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Lies, Intolerance, and Disrespect for the Rule of Law

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President Obama was absolutely correct last week when he proclaimed that the Cordoba Initiative, under the Constitution, had “the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances.” Of course the president’s remarks set off a firestorm of responses from Republicans looking to capitalize on the issue in this election year. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told Fox News Sunday that Mr. Obama’s view “demonstrates that Washington, the White House, the administration, the president himself seems to be disconnected from the mainstream of America.” Former House Speaker and potential Republican presidential candidate in 2012 Newt Gingrich said on his website last month simply “No mosque.” Lastly, of course, the Jesse Jackson of 21st Century political America, Sarah Palin, wrote in a Facebook message originally posted July 20, “Many Americans, myself included, feel it would be an intolerable and tragic mistake to allow such a project … to go forward on such hallowed ground.” These remarks and others like them represent what is so wrong in America today: deceit, intolerance, and disrespect for the rule of law.

In the first place, Palin is stretching the truth by using the “hallowed ground” rationale. The proposed site of the mosque is several blocks from Ground Zero and would be surrounded by a store offering lingerie, a peep show and sex toys, at least 11 bars, and a strip club. Calling this neighborhood hallowed ground is like attaching the same nomenclature to the strip in Las Vegas. Given the current makeup of the area, a mosque would add a spiritual influence to its fabric and actually make the district more hallowed. In any event, Palin’s statement, like many uttered by our politicians today, is misleading and has certainly led many Americans to a false opinion of whether the mosque should be built.

Newt, on the other hand, employs direct intolerance in his opposition to the mosque project. “No mosque” leaves little room for negotiation. How can someone who possibly aspires to be president be so vehemently discriminatory? Since there are already 10 churches and 3 synagogues in lower Manhattan near the Ground Zero site, a mosque would actually enhance the diversity of that community. Additionally, these are times when people of different faiths should come together to solve problems and be role models of tolerance and cooperation. I can imagine no greater tribute to those lost on September 11, 2001 than for the churches, synagogues, and mosques near Ground Zero to work together on projects that promote understanding and peace. With Newt’s thinking, this won’t be possible.

Lastly, Senator Cornyn should know that property rights under the Constitution are not a popularity contest. That a majority of Americans hold a certain opinion, in this case that the mosque should not be built in Lower Manhattan, does not make it law. The Constitution specifically grants all Americans equal protection under the law and protects us against deprivation of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. The builders of the mosque have broken no laws and are entitled to the same justice as churches and synagogues. Thus, they have a right to build their place of worship on their property. Cornyn’s inference is dangerous because it violates the Constitution by making mob rule king and minority rights arbitrary, and at the whim of the mob. At a time when property rights are already under attack from both courts and policymakers, all Americans should stand with the Cordoba Initiative in support of its property rights. By doing so, they may be defending a future attack on their own.

The debate over the so-called Ground Zero Mosque is representative of the lies, intolerance, and disrespect for the rule of law which have become so pervasive in American society. To gain an upper hand in a campaign, politicians lie. We see this all the time in campaigns where candidates have lied about their opponent or themselves. We have become intolerant by labeling those we don’t agree with“racist. More ominously, we have become a society averse to the rule of law by condoning leaders who lie under oath, lie to start wars and invade sovereign nations unprovoked. Instead of chastising the president for defending the Constitution, it would have been refreshing if Cornyn, Palin, Gingrich, and others who claim to support the same document, had come out in support of the president’s position. Perhaps in America’s current environment this is too much to ask?

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About Kenn Jacobine

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    “The proposed site of the mosque is several blocks from Ground Zero and would be surrounded by a store offering lingerie, a peep show and sex toys, at least 11 bars, and a strip club.”

    or what Sarah Palin calls, hallowed ground.

    and everyone should remember this if, Newt runs…”Newt, on the other hand, employs direct intolerance in his opposition to the mosque project. “No mosque” leaves little room for negotiation. How can someone who possibly aspires to be president be so vehemently discriminatory?”

    Good article , Kenn

    : )

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Very good piece. What I don’t understand about the anti-GZM crowd is 9/11 was an attack on America and not just the WTC so by their reasoning shouldn’t they be against any mosques built in the country?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I notice the right-wingers didn’t pay much attention to the fact that an imam drops by every Friday to the Pentagon so that the Muslims there can pray together. In fact, over a hundred Muslims – Pentagon employees all – pray there every Friday.

    But the oh-so-trustworthy Fox News would have us believe that the First Amendment should not be a factor in determining the Muslims’ right to build a mosque on private property.

    On a related First Amendment matter, remember that ‘church’ in Gainesville that was going to burn Korans? It seems they were denied a permit to do so by the local fire department. The ‘church’ has proclaimed its determination to go ahead with the Koran-burning…and in the email declaring said intention was this little gem: “RBC Bank called in our mortgage with a limited time to pay it off…Now Cottons All-lines Insurance has also canceled our commercial insurance on our property putting our mortgage in immediate default. We need to raise the $140,000 to pay off the RBC loan immediately.”

    BTW – anyone want to hazard a guess as to which side of the political spectrum to this ‘church’ adheres?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz Alan Kurtz

    Glenn Contrarian (#3), you seem to be making several points at once. Being old and hopelessly linear, I am therefore confused (a common condition for me). You relate the First Amendment to a church that wanted to burn Korans but was denied a permit by the local fire department. Are you implying that the church–and why do you repeatedly embed that word within quotation marks? Is it not legally a church?–has a Constitutional right to burn Korans in violation of local fire ordinances? Are you further implying that the church is being persecuted because a bank called in their mortgage and an insurance company cancelled coverage on their property? Those issues deserve discussion, but I can’t proceed because I don’t know what you’re trying to communicate here.

  • Clavos

    Well, they’re probably not atheists…

  • jeffchpn

    Thank you for a rational, persuasive, and compelling critique of the demagoguery that has been taken over by the Right and turned into the latest cynical wedge issue. Right out of Karl Rove’s playbook.

    I totally agree with Mr. Jacobine’s use of the wording, “so called GZM”, since the proposed Park51 project would be a multi- use community center with a cafe, gym and pool, etc. with the top 2 of 13 floors set aside for prayers. Even at 13 floors, the building would not be visible from “ground
    zero”, and it would add to rather than detract from a decidedly mixed use area in lower Manhattan. The reality that the real estate was considered too financially precious to devote to a memorial and park speaks to the true priorities of those who now stoop to this ugliness.

    In nearly 9 years there is no permanent memorial at what is called “ground zero”. I sincerely doubt that anyone has forgotten the terror in that bright blue morning. What most dishonors the memory of the loss and sacrifice on 9/11 is all this partisan nonsense. And those who are using this non-issue to exploit the grief and pain of survivors are beneath contempt.

  • Cannonshop

    I’ve been saying all along (perhaps against the current of the other right-wingers) that it’s a local matter.

    Congress shall make No Law…

    Obviously the Cordoba project recieved the necessary LOCAL permits. The land is not Federal Land, nor is it a Federal Reservation, National Park, or National Monument, and has been pointed out, there are ‘gentleman’s clubs’ nearby.

    The entire debate IS petty, and out of place on the national stage, and it’s one instance where Palin, Gingrich, and Barack Obama should keep their damn noses out and let the people who live in the area make their choices.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    In nearly 9 years there is no permanent memorial at what is called “ground zero”.

    This statement speaks volumes!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Sleazy strip bars are now, “gentleman’s clubs?”

    The word games will never end, will they?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    There is a Mosque in the Pentagon, why aren’t you all flipping out?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    If any place should be denominational free, it surely is the Pentagon.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    To be fair now, Karl Rove was against the idea of federal intervention.

    Whether he meant it with a straight face or in the spirit of partisanship, it’s for the reader to decide.

    As to Newt, he’s obviously whoring for presidential candidacy.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Really, Roger?

    Wasn’t Carl involved in the firing of a number of federal court judges that didn’t play politics correctly, and the outing of a CIA operative?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Really, Roger?

    Wasn’t Carl involved in the firing of a number of federal court judges that didn’t play politics correctly, and the outing of a CIA operative?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    sorry for the double. sneezed

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I expressed reservations about his motives, going only by what he had said.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Sleazy strip bars are now, “gentleman’s clubs?”

    The word games will never end, will they?

    Indeed they won’t.

    What makes a gentlemen’s club necessarily a “sleazy strip bar”?

  • Kenn Jacobine

    “In nearly 9 years there is no permanent memorial at what is called “ground zero”.

    The reason is because government is in charge of the project! It can’t even label stones on soldiers graves correctly!

  • Clavos

    What makes a strip bar necessarily sleazy?

    Some of the fanciest, most posh clubs in Miami are titty bars.

  • Arch Conservative

    Maybe the mosque will get built and shortly after it is a group of radical Christians will bomb it and then a few years later when it’s proposed that a huge Catholic church be built on the site of the former mosque all of you who had supported the building of the Mosque will come forth to support the building of the church.

  • Arch Conservative

    Oh and of course all of the “peaceful muslims” who just wanted to practice their religion when they supported the former mosque will no doubt fully support the church too right…because islam is the average adherent of islam is nothing is he or she is not tolerant of other religions….

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Kenn,

    You are wrong about who is in charge of building a memorial, remembrance, or anything at “Ground Zero”

    We all put our monies into fireman’s boots after 9-11. Every store had collection jars, and everyone collected money to send to NYC. Where is the money?
    The people who actually need funds are the men and women who where there on 9-11!!!

    Now, I see case after case being denied, why? Because they don’t have documentation proving that toxic ash went into their lungs!!!

    Ask the, Jersey mom’s why there isn’t anything there.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Doc,

    The exploitation of young girls in-order to sell cheap beer and whiskey? Yes, that’s very sleazy. I don’t know if you have any daughters…

    Wouldn’t you agree?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Clavos,

    That’s all you can add to this thread? pathetic

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I’ll be back later on Roger’s thread. I read it yesterday and want to give him a thoughtful comment.

    hint…

  • Clavos

    I’ll be back later on Roger’s thread. I read it yesterday and want to give him a thoughtful comment.

