The Breaking Windows Fallacy


Take THAT, community rating!

There's a lot of hyperbole out there about Mike Vanderboegh, an Alabama militiaman who reacted to the health care bill by urging all patriots to break windows at Democratic Party headquarters around the country—a suggestion that a handful of brick-throwers seems to have embraced. It's a lousy idea, but it isn't a sign of racism, anti-Semitism, or any of the similar maladies being diagnosed by some of Vanderboegh's critics. I've been aware of Vanderboegh for a while. His chief claim to fame is being one of the more vocal anti-racists in the militia milieu, a guy who went out of his way to antagonize the neo-Nazi types who tried to hitch their wagons to the movement back in the '90s. Comparing his brick campaign to Kristallnacht is ridiculous.

That said, his plan is pretty ridiculous as well. Breaking windows at Democratic offices will do about as much to stop Obamacare as breaking windows at Starbucks did to stop international trade agreements. Scattershot vandalism of private property is the sort of polarizing action that turns the people in the middle against you, not the kind that brings them to your side. As I've written elsewhere, "Nonviolence makes it harder for the government to demonize you [and] easier to attract popular support. Besides, the government has greater firepower; if you use violence, you're fighting on its turf." That applies to violence against property as well.

If you want to "get their attention BEFORE the IRS thug parties descend upon us each in turn" (the words are Vanderboegh's), then here are 198 nonviolent—not passive, but nonviolent—ways to get a message across, all drawn from a very smart book about political conflict. The further down the list you go, the more confrontational the methods get. You can put the authorities in the position of enforcing an unpopular law requiring everyone to buy insurance, or you can put them in the position of enforcing a popular law against breaking other people's windows. One approach will earn public sympathy. The other will earn you a reputation as a public nuisance.

NEXT: Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act

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  1. Vandalism is the sort of polarizing action that turns the people in the middle against you, not in your favor.

    Depends on how it’s done. If the goal is just to make a mess and vent your anger, I agree with you. If you’re interested in attacking specific targets to cause monetary loss, and you do it anonymously, then it has some function. Bonus points if it’s against targets which are unpopular and not safety critical, like, say, red light cameras.

    1. You’ve got a point about the red light cameras — that’s been done with genuine popular support. I’ve changed the wording from “Vandalism” to “Scattershot vandalism of private property.”

      1. Yes, the private property is the distinction.

        Breaking windows at Starbucks? Not cool.

        Squirting loc-tight into the door locks of police cars? Have fun!

        1. I’m 110% behind vandalism against bullshit revenue-generation machines. But by your private property distinction, it would be ok, if you were an anti-war protester, to go onto a military base and smash up humvees or a Predator drone.

          1. I’m getting really tired of being called that. I protect society from vicious dogs and Teh Weed!

          2. Bullshit revenue-generation machines that is.

          3. I should add to my list of conditions: The targets must be lightly guarded, if at all. IOW, go for the low hanging fruit.

            1. So you wouldn’t go into a police station to vandalize a woman named Sarah Connor, then.

              1. Is it possible to even write that name without hearing it in your head in an Austrian accent?

                1. Some of us aren’t as simple-minded as you, ProL.

                  1. You’re just no fun anymore since that thing that happened.

                    1. And, of course, you’re lying.

            2. IOW, go for the low hanging fruit.

              Stay away from my low hanging fruit.

          4. Exactly – humvees and drones are bullshit revenue-generation machines.

        2. A couple of questions for those advocating destruction of public property they don’t like:

          1. Do you think that the government will react by simply not replacing the things that offend you so?

          2. Do you know who pays for the replacement of the property you destroy?

      2. Would you make a caveat about tyrannical regimes (e.g., the USSR) where peaceful protest is going to get you hauled off to the gulag or simply shot?

        1. Would you make a caveat about tyrannical regimes (e.g., the USSR) where peaceful protest is going to get you hauled off to the gulag or simply shot?

          Violent protest tended to have the same effect. And it was nonviolent protest that finally brought the regime down.

          I do think people have the right to use violence in self-defense against tyrannies. But that doesn’t mean it’s inevitably the best approach.

          1. It should be as a last resort. But it’s an option.

            Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes….But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

          2. Violent protest tended to have the same effect. And it was nonviolent protest that finally brought the regime down.

            Right, but the question still stands. Who’s willing to be the first several thousand pawns on the front line willing to die so the pratt in the back can have his freedom?

            1. For the most part, that’s included the religious and other people so devoted to other rewards that the rationally selfish. A problem for some libertarians, though I grant that a rare someone can internalize liberty to the point of dying for it being rationally selfish.

            2. First several thousand to die. Over a bill that essentially replicates what republicans wanted in 1993 instead of Hillarycare? What the hell is wrong with you? Why would one even think like that?

      3. I agree vandalism is a waste of energy….

        Cutting throats, on the other hand….

      4. And this is the part of the show where the writer for a libertarian magazine glorifies property destruction because it’s just so durned cool and non-governmenty. A few moments later, he returns to claim I’ve misinterpreted him.

    2. And the recession started under Dubya. But then you forget that this same shit happened under Clinton.

      1. But then you forget that I don’t give a shit about your desire to shield Democrats by shouting, “Bush did it!”

  2. It’s not about stopping ObamaCare, it’s about jobs, jobs, jobs, and jobs.

  3. This wouldn’t be a problem if it were not for the RRRRR (Rightwinged Redneck Radio Religious Radicals) like Beckerhead and Rush (King of the Rednecks) inciting these idiots every day.

    Apparently, a Congressman from Virginia’s family suffered a cut gas line cut and Rep Slaughter just received familial death threats.

    Go Rush and Beck!!! Stir up the shit!

