United Kingdom

Britain's Dream of an E.U. Exit is Slowly Turning Into Nightmarish Reality

Wednesday's debate highlights the significance of euroskepticism in British politics

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The British wish to leave the European Union for good has never been clearer after Wednesday's televised debate, the second between pro-European Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and arch-euroskeptic Nigel Farage. Such a breakaway might seem like a good idea for libertarian Brits—but whether it would really be such a smart move is far from clear. 

Unlike in the U.S., televised debates are a rarity in Britain and—it might seem impossible to believe this—still retain an air of glamor and excitement. They really matter. So when just 27 percent of voters judge Clegg to have performed best, compared to 68 percent for Farage, you can get a strong sense of the scale of Wednesday's victory. 

With important European elections now less than two months away, there is a strong possibility that Farage's United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) might actually emerge as the outright winners. That would send shivers down the spine of those following the debates in Brussels and beyond. But it now seems like a real probability.

The rest of the world should wake up to the fact that, after years of rhetoric, the great dream of the U.K.'s potential exit from the E.U. is now a political nightmare slowly coming true. It has been simmering away, troubling but never alarmingly so, for years. Only now, after these two televised debates, is British euroskepticism suddenly threatening to boil over.

Everyone needs to get used to the fact, and fast. It ultimately means we could finally see a straightforward in-or-out referendum on Britain's ongoing membership of the E.U. before the end of the decade. Mainstream politicians' efforts to avoid a referendum on the issue can only be sustained for so long—and resentment has only built up as a result.

That resentment is the fuel that is helping burn UKIP's flame. For a party that's never won a seat in the House of Commons at a general election, it's got a lot going for it right now. For many disgruntled voters fed up with the mainstream, UKIP is the new protest vote—especially now that Clegg's Liberal Democrats stuck in government as the coalition's junior party. The rise of right-wing politics in Britain has helped UKIP prey on fears and misconceptions about immigration, too. And it's proved adept at rustling up the sort of nostalgic jingoism that moves Union Jack-waving Grannies into a fervour of tearful patriotism. The British are a reserved bunch at the best of times, but UKIP makes its supporters feel like there's more to this country than just the faded glories of an ex-Empire.

UKIP is, in its own words, a "libertarian" party. It doesn't really mean it in the true sense of the word. No party that supports the continued existence of the National Health Service really could. Even in the context of British politics, though, its opposition to statist solutions seems a little dubious. This is the party, after all, that proposed banning the burka. It didn't much like the idea of gay marriage. And its leader, Farage, came under fire on Wednesday for admitting the one politician he admires in the world right now is Vladimir Putin—not a leader exactly known for his libertarian values. 

"If you scratch the surface you find one of the most illiberal and intolerant political parties in the U.K.," says Martin Horwood, the foreign affairs spokesperson for Clegg's Liberal Democrats. "The idea they are champions of personal freedom doesn't really stand much scrutiny." 

He points out that Europe has provided individuals with a lot of safeguards for individual liberty, whether over consumer rights like data protection or the right to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

"Those who take the most liberal position on freedom of movement and free trade are quite clear that the European Union is the way to deliver that on a large scale," Horwood adds. "At its heart, UKIP and those campaigning for exit from the European Union are Little Englanders who would opt for protectionist policies at the drop of a hat." 

The problem for those defending the status quo is that it's actually very hard to work out what would happen if Britain walked away from Europe. Imagining what it would be like negotiating a trade deal with the E.U. from outside isn't an argument that can be based on hard, cold figures. A lot of this is about gut feel—which is why those looking for a change for the hell of it are doing so well in the polls.

"It's not necessarily clear there's a straightforward liberty gain from leaving the E.U.," says Stephen Davies, Director of Education at the free market Institute of Economic Affairs think tank. He doesn't even think there's much of a link between euroskepticism and libertarianism, either. "They tend to go together because of a commitment to a particular style of politics more than anything else… I don't think there's a well-thought out necessarily logical connection." 

Davies' theory is that the European project has become firmly left-wing and is now viewed through a very partisan lens. It wasn't always this way; in the 1970s socialists desperately wanted to leave Europe in order to set up a command economy. That all changed, though, when the left realised expanding European control could actually increase its influence. Shut out of power in the 1980s, the left saw it as a way of getting policies adopted that it couldn't pass domestically. Right-wingers' views of Europe have been slowly shaped against it as a result.

Now we're seeing the consequences of these frustrations—and they're getting very ugly indeed. We don't need to wait until May 22nd, when the European elections take place in Britain, to find out what all this means for the U.K. Right now those arguing against a British exit are losing, and losing badly. Clegg has done nothing to boost the pro-European cause with these debates. Farage, by contrast, has made the most of this opportunity to preach his message of jingoistic fervour to a big audience. There may not be much to back up his claims to libertarian politics—but when it comes to the raw emotions of the European debate, does he really care?

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    1. Personal foul, number L,J, double threadjack attempt, 15 yards, first down.

      1. I’m throwing a challenge flag.

        1. Hey, no one made you try your threadjack trick play in the final two minutes of a thread.

        2. You can’t challenge a penalty call.

          1. Under Calvinball rules I can.

            1. OT: OT: Longtorso, did you pull your name from an MST3K episode, specifically Women of the Prehistoric Planet?

              I was watching that last night and heard the name and wondered if that was where you got it.

              1. I am, indeed, the man who comes in pieces.

                1. Stay away from my Legos and jigsaw puzzles, pervo.

  1. “”They say the Constitution was created by geniuses so idiots could ruin it ? I need to amend that,” Maher said Friday during his HBO program, “Real time With Bill Maher.”

    “”I think the idiots have found a way to break it ? I think the idiots have finally won over the geniuses,” he said….

    “Maher said from the ruling, there is now “another way to let rich people have more influence.””

    http://www.politico.com/story/…..05401.html

    1. Bill Maher has more political influence than me. I demand fairness.

    2. Ask Bill Maher how restricting speech somehow matches …”shall make no law”…
      Oh, and ask him about A2 also, since he claims to be familiar with the constitution.

    3. I doubt Maher has ever read the constitution. But he had some guy tell him what was in there once.

      1. “But he had some guy…”

        With the initials Barack Obama?

        1. Is that how initials work?

          1. Only if you want to be certain…

    4. I have always wondered: why is Bill Maher famous? He seems like such a mediocre comedian and thinker, he must be related to someone.

      1. I think he got by by being a low-rent Dennis Miller. They’re pretty much the same – arcane references, whiny voice, bobbing head etc.

        1. I always figured it was because he could fit in the downsized Johnny Bravo suit after the wave of leading micro men hit Hollywood.

  2. “fears and misconceptions…nostalgic jingoism…Union Jack-waving Grannies…change for the hell of it… raw emotions…”

    All this about the one group which has a practical chance of getting the UK out of a European Union which, by the article’s admission, is run by left-wing statists.

    1. Yep:
      “That all changed, though, when the left realised expanding European control could actually increase its influence. Shut out of power in the 1980s, the left saw it as a way of getting policies adopted that it couldn’t pass domestically. Right-wingers’ views of Europe have been slowly shaped against it as a result.”

      It’s easy to see that author doesn’t like the UKIP and I don’t think I would either.
      But that’s not the same as claiming the UK should have a added statist crap from the Euros on top of their already heavy domestic load.

      1. This entire article is an extended ad hominem. UKIP is run by fools and right-wing populists, therefore we should be worried about them leaving the EU, an organization even the writer admits is primarily a means of leftists forcing their policies on people that don’t want them.

        It’s idiotic. UKIP can be an organization that we shouldn’t support while the EU is also a terrible organization that deserves to be disbanded.

        1. To lend an example, that idjit Soros at least supports the end of the WOD.
          And I’d hole my nose and thank him for it.

          1. “hole your nose”? Ewwww….

            1. Since, you know, cocaine would be more freely available.

  3. This article seems pointless. It starts by attacking the idea of getting out of the EU, but then the only reason it gives for why they shouldn’t get out of the EU is that Farage is a jackass.

    You explained why I shouldn’t support Farage. You didn’t explain why his idea of getting out of the EU is wrong or, by the ridiculously apocalyptic rhetoric of the headline, ‘nightmarish.’

    1. Agree. I kept waiting for the “nightmarish” predictions, but nothing.

      1. Can’t you read? The UKIP doesn’t care for “same-sex marriage”. Apocalypse!!!

        1. To be fair: THEY HATE BROWN PEOPLE as well. UKIP may well be the most anti-libertarian small government-advocating group this side of the constitutional conservative-wing of the Teabaggers.

          1. There is nothing particularly anti-libertarian about hating brown people. Its policies based on that that is anti-libertarian.

            1. Hating people because they are of a different ethnic group than you is a form of collectivism, which is anti-libertarian.

              But, if that hatred doesn’t extend to using the government to oppress said brown people, it’s a very mild and non-harmful form of anti-libertarianism.

              1. Collectivism isnt anti-libertarian. Its policies etc etc.

                Voluntary collectives may be anti-objectivist but they arent anti-libertarian.

          2. Nonsense.Had you ever lived there you would understand the problem – there is no middle of the road or liberterian option – the 3 main parties are statist crazies. The EU are hyperstatist crazies and legal migration is causing social mayhem.
            They hate the EU and its denizens that settle in the parks of the UK on welfare
            They sort-of-hate the NHS but continue to support it because the British are unhealthily obesessed with it , like we are and like you guys are about to become with Owaddafuckhappenedtomyinsurancecare.
            I hope they win the referendum so that the UK exits this clusterfuck ASAP. Who cares if UKIP are the vehicle.

      2. Agreed, terrible article completely light on facts and focused on Stevenson’s personal distaste for Farage. Just one giant ad hominem. Stevenson also ignored the reasons why the UK might want out of the EU. Such as, in exchange for fewer trade restrictions on goods between the UK and other nations, they are forced to redo how their internal economy works. Things like forced change to the metric system for consumer products (which UK businesses have been bitching about since its inception). Or disputes over fishing rights, where now other nations decide how much their businessmen should be allowed to fish according to criteria they can’t control. Or how their economic health is now tied to how well places like France and Greece can get their spending under control.

        The UK has always been ambivalent at best about joining the EU, and the EU in practice confirmed that most of their fears were correct. The lessened trade restrictions are nice, but they’re not worth the tradeoff of sacrificing sovereignty in your internal decisions.

        1. Yeah the idea that you can’t have free trade without giving up your sovereignty is rather silly.

          1. None that I’ve seen lately. That was just what I saw when I lived over there and what I read in the papers. Granted, it’s anecdotal.

    2. Well I wasn’t the only one that felt this way…

      1. Article delivered nothing but a rant about a political party the author doesn’t like. BLUF, why leaving the EU would cause the rivers to flow with the blood of the non-believers.

    3. I’m sure the nightmarish part is the fear of the rise of some “nazi england” cause immigration, racism, etc.

      I see it a lot here, where the cart is put before the horse on things, particularly in regard to open borders vis a vis the welfare state, which is demonstrably more significant in the UK.

      There is a difference between bad and worse. If the UK were to withdraw from the EU and put it’s finances in order the problem would probably work itself out. Maybe not. The UK is so soaked in socialism that any such undertaking would be the work of generations, but continuing to cede it’s domestic power to Brussels in perpetuity out of fear or waiting for pure libertarians to gain a majority is a losing proposition or a fanciful one.

