Robert Taylor I disagree Gary. While we unfortunately still live an era dominated by the hierarchal, nation-state model, recent technology has allowed us to see exactly what this private, anarchic, market order looks like. Just take a look at the Internet and technological sector; it is regulated horizontally by market forces, creating an order that relies on private enterprise, free association, communication, and interconnected networks unheard of just a decade ago. This is the future, or at least I hope so. And as I mentioned in the article, this order is not perfect nor never will be, but arises from human beings interacting as they see fit without violence or fraud. How often do you use force in your human interactions? I bet it's close to zero!
Robert Taylor Great points, Starley. I am not making the case that 9/11 was the result of interventionism, it is a fact that the U.S. stationing of bases in Saudi Arabia, the sanctions and bombings of Iraq for over a decade, and the support of Israel were the motivations for the 9/11 attacks. Not a justification, but a motive. OSL spelled it out. I would also add that U.S. support for police states in nearly every Muslim country to that list as well. We don't have an empire in the traditional sense, but ours is an empire of military bases, the dollar as world reserve currency, and the backing of dictators that do what the USG says. What else would you call a government that polices every ocean, maintains over 1,000 bases in over 100 countries, and is currently fighting at least six hot wars?
Robert Taylor Great question, Daniel. I would argue that the federal government, nor anyone, has the right to restrict individuals from acquiring any type of magazines for philosophical reasons as well as practical ones. I think that the same logic behind any types of gun control or gun restrictions hold true in the case of clips of ammunition; denying people the right to purchase these simply creates a black market for them which will likely only be filled by people who wish do to evil with them. To me, the gun, no matter how scary or large, or the length of the clip is not the issue.
Robert Taylor J., I will not talk for all libertarians, but as I say in the article, we in the more radical, grassroots libertarian movement have no interest in acquiring power. We seek to dismantle it and oppose all political/coercive power.
Robert Taylor Well the term libertarian has only been around for about 100 years. "Liberal" used to mean what libertarian means today, but just because a term wasn't around at a certain time, does not make it an invalid label. And I'll simply let Lao Tzu provide my defense. From the Tao Te Ching: When taxes are too high, people go hungry. When the government is too intrusive, people lose their spirit. Act for the people’s benefit. Trust them; leave them alone.” “Stop trying to control. Let go of fixed plans and concepts, and the world will govern itself. "The more prohibitions you have, the less virtuous people will be. The more weapons you have, the less secure people will be. The more subsidies you have, the less self-reliant people will be." There are many more...
Robert Taylor Also, if you look at the link I posted concerning the unemployment, it is about 23%. I think the first rule of thumb should be to never believe the official government numbers on everything. Just like how they say price inflation is a modest 2%, when the old CPI numbers suggest its closer to 10%.
Robert Taylor A few points. I assume by "both wars" you mean Iraq and Afghanistan? Well in Iraq, they kicked us out it in 2008, and Obama promises U.S. troops there until 2024. What about the wars in Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, and the smaller wars Obama is spreading through AFRICOM across the Sahara? We're an empire, we don't come home, and Obama brags about his defense budgets going up every year. I don't see how you can project tax revenue to go 38% higher? Taxes come from production and the private sector, and you can only squeeze it for so long. And what about the $200 trillion plus in liabilites?
Robert Taylor That's a great question Cory, and a very interesting hypothesis. The first thing that comes to mind is that if one were concerned about the future (which I think we need more of), it would seem to make more sense to save the money and build capittal rather than embark on a huge project, built with a timeframe that may not be suitable for the future catastrophe if/when it does happen. And maybe I'm wrong, but I tend not to be too worried over claims of "peak oil" and "peak energy." Energy, like any resource, is scarce and prices in a market economy help rationally allocate it. If it really does dwindle, and markets are allowed to function, prices will reflect this and rise accordingly, incentivizing future development as well as alternative, new technologies.
Robert Taylor I would tend to agree. I hear everyday how the polls are close, and the race is tightening up. But Intrade still has Obama at 60-40 for reelection (http://www.intrade.com/v4/markets/contract/?contractId=743474). I think that is way more accurate than polls. What's interesting is that two weeks ago it was almost 75%, so he has slipped a bit. I think the neocon-GOP hyper aggressive foreign policy will lose this election for them, and hopefully will banish them forever. I thought they were shamed after '08, but they're back with Romney.
Robert Taylor Hmmm...I always assumed that in order to be a terrorist one had to be proven without a reasonable doubt of committing acts of terror (whatever that means nowadays). I would argue that dropping high expolosives on countries with no drinking water, over and over and over again, could be seen as terrorism. And terrorism is a crime; if you committ a crime against me, do I have the right to hunt you down, killing everyone around you who happens to be in my way?
