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So what are you going to do on November 4th?

Someone asked me what I was going to be doing on November 4th. I said I will most likely watch television, probably Battlestar Galactica or a re-run of Firefly. I may well go to dinner with my inamorata at some point and after that I may indulge my intermittent MMO habit and get a fix of virtual violence.

Gawd knows there is nothing else that I give a damn about happening on that day.

39 comments to So what are you going to do on November 4th?

  • RAB

    Well I’m going to the dentist for a descale, polish and a filling.
    I have an inkling that the whole day is going to be a friggin pain!

  • Yeah….I plan to self-medicate by watching The Palliser’s, or The Warden followed by Barchester Towers. Obadiah Slope is going to look like a find, compared to our latest Chicago crime family offering.
    I’d drink, but I’m spending the evening with another despairing intellectual who happens to be Mormon, so we’ll stick to soda water and the sedation supplied by gentler times, which didn’t seem so gentle to those living through them.

  • nick g.

    We’ll be enjoying the Melbourne Cup, so we’ll have something to celebrate Down Under. Maybe you Brits should arrange a festival? Won’t you be celebrating Guy Fawkes Night? Why stop at a re-enactment? Put all those firework dress rehearsals to use!

  • RAB

    Meanwhile back at Obamessiahs headquaters…

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=msNgZ2nexC0

  • If I may, the big difference between Perry and the rest of the commenters here so far, he could vote if he wanted to. I already did, BTW, so I will be cleaning the house, like every Thursday.

  • Sorry, missed a couple of Yanks here – time for coffee:-O

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I may go and watch the new Bond film.

  • nostalgic

    Err…what’s so special about Nov4?

  • mike

    Nostalgic:

    On November 4th the American people will once again consent to the rape of their own values by a State vastly more predatory than that which provoked their original Revolution back in 1776. They will vote.

    It is a disgusting and embarassing act of public self-abuse by the very people who inherited the Declaration Of Independence and who therefore should know better.

  • I’m going to be driving around the beleaguered (sp?) nation of Iceland in a rented car on November 4th (as long as the weather doesn’t make such an endeavour impossible) and taking piccies of the absolutely gorgeous desolation of the realm of ice and fire.

    I’ve been doing my best to ignore the whole US electoral shebang as it makes no difference to the outcome what I think and I’ll have to live with the results the same as anyone else. As with the terrorist threat I’ll not be changing my life one jot to accomodate the political parasites of another country if I can at all help it.

    (As an aside Perry: Which MMO do you have an intermittent addiction to? I ask because the trip to the far north is part of mine.)

  • Melbourne Cup.

    Although, it will be well over by the time America even wakes up.

  • pete

    I’ll just get the result off the news whenever I can be bothered looking. I’ve never understood why people stay glued to election coverage on TV. The votes are cast, the result is decided – its not as if anything can suddenly happen to change that result and I don’t see the need to know that result as soon as possible. After all, the result stands for 4 years so there’s no hurry.

  • Mandrill: Eve Online player, eh? About time I dipped into that one again…

  • Glued to the tube for results or at election parties….it is a weird way to spend the evening, but many masochists enjoy it (department of redundancy department, I know).
    I have a close friend who is running for US senate and it is just a tradition to watch the results. I used to do it but I just can’t anymore. Of course, I haven’t watched regular TV for 20 years. I will care on Wednesday morning, briefly.

    Anyway, no one here expects the rest of the world to understand or care. Luckily for us, we can change things (somewhat) every two years. Not that there are enough two year cycles to scale back the power of anarcho-tyranny.

  • I for one will be going to the Progressive Vision election night party (Link)and getting throughly wasted regardless of the result

  • Millie Woods

    All these comments are similar to the solemn intonement on PBS every July 4th about what George III wrote in his diary on July 4th way back when. His inscription? Nothing of importance happened today. It never occurs to the solemn intoners that there was no way George III could have been aware of what was happening in his coloniall realms on that day. Instead of making poor Georgy peorgy look like a dolt, they all end up with egg on theior faces.

