Economics

Richard Epstein: Chrysler Bankruptcy "should be struck down on both statutory and constitutional grounds"

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Reason contributor and legal scholar extraordinnaire Richard Epstein on the Chrysler bailout:

Corinthians

A sound bankruptcy proceeding should do two things: productively redeploy the assets of the bankrupt firm and correctly prioritize various claims against the bankrupt entity. The Chrysler bankruptcy fails on both counts. […]

On claim priority, unsecured creditors come at the bottom of the bankruptcy totem pole. The basic rule of credit transactions distributes the net assets first to secured creditors in the order of their priority. First mortgages are normally paid in full before second, and lower mortgagees receive anything, in order, on their loans. Unsecured creditors of all types have an equal claim regardless of the time they perfected their claims. But they receive their first dime only after secured creditors have been paid in full.

It is absolutely critical to follow these priority rules inside bankruptcy in order to allow creditors to price risk outside of bankruptcy. Upsetting this fixed hierarchy among creditors is just an illegal taking of property from one group of creditors for the benefit of another, which should be struck down on both statutory and constitutional grounds.

Whole thing, well worth a read, here; link via Instapundit.

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  1. Richard Epstein was my favorite Welcome Back Kotter character.

    Quick! Someone post some definitions of all of the terms in the article before MNG gets here and posts his War and Peace screeds of how wages-to-grave are more secured than a mortgage, please?

  2. Somebody really needs to get Shatner to record himself yelling “OBAAAAAAAMAAAAAAAA!!!”

  3. “Upsetting this fixed hierarchy among creditors is just an illegal taking of property from one group of creditors for the benefit of another, which should be struck down on both statutory and constitutional grounds.”

    No, it’s about finally providing fairness to the working class.

  4. Fine, Corinthian leather…

  5. Richard Epstein uses 52% of his brain.

    You know how much most people use? 3%.

  6. “Somebody really needs to get Shatner to record himself yelling “OBAAAAAAAMAAAAAAAA!!!”

    Holy shit! Dude, last night I was talking to a friend of mine about some of the shit Obama’s up to and I said pretty much the same thing.

    Great minds think alike…

    And so do we.

  7. “I don’t believe in the no-win situation. Unless, of course, I’m a secured creditor of Chrysler, in which case the Kobayashi Maru seems like a cakewalk.”

  8. The role of MNG is being played by Affirmative Justice.

    I hope this is better than that Seinfeld episode with the Asian nail technicians.

  9. It sucks that Ricardo Montalb?n is dead. He friggin’ ruled.

  10. When FIAT takes over this corpse, they should rename it FIAT/UAW/Chrysler/Democratic Party Motors, aka FUCD Motors.

  11. Oh, Logic and the Rule of Law are so… August ’08.

  12. It sucks that Ricardo Montalb?n is dead. He friggin’ ruled.

    Best Star Wars villan ever.

  13. It is absolutely critical to follow these priority rules inside bankruptcy in order to allow creditors to price risk outside of bankruptcy.

    Whaaaaat?

    The bankruptcy judge should use his empathy superpowers to distribute those assets fairly. And if the evil moneylenders think they can jack up interest rates in the future to compensate for uncertainty, we’ll just invite them to the White House and help ’em get their minds right.

  14. It sucks that Ricardo Montalb?n is dead. He friggin’ ruled.

    Don’t worry, the Genesis device will bring him back.

  15. Ha! I just got the “Khaaaaan!!” – “fine Corinthian leather” nexus.

    That’s a hint for those EVEN denser than I am.

  16. “It sucks that Ricardo Montalb?n is dead. He friggin’ ruled.

    Best Star Wars villan ever.”

    Nerds everywhere just woke up shaking in a cold sweat or felt like someone walked over their grave.

    And FUCD Motors is brilliant.

  17. The guy had presence, no doubt. And who else ever made Kirk yell like that?

  18. James Tiberius Kirk, libertarian or socialist?

    Discuss.

  19. Nerds everywhere just woke up shaking in a cold sweat or felt like someone walked over their grave.

    I didn’t catch that until you pointed it out…

    …I hope I didn’t just lose my nerd credentials. 😀

  20. I bet Han Solo was a libertarian. He was sort of a small businessman and there did not seem to be a lot of vice laws in the places he liked to hang out. And he certainly believed he should be able to carry a firearm.

  21. KJ,

    You ought to see those other guys mixing up bands and song titles. I am an amature compared to them.

  22. Hey Art, have you ever read the Supreme Power series? I just read issues 1-18 (got ’em on Amazon’s second hand market) and they ruled.

