Tom Knapp: ‘I’m Shopping for Platform Shoes’

Thomas L. Knapp at Kn@ppster:

To whom it may concern:

The Libertarian National Committee will soon select five members of the 2018 Platform Committee as provided for in Article 11 of the Libertarian Party’s national bylaws.

There’s some internal debate on the LNC as to the content of the application for that selection process, but I expect that the process will begin soon, so I’m going to go ahead and announce my interest in filling one of those committee seats and ask for the support of interested LP members in getting one of them:

Hey, everyone! I’m interested in filling one of those committee seats and request your support in getting one of them!

Q: Florida was one of the state parties entitled to appoint platform committee members. Why didn’t you go for THAT seat?

A: I’m fairly new to Florida and to the Libertarian Party of Florida. I want to be a more experienced state party member with a longer and more distinguished record of uncomplaining work for the LPF that I’m asked to do before I start asking them to give me the jobs I want.

Q: What makes you think you’re qualified to serve on the Platform Committee?

A: Obviously different people will have different opinions as to whether or not I am ideologically qualified, and I’ll get to that below. As to qualification by experience and prior party and political work:

  • With the exception of a break I took from 2010-2014, I’ve been a party member, and usually a fairly active one, since 1996.
  • I’ve run campaigns for city council, school board, state legislature and (twice) for Congress as a Libertarian. I never won, but I did pretty well as compared to usual LP performance and my perception is that I did not embarrass the party as a candidate.
  • I served for eight years as one of a handful of Libertarian appointees to federal office (local draft board member, Selective Service System) under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. I resigned that post when I moved from Missouri to Florida.
  • I’ve worked as a volunteer, staffer or manager on numerous Libertarian campaigns, including everything from winning campaigns for local office (e.g. Tamara Millay, City Marshal, Greendale, Missouri) to pre- and post-nomination LP presidential campaigns (media coordinator, Badnarik for President).
  • I’ve served on numerous county LP committees (including as chair of the largest county LP in Missouri, 2008-2010), several terms on the Missouri LP executive committee, a term on the LP’s national Judicial Committee, and a partial term as a replacement alternate on the Libertarian National Committee.
  • I am a writer by trade with several thousand published libertarian op-eds to my credit.

An additional qualification: I’m willing to do the job. My understanding is that in addition to attending the 2018 national convention (which I intend to do), I’ll probably have to make at least one trip for a physical meeting of the Platform Committee. I’m not personally wealthy, but I’ll find a way to make that trip.

Q: OK, but you mentioned ideology. What do you want to accomplish on the Platform Committee, and what is your position on [insert my pet issue here]?

As I’ve already stated elsewhere, I do intend to be the water carrier for one platform modification. I want to see Plank 3.4 of the LP’s platform amended as follows, and will attempt to get the committee to recommend that amendment:

3.4 Free Trade and Migration

We support the removal of governmental impediments to free trade. Political freedom and escape from tyranny demand that individuals not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders. However, we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property.

Apart from that, I consider myself fairly open-minded to any proposed changes that harmonize well with the party’s Statement of Principles. I also want the party’s platform to be well-written — concise and precise on the one hand, rousing and passionate on the other. I think I can help the committee achieve that result in its recommendations.

As to your pet issue, I’ll be happy to address it in comments.

Q: What do you mean when you say you want my support?


A: If you think I’d make a good platform committee member, watch this blog and when I announce that I’ve put in my application (which I intend to do as soon as that process actually begins), I hope you’ll contact your regional LNC representative and the at-large reps and officers, respectfully ask them to vote for me from among the applicants, and explain why you think they should. Thanks in advance.

160 thoughts on “Tom Knapp: ‘I’m Shopping for Platform Shoes’

  1. Kevin S Bjornson

    Tom, you are certainly a credible asset to the liberty movement. Though I have a question, do you mean to say, you do not support control over the entry into our country, foreign nationals who post a credible threat to security, health, or property? What is your reasoning?

    Would you, for example, allow Islamic State activists to bring nuclear weapons into the US?

  2. dL

    Though I have a question, do you mean to say, you do not support control over the entry into our country, foreign nationals who post a credible threat to security, health, or property? What is your reasoning?

    Would you, for example, allow Islamic State activists to bring nuclear weapons into the US?

    I can answer it.

    It vests a security/surveillance entity with an authority not merely to deny “the threats,” but also to necessarily have to clear/authenticate everyone to enter. You can’t do one w/o the other. Hence, the statement could be recast as: everyone must pass a security check to enter the US.

    It allows the security apparatus to arbitrarily define what a “credible threat” is. What does that mean? ISIS terrorists w/ nuclear weapons, little green martians w/ ray gun might make for good movie plots…but I consider neither to be an example of a credible threat. In the jargon of the security state, “credible threat” usually means “enemy of the state,” which can mean anyone or anything. Experience teaches us that security states have a propensity to manufacture a “credible threat” of the week.

    It concedes the security state propensity to manufacture “terrorists” as an abridgment of your own liberty. What is ISIS but direct creation of US foreign policy? What, every time the US government goes around creating enemies I’m supposed to voluntarily cede liberty?

    In both liberalism and libertarianism, the right to travel trumps the social good. In other words, national security cannot be used as a pretext for controlling population mobility.

  3. paulie Post author

    Would you, for example, allow Islamic State activists to bring nuclear weapons into the US?

    I wouldn’t stop and search everyone or question them to prove otherwise, anymore than I would when they enter Ohio, Hamilton County, Cincinnati, the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, etc. For the same reasons. Obviously, I’d prefer that Islamic State not bring nuclear weapons into the US, or Ohio, etc. What extent I would go to in order to ensure that they don’t is a different issue.

  4. Thomas L. Knapp

    Kevin,

    Thanks for the compliment.

    The plank minus that final sentence already covers contingencies such as the one you describe. It does it with one word:

    “Political freedom and escape from tyranny demand that individuals not be UNREASONABLY constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries.”

    That leaves plenty of room for partisan Libertarians to take various positions on what is reasonable and what is not. That makes the final sentence redundant

    In addition to being redundant, its poor wording leaves an opening for advocacy of en masse statistical/predictive immigration regulation which not even the most expansive case for limited government can justify. I’ve seen the immigration authoritarian opportunists hang bans of Muslims in general (because terrorism), Mexicans in general (because some of them might have TB, or “take our jobs” — because some people think that “their” jobs are property).

  5. D. Frank Robinson

    What keeps the U S government from dropping a nuclear weapon on your property right now?

    C’mon. folks. The nukes are already here. It’s just a matter of who gets careless first.

    I support, I endorse your candidacy for the Platform Committee position, Tom.

    I will also have recommendations to add specific wording to the platform regarding election laws and enlarging the size of the states’ and federal legislature in the future. LP candidates need a specific program when voters ask, “Well, what would you do to get us to a better place?”

  6. Kevin S Bjornson

    The two sentences contradict each other. One implies there might be reasonable constraints (without explaining what those might be); the other says, movement of people and “financial capital” should be “unrestricted” (instead of “unreasonably restricted”).

    “human and financial capital”? What a curious formulation.

    “human capital” means:
    the skills, knowledge, and experience possessed by an individual or population,
    viewed in terms of their value or cost to an organization or country.

    Does this mean human bodies should be unrestricted from crossing US borders,
    or just their “skills, knowledge, and experience” (which could be transported via
    the internet)?

    “financial capital” means:
    “any economic resource measured in terms of money used by entrepreneurs and
    businesses to buy what they need to make their products or to provide their services”

    Does that mean only money should be unrestricted (from crossing US borders),
    or any “economic resource”? Clearly, ISIS is in the business of providing terrorist services.
    Nukes or other weapons could be considered an “economic resource” upon which their
    business model is based.

    Why not simplify the plank thusly:

    “We support the free movement of goods and people across US borders,
    subject to reasonable restrictions for the purpose of screening out credible
    threats to American lives and safety.”

    The platform is overly long, which means, very few potential voters will read it.
    Though you can count on political opponents to do opposition research,
    trying to discredit libertarianism by cherry-picking chinks in the wording.,

  7. Thomas L. Knapp

    Thanks for the endorsement, Frank — I look forward to seeing your input on election law and legislature size. Both of those policy areas are good targets for us on both the ideological and practical level, and they’re places where we could actually make progress on the ground.

    Kevin, I don’t see the contradiction — and in fact you had to re-word the sentence in order to create it, as you yourself note later in describing what “human capital” means. Use of the word “capital” after “human” makes it a reference to market action. The humans involved are going somewhere to trade their skills and efforts for purposes of wealth creation. An Islamic State bomber isn’t “human capital” because that’s not what he’s doing.

    The immigration plank that existed before the “Reform Caucus” wreckers managed to delete most of the platform was very long, but pretty sound, and I’d like to see it as well-embodied as possible in much shorter form. In my opinion, cutting that last sentence off the plank makes the plank better from the perspectives of ideology (it’s used as a hook to hang anti-libertarian policy proposals on) and readability.

  8. Carol Moore

    Posted this at Pro-choice Libertarians FB group. Now Tom am I correct that in comments in “Harlos: Conscience of a Libertarian” IPR thread you think the plank is TOO self-contradictory (or something, don’t feel like tracking it down) and should be removed?

    But that you WOULD be up for making it MORE prochoice? Beefing it up??

    Maybe something like this, a draft proposal I submitted to ProChoice libs as we begin discussions of our proposed plank.

    Reproductive Rights and Abortion
    In line with principle of self-ownership, we believe individuals have the right to make their own decisions regarding contraception, pregnancy and birth. In regard to abortion, both “pro-life” and “pro-choice” libertarians agree that government should be kept entirely out of the issue and the decision should be left to the individual woman’s conscience. We oppose government funding of these medical services.

  9. Thomas L. Knapp

    The LNC has begun accepting applications for platform and bylaws committees. This is the note accompanying my application:

    Dear members of the Libertarian National Committee,

    I’ve written publicly about my aspirations for service on the platform committee, including my qualifications, philosophy, goals, etc. at:

    http://knappster.blogspot.com/2017/03/im-shopping-for-platform-shoes.html

    The shorter form is that I’m a long-time party activist who’s willing to do the work, and a competent writer who is able to do the work. My attitude toward that work is that the platform committee should focus on improving the text of the platform for brevity, clarity and an appropriate but not off-putting passion. Changes of policy/position should only be recommended if there’s evidence of strong support for such changes within the larger party (as opposed to committee members riding their own hobbyhorses).

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Best regards,
    Thomas L. Knapp

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    Carol,

    I think the plank should EITHER be very clear OR be deleted.

    As a delegate, I’m likely to support the latter in the usual case where it is one of the planks that the delegates choose for a deletion vote through the token system.

    As a platform committee member, my philosophy on that plank is that if it is going to be kept, it should clearly and unambiguously reflect the party’s position. That position IS pro-choice on abortion and against government funding of abortion, and my assessment of the attitudes within the party is that there is not anything close to super-majority support for a change of that position. So any work that I contributed to the plank would be entirely for making it very clear that the LP is pro-choice/anti-taxpayer subsidy, while removing the waffling ambiguous nonsense that, strictly interpreted, says we also don’t want the government to stop Eric Rudolf from bombing clinics or Scott Roeder from killing doctors.

  11. Just Some Random Guy

    @ Thomas L. Knapp

    That leaves plenty of room for partisan Libertarians to take various positions on what is reasonable and what is not. That makes the final sentence redundant

    It would’ve been better had you said this in the interview. Simply suggesting a change without any explanation as to why you want to do that isn’t very useful by itself.

  12. Kevin S Bjornson

    “We support the free movement of goods and people across US borders,
    subject to reasonable restrictions for the purpose of screening out credible
    threats to American lives and safety.”

    I do not say that movement of goods and people across borders are to be “unrestricted”.
    There are two types of qualifiers: leachers and emphasizers. If you’re going to qualify a statement later,
    makes no sense to emphasize so emphatically. If there can be no restrictions,
    they can be no reasonable constraints. Because “restriction” and “constraint” are synonymous.

    I recommend platform-writers read “Watch Your Language” by former NYT editor Theodore Bernstein.
    My one sentence elegantly expresses the intent of the existing plank, without the repetition and contradiction. I use only 29 words, which is only four words longer than the maximum length recommended in my English class at Concordia. While the existing plank has 69 words, Tom’s revision 46.

    Further, the language is stilted and unclear. “human capital”–what does that mean? That tourists cannot freely enter, only business visits are allowed? “financial capital” could mean anything used to further business, and terrorists are in the terrorism business. Again, the language seems to restrict cross-border travel to business purposes.

    The plank is overly long, self-contradictory, and unnecessarily uses complicated technical terms.

  13. dL

    “We support the free movement of goods and people across political borders. Unapologetically and without equivocation.”

    16 words.

  14. Andy

    dL
    March 13, 2017 at 21:32
    ‘We support the free movement of goods and people across political borders. Unapologetically and without equivocation.;
    16 words.”

    Suppose those goods were tanks, and they were driven by Chinese or Russian soldiers. Should they be able to “cross borders” freely?

    How about a boat or a plane or a bus full of Ebola patients?

  15. dL

    Suppose those goods were tanks, and they were driven by Chinese or Russian soldiers. Should they be able to “cross borders” freely?

    I dunno, after 8 years of rule by Trump, I would probably consider them to be liberators…

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Suppose those goods were tanks, and they were driven by Chinese or Russian soldiers. ”

    If they are tanks driven by soldiers, odds are they aren’t “goods.” Goods are articles for sale or trade.

    But if Chinese and Russian soldiers want to drive their tanks to the US and sell them, sure, let’em come. I wouldn’t mind being able to get a deal on a T-72.

  17. Kevin S Bjornson

    dl’s revision makes no reference to “trade goods”, unlike the current plank.

    But to limit to cross-border travel to trade visits, would mean,
    tourism or other non-commerical visits would not be allowed under the current plank.

    So both the current plank and dl’s proposal are flawed, dl’s more seriously.

    dl’s plank really screams a death wish, both for the US and the LP.
    It’s basically a third-finger salute to common sense. Obviously,
    terrorists and invaders wouldn’t even have to pretend to be businessmen,
    they could proudly announce their intention to wage war on Americans,
    without fear of being denied entry.

    Weapons are tools of the trade of terrorists.
    Medical doctors don’t sell their stethoscopes,
    rather they charge for their services, which often
    employ such devices but they do not usually sell the devices.

    Terrorists employ weapons, like doctors employ medical devices.
    Neither sells the devices of their trade, both sell their services that
    employ the devices.

  18. Kevin S Bjornson

    I meant to say, dl’s proposed plank does refer to goods,
    but also refers to people. So he does limit cross-border visits to trade,
    as the current plank does (if interpreted literally).

  19. dL

    dl’s revision makes no reference to “trade goods”, unlike the current plank.

    So? No one needs to report to anyone RE: their intentions.

    dl’s plank really screams a death wish, both for the US and the LP.
    It’s basically a third-finger salute to common sense. Obviously,
    terrorists and invaders wouldn’t even have to pretend to be businessmen,
    they could proudly announce their intention to wage war on Americans,
    without fear of being denied entry.

    Yeah, I see a death wish, alright. To liberty. With that nonsense above. Every single human liberty can be objected to by statists w/ appeals to “evil doers,” people w/ bad intentions, fantasies of the worst possible outcomes, imaginative conspiracies of pulp novels and B-movies, doomsday scenarios from a stream of Fox News terror analysts.

    My god, man, w/o the CBP and DHS, how would you ever summon the courage to get out of bed in the morning? Of course, without the FTC, how would you ever summon the courage to go to bed at night…the evildoer bed manufacturers could otherwise announce their intentions w/ glee to mass produce chemically tainted mattresses.

    Personally, I would archive your statements and use them as exhibit A why that the offending plank should removed. Immediately. If you didn’t come along I would have to invent you to demonstrate what that plank 3.4 idiocy truly encapsulates.

  20. Andy Craig

    I’ve also put in an application, as have a few of the other LPC folks. If I can make a comment without being accused of crazy corruption and conspiring to destroy the LP, I too would support the proposed change to the immigration plank.

  21. paulie Post author

    Andy C.,

    You shouldn’t worry so much about what a few obsessed folks accuse you of. It’s just what they do, and you should take it in stride and consider the source.

  22. Andy Craig

    I don’t take it seriously, it was just a jab that maybe one should consider when people might agree with one in the future before leveling such accusations.

  23. paulie Post author

    2.1 Property and Contract

    As respect for property rights is fundamental to maintaining a free and prosperous society, it follows that the freedom to contract to obtain, retain, profit from, manage, or dispose of one’s property must also be upheld. Libertarians would free property owners from government restrictions on their rights to control and enjoy their property, as long as their choices do not harm or infringe on the rights of others. Eminent domain, civil asset forfeiture, governmental limits on profits, governmental production mandates, and governmental controls on prices of goods and services (including wages, rents, and interest) are abridgements of such fundamental rights. For voluntary dealings among private entities, parties should be free to choose with whom they trade and set whatever trade terms are mutually agreeable.

    But what if the property owners are Islamic State and their property is nuclear weapons? That’s the same sort of question as people who ask those same type questions about crossing regime borders.

    No, crossing regime borders does not magically grant a right to kill people. That’s already addressed in other planks. You can oppose regime border checkpoints and migration quotas without somehow suddenly being OK with real crimes with real victims. I don’t support the Islamic State being able to transport nuclear weapons across state, county, city, etc borders either, but I don’t want border checkpoints or migration quotas between states, cities, counties, neighborhoods, streets, buildings, floors or apartments. And to the extent that such checkpoints exist on private property, I don’t consider the regime to have a legitimate property right in the whole country, so that private property right, like other property rights, does not extend to the regime.

    Furthermore, I don’t limit my disapproval of terrorist groups bearing weapons of mass destruction to US borders. If you lived in Detroit, would you want them to set one off in Windsor, Canada? I imagine not. Yet, it’s not the responsibility or right of the US regime to protect you from such an eventuality. In fact, if you want to avoid the possibility of nuclear weapons being used to kill human beings, I would suggest not further empowering the only organization in history to have committed mass murder using atomic weapons.