  • jk

    I’ve tried to get you interested in pragmatic politics for a few election cycles, Perry. Let me try one more reason to care.

    David Bernstein makes an excellent point for Senator McCain:

    Libertarians have been heavily involved in some of the most important constitutional Supreme Court litigation of the last two decades, either in terms of bringing the case, being among the most important advocates of one side’s constitutional theory, or both. Among the cases in this category are Lopez, Morrison, Boy Scouts v. Dale, U.S. Term Limits, Grutter, Gratz, Kelo, Raich, Heller, and probably a few more that I’m not thinking of offhand. With the minor exception of Justice Breyers’ vote in Gratz, in each of these cases, the ONLY votes the libertarian side received were from Republican appointees, and all of the Democrat appointees, plus the more liberal Republican appointees, ALWAYS voted against the libertarian side. The latter did so even in cases in which their political preferences were either irrelevant (Term Limits), or should have led them to sympathize with the plaintiff (Lopez, Kelo, Raich).

  • Laird

    Darthlaurel, I can’t wrap my brain around the concept of “anarcho-tyranny”. Care to elaborate/explain this?

    By the way, I will be voting on Nov. 4. I always do (notwithstanding Mike’s fairly accurate characterization of what voting means). Of course, I will be voting for Libertarian candidates where I can, against incumbents where I can’t, and in a quixotic attempt to unseat our McCain-sycophant, nominally-Republican, principle-free senator, so I have no illusions that my vote will actually mean anything. It has a certain entertainment value, though, and it will permit me to adopt a superior “don’t blame me, I didn’t vote for him” attitude for the next 4 years. All good.

  • Sunfish

    On Tuesday, God only knows. I’m still regular days off, for now, but that’s subject to change in the event of the Attack of the Community Organizers.

    In 2004, the only admin order we had was to not enter polling places in uniform unless we were actually called. This time around, well, I don’t remember my management being this nervous about the DNC.

    (Denver/Aurora/Pueblo/Adams County commentariat: not saying that anything is going to happen-I haven’t heard of any specific threats-but next week might not be a bad time for an overnight snowboarding vacation in the hills.)

  • Sunfish

    Laird,
    Anarcho-tyranny describes a state of affairs where government does not effectively control actual criminals and doesn’t make a whole hell of a lot of effort. In an anarchotyrannical state, they do try to control or intimidate the people who are not criminals.

    A prime example is the present-day UK: the sentences imposed for violent crimes (like robbery) and crimes with the potential for real violence (like burglary of occupied homes) are a sad joke. Sure, the line cops USUALLY may be making the effort, but other parts of the legal system act to frustrate both honest cop and legitimate crime victim at every opportunity.

    On the other hand, people who are not seasoned criminals are easily bullied and intimidated. Imagine a neighborhood kid throwing rocks at you. Let’s say that you call the police and then grab the kid[1] to prevent him from continuing his assault or leaving the scene until police arrive. In much of the US, so long as your actions met the standard in my footnote (and were witnessed), you’d be on pretty safe legal ground.

    In the UK (and sadly, parts of the US), you’d be threatened with prosecution for any number of things, like kidnapping. And the kid would be unlikely to face any real consequences (either punitive like community service or preventative like a lockup-argue all they want, he won’t re-offend while he’s inside.)

    People who don’t routinely do anything wrong don’t have much contact with police. Most people are not criminals, and the only time they’ll ever talk to me is when they buy a used car and need a VIN inspection, or they bump in a parking lot and for some reason can’t exchange insurance info with the other driver.

    And so, if I come up with some horseshit pretextual reason to accuse someone of something and they don’t know that I’m pulling it out of my fourth point of contact. Or they know but are so intimidated that they go along with something that they shouldn’t.

    [1] using no more force than that which is reasonable in view of the totality of the circumstances and in view of your purpose in safely making a citizen’s arrest for a crime which occurred in your presence.

