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It was hardly the victory of the forces of light over darkness

Just to cast a slightly different view in to the frenzy of commentaries here about the election in the USA…

Sorry but I cannot see how the election of George Bush, a big government right-statist, shows that the the so-called ‘right’ differs that much from the McGovern/Mondale/Kerry view in reality. Fetishizing the differences between the two, which is particularly strange when viewed from overseas, does not change the fact the underpinning meta-contexts are pretty similar when you add it all up. Sure, the Republicans will probably not do something idiotic like try to emulate Britain’s nightmarish socialist healthcare system whereas that is exactly what many in the Democratic party want… but how many government departments is Bush going to simply wind up in order to roll back the state? The argument between the two parties is how much to turn the ratchet of the state’s encroachment into civil society, not whether or not to actually turn the ratchet around to face the other way.

Economic and technological reality will eventually break the regulatory statism of both left and right: party politicos will follow, not lead that process, but please, just keep in mind the only real good thing about Dubya winning is that we get to give all manner of sanctamonius lefties an aneurism, and whilst taunting the collectivist left because the collectivist right won is indeed great fun, it is little more that a minor blood sport that will soon loose its appeal as Leviathan gets more corpulent by the day as both left and right shovel more severed bits of civil society into its maw… the defeat of the ghastly Kerry by the ever so slightly less ghastly Bush was hardly the victory of the forces of light over darkness.

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61 comments to It was hardly the victory of the forces of light over darkness

  • If real small or limited Government could be sold to the people, Bob Dole would be winding down his second term as President.

    As they say , you have to go duck hunting where the ducks are.

  • David Hecht

    I doubt many movement conservatives are insensible to your point: there’s nothing in what you say that would not have applied with equal force to–say–Reagan in 1984.

    The difference–then as now–is the perception that the Republicans take the external threat seriously, and propose to do something about it.

    Even proponents of limited government generally agree that defending the citizenry against its foreign adversaries is an integral function of the State: though–to be sure–modern “Big-L” Libertarians have lost sight of this.

  • MD

    I dunno. Depends on how he spends that political capital. If he simplifies the tax code a bit, tries a little tort reform and manages to open up Social Security a bit to privatization, I’d say pretty well done. Only time will tell…..

  • One significant item on Bush’s agenda is to privatize Social Security (the government pension program for the elderly). Given its status as a statist sacred cow, I’d say that this represents a momentous step in the right direction.

  • RKB

    Watch his policies, not the organization chart.

    The key to having changes accepted by the centrists, whose support he needs, is to evolve away from a central planning/administration model. The Social Security changes will reflect this. So too does the faith-based initiative for social services – he did not try to eliminate them, but by specifically including private intiatives through existing private organizations, he began to dilute state control and the state bureaucracy.

    The left wing of the house has begun to take him seriously and realize how radical he is in many ways. The statists, OTOH, are the reactionaries — a role it is hard for them to acknowledge.

  • Dale Amon

    There are also some indication Bush may move towards getting the the ’67 Outer Space Treaty renegotiated or else pulled out of entirely. This is the treaty that entrenched the idea that all of space belongs to everyone but noone, ie it made the property rights issues very difficult.

    Dump the ’67 treaty language and the US Gov could open a land office tomorrow, and the day after that capital would be flowing to go there and make money.

    No certainties on this: but it has been floating about certain circles (not internet randoms but policy wonks) and has turned up in those circles as far away as Australia…

  • R C Dean

    I took the observation below about the shift toward broader support of the McGovern/Mondale/Kerry wing to be a comment on how much progress the transnational progressives have made in the US over the last 20 years, not a comment on their domestic policies or the relative collectivist/statist views of Repubs or Demmies.

    While we fight over such local issues as whether the Repubs are enough more liberty-friendly than the Dems so a lib can hold his nose and pull the lever, the tranzis are beavering away trying to get all the decisions taken away from us and given to truly unaccountable, crypto-Marxist, hyper-collective international institutions. And they are a lot closer to it now than they were 20 years ago.

  • Della

    Dear Dale

    There are also some indication Bush may move towards getting the the ’67 Outer Space Treaty renegotiated or else pulled out of entirely. This is the treaty that entrenched the idea that all of space belongs to everyone but noone, ie it made the property rights issues very difficult.

    The 67 outer space treaty is not the one banning private property in space, that is different one that the US and the UK have not signed.

    The 67 treaty bans nukes or other WMDs in space and military bases in space, and shooting down satellites. They want to get rid of it because they want to “take control of the high ground” shoot down satellites and station nukes in space. I view this development as extemely unfriendly.

    The idea that has been mooted that they’ll station nukes in space and shoot down the satellites of allied nations including communications satellites such as the Sky TV satellites whenever they think it convenient, and in addition stop other nations having space programs is a recipie for a world war.

  • Steel

    I think Bush will prove to be a very different president his second term. Time will tell, but Social Security reform is supposedly first on his list. His proposals in that regard will shed a lot of light on what we can expect over the next four years.

  • John

    I guess slightly off topic, but here’s a minor victory for the forces of light.

    It’s official. Hiseville will cease to exist as an incorporated city within 30 days.

