger than any other pro-government type on this blog.

  73. Dan –

    I volunteer to leave my own personal income tax rate at the current level if the state will lower it for everyone else.

    Is that a sincere enough demonstration of “really” supporting small government to you?

  74. My gut response to this, Dan, is “boo fucking hoo.” I’m among the first to acknowledge that libertarians (particularly the big “L” ones) are all too often obnoxious, pedantic and dogmatic assholes. So what? H&R is the deep end of the pool where you and I are going to encounter people we don’t like. Reason provides this little online pond free of charge and they have chosen to let everyone write what they want to write… including you. Right now, you are just reminding everyone of the character in the Holy Grail who is yelling, “I’m bein’ oppressed.”

    Man up.

    Hey I’ve never once complained about the way Reason runs this blog. They seem to be pretty consistant about allowing all types of comments, and I appreciate that.

    Believe it or not, I really like Reason magazine and find many of their articles to be among the most thought-provoking on the web.

    My point earlier was about other commenters, who were discussing whether H&R should put in some kind of system where only those who say the correct things are allowed to post.

  75. Dan T.:

    “‘Small government’ is code for ‘cut my taxes and eliminate other people’s social programs’.”

    That’s just the far left frame. People actually believe that private business can do things better than big gov’t. Of course, “big” or “small” gov’t can mean many things.

    In the case of the Postal Service or gov’t businesses, clearly private biz does it better. Maybe you’ve got a hardon for the USPS, but those people are generally miserable and they provide an inferior service. UPS people, on the other hand, are actually doing quite well.

    In the case of regulating business, your “end social programs for others” frame doesn’t apply. I’ve argued for and against regulations. It really depends on the situation.

    Social and nanny state laws, i.e., bans on gambling, are big gov’t and have nothing to do with social programs (unless you want to make the case that gambling or hookers lead to welfare, in which case, there was a Reason article a few months back on the totalitarian implications of national healthcare).

    There is also military spending for questionable foreign policy goals creating an ever bigger gov’t bureacracy and complicated funding scheme which is also big gov’t.

    Finally, we come to your beloved social programs. They are certainly big gov’t, and a lot of libertarians want to get rid of them. I tend to think we’re rich enough as a country to give somebody a helping hand when things go bad. Most people would do this with private insurance, but not all are able to. There is a real problem, in my view, with income disparity and some of these social programs address that. Of course, social programs fall prey to the biggest problem with big gov’t: sheer incompetence.

    All in all, your assessment of “small gov’t” meaning just a way for GOPers to chomp on more expensive cigars isn’t quite accurate in my view.

  76. Dan –

    I volunteer to leave my own personal income tax rate at the current level if the state will lower it for everyone else.

    Is that a sincere enough demonstration of “really” supporting small government to you?

    Yes, my statement of what small government supporters think was too cynical to be applied universally. But I think true to at least some extent.

  77. In the case of the Postal Service or gov’t businesses, clearly private biz does it better. Maybe you’ve got a hardon for the USPS, but those people are generally miserable and they provide an inferior service. UPS people, on the other hand, are actually doing quite well.

    I totally disagree with that. I think the US Post Office is a great example of a government program that we’d be crazy to get rid of.

  78. There was a while back, Dan, that you decided not to troll anymore. At that point, I thought your argumentation was stronger than any other pro-government type on this blog.

    Thanks. I’d really much rather debate and not troll, to be honest.

  79. Dant T.:

    If that thing for the USPS lasts more than 4 hours, you should call somebody.

  80. Thanks. I’d really much rather debate and not troll, to be honest.

    Awwwww…I feel all warm and fuzzy now….

    Anybody else feel this way??? Anybody??

    Hello??

  81. GROUP HUG.

    Afterwards, shuffleboard on the Lido Deck. Finally taint whithering en masse on the Promenade Deck.

  82. I’m of the opinion that if the USPS were privatized it would run much smoother and be more profitable.

  83. I’m just saying that if you want to ship a package, you can go to USPS, wait 30 minutes, be treated rudely by an underpaid miserable person or you can get away relatively easily at UPS and deal with people who get paid in exchange for working hard. We have no idea if regular letters would be better privatized, but that’s an interesting debate.