  • tdh

    I won’t be turning back the clock (tonight being the transition from DST to ST).

  • Laird

    Thanks, Sunfish; I understand it now. A central element is the assumption that anarchy necessarily equals control by criminals, a premise with which I do not agree, but given that starting point the formulation makes sense.

  • I’ve tried to get you interested in pragmatic politics for a few election cycles, Perry. Let me try one more reason to care.

    GWB was what ‘pragmatic’ politics got us… a Big State Republican. And the best ‘pragmatic’ politics can get us this time is McCain… a Big State Republican.

    If you vote for the lesser evil again and again and again, can you be surprised if as a result you end up with being offered nothing but different flavours of evil. And how could it be otherwise? What possible motivation does a politician have to not be evil if all he has to do to get your vote is be a little less evil than the other guy?

  • Sunfish

    If you vote for the lesser evil again and again and again, can you be surprised if as a result you end up with being offered nothing but different flavours of evil. And how could it be otherwise?

    And voting based upon pure idealism has accomplished what, again?

  • And voting based upon pure idealism has accomplished what, again?

    Nothing. Just like voting on pure pragmatism in fact. But if you think GWB and (say) McCain are an acceptable result of ideology-free voting, then all I can say is I disagree.

    If advocate of small government… hell, even just a little smaller government, keep voting for people who keep increasing the size and intrusiveness of government, explain how ‘pragmatic’ and ‘surrender’ are different in any meaningful way?

  • Laird:

    A central element is the assumption that anarchy necessarily equals control by criminals, a premise with which I do not agree

    One of the common interpretations of the word ‘anarchy’ is ‘lawlessness’. If you consider that what Sunfish describes is the lack of enforcement of the laws that actually matter, i.e. laws that protect life and property, then the use of term does seem apt.

  • Sunfish

    And voting based upon pure idealism has accomplished what, again?
    Nothing. Just like voting on pure pragmatism in fact. But if you think GWB and (say) McCain are an acceptable result of ideology-free voting, then all I can say is I disagree.

    If advocate of small government… hell, even just a little smaller government, keep voting for people who keep increasing the size and intrusiveness of government, explain how ‘pragmatic’ and ‘surrender’ are different in any meaningful way?

    So, by your own statement, voting for the lesser of two evils, in hopes of slowing the progression of the disease, won’t do any good.

    By your own admission, refusing to vote for the lesser of two evils won’t do any good.

    Got any other suggestions, other than “Apres moi, la deluge”?

  • mike

    “Got any other suggestions?”

    I have two general suggestions, each with more specific aspects.

    First, educational self-help is a necessary step in order to be able to properly articulate a coherent hierarchy of values and make more accurate assessments of how actions both by yourself and others relate to a hierarchy of values. Specifically:

    1) Read Rand’s non-fiction work, and then bloody well make sure you understand it by questioning yourself and writing things down.

    2) Read up on all those areas of society that are important but in which you know your intellectual grasp to be weak – in my case for example, banking and finance (I’m just finishing Hayek).

    3) Test the results of your self-education by making predictions about current affairs (relating actions to values), recording them (e.g. on your own blog) and seeing to what extent they turn out to be true or not.

    My second general suggestion, which ought to be successive to the first, is civil disobedience – in the tradition of King, Ghandi and Thoreau. Specifically:

    1) Stop voting – see Perry’s statements above. I would only add that it is a (not insignificant) matter of psychological pride and integrity to a set of values of which self-ownership is of utmost importance.

    2) Order your affairs in such a way as to allow you to cooperate with the State in the least manner possible and yet still maintain other values of great importance to you. For example, if you already have a young family to support it’s probably not a good idea to cease paying taxes unless there is some chance of avoiding serious jail time. If you have no other such precious values to maintain (for example if you are single and likely to remain so), then it might be better to follow Thoreau’s example.