    1. Maybe you should go throw a brick through Rush’s window there shrike. This shit wouldn’t be happening if these assholes hadn’t told to country to go fuck themselves on an issue as personal and emotional as health care.

      I am not condoning it. And I think it is pointless and stupid. But expect to see more and more of this if Congress won’t listen to people.

      1. Hey! May we remind you John we vandalized ships carrying tea and look what happened!

      2. John, I would rather hand Rush (King of the Rednecks) a megaphone.

        That lying piece of shit is destroying the GOP.

        One of the parties needs to die before a party focused on liberty emerges.

        1. I beleive you are for a liberty party when you start bitching about Democrats half as much as you do Republicans. The Democrats own Congress and the Whitehouse and just passed this horrible healthcare plan and all you can do is bitch and moan about how Republicans didn’t compromise and support it.

          1. The same, in reverse, to you.

            1. Bitch about me when the Republicans are in charge. I promise I won’t pull a Joe Boyle and run away when I don’t get a pony.

              1. +1

          2. Horrible? The plan is a Republican plan. You do realize the plan that was just passed was mostly conceived by the Heritage Foundation back in the 1990’s, right? If it was up to non-D.C. Democrats, we prefer single payer.

        2. So one of the parties needs to die, and given your inchoate rage against it, I’m forced to assume you’d prefer if it were the GOP. Yet you damn Limbaugh for supposedly destroying it?

          Go iron Farting a Rainbow’s shit.

          1. Great close.

        3. Wow, you must really enjoy being ignorant left-“libertarian” bag of douche. Well too each their own I guess.

        4. “One of the parties needs to die before a party focused on liberty emerges.”

          Wouldn’t that just result in one-party rule? There might be an insurgency focused on liberty, but that’s different and shittier.

        5. Maybe you’re right, but I’d rather see a 3+ party system than simply replace one with a party of liberty. The biggest problem we have is that all issues turn into a black v white argument in which we the people are presented with 2 options, with both parties espousing the rightness of their point of view as if the world is really that simple.

          I would submit that even if we had a party of Liberty replace either the republinuts or demotards, it would very quickly be perverted into almost exactly what it replaced simply to gain the upper hand in any political debates. After all, politicians are politicians and power corrupts.

          What we need are REAL choices, and lots of them, not the “the world is as simple as we portray it” BS we’ve been dealing with since the beginning.

          I’m all for a party of liberty gaining influence, but not necessarily at the expense of the existing parties because that blocks choice which is the key to Liberty, not yet another party distorting the issues into a simple 2 sided coin just to maintain power like the jackwads that are there now.

      3. You mean if Congress doesn’t listen to those who hold your opinion? Because the majority of people either supported the current plan OR didn’t support it because it didn’t go far enough… i.e… public option. Wake up and read. Turn something on besides Fox. You lost.

        1. No one here watches Fox dumb ass. So take the KOS talking points elsewhere. Have you trolls gone on shift duty? There seems to be a different one every hour.

          And yes “You LOST” is a hell of a way to build democratic consensus. That is some serious hope and change for you.

          Is there any liberal with the maturity level above an 8 year old? And of course when the Democrats finally have to pay the piper for trillion dollar deficits and the worst economy since 1937 and are in the minority, I am sure you will have no problem with them telling you that.

        2. And even if the plan was popular, which it is not you tool, you can’t just tell 45% of the country to go fuck itself we won hear is the poll. You can’t screw with people’s healthcare and tell them they have no say whatever in how it will be done and not expect them to be angry. A bare majority doesn’t make that acceptable you fucking fascist tool.

          1. Last I checked 45% is a minority. That’s just a dumb argument. If the American people were dumb enough to give Democrats a majority, which they were, then GOP voters can’t bitch when the Democrats pass the bill they said they were going to pass (actually a watered down version of the bill they said they were going to pass). Don’t be a whiny bitch and complain about they system actually working the way it is intended to work – go vote for a Republican, convince others to vote Republican and change things. Whining about how elected representatives didn’t consider your feelings is beyond childish.

            1. +1 to the brave Vanya for standing up for the right of the majority to establish rules for minorities

          2. Do you forget the Dubya years? Because that’s exactly what he did. He told half the country to go fuck itself.

            1. Yeah, and we were all bitching about that too. You must be new around here.

          3. A bare majority doesn’t make that acceptable you fucking fascist tool.

            Tell that to Dubya. Sounds like you’re the fucking tool!! Or did you suffer amnesia between Jan. 2001 and Jan. 2009?

        3. That’s utter bull. You’ll find out in November. A lot of this country is truly freaked out at what the government is doing.

          1. So why did the voters of this country put Democrats in charge of the White House and Congress?

            1. Because we didn’t think it could actually get significantly worse?

      4. This shit wouldn’t be happening if these assholes hadn’t told to country to go fuck themselves on an issue as personal and emotional as health care.

        So you are saying violence is okay just because Congress passed a bill you didn’t like? Last I checked, I didn’t see the left blowing up federal buildings and flying planes in to an IRS building because Dubya invaded Iraq.

        1. That’s because the Left actually LIKES those things. The Left much prefers smashing the windows out of small Korean food stores and other private enterprises that have no real coercive control over your life. Oh yeah, and let’s pretend like William Ayers and the Unabomber never existed either.

        2. Wait, the guy flying the plane was shown to be a nutbag that hated pretty much everything from organized religion to Dubya.

          And when we are talking about blowing up federal buildings, we just time-travelin back to the OK city bombing days or can you take your WayBack(tm) machine to the Weather Underground crew?

    2. The incompetent national press (and apparently its parrots) is calling it a “cut gas line!”, inferring a Treblinka death camp. In reality, somebody snipped the propane line to a gas grill. Nobody “suffered.”

