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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Naked authoritarianism

We appear to be rapidly reaching the end of the grand pretense of liberal democracy:
While the much publicized Sunday morning detention of Glenn Greenwald's partner David Miranda at Heathrow on his way back to Brazil, in a stunning move that as we subsequently learned had been telegraphed apriori to the US, could potentially be explained away as a desperate attempt at personal intimidation by a scared, and truly evil empire in its last death throes, it is what happened a month earlier at the basement of the Guardian newspaper that leaves one truly speechless at how far the "democratic" fascist regimes have fallen and  fondly reminiscing of the times when dictatorial, tyrannical regimes did not pretend to be anything but.

For the fully story, we go to Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger who, in a long editorial focusing on the tribulations of Greenwald, his partner, modern journalism and free speech and press in a time of near-ubiquitous tyranny when the status quo is questioned, happened to let his readers know that a month ago, after the newspaper had published several stories based on Snowden's material, a British official advised him: "You've had your fun. Now we want the stuff back."

It gets better: after further talks with the British government, Rusbirdger says that two "security experts" from Government Communications Headquarters, the British NSA equivalent, visited the Guardian's London offices and in the building's basement, government officials watched as computers which contained material provided by Snowden were physically pulverized. One of the officials jokes: "We can call off the black helicopters."

Reuters adds that according to a source familiar with the event said Guardian employees destroyed the computers as government security experts looked on.

What is shocking is that as Rusbridger explained to the gentlemen from Whitehall, they had no jurisdiction over the forced destruction of Guardian property as it has offices in New York, that Greenwald himself was in Brazil, and that future reporting on the NSA did not even have to take place in London. That did not stop the UK government's punitive measures, and obviously neither did pleas, before the computers were destroyed, that the Guardian could not do its journalistic duty if it gave in to the government's requests.

In response, he wrote, a government official told him that the newspaper had already achieved the aim of sparking a debate on government surveillance. "You've had your debate. There's no need to write any more," the unnamed official was quoted as saying.

What is most shocking is that the UK government was apparently dumb enough to think that by forcing the Guardian to destroy its own hardware it would actually destroy some of the underlying data. It is this unprecedented idiocy that is most disturbing, because when interacting in a game theoretical fashion with an opponent one assumes rationality. In this case, what one got instead, was brute force and sheer, jawdropping stupidity.
If you still do not understand that government and force can NEVER be trusted to uphold human liberty and basic human rights without being held strictly accountable to the people at all times, with no exceptions, you are part of the problem.  And protesting "what if bad people might do bad things if we don't let the bad people in government do whatever they want whenever they want without telling us" is not a credible counterargument, it is tantamount to voluntarily placing a dunce cap on your own head and drooling.

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161 Comments:

Anonymous p-dawg August 20, 2013 9:04 AM  

We live in interesting times. In the ancient Chinese sense of the word.

Anonymous HongKongCharlie August 20, 2013 9:05 AM  

If those gov. officials present were in this country they would of course be chosen from the low information voters. One can imagine the thrill going up their legs.

HKC

Anonymous Dr. Kenneth Noisewater August 20, 2013 9:05 AM  

So, who's got a torrent link to the encrypted Snowden files?

Blogger Adam Lawson August 20, 2013 9:06 AM  

Idiots and thugs.

The place where Great Britain used to be.

It's now more clear than ever that there are statist thugs and then the rest of us. The problem is how many of us side with them out of fear and laziness.

Blogger Old Rebel August 20, 2013 9:12 AM  

Problem is, the same "patriotic Americans" who supported W's "wars of liberation" are now denouncing Snowden as a "traitor":

http://conservativetimes.org/?p=13952

Even more troubling, Snowden is being attacked by both the housebroken right and left:

http://theothermccain.com/2013/06/10/holy-freaking-crap-how-did-nsa-leaker-edward-snowden-get-security-clearance/

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/42104_NSA_Bombshell_Story_Falling_Apart_Under_Scrutiny

Blogger Nate August 20, 2013 9:17 AM  

VOX!!!

If we don't burn down our house right now the arsonist is going to get it!!

Blogger Nate August 20, 2013 9:22 AM  

Also... this had nothing to do with taking away the guardian's ability to report.

It was about sending a simple message: we can hurt you.

Blogger Some dude August 20, 2013 9:24 AM  

If you still do not understand that government and force can NEVER be trusted to uphold human liberty and basic human rights without being held strictly accountable to the people at all times, with no exceptions, you ARE the problem

Fixed it for ya Vox.

Anonymous Peter Garstig August 20, 2013 9:26 AM  

As long as the majority has their daily food and entertainment, they simply don't care. This is a non-issue. I'm starting to be convinced that most would be happy in a prison with daily food and daily soap operas on TV....even if it means working a couple of hours in stupid jobs.

That's why I think we're still quite far away until the people will rise. If they will be capable of doing so once they feel the urge...I can't tell.

Blogger Some dude August 20, 2013 9:27 AM  

@Nate

That's a rational thing to say, but I'm not sure you are right. I think it was worse than that, I think they may have actually believed they were destroying the data.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 August 20, 2013 9:31 AM  

This reminds of when the guy who developed the schematics for the 3D printer gun was forced to take it down hours after he posted it. In this case, the US State Department cited a UN treaty that the Senate hasn't even ratified yet.

There is only the subjective rule of law in the US and other Western nations.

Blogger Some dude August 20, 2013 9:32 AM  

@Old Rebel

I'd like to add something to what you wrote.

Maybe they are right, maybe he was a traitor. Maybe he even strangles kittens for fun and drinks puppy dog milkshakes every morning for breakfast. Point is, it doesn't matter what his motives were. What does matter is that we are losing every bit of freedom we have.

Blogger buzzardist August 20, 2013 9:34 AM  

When Snowden had to seek asylum outside the U.S., that spoke volumes. The U.S. and U.K. had always been places where political dissidents went for asylum. Now dissidents are moving the other direction.

This isn't like Cold-War era communists fleeing the U.S. to the Soviet Union. Snowden does not appear to be some pinko commie, anti-American radical. From the comments he's made, he sounds like he simply grew disturbed with what the American government was doing.

Given the treatment that the U.S. and U.K. are giving journalists and even people connected to them in this matter, Snowden was right to be disturbed. The government is able to know a lot, and the government has virtually indiscriminate power to make people suffer.

Funny how the Soviets spent decades trying to bury the U.S. by outspending them on expensive military toys. Didn't work. Instead, all it took was a few hijacked airliners smashing into buildings, and the U.S. ripped itself apart within a decade. Yeah, there were other cultural and economic factors involved, but the short version is still not far from the truth.

Blogger James Dixon August 20, 2013 9:35 AM  

It's obvious to anyone who looks carefully that we now live under an almost complete tyranny. It's almost surprising how quickly the Obama regime has used the tools the Bush regime put into place to get us there. I honestly expected it to take longer. Oh well, it was a nice country while it lasted.

Blogger Some dude August 20, 2013 9:39 AM  

And in other news, woman trying to act like a man pretends to be a judge in a trial over a real, no kidding, traitor. Hilarity ensues.

http://frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/coverup-judge-bars-evidence-of-nidal-hasans-islamic-terrorism-motivations/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=coverup-judge-bars-evidence-of-nidal-hasans-islamic-terrorism-motivations

Blogger JartStar August 20, 2013 9:40 AM  

The questions is: Is this the end of an empire or just the beginning of something far worse.

Anonymous Josh August 20, 2013 9:45 AM  

I think it was worse than that, I think they may have actually believed they were destroying the data.

You might be right:
http://gizmodo.com/government-destroys-170k-of-hardware-in-absurd-effort-708412225

Anonymous Stilicho August 20, 2013 9:47 AM  

Nice tyrannical bureaucracy you got there. Be a shame if something happened to it.

Debt crisis? What debt crisis?

Anonymous Brother Thomas August 20, 2013 9:48 AM  

I thought centralized all-encompassing power was supposed to lead to an egalitarian utopia? It was supposed to be that way because those that sought such power told us so. And we all know that only the most decent, altruistic and honest people rise to the top of any political system.

Anonymous Daniel August 20, 2013 9:55 AM  

The Galactic Empire wasn't this stupid. Sure, they launched a land invasion without air support, and used billion-credit boondoggles like AT-ATs instead of functional infantry. Yes, on a data-finding mission, they knowingly allowed data to launch harmlessly out of their grasp. Yes, they slew competent officers as object lessons to the incompetent.

But...when they rebel forces massed, the Imperials didn't order their own stormtroopers to shoot Darth Vader.

Note to government: the media, even the whacky outliers like the Guardian...are your own guys.

Anonymous Josh August 20, 2013 9:59 AM  

The galactic empire also never got involved in a land war in Asia

Anonymous boomer August 20, 2013 10:00 AM  

We worry about mentally ill people getting their hands on a gun. What we should really worry about is letting the mentally ill run the world.

