New York City

Of Soda Bans, Sodomy, Single Moms and Sycophants of the Nanny State

You can find someone to support banning anything


gordian knots

Nick Gillespie noted earlier today an op-ed in the New York Times by Sarah Conly, author of the wonderfully titled "Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism," arguing in favor of what else but the nanny state. Conly asks why there's "so much fuss" over Mayor Bloomberg's attempt to regulate soda sizes. "[S]ometimes we need to be stopped from doing foolish stuff," Conly argues, because we're not always rational (stop the presses!). And the government, for Conly, is the agent to do the stopping. It seems she adopts a "we are the government" stance, at one point saying the government's supposed to "help us get where we want to go." But if people are prone to be irrational, and the government is made up of people, why wouldn't it be prone to irrationality? The soda ban itself, after all, is irrational; Jacob Sullum pointed out even the mayor doesn't think it'll work.

Nevertheless it's nothing new for Bloomberg to support a policy despite evidence to the contrary, like with stop and frisk. The attempted soda ban is part of a policy basket that includes reducing salt in food products and banning transfats. Its supporters argue that curbing public health costs justifies the policy.  As Nick Gillespie noted earlier today, a debate on the soda ban between MeMe Roth (pro) and Ann Coulter (against) featured Coulter asking if a soda ban were acceptable, why not ban sodomy, which also has associated health risks? Bloomberg himself, however, has turned a version of this hypothetical into a real example. Earlier this month, while the city prepared for the new soda regulations, the city also rolled out an ad campaign against teen pregnancy. It didn't ban teen pregnancies, it didn't introduce any new regulations to try to nudge the teen pregnancy statistics done. Yet some of the same people in favor of the soda ban were aghast by the notion of the teen pregnancy campaign. "This ad doesn't provide info about safe sex or how to attain low-cost or free birth control," a Yahoo blogger wrote, calling the ads insulting and enraging. Planned Parenthood agreed, calling birth control an effective strategy against teen pregnancy. Yet New York City's government does promote and subsidize birth control and contraceptives as well. A campaign to distribute Plan B in public schools was met with resistance, but as is the Bloomberg way, went full speed ahead anyway. The New York Post revealed the program was far more widespread than the Bloomberg administration initially acknowledged. 12,721 doses were distributed to girls as young as 14 last school year. With the administration pursuing this kind of program, it could use the same arguments deployed in favor of a soda ban for measures meant to discourage teen pregnancy and even teen sex.

After all, as Conly argued, sometimes we don't know what's best for us. Liberals use the argument of need to support regulations and bans ranging from soda to guns. Who needs a 32 ounce soda at dinner? Who needs a so-called assault weapon? But what do people really need? A hovel and some gruel. Everything else is part of life's rich accoutrement, our desire (need) for more knowledge, more material goods, more experiences, more emotions. The pursuit of happiness includes guns, soda, sex,  transfats, tobacco, narcotics, all depending on the eye of the beholder. Conly invokes John Stuart Mill's "no harm" principle, conflating it with the idea of the rational man (as Nick Gillespie noted). The no harm principle, of course, works independent of the idea of a rational man. It gains new strength in the absence of one, in fact. Despite the effort by nanny state apologists to attribute consensus to their policy prescriptions, the controversy each stirs belies that argument. Given enough time, every apologist will learn the lesson at some point, when the state large enough to stop the behavior he or she disapproves is set to the purpose of stopping behavior the nanny state apologist sees nothing wrong. And if we keep bring up how ridiculous the contrary notion of a benevolent nanny state formed by a weak-willed populace is, maybe we won't have to see how bad it has to get for people to start thinking rationally about government power.

NEXT: To Get By, Americans Increasingly Work Off the Books

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  1. I don’t know if this has been discussed before. It’s a grocery store where welfare moms have all their choices made for them:

    1. Excuse me, I need to go murder something now.

      1. That had to be a spoof. Tell me it was a spoof.

        1. Christ, they’re real. It’s like Pyongyang with costumed characters.

          1. It’s nothing like that at all. Those people have something to eat, and we’re paying for it.
            In Pyonyang, you eat tree bark.

