Brian Holtz: ‘LNC Chair candidate Hancock on Baldwin’

The following was posted by Brian Holtz at Libertarian Intelligence. It was originally intended as an article for IPR, but our internal IPR email discussion raised concerns that it exceeds IPR’s restrictions on editorializing in articles by our writers. Although Brian Holtz also writes for IPR, IPR as a site is not taking any positions on his views on the LNC chair race or on the LNC chair race as a whole. Likewise, I (Paulie) am not saying to what extent I agree or disagree with Brian’s concerns or opinions by posting this – only making them available for public comment by our readers.



Libertarian National Committee Chair candidate Ernest Hancock responded to 10 questions posted on IPR for him by saying they will be answered by videos on a DVD he will be mailing to LP national convention delegates. This is the fifth in a series of reports that will use public video and audio archives to anticipate how those questions could be answered.

Question 7 asked: Do you still think that in 2008 the Constitution Party nominated “a good hardcore libertarian”? The following video contrasts

  • Hancock talking about the threshold for being considered libertarian
  • Hancock talking about whether 2008 CP nominee Chuck Baldwin is a libertarian
  • various statements and positions taken by Baldwin in his 2008 campaign.

Note: I will not be endorsing any candidate for LNC Chair. The articles and videos from this series of reports are collected here. The facts in these reports are accurate, but they have obviously been chosen and arranged to highlight concerns about the Chair race that a big-tent LP member (like me) might have.



And following the link to http://libertarianmajority.net/hancock,
Brian posts there:



This page collects articles and videos documenting public statements by LNC Chair candidate Ernest Hancock that LP delegates might find informative.

IPR Articles

Playlist

  • 1. Using airtime as LP candidate to advocate against voting
  • 2-3. More public advocacy against voting
  • 4-6. Predicting violent revolution and “greatest depression ever”
  • 7-8. Questioning whether the LPUS should even exist
  • 9. On “targeting the LPUS as an enemy of freedom”

Quotes

Against Voting

  • 2006 candidate statement on KABC-TV Since 2004, I no longer vote, because I know better. If you’re going to vote, if you feel the need to vote, if you hold out that hope, I encourage you to vote Libertarian. […] So, I’m asking you to not vote for me. To not vote. Make sure your vote really counts, by keeping it.
  • 2009-04-25 You have a to-do list, and it’s “no more voting”. […] I go in, I vote, I come out, and I’m thinking “Ewww, I am encouraging this process.”
  • 2003-10-31 They want the building to go down. They need a bridge to blow up. It justifies their existence. And voting’s kinda like justifying their existence, it’s making them feel better, it’s encouraging them. […] All you’re really doing is legitimizing or justifying the process. […] The government wants you to vote really badly. Well, that’s a sign right there. […] The Declaration of Independence had absolutely nothing to do with voting. It was all about what happens when voting doesn’t work. Annie get your gun.

Predicting Violence

  • 2008-11-22 It’s not an if-thing, it’s an already-happened-thing. So now it’s how many cans of Campbell’s Soup can you get? How much water do you got? How many friends do you have? How much land can you plow? All those crazy anarchist/libertarian people, they’re gonna be the rich S.O.B.s because they got bullets to trade for bread. You think I’m kidding! This revolution can be peaceful, or it can be violent. I think there’s gonna be some violence. But it’s not gonna be the way you think. It’s gonna be people that can’t eat. What’s coming can not be stopped.

Predicting “Greatest Depression Ever”

  • 2009-04-25 “We should buy now.” Hell no, get out. It’s not going to get better, it’s going to get a lot worse. This is just the beginning of something greater than the greatest depression ever. Get out of the stock market now. So you can say I told you so. What’s the date? 25th of April, 2009. It’s going to get worse, a lot worse. There, I said it.

Disclaimer

I, Brian Holtz, will likely not be endorsing any candidate in the 2010 LNC Chair race. My IPR reporting on that race is designed to address specific concerns that I think many readers and LP delegates would share about the candidates. I of course cherry-pick the material that I report. As a fellow libertarian, I agree with the vast majority of what I’ve read and heard from the Chair candidates in the dozens of hours I’ve spent reviewing their public record. All my reporting has been biased toward highlighting or correcting their possible deviations from what I think a typical big-tent LP member supports. At the same time, my reporting has been entirely factual and never misleading.

88 thoughts on “Brian Holtz: ‘LNC Chair candidate Hancock on Baldwin’

  1. Cherry-Picking Is a Form of Endorsement

    I, Brian Holtz, will likely not be endorsing any candidate in the 2010 LNC Chair race. … I of course cherry-pick the material that I report.

    If your cherry-picking is repeatedly biased toward or against any particular candidate, it functions as an endorsement, even if you’ve not “officially” endorsed anyone.

    Cherry-picking facts is a way to shift opinion toward your preferred candidate, without having to take responsibility for any endorsement.

  2. Brian Holtz

    I said I’m not endorsing anyone. I never said I’m not opposing anyone.

    Does me opposing Hancock turn any of the above facts into non-facts?

  3. paulie Post author

    Chuck Baldwin was probably more libertarian than Bob Barr.

    Out of curiosity, did you watch Brian’s video? If so, did it change that opinion in any way – and why or why not?

  4. Darryl W. Perry

    Of course Barr doesn’t see a “conspiracy” – he knows it’s there because he’s CIA…
    I hate when people say “former CIA” about him, CIA is like the Marines, “once a Marine always a Marine” – once CIA, always CIA!

  5. Jeremy Young

    This is a good, hard-hitting video by Brian Holtz — though I’d argue that he repeats that quote about Libertarianism by Hancock a few too many times (just because it gets annoying).

    I also appreciate the way IPR has handled the issue of fairness. Having another writer post Brian’s work here is appropriate because Brian is making news with these attacks on Hancock. Meanwhile, Brian’s attacks are hard-hitting but fact-based and principled.

    It’s worth recalling that the last time there was a major factional fight in the LP, one faction literally bought off TPW because they saw it as a threat to their position. By allowing vigorous debate from both sides on the front page, IPR is helping to stave off that sort of outcome.

    As for my views on Hancock, to me more damning than all these videos by Brian is Hancock’s own video showing himself and his supporters making anti-Wayne Root T-shirts. That’s the sort of juvenile behavior that’s simply not appropriate for a party chair.

    Phillies and Myers continue to be the best Chair candidates. I could enthusiastically support either of them. (Again, though, I’m not a Libertarian.)

  6. Joe Murphy

    I am sorry but I missed something. Why is it relevent whether Chuck Baldwin is libertarian? What does this have to do with who is the head of the Libertarian party? I am not being sarcastic, honestly I feel I missed a discussion somewhere.

  7. Brian Holtz

    Hancock says he is running for LNC Chair because “I just want the word ‘libertarian’ defined as libertarian“. In 2008 he called the CP nominee “a good hardcore libertarian”, so this video helps calibrate how we could expect Hancock to use the word ‘libertarian’ while LNC Chair.

  8. JT

    A well-produced video of Hancock/Baldwin, Brian. Obviously, none of those handful of positions of Baldwin’s are libertarian or even libertarian-leaning. But I have questions: You’ve called yourself a “big-tent Libertarian.” Which non-libertarian positions do you think a person can hold yet still be considered a libertarian, and why? Or are you saying that holding a few non-libertarian positions makes you automatically not a libertarian, but you’re still welcome in the Libertarian Party? I’m curious about that.

  9. JT

    I’m also curious to know what Tom Knapp thinks about Hancock calling Baldwin a “good hardcore libertarian.”

  10. Thane Eichenauer

    I live in Phoenix and have known Ernest Hancock for a number of years.

    I have followed the Barr/Root campaign and while I didn’t attend the nomination convention I was exposed to people who did.

    I have been concerned with Root that he couldn’t be trusted not to go squishy on issues that I was concerned about such as US interventionist foreign policy and drug prohibition. Over time my concern has waned only slightly.

    Ernest Hancock certainly warns the public (as does Fox Business personality David Ramsey) that they should be prudent in their actions and spending and that difficult times may be approaching. I agree that taking a prudent and perhaps pessimistic outlook is warranted. I’ve heard Ron Paul’s writing echo the same theme (for the longest time).

