Foreign Policy

Can Neocons Learn?

A prominent hawk's new book suggests an inability to learn from failure.

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America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder, by Bret Stephens, Sentinel, 263 pages, $27.95

The Republican Party's misfortunes in the 2006 and 2008 elections had a lot to do with the unpopularity of neoconservative foreign policy. Yet the GOP's success in the 2014 midterms has made the party more neoconservative, with Republican hawks taking over major Senate committees and, perversely, a lot of libertarian money helping bring pro-war authoritarians like senator-elect Tom Cotton of Arkansas to Washington.

Much of the blame for this lack of accountability belongs to the conservative media and the conservative donor class. While foreign-policy dissidents exist among conservative donors, the issue tends not to be as important to them as it is to the neocons. The wealthy conservative realists refuse to fight on the issue, so the wealthy neoconservatives retain their dominance. Meanwhile, conservative media outlets that produced Iraq war propaganda have generally declined to evaluate or even acknowledge their mistakes. As the University of Chicago's John Mearsheimer remarked in 2004, on foreign policy "the Wall Street Journal is like Pravda. You don't want to underestimate the importance of the Leninist model. They don't tolerate dissent."

America in Retreat—the new book from the Journal's chief foreign affairs writer, Bret Stephens—shows perhaps even less introspection than Pravda did. In one interview promoting the book, Stephens reports "having thought very seriously about my support for the Iraq War, and I've concluded it was still worth supporting." Even Pravda's editorial line changed over time.

Stephens agreed with the primary justification for invading, Saddam Hussein's nonconventional weapons programs, which he now concedes didn't exist. He then laments that a second justification, Bush's "freedom agenda," became central. With the rationale he supported gone and the one he now opposes left standing, he still deems the war "a military, moral, and strategic triumph." We invaded "for our own sake," he writes, and "the justifications for it were, and remain, abundant."

Stephens just can't let it go, pushing forward a gaggle of zombie arguments—He gassed the Kurds at Anfal! Remember Osirak? Even Bill and Hillary Clinton supported the war!—that do nothing to warrant a man-made catastrophe whose central justification he now rejects. The simple and by-now-obvious claim that nothing about the 2003 Hussein regime warranted thousands of American dead and wounded seems to escape him entirely.

But the book's real trouble begins with its subtitle: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder. There is no "new isolationism," and if there were Barack Obama would not be its leading advocate. (Obama has bombed seven or eight countries, depending on how one counts, compared to George W. Bush's four or five.) Without making an argument why more killing is necessary, Stephens complains that "we are dramatically curtailing our use of drones in Pakistan." In fact, Obama has racked up roughly four times the drone body count in Pakistan that Bush did.

The book's arguments against the "new isolationism" rely on silly historical comparisons. While Stephens concedes that "analogies to the 1930s, or any other period in history, "have their limitations and need to be made with humility and care," he does not take his own advice, pushing the Hitler/Nazi/Chamberlain/Munich/America First Committee buttons over 20 times. Stephens repeatedly suggests that if we fail to adopt his preferred strategy, some new equivalent of the Third Reich and/or Imperial Japan will emerge, although he does not precisely identify who the candidates for these roles might be. Repeatedly invoking the Nazis in this way hardly qualifies as humble or careful.

Readers discover not only that the Obama doctrine is a "Retreat Doctrine"—capital letters—but that "[Robert] Taft and [Henry] Wallace have returned" in his person. We are also informed that the "general Obama rule" is that "the more America removes itself from the domestic controversies and travails of other countries, the less they can hurt us, cost us, embroil us, and be blamed on us." Exhibit A for why Stephens disagrees with this view? The killing of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three aides in Benghazi after the Obama administration's war in Libya pushed the country into chaos.

Stephens cannot bring himself to grant even an inch to libertarian or conservative critics. Take, for instance, his eyebrow-raising claim that civil libertarian concerns about permanent war are unwarranted, since save for J. Edgar Hoover and Joe McCarthy, "civil liberties were not…'restricted' by the Cold War." Bracketing away Hoover and McCarthy is a neat debating trick, but even allowing it, the claim is ridiculous. During the Cold War, the CIA reviewed more than 28 million pieces of Americans' mail based on their suspicions about the owners' political views. The IRS selectively audited critics of the government. FBI agents firebombed left-wingers' cars to sow factional dissent among radical groups. There is a long list of reasons for advocates of limited government to worry about civil liberties during wartime.

Throughout the book, Stephens refuses to engage with scholarship on the subjects he discusses. In his chapter examining whether America is in decline, Stephens writes that "national decline has to be measured against your past, your peers, and your prospects" (italics in original). No it doesn't. Nobody writing about international relations measures decline in that way. Relative decline is a question that pertains only to a country's peers. A country's prospects, or its competitors' prospects, may temper the findings about decline, but relative decline is an empirical question about a state's standing compared to its competitors. Although Stephens firmly declares "America is not in decline" (italics in original), Josh Shifrinson has shown that the United States does indeed have relatively less economic and military power compared to other states in the international system, although the implications of this are hardly catastrophic. The fact that Stephens is unaware of this discussion in the literature, or sees fit to ignore it, is unfortunate but revealing.

The book offers a number of interesting theoretical claims that the author does nothing to support. For example, in thinking about U.S. allies and client states, it might be true that "America is better served by a world of supposed freeloaders than by a world of foreign policy freelancers," but one would like to see some sort of argument in defense of the assertion. Similarly, it might be right that the idea of a liberal peace in which trade helps stifle war is wrong, but one would like to see some engagement with the work of Erik Gartzke, or John Mueller, or any of the dozen or so scholars debating the subject. It may also be the case that all that stands between the present and a world where a cascade of nuclear proliferation happens is the spider web of American security guarantees, but one would want to see someone making such a claim engage with Philipp Bleek, or Frank Gavin, or Gaukhar Mukhatzkhanova and William Potter, or Jacques Hymans, or Nicholas Miller, or any of the other scholars who would at the very least claim that Stephens' assertions are too pat, and in many cases would say he's flatly wrong. Why would an author of a book about international politics ignore scholarship about international politics? To read Stephens' various declarations and remonstrations is to watch Narcissus peer into the pool, and about as edifying.

When Stephens moves from rhetoric and polemic to clear policy prescriptions, his radical views become clear. America needs a "global 'stop-and-frisk' policy." The military budget needs to go north of 5 percent of GDP: roughly $850 billion compared to today's roughly $600 billion. It is "a depressing testimony to how warped the U.S. foreign policy debate has become" that we can't talk openly about bombing Syria and Iran without mentioning the disaster in Iraq. If democratic Colombia is threatened by its autocratic neighbor Venezuela, Stephens claims, "America is threatened." It goes on like this.

Stephens endorses the United States' role as world policeman, but expands the metaphor by making the police into judge, jury, and executioner. Washington, Stephens writes, needs to "walk the beat, reassuring the good, deterring the tempted, punishing the wicked." Even with the pretense of oversight and due process, our own cops manage to choke a guy to death every now and then. Imagine if the cops themselves were tasked with "punishing the wicked." What are we, the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice?

Perhaps before embarking on a trillion-per-year world-policeman campaign, we ought to ask that theoretical logics be clarified and evidence be presented. For example, since Stephens considers the broken windows theory a useful metaphor for how to conduct foreign policy, perhaps we could find criticism of that theory in the literature. One scholar who looked at the subject for decades remarked in 2004 that "I still to this day do not know if improving order will or will not reduce crime. People have not understood that this was a speculation." That scholar? The late James Q. Wilson, originator of broken windows theory.

Thinking, learning, and writing about international politics is hard, as Stephens demonstrates. But for American foreign policy to improve, one or the other party needs people in charge of that portfolio to take greater care with their research, to be more judicious in their reasoning, and more prudent with the use of American power. Stephens' continued prominence in the conservative foreign policy establishment suggests that if such a change is to happen, it will not be in the GOP.

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  1. Sheesh. The last thing I want America to be seen as is a bullying cop choking the Radio Raheems of the world to death.

    Reminds me of the “Give Me Liberty” comics from the 80s (google it).

    1. Whatever keeps you people fighting among yourselves. Personally I do t care as long as we in government stay on too a d continue to dominate you people.

      http://youareproperty.blogspot…..ystem.html

      As long as you are busy fighting (read oppressing) each other it’s easy to oppress you all – you’re helping us control you!!

      1. Something … something … ideas … something … something … newsletter.

  2. I just agree… Brenda `s st0rry is amazing… on wednesday I got a top of the range Citro?n DS sincee geting a check for $9519 this – five weeks past and even more than 10/k this past month . it’s actualy the nicest work Ive had . I actually started 6 months ago and right away was bringing home over $86…
    per-hr . official website ———- http://www.jobsfish.com

    1. Cool st0rry bro.

    2. And for that money you could have gotten something faster and more reliable, like a riding mower.

      1. You guys! Thanks to you, I’m thinking zachary’s story may not be legit!

        1. Bah! It’s on teh interwebtubez so it must be true!!1!

        2. I’m skeptical as well. Especially since earlier said that he invented the internet. And something about global warming.

  3. Nobody is going to get a defense budget of that size passed unless they “sneak” it in as supplemental spending/war funding.

  4. ” Yet the GOP’s success in the 2014 midterms has made the party more neoconservative

    Really? Are we to understand that a recent election converted otherwise plain-old ‘hawkish’ republican types into

    …’formerly liberal, jewish anti-communist intellectuals who maintain that the prime concern of US national security should be the Wilsonian spread of liberal democracy by military force, particularly in the Middle East, where the spread of democratic institutions would guarantee the security of Israel… and that force should whenever possible be Unilateral, since in a now-multipolar world there is little need for the constraining effects of the United Nations/Alliances other than to help prevent the rise of a threat to American hegemony… ‘

    …because I sorta missed that part. It seemed to me that people just wanted to bomb some jihidi ragheads just because, and not in the service of some larger, overarching theory of democracy-promotion.

    1. Bush was all over democracy promotion. In 2004, he insinuated that anyone who didn’t want the U.S. to bomb the Arabs into democracy was an anti-Arab racist.

