Cindy Sheehan’s Veterans Day message to George Bush

From sfbg.com by way of On The Wilder Side

Dear George,

I am writing this to you on the fifth Veteran’s Day I have mourned the death of my son, Casey Sheehan. Casey was a soldier in the Army. You killed my oldest son with your lies and greed for Empire. Casey never became a Veteran because he came home in one of those pesky flag draped coffins that your mother doesn’t want to bother her “pretty mind” with.

During that other illegal and immoral war that you and your VP, Dick, had the good sense to dodge, your mother never had to go through one second of worry for your safety, did she? You were too busy doing your drugs and going AWOL to bother her “pretty mind” about that. What galls me the most when I think about my brave and honorable son’s needless and untimely death, is that you were so cowardly and worthless when you were his age and you had the nerve to condemn thousands of our children to death or disability with your lies.

George, I have written you letters before. I have demanded your resignation and also promised you that I would work for your impeachment. If you remember, I even started a peace camp of thousands of protesters outside your Crawford ranch and I even tried to get into Congress so I could impeach your criminal hide. You never answer my letters and you have never had the integrity to tell me what “Noble Cause” killed my son. This is the last letter you will receive from me while you are infecting our Oval Office, but it won’t be the last time you hear from me.

George, I guess I could “rest on my laurels” and allow you to slink off into the quiet desperation of leaving the White House as the most detested President in American history, but that is not enough for me: Millions are dead, wounded, displaced and suffering life-long pain because of your actions. You are the number one terrorist in the world today and this country catches, tortures and prosecutes “terrorists” doesn’t it? Haven’t you said so yourself? You have turned the USA into a nation of imperial mobsters and we have the ignominy of being torturers and you do not deserve to retire with any kind of peace or honor.

George, if Nancy Pelosi and the other complicit Congressional leaders won’t hold you accountable, I will. This nation has a very short memory and we have been assaulted on a daily basis by your arrogance and stupidity and most of America is buying the hype of pre-packaged and aggressively marketed, Hope, but I don’t have the option of burying your deadly legacy like it never happened and moving on. The hole in my heart that used to contain the living and breathing presence of my son will never heal and you are the one who put it there. If you think you are going to live a comfortable life in Dallas, or Paraguay, or wherever, a la Johnson, Nixon, McNamara or Kissinger, you are wrong.

George, this country too hastily moved on from the abomination of Vietnam and we never healed from that horror because we never did the hard work of holding American leaders accountable for crimes against humanity. If history repeats itself, as it tends to do, you won’t be held accountable for your crimes, but I won’t let you forget the faces of my son, Casey and his comrades or the legion of faces of the Afghan and Iraqi dead. Are your dreams haunted by the souls of the people massacred by your hubris?

If I have to buy or erect a billboard near your home and plaster it with the faces of the people you murdered, I will. I will also work with my contacts in the international community to have you indicted for crimes against humanity. I will do whatever it takes to be the thorn in your side as you have been my sorrow. There are many people around the world who thirst for justice and healing who will join me in this noble cause.

This Nation forgot the faces of the 58,000 plus Americans and millions of Vietnamese who were slaughtered for imperial greed, but they won’t forget the faces of the ones you have sacrificed on your altar of deception or the ones who will be sacrificed for the President Elect’s continued War OF Terror. If Obama does not declare a speedy and complete end to the USA’s war of terror on the world, someone should set up camp at his vacation home (which I bet will be nicer than Crawford, TX in August).

On this Veterans Day, I make this pledge to you. Unless we stop the bloody tide of war for profit and US hegemony by seeking justice for your war crimes and crimes against our Constitution, more Casey’s will die and more countries that unfortunately lie in the path of imperial conquest will be decimated.

On this Veteran’s Day, I also send my love and support to the Vets from all wars who live on our streets and are substance abusers because they can’t get help from this hypocritical government. My heart goes out to all Gold Star Mothers who have nothing but a box of medals, a triangular folded flag and memories of a dead child and regrets for a life not lived with him/her. The war machine in collaboration with our government chews people up and rolls on oiled with pain.

George you broke your oath to “faithfully” execute your office and you betrayed the troops that you command due to nothing but election fraud, but I will not break my promise to you.

Cindy Sheehan
Mother of Casey Austin Sheehan
KIA in Sadr City, Baghdad
April 04, 2004

389 thoughts on “Cindy Sheehan’s Veterans Day message to George Bush

  1. Steven Druckenmiller

    No, she’s not “right on”. Casey Sheehan re-enlisted with full knowledge and understanding of where he was going and what might happen.

    Is mother is sullying her son’s free choice to re-enlist and join 1CAV just like he wanted to.

    George Bush didn’t “kill” SPC Sheehan any more than his squad leader killed him.

    And if you want to blame George Bush, blame the American people who fund the war (still!) and voted for him.

  2. Steven Druckenmiller

    anyone who says that Bush stole the elections is “that kind of special”. There is absolutely *zero* evidence to support that piece of idiocy.

  3. polarbear

    For anyone who hasn’t figured ir out yet…
    Pauli cannoli is another cool aid drinker trying to promote (p*mp) another wacko weirdo, extreme site.

    To Crazy Cindy (Google the term “crazy cindy” and get the truth, not Pauli cannoli’s drivel) I say:

    Cindy,

    This is your most disgusting rant ever. You have finally come off the rails completely.

    You and your hired thugs just finished ripping off the Liberals in SF at least $600,000.00, most of which ended up in your pockets. On Veteran’s Day, here you are, using poor Casey’s coffin as a soapbox (again).

    You are a MoonBat and a carpetbagger as well.

    Folks, Google “Crazy Cindy” and get the FACTS, not Cindy’s frothing-at-the-mouth drivel. A Google search for “cindy sheehan private grief” will take you directly to pictures of Crazy Cindy posing for the media at an event she created just for the photo-op.

    It’s disgusting!

    Cindy, you’ve made more than $1,000,000.00 off Casey’s death. Stop it! Respect your son. You let him go 783 days without a headstone so you could use little white crosses with his name on them as props for PR photo ops. You even accepted money to pose for Vanity Fair magazine, while lying on top of his grave. Pictures don’t lie!

    Your arrogance has now maxed-out when you refer to the President and Vice-President of the United States of America as though they were your peers.

    Like it or not, they, like President-Elect Obama are our elected representatives. You couldn’t even get elected in oh-so-nutty San Francisco. So sit down and STFU. You represent the unwashed, the uneducated and the unhinged.

    And just FYI, those aren’t “pesky” flag-draped coffins. That is how we honor those who have fallen in the service of our country. We are forever in their debt.

    Shame on you “Media-Whore”. You gave out condoms with your name and campaign website on them and you dare to write this crap on the day we honor those who served?

    Then again, the truly insane dare to do anything, After all, they’re Crazy, right, Cindy?

    Even the SF bag guardian and Google are so embarrassed that they’ve pulled that article from their results.

    The MoonBat/carpetbagger is finished,

  4. polarbear

    BTW, Pauli,

    Google won’t count links from this blog.

    Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    And no, I won’t tell you why, putz.

  5. polarbear

    Out of 1,500,000 pages on the web G lists for “Cindy Sheehan”

    cindysheehanwatch.com is either #4 or #5

    Because it is good, solid, honest, content about “Crazy Cindy” (#1 for that phrase)

    You’re either a MoonBat or a clueless spammer

    Either way, let it go. The truth is out there and you can’t stop people from seeing it. And you can’t scam Google with cheesey links, Slick.

  6. usickbastard

    mr druckenmiller, are you retarded or insane? because for you to write that someone is “dumb as the day is long” in response to a woman who is mourning the death of her son. regardless of whether or not you believe that the illegal war is justified and that george bush was elected fairly (when indeed there is MOUNTAINS of evidence supporting the fact that he CHEATED) leaves me no other choice to believe that you are either crazy or retarded or both. i am stunned by your callousness and impressed by your ability to lie to yourself as artfully as you do. i don’t know what happened to you to make you so ill, but i would bet money that you are a very lonely, miserable, individual who has no personal power and has never felt love in your life. that would make anyone insane so i don’t fault you that. if i were you i would want to slap my parents for the disservice they have done you and society by churning out yet another asshole in the world. my only consoling thought is that being as ill and lacking in even the most basic range of human emotions (e m p a t h y, have you heard of it?) i can only hope, and i REALLY REALLY DO, that you have not found anyone crazy or stupid enough to let you breed. i don’t understand your kind, the ones that enjoy being cruel but i have figured out that people who are assholes, LIKE being assholes. it brings them joy. that is the category you fall in and when you come home from your job at the dmv or post office where you spend your days being an asshole, you actually go out of your way, put out the extra energy that it takes to go online and be an asshole some more. you can take a 15 minute break you know… the world will still be here for you to be a dick to when you get back. sheesh.

  7. paulie cannoli Post author

    I really don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m sorry.

    I don’t know what polar bear is mumbling about either. Does anyone?

  8. polarbear

    Paulie.

    See, loser, I put in the “e”. Happy now?

    People here are trying to have a legitimate discussion about Crazy Cindy’s latest rant.

    STFU and enjoy the 1 visitor each day who visits your pathetic little blog.

    Good night and goodbye.

  9. polarbear

    I was right. The ‘tard is a spammer. Soon he’ll monetize the site and he’ll reap his reward.

    spam

  10. paulie cannoli Post author

    It’s not me that is monetizing the site, cupcake. As a matter of fact, I offered to pay money to keep it going, but it’s too rich for my blood.

    Wow, can you try to at least get one thing right?

  11. polarbear

    good night my immigrant neighbor.

    “cupcake”

    I like that. You sound like one of those tv tough-guys.

  12. Deran

    Not to worry; these trolls slamming paulie cannoli and Cindy Sheehan are just sad-sack Republicans. All pissy and whingie abt their barbaric neocon nightmare is over (I’m no Obama fan; but you have to be happy those criminals Cheney and Bush won’t darken our door step again. I’d like to think they get to vacation in a nice 8×10 cage in Gitmo for a few years.

  13. G.E.

    Casey Sheehan re-enlisted with full knowledge and understanding of where he was going and what might happen.

    Yes, he was a parasite trying to suck my tax dollars in exchange for murdering foreigners and destroying their property. His mother’s a commie to such a degree that I’m glad Pelosi beat her.

  14. G.E.

    For the record, I hate Cindy Sheehan, and Al Gore and John Kerry. But Bush stole the elections, and anyone who denies that is denying plainly obvious fact. In the case of Gore, especially, I think we’re LUCKY he stole it.

  15. paulie cannoli Post author

    His mother’s a commie to such a degree that I’m glad Pelosi beat her.

    I’ll take an antiwar leftist over a military-industrial-congressional stooge like Pelosi any day and twice on Sundays.

  16. Steven Druckenmiller

    Yes, he was a parasite trying to suck my tax dollars

    Don’t pay your taxes then, tough talker.

    But Bush stole the elections, and anyone who denies that is denying plainly obvious fact.

    Prove it. I saw paulie was going to “prove it” earlier, but he still hasn’t had the inclination to do so.

  17. G.E.

    Don’t pay your taxes then, tough talker.

    I have no interest in being thrown in one of the state’s animal cages. The cost of not paying taxes is higher than the cost of paying them; particularly sales taxes, etc.

  18. G.E.

    I’ll take an antiwar leftist over a military-industrial-congressional stooge like Pelosi any day and twice on Sundays.

    Me too. But look at Sheehan’s platform — she’s not anti-war. She wants a hardcore war against the American populace. She advocates more aggression than Pelosi.

  19. Steven Druckenmiller

    someone calls Soldiers “parasites” but I am the one lacking empathy.

    you’re a psycho, G.E.

  20. G.E.

    Would you prefer “hired killers”?

    “Soldiers” sign up to receive welfare, but instead of having the decency to sit home and watch Jerry Springer, they instead get shipped off (on my dime) to remote spots of the world, where they’re allowed to destroy life and property with impunity.

    I’m a psycho for recognizing this reality?

    Let me ask you this: Why can’t the murderous military be funded voluntarily? Why most the government point its guns at me and force me to give up 50% of my earnings in order to pay for Iraqi girls to be raped? I’m sure you’d be happy to make up my share.

  21. usickbastard

    the fact that g.e. can’t distinguish the difference from a kid who signs up to the military because he a)has no other way to pay for college or make a decent living b) find a way out of the ghettos c) sadly believes the lies and the hype and thinks he is defending his country, his family, his friends, which is a very noble endeavor… the mostly poor young americans who join the military don’t do it to “suck your tax dollar” would anyone in their right mind go and be willing to die and kill for the right to “suck your tax dollar”? that is an idiotic statement. who profits from the wars? do you think the kids over there doing the dirty work of those too cowardly to do it themselves are profiting? they are committing suicide in droves for fuck sake…
    mr druckenmiller, you certainly did exhibit a disgusting lack of empathy and i’m sorry if you feel i picked on you, yours was the first response and shocking to me how callous. that has nothing to do with the ludicrous shortsighted, unexamined borderline sociopathic opinions of g.e. i feel like i’ve stepped into the twilight zone here. the selfishness and callous disregard for human life is fucking insanity. you people aren’t in jr high school, you are grown ups, fucking evolve already. after reading this board it really is much clearer to me how the psychopathic, criminal faction that is running the show has not only survived but has thrived and flourished into the efficient killing machine it has become. you don’t appear to give a shit about human life, why would you expect your “leaders” to?

    do you not have kids you love? friends you love? if you are capable of loving then how can you not imagine YOUR child over there, YOU over there.

    if i sound preachy, oh well, it had to be said.

    “there by the grace of god go i” and YOU too for that matter, and just because it isn’t you now, doesn’t mean it couldn’t have been and won’t be in the future.

  22. mscrib

    G.E.,

    Come on. If you support any form of state-like organization in your community (even if the covenant is voluntary), defense is necessary. Defense also happens to be the only pure public good I can think of, which means that it can’t be voluntarily funded (like, a la carte in your anarchist voluntary community organization) in an economically efficient manner.

  23. paulie cannoli Post author

    Prove it. I saw paulie was going to “prove it” earlier, but he still hasn’t had the inclination to do so.

    I didn’t say I was going to. I said I can, and maybe might later, but that I didn’t feel like it. At this point, I still don’t. Maybe later. Maybe not.

  24. paulie cannoli Post author

    can’t distinguish the difference from a kid who signs up to the military because he a)has no other way to pay for college or make a decent living b) find a way out of the ghettos c) sadly believes the lies and the hype and thinks he is defending his country, his family, his friends, which is a very noble endeavor… the mostly poor young americans who join the military don’t do it to “suck your tax dollar” would anyone in their right mind go and be willing to die and kill for the right to “suck your tax dollar”?

    I agree. Let’s place the blame at the top where it belongs, the people who create, run, and get the bulk of the profits from the killing machine. They have created an economic system (through government-corporate collusion) that leaves few other options at the bottom; they create a culture of violence through the drug war; they create and coercively fund the propaganda to entice young people to join.

    Defense also happens to be the only pure public good I can think of, which means that it can’t be voluntarily funded (like, a la carte in your anarchist voluntary community organization) in an economically efficient manner.

    I disagree, but even if you are correct, making it more efficient does not justify coercive funding. If killing half the population made the country more economically efficient, it would still be wrong.

  25. G.E.

    a kid who signs up to the military because he a)has no other way to pay for college or make a decent living b) find a way out of the ghettos c) sadly believes the lies and the hype and thinks he is defending his country, his family, his friends, which is a very noble endeavor

    Yes, the government creates the situation that leads to A, B, and C. But desperation is no reason to initiate force against me and agree to murder brown people and destroy their property. The soldier who volunteers out of desperation is no different from the thief who commits armed robbery to feed his family (except the armed robber doesn’t get a recurring salary, benefits for life, typically doesn’t kill, and faces risk of imprisonment).

    I agree that the vast majority of the kids who sign up are themselves victims — just like the vast majority of women who butcher their unborn babies are victims. The immorality of their actions cannot be excused, even if they can be understood within a societal context.

    the mostly poor young americans who join the military don’t do it to “suck your tax dollar”

    Oh, they’d do it for free, then? Can I opt out of paying and get a 50% tax cut?

    would anyone in their right mind go and be willing to die and kill for the right to “suck your tax dollar”?

    Many of them are not in their “right minds.” They’re sociopaths, and they come back worse than they were before. Hence the suicides.

    Come on. If you support any form of state-like organization in your community (even if the covenant is voluntary), defense is necessary.

    Yes, defense. And it’s not a public good. See my article here: http://www.citizeneconomists.com/view_articles_detail.php?aid=138

  26. mscrib

    Yes, defense. And it’s not a public good. See my article here: http://www.citizeneconomists.com/view_articles_detail.php?aid=138

    Well, it’s a public good in that it is nonexcludable (my neighbor’s security is in part a function of my security, so it wouldn’t make sense to exclude me from protection, not to mention that this would be difficult in practice to do) and nonrival (my consumption of defense doesn’t prevent simultaneous consumption by my neighbor), the definition of “public good.” You can’t have any sort of community defense without facing a free-rider problem, which is why an efficient outcome would require everyone to pay for it.

    The only way around it is if there are no protective forces and everyone is responsible for protecting their property. However, many people (including libertarians) see benefits to some sort of national- or community-wide defense.