    I have always found Hancock’s reasoning on not voting to make logical sense and if IPR references videos of him laying out his point I would thank them for the favor.

    If Hancock’s reasoning on any of the points he asserts is faulty then I hope and pray that the person who wins the contest will point that out in 2 years.

    May the best candidate win.

  11. Brian Holtz

    I would count you as libertarian if 1) you score at least 130 on my test below, and 2) any major deviations (e.g. on the franchise schisms of abortion, immigration, libervention) come with a serious argument for why you think the policy would minimize the net incidence of aggression.

    LP candidates and leaders should score at least a 160, and ideally a 200.

    The test has a menu so you can see how the various parties’ platforms score. The CP platform scores a 115 (40+75). Baldwin himself might score a little higher.

    Knapp said this about the video: “I think Holtz’s point is that Hancock is a hypocrite — posturing as a radical libertarian and condemning the LP for nominating Barr, while simultaneously talking up theocrat/statist goons like Baldwin.”

  12. Tom Blanton

    Personally, I would not consider Baldwin to be a libertarian. However, the LP is rife with those who claim that various crypto-fascists, war-mongering neocons, and rabid Likudniks are “libertarians”.

    In fact, Brian Holtz insists that Glenn Beck is a libertarian because Beck falls into the libertarian quadrant of Holtz’s plagiarized “test”. Beck didn’t actually take the test, so Holtz took it for him.

    Fortunately, the LP has Holtz around to tell them who is a libertarian and who is not, because according to Holtz, nobody has the right to determine whether or not someone is a libertarian – that would be nobody except himself.

    The reality is that Chuck Baldwin is probably more of a libertarian than Glenn Beck. But, there is part of Holtz’s libertarian “test” that is subjective and that is whether or not the person in question is pro-war. Therefore Beck, who is politically very much like Baldwin on all the social issues, is a libertarian because he is pro-war. Baldwin is not a libertarian because he is not pro-war.

    It is also Baldwin’s anti-war position that Hancock emphasizes in his analysis that Baldwin is libertarian.

    Holtz and his ilk continually tell us that the LP is a big tent and that all libertarian philosophies should be treated equally within this big tent. It’s just that those who are pro-war seem to be a little more equal in the mind of Holtz.

  13. Brian Holtz

    If Hancock thinks that being antiwar makes Baldwin libertarian, then does he think Nader and Kucinich are libertarian too?

    Blanton is obsessed with Glenn Beck, but here’s what I’ve actually said about Beck here in the Real World:

    Until I see more data, I’m guessing that Beck is about a 65/85. That’s not quite in my comfort zone for an LP nominee, and if Tom’s right that Beck is 55/75, then that answers Blanton’s question about why he isn’t interchangeable with Root. […] From what little I know of Beck, he’s in the libertarian quadrant but (unlike Root) is not libertarian enough for me to accept him as an LP presidential nominee. […] I’ve given Beck quotes on seven questions. I didn’t say I have zero information on how Beck would answer the other 13. Nor is my information by any means complete. But as I yet I have no reason to doubt Knapp’s estimate that Beck is on the edge of the libertarian quadrant.

    I of course claim no authority to declare who is or isn’t a libertarian. All I claim is that the positions in my quiz are clearly libertarian, and that they do a similar but better job than the WSPQ does of 1) scoring politicians and parties against the LP platform, and 2) mapping them onto the Nolan Chart.

    Blanton hilariously hallucinates when he imagines that war/liberventionism is part of my rating system. I already explained above why foreign policy isn’t part of either the WSPQ or my test. In fact, I say that non-intervention is the default libertarian position, and that “any major deviations (e.g. on the franchise schisms of abortion, immigration, libervention) must come with a serious argument for why you think the policy would minimize the net incidence of aggression”.

    I do advocate that the LP be ecumenical among the major principled schools of libertarianism: Cato/Chicago minarchism, Paulian constitutionalism, paleolibertarianism, Rothbardian anarchism, geolibertarianism, etc. I’ve never said that the LP should consider liberventionism to be more libertarian than the alternatives. When mind-reader Blanton says he detects this “in the mind of Holtz”, he’s simply lying.

  14. Michael H. Wilson

    @ 15 Brian’s quiz reads; “To own a gun if you’re an adult?”.

    Allow me to point out that the second amendment has no age qualification for owning a gun or any other type of armament. But you want to do just that? That does not strike me as very Libertarian in any circumstance.

  15. Brian Holtz

    And the Sixth Amendment says the criminally accused can invoke “compulsory process” to make innocent-bystander witnesses testify at trial. Sorry, but I don’t take centuries-old documents written by slaveowners to be the last word in libertarian theory. 🙂

    I don’t believe in bright-line age qualifications. I believe in rebuttable presumptions that merely flip their default value at a particular age.

    I just can’t agree with anybody who says that any seven-year-old should be free to buy a weapons, drugs, or porn from a vending machine.

  16. Trent Hill

    “The CP platform scores a 115 (40+75). Baldwin himself might score a little higher.”

    Baldwin would almost certainly score higher.

  17. Trent Hill

    “I also appreciate the way IPR has handled the issue of fairness. Having another writer post Brian’s work here is appropriate because Brian is making news with these attacks on Hancock. Meanwhile, Brian’s attacks are hard-hitting but fact-based and principled.

    It’s worth recalling that the last time there was a major factional fight in the LP, one faction literally bought off TPW because they saw it as a threat to their position. By allowing vigorous debate from both sides on the front page, IPR is helping to stave off that sort of outcome.”

    Thank God someone sees things my way! hah!

  18. Tom Blanton

    Aw, c’mon now Brian, everyone knows you have a soft spot in your heart for oxymoronic liberventionists. It’s no secret. It sure doesn’t take a mind reader to figure that out.

    I?ve never said that the LP should consider liberventionism to be more libertarian than the alternatives.

    I never suggested you said that. You don’t have to say it.

    But it sure seems, here in this real world, that you think Glenn Beck is a libertarian based on some cherry picked nonsense that he opposes left and right and favors smaller government. He’s a theocratic nut job that believes in American exceptionalism and imperialism.

    Sayeth the Knower of All:

    I quoted Glenn Beck above as saying he opposes both Left and Right and supports smaller government. I dare you to say that?s not a prima facie description of a libertarian. Everybody has views that some libertarian could use to try to read them out of the libertarian quadrant.

    I didn?t say Beck was a paragon of libertarianism. I just said that he seems to be in the libertarian quadrant. There are plenty of people there who have some views I find repugnant ? and that includes you.

    Since you apparently aren?t willing to share your evidence that Beck is no less libertarian than Root, I stand by my judgment that from what little I know of Beck, he?s in the libertarian quadrant but (unlike Root) is not libertarian enough for me to accept him as an LP presidential nominee.

    BTB, my thesis is that Beck is on or within the edge of the libertarian quadrant. Since you agree with my thesis, I don?t have anything to prove to you.

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2009/09/wayne-root-on-the-lou-dobbs-show-91009/

  19. Brian Holtz

    I repeat: Since you apparently aren’t willing to share your evidence that Beck is no less libertarian than Root, I stand by my judgment that from what little I know of Beck, he’s in the libertarian quadrant but (unlike Root) is not libertarian enough for me to accept him as an LP presidential nominee.

    I’m still waiting for the Glenn-Beck-obsessed Blanton to provide evidence on Beck’s views regarding the 13 questions in my quiz for which I don’t really know Beck’s position.

  20. Tom Blanton

    You will continue to wait, Brian. Go listen to the asshole on the radio yourself. Until such time as you do know what Beck is all about, feel free to continue making a fool of yourself by defending him as some sort of libertarian.

    I suppose most libertarians cringe when they hear Beck call himself a libertarian. I have no obsession with Beck, I have a revulsion. The fact that you seem to embrace the self-described rodeo clown speaks volumes about who you are.

    What you can’t seem to get through your thick skull is the fact that many libertarians consider supporters of the warfare state to be the enemies of freedom. This would include supporters of preventive wars. The war is the defining issue of our time as it effects everything from the economy to civil liberties. It has caused a massive increase in the size, scope and power of government.

    You can prattle on about my “hilarious hallucinations” and the “real world” all you want, but you demonstrate time and time again the dangerous delusions from which you suffer: the war is good and Beck is a libertarian.