  24. paulie Post author

    I don’t take it seriously, it was just a jab that maybe one should consider when people might agree with one in the future before leveling such accusations.

    Indeed, I think LP members are all too often all too quick to accuse each other of malfeasance, sabotage, corruption, etc.

  25. Kevin S Bjornson

    If the LP were to say, anybody and anything can enter the US, with no restrictions whatsoever, it will truly have entered the Twilight Zone. You can be sure, opposition researchers would grasp this as proof self-identified libertarians are (…..) even though such an extreme view represents a tiny fraction of one percent of LP members.

  26. paulie Post author

    If the LP were to say, anybody and anything can enter the US, with no restrictions whatsoever,

    No one has proposed that invading armies be able to enter the US, or Ohio, or Hamilton County, etc. Of course, most of us don’t confuse immigrants with invading armies. If you mean that no border checkpoints and no migration quotas is an extreme view, there was virtually no checkpoint activity at the US-Mexico border until the drug war of the 1960s and 70s and relatively unimpeded movement across the US-Canada border until the early 2000s. Aside from an ugly episode of racism against Chinese immigrants in the 1880s, there were little or no migration quotas from any foreign nations to the US until the 1920s. There are many borders around the world, both now and in the past, with very little or no checkpoint activity.

    even though such an extreme view represents a tiny fraction of one percent of LP members.

    Interesting claim. When, where and with what methodology was the survey conducted?

  27. dL

    If the LP were to say, anybody and anything can enter the US, with no restrictions whatsoever, it will truly have entered the Twilight Zone.

    With the way things are now, I agree. Liberty would be the Twilight Zone.

    You can be sure, opposition researchers would grasp this as proof self-identified libertarians are (…..)

    Laugh out loud. Opposition research? From whom?

    such an extreme view represents a tiny fraction of one percent of LP members.

    Well, now you are just full of shit. A tiny fraction of one percent would be 1 out of 10,000 members of the LP subscribe to open borders. Now, that would be the twilight zone.

  28. dL

    Indeed, I think LP members are all too often all too quick to accuse each other of malfeasance, sabotage, corruption, etc.

    Sometimes it’s warranted…The shit I read and hear.

  29. Andy

    “dL
    March 13, 2017 at 23:03
    ‘Suppose those goods were tanks, and they were driven by Chinese or Russian soldiers. Should they be able to ‘cross borders’ freely?
    I dunno, after 8 years of rule by Trump, I would probably consider them to be liberators…”

    Funny thing to joke about, but has no bearing in reality, nor does it answer the question.

    How about you are in Poland in 1933, and you see a division of Panzers approaching the border. Do you let them in? Do you vote to abolish the military, and abolish the borders, because you are an anarchist, and right then would be a good time to do this?

  30. Andy

    “Thomas L. Knapp
    March 14, 2017 at 03:27
    ‘Suppose those goods were tanks, and they were driven by Chinese or Russian soldiers. ‘

    If they are tanks driven by soldiers, odds are they aren’t ‘goods.’ Goods are articles for sale or trade.”

    How do you know if they are driven by soldiers? They may just be metal vehicles filled with goods for sale, but since you abolished the border in isolation (you caucused with the Democrats to get your “open borders” bill passed, and President Chelsea Clinton signed it into law), you won’t know what those big metal vehicles are doing until they get across what used to be the border of the USA.

    “But if Chinese and Russian soldiers want to drive their tanks to the US and sell them, sure, let’em come. I wouldn’t mind being able to get a deal on a T-72.”

    Humor does not answer the question.

    Note how my question about people infected with the Ebola virus showing up was also ignored.

    Back to my tank division example for a moment. Say instead of tanks, it was more a covert invasions. A group of communists and globalists who seek to create a “New World Order” send a bunch of people to the USA to pose as immigrants who are coming to “seek a better life,” but they are really coming in to increase the welfare state and destroy what is left of the US Constitution (like that nasty right to keep and bear arms thing in the 2nd amendment), and bring the USA into a North American Union, which will be governed under the United Nations.

    Oh wait a minute, the above scenario is what is happening right now!

  31. Thomas L. Knapp

    “If the LP were to say, anybody and anything can enter the US, with no restrictions whatsoever, it will truly have entered the Twilight Zone.”

    Interesting. I never knew that “Twilight Zone” was defined as “all of American history up to 1882 and most of it up to the 1950s.”

  32. Thomas L. Knapp

    —–
    you caucused with the Democrats to get your “open borders” bill passed, and President Chelsea Clinton signed it into law
    —–

    Well, now. It would be interesting if the Democrats suddenly decided to be for “open borders” instead of being even more inclined to abduct and deport people than the Republicans are.

  33. dL

    Back to my tank division example for a moment. Say instead of tanks, it was more a covert invasions. A group of communists and globalists who seek to create a “New World Order” send a bunch of people to the USA to pose as immigrants who are coming to “seek a better life,” but they are really coming in to increase the welfare state and destroy what is left of the US Constitution (like that nasty right to keep and bear arms thing in the 2nd amendment), and bring the USA into a North American Union, which will be governed under the United Nations.

    Don’t need to imagine anything. The commies are already here. People like you.

  34. paulie Post author

    Oh wait a minute, the above scenario is what is happening right now!

    Yes, immigrants are only posing as immigrants. They are really all secret agents of foreign governments. How fucking insane does someone have to be to seriously spew this kind of shit, or take it seriously?

  35. dL

    Yes, immigrants are only posing as immigrants. They are really all secret agents of foreign governments. How fucking insane does someone have to be to seriously spew this kind of shit, or take it seriously?

    In the original Manchurian Candidate movie, the commies were the American right-wing patriot/sovereignty groups. The commie plan was to drive up right-wing hysteria about the commies to allow an assassination of a commie plant to elect another commie right-wing plant w/ powers that would “make martial law look like anarchy.”

    Point of the movie: Those who justify something that looks suspiciously like communism as necessary to fight the commies==commies.

  36. Kevin S Bjornson

    dl’s proposal is clear:
    “We support the free movement of goods and people across political borders.
    Unapologetically and without equivocation.”

    Paulie replies to my criticism of the above proposed plank:
    “No one has proposed that invading armies be able to enter the US”

    Oh?
    “goods” is defined thusly:
    possessions, especially movable effects or personal property.
    articles of trade; wares; merchandise:
    canned goods.
    Informal. what has been promised or is expected:
    to deliver the goods.
    Informal. the genuine article.
    Informal. evidence of guilt, as stolen articles:
    to catch someone with the goods.

    Dual use goods are products and technologies normally used for civilian purposes but which may have military applications. For instance, rifles can be used for hunting and are routinely sold commercially in gun stores. And clearly, soldiers are “people” (engaged in the business of terrorism).

    Read the proposed plank again, and tell us that it does not say what it clearly does say.
    While in college, I scored at the 99.9th percentile in reading speed/comprehension.
    For many years, I’ve been reading dozens of articles/day.
    There is just no other reasonable way to interpret the proposal,
    the meaning is plainly and obviously stated.

    Liberty lies within the Golden Mean, between force-initiation and pacifism.
    Commies are not political pacifists, pacifists are “useful idiots” of totalitarians.

    The LP has not conducted such a poll as Paulie asks about, to see if it’s members agree.
    Because the proposal is so obviously absurd, that not even LP leadership takes it seriously.
    Just recently, even Wes Benedict asked Kibbe to help out with LP communications.
    So even if dl’s proposed plank could be interpreted in some convoluted, private-language way,
    the impression that it creates is what counts.

    The current plank is overly long, self-contradictory, with stilted language.
    Thomas’ proposal makes it slightly worse in terms of the impression of meaning.
    DL’s proposal would take us well into the Twilight Zone.

  37. Thomas L. Knapp

    —–
    Thomas’ proposal makes it slightly worse in terms of the impression of meaning.
    DL’s proposal would take us well into the Twilight Zone.
    —–

    OK, for the second time I’ll point out that the “Twilight Zone” as you describe it is the United States from 1789-1882, when the borders were completely open and immigration was completely unregulated. Then for another 70 years it was barely regulated. The regulation started to become onerous (for example, requiring passports to enter or leave the US, which began in the late 1940s) not that long before Rod Serling put on the series you keep referring to.

  38. dL

    While in college, I scored at the 99.9th percentile in reading speed/comprehension.

    Well, aren’t you special. Did they reward you w/ a cookie for your efforts?

    Dual use goods are products and technologies normally used for civilian purposes but which may have military applications. For instance, rifles can be used for hunting and are routinely sold commercially in gun stores. And clearly, soldiers are “people” (engaged in the business of terrorism).

    RE: dual use. There is no “for example.” Everything and anything can be used for a dual “military” purpose. Yes, a butter knife can be used to spread butter. It can also be used to stab a victim in the chest. A ball point pen can be used to affix a signature to a document. It could also be used to stab a victim in the eye. Indeed, anything in the hands of a person w/ bad intentions is a military application. The appeal to “dual use” is an argument for schoolboys and bureaucrats. In this instance this nonsense demonstrates exactly the arbitrary standard of “credible threat”: it is what the bureaucrat says it is, clarifying the real application of “dual use” vis a vis “border enforcement.” Ostensibly for screening out credible threats. In practice, for the application of discretionary authority to abridge the liberty to travel and trade.

    Liberty lies within the Golden Mean, between force-initiation and pacifism.

    No. Liberty is presumed. The job of libertarian is to swat down nonsense appeals to authority that would be an abridgment of it. A job that also apparently includes–if we go by this forum– knocking down various inscrutable memes posing as liberty.

    Because the proposal is so obviously absurd

    Absurd only to a tent full of head-up-your ass. A condition that describes around 3-4 people on this forum.

  39. Kevin S Bjornson

    Though there were many good things about the 19th century, we can’t go back and try to replicate everything about that era. For one thing, chattel slavery was legal in the US during most of the period you cite. Calling for a return to enslavement of Africans would be Twilight Zone-like.

    The cost of international travel has declined a lot, population levels are much higher, and now we have much greater threat levels (due to resurgent Islamism and greater lethality of weapons).

    During the time period you cite, gentlemen routinely could ride their carriage right up to the White House, present a business card, and be given an audience with the president (often without appointment). Do you want to return to that practice?

    Now, 40 commandos could easily overcome White House guards, probably before the POTUS has a chance to enter the secure area. So we need to upgrade security to meet current threats. The White House should become a museum, and the POTUS reside at Camp David.

    My Twilight Zone analogy is apt, because returning to the exact policies (presumably absent the chattel slavery) would require a time machine and flies in the face of common sense. That this is even seriously debated here, indicates how far out of the thinking of normal Americans the LP has become. Promoting obvious absurdities detracts from our credibility on other issues where reform is necessary.

  40. Kevin S Bjornson

    If we define “goods” as any item which may have dual-use applications, than as DL points out, “Everything and anything can be used for a dual ‘military’ purpose.” Hence, his proposal would allow for the “unequivocal” importation of sarin gas cannisters (could be used for scientific experiments), refined uranium oxide (could be used for nuclear power), and even nuclear bombs (could be used in mining).

    Further, even if he were wrong on this point, his proposal does not specify goods with civilian-only applications, but any goods whatsoever, including those that might be considered to have only military applications. Terrorism is a business, a lot of money is spent for that purpose; clearly, people are paid to commit terrorist acts.

    If we try to solve that problem by claiming that terrorism is not a business, and propose that only goods with civilian-only business applications be allowed in without restrictions, that would disallow items that are brought in for personal use and not commercial use.

    Similar applies to people who wish to enter the US for tourism and not business purposes (would-be entrants are routinely asked, “what is the purpose of your visit, business or personal”). But dl’s proposal reads “goods and people” not just people who wish to enter for business purposes. He would not impede those entering the US for the purpose of drawing welfare or committing direct aggression.

    In a previous comment, I brought up my reading skills only to refute Paulie’s comment “No one has proposed that invading armies be able to enter the US”. That my reading comprehension/speed is greater than 999 out of 1000 college students, indicates that chances are, I am not mis-interpreting dl’s proposal. dl has confirmed my analysis, proclaiming everything has dual use and everything should be allowed in to the US. Including people who are bearing weapons with evil intent.

    dl now resorts to claiming that 3-4 people on this forum have their “head up their ass”. Foul language is the last refuge of those who cannot defend their ideas with reason.

  41. Andy

    There was no welfare state back in the 1700’s-early 1900’s, and the population was a lot lower back then. Travel is also much easier now than back then.

  42. dL

    dl now resorts to claiming that 3-4 people on this forum have their “head up their ass”. Foul language is the last refuge of those who cannot defend their ideas with reason.

    Nope…it’s the first option for expressing little tolerance for those who ostensibly should know better.

    That my reading comprehension/speed is greater than 999 out of 1000 college students,

    so you claim…notwithstanding the curious fact that reading assessment battery testing is typically a grade school thing and not something routinely administered to enrolled university students, the more relevant matter is that your arguments here are not up to snuff to a middle school chirp fest.

    dl has confirmed my analysis, proclaiming everything has dual use and everything should be allowed in to the US. Including people who are bearing weapons with evil intent.

    Agreeing that goods can have dual use is not a concession. It is a trivial, mundane observation. Indeed, the only point of possible interest re: such a thing is the person who has an apparent fixation w/ dual uses of ordinary goods. You now, if I was at a library taking notes and someone came up to me an uttered: “you know that pencil you are writing w/ can be used to gouge out your eyeballs,” my response would be: “next cubicle down, creepy dude.” Of course, to the extent I would even further entertain that conversation, it would not be over any immediate concern for my safety. After all, someone who intended to gouge out my eyeballs w/ a pencil would not give me a forewarning. No, it would something like, “well, there goes the next candidate for congress who is going to propose banning laundry detergent b/c some some even greater idiot tried to smoke a bowl of Arm & Hammer.”

    Which leads us to the broader point. The “terrorist evil doers” are not going to broadcast their intent to use goods, everyday items, tradable merchandise, XYZ for malicious intent. No, the poor saps that would likely be harassed by the border pigs would people like you. A clear paper trail of fixation on the dual use of items for terrorist use. Low hanging fruit for those whose who operate on quotas to detect “credible threats.”

  43. George Phillies

    ” reading assessment battery testing is typically a grade school thing and not something routinely administered to enrolled university students,”

    GSAT. LSAT. Medsomething or other.
    Try again.

  44. dL

    GSAT. LSAT. Medsomething or other.
    Try again.

    GSAT? Jamaica’s national high school entrance exam?

    Obviously, I’m quite aware of the various graduate level entrance exams(LSAT,MCAT, GRE,GMAT…obviously being in college excludes consideration for the various undergraduate entrance exams). I’m not aware of what test the below refers to.

    While in college, I scored at the 99.9th percentile in reading speed/comprehension.

    Big whoop, regardless. I certainly can be duly impressed by credentials, but that is not any type of credentialed authority for an argument. For a duly appreciated gravitas, should we post our IQ scores as a preface to an argument? Credit scores? Annual income? Net worth?

  45. Jim

    Andy “There was no welfare state back in the 1700’s-early 1900’s…”

    That’s not strictly true. Connecticut, for example, had a law as far back as 1600s requiring towns to teach children English, the principles of Christianity, and the law. That meant public schools. The schools, teachers, and books were generally paid for by parents. The children of indigent parents were paid for with a property tax.

  46. paulie Post author

    During the time period you cite, gentlemen routinely could ride their carriage right up to the White House, present a business card, and be given an audience with the president (often without appointment). Do you want to return to that practice?

    Absolutely. The presidency should be once again so devoid of power that no one would bat an eye at someone driving their horseless carriage up to the white house gates and doing exactly that.

  47. paulie Post author

    I brought up my reading skills only to refute Paulie’s comment “No one has proposed that invading armies be able to enter the US”.

    You demonstrated only autistic misinterpretation, not some great reading comprehension. I stand by my statement.

    and the population was a lot lower back then. Travel is also much easier now than back then.

    And, so what? The US-Mexico border was very easy to cross until the late 1960s/early 1970s. People routinely back and forth seasonally. The US-Canada border was very easy to cross until the early 2000s. Europe had borders that were very easy to cross very recently. There’s nothing magical about modern population or technology that necessitates border enforcement.

    In reality, when legal border crossing is made too difficult, people just cross illegally, much as contraband goods do. This has nothing to do with invading armies except in the fevered imaginations of the paranoid. No sane person would confuse the two.

    And terrorists don’t have to smuggle in bombs. They can assemble them in the countries where they use them. They even recruit people already legally in those countries, and even born there, as terrorists. To secure the country against terrorism, stop intervening in the Middle East, North Africa and South and Central Asia, for starters.

  48. paulie Post author

    Also, if terrorists did have to smuggle in bombs, you’re going to stop them? What volume of regime-disapproved substances enters the US “illegally,” and how does that volume compare with the amount of materials that would have to be smuggled in to assemble bombs?

  49. paulie Post author

    And in semi-related news, “building bridges, not walls” has jumped out from way behind to take the lead in the LP 2018 convention theme contest. I’m not contributing to the fundraiser but I like that theme!

  50. Kevin S Bjornson

    Now I not only have my head up my ass, but am “autistic”? That is not proper decorum, conducive to intellectual debate and comparing of ideas.

    The American Psychiatric Association passed the “Goldwater rule” that no ethical psychiatrist is supposed to publicly proclaim someone has a mental illness without an in-person examination. To confine political dissidents to psychiatric hospitals–that’s an old Soviet technique.

    Comrade Paulie still maintains that “No one has proposed that invading armies be able to enter the US”. Yet in the next breath, says “Also, if terrorists did have to smuggle in bombs, you’re going to stop them?” and proposes to “build bridges, not walls”. The argument now seems to be, not only can the US not stop terrorists from entering with bombs, but we should actually assist them with bridges. (Note dl’s use of the more proactive “support” instead of merely “allow” free movement of good and people.)