      1. That is funny. And lets not forget the Left has made it a habit of going to people’s homes to protest.

        1. Do you have an example? Besides Cindy Sheehan going to Crawford?

          1. Here you go

            But feel free to ignore it. It’s from that reactionary GOP mouthpiece Huffpo.

            1. Damn you wacky! (shakes fist)

              1. Threaded comments. Cheaper than a Thai hooker, same result.

                1. Syphillis?

          2. Let’s see, umm, ACORN members picketing the houses of private citizens who got employment bonuses, for starters.

      2. uh… where do you live? If you think it’s enjoyable to have one’s property destroyed, I have some great pranks to play on you. Don’t worry, you won’t suffer. It’ll be a gas!

        1. Most of the people on this blog own guns, Rich. I would seriously advise you to stay off their lawns.

          1. Don’t listen to him, Rich! It’ll be a gas!

      3. Is propane a greenhouse gas?

        If so, we all suffered.

        1. +1 And a polar bear cub died.

        2. if the gas leaked out after the propane line to his gas grill was cut, he was the stupid ass that didn’t turn the tank valve off after he cooked his last burg.

          1. +brain cells

    3. You grow tiresome, shrike. Perhaps you should just go iron my shit.

      1. I’ll have you know that shrike started out tiresome, thank you.

        1. And has only gotten more so.

          1. Weak criticism – all three of you (or one of you).

            I am a Hayek Liberal. I live on markets. The best capitalists are liberals – no need to list them.

            I reject the bullshit of the RRRRR.

            “American Exceptionalism.”

            “Judeo-Christian values”

            “Our rights come from GAWD”


            Same bullshit.

            The Ayatollahhs of the RRRRR preach it.

            The Koch boys swill it.

            1. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Don’t go dragging me into this. You’re on your own, douche.

              1. So you repudiate “Why I Am Not a Conservative”?

                I am disappointed. The dead are so untrustworthy.

              2. So you repudiate “Why I Am Not a Conservative”?

                I am disappointed. The dead are so untrustworthy.

                1. Are the dead hard-of-hearing?

                  1. No, we have plenty of herring down here!

            2. I am a Hayek Liberal. I live on markets.

              Never seen evidence of that in your posts. You seem to live on hate; markets come quite down there in your lists of interests or motivation.

              1. Well, Thacker – you are very knowledgeable I have to admit.

                Free trade is pretty much beyond dispute here. There is no bone to pick.

                I am a full time investor/trader.

                Now the charge that I “live on hate” I take seriously.

                I must admit your insight is keen there too.

                I hate ignorance more than I do statism.

                And who foists Creationism, War, Bigotry, anti-science, anti Stem Cell research, anti-environment, anti-art, anti-modernity on us?

                No need to answer my own question.


                2. Yaaaaaaaaaaaawn. Is Shrike gone yet?

                3. shrike, did I claim to be knowledgeable about your private self? No. I only said that you’ve given no evidence of any evidence of liking markets. You never comment about economics or market, nor do you comment in threads about other issues. All you seem to care about is hating social conservatives.

                  Perhaps you do go and troll protectionist websites; I don’t know. All I know is the face you present, which is of someone who doesn’t care about markets at all, just about hating certain people.

                  anti Stem Cell research, anti-environment, anti-art, anti-modernity

                  That you confuse being against government spending on art with being “anti-art” makes me question your devotion to markets.

                4. Well, Thacker – you are very knowledgeable I have to admit.

                  If your public persona is entirely unlike your private, then the fault is yours, not mine, dear sir.

                  I hate ignorance more than I do statism.

                  Oh dear, so you’re one of those who would be a totalitarian statist for our own good, in order to stamp out ignorance, just like the social conservatives and their consciences?

    4. If Glenn Beck suffers a cut gas line cut (sic), I’m blaming you.

      1. Won’t someone think of the burgers?

    5. Go Rush and Beck!!! Stir up the shit!

      Sounds good to me!


    6. Beck made this exact argument today on his radio program about not committing acts of violence in response to this bill.

      Are you actually criticizing Beck, or just what you think you know about him from other sources?

      1. For all of his flaws, Beck is also a heck of a lot more interesting than Rush.

        1. Entertaining yes. But god damn, sometime Rush just strikes me as so much more reasonable than all the rest of the talk show hosts. Sure, he’s a hack but rarely does he come off as unhinged. Usually he’s just pretty funny. I say this as someone who considers myself on the left.

    7. I wonder how many death threats Rush has gotten over the years?

  4. Excellent thinking! Those inciters of unpopular thought must be kept from poisoning the minds of our masses via Google.

  5. This “ugly” “violence” against Democrats, real or imagined, seems to be an emerging strategy. Having done monumental violence against the citizenry and the nation by passing ObamaCare, Democrats–with all the chutzpah of the child who kills his parents and seeks mercy for being an orphan–are now claiming victimhood. And the national media are eating it up. I can hardly wait to see Dianne Sawyer’s scrunched-up, empathetic puss on tonight’s ABC News broadcast as she bemoans this shocking wave of violence and intimidation by Sarah Palin, right-wing blogs, Republicans and Tea Partiers.

    1. This “ugly” “violence” against Democrats, real or imagined, seems to be an emerging strategy. Having done monumental violence against the citizenry and the nation by passing ObamaCare,

      How is Congress doing its job violence against the citizenry?

      1. How exactly is Congress doing its job by passing this bill of kickbacks and blow jobs? These people just gave carte blanche to those corporate Leviathans you hate so much. 30 million new customers. I bet GM wishes they had that.

