Libertarian History/Philosophy

Is True Detective the Most Libertarian Show on TV?

The corruption on display is bigger than Frank, Cesere, Velcoro, or any single individual and is thus uncontainable.



I have no idea where the plot of True Detective is headed—or even what it's about so far. But I like what I see, as I explain in a new Daily Beast column:

Is there any TV show more flat-out libertarian than Season Two of True Detective? For that matter, is there any TV network airing more flat-out libertarian agitprop than HBO? There you find hour after hour of spectacular, balls-out displays of the inherent incompetence, greed, and corruption of government—especially when it joins forces with crony capitalists.

Don't get me wrong. Like many—probably most—fans of True Detective, I admit that I've got no real understanding of the plot so far. Yes, I'm interested in finding out exactly who burned out the eyes of crooked city manager and sex fiend Ben Caspere. But as a professional libertarian (gag), I'm mostly just digging the general atmospherics, which are as thick with government pollution as they are with SoCal smog.

I also have kind words for The Brink, which shares Sunday nights with True Detective and is the foreign-policy equivalent of Veep.

It's wrong to suggest that popular culture dictates or even heavily influences popular opinion rather than reflects it. In this, it's a lot like politics—it's not something that is imposed on us but rather emanates from us. You don't need to go full Hegel to realize that times change and attitudes with them. Never in lockstep or unanimously, of course, but surely it's no coincidence that after decades of major fuck-ups and dissemblings by politicians (from Vietnam to Watergate to the Church Commission to Iran-Contra to the Clinton impeachment to WMDs and torture to the Snowden revelations), trust in government is not so high. And that our popular art forms would and should be exploring what that all means.

If Sunday nights on HBO have become skeptical of centralized power, especially political power, and attempts to control people's lives and property, well, that's because we're in something of a libertarian moment (hell, even John Oliver is ragging on stadium deals, like the past 45 years of Reason magazine).

And in a world where leading Democrats such as Hillary Clinton want to strangle the sharing economy, keep fighting the drug war, and bring Edward Snowden to trial, and Republicans such as Donald Trump want to build walls on the Southern border, force employers to adopt intrusive worker-certification programs, and drop yet more bombs overseas, you don't have to be Vince Vaughn to want join the conversation about just how far you trust the government to do what's right.

Read the full article.

NEXT: WATCH: Gary Johnson Wants Nothing to Do With the GOP

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  1. OT: Submitted for your approval:

    A single mother was placed under arrest by Houston police and later released after being accused of abandoning her children at a mall food court while she interviewed for a job just 30 feet away, reports KHOU.

    Laura Browder said she took her 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son with her to a mall for a suddenly scheduled job interview because she didn’t have enough time to line up child care.

    1. This kind of stuff just makes my blood boil. I assume the person who called the cops never bothered to ask the kids where their Mom was. If they had, the 6 year old certainly could have pointed and said “Over there.”

      What kind of a legal system even entertains this as a crime? It should be thrown out with prejudice.

      And the worst part is, this woman is trying to improve her life. This is her reward for trying to do right by herself and her kids.


      1. Any goofy citizen should be able to call in all sorts of silly, paranoid delusions they want — the “professionals” (i.e. the cops) are the ones to blame if they take an accusation so seriously that an innocent person is taken into custody.

    2. This just shows that we need universal babysitting. #waronwomenreadyforhillary

      1. my god, you can see the future, can’t you? Its like Dead Zone…

        but surrious, this will come to pass. Because its the logical step to having the government raise your kids for you, so we can truly be “free”

    3. Woodchippers are an excellent solution to concern trolls.

    4. Mother. Fucker.

      You’d better get a hat tip for this one, my friend.

  2. Maybe the creator / show-runner of True Detective is only appealing to your libertarianism unintentionally. It could be the case that if the guy gave interviews about his real-world policy recommendations, they would consist mainly of “stronger government, more regulation.” Isn’t that what happened with The Wire?

    In any case, I watch shows like TD (and Game of Thrones and The Leftovers…) to be entertained, not to have my political views reinforced. Even if Nick Lotsapizza or whatever his name is turned out to be a hardcore prog, it wouldn’t affect my enjoyment much.

    By the way, something totally awesome better happen involving Rachel McAdams and her knives. They’ve teased it at least twice so far.

    1. Game of Thrones is okay. But I’m honestly curious if Dany is supposed to be an inexperienced, yet heroic tyrant or a intentional nanny-statist?

      1. I don’t care how much people love that character, she reminds me of Obama

        1. It’s the hair, isn’t it?

            1. If Obama had a nude scene once a year, his presidency would’ve been far more entertaining.

        2. She means to rule well, but she means to rule. Also, her ambition vastly exceeds her competence.

          I guess freeing people from chattel slavery into feudal serfdom is enough for some.

          1. There’s a difference?

          2. She does not “mean” to do anything. She is a little teen girl being manipulated by at least two opposing telepaths.

      2. I think you need to do a major recalibration of your political spectrum when applying it to Game of Thrones.

        1. This is something people really need to remember. Neutering your slaves vs. breeding them is an active and ongoing debate in that universe.