    So, Paulie, which is it–we should–or shouldn’t–try to stop gangs of terrorists from invading the US? They have not already invaded en masse because they don’t want to, or because US border control has prevented that?

    Please pay attention to Europe, wherein many “refugees” fleeing impoverished conflict zones, seek richer easier targets. Assaults against natives, and welfarism, have skyrocketed.The mostly young male muslims have no interest in assimilating to host countries, but are engaged in suppression and replacement of the native culture, system, and population.

    Paulie’s rejects my interpretation of DL’s proposal (i.e. “We support the free movement of goods and people across political borders. Unapologetically and without equivocation.”); yet offers no counter-arguments which support his interpretation. Do you or do you not unequivocally support the free movement of any and all goods, even bombs; and any and all people, even terrorists, into the US?

  51. Jim

    Kevin S Bjornson “Please pay attention to Europe, wherein many “refugees” fleeing impoverished conflict zones, seek richer easier targets. Assaults against natives, and welfarism, have skyrocketed.The mostly young male muslims have no interest in assimilating to host countries, but are engaged in suppression and replacement of the native culture, system, and population.”

    The US and Europe attract different types of Muslim immigrants. In the US, the Muslim come-here’s are much less likely to be sympathetic to terrorist attacks than the born-here’s. The come-here’s know what kind of crazy they’re leaving and they don’t want to go back. The born here’s have never experienced it and don’t understand. It’s the 2nd or 3rd generation Muslims in the US that are more susceptible to terrorist propaganda.

    But the same is not true in Europe, where both the go-there’s and the born-there’s are more sympathetic to terrorist groups than the US born-here’s. The reason is that there is much less assimilation into society of Muslims in Europe than in the US. They feel ostracized, which leads to resentment, which creates an opening for terrorist propaganda.

  52. Jim

    Kevin S Bjornson “Do you or do you not unequivocally support the free movement of any and all goods, even bombs; and any and all people, even terrorists, into the US?”

    The US has a 7,500 mile land border and a 95,000 mile maritime border. 500 million people cross that border every year, 330 million of whom are not US citizens. 11.6 million cargo containers enter US ports every year, only 2% of which are inspected. It is literally impossible to secure that much area, inspect that many containers, or read the minds of that many people.

    What are you willing to sacrifice for the delusion that the government is keeping you safe? Are you so afraid that you’re willing to get molested at airports or sporting events? Are you willing to make it a law that everyone needs the government’s permission to work, just so some Mexican two towns over can’t get a job processing chickens? Are you OK with the government mass surveilling the entire country and building files on everyone to search for potential future terrorists? While thinking about what you’re willing to sacrifice, keep in mind that the government can’t keep weapons or drugs out of prisons.

  53. paulie Post author

    The American Psychiatric Association passed the “Goldwater rule” that no ethical psychiatrist is supposed to publicly proclaim someone has a mental illness without an in-person examination.

    I’m not a psychiatrist, and I’m not issuing a medical diagnosis, just a layman’s observation.

    The argument now seems to be, not only can the US not stop terrorists from entering with bombs, but we should actually assist them with bridges.

    Yes Kevin, the reason we build bridges is to assist terrorists. You type things like that, apparently in all seriousness, and express befuddlement as to why someone may find your comments as coming off as autistic?

    So, Paulie, which is it–we should–or shouldn’t–try to stop gangs of terrorists from invading the US?

    As I pointed out and Jim later made more explicit, security theater doesn’t stop terrorists. Not provoking blowback, on the other hand, would probably make the US at least as safe as Finland or Iceland.

    They have not already invaded en masse because they don’t want to, or because US border control has prevented that?

    You’re not paying attention. To some extent they are already here. To some other extent they can find their way in, legally or illegally, when they want. Or just find American recruits. So, to whatever extent terrorism can be stopped, it won’t be through border control.

  54. dL

    Paulie’s rejects my interpretation of DL’s proposal (i.e. “We support the free movement of goods and people across political borders. Unapologetically and without equivocation.”); yet offers no counter-arguments which support his interpretation.

    my interpretation is simply the liberal presumption of liberty. No justification needed. the burden is on those to demonstrate the authority to abridge the liberty. In this instance, the so-called demonstration==dual use of goods makes everything and everyone a “credible threat.” So unless the LP is going to change its name to the Communist Party, the “credible threat” test doesn’t pass the muster.

    The last sentence of plank 3.4 should be expunged. The value of these type of threads is to show that language that may seem “cable/satellite TV news” respectable nonetheless encompasses a putrid authoritarianism when competently challenged. That language has no business being in the LP. And Knapp is correct, the people that proposed and passed it in Portland were wreckers.

  55. paulie Post author

    As recently as 2004, and as far as I know in all platforms until then, the immigration plank was pro-freedom.

    Executive Summary

    18. Immigration
    We hold that human rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of nationality and welcome all refugees to our country.

    http://lpedia.org/2004_Libertarian_Party_Platform#18._Immigration_2

    18. Immigration
    The Issue: We welcome all refugees to our country and condemn the efforts of U.S. officials to create a new “Berlin Wall” which would keep them captive. We condemn the U.S. government’s policy of barring those refugees from our country and preventing Americans from assisting their passage to help them escape tyranny or improve their economic prospects.

    The Principle: We hold that human rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of nationality. Undocumented non-citizens should not be denied the fundamental freedom to labor and to move about unmolested. Furthermore, immigration must not be restricted for reasons of race, religion, political creed, age or sexual preference. We oppose government welfare and resettlement payments to non-citizens just as we oppose government welfare payments to all other persons.

    Solutions: We condemn massive roundups of Hispanic Americans and others by the federal government in its hunt for individuals not possessing required government documents. We strongly oppose all measures that punish employers who hire undocumented workers. Such measures repress free enterprise, harass workers, and systematically discourage employers from hiring Hispanics.

    Transitional Action: We call for the elimination of all restrictions on immigration, the abolition of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Border Patrol, and a declaration of full amnesty for all people who have entered the country illegally.

    And even the distorted 2006 plank makes clear:

    “Repeal all measures that punish employers for hiring undocumented workers. Repeal all immigration quotas.”

    A much better conclusion to the plank than what we have now, even with some of the BS preceding it.

  56. paulie Post author

    http://www.fff.org/2017/03/16/libertarians-support-police-state/

    Welcome to the iron fist of a police state. “Turn over your private information to us because we are demanding it and help us to search your personal affairs by giving us your password, or else we will manhandle you, grab you by the throat, and choke you until you comply. If you resist, we will arrest, prosecute, convict, incarcerate, and fine you for obstruction of justice, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct, maybe even terrorism.”

    Longtime readers of FFF know that I have long disagreed with libertarians who favor immigration controls. It has never made any sense to me why any libertarian would support a violation of the core principle of libertarianism — the non-aggression principle, which holds that it is immoral to initiate force against another person. As Akram Shibly and Kelly McCormick discovered, that is precisely what the enforcement of immigration controls entail — the initiation of force against people who are engaged in purely peaceful and consensual activity.

    When libertarians defend immigration controls, they are necessarily endorsing, at the same time, the police state that the enforcement of immigration controls brings into existence.

    Read more at the link above.

  57. paulie Post author

    No human being is illegal.

    What a disgusting weasel word to use for the victims of know nothing regime aggression.

    Regime borders are illegitimate claims by the state to be the owner, or part-owner of the entire country. The socialist workers might like that (but only if they are national socialists, rather than international socialists), but why would libertarians?

    (Or Constitutionalists for that matter – since immigration restrictions are unconstitutional).

    If the regime is the owner or part owner of the country, that means they have the right to pass regulations to regulate behavior (just as you do in your own house or business), to charge taxes as a form of rent, etc.

    Very stupid of anyone who is not a national socialist to support something like that.

  58. paulie Post author

    I am anti-illegal immigration, since it would be legal. Anyone who wants to keep it illegal is pro-illegal immigration. The government will no more stop illegal immigration than it will stop illegal drugs, illegal sex, illegal guns, gypsy cabs, or unlicensed construction. They will all continue to exist regardless of the regime’s edicts.

    If massively oppressive measures designed to end unlicensed migration across phony regime borders are implemented, it will have very severe effects on both economic and civil liberty. It would also cause an economic depression. This whole idiotic hullabaloo about “illegal immigration” is merely a ploy to deflect people’s attentions away from the establishment’s disastrous military and economic mismanagement, which has been very profitable for a select few at the great expense of the many.

    In such times, scapegoats for the nation’s economic ills are always found, so as to divide and conquer the powerless and keep them fighting each other rather than the ruling class. In nazi Germany it was the Jews, in Russia the landowners and factory owners and shopkeepers; and in the US today it is Latinos, Muslims and Middle Easterners.

    The more things change the more they stay the same.

  59. paulie Post author

    How exactly is a night watchman state compatible with the idea of a government that goes into every business to check the papers of all their employees, builds a massive wall/police garrison on the border, and/or rounds up and deports over ten million people?

    And towards what goal? So Americans can pick lettuce? Absurd. If Americans wanted to pick lettuce at a reasonable price, the market for immigrant labor would not exist.

    By the way, if it was not for the earlier era of anti-immigrant racism and xenophobia around 100 years ago, there would be no such thing as an illegal immigrant, because the US never had immigration quotas until then. Immigrants were free to come in and work for a better life, as they should be again. So even if you are not racist, if you advocate regime migration restrictions what you want is to enforce more laws which were based on racism. Why?

  60. George Phillies

    “If Americans wanted to pick lettuce at a reasonable price”
    Americans will be happy to pick lettuce when offered a reasonable price. Unless you think market theory is crackpot nonsense. It’s just the some farmers want to hire people and pay them almost nothing.

  61. paulie Post author

    Sure, if you want to either pay a lot more for your produce, see a lot less of it in the stores or both.

  62. paulie Post author

    The most important right we have as citizens is not the right to vote or speak out or even defend ourselves, but the right to leave. There is no right to leave if every other country in the world can take away your right to enter, and I can’t expect them to do otherwise without reciprocity.

    Without the right to leave, the country is essentially one big prison. It may be minimum security for now, but probably not for long. These things tend to get worse. Been there, done that, glad I left, and would like to have the same opportunity again.

    Things will most assuredly get worse as 1) an economic collapse will leave people looking for scapegoats, and ethnic minorities – particularly ones that are growing as a percentage of the population – will prove a tempting target as jobs become scarce; and 2) it will provide the most ready excuse to set up militarized police checkpoints, a system of domestic police/informants, REAL ID tracking, federal agents examining every business and tenament for “illegals” and looking for them among the crowds on the streets, endlessly frisking, running ID makes, asking questions, etc.

  63. paulie Post author

    From an old thread. Unfortunately I did not link to the exact article, or I would cut this down and link the rest.

    http://freestudents.blogspot.com/

    So a gaggle of right-wing racists and faux libertarians want to build a wall on the border. They are going to “secure” the borders. Nice.

    So what does securing the borders mean? Well, one taste of it is that the historic right of Americans to cross into Canada or Mexico without a passport is gone. To travel you have to a government document giving you permission to do so. You can see why I think the “libertarians” who support this measure are not really libertarians at all.

    And they want to build a big wall on the Mexican border. Also nice. Real nice. (You do know I’m being sarcastic.)

    Since the United States was founded (and before) the borders with Canada and Mexico were never “secure”. Never. So the communities developed often without regard of that imaginary line in the dirt.

    Now the authoritarians want “secure borders” and that means problems. It doesn’t mean problems for would-be terrorists. After all the 9/11 criminals didn’t cross the border illegally. They came in with government permission. They had passports and the US government said to them: “Welcome to America. Want some flying lessons?”

    No one came in through Canada or Mexico. They didn’t cross the borders but flew in and handed over their permission slips to the hall monitors at the airports. They were roaming around killing people because they passed government security and had state permission to be in the US. You would think the government would look at how they approve would-be terrorists to enter the US. Instead Americans are being forced to get passports to spend a few hours shopping in Mexico.

    But with hundreds of years of open borders the problems of imposing a Berlin Wall of security around the country are immense and very costly. Now think of this Border Wall for a second. The estimated cost is $2.2 billion. Like most government boondoggles that is the estimated cost. The real cost no doubt will be significantly higher.

    A 14-mile section of wall in the San Diego area has been in the works since 1996. That project spent $39 million to date and the government plans another $35 million for it. By my calculation that is about $5,286,000 per mile. This is in an area much more easily accessible than where the American “Berlin Wall” is being installed. Even if this new wall costs the same as the one in San Diego the final price will be closer to $4 billion. And the New York Times says the cost could reach $49 billion. I suspect the feds will still be building when I go to my grave and that ultimately it will be scrapped unfinished. It will only stand as a monument to the stupidity and waste of government and to the bigotry of the xenophobic Right.

    Now that cost is for the wall itself. What isn’t counted is that the US government is going to purchase or confiscate by eminent domain miles of privately owned land abutting the border. Again the faux libertarians supporting the wall will tell you that they oppose eminent domain. Yet only a total moron would have to say this wall can be built without the use of eminent domain. No doubt some of these “new” libertarians will find a way to justify eminent domain the way they have justified their other non-libertarian policies.

    How will the wall and the confiscated land be paid for? Taxes, of course. Yet one conservative Republican is telling everyone he has never voted for a tax increase. But he has voted to spend billions of dollars walling in America. In fact he has made the border hysteria a major focus of his campaign. He imposed billions of dollars in costs on the American people and wants to pretend it was done tax free. Sure I believe that.

    The Tohono O’odham Indians are not happy with that border wall. And they are supposed to be somewhat sovereign on their own land. But they say the wall will prevent them from crossing onto their land in Mexico and prevent wildlife from crossing. But this tribe may have it easy compared to other Americans.

    University of Texas vice president Antonio Zavaleta says the border fence is going to cause a problem for students. “Part of our university would be on the Mexican side of the fence.” He wants to know if students are going to need a passport to travel between classrooms. The New York Times reports:

    In Brownsville, Dr. Zavaleta said, that path would cut off not only the International Technology, Education and Commerce campus of the University of Texas and Texas Southmost College, which is in a former shopping center about a mile from the main campus, but also its golf course and a national historic site, Fort Brown, where an upright cannon marks an opening skirmish of the Mexican War.

    According to the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram “officials with the Department of Homeland Security mentioned its condemnation authority ‘within the first 15 words’ spoken to landowners” in the Rio Grande Valley where this Orwellian agency is “eyeing numerous private tracts for the wall.” Rep. Henry Cuellar says the landowners were told: “Keep in mind we can take away your property through eminent domain.”

    Of course the border nazis insist they want to work with the landowners and that the landowners are “partners” with them. (Sort of the way a woman is a partner to a rapist.) Border Patrol spokesman Xavier Rios says: “The amount of property that would be used for this is only the property that has been identified as essential for completion of the project.” Now doesn’t that clear it up? In other words they will only take as much land as they think they need. Doesn’t everyone feel better now?

    The Star-Telegram reports that in Rio Grande Valley section a 90 mile long wall is planned “most of it on private land and that the landowners “have expressed fears that a wall will disrupt cattle and ranching operations, block access to the Rio Grande and — unless they agree to the government’s financial terms — spur nasty court battles over the condemnation of private property.”

    Noel Benavides, had a border patrol official show up at his ranch and show him a map indicating the wall would come right through his property. But Benavides was told he couldn’t have a copy of it. Benavides says: “What really got me upset was the individual mentioned eminent domain. We can’t stop Homeland Security. It is the law right now that we have to have a fence in this area. But to come in and say we will take it anyway we can, we can exercise eminent domain, that really got me upset and it still does.”

    The land was in Benavides’ wife’s family since 1763 and includes large sections of untouched wilderness. And the Rio Grande was a river his family as uniting two countries, not dividing them. As a boy he swam in the river. Now he wonders if he will even be able to use the water rights he has to the river. “How are we going to be able to pump water if a fence separates us from the river? What is going to happen to all those animals that drink water from the river?” Benavides wonders which Mexican president is going to say: “Mr. President, tear down this wall… like Reagan said.”

    Hey boys and girls! Aren’t you glad that those private property loving, small government conservatives (Ron Paul included) pushed through this idea?

    It also appears that entire sections of Laredo, Texas are built up right to the border with Neuvo Laredo in Mexico. That would means wide sections of private property, people’s homes and businesses, will have to be confiscated to build the wall. We now have conservatives, who whined about the Supreme Court’s Kelo decision on eminent domain, proposing a wall that is only going to be built through the confiscation of thousands and thousands of pieces of private property. But don’t expect them to mention that.

    So far there are no plans to wall in the Canadian border. But Americans are going to need passports to cross into Canada shortly. But how, for instance, will that work in the town of Derby Line, Vermont? Derby Line and Stanstead, Canada share common streets.

    Over a century ago the Haskell Library was built there. As Associated Press reported:

    Step through the front door of the Haskell Library and you’re in the United States. Walk across the carpeted floor to the circulation desk and you’re in Canada. But if you sit down on the couch, you’re back in the U.S.

    The two towns, in different countries, share a common water system, sewer system and emergency crews in both towns help one another. Will people need passports to go to the local library?

    The residents of Canusa Avenue in Beebe Plain, Vermont have a bigger problem. This new found desire to “secure the borders” is one that troubles them. The street is named as it is as because it combines Canada and the USA (CanUSA). The residents on the south side of the street live in the US while those on north side live in Canada. Under the new Bush rules residents will need a passport to cross the street. As one lifelong resident of the street put it, referring to the new regulations: “This is quite a rats’ nest, if you think about.”

    Ah, but in DC they never think about it and the Decider has decided and logic and reason never plays a role in his decisions. And what would Republicans campaign on if they didn’t have “illegals” around to scare their voters. They’ve already pretty much played their hatred of gays to death. It’s really time to move to on to another group of people to attack and why not the Mexicans?