      1. “The bombings will continue until democracy arrives.”

        1. This may be a joke, but it’s far too close to the truth for comfort.

      2. “Bush was all over democracy promotion”

        Well, it was the line fed to him by the actual neoconservatives in his cabinet/advisors who finally had the opportunity to act on their PNAC theory

        I’m not sure how much even they (Wolfowitz, Pearle, Abrams, et al) believed that the ‘spreading democracy’ part would actually work, particularly in the middle east –

        I’d guess they genuinely believed that since the fall of the soviet union, all the formerly soviet-aligned ME dictatorships were looking for a new sugar-daddy, and that after the US whacked Saddamn that everyone else would fall in line under American military hegemony (‘or else’); a new era of Enforced Stability would then follow.

        My point was that this use of the term ‘neoconservative’ to describe a GOP attitude post 2014-election seems to strain the term to meaninglessness.

        I hear people refer to anything involving use of military force as ‘neoconservative’, as though the term means, ‘bomb shit into submission’

        It described an extremely specific group of people and ideas whose time in power was comparatively short lived and entirely discredited.

        Describing the modern GOP as once again under the thumb of the Kristol/Podhoretz clan of ideologues is a little silly; if all Justin means is that the GOP has fallen back on ‘general hawkishness’, then fine – but its a horribly inaccurate way to say it.

        1. “I’d guess they genuinely believed that since the fall of the soviet union, all the formerly soviet-aligned ME dictatorships were looking for a new sugar-daddy, and that after the US whacked Saddamn that everyone else would fall in line under American military hegemony (‘or else’); a new era of Enforced Stability would then follow.”

          GILMORE you nailed it.

        2. Also, I do not believe that this idea of democracy promotion is limited to the Republicans.

          1) Arab Spring: Obama pushed for elections which led to the MB…

          2) Libya: we intervened to get rid of Qadaffi and a whole lot of people bought in to the idea that the rebels were lovers of freedom…and many of these were Democrats.

          3) Syria: same thing. Democratic policy wanted to bomb Asad and arm the “good guys.”

          This whole idea that we can spread democracy by force is not done, and its promoted by both parties.

          Also, I am not sure its wrong, exactly.

          Its just that the ME is not as fertile soil for democracy as Europe. But we see in Asia/Africa/Latin America a gradual move towards democracy.

    2. the GOP’s success in the 2014 midterms has made the party more neoconservative

      I see no evidence of this.

  5. There’s a rampant hypocrisy in libertarian policy. They claim on one hand that all humans have natural rights worth fighting for, and even point to the revolutionary war as a triumph. They’ll point to closed borders as a violation of those rights that we recognize people have beyond American borders.

    Then when it’s foreign policy time it becomes fuck everyone beyond the borders. We don’t owe shit to anyone beyond the borders.

    It’s an implicit admission that natural rights aren’t “our” problem. It sure as hell looks like you don’t give a shit about violating natural rights when they can be ignored when it becomes convenient.

    1. Say what?

      They claim on one hand that all humans have natural rights worth fighting for

      I don’t think this is correct. Most libertarians endorse the NAP, but the NAP isn’t a license to act preemptively. You make it sound like the libertarian position should be that we should invade a country like Saudi Arabia because of their terrible record on human rights.

      1. If it were consistent with its ostensible objectives, neo-con political policy should have advocated regime change in KSA. The Vatican, also, since it is non-democratic and does not allow freedom of religion and other secular freedoms within its territory. However, KSA and the Vatican do not actively oppose Israel, America’s bestest friend and beacon of democracy in the Middle East.

        1. This is the argument that if we can’t do everything than we should do nothing. There’s no reason that’s true. It’s also an argument that if applied to every other war makes all wars wrong.

          Why fight the revolutionary war if we didn’t fight for anyone else? Why fight the NAZI’s if we didn’t fight the Bolsheviks? You can apply such a reason, but unless you disagree with all those wars you’re being a hypocrite and using the reasoning only when it’s convenient.

          1. Why fight the revolutionary war if we didn’t fight for anyone else?

            I assume most of the colonists that took up arms against England did so for their own reasons, not because others were suffering under the crown.

            1. Pretty much. A lot were driven by Lockean arguments but they applied them to themselves & their communities not to the idea of creating a new nation. Especially good on this is Robert Gross, The Minutemen and Their World.

          2. The difference with the Revolution and WWII is that they were waged against foreign powers that were a legitimate threat to Americans.

            1. As far as the Revolutionary War goes this is flat out wrong. We were not fighting a foreign power. We were revolting against our rightful government. We were British and (supposedly) had all the rights and privileges of any British citizen.

              1. The moment we declared independence, they became a foreign power.

            2. The Bolsheviks became a massive threat to America.

      2. Is it a license to act ever? If not, what’s the purpose at the NAP?

        I don’t think I’ve mischaracterized the prevailing thought here that outside of American borders there is no responsibility to ever act militarily in defense of rights. Or at least I’ve never heard of a single military act that garners support here even in theory. Not only is it consistently argued that it’s not our problem, but even financial support of rebels who wish to overthrow an oppressive regime is “wrong” for intervening.

        Hell, our military is all volunteer, so it’s more than just a policy of dismissing anyone not native, it’s a policy that essentially says people should not be allowed to volunteer for those ends. How is that not a completely nativist fuck everyone outside our borders policy?

        It’s fine, many people would agree with that sentiment. But if you believe that, but don’t blow smoke up everyone’s ass about natural rights and responsibility to allow people to be free to immigrate when you don’t really give a shit about natural rights or people beyond our borders.

        1. I care, for example, about children being abused at the hands of caregivers. Does that mean I’m a hypocrite because I don’t actively search about abused children and bust down their parents’ doors like Batman to give the abusers a whooping?

          Of course not. Hand-in-hand with natural rights are concepts such as “self-ownership” and “personal responsibility”.

          But you already knew that, Mr. Taylor, didn’t you?

            1. HM: Apropos of nothing, but a few weeks ago you mentioned that you had a problem with Block’s evictionism proposal re: abortion. When you have a moment, I’d appreciate it if you could elaborate on that.

              1. Unfortunately, I’m about to step out to attend my daughter’s music recital. If you’ll be around for whatever late night thread, I’d be happy to elaborate on where I disagree with Block’s and Rothbard’s arguments on it.

                1. Sounds good.

          1. If you know of someone specifically being abused and you do nothing it most certainly does make you a hypocrite. Whether you would specifically act, or support others to act it is still support. If you know of a child being abused and not only won’t act but oppose other people in your community from acting than it becomes analogous to not supporting military volunteers.

            Do you actually oppose anyone from stopping abuse?

            1. Marktaylor|12.20.14 @ 7:38PM|#
              “If you know of someone specifically being abused and you do nothing it most certainly does make you a hypocrite.”

              It’s easy to beat on strawmen when you really don’t have an argument.

        2. Is it a license to act ever?

          Yes.

          …force may be used only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use

          1. Bingo, but then why is it wrong to use force against others using force in reality?

            1. Because it’s not my job to spend money on another nation’s defense, unless there is a damn good benefit (self interest) for me to do so.

              When the rest of the world starts paying for the services of the US military, we can talk about obligations to intervene.

              1. ^THISX1000

        3. I don’t think I’ve mischaracterized the prevailing thought here that outside of American borders there is no responsibility to ever act militarily in defense of rights.

          I think you have.

          It is your responsibility (perhaps more prerogative) to act when YOUR rights (the rights of people in your nation) have been infringed upon.

          One is under no obligation to defend the rights of others. That’s not to say, you cannot choose to. The decision to intervene on the part of another (who has had force initiated upon them) should come from a cost/benefit analysis. Is more good (for me or our nation) likely to result from an intervention or more bad?

          We are under absolutely NO obligation to provide a police force (on our dime) for the rest of the world.

          1. Why does the responsibility to act end at the border? Applied locally, if someone kills my friend I cannot act because it wasn’t aggression against me. Policing itself would be wrong in every circumstance because the job specifically entails aggressing someone who didn’t aggress you. I can’t see any reason that’s okay locally, by city, by state, etc. but then becomes wrong across an imaginary line at the American border. The very idea of natural human rights would explicitly reject that idea. That’s the principle of rights being the domain of Americans but not other humans.

            1. Why does the responsibility to act end at the border?

              Because that is the extent of our governance and our culture. Our view of rights may be universal, but that doesn’t mean we jam them down other peoples throats.

              Our government was not established to rule the world, it was established for how we wish to be ruled here.

              I don’t understand why that is so fucking hard for the Neo-Wilsonians to understand. Then again, I don’t understand ANY form of religious zealotry no matter how common it is in human behavior.

              1. This is the same reason people use for closing the border. Our culture, our government. That’s the point, it’s a contradiction for people that reject those reasons for closing the border but apply them for foreign policy.

                1. Marktaylor|12.20.14 @ 7:47PM|#
                  “This is the same reason people use for closing the border.”

                  No, you stupid shit. It’s been explained to you many times.

            2. Because when you have an apparatus funded through coercive taxation, that apparatus should only be used for the direct benefit of those who are forcibly made to pay for it.

              If you want to create a Kickstarter to fund a mercenary group that will travel around the world spreading liberty at the barrel of the gun, knock yourself out, but do it on your own damn dime.

              1. “If you want to create a Kickstarter to fund a mercenary group that will travel around the world spreading liberty at the barrel of the gun, knock yourself out, but do it on your own damn dime.”

                And as amply demonstrated, there are plenty of folks who DON’T WANT liberty.
                So M is trying to spend our money for a cause which HE thinks is valuable absent any evidence whatsoever.

              2. You’ve created a circular argument. We shouldn’t intervene because Americans don’t think it benefits themselves.

                If Americans decide that using the military benefits them than it’s okay, if they decide it doesn’t that’s also okay. How can you make an argument to not intervene with a reasoning that we can intervene if we agree to intervene? You should just be agnostic and say whatever people decide is fine.

                Unless you mean we can’t intervene unless the specific person we are intervening for has contributed to taxes. But that would had all sorts of implications like not intervening for child abuse because the child hasn’t paid taxes.