    2. The show and it’s creators don’t have to be explicitly libertarian in order to deliver a message which is in keeping with the libertarians have been preaching for decades. And they certainly don’t have to be explicitly libertarian for people to take away a libertarian-friendly message.

      I do agree with you, though, that it is usually a bad idea to mix politics and entertainment too heavily. Tends to make for bad examples of both.

      1. Joss Whedon for example. He acknowledges that all his heroes end up being libertarian despite his proggy beliefs.

      2. Translation: The show and its writers don’t have to be libertarian at all, nor does the show have to be libertarian in any but the most tangential respects, for to imagine it is the “most libertarian show on TV” and write a story about it.

        If reality doesn’t fit your Vision, you Randroids will force it to.

        1. Almost any good story is libertarian.

          I have a theory that everyone’s perfect vision of themselves is libertarian, at least our ideals and morality. Problem is their own greed and needs for control, “safety” and self-congratulation get in the way of it.

          Every time someone claims I have some crazy ideology that only 2% of people believe, I shoot back that everyone is a libertarian when it comes to themselves; they don’t want to be told what to do, where to spend their money, they want to live their lives the way they want to live them. Difference is that I’m not a busybody asshole who wants to tell everyone else what to do. Those exact words have stopped many a proggy in their tracks, and I swear I’ve even seen a light-bulb turn on behind a few eyes.

          1. Not necessarily. I have a friend frequently claims he wouldn’t mind if his taxes went up. He makes over $100k+ but hasn’t saved ANYTHING for retirement at age 50 because he has no financial self-control. His taxes could double and he wouldn’t notice.

          2. I’ve made a similar case to people I know. They start going off about Rand (not my favorite libertarian, but I defend her when I hear straw men arguments by people who haven’t even read her), saying how horrible her philosophy is. I say something like, “Well, most people follow Rand’s ideas in how they actually lead their *daily* lives, to a large extent. I don’t know anyone who goes out and commits spontaneous acts of altruism. Most people are just going to work, and then finding fun things to do on the weekend.” Not sure it has any effect other than to irritate them..but killed one bird.

      3. It’s sad I have to say this, but too many libertarians just think they are special snowflakes, so here it is again: Libertarians do not have a monopoly on hating corrupt, abusive, and/or overreaching government. Just having a corrupt cop in a show does not make it a libertarian show.

        1. Am reminded of all those progs who said Breaking Bad was a progressive/socialist show, because it underscored the evil of a greed-centered healthcare system.

          1. LOL

      1. Well said. I suppose if the villain were some bureaucrat named Otama, you would think it was great and groundbreaking. Like The Independents.

      2. Yes. I quit watching after the first time I saw what’s-her-names’ disappointing nude scenes.

  3. Based on my own criteria, the best libertarian TV shows of all time are (in chronological order)

    1. The Andy Griffith Show
    2. The Prisoner
    3. The Muppet Show
    4. The Real Ghostbusters
    5. Seinfeld

    1. What’s Mad Men, chopped liver?

      1. More Jell-O salad.

      2. Don’t worry. I’m sure the author of this piece is busy trying to figure out how it supports libertariacy too. Unfortunately, it’s probably a bit too advanced for this crowd, so the article, like most of those found here, will be read by fewer than a dozen people.

        1. Could you type slower?…I couldn’t follow you.

    2. F Troop
      Wheel of Fortune
      In Search of
      Games of the XXII Olympiad

        1. Green Acres

      1. The most libertarian character on television is probably the first character eliminated on the Biggest Loser — because your political ideology can so closely identify with marginal beginnings and a quick defeat. Oh, did you mean a fictional libertarian? I suppose Monty Burns from the Simpsons exemplifies the libertariot dream more than anyone else.

        1. So you got tired of everyone calling you a fucktard and decided to change your screen name, Tony? I’m sure that will last for a couple of weeks…until everyone realizes it’s just a new name for the same shit product.

    3. Firefly

    4. 1. The Andy Griffith Show
      2. The Prisoner

      These two are correct.

    5. Dukes of Hazzard

      The A Team

  4. Yeah, the network running Veep, Girls and Bill fucking Maher is the most libertarian eva!

    In other news:

    Obama pushes to extend gun background checks to Social Security

    Seeking tighter controls over firearm purchases, the Obama administration is pushing to ban Social Security beneficiaries from owning guns if they lack the mental capacity to manage their own affairs, a move that could affect millions whose monthly disability payments are handled by others.

    The push is intended to bring the Social Security Administration in line with laws regulating who gets reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, which is used to prevent gun sales to felons, drug addicts, immigrants in the country illegally and others.

    A potentially large group within Social Security are people who, in the language of federal gun laws, are unable to manage their own affairs due to “marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease.”

    1. A government that can give you everything you want can also take it all away.

      1. This government doesn’t give me anything I want but it keeps taking stuff away.

        1. Oh yeah? What about roads? You use those, right? Do you wanna live in Somalia?

          You know, there’s just no way to make the progressive diatribe sound not-stupid.

          1. You know what they say.

            “Fruit of the stupid tree…”

            Well, something like that anyway.