      1. Exactly. The idea that the UK might not continue to import lots of Muslims and Gypsies upsets a lot of people, who are positive that it’s a Good Thing, despite loads of evidence to the contrary.

  4. “UKIP is, in its own words, a “libertarian” party. It doesn’t really mean it in the true sense of the word. No party that supports the continued existence of the National Health Service really could. Even in the context of British politics, though, its opposition to statist solutions seems a little dubious. This is the party, after all, that proposed banning the burka. It didn’t much like the idea of gay marriage.”

    If Rand Paul got up tomorrow and said that if elected President, he wouldn’t get rid of Medicare and Medicaid entirely, I wouldn’t call him a phony libertarian over that. And Rand Paul hasn’t lost this libertarian’s vote over his stance on gay marriage either–even though I disagree with it. See, the way to win elections in single member districts (both here and in the UK) is to appeal to non-libertarians.

    You really do have to jump through certain hoops. If the people aren’t behind you on getting rid of the NHS (yet), then running on getting rid of the NHS doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    1. Well put. But, UKIP doesn’t seem to be libertarian at all, other than wanting to leave the EU for entirely the wrong reasons (because they are xenophobic racists who want to stop immigration).

      If there is something else they are libertarian about, LMK.

      1. (because they are xenophobic racists who want to stop immigration).

        That’s not really fair. A lot of Farage’s anti-EU arguments are based on sovereignty and the completely rational argument that bureaucrats in the EU drafting legislation is anti-democratic.

        I think his points about sovereignty and the rights of self determination are completely reasonable and have nothing to do with racism.

        1. It’s not fair at all. UKIP prohibits BNP members from joining their party, and one of the points made by Farage and others is that membership in the EU makes it more difficult for the UK to increase trade and immigration links with commonwealth countries, including India and the black Caribbean. One can dispute the sincerity of these actions, but at least there is evidence for them (as opposed to the supposed racism of Farage and others).

          I have to say, if the only non-racists are those committed to the Eurozone that’s an awful lot of racists.

        2. And Farage is correct on those points.

      2. prolefeed,

        Take a look at my comment below in regards to the press’ similar treatments of Ron Paul’s stances over the years.

        I should also probably have written that, like Ron Paul’s people, apparently, felt compelled to do…

        The left is almost universally hostile to capitalism. If you’re gonna go fishing for voters outside of expressly libertarianish circles, you’re gonna have to lean right.

        1. Fair enough. I don’t follow British politics much. It’s just that I keep hearing that UKIP is libertarianish, with no facts following this assertion. I’m trying to figure out if UKIP has some other libertarian projects, or if that label is being applied by people (like many here in the U.S. on the left) who want to make libertarianism seem icky by applying it to people or things that aren’t.

          1. UKIP has a website that is pretty good; definitely better than the two mainstream parties here. I would look at it if you’re interested.

            1. Took a look at it:

              http://www.ukip.org/issues

              They seem to be kind of anti-furriners (basically implied they were “lazy” welfare queens) with a dash of wanting more free markets and anti-EU — closest approximation would be paleolibertarian-lite with a side order of racism.

              1. In other words, considerably better overall than the other options in Britain.

              2. “They seem to be kind of anti-furriners (basically implied they were “lazy” welfare queens) with a dash of wanting more free markets and anti-EU — closest approximation would be paleolibertarian-lite with a side order of racism.”

                Those might be features, not bugs, to IT

                1. Jodete, cabr?n

              3. “Immigrants must financially support themselves and their dependents for 5 years. This means private health insurance (except emergency medical care), private education and private housing – they should pay into the pot before they take out of it.”

                Requiring new immigrants to have some means to support themselves doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable.

                I suspect they’d appreciate necessary exceptions for asylum seekers and refugees.

                Actually, I kind of like the idea of a world where everybody (not just the immigrants) are required to support themselves–or have some willing, private party voluntarily support them.

                1. “Requiring new immigrants to have some means to support themselves doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable.”

                  My Mom was in the UK for more than a year setting up a new office south of London.

                  As an American, the UK Immigration gave her so much trouble. The company had to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that there wasn’t anyone else in all of the UK who was qualified to open that office. They’re hassling her for trying to open an office and create a couple hundred well-paying jobs in the UK–because they’re afraid she might be taking work away from somebody for a year?

                  It’s also kind of odd that they want to make sure someone coming in on anything other than a work visa–isn’t working.

                  From a libertarian perspective, shouldn’t it be the other way around?

                  The immigrants who come here to work their asses off, those are the ones I want to let in the country. It’s the ones who swear up and down that they’re not doing anything productive–those are the ones I’d rather keep out of the country.

                2. Immigrants must financially support themselves and their dependents for 5 years.

                  Five years? That’s a hell of a lot more generous than the United States, which requires an I-864, Affidavit of Support, which disqualifies both the sponsor and the sponsored from food stamps, SSI, Medicaid, TANF, and CHIP, for the rest of one’s natural life.

                  1. Shoulda come in on a refugee/asylum visa. Full bennies before your feet hit the tarmac.

                    1. Well, that wasn’t an option for my wife.

                      Besides, only about 80,000 people come in as refugees and while they do qualify for the programs listed above, I have worked with several refugee communities in my career and it’s far from the life of Riley for them.

              4. Like I said, not perfect or even close. However, it is roughly the same type of tone-deafness that surrounded the Ron Paul campaign and not racist (though I would agree that there are xenophobic strains in the party). In the current globalized world, xenophobia is easily corrected; expanding governments and bureaucracies less so.

                1. Yeah, one thing in human history with negligible staying power is xenophobia and the tribalism that drives it…

      3. I object to “xenophobic racists.” Simply because the UK has a certain culture, which is linked to a certain ethnicity, doesn’t mean it’s “xenophobic racism” to object to relatively sudden changes in that culture due to a large influx of foreigners, especially foreigners who do not share your cultural values.

        1. That might be a bit of an overstatement, but their website seems to imply that at least some of their members are racists and that they are pandering to that element.

          Kind of like the AZ Republican party.

          Read the website for yourself, see how it might feel if you were a hard-working immigrant from India or Central Europe.

          1. Unfortunately your hardworking Central European immigrants are rare and endangered – even in little villages like my parents’ parks are full of people “sleeping rough” and aggressively panhandling and collecting “benefits, innit”.
            The fear and resentment are palpable.
            I don’t blame them for looking for a better life at all – most people just don’t want them there – its not racism or xenophobia , its a matter of limited resources for social spending coupled with an inexhaustible supply of legal migrants. It is really not a comparable issue to the hispanic illegal migrants.
            The only way to normalise migration is for them to leave the EU. UKIP is the vehicle and this is a single issue advantage that they have

            1. “It is really not a comparable issue to the hispanic illegal migrants.”

              Have you ever ridden a local transit bus through Guatemala?

        2. Maintaining culture liberty, huh?

          1. Should be a greater than in there

          2. The core point, which libertarians who focus exclusively on economic liberty tend to miss, is that liberty is inextricably linked to culture. If you import large numbers of people from a culture that doesn’t believe in your ideas of liberty, you will have less liberty. Sure, those immigrants may have more liberty than they did in the hellholes they left, but you and your culture will have less. Do you seriously want to to claim that Western Europe has more liberty since it imported tens of millions of Muslims?

            It’s not about race or “xenophobia,” it’s about the health of the cultures that gave birth to, and sustain, liberty (or what we have left of it). People who believe the Koran is the pure word of Allah and believe all laws should follow it do not believe in liberty, and regardless of how economically productive they are, their cultural and religious beliefs are not adding to liberty.

            1. So, what you’re saying is that the visa application process should have some sort of religious test?

              1. I would simply not approve massive amounts of immigration from anywhere, but especially not from cultures basically inimical to our own. Immigration is fine in small amounts, or in moderate amounts when it’s people who want to become members of the majority culture, but it’s always possible to have too much of a good thing.

                1. Define “massive,” “moderate,” and “small”. For reference, note that currently “legal immigrants to the United States number approximately 1,000,000 per year, of whom about 600,000 are Change of Status who already are in the U.S.,” so about 400,000 new individuals per year. After defining those numbers, provide justification for them. If you say a “moderate amount” is 100,000 people per year, why 100,000 and not 200,000?

                  1. Well, I’m not inclined to research precise numbers, but I think any Muslim immigration is pretty foolish right now, and we’ve had far too much immigration (mostly illegal) from Latin America, because it’s rapidly changing the character of the country, in ways good for Democrats and socialists, but not for libertarians and Republicans.

                    1. I think you have read my contributions to this forum enough to know that I am no friend to the Islamic value system; however, when translating qualitative statements like yours above into policy, it is necessarily to provide quantitative figures. Otherwise, you get the tyranny by vaugery that characterizes the Federal government.

                      Likewise, I keep thinking back to a colleague of mine with whom I am currently collaborating on a paper. He is a brilliant man from Somalia(!); for the past 15 years he has been a high-roller in the biggest commercial realty company in the nation, and is adjunct faculty at Harvard. He is an atheist who dreams of secularizing his home country like Ataturk did to Turkey; although, he still nominally identifies as “Muslim” because he likes his head connected to his neck. Your immigration policy would have doomed this man, who in my estimation has contributed much to his community in his adopted home. You accuse others of being doctrinaire; however, your doctrine also has undesirable consequences.

                    2. I make no claims that my view is perfect. The whole issue is a series of conundrums and trade-offs. I have no doubt that there are numerous individuals who would be unfairly hurt by my policy, or by any policy.

                      But I still come back to a belief that the liberty libertarians want to see preserved and expanded is, historically, to a great degree, a cultural creation of Europeans, especially Anglo-Saxons. That doesn’t mean other cultures can never learn it, but it means culture has a lot to do with creating and sustaining it. And if you import lots of people from Mexico or Pakistan or wherever, inevitably your culture is going to shift to becoming more like those cultures.

                      And the problem for the US is that pretty much every other culture is far less interested in liberty than we are. Heck, many native-born white-bread Americans aren’t very interested in liberty, hence 8 years of Obama. But libertarians are foolish if they think making the US more like Mexico, or the UK more like Pakistan, advances the cause of liberty.

            2. “The core point, which libertarians who focus exclusively on economic liberty ”

              Well, yes, libertarians tend to worry about economic liberty and conservatives tend to worry about culture, and restricting economic liberty in culture’s name. Once you start saying ‘well, this economic liberty is nice, but in this imperfect world we have to restrict it’ where do you draw a line?

              1. Except that if you import lots of people who are not friends of economic liberty, you are decreasing your economic liberty.

                The line I draw is “don’t import lots of people who don’t believe in the value of liberty.” I consider that a libertarian position. To modify a phrase, libertarianism should not be so pure as to amount to a suicide pact.

                Unfortunately, lots of libertarians are such doctrinaire purists they don’t see that. Years ago in a thread I posited a hypothetical. Imagine that 100 million people walk across the Mexican border into the US. Every one of them is poor, illiterate, doesn’t speak English, a devout Muslim, a supporter of Islamic terror groups, has a violent criminal record, an IQ of 80, and a contagious disease. Is this a good thing for the US? At least one person insisted that it would be. In my view, if you think it’s a bad thing, then you don’t believe in open borders. Welcome to the “restrictionist,” “xenophobic,” “racist” view of immigration.