    Hiseville residents voted 80 to 39 Tuesday to dissolve the city’s government.

    href=”http://www.glasgowdailytimes.com/articles/2004/11/03/local_news/news03.txt”>(Link)

  • Preventing an NHS nightmare from repeating itself in the States would be reason enough to vote for Bush, although I believe he had a few others things going for him. Like the man himself “Kerry-Care” was scary.

  • Love Supreme

    In 1974 we had Nixon choppering off and the chance of a fresh start with Ford.

    In 1984 we had a huge second-term win for Reagan.

    In 1994 we had Newt’s “Contract with America”.

    In 2004 we have Shrub and his “capital”.

    These golden GOP moments come up every decade and aren’t worth a row of beans.

    Bush II has a small enough majority for an incumbent defending a country attacked on its own turf for the first time since the War of 1812, with a fairly strong economy, a $300 tax giveback and a me-too opponent from the hated northern liberal/media establishment.

    Hell, even 40% of weekly churchgoers voted for Kerry. Face it, the country is still split down the middle– with two-fifths of registered voters telling both candidates to go shit in their hats.

    Politics just doesn’t change things as much as either the winners or losers make out in the first flush of results. Two years into the lame-duck term we’ll be wondering what all the fuss was about. The real problems (Iraq, deficit, baby bust, three-way racial tension) will still be a-simmering, and the rich-guy pols will still be pretending either that they have all the answers or that the problems don’t signify.

    “‘Why, that I cannot tell’, said he/’But ’twas a famous victory.'”

  • Ron

    The UK Conservative Party’s former leader Iain Duncan Smith‘s Centre for Social Justice has prepared an analysis of George W Bush’s 2000 agenda called Whatever happened to Compassionate Conservatism?, which makes interesting reading.

    The CSJ is also referred to in today’s Melanie Phillips article.

  • heh

    Della,

    “The idea that has been mooted that they’ll station nukes in space and shoot down the satellites of allied nations including communications satellites such as the Sky TV satellites whenever they think it convenient, and in addition stop other nations having space programs is a recipie for a world war.”

    It’s worse than you think. Once the have control of the “high ground”, they’ll be able to beam their mind control rays through your tinfoil hat and corrupt your precious bodily fluids.

  • Dale Amon

    Della: Nope. That was the ’63 Treaty. I have the full text of the lot of them on my website:

    http://www.islandone.org/Treaties/

    The ’67 treaty does have some useful items in it, but it also was the first one to really contain what we’d now call tranzi language. The second ratchet was the ‘Moon Treaty’ in the late ’70’s which was blocked from ratification after an organization I was part of made people aware of the implications.

  • Dale Amon

    The treaty does have some language on arms in space, but the nuke treaty was the ’63 one. In any case, the first two clauses say it all. I’ll just quote Article II though:

    Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.

    Which many will tell you means no property rights. We gave that away in 1967. Some friends of mine have done legal research and believe that private, non-state property might still be legal… but hardly anyone with the money is willing to bet it on the basis of a minority legal opinion, however good the research.

    This thing has got to go… but we do want to keep some of the clauses, so a renegotiation that drastically changes Article I and drops Article II is badly needed.

  • Della

    Dear Dale.

    Della: Nope. That was the ’63 Treaty. I have the full text of the lot of them on my website:

    “Outer Space Treaty – Treaty on Principles Governing The Activities Of States In The Exploration And Use Of Outer Space, Including The Moon And Other Celestial Bodies January 27, 1967 ”

    “Article IV”

    “States Parties to the Treaty undertake not to place in orbit around the earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction, install such weapons on celestial bodies, or station such weapons in outer space in any other manner. ”

    “The moon and other celestial bodies shall be used by all States Parties to the Treaty exclusively for peaceful purposes. The establishment of military bases, installations and fortification, the testing of any type of weapons and the conduct of military manoeuvers on celestial bodies shall be forbidden. The use of military personnel for scientific research or for any other peaceful purposes shall not be prohibited. The use of any equipment or facility necessary for peaceful exploration of the moon and other celestial bodies shall also not be prohibited. “

  • S. Weasel

    Uh-oh! GEEK FIGHT!

  • Dale Amon

    Ah, the FOBS article. You can keep that one. The primary point of getting rid of it is Article II. I know the people pushing it within the administration. It is not entirely clear it will happen, but we’ve got a much more receptive audience than usual.

    Article II has got to go. And keep in mind that some are interpreting part of the article to mean that hand guns are banned in the entire universe. I kid you not. We’d also like to drop the article which makes the State responsible for anything launched by any of its citizens, any where. We want the same sort of insurance liability regime as aviation, not the ’67 treaty method.

  • Dale Amon

    Actually I think the best strategy may be to threaten we’re going to pull out and put nukes in orbit… and then watch how fast we get rid of Article II and a few others to talk us crazy gunslingin’ types into not given up that clause.

    But we should also limit that one, or clarify it so we can build an Orion type ship in orbit or use nukes for building chambers and mining the asteroids.

  • Verity

    George Bush understands that we are in a fight to save the enlightened, tolerant West from an intolerant, aggressive and violent religion. I see in today’s Telegraph that some moonbat council in London somewhere has ordered a local school to take the word ‘Saint’ off Saint Mary’s – in case it “offends” people from other religions. Hmmm. I wonder who these potential offendees might be? Taoists? Jews? Sikhs? Buddhists? Hindus?