        Regarding “violence”, implicity Congress has done or will do violence on the citizenry by forcing them to do something not all of them want to do. Of course, its not like these misanthrope citizens wanted to murder or rape people to their hearts’ content, rather, they just wanted to save money by not being forced to buy inflated insurance plans. Force is the key here. When you are forced, by having to pay fines or at worst, go to jail, violence is at the least, being threatened against you. Some of these people just want to throw caution to the wind, save their dough, bang hookers, and smoke pot. If they get injured, so what? It should be their problem then. Of course, if catastrophic insurance plans were properly incentivized by Obama (Tax breaks), maybe some of these “dangerous criminals” would be able to purchase such plans instead of burdening your precious house of cards.

  6. Wow, what a bunch of whine babies. I think I hear violins playing in the background.


  7. LOL, I think I hear a violin playing in the background!


  8. LOL< what a bunch of whine babies. I think I hear a violin in the background!


    1. Don’t you have some opium to smoke, ‘bot?

  9. Under Democrat economic theory, wouldn’t breaking the windows be classified as a stimulus plan?

  10. Whether or not MIKE VANDERBOEGH is a racist, his connection to the troglodytic tea-baggers (snicker… I always snicker when I hear or say “tea-baggers”!) and his embracement of Nazi (early… say, 1930 or so) tactics makes the comparison inevitable because of its correctness. I am smart. People like him and the tea-baggers (snicker) are stupid. I win.

    1. I win troll.

      We’re aware.

    2. I laugh.

  11. Wow, dude did not play much baseball growing up.

    1. Oh noes, Anon-Bot has taken on Welch’s handle!

    2. Yeah. Even girls don’t throw like girls anymore.

    3. I used to do volunteer work at a mental institution. I found out quickly not to try to make actual sense of what the inmates were saying. I am having a similar problem here. Uh… baseball? Throwing? Huh?

      1. No Rich the problem was not the inmates. It was that you were stupid. Look at the guy in the picture. He is throwing the brick like a girl. If he had played baseball as a kid, he would know how to throw the brick with better form.

        Is it really that hard? Granted Welch’s point is about as interesting as the typical anonymity bot post. But it wasn’t complex or anything.

        1. If he had played baseball as a kid, he would know how to throw the brick with better form.

          I’ve always thought that Palestinians would make good middle infielders.

          1. I would KSM up against Phelps any day of the week!

          2. I’m sure they’d have the suicide squeeze down.

      2. And Rich. It is not working there when they won’t let you leave.

      3. Fuck you for reminding me of Shutter Island. GIVE ME MY HALF-HOUR BACK SCORSESE, YOU FUCKING PRICK

        1. I liked Shutter Island.

          1. Dude, I really liked it.

          2. OMG, he was actually in the mental hospital the WHOLE TIME!!!!!!! OMG I NEVER SAW THAT COMING AT ALL! SOMETHING SOMETHING HYDROGEN BOMB GOOBLE GARBLE!

            Fuck you, Martin Scorsese.

            1. Sorry, Warty. I and other people I know liked it, therefore your opinion is wrong.
              I do wonder if you disliked the movie because it hit too close to home.

              1. But if he would have just gotten his wife some help, it would have saved everyone! OMG hydrogen bomb!

                1. It’s totally tragic, dude.

            2. Fuck you James Cameron. Now granted I was neither on medicinal marijuana, nor did I catch the 3-D version, but Avatar was fucking horrible.

              I was especially disappointed not to see one damn nipple. CGi trickery.

              1. I saved myself the trouble of seeing Avatar. Instead, I just smashed the shit out of an old Dances With Wolves tape with a sledgehammer. Fuck James Cameron, yo.

                1. I’d watch Dances with Wolves on repeat, well, forever…. no, no, scratch that, Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves before watching a clip of Avatar. Avatar made Independence Day seem like Star Wars IV as seen as a child in ’77. POS!

                2. TATONKA!

            3. Bitch, have you never heard of *spoiler alert*?

            4. Warty, what the fuck. How about a spoiler warning, huh?

              1. Hasn’t that movie been out for a while now? What is the spoiler alert etiquette? Do you want to know what happens to the Stay Puft marshmallow man?

                1. My rule is already out on video for awhile.

    4. Good catch, Matt. The more I look at it, looks kind of like he’s putting a shot, more than throwing it like a ball.

      Which is even less accurate and effective…must be a riot rookie.

  12. A riiioot ist an uugly ting. And I tink itz about time ve haf one!

  13. Yes, the private property is the distinction.

    A political party’s property is burglary tools. So, edge case.

    And no one gives a rat’s when Democrats go on nationwide campaign-office window smashing (and occasional shooting) sprees every election season, so meh.

    Throwing things is fun.

  14. Dude would be bowling underarm if he grew up in the (cricket playing) commonwealth.

    1. Hardly anyone bowls underarm in cricket anymore. And I don’t think it was ever quite popular anyway.

      1. Umm, that’s my point. Dude throws like a spaz so would probably only be able to bowl underarm.

  15. Breaking windows? Just what we need for economic recovery!



    1. Halten sie den mund, Scheisskopf!

    2. I’ll never forgive you for breaking my world record for smug, pompous, idiocy cloaked in academic prestige.

    3. Ok, I’ve had it. No more explanations, I’m going to break your damned neck. Take comfort in knowing that you’ll provide employment to an undertaker.

    4. I thought we needed a housing bubble.

  16. See here if you’d like to hear Vanderboegh recount the mental anguish he endured when deciding to take SS Disability.


    His commenters sure are understanding.

  17. Bonus points if it’s against targets which are unpopular and not safety critical, like, say, red light cameras.

    What kind of range can you get with a good paintball gun these days?


  18. People don’t break windows to affect political change. They do it cause it feels good. Fuck “the middle”, if I was seventeen again I’d break some windows. Everyone here knows how much I love bricks. Nothing says ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ like a beautiful red brick in one’s hand.

    Disclosure: I worked once as a mason’s assistant, and am in the pocket of Big Brick.