The problem is most people cannot recognize the mentally ill until its to late. They leave themselves unprotected. The mentally ill are not stupid. They can have very high IQs

The world Leaders and the elite that control them are mentally ill. We are like young children sitting in a class room not knowing what in store for us. Then they come in and shoot us down. They see us as something that must be destroyed.

There are those that believe what the government is doing is good. They will be surprised when the government puts the gun to there face and blows them away.

Anonymous Toby Temple August 20, 2013 10:02 AM  

No! You got it all wrong!

The Galactic Empire has the Dark Side of the Force.

The US Government only has a dark-skinned president.

Anonymous Josh August 20, 2013 10:04 AM  

Darth vader was also biracial, since he was voiced by a black man

Blogger Brad Andrews August 20, 2013 10:04 AM  

Didn't copyright become automatic a few years ago merely when something is published (whatever that means)? I remember some change happening, but I cannot completely place the context right now.

Anonymous Maximo al-Macaroni August 20, 2013 10:10 AM  

Any man who relies on the government, any government, to give him his freedom is too stupid to know what freedom is.

That said, any grown man who isn't starring in a Western movie set in the 1880's who has a male "partner" should be ... let's see ... Oh, I know, should have an unmortared stone wall pushed over onto him.

Blogger James Dixon August 20, 2013 10:11 AM  

> Didn't copyright become automatic a few years ago merely when something is published ...

Copyright became automatic whether something was published or not.

Anonymous Brother Thomas August 20, 2013 10:11 AM  

@boomer August 20, 2013 10:00 AM "We worry about mentally ill people getting their hands on a gun. What we should really worry about is letting the mentally ill run the world."



I agree, especially when such demonstrably violent mentally ill people have access to biological and nuclear weapons

Anonymous Maximo Macaroni August 20, 2013 10:19 AM  

Boomer: "We worry about mentally ill people ..."

What and where is this "mind" you speak of and how can it be "ill" if it doesn't physically exist? Do antibiotics work against mental illness? Can we determine which part of the mind is infected and go in and cut it out? If not, why not? If "mind" does not exist, how can mental illness? This may seem off topic, but these fears are based on dangerous misconceptions. Thomas Szasz spent a lifetime dissecting and demolishing this utterly bankrupt point of view, but for all the effect his unanswered and unanswerable arguments had, you might think he had never existed.
Giving in to the "mental illness" lie just hands another weapon of terror to the totalitarian state.

Anonymous Mike M. August 20, 2013 10:23 AM  

This is going to be VERY entertaining to watch. We're seeing the Left engage in fratricide. The counterattack should be interesting...there are a truckload of skeletons in Obama's closet that the Propaganda Press has been suppressing.

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of totalitarian thugs.

Blogger Shimshon August 20, 2013 10:24 AM  

I wonder why Rusbirdger never bothered to publicize this far more serious incident until now. Detaining Greenwald's partner is bad enough, but it's been par for the course for years already. This month-old incident is far more serious.

Obviously, pure intimidation has to play a significant motive. But I have to wonder if these spooks are really dumb enough to believe that destroying those specific hard drives would really accomplish what they claimed to want? Maybe they've watched a few too many movies or TV shows with the wonderfully absurd "single extant copy of extremely critical data" plot lines that screenwriters often rely on?

Anonymous boomer August 20, 2013 10:27 AM  

The danger is not the kind of weapons they'll use against us. It is allowing them to have full access into are life. This access will allow them to use your own weapons to kill you.

Anonymous The other skeptic August 20, 2013 10:28 AM  

And if that wasn't enough, The Greatest pResident evah seems fixated on Tweedle-Dum.

Anonymous The other skeptic August 20, 2013 10:33 AM  

Mexicans gotta be vibrant

Anonymous boomer August 20, 2013 10:33 AM  

The definition of mentally ill is dependent on who writes the definition

Anonymous Porky August 20, 2013 10:34 AM  

"...being held strictly accountable to the people at all times, with no exceptions...

Impossible.

Representative democracy is an abomination. You basically hire someone to rule over you because you are too lazy to rule over yourself. Then you give your employee the power to name his own pay rate, the power to redistribute your money, and set him up in an office where a steady stream of wealthy special interests try to buy his influence on a daily basis.

Gee, I wonder why they are not accountable.

Blogger The Deuce August 20, 2013 10:42 AM  

2nd Amendment solutions

Anonymous DonReynolds August 20, 2013 10:43 AM  

Help Us Obi Wan.....You're Our Only Hope

Anonymous ridip August 20, 2013 10:46 AM  

I know the UK is a tyrannical shite hole. Does this extend to Ireland?

I ask because I have a potential job offer in Dublin or Zurich and don't know if either is a reasonable place for an expat.

Anonymous rycamor August 20, 2013 10:51 AM  

Meanwhile... the Lavabit fiasco widens its blast radius.

I wonder how many of these choices to close doors are "voluntary".

Anonymous ZhukovG August 20, 2013 10:52 AM  

My choice would be Zurich.

Blogger Lawrence August 20, 2013 10:52 AM  

@Porky: "Representative democracy is an abomination."

All government is an abomination. There is no method yet discovered that does not descend into tyranny eventually. The seductive part of representative democracy is that the tyrants imagine themselves to have the consent of the people. At least kings didn't go quite that far.

A limited Republican form of government seems to be the lesser of all known evils, but you would have to completely gut it and rebuild it every century or so, and guard vigilantly against progressivism at ALL times.

Anonymous bob k. mando August 20, 2013 10:57 AM  

astounding:
http://www.infowars.com/senior-time-reporter-calls-for-drone-strike-on-wikileaks-assange/


when i talk about an avalanche of crypto-marxist mal-education, to the tune of millions of new graduates every year coming at us?

yeah. Grunwald ( and what he represents ) is what i'm talking about.

it's not so much whether Grunwald is actually a crypto-Marxist or just a useful idiot ... it's that the culture is so far gone that you can be a 'Senior Correspondent' at a major US news magazine and not immediately lose your job for something like this.

Anonymous ZhukovG August 20, 2013 11:00 AM  

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you (the people) give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.

Patrick Henry


Anonymous Gen. Kong August 20, 2013 11:03 AM  

Josh:
The galactic empire also never got involved in a land war in Asia.

True, but our present overlords are forever at war - with Eurasia or East Asia, or was it the axis of evil? How's that graveyard of empires thingy workin' for ya, Amurika? Guess they needed some more participants for the wheelchair olympix.

Anonymous Susan August 20, 2013 11:04 AM  

I find it very sadly ironic that the same media that is enabling the destruction of Western Society in the pursuit of their commie agenda, is upset that the gay partner of one of their own is detained at an airport. They do not even begin to understand their own culpability in helping to bring about all of this in the first place.

Epic stupid and ignorant arrogance freely on display. Somehow they still think that the gator is going to ignore them if they ignore it. I suspect the gator is only trying to decide in what order to kill everybody.

When the gator starts chomping the media, I won't feel too much sympathy. They have brought it upon themselves.

Blogger Giraffe August 20, 2013 11:06 AM  

But...when they rebel forces massed, the Imperials didn't order their own stormtroopers to shoot Darth Vader.

Note to government: the media, even the whacky outliers like the Guardian...are your own guys.


Socialists do have the tendency to kill large numbers of their own.

Anonymous Porky August 20, 2013 11:07 AM  

@Lawrence: "A limited Republican form of government seems to be the lesser of all known evils"

I tend to disagree. At least one can say of a King "he has done evil in the sight of the Lord." In a representative republic there is always someone else to blame.

"...guard vigilantly against progressivism at ALL times."

The desire to "be like God" goes back to the garden. You can't hold back the torrent of human nature with a written document, no matter how eloquently crafted.



Anonymous DonReynolds August 20, 2013 11:07 AM  

My experiences with journalists over the years have reinforced my complaint about journalism from the very beginning. Journalists are taught HOW to write in the journalistic style and every day they try to do it as quickly as they can. There is nothing in their education that tells them WHAT to write and since they understand almost nothing, other than news opinion and current events, they have no guidance about the big picture and no clues as to what is vital information in a story. How long has it been since you heard of someone claiming to be an "investigative reporter"....except for the ones who have been in fatal accidents?

Anonymous Noah B. August 20, 2013 11:07 AM  

They hate us for our freedom!

Anonymous JI August 20, 2013 11:08 AM  

Well said, Vox. However, there are occasions when the public does not need to know something right away. For example, military operations for which leaks would lead to lots of dead Americans.

Blogger Eric Wilson August 20, 2013 11:11 AM  

OT: Indian officials tell citizens not to buy gold.

"If I have one wish which the people of India can fulfill it is ‘Don't buy gold’,” Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram told reporters in June. “Every ounce of gold is imported. You pay in rupees, we have to provide dollars.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/india-in-uproar-over-rupees-fall/2013/08/20/975cad98-08c9-11e3-89fe-abb4a5067014_story.html

Anonymous Stilicho August 20, 2013 11:13 AM  

Well said, Vox. However, there are occasions when the public does not need to know something right away. For example, military operations for which leaks would lead to lots of dead Americans.

