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Wednesday, January 02, 2013

OTP - Jan 2013: Jewish Journal:E1: An error in baseball and Mideast politics

Tripon Posted: January 02, 2013 at 02:48 PM | 2805 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: ot, politics

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   501. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 08, 2013 at 03:32 PM (#4342174)
More like almost always so for individuals. You need a car and a house, despite recent years, is almost always a good investment.

Most people who own a house are in debt many times over their annual salary.

Now large amnount of non-asset debt is rarely good for individuals with some obvious exceptions like school loans which should provide a non-fungible asset of good value.
In other words, for individuals, borrowing money for one-time capital investment is good. Borrowing money for daily living expenses is not.

The problem is that most government debt is for the latter.
   502. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 08, 2013 at 03:36 PM (#4342177)
More like almost always so for individuals. You need a car and a house, despite recent years, is almost always a good investment.

Yes...I hate to pick on poor Polonious, but borrowing and lending aren't bad things. In fact, that's how our economy functions.
   503. steagles Posted: January 08, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4342184)
Government debt is incurred via government spending. Government spending creates government programs. Government programs are bad. Ergo, government debt is bad.
that's very curious.


republicanism these days seems to be much more closely aligned with anarchy than conservatism. you people aren't saying that government is bad, so we need to make it better, what you're saying is that government is bad, so let's get rid of it.
   504. Shredder Posted: January 08, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4342185)
Borrowing money for daily living expenses is not.
This is not altogether true, as most of us borrow money for daily living expenses almost, well, daily. The fact that I plan on paying my credit card off at the end of the month does not mean that I'm not purchasing items on credit today. And if I could get a zero percent interest rate from my credit card company, which is basically what it costs the government to borrow money right now, it would probably be in my best interests NOT to pay it off.

As for large capital investments, most people would probably be better off paying those items in full if they had the means to do so. Of course, most people don't have the means to do so, so it's kind of a non-issue (and with low interest rates currently, the calculus isn't exactly the same as it's always been). The fact that most people need to borrow to buy a house is more of a reflection of the cost of a house vs. the amount of money a person has, rather than an indication of the virtue or benefit of borrowing to own a home.
   505. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 08, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4342186)
A lot of the people who will actually be affected* by US policy towards Israel aren't nearly as concerned about it as people in this country.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said today that Israel should be "concerned, but not afraid of Hagel's isolationist ideas." But he and other politicians, including candidates in Israel's Jan. 22 elections, have emphasized that US-Israel ties go deeper than any one personality and have expressed confidence that the two countries would remain strong allies.

“It’s none of our business, it’s America’s prerogative,” said Naftali Bennett of the right-wing HaBayit HaYehudi (The Jewish Home) party, whose popularity has surged in recent weeks. “Israel and America’s bond goes way beyond certain relationships between individuals.”


*Though I suppose you could say that a lot of the people in hysterics over the Hagel nomination would be affected by a loosening of US-Israeli ties since that would cut into their political clout and importance.
   506. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 08, 2013 at 04:04 PM (#4342210)
Right. Saying that an American values Israel's goals over those of the U.S. isn't an accusation of dual loyalty.


You're so quaint when you're being a bedwetting, politically correct dandy, Davey.
   507. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 08, 2013 at 04:04 PM (#4342211)
And a remarkable proportion of these deficit/debt hawks within the ranks of the Republican Party suddenly discovered these moralistic principles on 20 January 2009.


Now be fair, many discovered these moral principals a month or so earlier...
   508. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 08, 2013 at 04:05 PM (#4342214)
republicanism these days seems to be much more closely aligned with anarchy than conservatism. you people aren't saying that government is bad, so we need to make it better, what you're saying is that government is bad, so let's get rid of it.
Libertarian, not Republican. It's more like government is bad, and can't be made better.
   509. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 08, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4342230)
Government debt is incurred via government spending. Government spending creates government programs. Government programs are bad. Ergo, government debt is bad.


The best part is no one* believes this. National defense, law enforcement, running elections, and so on are include government programs with near universal appeal. It is just having a principle and being absurd about it.

As to
Saying that an American values Israel's goals over those of the U.S. isn't an accusation of dual loyalty.


well, loyalty speaks to intent. I don't know folks intent, but I do know that those claiming Isreal is Americas best ally, there is no daylight between America's interests and Isreal's, and other sch nonsense are wrong no matter what their intent.

* I have never met any adult for whom zero government is the goal, there is always some residual government program that is what "government is suppossed to do". There may be someone who truly wants zero government and if so they are are an idiot.
   510. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 08, 2013 at 04:28 PM (#4342242)
Libertarian, not Republican. It's more like government is bad, and can't be made better.


As evidenced by all the thriving Libertarian utopias that exist outside the pages of teenager fantasy novels.
   511. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 08, 2013 at 04:39 PM (#4342257)
This is not altogether true, as most of us borrow money for daily living expenses almost, well, daily. The fact that I plan on paying my credit card off at the end of the month does not mean that I'm not purchasing items on credit today.
If you really pay it off every month (as do I), then it's not really relevant to the discussion; you're doing it more for administrative convenience than anything else. (We're certainly not doing it to benefit from the interest rate float, given today's rates!) Borrowing money when you have the money to pay for it is literally borrowing, but it doesn't leave you in debt.
And if I could get a zero percent interest rate from my credit card company, which is basically what it costs the government to borrow money right now, it would probably be in my best interests NOT to pay it off.
It's cheap to borrow money, but if you can't afford the principal, then not having to pay the interest doesn't do you much good.
   512. zonk Posted: January 08, 2013 at 04:39 PM (#4342258)
but just talking about debt as immoral and being bad for itself is puritan silliness at its height.

Government debt is incurred via government spending. Government spending creates government programs. Government programs are bad. Ergo, government debt is bad.


Where's your '*'?