  19. thanks for the link to the list of 198 nonviolent actions. if people realized that every little bit counts, then maybe they would have the courage to begin making a difference

    1. 185. Politically motivated counterfeiting
      Counterfeiting and passing the paper is fraud.It is morally a crime against the person who unknowingly accepts it in exchange. When I was in college I had these slugs I found in the coin return slot of a newspaper machine (I made a buck or 2 a day checking vending machine coin return slots-enuff to buy a pack of smokes or a 6-pack of the Beast back then).
      Turns out they were MAGIC slugs that always fell through to the return slot while releasing the door lock.
      (but I digress)

    2. I especially liked “Non Violent Air Raids.” Do THAT over Washington DC. I dare you…

  20. One other thing about that picture. Who wears a suit to a riot?

    1. Rick Santelli

    2. Anyone with half a brain. The cops don’t know to wail on you just based on how you’re dress. You might be able to slip by while some doofus in dreads and a String Cheese Incident shirt will not.

      1. Great point SugarFree. Any recommendations on good flame-retardant three-piece suits (preferbly with flat front pants and double vents)? I’m looking for something that won’t catch on the Molotov Cocktail.

        1. Just one tip: Asbestos is really only dangerous when inhaled.

          1. Out of curiosity Saccharin Man, how exactly would an asbestos cigarette burn?

            Aha! THAT explains why Clinton didn’t inhale!

        2. Oh, and clip-on ties only. When the tactic doesn’t work, that necktie makes a far too convenient handle. Seriously, you don’t want to go there. Remember: clip-on.

      2. Wow. That is a great point. I haven’t been any riots so I wouldn’t have thought of that. And somehow if I did and some dread wearing hippy in his Widespread Panic shirt took the beating for me, I would have to laugh uncontrolably.

    3. That was my favorite part.

    4. I think that picture is from the Pakistani lawyers riot. When Musharraf was still in power.

      1. So then, he throws like a lawyer.

        Glad that’s settled.

        1. Hey now, I’ve got a pretty good arm. Then again, I’m in house.

  21. I’m in the violence-is-a-last-resort camp. That doesn’t mean it can’t become a resort, but there’s a whole lot we can do before things get to that point.

    It would take a relatively small percentage of the population to engage in civil disobedience to cause radical change in this country, even in our preferred direction. One thing about the statists–they’re kind of stupid and wimpy, when it comes down to it.

    1. “…they’re kind of stupid and wimpy, when it comes down to it.”

      Unlike all of these He-Men of the internet…

      1. Touchy, aren’t we? My point was that there’s plenty of opportunity for those willing to take some risks–getting arrested, stuff like that. I don’t think it would take very much concerted effort to get some shit accomplished.

        1. Not touchy, just hearing a lot of tough talk from people who would be defeated by a flight of stairs.

          1. Uh, huh.

            1. If he had any idea how many pregnant girlfriends Episiarch had thrown down a flight of stairs he’s realize how hollow his trolling really was.

              1. They all threw themselves down the stairs. It was completely voluntary while hammered.

            2. Have you ever seen a flight of stairs? Some of them are huuuge and can make you fall down them! That hurts!

              1. One of my favorite football moments ever was that NFL Films interview with Dick Butkus, when he said that he thought about a movie with a head bouncing down the stairs whenever he tackled an opponent.

                I can’t find the video, but here’s a related quote from The Chicago Tribune:

                Dick Butkus, after watching the 1964 Bette Davis movie “Hush, Hush, SweetCharlotte,” was quoted as saying:

                “I got a real charge when I saw that head come tumbling down the stairs.”

          2. You don’t know me! You don’t know me, mantooth! Hold me back, dog!

          3. I’m going to take Dorothy Mantooth out to a nice dinner and then never call her back.

    2. Do they supply the brick, or must you bring your own to Violence Resort?

      Is it like Clubmed for the politically disaffected?

      1. What a lovely idea. Located in Cabo San Lucas, Violence Resort. . . .

        1. Oh shit, man I’m brainstorming.

          We could have a right and left side of the island. The right side would have ersatz abortion clinics, irs, and acorn offices. The left side could have the same but with starbucks, foxnews outlets, and walmarts. All the bricks and molotovs you can throw.

          1. Once again, nothing for the libertarians.

            1. We’re the help.

              1. No, we both missed the punchline: We own the place.

                1. A man can dream can’t he?

            2. We could fire tomahawk missiles from the Reason cruise ship?

              1. Booking now for the Reason Cruise- making stops and/or of float-bys of Amsterdam, Mogadishu and Violence Resort Cabo San Lucas.

  22. I’ve been reading about this on Huffington Post, and they’re going insane, spewing comparisons to Timothy McVeigh and Krystallnacht (Never mind that that crime was perpetrated by a socialist government; apparently that’s completely lost on them.), and calling for all the powers of the Patriot Act to be unleashed upon them (Funny, I thought they didn’t like Bush for passing it.). I agree that running around and breaking peoples’ windows and such is a bad idea,let alone whatever numbskull broke that guy’s gas line, but trying to instigate some sort of “crackdown” would be a really stupid thing to do, and would only strengthen the “extremists”.

    Waco comes to mind: The ATF killing the Branch Davidians did more to curry favor for “right wing extremism” than the extremists themselves could ever have done.

    1. Fail. The Nazis were not socialists in any meaningful sense of the word because we don’t want to admit that they were.

  23. Vanderboegh is really, really stupid.

    Setting aside the moral questions, if you’re going to use violence for political ends, you should pick your targets and timing to maximize actual policy effect and minimize popular backlash. For example, targeting Congressmen directly might actually intimidate them into resigning or changing their votes. And doing so about three weeks after the November election would maximize time for it to be forgotten by the public before the next election, without making it a good “anniversary” story the next election.

