The Weekend Political Thread: Long Goodbye Edition

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Unconvincing Quote of the Week
"Some call you swing voters. I call you Americans." Hillary Clinton, speaking to white people.

The Week in Brief
– The Democratic primaries effectively ground to a half as Barack Obama won a landslide in North Carolina and narrowly lost Indiana.
– Hillary Clinton refused to quit the race, praying for expected (Kentucky, West Virginia) and surprise (Oregon) wins in the remaining primaries to rattle the superdelegates.
– Bob Barr geared up for an official entry into the presidential race.
– Ron Paul's book rocketed to the top of the New York Times bestseller list.
– Rep. Walter Jones, the last anti-war Republican on the ballot in 2008, handily won re-nomination.

Below the Fold
– Libertarian Party co-founder David Nolan crafts a nomination strategy for the top 6 LP candidates. (One striking thing about this race is that the anti-Barr, anti-Root forces don't deny that Barr could get more votes than a candidate in the Badnarik mold. It brings to mind the war against McCain in the GOP primary: Conservatives were willing to trade the more electable McCain for the more doctrinaire, for the moment, Romney.)
– Brian Friel talks to Democrats about their coming, 1932 or 1964-sized landslide.
– John Judis wrings his hands about Obama's electability.
– Most of the Libertarian presidential candidates (except for Barr, Root and Phillies*) demand a new 9/11 inquiry.
– Matt Labash goes to the prom.

Did someone request mid-decade Marillion live? No? Too bad.

*This has been corrected—I forgot about Phillies when I originally posted.

NEXT: Insert Cock Joke Here

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  1. Most of the Libertarian presidential candidates (except for Barr and Root) demand a new 9/11 inquiry.

    OMFG.

    Barr/Root 2008…Jesus Christ, I hope that Barr gets nominated and, as mentioned, the “radicals” walk.

    If you click the link to the “Libertarians For Justice”, guess which aspect the radicals think needs re-investigated?:

    Which aspect of 9/11 Truth most needs an investigation with subpoeana power?

    The collapse of WTC 7.
    63%

    Will someone please get the motherfuckin’ truthers out of my movement. Ick!

  2. Reason missed “Arfwitz” – the Bush pet/soldier final solution story.

  3. In my book 9/11 truthers aren’t any more or less crazy than the Christian Coalition types who love Barr.

  4. With all the good prog that exists…how can anyone subject people to Marillion…

    8^(

  5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAwDdLKeQCE

    Still late period prog…but not nearly so suck-filled.

  6. Will someone please get the motherfuckin’ truthers out of my movement. Ick!

    Seconded. We joke about the tinfoil hats and decoder rings. These ultramaroons take it seriously.

  7. Turkish Prog-rock anyone?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_d0agQsFDE

    Baris Manco

  8. In my book 9/11 truthers aren’t any more or less crazy than the Christian Coalition types who love Barr.

    I can say that demanding an “re-investigation” into WTC 7 is tantamount to Libertarian Lunacy. I refuse to support any candidate who signs on to this Truther crap.

  9. Call me another libertarian against Truthers. We have enough credibility problems, most of them undeserved, we don’t need this crap.

  10. I’m a little dissapointed there wasn’t a brokered Democrat convention and riots in Denver.

    Still, Obama is of the Stevenson/McGovern/Mondale/Dukakis model and will be super easy to defeat.

  11. Truthers are left-wing anti-American loons, and I’m happy to see at least some libertarians don’t want to associate with them.

  12. The Democratic primaries effectively ground to a half as Barack Obama won a landslide in North Carolina and narrowly lost Indiana.

    OK, if he were speaking, this would be a spoonerism, but since it’s written can we just call it a weigelism?

  13. The problem is, Truthers are already stuck to the libertarian movement. I am not sure they can be “kicked out” (I mean, what does that even mean?). Just accept it as yet another “credibility problem”.

  14. The Truthers (and other conspiracy types) are really terrible people to keep around. Libertarians need to position themselves as the party of science, promoting good economics along with other topics. In a time when candidates from all parties are supporting further investigation into vaccines and autism, Libertarians have a unique opportunity to single itself out as the party that doesn’t believe in bullshit. Do this and see how many academics come around to economics as science as well. These candidates are pandering, just like the mainstream candidates are, but I’d love to see if we could weed them out.

  15. Does that “science” include big government frauds like stem cell research and global warming? Thats what the Democrat Party means when they talk about “science”.

  16. And Creationists were “stuck” to the GOP in 2004.

    The Truthers look like Wittgenstein next to the Creationists.

  17. Does that “science” include big government frauds like stem cell research

    In what way was it “fraudulent”? If by fraudulent you mean that “it has unperformed its exaggerated initial expectations”, then the current Iraq Occupation could be classified the same way.

  18. Its a fraud Ayn Randian because its a big government program that should be taken care of by the private sector. If its so great private companies should have no problem funding it, the profits would be enormous.

    I hope I don’t need to explain to you why global warming is a left wing trojan horse.

  19. Yes, it includes stem cell research and global warming. Reason’s own Ronald Bailey believes in anthropogenic global warming, even though he used to be hostile to it, as do many other libertarians (though they are skeptic of the other parties’ solutions to the problem). Michael Shermer’s Skeptic magazine published a series of articles explaining the evidence for it; he’s a boon to the movement. Libertarianism needs more Shermers and Baileys.

  20. Come on people we all know it was the Rapture that caused the planes to crash into the twin towers on 9/11. The pilots were sucked up to heaven & no one was left to fly the planes.

  21. Swimmy you honestly call yourself a libertarian and at the same time favor federal funding for stem cell research?

  22. I find these two comments interesting in juxtaposition…

    Do this and see how many academics come around to economics as science as well.

    global warming is a left wing trojan horse

    I realize that they are from different posters, but there’s some cognitive harmony, in them in at some abstract level…

    Serious question: Which is the more rigorous field of science: 1) climatology, or 2) economics?

    Opinions?
    creeds?
    Babbling?

    All are welcome.

  23. The GW deniers are conspiracy theorists themselves.

    Their conspiracy, of course, is that the UN will require massive taxation of net GW contributors. This would mean outsized taxation of Brazil and China, among others – from an authority who could not enforce sanctions on crappy little Middle Eastern countries.

    Anthropogenic GW is real (extent is an open question) and General Electric, AEP, and many other US companies are lining up to profit from clean energy – just like the free market demands.

    The real question is – are you tied to dirty carbon and the past – or are you addressing the markets of the future?

    I don’t expect “conservatives” to understand – just as they can’t grasp Natural Selection.

  24. What do you call the Kyoto Treaty shirke?

    That was nothing but a scheme to halt economic growth in the western democracies while exempting third world China and India from its provisions. It was socialist wealth redistribution in the name of saving the earth.

  25. Travis,

    You mean it wasn’t pissed off Muslims? Maybe I need to take a second look at the “truther” websites? Is it possible that the rapture is just a big government conspiracy?

  26. CO is right swimmy. How dare you not conform to his perceived definition of a libertarian! Conform damn you!

  27. Silly me, I thought libertarians take a strict interpretation of the Constitution.

    Please tell me which part of the Constitution authorizes federal subsidizing of scientific research.

  28. Fools, you don’t need to worry about economics or global warming. It’s almost been seven years since 9/11, the time of tribulation is almost over.

  29. Well, Reason just convinced me to immediately discount every single Libertarian candidate except Barr and Root.

    And to anyone who claims that “truthers” aren’t any crazier than creationists, so what? I wouldn’t vote for anyone running on a platform of removing evolution from the schools either and just because creationism is a bunch of bunk doesn’t make “truther” allegations any more real. The 9/11 “truthers” are whack-jobs and/or liars…period. There’s no place for them in any serious political discussion.

  30. I call Kyoto a failure in every regard.

    But fear of “worldwide Marxism” is not a basis to deny climatology consensus.

    This movement will benefit capitalists like GE. Go look up Ecoimagination (GE) and you will see how “nutty” GW is.

    This conversation needs a dose of reality.

    With a $9 trillion in debt the US cannot afford GW expense. But $200 a barrel for crude will kill us too.

    The next president needs to work with the future “Google” types of ENERGY.

    Don’t bet on the GOP.

  31. “Is it possible that the rapture is just a big government conspiracy?”

    It’s the work of Anti-Christ Cheney & his Bush Beast.

  32. shrike,

    As google has proved (I think), the “google of GW” doesnt need to work with the government, they just need the government to get out of the way.

  33. robc-

    You are inclined correctly.

    But the tax subsidies Big Oil now receives should be transferred to clean energy companies.

    (yes, taxes AND subsidies are both cruel)…..

    But at least INCENT the “Google of clean energy” — I would like tax credits for cars that get over 60 mpg – for instance.

    Now – Hummers get tax credits! (We have oilmen running the world).

  34. I haven’t sent any more to reason for a while. My subscription should have ran out last November, but they keep sending me issues up to the JUNE 2008 issue! Are you that desperate for subscribers? FUCK reason.

  35. Serious question: Which is the more rigorous field of science: 1) climatology, or 2) economics?

    Opinions?
    creeds?
    Babbling?

    Economics and climatology have a lot in common. Both are sciences whose goal is to quantify and make predictions about chaotic systems, knowing that insufficient data will always be a problem. Economics has been around longer and seems farther along in those areas. Climatology, being a n00b science, will get better but I think you’d be foolhardy to omit the NaCl with that meal. Hell, that’s probably true of economics as well.

    [/babbling]

  36. Now – Hummers get tax credits! (We have oilmen running the world).

    Linky-link? You make statements like that you’ve got to back them up. Ditto for the “oil company subsidies” folks. What tax advantage does Exxon get that Novi Precision Products doesn’t? Or coal minering. Or wind farms. Or Wal-Mart?

  37. We do have tax breaks and subsidies so eethanol can be sold below cost and still be profitable.

  38. Sure, JsD.

    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/1220-09.htm

    Can’t hyperlink yet…

    This law was unchanged up to 2006.

  39. Even more damning, in 2003, Bush tried to triple the Hummer loophole.

    http://www.sptimes.com/2003/02/04/Opinion/The__light_truck__loo.shtml

    Bush/Cheney have, at every opportunity, attempted to drive UP the consumption of oil while aiding OPEC against Congress (NOPEC) at every turn.

  40. oh, and yes, I am aware as to the difference between a tax credit and deduction….

  41. Shrike – Business owners can depreciate trucks faster than cars. Yep. that’s all trucks, Toyotas Nissans, S-10s, and all SUVs. Color me unimpressed.

    BTW, I found a good (for me anyway) HTML link tutorial here

  42. Bush/Cheney have, at every opportunity, attempted to drive UP the consumption of oil while aiding OPEC against Congress (NOPEC) at every turn.

    I’ve no love for the Bush administration, but your paranoia is approaching truther levels here.

  43. Business owners can depreciate trucks faster than cars So 20 million SUV owners and small businessmen should not complain about $6 a gallon gasoline then.

    I know this – there are two Real Estate agents in my immediate family who “own” their own business.

    They are the first to cry about ANWR – like that would make any difference.

    I tell them – you buy and depreciate a Land Cruiser over seven years to run a loophole – don’t bitch about the price of gasoline.

  44. and thanks for the HTML guide….

  45. Your welcome. I’m fairly new at this new-fangled intertubes stuff myself. I sympathize with ya.

  46. Shirke economics will force us to abandon oil and look for something else without the aid of big government.

  47. Leftist will look for any excuse to expand the welfare state, and global warming is just the latest big excuse.

  48. Leftist will look for any excuse to expand the welfare state, and global warming is just the latest big excuse.

    That is really lame.

    Like, Sean Hannity type lame. No thinking required – nor a reality check for admission…

  49. CO: No, I don’t support federal funding for stem cell research. But I oppose all attempts to pass laws that discourage such research, or any other research that makes people feel icky but doesn’t actually violate anyone’s rights.

    If we were to make a Big Libertarian List of greivances with the government, I’d put “funding of promising and life-saving research” pretty low. (Yes I know it’s difficult to figure out what’s “promising” and what isn’t.) I’d put “funding of research into already settled science like the WTC collapse and the autism/vaccine connection” quite a bit higher.

  50. I’m of the opinion that the decision to make it legal or not should be left to the individual states.

  51. Shirke if its so important I’m waiting for you to set the thermostate at 50 in the winter time and give up your car.

  52. I have noticed an alarming trend….

    Please use “you’re” when saying “you are” rather than “your”. I have seen “your welcome” and other incorrect uses of “your” quite often in recent weeks on this blog.

    That is all.

  53. Well, Reason just convinced me to immediately discount every single Libertarian candidate except Barr and Root.

    Don’t discount them all. California primary winner Christine Smith is not on that list.

  54. I don’t want to argue with you, ‘Conservative Observer’.

    Take my word on it. I am a hostile SOB.