*Unless that government spending happens in advance of dumbass foreign policy goals that are enormously expensive, provide extraordinarily limited to nonexistent to even deleterious 'benefit' to the nation itself... Then - spend away!
   513. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 08, 2013 at 04:47 PM (#4342268)
As evidenced by all the thriving Libertarian utopias that exist outside the pages of teenager fantasy novels.


Hey, don't forget Iceland 900 years ago (even though there really isn't much proof it really was a Libertarian Utopia I am willing to spot it to them).
   514. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 08, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4342280)
Borrowing money when you have the money to pay for it is literally borrowing, but it doesn't leave you in debt.


The vast majority of Federal T-Bills are held by Americans, so most of it we owe to ourselves. By the above logic, then one ought to conclude that we aren't in very much debt at all.
   515. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 08, 2013 at 05:01 PM (#4342288)
The vast majority of Federal T-Bills are held by Americans, so most of it we owe to ourselves. By the above logic, then one ought to conclude that we aren't in very much debt at all.
If only all Americans were fungible!
   516. zonk Posted: January 08, 2013 at 05:15 PM (#4342299)
The vast majority of Federal T-Bills are held by Americans, so most of it we owe to ourselves. By the above logic, then one ought to conclude that we aren't in very much debt at all.

If only all Americans were fungible!


Maybe we could just pay the armed forces in T-Bills... but I'm being fatuous... we'd really need to get the defense contractors to accept payment in T-Bills, too.
   517. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: January 08, 2013 at 05:51 PM (#4342342)
If only all Americans were fungible!
Mike Francesca for president!
   518. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 08, 2013 at 05:53 PM (#4342345)
Piers Morgan confronts man who wants to deport him

I bet there are some at CNN who want to deport Piers as well because of his low ratings.
   519. zonk Posted: January 08, 2013 at 06:12 PM (#4342367)
Piers Morgan confronts man who wants to deport him

I bet there are some at CNN who want to deport Piers as well because of his low ratings.


There aren't a whole lot of people you'd pick Piers Morgan over in those sort of "and death is not an option" choices, but Alex Jones is one of them...
   520. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 08, 2013 at 06:16 PM (#4342373)
To paraphrase a friend, "the internet is just now picking up on the fact that Alex Jones is a crazy person?"
   521. Weekly Journalist Posted: January 08, 2013 at 06:26 PM (#4342381)
So...my newborn seems to like nothing but nursing and driving over bumps. Anything else makes him cry. Cry cry cry.
   522. spike Posted: January 08, 2013 at 06:28 PM (#4342384)
That's about par for the course for a fair piece of time.

/came home from the pub once, baby kicked off and I was over the limit, so had to strap on the baby bjorn at 2am and do it on foot for an hour or so.
   523. Tripon Posted: January 08, 2013 at 06:30 PM (#4342385)


As evidenced by all the thriving Libertarian utopias that exist outside the pages of teenager fantasy novels.


I never read Atlas Shrugged, but I always wondered how Galt's gulch was a functioning society. Just who did the maintenance if everyone there was of the entrepreneurial/inventor class and nobody of labor/maintenance class. Where were the ditch diggers?
   524. Weekly Journalist Posted: January 08, 2013 at 06:30 PM (#4342386)
Right now he's sleeping on my chest leaving me enough free hand room to catch up on btf politics on my phone.
   525. Weekly Journalist Posted: January 08, 2013 at 06:34 PM (#4342388)
Spike...that reminds me of last week. I was about to tuck into beer number three when my wife called to say we needed to go to the hospital. 30 minutes later and we would have probably had to cab it.
   526. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 08, 2013 at 06:37 PM (#4342390)
I never read Atlas Shrugged, but I always wondered how Galt's gulch was a functioning society.


In exactly the same way that Galt's engine created unlimited power. It was fantasy.
   527. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 08, 2013 at 06:38 PM (#4342392)
I was about to tuck into beer number three when my wife called to say we needed to go to the hospital. 30 minutes later and we would have probably had to cab it.


It takes you half an hour to finish a beer?!
   528. Weekly Journalist Posted: January 08, 2013 at 06:38 PM (#4342393)
And yes, before Joe brings it up, this baby is brought to you by The Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Fertility Treatment insurance madate. Viva Socialism!!
   529. spike Posted: January 08, 2013 at 06:38 PM (#4342394)
Guh - mine came during the Brave's Farnsworth Debacle. I was ready to kill someone for some booze.
   530. Weekly Journalist Posted: January 08, 2013 at 06:39 PM (#4342395)
Rickey...not sure if you're joking but I think the implication is that 30 minutes would have allowed me to consume more than one more beer.
   531. Weekly Journalist Posted: January 08, 2013 at 06:41 PM (#4342396)
I DID get married the day after the Joba bugs meltdown...it definitely ruined the rehearsal dinner.
   532. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 08, 2013 at 06:50 PM (#4342400)
Guh - mine came during the Brave's Farnsworth Debacle.


It pains me that we need to name the discrete Braves post-season debacles.
   533. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 08, 2013 at 06:53 PM (#4342403)
It takes you half an hour to finish a beer?!


That's about where I am. Hate beer. Go with wine or port.

