Libertarian History/Philosophy

D'Souza on Libertarians: Gay or Drugged-Out or Loose or All Three

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Dinesh D'Souza has a blog at AOL. A recent entry takes a look at Christopher Hitchens' recent appearance on reason.tv and concludes:

Recently Hitchens appeared at a "secular Christmas party" thrown by the libertarian magazine Reason. Many libertarians are basically conservatives who are either gay or druggies or people who generally find the conservative moral agenda too restrictive. So they flee from the conservative to the libertarian camp where much wider parameters of personal behavior are embraced. To the sensible idea of political and economic freedom many libertarians add the more controversial principle of moral freedom, the freedom to live however you want as long as you don't harm others. Hitchens, needless to say, is at home in this group.

Let me note for the record I agree with D'Souza regarding song parodist Tom Lehrer ("a bit of a relic"); indeed, I've never been a fan.

But I just don't get the controversy surrounding "the freedom to live however you want as long as you don't harm others." If you believe in a free society, what is the alternative precisely? Doesn't the freedom to argue–either through rhetoric or by example–for particular ways of living depend upon, I don't know, the ability to actually live different lives? And what exactly is the "conservative moral agenda"? Should we turn to Newt Gingrich for tips on that one? Or Mark Foley? Or D'Souza's "priest friend…[who] once observed that wine is evidence of how much God loves us." D'Souza's comments–and his inability to see libertarianism as anything but an epiphenomenon of conservativsm (whatever that is)–reminds me of the huge gulf between cons and libs, mostly revolving around the issue of pluralism.

I consider myself not an atheist but an apatheist–I just don't care very much about religion one way or the other. I can certainly appreciate the positive and negative roles that religion has played (and continues to play) in human history. And I can fully appreciate that irony that classical liberalism, a political philosophy that ultimately separated church from state (thank god!), has its roots in the English civil war of the 17th century, which was in many–maybe all–ways a religious war over the right to worship god in whatever way you saw fit.

But beyond the caricature of libertarians as, what, amyl-nitrate-huffing poufters (not that there's anything wrong with that–there we go again!), I just don't get the idea that what sometimes gets called the pursuit of happiness is in any way controversial. And if it is for conservatives, then it's a good thing they seem to be in the shitter politically.

D'Souza's full post here

For a taxonomy of libertarians from Mother Jones' perspective (!), go here and scroll down to "Libertarian Theology."

Not that it matters, but I'll be celebrating Christmas the old-fashioned way: with my kids, a fake tree, and a bunch of maxed-out credit cards.

NEXT: The Friday Political Thread: Magic Subliminal Cross Edition

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  1. I actually found the MJ article on RP pretty interesting. The Venn at the bottom is mostly on target, if a bit thumbnail, though I have to take exception to the NAFTA placements (not for their literal facticity, but because it is being used as a shorthand for free trade).

    As for why some people can’t do “moral freedom”…I think it has to do with a deeply ingrained desire to be accepted and approved of. It is a much more complicated and chancy thing to guarantee approval if everyone has different values and expectations…

  2. Isn’t D’Souza the clown who jumped on the “al queda hates us because we’re immoral” bandwagon a few months back?

    Fuck him. And not in a way he’d enjoy.

    -jcr

  3. Fuck him. And not in a way he’d enjoy.

    Tsk, tsk. Something about not initiating force…? 🙂 But then again, there is this thing about the amyl caps…

  4. Merry Christmas Nick and all the Reason writers and staff.

  5. D’Souza is obviously a moron. Why does anyone give him the time of day?

  6. Many libertarians are basically conservatives who are either gay or druggies or people who generally find the conservative moral agenda too restrictive.

    So… this is a put down?

  7. “Gay or drugged-out or loose…”

    We are deer caught in the headlights.

    Ruthless, All 3

  8. brotherben | December 19, 2007, 4:25pm | #

    A story about Hitchens singing atheist carols is about as relevant as a story about Emile making a peppermint Christmas souffle.

    The relevance lies in the Dr.Paul campaign. Folks searching for info on libertarian principles may run across this website. They will be accosted with anti-christian sentiments and the musings of Hitchens. If the voters get the impression that Dr. Paul is supported by a pack of athiest anti-government dopers, it won’t matter if he is the best candidate, he will surely lose the support of the populace. Voters are very fickle and easy to alienate.

    I know, not all libs are that way , but voters , in general, are easily misled.

  9. If the voters get the impression that Dr. Paul is supported by a pack of athiest anti-government dopers

    If that’s a problem for them, then they really don’t understand what Paul’s platform is about anyway.

  10. Exactly which category is he fitting Ron Paul into? In all honesty I fit one of those categories (I’m gay) but personally reject the other two, but Dr. Paul seems to be the most non-conforming to all of those categories of any libertarian.

  11. Not for nothing, dpotts, but a big part of any revolution, violent or otherwise, is duping the stupids into thinking you do not threaten their cherished whatevers. If that set of things includes their beloved picture of White Jeezus or their precious illusion that people “like that” (whatever ‘that’ may be) only live in New England and San Francisco, so be it.

  12. If D’Souza spent more time reading up on real American thought and less time cavorting with drunken priests, he’d know that Benjamin Franklin was the original author of the “alcohol=benevolent God” quip.

    Also, does this mean that Ted Haggard is a libertarian? Or has the shock treatment zapped the gay out of him yet?

  13. The relevance lies in the Dr.Paul campaign. Folks searching for info on libertarian principles may run across this website. They will be accosted with anti-christian sentiments and the musings of Hitchens. If the voters get the impression that Dr. Paul is supported by a pack of athiest anti-government dopers, it won’t matter if he is the best candidate, he will surely lose the support of the populace. Voters are very fickle and easy to alienate.

    The libertarian movement is not all about Ron Paul. Sometimes it might seem like it, but it’s not.

    There, I said it. I shall be eaten alive by Paulbot n00bs who found their way here via Google News in 3… 2… 1…

  14. I just don’t get the controversy surrounding “the freedom to live however you want as long as you don’t harm others.” If you believe in a free society, what is the alternative precisely? – NG

    Sheesh, what is so hard to understand? The alternative is that you will have the freedom to live the way Dinesh D’Souza would like you to live. I cannot understand why anyone would have a problem with that.

  15. I don’t think D’Sousa is correct.

    There are plenty of libertarians who have little interest in the various “vices” they want to decriminalize. Some really believe in the individual rights philosophy. I think it is an attraction to simple principles and a joy of deducing all positions from the principles.

    And, of course, there are plenty of libertarians who don’t want to have the police and courts waste money on futile efforts to stamp out vice. That is, lower taxes and more effort on crimes against person and property.

    And, of course, there are all those arguments about how the drug war leads to crime and corruption.

    I am not a conservative because conservatives want to outlaw one of my personal vices… I am sure that it is true in some situations, but not always. And not usually in my experience.

    Finally, many libertarians believe that it is immoral to participate in vice. There are plenty of Christian libertarians. And objectivists have moral rules for everything, right?

  16. Also, I really, really, really, really don’t understand what the god-damned problem is with “the freedom to live however you want as long as you don’t harm others.” It’s pretty basic and common sensical, yet so many people freak out over it.

    I had a discussion with someone the other day who believes firmly that society would cease to function if there wasn’t a ruling class telling everyone what to do.

  17. Many libertarians are basically conservatives who are either gay or druggies or people who generally find the conservative moral agenda too restrictive.

    Nope, nope and WTF??
    The secret is, I have known gay people, druggies and those who live a “less conservative” lifestyle and you know what? They are still people trying to live their life as they see fit.

    Dinesh D’Souza lives his life by denigrating others, that is his choice. I am willing to let him live his life as he sees fit, why cannot he extend the same courtesy to me?

  18. But I just don’t get the controversy surrounding “the freedom to live however you want as long as you don’t harm others.”

    It comes from the same place all culture warriors come from. I half expect to be called a “latte swilling idiotarian”. It comes from the same place that makes culture warriors suggest that if we were going to legalize gay marriage, we might as well let people marry their dogs.

    Has he renounced the suggestion that 9/11 was an understandable reaction to liberal America?

  19. The libertarian movement is not all about Ron Paul. Sometimes it might seem like it, but it’s not.

    What!?!??! You take that back!!