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: Perry de Havilland
    RE: A Matter of Perspective

    “It was hardly the victory of the forces of light over darkness” — Perry de Havilland

    That would depend upon which way you look at it. Which, in turn, depend upon what you think was the most important aspect.

    if you think the most important aspect is the long-term ramifications of having a ‘statist’ in power, I guess a libertarian would consider this a defeat.

    However, if you think the most important aspect is the long-term ramifications of winning the war, I would say that it IS the triumph of the Army of Light over the Shadows. Or are we talking some camp Bruce Campbell film? Crush the DEADITES!

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Where you stand determines what you see.]

  • I don’t even think it passed that test either, Chuck. The notion Kerry was going to just turn Iraq over to the mullahs and hand control of the US military to the UN is just daft. Would Bush be better? Probably, but it would hardly be the end of the world if Kerry had won, though it might have felt that way for a few days.

  • Della

    Dear Miss Heh.

    “The idea that has been mooted that they’ll station nukes in space and shoot down the satellites of allied nations including communications satellites such as the Sky TV satellites whenever they think it convenient, and in addition stop other nations having space programs is a recipie for a world war.”

    It’s worse than you think. Once the have control of the “high ground”, they’ll be able to beam their mind control rays through your tinfoil hat and corrupt your precious bodily fluids.

    I’ll back up my points with quotes from recent other sources then:

    My point “shoot down the satellites of allied nations including communications satellites”. The register quotes ‘Air Force Doctrine Document 2-2.1:

    “All kinds of assets, right down to weather satellites, are potential targets: “When planning operations against an adversary’s space-based weather capabilities, consider potential collateral impacts on friendly or neutral nations’ assets or information”, and while considering the cost-benefits here, bear in mind that “infrastructure supporting adversarial interests may be in third party countries.””

    My point “stop other nations having space programs”:
    A statement in the U.S. Senate says:

    It is time to push up the ‘space superiority throttle.’ We have left this throttle at a low power setting for too long. We must ensure our continued access to space, to deny space to others when directed…This is a medium crucial to our American military operations and one we’ll have to fight for in the future.

    Here’s a link to US Air Force Doctrine Document 2-2.1 -Counterspace operations.

    I’m having a little more trouble finding stuff about putting nukes in orbit, however since it’s the main thing that the 1967 treaty actually bans and they seem to want to get out of the treaty it looks damn suspicious to me. I have heard the nukes in space idea from other sources.

    I’ll conclude with a quote from Senator Tom Daschle:
    “I think putting weapons in space may be the single dumbest thing I’ve heard so far from this administration. It would be a disaster for us to put weapons in space of any kind under any circumstances. I think Democrats will be universally opposed to doing something as foolish as that. It only invites other countries to do the same thing and opens up a whole new array of challenges and threats to national security, the likes of which this administration hasn’t even begun to think about. “

  • This best thing that can be said for the 67 Treaty is that there is no agreed position on what any of the wording actually means.

    In theory someone could claim that ‘celestial body’ refers to God’s heaven and that the US or China is going to go ahead and build a military base on the moon and tell everyone else to go stuff themselves

  • heh

    Della,

    1) The Pentagon is fully aware that shooting down a satellite would be considered an act of war. They’re not about to start shooting down “Sky TV satellites whenever they think it convenient.” The only evidence you have for this is a document that emphasizes the political difficulties imposed by the fact that “infrastructure supporting adversarial interests may be in third party countries.” Europe’s assistance to China with building a rival to our GPS system is a case in point. Please don’t insult my intelligence by pretending this isn’t a military program.

    2) “Deny space to others when directed” does not mean “stop other nations from having space programs.” Enough said.

    3) You can’t find anything about putting nukes in space because it’s not going to happen. If we do it, others will do it. And that would make the nukes much harder to intercept. After spending all this money on a ballistic missile defense, why would we make it obsolete before it’s even fully deployed?

    You’re reading way too much into things.

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: Perry de Havilland
    RE: Daffy

    “I don’t even think it passed that test either, Chuck. The notion Kerry was going to just turn Iraq over to the mullahs and hand control of the US military to the UN is just daft.” — Perry de Havilland

    Call me Daffy and put me in cartoons, but I’m convinced that Kerry would most certainly do item #1 and probably move towards item #2.

    And, I suspect that the simple majority of US simple-minded folk on this side of the big pond agree with me.

    RE: Probably?

    “Probably….” — Perry de Havilland

    Clarify “probably”? Do you mean you think Kerry would do what you, in the previous sentence, described as ‘daft’?

    RE: It’s the End of the World, as We Know It

    “…but it would hardly be the end of the world if Kerry had won, though it might have felt that way for a few days.” — Perry de Havilland

    It would probably have taken several years and perhaps as many as a million American lives lost before Kerry would be forced to accede to public pressure and resume the war that Bush is fighting. Then we’d loose even more lives as we fought to reclaim the ‘ground’ we’ve won to date, all over again.

    You can be flagrantly extravagant with your countrymans’ lives. But I suggest you be not so. However, do avoid trying to be so with ours.

    Personally? I’d rather fight the war once and finish it.

    Those Britons, who seem to derive so much satisfaction of fighting each other decade after decade (see bragging by one each Ross B at Daily Ablution or Vela, here) can go play with yourselves, for all I care. I counsel against it, but, hey, it’s your corner of this ball-o-dirt.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  • Jacob

    Perry,
    Here are two small differences between Bush and Kerry (there are many more):

    Social security:
    Kerry: fine, progressive plan that needs to be saved and enhanced.
    Bush: Deeply flawed, needs to be partially privatized.