  21. JT

    Brian: “I would count you as libertarian if 1) you score at least 130 on my test below, and 2) any major deviations (e.g. on the franchise schisms of abortion, immigration, libervention) come with a serious argument for why you think the policy would minimize the net incidence of aggression.

    LP candidates and leaders should score at least a 160, and ideally a 200.”

    Okay. These numbers are totally arbitrary though. Why is 130 the qualifying point as libertarian as opposed to 120? Why is 160 the qualifying point as a Libertarian candidate or leader and not 150? If there’s a rational argument for that, I’d like to know it. And saying, “well, we have to draw the line somewhere” isn’t a rational argument for why the line is drawn at those particular points.

  22. JT

    Btw, to not include one item on a 20-question political quiz related to the military and wars (which in 2010 are costing an incredible $1 trillion, more than the entire federal budget in the early 1980s) is very strange, I think.

  23. Andy

    “Tom Blanton // Apr 24, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Personally, I would not consider Baldwin to be a libertarian. However, the LP is rife with those who claim that various crypto-fascists, war-mongering neocons, and rabid Likudniks are “libertarians”.”

    Baldwin opposes the War on Drugs, favors fully informed juries, opposes the Patriot Act, and opposes US military imperialism. This makes him more libertarian than some people who call themselves Libertarians.

  24. Andy

    Oh yeah, Baldwin also favors abolishing the CIA.
    .

    Does Bob Barr favor abolishing the CIA?

    I’ve heard that Bob Barr does not favor fully informed juries. If so, that’s not very libertarian.

  25. Michael H. Wilson

    re: Andy’s comment. If someone does not understand the idea behind Fully Informed Juries then they do not understand the basic idea behind the libertarian philosophy.

  26. Brian Holtz

    Blanton simply lies. I don’t “continue to defend Beck as a libertarian”. I completely ignore the clownish Beck except for the times that the obsessed Blanton tries to claim without evidence that Beck lies outside the libertarian quadrant.

    What I “continue” to do is say that from the little I know of Beck, he’s on the margin of the libertarian quadrant, having only recently arrived there. Blanton seeks “enemies of freedom” there, while I hope Beck becomes a true libertarian.

    Blanton simply lies when he claims I say “the war is good”. I said that regime change was good, but I’ve opposed the nation-building wars for about half a decade.

    Blanton lacks the intellectual courage to disagree with my actual positions. So he lies about them.

  27. Brian Holtz

    JT, I didn’t invent the idea of drawing lines inside the Nolan Chart. You’ll notice that on my chart, I use colors to show that there are degrees of libertarianism:

    Small-tenters still demand to know where I personally would draw a line, and so I give them a number. The 130 is indeed somewhat arbitrary; it’s just the bottom border of the libertarian “quadrant”. I got the 160 by looking at the questions and deciding that I could barely tolerate four wrong answers from an LP leader/candidate, but certainly no more. Are you saying there is a better number of wrong answers that should be tolerated?

    Regarding foreign policy, yesterday in another thread I posted the explanation from http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz-faq.html:

    There are three major areas of national political concern. Two are addressed directly in the Quiz: economics and personal freedom.

    The third major areas of national political concern is foreign policy. Foreign policy, in turn, is chiefly concerned with two big areas: peacetime relations between nations, and the military (which includes defense spending and military action).

    In the “Economic Issues” section, there are questions about ending government barriers to international free trade, and whether taxes and government spending should be cut by 50% or more (which would, almost certainly, result in a leaner defense budget and a more narrowly focused national defense policy).

    Liberals, conservatives, centrists and statists all tend to disagree strongly among themselves on both peacetime and wartime foreign policy issues. (For example, there are hawkish liberals and isolationist conservatives, and vice-versa. And there are anti-free-trade conservatives and pro-free-trade liberals.) So adding foreign policy to the Quiz would not be very helpful in distinguishing between these groups — and it would make the Quiz much clumsier and more complex.

  28. Brian Holtz

    Michael, my “libertarian values” are just fine. If you think that the LP should advocate seven-year-olds being free to buy weapons, drugs, or porn from vending machines, then how about you call Ernie Hancock’s radio show on Monday and ask him to advocate it?

    It’s of course a corollary of his anarchism, but LP anarchists seem to get excused from understanding/embracing all the implications of their position. So if you can get him to say it, I’d consider that newsworthy and post an article on IPR about it.

    After all, wouldn’t it help Hancock’s campaign to advertise that his libertarian values are purest?

  29. Tom Blanton

    Blanton simply lies. I don’t “continue to defend Beck as a libertarian”. I completely ignore the clownish Beck except for the times that the obsessed Blanton tries to claim without evidence that Beck lies outside the libertarian quadrant.

    Where is your evidence that Beck lies within the libertarian quadrant, Holtz? You admit you know little about Beck. You also seem to think Beck only recently “arrived” at the libertarian quadrant. He has actually been calling himself “a libertarian at heart” for several years.

    After claiming I am a liar when I say you defend Beck, you then confirm what I have said:

    What I “continue” to do is say that from the little I know of Beck, he’s on the margin of the libertarian quadrant…

    Of course, you arrive at this conclusion after you take “your” test for Beck.

    Blanton simply lies when he claims I say “the war is good”. I said that regime change was good, but I’ve opposed the nation-building wars for about half a decade.

    Oh my, how could I have been SO wrong? I should revise my statement:

    Holtz believes wars for regime change are good. But after 2 or 3 years of the occupation America is involved with, Holtz no longer supports nation building. How wonderful. I suppose Holtz would claim everything that has happened was completely unforeseeable when he first jumped on the war train.

    Blanton lacks the intellectual courage to disagree with my actual positions. So he lies about them.

    Who can be sure what your actual positions are? Within the last few weeks you attempted to defend your support for the war and everything that has flowed from it by linking to a list of bumper sticker slogans rationalizing the Iraq war, including my favorite: Saddam’s son said he hates America.

    Now, after the damage is done, you are against the foreseeable way the war you called for was fought and the foreseeable unending occupation. But, you still claim you were right in making that call. And you have the audacity to claim I am a liar and I am intellectually dishonest.

    I have already informed you of what you apparently have been too dense to comprehend, that some libertarians consider the supporters of the warfare state and/or preventive war to be the enemies of liberty. That puts you on the wrong side of the liberty in my book, Holtz, despite your brave stance on the plight of the wealthy white man.

    In the future, you should learn to parse your words more carefully in order to make your later denials more plausible. It is always difficult to take more than one side of an issue.

  30. JT

    Brian: “The 130 is indeed somewhat arbitrary; it’s just the bottom border of the libertarian “quadrant”.”

    Okay, that’s an objective standard. But it’s also only the bottom border if a quiz-taker scores at least 50 on one side. I think Baldwin is 90-40.

    Brian: “I got the 160 by looking at the questions and deciding that I could barely tolerate four wrong answers from an LP leader/candidate, but certainly no more. Are you saying there is a better number of wrong answers that should be tolerated?”

    I’m saying you’re the one making the claim, so you’re the one who has to provide the objective reason. Saying you can “barely tolerate four wrong answers” from an LP leader/candidate is arbitrary. Offhand, I might say 75-75 (assuming 5 is an option), because that’s the center point of the libertarian quadrant. I might say 100-100 for a candidate for president, because that person is the standard-bearer of the entire LP.

  31. JT

    Brian: “Liberals, conservatives, centrists and statists all tend to disagree strongly among themselves on both peacetime and wartime foreign policy issues.”

    I think the large majority of liberals and conservatives agree with each other on the military/war issue (though Democratic politicians often deviate from their base, just as Republican politicians often deviate from their base on economics). The large majority of libertarians agree too (though you might not), especially when it comes to “preventive war” and reducing spending on the military.

  32. Brian Holtz

    Blanton, all the evidence I have about Beck lies in that lengthy Lou Dobbs thread from September. If you care so much about Beck, go read it again. I have no interest in your Beck obsession, but I’m willing to defend any/all my past statements about him (or anything else) from any contrary evidence you might have. Got any?

    I do not “believe wars for regime change are good”. You don’t get to decide what my position is. I do. My actual criteria for when war for regime change is good are stated at http://libertarianmajority.net/iraq. I even include instructions on what you could say to successfully disagree with them. If I recall correctly, you’ve only once competently asserted such disagreement, out of all your dozens of strawman attempts.