We're not talking about opsec here. Nor should we allow the statists to get away with claiming that everything is opsec as they are wont to do.

Anonymous Noah B. August 20, 2013 11:15 AM  

Yo dawg I heard u like naked authoritarianism...

Blogger The Anti-Gnostic August 20, 2013 11:16 AM  

Why is Britain the US lapdog? The British electorate absolutely despises the US. I have to think there's a quid pro quo reason why the British government is so eager to do US bidding against numerous anti-US public expressions by its citizenry.

A theory:

Britain is as broke and busted as Greece and socially shattered. Britain is being propped up--monetarily, fiscally and militarily--by Uncle Sugar. The government knows it; the citizenry don't. They are lapping up their bennies and thinking they actually pay enough taxes to finance them.

Anonymous Josh August 20, 2013 11:16 AM  

However, there are occasions when the public does not need to know something right away. For example, military operations for which leaks would lead to lots of dead Americans.

Well, since we're not officially at war, we shouldn't have to worry about that.

And 99% of all the stuff that's classified falls outside of your threshold.

Blogger Jamie-R August 20, 2013 11:22 AM  

Hey, Vox. Make your gun case in the American story. Try justify it if colonies beyond America didn't decide so clearly. America's imperative is very clear, I don't see that here.

Anonymous Stilicho August 20, 2013 11:22 AM  

I have to think there's a quid pro quo reason why the British government is so eager to do US bidding against numerous anti-US public expressions by its citizenry.

GCH is being funded directly by the NSA to conduct surveillance on Americans that the NSA is prohibited by law from conducting (not that such laws have provided much of a deterrent anyway, but this type of operation provides enough implausible deniability to snow Congress and the press).

Anonymous patrick kelly August 20, 2013 11:29 AM  

"For example, military operations for which leaks would lead to lots of dead Americans."

And when illegal, unconstitutional "war" is waged, culpability for the death of those Americans lays at the feet of those who fund and enable it, not those who discover and reveal it.

To repeat what Josh wrote, there is no legal declaration of war, and all the justifications reek of " we have always been at war with..." whoever the convenient boogie man is at the time playing the part of Osama Ben Goldstein....

Anonymous ZhukovG August 20, 2013 11:31 AM  

@The Anti-Gnostic

When I was stationed in the UK, I learned that the US Gov. was the second largest employer in the country after the UK Gov.

That's a lot of influence.

Anonymous Noah B. August 20, 2013 11:36 AM  

"Well, since we're not officially at war, we shouldn't have to worry about that."

There might be another dangerous 95-year old armed with a cane somewhere who needs to be taken out. For the safety of the Homeland.

Blogger Jamie-R August 20, 2013 11:40 AM  

Name the British colonies Vox, that did a Hitler or made a Francisco Franco. It's all bullshit.

Anonymous Salt August 20, 2013 11:42 AM  

Why is Britain the US lapdog?

It's pacification, else we'd burn down Whitehall in retribution for burning the White House. There is that score to settle.

/s

Blogger Jamie-R August 20, 2013 11:42 AM  

I'm always waiting to hear bad things about New Zealand, Canada, or Australia, but all I really get is bad stories about this radical experiment. It was awesome in the 80s don't get me wrong. But come on.

Anonymous BHO Birthplace Obfuscation Bureau August 20, 2013 11:50 AM  

Acting like a 3rd world African dictator does not indicate origin of birth. There is no correlation here, please move on.

Anonymous Daniel August 20, 2013 11:55 AM  

I'm always waiting to hear bad things about New Zealand, Canada, or Australia, but all I really get is bad stories about this radical experiment. It was awesome in the 80s don't get me wrong. But come on.

Okay, so first take that total population of, what, 60 million people, and compare it to one of 330 million+.

Then ignore the bloodshed in Sydney, despite the bans.

Then examine the natural decline of Canada's native population over the last decade, vs. migration.

Then remind me what the heck you are going on about.


Anonymous Stilicho August 20, 2013 11:56 AM  

I'm always waiting to hear bad things about New Zealand, Canada, or Australia

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. -Goethe

Now, exercise your vaunted Aussie freedom by going to the gas station and picking up a six pack of Fosters...oh, wait...well, perhaps you'd care to exercise your inherent, natural, god-given, and inalienable right to arms for the defense of your life, liberty, or property...oops again...

The fact that we are oppressed does not make your free.

Anonymous Severen August 20, 2013 11:57 AM  

Vox, what's your opinion on polycentric law/antistatism?

(I thought this thread might be appropriate to ask that)

Anonymous Porky August 20, 2013 12:06 PM  

Vox, a couple of days ago: "I want to preserve the greatest, most advanced, and most humane civilization the human race has ever known."

Yet today you rightly refer to the current system as a "grand pretense" thinly veiling the "naked authoritarianism" that presides over Western civilization.

What, exactly, do you wish to preserve?

Anonymous VD August 20, 2013 12:11 PM  

Yet today you rightly refer to the current system as a "grand pretense" thinly veiling the "naked authoritarianism" that presides over Western civilization. What, exactly, do you wish to preserve?

The civilization is not the government. I wish to preserve American culture, tradition, liberty, and the people. I do not wish to preserve present system of government.

Anonymous civilServant August 20, 2013 12:11 PM  

If you still do not understand that government and force can NEVER be trusted to uphold human liberty and basic human rights without being held strictly accountable to the people at all times, with no exceptions, you are part of the problem.

So hold them accountable. But most libertarians would view that as not their job. They cannot be bothered.

And by the way. Since most of the people on this blog view Most People as being unfit for providing any kind of input or supervision of any kind of government then what exactly is meant by "the people"? Surely it would include yourself but would it include anyone else?

Anonymous damaged justice August 20, 2013 12:12 PM  

Porky, it sounds as though you are conflating societies with states.

Anonymous scoobius dubious August 20, 2013 12:13 PM  

This has been tyranny for longer than people think.

Snowden, Greenwald my arse.

Emma West. And that's late in the game.

Nuff said.

Blogger JCclimber August 20, 2013 12:13 PM  

@ridip.

Zurich. Weather, freedom, outdoor activities, the people, the freedoms, the cleanliness, the central location, all point to Zurich.

The only downside is the cost of living is much higher. See above list for the reasons why...

Anonymous JoeyWheels August 20, 2013 12:17 PM  

@Don Reynolds...
Speaking as a product of middle-American, mid-eighties farm country school, my journalism teacher kept it simple and classic...she was in her 70's still teaching and knew her bidniss. Served me well as the EiC of our school paper.

Who
What
When
Where
...and if known WHY
That's all that needs to be taught about how to write news.
OpEd and feature writing is different.

When going off to Kollege, kids with a solid, old-school foundation of the "double-yoos" get that drummed out and replaced with what we've seen, read and heard in the media:
Media are participants and not reporters.
Investigative reporters only investigate when someone else gives them a scoop.
We no longer have a watch-dog press...it's been replaced with a lap-dog one.

Anonymous scoobius dubious August 20, 2013 12:20 PM  

"Idiots and thugs.

The place where Great Britain used to be."

Oh come come now, being idiots and thugs, it comes to them quite naturally; it's nothing new for them. We are, after all, talking about the very same people who murdered Oliver Plunkett and Edmund Campion...

Anonymous scoobius dubious August 20, 2013 12:23 PM  

"Who
What
When
Where
...and if known WHY
That's all that needs to be taught about how to write news."

You clearly haven't seen a journo-school prospectus for several decades. (Or an Ed School one neither, for that matter.) The New Point of Journalism isn't to write the news, and hasn't been for quite a long while. The real point now is to Change The World. By moving it leftwards, natch.

Blogger JCclimber August 20, 2013 12:25 PM  

And again we are seeing more and more examples of:
"Then I saw another beast rising up out of the land (not a previously civilized area); he had two horns like a lamb (freedom of religion, freedom of government), and he spoke like a dragon (like Satan)."
Revelation 13:11 must be referencing the United States, whether patriotic Americans are comfortable with knowing that eventually America will be the main tool of Satan or not, the shoe fits USA's feet.
Watch as the dragon continues to warm up its voice until it is roaring.

Of course Satan's most effective tool is one which claims to be on the side of Jesus Christ and is doing stuff in His name.

Anonymous RedJack August 20, 2013 12:32 PM  

Reminds of some local stuff.

Seems that Iowa politicians and donors have special license plates that will not be ticketed if they run a red light or speed. It came to light, and the Iowa State government is attacking the papers for leaking it.

Makes me wonder just what is on those hard drives. Could be something, or could be the fact that Biden gets drinks at Applebees without paying. The reaction would be the same.