  84. The USPS isn’t all bad. The employees are a mix, really. I find that mail carriers of ours have always been very friendly. They have zero accountability for their package shipping service, though. You can pay for 1-2 day shipping and it’ll get there in 4, and there’s really no way of telling why. I like their new shape-based business mail standards, because it seems to me that it will be able to move more mail per shipment. The business mail people at the post office though… buh! I wouldn’t invite them to a garden party, that’s for sure.

  85. i hear that switzerland is on the gold standard, how much financial trouble are they in.

  86. I can’t begin to describe my frustration when talking to conservatives and finding out they don’t support Ron Paul. This has happened a lot lately. I’m a bit of a conservative libertarian. Except for immigration, my views are right in line with Ron Paul. I have a lot of conservative friends. When we talk about this, they either a)know very little about him at all and say something like “I heard he was kinda nutty, or b)say “oh, he doesn’t stand a chance.

    I really wonder just what it is about them that’s even conservative. I don’t get it. It’s been enlightening and disappointing to say the least.

    Anyway, for the record, I hear a few posters here lumping in joe with the trolls. Joe is nothing like Dan T. or Jersey or Ed or Juanita. Joe frequently offers insightful, albeit disagreeable, comments. I disagree with 80% of his opinions, but they are well thought out and decently presented. Dan T, you’re not even all that bad. 10% of the time you offer actual dissent. Edward and Juanita are true trolls.

  87. 16 months before the election, and many already have Hillary Clinton down as the GOP candidate for POTUS?

    Geez

    Take a deep breath.

    She’s only getting front and center attention now for fund raising purposes. When the time comes, it’s off to the sidelines for her hopelessly flawed gig. The party’ll hand her a kick ass Congressional post as a “thank you” for all the money she helped raise. She’ll then dream about positioning herself for 2012. Never mind that she’ll be voted out by NY voters in 2010.

  88. I’m of the opinion that if the USPS were privatized it would run much smoother and be more profitable.

    You’re probably right, but we don’t necessarily want it to be profitable. Being profitable means that it wouldn’t serve all locations in the country like it currently does.

  89. Dan T has never annoyed me. But I get a good laugh at the speed with which some of y’all leap to be the first to respond to Dan T with a snarky comment. Sometimes it’s apparent you’ve never even read his post. It’s Pavlovian — Dan T posts and y’all leap to your keyboards with saliva drooling from your lips. Get a life already.

  90. Yes, I suppose the freedom to wish that we didn’t have freedom is indeed a freedom. But the fact that dissenting views are not met head-on but rather with attempts to suppress show that the spirit of freedom is kind of lacking here.

    Getting told to shut up and take your adolescent-grade “arguments” and churlish attitude back to the dorms isn’t suppression, it’s comeuppance for being a troll. You get off on being a dick, you get off on being hated around here, and you intentionally say the most contrary things you can think of for the sole purpose of getting a rise out of people.

    You’re flamed because nothing you say is worth arguing. Your points are asinine. Your tone is malevolent. Nobody debates you because that’d be like trying to polish a turd. Any attention you receive only drives you to be a bigger asshole. You’re the definition of a troll.

    And you know, in the brief time you spent actually trying to debate in a reasonable manner, you did a pretty good job. Go back to that and don’t get butthurt when people don’t agree with you.

  91. The Post office sucks

    I once sent a certified-return-receipt letter to my landlord and paid the $3.25. He never signed it…and the post office would give me a copy of the receipt.

    When I went to the office to complain…they asked me if i wanted my $3.25 back. That’s government work for u.

    Although, I think health insurance should be run by the government. Not government owned doctors or hospitals. The government should underwrite health insurance. Keep two simple databases…One with Social Security Numbers of each patient…and one ID for each medical provider. And instead of paying insurance preimums to PUBLICLY traded companies like Aetna and MetLife…we should pay 1/2 the premium in a tax for Health benefits.

    I believe by simply eliminating the paper work and the 80 people involved in each claim once someone goes to dr…this will significantly reduce healthcare cost. In addition, since it’s not runned by a PUBLICLY traded company…there will be no need to raise the stock price…by cutting expenses…by denying legitimate claims.

  92. Those of you who use software to block comments fro certain posters, do any of you use a plugin for Firefox? If so, could you tell me what it is? Or at least the most effective?

    Thanks.

  93. “from” Why didn’t spellcheck pick up “fro?”

