Monday, July 18, 2011

To Form a More Libertarian Union

There are some encouraging signs emerging from the conservative ranks. Neoconservative foreign policy is dead, concludes Foreign Policy magazine. That may be overly optimistic, but it's safe to say it is on life support, with GOP armchair generals losing their taste for sending others off to war.

A second sign of new life in the GOP was the near-death of the immoral people-starving, money-wasting Ethanol program.

Cutting our foreign entanglements and ending wasteful government programs takes us towards a more libertarian nation, and that's a good thing.  Let us decide things at the state and local levels.  What suits us here in Colorado would rankle the nanny statists of Massachusetts and Chicago.

Getting the federal government out of our lives would also blessedly take much of the politics out of it as well:
"We need independence not just in politics but from politics," they write. "Contrary to the myths perpetuated by liberals and conservatives alike, the winning and losing of elections is not transformative of what matters most."
The things that truly matter in life (our families, friends, churches, communities, teams, relationships, and culture) do not stem from state capitols or Washington, D.C. (Heather Wilhelm – Hipsters Against the Political Machine)
This is key. As it stands now, everyday Americans must be invested in politics because politics and government has infested every last corner of the average American’s life. If you like to smoke, shoot guns, engage in homosexual activity, go to church, or perform other controversial activities, you’ve got to keep your ear to the ground and protect your interests by contributing to a criminal gang disguised as a political party.

This is what has driven me towards libertarianism. Unlike liberalism and conservatism, libertarianism does not condone or prohibit any particular human activity, so long as that activity does not interfere with the rights of others.

Getting the federal government out of our personal lives and back within the bounds of its constitutional mandate would save us trillions and just as important, take the air out of the interminable political arguments that waste our time.

56 comments:

conservativesonfire said...

I have said on occaision that if I were to take one more step to the right, I would be a Libertarian. there are a couple of Libertarian positions that I could never support. Their position against the first use of agression is, IMHO, dangerous. For example, are we to wait until Iran fires a nuclear warhead into the US from Venezuela before we respond to this threat? I say we musy always have the right and the will to use a preemptive strike againsst an enemy.

Jack Camwell said...

There's a lot of Libertarian ideas that I can get behind, but there's also a lot that I can't.

Their ideas on military power projection, and how we need to pare that back a lot, is not an avenue I can follow. Although I'm not wild about pre-emptive strikes, if we're to keep our enemies at bay they need to feel as though we can strike with full force anywhere, any time.

Finntann said...

I am not aware that the policy of no first strike is a hard platform point of the Libertarian Party, any more than as a general principle, which could be said in principle to apply equally to the Democratic and Republican parties. The principle of non-use of force is a guide, not a hard law.

If a man is walking down the street with a gun on his hip, one can not shoot him in self-defense. If he is brandishing the weapon and screaming threats at you, one does not need to wait for him to pull the trigger before acting in self-defense.

What the LP party says on the matter is:

1.6 Self-Defense

The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights — life, liberty, and justly acquired property — against aggression. This right inheres in the individual, who may agree to be aided by any other individual or group. We affirm the individual right recognized by the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms, and oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of selfdefense.
We oppose all laws at any level of government requiring registration of, or restricting, the
ownership, manufacture, or transfer or sale of firearms or ammunition.

3.0 Securing Liberty

The protection of individual rights is the only proper purpose of government. Government is
constitutionally limited so as to prevent the infringement of individual rights by the government
itself. The principle of non-initiation of force should guide the relationships between governments.

3.1 National Defense

We support the maintenance of a sufficient military to defend the United States against aggression.
The United States should both avoid entangling alliances and abandon its attempts to act as
policeman for the world. We oppose any form of compulsory national service.

3.3 International Affairs

American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Our foreign policy should
emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding
foreign entanglements. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention,
including military and economic aid. We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and
defend themselves and their rights. We condemn the use of force, and especially the use of
terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or by
political or revolutionary groups.

dmarks said...

There are precious few actual neoconservatives (former liberals) with any power and say. Bush and Cheney definitely are not. It has come to be a pejorative used by both the Democrats, and the Pat Buchanan "National Socialist" wing for any conservative they do not like.

Jack: We never did engage in any pre-emptive strikes. Contrary to the lies about President Bush, Iraq had attacked us many times, and the escalation against him in 2003 was in response to this and other aggression from him.

I am certainly no neoconservative, but I do strongly support fighting back against the terrorists, no matter where they are.

I sure hope Republicans don't go in the direction of Ron Paul, who has at times voted on terrorism issues as if bin Laden were handing him a check.

Anonymous said...

The things that truly matter in life ... do not stem from state capitols or Washington, D.C.