        2. It is not The Onion.


        3. Did you guys seriously think that the “X%+ more Americans on foodstamps” headlines wouldn’t create a marketable demographic like this?

          Anyways, if you do a little poking around you can find out they are associated with L.A.R.D. Holdings and a “Tapatio Market”.

          1. Jeez, she’s already got two kids and a nice home, and looks like a third is on the way from her “baby bump.” So nice to know “the poor” are living so well, and not having to worry about more mouths to feed, and the Ds can only think of ways to continue to raise taxes.

    2. Why does that mom on food stamps apparently live in a middle class home with a spacious kitchen and a single cup coffee maker?

      Those single cup coffee makers can be pretty expensive.

      1. I paid about $350 for mine.
        If I went to someone’s house and discovered they were on food stamps/welfare and had one of those I would smash it on the floor.

        1. Why take your wrath out on somebody who is (presumably) playing the game by the rules? Now, if you wanted to smash the paternalistic morons who MADE the system, that I could get behind.

          Besides, having a one-cup coffee maker proves nothing. How long has she had the thing? Was it new when she bought it?

          1. “Besides, having a one-cup coffee maker proves nothing. How long has she had the thing? Was it new when she bought it?”
            C.S.P., anyone who has ‘servants’ doing her shopping for her didn’t buy *anything* used.

    3. I don’t know which is worse… The concept of a well marketed crony(esque) food store predicated on condescension towards customers perceived to be too fucking stupid and/or lazy to properly exploit EBT, or finding out my puppy was run over by a drunk driver eaten by a guy…high on bath salts.

      1. I know! Discovering the puppy-eater is head manager of your local MNC!

    4. Rage…taking….over….

    5. Going to the potty is so confusing. Bidet, toilet paper, my hand, reverse cowgirl, and the three sea shells – which one do I use, and how?

      Luckily the Toilet Safety Administration is there to help!

      Even a Big Boy needs a little help with a Big Boy poop! Thanks, TSA!

      1. After the nephew uses the bathroom I find the toilet paper inconveniently placed on the tank top almost everytime. I’ve been meaning to ask him what the fuck is that about.

        1. he sits facing the back as it was intended.

    6. *Silently gets up from computer bearing emotionless expression. Walks out door with AR-15*

      1. Winner of the inernetz.

    7. I know you guys wanna get a rage boner, but it appears to be a legitimate business that is attempting to cater towards people on foodstamps. What’s the difference between them accepting foodstamps and a grocery store that accepts them?

      Honestly, if it gets people out of the checkout line I’m for it. Takes forever when there’s vouchers then EBT then credit card then cash to pay for everything.

      1. A business set up around government moolah isn’t a legitimate business.

        1. No, it’s totally legit, it’s just the fact that pandering for pogey is a workable business strategy that is rage-boner inducing.

        2. I used to live across the street from a store like this, only it’s branding wasn’t as nice. It’s not a new concept.

          Are banks a legitimate business? What about public universities? Arms manufacturers? Tax accountants?

          Plenty of people receive mad cash directly or indirectly from the government but you don’t have HnRunners talk about “emotionlessly walking outside with their AR-15” because of them. The amount of hyperbole in this thread is ridiculous.

          1. Oh lighten up Francis.

          2. Banks, universities and arms manufactures would exist without government. To the extent they actively seek, lobby and/or rely on government money they are illegitimate. Same for accountants and I’m not gonna give shit to people’s whose job it is to minimize the amount of theft and stress from dealing with government. I’m not blaming people for cashing in but if you build a whole business model around cashing in on food stamps I’m only going to look down on you.

        3. No, the business is at least as legitimate as any other business. What isn’t legitimate is the Government. Don’t misdirect your wrath.