    Ron Paul supported war for regime change in Afghanistan, so I guess that makes him an “enemy of freedom” too.

    JT, I’ve never quite claimed that there can be an objectively-defined green-light-or-red-light libertarian-ometer for determining whether someone is libertarian or not. Indeed, my video above implicitly mocks Hancock for making just such a claim. I reject your assumption that I have to defend such a claim simply because I’m willing to give more details than most people here do about when I use the word “libertarian”. Please read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorites_paradox for more about how concepts can have fuzzy boundaries. If you think a score corresponding to “the center point of the libertarian quadrant” is non-arbitrary, how can you complain that a score corresponding to the edge of the libertarian quadrant is arbitrary?

    Requiring a 100/100 score would rule out Ron Paul as the LP nominee, so that idea is a non-starter for me.

    The quote about foreign policy is from the Advocates For Self-Government, not from me. Readers can judge for themselves whether in America “the large majority of liberals and conservatives agree with each other on the military/war issue”. For data on this question, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_popular_opinion_on_invasion_of_Iraq.

  33. JT

    Brian: “If you think a score corresponding to “the center point of the libertarian quadrant” is non-arbitrary, how can you complain that a score corresponding to the edge of the libertarian quadrant is arbitrary?”

    Read what I wrote, Brian. I said the exact opposite on that point. What I said was arbitrary was your statement about 160 as the qualifying point for LP candidates/leaders. Your reason was that a score less than that is intolerable to you, and THAT isn’t an objective standard.

    Brian: “Requiring a 100/100 score would rule out Ron Paul as the LP nominee, so that idea is a non-starter for me.”

    How? Because of your “choose whether to procreate” question? That’s poorly phrased, I think. Anyone who’s against abortion would agree that an individual should be free to choose whether to procreate; they’d just say that choice is made prior to unprotected sex and conception. If you want to have an abortion question on the quiz, it should say “abortion” or “termination of pregnancy” or the like.

    In any case, I said I was just speaking offhand about what I might say on presidential purity. I haven’t come to a firm conclusion about it.

    Brian: “Readers can judge for themselves whether in America “the large majority of liberals and conservatives agree with each other on the military/war issue”.”

    I shouldn’t even have mentioned liberals or conservatives in my last post. Whether the large majority of liberals or conservatives do agree on military spending or “preventive war” or trying to democratize other countries militarily or stationing troops overseas isn’t the point. The reality is that the large majority of people who are libertarians DO agree on those things.

    Go to any LP state or national convention or read commentaries/studies about the military from libertarian organizations, or go to libertarian policy forums that deal with that area. You’ll find the same thing. There are some prominent self-described libertarians who don’t (e.g., Larry Elder or Neal Boortz), but they’re a small minority. From my experiences in the LP over the last decade, I’d guess the percentage of anarchists and of liberventionists in the party is roughly the same.

  34. Tom Blanton

    Ron Paul supported war for regime change in Afghanistan, so I guess that makes him an “enemy of freedom” too.

    This was an unfortunate vote on 9/14/01, but it was not for regime change. It was to go after Osama and al Qaida. Read the bill:

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=hj107-64

    On 9/25/01, Paul expressed some regret for supporting the joint resolution:

    Mr. Speaker, I support President Bush and voted for the authority and the money to carry out his responsibility to defend this country, but the degree of death and destruction and chances of escalation must be carefully taken into consideration.

    It is only with sadness that I reflect on the support, the dollars, the troops, the weapons and training provided by US taxpayers that are now being used against us. Logic should tell us that intervening in all the wars of the world has been detrimental to our self-interest and should be reconsidered.

    To my knowledge, Ron Paul has not posted a list of slogans on his website defending his vote on this matter and he has not told anyone what they must say to disagree with him.

  35. Tom Blanton

    I should add that since 2001, Ron Paul has been one of the most visible advocates for nonintervention in America, both in rhetoric and actual votes. I would say he has redeemed himself for his ill-advised vote on 9/14/01.

    The so-called liberventionists and neocons seek redemption from their insistence that America go to war with Afghanistan and Iraq by claiming the war was not fought to their liking and that unforeseeable circumstances arose. The reality being that there was never any real strategy or goal in mind and when their opponents warned of the possible consequences of war during the run up to war, the proponents rejected all arguments against war.

  36. Robert Capozzi

    It’d be interesting to see what “moral” basis Blanton would use to object to Holtz’s position IF Blanton and others were allowed to personally secede onto their respective Nonarchy Pods.

    In the absence of coercion to fund a potentially justified military action, it seems that Blantonites should not object, yes?

    Murder and war happen. So long as an atomistic, absolutist, anarchist doesn’t underwrite it, it seems BY THEIR CONSTRUCT they really can’t object.

    Counters?

  37. Thomas L. Knapp

    JT,

    You write:

    “I’m also curious to know what Tom Knapp thinks about Hancock calling Baldwin a ‘good hardcore libertarian.'”

    It makes me wonder who put the psilocybin mushrooms in Ernie’s salad.

  38. Tom Blanton

    In the absence of coercion to fund a potentially justified military action, it seems that Blantonites should not object, yes?

    What is a “potentially justified military action”? It sounds like a military action that is rationalized using dubious facts or mere speculation.

    I would object to any preventive military action against another nation, especially if the attacker claims to be representing me or the people living in the area where I live. Such an act jeopardizes my safety and security by provoking a military response.

    For the sake of argument, suppose frightened and paranoid elitists scurrying about in their tasseled loafers trying to instigate war for profits, religious reasons, or some bizarre emotional gratification decide to take up arms as individuals and go murder the enemies they have created, there really isn’t much I can do about it. But, of course, we know that will never happen. Those twisted little war mongers that know what is best for everyone else don’t actually fight wars, they demand everyone else do it for them.

    In the event that some foreign force actually instigates a military attack, those very same elitists would most likely refuse to defend against the attack. However, that scenario isn’t likely to happen in the absence of provocation. But, if that were to happen, there would be many people willing to fund a response and fight the invasion.

    May I remind you, Capozzi, it wasn’t anarchists that killed 170-200 million people during the last century.

    It’d be interesting to see what “moral” basis Blanton would use to object to Holtz’s position IF Blanton and others were allowed to personally secede onto their respective Nonarchy Pods.

    What would really be interesting would be to see how many people would personally secede if allowed to. But we know that isn’t going to happen as long as their are people like Holtz who believe others should be forced to fund and fight in the wars they want fought.

    The moral opposition to liberating people by dropping 100 tons of depleted uranium on them, causing millions to flee their homes, killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of people, destroying homes and infrastructure, and unleashing a civil war should be obvious, even to an idiot.

  39. paulie Post author

    Btw, to not include one item on a 20-question political quiz related to the military and wars (which in 2010 are costing an incredible $1 trillion, more than the entire federal budget in the early 1980s) is very strange, I think.

    I have the same criticism, and would prefer a 3-D diamond chart, although I do understand that a 2-D map is a lot easier to put on paper and 2-D screens. Hopefully this won’t be too much of an issue for too much longer; I think 3-D projections will become the norm pretty soon*, and having a laptop out in the field – and the ability to catch internet signal in more place – is already getting a lot more practical. (*Brian and other techies here may have a better fix on how soon than I do, though. )

    Somehow, our qualifying/sorting quiz should convey that we are for less government spending and less government interventionism across the board – both foreign and domestic, as well as both social and economic.

    Beyond foreign policy/military spending, it seems clear to me that the immigration question being taken off the standard Advocates quiz just as it was becoming more important in the general public discussion represented a desire to keep allowing more conservative Anglos to score libertarian. Likewise, Brian’s version does ask to what extend products should be free to cross borders, but not so to what extent labor can be limited by bureaucrats from crossing borders.

    The gun issue is another interesting case. The standard WSPQ ignores it, even though many libertarians consider it very important, because it does not fit into the quiz’s logic of liberals/leftists being less statist on social issues than conservatives. On individual gun ownership, conservatives generally tend to be more libertarian than liberals on a social issue. To his credit, Brian does not bypass this question on his version of the quiz.

