Libertarian History/Philosophy

Coulter vs Gillespie at The Independence Institute's Founder's Night in Colorado

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Last Thursday, I had the honor of participating in a live debate with Ann Coulter at the 27th annual Founder's Night event for Colorado's Independence Institute, one of the most truly awesome state-based think tanks in this sweet land of liberty.

If and when audio, video, and secret drone footage becomes available, we"ll post it here. In the meantime, here's a report from The Colorado Observer that gets the flavor of the friendly but often spirited argument between myself and the author, most recently, of Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America

Snippets from the Observer:

Drawing both admiration and occasionally scorn from the diverse audience due to their widely varying opinions, both could agree on the most important issue in the 2012 election cycle.

"I object to having this discussion at all when we're facing financial Armageddon," said Coulter in her opening remarks. "It's silly to even talk about these things, whether it's gay marriage or contraception."

"The spending problem is not due to women, it's not due to men, it's due to humans, mostly politicians. It's in the form of entitlements," declared Gillespie.  He pointed to Medicare, Medicaid, and defense spending. "That's what we need to be focusing on if we want to reduce the amount of government, the amount of borrowing, and hence the amount of future control over our lives via taxes and redistribution."

Coulter and Gillespie…tackled civil unions and gay marriage, one of the hot button social issues at both the national and local level. Colorado's state Senate passed legislation supporting civil unions out of committee this week.

"I don't think there is a difference," Coulter argued when asked if civil unions and gay marriage remained substantially different. "Protecting gay rights is done by contracts," said Coulter. She said she respected the collective wisdom of state referenda that have consistently shot down such legislation, favoring the "civilizing" effect of the institution of marriage. "Marriages should be protected."

"The difference between same sex marriage and civil unions is what you pay the caterer," quipped Gillespie. "Gay marriage is upon us and will continue in the future. The poll numbers are there. Gays are moving into a place of legal equality under the law. That is right and proper and good," Gillespie maintained….

The speakers differed on the impact of third parties in presidential elections. "Whoever wins this election, it's not the Libertarians' fault," joked Gillespie, who quickly added the important caveat that voters should stay true to their principles. "If you can't vote what you believe in the privacy of the ballot, move to Russia."

"No one is saying you can't vote what you believe. This country is going to be Russia if you don't get rid of Obama," Coulter countered.

Whole thing here.

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  1. Clever photo.

    1. Which one do you believe?

      1. Holy Bible
      2. Atlas Shrugged

      The parallels are ominous between the two.

      1. Yes, they are exactly the same.

        /facepalm

        1. It begins.

        2. “Virtually every one of its members entered the cult through reading Rand’s lengthy novel Atlas Shrugged. ~Murray Rothbard

          “Virtually every one of its members entered the cult through reading the Jewish lengthy novel The Holy Bible.” ~White Indian

          Weird how fascist teabaggers and other fundamentalists love both cult classics.

          1. You must think that this place is full of narcissistic cretins who will feed you by nibbling on your silly Ayn Rand bait. Well, you’re wrong. I’m ignoring you.

            Starting now.

            1. The Big Ignore! Sign the pledge:

              The Pledge

              I will not respond in any way to rather or any of her other thousand spoof handles in any way (White Indian, et al.) I have never spoofed her handle, and support no one else doing so. Spoofing her gives her cover for her various trolling activities. Let her post her retarded form letters and whining unmolested; she will hoist herself on her own petard as she has always done.

              The Big Ignore begins today. Please do not feed any of the trolls.

              1. But that trick never works!

                1. …not being stupid in your weak retorts…then then you’re Fibertarian.

                  1. I’m ignoring you.

                    Starting right now.

              2. Is derision still acceptable?

                I’ll sign if so.

                1. Only indirectly. Direct derision just feeds its need for attention.

                  1. petard

                    I had to look this word up. I feel dumb.

          2. my two favorite authors…Rand Paul

            1. I disavow reading or writing that stuff I put my signature to.

        3. Is it deliberately referencing this?

          1. It’s a pun. High comedy for this place.

          2. White Indian told you he was a apostate Fibertarian.

    2. I found a great dating bisexual site DATEBI*C’O/’M. It is a serious& safe dating site for the bisexual and bi-curious individuals to meet in a friendly and comfortable environment. It hopes that all members can make new friends and establish romantic relationships. I have to say DATEBI*COM the best site I have ever joined so far. They verify all members. Unlike other sites,NO scammers or fake profiles here, and you can meet many rich or mature women as well, including celebs, famous stars.BEST OF LUCK!

  2. Is Nick a lascivious sex monkey, or does the Jacket make him look like one?

    1. Actually, it’s the sideburns that make him look like that.

      1. It is the unibrow.

  3. That booby gave Ashcroft nightmares.

    1. nipples! call the FCC!!1!!

    2. Yeah, he got so embarrassed he put a curtain up in front of it after a few months.

      1. Ashcroft provided an explanation once that photographers were disrupting news conferences.

        To this this specific shot, the photographers would lie on their stomaches and position themselves in between the seated reporters and the podium.

        So there would be one photographer after another crawling on their bellies to get the shot throughout the new conference.

        It annoyed everyone, including the reporters trying to ask questions.

        1. Focus on the narrative! Ashcroft is a repressive fundamentalist who doesn’t like breasts.

          Geez, can we all get on the same page?

          1. Well it is true that he hated the sculpture which is why the photographers went to such great length frame this shot.

            1. Now that the horrible Bush years are over, we finally have an Attorney General who would *never* cover anything up!

    3. “Let your women take a look at a jungle female with her shriveled face and pendulous breasts, as she sits grinding meal in a bowl, hour after hour…” ~Ayn Rand

      Please bitch, 2 hours per day, about what you spend just to get ready and commute to work. The rest of the day for play. Original Affluent Society, ya know.

      Oh, talk about a shriveled face… It’s hidious! How the hell did Nathaniel Branden get it up?

