Government Reform

A Simple Plea for Federalism

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Columnist Ron Hart looks at the desires of some folks in Vermont and some in the Southern League who want to secede from the U.S. and each other. He proposes a federalist solution:

My solution to the unworkable yet appealing idea of secession is to devolve more powers to the states and fewer to Washington. It is what our Founding Fathers intended. And if you read the Federalist Papers, you will realize that they never intended our central government in Washington to be this expansive and overbearing.

If you want an abortion, then move to a state that allows it. If you want to smoke weed, then go to California. If you think that we should pay for everything a lazy welfare person demands, then go to a state that gives them flat-screen TVs and, instead of government cheese, offers an assortment of French cheeses that are both delicious and presented in a pleasing manner.

The basic reason that we fought for our independence is to do what we damn well please as long as it does not harm others. Yet at every turn, the federal government seems to want to make us do as they think we should, even if it comes down to using windmills, driving a Toyota Prius, or now, being forced to join the Hillary Health Care Plan…. 

Our free-spending federal government thinks it is doing things well, and is filled with enough hubris to believe that it should tell other countries what to do—it calls it foreign policy. The real answer is that less money and power need to be vested with them and more at the state level.

Generally speaking, I couldn't agree more. Now, how do we get there?

His whole column here.

NEXT: Take the Federal Out of Farming

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  1. We can’t. Just as individuals are bought with social security, states are bought with highway funds, education funds, and the like. At the end of the day, strong central government will be there because people want the handouts it provides.

  2. Now, how do we get there?

    Get Ron Paul somehow elected, or, at least, get his message out to the world.

  3. Now, how do we get there?

    The same way we “got there” a couple hundred years ago:

    Weapons.

  4. Now, how do we get there?

    Pass a constitutional amendment that gives a specific, narrow and non-contestable definition of what interstate commerce actually means.

  5. I’m afraid JasonL is right. I’m also afraid it will only get worse if we get some form of national healthcare: “Hey fatty, go easy on the fries, I’m paying for your medical bills!” In Britain the harm principle has already been stretched beyond all recognition in these cases.

  6. Pass a constitutional amendment that gives a specific, narrow and non-contestable definition of what interstate commerce actually means.

    Such as… highways (and therefore highway funds)?

  7. I’m not sure that “regulating interstate commerce” means “building infrastructure.”

    I mean, setting a curfew for your kids doesn’t mean you have to buy them a car, does it?

  8. I’m not sure that “regulating interstate commerce” means “building infrastructure.”

    Im absolutely sure that Madison was sure it didnt mean that.

    Obligatory link

  9. “If you want an abortion, then move to a state that allows it. If you want to smoke weed, then go to California. If you think that we should pay for everything a lazy welfare person demands, then go to a state that gives them flat-screen TVs and, instead of government cheese, offers an assortment of French cheeses that are both delicious and presented in a pleasing manner.”

    Why do so many proponents of federalism treat this as a choice between federal tyranny or easier-to-escape state tyranny? Why is submission to tyranny assumed? If that’s the case, why not toss out constitutional protection for individual rights altogether and just have a pure democracy; if you don’t like your rights being voted away, leave.

    Dan T. would love it.

  10. Congress would have to compromise, with quid pro quo deals: I’ll vote to allow states to set their own abortion guidelines if you vote to allow states to set their own drug laws.
    There would appear to be too many lines drawn in concrete to have such compromise go forward at this time.

  11. Governments don’t get smaller in any real sense. Someone like a Reagan or a Thatcher might come in and cut a little here and there (let’s not get into what they increased), but it’s too little to make a difference.

    The reason I am an anarcho-libertarian isn’t because I don’t think a very, very limited government isn’t probably the best scenario. It’s because, no matter what, governments inexorably grow, and grow, and grow, no matter what you do to try and stop them. So even if we founded, today, a new country with a seemingly bulletproof constitution, it wouldn’t matter. Down the line, the government would grow, because that’s what they do. It is always in the government’s best interest to grow, so it expends a tremendous amount of its energy attempting to do so.

  12. Ryo

    That’s the BEST answer I’ve heard on this topic.

    I’ll never understand what abortion, medical marijuana, etc. have anything to do with INTERSTATE COMMERCE.

  13. I have to agree with Jason L. Let’s face it, we are in the minority. I’m a believer who actually wants other people to live by their own conscience. I want to be allowed to form any community I want and make the rules. You don’t like it, don’t join. Same goes for me.

