Why I am an atheist – Rodriguez »« Predatory and reptilian

The fanatically irrational Ron Paul and his fanbase

Ashley Miller asks, “Why does anyone like Ron Paul?”, and then does a fabulous job listing all the reasons Paul is a disastrous nutcase. She pretty much answers her own question with a thoroughly documented and reasoned “YOU SHOULDN’T!”, but if you want even more of an explanation, read the comments. Apparently reddit linked to the article, and every Libertarian kook in the world funneled their way to this one article, where they left their outraged comments.

Rarely have I encountered such a vile stew of misogyny and stupidity, outside of youtube comments, as you’ll find on that thread. It reminds me why I detest Libertarians, and Ron Paul in particular. The man would be a total disaster for the economy, in addition to being a poisonous social regressive.

Comments

  1. eclectabotanics says

    Every reasonable thing he is in favor of will not happen. No end to wars, no decriminalized hemp, no end to the fed. It’s “politically possible” in his party.

    What would end is the right to women’s health, every social service he could slash and the EPA.

    And a privatized Social Security system. Not a chance I’m willing to take.

  2. shouldbeworking says

    But he remains true to the most important things! Has he ever been involved in a sex scandal?

  3. says

    I’d prefer to live in a society where we took care of one another.

    NOT the “fuck you, I got mine” GOP brand or the “freedom means dying in the streets” Ayn Rand/Ron Paul brand.

    Sadly, our brand of capitalism leads to the GOP brand. Adjusted for inflation, working-class wages today are unchanged since 1978.

  4. StevoR says

    @ ^ shouldbeworking : 22 December 2011 at 7:56 am

    A very long time ago. I believe it involved a neanderthal woman who was feeling paerticularly desperate – and even then she wouldn’t return his calls afterwards.

  5. StevoR says

    So question : Out of the bad lot that is the Republicans who is worst / would be worst as President and why?

    Newt Gingrich? Ron Paul? Rick Perry or Michelle Bachmann?

  6. says

    Like most Republican politicians Ron Paul is a science denier. Some quotes from Ron Paul I found:

    “I think there is a theory, a theory of evolution, and I don’t accept it,” Paul said.

    Paul said he thought it was “very inappropriate” for presidential candidates to be judged on a matter of science. He also defended creationism while saying that all sides of the creation debate have an element of uncertainty.

    “The creator that I know created us, each and every one of us and created the universe, and the precise time and manner,” Paul said. “I just don’t think we’re at the point where anybody has absolute proof on either side.”

    2012 Election: Where GOP Presidential Candidates Stand On Evolution

  7. sithrazer says

    I didn’t even make it more than a couple commentators in before I had to close the page in disgust. Those are some sorry excuses for human beings.

    Thank you for linking that anyway, I was under the mistaken impression that Ron Paul was only mildly crazy and not nearly as wacko as the rest of the GOP presidential hopefuls. Now I know he’s every bit as insane as Perry or Bachman.

  8. says

    Great Zombie Jesus, I read the full article and it chilled me to the ‘nads.

    Is Ron Paul (and Libertarians) really THAT stupid and naiive?

    The regulations are much tougher in a free market, because you cannot commit fraud, you cannot steal, you cannot hurt people, …. In the Industrial Revolution there was a collusion and you could pollute and they got away with it. But in a true free market in a libertarian society you can’t do that.

    In a true “Free Market,” businesses MUST steal/commit fraud and hurt/kill people because a) cooked books make more money than GAAP-followin’ ones, and b) safety costs money that could be spent on executive bonuses.

    When I worked for [Big Oil Company], we had regular presentations by various VPs. One time, the VP of refineries gave a presentation about how some of their refineries in California (communist, treehuggers!) had to incur extra expense to install sulfur scrubbers because those damn hippies didn’t want the condensers to spew out toxic waste and other crap.

    In a “free market” without regulations, there would be NO scrubbers, ’cause those things aren’t cheap. The Libertarian jack-off wet dream goes that everyone would switch to gas that was refined in scrubber-equipped refineries. Which begs the question, “how do you know which ones are those?” Answer: you don’t, and you don’t care.

    “Oh, but…but… we’d sue the refineries that caused all that pollution and caused Asthma and Lung Cancer,” says our Libertarian feeb.

    No, you wouldn’t because, again: a) you can’t prove it was them, and b) you don’t have enough lawyers to go toe-to-toe with a mutil-billion-dollar-a-year mammoth.

    Oh, and Ron Paul is a cracked pot.

  9. says

    #7, I agree. Presidential candidates should not be judged on their knowledge of “Science,” but how often they wear a Brokeback Mountain jacket while denouncing “teh gheys.”

  10. says

    noebie:

    It ignores the role of banks, corporations and the rich in making us less free.

    We have had a few Libertarians around here. There was one memorable discussion in which this was the focus. The one honest libertarian in the discussion defined “harm” as only direct physical harm. So, the government holds power only because it has the power to directly and physically harm us; this makes the government wrong.

    However, corporations who control resources — and can subsequently deny access to said resources, or otherwise exploit those resources for their own gain — can not cause direct physical harm, and so are peachy-keen. He was willfully blind to the fact that we are regulated far more by general society (which is dominated by corporations) than we are by the government.

    It’s a weird, weird world, this Libertaria. Like communism, it would be perfect if it weren’t for human nature.

  11. Gregory says

    The reason is that Paul supporters latch on to one point — “states’ rights” or “legalize marijuana” — and rationalize away or just plain ignore all the really crazy stuff. Same fanatics, different savior.

  12. jolo5309 says

    Wait, the commenters make reasonable rational defenses of Ron Paul, after all, isn’t Prison Planet a sound source of data for all things political?

    I see she has not response for this eloquently phrased rebuttal either
    full of shit – full of lies – fuck you ashley f. mliler..

    Many of these responses are witty, well reasoned and factual responses to her obvious hack job…
    Here is another, much in the style of Mencken:
    In reference to your commit……. “I’ve been trying to understand why smart people I know support Ron Paul and I just can’t get my head around it.”……well Ann Miller……..Maybe the reason you cant understand is simple ……YOUR NOT AS SMART AS YOUR SMART FRIENDS …….and psychological studies show that it is often difficult for people with greatly varied IQs to communicate………you said it your friends are smart and you cant understand them well said ann well said…….in the future listen to your “smart friends”

    All in all, she was presented with several arguments regarding her hack job on RP and she failed to respond to them.

  13. says

    It’s feasible that Ron Paul would make a better president than Obama. I’m not saying he’d be good; just less awful.

    In 2008, Obama’s main selling point was that he wasn’t George W. Bush. He would end detention without trial. He would end political interference in science. He would deal with gross inequality, and reduce the number of people living in abject poverty. Only he didn’t.

    In those respects, Paul would be just as bad as Bush and Obama, but at least there’s a silver lining: With Paul as president, drug legalization would become politically respectable. As “eclectabotanics” pointed out, any positive action to end the war on drugs probably wouldn’t happen. However, one of the factors holding back drug legalization in other countries is the fear of a US-led international backlash. With Paul as president, this would be much less of a threat, and so other countries might be tempted to end their drug wars.

  14. Ms. Daisy Cutter says

    Usernames are stupid:

    Is Ron Paul (and Libertarians) really THAT stupid and naive selfish and sociopathic?

    FTFY.

    I’m surprised they haven’t shown up here yet (again) to drool all over the page.

  15. StevoR says

    Who is older Ron Paul now or John McCain when he ran last time?

    Not meaning to be age~ist but elderly men – I mean closely approaching or past the usual retirement age here – running to be president raises some automatic questions and worries.

    (Of course, an inexperienced candidate at the younger end of the age spectrum also raises automatic questions too.)

    How many times has RonPaul run for the Republican nomination btw? Isn’t he something of a perpetual candidate?

  16. says

    Don’t forget non-heterosexual and non-gender conforming, Jadehawk.

    Ah, sorry. I blame it on forgetting to go to sleep.

    In short, being in any way not like Ron Paul would become an even worse ordeal than it already is, and in many cases it would become entirely deadly

  17. says

    It’s feasible that Ron Paul would make a better president than Obama. I’m not saying he’d be good; just less awful.

    You obviously didn’t read the post PZ linked to. I would rather have a 3rd term with Bush than Ron Paul as a president.

  18. says

    The only charitable thing left to say about Ron Paul is that he doesn’t seem to change his position depending on what audience he happens to stand in front of. It says a lot about the current US political climate that this is apparently enough to impress people nowadays.

  19. DLC says

    Ron Paul is a loser. Rand Paul is a double-dyed Loser.

    (from my own reply there)Ron Paul is a fool. Libertarianism is rosey-eyed foolishness — it depends on people having enlightened self-interest, when almost no one has any enlightenment in this country. See Enron, AIG, “Too Big To Fail” and BP’s recent oil spills for some hints. Enlightenment ? near zero. Self-interest ? near 100. Come back to me when that ratio is closer to 50-50. Right now, every time someone gets an “unfettered free market” the country goes into economic collapse. That should teach you people something.

  20. says

    His supporters say he’s consistent, well, he’s a consistent liar. IRT the racist diatribes published under his name for years, and which he made at least $1 million from, in 1996 he admitted writing them.

    “Dr. Paul, who served in Congress in the late 1970s and early 1980s, said Tuesday that he has produced the newsletter since 1985 and distributes it to an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 subscribers. A phone call to the newsletter’s toll-free number was answered by his campaign staff.”

    Yesterday he denied knowing anything about them.

    “I’ve never read that stuff. I’ve never read – I came – I was probably aware of it 10 years after it was written and it’s been going on 20 years that people have pestered me about this and CNN does it every single time,” he said.
    […]
    When Borger asked him if this was a legitimate topic, he became testy saying “Yeah and when you get the answer, it’s legitimate that you sort of take the answers I gave. You know what the answer is? I didn’t write them, didn’t read them at the time, and I disavow them. This is the answer.”

  21. Alexander says

    [C]orporations who control resources — and can subsequently deny access to said resources, or otherwise exploit those resources for their own gain — can not cause direct physical harm, and so are peachy-keen.

    What you have described are merely normal property rights. Just because the owner is a corporation does not diminish the same rights that you have over your possessions. Pray tell, what complaint do you have against the modern implementation of property ownership?

  22. says

    Agh. I’m a libertarian, but I don’t want to be associated with that. I wanted to want to vote for Ron Paul, but that racism nonsense, homophobia, and evolution garbage is a deal breaker (well, any one of those is a deal breaker for me – all three together mean that I suggest to people who tell me they want to vote for him that Ron Paul be locked away where he can’t damage either the country or the concept of libertarian ideals).

    For me, the things the federal government should or should not be allowed to do boil down to property rights and neighborhood effects. In both cases, the situation presented in an earlier response (the sulfur scrubbers in the [Big Oil Company] refinery) could be argued as a task for the federal government. Under the first (property rights), if the sulfur scrubbers produce a measurable and quantifiable improvement in the quality of the air surrounding the plant, then it’s a property rights issue. The people who own property around the plant have a right to their health and well-being, and it’s the responsibility of the government to make sure that right is not infringed upon by the “person” represented by the [Big Oil Company] refinery. Basically, it’s the government’s job to make sure that I can freely exercise my rights to property while simultaneously making sure that I don’t infringe on the property rights of others.

    From a “neighborhood effects” perspective, if I live in the area around the refinery, I benefit from the implementation of sulfur scrubbers (whether it was my actions or someone else’s that caused the scrubbers to be implemented). Because of those significant neighborhood effects (that whole “I can benefit, regardless of my actions, as long as someone else takes action” thing), it’s arguably the responsibility of the federal government to make sure the scrubbers are put in.

    Both are good cases for federal involvement in that case and cases similar to it. But the key is that such things need to be evaluated (at least consistently), to examine why the federal government is the most appropriate way to handle the situation.

  23. says

    The only charitable thing left to say about Ron Paul is that he doesn’t seem to change his position depending on what audience he happens to stand in front of. It says a lot about the current US political climate that this is apparently enough to impress people nowadays.

    That’s not quite true – he disavow his former racist writings, now that they have a wider audience.

  24. says

    Thanks PZ. I’ll confess last night I was really down about some of the worse comments, there’s only so many times one can be called an ugly cunt whose vagina is destroying America before it starts to hurt a little. This very much makes up for it.

  25. says

    Ashley, if possible, don’t let the idiots affect you – if nothing else, they are great evidence of the mindset of people who support Ron Paul.

    I must admit that I can only take debating them in small doses – the stupidity is so strong in them that I am afraid of getting sucked into the abyss.

  26. anteprepro says

    Ron Paul shouldn’t be taken seriously until he refuses to use any federal money to fund his district and until he consistently votes against anything involving giving more authority to the federal government. As it is, his district gets money from Big Gubmint just like any other district run by a politician who doesn’t pretend that such a process is a personal offense to him, and he consistently votes as if he wants Big Gubmint to actually be able to pass and enforce the laws in question. Homophobic, anti-choice, anti-science, anti-separation, and pro-gold standard laws (WTF!?), voted for in the hopes of giving enhanced powers to federal government on these issues, despite Paul’s claims that this same government should be virtually powerless. Really, aside from his opposition to the war on terror and on drugs, he sounds like a standard states-rights Republican to me. I don’t know how Paulites have fooled themselves into believing otherwise.

  27. Matt Penfold says

    For me, the things the federal government should or should not be allowed to do boil down to property rights and neighborhood effects.

    It is not those who live near plants releasing sulphur into the atmosphere that always suffer the effects. The effects may not even be felt within the US.

  28. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    Pray tell, what complaint do you have against the modern implementation of property ownership?

    Ownership of property doesn’t confer the right to ruin or restrict other people’s safe access to clean drinking water, breathable air, or other ecosystem services that should be the the birthright of every human being. It’s only in the past 30 years that this limitation of traditional property rights have begun to be recognized and codified into law. To the extent that the implementation of property rights ignores these limitations, I have big problems with it.

  29. Aquaria says

    What you have described are merely normal property rights. Just because the owner is a corporation does not diminish the same rights that you have over your possessions. Pray tell, what complaint do you have against the modern implementation of property ownership?

    Property rights doesn’t give you carte blanche to do any fucking thing you want with the property, dumbass. There are always limits on what you can do with it. It’s just who can be exploited to do what a selfish piece of shit would do with the property you have “rights” to.

  30. says

    @Matt Penfold

    It is not those who live near plants releasing sulphur into the atmosphere that always suffer the effects. The effects may not even be felt within the US.

    That’s a fair point, but I think my examples can be generalized to a more global approach. Especially from the neighborhood effects perspective, globally, people benefit from the sulfur scrubbers whether it’s their actions or the actions of someone else who gets them implemented. So, it’s an arguably reasonable function of the federal government to get them implemented.

  31. Ms. Daisy Cutter says

    Alexander, if corporations are people, can we imprison or execute them for criminal behavior?

  32. raven says

    ashleymiller:

    Thanks PZ. I’ll confess last night I was really down about some of the worse comments, there’s only so many times one can be called an ugly cunt whose vagina is destroying America before it starts to hurt a little.

    Don’t worry about it. And welcome to our Brave New World of 1984.

    If all they have is hate and ugly insults, they don’t have anything intelligent.

    Fundie xians never, ever miss a chance to display their total intellectual and moral bankruptcy. Libertarians, which overlap with the xian death cultists by a lot, do the same thing.

    PS I used to get the same thing. It can get worse. When they are done with the insults and hate, they usually start in with the death threats.

    They also occasionally attack buildings and kill people. Everyone knows what Tim McVeigh was famous for. 2/3 of all terrorist plots and attacks since 9/11 have involved right wing extremists and fundie xians.

  33. says

    For me, the things the federal government should or should not be allowed to do boil down to property rights and neighborhood effects. In both cases, the situation presented in an earlier response (the sulfur scrubbers in the [Big Oil Company] refinery) could be argued as a task for the federal government. Under the first (property rights), if the sulfur scrubbers produce a measurable and quantifiable improvement in the quality of the air surrounding the plant, then it’s a property rights issue. The people who own property around the plant have a right to their health and well-being, and it’s the responsibility of the government to make sure that right is not infringed upon by the “person” represented by the [Big Oil Company] refinery. Basically, it’s the government’s job to make sure that I can freely exercise my rights to property while simultaneously making sure that I don’t infringe on the property rights of others.

    I see libertarians still haven’t learned the concept of non-point sources of pollution.

    also, it’s morbidly amusing to me that in the libertarian view, I may inflict (state) violence on a person’s body to prevent harm to my property, but I may not inflict (state) violence on a person’s property to prevent harm to my body.

  34. Matt Penfold says

    That’s a fair point, but I think my examples can be generalized to a more global approach. Especially from the neighborhood effects perspective, globally, people benefit from the sulfur scrubbers whether it’s their actions or the actions of someone else who gets them implemented. So, it’s an arguably reasonable function of the federal government to get them implemented.

    Quite honestly the level at which such policies are made and implemented is not relevant. What matters is that harmful pollution is prevented. If that happens as the result of international treaty, Government policy or local government policy is not of much concern.

  35. raven says

    [C]orporations who control resources — and can subsequently deny access to said resources, or otherwise exploit those resources for their own gain — can not cause direct physical harm, and so are peachy-keen.

    This is just a lie.

    In our glorious Libertarian past, corporations employed mercenaries to keep the workers in line. There were notable incidents where the Pinkertons opened fire on workers.

    In the sluggish Libertarians paradises of the Third World, the corporations and oligarches often have private armies to keep their privileges and keep the poor people in line.

    GM was famous for employing private eyes to harass Ralph Nader. Hewlett Packard did the same thing just lately to their board of directors.

    In fact, the USA had a mercernary company, Black(something or other) that has changed its name and moved to the middle east.

    Then of course, there is the pre EPA massive environmental damage that was done by corporations. And pre-FDA, all the fake and shoddy medicines that either didn’t work or were poisonous.

    In our great Libertarian era, the average US lifespan was 47, 30 years less than today.

  36. Becca Stareyes says

    also, it’s morbidly amusing to me that in the libertarian view, I may inflict (state) violence on a person’s body to prevent harm to my property, but I may not inflict (state) violence on a person’s property to prevent harm to my body.

    This. I want a candidate who, frankly, is willing to acknowledge that my right to take care of my body is protected. Saying we should have the right to smoke pot or buy raw milk, but then being anti-abortion offends me. It smacks to me of, at best, an incredible disconnect from one’s female constituents.

  37. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    I may inflict (state) violence on a person’s body to prevent harm to my property, but I may not inflict (state) violence on a person’s property to prevent harm to my body.

    Possibly the most succinct summation of libertarian ideology that I have ever heard.

  38. says

    also, it should be noted that when the Ron Paul’s of this world say “free market”, they actually usually mean the theoretical construct known as a “purely competitive market”, something that doesn’t and can’t exist in the wild.. It can be approximated with strict and well-enforced anti-trust regulations, and government provision and/or very strict regulation of natural monopolies and naturally public resources; but then it obviously wouldn’t be a “free” market.

  39. says

    You obviously didn’t read the post PZ linked to. I would rather have a 3rd term with Bush than Ron Paul as a president.

    I admit that I was playing devil’s advocate. However, I still stand by the statement that the question of Paul versus Obama isn’t as clear cut as you’d (or indeed I’d) like it to be. Paul may be crazy and evil, but in the current political climate, an ineffectual ditherer like Obama is just as bad. Obama isn’t a racist, but he blithely stands over a system where a black man is more likely to go to prison than university. Obama isn’t a creationist, he’s done next to nothing to defend science teaching.

  40. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    However, I still stand by the statement that the question of Paul versus Obama isn’t as clear cut as you’d (or indeed I’d) like it to be. Paul may be crazy and evil, but in the current political climate, an ineffectual ditherer like Obama is just as bad.

    Again one must make reference to demographic privilege in order to explain this blatant denial of reality: all the situations in which a Paul presidency would be a LOT worse probably don’t apply to you.

  41. raven says

    I must admit that I can only take debating them in small doses – the stupidity is so strong in them that I am afraid of getting sucked into the abyss.

    True. They are just lunatic fringers, kooks. They can stay crazy longer than anyone normal can stay interested.

    Libertarianism is a Utopian fantasy, every bit as convincing and realistic as communism was.

    The really great thing about crackpots gibbertarians is that there aren’t very many of them. The Libertarian party on the west coast runs candidates that usually get a few percent of the vote, less than 5%.

  42. says

    @SallyStrange

    It’s only in the past 30 years that this limitation of traditional property rights have begun to be recognized and codified into law. To the extent that the implementation of property rights ignores these limitations, I have big problems with it.

    But that’s just the point, one of the few indisputable functions of the federal government is to ensure that the property rights of individuals are maximized without infringing on the property rights of others. And so we can break down a large portion of the crimes in the US as property rights violations (in a very general sense).

    It’s about making decisions in rational self-interest, and the problem becomes defining “rational” in that case. I want to benefit from my choices, and that means avoiding negative consequences, so I make choices to avoid breaking the law. But, then the law has to be sufficient and concise, and the enforcement of the law has to be swift and consistent in order for the risk of consequence to significantly impact the rationality of a decision.

    For example, let’s say I own a building, and in that building, I’m manufacturing Purple Widgets. The manufacturing process of Purple Widgets includes one of two reactions – the first, which is inexpensive and fast, produces toxic liquid that is not eliminated effectively from the local drinking water by normal purification procedures. The second, which is more expensive (but not prohibitively so), just as fast, and produces no toxic liquid. The rational decision is to use the second reaction but, in the interest of only profit maximization and in the absence of effective property rights laws and enforcement, it’s conceivable that I might choose the first reaction. It’s a bad choice – it’s irrational, because it biases the people who suffer from the contaminated water against my company, which will likely reduce my profit in the long run – so it becomes (at least partly) the responsibility of the government to make it apparently irrational to make the bad decision. I might make less money initially, but I’ll avoid major fines, shutdown, and jail time, thus maximizing my ultimate utility.

  43. says

    The manufacturing process of Purple Widgets includes one of two reactions – the first, which is inexpensive and fast, produces toxic liquid that is not eliminated effectively from the local drinking water by normal purification procedures.

    non-point sources of pollution. go. shoo. learn something.

    It’s a bad choice – it’s irrational, because it biases the people who suffer from the contaminated water against my company,

    only if they have a right to know and a means to find out that there’s pollution in their water, and the source thereof. or do you think you can see all pollution with the naked eye, with a convenient “made at plant X” sign on it? Or that every chemical substance is obviously toxic or non-toxic, with obvious correlations to effects on people and property?

    Fuck, but I hate such simplistic whargarble

  44. says

    I am already a bleeding heart liberal and would never vote for Ron Paul, the blog post fairly well cemented that, but the cherry on top was that the best the RP supporters could offer were ad hominem attacks on the blog author, which suggests that even they know they cannot dispute the post.

    That said, can someone explain to me how making your handle, “ashleylmillerhasapenis” is witty or um, I don’t know aggressive? What is that even supposed to mean?

  45. Matt Penfold says

    also: humans are not the rational actors classical economics likes to pretend they are. behavioral economics keeps on showing that, over and over again.

    also, the fact that there are so many breaches of environment laws in all manner of jurisdictions would suggest that a good number of companies think the best option is to ignore such laws and hope they do not get caught.