      1. “John Ashcroft makes Billy Graham look like Freddie Mercury” – Dennis Miller

        1. I miss Freddie Mercury in a #nohomo way. I gravitate toward female singers because Mercury’s singing makes other men look pedestrian.

          1. I like you even more after reading this, Rev.

            1. Do you like the “Hippies” sign, by the way?

              1. Love it, thanks man.

                1. No problem. Make sure you get it in the pre-nup.

          2. Mercury’s singing makes other men look pedestrian.

            The man was one of the greatest singers in rock ‘n’ roll. Can’t imagine what it took to keep his throat so limber!

            1. In all seriousness, he was one of the greatest, if not the greatest. Others in the same league are:

              Robert Plant
              Steve Perry
              Axl Rose (skinny ’80s Axl, not morbidly obese today Axl)
              Steven Tyler (again, back in the day)

              Discuss.

              1. I’ll go in on these, except for Axl Rose, because that half-nasal malarkey he does grates on me. I hate GnR, full disclosure.

              2. Never liked GnR, but I’d put Ronnie Dio on that list.

                1. Never liked GnR, but I’d put Ronnie Dio on that list.

                  Did you know that Ronnie Dio was in a doo-wop band in the late ’50s called ‘Ronnie & The Red Caps? Check this shit out:

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

              3. David Gilmour

              4. Roger Daltrey.

              5. I’d add James LaBrie to that list as well.

                Freddy was the best of them all though.

                1. Mickey Thomas from Jefferson Starship has some ridiculous pipes for high stuff. He sounded better than Grace Cadaver.

          3. He’s no Geoff Tate, but I like him and Queen a lot more than I used to.

            1. No, Mercury is >>>>> Geoff Tate. Come on now.

      2. How the hell did Nathaniel Branden get it up?

        This is actually a very good question. Here is another one: does this guy ever even get the opportunity to get it up?

          1. People as fat as you are usually marry equally fat chicks. I doubt you can even get your bits close enough together.

            1. See? You’re jealous.

            2. This is begging for SF “fanfic”

        1. He did in Deliverance.

  4. Ann, honey, I’ll make it reaaaallly simple for you, so that you’re sure to understand

    If Mitt Romney wins the presidency, the U.S. government is going to collapse like Greece’s, because he has completely misdiagnosed the issues bedeviling the residents of the U.S. and has very bad theories as to how to deal with them and is trying to avenge his daddy’s humiliation.

    If Santorum wins the presidency, the U.S. government is going to collapse like Greece’s because he has completely misdiagnosed the issues bedeviling the residents of the U.S. and has very bad theories as to how to deal with them and is using the presidency to deal with his own internal moral failings.

    If Gingrich wins the presidency, the U.S. government is going to collapse like Greece’s, because he has completely misdiagnosed the issues bedeviling the residents of the U.S. and has very bad theories as to how to deal with them and is easily the stupidest “intellectual” in the race.

    If Ron Paul wins the presidency, the U.S. government is probably going to collapse like Greece’s although there is a microscopic chance that disaster may be averted because he has correctly diagnosed the issues bedeviling the residents of the U.S. but is in a political party that would rather lose elections than embrace freedom, and lacks the ruthlesness needed to avoid repeating the mistakes of the Harding administration.

    If Obama wins the presidency, the U.S. government is going to collapse like Greece’s because he has completely misdiagnosed the issues bedeviling the residents of the U.S. and has very bad theories as to how to deal with them.

    Your political faction has no serious ideas whatsoever to save the U.S. government. All it has to show for its episodes of controlling the levers of power are profligate spending, incompetence and the sort of hubris that would make Nero blush.

    No matter how flirtatiously you cajole or how angrily you threaten people, in the end you have nothing to offer us of any substance.

    I strongly encourage you to go find honest work, possibly cleaning restrooms in an orphanage, so that you can become a respectable, productive member of society.

    1. So you’re saying everything is coming up roses, then, tarran?

        1. And here I thought you were going to give a Timbuk 3 reference. I’m so disappointed in you, tarran.

          1. WRONG! Obama will save us! Just bend over and let Him!

          2. I was mixing memes in a hip and ironical manner you square.

            You redeem yourself with the youtube link though.

    2. But we have to protect marriage from the hordes of invading gheyz!!!!!one!!!

      1. Yeah, it’s interesting that she can say “Protecting gay rights is done by contracts,” yet then go on to say “”Marriages should be protected.””

        I don’t understand her reasoning.

        1. The conservative bugaboo about gay marriage is just bizarre to me. Do these people actually believe everyone is going to become gay if the marriages are allowed?

          1. And even if they did, who cares?

            1. Well, for Christians, procreation is a virtue, so I could see that they might be upset if that were threatened. That’s all I can figure.

              1. It’s a culture war thing on both sides. On the other side, look at what happened in California: homosexuals had been granted substantively the same rights as straights, and they went to court about it anyway. This is just each “side” trying to tweak the others’ nose.

                1. This. They could probably get civil unions in almost every state at this point if they laid off the gas on the gay marriage push, but they want the word “marriage” and the appearance of social sanction that it brings. Of course, social sanction requires more than a word. Personally, I don’t think the govt’s job is to give people self-esteem, but apparently some limited government folks are willing to make an exception in this case.

                  1. It’s government’s job to treat people equally with respect to the law. Just because your particular tic is about amount of government, this discussion has nothing to do with it. In 2012 the question “Why isn’t separate but equal good enough?” should answer itself.

                    1. There is no coercion involved in this issue, so it can’t possibly be a liberty issue.

                      Equal government pats on the head and gold star stickers is not what the 14th amendment is about.

                  2. I don’t think the govt’s job is to give people self-esteem

                    Nope, and nor is it their job to validate certain private social arrangements and nullify others.

                    1. Then work to get the govt out of marriage entirely. Till then, don’t treat it as a liberty issue because it ain’t.

                    2. It’s an equality issue. Are libertarians capable of discussing anything even if it can’t be framed as liberty-as-absence-of-government?