    Personal traits:
    Kerry: a phony, hollow, pompous embelisher of truth, opportunist, etc.
    Bush: honest and straightforward.

    So, Perry, even after admitting that Bush isn’t the messiah, a little rejoicing in his win is in order.

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: Perry de Havilland
    RE: Death Wish

    “…the only real good thing about Dubya winning is that we get to give all manner of sanctamonius lefties an aneurism….” — Perry de Havilland

    Careful, compadre. Some of those “Lefties” could interpret your statement as calling down the Wrath of God in the form of a biblical plague to rival those Moses called down upon Egypt.

    Or worse, suggesting someone is working on a killer virus that is biologically engineered to attack only Lefties.

    You could be the next Charlie Brooker….of the Libertarians. As I doubt christians would even conceive of such an idea. At least not the REAL christians.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    P.S. I think I’ll watch Twelve Monkeys tonight.

  • John Ellis

    Perry,

    Spot on. I thought from your earlier Moore-taunt that you had gone all Bush-baby on us. This post has much more of that Libertarian vigour and purity that this site – for all it’s faults – is so well placed to enunciate.

  • Dale Amon

    Absolutely no one is interested in orbital nukes unless it is for powering an Orion. And no one but us spacers and a few libertarians are interested in that. I mean who else would be interested in putting 10,000 tons of materials and colonists on Mars in a couple months using a spaceship that would be more like something built in a Navy yard? Of course it ain’t quite that easy since not even *we* are suggesting a surface launch.

    As to the defense issues. Well, it is rather inevitable, and if it means the USAF buys lots of spaceplanes from friends of mine (which I doubt: they’ll probably buy Boeing) then it gets my tush closer to space.

    I will note that a friend of mine in an exceedingly high level NASA position is skeptical that we’ll actually take on the problem of the ’67 treaty. Neither does a friend in space type things in the USAF. The whole thing basically comes out of some things being pushed by somone else from our old space colony crowd who is in the administration and seems to have floated it as a trial balloon. “It’s the property rights, stupid”.

  • Ken

    “Bush II has a small enough majority for an incumbent defending a country attacked on its own turf for the first time since the War of 1812, with a fairly strong economy, a $300 tax giveback and a me-too opponent from the hated northern liberal/media establishment.”

    Um, Pearl Harbor was our own turf. For that matter, so was Gettysburg.

    And someone had damn well better put some weapons in space, and it had damn well better be either the United States or the independent America 2.0 that the colonists put together. Either way, to have a state and to keep other states out of your hair, you’re going to need weapons on hand.

  • DS

    Perry,

    I’ll preface my remarks by saying that I am a Minarchist, not an Anarchist.

    One of the best things about being a Libertarian is playing the “there ‘s not a dime’s bit of difference between the two parties” card. It gives one a feeling of being above the silly children squabbling and best of all allows said Libertarian to sling shit in all directions without worrying about having an actual-flesh-and-blood-flawed real person as a candidate to defend. But the downside is it relegates said Liberatrian to permanently live in a theoretical, future world where all of the correct conditions will be in place to actually test your theories.

    In principle, I agree with everything you said to some degree or another. I just don’t agree with the weighting you have applied that allows you to put Kerry and Bush on the same plane. In a lesser of two evils world, Bush was most certainly and without a doubt the lesser. Bush, while certainly a right of center statist, simply does not share the admiration for the Euro-sclerosis inducing socialist policies that Kerry and his party do. That alone makes them worlds apart. I suppose it’s possible to be a statist without being a socialist, but is a statist that isn’t a socialist really that scary?

    I still believe that there are some Goldwater/Reagan Republicans left in the party, and I think some of them won house and especially senate elections. For instance Jim DeMint in my state (South Carolina) won the Senate seat formerly held by a loud-mouthed idiot named Fritz Hollings who has uttered such wisdoms as “the United States economy was built on protectionism”. In a state that has seen the textile industry dry up and move to China, a candidate proudly preaching free trade and abolishing the IRS won a tight race. There are others.

    Having said all that, the possibility of the US government actually getting smaller in the next 4 years is slim and none. But the slim is more than it would have been under Kerry whose campaign boiled down to “I would have spent more”.

  • Chuck Pelto

    Editor’s note: libelous comment deleted

  • So, Perry, even after admitting that Bush isn’t the messiah, a little rejoicing in his win is in order.

    I agree… a little. Just not a lot.

    Chuck Pelto: what the fuck are you talking about by that remark? As your remark is actionable, I suggest you choose your words rather carefully.

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: Perry de Havilland
    RE: LP(edophiles)

    Something of a revelation to me too, Perry. Just realized it several days ago.

    Not sure about the Libertarian Party of England, but over here, their party platform reads, if you read it carefully and put the pieces together, as supporting pedophilia.

    I think I’ve commented on it here, already. However, not in a topical thread started by you, so you might have missed it. The comment includes a link to the Party’s web-site, which includes their platform.

    Before you take ‘action’ on my ‘actionable’ observations, I’d suggest you read it for yourself and see if you can figure out WHY they stated what they did. As I see it, it is either that which I have stated, or they are utterly hopeless in terms of their use of English; painting themselves into such a position. Either way, it explains why they are soundly rejected by the majority of reasonably prudent individuals on THIS side of the big pond.