Truer words were never written. We must get away from the notion planted in our consciousness by Marxist professors, media and entertainment moguls, and educrats that government has the power, the duty and the ability to take care of all our needs better than we, ourselves.

"A government powerful enough to give you everything you need is powerful enough to take away everything you have."

And yet, even in Soviet Russia, somehow life went on. People lived, laughed, loved, had moments of happiness, suffered and died just as they do everywhere and have done since the beginning of time. The difference between the Soviet world and the one we've enjoyed is that most of us have had a much longer time to experience the vicissitudes of life than our Soviet counterparts. They lived a relatively short time with permanently dreary prospects in perpetual deprivation while we lived longer more hopeful lives in relative abundance.

If we're abandoning the Neocons, who are for the most part a bunch of cons [i.e. con artists}, who've falsely adopted conservative rhetoric to implement a hidden agenda, that's fine and dandy.

It's a right, good and necessary thing to defend our homeland and our interests abroad, but supplanting defense with a policy of aggression and new forms of expansionism cloaked in pious, pseudo-idealistic rhetoric is not only foolish, it's proved itself to be downright evil.

Mr. Reagan's slogan Peace Through Strength makes a lot of sense. It stands to reason that if would-be enemies know you have a well honed ability to retaliate against aggression with force deadly enough to annihilate them, they are much less likely to attack you.

That said it also stands to reason that flexing our muscles, rattling our sabers and throwing our weight around invading weaker nations killing a few hundred or a few thousand people every few years under the pretext of "keeping the world safe for democracy" is as ignoble as it is stupid -- especially when we never seem to gain anything but deficits, disunity and increasingly angry dissension on the homefront.

~ FreeThinke

Finntann said...

I don't think any of you, at least the thinking and rational among you, believe 100% in all the platform points of the party with which you affiliate. Why treat the Libertarian party any differently?

I can support the Libertarian party platform despite disagreeing with some of its points, begause overall I agree with more of its content than I disagree with.

If anything, my major stumbling block with the Libertarian Party is:

3.4 Free Trade and Migration

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

I guess it all comes down to what "unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries" means. I can believe in principle, yet am not so naive to believe that we can support open borders with out a subsequent "threat to security, health, or property." At least not as long as the government is handing out candy.

That said, and while I can wholeheartedly embrace 98% of the Libertarian platform I find that more often than not I cannot vote for their candidates. Why? Because regretably, more often than not the Libertarian candidate doesn't have a snowballs chance in hell of getting elected and the best I can hope to do with my vote is to attempt to influence government by casting a vote against the candidate I think will do the most harm instead of casting a vote for the candidate I think will do the most good.

Until Libertarians can be reasonably expected to achieve something close to 30% in a three way race, I cannot in good conscience throw my vote away by casting it for them. How can one vote for a party that has consistently achieved less than one percent of the vote in national elections?

What is sad, is you can't convince me that 99% of the population opposes the Libertarian platform or supports the Democrats or Republicans more. Until the party goes mainstream I think most people who could support the Libertarian platform will continue to act and vote as I do.

As Libertarians, we have a serious PR problem

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

It's not our business to try to act as The Conscience of the World or The Savior of the World.

Our duty is to perfect ourselves and protect ourselves.

We have no other.

The only way we could hope to influence or change the outside world for the better is by being so good, so fair, so decent, so brilliant, so prosperous, so fine and so damnably attractive that others could not help but want to emulate us in every regard.

"Conversion" to any religion or ideology by force of arms breeds only resentment, resistance, rebellion and retaliation.

We should have learned that by now.

Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan have been correct in taking the position that we impoverish ourselves, produce nothing but grief and draw contempt from the rest of the world when we attempt to mind other people's business.

Our Founders warned against "foreign entanglements."

We should have heeded their always sage advice.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

That last was a great post, FinnTann. I couldn't agree more.

It's frustrating never to have anyone to vote FOR, but always having to vote AGAINST what-we-hope-might-be the lesser of two evils, isn't it?

I believe the Founding Fathers were the first -- and the truest -- Libertarians who ever lived.

It's sad to know that we quickly strayed so far from their idealistic vision and let ourselves be trapped -- or deceived -- into giving up so much of our liberty in the interests of promoting "fairness" and "equality" through the use of ever more intrusive government intervention and aggressive force.

Of course our treatment of Negroes and the Indians sowed the seeds of our undoing. By treating them as less than human, we hurt our chances of succeeding in the long run. "Racism" and the brutal exploitation of perceived inferiors has been our Achilles heel.

If the Founders had freed their slaves and abolished slavery all across the board, and if we had treated the Indians humanely and with more respect, we might be a poorer, less powerful nation today, but we would have saved ourselves so much grief and pain that we would certainly be a happier people and less torn by dissension -- ot don't you agree?

