Democratic Convention 2012

If Democrats Did Not Worry So Much About Fake Rights, They Might Be More Respectful of Real Ones

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Last week I faulted the Republicans for the selective reading of the Constitution reflected in their 2012 platform. But at least the folks who put together that platform have read the Constitution (or parts of it); I'm not sure the same can be said of their Democratic counterparts. While the Republicans have a 4,000-word section devoted to "A Restoration of Constitutional Government," the Democrats give us 1,400 words on "Protecting Rights and Freedoms"—many of which, upon closer examination, turn out to be neither rights nor freedoms. Among the alleged rights that the Democrats promise to defend: freedom from "discrimination in the workplace and other settings," "paycheck fairness" for women, "job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons," "evidence-based and age-appropriate sex education," government subsidies for Planned Parenthood, and taxpayer-funded health care, including "free access" to "prenatal screenings, mammograms, cervical cancer screening, breast-feeding supports, and contraception."

The section does mention a few actual rights, including (as J.D. Tuccille noted last night) "the individual right to bear arms" (subject to "commonsense" regulations). Although most Republicans would not, I will also give the Democrats credit for "freedom to marry," since they argue (persuasively, in my view) that equality under the law means the government should not discriminate between gay and straight couples. Likewise, "a woman's right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion," is based on a constitutional argument—not a very sound argument, at least as laid out in Roe v. Wade, but at least an argument about the proper relationship between government and the individual. True to form, the Democrats immediately lose points by adding that women have a right to obtain abortions "regardless of ability to pay," once again conflating freedom from coercion with a claim on other people's resources. To put the same issue in a less controversial context, people surely have a right to eat, but that does not mean they have a right to compel others to pay for their food.

This fundamental confusion about rights helps explain why Republican rhetoric about the Constitution is more appealing to libertarians than Democratic rhetoric. Yet even the Republicans claim their promise to "strongly enforce anti-discrimination statutes"—i.e., compel people to engage in transactions they would otherwise eschew—is "in the spirit of the Constitution," a document that applies only to discrimination by the government, not discrimination by private parties. And in practice, there is little difference between Team Red and Team Blue when it comes to respecting civil liberties. The Republican version of the First Amendment includes exceptions for sex, flag desecration, and online material deemed inappropriate for children, while the Democrats talk about amending the Constitution to restrict political speech. The Democrats, like the Republicans, say counterterrorism policies must be consistent with the rule of law, due process, and the Fourth Amendment, but neither party thinks indefinite detention without charge, summary execution by drone, or warrantless surveillance of email and phone calls crosses any constitutional lines. 

In my post last week, I noted that the Republicans' discussion of the Constitution skips over the Due Process Clause. They do at least mention "habeas corpus and due process of law" in another section, referring to U.S. citizens who "become enemies of their country." Since the Republicans have steadfastly resisted the idea of treating terrorism suspects as criminal defendants (even though the Bush administration did so from time to time), it is not clear what this ostensible commitment to habeas corpus and due process means in practice. Not surprisingly, since the Obama administration maintains that killing anyone identified by the president as an enemy of the state (including U.S. citizens) complies with due process, the Democrats are no better in this area. I count two mentions of "due process" in their platform. The first refers to protections for "struggling teachers," while the second appears in a paragraph about intellectual property. 

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  1. Look, not only is the Constitution more than 200 years old but it was also written by men who own slaves. It’s about time somebody eyed the Constitution and decided it’s no good. It’s also less than 10 pages, nothing important can possibly be less than 10 pages.

    1. What if we increase the font size and squeeze in the margins?

    2. Herman Cain said two pages maximum.

      1. And so… you’re point is… I got nothing. Is that supposed to be a rip on Herman Cain? Republicans? Black men?

        1. Cain has to be the dumbest fucker ever to lead polls in a primary of any political party.

          Remember, he said that mosques could be legally banned by community.

          But then the bimbo eruption took him down.

          1. Yeah Cain is just a successful CEO. Real dumb motherfucker.

            1. He’s case in point that idiots can be successful CEOs. I’ve known plenty. Knowing how to make money is not the same thing as being smart with respect to other things that matter in life.

              1. Knowing how to run a successful company probably is a badge of stupidity where you come from Tony. The rest of us not so much.

                1. You’d think, being a supplicant to the State, Tony would be more grateful to those that pay him his salary.

              2. I’m pretty sure it’s case in point that stupidity/=/foolishness/=/inconsistency. Really, now, someone can be quite bright and still say the dumbest shit.

          2. You forget Santorum so quickly?

          3. “Remember, he said that mosques could be legally banned by community.”

            Fucking zoning, how does it work?

          4. It was actually sort of funny before you went full asshole on it.

        2. Wait, it IS a criticism of black men. Black men can’t read!

          RAAAAACIST!!!!!

        3. that’s the PB way, just throw some monkey shit out of his cage and see what sticks.

  2. “Fake rights” is such an awesome term. I am going to make an effort to use it much more often.

    1. It goes right along with fake issues, something that both teams can agree to cling to.

      1. Then just pass fake laws with fake enforcement mechanisms and we can all call it a day.

        1. We’ll need a fake Congress…never mind, we already have that.

        2. mission accomplished!

    2. I think this criticism is dead on. They’ve been so caught up identity politics and in trying to buy votes through special treatment programs that they’ve completely lost any interest in true civil liberties issues. It’s not a minor problem.

      1. It’s not even a matter of losing interest. These new “rights” are diametrically opposed to actual Constitutional rights and destructive of them. I don’t think their zeal for these new rights is accidental.

  3. The thing that upset me the most about the Sandra Fluke debacle was that she was/is a Georgetown Law student. I visited the campus last fall hoping I would be able to get in (and take some classes under Randy Barnett, a man who actually understands natural rights), but if they let in dipshits like Fluke who have no concept of rights and the government’s ordained role in protecting, not limiting, them, I don’t know if I would want to go there even if my LSAT scores were high enough.

    1. Wrong side of the Potomac dude. Try George Mason’s law school.

  4. ” the Obama administration maintains that killing anyone identified by the president as an enemy of the state (including U.S. citizens) complies with due process,”

    I think you missed the key part- Obama first has to think really hard about whether the person is an enemy of the state. That’s the process part.

    1. Will Smith is an enemy of the state, right?

  5. To put the same issue in a less controversial context, people surely have a right to eat, but that does not mean they have a right to compel others to pay for their food.

    True, true. They have the right to use government to compel others to pay for their food.
    Remember that the right to private property means the government protects your property while also giving you the right to the property of others.
    There is no contradiction there. None at all.

    1. To put the same issue in a less controversial context, people surely have a right to eat, but that does not mean they have a right to compel others to pay for their food.

      Actually, they are already doing this, if you consider food stamps.

  6. “But-but-but, they ARE real rights! ‘Cuz we want them REAL bad!”

  7. Even when you criticize the Dems you are careful to add that the GOP is just as bad. You weren’t doing that last week.

    1. You know, last week I naively thought that once the RNC was over the Team Red people would get over their butthurt about reason picking on their guy. So here it is the second day of the DNC and the Team Red whiners are still all butthurt about the articles. If this keeps up I’ll have no choice but to believe that Team Red is populated entirely by butthurt whiners.