    Excellent! You’re overdue…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    so are you…

  • http://www.calljohncap.com John Caporale

    I had this dream last night that Kenn wrote a BLOG post that I agreed with 100%. Must have been the 5th beer I had with dinner that did it….

  • Clavos

    so are you…

    Trenchant retort!

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    I understand the parts about intolerance and lies. But where can violation of laws or the Constitution, or disrespect for either, be found?

    Peacefully and lawfully to protest or support the proposed mosque (and there seem to be no federal, state or local impediments to construction at the moment) are all exercises in freedom of speech. It would hardly be immoral, fattening, unlawful, or unconstitutional for me or anyone else to support or to oppose construction. Telling lies and being intolerant are bad; exercising free speech is not. That is so regardless of whether I, or anyone else, agrees with what is said.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Do you mean,incisive, keen, or caustic, cutting?

  • Kenn Jacobine

    John,

    #28 – So has our luck run out?

  • zingzing

    el bicho: “the anti-GZM crowd”

    as acronyms go, that one is fairly hilarious.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    This is the first Kenn Jacobine piece I’ve ever agreed with. Will wonders never cease?

  • Ruvy

    I’m happy for all the fools at Blogcritics, from the author on to most of the commenters, who can’t tell when they’re being peed on. The Wahhabi terrorists want their Hamosque, and the dhimmis at BC are all for it.

    Fine. May you get the dhimmitude you so obviously seek, and may those few of you with brains to comprehend what faces you leave the shores of the United States permanently. For Israel, if you are Jews – and Australia if you are not. The rest of you, don’t come to me for a loan to pay the jizya when its imposed on you….

  • Zedd

    That wasn’t me Clav.

  • Arch ConscienceStain

    Wahhabi terrorists want their Hamosque

    Dribble, Dribble….

    Whatever. I agree.

    I’m also opposed to all falafel vendors being within 2 blocks of ground zero because clearly they’re funneling money directly to the Wahhabit. You fools and your falafel.

    Of course, I’m also opposed all Jewish (Capitalized! I’m no anti-Semite!) delis as they also send their money back to the motherland to be used to kill innocent Palestinian children.

    Ooops, I forgot. There are no innocent Palestinian children.

    All goyim are animals. I read that on the Internet.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Alan –

    You relate the First Amendment to a church that wanted to burn Korans but was denied a permit by the local fire department. Are you implying that the church–and why do you repeatedly embed that word within quotation marks? Is it not legally a church?–has a Constitutional right to burn Korans in violation of local fire ordinances?

    1 – If that ‘church’ were in compliance with local fire code in their book-burning, then that would certainly be a First Amendment issue. When they first stated their intention, it’s obvious that they probably had no clue as to whether it was something prohibited by their fire code…and I strongly suspect that their local fire department didn’t like how this reflected on Gainesville, FL, so they put a stop to it.

    2 – I put ‘church’ in quotes as a matter of personal choice. I am a strong Christian, and the Church of which I am a member believes that all other ‘churches’ and other religions are false. This will of course offend most people who read this…but our stance is in reality no different from what the Jews, the Catholics, and the Sunni and Shi’a Muslims all believe about their respective religions.

    Are you further implying that the church is being persecuted because a bank called in their mortgage and an insurance company cancelled coverage on their property?

    Certainly not! I am implying – as is the reference I quoted – that the intent was clearly to gin up controversy…and thus attract more funding to stay afloat.

    Those issues deserve discussion, but I can’t proceed because I don’t know what you’re trying to communicate here.

    I’m sorry for not being more clear – I’ve got to work on that. Thanks -

  • Jordan Richardson

    If I ever need a loan to pay for the jizya, Ruvy’ll be the last person I call. Trust me.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    What do you eat at a jizya?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Jordan,

    It took me a while, but I found your article on Skeletonbreath…listening to it right now.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Kenn,

    I have to inform you of this fact, you are becoming more an more liberal with each passing article…

    : )nite, BC

  • Kenn Jacobine

    jeannie,

    That is the thing you liberals have to understand – libertarians are liberals (19th Century word) when it comes to rights and freedoms. We are always mixed with conservatives and that is an insult. I used to be a liberal (20th Century word) then a conservative, and eventually evolved into my current higher-life form.

    In all seriousness, it is about consistency. You have a right to live your life and use your property as you see fit as long as you don’t violate the right of another to do the same thing.

    I was particularly offended to see on the news “Don’t Tread on Me” flags protesting the building of the mosque yesterday in NYC. Those folks don’t have a clue.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kenn –

    Problem is, libertarians strongly tend to vote Republican rather than Democrat (or even libertarian, I suspect) – because they know a candidate of the Libertarian party stands zero chance of winning. As a result, they choose between what they think are the lesser of two evils (which reminds me of a scene in “Master and Commander”)…

    …and libertarians like Democrats much less than they do Republicans. As a result, they’ve supported the party that has:

    – supported the idea that corporations are people and have FULL First Amendment rights (see the “Citizens United” case)

    – supported the party that is strongly against gay marriage, against abortion rights, and against equal rights for women (see “Lily Ledbetter”) and equal rights for minorities (see “segregation” and “The Southern Strategy”).

    – supported the party that wants to have our children taught creationism alongside evolution in school

    – supported the party that brought us the Iraq War on blatantly false pretenses.

    – supported the party that gave us the Bush tax cuts and Medicare Part D, neither of which were paid for by spending cuts, and the former of which STILL accounts for $400B of our ongoing annual deficit

    – supported ‘free trade’ to the point that we have lost much of our manufacturing base…which is hindering (and may stop) us from recovering from the Great Recession (which ALSO began under Bush)

    – and speaking of the Great Recession, we can thank the party that most strongly supports deregulation such as the repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act which protected our economy for over half a century. To be fair, Clinton supported said repeal…which was passed by the Republican-controlled Congress with a veto-proof majority

    – AND remember PAYGO, the Clinton doctrine of not passing a law that did not contain a method of paying for that law? Who was it that threw that doctrine out the window? Bush and the Republicans. Obama’s tried to reinstate that policy with limited success, but it’s a start.

    In other words, Kenn, if libertarians were as…libertarian as they claim to be, they would NOT be supporting by default the party that does NOT support equal rights for all, does NOT want to stay out of our bedrooms, does NOT believe a woman has a right to decide what goes on with her body, and believes in fiscal responsibility ONLY when it’s the Democrats in charge.

    To sum it up, any libertarian who supports the Republicans over the Democrats…is not a libertarian in the classic sense.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Glenn,

    All my libertarian buddies and the webpages (Lew Rockwell, Mises.org) About the only libertarian in the Republican party is Ron Paul. And by the way, he was the only member of Congress who predicted the financial crisis and he did it as early as 2003.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    It cut me off – true libertarians don’t vote for Republicans.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Kenn,

    After reading your description of Libertarianism, I want to join the club.

    I am so sick of seeing, hearing and reading what these small-minded freedom-hatting people are doing to an entire nation of people.

    As an independent , I’m in limbo.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Ron Paul only said one thing that I could get behind:

    “Another term for preventive war is aggressive war – starting wars because someday somebody might do something to us. That is not part of the American tradition.”

    This other, gem, make me want to run away!!!

    “1913 wasn’t a very good year. 1913 gave us the income tax, the 16th amendment and the IRS.”

    He also suggested that we dismantle key government departments, such as:

    The Department of Education and The Department of Agriculture

    : O What is he, nuts?

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Glenn,

    With all due respect, your view of the issues you stated is incredibly simplistic. It is as if your entire world view is consumed by the government rescuing the little guy from every evil that exists in the world.

    “supported the idea that corporations are people and have FULL First Amendment rights (see the “Citizens United” case)”

    Uncle Sam was not supposed to be Santa Claus. If the government didn’t hand out so many unconstitutional goodies to every interest group imaginable this would not be an issue. So it is right for labor unions to lobby the government but not corporations? We have unemployment now – the numbers would be even larger if corporations could not defend themselves against the onslaught of every anti-business group through lobbying. Your premise is a jobs buster.

    “supported the party that is strongly against gay marriage, against abortion rights, and against equal rights for women (see “Lily Ledbetter”) and equal rights for minorities (see “segregation” and “The Southern Strategy”).”

    Just because someone is against government mandates, doesn’t mean they are against equal rights, etc… Libertarians are correct when they insist that property rights are protected better and rights are more likely to come to folks through the free market. Case in point is the Montgomery Bus Boycott. I do believe that women should be paid equally to men, but the government has no business meddling in the market place to mandate it. Also, a potential jobs buster. Marriage should be privatized altogether. It is between two people who can form a contract and petition entities in society for benefits.

    “supported the party that wants to have our children taught creationism alongside evolution in school”

    Libertarians are for privatizing the schools to eliminate all the issues of gay teachers, prayer, etc…

    “supported the party that brought us the Iraq War on blatantly false pretenses.”

    Just not true – Ron Paul voted repeatedly against the war, which is more than can be said for many democrats. Libertarians believe wars also destroy economies – we would have protested U.S. entry into WWI as well. I bet you can’t say that?

    “supported the party that gave us the Bush tax cuts and Medicare Part D, neither of which were paid for by spending cuts, and the former of which STILL accounts for $400B of our ongoing annual deficit”

    Libertarians support tax cuts for anybody at anytime. We stood against Medicare Part D and all other socialized government medical schemes throughout history. They are unconstitutional and have never solved the problems of affordable health care.

    “supported ‘free trade’ to the point that we have lost much of our manufacturing base…which is hindering (and may stop) us from recovering from the Great Recession (which ALSO began under Bush)”

    Protectionism is a failed economic policy – it has been responsible for wars and depressions throughout history. The Great Recession was caused by government policy that supplied easy money to speculators, cajoled lenders to lend to sub-prime borrowers and then guaranteed the loans through Freddie and Fannie. The reason we have not emerged from the recession is because the government is still doing the same thing!!

    As for manufacturing base being gone – it began in the 1970s before the big push for free trade and has more to do with over-regulation and high costs of living in U.S. (The Federal Reserve System).