    Seriously, you are correct. The emphasis on Paul has been because he is doing what no other truly libertarian-leaning politician has done in a long time, attracted the attention of the populous. I suppose it’s just because it gives us hope that Liberty and Freedom are not dead in this country.

  20. D’Souza makes his living (such as it is) fanning the flames of the culture wars with his “research” and “scholarship.” Given that the liberal-conservative dichotomy is the dominant feature of the culture wars, it’s not surprising that he views everyone through a kind of liberal/conservative bifocal lense, which then results in the “libertarians are like conservatives gone astray” narrative seen above.

    The fact that he’s witless, moronic turd juggler I’m sure affects his thinking on the subject, as well.

  21. The trouble with people/voters is that, once they parent, they can’t stop it.
    They want to spread the “love.”

  22. Nick Gillespie:

    Thanks for the great post.

    Vive la libert

  23. Ruthless,
    Why the dropping of the handle?

  24. As for why some people can’t do “moral freedom”…I think it has to do with a deeply ingrained desire to be accepted and approved of.

    I think you have it basically right, except that I think it is the basic desire to inflate oneself by pointing out the flaws in everyone else…in some cases, this is a philsophy of parenting. Very tribal and scared 😉

  25. If D’Souza is the product of Mother Teresa, then she must have messed up really badly. Does anyone know his story with Catholicism?

  26. “If the voters get the impression that Dr. Paul is supported by a pack of athiest anti-government dopers, it won’t matter if he is the best candidate, he will surely lose the support of the populace.”

    I was flipping through the channels one weekend while visiting with the folks and I came across Gillespie being interviewed. I think it was the Moyers interview, and Moyers fed Nick a question I thought was inviting religion bashing.

    Gillespie responded by saying some really great things about Roger Williams, and I was so freakin’ glad!

    I’m not worried about what people will think of libertarians for happening by Reason. Personally, I think Ron Paul should be more concerned about what people will think of him for being a Republican. …more so than what people will think of him for what someone at Hit & Run said.

  27. To the sensible idea of political and economic freedom many conservatives add the more controversial idea that you should live your life as THEY see fit.

    Sauce for the goose…

  28. Aargh, I hate people like this! They are incapable of distinguishing between political philosophy and personal lifestyle. That I want to legalize drugs does NOT mean I am a druggie!

    I have a very clear and well defined morality, but it is one that does not need government as a crutch. The purpose of government is to defend the lives, liberties and properties of the citizens, not to impose a morality on them.

  29. (Slightly) Off topic:

    Aresen- I wish sometime to find a forum where we can discuss how libertarian Canadian society is. Despite universal health insurance, and relating to the topic of this thread, most Canadians do not care what others do in private, drug policies, etc. Where can we talk about this? Friday weekend thread?

  30. “But I just don’t get the controversy surrounding “the freedom to live however you want as long as you don’t harm others.” If you believe in a free society, what is the alternative precisely? ” Well, I want to say “conservatism.” As I’ve said a million times on H&R, most conservative theorists and thinkers (as opposed to pundits) are quite honest in how they view liberty with suspicion at best and loathing at worst (you see, it slips into lisence, relativism and/or anarchy in their opinion). Authority is their God, and at least they are quite open about it in their writings…Liberals and libertarians share a focus on liberty as their main value (hence the shared root of their names). It’s just that liberals honestly think that the government can be used to promote liberty (by checking the power of other institutions, such as the family, the community, the church, etc. which try to control [or influence fluffy]) individual behavior). Perhaps that assumption is naive (or worse), but the same value is there.

    Having said that, let’s be fair to conservatives. It’s not necessarily that they love authority for its own sake. They just think that allowing too much liberty and experimentation will indeed harm society. They think it undermines the authority that prescribed, traditional norms and values have to compel people to obey and follow them, and they think that those prescribed traiditonal norms and values are the “bank of wisdom of hte ages” which outweigh the limited capital of each individual and his/her reason (I’m pretty sure thats a paraphrase of Burke in Reflections on the Revolution in France).

  31. D’Souza is a tool.

  32. “…the more controversial principle of moral freedom, the freedom to live however you want as long as you don’t harm others.”

    I see that as the very essence of American culture. …and it seems odd that a “Greatness of America” guy would describe that essence as “controversial”.

    He must be thinking about us. Lots of people are thinking about us this election cycle.

  33. I, therefore, nominate George Michael for president. I think think he is loose, drugged, and gay. Beat my 2 of three.
    Shit, he’s British. Governor of California then. There’s precedent.

  34. D’Souza appears to be one of those ‘religious’ types that hold mor?s and morality to be one and the same. This leads many a moralist into the evils of oppression.

  35. Since D’Souza doesn’t think people should have moral freedom does that mean others have the right to force him to go to strip clubs, smoke pot and gamble? I assume if the individual doesn’t have the right to make such decisions for themself that it is thus permissible to force D’Souza to behave in ways his morality wouldn’t support. Or does he actually think that forcing others to follow certain private moral codes is a one way street — that only he has the right to have his moral code enforced by law?

    Now for the dweeb moaning about Dr. Paul. First, Ron Paul is not the be all and end all of libertarianism. In fact he’s so on the border line on several issues that I see him as a paleoconservative not a libertarian. Second, I don’t give a flying f… whether the Christianists get distracted from Paul because libertarians talk about social freedom. The idea is to promote liberty not promote some politician seeking office.

    What is dpotts saying actually? One is that either Paul doesn’t believe in social freedom and thus he doesn’t want Paul associated with the idea or he is saying Paul does believe in social freedom but we should hide the fact to keep the Christianists happy. The first choice means he is not a libertarian and thus unworthy of my support. The second says he should hide principles in order to gain power — if that is the case then his morality is too questionable to support.

    D’Souza is a nobody really. He’s basically Ann Coulter in drag except not as butch. He’s obviously playing up to the moral conservatives who help him live in his mansion. I support freedom for drug use even though I’ve never taken drugs in my life. Ditto for freedom on drinking and smoking though I don’t do either. I even support freedom for religious lunatics like D’Souza even though I am a proud atheist. I also support freedom for capitalists without owning a corporation, freedom for homeowners without owning a home, etc. D’Souza is merely using the same smear the Left uses when they hate a specific freedom. Conservatives, in the end, are socialists of the soul.

  36. From Dinesh’s wiki entry:

    In 1981, D’Souza published the names of officers of the Gay Student Alliance in an article for The Dartmouth Review, including the names of those who were still closeted.

    WTH?

  37. I seem to recall that not too long ago on the NR Corner Heather McDonald basically asked “WTF is up with this religious stuff among conservatives in America all the time” and the response was essentially “to be conservative is to be religious (or at least deferential to religion)” [I think this was WFB’s quote on the matter essentially]). Anyway, I think that is dead on about conservatism, especially in America. Conservatism=orthodox religion.
    The only value I should think that would give orthodox religion a run for its money in a contest for the soul of American conservatism would be militarism/jingoism.

  38. kwix,
    Thanks for axing.
    I wanted my grandchirren to be able to Google one link to fathom my checkered, perverted past.

    Ruthless

  39. Conservatives, in the end, are socialists of the soul.

    Cultural collectivists. And tribalist, as well.

  40. “But I just don’t get the controversy surrounding “the freedom to live however you want as long as you don’t harm others.” If you believe in a free society, what is the alternative precisely?”

    I think Lawrence v. Texas is the ideal litmus test. You either get it (what competent consenting adults do in the privacy of their own bedroom is no business of the state) or you don’t (society has a right to imprison sodomites).

  41. Many libertarians are basically conservatives who are either gay or druggies or people who generally find the conservative moral agenda too restrictive.

    Rush Limbaugh ODs on oxycontin, divorces three times and packs viagra on trips with his girlfriend, and D’Souza dares to Go There?

    The President of the United States talks like he’s wasted half the time, and D’Souza dares to Go There?

    Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Fred Thompson are all flagrant adulterers, and D’Souza dares to Go There?

    Last I heard, Larry Wide Stance wasn’t a libertarian . . . and D’Souza dares to Go There?

  42. But I just don’t get the controversy surrounding “the freedom to live however you want as long as you don’t harm others.”