~ FreeThinke

Jersey McJones said...

There are some signs that the American public are finally waking up to the realization that the military state has to be reined in. We spend more than the entire world combined on our military and there is no reasonable excuse for this. It's insane.

If libertarians could really focus on this, they could find many allies.

JMJ

Ducky's here said...

"The things that truly matter in life (our families, friends, churches, communities, teams, relationships, and culture) do not stem from state capitols or Washington, D.C."

--------

How profound. Even a fringe right winger could figure that out.

Ducky's here said...

Libertarianism --- The political sandbox where conflicts of interest simply vanish.

Anonymous said...

Ducky,

Couldn't we please hear more about policies you favor rather than those you, apparently, despise?

If you don't believe the Founders were libertarians, then what do you think they were?

It would be helpful to hear less denigration and more affirmation from you -- and everyone else.

What is your vision for the best of all possible worlds?

Stop practicing Critical Theory. It does nothing to nourish the mind or give uplift to the soul.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Jersey,

You're right, although I believe we need to keep spending money on DEFENSE.

Defense, however, very different from stupid, costly AGGRESSION billed as altruism that only serves to antagonize everyone while enriching the coffers of the few "giants" who administer The Military-Industrial Complex.

Maybe we'll get you to see the virtue in positions taken by the likes of Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan yet.

Cheerio!

~ FreeThinke

Silverfiddle said...

Ducky: That statement you cite was written by libertarians Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch.

Get your facts straight before launching your tired, predictable ad hominem.

Everyone: I should have been clear I am not advocating for "Big L" Libertarianism.

American politics is a two car race, so my view is that we should inject more libertarianism into the GOP and drain it of its statist tendencies.

Ducky's here said...

Well Freethnker, I want two primary elements in an economic system.

1. Sustainability - Eveyone rushing to live a bloated Western life style is not sustainable and capitalism needs this excess consumption to exist. Capitalism is not sustainable.

2.Reasonable distribution - A society where the discrepancy in wealth is too high (I know but we can try to define it) is an unhealthy, inefficient culture. Health problems, crime, physical decay any number of problems.
Laissez-faire capitalism is very poor at distributing a basic share of wealth.
Last man standing capitalism leads to lack of competition, oppression and stagnation. It's a system for suckers who think they'll be the last standing.

I especially get perturbed by the fools who think charity will resolve this issue in a laissez-faire system. NO (read the post today over at the ladies who lunch). What the Libertarian desires is to MAINTAIN the existing grossly unequal power structure. They want the poor to be there to allow them through the practice of their Calvinist gutter religion to feel virtuous while keeping their status.

So I start with social democracy and advocate working toward a democratic socialism which distributes the benefits of productivity gains more equally, recognizes worker ownership.

Silverfiddle said...

Yeah, workers paradises like Cuba, North Korea and the old Soviet Union didn't have any of those problems, right Ducky?

Finntann said...

SF: Two car race? LOL... we don't have two parties, all we have are the center-left and center-right wings of the Federalist Party. Republicanism died years ago.

Change from within, change from without, no difference to me, but I am not convinced the Republican party is redeemable

Ducky: Democratic Socialism? You're a Marxist, plain and simple. No need to mince words. Your flaw is you think you are entitled to anyone elses productivity gains. A basic share of wealth? WTF makes you think you are entitled to a share of anyone elses wealth?

Capitalism is unsustainable? I don't know seems to have worked quite well for the past 5,000 years. And your proposal is what? We go back to bartering chickens? Or would you prefer just sneaking in my barnyard and stealing them? What difference does it make, you or the government?

Look at what capitalism has done for the workers of the west, and look at what marxism has done for the workers in the east and tell me that marxism-socialism is the better system. Christ, just look at Europe, your house of cards is falling.

What is very poor at distributing a basic share of wealth, of instilling a lack of competition, oppression, and stagnation is government. What's worse is the sucker who thinks he'll be the last one sucking on the teat when the entire system collapses around his ass.

What is unsustainable is progressive statist governments picking the winners and losers in the capitalist system.

So tell me, what makes you think if I paint landscapes in my barn and sell them, you are entitled to anything from my labor? Or if I choose to do it eighty hours a week instead of forty you are entitled to even more?

In what sick and twisted philosophy do you think that you or the state has the right to take taxes from me and give it to the UAW? To strip legal investors in GM of their rights and assets andtransfer them into another company?

No thanks, I'd rather live in a society where one can succeed or fail on their own merits than one in which some professional politician who contributes nothing but hot air to society gets to determine the winners and losers.