  24. You can’t call yourself a defender of property rights if you destroy other people’s property.

    1. But of course you can.

      Doesn’t mean it’s true. But if the HC bill is a “jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs” bill and “bends the cost curve”, then, yeah, people who destroy the property of others are defenders of property rights.

      I love Big Brother.

  25. You’re right people shouldn’t throw bricks. People should march on Washington armed to the teeth and haul every elected official into the streets and hang them from the lampposts.

    1. +1

    2. I’ll believe it when I see it. None of you are going to do shit but piss and moan on the internet.

      1. Says anonymous boy behind the computer. Oh, the ironing.

  26. I only condone attacking the institutions of the Leviathan state and not their respective corrupt parties. And bricks are really just about making a statement. I prefer making a real mess. Molotov Cocktail Parties, the only soiree I will attend.

  27. Man, talk about the girlie, overhanded arm motion of soccer-playing nations…

  28. You can put the authorities in the position of enforcing an unpopular law

    It ain’t the 60’s anymore. From where I stand, Government is all too happy, quick, and efficient about enforcing “unpopular” laws.

    And be careful with the whole ‘unpopular’ thing. Remember, when marching in the street to depose a tyrant (or in this case, and ‘unpopular’ law) the person next to you may be marching because the tyrant (or in this case, the unpopular law) didn’t go far enough.

  29. One of the problems with the use of violence is that it opens the door to the government using more violence and declaring “emergencies” and libertarianism illegal.

  30. Rather than bricks I support public shaming and ridicule. Everytime one of these pricks puts their face in public, there should be a mob there to point out how horrible they are. No violence, just a lot of shaming.

    1. All we need to do is mount a sting operation.

      1) Pick a nursing home/retirement home. Tell them that Representative/Senator XXXX wants to come and speak with them about Medicare and Social Security.
      2) Call the congresscritter’s office and tell them that the residents of the nursing home want to give him/her a shiny plaque for their dogged public service. Be sure to tell them to alert the media.
      3) Right before the congresscritter arrives, remind the residents of how he was the one who wanted to kill Medicare and cut Social Security.
      4) Hilarity ensues.

      1. Wouldn’t it be easier to mail them a box of pot and call the cops?

        1. It just can’t be said too often that most of the people here are libertarians. Mail a box of pot away? Are you crazy?

          Mail a steaming pile of dog turds and tell the cops it’s pot. Same result: Flash-bangs, dead dogs, handcuffed grandmothers. Hilarity ensues.

      2. “wanted to kill Medicare and cut Social Security”

        And THIS is why all of you people got punked with the HCR debate. Libertarians on reason.com DEFENDING social security and medicare. Definitely a step up from trying to destroy it for the few decades.

        1. I don’t remember anyone here defending it. In fact, I quite vividly remember multiple postings explicitly criticizing Republicans who were using “they’re gonna steal your Medicare” as cheap political stunts intended to win over seniors against reform and utter hypocrisy (especially as defending Medicare inconveniently requires defending a program that actually IS socialized healthcare.) People who obviously don’t read Reason on a regular basis need to stop feigning indignity when they don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about.

        2. New here, huh?

          Lurking helps prevent the hearbreak of looking like an idiot.

    2. No violence, just a lot of shaming.

      Congress is immune to shame and ridicule. It is heaped upon them like manure. And it has no effect. They just don’t care how much they stink.

  31. Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.

    1. You saw him repressin’ me!

  32. I was concerned this was a Masonic plot…then it was pointed out it’s a brick in the man’s hand. Next time, Masons, next time….

  33. I’d love to be a Mason.

    1. Sorry, ProL, I tried to get you in, but other members said you once wrote your initials in some hardening cement as a youth.

      Masons never forget.

    2. Yes, well, of course, this is just the sort blinkered philistine pig ignorance I’ve come to expect from you non-creative garbage. You sit there on your loathsome, spotty behinds squeezing blackheads, not caring a tinker’s cuss about the struggling artist. You excrement! You lousy hypocritical whining toadies with your lousy color TV sets and your Tony Jacklin golf clubs and your bleeding Masonic handshakes! You wouldn’t let me join, would you, you blackballing bastards. Well I wouldn’t become a Freemason now if you went down on your lousy, stinking, purulent knees and begged me.

      1. Wasn’t sure people would realize I was quoting Cleese–nice.

        My grandfather was a Mason. In fact, I just found a masonic ring in his old house. Does it have powers?

        1. Be very, VERY careful with that ring.

          [backs away slowly from the keyboard…turns and runs from room like hair is on fire]

  34. is that guy in the photo throwing a sandwich?

    1. No, it’s a slab of raw kibbee.

    2. That bread ain’t fresh no mo’.

    3. No, he appears to be tossing a piece of a dismembered Horta.

      Laying their damn silicon eggs everywhere & shit.

  35. Mike Vanderboegh is an idiot, dangerous, and completely un-American. His take on the current state of affairs is beyond absurd. This mentality will breed an even worse type of STUPIDITY.

    1. Does this comment count as a violation of the non-aggression principle? I almost feel like I should be able to sue for having read it. Stop name-calling and shouting please. And try making an actual point next time other than spewing vituperous bile. Dude.

  36. “Nonviolence makes it harder for the government to demonize you [and] easier to attract popular support. Besides, the government has greater firepower; if you use violence, you’re fighting on its turf.”

    That said, throwing bricks isn’t killing people, and provoking the police into a violent crackdown is easier with brickthrowing.

    Not saying people should do it. It happens to be a pretty common “direct action” tactic used by leftist though.
    Smashing up a McDonalds or a bank is par for the course with anti-globalization types.

    1. “Smashing up a McDonalds or a bank is par for the course with anti-globalization types”


      And it will commonly not get 1/100th the amount of attention from the MSM media that a video clip of a tea party member caught jaywalking would.