                1. Years ago in a thread I posited a hypothetical. Imagine that 100 million people walk across the Mexican border into the US. Every one of them is poor, illiterate, doesn’t speak English, a devout Muslim, a supporter of Islamic terror groups, has a violent criminal record, an IQ of 80, and a contagious disease

                  Have a hypothetical that isn’t absolutely ludicrous?

                  1. Thought experiments are often extreme, because they force people to clarify their principles. My absurd example did force at least one open borders advocate to stick to his principles, these demonstrating their absurdity IMO.

                    But the point is the same, even with the example toned down. 100,000 poor people who don’t believe in liberty enter the US. Is the US better off?

            3. People who believe the Koran is the pure word of Allah and believe all laws should follow it do not believe in liberty, and regardless of how economically productive they are, their cultural and religious beliefs are not adding to liberty.

              How about people who believe the Bible is the pure word of Jehovah and Jesus and believe all laws should follow it? Would you say that they do not believe in liberty, and regardless of how economically productive they are, their cultural and religious beliefs are not adding to liberty?

              1. IOW, the logical implication of excluding devout Muslims from immigrating to the U.S., and maybe even forcibly make them emigrate, would be to also exclude devout Protestants, Catholics, and Mormons because of their culture and religious beliefs. Does this sound like liberty to you?

                1. Protestants, Catholics, and Mormons are unlikely to want to change the the essential character of the US, by force or otherwise. Any devout Muslim, if he is considered a devout Muslim by other Muslims, will.

              2. How about people who believe the Bible is the pure word of Jehovah and Jesus and believe all laws should follow it?

                What? You mean Associated Scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and Ron Paul’s best Homie, Gary North who said:

                We must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God

                1. I wasn’t aware that Gary North was such a religious asshole.

                  The point being, though, is that denying people entry to this country based on religious affiliation could easily become denying entry based on atheism. Better to tolerate horrible views like that above than to chip away at freedom by damning whole groups of individuals based on stereotypes.

                  1. Better to tolerate horrible views like that above than to chip away at freedom by damning whole groups of individuals based on stereotypes.

                    I agree. I also hold the same dim view of cultural protectionism as I do of economic protectionism. Cultural ideas and ideals should be allowed to fairly compete in the free marketplace of ideas. Are we to believe that American cultural values like self-reliance, individual liberty, equality of opportunity, ingenuity, and optimism are so weak, so fragile that they wouldn’t survive contact with a group of religious Muslims, or a group of Roman Catholic Mexicans, for that matter?

                    1. It’s not “damning whole groups of individuals based on stereotypes” to look at statistics and general cultural traits.

                      “Cultural protectionism” is rather hyperbolic.

                      Are we to believe that American cultural values like self-reliance, individual liberty, equality of opportunity, ingenuity, and optimism are so weak, so fragile that they wouldn’t survive contact with a group of religious Muslims, or a group of Roman Catholic Mexicans, for that matter?

                      Again, hyperbole. American values like individual liberty can certainly be out-voted. California used to be a state that elected people like Reagan. Now it’s a state that elects people like Pelosi. The fact that we’ve had massive amounts of immigration from Mexico and points south has a bit to do with that change.

                      So tell me: what’s the state of liberty in countries where religious Muslims or Roman Catholic Mexicans are in the majority?

                    2. “Cultural protectionism” is rather hyperbolic.

                      Huh? You just argued @ 5:11 that what you believe to be the culture of liberty should be protected. And what exactly do you call things like English-only and banning sharia laws, if not “cultural protectionism”?

                      American values like individual liberty can certainly be out-voted.

                      That, my friend, is hyperbole. And the Democrat party has used immigrants as part of their political machine since the first O’Brien landed upon these shores. It’s not my fault that today’s GOP has its head so far up its ass that it would willing alienate 15 percent of the population to play to an aging and increasing irrelevant faction of its party.

                      what’s the state of liberty in countries where religious Muslims or Roman Catholic Mexicans are in the majority

                      I have never lived in Mexico or the Muslim world, but I do know that in many of the countries of the Arabian Gulf you can actually buy gold coins from vending machines, and in all of those countries unless you specifically deal with the corrupt governments, the massive petty regulations that dominate quotidian life here in America are absent. So maybe there are things we could learn from them, no?

                    3. I object to the term “cultural protectionism” because it groups it with economic protectionism, which I think is a different thing. Movement of money and goods across borders doesn’t change the essential nature of a country the way movements of people can. So while I believe that, to some extent, we need to protect the culture (and not just from mass immigration), it’s kind of a slur to call that “protectionism.”

                      Yes, I would not claim that the US is perfect and that we can learn nothing from other countries. But we can learn what they have to offer without importing millions of their citizens. Unless you think importing millions of Gulf Arabs would somehow give us gold coin vending machines and a reduced regulatory burden.

                    4. I’m pretty sure those democrat retards were voted in by native born assholes, not the shipped in ones.

                2. I’m not a fan of Gary North, but he’s less of a threat than thousands of Hezbollah supporters.

              3. Christians differ from Muslims in many ways. Christians settled their intra-religious wars long ago and learned to live alongside one another, with little friction. Also, the Bible is far more pro-liberty than the Koran. The fact that the US was founded by people who were largely some variety of Christian, or at least not actively hostile to it (Paine may be an exception), should tell you something. What great advance in liberty was made by Muslims in the last 100 years? Or ever?

                The Bible was written by dozens of people, “inspired” by God, in a handful of cultures and languages, over hundreds of years. There’s a lot of room for interpretation, which can make for conflict but can also make for accommodation. The Koran, though, was supposedly dictated by God to one person. Imagine if Jesus wrote the Bible in an old version of English, and then imagine what a Christian fundamentalist would be like. Islam is inherently fundamentalist to a degree that makes Jerry Falwell look like Bertrand Russell.

                1. Christians settled their intra-religious wars long ago and learned to live alongside one another, with little friction.

                  If by “long ago” you mean “since about 1900 or maybe 1950”, sure. Ask any Mormon about the religious tolerance and live and let live attitude that prevailed in the 1800s.

                  Wasn’t until they shed the bearded polygamist thing and became painfully clean-shaven and wholesome looking that they acquired grudging acceptance.

                  1. I am not claiming that everything has been perfect, but the last century of conflicts between Catholics, Protestants, and Mormons is pretty small potatoes next to what happens in the Muslim world (or anywhere in the world with a significant Muslim population) on a weekly basis.

                2. Also, the Bible is far more pro-liberty than the Koran.

                  Maybe the New Testament. The OTs slaughtering of every man, woman, child, and all the livestock too in a city — not so much so.

                  1. Granted, but I meant the Bible overall, in the sense of what followers of the Bible do, not liberty as shown in parts of the text of the Bible itself.

                3. I have always wondered what scores the various world religions would have vis a vis fundamentals, and how those scores would compare to real world performance. I imagine that Christianity, Buddhism, and Jainism would score high, Hindus and Jews middle of the pack, and Islam and Shinto/traditional religions low.

                  By my ‘pulled straight from my pass’ classifications, I would say that Buddhism underperforms compared to principles, Christianity and Islam are right where one would expect, and Judaism probably outperforms relative to what one would expect.

                  1. Not sure what you mean. Are you rating them as to how closely they follow the tenets of their religions? So by “underperform,” you mean “not follow very closely”?

                    1. I mean, given stated tenets X, Y, and Z, where would you expect a country following a certain religion to rank on liberty/individuality, and do the real-life results match up to these expectations?

                    2. Ah. Well, I have no idea. All religions seem to have loose and moderate and tight adherents. One problem with Islam is that the tight adherents have much of the secular power and money behind them, and have gained a lot of ground in the last 40 years or so. Plus, nuclear weapons.

            4. “You seriously want to to claim that Western Europe has more liberty since it imported tens of millions of Muslims?”

              Do you want to claim that Muslims are immune to being influenced by whatever culture they live in?

              1. Don’t you think the way that the attitudes of Muslims in Dearborn are different from the attitudes of Muslims in Iraq are probably a lot like the way American attitudes are different from Iraqi attitudes?

                I know that Muslims in the old country sometimes think that Muslims in America (and the West) have been corrupted by American culture. I know that third generation American Muslims, whose grandparents came here decades ago, tend to think of newly arriving Muslims as FOTB, too.

                1. Oh, no doubt immigrants are often influenced by their new culture, but the converse is also true. Plus, assimilation doesn’t always work. Muslim immigrants to France in the ’40s-’60s tended to be good citizens and weren’t a problem. It’s their kids and grandkids who are much more likely to support Islamic radicals.

                  1. Two Points:

                    1) What happened after the Algerian War was kind of a special case.

                    “At the time when the independence came into force in 1962, 900,000 European-Algerians (Pieds-noirs) fled to France, in fear of the FLN’s revenge, within a few months. The government was totally unprepared for the vast number of refugees who caused significant turmoil in France. The greatest part of the Algerians having worked for the French were deliberately left behind, though de Gaulle himself estimated a ?bloodbath? among them once the French would be gone. In particular the Harkis, having fought as soldiers on the side of the French army, were regarded as traitors by the FLN. Between 50,000 and 150,000 Harkis and family members, disarmed by French officers before they left, were murdered by the FLN or lynch-mobs, often after being abducted and tortured.

                    Your average Egyptian coming to the United States doesn’t present a situation anything like that. And the first generation of “immigrants”* to France did present plenty of problems.

                    *They were actually French citizens living in Algeria. Coastal Algeria was part of France.

                  2. 2) If radical preachers found adherents among the grandchildren of Algerian “immigrants” to France, it was among the disaffected youth–just like everywhere else.

                    You can take disaffected boys in their late teens and early twenties (you know, the ones without academic tracks, without jobs, without the means to a girlfriend, family or any kind of direction), and you can lead them to become all sorts of awful things.

                    But that happens everywhere.

                    In France, maybe the disaffected Muslim kids are roped in by radical preachers. In the UK, they become radical anti-Muslim skinheads for the BNP. When I was a kid in Southern California, they became Suicidals or racist skinheads, too. In East Los Angeles, they join with the drug cartels to become underworld violent as shit, street distributors, and in what they used to call South Central Los Angeles, they become soldiers for the Crips or Bloods. In Detroit, I guess they become Juggalos?

                    1. I don’t blame any of those other disaffected movements on the religions of the disaffected. Those problems are exacerbated by a lack of opportunity for those young men–and the solution to that problem is to grow the economy so that those disaffected kids have more and better opportunities.

                      In France, the unemployment rate for the youth is spectacular–and has been so by U.S. standards for decades. They run their country like a bunch of socialists! You want to look for a reason why they have so many disaffected youth in France, don’t blame it on the religion of the disaffected. Blame it on France’s foolhardy economic system that can’t even created sufficient employment opportunities for the well educated–never mind the disaffected.

                      If it wasn’t radical Islam that was roping those disaffected youth in, it would be something else.