Worker ownership? Isn't that what your f'ing salary is? I take the risk, invest the capital, purchase the means of production, and you think that aside from your just compensation, you now own a portion of my business? Don't like your compensation? Here's the way it works bubba...take your salary, buy your own goddamn equipment, and feel free to enter into competition with me.

You think I'm not paying for the benefits of society? It's the single largest expense I have. Our government has more than enough money to provide the safety and security for which it was intended, what it can't afford is buying you f'ing lunch, or whatever other marxist entitlement program you dream up.

Calvinist gutter religion?

I'm not even going to dignify that comment with a response. Your words speak volumes enough of your character.

Anonymous said...

"American politics is a two car race, so my view is that we should inject more libertarianism into the GOP and drain it of its statist tendencies."

Hear! Hear!

The GOP establishment of the recent past has effectively changed the meaning of the party acronym to Gobs OfPoop.

My problem -- and I imagine that of many others who think -- is that no one with any clout is representing anything I would want to support.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

"American politics is a two car race, so my view is that we should inject more libertarianism into the GOP and drain it of its statist tendencies."

Hear! Hear!

The GOP establishment of the recent past has effectively changed the meaning of the party acronym to Gobs OfPoop.

My problem -- and I imagine that of many others who think -- is that no one with any clout is representing anything I would want to support.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

JEEPERS, FinnTann!


BRAVO!


You stole my thunder. I might have have tried to phrase it more diplomatically, but you took the words right out of my head before i could get them down.


I believe that all forms of "Leftism" are Marxian in essence, but you'll get tons of verbiage telling you how ignorant, uninformed and unschooled you are when you say it flat out. I concede right away that Marx stole most his ideas from Hegel, but only Marx and his many and varied disciples should be credited with the evil his doctrines have wrought.


I would disagree with you, however, that we are basically a center-ANYTHING country, because all I've seen since the dawn of consciousness c. 1948 is a steady, relentless, unmistakable drift to the left in BOTH parties.


This in no way resembles the country of my humble, hardworking, high-achieving grandparents. But they got established well before 1913, which was a watershed year for the determination to move us towards ever greater, ever sterner and less tractable Centralized Power, and the steady loss of liberty and individual rights.


I have no idea what Ducky means by his snidely derogatory references to Calvinism. I was baptized in the Presbyterian church, myself, but have never found the Calvinist approach very helpful in trying to meet life's daily challenges.


Elsewhere Ducky has told us he is a Roman Catholic, so definitely not an atheist or an agnostic. With that in mind I've never understood why he is so quick to defend atheist initiatives when they wax aggressive - or perhaps I misunderstand? That's always possible.


Of course, in the peasant cultures of Central and South America the Roman Catholic Church, as represented by the local priesthood at least, often finds itself in league with Communist Revolutionaries, and pitted against right wing regimes that have been friendlier towards the United States.


The meretricious interpretation of the Gospels that would cast Jesus Christ as The First Communist is as seductive as it is erroneous, and must be argued against with great skill and knowledge, because it is so widely accepted, and has in fact transformed Christ's Church into a social-activist advocacy group disseminating left wing propaganda disguised as Christian Endeavor. THAT is why I keep insisting on our need to keep on defining and redefining our concept of God-Christ and how He should relate to the way we live our lives.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

And, Ducky, even though everybody's down on you, I have to applaud you for your honesty -- not that anything you said particularly surprises me -- but as a libertarian of sorts [I'm not doctrinaire about anything, except the militant resistance to any form of tyrannical Mind Control from Somewhere on High], so I would "defend to the death" your right say anything you damned well please -- as long as you are willing to return the compliment.

I'm not one of Justice Holmes' biggest fans, but he said on thing (echoing Voltaire, of course) that sticks in my mind and strikes me as worth repeating -- often:

"If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought – not free thought for those that agree with us, but freedom for the thought that we hate."

Hard though it be to swallow at times, Holmes was right. The recent developments with the Ladies Who Lunch are proof enough of that. Tyranny of ANY kind is far more difficult to endure and far more odious -- than the free unfettered expression -- even of poisonous drivel.

Cheerio!

FreeThinke

Ducky's here said...

Capitalism is 5000 years old? Where do you find these people?

I'm a Marxist? Is that supposed to be embarrassing. I'm with Schumpeter in believing that his criticism of capitalism must be countered. In fact, Marx had capitalism's problems down pretty well.

Ducky's here said...

Freethinker, Calvinism is a belief in the chosen, the special people. It leads to asinine ideas like American exceptionalism and is a hiding lace for imperialists who cover there deeds with bull about spreading freedom and democracy in the world.

Silverfiddle said...