    3) To the extent that you can manage without endangering other values such as your family, attempt to put yourself in as influential a position as possible from which to advocate serious reforms of whichever organizations you are part of all pointing in the direction of freedom. Hayek for example, made an argument for the denationalization of money from his academic position in the ‘dismal science’. Alex Singleton is making very general pro-freedom arguments as a writer at the Daily Telegraph and through his positions at (various, I think?) think-tanks.

    More generally, I think it is important to remember to look at things in your own life and not just whatever is happening in the government and out there in the jungle.

  • So, by your own statement, voting for the lesser of two evils, in hopes of slowing the progression of the disease, won’t do any good.

    Yes, it will slow the progress of the disease but…

    By your own admission, refusing to vote for the lesser of two evils won’t do any good.

    … it actually does harm, not good, by guaranteeing that the disease does indeed progress, even if slower.

    By time after time demonstrating to the (in the case of the USA) Republicans that people who want smaller government will continue to vote for Republicans who will not give you less government, all you are doing is making it absolutely clear that their is no need whatsoever to actually reduce the size of the state to get your vote. You have made it clear you are in the bag regardless, so you simply do not matter.

    So the years pass and you wait in vain for the next Barry Goldwater, because your pragmatic vote for the lesser evil have made the emergence of such a person almost impossible until the system implodes in on itself and all the cards get that once or twice per century reshuffle. That time may well be at hand in fact in the next few years.

    Your pragmatic vote may (or may not) ameliorate some of the the pain of the disease that is statism by making the tumour grow more slowly, but at the ultimately fatal cost of ensuring that curing the disease is not even on the agenda.

  • mike

    “So the years pass and you wait in vain for the next Barry Goldwater..”

    That could have been a poetic description of a friend of mine – the daft old goat has voted McCain and is clinging to the belief not only that it means something in terms of freedom, but that McCain is actually going to win. It’s embarassing to listen to him especially when nobody else we frequently deal with even has any idea who Barry Goldwater was, let alone why he is still talked about.

  • Sunfish

    mike,

    1) Read Rand’s non-fiction work, and then bloody well make sure you understand it by questioning yourself and writing things down.

    I’ve read enough of her scribblings to write you off as a loon right here. She has the careful grasp of reality of Karl Marx, the literary merit of Danielle Steel, and the readability of Title 43 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. What does ANYTHING she’s written have to do with my question? I’ve read two thousand pages of her crap and it has all, without exception, been nonsense. She is quite literally the worst writer that I’ve ever inflicted upon myself without a college English professor being involved.

    I mean it. Has she given a single suggestion about how to fix the problems that we, as liberty-minded individualists in the United States in 2008, have to deal with?

    Sure, maybe it would be neat if we could have a nationwide Galt’s Gulch in my lifetime. That’s not the problem. THE PROBLEM IS SURVIVING THE NEXT FOUR YEARS.

    1) Stop voting – see Perry’s statements above. I would only add that it is a (not insignificant) matter of psychological pride and integrity to a set of values of which self-ownership is of utmost importance.

    Yeah, you can be proud of sitting on the fucking sidelines and saying “See? See that mess? I had nothing to do with it!” You’re a real hero.

    2) Order your affairs in such a way as to allow you to cooperate with the State in the least manner possible and yet still maintain other values of great importance to you.

    There’s an option. Ever see “Super Troopers?” The guy who replaces me will be asking you for a liter of cola before you know it.

    And what the fuck would I accomplish by going to jail? “You too can sit in a cage where you have basically NO enforceable rights[1], where you’re powerless to influence around you, where you can be ass-raped by either the Nation of Islam or the Aryan Brotherhood weekly, etc!”

    3) To the extent that you can manage without endangering other values such as your family, attempt to put yourself in as influential a position as possible from which to advocate serious reforms of whichever organizations you are part of all pointing in the direction of freedom.

    Yep. I can continue to try to shift the culture of the police department that I’ve suckered into hiring me, the regional training partnership in which we participate, the academy where I’m a very occasional instructor.