    I wish we could form our own country! LOL I guarantee you we’d have more fun than the wet mops on the left and right. They want you to be chaste and skinny, patriotic and p.c., religious and a non smoker. They truly do deserve each other, don’t they?

  14. They truly do deserve each other, don’t they?
    Yes, they do.

    His simple plea for federalism was unfortunately littered with hints that he still thinks that the Republican party is capable of doing that by blaming the current situation on social democrats. Like anon, I agree that it seems people assume that ridiculous regulation is inevitable at some level, and acceptable on another. That this is something we’re working toward speaks volumes about how far we’ve wandered from the original intent of the constitution.

  15. Repeal the 14th, 16th, and 17th amendments.

    I’m not saying that will magically form a federalist system, but those three amendments effectively make federalism impossible.

  16. It’s not guns. Like Tinkerbell, a government is kept alive by people’s believing in it.

    A constitutional amendment per se won’t help. As we’re finding out, the constitution is just words on paper, easy to disregard. The process of getting an amendment ratified, though, of getting people to think about what kind of government they want is what really would matter.

  17. Repealing the 19th amendment wouldn’t hurt either.

  18. Repealing the 19th amendment wouldn’t hurt either.

    I doubt that would change a thing. Without the 19th, it would create federalism on the women voting issue. Just like before the 19th some states allowed women to vote, the same would be true now. And I bet “some” would be 50 states.

  19. Nick,
    You don’t get there by calling some of the biggest advocates of states rights “racists” as you called Murray Rothbard. A guy who was really not racist. When You call a guy like Rothbard racist your doing the same thing that much of the establishment does to anyone who asks the question of why should we spend billions promoting a socialist theocracy in the mid-east, be it Israel or Eygpt or whatever.

    You have to know that big time leaders of the Republicans and Democrats are all members of the CFR and it is there stated policy to move towards world government and eliminate soveriegnty in nations…the EXACT opposite of anything even close to returning rights to states away from the federal level….so if you beat around the bush on this topic you are siding with the enemy.

    Totally breaking off from the false left-right paradigm and making sure the republican party knows it, this includes CATO republicans, won’t win a lot of friends at teh 18th streeet lounge, but it is the only hope in reversing the tide.

  20. As we’re finding out, the constitution is just words on paper, easy to disregard.

    That that is why guns are important. They are, shall we say, more difficult to ignore. Or rather, bullets in flight tend to be difficult to ignore.

    Also, Hillary Clinton, blah, blah, gun grabber, blah blah, 9/11, blah blah 9/11, blah blah Jim Brady in a pants suit.

  21. It doesn’t matter what you do to the constitution. People will jigger the outcome so they still get goodies. To win, you have to convince people that they don’t want free stuff. Good luck.

  22. Generally speaking, I couldn’t agree more. Now, how do we get there?

    Fire. Holy, cleansing fire.

  23. Repealing the 19th amendment wouldn’t hurt either.

    Better idea, repeal the amendment, (I forget which?) allowing direct election of senators. If state governments elected the senators it would give them some power in federal descisions, the way direct election of reps allows the people some power. This is the balance that the founders intended.

  24. The commerce clause seems to mean anything, it is as if because a quantum effect on a particle can affect another particle, therfore anythin may in some infinititisimal way affect commerce and hence can be regulated

  25. The Jim Crow South ruined states rights and I don’t know if it can ever be fixed. If the Supreme Court and the Congress not mutilated the Commerce Clause beyond recognition, we would have never had the civil rights act or an end to formal segregation. I don’t buy for a minute that the South circa 1955 would have changed on its own. It took the force of the federal government to do that. We could not have a country in the late 20th Century where half of it operated under an apartheid system. It had to end and those bastards were not going to end it on their own. So we ended it and now we are stuck with a runaway federal government.

    I think perhaps since there is no danger of ever returning to Jim Crow, that a Constitutional Amendment limiting the powers of the federal government or sharply defining the commerce clause is a pretty good idea in theory. The problem is that the state governments in many ways are more oppressive, high taxing and corrupt than the federal government is. I suppose if I lived in some town in West Texas I would see a lot of benefits from getting the feds out of state government. But living in a state like Maryland, I can’t see how killing off the federal government is going to do much beyond giving the state government more of an excuse to steal my money, pass crazy laws and get their friends rich out of the state treasury. Call me cynical but I trust the states even less than I trust the feds and that isn’t much.