  94. And now, back by popular demand… the ROn Paul campaign song!

    Ron Paul for President
    What he says is what he means
    Ron Paul for President
    He’ll sweep this country clean

    He’ll kick out the old UN
    And keep us out of wars
    The income tax will see an end
    And we’ll legalize drugs and whores

    With Walter Williams as his running mate
    We’ll take back our fair share
    And Lew Rockwell at Department of State
    Will thumb his nose at world affairs

    No more bailouts of the banks
    He’ll give your tax money back to you
    So you can buy a Sherman tank
    Or build a castle too

    Ron Paul for President
    He’s real nice, not mean
    Ron Paul for President
    He’ll swee-eep this count-ry clean!

  95. Actually, the USPS has made a profit of over a billion dollars a year for the past few years (despite decades of deficits). I don’t think they’ve reduced their service either.

  96. You’re probably right, but we don’t necessarily want it to be profitable. Being profitable means that it wouldn’t serve all locations in the country like it currently does.

    Sorry, but why wouldn’t we want it to be profitable? I mean, right now we’re all paying (in the form of taxes, etc) for them to stay afloat. If not for them being a government program, funded by taxpayers, they would have gone out of business a long time ago with their current business practices. Privatization would take the burden off of those who don’t use the service, lead to better management of the business, thus making profit, and would lead to better service overall. As for not serving all locations…there’s a “right” price for everything.

  97. I believe by simply eliminating the paper work and the 80 people involved in each claim once someone goes to dr…this will significantly reduce healthcare cost. In addition, since it’s not runned by a PUBLICLY traded company…there will be no need to raise the stock price…by cutting expenses…by denying legitimate claims.

    If it’s true that cutting the paperwork involved will cut costs, then there’s a great business opportunity for you, Bowie. Make it happen and make a billion bucks!

  98. I think it’s time for libertarians to acknowledge that fusionism was a marriage of convenience, not a genuine ideological affinity.

  99. As for not serving all locations…there’s a “right” price for everything.

    This sentence is the key. I think the basic idea behind the USPS is that America works better when anybody can send a letter anywhere else in the country for the same price, even if it’s not the most profitable way of doing things.

    If it costs a guy in Alaska $5.00 to send a letter anywhere, it severely limits the ability of people in Alaska to participate in the commerece and culture of America as a whole. And the private post office is going to shut down its branch any place that doesn’t have enough people mailing letters to make it worthwhile.

    I could be wrong, but isn’t the whole reason the USPS was established because private couriers were not serving the country well enough?

  100. Actually, the USPS has made a profit of over a billion dollars a year for the past few years (despite decades of deficits). I don’t think they’ve reduced their service either.

    I did not know that – I always assumed that it ran short and was supported by taxes. Any idea where those profits go?

  101. There’s a reason they don’t call it, “going UPSal or FedExal.”

  102. Small government” is code for “cut my taxes and eliminate other people’s social programs”.

    That’s the candidate I’m looking for! …I want someone who will promise to cut my taxes ans cut other people’s social programs!

    Who’s running on that platform again?! I want to make a donation!

    Talk about consolidation! Forget all the other fluff. …I don’t need to know about foreign policy–just tell me that you’ll cut my taxes and other people’s social programs, and you’re in the game!

  103. joe,

    I completely agree, but wouldn’t liberltarism be just another shotgun wedding?

    Mostly I sick of being damned if I do and damned if I don’t. I either hold my nose and vote for a mainstream candidate that shares maybe 30% of my beliefs or vote for someone that doesn’t have a shot.

    Politics is like a horrible game some people really love to play and they somehow figured out a way to make us all play. And even if you play as a form of self-defense you still lose, because what you wanted in the first place was to not have to play at all.

  104. “Any idea where those profits go?”

    Haliburton, of course.

    [runs off]

  105. Congratulations on turning half of this thread into a discussion about yourself, Dan. Whatever it takes to feed that massive ego tucked away in that tiny brain of yours.

    Take heart that you’re not quite as annoying as the jackasses who hijack thread with their oh-so-cool Urkobold bullshit.

  106. URKOBOLD’S BULLSHIT IS NOT COOL. IT IS WARM AND STEAMY.

    NEENER NEENER.

    *WHITHERS SOME RANDOM PERSON’S TAINT*

    LET THAT BE A LESSON TO YOU.

  107. SugarFree,

    I completely agree, but wouldn’t liberltarism be just another shotgun wedding?

    I prefer the term “transactional.” A series of mutually-beneficial transactions. Which means, rather than being wives, libertarians are more like…

    Anyway, thanks for the stories about the no-knock raids. You’re money’s on the dresser, baby.