@FinnTann: SF: Two car race? LOL... we don't have two parties, all we have are the center-left and center-right wings of the Federalist Party. Republicanism died years ago.

Yeah, I know, its like if every nascar team was owned by Miller Lite...

But still, we have a two-party system, and trying to break out of that will not be easy. Easier to hijack one of the parties, imho.

The Big L of the Libertarian party more accurately stands for Loser.

Anonymous said...

Ducky,

Here's an interesting article knocking Chosenness written by a Jew (if that means anything).

http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/35579/the-centrality-of-jewish-chosenness/

I don't think the idea started with Calvin, it is merely the acceptance of a very ancient idea put forth by the Jews, themselves, probably to keep up their spirits as they whistled in the dark trying to find their way across the deserts of Arabia to The Promised Land.

My personal belief that Jesus rejected the idea of "Chosenness" in favor of universal love and brotherhood, etc. seems born out in the Gospels, but please don't ask me to quote chapter and verse right now.

Naturally, the Jewish tribal elders felt threatened and were horrified at this "heresy," which is, of course, why they acceded to the Romans' demand that Jesus be crucified -- He went against The Establishment -- He rocked the boat -- He seemed, as far as the Scribes and Pharisees were concerned, to be a traitor to his own people as well as having the colossal effrontery to challenge the authority of Rome. Like all upstarts, JESUS had to GO.

Jesus was, in my opinion, The First Libertarian, not The First Communist.

For whatever reason, most people feel a need to believe in SOMETHING. You happen to be bent in the direction of Marxian ideals. You favor a Centrally Planned Economy. I am a believer in the superiority of the Capitalist System, a fervent advocate of the Ownership and Enjoyment of Private Property, and see Capitalism, even with its admitted faults, as the economic engine that has produced the most good for the greatest number possible so far in human history.

The Jews cling to the self-invented, self-serving myth of their innate superiority as The Chosen, and cannot seem to realize that this attitude, which most others perceive as arrogant and presumptuous in the extreme, is above all the reason they've attracted so much resentment, antagonism, and persecution over millennia.

You fling sneering invective at "Calvinism." I think what you really are aiming at is so-called Christian FUNDAMENTALISM, which I happen to think is not Christian at all, but merely an outgrowth of the mentality that has many weak-minded people repeatedly reenlisting in the army or contriving to get themselves sent back to prison, because they have no idea what to do with freedom.

Freedom scares ignorant, weak-minded people to death, so they choose the "security" of enslavement or imprisonment of one kind or another over liberty.

Most women happen to be more security minded, less venturesome and less willing to take chances than most men. Therefore, the increasing feminization of Western Civilization -- surely the product of Leftist Activism and the guilt engendered by a misunderstanding of what is meant by "Christian Conscience" -- has produced this Fatal Attraction for the cunning blandishments of Welfare Statism.

With these dismal factors in play is it any wonder we are ripe victims for the machinations of a cabal of cynical, manipulative Internationalists -- Would-be Oligarchs -- who seek to enslave us in the guise of making this a better world?

~ FreeThinke

Bastiatarian said...

>democratic socialism which distributes the benefits of productivity gains

Ah, so you advocate theft. Not that anyone is surprised, of course.

Ducky's here said...

You know Freethinker, there's a good place to start on the question of sustainability, fish.

Now for many people fish has been a very efficient source of protein. It's disappearing. I became aware of the issue when a couple of buddies out of Gloucester had to give up their boat because we depleted Georges Bank, possibly beyond the point where it can ever recover.

It's happening all over. There's an article over at Truthout (know, you won't break out in hives) that you might try.

Bastiatarian, I advocate putting folks like yourself out on the curb with a freaking begging bowl, by force.

Finntann said...

Capitalism is an economic system structured upon the accumulation of capital in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for profit, usually in competitive market.

Don't confuse capitalism with mercantilsm or free markets. Like it or not, capitalism has been around for a long long time. What do you think a Roman baker or brewer was? They weren't giving bread or beer away free. They were exchanging it for currency. Even serfs, over and above what they needed to tribute their lord and take for there own subsistence disposed of any excess in a capitalistic fashion.

Where do we find these people? Why don't you Google Ashur and Ilu-shuma, King of Assyria 1945-1906 BC:

By giving the south Mesopotamian merchants an incentive to buy their tin at Ashur and to sell their wares, particularly fine textiles as well as perhaps copper imported from the Gulf via Ur, Ilshuma made Ashur into the hub of commercial connections. His successor, Erishum, claims to have made ‘silver, gold, copper, tin, barley and wool exempt from taxes’, thereby extending the favourable conditions for trade even further.