Robert Taylor Good points, Daniel. I would say that the best way to handle situations like finding terrorists would be the use of intelligence, good policing, then sending in small teams of Special Forces. Even better, have Congress issue letters of Marque and Reprisals to narrow the target. But I disagree with your last sentence. Removing ourselves (I assume you mean militarily) would the best best thing to do; we started this fight decades ago, and all we have to do is call it off. Al Qaeda didn't need a "haven" in Afghanistan, they plotted 9/11 in Germany, Florida, and Virginia while enjoying strippers and hard drugs. Terrorist attacks are political by nature, and our aggressive foreign policy, whether using drones or invasions, is only throwing flames on the fire.
Robert Taylor Democrat? Are you kidding me? It is possible to oppose Republicans AND Democrats with equal vigor. As for your second paragraph, I am just going to have to fundamentally disagree with your premise that the US provides anything close to stability in the region. Instead, the US props up dictators from Morocco to Afghanistan. Besides, study after study shows its cheaper to buy and trade oil than to go to war over it and intervene in the region. And what gives the US the right/authority to do this? And lastly, "an unbelievable economic growth?" Are you serious? THis empire has cost us trillions, destroyed wealth and property, and helped contribute to our debt and financial crisis. If it was so good for economic growth, why not spend 8-9-10 trillion more on ships, guns, and tanks, take away all the soldiers, and send them to the bottom of the sea? Rinse and repeat. no?
Robert Taylor Great article, Barbara! You make an incredibly compelling case for what should be an obvious policy solution to a ton of prison and criminal justice problems with great data, facts, and sources. However, as your last point mentions, the strongest case for legalizing marijuana has everything to do with personal liberty and individual rights. Every individual has sole ownership over his or her body and is the only who can decide what to put it into it or do with it, and restraint by the law should only be used when they became a threat to others or do harm to others. If not, then who else has the right to decide what goes in our body? Thank you for this piece, Barbara, I loved it!!!
Robert Taylor I completely agree, Biden was defensive and childish, interrupted Ryan a ton, and in general exemplified Biden's usual snarky and arrogant tone. But when I say Biden "won," I meant by default and looked adult simply because Ryan seriously sounded (and sounds!) like a megalomaniac. Ryan repeated the nauseating lies about Iran, Obama "apologizing" and being "weak," and that Obama is somehow cutting the military or anything (which I would be all for).
Robert Taylor Ryan criticized Obama for being "weak." Considering that Obama is waging war on an unprecendented level in at least six countries, yes Ryan is advocating war on third world countries. Yes, Russia has a close relationship with Assad, considering they are just miles off their border and 7,000 miles from ours. Why is it out business? Why should the U.S. care who rules Syria? And I'm sorry, but you are dead wrong on Iran and nukes. Iran is NOT making a nuclear weapon, and even if they were, why does it matter? Israel's got hundreds, and yet it hasn't sparked an arm race? I don't want ANYONE to have nukes, but I also don't think it justifies starving innocent Iranians to death, or as Romney-Ryan would like, wiping them off the earth.
Robert Taylor Mike, I haven't read it but I have heard of Weberman. I find him very smart and entertaining, and kind of surprised frankly that he wrote such a book. I don't want to judge it before reading it, of course, but I am turned off by the Nazi comparison. Let's just say you're right, and Paul is a crypto-Nazi racist. If that turned out to be true, I would withdraw all my support from him. Frankly, since I don't support any politicians, perhaps it would be more consistent of me anyway. What is important to me, which seem to unfortunately not be discussed, are issues like economics, why we have booms and busts, the consequences of empire, and the nature of liberty and order in society. Believe me, radical libertarianism is spreading in this country slowly but surely, with or without Paul.
Robert Taylor Ah man really? His foreign policy is my favorite thing about him. Chico, would we like it if another country had military bases in our country, especially forwarding operating ones that were used to drop high explosives on people with little means of fighting back?
Robert Taylor Or maybe, just maybe, the hard-working editors of this site understand SEO, traffic, and know that I am a libertarian and wanted to use this story idea to stir a unique perspective on a boring debate? Nah, just a "cult."
Robert Taylor Okay, fine, Obama is killing Pakistani, Yemeni, Somali, Afghani, and countless other innocent people but you're afraid of the guy who wants to end this madness? And ah yes, the great libertarian conspiracy to legalize heroin and impose genocide in the ghetto. Have you done any research on prohibition and the drug war? No one is saying drugs are good, and this is why they must be legal if we want to deal with them in a rational, constructive way rather than locking people in cages like animals. And yes, all drugs (http://lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory234.html). It is the drug war, not drugs, that have turned large portions of large cities into virtual war zones. Obama, predictably, has ramped up this horrible war, even worse than Bush.