  27. Steven Druckenmiller

    Here are the signs you’re dealing with a hyperemotional and irrational individual categorically incapable of discussing anything in less than a tone of hysteria:

    1. “Murder brown people” – oooh, G.E. how progressive you are to care about “brown people”. WTF does it matter what color their skin is? Quit sucking up to the Left.

    2. ““Soldiers” sign up to receive welfare, but instead of having the decency to sit home and watch Jerry Springer” – Ahh, all Soldiers are dumb white trash, right G.E.? Go ahead and say it. As a matter of fact, I want you to e-mail it to me, with your full name. If you want to be such a mighty man and dog out all Service Members as parasitic white trash, get up and do it, face-to-face, man-to-man. Tell everyone who you are.

    I have the sneaking suspicion that you don’t say this terrible shit when you’re around actual people because you don’t have the balls.

  28. mscrib

    If you want to be such a mighty man and dog out all Service Members as parasitic white trash, get up and do it, face-to-face, man-to-man. Tell everyone who you are.

    1. This is the Internet. Even if G.E. were using his real name in an e-mail, it wouldn’t be “face-to-face, man-to-man.” Again, this is the Internet. I guess that’s a limitation of this medium…

    2. On using real names on the Internet: some of us would rather not be subject, and have our fringe political ramblings subject, to boss/co-worker/acquaintance Googling.

  29. paulie cannoli Post author

    GE’s real name has been printed many times, and he makes no secret of where he lives.

    As for the free rider problem, it’s not insurmountable. Many people volunteer to help their communities in various ways, despite the fact that others don’t.

  30. G.E.

    GE’s real name has been printed many times, and he makes no secret of where he lives.

    I just pasted a published article under my real name.

    Druckenmiller is a socialist. And he accuses ME of “sucking up to the left?” Wow.

    I have the “balls” to exercise my First Amendment rights to anyone who cares to listen. If that person then chooses to initiate force against me, then I can choose to exercise my Second Amendment rights.

  31. G.E.

    all Soldiers are dumb white trash, right G.E.?

    No. A disproportionate number of them are non-whites. As for being “dumb,” yes, most of them are. I’m sorry you’re so Politically Correct that objective reality offends you.

    This is a site for devotees of third parties. Is there now a neocon third party that I don’t know about? Or do you represent the Communist Party USA?

  32. mscrib

    As for the free rider problem, it’s not insurmountable. Many people volunteer to help their communities in various ways, despite the fact that others don’t.

    That’s true. And people are not perfectly rational (although they tend to be more or less rational, or at least align their preferences/act in a way that makes them functionally rational). However, an altruistic approach to national defense would tend to break down as the system gets more complex. That being said, I have never read anything that convinced me the national defense free rider problem could be resolved.

    Armed forces are NOT lighthouses.

  33. Steven Druckenmiller

    have our fringe political ramblings subject, to boss/co-worker/acquaintance Googling.

    I wonder why that is? If you’re ashamed of what you have to say, then maybe you shouldn’t be saying it.

    I just pasted a published article under my real name.

    Oh, did it call soldiers the parasitic white-trash you’ve been implying they are?

    Druckenmiller is a socialist.

    Overused, meaningless term, so it can be safely ignored.

    I am still curious, G.E., why you said “murder brown people”…is it the color that bothers you? Or the murder? And if it’s the murder, why mention the color?

  34. Steven Druckenmiller

    As for being “dumb,” yes, most of them are.

    There’s a statement that’s screaming for some evidence and verification.

    I’m sure “smarty guy you” doesn’t have any, though.

    What’s the matter, G.E.? Did you get picked on a lot by the big, tough boys at school? Is that why you play a tough guy on the internet?

  35. G.E.

    Did you read my article?

    In a free market, the protection of life and property would be handled by private contract. When your life or property rights were infringed upon, your insurer would pay you damages. It would be in the interest of insurers to fund private defense organizations, both for policing matters, and “collective” defense. The former would be incredibly cheap on a per-household basis. The only “freeriders” in such a system would be individuals who chose not to insure themselves against acts of aggression. Yes, they’d benefit from the insurer-funded policing and defense agencies, but the incentive to “free ride” would be greatly mitigated by the fact that these people would not collect damages if they were victimized.

  36. G.E.

    There’s a statement that’s screaming for some evidence and verification.

    I’m sure “smarty guy you” doesn’t have any, though.

    Here are two quick ones:

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/worklife/08/27/army.school.ap/index.html

    http://www.parapundit.com/archives/003026.html

    What’s the matter, G.E.? Did you get picked on a lot by the big, tough boys at school?

    No, actually I was one of those boys, and I deeply regret behaving that way. I was animalized by the concentration camps known as public schools.

    Is that why you play a tough guy on the internet?

    How am I “playing tough”? I’m simply advocating free-market capitalism and the right to protect my life, liberty, and property without interference from the government. I guess that is “tough” compared to a socialist who needs the government guns to steal from innocent people in order to fund his “macho” programs of murdering and property destruction.

  37. mscrib

    I wonder why that is? If you’re ashamed of what you have to say, then maybe you shouldn’t be saying it.

    I would prefer that not everyone I interact with on a daily basis know my political leanings. It’s none of their business, wouldn’t you agree? And since this is a public site with public comments, I think I’m justified in my semi-anonymity.

    What’s the matter, G.E.? Did you get picked on a lot by the big, tough boys at school? Is that why you play a tough guy on the internet?

    So, you didn’t catch the irony in that post?

  38. Steven Druckenmiller

    The Army does not have IQ tests. So know your shit before you say things like that.

    You can advocate for free-market capitalism without calling people parasites, you know.

    For what it’s worth, I have not said a thing about supporting wars abroad. I’m just taking exception to your general attitude and demeanor.

    Are you saying that dropping out of government-run high schools must make one dumb? What are your academic credentials? And do you really feel that’s the proper metric to rate intelligence?

  39. Steven Druckenmiller

    It’s none of their business, wouldn’t you agree?

    There is a difference between wanting to maintain your private business and publicly (and yes, this board is ‘public’ in the sense that anyone with the motivation to see your words can) stating that Service Members are parasites.

    Guess which politician received the most financial support from the military during the primaries? But hey, military people are “TEH DUMB”, right G.E.?

  40. paulie cannoli Post author

    And do you really feel that’s the proper metric to rate intelligence?

    Not me. Although I’m a college graduate, I came very close to dropping out of high school. Given my lifestyle at the time, it is something of a miracle I even finished junior high.

  41. mscrib

    I wouldn’t have phrased it like that, but–given our all-volunteer military–if you believe that what the military does is morally repugnant, there has to be some point at which you start assigning moral culpability to and/or assuming general incompetence of people who willingly enlist.

  42. paulie cannoli Post author

    I wouldn’t have phrased it like that, but–given our all-volunteer military–if you believe that what the military does is morally repugnant, there has to be some point at which you start assigning moral culpability to and/or assuming general incompetence of people who willingly enlist.

    Not necessarily.

    For example, would you agree that the Nazi Wehrmacht or the Soviet Red Army were morally repugnant institutions? Do you extend that same view to the average grunt enlistee in those militaries?

  43. mscrib

    Note I said:

    “some point at which you start assigning moral culpability to and/or assuming general incompetence of people who willingly enlist.”

    Moral culpability, probably not. Dumb, yes.

  44. Steven Druckenmiller

    Thank you, paulie. I was about to make the same point. Sorry I have been such a douche to you.

    It is absolutely untenable to call everyone who disagrees with you a “parasite”. A lot of people believe a mish-mash of moral and political beliefs and are simply misled or lack understanding. It does not require moral condemnation and/or name-calling.

    There are about 3 million federal civilian employees. There are about (counting the National Guard and Reserves) about 2.5 million members of the military. Are you prepared to stand up and call them all parasites? Really?

  45. Steven Druckenmiller

    mscrib – they’re generally incompetent because they don’t believe what you believe? Is that your statement?

  46. mscrib

    mscrib – they’re generally incompetent because they don’t believe what you believe? Is that your statement?

    Ugh…

    I said “if you believe that what the military does is morally repugnant.” My conclusion is the LOGICAL conclusion GIVEN the initial belief. Get it? I was speaking hypothetically… sheesh!

  47. G.E.

    The Army does not have IQ tests.

    The ASVAB functions as a proxy. See here: http://www.parapundit.com/archives/003026.html

    I scored in the 99th percentile, by the way, and had recruiters bothering me all summer before I started college. They prowled my low-income, rural high school like vultures and swooped up several of my classmates — most of them total morons and a-holes. My wife, by contrast, went to an elite high school in an ultra-ritzy neighborhood. The ASVAB was optional there!

    You can advocate for free-market capitalism without calling people parasites, you know.

    If I was a politically correct leftist like you, I could. But I prefer calling a spade a spade. I take it quite personally when someone robs me at gunpoint.

    Are you saying (1) that dropping out of government-run high schools must make one dumb? (2) What are your academic credentials? (3) And do you really feel that’s the proper metric to rate intelligence?

    Fair questions.

    1. No. In fact, it can make one smarter. But I think it’s a pretty fair generalization to say that, on average, people who drop out of high school are less intelligent and less educated than, say, people with college degrees. Furthermore, the people who join the army didn’t drop out of high school because they hate the state! They did it because, even as horribly substandard and easy to pass as government high school is, they couldn’t. They’re failures.

    2. I have a degree in Finance. I learned much more outside of school, after graduation, than in it.

    3. Highest level of formal education received is not the best metric for assessing intelligent or knowledge, nor is it entirely accurate. But agin, see point #1. If you want to argue that people who drop out of high school and have sub-92 IQs are smarter than the kids who graduate college and seek productive, private-sector employment, then I’d say you’re way off base.

    Guess which politician received the most financial support from the military during the primaries?

    The percentage of active personnel who gave to Ron Paul was still extremely low — a minute number. The rest of them, bloodthirsty neocons for the most part, are totally disengaged. They’re used to RECEIVING money from the government; not giving it to political candidates.

    Those servicemen and women who donated to Ron Paul would constitute the proper size of a collective defense force for the nation. I think about 10,000 active-duty gave to Paul.

    would you agree that the Nazi Wehrmacht or the Soviet Red Army were morally repugnant institutions? Do you extend that same view to the average grunt enlistee in those militaries?

    Anyone who willingly did so, yes. Most were conscripted — like my grandfather, who was a sergeant in WWII. He was told by the government: “Abandon your family and your career and risk your life in the pursuit of murder and property destruction — or we’ll throw you in an animal cage for X years.” So he did what he had to. And he never bragged or even accepted the benefits he earned.

  48. G.E.

    It is absolutely untenable to call everyone who disagrees with you a “parasite”

    The only morality I recognize is the non-initiation of force and adherence to contracts. But I don’t call people who don’t disagree with me “parasites” — I call people who feast on the fruits of my labor without my consent “parasites” because that’s what they are.

  49. G.E.

    And I should clarify: If the U.S. military were reduced to the 10,000 people who donated to Ron Paul and believe in the Constitution, and thus consumed about 1% of the funds it now inhales, and adopted a Ron Paulian foreign policy, I’d still oppose it, because I’m an Unterrified Jeffersonian and Anti-Federalist against a standing army, and I’m an anarcho-capitalist against the existence of the monopoly state… But I’d certainly oppose it less vociferously than I do now.

  50. Steven Druckenmiller

    I call people who feast on the fruits of my labor without my consent “parasites” because that’s what they are.

    Define “consent”.

    Technically speaking, I “dine on the fruits of your labor” on a daily basis. We all do.

    And yes, by definition, if people think that the military serves a moral purpose and join it in that regard, you are calling people who disagree with you about the function of a military “parasites”.

    If I was a politically correct leftist like you, I could.

    There really is a difference between having a modicum of manners and civilization in you and being a “PC Leftist”. But I forgot…our 1% difference on the proper functions of the state makes me a “socialist”.

    I have a degree in Finance

    A degree…as in a B.A., B.S. or what?

  51. Steven Druckenmiller

    I’d still oppose it, because I’m an Unterrified Jeffersonian and Anti-Federalist against a standing army

    What a man.

    Look, G.E., there are two ways to go about convincing people that the State is too large and win them over to your viewpoint. You can act like an ass and insult everybody within earshot or you can use reason and detached discourse to show individuals the logical inconsistencies in their personal and political viewpoints.

    Keeping in mind, of course, that I believe that, given the small amount of libertarians in the country as it is, we have a responsibility to put our best face forward, lest all libertarians are (unfairly, I admit) smeared because you’re just so gung-ho to implement an “anti-PC shock doctrine”.

    Frankly speaking, you remind me of the more doctrinaire leftists and communists. You just insert “parasites” and “sponges” for “capitalist pig-dogs.

  52. G.E.

    A degree…as in a B.A., B.S. or what?

    A B.B.A.

    My full bio:

    J.D. Seagraves is a securities analyst, business consultant, entrepreneur, and financial writer from Saginaw, Michigan.

    J.D. has worked as freelance analyst for numerous private investment newsletters and independent research firms. He continues to write a regular column for Citizen Economists magazine, and his work has been cited by the Wall Street Journal and syndicated by Reuters.

    In 2007 and 2008, J.D. was a congressional district coordinator for the Ron Paul for President campaign. In May of ’08, he gave a nominating speech for Mary Ruwart at the Libertarian Party’s national convention in Denver.

    J.D. earned a degree in Business Finance from Siena Heights University, a private Catholic college in Adrian, Michigan. He also earned a Series 7 stockbroker’s license and worked briefly as a financial planner before becoming an independent analyst. J.D. has been married since 2001, and he and his wife have a daughter who was born in 2006.

    Happy?

    What a man.

    I believe the measure of a man is as a husband and father. I think I do a pretty good job in both regards. And I think I provide for my family, both financially and emotionally, without the need of the state’s aid and without inflicting violence on others. So yes, I think I am “quite a man.” I certainly don’t think it’s unmanly to be a hardcore Jeffersonian.

    we have a responsibility to put our best face forward

    I have a responsibility to myself and my family, not to “libertarians.” I don’t claim ideological kinship with anyone just because they say they’re a “libertarian,” and frankly, anyone who invests energy in the belief that the murderous state can actually be reformed is not my fellow traveler.

  53. Steven Druckenmiller

    I have a responsibility to myself and my family, not to “libertarians.”

    That’s a responsiblity you have chosen not to take, which is fine and fair, but it is also fine and fair for me to judge you reckless for doing so.

    anyone who invests energy in the belief that the murderous state can actually be reformed is not my fellow traveler

    What are the alternatives? It’s reformation or collapse, and collapse is not going to go the way you think it’s going to go.

  54. JimDavidson

    Cindy Sheehan is a bit of a loon. She’d have been a refreshing for Nancy Pelosi’s seat, though. I’m not sure where a homeless camp in Crawford, Texas is helping anything. But it does seem Cindy sincerely cares about the homeless, so that’s kinda nice.

    Cindy is correct. Her son was lied to. Everyone in the USA was lied to. Bush lied, soldiers died. It is exactly the same kind of lie that LBJ told about the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

    LBJ would later say, “Those sailors were just shooting at flying fish.” Or words to that effect. LBJ knew he was lying, but he sent more and more soldiers to fight and bleed and die so he could enjoy more and larger dividend checks from Bell Helicopter and the other defense contractors that paid him off. LBJ was a nasty piece of work whose memory ought to be held in contempt.

    I’m not confident that Bush is the most detested president in history. There were a number whose ratings fell so low they were killed in office. Lincoln comes to mind as one of the most hated presidents. But Bush is clearly scum.

    He is a hateful lying sack of garbage. Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction. Cheney lied. Their lies are now well documented. They violated their oaths of office to uphold the constitution – torture, rendition, ending habeas corpus with neither an invasion nor a rebellion – these things ought to be punished by a trial for each for treason, followed by conviction, followed by execution.

    Cindy is right in some particulars. The USA did not resolve the Vietnam war, Pentagon papers, and Watergate crises, nor did it dismantle the CIA, the FBI, and the other unconstitutional state police forces as it should have done thirty years ago. Nixon should have been tried for treason and executed. His entire gang should have been tried and put in prison, or executed, including Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the rest of them.

    Within a decade of the Frank Church commission on illegal and unconstitutional behavior by the CIA and other state spy agencies, we saw the Iran Contra scandal. Oliver North should have been tried for treason and executed. Poindexter, Helms, Casey – all that lot of rot should have been tried for treason. They weren’t.

    This country has a political ruling class that likes to let filth get away with murder. Why? Partly because the domestic espionage has the goods on nearly every professional politician. Partly because they have no spines. Mostly because they see no need to try for treason and execute others when they know about their own treason.

    Accountability is a bitch. But, the days of reckoning are coming. Yes, the men who spurred them on will sit in judgement of their wrongs, decide and let the shotgun sing the song. The wages of sin is death. And not nearly enough blood of tyrants has been shed.

    George W. Bush has the blood of thousands of American soldiers and millions of non-combatants around the globe on his hands. He is one of the bloodthirsty murderers. He is a war criminal. His torture and rendition programs are treason. He should be tried for war crimes, but only after he has been tried for treason and executed. Everything he has ever owned should be forfeit.

    And some serious reflection on his father, on Bill Clinton, on Rumsfeld, Cheney, Ashcroft, Gonzalez, and the rest ought to be had. I see no reason not to go all the way back to the beginning, have the trials for treason, have the war crimes tribunals, have Nuremberg II right here. Put the entire political class on trial, and execute the lot of them as fast as they are found guilty.