                    2. True, France’s socialism screws things up, but AFAIK, it’s Muslims burning cars, supporting Islamic terrorism, and attacking Jews, not French youths in general. Or if there are non-Muslim youths involved in that, the violence is still disproportionately from Muslims.

                    3. The children of immigrants and people of other races have higher rates of unemployment, no doubt.

                      That’s still true here in America, too! The unemployment rate among black kids is typically twice to three times what it is for white kids (depending on whether we’re in recession). And they’re not immigrants!

                      White, middle class, kids aren’t joining gangs in the inner cities like black kids in South Central LA, either. There are lots of reasons for that, and mostly they boil down to not having as many opportunities as white kids do.

                      White kids don’t have to deal with racism the same way, for one thing. Or crime, or living in shitty neighborhoods, or living in a part of the city where the biggest industry is the black market. And just being poor means you have fewer opportunities. Hell, the definition of poor is when you have few options to choose from.

                      Anyway, of all the reasons why black kids in South Central LA join gangs at rates higher than white kids in the suburbs? None of them have anything to do with Islam.

                      You’re ignoring like four or five 800 lbs. gorillas in the room–just to focus on the one thing that isn’t the cause of the problem in the U.S. or anywhere else that has problems with disaffected youth.

                      It’s just disaffected youth!

                    4. It’s just disaffected youth!

                      O-o-k-a-a-a-y, then why import even more people whose children will likely become disaffected youth?

  5. This seems to be an immensely poorly written article. I think I get the point, the UK dream of finally leaving the EU could be happening, but under the unfortunate guidance of a radical statist. This could ultimately ruin a good thing (leaving the EU). If this isn’t the point, why is it on a Libertarian website?

    But it doesn’t read that way, what you get is the feeling that the author hates the concept of leaving the EU, but provides no evidence of why it’s bad. I may as well have spent the past 5 minutes sniffing paint thinner.

    1. But it doesn’t read that way, what you get is the feeling that the author hates the concept of leaving the EU, but provides no evidence of why it’s bad.

      +1

  6. So we’re in agreement:
    Alex Stevenson is a whiz at misdirection!

    1. Or needs to go back to school and learn to write.

    2. Alex Stevenson is a whiz at misdirection!

      Such a whiz at misdirection that when I first saw the byline I thought it said that it had been written by Adlai Stevenson.

  7. Imagining what it would be like negotiating a trade deal with the E.U. from outside isn’t an argument that can be based on hard, cold figures.

    How about, “You can ship whatever stuff you want into Britain and we won’t charge you a cent of duties to do so. If you want to cripple your economy by restricting the flow of goods from Britain to your country, be my guest and go ahead and screw your citizens.”

    1. There’s literally no reason Britain couldn’t sign a free trade treaty with the European Union which kept the same trade rules.

      Even in the event of EU dissolution, Europe could still have a European free trade zone.

      What’s even the point of having free trade if the EU obliterates the benefits of free trade with onerous and frankly meaningless environmental regulation? The economies in Europe are harmed more by EU regulation than they’re helped by EU free trade.

      1. Irish|4.5.14 @ 12:33PM|#
        “There’s literally no reason Britain couldn’t sign a free trade treaty with the European Union which kept the same trade rules.”

        I can tell you that whatever arrangement they have now, it is cheaper for our Euro customers to buy direct rather than from the distributor in England.

  8. Biden’s remarks are more coherent.

  9. Speaking of nightmarish reality, the 70s way of decorating your entire room with the same pattern is back
    http://online.wsj.com/news/art…..26106.html

    1. Can we get lime green appliances and burnt orange shag carpets back as well?

      1. Uh, that’s “Avacado” and “Harvest Gold”, you cretin!

        1. I stand corrected. I concede, tour 70s interior design skills far surpass mine.

          *saunters away singing*

          “Feel the city breakin and everybody shakin, And were stayin alive, stayin alive. “

        2. Don’t forget about formica and wood paneling in every room.

        3. “How could you sleep a wink knowing that somewhere in your house mute ceramic witness was being paid to your total inability to bow to the prevailing taste consensus?!”

          Avocado bathroom: http://youtu.be/nWoWHzq21tA

          1. I love Mitchell and Webb

    2. Someone got paid to do that

      1. And they deserve it! They probably went through rigorous government red tape to make sure their interior decorating skills wouldn’t imperil society. Do you want the people to suffer from boring and inhuman simplicity and functionality?

  10. “And its leader, Farage, came under fire on Wednesday for admitting the one politician he admires in the world right now is Vladimir Putin – not a leader exactly known for his libertarian values.”

    My understanding is that he said he admired Putin’s tactical ability in his handling of Syria.

    Adolf Hitler was a scumbag. I hope hell is real just so Hitler can burn in it for eternity.

    That being said, he was also a master propagandist.

    But if someone went around saying I admired Hitler, without getting into any of the details of what I really said, that might not be very accurate.

    I’ve seen the American press savage Ron Paul for blaming U.S. foreign policy for terrorism. He blames America first! He empathizes with the terrorists!

    Meanwhile, what Farage was really doing, did it amount to partially blaming the EU’s aggressive expansion in Putin’s front yard for Putin’s response in Crimea?

    Because if that was the true nature of what Farage was saying, then it probably shouldn’t be described as admiration for Putin and just left at that.

    1. Just like I can admire Alinksy’s excellent Rules For Radicals while being totally opposed to the positions it is typically employed to support.

      1. Here’s what Farage actually said about Putin:

        “Asked which current world leader he most admired, Farage replied: “As an operator, but not as a human being, I would say Putin.

        “The way he played the whole Syria thing. Brilliant. Not that I approve of him politically. How many journalists in jail now?”

        http://www.theguardian.com/pol…..mire-putin

        If we’ve read that statement, and we then truncate it to just “Farage admires Putin, so we better look out”, then I don’t think we’re telling the whole truth.

        The whole truth about that one statement includes:

        1) He disapproves of Putin as a human being.

        2) He doesn’t approve of Putin politically.

        3) He criticizes Putin for throwing journalists in jail.

        1. Thank you.

          1. It’s like the press is giving Farage the Sarah Palin treatment.

            1. S.O.P.

        2. Raw Story paraphrase: “I would say Putin… brilliant… I approve of… journalists in jail.”

          1. You could say they were being “selective”.

  11. OK, now that Stevenson has been properly disciplined, how about a wonderful gov’t school district that spends $30K/yr on each kid and, well, gets what you’d expect?
    Money quote (and I’m not fooling!):

    “The superintendent, Steve Van Zant, is new this year. He has a part-time contract, earning $165,000 annually plus benefits to work three days a week. The pay rate would play out to $275,000 full time,”
    http://www.sfgate.com/educatio…..378122.php

    1. How does he make it? I mean, isn’t this just another data point proving that we don’t spend enough on our schools?

    2. Wow…he plays with the E-Street Band, films Lilyhammer and works as a school superintendent. He probably has to limit his work at school to three days a week. 🙂

    3. The school has a new wing of classrooms built over the summer as well as state-of-the-art playgrounds with artificial turf. Most classes have about 13 students, and on a recent day several had a teacher and an aide to help with lessons. Average class size is closer to 25 or 30 in most other state public schools.

      There are iPads for all students as well as a handful of computers in each classroom.

      The school is gleaming, well stocked and quiet.

      All teachers get a class period for preparation, a rare benefit for elementary-level teachers. The school has a full-time physical education teacher, a full-time art teacher, a part-time Spanish teacher and two full-time counselors.

      1. Yet the gleaming classrooms and the enticing $30,000 or so spent on each student hasn’t lured the middle- and upper-class parents to send their children there.

        Most of the students at the district’s K-8 school come from the less affluent Marin City and are predominantly African American. They are nearly all from low-income homes.

        The district’s money, however, comes primarily from Sausalito, where the average single-family home costs upward of $1.8 million.

        Private school is a common choice for wealthier families in the area, although in recent years, a public charter school, the Willow Creek Academy, has lured some local families back to public school, district officials said.

        I don’t get what they are moaning about. Isn’t this exactly how that “social justice” stuff progressives drone on and on about suppose to work?

        1. I’ll take “because progressives are about forced equality and they’re upset that the poor black kids aren’t interacting with rich white kids” for $100.

  12. I say let them go for it. One way of settling whether Orwell was right or not.

  13. OT: David Frum is a stupid cunt. Here he writes an article that uses every anti-MJ legalization canard in the book. Best of all, it starts out with the premise that the legalization experiment is failing right now…and then doesn’t offer a shred of evidence to support this. Right out of the gate with bull-headed wishful thinking. He scared.

    http://fullcomment.nationalpos…..d-glasses/

    1. He also shows his inability to separate correlation from causation:

      After all, persistent and heavy marijuana use among adolescents has been shown to reduce their IQ as adults by 6 to 8 points. An Australian study of identical twins found that a twin who started using cannabis before age 17 was 3 times more likely to attempt suicide than the twin who did not.

      Uh…isn’t it also possible that the type of person who would start doing shit loads of pot when he’s 15 is also suffering from depression or some other issue? Also, clearly the solution to the negative effects of weed use among teenagers is to throw the little bastards in prison. I’m sure that will drastically improve their life outcomes.

      1. “Why does everyone keep referring to me as ‘the ugly one’?”

    2. Everything I said about Bill Maher supra applies to David Frum, though the latter is (albeit unintentionally) funny sometimes.

  14. Bill Maher: “There is a Gay Mafia, and if you cross them, you get whacked.”

    Wow, that is truly some political incorrectness right there.

    1. Maybe he meant “you get jacked”…which would put his statement in a completely different context.

    2. Maher: “Hey, look at me everyone, I’m being ‘edgy'”.

      yawn

      1. This. All he has going for him is this tendency of Hollywood to find what he says as edgy, when he would se meek and mild at any bar in the nation

        1. I’m sure he wouldn’t say no to any “moral outrage” free publicity he might get for it too.

  15. The libertarian nightmare is the British people asking, about their trade policies, about their immigration policies, the simple question: “Is it good for the British?” Not whether it is good for Pakistanis, Somalis, Pollocks, of Nigerians, but is it good for Britain’s native population?

    1. We’ve had this discussion before, and we’ll probably have it again. Until you get banned, and it starts over.

      Welfare parasites are a bad thing to import, no matter what color they are. Productive and independent members of society are a good thing to import, no matter what color they are.

      1. Welfare parasites are a bad thing to import, no matter what color they are. Productive and independent members of society are a good thing to import, no matter what color they are.

        So what immigration policy do you support?

        And hard workers compete with natives and reduce their wages. British working people are facing high unemployment and stagnating wages, why does Britain need more immigrants?

        1. This has been explained to you many, many times. I’m not doing it again. Crack open a book.

        2. HUR I’M ECONOMICALLY ILLITERATE HUR DEY TRK R JRBS

      2. Productive and independent members of society are a good thing to import, no matter what color they are.

        Really? Culture and religion make no difference at all? Adding millions of Muslims to England can’t possibly have any negative effects, as long as they are “productive”?

        1. It hasn’t so far and there is no reason to believe it ever will. Conservatives like you have been soaking themselves over The Muslimocolypse for ever now and, like CAGW, it never happens and, like CAGW, I am tired of hearing about it. It is not the government’s job to react to your irrational insecurities.