    The “right vs. left” thing has to go away.

  55. I don’t see Al Gore or any other leftist celebrities giving up their private jets, limos, and big houses.

  56. AP5

    Firefox has a grate read line four showing spelling eras, but knot won four homophone miss steaks.

  57. Reason’s own Ronald Bailey believes in anthropogenic global warming

    Are you sure he really believes in it?

    Ron is employed as the “science” correspondent for a leading cosmotarian periodical. He knows where his paychecks come from.

  58. Then why, oh, why, would he claim to believe it?

    Any why did you add yet another silly conspiracy to this thread?

  59. ‘arfwitz’

    I like it; like the untergang/hillary mashup profane and unfair, but very funny.

    And if you want a conspiracy, when I went back to that thread to get ‘untergang’ spelled right, the prolific ‘Meet Singles in Your City’ ad for that particular thread is ‘Meet Christian Singles’ with a suitably buxom (and aryan) blonde.

  60. “Then why, oh, why, would he claim to believe it?”

    He has no choice, ever since Ron got the mark of the beast the anti-christ controls his mind.

  61. JsubD,

    I agree for the most part.
    Climatology has a distinct advantage over economics, however. That advantage stems from a better understanding of the basic level processes that comprise the system…

    At the root of climatology is founded physics, while at the root of economics are either sociology or psychology.

    n00b or not, that is a pretty big advantage.

  62. edit…

    At the root of climatology is physics…

  63. Hey Neu Mejican what kind of care do you drive? Do you turn off the global-warming inducing air conditioner down in New Mexico to save the planet?

  64. Er, “car”.

  65. Conservative Observer…

    I don’t own a car (haven’t for 5 years, ever since I moved to within walking distance of work).

    When I did, and there was a need to cool down the car, I used the air conditioner at highway speeds as that is more fuel efficient than rolling down the windows. A lower speeds, the windows cool ya off pretty dang good in the dry air.

    FWIW, my carbon footprint comes out to about 1/3 of the American average…do you have a point?

  66. What do you think Al Gore’s carbon footprint is Neu?

    FWIW, homeless(!) Americans still have a carbon footprint much higher than the world average.

  67. And to anticipate some responses, my quality of life has improved without the car, and my expenses are considerably lower…

  68. How much beef do you eat Neu? Thats the next thing the leftist wacko enviros want us to give up.

    Its not good enough not to drive, we have to all become vegans too.

    Its leftist cultural imperialism.

  69. CO,

    Thanks for letting me know that you don’t have a point.

  70. My point is you want to force your way of life on us.

  71. In other news, here are some questions for the apparent Dem candidate. Please go to one of his appearances, ask one or more, get it on video, and upload it to video sharing sites. Those are the type of questions that MSM hacks as well as mainstream bloggers don’t have the guts to ask.

    And, in other news, as usual, I have several interesting and informative posts at my name’s link.

  72. CO,

    When did Neu Mejican say that he wanted to force his way of life on you?

    Of course, by denying GW you may be — should GW prove to be true — advocating behavior that is harmful to everyone else. I will be seeking damages, sir.

  73. My point is you want to force your way of life on us.

    That coming from a conservative – so ironic.

    Liberal = free……

  74. Lonewacko,

    You want libertarians to go to Obama events & ask why he is taking Lou Dobbs positions out of context.

  75. I liked this comments section better when there were less Team Red/Team Blue cheerleaders. It’s beginning to resemble a Yahoo! News discussion board.

    I’m looking at you, shrike & Conservative Observer.

  76. Matt libertarians and conservatives are natural allies. We are both “right wingers” aimed against a common leftist enemy.

  77. CO, you will then agree that I should be able to open an opium den/machine gun store/whorehouse? ‘Cause, goddamn, that would rule.

  78. I believe people should be able to arm themselves with whatever weapons they please (machine guns, bazookas, hell, a tank if you can afford it).

    But no hard drugs, sorry. Their impact on society is too great to be made legal.

    I’m more than open to legal marijuana, however.

  79. … and reproductive choice, freedom of and from religion. Do you agree CO?

  80. Life in the womb is life and should be protected as life. Everyone has a right to life, including the unborn.

    After recognizing our cultural Judeo-Christian outlook, you are free t do whatever you want. But prayer in schools should be allowed.

  81. freedom of muslims to worship as they will?

  82. Not of that includes sharia law but they’re free to pray five times a day and give to charity and go to Mecca etc.

    Still I would only a allow a small number of Muslims to live in this country. I don’t want it to be like Europe where the very cultural fabric is changing. Ex. piggy banks being banned because they might “offend” Muslims.

  83. Oh, none of your sharia here either.

  84. Karsten Nicholson hates Reason, but isn’t Karsten the bitch who was complaining that Reason wasn’t giving Bill Johnson a fair shake?

    Bill Johnson, the author of the Pace Amendment? The notorious white supremacist?

  85. it’s funny you say that CO because Muslims have historically always voted Republican, and conservative in particular.

  86. Of course Ali observing Jews, Christians, and Muslims are allies in the cultural war being waged on us by the left.

    In small numbers at a time Muslims can be successfully assimilated, but not in a flood like Europe.

  87. CO, but with people like Santorum et al., my guess is that Muslims are a lost cause for the consevative movement.

  88. We’re not against Muslims we’re against radical Islamofascism. Moderate Muslims are allies.

  89. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this resistance to things like the IPCC’s findings is clearly retarded.

    Here is what it amounts to: on one side there are thousands of people, from various nations and employers, who have about 10 years of higher education (highly specialized at the end years) and then years of on the job experience in the relevant fields, coming to an amazingly high consensus on an emerging issue (which is strongly suggestive in and of itself). On the other side are some people without those qualifications who have a very strong ideological committment/and or interests that they admit may be threatened by certain proposals to remedy the phenomena in question.

    To suggest that thousands of scientists with diverse backgrounds are just concoting some hoax for the hell of it is paranoid delusion my friends. These guys, unlike yourselves, have better things to do. And oh, the handful of books and articles you’ve read, the data you think you’ve looked at and figured out, they’re well aware of that shit and they’ve found it wanting. Don’t you think it’s something YOU don’t know that makes this the case? Jesus.

    I’ll also re-issue my challenge: since you amazing amateur scientists can see through false consensus among experts, please enlighten us on other areas of emerging scientific consensus that do not threaten any ideological position you have that you have deduced is false. Anyone? Speak up guys…

    Conservatism could be a viable intellectual movement, if it would just wake up and realize that opposing consensus among climatologists and biologists (evolution) shouldn’t be central tenents of their philosophy…

  90. “Of course Ali observing Jews, Christians, and Muslims are allies in the cultural war being waged on us by the left.”

    The only cultural war we here on the “left” are waging is against dumbass religious folks, which many conservative Jews, Christians and Muslims may be (believing in people living hundreds of years, people parting seas and other literal readings of Scriptures). The left doesn’t make fun of a religious person like Martin Luther King who stands up and says “my religion informs me that all people are created equal” but we do laugh at anyone who says “my religion tells me that prayer can avert hurricanes” or “since this verse says we can handle snakes, we can.”

  91. “But prayer in schools should be allowed.” And so it is, and always has been. It was government led prayers that was banned my obtuse friend!

    “I believe people should be able to arm themselves with whatever weapons they please (machine guns, bazookas, hell, a tank if you can afford it). But no hard drugs, sorry. Their impact on society is too great to be made legal.”

    SO according to your logic IF guns could be shown to have “too great” an impact on our society they have to go too?

    “Matt libertarians and conservatives are natural allies. We are both “right wingers” aimed against a common leftist enemy.”
    Oh, that’s SIV, aint it?

  92. CO-

    You see, the problem is that I am a practicing Muslim, but I do belief and trust others ability to choose for themselves. So I am for a woman choosing what she does in pregnancy, freedom for others from/of religion, personal responsibility when it comes to drugs, etc.. That puts me at odds with “conservatives”.

  93. When it was published, Pat Robertson’s New World Order made the NY Times best seller list too. A lot of utter shit makes the list.

  94. In the US conservatives play libertarians like a Compton drug dealer plays his 15 year old baby momma. Their respective magazines and think tanks get funding from many of the same sources, and an alliance seemed natural when one thinks of things like the New Deal and how abrupt it was.

    However, there is a reason why “libertarian” and “liberal” share the root word: they have more in common philosophically. Conservatives believe in authority (religious, military, tradition, etc), not liberty. In the US they have often given lip service to libertarianism since they are convinced (not wrongly) that often limiting government will just protect the interests of traditional authority (religious authority, community authority, business authority), but conservatism as a philosophy has always had a special dislike of too much “liberty” (they refer to it as “license”). This is why conservatives are glad to embrace government when it will protect traditional authority…Liberals and libertarians both believe in expanding individual choice to live the life they choose, they split on the idea of negative vs. positive liberty (libertarians tend to think liberty best achieved by making people free from any compulsion, while many liberals think liberty best achieved by providing many people with positive benefits which then expand that person’s choices and opportunities).

  95. MNG-

    while many liberals think liberty best achieved by providing many people with positive benefits which then expand that person’s choices and opportunities

    But said things have to come from somewhere else, right? Where from? By coercing others to give?

    Classical liberals just broke into two, those who went to become “liberals” later (the majority) and those who went to become the “conservative” camp. Libertarianism as it is today are those who went to either camp.

  96. should read:

    Libertarians today are those who went to neither camp.

  97. MNG how is government authority not the worst, most complete and total kind of authority imaginable?

  98. MNG,

    You should know that’s not me. I’m all for being able to buy machine guns and hard drugs at the same store-and no questions asked!

    I’d probably shop there if price, selection and quality were on par with dedicated drug and gun stores.

    I support private property rights regardless of any “impact on society”.

  99. SIV thats where conservatives and libertarians break ranks.

    Conservatives respect and admire the market for its creation of wealth and knowledge, but believe that certain aspects of the market can morally degenerate society.

    But I bet we both supported Fred in the primaries, right?

  100. As John Stuart Mill (a forerunner of libertarianism btw) pointed out years ago, one of the worst despots is community opinion. Book after book, movie after movie, has pointed out how powerful and pervasive this can be.

    When government steps in to check community opinion it is like punishing a bad criminal offender: inflicting pain on someone is wrong, but if it prevents that someone from doing more wrong, it’s actually right. Likewise using coercion to open more opportunities is justified.

    Of course, I don’t have to bite at this false dilemma. Historicaly and currently conservatives love them some government. Historically conservative forerunners, like Edmund Burke (hey, read the guy don’t take my word for it) loved established churches with government support and suppression of “libel” (against the government). Currently, conservatives love government intervention to fight, as you mention, voluntary exchanges in “hard drugs” (those 60’s liberals really hated strong drugs, eh?), pornography, reproductive services, prostitution, etc.. They also tend to like government power when it is aimed at people accused of crime (since conservatives like “order” above all and those nasty criminals threaten said order).

    My experience has been that most “conservatives” have no fucking idea what that philosophy has historically and currently entails. They just think about, rightly to some degree, the excesses of some liberals, and think “hell, I can’t go with that nuttiness” and with the help of talk radio think that conservatism is the voice of reason. You’re being played, dude. Liberal fanatics are nuts, but conservative fanatics are extra nuts. The former are regular fodder for conservative media outlets, while the latter don’t get that spotlight (there really is no self-consciously “liberal” media [of course there are “left-leaning” media as most professionals lean left, but nothing like the organized and strident right wing media).

  101. CO, I’m confused. You’re talking about limited government, but not allowing adults to make decisions about what they do to their own body requires that you greatly increase the scope and power of government and we see what that’s brought us.

    Leftists love to tell individuals what they can and can’t do to themselves and their property because of baseless concerns for the “collective.” Your position on drugs puts you squarely in the collectivist camp, I think.

  102. Conservatives respect and admire the market for its creation of wealth and knowledge, but believe that certain aspects of the market can morally degenerate society.

    And this position puts you in the same camp as Islamic fundamentalists. It’s an anti-freedom philosophy because it rejects the individual’s right to find his own sense of morality. And any morality which respects the property and lives of others should have no limits placed on it by “the collective,” which you seem to embrace, despite your hatred of leftists.

  103. Les certain drugs are fine by me. Alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, possibly LSD and shrooms are harmful but not so harmful that they will impact our community in any significant way.

    But come on, Meth, crack , PCP, and heroin? They’re extremely destructive. No decent society can allow them to be open available.

    I bet we are still closer to eachother than leftists like Barack H. Obama, though.

  104. Les, there should be certain limits placed on individuals for the sake of the community, yes. But very limited ones.