    Oh, wait, I can’t do that while I’m sitting in jail or hiding in the fucking hills being proud of sticking my hands in my pockets and not paying taxes.

    Perry,

    Your pragmatic vote may (or may not) ameliorate some of the the pain of the disease that is statism by making the tumour grow more slowly, but at the ultimately fatal cost of ensuring that curing the disease is not even on the agenda.

    I can see two possible outcomes:

    1) Permanent irrelevance. 3% (charitably) cast votes based upon the candidates’ abilities to pass the libertarian purity test and are therefore written off by everybody else. The world will go on even if you choose not to participate.

    2) Lenin said, “The worse, the better.” We can all yell “WOLVERINES! MELON LOVE! VOTE FROM THE ROOFTOPS!” And you saw for yourself just how well that works for creating a peaceful, free society with respect for property rights and personal liberty, back in the 1990’s. You, of all people, should know better.

    [1] There is the Eighth Amendment. I’m not interested in having a legalistic discussion on this point today.

  • I can see two possible outcomes: 1) Permanent irrelevance. 3% (charitably) cast votes based upon the candidates’ abilities to pass the libertarian purity test and are therefore written off by everybody else. The world will go on even if you choose not to participate.

    I think you have somewhat missed my point. If you vote for some libertarian hardcore, he will not win, ergo your vote is irrelevant. No argument there.

    However if you vote for McCain, your vote will still be irrelevant to your political ends, because you want a smaller state and McCain aint gonna give you one, so even if he wins… do you? Not really… and moreover by voting for a Big State Republican, you send a message to the Elephants there is clearly no need to give you what you actually want as you voted for them regardless.

    And I agree, no point in taking to the roof or shouting WOLVERINES just yet. Stay home with a beer and drown your sorrows, at least that way you send a message to the Republicans that says MUST DO BETTER.

  • … oh and I find Rand’s fiction utterly unreadable too :-D

  • Paul Marks

    A message to the Republicans that “they must do better”.

    That is the message you are intending to send – but the message that will be got is the following.

    Do not nominate a “dogmatic” person like John McCain (do not laugh he is already being presented that way).

    Go for someone who will support universal health care by government edict (like dear “Mitt” Romney) and who will not dogmatically oppose every ear mark and subsidy – after all McCain even lost Iowa by opposing the ethenol subsidy and……

    Of course people like me (and I believe thee also) would argue that John McCain would have won the election if he had done what he wanted to do and opposed the finance industry bailout subsidy – but do not expect to read that in the “Weekly Standard”.

    And do not expect future Republicans to advocate things like government spending cuts, tax reductions, deregulation (such as allowing people to buy health cover over State lines) and entitlement program reform.

    That has been offered to the people and been rejected by them – that will be the line.

    So we must go “beyond capitalism” and “enter the modern world” in acceptance of “reality” and the new “progressive consensus”.

    That is the way that the Republicans will be told (by the media and so on) is the way back to power – and all the lovely K street money.

    Of course Comrade Obama will not allow them anywhere near power – but they will play their “progressive” games trying.

    Dogmatic free market people like John McCain (again do not laugh) will be rejected in future.

  • Sorry Paul but no sale on this one. My view is based on what voting ‘pragmatic’ has already done and thus I conclude doing it again will result in more of the same. You are saying the Republicans will go more statist if we do not get ‘our’ statist elected. I think the evidence is that if ‘our’ statist wins they conclude ‘statism wins’ and so how does that help move things our way?

  • Paul Marks

    I am not a pragmatist – either politically or philosophically.

    As for John McCain – an irritating man with some false ideas (child locks, McCain/Feingold and so on).

    However, he has a long record of opposing subsidies and being in favour of entitlement program reform – a record praised even by the Cato Institute.

    His line “both Senator Obama and I disagree with President Bush’s economic policies – the difference is that he thinks taxes are too low and I think spending has been too high” is supported by the record.