  40. Brian Holtz

    So Blanton excuses a Republican congressman for the consequences of a war he voted to start, but he can’t excuse a Libertarian engineer for the consequences of a war he merely defended being started. Will Blanton tell us how many tons of depleted uranium Ron Paul voted to drop on Afghanistan? Will Blanton tell us how many Afghan refugees Ron Paul voted to create? Will Blanton tell us that Ron Paul voted to unleash a civil war in Afghanistan?

    “Regime change” in this case was shorthand for “regime change if the regime doesn’t cooperate in auditing/neutralizing whatever infrastructure it apparently has for enabling terrorists to kill thousands of Americans”. Paul supported that for the Afghan regime, and I also supported it for the Iraqi regime. Both regimes declined their chance to cooperate. Both paid the price.

    there was never any real strategy or goal in mind

    If you can say that about my support for use of force in Iraq, then I can say that about Ron Paul’s support for use of force in Afghanistan. But in both cases the goal should have been obvious: neutralize any infrastructure for enabling terrorists to kill thousands of Americans.

    their opponents warned of the possible consequences of war during the run up to war

    Bzzzt. http://knowinghumans.net/2007/02/iraq-cassandras-no-they-did-not-tell-us.html

    Yes, Bob, personal secession cleanses all sins, because personal secession equals anarchy. A more interesting point: if Hancock is right that participation in electoral politics sanctions the decisions of the political process, then the objection to tax-financed wars crumbles. Rothbard recognized this point, but Hancock doesn’t.

    JT, you wrote: “These numbers are totally arbitrary though. Why is 130 the qualifying point as libertarian as opposed to 120?” So I repeat: If you think a score corresponding to “the center point of the libertarian quadrant” is non-arbitrary, how can you complain that a score (130) corresponding to the edge of the libertarian quadrant is arbitrary?

    As for my personal standard of allowing LP leaders only four wrong answers out of 20, I never claimed it was objective. I never claimed it should be official LP policy. I never advocated that it should substitute for the judgment of our delegates. And note that even your 100/100 standard wouldn’t be completely objective (if you wanted to defend it), because my test is not perfectly comprehensive.

    My procreation question is deliberately broad and inevitably somewhat vague. There is at least as much dissent within the LP on abortion as on intervention, so you can’t try to credit Ron Paul with perfect 100/100 consistency while complaining that the test doesn’t audit intervention.

    My judgment and experience is that the percentage of LP members who supported intervention in Afghanistan is far higher than the percentage of LP members who are anarchists.

  41. Tom Blanton

    Both regimes declined their chance to cooperate.

    I believe this is a lie. Can Holtz back this up? Very intrusive inspections were made in Iraq prior to the invasion and the Taliban agreed to deport Osama to a third nation if the U.S. would provide any evidence of his guilt. Bush insisted on war. In fact, Powell promised a white paper proving Osama’s guilt, but it never happened.

    As for Ron Paul, go back and re-read my post, Holtz. The difference between him and you is he regrets his support for his vote and believes Bush exceeded his authority. Paul has sought to atone for his error. You, on the other hand, insist you were correct in your support for the Iraq war, and the consequences be damned. No atonement, only more belligerence.

  42. Robert Capozzi

    tb: May I remind you, Capozzi, it wasn’t anarchists that killed 170-200 million people during the last century.

    me: Yes, thanks, but I — an asymptotic anarchist, after all — am aware that the 20th century was bloody, and most of the killing was contra-indicated and unjustified.

    However, if a Mexican Charles Manson-type was perched somewhere outside of Tijuana and he and his crew were slaughtering all Mexican children he could find, I might be OK with the US aiding the Mexican government in stopping the atrocity. A “strict” non-interventionist — which I used to call myself — would not, as I understand that view.

    So, just as there has been conscientious objectors who — when drafted — were made medics, I’m taking that concept to its logical conclusion. Personal secession onto one’s property should be an option, too. My guess is few will exercise that option, but then their “moral” objections lose all steam.

    I’m assuming, Tom, that if the US intervened in the hypothetical Mexican-Children Holocaust, you would object to the intervention. I think you should be given the option to secede, and in that case it would no longer be “in your name,” yes?

    Problem solved!

  43. paulie Post author

    The difference between him and you is he regrets his support for his vote

    I don’t think this is correct. I seem to recall Paul justifying his 2001 vote just recently.

  44. Tom Blanton

    Holtz does a bang-up job of proving that nobody could have possibly predicted exactly what would happen once war began with Iraq – he takes on another expert on everything, Paul Krugman. Sort of like shooting fish in a barrel.

    I would suggest that Holtz do some Googling and find out what some more serious people were saying during the run-up to war. He might start with these names:

    General Anthony Zinni, Philip Gordon, Wesley Clark, Joseph P. Hoar, John M. Shalikashvili, Tony McPeak, General James L. Jones, General Norman Schwarzkopf, Henry H. Shelton, General William Odom, General Frederick Kroesen, Brent Scowcroft, James Webb, Ron Paul, Dick Armey, Scott Ritter, General Eric Shinseki, Wayne Wright, Stephen Zunes, Thomas G. McInerney, Justin Raimondo.

    Of course, nobody can predict the future as Holtz has found out by listening to the likes of Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Kristol, Pipes, Krauthammer, Perle and the rest of his neocon information sources. How much of anything did these clowns get right, Holtz?

    Why not write up a “Knowing Humans” report on what the neocons got wrong? That task will keep you out of trouble for quite some time.

    I wonder if I’m the only one who sees the humor and irony in Holtz having a website called “Knowing Humans”.

  45. Tom Blanton

    Paulie @#39 I posted a quote from Ron Paul on 9/25/01 and it sure sounds like he regrets that vote. He justifies it by saying that he thought that he was supporting going after Osama and al Qaida.

    Read the resolution – it’s linked @ #39.

    Justifying something and regretting it are two different things. His subsequent votes and statements on Afghanistan would seem to indicate that he has withdrawn his support for what is going on there.

    Considering the vote on that resolution was 420 in favor, it easy to see why a politician would prefer not to have to explain opposition to it 3 days after 9/11.

    Ron Paul is, after all, a politician. He belongs on a soap box, not a pedestal.

  46. Brian Holtz

    Paulie, Ron Paul both regrets and justifies his 2001 vote. He said on 2008-02-25: “Shortly after 9/11, I voted for the authorization to go into Afghanistan because it told the president to do what he already had the authority to do: go after the ones who directly hit us. I was extremely disappointed that the mission there changed to one of nation-building, and I support immediate withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan.”

    Blanton undersells his point when he says that Ron Paul merely “seems to indicate that he has withdrawn his support for” the war in Afghanistan. Paul has opposed the nation-building war in Afghanistan for even longer than the four years I’ve opposed the nation-building war in Iraq.

    Readers here can make up their own minds whether Saddam and the Taliban were sufficiently cooperative in auditing/neutralizing whatever infrastructure they apparently harbored for enabling terrorists to kill thousands of Americans. Regarding Afghanistan in particular, my position is exactly that taken by the LNC in its 2001-10-14 resolution.

    “Consequences be damned” is simply one more voice in the chorus inside Blanton’s head. I’ve been saying for over three years that one well-evidenced prediction of certain consequences would have made me oppose the Iraq invasion. I’m talking about a prediction that, despite the stability in Kurdish Iraq under U.S. military protection, and despite the surprising success America had in deposing the Taliban, a sectarian civil war would be more likely than not to eventually undermine our effort to liberate the rest of Iraq — a region much more secular, prosperous, and literate than Afghanistan. This prediction would have needed to be accompanied by evidence that this sectarian civil war was likely to be permanently avoidable under some alternative US course of action that had acceptable costs in terms of what evils Saddam and his sons committed or abetted (both in the region and against the West) during the rest of their tenure.

    Blanton throws out a lot of names, but zero quotes of anyone making such a prediction. Strike one. How many more swings will Blanton try? I tried hard to find such a prediction, and documented my failure. Can Blanton do any better? I doubt it. Will he even try? I doubt it.

    I didn’t vote for the war in Afghanistan, so I don’t have a vote to “regret” like Ron Paul does. In fact, a quick check of my email records shows that I didn’t ever write in favor of invading Iraq until after the invasion had already started. I of course wish that both wars were ended when the goals I described above were met. However, I didn’t consider an Iraq war to be an interesting policy issue, because I didn’t believe Saddam was suicidal enough to let the West believe he was trying to hide a WMD program.