  105. SIV
    I do remember you talking about total rights to use drugs. Sorry, the “right and libertarians are natural allies” plus your percieved absence made me think CO had to be you…
    CO
    “But I bet we both supported Fred in the primaries, right?”
    I think a libertarian would have supported Ron Paul. And a right-leaning one certainly should have supported him (considering how Paul’s only deviations from libertarian positions is the immigration and abortion positions which lean right).

  106. MNG I would’ve supported Paul, but he was too much of an isolationist pacifist for me.

    However, the fact that the most successful libertarian on the national stage in the last 30 years ran as a Republican says something, does it not MNG?

  107. “Les, there should be certain limits placed on individuals for the sake of the community, yes. But very limited ones.”

    Not so much “limited” as “traditional” ones I would bet 😉

  108. MNG traditions are things that time has proved useful and necessary. Read some Edmund Burke.

  109. CO, according to repeated findings by the government, the vast majority of meth, crack, and heroin users aren’t addicts. And remember, drugs aren’t “destructive” anymore than tobacco or alcohol are destructive (though people use the latter two to kill themselves much more often than the drugs you mentioned.) People do destructive things with drugs.

    The black market for drugs (created by their illicit status) is what destroys neighborhoods, not the drugs, themselves. And the government has done a good job of destroying plenty of good lives in its war to enforce drug laws.

    Now, I don’t think it’s right to destroy yourself with anything, but it’s downright totalitarian for me to expect the government to stop another individual from making bad decisions for himself. It’s downright un-American is what it is.

    I bet we are still closer to eachother than leftists like Barack H. Obama, though.

    It’s possible. But I don’t think Obama wants to interfere in the lives of individuals any more than our recent previous Presidents. He can’t be worse than our current President.

  110. “However, the fact that the most successful libertarian on the national stage in the last 30 years ran as a Republican says something, does it not MNG?”

    And does his very poor treatment from the Republican and conservative establishment (Fox, National Review, etc) say anything?

  111. Les- In my view (based on my understanding of the scripture), a truly fundamentalist Muslim would give the individual the absolute right and protections when it comes to belief. Today’s fundamentalist Islamists are just an extrapolation of Christian fundamentalists who wish to eventually conflate church and state.

  112. “MNG traditions are things that time has proved useful and necessary. Read some Edmund Burke.”

    I love to read Burke. I really do.

    Do you think we should repress religious Dissenters and have a state supported church like Burke did? How about a monarch, Burke was on record supporting that.

    But as to your particular question, I think traditions are a mix of the wisdom of the “bank of nations” as Burke would say, and “the dead hand of the past” as Satre would say. I think people should have the freedom to explore and challenge the traditions that surround them. Liberals like Mill think that. Conservatives like Burke thought government should shore up traditions with the use of government force. Letting people choose too much would lead to anarchy in Burke’s view…Mill thought it would be grand though.

  113. Both CO and SIV with no link handles…Both posting here at the same time when very few are posting (no posts from “SIV” but when mentioned up comes a post)…The conflation of environmentalists with vegans… The Paul is a pacifist meme…The “libertarians and conservatives are natural allies” meme, a long time SIV meme…

    Sorry, I’m convinced: CO and SIV are the same authoritarian poster…

  114. MNG ask the reason editors if you want. We don’t have the same IP address.

  115. That’s a good point, Ali. It seems people tend to interpret scripture to support their own social theories and personalities.

  116. John McCain is still closer than Barack Hussein Obama to libertarian ideas.

  117. Les- Sometimes scripture is very tricky to interpret. This is certainly true of the Quran. Hence, it is easy to read it and, ignoring historical context, rules of interpretation, language rules and grammar, etc, one can come up with all sorts of reasons to “legitimize” one’s actions. I completely disagree with OBL’s interpretation. He’s completely illegitimate. And this is acknowledged by the majority of Muslims. The problem is that that majority is silent or is itself dumbed down by authoritarian (mostly secular) regimes.

  118. John McCain is still closer than Barack Hussein Obama to libertarian ideas.

    That’s like saying Vienna is closer to NYC than Prague. Both are far away from NYC and have absolutely no resemblance to NYC.

  119. God, I’m a libertarian, but I find fellow libertarians to be such idiots sometimes. Reinvestigation of 9/11?
    So are we really just a bunch of pot-smoking (which should be legalized) conspiracy theorists? Can’t we just be normal folks who believe in limited government?

    So long as we come off as (or actually are) kooks, libertarianism will remain a fringe movement. But it seems that some people, who care more about looking like anti-government rebels than actually caring about school choice and tort reform don’t mind if the movement never gets anywhere.
    The 9/11 commission did a very thorough, brave, investigation of 9/11. A bunch of (mostly) Saudis did it. It wasn’t the CIA or Mossad or some other conspirational organization. Get over it. This doesn’t mean we have to hate Saudis or start a useless war, but let’s not act like idiots.

  120. CalGirl,

    That’s pretty much all one can do, just keep telling the Truthers that they are doing a huge disservice to libertarianism.

    Alternative, “normal” libertarians (Trutherism aside, libertarians are mostly abnormal people for some weird reason!) should be loud, outspoken, and reach out to non-libertarians with libertarian sympathies. Basically, suppress the noise that is the Truthers.

  121. “The 9/11 commission did a very thorough, brave, investigation of 9/11.”

    I’ve always felt the same way. Sometimes we should doubt our government, but to do so just for kicks is silly. It was a well done commission.

  122. MNG,

    Remember I thought you and neu mejican were the same person !

    I supported Ron Paul with both my $ and my vote.
    I admit Fred Thompson was a strong second choice (he was electable).

    I likely differ from “CO” on lots of issues.
    Traditional uses of animals, professional licensure , foreign policy and most importantly the necessity of the State. Conservatism offers a road to libertarianism which leads to anarchy. I’m one of those “anti-government” conservatives, I’m just more “anti”.

  123. The 9/11 commission weren’t “brave”.They were ass-kissing apologists for our crappy elected officials and bureaucrats.
    9/11 ain’t the Kennedy assassination. We were attacked by radical Islamists. Truthers are nutjobs.(So are vegans and animal rightists:-)

  124. SIV we agree on animal rights, possibly areas of agreement on professional licensure, not on the necessity of the state.

    Per foreign policy , do you agree with the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars?

  125. CO, not for nothing, but you really lost the claim to be an *observer* when you started talking. How about a little “truth in advertising”?

  126. I have to agree about the Commission. They did aa great – and brave 473112 – job, and look, anyone who says we should have abanother investigation or there are still too many open questions is a nutso loon.

  127. Conservative Observer…

    My point is you want to force your way of life on us.

    I realize you’ve already been taken to task for this, but you clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

    Never seen a clearer case of hypocrisy on hit & run…nice job.

  128. To clarify…for ConObs,

    Some basic positions I have on government and its role in society.

    Persuasion is not equivalent to coercion.

    Recognizing a behavior is problematic at a societal level is not the same as advocating a specific policy for addressing that problem.

    No single strategy is appropriate for all possible problem sets.

    Restricting types of solutions without considering the specifics of the problem and the context a priori is guaranteed to be sub-optimal.

    People who craft policy based solely on ideology craft bad policy.

    Evidence-based approaches to any problem set require iterative evaluation of performance and realistic outcome measures.

    Pooled resources are often needed to solve large or pervasive problems in a society.

    A combination of top-down and bottom-up with always beat top-down or bottom-up strategies in isolation.

    Thus ends my quick and dirty manifesto.

  129. Are you a member of the Democrat Party Neu Mejican?

  130. Neil is a lot funnier than CO.

  131. ConObs,

    No.

    Not Republican either.

  132. Hillary has shamefully tried to use Obama’s racial heritage against him. That’s unethical as well as unnecessary. Obama has vulnerabilities, such as a voting record that indicates he’d savage economic liberty, and thus prosperity. Oh yeah, Hillary has a similar voting record.

  133. MNG,

    Remember I thought you and neu mejican were the same person !

    Them’s fightin’ words

    If you’re Neu Mejican.

  134. Perhaps it has already been mentioned in this thread, but George Phillies is running for the LP nomination and he didn’t sign the truther pledge.

    Personally, I think a further investigation is a good idea. I don’t believe that the first investigation was able to discover all of the incompetency. That is, I believe it was done by Bin Laden and Al Quaeda.

    But more investigation as to why the threat of terrorism against the U.S. homeland wasn’t take more seriously, as well has about the failure to heed warning signs of this attack is worthy.

    While I don’t give any credence to the idea that it was an “inside job,” the polling data suggesting that this belief is widespread suggests that this claim should be carefully investigated…to provide for a more official rejection. (What, is it really a popular mechanics article that is cited?)

    I doubt whether it will convince many in the “truther” movement, but it may reduce their influence. Ignoring implausible conspiracy theories doesn’t make them go away.

  135. “I don’t expect “conservatives” to understand – just as they can’t grasp Natural Selection.”

    It is a pity that the term “conservative” has been shanghai’ed. In many people’s minds it is symbolized by the fundamental Christians who reject a whole lot of proven science.

    Personally, I am a Goldwater Conservative. I have no patience with the crazed fundamentalists.

  136. “Neil is a lot funnier than CO.”

    Please don’t give Neil any encouragement.

  137. I liked this comments section better when there were less Team Red/Team Blue cheerleaders. It’s beginning to resemble a Yahoo! News discussion board.

    I’m looking at you, shrike & Conservative Observer.

    CO seems to be the only actual libertarian on here today.

  138. “Personally, I am a Goldwater Conservative. I have no patience with the crazed fundamentalists.”

    There is no way Goldwater would get the Republican nomination now a days. He was pro-choice & believed that homosexuals are citizens & have the same rights as everyone else. Could you imagine how Sean Hannity would react to that.

  139. But no hard drugs, sorry. Their impact on society is too great to be made legal.

    Whoops, shoulda kept reading.

  140. “As google has proved (I think), the “google of GW” doesnt need to work with the government, they just need the government to get out of the way.”

    I disagree with you. Google used a relatively small investment to take advantage of an apparent market opportunity. They did not invent the internet. Frankly, I think no for-profit organization could have invented the internet.

  141. Truthers are left-wing anti-American loons

    Now you won’t see any America-lovin’ conservatives claiming that the government is behind 9/11, but unfortunately, many “truthers” are also libertarians (probably closer to anarchists). Mistrust in government extends to us, too. Duh.

  142. Neither Barr nor Root support an independent 9/11 investigation? Well, there goes my vote. If the truthers are wrong, a serious independent study can do no harm, if they are right, it’s a groundbreaing win against evil. Anyone who is against this, merely because it is embarrassing with their status quo, pro-governement friends, is themself merely a pro government apologist, not a libertarian.

    I’ve long suspected that the reason libertarians are starting to gain some currency isn’t because libertarianism is becoming more widely accepted, but rather because libertarianism’s name is being captured by those members of the status quo middle who are tired of the radical Demo-Repub swings. In short, it’s become stylish and superficial — the moral equivalent of fake clip-on nose rings. On the basis of the majority of the comments here, it’s sad to see Reason’s readership falling so significantly into this catagory.

  143. Hey, let’s not conflate fucking Truthers with anarcho-libertarians. They (Truthers) are completely nuts; us anarchos are only semi-nuts.

    Independent question: why do all the crazies come out on the weekend? I’d say it’s because they’re off work, but crazies don’t work, right?

  144. Anthropogenic GW is real (extent is an open question) and General Electric, AEP, and many other US companies are lining up to profit from clean energy – just like the free market demands.

    Not exactly. These companies are probably doing that for a few reasons, none of which both free market related and global warming related; only one or the other:

    1) They’re doing this because gas prices are soaring and other sources of energy are substitute goods for gasoline. (Free market)

    2) They fear that the government is going to start pressuring them for clean energy cars. The first company that develops the right technology may get subsidies from the government or will be ahead of the curve when government stifles gasoline. (Global warming)

    I bet only a diminutive fraction of the reason is because individuals want to help fight global warming without coercion. Unless everybody feels really really bad for polluting the air to the point that they would pay hundreds (Not me; I love pollution!), that completely defies all game theoretical logic.

  145. if they are right, it’s a groundbreaing win against evil.

    if evil can be broken by a fickin’ commission, then it’s not particularly evil, is it?

  146. CO,

    Don’t worry, I am taking up the slack for him all by myself.

    Neu Mejican | May 10, 2008, 5:22pm | #

    Conservative Observer…

    I don’t own a car (haven’t for 5 years, ever since I moved to within walking distance of work).

    When I did, and there was a need to cool down the car, I used the air conditioner at highway speeds as that is more fuel efficient than rolling down the windows. A lower speeds, the windows cool ya off pretty dang good in the dry air.

    FWIW, my carbon footprint comes out to about 1/3 of the American average…do you have a point?

  147. I’m fairly new at this new-fangled intertubes stuff myself.

    Don’t worry, Subbie. I won’t try to infiltrate or view “Special” Grill-Aides (presumably where the special children go).