                1. Marktaylor|12.20.14 @ 8:14PM|#
                  “You’ve created a circular argument. We shouldn’t intervene because Americans don’t think it benefits themselves.”

                  No, you stupid shit. You are incapable of understanding.
                  Fuck off.

            3. Applied locally, if someone kills my friend I cannot act because it wasn’t aggression against me.

              Now go back and read what the comment you are responding to actually says, instead of what you want it to say. Particularly this:

              One is under no obligation to defend the rights of others. That’s not to say, you cannot choose to. The decision to intervene on the part of another (who has had force initiated upon them) should come from a cost/benefit analysis. Is more good (for me or our nation) likely to result from an intervention or more bad?

              Get it now, or are you going to continue accuse me of saying something I didn’t?

              As for this:

              I can’t see any reason that’s okay locally, by city, by state, etc. but then becomes wrong across an imaginary line at the American border.

              You can’t see that the citizens of that locality PAID to have their OWN rights protected and that foreign nations haven’t contributed a dime for the protections you want to extend them?

              1. Got it, so we don’t have to act in defense of rights but we can choose to, in the case of Americans you choose to act, in the case of non-Americans you choose to not act. Can I apply this reasoning to border policy? It’s not my problem, I choose to only take care of Americans, foreigners haven’t contributed a dime.

                1. Can I apply this reasoning to border policy?

                  You can apply the reasoning that the government always has an obligation to respect rights but only has limited responsibility to protect rights to every kind of “policy” you want.

    2. Then when it’s foreign policy time it becomes fuck everyone beyond the borders. We don’t owe shit to anyone beyond the borders.

      You can only imagine the libertarian shame when we recount how classical liberals encouraged FDR to close the immigration window for Jewish victims of German aggression in the 1930s.

      Could you explain to me in simple terms how invading other nations and spilling the blood of American and foreigner alike makes the world more peaceful? A couple of examples would be appreciated.

      1. WW2 is an example.

        1. Yes, yes. It’s always 1938 and it’s always Munich.

          I love the way your ilk* believe that intervening in something we really don’t understand (like a civil war in a Muslim country) will end well.

          * a big deer.

          1. You need not invent strawmen. If you can articulate how we can determine whether intervention will be just like WW2 or not then do it. What test can we apply to determine whether a war will be a net good or bad? Otherwise, your position is that WW2 was wrong, which is stupid. Or that WW2 was different but the only way for us to determine the difference is to come ask you because you won’t bestow upon us the wisdom you possess to tell the difference between which wars will work for good and which won’t.

            1. Marktaylor|12.20.14 @ 8:21PM|#
              “You need not invent strawmen”

              You stupid shit, you are too stupid to understand.
              Fuck off.

        2. The nasty irony of history is that Wilson’s “humane” decision to participate in the War to End All Wars was one of the key elements that contributed to German resentment and the second War.

          Both wars were massively worse because the United States expanded the slaughter. There’s a reason why just war emphasizes neutrality as a means of limiting conflicts to a local grudge rather than having alliances spiral into a world war.

    3. You need to learn the difference between negative rights and positive rights, Mr Taylor.

      1. I know the difference. Are you saying you’ll fight for one but not the other? If you’ll only stand for negative rights in theory (which I agree with) then you still need to explain why you won’t fight for any of them in reality.

        1. Marktaylor|12.20.14 @ 1:28PM|#
          …”you still need to explain why you won’t fight for any of them in reality.”

          No.
          YOU need to explain why I should pay to deliver what you claim is possible.

          1. Are you saying it’s wrong because of the involuntary nature of taxation? Another words, it’s not that it’s wrong to act, but wrong to force people to pay for it. Or am I misunderstanding you.

            1. Just to bring this back around to the issues/countries at hand:

              Do you think that intervention in Iraq was good, or was it a steaming pile of shit and a collosal bloodbath?

              Why do you believe that our government, which has shown itself so inept at so many things, would be able to successfully navigate complex foreign problems?

              1. Define “intervention.” Do you mean knocking off their government? Or do you mean the succeeding invasion, occupation, and bloody slogging?

            2. Marktaylor|12.20.14 @ 1:56PM|#
              “Are you saying it’s wrong because of the involuntary nature of taxation?”

              I’m saying I’m not willing to pay for your misguided attempts at supposed good deeds.

            3. Are you saying it’s wrong because of the involuntary nature of taxation?

              Yes.

              Also because military action presents a type of forced representation as if all actions are supported by citizens of that nation.

              Feel free to go over and fight. Raise some funds. Join a PMC or mercenary group. But you have no right to force anyone else to join along.

              1. I can see your point but all taxation has people that disagree so all government actions are wrong by this logic. I know some around here would agree with that but I rarely hear that foreign intervention is wrong simply because of taxes. If this is the reason the opposition to military intervention should be just as strong as opposition to roads or even having the military not act (they’re still paid through taxes when at home).

                Taxes may be one reason to oppose but I don’t think it’s the primary reason people oppose intervention.

                1. Marktaylor|12.20.14 @ 8:32PM|#
                  …”Taxes may be one reason to oppose but I don’t think it’s the primary reason people oppose intervention.”

                  It’s been explained to you many times.
                  You are an ignoramus unable to understand.
                  Fuck off.

        2. I’m saying that I support everyone’s right to live as they wish. I (our nation) am (is) under no obligation to provide you that liberty. That’s your job. I can choose to, based upon my cost/benefit, but I’m not in any way obligated to, simply because I can.

          I’m more than happy to fight for my (or my nation’s) rights.

          1. I (our nation) am (is) under no obligation to provide you that liberty. I’m more than happy to fight for my (or my nation’s) rights.

            With respect to open borders what is this nation that you speak of? Everyone is theoretically an American under the indisputable “right to freedom of movement”. Marktaylor is spot on when he points out the underlying hypocrisy of libertarians regarding the two political spheres of immigration and foreign policy.

            1. “Marktaylor is spot on when he points out the underlying hypocrisy of libertarians regarding the two political spheres of immigration and foreign policy.”

              No, Rabaul, you’re entirely too stupid to understand the distinction.

            2. “Everyone is theoretically an American”

              Uh, no they aren’t ‘theoretically’ an American. ‘American’ is determined by citizenship. The ‘American’ government still operates in a limited realm. American citizens and foreigners both receive protection within sovereign borders. Opening geopolitical boundaries does not negate Westphalian sovereignty.

              1. Uh, no they aren’t ‘theoretically’ an American.

                So they can live, work and pay taxes but they absolutely cannot vote for the representatives whose decisions will influence most aspects of there life. Why no borders but maintain limited citizenship? What if they were to somehow recreate, maybe just symbolically, the exiting of their mother’s womb while she stood on American soil?

                1. “So they can live, work and pay taxes but they absolutely cannot vote for the representatives whose decisions will influence most aspects of there life.”

                  Who “they”?

                2. “What if they were to somehow recreate, maybe just symbolically, the exiting of their mother’s womb while she stood on American soil?”

                  And what if we were to somehow recreate getting off of a spaceship on Mars?
                  What sort of stupidity are you going to post next?

                  1. What sort of stupidity are you going to post next?

                    Alright, let me amend my original statement to read: Everyone in a women’s womb is theoretically an American and thus all persons born after today will be Americans if their mother avails herself respecting her right to move freely into American soil.

                    1. Bring this back to Marktaylor’s actual argument, that’s not relevant to the actual point. Someone can move here and have their children become an American. So what? That is strictly due to American sovereignty, and that is fundamentally limited to its own geographical area. It is not an ‘underlying hypocrisy’ to support an open borders policy because it is specifically within the realm of American sovereignty, i.e. you are pushing for an internal policy within the political system. Attempting to correct external rights abuses outside of that system (and within other state actors with their own sovereignty) is not the same thing because it is not the state’s jurisdiction to do so.

                    2. blast|12.20.14 @ 4:34PM|#
                      “Alright, let me amend my original statement to read: Everyone in a women’s womb is theoretically an American and thus all persons born after today will be Americans if their mother avails herself respecting her right to move freely into American soil.”

                      Premise masquerading as a conclusion.
                      Stupidity.

                3. You seemed to ignore that whole bit about the concept of sovereignty. The United States controls a specific amount of geographical territory. The limits of this political control are called ‘borders’. If the United States were to engage in an ‘open borders’ policy, it still retains that political jurisdiction.

                  The United States government’s responsibility is to those within its sovereign territory (both citizens and foreigners) because that is the territory it has been granted the right to govern. It has no responsibility to anyone outside of that system.

                  1. The United States government’s responsibility is to those within its sovereign territory (both citizens and foreigners) because that is the territory it has been granted the right to govern. It has no responsibility to anyone outside of that system.

                    Right, so claims of “freedom of movement” are meaningless. The U.S. government can legitimately prevent access of non-citizens across its borders and any appeal to natural rights is poppycock. Foreign persons’ natural rights are only to be respected when coinciding with actual U.S. law regarding non-citizens.

                    1. blast|12.20.14 @ 8:31PM|#
                      “Right, so claims of “freedom of movement” are meaningless. The U.S. government can legitimately prevent access of non-citizens across its borders and any appeal to natural rights is poppycock. Foreign persons’ natural rights are only to be respected when coinciding with actual U.S. law regarding non-citizens.”

                      Do you think anyone here is mislead by your bullshit?
                      Are you actually mislead by your bullshit?
                      IOWs, are you stupid enough to believe what you post or are you stupid enough to hope someone else does?
                      Hint: What you posted is quite clearly a non-sequitur as a reply.

                    2. Right, so claims of “freedom of movement” are meaningless.

                      You haven’t given any reason as to why this is the case. Sovereignty is in regards to state actors, immigrants are not state actors.

                      The U.S. government can legitimately prevent access of non-citizens across its borders and any appeal to natural rights is poppycock.

                      Another statement thrown out with no supporting argumentation whatsoever. ‘Legitimately’ is based on one’s views of state power, and if one supports ‘freedom of movement’ then restricting that via border control renders the state illegitimate.

                      Foreign persons’ natural rights are only to be respected when coinciding with actual U.S. law regarding non-citizens.