  46. Gregory Greenwood says

    That article was enlightening and disturbing in equal measure. Even as a UK citizen, I was aware that Ron Paul was a proponent of some toxic drivel, but I had no idea he was quite this crazy.

    Then I made the mistake of scrolling down to the comments. I won’t repeat what was typed there by a bunch of flaming misogynist libertarian morons, but suffice it to say that I have just a little less hope for humanity than I did before reading their bile, and I have suprised myself by realising that I am actually capable of despising libertarians even more than I did before.

    —————————————————————-

    ashleymiller @ 29;

    Thanks PZ. I’ll confess last night I was really down about some of the worse comments, there’s only so many times one can be called an ugly cunt whose vagina is destroying America before it starts to hurt a little. This very much makes up for it.

    The first thing internet morons reach for when trying to silence women is unreconstructed misogyny. It is utterly disgusting, and sadly ubiquitous as we saw with the ‘elevator gate’ incident. I know it probably doesn’t help to say this, but the very fact that they are spewing this vile bigotry amounts to an admission that they have no substantive grounds on which to argue against you – you have them on the metaphorical ropes, and their fragile, inadequate little egos cannot handle the fact, so they resort to the kind of foul effluvia that we see in the comments on your blog.

    I know it probably doesn’t always seem like it, but there are plenty of people who admire your integrity and the well researched and written articles on your blog (I, for one, wish I possessed your level of articulation and skill). Try not to let these cretins wear you down. Here at least, trolls like that tend to get gleefully eviscerated*, invited to a night of passion with a decaying porcupine and (if they are suffciiently obnoxious) banhammered by our gracious host into oblivion. I don’t doubt a few of them will find their way to this thread soon enough. Stick around, watching trolls get well and truly gnawed is always fun, and the Pharyngula Horde has a particular taste for the libertarian flavoured ones…

    —————————————————————-

    * Strictly figuratively eviscerated, I hasten to add. No mangled fundies or libertarians are to be found around here, no sir. Our weapons are mockery and reason, we leave the violence to them.

    That said, there have been times when I have been sorely tempted…

  47. says

    @Jadehawk

    I see libertarians still haven’t learned the concept of non-point sources of pollution.

    I actually don’t know enough about this subject to formulate a reasonable rebuttal to this point. =( It seems to me, though, that such pollution has to come from somewhere? The term “non-point source” seems misleading…

    also, it’s morbidly amusing to me that in the libertarian view, I may inflict (state) violence on a person’s body to prevent harm to my property, but I may not inflict (state) violence on a person’s property to prevent harm to my body.

    I…actually don’t understand this distinction, either. Do people really separate “my body” from “my property”? I’ve always assessed “my body” as being a part of “my property” and thus one of the things most heavily protected by legitimate government activity. Ideologically, I’m for the “make your own decisions” when it comes to actions taken on your own body (to address later points, I’m opposed to drug regulations and in favor of the freedom to choose abortion or not). It never occurred to me that “body” is separable from “property” – that’s why I consider murder/assault/etc to be fundamentally a property rights violation.

    also, it should be noted that when the Ron Paul’s of this world say “free market”, they actually usually mean the theoretical construct known as a “purely competitive market”, something that doesn’t and can’t exist in the wild..

    I tend to agree – the purely competitive market (I usually refer to this as an “organic free market”) doesn’t and can’t exist, because there needs to be government to discourage irrational choices and protect property rights. The things I’m in favor of is evaluation of government activity and minimizing government interference in things which don’t require it.

    @Matt Penfold

    Quite honestly the level at which such policies are made and implemented is not relevant. What matters is that harmful pollution is prevented. If that happens as the result of international treaty, Government policy or local government policy is not of much concern.

    I agree. The point is, such a regulation (based on the neighborhood effects of the pollution), is a reasonable function of government.

  48. says

    Alexander:

    What you have described are merely normal property rights. Just because the owner is a corporation does not diminish the same rights that you have over your possessions. Pray tell, what complaint do you have against the modern implementation of property ownership?

    In addition to what SallyStrange said at #33, the original discussion I mentioned was about private ownership of what is now social infrastructure. Like roads.

    In the Libertarian ideal, roads would be owned by individuals. People would pay tolls to access and use the roads. Besides the resulting logistical nightmare, my example was simply this:

    Imagine I purchase a store. You don’t like me, so you purchase the roads surrounding my store, and refuse to allow freight deliveries from your roads. You have effectively destroyed my livelihood by doing nothing more than exercise your property rights.

    This is, in essence, what businesses do regularly. Starbucks was notorious not only for their over-roasted coffee, but for driving out small mom-and-pop coffee shops from an area they wished to enter. They’d do this by purchasing the building in which the existing coffee shop resided, and not renewing the lease (as one example).

    Or take Microsoft, and their exclusive (and, as was eventually demonstrated, occasionally anti-competitive and illegal) deals with computer manufacturers. By controlling the distribution chain, Microsoft controlled the industry far more effectively than government regulation could ever hope to achieve.

    Property rights provide asymmetric power. Those that own things have power. Those that do not, have little power. Government is there to help balance the power differential. When it comes to public infrastructure, the Libertarian ideal would essentially give over the power from the government to the hands of those who would profit.

    That’s what I have against property rights, and most especially property rights as desired by Libertarians.

  49. andrew1193 says

    @raven

    In our glorious Libertarian past, corporations employed mercenaries to keep the workers in line. There were notable incidents where the Pinkertons opened fire on workers.

    You mean, of course, that corporations employed Pinkertons to try and protect replacement workers during strikes where union goons were trying to murder them, as was the case at Homestead.

    In our great Libertarian era, the average US lifespan was 47, 30 years less than today.

    You’re confusing life expectancy at birth with actual lifespan.

  50. anteprepro says

    Well, I see good ol’ libertarian-style property-fetishism has already surfaced and proudly presented itself like it so regularly does in any thread tangentially related to libertarians. It’s so nice when they go through the effort of showing their moral and intellectual bankruptcy for us.

  51. Matt Penfold says

    You’re confusing life expectancy at birth with actual lifespan.

    No he is not. Still, why let facts get in the way.

  52. Matt Penfold says

    To add to what I just said, in England during the Industrial Revolution the average life-span on average went down. This was due to people working in factories with unsafe working conditions, living in over-crowded accommodation, having reduced access to fresh food, increased air pollution, along with a number of other factors.

    It took Government legislation to improve all of those. There was not a single example of the private sector deciding to do so on their own volition.

    We tried the libertarian approach. It killed people so we got rid of it. Often in the face of opposition of business owners.

  53. Philip says

    Too funny. The one man in politics who predicted the economic collapse is being castigated for not being economically astute? Are people really this retarded that they dont see the fricking disconnect within this article?

  54. Rey Fox says

    Possibly the most succinct summation of libertarian ideology that I have ever heard.

    I prefer to call them propertarians.

    It never occurred to me that “body” is separable from “property” – that’s why I consider murder/assault/etc to be fundamentally a property rights violation.

    Wow.

  55. says

    The one man in politics who predicted the economic collapse is being castigated for not being economically astute?

    oh yeah; he and only he predicted it.

    well, he and every non-neoconservative person with decent knowledge of economics and no direct investment in business-as-usual.

  56. Matt Penfold says

    It never occurred to me that “body” is separable from “property” – that’s why I consider murder/assault/etc to be fundamentally a property rights violation.

    Either you simply do not bother to think, or you are not being honest.

    It is quite obvious that human life is separable from property rights. We expect firefighters to take greater risks when life is at stake in a fire than when it is simply a building that is in danger. Likewise, we expect the police to put the saving of human life over the protection of property.

    Well, I say “we”, but of course I really mean those of us who are not amoral arseholes.

  57. says

    There have been a lot of reductions in personal freedoms in the United States. On this, libertarians, left-liberals, greens, progressives, and socialists agree. Some of the libertarians have a kind of zealotry that makes them very single-minded about getting their message out, and it is in general a simplistic message so it’s easy to communicate. So there’s a generation coming of age on the internet who don’t have strong views on economics but who know that they don’t feel free, and the libertarian message is the loudest one that resonates with this feeling.
    The problem with libertarianism is that economic inequality is not conducive to freedom.
    This much is recognized by the undeniably capitalist Fund for Peace and Foreign Policy magazine, who jointly publish the Failed States Index, which counts uneven economic development along group lines as one of the indicators of dangerous instability. On this particular measure, by the way, the United States scores more than half as bad as Zimbabwe.
    There’s more detail from the Equality Trust on how economic equality buys us all the kind of society that is conducive to freedom.

    Right-wing economic policies, though, tend to favor the consolidation of wealth, at the expense of other freedoms.
    This is short-sighted. In the long run it’s not even safe for the rich, because highly unequal societies eventually collapse into violence. Tim Wise gives a good description of how privilege ultimately hurts those who have it; he’s talking about white privilege but you can easily see the parallels to class privilege.
    Conservatives are famously short-sighted, wouldn’t you agree? Isn’t that one of the reasons libertarians don’t want to be identified with them? Being tough on crime and tough on terror and tough on any foreign country that looks funny is short-sighted. Yet libertarian economic policies, in line with other right-wingers’ economic policies, are similarly self-destructive.
    Nobody is really free in the chaos and violence of a failed state. But even in a relatively stable state, the poor live under constant coercion and threat of violence.
    And so today in the United States, even if we could immediately get rid of the PATRIOT Act and the war on drugs and the border walls and the cameras and the high-tech police cruisers and all the other obvious manifestations of the police state, and the corporate lobbying and the military-industrial complex and the military bases around the world and the constant state of undeclared war—and we should get rid of all these things immediately, but even if we did—life in the United States, for a substantial portion of the citizens, would still be more about violence and fear than freedom and opportunity.
    And there is no laissez-faire policy that will address this reality.

  58. Matt Penfold says

    The one man in politics who predicted the economic collapse is being castigated for not being economically astute?

    Simply not true. So why say it ?

  59. Matt Penfold says

    Conservatives are famously short-sighted, wouldn’t you agree?

    I recently read an article by Nick Cohen in which he explained his opposition to conservatism, and the UK conservative party. It is because on every social issue for the last 200 years conservatism, and the Conservative party, has been on the wrong side of the argument.

  60. raven says

    The one man in politics who predicted the economic collapse is being castigated for not being economically astute?

    Simply not true. So why say it?

    QFT!!!

    This is a blatant lie. Millions of people saw the Great Recession coming. We were one of them. We bailed out of the stock market as much as we could a few months before it collapsed. So did anyone who was watching closely.

    Oddly enough, the people who missed it were the people who caused it, bankers and Wall Streeters.

  61. says

    Matt and ray, libertarians, especially the uber-propertarian ones, really do think oneself is one’s own property, and that the difference is at best one of degree (i.e. one’s body being one’s most important piece of property). From that results all sorts of shit, like Rand Paul’s comparison to being “pro-choice” on abortion with being “pro-choice” in regard to low-flow toilets; and some very screwy linguistic and philosophical contortions in regard to slavery

  62. anteprepro says

    Reyfox:

    Wow.

    Wow, indeed. I assume in Libertaria, murderers are subject to the same punishment as those that cause 7 million dollars of property lost/damaged. Which, most of the time, is paying 7 million dollars in damages. Oh, how great it would be to be rich in Libertaria.

  63. says

    Jadehawk:

    well, he and every non-neoconservative person with decent knowledge of economics and no direct investment in business-as-usual.

    And what’s really stupid is, he predicted it based on the wrong things.

    What caused the economic collapse was the reduction in government oversight, a relaxing of regulations. These are the very things Ron Paul desires. The collapse is not a vindication of Ron Paul’s economic astuteness. It’s a recrimination of his ideology.

  64. raven says

    andrew lying:

    In our great Libertarian era, the average US lifespan was 47, 30 years less than today.

    You’re confusing life expectancy at birth with actual lifespan.

    No. But you are just lying. That and insults are all gibbertarians have.

  65. says

    In those respects, Paul would be just as bad as Bush and Obama, but at least there’s a silver lining: With Paul as president, drug legalization would become politically respectable. As “eclectabotanics” pointed out, any positive action to end the war on drugs probably wouldn’t happen.

    Somehow, despite the fact that I also think the whole “war on drugs” thing is tackling the problem from the wrong damned end, having it be legal to get so stoned that you don’t have a fracking clue how screwed up everything else is becoming under the administration is not, in my mind, a positive.

  66. raven says

    wikipedia:

    Brute force attacks against unionsUnions such as the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) were devastated by the Palmer Raids, carried out as part of the First Red Scare. The Everett Massacre (also known as Bloody Sunday) was an armed confrontation between local authorities and IWW members which took place in Everett, Washington on Sunday, November 5, 1916. Later, communist-led unions were isolated or destroyed, and their activists purged with the assistance of other union organizations, during the Second Red Scare.

    [edit] Union busting with military forceFor approximately 150 years, union organizing efforts and strikes have been periodically opposed by police, security forces, National Guard units, special police forces such as the Coal and Iron Police, and/or use of the United States Army. Significant incidents have included the Haymarket Riot and the Ludlow massacre. The Homestead struggle of 1892, the Pullman walkout of 1894, and the Colorado Labor Wars of 1903 are examples of unions destroyed or significantly damaged by the deployment of military force. In all three examples, a strike became the triggering event.

    Pinkertons and militia at Homestead, 1892 – One of the first union busting agencies was the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, which came to public attention as the result of a shooting war between strikers and three hundred Pinkerton agents during the Homestead Strike of 1892. When the Pinkerton agents were withdrawn, militia forces were deployed. The decisive defeat of a powerful strike resulted in the destruction of the local union.

    Federal troops crush the American Railway Union, 1894 – During the Pullman Strike, the American Railway Union (ARU) committed one of the first great acts of union solidarity by calling out its members according to the principle of industrial unionism. The action was very successful until twenty thousand federal troops were called out to crush the strike, and the national ARU was destroyed.
    National Guard in the Colorado Labor Wars, 1903 – The Colorado National Guard, an employers’ organization called the Citizens’ Alliance, and the Mine Owners’ Association teamed together to eject the Western Federation of Miners from mining camps throughout Colorado during the Colorado Labor Wars.

    Here is part of our glorious gibbertarian past. The corporations used to employ private armies and sometimes the US armed forces against the citizens and workers.

    Well, you can’t make a Utopia without a few piles of dead bodies here and there, I guess.

  67. raven says

    One wonders why the looneytarians just don’t find a Looneytarian paradise and join it.

    A lot of the Third World is like that. Governments are weak and corporate regulation is nonexistent. Lifespans tend to be short though.

    The current champion is Somalia. You can get as rich as you want to. The leading occupations are “warlord” and “pirate”.

  68. Matt Penfold says

    May I also suggest the libertarians here recall the Peterloo massacre, during which cavalry, with sabres drawn, charged a peaceful crowd engaged in a protest for parliamentary reform. Around 15 people were killed, with 500-700 injured.

  69. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    The one man in politics who predicted the economic collapse is being castigated for not being economically astute?

    Who’s castigating Barney Frank?

  70. crocswsocks says

    I agree with Jon Stewart: I don’t think he should be given any kind of power, but I like that he’s ideologically honest and consistent.

  71. says

    having it be legal to get so stoned that you don’t have a fracking clue how screwed up everything else is becoming under the administration is not, in my mind, a positive.

    Then you should also advocate the outlawing of alcohol.

  72. Rey Fox says

    Matt and ray, libertarians, especially the uber-propertarian ones, really do think oneself is one’s own property, and that the difference is at best one of degree (i.e. one’s body being one’s most important piece of property).

    I think what annoys me most about libertarians is how they reduce their philosophy to these ridiculous idealistic models. Every time we have an argument here, we have the philosophy student constructing ideas about how liberty is property or somesuch, while the liberals are the only ones talking about the real world.

    I agree with Jon Stewart: I don’t think he should be given any kind of power, but I like that he’s ideologically honest and consistent.

    Except that if you read the article, you’ll find that he’s not really all that consistent.

  73. says

    I agree with Jon Stewart: I don’t think he should be given any kind of power, but I like that he’s ideologically honest and consistent.

    Jon Stewart is a sucker who is easily taken in by these charlatans.

    Ron Paul is the king of pork.

    He is not honest, and he is not consistent.

    (There’s something wrong with you if you admire consistently spitting on women and the poor, but I don’t know how to fix that error in your brain.)

  74. says

    I agree with Jon Stewart: I don’t think he should be given any kind of power, but I like that he’s ideologically honest and consistent.

    Sorry, I didn’t accept this for Strom Thurman and won’t accept it for Paul.

    Him being ideologically honest and consistent is just another way of saying he doesn’t give a shit about reality beyond ideology and refuses to confront or address new evidence.

    You might as well praise creationists for their honesty and consistency with eschewing science.

  75. anteprepro says

    I like that he’s ideologically honest and consistent.

    If only I could be reassured that this is intentionally damning him with faint praise, instead of just accidentally doing it.

  76. says

    This might fix it.

    Sorry, I didn’t accept this for Strom Thurmond and won’t accept it for Paul.

    Him being ideologically honest and consistent is just another way of saying he doesn’t give a shit about reality beyond ideology and refuses to confront or address new evidence.

    You might as well praise creationists for their honesty and consistency with eschewing science.

    Head shot.

  77. says

    Again one must make reference to demographic privilege in order to explain this blatant denial of reality: all the situations in which a Paul presidency would be a LOT worse probably don’t apply to you.

    I agree that a Paul presidency wouldn’t affect me, as I’m British, and so I have access to the NHS and a reasonably good welfare state.

    With regard to your side of the pond, I’m perfectly aware that a Paul presidency would be awful, and that the poor would be worst affected. However, the US already has an awful government, and the poor are those worst affected. Homelessness is skyrocketing, trade unions are being eliminated, left-wing (but not right-wing) protests are met with police brutality, the wealth gap is getting ever wider, and not a single banker has been punished for causing the credit crunch. The only denial of reality is the assumption that Obama is anything other than a smooth-talking version of the rest of the political elite.

  78. says

    Or to put it another way…

    I’m a left winger. I believe in free-to-use taxpayer-funded health care, and I’m happy to pay those taxes. I believe that no country where people sleep rough can call itself civilized. I believe in strong trade unions and strong worker protections.

    I don’t see Obama as no better than the Republicans despite this; I see him as no better than the Republicans because of this. They’re both so far to the right that the differences are largely cosmetic.

  79. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    @love moderately #82: Kagehi was being snarky in #75. The point is that legalized drug use, and massive quantities of it, would be required to not notice how bad a Paul administration would be.

  80. anteprepro says

    How big of a body count do we need before someone goes from honest and consistent into zealous and deranged?

    Well, from the point of view of The Grand Arbiters of Civility and Tone and/or Republicans:

    For a regular person? About one.
    For a very religious person? About three or four.
    For a non-religious person? Exactly zero.
    For a milquetoast politician? About ten thousand.
    For a liberal politician? About a thousand.
    For a “radical” liberal politician? About three or four.
    For a warmongering politician? About a million.
    For a patriotic politician? About a million.
    For a highly religious politician? About two million.
    For a patriotic, highly religious politician? About 5 million.
    For a warmongering, patriotic politician? About 5 million.
    For a warmongering, patriotic, highly religious politician? About 10 million (i.e. roughly 1.66 Holocausts).

    This may seem like a very high threshold, but remember: Words hurt politicians more than a normal person. If Sam Brownback’s crew wanted to bring out the censorship squad over a teenager saying that Brownback “sucks”, imagine the sheer degree of existential angst a politican would suffer if a full-fledged adult dared to call a politician “deranged”? The sheer amount of suffering caused would far outstrip the suffering that happened to occur because of policies that resulted in the deaths of a few thousand or hundreds of thousands. Priorities, people! Let’s hold off on the Z and D-bombs until the politicans are at least partially responsible for a number of deaths that rivals the populations of entire countries.

  81. says

    Somehow, despite the fact that I also think the whole “war on drugs” thing is tackling the problem from the wrong damned end, having it be legal to get so stoned that you don’t have a fracking clue how screwed up everything else is becoming under the administration is not, in my mind, a positive.

    The problem with the war on drugs isn’t the drugs. It’s the violence caused by criminal gangs fighting over a multi-billion dollar industry that’s the problem. In Mexico, 45,000 people have been killed as gangs fight over the drug supply to the US. 250,000 more have been forced from their homes. In Columbia, herbicides are sprayed over the jungle, to destroy coca plantations. The herbicides cause illness and birth defects in the local population, and destroy their food crops.

  82. says

    matthewbannerman:

    It’s a bad choice – it’s irrational, because it biases the people who suffer from the contaminated water against my company, which will likely reduce my profit in the long run

    There’s a faulty assumption hidden here–that everyone is concerned with “the long run.” If you make enough money in the short term, that takes care of you personally for the long haul. And in the Libertarian, every man for himself view, that’s what matters.
    It doesn’t matter if others have that same opportunity. Ron Paul is a guy who made a pile of money taking advantage of infrastructure investments by government in the past, and now sees no need for further investments. Because he’s already rich.
    Killed By Fish

  83. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Philip: “The one man in politics who predicted the economic collapse is being castigated for not being economically astute?”

    Dude, even I predicted the economic collapse–way back in 1999. A couple of friends got a liar’s loan, and I started looking at the increasingly lax lending policies. Anyone could have predicted it, and many did. The problem is predicting WHEN it would collapse. Given that Dr. Paul is still working and did not make killing in derivatives and then retreat to an underground bunker to plot Nuclear Armageddon and stroke his cat, it appears he was no more successful on the question of “when”.

    Damn, you guys are loons.

  84. says

    Kagehi was being snarky in #75.

    I hope so. I may be a victim of Poe’s law here, but there are still some otherwise decent people who believe it should be illegal to get high on some drugs.

  85. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    anteprepro on death threshold fro concern: “For a warmongering, patriotic, highly religious politician? About 10 million (i.e. roughly 1.66 Holocausts).”

    Actually for such a politician, “It doesn’t matter. It’s OK. They’re with God now.”

  86. anteprepro says

    Actually for such a politician, “It doesn’t matter. It’s OK. They’re with God now.”

    Alternatively: “The deaths don’t matter. They were filthy heathen foreigners who hated us for our freedom and were a threat to our CHRISTIAN nation (and possibly Israel). God bless America, fuck yeah.”

  87. KG says

    Wow, indeed. I assume in Libertaria, murderers are subject to the same punishment as those that cause 7 million dollars of property lost/damaged. – anteprepro

    It would depend on the quality of your body, obviously: if you’re going to murder someone in Libertalia, make it someone old and ugly.

  88. Alexander says

    @ 36 Ms. Daisy Cutter:

    Alexander, if corporations are people, can we imprison or execute them for criminal behavior?

    I did not say, nor do I believe, corporations are people; they are legal fictions (a collective of individuals acting in an economic capacity). It is the owners and the CxOs of a corporation who are responsible for the actions peformed in their name, although no legal system in the world currently enforces this.