    Hope that ‘helps’.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: Perry de Havilland
    RE: Here Ya Go….

    Here’s the critical passage of their platform….

    However, children always have the right to establish their maturity by assuming administration and protection of their own rights, ending dependency upon their parents or other guardians, and assuming all responsibilities of adulthood.

    Here’s the web-site….

    http://www.lp.org/issues/platform/platform_print.html

    The critical positioning of the pieces is that the Libertarians (here) are all for total freedom in sexuality, amongst adults.

    Then they indicate (see above) that children can declare themselves “adults” at any time.

    Hence….pedophilia is “okay”.

    I’ve discussed this with some people over the last few days, and no one, as yet has been able to refute the posit; it’s either pedophilia or utter stupidity on the part of the Libertarians.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  • Chuck Pelto

    P.S. If the Libertarians, capital-L, where you are, are of a similiar mind, I’d suggest you reconsider your use of the proper noun form. Or start moving within their ranks to remove that particular plank from THEIR platform.

    Do you have a url you could refer me to?

  • Della

    Chuckie, you libeling fool,

    In the platform it says that “Adults have the right to private choice in consensual sexual activity.”

    It also says that a child may “assum[e] all responsibilities of adulthood” It does not say they will stop being children for the purposes of the age of consent.

    Is there no lie that you will not peddle for political advantage? Do not dig a deeper hole for yourself by repeating the libel.

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: Della
    RE: Libel?

    “It also says that a child may “assum[e] all responsibilities of adulthood” It does not say they will stop being children for the purposes of the age of consent.” — Della

    Funny. Where I live, becoming an adult means you have free reign over your life. That includes your right to engage in sexual conduct.

    That, to me (as a reasonably prudent individual), is what the Libertarian Party of America’s platform plank, which I quoted EXACTLY, implies. And, it seems that most other Americans who read it take it the same way. No pretzel logic nor Gordian-knot case-law necessary.

    I’m not sure what it means where you live. Maybe it’s one of those little foibles of the English language. It being so prone to miscommunications.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    P.S. If you don’t like it, and you’re an American Libertarian, I’d suggest you get that plank out of there. But stop yelling at me. I’M not the one who put it in there.

  • Jack Boots

    Perry,

    Wonderful post.

    “whilst taunting the collectivist left because the collectivist right won is indeed great fun, it is little more that a minor blood sport that will soon loose its appeal as Leviathan gets more corpulent by the day as both left and right shovel more severed bits of civil society into its maw..”

    Dead on. Dead on.

    Andrew

  • Love Supreme

    Ken: Pearl Harbor in 1941 was part of a colony, not part of the USA.

    Gettysburg was not a foreign attack unless (as I hope you do) you acknowledge the legitimacy of secession and the fact that the CSA had become foreign to the USA by then.

    Now stop playing Pedantic Silly Buggers, I can do it better than you.

  • Mastiff:

    “One significant item on Bush’s agenda is to privatize Social Security”

    How can you “privatise” coerced wealth transfers? You might be able to contract-out the administration to private companies, but making theft more efficient is hardly a very ambitious goal for libertarians.

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: Julius
    RE: How To

    “How can you “privatise” coerced wealth transfers?” — Julius

    While I have not seen anything detailing the technique, I think one way to go about doing it would be to set it so that people are required to invest the money in IRAs at a certain rate per pay period. Simliar to the way in which the IRS follows how much they pay to the Social Security System.

    The REAL trick is going to be in making up for all the funds the government reputtedly pilfered from the SSS over the last 40 years.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    P.S. Privatization by hiring a private company to do the job of the SSS staffers is not a particularly good idea.

  • limberwulf

    Chuck,
    you have made your point with your crosslinked implication about pedophilia. It is a stretch, as there is no specific reference to what you are saying. The odd thing is that you have harped on it so much, and it seems to be your only criticism of the LP. There are others, but you only care about that one thing, simply because it encites emotion. Its a great technique, but it gets old fast. Learn from the mistakes of the Dems, hype doesnt last, particularly negative hype. If some concocted presumption about pedaphilia is the best you have, then maybe you need to regroup your rationale.

    The LP statement is poorly worded in that it does not fully explain the position, as most compressed “platform statements” are. If you were to get into legal-speak about all of this there are plenty of ways to make sure that the issue you are concerned about is not made legal, without changing the intent of the statement.

    Those who make decisions entirely on a single issue are quite tiresome. There are a host of issues in a political philosophy, and in running a country. Argue something else if you have the breadth of thought to do so.

    On the issue of SS, I support privatisation, simply because abolishment is too drastic a step. If we were in revolution a lot of great big steps could be made, but we are not, and I rather think that is better. By that same logic, a strict LP candidate might also be too drastic a step, but the votes for LP are to send a message that many people think government should be smaller, not to try to force overnight change. Even if an LP candidate got in, changes would be incremental and small. The key is that those changes remain on the path towards the ideal.

    Privatising SS is a step in the right direction, just like school vouchers, flat taxes, and negative income taxes. I am all for someone who will get that done. Bush has done better than most at doing what he says he will do, which I think is a large part of why he got so much support. I am encouraged by many of the things he has said because there is a reasonable chance he will do them. OTOH, some things he has promised to do scare me because again, there is a reasonable chance he will do them.