  55. JimDavidson

    Steven, you Americans are cowardly slime. You make me sick. There isn’t a principle in your mind you wouldn’t sell out for a mess of pottage.

  56. G.E.

    What are the alternatives? It’s reformation or collapse, and collapse is not going to go the way you think it’s going to go.

    I’ll take my chances with collapse. In the meantime, I advise people to stockpile consumables, invest in their own education (formal and informal, including the learning of new trades) and productive capacity, strengthen their families and marriages, and get armed to the teeth. And when all that’s covered, buy gold.

  57. Steven Druckenmiller

    I’m coming to realize that there is a heavy cross-section of “libertarians” and “misanthropy”.

    For whatever reason, there libertarians seem to have it in their head that because they have an individualistic viewpoint with respect to the government, that means that they have to have a “fuck the world” attitude with regards to community involvement and citizenship.

    Even in Anarchotopia, there is going to be the need for responsible and caring citizens to participate in private charities and “do-gooder liberal” institutions,

    Libertarianism does not require that you hurl invective like a child or act like a shallowly selfish teenager. Long-term, rational self-interest means that you should get involved and make the body politic a better place.

    But hey, get your guns and stuff, G.E….because that’s what’s going to help.

  58. G.E.

    But hey, get your guns and stuff, G.E….because that’s what’s going to help.

    Yes. “True libertarians” don’t believe in self defense — they entrust it to the government. And don’t dare ever speak ill of the tax-financed hired killers — it might make the rest of us look bad!

    they have to have a “fuck the world” attitude with regards to community involvement and citizenship.

    Community involvement is a great thing. I have never knocked that in the least. I encourage people to join food co-ops, build strong relationships with their neighbors, etc. But you should put your family first — is this a crime in your communitarian eyes? I know communists hate the family and love the state, but jeez.

    Even in Anarchotopia, there is going to be the need for responsible and caring citizens to participate in private charities and “do-gooder liberal” institutions,

    Of course. And that will be wonderful. I’d be much more inclined to donate to private charities if (a) I didn’t get a huge amount of my wealth expropriated by the government, and (b) public charities didn’t crowd private ones out of existence so much. Then again, without the state, there’d be a LOT less NEED for charity.

    Long-term, rational self-interest means that you should get involved and make the body politic a better place.

    The state is utterly intolerable and I’m cheering on its demise. That is making the “body politic” a better place.

  59. Steven Druckenmiller

    I mean, I see some deep irony that you’re a “Jeffersonian”, G.E. Can you point to an example of a more involved man in society and politics than that? If he acted like you, we would still be under the Crown.

    “If once [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.” – Thomas Jefferson

  60. Steven Druckenmiller

    “True libertarians” don’t believe in self defense

    I never said that, did I, G.E.? Are you so intellectually dishonest that you have to twist my words around and ascribe positions to me that I did not take?

    But you should put your family first — is this a crime in your communitarian eyes?

    I didn’t say that either. Your reading abilities are getting worse.

    I’d be much more inclined to donate to private charities if (a) I didn’t get a huge amount of my wealth expropriated by the government,

    Excuses, excuses. “oh, if ONLY the State didn’t take my money, THEN I would donate and get involved!” You’re either inclined to do it or you’re not, and that crap smacks of an excuse.

  61. G.E.

    “If once [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.”

    Yeah, and that’s already happened.

    Jefferson wouldn’t be of a mind that the Beast we now live under would be capable of “reform.” He was an enemy of standing armies and central banking — his mind would explode if he saw the extent to which the government has grown.

    Where do you get this idea that I’m not “involved in society” or that I advocate not being involved? As for politics, if you read my bio you’d know I’ve been pretty involved there, too. I just know that reform is incapable. Still, people like Ron Paul can spread ideas, so like Walter Block said, politics can serve a purpose. Just don’t get illusions that it can change anything, directly.

    If he acted like you, we would still be under the Crown.

    How exactly am I acting that leads you to this conclusion?

  62. G.E.

    I never said that, did I, G.E.? Are you so intellectually dishonest that you have to twist my words around and ascribe positions to me that I did not take?

    I was being sarcastic. You were mocking my recommendation that you arm yourself. As for intellectual dishonesty, you are repeatedly saying that I advocate retreating from society and that I’m somehow posing as “tough” by advocating peace.

    Excuses, excuses. “oh, if ONLY the State didn’t take my money, THEN I would donate and get involved!” You’re either inclined to do it or you’re not, and that crap smacks of an excuse.

    Recommend some charities for me and I can probably tell you what’s wrong with them.

  63. Steven Druckenmiller

    I’m failing to understand how you can simultaneously advocate and prepare for collapse and claim that you’re civic-minded.

    Do you realize the complete and total disaster that is going to ensue when the state collapses? The death and destruction that’s going to happen?

    Reform is the only humanitarian choice. You’re basically cheering on for the death of millions.

  64. Steven Druckenmiller

    Recommend some charities for me and I can probably tell you what’s wrong with them.

    Yeah, gimme that old-timey religion. If you believe that every charity in the old is incorrigible, I think it’s more likely that you’re just not inclined to be involved.

  65. G.E.

    I’m failing to understand how you can simultaneously advocate and prepare for collapse and claim that you’re civic-minded.

    Just got this in my inbox from Gary North:

    I suggest an alternative: inviting a family in the neighborhood to a “recession dinner.” Each family brings a meal. The families share meals: half & half. “we’ll try yours if you try ours.” Find out what others like to eat.

    Home-cooked meals can be cheap. Casseroles, stews, and similar “scoop it out” meals are cheap and don’t involve a lot of preparation time.

    The families share quality time. Time spent this way is cheap. The ambience is free. It’s not “roll ’em through.” It’s also not $3.50 for a dessert.

    People get to know each other.

    We don’t know the names of the families that are not next door. Find out. Re-establish community. That helped get depression-era families through a terrible decade. We
    have lost a sense of community.

    What are you saying? That in order to be a “good citizen,” I have to live recklessly and not prepare myself for the collapse of the global fiat-money system? That is uber-statism right there.

    NAME SOME CHARITIES. I dare you.

  66. G.E.

    You’re basically cheering on for the death of millions.

    You’re cheering on the ultimate mass murderer in human history: the state. You are cheering on the death of BILLIONS.

  67. Steven Druckenmiller

    NAME SOME CHARITIES. I dare you.

    Why on earth would I waste my time? You’ve already shown yourself disinclined to ever be convinced by a priori declaring that there is something wrong with every one.

    You’re cheering on the ultimate mass murderer in human history: the state.

    Hyperbole aside, you are presuming that something more free and less oppressive will rise from the ashes of the present State, and in that you reveal yourself as terribly ignorant.

    The United States Government is bad…except when compared to almost everything else.

  68. Steven Druckenmiller

    That in order to be a “good citizen,” I have to live recklessly and not prepare myself for the collapse of the global fiat-money system? That is uber-statism right there.

    Again, I never said that, did I? Your constant projection is getting tiring.

  69. G.E.

    The United States Government is bad…except when compared to almost everything else.

    HA! It’s the biggest, most intrusive, and destructive entity in human history.

    Again, I never said that, did I?

    YES! And I quote, “I’m failing to understand how you can simultaneously advocate and prepare for collapse and claim that you’re civic-minded.”

  70. G.E.

    You won’t name charities that you give to because you (a) don’t, and/or (b) you don’t know of any charities that don’t promote abortion and/or population control and/or keep people trapped in poverty and/or support military dictators and/or fund the exorbitant salaries of leeches who couldn’t make it in the for-profit sector and/or don’t promote evil statist values, etc.

    If I’m going to give to a charity, it will be one on one time with a child in need. As for not being civic minded, I won a four-county award for doing just that in 1997. Have you ever been recognized for your community service?

  71. Steven Druckenmiller

    HA! It’s the biggest, most intrusive, and destructive entity in human history

    It’s this kind of lack of perspective that makes me believe your intractable misanthropy will never change.

    And, you’re right, what I should have said was “I’m failing to understand how you can simultaneously advocate for collapse and claim to be civic-minded”.

    Prepare away.

  72. G.E.

    It’s this kind of lack of perspective that makes me believe your intractable misanthropy will never change.

    Name one government that comes even close to the current U.S.’s size, intrusiveness, or destruction. You can’t, because there have been none. There have been tyrants who would have liked to be bigger, more intrusive, and more destructive, (Hitler, Stalin, Mao) but they failed. Those tyrants may have inflicted more damage on their home populations, but the U.S. is completely unrivaled in terms of global destruction.

    I’m failing to understand how you can simultaneously advocate for collapse and claim to be civic-minded”.

    Because civic life will be much better once the state is abolished or thoroughly reduced beyond anything one could hope for achieving at the ballot box.

  73. Steven Druckenmiller

    and/or fund the exorbitant salaries of leeches who couldn’t make it in the for-profit sector

    Well, this is the crux of it, isn’t it? Any charity I give to and tell to you, this is exception that’s going to swallow the rule, because you can define “exorbitant” “leeches” and “couldn’t make it” according to your own hyperemotional and irrational terms.

    It should be obvious to anyone with half-a-brain that you’ve deliberately set the above criteria so you can justify your non-involvement.

  74. G.E.

    The only misanthrope is someone who advocates the state. For you have to hate humanity to think a coercive force is needed to stop people from becoming animals. I love humanity and believe in it, which is why I’m an anarchist. Explain to me how I’m a “misanthrope,” or stop leveling that accusation.

  75. Steven Druckenmiller

    Because civic life will be much better once the state is abolished

    Assuming a totalitarian strongman doesn’t take it place.

    But like I said, you fooling yourself into believing the collapse of this State is going to lead to Anarchotopia shows how grossly ignorant of history you are.

  76. Thomas L. Knapp

    I have trouble blaming Sheehan for her tendency to focus on her personal loss, although I do understand why some people find it annoying.

    As for the rest of it, she’s right.

    Hopefully, the Obama administration will have the balls to either prosecute and punish Bush or turn him over to the ICC or some other international body to be dealt with.

    If not, hopefully enough jurisdictions, foreign and domestic will indict him that he’ll spend the rest of his life avoiding/fleeing prosecution to the extent that he substantially imposes lifelong house arrest upon himself.

  77. G.E.

    It should be obvious to anyone with half-a-brain that you’ve deliberately set the above criteria so you can justify your non-involvement.

    Because I don’t give financially to line the pockets of rich liberals or promote genocide it means I’m “not involved” — well, I ask you again: what charities do YOU give to? And have you ever been recognized for outstanding community service, as I have?

  78. Steven Druckenmiller

    No, I have not been “recognized” for some kind of involvement. Again, I don’t see the relevance here. I did not know that the proper metric for involvement was popular assent.

    And no, I do not have any interest in having my charitable donations and works picked apart by someone who has already demonstrated that is his exact intent. You’re looking for a “chink” in the armor and nothing more.

  79. G.E.

    No, I have not been “recognized” for some kind of involvement. Again, I don’t see the relevance here. I did not know that the proper metric for involvement was popular assent.

    You’re claiming that I’m a “misanthrope” who hates humanity and does not contribute to charitable causes. That’s the “relevance .”

    Suck on this.

    And you won’t even say which charities you donate to, because, undoubtedly, you don’t. Or if you do, you now question whether or not they might be doing bad things with your money. You are such an apologist for Big Government that you mock people who arm themselves, make financial preparations to combat inflation, and have the audacity to complain about a 50% tax rate. You fit right in with the LP, and that’s why I’m glad I got out!

  80. JimDavidson

    GE, you have an award for poor listening? That rocks! Where can I get an award like that one? I’ve been a poor listener for decades.

    Druckenmiller writes, somewhere above, “The United States Government is bad…except when compared to almost everything else.”

    Nonsense. The USA government is not merely bad, it is evil. It is corrupt. It abuses power. It massacres children. It sends soldiers all over the world to kill women and children. It has hateful trade policies. It has hateful foreign policies. It has hateful domestic policies. It operates a police state with prisons all over the world, no habeas corpus, torture, murder, rape, and there is extensive photographic and other recorded evidence of these facts.

    Steven likes it that way. Steven likes to see women and children raped by USA soldiers. Steven likes to see doors kicked in and parents dragged screaming from their children, taken out on the street, and shot down in cold blood. Because Steven is an American. And that’s the kind of country Americans have built because, by God, that’s what they want.

    Sleazy filth ought to be beaten about the head and shoulders until they stop advocating initiatory force.

    There. Will. Be. Blood.

  81. Trent Hill

    Iv never quite understood GE’s statements about how the US is the worst country in the world. Im willing to admit it may not be the best (Iceland, New Zealand, and Switzerland are all freer) but the worst?

  82. G.E.

    Jim – I think you were joking, but the award was for Peer Listening.

    Trent – Not the worst to live in. The most evil abroad.

  83. Steven Druckenmiller

    Sleazy filth ought to be beaten about the head and shoulders until they stop advocating initiatory force.

    Come get some.

  84. G.E.

    Sleazy filth ought to be beaten about the head and shoulders until they stop advocating initiatory force.

    I’d like to distance myself from the above comments, even if they were made in jest.

  85. G.E.

    Switzerland is one of my favorites. They’ve got a national initiative process.

    They also have the weakest federal government in the world, are committed to be anti-war, and every citizen is armed.

  86. Trent Hill

    “Mr. Davidson, that whole rant up there is just adorable. Do you do parties?”

    Comment of the day.

  87. Trent Hill

    “They also have the weakest federal government in the world, are committed to be anti-war, and every citizen is armed.”

    Yea,the national initiative process is the weakest arguement for Switzerland. The best are their highly-competitive cannons (like states).

  88. Steven Druckenmiller

    or turn him over to the ICC or some other international body to be dealt with.

    Interesting. You support United States participation in the ICC?

  89. G.E.

    Trent – They’re better than “states” because they don’t have “state” in their name. Unfortunately, Switzerland is also anti-immigrant, or I’d move there FOR SURE.

  90. Steven Druckenmiller

    Trent – They’re better than “states” because they don’t have “state” in their name.

    *snickers* A rose by any other name…

  91. Steven Druckenmiller

    The love affair with Switzerland by some libertarians is baffling. There are a lot of good points about Switzerland (easy to do business, low regulations, low taxes) and some bad ones, like:

    – A lot of the cantons directly finance churches through taxation.
    – Agricultural protectionist policies
    – Switzerland’s overall taxation rate (as a percentage of GDP) is actually higher than that of the United States

  92. Trent Hill

    Steve,

    While a lot of church beinf directly financed by canon-taxes is a problem, it is certainly less of a problem than the sort of taxation and war-inflation system we have here.

    Their agricultural protectionist problems are something easily overturned, unlike other taxes.

  93. G.E.

    Steve – Fair points, RE: Switzerland. There’s also universal (male?) conscription, which is pretty damn bad. But it still is, as far as I know, the best place on Earth to live. You can’t possibly argue that the U.S. is better. And I’m talking purely from a domestic freedom standpoint. If you factor in the megatons of blood on our hands as taxpayers for the imperialist regime, then there’s no contest.

  94. Steven Druckenmiller

    If you factor in the megatons of blood on our hands as taxpayers for the imperialist regime, then there’s no contest.

    I don’t believe in collective guilt.

  95. G.E.

    Good for you. You won’t even speak ill of those who murder in your name (and on my dime). You, in fact, are individually guilty.

  96. Steven Druckenmiller

    Of what?

    And let me ask you: at what point does the “chain of guilt” break? Are individual Soldiers who actively “go outside the wire” and conduct combat operations guilty? How about those that support them in theater? How about those that support them stateside? How about their families? How about people who send them care packages?

    Draw the line somewhere, unless you’re prepared to say “GUILT NOW, GUILT FOREVER.”

  97. G.E.

    You have a share of guilt for all of the women and children raped and murdered, all of the property destroyed, all of the lives ruined, etc., and a larger share than me. You’re so cavalier about it all. Are you a family man? Imagine a group of thugs busting into your house with guns and murdering (or worse) your wife and children. Imagine the skin hanging off your baby after your house is hit by a bomb. These are not abstractions, but real events that happen almost every day, and they’re funded by our tax dollars.

    If I were to send a solider a care package, it would be a bunch of books on Austrian economics and history. Although I know that 95% of them would never read ANY book at all, let alone those. Why should I send them Playboy magazines or Sweet Tarts or whatever to make their “jobs” more tolerable? I’m already shedding a good 15% of my income specifically to fund their operations — why should I willingly give more to make them more comfortable as they murder and destroy property? If anything, I’d contribute to making them LESS comfortable. Maybe a care package showing maimed children… But the sick thing is, a good share of them would LIKE that sort of thing.

    You’re the type of government sycophant who in Nazi Germany would have not even said a thing as your neighbors were taken away in cattle cars to be murdered. I’m not asking people to take a stand and give up their lives or freedom in the name of what’s right — just not to cheerlead and defend the carnage. But what I think doesn’t matter unless you want it to. I expressed my opinion and you were outraged that someone could have such a view — that someone could be against coddling the baby murderers and vandals who get paid to destroy life, liberty, and property in the name of defending MY freedom. I wish not a single soldier any ill — I wish for them to lay down their guns and walk away. But I’m not going to sugarcoat the fact that they are hired killers for the most evil regime in the history of humankind. Of course, I’m “exagerating” again, or whatever… Believe your Rocky IV propaganda, USA! USA! I’m for individualism and family and against the state, and whatever you’re trying to accomplish by debating with me is not happening. Peace out.