                    3. Are libertarians capable of discussing anything even if it can’t be framed as liberty-as-absence-of-government?

                      Yes, but it’s likely there’s not going to be a single libertarian viewpoint on such things. And CERTAINLY libertarians should not be getting in bed with rank statists, as CATO for example has done wrt gay marriage, to promote their personal opinions on non-liberty issues.

                  3. They could probably get civil unions in almost every state at this point if they laid off the gas on the gay marriage push, but they want the word “marriage” and the appearance of social sanction that it brings.

                    It’s worse than that actually.

                    The want the ability to sue private entities and individuals for fun and profit.

                  4. Except Texas (and I’m sure others) amended their constitution(s) to prevent even civil unions from being recognized.

                    I think it’s retarded that the government is involved in marriage anyways, but a state saying they won’t even recognize a marriage performed in another state, because it was two dudes or two ladies, is beyond contemptible.

                    How exactly are my lesbian friends destroying the sanctity of the institution but anyone can go to Vegas and drive thru a chapel to get hitched?

                    1. They don’t undermine marriage by getting married in Vegas; but they would undermine it if they split up and remarried soon afterwards, as has been known to happen.

                      If they stayed together, then the location of the wedding wouldn’t matter.

                    2. I seriously doubt the fundies are advocates of drive-through marriage. Many of them are anti-divorce as well.

                      Of course, if, say, West Virginia offered to give anyone a drivers license with no road test or anything if they paid $1000, would other states have a right to refuse to recognize those licenses?

                    3. Isn’t that different in some substantive manner, given that there is no serious fear of physical harm from ‘unqualified’ gay couples?

          2. The conservative bugaboo about gays in general is just bizarre to me. There are gay people. So what?

            1. Indeed. As an aside, many of them seem very invested in maintaining that homosexuality is a choice. I wonder if they think heterosexuality is a choice.

              1. Labels for sexuality are generally meaningless, given:

                a) The Kinsey Scale
                b) the number of young people, male and female, who experiment with same-sex encounters but revert to hetero-normative lifestyles in the “long run”

              2. As an aside, many of them seem very invested in maintaining that homosexuality is a choice. I wonder if they think heterosexuality is a choice.

                I maintain that all sexual activity is a choice. Sexual attraction does not have to be acted upon. I have desired to murder in my heart but until I act upon it I am not a murderer.

                That being said, I am not any more opposed to government sanction of homosexual relationships than I am to the government sanction of all personal relationships.

              3. “I wonder if they think heterosexuality is a choice.”

                It’s this question that has always confounded me with regard to conservatives and their selective hatred of gays.
                I never had to make a choice to be a heterosexual. It was forced upon me by raging hormones and I have little control over them. It’s for this reason that I empathise with gays. My question for the Santorum/Coulter types is: When did you decide to be heterosexual?

              4. close. We actually beleive homosexuality is exactly like heterosexuality…a behaviour. Yes, therefore a choice. Marriage is about protecting a vulnerable woman from a scoundrel. The fact that govt has piled benefits on it doesnt change its essence. The fact that gays want to visit each other in the hospital is a freedom issue that Im sure we can solve but it has nothing to do with marriage.

              5. It did not help (correct me if I’m wrong) that for a number of years (is that vague enough?) gays, especially groups like act out used to call it an alternative lifestyle and say that it was their “choice”. Kind of slowed progress down for awhile. I could be wrong. Maybe it was always only the fundies saying it was an alternative lifestyle but when I was younger that’s what I thought since I had heard it so often. Once I heard people say they kind of knew even when they were 12 and that they did not choose it, then I really thought about the fact that few really choose their sexuality.

            2. I think that it’s a combination of things.

              You have gays like Haggard who clearly are in denial about their sexual orientation. People assume that this group is much larger than it actually is.

              You have people who were taught to hate by their parents. I think this is the largest group.

              Then you have people who are insecure about their masculinity who fear that people (esp women) will think they are gay and are disgusted by the thought of gay men hitting on them. I think this group are the seedcorn of the anti-gay movement.

              I think that people with a strong tendency towards disgust or a desire to be more masculine tend towards conservatism.

              1. ~Fibertarian Church Lady

              2. ~Fibertarian Church Lady

              3. Shorter tarran:

                “It’s a complicated combination of things, but everyone who disagrees with me is either evil or deluded, so I don’t have to bothre considering their arguments.”

                1. Yeah, uh, I am generally pro-gay-marriage, but I don’t trivialize the motives of those who aren’t. Some well-meaning opponents are legitimately concerned about the kinds of lifestyles they are going to be forced to subsidize in the future. As stated earlier, there are no legal arguments that do not apply equally to gay marriage and polygamous marriage.

                  Also, I think redefining marriage should be left to state voters and legislators, not judges.

                  1. As stated earlier, there are no legal arguments that do not apply equally to gay marriage and polygamous marriage.

                    Or non sexual ones.

                    What’s to stop to straight friends from getting married in order to share government / employer benefits? And once polygamy is legalized, they won’t have to get “divorced” if they later want to marry women.

                    1. What’s to stop to straight friends from getting married in order to share government / employer benefits?

                      You say that as if people can’t do that already. Platonic male-female friends are well-situated for such shenanigans.

                      And why do you give a damn if the participants in a marriage aren’t fucking? Judging by trite stand-up comics and the volume of mail sent to advice columnists, that’s already 75% of the married population.

                  2. “Some well-meaning opponents are legitimately concerned about the kinds of lifestyles they are going to be forced to subsidize in the future.”

                    Give me a break. Like the average so-con ever anguishes about which lifestyles he/she has to subsidize…
                    They vote just as viscerally as anyone else.
                    Libertarians give way too much credit to their mentally inferior Team Red compatriots.

                    1. Yes, Eric, it is very wise to condescend to and assume bad faith on the part of ones’ opponents. Understanding the arguments doesn’t serve anybody’s interests.

                    2. Sorry. But until so-cons are stoning people who work on the sabbath and protesting restaraunts who serve shellfish I’ll presume that it’s something other than biblical purity that is driving them.

