At heart, you’re either a libertarian or a criminal

August 30, 2009

I used to be a doctrinaire Libertarian. I believed in the Libertarian one-liner creed (paraphrasing–I can’t find my Libertarian Party membership card): The only justifiable use of force against other human beings is in self-defense against their use of force.

As I’ve dealt with the real world, I’ve been forced to admit that libertarianism, as clean, bracing, simple and ethical as it seems on first teenage blush, doesn’t actually provide a comprehensive philosophy that Solomonically arbitrates all disputes.

My first intuition that libertarianism might not have thought all things through was when I was witness to a months long debate in a doctrinaire libertarian magazine about this issue:

Your neighbor puts his 2 year old child out in his fenced front yard with NO TRESPASSING signs, and is obviously not feeding the little brat. Is it morally permissible to trespass and rescue the child? Or to cut a hole in the fence? What if the kid won’t come to you, even after you cut the hole?

The debators weren’t just trying to develop a formal philosophical justification for the rescue but were struggling with the morality. Not all were in favor of the rescue and several of the rescue-mongers seemed ashamed or at least abashed by their position.  (I’m not the first to point out that libertarian philosophy founders when it tries to address children or other humans who aren’t fully competent adults.)

There are plenty of other cases where it is obvious that force should be used preemptively.  Robert Nozick, libertarian philosopher, raised the issue of compelling witnesses to testify in trials. In similar vein, does the state have the right to detain a criminal suspect before conviction? After all, if you are innocent till proven guilty, why should the state be able to imprison a presumptively innocent person?

And it turns out that the boundaries of what constitutes self-defense are not all that clear.  Not only do you have to draw lines about how much of a threat justifies how much force, but you must also deal with the limits of third party knowledge. Other people must be able to rule on whether your use of force in self-defense was justified, or else you return to a state of nature where any aggression can against others can be claimed to be self-defense as long as nobody else saw it.

I raise the above issues to make it clear that I do understand the limits of libertarianism, but they are not the main point of this post.

My libertarianism has evolved from a naive philosophy of non-aggression against my neighbors (with wolverine aggression against those labeled aggressors) to an understanding of libertarianism as a fundamental presumption.

People are either fundamentally libertarian or fundamentally criminal. Most Americans are libertarians at heart. Which is why Obama is having such a hard time with his agenda.

Fundamental libertarianism means that you believe (well, it’s a little deeper than just believing) that it takes extraordinary justification for you to forcibly interfere in someone else’s life and choices, even if that interference would advance significant moral, social or personal interests.

Fundamental criminality means that you believe (well, it’s a little deeper than just believing) that it takes extraordinary justification to prevent you from interfering in someone else’s life and choices whenever you think that doing so will advance significant moral, social or personal interests.

Most people think of criminality as purely selfish. I don’t.  I see no fundamental difference between ACORN and the Crips. They’re both criminal gangs, though I’d rather get caught out on ACORN territory than wearing the wrong color in a Crip neighborhood. There are degrees, tactics, stages and permissible methods that differ. And motives don’t matter–it’s the wanting to impose your will on other people that’s the fundamental, important thing.

I see Ted Bundy and Ted Kennedy as playing for the same team. Ted B’s killed more people personally than Ted K, but Ted K tried to impose his criminal will on hundreds of millions. Ted K had more in common with Stalin than did Ted B. But let’s keep perspective–Ted K had more in common with the average feckless drunken fratboy than with either Ted B or Josef S.  Still, Ted K was definitely a Josef S-style criminal wannabe. Ted K also had a lot in common with Nellie Olsen from Little House on the Prairie.

This is why I’ve turned the corner on Obama. This is why I’m merciless about politicians–I see almost all of them as Nellie Olsen criminals.  When they’re children, you can tell criminals because they’re either bullies or little suck-up tattle-tales. I would love to know about Barack’s school days. Which one was he?

Anyone out there with Photoshop and too much time on your hands–I’d love to have a picture of Joker Obama with Nellie Olsen curls.


Ted is dead

August 30, 2009

It’s gauche to speak ill of the dead. It should be gauche to use the dead for political gain too.

Color me gauche.

The facts around the death of Mary Jo Kopechne will always remain as murky as the water she drowned in. That’s what happens when the feckless privileged progeny of the powerful screw up hard. But there’s no way for anyone to say that Teddy acquitted himself admirably in the incident.

You also can’t deny that Teddy got kicked out of Harvard for cheating. Today on the web, there’s a viral email saying he got kicked out twice. I doubt that.