And no, the label Marxist wasn't made to be embarrassing. If you are a Marxist, come out and say it, and I can respect you for that. I do however, despise wolves in sheeps clothing. Marxist, Communist, whatever... be a man and come out and say it instead of trying to pass it off as something else.

Hell, if Obama ran as a Marxist, Communist, Socialist, whatever...and got elected I'd have a hell of a lot more respect for the man. But we all know he wouldn't have stood a chance in hell getting elected with any of those labels... so we gotta call it something else, no? Otherwise the people would see us for what we were.

But in this country lately Democrats aren't democrats and Republicans aren't republicans, they are all some twisted form of either progressive federal corporatists or progressive federal socialists.

FT, I said we had a center-right and center-left wing of a Federalist party... I did not say that they were in any way shape or form lodged in the center. If anything we are moving towards totalitarian populism.

SF: I know exactly what you mean, which is why I support the Republican Liberty Caucus, but I sometimes wonder if the Republican Party can be saved from itself and its politicians.

Cheers!

Finntann said...

Ahh Ducky, The Communistwealth of Taxachussetts, I should have known. Used to live in Mashpee myself, glad I left, can't say I ever regretted it.

Since you are so enamored of socialism, why don't you give yourself a boost and point out to us all a successful socialist state?

Matt said...

Thanks for posting this, as it confirms a lot of what I have been thinking, and reading at other sites. I think the influence of the Neocons has been sinking in all the more with additional time to reflect on the fact that there is no "conservative" way to do big government. It's no better than the leftists in this country thinking that communism will work, "if we only had the right people running it."

I would also add that in tough economic times, it is natural to look inward, and abandon more overseas adventures. I also see there being less of a focus on social issues, which is also a good move (of course, the MSM wants to harp on them to distract from Obama's failures). I only hope that it stays that way. Now is a time to re-evaluate what works, what didn't, and what was a disaster.

Ducky's here said...

What can I say, Flim-Flam. I enjoy living within 5 miles of three world class institutions of learning, more than in the entire state of Colorado.

I like the sports, the music scene and living in one of the great art cities of America.

It's a great place to live. Colorado has some mountains and outside of Boulder there ain't much to consider. We could discard it with no real loss.

Now if you look at the history of the United States, the leftist movements have been successful and it would do you well to study our history. We lost our way with the administration of Saint Ronnie Raygun and it may not be possible to stop the decline but the left need not be ashamed of its history in America.

Why not join silverfiddle for another tour in that Libertarian paradise, Afghanistan. Not much government there, no compulsory health insurance, no financial regulation. It's heaven.

WomanHonorThyself said...

workers paradises like Cuba, North Korea and the old Soviet Union didn't have any of those problems,..well said Silver...:)

Silverfiddle said...

Finn: I share your skepticism on whether we can get the GOP headed in the right direction.

btw, when the hell are you going to post something? Do you realize your average thread post is so fact filled and interesting it could be a blog post all on its own, and hundreds of people a day would read it?

Silverfiddle said...

@Ducky: Colorado has some mountains and outside of Boulder there ain't much to consider. We could discard it with no real loss.

You are ignorant. Boulder provides nothing to the economy. It is a suck. Yes, it produces a few fine engineers, but it also unleashes a horde of lesbian dance and minority studies sociologists, which are an economic and social net loss to this nation.

The rest of Colorado, the cowboy part of Colorado, the self-sufficient and economically viable part of Colorado produces petroleum, natural gas, coal, crops and livestock.

Yeah, you live in a liberal nanny state and blather on about institutions of higher learning. When's the last time you ate a text book. At least you could heat your home with them...

Finntann said...

And if living within 5 miles warranted inclusion on my CV I'd have over a dozen, and truly worldwide. What are you hoping for, osmosis?

"We could discard it with no real loss." Oh you tease!

Yeah, the left has nothing to be ashamed of:

Medicare: $24.8 trillion
Obligation per household: $212,500

Social Security: $21.4 trillion
Obligation per household: $183,400

Federal debt: $9.4 trillion
Obligation per household: $79,900

Military retirement/disability benefits: $3.6 trillion
Obligation per household: $31,200

Federal employee retirement benefits: $2 trillion
Obligation per household: $17,000

State, local government obligations: $5.2 trillion
Obligation per household: $44,800

Total: $62 Trillion
Obligation per household: $568,800

USA TODAY has calculated federal finances based on standard accounting rules since 2004 using data from the Medicare and Social Security annual reports and the little-known audited financial report of the federal government.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2011-06-06-us-debt-chart-medicare-social-security_n.htm?loc=interstitialskip

Nah nothing to be ashamed of at all...you guys are a wet dream!

Oh, and Ducky, you'd last about 5 minutes on the streets of Charikar... they like Marxists even less than Libertarians.

