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Oh, Andy Singer, you've done it again! |||So! We're off to a good start here on Day Two of Reason's annual webathon, in which we ask you, our dear readers, customers, hecklers and "special" friends, to make a tax-deductible (if you are a U.S. citizen) donation so that we can produce even more of the best good goddamned libertarian journalism and commentary in the known universe. We are making the audacious ask this year of $100,000 over the week, and preliminary reports from Day One show around 125 donors making a generous combined gift of around $23,000, and huzzah for that! Even last night's shameless Bitcoin-guilting—yes, droogies, we are accepting Bitcoin—seems to have loosed some of the silvery decentralized stuff out of your digital mattresses: 12 donations totaling $876 as of midnight. 

Why should you donate to the 501(c)3 nonprofit that makes all of Reason's journalism possible? The reasons are longer than President Obama's nose, but our progressive friends over at AlterNet inadvertently provided one earlier this week with an impressively awful piece titled "Why Atheist Libertarians Are Part of America's 1 Percent Problem." Bask in the deep thinking of lefty atheist C.J. Werleman:

[F]or some stupid reason, far too many of my non-believer brethren have hitched their wagon to the daftest of all socio-economic theories.

Oh, C.J. Werleman, you've done it again! |||It doesn't help when atheist luminaries publicly extol their libertarianism. Penn Jillette writes, "What makes me a libertarian is what makes me an atheist—I don't know. If I don't know, I don't believe….I'll wait for real evidence and then I'll believe."

Well, the only excuse Jillette has for his breathtaking ignorance is that he earns his living performing as a Las Vegas magician. Also, he graduated from a clown college.

Famed science author and editor of Skeptic magazine Michael Shermer says he became a libertarian after reading Ayn Rand's tome Atlas Shrugged. Wait, what? That's the book that continues to inspire college sophomores during the height of their masturbatory careers, typically young Republicans (nee fascists). [...]

When I hear an atheist say he is a libertarian, I know he's given absolutely no thought to it other than the fact that he likes the sound of no foreign wars and no drug laws. The aphorism that libertarians are Republicans with bongs is just about spot-on. [...]

Ultimately, atheist libertarians are not part of the solution; atheist libertarians are part of the problem.

Oh, Michael Lind! |||At Reason, we delight in recognizing such authoritarian-minded, anti-libertarian purgery for what it is: a panicked and frequently fact-free attempt to swat down a growing philosophy/orientation that's making real inroads in just about every sizeable bloc in American life. That's why we're your go-to source whenever Salon is trying to purge libertarians from anti-surveillance rallies, Chris Christie is trying to purge libertarians from the Republican Party, John Boehner is trying to purge fiscal conservatives from any congressional positions of authority, 99 percenters are trying to purge Free Staters from Occupy New Hampshire, hawks are trying to purge anti-interventionists from respectable conversation, major-party tribalists are trying to purge electoral independents, and so on and so forth and scooby-dooby-do.

Anti-libertarians on parade. |||We don't just defend libertarianism's honor, honey badger-style, when attacked by n'er-do-wells. We also explain to new audiences, calmly and with a winning smile, what all this libertarian hubbub is about. So you have Senior Editor Brian Doherty telling New York Times readers about the rise of post-Ron Paul libertarians in the GOP. You have Nick Gillespie detailing "5 Myths About Libertarians" for the Washington Post, and you have me explaining to Stuart Varney just what all us libertarian wackaloons want in regards to U.S. foreign policy anyway.

We're here for you, is what I'm trying to say. Now won't you be here for us?

A hunnerd large gets you a subscription & a sweet black Reason T shirt, which I can testify is a great conversation-starter in Brooklyn. Two-fitty gets you that plus a gift sub & a copy of Reason.tv’s devastating full length documentary, America's Longest War. Half a G allows you the right to torture Nick Gillespie and I with a question for our next "Ask a Libertarian" series. Double that and you get a private lunch with an editor to be named later. Our highest tier of $2,500 gets you VIP tickets to the next Reason Media Awards, which is a super-awesome party on the island of Manhattan. And of course, you are free to give us $250,000, or $2.50, or however much Bitcoin you're willing to part with.

Let's do this! Please donate to Reason right the hell now!

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  • Libertymike||

    My compelling, insightful and thought provoking posts are not enough?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    You know, Mary, there's this thing called "context" i know you're a big fan of, so you might try using it once in a while.

  • sarcasmic||

    Speaking of responding to trolls....

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I won't donate until there's a libertarian equivalent of Glitch Girl as the face of reason's website.

  • entropy||

    What do you think Kennedy's book cover was for? All we have to do is photoshop a bong in.

    And a beer-cozy hat. For the horse.

  • sarcasmic||

  • Libertymike||

    Did she tell you about raw milk?

  • Swiss Servator, referendiffic!||

    *golf clap*

  • entropy||

    Ayn Rand's tome Atlas Shrugged. Wait, what? That's the book that continues to inspire college sophomores during the height of their masturbatory careers, typically young Republicans (nee fascists).