          1. Wow, I agree with Cytotoxic (that PapayaSF is a conservative).

          2. This may be a “conservative” position, but I’m not a conservative overall. (I’m not a purist libertarian, either, and I’m willing to compromise with the left on some things, too.)

            I guess Cytotoxic somehow missed the terror attacks, support for terror and Sharia law, car burnings, attacks on Jews and soldiers, sex trafficking, female genital mutilation, and honor killings. Nothing to worry about, eh? I’m sure that even more Muslim immigration will cause things to get better, the way it has in the past. (Remember how much trouble the Muslim communities in the UK and France and Holland etc. were 50 years ago. Clearly increasing their size has helped them assimilate and lessened social tensions, right?)

            1. Immigration demographics for a group in the future are strongly influenced by the current base of immigrants. While that fact would certainly worry me were I French or English, the US Muslim population is quite docile and productive, which should encourage us.

              1. Well, except for the Tsarnaev brothers. And those Somalis who went back to fight with Islamic terrorists. And the honor killings. And the monetary support for Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorism. And the attacks on Jews. And the Islamic converts who became terrorists or terror supporters….

                1. Out of a population as large as ours, those are rather anomalous behaviors. Not to whitewash, but it’s very different from Europe’s problems with Muslims.

                  1. That’s true. They have proportionately more Muslim immigration, and more problems with it. Which is my point.

                    1. Illinois’ population is ~4%, a little higher than the EU average and a bit less than the UK’s — yet the UK has had many more problems with Muslim immigration than Illinois. Proportion of population explains some, but not all of Europe’s problems and I doubt that experience will be replicated in the US.

                    2. PapayaSF|4.5.14 @ 5:23PM|#
                      “That’s true. They have proportionately more Muslim immigration, and more problems with it. Which is my point.”

                      I’m late here, but I’ll posit another influence:
                      The Euros promote social welfare programs and therefore draw populations preferring such.
                      The US (by comparison, relatively, etc) favors industrious, ambitious, self-reliant citizens and the self-selection reflects that.
                      Anecdote, but an ex-pat Chinese mentioned that her friends were aghast that she preferred to emigrate to the US rather than Euro since if anything went wrong, she’d *starve* here!

                2. “And the Islamic converts who became terrorists or terror supporters….”

                  That settles it, conversion to Islam should clearly be illegal.

                  1. Yuk-yuk.

                3. Well, except for the Tsarnaev brothers. And those Somalis who went back to fight with Islamic terrorists. And the honor killings. And the monetary support for Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorism. And the attacks on Jews. And the Islamic converts who became terrorists or terror supporters….

                  You mean the things that are statistically insignificant? I’m sure we’ll find some violence or other problems associated with Tea Party far-fringers in the future I guess we should put notice on them too.

                  1. It depends on what you mean by “insignificant,” and what you compare it to. Among non-Muslim Americans, honor killings and support for terror are truly insignificant, if they exist at all. Such things only happen in the small segment of the population that is Muslim, which makes their occurrence more significant. It’s like saying alligator bites are rare, because so few happen across the country in a given year. True, they only happen in Florida, where there are alligators.

                    What a huge stretch your comparison is. The Tea Party has been around for years now, as a mass movement that probably counts millions of people in it to one degree or another. Yet, AFAIK, there’s been zero political violence associated with them. Compare that with pretty much any Muslim population in any country. It’s hard to find one where there is not religious/political violence in the name of Islam.

                    1. Even within the American Muslim population those events are extremely rare.

                    2. Support for Islamic terror etc. might not be a majority opinion among American Muslims, but it’s more than “extremely rare.” And again, alligator bites, even in Florida, are “rare,” but all are done by alligators.

            2. Sharia law, car burnings, attacks on Jews and soldiers, sex trafficking, female genital mutilation, and honor killings

              Sharia Law: 99% BS

              Car burnings and sex trafficking: welcome to SocDem Europe where our degeneracy requires no Islam!

              FGM & honour killings: we already have laws against these exceedingly rare events.

        2. Productive and independent is the key word there. The problems Europe is experiencing with the Muslim immigrants are due to the fact that they hand them tons of welfare benefits.

          Turn off the free money spigot, and you won’t have a problem anymore.

          1. That’s certainly part of the problem, but even productive Muslims can believe in imposing Sharia law, etc.

            1. Right, and productive Americans can believe in all manner of religious nuttery, or global warming nuttery, or foreign policy nuttery, or socialist nuttery. Frankly, Sharia law might be a hell of a lot better then what we currently live under.

              Besides, I rather doubt the support among American Muslims for Sharia is that high.

              I leave the fretting over the fact that people believe in God to our resident Blue Tulpa.

              1. Frankly, Sharia law might be a hell of a lot better then what we currently live under.

                Come on. This is just fucking stupid.

                Clearly Obamacare is morally equivalent to theocracy.

                This is like when idiot progressives compare libertarians to Nazis.

                1. Slight hyperbole there *opens fingers a little bit* just a tad. A smidge. A jigger.

                  Oops, racist.

              2. “More than eight-in-ten American Muslims say suicide bombings and other forms of violence against civilian targets are never justified (81%) or rarely justified (5%) to defend Islam from its enemies. Worldwide, most Muslims also reject this type of violence, with a median of 72% saying such attacks are never justified and 10% saying they are rarely justified. Just 1% of U.S. Muslims and a median of 3% of Muslims worldwide say suicide bombings and other violence against civilian targets are often justified, while 7% of U.S. Muslims and a global median of 8% of Muslims say such attacks are sometimes justified to defend Islam.”

                Based on this Pew poll from last year, up to 14% of American Muslims believe in terrorism. That’s about one in seven, and should be a concern.

                1. Now do a poll with this question:

                  “Do you think that the bombing of civilian targets is justified in order to protect America?”

            2. There is no Muslim problem in America. The only problem in Europe is welfarism.

              1. There is no Muslim problem in America.

                Except for the terror attacks, support for terror, attacks on Jews, and the odd honor killing. Perhaps we don’t yet have the sex trafficking and female genital mutilation they have in the UK and Europe, but the rest is more than “no problem.”

                1. You mean the things that barely ever happen?

          2. Virginian|4.5.14 @ 5:22PM|#
            “Productive and independent is the key word there. The problems Europe is experiencing with the Muslim immigrants are due to the fact that they hand them tons of welfare benefits.”

            Beat me to it.

            1. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop. People with jobs and bills to pay don’t have time for rioting and terrorism.

    2. Ah, “Nachmann”! That’s a good solid British surname! I bet your ancestors were right there at the Battle of Hastings!

      1. It’s Murrican.

        1. Yes, I know. The advocacy of populist socialism was a dead give-a-way.

          1. Not to mention the barely disguised racism. And I hate people throwing that around like it’s nothing. I very rarely call people racists, so when I call someone a racist, I mean I genuinely think he’s a racist.

            Murrican is a racist. Not sure about the cuckold fetish, but I am sure about the racism.

            Is it possible that Chris Mallory is Murrican? I seem to remember him throwing around the phrase third world savages a lot.

            1. It’s possible. And it’s possible that Mallory is Slappy!, but Slappy! always seemed better educated than Mallory. Though perhaps too much time on Second Life masturbating to 10-penised winged dragon-centaurs rots one’s brain.

          2. That and the second puppet agreeing with him Hellot and Nachmann.

  16. The essential problem for libertarians is that no one, no one, in Britain supports the kind of libertarianism that is found here:

    The study, which polled more than 3,000 people, discovered that 77 percent want immigration numbers decreased, with just four percent favoring an increase.

    http://rt.com/news/british-imm…..meron-313/

    How bout economic policies?

    68% of the public say the energy companies should be run in the public sector, while only 21% say they should remain in private hands. 66% support nationalising the railway companies while 23% think they should be run privately. The British people also tend strongly to prefer a publicly-run National Health Service (as it is now) and a publicly-run Royal Mail (as it was until this year).

    Supporters of nationalising the energy companies include 52% of Conservative voters, and 74% of UKIP voters. And again, 52% of Conservatives are pro-nationalisation of the rail companies, as are 72% of UKIP supporters.

    http://yougov.co.uk/news/2013/…..ay-public/

    1. You’re right. I lived over there for six years and the kind of libertarianism that we follow just isn’t on their radar. They all hate the NHS, but the entire debate seems to revolve around ways to make it function better…I saw no politicians of note who were claiming that it should be abolished or privatized. Actually, privatization was considered a horrible idea over there because of how the government bungled the “privatization” of their energy companies (by limiting the number of competitors in the market place).

      That was the only fault I noticed in Orwell’s 1984…it leaned very heavily on the concept that everyone in the world was essentially British in nature and couldn’t conceive of a world in which government wasn’t in charge of decisions. Orwell really generalized from self in that respect (although everything else about the book was brilliant).

      1. Public polling only has so much value, but here are American views on legal immigration:

        In one key finding, most respondents said even legal immigration should be cut by at least half. Currently, the U.S. allows in about 1 million legal immigrants a year, but 16 percent said that should be cut to 500,000, another 17 percent wanted to see it drop to 100,000, and a full 26 percent said they want to see a halt to all legal immigration. By contrast, just 16 percent said to keep it at 1 million and only 11 percent wanted to see an increase to 2 million.

        http://www.washingtontimes.com…..z2y2GkIIOv

        1. Right, and I want Kate Upton cooking a steak dinner wearing just an apron. “Halting” immigration is slightly less silly than the War on Drugs.

          1. Countries like Japan with practically no immigration are on the verge of collapse.

            1. Right, but they also have a robust tradition of pro-growth policies and a national culture of hard work.

              Oh, and by the way their population is rapidly aging with a lack of caregivers for the elderly.

              1. Oh, and by the way their population is rapidly aging with a lack of caregivers for the elderly.

                They don’t have a lack of caregivers, everyone receives the care they need, the problem is that they have to pay their caregivers first world wages and so it is more expensive, however they can easily pay that because they actually save up money instead of wasting it. And when workers get a first world wage they don’t need food stamps and subsidized housing from the government.

            2. problems occur when the birth rate drops. That has affected Japan, it is affecting Europe, and it is affecting white America. Lot of couples with one child or none at all. Minority populations tend to have more offspring; they also tend to have a higher percentage on some form of public assistance.

              Till the welfare state can be taken out of the immigration question, there will be unhappy natives. My parents were immigrants, in the 50s, following the process and naturalizing, and immigration is part of what this country is.

            3. Countries like Japan with practically no immigration are on the verge of collapse.

              Yes Japan is. Twenty years of economic and political stagnation thanks in large part to no immigration-a policy that will be changing due to demographic inevitabilities.

              http://online.wsj.com/news/art…..3704862568

              1. Economic stagnation is more a result of their state “capitalism” model then a lack of immigration, in my opinion.

                I don’t see immigration as a sign of societal health or sickness in general. Non parasites of any type are good, and parasites of any type are bad.

                The guy running a taco cart earning 30 grand a year is a hell of a lot better for the country as a whole than some blueblood State Department nincompoop who’s ancestors came over on the Mayflower and have been interbreeding on Beacon Hill ever since.

                1. The lack of immigration is part and parcel of not only state capitalism, it helps preserve their whole stupid ‘familial’ version of politics. Japan is awful.