  98. JimDavidson

    @123, yes, I saw poor first and then peer, thought to make a bit of fun.

    @124, any time, Stevie baby. Kiss-kiss.

    @125 GE, advocating initiatory force is wrong. It is not libertarian. Defending against it is.

    @127 not with scum like you.

    @128 until you try to start a business there, Ross, you think Switzerland is wonderful. After you try to work there, start a business there, or live there, you’ll change tunes. Try buying groceries in Zürich some time.

    @129 No, not every citizen. Just the ones they trust with weapons. And those guns are locked up unless they are called to duty. It is not at all the way you imagine it.

    @131 cantons

    @132 did Tom say he did? The ICC is a fact of our time, and the Obama gov’t is very likely to support it. Whether they wanna turn Bush over and start a bad precedent, I dunno. But it is one of those things to do with war criminals. Personally, I’d prefer to see him tried for treason, found guilty, and executed. Then they can turn his remains over to the ICC to be tried for war crimes and punished posthumously.

    @135 A canton is not a state, does not behave like a state. If it doesn’t quack like a duck, don’t put orange sauce on it.

    @136 What would you know about libertarians, war monger?

    @136 The taxation rate is highly specific. It varies widely by canton and by property owner. A wealthy person can cut a deal.

    @136 The disease of statism is widespread. Thousands hacking at the branches for every one striking at the root.

    @138 For merely living, GE, try Amsterdam. For starting a biz, not so much.

    @142 Soldiers are guilty, yes. Guilty of volunteering to prop up the state. Guilty of every act they take, whether they were following orders or not. Guilty of every shot fired, every home burned, every bomb dropped. Guilty, guilty, guilty.

    Support troops and workers, guilty, guilty, guilty. Those who send them aid and comfort are guilty, guilty, guilty. Those who send care packages are guilty, guilty, guilty. The only “support” for troops that should be tendered is support for bringing them home. While outside the USA they should be as miserable as possible. If, as a result, they refuse further service, good.

    You are personally, directly, individually responsible for every act you take. Every choice you take is yours. If you don’t like the consequences, don’t take the choice.

  99. G.E.

    Jim – Seems like you have researched this. I do all of my work online. I’d like to escape taxation, particularly as my income increases. Where’s a good place to live?

  100. JimDavidson

    Ross, having lived in Somalia for many months, I can assure you that whatever is reported about it in the NY Times is based on a focus on things in Mogadishu. I cannot log in, and would be delighted to read excerpts.

  101. Steven Druckenmiller

    You’re the type of government sycophant

    G.E. – given that the response was full of these: “?s” and you seemed to once again derive my viewpoints from those questions, I can only say: “WTF?”

    Let me ask this in a different way: of what crime are the following guilty and what sentence should be imposed?:

    – Active combat Soldiers
    – Active support Soldiers in theaters of war
    – Active support Soldiers Stateside
    – Family members who send love, money and support to any of these
    – Individuals who send care packages to any of these
    – Taxpayers

    I asked you question. The fact that you resorted to “attack points” about Nazi Germany tells me you’re devoid of answers.

    The only thing I’m trying to accomplish in this is to learn. What are your aims?

  102. Steven Druckenmiller

    Support troops and workers, guilty, guilty, guilty. Those who send them aid and comfort are guilty, guilty, guilty. Those who send care packages are guilty, guilty, guilty.

    Again, of what?

    And if you believe that, why are you not actively working against them? Maybe retaliating against those who initiated force against you? According to you, you’d be justified in doing so.

    So go do it already.

  103. G.E.

    of what crime are the following guilty and what sentence should be imposed?

    – Active combat Soldiers: Murder

    – Active support Soldiers in theaters of war: Accessory to murder.

    – Active support Soldiers Stateside: Conspiracy to murder.

    – Family members who send love, money and support to any of these: Aiding and abetting murder.

    – Individuals who send care packages to any of these: As above.

    – Taxpayer: No real “crime.” Unless they cheer on the death and destruction. If a woman is viciously gangraped at gunpoint, she is a victim. If she actively participates and cheers it on, she’s a whore. You’re a whore.

  104. G.E.

    According to you, you’d be justified in doing so.

    Morally justified, yes. But I’m not willing to be locked in one of the state’s animal cages. Sorry. To continue the rape analogy, a woman being gangraped knows that if she fights back too hard, she’ll be killed. Is she consenting to the rape if she doesn’t throw her life away?

  105. paulie cannoli Post author

    If a woman is viciously gangraped at gunpoint, she is a victim. If she actively participates and cheers it on, she’s a whore.

    Only if she gets paid.

    I’ve provided what I hope is a helpful analogy at Next Free Voice.

    I might address some of the more serious points raised in this thread later, if I’m in a different mood…

  106. Steven Druckenmiller

    But I’m not willing to be locked in one of the state’s animal cages. Sorry

    All these murderers and conspirators to commit murders, but poor G.E. is too scared to do anything about it.

    I guess it’s just up to “someone else” to do, eh?

    “The only necessary thing for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing” – Edmund Burke

    If I’m a whore, you’re a coward.

  107. G.E.

    Yes, the woman being violently raped with a knife to her throat is a “coward” if she doesn’t lean into the blade.

  108. Steven Druckenmiller

    any excuse will do, G.E. If you’re really convinced of the evil of the United States, I’m hard-pressed to find a reason you would continue to be a citizen; to continue to “be raped”; to continue perpetuating murder.

    That’s where your analogy fails. The rape victim is pinned down with imminent threats to her life. You can always go. No one is stopping you.

  109. G.E.

    A less icky analogy: I run a pizza place in Little Italy. The mob says that if I don’t pay them $200/week for “protection,” bad things will happen. I tell them no, and the next thing I know, my front window is broken. I still won’t pay. Then my pizza oven is smashed. “Next time,” they say, “you won’t have a pizza place left.”

    My choices:

    a) Pay up

    b) Refuse to pay… they burn down my store.

    c) Get my guns and fight back — against the fucking mob, which is much bigger and stronger than I could ever be.

    Druckenmiller is saying that if I don’t do C or at least B, I’m a coward. No. I’m a pizza man, not a martyr. My job is to make pizza and create wealth. I don’t like the extoritionist, but I’m not willing to be killed over it.

  110. G.E.

    Steve – I’d like to go. But at least here, I’m not in (much) danger of the U.S. lobbing a bomb on my house. If I move, then I’m in greater danger.

  111. Steven Druckenmiller

    I’m not in (much) danger of the U.S. lobbing a bomb on my house. If I move, then I’m in greater danger.

    That is such a pathetically weak excuse and beneath you.

    I’m a pizza man, not a martyr.

    “Just following orders”

  112. Steven Druckenmiller

    then you’re not a libertarian.

    Oh yes, I am. You’re not the sole arbiter and keeper of the Decoder Rings.

  113. G.E.

    The case you are making is that an extorted pizza man or rape victim should have to kill themselves or flee their community in order to be morally sound. I hate this goddamn government, but I happen to love my neighborhood, my extended family, etc. I am interested in moving if there is truly somewhere a lot better to move to, but it’s not a “weak excuse” to point out that the vast majority of evil the U.S. perpetrates is outside of its borders and I am largely safer where I am. But I shouldn’t have to move — the government should get out of my state and my town and my house.

    Oh yes, I am. You’re not the sole arbiter and keeper of the Decoder Rings.

    Anyone who loves the state is a statist, not a libertarian. And by “love” I mean tolerate.

  114. Steven Druckenmiller

    I’m not saying that you have to do anything, G.E. I’m saying that by your own logic (The United States is the most evil institution EVAR!), you would think that you would want to flee…that you would want to get the hell out so you don’t fall victim to its evil wiles and ways.

    The fact that you stay is exceptionally telling as to how much you really believe that.

    Anyone who loves the state is a statist, not a libertarian. And by “love” I mean tolerate.

    Libertarian =/= Anarchist.

    it’s not a “weak excuse” to point out that the vast majority of evil the U.S. perpetrates is outside of its borders and I am largely safer where I am.

    Yes, it is. You know that there are certain areas that the United States is, in all likelihood, never going to bomb or invade. Western Europe, for one. Canada, for another. Japan, for a third. There are plenty of places a reasonable person with your fears could find that would be “safe”, but you’re just full of excuses.

    But I shouldn’t have to move

    You don’t have to, but you are voluntarily contributing if you don’t. In this regard, you’re more evil than the silent neighbor in Nazi Germany…he at least had a reasonable fear that speaking out would get him and his family killed. You don’t have that excuse.

  115. Ross Levin

    Okay, here’s the article:

    Does the international community have it all wrong on Somalia?

    Jehad Nga for The New York Times

    After 17 years, 14 transitional governments and more than $8 billion in foreign aid, the country is as violent and lawless — and many say hopeless — as ever.

    Early this month, a man who had been running an orphanage for 18 years was fatally shot in the head. A few days before that, 20 women sweeping the streets were blown up by a bomb buried in a pile of garbage. No one is safe, and perhaps no place on earth more closely resembles Thomas Hobbes’s description of a state of nature in which life is “nasty, brutish and short.”

    Nothing seems to be able to lift Somalia’s curse of anarchy. And part of the problem, a rising number of Western academics and Somali professionals argue, is that the bulk of outside efforts have concentrated on standing up a strong central government, which may be anathema in a country where authority tends to be diffuse and clan-based.

    The United Nations and donor countries are plowing millions of dollars into the Transitional Federal Government, an entity essentially created by the United Nations, with the idea of bringing order to Somalia from the top down.

    But the transitional government is essentially on life support. Its presence in Mogadishu, the capital, is limited to a few blocks that are constantly shelled. It is unpopular and, by extension, weak. Its leaders are consumed by yet another round of infighting.

    President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, a former warlord, is enraged that Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein, a former Red Crescent official, had the gall to try to fire Mogadishu’s mayor, another ex-warlord — the “ex” being a term of art because the mayor is widely accused of running an extortion ring.

    Ken Menkhaus, a professor at Davidson College in North Carolina who specializes in Somalia, likened the transitional government to an hourglass, with no professional class or civil service at its core. Instead, there are “a whole bunch of ministers at the top, a whole bunch of soldiers at the bottom and nothing in between.”

    But there may be another answer: going local.

    Many Somali intellectuals and Western academics are pushing an alternative form of government that might be better suited to Somalia’s fluid, fragmented and decentralized society. The new idea, which is actually an old idea that seems to be enjoying something of a renaissance because of the transitional government’s shortcomings, is to rebuild Somalia from the bottom up.

    It is called the building block approach. The first blocks would be small governments at the lowest levels, in villages and towns. These would be stacked to form district and regional governments. The last step would be uniting the regional governments in a loose national federation that controlled, say, currency issues and the pirate-infested shoreline, but did not sideline local leaders.

    “It’s the only way viable,” said Ali Doy, a Somali analyst who works closely with the United Nations. “Local government is where the actual governance is. It’s more realistic, it’s more sustainable and it’s more secure.”

    Technically, the current transitional government is a federal system that is supposed to share power with various regions, but it is unclear, even to the people in the government, what exactly that means.

    Somalia has always been a tricky place to rule. On the surface, it seems like one of the most homogeneous countries on the planet: almost all of its estimated seven million to eight million people share the same language, religion, culture and ethnicity. But, in fact, it is one of the most fragmented. In Somalia, it is all about clan.

    The Italians and the British colonized separate parts, but their efforts to impose Western laws never really worked. Disputes tended to be resolved by clan elders. Deterrence was key. “Kill me and you will suffer the wrath of my entire clan” — that, to many people, was social order.

    The places where the local ways were disturbed the least, like in British-ruled Somaliland, seem to have done better in the long run, with less fighting today than in areas where the Italian colonial administration supplanted the role of traditional elders.

    Many Somalis have grown suspicious of a strong central government, especially after the dark years of Maj. Gen. Mohammed Siad Barre, the dictator who ruled from 1969 to 1991. “The state has never had any legitimacy,” said Tobias Hagmann, a Somalia scholar at the University of Zurich.

    Clan-based warlords toppled General Siad Barre, then turned on one another. In some places, limited local governments sprouted to fill the authority vacuum. They called themselves “administrations” and provided some services, like resolving property disputes or trying theft suspects in courts based on Islamic and customary Somali law.

    By the early 2000s, several of those local courts began to gain strength, and in 2006 they united under an Islamist banner to fight warlords being paid by the Central Intelligence Agency. The Islamic courts won and disarmed and pacified much of south-central Somalia, following their own version of the building block approach. But the United States and Ethiopia considered the Islamic courts a terrorist threat, so the United States helped Ethiopia invade Somalia.

    The result today is an ascendant Islamist guerrilla force, a wounded and divided transitional government and an increasingly impatient Ethiopia. Stir in Somalia’s war profiteers, including gunrunners and importers of expired baby formula, and the country seems to be a recipe for long-term disaster.

    Aid officials say Somalia may be headed toward another famine, with nearly three million people dependent on emergency food aid, 1.5 million displaced, and aid workers being killed. Despite all this, local government has not been stamped out. In one area, a group of Somali-Americans has used its own money to set up a police force and a rudimentary court system based on clan ties.

    “You can’t start from the top down; that’s a waste of energy,” said Mohamed Aden, 36, a health care manager from Minnesota who risked his savings — and his life — to set up a local administration in central Somalia.

    He explained: “You have to start from the grass roots. People don’t trust each other. You start small, and when people see that it’s working, they will want to join.”

    But the building block approach has its challenges. The United Nations tried to encourage representative district councils in the early 1990s, but the warlords in Mogadishu felt threatened and torpedoed the effort.

    There are “always going to be spoilers from the center,” said Hassan Sheik Mohamud, the dean of a small college in Mogadishu. “Ideally, bottom up is very good for Somalia. But the problem is the warlords. To make any government work, they have to be included, in some way.”

    There are also bureaucratic realities. Western diplomats, foreign donors and the United Nations prefer to deal with one government, not 26.

    “I don’t think the transitional government is so effective,” said Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the top United Nations envoy for Somalia. “But it’s what we have.”

  116. G.E.

    The fact that you stay is exceptionally telling as to how much you really believe that.

    It says that I love my family and community more than I hate the bloodsuckers in D.C. You are a typical “libertarian” (quotes signifying the Cato/Reason variety) who cannot distinguish between country and government, nor certainly community from nation-state.

    Western Europe, for one. Canada, for another. Japan, for a third.

    So by your logic, I need to move somewhere with higher taxes and where I may not speak the language, abandoning my family and my community, or else I’m “volunteering” to pay taxes. You’re making the “love it or leave it” case, like a typical neocon. No, idiot, if you don’t hate the state, you’re not a libertarian, period. You have a “responsibility” to not make me look bad, so stop it.

  117. Steven Druckenmiller

    I can distinguish just fine, thanks so much.

    I need to move somewhere with higher taxes and where I may not speak the language, abandoning my family and my community, or else I’m “volunteering” to pay taxes

    It’s not by my logic, it’s by yours. You have an opportunity to stop supporting “THE MOST EVIL INSTITUTION IN THE UNIVERSE” and you won’t take it.

  118. Steven Druckenmiller

    No, idiot, if you don’t hate the state, you’re not a libertarian, period.

    Again, you’re not in charge.

    You have a “responsibility” to not make me look bad, so stop it.

    I think you calling most of America “whores” makes YOU look bad, not me. Who are you trying to impress, G.E.? I thought you didn’t give a shit how others viewed you.

  119. G.E.

    Again with the P.C. leftishness. You’re just a pro-war liberal, which of course, is synonymous with “libertarian” in the tReason/Stato crowd. Your arguments are ugly in their statism and are bogus on their face. But regardless, I am looking into fleeing the evil empire — but why should I? I expect it to collapse, remember? Of course, even thinking this way makes me “unamerican” in your sycophantic eyes. I don’t care. We are not fellow travelers. You are a statist and I am a libertarian. You are with the other 99%. You have made numerous false claims about me and my philosophy which I have thoroughly refuted. And now I’m tired of it. So if you want to continue making an oafish, statist ass of yourself, you’ll have to rely on Jim Davidson to play the straight man to your idiot act. I’m through.

  120. Steven Druckenmiller

    oh noes! I hit a nerve, did I?

    It’s OK, G.E. Keep supporting “the most evil institution in the universe”. It’s not a moral offense to me; just to you.

    I don’t care

    And that’s why you’ve engaged in a two-day conversation about it? How doubtful.

  121. Steven Druckenmiller

    paulie – I would like to hear your views. I’m personally looking for a way out of the “love it or leave it” trap, but I’m stuck.

  122. Steven Druckenmiller

    hey, at least you’re willing to admit there’s something here. Apparently the questioning of anarchism makes me a big fat fucking statist.

  123. paulie cannoli Post author

    Apparently the questioning of anarchism makes me a big fat fucking statist.

    No. I’m all about questioning stuff. I’m an anarchist, not a Leninist. I’ve also found that there are many degrees of statism, and angrily lumping near-anarchists in with the worst of them does not help convert many people to anarchism (there are exceptions who do respond positively to that sort of treatment – GE being one).

    But like I said, not right now. It took me years of study from a minarchist perspective to come to the conclusion that anarchy can work, and limited government can’t stay limited. I don’t expect to convince anyone easily, and I’m not in the mood.

