Folding, spindeling, and mutilating lauguage for fun since Aug, 2004
Sunday, 10 August 2008

Mal himself is an excellent argument for the Libertarian view of life as a personal philosophy.

The universe he lives in is an excellent argument against actually having it become a matter of social policy.  :-)

This video captures both beautifully.

 

 

(Hat tip:  Bob Wagner)

But if THAT doesn't convince you...what sort of a world is it, where THIS is allowed to happen.  :-)

 

 

Incidentally, I think I know where Steven Colbert's "Canton debacle" is going to end...

 

 

For those of you who don't know, Colbert has been "insulting" a long string of towns named Canton...calling them crappy basically, and then apologizing and saying he meant this OTHER town named Canton...and then apologizing to that one and moving on. How muc do you want to bet that the LAST crappy town named Canton will be a fictional one? :-)

Sunday, 10 August 2008 09:15:56 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [9] | #
Sunday, 10 August 2008 11:39:15 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Unrelated note - and you might have already come across this.
Looks like Millisa Gilbert is playing Ma Ingalls at the Guthrie. Wonder if that means Mr. Boxleitner will be in town. Could have done a B5 con. :-)
pcomeau
Monday, 11 August 2008 07:59:03 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Teresa, are you sure the first video is what you wanted? Mal didn't say anything in the video, it was only a song - "You can't Take the Sky From Me"

Nice song and all, but what did it have to do with a Libertarian point of view?

So I'll say this not knowing if I saw what you intended. If the Libertarian view is a good personal philosophy, and enough people adopt it, doesn't it become a social policy?
Mark
Monday, 11 August 2008 08:09:22 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Mark,

Maybe you have to watch the how to understand the referances. I thought they were self-evident, but maybe not.

"So I'll say this not knowing if I saw what you intended. If the Libertarian view is a good personal philosophy, and enough people adopt it, doesn't it become a social policy?"

To this I'll just respond If the Christian view is a good personal philosophy, and enough people adopt it, doesnt it become a social policy?

The founders didn't seem to think so! :-)
Teresa
Monday, 11 August 2008 09:42:11 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
We must be using the term "Social Philosophy" differently. I don't equate the term with "Governmental Policy."

I don't think the Christian view is a "good personal philosophy." I also don't think most people actually live by the Christian view, even though most people in the U.S. claim they are "christians."

I think that most people in the U.S. try to live by the Libertarian philosophy. Most people try to live thier lives in a responsible manner. They don't steal from others, they pay their bills on time, they help others when they fall on hard times, they strive to be the best at their chosen profession, they treat others with respect, they do the best they can with what they've got. They have personal responsiblities and do their level best to live up to them. And they teach their children these same values. This is representative of the vast majority of Americans. They do this: Not because they read it in a book and thought it was a good idea. Not because they go to a gathering every week and are told it's the right thing to do. And certainly not becuase the government tells them how to act. They do it because it just makes sense.

So I would say that we are already living in a Libertarian "social policy" and that the government is doing it's best to undermine it - and in many ways, it is succeeding!
Mark
Monday, 11 August 2008 11:38:58 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Mark,

Interesting. Defining your philosophy purely in terms of positive values most people share...and then claiming that most people share your philosophy because they share those values! Genius.


Let me get this straight:

Assumption 1) most people believe in personal responsibility, giving their best efforts, etc.
Assumption 2) some Libertarians believe in personal responsibility, giving their best efforts, etc.
Assumption 3) People who claim to be Libertarians, but don't follow these values aren't REAL libertarians...even though the best examples of "false" are primary funders and primary movers-and-shakers of the movement (no true scotsman:Huge percentage by the way, I don't even like the words "personal responsiblity" anymore 'cause I've heard it too many times as an easy dodge to avoid helping those who have fallen on hard times)

Conclusion: Most people are Libertarians.

Now, the government is doing a LOT of things I don't like. We agree on some of them.

Your solution is to make the government smaller and weaker. My solution is to make the government more accountable.

When I look at the stated agenda of the national leaders and primary funders of the Libertarian movement, I see a group of people whose stated goal is to make the government smaller and weaker specifically so that the church or the corporations or both can fill the power vacuum.

Hence: The cyberpunk genre, and that wonder of well-written fiction: Firefly.

Nice place ot visit in fiction. Wouldn't want to live there.

AS far as people use the Libertarian label to describe their committment to a small sub-set of good citizenship traits, bully for them. It works for them and good on em. Harmless, possibly even good personal philosophy. Terrible social policy.
Teresa
Tuesday, 12 August 2008 06:32:04 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Teresa, I don't have much time this morning so I have to keep this short.

Umm. Yes, people who claim to be something but don't follow the values that that something represents, are not what they say/think they claim to be. That's simple. Honestly, I don't think you disagree with most of my previous statement. You just don't like the leadership of the Libertarian movement. Neither do I, by the way...

So where do we go from here? My solution is simply this, make the government conform to the founding documents which created it. The government is not supposed to be saving money for my retirement - that's my job. To make things worse, they don't really save the money. Social Security has become just another tax. Most individuals pay more each year on SS than they do for Federal taxes.

And then, of course their is medicare/medicaid. I don't have as much of a disagreement with this system as SS. We should support people who need it. In particular, the elderly.