        2. Ay and it steals the main part of my treasure every year supposably in order to finance whatever fucking services I am being availed of, but it turns out that anything of any value one has to also pay additional for or else is provided in such a fucked up way as to render it totally useless or even harmful. That and the majority if not all of it seems to be actually used to pay for various forms of harrassment aimed at me. For what it’s worth, I know people who pay more and get less harrassment, though they are probably in part underwriting the cost of harrassing a few targetted property owners such as myself. Not only this, but when I have requested some service that historicly has been provided freely, they’ll often make up some new regulation or policy so I can get charged for it.

          1. The city, for instance, gives me various warnings and citations for violations of rules which are rarely otherwise (and in one case, never applied to any one else) enforced, which are by policy applied only when a certain number of complaints are made. I am told, “There were several complaints.” Then they said that the identities of complainers was kept secret for fear of retaliation. Still, they refused to show me any documentation of any complaints. I finally got an order issued from the county attorney requiring that the city produce the documents. At this point, they came up with a policy, for which there is no evidence to have ever existed previously, that I could inspect the complaints, on the premises, but if I wanted copies I would have to pay $5 a page plus $50/hr for the clerk to run the copier. I said it’s not necessary, I can take copies myself on the spot with my own equipment. So then a policy appeared that said I had to be closely supervised so that I didn’t damage the records and I’d have to pay a fee to pay for being supervised. In the end, guess what? Turns out there were no complaints, just some scribbling on a bit of scratch paper by the clerk saying little more than, “There were complaints”. It was then, after all this, claimed that the complaints were delivered verbally and that they had just not documented them.

          2. The process is more streamlined now. We go from the citation to “there were complaints” to “well, someone complained anonymously at least once, but we’ve no record of it,” very quickly, without any filings or imaginary policies. At the same time, they have stuck with the insanely expensive copying of public records policy together with the supervisory fee discouragement, and in fact have invoked it when all I have asked is to look at the city code to verify it actually says what they claim it says in a citation (It seems to get editted on an almost seasonal basis, and there have been cases where it turned out the law didn’t actually say what they had claimed it to say when giving someone a citation, sometimes not anything even remotely close, such as citing someone for obstructing traffic under a code that prohibits parking a vehicle on the side of the road without moving it for twenty-four hours).

    2. Oh, this will be awesome.

      Because everyone knows old people don’t vote

      1. Old people don’t shoot burglars, either.

    3. So Obama’s calling people on social security stupid? #legacy

    4. Veep is awesome at showing how petty, opportunistic and ineffective our Top (Wo)Men are, so I’d say it’s libertarian.

      1. Yes, anything that casts a particular politician or group of them is libertariot. Therefore, since the progressives consistently show the GOP for the fools they are, and subject them to much earned ridicule, then the progressives too must be branded libertarian. Ergo, the progressives are libertarian.


        1. /desperate leftard flailing incoherently

    5. Girls will prove to be libertarian as well. Almost all art is inherently libertarian, if you can ascribe to it a political ideology.

      It’s basically just “The Rrrrrrrreal Sex and the City” anyways.

      1. Yes, from Diego Rivera to Lillian Hellman to Thomas Mann to Rigoberta Mechu, almost all art is libertarian, if you live in Galt’s Gulch and shit a gold standard. For those of us living on earth, almost all art is viewed as a social product whereby aspects of culture are channeled and captured by artists who cannot be viewed apart from it. But if you keep reading Atlas Shrugged enough times, I’m sure you will keep yourself convinced otherwise.

        1. Nah.

          I have never read Atlas Shrugged or any Ayn Rand book

          The fact is almost all story telling art (books TV, Movies, even video games) follow a single person’s narrative and invariably lean towards individualism simply because they focus on an individual whose interests are his/her own.

          Invariably a writer must seek a motivation for why a character does what he/she does. That motivation can be for the community or society or some ideal but more often then not the story and character falls flat if there is not some reason that his/her actions benefits the him/her.

          1. Yes, almost all story telling art follow a single person’s narrative. For example, the Game of Thrones books. Oh, wait. How about the Star Wars movies. Oh, wait, let me try again. How about the aforementioned True Detective? Hmnn. Yeah, sounds exactly like what you’re talking about. Or Atlas Shrubbed? Oh, wait, nm. You’re the one libertariot in the world who hasn’t read it, but knows all about art. Sounds about right.

            Even when art does focus on an individual, that in itself says nothing about the message of the art. The fact that you feel entitled to comment on art, but haven’t yet read the literature in your own political canon, sums up a lot about the libertaritard movement.