Anonymous bob k. mando August 20, 2013 12:35 PM  

civilServant August 20, 2013 12:11 PM
And by the way. Since most of the people on this blog view Most People as being unfit for providing any kind of input or supervision of any kind of government then what exactly is meant by "the people"? Surely it would include yourself but would it include anyone else?




i don't for one second think that you are so historically ignorant or stupid as to be unaware that the franchise has NEVER been 'universal' in the entire history of the US.

nor am i going to believe that you are so historically ignorant or stupid as to be unaware that the franchise USED TO BE much more constricted than it is now.

so, to ask a rhetorical, why are you asking such a pointless question?

Anonymous Randy M August 20, 2013 12:38 PM  

So, at this point would mafia allusions be defamation to the quasi-legitimate buisinessmen?

Anonymous realmatt August 20, 2013 12:57 PM  

What military operation would lead to dead Americans?

Their wars and acts of aggression have all been illegal or in the interest of the account holders only

They need secrecy only because they do things they know they shouldnt be doing. If your intentions are clear and pure then why would you need secrecy as a government official or one of its arms?

Anonymous Porky August 20, 2013 1:04 PM  

The civilization is not the government. I wish to preserve American culture, tradition, liberty, and the people. I do not wish to preserve present system of government.

When you refer to the "greatest civilization the human race has ever known" are you referring to Western civilization or specifically American civilization?

Seems to me that America was, at it's core, an experiment in self government. A failed one.

Porky, it sounds as though you are conflating societies with states.

I'm not sure how you expect to tease one out from the other. One can not very well say that the Egyptians had an awesome society that made the pyramids without acknowledging that the pyramids exist because of the government.

Blogger James Dixon August 20, 2013 1:09 PM  

> So hold them accountable.

How would you propose doing that? And isn't that exactly what Snowden is trying to do?

Anonymous Josh August 20, 2013 1:23 PM  

I'm not sure how you expect to tease one out from the other.

That's essentially a fascist statement.

Anonymous Porky August 20, 2013 1:27 PM  

civil servant: "Since most of the people on this blog view Most People as being unfit for providing any kind of input or supervision of any kind of government then what exactly is meant by "the people"?"

Precisely.

Libertarians are authoritarian at heart. The fact that the "MPAI" polemic is so casually thrown around here offers a clue towards exactly what they would do should they ever gain power.

Anonymous Porky August 20, 2013 1:32 PM  

"That's essentially a fascist statement."

It's an indictment of fascism.

Anonymous Josh August 20, 2013 1:45 PM  

It's an indictment of fascism.

No, it's not. You are echoing Mussolini when he said,

Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

Anonymous Josh August 20, 2013 1:49 PM  

Libertarians are authoritarian at heart.

Yes, the notion of "our enemy, the state" is an authoritarian one. How are libertarians authoritarian?

The fact that the "MPAI" polemic is so casually thrown around here offers a clue towards exactly what they would do should they ever gain power.


The great libertarian conspiracy to gain power and leave everyone alone?

Anonymous Porky August 20, 2013 1:50 PM  

@Josh

Coming from Mussolini, it's an endorsement.

Coming from an anarchist, it's an indictment.

Anonymous Stilicho August 20, 2013 1:53 PM  

The fact that the "MPAI" polemic is so casually thrown around here offers a clue towards exactly what they would do should they ever gain power.

P is for Porky

It's an indictment of fascism.

***facepalm*** I, for one, am not going to sit here while you bad-mouth the United States of America! Who's with me?

Your new fraternity nickname is "Flounder". Why? Why not!

Anonymous Gen. Kong August 20, 2013 1:53 PM  

DonReynolds:
My experiences with journalists over the years have reinforced my complaint about journalism from the very beginning. Journalists are taught HOW to write in the journalistic style and every day they try to do it as quickly as they can. There is nothing in their education that tells them WHAT to write and since they understand almost nothing, other than news opinion and current events, they have no guidance about the big picture and no clues as to what is vital information in a story. How long has it been since you heard of someone claiming to be an "investigative reporter"....except for the ones who have been in fatal accidents?

They are referred to as "Duranties" over at Kersey's site - after Walter Duranty, the NY Times asshat who scribbled fantasy accounts of Stalin's USSR while millions were starved to death by the regime and received a Pulitzer Prize for his lies. It's a very apt term for them as they're well beyond useless. That's the thing that always mystified me about Snowden. Spilling the beans to the lapdog step-n-fetchits in the UK Orkug (one of the most overtly totalitarian) of the Squid World Empire? That's almost as useless as going through official whistleblower channels set up by the regime. Besides, the revelations haven't done anything to weaken the squids. They just laugh and continue to turn up the flame while most of the frogs croak out hymns to equality über alles.

Anonymous Porky? August 20, 2013 1:59 PM  

The great libertarian conspiracy to gain power and leave everyone alone?

Who taught you that libertarianism is about "leaving everyone alone"?



Anonymous patrick kelly August 20, 2013 2:12 PM  

@bacontroll: "Who taught you that libertarianism is about "leaving everyone alone"?"

Yes, please explain how libertarians want the state to have more power and control. While you're at it educate the vegetarians why they love bacon so much.



Anonymous Porky August 20, 2013 2:22 PM  

Yes, please explain how libertarians want the state to have more power and control.

And who will libertarians turn to to settle land disputes, property disputes, accusations of theft, libel, assault, etc.

Are they going to ask the ignorant masses whom they despise to arbitrate?

Or will they turn to the state?

And how do they propose to keep idiots from electing corrupt statesmen? Do we disenfranchise the idiots? Or do we pour money into political elections to make sure that the right people get elected - hey, wait a second.....! This is starting to sound familiar....

Blogger Brad Andrews August 20, 2013 2:30 PM  

How did that comment of mine get in this thread? Something is horked up as a former boss of mine would say.

Anonymous Porky August 20, 2013 2:36 PM  

While you're at it educate the vegetarians why they love bacon so much.

They do. They just don't love the idea of it.

Just like libertarians. They love authoritarianism. They just don't love the idea of it.

Blogger James Dixon August 20, 2013 2:40 PM  

> How did that comment of mine get in this thread?

While a non-lamented former commenting system was infamous for doing that, as far as I know Blogger's is not.

The most likely reason is that you simply posted your comment to the wrong thread.

Blogger tz August 20, 2013 3:06 PM  

@Porky

Libertarians are authoritarian at heart. The fact that the "MPAI" polemic is so casually thrown around here offers a clue towards exactly what they would do should they ever gain power.

And who will libertarians turn to to settle land disputes, property disputes, accusations of theft, libel, assault, etc.

Are they going to ask the ignorant masses whom they despise to arbitrate?


CS Lewis wrote on Democracy and Aristocracy. Democracy, when it is virtuous and educated will elect the proper Aristocrats - the best men from among themselves. The people who put reason and logic and justice above all. Such people exist. Also you must limit government to the most narrow functions possible.

Most of the destruction has its roots of "doing good". Technocrats who say "that awful constitutional restriction - if we could only live under this law we want to pass it would be utopia". But at some point that fence will be down and the corrupt will take it over, and it is never discussed about repealing the original law, only that we need "better men".

I would note that I would have no problem having Vox, or Nate, or any number of the people here decide a dispute. For they shall do so on the law and the facts. The SFWA shows the alternative.

There is always a choice and a hope. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Yet England some decades after George III had Lord Acton and repealed the Corn laws. Read about the Woodrow Wilson tyranny.

Even Putin is returning Russia and there may be a renaissance there. When the USSR was "the evil empire" we didn't consider ourselves an empire. When they fell, we didn't return, but became "the world's policeman", but not the nice, helpful constable, but the jackboot, the guestapo. So we are now the evil empire. And will collapse like any other empire.

The question remains what we will do after that collapse - return to God, morality (the natural law) and liberty? Or choose death - to continue the culture of death.

Blogger JCclimber August 20, 2013 3:07 PM  

"And who will libertarians turn to to settle land disputes, property disputes, accusations of theft, libel, assault, etc.

Are they going to ask the ignorant masses whom they despise to arbitrate?"

An independent arbitration mediator whom both parties agree to meet with, pay a fee to, and submit to under a bonding authority.

"Or will they turn to the state?"
Don't make me laugh. We want the state so crippled and reduced in power that you'd have a hard time finding any of their employees.

"And how do they propose to keep idiots from electing corrupt statesmen? Do we disenfranchise the idiots? Or do we pour money into political elections to make sure that the right people get elected - hey, wait a second.....! This is starting to sound familiar...."

Yes. Pretty much like our original republic started out, most everyone is disenfranchised. Boo hoo hoo. Cry me a river, you don't get to vote, but you're free from almost all federal government regulation, entirely free from taxes, and your freedom index will be through the roof.

Of course, if you're on welfare and don't want the free ride to end, I can see how this would be unpleasant.

Blogger JCclimber August 20, 2013 3:12 PM  

An interesting exploration of a system of government was the one set up by Leto Atriedes, God Emperor of Dune.

He recruited his leaders from the rebels, carefully trimming out the stupid, the reckless, the overly cruel.

He then recruited them into his government structure, where their sense of justice helped keep check on the excesses of the necessary bureaucracy of an empire. He remarked that all rebels are aristrocrats at heart.