  26. Like Alice, I agree with Ryo about interstate commerce.

    If I live in a state that prohibits the procuring of an abortion within its own borders, so be it, but then why shouldn’t I be allowed simply to travel to a neighboring state that does allow them in order to get one? Why should I have to uproot my entire life for one procedure?

    “I had a fetus. I went somewhere, and now I don’t have a fetus.”

    I can’t be arrested in the U.S. for smoking pot in Amsterdam, so why should I be arrested in Utah, if that’s my home state, for legally smoking pot in California (to cite the author’s example)?

  27. SPD:

    like that case in Ireland (20 years ago?) you’d probably get tagged for “crossing state lines with the intent of doing a crime” or something like that.

  28. The danger of states rights is the negative commerce clause. Don’t think for a moment that given the opportunity the crazy corrupt fuckers that run most state governments wouldn’t put a halt to interstate commerce in the name of protecting their chronies. Look no further than the battles over interstate wine sales or the fact that car makers are banned in every state from selling direct to customers or the funeral industry or the real estate agent cartel to see what I am talking about.

    The bottomline is there is nothing pure or magical about a state government. It is still a government and thus is still run by whores will sell their sould for the next buck. State governments cannot be trusted anymore than the feds and in fact would do more damage in some cases than the feds do by destroying the national market.

  29. John,

    I really c ur point…and agree that State Government is as oppresive a Fed GOvernment. But at least we can hold our local population accountable for voting in state officials. And if i don’t agree with the people in my states on many issues…I can pick a state that comes close.

    I’m not saying eliminating INTERSTATE Commerce. I say (agreeing w/RYO) let’s have an opportunity to WELL Define it.

  30. SPD,

    Having an abortion is “uprooting an entire life”–that is to say, it is uprooting the alternate future where nature was allowed to take its course and a child was born and began a life of her own.

    If derailing all that through one procedure does not count as “uprooting your life”, I don’t know what does.

  31. “I’m not saying eliminating INTERSTATE Commerce. I say (agreeing w/RYO) let’s have an opportunity to WELL Define it.”

    I agree. It would just also need to severly limit the powers of state government to regulate interstate commerce. Really cut them off at the knees or otherwise we will replace one stupid government with 50 of them.

  32. anon. at 9:57 is right. It is not necessary to accept tyranny at the state level in order to prevent it at the federal level. Want to live in a state where you can prevent your fellow citizens from doing nonviolent things you think are immoral? Too bad.

    Why would anyone use language like “states’ rights” and then complain about being treated as a racist? The Jim Crow south didn’t “ruin” the phrase, it invented it. People have rights; states don’t.

  33. The commerce clause seems to mean anything, it is as if because a quantum effect on a particle can affect another particle, therfore anythin may in some infinititisimal way affect commerce and hence can be regulated

    You, sir (or is it madam?), have the right stuff to be a Supreme Court Justice.

  34. That that is why guns are important. They are, shall we say, more difficult to ignore. Or rather, bullets in flight tend to be difficult to ignore.

    Yeah, but here’s the thing: if you don’t change people’s ideas the government after the revolution will look a hell of a lot like the government before the revolution. This was all very clearly explained The Who.

  35. Joel H – I think the 10th amendment invented the idea of “states’ rights.” To wit:

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved for the States respectively, or to the people.

  36. The Jim Crow South ruined states rights and I don’t know if it can ever be fixed.

    Admittedly, it was a pretty darned good reason to trash states’ rights. And Jim Crow is the classic illustration of why federalism isn’t a magic bullet for preventing oppressive government.

  37. Why do so many proponents of federalism treat this as a choice between federal tyranny or easier-to-escape state tyranny? Why is submission to tyranny assumed? If that’s the case, why not toss out constitutional protection for individual rights altogether and just have a pure democracy; if you don’t like your rights being voted away, leave.

    The problem is that there is a substantial subset (majority?) of Americans who seem to welcome tyranny in one form or another, or who at least seek to impose it upon other Americans. If I could wave my magic wand and perform a “libertarian software patch” on all Americans, it would be different. But barring that, some form of ideological segregation seems more workable.

    One could argue that Americans are already self-segregating in just that way–“red” and “blue” states and such. A legal segregation wouldn’t be such a stretch at some point.

  38. Better idea, repeal the amendment, (I forget which?) allowing direct election of senators.

    That would be a good start.

    The Jim Crow South ruined states rights and I don’t know if it can ever be fixed.