            1. To be fair, one probably knows less about art after reading ATLAS SHRUBBED than he did before. Also, it has nothing to do with the single-person viewpoint. Rather, it’s a matter of making the story believably realistic. Since the political philosophy of libertarians is much more closely based on the realities of existence, naturally any decently written story is going to be presented in a more or less libertarian framework. UTOPIA succeeds as satire specificly because it presents a society that exists totally outside any sort of liberty-based realities–this absurdity makes it obviously farcical. Inversely, the various serious utopian fictions produced over time fail as both serious fiction and as comedy because they depend upon a setting entirely at odds with the realities of freedom and a reader with a life experience so preverse that he isn’t immediately struck by the absurdity of it. It’s just that there’s no conscious formulation of libertarian philosophy in the minds of most authors or in those of most readers. And while people may vigorously advance an unlibertarian philosophy and proudly confess it, they’ve generally at least had to learn to live with freedom on a practical level. Just as one may hear somebody or other advancing some statist philosophy in general terms or even specific terms targetted at a reviled enemy, but if one reframes it as practically applied in the speaker’s own personal affairs, he’ll backtrack or obviously rationalise.

    6. My God, we must protect innocent people from the rampage of senior citizens pushing their walkers into shopping malls and shooting up the place in fits of senile rage!


      1. Since you’re obviously aiming at sarcasm, it strikes me you must know some very different oldsters than I. Though, post offices and courthouses would be more likely than “shopping malls” in the old circles that I got to be exposed to.

  5. I’m just not sure about how this dynamic actually works. When libertarians see how corrupt and incompetent government is we respond with “see, THIS is why you should limit it.” Statists OTOH seem to respond in one of two ways, either “THIS is why you dirty bastards can never be allowed to hold office because we would never do such a thing!” (whichever dirty bastards are on the other side), or “EXCELLENT! we will use these corrupt powers in good ways!”

  6. Does Vince Vaughn have any influence over production, plot, or script? Because I’ve read that he does lean libertarian.

    1. Yeah, he said he likes guns or something once, and you probably jizzed all over yourself that there are now a total of somewhere in the vicinity of 3 actors in Hollywood who agree with you on a position. Bask in identifying with someone when you can, individualist.

      By the way, that’s an original handle. Do you use that in Galt’s Gulch?

      1. Holy shit, Tulpa is back……TUUUULLLLLPAAAAAAA.

      2. I REALLY hope you get paid to write this stuff.

        ‘Cuz it’s entertaining the hell out of me.

  7. OT: Sunday morning building rant, building codes make my family less safe edition:

    The interior entry door in my garage needs to be replaced (it’s old, door core is disintegrating and the lock set doesn’t hold in well, frame is worn, it doesn’t seal tightly especially at the bottom because the sill is a separate piece). Because building codes have changed since the house was built, I can’t just replace it with another entry door. Oh no. I have to have a fire rated door because it’s between the garage and the living space. Doors that cost a heck of a lot more and offer almost no choice in decor (metal or covered metal slab) compared to regular entry doors. Wife does not like the options. So now it’s moved to the bottom of the to do list. So infuriating. A regular entry door with modern seals would keep smoke and fire from spreading better than what I have now.

    And then there’s the storage room off the garage with a flimsy hollow core door, which doesn’t need to be replaced so would completely defeat the purpose of having a fire rated door.

    1. Hey, at least you’re not dealing with commercial building codes…

      1. The “it could be worse” is a common defense of Proglicious regulations.

        Cdr Lytton is clearly a pussy-hair away from the next Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. Without those codes, you’d all be dead, because CAPITALISM

        1. I was being sarcastic, not offering a defense.

          In case that wasn’t clear…

          1. it was clear, i was adding to your misery

        2. I suspect a conspiracy to discourage private property ownership by individuals through persistent harrassment and the laying of excessive costs. I think it’s quite obvious that there’s already such a similar program well along aimed at discouraging business ownership. Much less of harrassing regulation seems to apply to people employing ownership as an obvious means of conspicuous waste. This social planning excuse is obvious bullcrap, since these people couldn’t plan their way out of a paper bag if the instructions was written on the bottom. (Folks seem capable of forming spontaneous conspiracies of varying effectiveness without ever explicitly articulating their true aims or actively recruiting fellow conspirators. Just as Skinner’s VERBAL BEHAVIOR explains how people can talk to each other without ever thinking any thoughts at any point or formulating any ideas or even transferring any formal information, one could probably write a theory explaining spontaneous conspiratorial behavior along similar terms. Muddleheads tend, in fact, to get less effective at anything they try to do the more they try to formulate a plan and carry it out and the less they just do whatever they were unconsciously moved to do and rationalise about it afterward.)

      2. The best is dealing with the safety code commissioners and the historic preservation commission. Great examples of two state administrative bodies issuing conflicting mandates.

        For instance, in the building I work in, the HPC wanted us to retain the original angle of the stairwell. Of course, the SCC thought the angle was too steep. The two went at it, delaying the company’s move in. For whatever reason, SCC relented, and now we have an ultra-steep stairwell for both the second and third floors.

          1. If only one had killed the other…literally.

            1. What’s the figurative interpretation?

        1. “Historic” buildings are the worst to work with, especially if you want to do anything to the exterior.

        2. This would be a great use for Thunderdome.

          Two bureaucraps enter, only one survives.