                  1. Eh, it’s certainly not a place I would want to live, but it’s not awful. Awful is a silly word to describe a country that has the second largest economy in the world, a very high standard of living, very low crime, and which has been at peace for sixty years.

          2. what about democracy?

            1. You mean the process by which politicians legitimize the evil shit they do?

              There’s something to be said for the ability to throw the bums out periodically, but winning a popularity contest is no excuse for violating someone’s individual rights.

    2. “The essential problem for libertarians is that no one, no one, in Britain supports the kind of libertarianism that is found here”

      I think it should be appreciated that not very many people support the kind of libertarianism in the United States either.

      Also, because of the way the federal government is set up in the UK, parliamentary system and all, politics is much more consensus driven than it is here in the United States.

      In the U.S., if a congressman or senator speaks out against the President or Speaker, it’s no big deal. I the UK, sometimes the prime minister threatens to call an election–just so the backbenchers will shut their mouths and fall in line.

      Remember, in the UK, you don’t have to be from the district you represent, so the party establishment candidates shift towards safer and safer seats as they become more and more powerful. It’s the newbies that have to run in the swing districts, and if you don’t want to run in a safer district in the future, then you have to two the establishment line.

      You get much fewer divergent views expressed from politicians as a result. There isn’t going to be a Tea Party in parliament over there! But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of people in the streets who feel the same way we do.

      1. That was posted before I was ready–some damn key combo I hit makes things post!

        This line should read, “[In] the UK, sometimes the prime minister threatens to call an election–just so the backbenchers [in their own party] will shut their mouths and fall in line.

        When the Tories’ own “wets” were looking like they wanted to run against Margaret Thatcher and her reforms, she threatened to call an election, not to increase her party’s representation at the expense of Labor. She did it to scare the youngest members of her own party from the most marginal districts to STFU and support her.

    3. That’s a problem for Britain, not libertarians (outside of Britain).

  17. libertarian Brits

    What exactly does that mean? Because I have this strange feeling that it doesn’t mean the same thing that we think of as ‘libertarian’.

    1. It means that they believe in moving away from corporatism towards more government control of essential industries.

      It’s odd to me how they never really seem to grasp American-style libertarianism. Considering that they have a history of setting up free trade zones around the world, you’d think they’d realize that kind of thing might work out well for them in Britain. But they just don’t seem to want any part of that. They just can’t wait to create another bureaucracy or another set of regulations to micromanage their lives. I could never wrap my head around that…especially since they never seemed happy with the outcomes that resulted from doing that.

      1. Today’s Britain has next to do nothing at all to do with the historical Britain that you’re thinking of.

        For all intents and purpose, it’s an entirely different country.

      2. It means that they believe in moving away from corporatism towards more government control of essential industries.

        calling that libertarianism is a bit like saying team handball and the type played with rackets are the same because both are called handball.

        1. I think he was being trite.

          1. Actually, I was being sarcastic…I just forgot to plant an emoji on the end of the sentence. 🙂

        2. @Wareagle…you’re right, it’s not libertarianism. That was just how they seemed to view libertarianism in England when I lived there. It’s like Bizarro World with their politics…there doesn’t appear to be any type of groundswell of libertarianism as we’d know it.

      3. I blame the Normans. If we had just had an extra 1,000 men at Hastings…

        1. cavalier973|4.5.14 @ 5:40PM|#
          “I blame the Normans. If we had just had an extra 1,000 men at Hastings…”

          Shoulda let more immigrants in.

  18. The EU is libertarian in some ways.

    – Opens boarders between states.

    – Allows goods and services to flow freely

    – Forces members states to compete for tax dollars, workers and literally citizens.

    What does UK independence offer libertarians?

    1. What does UK independence offer libertarians?

      If we could somehow slip something in the bill that gets Piers Morgan deported back to Britain and a block against any other Limey nannies from coming here, maybe that would be it.

      Of course I’m speaking about American libertarians, because I don’t believe in unicorns, leprechauns, or British libertarians.

      1. It’s politically correct to demand that Morgan be deported, because he is white. One could never argue that a Mexican prog should be deported, that would be racist.

        1. If all the Mexican progs were deported there would be nobody to work in the fields and farmers might have to pay first world wages to get real Americans to do the work. Can’t have that can we? No, everyone knows that the most important right is to pay your workers a third world wage.

          1. Hellot|4.5.14 @ 1:48PM|#
            …”No, everyone knows that the most important right is to pay your workers a third world wage.”

            Gee, forgot your code today, didn’t you?
            That’s ‘less than a living wage!’

          2. Hi, Merkan!

            Ever thought that cheap labor makes for cheap food?

            Why do you want American families to pay more for food?

            1. heap labor makes for cheap food?

              You save money on food, and presumably the laborers save money on food as well, but the laborers wages are cut, and yours aren’t. Where does your savings come from? Out of the laborers wage, that’s where. No such thing as a free lunch.

              1. Merkan, do you buy only made-in-America products? If not, why is OK to buy products made with cheap foreign labor but not cheap domestic labor?

                If you’re really concerned about jobs for Americans, you should be pushing for the end of the minimum wage.

                1. I support patriotic trade policies as well.

                  I think that an American worker should earn a first world wage, not a third world wage. With ending mass immigration the wages should naturally rise due to supply and demand, but I’ll point out that the minimum wage in real dollars is at where it was in 1950 and reached it’s peak in 1968.(1950-1968, that time f mass unemployment) Why do Americans deserve lower wages?

                  http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42973.pdf

                  1. Workers are also consumers. Immigration was huge in the late 19th and early 20th century. Wages increased and prices fell.

                    1. And, Derpetologist, don’t forget to bolster your argument by pointing that the conditions here today are exactly like those in in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

                      The ceteris is always paribus. Right?

                    2. Mass immigration does not by itself lead to poverty.

                      If the US had open immigration, I doubt that poverty would increase.

                    3. Homple|4.5.14 @ 3:05PM|#
                      “And, Derpetologist, don’t forget to bolster your argument by pointing that the conditions here today are exactly like those in in the 19th and early 20th centuries.”

                      And, Homple, don’t forget to beat on that strawman.

                    4. I hardly think pointing out that population, industrialization, welfare, and social conditions are different in 2014 than 1899 is a straw man argument. Nonetheless, your comment is a notch better than saying “jerbs” or “derp”. Weak, though, weak.

                  2. Hellot|4.5.14 @ 2:09PM|#
                    …”I think that an American worker should earn a first world wage, not a third world wage.”…

                    I think you’re an imbecile. Go troll someone who reads your code, dipshit.

              2. …”laborers wages are cut, and yours aren’t.”

                No kidding? Who “cut” their wages, idjit?

                1. Supply and demand cut their wages, dumbnuts.

                  1. Ah, so no person cut their wages. They were offered a job at some rate and accepted it.

                    If you think you aren’t getting paid enough, find another job.

                    1. If you think you aren’t getting paid enough, find another job.

                      I always wondered why poor people don’t just find another job. Aren’t they aware nuclear physicists get payed like, 30$ an hour?

                    2. Very few people start out at the top. My first job paid minimum wage. Now I’m an engineer. It’s called economic mobility.

                    3. Yeah, that’s so fucking common. Most people end up making 70 grand a year at the end of their careers. And let me ask you, did you have to support yourself on your minimum wage job, or did your parents or student loans help support you?

                    4. Yeah, it is common.

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbueX92CKPk

                      It’s cheating to get help from my parents? Only idiots try to live independently on min wage.

                      And btw, my college education was 100% paid for by me. I lived on about $800 a month when I was in college, so perhaps you can imagine how little sympathy I have for whiners like you.

                    5. And let me ask you, did you have to support yourself on your minimum wage job, or did your parents or student loans help support you?

                      Yeah, I don’t know ANYBODY who worked their way through school on their own and became successful.

                      I’m a victim…somebody feel sorry for me…it’s not fair…please, I need some free shit…

                    6. Fuck you and fuck ‘the working class’.

                    7. “I always wondered why poor people don’t just find another job.”

                      You’ve obviously wondered about a lot of things and your should wonder about a whole lot more.
                      Supply and demand cut their wages? You aren’t really bright enough to post here; you’re just a punching bag.

                    8. Choices. You can choose to make something of yourself, or you can choose to be lazy and make minimum wage.

                      It ain’t rocket surgery. You want to make money? Don’t suck!

                    9. I will say there is on particularly insidious trap that young people are in right now. Working two part time jobs where you can never get to full time at either, essentially thanks to Obamacare. It sucks, a lot.

                      Of course, like most sucky job situations, the problem can be traced back to regulation.

    2. Far freer regulatory, energy, and tax policy. Good charter and voucher policy. Outstanding commitment to rights of the accused and common law courts. Better trade/immigration policy with commonwealth countries. Non-interventionist foreign policy. Very good policy wrt capital and financial markets. Potentially good trade deal with the Eurozone.

    3. “What does UK independence offer libertarians?”

      Dunno if you’re familiar with it, but the EU oversees payments to ‘under-incomed’ areas (and those areas can be one section of a country, and yes, they maintain lobbing offices in Brussels and Strasbourg. The EU also sets the distribution of money to support the French ag bizz. There’s a good chance that the Brits are supporting the folks in Mezzogiorno without even knowing it.
      And it might be minor, but fining people for using imperial measurements vs metric is a bit much. There are other bureaucratic embarrassments also.

    4. – Opens boarders between states.

      Great if you are citizen of a poor, shitty country with little in the way of welfare benefits. Not so great if you are a British taxpayer (which isn’t a great position to be in anyway).

      – Allows goods and services to flow freely

      Sort of.

      – Forces members states to compete for tax dollars, workers and literally citizens.

      Since when is preemptive force/coercion “libertarian?”

      What does UK independence offer libertarians?

      Freedom from an additional layer of onerous and capricious regulation.

      1. Since when is preemptive force/coercion “libertarian?”

        Oh give me a fucking break.

        May as well say the First amendment is coercion because it forces the government to recognize the freedom of speech.

        1. May as well say the First amendment is coercion because it forces the government to recognize the freedom of speech.

          Oh give me a fucking break.

          EU restrictions and regulations are only comparable to the codified negative rights in the BoR in that they are both imposed from above.

          Forcing member nations to regulate themselves identically is not even close to blanket protections of individual rights and if the Fed were telling States to do the same things the EU does to its member nations I don’t think you’d be pimping it as a positive.

    5. You are correct. Reason’s notion of “libertarian” is essentially economic libertarianism and so it should love both the EU, the EC, the Fed and the US government; but it doesn’t.

      The reason it doesn’t is because none of the foregoing political entities are truly representative of the people being governed.

      That entrains the idea of ordered liberty under a constitution that sharply limits the authority of government. That is the core of political libertarianism.

      But political libertarianism seems to be beyond Reasons’ grasp because it is complicated and requires one to consider the idea of liberty in the context of the reasonable expectations of any sufficiently large and geographically compact group of people.

      1. Reason’s notion of “libertarian” is essentially economic libertarianism and so it should love both the EU, the EC, the Fed and the US government

        Economic libertarians love additional layers of bureaucracy.