    True enough, but that doesn’t really have anything to do with the Total Commerce Clause that really turned the federal government loose on the rest of us.

  39. replace one stupid government with 50 of them

    My goal is to replace one stupid government with 6,602,224,175 stupid governments.

  40. I repeat a link as it seems germane to the discussion…

    http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/3328/

    adherents of “libertarianism,” that peculiarly American philosophy of venal petty-bourgeois dissidence.

    Libertarianism is by no means a unified movement. As many of its advocates proudly stress, it comprises a taxonomy of bickering branches-minarchists, objectivists, paleo- and neolibertarians, agorists, et various al.-just like a real social theory. Claiming a lineage with post-Enlightenment classical liberalism, as well as in some cases with the resoundingly portentous blatherings of Ayn Rand, all of its variants are characterized, to differing degrees, by fervent, even cultish, faith in what is quaintly termed the “free” market, and extreme antipathy to that vaguely conceived bogeyman, “the state,” with its regulatory and fiscal powers.

    From Ph.d. in Economics and UberGeek author China Mieville…

  41. It is what our Founding Fathers intended.

    That depends on the Founder. At one time at least Madison would apparently have been happy simply abolishing the states.

    And if you read the Federalist Papers, you will realize that they never intended our central government in Washington to be this expansive and overbearing.

    One can’t really an overview of the Founder’s ideas by merely consulting the Federalist Papers. Honestly, they’ve been given far too much important in modern discourse in comparison to their contemporary influence.

  42. Note to Mieville:

    Sneering isn’t the same as having a valid point.

  43. Note to JasonL,

    Valid points can,however, be buried/obscured by sneering.

    Did you have a response to any particular point he made that you felt was not valid?

  44. Did you have a response to any particular point he made that you felt was not valid?

    I like his books, which oddly enough show a righteous contempt for government, but I didn’t get anything of real substance out of his description of libertarianism. Other than he is, for reasons unexplained in that quote, contemptuous of it.

    Lets keep in mind that he spent years marinating in neo-Marxist orthodoxy at the London School, so that probably colors his thinking.

  45. adherents of “libertarianism,” that peculiarly American philosophy of venal petty-bourgeois dissidence.

    This isn’t a point, it’s name calling. Also, who uses the term bourgeois in a non-ironic fashion anymore unless they’re discussing the Communist Manifesto?

    all of its variants are characterized, to differing degrees, by fervent, even cultish, faith in what is quaintly termed the “free” market

    This isn’t necessarily true but it’s almost the beginning of a salient point. Most, if not all, libertarians would argue that a free market will result in the most efficient allocation of resources. Now, he could’ve made the point that efficient doesn’t necessarily mean best. Instead, he just labels that particular line of reasoning “quaint” because… Again, where is the point to respond to?

    extreme antipathy to that vaguely conceived bogeyman, “the state,” with its regulatory and fiscal powers.

    Vaguely conceived? I’m pretty sure most nation-states have governments which are made up of very real people and very real institutions which enact very real policies that have very real effects. Many libertarians followed their path because they were personally affected by a government policy that restricted their ability to act in a fashion that otherwise would’ve objectively been perfectly fine.

    It’s ironic that Mieville claims libertarians spend their time obsessed with ill defined ideals and then goes on to attack what I feel is at best a caricature of a libertarian rather than any particular libertarian positions. Well, aside from some sci-fi floating islands.

    Disclaimer: I have many libertarian sympathies, but don’t consider myself libertarian.

  46. Did you have a response to any particular point he made that you felt was not valid?

    Before we get to that, let’s start with your point. How is some British socialist’s quote about libertarianism germane to a discussion about American Federalism?

  47. The way to get there is to elect people that support secession.
    Larry Kilgore 2008 GOP US Senate Candidate from Texas

  48. Neu M:

    As others have suggested, there is no point to which anyone can respond. Libertarians claim enlightenment lineage? Surely you jest.

    There are different types of libertarians? No way.

    Faith in the free market? I guess there is faith, like he has faith in redistribtuion schemes – or maybe what he sees as faith is a profound skepticism of central authority. But wait, putting it that way doesn’t provoke unwarranted scorn, so that wouldn’t do, would it?

    The market isn’t free? Totally astounding to everyone considering themselves a minarchist. Totally.

    You’re right, he’s a genius.

  49. Mieville seems to misconstrue libertarianism as a utilitarian economic philosophy. It’s really a moral philosophy, and one oddly that Mieville himself seems to share, if the content of his novels is representative of his beliefs.