(Well, technically it takes me infinity to finish a beer, since I rarely drink an entire one.)
   534. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 08, 2013 at 06:55 PM (#4342404)
but I always wondered how Galt's gulch was a functioning society


oddly enough Conservapedia does a good job of describing Rand's version of Libertaria:


Galt's Gulch did not have many ordinances as such. The Gulch was in essence a feudal society. Midas Mulligan was the landlord (hence John Galt's custom of calling the place Mulligan's Valley), and all rents flowed to him. The community had no "village plan commission" or "zoning board." As the landowner, Midas made his own decisions about land-use planning and seems to have tried to be as unobtrusive as possible. Aside from such questions, under Judge Narragansett's guidance, the residents of the Gulch probably conducted their affairs according to the principles of English Common Law.
John Galt described the Gulch to Dagny Taggart as a place of rest. The Gulch had no police force or sheriff, because it had no crime. The closest thing it had to an executive authority was a three-man Committee of Safety, consisting of John Galt, Francisco d'Anconia, and Ragnar Danneskjöld. Indeed it was not a state of any kind, but a strictly voluntary association of homesteaders. Judge Narragansett's judicial activities were probably limited to the occasional Request for Judicial Intervention to ratify arbitration agreements. The judge might also have reopened his law practice to assist his neighbors with the drawing-up of contracts.
However, the Gulch had several unwritten customs which arose, as Galt also explained, as a reaction to the things that the residents sought to rest from. No one ever remained in the Gulch at another person's expense, nor asked nor granted any unremunerated favors. Every resident was expected to pay his rent to Midas Mulligan, or else pay room and board to the leaseholder of any house in which he stayed. Similarly, no one ever "borrowed" something belonging to another; instead one rented it and was expected to negotiate a rent with the owner. (And if one discovered that he was renting the same article often enough to make it a significant expense, then he might ask Midas Mulligan for a loan, if necessary, and buy the article.)
For example, when John Galt wished to take Dagny Taggart on a driving tour of the valley, he needed to secure a car, because he did not own one. (He didn't need to own a car in a place where he stayed only one month of the year.) So he asked Midas Mulligan for the use of his car. But he did not "borrow" that car in the usual sense; he rented it and actually paid a daily rental on it. Dagny thought that behavior strange, given that Mulligan, with his tremendous net worth, could scarcely realize a (to him) significant income by renting out his car for twenty-five cents a day. But Galt explained it as an example of "resting" from the constant stress of living in a society in which one's fellow citizens constantly demanded certain things of one and expressed no willingness to pay for those things.


so basically the Gulch "works" because:

1: You have a magical source of power (Galt's electrostatic generator- though I suppose a hydro-electric plant would do - once built that can be a pretty dammned cheap source of power)
2: No zoning rules/planning committees, etc., instead you have one (1) landowner, who ca make any rule he wants, but magically happens to be benevolent and non-arbitrary
3: No one "borrows" or asks to borrow, no one visits and stays rent free...
4: There are no police and no need for police since there is no crime

with regard to "ditch digger" type work:

Others could work their original professions part-time, but still needed a "day job." Richard Halley grew his fruit trees throughout the year, but kept his concert season every June until the strike was "settled." Kay Ludlow Danneskjöld opened a restaurant in the Gulch when the economy took off, but kept a season of her own, acting in plays that other strikers, who "retired" from writing for the stage, wrote for her.
Still others learned to do work that was far beneath their original training. Richard McNamara hired three of them:
A professor of economics who taught that no economic actor (or society) could consume more than he or it produced;
A professor of psychology who taught that human beings could think; and
A professor of history who refused to teach the Communist theory of history, and instead taught real history.
John Galt recruited each man after he got one rejection slip too many. Life in the Gulch was attractive enough for them that they would take "blue collar" jobs. The economics professor, for example, became an electrical lineman. (The economist's wife, who took the Strikers' Oath separately, opened a bakery.) The other two learned to lay water mains and even to install plumbing and heating systems in the log cabins that the strikers built.
Most strikers became farmers and gardeners. (One, Calvin Atwood, formerly of the Atwood Power and Light Company, became a shoe cobbler.)


   535. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 08, 2013 at 06:59 PM (#4342408)
In exactly the same way that Galt's engine created unlimited power. It was fantasy.


Now, now, Galt's engine working is far less improbable than Galt's society working.

It's fascinating how so many "Christian" conservatives love Ayn Rand, she was viciously anti-Christian, there is no way that her philosophy can be reconciled with that of Jesus of Nazareth (which she herself recognized).
   536. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 08, 2013 at 07:09 PM (#4342412)
1: You have a magical source of power (Galt's electrostatic generator- though I suppose a hydro-electric plant would do - once built that can be a pretty dammned cheap source of power)
2: No zoning rules/planning committees, etc., instead you have one (1) landowner, who ca make any rule he wants, but magically happens to be benevolent and non-arbitrary


So, free, unending power (abject socialism) from a magic honeypot, and a king. Radically free, I'm telling ya.
   537. spike Posted: January 08, 2013 at 07:30 PM (#4342420)
It's fascinating how so many "Christian" conservatives love Ayn Rand

"Privately I don't believe in the gods, but publicly... I worship all of them!" - Gracchus (from the film Spartacus)
   538. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 08, 2013 at 07:36 PM (#4342423)
What about sex? Did the residents pay each other for that as well? Did Galt "rent" Dagny's lady parts?
   539. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 08, 2013 at 07:51 PM (#4342429)
So, free, unending power (abject socialism) from a magic honeypot, and a king.


but a King who doesn't actually tell people what they can or cannot do on the land they're renting from him- oh wait, that's not quite true- they can do anything they want so long as they charge people for it, and take Galt's oath.


One thing that's fascinating about Rand is that her particular brand of anti-collectivism when taken far enough views corporations as being just as illegitimate as Governments and Labor Unions- a company/corporation owned by an individual or at worst, by a single family is ok, but a "public" corporation, one owned by a multitude of peoples/entities was almost as abhorrent to her as government was. It's a pity that most of her later day followers haven't picked up on that (actually some teapers have- you can distinguish them from the garden variety teapers because they advocate even worse economic ideas)

If one person decided to do "A" (doesn't matter what "A" is) she was fine with that
If two people decided to collectively pool their resources and do "A," she would be suspicious
If three or more people decided to collectively pool their resources and do "A," she would be horrified, those three people were bad, "A" was bad now too.