    “and speaking of the Great Recession, we can thank the party that most strongly supports deregulation such as the repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act which protected our economy for over half a century. To be fair, Clinton supported said repeal…which was passed by the Republican-controlled Congress with a veto-proof majority”

    Clinton supported repeal!!! See answer above.

    “AND remember PAYGO, the Clinton doctrine of not passing a law that did not contain a method of paying for that law? Who was it that threw that doctrine out the window? Bush and the Republicans. Obama’s tried to reinstate that policy with limited success, but it’s a start.”

    How long have the dems controlled Congress? Isn’t Obama, the biggest spending president of all time a dem? Why can’t they work together dems and dem to paygo? Totally B.S.

    Libertarians believe in constitutional government. Most of the spending that is done is unconstitutional and would not exist under libertarians. We wouldn’t be broke and in the trouble we face.

    True libertarians do not vote for the lessor of two – we did not support the measures you mentioned.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    jeannie,

    significant dismantling of the federal government has to be done. The Department of Education for instance was simply a prize from Pres. Carter to the NEA for supporting him. Its budget is about $30-50 billion and it educates no one. I know being a teacher myself.

    Depart of Ag was founded when about 30 percent of Americans farmed. Today only 3 percent farm and the department has become a big boondoggle for big ag. businesses. Ever wonder why cereal costs so much even though we have the fruited plain? – Subsidies to farmers to keep prices high. How does this help the poor?

    I could go on.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Kenn,

    You are on your own in your world, huh? Nobody to have a country with…just little ole Libertarian , Kenn.

    We need a government, Kenn and we just need to clean this one up. throw out the subsidies and special interests

    : )I don’t agree with you at all! lol

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kenn –

    1 – The largest single recipient group of special interests are…corporations. And when a corporation is convicted of committing a felony (as Shell did long before the Gulf spill), who goes to jail? No one. The corporation pays a fine, and that’s it.

    That, and multinational corporations have NO interest in the welfare of the citizens of a particular nation.

    2 – When it comes to regulation, you will find NO first-world country (democracy or otherwise) that does not have a significant level of regulation and strict adherence to the rule of law. Conversely, you will find NO third-world democracy that has a significant level of regulation and strict adherence to the law.

    America’s manufacturing base, FYI, was built during a time of strong regulation.

    In other words, the idea of a first-world country run on libertarian principles is a FANTASY, and every bit as impossible as a nation run on true communist principles. You have NO evidence to show otherwise.

    3 – As above, you will find NO first-world democracy that does not have a relatively high level of taxes. Why? Because the social structure of a first-world democracy cannot be maintained without a significant investment by the taxpayer.

    Can you show me a first-world country (other than oil-rich Arabic nations) that works on libertarian principles? No, you cannot.

    Kenn, libertarian thought is very much like communist thought – sounds great in theory…but is absolutely impossible in the real world, and with the very real human nature of the masses. And all your wishing otherwise won’t change that fact.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Jeannie, you don’t want to joint that

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Glenn,

    Communism was tried and failed. What we have in the U.S. and elsewhere are remnants of that system. A huge welfare/warfare state, unsound money, and government confiscating private property (taxes, eminent domain, regulations, etc…)in wholesale amounts. Why you would want to defend a failed system even in just dribs and drabs is beyond me? The reason why the world is broke and in depression is because of those policies. BTW I have said many times that corporate welfare and all the bailouts must go as well.

    jeannie, I am in my own little world. You know what, in my world I don’t pay income taxes and social security to support all the Ponzi schemes and B.S. you all want.

  • Jordan Richardson

    The world is broke and in depression? According to who?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kenn –

    Again, can you show me even ONE first-world nation that functions on libertarian principles?

    No, you cannot.

    Whereas I CAN show you a host of nations that DO function largely on libertarian principles. They’re ALL third-world countries. As well-traveled as you are, you of all people should know this.

    I’m in one such libertarian paradise as I type – the Philippines. Very little real regulation, no real social safety net to speak of, a tax code that would be significant if it could be reliably enforced…

    …heck, according to libertarian theory, the Philippines ought to be a shining star of progress!

    But it ain’t – and neither is any other country that embodies such libertarian principles.

    Real libertarianism – like ‘real’ communism – is a fantasy, Kenn. You have NO evidence to support your contentions, whereas I’ve got a WHOLE DOGGONE WORLD full of nations that prove what I’m trying to tell you.

    But you know what’s happening here? Instead of letting the FACTS determine your opinion, you’re going from the premise that you must right, and therefore the facts that disprove your premise must then be either false or misinterpreted.

    Of course, all you need do to prove your point is to point out why libertarianism is the way to go despite the fact that NO first-world nations work on libertarian principles whereas there’s a whole slew of third world nations that DO work on libertarian principles.

    Here’s your chance, Kenn! Explain the gaping disparity!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    The US is not one great big Ponzi scheme.

    :( Please don’t be mad, Kenn

  • Doug Hunter

    Assuming Glenn’s view is true, although government has grown greatly between America’s industrial hayday and it’s current state so I think his ideas may be suspect, what are the implications?

    At what level of regulation does one become a slave? When 20% of your decisions are made for you? 60%? 90%? This is sort of the flip side of capitalism. What if capitalism’s private ownership and greed coupled with enslaving regulations turns out to be the most effective and efficient system? Perhaps just like communists ideals of community wither in the face of capitalisms efficient machine, libertarian’s freedoms cannot stand against an army united by the force and power of government regulation.

    Can ideals have any weight in the face of power or must they all be swept aside in search of that goal? It’s survival of the fittest on a societal/governmental scale, but evolution does not necessarily favor the good, the popular, or the pretty. There’s no higher power ensuring the fittest system embodies any particular ideals. It favors what works and perhaps, just maybe, that’s a mixture of democracy, greed, and authoritarianism.

    Government builds the cage and puts you on the wheel, capitalism sticks the cheese in front of you, your only job is to run. Perhaps this is our future.

  • Clavos

    Problem is, libertarians strongly tend to vote Republican rather than Democrat (or even libertarian, I suspect) – because they know a candidate of the Libertarian party stands zero chance of winning.

    Glenn, many (if not most) of us Libertarians DO vote for Libertarian candidates, and Libertarian candidates DO win on a local basis. Currently, there are several hundred Leibertarian officeholders nationwide, including 27 here in Florida.

    Fortunately, most Libertarian voters do not take the defeatist attitude you express, and the LP, founded only in 1971, has been growing steadily. It is today America’s third largest party.

    Many Libertarians who do have an affiliation with the Republican Party are members of the Republican Liberty Caucus, which calls itself “The Conscience of the Republican Party,” and thus brings Libertarian principles to the forefront of Republican Party consideration. Our own Dave Nalle is the current National Chair of the RLC.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Glenn,

    Again you are using simplistic arguments. “The Phillipines is a libertarian paradise”. Cut me a break. Developing countries, we no longer call them 3rd World, have a multitude of problems. First and foremost is corruption and nepotism. There is an upper class and a lower class and the upper class preserves its position through law, stealing, bribery and influence. All are characteristics anti-thetical to libertarianism.

    Besides I am not a citizen of another country and would never tell them how to govern. I only care about the U.S. The U.S. became in the 19th and early 20th centuries an industrial powerhouse with low regulation, respect for property rights and no social safety net. That is why so many immigrants including my grandparents came here. Because there was opportunity. Now, that liberals have built leviathon many, not all, come here for the benefits of the welfare state. It is a bosom that is hard to be weaned from, but Uncle Scam is broke and the joyride will come to an end. Soon.

  • John Wilson

    Kenn says: “The U.S. became in the 19th and early 20th centuries an industrial powerhouse with low regulation, respect for property rights and no social safety net.”

    …and HUGE government investments to support that ‘powerhouse’ with infrastructure and direct subsidy. Mostly subsidized by tariffs that ALL US citizens paid for.

    Those ‘industrial powerhouses’ got their benefits immediately and prospered, and the families that ‘owned’ them are still rich.

    You can hardly blame the hoi polloi for wanting a payout from all that government subsidy, too.

  • zingzing

    clavos: “Our own Dave Nalle is the current National Chair of the RLC.”

    dave’s a smart man and all, but a bit off his rocker. he hasn’t been around much since his little “OBAMA IS DENYING OUR 1ST AMENDMENT RIGHTS IN ORDER TO BEGIN THE FASCIST TAKEOVER AND HE’S STARTING WITH THE BLOOOOOOOGGGGS” freakout a month or so back. i thought he might be chastened, but i guess he’s just busy.

    kenn: “That is the thing you liberals have to understand – libertarians are liberals (19th Century word) when it comes to rights and freedoms.”

    i swear, if another one of you motherfuckers brings up that old goddamn chestnut ever again, i’m going to fucking break some goddamn legs. we get it, alright? sheesh. it’s like grandpa telling the same fucking story for the 50th time. and some point you just smack the old shit in the head and tell him you heard him the first 49 times. eventually, you’re happy to bury the fucker because you won’t have to hear his stupid little stories anymore.

    i’m just kidding. but seriously. have a nice day. :)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    I don’t know if you have any daughters…

    Wouldn’t you agree?

    Yes, Jeannie, I would agree that you don’t know if I have any daughters.

    :-)

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    smart ass…:)You got out of it again!

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Currently, there are several hundred Leibertarian officeholders nationwide, including 27 here in Florida.”

    Do Leibertarians follow the teaching of author Fritz Leiber or songwriter Jerry Leiber?

  • Clavos

    No, Bicho they are all disciples of the other Fritz Leiber, (1883 – 1949), an actor and director. Leiber, an American and a native of Chicago, specialized in Shakespearean roles. It is said (but not verified) that many of today’s best Shakespearean actors learned their craft from him.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Glenn, many (if not most) of us Libertarians DO vote for Libertarian candidates, and Libertarian candidates DO win on a local basis. Currently, there are several hundred Leibertarian officeholders nationwide, including 27 here in Florida.

    “Leibertarian”? Is that like “Leibermantarian”? There’s irony in there somewhere….