        3. There’s a business in town here that wanted to put a cloth awning over the doorway leading to the sidewalk. Somehow, this fell under the jurisdiction of both the city and the highways department. Their demands were mutually exclusive and it went on for two fucking years before they got it hashed out. For whatever reason, they were let to stick the posts in right off the bat, so there’s a couple flipping posts in the sidewalk for no apparent reason for two years. During this process, the coffee shop on the next block sought permission for about the same thing–plus putting in a bunch of chairs and a little brick wall and what not, and somehow it went through quick as you please, no trouble. Then there’s a time I was denied permission from the fire chief to burn off some noxious weeds (something you can’t kill with cutting or tilling except at just the right time of the season, but a hot fire knocks them back a year or so), and so I asked the weed office what I should do and they said to pour gasoline on them. Meanwhile, the city gives me a citation because I’ve got a patch of noxious weeds. And there’s already a law against dumping petrochemicals in the ground.

        4. Neighbours were required to build a six foot fence all around their place because its ugliness offended the city planners; a couple years later they were cited for having a six foot fence (which is prohibitted under city law, as it establishes an expectation of privacy and impedes their ability to regulate the details of daily life). I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked to break some law or ordinance in order to cease offending some policy or commissioner’s preference, always with strong vocal assurances that it would never be held against me. I say, put it in writing; they never do.

          1. Your stories are starting to sound like bullshit.

            1. Having lived in a corrupt small town, his stories sound about right.

    2. Closed escrow on a duplex in May in Bedford, OH. It’s an older house with no major issues, but many minor issues. As a good landlord, I keep my properties in good shape, so I can attract good residents. Before I closed escrow, I had my construction guy go through the house and give me an estimate for all the repairs. His estimate? $6500.

      The City of Bedford also does an inspection and prepares an estimate for repairs. Their estimate? $30000. I had to negoiate the City down. Also, my construction guy had to double his estimate before the City would let us close escrow. Here’s the kicker, i had to leave $23000 in an escrow account, presumably to pay for repairs I will neglect to make. So, my construction guy will finish the repairs, and only after the City signs off on the repairs will my $23000 be released back to me. Unfortunately, there’s been so much rain and scheduling difficulties, that cash has been in escrow since May, and I probably won’t get it until after August 1. Cash I could use to do more deals. Aaaargh!!!

      Fuck city government and their building and code departments.

      1. “‘ only after the City signs off on the repairs will my $23000 be released back to me.”

        So, tying up capital is their way of expediting mandated payouts to union labor?

        I don’t even pretend to understand the motives of government anymore. Its so arcane and full of needless paid and misery that I assume its just Satan at work.

          1. Same thing, really.

      2. Is there anything more arbitrary than municipal government? Seriously.

      3. My father wanted to add an addition to his home. During the permitting process it was discovered that the greenhouse that has been standing for over thirty years was built without a permit by the previous owner. The petty tyrant required that my dad tear it down before any new permits would be issued. It would cost ten grand to replace it, so now he has no greenhouse. Being that he lives 9K feet up in the Rockies, a greenhouse is the only possible way to have a garden. No more fresh veggies for him. But the petty tyrant was able to exercise his power, and that’s all that matters.

        1. the greenhouse that has been standing for over thirty years

          So its collapse was imminent. I’ll just assume your dad lives within a mile of an elementary school or orphanage, and will also assume he just wants his collapsing illegal greenhouse to crush them. Why does your father hate children?

          1. No. It was standing as a monument the fact that it stood thirty years without the blessings of the state. People might see it, say, “how is this possible?” It was a horrific embarrassment and a potential revolutionary icon. That’s why it had to be destroyed. That and they seem to do everything they can to prevent people from engendering their own food.

    3. Just replace the door yourself and don’t fucking tell anyone.

      1. As a someone who has never owned a home, I don’t understand why it has to be some big secret. I’m guessing you can get fined for doing something not up to code.

        But to be perfectly honest with you, unless someone told me I needed a permit, I don’t think it would ever even cross my mind.

        1. I’m guessing you can get fined for doing something not up to code.

          No, but if you ever decide to sell the place, then it can cause some major problems.

          1. You can also get fined for building to exceed code.

            These assholes are stupid and work from a cook book. If it ain’t in the cook book, it ain’t gonna pass.

          2. No, but if you ever decide to sell the place, then it can cause some major problems.

            An addition, yes.

            A door? No.

        2. The problem is when getting someone else to do the work for you. That’s about the only time codes come into play for minor stuff.

        3. If it’s inside the home or inside an adequately fenced yard, there is an expectation of privacy that impedes their ability to gather evidence, making it nearly impossible for them to ever do anything to you about it. Though some municipalities have granted themselves outrageously vast authority to harrass anybody who breaks minor ordinances and place huge fines, I haven’t seen any that can start proceedings for work done out of public view. The most recent revision I’ve seen of the rules for proceeding for violating the city plan here where I live are insane. A city clerk can initiate the process, a person may have anywhere from two days to a month to submit, clerk’s discretion, and fines are thousands of dollars a day for each day therafter that a person hasn’t submitted, and for certain violations the city has actually authorised itself to seize certain types of property and to destroy others, and to charge the person for the cost of the manpower and equipment to do so. Anywhere up to the submission deadline, one may request an appeal hearing before the council, but it is up to the discretion of the city whether or not it will be granted, and even if it is granted, the appellant may not be permitted to speak and he may also not even be permitted to attend, according to the council’s discretion.