  23. I bet Han Solo was a libertarian.

    We know he’s a libertarian because he shot first, dammit.

  24. MNG,

    Are you talking Hyperion and Zarda Supreme Power or something else?

  25. “I am an amature compared to them.”

    Is “amature” a French word for a guy who likes to have sex with other guys? Or did you mean amatuer?

  26. Yeah, it was a reboot of the Squadron Supreme by the dude who did Babylon 5. I liked it.

  27. Is “amature” a French word for a guy who likes to have sex with other guys? Or did you mean amatuer?

    He probably meant “amateur,” MNG.

  28. James Tiberius Kirk, libertarian or socialist?

    Rational Anarchist.

  29. Kirk, with his clear natural rights perspective? Libertarian.

  30. Though he was a tyrant on the Enterprise.

  31. Xeones: sword of joe’z law.

  32. Hey Art, have you ever read the Supreme Power series? I just read issues 1-18 (got ’em on Amazon’s second hand market) and they ruled.

    Uh-uh…but I’ll absorb your recommendation. The world’s passed me by since I’ve been in Iraq, but I won’t be here forever.

  33. “Yeah, it was a reboot of the Squadron Supreme by the dude who did Babylon 5. I liked it.”

    Cool. I have the first hardback graphic novel but haven’t read much of it. I’ve been going over GL:Rebirth and Sinestro Corp War in preps for Blackest Night.

    I don’t know how much, if any, you’ve read of Supreme Power but the closet scene with Mark’s parents always makes me laugh for some reason. Love Gary Frank too.

  34. You’re in Iraq? Holy shit, I did not know. Be safe man, and when you get back, read Supreme Power tradepaperbacks 1-3.

    I dunno about Kirk guys, I seem to remember in the Federation everything is “free” and there is no money. That sounds like socialism to me….Of course, Picard’s family did own that big ass plot of land they grew grapes on for making wine.

  35. “I don’t know how much, if any, you’ve read of Supreme Power”

    Misread your post MNG. Thought you wrote that you just got them. I was trying to be vague about the closet scene. Sorry about the misread.

  36. James Tiberius Kirk, libertarian or socialist?

    I think he’s an Originalist

    Kirk: Now …Cloud William.

    Cloud William: You are a great God servant. We are your slaves.

    Kirk: Get up. Face me.

    Cloud William: When you would not say the holy words, of the Ee’d Plebnista, I doubted you.

    Kirk: I did not recognize those words, you said them so badly — Without meaning.

    Yang: No! No!Only the eyes of a chief
    may see the Ee’d Plebnista.

    Kirk: This was not written for chiefs.
    [Shouting]
    Hear me! Hear this!

    Among my people, we carry many such words as this from many lands, many worlds.

    Many are equally good and are as well respected, but wherever we have gone,
    no words have said this thing of importance … in quite this way.

    Look at these three words written larger than the rest with a special pride never written before or since —

    Tall words proudly saying … “We the people”.

    That which you called Ee’d Plebnista was not written for chiefs or kings or warriors or the rich and powerful, but for all the people!

    Down the centuries, you have slurred the meaning of the words “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity…do ordain and establish this constitution”.

    These words and the words that follow were not written only for the Yangs, – but for the Kohms as well! –

    Cloud William: The Kohms?

    Kirk: They must apply to everyone or they mean nothing! Do you understand?

    Cloud William: I do not fully understand, one named Kirk. But the holy words will be obeyed.
    I swear it.

  37. “Love Gary Frank too”

    That dude draws a nice naked Zarda…

    I heard the other day that a GL movie is in the works for release around 2010. I assume it will be the Hal Jordan GL? Or will it be the black one?

  38. Yeah, that closet scene was great.

  39. in the Federation everything is “free” and there is no money.

    No “carrying around” money; all transactions are handled by the debit/credit chip in your neck.

  40. It’s gonna be Hal. And 2010 looks to be the year for it. Newsarama has had some stuff about preproduction and the script. If they pull it off, it’ll be damn good.

    Haven’t gotten to naked Zarda yet so I’m looking forward to that. Franks work on Superman has been outstanding. Though, I’m still a bit unsure of them bringing so much of the movies in to the books.

  41. But nobody seems to be on welfare on Star Trek. Heck, you probably can’t claim disability either because they will just invent something that allows you to still work (a la laforge).

  42. Uh, dudes, the Federation’s political setup is a morass of contradictions, plot holes, and galaxy-sized stupidity. Don’t even try to make sense of it, because they change it every time they need a plot complication.