    Ah but it’s that “don’t harm others” phrase that is the sticking point, isn’t it? In “The God Delusion,” Richard Dawkins ask a fundy minister something along the same lines as Nicks query. The minister replied that God, in his almighty wrath, might nuke innocent Christians while getting at the queers, “abortionists” and fornicators who displease him. (e.g. 9-11, Katrina)

    (I’d look up the exact quote, but I left my copy of “The God Delusion” in my desk at work.)

    While D’Souza may be willing to play lip service to theist silliness, he probably wouldn’t go as far as most fundys (unless he’s got a book to sell or is running for office). He’s probably of the opinion that liberalized attitudes about sex and drugs will lead to the “social decay” which conservatives believe will harm everyone.

  43. Ali @ 9:39 PM

    I cannot agree that Canada is more libertarian. Except in a few areas, our American friends live in a much freer society than we do:

    1) Restrictions on free speech – Canada’s “Hate Speech” law is a travesty.* The notion that one can be prosecuted for merely saying something is obnoxious. Also, the various Provincial “Human Rights” commissions which are courts where the prosecution is also the judge. (See the Daily Brickbat item about Alberta earlier this week.) *I’ve always thought it would be fun to prosecute Maude Barlow, Mel Hurtig, and Naomi Klein under the hate speech law for the way they speak about the US.)
    2) The controls on media inherent in the Canadian Radio-Television Commission, which not only uses its power to ensure the dominance of Ted Rogers and the Aspers, but also comes down hard on anybody who questions its politically correct dogmas.
    3) The publicly funded CBC, aka the “Official Broadcaster of the New Democratic Party.” (For our American friends – that’s Canada’s socialist party.)
    4) The restrictions on interprovincial movement of goods and labor, together with laws in every province giving preference to their own residents in bidding for government contracts. (Something forbidden by the US Constitution.) It has been estimated that this costs Canadians about 5% of our GDP relative to the US.
    5) The various marketing boards for agricultural produce. The Economist has estimated the restrictions on agricultural trade in Canada make up the highest per capita subsidy of agriculture in the world.
    6) The expropriation powers held by the federal, provincial and municipal governments make the US “eminent domain” laws look like models of due process.
    7) Our considerably higher tariffs – we are one of the most protectionist of the OECD countries.
    8) The horrible “notwithstanding” clause in our Constitution, which gives the Federal and Provincial governments the power to suspend any human right at any time.
    9) Our taxes – much higher than in the US, both at the Federal and Provincial level.
    10) Our restrictions on gun ownership – which make the most draconian state laws in the US look like a license to revolt.
    11) While we do get some points on gay rights and sexual freedom, our laws only go so far. Pornography is still illegal.
    12) And, of course, the medicare monopoly you mentioned. [Prediction about same: by 2050, it will require political connections to get urgent medical care in Canada.]

    This is by no means a complete list of the Canadian offenses against freedom, but I think it amply illustrates that our American friends are MUCH better off in terms of their personal liberties.

  44. …and D’Souza dares to Go There?

    That’s because D’Souza is banking that most conservatives are too stupid to notice the falilngs of their moralistic leaders, or that they believe that stories of their drug use and sex lives are manufactured by the “librul media.”

  45. Aresen- Wow, how could I forget all of this. Some of these are new to me (like eminent domain and agriculture). But pornography, too? I mean come on, in Quebec basic cable TV channels have porn late night, no? I have never heard of anyone put in prison because of porn!

    Quebecers seem to be socially very very liberal, much more so than Ontarians.

  46. most conservatives are too stupid to notice the falilngs of their moralistic leaders

    Or, like Progressives, they are so gullible that they will happily believe any lie which reinforces their beliefs, and ignore any and all hard evidence which contradicts those beliefs.

  47. He’s probably of the opinion that liberalized attitudes about sex and drugs will lead to the “social decay” which conservatives believe will harm everyone.

    I have yet to see this “decay” in action. We’ve loosened up quite a bit as a society in the past hundred years, and I think that things have improved substantially for all of us in the process – women and African Americans in particular.
    I blame Edward Gibbon for the idea that a rigid public morality is necessary for a society to function. The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire pretty much had everyone convinced for centuries that the Roman Empire collapsed out of moral laxness, and that paranoia has persisted as one of the driving impulses of conservatism as generation after generation of timid intellectuals see their own great civilization as the rebirth of Rome.

  48. I don’t know what he’s talking about, I live in Toronto and there’s porn all over this city. Some stores on Yonge even have speakers that bark out a daily 2-for-1 special.

    A pretty accurate list, otherwise.

  49. Well, you see, the problem with the libertarian definition of freedom is that while you’re driving you might plow in to a minivan full of kids while you’re stoned and getting a BJ from someone of the same gender.

  50. SxCx- Yonge St. and St. Catherine St. in Montreal, too.

  51. I’ve been reading Reason for a little while now (2 months or so). Just wondering how you would approach Christianity in the free market of ideas. Say a christian beleives christianity is a better way to live and would like to convince you of it, but has no desire to force it? (Not trolling – serious question).

  52. SxCx- And “reasonable accommodations”. For the life of me, I still can’t understand that one (haven’t really spent much time understanding it since I moved my Canadian residence to Quebec last April from Ontario).

  53. Say a christian beleives christianity is a better way to live and would like to convince you of it, but has no desire to force it?

    No problem at all, though such an approach would be met by immense cynicism by libertarian atheists.

  54. I think all those years fucking Ann Coulter and then discovering that “she” was actually a post-op transsexual has driven that little nebbish D’Souza irrevocably insane.

  55. It is an unfortunate fact that many people/societies/sects/et al have use religion over the ages to control the masses. That has done tremendous damage to those of us (me) who try to seek religion in a pure for.

    But that’s kinda like trying to seek polotics free from corruption….

  56. Kirby —

    If a Christian wanted to approach me with the Light of the LORD through the marketplace of ideas ™:

    Christian buys me a beer/coffee, tells me all about his/her great religion and experiences thereof, and hands me a reading list and/or communities of common interest for further exploration.

    I think drink the coffee/beer and then pursue, or not, your suggestions at my leisure. The Buddhist fellow is next in line…way to get great coffee!

    It really is that simple.

  57. Kirby- Agreed. It is sad. I personally believe that, primarily, spirituality (including such things as aestheticism, art, etc) has a very important role in society. When religion becomes more institutional than spiritual, this is when problems with religion arise.

  58. Ali & sxcx

    Yes, you can get porn, but only certain kinds of porn.

    Bondage, bestiality, rape porn, sadism, and basically anything but consensual hetero- or homo- sexual porn are illegal. Check the criminal code if you don’t believe me.

  59. Ali,

    I lived in an area not too long ago where the local political “scene” was dead. All of the politicing was done in the four “mega-churches” in the area. It hadn’t been so sad, it would have been funny.

    Many people, esp. insurance salesmen and real estate agents, started attending these megas in order to increase their business.

    I truly understand the cycism.

    Plus, I like coffee, too.

  60. We’ve loosened up quite a bit as a society in the past hundred years, and I think that things have improved substantially for all of us in the process

    No

    How many things can you think of that were legal and/or acceptable behavior in 1908 that
    are now expressly forbidden and punishable by loss of liberty and property?

  61. Dinesh D’Souza still gets taken seriously? He’s a cultural troll. He makes his money stoking the fires. Guys like him are too smart to believe what they say, but they still say it. Dick.

    I’m going to go get high…

  62. I’m going to go get high…

    That would have been perfectly legal in most of the USA in 1908.

  63. Well, SIV, there were a few bad ones…like marital rape and lynchings. Not sad to see them go.

    And nowadays you can join a labor union, marry someone of a different race, have an open relationship with someone of the same gender, and get an abortion (oh, no, not the milk thread again!) without the expectation of either getting killed or arrested.

    On the other hand, point taken, you can’t do all the drugs you used to be able to. And I do agree, overall, practical freedom took a nasty downward trend in the 20th century by most metrics. But let’s not forget the little things…

  64. So they flee from the conservative to the libertarian camp where much wider parameters of personal behavior are embraced.

    I get the flutters just thinking about such a world. Goodness, me.

    Next thing you know, fags, druggies, transhumanists and swingers will be part of the elite!