    Hey, it you’re actually a libertarian, you’d feel no shame in that!

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

  108. WOMBY VAULTAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    *pockets the cash and plans the day’s dignified debauchery*

    WOMBY!!!!!!!!

    HOW ABOUT DEM APPLES. UND DU KANN GET ALL MAD ABOUT ZEE GERMAN HIER, TOO. UND SUCHLIKE.

  109. joe,

    I have no shame.

  110. Congratulations on turning half of this thread into a discussion about yourself, Dan. Whatever it takes to feed that massive ego tucked away in that tiny brain of yours.

    Hey, it was either me or Ron Paul again. I consider this a public service.

  111. You ain’t free, Sugar.

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

  112. It appears the current USPS profits go toward… paying down their massive debt? ๐Ÿ™‚

  113. It certainly isn’t going into making their work force work.

  114. Ha! I meant that as, “making their workforce more functional” but it came out perfect anyway.

  115. “HIJACK THREAD?” WHAT ARE YOU, RUSSIAN?

    THE URKOBOLD HELPED INVENT THE INTERNET ALONG WITH AL GORE AND BRITISH TELECOM AND THUS HAS THE RIGHT OF EMINENT MO’ PAIN AT HIS PLEASURE. BAH.

  116. His ideas are so far out the mainstream he would scare the shit out of most voters. Voters want more public services not less. He represents a fringe of 1-5%.

  117. Not only that, but his history of taint-withering makes him virtually unelectable.

  118. Hey, it was either me or Ron Paul again. I consider this a public service.

    1) This is a Ron Paul thread, jackass.

    2) I don’t recall anyone ever asking you to save us from ourselves.

  119. jf,

    Excellent. I can feel your hate. Dan T. has once again served his purpose–to turn libertarians to the Dark Side.

  120. I agree with Dan T re: USPS.

    If you privatize it and make it a for profit operation I believe 2 things will happen. The cost to mail letters will go up significantly and the rural areas will suffer.

    What happens if certain areas are just too cost ineffective to service and for-profit companies won’t service that area?

    As it stands I like the system we have now. We have a cheap subsidized option in USPS which serves everyone and can be considered the baseline of service, and there are other more expensive options for those who want/need/prefer/can afford better service.

  121. What happens if certain areas are just too cost ineffective to service and for-profit companies won’t service that area?

    Ever heard of a PO box?

  122. And that, dear Reinmoose, is where the argument ceases to be about good management, and becomes about values.

    I believe there should be univeral access to the post. If not universal door-to-door service, something pretty damn close. If this requires subsidies, so be it.


  123. What happens if certain areas are just too cost ineffective to service and for-profit companies won’t service that area?

    How many areas are those? There’s so many ways around this other than subsidizing a massive governmental program to ensure that a few people in a few extremely rural locals can get their mail.

  124. Swiss voters approved a new Constitution today that eliminates the traditional requirement for the country’s currency to be backed by gold.

    *today* was April 19, 1999

  125. I could be wrong, but isn’t the whole reason the USPS was established because private couriers were not serving the country well enough?

    Is there anywhere UPS wont deliver to (within the US)?

  126. Well joe, sweetie, unless you missed it, the USPS has made a profit of over a billion dollars each year for the past several years.

    If they stop making profits, why not just let them up the price of a stamp a penny or two? Like I said, I think their new shape-based mailing system will be to their advantage financially.

    Yes, it is probably a financial loss for them to drive out 5 miles on an individual road to deliver 2 people worth of mail, and that is probably something that an independent company wouldn’t do… but we don’t know, do we? And we don’t know exactly what detriment that would serve. People who are located in the boonies need to drive to the grocery store, don’t they? Just like mail (ick), they need food! Why don’t we deliver food to everyone’s house?

  127. there are other more expensive options for those who want/need/prefer/can afford better service.

    Not until the laws granting the USPS a monopoly are eliminated. There are size, price and other restrictions on what UPS/FedEx can deliver. The laws that shut down Spooner’s competing mail service still exist.

  128. and that is probably something that an independent company wouldn’t do

    As I asked at 1:05, is there anywhere UPS wont deliver?

  129. robc –
    UPS can’t deliver standard #10 envelopes I believe. The better questions is: if UPS delivers everywhere, would they still deliver everywhere if they were delivering a #10 envelope in exchange for 41 cents.