                    3. Not every religious person follows the “logical conclusions” of their faith, something you should be extremely happy about, by the way.

                      If you want to be an ignorant bigot, that’s your choice.

                    4. Just pointing out the extremely large stone in the other guy’s eye. If that makes me a bigot, I suppose I can live with it.

                2. Guys, if you’re going to spoof tulpa, at least try to make it believable by writing something he actually might write.

                  kthxbai.

                  1. “shorter tarran” was supposed to be a joke, not a model for you to follow.

          3. The gay bugaboo about gay marriage is bizarre to me. Straight folk are staying away from the institution in droves because it’s so poorly-suited to the way we live today, and gays want to jump on that sinking ship?

            1. They want fair access to that sinking ship. Also, I doubt marriage is a sinking ship. Pretty fundamental to society and when the economic times get hard people will want and need the economies of scale of a pair.

              1. The lowest marriage rates in the US in the past century occurred during the Great Depression.

                Hard times mean you need the freedom to move around to find work. Being chained to a potentially unproductive spouse is a luxury you can’t afford.

            2. The “socialist” bugaboo about Obama is bizarre to me. Normal folk are staying away from Libertarianism in droves because it’s so poorly-suited to the way we live today, and normal folks want to jump on that sinking ship?

              1. Normal folk are staying away from Libertarianism in droves because it’s so poorly-suited to the way we live today

                You know, Bugaboo, that statement contains some great subtleties.

        2. Yeah, it’s interesting that she can say “Protecting gay rights is done by contracts,” yet then go on to say “”Marriages should be protected.””

          Separate but equal.

    3. Being “respectable” and “productive” is the main problem.

      “We Don’t Want Full Employment, We Want Full Lives!”
      http://www.whywork.org

    4. Ron Paul claims he would cut $1 trillion in first year spending immediately. Laudable for sure but neither side of Congress would let him.

      He might get $60 billion tops.

      1. shrike, are you still maintaining that the President is keeping his deficit-reduction promise?

        1. No. His best case 2013 budget came in at $901 billion – only a 30% cut in the deficit. He said 50%.

          He failed.

          A real political whore would have offered a 2013 budget with total rollback of 2001/03 tax cuts and no doc fix. He might have gotten a 50% reduction then (in theory only).

      2. He might get $60 billion tops.

        And that’s only on projected revenue increases.

        1. err, projected expenditure increases. My bad.

    5. Pretty much this. I’d like to think that a Romney who has cut seven pounds for Paul’s support could get ‘er done more easily than any other scenario, but we’re still fucked.

    6. Ann, someone with your qualifications would have no trouble finding a top-flight job in either the food service or housekeeping industries.

  5. The argument that decades-old safety net programs are the cause of all our problems doesn’t bet any less disingenuous with repetition. Just say what you believe for christ’s sake: you hate safety net programs and think they should be destroyed, and overspending is simply code for that. Bonus points for bravely telling grandma that her early death is the proper price for keeping taxes low on billionaires.

    Spending is out of control on Medicare, but the underlying healthcare costs are the problem, and those don’t go away by getting rid of the program. You cannot say that healthcare access would stay the same or increase by getting rid of the program, so I wish you’d just say that you think it’s proper to address budget imbalances by killing old people. This is what you’re saying. But you call it freedom so that makes it OK.

    And Ann Coulter is a scummy demagogue who acts only as a party agent, not an ideas person. There’s no point to debating such trash.

    1. Spending is out of control on Medicare, but the underlying healthcare costs are the problem, and those don’t go away by getting rid of the program.

      … and Tony once again demonstrates his ignorance of how prices are set for a good or service.

      In an exercise in futility, I will once again provide him with a link that explains to him that the entitlement programs he favors cause prices to balloon in the present while decreasing quality in the future.

      1. Your efforts here define futility.

        1. It’s all we have.

      2. Tarran likes big government Land enTITLEment programs that create artificial borders to restrict the free movement of free people to hunt and gather a free lunch.

        1. No such thing as a free lunch.

      3. The market will solve all problems by magic is the extent of that argument. And where that obviously fails, as in the case of anyone who happens to suffer an ailment he simply can never afford to treat, we’ll rely on churches and charities, without any evidence that such will be adequate.

        To me the relevant moral question is not how much government is involved, but whether fewer or more people suffer and die. The claim that stopping subsidies for healthcare will result in better outcomes is just absurd. Dropping millions of uninsurable people into a private market, a particular market in which costs are unpredictable and often catastrophic, is no solution to anything except stroking a wrongheaded antigovernment dogmatism.

        1. The market will solve all problems by magic is the extent of that argument.

          Sigh, obviously you didn’t read it then. Because that was not the argument. I don’t believe the market to be a panacea. Rather, I recognize that an organization whose only unique attribute is a unsurpassed capacity for violence will not improve upon the flawed outcome of people’s voluntary actions.

          I suggest you actually sit down and read it this time as if you were going to be quizzed on its contents.

          1. Do you consider this:

            Obviously, since government provisioning on health care is voted into law by representatives selected in popular elections, it is safe to say that a sizeable portion of the population are willing to donate money to care for those who are unable to afford care.

            to be constituent of an argument worth paying attention to? This is all theory loaded with unjustified assumptions and biased against government intervention. But we live in a world of facts, such as the facts about relative healthcare costs in societies with fully subsidized care versus The US’s more market-based approach. There is simply no reason to assume that a free market will deliver the outcomes a civilized society wants with respect to healthcare access. That subsidized systems are in fact cheaper is just the coup de gr?ce.

            1. Tony,

              PErhaps you don’t realize that the “more market based” approach was explicitly designed to raise health care costs?

              Eighty years ago, Americans were also told that their nation was facing a health care crisis. Then, however, the complaint was that medical costs were too low, and that health insurance was too accessible. But in that era, too, government stepped forward to solve the problem. And boy, did it solve it!