    But let me see – 27 elected Libertarians in Florida? Out of how many total elected state and local offices in Florida? And how many are to a statewide (vice local) office? And how many races have NO Libertarian in the race? And how many Libertarians do NOT fit your personal definition of such and decide to vote Republican because they see their own candidate doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance?

    Please, Clavos, your argument on this is weak. You’re better than this.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kenn –

    Ah. You ‘only care about the U.S.’

    So…the other countries don’t count. I guess their people aren’t as human, or if they are, they don’t have the same desire for freedom and justice and prosperity.

    Kenn, if there’s one thing I’ve noticed among the conservatives and libertarians, it’s that they are loath to LEARN the lessons that the rest of the world has to teach America…unless it’s how we’re somehow better than they are.

    And I now have to lump you in that group as well, for you seem to think that since the rest of the world isn’t “American”, then whatever lessons they have to teach us are of no consequence.

    ==============================

    On a related subject to help you understand (and you may have seen this before as other BC’ers have), look at the differences between blue states and red states. Red states generally have:

    – higher crime rates (incl. murder)
    – higher divorce rates
    – higher teen pregnancy rates
    – higher infant mortality rates
    – lower life expectancy rates
    – lower educational attainment rates
    – lower average salary rates

    whereas blue states generally have a higher rate of drug use. Also, red states generally receive MORE in federal taxes than they pay out.

    So WHY is this, Kenn? Here’s a hint: it’s NOT because of Democratic or liberal governance…and the answer is directly related to why we DO need to pay attention to other countries and see who does what for their people better than we do!

    And for the BC’ers who’ve seen this question before, please don’t answer – let Kenn discover this answer on his own.

  • Clavos

    Please, Clavos, your argument on this is weak. You’re better than this.

    You’re right, Glenn, my argument IS weak.

    I didn’t want to admit this, but I’m the only Libertarian voter in the state. Those Libertarian office holders are all closet republicans and democrats as are all of the other 5 Libertarian party members in the state.

    “Leibertarian”? Is that like “Leibermantarian”? There’s irony in there somewhere…

    I don’t see it, Joe’s name is Lieberman.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Come on now – 27 offices (how many of which are statewide?) out of how many hundreds of elected city, county, and state offices? And do libertarians run in each of them? Or even half of them?

    Yes, Clavos, despite your sarcasm, your argument IS weak, and you are better than that.

    But I was wrong about the ‘Leibermantarian’ thing…I guess now we’d better stand by for Leibermantariangate….

  • Clavos

    Come on now – 27 offices (how many of which are statewide?) out of how many hundreds of elected city, county, and state offices? And do libertarians run in each of them? Or even half of them?

    I don’t know, Glenn, but if I take that attitude, the Libertarian Party will NEVER be a real force, so I vote for Libertarians whenever I can, as long as I like their platform. I don’t however, vote for a candidate of another party because there isn’t a Libertarian in a particular race, unless there’s another candidate who reflects my views.

    And I’d be willing to bet that many Libertarians vote their convictions as well; otherwise, what would be the point of declaring themselves Libertarian?

    One thing. I vote in two countries and there is no Libertarian Party in Mexico, so I just try to find the least crooked candidate to vote for there.

    Come to think of it, that might be a good criterion here, too — nah, there is no “least crooked” candidate here.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Glenn,

    You like to take things out of context. As someone who lives overseas, I would never tell another country how to behave unless asked. It is not respectful. Your president on the other hand does it all the time. He like myself should mind his own business which is governing America. I only care about America in the sense that it is my country and I have some say over what happens there. You are either taking things out of context or you don’t know what you are talking about. Given your “Philippines is a libertarian paradise” statement, I vote for the latter. :)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    So…Clavos – when there is NO Libertarian on the ticket, who is it that a Libertarian is most likely to vote for – a Democrat? Or a Republican?

    And please don’t dodge the question by saying “it depends”, but answer with the candidates in question being people normally representative of their respective party’s views.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kenn –

    You’re not getting my point…and I suspect such is your intention. My point is, it is folly to refuse to learn lessons good AND bad from the experiences we see in other countries. Your stance is simply your way of avoiding the point that there is NO example of a first-world democracy operating on anything resembling libertarian principles, where there are MANY examples of what you prefer to call ‘developing countries’ operating with many of the tenets of libertarian thought such as little or no regulation and low rates of tax collection (whether by design or as a result of lack of revenue collection infrastructure).

    BTW, Kenn – can you point to ANY example of a government run on libertarian principles that did (or does) not have a high level of corruption? Just wondering….

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Glenn,

    There is more to libertarianism than low taxes and little regulation. Libertarianism requires high accountability and severe punishment for wrong doing. Additionally, the state becomes vitally important in terms of protecting property and property rights. You simply stick to the low taxes and no regulation bit and Philippines as a libertarian paradise bit to refute the usefulness of libertarianism. That’s like the night I heard some pundit call Larry Summers a libertarian. Read more on what libertarianism is.

  • Clavos

    Glenn,

    I obviously can’t speak for all Libertarians, but I can tell you that if there is no Libertarian on the ballot for a given office, AND if I don’t like either the Republican OR the Democrat (which happens often), I don’t vote that race.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    I haven’t voted in many elections. To not vote is as large a statement as voting since there is no line on the ballot that says “None of the above”.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Kenn,

    To vote is a statement. Not to vote says absolutely nothing…unless no one votes also in solidarity with you.

    :see?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    You just cut off your own voice, if you don’t vote.

  • Mark

    jeannie, what is one to do if she wants neither the shit sandwich nor the barf stew? I’m with Kenn. There should be a way to indicate no confidence in any of the candidates or listed parties.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Mark and Kenn,

    I see what you mean. Yes, change the ballots! But don’t let a few walk away with the decision because you stayed home.

    I have to defend the vote!

    : )

  • Clavos

    what is one to do if she wants neither the shit sandwich nor the barf stew? I’m with Kenn. There should be a way to indicate no confidence in any of the candidates or listed parties.

    So, it would seem that, on this point at least, Mark,Ken n and I are all in agreement.

    A rare occasion indeed.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    jeannie,

    with all due respect, you have bought the establishment’s B.S. hook, line, and sinker – “You have to vote because others have died for your right to do so”. This is a way to perpetuate the two party oligarchy. If the Repubs and Dems were companies they would be investigated for collusion and anti-trust violations.

    Look only aboout 40-50 percent of Americans vote in presidential elections. The reason I believe is because many folks don’t see any difference between the two major parties and many don’t like the choice.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Well, Kenn you are right about this. :)

    with all due respect, you have bought the establishment’s B.S. hook, line, and sinker

    but to others, I’m a far left-wing moon-bat who’s trying to bring down the rich man!

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Oh, I wouldn’t say that. I think earlier you said you were an independent? If true, there is still hope for you. :)

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Kenn,

    I remember who was in *charge* before this administration and I don’t want to go back,they don’t have a clue.

  • Mark

    Until I come up with a contra-Austrian argument that convinces (myself, at least) and isn’t simply based on some Marxist or Keynesian dogma, I don’t have a leg to stand on in arguments with Kenn. All I can say is that he seems to discount the potential for revolutionary class action in the face of prolonged and deep economic crisis.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Kenn,

    If one wasn’t enough…we now have stereo.

    I don’t know what a Libertarian thinks of this guy or this *news* out-let…I’m curious to find out.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Mark, What revolutionary class action are you advocating?

  • Mark

    jeannie, revolutionary class action would entail the overthrow of states, and advocating such for the US is illegal.

    I’m a member of the petit bourgeoisie and probably can be of the most use in the struggle by doing what I can to prevent others of my class from continuing their (almost inevitable) movement toward fascism when facing the prospect of losing their advantage.

    I’m also happy to turn my hammers and anvil over to production for the ‘social good.’

    I anticipate the breakdown of the owners’ ability to enforce property rights and a taking of board rooms and the means of production by workers.

    I’ve no idea where things will go from there.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Mark, Taking of board rooms…now there is an idea.

    A county near mine was taken over by a *Control Board*, they just walked in and took control…why have elections?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Finally, we see the meat of Mark’s revolutionary agenda.

    It’s interesting, though, that the major thrust of the struggle is directed as awakening “the petit bourgeoisie.” Is it because the American working class is “fluff” and to dumb to reach at this point?

    Some, Les Slater among them, would consider it a sellout of the American workforce (or whatever remains thereof), along the same lines that American intelligentsia is being accused of.

  • Mark

    I’d say that my class more closely approaches fluff status in the struggle than do productive workers.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Hm. Mark, Kenn, and Clavos all claim that if there’s no libertarian on the ballot, they don’t vote.

    First, they’ve NO excuse because they could write in a name if they wished. Second, I’m quite hesitant to believe them. Why? Because of this article from the quite-conservative Cato Institute:

    “Our data show that libertarians have generally voted Republican – 66 percent for Ronald Reagan in 1980, 74 percent for George H. W. Bush in 1988, and 72 percent for George W. Bush in 2000.”

    The support for Dubya by Libertarians dropped from 72% to ‘only’ 59% for the 2004 vote. But how did Libertarians vote in the 2008 election? Also from the Cato Institute:

    Our review of ANES data shows that 66 percent of libertarians voted for Republican House candidates that year, while only 30 percent voted Democratic. The numbers show an even larger return swing in the Senate, with 73 percent voting Republican compared to 22 percent Democratic.

    The bigger story is the presidential election. According to the 2008 ANES Panel study, 71 percent of libertarians voted for John McCain. Only 27 percent cast their vote for Barack Obama.

    Maybe Mark, Kenn, and Clavos are all telling the truth – but if the data from one of the more respected conservative institutions (hey – even I am careful when questioning their data), in the 2008 election Libertarians voted as follows:

    NINETY-SIX PERCENT of Libertarians voted either Republican or Democrat for House seats.

    NINETY-FIVE PERCENT of Libertarians voted either Republican or Democrat for Senate seats.

    NINETY-EIGHT PERCENT of Libertarians voted either Republican or Democrat for President.

    So Mark, Kenn, and Clavos ALL fall within that two percent who didn’t vote for either McCain or Obama. Maybe that indeed is the case…or maybe we should recall a certain reply that the Delta House frat had when Dean Wormer and Niedermeyer were accusing them of a few harmless infractions of university rules and regs.