      1. TEAM RED is populated entirely by butthurt whiners. Their persecution complex is one of the few features that differentiate them from TEAM BLUE. It’s really quite pathetic.

        1. I agree with the first statement but not the second. Are you saying that liberals do not have a group persecution complex that they whine about incessantly?

          TEAM partisans are, in my experience, ALL butthurt whiners except when they are being hatemongering holier-than-thou fucktards.

          1. I tend to see TEAM RED douchebags squealing about media bias and other butthurt complaints more than TEAM BLUE, though admittedly TEAM BLUE squeals about the Koch brothers and Fox News a lot too.

      2. You know, last week I naively thought that once the RNC was over the Team Red people would get over their butthurt about reason picking on their guy.

        That IS naive.

    2. The Democratic platform was not available last week, so I did not have the same compare-and-contrast opportunity. In any case, the Republicans, if anything, come out looking a bit better in this comparison, since they at least have a clearer idea of what rights are.

      1. Very well, I withdraw my criticism.

        THIS TIME.

        1. Oh my. You sure dodged a bullet there, Sullum. Just to be sure, I’m going to be watching the feed tonight. That roll better be FILLED with jokes against the Democrats, more than last night (none of that softball stuff you normally pedal), or else Tulpa and I will out Reason for the Democratic shills you oh so obviously are. You’ve been warned….

      2. Don’t bother explaining. If you’re not a clearly identifiable Team Red hack then you should be ashamed of yourself. This is the time to ONLY pick on the Dems.

        1. All I’m asking for is balance. I’m kind of surprised that Mr Sullum didn’t know what Democrats thought about positive rights last week, but I’ll accept his explanation nonetheless.

          1. How big of you. I think I understand why Epi calls you Commodore all the time.

          2. There’s a difference between knowing and having the official party platform on paper, Tulpy. Sourcing, doncha know. If I say I know donks love positive rights, some butthurt partisan will ask where anyone has said that, in which case I can go ‘2012 platform, beeyatch’. Without the doc, you have to rely on individual quotes from politicians, which leads to the attack of not representative/doesn’t speak for all/etc.

            Don’t pretend you don’t know how the game works.

          3. Wow, you are a MAJOR dumbass, Tulpa. Self-parody much?

    3. One man cult.

    4. I can recall several articles from the past couple weeks that primarily focused on Republicans that also criticized Democrats

      1. Tulpa knows that’s not enough, Cali. Not only does every other post have to be about the Democrats, the Republican-oriented posts (there are NO other kinds of posts allowed; make it one or the other, dammit!) have to ding the Democrats as well, since they’re obviously inferior to the Double R menace! Now THAT’S balance!

  8. Amendment 1: Congress shall make no law restricting the access to other people’s money.

    Amendment 2: Free birth control, being necessary to the security of a strong woman, shall not be infringed.

    Amendment 3: No smoking shall, at any time be permitted in any house, regardless the consent of the Owner, nor at the entrance, but in a manner to be prohibited by law.

    1. Amendment 10: The rights not given to the people by the Constitution, nor given by the States, are reserved to the Government respectively, not to the people.

      1. Tony will be pissed this isn’t Amendment 1.

        1. “Rule one: No Poofters!”

    2. Amendment 4: The right of the people to be secure in the consumption of hamburgers, cookies, and candy, against unreasonable search and seizures does not exist, and no warrants shall issue, but upon the decison of the First Lady, supported by her husband’s predator drones, and particularly describing the food to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

      1. Please link to the food restriction laws Mrs. Obama is proposing. Actual laws – not slogans.

        I suspect you are listening to redneck radio again.

        1. Requiring calorie counts to be posted by anyone serving non-government-approved food.

        2. Michelle Obama, Sloganeer.

        3. The mafia didn’t threaten to burn down my house. They just said they wanted me to pay them to protect it.

    3. Ammendment 4: Para espanol marque dos

      1. Porque no te callas!

      2. Oprima la estrella, no marque dos.

    4. Amendment 3: No Soldier shall in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, unless delivered by a robotic drone after thinking really really hard about it.

  9. I think this calls for a Remy video.

  10. While the Republicans have a 4,000-word section devoted to “A Restoration of Constitutional Government,” the Democrats give us 1,400 words on “Protecting Rights and Freedoms”

    Article I: U can haz free shit!

  11. The Republican version of the First Amendment includes exceptions for sex, flag desecration, and online material deemed inappropriate for children, while the Democrats talk about amending the Constitution to restrict political speech.

    I think restricting political speech is a lot bigger deal that tilting at windmills over porn. The Democratic Solicitor General argued during the Citizen’s United case that it was within the government’s power to ban books for their political content. That is a lot worse and more of a threat than the coming crackdown on scat and bestiality videos.

    1. It’s all the same thing, esp when you get to Nailin’ Palin.

    2. It’s impossible to crackdown on internet porn, so there’s nothing to worry about. It’s much easier to go after people for speaking out against the government, just ask Bradley Manning or the fact that the Obama DoJ is arguing that internet bloggers who publish sensitive information are not journalists and don’t have First Amendment rights.

      1. Both parties lie to their bases. The SOCONS got the SOCON’s SOCON John Ashcroft as AG for four years. I don’t recall there being some mass crackdown and disappearance of porn.

        But we are one Supreme Court vote away from Corporations no longer having any free speech rights.

      2. I find that mindset to be utterly whacked. ‘Press’ is not a class specification like ‘noble’ or ‘commoner’, but the progressives treat it as such where only members of a rarefied and distinct profession can exercise a particular right denied to everyone else. The mentality is poison to the very concept of equal protection, but does explain why they went apeshit over Citizen’s United when laws rigged to favor such an interpretation of ‘freedom of the press’ as a class interest were overturned.

        1. ‘Press’ is not a class specification like ‘noble’ or ‘commoner’, but the progressives treat it as such where only members of a rarefied and distinct profession can exercise a particular right denied to everyone else.

          Progressives: building a bridge to the 14th century.

          1. When your goal is to organize society along a plan, the people have to know their place, else it messes up the plan.

            1. “When your goal is to organize society along a plan, the people have to know their place, else it messes up the plan.”

              http://www.bearflagtrading.com…..00×229.jpg

          2. But they’re forward, not back. I haz confuse.

            1. They’re not retreating, they’re advancing in the opposite direction.

    3. I’ll go so far as to agree with you that the restrictions on poltical speech is that much more insidious, in that its self-serving as an Incumbent Protection Act.

      Fuck these fucking fuckers.

  12. “Yet even the Republicans claim their promise to “strongly enforce anti-discrimination statutes”
    _
    Five Ways Courts Say Texas Discriminated Against Black and Latino Voters by Lois Beckett and Suevon Lee ProPublica, Sept. 4, 2012, 10:59 a.m.

    Minority groups have outnumbered whites in Texas since roughly 2004, and 55.2 percent of the state’s residents are now minorities, according to Census figures. As of 2011, the state’s legislature was more than two-thirds white [1].

    1)Lawmakers drew some districts that looked like Latino majority districts on paper ? but removed Latinos who voted regularly and replaced them with Latinos who were unlikely to vote.

    2)Lawmakers widened the gap between the proportion of the population that is Latino and African Americans and the proportion of districts that are minority-controlled.