    Liberty is a morally preferable state of affairs, even if it was to be found less economically efficient than the alternative.

  50. JasonL,Ryo,

    I was, actually referring to the points in the article, not just the sneering quote I pulled, but, whatever…

    Mike L,

    Germane to a discussion given in the sense that this thread seemed to embody the “comprises a taxonomy of bickering branches” that colors the discussion of federalism.

    FWIW, I just thought the H&R crowd would be interested in reading an article on libertarianism from a non-libertarian in a non-libertarian publication. Some of his points clearly miss the mark. Some, I found interesting.

    To wit: Libertarianism is not a ruling-class theory. It may be indulged, certainly, for the useful ideas it can throw up, and its prophets have at times influenced dominant ideologies-witness the cack-handed depredations of the “Chicago Boys” in Chile after Allende’s bloody overthrow. But untempered by the realpolitik of Reaganism and Thatcherism, the anti-statism of “pure” libertarianism is worse than useless to the ruling class.

  51. ChrisO,

    It’s really a moral philosophy, and one oddly that Mieville himself seems to share, if the content of his novels is representative of his beliefs.

    I believe CM self-identifies as a Marxist. I do think, however, much of the conflict between Marxists and Libertarians comes from the overlap between their views of the world along certain moral parameters, despite opposite conclusions about the implications/applications in the real world.

  52. 17th is the absolute worse amendment. I just don’t understand why states had any incentive to ratify it. It’s like ratifying their own death. I know there was a wave of populist/socialist sentiment at the time but shit.

  53. “””Better idea, repeal the amendment, (I forget which?) allowing direct election of senators. If state governments elected the senators it would give them some power in federal descisions, the way direct election of reps allows the people some power. This is the balance that the founders intended.”””

    I think the same could be said about the Presidential election.

  54. There are reasons why our fore-fathers went for the republic instead of a democracy.

  55. FWIW, I just thought the H&R crowd would be interested in reading an article on libertarianism from a non-libertarian in a non-libertarian publication. Some of his points clearly miss the mark. Some, I found interesting.

    Sure, when you put it that way, it would be interesting. So, I read his article. It didn’t do much for me. Yes, agreed, the Freedom Boat idea is silly. Not wanting to pay taxes is the same thing as avarice — I simply disagree. Corporations and government are in with each other — I agree as would many libertarians. Borders should be open — I agree, too.

    Which of his points did you find interesting?

  56. Mike L,

    Well, it seems, the one I quoted.

    I had not considered libertarianism in a middle class versus the extremes framework before.

    I also found the idea that property rights (i.e. ‘The captain’s word will be final’), when given priority status, can lead directly to an acceptable dictatorship interesting given that I have read here on H&R arguments to the extent that a benevolent King will produce a more free state than a democracy.

  57. And Mike L,

    Not wanting to pay taxes is the same thing as avarice — I simply disagree.

    I now find it interesting that, from your perspective, this was one of CM’s points. I believe there was more nuance than that.

    Do you find it interesting that you agree with CM on corporations and borders given his political orientation? Given that he is openly disdainful of libertarianism… do you find it interesting at all that he agrees with the logical conclusion of a “pure” libertarian positions, in essence aligning with the most extreme/ideological libertarians despite being a Marxist?

    I have always found the contradictory versions of anarchy an interesting phenomenon (views on property rights, a single parameter, making them think they are diametrically opposed, when, on most other parameters, they share the same values).

    C.F., Proudhon and the current libertarian positions…
    http://www.spunk.org/texts/writers/proudhon/sp001863.html
    http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1E1-Proudhon.html

  58. Of course, the very concept of an opposite assumes alignment along the other important defining characteristics.

    Black and white are opposites only because they are constrained by the fact that they are colors and up and down are only opposites in the framework of direction(c.f., uptown and downtown).

  59. Couple of points after reading the Mieville article:

    1. Such an English upper-class reaction to libertarianism. To him, we’re all so…common, vulgar, and crassly American. My reaction as a crass American? “Screw you, ya toff.”

    2. Nowhere in his article decrying the concept of “seasteading” and “floating utopias” does he bother to mention that his novel “The Scar” is set…on a floating ship/city that seems rather utopian by his Marxist standards. Slight omission.

  60. JasonL,

    You’re right, he’s a genius.

    I asserted this when?
    Oh, right, never.