  47. Tom Blanton

    Do your own research, Holtz. If you care to know the case against the Iraq war. This is something you should been doing 7 or 8 years ago. You act as if there was no opposition to invading Iraq. I’m certain you can’t be that ignorant.

    I threw out some names of people with a lot more credibility that Paul Krugman who had serious arguments and warnings about going to war. Google them if you care to, but don’t pretend that there was no opposition.

  48. Tom Blanton

    I didn’t believe Saddam was suicidal enough to let the West believe he was trying to hide a WMD program.

    You need to research this neocon canard. This was spin to avoid having to answer for there being no WMD and having lied repeatedly about that.

    It would seem that you bought all of the neocon propaganda hook, line, and sinker, Holtz. It is so obvious what informs your opinion to anyone who has followed the news closely.

  49. Brian Holtz

    OK, Blanton, I just used Yahoo’s internal server farm to search all 733M web pages that Yahoo says contain the word “Iraq”. Turns out none of them contain the prediction @52 that I already said I couldn’t find.

    But alas, the very last web page I checked said that if you call someone “neocon” enough times, it proves they’re wrong.

    So I guess I’ve been wrong all along.

  50. Tom Blanton

    Since you always want me to do your research for you and you apparently love my prose (since you always insist that I write volumes to dispel your ignorant claims), I’ll give you a long screed to chew on about lies leading to the Iraq war and why Bush should have been impeached. I wrote this in November 2004 and sources are given for all information.

    Sources – this means where the information came from (something Holtz refuses to do unless he is the source). Warning – this article contains full sentences (no bumper sticker slogans or cute graphics).

    http://www.pnar.org/bushout.htm

    I double-dog dare you to read it and challenge you to refute any factual claim referenced. It will all be new to you, I’m sure. Apparently, you never dig any deeper than FOX News judging by the list of slogans you use to justify war.

  51. Brian Holtz

    you always want me to do your research for you

    Heh. You’re the one claiming that the Iraqi civil war was predicted. You either have evidence for this claim, or not. Looks like not. Strike 1 @ 50. Strike 2 @ 53. Strike 3 @ 56. You’re out.

    I got as far into your article as reading the title, about impeaching Bush. Been there, done that: http://knowinghumans.net/2007/11/impeach-george-w-bush.html.

    Uh oh, I guess Fox News is going to revoke my “neocon” membership card…

    If there is some claim of mine that you think your essay refutes, then please quote it. Then I’ll be happy to answer it — right after you produce your evidence that the Iraqi civil war was predicted. Not before. No cutting in line, no red herrings, no excuses. Just pony up your evidence for your claim.

  52. Brian Holtz

    When using your free TV airtime as an LP candidate, or when speaking in the YouTube videos that you post, it’s definitely worse to advocate voting Republican than to advocate not voting at all.

    But either advocacy would disqualify you from getting my vote for Chair.

  53. Robert Capozzi

    As Hancock hasn’t answered the questions, we don’t know if his current view is “don’t vote.” IF it is, and he is elected Chair, it seems reasonable to assume that he will at least sometimes advocate his view in his role as Chair. That sounds like a non-starter if ever there were one!

    Advocating for a R or D candidate in the past seems more understandable and forgivable. One of them will likely win, after all. If I lived in Paul’s district, I’d vote for him. If I lived in NM a few years back, I’d have voted for Johnson. I’d 2vote for a DFC-member running for office, too.

    IF a Chair candidate took those views, I would not have a problem with that, although I’d want to know his/her view of how that might color his/her public pronouncements as Chair.

  54. Robert Capozzi

    bh: Yes, Bob, personal secession cleanses all sins, because personal secession equals anarchy. A more interesting point: if Hancock is right that participation in electoral politics sanctions the decisions of the political process, then the objection to tax-financed wars crumbles. Rothbard recognized this point, but Hancock doesn’t.

    me: Yes, I s’pose Hancock could actually vote and yet still retain a pure soul. He could vote with a write-in that states his objection to the regime and all its doings.

    Still, if Blanton for ex. wants to secede to create Blantonstein on his property as a form of conscientious objection, I think he should have that option. He’d be fenced in, of course. Think THE KEEP. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085780/

  55. Brian Holtz

    One of Hancock’s arguments against voting is that election results are rigged anyway, via electronic voting machines. He says that the establishment-controlled media is part of the conspiracy: instead of trying to convince you how to vote, they need only convince you that your neighbors voted in the way that the media reported.

    Bob, you can avoid coercive tax financing of the military without resorting to personal secession (i.e. anarchy). A public good like military defense should be financed through land value taxes that flow up from local jurisdictions. If you are a tenant or your land is marginal or you don’t exclude others from it, then you have no ground rent to be taxed in the first place. If you as the owner of a parcel decline to return to the
    community the ground rent you appropriate from them, then we’d simply disconnect you from our wires and pipes, and while you’re in arrears we’d publish your name, address, and photo as someone whose property and person are excluded from the protections of our land-value-tax-financed police and courts. If we catch you using any of our streets, parks, or other land-value-tax-financed public goods, then you would owe the arrears on your land value tax, because everybody knows that’s what any local landholder agrees to by using any of our public goods.

    This solves the problem of coercive taxation for the military — without letting people secede from laws against aggression, such as polluting or depleting the natural commons.

  56. Robert Capozzi

    bh, yes, geoism can avoid the coercive taxation FOR THE MILITARY. But, some of our abolitionist brothers and sisters object to ANY taxation for any “public good” (for lack of a better term).

    Like Lichtenstein (which I believe buys some basic services from Switzerland and Austria), Blantonstein would need to contract with the Commonwealth of VA, Henrico County, and the City of Richmond, for ex., as well as private companies and individuals. While a geoist argument could be made that the Blantonsteinites owe rent to the commonwealth, the trade-off of their isolation from the commonwealth mitigates the case. Their C.O. status may not sit well with those who wish to participate in social intercourse and direct commerce, we should recognize that the Blantonites could fairly easily pull up stakes and homestead in, say, northern ID or inland AK to avoid paying their fair share of rents.

    Obviously, Blantonites would not be entitled to a citizen’s dividend.

    Nonarchy Pods are a small price to pay to maintain domestic tranquility, as the one-time cost of maintaining the few Keeps for other Pods would be relatively low.

  57. Brian Holtz

    Bob, in case I wasn’t clear, I was saying that there should be no force-initiating taxation. My position is that all taxation should fall on aggression — polluting, depleting, congesting, or monopolizing the natural commons. Taxing aggression is not initiating force, but rather responding to it. As for allodial libertarians who don’t agree that appropriating ground rent is aggression, they can be ostracized as I describe above, so that can’t complain that a land value tax is force initiation.

    What do you do when a Nonarchy Pod is polluting or depleting the natural commons? What do you do when the Nonarchy Pod down the block is holding Jaycee Lee Duggard as a sex slave in its backyard dungeon? She would be paying a pretty high price for your domestic tranquility of not having to debate anarchists. 🙁

  58. Tom Blanton

    Blantonites could fairly easily pull up stakes and homestead in, say, northern ID or inland AK to avoid paying their fair share of rents.

    Obviously, Blantonites would not be entitled to a citizen’s dividend.

    Fair share? Citizen’s dividend?

    Did Capozzi just invent yet another faction of neolibertarianism?

    Maxarchy?

    Have you joined one of the beltway Coffee Parties, Capozzi? Or is the “fair share” rhetoric an attempt at humor? Maybe you could jazz up the joke with a little “to each according to their need” punchline.

    Also, your seething hatred for anarchists leads me to believe that you no longer support Holtz’s St. Louis Accord nonsense.

  59. JT

    Btw, I was wrong. 75-75 isn’t the center point in the libertarian quadrant. 80-80 is. That’s where I think I’d probably draw the line for Libertarian candidates/leaders (except for U.S. president).

  60. Tom Blanton

    Apparently, I’m not allowed to post a link here. So I’ll try this to satisfy Holtz. It took all of a few seconds to find on Google:

    dissidentvoice.org/Articles/Fisk_Rubicon.htm

    Of course, Holtz will have to insert the 3 w’s to actually go to the web page and he’ll have to actually read what is written. It will be a lot tougher than listening to Hannity read from a list of talking points.