Some of Rand's apparent paranoia is actually reasonable considering her life story- she grew up in Russia, her family were small business owners, after the Revolution the reds confiscated her family's business, undoubtedly they were labelled class enemies- trouble was that she extrapolated that experience to every time and place in the world, she could see that collectivization threat everywhere, and she could see no threat greater than collectivization- but that was her nature - if her family had not been small business owners, but rather union members whose livelihods had been impacted by being replaced by scabs during a lockout she undoubtedly would have become a firebreathing Marxist



   540. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 08, 2013 at 08:26 PM (#4342449)
What about sex? Did the residents pay each other for that as well? Did Galt "rent" Dagny's lady parts?


Rand's view on sex is another subject where she parts company with her conservative christian followers...
   541. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 08, 2013 at 08:29 PM (#4342453)
trouble was that she extrapolated that experience to every time and place in the world, she could see that collectivization threat everywhere


Yes. Many a problem in the world is boiled down to "my enemy then must therefore be The Enemy of All Time."
   542. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 08, 2013 at 08:44 PM (#4342464)
But did she see sex purely as a quid pro quo, or did it transcend her transactional view of the world?
   543. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 08, 2013 at 08:55 PM (#4342473)
But did she see sex purely as a quid pro quo, or did it transcend her transactional view of the world?


She saw sex as the fealty her worshipers owed her.
   544. RollingWave Posted: January 08, 2013 at 09:08 PM (#4342479)
If you continually give the other side half of what it wants, it eventually gets all of what it wanted in the first place.


So the stance is that "I rather get nothing I want, as long as they get as little as they want possible" ?

I do hope you realize that democracy isn't gonna work without at least some compromise, cause at the end of the day conflict of interest is gonna happen whenever there are more than 1 individual, let alone a whole large complex country. that is why I have been saying that to me a lot of the GOP side rhetoric sounds like anarchist arguments. promoting small government is one thing, but the GOP's rhetoric often stray to the point of arguing for no government.
   545. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 08, 2013 at 09:23 PM (#4342486)
I do hope you realize that democracy isn't gonna work without at least some compromise


You do realize that the right wing has considered "democracy" to be a dirty word for generations now, right? Specifically, in America, democracy became part of the problem when the "wrong people" suddenly got the right to vote.
   546. Steve Treder Posted: January 08, 2013 at 09:37 PM (#4342497)
I have been saying that to me a lot of the GOP side rhetoric sounds like anarchist arguments. promoting small government is one thing, but the GOP's rhetoric often stray to the point of arguing for no government.

Indeed, some of us have been saying this for the past few years.

You do realize that the right wing has considered "democracy" to be a dirty word for generations now, right? Specifically, in America, democracy became part of the problem when the "wrong people" suddenly got the right to vote.

And yes, of course, there is that.
   547. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 08, 2013 at 10:13 PM (#4342517)
Indeed, some of us have been saying this for the past few years.


To be precise, social con GOPers want as much government as they can create, at the state level, with very few controls on the police and nanny-moralism state(s.) What they want to do away with are those pesky feds telling them they can't pass laws that violate the rights of their citizens.

Libertarians are the anarchist pseuds; I'm sorry, the "minarchists." They don't want the government to be too big. But they don't want the government to be too small. They want the government to be _just right._ And of course, they are Goldilocks and get to decide what "just right" means. (Usually it means whatever mechanisms are required to make sure people like us are protected and don't have to work very hard to keep our stuff away from others who may want it, but not anything that would prevent us from taking other people's stuff if we could outsmart 'em for it.)
   548. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 08, 2013 at 10:23 PM (#4342521)
that is why I have been saying that to me a lot of the GOP side rhetoric sounds like anarchist arguments. promoting small government is one thing, but the GOP's rhetoric often stray to the point of arguing for no government.

You've got to be kidding. At best (or worst, depending on your perspective), the GOP has been arguing for about 5 percent less government than the liberals.
   549. RollingWave Posted: January 08, 2013 at 10:36 PM (#4342526)
You've got to be kidding. At best (or worst, depending on your perspective), the GOP has been arguing for about 5 percent less government than the liberals.


The (increasingly unpopular) establishment? yes. The Alex Jones of the world?

   550. Tilden Katz Posted: January 08, 2013 at 10:55 PM (#4342534)
You've got to be kidding. At best (or worst, depending on your perspective), the GOP has been arguing for about 5 percent less government than the liberals.


Yep. The abortion police and anti-porn crusades advocated for by the GOP are clearly part of big government. And, of course, so is the war machine and the "we'll invade anyone we want to for any reason" mindset. Not to mention the drug war, which is (unfortunately) advocated for by just about everyone in power. There was really only one "small government" conservative in the GOP presidential primaries this year, and he got about 10% of the vote.
   551. Mefisto Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:03 PM (#4342539)
Libertarians are the anarchist pseuds


In theory, perhaps.* But in practice libertarians are supporters of oligarchy -- whoever happens to own property today is entitled to exercise power.

*Libertarians lack any coherent theory of government or sovereignty, but they tend to elide that with rhetoric.
   552. tshipman Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:00 AM (#4342560)
You've got to be kidding. At best (or worst, depending on your perspective), the GOP has been arguing for about 5 percent less government than the liberals.


Is it your honest belief that Medicaid/Medicare/Social Security make up 5% of the government?
   553. Steve Treder Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:04 AM (#4342561)
Libertarians lack any coherent theory

To say the very least.
   554. steagles Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:53 AM (#4342584)
Libertarians lack any coherent theory

To say the very least.
what's mine is mine. what's yours is mine too.
   555. zenbitz Posted: January 09, 2013 at 04:23 AM (#4342638)
Anarchy sounds good to me
Until.someone asks who'll fix
The sewers
   556. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 05:55 AM (#4342647)
You've got to be kidding. At best (or worst, depending on your perspective), the GOP has been arguing for about 5 percent less government than the liberals.