Then there is welfare. Oh brother, don't get me started. We do need to support people who truly (key word there - TRULY) fall on hard times. However, when you own two cars, multiple TVs, gaming systems, live in decent housing, have air conditioning, eat fast food - and haven't worked for over 6 months, I'M DONE WITH YOU. You have been supported by the public long enough! Get off your ass and do something - ANYTHING - to show me you deserve my help. We keep supporting people who don't deserve our support, and we've created, through a failed social policy, a very large group of people who believe they are entitled to live completely free of any responsibility to either themselves or their families. That's become our job.

That is proof that we provide too much "help." We've created a sub-society of free-loaders.

Your solution is to make the government "more accountable." JC! Just how much more damned accountable do you want them to be? We already spend more money on social programs and entitlements than anything else - WAY more. Even this rediculous war in Iraq is costing less than our entitlement programs. And your solution is to give the government more power and more money...

Sorry - I don't see how that makes any sense. In the words of Larry The Cable Guy, "It's like wiping before you poop. It don't make no sense."

Whew! It's a long way down from the top of this soap box, but I really do have to get to work. Thanks for letting me rant (again).
Mark
Tuesday, 12 August 2008 10:18:25 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Mark,

What I'm saying is that you keep using that work ("Libertarian") I do not think it means what you think it means. :-) Apparently, you believe that "libertarian" means common, basic decency. Same as "Christians" do for their ideology. In the end, however, those traits are NOT common to those in the lead of advancing the ideology, and are not particularly lacking in those who dont subscribe to it or even downright oppose it. Therefore, there is no reason to assume that those traits qualify as defining traits.

Regarding making the government follow the founding documents...I agree as far as that goes, but I think you and I have different ideas of what that means as well. you seem to think that the Constitution is just another way of writing the Articles of Confederation...a government foundational document that failed spectacularly.

Your interpretation of the constitution is the same as those who opposed it originally and wanted to stick with the Articles They lost politically. Then, they decided to seceed fromt he union, and lost on the field of battle. And they have been steadily loseing in the courts for decades now. There might be a reason.

Show me someone whose living that high of the hog on welfare, and I would bet you the money is not coming from welfare. Investigate and arrest their asses. Being on welfare is not easy. People who have it easy on welfare are not being "handed it" by the government. They are doing something illegal. Investigate their asses (accountability). Don't do away with welfare.

RE "accountability" I don't think that means what you think it means. Accountability means citizen oversight of the government, an active and viggerous media with an adversarial (not just sensationalist) relationship with the government.

For instance, an accountable government would be one where a president who fabricates a case for war would be impeached. Where government agencies who violate the rights of citizens have the people who run them fired and replaced. Wheree information about the activities of the government are available to the citizens, and where reporters make it their full-time job to investigate and report any monkey businees EXCEPT where the penises of the officials have been.

As far as the Irag war costing less than entitlements, that's not according to any of the numbers I have seen.

No problem about the ranting, I like your ranting. :-)

If you think the government is too accountable, and think they should be less so, then you are insane.

And I don't know how you interpret "making them more accountable" as "giving them more power". That's just weird.
Teresa
Tuesday, 12 August 2008 12:31:01 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Ok, Teresa, you punched almost all the right buttons.

I like most of your answers. But I have a few items to bring up.

Number one, I did not say "do away with welfare." I said stop it after six months if the dead-beat receiving it hasn't started working yet (and CAN work).

Number two, according to the National Priorities Project (http://www.nationalpriorities.org/costofwar_home), the cost of the war in Iraq is currently $4,681 per household. According to Congressman Randy Forbes (in April of 2008), the percentage of entitlement programs is 62% of our budget. The Heritage Foundation (I know they lean far to the right, but for this information, they are good) says that the budget cost per household is $22,000.

So the Iraq war is costing us "only" 21.28% of the budget (4,681 vs 13,640). Jesus, you say, that's over a trillion dollars. Well consider that entitlements is costing us nearly three trillion dollars! Entitlements are going to bankrupt this country if something doesn't change.

What's left after the war and entitlements? 22,000 - 18,321 = 3,679. 3,679 to spend on the infrastructure of this country, other military operations, etc. No wonder our roads are falling apart.

I don't know where this money is comming from. I, for sure, don't know anyone paying 22,000 in taxes every year.
Mark
Tuesday, 12 August 2008 15:43:29 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
"Number one, I did not say "do away with welfare." I said stop it after six months if the dead-beat receiving it hasn't started working yet (and CAN work)."

I stand corrected. It's my understanding that doing away with government welfare completely, and replacing it with private charity is the standard Libertarian line.

The website you pointed to shows "National Defense" as 59% of a pie chart for the 2008 budget. Every other slice is quite small. Im not sure what you count as "entitlements"...but no matter how you catagorize them, I doubt they will add up to more than 59% of the budget. Now granted, not all of that is Iraq war $$$ but frankly, there's a lot of law bogus law enforcement and infrastructure costs that are more part of the "war effort" and care for disabled veterans and the cost of their needs brings up the cost of many "entitlements"...so that's neither here nor there.

I seem to recall that Clinton did a little deal with the Repubs and pushed through a scheme by which federal welfare was terminated after two years, and the person could not go back on it after that.

That's why you have situations where mothers are riding busses for three hours to other towns to get to work, working eight hour shifts and then riding busses three hours to get back. They can't afford to live where they work, and there's no work where they live. (like when that little boy in Detroit brought a gun to school and shot the little girl, and people were all "where was the mother?) She was riding a bus to-and-from her workfare job and had to have a family member watch the kid (couldn't afford daycare) thats where he picked up the gun.

I know a few people who pay $22,000/year and more in taxes. They can afford it.
Teresa
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