  43. MNG,

    TOS had money, rich people, and businesses. However, with the technology of effectively limitless technology, and the ability to transmute elements with that energy, we’re talking about an immensely wealthy society.

    TNG and the other series (except Enterprise, perhaps) were more openly socialist. Or, as ineptly as the economic and political systems were presented, perhaps Lennonist might be more accurate.

  44. I did hate how they kept trying to take a shot at capitalism and commerce through their depiction of the Ferengi. I did like this one episode of DSN where Quark upbraids Sisko about it saying well at least his people did not go through slavery and what not.

  45. The Ferengi were offensive to my people.

  46. I hate the Ferengi. Thinly veiled Jew caricatures as nasty capitalists. How the fuck has no one ever busted Berman and Braga’s balls over that?

  47. MNG is still trolling for bois while Naga is away. Pretty sad. Might want to check with the people into that.

    FrBunny, who got the joe’z law today? I wasn’t dissin’ I was praisin’ on the “amature” thing.

  48. Episiarch,

    Is it to late to do so? Ferengi is also derived from the word for Franks, so the French and all Europeans should be offended, too.

    For people wondering why I might not care for the reboot in principle, let me just say that I’ve watched what I liked about TOS get eroded more and more with each new iteration of the show. Meh.

  49. I still think we should change from calling our money “Dollars” to “Quatlus”.

    The Ferengi were offensive to my people.

    In one episode, they had a Ferengi scientist – “…almost a contradiction in terms…” Yeah, capitalism hasn’t produced any scientific advances. Assholes.

  50. The Ferengi are one of the worst caricatures to appear in entertainment.

  51. HEB,

    MNG got it for misspelling “amatuer” [sic] in a post about misspelling “amateur”. It’s just fun to see the law live on without Him.

  52. On a similar note to the Ferengi munging of business thought, Jonah Goldberg has this funny bit about the myth that Fascists were some form of Conservative.

  53. FB,

    Ah, lol! I can’t tell if that word is spelled correctly at any time anyway.

  54. TNG and the other series (except Enterprise, perhaps) were more openly socialist. Or, as ineptly as the economic and political systems were presented, perhaps Lennonist might be more accurate.

    I don’t know about that. I just can’t see Picard having senior staff join him in a rousing rendition of Give Peace a Chance.

    One too many ‘n”s BTW.

  55. I did hate how they kept trying to take a shot at capitalism and commerce through their depiction of the Ferengi. I did like this one episode of DSN where Quark upbraids Sisko about it saying well at least his people did not go through slavery and what not.

    And Quark was always being kept in check by a “man” whose people were the ultimate fascists, seeking to exterminate or subjugate half a galaxy, simply because their bodies didn’t have as high a viscosity rate as theirs.

    Oh! The supreme irony!

  56. PL,

    I think JW is talking about either n#1 or n#2, not n#3. “Leninist”

  57. Transporter tech implies replication tech. If you can disassemble and send things and reassemble them with a template, then you can transport raw matter, run it through a different template and get food, guns, whatnot. As long as you have (near) unlimited energy, then you have a post-scarcity society. Libertarian and socialist mean little once economics are taken out of consideration. Then your just down the nitty-gritty of “leave-me-alone-ism.” The Federation is fairly reactive in that respect, and is depicted as non-coersive.

    All this might be changed by the DS9 rebellion storylines, which I didn’t watch because of Quark and the wormhole gods prophecy hoo-ha.

  58. I liked the one where the Ferengi went back in time and got captured on a US military base.

    Tricking hot chicks who smoke into getting you off is brilliant!

    Then they had to screw up the whole show with PC anti-smoking crap and other stupid Leftoid nonsense.

  59. SF,

    So, all that business about the Federation needing to have access to certain planets and materials is just writers license gone wild?

  60. Transporter tech implies replication tech. If you can disassemble and send things and reassemble them with a template, then you can transport raw matter, run it through a different template and get food, guns, whatnot. As long as you have (near) unlimited energy, then you have a post-scarcity society.

    Sorry, but synthohol will always create a natural demand for good, non-replicated Tequila. That’s a black market I can get behind.

  61. JW,

    I meant adherents to the philosophy of John Lennon, as espoused in “Imagine.” And the other guy is “Lenin”, so my “o” would’ve been in error, too.

    SugarFree,

    I think there might’ve been some limits to the Federation’s “post scarcity” economics, but, compared to where we are today, I think you’re largely correct. Of course, that’s just economics. Star Trek focused so completely on Starfleet that the political structure of the Federation is pretty unclear. It appears to have been fairly tolerant, but there were also indications of a highly regulated society as well.