  89. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    It never occurred to me that “body” is separable from “property” – that’s why I consider murder/assault/etc to be fundamentally a property rights violation

    I find this sentence chilling. But, it strikes me – it must be nice to be allowed to assume your body is your own property. That’s only a guess, of course.

    To Ms. Madison: You’re female, so of course psychotic bigots come out of the woodwork when you say anything they don’t like. They can’t argue against your points, so they bust out the misogyny and threats. However, that’s clear and perfect proof that you’re correct. Try not to those sniveling cowards hurt you. Laugh at their incompetence and pointless, aimless rage.

  90. interrobang says

    It never occurred to me that “body” is separable from “property” – that’s why I consider murder/assault/etc to be fundamentally a property rights violation.

    Spoken like someone who has never survived a rape (attempt).

    While I agree with the notion in principle that I “own” my body, in that I should get to have the ultimate say over what happens to it (although I think it’s kind of a nonsensical notion to even say “I” “own” my body, because without my body, there’s no “I” to own it — dualism needs to die now), I can’t imagine what kind of clueless moron you’d have to be not to figure out that a lot more gets hurt if someone violates your body as opposed to your (literal) property.

    If I had to guess, I’d put that clueless moron in the demographic of “adult male, white, able-bodied, in the top 20% of wealth-holders.” Everyone else learns the lesson early and often.

  91. vegantaxidermist says

    raven says: The current champion is Somalia. You can get as rich as you want to. The leading occupations are “warlord” and “pirate”.

    I think this is unfair to Somalians. Somalia has several independent airlines (such as Jubba Airways), an independent mobile network (Hortel), founded from scratch, and the owners of these operate despite considerable adversity. There is little outside foreign investment compared to other African nations. Lots of Somalians lead productive lives and are not warlords or pirates. Somalia also has a very interesting, ancient legal system called Xeer that I think we could learn a lot from, especially as it’s remained effective in adjudicating disputes and avoiding blood feuds despite the absence of a national government.

    Unfortunately, our U.S. media is mostly interested in painting Somalia as a basket-case of crime and violence and ignores any of the good things happening there.

  92. Rip Steakface says

    Somalia also has a very interesting, ancient legal system called Xeer that I think we could learn a lot from, especially as it’s remained effective in adjudicating disputes and avoiding blood feuds despite the absence of a national government.

    Because not allowing women to speak at judicial meetings is something we can learn from!

    Take a decaying porcupine.

  93. Alexander says

    @ 55 Abbot nigelTheBold:

    Property rights provide asymmetric power. Those that own things have power. Those that do not, have little power.

    Starbucks was notorious … for driving out small mom-and-pop coffee shops from an area they wished to enter. They’d do this by purchasing the building in which the existing coffee shop resided, and not renewing the lease (as one example).

    That’s what I have against property rights, and most especially property rights as desired by Libertarians.

    ((I hope you don’t mind my quoting out of sequence. I know this can be highly misleading, but in this case I think it helps emphasize the point you are making, with the smallest quote.))

    The libertarian response to your sob story about Starbucks would be “those small stores should have owned their location, not leased; sucks to be them”. Frankly, I can see a kernel of truth in this — owning the store would provide a level of security against the actions you describe. However, this would be no shield against eminent domain abuse — businesses using the government to force sales of property.

    Libertarian philosophy may be horribly flawed in massive ways — so is democracy (“two wolves and a sheep agreeing on dinner”) but they are IMO still the best governing systems we have invented so far. Nobody ever told me a magical incantation that guarantees that democratic government is always fair to everyone, and the history of slavery in the US shows this can’t be guaranteed. Likewise, economically, there is no magical incantation to always guarantee the government is going to favor the little guy over big businesses, and frankly I’d rather try to keep all oppressors, both government and business, as small and powerless as possible.

  94. Geral says

    Ron Paul has always been a fringe candidate who’s fanatics show up at every mention to him but his ideas are too extreme to have a chance at being elected for anything except for his home district.

    He’s only popular now because a Democrat (oh, and a black man) is in office it’s a popular time for republicans to be anti-government and anti-establishment. Exactly what Paul stands for.

    Trust me, when we have a new republican president Republicans will swing pro-government and Ron Paul will be more easily dismissed by the right-wing establishment. Funny how Fox News swung in the last few years.

    With Bush they were pro-government and anyone who disagreed was an Islamic communist atheist terrorist who hated freedom. Now, they act like the Rebel Alliance fighting the Empire..

    sigh.

  95. says

    and frankly I’d rather try to keep all oppressors, both government and business, as small and powerless as possible.

    But you can’t get from here to there by reducing the power of government before you use government to reduce the power of business.

    «As to whether it’s a democracy, I don’t think that there is a simple answer to that. Democracy has lots of different dimensions. I mean, basically the question is to what extent do the people have a meaningful way of developing and articulating their own ideas and putting them forward in the political arena and controlling decisions. That’s the general question. Now if you look at the United States, well, in some respects that’s true but in many respects it just isn’t true at all.

    So for example in the political arena, first of all there is one huge segment of social and economic life which is simply excluded from public control, in law and in principle, and it’s the most important part. It has to do with what’s produced and how its distributed, and so on and so forth. That’s all in the hands of what amount to huge private tyrannies, of which are about as totalitarian in character as any institutions that humans have so far concocted. Mostly their only accountability to the public is through quite limited regulatory mechanisms — I mean the whole corporate system. And they have extraordinary power over not only what happens in the workplace but the nature of our lives, and, given their resources, over the political system. And you can’t say that they control the media, because they are the media. That’s an enormous, a huge sector of life that is out of public influence and control in a manner which would have absolutely appalled someone like, say, Thomas Jefferson, who already condemned the very early stages of it that he saw and said that they would bring an end to democracy and restore the worst kind of aristocratic rule.

    So that’s one sector. Well, what about the public arena, the technically public arena, the government? There the fact is that in practice there happens to be at the higher levels very little way, right now at least, for the public to influence anything that goes on. As you move down to the lower levels, when you get to say your local community, the school board and so on, then there is much more of an opportunity. Incidentally at the intermediate levels, say the state level, although you would think superficially that the public could influence things more, the opposite is the case. The reason is that at the state level business power is far more dominant. Even a middle size business can have huge influence over state governments by, for example, such measures as threatening to move across the border whereas only the bigger guys can control the federal government. That’s part of the reason why there is such pressure on the far right, the so called “conservatives,” to devolve power from the federal to the state level which they know they could control a lot more easily.

    When you get to the federal government, we’ve been sold a line you know for 50 years of intense corporate propaganda that the government is the enemy — there cannot be a government that’s buy for and of the people. Well in practice the description is not inaccurate. The government is to a large extent the enemy, but the reason is that its so largely under the control of the private tyrannies that are excluded from, sort of off in the corner somewhere you know, you’re not suppose to see them. But the reason for the anti-government propaganda is obvious enough. The purpose is to remove decision making from the public arena where the public does, in principle, and sometimes even in practice have ways to participate in it and take part in it, and shift it over to the private arena where it is totally out of control.»

    «Another aspect of [“reducing government”] is what’s called “devolution” — reducing — moving governmental power from the Federal to the State level. And that has a kind of a rationale which you hear all over the time — place. For example there was an op-ed a couple of weeks ago in the New York Times by John Cogan — Hoover Institute at Stanford, who has pointed out what he called a philosophical issue that divides the Democrats from the Republicans. The philosophical issue is that the Democrats believe in big government and entitlements, and the Republicans believe in getting power down closer to the people, to the States, because they’re kind of populist types.

    Well, it takes about maybe three seconds’ thought to realize that moving power down to the States, in funding and so on, is just moving it away from the people, for a perfectly elementary reason: there’s a hidden part of the system — of the power system that you’re not supposed to know about, or think about, and that’s private power.

    Now, it takes a big corporation, like say, General Electric or Microsoft to sort of pressure the Federal government, but even middle-sized guys have no problems with State governments, they can control them quite easily. And in case anyone was too dull to figure this out by themselves, the same day as Cogan’s op-ed in the New York Times, which is a typical one, there was a story in the Wall Street Journal about Massachusetts, which had a headline that read: What Fidelity Investment Wants It Usually Gets. And then the story went on to say that Fidelity Investment, the biggest investment firm in Massachusetts, wanted even more subsidy and support from the State government than it already gets, and it was threatening if it didn’t it would move over the border to Rhode Island, where it just owns the place. So therefore, the passionately libertarian Governor quickly rearranged, you know, tax subsidies, and one thing or another, so that Fidelity got what it wanted.

    Well Fidelity couldn’t have done that with the Federal government. It couldn’t have said, you know, “you give us even more or we’re going to move to Switzerland” or something. I mean, other guys can do it maybe, but not Fidelity.»

    «QUESTION: Your ultimate political goal is anarchistic, the erosion of state institutions and any form of authoritarian control. But you have also recognised the need to defend some forms of state regulation as protection against a wholly unregulated market. Can you say more on how you view this two-edged process of possible political transformation?

    CHOMSKY: I’m not in favour of people being in cages. On the other hand I think people ought to be in cages if there’s a sabre-toothed tiger wandering around outside and if they go out of the cage the sabre-toothed tiger will kill them. So sometimes there’s a justification for cages. That doesn’t mean cages are good things. State power is a good example of a necessary cage. There are sabre-toothed tigers outside; they are called transnational corporations which are among the most tyrannical totalitarian institutions that human society has devised. And there is a cage, namely the state, which to some extent is under popular control. The cage is protecting people from predatory tyrannies so there is a temporary need to maintain the cage, and even to extend the cage.»

  96. says

    «I don’t see why we have to have a system in which the wealth that gets created is directed, overwhelmingly, to a tiny percentage of the population. Nor do I see a system that has to be as radically undemocratic. I mean, remember how undemocratic it is. A private corporation, let’s say General Electric, is, in fact, just a pure tyranny. You and I have nothing to say about how it works. The people inside the corporation have nothing to say about how it works, except that they can take orders from above and give them down below. It’s what we call tyranny.

    And when those institutions also control the government, the framework for popular decision-making very much narrows. In fact, that’s the purpose of shrinking government. It’s so that the sphere of popular decision-making will narrow and more decisions will fall into the hands of the private tyrannies.

    “Government” is a kind of interesting term in American political mythology. The government is presented as some enemy that’s outside, something coming from outer space. So when the IRS comes to collect your taxes, it’s this enemy coming to steal your money. That’s driven into your head from infancy, almost.

    There’s another way of looking at it, which is that the IRS is the instrument by which you and I decide how to spend our resources for schools and roads and so on. Whatever faults the government has, and there are plenty, it’s the one institution in which people can, at least in principle and sometimes in fact, make a difference.

    So government’s shrinking, meaning the public role is shrinking. And business — that is, unaccountable private power — has to take its place. That’s the dominant ideology. Why should we accept that? Suppose someone said, “Look, you’ve got to have a king or a slave owner.” Should we accept it? I mean, yes, there are much better systems. Democracy would be a better system. And there are a lot of ways for the country to become way more democratic.

    Handing over the digital spectrum, or for that matter the Internet, to private power — that’s a huge blow against democracy. In the case of the Internet, it’s a particularly dramatic blow against democracy because this was paid for by the public. How undemocratic can you get? Here is a major instrument, developed by the public — first part of the Pentagon, and then universities and the National Science Foundation — handed over in some manner that nobody knows to private corporations who want to turn it into an instrument of control. They want to turn it into a home shopping center. You know, where it will help them convert you into the kind of person they want. Namely, someone who is passive, apathetic, sees their life only as a matter of having more commodities that they don’t want. Why give them a powerful weapon to turn you into that kind of a person? Especially after you paid for the weapon? Well, that’s what’s happening right in front of our eyes.

    Could the system be different? Of course it could be different. This [the Internet] could remain what it ought to be: just a public instrument. There ought to be efforts — not just talk but real efforts — to ensure Internet access, not just for rich people but for everyone. And it should be freed from the influence of Microsoft or anybody else. They don’t have any rights to have anything to do with that system. They had almost nothing to do with creating it. What little they did was on federal contract.

    And we can say the same across the board. There are a lot of changes that can be made. Now let’s take, say, living wages. There are now living-wage campaigns in many places. They’re very good campaigns, it’s a great idea. But if you had a free press, what they would be telling you is the following, because they know the facts. If you look at American history, since, say, the 1930s, the minimum wage tracked productivity. So as productivity went up, the minimum wage went up. Which, if you believe in a capitalist society, makes sense. That stops in the mid-’60s.

    Suppose you made it continue to track productivity. The minimum wage would be about double what it is now. Now, to say that we should continue doing what was done for 30 years and what just makes obvious sense — there’s nothing radical about that. If you had a free press, this would be all over the front page. But you’re not going to find it on the front pages, because the corporate media and their leaders and owners, they don’t want that to be an issue. Well, you know, this doesn’t have to remain. We’re free agents. We’re not living in fear of death squads. We can organize to change these things. Every single one of them.»

  97. says

    So the crucial difference between business in government is that we the people have some nonzero amount of influence over government — and by organizing ourselves we have the potential to gain more power over government — while we have zero power over business except by using government against business.

    +++++
    «The following is a transcript of a conversation between Noam Chomsky and a Zmag forum user. […]

    Here my summary of Mr. Paul’s positions:
    – He values property rights, and contracts between people (defended by law enforcement and courts).

    Under all circumstances? Suppose someone facing starvation accepts a contract with General Electric that requires him to work 12 hours a day locked into a factory with no health-safety regulations, no security, no benefits, etc. And the person accepts it because the alternative is that his children will starve. Fortunately, that form of savagery was overcome by democratic politics long ago. Should all of those victories for poor and working people be dismantled, as we enter into a period of private tyranny (with contracts defended by law enforcement)? Not my cup of tea.

    – He wants to take away the unfair advantage corporations have (via the dismantling of big government)

    “Dismantling of big government” sounds like a nice phrase. What does it mean? Does it mean that corporations go out of existence, because there will no longer be any guarantee of limited liability? Does it mean that all health, safety, workers rights, etc., go out the window because they were instituted by public pressures implemented through government, the only component of the governing system that is at least to some extent accountable to the public (corporations are unaccountable, apart from generally weak regulatory apparatus)? Does it mean that the economy should collapse, because basic R&D is typically publicly funded — like what we’re now using, computers and the internet? Should we eliminate roads, schools, public transportation, environmental regulation,….? Does it mean that we should be ruled by private tyrannies with no accountability to the general public, while all democratic forms are tossed out the window? Quite a few questions arise.

    – He defends workers right to organize (so long as owners have the right to argue against it).

    Rights that are enforced by state police power, as you’ve already mentioned.

    There are huge differences between workers and owners. Owners can fire and intimidate workers, not conversely. just for starters. Putting them on a par is effectively supporting the rule of owners over workers, with the support of state power — itself largely under owner control, given concentration of resources.

    – He proposes staying out of the foreign affairs of other nations (unless his home is directly attacked, and must respond to defend it).

    He is proposing a form of ultranationalism, in which we are concerned solely with our preserving our own wealth and extraordinary advantages, getting out of the UN, rejecting any international prosecution of US criminals (for aggressive war, for example), etc. Apart from being next to meaningless, the idea is morally unacceptable, in my view.

    I really can’t find differences between your positions and his.

    There’s a lot more. Take Social Security. If he means what he says literally, then widows, orphans, the disabled who didn’t themselves pay into Social Security should not benefit (or of course those awful illegal aliens). His claims about SS being “broken” are just false. He also wants to dismantle it, by undermining the social bonds on which it is based — the real meaning of offering younger workers other options, instead of having them pay for those who are retired, on the basis of a communal decision based on the principle that we should have concern for others in need. He wants people to be able to run around freely with assault rifles, on the basis of a distorted reading of the Second Amendment (and while we’re at it, why not abolish the whole raft of constitutional provisions and amendments, since they were all enacted in ways he opposes?).»

  98. andrew1193 says

    No he is not. Still, why let facts get in the way.

    Yes, he is.

    precious. wrong, but precious.

    Raven stated that the average lifespan was 47. This is actually life expectancy at birth around 1900, the height of our “glorious Libertarian past”. If you lived to age ten, you could expect to live to at least age 60.

    No.

    Yes you are.

    Pinkertons and militia at Homestead, 1892 – One of the first union busting agencies was the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, which came to public attention as the result of a shooting war between strikers and three hundred Pinkerton agents during the Homestead Strike of 1892. When the Pinkerton agents were withdrawn, militia forces were deployed. The decisive defeat of a powerful strike resulted in the destruction of the local union.

    At Homestead, the Pinkertons were trying to escort replacement workers into a steel mill. The union goons opened fire first, murdered a few Pinkertons, tried to burn alive Pinkertons who were attempting to surrender, and then after accepting the Pinkertons’ surrender, proceeded to torture them.

  99. says

    Did you folks hear that Iyer et al have recently studied the psychology of 10566 libertarians? It turns out libertarians experience less love; they even love their own families less than non-libertarians love theirs.

    http://keenetrial.com/blog/2010/11/17/whosthelibertarian/

    Libertarians tend to be male. And they score lowest of any group on measures of empathy.

    “They are therefore likely to be less responsive than liberals to moral appeals from groups who claim to be victimized, oppressed, or treated unfairly.”

    “…libertarians look somewhat like liberals, but assign lower importance to values related to the welfare or suffering of others.”

    “…libertarian independence from others is associated with weaker loving feelings toward friends, family, romantic partners, and generic others… Libertarians were the outliers.”

    “Self-Direction was the most strongly endorsed value for all three groups, but for libertarians the difference was quite large. If libertarians have indeed elevated self-direction as their foremost guiding principle, then it makes sense that they see the needs and claims of others, whether based on liberal or conservative principles, as a threat to their primary value.”

    The part I’ve bolded is of interest because libertarians often claim that they are just as loving, just as caring, full of just as much empathy as anyone else.

    It turns out that this is demonstrably, empirically false.

    (This is not to say that they’re deliberately lying about it. Everyone’s ultimately alone in their own heads, right? And since they are lacking in empathy, they have a harder time understanding other people than the rest of us do, and so they have a harder time understanding that others really do feel more empathy, more care, more love.)

    Full text free at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1665934

    Ravi Iyer has an online supplement to this at http://www.polipsych.com/libertarians/

  100. petejohn says

    I was still in college in 2008 when Ron Paul ran for the GOP nomination. You would have thought he was some sort of god the way my fairly liberal campus embraced the man. Why? He said some nice things about ending US adventurism overseas and reducing drug restrictions. That was enough for the morons over at the local College Libertarians club, who seem to think that anyone who says “FREEDOM!” enough times is worthy of high political office.

    Bottom line is that, as far as I can tell, we’ve no particular reason to trust major corporations and wanna-be Rockefellers to behave in ethical ways. I’ve studied enough history to remember what the world was like when governments didn’t at least try to prevent corporations from fucking people over like mad. A lot of people who had the gall to say “I’d rather my child not work 12 hours a day” or “I’d rather not eat cheaply produced, unsafe meat” or “I wish there were ways for workers to escape burning buildings” got the living shit beat out of them by company-hired guns and goons. I’d rather not return to that world.

  101. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    andrew1193 #116

    At Homestead, the Pinkertons were trying to escort replacement workers into a steel mill. The union goons opened fire first, murdered a few Pinkertons, tried to burn alive Pinkertons who were attempting to surrender, and then after accepting the Pinkertons’ surrender, proceeded to torture them.

    Citation requested.

    It appears that historians have a different story than you:

    Frick turned to the enforcers he had employed previously: the Pinkerton Detective Agency’s private army, often used by industrialists of the era. At midnight on July 5, tugboats pulled barges carrying hundreds of Pinkerton detectives armed with Winchester rifles up the Monongahela River. But workers stationed along the river spotted the private army. A Pittsburgh journalist wrote that at about 3 A.M. a “horseman riding at breakneck speed dashed into the streets of Homestead giving the alarm as he sped along.” Thousands of strikers and their sympathizers rose from their sleep and went down to the riverbank in Homestead.

    When the private armies of business arrived, the crowd warned the Pinkertons not to step off the barge. But they did. No one knows which side shot first, but under a barrage of fire, the Pinkertons retreated back to their barges. For 14 hours, gunfire was exchanged. Strikers rolled a flaming freight train car at the barges. They tossed dynamite to sink the boats and pumped oil into the river and tried to set it on fire. By the time the Pinkertons surrendered in the afternoon three detectives and nine workers were dead or dying. The workers declared victory in the bloody battle, but it was a short-lived celebration.

    The governor of Pennsylvania ordered state militia into Homestead. Armed with the latest in rifles and Gatling guns, they took over the plant. Strikebreakers who arrived on locked trains, often unaware of their destination or the presence of a strike, took over the steel mills. Four months after the strike was declared, the men’s resources were gone and they returned to work. Authorities charged the strike leaders with murder and 160 other strikers with lesser crimes. The workers’ entire Strike Committee also was arrested for treason. However, sympathetic juries would convict none of the men.

  102. raven says

    Thanks ‘Tis Himself. Andrew your continual lying is boring. No one can believe a word you say. And that is why gibbertarians will always be a lunatic fringe.

  103. blamethe1st says

    Thank you PZ Meyers for creating yet another post bashing those batshit insane looneytarians. Us enlightened progressive liberal atheists need to fight back against Ron “KKK” Paul and his legion of rich white privileged male followers. These regressive Randian free-market fundamentalist fucktards pose a dangerous threat, what with them placing individual liberty over the collective. We must all submit to the collective because individuality is the enemy of free-thought.

    And thank you for sharing that well-written, well-reasoned article by that free-thinking progressive atheist Ashley Miller. Clearly she has her priorities straight attacking Paul for not believing in evolution and for publishing newsletters with questionable content over 20 years ago. Those are clearly more pertinent and relevant issues than his foreign and economic policies.

    Libertarians like Ron Paul are irrational for believing that people should be allowed to live their lives freely without harming anyone else, and that the federal government should mind its own business. Fools! Don’t they know that the government’s business is to get involved with our own? Of course not! Otherwise they would be free-thinking progressive atheists like ourselves! Otherwise they would allow the government to perform warrantless wiretaps and wage perpetual war and bailout “too big to fail” banks and redistribute the wealth and tax the rich (who clearly don’t pay enough!).

    And what is with their obsession with the Federal Reserve? What could possibly be wrong with a private bank being controlled by the government with less transparency than the CIA? With the way they bitch and moan about it, you’d think it funneled $7.7 trillion in secret funds or something. You’d think it helped create the recession by slashing interest rates after the dot-com bubble burst, making credit cheap.

    And why do they want to deregulate everything? Everyone knows that deregulation caused the recession—especially the repeal of Glass-Stegall! Obviously we don’t have enough government oversight. Again, with their bitching and complaining, you’d think that a new regulation is being created every two hours. Do they honestly believe that the market can regulate itself? Please! There are no real-life examples of the market regulating itself. We obviously can’t have regulation without government. Who else will tax cow farts and regulate farm dust?

    If these free market fundamentalist fucktards love their ideology so badly, they should move to Somalia (which is obviously doing worse than it was under its former tyrannical government). Screw them having a say in our democracy like every other citizen. They should love it or leave it, those unpatriotic bastards! We don’t want a free market in this country, lest it becomes a shithole like Hong Kong. Everyone knows that countries with the freest economies are shit.