  148. Neither Barr nor Root support an independent 9/11 investigation? Well, there goes my vote. If the truthers are wrong, a serious independent study can do no harm, if they are right, it’s a groundbreaing win against evil. Anyone who is against this, merely because it is embarrassing with their status quo, pro-governement friends, is themself merely a pro government apologist, not a libertarian.

    True, but the same could be said for demands for investigations into the “faked moon landing”, or into “aliens at Area 51”, or into the great Masonic Conspiracy.

    Investigating any or all of these could not possibly produce any harm, and on the off chance they uncovered something they could do a great deal of good.

    But that doesn’t change the fact that if you want these things investigated with government funds, you’re a nutjob. And people should rightly be embarrassed to be associated with you, whether they have “pro-government friends” or not.

  149. “There is no way Goldwater would get the Republican nomination now a days. He was pro-choice & believed that homosexuals are citizens & have the same rights as everyone else. Could you imagine how Sean Hannity would react to that.”

    Unfortunately, you are correct.

  150. Further to previous:

    Dee Watz: it seems that you can still get to Special Chatter threads via the Recent Posts page. I accidentally ended up reading a couple after I had just promised not to. So heads up on that.

  151. At the root of climatology is founded physics, while at the root of economics are either sociology or psychology.

    n00b or not, that is a pretty big advantage.

    NM, ggood point.

  152. Why do these weekend threads suck so badly?

  153. Well, there goes my vote. If the truthers are wrong, a serious independent study can do no harm, if they are right, it’s a groundbreaing win against evil.

    Somebody believing in Thor doesn’t do much harm, but it certainly leads me to assume that “Somebody” is a complete idiot. Would you vote for a person who believes in Thor?

  154. Reason’s claim

    “Most of the Libertarian presidential candidates (except for Barr and Root) demand a new 9/11 inquiry.”

    is false.

    As one of my Libertarian party’s leading Presidential candidates, I certainly did not sign the “demand” in question. The primary source lists the actual signers. If I had been contacted by Reason, I would have been happy to make this clear.

  155. GP,

    So, with you not signing is it still “most” or should that have been edited to say many?

  156. Mrs. Clinton has every right to, and should, take this all the way to the convention. Just like Sen. Kennedy or Gov. Reagan did in contests of the past.

  157. At the root of climatology is founded physics, while at the root of economics are either sociology or psychology.

    And sociology and psychology ultimately have their roots in physics also, as does every area of human inquiry except math and possibly philosophy. The problem is that the human brain is such a complex system that trying to explain its activity in terms of the well-understood physics of its quadrillions of quadrillions of constituent atoms would be a fool’s errand. Likewise with trying to explain the behavior of the atmosphere using basic physical laws.

    You don’t seriously think the climate models currently in use are simply simulating the atmosphere as 10^200 air molecules following Newton’s Laws, do you? If they’re simulating any physical entities at all, it’s air masses, the physics of which is only vaguely understood. And they’re probably not even doing that — they’re using climatological “laws” based on observations of the past which have little to do with basic physics.

  158. Chris Potter,

    I am not sure your characterization is apt.

    Without going into detail, think of the progress in cosmology and astrophysics in recent years. Surely the systems studied are more complex than the earth’s climate if you are measuring complexity using the number of molecules and interactions…but that metric of complexity is clearly not appropriate.

  159. A video appropriate for a discussion that brings together cosmology and climate?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SsBtfuSDxw

    Sun Ra, true prog…

  160. Guy Montag | May 11, 2008, 12:17pm | #
    Mrs. Clinton has every right to, and should, take this all the way to the convention. Just like Sen. Kennedy or Gov. Reagan did in contests of the past.

    She has the right, but you make it sound as if she has a duty to, and she doesn’t. At this point, she may as well go through the rest of the primaries and caucuses. Some time in June, Obama will have enough pledged delegates and superdelegates to clinch the nomination. She can bow out gracefully at that point.

  161. She can bow out gracefully at that point.

    [scratches noggin] Hmmm. Ms. Clinton gracefully conceding, humbly admitting that the voters preferred somebody other than her. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  162. Who needs HRC now? We don’t need any riots in Denver now that the candidate favored by Hammas has been handed the keys to the Democrat Party. They’ll implode all by themselves. Ads to define him as what he really is–an out of touch liberal elitism who is too extreme for America–are going to be rolled out very soon.

    Add to that Axelrod’s deluded electoral strategy (assuming Michigan is in the bag while targeting states he has no chance of winning such as Texas and Montana) McCain is going to blow him away in the EC.

    With a candidate this weak being nominated by the Dems, we can pick up Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and possibly New Jersey.

  163. In other words, we’ve got this election in the bag at the top of the ticket for sure.

  164. Conservative Observer –

    If you want to be a respected GOP fanboy, you should try something original or perhaps humorous.

    If that is beyond your mental abilities, go here, where neither trait is expected from the posters or commenters.

  165. Jsub – perhaps C.O. is the latest Kneel/EDWEIRDOOO style of poster?
    (which is also consistent with the unoriginal and unfunny)

  166. I see there are more than enough Democrat fanboys (like Shirke) yet you don’t tell them to go to Daily Kos.

    Did I piss in your cheerios when I told the truth about Saint Obama J sub D?

  167. I see there are more than enough Democrat fanboys (like Shirke) yet you don’t tell them to go to Daily Kos.

    If it’ll make you feel better, I did post this for shrike on this very thread –

    I’ve no love for the Bush administration, but your paranoia is approaching truther levels here.

    An observant person would have noted that I am not too fond of Dem fanboys either. Perhaps you should change your handle from Conservative Observer to Conservative Shill. Truth in advertising and all that.

  168. JsubD,

    I believe the RNC is piloting a new automatic text producing program…just strings together boilerplate to any response/topic.

    For me it fails the Turing Test…no real person can be that dull and oblivious…

    =/;^)

  169. NM –

    That’s not nice, now Conservative Observer (Hey, CO also stands for conscientious objector) is going to have to look up Turing Test.

  170. There’s a problem we may as well describe as “defining conservatism down.” Basically, the most eclectic collection of weirdos gets to be counted as conservative (especially if they’re Republicans). Anyone who opposes even one item on the long list of liberal follies gets to be counted as a conservative, even if on other issues they qualify as liberals or socialists.

    For instance, if someone praises the Bush tax cuts and makes noises about entrepreneurial freedom, then he can be for socialized medicine, man-dog marriage, abortion on demand and perpetual foreign wars, and his conservative standing is assured. Especially if he can get some lefties to denounce him – that will seal his reputation as a conservative.

    Frank Meyer (despite his occasionally-Strangelovian noises on nuclear deterrence) had a considerably superior definition of conservatism. As he explained it, and I’m inclined to agree, each country has its own brand of conservatism. In fact, conservatism can’t even exist until there’s been a break from the country’s founding principles – a betrayal of those principles which sets the country on the wrong track. The conservative task is to put the country back onto the right track by re-establishing the vitality of the country’s founding principles. This doesn’t mean going back to doing every single thing the founding generation did – it means taking the founding institutions and, through the use of reason, applying these institutions to a framework for what the country needs to get back on track.

    In China, for example, although I don’t know a lot about their history, I know that their founding institutions are basically Confucian. A Chinese conservative would be someone who tries to get the country back into a Confucian mode. That wouldn’t mean bringing back foot-binding or re-submitting to European colonialism.

    In the U.S., we have founding principles articulated in the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Federalist Papers, etc, not to mention the strands of Western thought of which these things are culminations. While America has never been fully faithful to these principles (eg, compare slavery with the concept of equal, God-given rights), there was a time when we knew what track we were *supposed* to be on.

    No later than the New Deal (and probably much earlier), people started forgetting what track the country should be on, and put things onto another track – the wrong one. Here is where a proprely-understood conservatism comes in: Getting the country back to an awareness of its own first principles.

    Since the USA’s first principles are much more libertarian than our modern practices, this suggests a great deal of overlap between libertarianism, properly conceived, and American conservatism, properly conceived.

    There are still a few areas of disagreement, mostly stemming from that phrase “created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights.” The libertarian is – or professes to be – OK with the inalienable rights, but the references to God, from the libertarian standpoint, shows that the Founders were superstitious nuts. “How did we get our divinely-created rights – did the Flying Spaghetti Monster touch is with his Noodly Appendage, ha ha?”

    But even more striking that the differences between true libertarians and true conservatives are the differences between true conservatives and the poseurs who have taken over the Republican Party. People like David Frum and (on this forum) “neil” think conservatism is about playing Winston Churchill, starting lots of wars, and tinkering with the machinery of the welfare state, and classifying certain persons as created inherently *un*equal, so that they are “live unworthy of life” subject to being killed at will (the unborn, foreigners in targeted countries, etc.).

  171. Enough with the old joke handles – I thought I’d discarded them!

    “lives unworthy of life”

  172. As an exercise, prove that McCain is more Libertarian than Obama. Given the social issues, the size of government issues, and the free market issues. I suspect you cannot. Both are very far from any kind of classic Liberal/Libertarian position. Neither are as far from them as the distaff Clinton.

  173. Since Weigel continues to ignore Kansas for his Politics & Prog, I though I’d share this, one of the best, if not the best prog rock song ever compose — Journey From Mariabronn.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV8g1r8wLXw

    Out of all of the high voiced prog-rock singers (Jon Anderson, Geddy Lee, et al.) Steve Walsh was arguably the best (which is why Steve Hackett once said he had the perfect white rock voice). Though his voice has lost some tone and range over the years. In his prime he was like a straight, prog-rockin’ Freddy Mercury.

  174. As far as musical links –

    I don’t know anything about the “prog” scene, but here’s a YouTube broadcast (in eleven parts) of a musical called “Shoggoth on the Roof,” which answers the question, “what if they’d hired H.P. Lovecraft to do Fiddler on the Roof”? A question which ought never to have been asked, because there are things mankind was never meant to know.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=qgvogA7r5b0

  175. Which aspect of 9/11 Truth most needs an investigation with subpoeana power?

    The collapse of WTC 7.
    63%

    What a coincidence! 63% of people who think 9/11 truthers are idiots wonder why such a conspiracy would care to engineer the collapse of WTC 7.

  176. What a coincidence! 63% of people who think 9/11 truthers are idiots wonder why such a conspiracy would care to engineer the collapse of WTC 7.

    There being no plausible reason to sabotage WTC 7, the Illuminati ingeniously planted explosive charges there in a futile attempt to throw us clever observers off the scent. It didn’t work. As you learn in Conspiracy 101,

    No discernable reason, purpose or motive is the strongest possible conspiracy evidence.

    *I’m on your side now, guys. I’ll back you up as you continue to make your case with the unassailable logic that only we patriotic American truthers possess.

  177. @Mad Max

    In the U.S., we have founding principles articulated in the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Federalist Papers, etc, not to mention the strands of Western thought of which these things are culminations. While America has never been fully faithful to these principles (eg, compare slavery with the concept of equal, God-given rights), there was a time when we knew what track we were *supposed* to be on.

    I disagree with the assertion that America has never been faithful to it’s principals. I submit the problem is that subsequent generations were confused over what was meant by those statements of principals. Let’s take equality – obviously, they didn’t mean equality under the law (there’s a marked tendency to confuse the D of I with the 14th Amendment), elsewise the Constitution wouldn’t have made distinctions between freemen (and presumably not-freemen), and distinctions between the colonists and “Indians, not taxed”, among many other examples.

    They obviously didn’t mean they expected people to be equal in the material aspect, they instituted no redistribution programs to effect any such condition.

    The problem is that while the D of I asserts “all men are created equal”, it doesn’t define in what respect they are equal, leaving the phrase open to all kinds of creative (and frequently idiotic) interpretations.

    Personally, I think the phrase can be best interpreted by considering a.) who the phrase was addressed to, and b.) the common assumptions operative at the time. Considered in that light, the founders were not at all inconsistent in their words and deeds.

  178. No discernable reason, purpose or motive is the strongest possible conspiracy evidence.

    But if they know we know, then they might think we know they think we know they know. And then they’ll try to trick us, by telling the truth, because we’d never believe it.

  179. PM,

    The Founders weren’t so visionary as to try to instantly root out an evil which was already entrenched in *all* the state. It’s impressive enough that *most* states managed to abolish the institution peacefully – given slavery’s normative status in this hemisphere.

    Jefferson Davis was somewhat annoyed at the founding generation because their talk about liberty and equality was an implied rebuke of slavery. You don’t have to have a hard-core egalitarian interpretation of the D of I to see the contrast between the principle and the practice.

    It was J. Davis and his cohorts, not the founding generation, which came up with the “positive good” interpretation of slavery, replacing the “necessary evil” interpretation of Thomas Jefferson and most founders. I’m not saying Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of South Carolina acknowledged the evils of slavery; I’m speaking of *most* founders and, just as important, the ideas they crafted. These ideas had obvious consequences.