  64. paulie Post author

    Once the walls are built and the guards and dogs are in place, it is trivial to turn the guns the other way. By then due to the failing economy and increased totalitarianism, many American may want to leave the part of North America claimed as its turf by the armed bandit gang which calls itself the US government, but the system to prevent them leaving will have been already put in place, in large part by their own foolishness in stupidly worrying that someone will come in and take away what they have.

  65. paulie Post author

    From another old thread. I did not find a link back to the article.

    by Micha Ghertner

    The libertarian argument against open immigration, and in favor of increased efforts in keeping illegal immigrants from getting into the country, goes something like this: These illegal immigrants are mostly just unproductive leeches seeking to live the good life of an American welfare dependent. Since we native-born Americans, as taxpayers, are forced to pay for a whole host of social services, we can think of this set of social services (which includes, but is not limited to: public schools, hospitals, retirement funds, public roads, public parks, and so forth) as collective property owned by taxpayers. In other words, we taxpayers who have paid into the system have a greater claim to this property than do citizens of other countries who did not pay into this system. We can therefore treat this collective property as if it were private property, owned by the taxpaying aggregate, and we can therefore legitimately exclude those outside our group from entering the country and stealing our collective stuff.

    Of course, these libertarians argue, in a perfect world, there wouldn’t be any public (i.e. state-controlled) property, so there wouldn’t be any need to exclude non-natives from crossing the border. But we don’t live in a perfect world, so we have to make do with the options available to us. As long as public property exists, we must treat it as if it were private property collectively owned by taxpayers, and we do this by protecting the border.

    Note that libertarians who oppose immigration use this argument not only to justify the status quo (i.e. keep the current level of immigration fixed), but go even further and argue for an additional crackdown to reduce the current level of illegal immigration.

    So you can imagine how pleased I was to read the following on the LewRockwell.com blog:

    Unfortunately, large chunks of the libertarian movement continue to ignore Rothbard’s strategic insights, particularly the importance of never advocating increases in state power. For whatever short-term gains one may think one is making by watering down the libertarian message or accepting increase in state power A in exchange for reduction in state power B, is more than outweighed by long-term losses from, among other things, confusing the public as to whether or not libertarians really are consistent advocates of liberty.

    The implication should be obvious. Regardless of whether you think the tradeoff is worth it, limiting immigration necessarily entails increasing state power, period. Whatever short-term gains one may think one is making, these gains are more than outweighed by long-term losses from, among other things, confusing the public as to whether or not libertarians really are consistent advocates of liberty.

    Consistency, please?

    Update: A few hours after writing this post, while researching a different subject, I came across an interesting tidbit in Bryan Caplan’s intellectual autobiography. Apparently, great minds think alike.

    I lost a lot of respect for Rothbard around 1990 when he reversed his lifelong support for free immigration. If anything ever deserved Rothbard’s classic “monstrous!” denunciation, it is our “kinder, gentler” Berlin Wall built to keep people from living and working in the U.S. because they happened to be born elsewhere. Rothbard had always refused to justify one injustice with another, but overnight the welfare system became his rationale for cutting immigration below its already heavily restricted level. When Libertarian Party presidential candidate Ed Clark made the same argument in 1980, Rothbard was outraged, citing it as “probably the greatest (or perhaps the second greatest) single scandal of the Clark campaign”:

    Note, also, how Clark has been brought to this shameful point of having locked himself into a measured, prepared order of destatization. He has already asserted that we can’t slash the welfare state until we have achieved “full employment”; he now adds that we can’t have free and open immigration until we eliminate the welfare state. And so it goes; the “gradualists” lock us permanently into the status quo of statism.

    Rothbard also noted the empirical weakness of Clark’s position: “Undocumented aliens, including Mexicans, have not gone on welfare for the simple reason that they would have exposed themselves to arrest and deportation. These ‘illegal’ aliens, as in the case of most immigrants in the past, have proved themselves to be among the most productive, hard-working members of society. Clark kicks them in the teeth, and unjustly.”

  66. paulie Post author

    From another old thread. I had a link back to the article, but that link no longer works.

    Why restrict immigration at all? The Constitution and the laws of economics compel us to welcome all immigrants
    Christian Science Monitor
    June 7, 2007
    Donald Boudreaux

    Just in time for summer, the Senate is heating things up with immigration reform. The bill it’s debating aims to shore up border security and start some 12 million illegal aliens on the path to citizenship. Despite passionate disagreement, voices across the political spectrum concur on two points: They insist the federal government should do something about immigration, and they’re sure immigrants threaten American jobs.

    People assert these claims as though they’re self-evident. But they aren’t, as even a basic understanding of the US Constitution and the principles of economics shows. And that means most of the premises about immigration are confused.

    Real reform must build on the secure foundation of constitutional and economic truth – not on political talking points.

    The US government has been tinkering with immigration law for decades now. Surveying the wreckage – heartbroken families, an underclass of exploited workers, and ruined lives – makes it clear why the Founding Fathers refused to trust the national government with power over immigrants.

    That’s right: The Constitution does not authorize the federal government to control immigration. Nor does it say anything about illegal aliens. We looked for a clause with directions for ranking immigrants on a points system – another feature of the Senate’s reform bill – but we couldn’t find one.

    Sadly, lawmakers have repeatedly interpreted this silence as license for ill-conceived legislation. Congress began barring entry to the nation in 1875 with prostitutes and convicts. Soon, all sorts of people fell short of congressional glory: ex-convicts in 1882, along with Chinese citizens, lunatics, and idiots. Paupers, polygamists, and people suffering from infectious diseases or insanity made the list in 1891, while the illiterate were banned in 1917.

    The biggest spur to antiforeigner fervor is always the same: natives fear that newcomers will swipe their jobs. Take, for example, the 1889 Supreme Court case challenging the Chinese Exclusion Act. The Court upheld the exclusion because the Chinese had competed “with our artisans and mechanics, as well as our laborers in the field…. [Californians wanted] prompt action … to restrict their immigration.”

    Why immigrants increase wages

    It seems neither Californians nor the Court understood a fundamental principle of economics: the division of labor. Too bad they hadn’t read Adam Smith’s “Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.” Published in 1776, it explains how prosperity results from more workers and better specialization.

    Suppose that 10 workers produce 20 chairs per week with each worker building a complete chair. Those same workers can produce many more chairs every week if they specialize.

    When one worker saws the wood, another carves it into shape, and a third fastens the pieces, the total output rises dramatically. Greater specialization leads to greater production and greater prosperity. Adding another five workers to the original 10 multiplies the benefits.

    It’s true that immigrants can temporarily reduce wages for Americans whose skills closely match theirs. But falling wages raise profits. And higher profits are the soil from which better wages grow.

    Seeking those superior returns, investors bring more capital – more machines, expertise, stores, and new firms – while entrepreneurs learn to enhance employee output.

    Specialization deepens. Workers’ productivity soars, forcing employers to compete for their time by offering higher pay. Immigrants actually increase wages in the long run.

    For proof, look around. The US work-force has more than doubled since World War II, yet workers’ real total compensation (wages plus benefits) is higher now than ever. Notice that Manhattan’s employees make more money than Mississippi’s. If hordes of workers depressed wages, New York City’s crowds would earn far less than Mississippi’s few. But paychecks in Manhattan – even for unskilled workers – trump those of workers in sparsely populated Mississippi.

    Given the talk about point systems, guest-worker programs, and fenced borders, you’d think immigration endangers America’s cultural and economic wealth. But just as the unhampered flow of goods and services – free trade – blesses participants, the easy flow of workers – free labor markets – also brings unprecedented prosperity.

    By contrast, schemes to control immigrants hurt everyone, native or newcomer, and not just economically. Customs agents often abuse immigrants at the borders, but they also interrogate, search, and fine returning Americans.

    Immigrants must produce the proper papers for bureaucrats’ inspection, but so do their American employers and landlords. And let’s not even think about the scary implications of the draconian Real ID Act.

    As technology and globalization continue shrinking the world, people and ideas move more quickly and freely. Political borders become increasingly irrelevant. But that’s fine because the qualities that define Americans don’t depend on geography. Rather, it’s their history of liberty, pluck, ingenuity, optimism, and the pursuit of happiness. Culture is a matter of mind and spirit. Why entrust it to politicians, border guards, and green cards?

    The ideal immigration policy for this smaller world would harmonize with both the Constitution and common decency. It wouldn’t deny anyone the inalienable right to come and go.

    This freedom perishes under current immigration edicts – and so do people. The US Border Patrol estimates that almost 2,000 would-be Americans died along the US-Mexican border from 1998 to 2004, whether from drowning, exposure, car accidents, or violence.

    And who can forget Elian Gonzalez, the tragic Cuban refugee? This little boy watched his mother and 10 other adults in their battered boat die at sea, largely because both US and Cuban laws forbid Cubans to immigrate here. We expect such tyranny from Fidel Castro – but from America’s supposedly free government?

    If Congress seriously wants reform, it might begin by returning decisions on immigration to the individuals involved, in obedience to the Constitution’s Ninth and 10th Amendments.

    But Congress will need to go further. Requiring taxpayers to subsidize immigrants’ healthcare, education, food, shelter, or anything else breeds resentment.

    Plenty of private charities will extend a hand to newcomers, not to mention friends and families eager to help their countrymen adjust to American life.

    In fact, so eager are these folks that only severe penalties discourage them: Maybe that’s why the House of Representatives in 2005 passed a bill threatening to imprison for up to five years anyone who “assists, encourages, directs, or induces [an alien] to reside in or remain in the United States.”

    What do we do about the 12 million illegal immigrants already here? Apologizing for their poor welcome is a start. Then we can hire them, patronize their businesses, become friends. So long as we don’t control them, and they don’t expect our taxes to support them, goodwill should prevail on both sides.

    Illegal immigration: a false concept

    Laws labeling some people legal and others illegal aren’t just divisive, they’re unconstitutional.

    Defending America’s integrity doesn’t mean more rules and stronger walls; it means seeing foreigners as free agents with all the dignity and autonomy we demand for ourselves.

    These people often overcome unspeakable hardship to immigrate; why add to their sorrows by making it difficult for them to become Americans? Or by forcing them to buy their citizenship? Surely, the federal coffers are bloated enough that the government need not prey on the poor and vulnerable.

    Remember, too, that these folks aren’t terrorists; they’re here to work. And many experts argue that the safest antiterror policy is to focus scarce resources on genuine threats rather than to try to screen potential terrorists at the borders.

    The federal government has controlled immigration for more than a century now. During those years, it has violated the Constitution to oppress immigrants. It has ignored economic reality by implying that immigrants depress wages and steal jobs. Both tactics pit us against each other while boosting the government’s power.

    Quota-wielding bureaucrats should not define the country’s demographic destiny. It’s time to let the free choices of millions of individuals determine America’s complexion.

  67. dL

    From an old thread. Unfortunately I did not link to the exact article, or I would cut this down and link the rest.

    http://freestudents.blogspot.com/

    Ah, a blast from the (not too distant) past. Forgot about that blog. Used read it somewhat regularly. Then the writer just disappeared. Anyone know who that writer was?

    I wrote my own contributory essay on immigration ~ 7 years ago…
    https://rulingclass.wordpress.com/2010/06/19/restricted-immigration-is-not-a-libertarian-position/

    Looking at it now, there are two things I would update:

    (1) Clarification of Friedman’s position. The essay stated Friedman’s position as “immigration is incompatible w/ the welfare state.” The more accurate wording would be: “Legal immigration is incompatible w/ the welfare state… w/ the implication in Friedman’s case being that illegal immigration was a GOOD thing. I would still challenge the premise of Friedman’s clarified position in the same way as the original essay. I would add a further note that if I did accept his premise, I would likewise accept his conclusion, though w/ an addd caveat that there is no reason to think that immigration enforcement would ever be or remain lightly enforced. It may have been during his day. But it certainly isn’t like that anymore.

    (2) Miscalculated the paleo demise. At the time, I thought the Ron Paul Newsletters–that no one to this day will still take credit for–had banished the paleo nonsense into a permanent retreat. The primary remaining holdout was around that crank Hoppe. At the time, I viewed him as a relatively minor nuisance, not the major cancer I view him as today.

    In the essay, I use an empirical observation to point out that the internet is an aggregate of private networks that has an emergent property of a de facto “public network.” The complete opposite of Hoppe’s theory of invited contract as the only means to escape private enclosure. In Hoppe’s world, there would be no internet. There could be no internet. Hence, Hoppe’s theory is DOA in the real world. The only practical use of it is to justify putrid statism…

  68. Jim

    George Phillies “Americans will be happy to pick lettuce when offered a reasonable price. Unless you think market theory is crackpot nonsense. It’s just the some farmers want to hire people and pay them almost nothing.”

    “want”?
    Suppose American farmers fired all of their Mexican workers and began paying $15 or $20 an hour to attract American workers. That might then leave American lettuce farmers unable to compete against foreign lettuce producers. And then they’d go out of business unless Trump imposes a high tariff to level the playing field. But then, Americans would be paying a much higher price for lettuce, we would export none of it, and other than a few lettuce pickers, the world would be poorer.

  69. Joshua Koch

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/oct/14/alabama-immigration-law-workers

    Brian Cash can put a figure to the cost of Alabama’s new immigration law: at least $100,000. That’s the value of the tomatoes he has personally ripening out in his fields and that are going unpicked because his Hispanic workforce vanished literally overnight.

    ….

    For four months every year he employs almost exclusively Hispanic male workers to pick the harvest. This year he had 64 men out in the fields.

    Then HB56 came into effect, the new law that makes it a crime not to carry valid immigration documents and forces the police to check on anyone they suspect may be in the country illegally.

    The provisions – the toughest of any state in America – were enforced on 28 September. By the next day Cash’s workforce had dwindled to 11.

    Today there is no-one left. The fields around his colonial-style farmhouse on top of a mountain are empty of pickers and the tomato plants are withering on the vine as far as the eye can see. The sweet, slightly acrid smell of rotting tomato flesh hangs in the air.

    ….

    The crew leader for Cash’s fields has been working for his family for 17 years. “He’s my age and we pretty much grew up together,” he says.

    Cash has sponsored him in his application for American naturalisation – a process that the immigration authorities have said will take up to nine years and cost up to $17,000.

    The crew leader already has permanent residency status and his two children are US citizens, but because his wife is undocumented he was fearful of the new law and left abruptly along with the others the minute the provisions came in.

    Cash gets angry when people tell him that his Hispanic workforce was taking jobs away from Americans. Since the new law began two weeks ago only two American citizens have come by his farm asking for work.

    ….

  70. George Phillies

    “began paying $15 or $20 an hour to attract American workers. ”

    Outdoor work, heavy lifting, $15 an hour. What was he paying before? Minimum wage? For what is clearly not a minimum wage job?

    However, market theory says that if fewer tomatoes are picked their price will go up, there will be more money to pay workers, and the invisible hand of the market will solve things.

  71. Joshua Koch

    https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-06-06/crops-rot-while-trump-led-immigration-backlash-idles-farm-lobby

    “The average hourly wage of a U.S. agricultural field worker in April was $12, according to a survey conducted by the USDA. That’s up 5.6 percent from a year earlier.

    ….

    An immigration policy focused on closing the border would shift up to 61 percent of U.S. fruit production to other countries due to domestic labor shortages, sending jobs to Mexico and other nearby competitors, according to a 2014 study commissioned by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the largest U.S. farmer group.”

    I suppose next Phillies will propose tariffs to aid US farms and keep those jobs from going overseas? Does he imagine that consumers have unlimited resources, or that farms operate on huge profit margins…?

  72. Andy

    There are plenty of lazy ass Americans who could be doing those jobs once if the welfare checks were cut off. Also, the wages paid to the foreign workers picking the fruits is artificially low due to the welfare subsidies and other taxpayer funded benefits paid out to them and their families, which means the taxpayers are subsidizing labor costs for these businesses.

    There is also emerging robot technology that could make these jobs obsolete.

  73. Joshua Koch

    “There are plenty of lazy ass Americans who could be doing those jobs once if the welfare checks were cut off.”

    And they would do a great job, too. From the Guardian article linked above:

    Cash gets angry when people tell him that his Hispanic workforce was taking jobs away from Americans. Since the new law began two weeks ago only two American citizens have come by his farm asking for work.

    The couple had driven two hours from a city to offer their services, but they barely lasted that long in the fields. Cash discovered that they were trying to fiddle him by notching up two baskets of tomatoes for every one they picked – as they were paid by the basket that would have fraudulently doubled their earnings.

    “That’s just the kind of stuff you come across. Somebody who really wants a good job and is prepared to work hard and honest for it isn’t going to come up here for four months in the year.

    “But Hispanics will do that, and move on to Florida when the picking’s finished.”

    In a couple of weeks Cash says he will kiss goodbye to all the tomatoes left in the fields. He has already begun to pull up the stakes and remove the plastic ground cover, and then he will take a tractor out and bury the plants under ground.

    “It’s going to be a little while, but eventually people will see what has been done here. The cost of food in the supermarkets is going to go up, and in the end we will all pay the price.”

  74. Joshua Koch

    “Also, the wages paid to the foreign workers picking the fruits is artificially low due to the welfare subsidies and other taxpayer funded benefits paid out to them and their families, which means the taxpayers are subsidizing labor costs for these businesses.”

    https://news.vice.com/article/unauthorized-immigrants-paid-100-billion-into-social-security-over-last-decade

    Unauthorized workers are paying an estimated $13 billion a year in social security taxes and only getting around $1 billion back, according to a senior government statistician.

    Who’s subsidizing whom?

  75. Joshua Koch

    “There is also emerging robot technology that could make these jobs obsolete.”

    That’s nice. And what are business owners and consumers supposed to do in the meantime?

  76. Jim

    Andy “There are plenty of lazy ass Americans who could be doing those jobs once if the welfare checks were cut off. Also, the wages paid to the foreign workers picking the fruits is artificially low due to the welfare subsidies and other taxpayer funded benefits paid out to them and their families, which means the taxpayers are subsidizing labor costs for these businesses.”