    This is completely devoid of anything I would call content. OK so the author doesn't like libertarianism because it's icky. I feel like I'm reading a Maureen Dowd column. It could be titled "I don't like peas."

    Oh, Maureen doesn't like peas. How horrible. We feel terrible. We're with you Maureen, peas suck.

    This is the kind of thing that is supposed to be isolated to Twitter, where some asshole can put out 'content' that consists of 'I had a sandwich yesterday. I do not like the floor layout of my local Target, it is a fascist layout.'

  • sudon't||

    I have to say that, I cringe whenever anyone cites that awful, childish book as an inspiration to libertarianism. I certainly don't want to be associated with it, or with anyone who takes it seriously.

  • Locke||

    They seemed to cherry pick Jillette's quotes. I prefer his quote saying "I'm a libertarian because I don't know what's best for other people"

  • Tony||

    The point is there's no excuse for being that ignorant. Of course he knows, or at least he should, to some extent, what's best for other people. Other people need food, potable water, clothing, shelter, education, healthcare, a healthy environment, and enforced rights. See, that's not difficult. His mind is so open his brain has fallen out.

  • KMA Too||

    Needs, or what's best?

    Conflate much?

  • sarcasmic||

    Conflate much?

    Yes, yes he does.

    Tony says that not giving is taking, and not taking is giving.

    He insists that government coercion is voluntary, and voluntary interaction with corporations is coercion.

    Inaction is action. Vacuum is matter. Dark is light. Silence is sound. Liberty is force.

    His brain is broken.

  • Libertymike||

    The first shall be last and the last shall be first?

    Or

    I am the alpha and the omega?

  • ||

    No, unlike you, his mind probably understands the concept of scarcity and opportunity cost.

  • Tony||

    Reich's quote is worth repeating:

    “In reality, the 'free market' is a bunch of rules about 1) what can be owned and traded (the genome? slaves? nuclear materials? babies? votes?); 2) on what terms (equal access to the Internet? the right to organize unions? corporate monopolies? the length of patent protections?); 3) under what conditions (poisonous drugs? unsafe foods? deceptive Ponzi schemes? uninsured derivatives? dangerous workplaces?); 4) what’s private and what’s public (police? roads? clean air and clean water? healthcare? good schools? parks and playgrounds?); 5) how to pay for what (taxes, user fees, individual pricing?). And so on. These rules don’t exist in nature; they are human creations. Governments don’t 'intrude' on free markets; governments organize and maintain them. Markets aren’t 'free' of rules; the rules define them.”
  • sarcasmic||

    Wow! Such a compelling rebuttal to, oh, wait, no one said free markets don't have rules. OK. That straw man has been dispatched.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    You know, if you don't feed him attention, he won't show up begging for it more.

  • Libertymike||

    Somewhere up thread, didn't somebody post something about stones and glass houses?

  • Tony||

    You've cried strawman so many times it must be the case that you believe exactly the same things I do.

    I suppose saying that you believe those rules to be spontaneous and natural is also a strawman. So do we merely disagree about what the rules should be? Or is that a strawman too?

  • MoMark||

    It all comes back to tyranny Tony (Maybe that should be your moniker, “Tyranny Tony!”).

    Do you want a little bit of coercion and force in your life, or a lot of subjugation in your life. You like big government, we get that.

  • sarcasmic||

    Tell you what. If you start rebutting actual arguments that libertarians make, instead of these elaborate fantasies, I will stop pointing out that you're arguing with straw men. Fair enough?

  • Tony||

    I claim that both libertarians and liberals believe in a mixed economy, and disagree marginally on the mix. If that's the case, then there's no need for the absolutist claims any of us make, just make your case for this or that redistribution program. But your rhetoric is absolutist--redistribution (coercion) is always bad.

  • sarcasmic||

    I claim that both libertarians and liberals believe in a mixed economy

    And that's where you're wrong. Libertarians believe that the only role the government should play in the economy is enforcing property rights, enforcing contracts, resolving disputes in court, and perhaps some role in environmental protections. It is absolutely false to say that libertarians believe it is the role of government to direct the economy. So you're starting with a false premise. Of course everything you come up with based upon that false premise will be wrong.

    But your rhetoric is absolutist--redistribution (coercion) is always bad.

    How can government protect private property while also giving some people a claim on the property of others? It's mutually exclusive.

    Oh sure, that's what taxation is. Right? Wrong. Not all taxation is equal. Taxation to pay for legitimate uses of force (that's all government is: force) such as police, courts, and defense, are not the same as transfer programs. Let me repeat that in another way. Taxes to pay someone just to pay them are not the same as taxes to pay for police and other government services. Not the same thing.

    I don't really expect you to understand. This is more for the benefit of someone with a functioning brain who may read it.

  • Render Unto Caesar||

    Well put, sarc.