    3)Texas removed economic centers and district offices from African-American and Latino districts, while giving white Republicans perks.

    4)Divide and conquer: Texas “cracked” minority voters out of one district into three.

    5) Texas passed a voter-ID law with requirements that would make it disproportionately difficult for African Americans and Latinos to vote.

    http://www.propublica.org/arti…..ino-voters

    1. 5) Texas passed a voter-ID law with requirements that would make it disproportionately difficult for African Americans and Latinos to vote.

      Umm, why?
      Do African Americans and Latinos have to go to a special department of licensing to get thier ID?

      Is there a higher fee if you’re African Americans or Latino?

      Or are you just operating under the racist assumption that African Americans and Latinos are somehow less capable of getting an ID than Whitey?

      1. Calling someone’s assumptions racist makes you racist, Dio. Didn’t you know?

  13. Lawmakers drew some districts that looked like Latino majority districts on paper ? but removed Latinos who voted regularly and replaced them with Latinos who were unlikely to vote.

    It’s hard for me to take this seriously when this is the very first reason.

    A so-called discriminatory action that can be completely foiled by lazy people getting off their fat asses and voting doesn’t strike me as very nefarious.

    “Nuh-uh! You knew we were too lazy to use our voting power! That makes it your fault!”

    1. Maybe so.

      But Texas has in the past moved voting precincts away from colleges to cut down on the liberal student vote.

    2. “Lazy Messicans” for teh RACIST! win.

      1. You quick typing bastard!!

        1. HAHA! #WINNING #FORONCE

    3. Isn’t saying Mexicans are lazy kind of racist?

      1. “Mexican” is a nationality, not a race. So it’s Okay.

  14. Oh, mystery solved. Jacob Sullum is the mouthpiece of the Rights God. Glad we finally cleared that up. I know I want libertarian fucksticks telling me which rights are real and which are fake. Especially since libertarianism is essentially rights-minimalism.

    1. libertarianism is essentially rights-minimalism

      That is so sublimely stoopid Ima just sit here in wonderment and admire it

      1. Think about it and you’ll see it’s true. Libertarians reject pretty much all the rights that were established in the 20th century.

        1. You mean rights that were established when the government said so? I think you may have missed the point.

          1. That’s my other favorite aspect of the whole 20th century progressive movement. The defenders of those programs today call them rights and claim that even the smallest reduction in these programs is a violation of rights.

            When asked where these rights come from, they’re forced to either engage in a painfully tortured constitutional argument or claim that the government gave these rights. They despise the counterargument that anyone who can give you rights can take them away with the same power.

            Apparently the simple passing of legislation by a majority (razor thin in some cases) can grant new rights, but another majority (even a 70-30 one) is wrong to even slightly reduce the scope/scale of those laws. I can never understand how they reconcile this concept.

            1. Fuck you, that’s how.

          2. You have to understand what T o n y means, Spark. T o n y confuses us by saying “rights”, but he doesn’t actually BELIEVE in rights. To him, “rights” are just social constructs, so anything becomes a right if it’s defined and enforced as such.

            Of course, that’s not what “rights” are.
            It would be more accurate for him to say “privileges”, but half of T o n y’s arguing style relies on using alternate definitions of terms we use, then obfuscating the fact that he means something different.

            1. Call it the property privilege and I’m with you.

        2. You’ll have to do much, much better than that, Shi-For-Brains. You are making the accusation, you prove it’s true.

          1. I’m talking mostly about workers rights and the rights associated with a social safety net (the right not to starve, e.g.). I will grant that you probably think women should be allowed to vote.

            1. Everyone has the right not to starve.

              The government cannot be allowed to interfere with people voluntarily obtaining food from others, nor can they interfere with people voluntarily providing food to another.

              Do poor or hungry people have the right to filet mignon and lobster? Poor people aren’t supposed to get substandard 1st,2nd,4th,5th amendment protected rights, so why should they get substandard ‘food rights’?

              You probably mean that the right not to starve justifies the government taking money from one person and giving it to another to help prevent them from starving. Well, that’s a bastardization of what rights are.

              What about the person with money having the right to spend it only on what they feel is necessary?

              It’s worth pointing out that even in the worst times, starvation was very low and it was church and private charities that worked to prevent it.

              Despite the government taxing and spending on anti-starvation measures, church and charity groups still find the need to operate and perform the same services a they did before.

              1. You don’t get to talk about the virtues of religious communes then bitch about collective action via secular means. I don’t want any church of any kind going anywhere near my rights, thank you very much.

                The right to a decent living is more important than the right to keep everything you get your grubby hands on. If those conflict, I think the former should win out.

                The problem with property-rights libertarianism is that you have to claim that we should be forced to pay taxes to protect the luxuries of the rich, but we can’t be forced to pay taxes to pay for the needs of the poor.

                1. The right to a decent living is more important than the right to keep everything you get your grubby hands on. If those conflict, I think the former should win out.

                  And there you have it, Tony in a nutshell. Now, define decent living.

                  1. A decent living means affording basic needs in a modern society: food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, education.

                    1. Are you trying to tell me that right now, in America, there are people who can’t get food, shelter, healthcare, and education? At all? I find that a bit hard to believe.

                    2. Lacking government subsidies for these things, there certainly would be lots.

                    3. A decent living means affording basic needs in a modern society: food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, education.

                      So go provide those to people, Tony, no one’s standing in your way. Just keep your hand out of my pocket.

                    4. In the real world, those things are the result of discipline and hard work. In TonyWorld, it grows on trees.

                      Tree: someone that has worked hard and accumulated more than his/her “fair” share of a society’s aggregate wealth.

                    5. I Am Tony’s Tree.

                2. You don’t get to talk about the virtues of religious communes then bitch about collective action via secular means.

                  Why not? Last I heard nobody is forced to join a church.

                  I don’t want any church of any kind going anywhere near my rights, thank you very much.

                  Your abject hatred of religion doesn’t make it a less viable supplier of services to the needy.

                  1. The claim that churches are a viable supplier of basic needs–in the absence of a secular social safety net–is probably totally absurd, but I’d love to entertain some data if you’d show it.

                    But that’s beside the point, as a social safety net is not charity for the needy. It is a safety net–a minimum standard of living beneath which a society doesn’t let anyone fall. It’s for everyone, in everyone’s best interest.

                    1. No, it’s not.

                    2. It is a safety net–a minimum standard of living beneath which a society doesn’t let anyone fall. It’s for everyone, in everyone’s best interest.

                      So I have no life of my own, there is only what good I can accomplish for society. Sorry, but that is pretty fucking sick and twisted.

                    3. Once again you are using “safety net” as a pure distraction from the fact that what we actually have is cradle to grave welfare. A safety net would provide food to a starving family. Our welfare state provides “supplemental” nutrition to 1 in 7 Americans. A safety net would provide money to truly impoversihed elderly. Our welfare state sends checks to all senior citizens, even if they are already rich. A safety net would provide for the truly disabled. Our welfare state sends checks to the unemployed who claim that working would stress them out too much. And so on.

                    4. Not just churches dumbass, private charities as well.

                      You got a permit signed in triplicate to operate that cherry picker?

                      The idea that only the government can provide a safety net is absurd.