    Can’t have that. Rengary would never know who to publish.

  65. Kirby,

    I’ve been reading Reason for a little while now (2 months or so). Just wondering how you would approach Christianity in the free market of ideas. Say a christian beleives christianity is a better way to live and would like to convince you of it, but has no desire to force it? (Not trolling – serious question).

    That is what a “free market in ideas” is all about. Some would object strongly to your ideas– firmly believing adherents of other faith’s or lack thereof, but in a free society you have the right to proselytize. That is one area in which we still retain much of our freedom.

  66. Just wondering how you would approach Christianity in the free market of ideas. Say a christian beleives christianity is a better way to live and would like to convince you of it, but has no desire to force it? (Not trolling – serious question).

    The same way a Baathist, a Bhuddist, a shrink, a car salesperson, or a money manager would approach you. Be convincing, play to preconceived notions, tailor the pitch to the specifics of the target’s life, and offer something really appealing.

    I don’t mean to demean anything here. But that is how you do it in a free marketplace.

  67. SIV,

    That is what I’ve come to believe that TRUE Christianity SHOULD be all about. It has never struck me that, from a christian perspective, that anyone ever did any good by forcing beliefs on anyone else. Stoking the fires of the culture war doesn’t really accomplish anything but getting you called a cultural troll (right brint?).

    I also agree with Gillespie – thank God for the seperation of church and state.

  68. Fishbane,

    Bashing someone over the head with a 47 pound bible, although tempting at times, is a bad approach. I agree with you 100%.

  69. I blame Edward Gibbon for the idea that a rigid public morality is necessary for a society to function. The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire pretty much had everyone convinced for centuries that the Roman Empire collapsed out of moral laxness

    In a way, the Roman Empire DID collapse because of moral laxness. The chief immorality was abrogation of personal responsibility. The empire had to keep gobbling up new territories to feed the whining masses back home.

  70. Re: Ali @ 9:17

    D’ Souza is a typical Konkani (from Goa) Catholic name. Portuguese did most of the conversions in th 1700’s. They are actually a very moderate bunch compared to some of the more strident Christian communities in India. He is almost certainly Catholic from birth.

  71. Brandybuck

    Your comment about Roman “moral laxness” reminds me of Carl Sagan’s take on that point: Sagan held that the fundamental flaw was the acceptance of slavery, which undermined entirely the notion of human rights.

    I think Sagan had a very good point in that regard. I don’t find it satisfactory as a full explanation – slavery existed long before and persisted long after the Roman Empire* – but it did contribute to the notion that it was permissable to use force to extract what one desired from others.

    *I use the term “Roman Empire” to mean the time in which Rome exercised imperium over other nations. This covers the latter part of the Republic until the fall of the Western Empire.

  72. In a way, the Roman Empire DID collapse because of moral laxness.

    Whatever ‘moral laxness’ means.
    Many observe symptoms and diagnose them as the cause.
    The collapse of the Roman Empire was the natural result of political power run amok, inducing social and economic chaos.

  73. D’Souza also believes that we were attacked by Islamic extremists because of Hollywood…he’s a moron…

  74. I actually would’t mind having a do not proselytize list…like the do not call list for advertizers.

  75. James | December 22, 2007, 12:57am | #

    D’Souza also believes that we were attacked by Islamic extremists because of Hollywood

    If that were the case, I could bring myself to sympathize with Al Queda.

    😉

  76. Next thing you know, fags, druggies, transhumanists and swingers will be part of the elite!

    D’ Souza has us figured out apparently. Bet he thinks Meet-Ups are just covers for key parties. Little suspicious minds (but if any are, please tell me the time and the place!)

  77. Yeah, but how did it get all mixed up with Nazism?

  78. Yeah, but how did it get all mixed up with Nazism?

    I don’t know since neither socialism nor nationalism is a natural part of libertarianism.
    Since you adhere to a creed where coercion is the basis of social organization perhaps you may have some insights on the Nazi mindset that you could share with us.

  79. Since I’m still relatively new here, somebody help me out. Are Edward and Dondero the same person or are there two of ’em?

  80. James,

    What would the fine be if I gave you a call?

  81. F-ing librarians…

  82. Alan,

    If you’re in an urban area, look for a local Burning Man group. Google is your pal. Not even so much for BM, but for all of the events folks put on all year round.

    Burners are D’Souza’s worst nightmare. And a really fun crowd.

  83. Believe me…I’ve done my time, grew up in a very Christian town and went to a Christian College…once you have been proselytized 10 times or more you get year off…

  84. I actually think that as bad as some of the Hollywood productions are, actors and sports stars are probably the few goodwill ambassadors left for Americans to the rest of the world…Even Iraquis who hate Bush probably like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie.

  85. priest friend…[who] once observed that wine is evidence of how much God loves us.

    That’s right. You heard it here first, Man.

    The actual quote is from Ben Franklin I suspect and it goes like this…..

    “Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.”

  86. …local Burning Man group…

    Brian Doherty wrote the book. Literally.

  87. Kirby, I think Edward is a ringer but Dondero is real enough. He used to be connected to Ron Paul and claims to be a libertarian/Republican.

  88. By that reasoning, doesn’t that make Dondero a Nazi? \snark

  89. But I just don’t get the controversy surrounding “the freedom to live however you want as long as you don’t harm others.”

    This is the deal with a lot of conservatives, I think:

    They believe that adhering to traditional American values (don’t ask me to define this) and transmitting them from generation to generation is key to the continuing health of the culture of America. That culture is in turn key to America’s continued strength, prosperity and peace.

    They think that this is undermined by people openly flauting those traditional American values. In particular, they see this as providing a “bad example” (a counter-example) to the children that they are trying to raise according to their own values.

    Thus, they see even the peaceful “subversion” of traditional American values as doing a kind of harm.

    And this is why they go apeshit whenever they see traditional values being flauted by the media, the schools/academia, and government. It “sends the wrong message” instead of reinforcing those key traditional values.

    This isn’t my own view, I’m just saying.

    (Actually, I do think that certain key values are crucial to the American culture and the standard of living that it enables. But I’d probably disagree with many conservatives on what a lot of those key values are.)

  90. Yeah, but how did it get all mixed up with Nazism?

    Well, the line of… ahem… “reasoning” goes like this: Libertarian social values run counter to Christianity, anyone who is seen as opposing Christianity an its values are de facto atheists, atheists are supposedly the intellectual heirs to 20th century totalitarianism, and ergo: Libertarian notions of freedom lead to Nazism!

    Stupid, yes. Dinesh has a book to sell and he can’t let his audience down.

  91. I’m hoping Huckaby will break the false association between religion and conservatism. Conservatism at its core is capitalism and limited government. Just because asses like D’Souza tar our reputation doesn’t mean the smart people around here should propagate the myth by lumping god to conservatives. So, knock it off.

  92. Stevo–You also just described any good progressive. Trust me, same coin, different sides. I get it all the time.

  93. I mean: it’s good to know your enemy, but seriously…why does anyone pay attention to D’Souza? I stopped paying attention to his moronic ramblings a couple years ago.

    I still live my life the way *I* want, despite the wishes of people like him….and so can everyone else.

  94. Sad thing is, there is something like an inferiority complex at work amongst conservative Christians (actually, among any) who wish to have their “values” enforced by law. It’s a pretty basic notion that morality involves choice. Some, however, are unwilling to see others “fail” at that choice.

    Alternatively, there are the sick, totalitarian types who want people who disagree with them punished. When you get to the point where you’re advocating the death penalty for drug use (as some have), it’s safe to say you have some unresolved issues.

    I have to admit, my knowledge of the (Judeo-Christian) bible is pretty weak, but I could have sworn that God’s pretty specific about reserving the right to judge, and to punish, for himself. It’s almost enough to make me want to believe, because the sight of watching all those ‘moral’ douchebags falling to a lower rung of hell (with a massively surprised look on their face) would be entertainment for an eternity.

    Personally, I no longer have a dog in any of the fights mentioned above, as I quit using illegal drugs over 15 years ago, and I’m too poor and unattractive to get enough women to qualify as loose. However, considering D’Souza is one of the shits who push for things like the Internet gambling ban, let me wish him a nice Christmas present – like maybe a social disease (caught from a toilet seat, of course).