                      Or foreign persons’ natural rights are to be respected by the state in an environment in which the state has actual authority.

    4. Then when it’s foreign policy time it becomes fuck everyone beyond the borders. We don’t owe shit to anyone beyond the borders.

      If it were an issue of waving a magic wand and transforming another country into a democratic wonderland there would be no debate. In Iraq we spent billions of dollars and destroyed countless lives, many of them innocent, for the place to wind up arguably worse than when we started! It’s nonsense to claim “we” have a “responsibility” to “help” when there’s no evidence the US has any ability to accomplish these goals in the first place.

      1. This is the argument that we’re simply not effective at it. Which I can buy is true most of the time. But applied to all wars is not always correct. Again, applied to WW2 (among others) it means we should not have done anything. Do you believe that? If not then how can anyone take you seriously. We should never interfere except when we should, which can be distinguished by reasons you can’t articulate. Not very useful.

        1. Marktaylor|12.20.14 @ 1:37PM|#
          “This is the argument that we’re simply not effective at it.”

          No, it’s the argument that it is not possible.
          And it’s not possible for the same reason central planning doesn’t work in economics; we do not have enough information to do what you would have us do.

          1. I wouldn’t have you do anything. I’ve made the case that you should want to do something. I’m asking for that reason you wouldn’t WANT to do something. Saying you don’t want to do it because I’m making you do it doesn’t make sense.

            1. Marktaylor|12.20.14 @ 2:06PM|#
              …”Saying you don’t want to do it because I’m making you do it doesn’t make sense.”

              Are you blind?
              Here’s what I wrote:
              “No, it’s the argument that it is not possible.”

              1. “What you would have us do”

                1. Yes, your aims are not possible. Did you have a point other than proving you’re not capable of logic?
                  This is getting tiresome; either you are willfully not getting it, or entirely too dumb to do so.

        2. Again, applied to WW2 (among others) it means we should not have done anything.

          You may recall that the United States did not enter that war until both Japan and Germany had declared war first

            1. As did Al Qaeda. So can that war be supported?

              1. As did Al Qaeda. So can that war be supported?

                Saddam Hussein was not a member of Al Qaeda.

                1. I didn’t say he was.

                  1. I didn’t say he was.

                    Well, we’re talking about the Iraq War and you said Al Qaeda attacked us therefore that war might be able to be supported.

                    But Saddam Hussein’s regime was not Al Qaeda. So I don’t know what your point is. Al Qaeda attacked us, not Iraq.

                    Today various anti-American terrorist organizations actually have a stronger foothold in Iraq than they did prior to the ouster of Saddam Hussein.

                    1. I wasn’t talking about the Iraq war, I never brought it up.

                    2. I wasn’t talking about the Iraq war, I never brought it up.

                      Then what fucking war are you talking about? You said ‘was that war justified’ in the middle of a comment thread largely about the Iraq War.

              2. Al Queda is not a nation-state. It is functionally a giant criminal enterprise. As such, it is difficult to attack it with conventional forces. So our government declares “war” on a tactic, wrecks a country (Iraq) that has nothing to do with it, and bloats every part of our budget.

                Bin Laden’s goal (one of them) was to bankrupt these United States. It’s working.

              3. Marktaylor|12.20.14 @ 2:00PM|#
                “As did Al Qaeda. So can that war be supported?”
                So now the goal post is over there somewhere ’cause Al Qaeda?
                I thought you were arguing that the US is supposed to pursue your fantasies about doing good deeds.

                1. I’m arguing that any belief in natural human rights would lead you down that path. Somebody claimed that the reason to do nothing is because it’s impossible. I gave an example that it was possible in WW2. They responded that WW2 was different because we were attacked, I pointed out we were attacked by Al Qaeda, so if military action is justified in response to an attack than fighting Al Qaeda would be justified. The only goal posts being moved are the reasons that we should never intervene move every time I point out those reasons aren’t being consistently applied.

                  1. so if military action is justified in response to an attack than fighting Al Qaeda would be justified

                    Of course it’s justified.

                    But Iraq had nothing to do with Al Qaeda nor has anything we’ve done in Afghanistan since 2004 (i.e. nation building and killing Taliban).

                    1. How do you figure Al Qaeda post 2004 have nothing to do with the Al Qaeda pre 2004?

                    2. How do you figure Al Qaeda post 2004 have nothing to do with the Al Qaeda pre 2004?

                      Dear god you are fucking stupid. WHO FUCKING SAID THAT anywhere but inside your head?

                  2. Marktaylor|12.20.14 @ 2:32PM|#
                    “I’m arguing that any belief in natural human rights would lead you down that path.”

                    And you’ve been shown your argument is wrong.
                    Buzz off.

                  3. I’m arguing that any belief in natural human rights would lead you down that path.

                    People way smarter than you have tried this before, and they didn’t pull the argument off any better.

                  4. I’m arguing that any belief in natural human rights would lead you down that path.

                    A belief in natural rights mean you are free to go fight yourself, but cannot obligate (i.e. a positive right) others to join with you.

                    There is no collective right that does not exist at the individual level.

                    1. Ii didn’t obligate anyone to join me. I didn’t build a positive right. It’s another circular argument, you’ve assumed the point you intend to prove. If it’s only wrong to fight because of coercion than it’s perfectly fine for you to want to fight because if you want to fight it’s not coercion. And it’s fine for everyone else as well.

                      It’s like saying something should be against the law because it’s illegal.

                      What is the reason you specifically don’t want to do anything when not coerced? If you have a reason, than it cannot be coercion.

                    2. Marktaylor|12.20.14 @ 9:16PM|#
                      “Ii didn’t obligate anyone to join me.”

                      Asshole, if you would have the US support your stupidity, it wound obligate many to do so.
                      Are you trying to retire the STUPID chair?

                  5. Marktaylor|12.20.14 @ 2:32PM|#
                    …”Somebody claimed that the reason to do nothing is because it’s impossible. I gave an example that it was possible in WW2.”

                    So you cherry-picked a single (questionable) point and you’re stupid enough to think that makes your argument?
                    My goodness! Who turns on the computer for you?

        3. Actually we were under no obligation to fight in Europe after Pearl Harbor. The Germans very conveniently declared war before we had to debate the matter.

        4. Well, technically if America had ‘done nothing’ in the earlier World War there probably wouldn’t have been a second one in the first place.

    5. Everyone has the right to fight for their own rights and interests

      Nobody is required to fight for other peoples rights and interests

    6. Libertarians are hypocrites for their philosophical consistency.

      Got it.

    7. Marktaylor|12.20.14 @ 12:47PM|#
      “Then when it’s foreign policy time it becomes fuck everyone beyond the borders. We don’t owe shit to anyone beyond the borders.

      Stupid or duplicitous; you decide!

      1. MarkTaylor must be very tired moving those goalposts so many times.

        1. Which goalposts did I move?

          1. Most every one so far. Did I miss any?

            1. You missed the opportunity to point out which ones I moved in two responses which makes it look like you can’t actually find any.

              1. Marktaylor|12.20.14 @ 9:08PM|#
                “You missed the opportunity to point out which ones I moved”

                Asshole, it has been explained to you many times.
                Fuck off.

      2. “Then when it’s foreign policy time it becomes fuck everyone beyond the borders. We don’t owe shit to anyone beyond the borders.”

        And when it’s domestic policy time, our borders are not supposed to exist at all.

        1. And when it’s domestic policy time, our borders are not supposed to exist at all.

          Exactly. Once they cross the border, which does and does not exist depending on the subject at hand, then the violation of their natural rights becomes our concern. Even though they were always in possession of a claim to those rights, that is how they were able to cross the existing/non-existing border, appeals for protection can now legitimately be sought.

          1. blast|12.20.14 @ 3:29PM|#
            …”Once they cross the border, which does and does not exist depending on the subject at hand, then the violation of their natural rights becomes our concern.”…

            I’ll give you ONE try to explain this, but the depths of your stupidity suggest it’s a waste of my time.
            We (supposedly) control the government of the US, which (supposedly) acts in our behalf.
            In those actions, we (supposedly) restrain that government from violating human rights.
            What governments do beyond the border is the concern of the people living with that government. They do not act in my behalf.
            Is that clear?

    8. The American government is abusing its people by refusing to implement Sharia. Therefore, we must attack the US until it see the error of its way and submits to the natural order. ? Osama bin Ladin

      1. So there are no natural rights, just different people with different opinions. Osama bin Laden is just as correct as John Locke. The American revolution was an unwarranted act of aggression because we weren’t attacked militarily and there’s no correct distinction between England’s idea of rule at that time and Americans.

        1. The American revolution was an unwarranted act of aggression because we weren’t attacked militarily

          Even allowing that dubious premise (see: Boston Massacre), aggression is not limited to military actions. (Taxation without representation)

          Unless you’re appealing to the idea of proportionate response, which in this case would have been the colonies imposing taxes on the crown?

        2. I happen to think our political founding was a unique and wonderful event. If others choose to emulate it great.

          But that does not make any obligation upon us to act in any capacity at any time in any part of the world.

        3. So there are no natural rights, just different people with different opinions.

          Are you really this stupid?

          Of course their are natural rights. First and foremost, the right to choose how you live. If people CHOOSE to live under Sharia that’s their business and is no concern to me until it violates my rights.

          England, violated our rights.

          Are you retarded or intentionally being obtuse?

          1. I’m tired of having to explain the implications of the reasoning I’m being sold because you either didn’t read the point I was responding to, or didn’t understand it.

            Someone pointed out that fighting for rights could be justified by Bin Laden’s aggression just as easily as anyone claiming natural rights as a justification. The obvious implication of that is that nobody could fight for rights because there is no way do distinguish them as “correct.”

            If natural rights exist and are worth fighting for the Bin Laden’s reasoning is distinctly different for being incorrect. His point could not be correct unless we engage in moral relativism, and if we engage in it than the American revolution falls victim to the same impossibility to define anyone as right or wrong.

            1. Marktaylor|12.20.14 @ 2:54PM|#
              “I’m tired of having to explain the implications of the reasoning I’m being sold because you either didn’t read the point I was responding to, or didn’t understand it.”