    So thank you PZ Meyers and Ashley Miller for standing up against the fringe minority that are libertarians. We free-thinking progressive atheists need to attack blind faith in the market by supporting blind faith in the government. Freethought and skepticism only applies to religion, never to the government. We must never question the government. Government is sacred. Government is benevolent. It never does any wrong (unlike the market, which always does wrong). Government is great. Government is good. I cannot cease singing of its praises.

  104. Alverant says

    Do Paulbots REALLY respect property rights when it’s inconvenient to them? Yesterday at the local supermarket, a guy was trying to get signatures to put him on the ballot. Problem is, the store has visible signs against solicitations. So this guy was ignoring the wishes of the property owner and resisted being moved.

  105. Alexander says

    love moderately ॐ:
    @111:

    As a result of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, restaurant owner Lester Maddox was forced—forced by the government!—to serve black people.

    Was Title II morally wrong?

    Yes– to the extent that laws do not change real attitudes and belief; to the extent that the Civil Rights Act has not changed the highly discriminatory actions of the government itself (such as drug enforcement and the death penalty); and to the extent that the act has encouraged the presumption of guilt over presumption of innocence (when hiring percentages among races protected classes does not match that of the local population).

  106. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    Alexander #122

    Wow, we got us a true-blue “I don’t give a shit about anyone except me” looneytarian here. Alexander is all in favor of racial discrimination. What am I bet he’s a white, cis-hetreosexual, adult male?

  107. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Alexander,
    Actually, laws do change attitudes and beliefs…, they just do it very slowly. Laws make it impossible to ignore the minorities. They force interaction, and eventually, through interaction, attitudes change.

    Don’t believe it? Look at the reaction to the religious numbnuts who banned interracial couples from his church last month. Can you imagine this happening before Loving vs. VA?

    Libertarianism is wrong because it doesn’t work for human beings. It ignores the fact that we are social animals.

    Democracy, on the other hand, capitalizes on our social nature. Libertarianism is incompatible ith democracy.

  108. garycameron says

    First of all, let me say that I agree RP is deeply, and perhaps fatally flawed. But so is Obama. and the rest of the GOP candidates are even more so.

    The two most important issues of the campaign are:

    1. The US has been in a state of continual war since 9/11 on multiple fronts, and even longer if you count the drug wars. The government is spending far, far more than it takes in. Obviously this is completely unsustainable, and will end with the US defaulting like Greece. Except this time there will be no bailout; Federal bankruptcy will make the great depression look like boom times. Think Weimar republic era Germany. RP is an over the top extremist, but he is the only one who acknowledges this. Who else (including Obama) has show any serious effort towards addressing the elephant in the living room and massively scaling back this out of control military spending?

    2. The NDAA is the greatest threat to civil liberties since the US was founded. Indefinite military detentions? Add this to the Patriot act and warrentless wiretaps, (which were expanded under Obama) and it becomes obvious our freedoms are fast disappearing. SOPA is a massive disaster that will force sites like Reddit and even this blog offline due to the legal risks. Eighty eight of the scientists, engineers, and inventors who helped create the internet has we know it have signed a petition begging this to be shelved.

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/12/internet-inventors-warn-against-sopa-and-pipa

    Where does Obama stand here? I know where RP stands. If you want to take the wind out of his sails, find somebody better who will stand for our freedom. Because once we lose free speech and democracy, nothing else will matter.

  109. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    gary cameron, Until Ron Paul can at least acknowledge physical reality–e.g. climate change, evolution, first law of thermo…, he is unsuited to any office.

    Obama has us out of Iraq at least, and he’s got 10000 troops out of Afghanistan ahead of schedule. Maybe you ought to look at a newspaper now and again.

  110. Who Knows? says

    When you say that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has violated private property rights it appears to me that what you are really getting at is this.

    Property owners, by virtue of their wealth (property) and status in the communities where they live and do business have the right to work together to establish a set of community ordinances and business practices that subjugate another group of people in the community identified by whatever arbitrary characteristic the property owners agree on.

    To me that looks an awful lot like just plain and simple segregation In spite of your dressing it up in that nice fancy suit you call property rights. You appear to me to be nothing more than a common ordinary racist longing for the days of systemic racism when you didn’t have to sit next to a ???? while eating lunch, riding the bus, drinking from a fountain or taking a piss.

  111. unclefrogy says

    a thought slightly off topic but not very.
    If corporations are considered to be persons in law and the CEOs. and the other officers are not held responsible for the actions done under their direction what is different about countries where in international law if I am not mistaken it is the leaders who are held responsible for actions done under their direction?

    I think what we are seeing in the race for the republican nomination is the result of the fact that even the republicans realize that they got nothing and no one who they really like or want to be president so they with the help of the news coverage dump who ever is the front leader after they take a look at them for a while. They are all marginal idiots and or duds.
    libertarians are some kind of religious fanatic who believe in some fantasy of reality over what history and observation demonstrate is the truth.
    uncle frogy

  112. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    Yes– to the extent that laws do not change real attitudes and belief;

    You assert that laws do not change real attitudes and belief. What makes you say this? Laws and attitudes change all the time. Sometimes laws are ahead, and sometimes attitudes are ahead. Both affect the other. The bare assertion that it’s a one-way street does not convince.

    to the extent that the Civil Rights Act has not changed the highly discriminatory actions of the government itself (such as drug enforcement and the death penalty);

    Eliminating some forms of discrimination is immoral because we haven’t gotten rid of all forms of discrimination?

    and to the extent that the act has encouraged the presumption of guilt over presumption of innocence (when hiring percentages among races protected classes does not match that of the local population).

    Citation needed. What I believe you are objecting to is the fact that discrimination laws expect business owners and institutions to take responsibility for the effects of their actions as well as the intentions behind their actions. In other words, lack of racist intent is not enough; if the outcome is discriminatory then they are expected to change how they operate. Of course, this only happens if someone brings a successful suit against them, and that is quite difficult, so I’m not really seeing where the “innocent until proven guilty” thing is being compromised.

  113. says

    I don’t care that the gov didn’t fucking change the racist…I care that they changed the fact that he can casually exercise his power based on race.

    If someone fantasizes about rape but doesn’t want to rape because they fear being caught or something like that, then mission fucking accomplished.

  114. says

    and frankly I’d rather try to keep all oppressors, both government and business, as small and powerless as possible.

    But you can’t get from here to there by reducing the power of government before you use government to reduce the power of business.

    No, you get there from here by denying corporations the right to derail, undo, or complain, about regulations that where put in place to counter their prior bad actions, and so that the people elected are representing the electorate, not some insane combination of religious ideology, married to corporate tyranny.

    I agree 100% with the call someone else made about corporations being tyrannies. But, that isn’t clear enough, I think. They are, in and of themselves, governments. Some, like at least one small auto company, opted to fire most of middle management, and open the books to their workers, to figure out how to save themselves, but that was one company, 20 years ago or so. The rest of them have everything from an absurd mix of “elected” boar members, in some cases, which means jack, since the only people that know who they are, and can so vote, are those that work with them directly, or they have non-elected boards. In most cases they appoint their president, without any consideration for the direction the people under them think about the direction of the company.

    They basically function either like pure tyrannies, or like fake democracies, where in both cases, the head is only interested in their own power and wealth, and those responsible for putting them there. But, worse than that, they exist as a mini-government inside a nation, and, for the most part, only give a shit about the latter if it is failing, and taking them with it, or it is trying to curtail their own self delusions and poor actions.

    The housing bubble didn’t happen, for example, because no one was letting them find other ways to create money. On the contrary, those companies, and banks, have, in the past 30 years:

    1. Ended small loans, in most cases.
    2. Extended loans to people that where increasingly less likely to pay them back.
    3. Invented a credit card system, which they then funneled into the college system, where its ***least likely*** to ever be paid off.
    4. Made not attempt to prevent multiple card use, so that one credit card couldn’t be paid off with another (just denying people the ability to do that would have been bloody rational, and prevented some of the stupid shit that goes on).
    5. Gone from allowing small accounts to be opened, to increasing larger, and larger minimum requirements.
    6. Done (5), while also continually increasing the amount that you have to keep in there, to gain interest, despite the fact that such an account is actually you loaning them your money, so that they can loan it to other people. Instead, you don’t even own your money, unless you can keep that minimum in there. Fail to, and they rob you, over and over, until there is nothing left.

    And that is just the stupid shit they do now, which they didn’t before.

    Oh, right.. One more. Sallie Mae, when the government programs for student loans was killed, and replaced with a private system, took over mine. The Student Loan Corporation allowed three payment options:

    1. Delay payment for the next month, or more.
    2. Prepay the interest, without advancing the payment date.
    3. Use the extra to pay into the principle.

    Sallie Mae, as of the last 5 payments I have made on mine, still didn’t have #3 as an option on their online payment system. This is ILLEGAL, or at least shady, assuming they merely “accidentally” left it off, so people wouldn’t actually pay off the principle. Hardly surprising from a company that opted to not learn its lesson from the sub-prime mortgage fiasco, and, now not allowed to do that, has decided to invest in student loans. A loan system which, if I am remembering the statistics, has a payback rate of less than 50% of those granted (it might be worse, but its not much better than that).

    No, you can’t get there from here by running the only thing that can control this shit at all through a grinder, then hoping that, somehow, you can rebuild it from scratch, once it has no power at all, to do anything, except what its backers and those buying people into elected office, tell them to do.

  115. says

    With Bush they were pro-government and anyone who disagreed was an Islamic communist atheist terrorist who hated freedom. Now, they act like the Rebel Alliance fighting the Empire..

    More like the 501st, enacting order 66, because someone dared to try to arrest emperor, but yeah.

  116. garycameron says

    a_ray_in_dilbert_space Out of Iraq and into Iran, probably as soon as the election is over. And I read a far greater selection of newspapers (including a number in the middle east) than you have ever heard of. I work with people who have family over there, and obtain first hand news from those who were actually at events such as the protests in Cairo.

    If you actually read what I posted, I never once said or even implied RP was my hero – I started off mentioning that he is deeply flawed. I just want somebody else, ANYBODY else to push back against the tide turning the US of A into East Germany.

    I am still waiting for you to explain why Obama hasn’t opposed the patriot act, NDAA, SOPA, warrentless wiretapping, etc.

    Pre-election Obama:
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9845595-7.html

    Post-election Obama:
    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/01/obama-sides-wit/

    That’s a 180 degree turn on a major promise in 9 months. Sorry, but unlike you I have a memory longer than the half life of Fermium, and don’t give anybody a free ride.

  117. says

    having it be legal to get so stoned that you don’t have a fracking clue how screwed up everything else is becoming under the administration is not, in my mind, a positive.

    Then you should also advocate the outlawing of alcohol.

    Oh why, did I forget to put the smiley face on the end, so you know that I meant it semi-humorously?

  118. Alexander says

    @123 ‘Tis Himself, OM.:
    How was I that unclear? I thought I pretty clear in asserting that the civil rights act was morally flawed (“wrong”) because — in order — it is incorrectly targeted, insufficiently broad, and contrary to other standing operations of law. I’ll take full points for possibly being wrong on the last — presumption of innocence is by no means automatically just — but the first two I fail to see as being selfish or supporting discrimination. Someone pray tell, how could I have been clearer?

  119. changeable moniker says

    @garycameron, let me explain to you where the US national debt came from. You said:

    The government is spending far, far more than it takes in. Obviously this is completely unsustainable, and will end with the US defaulting like Greece. Except this time there will be no bailout; Federal bankruptcy will make the great depression look like boom times. Think Weimar republic era Germany. RP is an over the top extremist, but he is the only one who acknowledges this. Who else (including Obama) has show any serious effort towards addressing the elephant in the living room and massively scaling back this out of control military spending?

    The reality:

    http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/jamesfallows/assets_c/2011/07/debt_chart_wh_0-58731.php

  120. says

    @Alexander

    No you made yourself perfectly clear. You sympathize with the racist rather than the victim of racism. It’s horrible that the Gov infringes upon his business…though it’s fine for him to infringe upon the life of his fellow citizen. It’s frankly perverse.

    it is incorrectly targeted, insufficiently broad

    On the contrary. It targeted racists, and it removed casual racism from being executed in official capacities. Your arguments don’t make sense. What would be a better law that wouldn’t need that one as a stepping stone?

  121. garycameron says

    @changeable So why didn’t he promptly turn the ship around and reverse the worst of the bush era policies? Before the GOP gained control of the house, it would have been fairly easy for him to push changes through during his honeymoon period, when everybody really believed he would bring about change. You can’t blame your predecessor for past policies if you do nothing to change them.

    This old joke explains it quite well:
    http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/write-two-letters/blog-108249/

  122. says

    I may be a victim of Poe’s law here, but there are still some otherwise decent people who believe it should be illegal to get high on some drugs.

    What drugs, under what circumstances, with what impurities, and are you going to bother to research how to a) fix damage they do to the person and b) undo the addiction, or just assume that, because someone tried it once, and happened to have a rare genetic quirk, which made them rapidly addicted, they are somehow just as liable for their actions as say.. someone with a peanut allergy that decided to eat something (whether they knew it had peanuts in it or not)? See, the problem is, its not just people choosing to take the stuff. People drug others, without them knowing, its even a big party trick, in the cases of some drugs.

    We restrict who can have, buy, and take, prescriptions. Why the hell not other drugs?

    Or, to put it another way, which is better, legalize all the dangerous shit there is now, or come up with something safer? And, if you expect the assholes selling the current drugs, including things like date rape drugs, to not just keep selling the unsafe ones, I have a problem with “legalizing” them. If you are going to do nothing at all to prevent addiction, really help people get off them, or otherwise put a stop to the more nasty results, then, I have a problem with legalizing them. If all you plan to do is make them legal, then try, after the fact, to apply some sort of impossible control over where you get them, use them, etc., well.. its possible the result really would be worse than the stupid shit we already are dealing with, especially since more of the problems that exist are a result of no one having any control over it in the first place.

    A few parallels –

    1. I find it improbable that the teen human trafficking stuff was any where near what it is now, never mind the rest of the sex industry, yet, precisely because its illegal, we have created a situation where making it legal is unlikely to halt the practice, or the abuses, at least not in any reasonable time frame (likely never, in some respects).

    2. Alternative medicine – This started out with things that, sort of, maybe worked. Chinese herbs, etc. But, its accelerated to the point where you now don’t know, without a careful look, if its water, some sort of useless herbs, mega vitamins, or something even nastier (rising in rank, as listed from harmless, maybe dangerous, definitely dangerous, if you take to much, to possibly lethal, in combination with the wrong things, including real medications). No control has produced a situation where your next altie med could either do nothing at all, or kill you dead (even if it hasn’t done so, so far, to anyone else).

    Personally, I despise the argument that you should pay the price, including possible permanent damage, from drug use, just because you a) tried it, and b) where unlucky enough to be the poor bastard that it causes permanent damage to. By that logic, its your fault if the airliner goes down, and you have to end up in a hospital, after all, you where the damn fool that chose to fly. Its only slightly better if you say “sky diving”, and your shoot didn’t open properly, but, at bare minimum, I find the argument of permanent consequence, for doing something stupid, unreasonable, and inconsistent with half the damn legal system, which includes a pretty large number of, “Don’t do this shit, its dangerous, and could also hurt other people.”, never mind our presumption of what the person that did it may deserve, for having tried it. Hint – for most things, we either conclude they need to be not allowed (like driving, if they keep getting drunk, whether they got mangled in an accident or not), or that they deserve at least some level of help.

    With drugs, and even alcohol, to some extent, the latter is never considered, even if they can’t stop on their own, by certain people, and the former, only happens after they endanger other people.

    So.. Before we go and just legalize every damn thing, shouldn’t we at least have some sort of bloody plan on how to deal with the real, predictable, consequences of doing so? Its still the right thing, in the long run, but its bloody stupid, if we ignore everything that we can predict, and know, is already happening, just because we would like people to act rationally at some unspecified point in time, after all the problems are fixed, somehow.

  123. Alexander says

    @130 SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu:

    Laws and attitudes change all the time. Sometimes laws are ahead, and sometimes attitudes are ahead. Both affect the other.

    Correct; in fact, a large number of factors can influence belief and law is one of the more aggressive means to do so. I object to the twin assumptions, usually unspoken, that modifying the law is the sole or most efficacious means to do so.

    Eliminating some forms of discrimination is immoral because we haven’t gotten rid of all forms of discrimination?

    No; what is immoral is allowing our chosen guardian of moral order to act contrary to the stated morality they are to enforce. This is not “set a thief to catch a thief”, it is letting the foxes guard the hen-house. If the government is to act as a guardian against discrimination, we must first forbid all discriminatory action from the government.

    What I believe you are objecting to is the fact that discrimination laws expect business owners and institutions to take responsibility for the effects of their actions as well as the intentions behind their actions. In other words, lack of racist intent is not enough; if the outcome is discriminatory then they are expected to change how they operate.

    I realize my extreme brevity in stating my objections made this most unclear; what I am complaining about the fact Title VII’s focus on hiring practices only targets discrimination’s symptoms, not causes. Historical politics in the US has stacked many discriminatory factors against minorities, and to claim we will eradicate the differences in wealth or education (among others) caused by these factors by merely changing hiring practices is, at best, ludicrous. What is needed is a broad series of programs to try and correct each of these factors, not to treat the most visible outcome as the only viable target.

  124. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    Hello, don’t mind me, I’m just a commenter with a stereotypically feminine pseudonym. Please go on ignoring me and reinforcing the impression that libertarians tend to be sexist as well.

  125. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If the government is to act as a guardian against discrimination, we must first forbid all discriminatory action from the government.

    And how does a liberturd fuckwit, liar and bullshitter, define this????

  126. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    I object to the twin assumptions, usually unspoken, that modifying the law is the sole or most efficacious means to do so.

    Well, that’s a lot different than what you said before, which was that laws DO NOT change attitudes. Such blatant back-pedaling ought to inspire embarrassment. Also, that’s a straw man.

    Eliminating some forms of discrimination is immoral because we haven’t gotten rid of all forms of discrimination?

    No; what is immoral is allowing our chosen guardian of moral order to act contrary to the stated morality they are to enforce. This is not “set a thief to catch a thief”, it is letting the foxes guard the hen-house. If the government is to act as a guardian against discrimination, we must first forbid all discriminatory action from the government.

    So, it’s immoral because we got the order wrong? We must eliminate ALL forms of discrimination in the government before we permit ourselves to enlist the government’s power in eliminating discrimination in the private sector? That makes as much sense as anything else you’ve said, which is to say, not much. When someone offers such obviously nonsensical arguments in support of a policy which would effectively increase racial discrimination (that is, refusing to pass the Civil Rights Act until the time when the government itself is 100% free of racism), one is forced to contemplate the possibility that you are simply acting out of unexamined privilege.

    I realize my extreme brevity in stating my objections made this most unclear; what I am complaining about the fact Title VII’s focus on hiring practices only targets discrimination’s symptoms, not causes. Historical politics in the US has stacked many discriminatory factors against minorities, and to claim we will eradicate the differences in wealth or education (among others) caused by these factors by merely changing hiring practices is, at best, ludicrous. What is needed is a broad series of programs to try and correct each of these factors, not to treat the most visible outcome as the only viable target.

    What is immediately apparent to me is that these things are not in opposition. Certainly those programs you mention would be quite desirable; what is unclear is why their lack renders the other part of the equation, the part where we address the symptoms, immmoral and undesirable.

    Also, it doesn’t much sound like you’re arguing for less government intervention here. Are you sure you’re a libertarian?

  127. says

    I agree 100% with the call someone else made about corporations being tyrannies. But, that isn’t clear enough, I think. They are, in and of themselves, governments.

    Cf. neofeudalism.

    Oh why, did I forget to put the smiley face on the end, so you know that I meant it semi-humorously?

    Yep! Oh wait, you don’t mean it humorously enough. You really do want to make it illegal to get high.

    Try separating legalization of use from legalization of distribution. Many of your objections to the latter will still be stupid, but at least you’ll be able to address what the fuck I said instead of what you wanted me to be saying.

  128. Alexander says

    @139 Ing: I SPEAK FOR THE HIVEMIND GROUPTHINK:

    [Title VII] targeted racists, and it removed casual racism from being executed in official capacities.

    This is correct for business hiring and promotion practices, not government programs, not education, and most certainly not criminal prosecutions. As I (all too briefly) stated in my original objection, and expounded upon in reply to SallyStrange (#143): when you allow the government to enforce laws and punishments in a discriminatory fashion, you have set the fox to guard the hen-house. When the incarceration rate of African-American men is seven times that of caucasians (see the bottom of page 6), how can you affirm that the US government does not discriminate “in official capacities”?

  129. says

    This is correct for business hiring and promotion practices, not government programs, not education, and most certainly not criminal prosecutions.

    Actually it applies to the Government. They are not allowed to explicitly make decisions based on race. That they do is evident that the law needs enforcement. And that you argue that it NEEDS to be enforced means you agree with the law but for some reason find it immoral that it also applies to business.

    When the incarceration rate of African-American men is seven times that of caucasians (see the bottom of page 6), how can you affirm that the US government does not discriminate “in official capacities”?

    Crime is associated with poverty. Prevent blacks from being discriminated against in hiring and education does address the issue.

  130. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So, Alexander’s contention is that it’s better to have racism in business and policing, than racism in policing.

    We all know Alexander is lying and bullshitting to prove his theology…

  131. says

    So, Alexander’s contention is that it’s better to have racism in business and policing, than racism in policing.

    I still boggle at how some people feel that one man’s right not to sell trumps another man’s right to fucking eat.

    The law is good. How many people here who are out, in any sense of the term, would not or could not be if businesses were allowed to deny you service or hiring?

    How many still can’t be because they’re in a right to work state?

  132. says

    Alexander’s morality visualized:

    bad <—————————————————————> good

    racist cops <—–> racist shopkeepers and cops <—–> no racism

    I get it, but I don’t get it.

  133. crissakentavr says

    If you believe the NNDA this year was so bad… Did you write or call the President and tell him so?

  134. crissakentavr says

    Did you know that not being able to pay off credit A with credit B would mean that you’d be stuck with whatever interest rate you were first given? Or changed to?

    That’d suck.

  135. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    crissakentavr: 1 time out of 20, zie manages to refrain from tone-trolling and JAQing off.

    Your stats suck, crissakentavr.

  136. crissakentavr says

    Fuck off, Sally. I don’t need a troll who can’t even bother to read posts replying to mine.

    Do you think most Paulites wrote to the President and told him their feelings? Or no? That’s what I was implying, anyhow.

    In no way is it JAQing off. Go fucking learn the definition before you try to apply a term.

  137. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    Haha. It’s cute how you keep calling me a troll.

    Your post was a non sequitur plus a JAQ off. Is there a special term for that?

    And why doesn’t Ing merit a “fuck off and learn the definition”?

  138. says

    I’ve had the desegregation argument with libertarians many times. They always say it’s bad because laws don’t change people’s hearts.