    I don’t know – but the FACT remains that when given a choice, Libertarians STRONGLY prefer Republicans over Democrats…never mind that Republicans are staunchly against equality for LGBT’s, equality for women, keeping religion out of the classroom, and fiscal responsibility (unless there’s a Democrat in the White House, that is).

    So…Clavos, Mark, and Kenn – PLEASE stop pretending that Libertarians don’t strongly support Republicans over Democrats (unless you want to continue pushing the fantasy that the 98% of Libertarians that voted for either McCain or Obama were all somehow FAKE Libertarians).

  • Mark

    Hmmm, Glenn claims to have seen the devil ride through town on a white horse…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Mark, I’m only showing you the data published by your own people, and comparing to your claims and those of Kenn and Clavos. Not that showing you guys factual data have ever made a difference….

  • Mark

    You fail to grasp my position, Glenn. I’d no more vote for a libertarian than a democrat or republican.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Hm. Okay, point taken. Doggone it, I gotta read things a little more closely.

    My gripes should read against Kenn and Clavos then, and not you. Thanks.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    jeannie,

    #86 – Read the Constitution, it says “W” is term limited and he can’t come back.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Glenn,

    Your figures come from the conservative Cato Institute. Many there don’t know what a libertarian is.

  • zingzing

    since the numbers probably were gathered from self-identified libertarians, i’d guess it’s more likely that libertarians don’t know what other libertarians are.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    And that is also a part of the problem. I have had countless people tell me they are libertarians. I even had the mayor of my small town tell me he is a libertarian and then go on to say that he doesn’t care who does it govt. or churches as long as things get done.

    I am proud to say I haven’t voted for a winning candidate since before I was libertarian – Bush I in 1988.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    See what I mean? Libertarians who doesn’t think like Kenn does must not be a ‘real’ Libertarian.

    And the ninety-eight percent of ALL self-professed libertarians who voted in 2008 for either McCain or Obama are all fake. Yep! Every single one!

  • Kenn Jacobine

    No not necessarily, but libertarianism is more pure than liberalism and conservatism. I am sure that some real libertarians did vote for McCain and Obama but not in the numbers you claim. Why would real libertarians vote for Repubs and Dems for president when generally speaking the Libertarian party puts up a good candidate? This past year was an exception – many in the party felt that Bob Barr was just a political opportunist. So once again Glenn you are taking a more complex issue and dumbing it down to a poll result.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    ‘But not in the numbers I claim’?

    I made NO such claim. I merely pointed out what the conservative Cato Institute said…and they do have some credibility even in my eyes.

    But why would libertarians vote Republican or Democratic when the Libertarian party puts up a candidate? I told you already – many will see that their candidate has NO chance whatsoever, and so will vote for what they see as the lesser of two evils.

    Kenn, this is simple human nature, and it applies to libertarians just as it applies to anyone else. It’s not me ‘dumbing down’ an issue – it’s you doubling down (as I predicted) on what you THINK despite the fact that you have NO evidence to back up your contention, and you choose to simply dismiss the quite credible evidence I presented.

    Kenn, so long as you choose to ignore evidence presented to you from credible sources, you’ll always be able to depend on the veracity of your total lack of any evidence whatsoever to preserve the blinders you so doggedly wear.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kenn! I just proved your point for you! Check out what I said in comment #44!

    To sum it up, any libertarian who supports the Republicans over the Democrats…is not a libertarian in the classic sense.

    So I guess I agree with you, and that means that only TWO PERCENT of all self-proclaimed libertarians are actually libertarians!

    Just like liberals would vote only Democratic and never Republican, and conservatives would vote only Republican and never Democratic, right? Because Democrats MUST pass the ‘liberal test’, the Republicans MUST pass the ‘conservative test’, and the Libertarians MUST pass the ‘Kenn test’!

    Yep! We’re all on the same page now!

  • Clavos

    Glenn,

    One thing I’ve learned from you:

    The web is huge and varied. You are a dogged and tireless web surfer, and are able to find at least one site to support with “facts” whatever position you’re taking.

    A year or two ago (my word, has it really been that long?) I was impressed. Not any more.

    I’ll bet you could even find me a site with incontrovertible proof of the existence of god.

    Sic ‘em, Glenn…

  • Mark

    I’d be impressed were Glenn to search for evidence that *subverts* his pet positions.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That’s too tall an order, Mark. Like a god, I dispense to mere mortals no more than they can handle.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos and Mark –

    What’s really interesting is that I normally present evidence from credible sites to back my contentions…whereas the two of you normally present NO evidence to back your own claims.

    And without such evidence, all you have are opinions.

    Ah, who’m I kidding? It’s just like Roger said a long time ago – y’all really don’t care about provable facts! I guess your opinions – no matter how obviously grounded in erroneous belief – is all y’all ever need.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Mark – when it comes to research to ‘subvert my pet positions’, I make my decisions on the basis of the preponderance of evidence.

    The preponderance of evidence shows anthropogenic global warming is quite real.

    The preponderance of evidence shows that there is NO instance of a first-world nation run on libertarian principles.

    The preponderance of evidence shows that conservative politicians are involved in more scandals (and more serious scandals) than their liberal counterparts.

    The preponderance of evidence shows that life is generally better in blue states than in red states in terms of wages, crime rates, teenage pregnancy rates, divorce rates, infant mortality rates, and educational attainment rates.

    The preponderance of evidence shows that the Iraq War was started on false pretenses – a crime against humanity in every sense of the phrase.

    Need I go on? How about one more:

    The AVAILABLE evidence shows that over ninety percent of self-proclaimed libertarians – if they don’t have a candidate or if their candidate stands NO chance of winning – are MUCH more likely to vote for the Republican candidate rather than the Democratic candidate.

    That’s from the AVAILABLE evidence. If y’all have some evidence to refute it, fine, let’s see it. But until you have EVIDENCE to refute it, then the evidence (coming from a credible source) stands on its own merit.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Clavos –

    I’m not a great web surfer – but I am pretty good at using keywords to find what I’m looking for in credible references.

    It’s like what my professor once asked: which is better – two thousand lines of code, or twenty. The answer of course is neither, for it’s the code that works best that is better.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Hold on a second. You guys are actually chastising someone for supporting an argument with facts and evidence? And you’re ragging on him for not looking into “evidence that subverts his positions?”

    Christ, the irony is thick here.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Good night y’all – it’s getting close to oh-dark-thirty and I’m dog tired. Beating my head against the brick wall of conservative obstinacy takes a toll. It hurts my head and annoys the wall…and that’s about the extent of my accomplishments for the day.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Thanks, Jordan – that does help.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You’ve got it all wrong, Glenn. Facts themselves are subject to interpretation. It’s also true, they’re used to “prove” theories. But none of this impresses me as long as your “theory” remains unexamined and if you can’t discuss it meaningfully in conceptual terms.

    The very fact that you don’t, that you keep on posting “facts” and home-grown, half-baked generalities in support of your theoretical stance, that this happens to be your only MO, only tells me you’re not very well versed in the body of beliefs you’re espousing. As I stated in a comment on another thread, you’re on a shaky ground, Glenn, which is why you’re such an easy target.

  • Mark

    You’re right Jordan. I’m asking too much of Glenn. My apologies.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    I was going to log off and go to sleep, but I strongly disagree with you.

    1 – If I fail to convince others with the facts at hand, then does that really evince a weakness in my theoretical stance? Or is it more likely a case of mere obstinacy on the part of those who disagree with me? Roger, I would expect you of all people to understand that!

    2 – You write your comment with “facts” in quotation marks as if you’re calling their very existence into question…and THEN you use that to postulate that I’m “not very well versed in the body of beliefs” that I espouse. However, it appears you have NO problem with others presenting no evidence whatsoever while they oppose my contention.

    3 – You claim my “theory remains unexamined” – but by whom? I present a statement, I provide support for said statement with a link to evidence from a credible source…but to you, these simply don’t compare to the almighty ‘no’ given by those who deny the credible source yet provide no source of their own.

    To wit, Roger: I claimed early on that when given a choice, libertarians strongly support Republicans over Democrats. Clavos said in so many words that was just such rubbish, that libertarians don’t vote for Republicans or Democrats. I provide a survey by the quite-conservative (and respected) Cato Institute showing that ninety-eight percent of self-proclaimed libertarians voted for either McCain or Obama…and Clavos presented NO evidence otherwise…

    …and YOU have the unmitigated gall to come tell me how weak my arguments are!

    I wasn’t angry at Mark, Kenn, or Clavos for their continued obstinacy in the face of evidence they could not refute – heck, I expect it from them…but I AM angry at you for insinuating that the evidence I present is weak at best and that I apparently don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.

    YOU of all people should know better – after all, it was YOU who first pointed out to me how many people really don’t care about the facts regardless of how well they’re presented. By the way you pooh-poohed the veracity of my comments and sources without the least shred of evidence of your own, it’s starting to look like you’re also one of the ones you spoke of who could give a tinker’s damn about the facts.

    When you claim I’m on ‘shaky ground’, do you know what that means? It doesn’t mean that I’m on ‘shaky ground’. It DOES mean that you said it, and that’s ALL.

    What you’re missing, willfully or no, is that I generally present arguments that are based on provable fact…and I present them in such a way that generally speaking, they’re very hard to refute. Sometimes I AM refuted – Dave and Clavos have both done it before, but it obviously wasn’t easy for either of them.

    But for the most part, my arguments are difficult at best to refute – and what does a prideful man do when presented information that proves him wrong? He denies said information outright regardless of its veracity. That’s what Kenn and Clavos have been doing for much of the past few hours, all the while presenting NO evidence whatsoever to back up their claims, and you allowed yourself to be sucked in by their derision.

    No, I’m not angry at them – I’m angry at you, because you should know better.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Of course I knew you’d disagree, Glen, which didn’t stop me from saying what needed to be said. And I wouldn’t put Clavos and Kenn in the same bag if I were you.

    Kenn is an ideologue, but Clavos is definitely not.

