Tag Archives: libertarianism

Pardon me while I go on about stupid Paul freaking Ryan

On Wednesday, the GOP pitted conservative darling Paul Ryan against liberal hero Elizabeth Warren, with Ryan serving as a tribune to wealthy Americans and Warren as a populist fighter for working people.

What? You don't want to work?

So it begins, the 2012 battle for the hearts and minds of American voters. But you couldn’t get me to vote for Ryan, or any other Conservative, for simple reasons: they’re clueless. They vow to govern America through the thoroughly disreputable philosophies of the rich and powerful. To wit: We are good for you.

This is no way to run a good nation. This is the way banana republics and cults of personality operate. Organized around a single, selfish group of individuals, the country rises and falls upon the pursuits of the narrowest interests. If your needs aren’t aligned with the rich, that’s too bad for you.

Eliminating the capital gains tax would result in a massive payday for them. And if it puts exactly nothing back in your pocket, that’s too bad. If it slashes government income and results in rollbacks of programs you depend upon, say food stamps for your kids, that’s far worse.

The critical truth about government is this: it has finite resources. What the government gives to one group, it often denies to another. And that’s a reasonable mirror of our own lives. We have limited time, money and energy to devote to any one thing, the government, or society, or our fellow man, included. The government is an agent operating a lot like our ourselves, only benefiting far greater numbers.

Thus, the greatest truth: we are all in this together. So the government question becomes ‘How do we deliver the maximum benefit to all?’ I’ll go with Elizabeth Warren’s answer. The government should create ‘the commons,’ and these should benefit as many people as possible.

Political power distributed through democratic means, fair play business regulations, a productive but un-punishing tax code, a legal system which preserves personal liberty, durable and plentiful infrastructure, the freedom to live as you please — these make for a user-friendly world. This is the Great Western Society.

But each of these features is a limited resource. No matter how much you’d like to, you can’t drive over the same bridge everybody else is already using. If it’s jammed, you’ve got to wait or find another way. You can’t use the same part of the tax code as someone making a tenth of you. Even if a whole bunch of you tried, the codes would catch up with you by resetting against your favor. You can’t all live in the same beautiful neighborhood, you can’t all live in the same house. You can’t yell “Fire” in a crowded club just to demonstrate your First Amendment freedoms.

So the commons, while meant for everybody, are limited resources. Elizabeth Warren:

You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory — and hire someone to protect against this — because of the work the rest of us did.

Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless — keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

Exactly. And this, Warren’s addressing of the essential Paul Ryan ethos — “I use it up, I win” — is where we jump off:

Moderator Ed Fuelner asked Ryan to respond to this argument. Ryan dismissed it as the “fatal conceit of liberalism.”

“Money and wealth made and created in America is the government’s unless they benevolently spend it back to people. It’s the other way around,” Ryan said.

Ryan’s ‘deconstruction’ is a great illustration of how shallow he is. Nobody’s ever argued that the government owns Paul’s wealth, that’s moronic. The argument is that the government provided a great many of the tools Paul used to create his wealth. Those tools take resources to produce and provide, and they don’t belong to Paul. They belong to us all.

If I borrow your lawn mower and mow the neighbor’s lawns at 20 bucks a pop, that may be a good idea. But I, being a reasonable person, would also throw a few bucks back at you for use of the mower. It’s not going to last forever — I haven’t done it any favors. Paul The User says “Screw that practice.” His Randian philosophy says it was brilliant of him to borrow your things, and that’s why he’s keeping every cent. The “Money and wealth made” is all his, regardless of the way he made it.

But you may say, “If the mower’s owner didn’t ask for anything, then that’s tough — forget him.” Fine. You want to talk strictly in terms of agreements? No problem: When you use the commonly owned tools, you enter into Warren’s social contract. You want to start a business by hiring publicly educated employees? You and the government are now partners. Simple enough? We have a meeting of the minds, a quid pro quo. Get ready to pay your taxes.