    The technological obviousness of the post-scarcity economics escaped many writers, of course.

  62. The Ferengi are one of the worst caricatures to appear in entertainment.

    Compare how the Ferengi were portrayed in Trek to the worst anti-Jewish propaganda the Nazis produced. Discuss.

  63. jsh,

    They are identities, so no information can be gleaned from such a discussion.

  64. So, all that business about the Federation needing to have access to certain planets and materials is just writers license gone wild?

    The standard dodge is that there are certain things (dilithium crystals, gold-pressed latnium) that cannot be replicated. But I bet there’s been at least one scene of someone going through a transporter with GPL, and if so, I call bullshit.

  65. I meant adherents to the philosophy of John Lennon, as espoused in “Imagine.” And the other guy is “Lenin”, so my “o” would’ve been in error, too.

    Please tell me that this doesn’t involve anything to do with servicing Yoko surrogates during High Priestess ceremonies. I don’t think that even the highly evolved Federation future is ready to handle that kind of unspeakable horror.

  66. Screw that Star Tkek crap!

    He [Obama] calls on citizens to buy Chrysler products, but patriotic Americans will choose to go to Ford, whose own self-help efforts have been hurt by the Chrysler and GM bailouts.

    Some commenters here have been pointing this out for quite some time. If Ford were to garner a mere 10% of GM’s market share, it would make a huge difference in their bottom line. They’d be rewarded for not waiting until it’s too late to take needed drastic steps.

    Having already observed what The Chosen One can and will do to companies that speak out, Ford management has been cautiously quiet. I’d like to see them screaming from the mountain top about the government tilting the playing field and punishing Ford workers, management and stockholders for being prudent by propping up competitors who weren’t. They are probably playing it smart by being quiet, but damn, I’d love to see this administration try to explain that injustice away.

    Where’s the empathy, Chosen One?

  67. They are identities, so no information can be gleaned from such a discussion.

    By that logic, no non-human race can ever stand in for a faucet of the human experience, thus nullifying just about every Trek plot ever written.

    Compare the anti-capitalist bias of the portrayal of the Ferengi vs. the bias of how the Nazis portrayed the Jews.

  68. SF,

    They GPL’d the transporter!?!? It is settled. Star Fleet is a Socialistic invasion force of Copyleftists.

  69. “faucet”?!?!? Damn spell check.

  70. jsh,

    The Nazis were nicer in art to the Jews than Star Trek is to business.

  71. Since I don’t give a shit about Star Trek, I’ll point out another Instapundit-derived link hopefully Reason’ll pick up later: DIY bioengineering.

  72. The technological obviousness of the post-scarcity economics escaped many writers, of course.

    And they completely missed the fact that if a human can be transported, then they could also be replicated. The explanation that the “pattern” for a human is so large it can’t be stored doesn’t wash.

    Maybe if they said nothing conscious could be replicated, OK. That the uncertainty principle caused too much information to have to be gathered to replicate the brain perfectly to get the same “person” makes sense. But if you can assemble and disassemble humans at will, storage space is a trivial problem comparatively.

    Side note: In Philip K. Dick’s The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch truffle skins are the only thing that cannot be replicated and are used as money.

  73. Since I don’t give a shit about Star Trek, I’ll point out another Instapundit-derived link hopefully Reason’ll pick up later: DIY bioengineering.

    Do you mean like Project Genesis, in Star Trek II?

  74. Surely Kelo established that the government can take property to serve the public interest.

    And who better to divine the public interest that the divinity that now occupies the White house.

  75. Star Trek focused so completely on Starfleet that the political structure of the Federation is pretty unclear.

    Not only this, but Starfleet is a military organization. The Federation is dangerously close to a stratocracy, if it isn’t already one.

    How many private vessels did you ever see in Star Trek? Almost none. Everything was either Starfleet (even if just a research vessel), alien (Romulan/Klingon/Vulcan/etc.), or some kind of threat.

  76. I seem to remember in the Federation everything is “free” and there is no money. That sounds like socialism to me….Of course, Picard’s family did own that big ass plot of land they grew grapes on for making wine.

    The beauty of fiction is that things don’t have to be self-consistent. ST:TNG’s socialism-with-obvious-social-classes-yet-everyone’s-content is one of those things for which you simply have to suspend disbelief in order to enjoy the show.

  77. SugarFree,

    James Blish, who wrote the novelizations of TOS, also wrote an original novel called Spock Must Die! He explored the moral and metaphysical issues of the transporter much more than the original or successive series did.