              Yeah, making up arguments about what no one claimed is tough, isn’t it?

              1. We really deserve a better class of troll.

              2. Puddi. Used argument ad absurdum to apply interventionist reasoning to Bin Laden. To counter that I have to show there’s a logic division between Bin Laden’s reason to intervene and someone acting in the name of natural rights.

                All I really need to do is point out that if there is no distinction between the two reasons then Locke, negative rights, and the very idea of natural rights becomes a reason on equal footing with “Sharia law.” You can never act in defense of natural rights because you would be the same as Bin Laden acting in defense of Sharia law.

                Do you believe those ideas are equal?

                1. “Do you believe those ideas are equal?”

                  Are you dumb enough to presume your supposition is a conclusion?

        4. The American revolution was an unwarranted act of aggression because we weren’t attacked militarily and there’s no correct distinction between England’s idea of rule at that time and Americans.

          This is an incredibly bad comparison. The Americans declared independence. England could have granted them the independence they desired. Instead, they sent troops to America in an attempt to keep the U.S. part of the empire through military force.

          The British aggressed against the American right to self-determination.

    9. ” They’ll point to closed borders as a violation of those rights that we recognize people have beyond American borders.”

      I’m not sure that’s an accurate characterization of why libertarians are ‘open borders’

      (in fact, i’m not sure “libertarianism” is ‘open borders’ at all, and rather some libertarians are)

      I also think the idea of a “open border/closed border” dichotomy is willfully ignorant. Immigration policy, security, etc all fall along a spectrum and there is no proposal for any ‘extreme’ of either position.

      I’m personally in favor of more ‘rational and flexible’ immigration policy – not because of any bullshit about the natural rights of mexicans, but because I believe the US economically benefits from the free movement of labor. Its a purely self-interested economic belief that doesnt require me caring 2 fucks about how the mexicans benefit from it (that they do is a nice side-benefit, but not necessary)

      Other libertarians are far more interested in closing off the border – but no one argues against them over some issue of ‘natural rights’ like you suggest.

      1. Fair enough, I wouldn’t say nobody argues based on natural rights but I can buy the economic angle.

        1. “I wouldn’t say nobody argues based on natural rights”

          It would help if you quoted/cited someone @ the magazine who argued as much to give your accusation some credibility

          Dalmia? she almost said something similar in a piece about how Indian diplomats import domestic-servants to the US… but even then I’m not sure anyone considers her POV particularly ‘representative’.

          1. Have you heard the term “freedom of movement.” It’s been used around here enough that I’m assuming you don’t need a citation. Would that not be an argument based on natural rights?

            1. “Have you heard the term “freedom of movement?””

              Yes, but it has no conclusive and limiting application to ‘immigration policy’ per se.

              How that idea is applied to domestic versus international policy has an extremely wide range of possible interpretations and doesn’t necessitate any specific POV on how it applies to non-citizens.

              Even the Libertarian party*…

              (*note = who is by no means the last word on libertarian policy, nor necessarily reflective of consensus at Reason)

              …isn’t particuarly dogmatic about the issue of immigration and has waffled in between more and less-open border policy recommendations.

              Your original claim that “libertarians” are somehow necessarily univocal about immigration is pretty baseless.

              1. Your original claim that “libertarians” are somehow necessarily univocal about immigration is pretty baseless.

                Why this level of nitpicking? Does he need to specify an exact number? Plenty use broad generalizations of Democrats, or liberals or progressives. Why not the same level of scrutiny?

                Okay “libertarians” are not univocal about immigration. Can we now address the underlying conflicts of those who are for open borders (fundamental right to freedom of movement) and completely non-interventionist (unless national violation of NAP).

                1. blast|12.20.14 @ 3:43PM|#
                  …”Why this level of nitpicking?”…

                  Nitpicking, as in requiring evidence for a major part of the argument?
                  That sort of “nitpicking”?
                  You realize your attempts at duplicity are approaching insulting, don’t you, twit?

                2. …”Can we now address the underlying conflicts of those who are for open borders”…

                  The presumed “conflicts” are a result of your stupidity; see 3:44, above.

                3. “Can we now address the underlying conflicts of those who are for open borders (fundamental right to freedom of movement) and completely non-interventionist (unless national violation of NAP).”

                  i.e. you want to have a puppet-fight between 2 straw-men, neither of which reflect any libertarian consensus?

                  Go ahead. Meanwhile, please don’t complain while people make fun of you. Because you could easily do it somewhere else.

                  1. i.e. you want to have a puppet-fight between 2 straw-men, neither of which reflect any libertarian consensus?

                    I have read, on this site in the comments, that people have a fundamental right to freedom of movement and immigration can not be restricted. They throw in some caveats when pressed e.g., no terrorist, no diseased, issues of national security, etc. Yes, they are straw-men when I make their arguments, however, this site has an ample representation and I did not imagine there would be much difficulty in them coming forward. I, like Marktaylor, was seeking clarification on what appears to me to be an internal contradiction. Contradictions like open borders expect for criminals or terrorists (affixing these labels leave a gap wide enough to drive a truck through).

                    1. “I have read, on this site in the comments, that people have a fundamental right to freedom of movement and immigration can not be restricted.”

                      I have myself read a wide variety of things in the comments and never found myself asking the majority of people to argue in their defense simply because they appeared here. Again – if you actually have an example of someone saying the above = cite it.

                      As pointed out – there is nothing ‘internal’ to libertarianism assuming an open-borders policy.

                      Some people who are libertarian come to that POV on their own; others come to different conclusions. The reasons why they come to those conclusions on immigration can be varied (see my own example above)

                      Similarly with foreign policy – there are some libertarian principles which can apply = but there is no over-arching “non-intervention” imperative that prevents there being a wide variety of views on specific issues.

                      Libertarian foreign policy is itself complex because it has less a focus on ‘strategic policy’ than it does ‘ethical’ considerations which very rarely lend themselves to any clear policy-proposal other than ‘minimize entanglement’.

                      Your question for ‘clarification’ seems rely entirely on cartoonish, inaccurate depictions of immigration and Foreign Policy views to begin with. If anything is “unclear” its because you willfully choose to make it appear that way.

                    2. If you specifically aren’t supporting an open borders policy than feel free to ignore. It’s certainly common enough around here that you need not insert yourself.

                    3. one

                      Neoliberal Kochtopus|7.1.13 @ 5:00PM|#

                      The question to this libertarian is whether we are going to restrict freedom of labor, freedom of association and freedom of movement based on probabilities and the Precautionary Principle.

                      Answer: Nope.

                      Immigration Is a Natural Right

                      The right to travel is an individual personal human right, long recognized under the natural law as immune from governmental interference…

                      Our fundamental human rights are not conditioned or even conditionable on the laws or traditions of the place where our mothers were physically
                      located when we were born…

                      Americans are not possessed of more natural rights than non-Americans;

                      HazelMeade|1.31.13 @ 9:43AM|#

                      So what your saying is that if you can’t take away the welfare state, you should take away other people’s freedom of movement. Right?

                    4. cont from last link:

                      HazelMeade|1.31.13 @ 9:26AM|#

                      Whether or not we have a cradle to grave welfare state or not, you can’t spout a rhetorical defense of liberty and then turn around and support the oppressive bullshit that is the current immigration system.

                      Liberty comes FIRST. Always. If it renders the welfare state unstable, so much the better.

                      You don’t become a facist because you have to fight fire with fire.

                      The only right thing to do is to defend the natural rights of immigrants. You can’t in good faith support the existence of a sub-class of second-class citizens on the grounds that it wouldn’t be economically feasible to make them equals. That’s a violation of first principles.

                      darius404|1.31.13 @ 12:35PM|#

                      Apologies, it isn’t unrelated. It’s directly related. And accurate. You think that because there is a violation of freedom by the government in one instance, that it’s ok to violate other people’s freedom in another instance because of fear that these other people will take advantage of the first violation. We disagree with you.

                      Your “initial post” asked a question about what to do, and Hazel responded by saying what NOT to do. That’s not a strawman.

                      CE|1.31.13 @ 9:42PM|#

                      …you can’t spout a rhetorical defense of liberty and then turn around and support the oppressive bullshit that is the current immigration system.

                      Liberty comes FIRST. Always. If it renders the welfare state unstable, so much the better.

                      Hazel FTW.

                    5. cont from same link:

                      Bob_R|1.31.13 @ 8:57AM|#Included to show what robc was responding to

                      Again, not defending the current US worst of all possible immigration policies. Not even arguing against open borders. Simply arguing against the idea that open borders are right as a matter of principle whether the border is with Canada, Mexico, Albania, or Saudi Arabia.
                      reply to this

                      robc|1.31.13 @ 9:00AM|#

                      How is it not a right?

                      If I own land, can I not travel to it? And am I not free to rent it to whomever I want, who is then free to travel to it?

                      HazelMeade|1.31.13 @ 9:21AM|#

                      Yes. Let’s militarize the border like we’re a facist country and start rounding people up and deporting them. That will teach them the meaning of Liberty!

                      HazelMeade|1.31.13 @ 11:59AM|#

                      Freedom to travel ends when it turns into the power to coerce.

                      But they didn’t ASK FOR the power to coerce, we, or rather some third parties in our country gave them that power. There is no guarentee or mandate that they use it.

                      But you want to use that as a pretext to restrict their liberty. Innocent third parties who didn’t ask for and didn’t create the power that other people in our country gave them.

                    6. cont:

                      kbolino|1.31.13 @ 6:12PM|#

                      “Open borders” does not (necessarily) mean:

                      1. Open citizenship. I have no problem with making citizenship something difficult to obtain, as long as “life, liberty, and property” are respected without regard to whether one is a citizen or not.

                      2. Free welfare to all. If we are to have a social welfare system, we ought to be free to restrict it in the manner we see fit (within reason, drink), such as only making it available to citizens, or only to residents of at least X years, or to the intersection of both groups.

                      3. Subsidized immigration. The granting of specific types of visas and other incentives to specific types of individuals is just favoritism by elites. Whether you are the next Einstein or the most you can muster is day labor, you have the same freedom of movement.