  61. Robert Capozzi

    bh, oh, I get it. I find the geo-ist argument that rents are not coercive taxes interesting, possibly even theoretically true.

    But it would require some level of consensus that those were “rents” and not “property rights.” We don’t have anything approaching consensus for that construct. Candidates for Nonarchy Pods would likely be especially disinclined to pay the rent.

    Good question about a heavily polluting Blantonstein…what to do? What happens in international law when a factory in Mexico spews into US air and water space? Not sure.

    Now, if the resident(s) of Blantonstein are creating a clear and present danger to US citizens, I’m CERTAINLY open to forceful action to make him/them stop unacceptable damages. 😉

  62. Robert Capozzi

    tb: Did Capozzi just invent yet another faction of neolibertarianism?

    me: No, just repeating my understanding of GEOlibertarianism, which I find has much merit.

    tb: Also, your seething hatred for anarchists leads me to believe that you no longer support Holtz’s St. Louis Accord nonsense.

    me: Sorry you feel that way, Tom. I assure I don’t “hate” anarchists, since I don’t “hate” anyone. As an asymptotic anarchist, I’m pretty darned fond of myself!, as well as my black-flag brothers and sisters. I’m pretty sure I had the idea for the St. Louis Accord prior to Holtz, but his draft is more strongly indicated than mine is. And, yes, I support it. Without reservation.

  63. paulie Post author

    Apparently, I’m not allowed to post a link here. So I’ll try this to satisfy Holtz. It took all of a few seconds to find on Google:

    dissidentvoice.org/Articles/Fisk_Rubicon.htm

    You are allowed to post links here. The automatic spam detector is not perfect; sometimes it lets spam through and sometimes it flags non-spam as spam.

    http://dissidentvoice.org/Articles/Fisk_Rubicon.htm reads as follows:

    George Bush Crosses the Rubicon

    But What Lies Beyond?

    by Robert Fisk

    Dissident Voice
    November 10, 2002

    When Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon river, he wrote, in his Gallic Wars: “Alea iacta est [The die is cast].”

    Just after 5pm yesterday, when the United Nations Security Council voted 15-0 to disarm Iraq, the US President George Bush crossed the Rubicon. “The world must insist that judgement must be enforced,” he told us.

    The Rubicon is a wide river. It was deep for Caesar’s legions. The Tigris river will be more shallow ? my guess is that the first American tanks will be across it within one week of war ? but what lies beyond?

    For Rome, civil war followed. And, be assured, civil war will follow any American invasion of Iraq. “Cheat and retreat will no longer be tolerated,” Mr Bush told us yesterday ? forgetting, of course, UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 which call for Israel to withdraw from the Arab territories occupied during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

    And after eight weeks of debate in the Security Council, no one mentioned the crimes against humanity of 11 September 2001, because ? of course ? Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with 11 September. If the United States invades Iraq, we should remember that.

    And what do we get from Mr Bush? Absolutely no gesture towards the Arab world. The joy of the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, can be imagined. “Should we have to use troops,” Mr Bush tells us, “the US, with friends, will move swiftly ? with force ? to do the job.” In other words, he will invade Iraq, the “friends”, presumably, being British. The United Nations can debate any Iraqi non-compliance with weapons inspectors, but the United States will decide whether Iraq has breached UN resolutions. In other words, America can declare war without UN permission.

    So how many of the American tanks entering Baghdad will be flying UN pennants? None, I suspect.

    The BBC, with CNN and all the other television networks, was last night billing Resolution 1441 as “the last chance” for Saddam Hussein. In fact, it is the “last chance” for the United Nations. As the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, said, the road ahead will be “difficult and dangerous”. He can say that again.

    It’s easy to see the traps. America’s UN ambassador, John Negroponte, insisted that the Security Council resolution “contains no hidden triggers”. But of course it does. It allows the United States to decide if Iraq has opposed the resolution. It allows the Security Council to discuss non-compliance without restraining the United States from attacking Baghdad.

    “One way or another,” Mr Negroponte said, “Iraq will be disarmed”. It’s the “another” way that the UN should be worried about. Sir Jeremy Greenstock, Britain’s nightmare headmaster at the UN, performed appropriately. “Crystal clear”, “unequivocal choice”, “serious consequences”, “ambiguous modalities”. You could almost feel the cane. No mention, of course, of the CIA’s manipulation of the last team of UN weapons inspectors in Iraq.

    Iraqis want peace and an end to sanctions ? let’s forget President Saddam for a moment ? and President Bush seems to want war. So Mr Bush must be praying that the Iraqi President does something to obstruct the UN arms inspectors. In which case ? I quote Mr Bush ? “we will act in the interest of the world”. Thanks George. And thanks Saddam if this feckless, vicious dictator chooses to defy the UN.

    Washington wants a UN fig leaf for a war on Iraq and is willing to go through an inspection process in the hope that Iraq obstructs it. Mr Annan was talking yesterday about the “unique legitimacy of the UN”. But the cruel dictator of Baghdad cares as much about that as President Bush.

    Robert Fisk is an award winning foreign correspondent for The Independent (UK), where this article first appeared. He is the author of Pity Thy Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon (The Nation Books, 2002 edition)

  64. Brian Holtz

    Blanton cites a Nov. 2002 article which British journalist Robert Fisk wrote, titled “George Bush Crosses The Rubicon”. Here is all it says about civil war: “For Rome, civil war followed. And, be assured, civil war will follow any American invasion of Iraq. ”

    Unfortunately for Blanton, the article is about divisions within the UN, not divisions within Iraq. The words “Sunni” and “Shia” don’t even appear in the article.

    30 seconds of web searching show that Fisk wrote an article called Shia vs Sunni Civil War? No, I Dont Believe It in March 2004:

    There never has been a civil war in Iraq. I have never heard a single word of animosity between Sunnis and Shias in Iraq.

    [F]or weeks, the American occupation authorities have been warning us about civil war, have even produced a letter said to have been written by an al-Qa’ida operative, advocating a Sunni-Shia conflict. Normally sane journalists have enthusiastically taken up this theme. Civil war.

    Somehow I don’t believe it. No, I don’t believe the Americans were behind yesterday’s carnage despite the screams of accusation by the Iraqi survivors yesterday. But I do worry about the Iraqi exile groups who think that their own actions might produce what the Americans want: a fear of civil war so intense that Iraqis will go along with any plan the United States produces for Mesopotamia.

    I ask myself why the Americans are rubbing this Sunni-Shia thing so hard. Let’s turn the glass round the other way. If a violent Sunni movement wished to evict the Americans from Iraq – and there is indeed a resistance movement fighting very cruelly to do just that – why would it want to turn the Shia population of Iraq, 60 per cent of Iraqis, against them?

    Thus not only did Robert Fisk fail to predict the Sunni-Shia civil war, but he denied it could ever happen even as it was flaring up.

    Strike four.

  65. Brian Holtz

    Just for grins, I just checked all 82 results that Google finds for

    site:antiwar.com iraq “civil war” sunni shia 2002 OR 2003

    Not a single one of the 82 is from before 2004. If antiwar.com posted any articles in 2002 or 2003 predicting a Sunni-Shia civil war in Iraq, then they are doing an excellent job of hiding them.

  66. Tom Blanton

    Forget the anti-war pundits. Let’s go to the military voices:

    Iraq presents far from ideal conditions for achieving strategic goals. Saddam Hussein is the culmination of a violent political culture that is rooted in a tortured history. Ethnic, tribal, and religious schisms could produce civil war or fracture the state after Saddam is deposed.

    From the Summary of:

    Reconstructin Iraq: Insights, Challenges, And Missions For Military Forces In A Post-Conflict Scenario

    by Conrad C. Crane and W. Andrew Terrill (U.S. Army War College) February 2003

    http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/PUB182.pdf

    Iraq is “a piece of geography that’s fairly significant,” Gen. Eric K. Shinseki said at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee. And he said any postwar occupying force would have to be big enough to maintain safety in a country with ethnic tensions that could lead to other problems.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2003-02-25-iraq-us_x.htm

  67. Tom Blanton

    If antiwar.com posted any articles in 2002 or 2003 predicting a Sunni-Shia civil war in Iraq, then they are doing an excellent job of hiding them.