    Im with Perry, there is reason to celebrate a little, but there is a long way to go.

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: limberwulf
    RE: Pedophilia

    “…you have made your point with your crosslinked implication about pedophilia.” — limberwulf

    Thanks. And congradulations. You’re the first to even recognize it, even so slightly, publically.

    As for ‘harping’ on it, there’s comment to that a few doors down the hall here. It’ll settle out soon. I only discovered it a couple of days ago. I’m acclimatizing to the initial shock.

    RE: Privatizing Social Security

    It sounds promising to me. I’ve loathed the way the government robs that treasury to support itself, as I understand it. I think if the government were to require US to invest in our retirement years, by the system we find most effectacious, we’d be a lot better off, in a number of different, but beneficial, ways.

    RE: Flat Tax

    All for that as well. Trying to figure out the impact in various other areas; charities, non-profit beneficial foundations, etc.

    I sort of chortle at the prospect of ex-#1 trying to find a new job, she’s a CPA. I truly believe all that effort spent on accounting and tax attornys could be better directed. But that will take years to realize.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  • Else

    Hey to all the Americans here thinking about health care and privatisation: What is all this about the “left-wing’ and/or ‘Socialist’ nightmare of free healthcare? I fail to see why the American people do not demand a N.H.S. type institution of their own. To those of you who do not know the deal, everbody in the U.K. has the right-say it again and thank Mr Bevin- the right to free healthcare ‘at the point of delivery’. This means that (if jobless/poor) you do not pay for medicine or dentistry. If waged, you are obliged to pay a little money, not usually more then half the price of e.g. some fillings. All consultations and major operations are free.

    How can this be a bad thing? My girl is at home with her Mum in Sacremento city right now with reccuring symptoms from a tumor in her ear a couple of years ago. She had to queue for six hours once, (seven the next time) for the only non-charging medical centre in that big city. The antibiotics they gave her were(she found out later) specifically not for anyone with ear problems and she ended up unable to walk! She can’t fly to England to get it sorted because her head might pop. Basically, she could die if it’s another tumor. Bang. Just like that.

    The point is that this kind of thing-correct me if i’m wrong-is perfectly normal in the USA. Or at least ‘a fact of life’.It just would’nt be tolerated in England. And, wether you like it or not, it’s a socialist principle-that everybody should have the right to free/subsidised healthcare- that works.

  • Cobden Bright

    Whilst Bush is no libertarian, the election result does come over as a major kick in the gonads to collectivists, tranzis, islamo-fascists, Grundiadistas, the BBC, Brussels bureaucrats, the UN and various other idiotarians all over the world. Bin Laden and the rest of the terrorists have been dealt a crushing blow to their morale – despite all their efforts, all the problems in Iraq, and poor stockmarket and economic performance, support for Bush increased. The meddling from Soros and propaganda from Moore was thoroughly rejected by floating voters in the USA.

    Put simply, the good old American voter has delivered a raised middle finger and a rousing f*ck you to most of the rest of the world and their knee-jerk anti-Americanism. The intelligentsia on the Paris Left Bank must be choking on their champagne!

    Personally I think this result is quite significant – it shows that the average American is capable of independent thinking and not a small amount of gumption. They proved to be smarter than a lot of people gave them credit for.

    So although it’s not perfect by any means, it’s a pretty good case of the lesser of two evils. And we get to indulge in some very satisfying schadenfreude for the next 4 years (might as well get some mileage out of it). Fingers crossed, Bush might even swing to the right now Congress and the Senate are locked up and he doesn’t have to worry about re-election.

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: Else
    RE: National Health Care

    Why don’t we embrace it, a la UK, NZ, Canada? Because of the horror stories we keep hearing about government run healthcare.

    RE: American Health Care

    The problem here is not enough competition. Particularly in the health care industry itself. If there were more providers of services the competition factor would set in. As it is, it’s almost like a monopoly, with the priesthood of medicine presiding over how many professionals are permited to practice, keeping their pay for services high.

    In due time, I think the GAO will take a close look at this. Might even be some anti-trust action or unfair business practices suits.

    RE: Your Relations

    Can’t fly? How about a nice ocean cruise?

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  • limberwulf

    Else,
    every singe thing the government touches gets corrupted with beurocracy and inefficiency. Military and police action, as well as legislation, which are all things the government should be in charge of, should have beurocratic processes in place that slow them down. A totally efficient police force or military would basically rule the world by martial law in a short period of time. However, health care, education, and taking care of those in need are all things whose efficiency and cost should be kept at an optimum level.

    Historicaly, the more government gets into something, the worse it is. If you were to go to England I do not think you would find your lines much shorter, nor the care as good as here, at least not in the NHS hospitals. I could be wrong of course, not having been there, I will ask those that live there to correct or support me as the case may be. We do not want an NHS because it is a horrible system.

    I also do not want such a system because I find theft immoral. I very rarely use health care, I am a healthy person, I take care of myself, and I dont go get medicated for every little thing. I do not wish to pick up the tab for people who run to the doctor for every little hangnail. Your case is obviously one which is necessary, but the problems of a NHS type system is that people take advantage. The other is that people are forced to pay for health care, whether they use it or not, through taxation. That is wrong.