                      4. Endorsement of radical “demographic” change. Just as no one should be forced not to hire non-citizens, no one should be forced to hire non-citizens. You can substitute various other verbs like “enroll in schools”, “provide aid to”, etc. for “hire”. Remove artificial incentives, and immigration rates will reach equilibrium quickly.

                      5. Increasing the voter rolls (esp. of a particular party). Voting is tied to citizenship, and that should definitely be enforceable. I have zero problem with voter ID laws, with the only caveat being that you should be able to get one free ID from the state in any voting year.

                    7. cont

                      kbolino|1.31.13 @ 5:39PM|#

                      But if you do, be consistent; assert that people have the responsibilities of citizens when you assert that they have the rights of citizens.

                      A right is “that which belongs to all living things, except for the imposition of force by others”. Citizens of any polity possess no greater rights than non-citizens, and indeed citizenship itself is not a right but rather a political privilege.

                      The right of free movement is not a right to free citizenship. As a political construct, the terms of citizenship may be dictated by whomever holds power over the dictionary. In our polity, this means representatives in Congress and by extension citizens who vote for them.

                      While any country may choose to do as it will with individuals regardless of their citizenship status, as the premise of this country is the protection of natural rights, the possession of citizenship or the lack thereof ought to be irrelevant to that mission.

                      Should that change, then the entire premise upon which you postulated, that we give up some small measure of our rights to protect a much larger measure, ceases to be applicable: the measure of what was surrendered has been altered, and so the contract has been voided.

                      Or so the theory goes.

                    8. Since you are digging up two-year-old posts of mine, would you be so kind as to dig up the more recent ones?

                      A convincing argument was made that “freedom of movement” is not a natural right, and I now agree. The movement of people lies at the intersection of the interests of many others, and their rights must be respected, too.

                      Insofar as the government owns property at the border, along the waterways, and over the airspace, then it can set the terms of use as the owner. We are then left with the questions of 1) is that ownership legitimate (eminent domain = theft by law), 2) assuming legitimacy, what rules can be set by law, and 3) who gets to decide what rules are set?

                      Personally, I do not think the government should be allowed to own property except to operate statehouses, courthouses, and military bases, and that such takings should face great scrutiny initially and reviewed periodically. The question of “open borders” thus becomes kind of moot, since it would be up to property owners at the border to decide who may pass.

                  2. So the two strawmen are:

                    1. Support of a non-interventionist policy

                    2. Support of open borders based on freedom of movement.

                    I don’t think you know what strawman means. Neither is a straw man. Both are commonly held by people around here. While it’s not completely homogeneous, those two ideas have a concentration among libertarians far more than non-libertarians. But if it makes you feel better remove the term libertarian and insert “people who hold those two beliefs at the same time.”

                    Saying nobody believes that, or that it’s a strawman is obviously wrong.

                    1. A natural right is a right inherent to our humanity, and the freedom of movement is such a right.

                      Stormy Dragon|2.7.13 @ 9:04PM|#

                      See, Reason actually owns there office. You don’t own this country, you collectivist twat. I don’t need you permission to invite people onto my land or hire them to work at my business.

                      MikeP|2.7.13 @ 10:15PM|#

                      Given your grasp of eminent domain, you should recognize that, when the United States government tells me who may live on my property and who I may employ in my workplace, that is a taking of my private property rights for (perceived) public benefit. It is you who are advocating eminent domain applied against the rights of residence, employment, and association of individuals under US jurisdiction.

                      Joe Foreigner does ask. He asks his landlord. He asks his employer. They both say Yes. Who is the US to abrogate all those rights?

                    2. For the benefit of both you ignoramuses,
                      “Sevo|12.20.14 @ 3:44PM|#
                      blast|12.20.14 @ 3:29PM|#
                      …”Once they cross the border, which does and does not exist depending on the subject at hand, then the violation of their natural rights becomes our concern.”…

                      I’ll give you ONE try to explain this, but the depths of your stupidity suggest it’s a waste of my time.
                      We (supposedly) control the government of the US, which (supposedly) acts in our behalf.
                      In those actions, we (supposedly) restrain that government from violating human rights.
                      What governments do beyond the border is the concern of the people living with that government. They do not act in my behalf.
                      Is that clear?

                    3. Okay “libertarians” are not univocal about immigration. Can we now address the underlying conflicts of those who are for open borders (fundamental right to freedom of movement) and completely non-interventionist (unless national violation of NAP).

                      Or it’s not an underlying conflict at all if you understand the very basic concept of sovereignty that is taught in every first-year IR class?

                    4. “Or it’s not an underlying conflict at all if you understand the very basic concept of sovereignty that is taught in every first-year IR class?”

                      It’s amusing to see the continual stream of those who have read a review of Atlas Shrugged and then show up here and explain how they have found the ONE INTERNAL CONTRADICTION in libertarianism!
                      Which “contradiction” we who have examined the issue for years have somehow missed.
                      Yep, I’m in the habit of calling them names since they deserve it.

                    5. Or it’s not an underlying conflict at all if you understand the very basic concept of sovereignty that is taught in every first-year IR class?

                      It is a moral contradiction.

                      In the case of freedom of movement proponents claim to be operating on a higher moral plane.

                      Ext. The southern border
                      A group of disheveled, swarthy travelers are forcefully being prevented from entering the U.S. A voice rings out from the crowd.

                      Mr. Authentic Libertarian:

                      What are you doing? These people have their naturals rights, regardless of citizenship. One of those rights is the freedom of movement. A right is “that which belongs to all living things, except for the imposition of force by others”. Citizens of any polity possess no greater rights than non-citizens, and indeed citizenship itself is not a right but rather a political privilege.

                      When facing questions of foreign policy they are no longer talking down to you from their higher plane. No, its a practical, dog-eat-dog outlook.

                      Ext. An stage in the park
                      From the stage a man is addressing a crowd on the plight of the people in country X and how the U.S. should intervene. A voice rings out from the crowd.

                      Mr. Authentic Libertarian:

                      Yes, yes it is terrible that they Y party is killing and raping all those people in country X but they are not Americans. We are under no obligation to help them. In fact, it is better that we don’t because we will just make things worse.

                    6. blast|12.20.14 @ 9:15PM|#
                      “Or it’s not an underlying conflict at all if you understand the very basic concept of sovereignty that is taught in every first-year IR class?”

                      Sorry shitstain. Your stupidity now deserves nothing more than this.
                      Fuck off.

                    7. Fantastic, a strawmen play, glad to know you’re not arguing in good faith. Why, it’s almost like a state’s jurisdiction is limited to its own sovereignty, and does not have the right to go outside of that. Get this through your head: States are limited to their own sovereignty, when they engage in military action outside that for non-defensive purposes they are not fulfilling their function. It is not a moral contradiction to expect the government to act within its actual authority, not expand that to some ill-defined policeman of the world.

                      You also have a profoundly ignorant view of military interventionism. Due to American involvement in country X, thousands of innocent civilians are dead (this is inevitable in any military intervention scenario so don’t pretend that’s not the case). ‘Good natured’ interventionism still ends up with a lot of corpses unrelated to the actual opponents. Shockingly, the blatant murder of innocent people just might conflict with libertarian views on self ownership.

                    8. Fantastic, a strawmen play, glad to know you’re not arguing in good faith.

                      Come on. What about all those posts I made in response to Gilmore @ 5:07:
                      Again – if you actually have an example of someone saying the above = cite it.

                      What does it take to bring this strawman to life?

                      I completely agree with your second paragraph that is why I called it a “practical” outlook. I also agree with the first expect the opening sentence.

                      I don’t understand why you cannot grasp the distinction I am trying to make. I am focusing on the person (Mr. Authentic Libertarian) who is making the argument. In the first case he wants me to avoid any practical implications and capitulate based solely on moral principles. In the second case those principles are shelved.

                    9. Except the entire point of the second paragraph is that the results of direct intervention is counteractive to libertarian self-ownership principles. It’s not a practical consideration, it’s a moral argument.

                      Amazing how you can agree with a paragraph and not actually understand it.

                    10. “I don’t understand why you cannot grasp the distinction I am trying to make. I am focusing on the person (Mr. Authentic Libertarian) who is making the argument. In the first case he wants me to avoid any practical implications and capitulate based solely on moral principles. In the second case those principles are shelved.”

                      Mr. Authentic Idjit, I have answered your questions and, Mr. Authentic Idjit, you have ignored those answers. Why is that?

                    11. “Saying nobody believes that, or that it’s a strawman is obviously wrong”

                      Fair enough. You found someone who thinks ‘freedom of movement’ is a natural right.

                      Find that person, if you’re lucky, they might ALSO be a hardcore non-interventionist, and you’ll be able to carry on your discussion.

                      Godspeed.

    10. Because Murray Rothbard Said So.

  6. Let’s see – weekend thread, unrepentant aggressive foreign-policy, one or two trolls. I make this a 500+ comment article.

    1. I’ll help.

      1. Via ENB’s twitter feed is this photo which I think is fun.

  7. “the Wall Street Journal is like Pravda.”

    Maybe a bit exaggerated, but close.

    I subscribed to WSJ for something like 30 years. The op-ed page always featured a few American-style liberals over the course of each week, but seldom did any oppose neo-con foreign policy since 2001. The most significant deviation from neo-con political correctness that I recall was Brent Scowcroft’s (former National Security Adviser to GHWB) 2002 admonition to not invade Iraq.

    WSJ has gotten progressively more neo-con politically correct. I let my subscription lapse about six years ago.

    1. Pravda had better writers.

  8. Appeeeezzzers!

  9. Logan must have drawn the short straw to have to read this stuff, bless his shrunken libertarian heart.

    Although Stephens firmly declares “America is not in decline” (italics in original), Josh Shifrinson has shown that the United States does indeed have relatively less economic and military power compared to other states in the international system, although the implications of this are hardly catastrophic.

    Parts of America are certainly in decline, but parts are ascendant. That’s mainly because speaking of the United States as though it’s a single country rather than a weird mishmash of sovereign-ish states with a massively powerful federal state looming over them is the wrong way to think about things to begin with.