  95. Hey Gene, Merry Christmas! Hope y’all have a blessed one.

  96. caught from a toilet seat, of course.

    Told my Baptist doctor that many years ago right after he asked the stupidist question ever, which was: how’d you get that?

    Like, Duh!

    He wasn’t amused.

  97. I haven’t kept up on D Souza (how’s that for a mangle, let’s turn the guy into a Portagee) but I used to like some of the stuff he had to say, particularly on education.

    Stevo, I think you are right on the money. For many, it’s all about sending the message. My Fruitcake Sister says we need laws against infidelity so people know our society finds infidelity immoral. She agrees that it is unenforcable and doesn’t even think people should be jailed for cheatin’. It’s all about the message.

    And frankly, everybody I know thinks it’s okay to cheat on your spouse. They just shrug and say it’s not illegal, is it?

  98. Guess that wasn’t a mangle of D’Souza’s name after all. 🙂 Maybe he is Portagee or connected to the guy who wrote Stars & Stripes forever.

  99. I always hated the “libertarians are conservatives who smoke pot” canard. I suggest replacing it with “libertarians are liberals who know something about economics”. For me, it’s much closer to the truth.

  100. Wine Co,
    I think D’Souza’s family hails from Goa, where Portugese names are common due to historical trade/colonization ties. Onomastics!

  101. The number one job of a christian, as Jesus called it the great commandment, is to love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. and their neighbor as themselves.
    Now I am by no means a theologian, but here is how I see it. My walk with God is the most important thing. and loving my fellow man. Enough to introduce him/her to the gospel of Christ, if I feel led by the holy spirit to do so. This is to be done out of and with love.
    I am not supposed to beat them about the head and shoulders with it, or treat them to a guilt trip or shame them. I try once, maybe twice and then I shake the dust from my feet and move on.
    My fellow christians seem to have forgotten that everyone gets to decide for themselves what they believe. It is sad at times but I still must love and respect everyone for we are all children of God.
    The worst way to introduce the faith to someone is through the legislature. Even donuts, when forced down the throat, will choke a person.
    I don’t agree with every argument here but I enjoy the mostly civil discourse and many here give me food for thought.
    I truly hope everyone here enjoys what time off they have for whatever reason with family or friends.

  102. not that there’s anything wrong with that

    I think it’s better to frame it as choice rather than right or wrong.

    There are plenty of things that are wrong and I think that of those who even have an inkling of libertaranism, sometimes see us as people who wouldn’t know wrong if we had a mouthful of it.

    Further, there are plenty of libertarians who aren’t content with simple freedom to be who they want to be, they also feel an entitlement to cultural approval of the chosen lifestyle de jour as well. In many cases, that ain’t gonna happen.

  103. Thanks Dogzilla. Lots of Portugese people settled where my dad lives. They all pronounce the name: Sue Zay.

    Always thought that was odd. Probably isn’t at all.

  104. Even donuts, when forced down the throat, will choke a person.

    I like that quote, especially because in it you recognize the greatness of the donut.

  105. brotherben (and others) – excuse my language in my last post if it was too insulting. I have made an effort in the past couple months not to be ‘that a**hole atheist’, because I do recognize that religious beliefs are important to the people who hold them. I meant for the tone to be flippant, not nasty.

    Dogzilla / TWC – I worked with an (S Asian) Indian whose last name was Pedro.

  106. Penguin,
    Apology accepted, but not required from me.
    I am certain I have been the a-hole christian at times as well.

    A joyous festivus to all!

  107. Whenever I read any remarks from D’Souza, the term “intellectually bankrupt” comes to mind.

  108. “Libertarians are basically conservatives who are either gay or druggies or people who generally find the conservative moral agenda too restrictive.”

    Either that, or conservatives are basically libertarians who favor smaller government when other people are in power, but larger government when they’re in power. In other words- they want bigger government, but only as long as they get to tell people what to do.

    But libertarians are the selfish ones.

  109. “Many libertarians are basically conservatives who are either gay or druggies or people who generally find the conservative moral agenda too restrictive.”

    Many conservatives are basically libertarians who are either bigoted or ignorant or religious fanatics who find modern realities overwhelming.

  110. Dinesh D’Souza is basically a provocateur, he is not any different fundamentally from Ann Coulter or Laura Ingram(both of whom I think he has dated). They are not out to do anything but instigate things with people in very petty demeaning ways. Whether they are actual bigots or not or whether they just cater to FoxNews watchers (Pavlov’s Dopes), it immaterial, they just want attention…maybe they were bullied in school or maybe they were the bullies, but they have a real resentment(and closet jealousy) for those they attack.

  111. Libertarians are true-believer fanatics, but not normally of the Nazi variety. It’s odd that the guy libertarians are touting as the great champion of the libertarian message–Herr Doktor Ron Paul–has linked libertarianism with Nazism in the minds of many. He could have distanced himself from the racist stuff that has appeared under his name and given back the contribution that he knew came from a Nazi. He could have put as much passion into denouncing Nazism as he has into fearmongering on immigration and alleging that there is a “war on religion. He didn’t have to lie about the Constitution. You dumb libertarians have got to live with the hero you’ve made. What a fucking downer.

  112. What I can’t stomach personally is REASON’s continued patronage of neocons like Christopher Hitchens, Michael Young, etc.

    Hitchens, former society gossip editor for the Workers World magazine, is no more libertarian than any other trotskyite neocon.

    He is a neocon libertine, if anything. He is a pro Iraq war and clash of civilization spread democracy at the point of a gun etc neo con.

    Reason’s fascination with him speaks badly for the magazine not because of D’Souza’s Burkean laments, but because the man is a besotted warmongering jerk.

    This is the strain in Reason’s editorial polichy that is rightly criticized by Justin Raimondo and others.

    Reason should drop Hitchens and Young and be more careful publishing Rauch as well and be a more truly libertarian magazine, IMHO. And thank goodness Postrel no longer contributes!

  113. On Ron Paul’s chances of winning fuckall: There are enough loonies to make a lot of noise about a loonie candidate, but not enough to elect one, at least not nationally. The rest of us are safe, and you loonies are fucked.

  114. Has Christopher Hitchens ever commented on Ron Paul? If he has, I’ll bet it isn’t pretty.

  115. I think it is wrong to spend much time on modern conservatives, the New Right…They don’t really have any principals or high ideals, they are just football fans cheering on a team…basically they are just dicks.

  116. D’Souza’s little tantrum reads more like a parody than a serious tome. The people who take him seriously are not taken seriously by me. They’re less consequential than the little lizards who scurry beneath my feet and who I occasionally (accidentally) squish with a crunch. I always feel bad about that. The lizards I mean, not their human counterparts.

  117. I think D’Souza may be describing what have been described on Rockwell’s blog as “Bread-and-Circus” libertarians. Basically Eric Donderos. They don’t care about size of government or the threat of the state they just want to fuck their hookers and smoke their pot and not pay taxes. Basically conservatives that like drugs and whores.

  118. Whenever I read any remarks from D’Souza, the term “intellectually bankrupt” comes to mind.

    More importantly, how does he feel about SUV’s? 🙂

  119. i’m a big fan of the term apagnostic.

    also yeah was d’souza ever like, not a frikkin’ jackass? stanley fish seemed to think him to be quite the fellow, though they agreed upon nothing, but i’m having a hard time seeing what he was seeing there.

  120. Hey, Tom Lehrer is awesome!

    I’ve never quibbled if it was ribald
    I would devour where others merely nibbled
    As the judge remarked the day that he
    Acquitted my Aunt Hortense
    “To be smut it must be ut-
    Terly without redeeming social importance”

  121. Hi TWC! Same wishes back to you! I hope you, Lisa and the kids have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

  122. Man, this guy was awsome in the early 1980s. Something seems to have gotten into him lately and I can not recognize the man by his written word today.

    Such a shame that the fellow who could hold suc great conversations with William F. Buckley, Jr. on Firingline and give spell-binding talks on C-SPAN in the 80s, full of substance and logic, can throw it all away just a few years later.

  123. I think D’Souza may be describing what have been described on Rockwell’s blog as “Bread-and-Circus” libertarians. Basically Eric Donderos. They don’t care about size of government or the threat of the state they just want to fuck their hookers and smoke their pot and not pay taxes. Basically conservatives that like drugs and whores.