      1. It will get attention, but it will be accompanied by spokes people helpfully pointing out that they are only damaging property, and how the cops in riot gear really, really, provoked them into doing it. And aren’t their sweet little hearts in the right place anyway?

        While the Tea Parties, it will be accompanied by shocked denunciations, cries of terrorism, comparisons to Krystallnacht, and discussion of what a bunch of horrible racists that must be for throwing bricks.

  37. I always find it interesting to see the shrike hate. The regular right-leaning GOP shills suspects all turn out to combat the horror of a left-leaning libertarian. Of course libertarians in the US have historically felt more alignment with the GOP, but I submit this is historical/institutional accident, not logic. Only if you assume that civil liberties, which the GOP show less respect for, are outweighed by economic liberties. But I think right-leaning libertarians are just coy. They really are conservatives, the status quo is what they want to defend. They don’t want civil liberties to change, then people would be acting different than their grandparents did and that would be awful. And since they tend to favor the powerful and know that in economics the wealthy have more power they want laissez-faire in that area, to better preserve the status quo.

    See, this way you can be a conservative boy but wear a libertarian dress.

    1. Civil libertarians are not under attack the way economic liberties are.

      I see 40% of my paycheck disappearing into various government coffers. I don’t see 40% of my speech being censored.

      1. Well as there are numerous civil and economic liberties we could play that game all night.

        I’m not sure taxation is per se a violation of civil liberties is it Hazel? In Libertopia how will the police who enforce contracts and property rights get paid?

        1. It’s a rough measures, sure, but as far as one can apply numbers, the chances of your economic activity being curtailed in some way are *much* lower than your chances of being abused by the police or censored.

          Economic regulation is a daily, constant, thing we have become accustomed to. When we hear about someone getting censored by a school board or beaten up by a cop, it stands out because it’s exceptional.

          1. *higher* I mean. Sorry. FUck me.

      2. No but I see 100% of my pot being labeled as the worst thing ever with the threat of imprisonment, or death by some rogue drug warrior, if I do decide that I want to partake in said weed, and 100% of my abortions being labeled as evil-incarnate with the threat of bombs going off at the clinic if I choose to go anyways, and 100% of my gayness being labeled as unfit for humanity, being denied even basic rights of NOT having the fucking gment say with whom I can and cannot enter a binding contract.

        Conservatives make my ass itch.

        It is interesting that so many libertarians are more apt to be fiscally conservative while limiting the social aspect of libertarianism as second tier, yet still claim to represent a party of liberty.

        1. Chris, I like the weed too, dude. Allow me. I’m no libertarian, conservative, or progressive. I don’t need no stinkin’ label. My views haven’t changed since discovering this here magazine. I appreciate useful information. It seems to me that economic liberties promote civil liberties much more so than the other way around. Nothing promotes ignorance and myopia like the old poverty trap. There was a pretty good post about how free markets promote cooperation and tolerance on here the other day. The abortion bombings and terror suck certainly. They are unfortunate, but cetainly are far and few between. The gay marriage issue, well, that stinks too. Perhaps not inspiring, but it will work itself out. Good news for homosexuals – most intolerant people are dying of old age and will continue to do so. Racism as well. I personally don’t advocate gay marriage. Why? Because I don’t advocate marriage. I don’t give a shit about marriage. More importantly, I don’t think gubment has any business in the marriage business. Simple solution: give everyone a civil union for legal purposes and then couples, or triads, or whatever, can get married wherever, citing vows and promises to whatever diety floats their boats. Out of all the weddings I have been to, I have yet to witness any couple reference Uncle Sam when exchanging vows.

          As far as the R’s and D’s, or conservatives and liberals are concerned, my experience makes me more tolerant of conservatives. And you can’t broad stroke conservatives as god warriors. Abortion is pretty divided and seems likely to always be so. But, I have had considerable success pointing out the absurdity of drug prohibition and the drug war to R’s. I don’t know anyone under the age of 50 who gives a shit if the two gay guys next door get married. Explaining how a free market can deliver more affordable medical goods and services to EVERYONE to a liberal statist or how ineffective and harmful to the economy Cap and Trade will be, regardless of the veracity of the latest IPCC assessment, is to a liberal statist and you are nothing but an uncaring, Exxon-stock-owning right-wing operative.

          Wouldn’t it be great if you could move somewhere, let’s call it a state, where you could legally by pot at a convenient store, enter into a personal-right-infringing marriage contract with the same sex, and have weekly abortions without fear of bombs!? Ah, but you can’t; you’re stuck in poverty (no money to move) and that state is so heavily taxed and regulated in order to provide you with said freedoms, there aren’t any fucking jobs there. Fuck!

          I certainly can’t speak for libertarianism, but the social aspect of libertarianism you think is ‘second tier,’ especially in this day and age, is inextricably advanced through economic liberty. There are some very informed people who regularly comment here, but I mainly come here for the Player Hater’s Ball vitriolic atmosphere!

          1. back to the ball, bitch;-)

        2. I just don’t feel that my social liberties are being seriously threatened. While my economic ones are not just threatened, but are presently brutally constrained in a straight jacket while being beaten by a gang of nanny statists.

  38. Besides, shouldn’t real libertarians, as opposed to conservatives dressing as libertarians, want to make common cause with a “left leaning libertarian” like shrike? I mean you’re supposed to hate the GOP too so his selective hate of the GOP shouldn’t turn you away.

    Trying to get along with someone who believes a lot of what you do but not some is a better strategy for a minority movement (you might double your support to 3% of the population) than piling on everyone who doesn’t agree with everything you say…

    1. A “No true Libertarian” argument MNG?

      You can do better than that.

      Shouldn’t you be busy wishing someones cow dead?