“No one is suggesting that we don’t need good schools and roads and infrastructure as a basis for a free society and a free enterprise system. But the notion that the nucleus of society is the government and not the individual, the family, the entrepreneur, is to me just completely, inherently backwards.”

More Ryan nonsense. The society is organized around the individual, and that’s fine. But its potential is enormously extended by avoiding anarchy and socializing common activities. Like making money. Paul Ryan wants all the tools and security of a collective but still wishes to extract every ounce and penny out of his efforts without regard to contracts he made with his neighbors. As if he lived first in a civilized place and then in a giant riot. He refuses to see the massive efforts of the people and the government, the centuries of work, that preceded him making his first buck. He is, in two words, a narcissist.

A Tuesday report by the Congressional Budget Office suggests that under conservative policies, wealthy are paying less and getting more while everybody else has stagnated . .

“Let’s not focus on redistribution, let’s focus on upward mobility,” he said. “If these studies are used as justification for erecting new and more barriers for making it harder for people to rise, all that will do is reduce our prosperity in this country.”

See what I mean? Totally self-deluded, clueless. Income taxes, even on middle-income families, are at a 50-year low. But one out of seven Americans qualifies for food stamps, more than 20% of our children live in poverty, 2.5 million more of them slipped into poverty in the last decade. Real wages for working Americans have shrunk over the same period, 74% of us think the nation has “gotten off on the wrong track,” and the august body Paul Ryan represents, Congress, is getting a record-low 9% approval rating. You can see why Conservatives love this guy. You show him a barrio graveyard, he sees Tutankhamen’s tomb. The way the riches stretch out in every direction, it hurts my eyes. Last:

“We’re coming close to a tipping point in America where we might have a net majority of takers versus makers in society and that could become very dangerous if it sets in as a permanent condition . . into a hammock that ends up lulling people into lives of dependency and complacency which drains them of their incentive and the will to make the most of their lives.”

And that’s when Paul worries for America. Not when the rich have decimated us with their narrow-minded, self-serving policies over the last 30 years. Not when they’ve recently triumphed in tweaking the economic commons in such an over-wrought and disastrously fanciful way as to shatter it to pieces, running the country aground. It’s when you people have taken too much. You’re probably on unemployment, taking even more as we speak. Look what you’ve done.


Tea Party politicians dumb white toilet trash

Senate hearings. Who cares. Blah blah blah.

At a hearing of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Thursday, [Sen. Rand] Paul lambasted Kathleen Hogan, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency at the Energy Department, telling her that the department’s “hypocrisy” and “busybody nature” has “restricted choices” for consumers rather than made life better for them.

I don’t bother with Tea Partiers. Do you? Why should we?

They don’t give a damn about government, history, or policy. They don’t give a damn about their fellow woman or man. Their contributions to America amount to stomping their feet and whining. They hate change. They hate ideas. They hate you, with your moods and your careening Saturday Nights.

Their patriotism sounds like . . “Trash trucks in my neighborhood — running on propane? Dale Earnhardt didn’t burn no faggot fuel.”

“I think there should be self-examination from the administration on the idea that you favor a woman’s right to an abortion but you don’t favor a woman, or a man’s, right to choose what kind of light bulb, what kind of dishwasher.”

In the middle of her response to Paul’s line of comments, Hogan said, “My view is what you want —”

“Is to buy a toilet that works!” Paul interrupted.

Hogan replied: “I can help you find a toilet that works.”

At this silly time, let’s remind ourselves of the DOE’s mission:

Goal 1: Catalyze the timely, material, and efficient transformation of the nation’s energy system and secure U.S. leadership in clean energy technologies.
Goal 2: Maintain a vibrant U.S. effort in science and engineering as a cornerstone of our economic prosperity, with clear leadership in strategic areas.
Goal 3: Enhance nuclear security through defense, nonproliferation, and environmental efforts.