                      The absurd idea is that it’s acceptable for the government to take our money by force to build their own safety net because we already voluntarily spend money with private entities to provide others with a safety net.

                  2. Why not? Last I heard nobody is forced to join a church.

                    Tony, like most liberals/progressives/socialists/lefty statists doesn’t seem to understand the difference between people voluntarily joining together and doing something vs. the government taking other people’s resources by force and doing those things.

                    To them, it should be no big deal if the government taxes us to pay for some poorly thought out feed-the-poor program, because we already give money to the Salvation Army, missions, food banks, 3 square, whatever.

                    This comes from their mindset that the ends justify the means. As long as “poor people are fed”, don’t worry or complain about HOW it gets done.

            2. Oh yes, the eternal Natural Right in Tony World where Others have the right to My Property. Funny, that’s just how some other societies were organized in the 20th century and worked out very poorly for most.

              Take your Happy Face Fascism elsewhere, Douchebag.

        3. Probably because they’re a bastardization of the concept of rights.

          The 1st amendment protects my right to speak my mind by prohibiting the government from interfering with that right. It doesn’t obligate the government to provide me with a taxpayer funded bullhorn and poster printing, nor would it justify the government forcing a private property owner to allow me to set up my protest in their parking lot or store front.

          1. But the right to own property necessarily entails a right to have government force people off your parking lot if you desire, not to mention the cost of administering the contracts and disputes involved in such.

            1. But the right to own property necessarily entails a right to have government force people off your parking lot if you desire

              No it does not.

              1. The alternative is that property rights is “This is my property because I say so and I have a bigger gun than you.” Which means that someone with an even bigger gun could come along and claim your property by the exact same means, equally legitimately.

                1. The alternative is that property rights is “This is my property because I say so and I have a bigger gun than you.”

                  No it is not.

                  1. Okay Randian would you please educate me as to how having property rights doesn’t cost taxpayers anything?

                    1. Once again here is Tony with the “if government does anything it can and should do everything” schtick. Tiresome already. So stupid, so tiresome, such an admission of an inability to defend the welfare state on the merits.

                2. HOLY SHIT! John, is that you? It amazing how similar the arguments are.

                  1. which reinforces that socons are NOT conservatives.

                  2. Tony as usual can’t make a proper argument.

                    Do you need government to have property? No. You can always have property by the force of your own gun. But it is a lot easier to hold it by the force of the government’s gun.

                    The one absolutely vital thing that government does, is possess a monopoly of force and enforce a rule of law and property rights. Any place that doesn’t have that is guaranteed to be poor. And any place that does is most likely not going to be.

                    That doesn’t mean property rights come from the government. They don’t. But it sure as hell means that pretty much the most important thing government does is make it easy and efficient for people to enforce their property rights.

                    1. Why? Why is a rich person’s yacht more worthy of being taxpayer protected than a poor person’s health? Under what moral code does that make sense?

                      What you’re saying is that government does something more efficiently than people acting freely without government. That occurs to you; does it not occur to libertarians that there are other endeavors that are the same?

                    2. Why is a rich person’s yacht more worthy of being taxpayer protected than a poor person’s health?

                      Why is stealing people’s shit somehow more worthy than keeping people from stealing shit? In the first scenario, they’re protecting someone’s freedom to control their own stuff, while in the second they’re VIOLATING someone’s freedom to control their own stuff.

                      You’re confusing the morality of freedom with other moral aspects. Freedom is one of the cornerstones of justice, but it’s not the only thing that matters. However, protecting people’s freedoms is the only aspect of morality that should be controlled by the government. In your head, the only way people won’t starve is if the government steals other people’s shit, but then they’re violating the very thing they’re supposed to protect.

                    3. What you’re saying is that government does something more efficiently than people acting freely without government.

                      First, are you aware governments are made up of people? They’re a type of human organization, not something separate from them.

                      On that note, the point of the government in protecting people’s rights is the legitimization of a specific group of people to protect the rights of others. People can do this already do this for themselves, of course. The issue is really too complex to go into here; instead you should look up the definition of “public goods”.

                      Public goods are the one category of things that is feasible to be offered through legitimized force, aka the government. The nature of public goods not being the same as other goods, it cannot honestly and intelligently be claimed that non-public goods are offered more efficiently by the government.

        4. Libertarians reject pretty much all the rights that were established in the 20th century.

          Probably because rights are inalienable, not established, and do not involve taking things from one group to give to another.

          1. Except in the case of property rights, the right not to be molested, and all the rights you claim don’t cost anything but actually do.

            1. First of all, who claims this? Because I highly doubt swillfredo pareto is the spokesman for libertarians everywhere.

              Second, what is “the right not to be molested”? I’m pretty sure assault is already a crime as we have the right to life and liberty, and someone endangering those would be prosecuted.

            2. Wait, is there really a right to not be molested? Is that somewhere along with the right to a fair pay? A right to a job? A right to free food so I don’t starve?

              Well shit, what happened to my right to be left the fuck alone? I wish I had a right to not be forced to pay for another person’s bullshit.

              1. If you aren’t forced to pay for other people’s rights then I don’t see where you get off demanding others pay for yours.

                1. If you aren’t forced to pay for other people’s rights then I don’t see where you get off demanding others pay for yours.

                  Who made any such demands?

                2. I don’t see where you get off demanding others pay for yours

                  Can you please point out where I did any such thing? If you can, I promise I will never do so again.

                3. If you aren’t forced to pay for other people’s rights then I don’t see where you get off demanding others pay for yours.

                  Jesus, Tony. You’re on a fucking libertarian message board. What part of “the taxpayers should not pay for anyone’s welfare” is so confusing? Libertarians hate corporate welfare, middle class welfare, and poor people welfare. If the government is not there, safety nets will still pop up. But to say that poor people will be cloggin up the streets with gubmint handouts is to completely ignore the first century and a half of this country.

                  1. Would you want to be a randomly placed person in the first century and a half of this country? This Golden Age fantasy bullshit is not contributing to your argument.

                    You don’t believe what you wrote. You specifically believe that taxpayers should have to pay for the welfare of property owners and victims of crime. But most other interests don’t get protection, because you say so. You are rights minimalists.

                4. If you aren’t forced to pay for other people’s rights then I don’t see where you get off demanding others pay for yours.

                  The last I looked, the wealthy paid property and sales taxes, just like the poor. These are the taxes that pay for cops, not income, FICA and the rest.

              2. Well shit, what happened to my right to be left the fuck alone? I wish I had a right to not be forced to pay for another person’s bullshit.

                This right does not exist, because you belong to society. And as a member of society, it is your right to pay taxes and support those who can’t/don’t.

                1. Bingo.

                  As a sentient species it’s your right to be assimilated by the Borg and added to their collective. You should be more grateful, they are moving everyone closer to perfection AND they are risking their lives and ships to protect all of you from marauders, conquerors, etc.

                  Where would species 646 be if the Borg hadn’t acted to perfect and protect them? They would be at risk from species 1134 plundering their resources. Why, species 897 could just come in and start kidnapping your people and enslaving them. The Borg acted graciously and compassionately to stop this.