    Frankly, if I were a red shirt that got killed after beaming down, I’d prefer being restored to my last saved state to being left in whatever form of total destruction the captain or first officer selected for me.

    Episiarch,

    TOS is the only Trek series that talked much about the non-military side of things. Private ships appeared on occasion, and the clear preeminence of the civilian government was stressed every now and then. In the later series, the difference between the Federation government and Starfleet is less than clear.

  78. I don’t think Rodenberry gave much thought to economics. The Star Trek universe is only socialist insofar as the creators didn’t bother to think of how everthing was going to be paid for. That aspect of the universe, commerce, was just never really explored.

    One of the great forgotten libertarian space worlds was the old sci-fi RPG Traveller. Yeah, there was an empire, but since it took weeks to travel anywhere, you were kind of on your own to pirate and make money however you liked.

  79. “Enterprise” had some Warp 2 capable civilian freighters. Someone has to haul nonmilitary people from planet to planet, even if things can be replicated.

  80. How many private vessels did you ever see in Star Trek? Almost none.

    Every time they ran into anybody doing private business, like Mr. Mudd, they portrayed them as horrid con-artists who needed to be isolated.

  81. My Star Trek peeve:

    They send the senior officers into all kinds of highly dangerous situations with no security. For example, In the new movie, you’ve got a large warship on a war footing, presumably with a sizable contingent of red-shirted Marines, and a transporter. Why not just pump the damn Romulan freighter full of Marines, rather than sending two (2) senior officers, carrying handguns?

  82. Hey, Mudd was involved in fraud, probably of the criminal variety. Even in Libertopia*, I think that would be true. And on his second appearance, he hijacked a starship and kidnapped its crew. Also a crime in Libertopia.

    * The minarchist variety, okay?

  83. Not only this, but Starfleet is a military organization.

    No! Starfleet is some made up fantasy bullshit. Unless you know something I don’t.

    I hope one day libertarians will learn how to separate fantasy and reality. Why does every damn thread turn into this sci-fi comic book crap?!

    Do you guys really think that libertarian ideals are just fantasy?

  84. “They send the senior officers into all kinds of highly dangerous situations with no security. For example, In the new movie, you’ve got a large warship on a war footing, presumably with a sizable contingent of red-shirted Marines, and a transporter. Why not just pump the damn Romulan freighter full of Marines, rather than sending two (2) senior officers, carrying handguns?”

    Jonah Goldberg has that same peeve and wrote a pretty funny bit about it in his review of the recent Star Trek film. I read:

    “For instance, one of the silliest things about the original Star Trek was the habit of having the most important and most senior officers – Kirk, Spock, and McCoy; and sometimes Scotty, Sulu, and Chekov – always performing the most dangerous tasks (indeed, if you actually belonged on an away mission – particularly if you wore a red shirt – odds are you were doomed to die a horrible death). There are hundreds of people on board, and yet the captain and first officer are the ones who always have to fight this alien or go undercover on the Nazi planet. (I always wanted to write an SNL skit called “What if Gene Roddenberry Wrote World War II.” The whole war would involve Churchill and FDR karate chopping or neck-pinching their way across Europe, all the way to Hitler’s bunker, where FDR and Hitler would find it necessary to fight in a gladiatorial pit with long spears.)”

  85. One of the great forgotten libertarian space worlds was the old sci-fi RPG Traveller. Yeah, there was an empire, but since it took weeks to travel anywhere, you were kind of on your own to pirate and make money however you liked.

    Yup. And the imperial model seemed to operate under a system of “pay your taxes and we don’t care wtf you do out there”.

  86. Although I will say this in defense of Rodenberry RC. The ship was usually on some kind of exploration/diplomatic mission. You can’t exactly send down the CPT of the Marines as your emmessary to the new culture. So, to some degree a CPT of a Star Ship would actually be getting into some mischief. But the 1st officer and Dr? Not so much.

  87. PL,

    Hey, Mudd was involved in fraud, probably of the criminal variety. Even in Libertopia*, I think that would be true. And on his second appearance, he hijacked a starship and kidnapped its crew. Also a crime in Libertopia.

    Stopped reading before this part “they portrayed them as horrid con-artists who needed to be isolated.” didn’t you?

    Point being, they never had any real-world business people interested in fair transactions, process improvement and quality. Noooooo, they were always like the downtown butcher sticking his thumb on the scale or the independant lot used car salesman.

  88. You almost have to leave Sci-Fi and go to Family Affair or My Three Sons to see a business person portrayed as fair. But those shows had other issues.