    Again, Glen, what you regard as “evidence” is itself determined by your POV. Read up on some of the problems and methodology of the natural sciences. It’s not all as all-straightforward as you imagine it to be.

    And you shouldn’t be angry for saying what I think. I’ve never been angry at you. In fact, I respect you in spite of being uncritical of your ideological stance. For one thing, you’re always being honest.

    Next time.

  • Mark

    Glenn — for when you return — the only arguments that I have had with you have concerned your pro-administration optimistic view of the economic crisis and its path, and I still consider your rosy interpretations of the ‘preponderance of the evidence’ unwarranted. (Note the continuing unemployment levels and today’s housing report. Double dip?)

    I’ve never gotten into it with you over your bullet points. What makes you think that I disagree with your take on them?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Mark –

    I was optimistic about the economy until it became clear that the stimulus was simply too small and the Obama administration was too interested in bipartisanship to ram through crucial legislation LBJ-style.

    Now I’m rather pessimistic – I hope I’m wrong, but I think we might be on the way back down again. We were so close, but thanks to the Party of No (which won’t be remembered) and the timidity of the Obama administration in this matter (which will be remembered), I think we’re in for some more problems.

    That said, I strongly stand by all my ‘preponderance of evidence’ statements above. If you agree with them, fine – but if you don’t, I’ll be happy to illustrate the evidence as time permits.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    I’ve said many times before that I’m happy to be proven wrong. I’ve proven publicly that I’m not afraid of admitting that I’m wrong and the other guy is right. In all the years I’ve been online, I’ve seen less than five other people who can say the same.

    But I will not admit error unless someone shows me my error, unless someone shows me a flaw in my own thinking or a fault that negates my evidence.

    Did anyone here present any of these? Did Kenn or Clavos – or you – present even ONE argument, logical or material, that disproved even one point that I made?

    No. Not even once.

    If anyone wishes to tell me I’m wrong, if they wish for me to sit up and pay attention to them, then they need to show me WHY they think I’m wrong in logical or material fashion.

    Kenn did not do so. Neither did Clavos. Nor you.

    I am not prideful – I’ll readily admit it when I’m wrong. But I am not so weak-willed that I’ll back down just because y’all say I’m wrong when you’ve shown NOTHING with which to back it up.

    SHOW me how I’m wrong – if you do, I’ll admit it and be sincerely grateful to you and you know it. But if you can’t show me how I’m in error, what then is your cause for insinuating it in the first place?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Glenn, my style of argumentation is different from yours, you should know that by now. So no, don’t expect me to prove you wrong because it has never been my intent. I would and do do so but only with those I already share plenty of common ground. We’re not there yet.

    So no, it’s never been my intent to disprove you, only to stimulate your own thinking. That’s all I choose to do. And if and when you do find yourself wrong, it’s going to have to come from you.

    It’s always the best way.

  • handyguy

    A must read: Jane Mayer’s excellent article on the Koch brothers and their multi-billion-dollar stealth politics:
    Covert Operations
    The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.

    Most people, including the founders and staff of the institute itself, would call the Cato Institute libertarian. It was founded by the billionaire Koch brothers, who are radically libertarian themselves, and also founded/funded Americans for Prosperity, one of the key supporting organizations of the supposedly spontaneous tea party movement.

    From the Cato Institute’s web site:
    Promoting public policy based on individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peaceful international relations.

    From Wikipedia:
    The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was founded by Charles Koch…

  • Mark

    Thanks for that link, handyguy.

  • zingzing

    ha! so the “libertarian” kenn thinks the “libertarian” cato institute doesn’t know what a “libertarian” is?

    you know, if libertarians could collectively decide what they actually stand for, they might actually win an election or two. but that goes against their individual liberties, i suppose. and “collectively” smacks too much of communism.

    can a libertarian government even exist? it would probably tear itself apart because of internal disagreements and then tear itself down because that’s the only thing it can agree with itself to do.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I posted a little diatribe against libertarianism, but Akismet ate it up. Since the subject is once more on the table, I’ll reconstruct it from my memory.

    Essentially, libertarianism is a political philosophy which derived its impulse from the Age of Enlightenment. Since humans freed themselves from the shackles of religion, human reason replaced God as the ultimate authority. Along with that precept, there was a renewal of faith in humans and in human reason, that when left to their own devices, humans could do no wrong. On the political front, this gave rise to liberal democracies; on the economic, to the idea of free market. Both are reflections of the same thinking.

    Herbert Spenser’s “survival of the fittest” doctrine put serious questions as to the inherent goodness of human nature presumed by the founders. No matter, the political and economic philosophies absorbed this rather dismal view: in politics, via the mechanism of the ballot box; in economics, by means of limited government to prevent the most major abuses. But by and large, the major libertarian concepts of freedom and liberty in most spheres of human activity still hold major sway among the proponents of libertarianism even today.

    Of course, these are outdated and defunct concepts, more appropriate to the 18th century than to the present times. The notions of freedom and liberty cannot be taken as absolute but must take cognizance of the larger society or the community. Ultimately, one can’t speak of well-being of individuals apart from the larger context. Ultimately, well-being of individuals is intricately tied up with the well-being of a society. And it is in a society’s best interests that most of its members are productive, capable individuals. Human resources form an integral, if not one of the most important part of the “social/society’s” capital.

    People like Kenn Jacobine argue against excessive government regulations encroaching on individual choices concerning lifestyles, again, in the name of individual freedom and liberty. Well, I’m not against the notion of personal responsibility for person’s actions. I recognize however that if many engage in self-destructive behavior, except for individual pathological cases, there is always a reason. People aren’t by nature self-destructive unless they feel they have a “good reason” – which in the final analysis comes down to the fact they stopped caring.

    People like Kenn also play down the importance of such safety-net mechanisms as welfare, Social Security, unemployment benefits, and the like. Their position is that those mechanism only promote irresponsible behavior and in the long run, are not only harmful to the recipients of those services but also add up to the added cost borne by the “productive” members of the society.

    Well, I have two responses to this. First, what of the social costs incurred as a result of unhealthy lifestyles? Reeducating the public is of course the first order of business, but banning or restricting the use of certain products which are known to be hazardous to one’s health – and I’m not talking here of alcohol or tobacco, because addicts have to have their fix until they’re cured – may in the long run improve the society’s overall well-being and reduce the social cost. (Not to mention the fact that if the poor eat poorly, it’s because they have very few options.)

    The second point is – Kenn’s picture presupposes a level playing field. If that assumption were correct, one might agree with some of the libertarian tenets. Then we could possible claim that those who don’t do well are themselves to blame for being indolent, lazy, and therefore parasitic upon the society at large. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Consequently, it is the libertarians, contrary to their espoused beliefs in “human nature,” who are the most skeptical about it: it’s an embedded part of the concept that some just won’t cut it. Those however who oppose the outdated libertarian ideas and argue for creating a level playing field are the ones who show a far greater faith in human nature than the libertarians do.

    How does one explain this apparent discrepancy, this internal contradiction? I shouldn’t say it’s by design, for to do would be to accuse all exponents of bad faith. It is, I suspect, a result of unexamined views, unexamined because deep down, those views do serve their own self-interests. Self-delusion isn’t quite as bad as a purposely-misleading ideology; still, people who so suffer are not entirely blameless. It is the individual’s responsibility to examine their own views; and if they choose not to, obviously they have a reason. And the reason is – they’re comfortable where they’re at. Self-delusion isn’t the same as unawareness.

    This of course is a caricature, but it will do for present purposes. This critique is also rather benign, accepting for discussion purposes, the basic tenets of a capitalist & liberal-democratic society, so it’s therefore limited in scope. But then again, I believe that for the present purposes it will do.

  • Clavos

    Glenn sez:

    Second, I’m quite hesitant to believe them.

    Glenn, shit, or get off the pot. Why don’t you just outright call us liars if that’s what you think?

  • Clavos

    Glenn sez, in #111:

    The preponderance of evidence shows anthropogenic global warming is quite real.

    No. the preponderance of opinion is that AGW is real. As time goes by, more and more “evidence ” is being disproved, and some has even been found to be totally erroneous (the infamosr hockey stick touted by the Right Reverend Al Gore and others)> Other evidence, the Medieval Warming and the little ice age, for example, is completely ignored because it disproves the conventional “wisdom”.

    The preponderance of evidence shows that there is NO instance of a first-world nation run on libertarian principles.

    OK, probably not, I’ll give you that one.

    The preponderance of evidence shows that conservative politicians are involved in more scandals (and more serious scandals) than their liberal counterparts.

    I don’t buy this one. The better assumption about the “evidence” is that Liberals are better at hiding their peccadilloes and at exploiting the failings of the conservatives for political advantage.

    The preponderance of evidence shows that life is generally better in blue states than in red states in terms of wages, crime rates, teenage pregnancy rates, divorce rates, infant mortality rates, and educational attainment rates.

    Here, you fail to mention your usual conclusion: that these differences are due to the fact that they are red or blue states, which, as I’ve pointed out to you countless times before, commits the fallacy of assuming correlation implies causation, and you’ve never successfully (or convincingly) disproved my answer by providing direct evidence that there is both correlation AND causation present in your theory. A resounding “NO.”


    The preponderance of evidence shows that the Iraq War was started on false pretenses – a crime against humanity in every sense of the phrase.

    Maybe, but so what? The vast majority of wars throughout history have been started for specious reasons. — yawn.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    the preponderance of opinion is that AGW is real.

    This, while true, does not disprove Glenn’s statement.

    As time goes by, more and more “evidence ” is being disproved

    Only minor points. The overall theory remains, sadly, tragically, robust.

    some has even been found to be totally erroneous (the infamosr hockey stick touted by the Right Reverend Al Gore and others

    Infamosr? Is that a kind of tea? If so, it sounds delicious. Wonder if I can get it at Cost Plus?

    The hockey stick data, far from being “totally erroneous”, have been confirmed by multiple other lines of evidence.

    Other evidence, the Medieval Warming and the little ice age, for example, is completely ignored because it disproves the conventional “wisdom”.