          1. I have plenty of wrath to go around.

      2. There’s nothing wrong with the attempt to cash in. What’s incredibly sad is that we now have so many people on welfare that something like this is viable.

    8. “It’s soooo easy!”

      “Not only do I not have to work, but the more babies I pump out the more convenient my shopping experience is! The state is GREAT!”

    9. I had never heard of that before, but it looks like a shop that mostly takes WIC vouchers. WIC vouchers are already very specific about which foods can be purchased with them. So, each voucher specifies a certain number of gallons of a certain type of milk and a certain number of cans of tuna or whatever, so mothers using WIC vouchers (and it’s only for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers plus children up to 5 years old) already have most of their choices made for them. I think the income limits for WIC are higher than they are for food stamps, too, so it’s not necessarily the case that a mother getting WIC gets food stamps or any other type of welfare, other than the WIC voucher. So, for those moms, I doubt this store limits choices anymore than the vouchers already do. I’m a little surprised that such a narrowly tailored business is successful, but where there is a pot of government money, there is generally someone trying to capture it.

    10. “Why redeem your vouchers at the supermarket where the cashiers don’t fully understand how to process a voucher and the people behind you are saying things behind your back for paying with vouchers and making the wait longer?”

      Yes, why would you ever want to shop with the people who are actually paying for your groceries?

  2. Once we’re restricted to What One Needs by our betters, and labor incessantly to support the apparat run by them…what will be the difference between us and livestock?

    1. May as well Godwin it now:
      The Nazis called the concentration-camp inmates “Stuck” (with an umlaut): Stock. Yep, what farmers herd.
      Slightly better than that thug Beria’s term: “Camp dust”.
      But, yeah, you’re onto something.

      1. Any sort of paternalism quickly becomes an rationalization for our worst instincts. Name virtually any evil from slavery to forced sterilization to eugenics and they were always justified by concern for the victim.

        1. And all resulted in harm to that group. But intent is all that matters…

          1. Paternalism is a wonderful rationalization for selfish ends. You really wanted to enslave those people so you could get rich growing sugar. You mean enslaving them is actually helping them? How convenient.

            Scratch any paternalist and you will find just beneath the skin a deeply selfish person rationalizing their selfishness. Of course Conly wants to control everyone. It makes her an important person, gives her tenure. How convenient.

            1. Nope. All evil stems from selflessness.

      2. I hope I’m classified as some special breed to get a slightly more comfy paddock, but as a heterosexual, white, Christian male, I’m not sanguine.

    2. There’s an anarchist dude who has appropriately summed up our existential situation.

      We are Tax Livestock. So much more productive than slaves!

      1. But they are so greedy and stupid they still manage to fuck it up by raising taxes and regulations so high people give up and stop working.

  3. Sorry. Alt text needs to be “Gordian Nots”

  4. Keep licking those boots, bitch.

  5. What we really need is to hang some people upside down from lamp posts and throw garbage at their lifeless corpses in celebration of our freedom from progressive nanny-statism.

    1. Vacationing in Italy, taking a ferry cruise on Lake Como. Not many English-speakers and I’m getting along with my high-school Latin.
      North end of the lake, dock worker points off to the west, takes a couple of tries: “That’s where they hung Il Duce!’
      Damn if it wasn’t. And mankind could benefit by more of that activity.

      1. I hear Lake Como is awesome. And that was before I knew that was where they hung that paper hanging fascist bastard.

        1. My correction:
          He was shot and killed in Dongo; west side of the north end of Lake Como. His corpse was then taken to Milano and hanged upside down.
          But, yes, Como approaches *amazing*; some of the towns on the shores see to be glued onto vertical mountainsides.