Blogger Nate August 20, 2013 3:18 PM  

"And who will libertarians turn to to settle land disputes, property disputes, accusations of theft, libel, assault, etc."

private courts.


Next?

Anonymous roger u August 20, 2013 3:21 PM  

VD,
I am not a regular, or even frequent, reader, and I don't know exactly where you stand politically. As such, I am unclear on your conclusion. Are you saying that obtaining good governance requires constant supervision, that good governance is a myth or that government secrets are antithetical to liberty?

Porky,
MPAI is the only thing that libertarians can come up with to explain why their numbers are so few. Only libertarians are "awake", the rest of us are brainwashed. Before you engage a self described libertarian in debate, you need to get them to define libertarianism. However, I would caution against trying to debate political theory with somebody who holds a theory based on the absence of something.

Blogger Nate August 20, 2013 3:22 PM  

Porky

Libertarians are not anarchists. They do support some limited government.

The fact that they are not anarchists does not make them authoritarian.

Blogger tz August 20, 2013 3:26 PM  

And calling the masses "Ignorant" is an error. They are amoral or immoral. Evil. Once you break one of the commandments, compromise one principle, bend one rule, the rule of law is gone. Your soul has been sold. Even if you don't think you have.

In 1790, America was educated and virtuous. There was rigorous and rational debate about the constitution, even in the pubs and parks by common men.

Now we watch ESPN, and engage in the hookup culture.

In the Screwtape letters, CS Lewis notes that there are no great sins today, only petty ones. But they are mortal sins. Done with the full will and knowledge, or at least intentional negligence. If fornicators and adulterers are going to hell, how many will end there short of a third great awakening? We don't like to talk in eternal terms, but that is what the Bible says. Just like students taking out loans when they are 18 will be and are being crushed by them today - they never thought such would be the consequences.

The error of the Libertarians is to assume you can have liberty without virtue. Morality. And not a selective cafeteria situational morality but the Natural Law. Virtue - the patience to wait instead of taking short cuts, fortitude to resist evil, temperance to insure balance, justice - to decide things only on their merits and not on the persons - all PRECEDE liberty. You must be willing to suffer and die for liberty - complete liberty, every freedom even those you know will be abused - or you won't achieve it.

Demons are far smarter than any of us. I would rather be ruled by good but dumb men who realize they are dumb so are humbled by it and aren't to quick to assume an act is good, than by any technocrat - even the most intelligent. For they cannot see their own limits.

When we return to virtue, we will return to liberty.

Until we decide to cease being serfs to either the red or blue Witch-king (and Christians are the best sophists at excusing sin of their favored summoned demon), our national soul will be dead. We must not look to the left or right, but up.

Anonymous Concerned Rabbit Hunter August 20, 2013 3:30 PM  

Swedish women seem confused:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23761737

Anonymous Porky August 20, 2013 3:32 PM  

But at some point that fence will be down and the corrupt will take it over, and it is never discussed about repealing the original law, only that we need "better men".

Well they didn't come any better than George Washington. Within his first year he was being paid an exorbitant salary, imposing a federal tax on whiskey, and coopting militias to force farmers and ex-revolutionary soldiers to pay the tax at gunpoint.

This country was basically a libertarian experiment from the beginning and it took less than a year to see the cracks in the foundation.

I would note that I would have no problem having Vox, or Nate, or any number of the people here decide a dispute.

That you would elect a cruelty artist and a fat, drunk redneck to rule over you speaks volumes. Lol!

Even Putin is returning Russia and there may be a renaissance there.

A renaissance of what? KGB authoritarianism?









Blogger Nate August 20, 2013 3:39 PM  

"That you would elect a cruelty artist and a fat, drunk redneck to rule over you speaks volumes. Lol!"

That you can't follow a coherent thought speaks volumes as well.

Anonymous Porky August 20, 2013 3:41 PM  

Yes. Pretty much like our original republic started out, most everyone is disenfranchised. Boo hoo hoo. Cry me a river, you don't get to vote, but you're free from almost all federal government regulation, entirely free from taxes, and your freedom index will be through the roof.

Google "Whiskey Rebellion". The farmers with the guns shoved in their faces were not disenfranchised.

This is the very first administration of this country - year one - that decided that a farmer could not FERMENT CORN IN HIS BACK YARD without the government getting a cut - under threat of a bullet to your head.

Great experiment, guys. It didn't work. Try something else. Don't be like the commies who deceive themselves in thinking that the next time it will work great.



Anonymous JoeyWheels August 20, 2013 3:49 PM  

@ Scoobius..

Yes you are correct. I have not seen one since the late eighties. To be fair, things are slow to change here in till-over/fly-over country and some teachers didn't get the memo on the change in method.

I read a commencement address by Columbia's Journalism head who did in fact preach the gospel of changing the world as well as the call to arms to become a player in the making of news.

I regret to this day not having saved it....

Anonymous Porky August 20, 2013 3:56 PM  

Nate: "private courts.


Next?"


Sounds good. I might be with you on that if the court is not a permanent institution.

Unfortunately not a single serious libertarian that I know of has run for office on the platform of abolishing the public judiciary.

The fact that they are not anarchists does not make them authoritarian.

Human nature makes them authoritarian.

Look, Nate, it's basically an argument for abstinence. Almost impossible for an alcoholic to understand.

Libertarians, like alcoholics, will always insist that they can control their thirst for power.



Blogger Nate August 20, 2013 3:57 PM  

'Great experiment, guys. It didn't work. Try something else. Don't be like the commies who deceive themselves in thinking that the next time it will work great.
"

The difference is... the men running the experiment acknowledged that it would require successful armed rebellions to maintain limited government. Hell Jefferson though it would take one about every 25 years or so.

The armed rebellions failed... so the experiment failed.

The answer of course is put nukes in private hands.

Blogger tz August 20, 2013 4:01 PM  

@Concerned Rabbit Hunter

Modesty is one of those virtues we need more of.

The main reason to fear Islam is that God's promises are to those who obey his commandments. Not those who honor him with their lips while their hearts are far from him. Consider the typical (feminized) christian church today (I include many if not most Catholic churches - even the old ladies with their rosaries aren't immune) v.s. the typical Mosque. Where are the women modestly dressed? Where are they silent and submissive?

If St. Paul could come back today and without understanding the language visited a Mosque and a typical Church, which one would he consider to be apostate?

Let me expand a bit on ESPN and hookup. This was and is not accidental - both the teachers and students conspire. It might not be virtue if it is only done to be popular, but it will have the effects of virtue. You have to have some self-control to even pretend to have self-control.

Not many years ago, women who lost their virginity even from a single act were considered sluts. Celebrities had to watch their behavior. People who cheated or fudged on any financial matter were condemned and their reputations destroyed. The indolent and irresponsible were shamed.

There were injustices among this, but instead of addressing the errors, we threw out everything. "Train up a child in the way that you want them"... We did it then and we do it now, but what we are doing now is raising generations of the soulless. What is "popular", celebrated? Evil. No longer content with "Hell on Wheels", it is now on a rocket-ship.

Consider the latest fake battle - "Gay Rights". When the state was outside of defining marriage there were even "common law" marriages, and a Gay couple could declare themselves "married" and even file whatever necessary legal paperwork to give the rights heterosexual spouses would have. As long as the laws prohibiting violence and the rest were enforced - they were equal - they might be shamed, shunned, excommunicated, but they would be free to reject the culture and external society and live in relative peace. Now, they're gaining "civil rights", but only in the context of a massive tyrannical state. Glenn Greenwald and his partner - would they be more free under less government?

Meanwhile the "church" seems to have forgotten about "no-fault divorce" and that far more serious threat to marriage. The bishop in Maine writing about a ballot initiative didn't mention "till death do us part" when defining marriage.

Hypocritical? Maybe, but that is the complement vice pays to virtue. We can't even have hypocrisy when vice is considered virtue. People would be free to engage in what others considered vice, but the law itself would be fully tolerant of both sides. Toleration - true tolerance - itself is a virtue. Either we each work our own salvation with fear and trembling, or try to stone others for committing sins, or worse, have government do so by proxy.

The beauty of the Constitution and bill of rights at the time is that it was entirely secular, but was completely compatible and embodied Christian virtue and the Natural Law. It demanded and compelled little - only that required for the national government and recognized specifically individuals had rights. Arguing where they came from might be entertaining, but I would rather one recognize and defend my rights even as an atheist than one who would shred those rights to "help God".

Blogger Nate August 20, 2013 4:03 PM  

"Human nature makes them authoritarian. "

We call that projection son. I would no more employ government force to tell you how to live than I would go vegan.

Blogger tz August 20, 2013 4:13 PM  

@Porky - I don't mind being judged by someone with a mind, rather a drunk and a cruelty artist with a mind than someone mindless.

Look, Nate, it's basically an argument for abstinence. Almost impossible for an alcoholic to understand.

Libertarians, like alcoholics, will always insist that they can control their thirst for power.