  89. HEB,

    The honest business man doesn’t make for a good plot. I can’t beleive I actually know this and am engaging in this conversation, but oh well. The episode where the miners are killing the rock thing’s eggs is an example of honest business men. Granted they were wiping out this creature’s unborn children, but the learned to work with the thing and make money.

  90. High Every Body,

    Did not. I just meant he was actually a con man, not just deemed so for his capitalistic tendencies. I understand your point–he wasn’t presented as a noble representative of the free market. As a general rule, capitalists and capitalism rarely are treated as good things on television or in film.

    Flint owned a planet, now that I think about it. Nice.

  91. The honest business man doesn’t make for a good plot.

    True enough. A voluntary exchange of goods and services to the mutual benefit of both parties, while important, is boring as heck to watch. Nobody goes down to the 7-11 to watch transactions on a Saturday night.

  92. John and PL,

    Courtship of Eddie’s Father, The Magician, Rockford Files, The Odd Couple and, well, lots of other shows had good stories with honest broker main characters. Well, except for The Odd Couple had a ‘journalist’ who leaned toward the illegal, so that is pretty real too.

    You have to leave Sci-Fi to get to a decent portrayal of business professionals.

    Wasn’t that whole rock eating critter episode about how the miners did not care until the ‘enlightened’ socialists got there to teach them how to behave? Or am I thinking about a different show?

  93. “Wasn’t that whole rock eating critter episode about how the miners did not care until the ‘enlightened’ socialists got there to teach them how to behave? Or am I thinking about a different show?”

    That is the show. But it is not as if they were malicious. They just didn’t know. They were mistaken but they were not crooks.

  94. I bet Han Solo was a libertarian.

    I’d say Han Solo was the libertarian of action film, but then that would do a disservice to Clint Eastwood’s ‘man with no name’ characters of the spaghetti westerns.

  95. “I bet Han Solo was a libertarian”

    How can a guy who spent the main part of his life trying get Princess Leah her tierra back rightfully be called a libertarian.

  96. This reminds me of something I read in Fortune in the late 90’s: The occupational group that commits by far the most murders on TV is businessmen.

    And everyone knows that the Federation is basically a wealthy, stealth Fascist organisation with great propaganda.

  97. How can a guy who spent the main part of his life trying get Princess Leah her tierra back rightfully be called a libertarian.

    Because it was contract work?

  98. How can a guy who spent the main part of his life trying get Princess Leah her tierra back rightfully be called a libertarian.

    Because he was promised– and got– a reward bigger than you can imagine.

  99. “Because he was promised– and got– a reward bigger than you can imagine.”

    What banging his sister? The Libertarian character in movies is Rick from Casablanca.

  100. well, to partly reinstate Mr. J sub D’s point:

    What would Mr. Spock have to say about the Chrysler bankruptcy/ bailout?

  101. They GPL’d the transporter!?!? It is settled. Star Fleet is a Socialistic invasion force of Copyleftists.

    So they were Scandinavian? Explains why 90% of starfleet is white.

  102. What would Mr. Spock have to say about the Chrysler bankruptcy/ bailout?

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one?

  103. Although I will say this in defense of Rodenberry RC. The ship was usually on some kind of exploration/diplomatic mission. You can’t exactly send down the CPT of the Marines as your emmessary to the new culture. So, to some degree a CPT of a Star Ship would actually be getting into some mischief. But the 1st officer and Dr? Not so much.

    So which crewmembers were the first ones ashore when Commodore Perry went to Tokyo?

  104. I did like this one episode of DSN where Quark upbraids Sisko about it saying well at least his people did not go through slavery and what not.

    What about the episode where Nog sails the Great Material Continuum and distributes the Federation’s war supplies more efficiently than the bureaucracy through trade and bargaining?

  105. “Why does every damn thread turn into this sci-fi comic book crap?!”

    I was thinking that myself.

    About a 100 posts and 99% of them have nothing to do with the nominal topic of Obama ripping off the Chrysler bondholders for a purely political payoff to the UAW.

  106. NERDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  107. “About a 100 posts and 99% of them have nothing to do with the nominal topic of Obama ripping off the Chrysler bondholders for a purely political payoff to the UAW.”

    Putting a picture of Kahn on a post is like raw meat to the Reasonites. They just can’t help themselves.

  108. We have thread after thread after thread of bitching about Obama, the bailout du jour, and the idiocy of all of this government meddling. I think we are entitled to enjoy some ghafla now and again.

  109. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one?

    In this thread, the nerds of the many outweigh the nerds of the few.