  130. In exchange for $0.41. Probably not. But they will deliver for a price that will make a profit.

    And, I wouldnt be surprised if they couldnt undersell the USPS on some routes.

    BTW, why does the USPS need a monopoly on the delivery of #10 envelopes (I think it is anything smaller than the standard FedEx/UPS flat packages that they cant deliver)? Does anyone want to defend that monopoly, even if we didnt privatize the USPS?

  131. errr…I would be surprised if they couldnt

    I think they could deliver #10s for

  132. I think they could deliver #10s for less than $0.41 on some routes.

    Stupid less than sign

  133. This reminds me of a book I read about universal service in telecommunications. The justification for universal service (and, incidentally, for the AT&T monopoly) was the concern that rural residents would be underserved. What the government and Ma Bell neglected to say was that, thanks to rural cooperatives, phone service penetration rates were higher in rural areas.

    By turning immediately to government, we forestall the opportunity of private actors to solve their own problems. It would be nice to give them a chance to fail before we rush in to take over.

    Oh, here’s the book:

    Milton Mueller, Universal Service: Competition, Interconnection and Monopoly in the Making of the American Telephone System (MIT Press 1997).

  134. Reinmoose,

    Raising the price of stamps to cover money-losing service to remote areas is a subsidy, too.

    Why don’t we deliver food to everyone’s house?

    Ooh! I know this one!

    Because delivering about 50 pounds of food every week is a lot harder than delivering 0.1-2 pounds of mail, and because buying food involves much more selection on the part of the recipient than receiving mail that other people send, thus making the universal delivery of food a much-more expensive and difficult endevour.

    Tell me, was it obvious to you how easy it was to distinguish between the two as soon as you hit post, or did you really need the above explaination?

  135. Urkobold hate?

    Urkobold hate?

    Seriously, Urkobold hate?

  136. Ron Paul vs. Hillary Clinton? Let’s see….

    One starts out with 47% of the American people committed to voting against her, no matter what. The other is still unknown to 75% (i.e., he has major upside).

    One voted for the unpopular Iraq war, and continues to threaten another mess in Iran. The other has opposed the war from the beginning, and promises peace.

    One has a history of shady dealings, abuse of government power, carpetbagging, and triangulating to get big corporate and PAC donations. The other has arguably the most consistent and principled 30-year public record in the history of the US Congress.

    One has produced numerous speeches and writings indicating that she believes that our money and our children belong to society, and should be sacrificed to the common good, as defined by experts in Washington. The other has produced numerous speeches and writings extolling the virtues of human freedom.

    You’re right — it wouldn’t be close. Senator Clinton would be lucky to win New York and the District of Columbia.

    If Ron Paul wins the Republican nomination, as could happen with a small core of dedicated supporters (6 million votes might be enough to win the primaries), the media will have to cover him, and people are going to love what they see — a political outsider with a track record of excellent judgment, who is incorruptible and actually defends the Constitution that 90% of Americans still consider relevant.

    People have been waiting all their lives to vote for an honest candidate. They are going to ignore the few issues where he goes to far, and the bleating of the mainstream press that he is radical.

    It’s going to be fun….

  137. One has a set of political beliefs that roughly comport with the majority of the American public, and the other once won the nomination of the Libertarian Party.

    I like Ron Paul and all, but let’s not lose our grasp on reality here.

  138. How is the USPS so different from the Rural Electrification Administration?

  139. People have been waiting all their lives to vote for an honest candidate.

    Unfortunately, despite grousing about corruption and dishonesty in the political class, there is no evidence that a significant portion of the electorate would vote for an honest politician.

    90%+ of the people may pay lip service to the Constitution, but the vast majority view many of its values with contempt.

    I’m all for Ron Paul, but I have little faith in my fellow Americans.

  140. joe, honey, why do you have to be so arrogant?

    I’m well aware of why we don’t deliver food to people. It’s just that your dumb argument about how it was a matter of values leads to a million other “values” that I could come up with to support services that for some reason we all need to subsidize so that everyone can take part in them.

    See this:
    I believe there should be universal access to cheap DVDs/milk/free wallets/nasal spray. If not universal door-to-door service, something pretty damn close. If this requires subsidies, so be it.

    See, sugarlips? You said it wasn’t about good management, it was about “values.” So all of your points about why it’s impractical to deliver everyone’s food shouldn’t matter. If I value it, we should most definitely do it, whatever the cost.