    I wish to God I could fuck hookers and smoke pot. I have a chronic intestinal disorder that sends me to the bathroom every ten minutes or so, like a clock, and if I can’t make it in time, I usually end up shitting myself. I’ve already had to have a segment of my colon removed because it had fistulated into my bladder and I was having shit in my urine, and getting constant kidney infections. I use a laptop computer that I can carry around with me and use when I’m sitting on the toilet (like now). I only visit Hit and Run when I’m on the toilet. It seems somehow appropriate.

  124. Ahh, Eric, is that how you got lost in TJ? Looking for a toilet?

    If you’re not just having us on, bummer. My dad’s wife came this close (holds two fingers together with no space in between) to dying from something similar.

  125. I posted this over on the open thread of the week…

    But it seems more appropriate here.

    Quote of the week:

    “They do not create revolution; what they do create is anarcy; and the difference between these is not a question of violence, but a question of fruitfulness and finality. Revolution of its nature produces government; anarchy only produces more anarchy…You can only knock off the King’s head once. But you can knock off the King’s hat any number of times. Destruction is finite; obstruction is infinite: so long as rebellion takes the form of mere disorder (instead of an attempt to enforce a new order) there is no logical end to it; it can feed on itself and renew itself for ever.”

    -G.K. Chesterson, What’s Wrong with The World? pg. 114.

    http://www.openlibrary.org/details/wrongwiththe00chesuoft

  126. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL H&R REGULARS, LURKERS, AND TROLLS!

  127. “They’re less consequential than the little lizards who scurry beneath my feet and who I occasionally (accidentally) squish with a crunch.”
    Where do you live? Dude if you have little lizards scurrying beneath your feet with any regularity you need to move or fix that hole in the floor…

    Shouldn’t SIV be here arguing that D’Souza is clearly a Progressive?

  128. Doesn’t the freedom to argue–either through rhetoric or by example–for particular ways of living depend upon, I don’t know, the ability to actually live different lives?

    No, of course not, and I’m surprised nobody in this comment stream has pointed out the fallacy in that statement yet. One can be free to argue thru rhetoric even about things that can’t physically or logically even exist, such as square circles. All the easier it’s possible to have complete freedom to argue over the propriety of things that are forbidden. There’s no dependence there.

  129. The scary thing about you libertarians isn’t your social agenda–its your economic agenda.

    Have you seen what has happened since 1980 when the entire country embraced so-called small government and vodoo economics? Look at THIS:

    * Only 31 percent of middle-income families match our profile for being securely middle class. That is, despite falling into the broad range that defines middle-class “income,” fewer than one in three families has the necessary combination of other factors to ensure middle-class security.
    * Our Index results vary by race. Thirty-four percent of white middle-income families are securely in the middle class, as compared to 26 percent of African-American middle-income families and only 18 percent of Latino middle-income families.
    * One in four middle-class families matches our profile for being at high risk of slipping out of the middle class altogether.
    * One in five (21 percent) white families is at high risk for slipping out of the middle class, as compared to one in three (33 percent) African-American headed households and an alarming two in five (41 percent) Latino families.

    Lack of Assets

    * More than half of middle-class families have no net financial assets whatsoever-that is, no financial assets or debt levels that exceed their assets.
    * Only 13 percent of middle-class families have sufficient assets to meet three-quarters of their essential living expenses for nine months, should their source of income disappear.
    * About four out of five middle-class families do not have sufficient assets to cover three quarters of essential living expenses for even three months should their source of income disappear. We defined essential living expenses as food, housing, clothing, transportation, health care, personal care, education, personal insurance and pensions.
    * Middle-class families have a median debt of $3,500 and median net assets of $0.

    Insufficient Income to Meet Living Expenses, Cover Housing Costs, and Buy Healthcare

    * Twenty-one percent of middle-class families have less than $100 per week ($5,000 per year) remaining after meeting essential living expenses. These families are living from paycheck to paycheck with very little margin of security.
    * In nearly one out of four middle-class families (23 percent), at least one family member lacks health insurance of any kind.
    * Twenty-eight percent of middle-class families spend 30 percent or more of their income on housing expenses, putting them above federal guidelines for housing affordability.

    What do you libertarians have to say about the decline of the once-great American Middle Class? The wealth of the rich is being made off the blood of the working class.

  130. Thanks for the tip fishbane,

    I use to spend a lot of my free time traveling up and down the east coast absorbing the metal and rock music at clubs of all the local scenes in every niche and cranny in between. I would tell you some tales from the sordid , but I would have to look over the statute of limitations in several states first.

    Libertarians are true-believer fanatics

    Yeah, trolling and posting in every thread of a board dedicated to an ideology you despise, clearly for demented psychological reasons since you are not interested in discussion and only post smears that even the MSM finds to be bullshit, that is some really normal, non-fanatical behavior on display there fella.

  131. Merry Christmas Libertarians…Don’t be angry if somebody gets you a present that isn’t cash…it is not necessarily a jab at your ability to spend your own money.

  132. But I just don’t get the controversy surrounding “the freedom to live however you want as long as you don’t harm others.”

    Come on, Nick. Like any other addiction, the draw to tell other people how to live is mighty strong.

  133. Have you seen what has happened since 1980 when the entire country embraced so-called small government and vodoo economics?

    You mean, it wasn’t actually small government? Well, thanks for making our point for us!

  134. middle class worker,

    What do you libertarians have to say about the decline of the once-great American Middle Class?

    Your questions are answered here:

    http://www.mises.org/money.asp

    even the questions concerning health insurance (medical care). For a little perspective on what all of this means for you, try googling the price of realestate in your locality and average salaries for 1961 -69, for a picture of the true cost of the runaway inflation years of the Nixon-Ford-Carter time period.

  135. What D’Souza really believes is irrelevant; D’Souza, like Coulter, Malkin et al (not to mention the plethora of Rush-clone talk hosts who pockmark the radio dial) has found a career in telling sociocons what they want to hear.

    That’s all you need to know about him.

    And I’m sure the money’s good, guys, but beware: it’s a Faustian bargain…

  136. Jim Walsh,

    How I wish to believe that the law is more powerful than these people. For some reason I feel that that is not the case. Without violating any laws, they can shred a person’s career if they wish to do so by simply smearing him/her to death!

  137. More than half of middle-class families have no net financial assets whatsoever-that is, no financial assets or debt levels that exceed their assets.

    Don’t blame me if you piss your income away trying to impress your neighbors.

  138. Dondero,

    Sorry to hear about that. What’d they take out your colon and try to build something with the small stuff?

    Given the choice, or…um…dilemma rather, I might have opted for the colostomy bag. …if what you’re living with is the alternative–sheesh!

    Honestly, here’s hopin’ things get better for you in that department. …even if what comes out of your keyboard is a lot like what’s comin’ out the other end. …in my humble opinion.

  139. Considering that we libertarians are a small minority and have never seen any of our policies implemented on a large scale, it’s pretty awesome that we have managed to destroy not only the economy but also human decency and social interaction.

    Merry Christmas H&R.

  140. I, for the record, am heterosexual, stone cold sober and fairly uptight.

    Merry X-mas, Saturnalia Solstice and all that. I hope you all find copious amounts of guns, drugs and sex toys under your tree.

  141. What’s so great about Dinesh D’Souza?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    Jesus Christ that was funny.

  142. “gay or druggies or people who generally find the conservative moral agenda too restrictive.”

    Could he be homesick for the beaches of Goa ?

  143. Merry Christmas to everybody but alan, who can go fuck himself. PEACE ON EARTH!


  144. * More than half of middle-class families have no net financial assets whatsoever-that is, no financial assets or debt levels that exceed their assets.

    Then they aren’t “middle class”. If you betas would quit spending all your $$$ on flat pannel TVs,extra cellphone services , crack and 26″ wheels for your “donks” you might invest some of that income so I can clip %10 off with my hedge funds.

  145. What do you libertarians have to say about the decline of the once-great American Middle Class? The wealth of the rich is being made off the blood of the working class.

    That could have something to do with the kind of Governments you slaves keep electing….