    Migrant workers don’t get welfare. Those people live in what can only be described as human warehouses and then they’re gone in a few weeks or months. They don’t bring their kids. They rarely bring wives.

    Andy “There is also emerging robot technology that could make these jobs obsolete.”

    Depends on the crop. Corn, soy, winter wheat… that’s all done by machine. There isn’t even a guy in the machine operating it anymore. It’s got GPS programming to tell it the boundaries of the field. A guy just takes it to the field, turns it on, and sits back to watch. But things like tomatoes have to be done by hand.

  77. Jim

    George Phillies “market theory says that if fewer tomatoes are picked their price will go up, there will be more money to pay workers, and the invisible hand of the market will solve things.”

    It also says when the price goes up, demand will drop. Which means standards of living have declined as purchasing power is diminished.

    The point though, is that foreign producers are not subject to US labor prices.

  78. Kevin S Bjornson

    Jim raises a good point, that Muslim that manage to move to the US, do appreciate American values and don’t create as many problems as those moving to Europe. Yet the US immigration policy is more restrictive than in the EU. Remove the restrictions, and the problem will become more like Europe’s. There is an ocean separating the US from the Eurasian continent, but airfares cost much less than smuggling fees.

    Jim then proceeds to point out the US has a long border that cannot be controlled. I see. We should just give up and put up a sign “gangs of armed terrorists, we can’t stop you from invading”. Not.

    Just the threat of increased enforcement (since Trump became president) has led to a plummeting of illegal immigration; and a spike in smuggling fees from $3500 per person to $8000. See:
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/mar/8/illegal-immigration-plummets-trump-inauguration/

  79. Kevin S Bjornson

    Paulie: “I’m not a psychiatrist, and I’m not issuing a medical diagnosis, just a layman’s observation.”

    Oh, you’re not a psychiatrist? Then why are you calling me “autistic”? Yes, you did not make a diagnosis, because a diagnosis would involve an examination (per the dictionary definition).

    Please read carefully what I write, before responding. I didn’t say you made a “diagnosis”. I said you publicly proclaimed I am autistic. Are you having a conversation with me, or that voice in your head?

    If you’re going to “build bridges” instead of “walls”, and not have any restrictions on immigration, that would assist terrorists regardless of your intentions. I didn’t say your intention is to help terrorists. I don’t care what your intentions are. In your imaginary world, are there unicorns?

    I care about what happens in the real world and that doesn’t make me autistic (note, Paulie has doubled-down and said I appear autistic).

    I asked Paulie a question, and he responded by saying, attempts at border controls are inherently just “theater” and instead we should just not fight terrorists abroad (then they will not come here as “blowback”).

    How do you know that? Care to cite any real-world examples where your theory worked? How about Holland in WWII? Oops, they had insufficient border guards, and German commandos took control of their border. Hmmm—Switzerland, yea that’s an example. Well, actually, Switzerland devoted considerable resources to securing not just their borders, but also much of their small country (read the book: “Spying for Peace”). Switzerland also intervenes abroad, there are examples in history, and to this day Swiss guards are stationed behind Vatican walls.

    For the US to completely eliminate border security and any restrictions on immigration, is not a serious political proposal, but Alice-in-Wonderland theater.

    Now let us talk about the theory that the US military should operate only within US borders, and if they do operate outside of those borders, that inevitably will cause “blowback”. However that theory is just a theory, and it happens to be counter-factual.

    Before the US even had a deep-water navy and when we definitely did not operate outside US borders, Barbary coast Jihadist pirates routinely seized US merchant vessels and crew, holding them for ransom. The infant US government paid about 1/3 of the budget on such ransoms.

    Only after Thomas Jefferson created a deep water navy and attacked Jihadist regimes, did the predations stop (until recent history, after middle eastern tyrants nationalized western company owned oil instrtructure). See: https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/first-barbary-war

  80. Andy

    “Kevin S Bjornson
    March 19, 2017 at 16:26
    Jim raises a good point, that Muslim that manage to move to the US, do appreciate American values and don’t create as many problems as those moving to Europe.”

    91.4% of Muslim migrants are on welfare. There have already been many instances of Muslims migrants committing rape here in the USA. We are in the early stages of what is happening in Europe.

  81. Andy

    Kevin S Bjornson said: “For the US to completely eliminate border security and any restrictions on immigration, is not a serious political proposal, but Alice-in-Wonderland theater.”

    The only way it would work would be if the full anarcho-capitalist program were in place, but even then there would still be borders, they’d just be private property borders instead of government controlled borders.

  82. dL

    Now let us talk about the theory that the US military should operate only within US borders,

    Did Alice in your hypothetical wonderland suddenly abolish the Posse Comitatus Act? There is no such operational theory comrade, although I gather from your comments that you would apparently favor such an operational expansion.

    My recommendation is that Tom Knapp should archive this thread and present the vapid drivel of Andy Jacobs and Kevin S Bjornson as exhibit A,B for expungement of the last sentence from plank 3.4. If the party fails in that endeavor, it should disband. Otherwise It’s courting a reign of witches.

  83. Kevin S Bjornson

    Andy raises good points. I was trying to be conciliatory by acknowledging the Muslim problem is not as bad in the US as in Europe, because we limit immigration more. But yes, Jihadist immigration to the US is creating problems, just not as bad as in Europe.

    Concerning dl’s latest comment, which seems to imply that the Posse Comitatus Act prohibits deployment of US troops outside US borders, please re-phrase your comments in coherent English. For now, I think I can safely say, Posse Comitatus generally prohibits US armed forces from domestic law enforcement, and does not prohibit deployment outside US borders. See:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act

  84. dL

    Concerning dl’s latest comment, which seems to imply that the Posse Comitatus Act prohibits deployment of US troops outside US borders, please re-phrase your comments in coherent English.

    Given my statement immediately followed a block quoted statement from you RE: some hypothetical theory of ONLY operating WITHIN US borders, it’s obvious to anyone w/ a cerebral cortex what I explicitly was referring to. The Posse Comitatus Act is common knowledge. There is no possible alternative implication there.

    Bad enough to have stomach bad arguments w/o having to wash it down w/ either (i) bad reading comprehension on the part of the opponent or (ii) intentionally dishonest interlocutor who harbors an apparent delusion that people who read this forum are idiots.

  85. Kevin S Bjornson

    dl: your reply is even less coherent, and to it you added rudeness and accusation of dishonesty.

    Posse Comitatus has nothing to do with limiting troops to within US borders.
    So if that is what you’re saying, you haven’t done your homework.

    But now that I have your attention, please answer why you would not stop gangs of terrorists
    with weapons from entering the US.

  86. dL

    Posse Comitatus has nothing to do with limiting troops to within US borders.

    No shit, sherlock. Any freakin 5th grader knows that. It’s common knowledge. And I have absolutely no idea how you think I wrote or implied something contrary to that fact.

    your reply is even less coherent, and to it you added rudeness and accusation of dishonesty.

    My mockery of your position is quite coherent. And I’m not out to be polite or cordial on the matter, particularly to those who ostensibly should know better.

    But now that I have your attention, please answer why you would not stop gangs of terrorists
    with weapons from entering the US.

    Prove that any gun sold what sold won’t be used in a violent murder. Please answer why you would not stop a potential violent murderer from buying a gun? Prove that laundry bleach sold wont be used to poison someone. Please answer why you wouldn’t stop irresponsible people from buying a potentially poisonous substance? Prove that any alcohol sold won’t cause someone to become an alcoholic. Please answer why you wouldn’t stop potential alcoholics from having the ability to buy alcohol? Prove that if the government allows someone to move from Florida to Alabama, they won’t commit a crime. Please answer why you would not stop potential criminals to to travel freely within the United States? Prove that if we allow free speech, someone won’t libel someone else. Please answer why you wouldn’t take the necessary measures to stop people from slandering the good reputations of others? Prove that if we allow free trade, someone won’t defraud someone else. Please answer why you would not stop potential criminals from engaging in trade? Prove that if we allow free assembly, someone won’t agitate for violence. Please answer why you would not stop people with predilections for violence from assembling in public?

    You answer my questions above. Then I will answer your question.

  87. Robert Capozzi

    DL: Prove that laundry bleach sold wont be used to poison someone.

    Me: unprovable. So stipulated. If murders by bleach became a major issue, however, should it be surprising that some might view bleach as inherently risky? Are there risks that are too disruptive of domestic tranquility that would lead many to consider measures to abate such risks?

  88. Great ideas

    No way. Could I really be the only one who thinks Andy Jacobs is a government paid troll?!

  89. Andy

    “Great ideas
    March 22, 2017 at 08:49
    No way. Could I really be the only one who thinks Andy Jacobs is a government paid troll?!”

    Asks the person trolling behind a fake name.

  90. Great ideas

    Andy: I’m not trolling, I just value my privacy. As for you, you are trolling, but you are doing it under your real name (well, at least as far as we know), most likely because the government pays you to do it, so you have nothing to lose such as a job, career or family. How else would you have so much time on your hands? Almost everything you post is designed to make libertarianism as repulsive as possible to the average person and to shut down participation on this board by driving people away, so that’s probably why the government pays you.

    Everyone else: I really can’t believe I am the only one who thinks so. If you are afraid of being cyberbullied by Andy I understand, but more people should stand up to his disgusting views and constant attacks on and accusations against anyone who disagrees with him.

  91. Kevin S Bjornson

    dl: “I’m not out to be polite or cordial on the matter, particularly to those who ostensibly should know better.”

    [K] Still you have not explained your reference to Posse Comitatus, specifically how it relates to guarding the border. Your writing style tends to be unclear and pretentious. BTW, the reading test I took was in an English class on speed reading. Later, I scored at the 90th percentile in the GMAT, even though I never took any business classes.

    For the convenience of readers, I append your latest missive. The gist of your logic seems to be, if there is any possibility a person or good might be benign, it should be allowed into the US without any kind of screening or restriction. Since any person or good might be benign, that explains your view that there should never be any screening or restriction at the border, or anywhere else.

    As a practical matter, that would mean, for example, nobody could be convicted of murder. There is always a doubt, even if not reasonable. Because we live in a probabilistic universe. Sure, the earth rotates every day, but we cannot say with 100% certainty it will do so tomorrow. See Hume on this topic:

    http://www.bartleby.com/37/3/8.html
    “THOUGH there be no such thing as Chance in the world; our ignorance of the real cause of any event has the same influence on the understanding, and begets a like species of belief or opinion.
    There is certainly a probability, which arises from a superiority of chances on any side; and according as this superiority increases, and surpasses the opposite chances, the probability receives a proportionable increase, and begets still a higher degree of belief or assent to that side, in which we discover the superiority.”

    dl: “Prove that any gun sold what sold won’t be used in a violent murder. Please answer why you would not stop a potential violent murderer from buying a gun? Prove that laundry bleach sold wont be used to poison someone. Please answer why you wouldn’t stop irresponsible people from buying a potentially poisonous substance? Prove that any alcohol sold won’t cause someone to become an alcoholic. Please answer why you wouldn’t stop potential alcoholics from having the ability to buy alcohol? Prove that if the government allows someone to move from Florida to Alabama, they won’t commit a crime. Please answer why you would not stop potential criminals to to travel freely within the United States? Prove that if we allow free speech, someone won’t libel someone else. Please answer why you wouldn’t take the necessary measures to stop people from slandering the good reputations of others? Prove that if we allow free trade, someone won’t defraud someone else. Please answer why you would not stop potential criminals from engaging in trade? Prove that if we allow free assembly, someone won’t agitate for violence. Please answer why you would not stop people with predilections for violence from assembling in public?”

  92. dL

    Still you have not explained your reference to Posse Comitatus, specifically how it relates to guarding the border.

    Ok, I’ll hold your hand.

    Your wrote:

    Now let us talk about the theory that the US military should operate only within US borders,

    I brought up Posse Comitatus to point out there is NO THEORY of an operational US military jurisdiction within US borders. It would be illegal. Got it? Jeez…

    Your writing style tends to be unclear and pretentious.

    Opinions vary on that matter.

    BTW, the reading test I took was in an English class on speed reading. Later, I scored at the 90th percentile in the GMAT, even though I never took any business classes.

    Talk about hollow pretentiousness. One, no one cares. Two, it is not that extraordinary of an accomplishment to begin w/. You think you are the only one who has battery tested at a so-called genius percentile placement? Or passed difficult post undergraduate placement exams? And if you are over the age of 30, don’t you have anything else you can cite as a more recent demonstration of your alleged cognitive superiority? The bottom line is that your arguments on this forum are at a schoolboy level and supported by nothing more than a vacuous appeal to your purported cognitive superiority.

    The gist of your logic seems to be, if there is any possibility a person or good might be benign, it should be allowed into the US without any kind of screening or restriction.

    No. Not even close. The gist of my objection is your explicit authoritarian presumptions that make falsifying fallible knowledge impossible. This holds across all the philosophical disciplines, be it epistemology, ethics or politics. In politics, this circumvents every single liberty under an infinite number of authoritarian objections that cannot all be possibly falsified. In the criminal justice system, this makes a state accusation equivalent to a guilty verdict. In short, your burden is a very illiberal one.

    My liberal presumption of liberty does not mean “As a practical matter, nobody could be convicted of murder.” It does mean that a guilty verdict by a jury of peers has to meet the threshold of “beyond a reasonable doubt.” My guess that as an apparent non-liberal, you have a problem w/ the “beyond a reasonable doubt standard.” Or like most authoritarians you will qualify your position with, “oh, in principle I have no issue w/ liberal presumptions, but they cannot apply in the real world of national security and safety.” They all say that.

  93. Libertydave

    Kevin S Bjornson

    You asked: “please answer why you would not stop gangs of terrorists with weapons from entering the US.”

    Your question relies on the false premise that the government can stop gangs of terrorists with weapons from entering the US.

    In reality the US government is as capable of stopping terrorists with weapons from entering the US as it is as capable of stopping drugs and weapons from being smuggled into prisons.

    Benjamin Franklin’s quote: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” applies to those demanding border security.

  94. Andy

    Liberty Dave said: “Your question relies on the false premise that the government can stop gangs of terrorists with weapons from entering the US.

    In reality the US government is as capable of stopping terrorists with weapons from entering the US as it is as capable of stopping drugs and weapons from being smuggled into prisons.”

    I already addressed this issue. I think that everyone here knows that the government is corrupt and inefficient. Having said this, the government still delivers mail, puts out fires, arrests and prosecutes at least some real criminals (as in people who engage in coercive acts of violence, theft, or destruction of property), as well as other functions for which there’d still be a demand for if coercive government did not exist.

    One such demand that would still exist in an ancap society would be keeping people off of certain pieces of land that is already owned/occupied by other people (see my Disney World security example in other threads).

    There are currently 1 million legal immigrants to the USA per year, which is a lot. There are also who knows for sure how many illegal immigrants entering the USA per year. If the government of the USA announced, “Attention people of Earth: The United States of America now has open borders. So everyone who wants to come here, COME ON IN! We are laying off all of our border patrol and port of entry check points, so you don’t have to wait in long lines anymore.” What does everyone think the result of such an announcement would be, particularly if this policy were enacted in isolation, as in no other laws were changed? I think that all of the evidence indicates that there’d be a flood of people into this country that would be larger than any mass movement of human beings in history. There’d be a massive increase in the number of people on welfare, as poor people from around the world would show up (remember, travel is much cheaper and easier than it has ever been), some walking or riding buses from south of the current US border, and others showing up on ships and airplanes (some of which would likely be subsidized by governments of over-crowed countries whose governments would use this as an opportunity to clear out some people, and to gain more influence with the US government), and a massive increase in the number of births due to foreign nationals wanting to take advantage of the USA’s birthright citizenship laws, so that their offspring would be automatic American citizens. I don’t think that it is unrealistic at all to say that there could easily be a good 10 million people showing up in the USA within one year of this policy being enacted, and that within 10 years of this law being passed, the population of the USA could easily go from around 325 million people, to over 500 million people, within 10 years.

    What would this do to the political process in this country? Every piece of evidence indicates that it would lead to a much larger voting block that would vote in favor of increasing the welfare state, and increasing gun control laws. What would this do to the crime rate? Every piece of evidence indicates that the crime rate would go up. What would this mass influx of people into this land territory under present legal and market conditions do to the standard of living of the people already here? Every piece of evidence says that it will go down.

    So even though we all know that government is corrupt and inefficient, I’d prefer that they NOT invite/open the door to everyone on the planet to come here.

  95. Libertydave

    Andy

    A claim that in your fantasy world without governments that people would want to keep peaceful people out to keep the bad people out is not addressing the issue. Even Disney World security doesn’t try to keep bad people out until they do something bad at Disney World. Or do you believe that Disney World security does a background check on everyone that buy a ticket. The fact is that it doesn’t matter if it is governments or private security, you still won’t be able to keep bad people out.

    Your prejudicial rants that immigrants are bad people because they have bad thoughts about how things should be sounds a lot like thought crimes from the book 1984. You can’t stop people from doing bad things before they do them by treating everyone like a criminal.

  96. Kevin S Bjornson

    dl said: “I brought up Posse Comitatus to point out there is NO THEORY of an operational US military jurisdiction within US borders. It would be illegal.”

    [K] Though only indirectly related to border security, that’s a very interesting proposal. Contra “non-interventionists”, dl would require the US military to operate only outside US borders. I think that a bit too hawkish.

    For example, to secure against a possible invasion from the Mexican side of the border, the US would have to station troops on the Mexican side (if dl’s theory were correct, that US troops cannot legally operate on the US side of the border). Once an invading army has entered the US, the US military would be restrained from acting.

    Unlike the Netherlands for example, US border guards are normally not part of the US military. They are federal employees and armed, but not formally part of “US armed forces”.

    If no federal employees maybe armed within the US, that would disarm federal marshals, the FBI, the Secret Service, etc. The federal employees now guarding the White House and Congress, would have to be disbanded. Union troops during the Civil War would not have been able to fight Confederate troops. The President would not be able to “call up military forces when state authorities are either unable or unwilling to suppress violence that is in opposition to the constitutional rights of the people”. And so on.