      2. Ah, no. Perhaps you should peruse Reason’s articles on gun rights, free speech, police brutality, & the war on drugs.

      3. I think we should remember that many of these trade blocks were conceived during the Cold War.

        Allowing trade across borders through such agreements made a tremendous amount of sense–back when each one of those countries had all sorts of trade barriers.

        Given the contrast to what was happening in the USSR at the time, an EC type agreement really was better than what they had.

        It should be noted that socialism, unfortunately, looks a lot better to a lot of Americans now that the USSR and China have officially repudiated communism, too.

        It’s entirely possible that what seemed better than what they had in the past just isn’t good enough anymore, and, let’s face it, we wouldn’t be having most of these conversations at all if it weren’t for the Greece, Spain, Italy, and the Euro crisis.

        The Europeans didn’t suddenly start waxing philosophical for nothing.

      4. “The reason it doesn’t is because none of the foregoing political entities are truly representative of the people being governed.”

        Lemme guess; you pine for the “dictatorship of the proletariat”?

  19. UKIP is, in its own words, a “libertarian” party. It doesn’t really mean it in the true sense of the word. No party that supports the continued existence of the National Health Service really could. Even in the context of British politics, though, its opposition to statist solutions seems a little dubious. This is the party, after all, that proposed banning the burka. It didn’t much like the idea of gay marriage. And its leader, Farage, came under fire on Wednesday for admitting the one politician he admires in the world right now is Vladimir Putin – not a leader exactly known for his libertarian values.

    “If you scratch the surface you find one of the most illiberal and intolerant political parties in the U.K.,” says Martin Horwood, the foreign affairs spokesperson for Clegg’s Liberal Democrats. “The idea they are champions of personal freedom doesn’t really stand much scrutiny.”

    Utter nonsense. Mind, UKIP was not the most libertarian policy in the UK (the Liberal party was before they merged to become the execrable LibDems). Today, outside of academic movements, it’s far and away the most libertarian movement in the UK with any pull. Forage is essentially a more eloquent Ron Paul; not perfect but decent compared to what’s out there.

    1. Each and every party in the UK supports the NHS in some form (UKIP supports free market reform) — fucking Maggie Thatcher supported it! There is no evidence I can find to support the notion that UKIP supports a France-style burka ban. Gay marriage in the UK is a step backwards, given the existence of civil unions for both gays and straights. Forage has a very narrow sense in which he ‘admires’ Putin, and frankly his comments on the matter are far better than Ron Paul’s.

      The EU started with good intentions, but today it has combined free trade/free movement in Europe with French regulations enforced by German and Belgian bureaucrats who make somewhere between 7-50% of Europe’s laws, depending on who you ask. All the nonsense about NAFTA is in fact true of the EU. I don’t know about you, but I don’t find free movement a good trade-off for increased economic and political centralization. I don’t blame UKIP for making the same determination, and if Reason could pull their heads out of the EU’s ass they might be able to see the logic of this argument (even if they still disagree).

      1. Gay marriage in the UK is a step backwards, given the existence of civil unions for both gays and straights.

        Stop lying.

        1. Educate yourself. The gay marriage bill pushed by the Tories had no additional benefits for gay couples not in place for unions besides anti-discrimination statutes which should quite frankly be opposed by libertarians. The UK and France are not Spain or Poland; both have had equal civil unions in place for a while (in France’s case, since the Napoleonic code) and the legal issues gays have in this country aren’t applicable in those countries.

          1. I think there are worse things than the withholding of the title itself, but I can see an argument for why it is wrong. As said in Brown when groups are treated differently, even though equally, there is often an equation of one being inferior in some respect. If you wanted to see this, imagine a State calling traditional marriage civil unions while reserving the title marriage for gays. Even were the two legally equivalent I bet outrage would follow

            1. imagine a State calling traditional marriage civil unions while reserving the title marriage for gays

              I’d be fine with that. Hell, it might be superior to what we have right now, which is a bunch of negative/civil rights + public accommodations built into a thing we call marriage. Arguably, the French approach to unions is preferable to our own.

              More to the point, I understand why that would be a problem with people who lack perspective (there are after all countless such antiquities in our laws already), but I fail to see what its importance would be to libertarians.

              1. So the only thing libertarians might object re the separate but equal policy struck down in Brown were unequal facilities?

                1. Bc the logic of Brown was that even if facilities were equal, the state treating one race differently inherently suggested inferiority. Likewise, saying to gays ‘ok, you can have something equivalent to marriage, but you can not call it marriage, that’s reserved for us!” implies inferiority of their unions.

                2. In a sense, yes. There are still racist laws on the books in some places; none of them are enforced.

                  Should they remain on the books? No, and maybe one day after libertarians take care of everything else they can get down to ironing out the on-paper antiquities, but right now there are bigger fish to fry. What’s more, if there is an issue where there is a freedom issue at stake, libertarians should be on the side of freedom. In the case of France and the UK, gays already have the association rights, and the gay marriage bills proposed would have added nothing except a positive right to sue parties who don’t recognize the union.

                  In places like the US or Poland, I can see an argument that gay marriage’s association benefits outweigh the anti-discrim policies attached. In countries where gays have those association rights, there’s no contest.

                  1. Fair enough, while I can see why it matters to some it is a relatively small hill to fight on (or for?).

        1. Thanks for the correction, I was wrong about that.

          1. In fairness, there are reports they have since walked back on that

  20. What did you guys do to Shreek last night? It looks like you broke him.

    1. He thought derp was his ally, but he merely adopted the derp. I was born into it. Molded by it. He didn’t stand a chance.

      1. Ah, yes… I was wondering what would break first…his spirit, or his body?

        1. The spirit is willing, the flesh is spongy and bruised…

    2. When he’s sober, he’s just a moron. When he’s drunk, he adds angry and insane.

  21. This article is liek having the Cosmotarian Internationale on autoplay.

    1. And it’s proved adept at rustling up the sort of nostalgic jingoism that moves Union Jack-waving Grannies into a fervour of tearful patriotism.

      Can you believe it, old people support the party! And even though they don’t support warmongering, they wave flags, what could be more jingoistic than that!

    2. This article is liek having the Cosmotarian Internationale on autoplay

      As a sentence, that had as much semantic meaning as “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.”

      1. Upon the advisability of hold keeping, to the forest compensation of the dunce.

      2. “Forward marriage equality

        And the last cocktail we will taste

        The Cosmotarian Internationale

        Will unite the supranational race!

        1. So I guess, today, “Cosmotarian” has something to do with gays getting married, drinking delicious mixed drinks, and not wanting to masturbate to a particular flag or something.

          Could you do us a solid and give us a clue about what it will mean tomorrow, so we can be prepared?

          Thanks, brother.

          1. TBH, we’re all somewhere on the Cosmotarian scale (except maybe Suthenboy): most of us are urbanites with a less than conventional take on religion and morality, and most of us seem to appreciate new experiences. Hell, ‘cosmopolitan’ generally has positive connotations.

            In contrast Reason’s problem is that they are too deferential to the political establishment which they report on, and to the aesthetic preferences of people who by and large support things antithetical to libertarianism.

            1. Cosmotarian scale (except maybe Suthenboy)

              I thought Suthen was a committed atheist, no?

              Hell, ‘cosmopolitan’ generally has positive connotations.

              Not to those who originally coined the term, when it had an actual meaning, which was a belief that libertarianism, and liberty in general, was something that could only arise in American culture (or more generously, the Anglo-sphere) because American exceptionalism or something. Of course, when libertarianism, as a political movement, found its greatest current success in Costa Rica, of all places, the term degraded to what it is today: an empty slur, devoid of any real meaning and signifying no particular concept. Like the terms “fascist”, “neoconservative” and “neoliberal”, “cosmotarian” is nothing more than a territorial grunt or howl used to signal one’s opposition to incursion of one’s philosophic/rhetorical territory.

              1. when it had an actual meaning, which was a belief that libertarianism, and liberty in general, was something that could only arise in American culture (or more generously, the Anglo-sphere) because American exceptionalism or something

                By that, I meant that a “cosmo” argued against that belief, so they were a Pinko traitor.

                1. Gotcha. Wrt Costa Rica, it’s a pretty nice place to visit and live but not necessarily libertarian. The current success of the party is more the result of the other parties breaking up as a result of scandal than anything else. That said, they have never been socialists, either so they have that going for them. Nevertheless, it would be cool to see the Costa Rica LP win an election and decide policy.

                  1. The current success of the party is more the result of the other parties breaking up as a result of scandal than anything else.

                    Still 15 percent control over the legislature is nothing to sneeze at. And, inshallah, if things keep going the way they do here, the US Libertarians might see similar success if one of the major parties implode under scandal.

                    1. the US Libertarians might see similar success if one of the major parties implode under scandal

                      I doubt it. CR’s LP is doing well because its leader is a phenomenal retail politician and his party is like UKIP in that its lifeblood is its articulate and charismatic leader. It also has a motivated base in a very small country. The LP is too fractured and the US too big to have the same type of success, though a libertarian third party might be able to do a good run on a state level (e.g., AK LP).

                    2. What? You mean Wayne Allen Root isn’t the articulate and charismatic leader we need?!?!

            2. TBH, we’re all somewhere on the Cosmotarian scale (except maybe Suthenboy)

              Dude; what am I, chopped liver?

              1. You and robc are ‘fundamentalist Christians’ (I’m Christian, though fundamentalist probably doesn’t describe me very well), but judging by you guys’ posts on here you are both devout but non-conformist.

          2. Could you do us a solid and give us a clue about what it will mean tomorrow, so we can be prepared?

            Thanks, brother.

            You do remember when the whole thing started, right?

            2008 and the TNR article on the Ron Paul newsletters. A handful of (mostly? entirely?) consequentialist “professional libertarians” in academe and think tanks decided the time was right to excommunicate anyone and everyone who supported Ron Paul, believed in natural rights, and especially had any association with or affinity for the LvMI. They were quite adamant that anyone who wished to call themselves a libertarian had to chose “their side” and repudiate Ron Paul.

            ^strict definition^

            Then there is the “lets moderate our position so we don’t alienate all our friends on the left” which ranges from the benign and pragmatic, to the annoying “the right does it too” false equivalencies (often as a knee-jerk non sequitur), to the downright odious 20 round magazine limit/universal gun registration proposal of Cato’s Robert A. Levy.

            ^loose definition^

            My original reference above is to Atkinson’s attempt to appeal to American libertarians that UKIP is “unlibertarian” and wrong to want the UK out of the EU resting largely on the charge that UKIP is not sufficiently supportive of “gay marriage”. It’s like he did a quick read to get a handle on his audience and decided that is our most pressing issue.

            1. That is fair as an annoying tendency, but it doesn’t have much to do with left/right, persay. I see ‘right wingers’ like Gerson and NR Review types copy/paste those exact points.

      3. Intentional stupidity doesn’t look good on you HM.

        1. What are you referring to?

          1. Intentionally pretending the term cosmotarian is meaningless.

  22. If only this Farage guy had some ghostwritten newsletters in his past…

  23. Florida, strikes another blow for liberty.

    Bill would require Florida craft brewers to sell beer to distributors, then buy it back for resale

    The law would force craft brewers to sell their bottled and canned beer directly to a distributor. If they want to sell it in their own tap rooms, they would then have to buy it back at what is typically a 30-40 percent mark-up without the bottles or cans ever leaving the brewery, according to Joshua Aubuchon, a lawyer and lobbyist for the Florida Brewers Guild.