    Now work harder you thick-headed dolt and bleed faster!

  146. Like the homeowner who believes he has the right to regulate lawn ornaments of a house a half mile away to protect his property values, moral busybodies like D’Souza believe their lifestyle choices are so self-evidently correct that they must be imposed on all of society – for their own good of course.

    I didn’t really understand that such people existed until my 30’s when a friend explained very emphatically that the very existence of gay people in his community, no matter how much they minded their own business, was an offense to his morals that he could not be asked to tolerate. He didn’t even try to pretend they were injuring him in any way (none of the “they’ll give us all AIDS and recruit the children” foolishness), but their lack of conformity was too much for him to bear.

    Hell, I probably agree with and live by most of D’Souza’s ideas about how to live a good life. I just don’t understand the urge to use the government to enforce them on the rest of the country. He certainly didn’t find that idea in the words of Jesus, or even Paul.

  147. Gillespie, what the hell is a “poufter”. There is a “poofter” in dictionary.com, but no “poufter”.

    Damn it all, if you are going to use an arcane term, then use the correct arcane term; besides, you write for an American rag, so use American disparagements for our fairy friends.

    Main Entry: poofter
    Part of Speech: n
    Definition: a male homosexual; also, an emasculated male; also called poof
    Example: Stop babying him like that! You’re going to turn him into a poofter!
    Etymology: 1889; fr. poof
    Usage: British disparaging slang

  148. “Then they aren’t “middle class”. If you betas would quit spending all your $$$ on flat pannel TVs,extra cellphone services , crack and 26″ wheels for your “donks” you might invest some of that income so I can clip %10 off with my hedge funds.”

    I know you are being sarcastic, but your advice about spending is dead-on accurate.

  149. The wealth of the rich is being made off the blood of the working class.

    Abject Bullshit. Sorry for being impolite.

  150. Not that it matters, but I’ll be celebrating Christmas the old-fashioned way: with my kids, a fake tree, and a bunch of maxed-out credit cards.

    I was just at a christmas function at my parents house and a wife of an old neighbor read a child’s version of the tale of Jesus’s birth….and i just put two and two together.

    What the fuck is the government doing by making a pregnant a woman travel at night at the end of December just for a consensus?!?!

    Seriously this is fucked up!

    Anyway that is enough to make Christmas a libertarian holiday in my mind.

  151. What D’Souse meant was that if an libertarian happens to be gay – he is usually open about it compared to conservatives.

    What D’Souse meant was that if an libertarian happens to consume drugs such as alcohol, coffin, sugar, etc – he is usually open about it compared to conservatives.

    The difference – as with economics – is transparency and honesty and lack of vital lies. That is all.

    It might well be that D’Souse likes men and drinks but cannot admit it. We will never know. But it is a sad predicament for him that we should feel pity for.

  152. What D’Souse meant was that if an libertarian happens to consume drugs such as alcohol, coffin, sugar, etc – he is usually open about it compared to conservatives.

    For that list maybe you should use “Mormon” instead? No Conservative I have ever met was shy about tobacco, alcohol, caffeine or sugar consumption. Might as well toss in sex too.

    If you replaced that stuff with illegal drugs you might have a valid point.

  153. Guy
    I give conservatives hell here (not as much as they deserve mind you) but I agree that I’ve rarely met one who is on a crusade against tobacco, caffeine or sugar (I have met some who felt that way about alcohol, we call them “Baptists”). In fact, its mostly liberals I know who worry about sugar (especially “high frutcose corn syrup”), tobacco and caffeine, often in relation to “the children.”

  154. Guys,

    I used alcohol and other legal addictives because they are cases just as dangerous as some illegal drugs. If your concern is health…

    I was further referring to D’Scouce’s following claims:

    If you watch our debate on C-Span or on my website dineshdsouza.com, you’ll see that Hitchens reaches for his glass with the same alacrity that fundamentalists reach for the Bible. Many libertarians are basically conservatives who are either gay or druggies or people who generally find the conservative moral agenda too restrictive. So they flee from the conservative to the libertarian camp where much wider parameters of personal behavior are embraced.

    You do not make this stuff up – it comes from the source.

    In reality – many conservatives are fiscally libertarians who reach for the cover of religion for moral guidance and for what behavior can be embraced. By making marriage, a purely religious ritual, a state function – we have also ended any secularism the founders were concerned with.

    As a libertarian I am not for prohibiting sugar but for pricing it transparently. I.e. no more tax subsidies to millionaires. The current administration has vetoed any reform on that subject and I do not see D’Souce in this space. But he does equate Hitchens’ drinking to fundamentalism.

    As a libertarian – I am all for freedom of religion but of course only in the literal sense. If your religion is fine with marrying a person of the same sex you should have the freedom to do so literally. The state has no business in telling you who you can marry and who you cannot unless it takes over certain functions of the church. There is no moral problem with same-sex marriage outside certain religions and that is why the problem should only stay within them and not touch atheists, etc.

  155. Joshua Corning, a quote, for your perusal…….

    “We need to remember exactly why Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem. Under threat of jail or worse, an authoritarian government commanded every citizen in the land to journey to certain cities which were determined by lineage. Why? TO BE TAXED. This mid-winter exodus produced such crowds in Bethlehem that the best lodging Joseph and Mary could find was a barnyard to camp in. Jesus’ parents did the best they could by borrowing a manger, normally used for feeding livestock, to use for a crib. Never underestimate any government’s capacity to make real people suffer in order to further its own ends.”-Jeff Mackenzie

    Note: The purpose of the census was to determine the tax base.

  156. Then they aren’t “middle class”. If you betas would quit spending all your $$$ on flat pannel TVs,extra cellphone services , crack and 26″ wheels for your “donks

    What an elitist thing to say. Most of those people are trying to do things like put their kids through college or buy their first home.

    In the late ’60s a man who graduated high school could buy their own house. They also had health insurance. Now they can’t do either.

    Get over your wealth privelege and look at the real situation.

  157. Sorry MCW, I’ll give you market distortion via government intervention, I will not give you people today are sooooo ooohhhh much worse off than they were in the glory days because it simply isn’t true. There’s plenty of evidence to the contrary, anecdotal and otherwise.

  158. Do you really believe its the sign of a healthy society where the top 1% owns 99% of the nations wealth? How the hell do you justify that?

    For those of you who think tax cuts are magical, how come this country had sustained growth with top marginal rates between 70% and 90% from the 50s to the early 70s?

  159. So “middle class worker” I see you live on Vermont Avenue–not exactly “middle class”.
    I think I’ll develop a few “hotels” in your neighborhood and it will look a lot like the corner of Baltic and Mediterranean!

    Maybe your wife and daughter can get a job eh?

  160. 1% owns 99% of the nations wealth

    Reference please.

  161. For those of you who think tax cuts are magical, how come this country had sustained growth with top marginal rates between 70% and 90% from the 50s to the early 70s?

    In the ’50s we were the only functioning, large scale economy intact after WWII. Unions and management enjoyed the short term benefits of that, for which they would both pay dearly in the long term. By the ’70s we paid the price for the guns ‘n butter approach to an economy not in dire straights. But I’ll bet you weren’t around then, were you? It isn’t ALL about tax rates, but if you think they have no effect you are foolish beyond belief.

    Now, a question for you MCW. What is the “fair share” of taxes the say, top 10% of income earners should be paying? Not the marginal rates, but the percentage of all taxes collected.

  162. Now, a question for you MCW. What is the “fair share” of taxes the say, top 10% of income earners should be paying? Not the marginal rates, but the percentage of all taxes collected.

    Whatever it takes to get our infrastructure funded again, so we don’t have things like the Hurricane Katrina response or collapsing bridges.

    Whatever it takes so we can fully fund social security and medicare.

    Whatever it takes so we don’t live in the most unequal industrialized country on earth.

    I think at least 50% (all taxes) of the top 1% just so we don’t have such inequality.

  163. We should also have enough tax money to fully fund our inspectors, so we aren’t innundated with toxic toys from the Chinese Police State.

  164. I love the idea that more spending will allow the government to repair damaged bridges that right now it can’t even identify.