  110. If Chrysler had produced the Cordoba FTL* instead of shelving it in favor of the Dodge Avenger, they wouldn’t be in the mess they’re in.

    *Faster Than Light

  111. who is khan? is it kahn? does the spelling matter? what is TOS? terms of service?

    I’m sofa king confused!

  112. What banging his sister?

    I take it you never actually saw the movies.

  113. One of the great forgotten libertarian space worlds was the old sci-fi RPG Traveller.

    That was a great game.

    Seemed to be based heavily on Jerry Pournelles’ post-CoDominium universe, with a bunch of Larry Niven’s known-space thrown in.

  114. PB,

    Cordoba FTL*

    If the government hand not started forcing them to add all that HEMI goodness in the 1970’s then we would have those by now.

    We inherited this problem from a Democrat Congress 🙂

  115. I’d say Han Solo was the libertarian of action film, but then that would do a disservice to Clint Eastwood’s ‘man with no name’ characters of the spaghetti westerns.

    It would do a bigger disservice to Mal Reynolds.

  116. No FTL cars and no Corinthian leather. The future is disappointing.

  117. No FTL cars and no Corinthian leather. The future is disappointing.

    I am as disappointed as you and Wesley Snipes. At least he is getting the tax thing fixed.

  118. stupid me.

    In the future I will avoid and ignore all Star Trek reference or threads containing them. Your (collective) nerdism runs deep. My childhood was not contaminated by that boring, godawful show that you (collectively) obsess so much about. Seeing such discussion makes me feel uncomfortable and unwelcome.

    Disclaimer: I may choose to see the new movie and I may like it. But I won’t discuss it.

  119. You know, it strikes me that there must be some overlap between the folks that made up the 70-90 percent (depending) approval ratings for Bush and the ones that make up the 70 plus percent ratings for BO now (just as I’m sure a good portion of the 71% who believed Saddam was behind 9/11 also belive that Obama is just a ducky prez).

    Obama fans (and Obama himself) should pause and remember that voters are notoriously fickle.

    I’m not seeing any resurgent GOP but Charlie Crist is supposed to announce for Florida’s Senate seat today. He’s enjoying 70% approval ratings as governor.

    Nov 2010 is a ways off yet.

    Not that Crist (or any othe GOPer) is my cup of tea. I consider him something of a mental lightweight.

    I’m not voting for anyone that doesn’t promise flying cars. I WANT MY FLYING CAR, DAMN IT.

  120. The future is disappointing.

    The future sucks. That’s how you get there.

  121. At least he is getting the tax thing fixed

    Always bet on black.

  122. Bah.
    When I saw this had 100+ comments, I was hoping MNG would be in here STILL attempting to defend his arguement that the UAW should be treated as a secured creditor.

    But no, instead all I get is a lengthy discussion of Star Trek.

  123. the UAW should be treated as a secured creditor.

    I don’t think his analysis is that sophisticated.
    He just think they deserve to be treated “fairly”.

    drink!

  124. s

    [insert where needed]

  125. The idea that the administration can intervene in the legal process, without legal authority to do so, to help out a voting constituency for clear political gain is sickening. If I had billions to lend, the last place I’d ever lend it would be to an institution that is as heavily embedded in the political world as auto manufacture. Not to mention the hypocrisy here–why no bailout of Circuit City or any other bankrupt company? Why no intervention in the bankruptcy process to save their employees? Why, why, why? Obviously, I’d prefer none of the above.

    Hazel,

    Personally, I’d rather read a thread on some pop culture event than read through yet another useless defense of liberal abuses of power by any of our token lefties.

  126. phalkor – lighten up, bro.
    Khan.
    TOS = The original series.
    TNG = the Next Generation.

  127. But no, instead all I get is a lengthy discussion of Star Trek.

    Hey now, I did work politics into my response to MNG on Star Trek.

  128. Didn’t the Federation give a bailout to the Klingons in Star Trek VI?

  129. BP,

    Excellent work. And for the final nail in the Socialist coffin: THEY NEVER USE OIL OR COAL!

  130. BP,

    Should’ve annexed them. As much as the Klingons are enjoyable characters on a TV series, in real life, they’d be a race that would need hemming in and subjugating.

  131. Ah, Pro Lib. Spoken like a true Scotsman. Freedom for me, but not for thee.

  132. Naga,

    My point was that they were dangerous to other races and needed to be contained. They can do as they like on their home world.

  133. PL,

    So, you are saying they are just like Mexicans? Are you trying to get OLS in here or something?

  134. When the Mexicans decide that war is a glorious pursuit and start attacking us and others, then yes, maybe I’ll suggest such a thing.