                  If you wish to discard this protect, you’re free to leave this Borg ship and go “off the grid”. (The unspoken part is that there are no ships for you to leave in, and if you take a warp capable craft, it too will be assimilated. If you make to another system, that system will be assimilated in short order and you will be at the same point again.)

                  1. another libtoid wandering in a room of mirrors

        5. all the rights that were established in the 20th century

          I often wonder if part of the problem in communicating with liberals is basic vocabulary, and here I have absolute proof.

          “Rights” are apparently things. They can be created, and presumably destroyed. Fascinating.

          1. Exactly correct. Rights were not floating in the sky waiting to be plucked down for billions of years until 1789 came along. They are human innovations.

            Libertarianism is such an anti-human philosophy. You claim to worship human agency but you really just treat the market as deity and rights as Commandments.

            1. Except those aren’t rights. They’re just privileges. Privileges can be created and destroyed. Rights can’t, being freedoms inherent in people.

            2. Libertarianism is such an anti-human philosophy. You claim to worship human agency but you really just treat the market as deity and rights as Commandments.

              Moronic. Freedom is an inherent aspect of a person’s ability to do things. Rights are simply the expressions of those freedoms. No metaphysics necessary.

              Also, that not all libertarians believe in rights. I’ve personally met a libertarian ethics professor who is libertarian, not because he believes in rights (he doesn’t), but because he believes that freedom from government control is the best way to ensure human prosperity.

              Libertarianism is not about rights persay, it’s more about the ideology of supporting freedom from government intervention, regardless of the type of morality that influences them to support it. Not to mention that some people believe in it for purely pragmatic, and not moral reasons (such as the professor; to him the moral and practical are one and the same).

            3. Exactly correct. Rights were not floating in the sky waiting to be plucked down for billions of years until 1789 came along.

              Just because you don’t like natural rights theories doesn’t mean they’re wrong.

              1. True, yet they still are.

        6. You mean rights that were eliminated in the 1860’s, like the right for some individuals to profit from other individuals’ labor without the latter’s consent?

    2. I know I want libertarian fucksticks telling me which rights are real and which are fake.

      Apparently you do, since you continue to visit this libertarian website and click on articles about which rights are real.

    3. Thanks for the douche-chills, Costanza.

    4. Here he is, a bit tardy but almost on right on cue with his Government Dispenses All Rights fascism.

      Go on, Shit-For-Brains, explain to us fucktards how Government nows what rights the people deserve. And while you are at it why don’t you pull that “rights-minimalism” into sharper focus and tell us exactly what you mean by that.

      1. Even the rights you believe in require government to secure. Just because you hate government and don’t like that fact doesn’t mean that rights come from rights fairies or the cosmic ether.

        1. its way easier to believe in these ethereal rights when one lives in the comfy burbs

          1. “ts way easier to believe in these ethereal rights when one lives in the comfy burbs”

            I live in the ghetto. Fuck you, Urine. I think the kids in my neighborhood deserve to associate freely in public with out the police (progressives all) beating them up and stealing their shit. I saw a fucking piece of shit pig take an old black man in a wheelchair’s boom box. Why? Because he fucking could and whine I raised issue with that I was told to fuck off of go to jail.

            That’s a lot of ethereal rights abuse right there, sonny boy.

        2. More disingenousness from Shit-For-Brains. I expect nothing less and that is exactly what I got.

          Funny, you didn’t address anything in my comment or anything that you have in the past espoused here. You NOW say government exists to secure rights – and I bet everyone here agrees with that. What happened to your idea that the Government is actually the Supreme Dispensary of Rights? When did you change your tune?

          You can claim the concept on Natural Rights comes from fairies but there is a long philosophical tradition that suggests otherwise.

          Law should exist to protect the Natural Rights of all – not to, as you would have it, confiscate property from others for dispensation to politically favored groups.

          1. Semantics. Rights are human inventions and they’ve only ever been actualized by stable, rights-protecting governments. That philosophical tradition is wrong. Most philosophical traditions are.

            If there are natural rights then where were they for most of human history? And where can you find them now? I want a location. Natural rights is a scientific claim. Prove it. Find the genetic or astrological locus of them and show me where Nature says taxpayers can pay for soldiers but not healthcare.

            1. I actually agree with you Tony, rights are human inventions.

              The problem is that positive rights don’t “work”. Rights are meant to resolve conflicts over resources. But when happens when five people have a “right” to eat, and there’s only enough food for one?

              How do you resolve conflicts over scare resources, particularly when those resources aren’t just lying around on the ground, but must be produced by some members of society.

              The only system I have seen that works is to declare that those resources belong to the people who produce them, who can then trade with others for something of value.

              If people can’t produce something of value to trade, then, yeha, they must beg, they must rely on charity, and other have the right, always forever, to refuse. They MUST have the right to refuse, or they will be abused. It is not in human nature to not take advantage of free shit if you can force other people to give it to you. Surely you understand this.

              No, I’m not saying the poor are lazy or moochers. But they are humans, and humans are inclined to act in their self-interest. Which means getting as much stuff with as ligenerally ttle work as possible. If you change the equation so that it’s easier to get that stuff via welfare than via work, then they will get it via welfare.

              1. “Positive rights” like healthcare and a right to food–and a right to property–are only possible in a society wealthy enough to provide them. There is no scarcity in healthcare if there is no scarcity of tax dollars to subsidize it. If we’re in a scenario in which there is only enough food to feed 1 in 5 then any talk of rights is literally a waste of time.

                If you change the equation so that it’s easier to get that stuff via welfare than via work, then they will get it via welfare.

                I agree. And this would be relevant if there were enough jobs for everyone and if being on welfare were actually a lavish enough lifestyle to discourage work.

                1. Scarcity is a fact of life. The non-existence of scarcity in anything is so utterly laughable that I really can’t take seriously your arguement below regarding “magical properties”.

                  Can you empirically prove to me there is no such thing as scarcity? Where has this existed? In what country, era? I’ll wait.

                  People on welfare do not take jobs that pay less than the benefits they get. This is a fact. Now, I understand that in your mind these jobs aren’t worth doing, but if they are paid to do it then it is in fact worth what they are being paid.

                  “Positive” rights – what you really mena are legal rights to other peoples property – require the confiscation by force of the wealth of others to pay for. There is nothing Natural about taking something from anyone – except in your totalitarian fantasy.

            2. I never said Natural Rights is a scientific claim. You said that, so maybe you want to prove/disprove it. The claim to Natural Rights is a claim that all humans have certains rights that are a precondition for individual humans, and subsequently humanity as a whole, to improve itself. If you beleive in Natural Rights you believe
              Natural Rights have always existed. Unfortunately it has taken several thousand years of human existence (see above) and philosophical exploration to begin discovering them. Not dissimilar to the process of scientific discovery that has taken place over the past several hundred years.

              Sadly, for most of human history humanity’s natural condition has been poverty and servitude. It is still this condition for the majority of humanity to this day because those unfortunate souls do not live in societies that recognize the existence of Natural Rights. In societies that do recognize the existence of Natural Rights, in varying degrees, humanity has greatly improved on its otherwise natural condition.

              1. The claim that rights exist “out there” and required thousands of years to “discover” is a scientific claim–same as the claim that there’s a Santa Claus. Both are easily rejected on empirical grounds.