    If there are any of these you have not read, I would recommend you do so:

    http://praxeology.net/anarcres.htm

  124. Steven Druckenmiller

    I’ve enjoyed the debate between G.E. and myself. Always good to know where the Marxist-libertarians stand.

  125. JimDavidson

    Pizza man doesn’t follow orders, he delivers orders. If ya order pie, he delivers pie. You order the Cannoli, you never know what you’ll get.

    Now, Paulie, I said on the A Keaton thread that whatcha wanna do, see, for an absurdly long thread with real meat is call for the execution by firing squad of the entire political class. If you take a look at comment 92 or so, I did that thing. I waited, real polite like, until you were done with the polar bear troll. Seriously.

    And see? There’s no sign that this thing is going to shut down. No need to feed the trolls. Just be more outrageous.

    Now, Paulie, I am sure you know how to be outrageous.

  126. Trent Hill

    Steve,

    To be clear, GE thinks im a statist-pig too. I’ve been called by Walter Block a “Minarchist anti-statist” and by Thomas E. Woods a “Voluntaryist in the Jeffersonian tradition”. Both men SEEM to know what they’re talking about when it comes to minarchism and anarchism–and both men meant it as compliments.
    My point? While GE seems to love to take things to extreme—it just doesnt pan out. His mentors would never call a minarchist like me a “murderous statist”. He shouldn’t go around called readers of Mencken, Nock, and Garrett “disgusting state-loving pigs”. And yet he does…why? No idea.

  127. G.E.

    Trent – Read the “debate” between Druckenmiller and me. It is not the same level on which you and I communicate.

    Have I ever called anyone a “pig”? I don’t dehumanize.

  128. Trent Hill

    I seem to remember being called a statist pig a few times–though it may not have been by you.

  129. Trent Hill

    Nevertheless,

    My point stands. Your hyperbole sometimes washes out your good arguements and instead make you look ridiculous. With that said–you’re a friend to liberty and im glad to count you amongst my friends (and business partners?)

  130. Trent Hill

    “I’ll bet you anything I’ve never called you a pig.”

    no need to bet. Im not sure, and you seem to be. I’ll take your word on it–it certainly could’ve been someone else.

  131. Trent Hill

    Did you see what I said on the Bob Bird thread?

    State Senator Karen Johnson and former Rep. Barry Goldwater Jr. are both openly talking about their plans to run for governor in AZ in 2010. Both endorsed Paul in 2008.

  132. JimDavidson

    GE @148, would you contact me privately, please? I’d tell you all about it here, but Drunkenmiller would rat us out to the screws.

  133. JimDavidson

    Steven @151 guilty of initiating force, advocating its initiation, or delegating its initiation. Guilty of every thing any USA soldier has done in any other country. The rapes on Okinawa. The massacres in Vietnam and Iraq. The senseless bombardment of Lebanon by the 16 inch guns of WW2 era battleships. Go see wikipedia on war for a start of a list.

    What on Earth possesses you to think that I’m not out every night smashing the state and retaliating against those who have aggressed against me? I’m just here cooling off and having fun.

    It must make you crazy to know that I have no income, no property, and endless time to devote to defensive and retaliatory force and having fun blogging online. If it doesn’t, let me work on it for a bit, get you into a nice frenzy.

  134. JimDavidson

    GE @ 152, no, if she actively participates in her rape, she’s a masochist. If she gets paid, she’s a whore. Being a whore is a noble, gentle, sensible, and decent profession based on mutual consent and exchange of value.

  135. JimDavidson

    @159, go where? And why should GE leave? Why should I? You go.

    You authoritarian filth should leave. And if you won’t go willingly, yes, I think we’re fully justified in executing “the m#therf#cking lot of you” to quote from an exquisitely poignant scene in “Pulp Fiction.”

  136. JimDavidson

    @164 But he is. We had a secret meeting. You didn’t get the memo. Which means you aren’t a libertarian.

  137. paulie cannoli Post author

    GE @148, would you contact me privately, please? I’d tell you all about it here, but Drunkenmiller would rat us out to the screws.
    >

    CC me plz

  138. Steven Druckenmiller

    And if you won’t go willingly, yes, I think we’re fully justified in executing “the m#therf#cking lot of you”

    Send me an address and we’ll fucking have it out, tough guy.

  139. JimDavidson

    #167 Very nice article, Ross. Thanks for posting that here.

    There are two visceral reactions for me on this “building blocks” concept. One is to see it as a pursuit of Maoism. Mao wrote that power flows from the provinces into the cities. Mao created a very authoritarian system in every village under his control, and used that to limit what could flow into the cities. Obviously, cities without food or water die. Mao did plenty of exactly that, and not limited to the Japanese occupiers.

    So, if that’s the intention of these “community organisers” then I’m not pleased. If it is their intention, I think they’ll find that Somalis are a lot more sensible, and much more culturally aligned with ad hoc systems of order, than the Maoists can understand.

    My other visceral reaction is to simply reiterate that, yes, this basic failure of centralisation is what Michael van Notten, Spencer MacCallum, and I have been saying for ten years. It is what everyone who has lived amongst the Somalis says. You cannot centralise the Somalis. The most you can hope to do is brutalise them into submission, which is exactly what Siad Barre did.

    He did it with $333 million from the International Monetary Fund that he used to build torture chambers, fund a secret police, and massacre tens of thousands of his friends and neighbors. He did it with a further $2.6 billion in loans from other banks and agencies. He did it with billions in foreign “aid” from the USA, the EU, Saudi Arabia, and other countries and entities (Soviets from 1969 to 1978; Western countries 1978-1991.)

    There really is something incredibly macabre and darkly humorous, a deadly poisonous irony, in the fact that the UN and the “international community” have been demanding for 17 years that the Somalis erect a central state and pay taxes to it so that state can pay back the $2.9 billion in international debts (plus interest) owed by the former dictator. As if there were any justice whatsoever in having the victims assume the debts of the criminal who victimised them.

    There is, at least, mention of Somaliland and other parts of the country. Kinda nice. Unexpected. Most of the NY Times stuff, as with most of this article, focuses on Mogadishu.

    Every transitional gov’t goes through this phase of being confined to a few blocks in Mogadishu. Their tax collectors are killed before they can collect taxes. I think the last time any of them were stupid enough to send out census takers was about 5 years ago. Census takers are usually not armed nor escorted, but they are there to find the assets and incomes to tax. So they were killed, too.

    The UN and the “non-governmental organisations” and the socialist re-treads don’t understand Somalis. They don’t understand their traditional culture. They don’t sit and listen to Somalis talk.

    Talk is what Somalis do. I am not making this up, and I am not saying it is bad. They talk. All the time. They sit and talk. They get comfortable. Then they talk. Food is brought, they talk. Qat is brought. They chew and talk. They travel – cell phones come out and they talk. They love to talk.

    And, seriously, all jokes about being a poor listener aside, if you listen, if you hear the words, if you think even briefly about what they are saying, they are talking about what everyone talks about. Being left alone to have their own property. Having deals and keeping commitments. Making money. Dealing with the idiocies and idiosyncrasies of government.

    These are genuine people, the salt of the Earth, much like everyone else on the planet. And for hundreds of years, possibly thousands if we are to understand Roman commentaries on the region, they have lived as their ancestors have lived, without central government.

    If there is a conflict, they form a court. When the conflict is resolved, the court dissolves.

    If there is a crisis, they call up the militia. When the crisis ends, the militia goes home.

    There are plenty of really bad things about their culture, too. It is very xenophobic. Polygamous. Sexist. (Four wives okay, but each woman may have only one husband at a time.) Women and children are chattel. No, I’m not moving there. Yes, I enjoyed living there.

    This business of 26 governments, that’s really arbitrary. There are seven super-clans, 14 great clans, 47 minor clans, up to 72 identifiable ethnic groups. You can divide it up and aggregate it together and you’ll never know how many units you’ve got. Next week you’ll have more or fewer.

    “Me against my brother to the death. My brother and I against our father, to the death. Our nuclear family against our uncle and his children. Our two families against the rest of our sub-clan. Every family in our sub-clan against the other sub-clans in our clan. Our clan against the other clans in our great clan. Our great clan against the rest of the world.” That’s the outlook. There is no end to the alliances and re-alignments. And there is no concept of state or nation.

    It is their country. Left to run it themselves, they have, at times, done a good job. Before the British poisoned their horses, the Somalis were undefeated in battle in the region. The French occupied a wasteland on the coast that the Somalis to this day don’t understand why the French keep.

    When left to themselves, they have developed remarkably. Somalis have the most competitive telecomm industry on the continent and the lowest rates for phone calls (duh). They have dozens of universities all over the place. They are extremely active in a diaspora all over the world that sends money back to their families in Somalia. I have enormous respect for their culture and institutions.

    And I have utterly no respect for the statist scum that come to Somalia and insist on running it for the benefit of foreigners. Somalis won’t put up with it. And, yes, from time to time some @sshole who runs a hospital or an orphanage outlasts his welcome.

  140. JimDavidson

    @169 Every day I have the opportunity to dismantle the most evil institution on Earth. Every day another act of defiance. Every day another act of resistance. Every day another idea, another ingenuity, another twist of the knife, another mind converted. I don’t have to run away, I don’t have to cooperate.

    And, dude, you don’t set the agenda. You don’t get to say that my logic means I must leave, or fight, or do this, or do that. I choose for me. And to perdition with you.

  141. JimDavidson

    Trent, right around 182. The problem with a principled minarchist in my view is that the state never stays limited. Minarchism is a fantasy. Anarchy has actually been demonstrated many times – especially in so called “black” markets. Statism has been demonstrated frequently, too.

    The state just won’t stay chained. The constitution was ratified and the first president was in power so less than a decade out of the starting gates, and Washington led 15,000 men to Western Pennsylvania to put down the Whiskey Rebellion and have a few exemplary hangings. Nuts.

  142. Jeremy Young

    Trent @188, I wish them well, but Terry Goddard is going to wipe the floor with all comers that year. They might do better to try for something else.

  143. JimDavidson

    @196 lol

    @198, that’s what I wrote, Drunkenmiller. Learn to read.

    @199 Oh, can’t find me. So sad. Now where did I leave myself? I was beside myself with anger, earlier. I must be around here somewhere.

    Have it out? Have what out, tough guy? Get your dick out of your ass, the donkey isn’t breathing.

  144. Jeremy Young

    G.E., way back @69: have you read anything by John Holt? Government schools are a rare issue that you and I can agree on. I had the good fortune to be homeschooled all the way until college (and not for religious reasons, either).

  145. G.E.

    Send me an address and we’ll fucking have it out, tough guy.

    What an asshole you are. And probably a closet case, too. Always looking for a fight. Or do you just want to get physical with another dude? You’re like a Teddy Roosevelt, homothug libertarian, aren’t you?

  146. paulie cannoli Post author

    Maybe we can have an IPR boxing tournament?

    It can raise money and publicity for the site, and allow participants who want to take their aggression beyond the verbal level to do so in a safe and legal manner.

  147. Catholic Trotskyist

    During the beginning of this thread, I was against Steve, because the Catholic Trotskyist Party of America has endorsed Cindy Sheehan, and she is a great messinger of socialism in our time. However, when it came to the discussion of political philosophy and the responsibility of troops, I am on Steven’s side. People, including the troops who cause all these human rights violation, are never 100% responsible for their actions. Action comes about through a combination of psychological social manipulation and the Christian idea of original sin. The state and the church are the only ways to overcome original sin. Even atheists and libertarians benefit from this. The state will never go away, so it is best to have the state provide as many services as possible in order to socialize the population towards peace. It doesn’t matter that the state steals money through taxes because of our human unity through original sin. This is the basis of my Christian liberal conservative libertarian socialism, which will make me the greatest political science since Karl Marx and the greatest theologian since Thomas Aquinas, when my book is release in a couple decades.

    Yes, the IPR boxing tournament is a good idea. I would challenge Mike Gillis and LaineRBT, because of their Naderite sympathies. Then we would turn on the libbertarians and constitutionalists. This is all theoretical, if we had the boxing tournament. I am a pacifist.

    Finally, I must annouonce that I ma involved in negotiations with Daniel Imperato, in an attempt to convince him to buy this website. We would turn it into the leading and diverse voice for the Catholic political agenda.

    God bless the state, God bless the church, God bless Somaliland, and God bless the federal reserve, amen.

  148. Steven Druckenmiller

    Always looking for a fight. Or do you just want to get physical with another dude?

    ooooh, cheap homosexual jokes! I can get those for free at the local bar, douchebag.

    Here’s my point: If JimDavidson thinks I’m deserving of execution, I’ll be glad to furnish my address and he can come do it his damn self.

  149. Catholic Trotskyist

    Neither of you are deserving of execution, but you will both be shocked as Catholic Trotskyism takes over the world in the next decades.

  150. Steven Druckenmiller

    @198, that’s what I wrote, Drunkenmiller. Learn to read.

    That first “n” in there should be a “c”. Even if you hate me, you need to learn some common courtesy. Deliberate mistyping of one’s name is rude.

  151. Steven Druckenmiller

    I choose for me. And to perdition with you.

    I reserve the right to call you a hypocrite. Because that is what you are.

  152. darolew

    “Im willing to admit it may not be the best (Iceland, New Zealand, and Switzerland are all freer) but the worst?”

    Don’t weapons count for anything? For example, all of the following are illegal in Iceland:

    * switchblades
    * swords
    * butterfly knives
    * iron knuckles
    * tazers
    * shurikens (ninja stars)
    * crossbows
    * longbows (unless used for sports)
    * any knife with a blade >12cm (except for work)

    (I realize some of those items on the list actually are illegal in some U.S. states.) Carrying any knife around at all is illegal. Guns, as might be expected, are very heavily regulated. New Zealand is also a lot worse than the U.S. in regard to weapons.

    Disarming the citizens is pretty much one of the most totalitarian acts a state can commit. I haven’t seen much to suggest that Icelanders (or New Zealanders) have enough freedom in other areas to make up for that.

    In foreign policy, to be certain, the United States is undoubtedly completely terrible without equal — but as far as residence goes, the U.S. seems to still be the best place to live.

  153. Jeremy Young

    G.E., well, you might enjoy his book How Children Fail, among other things. Holt was a liberal public school reformer who wanted schools to be more about learning and less about social management. After a while, he figured out that nobody was going to listen to him, so he declared war on public schools and founded the modern homeschooling movement (the left/libertarian one, not the more recent religious one).

  154. paulie cannoli Post author

    Furthermore, the people who join the army didn’t drop out of high school because they hate the state! They did it because, even as horribly substandard and easy to pass as government high school is, they couldn’t.

    This may be the case for some, although, “couldn’t”? Most government schools engage in social promotion all the way through graduation. The only thing graduating proves is one’s ability to show up and sit through enough of the crap and keep doing it (with rare exceptions – for example, I showed up very rarely, tested out, and bribed my way out of the attendance requirement).

    I probably would have joined the military, too, if I hadn’t already had my fill of war as a civilian contractor before I was of age.

  155. paulie cannoli Post author

    GE: anyone who invests energy in the belief that the murderous state can actually be reformed is not my fellow traveler

    SD: What are the alternatives? It’s reformation or collapse, and collapse is not going to go the way you think it’s going to go.

    PF: I would add a third alternative, peaceful (r)evolution. The Soviet system collapsed with very little blood. Slavery ended in every nation of the Americas except USA/CSA and Haiti peacefully. Etc.

  156. paulie cannoli Post author


    But it does seem Cindy sincerely cares about the homeless, so that’s kinda nice.

    Cindy is correct. Her son was lied to. Everyone in the USA was lied to. Bush lied, soldiers died. It is exactly the same kind of lie that LBJ told about the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

    LBJ would later say, “Those sailors were just shooting at flying fish.” Or words to that effect. LBJ knew he was lying, but he sent more and more soldiers to fight and bleed and die so he could enjoy more and larger dividend checks from Bell Helicopter and the other defense contractors that paid him off. LBJ was a nasty piece of work whose memory ought to be held in contempt.

    I agree.


    I’m not confident that Bush is the most detested president in history. There were a number whose ratings fell so low they were killed in office. Lincoln comes to mind as one of the most hated presidents. But Bush is clearly scum.

    I’m not so convinced a gunman’s veto is a good way to gauge popularity. Bush is, I believe, the least popular since anyone has attempted to track opinion scientifically. Before that, I don’t know. In any case, popularity is not always deserved.


    He is a hateful lying sack of garbage. Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction. Cheney lied. Their lies are now well documented. They violated their oaths of office to uphold the constitution – torture, rendition, ending habeas corpus with neither an invasion nor a rebellion

    I agree, but I’m not a court of law.

    these things ought to be punished by a trial for each for treason, followed by conviction, followed by execution.

    I think that they should have a fair trial without prejudging the outcome. I’m not a fan of the death penalty administered in cold blood, although political leaders deserve it more than anyone else if it is ever to be applied.


    Cindy is right in some particulars. The USA did not resolve the Vietnam war, Pentagon papers, and Watergate crises, nor did it dismantle the CIA, the FBI, and the other unconstitutional state police forces as it should have done thirty years ago.

    I agree.


    This country has a political ruling class that likes to let filth get away with murder. Why? Partly because the domestic espionage has the goods on nearly every professional politician. Partly because they have no spines. Mostly because they see no need to try for treason and execute others when they know about their own treason.

    Agreed again.