              In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, one of the primary sources of health care and health insurance for the working poor in Britain, Australia, and the United States was the fraternal society. Fraternal societies (called “friendly societies” in Britain and Australia) were voluntary mutual-aid associations. Their descendants survive among us today in the form of the Shriners, Elks, Masons, and similar organizations, but these no longer play the central role in American life they formerly did. As recently as 1920, over one-quarter of all adult Americans were members of fraternal societies. (The figure was still higher in Britain and Australia.) Fraternal societies were particularly popular among blacks and immigrants. (Indeed, Teddy Roosevelt’s famous attack on “hyphenated Americans” was motivated in part by hostility to the immigrants’ fraternal societies; he and other Progressives sought to “Americanize” immigrants by making them dependent for support on the democratic state, rather than on their own independent ethnic communities.)

              Most remarkable was the low cost at which these medical services were provided. At the turn of the century, the average cost of “lodge practice” to an individual member was between one and two dollars a year. A day’s wage would pay for a year’s worth of medical care. By contrast, the average cost of medical service on the regular market was between one and two dollars per visit. Yet licensed physicians, particularly those who did not come from “big name” medical schools, competed vigorously for lodge contracts, perhaps because of the security they offered; and this competition continued to keep costs low.

              The response of the medical establishment, both in America and in Britain, was one of outrage; the institution of lodge practice was denounced in harsh language and apocalyptic tones. Such low fees, many doctors charged, were bankrupting the medical profession. Moreover, many saw it as a blow to the dignity of the profession that trained physicians should be eagerly bidding for the chance to serve as the hirelings of lower-class tradesmen. It was particularly detestable that such uneducated and socially inferior people should be permitted to set fees for the physicians’ services, or to sit in judgment on professionals to determine whether their services had been satisfactory. The government, they demanded, must do something.

              Which is why I had to answer questions as to the requirements mandated by Federal law as to how the officers of fraternal organizations are to be elexted when taking my health insurance producer’s licensing exam.

              Tony, you claim to be grounded in the real world, but time and time again you are shown to be substituting wishful thinking for reality.

              I am impressed by your persistence in rejecting a reality-based worldview for a faith-based one.

              1. Fascinating story, but you may not realize that it makes my case, not yours. The logic behind mutual aid societies is the same logic behind universal healthcare: pooling resources leads to efficiency. The bigger the pool, the more efficient. I won’t defend the government intervention complained about there. But that all happened just before awareness of aging populations happened, recognizing the burden that universal healthcare schemes were invented to address. What is the underlying claim? That healthcare would be universally available and cheap if only we let it be a free market? Do you really think that’s true? It’s an absurd claim even if we assumed that churches wanted to spend all of their resources on providing healthcare aid to the poor.

                The reasoning behind universal healthcare is the same that underlies insurance and mutual aid societies. The only thing getting in the way of libertarians understanding that is their impregnable need to hate government. Not the “government” that sits in a board room of an insurance company or the administration of a mutual aid society, and even in many cases the governments of states or cities, just the US federal government.

    2. Get a veto-proof Democrat regime, and let them confiscate every last penny from the hated “millionaires and billionaires”… and see how long THAT pile of money would last.

      I’d give t maybe a years’ worth of operating capital for the entire nation, IF that.

      You’re still off, Tony. You think raising taxes five cents on the dollar = Our Salvation, which is only one reason why you’re off.

      Funny, we both have a dim view of Coulter; I presume neither one of us would fuck her. I know I wouldn’t.

      But you’re still off.

      1. The only real solution is large-scale downward redistribution of wealth. The means is less important to me, though making the tax code more progressive is obviously an important part. That way we can really broaden the tax base. You’re right, we can’t afford safety net programs while most of the wealth is concentrated in the hands of the few. But your entire worldview is set up to defend keeping all that wealth exactly where it is, and then adding to it by taking healthcare away from old people.

        And there’s plenty to criticize Coulter for without bringing obnoxious sexism into the discussion. Do you judge the reliability of all women opinionholders on a fucakbility standard?

        1. The only real solution is large-scale downward redistribution of wealth.

          I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

          Tony, you are an immoral, disgusting pig. You propound, theft from those who have legally and rightfully earned their wealth, giving it to those who have not. I can think of no lower form of life.

          My one true wish for you is that one day you (and no one else) gets to live in the world you yearn for. I can think of no more fitting hell for you than that you wish upon the rest of us.

          FUCK YOU PIG!

          1. No need to get so emotional over what is a simple misunderstanding of the concept of “rightfully earned” on your part.

            Why do you assume that all money in the hands of the wealthy was rightfully earned? Because the process of earning happened to occur in accordance with arbitrary laws (that the wealthy helped write)?

            All I’m saying is that wealth has been massively redistributed upwards in recent decades. Somehow that’s legitimate, but going the other way is not. Why? Because you are the piggiest type of person of all, a defender to the death of maximum privilege for a minimum amount of people?

            Think of the assumptions that must go into refusing any downward redistribution. All of the exponential growth in wealth at the top was the result of whatever you claim is the morally correct method of earning money, and everyone else, that is the vast majority of people, stagnated or fell behind because they deserved it. This, somehow, even when worker productivity rose.

            You’re not looking at the details, you’re just assuming that any tax is unjust, which makes it curious why you’re not an anarchist. Why is it OK to redistribute resources to provide for the protection of the luxuries of the rich, but immoral to do so to provide the basic needs of the poor?

            Ayn Rand rots the brain. Most people figure this out by the time they graduate high school.

            1. I write the following with the full knowledge that there is a significant possibility that this is a spoof, as no one could possibly be this stupid. However:

              So, you immoral ass-fuck. Now you claim all whom are wealthy got that way by nefarious means, so in the name of “justice” we should punish all of them by taking their “loot”? And the proof of their crimes is a claim by Tony that it is so.

              So in Tony-land there is no due process, only that which you claim to be true? Tony justice!

              FUCK YOU PIG! You don’t deserve to breathe the same air as the rest of us. You are the most vile creature on earth.

              1. I’m not interested in punishing or even morally judging the wealthy. I’m interested in a healthy civilization that provides for the needs of the poor in addition to protecting the luxuries of the rich.