  180. Never mind my previous boasts of responsibility – I was just a patsy. The real perpetrators are . . . aaaahhhh [shot with poisoned dart fired by Boba Fett]

  181. At the root of climatology is founded physics, while at the root of economics are either sociology or psychology.

    It wouyld be nice if the so-called “climatologists” would stick to the evidence of science, rather than injecting their political BS into the mix.

    At this point, they are no better than the “Truthers”, Saudi haters, “A-Rab” haters and extreme “creationists”. The only thing that distinguishes them from that list is their issue.

  182. MM,

    Anybody who needs a reminder that our Founding Fathers did not quite follow with what they preached need only look at the conduct of one Benjamin Franklin and his misuse of his powers as postmaster to distribute his copyrighted materiak, while preventing others from doing the same.

    Not saying that is acceptable, I would be happier if BF were the first jailed for ripping off the government and the consumer.

  183. One of the problems with PM’s point — and I’m not sure, he could be trying to stress the problem for the following reason — is if the Founders really DID live up to their principles, their principles aren’t worth following.

    Paul Finkleman probably best represents this “trashing” of the Founding view. If you look at them through the worst of what they did, you might conclude that “all men are created equal” meant all white propertied protestant males and that the US was founded (in the words of Robert Locke) “this country was founded upon conquest, slavery, sexism, and class rule. The Constitution, as originally written, holds that our ownership of this land by conquest is just, that Indians are savages, that blacks may be enslaved, that women have no fit role in government, and that the (little-remembered) restriction of suffrage to men of property by state governments is valid.”

    Sorry but if that’s what America’s Founding was all about, it is rightly trashed and not vindicated. The only way to vindicate the Founding is to abstract timeless ideals from them and apply them in ways that the Founders would not have anticipated and probably, as creatures of their time, would not approved of.

  184. Without going into detail, think of the progress in cosmology and astrophysics in recent years. Surely the systems studied are more complex than the earth’s climate if you are measuring complexity using the number of molecules and interactions…but that metric of complexity is clearly not appropriate.

    The only interaction present on cosmological scales is gravity, and when objects are separated by large distances, it can be proven that you don’t lose any accuracy by treating them as giant particles interacting via gravity. Thus, when simulating our Local Group of galaxies, you don’t need to worry about the interaction between Earth and a planet in the Andromeda galaxy; you can accurately model it by treating each galaxy as a giant supermassive particle.

    This isn’t the case with the atmosphere. And in any case, my point wasn’t that climatology isn’t valid, but rather that just because it has a vague connection with physics doesn’t make it a more exact science than economics.

  185. Here is another great Kansas clip from their prime, Icarus Borne on Wings of Steel.

    Another way I would describe Steve Walsh is like the perfect cross between Freddy Mercury and Paul Rogers. Now imagine that singing Gabriel era Genesis like tunes, and that’s what Kansas were in their prime.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBRj7AF8YjQ

  186. it has a vague vulgar connection with physics doesn’t make it a more exact science than economics.

    Fixed

  187. I’m in agreement with our “founding fathers”

    Cockfighting has a very long tradition in American culture and history. Many of the founding fathers participated in the sport of cockfighting including Washington and Jefferson.

    Conservatives and libertarians should agree on
    our traditional pass times.

  188. In a time when candidates from all parties are supporting further investigation into vaccines and autism, Libertarians have a unique opportunity to single itself out as the party that doesn’t believe in bullshit. ilan and the FirmaDo this and see how many academics come around to economics as science as well. These candidates are pandering, just like the mainstream candidates are, but I’d love to see if we could weed them out.

  189. Cockfighting has a very long tradition in American culture and history. Many of the founding fathers participated in the sport of cockfighting including Washington and Jefferson.

    Somehow that seems written as if you find it wrong. What is next? Attacking Michael Vick?

  190. According to wiki the term “founding fathers” was coined by Warren G Harding when he misspoke the accepted term “founder fathers”. I knew he coined “normalcy”, the guy was a regular Shakespeare.

    I was also under the misunderstanding that the term “framers” was used as a gender neutral blow to the patriarchy. correcting history’s shameful neglect of Dolly Madison, Betsy Ross and all those butch lesbos who dressed as men to fight in the Continental army or militias.
    Apparently “framers” was originally used to seperate the Constitution guys from the Declaration guys (founder fathers before Harding).

    But can you really trust wikipedia? It isn’t the gold standard of trust, unlike the sincerity of Ron Bailey’s climate change positions.

  191. “The era of Republicans just being able to yell, ‘Liberal! Liberal! Liberal! Big Government! Big Government!’ and have a backlash–that era is over,” Schmitt said.

    Yup.

    Which is not to say there isn’t a niche for anti-liberalism in the foreseeable future, but it’s going to have to take the form of wonkish, technocratic input.

    Becaue the country has changed, and continues to change. The Republicans need to rediscover the inner Eisenhower, or they’re going to be out in the cold for a long time.

  192. I too think “Framers” is a good way to distinguish the “Framers” of the Constitution with the guys who were also involved in writing the Declaration who would be “Founding Fathers.” Ratifiers of the Constitution likewise would be included in the Founding Fathers rubric. Likewise early Presidents were Founding Fathers (even though Jefferson and Adams weren’t involved at the CC).

    I tend to use Founding Fathers because I think the Declaration of Independence and Adams’ and Jefferson Presidencies were important “Founding” events.

  193. Joe we need to re-discover our inner Reagan.

    We lost in 2006 because we weren’t conservative enugh. Bush has low apprval ratings because he isn’t conservative enough.

    His father ran a good solid campaign on conservative ideas in 1988, then raised taxes and lost in 1992.

    Our problem isn’t that we are right wing. We need to be truly right-of-center instead of this “compassionate conservative” nonsense.

    This is a center-right country, and they want a center-right leader.

  194. If Obama wins (I don’t think he will) it will be because of NOT BEING CONSERVATIVE enough for them, not because this has suddenly become a left-wing Democrat country.

  195. C.O., I’ve been skimming your comments.

    You need to rediscover your inner Plato, but you seem to have consistent difficulty, across several different field, understanding that there is a difference between the objective reality that exists outside your mind, and your own feelings and dreams.

    Read a freaking poll, D00d, instead of just consulting your “gut.” This country is objectively not pining for the right.

  196. Robert [not John] Locke is quoted as saying:

    “The Constitution, as originally written, holds that our ownership of this land by conquest is just, that Indians are savages, that blacks may be enslaved, that women have no fit role in government, and that the (little-remembered) restriction of suffrage to men of property by state governments is valid.”

    Uh, no.

    The Constitution did not take a position on the numerous land and boundary disputes among the states, between states and the feds, and between states or feds and Indians. Congress was given the power to regulate commerce with the Indian tribes, just as it was given power to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the states. The President and Senate could approve treaties – including treaties with Indian tribes.

    Slavery already existed under the positive laws of the states. The Constitution allowed reclamation of fugitive slaves, and allowed Congress – for the first time – to prohibit the infamous African slave trade – with the exception that any state which wanted to legalize the slave trade had twenty years (until 1808) to keep it legal before Congress could apply its ban to those states as well. Only South Carolina and Georgia availed themselves of this exception.

    As to the suffrage qualifications in the various states, the Constitution left them where it found them at the time. After the Civil War the 15th Amendment provided for a nonracial suffrage, and in 1920 the 19th Amendment provided for a suffrage which wasn’t limited on the basis of sex. Prior to 1920, many states had granted woman’s suffrage. Among other factors (in addition to non-libertarian influences like Prohibition, which women were presumed to support), a big factor in many states which gave women the vote was to balance out the votes of single, propertyless men with a penchant for socialism and populism.

    The Founders didn’t mess with the property qualifications in the states, despite pressure at the Convention to *add* property qualifications for Congress. With the subject left to the states, these requirements were liberalized over time. Plus in the USA, landed property-ownership was much more widespread than in (say) Europe).

  197. Limbaugh began with the “NOT A REAL CONSERVATIVE” horseshit in 1996, as soon it became obvious that Dole couldn’t win.

    NOT A REAL CONSERVATIVE is what right-wingers chant when they know their party is about to lose, and want to point the finger at a different faction.

    Reagan, of course, blew off the Lifers, met with the Russians, abandoned supply-side economics, implementedf the largerst tax increase in a American history and violated all sorts of conservative dogma, but since he performed at the voting booth, he is held out at the REAL CONSERVATIVE, in contrast with all of those NOT A REAL CONSERVATIVES who lost.

  198. The Nineteenth Amendment points to a key provision of the Constitution – amendments were allowed. That wasn’t a bug, that was a feature, because the Founders wanted to leave succeeding generations free to modify the Constitution as circumstances required. Unlike the cartoon conservatives of libertarian/liberal fantasy, genuine conservatives don’t actually want to keep the text of the Constitution unimpaired the way it was in 1788.

    Of course, *some* constitutional amendments are better than others. The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments, for instance, we could just as well do without.

  199. Joe since 1952, Republicans have won elections 9 out of times times.

    Thats 75% of the time. Of those elections we have won, we’ve had four landslides–the Democrats have had 2 (1964 and maybe 1996).

    No Democrat candidate has gotten a majority of the popular vote since 1976. Republicans have gotten a majority four times since then.

    If these were sports teams who would you put your money on? Exactly.

    This country seems to elect Democrat Congresses, but Republican Presidents. The only time since the Reagan Revolution where we lost was when Perot screwed it up for us. You need to read some history.

  200. “NOT A REAL CONSERVATIVE is what right-wingers chant when they know their party is about to lose, and want to point the finger at a different faction.”

    joe, if you’re accusing me of being a Republican, you can suck my cock.

  201. Joe just remember what happened in 1994 when Clinton tried to shove big government down the collective throats of the American public before you get all excited at the prospect of the second coming of the Great Society.

  202. CO,

    Quit conflating conservatives with Republicans. As one poster put it, Republicans play conservatives like a Compton drug-dealer plays his 15-year-old baby momma.

  203. Mad Max Republicans are the center-right party, and America is a center-right nation.

  204. Seen the truthers arguments going back and forth. Why not just state one undeniable fact? People are allowed to be as stupid as they want. They can say ridiculous sounding things that are completely out of the mainstream. All parties have them. Obama has the Ayers and the Wrights. McCain has Hagee just for starters. Most of the country is religious. Regardless of what you think about religion, figurative mixed with literal writings are not adequate proof to prove truth. Faith is not reason. So most people possess beliefs that do not mesh with reason. They are allowed believe things that are as stupid or wrong as they like, that is their constitutional rights though personally I would advise that it not be a content state, that they eventually give up their with their stupid antics.

  205. You’re right, CO. The American political system hasn’t changed at all. 2006 was a fluke, and Team Red shouldn’t do anything different.

    You keep pining away for the good old days. You’ve certainly picked the right candidate for that.

  206. If these were sports teams who would you put your money on?

    I wouldn’t base my betting on what the rostes looked like 20 years ago.

  207. You need to read some history.

    Back atcha. Start by polishing up on 1932, and learning what a realignment looks like.

  208. Joe, 2006 was a typical year six grievence election–and even then your side undepreformed by the historical standard of the opposition party.

    I remember back in ’88 you guys were real excited about your prospects because you made big gains in the ’86 mid-terms and re-took control of the Senate, and everyone knew Iran-Contra was TOTALLY going to sink H.W. Bush.

    Remember that 14 point Dukakis lead?

  209. CO,

    Quit trying to blow smoke up my fucking ass. The Republicans oppose the Democrats because both parties want the same offices.

  210. 1932? What drug are you on?

    No Democrat could ever get a 49 state landslide. And especially not a one-term Senator who began running fr President fresh out of the Illinois state Senate. My dog has a longer political resume than the standard bearer of the Democrat Party. Pathetic.

  211. Conservative Observer, the week the Republicans killed the 1994 health care bill, Time Magazine releaed a poll showing that 60% of the American public wanted it to pass. You want to compare that to, say, theh 2005 Social Security Privatization roll-out?

    You don’t live in the country you think you live in. You’re just telling yourself pretty stories to make you feel better.

  212. joe and CO,

    Please get a room where you can jointly contemplate the glories of our two-party system.

  213. And especially not a one-term Senator who began running fr President fresh out of the Illinois state Senate. My dog has a longer political resume than the standard bearer of the Democrat Party. Pathetic.

    Yeah, he’s a regular Kennedy. Why, think of how green he’ll look standing next to the Old Man.

  214. Mad Max, stop begging for attention.

  215. Then of course HillaryCare is the law of the land Joe!

    Oh wait, it isn’t because most Americans don’t want big-government European-style socialist healthcare once they’re educated about what its really like.