    Accountability is a bitch. But, the days of reckoning are coming. Yes, the men who spurred them on will sit in judgement of their wrongs, decide and let the shotgun sing the song. The wages of sin is death. And not nearly enough blood of tyrants has been shed.

    I’m hoping there won’t be much blood shed. It spills over unto the innocent and leads to escalation and/or cycles of revenge.


    George W. Bush has the blood of thousands of American soldiers and millions of non-combatants around the globe on his hands. He is one of the bloodthirsty murderers. He is a war criminal. His torture and rendition programs are treason.

    Agreed again.

    I don’t think the dismantling of either the Nazi or Soviet states ever required mass executions on the scale you advocate here, nor do I see any reason why the US should require them. And I can’t think of where mass executions of the prior ruling gang have ever been a good thing, although there may be instances that are not popping into my head.

  157. G.E.

    If JimDavidson thinks I’m deserving of execution, I’ll be glad to furnish my address and he can come do it his damn self.

    Davidson has committed a thought crime!

  158. paulie cannoli Post author

    Even in Anarchotopia, there is going to be the need for responsible and caring citizens to participate in private charities and “do-gooder liberal” institutions,

    Libertarianism does not require that you hurl invective like a child or act like a shallowly selfish teenager. Long-term, rational self-interest means that you should get involved and make the body politic a better place.

    I agree. In fact, I think it will be even more important if/when we significantly reduce or eliminate government.

  159. paulie cannoli Post author

    Do you realize the complete and total disaster that is going to ensue when the state collapses? The death and destruction that’s going to happen?

    I don’t see that as being inevitable.

  160. paulie cannoli Post author

    I suggest an alternative: inviting a family in the neighborhood to a “recession dinner.” Each family brings a meal. The families share meals: half & half. “we’ll try yours if you try ours.” Find out what others like to eat.

    Home-cooked meals can be cheap. Casseroles, stews, and similar “scoop it out” meals are cheap and don’t involve a lot of preparation time.

    The families share quality time. Time spent this way is cheap. The ambience is free. It’s not “roll ‘em through.” It’s also not $3.50 for a dessert.

    People get to know each other.

    We don’t know the names of the families that are not next door. Find out. Re-establish community. That helped get depression-era families through a terrible decade. We
    have lost a sense of community.

    Excellent idea.

  161. paulie cannoli Post author

    Hyperbole aside, you are presuming that something more free and less oppressive will rise from the ashes of the present State, and in that you reveal yourself as terribly ignorant.

    I don’t presume it, but I don’t think I;m being terribly ignorant in having hope of same.

  162. paulie cannoli Post author

    The USA government is not merely bad, it is evil. It is corrupt. It abuses power. It massacres children. It sends soldiers all over the world to kill women and children. It has hateful trade policies. It has hateful foreign policies. It has hateful domestic policies. It operates a police state with prisons all over the world, no habeas corpus, torture, murder, rape, and there is extensive photographic and other recorded evidence of these facts.

    Correct.


    Steven likes it that way. Steven likes to see women and children raped by USA soldiers. Steven likes to see doors kicked in and parents dragged screaming from their children, taken out on the street, and shot down in cold blood. Because Steven is an American. And that’s the kind of country Americans have built because, by God, that’s what they want.

    I see no evidence that Steven likes it that way. As best I can tell, he sincerely wants to minimize that sort of thing, and just does not – at least yet – see a way to do so without government. Like most people, he is afraid that absence of monopoly government will be even worse. Ridiculing this commonly help viewpoint does not dispel it.


    Sleazy filth ought to be beaten about the head and shoulders until they stop advocating initiatory force.

    Committing, yes. Advocating, no. And retaliatory force should be measured and proportional.


    There. Will. Be. Blood.

    I hope not. And I’m optimistic that there won’t be very much.

  163. paulie cannoli Post author

    And let me ask you: at what point does the “chain of guilt” break? Are individual Soldiers who actively “go outside the wire” and conduct combat operations guilty? How about those that support them in theater? How about those that support them stateside? How about their families? How about people who send them care packages?

    Draw the line somewhere, unless you’re prepared to say “GUILT NOW, GUILT FOREVER.”

    Good question. We’re all, or pretty much all, guilty to one degree or another. That’s one reason why I want to be very careful in unleashing the bloodletting that Jim Davidson is apparently so eager to see. Once it starts, there is no telling where it ends. My goal is to help stop the bloodshed that is already taking place, not to engage in mass scale revenge.

  164. paulie cannoli Post author

    You have a share of guilt for all of the women and children raped and murdered, all of the property destroyed, all of the lives ruined, etc., and a larger share than me.

    How have you concluded whose share of guilt is greater?

  165. paulie cannoli Post author

    Jim – Seems like you have researched this. I do all of my work online. I’d like to escape taxation, particularly as my income increases. Where’s a good place to live?

    I think I already said this, but I’m interested too.

  166. paulie cannoli Post author

    if you believe that, why are you not actively working against them? Maybe retaliating against those who initiated force against you? According to you, you’d be justified in doing so.

    So go do it already.

    If I was to try, I don’t see any hope of success, and nothing to be realistically gained. As a practical matter, my best use is in the field of persuasion, or some support capacity to persuasion. I hope to avoid violent conflict with the machinery of the state. It’s not always avoidable, but I don’t seek it out.

  167. paulie cannoli Post author

    Yes, it is. You know that there are certain areas that the United States is, in all likelihood, never going to bomb or invade. Western Europe, for one. Canada, for another. Japan, for a third.

    Those places have better foreign policies, and in some cases are better on some civil liberties issues, but are generally worse on economic issues (taxes, spending, regulations) and gun confiscation. So, there is no perfect place to move to. And GE is correct: we shouldn’t have to move.

  168. Steven Druckenmiller

    I acknowledge that no one should have to move. I’m just stating that if the United States Government is the most evil institution in the known universe, one would think that someone so clearly morally and ethically bothered by it would take an easy opportunity to stop supporting that institution.

    Put it another way: if you had the opportunity to leave Nazi Germany or the USSR when they existed, I think that using G.E.’s logic, you would be obligated to take it. After all, my “apologias” for the United States have been directly compared to the silent neighbors of Nazi Germany.

  169. paulie cannoli Post author

    I had the opportunity to leave the USSR when it existed, and luckily for me my parents chose to go, or I may not have made it to the point where I was old enough to leave on my own.

    While we are not there yet, in 28 years it seems more and more that it has followed me here. I may yet vote with my feet again, but running is not necessarily the best option. For one thing, there is a real possibility of world government in the future, so there may not be anywhere to run to for long. Any of the places I can think of to run to are a trade-off: better in some ways, worse in others.

  170. paulie cannoli Post author

    So by your logic, I need to move somewhere with higher taxes and where I may not speak the language, abandoning my family and my community, or else I’m “volunteering” to pay taxes.

    I haven’t volunteered to pay any taxes. Some are easier to avoid than others. The income tax is fairly easy to avoid for independent contractors.

  171. Steven Druckenmiller

    I guess “volunteering” is not the right word, but at some point I think people have to take responsibility for their actions (or omissions):

    “I, a reasonable person, having full knowledge and understanding that the USG is going to take money from me every year and use it to fund wars abroad I find morally abhorrent, choose to stay. I have full and unfettered ability to leave, but I choose to stay, cognizant of all the facts.”

  172. paulie cannoli Post author

    paulie – I would like to hear your views. I’m personally looking for a way out of the “love it or leave it” trap, but I’m stuck.

    I don’t know that I have an answer necessarily, other than “wherever you go, there you are.”

    At some point, you have to hold your ground. This may or may not be it, but it’s not necessarily a case of consenting to the US regime just by choosing to stay.

    If a freelance armed gang claims your neighborhood as turf, do you think those who do no not want to pay protection money should all have to move out, or does this only apply at the nation state level?

  173. paulie cannoli Post author

    Attempting to improve a situation > leaving it behind.

    Not always true either. Neither leaving nor staying should always be taken as a given in every case.

  174. G.E.

    I haven’t volunteered to pay any taxes. Some are easier to avoid than others. The income tax is fairly easy to avoid for independent contractors.

    You pay sales taxes. You pay taxes in the prices of the products you buy, which are turned into corporate profits.

    As for not paying income tax: maybe with your nomad’s lifestyle. Sure, I could not pay my taxes, but it wouldn’t be that hard for the IRS to find me and throw me in a cage (or siphon off a fatter share of my earnings).

  175. Steven Druckenmiller

    do you think those who do no not want to pay protection money should all have to move out, or does this only apply at the nation state level?

    I’m not applying a categorical imperative.

    If the gang was using my protection money to do things I viewed as the Most Evil Actions in History and I was able to leave and stop supporting that activity any time I wanted to, I’m hard pressed to come up with a reason not to.

    I personally think that “benefits of living here > bad things the USG does”. I’m willing to accept moral culpability for that.

    I think once a citizenry has been effectively penned off and prevented from leaving is when the burden shifts.

  176. paulie cannoli Post author

    You pay sales taxes.

    It’s possible to avoid sales taxes, though not nearly as easily as income taxes. Most sales taxes go to state and local governments, so they are not quite as bad. Still bad, of course. Also, I get fucked big time on transient lodging taxes. I even stayed at one place in LA which took this to a whole new level by locking me out of my room for one day a month, with my stuff still there, just so they could keep fucking me with that spiked transient lodging tax.

    I guess if I wanted to take this further, I could sleep outside and dumpster dive. But I don’t want to take it that far – at least not yet.

    Sure, I could not pay my taxes, but it wouldn’t be that hard for the IRS to find me and throw me in a cage (or siphon off a fatter share of my earnings).

    Like I said – easier for some than others. You also have your family to think of.

    All in all, advocating changing the system, while it still allows us to at least do that, seems like the best option at the moment. But to each their own; diversity of tactics.

  177. Steven Druckenmiller

    Neither leaving nor staying should always be taken as a given in every case.

    Right!

  178. paulie cannoli Post author

    Steven @151 guilty of initiating force, advocating its initiation, or delegating its initiation. Guilty of every thing any USA soldier has done in any other country. The rapes on Okinawa. The massacres in Vietnam and Iraq. The senseless bombardment of Lebanon by the 16 inch guns of WW2 era battleships. Go see wikipedia on war for a start of a list.

    I don’t see initiating force and advocating it as equivalent. It’s like the difference between crossing someone’s tag out on a wall on the one hand, and spraying them with bullets on the other.

  179. paulie cannoli Post author

    GE @ 152, no, if she actively participates in her rape, she’s a masochist. If she gets paid, she’s a whore. Being a whore is a noble, gentle, sensible, and decent profession based on mutual consent and exchange of value.

    Correct.

  180. paulie cannoli Post author

    Paulie @ 196, etc.: your Yakov Smirnoff impressions are much appreciated. I do that all the time in real life.

    @196 lol

    Glad y’all liked it 🙂

  181. G.E.

    I guess if I wanted to take this further, I could sleep outside and dumpster dive. But I don’t want to take it that far – at least not yet.

    Just bury yourself in a coffin and the state won’t touch you. I’m not willing to live like a bum in order to be “free.”

  182. G.E.

    All in all, advocating changing the system, while it still allows us to at least do that, seems like the best option at the moment.

    I’m developing a financial strategy for anarchists (and anyone else) to profit and greatly minimize the taxes they feed the beast.

  183. Trent Hill

    ” Being a whore is a noble, gentle, sensible, and decent profession based on mutual consent and exchange of value.

    Correct.”

    WHAT!? No. It isnt. GE–would you allow your daughter to become a whore? No. Because it ISNT noble or sensible. Even in a legalized industry, it’d be a profession for those of lower classes–like strippers.

  184. Steven Druckenmiller

    from my perspective, the only reason that prostitution, drug use, drug sales etc. etc. are seen as “lower” is due to their illicit, black market nature.

    of course, Mr. Hill is entitled to his moral opinion, but I’d have to ask: Do you feel the same way about the pornography industry, Mr. Hill?

  185. paulie cannoli Post author

    would you allow your daughter to become a whore?

    If I had any daughters I was taking care of, I would not consider it my place to tell them what they can or can’t do for a living, nor as a practical matter could I stop them. I would do my best to give them a realistic view of the costs, risks and benefits.

    (If I am not sterile, there is a very high chance I have biological daughters in that profession now, but I’m not counting that as the same thing).

    Even in a legalized industry, it’d be a profession for those of lower classes–like strippers.

    Some of them do very well financially, some are highly educated, some are from well off families. The stereotypes are far from universally true.

  186. paulie cannoli Post author

    I’m developing a financial strategy for anarchists (and anyone else) to profit and greatly minimize the taxes they feed the beast.

    Cool. I’m interested.

  187. Steven Druckenmiller

    I would do my best to give them a realistic view of the costs, risks and benefits.

    See, I’m not down with “lifestyle libertarianism”. I would gladly shame and guilt my daughter out of choosing prostitution as her choice of career, and feel no reservation doing so.

  188. paulie cannoli Post author

    That would be a form of giving a realistic view of costs, risks and benefits.

    I wouldn’t want to tell lies or bullshit, because kids experiment, and once you lose credibility, forget about it.

  189. Trent Hill

    “from my perspective, the only reason that prostitution, drug use, drug sales etc. etc. are seen as “lower” is due to their illicit, black market nature.

    of course, Mr. Hill is entitled to his moral opinion, but I’d have to ask: Do you feel the same way about the pornography industry, Mr. Hill?”

    Pornographers and strippers are professions that are considered “low” in this society,despite being legalized, or mostly legalized. Stripping, being a whore, or being a porn star is a job for someone of “low moral fiber” as far as the rest of society (and myself) are concerned. Barring a few, strippers and porn stars only accept that career as a neccesity. Most would gladly take an office job or whatever if it promised as much money.
    As for strippers themselves, this is not meant to denigrate them personally. Some are highly educated or stripping to get through college–but the general outlook of strippers and pornographers is QUITE low.

  190. Trent Hill

    “See, I’m not down with “lifestyle libertarianism”. I would gladly shame and guilt my daughter out of choosing prostitution as her choice of career, and feel no reservation doing so.”

    Exactly. What paulie outlined isnt even lifestyle libertarianism but lifestyle libertine-ism.

  191. Steven Druckenmiller

    I guess I’m willing to split the baby here. I view having sex for money as far worse on the totem pole (porn and prostitution) than I would sales of now-illicit pharmaceuticals and nudity for money.

    One of the sweet things about being libertarian is that because I don’t want to enshrine my preferences into law, they can be as arbitrary as I want them to be.

  192. paulie cannoli Post author

    Pornographers and strippers are professions that are considered “low” in this society,despite being legalized, or mostly legalized.

    It all depends on who you choose to associate with.

    My profession isn’t generally highly regarded either, but I’m OK with that.

  193. paulie cannoli Post author

    Most would gladly take an office job or whatever if it promised as much money.

    My ex who was in the biz once made 50k in one night, in 1980s dollars. Good luck doing that on an office job, unless she was a CEO of a major company. And we were both teens at the time.

  194. Trent Hill

    Your profession is signature gathering. If GE’s daughter brings home a petition gatherer—that’d be alright. If she brings home a prostitute….

  195. Trent Hill

    paulie,

    “My ex who was in the biz once made 50k in one night, in 1980s dollars. Good luck doing that on an office job, unless she was a CEO of a major company. And we were both teens at the time.”

    Yea–but you dodged my point. If she could have sat in an office and made 50 grand…she would have,wouldnt she?

  196. paulie cannoli Post author

    Again–this equating of libertinism and libertarianism doesnt work.

    I don’t equate them. As with anarchism, the categories are overlapping, but not equivalent.

    kind of like

  197. paulie cannoli Post author

    Yea–but you dodged my point. If she could have sat in an office and made 50 grand…she would have,wouldnt she?

    I don’t know. Her main interests at the time, to the exclusion of almost everything else, were sex, booze, fighting and motorcycles. I think she would have felt caged in an office environment. But then again maybe not, she was very adaptable to different situations, and that 50k didn’t come easy.

    I know I was dealing dope and doing other illegal activities at the time and I kind of enjoyed the thrill of it, but it got too be too much after a while.

    Like anything else I’ve done for a living, and I’ve done a wide variety of things, it had its good and bad sides. I think prostitution is the same in that way.

  198. G.E.

    WHAT!? No. It isnt. GE–would you allow your daughter to become a whore? No. Because it ISNT noble or sensible. Even in a legalized industry, it’d be a profession for those of lower classes–like strippers.

    How did MY daughter get roped into this? She’s 2.

    Fuckin’ sickos.

  199. Trent Hill

    My point stands, prostitution would be seen, as stripping or pornography is–a lowly profession for those of no moral character.

  200. Trent Hill

    “How did MY daughter get roped into this? She’s 2.”

    My apologies to your daughter and your wife,lol. I only used “your daughter” (and I’d actually forgotten you had one for real) to make it personal.

  201. Trent Hill

    “Again–this equating of libertinism and libertarianism doesnt work.

    I don’t equate them. As with anarchism, the categories are overlapping, but not equivalent. ”

    They are not overlapping or equivalent. Libertinism is a lifestyle. Libertarianism is a view on philosophy and politics and involves attitudes towards government or government actions. Often libertines support libertarianism–but that doesnt mean they overlap.

  202. paulie cannoli Post author

    How did MY daughter get roped into this? She’s 2.

    Fuckin’ sickos.

    I think Trent meant when she grows up. And I did not refer to her once.