                What you and everyone else has failed to do is explain why it’s moral to do only one of those things.

                1. Fuck you you disingenuous little weasel. It’s been explained Ad nauseam. It isn’t our failure to explain, it’s your inability to either comprehend or accept.

                  It is immoral because in order to, as you say, “provide for the needs of the poor” in the manner you propose, you must steal from someone else to do it. That is immoral. Didn’t you ever learn that to take what isn’t yours is wrong? Your perverse philosophy claims that the ends justify the means. That it’s okay to do something bad to accomplish something good.

                  What is you philosophy anyway? Do you even have one, or is it just how I feel on any particular issue on any given day? YOU ARE IMMORAL!

                  I live my life by two premises.

                  1. A person may do as they wish, PROVIDED in doing so they do not infringe upon the rights of others.

                  2. The only proper roll of government is to protect the rights of the individual.

                  Nothing more than this is required to live a moral life and all else follows.

                  1. But it requires “stealing” to “protect the rights of the individual” including property rights. Taxes to pay for these things are taken in exactly the same manner. So you didn’t answer my question (as no one has yet). Why is it the proper role of government to protect the luxuries of the rich, but not the lives of the poor?

                    1. No, it doesn’t require stealing (see #2 above). There are negative and positive rights. Negative rights are inalienable and require no action on the part of anyone. Positive rights can only be enumerated by the Constitution.

                      https://reason.com/archives/201…..traception

                      The “positive” right of protection/due process is specifically granted to ALL (not just the rich) citizens in the Constitution. Nowhere is the “positive” right of being able to live at someone else’s expense enumerated.

                      Damn it Tony, make your own way in the world. If you are not disciplined enough to provide for your own retirement, then you live by the grace of others (i.e. charity).

                      You want someone else to take care of you in your old age because you wish to be irresponsible now. You are looking for a free lunch. You wrap it all up in this “the poor will die if we don’t” nonsense, but the bottom line is you condone theft for your own selfish reasons. It is not okay to expect others to take care of you.

            2. Cool! It seems to me that people generally do earn their wealth. But how can you do that if you aren’t a Sultan of an Emarate? That requires a little thought…

              So, let’s say I do something people find useful. Like make them laugh, for instance. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that I do it so well that everyone in the US is so grateful they send me a dollar. Let’s say I broadcast my witty remarks every week, and every week they send me a buck.

              I’d be pulling down a billion dollars a month.

              That’s exactly how you get uber-rich. You make a little bit of money off of a large number of voluntary transactions, whether telling jokes or making cars or cell phones. And everyone is better off for the trade.

              Or you could use the power of the state to funnel tax dollars into your pocket. That works too. Only it seems that only one person is better off for that trade.

            3. Except, you disingenuous piece of shit, you never say that you want to take from just the wealthy until someone calls you out. Who do you consider wealthy? What level of income would receive and not have anything confiscated?

              What you are really proposing is taking from everyone, putting into a big bowl and then doling it out according to….what exactly? Need?

        2. You’ve accused me of racism in the past, Tony – and never offered proof.

          Now, you do so again with sexism.

          But do feel free to call your enemies “hillbillies” or some such. Shows how hypocritical you are.

          1. It’s also confusing that you would even peripherally defend Coulter.

            I think you have mental problems.

    3. Spending is out of control on Medicare, but the underlying healthcare costs are the problem, and those don’t go away by getting rid of the program.

      So, massive government subsidies and no incentives or constraints on patient demand for the demographic that uses the most healthcare has no effect on the price of health care?

      Sure you want to go with that?

      Tell me, Tony, given that entitlement spending is in the early to mid stages of a parabolic increase, just what makes you think that we can have anything remotely resembling Medicare indefinitely? Forget about expanding government-subsidized healthcare to even more of the population, just how long do you think we have before Medicare costs more than we can afford?

      1. It would be nice if we could have a serious discussion about cost controls, but unfortunately Coulter’s party demagogues any attempt at such as rationing and death panels.

        At a minimum I’d think a show of good faith requires that we try any and all means necessary to address budget imbalances that don’t result in old people dying more quickly. Saying it’s necessary for them to do so because we can’t touch a dime on the revenues side is, whatever else, not a morality-based position.

        Nobody’s saying providing healthcare for an aging population is cheap. But it shouldn’t be the first thing we cut when there are plenty of less painful ways to address deficits.

        1. At a minimum I’d think a show of good faith requires that we try any and all means necessary to address budget imbalances that don’t result in old people dying more quickly.

          So, no cuts to Medicare, then.

          1. Offer to raise taxes on billionaires by a single cent and we’ll talk.

            1. As noted below, you can max out tax receipts, and not solve the problem of either deficits in general or Medicare spending in particular.

              1. So do it as a show of good faith. One cent in taxes to save one cent in medical expenses for poor old people. Forget the big picture, just demonstrate that you have real morals so we can move on to the details.

                1. So you really don’t care about fixing the problem…you are really just a jealous, envious, pig who wants what the wealthy have earned.

                  1. Taking away healthcare access from millions of old people is not “solving the problem,” it is the opposite.

                    Internet diagnoses of emotional problems are not sufficient to defend the largest wealth gap since just before the Great Depression. I realize you don’t have anything else, though.

                    1. Because if the government doesn’t do it, who will?

                    2. Exactly. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Do you have an answer to your own question? Who will provide a check and balance on the de facto authority that comes with concentrated wealth, if not government?

                2. So do it as a show of good faith.

                  I did. I posited the maximum possible revenue for the feds. I don’t care how its raised, it still won’t solve the problem.

        2. At a minimum I’d think a show of good faith requires that we try any and all means necessary to address budget imbalances that don’t result in old people dying more quickly.

          AHAHAHHAH SO PREDICTABLE!

          Because if the government doesn’t give medicare, obviously old people die faster.

          1. It would seem to follow. Care to explain why it doesn’t? Care to do so without appealing to hand-waving market magic?

            1. Prove a negative? No thanks. I believe the burden of proof is on you, as 1: You made the assertion, and 2: You used a logical fallacy in making the assertion.