Anonymous said...

Truthout, eh? The bastard child of an unsanctified union between The Daily Worker and The Nation no doubt, and grandfather to The Daily Kos, MoveOn.org., The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, and doubtless a great inspiration to Michael Moore and Spike Lee.

Who is the patriarch whose seed helped beget this dour empire of seditious rhetoric and lugubrious sentiment? Could it be Noam Chomsky, perchance?

By the way, is William Rivers of Spit still writing for that ineffably dreary, anti-American outfit?

I won't break out in hives, but I would develop acid indigestion and explosive diarrhea from an encounter with the likes of William Rivers of Spit, so I'll skip it for now, since I have a doctor's appointment in the morning.

But thanks for responding.

Cheerio!

~ FreeThinke

Bastiatarian said...

>Bastiatarian, I advocate putting folks like yourself out on the curb with a freaking begging bowl, by force.

Naturally.

Z said...

I'm with Conservativesonfire on this one when he says "For example, are we to wait until Iran fires a nuclear warhead into the US from Venezuela before we respond to this threat? I say we musy always have the right and the will to use a preemptive strike againsst an enemy."

Why's it always America having to take a breath and not take care of matters which would protect US? I'm reminded of muslims in mosques shooting our soldiers while the soldiers are warned that shooting back at the mosques isn't polite...a religious institution, of course! geeeeZ

Anonymous said...

"... But in this country lately Democrats aren't democrats and Republicans aren't republicans, they are all some twisted form of either progressive federal corporatists or progressive federal socialists."

Yes. I believe I said they are becoming virtually indistinguishable from one another.

"FT, I said we had a center-right and center-left wing of a Federalist party... I did not say that they were in any way shape or form lodged in the center. If anything we are moving towards totalitarian populism."

I believe I indicated also that we were moving closer and closer toward absolute despotism, but why would it be categorized as particularly "Federalist" in nature? Do you consider Federalism to be a creature of the Left? I suppose it stands for a stronger central government, but I don't know for sure, so I wish you'd explain and forgive my ignorance along the way.

I should think our primary aim should be to avoid developing a strongly authoritarian government at all costs.

Don't you fear the would-be Oligarchs at all, FinnTann?

~FreeThinke

Ducky's here said...

"For example, are we to wait until Iran fires a nuclear warhead into the US from Venezuela before we respond to this threat? I say we must always have the right and the will to use a preemptive strike against an enemy."

-----------------------
What do the ladies who lunch suggest we do, invade Venezuela? Invade because the ladies who lunch get the vapors?

Chucklenuts already tried a coup in Afghanistan and screwed up. Not as badly as he's screwed up in Iraq and Afghanistan but he screwed up none the less.

Why would Venezuela wish to fire a nuke at the U.S? What would they gain? Do you ever think?

Always On Watch said...

Duck,
With Z in comment moderation, you can't get your insulting comments to her published at her site, so you come over here to insult her.

You are a small, small man. And "just plain mean," as my grandmother used to say about some folks.

Silverfiddle said...

AOW: Ad hominem is the last refuge of the intellectually bereft, which explain Ducky's dyspeptic and insulting behavior.

I do not censor here, preferring to let stand these totems of angry liberal dingdongery.

Ducky's here said...

Freethinker, let's look at a generic question. Now you and I may think each others politics insane but at least we are being civil.
By the way, I'm surprised you're familiar with William Rivers Pitt, great prose.

On the issue of sustainability. What would allow you to consider the idea that fish stocks are in danger, specie decimation? If you reject any writings that voice alarm then what if they are even partially correct?
Myself, I don't know the whole issue but I have seen some very negative changes in the fishing industry and wonder if we shouldn't hedge our bets. How do we supply people with protein?
Cut down more forests so there is more grazing land for beef? Very inefficient and long term damaging, no?

I never get the sense that conservatives feel a need for concern. If there are shortages, just hire some more mercenaries and take over the stuff seems to be their attitude. That won't get us far.

Ducky's here said...

AOW, how can you take someone seriously who believes that Iran is going to ship a nuke to Venezuela?

That kind of high end conspiracy theorist can not be reasoned with and will not even admit doubt.

Look at her pronouncements. She's okay with Mexicans because the ones she meets in the service industry are so sweet. That doesn't deserve a good lampooning?

Country Thinker said...

Silver: let me give you a warning from the Students for Liberty I met at Freedom Fest. The younger generation so utterly despises GWB and the GOP (generally) that they won't vote for a Republican candidate. They end up falling into the liberal camp by default. But when the SFL explain libertarian philosophy, many are amazed and abandon liberalism quickly.