                This is not that important a distinction–just a confusion on your part between is and ought. You think there are rights, I think there should be rights.

                The problem of applying magical properties to rights is that you get to declare what they are and not say why. “God says so” is the extent of it.

                1. No, it is not a scientific claim. And while you may elect to reject them on empirical grounds, which is fine by me, you must recognize that this makes you no different than all of the worst tyrants, dictators, and mass murderers-in-the-name-of-the-state. As long as you recognize that you keep company with Stalin, Mao, Che, Castro, and Hitler I am fine wiht your distinction of “legal” versus “natural”.

                  Legal rights give you, TonyStalin, the right to imprison and enslave your fellow man to suit your purpose. Natural rights protect my fellow man from evil monsters such as you.

                  It is quite clever and quaint of you to claim that Natural Rights are akin to “magic” and “Santa Claus”, as they are created “out of thin air”, but in fact so are the Legal Rights that you believe in. Created out of thin air by men that seek power for themselves and control over others.

            3. These aberrations in history are a result of government existing to protect the natural rights of its sovereign citizens. With minimal intrusion and absent arbitrariness. Hence the concept of limited-government that is so entirely anathema to statist, dictator loving assholes like yourself.

              Nowhere in “Nature”, by which you wish to really wish to say “Science” but are seeking to discredit the concept of Natural Rights by conflating the terms, does anything say taxpayers can pay for soldiers and not healthcare. However, a close study of history reveals that the protection of a republic/society the recognizes Natural Rights requires the Provision that it may be necessary to pay for the defense of those rights and prevent the re-establishment of the Natural Condition. The existence of universal, unlimited healthcare has never been required to protect against the re-establishment of the natural human condition.

              1. Healthcare is a more modern innovation than defense, but it is quite arguably more important to human life, liberty, and the ability to pursue happiness. It’s no different from defense in any meaningful way (defense is definitely a subsidy of industry, and is meant to protect people’s lives and livelihoods). The only difference is you aren’t comfortable with the idea.

                1. Nice of you to drop by well after the fact to get your last word in. I knew you would.

                  Again, you are wrong. The defense of the state and the prtection of citizens is the first duty of any government. Healthcare has always been a luxury good – a luxury good that more people can now afford thanks to the affluence created by a free society. The level of healthcare enjoyed by in our society is unprecedented in history – and yes, is better than that provided by the statist societies that you would prefer to live in.

                2. As far as me not being “comfortable” with the idea – I’m not quite sure how you were able to figure that about but where my discomfort lies in any government expenditure, including defense, is the necessity to confiscate private property from private citizens to pay for it. If you had been paying attention at all since I have been posting here you would have noticed that I have advocated for cuts to defense spending.

    5. I’ll take libertarians telling me which rights are real vs people like you.

    6. You’re free to refute his assertions, Tony. Instead we get this overwrought nonsense. Get a grip.

    7. Haven’t you listened to Tulpa at all, T o n y? Sullum is obviously a Team Blue shill in disguise.

  15. Did Sandra Fluke have to rehearse that professional butt hurt look or did it come naturally?

    1. She is one homely bitch. I just wanna slap her. Probably misogynist. Bitch deserved it for lookin’ like that…

      1. She probably spent more money on beer to get guys intoxicated enough to do her than she did on contraceptives.

      2. She is not homely really. She doesn’t have a horn growing out of her head or anything. She just has that butt hurt look on her face all of the time. Does she ever smile? Does she ever have a good time. It is her look that makes her so unattractive. She looks like a nasty bitter grade school teacher.

        1. She looks like a nasty bitter grade school teacher.

          Some guys like that. And they’re probably the ones who could stand a domineering woman.

          1. The irony is that women like her always end up marrying and having a baby the first chance they get. For all of their talk, they just want to be soccer moms.

            1. How is that irony? The baby is just an anchor to keep the man from running off. It’s really just another metal bar to beat their already submissive husbands with.

              1. Because having a baby and being a soccer mom is not exactly what these women claim to be empowering.

                1. It’s just a piece of their puzzle. They want to be empowered to become soccer moms ONLY when they’re ready to. They shouldn’t have to worry about spawning rugrats before that point.

                  1. Oh, they also want to be empowered to be a SINGLE soccer mom with piles of credit card debt that the government will take care of when it gets too much.

                    1. And free day care when they get tired of taking care of the brat. Don’t forget free day care.

                  2. They want to be empowered to become soccer moms ONLY when they’re ready to.

                    Which is always–by some strange coincidence–about a year before any attractiveness they can be said to possess finally goes.

                    The Rise and Fall of Jezebel’s Tracie Egan Morrissey has been hilarifying to read about over the years. She was the Jezebel good-time girl who talked about the hazards of drunken sex without removing your tampon and making a chocolate lollipop pop mold out of some crooked cock on a friend of hers. Sexually adventurous, sexually voracious, and very open about it all.

                    Then she gets married. Finds some femi-man schmuck that says he doesn’t care about any of it. A year later or so she pops out a kid. Now her stories are about how she won’t let her husband touch her, and her crotch looks like ground hamburger, and her nipples are so cracked and bleeding she won’t put on a shirt and has friends, family and ConEd workers in the apartment while topless and leaking.

                    She’s like a modern fable about why most men are leery of sexually promiscuous women and terrified of commitment. But she’s empowered. So empowered, all right.

                    1. I think the problem SF is that Ms. Morrissey was trailer trash to begin with and just used feminism as an excuse to be so.

        2. She looks like a nasty bitter grade school teacher.

          You just described her future if Rush Limbaugh hadn’t called her a slut.

          1. I look at her and think, this is the bitch who will some day throw my kid out of school because he played cops and robbers during recess.

      3. I don’t think she’s ugly, but she’s probably the kind of girl you couldn’t stand to spend five minutes with.

        1. this

    2. You know, to some people there is an obvious link between her condom needs and the butt hurt expression.

  16. “To put the same issue in a less controversial context, people surely have a right to eat, but that does not mean they have a right to compel others to pay for their food.”
    According to the Food Stamp President, yes they do…

    A better argument (and a tie in to the preceeding paragraph) might have been;
    To put the same issue in a less controversial context, people surely have a right to keep and bear arms, but that does not mean they have a right to compel others to pay for their guns and ammunition.

    1. Even if you say people do have a right to eat, this country could easily provide enough basic protein for a good subsistence diet to anyone who wants it. I don’t think even the most cold hearted libertarian would object to providing bags of rice and beans and floor to the poor.

      The problem is that when liberals say “right to eat” they don’t mean “right to eat”. They mean the right to live just as well as anyone else. So that the crack addict living on the street should have the same access to food as the middle class family. And also have the right to have the government shield him from any consequences of his decisions.

      1. Well that certainly is a convenient strawman you’ve erected to differentiate yourself from Democrats.

        1. That is exactly what they believe Tony. If someone said we would give a subsistence diet to any one who wants it but nothing else, no pop, no grocery store candy, nothing, the Democrats would have a stroke. How dare anyone discriminate against people just because they are poor. The poor deserve to shop just like everyone else.

          1. I’m against government sticking its nose into people’s private lives and decisions.

            Your entirely livelihood comes at the expense of the taxpayer, does it not? Do I get to dictate to you what you’re allowed to eat?