        2. The Austrian Corporal was the paper-hanger. Il Duce was a schoolteacher and sometime stonemason.

          1. Il Duce was a socialist newspaper and magazine editor.

            1. Speaking of Il Duce , it seems that Mussolini anticipated Sarah Comly:

              “[A]s civilization assumes aspects which grow more and more complicated, individual freedom becomes more and more restricted. … The concept of freedom is not absolute because nothing is ever absolute in life. Freedom is not a right, it is a duty. … The concept of freedom changes with the passing of time. … In our state the individual is not deprived of freedom. In fact, he has greater liberty than an isolated man, because the state protects him and he is part of the State.”

  6. “An op-ed in the New York Times by Sarah Comly, author of the wonderfully titled “Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism,” ”

    The New York Times “Justifying Coercive Paternalism”? Say it aint so!


    Funny how sometimes people’s souls are expressed in their looks. Could this women look any more like the most unpleasant stereotype of a schoolmarm?

    1. She does have that Lizzy Warren look goin on.


      And people wonder why 35+ men are going single in droves.

      It ain’t rocket science folks.

      1. She makes Lizzy Warren seem like Kate Beckensdale.

        1. She looks what I imagine every female prof at Bowdoin looks like. At least based on the people I know who went to school there.

      2. Looks more like Lizzie Borden to me..

        Obviously, the poor woman has daddy issues that we can’t even begin to fathom, so she should be confined to a mental institution immediately for her own good. Since she despises freedom, how could she object?


    2. Carrie Nation reincarnated.

      1. Hell, Carry Nation (the Carry is actually the correct spelling, which tells you a lot about her family) was at least INTERESTING. Robert Louis Taylor wrote a great biography of her. Hilarious!

  8. “Who needs a 32 oz. soda at dinner?”

    Well, I do for one. I rarely drink less than 32 ounces with a meal, and routinely will down 64. I need at least 3 liters of water each day. And I’m not obese by any stretch. Not that it is any of the government’s concern.

    And one is a number sufficient to make this stupid idea an evil abomination that should be wiped from the face of the earth. Even when there is a compelling reason to use the force of the state to infringe on the rights of an individual it is still an abomination. When there isn’t even the cover of a plausible reason – well, what is the word for that level of evil? When using the power of the state to abuse the rights of the individual is such a casual exercise that there isn’t even a moment’s pause at the trivial abuses taking place in NYC, well, there’s some sort of Rubicon crossing going on here.

    1. Exactly. There is nothing you can’t justify using Conley’s logic. You are harming yourself by that speech, therefore we can stop you from doing it. Conley thinks she is being so clever by saying “we wouldn’t do that because the harm would out weigh the good” as if that calculus couldn’t be manipulated for whatever purpose we want. She is just appalling stupid and willfully blind to human nature and how these sorts of things actually work in practice.

      1. Calculus? There’s no farking calculus John. You give these people too much credit. It’s the equivalent of measuring Karma. It can’t be done but she’ll do it. And scarier still, she will believe her ‘results’.

    2. Cyto| 3.25.13 @ 9:33PM |#
      “Who needs a 32 oz. soda at dinner?”
      Well, I do for one…
      More importantly, it’s no one’s business but yours.
      Justifying any of this crap is counter-productive. When Feinstein asks ‘do they need a bazooka’? the answer is ‘it’s none of your business, twit.’

      1. Hell, “When Feinstein asks ‘do they need a bazooka’? the answer is ”

        ? because I’m afraid that simply shooting you, beheading the corpse, and burying it with a stake through the heart might not keep you from rising like the Vampire that you are.

    3. Who needs a 32 oz. soda at dinner?

      I often drink a 32 oz soda while loading my 30 round clips and cleaning my assault weapons.

  9. Dude that makes a ll kinds of crazy sense dude.

  10. Do I really have to be the one to point out that it’s “Conly”, not “Comly”?

    She certainly isn’t comely.

  11. I’d like to extend a warm welcome to our newest sockpuppet trolls, “Gillmore” and “Willard”!

    Thank Zeus for Reasonable.