    If we lose this, nothing will galvanize the Conservative base in 2010 like trying to pass ObamaCare. The ads run against that will make Harry and Louise look tame by comparison.

  216. Don’t worry Joe, McCain won’t hold Obama’s youth and inexperience against him.

  217. Old people are not going to vote for Obama. That is how it is going to be. Racists will save us from European Socialism, but they won’t be giving us someone much better in McDole. I really hope they Kemp Romney so he can disappear as well. He can’t win because the MSM hates Mormons and so do many Americans. People in this country are strange, politicians can’t criticize the public but somebody should. Look at the electorate, there are enough people that will not vote for someone mainly on religion and race to disqualify them, luckily many of them are old, raised on three channels. I seen a little bit of the Sunday shows and it was ridiculous seeing the press lie so obviously through the camera. But once you get past the bigots, you get the lazy and the ignorant. They are a big reason this country is so messed up. They’re either crazy or apathetic and they are allowed to have a say in all our future with this Federal Democracy. That is madness. That is why government should be decentralized, so they can screw up a smaller area and decent people at least have a chance.

  218. Obama will have real trouble with the hispanic vote. He will have trouble with seniors. He will have trouble with Jewish voters. Those are three big Democrat voter blocks he just can’t connect to.

    Paul Begala said it best, Joe. Egg-heads and blacks aren’t a winning coalition. Thats the Dukakis-McGovern-Mondale coalition.

  219. Is that what your gut tells you, CO?

    Because research done on the opinions of actual Americans, who exist outside your heads, shows exactly the opposite.

    I’m thinking of a nice quote that ends, “…usually on a battlefiend.”

    Just keep on keepin’ on, CO. See in November.

    Oh, wait, actually, there are a few more Congressional special elections before then.

    (Srsly, northern Mississippi? What’s up with that?)

  220. OT: Rain warning!

    Folks not familiar with the DC area, we are experiencing heavy rain with flood warnings as I type.

    That said, when it rains at all, much of the DC beltway that is not in VA loses power and traffic accidents/disabled/abandoned vehicles approach 1991 Iraq “highway of death” levels. Well, that is every day, but when it rains or snows it is worse. And if it is sunny or cloudy.

    Anyway, your favorite Reason Cosmotarians may not be available tomorrow if they live in MD or DC, unless they have taken Montana Freemen levels of protection with their property.

    Do not be surprised if Mr. Balko is the only personb posting tomorrow morning before Mr. Douerty gets rolling on the West Coast.

  221. This country is objectively not pining for the right.

    I think that really depends on what version or form of the “right” you’re talking about, joe.

    Personally, I think that your team is relying too much on an “antiwar” vote, and I don’t believe the country is as antiwar as we all would like to think.

  222. Joe you may very well win northern Mississippi.

    By running a DINO. Hes pro-life, pro-gun, pro-tax cut and against socialized health care. Get a clue, the election is being decided on local issues (people in that district resent being represented by someone from the Memphis area given the rural nature of that district).

    Thanks for proving my point that this is a center-right country.

  223. Dummy central on this thread. I really hope these people who are getting all hot and bothered by global warming don’t call themselves libertarians. At least when proposing government solutions. The worst possible thing is for government to try to pick a winning solution. It will more likely end up looking like the Final Solution.

  224. In the real world – where we look for objective data instead of assuming that what we want to be true is actually true – Obama is leading McCain by 30% among Jewish voters in the Gallup poll. Thirty.

    But no, seriously, you should just keep going with what feels right. The Republicans pwn among Americans on the issues! Especially health care!

    Totally. Don’t bother looking for any data or anything. Like at http://www.pollingreport.com.

    A REAL AMERICAN just knows how other REAL AMERICANS feel, and doesn’t need some egg-head bean counter to, like, conduct scientific studies of public opinion or anything.

  225. Hows he doing with hispanics and seniors, Joe? I notice you didn’t talk about that.

  226. Amazing how election after election keeps being run on local issues, isn’t it?

    And how local issues keep favoring the Democrat, and have consisently been doing so for two years.

    Hear that rumble, CO? From deep under the ground? It’s nothing. Sleep tight.

  227. Joe bragging about a DINO winning northern Mississippi would be like me being all excited about Lincoln Chaffee winning Rhode Island.

    But I’m not stupid enough to think the election of a RINO spells doom for the Democrat Party in New England.

  228. Hows he doing with hispanics and seniors, Joe?

    Well enough to have a 3 point overall lead on RCP – and trending up.

    It’s amazing how this can keeps outpolling his opponents, when the demographic groups they carefully select for the purpose of showing how weak he is go the other way.

    I guess black people and eggheads are enough to win. Either that, of your nice little stories are actually, you know, true.

  229. Lincoln Chafee LOST Rhode Island, chief.

    Not even the most RINO RINO in all of RINOSTAN could win.

    As opposed to that northern Mississippi district.

  230. joe, I appreciate your acknowledgement that you cannot back up your accusations against me.

    If you can present any evidence that I am a Republican, or a Rep-symp, then please don’t keep the evidence to yourself.

    If you don’t have the evidence, and don’t have the grace to admit you’re wrong, then just shut up.

  231. Nice story in the Politico today on party identification.

    Democrats 51%, Republicans low 30s. Biggest split in the history of the poll.

  232. Max,

    I haven’t written a word about you on the entire thread.

    Self-absorbed much?

  233. I’d honestly know what you would like to think about Obama’s electoral strategy.

    The Chicago hack Axelrod is forgetting about Ohio and Florida and going for those big swing states (sarcasm) of North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Montana, and North Dakota.

    Can you say “hare brained”? North freaking Dakota, voting for a national liberal Democrat?

    I sure hope he spends all his money advertising in hopeless states like that will McCain is busy snapping up Michigan and New Hampshire.

    His campaign strategist has been in Hyde Park way too long.

  234. I thin his strategy is to be a more talented politician, and run as a Democrat, in a year that is more heavily tilted against the Republican Party than any in the past three generations.

  235. joe,

    Yes, although I can’t come up to your exalted standards in that respect.

    However, your constant accusations of Republican sympathies against me – in numerous threads – are the one thing that gets under my skin. Call me a fascist if you like, call me a Grand Inquisitor who wants to relight the fires of the Inquisition, but don’t pull that Republican accusation. I yield to nobody, not even you own good self, in my detestation of the Republicans.

  236. Yeah Joe, he will totally win Texas and North Dakota.

    The day that happens is the day the Republican nominee wins Mass and D.C.

  237. You don’t think its just a little out-of-touch of his top strategist to discount the biggest swing state of 2000 and 2004 and go down rabbit holes like Montana?

  238. And I ask joe and CO to seriously consider my suggestion of getting a room where you can share your bipolar, Manichean fantasy world which divides the universe into Democrat and Republican. Your fantasy unites you against the real world – you should realize this and drop your petty quarrels.

  239. of North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Montana, and North Dakota.

    None of those states are top-tier efforts.

    Obama is going to win all of Kerry’s states, and also pick up one or more in the southwest – New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada. There’s also Iowa which, if added to Kerry’s states, put Obama over the top.

    A particularly big blowout might bring other states, like Virginia or some of the northern mountain west, into the fold, but those states you mention will only be contested by Obama to build the party (you know, the 50 state strategy that continues to flip Congress) and to put financial pressure on McCain.

    Obama has the money to take the fight to McCain’s turf, not vice-versa.

  240. “It wouyld be nice if the so-called “climatologists” would stick to the evidence of science, rather than injecting their political BS into the mix.”

    Guy, I think most climatologists have a bit stronger claim to scientific knowledge than you. They are called degrees. And experience. You know, knowing what the fuck they are talking about because they studied it for years and worked with it for years. Where the fuck does you claim come from?

    In addition, care to answer my challenge from 7:24 May 10th above? C’mon science master, what other scientific claims with consensus backing of the relevant experts is false? If you could see through one, enlighten us on some others…

  241. Max,

    If it isn’t clear yet, I don’t give a crap how you feel about Republicans.

    You can stop now.

  242. Actually, he really honestly thinks those liberal strongholds of ND, MT, and TX are big swing states.

    See it here.

    Notice he ignores Ohio and Florida.

    Good non-partisan website.

  243. Virginia, btw, is laughable considering its huge military presence. McCain wins there in a walk being a military guy.

  244. Good to see he’s not getting inside your head, CO.

    Yup, the Obama campaign is going to fight this battle in states that the Democrats haven’t seriously contested in years – not INSTEAD OF winning the blue states and flipping some purple-turning-blue states, but IN ADDITION TO those.

    The Republicans are going to win Texas, but they’re going to have spend money to do it. The Democrats aren’t going to have to spend any money to win New York or California. And the Democrats are going to have more money.

  245. McCain wins there in a walk being a military guy.

    Is that what your gut tells you?

    Because the actual, objective evidence gathered from the world outside of your head indicates that Obama has a good chance of flipping it.

    Notice he ignores Ohio and Florida.

    I think you’re misunderstanding – falling for the campaign rhetoric. Democrats always put effort into states like Ohio and Florida. This year, they’re going to be able to put that same sort of effort into a lot of other states, too.

  246. I’m glad you brought up money. When is Obama going to accept public funds like he promised (since McCain is more than willing to accept)?

    Isn’t this the guy who told us “words matter”?

  247. joe and CO,

    You are simply two delicately-fused buttocks on the same derriere (to paraphrase Christopher Hitchens). Why can’t you get along better?

  248. “I’m in agreement with our “founding fathers”

    Cockfighting has a very long tradition in American culture and history. Many of the founding fathers participated in the sport of cockfighting including Washington and Jefferson.

    Conservatives and libertarians should agree on
    our traditional pass times.”

    Why would a libertarian think that because a past-time is traditional then it must be good or protected? For the bulk of this nations history institutional and government enforced racism was the tradition, but that would not make a libertarian think it is a good thing…As usual SIV, I think you miss the gulf between what a libertarian and conservative believe (and what a liberal does for that matter).

    I can see a stronger argument for why a conservative would find that idea more appealing, after all there is that whole “conservation” part of conservatism. But the way animal fighting and abuse has slowly become almost universally socially condemned and THEN made illegal would seem to fit into how conservative thinkers like Burke and Disreali saw positive change as occurring (conservative thinkers that I’ve read have never supposed that traditions be untouchable forever, they’ve always talked about “prudent change” being OK, their beef was trying to change things before the society was ready for it socially).

  249. Mad Max, why don’t you actually support somebody instead of bitching about how unfair political life is for fringe third parties?

  250. When is Obama going to accept public funds like he promised

    If you can find a quote from Barack Obama promising to accept public funds, I will never post on Hit and Run again.

    However, if you cannot, and put up a quote where he promises something else instead, you will never post on Hit and Run again?

    Whadday say? Agreed?

  251. However, there is a reason why “libertarian” and “liberal” share the root word: they have more in common philosophically. Conservatives believe in authority (religious, military, tradition, etc), not liberty. In the US they have often given lip service to libertarianism since they are convinced (not wrongly) that often limiting government will just protect the interests of traditional authority (religious authority, community authority, business authority), but conservatism as a philosophy has always had a special dislike of too much “liberty” (they refer to it as “license”). This is why conservatives are glad to embrace government when it will protect traditional authority…Liberals and libertarians both believe in expanding individual choice to live the life they choose, they split on the idea of negative vs. positive liberty (libertarians tend to think liberty best achieved by making people free from any compulsion, while many liberals think liberty best achieved by providing many people with positive benefits which then expand that person’s choices and opportunities).

    Spot on, Mr. Nice Guy!

    Much nicer than I can be.

    But if you know what “shrike” means that would be no surprise.

    I am not on Team Blue. GOP apologists who hear criticism of their $3.1 trillion Big Government party conveniently label their vocal opponents as such. Hell, I am against National Healthcare and welfare. I am a secularist, Darwinist and a misanthrope. I don’t give a fuck about “humanitarianism”.

    I also know when the country is getting buttfucked by Authoritarian Big Government types who all shit from the same asshole.

  252. Come on, CO.

    What do you say?

    Put up or shut up: do you accept my offer?

  253. “Obama is going to win all of Kerry’s states, and also pick up one or more in the southwest – New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada. There’s also Iowa which, if added to Kerry’s states, put Obama over the top.”

    Joe
    Bush beat Kerry 286-251 for a margin of 35. Picking up any one of the 3 SW states and Iowa doesn’t make that up, does it?

    Only if he were to flip Ohio or Florida, two states that I’m dubious of him doing does he pull it off…

  254. From USA Today:

    Last fall, the Midwest Democracy Network, a non-partisan alliance of civic groups from five Midwestern states, released a questionnaire that asked candidates if they would “agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign” if “your major opponents agree.” Obama’s response: “Yes.”