          1. The municipal judge used to keep secret court, when I first came here, in which no one was admitted except for the defendant, the police, if they wanted, and anybody to whom the judge specificly granted permission. Accusers were rarely admitted, and no press or concerned citizens at all. Most cases, it was just the judge and the accused, and all anybody had to go on about what went on was the ruling. She defended this on the grounds that public court was too embarrassing. This only stopped when she retired and her replacement happened to glance at the state constitution, where this sort of thing is explicitly mentioned.

            1. Where the hell do you live?

              I can’t imagine any place that the lawyers wouldn’t pitch a shit fit over that. I know I and most of my colleagues would.

              Again, you’re sounding awful bullshitty.

    4. Just do what I do ? replace the damn thing without telling anyone.

      Whenever I do a major DIY electrical job, I get the proper permits. But if all I’m doing is a few lousy plugs/receptacles/switches, I just do ’em, particularly if they’re in an area where I’ve already done other reno work. It’s essentially impossible for a subsequent inspector to determine whether or not the additional work was covered under the previous inspection. In fact, it’s oftentimes impossible for them to even discover the simple fact that extra work had been done after the inspection.

      They don’t need to know, and you don’t need to tell ’em. The only possible fly in the ointment might be your insurance company (should you have a claim in the future) or a building inspector that gets hired by a potential buyer sometime in the future.

    5. I am replacing all the doors in my house.

      I am building my own.

      Buy yourself a table saw, some Jorgenson clamps, pipe, wood glue, and some nice cypress lumber.
      You may also need a good drill, hole saw set for lock sets, and a couple of chisels. It wouldn’t hurt to have a belt sander and finish sander.

      Fuck building codes.

      1. My father made all our doors (and most the rest of the house, and all the furniture, and the gun stocks, about half the tack, most of the bullets, and the children’s yard toys, things that there was no obvious right way for a child to interact with without thinking, and often dozens of things you could do with them with a bit of imagination). Ever since I sold the place, I can’t get used to the factory shit-doors that are used everywhere else in the world. That and nearly all our food was either grown or foraged by us. A while back I told someone I was about sick of the groceries, and he said what would you do just starve? The idea that a person will starve because he won’t visit the grocery is ridiculous. The observable abundance of palatable forage in the USA makes claims that hunger is a real problem seem crasy. Go somewhere where people actually are hungry, like parts of Afganistan, where there’s nothing remotely palatable left anywhere to be seen, and people are eating grass and dirt to survive.

    6. Thanks everyone. I think I’ll go the DIY route (just the prehung door, not the full approach). The local store has ridiculously low installation which takes the hassle out of putting in the door. Hassle it is.

    7. Pro Tip: Screw the code, get a good quality door that you both like and install it. It is your house,

    8. An interior door? No one will ever see it if you replace it yourself.

      1. Forgiveness is easier than permission, just as long as you keep your libertarian bona fides secret.

    9. My question is this:

      Why don’t you buy a new door and install it yourself? This sounds like a little bigger job than just rehanging a new door off the old hinges, but still. . . .

      If you do it yourself, who is ever going to know about building codes, etc?

  8. Anybody else confused about what transpired before that epic shootout at the end of the last episode? I think it involved a fancy watch.

    1. Watch wasn’t really fancy. I would have thought that a corrupt city manager could do better than a quartz Cartier.

      And the picture of the watch (that the cops had) didn’t match the watch in the pawn shop. There was more lettering on the face of the watch in the picture. I think it’s just a production error/goof, but I wouldn’t put it past TD to do something sneaky like that.

      But no, I don’t get the shootout thing.

      1. “”a quartz Cartier””


        I guess they were trying to magnify how scummy these people really are.

        Because a Patek grand complication would instantly give the person enormous amounts of depth and sophistication, and therefore sympathy.

        1. I wasn’t trying to be a watch snob. Just pointing out that I would have thought that a guy scamming millions of dollars wouldn’t have bought a few-hundred-dollar watch.

          1. “”I wasn’t trying to be a watch snob.””

            I was.

            1. Yeah, I was scratching my head wondering why the hell anyone these days would have a watch.

              1. A motorcycle.

              2. Because when you’re an EMT on scene trying to take a pulse at 0-dark-30, people don’t understand why you’re whipping out a cell phone to use the stopwatch function.

              3. Meh. They’re a vestigial fashion item. You might as well ask why people wear pants anymore because Jumpsuits are clearly more functional.

                People are getting into them again out of appreciation of the fact that, in our modern digital & polymer age, very few objects are crafted by hand with the exquisite level of detail and artistry that watchmaking involves. It basically just jewelry that provides some additional functionality as a side benefit.

                There’s also the engineering-fetish of mechanical movements. novel applications of 200yr+-old ideas.

                Lange movements are like porno to me

              4. Train conductors still have to carry them for brake tests (and we have to stow our phones while working).

      2. Regardless of the watch’s fanciness, I’m glad I’m not the only one who has no idea how/why a couple dozen people (mostly innocent bystanders) died.