I do not think the thirst itself can be controlled but acting it out can be, however it is something exactly like chastity. The sex drive is equal if not more powerful. It means we fall at times, but we generally expect men not to go around raping women. The evil grows when the small tyrannies like Washington did (or Adams Alien and Sedition act, Jefferson's Embargo, Madison's War of 1812) aren't recognized and opposed but instead supported. Liberty is hard. That is why I said virtue precedes liberty - we need to control our desires and act with prudence and temperance. Whether it be sex or power. And liberty is lost when the virtuous cease to condemn vice. Be it power or sex.

People enslaved to their passions cannot remain free.

Anonymous patrick kelly August 20, 2013 4:18 PM  

""That you would elect a cruelty artist and a fat, drunk redneck to rule over you ..."

Not that I ascribe to any Libertopia Straw Kingdom you jeer, but Libertarian political philosophy doesn't have much room for electing anyone to *rule* over anyone else at all.

When I look at the current fall and headlong decent into oblivion it sure looks like the problem is a strong, central government having way too much money and power to mess with and mess up a bunch of other peoples lives, not too little.

I would like to head back the other direction. That is the extent of my "libertarian" opinion. Whatever trolling swine and and rogering whoever are going on about doesn't resemble anything I would recognize as libertarian.

Blogger JCclimber August 20, 2013 4:19 PM  

Porky, you off your meds today?

Libertarians are not opposed to criminal courts.

Ever notice that the children of Israel had a system of government for 400 years before King Saul?

Do you recall what that period of time was called in the Bible?

Blogger JCclimber August 20, 2013 4:22 PM  

So, the whiskey tax, where a federal government imposed an unfair and unjust tax with the barrel of a gun, is your argument against libertarianism?

The fail is strong in this one. That is exactly the kind of thing libertarianism is against.

It sounds like you have a Wikipedia level understanding of the Whiskey Rebellion, to boot.

Anonymous roger u August 20, 2013 4:37 PM  

Patrick Kelly,
Libertarianism is an actual political philosophy. My reference to it was a joke about people who use libertarianism to mean less than what we have now. That's why I said you have to get the libertarian to define libertarianism, because it seems everybody has their own definition.

The US was never libertarian, it was republican which, at the federal level, looks kind of like libertarianism. Weak central gov run by the states.

For the record, I'm not a libertarian.

Blogger James Dixon August 20, 2013 4:51 PM  

> Libertarians, like alcoholics, will always insist that they can control their thirst for power.

Absolutely not. No one can. Which is why power must be limited and those in control removed frequently.

Anonymous Porky August 20, 2013 4:56 PM  

@Nate: The difference is... the men running the experiment acknowledged that it would require successful armed rebellions to maintain limited government.
And what did these great libertarians do at the first sign of rebellion? They centralized the power of the Federal government to save their own seats of power.

Libertarian Fail.


The answer of course is put nukes in private hands.

I'll drink to that!

We call that projection son. I would no more employ government force to tell you how to live than I would go vegan.

Of course you wouldn't. Just like George Washington was against tyranny.

@tz: I do not think the thirst itself can be controlled but acting it out can be, however it is something exactly like chastity. The sex drive is equal if not more powerful. It means we fall at times, but we generally expect men not to go around raping women.

And if one espouses chastity one does not open up a brothel. Just as one who espouses libertarianism should not open up a government.

@JCClimber: "Porky, you off your meds today?

Libertarians are not opposed to criminal courts."


Never said they were.

So, the whiskey tax, where a federal government imposed an unfair and unjust tax with the barrel of a gun, is your argument against libertarianism?

One of 'em, yeah. That was the smallest, most limited, most untainted, libertarian, fearful-of-tyrrany government in our history. They considered their precious government more important than the liberty of the men who fought for their country. It's only gotten worse since then.

Read Phillipians 2:6 and see if you can glean a lesson from Christ's example.




Anonymous FP August 20, 2013 5:01 PM  

"patrick kelly August 20, 2013 2:12 PM

@bacontroll: "Who taught you that libertarianism is about "leaving everyone alone"?"

Yes, please explain how libertarians want the state to have more power and control. While you're at it educate the vegetarians why they love bacon so much."

Veggie folk love bacon because 3*4=11.

Blogger JohnG August 20, 2013 5:03 PM  

Libertarians as authoritarians? Kind of an odd tangent, I've never seen a libertarian say anything of the sort. Every time I check the page over at Reason, their top headline is "LEGALIZE POT!!!" (gist).

I do think there's a morality angle that has to be included. Jerry Doyle makes a point of trashing Christians every time he gets a chance - and then goes on to say in essence, "if we could just get our financial act together, everything would be great" - totally ignoring the fact that all the corruption problems we have are based on a lack of morality.

Having said that, I'd give Libertarians a shot. Democrats are full power communists (well more Fascist, they don't have the balls yet to go full commie) and Republicans of late are "guuuyyyyssss...we can be Socialist too, we just won't give you as much free stuff!!" (brilliant political strategy there).

Anonymous patrick kelly August 20, 2013 5:03 PM  

@roger:" people who use libertarianism to mean less than what we have now..."

That is pretty much what I mean by it. The original US republic, as described in the Constitution, was more libertarian than what we have now. I would like to back move in that direction. Hopefully details could be worked out thoughtfully along the way. (hahahah...I know, dream on).. To ascribe "authoritarianism" to such efforts just sounds totally laughable to my ears. Maybe to some nihilist anarchist it is authoritarian.

I have not considered myself to be a big L libertarian for many years. The Randian Objectivists drove me away.

As conversations arise when I am asked to identify myself politically, libertarian leaning conservative or liberal seems most accurate depending upon my disposition at the time. Neither democrat or republican, nor liberal or conservative fit as commonly understood in today's historical context.

Regardless of whatever I desire or wish for, or anyone else for that matter, the die sure seems to be cast, the fall of the USA is a done deal. What it will become is less clear. It may hobble along in one form or another and outlive me, but it will never be the USA I was taught existed, if it ever was.....

Blogger Nate August 20, 2013 5:04 PM  

trollin' trollin' trollin'... porky keeps on trollin'...

Anonymous Porky August 20, 2013 5:10 PM  

Absolutely not. No one can. Which is why power must be limited and those in control removed frequently.

I can just have a little drink. Just - you know, to help take the edge off. Yeah. No, you can leave the bottle. I won't touch it. Well, maybe just a little one. I'll have one if you're having one. Sure. Yeah, we deserve it. We work so hard. How about just one more? Damn, this is some fine stuff. Smooth. What's that? You know where we can get some hookers and some blow? Why not! It'll help relieve the stress of running this amazingly free country of ours!

Anonymous Porky August 20, 2013 5:22 PM  

Veggie folk love bacon because 3*4=11.

No, they love bacon because it's delicious. They abstain from bacon for various reasons.

And they're some of the unhappiest saps you'd ever want to meet.

Almost as unhappy as the libertarian who naively writes a letter to his congressman expecting an apology or an explanation for some godawful legislation he just voted for.

Blogger Nate August 20, 2013 5:32 PM  

As I said Porky... put nukes in private hands... and suddenly the government no longer has a monopoly on force.

And thus...

Libertarianism can finally work.

Anonymous Loki Sjalfsainn August 20, 2013 5:37 PM  

Oh, did someone mention the Book of Judges? That period during which Israel was led captive again and again, for the people were too corrupt for liberty and forever went whoring after their favourite vices? Those four centuries, after which the free, liberated people cried out for a king?

What a compelling argument for libertarianism.

Anonymous Porky August 20, 2013 5:43 PM  

As I said Porky... put nukes in private hands... and suddenly the government no longer has a monopoly on force.

The government didn't have a monopoly on force when it put down the whiskey rebellion. They just used the militias.

Doh.

Blogger Nate August 20, 2013 5:48 PM  

"The government didn't have a monopoly on force when it put down the whiskey rebellion. They just used the militias.

Doh."

Stop being obtuse. You know exactly what I mean. when it comes to guns... the government can out-gun its own citizens. It cannot however... out nuke them.

Anonymous roger u August 20, 2013 5:57 PM  

Patrick Kelly,
I've been toying with calling myself a "classical republican", but that might lead people to think I agree with original Republican Party ideas, though, which I don't.

Anonymous roger u August 20, 2013 5:58 PM  

hey nate,
How does the government pull a trigger?

Blogger Lawrence August 20, 2013 6:02 PM  

"Stop being obtuse. You know exactly what I mean. when it comes to guns... the government can out-gun its own citizens. It cannot however... out nuke them."

Make sense man. You don't even need to outgun a government to defeat it. When revolutions disrupt pay, supply lines and manufacturing, armies tend to melt away. Somalia once had one of the most powerful military forces in Africa, but once the country fell into warlordism, they all mysteriously vanished. It will happen in Egypt, too, if the external aid money ever dries up.

Control over the economy and mass civil disobedience can easily bring a country to its knees. What good is a government if no one listens to it?