    Fortunately Posse Comitatus makes no such requirement. It simply prevents the Department of Defense from “interfering in domestic law enforcement”. “The United States Coast Guard is not included in the Act even though it is one of the five armed services because it is not a part of the Department of Defense.” Neither are US border guards part of the Department of Defense. Though if necessary, US soldiers can act against invasions, large-scale insurrections, or natural disasters. See:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act

  97. Kevin S Bjornson

    “Liberty Dave” presumes and asserts that the US is powerless to prevent gangs of armed terrorists from entering the US.

    That formula makes a conclusion about fact, without reference to facts or examples from the realm of phenomena. That makes it an “a priori” axiom. If true, we may logically draw conclusions. Though we cannot know if true, as that would require observation.

    Dave makes a logical inference from his binary categorical thinking. From the observation that the US cannot prevent 100% the smuggling of weapons and drugs into prisons, he infers that such smuggling cannot be impeded at all, so no such attempt should be made. In his fantasy world, US prisoners should have unimpeded access to C-4 explosives, rifles, and hand grenades. Why? Because a few prisoners fashion knives from bits of metal or other scrap.

    By the same logic, we must leap from the observation that the US military cannot prevent all aggression everywhere in the world, to the conclusion that the US military should not ameliorate aggression under any circumstances. By the same token, since I can’t have a perfect diet, I should refrain from eating.

    This sort of pseudo-thinking gives a wrong impression of libertarianism, that we are cognitively impaired.

  98. dL

    Though only indirectly related to border security

    no shit…we were discussing the operational jurisdictional authority of the US military within the United States. A topic you originally brought up. You are not bright enough to play bait and switch obfuscation with me. For your own sake, I hope you are being obtuse intentionally. Otherwise, you need switch out your nootropics regimen.

    that’s a very interesting proposal.

    I wasn’t aware Posse Comitatus was a “proposal.” You need to put a brake on that superior reading speed of yours. You are reading so fast you are apparently aren’t reading anything, a la “the fastest gun in west.”

    dl would require the US military to operate only outside US borders

    My position is the dramatic reduction in the US military. They wouldn’t be operating anywhere.

    For example, to secure against a possible invasion from the Mexican side of the border

    You’re a lunatic…

    If no federal employees maybe armed within the US, that would disarm federal marshals, the FBI, the Secret Service, etc. The federal employees now guarding the White House and Congress, would have to be disbanded. Union troops during the Civil War would not have been able to fight Confederate troops. The President would not be able to “call up military forces when state authorities are either unable or unwilling to suppress violence that is in opposition to the constitutional rights of the people”. And so on.

    hallelujah!!! If the above scenarios are your “nightmare scenarios,” wrong movement, wrong party, pal…

  99. Kevin S Bjornson

    dl confuses his neo-anarchist preferences, for the law.
    Posse Comitatus Act is not so expansive as he imagines,
    and does not prevent the US military from operating
    within the US. If they could not do so, what is the point
    of having military bases within the US?

    The idea that the US military is legally powerless to
    repel invasions is patently absurd. The Act simply
    prohibits the US military from enforcing domestic
    policies. While invasions and border security are
    concerned with international matters, by definition.

    dl is using the Posse Comitatus Act as a figleaf for
    his real position, which he now admits is:

    “My position is the dramatic reduction in the US military. They wouldn’t be operating anywhere.”

    If the US military can’t operate anywhere,
    that is more than a “dramatic reduction”;
    that would be a total abolition.

    Might I ask, does dl propose other nations also
    disband their militaries, and what does he propose
    if they should fail to see the wisdom of his ideas?

  100. Kevin S Bjornson

    In any event, the US does not employ the military to guard the border.
    That is done by a different federal agency. Hence the Posse Comitatus Act
    does not apply to the topic at hand.

    dl now drops his mask, and acknowledges he would disarm all federal agents.
    That would effectively abolish the US federal government.

    Why stop there? What about the tyranny of state governments?
    What about government in general? Should they also be abolished?

    Of course, such a lunatic plan would not be adhered to by other governments,
    which would quickly fill the power vacuum and conquer unresisting victims.

    Rothbard tried to get around this difficulty, by claiming his proposed agencies
    of retaliatory/defensive force would not be “governments”. He defines “gov’t”
    in such as way as to exclude the possibility of legitimate government,
    of organizing force in defense of life, liberty, and rightful property.
    He defines all government as predatory government,
    which organizes force only in violation of life, liberty,and rights to property.

    There is one small problem with that definition: no dictionary agrees.
    Further, there is a large body of liberty classics which directly contradict
    his private-language definition. Rothbard makes no attempt to prove his
    definition, he simply asserts it, as if it were self-evident.

  101. dL

    dl now drops his mask, and acknowledges he would disarm all federal agents.
    That would effectively abolish the US federal government.

    The only thing that has been unmasked in this thread is the insertion of “credible threat” in the LP platform as a placeholder for bigotry and putrid authoritarianism.

  102. Andy

    Anti-bigotry has nothing to do with libertarianism.

    Everyone makes some kind of discriminatory decisions in their lives.

    If we had a libertarian society, there would be full private property and full freedom of association, which means full freedom to not associate. So in spite of Gary Johnson saying that it is OK to force people to bake cakes for people whom they do not want to do this, a bake shop would be free to discriminate, as would an apartment complex or a housing development.

  103. dL

    Anti-bigotry has nothing to do with libertarianism.

    Oh, it has something to say on advocating Statist border control policy based on bigoted assumptions.

    Everyone makes some kind of discriminatory decisions in their lives.

    True…but statists in favor of border control are using the state to prohibit freedom of association.

    If we had a libertarian society, there would be full private property

    There would be private property but not everything would be under private enclosure. By private enclosure, I mean EVERY step you would take would have to be by explicit private contract. You have to be a complete ignorant dipshit to take that seriously. And the people who intellectually advance this nonsense don’t believe it. The only use of it is to to expropriate libertarian property rights for the cause of right-wing statism.

  104. Andy

    “dL
    March 26, 2017 at 00:35
    ‘Anti-bigotry has nothing to do with libertarianism.’
    Oh, it has something to say on advocating Statist border control policy based on bigoted assumptions.”

    Even if this was so, so what? The American people pay the taxes that built and support the infrastructure of this country, and if you poll most Americans, they don’t want a lot of these people coming in who are coming here, and many Americans are angry about the situation with immigration (and it is not just white people, many black Americans are angry about it as well, and even some in some other groups are).

    What other country around the world can anyone just waltz in, no questions asked? What other countries can you show up and get welfare handouts? You can’t do this in Mexico. You can’t do this in China. You cant’t do this is Israel. You can’t do this in Japan. Why the fuck should Americans put up with this shit?

    The real statists are people like dL who want to cram their forced integration multi-cultural Marxist welfare state expansionist agenda down everyone’s throats.

    Second of all, anyone who does not have their head shoved up their ass, and is capable of examining statistics, and who has actually done so, knows that modern day immigrants (and their offspring) are consuming welfare at a higher rate than the native population, and that after they are able to vote, they are voting to expand the welfare state, and enact more gun control laws, at a higher rate than the native population. Some immigrant groups are also committing crimes at a higher rate than that of most of the native born population.

    So yes, unlike what dL suggests, there are real reasons to be concerned about some of the people who are entering the country. and it is not just blind bigotry (which is a typical leftist accusation, as if shouting “Bigot” or something similar is supposed to shut down debate).

  105. dL

    the American people pay the taxes that built and support the infrastructure of this country, and if you poll most Americans, they don’t want a lot of these people coming in who are coming here, and many Americans are angry about the situation with immigration

    You don’t speak for me. What is the collective called “the American people” you claim to speak for and respect all of a sudden. If a public opinion poll shows plurality support for gun control(and some of them do), would you chirp: “well the American people pay the taxes that built the hospitals and the infrastructure and they don’t want to pay the health care costs associated w/ gun violence, they are angry w/ the gun violence, hence this justifies prohibiting the ownership of firearms.”

    If a public opinion poll shows plurality support for nanny state food restrictions, would you chirp: “well the American people pay the taxes that built the hospitals and the infrastructure and they don’t want to pay the health care costs associated w/ obesity, they are angry w/ mounting health care costs associated with obesity, hence this justifies the state dictating the food we eat.”

    Neither Libertarianism nor liberalism subscribes to transient public opinion usurping fundamental rights, be it travel, association, speech, labor or self defense. Because you are neither (though you masquerade as a libertarian), you do resort to cherry-picking a public poll as an argument for state prohibitionism.

    What other country around the world can anyone just waltz in, no questions asked? What other countries can you show up and get welfare handouts? You can’t do this in Mexico. You can’t do this in China.

    So, China state policy is your standard, comrade? Are you likewise going to appeal to China’s strict gun control policy RE: what people can and cannot do in China?

    The real statists are people like dL The real statists are people like dL who want to cram their forced integration multi-cultural Marxist welfare state expansionist agenda down everyone’s throats.

    No, the real statists and marxists are the people who are citing China state policy as justification for their own views.

    Second of all, anyone who does not have their head shoved up their ass, and is capable of examining statistics

    Well you have automatically disqualified yourself with that pre-condition….

  106. robert capozzi

    dL, being aware of public opinion has utility IF one desires positive change. If we believe that maximum liberty is the long-term goal, and we recognize that social change is incremental, then we would assemble positions that are sellable in the short to intermediate term. If achieved, our next set of positions would advance the goal further.

    I don’t see the point in advocating extremist and utopian positions that alienate the vast majority. We may believe those positions are “moral,” but we should be honest enough with ourselves that such positioning is unlikely to succeed. 50 years of NAPsterism should be enough time to see that that experiment has not worked.

  107. dL

    dL, being aware of public opinion has utility IF one desires positive change.

    Authoritarian incrementalism is not positive unless you are an authoritarian.

    I don’t see the point in advocating extremist and utopian positions that alienate the vast majority.

    Same ole spiel from you. Your political science views are not scientific, and your political views are not libertarian. Incrementalism you say, but then you call the libertarian position extremist and utopian. So, incrementalism towards what exactly? In my view, your view of “positive change” is wrecking the LP.

  108. Robert Capozzi

    dL, so, let me get this straight: Rolling the State back is — in your mind — “authoritarian”? If so, that’s quite a severe assessment, even for a NAPster, in my experience.

    Thanks for recognizing the consistency of my spiel! 😉 It’s taken some time to get it where I like it. Whether it’s “scientific” is a function of what one considers “scientific” but it feels awfully serviceable to me.

    Then again, you seem prone to extreme histrionics in your assessments to me. How, for ex., could little old me be “wrecking” the LP? Have my words on IPR been converting NAPsters into lessarchists in the thousands? I had NO IDEA I was that gifted a rhetorician! 🙂

  109. dL

    dL, so, let me get this straight: Rolling the State back is — in your mind — “authoritarian”?

    No…But i see nothing in what you advocate as “rolling back the state.”

    Whether it’s “scientific” is a function of what one considers “scientific” but it feels awfully serviceable to me.

    The scientific method is not subject to interpretative dispute. People who claim their own subjective version of the scientific method are crackpots.

    Then again, you seem prone to extreme histrionics in your assessments to me. How, for ex., could little old me be “wrecking” the LP? Have my words on IPR been converting NAPsters into lessarchists in the thousands? I had NO IDEA I was that gifted a rhetorician!

    Well, “lessAnarchy” is your own one-man mental construct. However, GOP-lite respectability politics certainly is a LP wrecker. This thread unequivocally demonstrates that. Supporters of “credible threat” language inexorably will be shown to be either a bigot, a lunatic or a complete idiot.

  110. robert capozzi

    dL: The scientific method is not subject to interpretative dispute. People who claim their own subjective version of the scientific method are crackpots.

    Me: It’s not? That sounds highly unscientific to me! As I understand it, the scientific method is an empirical methodology that “hard” scientists use as a serviceable convention. To say that there can’t be another scientific method suggests that God has Spoken, and that none dare question much less employ another Method. Try as the social sciences do to make their work empirical, last I checked the Austrian critique of such empiricism continues to make a lot of sense to me. You?

    By the way, many view Nikola Tesla as among the greatest scientists of the 20th century. Read up on his approach with an open mind. Yours may change.

    dL: …GOP-lite respectability politics certainly is a LP wrecker. This thread unequivocally demonstrates that. Supporters of “credible threat” language inexorably will be shown to be either a bigot, a lunatic or a complete idiot.

    Me: Define “wrecker.” Define “GOP-lite.” And what is your “scientific method” to “prove” that those who find the term “credible threat” a reasonable one are either bigots, lunatics, or idiots?

    I see NAPsterism to be the Opus Dei of the LM. Using perfectly reasonable language like “credible threat” does not comport with the NAPster Biblical interpretation, and so your secret society of self-flagellators castigates and (attempts to) ostracize anyone off the OD reservation.

  111. dL

    To say that there can’t be another scientific method suggests that God has Spoken

    No, it suggests a crackpot’s lips are moving…

    Try as the social sciences do to make their work empirical, last I checked the Austrian critique of such empiricism continues to make a lot of sense to me. You?

    No, I reject the Mises Austrian critique. Just b/c you can’t treat Neoclassical macro-equilibrium theory like Hamiltonian mechanics doesn’t thusly imply rejecting empiricism when it comes to the social sciences. Nor does bad science mean rejecting the scientific method.

    By the way, many view Nikola Tesla as among the greatest scientists of the 20th century. Read up on his approach with an open mind. Yours may change.

    I’m well aware of Tesla. There is no doubt the brilliance of Tesla as an engineer and an inventor. As a scientist, however, his most noteworthy “contribution” is pioneering the sub genre of anti-relativity crackpottery.

    Define “wrecker.” Define “GOP-lite.”

    Those things have been defined repeatedly and debated ad nauseam.

    And what is your “scientific method” to “prove” that those who find the term “credible threat” a reasonable one are either bigots, lunatics, or idiots?

    Read the thread. You bring in the rear w/ the “complete idiocy” category with the off the reservation challenges to the scientific method and the curious peddling of Nikola Tesla.

    I see NAPsterism to be the Opus Dei of the LM. Using perfectly reasonable language…

    The premise of the second sentence is sort of discredited by the language of the first. No offense, but the first sentence casts doubt on Bob Capozzi as the arbiter of “perfectly reasonable language.” That language is way out there in right field somewhere. It’s akin to someone putting on a big tin foil hat and then starting to lecture on what “perfectly reasonable people” believe.

  112. robert capozzi

    dL, I don’t especially “challenge” the scientific method (at least for the hard sciences), but I do challenge absolutism about methodology. Just because the scientific method is an accepted practice doesn’t mean that a more effective approach is not possible.

    It IS interesting to me that you brand others as “crackpots” when your views are as fringy as I understand them to be. Self-awareness is a virtue! 😉

    Add to that your rejection of the Austrian critique, and that seems to isolate you as much or more than I am! My sense is that most of your fellow NAPsters would part ways with you on that stance. Now, of course, it could be that dList NAPsterism is somehow optimal, but how would we ever know if that were the case? 😉

  113. dL

    but I do challenge absolutism about methodology.

    I don’t know what you mean by that…

    It IS interesting to me that you brand others as “crackpots” when your views are as fringy as I understand them to be. Self-awareness is a virtue! ?

    I call crackpot when i see it. In terms of my own views, some of my political views are not mainstream. No doubt about that. I’m fine w/ radical. If you want to call it”fringe,” so be it. If Donald Trump is “mainstream,” then I’m proud member of “the political fringe.” But fringe is not the same as crackpot.

    Add to that your rejection of the Austrian critique, and that seems to isolate you as much or more than I am! My sense is that most of your fellow NAPsters would part ways with you on that stance. Now, of course, it could be that dList NAPsterism is somehow optimal, but how would we ever know if that were the case?

    Well, I said I reject the Misean Austrian critique. To be more specific, I reject it enough not to be mistaken for a follower of Mises. At one time, I was an adherent to Friedman’s Chicago School public choice. Then I kind of swayed more to Hayek + Virginia School. These days I would I am more aligned to someone like Anthony de jasay. For some reason, some synonymously equate libertarianism w/ Austrian economics. Incorrectly, I might add. One doesn’t necessarily have anything to do w/ the other.

    In terms of NAPster, not a term I use. I refer to fellow libertarians as fellow libertarians. I personally don’t subscribe to NAP as a starting point. That being said, I can still sign the LP pledge b/c I don’t endorse or advocate for any government policy that would violate it. Since signing the pledge is a requirement to join the LP, I still remain a bit confused why you are hanging around.

  114. Kevin S Bjornson

    thus sprach dl: “The only thing that has been unmasked in this thread is the insertion of “credible threat” in the LP platform as a placeholder for bigotry and putrid authoritarianism.”

    [K] So, does that mean, you deny you want to dispense with the US federal gov’t?
    You imagine federal agencies could continue to operate, if prohibited from the
    possibility of organizing force? Because previously, in response to this…

    [[K]] “If no federal employees maybe armed within the US, that would disarm federal marshals, the FBI, the Secret Service, etc. The federal employees now guarding the White House and Congress, would have to be disbanded.”

    [K] … you said….

    [[dl]]: “hallelujah!!! If the above scenarios are your “nightmare scenarios,” wrong movement, wrong party, pal…”

    [K] If you imagine for one second, Americans will accept that kind of juvenile rhetoric, and see the US gov’t abolished, you have truly gone down the rabbit hole. What is your purpose then, in using the LP as a platform for your nihilistic vision–besides virtue-signaling, posturing, and macho-flashing?

    As Capozi points out…
    [[C]] “I don’t see the point in advocating extremist and utopian positions that alienate the vast majority. We may believe those positions are “moral,” but we should be honest enough with ourselves that such positioning is unlikely to succeed.”

    [K] Bravo! A much-need dash of realism. But then Capozi said:

    “50 years of NAPsterism should be enough time to see that that experiment has not worked.”