    So “statist” is unfair – unless we are going to apply it to everyone.

    John McCain presented a whole series of free market polices on tax, on controlling government spending, and on deregulation (such as in the health care market). And being called a statist – and getting no help is his reward.

    Of course to me his supreme failing was supporting the financial industry bailout.

    Yes the “free market” economists supported the bailout – but gut instinct should (and did) tell a man that it is wrong.

    And when the “experts” tell you one thing and your gut tells you another – follow your gut.

    Even Governor Huckabee (for all the hard things I said about him) did not fail this test. Although he would not be pleased at my using the word “gut” – given his struggle to reduce his weight.

    Bottom line.

    John McCain was not a perfect candidate – but he was a lot better than Bush-brain.

    And the free market movement (if it can even be called a movement) failed John McCain and Sarah Palin.

    Instead of supporting them we stood on the sidelines.

    So the West deserves exactly what it is going to get.

  • Sunfish

    However if you vote for McCain, your vote will still be irrelevant to your political ends, because you want a smaller state and McCain aint gonna give you one, so even if he wins… do you? Not really…

    ..but I lose less.

    Whatever this game is, it will not be won in 2008 and will probably not be won in 2012. Undoing all of the evil that Carter, LBJ, FDR, or Wilson did is going to take longer than cleaning my downspouts.

    I used an analogy six months ago that I think still applies: imagine that the US body politic is a body lying on the floor pulseless and apneic. You’re there. Nobody knows if the ambulance is coming. What do you do?

    You can perform CPR. CPR doesn’t restart hearts or spontaneous breathing. It just forces air into the lungs and forces blood to flow, a very little bit. It’s virtually unheard-of for an adult in full arrest to come back because of CPR. I’ve never had a ‘save’ from CPR.

    It’s a holding pattern.

    What will bring a patient back (sometimes, as many as 1 in 5 in a really good month) is electricity, 120 joules right through the heart, possibly combined with drugs. AEDs are neat. I love them. But they’re not everywhere and for purposes of this analogy there isn’t one.

    Should I go into the holding pattern and pray for a miracle? Or, should I go have a beer and cry in it because there’s no AED, no adenosine, no epinephrine. whatever?

    I never claimed my solution is a good one. I just claimed that I don’t think anything else has much of a chance.[1]

    and moreover by voting for a Big State Republican, you send a message to the Elephants there is clearly no need to give you what you actually want as you voted for them regardless.

    That’s not the message that anybody will take. Not this year. Not when the ‘other’ ticket is a pair of unmitigated fascist bastards with charisma and perfect teeth and the finest speechwriter that Old Labour ever had. They could have gone with some statist moron with great hair like Romney or Huckabee. Instead, they chose a (relatively) smaller-state corruption-buster with a good record on guns and a history of not using the Governor’s office as a platform for her own personal beliefs.

    Sit this one out now, and the take home message for the heffalumps is ‘Don’t bother with the libertarians or librarians or whatever, because there’s no pleasing them nohow.’

    [1] That being said, if The One (PBUH) is elected, then on 11-5-08 I will not eat a 165-grain Speer aspirin in despair. Even my ex-wife never quite drove me that far.

  • Laird

    It doesn’t matter. Nothing matters. Vote for McCain. Vote for Barr. Don’t vote. Hell, vote for Obama or write in Cthulhu. There is no “correct” action, not even an optimal one. We’re done. Checkmate.

    In a few hundred years, after “The Decline and Fall of the American Empire” has taken its place on the shelf next to Gibbon, perhaps another group of people will pick up the pieces and take a stab at freedom. But everything will have to collapse first, and that won’t be pretty.

    We’ve reached a tipping point, and I don’t see any way back. It won’t all go to pieces overnight, and I’m old enough that I’ll probably be OK for the remainder of my lifetime. But I feel sorry for my son, who is just coming into adulthood, and for all of our children. They are going to inherit a world I wouldn’t want to live in, and that makes me ill.