    Utterly untrue, and a red herring anyway. Arguing that human activity can’t be responsible for the present warming because natural influences caused these past climate events is like saying that humans can’t cause species extinctions because the dinosaurs died out before we evolved.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    zing,

    “can a libertarian government even exist? it would probably tear itself apart because of internal disagreements”

    It is an interesting question you ask, given the troubles the current model of governance has gotten us into.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    In terms of the Cato Institute, it does receive criticism from many classical libertarians like myself. Look to get along in Washington you do have to sometimes get along. Since I don’t live or work there I don’t have to worry about that. But, when I did run for state senate years back I ran as I speak here and got 5 percent. Pretty good for a guy that spent about $1000 and did all the campaigning by myself.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Kenn –

    …given the troubles the current model of governance has gotten us into.

    Big picture time! Yeah, things look bad now…but when has ANY form of human government been harmonious or peaceful? Only when said government is in a graveyard. Every form of government – from utter totalitarianism to complete anarchy – involves political infighting, backstabbing, sexual innuendo, and everything else in the range of human capability. Why? Because every form of government is comprised solely of human beings!

    Now today we’ve an opportunity – we can change all that if we have government by computer…and we can call the first PC president ‘Hal’!

    But silliness aside, it’s become more and more obvious that the degree of corruption within a government is conversely related to the degree of openness of that government. There’s as many other facts as there are human beings, of course, but a libertarian government will neither be peaceful nor harmonious – for there are human beings involved.

    And besides – a libertarian government cannot hope to work in any non-rural environment. Why? Because the greater the human population, the greater the range and number of regulations required to govern that population. This has been true throughout human history and has never been more true than today. Bearing that in mind, a stable government of a modern first-world nation run on libertarian principles is an impossibility.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Let’s put it this way, if the conditions that exist today in the U.S. – two wars and more on the horizon, a collapsed economy, unemployment at 20 percent, race relations in the dumper, bankruptcy, foreclosure, dishonest bankers, bureaucrats, and elected officials, etc… under a libertarian regime everyone would be demanding heads. But since the repubs and dems have given us this it is normal and so its o.k.

    As to your point about human beings, I understand you to say that humans are inherently all the things you mentioned thus bad. So why then do you want another human to rule your life – tell you what healthcare you will receive, how much money you will keep, what you can do with your property?

    As to your other point,so as a libertarian I should give up and not try to influence policy to get bits and pieces of what I want? You continue to think that a libertarian society would not have regulations. You would be punished for polluting, killing, stealing, and fraud. The biggest difference would be in what you could do with your body, life, associations, and property.

  • Mark

    Rog, re your responses in #127:

    First, the totalitarian entity that you propose to reeducate us and enforce whatever bans it (somehow we?) deems healthy and necessary would entail social costs that must be weighed against the those of self-destructive individual behaviors. The history of totalitarian states might be instructive.

    Second, much of the existing skewed playing field that you point to can be analyzed as the result of distortions introduced by government on top of older distortions…on top of older distortions…

    The argument can be that essentially ‘good’ people are induced to behave parasitically by government policies thus eliminating your perceived contradiction.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Fair enough. My criticism however, as I stated at the end, limited by the parameters given by the capitalist-liberal-democratic societies, which is to say, in terms and presumptions most of the BC interlocutors would understand.

    It’s limited therefore in scope by leaving those very presumptions unquestioned.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    As to the preponderance of self-destructive behavior is such societies, I view the causes of it as systemic.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    And Kenn, how would your paradise of a libertarian society deal with the unemployed, the poor, the homeless and the hungry? Would you let them starve to death in the streets?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    If what I suggested comes close to the “Big Brother” solution as an antidote to raw libertarianism, it only goes to show how screwed up both ends of the dichotomy are and that the opposing terms, both must be discarded for presenting us with a specious set of choices. Hence the need to think outside the box.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    No handyguy, Americans are the most giving people in the world. Care for those down on their luck should be handled privately where greedy bureaucrats can’t get their hands in the till. Also, what ever happened to family doing its part. For those who don’t want to work yes, let them wither away or place them in jail. Whoever, said anybody who can has the right not to work? I personnally know people who quit their jobs, are capable of working but are choosing not to and collecting disability and food stamps. This is theft.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Incredibly offensive.

    8 million people lost jobs in the recent recession. Millions have been looking — hard — for work ever since. [I speak from personal experience.] The ratio of available workers to available jobs is at least 5 to 1. Many, many people have applied to hundreds of jobs without one offer.

    In a crisis like this, blaming the unemployed for their own misfortune is more disgusting than ever.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    “Are there no poorhouses? Are there no prisons?”

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Americans do give a lot to charity now. If you ended the welfare state tomorrow, do you think there would suddenly be a dramatic increase in charitable giving? In the aftermath of a recession, when charities have all seen decreases? What do you base this clairvoyant knowledge on?

  • Kenn Jacobine

    And the reason those folks are unemployed is because of government policy not their own doing (except that most voted for the government that put them in this position). The Fed caused the huge bubble in housing prices and its answer is to reinflate that bubble? Obama said unemployment would not rise above 8 percent if his stimulus was enacted – it is 9.5 percent with about 3.5 million jobs lost since he took office. Uncle Scam and the Fed have spent $3 trillion to stimulate the economy since 2008. In a libertarian society this would never have happened. The problem with our economy has everything to do with government policy dating back to at least the 1960s. We have spent and regulated and inflated our way into an economic calamity. These actions are anti-thetical to libertarianism.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    No now would not be the time to end the welfare state. The economy needs higher interest rates, tax cuts, and government spending cuts. This will cause the collapse which will cleanse the economy of all of the mal-investments of the last decade and much pain but we will be assured of a much quicker and healthier recovery. This is the way the US government treated recessions and depression up to 1929. Even in the depression of 1921 laissez-faire allowed the economy to recovery quickly. But politicians won’t do this becasue all they care about is the next election.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    #142 – you have libertarianism confused with anarchy. Poorhouses could be run by local governments and churches. Prisons would be run by government but not to incarcerate victimless criminals but the violent ones.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Your answers are those of an insane automaton. Rigid ideology is your only resource, apparently.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Poorhouses could be run by local governments…

    Wasn’t it only a few weeks ago that you were applauding the local government in Colorado Springs for cutting public services?

  • John Wilson

    Kenn says:

    “The economy needs higher interest rates, tax cuts, and government spending cuts.”

    Higher interest rates would be irresistibly opposed by the financial giants who benefit from low rates and who dictate government monetary policy, cf., Goldman Sachs.

    Government spending cuts would be irresistibly opposed by the giant corporations who are their primary beneficiaries, e.g., the defense industry.

    I’m afraid that Kenns ideas are opposed by the most formidable forces in US political life, and are thus doomed to failure.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    My intention was to quote Scrooge. I got the sentiment right but the wording wrong:

    Portly Gentleman: At this festive time of year, Mr. Scrooge, it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time.

    Ebenezer: Why? Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?

    Portly Gentleman: Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.

    Ebenezer: If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I’m reading all of these, *your on your own* and *down with government* comments from Libertarians, Republicans, Conservatives, the Teas, and Anarchists.

    The stark reality is, ” Not everyone can be on their own. Many people have challenges, both mentally and physically.” and “We need a strong Government with regulations and laws to protect us from ourselves.”

    Liberals know this fact.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Raising interest rates at a time of zero inflation and high unemployment would be quite insane. It’s not just Goldman Sachs that would/should oppose such an increase.

    John’s caricature of government spending is no more accurate than the one promulgated by the right. The biggest pieces of the budget are Defense, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. If we don’t do something about them — all four of them — we are doomed.

    I believe we will see strong recommendations from the president’s bipartisan deficit reduction commission in December that will include both defense cuts and entitlement restructuring. Followed by much wailing and gnashing of teeth and rending of garments.

  • Clavos

    The hockey stick data, far from being “totally erroneous”, have been confirmed by multiple other lines of evidence.

    Um, no. Among its other failings, it totally ignores the Medieval Warming and the Little Ice Age, both of which are supported by real evidence.

    I leave it up to you to decide whether this omission was deliberate or not. Either way, it negates the validity of the hockey stick.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Doesn’t it worry you at all that you might be wrong, and the planet might really be badly and permanently damaged by human activity?

    You claim the causation of global warming is unproven — but you can’t claim that it is disproven.

    All the things that would reduce carbon “footprints” would also help clean up the air and water. Are you in favor of dirty air and water?

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Dr. D. #148 – I congratulated Colorado Springs for keeping taxes low and living within its means.

    jeannie #151 –
    ” Not everyone can be on their own. Many people have challenges, both mentally and physically.” and “We need a strong Government with regulations and laws to protect us from ourselves.”

    Liberals know this fact.

    Are you saying that liberals know they need a strong government to protect them from themselves?

    We libertarians don’t believe that our fellow citizens are incapable of taking care of ourselves. And nobody said you are on your own in a libertarian world. It is the responsibility of all to care for those less fortunate. Not at the point of a gun like we have now but out of charity and altruism.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yeah, right – depend on altruism of the well-to-do, and if it doesn’t materialize, starve to death.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    There has never been a “pure” libertarian government in the history of the world, so much of this is theoretical.

    Nearly every rich Western country is a mix of socialist and captialist structures — with a welcome recent emphasis on protecting the civil liberties of those who don’t happen to be white and male and heterosexual.

    Looking back fondly on the era of the Robber Barons is ridiculous. The things they were allowed to do to their employees, their competitors, and indeed anyone who stood in their way were often horrific. And they were enabled in large part by their direct ownership of the U.S. Senate.

    That corruption and hogging of financial and political power began to be questioned and broken, finally, in the first 40 years of the 20th century.

    Federal regulation of predatory business practices, including workplace safety, may have sometimes overreached and may have sometimes been misguided or compromised.

    But to long for a turning back of the clock to unregulated corporations is unthinkable.

    It also won’t ever happen. But insisting that it is a desirable ideal prevents common-sense regulations and reforms from being enacted.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Kenn,

    No, that’s not what I meant. nice try…

    “We need a strong Government with regulations and laws to protect us from ourselves.” Absolute power, corrupts absolutely when not controlled.