    Holtz, if you bothered to read antiwar.com at the time (obviously you didn’t or you would be aware of the antiwar arguments), you would find, as you do now, that most of the articles linked on the first page are not hosted by antiwar.com. The articles appear on various other sites.

    That’s why it is best to keep up with the news as it is happening, rather than wait 7 or 8 years and then expect to find these articles waiting for you. However, if you actually read some of Raimondo’s pieces, you will find some sources linked within his articles.

    All of this just begs the question, Holtz. Just exactly where did you get your information from during the run-up to the Iraq war? Who were you relying on for your information. None of the bumper sticker slogans rationalizing war you throw out are sourced.

    It’s unfortunate that more people don’t take the lives of others as seriously as they take themselves.

  68. Brian Holtz

    Having failed to find any Iraq invasion critics who predicted the Sunni-Shia civil war, Blanton now hilarilously tries to cite the U.S. military’s own contingency planning about Iraqi ethnic schisms. Perhaps Blanton will next cite the 13-volume, 1200-page planning document of the interagency Future Of Iraq project completed in early 2003. It’s described in the statement of Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Feb 11, 2003, at http://merln.ndu.edu/MERLN/PFIraq/archive/state/17616pf.pdf. The full report is at http://www.thememoryhole.org/state/future_of_iraq/. If it contains the words “civil war” anywhere in its 1200 pages, then I guess that everybody (except Robert Fisk) knew that the invasion would cause one.

    Oh, wait — Blanton just said above @40 that “there was never any real strategy or goal in mind” in Iraq. Blanton needs to decide whether or not the U.S. military knew more about the challenges of post-invasion Iraq than did all the invasion critics — whose predictions of the Sunni-Shia civil war seem to have been erased from everywhere except Blanton’s brain.

    I’ve been over all this before — including the Fisk and Shinseki predictions. Blanton can start catching up on his homework here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/marketliberal/message/2058

  69. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I’ve been over all this before — including the Fisk and Shinseki predictions.”

    Have you been over the February, 2003 BBC interview with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal?

  70. Tom Blanton

    But Master Holtz, won’t you please enlighten us as to what informs your opinion? I know that Fisk and Shinseki are mere pikers compared to you, oh greatest of all thinkers.

    I thought my assignment was to show that there was some mention of civil war prior to the invasion. I’m very sorry I didn’t live up to your high ideals and your brilliant list of slogans that you use to justify a war of aggression.

    Please forgive me Master Holtz, not all of us can live up to the infallible specimen of human perfection that you personify.

    Is there any other errands you’d like me do, Master Holtz. Perhaps I can find some neocon slogans that might be useful to you when you rationalize war with Iran. Maybe I can do some research for you on the plight of wealthy white suburbanites.

    Just let me know, Master Holtz.

  71. Brian Holtz

    I thought my assignment was to show that there was some mention of civil war prior to the invasion

    No, the missing prediction remains as described @52.

    I’m hardly infallible. I didn’t even remember that I’d debunked the Fisk and Shinseki “predictions” before.

    I find it bizarre that you’re asking me where I get my opinions. Maybe you can tell us where you get yours, so I can see what an answer to that question might look like.

  72. Tom Blanton

    I find it bizarre that you’re asking me where I get my opinions.

    Apparently, Master Holtz, you would prefer that the sources you rely on to inform your opinion remain secret. That would also be my preference if I were you.

    I’m hardly infallible. I didn’t even remember that I’d debunked the Fisk and Shinseki “predictions” before.

    Actually, you didn’t debunk them. Mentioning the possibility of something happening is often done as a warning. People can’t predict the future and outside of psychics, prefer to call predictions something else. For example, Wayne Root’s scam of selling predictions to gamblers is called selling subscriptions to his “picks”.

    Another example would be that when a nation engages in an optional war that enlists a tactic of massive bombing in a large city, it is foreseeable that numerous innocent civilians will die. There were warnings that civilians would die. These warnings were not called predictions, although they were not unpredictable. This is one reason that many people take going to war seriously and not merely based on slogans. Most people believe war should be a last resort as opposed to an optional method of achieving some political goal such as replacing one regime with another one.

  73. Gene Berkman

    Brian – enough. The Iraq war has turned out to be a disaster, more than a hundred thousand Iraqi civilians have died, the cost is approaching 2 trillion dollars, 5000 American troops have died and 40,000 have been wounded etc etc – and you complain that opponents of the war did not predict “exactly” what the problems would be?

    Get a life.

  74. Brian Holtz

    “Enough” indeed, Gene. My obsessive fan Blanton stalks me on IPR and trolls about Iraq and/or Glenn Beck on dozens of threads unrelated to those topics. This, sadly enough, is his life.

    I don’t complain that the invasion consequences weren’t “exactly” predicted. I complain that nobody in 2003 apparently saw the c. 2006 Sunni-Shia civil war coming at all — especially not the 61% of Iraqis polled in 2004 that “Saddam Hussein’s ouster made it worth any hardships”, or the 56% who said in 2004 that “things were better now than they were before the war”.

    Libertarians are entitled to their own opinions about the Iraq war, but not to their own facts. If Blanton wants to claim the the Sunni-Shia civil war was predicted, he needs to cite the prediction.

    Or better yet, stop stalking me on unrelated IPR threads.

  75. Tom Blanton

    Master Holtz, I don’t stalk you. I merely call you on a lot of your bullshit. You go after Hancock for saying Baldwin is a libertarian. I went after you for claiming Beck is a libertarian. Which, you hold to after taking “your” test for him and determining he is in the libertarian quadrant, while at the same time claiming you don’t know much about him.

    Then you want me to prove Beck isn’t a libertarian. How about you proving he is? Do you actually think “your” test proves anything?

    Setting aside the war issue, Baldwin leans more libertarian on economic issues than Beck. On social issues, they are nearly the same. By any objective standard, Baldwin would be nominally more libertarian leaning than Beck. One major difference is that Beck supports war, any war. Baldwin doesn’t. Isn’t it odd that Master Holtz believes Baldwin is not libertarian but Beck is. Not really. Master Holtz always embraces pro-war libertarians, being unable to accept the fact that limited government and wars of choice are incompatible.

    If you honestly expect to engage in that sort of foolishness without being called out, you need to increase your meds.

    Apparently, what I am saying must have some truth to it because it sure seems to hit a nerve with you, judging by your childish and petulant tirades.

  76. Brian Holtz

    Hancock said Baldwin is “a good hardcore libertarian”.

    I said of Beck: “Until I see more data, I’m guessing that Beck is about a 65/85. That’s not quite in my comfort zone for an LP nominee.”

    My test does a 100% better job than the WSPQ does of plotting agreement with the Libertarian Party Platform on the Nolan Chart. If you think the WSPQ and Nolan Chart and LP Platform are worthless, then you’ll probably think my test is worthless too. Thousands of Libertarian volunteers at OPH booths might disagree.

    I support limiting government — and that included Saddam’s government.

    I have no interest in Beck. However, I did like it when I was told Beck said: “Pull the troops out of Korea, pull them out of Afghanistan, get them out of Germany. I don’t even know if I want them anywhere else but Texas right now. I’m going through a change here. Because the more history I read the more I realize how right the libertarians have been. Our imperialism has caused a lot of problems.”

  77. paulie Post author

    61% of Iraqis polled in 2004 that “Saddam Hussein’s ouster made it worth any hardships”, or the 56% who said in 2004 that “things were better now than they were before the war”.

    I would really question the methodology of such a poll or how free Iraqis felt to respond honestly.

  78. paulie Post author

    I have no interest in Beck. However, I did like it when I was told Beck said: “Pull the troops out of Korea, pull them out of Afghanistan, get them out of Germany. I don’t even know if I want them anywhere else but Texas right now. I’m going through a change here. Because the more history I read the more I realize how right the libertarians have been. Our imperialism has caused a lot of problems.”

    Brian, I thought you didn’t believe in US imperialism being a real world phenomenon?

  79. Brian Holtz

    What I liked about it was that Beck now sees some of the same bogeymen that his critics accuse him of being thrall to.

    There indeed have been serious and systematic problems with U.S. foreign policy, but calling it “imperialism” is just ahistorical. Taxation is not slavery, and Bush wasn’t an emperor. We libertarians give people excuses to ignore us when we wildly overstate our case.

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