The (increasingly unpopular) establishment? yes. The Alex Jones of the world?
WTF does Alex Jones have to do with "the GOP"?
   557. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 06:03 AM (#4342649)
But in practice libertarians are supporters of oligarchy -- whoever happens to own property today is entitled to exercise power.
Of course, the truth is exactly the opposite -- nobody is entitled to exercise power -- but keep the BBTF left-wing cheering section going.
   558. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 09:06 AM (#4342673)
Of course, the truth is exactly the opposite -- nobody is entitled to exercise power -- but keep the BBTF left-wing cheering section going.


In Libertarian land, if I as a private citizen purchase property completely surrounding your house, that's not an exercise of power, that's just exercising my rights as a private citizen. And if I restrict your ability to cross my land, that's not an exercise of power, that's just preventing you from exercising power over my property. And if I offer to allow you to cross my land to get to the grocery store in exchange for the right to sleep with your daughter, and she consents to keep the two of you from starving, that's not an exercise of power either, just a simple agreement between two consenting adults from which both sides benefit.
   559. McCoy Posted: January 09, 2013 at 09:12 AM (#4342675)
what's mine is mine. what's yours is mine too.

I had no idea my former girlfriend was a libertarian but it does make sense now.
   560. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 09, 2013 at 09:38 AM (#4342682)
Libertarians lack any coherent theory


I actually disagree, I don't think it is much more or less coherent than many other theories. I think it terrible and extremely non-pragmatic, but that is a matter of opinion/value judgement about the theory (what I know of it).

I believe there are real world issues that require a government to handle (externalities like pollution for example). Once you have conceeded the need for a government then the discussion turns to the role/function of that government.
   561. zonk Posted: January 09, 2013 at 09:42 AM (#4342684)
WTF does Alex Jones have to do with "the GOP"?


Given that they're hellbent on not moving towards any middle - the paranoid dysptopian fetishists seem to be the field of support the GOP is most interested in tilling...

Or - if I wanted to be less snarky, I could bring up the fact that he's run for office (at least, run in a primary) as a Republican...
   562. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 09, 2013 at 09:45 AM (#4342685)
In theory, perhaps.* But in practice libertarians are supporters of oligarchy -- whoever happens to own property today is entitled to exercise power.


Yeah, that's part of the "pseuds" part of the snark. It does bear mentioning in detail occasionally, I suppose.

Of course, the truth is exactly the opposite -- nobody is entitled to exercise power


This is one of those rare moments when David says something true and thinks he's made a point in his favor, but has really undermined his position fundamentally. This is, in fact, the complete truth of libertarian theory, phrased as friendly as possible for libertarians, by libertarians. "Nobody is entitled to exercise power." The poor fools honestly believe that if they clap loud enough Tinkerbell will sprinkle some fairy dust around and the reality of power in the world, and the universal exercise and execution of power, which has existed as a brute fact of reality since before we climbed down from the canopies, will fade into the mists of Libertopia.
   563. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:13 AM (#4342693)
It may be true that no one is entitled to exercise power, but entitled is the key word. Because entitled or not (as Sam says) people do exercise power, always have and always will.

In many ways pure Libertarian thought, much like pure Marxist though, has a much higher opinion of humanity than pure Liberalism. Of course no government has ever been run by pure anything ever.
   564. villageidiom Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:28 AM (#4342701)
I think the ensuing hair-splitting on "nobody", "entitled", "exercise", and "power" is good for a couple of pages.

   565. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:29 AM (#4342703)
Of course no government has ever been run by pure anything ever.

NSDAP
   566. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:41 AM (#4342711)
In many ways pure Libertarian thought, much like pure Marxist though, has a much higher opinion of humanity than pure Liberalism.


Not really. Not at its heart. What libertarianism does is forfeit moral outcomes for dogmatic assumptions. It slaughters practice on the alter of theory. We see this with the occasional outbreak of "the Voting Rights Act was tyranny." The theory - everybody must have pure unadulterated choice in all things* - must reign supreme, even if the practical effect in the world - continuation of Jim Crow and slavery-in-all-but-name across the nation - "bad things happen, man." You can also see this when, on the occasion where he admits it publicly, our resident libertarians admit that democracy is just a means to an end, not the end itself.

*unless they're a woman, then David would like for them to be required to have babies regardless of their free will
   567. Mefisto Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:10 AM (#4342741)
DMN is pretty upfront about his distaste for democracy.

What libertarianism does is forfeit moral outcomes for dogmatic assumptions. It slaughters practice on the alter of theory.


That's exactly what the communists used to do. Indeed, it's what all Utopians do. The theory -- whatever theory it is -- can never fail.
   568. The Good Face Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:12 AM (#4342742)
This is one of those rare moments when David says something true and thinks he's made a point in his favor, but has really undermined his position fundamentally. This is, in fact, the complete truth of libertarian theory, phrased as friendly as possible for libertarians, by libertarians. "Nobody is entitled to exercise power." The poor fools honestly believe that if they clap loud enough Tinkerbell will sprinkle some fairy dust around and the reality of power in the world, and the universal exercise and execution of power, which has existed as a brute fact of reality since before we climbed down from the canopies, will fade into the mists of Libertopia.


This is, of course, hypocritical twaddle. Libertarians are concerned about rights. And while you and your fellow travellers here like to pretend that Libertarians are foolish to believe in such fairy tales, when the "wrong" people exercise power, you guys are awfully quick to scream about your "rights" being violated.

On the bright side, it's nice to see [violation of TOS] posting about something other than his anti-semitic views.
   569. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:36 AM (#4342765)
This is, of course, hypocritical twaddle. Libertarians are concerned about rights. And while you and your fellow travellers here like to pretend that Libertarians are foolish to believe in such fairy tales, when the "wrong" people exercise power, you guys are awfully quick to scream about your "rights" being violated.