  • Mike M.||

    Ugh, Krugscum is back.

    Nobody here missed you while you were gone traveling with your family, Scummie.

  • kbolino||

    There is only one rule, and its name is scarcity.

    The exchange of goods and services is the consequence of that rule.

    Everything else is indeed an invention of man, but that doesn't remotely prove necessity.

  • Tony||

    Offering a definition of bartering is not the same as describing a morality of economics, which you guys claim to have the best one of.

  • ||

    You know why we do that Tony? Its because we've *seen* where your morality leads.

    Soviet Union
    Cuba
    China
    Cambodia
    Vietnam
    North Korea

    I don't know why its so hard for you to accept that saints are few and far between. That the people making and enforcing regulations are just as venal and greedy as the regulated. That free-trade between consenting people causes far less harm *overall* than the highly regulated forms of trade you prefer.

  • Tony||

    Stupid.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yes, you are.

  • MoMark||

    Tony, how about responding to Sarcasmic’s description of you above that:

    “Tony says that not giving is taking, and not taking is giving. He insists that government coercion is voluntary, and voluntary interaction with corporations is coercion.”

    I would like to know if these comments are true?

  • Tony||

    It's true that Sarc has an incredibly hard time with nuance. I don't believe there is a meaningful distinction between giving a person a check for $1000 and cutting his taxes by $1000. But Sarc doesn't understand that taxation isn't just taking money away, it's also paying for stuff you use every day. So cutting your taxes means you're getting a discount on public services. So that's why there is no moral distinction in the way he thinks there is, but good luck ever getting that through to him. Once you believe that taxation is stealing (thus all civilization is illegitimate), then you're pretty much stopping the conversation, right?

  • MoMark||

    Tony wrote: “I don't believe there is a meaningful distinction between giving a person a check for $1000 and cutting his taxes by $1000.”

    Wait a minute, one of those people created a thousand dollars worth of product that that you are not taking from them, and the other person you are giving a thousand dollars worth of product to they did not help create. And you see no difference?

    “But Sarc doesn't understand that taxation isn't just taking money away, it's also paying for stuff you use every day. So cutting your taxes means you're getting a discount on public services.”

    You seem to be all knowing about the universe, and how much taxes corporations pay and should pay, and what services corporations are using and what penalties should be assessed against them. I am not sure I can argue with someone who is all knowing, but your your assumptions are breath taking.

    Could we have a fee for service economy and eliminate most taxes? I am not going to go there with you.

  • Tony||

    Maybe but it would probably be unwieldy and pointless.

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't believe there is a meaningful distinction between giving a person a check for $1000 and cutting his taxes by $1000 not taking.

    Not taking is giving. Not giving is taking.

  • XM||

    We also pay taxes for bazillion things that we don't use or are a gigantic waste of money.

    No one likes taxes. This nation wouldn't exist if the colonists were content with their motherland's tax policies. Discontent over taxation is among the root cause of peasant revolts throughout history.

    Why aren't immigrants here flooding into Canada or Australia, where the minimum wage is up there and higher taxes support their healthcare? Oh, that's right, people take into account cost of living and such things.

  • sarcasmic||

    But Sarc doesn't understand that taxation isn't just taking money away, it's also paying for stuff you use every day.

    Tony doesn't understand the difference between taxes for government services and taxes for transfer programs.

    One of them is redistribution. One is not. Care to guess, Tony? You've got a 50/50 chance.

  • Pelosi's Rabbit||

    It's worth repeating, alright--as an example of someone who has no idea what he's talking about.

  • ||

    "When I hear an atheist say he is a libertarian, I know he's given absolutely no thought to it."

    I guarantee you he's given it a lot more thought than you've given to the ramifications of your proggie philosophy, if you can even call it a philosophy.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Did someone just donate $50,000? They were at ~$25,000, and then it just jumped to ~ $75,000.

  • An Innocent Man||

    Maybe Bitcoin jumped.

  • Brian Dixon||

    Maybe libertarianism is selling itself better and better as more and more of the alternatives are discredited. Last year or the year before, they had to threaten to oust Lobster Girl. Now they can get by on a much softer sales pitch.

  • Matt Welch||

    The jump is indeed real! Woo-hoo!

  • parkerbce586||

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  • ||

    Nobody here (almost nobody here) wants to make $63/hr doing schiesse videos for you.

  • JWatts||

    That's a nice pitch and worth a donation.

  • Tamfang||

    ... to torture Nick Gillespie and I with a question ...

    Stop torturing I with bad grammar!

    By the way, this is one of very few websites where Firefox doesn't fill in my password for me. Any idea why?

  • Car Scanner||

    Yeah, we should give support to Libertarianism.

  • parkerbce586||

    my neighbor's mother makes 63 BUCKS every hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for 7 months but last month her pay check was 15302 BUCKSjust working on the laptop for a few hours. Learn More Here
    ===========================
    http://www.fb49.com
    ===========================

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