              1. Easy. Take away government subsidized healthcare for old people, and lots of old people who can’t afford healthcare without it or are uninsurable will not get healthcare, leading to more death and suffering, which can result from a lack of healthcare.

                1. Take away government subsidized healthcare for old people, and lots of old people who can’t afford healthcare without it or are uninsurable will not get healthcare

                  Citation, please.

                  1. Your kindergarten math lessons.

                    1. Really? Cause last time I checked, if you have the same amount of money you started with since nobody took it away, you’ll still be able to use it in a way you see fit.

                    2. So every recipient of Medicare would be able to afford private insurance or out-of-pocket medical expenses exactly as well or better if we abolished Medicare?

                    3. So every recipient of Medicare would be able to afford private insurance or out-of-pocket medical expenses exactly as well or better if we abolished Medicare?

                      Wait, we were talking about people dying a minute ago. Now you’re making another fallacy by moving the goalposts.

                      I did not comment on every current recipient of Medicare. I merely pointed out that 1: Not having to pay medicare taxes would let you use your money as you saw fit and 2: not having medicare does not result in death.

                    4. Obviously Tony is right… if nobody can afford to go to the doctor, the doctor will keep his prices high and while away his days playing freecell.

                    5. Notice how at 11:55 Tony implies that we’ll need some kind of rationing in order to control costs, which by definition means that some care will be withheld from some people and as a result some people will die sooner.

                      And then, a few posts later in the very same freaking subthread, he says that taking healthcare away from old people isn’t the solution to the problem!

                      Talk about wanting to have it ways. What a disingenuous little son of a bitch.

                    6. With Tony, it’s always the green eyed monster that demands to be fed:

                      You are actually missing Tony’s main point: We libertarians aren’t envious enough!

                      Haven’t you noticed all the digs about people starving so that a billionaire can drive a Bugatti Veyron?

                      We say “keep your mits to yourself!” But when one does that someone might amass alot of wealth! To an envious person this is a big problem. To a libertarian, it’s not a problem at all – so long as the wealth is amassed through production and/or voluntary trade.

                      Now serious students of economic history recognize that in the presence of free markets, you get a large middle class, some rich people, and a shrinking pool of people in poverty. It wasn’t the existence of unions, for example, that ensured that a poor woman had access to stockings that 100 years previously were only available to the very wealthy. It was the expansion of production prompted by the opportunity to get rich off of one’s own labors.

                      But to the envious, the very existence of the wealthy is the problem. To them it’s as much a crime as a mugger taking someone’s baby’s milk-money is to us.

                      I think this is the cause of Tony’s frustration. A very envious person thinks it’s OK to take stuff that other people has because it’s intolerable that they don’t share their good fortune. Or, if they are opposed to taking, using force to prevent someone from getting more stuff.

                      Consider Paris Hilton, for example. Now, I think we can all stipulate that Paris Hilton will consume far more than she produces. And her consumption is so frivolous as completely revolt my half Scotch-Yankee love of frugality.

                      However, the wealth she consumes was amassed by people who loved her and gave it to her, and to a libertarian the fact that her dad and granddad wanted her to have that wealth they had worked so hard to produce is sufficient reason for her to have it.

                      Someone filled with envy, though, looks at Paris Hilton and screams she doesn’t deserve that wealth, decent people do! They view her as being the beneficiary of a natal lottery, and rather than seeing her wealth as a gift of love, view it as a theft from their pockets.

                      This is why I don’t think Tony will ever accept all the evidence thrown at him that he is wrong. Because to admit that forcible redistribution of wealth away from the halves would require him to confront the envy & greed that is the core of his being. Far more comfortable to repeatedly type out the same jingoistic slogans and to close his mind to reason.

          2. Because if the government doesn’t give medicare, obviously old people die faster.

            Well, duh. Just look at a graph of American lifespans. You can see exactly when Medicare began. Right, oh wait a second…..

      2. You all would be much happier if you put Tony into your filter.

        1. I think it’s actually a spoof, but find his reasoning hilarious.

        2. People who find happiness inside intellectual bubbles are pitiable.

          1. You never fail to amuse, Tony.

          2. He’s got a point.

            1. I don’t mind being exposed to alternative viewpoints. On the contrary, I love having an engaging conversation with someone who starts with a good-faith effort to have an honest conversation.

              Tony does none of those things. Immediately starting off with “libertoids wanna throw gramma off of the cliff” means he goes in the filter.

              1. I’ve never claimed you want to kill old people, it’s just the inevitable result of your policy choices. I just think the most salient outcome of your beliefs ought to be treated as such, without obscuring the issue with appeal to platitudes about freedom. It’s hard to be free when you’re dead.

                1. Bullshit, Tony. You regularly accuse your dissenters of wanting to feed old peoples’ remains to starving children, or some variation thereof.

                  Then, you demand people kiss your ass while doling out hate speech.

                  Fuck you.

    4. Here’s the deal, Tony:

      There’s no reason to believe you can extract more than 20% of GDP in federal taxes.

      Crank up our current tax collections to 20% of GDP, and you’re still running a deficit of around 5% of GDP.

      Medicare spending is projected by CMS to increase at around 8-9% a year over the next decade.

      Optimistically, we might get GDP growth averaging 3% a year over the next decade.

      Expenses (and the deficit) are growing faster than revenue, and will continue to do so even if you max out tax receipts. That means that, even under optimistic projections, our debt is compounding.

      Compounding debt is be definition unsustainable.

      What’s your solution? Run the debt up until it all comes smashing down? What kind of state-paid healthcare will we have for the po’ then?

    5. Merely out of curiosity, don’t you ever get just a LITTLE bit tired of putting out the exact same column over and over again every week? Seriously, it’s been the same thing repeatedly for months on end now. I would think even your die-hard fans must be starting to get bored.

      If I was your editor, I would tell you to come up with some new material for a change or to start looking for a new job.