    [K] First, “NAP” is a nearly-meaningless phrase, as it does not define “aggression”. Some self-identified “libertarians” have said, all interventions are aggression (atomistic isolationism); or that people do not really have the right to decide who they want to associate with, and should be forced to sell cakes for gay weddings and the like (social justice warriorism).

    Rather, the phrase should define itself (instead of functioning as an ideological Rorschach test). Why not simply: “non-initiation of force principle” or NIFP. Libertarians should acknowledge the natural law which defines human justice.

    The principle is, force should not be initiated against other humans. In addition to principles (the realm of perfect circles), there are also facts (in the realm of phenomena). Sometimes there are no perfect options, and the best we can do is minimize harm. This should not be surprising, as human nature is a work in progress and still falls short of perfection.

  115. robert capozzi

    dL: I don’t know what you mean by that…

    me: It means the scientific method is not sacrosanct. Clearer?

    dL: I call crackpot when i see it. In terms of my own views, some of my political views are not mainstream. No doubt about that. I’m fine w/ radical. If you want to call it”fringe,” so be it. If Donald Trump is “mainstream,” then I’m proud member of “the political fringe.” But fringe is not the same as crackpot.

    me: That’s cool, except “crackpot” is pejorative and accusatory, which very often indicates the accuser is psychologically projecting. Personally, I draw a distinction between one’s private philosophy and one’s public advocacy. Philosophical enquiry can and should be as open-minded as possible. Doing politics is practicing the art of the possible. If one’s interests are in the former and not the latter, way cool. But if one wants to run for office, it wastes time and resources if one wants to practice the art of the IMpossible. IMO.

    dL: For some reason, some synonymously equate libertarianism w/ Austrian economics. Incorrectly, I might add. One doesn’t necessarily have anything to do w/ the other.

    me: I agree.

    dL: I personally don’t subscribe to NAP as a starting point. That being said, I can still sign the LP pledge b/c I don’t endorse or advocate for any government policy that would violate it. Since signing the pledge is a requirement to join the LP, I still remain a bit confused why you are hanging around.

    me: You could say I enjoy having a philosophical conversation about politics. I enjoy the pursuit of truth. Just as you speak the truth that L-ism doesn’t necessarily require one to subscribe to Austrianism, I enjoy noting that to be L does not necessarily mean one must advocate extremist positions that have virtually no chance of success in the near term and in fact damage the L brand politically, since politics is a numbers game. And that the NAP and NOIF are nice sentiments, but not very useful as political commandments.

    In my judgment, the 50-year experiment in NAPsterism has failed. Having participated in the experiment, I feel somewhat responsible for its failure. Seeing others still drinking that Kool Aid, I offer those still struggling in the NAPster mindset a big bottle of Essentia to flush out the toxins.

  116. dL

    So, does that mean, you deny you want to dispense with the US federal gov’t?

    In case you didn’t guess, you represented the “putrid authoritarian” category. The subject of this thread was the abolition of the language “credible threat” from the LP platform, not the abolition of the federal government. The open border position is no less popular than the closed border position. The open border position is not unprecedented as the effective policy of the United States government. Whether the open border position is the median voter position is irrelevant, particularly in the context of third party politics. From elementary political science, third parties cannot play a strategy game against single-peaked preferences. Indeed, effective third party politics throws out median voter theory. No major or relevant minor party represents the open border position. From a perspective of both principle and strategy, an unequivocal open border position for the LP is obvious. It is not even debatable. Anyone who even tries to debate this, I am going to immediately assume membership in one of the 3 categories I’ve previously outlined.

  117. dL

    That’s cool, except “crackpot” is pejorative and accusatory, which very often indicates the accuser is psychologically projecting.

    Pot calling the kettle black…

    You could say I enjoy having a philosophical conversation about politics.

    I’m happy to discuss/debate matters of political science. Arguing over NAP usually bores the fucking shit out of me unless the quality of the opponent is quite good.

  118. Kevin S Bjornson

    dl said: “The open border position is no less popular than the closed border position.”

    [K] Oh? Where did you get that idea? Any polls?

    Yet when you say “open borders”, for most people, this does not mean literally, no border control at all. Because such a position would be so absurd, I don’t think there are any polls that are exactly on point.

    Though we can get a good general idea from this Rasmussen poll…
    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/immigration/june_2016/voters_favor_more_deportation_not_less
    “Fifty-seven percent (57%) say the federal government is not aggressive enough in deporting those who are in this country illegally. Only 11% say the government is too aggressive, while 23% believe the number of deportations is about right.”

    [K] So, even if all the 11% (that say government immigration enforcement is too severe) take your extreme position (that there should be no immigration enforcement at all), 11% is not “mainstream”.

    Just from my own experiences and general knowledge, I’d say that fewer than 1% of Americans would take such an extreme view.

    The arguments you (dl) use against border control, apply equally to any federal agency, and would effectively lead to the abolition of government in the US. When I point that out, dl tries to limit discussion to border control, even though his arguments tend to be not specific to that narrow category.

    Due to the fact-free and illogical nature of his arguments, dl has to resort to ad hominem name-calling. Which calls into question not only his demeanor, but his judgment and ability to reason.

  119. Andy

    “Kevin S Bjornson
    March 28, 2017 at 14:51
    dl said: ‘The open border position is no less popular than the closed border position.’

    [K] Oh? Where did you get that idea? Any polls?”

    Kevin, dL has no idea what he is talking about here. I have gathered petition signatures in 32 states plus Washington DC, and I have talked about politics with literally millions of people, from all backgrounds. I have also talked politics with numerous people while doing outreach while not working on a petition drive (as in volunteer outreach activities), I’ve had many political conversations with random people (standing in line somewhere, sitting on airplanes or buses, etc…). I have talked politics with I don’t know how many people online (easily in the thousands).

    So I think that I have surveyed a really good sample of the public on a wide variety of issue, and I can tell you that the position of completely opening the borders of the USA, especially without changing other laws and market conditions currently in place, is NOT a popular issue at all. It is a position that is rejected by the majority of white Americans, AND by the majority of black Americans, and it is even rejected by some Asian and Hispanic Americans. The majority of Native Americans (ie-American Indians) also reject this position, and they certainly have good reason to as they know what happened when their ancestors had no means to stop Europeans from moving to America (of course keep in mind that that while the Europeans did steal some land from the American Indians, a lot of the continent was empty, and also keep in mind that the various American Indian tribes fought over land among themselves before the Europeans arrived, and the Europeans built their own settlements, and did not move into American Indian settlements).

    Several years back, I worked on a petition in California to prevent illegal immigrants from collecting welfare and getting other government benefits. I noticed that my best signers for this petition were black Americans. Almost every black American I encountered who was registered to vote enthusiastically signed the petition. I was doing so well with the petition among black Americans, that I thought about targeting some predominantly black neighborhoods with the petition, but unfortunately, I never ended up making it to these areas because the traffic was so terrible in the part of southern California where I was located. White Americans were signing the petition as well, but I’d sometimes run into white liberals who’d stand there and give me shit (but the petition was still pretty popular among whites, it was just the occasional white liberal who’d give me shit). Some of the Hispanics and Asians did give me shit as well, but I had a surprising number of them sign the petition as well, certainly more than one would have thought.

    “Open borders” is quite possibly the least popular issues which is assumed to be supported by libertarians, and I said assumed, because most people, including lots of self professed libertarians, don’t really understand it, because the actual libertarian position on the issue is to privatize land, and relinquish control over said land from the government, over to land owners, and at the same time, you’d be eliminating the institution of coercive government itself, so migration/immigration policies would be set by land owners. There’d be no welfare hand outs, and no forced democratic elections, and there’d be full freedom of association, which means there’d be full freedom to not associate. This is the purist libertarian position on the issue.

    When most people hear “open borders” it scares the shit out of them (which is a phrase often associated with far left socialists and communists, as well as by New World Order global governmetn establishment elite types), and rightfully so, as they picture hordes of Jihadis, gang bangers, welfare leeches, etc.., crossing into the land territory where they live. Human beings have tribal instincts whether anyone likes or wants to admit this or not, and having different tribes entering different territories has always created problems throughout history.

    I have been able to explain to some people that the context under which immigration would take place in an actual libertarian society is not the same as today, as there’d be no welfare programs, no ability for immigrants to vote people’s right away, and full freedom of association. There’d be no us government going around the world creating enemies, so there’d be less chance of terror attacks (not even getting into false flags). There’d be no War on Drugs, so no violent gangs coming here to trade drugs. There’d also be full right to keep and bear arms, so people could defend themselves against any violent invaders who did happen to enter the land territory on which they were located. A libertarian society would be so different from what we have today, that a lot of people can’t fathom it, and keep in mind that a lot of people out there are still confused about what a libertarian is, and there are still people out there who are not even familiar with the term, even though public name recognition of the word libertarian has increased dramatically over the last decade.

  120. dL

    Kevin, dL has no idea what he is talking about here. I have gathered petition signatures in 32 states plus Washington DC, and I have talked about politics with literally millions of people, from all backgrounds.

    Literally millions of people. Shiiittt….If we assume 5 minutes of conversion per person, 8 hours a day, 365 days a year, it would take you 60 years to arrive at your “litarally millions of people” you have supposedly talked to. Yeah right. And then one would wonder: how in the hell you’ve been supporting yourself. Because you were apparently busy doing something other than collecting signatures. Btw, back in the day, I’ve worked as a paid signature petitioner(independent contractor). I know how that works. It’s not a mobile debating society. You are there to get signatures in areas of dense foot traffic. If you are any good at it, the only conversation you are having with people is the canned spiel you deliver over and over again on the issue at hand.

    Absolute BS that are some first-hand authority on the pulse of America b/c you are a paid signature gatherer. Get this man a shovel…

  121. robert capozzi

    dL: … unless the quality of the opponent is quite good.

    me: You have no “opponent” in me, that’s for sure. The whole right/wrong, attack/defend thing doesn’t work for me. Finding colleagues in the search of truth is my strong preference, and those uninterested in truth will eventually come around, I’m sure.

  122. Andy

    “dL
    March 28, 2017 at 17:25
    Kevin, dL has no idea what he is talking about here. I have gathered petition signatures in 32 states plus Washington DC, and I have talked about politics with literally millions of people, from all backgrounds.
    Literally millions of people. Shiiittt….If we assume 5 minutes of conversion per person, 8 hours a day, 365 days a year, it would take you 60 years to arrive at your “litarally millions of people” you have supposedly talked to. ”

    Some of the conversations are really short, like just a few seconds. One could easily talk to 1,000 or more people per day while out gathering petition signatures. Some days, you talk to a few thousand people. Some conversations are, “Hey, could you sign a petition to _____________________ (fill in the blank)?” and the person says, “No.” and walks away, so I am counting all conversations. Sometimes people will make a comment on their political views, and then they walk away. Sometimes you have brief conversations with people. Sometimes you have long conversations with people. I am counting all communications with people, even the shortest ones.

    If you work on a petition full time for say 3 months, you could easily talk to well over 30,000 people. Plus I frequently talk about politics online (not just here on IPR, I have posted on numerous message forums over the last 20 years). I also have talked about politics with many other people in many other settings.

    So yeah, I could have easily talked politics with a few million people. It is really hard to put a number on, but the first couple of years I worked on petitions, from 2000-2002, I kept track of about how many unique signers I had, and I lost count at around 22,000. Let’s say that I had to talk to 10 people to get each one of those signers (let’s say 1 out of 10 signed, on average, it could have been more like 1 out of 15, but I will keep it at 10 to make the numbers easy). So one out of ten to get 22,000 is 220,000 people, and I can tell you that I’ve talked to a hell of a lot more people since then, easily several times that.

    This also does not include message threads I’ve been on where politics were discussed online, which could have had 20 or 50 or 150 or however many participating in the discussion. I have no idea what this number is, but it has got to be a lot.

    Then factor in random discussions with people at random places, and outreach activities I took part in when I was not working on a petition or voter registration drive, and it is a hell of a lot more people.

    Just doing LP ballot access alone, I estimated that I had gathered around 75,000 signatures (and I have done more since I took this estimate). If I had to talk to say 10 people to get each one of those signatures, that is 750,000 people.

    I gathered around 10,000 signatures in about 7 weeks on the Recall Grey Davis petition drive in California back in 2003. Again, one out of ten signing would mean that I talked to 100,000 people in 7 weeks.

    I gathered about 8,000 signatures in about 8 weeks on Carla Howell’s initiative to end the state income tax in Massachusetts back in the fall of 2001. One out of ten would mean that I talked to 80,000 people.

    One out of 10 is just an estimate, sometimes it is more, and sometimes it is less. I have had times where I had to ask like 50 or 100 people to sign before anyone actually signed. I have had other times were say 1 out of 5 or 1 out of 3 people signed, or even 100% of the people I asked somewhere signed (that does not happen very often though).

    So yes, I have talked politics with a hell of a lot of people.

  123. dL

    If you work on a petition full time for say 3 months, you could easily talk to well over 30,000 people. Plus I frequently talk about politics online (not just here on IPR, I have posted on numerous message forums over the last 20 years). I also have talked about politics with many other people in many other settings.

    I did it as college summer jobs(s). I’m not going to pretend I was a pro doing it, but I did do it. Neither am going to pretend to pontificate about how much money one can make doing it or how many signatures a pro can hustle up, but I am going to count a political dialogue exchange as something lasting at least 5 minutes. From that I can use simple math to put a upper boundary limit on the possible anecdotal population sampling a single person is capable of.

  124. robert capozzi

    ksb: Due to the fact-free and illogical nature of his arguments, dl has to resort to ad hominem name-calling. Which calls into question not only his demeanor, but his judgment and ability to reason.

    me: It can be exhausting. We can’t know what’s going on in his head, of course, but it feels that dL believes he’s “figured it all out,” and anyone who doesn’t buy into dL-ism is not only “wrong,” but “stupid.”

    My view is we should only respond with compassion to these attacks, and stick with our commitment to the hot pursuit of truth. At some level, dL must recognize that he’s deflecting. As he seems quite learned, his defense mechanisms appear quite elaborate. Truth sees all. There’s no escaping it.

  125. Great ideas

    It sounds like Andy Jacobs spends a lot of time while he’s out getting signatures getting into long conversations with people or playing on his phone to post internet comments. Then maybe staying up half the night watching youtube videos and posting more internet comments so he doesn’t get out of his room to get more signatures until halfway through the day. Does he get the kind of signature volume he mentions above on any kind of regular basis anymore? I would bet it is nowhere even close. I notice that all of his examples of how many signatures he gets per week or month are from the early 2000s. Sure, he still has some good days that he brags about but I bet his average is way down.

  126. paulie Post author

    CGI/COGS

    Why is Andy’s production of concern to you? He’s an independent contractor and is paid based on production so it’s his business, not yours.

  127. Andy

    The numbers of signatures I or anyone else produces depends upon a variety of factors, so it is a difficult thing to quantify. When I work on a petition drive, I am usually among the top producers in terms of numbers and validity.

  128. Andy

    dL, I have had political conversations with many people that were 5 minutes or longer. Way too many to count.

    Yes, I also have had a lot of short interactions with people that lasted only a few seconds, but you can still gain a lot of political data from short interactions with people. Sometimes people will spout off some of their political opinions before they walk away. You also find how many people respond favorably to whatever it is that you are doing, and how many don’t care, and how many responded negatively.

  129. dL

    dL, I have had political conversations with many people that were 5 minutes or longer. Way too many to count.

    yeah, and I’ve had sex lasting more than 5 minutes with too many people to count. What do you want, a parade?

  130. astonished

    Well Andy Jacobs must have some unusual talents. He is somehow capable of getting a thousand plus signatures a week while also having hundreds of conversations lasting 5 minutes or more, posting thousands of internet comments (many of them of epic length) on dozens of internet forums, reading all the replies, and watching hundreds of hours of internet videos a week….all at the same time. Does he also leap tall buildings in a single bound?

    dL: “I’ve had sex lasting more than 5 minutes with too many people to count. ” Well, at least that’s one problem Andy Jacobs doesn’t have. In fact… when was the last time Andy had sex with anyone? Maybe that is why he is so unbelievably energetic and productive? LOL

    Paul Frankel: “Why is Andy’s production of concern to you? He’s an independent contractor and is paid based on production so it’s his business, not yours.” We do appreciate Mr. Frankel standing up for his life partner (even though as they have both told us repeatedly they are both 100% heterosexual and never, ever, ever have had sex with each other, ever). But really, if a party looking to do a petition drive is considering paying airfare, rental car fees, gas and motel reimbursements, etc., wouldn’t they want to know the real production of the contractors they are hiring?

  131. Great ideas

    Astonished: “But really, if a party looking to do a petition drive is considering paying airfare, rental car fees, gas and motel reimbursements, etc., wouldn’t they want to know the real production of the contractors they are hiring?” Yes, that could indeed be a valid concern. Another one may be whether the people you are hiring are habitual pathological liars who will misrepresent how many signatures are in their possession, misrepresent the petition to the public, and forge signatures (like Paul Frankel was convicted of doing in Oregon). Or you might want to know if they are hotheads who engage in arguments and yelling while out gathering signatures, are perceived by many passers by as harassing them, and frequently get kicked out of petition locations due to complaints from the public. Not that Mr. Jacobs or Mr. Frankel would know anything about any of that, LOL….

  132. George Phillies

    This conversation should be deleted, and the participants given a time out.

  133. dL

    This conversation should be deleted, and the participants given a time out.

    Absolutely not…it should be presented as exhibit A of the underlying garbage views behind the anti-libertarian language in plank 3.4.

  134. Andy

    dL, my point was that considering the large volume of people with whom I have had varying degrees of political discussion, I’d say that I have a good feel for how popular various issues are among the population. You stated above that the there is a lot of popular support for ripping open the borders of the country, and/or increasing the level of immigration, and all of the data I have seen, both from talking to large numbers of people (in person and online), and from various polls that have been taken on this subject, says that you are grossly over-estimating the support for this issue.