    (Of course, I agree with those who are saying that laws do change people’s beliefs, although slowly, because the evidence suggests this is true; even when a law is bad we notice people mistaking legality for morality.)

    I’ve always argued that it doesn’t matter; consequences are what matter. And of courset this is true.

    But it occurs to me now, for the first time, that these libertarians are saying the lunch counter sit-ins were wrong, too. Those demonstrators weren’t asking to be liked. They didn’t have any illusions that they could change a white supremacist’s heart by their actions. But they did what they did anyway, because their goal wasn’t to be liked; their goal was to be served the damn food!

  139. Hurin, Nattering Nabob of Negativism says

    I actually voted for this guy in the 2008 Republican primary. My number one reason for this was the fact that Obama wasn’t on the Democratic ballot in my home state of Michigan (which had also been stripped of its delegates by the Democratic party for holding its primary too early). So I thought it better to support the Republican campaigning against the drug war and reckless military adventures in the middle east. I wanted him to get as much attention as possible for voicing those particular ideas.

    Having said that, I think a lot of people romanticize Paul as an outsider who will defend personal freedom and roll back the assaults we’ve had against our bill of rights by recent anti-terrorism legislation. I also think that his stands against the drug war are a huge part of his appeal, as he is one of a very few politicians willing to do this.

    It wasn’t until last year or so that I became aware of his rather copious baggage. My experience is that the dark side of Paul is not the focus of most of his media coverage; or at least it wasn’t back in ’08. The fact that he is anti-choice is enough reason for me not to consider supporting him again, but the racism and the science denial really shocked me. I hope in the near future a politician will pick up his one or two reasonable stands, and dispense with his abundant kookiness. But I won’t hold my breath. Or support Paul again.

  140. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    But they did what they did anyway, because their goal wasn’t to be liked; their goal was to be served the damn food!

    QFT, thank you.

    The “but it’s wrong cuz lawz don’t change mindz” excuse is unbelievably lame. I don’t believe for a second that anyone who advances it actually means it.

  141. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    You can debate whether or not changing laws changes minds.

    The real question here is why one should leap from “doesn’t change minds” to “is wrong and not worth attempting.”

    Thomas Jefferson spoke of words as being something that neither picked his pocket nor broke his bones. He was talking about freedom of expression, but it applies here too. To the extent that racism remains on that level, I don’t really care if the law changes it. Like The Man With the Everchanging Nym Followed by the “OM” (or “AUM” to be technically correct) said, the point is to get served the damn food. Excluding people of color or some other group from a public business definitely falls under “picks my pocket.”

    Jay Smooth compared racist words and actions to pickpocketing. (Look up “how to tell someone they sound racist” to see him talking about it.) As he puts it, when someone steals your wallet, you don’t indulge in a philosophical debates over whether this person is, in his heart of hearts, a thief. You just want your wallet back.

    I think the obsession with changing minds is another artifact of privilege. In this case, insecure privilege. What if he never does change his mind, and has to deal with the fact that he is racist the rest of his life?

    (What if, indeed? Welcome to real life in a racist, sexist society.)

  142. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    People expect even less of me

    Poor Ing, victim of soft bigotry.

    You’re really missing out, you know. Being the personal object of ire for crissakentavr is quite amusing.

  143. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Sally – the point I was trying (probably not that clearly) to make was not about whether laws change minds. It was about the fact that I don’t think those who say “laws don’t change minds” actually care about what they claim to care about. They don’t believe it, and they don’t wish for or act in support of changing minds. It’s a disingenuous dodge. We don’t even need to debate whether laws change minds in this instance because it’s treating the claimant as if he/she were putting forth a good-faith argument. They’re not. And, of course, they’re deliberately refusing to engage with what these laws really do, and are meant to do: outlaw discriminatory behavior.

  144. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    No, I got that, Josh. Maybe I was unclear as well; I was agreeing with you and Love Moderately OM Dude. First, it really doesn’t fucking matter. Second, the only reason to be super concerned about it is if you fear experiencing the conflict when your personal views are contradicted by values that are enshrined in law.

  145. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Second, the only reason to be super concerned about it is if you fear experiencing the conflict when your personal views are contradicted by values that are enshrined in law.

    That’s so, so true. Lays bare the morally disgusting motivations behind that line of argument.

  146. John Morales says

    [OT]

    ॐ,

    (Of course, I agree with those who are saying that laws do change people’s beliefs, although slowly, because the evidence suggests this is true; even when a law is bad we notice people mistaking legality for morality.)

    What is law, if not codified, enforced morality?

  147. John Morales says

    [meta]

    crissakentavr:

    Fuck off, Sally. I don’t need a troll who can’t even bother to read posts replying to mine.

    That’s SallyStrange, OM whom you address.

    (You really should pay attention)

  148. keddaw says

    The ONLY issue that Americans should be considering this election is the gutting of the Constitution under both Republican and Democratic leaders, and with broad cross-party support in both cases.

    Who cares how healthy or wealthy you are when the government can come and detain you indefinitely without trial or for a political belief you espoused or a mixed up fingerprint record?
    http://finger-prints.com/fingerprinterror1.html

    Vote for any candidate who will restore your rights, then vote for your economic well-being.

    It’s kind of ironic that the reason people here hate Paul is that his policies are selfish and yet the MOST selfish thing is voting for someone who removes the rights of ALL citizens.

  149. says

    …and yet the MOST selfish thing is voting for someone who removes the rights of ALL citizens.

    That doesn’t make any sense. How is voting to get your rights taken away selfish? It would be stupid, for sure, but selfish? How?

    By the way, what ever happened to voting for a candidate that both protects your rights and your well-being?

    Besides, as has been repeatedly pointed out in this thread, Ron Paul isn’t going to restore all of our rights either. He’s not going to lift a finger to protect gay rights and abortion rights, or the right to safe medicine, clean air, or education, just to name a few.

  150. keddaw says

    Deen, I should have been clearer – many arguments against Paul are that his plans are economically non-viable (Gold Standard!?!) and would lead to a severe economic depression, as well as his policies appearing to be in favour of the selfish, hence many people are voting for him to avoid what they see as economic apocalypse.

    Ron Paul would restore the basic rights that (white, male) US citizens have had for hundreds of years and were the envy of peoples all over the world – the reason the US was the beacon of freedom.

    Gay and abortion rights you mention are not rights per se but should come out of people being equal in the law and the government stepping out of areas it does not belong in. That Ron Paul is personally against abortion is no big deal, or that he is racist, homophobic or misogynistic, as long as he doesn’t bring that into office with him.

    “By the way, what ever happened to voting for a candidate that both protects your rights and your well-being?”

    That’s what we thought Obama was and he pushed for MORE warantless wiretapping, and extension of the USA PATRIOT Act, and the more executive powers in the NDAA. Hope and change indeed, just not the change we hoped for. If you can find this candidate I’m sure many current Paul supporters would gladly get on board with him/her.

    I don’t want to defend Paul’s policies too much, but you actually don’t have the right to safe medicine or education. But once your basic rights are restored then you can vote for a more socially progressive candidate who accepts the rights of the people, unlike any of the other likely people who could be voted president.

  151. KG says

    gary cameron, Until Ron Paul can at least acknowledge physical reality–e.g. climate change, evolution, first law of thermo…, he is unsuited to any office. – arids

    The first of these in particular rules out any of the Repubs (even Huntsman, who IIRC accepts the science); it’s become almost impossible for a Repub politician to admit the reality of AGW, and I would judge quite impossible to react anything like appropriately to that reality. Following Durban, the years 2013-17 will be crucial for putting some limit on future GHG emissions: for that reason alone, the world needs a re-elected Obama and a Democratic landslide in Congress.

    Obama has us out of Iraq at least,

    And just in time, by the look of it – or maybe al Maliki had been holding the attack on Al Iraqiya until the Americans were at least officially “gone” (we should not overlook the mercenary companies, and the huge “diplomatic mission”).

    and he’s got 10000 troops out of Afghanistan ahead of schedule.

    He’d better hurry! What’s he going to do if Pakistan bans US military transport through or over its territory, cutting off nearly 100,000 troops? Invade Pakistan? Invade Iran? Go cap in hand to Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov?

  152. pj says

    Who cares how healthy or wealthy you are when the government can come and detain you indefinitely without trial or for a political belief you espoused or a mixed up fingerprint record?

    Have you ever heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?

    Fucking privilege, how does it work.

  153. keddaw says

    pj: myopia, how does it work?

    On Maslow’s hierarchy Obama’s NDAA happens to compromise the safety part which is slightly above the physiological – which is not endangered by having Paul as president. Care to make a more substantial point?

  154. keddaw says

    pj – the rights being removed are ones which people throughout history have thought to be worth fighting wars for, not least of which being the US War of Independence. If you want to give it all away because the only person standing up for those rights doesn’t want to educate children or feed the poor on the taxpayer’s dime then you’re a piss poor excuse for an American.

  155. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    only person standing up for those rights doesn’t want to educate children or feed the poor on the taxpayer’s dime then you’re a piss poor excuse for an American.

    Anybody unwilling to have universal education or use tax monies to feed the poor in order to obtain elusive freedom is a piss poor excuse for an American. As all liberturds are.

  156. says

    hence many people are voting for him to avoid what they see as economic apocalypse

    Seems like a sound strategy to me. History has shown that economic meltdowns aren’t exactly good for democracy and liberty either.

    That Ron Paul is personally against abortion is no big deal, or that he is racist, homophobic or misogynistic, as long as he doesn’t bring that into office with him.

    Do you know what his voting record is on anti-abortion legislation? And although he did vote to repeal DADT, he also supported DOMA. He already has brought it into office with him.

    I don’t want to defend Paul’s policies too much, but you actually don’t have the right to safe medicine or education.

    I beg to differ. Human rights needn’t be limited to those enumerated in the Holy Constitution of the US. Especially education should be a basic right – without access to proper education you won’t be able to fully participate in the free market and in democracy.

    But once your basic rights are restored then you can vote for a more socially progressive candidate who accepts the rights of the people

    Didn’t you just point out that no such candidate exists? How is anyone supposed to vote for them then? And I don’t see how any of Ron Paul’s policy proposals are going to do anything to change that.

  157. says

    the rights being removed are ones which people throughout history have thought to be worth fighting wars for, not least of which being the US War of Independence. If you want to give it all away because the only person standing up for those rights doesn’t want to educate children or feed the poor on the taxpayer’s dime then you’re a piss poor excuse for an American.

    Two words: food riots.

  158. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Gay and abortion rights you mention are not rights per se . . . .
    but you actually don’t have the right to safe medicine or education.

    It’s such a mystery why no one takes libertarians seriously.

  159. keddaw says

    Yeah, remove the government bread queues and you’ll have food riots. That’s just stupid.

    I partly agree about education though – there should be adequate access to education for all children otherwise democracy dies. (Not that it isn’t already with a corrupt 2-party system!)

    Not to mention Paul views many social programs as contracts that he would honour.

    Not that I want an evolution-doubting, AGW-denying, homophobic, anti-women’s rights, possible racist in the White House, but I’ll take him over any of the other Republican candidates or the US citizen killing, soldier torturing, civilian killing, Constitution gutting, PATRIOT extending, warrantless wire-tapping, Wall Street bailing, drug war prosecuting, minority jailing, torturer forgiving, Geneva Convention ignoring, warmongering, corporatist, hypocritical excuse for an American President we have now.

  160. Alexander says

    @ 148 SallyStrange:

    Are you sure you’re a libertarian?

    Please note, I never actually said I was a libertarian. I do agree with some of their philosophical underpinnings, specifically that strong property rights create the free market; however, I disagree with practically all of their other conclusions and their appropriate strength we should grant individualism and property rights. Ultimately, I don’t think the libertarian ideals can be ethically upheld without some concept of social responsibility. If it weren’t an outright contradiction, you could call me a “free-market communist”; frankly, I question EVERY political philosophy and haven’t yet found a 100% match to what I believe is appropriate.

    @155 love moderately ॐ says:

    Alexander’s morality visualized:
    bad <————–> good
    racist cops <——> racist shopkeepers and cops <——> no racism

    I get it, but I don’t get it.

    Would it help if I rephrased your examples as:

    racist laws <——> racist businesses <—–> no racism

    [Let me start my explanation by stating: I did not live through the 60s. It was hardly covered in any of my American History classes; worse, I don’t trust the accuracy when getting taught this topic from “the heart of Dixie”. Adults don’t tend to enjoy talking about this, so take the below with whatever dose of salt you think is appropriate, and if I seem completely off-base please help expand my understanding.]

    Really, the problem I struggle with is that when the Title VII and the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964,it was a fabulous start to addressing the problems of racism — and don’t misunderstand, the were a long-needed, strong start — they are not the final word, not the only required fix, and (most importantly) not the model we can follow for future action.

    However, when Congress and Lydon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, I highly doubt they sincerely expected the eventual outcome. Consider Lyndon Johnson’s speech when signing; he said “We must not approach the observance and enforcement of this law in a vengeful spirit. Its purpose is not to punish.” He proposed — and eventually appointed — Florida governor LeRoy Collins to the first “Director of Community Relations Service”, a man who “condemned the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, as did almost all Southern elected officials”. As far as I can tell, evidence points to the unavoidable fact: enforcement of Title VII wasn’t intended or expected by the sitting government.

    Nevertheless, the act did have punitive measures, and it was enforced, which has left us with finding the next step in reducing racism in the US. When Title VII passed, we already had desegregated schools and it became the crowning blow to end the “Jim Crow” segregation laws. We now have laws against hate crimes and hate speech as well, but the racist attitudes and beliefs still persist. If laws alone are going to eradicate racism, I have a hard time seeing why it hasn’t happened yet.

  161. Alexander says

    @ 187 Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle:

    Gay and abortion rights you mention are not rights per se ….
    but you actually don’t have the right to safe medicine or education.

    It’s such a mystery why no one takes libertarians seriously.

    I’ve come to read any libertarian stating “you don’t actually have the right to {X}” as really saying, “I only believe in the philisophical concept of negative rights, and as {X} is posed as positive right, I deny that it can be enforced.”

    If you’re curious about why I’m not a libertarian, it’s that hateful, odious core that denies legitimacy to the very concept of positive rights.

  162. andrew1193 says

    Citation requested.

    The New York Times, July 7, 1892, John T. McCurry quoted:

    I was down at the foot of Beaver Avenue, Allegheny, yesterday, when Captain Rogers employed me to go up the river on his boat – the Little Bill.

    Our boat had in tow one barge of Pinkerton men and the Tide had the other. While going up, the Tide was disabled, and we took our barge up in front of Homestead, and then went back for the Tide’s.

    We made a landing at the Homestead mills about five o’clock this morning. The shore was crowded with the locked out men and their sympathizers.

    The armed pinkerton men commenced to climb up the banks. Then the workmen opened fire on the detectives.

    The men shot first, and not until three of the pinkerton men had fallen did they respond to the fire.

    I am willing to take an oath that the workmen fired first, and that the Pinkerton men did not shoot until some of their number had been wounded.

    The workmen were so strong in numbers that it was useless for the three fifty or four hundred Pinkertons men to oppose them further, so they retreated to the barges, carrying their dead and wounded.

    One Pinkerton man was shot through the head and instantly killed, and five were wounded.

    We backed out into the river, anchored the barges, and then took the dead and wounded men up to Port Perry, whence they were sent on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to Pittsburg. We then went down to Homestead again.

    We were going along peaceably and expecting no trouble. When we reached the mills the strikers opened fire on the Little Bill from both sides. It was then I was hit.

    The bullets broke the glass and splintered the woodwork. Captain Alexander McMichaels was at the wheel. The bullets crashed through the glass pilothouse, and to save his life, he had to rush below. Captain Rogers was on board, and he displayed great bravery.

    When the firing commenced, we all laid down on the floor to escape the bullets, but I was not quick enough, and was wounded. There was a cessation in the firing, and the pilot secured control of the boat before it ran into the bank, which it came near doing.

    There was no one on board at the time we were fired upon, but the crew, Captain Rogers, and one Pinkerton man, J.H. Robinson of Chicago.

    When we approached Homestead from Port Perry we could see the attempts to set fire to the barges.

    The strikers had a carload of what appeared to be oil, and were pouring it on the river and igniting it. The barges at this time were out in the middle of the river.

    Also, from Wikipedia:

    The Pinkertons, too, wished to surrender. At 5:00 p.m., they raised a white flag and two agents asked to speak with the strikers. O’Donnell guaranteed them safe passage out of town. As the Pinkertons crossed the grounds of the mill, the crowd formed a gauntlet through which the agents passed. Men and women threw sand and stones at the Pinkerton agents, spat on them and beat them. Several Pinkertons were clubbed into unconsciousness. Members of the crowd ransacked the barges, then burned them to the waterline.

    Thanks ‘Tis Himself. Andrew your continual lying is boring.

    I’m not the one lying here, you are. Though I doubt you’re smart enough to realize it.

  163. keddaw says

    But Alexander, that’s a whole different discussion (one I’d quite like to have) but the point here is that out of all the available candidates and what they stand for, the least harmful, long-term, is Ron Paul.

    Once your basic rights are gone you cease to be a government of the people, by the people for the people. And if you don’t have that, what do you have?

    This is a fight for the very principles America was founded upon. That you have to vote for Ron Paul to do so is an horrific thing, but in times of crisis (and this really is) then needs must. American identity is at stake, and who’d have thought an African American would be at the helm when the rich white men got this close to getting everything they desire.

    Incidentally, for those of you who think Paul would be a godsend for the rich, look at the funding and support he gets from the establishment – virtually non-existent. Compare that to Romney or Obama.

  164. Aquaria says

    But Alexander, that’s a whole different discussion (one I’d quite like to have) but the point here is that out of all the available candidates and what they stand for, the least harmful, long-term, is Ron Paul.

    Unless you’re gay. Or not white. Or female.

    Take your privileged bullshit and choke on it, you bigoted sack of dog vomit.

  165. says

    Yeah, remove the government bread queues and you’ll have food riots. That’s just stupid.

    Not what I was hinting at at all. Guess I’ll have to spell it out then. “People throughout history” didn’t only fight for such lofty ideals as “freedom”. People will fight if that’s what’s needed to feed themselves and their kids too. So if you think that “liberty” should get a priority over “food for children” because people fight for liberty, well, they fight for food too. Most people would probably sooner fight to feed their kids than over “habeas corpus”.

    In fact, I’d say historically, most soldiers didn’t fight for freedom either, they fought for food. After all, the army was one of the few places you could get three meals daily. Food shortages have always been a great army recruitment tool.

    But now that you brought it up, what makes you think that food riots couldn’t happen in the US?

  166. says

    Try separating legalization of use from legalization of distribution.

    Ok, so, what, we tell them they can distribute, but it needs a special stamp, then never issue the stamp?

    Seriously, I have yet to hear a coherent plan, from anyone, as to how to deal with the problems, not just end the useless war. Its almost a like libertarian theory about how deregulating everything will magically allow corporations to make reasonable choices (instead of increasingly worse ones). How, for example, if you have some rule that says drug X can only be dispensed in a special modern version of an opium den, do you prevent the existing drug trade from continuing to supply it to people that want to snort the stuff on the job? I mean, other than continuing to fight the same war anyway?

    As for your assertion that I am somehow misreading you… Misreading what exactly? Other than saying that the war on drugs is bad, and that a lot of people get hurt that shouldn’t, you haven’t addressed anything else about it. Not how you end it for real, instead of just on paper, not how you control distribution, without keeping the war going (your never going to sell it cheap enough that it won’t cost less for some bastard using slave labor and stolen land, in South America can’t outbid you), not how you get people off it, when use goes out of control (or should we just let some percentage of the populous continue to steal car stereos to pay for the now “legal” distribution?), etc.

    Hell yes, it needs to end. But what the hell is the plan, exactly?

  167. says

    John,

    What is law, if not codified, enforced morality?

    Among other things, it also includes favors to certain business sectors, sought not because their advocates thought them moral but because wouldn’t it be awesome if we could get this break.

    But if you like: the law adds another layer of conservatism to morality, such that people become more prone mistake moralities which ought to change for moralities which ought not to change.

    Better?

  168. says

    Kagehi, again, try separating legalization of use from legalization of distribution.

    I said it sounds like you want to make it illegal to get high. You suggest that you do want to make it illegal to get high, but then you go on and on and on about distribution.

    This leaves me still wondering if you really do want to make usage illegal, above and beyond making distribution illegal.

    You keep demanding that I defend legalization of distribution, but that has never been the topic I brought up. I brought up how it appears that you want to make usage illegal. That’s what I expect you to clarify.

  169. says

    @Kagehi:

    How, for example, if you have some rule that says drug X can only be dispensed in a special modern version of an opium den, do you prevent the existing drug trade from continuing to supply it to people that want to snort the stuff on the job? I mean, other than continuing to fight the same war anyway?

    How did they do it for alcohol after the end of prohibition?

  170. says

    Did you know that not being able to pay off credit A with credit B would mean that you’d be stuck with whatever interest rate you were first given? Or changed to?

    That’d suck.

    You seriously think that:

    A) the people doing this are, at all, thinking about using the lower interest card to pay off the higher one? I know people personally that are so bloody dumb that they circle jerk the things, pay A with B, with C, then C with A again, and then they can’t figure out why the hell they never get out of the mess they started.

    B) The is no such things as “loan consolidation”. See, the people using one credit card to pay off another are not looking at the options they do have to try to lower their interest, or payments, they are just looking to go day by day. Its also why the “paycheck loan” people are a problem, since they have no regulation on them at all, thank you Rethuglicans, and may end up, over the length of the loan they give, charge you 3-4 times what your original check was worth, by the time they are done with you. The worst rate on a bank loan will, generally, double the value in 12 months, not triple, or quadruple it.

    However, despite things like loan consolidation existing, the people using multiple credit cards are not using loans. Some of them probably even imagine that loans are something to avoid, and inconvenient, or something. They certainly are not, unless they are smart enough to go to an expert, to get themselves out of the mess they are in, going to be looking at using a real loan, to reduce the burden placed on them by having 3, 4, 5, 6, etc. credit cards, all shuffling balances from one to the other, all with different rates of interests, and no one giving a crap, other than them, that they are being payed off this way.

    Its like I was saying about the payment options on my student loan. It looks suspiciously like Sallie Mae is more interested in a continuous income from me, for the next 15-20 years, than my actually paying them back. And, given the trend that banks have had of charging you for every damn thing, including lending them your money to make more, I am damn surprised they don’t charge me an “overpayment fee” or some BS. But, you know, that wouldn’t be legal, but it also can’t be passed off as “accidental” either, so, maybe they are not that stupid.

    But, the fact is, the reason this stuff happens is just what I said, they want income. They don’t give a shit if that income amounts to the same few dimes being shuffled between a dozen banks, through a dozen credit cards. Just like with the housing fiasco, no one is looking, to see if the bloody accounts are generating money, or merely generating imaginary profits. And, they will keep doing it, because it “looks” on paper, like they are profiting from it, even if, in the long run, someone gets left holding the bag, when the now bankrupt twit, that was using those cards that way, inevitably defaults. After all, as long as you aren’t the one holding the potato, when the feces hits the windmill, its all golden.