    Another thing to consider is that a large part of the reason for the cost of health care and many other things in this country is the lawsuit culture we have here. People use the court system like a lottery, and that has caused mroe problems than anything else in our society. It is time people took some personal responsibility, and it is time that people stopped thinking they are owed something just because their life is not going well.

  • Donna

    Cobden: Since the election, I have been spending hours in the evening reading opinion articles, news items, essays, forums and blogs from all political persuasion. I believe your previous post is the most accurate answer as to why Bush won. No need for five paged essays with in depth analysis. The following paragraphs explain everything to the “confused”:

    “Put simply, the good old American voter has delivered a raised middle finger and a rousing f*ck you to most of the rest of the world and their knee-jerk anti-Americanism. The intelligentsia on the Paris Left Bank must be choking on their champagne!

    Personally I think this result is quite significant – it shows that the average American is capable of independent thinking and not a small amount of gumption. They proved to be smarter than a lot of people gave them credit for.”

  • LPDefense

    In case there is anyone out there with misconceptions
    about the Libertarian Party they should find out more themself since there are often strawmen being attacked.

    Remember also that not every Libertarian wishes to see the party shrink government as far as the platform states just as those libertarians who supported Bush/Kerry likely don’t approve of all their policies either (but apparently like big government since they vote for it even if they use libertarian rhetoric other times).

    Chuck: re: pedophilia& LP, step back and
    get some perspective. Even now its possible
    for minors to be “emancipated” and the LP platform
    point isn’t any different than that. I’m not sure
    why the bogus claim of pedophilia argument is being
    used among readers who likely won’t succumb to
    arguments based on irrational fear monger (of pedophillia). Worst case the text is phrased wrong,
    this is the first I’ve seen of such an absurd claim despite being in the LP (and online) for 13 years or so,
    though perhaps it simply wasn’t worthy of remembering if it has come up before.

    Also I’d suggest that its not productive
    to argue a position based on its popularity (or lack of it) re: ” explains why they are soundly rejected by the majority of reasonably prudent individuals on THIS side of the big pond.”. Most of those same voters approve of statist policies but that doesn’t make them apriori valid anymore than long ago the popularity of the idea the earth is flat didn’t make that true.

    I suspect Republicans fear that small government types will eventually give up on them when they see Bush keep growing government. So they need to
    ridicule the LP to use emotional pressure to avoid people rationally considering alternatives. Its difficult enough having politicall incorrect small-l libertarian ideas that many don’t wish to risk the stigma of outing themselves officially as being different by considering joining the Libertarian Party. Republicrat candidates are just going to keep getting worse if people continue to give in and vote for them

  • Thomas J. Jackson

    In our small patch of America we sure do see it as black and white. Compare and contrast the two parties:
    Taxes
    National Defense
    Guns
    Judicial system
    Homosexual rights
    Regulation of business

    The two parties couldn’t be more different. Yes the Republicans get seduced by DC and power. Will they continue down this trail? Perhaps. If so thn the Democrats will get another chance at power if they can offer something different.

  • Euan Gray

    Nationalised health care in the UK is an economic nightmare. It isn’t free, since it has to be paid for through taxation, as well as fees for prescription drugs, dental treatment, etc. “Free at the point of use” means you don’t have to hand over cash to get a broken arm fixed or have a doctor look at your symptoms. It doesn’t mean “free from payment.”

    The non-user subsidises the user through his taxation payments. On the other hand, in a private health care system, those who claim less often subsidise those who claim more often by means of premium weighting, so you can’t get away from the subsidy aspect.

    The question is efficiency. State administration of health care (or any industry) is an unmitigated disaster. From my understanding, the private American health care system is not really much more efficient than the British state system. Queues are said to be as long, incompetence no less common, and costs actually higher per capita. However, a large part of the cost issue seems to be the excessively litigious nature of large swathes of contemporary American culture, which naturally leads to higher premiums and takes resources away from dealing with the other problems (incompetence, bureaucracy, delay). At least with a private system, you have a choice. Here in Britain, we don’t – or that is to say, we can take out private insurance, but we still have to pay just as much as before for the state system, even if we don’t use it.

    To any American urging the adoption of a nationalised health care system like we have in Britain – DON’T DO IT. It does not work, it costs a fortune, it is routinely abused, and it is no better than anything you already have. You were warned…

    EG

  • S. Weasel

    From my understanding, the private American health care system is not really much more efficient than the British state system. Queues are said to be as long, incompetence no less common, and costs actually higher per capita.

    That’s because it’s not really private. We provide Medicare (socialized medicine for the elderly) and Medicaid (socialized medicine for the very poor). Our hospitals are not allowed by law to turn away anyone who is not in stable condition, and defaulting on medical bills is not allowed to impact your credit rating, so there’s a tremendous amount of “free” care being provided through our emergency rooms (a perpetual election year scandal in many states). And, as you point out, litigation takes a tremendous toll.

    The idea the American health care system is a giant Darwinian experiment in capitalism at its most savage is simply not true. Alas.

    I really don’t think our queues are as long, though.

  • Shawn

    LPDefense:

    “I suspect Republicans fear that small government types will eventually give up on them when they see Bush keep growing government.”

    Where is your evidence that he intends to? A simplification of the tax code, the possible end of income tax, and the privatisation of social security are all on the cards.