            1. I’m against government sticking its nose into people’s private lives and decisions.

              Liar.

            2. This is so fucking stupid it is unbelievable. And you know, in any case, the money the government spends on enforcing laws against murder and trespassing is omething like .000001% of government spending.

              1. Food stamps are a pretty small slice of the pie too.

            3. I’m against government sticking its nose into people’s private lives and decisions.

              My dime, my call. Don’t like it? Get your dime somewhere else.

            4. Your entirely livelihood comes at the expense of the taxpayer, does it not? Do I get to dictate to you what you’re allowed to eat?

              Well, he can’t afford to eat veal and foie gras every weekend, can he? So, aren’t we dictating what he’s allowed to eat by not providing him to the resources to eat the things he wants?

              What if we reduced food stamps to the minimum necessary for a subsistence diet of rice and beans? What if we just pegged the food stamp allotment to some sort of minimum-subsistence-diet-CPI?

              Would we be taking away their food choices then?

              1. I don’t believe in attaching any more stigma to subsistence aid than already exists thanks to your guys’ ugly, relentless antipoor rhetoric. Surely we can trust even poor people to make their own eating decisions. Why is it the freedom crowd, when they entertain the notion of compromising on providing help to the poor, always want to do it in the most intrusive way they can?

                1. Very simple, Tony. Because it isn’t their wealth that is being used to buy “food”. When the wealth of others is used to buy items that are simply not required to live, when the stipulation of that largesse/charity is that it is used for food, then the providers of that wealth have the right to withdraw it.

      2. Wrong John. The crack head living on the street should have the same access (and by access they don’t mean access, they mean ability to receive) as people dining in 5-star restaurants.

      3. i lived in the hood for a while and have worked “hood” district for much of my career. thus, i have frequently gone to the grocery stores (especially on shift) in the hood and seen how people shop with food stamps (in my state, they get a debit type card, not actual food stamps these days)

        tater tots, not potatoes, and in general – craptastic, highly processed, sugar laden crap

        not EXCLUSIVELY, but overwhelmingly so

        whne i lived hawaii, people knew how to cook from scratch and bought staples in bulk a lot. poor or rich

        at least here… they don’t. they buy premade, processed crap in the vast majority of cases.

        i think there’s a great argument to be made for distributing FOOD – sacks of brown rice, nonfat milk powder, canned tuna in water, olive oil, eggs, etc. vs. food stamps, at least for a portion of the allotment

        and if people would take the time to learn to cook, you can take a cheap cut of meat and make a GREAT meal out of it. cheap cut of meat, some potatoes, onion, carrots (really cheap in bulk), some spices, etc. and you have nutritious, stick to your ribs, last for days stew

        not tater tots, soda, and fish sticks

        1. It would solve a lot of the obesity problem. And take a lot of the fun out of being poor. But it is difficult to imagine the case of the vapors that liberals would get over such a suggestion.

          1. If libertarians or conservatives proposed restricting food stamps to the types of foods dunphy just described, the liberals and media would FREAK OUT and say the poor’s options are being limited. Meanwhile, they want to limit the options available in poor communities who would rather have a Popeye’s and LJS than a Whole Foods in the name of fighting obesity.

            1. That is a good point. But you have to understand, they want to limit everyone’s choices. Telling the poor “this is all we can do to help you” is horrible. But telling everyone “you can’t do this or that because it is bad for you” is good public policy.

              1. exactly. liberals as usual are in opposite land. they are the ones passing soda bans(beyond 16 oz), transfat bans, happy meal bans , and sending swat teams in to deal with raw milk vendors

                they want to control what choices people make with THEIR mone

                i am saying i have NO problem with controlling choices that people make with GOVERNMENT handouts.
                and we ALREADY do that. food stamps, for example, can’t be used to purchase alcohol. nor can they be used at restaurant, or for prepared foods like at the store deli

                i am saying take it a step further and instead of just giving $$$ to people, give them FOOD.
                yes, FOOD. that’s what the food stamps program is supposed to be about – FOOD

                1. As a former grocery store worker, I would love if welfare enrollees were just given food instead.

                  1. I agree with this. As a former bagboy, I couldn’t believe how many times I was sent from the checkout line to the customer service desk to pick up a carton of cigarettes for the woman who was using her WIC card to purchase cheese, juice, milk and bread for the kids.

                2. But they can be used to buy cigarettes:

                  After four years on the job, a New Hampshire woman was fired because she refused to sell cigarettes to a customer who tried to pay with an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card (the debit card equivalent of food stamps), according to the Sentinel Source.

                  ackie R. Whiton said that a 20-something-year-old male came into her Big Apple convenience store on May 29 and handed her an EBT card while trying to purchase two packs of cigarettes.

                  It’s important to note that there are two types of EBT cards: one is for essential grocery items and the other can be used for pretty much anything. The customer had the latter.

                  Whiton told the customer that EBT cards shouldn’t be used to purchase luxury items such as cigarettes. Of course, the EBT holder didn’t take her refusal lightly and the two “had a little go-around” while the checkout line grew larger.

                  “I made the statement, ‘do you think myself, that lady, and that gentlemen should pay for your cigarettes?’ and he responded ‘yes.’ Then he said, ‘Give me back my card.’ And I said, ‘Give me back my cigarettes,'” Whiton said.

                  http://www.theblaze.com/storie…..-customer/

                  1. Not with food stamps, or at least the USDA funded food stamps. Other types of welfare benefits, sure.

                    The food stamp rules are bit strange. Candy bars and soda is ok along with cold food from the deli, but hot food isn’t. My local grocery puts single servings from the deli in the cooler because of this.

            2. No, you just need to market it to liberals correctly.
              Instead of bulk rice, make it BROWN rice, organic locally grown produce, soy milk, kale, free range eggs. Etc. Something like that. These are the things liberals think that poor people are fat because they can’t get, because of the “food deserts”. Say your deliverying healthy food free because of a “market failure” and they’ll eat it up.

        2. that’s what the food bank at my church does. bags of rice, etc, like you mention. and we teach people to cook it properly.

          1. i have some mormon friends and they do a lot of canning and stuff and when people fall on hard times (members especially), they are very generous.

            iow, members of the group help each other out a lot

            of course they also help nonmormons to an extent, but they help their own first ime

            nothing wrong with that.

            generally speaking, private is better. churches giving out bulk food and having teaching classes is EXACTLY the kind of stuff we need more of

      4. The problem is that when liberals say “right to eat” they don’t mean “right to eat”. They mean the right to live just as well as anyone else. So that the crack addict living on the street should have the same access to food as the middle class family. And also have the right to have the government shield him from any consequences of his decisions.

        BINGO! We have a winner!

      5. I always point out to prog/liberal types that if the government kept to providing basic sustenance and kept waste to a minimum, libertarians would move along to other more pressing issues.

        It’s always the excess that boils blood. When the government seeks to enroll as many people in nutrition programs, and in their desire to make it as convenient as possible to obtain benefits also eliminates many incentives to conserve or abstain, THIS is when people start getting mad.

        A program that sought to put poor people without personal transportation into used cars that were mechanically sound, minimal in creature comforts, with low expense and minimal waste wouldn’t be as contested as much as a program that sought to put them in new cars that HAD to have 6 disc changers, power seats, and 200+ horsepower and had various ways for people to cheat the system by adding this new ‘government’ car to their garage next to their own privately owned working car.