  171. says

    If, in case you really cannot understand the question:

    For the sake of argument, let’s say that Mr Doe already has in his possession enough heroin, crack, pcp and meth to keep him high for the entire weekend. How he procured these substances is moot; he already procured them, so the law cannot prevent him from procuring them.

    Do you propose that it should be illegal for him to use these drugs to get himself high?

  172. says

    keddaw,

    Gay and abortion rights you mention are not rights per se but should come out of people being equal in the law and the government stepping out of areas it does not belong in.

    “Should” is an interesting word choice there, when “won’t” is more descriptive.

    If Alexander has diagnosed your malfunction accurately, you ought nevertheless recognize abortion and many gay rights as negative rights, quite simply as the right to be left alone.

    As for gay marriage: straight marriage is treated by the US government as a “fundamental right”, and as long as this is so, the right to gay marriage is only the right to equal treatment under the law.

    That Ron Paul is personally against abortion is no big deal, or that he is racist, homophobic or misogynistic, as long as he doesn’t bring that into office with him.

    It is a big deal, as he has indicated his intention to devolve the rights of Roe to the states, which we know means that abortion will become illegal in red states where it is already difficult to access.

    He will probably also seek to undo affirmative action, as well as the recently enacted Matthew Shepard act. I expect this not even because I think he is racist and homophobic (although I do think he is racist and homophobic), but because he is a libertarian.

    If you can find this candidate I’m sure many current Paul supporters would gladly get on board with him/her.

    That’s not true. Dennis Kucinich ought to have been fine for Paulites, if the Paulites weren’t so intent upon implementing regressive taxation. I can take a Kucinich supporter seriously enough to respect their viewpoint (which is not to say I’ll treat the person respectfully), but I cannot see a Paul supporter as a thoughtful individual.

  173. says

    For the sake of argument, let’s say that Mr Doe already has in his possession enough heroin, crack, pcp and meth to keep him high for the entire weekend. How he procured these substances is moot; he already procured them, so the law cannot prevent him from procuring them.

    Do you propose that it should be illegal for him to use these drugs to get himself high?

    Sorry, your question is, fundamentally, incoherent. It is, as you say, irrelevant if its legal or not. The issue is how he gets it. The fact that the reason the “war on drugs” is justified is via illegality of use is equally irrelevant. We have laws today that say you can make X amount of alcohol for your own use, but we still have moonshiners too, and we still bust them. Prohibition would have still been prohibition, if we had said it was legal to drink, but not to sell it. In fact, the law against it specifically targeted distribution, not drinking, as a means to stop it.

    So, whether or not it legal for some idiot to take them, isn’t solving anything, so long as you ignore the people selling it. And if you don’t, you have changed absolutely nothing at all.

  174. keddaw says

    There will not be food riots under Ron Paul so stfu.

    I refer you back to my previous comment which, more than any I have read, sums the dilemma you have to deal with:

    Not that I want Ron Paul as an evolution-doubting, AGW-denying, homophobic, anti-women’s rights, possible racist in the White House, but I’ll take him over any of the other Republican candidates or the US citizen killing, soldier torturing, civilian killing, Constitution gutting, PATRIOT extending, warrantless wire-tapping, Wall Street bailing, drug war prosecuting, minority jailing, torturer forgiving, Geneva Convention ignoring, warmongering, corporatist, hypocritical excuse for an American President we have now.

    So sure, take your abortion rights, social security and medicare in the short term and fuck anyone who disagrees with this, or the next, or the next administration as they are carted away. Fuck the foreign children blown up by drones and cluster bombs. Fuck the American taxpayer as they bail out another Wall Street fuck up. Fuck the American soldiers arrested and tortured for pointing out the illegalities of the administration. Fuck the American citizens who are carted off for having alleged links to alleged terrorists. Fuck the next country’s citizens that the war machine decides it wants to attack. And the next. Fuck the soldiers who die fighting that war. Fuck the taxpayers who pay for it.

    In fact, fuck the world, as long as this generation doesn’t lose access to what it wouldn’t lose fucking access to anyway under a 1-term Paul administration. Yeah, Liberturds are the selfish ones.

  175. says

    Sorry, your question is, fundamentally, incoherent. It is, as you say, irrelevant if its legal or not.

    No, it’s just that how he got it is now moot.

    If the police come to his apartment because the neighbors complained that he’s playing his stereo too loud, then when he opens the door, if they see drug paraphernalia sitting on the table, that is immediate cause for a search. He may now be arrested for possession of narcotics and paraphernalia.

    Also, if he has already procured the drugs and is walking home to use them, he may be stopped and searched if he matches the description of a suspect of another crime in the area.

    So it does matter whether usage is legal or not. In both these cases, if usage were legal, he would not go to jail on a drug offense.

    You do understand that people go to jail for possession of even very small amounts that are recognized as being for personal consumption?

    This is what I’m asking about, and your avoidance of the question is troublesome.

    Should it be illegal to get high on these drugs? Should it be a criminal offense to have in one’s possession a small amount of heroin, crack, pcp or meth for personal consumption, and the paraphernalia to consume them?

  176. KG says

    But Alexander, that’s a whole different discussion (one I’d quite like to have) but the point here is that out of all the available candidates and what they stand for, the least harmful, long-term, is Ron Paul. – keddaw

    Utter crap. Paul stands both for privilege in all its forms, and for the abandonment of science and reason in favour of religious and political delusions.

  177. KG says

    Four years would be plenty of time for President Paul, together with a Republican Congress, to fuck up America and the world to an extent that would make any recovery doubtful. The man is bugfuck nuts.

  178. Who Knows? says

    Not that I want Ron Paul as an evolution-doubting, AGW-denying, homophobic, anti-women’s rights, possible racist in the White House, but I’ll take him over any of the other Republican candidates or the US citizen killing, soldier torturing, civilian killing, Constitution gutting, PATRIOT extending, warrantless wire-tapping, Wall Street bailing, drug war prosecuting, minority jailing, torturer forgiving, Geneva Convention ignoring, warmongering, corporatist, hypocritical excuse for an American President we have now.

    I’m going to point out that all of these things were made possible by the support and approval of the American voters. There was significant support for entering into the wars with Iraq and Afghanistan. Significant support for The Patriot Act. Significant support for the torture of terrorists. Significant support for every fucking thing you listed.

    You want someone to fucking blame, look at your neighbors.

  179. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    Ron Paul is a racist. He’s an economic illiterate. He pretends he wants government out of peoples’ lives, however he would outlaw those things like abortion and same-sex marriage which he doesn’t like. He has no concern or compassion for Americans other than the very rich. In short, he’s a libertarian.

  180. lizdamnit says

    I expect this not even because I think he is racist and homophobic (although I do think he is racist and homophobic), but because he is a libertarian.

    There’s a difference for Paul?

  181. says

    You do understand that people go to jail for possession of even very small amounts that are recognized as being for personal consumption?

    This is what I’m asking about, and your avoidance of the question is troublesome.

    No I am not. The same person isn’t likely to keep a job, isn’t likely to be paying with their own money, but something they got from robbing someone else, etc. Also, the amount that someone can have for “personal use” doesn’t mean much. The legal system has been lowering that bar for years, because its easier to keep a someone classed as a dealer in jail, whether they are or not, than a user.

    In any case, it only addresses the number of people we arrest, not the number that get busted with intent to sell, not the drug cartels, etc. Yeah, great, some people don’t end up in jail. But the war continues, because the problem hasn’t been resolved at all.

    As far as I am concerned, since you seem to want to be dense, any idiot that wants to should not get busted for taking the stuff themselves, unless they do it in the same sort of situations that would land them in jail if it was DUI, or the like, but I want to see effective means to help those people quit too, a better understanding of the physiological problems, etc. But, to assume that making it legal to take the damn things will end the “war on drugs”, is just wrong. At best, it just limits the number of casualties from it. It doesn’t stop people being shot, it doesn’t stop the ATF from making press releases about the X amount of Y they busted, it doesn’t stop some idiot blowing up half the neighborhood making Meth. The war goes on, we just stop putting the victims in jail (and, yes, if you sell someone something that you know will harm them, they are victims, regardless of if they *chose* to take it or not).

    Maybe that is enough for you, but its not for me. That is why I say there needs to be a clear idea how the frell to do it, so it actually solves the problem, not just decriminalizes being the damn fool that got hooked on it.

    Is that enough of a distinction for you, or do I need to make it clearer?

  182. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Kagehi:

    But, to assume that making it legal to take the damn things will end the “war on drugs”, is just wrong. At best, it just limits the number of casualties from it.

    Yeah — just like ending Prohibition didn’t stop the “war on booze”, but merely limited the number of casualties from it.

    (Bah)

  183. says

    No I am not. The same person isn’t likely to keep a job, isn’t likely to be paying with their own money, but something they got from robbing someone else, etc.

    Citation needed. I think you underestimate the number of high-functioning addicts and casual non-addicts. (You also sound like a bigot, but if you can give solid evidence for your claim, I’ll be happy to retract this.)

    Also, the amount that someone can have for “personal use” doesn’t mean much. The legal system has been lowering that bar for years, because its easier to keep a someone classed as a dealer in jail, whether they are or not, than a user.

    (What could be the point of this non sequitur?)

    In any case, it only addresses the number of people we arrest, not the number that get busted with intent to sell, not the drug cartels, etc.

    Of course, that’s why I had to insist that you actually make a distinction between usage and distribution.

    As far as I am concerned, since you seem to want to be dense,

    Kagehi, this is the first time in the thread that you ever indicated you did not want to bust people for getting high.

    This is the first time. You started out with your very first comment indicating that you might indeed want to bust people for getting high. It took me this long to get a straight answer from you.

    You don’t get to have your complaints about other people’s comprehension taken seriously when you spend so much time being vague and diversionary.

    but I want to see effective means to help those people quit too, a better understanding of the physiological problems, etc.

    Well sure, so do I.

    But, to assume that making it legal to take the damn things will end the “war on drugs”, is just wrong.

    Now it’s not clear why you’re saying this.

    If you think I’m saying that making usage legal will end the war on drugs, no, I’m not saying that. And I never indicated such; you will be unable to find a quote suggesting this. It appears you’re trying to put words in my mouth.

    At best, it just limits the number of casualties from it.

    Well! That would still be a net improvement.

    Maybe that is enough for you, but its not for me.

    Of course, I never said anything in particular would be “enough” for me. Are you talking to me? Are you talking to yourself? Are you talking to a caricature of a stereotype? It’s hard to tell.

    Is that enough of a distinction for you, or do I need to make it clearer?

    You never once did make it clear until now. Thanks for finally getting around to it.

    +++++
    Now, here’s a hypothetical question. It’s not going to happen this way — in reality, as decriminalization occurs over the next few decades, we are likely to see enough lobbying by professional drug treatment centers that some more efforts will be made to steer addicts toward subsidized treatment — but I want to investigate just how incoherent your thinking is on this subject.

    If small personal amounts of all drugs could be decriminalized, but we were politically unable to change any other laws or funding, so all other policies stayed the same except for decriminalization, would that still be a net improvement in real people’s lives, and worth doing?

  184. keddaw says

    @208: Indeed, but he is the only cunt running who will allow you to say that about him without having you locked up for sedition.

  185. says

    Now it’s not clear why you’re saying this.

    If you think I’m saying that making usage legal will end the war on drugs, no, I’m not saying that.

    You are not, but we already have Morales babbling about drugs like its the same as booze, and asking, apparently, why it shouldn’t then also be legal to make anything you want, any place you want, and sell it too. Great idea, we can limit the amount of Meth someone blows the neighborhood up with to the same amount at private brewing. That will go over real well… And, funny thing, it seems the fact that its easy to make, if you can get the stuff to do so, has made it more common than all the shit being shipped in from outside the country, in a lot of places.

    So, OK, you are not one of the people that has this crazy view of how legalizing use fixes the whole thing. That’s wonderful to know. The problem is, way too many do have that view, and its precisely the delusional thinking that it will, which will mean that the problems will amplify as a result, if other steps are not taking to limit them, at the same time.

    As to the idea that there are high functioning addicts. This is true, but such people tend to be a) not poor, b) not as strongly addicted (i.e., they are genetically lucky) and c) don’t need to steal, to fund their habits. Yet, oddly enough, even the high functioning ones get busted for various sorts of theft anyway, usually because they are not thinking straight when they decide to embezzle money, or other sorts of stuff. This isn’t bigotry, its just fact. If 90% of the population wasn’t living paycheck to paycheck, or damn close, already, the number of “high functioning” addicts would probably be higher, and the potential hazards from them lower. As it stands, its not just like some moron buying cigarettes all the time, which is stupid enough to waste money on. Most of the stuff out there is far more hazardous, and they are in no more frame of mind to a) not take it, b) not do something stupid while on it, c) get themselves fired for it, etc., than a chronic drunk. And, in many cases. And, I am not so sure, depending on the drug, that the drunk isn’t the better bet to have doing things while “on it”.

    So, you want to convince me, then how many “high functioning” ones are there exactly, as a percentage of the population?

    We are in general agreement, it seems, on most matters, including that we need something other than jail for users. I would like to see treatment instead, and not the sort you get where some dipshit judge offers “twelve step” as an option, but real treatment, by real doctors. But, its easier, if not probably cheaper in the long run, to jail people, and the ones making money from it are not clinics, but private jails. Odd that the trend is more and more people in those, as the number of them increases, and less and less interest in rehab clinics (mandatory or otherwise).

    Seriously though, what scares me is that ending the stupidity we have now, we end up with something even stupider, like telling people they can have a “small” Meth lab, just not a big one, which would seem to be the idea behind, Morales’ question, “How did we handle distribution of alcohol, after prohibition ended.” Answer – People make the drugs themselves, but have to, unless its private, funnel it through a government inspection. This won’t work if the process of “making it” is dangerous as hell, and as I said, it didn’t stop people making it illegally, without government inspection of the product, anyway.

    If Morales wants to make the argument that this isn’t a problem, I would a) like to see some sort of reasonable argument why manufacturing of the drugs isn’t, in many cases, *far* more dangerous than making booze, and b) a good explanation as to which, if any, or why all, are indistinguishable from booze, in how dangerous they are, in general. Hint – We do know of a lot of people dying from OD the first time they take it, and not from something else they did while on it. How often does that happen with alcohol, and how often is it due to the drug purity, not just the drug “period”? Lot of questions need to be answered, before we simply treat it like someone is making beer in the garage.

    And, unfortunately, over the long run, its those issues that are more serious problems that need addressing. That is why was talking about them, not the, by comparison, relatively easily fixed issue of whether or not to jail people for merely using. Some people see that as the only issue, and the rest as just a simple fix after. That position is absurd, and its not always clear is someone advocating legal use is in that camp.

  186. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    So, OK, you are not one of the people that has this crazy view of how legalizing use fixes the whole thing

    The legalization advocates in your head sure do make some stupid arguments. I never met anyone who thought this, but apparently you’ve met so goddamn many of them that you automatically assumed that anyone who advocates legalization thinks this. Weird.

  187. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    Hint – We do know of a lot of people dying from OD the first time they take it, and not from something else they did while on it

    What is “it” here? Meth? Heroin? Cocaine? Marijuana? They are all different drugs with different levels of toxicity and different thresholds for addiction and so on. You’re not doing yourself any favors by making the blanket assertion that they are ALL far more dangerous than beer or cigarettes, because that is simply not true. Cigarettes are about as addictive as heroin but less addictive than powder cocaine. Not sure how they stack up against meth or crack cocaine, but the point is that you don’t really seem to know what the fuck you’re talking about, so it’s hard to take your alarmism seriously.

  188. Ms. Daisy Cutter says

    Andrew1193, at #191: And you trust the New York Times of the Gilded Age to report the facts?

    There is no such thing, at this stage of the world’s history in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dare write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my papers, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalist is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.

    John Swinton (1830-1901); chief editorial writer for the NYT, 1860-1870

    I strongly suspect you would object if I were to link to one of Lincoln Steffens’ dishonest articles about Soviet Russia as proof that it was a utopian society.

    Keddaw: Aquaria has diagnosed you quite nicely. You don’t give a flying fuck about the rights of anyone who is unlike yourself, and you’re happy to portray them as low-priority things that only the “selfish” care about. Your use of a gendered slur is on a par with your disregard for anyone unlike yourself.

  189. says

    So, you want to convince me,

    No, I don’t want to convince you of anything. As I said, I wanted to see how incoherent your thinking is on the subject. Answer: less than I initially suspected, so it would be nice if you were clearer from the start in the future.

    Yet, oddly enough, even the high functioning ones get busted for various sorts of theft anyway, usually because they are not thinking straight when they decide to embezzle money, or other sorts of stuff. This isn’t bigotry, its just fact.

    The way you’ve worded it, it would be a fact if any plural number of high functioning addicts — two — were ever arrested for any sort of theft. That’s not a very compelling fact.

    I’d like to see if you can narrow your claim to be more useful and then provide some citation for it. It all still sounds like bigotry to me; I’d be happy to retract this if you could show the numbers that support your spouting off in the first place.

    +++++
    How many people produce their own alcohol today because it’s cheaper than buying it (I don’t dispute that it may be cheaper, but how many actually do it because of this), and how many are hobbyists?

    If distribution is ever regulated such that only licensed businesses could produce and sell these drugs, it will be the difference in price and convenience that is the major factor in whether people make their own.

    It’s really, really easy to convert powder into crack. This will probably remain a price war. Luckily, crack production is also really safe compared to meth production; it’s only as dangerous as cooking food.

    All the other drugs we’ve been discussing are inconvenient enough that if the government doesn’t overtax the licensed product, it should be possible to price competitively such that people prefer to buy at the corner store.

    As I’m not a libertarian, I have no problem with the proposal of busting unlicensed producers and distributors, if and only if a majority of public health professionals determine that there is a compelling reason to do so. I do not know how that would turn out, and I have no strong opinion on how it should turn out.

    However, some decriminalization of distribution also needs to occur, because the lower tiers of dealers area also living the equivalent of “paycheck to paycheck” and it is short-sighted to jail people for participating in illegal markets when they have few other options.

    I’d also like to see some means of product inspection by the government; people like the idea of the FDA regulating and checking safety. This seems difficult to achieve without licensing.

  190. KG says

    @208: Indeed, but he is the only cunt running who will allow you to say that about him without having you locked up for sedition. – keddaw

    Apart from being unpleasantly sexist in expression, that’s a pretty stupid lie. Obama is routinely called a communist, traitor, racist, terrorist sympathiser etc., and I’ve yet to hear of any of those responsible being charged with sedition.

  191. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    Good to know that cunts can run for office now. My cunt has an excellent platform for medical research, especially when it comes to increasing funding for research into how to cure yeast infections.

  192. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    Sally, if your cunt is anything like the rest of you I’ll vote for her any time she campaigns for office.

  193. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Keddaw,
    You’ve revealed yourself to be a sexist, lying turd fondler. Indeed, your endorsement of Paul would be sufficient to convince me not to vote for him had I ever been so inclined in the first place. You are a very broken person.

  194. chigau (難しい) says

    I wish y’all would stop.
    I keep picturing disembodied genitalia running foot-races.

  195. says

    Here is an anti-choicer who effectively admits that she’s in favor of slut-shaming, though she argues that she’s not against choice just for the purpose of excusing slut-shaming.

    Check out these revealing quotes:

    «Apparently “slut-shaming” is a real thing that people are against. This was taken at the SlutWalk Toronto…. Yeeeeah.»

    «if by “slut-shaming” you mean encouraging young women to behave in ways that will result in less pain for themselves, their children, and society, it is certainly on my list of reasons for opposing abortion. However, I hate to break it to you, reason number one is that I am actually nutso enough to believe in the sanctity of every human life.»

    «That is… profound, isn’t it? She went to college, lost her virginity, and found out sex was fun! So then she discarded all the morals her parents went to the trouble to teach her, and ”went right the f*** out” and got on birth control»

    +++++
    What’s amusing is that she apparently set out to write this article about how it’s totally not about slut-shaming at all, but by the time she was done she couldn’t resist doing some slut-shaming, and even admitting that that’s part of the motivation but not all of it!

  196. KG says

    keddaw,

    That’s the best you’ve got? Your claim was quite specific: that every current Presidential candidate apart from Ron Paul wants people locked up for sedition if they call the President a racist. It was a stupid lie, and your links to an unsupported anecdote of someone possibly having a visit from the FBI, and a report of two people (quite wrongly) told to leave a meeting, both concerning a past President, don’t make it any the less of a stupid lie. You’ve just confirmed that Ron Paul supporters are stupid, sexist liars.

  197. Niki M says

    But why let the facts get in the way of a supposedly gender specific word…

    Supposedly? Are you gonna argue that calling anyone a “cunt” isn’t gender specific and offensive? Nothing you can pull out of the internet or your ass can justify its use or the offensive implications (cunt = bad = anyone with a cunt = bad).

    Back to the OP, however, it’s head shakingenly obnoxious every election cycle when one or more candidate gets touted by their supporters are the “one who will fix everything”. I got sick of it with a lot of Obama’s supporters in 2008 (and I voted for him and will probably vote for him next year), and I’m already sick of it with the Paulites. Unless we become a dictatorship tomorrow, no one person is going to affect nearly as much change as they promise, so I really wish “fans” (as opposed to reasonable supporters) would just calm the hell down, especially when someone had legitimate issues with the object of their adoration.

    He’s your candidate, not your boyfriend.

  198. KG says

    I’m already sick of it with the Paulites. – Niki M.

    I think the correct term is Pauloids, on the model of Randroids ;-) They were popping up every time their Saviour was criticised in 2008 as well: “the Ron Paul revolution” was their favourite catchphrase that time.

  199. Niki M says

    I think the correct term is Pauloids, on the model of Randroids ;-)

    I stand (sit?) corrected :)

  200. says

    What is “it” here? Meth? Heroin? Cocaine? Marijuana? They are all different drugs with different levels of toxicity and different thresholds for addiction and so on. You’re not doing yourself any favors by making the blanket assertion that they are ALL far more dangerous than beer or cigarettes, because that is simply not true.

    And people are accusing me of reading into what they are saying, things that they didn’t. Sorry I didn’t hold your hand through a list of which ones I meant. I kind of assumed, apparently incorrectly, that rational people would realize I was talking about the highly toxic and addictive ones, not just every damn thing out there. I have however, mentioned Meth, the relative ease of making it, as well as date rape drugs, and other things, which, last I checked, are in the “highly nasty” category. Given that I never once mentioned pot, or other less dangerous ones at any point, I kind of figured that might be a bit of a hint, if not an absolutely precise statement about the matter.

  201. keddaw says

    Using the word “cunt” without even an oblique reference to someone of the female persuasion is totally sexist. Perhaps I should book my own flights to Guantanamo and start my penance now until the war on sexism is over.

  202. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Using the word “cunt” without even an oblique reference to someone of the female persuasion is totally sexist.

    Thanks for my first morning laugh. Not even an oblique reference…. *snort* (except where the word cunt refers to female genitals but whatever).