    My point stands, prostitution would be seen, as stripping or pornography is–a lowly profession for those of no moral character.

    Depends on who’s doing the seeing.

  203. Trent Hill

    “Depends on who’s doing the seeing.”

    Obviously my point is from a general sense. A societal view.

  204. G.E.

    Society’s views on a subject account for NOTHING, Trent. Society views fetal murder as a-okay. And war as swell, too. You have to formulate a rational argument that’s better than that.

  205. paulie cannoli Post author

    They are not overlapping or equivalent. Libertinism is a lifestyle. Libertarianism is a view on philosophy and politics and involves attitudes towards government or government actions. Often libertines support libertarianism–but that doesnt mean they overlap.

    Of course they overlap. For them not to overlap you would have to contend that no one can be both, and that would be incorrect.

    Some libertarians are libertines, some are not.

    Some libertines are libertarians, and some are not.

    Some anarchists are libertarians, some are not.

    Some libertarians are anarchists, some are not.

    Some anarchists are libertines, some are not.

    Some libertines are anarchists, some are not.

    There are some people who are anarchist libertarian libertines.

    There are some people who fall into any combination of two of the three categories.

    There are some people who only fall into one of the three.

    And, of course, plenty who are not any of them.

  206. Steven Druckenmiller

    Society views fetal murder as a-okay.

    That’s the second time today you’ve rankly begged the question on the abortion issue.

  207. G.E.

    I’m going to have to think on this. I’m having a trouble finding a logic that allows me to be morally opposed to prostitution and yet advocate its legality. My mind has actually stumbled into prohibitionist areas.

  208. Steven Druckenmiller

    The answer seems simple to me: I’m morally opposed to certain lending practices and other types of business that prey on the poor (rent-a-centers, payday lending), but I believe that those businesses have a right to engage in those practices.

  209. paulie cannoli Post author

    I’m going to have to think on this. I’m having a trouble finding a logic that allows me to be morally opposed to prostitution and yet advocate its legality.

    Oh come on, that’s an easy one. It’s pretty much the basis of libertarianism: you may not like what some other people do, but they are not infringing on your rights by doing it.

  210. Trent Hill

    “Society’s views on a subject account for NOTHING, Trent.”

    My original statement was that prostitution, once legalized, would still be seen as a low profession.

    So yes, society’s views ARE cogent to my arguement and are a good reference.

  211. paulie cannoli Post author

    It’s pretty much the basis of libertarianism: you may not like what some other people do, but they are not infringing on your rights by doing it.

    Even better: using government force to prevent a victimless crime, is itself a moral crime with a victim. And, government initiations of force always have ripple effects.

    The cure is worse than the perceived disease.

  212. Trent Hill

    “Of course they overlap. For them not to overlap you would have to contend that no one can be both, and that would be incorrect. ”

    Not true. You are contesting that libertinism and libertarianism, as thought-structures, overlap. Your arguement that a libertine is often a libertarian has no relevance. From your arguement I can logically deduce that their are milkmen who are libertarians—thus milk men and libertarians overlap.

  213. Trent Hill

    “I’m having a trouble finding a logic that allows me to be morally opposed to prostitution and yet advocate its legality. My mind has actually stumbled into prohibitionist areas.”

    Prohibition concerns goverment, not moral structure. Ron Paul would undoubtedly NEVER let his wife become a prostitute, but wants prostitution legalized.

  214. Trent Hill

    “G.E., I’m pretty much stunned that you’re having difficulty at all.

    Me too.”

    Im not. It’s a problem Rothbardians often have because their arguements against governments are ones based upon a strict moral system. Once government is removed from the scene,they have trouble agreeing that something might be morally objectionable that doesnt hurt them directly.

  215. paulie cannoli Post author

    Not true. You are contesting that libertinism and libertarianism, as thought-structures, overlap. Your arguement that a libertine is often a libertarian has no relevance. From your arguement I can logically deduce that their are milkmen who are libertarians—thus milk men and libertarians overlap.

    A) Assuming there are milkmen who are libertarians, yes, that means the categories overlap.

    B) There is a logical basis which connects libertinism and libertarianism, just as there is a logical basis which links traditional morality with libertarianism. I can make either case. They both have some merit.

  216. Steven Druckenmiller

    “let”? Ron Paul does not own his wife.

    But I agree with your assessment about the supposed overlap. Libertarianism should not ever be considered to overlap with almost any other non-governmental societal positions. I don’t think libertarianism should overlap with anarchism, as one is a theory of *how* government should interact with citizens and the other is an argument *against* government.

    Libertarianism stands alone as it is exclusively a theory on government, and nothing more.

  217. paulie cannoli Post author

    So yes, society’s views ARE cogent to my arguement and are a good reference.

    Society is a diverse group of people with different views. There are segments of society where certain views generally prevail, and others were opposite views generally prevail.

  218. Trent Hill

    ““let”? Ron Paul does not own his wife.”

    Bad choice of words. Ron Paul would not be HAPPY if his wife became a prostitute.

  219. paulie cannoli Post author

    “let”? Ron Paul does not own his wife.

    Only in the sense that their marriage would be over if she engaged in certain behaviors, and that would probably be one of them.

    But, that’s their business – not the government’s.

  220. Steven Druckenmiller

    Once government is removed from the scene,they have trouble agreeing that something might be morally objectionable that doesnt hurt them directly.

    How bizarre. Glad my pseudo-Objectivism doesn’t give me that problem.

  221. Trent Hill

    “Society is a diverse group of people with different views. There are segments of society where certain views generally prevail, and others were opposite views generally prevail.”

    Some nice tiptoeing–but alltogether irrelevant. Society as an entire institution looks down upon stripping and pornographers. Even the segment of the population that watches pornography or stripping—would look down on friends or family members who were employed in those industries.

  222. Trent Hill

    “How bizarre. Glad my pseudo-Objectivism doesn’t give me that problem.”

    It is a bit bazarre, but a phenomenon im personally familiar with. In the act of defending or debating any issue I will use Rothbardian appeals to morality, Randian appeals to reason, and Friedmanite appeals to cost-benefit—so Im familiar with what I outlined above, my friend calls it Rothbardian Cognitive Dissonance. But im quite sure he couldnt spell that. =)

  223. Steven Druckenmiller

    The pornography market for the United States is 14 billion dollars. The only reason people look down their noses at it is because of their hypocrisy.

  224. paulie cannoli Post author

    Society as an entire institution looks down upon stripping and pornographers.

    Overgeneralization. That’s like saying that Americans think Broadway theater is gay. Some do, some don’t.


    Even the segment of the population that watches pornography or stripping—would look down on friends or family members who were employed in those industries.

    Again, not universally true.

  225. Steven Druckenmiller

    I think it is largely true that people look down their noses at pornography.

    I also think that’s an attitude that needs to change.

    OTOH, I think most people look down their noses at smack addicts. I do NOT think that’s an attitude that needs to change.

  226. paulie cannoli Post author

    I don’t think libertarianism should overlap with anarchism, as one is a theory of *how* government should interact with citizens and the other is an argument *against* government.

    I don’t know where you get your definition of libertarianism. There most certainly are libertarian anarchists.

  227. Trent Hill

    “Again, not universally true.”

    Again–it deosnt need to be, because im not claiming EVERYONE looks down at strippers or pornographers. But society as a whole doesnt not condone their friends or family working in those industries.

  228. paulie cannoli Post author

    The pornography market for the United States is 14 billion dollars. The only reason people look down their noses at it is because of their hypocrisy.

    And that doesn’t even count all the free porn downloads. Yes, hypocrisy is rank out there. That does not mean everyone watches porn, but a lot of people do, including a lot of the ones who condemn it. But, not everyone who watches it condemns it. And the reverse is even true, though probably more rare – there are people who don’t personally enjoy pornography, but don’t condemn it at all.

  229. Steven Druckenmiller

    paulie – I did say that I don’t *think* libertarianism and anarchism rightly overlap. Most people think they do. I’ll provide arguments against that in the future, but the short summary is that anarchism is as one; I’ve never understood why people make distinctions.

  230. G.E.

    My moral dilemma stems from what I feel is the contractual obligation that exists between a child and its parents at the moment of conception. Prostitution, in most cases, poses at least some risk that life could be created under far less than ideal circumstances. So does “fuckin’ for free,” which I find at least as morally objectionable as prostitution.

    I’ve long chanted the mantra that the only morality I recognize is the non-initiation of force. Adultery (which implicitly means “without permission”) is fraud, and I think definite grounds for a civil suit in a free society. But creating a new life under really bad circumstances may violate the implicit contract parents make with their child. In this case, it would be the injured party, the child, who would have to make that case after the fact, I guess.

  231. paulie cannoli Post author

    But society as a whole doesnt not condone their friends or family working in those industries.

    Society as a whole – you mean, like an opinion poll? Yeah, probably not. And with some good reason, too – the aforementioned costs and risks.

    But then, does “society as a whole” condone their relatives working as circus clowns? I don’t know and, honestly, if that’s what I wanted to do for a living, the results of opinion polls would matter not.

  232. G.E.

    Society views atheists, anarchists, and peacemongers lower than hookers and certainly strippers and abortionists. Fuck society.

  233. Trent Hill

    Linking people who WATCH pornography with people who PERFORM in pornography is pretty different. Like the difference between people who think 2 girls 1 cup is funny, and one of the 2 girls who participated.

  234. Trent Hill

    GE,

    Again–my point wasnt to say that society is RIGHT in their views on professions—just to point out how society WOULD view those professions, lowly.

  235. G.E.

    Payday lenders and pawnbrokers are the only LEGIT lending institutions in society. If you’re going to be morally opposed to something, be opposed to the criminal banks.

    What a sickeningly elitist view. Payday lenders charge lower interest rates than banks in terms of overage fees, etc. They do it with REAL money, not fractional reserves. They establish REAL contracts with their borrowers. You think their rates are too high? DON’T — USE THEM. Don’t tell some poor single mother that she can’t get a fucking loan to avoid getting a bank overdraft fee, or fix her car so she can go to work.

  236. Steven Druckenmiller

    Morally opposed to payday lending??

    Get this asshole out of here.

    I’m sorry, I didn’t know that my private morality had to comport with yours in order to qualify as a libertarian.

    Care to coherently argue the point?

  237. Trent Hill

    “Morally opposed to payday lending??”

    I’ve heard that before. I suppose something about preying on low income families? Im honestly not familiar enough with the industry to comment.

  238. Steven Druckenmiller

    You think their rates are too high? DON’T — USE THEM

    OK, I won’t.

    Don’t tell some poor single mother that she can’t get a fucking loan to avoid getting a bank overdraft fee, or fix her car so she can go to work.

    Never told her any such thing.

  239. paulie cannoli Post author

    Prostitution, in most cases, poses at least some risk that life could be created under far less than ideal circumstances.

    Only vaginal sex between two fertile partners. I’m not sure that necessarily covers *most* cases.

  240. G.E.

    Typical liberal B.S.

    The only predators are the Fed bankers.

    Payday lenders charge MARKET rates. They don’t create their money out of thin air so they have to charge the market-clearing rate based on savings and investment. What’s the alternative? For these people to NOT be able to get loans?

    Opposition to payday lending is THE WORST and most unlibertarian thing I’ve ever read on this site. It is a sickeningly elitist, anti-working class, know-it-all liberal asshole position.

  241. G.E.

    Druckenmiller isn’t even a liberal, he’s a socialist. He wants payday lenders to charge lower-than-profitable rates to poor people. He wants them to operate as charities rather than as businesses.

  242. Steven Druckenmiller

    The industry does prey on the emergency circumstances in which it finds most of its clientele. It also relies on their ignorance and is glad to lend its clients money even though it is well aware (at certain times) that the client will not be able to repay the loan.

    It’s akin to rent-to-own style businesses: exorbitant fees and interest rates given to the most ignorant in society. I don’t think there is any moral excuse for having someone pay 4-to-5 times what something is worth by preying on their avarice and ignorance.

  243. Steven Druckenmiller

    Opposition to payday lending is THE WORST and most unlibertarian thing I’ve ever read on this site.

    unlibertarian? How? I just said I expressly do NOT advocate that they are forced out of business. I just find their business model to be morally abhorrent.

    Your lack of nuance is showing again. I don’t have to suck at the predatory teat to be a libertarian, your screeching aside.

    Payday lenders charge MARKET rates.

    Not so. Payday lending’s business models are explicitly modeled to keep repeat customers. 90+% of payday lending business is from customers who have come back over 5 times.

  244. Trent Hill

    “Trent – I just explained it to you.”

    I’ll do some more research—I dont take anyone’s opinion for granted on any issue, even if I respect their opinion immensely.

    “It also relies on their ignorance and is glad to lend its clients money even though it is well aware (at certain times) that the client will not be able to repay the loan.”

    And you claim to be a Randian? A Randian would claim that it isnt the businessman’s fault that the customer didnt read the fine print and couldnt pay back their loan.

    “I don’t think there is any moral excuse for having someone pay 4-to-5 times what something is worth by preying on their avarice and ignorance.”

    So it is ohk to want to force a man out of business because the clients that frequent his business take stupid risks and are ignorant of ending policies? I’ll say again–im not familiar with the payday-lending industry…but this seems like liberal drivel.

  245. paulie cannoli Post author

    My moral dilemma stems from what I feel is the contractual obligation that exists between a child and its parents at the moment of conception. Prostitution, in most cases, poses at least some risk that life could be created under far less than ideal circumstances. So does “fuckin’ for free,” which I find at least as morally objectionable as prostitution.

    All life is created under less than ideal circumstances. Parents drink? Smoke? Argue? Overeat? The possibilities are endless.


    I’ve long chanted the mantra that the only morality I recognize is the non-initiation of force. Adultery (which implicitly means “without permission”) is fraud, and I think definite grounds for a civil suit in a free society.

    Yes, it’s called a suit for divorce. If one of the partners violates the terms of their partnership and cheats on the other, divorce can result. Then again, they might just get sick and tired of each other just as easily.

    But creating a new life under really bad circumstances may violate the implicit contract parents make with their child. In this case, it would be the injured party, the child, who would have to make that case after the fact, I guess.

    Oh boy. When we start down that road where does it go? Maybe my parents lived in a house with asbestos or lead in it at some point. And don’t forget how they willingly exposed me to television…

  246. G.E.

    You’re a fucking dumbass and a hardcore anticapitalist. If you knew anything about economics, you’d know that IF the industries were charging prices that were “too high,” other firms would flock to the industries and push prices lower. The fact of the matter is that non-Fed lenders have to charge REAL interest rates, and they typically serve less reliable clientele. Guy A has to pay 4-5 times the price for something because Guy B is going to default. What’s more, no one’s putting a gun to anyone’s head and MAKING THEM accept the loan or the big screen TV. Who are you to judge their time preferences and values?

    Capitalists charge what the market will bear. You are a communist. Please report to a gulag and stop calling yourself a “libertarian.” What a joke!

  247. Steven Druckenmiller

    So it is ohk to want to force a man out of business because the clients that frequent his business take stupid risks and are ignorant of ending policies?

    How many times does it need to be said? I do NOT SUPPORT GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION, Mr. Hill. Please do not make me “shout” it again. Just as you are opposed to prostitution but do not support government intervention in that market, so to am I opposed to payday lending but not supportive of any form or fashion of force.

    A Randian would claim that it isnt the businessman’s fault that the customer didnt read the fine print and couldnt pay back their loan.

    *ahem*, not so. One of the primary tenets of Objectivism is that living an ethical life requires honesty and integrity. Although, strictly speaking, the terms are spelled out to the lendee, I still do not find the practices of payday lending nor rent-to-own to be honest, fair dealings.

  248. G.E.

    Druckenmiller has proven himself to be a complete waste of DNA with his latest exposition on the evils of legitimate lending. He really should be ignored henceforth.

  249. Steven Druckenmiller

    Who are you to judge their time preferences and values?

    Judge and prepare to be judged. I’m entitled to make any judgement I want.

    You are a communist.

    Please don’t make me become nasty. Reading is not hard. I do not, nor will I ever, advocate for state intervention into the payday lending market.

    I do not have to find something morally acceptable to realize that government intervention is worse. I don’t like smack users, I don’t like payday lending. You don’t like abortion.

    None of us advocate for state intervention.

  250. Steven Druckenmiller

    You’re a fucking dumbass and a hardcore anticapitalist.

    Explain to me again, please, how I am anticapitalist.

    The “dumbassery” is in your eyes and your hyperemotional twaddle isn’t worth a hill of shit.

  251. Trent Hill

    Steven,

    I missed, or intentionally ignored, your statements about not wanting to use the state to get rid of payday lending. My apologies. GE should take note of it too.

  252. Trent Hill

    GE,

    If he doesnt want to use the state to bar the practice of payday lending, I dont see how he’s anticapitalist or liberal in any sense, anymore than paulie might be for his libertine views.

  253. Steven Druckenmiller

    G.E. saw it. He’s decided that my moral opposition, even though it does not entail government intervention, is worth four-letter words and name-calling.

  254. paulie cannoli Post author

    Morally opposed to payday lending??

    Get this asshole out of here.

    Why? You can be morally opposed to porn and prostitution if you wish (despite your bizarre statements about Mrs. Paul), Steven can be morally opposed to high interest rates, and I can be morally opposed to being morally opposed to either. As long as we agree to let each other do our thing until somebody initiates coercion, we can all get along just fine, even if the differences in personal tastes are such that we could never socialize with each other.