    Tennesseans have about as much in common with Californians as the French do with the Swiss. It should come as no surprise that one state with distinct policies thrives while another slips into decades-long downturns with high unemployment.

  10. News from past and present wars, The good news is it appears that the Iraqis will be paying for it, the unknown is if $2.4 billion covers all the cost.

    “””””Iraq has requested additional batch of 175 M1A1 Abrams tanks and 1,000 M1151A1 HMMWV for $2.4 billion”””

    http://www.armyrecognition.com…..12141.html

    1. Can’t tell if anonbot. . .

  11. my roomate’s mom makes $61 hourly on the computer . She has been fired from work for 6 months but last month her payment was $19386 just working on the computer for a few hours. look at here………

    http://www.Jobs-spot.com

    1. Is she making M1A1 tanks?

      … Hobbit

  12. I just paid $2.16 for gas, thanks Obama!

      1. “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
        Good one.”

        Hey! If it weren’t for Obo, it’d be $1.16/gal.

    1. Obama, still inspirational after all these years.

  13. The good news is that for the first time in many years, we’re starting to see an actual honest debate form over foreign policy. Rand Paul vs. Marco Rubio on diplomatic relations with Cuba is just the latest example, and the Rand Paul side is getting a fsir hearing.

    1. It is refreshing to actually get to hear these arguments. I don’t know if Rand will win, but at least the media blackout (surrounding He Who Shall Not Be Named) may have skipped a generation.

  14. So which military actions in the past were justified? Was the level of violence we used excessive?

    1. Depends on what your goals and beliefs are.

      On one hand the Mexican American war was a horrible land grab. On the other hand it grabbed what became very valuable American property

      On the other hand the Spanish American war was done to defend the US from attack and rescue people oppressed by the corrupt Spanish government. On the other hand it forced many people under US rule against their wishes, cost the US taxpayer lots of money for defense and administration, and has yet to intergrate very well the remaining parts into the US

      1. I was curious about specifically libertarian goals and beliefs

        1. Homple|12.20.14 @ 2:49PM|#
          “I was curious about specifically libertarian goals and beliefs”

          So it was a loaded question? Good. Now know it’s not worth reading your posts.

          1. Why is asking the adherents of a particular philosophy for clarification of said policy “asking a loaded question”?

          2. I am starting to get the impression that Sevo is among those who have all the answers but don’t like questions.

            1. You’re not wrong about Sevo, but you’re still a dumb fuck.

        2. Revolutionary War with the possible exception of the Canadian operations.

          After that the justification from a librtarian belief go down greatly.

          War of 1812 to protect freedom of the seas was OK, to invade Canada not so OK

          Mexican American war, there was some border problems but did not justify invading down to Mexico City

          Etc etc. Even the attack on Pearl Harbor was set up by the US seizing Japanese assets in the US which was thieft, though it was also done so Japan could conqueer much of the Far East which was not OK

    2. What does “justified” mean?

      1. What does “baffled” mean? What does “incompetent” mean?

        1. I was actually being serious.

          i.e. what does he think “Casus Belli” requires? etc.

          what one person thinks is ‘sufficient justification’, another may not. He doesn’t actually state what his criteria are, and in fact suggests that he’s unable to think of any example of ‘justified’ use of force – which obviously prompted my question about how he’s defining the term.

          Hope that helps.

          1. I wasn’t trying to be a, um, jerk. Just reminded me of that scene.

            1. Highlander? nice one.

      2. By “justified” I mean in this context “consistent with libertarian principles, e.g. non-aggression and self ownership”

        1. You’re just trying to ignite a Civil War flamefest, aren’t you?

        2. if ‘non aggression’ is all you need to satisfy, then you’d be granting any armed conflict we were engaged in where we were attacked during an official state of neutrality.

          see: The Chesapeake-Leopard attack, The Maine, Pearl Harbor, Tonkin Gulf, etc.

          You might say some of these ‘attacks’ were ginned up, (and surely some were); however i think you’d be stuck saying that the NAP requires doing nothing in retaliation until we’ve done some kind of exhaustive and conclusive determination of culpability – which would be tantamount to saying ‘self defense should never be done hastily

    3. They know which ones are justified they just can’t tell you, or articulate why. And if they do tell you which war was just and why and you ask them to apply that reason to other wars then you’re putting words in their mouth, not reading what they wrote, and “cherry picking.”

  15. America in retreat?

    If only.

    1. Yeah, can I have some of my money back, please?

  16. Justin, you are too hard on the neocons.

    “It Is Important To Honor Those Who Made Others Die For Our Freedom”

    http://www.clickhole.com/blogp…..-our-f-982

  17. The American government is abusing its people by refusing to implement Sharia. Therefore, we must attack the US until it see the error of its way and submits to the natural order. ? Osama bin Ladin

    That’s cheating. We really do know what’s best for the rest of the world.

  18. This is awesome

    if you want to understand why polls prove the american public holds cops in high regard, and journalists are near the very bottom of professions in their eyes, it’s shit like this

    Journalists apologizing for Pro North Korea hackers, and calling Merica out for white privilege (of course) and American Exceptionalism

    On Wednesday, columnist Jamilah Lemieux made headlines after she tweeted: “What better example of American arrogance and White privilege than a comedy about killing a LIVING head of state?”

    And it turns out that this totally misplaced focus on what is important here isn’t just coming from her. On Friday, the Daily Dot’s deputy opinion editor, S. E. Smith, wrote a piece explaining that “While the terrorists might not be right tactics-wise, they’re right on a critical level.”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/…..rine-timpf

    AWESOME

    and thank you, anticop bigots for providing me the taxpayer money to buy “I can breathe” tshirts, as well as a new PRS guitar and for paying the lawsuit settlements when rogue cops get sued by my union or myself!!!!

    THANK YOU!!!!

    1. -1 Dm7b5

    2. Cool story, bro.

      How much do you lift?

    3. He who fights trolls must see to it that he does not himself become a troll, for as you gaze long into the derp, the derp gazes back also…

      1. The derp abyss is powerful

        Dark Souls II does a good job of simulating it btw…

      2. I just wish the trolls would stop oozing out of that pit.

    4. Don’t you have a shotgun to suck-start?

    5. Kim Jong-un in The Interview is funny to American audiences in the same way that a puffed up, angry rooster is funny to the casual observer; he’s reduced to a small, unimportant man by virtue of his race, with audiences laughing at the idea that he’d be one of the most terrifying living political figures

      Good lord. Kim Jong Un is funny because he’s a fat dweeb who poses for pictures like this.

      There’s a reason why Mao Zedong, who was also Asian, doesn’t get treated as a joke in the manner that Kim Jong Un is. Mao doesn’t look goofy like Kim Jong Un, was less eccentric and bizarre, and was an actual military leader instead of a puffed up buffoon who runs a country entirely because of his bloodline.

      Kim Jong Un was once caught with a bondage porn magazine in class during high school. That’s why Kim Jong Un is a joke – because he actually is a pathetic dweeb lifted to power entirely because of who his grandfather was.

      1. ” pictures like this.”

        That the worker looks like he’s never eaten ice cream, and the barrel into which the ice-cream is being pumped is shaped like a Nuclear Missile (with a flag on it to boot)… really does add layers and layers of subtext to that fucking photo.

        I sometimes think that we have never even tried to grasp the fundamental Insanity that is North Korea in the way we (sort of) tried to understand the Soviets.

        I mean, i don’t think we ever fully grokked the Soviets either. But I think we tried. The Norks? i don’t think we even try. Its just too fucking nuts.

        1. I didn’t realize that picture had been edited. Here’s the original.

          I like the original more because there’s something funny about the way the lube looks.

          1. I like the photoshopped version better for its ham-handed symbolic effectiveness

            it is reassuring to see the young Kim proudly carrying on the family tradition of “looking at stuff

          2. That ‘worker’ died of starvation months ago. He’s got a broom stick jammed up his ass to keep him upright.

      2. How can you not laugh at a Communist state with a hereditary executive?

        1. I forget who originally wrote the definitive piece (I’m going to guess it was hitchens)…

          …but there was a thing a few years back pointing out that NK is not even close to any ‘communist’ state, and it more like a hyper-racist totalitarian-religious state.

          Whoop! Good guess. Hitchens = ‘a nation of racist dwarves’ – although he’s not the one who makes that argument – its his review of This book

        2. “The whole idea of communism is dead in North Korea, and its most recent “Constitution,” “ratified” last April, has dropped all mention of the word. The analogies to Confucianism are glib, and such parallels with it as can be drawn are intended by the regime only for the consumption of outsiders. Myers makes a persuasive case that we should instead regard the Kim Jong-il system as a phenomenon of the very extreme and pathological right. It is based on totalitarian “military first” mobilization, is maintained by slave labor, and instills an ideology of the most unapologetic racism and xenophobia. …. Unlike previous racist dictatorships, the North Korean one has actually succeeded in producing a sort of new species. Starving and stunted dwarves, living in the dark, kept in perpetual ignorance and fear, brainwashed into the hatred of others, regimented and coerced and inculcated with a death cult: This horror show is in our future, and is so ghastly that our own darling leaders dare not face it and can only peep through their fingers at what is coming.”

          1. “…a phenomenon of the very extreme and pathological right.”

            The collectivists spawn one nightmare regime after another. When their evil is exposed and undeniable the ones aspiring to spawn another blame the past on their ideological opposites. How long before some dipshit commie starts calling the USSR a rightwing dictatorship?

            1. ” the ones aspiring to spawn another blame the past on their ideological opposites”

              I think maybe you should read hitchens actual piece.

              Pointing out that NK isn’t properly ‘communist’ nor really an ideological product of the ‘western left’, isn’t an apology for communists or an attempt to ‘blame the right’ for its totalitarianism –

              its simply pointing out that the essence of the Norks regime is closer to a ‘racist personality cult’ than anything to do with the ‘rule of the proletariat’ or any western socialist ideas.