    Does that not count as a “quote” since its written?

  255. NM he would have to run the table in the Southwest. Not possible. Not with his hispanic problem and McCain being a favorite son.

  256. Obama is behind Clinton by 40 points in West Virginia. Holy crap that bodes badly I think…Sure, WV is very different than most states in the union, but it really shows Obama’s weakness among working class whites. I mean really shows it.

  257. And all those Clinton Democrats will become McCain Democrats in the fall, you can take that to the bank MNG.

  258. CO,

    “Mad Max, why don’t you actually support somebody instead of bitching about how unfair political life is for fringe third parties?”

    Like your counterpart joe, your vision of the universe is limited to two political organizations, yours and his. (Incidentally, compared to you joe looks like a fricking intellectual powerhouse). Regardless of your self-imposed, moronic limitation of your own vision, don’t assume that you are able to impose a similar limted vision on others.

    Your proprietary sense that you “own” the votes of certain Americans, and that they are depriving of your property by voting for alternative candidates, is extremely amusing, and typical of the arrogance which could well topple the Republicans – a consummation, in my view, devoutly to be wished.

  259. It doesn’t count as a quote that he promised to accept public fundinig, since he agreed to do so only if McCain did as as well.

    McCain is already spending outside the public funding limits, so, no, but nice try.

  260. Mad Max no one is stopping you from telling us why we should all vote for Wayne Root.

  261. Very Clintonian of you, Joe.

  262. CO,

    No-one is stopping you from exercising your Constitutional right to remain silent. Yet you refuse to do it, and our Republic is the loser.

  263. “And all those Clinton Democrats will become McCain Democrats in the fall, you can take that to the bank MNG.”

    Not all, no. But some. And McCain will do well among independents, especially whites.

  264. MNG,

    The same polls that show him losing so heavily in WV show him winning nationally.

    That’s what a realignment is: different constituencies more around, leaving one party with a built-in advantage.

    Besides that 40 is among Democrats. Wishful thinking aside, they’re going to vote Democratic, just like McCain voters came back to Bush in 2000.

  265. @Conservative Observer

    Mad Max Republicans are the center-right party, and America is a center-right nation.

    Yes, but Right and Left are relative terms. As far as most of Europe is concerned, America has a right-wing party (Democrats) and a far-right-wing party (Republicans). America may be center-right relative to most Western nations, but it’s also true that the Democrats would be a center-right party in virtually every one of those nations.

  266. Yes Mad Max you are so cool and above it all because you refuse to play the game!

    Well, some of us are interested in, you know, governing. Some, like you, just bitch and cry at the sidelines.

  267. Very Clintonian of you, Joe.

    I’m sorry, is that dumbass for “right?”

  268. CO,

    Thank you for acknowledging that it’s all a game to you. And, yes, I intend to cast a vote for any candidate willing to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Sorry that this rules out your guy.

  269. Thats what you call a liberal the weasels his way out of a promise, like your golden boy BHO.

    So much for “change”. He was in favor of public financing before he was against, huh?

  270. Not all, no. But some. And McCain will do well among independents, especially whites.

    Obama is winning independents vs. McCain.

    He is winning overall.

    He is winning about white Democrats.

    When both parties’ nomination contests were open battles, the number of Republicans who voted for Obama vastly outnumbered the number of Democrats who voted for McCain. Ditto independents.

    For a guy who can’t seem to win this and that and the other demographic group, he certainly is leading the polls.

  271. “Well, some of us are interested in, you know, governing.”

    Given the democrat/republican definition of governing – taking money from those who are vulnerable and giving it to their supporters – why should I use the political process for that purpose? Why can’t I simply cut out the middleman and pick as many people’s pockets as I can? I suppose I just don’t have what it takes to be a true “man of the people.”

  272. Thats what you call a liberal the weasels his way out of a promise, like your golden boy BHO.

    So you can’t back up your assertion about what he promised, so are going to talk about your feelings?

    There’s a shocker.

  273. Joe
    The WV primary is open to Dems and Independents, so the poll might reflect Obama’s weakness among white working class Independents.

    More to the point: A Democrat that simply carries Kerry’s load plus Iowa and one SW state doesn’t win I think. Maybe I’ve done the math wrong, but that won’t make up the 35 electoral vote gap between Bush and Kerry.

    Ohio and/or Florida must flip.

  274. Joe, come November Obama’s image is going to be so tarnished he will be lucky to do as well as Dukakis, let alone Kerry.

    Remember June 1988. Dukakis +14. November? Landslide loss.

    His shine will come off and the voters will see him for what he is–a huckster. A far-left big city ethnic machine politician selling electoral snake oil. A leftist thats hard on the average American’s wallet while being squishy-soft on terror.

    I hate liberals, but I must say I especially hate big-city Richard Daley style hack liberals. It will be a pleasure to watch his political career go down the toilet.

    *glug glug glug*

  275. Most independents don’t vote in party primaries, even in open states.

    You’re right about the electoral math – he will have to have a strong showing throughout the southwest.

    But there are other states that could flip besides just Ohio and Florida. It’s strange what’s in play this year. Have you seen SUSA’s electoral college map?

  276. Remember June 1988. Dukakis +14. November? Landslide loss.

    So what you’re saying is, it’s better to be losing in the polls.

    Please, keep sharing your feelings with us, and I’ll keep putting up hard data.

    There are plenty of regulars on this site. They can tell you how that game ends.

  277. Joe
    The electoral map matters than national polls, as Gore found out…

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/polls/
    These polls show Obama leading, but the May ones show a lead of 1-6% points. That’s pretty weak considering the conditions going on (unpopular war, faltering economy, etc.) that should be giving the Dem candidate a more commanding lead. Given these polls under conditions, I think Obama and HRC are not great candidates. A less bagged down candidate should be up 10 points over any Republican.

  278. Barack Obama = Boston Red Sox

    Hillary Clinton = Cleveland Indians

    John McCain = Colorado Rockies

    Democratic Party = American League

    Republican Party = National League

    I think it’s just great that the Rockies won the pennant. Really, they should be proud. To go on that winning streak like that, and come way back from behind, was quite an achievement. Even in the National League.

    But after that Sox-Cleveland series, the World Series was an anticlimax. The ALCS decided who was the best team in baseball. The leagues are just unbalanced these days.

  279. Joe
    I hope you’re right joe. I don’t want Stevens replaced by another Roberts…

    Bedtime for me gents!

  280. I’m saying Joe that the more people know about Obama, the less they will like him.

    You think Rev. Wright and Ayers was bad? Thats only the beginning. I work in Republican politics, theres TONS of stuff we have about Obama and are itching to use. Most of it is courtesy of Jack Ryan and the huge folder he collected, before he had to drop out in 2004. Alan Keyes was too stupid to use his opposition research, but we won’t be.

    You know, its funny how it worked. Because our best shot at that seat didn’t work out in 2004, the Democrats have just nominated a guy who was never vetted correctly.

  281. Nope, thats wrong.

    Barack Obama is the New England Patriots.

    John McCain is the New York Giants.

  282. MNG,

    Seriously, go to http://www.surveyusa.com and search for their electoral map.

    That’s pretty weak considering the conditions going on (unpopular war, faltering economy, etc.) that should be giving the Dem candidate a more commanding lead.

    The condition that matters here is that Obama is just coming out of a closely contestes primary, while McCain has been out of his for, what, two months? What is notable is that McCain couldn’t build a lead over either Hillary or Obama during that period. The Repubicans knew this – what do you think “Operation Chaos” was supposed to be all about?

    Now that the primary battle is fading into the rear view mirror, Obama is trending up, just as predicted.

  283. Chris Potter,

    This isn’t the case with the atmosphere. And in any case, my point wasn’t that climatology isn’t valid, but rather that just because it has a vague connection with physics doesn’t make it a more exact science than economics.

    What I find inapt in your characterization is the idea that economics and physics are have an equivalently tenuous connection to more exact science. Even if you can get brain processes well connected to physics, you still have to interpret them through neurology and psychology and then add on the social level of large groups of brains interacting. Our understanding of these processes is far far less rigorous than our understanding of eg., how large air-masses interact, or how the oceans interact with those air masses.

    You can trust basic thermo-dynamics to explain the parts of the climate system that are amendable to reductive analysis.

    Not so much true with economics. The BASIC theories… and the axioms they are built upon…are couched at the level of either brains or communities. Farther by a long stretch from the more exact sciences that are found at the base of climatology…and are used to form the axioms and theories it works to refine.

    I still give the edge to climatology…

  284. I work in Republican politics,

    If ever a phrase invited one to discount the veridicality of a speaker’s claims it would be that one…

  285. I’m sure you think your negative campaigning can pull it out, CO. So did Hillary.

    You’d better hope so, anyway, because that’s all that you’ve got: efforts to make the American people dislike a charismatic candidate that they’re inclined to like.

    What’s most interesting is that even now, having been ducking kitchen sinks for two months, he still has a higher approval rating than John McCain.

  286. TEAM RED!!

    TEAM BLUE!!

    I see nothing new under the sun.

  287. Heh, Hillary is a softy compared to what the 527s are planning.

    I never thought I’d say this put poor Hillary. She knows her party is about to commit electoral suicide and nobody believes her.

  288. I work in Republican politics

    Then you know that the House leadership called their caucus together last week to announce “it’s every man for himself.”

    The country has had it with you people. I wouldn’t want to acknowledge reality either, CO, because people like you – people who “work in Republican politics” – are precisely what the public is rebelling so violently against.

  289. Yup, it’s Neil.

  290. No, seriously, keep it up with the old style politics. It’ll really get you far in 2008, just like it did in 2006.

    You can run the 1988 campaign all you want. The public will go out of their way to punish you for it.

    Against a candidate winning in the polls with “change vs. more the same,” you’re bragging about how you’re going to re-run old Republican political stunts.

    You go on with your bad self.

    I’m going to go sleep like a baby.

  291. Against a candidate winning in the polls with “change vs. more the same,”

    What change? I’m not seeing a damn thing different about Obama’s politics.

    I’ll tell you right now I’m not convinced that we’ll be out of Iraq or out of Big Government with Obama.

  292. I’ll tell you right now I’m not convinced that we’ll be out of Iraq or out of Big Government with Obama.

    At this point, cutting the losses in Iraq is the only line item politically feasible.

    That’s a trillion $’s over the next term. Nothing else can come close.

    Normally I prefer gridlock with a Dem picking the justices – for the civil liberties. That would mean a GOP House.

    The GOP House is done for until about 2014-16 – at best.

  293. And I ask joe and CO to seriously consider my suggestion of getting a room where you can share your bipolar, Manichean fantasy world which divides the universe into Democrat and Republican.

    Um, this was the weekend political thread. It’s pretty much, in fact, that room.

  294. And I guess this is minority opinion, but I find Neil and Edward hilarious; however MK2 and ConObs not so much, they are inane and tiresome.

  295. ok some credit, this:

    “Well, some of us are interested in, you know, governing. Some, like you, just bitch and cry at the sidelines.”

    made me chuckle.

  296. At this point, cutting the losses in Iraq is the only line item politically feasible.

    shrike, as I said, I am not convinced that Obama is even going to accomplish this.

  297. I’m almost inclined to support Phillies because he’s at least shown he reads reason…or at least H & R (and it’s a toss-up as to which is better).

  298. “The 9/11 commission did a very thorough, brave, investigation of 9/11.”

    LOL! The 9/11 Commission was like putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

    The government lies to us on a regular basis. The government violates people’s rights on a regular basis. The government murders innocent people on a regular basis.

    Libertarians of all people should know this.

    Some libertarians say, “But the government is too stupid to have carried out the 9/11 attack.”

    My response to this is that not everyone in government is stupid. There are highly intelligent people in government. These people are control freaks. There are certainly stupid people in government as well, but they are mostly at the lower levels. The ones who are “running the show” are far from being stupid. These people are ruthless, EVIL, control freaks.

    All of the evidence points to 9/11 having been a false flag terror operation (ie-an attack that was carried out by government and then blamed on an “enemy” as a pre-text for going to war and seizing more power).

    It would have only taken a small group of motivated individuals within government to have carried out the 9/11 attack.

    I got sick & tired of too many Libertarians/libertarians running away from 9/11 Truth so I started up Libertarians for 911 Truth in response to this. Here’s the link.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Libertariansfor911Truth/

  299. Kolohe | May 11, 2008, 11:20pm | #
    And I guess this is minority opinion, but I find Neil and Edward hilarious; however MK2 and ConObs not so much, they are inane and tiresome.

    You must have missed it the other day when Balko outed Edward and MK2 as coming from the same IP.
    If he would now do the same for CO and Neil, I would appreciate it.

    I find them all to be inane and tiresome.