    None of these moral preferences are in themselves initiations of coercion. You may as well be morally opposed to the color yellow. Fine, whatever. Don’t piss on my shoes and I won’t piss on yours.

  255. G.E.

    You can be morally opposed to porn and prostitution if you wish

    My reasons are framed in a libertarian analysis of contract. Druckenmiller’s are framed as an opposition to the right of contract.

    despite your bizarre statements about Mrs. Paul

    It was a joke.

  256. paulie cannoli Post author

    Don’t tell some poor single mother that she can’t get a fucking loan to avoid getting a bank overdraft fee, or fix her car so she can go to work.

    While you’re at it, don’t tell her she can’t get a loan for fucking, or get a fix on the way to to work.

    Or, tell her both of those, or neither, as long as you don’t force her to listen.

  257. G.E.

    I never stated an objections to people getting “fixes.”

    I take back all of my comments, RE: prostitution, etc. They were made as I was wrestling with ideas, and were not fully developed.

  258. paulie cannoli Post author

    What’s the alternative? For these people to NOT be able to get loans?

    Some people would be better off if they were not able to get loans (in the same sense an addict would be better if if unable to score).

    However, since the ultimate decision of what makes them “better off” is with the person, it’s not the government’s business in either case.

  259. G.E.

    paul – a lot of people would be better off if they couldn’t get loans — but not the typical payday borrower, who is doing so to address emergency needs.

    The best and most moral corporation in the United States today: EZCORP (Ticker: EZPW)

  260. paulie cannoli Post author

    Druckenmiller isn’t even a liberal, he’s a socialist. He wants payday lenders to charge lower-than-profitable rates to poor people. He wants them to operate as charities rather than as businesses.

    I haven’t seen him say that. At least not above that comment, since I haven’t read past it yet. I’m going to guess he opposes people who don’t qualify for convention loans being able to get any loans at all, but would allow it anyway.

  261. G.E.

    What do they do in an emergency, then? Car broken down and can’t get to work? Need $50 to pay for kid’s medicine (refused welfare and Medicaid)?

    Notice there isn’t a “payday lending” crisis. There’s a subprime mortgage crisis, and a general credit crisis, etc. But the payday lenders lend REAL money (or at least, not fractional-reserve money) at REAL rates. Their customers are better off for taking the loans or they wouldn’t.

    The only truth to any of this is that one of the MAJOR reasons people take out payday loans is to avoid getting bank overdraft fees, which are something like 2500% a year APR. If free banking were allowed, this might cut into payday lenders’ business.

  262. paulie cannoli Post author

    I don’t think there is any moral excuse for having someone pay 4-to-5 times what something is worth by preying on their avarice and ignorance.

    What something is worth is a subjective value, which is time-sensitive. Having appliances and an entertainment center in your house (or, having a house to put them in) and a car in your driveway costs more when you can’t pay the entire costs up front – but having them now rather than later can be worth it to you. Naturally those rates will be higher if you are a poor credit risk. But who else besides you can decide what it’s worth to you?

    That’s like having someone else decide what you should find sexually stimulating, or what kind of music you should enjoy, etc, and then have them argue that your preferences are objectively wrong because you don’t agree.

  263. paulie cannoli Post author

    unlibertarian? How? I just said I expressly do NOT advocate that they are forced out of business. I just find their business model to be morally abhorrent.

    Then it is not unlibertarian. Any more than finding easy listening music to be morally abhorrent. Whether someone finds it abhorrent or righteous is their business, as long as they don’t attempt to enforce their wishes on those who do not agree.

  264. paulie cannoli Post author

    Who are you to judge their time preferences and values?

    I can judge people all day, every day based on my purely subjective values, or even by rolling dice and flipping coins. What I can’t (legitimately) do is enforce my judgments.

  265. paulie cannoli Post author

    I do not have to find something morally acceptable to realize that government intervention is worse. I don’t like smack users, I don’t like payday lending. You don’t like abortion.

    None of us advocate for state intervention.

    GE does, re: abortion. And, to be fair, that’s a case where libertarian theory is inadequate to provide an answer, since it does not address the question of when personhood begins.

  266. paulie cannoli Post author

    I dont see how he’s anticapitalist or liberal in any sense, anymore than paulie might be for his libertine views.

    My libertine views are pro-market and liberal, and entirely consistent with (although not necessary to) libertarianism.

  267. paulie cannoli Post author

    G.E. saw it. He’s decided that my moral opposition, even though it does not entail government intervention, is worth four-letter words and name-calling.

    There are, also, some libertine libertarians who take a similarly vociferous tone towards non-coercively socially conservative libertarians, as if unable to distinguish them from the Moral Majority.

    I don’t take a vociferous tone against anyone’s peaceful preferences or condemnations.

    Thrifty living, reckless borrowing and spending, prudishness and bawdiness all are fine by me. The only thing which isn’t is coercion.

  268. paulie cannoli Post author

    It was a joke.

    Ah. You had me worried.

    I take back all of my comments, RE: prostitution, etc. They were made as I was wrestling with ideas, and were not fully developed.

    That a relief 🙂

  269. paulie cannoli Post author

    #

    paulie cannoli // Nov 17, 2008 at 4:06 am

    unlibertarian? How? I just said I expressly do NOT advocate that they are forced out of business. I just find their business model to be morally abhorrent.

    Then it is not unlibertarian. Any more than finding easy listening music to be morally abhorrent. Whether someone finds it abhorrent or righteous is their business, as long as they don’t attempt to enforce their wishes on those who do not agree.
    #

    351 G.E. // Nov 17, 2008 at 4:16 am

    Then it is not unlibertarian.

    I do not agree.

    OK, how is it unlibertarian? Or, define libertarian. I define it as non-initiation of coercion. He isn’t advocating initiating coercion.

  270. Steven Druckenmiller

    the typical payday borrower, who is doing so to address emergency needs.

    The “typical” payday borrower has been to the payday office five times prior. How many emergencies do you think he has?

    And as for “we have to charge this interest because of the rate of default”, well, the default might not be at that rate if the lend rate were lower.

  271. Steven Druckenmiller

    But who else besides you can decide what it’s worth to you?

    I think it is well within the scope of my ethical judgment to determine when an increase in price is justified for time-sensitivity and circumstance, as opposed to when it turns over into what should be acknowledged as gouging that turns on the borrower’s ignorance.

    In other words, the circumstances dictate. Charging ten dollars for a baby formula may be justified if formula is in severe shortage, whereas it is not acceptable (to me) to raise that price when it’s late at night and someone just needs to feed their kid. Then you’re just being a douche.

  272. Catholic Trotskyist

    I wonder what Sheehan would think if she knew that this thread about her is one of the longest in this site’s history, and is now about prostitution and payday lending instead of the war in Iraq?

  273. paulie cannoli Post author

    Small potatoes next to what happened to the latest Keaton thread.

    By the way, I am still waiting for GE to provide a definition of libertarian whereby Steve’s personal condemnation of a given practice, with the explicit caveat that he would not use force to stop it, is unlibertarian. I’m also still waiting on Steve’s definition of libertarianism, since apparently it makes it impossible for anarchists such as GE, Jim Davidson and myself to be libertarians.

  274. G.E.

    GE does, re: abortion.

    I consider the legalization of murder to be “intervention,” not the defense of innocent life.

    By the way, I am still waiting for GE to provide a definition of libertarian whereby Steve’s personal condemnation of a given practice, with the explicit caveat that he would not use force to stop it, is unlibertarian.

    It’s an anticapitalistic, anti-human value to be opposed, on any level, to the building blocks of civilization, which are the right of contract and legitimate lending and borrowing based on savings and investment. I do not believe in libertarian socialism.

  275. paulie cannoli Post author

    Let’s start at the start. What is your definition of libertarianism?

    Does it differ from the non-initiation of coercion principle, or have some other values which override that principle in this case?

    Or, do you have an explanation of how Steve’s position constitutes an initiation of force, even though he has explicitly rejected force to address what he perceives to be a problem?

    I understand libertarianism to be a rule of acceptable means only. Values and ends (goals) can be anything or nothing, and you would still be libertarian, so long as you reject the initiation of force as an acceptable means of achieving whatever your goals are. Do you disagree?

  276. darolew

    Taste != morality. Manners != morality. Stupid != immoral. It seems to be the unfortunate tendency for people to conflate everything they personally dislike into ‘morality’.

    Regarding payday loans, the problem is not that the business model is immoral; the problem is they have lots of customers who are idiots. Payday loans, especially if you get more than a couple, will screw you over pretty fast. While this may not be possible for a small segment of society, the vast majority of people are capable of spending/saving their money in a wise manner, so that payday loans are not necessary. It’s better to avoid the need…

  277. Steven Druckenmiller

    which are the right of contract and legitimate lending and borrowing based on savings and investment.

    I don’t want to void that right, G.E. I also think you have the right to be as foul-mouthed and ill-tempered as you want. That doesn’t mean I have to condone your actions, either.

    Payday lenders have the right to contract as they wish. I also find the fact that they rely on ignorance and exigent circumstances, and use that to charge rates that are very high, abhorrent. It’s just not honest dealing.

    libertarian = minimizing the state. I suppose that, strictly speaking, one could minimize to zero, but why call yourself anything but an anarchist?

  278. paulie cannoli Post author

    libertarian = minimizing the state. I suppose that, strictly speaking, one could minimize to zero, but why call yourself anything but an anarchist?

    Because there are several kinds of anarchist, some of which are not libertarian at all.

  279. Steven Druckenmiller

    anarch = sovereign individual
    anarchist = promotion of the sovereignty of the individual
    Libertarian = minarchist

    I just don’t see why you need the label of libertarian, paulie. You don’t want a state; that makes you an anarchist.

    Are there other anarchists who want there to be a state? Because that would just be ridiculous.

  280. paulie cannoli Post author

    anarch = sovereign individual
    anarchist = promotion of the sovereignty of the individual

    Correct.

    Libertarian = minarchist.

    No. Where did you get that?

    Libertarian = non-initiation of coercion principle. Some libertarians are anarchists, believing that the existence of a territorial monopoly on force is itself an initiation of coercion.

    Others are minarchists, believing the existence of a night watchman state is essential to preventing greater levels of private initiations of coercion.

    Some anarchists fall into the first type of libertarian. Other anarchists believe that initiating coercion/force is OK, desirable, and even necessary. While they do not believe in a state, they do believe that their collectives are justified in taking property (and, in some cases, lives) from unwilling persons, who have not done anything of a similar nature to them, by force.

    This is because they consider private property to be entirely illegitimate.

    The views of libertarian anarchists are different from the views of anti-private property anarchists. Thus, the term anarchist is insufficient to describe our outlook.

    I just don’t see why you need the label of libertarian, paulie.

    That’s what we have been historically called. I can also argue that strictly speaking minarchists are not libertarians, in that they advocate the existence of a state which is an initiation of coercive force by the very nature of its existence, but I don’t for two reasons:

    1) (At least some) minarchists wish to be called libertarians

    and

    2) They are the allies of anarchist libertarians, at least until we get to the point of a night watchman state.

  281. Steven Druckenmiller

    Fair enough. Sometimes, though, I think that libertarian advocacy for (or against) certain governmental policies is made near-impossible because the anarchists are always in the back going “NO! We can’t argue on their terms! These policies are illegitimate for moral reasons alone!”

    The anarchist wing has a tendency to preclude gradualism.

  282. paulie cannoli Post author

    The anarchist wing has a tendency to preclude gradualism.

    The vast majority of anarchist libertarians I know of favor gradualism. There are exceptions, however.

  283. paulie cannoli Post author

    OK, so Steve and I have defined what we think libertarianism is, and why therefore someone can be deemed to be a libertarian or not.

    GE, do you have a definition of the term, so that I can relate it your conclusion?

  284. G.E.

    GE, do you have a definition of the term, so that I can relate it your conclusion?

    Anti-state. Pro-capitalist. Pro-individualism. Simply being anti-coercion doesn’t make my definition — and besides, Druckenmiller is NOT anti-coercion, even if he is in this case.

    To you anti-payday lenders out there: What do you think interest rates would be if regular banks could not create 90% of the money they lend out of thin air? Saying payday-loan rates are “high” is absurd. Fed rates are low.

  285. paulie cannoli Post author

    Druckenmiller is NOT anti-coercion, even if he is in this case.

    This case is what we are talking about here.

    I’m trying to hash out the implications of this definition. Do you mean one can’t be a libertarian and personally disapprove of (without wanting to use force to shut down – just personally disapprove) any good or service being offered for sale?

  286. G.E.

    I’m trying to hash out the implications of this definition. Do you mean one can’t be a libertarian and personally disapprove of (without wanting to use force to shut down – just personally disapprove) any good or service being offered for sale?

    I think they can’t disapprove of teh buying and selling of any good or service that is not in violation of individual rights. They could disapprove of the activity in question, but not the buying and selling. Lending and borrowing are critical building blocks of the free economy, and to have disdain for the one legitimate source of commercial lending in the economy, where the action in question IS the buying/selling of the good (money) and service (exchange of risk and time preference), is completely unlibertarian in my view. It is anticapitalist and I do not accept “libertarian” socialists as my fellow travelers.

  287. paulie cannoli Post author

    I think they can’t disapprove of teh buying and selling of any good or service that is not in violation of individual rights. They could disapprove of the activity in question, but not the buying and selling.

    But you still disapprove, at least on a moral level, of the buying and selling of sexual services, no?

  288. Trent Hill

    “I think they can’t disapprove of teh buying and selling of any good or service that is not in violation of individual rights. They could disapprove of the activity in question, but not the buying and selling.”

    I see that Paulie has already taken it here, but i’ll go ahead and make it personal. I believe the act of selling pornography, or creating it, is immoral. Am I not libertarian?

  289. paulie cannoli Post author

    I think it is well within the scope of my ethical judgment to determine when an increase in price is justified for time-sensitivity and circumstance, as opposed to when it turns over into what should be acknowledged as gouging that turns on the borrower’s ignorance.

    In other words, the circumstances dictate. Charging ten dollars for a baby formula may be justified if formula is in severe shortage, whereas it is not acceptable (to me) to raise that price when it’s late at night and someone just needs to feed their kid. Then you’re just being a douche.

    So, not one penny more at night?

    I can easily see why some business owner might want to charge more at night. Perhaps it costs her more to keep the doors open at night, since there aren’t as many customers, and a smaller pool of workers who are willing to work that shift, and more robberies?

    Typically, this problem gets solved by stores closing at night, but I see no inherent reason why it can’t be solved by fluctuating prices. In fact, some things (drinks, movies, etc.) do fluctuate in price based on time of day.

    Any limitation on what a willing buyer is willing to offer a willing seller just reduces availability of the desired good or service – in other words, in your example, increases the likelihood that kid won’t eat that night.

  290. Steven Druckenmiller

    paulie – I just said “at night” because it lends itself to visualizing the personal exigency that the mother is in while it’s not an objective exigency.

    …is completely unlibertarian in my view.

    I see G.E’s been in the echo-chamber of his head for so long that anything people support that he supports = libertarian; and anything against that = unlibertarian.

    Frankly, G.E., you have a slippery, sloppy and ill-defined notion of “libertarian”.

    I don’t approve of crack usage, G.E. Do you? Does that mean it should be illegal? How hard is this for you?

  291. Steven Druckenmiller

    paulie – let me put it another way:

    I’m just spinning out the contract-law notion of duress:

    Most courts would see this contract as signed under duress because of the situation of legitimate emergency.

    I’m just spinning out emergencies even further. I mean, have you considered why payday lending has such low standards of evidence for whether you actually have income? It’s because they really don’t care if the customer can legitimately afford the loan or not. They’ll lend, lend, lend, regardless of the realistic ability to pay.

    Again, I do not believe that the AT LAW definition should void legitimate contracts. I just think that the payday lenders operate on sharking, need and avarice and they know that is what they are doing.

  292. JimDavidson

    Moral opposition to an activity is not the same as favoring compulsory prohibition of the activity.

    Favoring an acceptance of Jesus Christ as your savior does not (and if one follows His teachings, cannot) represent a desire for compulsory “acceptance.” Indeed, it doesn’t work that you freely embrace Jesus if someone holds a gun on your head.

    One can certainly argue that Drunkenmiller is not a libertarian and is an authoritarian because he favors compulsory taxation for national defense (and presumably other things he wants to have without paying for himself). However, his view that prostitution and crack smoking should be legal are not authoritarian views.

    It is possible that he’s confused and hasn’t worked out consistent ethics. I think it more likely that he doesn’t want them.

    Stop the wars.

  293. JimDavidson

    By the way, Paulie, you see what I’ve done here. I called for the extermination of the entire political class and I’ve touched off a thread that is nearly 400 comments long. I think the work Susan has been doing on the proposed platform thread is similarly length-inspiring.

    Thus, you don’t have to feed the trolls on the Angela Keaton thread. So, please join me in not feeding them there trolls.

  294. paulie cannoli Post author

    Speaking of AKs, just reading that fucking thing makes me want to bust one out. I’m not sure if I’d use it on myself first or what.

    Just kidding – but only slightly…

  295. paulie cannoli Post author

    By the way, Paulie, you see what I’ve done here. I called for the extermination of the entire political class and I’ve touched off a thread that is nearly 400 comments long.

    It seems to have stalled out, however.

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