              Its inherently asian and “right wing” in its origins in that it relies on ideas going back to imperial japan and its own aristocratic racial-superiority cult.

              e.g.
              ” Myers finds that the country’s supremacist propaganda can be traced to imperial Japan, which sought to convince Koreans that they were part of the “world’s purest race.” Myers acidly discredits Western interpretations of North Korea as “hard-line communist” or “Confucian,” noting the prevalence of maternal rather than paternal imagery and the societal scorn for the former Soviet bloc….”

              The Japanese ruled Korea for most of the first half of the 20th century, and it would be reasonable to argue that they learned far more from them than from Mao or Stalin.

              1. Hitchens died a fucking idiot blinded by his leftist ideology. He can’t even properly understand the terms right wing. He specifically argues NK is right wing because its racist. But racism isn’t “right wing” in any sense, it’s been just as common or not throughout both ideologies. Which is just evidence that Hitchens defines right wing as- everything bad, and left wing as everything good. NK had to be right wing because its bad, see, look at all the bad things. Hitchens was fucking stupid.

  19. Give generously to combat the ravages of traumatic brain injury.

    BOOYAH

    1. you don’t know how ironically correct you are.

      look at the cop who won the 900,000+ lawsuit for being fired for falling asleep on the job when it was due to SLEEP APNEA (Sometimes caused by brain stem injury – in cases of central (as opposed to obstructive) apnea

      some of the best cases we have won where cops have blatantly violated our rights have to do with failing to accomodate, and in many cases punishing us for ILLNESSESS and trying to claim they are misconduct, or even drug use etc. without evidence

      booya! police unions, and civil redress!!!!

      i have a fucking hardon for lawsuits!

      1. Cool story, bro.

        What was that about Morgan Fairchild again? Or was that Morgan Freeman?

        1. He should pretend it was Alex Morgan.

  20. Speaking of lawsuits to fight the power, as well as unions etc (booya police unions), don’t get me wrong, I love Dana White, but I fully support UFC athletes in their lawsuit against UFC/Zuffa.

    UFC has systematically bought out competing venues for mma fighting (they bought Pride, Strikeforce, Invicta, etc.) allowing them to have complete control over elite fighters who have nowhere else to ply their trade, and they have set pay artificially low, and when you look at their PPV receipts etc and then compare what elite UFC athletes get compared to Mayweather etc. it’s a sick disparity.

    UFC has engaged in monopolistic practices and also some really harsh vindictive sour grapes shit when athletes DARE step outside the UFC plantation and speak their mind

    again, love Dana White, but the megalomania is a bit much

    1. Cool story, bro.

      But seriously: get off the roids.

  21. OT: I don’t know if this is already covered, but Sony may release “The Interview” after all

    http://tinyurl.com/mn9pegp

    Let us be clear ? the only decision that we have made with respect to release of the film was not to release it on Christmas Day in theaters, after the theater owners declined to show it. Without theaters, we could not release it in the theaters on Christmas Day. We had no choice.

    After that decision, we immediately began actively surveying alternatives to enable us to release the movie on a different platform. It is still our hope that anyone who wants to see this movie will get the opportunity to do so.

    1. “let us be clear”

      jesus, the fucking obama’isms are infecting everybody

      if they don’t release it, we need some hackers to start streaming this movie EVERYWHERE and torrenting it, and we need a website where we can donate to the film, just like if we went to see it or rent it.

      again, let’s give a hearty merica fuck yea!!! to the terrorists and support this movie

      i had zero desire to see it, but now I want to

      so, ironically, the terrorists have increased support for this movie, i suggest

      if that wasnt their original nefarious intent!!!!!!!

      derp

      1. In no more than 5 years, 10 at most, this will be the plot of another Hollywood film – a la The Producers.

      2. I thought you were a COP, dunphy.

        Torrenting a movie is illegal. Hacking the movie from the producers in order to torrent it is DOUBLE ILLEGAL.

        What the fuck is wrong with you?

        1. Duh, he’s a cop. The law doesn’t apply to him like the little people.

    2. Better late than never.

      Points for relenting and taking up the banner against the heckler’s veto. Maybe they can get Rushdie on a discussion panel with the fat Jewish kid to show they’re serious.

  22. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did====== http://www.Paygazette.com

    1. Yeah but you don’t have a eurotrashmobile so why pay attention you to you?

      1. Yeah, that other guy’s aunt’s sister’s friend just got a Yugo. Bring ?him? back!

  23. Amanda Marcotte writes a navel gazing, self-righteous article about why it’s great to be an atheist on Christmas, accidentally proves she has the worst taste in music of anyone in history.

    9. Better music. No need to worry about working some of those dull, religious songs into the mix this Christmas. You can fully admit that ” All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey is the best Christmas song, full stop, without feeling it’s somehow a slight to Jesus to elevate a cheesy pop song about romance to #1 status. Of course, if you don’t like Christmas music at all and the sound of sleigh bells annoys you, who cares? Open your presents to Mot?rhead, if you like. When the holiday is about people, putting what makes people happy first becomes much easier.

    Bullshit. This is the best non-religious Christmas song.

    1. No need to worry about working some of those dull, religious songs into the mix this Christmas.

      More projection. Amanduh assumes that Christians are obligated to listen to, and pretend to enjoy, religious carols because they are part of the tribe. I know way more Christians than she does (I’d bet a trillion trillion dollars) and they like and dislike the same songs everyone else does.

      I’m certain Amanduh and the shrill harpies (band name) all claim to like the same music, and wouldn’t DARE admit it to each other if their tastes are even the slightest bit out of step.

      What’s more, I am also an atheist, and I enjoy several religious carols…because the tunes are very good. Joy To The World, Silent Night, O Come All Ye Faithful; I don’t care, even a little bit, what the lyrics mean.

  24. Inconceivable

    One police officer was killed and another was left critically injured after they were shot in a patrol car in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon, the authorities said.

    The shooting took place near Myrtle and Tompkins Avenues in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

    Good.

    1. Damn PB, how could you not take note of…

      She said that a suspect fled into a subway station after shooting the officers from the patrol car’s passenger side, and that the police had recovered a gun from the scene.

      Chief Royster said the suspect opened fire on the police officers, ran up Myrtle and went into a subway station. The man died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Chief Royster said.

      So, person shoots two cops – appears to drop the gun and flee and dies of a self inflicted gunshot to the head.

      Makes me wonder if these weren’t two honest cops, in NYC.

    2. How bloodthirsty and barbaric of you PB.

  25. So, I’m sitting at work, talking with my co-worker aboutthis push to have airsoft guns painted bright orange from tip to tip. The conversation goes roughly like this;

    Me: You know that won’t help the situation, right? A cop is just as likely to assume that you have a real gun that’s been colored and murder you.

    Him: You can’t spraypaint certain parts of a gun.

    Me: And? At what point is a cop going to check? He’ll more likely just blow your brains out and claim he was in fear for his life.

    Him: You’d better not say that kind of shit around my brother. He’s trying to become a cop, and he’ll beat the shit out of you.

    Me: *speechless*

    This isn’t even close to the first time this sentiment has been expressed to me, in a completely non-sarcastic and totally un-self-aware way. People seem to think that it’s all right to express your distaste for the police, so long as you’re willing to accept being beaten, caged, and murdered for it. What the fuck?!

  26. You’d better not say that kind of shit around my brother. He’s trying to become a cop, and he’ll beat the shit out of you.

    Sounds like a shoo-in.

  27. Neocons are stupid and most don’t learn. If only more H&R types knew what a neocon was and didn’t use the term like lefties use ‘neoliberal’.

    1. Neocon = Progressive Republican.

      1. That’s not inaccurate but not sufficient. Neoconservatism is a very specific set of foreign policy ideas. One of their tenets is that it is America’s duty to protect the world.

  28. This christmas with Santa Claus special offer happy life free registration , free gift and much more bundles just as Samuel explained I cant believe that a mother can make $7276 in a few weeks on the internet . read the full info here to keep it join.
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  30. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail

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  31. A “review” from the Cato Institute? Given that 70% of Cato’s funds come from the Koch brothers, whatever you read from their employees will simply reflect the fiscal interests of said brothers.

    You’re being played for fools.

    1. Clegg|12.21.14 @ 9:32AM|#
      “A “review” from the Cato Institute? Given that 70% of Cato’s funds come from the Koch brothers, whatever you read from their employees will simply reflect the fiscal interests of said brothers.”

      Yeah, lefties never concern themselves with evil profit, right?
      ” Mr. Steyer took exception in a C-SPAN interview to comparisons between his big-dollar funding of Democrats with the Koch brothers’ big-dollar funding of Republicans. The Kochs’ priorities “line up perfectly with their pocketbooks?and that’s not true for us,” said Mr. Steyer, who is fighting against the Keystone XL pipeline. Moreover, he insisted, his politicking is “completely open,” whereas the Kochs have “not been huge embracers of transparency.”
      Why is Mr. Steyer so touchy about motives and transparency? The media tend to give liberal spending a pass, since they assume its motives and aims are pure. Mr. Steyer’s problem?and he knows it?is that his own purity remains hugely suspect, even among his allies.”
      http://thesteadydrip.blogspot……house.html

      “You’re being played for fools.”
      Says the fool.
      Fuck off.

      1. “lefties never concern themselves with evil profit”

        You’re living in a fantasy land of “left vs. right vs. whatever.” My foul-mouth friend, this isn’t about left, or right, it’s about power vs. the common good. It’s about 35 years of growing socioeconomic inequality (both wealth and income growth) resulting from a system rigged by a tiny number of plutocratic interests, or what David Stockman calls “crony-fascism.”

        You’re living in a fantasy world that thinks the common middle-class citizen has a voice in U.S. fiscal and tax policy. Fiscal policy is controlled by a small number of apolitical power interests on Wall St. and K-St, to further enrich themselves. They ultimately don’t care about your leftist or rightist or half-baked libertarian agendas. They only care about wealth and the power it brings. And they have been quietly running the show, and gathering a higher % of U.S. net wealth, for the last 35 years.

        Fewer than 200 families funded over 80% of 2012 primary SuperPAC funds, about equally left and right. Broad form socioeconomic inequality hasn’t been this out of whack since 1928, a result of the first “supply side” experiment, just before the Great Depression. http://goo.gl/KPVOZz

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