      1. Perhaps, do you ever get tired of defending other people’s privilege like a well trained sheep?

        1. You say privilege, I say freedom. But I understand that to guys like you, freedom IS a privilege.

        2. Wake up, SHEEPLE!

        3. Fuck rich people. I’m defending my privilege as an average household income to do what I please with my money. And to hopefully one day grow my business so that I can be rich.

  6. The argument that decades-old safety net programs are the cause of all our problems doesn’t bet any less disingenuous with repetition.

    Yeah!

    It’s not like a Ponzi scheme depends on a constantly growing influx of suckers to stay afloat.

    1. That’s quite original. I’ve never heard anyone say that.

      1. Hard to hear when you have your fingers stuck in your ears while yelling “LALALALA I CAN’T YEAR YOU.”

    2. It’s unsustainable, but it’s not a Ponzi scheme.

      1. pyramid scheme, though…

        1. Not really that, either. Ponzi and pyramid schemes require bigger and bigger cash inputs because the schemers are skimming profits out of the take in addition to paying back earlier investors. SS is more of a flow-through system (I don’t think there’s a name for it because it’s so benign).

          Given constant population and economic performance Social Security would work just fine because all the money that goes in goes out to previous investors. It could even work decently if surpluses were saved for times of deficit, which they of course aren’t.

          1. Ponzi and pyramid schemes require bigger and bigger cash inputs because the schemers are skimming profits out of the take in addition to paying back earlier investors.

            Ponzi schemes are unsustainable, not primarily because of profits skimmed off by the scammers, but because the promised benefits to early investors are too damned high.

            They can only last as long as the input of money from new contributors outpaces the outflow of money to old contributors.

            Just like entitlement programs (and, increasingly, government pensions).

            The fact that SocSec (and maybe Medicare) actually saw early contributions skimmed off only hastens the day that they hit the wall.

          2. Ponzi and pyramid schemes require bigger and bigger cash inputs because the schemers are skimming profits out of the take in addition to paying back earlier investors.

            Err… I believe you just -defined- Social Security.

          3. Given constant population and economic performance Social Security would work just fine because all the money that goes in goes out to previous investors

            Not any more. SocSec has been running a deficit and consuming general revenue for a couple of years now.

            1. Here we go:

              Social Security expenditures exceeded the program’s non-interest income in 2010 for the first time since 1983. The $49 billion deficit last year (excluding interest income) and $46 billion projected deficit in 2011 are in large part due to the weakened economy and to downward income adjustments that correct for excess payroll tax revenue credited to the trust funds in earlier years. This deficit is expected to shrink to about $20 billion for years 2012-2014 as the economy strengthens. After 2014, cash deficits are expected to grow rapidly as the number of beneficiaries continues to grow at a substantially faster rate than the number of covered workers.

              http://www.ssa.gov/oact/TRSUM/index.html

            2. The nasty thing about social security is how it consumes a percentage of income that if properly saved would ensure the vast majority of people financial independence upon retirement (~10%).

              Yet, it is invested so poorly that the payments that people do get – despite being insufficient to live off of – that is requires an unsustainable multiple of workers for every beneficiary to stay solvent.

              The level of fail is at a spending-the-night-in-the-Castle-Anthrax-and-failing-to-get-laid level.

              1. Well, we can’t let people take RISKS! They might not take the RIGHT RISKS!

                TOP. MEN.

              2. Social Security isn’t invested at all. Every penny taxed by SocSec is spent immediately, either through SocSec or through the general fund.

                1. I’m being charitable and accepting ad argumentum that the ledger entries in the desk of the head of the SSA represent actual treasury bonds.

              3. If they would give me the option to opt out now, with the full knowledge that I would never see one red cent of the money that’s already been collected from me, I would be sitting so pretty that my wife could quit one of her two jobs.

                1. An opt-out wouldn’t be practical without massively cutting benefits to current and near-term retirees.

                  You’d have to pair it with some form of means testing to make it *possibly* work. But even then if too many people opt out it wouldn’t be feasible.

                  Of course, there are loads of suckers who claim 0 on their W-4 so they can get that free money from teh gubber-mint in April…so maybe there will be a lot of people who don’t opt out.

              4. What the heck do you invest in to get 10% returns in real dollars consistently over several decades?

                Of course, the dirty secret is that diverting entitlements onto the stock market or commodities markets would be troublesome in itself, since prices would crater when the Boomers try to cash in on their assets simultaneously.

                Supporting a massive number of people who do nothing productive using the production of a smaller group of people is going to be hard any way you slice it. I’d prefer a noncoercive route but let’s not pretend it solves all the problems.

            3. Yes, I know. Failure to hold when the assumptions being violated does not disprove the theorem.

  7. Bonus points for bravely telling grandma that her early death is the proper price for keeping taxes low on billionaires.

    *dabs eye with hankie, lurches toward fainting couch*

  8. I have decided the best course of action is to quit fighting. I say we spend like drunken sailors. Let’s force a collapse. It will be ugly, but then we can build Libertopia.

    1. First thing we do, we kill this chat room.

      1. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    2. Funny, that’s the same theory I believe the commies are using on us right now.

      Who will win?

      1. Math will win. It always does.

        Math says we will have a fiscal crash.

        What happens after that? Who knows?

        1. It will be ugly, but then we can build Libertopia.

          It’s really this I was contending.

      2. Well commies don’t like guns so…..

  9. It would be nice if we could have a serious discussion about cost controls

    ZOMBIE NIXON’S THE ONE!

    1. How about Nixon’s head on Bender’s robot body?

  10. Given constant population and economic performance Social Security would work just fine

    Assume a can opener.

  11. I want to see this. Anyone has a bootleg upload it for us. We’ll be waiting on Megaupload.

  12. Coulter and her ilk discredit themselves every time they ultimately fall back to the “it’s all Obama’s fault” line as if getting Obama out of office and sticking your establishment Republiscum candidate in office will suddenly put America back on track.

  13. Sometimes I dont think they even have a clue man. WOw.

    http://www.Totally-Private.tk

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