    2. “”To put the same issue in a less controversial context, people surely have a right to eat, but that does not mean they have a right to compel others to pay for their food.”
      According to the Food Stamp President, yes they do…”

      That plate of food?

  17. “To put the same issue in a less controversial context, people surely have a right to eat, but that does not mean they have a right to compel others to pay for their food.”
    DON’T GIVE THEM IDEAS….Oh, wait…Food Stamps!
    Also…people only have the right the eat what our wise leaders tell them to…especially our Beloved First Lady!

    1. John is arguing for dictating people’s food choices right in this very thread.

      1. No Tony. I am arguing limiting people’s food choices when they get said food with other people’s money. You can spend your own money on anything you want.

        1. It’s not other people’s money–unless you think your government salary entitles me to stick my nose into your private decisions.

          1. you are SERIOUSLY analogizing a govt. SALARY with a govt. HANDOUT?

            cmon.

            get over yourself

            1. Tony thinks that anyone who doesn’t pay 100% of their income in taxes is just like a welfare recipient. Otherwise, why would he think of tax cuts as being welfare for the rich?

            2. Both funded by taxpayers. (“Other people’s money.” “My dime, my call.”)

              You guys struggle with consistency on the question of the legitimacy of taxation and government services because all the rhetoric you’ve bought into is thinly veiled racism invented to get Republicans elected.

              Real libertarian thinkers tend to be a little more coherent, and I wish I’d hear one of their arguments from time to time.

              1. More disingenousness from a lying sack of shit-for-brains.

                1. yea, that’s really a pretty poor example of sophistry

                  not drawing a distinction between SALARY of workers and people who are getting handouts

                  same source of funds, but obviously DISanalogous

                  i try not to waste time with disingenuous arguments, and this one by tony is about as bad as you can get

          2. If I expect people to give it to me for free, it is other people’s money. Do you really think that all government employees, cops, teachers, and the rest are just like welfare recipients?

            My how libertarian of you.

            1. and note many liberals think vouchrs are uncontitutional since it’s government money being spent on (in some cases) religious schools

              but it’s a locus of control issue. the GOVERNMENT is not spending it on those schools. the government is giving the money to parents. THEY are the deciders, thus there is no 1st amendment conflict.

              my money comes from govt. but it’s not a handout. i work for it. i’m well paid. i get JUST under 6 figures with no overtime, a take home police car, 100% paid for medical, etc. i’m not complaining, but it’s MY money. i am WORKING for it. it is entirel distinguishable from food stamps which are a HANDOUT.

              govt. and we the people , are ENTIRELY within OUR rights to limit what that handout money can be spent on

              we already do – you can’t buy alcohol with it, or restaurant food, or hot deli food, etc.

              this just akes it a logical step further and instead of just giving money to be used for food, gives ACTUAL food.

              and it encourages people to learn a skill – cooking, because with that staple food, whether you are eating world class cuisine or not is ENTIRELY dependant on your cooking skill.

              but ANYBODY can learn to make a basic tasty stew and other dishes with staple food and its nutritious, filling, and should be encouraged

              and if and when people LEARN TO COOK, they are less likely to want to rely on crap processed food and fast food as often

              1. “but it’s a locus of control issue. the GOVERNMENT is not spending it on those schools. the government is giving the money to parents own money back.

                FIFY, pig.

                1. yawn, personal attacks.

                  and in many cases of vouchers, the govt. is NOT giving people their money back, since not everybody that receives voucher money is a net PAYOR to govt. a substantial part of our population is a net receiver, not payor

              2. You forgot to mention your maternity leave. I’ll bet you don’t have a kid at least once a year.

                1. pip, you will look at this thread and see the majority of us are adults. having a rational, calm discussion. then, there’s tony who’s making a ridiculous argument, but even he is civil and playing like an adult, generally

                  you just pop in here, so you can get your daily attack on me.

                  if you can’t see how deranged and sad that is, i can’t help you

                  again, let the adults discuss issues, ok?

                  tia

          3. What, don’t like democracy? If the people are being compelled to fund these programs, are you saying they don’t have a say in how the money is spent?

        2. EXACTLY. liberals, with their soda bans (NYC), happy meal ban (sF) or denial of fast food permits (LA) are limiting everybody’s choice to do what they want to do with THEIR Money

          this is entirely distinguishable.

          i am saying instead of giving poor people X per month in food stamp monies to spend on what they choose (and i realize that food stamps are limited to non-pre-prepared foods (iow you can buy frozen tater tots, you can’t buy hot ones at the grocer store deli etc.), give them less MONEY (X-y) where y is made up of nutritious staple foods like brown rice, eggs, oil, canned tuna, nonfat milk powdr, etc. etc.

          the #1 health problem for the poor in this country is obesity. the problem is NOT “getting enough to eat”

          i am against govt. limiting choice, generally speaking but this is entirely distinguishable. this is not earned money (which people should be able to spend on whatever they want), it’s a govt. handout, it comes from all our pockets and it totally makes sense to do stuff like this with what we GIVE people FOR FREE.

          to a large extent, many people and very true among the poor in the US , have lost the ability to cook from scratch. i see it ALL the time

          another aspect of my job is i spend a LOT of time in poor people’s homes. i see how they live and what they eat, etc. it offers a lot of insight.

          people just want to pop something in the microwave.

          1. to a large extent, many people and very true among the poor in the US , have lost the ability to cook from scratch. i see it ALL the time

            Preach it, brother. I am amazed at the amount of people who can’t cook a lick. I went through college on the GI Bill with some help from my dad, and if I didn’t cook, I would have starved. No way I could afford to eat prepackaged bullshit on $750 a month.

          2. many people and very true among the poor in the US , have lost the ability to cook from scratch

            Too true, and pretty obvious. One thing I like to do is compare the size of various sections of the supermarket. You can tell what kind of people live in an area by how big the produce section is compared to the frozen foods section. Small produce section and larger freezer section means people are cooking frozen pizzas and TV dinners.
            Also take note of the size of the aisles devoted to sodas and potato chips. Most supers markets have an entire aisle devoted to sodas, a second for cookies and chips and crackers, and a third for breakfast cereal. Sometimes, at one local supermarket, they’ll stack some bulk “yogurt” covered snack in the middle of the produce section because that’s where they have extra space.
            Canned vegetables are about 1/4 the size of space given to potato chips. All frozen vegetables put togeher equals the amount of space devoted to frozen potato products.

            1. yea, and luxury items are notable too.

              the safeway i shop at on duty in the hood (pop in for a snack) does not have, for example, the $8.99 olive/antipasto bar. the one in my little hamlet where i live does.

  18. Although most Republicans would not, I will also give the Democrats credit for “freedom to marry,” since they argue (persuasively, in my view) that equality under the law means the government should not discriminate between gay and straight couples.

    Gays have pretty much always been free to marry in America, in the sense of finding someone who calls themself clergy who is willing to officiate at a ceremony where they declare the couple to be married. What is at issue is government recognition of such marriages, which is a recent phenomenon.

    It’s “equality under the law for marriage”, not “freedom to marry”.

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