  203. keddaw says

    Beatrice, I’m intrigued, when a word is used in a non-gender specific way and is not negative how can it be considered sexist? Surely it has to be about one sex and negative to be sexist? Injudicious* perhaps but certainly not sexist.

    * If you’re touchy Americans who take offence at every perceived slight.

  204. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    it appears I’m the only one who gives a shit about it.

    If you’re a looneytarian then you don’t give a shit about the Constitution. When your hero, Ron “I hate Americans” Paul, whines about the 14th Amendment (and the 16th, but that’s a given) then it’s obvious he doesn’t give a shit about the Constitution. And you, as a free-thinking individualist looneytarian, click your heels, shout “Jawohl mein Ron” and follow your hero mindlessly.

  205. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    KG, the best I’ve got is this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Constitution, but it appears I’m the only one who gives a shit about it.

    Fuckwitted idjit, that only says that the GOVERNMENT can’t block your speech. This is a PRIVATE place. You either comply with our standards or get plonked. A liberturd should understand the difference. But then, liberturds aren’t very smart. Stupid and stubborn come to mind, and you are both.

  206. keddaw says

    ‘Tis, sure, I’m no Randian (cool word though) he just happens to be the least worst of a particularly bad bunch.

    Nerd, wtf? Do you read what you write before you post? Do you even read what has gone before prior to writing? Did you get up early and steal the leftover drinks form your parent’s Christmas party?

  207. KG says

    keddaw,

    You really are a fucking moron, just like your favoured candidate for POTUS. You made a stupid, false claim – that every Presidential candidate other than Ron Paul wants people lockied up for sedition if they call the President a racist; tried to support it with a couple of links that did no such thing; and now genuflect before your sacred text as if that act somehow turns your lies and idiocies into truth.

  208. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Do you even read what has gone before prior to writing? Did you get up early and steal the leftover drinks form your parent’s Christmas party?

    I saw word usage being discussed. But then, everything you say is wrong, ignorant, and not supported by evidence. Typical arrogant uncaring liberturd. All noise, nothing rational.

  209. KG says

    My guess is that keddaw spends far too much time with his fellow Pauloids, among whom a claim that all the Presidential candidates other than Ron Paul want people locked up for sedition if they call the President a racist would be greeted as obvious truth, and a telling argument, rather than seen for what it is: a pronouncement of startling idiocy.

  210. keddaw says

    It’s your country and I weep for the death of the idea of America, but you have to live in it. The USA PATRIOT Act and the NDAA 2012 is the death of it and you’re too ignorant/apathetic to see it or affect it.

    Fuck it, I’ll just have to make the most of the UK, at least we’re not religious fuckwits (even if we have a Royal Family!?!)

    Oh, and here’s a quote on my love for Ron Paul:

    Not that I want an evolution-doubting, AGW-denying, homophobic, anti-women’s rights, possible racist in the White House, but I’ll take him over any of the other Republican candidates or the US citizen killing, soldier torturing, civilian killing, Constitution gutting, PATRIOT extending, warrantless wire-tapping, Wall Street bailing, drug war prosecuting, minority jailing, torturer forgiving, Geneva Convention ignoring, warmongering, corporatist, hypocritical excuse for an American President we have now.

    Enjoy your Police State.

  211. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The following are the conditions which I could consider Ron Paul a legitimate candidate for any office:










    *crickets chirring*
    To much ignorance and theology passing for political stances.

  212. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, and you can substitute thinking Keddaw is anything other than a loud mouthed uneducated fuckwitted ideologue with no redeeming intelligence in place of Ron Paul in #252. Same reasoning. Thinks they have something cogent to say–but they don’t.

  213. Gregory Greenwood says

    keddaw @ 241;

    Using the word “cunt” without even an oblique reference to someone of the female persuasion is totally sexist.

    The phrase is sexist because it employs a slang term for female genitalia as an insult, thus playing into the discourse that seeks to delegitimise womanhood and depict women as somehow the inherently inferior gender to the extent that simply comparing someone to female genital organs is a put-down.

    Before you raise the point, while it is certainly true that slang for male genitals is also used as an insult, the situations are not entirely equivalant given the disparity in how society has constructed gender roles and the historically oppressed status of women along with the ongoing gender inequalities in our culture.

    Also, before you raise another common argument, the fact that the term may have slightly different connotations in other societies is no real excuse – it is common knowledge that this word is offensive to Americans, and a great many Americans post on Pharyngula. And in any case, I am a UK citizen, and I have always found the phrase offensive and misogynist. As a result, I have little time for claims that the word does not have an offensive connotation in the UK.

    All in all, it is simply best to avoid the use of such a term, even if you do not consider it sexist. It adds nothing to the discourse, and runs the risk of colouring your posts with misogynistic overtones even if this is not your intent.

  214. says

    you’re a piss poor excuse for an American

    that is such an American thing to say. your nationalist hubris is actually making you think that being called American is a compliment, and making statements that impugn your Americanness (Americanity?) are an insult, don’t you…

    There will not be food riots under Ron Paul so stfu.

    nice assertion. care to show whence this certainty? I’d like to remind you that almost 46 million Americans use Food Stamps, 21 million students receive free lunches at schools, and still, about 16 million Americans experience severe food insecurity each year.

    Not that it matters, since no one claimed that there would be food riots, only that people fight for food as much if not more than they fight for freedom from government.

    It should also be added that in some places, people also fight for the right to medical care and similar issues. But I guess they don’t count, seeing as they’re not even “a poor excuse for an American”, they’re entirely non-American.

  215. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nerd, how about just someone that doesn’t murder children…

    Typical non-sequitor from someone knowing they are losing the argument.

    Nerd, who do you want in charge?

    Someone who is well educated, not a hard ideologue, understands politics and diplomacy, and has shown the ability to think through problems and arrive at progressive solutions. Gee, sounds like nobody on the the rethuglican or liberturd side.

  216. keddaw says

    Fair point Gregory, and well made. However, and you knew that was coming, it was not used as an insult, nor was it used in any gender specific way, albeit I think insults are entirely appropriate for all politicians.

    Fine, fuck it, I retract all uses of the word and apologize for any offence taken at its use (traditional non-apology apology) please take the rest of the statement as written.

  217. keddaw says

    Nerd, given the intellectual and ideological paucity on both sides I repeat, who do you want in charge?

  218. says

    Would it help if I rephrased your examples as:

    racist laws racist businesses no racism

    sure, except then it’s no longer relevant to the topic, which was whether the Civil Rights Act was wrong. Because the situation around the civil rights act looks more like this:

    without the act: racist laws and racist businesses
    with the act: racist laws

    there’s a net reduction of racism with the Civil Rights Act. Instead, in relation to that specific law, your schema above makes the odd (possibly unintentional) and obviously wrong claim that you can have either racist laws or racist businesses, and since the Civil Rights Act removes racist businesses, there are now racist laws.

  219. keddaw says

    Fuck sake Jadehawk, Paul wants to remove your ability to have control over your reproductive rights, Obama wants to remove your ability to have control over your person and you’re shitting on me over the use of a stupid word? Replace it with prick, whatever, there are issues bigger than the use of the word cunt, nigger, prick, bastard, communist, liberturd, Randian, honkey, whatever the fuck.

    I know we’re not gonna solve the issues in the US on this forum, but at the very least it helps me get my thinking straight by bashing out ideas so can we leave the minutiae for pedants?

  220. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    who do you want in charge?

    I gave you my requirements. Anybody who fits those requirements would do. I’m not wedded to any particular individual, not being an ideologue/hero worshipper. I’ll take Obama over any rethug/liberturd as he can think and he shows an understanding of practical economics. I would like to see somebody more progressive than Obama.

    You can trash Obama all you want, and nothing will change this fact: nobody on the rethug/liberturd side is better.

  221. says

    Fuck sake Jadehawk, Paul wants to remove your ability to have control over your reproductive rights, Obama wants to remove your ability to have control over your person

    interesting claim, which is obviously wrong. But ok, let’s look at this from an entirely selfish perspective, and pretend that I can actually vote in US elections:

    If Paul got his way, I would lose my reproductive rights, my education, and the health insurance I will be able to get in 2 years.

    In all the years Obama has been president, I’ve lost nothing that Bush didn’t already deprive me of, and have gained the possibility for health insurance in a couple years

    Thus, Obama would be the less harmful choice for me personally.

  222. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    I could live with Dennis Kucinich as Maximum Leader. I wouldn’t mind Barney Frank, since he has an understanding of basic economics and the need for financial regulation.* I guess I’ll vote for Obama because the other possibilities are just too awful to consider.

    *Yeah, that’s important to me. But then I am an economist.

  223. keddaw says

    Nerd, Paul is massively better on some issues and quite horrific on others. They’re all bar stewards, but at least Paul isn’t bought (yet).

    And, on the single most important issue on the table, he doesn’t want the power to lock you up without evidence or a trial. (Yet).

    He’s not my guy, but I’m not getting my guy (neither are you – we’d probably like a similar candidate) so he’s the least bad possible option running.

  224. says

    oh yeah, and in the long term, the most serious threat to my rights, privileges, material security etc. isn’t going to come from government laws, but from the consequences of AGW; which Obama didn’t do much to prevent other than block the Keystone XL pipeline, but Paul would reverse what little we do have, including allowing that pipeline.

    yeah, Obama is worthless mostly; but Paul is actively harmful to me, both in the short-term and in the long-term

  225. says

    And, on the single most important issue on the table, he doesn’t want the power to lock you up without evidence or a trial. (Yet).

    hmm… being put in prison, or being left to die… being put in prison, or being left to die…

    tough choice. really.

  226. carbonbasedlifeform says

    To go back to something posted early in the discussion:

    The regulations are much tougher in a free market, because you cannot commit fraud, you cannot steal, you cannot hurt people, …. In the Industrial Revolution there was a collusion and you could pollute and they got away with it. But in a true free market in a libertarian society you can’t do that.

    For years, I have been saying that libertarians prefer fantasy over reality. This is certainly true for any libertarian who believes the quoted paragraph.

    How many libertarians does it take to change a lightbulb?

    None. The free market will take care of it.

  227. keddaw says

    ‘Tis, fair enough. I agree right up to that Obama point. The guy is a traitor*. As was Bush.

    Jadehawk:
    ” Paul got his way, I would lose my reproductive rights” Nope, your state would get to decide on your reproductive rights (assuming you were in the US). Which ain’t my preferred option – your body your choice!

    “[lose] my education”
    No, just your Federal education. States may implement their own system, charities may, religious institutions may and your parents may. Again not my ideal as I think that an educated populace is necessary for a functioning democracy. Not working too well in the US presently…

    “[lose my] health insurance”
    Not exactly. 50 million Americans currently don’t have health insurance. Making it worse isn’t an improvement, but surely a fully functional system is better than the expensive broken one you now have? Paul ain’t gonna improve this, but he force the issue to an extent that America actually does the right thing!

    “In all the years Obama has been president, I’ve lost nothing that Bush didn’t already deprive me of”
    And here we meet the problem. How many (non-convicted) US citizens did Bush kill? Obama? How many countries did Bush invade/attack? Obama? How many civilians did Bush Kill? Obama? How many US soldiers did Bush lock up and torture for 17 months for releasing evidence of US war crimes without trial? Which President asked for the ability to lock up US citizens without trial? Which US President is spying on all US email leaving the borders?

    I’m not wikipedia, the above list is far from comprehensive and I urge all Americans to check out what their Commander-in-chief is up to. As a start – extending the USA PATRIOT Act, NDAA 2012, SOPA, drone strikes in Pakistan. Go on, knowledge is power.

    * Strong claim, but when all US Presidents take office they swear an oath to the Constitution, not the people, so when they sell the Constitution down the river to temporarily protect the people** they have broken their oath and are traitors.

    ** I know they are doing it for what they believe are good reasons, but still…

  228. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    He’s not my guy, but I’m not getting my guy (neither are you – we’d probably like a similar candidate) so he’s the least MOST bad possible option running.

    Fixed that for you ideologue loser. RP is nothing but hot air and theology disguised as political theory. Nothing there I consider seriously. Gold standard? What a fuckwitted loser, as that was shown wrong a hundred years ago. Right ‘Tis? And that is typical of the quality of his positions.

  229. says

    No, just your Federal education. States may implement their own system, charities may, religious institutions may and your parents may.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

    you’re one clueless fucker. If alternatives were possible, I would have finished school a decade ago, you fuckgnome.

    Not exactly.

    of course “not exacly”, since I didn’t say “lose my health insurance”, I said lose “the possibility for health insurance in a couple years”. I AM one of those uninsured Americans, and Obama is doing something about that even if pathetically slowly and with insufficient scope, while Ron Paul is ok with me just dying, and would extend my misery to a lot more people.

    I urge all Americans

    oh good, I guess that means I still have your permission to not do as you “urge”. *rolleyes*

  230. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, and I look at the totality of the candidates positions, as I’m not a single issue voter. The rethugs and liberturds lose not only on single issues (gold standard, anti-choice), but also in totality. There is nothing progressive in trying to turn back the clock fifty or one hundred years. Examples of progressive are a single payer medical system like you have in Britain, free birth control including abortion, increased taxes for the rich to balance the budget, and a strong safety net for those who can’t find jobs.

  231. keddaw says

    “ideologue loser”

    Damn fucking straight I am. I happen to like the writings of Jefferson and Paine. I agree with their ideas. I think humans are individuals and should be treated as such. Freedom, baby. Fuck yeah.

  232. says

    Nope, your state would get to decide on your reproductive rights (assuming you were in the US).

    right, exactly what I said: I’d lose my reproductive rights. The federal government is the only thing standing between those rights and the Christian ghouls protesting in front of the only abortion clinic in this state

  233. says

    Damn fucking straight I am.

    I’m more and more of the opinion that people who ascribe to deontological ethics are shallow and/or selfish, and almost always a danger to actual people in the way they live out those deontological beliefs/ethics in the political arena.

    “ideals > actual people” is a fucked-up worldview

  234. keddaw says

    Nerd: “I look at the totality of the candidates positions, as I’m not a single issue voter”

    Not all issues are equal though, are they? Like maybe not killing fucking foreign babies to possibly (but not actually) protect Americans. Or not locking up 30% of African Americans for mostly drug related offenses. Or not asking for unlimited Presidential power over the citizenry (your Majesty). Or forgiving war criminals. Or being a war criminal. Or declaring war without the consent of Congress, entirely against the Constitution.

    But hey, what the hell do I know, I’m a stupid Brit.

  235. says

    and why are we even discussing “candidate Paul vs. president Obama”? Candidates say all sorts of things that won’t happen, either because they don’t mean it or because they don’t actually have the means to enact what they want to enact. A fair comparison would have been “candidate Paul vs. candidate Obama”, or maybe even “Congresscritter Paul vs. Senator Obama”, even though those two positions do somewhat different things.

  236. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But hey, what the hell do I know, I’m a stupid Brit.

    Right fuckwitted idjit. Don’t tell me how to vote in my country, and I won’t tell you how to vote in your country. That’s basic politeness, which ignorant ideologues like yourself ignore.

    And everything you say is considered a lie, since you are an ignorant ideologue who lies, bullshits, and reframes discussions with presuppositions. The things that I care about, as I mentioned above in #276, are an anathema to the rethugs/liberturds. Which is why they will never be considered.

  237. keddaw says

    Jadehawk, I have to compare X to President Obama because I have evidence of how the current Commander in Chief abuses and attempts to increase his power and it’s frankly scary. Use all available evidence about Paul, Bachmann, Perry, whoever, but you have to use what you know about the current US citizen killing, soldier torturing, civilian killing, Constitution gutting, PATRIOT extending, warrantless wire-tapping, Wall Street bailing, drug war prosecuting, minority jailing, torturer forgiving, Geneva Convention ignoring, warmongering, corporatist, hypocritical excuse for an American President when making that choice.

  238. says

    translation: “i shall continue comparing candidate rhetoric to the actual actions of a president, because my ideology tells me so. fuck the fact that candidates rarely do what they say they’ll do once elected. fuck reality.”

  239. says

    to sum up keddaw’s rambling

    –does not care about actual losses in wellbeing and human rights, because a)hypothetically, they could be avoided, and b) some people are already at the level of having lost that much

    –does not care for the actual improvements in wellbeing/rights, because it doesn’t go sufficiently far

    –cares about the abuse of police and military power by a president, and presents a candidate’s rhetoric as evidence that the election of said candidate will result in less abuse, while ignoring that as a candidate, the current president also claimed to want to reduce abuse of police and military power

    conclusion: since ideology and hypotheticals trump the real effects on real people, vote Ron Paul

  240. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    Paul would do away with restrictions on corporations. Why is this bad?

    Let’s look at some cases that came within spitting distance of the libertarian ideal. Some libertarians won’t like these, because they are not Spotless Instances of the Free Utopia™; but nothing is proved by science fiction. If complete economic freedom and absence of government is a cure-all, partial economic freedom and limited government should be a cure-some.

    At the turn of the 20th Century, business could do what it wanted–and it did. The result was robber barons, monopolistic gouging, management thugs attacking union organizers, filth in our food, a punishing business cycle, racial oppression, starvation among the elderly, gunboat diplomacy in support of business interests.

    Don’t think, by the way, that if governments don’t provide gunboats, no one else will. Corporations will build their own military if necessary: the British East India Company did; Leopold did in the Congo; management did when fighting labor.

    Trust busting under Teddy Roosevelt ended some of these abuses but what really curbed business exploitation of everyone else was the New Deal of the 1930s. The New Deal itself was a response to crisis (though by no means an unprecedented one; it wasn’t much worse than the Gilded Age depressions). A quarter of the population was out of work. Five thousand banks failed, destroying the savings of millions of families. Steel plants were operating at 12% capacity. Banks foreclosed on a quarter of Mississippi’s land. Wall Street was discredited by insider trading and collusion with banks at the expense of investors. Farmers were breaking out into open revolt; miners and jobless city workers were rioting.

    Or take Russia in the decade after the fall of Communism, as advised by free-market absolutists like Jeffrey Sachs. Russian GDP declined 50% in five years. The elite grabbed the assets they could and shuffled them out of Russia so fast that IMF loans couldn’t compensate. In 1994 alone, 600 businessmen, journalists, and politicians were murdered by gangsters. Russia lacked a working road system, a banking system, anti-monopoly regulation, effective law enforcement, or any sort of safety net for the elderly and the jobless. Inflation reached 2250% in 1992. Central government authority effectively disappeared in many regions.

    Incidentally, Russia is the answer to those testosterone-poisoned folks who think that guns will prevent oppression. The mafia will always outgun you.

    Now Russia is moving back towards authoritarianism under Putin. Again, this should dismay libertarians: apparently, given a little freedom, many people will demand less. You’d better be careful about setting up that utopia; ten years further on it may be taken over by authoritarians.

  241. keddaw says

    Or, as he is someone who has consistently voted against foreign wars, the drug war and the illegitimate power grab known as the war on terror I will attempt, however futilely, to encourage Americans to do the least bad thing in the upcoming elections.

    Yes, his religiosity clouds many of his positions, his economic ideas are completely stupid (gold standard – wtf!?!) but, and this is the only point worth mentioning, he does’t want to rip up the Constitution and increase his own power. At least that’s what he says. No-one else is even pretending.

  242. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It is obvious Keddaw has a huge misunderstanding about POTUS. He seems to think that Obama is like his PM, who sets policy and who’s party writes the laws. In the US, laws are written by the House and Senate. Since the House is controlled by the Rethugs, all laws are not what the President would desire, and often far from it. Since there is no line-item veto, the President must either sign or veto a bill in-toto. The rethugs keep adding crap that the President would veto if in a stand-alone bill, but when packaged with an important and necessary bill, like raising borrowing levels, that crap can become law. Keddaw needs to follow the things he finds offensive back to the source. Then, and only then, would he show real intelligence. POTUS does not have the control his PM does.

  243. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Keddaw,

    I am always wary when folks start quoting Jefferson. He was such a chameleon and so eloquent that you can find a quote to support nearly any position. In his lifetime, his own words came back many a time to haunt him—as in his support of the French Revolution long after it turned nasty. It is my experience that those who idolize Jefferson tend to be ideologues who concentrate on his words and are horrified by the pragmatic politician he was. You would no doubt have considered Jefferson a traitor as President, as well.

    And when I hear “States Rights,” I get worried. The states have been losing against the corporations and the Trusts before them for at least a century and a half. Corporations drive states into the ground by wringing concessions from them under threat of relocating. Without a strong Federal government (which Jefferson favored in practice), you can kiss off the environment, labor rights, free speech, and for that matter democracy. That is not an unfortunate by product of right-wing ideologues like Paul. It is their stated goal: starve the beast. It would appear that it is your unstated goal as well, as I doubt even you could be so naïve as to fall for Paul’s blather.

    I also suspect that a racist like Paul would love nothing better than to undo everything accomplished by the first black President (the first (albeit limited) healthcare reform in 40 years, the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, end of Federal defense of DOMA, the end of the war in Iraq, drawdowns in Afghanistan ahead of schedule, the avoidance of a second Great Depression,…). Again, I am pretty sure that your attitudes toward race in part determine your attitude toward Obama. I can see voting for Obama just to piss folks like you off.

  244. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    The nature of our economic system has changed in the last quarter-century, and most people haven’t understood it yet. People over 30 or so grew up in an environment where the rich got more, but everyone prospered. When productivity went up, the rich got richer but everybody’s income increased.

    If you were part of the Boomer generation, the reality was that you had access to subsidized education and housing, you lived better every year, and you were almost unimaginably better off than your parents.

    We were a middle-class nation, perhaps the first nation in history where the majority of the people were comfortable. This infuriated the communists (this wasn’t supposed to happen). The primeval libertarians who cranky about it as well, but the rich had little reason to complain, they were better off than ever before, too.

    Conservatives, nurtured by libertarian ideas, have managed to change all that. When productivity rises, the rich now keep the gains; the middle class barely stays where it is; the poor get poorer. We have a way to go before we become a Third World country, but the model is clear. The goal is an impoverished majority, and a super-rich minority with no effective limitations on its power or earnings. We’ll exchange the prosperity of the 1960s USA for that of 1980s Brazil.

  245. says

    I will attempt, however futilely, to encourage Americans to do the least bad thing in the upcoming elections.

    “least bad” for whom? because it’s not for those Americans you think you’re talking to. For them, Paul would be an unmitigated disaster: they would lose more actual freedoms* under him than they are losing under Obama. I’ve been trying to explain this to you, but I guess safely ensconced in the safety-net of Great Britain, you are not actually capable of understanding that the economic effects of Paul would be worse on people than the police/military effects of Obama.

    *here defined not as legal abstractions, but as the actual ability of actual human beings to actually act freely upon one’s intentions/desires.

  246. keddaw says

    Ray, and possibly Nerd, Obama was my guy in 2008. It’s what he’s done since that is reprehensible: Manning, drone strikes, Nerd, this is for you: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57343287/wh-oks-military-detention-of-terrorism-suspects/ “The administration abandoned its long-held veto threat due to changes in the final version of the bill, namely that in its view, the military custody mandate has been “softened.” The bill now gives the President the immediate power to issue a waiver of the military custody requirement, instead of the Defense Secretary, and gives the President discretion in implementing these new provisions.” ’cause there were obviously no WH people advising and pressuring the wording of the legislation…

  247. keddaw says

    “I guess safely ensconced in the safety-net of Great Britain, you are not actually capable of understanding that the economic effects of Paul would be worse on people than the police/military effects of Obama.”