Okay. Now, the Senator’s burning point:

“You don’t care about the consumer really,” Mr. Paul said. “Frankly, my toilets don’t work in my house, and I blame you.”

Dang. Rand should do something.


CPAC culminates in Ron Paul’s followers “opting out of the whole system”

Ta-Ta. Goodbye, Ron Paul fans. See you in another life. Spy you on an Orange County commune, fashioning Manolo Blahniks from seaweed and mustard plant. Or miss you while you lash away on some Mojave kibbutz, rendering boutique agave to POM tequila mash.

Those three weeks, 4 days per, 5 hours each, will be an instructive hell.

Bwah ha! You’re gonna opt of the system, but give up 10% of everything you earn? You already want the current government to wipe and fellate yer butts for about half of that.

How many of these human halibuts got back to their cars chanting “RON PAUL!” only to, as the offer set in, shout out “ . . wait — HEY!!”

Buzz murder. Let’s see Paultards provide for their own national defense. Let’s see how Persian cats take orders.


Angry, money-grubbing Tennessee bureaucrats demand firefighters allow family’s house to burn

Senseless government is the worst, right?

Greedy bureaucrats who demanded a yearly $75 fee for fire-fighting required firemen to stand down as a fire destroyed the house of a family who hadn’t paid.

The fire reportedly continued for hours “because garden hoses just wouldn’t put it out. It wasn’t until that fire spread to a neighbor’s property, that anyone would respond” — only because the neighbor had paid the fee.

In Republican land, this isn’t a travesty. This is heroic.

. . for their trouble, the South Fulton fire department is being treated as though it has done something wrong, rather than having gone out of its way to make services available to people who did not have them before. The world is full of jerks, freeloaders, and ingrates — and the problems they create for themselves are their own. These free-riders have no more right to South Fulton’s firefighting services than people in Muleshoe, Texas, have to those of NYPD detectives.

You see, there’s a philosophy here. If you offer services to people who’d pay the fees once their house is burning, no one will pay in advance. Then you can’t have a fee-for-fire-department thing — it’s got to be set up before fires break out. So, you must not douse the fires burning non-fee-payers’ houses. It’d be the same insanity as McDonald’s giving away hamburgers, heavens. That way, the costs of state services are kept to a minimum, yay!

Of course, anybody with a brain will opt in after a lurid, money-centric disaster like this, so the fee becomes identical to a tax, and then the fire-contractors become firemen who fight fires whenever and wherever they show up. BOO!


Sick of government oppression and Global Warming lies? Just like the polar bears?

Hey, Bill, why not make the case that Global Warming is a crock of bull? Well you sure would like to, but tooo bad. You can’t. You’re not a scientist. You’re a government-hating Libertarian. Then again, for some people – namely you – that’s good enough.

bill steigerwaldSo why not take your best shot at the Big Theory? Why not try to blow it out of the water? Fine. So Bill composes a gawdawful boring, long-ass children’s story about polar bears who are tired of hearing lies and being harassed by a government that now oppresses them with climate science. Ooh, edgy.

The White Ones know and can prove that Global Warming’s a mountain of hooey. Why, how? I just told you, they’re polar bears, duh. And they say that the worst winter ever is coming. And, look, it’s all happening! Where? In the story! Brrrr–see? Well, that should do it, freedom!

It’s a familiar Libertarian strategy: indictment by long-form comic book. Just buy their fairy-tale and then ours will no longer make any sense.

G.P. Bear Goes to Washington: The True Story of a Freedom-Loving Carnivore
by Bill Steigerwald

“…because of global climate change, polar bears are suffering population losses and may soon become extinct. Rising temperatures are melting the sea ice earlier and earlier each summer, leaving the bears less time to hunt for their primary food – ringed seals. If we don’t reduce our burning of fossil fuels soon, scientists say the only place our children will be able to see these magnificent creatures will be in a zoo or in a Walt Disney movie. For CNN, I’m Anderson Cooper.”