  165. Great piece here by some libertarian Christians. An excerpt:

    How, then, do we live? What guides our conduct? The apostle Paul provides the perfect answer in 1 Corinthians 10:23 and 31. In verse 23 he writes that all things are lawful for you. That means that nothing is unlawful, that there are no laws. Thus, there are no rules, regulations, restrictions, or prohibitions. But, he continues in verse 31, “whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Each of us needs to have the power to decide for ourselves, for without that power of decision we can not make the decision that glorifies God. Without freedom, I can not choose to believe in God and I can not make the decision or choice that will glorify God. If I feed the hungry by paying my taxes out of fear of going to jail if I don’t, there is no glory for God. There is just fear and force. If I don’t commit adultery because I am afraid of going to jail rather than because God has asked me not to, there is no glory for or love of God. There is just fear and force.

    When government reduces my freedoms to choose, government diminishes the opportunities I have to glorify God by voluntarily and freely choosing the option most pleasing to God. I must be free to not hire, not serve, not sell to and, even, hate a black man, a disabled person and/or a Christian. I must be free to kill myself, ingest drugs, eat red meat, and drink myself into a drunken stupor. I must be free to fornicate my brains out with as many creatures as are willing. I must be free to keep and/or spend my property, including my money, as I see fit. I must have all these freedoms so that I can decide, so that I can choose not to do these things, so that by choosing not to do these things I can honour and glorify God. Government destroys freedom of choice, and in the process, government destroys my opportunity to please God.

    Let us end with one final thought. God knows we are sinners and that we will make the wrong choices many times. Returning, finally, to answer the question I asked my golfing pastor, that does not, however, make God an agent of immorality. It makes Him an agent of freedom, and if God allows each of us to be free, why can’t we allow each other to be free? If freedom is good enough for God, why isn’t it good enough for us?

  166. Middle Class Worker | December 23, 2007, 2:15pm | #

    Whatever it takes to get our infrastructure funded again, so we don’t have things like the Hurricane Katrina response or collapsing bridges.

    Whatever it takes so we can fully fund social security and medicare.

    Whatever it takes so we don’t live in the most unequal industrialized country on earth.

    I think at least 50% (all taxes) of the top 1% just so we don’t have such inequality.

    And a pony for every little girl on earth.

    So the residents of New Orleans have no responsibility for living where they do?

    Why should SS and Medicare be “fully funded”? Why should able-bodied geezers be able to quit work and sponge off of working people? Disclaimer: I am 60 years old so don’t play some “age card” on me.

    Ahh, but keep shovelling MCW. It keeps my organic garden green.

  167. The assumption that we live “good lives” or “bad lives” exclusively is the biggest falacity of the ass-hats like this.

  168. Hey Schempf!
    Nyuk nyuk nyuk !

  169. “Disclaimer: I am 60 years old so don’t play some “age card” on me.”

    I bet you aren’t working class, and therefore do have wealth privelege. But screw the rest of us right? As long as your well off all other senior citizens an eat Alpo. or work until they die, just like before FDR.

  170. “Aresen- I wish sometime to find a forum where we can discuss how libertarian Canadian society is. Despite universal health insurance, and relating to the topic of this thread, most Canadians do not care what others do in private, drug policies, etc. Where can we talk about this? Friday weekend thread?”

    canadian society is less libertarian than US society because their govt. criminalizes far more activities that should be free in a libertarian societty.

    yes, canada is more free in regards to (some) illicit drugs, but less free in others (just look at their ridiculous regulation of dietary supplements for instance. free to smoke pot in parts of vancouver, but just TRY to buy yohimbe in canada!)

    but the ultimate test of a libertarian society is speech, arguably followed closely by gun ownership.

    and canada is far less libertarian in regards to speech (not even close to us in freedom to express unpopular ideas), and certainly so in regards to guns

  171. whit

    I agree – see my post Dec 21 @ 10:56 PM

    That being said, however, both Canada and the US are light years ahead of most of the rest of the world.

  172. MCW,

    Whatever it takes to get our infrastructure funded again, so we don’t have things like the Hurricane Katrina response or collapsing bridges.

    I don’t think any amount of taxes will keep hurricanes from happening, but I’m sure the ACE will give it a go if you give them an unlimited budget. That aside, an awful lot of infrastructure is state-funded – don’t states count for anything?

    Whatever it takes so we can fully fund social security and medicare.

    They are more then fully funded right now, they are running substantial surpluses. Unfortunately, in the long run, any Ponzi scheme will bust.

    Whatever it takes so we don’t live in the most unequal industrialized country on earth.

    Tiger Woods makes more each year then you and I combined in our lifetimes. What exactly is the reason that is a problem? And, on what basis do you claim a right to what he earns?

    I think at least 50% (all taxes) of the top 1% just so we don’t have such inequality.

    That’s a little less then what the top 10% already pays. Not likely that you’ll get Soros, Gates, Streisand, Clooney and a couple of thousand pro athletes to agree with you about their “fair share” and gross inequality.

  173. MCW, I’ll give you a golden shining example of how we’re better off now than in your glory days:

    It’s Christmas Eve, I just broke my tooth in half , Mrs TWC just ran down the hill to Long’s Drugs to get me a broken tooth fixing kit that will get me through the next two days (along with the 1,000 mg Motrins and the wine).

    That is something that was brought to you, at an affordable price, by the market and modern technology.

    It was unavailable, at any price, to you or anyone else in the Glory Days.

    Despite me being a glass-half-empty kind of guy, I Thank God for modern technology and an ever expanding plethora of plenitude.

    Oh, and the reason we have no infrastructure is because states like California spend 90% of their revenue on social services, education, and tax paid medical care.

  174. I bet you aren’t working class, and therefore do have wealth privelege. But screw the rest of us right? As long as your well off all other senior citizens an eat Alpo. or work until they die, just like before FDR.

    Hey!! I’m working class and I have wealth privilege too! God, I love market economies.

    Even so, I’ll probably work until I die, just to avoid the boredom of retirement and to pay off the parasites of the blood sucking state that’ll have grown to ginormous proprtions by that time.

    Merry Xmas you troll-Turing test!

  175. D’Souza calling Tom Lehrer and Monty Python juvenile is like Jonah Goldberg calling George Orwell superficial.

  176. Dinesh D’Souza:

    “As a wine aficionado myself, I cannot begrudge Hitchens his affection for the spirits.”

    I’m beginning to suspect Dinesh of having picked up his hack chops at the Bob Tyrrell School of Prissy Verbal Dandyism – what Rick Hertzberg, in his New Republic review of Tyrrell’s The Liberal Crack-Up from 1984, called “Chicken McMencken”.

    To purloin Dwight Macdonald, “parody is disarmed before such candor.”

  177. “I think all those years fucking Ann Coulter and then discovering that “she” was actually a post-op transsexual has driven that little nebbish D’Souza irrevocably insane”

    Coulter was pre-op at the time.

    D’Souza’s mistake is understandable. Coulter told him it was a strap-on.

  178. I think that MCW defines “wealth privilege” as “anyone who has more than he has, whether it be income, a better car, a bigger TV, a nicer house, a prettier girlfriend, etc”.

    Here’s the deal MCW, the rich love big government, they think it’s great, they own shares in companies that get government contracts and they buy politicians to pass laws favorable to their interests, they work the tax code so that their income isn’t taxable but yours is (capital gains tax v. income tax as an example). Reduce government power and you’re going to make a lot of rich people very unhappy because without the current system, which they have used the government to rig, they’re going to have to compete like everyone else.

    I’m also willing to bet that if you asked MCW to pay higher taxes to repair the damage from Hurricane Katrina, fix the fucked up bridges (where the Hell has all of our gax tax money gone?), fully fund Medicare and Social Security, give every little girl a pony and leave no child behind, etc, etc, etc, etc, he’d fall to the ground twitching and spasming and completely lose control of his sphincters. No, in all probability MCW feels that *HIS* taxes are high enough, if not too high, but that someone else’s taxes should be higher to pay for the things that he wants the government to provide.

  179. I bet you aren’t working class, and therefore do have wealth privelege.

    Don’t ever try to make a living gambling, you’ll starve faster than a senior citizen in the cold after us libertarians abolish social security.

    And I certainly don’t have any wealth privilege.

  180. D’Souza is a waste of space in the Ann Coulter mould. The proper response is to ignore him.

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