  300. All of the evidence points to 9/11 having been a false flag terror operation

    I spent over half an hour wandering around that Libertarians for 911 Truth group and its referents, and I failed to find one iota of evidence. All I found were wild circumstantial inferences.

    Perhaps you can answer the question above… Why would any such conspiracy care what happened to WTC 7?

  301. Perhaps you can answer the question above… Why would any such conspiracy care what happened to WTC 7?

    WTC7 was demolished for the same reason that the remains of the Murrah building were demolished. Public safety.

    A more interesting question is why they didn’t just announce that it was demolished. Maybe they will when the NIST report finally comes out.

  302. Further side note to Dee Watz: Looks like you plugged up the holes, so secret Grill-Aides is now truly secret. Sorry to hear that you are not reconsidering my ban, but hopefully time will mellow you out a bit. Look forward to still seeing you here and at the Gorillas In The Mist blog.

  303. The 9/11 commission did a extremely brave job. My only question is who was more honest and brave, the Warren Commission or the 9/11 commission John McCloy, Henry Kissinger, it is amazing to witness the great moral fiber of this country rise to the top when we have a crisis. Honorable mention would have to go to LBJ’s honesty when he talked about the USS Liberty after that tragic accident.

  304. Here are the levels of plausibility of 9/11 conspiracy…

    1. Someone in the government did put two and two together and figured out that a terrorist strike was likely, but chose to do nothing to forestall it.

    This is actually plausible — say an a priori 10% possibility.

    2. Someone in the government orchestrated the terrorist strike as it is generally understood.

    This is an order of magnitude less plausible. Many more people would need to be aware and keep the secret in this case. Even more unbelievable is that those in a movement sworn to the harming of the US would play along with US orchestration of the event. From the 10% above, we’re now down to a 1% possibility of this scenario.

    3. Someone in the government orchestrated the destruction of 9/11 in a way not generally understood — e.g., controlled demolition of WTC 1 and 2.

    This is another order of magnitude less plausible. Now many dozens of people would need to be aware and keep the secret. The mechanisms of destruction would need to be investigation-proofed because so much is on the line, and planning the event would therefore be extremely intense. We’re down to a 0.1% possibility.

    Why do 9/11 truthers push scenario #3?

  305. Why do 9/11 truthers push scenario #3?

    If I may endeavor to answer the question, I think it’s a simple problem of information.

    The more that is required from a conspiracy, the more “facts” and “observations” there are that can be found to be “evidence”. So people looking for a conspiracy may start with the most plausible conspiracy scenario possible, yet discover that so little is required from that scenario that there is simply no evidence for it. Then they expand the scenario as they seek or find “facts” that provide “evidence” of a larger conspiracy. In the end, in order to incorporate all the “evidence” that can be brought to bear, the conspiracy scenario must be as sprawling as can possibly be conceived.

    Thus conspiracy nuts come up with nutty conspiracies.

  306. joez 9/11 Conspiracy Theory.

    The 9/11 Report tells us that there were three people taking notes in the White House command center, where Dick Cheney was running things while Commander Bunnypants ran for cover: the room’s permanent recording secretary, Lynne Cheney, and Scooter Libby, the Vice President’s Chief of Staff.

    Each of the three sets of notes records every telephone call betweent the President and Vice President that the 9/11 Report references, except one: the phone call in which Bush allegedly gave Cheney authorization to issue the shoot-down order.

    None of them contains a single word indicating that a phone call took place at the time indicated in the report, or that there was ever a phone call in which the issue of a shoot-down order was discussed.

    It would be expected that Cheney’s wife and his C.o.S. would be primarily focused on what he said and did, and that the professional stenographer would make sure to indicate that a phone call took place.

    But they don’t. None of them.

    BTW, I don’t think that any of the planes were shot down. Flight 93 had already crashed when Cheney gave the shootdown order. But they lied about it to the 9/11 Commission.

  307. MNG,

    I certainly have never claimed to be a ‘climatology’ expert and I certainly do not need to be one to express doubt in their ‘story’. Especially since their ‘story’ keeps changing and they keep getting things incredibly wrong.

    Now, in case you missed it, I do kave a degree in Finance, not quite Economics, but you don’t need either to spot the scams that the schemes like Kyoto and ‘carbon credit’ are without much examination.

    However, if you truly wish to be Mr. Authoritarian Guy on what people may comment on, then please, just stick to the field where you have som post-HS formal education, k?

    I reserve my right to speek and write freely and you can’t infringe on it, no matter how much you wish to silence those who disagree with you.

    Again, the Global Cooling Global Warming Climate Change folks are just running a big scam, in league with their useful idiot reporter buddies. I saw a pretty neat “hockey stick” graph of the instances of “climate change” or “global warming” over the past few years. Amazingly, is is just as dramatic as that bogas CO2/Global Warming graph that was being schleped around a couple of years ago.

    Oh, and I really don’t care what you drive or how you live, it is none of my business. I shall be working ona good old-school V-8 in a couple of weeks, would be glad to send pix if I did not think it would make you cry.

  308. Conservative Observer:

    I work in Republican politics,

    Neu Mejican

    If ever a phrase invited one to discount the veridicality of a speaker’s claims it would be that one…

    joe:

    The country has had it with you people.

    I volunteer time for different Republican candidates as well. Currently I’m pushing for candidates of my party to advocate a non-interventionist foreign policy and eschew any wars not necessary for our defense so therefore to bring our troops home from the Mideast. To advocate a large reduction of government intervention in the economy, including subsidies, welfare and tariffs. And to let the Constitution be the guide vis a vis civil liberties and in all matters.

    Here in Colorado and across the nation there are lotsa other GOP folks making similar efforts.

  309. Interesting 9/11 Conspiracy Theory, joe.

  310. 2. Someone in the government orchestrated the terrorist strike as it is generally understood.

    This is an order of magnitude less plausible. Many more people would need to be aware and keep the secret in this case. Even more unbelievable is that those in a movement sworn to the harming of the US would play along with US orchestration of the event. From the 10% above, we’re now down to a 1% possibility of this scenario.

    Isn’t this what happened with the anthrax attacks? We pretty much know the government did it because of their sustained lack of interest in bringing the culprit(s) to justice. But it is not like anyone has cracked and talked, or is likely to in the future.

  311. BTW, I don’t think that any of the planes were shot down. Flight 93 had already crashed when Cheney gave the shootdown order. But they lied about it to the 9/11 Commission.

    Flight 93 was shot down. There were two sets of commands. The ones for the record and the real ones. The real command for shooting down this flight came before the version of the command for the record, to the extent that a command for the record occurred at all.

  312. Isn’t this what happened with the anthrax attacks?

    I’m not talking about the anthrax attacks. I’m talking about 9/11.

    But thanks for the example of expanding the conspiracy in order to allow more “evidence”.

  313. Why do 9/11 truthers push scenario #3?

    Generally speaking, they don’t. Most real-life truthers believe in modest LIHOP conspiracies.

    However, anti-conspiracy people, like, say, David Weigel, find the looniest stuff they can and try to make it sound like that is the truther mainstream, rather than extremist trutherism. For example, when journalist Jennifer Abel reported on a truther meeting, she had to leave the meeting and take to the street in order to find someone who believed something wack enough to comport with her pre-conceived notions of what being a truther (or, as she misleadingly called them, “9/11 Denialists”) is all about.

    So, MikeP, you get you info from places like here, then naturally you will have a distorted view about what Truthers are. What you are doing is akin to trying to find out what Jewish people believe by researching Iranian media sources.

  314. Rick Barton,

    You are not the “you people” I meant.

    I don’t think the American public has seen enough of your sort of Republican lately to have grown sick of you.

  315. I believe the RNC is piloting a new automatic text producing program…just strings together boilerplate to any response/topic.

    They’ve had that for years. Ever listen to Sean Hannity?

  316. So, MikeP, you get you info from places like here, then naturally you will have a distorted view about what Truthers are.

    That’s odd. I thought I was following links from comments on this thread and from the anchor article — the latter of which shows the majority of LP presidential candidates signing on to a petition where 63% of respondents to a question think WTC 7 is interesting.

  317. That’s odd. I thought I was following links from comments on this thread and from the anchor article — the latter of which shows the majority of LP presidential candidates signing on to a petition where 63% of respondents to a question think WTC 7 is interesting.

    THAT is what lead you to ask:

    Why do 9/11 truthers push scenario #3?

    Don’t think so. I think it is more that thing I said about reading too much Weigel, and his ilk, over the course of years.

  318. Over the course of years, I have run across and read a lot more Truther material than I have read critics pointing out Truther material.

    But it may be that the information effect that I pointed out may cut both ways. From outside, the conspiracy mongers who garner the most attention are those who have the most “evidence”, and therefore the wildest, most sprawling conspiracy theories.

    So cut through the misinformation for me… Do you have references to people who believe scenario #1 and reject #2 and #3, or who believe scenario #2 and reject #3?

  319. Rick Barton,

    I second joe’s exclusion of you from the comments aimed at ConsOb,

    Somehow

    “I volunteer time for different Republican candidates as well.”

    and

    “I work in Republican politics,”

    don’t have the same implications for me.

  320. Ever listen to Sean Hannity?

    Not if I can avoid it…yikes what a maroon that guy is…

  321. http://www.buzzflash.com/articles/editorblog/089

    That’s scenario #0: The government is incompetent and tries to cover up its incompetence.

    Even I agree with that one. In fact, going by the prior logarithmic scale, it is true with 100% probability.

    Nothing in that article implies any belief that the government knew a 9/11 type strike would happen (#1) or that they orchestrated it (#2).

    Got another?

  322. Libertarian who don’t believe in government demanding an unending expensive congressional investigation. Sigh.

    p.s. Well at least my main squeeze Christine Smith didn’t sign on to it. There’s hope for the party yet…

  323. Got another?

    Look, you ask me for 9-11 conspiracy theories that aren’t nutty. I respond with the anthrax. You respond to that by pointing out that the anthrax thing occurred slightly after 9/11.

    So I come back with Flt 93 was shot down. You respond to that by pointing out that the government didn’t really kill anybody who wasn’t already going to die on that one.

    I wish everybody define conspiracy theory as narrowly as you. I really do. I have been trying for years now to get T. to srsly entertain the idea that Flight 93 was shot down, but I just can’t do it. Maybe you can talk to him. He likes listening to you.

    However, instead of trying to throw up more conspiracies, let’s look at the relevance of the anthrax and Flt 93. The relevance of the anthrax is that it shows that the government can and will kill American civilians and keep it a secret and nobody will “crack” or “spill the beans.” Maybe the anthrax is the first time that has happened, and maybe its not — but it does show people like Mr. Henley (a conspiracy skeptic now blogging at The Art Of the Possible) that something he don’t think can happen can happen.

    The larger relevance of Flt 93 is different and more subtle. It means that the government had its air defenses in place a lot sooner than it was willing to admit. How much sooner? Soon enough to have intercepted those other flights? After we know how fast the air response really was (instead of the lie), could it have been made faster still, but for the command chain?

    This is why the shootdown of Flt 93 is a deep dark secret. Because we are not supposed to ask the larger question of what happened to the air defenses. When you press somebody like T. on this they will just say that the air defenses were never designed to liquidate a threat originating within the boundaries of the US. I expect you understand the nature of the US air defenses, then as now, a bit better than that, MikeP.

  324. Look, you ask me for 9-11 conspiracy theories that aren’t nutty.

    No. I asked you for 9/11 conspiracy theories that propose #1 or #2 but do not propose #3. I take it you don’t know of any.

    To be blunt, I can fully believe that believable conspiracies are believable. What I don’t see are the ones that are marginally unbelievable. Those all seem to become completely unbelievable very rapidly, yet they still have a strong following.

    As for the anthrax episode, yes, perhaps that shows that a meager event that can be orchestrated by two people (I am being generous by not saying one person) can be orchestrated by the government and kept secret.

    As for Flight 93, why would I expect anything more than incompetence and later covering up of that incompetence by the government as they have to face both what they did and what they didn’t do in 20-20 hindsight?

    But just to address one issue, the article you pointed to quoted…

    Bush concurred-and shortly after, the moment of truth arrived. A military aide approached Cheney: “There is a plane 80 miles out,” he said. “There is a fighter in the area. Should we engage?”

    Shanksville, Pennsylvania, is 125 miles from Washington.

  325. As for the anthrax episode, yes, perhaps that shows that a meager event that can be orchestrated by two people (I am being generous by not saying one person) can be orchestrated by the government and kept secret.

    It takes more than two people’s complicity to steal anthrax from a military base. It probably took more people’s complicity than it took to do the hi-jacking.

    80 miles out . . . 125 miles

    The script for public consumption didn’t have to be accurate. It meant nothing.

    Anyways, since you are willing to believe believable conspiracies, these are mere quibbles. Really, we need to be working on ol’ T.

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