  61. ChrisO,

    I haven’t read the scar.
    I am surprised if it is really Utopian in nature given that his other writing has a distinctly dystopian slant.

    I am sure the motivation behind the essay and the novel are interlinked at some level.

    English upper-class reaction to libertarianism.

    I think he grow up with his mom, a school teacher. Doesn’t sound very upper-class to me. He certainly views things through an English Class-matters framework. Maybe all that time at Cambridge is the cause.

  62. ChrisO,

    utopian by his Marxist standards.

    Just reading the plot summary…how does a pirate city that align with a Marxist utopia? Just wondering.

    (e.g., None of the captives are faced with any choice; they must return with the pirates to Armada and become equal citizens of the city, or face imprisonment and ‘reeducation’, until they accept life in the city.

    That doesn’t sound like a Marxist Utopia… maybe Maoist? Is re-education portrayed positively?

  63. You should read the novel–it’s very good.

    Set against the backdrop of the main city in his Bas-Lag novels, New Crobuzon, the Armada city/ship is comparatively utopian. Both main characters ‘find their freedom’ there, in effect.

  64. Randolph:

    The Tenth Amendment granteth and the Fourteenth Amendment taketh away. Nevertheless, these are powers granted by the people, not rights.

  65. I have read here on H&R arguments to the extent that a benevolent King will produce a more free state than a democracy.

    I suppose that’s true. The hard part would be how you make sure you have a benevolent king, or sea captain.

  66. I believe there was more nuance than that.

    I dunno. I just reread that paragraph, and I still missed the nuance. Apparently, it wasn’t just avarice but “banal avarice”. Yikes.

    Do you find it interesting that you agree with CM on corporations and borders given his political orientation? Given that he is openly disdainful of libertarianism… do you find it interesting at all that he agrees with the logical conclusion of a “pure” libertarian positions, in essence aligning with the most extreme/ideological libertarians despite being a Marxist?

    No. Libertarianism and socialism have common roots, although they definitely went off in different directions. I think of it as his problem that he is disdainful of libertarianism. From the way he talks about it, I don’t think he has really tried to understand libertarianism. He seems to have looked at it just enough to confirm his prejudices. A lot like Dan T. if he were British.

  67. Also, it is inexplicable that Mi?ville is a socialist educated at Cambridge, Harvard, and the London School of Economics, yet he doesn’t know about the common history of socialism and libertarianism. Or, more likely, doesn’t want to let on that he knows.

  68. MIke L,

    I am sure he knows.
    As I mentioned, I find the heat that exists between socialism and libertarianism interesting just because they are based on, for the most part, a very narrow disagreement. It reminds me,in many ways, of differences between Christian denominations that see distinctions based on how the particulars of a certain ritual are carried out. It seems it is the common world view that drives the passion into a very narrow disagreement, building the pressure around that point.

  69. Mike L,

    I suppose that’s true. The hard part would be how you make sure you have a benevolent king, or sea captain.

    The standard response is the right to bear arms.

    In practice, however, some form of democracy will always be more likely to maintain freedom in the long run to a system based on dictatorship.

  70. Socialism and libertarianism have common roots, but I think there’s a pretty big difference between them now. At least, between their most commonly-encountered modern variants.

    Over the years, I’ve gotten more and more impatient with True Believers, libertarian or whatever philosophy. It’s better to enjoy life, imperfect as it is, than to get wrapped up in bitching about how real life doesn’t match the perfection of one’s theories.

  71. Mieville is just jealous that Ayn Rand still sells more books than he ever will.

  72. Mike L,

    Re: True Believers.

    Amen.

  73. Hart is very thought provoking. And damn funny! Probably the best libertarian humorist writing today. Smart, edgy and seems to get it.

  74. The problem with the government is you and me.
    Every time we stump our toe, we think we need to make a law to smooth every bump in the known world so that toe-stumping will never happen again. We don’t need more laws we need to rid ourselves of half of the ones we have. One of the biggest laws I personally resent is the seatbelt law. I hate the government telling me what to do in my own personal space. Next they will be telling me what to wear in my car and where to go in my car and then what kind of car to buy. Stop giving away your power to the government and start demanding the right to make your own decisions. Is anybody paying attention to cigarette smoking issues? I don’t smoke, never have and never will. But I see the handwriting on the wall. Smoking will soon be outlawed. Don’t sit there and say, “smoking is gross anyway..” That ain’t the point. What are you currently enjoying that somebody will see fit to deny you of? Wake up, America, wake the fuck up.

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