At no point in his life did Ted Kennedy give any account of either of those scandals that indicated he’d learned anything in life except how to push the Daddy! Save me! button. Correct me if I’m wrong. And send me a picture of you riding your unicorn.

He’s the “Lion of the Senate.” Today, right-wing douchebags like Orrin Hatch and media douchebags like Geraldo Rivera and Presidential douchebags like Barack Obama who were glamored by Teddy knelt and kissed his dead butt.

He was good at being a politician and he was a cheater and a drunk and a lousy driver. That’s the best anyone should say of Teddy Kennedy.

Ted is Dead.

UPDATE March 2019:  Here’s one good thing I can say about Ted Kennedy: his successful immigration bill in the 1960’s, intended to eventually replace the American electorate with a poor, docile and statist influx of immigrants caused the backlash that elected Donald Trump.  The Ghost of Kennedy may still have the last laugh, looking down at us American serfs from his Hyannisport mansions cleaned and tended to by his illegal immigrant slaves. We’ll see.

Arlen Skeletor

August 23, 2009

On Fox News Sunday, Arlen Spector refused to go on Obamacare:

Here’s what the nasty little senator said:

Chris Wallace:  You support the public option. If it passes, will you, Arlen Spector, go on it?

Arlen Skeletor:  I will consider it. I think members of the House and Senate ought to have exactly the same plans, the same options as any citizen. Bear in mind, Chris, the public option is an option, it is one choice you can make and I think my option ought to be the same as any other citizen.

Then Senator Skeletor said some mumblenoise about veterans being exempted that I couldn’t even stand to listen to, even if it helped me skewer him more. I’d be in favor of death panels if Arlen had a low draft number.

Miley Cyrus, jailbait

August 13, 2009

I’m not going to link (it’s that lazy thing of mine), but everyone’s seen 16 year old Miley Cyrus pole-dancing in hot-pants on top of an ice cream truck.

If you’re a father, unless you’re a huge pussy, you will ban this slutty little bitch from your household on pain of any teen caught with anything Miley on their computers, iPods or shelves gets to start paying rent. This is what you want your daughters to be? She’s Paris Hilton with talent.

If you’re anyone else, you’ll either condemn her or work to get statutory rape laws repealed.

I’m sick of the Janus-faced culture that simultaneously condemns sex with children while applauding sexual children. Bratz, Miley, whatever.


August 9, 2009

Racists are easy targets. They’re stupid, jejune and see the world in asinine terms.

It really does pain me to be confronted with undeniable proof that Barack Obama is a racist. Nice job, ear-man. The one thing you should have slam-dunked, you just fucked up. For this, I will never forgive you. Your presidency so far has been a train wreck like in Atlas Shrugged, but you damn well should have gotten this right. Now you’ve given aid and comfort and “I told you so” rights to every fucking Billy Bob racist.

That little tea party at the White House. Ha ha–I’m laughing Milhouse style like on the Simpsons.

This ridiculous picture of you too self-involved and too self-satisfied to even have manners.


White racist cop who needs to be “teachable” exhibits common decency and courtesy that almost any of us would have within us, while President Oblivious marches boldly ahead to bring the rest of us health care he wouldn’t inflict on his relatives. Not that he treats his relatives particularly well either.

I don’t think Barack’s a bad guy. I just think he’s not up to the job. He’s a moral infant. Christ, I’m older than the president. Nothing has ever made me feel older than realizing that.

Happy 48th, Barack!

Come on over for a beer and an earful!

Can’t we all just get along?

August 8, 2009

I was at a big party tonight. At one point I was asked, when will we all stop with the fear and hate? I was fear/hate-mongering at the time.

To which I responded, It’s all about whether you believe there are people who will keep trying to kill you no matter how nice you are to them.

I thought that was a pretty good answer.

Now I’m depressed because I realize it’s a great answer.

Eloi vs. Morlocks.

No, we can’t all just get along.

Nellie Olsen grows up….to become a socialist

August 8, 2009

There are two deep, implicit beliefs that all socialists and progressives share:

  • I’m smarter|wiser|more compassionate than most people AND THEREFORE everyone would be better off doing what I say. I’ll call this the Nellie Olsen Principle.
  • Unless smarter|wiser|more compassionate people impose order on society, society will be a disorganized mess. I’ll call this the Adam Who? Principle.

I have many friends who define themselves as liberal|Progressive. I don’t have any friends who call themselves socialists,  since I consider self-proclaimed socialists to be fair game like self-proclaimed racists. Pretty much, if you proclaim you’re a socialist or a racist, I flip the bozo bit on you.