  135. The klingons were animals. Naga’s whining reminds me of the one non-awful moment in Star Ship Troopers. As the bugs invade and start killing everyone a news anchor wonders what mankind could possibly have done to create so much hatred in this species.

  136. As the bugs invade and start killing everyone a news anchor wonders what mankind could possibly have done to create so much hatred in this species.

    I need to see more of this movie that what I caught on Movie Magic.

  137. The klingons just wanted to rule the galaxy. Is that so wrong? I bet you think Darth Vader isn’t a poor victim of jedi conspiracy as well.

  138. Hey, John, you know that Gene Roddenberry was one of those evil, anti-American commie atheists, right? So why are you a fan?

  139. Naga,

    I’d buy that, but I saw the prequels.

  140. So which crewmembers were the first ones ashore when Commodore Perry went to Tokyo?

    Seeing as he didn’t go ashore until after extensive negotiations, I don’t see the relevance.

    Now, if the fleet had sailed into Tokyo harbor, and the very first thing they did was send Perry, the ship’s doctor, and his exec to shore in a dinghy, you would have a good analogy to the Star Trek trope.

  141. Taking a line from your playbook . . .

    I don’t know what you mean? What prequels?

    I’m a good student.

  142. True enough. A voluntary exchange of goods and services to the mutual benefit of both parties, while important, is boring as heck to watch. Nobody goes down to the 7-11 to watch transactions on a Saturday night.

    They do in Iowa.

  143. RCD,

    I think the Columbus analogy would be more appropriate.

  144. JsD,

    That explains it! Kirk is from Iowa!

  145. Obama would have promised to shut down Rura Penthe, then hemmed and hawed for a few years. He would be all about developing a new ozone layer for Klingon, though.

  146. BP, you clown! Obama would make us “share” our excess ozone. No room for excess or profit in his domain.

  147. I’m not voting for anyone that doesn’t promise flying cars. I WANT MY FLYING CAR, DAMN IT.

    Still dreaming those old, worn out, an oh so last century mechanical dreams Isaac?

    That is where we differ.

  148. Flying monkeys? What good are flying monkeys?

  149. Naga, first they would have to unionize, and make an under the table agreement to vote for him after they joined the Federation.

  150. “Naga, first they would have to unionize, and make an under the table agreement to vote for him after they joined the Federation.”

    I am sure that $300 worth of intenet campaign donation coming from IP addresses on Klingon had nothing to do with his decision.

  151. Flying monkeys? What good are flying monkeys?

    They are quite useful for dealing with insurgents.

  152. Puh-lease. Those insurgents overthrew the rightful leaders of Oz, murdering two and exiling to some horrific, black-and-white place another.

  153. I am sure that $300 worth of intenet campaign donation coming from IP addresses on Klingon had nothing to do with his decision.

    John,
    The Klingon home world is Kronos.
    Sheesh!

  154. The Klingon home world is Kronos.

    Or Klinshai, if you want to geek pedantic.

  155. So, Pro Libertate, looks like it’s official.

    What do you think of his chances?

  156. Trying to decipher the economics of the Federation from Star Trek would be like trying to figure out the American economy by observing one of our nuclear submarines.

  157. nuqDaq ‘oH puchpa”e’

    Important phrase to no if ever lost on Klingon homeworld.

  158. s/no/know/

    I apparently can spell better in Klingon (no, I didnt know that, I looked it up).

  159. But no, instead all I get is a lengthy discussion of Star Trek.

    I shudder to think how many of these kidz are wearing their uniforms and/or spock ears. right. now.

  160. I dunno. They say Crist is popular, though I can’t stand him. I’ll vote against him.

  161. I always had a problem with Vulcans and their copper-based blood and the fact that they looked not only very vetebrate but also mammalian (they had tits, right?) and even downright human. Their only differentiation was pointed ears and being logical.

    It truly is such a stretch of credible probability that evolution would produce such a case of convergence. Or was intelligent design involved.

    I realize that ultimately it was the ‘intelligent’ design of writer Roddenberry. But in that he wasn’t so intelligent. Even on earth only the vertebrates pump red hemoglobin based blood.

    It would’ve make more sense if Spock looked like a tube-worm or even an echinoderm.

  162. Jolene,

    I concur. She is a Vulcan? A Vulcan? You’re sure? I mean, really?

    Goddam! A copper-based-blood-pumping Mammal!

    What is the penalty for inter-spatial sex?

  163. I dunno. They say Crist is popular, though I can’t stand him. I’ll vote against him.

    Yeah, me too.

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