    1. Oh Zeus, I thought “Gillmore” was “GILMORE”, I was so confused. I wondered why GIL had lost the plot all of a sudden.

      1. Me too. Less confused now.

      2. There was another troll the other day (that sounded just like gillmore) named DB cooper, and we have a sane commenter named db, who used to be dbcooper.

        This fuck is like the THING, we don’t know who to trust. It could be any one of us.

        1. Eh, we had an obsessive multi-personality troll before. I would not be surprised if it’s back.

          Mary, I know you’re out there. Are the meds losing their effectiveness?

          1. Yeah, mary’s anonopussy character was a nativist asshole as well. Had the same tone as these new guys as well.

        2. I ain’t going to lie, I blew a nut in the horse I lol’d.

          1. “I was trying to make the horse have a baby,” Mendoza explained. “I was thinking it would have a horseman baby.” He added, “I ain’t going to lie, I blew a nut in the horse. I then got off the bucket and put my clothes back on and left. I promise that I have not been back over to the horse since that time.”

            El Stevo Smitho, his father…where does Warty fit in Oh God phrasing fail.

  12. This Sarah Conly twat is a perfect example of the brain-rot that sets in when anyone and everyone can go to college. She probably believes that a decade of inhaling her own flatulence in her ivory tower actually qualifies her to tell other people what to do.

    There is nothing in the world more selfish than the desire to rule over others.


  13. There is nothing worse than a sycophant of the nanny state.

    1. This suggests that you haven’t read a whole lot of history, frankly. I have scant use for such people, but there are lots worse. Defenders of murderous slave States like North Korea come to mind.

      Not that there isn’t a fair amount of overlap?…

    2. I would argue that the rulers and the minions who carry out the thuggery are worse than the sycophants.


  14. “But what do people really need? A hovel and some gruel.”

    The Big Black singer Big Twist of Big Twist and The Mellow Fellows used to sing that all a man needs is:
    “A Tight Cunt, Loose Shoes and a Warm Place to Shit!”

    1. He took that line from a racist joke out of the mouth of Nixon/Ford’s Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz, who was fired for making that slur.

      Johnny Carson used to love to say his name on the Tonight Show, with heavy emphasis on the “Butz”.

  15. “[S]ometimes we need to be stopped from doing foolish stuff,” Conly argues, because we’re not always rational (stop the presses!). And the government, for Conly, is the agent to do the stopping. It seems she adopts a “we are the government” stance, at one point saying the government’s supposed to “help us get where we want to go.”

    So Conly has no problem with abortion regulations that make sure a woman makes an informed choice before having one.

    1. Oooh! Zing!


    2. That’s different cause…vagina.

  16. The following is from a nanny state blog at CNN. The guy was against the patriot act and drones but was for banning 32 oz sodas. I asked him what set of principles allowed for him to be against the patriot act yet for the soda ban. PERFECT!

    xcuse me, but I fave found glaring holes with every single one of your posts which you have ignored.
    Iv pointed out to you that liberty is restricted through laws and regulations which are put in place to protect society.
    Iv explained that the US has never been “free” in the way you suggest.
    Iv taken the time to explain to you the difference between restrictions and bans.
    I don’t think you have listened to a single thing I have said.
    Iv given you good and valid examples of why this is a worthwhile restriction which you ignore completely.
    Yours is not a discussion but a monologue.
    Get over your tedious lectures from grade school about liberty and come to terms with the fact the US is the fatest country on the planet and that it needs protecting from itself. Sugar is a highly addictive compound which humans are hard wired to crave.
    This addiction is literally killing children. Man up.

    1. You should have taken the time to explain to him how apostrophes work.

    2. Iv pointed out to you that liberty is restricted through laws and regulations which are put in place to protect society.

      So every law and regulation on the books protects society? Qhen the law allows Nanny Bloomberg gets to shake down black people on the street, harass them, force them into court to defend themselves in the name of Stop and Frisk, society benefits? When the law permits a city declares a neighborhood blighted in order to hand over to a developer in the name of higher tax receipts, that benefits society? When the law puts one man goes to jail for merely having a few rounds of ammunition in his bag that he forget was there but another waves a magazine around on live television and isn’t prosecuted because his wife is friends with the prosecuting attorney, that benefits society?