  135. Andy

    “Great ideas

    March 29, 2017 at 20:47

    Astonished: ‘But really, if a party looking to do a petition drive is considering paying airfare, rental car fees, gas and motel reimbursements, etc., wouldn’t they want to know the real production of the contractors they are hiring?'”

    Not all petition drives pay expenses. Some do and some do not. Some only pay certain expenses (like they may pay travel, but not motel, or vice versa).

    I have NEVER had a problem with production vs expenses anytime that I have received expenses.

  136. dL

    dL, my point was that considering the large volume of people with whom I have had varying degrees of political discussion, I’d say that I have a good feel for how popular various issues are among the population.

    and I’ve been pretty clear that I reject your anecdotal authority RE: what the population thinks. You keep bringing in your profession as petition signature collector as if it has some relevance to the discussion. It has no relevance.

    from various polls that have been taken on this subject, says that you are grossly over-estimating the support for this issue.

    Granted, the open border position does not have plurality support. But neither does your position. The open border position, however, IS the libertarian position. And the LP’s mission is not to stick its finger in the wind.

  137. Andy

    “astonished
    March 29, 2017 at 20:28
    Well Andy Jacobs must have some unusual talents. He is somehow capable of getting a thousand plus signatures a week while also having hundreds of conversations lasting 5 minutes or more, posting thousands of internet comments (many of them of epic length) on dozens of internet forums, reading all the replies, and watching hundreds of hours of internet videos a week….all at the same time. Does he also leap tall buildings in a single bound?”

    Conversations with members of the public while gathering petition signatures can last varying lengths of time. Sometimes people hang around and talk to you while other people are signing. Sometimes you may have groups stopped, it could be 5 or 6 people or more, maybe one or two of them will talk while signing and the others say little or nothing. There are all kinds of situations that can arise. I’m am pretty good at multi-tasking, so I’ve had people hang around talking while I’m still getting other people to sign.

    Also, I never said that I’m always getting 1,000 plus signatures per week. Sometimes I’m not working at all (as in I’m out of work, as in there is nothing going on, or there is something going on, but I don’t want to work on it because it is not paying enough, or it may be for a cause that I don’t like, or for some other reason). Sometimes weather, or access to locations can hold you back (as in you could be in place where finding good locations with lots of foot traffic of registered voters in the jurisdiction where the drive is happening are more difficult to come by). Some petitions are more difficult to get signed than others. Sometimes a petition circulator may be sick, or burned out, or whatever. Sometimes you can be held back by cars breaking down and things of that nature. Some petition drives have long time periods before the deadlines, while others have short time frames before the deadlines.

    If I am working on something that is statewide (city, county, and district petitions are generally more difficult), and if the conditions are not really bad, I will usually get around 700-1,400 signatures per week (my best weeks in terms of unique signers has been around 1,600-1,700). If I take any days off (sometimes I do if I am feeling burned out, or if I have other things to do, but usually I do not, most of the time, I work every day), or if the weather is bad, or if there are problems getting decent locations, or if a petition is burned out (as in lots of people already signed it), then I may only get around 300-600 per week.

    There are plenty of people out there who can attest to my productivity and effectiveness (some have even testified here on IPR in the past), but I extend an open invitation to everyone who reads IPR, as well as to anyone who is a member of the Libertarian Party (whether they visit IPR or not), to come out in the field and work a petition drive with me. It is one thing to sit online and talk (and notice how the posters making the critical comments are hiding behind fake names and IP anonymizers), but another thing to go out in the field and actually do the work.

    I have been saying for years that more Libertarians need to get off of their rear ends and go out and do in person outreach to the public, and petition drives and voter registrations drives are on of the best ways to do this. If you live in or near a state where the Libertarian Party needs petition signatures to get on the ballot, go out and get some signatures. If you live in a state that has an initiative and/or referendum process, and there is a pro-liberty ballot initiative or referendum happening, that’s a great opportunity for Libertarians to get signatures on those petitions and to disseminate information about the Libertarian Party at the same time. If you live in a state that has partisan voter registration, grab some blank registrations and go out and get people to register as Libertarians. If the state you live in does not have or need any of these things, you can still go out and talk to people, and you could hand out flyers and/or pamphlets and ask people if they want to be on the Libertarian Party’s contact list.

  138. Andy

    dL said: “and I’ve been pretty clear that I reject your anecdotal authority RE: what the population thinks. You keep bringing in your profession as petition signature collector as if it has some relevance to the discussion. It has no relevance.”

    I would say going out and actually talking to large volumes of people all over the country, from every demographic you could imagine, gives one a lot of data about the political views and attitudes of the public.

    This is not my only data, but I think that it is relevant data, and is relevant to the discussion.

    “Granted, the open border position does not have plurality support. But neither does your position. The open border position, however, IS the libertarian position. And the LP’s mission is not to stick its finger in the wind.”

    The “open borders” position is held by a TINY minority of the population. Only a few naive left libertarians, far left Marxists groups (like the Socialist International group I mentioned on another thread), and certain corporate elite and New World Order elitists.

    Also, you are once again MISREPRESENTING the actual Libertarian position on immigration, because, 1) the purist position is that all land should be privatized, and coercive government should be abolished, and this does NOT mean “open borders”, it means PRIVATE PROPERTY BORDERS, which means private property owners can make immigration policies that are as relaxed or as strict as they want; and 2) even the Libertarian Party platform says that people can be rejected if they pose a threat to “security, health, or property”, and this is perfectly within libertarian principles, and even if the state did not exist, there’d still be a market demand for this (see my Disney World security example).

    Most of the public actually DOES support various restrictions on immigration. Some people may differ on what those restrictions ought to be, but hardly ANYONE (beyond lefty libertarians, Marxists, and New World Order/corporate elites) supports your position.

    My position is that there should be some immigration, but that socialists, communists, and theocrats should be weeded out. It should be made more difficult to become an American citizen (part of the weeding out process). Immigrants who want to be citizens should have to pass a difficult test on the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution, and on free market economics, and a 2nd amendment class, which would include trips to a firing range. All welfare programs for immigrants should be cut off immediately. Immigrants who commit crimes should face deportation. Don’t allow people in the country who are carrying communicable diseases (like Ebola).

    Don’t think that the government should have any control over immigration? Fine, privatize all of the land and infrastructure, abolish coercive government, and allow private property owners to determine their own migration/immigration policies. I’m all in favor of this, so let me know when you abolish the state and get the ancap society going.

  139. robert capozzi

    dL: The open border position, however, IS the libertarian position. And the LP’s mission is not to stick its finger in the wind.

    me: I don’t believe we’ve ever heard from you as to who the authority is that established open borders as “the” L position. Care to try again?

    You DO see the difference between dL’s position and “the” position, yes?

    Recognize that there are NAPsters who don’t buy the open borders, not to mention non-NAPster Ls who don’t subscribe to that viewpoint.

    I did laugh with you on the second sentence. That’s not much of a mission! 😉 I note that even “hardcore” NAPsters do stick their fingers in the wind. They often temper their rhetoric to not sound TOO outrageous.

  140. paulie Post author

    This conversation should be deleted, and the participants given a time out.

    Absolutely not…it should be presented as exhibit A of the underlying garbage views behind the anti-libertarian language in plank 3.4.

    I don’t think, or at least hope not, George meant the whole thread. More specific request may be in order. I’m not leaning towards deleting any discussions that already happened, but I am leaning towards erasing anything new I see from “astonished” AKA “great ideas.” Despite a different writing style COGS aka CGI aka astonished is showing more and more signs of being the same trolling individual or collective that has plagued IPR in the past. As such, he/she/it/they are not welcome here. I would ask everyone to not respond to he/she/it/them so as to make the subsequent deletion less complicated. I’d prefer not to erase comments from our normal participants or make them seem out of context by deleting the comments they refer back to.

  141. dL

    I don’t think, or at least hope not, George meant the whole thread. More specific request may be in order. I’m not leaning towards deleting any discussions that already happened,

    People are perfectly capable of weeding out the extraneous bits. And to be honest, if someone appeals to his profession as a source of authority on the topic being discussed, then his profession(as it relates to the topic) becomes fair game. And sarcasm as a means to dismiss clearly incredible claims is legitimate technique. If a comment goes out out of bounds, then the comment should be deleted, not the thread.

  142. dL

    me: I don’t believe we’ve ever heard from you as to who the authority is that established open borders as “the” L position. Care to try again?

    Open borders is dL’s position, And open borders IS the libertarian position. Period. Through argument it can be shown the closed/regulated border objection sooner or later reduces down to one of three categories: bigotry, authoritarian lunacy or idiocy.

    Recognize that there are NAPsters who don’t buy the open borders,

    Yeah, the HoppeBots. And Hoppe’s essay on race realistic libertarianism patently demonstrates that the Hoppe position usually falls within the category of bigotry.

    not to mention non-NAPster Ls who don’t subscribe to that viewpoint.

    There is no “non-NAPster” LP L. You have to sign a pledge, Bob.

  143. robert capozzi

    dL, I can’t say I agree that it all boils down to those 3 things, and while you are satisfied that it can be “shown,” there are just SO MANY holes in your statement, I wouldn’t know where to begin.

    On the pledge, surely you know that many signed it with the Nolan/non-violence interpretation. Some may have been NAPsters when they signed it, but over the years they found NAPsterism to be too simplistic, a nice sentiment, unworkable, or unsatisfactory in other ways. Many have recited the Pledge of Allegiance and yet not bought into all of it. Many sign contracts without the intention of adhering to every word in it. Many sign Ts&Cs on the Internet without even reading it. Etc.

    Surely you recognize that having signed a pledge doesn’t prove that someone is currently an exponent of NAPsterism.

  144. Great ideas

    Andrew Jacobs: “If I am working on something that is statewide (city, county, and district petitions are generally more difficult), and if the conditions are not really bad, I will usually get around 700-1,400 signatures per week (my best weeks in terms of unique signers has been around 1,600-1,700). ” How would someone know whether you are telling the truth here? For example, what are the last five contracts you worked on and would they tell us how many signatures you averaged? Who would we contact to find out and how might they be reached?

    George Phillies: “This conversation should be deleted, and the participants given a time out.” Everyone who agrees with George, raise your right hand and hold it out straight!

    Paul Frankel: “I am leaning towards erasing anything new I see from “astonished” AKA “great ideas.” You see folks, you can take the boy out of Soviet Russia but you can’t take Soviet Russia out of that boy.

    dL: “People are perfectly capable of weeding out the extraneous bits. And to be honest, if someone appeals to his profession as a source of authority on the topic being discussed, then his profession(as it relates to the topic) becomes fair game. And sarcasm as a means to dismiss clearly incredible claims is legitimate technique. If a comment goes out out of bounds, then the comment should be deleted, not the thread.” Thank you, at least someone around here is not a special snowflake and can still tolerate the free exchange of opinions without being triggered into spasms of rage and uncontrollable need to silence those they disagree with or who ask questions they don’t like. More people should have this attitude.

  145. dL

    there are just SO MANY holes in your statement, I wouldn’t know where to begin.

    Advance an argument for border control, and I will show it.

    Surely you recognize that having signed a pledge doesn’t prove that someone is currently an exponent of NAPsterism.

    Of course… i don’t believe in eternal pledges or eternal membership. And obviously that’s not what I wrote nor what I implied. If you come to reject the pledge, then you have effectively exited the the LP. There is no “non-NAPster” LP L.

    Analogy: former christian church member turned atheist. If s/o comes to reject Jesus Christ as her savior(the christian pledge), then she is no longer a Christian. I don’t care what church she belongs to or used to belong to. Nor how much money she might have donated to the church in the past. She is not a Christian.

    NOTE: arguing over things like this that are obviously trivially true gets filed under the category of “idiocy.”

  146. robert capozzi

    dL: Advance an argument for border control, and I will show it.

    Me: My sense is that most Americans believe that having some control of the borders is a good idea to provide for the common defense and to maintain domestic tranquility. This is consistent with the common law standard of “the reasonable man.”

    In the extreme in the other direction, very few believe that anyone can go anywhere.

    dL: Analogy: former christian church member turned atheist. If s/o comes to reject Jesus Christ as her savior(the christian pledge), then she is no longer a Christian. I don’t care what church she belongs to or used to belong to. Nor how much money she might have donated to the church in the past. She is not a Christian.
    NOTE: arguing over things like this that are obviously trivially true gets filed under the category of “idiocy.”

    Me: Not a very useful analogy, since a Christian who turns atheist is no longer interested in advancing the Good Word that JC reportedly spoke 2000 years ago.

    If a L became a Marxist, your analogy would hold. Instead, many Ls — on reflection — find Randian/Rothbardianism to be both wanting and ineffective in the process for advancing a world of liberty. Many of the words in the LP’s documents still make a lot of sense to them (and me). Adhering to a rigid NAP catechism does not.

    What is “obviously trivially true” for you is not at all sensible to me. Your poor analogy is highly unpersuasive.

  147. dL

    My sense is that most Americans believe that having some control of the borders is a good idea to provide for the common defense and to maintain domestic tranquility. This is consistent with the common law standard of “the reasonable man.”

    Appeal to popularity re: the the truth of the proposition is the “ad populum” logical fallacy. And it’s an easy fallacy to spot.

    Politically, it makes for bad strategy in 3rd party politics b/c the other 2 parties already advocate for border control. Effective 3rd party politics does not need 51% plurality. Indeed, from political science 101, a 3rd party playing the median voter game of single-peaked preferences is a 100% loser strategy.

    Practically, increased border control by the United States has been concomitant with spiraling militarism and perpetual National Offense. The relationship between border control and domestic tranquility of a common defense is effectively inversely related.

    File Under: Idiot Argument Category

    Me: Not a very useful analogy, since a Christian who turns atheist is no longer interested in advancing the Good Word that JC reportedly spoke 2000 years ago.

    And Bob Capozzi turned lessAnarchist has repeatedly informed us countless times that he is no longer interested in advancing the Word of “Founding 20-Somthings 89 young-ins” reportedly spoken 45 years ago.

    Analogy, quite apropos…

  148. robert capozzi

    dL: Appeal to popularity re: the the truth of the proposition is the “ad populum” logical fallacy. And it’s an easy fallacy to spot.

    Me: I agree that popularity doesn’t make a position “right.” The deeper point is: there is no right or wrong in politics or much of anything. In politics, there are degrees of reasonableness, degrees, btw, that impossible to measure.

    dL: Politically, it makes for bad strategy in 3rd party politics b/c the other 2 parties already advocate for border control. Effective 3rd party politics does not need 51% plurality. Indeed, from political science 101, a 3rd party playing the median voter game of single-peaked preferences is a 100% loser strategy.

    Me: Right. It’s about positioning, which is an art informed by data and judgment. Actually, with the whole sanctuary cities issue, the Ds are associated with lax border control and the Rs with “tough” border control. GJ positioned himself in the middle, leaning toward where the Ds, would be my assessment.

    That was about right, in my judgment.

    Taking a range of extremist positions based on deontological NAPsterism clearly doesn’t work electorally. We saw that TeamGov — by positioning themselves in the middle with sellable lessarchist positions — garnered FAR more attention and many fold more votes.

    Was the ‘16 ticket a perfect execution of a lessarchist approach? No. Did I have quibbles with their positions? Yes. By the numbers, though, way more effective than previous efforts.

    dL: Practically, increased border control by the United States has been concomitant with spiraling militarism and perpetual National Offense. The relationship between border control and domestic tranquility of a common defense is effectively inversely related. File Under: Idiot Argument Category
    ME: Haven’t you heard: Correlation doesn’t imply causation.

    Johnson delivered the lessarchist message on military spending. End the wars. Stop with the regime change insanity. And he noted the Wall is a crazy idea. Expand guest worker programs. Great lessarchist positioning. Sometimes, his execution was awkward and uneven, but he reached far more people with his message than previous NAPster candidates.

    dL: And Bob Capozzi turned lessAnarchist has repeatedly informed us countless times that he is no longer interested in advancing the Word of “Founding 20-Somthings 89 young-ins” reportedly spoken 45 years ago.

    Me: Mos’ def’. Thanks for paying attention.

    You may not recognize that politics is a game played in the world of mammon, whereas spirituality is a game played out in one’s own soul. They are both games, but very different ones.

    Politics is about relative truths and advancing ideas that make life a bit easier and fairer. Spirituality is about finding peace and love in one’s heart by aligning one’s thoughts with the ineffable idea of absolute Truth. Very different, don’t you agree?

  149. astonished

    Great ideas: “George Phillies: “This conversation should be deleted, and the participants given a time out.” Everyone who agrees with George, raise your right hand and hold it out straight!”

    Has anyone else noticed that about the only reason George Phillies comes around here anymore is to try to shut down other people’s conversations if he does not approve of their content? He was trying to do the same thing to Robert Capozzi in another thread, and was not successful then either. Perhaps Professor Phillies feels a lack in his life, now that he has retired, of situations where he is in control of a group, as he was in his classroom when he was lecturing his students.

  150. dL

    there are degrees of reasonableness, degrees, btw, that impossible to measure.

    Bob’s position: there are reasonable positions and unreasonable positions, impossible however to measure which is which. Congrats, Bob, you just made the epistemological skepticism argument for no measurable reasonable case for authority. Of course, you could go the other way if you abide by the authoritarian presumption: no measurable reasonable case for liberty. Which presumption do you hold Bob? Presumption of liberty or presumption authority? Can’t wiggle out out of that box you just walked into.

  151. robert capozzi

    dL, not 100% sure what you are getting at, but I prefer to maximize liberty and minimize government authority. How that’s measured is often quite difficult if not impossible.

    I presume there will be government tomorrow, even though I’d like there to be a lot less of it. Based on government spending and regulation trends, odds are very high that government will spend more tomorrow, too. I would like to see that trend reversed.

    It’s also the case that most still have a fair amount of liberty, although the trends don’t look so positive to me.

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