    That’s actually a sensible discussion worth having. Not what I’ve been seeing on this site (ever) though.

  248. says

    not that it even matters; Paul won’t be the candidate, and I don’t think there’s a single Pharyngulite eligible to vote in any of the important early primaries/caucuses to try to make him the candidate. This is an entirely hypothetical discussion.

  249. says

    That’s actually a sensible discussion worth having. Not what I’ve been seeing on this site (ever) though.

    liar. it’s the discussion I’ve been trying to have with you since I started posting, and the same is true for at least a few other posters.

  250. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Keddaw,
    You’ve lied through your teeth since your first post. Why the hell should we believe you when you say you supported Obama in 2008?
    Obama has not been perfect, but he’s been a whole helluvalot better than McCain-Pailin. And if you look at the alternatives… With any of the rethuglican candidates except Paul, in 4 years, we’ll be Haiti with nukes. With Paul, we’ll be Somalia with nukes.

  251. keddaw says

    Jadehawk, the long term damage to a nation (in my opinion) from having king-like powers in the Executive branch will, over time, be massively more than the short term pain of an economically illiterate ideologue. This is exactly what the war of independence was about. I know people don’t see it this way because Obama, in spite of what I’ve said, is a good guy trying to good for America and Americans – but he’s not, and people have to see that. Dictatorships are bad and Obama is pushing America down a path that I thought had ended with Communism, apparently they’ve* fund a new boogeyman.

    Perhaps Paul will go all religious whackadoodle on us, perhaps he’ll go all corporatist, but just remember who was in charge when $7.7 trillion dollars was loaned interest free to the banks.

    *Figure it out.

  252. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    That’s actually a sensible discussion worth having. Not what I’ve been seeing on this site (ever) though.

    There is no sensible discussion from you. You are an ideologue supporting an ideologue. An ideology shown wrong both by history and economics as ARIDS and ‘Tis pointed out above, if you ever bothered to read either, much less real books in the library.

    There is no way I would vote for RP in either the primary or general election. Any mud you attempt to throw at Obama comes from an ideological stance rather than reality, like you or Rush Limbaugh, all mouth and no substance, and is meaningless in a rational debate. In a rational debate you must consider the possibility you are wrong. Which you are, and have been since your first post months ago, and will be until you understand the intellectual and moral bankruptcy that is liberturdism.

  253. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible. -Henry Ford

    The eminently successful businessman Henry Ford understood that keeping your employees poor meant they’d have no money to buy your product. Too bad Ron Paul and his corporate masters don’t understand this concept.

  254. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Keddaw,
    You have provided zero evidence to support your contention that Obama is a power-humgry megalomaniac. In fact, at the height of the economic crisis in 2009, he could have greatly increased his power and chose not to. The military detainment provision was entirely the work of the TEA party house, and in fact, Obama succeeded in watering it down and probably will ignore it.

    You give no indication you even understand how the US government even works, nor that you have been paying attention to what has been going on here—unless it confirms your pre-existing view of Obama. Gee, I wonder what could be motivating that…

    We in the US are stuck. We have to vote for the least bad candidate a rotten political system produces. Since none of the other candidates running seem to even acknowledge physical reality (e.g. anthropogenic climate change, evolution…), that makes it quite easy to vote for Obama. That it pisses off racist idologically blinkered fucks like you is just a bonus.

  255. keddaw says

    Nerd, it is my considered (honestly, I have considered it) opinion that in the current field of potential candidates to be the next president of the United States of America the least worst option is Ron Paul. I am aware of the potential, likely even, economic and environmental problems that would likely become real and that the individual rights of Americans, especially women, would be severely compromised in many states. I take these issues very seriously and should there be a candidate who would mitigate these problems, without the horrific corporatist etc. issues of an Obama, they’d have my support in a second. That realistic candidate does not exist. I wish to a heaven I don’t believe in they did, but they don’t. So we’re stuck between a short-term economic and environmental fuck up and a legally enshrined power grab for the elite, for ever.

    Take your pick, it’s obvious where I stand – and it ain’t on an ideological platform whatever you may think.

  256. says

    posts that touch on the topic of the effects of Paul’s (or libertarians in general) economic policies on people’s lives (numbers in brackets are on topic, but only implicitly so):

    #9, (#17, #19, #20, #22, #45), #64, #67, #73, parts of #113, #115, #118, (#181, #206, #257), #266, #269, (#270), #275, (#289), #290, #293, #294, #295

    and I shall note that #201 makes a good summary of Paul’s social politics that will fuck over a bunch of people

  257. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nerd, it is my [ill]-considered (honestly, I have considered it) opinion

    Fixed that for you egotistical ideological loser. I have absolutely no interest in your opinion, never asked for it, and never will, and I see take notice that you aren’t an authority at anything other than your morally and intellectually bankrupt ideology.

    Your opinion to me is treated the same as Heinlein’s “well meaning fool”. Where if an election is held, and you don’t have time to consider everything, ask a “well meaning fool” (and there is always one around), and vote the opposite. Every post you make you convinces me further that both you and RP are bigger fools than ever.

  258. says

    Jadehawk, the long term damage to a nation (in my opinion) from having king-like powers in the Executive branch will, over time, be massively more than the short term pain of an economically illiterate ideologue.

    incorrect, especially considering the possibly causal correlation that leads from impoverished/severely unequal society to tyranny. And if we’re talking long-term effects, I already said that the single most dangerous thing in the long-terms is AGW, which Obama isn’t doing much on, but Paul would entirely reverse what little progress there ever was.

    but he’s not, and people have to see that.

    irrelevant, since Paul and whoever the actual Republican candidate will be are even worse. that’s what “voting for the lesser evil” means.

    Dictatorships are bad and Obama is pushing America down a path that I thought had ended with Communism, apparently they’ve* fund a new boogeyman.

    really? wow, you have a very shallow understanding of politics then. The USA has been getting more totalitarian and less liveable since at least Nixon, but definitely since the birth of the Religious Right and Reaganomics in the 80’s. And Saint Ron won’t do shit about that either, rhetoric notwithstanding. That’s because he won’t be able to do shit about his good ideas, but will be able to push through a lot of his bad ones.

  259. changeable moniker says

    just remember who was in charge when $7.7 trillion dollars was loaned interest free to the banks.

    That would be George W Bush, right?

    And that’s not all you have wrong:

    the vast bulk of this $7.77 trillion figure was never lent at all. For example, $1.8 trillion of the total is attributed to the Commercial Paper Funding Facility. But the fact is that the maximum quantity of loans ever outstanding under this program only came to $351 B. The $7.77 trillion also includes $900 B for the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, whose maximum outstanding balance was only $49 B, and includes $540 B for the Money Market Investor Funding Facility which never lent so much as a single dime.

    http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2011/12/more_on_those_s.html
    http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2011/12/777_trillion_in.html

  260. KG says

    Nerd, how about just someone that doesn’t murder children… – keddaw

    Idiot. Gutting social security as Paul intends would murder children as surely as dropping bombs on them. Packing SCOTUS with social conservatives as Paul woud if the chance arose, as is likely, would murder women forced into illegal abortions. Above all, electing Paul would kill any chance of an international agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions and thus, quite likely, doom our civilisation.

    You have somehow convinced yourself that all the vile andor deranged policy positions Paul takes will not have practical consequences, while a one term Paul Presidency will magically halt the shift towards unfettered corporate power in the USA. It would not. In fact, if he succeeded in moving powers from the federal to the state level, this would greatly assist corporate power: a state government is that much easier to buy or bully than the federal government.

  261. says

    So we’re stuck between a short-term economic and environmental fuck up and a legally enshrined power grab for the elite, for ever.

    the other way ’round. If Paul were the Republican candidate, American voters would be stuck between someone who would induce a severe long-term economic and environmental crisis (which would likely lead to an even faster deterioration of rights, because that’s how it tends to go), while maybe temporarily slowing the descent of the US into totalitarianism; and someone who just keeps on inching the US towards totalitarianism (albeit slower than his predecessor), while being neutral on the environment and a net positive in economic terms, and also on some civil and human rights issues

  262. says

    really? wow, you have a very shallow understanding of politics then. The USA has been getting more totalitarian and less liveable since at least Nixon, but definitely since the birth of the Religious Right and Reaganomics in the 80′s. And Saint Ron won’t do shit about that either, rhetoric notwithstanding. That’s because he won’t be able to do shit about his good ideas, but will be able to push through a lot of his bad ones.

    We’re dealing with a dualistic view of ethics here. Not surprising due to Libertarians overlap and origins with objectivism. Amusing how the enlightened rational morality of objectivism really is just as inflexible and dogmatic a fiat based ethos as the Abrahamic religions.

    There is black and white, good and bad, no over lap. If a policy is good then it is good and the reasons behind it must also be good. There’s no acknowledge meant that people can come to the same conclusion from two different starting points, and that an agreement between two can be a cause of overlapping goals rather than an equivalency of value or worth.

    It’s the same as arguing Stalin is the archatheist of atrocity because of his attack on the Russian church. It ignores that despite any overlap in goals with violent anti-theists, Stalin was motivated by the desire to consolidate political power away from the church. If aware of this even the most radical anti-theist who wanted the institution of the Orthodox church dismantled could not honestly argue that Stalin was in the right for his position because the dismantling wasn’t the goal, just a side effect of his real actions.

    It’s the same with Ron Paul, anything he says that is good isn’t his goal…it’s a side effect of his ideology which is “no gov for anyone, lets go back to the 1890s”.

  263. says

    Nerd, how about just someone that doesn’t murder children… –

    That’s not Paul.

    He, as someone could predict from his love of St. Rand, is fine with letting people die because he feels no moral or empathetic impulse to help them.

    He said that if in office he would, even if he could solve the problem easily, let people who can’t pay medical bills languish in the streets and leave it for ‘someone else’ to deal with.

    As Hitchens pointed out Conservatives fear that a government that can give you everything can also take everything away. What Hitchen’s failed to realize in a bone headed stupid drunken stupor was that just because a Government doesn’t give you anything, doesn’t mean that it STILL isn’t big enough to take away everything. In fact it’s even worse because you’ve now have a system that is powerful and actively callous and makes a policy of ignoring the needs of it’s citizenry.

  264. says

    Nerd, how about just someone that doesn’t murder children… –

    you’re talking about the guy who wants to get rid of the NOAA and the National Weather Service as well as the FEMA. He actually cited the 1900 hurricane devastating Galveston and killing 6000 people as a good example of how he wants the US to deal with natural disasters. The prevention of human deaths is not something Paul cares about, and what he wants to do would cause a fuckload of deaths.

  265. says

    As flawed and horrible as I think Obama is, he at least as a candidate gives me the impression that he’s someone who if he saw a starving kid would give them a cracker.

    Paul is someone who gives me the impression that he’d lecture the kid and ask them why they’re not at their church to use the charity there before walking on.

  266. KG says

    Jadehawk@289,
    A brilliant summary analysis of our proud ideologue.

    “ideologue loser”

    Damn fucking straight I am. I happen to like the writings of Jefferson and Paine. I agree with their ideas. I think humans are individuals and should be treated as such. Freedom, baby. Fuck yeah. = keddaw

    Spoken like a true religidiot. It makes scarcely more sense to base your political judgements on the texts of 18th and early 19th century writers than to base them on the Bible. Let’s not forget that that wonderful American Constitution permitted slavery, the treatment of women as chattels, and the violent seizure of a large part of the continent from its existing inhabitants.

  267. KG says

    Oh, and the Constitution also enshrined indirect election of the President and appointment of Senators by the State legislatures, to give the rich better chances to game the system.

  268. says

    oh, and something I just remembered. the whole “Americans fought for freedom and independence in the Revolutionary War” is a nice story, but not actually accurate; the vast majority of people living in the colonies either didn’t do any fighting, fought because of local loyalties, or fought on the British side. The “freedom and independence” crowd was mostly the elite politicians, and as Ing said, in some cases that “freedom” was “freedom from having to pay their debts”

    Amazing, this silly mythmaking and apotheosis of events and actors of the revolutionary war.

  269. KG says

    That’s because he [Ron Paul] won’t be able to do shit about his good ideas, but will be able to push through a lot of his bad ones.

    Exactly. It’s practically inconceivable he could be elected without a Republican Congress, which would be with him on all the bad ideas, but obstructive on anything good. I doubt he’d even do better than Obama with regard to foreign wars and attacks on civil liberties: there’s a huge weight of military-corporate-bureaucrat interest behind both. Paul might take privatisation even further (arids, don’t forget the thousands of mercenaries left in Iraq), but passing coercive power from the state to profit-hungry private agencies is not a step forward.

  270. keddaw says

    So, insults aside, we are at the point where I believe that the harm of a likely 1-term Paul Presidency would be massively offset by his (hopeful) renunciation of illegally acquired Presidential powers and the rest of you appear to believe that the continual reduction in US citizens’ rights is worth the apparent continuation and possible increase is social security, welfare and medical aid.

    Which is a perfectly reasonable discussion and doesn’t require the use of rethuglican, liberturd, idiot (unless that one was deserved) etc. I happen to be a slightly left leaning libertarian, I oft get kicked around on those forums for disputing the legitimacy of land ownership but sobeit. My position on this issue does not arise from any kind of libertarianism, nor from 18th century thinking, but from the simple idea that no man (or woman) gets to decide who should be locked up without trial. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I get outvoted, but I would rather have an argument about the merits of it than throw insults around all day.

    Ing, killing by not helping is entirely different to killing by, you know, killing.

    changeable: “That would be George W Bush, right?” The point is that no-one was at the wheel. Bush/Obama, can you really tell the difference? One did the USA PATRIOT Act, the other did NDAA 2012. Other than that, nice pickup :) My bad, I thought it was under Obama.

    All, I really, really don’t want Paul as President. Really, I don’t. I think he’d be a disaster economically, and I think Congress would make any decent policies he had into absolute shit through the governmental process. Not being American, the economic shit storm that people think would happen under his term (wouldn’t be as bad as you think, but still…) is of no real concern to me. What I am concerned with is the idea of America, the promise, the dream of freedom, the concept that there is a successful place on this planet that eschews the idea that we’re all serfs and we can raise ourselves up to be whatever we either deserve or we’re fortunate enough to be. Some of you get that and disagree, the rest simply think that I’m a white male Christian who has a privileged place in society and would like to see that continue. C’est la vie.

  271. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    So, insults aside, we are at the point where I believe that the harm of a likely 1-term Paul Presidency would be massively offset by his (hopeful) renunciation of illegally acquired Presidential powers and the rest of you appear to believe that the continual reduction in US citizens’ rights is worth the apparent continuation and possible increase is social security, welfare and medical aid.

    You honestly think Paul wouldn’t use executive powers to push his anti-humanist, racist ideology?

    kaddaw, I have some ocean-front property in Manitoba you might be interested in investing in.

  272. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Keddaw: “…and I think Congress would make any decent policies he had into absolute shit through the governmental process.”

    OK, now I wonder why it is that you can see that this would happen with a white, libertarian President, but that you cannot see that it has happened with a black, right-of-center President. Hmm, how are they different? It’s as if you see everything in terms of, why, black and white.

    And NDAA 2012, dude, do you even read the papers. Obama asked the Congress critters to send him the NDAA without the detention wording. He actually negotiated to weaken it. It in fact ties his hands, and he has registered his dissent, which, if he were Bush, would mean that he was going to ignore that portion of the legislation.

    Obama has been a disappointment, but in reality, given the opposition he has faced from white racists in the House, he has accomplished a fair amount. But hey, you’ve shown you don’t care a fuck about facts when they get in the way of your little libertarian fantasy, so don’t let me spoil it for you. I’m just glad you’re across the pond.

  273. says

    his (hopeful) renunciation of illegally acquired Presidential powers

    ROTFLMAO

    that wouldn’t actually happen, you know

    the rest of you appear to believe that the continual reduction in US citizens’ rights is worth the apparent continuation and possible increase is social security, welfare and medical aid.

    incorrect. this reduction is a long-term trend in the U.S. and would at best be temporarily slowed by a President Paul. OTOH, he would enshrine a level of deregulation in the U.S. that would be near impossible to undo, and in the meantime the U.S. economy would continue collapsing. And such a scenario would then speed up the deterioration of rights, as it generally tends to do throughout history. Simultaneously, Paul would actively seek to remove the rights of women and minorities from the books, and he would have the support of the Republican base to do so.

    A President Paul might slow police/military power-accumulation but at the cost of various civil and human rights; he would precipitate another massive economic crisis which would ultimately undo possibly imaginable short-term improvement in one limited area of civil/human rights; and he would accelerate AGW, thus guaranteeing that no recovery from the economic crisis would be possible, as increasingly severe weather and altered climate fuck more and more with the economy

    A President Obama has had no noticeable effect on the rate of police/military power-accumulation, but he has increased the legal rights of a number of people, and he’s improved the economy somewhat, thus potentially slowing the deterioration of human/civil rights in the U.S. in the long-run. On the environment, he at least is giving us a few more years/decades than Paul would, and the end of the Keystone XL pipeline suggests that he’s at least amenable to some policies that won’t the fight against AGW that much harder in the coming years.

    Let me repeat that.

    Obama is on balance slightly bad in the short-term, with the possibility of long-term positive outcomes. Paul is short-term really bad, with the possibility of even more, and more severe, bad in the long term.

  274. says

    the economic shit storm that people think would happen under his term (wouldn’t be as bad as you think, but still…) is of no real concern to me. What I am concerned with is the idea of America

    see, this is why you’re a deranged, anti-human asshole.

  275. says

    (wouldn’t be as bad as you think, but still…)

    and why do you “think” so? if I ask you to explain, is this going to be even more of the ignorant hypotheticals and bullshittery you gave me at #273?

    the concept that there is a successful place on this planet that eschews the idea that we’re all serfs and we can raise ourselves up to be whatever we either deserve or we’re fortunate enough to be

    such a place never existed, and this myth that this is what America is/was is destroying what’s left of the US far more thoroughly than Obama’s power-grabbing policies are.

    Some of you get that and disagree, the rest simply think that I’m a white male Christian who has a privileged place in society and would like to see that continue

    false dichotomy. I get your delusions, and I also understand that they’re to a large degree based on the luxury of being able to put ideology above hard realities, i.e. your privilege.

  276. keddaw says

    “Obama asked the Congress critters to send him the NDAA without the detention wording. He actually negotiated to weaken it.”

    Not exactly…
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=385×641668
    Obama threatens to veto because he’s a good guy, right?
    Not so much:
    http://www.americablog.com/2011/12/yes-ndaa-really-does-authorize.html
    Obama’s aides explicitly lobbied for the removal of the ‘straight to the military’ part becasue, and you’ll love this, it limits HIS power over what to do with suspects. NB. Suspects!

  277. KG says

    Ing, killing by not helping is entirely different to killing by, you know, killing. – keddaw

    Crap. The victims end up dead either way. Paul intends to bring about changes which would result in large numbers of additional deaths. Given his idiocy on climate change, it’s not even possible to put a ceiling on those numbers.

  278. KG says

    keddaw,

    Not being American, the economic shit storm that people think would happen under his term (wouldn’t be as bad as you think, but still…) is of no real concern to me.

    You really don’t have the first idea, do you? Do you really believe the US economy can go down the tubes, as it would if Paul’s looney ideas were followed, and not affect the UK?

    <blockquoteWhat I am concerned with is the idea of America, the promise, the dream of freedom, the concept that there is a successful place on this planet that eschews the idea that we’re all serfs and we can raise ourselves up to be whatever we either deserve or we’re fortunate enough to be.

    Grow up. That sort of piffle has about as much relevance to 21st century American capitalism as stories about how nature is mourning Kim Jong-Il have to real life in North Korea.

  279. KG says

    Sorry, blockquote fail:

    What I am concerned with is the idea of America, the promise, the dream of freedom, the concept that there is a successful place on this planet that eschews the idea that we’re all serfs and we can raise ourselves up to be whatever we either deserve or we’re fortunate enough to be.

    Grow up. That sort of piffle has about as much relevance to 21st century American capitalism as stories about how nature is mourning Kim Jong-Il have to real life in North Korea.

  280. says

    You give no indication you even understand how the US government even works, nor that you have been paying attention to what has been going on here—unless it confirms your pre-existing view of Obama. Gee, I wonder what could be motivating that…

    We in the US are stuck. We have to vote for the least bad candidate a rotten political system produces. Since none of the other candidates running seem to even acknowledge physical reality (e.g. anthropogenic climate change, evolution…), that makes it quite easy to vote for Obama.

    Sadly, I suspect this is the case with way too many Americans too. How else do you explain the ability of the right wing to continually tack crap onto bills, undermine what things Obama actually had good ideas on, and introduce things that it later turns out that some percentage of nuts on their own side don’t like (individual mandate anyone…), then run around saying, “It was all Obama’s fault, not our idea at all!!”, and have so many damn people believe it, including the idiots that are thinking of electing Paul, or some Rethuglican, to “fix the problem”?

  281. says

    the economic shit storm that people think would happen under his term (wouldn’t be as bad as you think, but still…) is of no real concern to me. What I am concerned with is the idea of America

    There is no America without Americans. You cannot kill the village to save the village.

    At that point it’s clear you’re not about doing good, you’re about making yourself feel good.

    What I am concerned with is the idea of America, the promise, the dream of freedom, the concept that there is a successful place on this planet that eschews the idea that we’re all serfs and we can raise ourselves up to be whatever we either deserve or we’re fortunate enough to be.

    Which cannot exist in a corporatocracy.

    BTW, you honestly haven’t heard? The American Dream died with Disco. Wake up.

  282. says

    the dream of freedom, the concept that there is a successful place on this planet that eschews the idea that we’re all serfs and we can raise ourselves up to be whatever we either deserve or we’re fortunate enough to be.

    From the country that brought us the robber barrons, Pinkertons, saving and loans, etc?

    Here’s a hint; lifting yourself up by your bootstraps is a physical impossibility. It’s a very fitting metaphor.

  283. shouldbeworking says

    @326 ‘Tis, ocean front property in Manitoba is around Churchill, the shore of Hudson Bay. Too many transients in the autumn fr my liking. Those polar bears think they own the town, just the republicans.

  284. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    ocean front property in Manitoba is around Churchill, the shore of Hudson Bay.

    Don’t you want to sit out on the Churchill beach in February, sipping a pina colata, watching the bikini clad sun worshipers and soaking up rays?

  285. says

    Paul staffer Eric Dondero says:

    Ron Paul is most assuredly an isolationist. He denies this charge vociferously. But I can tell you straight out, I had countless arguments/discussions with him over his personal views. For example, he strenuously does not believe the United States had any business getting involved in fighting Hitler in WWII. He expressed to me countless times, that “saving the Jews,” was absolutely none of our business.