If you think I am opposed to exercising power in the world, you really don't read very well.

On the bright side, it's nice to see [violation of TOS] posting about something other than his anti-semitic views.


You slandering me with false accusations shows how pathetic your arguments are. I, [edited], am no more antisemitic than Peter Beinhart or Matt Yglesias. Which you know, but you are just trying to Google-bomb my name. Which, perhaps, Furtado should take note of.
   570. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:39 AM (#4342771)
On the bright side, it's nice to see [violation of TOS] posting about something other than his anti-semitic views.


You were so close to a reasonable post, and then that. Oh well.
   571. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4342775)
Indeed, it's what all Utopians do. The theory -- whatever theory it is -- can never fail.


This is true and expresses a non-policy issue I have with conservatives. Conservatism can never fail, after all, only conservatives (in name only one suspects).

   572. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:47 AM (#4342778)
ut in practice libertarians are supporters of oligarchy -- whoever happens to own property today is entitled to exercise power.
Of course, the truth is exactly the opposite


No it's not and your stated policy preferences over the years are proof of that, your response shows the real problem with libertarians, most of you are simply full of #### when you claim to want liberty- some do, some don't, obviously you are one of the ones who is full of it

Edit I know this is bordering in an ad hominum personal attack, but there really is no other way to deal with the disingenuous nonsense being spewed at times
   573. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4342780)
WTF does Alex Jones have to do with "the GOP"


He has a lot more to do with the 2012 version of the GOP than, oh, Bill Ayers has ever had to do with the Democratic Party
   574. CrosbyBird Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:54 AM (#4342786)
The best part is no one* believes this. National defense, law enforcement, running elections, and so on are include government programs with near universal appeal. It is just having a principle and being absurd about it.

I wouldn't say that government is pure concentrated evil. There are a few things that government can do very well: maintain order, adjudicate internal and international disputes, address tragedies of the commons, etc. Our current government does some of those things well, but many of them poorly, which we should fix. Something like "maintaining order" could be interpreted as simply "police, courts, and prisons" or as broadly as "dictate acceptable forms of food, drink, and leisure activity." The former is the stuff everyone this side of anarchism agrees on; the latter is the sort of thing that I'd describe as nearly universally bad government.

I'm not opposed to a little bit of wealth redistribution either. I don't think you can have an ordered society with people dying in the streets of starvation or easily preventable diseases.
   575. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4342789)
Crosbybird is the only libertarian I've encountered on the web who's views are consistent and thoughtful.

EDIT: Ha! he hadn't yet posted that when I made my comment. Perfect timing.
   576. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4342790)
DMN is pretty upfront about his distaste for democracy.


I know, it's kind of a nice brush with honesty on his part. The reason I prefer, oh Good Face, to someone like DMN, is that GF is honest, he doesn't deny the logical impact/meaning of his policy preferences, he owns them, even when they prompted and to wish divine retribution on his head.

DMN doesn't, he won't acknowledge what his preferences mean in the real world, and then he'll twist reality, for instance his discourse on, oh the civil rights era and civil rights legislation is really beneath contempt.
   577. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:58 AM (#4342797)
This is, of course, hypocritical twaddle. Libertarians are concerned about rights.


Libertarians are concerned about SOME rights, other "rights" they simply deny are "rights" at all, which makes for very simple debates when in the echo chamber, and exasperation all around when not.
   578. tshipman Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:04 PM (#4342810)
I know, it's kind of a nice brush with honesty on his part. The reason I prefer, oh Good Face, to someone like DMN, is that GF is honest, he doesn't deny the logical impact/meaning of his policy preferences, he owns them, even when they prompted and to wish divine retribution on his head.

DMN doesn't, he won't acknowledge what his preferences mean in the real world, and then he'll twist reality, for instance his discourse on, oh the civil rights era and civil rights legislation is really beneath contempt.


Yes, but David is a nice guy who's actually pretty funny. TGF is a horrible little troll. Style matters to me at least.
   579. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4342813)
Libertarians are concerned about SOME rights, other "rights" they simply deny are "rights" at all, which makes for very simple debates when in the echo chamber, and exasperation all around when not.


This is true all around, to be fair.
   580. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4342814)
Crosbybird is the only libertarian I've encountered on the web who's views are consistent and thoughtful.


Kiko Sakata (I might have the name wrong, I have a terrible memory and let me apologize if I do upfront) self identifies as Libertarian (or mostly so) I think and is also pretty thoughtful and consistent (if memory serves) - this sentence needs more qualifiers regarding my memory.

Regarding 574 - Where to draw the lines is always the truly hard part. I think this is because reality is crazy complex and doesn't care about anyone's ideology, and so dealing with it often means ignoring reality, living with subioptimal results, or accepting the limits of ones ideology.

However I would amend you statement "There are a few things that government can do very well" to say "there are some things that government may do well or may do poorly, but it is the only actor that can fill certain roles in a society".
   581. Jim Furtado Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:06 PM (#4342817)
Posting slanderous comments using a person's real name is a violation of our Terms Of Service.

BBTF asks you to not use vulgarity, profanity or insults in your comments. You are free to disagree (even vehemently) with what other members of the BBTF community have to say, but we ask that you do so in a respectful manner.

Comments will not be deleted for disagreeing with other members. They may be removed for the above reasons or if the comment is hurtful, spiteful, libelous, slanderous and really does nothing to move the conversation forward. Comments whose primary purpose is to advertise, self-promote may also be removed. Trolling (purposely posting inflammatory messages in order to disrupt an ongoing discussion) messages may also be removed.

The site administrator is the ultimate arbiter of what speech constitutes a violation of the TOS. While the site administrator is a strong free speech supporter, this site is not an exercise in the limits of the expression of that speech. Instead it is a private forum which, although free wheeling for the most part, does place limits on the manner and subject of that speech. Ultimately, BBTF reserves the right to remove, edit, or move any messages for any reason.