UPDATE March 2019: Things have escalated a lot in the last decade in terms of playing the race card. I’m thinking about declaring myself a racist at the beginning of any argument with a Democrat/Leftist/Progressive.

They’re going to call me a racist in a minute anyway, so why not get it out of the way right up front? “By the way, I’m a racist, so it won’t help for you to call me a racist, and, after all, there are a lot worse things than being a racist, like being a Democrat.”

My l|P friends are perfectly nice people. Like Obama. You get the sense he’s a pretty nice guy, even a little hen-pecked. I’m probably being a little not-nice, comparing them to Nellie Olsen. It’s something of a caricature, like comparing conservatives to Scrooge.

These nice l|P people don’t end up in control of other people–the Nellie Olsen’s they empower do. Like Nancy Pelolsen.

Ok, I’m going to try to stop being just snarky for a microsecond and be really mean and say what I seriously think about all my nice l|P friends.

On some level, either they never grew up, or more often, they’re afraid that most other people didn’t. They need rules and order and teacher telling them to “use their words.” They’re not really about the Nellie Olsen Principle, that was just me being snarky, but they’re all about the Adam Who? (Smith, by the way) Principle. They distrusted the Schumpeter-ian chaos that ensued whenever the teacher left the room. I think this is an unrealistic attitude and shows how they don’t apply the lessons of ecology to political economy and social order.

Then again, I’m not particularly realistic. When the teacher left the room in 4th grade, I went up and wrote on the blackboard (yes, blackboard, with chalk, that’s how old I am), “Miss Smith is a nut, she has a rubber butt, and every time she turns around, she goes putt putt.” (Yes, that’s how old I am, spinster teachers were called Miss, not Ms.) I was shocked, shocked when a classmate turned me in. I thought I was the Huey Long of the 4th grade and everybody would be in solidarity with me.

My point here is that where you land politically has a lot to do with how you were when you were a kid. What scared you? What outraged you? Who did you side with? What did you resist? When did you submit? Who did you despise? Who despised you? What did you retreat to? Who did you hurt? Who hurt you? Who would you love to have a second chance with (to apologize, to confront, to get an apology)? How did you treat adults? What did you think of them? Which adults did you despise? Pity? Want to be like?

I don’t think many people have a consistent record on any of this, but there is always a thread. I think I’m going to start talking more to my l|P friends about this kind of stuff because I’d really like to understand and I think they might understand me better too.

For myself, for every  “Miss Smith is a nut…” moment, I had 50 knuckle-under moments. But I’d have that hard-hitting telling-limericks-to-power moment now and then…

There was this juvenile delinquent in my 8th grade class. He was 16 and used to punch me (and, eventually, protect me a lot. And cheat off me. Forcibly. He ended up in prison by his early 20’s. I’d say his name, but I had a crush on his little sister, and I don’t want to embarrass her.

As long as I got him through academically, I was roughly protected. I’d get arm-bruises, but nobody else was allowed to hit me. I was his bitch. One day, I lost it. I told him to lick his own fucking test, or something like that. When you’re in the 8th grade, swearing is Tourette-ish at best.

Then came PE, next period. We were playing football. He was quarterback, since he was 2 feet taller than anyone else. He was in the end zone. Tall doesn’t necessarily mean smart. Still enraged about injustice on that day, I rushed him with everything I had and put him into the pricker bushes behind the end zone. I must have been going 130 mph of pure pissed off 90 lb nerd to launch him like that. Then I ran like hell the other way. I had a good 300 yard start on him before he extricated himself bleeding from a thousand pricks. So it was no problem for me to make it behind a locked door and let the teachers dart him.

Next day…   nothing. He didn’t punch me or cheat off me or hit me and I tutored him after that. I got a little respect from other kids for that sack, but not much. Had I not hidden behind a locked door and tried to climb through the acoustical ceiling in case he made it through, maybe I would have gotten more respect. Pissing myself probably didn’t help either.

He didn’t stop bullying everyone else, but something changed between us. He wasn’t broken–he was still a terror, but I was exempt and he wasn’t seeking revenge for his humiliation either. He never hit me again, never demanded test answers, and we were actually friends. It was very complex, way too complex for an 8th grader to figure out. I was sad when I found out that he fulfilled his destiny and went to jail for a long time.  And none of this ever got me near his hot sister. That’s the worst part.

There are lots of things that go on when we are kids that are hugely significant. We don’t have the ability to process them at the time, and it’s hard to process them later. So here’s my start. What the hell was that all about?

One thing I do know–that event has a lot to do with me thinking the only hope for the Muslim world is if we knock them into the pricker bushes.