Anonymous Porky August 20, 2013 6:48 PM  

Stop being obtuse. You know exactly what I mean. when it comes to guns... the government can out-gun its own citizens. It cannot however... out nuke them.

You missed the point. The government was outgunned in Pennsylvania. So they simply forced the militias to go along with them.

Even the weakest government in US history had no problem taking over the militias by force of law and using them to cow a bunch of moonshining farmers.

How much more willing do you suppose they'll be now?

Blogger JCclimber August 20, 2013 6:54 PM  

Loki,
might want to read it again. They had issues with the surrounding nations only at those points when they strayed away from God.

400 years. About 370 of those years were in relative peace. But the years of peace weren't specifically called out in the book of Judges, just the trouble spots.

At which point a judge like Samson or Gideon or even Deborah would rise up, restore the faith in God, kill and banish the oppressors, and peace would be restored.

Until people got too prosperous again, started backsliding, and forgot about obedience.

I'd take that over any other earthly system of government.

Blogger tz August 20, 2013 7:53 PM  

@Porky And if one espouses chastity one does not open up a brothel. Just as one who espouses libertarianism should not open up a government.

One who espouses chastity will espouse someone of the opposite sex and marry them before engaging in sex. The marriage bed is simply another form of chastity.

I have no king but Jesus the Christ, king of kings and lord of lords. Yet he has commandments. I find myself deep behind enemy lines, though every day moving closer to the Kingdom of Heaven. I must do what I can to act as the resistance.

If there is a dispute between Christians, my King said to settle with him personally first, then bring witnesses, then the church. His hand-picked aide, St. Paul said not to go to secular authorities but settle things within. Those here who are Christians are far more just than anyone in power I know of. I would rather throw myself on their justice than on the mercy of secular government.

Blogger tz August 20, 2013 8:07 PM  

The difficulty with anarchy is there must be some law, some standard. Some set of rules, even if they are wrong.

Whomever you have judge - private or public, they must judge on the law, the rules.

When discussing "private judges", you merely need to look at the current "American Arbitration Association" and all the evil done by mandatory binding arbitration clauses - you cannot get "your day in court" in most cases, some kangaroo court headed by someone who will be seeking further business from evil corporations will decide your case. Not a civil judge, and most certainly not a jury of your peers. The cases seem to end up 90% decided in favor of the megacorp.

But assume there is private justice. Lets say I will not accept someone I cannot bribe or is not a blood relative, or that I can otherwise corrupt to rule in my favor regardless of the law or facts? And assume my opponent is the same. We cannot select a mutual judge. There is no reason to seek justice when we can preferentially try to select the desired outcome.

The old English common law solution is 1. Juries (of our peers, and with "nullification"). 2. Appeals. If the first judge is corrupt, you can get him reversed on appeal, and it can go up the chain. The current problem with the Supreme Court is that apparently 3 generations of idiots aren't enough and we keep appointing more to the bench.

Also note that all the judiciary stuff must be "open". Everything done in public, even if done in a courtroom.

But here is where the edge of libertarianism - minarchy - v.s. anarchy is defined. We either have common laws and rules, and attempt to create structures and systems to insure justice is done, power is dispersed (or better, despised), and rights protected. Or we can do some form of "might makes right".

Blogger tz August 20, 2013 8:24 PM  

Let me extend the problem of wrong laws. It creates a paradox which can be resolved depending on the magnitude of the error.

For laws which are slightly unjust, they still ought to be obeyed to maintain order while every effort must be made to correct, repeal, or amend them as appropriate.

Note this is both why the Constitution has an official amendment process - and why it is ignored by the evil system and instead the government plays word games or concentrates on "standing" or other things to deny the plain meaning of words.

For laws that are deeply unjust, just read Martin Luther King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail".

Even with his feet of clay, I can consider Martin Luther King Jr. and his niece(?) Alveda who is an anti-abortion activist (and abortion survivor) and modern freedom rider as someone worthy of honor. Along side his and her willingness to suffer and stand for his and her beliefs, I can only wonder at Ms. Jemisin - and would consider her contemptible considering that she is engaging in mockery while standing on the shoulder of giants.

Blogger tz August 20, 2013 8:31 PM  

I should also include a personal anecdote.

A candidate and former state legislator suggested to my ABATE (motorcycle) gathering that there ought to be a law that would prevent discrimination. I objected strenuously in that any owner of a business has the right to associate or not associate (or serve) whomever they wanted. That their right was equal to mine. I can choose to ride a motorcycle, and either wear my leathers or dress more commonly, and he has the right to let me in or not.

Blogger tz August 20, 2013 8:51 PM  

I would note the title of the post might be slightly inaccurate. They didn't strip or body-cavity search.

That has happened in other cases. I think the TSA included, though it might have been merely the scanners.

Blogger tz August 20, 2013 8:58 PM  

@Porky

You missed the point. The government was outgunned in Pennsylvania. So they simply forced the militias to go along with them.

Even the weakest government in US history had no problem taking over the militias by force of law and using them to cow a bunch of moonshining farmers.


How can an outgunned government force the militia to do anything?

There can be no force of law without force of reason. There can be naked force, there can be corruption - bribery, lies, cheats, even sophistry. But the militia either acted within the law or should have been shamed.

And Shay was apparently not cowed until the traitorous, compromising, corrupt members of the militia arrived in force.

The price of liberty IS eternal vigilance. But first over your own principles and own soul. If you aren't vigilant about your inmost core, nothing else matters.

Anonymous Loki Sjalfsainn August 20, 2013 9:00 PM  

Loki,
might want to read it again. They had issues with the surrounding nations only at those points when they strayed away from God.


Which was often, as I recall.

400 years. About 370 of those years were in relative peace.

Relative? And they call me a god of prevarication. Indeed, there was "peace", in dribs and drabs--and there was depravity, and licentiousness. Think you the wheel turned overnight? Think you none violated the precious "rights" of others?

But the years of peace weren't specifically called out in the book of Judges, just the trouble spots.

Perhaps that is the point.

At which point a judge like Samson or Gideon or even Deborah would rise up, restore the faith in God, kill and banish the oppressors, and peace would be restored.

Until people got too prosperous again, started backsliding, and forgot about obedience.


Precisely. Again and again this happened. You do not learn from history, as a species. If aught should be taken away from this, it should be that you will only use freedom and prosperity for evil.

You have done it before. You do it today. You will do it again.

And then, when the wheel has turned oft enough, you will cry out for a king. Most of your people do so already, though it be a king by another name.

I'd take that over any other earthly system of government.

Indeed, you are more than happy to sell your grandchildren into slavery and suffering that you might enjoy your prosperity today.

Perhaps your perfect system should have worked. But it does not, and it has not, and it will not, for the one thing that spins that wheel never changes: the twisting of human nature.

Blogger tz August 20, 2013 9:01 PM  

We've gone from being tried by a jury of our peers before being convicted to having the NSA peering into our private lives and being tried in absentia by the FISA court.

Anonymous geoff August 20, 2013 9:08 PM  

i don't have a problem with the tsa except their shirts are the wrong color. something more earth tone i think is apropos

Anonymous roger u August 20, 2013 9:15 PM  

Loki,
You're absolutely correct about human nature, but invoking it ends the discussion. That's no fun.

Blogger Nate August 20, 2013 10:04 PM  

"How can an outgunned government force the militia to do anything?"

This.

libertarianism requires the government to be literally outgunned.

Anonymous Anti-Democracy Activist August 20, 2013 10:22 PM  

"reaching the end of the grand pretense of liberal democracy"?

Good. If I want to watch kabuki, I'll go to the Minami-za. I don't particularly want to see it on CSPAN, which is where we see every day the kabuki of this "free" government play out, all in service of the big lie that voting = liberty.

Voting is the opiate of the masses. It convinces them to do something meaningless at best and self-defeating at worst, instead of picking up pitchforks and torches.

Anonymous Porky August 20, 2013 10:40 PM  

@Nate: "How can an outgunned government force the militia to do anything?"

This.

libertarianism requires the government to be literally outgunned."


Ask Washington and his pitbull Hamilton. They were charismatic and took a strong view against disorder in their newly minted nation.

Imagine an Obama, Boehner, Reed coalition doing the same thing today. More than 50% of the country would be in support.


Blogger Nate August 20, 2013 10:43 PM  

Hamilton was no libertarian. He was a jerk off federalist. Washington was just another fallen man that used his own authority to try to enrich himself.

Anonymous Shut Up, Nate August 20, 2013 11:01 PM  

Jefferson was no libertarian, either.

Jefferson signed into law a protectionist act in 1807. You know, the one that BANNED the importation of slaves. The United States made a boatload of cash from the sale of confiscated vessels and the hefty fines imposed by government, with southern states, of course, receiving a portion of the proceeds from the auctioning of illegally imported slaves. Free trade my ass!

Jefferson pushed through Congress without amendment (!) the purchase of Louisiana from France a deal that included America assuming $3.75 million in debt. “Strict Constructionist”? I think not. Furthermore, private banking interests from two foreign countries facilitated this transaction; so much for his posturing against the “monied aristocracy”.