  141. My point earlier was about other commenters, who were discussing whether H&R should put in some kind of system where only those who say the correct things are allowed to post.

    And for once, you were making a serious, thoughtful point that I wholeheartedly agree with. Keep up the good work!

    Much as I dislike the weird Urkobold stuff, and much as I dislike the condescending dismissive comments that joe throws out, this website demonstrates that a lack of regulation or censorship leads to great outcomes. I say, bah to the censorcoms — let people say what they want here, with the possible exception of spamming or blatant commercials (say, someone advertising Viagra, complete with prices and a website to buy it from, with no attempt to connect it to the discussion on the thread).

  142. It’s just that your dumb argument about how it was a matter of values leads to a million other “values” that I could come up with to support services that for some reason we all need to subsidize so that everyone can take part in them.

    Well, that’s not what you asked.

    It’s practical to have a universal post. It’s not practical to have all of those other things. Your “whatever the cost” quip is your own; it’s got nothing to do what what I wrote.

    And what’s more, having a universal communications infrastructure is a public good. It promotes economic growth, cultural exchange, and public welfare to have such infrastructure – that’s why the Founders, who weren’t terribly interested in big government, made an exception in this case.

  143. jh, aren’t you the guy who answered one of your own posts under the name “not joe,” and wrote about how brilliant your point was and stupid I was, but forgot to retype your email address, so we could all tell it was you?

    Don’t lecture me on ettiquette. You are one of the rudest, most insulting commenters on these threads.

  144. It’s practical to have a universal post. It’s not practical to have all of those other things. Your “whatever the cost” quip is your own; it’s got nothing to do what what I wrote.

    Granted, I was taking it a step further than you did. Without it, my point still stands.

    And what’s more, having a universal communications infrastructure is a public good. It promotes economic growth, cultural exchange, and public welfare to have such infrastructure – that’s why the Founders, who weren’t terribly interested in big government, made an exception in this case.

    I hardly think that if the most rural .01% of people had to get P.O. Boxes that the economy would suddenly become unbalanced and stifle “cultural exchange.” I also don’t think that those particular residences receiving mail at home contributes much to “economic growth.” REALLY, I get your point, I do. But it doesn’t apply in this case. I also don’t know if I believe in such a thing as a “public good.”
    Also note the historical significance of the post office, when postal services were the ONLY way to communicate aside from going to see someone yourself. It hardly has anywhere near the same relevance today.

  145. jh, aren’t you the guy who answered one of your own posts under the name “not joe,” and wrote about how brilliant your point was and stupid I was, but forgot to retype your email address, so we could all tell it was you?

    As best I can receall that ancient incident, I was trying to be funny. I certainly didn’t, and haven’t ever, tried to pretend that something I wrote was written by someone else, unless you think that assuming a snarky name for the sake of humor is an attempt to disguise one’s identity.

    Don’t lecture me on ettiquette. You are one of the rudest, most insulting commenters on these threads.

    Sometimes one of my attempts at humor falls flat. No doubt I sometimes offend people, and I’ve certainly made many snarky comments in response to statist comments you’ve made. Don’t recall too many people complaining about what I’ve said, other than you, but I have apologized for some things that people have pointed out where I’ve agreed with their rebuke. There’s a fine line between vigorously arguing a point and obnoxiously doing so, a line that is easy to cross. I’m human, I make mistakes, and I try to apologize and make amends when I feel I’ve gone too far. If you have some specific, recent remark(s) you feel need(s) contrition on my part, please feel free to bring it up, and I’ll see if an apology is in order.

    Do you recognize that sometimes you go beyond arguing a point intelligently and rationally and become simply obnoxious, or do you feel you’re never wrong?

  146. I hardly think that if the most rural .01% of people had to get P.O. Boxes that the economy would suddenly become unbalanced and stifle “cultural exchange.”

    The status quo is that the USPS doesn’t deliver to the most rural X% (i.e., to the house or roadside mailbox)- those people currently have pick up their mail from a PO Box. I’m not sure how big X is, but I’d bet it’s more than one in 10,000 (i.e. more than 30,000 people in the US).

  147. See now, Scooby, I thought this was the case, but then I was confused by the whole discussion about how they deliver to everyone’s homes. I do recall now that one of my friends growing up, his family didn’t get mail service at home.