Term of Service

To be be very, very clear, posting slanderous comments while using a person's real name is a violation of our policy. If The Good Face makes a similar comment using the real name of another poster. His account will be permanently banned.
   582. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4342826)
That's exactly what the communists used to do. Indeed, it's what all Utopians do. The theory -- whatever theory it is -- can never fail.


Agreed. Libertarianism, like Marxism, is a radical utopia.
   583. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:10 PM (#4342832)
[581] Jim, you might want to redact the name in the quoted material in [570] if that's possible.
   584. Shredder Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:17 PM (#4342848)
though I suppose a hydro-electric plant would do - once built that can be a pretty dammned cheap source of power
Sure, until someone upstreatm decides to divert that water for themselves, or the government comes and builds an aqueduct upstream of your dam. Good luck enforcing those downstream water rights when you've cut yourself off from society.
   585. Shredder Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4342852)
If you continually give the other side half of what it wants, it eventually gets all of what it wanted in the first place.


So the stance is that "I rather get nothing I want, as long as they get as little as they want possible" ?

It's actually even dumber than that, which is typical of Joek. Ignoring the zero-sum game fallacy, if compromise means the other side is getting half of what it wants, it also means you are getting half of what you want. And by Joek's logic, if you keep getting half of what you want, eventually you'll have gotten everything!
   586. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4342859)
Thank you Jim.
   587. zonk Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:36 PM (#4342872)
This is, of course, hypocritical twaddle. Libertarians are concerned about rights. And while you and your fellow travellers here like to pretend that Libertarians are foolish to believe in such fairy tales, when the "wrong" people exercise power, you guys are awfully quick to scream about your "rights" being violated.


Everyone is concerned about 'rights' to at least some extent... I think the difference is that most non-libertarians accept that simply by participating in society, it's inevitable that some of those rights are going to have limits...

I wouldn't say that government is pure concentrated evil. There are a few things that government can do very well: maintain order, adjudicate internal and international disputes, address tragedies of the commons, etc. Our current government does some of those things well, but many of them poorly, which we should fix. Something like "maintaining order" could be interpreted as simply "police, courts, and prisons" or as broadly as "dictate acceptable forms of food, drink, and leisure activity." The former is the stuff everyone this side of anarchism agrees on; the latter is the sort of thing that I'd describe as nearly universally bad government.


I don't disagree - but I think it's really "dictate" where the discussion happens, or should happen.

I don't know what CB's opinion on any and all forms of government health care is - but echoing Yearrghh - I imagine it's one a reasonable one (even if it's not one I share wholly)...

Once we cross that bridge, I then think we need to break apart "dictate".

Banning big gulps?

I agree... bad, stupid, unreasonable, and just a dumb idea.

However, I DO think it's reasonable to do something like apply, say, a 5% surcharge to a big gulp.

Ditto smoking...

I don't think banning tobacco is good government policy because (setting aside second-hand smoke issues - I do think it's reasonable to limit where people can 'enjoy' this leisure activity) people do have a right to pursue leisure activities that aren't particularly good them.

However, I likewise think it's reasonable to tax the crap out of tobacco, as well as to apply various surcharges to cover the health related expenses it inevitably creates.

Just like on the gun control debate -- I'm not unsympathetic to how such regulations can be abused.... you could probably tax big gulps out of existence just as easy as banning them... and we do have an awfully hard time ensuring that taxes levied towards a specific purpose don't get reallocated.

But - I consider those give-and-take propositions, and ultimately, things that we are capable of rationally solving.
   588. CrosbyBird Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:36 PM (#4342873)
Libertarians are the anarchist pseuds; I'm sorry, the "minarchists." They don't want the government to be too big. But they don't want the government to be too small. They want the government to be _just right._ And of course, they are Goldilocks and get to decide what "just right" means.

By libertarians, you mean pretty much everybody. Everybody who isn't the Supreme Leader of a country is opposed to government that's "too big"; nobody wants a Harrison Bergeron society; everybody who isn't a pure anarchist is opposed to government that is too small.
   589. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4342887)
559. McCoy Posted: January 09, 2013 at 09:12 AM (#4342675)

what's mine is mine. what's yours is mine too.

I had no idea my former girlfriend was a libertarian but it does make sense now.


We might know the same woman.
   590. Shredder Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4342899)
Something like "maintaining order" could be interpreted as simply "police, courts, and prisons" or as broadly as "dictate acceptable forms of food, drink, and leisure activity." The former is the stuff everyone this side of anarchism agrees on; the latter is the sort of thing that I'd describe as nearly universally bad government.
There's a heck of a lot of stuff in between, though. I realize that certain posters here want the market to solve everything, but personally I like the fact that there's an FAA that tries to ensure that planes stay in the air. Sure, in the absence of an FAA the airline whose planes keep crashing will probably go out of business, but that's small consolation to all of the dead market research participants. Similarly, I'd rather have someone enforce rules about selling tainted meat than have the satisfaction that the meat packer who just gave me e-coli might suffer some economic consequence in the near future.
   591. zonk Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:51 PM (#4342902)
   592. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4342905)
By libertarians, you mean pretty much everybody. Everybody who isn't the Supreme Leader of a country is opposed to government that's "too big"; nobody wants a Harrison Bergeron society; everybody who isn't a pure anarchist is opposed to government that is too small.