    Sorry about the source.

    1. Can’t say the development was unsurprising. Deep pockets win over the little guys.

      Any sort of reform that would make the government less intrusive or at the very least less willing to shaft the little guy is impossible in this day and age. Almost every legislator is a paid puppet. Given this reality, doesn’t it make sense to have some sort of control over the way money controls politics?

      I just don’t see how we could have a functioning libertopia if anyone can pay lawmakers arbitrarily large sums of money in the name of campaign contributions.

    1. Okay, that dude is freaky; he stares into the camera and doesn’t blink.

    2. “We do not see a Hurricane as unjust”

      Tell that to the left wing nut jobs trying to sell climate change.

  24. ? Aye, aye, aye aye… I’m drinking frio mojitos….

  25. By the by, it’s quite interesting that anti-EU folks are called racist, despite the fact that every state in the EU is whiter than your average country club in the US. What’s more, the Eurocrats have fought like mad to make sure that adjacent BROWN PEOPLE countries like Turkey and Morocco will never, ever be part of the union despite pushing for equally corrupt countries like Ukraine to join.

    1. It ain’t called the European Union because of geography…

    2. every state in the EU is whiter than your average country club in the US

      Your country club is ten percent Muslim? (France)

      1. What? You’re telling me there are no golf courses in Dearborn, MI?

      2. Last I checked, Islam is a religion, not a race. A good portion of Europe’s Muslims are of indigenous stock (Albanians) or mixed. You will forgive the hyperbole; in either case, every EU state in whiter than almost any Commonwealth country or Latin American country as a % of population; the EU is certainly one of the whitest groupings on the planet this side of burning man.

  26. Another Reason article bashing UKIP. As a libertarian having resided in various parts of Europe (now the UK), I find my voting choices are quite complex. Overall, I tend to vote for a candidate that is going to disrupt the existing smug power elite consensus. Sometime those candidates have an unsavory side. I weigh whether the unsavory outweighs whether the candidate might be profitably disruptive to support. That’s the best it ever gets. Otherwise one votes for the same monolithic slide into unsustainability that currently characterises the modern EU.

    1. Forgive my ignorance, but is the UK like Australia in which one is forced to vote?

      1. No it’s not. You can sit on your ass and watch Premier League every election day.

        1. Thanks. And while I appreciate the arguments in favor of spoiler votes, personally, I find the option of not voting to be more appealing in such a situation. It is, as it should be, up to individual disposition.

  27. Ultracrepidarian Thom Hartmann serves up a fresh word salad:

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

  28. Ultracrepidarian Thom Hartmann serves up a fresh word salad:

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

    1. What percentage of Republicans have even read Atlas Shrugged? Hell, what percentage of libertarians have read Atlas Shrugged? I got about 200 pages in, got bored out of my mind by the constant filibustering and terrible writing, and gave up.

      1. Should read We The Living instead.

  29. OT: man charged with hate crime for putting Qurans in toilets.

    Hitchens weighs in:

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

  30. That was the only fault I noticed in Orwell’s 1984…it leaned very heavily on the concept that everyone in the world was essentially British in nature and couldn’t conceive of a world in which government wasn’t in charge of decisions.

    I’ve read 1984 or watched the movie perhaps ten times by now, and this sentence doesn’t seem to make sense.

    The hordes from Eurasia or Eastasia certainly weren’t British in nature, and the point of the book was the horror that results when government gets in charge of every decision — with the implied corollary that anything government does is gonna make your life a bit closer to that hellhole. I only found out about 5 years ago, to my extreme surprise, that Orwell was a lifelong socialist (when the book club I was with at the time read “Down and Out in Paris and London”).

    1. Prole,
      The first clause has nothing to do with the remainder, but the rest scans well. To me.

  31. “It ultimately means we could finally see a straightforward in-or-out referendum on Britain’s ongoing membership of the E.U. before the end of the decade.”

    Six years more of this nonsense? Any political party that is so at odds with its voters that its strategy is to avoid acting on the will of their voting base has little claim to being either democratic or representative. It is no wonder that UKIP is doing so well when the alternative is these monsters.

  32. The UK might have a hard time negotiating a trade deal with the EU, sure. Yet despite the common market and the geographic proximity, only half of Britain’s trade is with the EU, and there’s a lot more room for growth in trade with the rest of the world anyway. Britain will have a lot easier time negotiating trade deals with the rest of the world when it doesn’t have to make the treaties conform to the protectionist agendas of German corporatists and French farmers. Then there’s the immediate domestic gain from freeing the British economy from Brussels’s “harmonizing” blanket of red tape.

  33. my roomate’s step-sister makes $77 /hr on the internet . She has been unemployed for 8 months but last month her income was $18827 just working on the internet for a few hours. see page…..
    http://www.Works23.us

  34. If you listen to the things that the EU heads say, one would think they are the king and queens of the world now. England already has a monarchy. They don’t need another one.

  35. You’re all idiots.

    The EU means larger voting districts.

    Larger voting districts inherently contain more factions among the electorate, in general.

    More factions means less unity.

    Less unity means fewer common shared interests.

    Fewer common shared interests makes it harder for the electorate to elect and hold accountable political representatives.

    When the electorate is less able to control its politicians, the corporations are MORE able to controls the politicians.

    The above is right from the federalist papers, the ones written by Madison, and Madison’s notes on the constitutional convention.

    This should be obvious.

    Those at the top want less democracy. The rest of us want more.

    That is why our founding plutocrats discarded the articles of confederation and installed our current constitution: because it created larger (federal) voting districts, which means more factions, and thus, in madison’s words, the majority would be less able to unite and discover their common interests.

    Madison, in a letter to jefferson, called this the ‘divide et impera’ strategy, and said it would be the way to rule america.

    That was why the founding plutocrats created the federal union–to dampen democracy.

    That is why the corporations created the EU–to enlarge voting districts, create more factions, divide the populace and thereby dampen democracy.

    And outside of a few obscure academics, not one in the world is saying this but me.

    Why?

    You are all insects, that’s why.

    1. “And outside of a few obscure academics, not one in the world is saying this but me.
      Why?”

      Mostly ’cause it’s a crack-pot theory which isn’t worth more than you’re getting right here.

      1. great substantive reply. Your incisive logic really shredded me.

        1. unperson|4.5.14 @ 10:25PM|#
          “great substantive reply. Your incisive logic really shredded me.”

          So you can’t read? You got what you deserve, dipshit.

        2. Oh, wait! Tell us about Elvis’ alien love-child and the grassy knoll!

    2. “That was why the founding plutocrats created the federal union–to dampen democracy.

      That is why the corporations created the EU–to enlarge voting districts, create more factions, divide the populace and thereby dampen democracy.”

      I bet you’re a lot of fun at parties.

      It’s hard to believe something so ingenious could have been written by a troll that would start with “You’re all a bunch of idiots” and end with, You are all insects”.

      Actually, there’s nothing ingenious about it.

      You really don’t think EU integration had anything to do with trying to prevent another 20th Century?

      You really don’t think creating the EU had anything to do with trying to get rid of trade barriers, transaction costs, etc. to try to emulate the United States, and compete?

      1. You really don’t think creating the EU had anything to do with trying to get rid of trade barriers, transaction costs, etc. to try to emulate the United States, and compete?

        That was just the sales pitch. The real purpose of the 4th Reich is the very same as the 3rd. It’s all about the love of power.

        -jcr

        1. no, it’s really just an ecosystem where those at the top are like a parasite/predator on the working class majority.

          1. Of course. That’s what power’s all about.

            -jcr

        2. I think trying to avoid another World War II is underappreciated…and the EC was a success from that perspective.

          There were fundamental problems with having a single currency among many nations and budgets and debt done locally–but they (especially France) did that on purpose with an eye on Germany.

          Germany’s support for that model was basically France’s condition for supporting the reunification of Germany, and Thatcher was even more reluctant to support a united Germany than France.

          It often seems like the people in the past should have done whatever was necessary to avoid whatever current problem, but to be fair, we should give the past some credit for avoiding the problems they were trying to solve.

          Remember, too, that the big players in question were all from a generation that lived through World War II. The threat of a reunified Germany to them wasn’t an abstraction or an internet meme. To some of them, it looked worse than, say, we would purposely giving the Taliban the keys to Afghanistan and saying, “It’s all yours, now”.

          Some were worried that a reunified Germany would represent a new threat to the Soviet Union. Considering the history of the 20th Century, a pacifist, unified Germany is a remarkable achievement, and if Germany hadn’t been integrated into the EC, it’s not certain that things would have happened as they did.

          1. The EU has had next to nothing to do with the dipshit Eurotrash not having had another war. The American military babysitting them is what has done that. It allowed the petulant, indolent people of Europe to bathe themselves in the ridiculous excesses of social democracy while leaving their defense to the taxpayers of the United States.

            And the reason Germany turned into the reflexively anti-war largely pacifist nation that it has become is a direct result of American influence in their educational system. German children are still taught that they started WWII, wreaked much havoc, murdered millions, had their nation destroyed, and (more importantly) deserved every bit of the destructive retribution they were meted.

            Europeans are still nationalist, warlike children and without the guiding hand of the US keeping them from murdering each other there will be another war in Europe before mid-Century.

            Honestly, since they no longer have the kind of world-wrecking global influence some of them had empires, I don’t give a shit if they murder each other by the millions. Hell, being neutral and supplying both sides during the 19th Century played a huge role in turning the US from an impoverished agrarian backwater to the most wealthy nation in human history.

            The only thing I believe will keep them at peace will be uniting to stave off Russia, but that may very well end up in war (in fact, I’d almost bet on it).

  36. “Alex Stevenson is parliamentary editor at politics.co.uk. ”

    Ah, there we go. The author is a low-level government propaganda minion. No wonder he doesn’t like Farage.

    -jcr

  37. OK wow sounds like some pretty serious business.

    http://www.GotzAnon.tk

  38. There seems to be a decided lack of detail on what points/arguments were made in this televised debate that the article is about.

    If you wanted to prove this guy wrong, wouldn’t it have been better to say what his argument was and why it was wrong, rather than pile up guilt by association?

  39. This has to be the WORST written article I have ever read on Reaons.com. I’m not sure if should facepalm myself or laugh.

  40. While titillated silly by Farage’s send up of his fellow Eurocrapts – sorry – Eurocrats – and especially of the “low-grade bank clark” Herman Rompuy (as faithfully recorded for playback millions of times on YouTube) my initial ardor for Farage has given way to a great deal of Euro-skepticism-skepticism. This piece points out how illiberal UKIP’s policy proposals really are, on balance, and we Yanks should not be too quick to embrace them as being ‘libertarian-like’. They are not. Nigel’s stridently nativist anti-immigration rhetoric quickly convinced me that UKIP’s ascendancy was not to be perceived as the possible ascendancy for libertarianism in Britain. Sad but true.

  41. Now if only we could do something about correcting the impression that Rand Paul is also a libertarian.

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