    2. As one who considers myself a “left-libertarian” I find the orthodoxical economic ignorance and authoritarianism of the modern Left in power less palatable than than the hackery and hypocrisy of those on the Right who are currently not in power.

      When the GOP is back in power, I will probably welcome Shrike’s Democratic Party sycophantism, as the tables will turn. Libertarians tend to sympathize with whoever is out of power. Notice the Left isn’t even pretending to cater to them anymore like they did during the Bush years.

      Frankly when you and Shrike condemn regressive taxation by devalued currency via government spending/debt, the disproportionate impacts of economic regulation on small businesses, the inherently regressive nature (both on a personal and global scale) of the environmentalist movement and the fact that it is the supposed LEFT that bailed out the corrupt megacorporations and are now forcing us to purchase insurance by mandate from megacorporations who successfully lobbied them – NOT THE RIGHT – then we will think of you less as partisan hacks and more as left-libertarians.

      1. This is a very good post Hobo. I’ve actually come to have a certain level of respect for you via reading your comments in this thread.

        One thing that’s very disconcerting is how shrike and MNG seem to think that you have to *hate* (see MNG above — it’s just assumed you have to hate on someone).

        Also, economic liberty is the foundation of all of our other liberties. I, like Hazel, worry much more about it, and find that it’s much more under attack in my own life in ways that really matter.

    3. This would be the same shrike who has repeatedly endorsed banking regulations that served as the cause of the bubble and subsequent meltdown?

      His arguments have basically boiled down to “If we had the right people in charge…none of this would have happened” and has completely ignored the perverse incentives and entrenching government regulations have spawned in the first place.

  39. Half-bricks are easier to throw.

    1. We prefer to use sling shots and broken spark plugs.

  40. A standard tactic of the left is using draagging out droves of “victims” to use as props for legislation by weepy anecdote.

    I think the opposition should start stepping up some of the same thing.

    The junior version of Obamacare has been running in the not so great state of MASS for a while now and there are plenty of victims of huge insurance premium increase.

    We need to start trotting them out an playing up the results there as harbingers of what the rest of the country is in for.

  41. Violence won’t get you anywhere in modern American politics. Here’s somethings that might: pool resources and ideas with like-minded people, fund or contribute to libertarian media, provide opportunities for the public to study your literature and fora within which they may discuss it (i.e. what’s being done on this site), file amicus curiae briefs in important cases involving civil and economic liberty to bring the debate to the courts, etc.

    Don’t go throwing bricks into peoples windows. That’s just stupid. Also try to keep the talk of militias, arsenals, and the coming, government-caused “Armageddon” to a minimum. It’s creepy and it turns off people from more substantive points to be made.

  42. For everyone counciling nonviolence, have you ever heard of the American Revolution? Maybe it’s about time for American Revolution II. There are a lot more citizens than cops, than even military, and we are armed. The government thugs will have to choose, join us or get run over.

    “God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.
    The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is
    wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts
    they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions,
    it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. …
    And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not
    warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of
    resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as
    to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost
    in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from
    time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
    It is its natural manure.” – Thomas Jefferson

    1. Yeah, everyone’s scared of these assholes:


    2. Again, like I said: It’s creepy. We should cherish our nation’s relatively peaceful history (in terms of our population, infrastructure, and political freedoms) – not look to disturb it at every instance.

  43. For god’s sake don’t bomb a federal building.

    You might end up a tenured professor & ghostwriting books for the president.

  44. Here’s my plan for quelling the vandalism:

    Interview the rock tossers and ask them to name three provisions of the healthcare bill that they object to. You’ll get a blank stare. They don’t have a clue. They are nothing but a bunch of chubby white guys with bad breath who never get laid, and they were dissed on the playground in the 4th grade and they are trying to get even. They are pathetic.

  45. “Nonviolence makes it harder for the government to demonize you [and] easier to attract popular support.

    The opposition had popular support. Popular support was ignored. What good is impotent popular support?

    Interview the rock tossers and ask them to name three provisions of the healthcare bill that they object to.

    “What? You have a problem with me raping your wife? Name three things that are wrong with me doing that.”

    1. I think you miss the point of a republican form of government.

  46. Serious question for MNG, if he is still around: do you think that the Commerce Clause should be used to regulate economic inactivity?

    And I am going to give you -10 if you say anything about “general welfare”.

  47. Raise hell, I say. Raise some fucking hell.

    If this is all it takes to ruffle and scare the progressives, then they better buckle up, because this shit’s gonna get a whole lot uglier before it’s all said and done. People are pissed off and ready to throw down at the government. It’s all part of the change, baby.

  48. Luring congressmen into compromising positions it how we are going to effect change. It should be pretty easy considering how they just can’t help themselves.

  49. I find it interesting that the same crowd that hates the healthcare bill and wants so badly to be free of government intervention in their lives is willing to accept government intervention in the most sacred and intimate aspects of a woman’s life. Odd….

  50. Petty vandalism isn’t going to get the job done. All it does is marginalize and de-legitimize the opposition to the healthcare bill. If your response to legislation that you don’t like is to smash a few windows, then you’re basically conceding that you don’t have a good argument and that throwing a tantrum is the best you can do. Lame.

  51. It’s okay when WE vandalize property!

  52. I definitely prefer non-violent civil disobedience to the Window War. Now, the propane vandal, death threats, and gunshots (at Republican office) are unintended consequences of this escalation.

  53. @Peetsker:

    What will you say when that intimidation results in some Congressman being killed?

    I can hear it now: “We aren’t responsible for some loon listening to us and going to some Congressman’s office packing heat and then getting really angry. How can it be our fault if all we did was 1) tell him to get really angry and 2) tell him he should be carrying a gun at all times and 3) tell him he needs to get into the face of some of these traitorous progressive congresscritters?

    Who coulda known anything would go wrong?

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