Under Jefferson, he ordered the confiscation of property and supervised the prosecution of Aaron Burr, who's "crime" was to merely secede from the Union. I thought Burr’s activities were well within the purview of Jefferson’s own beliefs on this matter. Guess not!

Finally, the Embargo Acts and subsequent dalliance with European military matters conflict with Jefferson's principle of “free commerce with all nations”. From the Mises Institute...

http://mises.org/daily/4478

An excerpt...

On April 19, 1808, Jefferson proclaimed the existence of an "insurrection" along the northern border "too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings." He called on the governors of Vermont and New York to call out their militia to suppress the illicit traffic. Jefferson and Gallatin soon realized that if the embargo were to be successful, a strict enforcement act was going to be necessary. Congress passed the Fourth Embargo Act, also known as the Enforcement Act, in late April 1808.

Under its terms, no ship or coasting vessel could depart for a port or district adjacent to foreign territory without the express permission of the president; collectors in districts adjacent to foreign territory could seize merchandise on shore they suspected was intended for eventual export and detain it until the owner would pay a bond guaranteeing that it would be transported to a domestic port; federal revenue cutters and naval vessels could stop, search, and bring back to port any American ship on mere suspicion that it might be carrying goods for export; and collectors could detain suspicious vessels in harbor until the president personally sanctioned their release. In authorizing searches, seizures, and detentions of ships and merchandise, the law made no mention of such constitutional requirements as search warrants and judicial due process. Yet despite this new measure, smuggling and illicit trading continued.


As is the case with revisionist historians such as yourself, Jefferson is considered a libertarian ONLY by carefully editing his ideas on government; in other words, he talked the talked but did not walk the walk. When properly taken as a whole, his political beliefs advocated a free nation controlled collectively by free individuals, NOT a mass of individuals free to do as they please without regard to everyone else except to respect their inalienable rights.

"Every man cannot have his way in all things. If his opinion prevails at some times, he should acquiesce on seeing that of others preponderate at other times. Without this mutual disposition we are disjointed individuals, but not a society."

Thomas Jefferson, 1801


FACEPALM!

Blogger tz August 20, 2013 11:09 PM  

Hamilton was a facist in the economic definition.

The problem with Democracy is precisely that it is NOT a pretense, but an angry, ignorant, hateful street mob imposing its will on the minority through violence. That it is done by proxy does not change the nature of the act or actors.

The government ought to be "literally outgunned" - liberty will be safe as most men will not band together to violently destroy a government until it becomes very tyrannical, but the government should fear every day that they are approaching that line. I fear what will happen to policemen in the years to come - they will have to choose, for if they wish to be Guestapo, they will meet with resistance, and it will often be lethal. When the government tortures and murders anyway, there will be nothing to lose.

George Washington put the desire for order above the desire for liberty, which was evil. But so did Jefferson who feared European entanglements so much that his Embargo was worse. Or Adams with the Alien and Sedition acts. Jesus often said "Be not afraid". Fear is merely a temptation, but perhaps the worst and most effective one. 9/11 proved that Americans would sell their souls to get even the illusion of security.

As we talk about SF, Dune is appropriate:


"I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing......Only I will remain."


Or for those who prefer scripture:

1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Instead we sell ourselves to the NSA, TSA, FBI, or even out of fear of poverty to HHS and Obamacare.

Blogger tz August 20, 2013 11:19 PM  

For all the criticism of the Founding Fathers having feet of clay and failing to live up to their ideals, does anyone here not desire to live under their rule as opposed to anything within the last 100 years?

It is easy to stay outside and criticize the errors made by those who had fought a war, watched as the states were breaking apart, and were called to govern under a completely new compact called the Constitution - and its addition of the Bill of Rights. They had to make decisions. Not all were wise. It was easy to see from two centuries later, but would anyone here have done better in the same office? Or at best, your tyrannies, usurpations, or simple failures have been different than theirs and perhaps worse?

I accept that even the most virtuous humans will fall and do serious damage. However I do not have the choice to summon an angel to rule us, only men of lesser or greater honor. The alternative choice to men is a literal demon. I've said before I would not desire any law that could not be enforced and adjudicated by someone literally demon possessed with murderous intent. But some will summon the demon and trade their soul for security - or even a facade of liberty.

We cast our pearls before the Gaderene swine while we run ahead down a slippery slope like (what) lemmings (don't do) and drown.

Anonymous Anti-Democracy Activist August 20, 2013 11:24 PM  

"The problem with Democracy is precisely that it is NOT a pretense, but an angry, ignorant, hateful street mob imposing its will on the minority through violence. That it is done by proxy does not change the nature of the act or actors."

This.

Anonymous Anti-Democracy Activist August 20, 2013 11:34 PM  

"For all the criticism of the Founding Fathers having feet of clay and failing to live up to their ideals, does anyone here not desire to live under their rule as opposed to anything within the last 100 years?"

That's a pretty low standard. Limiting it to the past hundred years means that our choices are, basically: democratic capitalism, Communism, or Mussolini/Hitler-style militaristic fascism. This is roughly like driving down a block filled with nothing but fast-food drivethroughs and saying "For all the criticism of Denny's, does anyone here not desire to eat there as opposed to anything else on this block?" Well sure, but...

How about a Christian king whose power is tempered by the influence of a universal Church? How about something on the order of Venice before the villainous Napoleon destroyed it? There are lots of examples out there in the pages of history - we hardly need limit ourselves to the ones provided by the most bloodsoaked and most disastrous century in the history of mankind.

Blogger Ann Morgan August 20, 2013 11:47 PM  

Some observations from my work experience about power:

To be a good manager (or ruler) a person has to have a combination of two traits. They have to be able to use power effectively, and they ALSO have to be able to use it fairly. I've seen a lot of bad managers who are able to use power, but they can't use it fairly, they use it to play favorites, or bully people, or get out of work.

Admittedly, I wouldn't make a good manager either, but I have the opposite problem, one typical of INTP personalities, which is that I can't use power effectively. It's like a tool made of fog that I can't grasp or wield. Probably because I'm (like most INTP's) not really interested in power, the entire fascination most people have with it from my point of view is rather like a prepubescent child trying to figure out why adults are so interested in sex. I don't really see what good it does to boss people around for the sake of bossing them around, and I find people who won't do their jobs to be completely perverse and baffling, and have no idea how to deal with them.

Anonymous JC Denton August 21, 2013 12:41 AM  

So, if they target you, and somehow get your eleven year old grandchild instead, then what does this mean?

One hopes the tale of Annunaki is not true. For if it is as written, we are in for some hurt.

I'm afraid even too many here, want to see the world burn. We are so conditioned now, that an actual solution presented before our eyes, we ignore thinking it is impossible. That is not what faith is. To immanentize the eschaton is a most selfish thing. Especially when you think you are out of harms way.

And so it goes… the exchange of information regarding highly sensitive and important policies and actions that will lead the American people either to a better world – or slavery.

It is for the reader to decide which path he or she wishes to follow.

Anonymous Porky August 21, 2013 1:07 AM  

Hamilton was no libertarian. He was a jerk off federalist. Washington was just another fallen man that used his own authority to try to enrich himself.

Like the commies, libertarians look at failed attempts of the past and claim that they were not "true libertarianism".




Blogger James Dixon August 21, 2013 6:50 AM  

> I'm afraid even too many here, want to see the world burn.

If we wanted that, why wouldn't we be voting for the democrats?

Anonymous patrick kelly August 21, 2013 12:07 PM  

@ADC:"How about a Christian king whose power is tempered by the influence of a universal Church? How about something on the order of Venice before the villainous Napoleon destroyed it? There are lots of examples out there in the pages of history - we hardly need limit ourselves to the ones provided by the most bloodsoaked and most disastrous century in the history of mankind."

Where is this Christian king and the universal Church to influence him? How do you get there without another blooksoaked disaster?

Sounds like as much of a utopian snipe hunt as anything libertarians have been accused of.

Anonymous Anti-Democracy Activist August 21, 2013 4:08 PM  

"Where is this Christian king and the universal Church to influence him? How do you get there without another blooksoaked disaster?"

First, that wasn't the question. The question was whether something better existed, not whether I expect it to show up next Tuesday. That's not how the Spenglerian cycle works. I'm afraid we have rather a wait in front of us before anything noticeably better comes along.

Second, where is he? I don't know. Where do great men of power - good or evil - *ever* come from? Where did Theodoric or Washington or Bonaparte or Hitler or Lenin or Putin come from? When the time was right, they appeared as if out of nowhere.

Third, you presume that there's a path out there that *doesn't* lead to bloodsoaked disaster. I'm skeptical of that to say the least - as the great man said, optimismus ist feigheit. In fact, I think we're already there - in the time between my post and your reply, this nation has managed to murder 4500 of its own children in abortion clinics. If that isn't a "bloodsoaked disaster", I couldn't tell you what is.

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