        Was Season 1 this maddening to follow? Did we just not care because the acting was light years ahead?

        1. I just finished watching Season 1. It was freaking awesome. I started season 2 on friday, and am already confused and disappointed. Too many characters, and overly complex motivations. Its like Raymond Chandler meets Days of Our Lives.

          1. It’s bad enough there are 4 main characters to squeeze into a 1 hour show, but then they spend time on the problems of the wives/girlfriends/ex wives/ex boyfriends/parents/sisters of teh main characters. It’s a big clusterfuck of a show that doesn’t make any sense.

            1. I realized in episode 1 it was going to be a fucking mess. between the ‘child of rape’, female cop’s sex-problems, and vince vaughns pants-wearing wife… for the love of god, just shoot someone.

              1. Don’t forget the obligatory closeted gay man.

                1. Oh, let me guess – the red-headed assistant? or the bike cop?

                  I only saw the first episode

                  1. One of the 2 you named is it. Good guess.

                2. Not just closeted but in his late 20s and somehow still confused about his sexuality and hateful of himself and other gays because of it.


                  The fact that his GF is super hot and he takes it out emotionally on her is just salt on the wound.

                  ….and then she gets pregnant.

                  Excuse me but I have to strangle ALL the puppies now.

          2. The only character I care about is the “crooked” Vinci detective. The female cop is a walking clich?. The highway patrolman I just wish would kill himself out of depression (not to mention a clich? from the 1970s). Frank is one dimensional (a total waste of the actor’s talents).

            (Sorry, I’m bad with names…)

            1. “The female cop is a walking clich?.”

              I find it intersting that she is suspended and being investigated for sleeping with a subordinate.
              And the fact that the powers above her are using that sword over her head to control her for the completely unrelated reason of trying to take down the town of Vinci.

          3. No chemistry between leads. Taylor Kitsch is expendable, franky.

            Los Angeles hasn’t been leveraged as a character the way Louisiana/Texas was.

            1. “Los Angeles hasn’t been leveraged as a character the way Louisiana/Texas was.”

              There is a good reason for that.

              1. Fewer sexual sadists per capita?

            2. “Los Angeles hasn’t been leveraged as a character the way Louisiana/Texas was.”

              Its because vernon CA is like an even-more-vapid extension of LA, absolutely devoid of personality or color.

              they also really failed to set the stage early on. Its not clear what “Vinci” is or why its such a unique, hyper-corrupt hellhole, and how Calfornia politics enabled its existence.

              Forbes did this very good piece back in 2007 which i think H+R covered


              1. “Four miles south of downtown Los Angeles sits the city of Vernon, a five-square-mile industrial enclave of meatpacking plants, warehouses and paint-mixing factories. There?s not much to see, but smells are plentiful, courtesy of a rendering factory that boils the dead pets of southern California into grease and high-protein animal feed.

                Only 92 people live in Vernon. There are no parks, schools, libraries, health clinics or grocery stores. The only four restaurants close by 4 p.m. By sundown the 44,000 workers who commute here have all fled the stench.

                Vernon?s leaders like it that way. California?s tiniest city, if you want to call it a city, is one of the nation?s most lasting and efficient political machines, run almost entirely for the benefit of a handful of rarely opposed, extremely well-paid politicians. Vernon should have been subsumed long ago into the surrounding city of L.A, but its independence is a strange and stark example of how a democracy can become a dynasty.”

                If they could have clarified the backdrop in the first 10 minutes, it might make the character-stories more believable….
                …but then, maybe you’d just think, “why the fuck don’t they all just *move out of this place*”?

                1. Sounds like a larger version of the meat packing district. They should convert all the warehouses to trendy lofts and watch all the yuppies move in and fatten up the tax base.

                2. I thought they did a decent job of setting up “Vinci”, but I was already kinda familiar with Vernon. There’s a similar burg in Chicago, BTW.

              2. Well Vernon, sure. But LA has its own weirdness that’s not being used in any unique way on the show as texture or a backdrop.

                Outside of endless freeways, the show might as well be set in Milwaukee.

      3. I spotted that they weren’t the same watch immediately. I think its intentional, because it was quite obvious. So obvious that it probably took extra work.

    2. SPOILER GUESS: It was a set-up by Vinci’s mayor.

      Anyway, video from the pawn shop where they found a watch taken from the dead man’s house showed the girlfriend of the guy whose place they went on to try to raid. Fingerprints, too.

      The gf was a prostitute, they think she was solicited by the dead man and cased all the good stuff at his house and got her boyfriend to go back and torture him to steal his stuff.

      1. God. That’s way too complex. I admit that I zoned out during periods of that episode, mostly because there’s too much subtle complexity involving too many people going on.

        1. I’m not sure how much we’re supposed to understand at this point. I’m banking on things being explained as things progress. I’m just waiting for a flock of birds in flight to make a symbol in the sky as a clue.

          1. When things are explained, most people won’t understand because they’d have no idea how we got to that point.

            I congratulate you on your ability to follow the plot…

          2. “”I’m banking on things being explained as things progress.””