      Iv explained that the US has never been “free” in the way you suggest.

      Your rights have already been infringed on, so why not infringe on them a little bit more?

      If I accidentally put my dick in your ass, can I just go ahead and fuck it since I’m already in there?

      the US is the fatest country on the planet and that it needs protecting from itself.

      People don’t have a right to be fat? Fatties are now the greatest threat to America after Jihadists, Global Warming, Global Cooling, Y2K, West Nile Virus, Killer Bees, SARS, Yellow Food Dye, Commies, Nazis, Commie-Nazis, Sinkholes, Killer Sharks, Imploding Bullets, and Messicans.

  17. Yet some of the same people in favor of the soda ban were aghast by the notion of the teen pregnancy campaign.

    “But those Nazis were such nice boys, all of them! What happened?”

  18. Ya. This is only a yellow alert. Not a condition red. But M*ry St*ck does seem like she might be back.

  19. Jesus Christ, go back to 4chan you annoying little fucks.

    1. It’s not 4chan, even tho I hate those fucks. It’s a certain fat frumpy deranged middle-aged woman from ft worth and apparently an army of dudes that want to engage in disingenuous arguments with her.

      The average HnR poster is not self-aware enough to know when they are being trolled.

      Hint: If it doesn’t present a cogent argument DONT RESPOND TO IT WITH ANYTHING BUT MOCKERY.

  20. You people (YOU PEOPLE!) are seriously retarded. Way to feed the sock puppeteer. I’m gonna check back on this site in 6 months. Fucking morons, as if intellectual shadow-boxing with a fucking deranged troll is worth the effort.

    Stupid fucking idiots. So sick of this shit ruining one of my favorite sites.

    1. What do you mean “You people?”

      Seriously though, American’s gig is hilarious. And like Tony, practicing argument can keep your skills sharp when you encounter someone who’s not a completely thickheaded moron incapable of rational thought. And in the late night thread, there’s not much else going on. I think you’re seriously overreacting here. He gets banned pretty quickly now anyways and isn’t in most threadds

      1. You must be new here. Prepare to “practice” your argument for 16+ hours a day with someone who has multiple personality and histrionic disorder and is a habitual liar. Good luck even having a conversation about basketball as a signal in shadow of that noise.

        This bitch ruined this site for 2+ years and you stupid faggots are going to let her do it again. Intellectual shadow boxing. Idiots.

        1. Well with registration it is much easier for whoever runs the blog to to drop the ban hammer on the sockpuppets.

          I almost never engage it, but I doubt she’ll be able to create 1000+ comment clusterfucks like some of the threads before registration.

          1. You’re a step ahead of the rest. The solution is to not engage it because it feeds off of attention. The reality is that apparently libertarians are morons.

            There is almost no difference between now and then in terms of thread disruption. All you need are a few accounts pre-registered so that as they get banned, you can troll. Mary has already proven to be pretty resilient to IP bans, and as pretty much any mid-intelligence middle schooler knows, you can proxy around IP bans.

            Either she gets ignored and disappears or this place has 2 weeks before it turns into the intellectual equivalent of two men shitting in each others face.

            1. Bingo, I disagree about the attention thing. If this really is Mary, and this lady is really this far gone, I don’t think she cares if people actually listen to her. She’ll post here insane drivel until she gets banned either way.

              In any case, the American problem was way worse a couple months ago. His/her posting frequency has gradually declined, not increased, since it first appeared. I understand your fears, but I think they’re misfounded

              1. You think it’s different?

                1. Do I think what’s different? I don’t think the situation is anywhere near as bad as it was before registration and assuming this is Mary, the problem has not gotten progressively worse since it first appeared. And registration does make it more difficult to troll. It’s not a coincidence that the Mary/WI problem was almost instantly solved by it.