    Small government advocates are hardly going to give up on the only viable game in town, especially now. Moreover, the ACU, NTU and other groups are working with Congresssional Republicans, especially in the House, to re-assert a small government approach to fiscal and government issues, where it is appropriate to do so. The momentum is with the gop.

    Yes, a small and insignificant group of people has bled away over the last four years, but they have made no difference to the gop’s success. And I suspect that most of those who did leave went to the Constitutional Party.

    The fundamental problems with the LP are its dismissal of social-moral issues as excusively private issues, and its advocacy of open boarders. For those reasons amongst others if I were of a mind to shift my support to a third party it would be to the CP.

    But I just dont buy into the anti-Bush rhetoric. Politics is the art of the possible. Given the circumstances he faced in his first year, Bush had little room to move. A radical slashing of government after 911 would have been political suicide.

    I do want a return to small government within proper constitutional limits, but the key to that is not Bush or the Presidency, but Congress.

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: Perry de Havilland & the Other Person (whose nom des blogs I cannot recall because the comment was deleted)
    RE: An Apology

    I apologize for my inappropriate comment posted here addressing you and the other person.

    It would have been more appropriate to ask it of all big-L Libertarians. And even then to have couched it in terms of support instead of practicing. And even that is off-topic to this thread; something probably best discussed on it’s own topical thread.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: LPDefense
    RE:

    “Even now its possible for minors to be “emancipated” and the LP platform point isn’t any different than that.” — LPDefense

    Cite a case for me, please. I’ve heard this before, but no one has shown me one where a minor, someone under the age of consent, has been completely emancipated. I’ve heard of cases where trustees have been appointed to handle money being earned by minors. But nothing where they are completely free of parental or guardian oversight.

    Preferably some case from the western side of the big pond. Things over in England are a bit squirrely, considering efforts in their parliment to lower the age of consent even further.

    “I’m not sure why the bogus claim of pedophilia argument is being used among readers who likely won’t succumb to arguments based on irrational fear monger (of pedophillia).” — LPDefense

    No fear mongering about it. Simple statement of the American LP’s platform and following the logic thereof.

    “Worst case the text is phrased wrong, this is the first I’ve seen of such an absurd claim despite being in the LP (and online) for 13 years or so, though perhaps it simply wasn’t worthy of remembering if it has come up before.” — LPDefense

    Hardly the worst case, that “the text is phrased wrong”. Wouldn’t the REAL worst case is that they do support pedophilia? Odd you should think their text wrong is a worst case. Maybe you should rephrase yours.

    In the absence of additional information, I’m willing to accept the idea that they fouled up in constructing their platform. But even so, it speaks badly of their ability to think any farther than beyond a good sound-bite.

    Not the sort of people I’d like to have trying to run a country. Not even a county. A city, yes. But not one I lived in. I say this because it would be an interesting experiment in government.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: Euan Grey
    RE: Just as Bad?

    “From my understanding, the private American health care system is not really much more efficient than the British state system.” — Euan Grey

    How long a wait to have a heart procedure in England? We need some data here if we want to do a compare and contrast.

    A heart procedure where I live can be done next day. Even if one is not clutching their chest and turning blue.

    I generally wait to see my doctor about 2-3 days, unless it is an accute thing, in which case it is within an hour of calling. [Note: We thought the distaff had contracted West Nile Virus last Summer. Called the doctor’s office. They said, come in immediately.]

    It’s expensive, but for the reasons I cited above, not enough competition. To emphasize that point, yesterday’s paper noted that US pharmacological companies are out-sourcing their testing of drugs to Inda. Why? Because they have more doctors there, per capita, so costs of using their services are lower. Competition. And they are good doctors too. Something you English left behind on your way out.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: Shawn
    RE: Big Government Glut

    “Where is your evidence that he intends to?” — Shawn to LPDefense

    I keep hearing about the glut of big government under the Bush administration. However, no one has shown me where the increases have been.

    I can understand the need to staff the Homeland Defense department. But where is the rest of this horrific glut found?

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  • limberwulf

    Shawn and Chuck(le)
    examples of growth under Bush – 1) massive drug benefit program for the elderly, essentially a new entitlement on top of all the existing ones. 2) “No Child left behind” and other education increases, with a few positives but many negatives and the all-important negative of throwing more money at a problem that cant be fixed that way. 3) Be it “Homeland Security” or military, there have been enough increases in spending to make the deficit spending massive. In a time of war the military needs funds, that is understandable. That funding should come from any number of stupid programs that can be put on hold during wartime, it need not be borrowed money, nor need it be taxation. The evidence I cite is from his previous administration. I will grant that he has done many positive things in his adminsitration and proposed many more, but that does not mean that he has done nothing to grow the government on the domestic side, in addition to the costs, even the necessary ones, on the military/foreign policy side.

    OTOH, politics does have the limitations of what can actually be accomplished, and I certainly agree with Shawn that Congress is far more important than the presidency. I would much prefer to see the LP in at very local levels first, and build thier way up, rather than sink a lot into the presidency but the bound from any accomplishment. Further, the process of gradual building of a foundation would take care of platform arguments that have not been thought out or have not been tried in the real world. Experience takes care of such things. The Reps and Dems have been at this for decades, do not assume that they are smarter or more able than the LP, they are simply better at the game. That is an important distinction, but it does not mean that their ideas are superior, simply their mechanics.