I see 3 possibilities. The GOP moves in a libertarian direction gets an image overhaul, the Libertarian Party finally rises, or the long-term prospects for the GOP are weak.

Silverfiddle said...

Country: I understand exactly what you are saying. Today's youth are natural libertarians, they just don't know it.

I am not pollyannish about the GOP, but I believe trying to turn them more libertarian would be easier and more successful than trying to make the Libertarian Party a viable political entity.

We are running out of time.

Finntann said...

"how can you take someone seriously who believes that Iran is going to ship a nuke to Venezuela?"

Next crackpot allegation is that the Soviets are going to ship nukes to Cuba...

Oh Wait!

Country Thinker said...

SF: We agree more than we disagree. When push comes to shove, we will be on the same side.

MK said...

Libertarianism has more in common with leftism than you might think, so i'd be careful waltzing down that road.

jez said...

I expect he knows what it is since he isn't an idiot, and he's been advocating it for quite some time.
In general I'd trust SilverFiddle's definition of just about any word of any type above yours, with possible exceptions for racist slang or technical S&M language which I understand are more your area than his.

Always On Watch said...

Duck,
Z's blog, her property. She can say whatever she wishes, and she can ban whomever she wishes, too.

You can't slam her publicly at her blog, so now you go elsewhere to criticize her. Very bad manners on your part.

Ducky's here said...

I slam her regularly. I called her a fool today for posting a video that has obviously been dubbed and she's not equipped to figure it out. She just doesn't publish it.

Fringe right wingers prefer ignorance.

Always On Watch said...

Duck,
You just go right ahead and revel in your pettiness about Z.

Feel like a big man. Go right ahead.

The rest of us see you for what you are -- pathetic and despicable.

beamish said...

Silverfiddle,

I find this post a little difficult to parse because I don't subscribe to the inconsistent and artificially contrived distinction between "paleoconservative" and "neoconservative." It's my view that you're either conservative or not. Most of what is called "neoconservatism" traces to Reagan's foreign policy and its largest critics curiously all hail from the left-wing.

Regardless, characterizing this "neoconservatism" as war-mongering and declaring it "dead" is odd considering we're still at war in Iraq and Afghanistan (the "neoconservative" wars), and now providing air support to al Qaeda in Libya (the Obama war). If it is this distinction, now using American military power to support al Qaeda rather than fight it, then the death of "neoconservatism" ought to be mourned.

Other than that, I'm with you on a more libertarian approach to domestic policy.

Silverfiddle said...

Jez: Thanks for the assist!

Beamish: OK. Remove "Neoconservative" and insert "Global Community Organizer."

And Ronald Reagan was much smarter and much more effective than any politician today on foreign policy.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Ducky,

You said: I'm surprised you're familiar with William Rivers Pitt, great prose.

You were referring to my eloquent assessment of his contributions to alarmism and his ever more depressing derogatory assertions about our country, and not his turgid rhetoric, I take it?

Thank you for the compliment. };-)>

On the issue of sustainability. What would allow you to consider the idea that fish stocks are in danger, species decimation? If you reject any writings that voice alarm then what if they are even partially correct?

If the fish supply truly is in danger of extinction, we need to declare a moratorium - or severe limits at least -- on commercial fishing. I'd be in favor of using some of that tax money extracted from us in great green gobs to compensate the fishermen for their necessary sacrifice. I love the idea of compensating victims.

Myself, I don't know the whole issue but I have seen some very negative changes in the fishing industry and wonder if we shouldn't hedge our bets. How do we supply people with protein?

What changes have you observed? We seem to have an abundant supply of marine life in the markets here, but I have to admit nothing beats the taste of New England seafood. I miss it, but enjoy my fond memories almost as much as the real thing. Thank God for my wonderful, uncontrained youth!

We can get plenty of protein from soy beans if push comes to shove, which I hope it doesn't, but frankly, I think we eat too damned much, and overindulge in foods that used to be reserved for special occasions. I'm a fan of voluntary austerity. Good for the body. Good for the soul. Good for the environment.

Cut down more forests so there is more grazing land for beef? Very inefficient and long term damaging, no?

Such foolish thoughts would never have crossed my mind. I love trees more than I do most people. We'd be NOWHERE without them. Beef has lost much of its savor. Seems tasteless these days.

I never get the sense that conservatives feel a need for concern.

Oh, we're concerned all right -- ALARMED in fact -- but see through schemes ginned up to frighten people into giving up more and more of their liberty and ever increasing amounts of their money -- to government power -- a phenomenon that scares me far more than having to eat beans instead of steak and lobster, I can tell you that.

Being concerned is fine. Being paralyzed by fear of impending doom and being subjected to tyranny is NOT fine.

~ FreeThinke