“Extinct!?” Grandpa roared, slapping the arms of his leather chair with his huge paws. “Melting sea ice!? Shrinking bear populations? Who writes this junk science, Al Gore?”

“Don’t get upset, Dad,” said Mother, looking up from her latest copy of Reason magazine. “It’s CNN. What do you expect? Fairness? Balance?”

Now there’s a glibertarian tell. As if Reason magazine were printed on Gore-Tex, rather than the vellum of Burmese infants.

“What were they saying about polar bears dying, Grandpa?” asked Junior, looking worried as he came in from the kitchen with a bottle of Coke.

“Nothing, Junior. Nothing,” Grandpa grumbled. “Just a lot of make-believe.”

After dinner, Grandpa read Junior a bedtime story. As Grandpa was about to turn off the nightlight, Junior asked, “Grandpa, why do you yell at the TV? The people in it can’t hear you.”

polar bear“I know,” Grandpa said with a smile. “They live far away in New York and Washington. That’s why they don’t know anything about polar bears or the Arctic.”…

“I just get mad when humans make us look like sissies who can’t handle a little change in the weather. We’re polar bears, for Pete’s sake. We’re not helpless victims. We don’t need the government, Keith Olbermann, Greenpeace, Leonardo DiCaprio or anyone else to protect us from Mother Nature.”

Why would data collection tell you, or me, anything at all about the Arctic? Why would temperature, snowpack, humidity, CO2 and solar radiation measurements tell us anything more than what a 10 year-old polar bear already knows? Then again, if you want the whole story, you might try asking the dinosaurs – they’ve been around for hundreds of millions of years, though not so much in the recent era. And there’s the problem: the last 10 years are fine, but the story gets told over thousands or millions of years. And 99.9% of all the species that ever existed have been murdered by that bitch, Mother Nature, in spite of their ideology. And extinction rates are way, way up thanks to Modern Forces You May Be Aware Of. So maybe asking the polar bears, particular the ones in Bill’s fertile imagination, is a bad idea.


Junior’s eyes popped open. “Grandpa! Mother! The ice was all gone! We were stuck on a tiny iceberg. The ocean was boiling!”

“It was just a silly nightmare, Junior,” soothed Mother. “The ice isn’t melting. See?” she said, patting the rock-hard wall of their cave.

Grandpa was fuming. He gritted his big teeth and looked Junior straight in his teary eyes.

“Boy,” he said firmly, “I’m going to tell you something I want you to remember for the rest of your life. We are polar bears. We are the largest land carnivores on Earth. We are the species ursus maritimus – ‘bears of the sea.’ We can swim 200 miles. We can walk 100 miles a day.

“We learned how to live on this frozen wasteland at the top of the world thousands of years before humans discovered fire. There are 25,000 of us alive today – twice as many as 50 years ago. We are not going to become extinct – no matter what Principal Hansen and her computers say. Now go to sleep – and no more silly nightmares.”

The African black rhino is a pretty rugged beast, too. Six feet tall, 10 feet long and weighing 3000 pounds. But the Southern black rhino went extinct around 1850. The North-eastern black rhino went extinct in the 1920’s. The Western black rhino can’t be found any more, and it was finally declared extinct three years ago. The numbers of black rhino have shrunken down to only about 5,000 animals. And what about the mighty tiger? Brace yourselves, folks. There are only 3,000 left.

If Bill’s polar bears think that 25,000 is some terrific number, they’re dumb as dogs. Human beings over-hunting and decimating vital habit has become so prevalent as to be boring. The real breakthrough in this tragedy has been our 150 year effort to change the entire planet’s climate all at once and then see what happens next. A carnivore that depends almost entirely on sea ice won’t be fine after the ice is gone, no matter how civilized and articulate the species appears to be. In a cartoon.

Anyway Grandpa decides to go to Washington to tell everybody they’re idiots. How? By riding an iceberg. “Icebergs make it as far south as New York City all the time,” Grandpa replied, stabbing the map with his pointer. Oookay. (more…)