                  1. It’s only appeared in the last 7 days. Srs.

                    1. No it didn’t. American first appeared here months ago. Did you take a break in reading the site? It was way worse for a few weeks when he/she/it first appeared, although nowhere near as bad as WI. Lately, it seems that it lies low for a while, and then posts a bunch of comments in one or two threads with two or three accounts, and then gets banned. The cycle repeats itself from time to time, but overall it hasn’t been posting more as time goes on. Just the opposite

                    2. Mary has been lurking for a long time. I’ll be free to be the paranoid libertarian and you can be skeptical, k?

                    3. “Mary has been lurking for a long time.”

                      I didn’t disagree with that. You said “it” only appeared in the last 7 days. If by “it” you’re referring to the troll in this thread, then you’re referring to American who is the same person and was the first screen name for the nativist bigot persona. It first appeared here months ago, not in the last seven days.

                    4. ** Years. TBH I thought it was some sort of astroturfing, but HnR is not nearly popular enough. She has some sort of personal vendetta.

          2. This.

            As I said, I realize it can get out of hand. If I had been posting during the WI days, I definitely would have stopped engaging well before registration hit. Just as a lurker, the threads were ridiculous. But let’s not pretend like the occasional 300 comment thread on a quiet night is the end of With registration, it gets banned quickly anyways. And I don’t have the time to post on any Internet site 16 hours a day.

            1. WI is unacceptable. I’m here to call HnR commenters out on their bullshit before it ruins my lurking.

              I found out Mary before, and she’s really fucking obvious. Don’t give me “I just wanna debate someone” kinda talk. There are plenty of individuals that are interested or are skeptical about liberty and libertarianism that want to talk about it and are interested about it.

              But big hint: They don’t register multiple accounts from multiple IP addresses to troll on this forum.

              1. “WI is unacceptable. I’m here to call HnR commenters out on their bullshit before it ruins my lurking.”

                As I and others have said, it gets banned to quickly to ruin multiple threads. And I agree that if it was going from thread to thread without getting banned that people should stop engaging. I just think you’re really overestimating how big the problem actually is. She/he/it appeared in two threads today. One was the PM links which is always totally random, and the other was the last post of the night, which would otherwise have been dead by 12 ET.

                “I found out Mary before, and she’s really fucking obvious.”

                I don’t think it was obvious at first that it was Mary. At first it just seemed like your average nativist bigot. It’s not like those people don’t exist. The persistence has eventually led me to suspect it’s Mary

                “There are plenty of individuals that are interested or are skeptical about liberty and libertarianism that want to talk about it and are interested about it.”

                When I argue with people on the Internet I’m not trying to convince them. I’m trying to convince people who may be reading and have interest but are unconvinced. It’s not preposterous to think that conservative-leaning people interested in libertarianism might have hesitations over immigration. Or that there might be a questioning liberal who worries that libertarians are really just Republicans in disguise, and want to round up and deport Mexicans.

    2. Oh look, the comment police are out.

      Chill out Nancy.

  21. And I called it. American’s going three accounts at a time. I didn’t post here when Mary was here, but I did read comments here for a couple months before registration. Initially, I was skeptical of the claim that American was Mary, as from what I remember Mary’s personas seemed to all be radical leftists, not nativist pseudo-libertarian bigots, but the insane persistence is making me think it could be her. If that’s the case, I really just have to laugh at the thought of a middle aged woman pretending to be a young guy that prefers traditional morality but adopts PUA tactics due to today’s lack of morality. It’s so hilariously pathetic.

    And yes, yes I know I shouldn’t feed the trolls. But that thread in the PM links was just so ridiculous

    1. You’re a fucking idiot. Srs. Mary is deranged. Mary pretended to be WHITE INDIAN for months and OldMexican and many other morons got in heated debates with her. Go do your intellectual shadow boxing and pretend you are winning.