Yes. That's my point. It's utterly pointless to arguing "I'm a minarchist, I want the smallest government possible!" The devil's in the details, and the details are the sloppy back and forth (in a democratic society) by which we all come to some commonly agreed upon compromise of what the "smallest government possible" is. Libertarians, generally speaking, want to shortcut the filthy mudhole of democratic compromise and dictate what the proper size of government must be, from their towering ivory towers of pure principle. The irony that they're attempting to dictate, and impose from on high, their personal preferences by use of the power of the state they claim to abhor, is far too often lost on them.
   593. Mefisto Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:55 PM (#4342908)
nobody is entitled to exercise power


This is a perfect example of what I meant by using rhetoric to hide the ball. DMN is making use of the multiple meanings of the word "entitle" to obscure the point. In an anarchy, it would be true to say that "no one is entitled to exercise power". Anarchists have a coherent theory, even if it's wrong.

But in Libertopia, there actually is a government and it's limited to doing the things libertarians think are good even if other people disagree (whether because they don't think those things are good, or because they think additional things are good). One thing libertarians think is good is the enforcement of property rights. Thus, libertarians believe property owners are entitled to have the government enforce property rights. In addition, the government must prohibit other people from exercising their own rights if those rights interfere with property. That's the power property owners are entitled to exercise, even if they don't themselves control the government (which they will in the long run).
   594. CrosbyBird Posted: January 09, 2013 at 01:05 PM (#4342921)
Crosbybird is the only libertarian I've encountered on the web who's views are consistent and thoughtful.

I appreciate that, but I think there are a lot of us out there. Most people have libertarian tendencies in one area or another; it's not a particularly bizarre aspect of the human condition to desire individual autonomy.

Where to draw the lines is always the truly hard part. I think this is because reality is crazy complex and doesn't care about anyone's ideology, and so dealing with it often means ignoring reality, living with subioptimal results, or accepting the limits of ones ideology.

Of course. You can't have any individual freedom and have optimal results on the societal level; you can't have any societal mandates and optimize individual freedom. I think part of why I am a libertarian or at least libertarian-leaning is because society is so complex and full of competing ideologies; it seems presumptuous of me to tell other people how to behave as individuals in order to craft my ideal society (as if I have all the answers). I don't want to be told what to do, and I don't want to tell you what to do.

Obviously, we both have to accept some restrictions, particularly on aspects of our behavior that affect other people, but the philosophy should be to view those restrictions as paying a cost, with an emphasis on legitimately questioning the value gained for paying that cost, and not trivializing that cost, when it comes to policy making. It means that often we'll have to allow people to behave in ways that we find repulsive, and that we'll have to take more personal responsibility to make the society that we want through our own behavior. It means that often we won't see the change we want for a long time.

However I would amend you statement "There are a few things that government can do very well" to say "there are some things that government may do well or may do poorly, but it is the only actor that can fill certain roles in a society".

That's a fair point. Even if we had no choice but a terrible government, we'd still need to have something in place or there really wouldn't be what we think of as society.
   595. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 09, 2013 at 01:07 PM (#4342926)
Even if we had no choice but a terrible government, we'd still need to have something in place or there really wouldn't be what we think of as society.
The difference between CB and, say DMB, is that CB understands that the real world grime requires some imperfect real world solutions. DMB doesn't even believe in society.
   596. CrosbyBird Posted: January 09, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4342935)
I don't know what CB's opinion on any and all forms of government health care is - but echoing Yearrghh - I imagine it's one a reasonable one (even if it's not one I share wholly)...

My basic position on health care is the same as it is on food, shelter, and education: it's a baseline requirement for all citizens in a civilized society. That means that we tax the citizens enough to pay for everyone to have adequate service; that's the price for living in a first-world country.
   597. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 09, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4342941)
Yes. That's my point. It's utterly pointless to arguing "I'm a minarchist, I want the smallest government possible!" The devil's in the details, and the details are the sloppy back and forth (in a democratic society) by which we all come to some commonly agreed upon compromise of what the "smallest government possible" is. Libertarians, generally speaking, want to shortcut the filthy mudhole of democratic compromise and dictate what the proper size of government must be, from their towering ivory towers of pure principle. The irony that they're attempting to dictate, and impose from on high, their personal preferences by use of the power of the state they claim to abhor, is far too often lost on them.

w/r/t taxes, no one *wants* to pay a lot of taxes, but at the same time no one (or almost no one) believes the correct tax rate sbould be zero. So we're left arguing about the right level, a tricky issue that isn't going to resolved by ideology. As a result, arguments that taxation is theft or whatever are a waste of time.

I appreciate that, but I think there are a lot of us out there. Most people have libertarian tendencies in one area or another; it's not a particularly bizarre aspect of the human condition to desire individual autonomy.

True. I certainly consider myself a strong civil libertarian, and don't think the government should have a right to control my body or expression. And I think the government should stay out of private transactions for the most part. But I do think the government has a very important role to play and isn't inherently bad. In fact, I would argue that the "free market" and survival of the fittest has led to the creation of strong, centralized states with hybrid economies. Something better might come along in the future, but our current approach (broadly speaking) is the best approach we've found so far for running a society.
   598. Shredder Posted: January 09, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4342961)
DMB doesn't even believe in society.
Just one more reason to hate the Dave Matthews Band.
   599. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4343001)
Not really. Not at its heart. What libertarianism does is forfeit moral outcomes for dogmatic assumptions. It slaughters practice on the alter of theory. We see this with the occasional outbreak of "the Voting Rights Act was tyranny." The theory - everybody must have pure unadulterated choice in all things* - must reign supreme, even if the practical effect in the world - continuation of Jim Crow and slavery-in-all-but-name across the nation - "bad things happen, man." You can also see this when, on the occasion where he admits it publicly, our resident libertarians admit that democracy is just a means to an end, not the end itself.
As long as you're talking to hear yourself talk, note that it's the Civil Rights Act, not the Voting Rights Act, that you mean to reference.


Oh, and the word is spelled "altar."
   600. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4343008)
[Alex Jones] has a lot more to do with the 2012 version of the GOP than, oh, Bill Ayers has ever had to do with the Democratic Party
Really? Does Jones normally host fundraisers for Republican candidates?
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