  148. “… regardless of whether the owner is a decent human being or a parasital piece of crap …

    joe, re: your comment above, referring to businesspeople trying to make a profit providing products people want at a price people are willing to pay, posted on a different thread just before calling me on this thread “one of the rudest, most insulting commenters on this thread”:

    Anyone else fall in that rude and insulting category you can think of? Anyone?

    *sound of crickets chirping*

  149. I hope everyone on this thread who is claiming that “I like Ron Paul…but he can’t win” will actually bother voting for him in the primaries.

    You might wake up the next day pleasantly surprised.

    And in this hypothetical where it’s Ron Paul vs. Hillary in the general then RP is going to win in a landslide. He just needs to continue to berate her hawkish foreign policy positions. Health care? Please. It’s a doctor debating a lawyer. Are you kidding me?

    My in-laws are die hard democrats and hate her guts. They’ll vote for any democrat in the race but her. If and when she wins, people like this will be flocking to Paul. Guaranteed.

  150. i don’t understand why so many people here are convinced that Ron Paul would trounce Hillary in a general election and think he should be running in the Repub primary. Paul’s stance on the war, why we are there, who is responsible for 9/11 alienates him from the vast majority of Republican voters. Why doesn’t he either run independent or Democrat if he genuinely thinks he could win?

    And before anybody raises poll number concerning unhappiness with the war, a lot of those unhappy with it think we should have bombed Iraq back to the stone age and express their disagreement because we weren’t vicious enough.

    I’ll go out on a limb now and predict that if Paul runs as an independent in the general election, he will not get even 1% of the vote. I won’t even venture into Republican nomination territory because he was dead in the water before he started.

  151. The only reason Ron Paul has half the support he does now is because he has gone partially “Truther” on us. It is no coincidence that his most vocal supporters are “nut balls” (to borrow a phrase from the loathsome Keith Ellison) who insist that George Bush deliberately murdered 3000 American citizens. I don’t give a damn how libertarian he is, I could never vote for someone who claims to be skeptical about the culprits behind 9-11.

  152. The people who think Ron Paul has a snowballs chance in hell of winning the election are really delusional concerning the degree of acceptance of libertarianism in this country. For God sakes, the majority party in Congress has never seen an entitlement they didn’t like, unless it was one that didn’t go far enough when it came to giving my money to someone who didn’t earn it. Do you really think these same people will vote for someone like Ron Paul? If they wanted someone anti-war, they would put Barack Obama in office. However, given his latest foreign policy pronouncements, he seems to be as loony as Dr. Paul.

  153. “Do you recognize that sometimes you go beyond arguing a point intelligently and rationally and become simply obnoxious, or do you feel you’re never wrong?”

    You answered your own question, jh. On virtually every thread on these message boards, he smugly puts himself forth as an unimpeachable fount of knowledge.
    When it comes to people like joe, I frankly don’t care about proper etiquette. He is an obnoxious, arrogant jackass.

  154. I don’t give a damn how libertarian he is, I could never vote for someone who claims to be skeptical about the culprits behind 9-11.

    Because saying that the government did a poor job with intelligence and that “they’ve [Al Qaeda] attacked us because we’re over there [the Middle East]” is clearly saying he thinks the government did it. No way he’s saying that Islamic terrorists, partially motivated by US foreign policy in the Middle East, managed to get past the government’s inept security and intelligence measures and destroy the towers….

    I think you should learn a bit more about Paul’s views on 9/11.

  155. I could take or leave a lot of the URKOBOLD stuff, but it usually posts when the thread is shot anyway. Besides, one has to question why the URKOBOLD didn’t just download the damn chick with lobster picture and animate it sexually. Not that I, er, you know, uh, did anything like at and stuff.

    As for Ron Paul, I’d increasingly like to see the guy win. But if he doesn’t, he still provides one of those viewpoints that other politicians have to take note of. If you ascribe to the “steadfast/GWB” model of politics, you wouldn’t give a damn what somebody with Paul’s popularity cared about. Some of the so-called flip-floppers tend to take note of what people care about and change their mind. There’s a fine line between the evolution of a politician, and “aw, c’mon, you were against X just yesterday.” If our bullshit 2 party system is going to have any shot at working, folks like Ron Paul have to make a tangible impact. The ban on “flip-flopping” goes against popular “ideas” candidates from having an impact on those that actually win. I guess, in Reason’s grand tradition, this is a “partial defense” of flip-flopping.

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