      Jesus fuck, just when I thought this place was worth posting in again…

      1. Loosen up your panties grandma. Who pissed in your cereal? This is a fucking Internet board.

        I remember WI. It was a primitivist anti-capitalist. Mary could be American as I said, but I don’t remember any of her personas being right-wing Stormfarront wannabes.

        As I said, I don’t argue with trolls to convince them, nor do I always argue with them. I don’t even post on this site that much. Sometimes I have time on my hands, and countering the arguments of people like Tony, PB, American, etc. is a great way to kill time and practice argumentation. Whether American is real or not, people like him most certainly are.

        I agree that it can get out of hand. The WI days of 600 comment threads day after day week after week were a bit ridiculous. I’d hardly say we’re anywhere close to that level at the moment. American shows up occasionally and gets banned quickly. And in this case, it’s not like it ruined a lively on-topic discussion. The night threads can be pretty dead.

        1. Why do you like arguing with characters and not real people?

          Honestly, I dont argue with someone about politics unless I risk a fist in my face or an arm over my shoulder.

          1. Why do you comment on this site then? I’m open to arguing politics with people, but I generally have more interesting things to talk about with my friends. And I argue with regulars here all the time. It’s not like I specifically seek out the trolls.

            1. Eh? Same I guess. I don’t argue politics with people unless someone picks at me about some small thing. The regulars here are way more nuanced than the trolls. John and sarcasmic are two people that come to mind. They have interesting politics/philosophy and I would gladly have either at a bar as my wingman just because I know that things would be agreeable even if we disagreed.

              1. I’ve argued with both of them. And other regulars too. Occasionally, I’ll take the bait from Tony or American. Most people out there aren’t libertarian, and on a libertarian site, the only non-libertarians are trolls. I agree it can get out of hand. The occasional thread like this late at night isn’t the end of the world, however.

                1. Tony? Tony hasn’t been consistent since approx Nov-2007. Don’t take bait. You ruin legitimate arguments.

                  This is not true:

                  Most people out there aren’t libertarian, and on a libertarian site, the only non-libertarians are trolls

                  Disregard politics, acquire philosophy. Who argues politics except for politicians? Libertarians have no dog in that fight. Team RED/BLUE, that’s a fucking yawn and a half. Philosophy is what counts. And it’s WAY sexier.

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  23. They can ban what they want. There will always be a back market for everything. These “do gooders” don’t realize that anytime they ban something, crime and supply goes up. How hard can this be to figure out? I mean, “Duh!”

    Apparently they (and she) were too busy studying journalism to learn a little history. The greatest epic failure of bans was of course, Prohibition. Oh yeah, that worked REALLY well, didn’t it? Let me see, alcohol consumption nearly trebled from what I can infer, crime rose rampantly. Moonshiners, feds chasing folks in the Appalachian hills, cities under the iron grip of gangsters, countless murders, dead citizens, dead cops, oh yeah, I can see how that helped America. Yes, the gov’t was indirectly responsible for people like Capone. The gov’t caused a need, someone came in to fill the gap. Millions upon millions of dollars wasted, people killed (innocent and guilty), and finally more time and money wasted on the repeal. Humm, sounds familiar doesn’t it? The war on drugs…more wasted money and innocent people killed due to gov’t intervention in our lives. These type of people will never learn, they are too busy with their heads stuck in some fabricated utopia that will never be. They also forget two small things, their utopia is not everyone’s utopia…and utopia always leads to ennui.

  24. I was lost at “stuff.” Any so-called thinker who is lazy enough
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    not worth any valuable time.

  25. These “nanny” laws serve a very valuable purpose: gauging the public’s complacency.

    Ed almost had it right at the end: “Given enough time, every apologist will learn the lesson at some point, when the state large enough to stop the behavior he or she disapproves is set to the purpose of stopping behavior the nanny state apologist sees nothing wrong.”

    When the state gets large enough to dictate any specific behavior on a mass scale it will be too late to do anything about it.

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