            (JJ Abrahms nods and laughs sadistically)

            1. In spite of my inexplicable love for Colin Farrell, explicable love for Vince Vaughn, and the fantastic aerial shots of cluster fuck LA and its environs, I dropped this mess after the third episode. Awful. Watching Mr. Robot instead.

              1. Speaking of mixing politics with entertainment, I’m really enjoying Mr. Robot, even with all the commie crap and omg kkkorporations. ie the main character mocked the “Invisible Hand” as something that keeps the little people down, but it was done in a subtle, smart way that made me smile.

                1. Yeah I’ve been watching it too.

                2. Yeah I watched ten minutes of Mr Leftoid before I threw it back to the gutter it came from, unfortunately The Strain also has an element of evil kkkorporation to it. It’s so boring, that the leftoids keep making the same bullshit over and over again, while passing it off as new and exploratory.

              2. Watching Mr. Robot instead.

                I have found the main characters self pitying millennial occupy wall street level socialist rants to be too agonizing to listen too.

                This image is funny:


                An hour long weekly TV show earnestly saying the same thing without a hint of irony to it is unbearable.

              3. Last night’s ep really did a lot to keep me coming back.

                Vince’s girlfriend (wife?) is emerging as a serious player. I think. For some reason, I get the sense she may be one of the unrevealed movers in this mess.

  9. It seems kind of pathetic for Gillespie to go around declaring this and bit of pop cu7lture the “most” libertarian, it smells desperate.

    Of course last year secularists were gushing over Cohle’s nihilistic atheist speechifying, and the story did not really turn out to be endorsing that, did it?

  10. Just about everyone agrees government is corrupt at pretty much every level. The difference between libertarian and not lies with the remedy to that situation.

  11. Libertarian agitprop?

    It’s about time. For too many decades, all we ever got, especially from those dead alphabet soup networks, was leftist agitprop. (And still do.)

  12. Rick and Morty (Adult Swim) have more than a few libertarian/anarchistic tendencies, as evidenced in this dialogue below.

    Rick Sanchez: They’re just robots, Morty! It’s okay to shoot them! They’re robots!

    Alien Guard (who’s clearly not a robot): Aah! My leg is shot off!

    Other Alien Guard (who also is clearly not a robot): Glenn’s bleeding to death! Someone call his wife and children!

    Morty: They’re not robots, Rick!

    Rick: It’s a figure of speech, Morty. They’re bureaucrats. I don’t respect them. Just keep shooting, Morty!

  13. …hell, even John Oliver is ragging on stadium deals, like the past 45 years ofReason magazine).

    Ah, cmon Nick, you knew this day would come sometime in our future. Let’s not rag on them about how long we’ve ragged about the same issues for ions. Let the the cosmic universe finally align into purrfected symmetry. I’m hoping season three has Susan Sarandon and Gina Davis. Talk about full

  14. We just want credit where credit is due.


  16. From the comments at the Daily Beast:

    I think the word libertarian as used in this essay is pretty meaningless here. There’s a speech from the Naked City (I think) wherein a character asks us to imagine a world with no police department, with the supposition it would be infinitely worse than the world we have where the police are corrupt, incompetent, etc. In other words, any police department, no matter how awful, is better than none at all. (Obviously the speech was made by a white man.) And raging against stadium deals isn’t libertarian so much as it is common sense.

    Corrupt government is better than no government, so complaining about corrupt government is stupid, if I understand this fellow. And apparently opposing stadium deals can’t be claimed as libertarian because it is common sense.

    And that was the one anti-libertarian comment that actually came close to making any sense. Another commenter there actually tried to claim that the way to be libertarian is to be a slave owner. And they are so damn serious about being anti-libertarian. One wonders what they might say if they ever actually learned something about libertarianism.

    1. I wonder their reaction to the (however distant) discovery of what they advocate, and thus who they are.

    2. “to be libertarian is to be a slave owner.”

      Blow his mind and tell him it was ideology of classical liberalism (libertarianism) not Marxism that eliminated slavery world wide.

  17. GTA V is the most libertarian and overall greatest fucking computer game ever made.

  18. “GTA V is the most libertarian”

    No. Minecraft is.

    “and overall greatest fucking computer game ever made.”

    I would not know I played it on a PS3. It is the greatest console game I have ever played.

    Honestly GTA 4 would also be up there as well if not for all the fucking phone calls fucking up your game play. Rockstar should really patch that shit out.

  19. No Nick i will not be going to the daily beast:

    Incidentally have you gotten Robby to correct his lies about gamergate in his article yet?


    “Indeed, bomb and death threats made by GamerGate activists have forced Sarkeesian to cancel speaking engagements and other events in the past.”…..-anti-femi

  20. I vote for The Dukes of Hazzard as the most libertarian TV show ever. I recently checked out the first episode again and it had some truly great lines in addition to awesome Dodge Charger footage and Daisy of course.

    1. Daisy and short shorts FTW.

      They did make a mockery of authority on that show, so you certainly have a point,

  21. Is Nick Gillespie writing cosmotarian-lifestyle pieces under a psuedonym?

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