    You may think I trust the government to do what is best for the people and environment…can you see what’s happening without checks and balances in place?

    :O Read what Handyguy is saying in #157. He’s right!

  • Mark

    Depend on the altruism of the owners or that of the dictatorship of the proletariat…the devil and the deep blue sea?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Right, both choices are equally unpalatable.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Which suggest one way to navigate out of the morass – develop self-sufficiency.

    It’s not such a far-fetched idea. It’s been tried before, with varying degrees of success, until we’ve been told we must depend on the big guy.

  • Clavos

    Doesn’t it worry you at all that you might be wrong, and the planet might really be badly and permanently damaged by human activity?

    No, I don’t see enough convincing (to me) evidence of that. Is there pollution? Sure. Did Mt. St. Helens put a lot of crap in the atmosphere when it blew? Indubitably. Has the earth undergone climate change since the Big Bang — long before there were humans, let alone industry? Incontrovertibly. Has it survived? Seems like it.

    You claim the causation of global warming is unproven — but you can’t claim that it is disproven.

    I can’t prove god doesn’t exist, either. I still don’t believe in him.

    All the things that would reduce carbon “footprints” would also help clean up the air and water. Are you in favor of dirty air and water?

    And I’m not against all of them, either, just some, such as Al Gore’s Cap and Trade Get-Rich-Quick (for him) scheme, which will bring far more economic harm to this country than the limited benefit the world’s environment will get from it, especially when the growing nations will be madly building infrastructure without regard to the environmental harm they will cause.

  • Clavos

    Which suggest one way to navigate out of the morass – develop self-sufficiency.

    One of the things I like about boating is precisely that. When cruising, I am completely off the grid except for one thing: fuel. I make my own electricity and water, treat my own sewage to harmlessness before discharge, etc.

    We even catch much of our food from the sea, only touching civilization ashore occasionally to buy vegetables and staples.

    It’s not totally self-sufficient, but it is about as close as you can get in today’s world.

    Best of all, it’s fun.

  • Mark

    Do you have gills?

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “The planet is fine. The PEOPLE are fucked.” – George Carlin

    Clavos will probably like it best, but I suggest everyone give George a listen on this topic at the other end of the link

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    Clav, re #163 — Best of all, it’s fun. Great Thor, may his holy name be praised! That’s terrible. Fun is bad, don’t ya know. How can you possibly have fun, knowing how guilty we all are for the multitude of horrible things done by our ancestors, not to mention ourselves?

    Please take my admonition to heart but, in future, be careful to dispose of the ashes and sackcloth in an ecologically and politically correct manner.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    El Bicho,

    I love the world’s greatest critic George Carlin’s work. ROFLMAO…ha ha ha

    Alright, I want to save the bees the trees, and the planet.

    However,

    We are destroying this planet! :(

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna
  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    we might be destroying the ecosystem that sustains us but we aren’t destroying the planet. I liked your clip as well.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Um, no. Among its other failings, it totally ignores the Medieval Warming and the Little Ice Age, both of which are supported by real evidence.

    No-one’s disputing that there was a Medieval Warm Period and a Little Ice Age – although there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that the MWP was a regional phenomenon. Most of the world seems to have been cooler, not warmer, during the Middle Ages: evidence includes the fact that some equatorial glaciers which survived the MWP quite happily are now receding with great gusto (if it is in fact possible to recede with gusto).

    Whether the hockey stick ignores them or not is beside the point, which, as I said, is that multiple lines of evidence show global temperatures over the last few decades exceeding anything the Earth has experienced in the last 1000 – including the MWP.

    The big (manufactured) argument is over what’s causing the current warming. Just because the MWP was caused by a combination of high solar and low volcanic activity and the LIA was caused by the Sun taking a bit of a nap doesn’t mean the present conditions can’t have a man-made cause – and unfortunately there is a lot of evidence – and I mean an absolute shitload – to suggest that this is in fact the case.

    No-one’s disputing, either, that the planet will cheerfully survive the present climate change. It’s seen a lot worse during the several billennia it’s been around. The question is whether we will.

    And yes, Clav, misanthropist that you are, I realize that to you this is not necessarily a bad outcome!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    If the ecosystem dies, so will all life on the planet and the planet! :(

  • Clavos

    If the ecosystem dies, so will all life on the planet and the planet!

    See # 170.

  • Clavos

    EB,

    Thank you very much for the Carlin clip, it was great — reinforced my long standing appreciation for Carlin!

    P L A S T I C ! ! !

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Clavos,

    What about this one?

    :)lol

  • Kenn Jacobine

    handy and jeannie,

    #157
    “Looking back fondly on the era of the Robber Barons is ridiculous….
    And they were enabled in large part by their direct ownership of the U.S. Senate.”

    The same is true today. The banks, insurance firms, pharmaceuticals, defense contractors, etc… are enabled through their ownership of the Congress and presidents (all of them). That is the point of having a small constitutional federal government – less chance of payoffs, corruption, etc…

    If the federal government would abide by the Constitution, all those issues would go away. The problem is with the voters electing constitutional candidates. Today it is even worse because most people vote for candidates who are going to give them something The folks on this thread who want social programs and “safety nets” and regulation of business are to blame because you would never consider voting for a candidate who didn’t offer you something from the government. Thus, if you expect goodies from the government, guess what, those that want something from government but have deeper wallets than you are going to get it first. You are going to get what is left over. Thus the banks get more power for the Federal Reserve and you guys get phony credit card reform. Big pharma gets big subsidies and the FDA and you guys get Medicare. Big agro corporations get subsidies and you get food stamps. You guys never catch up because the big boys always get more. In the meantime, all this spending of money we don’t have causes inflation and price increases and you have to go back to Uncle Scam to get more in the way of unemployment benefits, etc….

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    However the present system is unacceptable and perhaps comparable to days of old – no surprise, really, since the ethos which defined America never died, only morphed – the major problem with Kenn is that he longs for some idyllic past.

    Well, there is no retrieving the past, and as a self-professed student of history, Kenn ought to know better.

  • Mark

    Kenn,

    NBER recession data available on wiki shows:

    between 1790 and 1834 the US was in recession about half the time

    between 1835 and 1929 —
    recession – 41 and a half years
    growth – 50 yrs 8m.

    between 1945 and 2008 —
    recession – 9 yrs 7m.
    growth – 60 yrs 2m

    Actual recessionary periods within the Great Depression (1929-1942)
    Aug 1929 – March 1933
    May 1937 – June 1938

    I’m not sure what bennefit you are claiming for the laissez-faire system (assuming that is what existed prior to the Great Depression). Post WW2 Keynesian policies appear to have reduced both the frequency and duration of recessions.

  • Mark

    (*should read — between 1939 and 2008 not 1945)

  • http://mises.org/books/caseforgold.pdf Kenn Jacobine

    A great read on the causes of recessions and depressions in the 1800s is The Case for Gold: A Minority report of the U.S. Gold Commission. In the report, the authors show how government monetary policy (namely the bastardization of the gold standard) was the cause for the downturns of the 1800s. Click on my name for the PDF. The best comparison to disprove that government intervention works is the comparison between the depression of 1920-1921 and the Great Depression of the 1930s. Both were caused by the Federal Reserve – one to finance WWI and the other to help alleviate the devaluation of the British Pound. In 1920, the U.S. cut spending and raised rates – the depression ended within 2 years. In the 1930s the government increased spending radically, initially lowered rates and the result was a decade and a half of economic turbulence.

  • John Wilson

    Commodity based currencies such as those based on gold are degenerate since they can’t accomodate population and productivity changes without severe inflation or deflation. Thus, they lead to violent economic swings.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Inflation is currently at or near zero. We may even be at risk for deflation. I’m not sure how Kenn and his “infallible” Austrian models explain this, but I expect he’ll enlighten us.

  • John Wilson

    Mark 177 correctly says: “Post WW2 Keynesian policies appear to have reduced both the frequency and duration of recessions.”

    Yes, the Keynesian purpose was not to increase prosperity but to reduce the amplitude of the wild swings in the US economy so as to stablize things better and allow more orderly growth. Most other policies have as their intent to increase the height of the prosperous times, mistakenly thinking that will reduce the troughs, but it is not the case.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Kenn is unlikely to enlighten anyone except himself.

    He’s got a weird idea that business cycles, even in the nineteenth century of robber barons, were being caused by government intervention.

    Except for uniform currency instituted by Alexander Hamilton, there was virtually no kind of government intervention in the way of doing business. The federal income tax, if memory serves, was a twentieth-century invention. And so were the anti-trust laws.

    I suppose Kenn is imagining an idyllic kind of situation when business has its full sway in when the federal government is virtually nonexistent. Nothing short of that would satisfy his fancy.

    Come to think of it, the Garden of Eden, Paradise for short, must be what he has in mind. Or at least some kind of an abstract, removed-from reality context which is being referred to in economic textbooks as an “ideal case.”

    Incredible!

  • Kenn Jacobine

    handyguy,

    the reason we are having deflation is because the bubbles are still deflating. Home prices are apparently still overpriced in the marketplace because their values continue to fall.

    Right now there is tons of inflation. The Fed and Congress have used dollars and credit to prime the pump. The problem is the banks are hoarding theirs in interest bearing accounts at the Fed. The consumer is hoarding his (see increase in national savings rate) Inflation causes general price increases. But it takes something called velocity of money expenditures to bring it on. We aren’t there yet. When prices hit bottom consumers will finally spend and banks will finally lend. In addition, they will lend in multiples (fractional reserve banking)of what they have hoarded. The deluge of dollars in the system will cause price increases like we have never seen before. Bernanke, who claims he knows what to do, will be standing there with a blank look on his face.

    I don’t know when but it will happen. If you look at Weimar Germany right after WWI the same thing happened – deflation then hyperinflation because of government inflationist policy. Look it up.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    We are not “having deflation.” We are experiencing near-zero inflation. If we actually entered a period of deflation, it would be quite a serious matter, although not necessarily for the tunnel-vision only-one-viewpoint-is-possible ideological reasons you gave.