Posts tagged Bullshit

Re: Renouncing Libertarianism Is Cuter than Kittens Riding on Puppies In Wagons Pulled by Miniature Ponies

IOZ: Chucky: no one but you is talking about the Libertarian Party

As you please, but that leaves my earlier question unanswered: If you didn’t have the LP in mind, maybe you could tell me what “lame, purely American third-party movement” you did have in mind.

It also leaves unanswered my original question: what is your basis, other than your personal say-so, for this string of assertions about what libertarianism is (“a lame, purely American third-party movement”) and is not (apparently not a philosophy)? Is there any such basis, or are we simply supposed to accept these assertions as revelations?

Charles F. Oxtrot: If you think that linking to things I wrote and published 4 years ago, in order to explain my views, constitutes “shape-shifting” you’ve got an odd notion of shape-shifting. My views about this stuff are a matter of record; I was merely pointing you to the record. If this is “evasion,” I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be evading.

I didn’t “accuse” you of not knowing about my personal libertarian views. What I did accuse you of is pretending like you knew something about them when they had not yet come up in the conversation. There’s nothing wrong with not knowing the details of my personal libertarian views. (Why should you? I don’t pretend to know what your political views are, either.) There is something wrong with talking confidently about what those views must be when you know nothing in particular about them.

Have fun knocking down straw-libertarians.

Re: FeedWordPress: Content Theft with Consequences

FeedWordPress is a tool for copying hypertext from one place to another. (Specifically, hypertext stored in a handful of common machine-readable formats.) Like many other tools that can be used to copy information — such as xerox machines, optical scanners, OCR software, HTTP servers, or Bic(tm) ballpoint pens — FeedWordPress can be put to both legitimate and illegitimate uses. Like any other tool, it has no way of knowing whether or not the information being copied is being copied with or without the permission of the person who originally created it; the responsibility for using it appropriately (as many people do — for example, to create “planet” websites that contributors sign up to join, or to automate cross-posting, or to create “lifestreams” that aggregate all of their own online activity) lies with the user, not with the tool.

And, speaking of responsibility, in your article you write: “Charles John­son, the creator of Feed­Word­Press is in con­stant and fre­quent vi­o­la­tion of copyright law be­cause the ap­par­ent ma­jority of his blog’s con­tent is stolen with­out the original au­thors’ per­mis­sion.”

You then link to Feminist Blogs — a topical aggregator that I’ve run since November 2004 — as “my blog” (it’s not; my blog is at

This is a serious accusation. Do you have absolutely any evidence whatsoever that any of the feeds syndicated on Feminist Blogs are syndicated without the express permission of the author or authors? If so, what evidence do you have?

Re: The Thin Blue Line

You write: “But as recently pointed out by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman in his keynote speeches at TREXPO West, we actually live in the most criminally violent period in American history. The murder rate is down, not because Americans have stopped trying to kill each other but because emergency medicine has advanced ….” This is not true. If you check the FBI UCR, since 1992, violent crime rates per 100,000 population have fallen every single year except for small upticks in 2005 and 2006. (The increase those two years never brought the rate above where it was in 2003.) Absolute numbers of violent crimes committed decreased every year except for 2001, 2005, and 2006, even as population increased. The figures include not only murder and non-negligent homicide, but also attempted murder, all forms of aggravated assault, and forcible rape, so advances in ER procedures and technology would make no difference at all. Why are you repeating a claim that could have easily been proven false by spending a couple minutes checking easily-read tables on the FBI’s website?

Re: “Not just the signature on a series of essays”


What is being argued, though, is that the late 18th century system of Jeffersonian republicanism in the U.S. (though indeed marred by the imperfection of slavery) …

Chattel slavery was not some minor “imperfection” marring a fundamentally humane system. It was the central organizing principle of the law and daily life in Jefferson’s Virginia. It was a crime against humanity that sustained a thoroughly hideous cannibal-empire filled with self-satisfied thugs and posturing hypocrites, who lived on the blood and labor of their fellow creatures, and who passed law after law to protect their neo-feudal economic system and fortify their prison camp plantations at government expense. In Jefferson’s Virginia, this legal cannibalism devoured the lives, property, and labor of three hundred thousand souls, about 40% of the entire population of the state. A conversation about early American politics that ignores such plain facts or marginalizes them as “imperfections” in a basically worthwhile system (rather than what they were — the ghoulish essence of the system itself) is bullshit. And bullshit conversations like that ought to be stopped.


You forgot to add an important qualifier. What you no doubt meant to say was “the decentralized republicanism advocated for white people by Jefferson.”


Of course such a qualifier was hardly “forgotten” as I had acknowledged Jefferson’s fault on slavery from the outset and readily contextualized that grievous fault aside his better characteristics long before you got here. So you return to the slavery canard not to inform the discussion, that discussion already being informed of it, but rather for its conversation-stopping shock value.

No, the reason that I return to chattel slavery is that to describe Jefferson’s slavocracy as “decentralized republicanism” is to carelessly spread an absurd lie. What Jefferson actually believed in, and actually practiced, was decentralized republicanism for white men, patriarchal tyranny for white women and children, and a hereditary, invasive, absolute tyranny accountable to none save God alone for all black people regardless of age or gender. You may as well describe the Roman Catholic Church as a democracy, because, after all, the Cardinals all get to vote on the Pope.


First, by means of comparison between Hamilton’s “views” and Jefferson’s “practice” it appears that you intend to cast the latter as comparatively more offensive.

No, I don’t intend anything of the sort. As I’ve repeatedly said, I consider Hamilton to have been perfectly loathsome, and to be directly responsible for all kinds of political rot. I can’t speak for anyone other than myself, but I’ve never claimed that Jefferson is “worse,” from a libertarian perspective, than Hamilton. I don’t even know how that kind of global comparison would be made — each one was clearly much worse than the other in some respects, and much better than the other in others, and I neither know, nor much care, how you’d make those different respects commensurable with one another to make the comparison.

The reason for linguistically leaning on Jefferson’s practice is that, in addition to being a slaver, he was also a posturing hypocrite, especially on this issue, so the preferences manifest in hisd eeds sometimes need to be stressed over his idle words, when it comes to assessing his character or his legacy.


Second, why the need to constantly qualify Hamilton’s faults …

I don’t.


Why is it not sufficient to fault Hamilton as Hamilton for things he did in and of themselves?

It is.

However, Wilkinson’s original post was about Thomas Jefferson. It was not about Alexander Hamilton at all. My post was about Thomas Jefferson. It mentioned Alexander Hamilton only to explain what a dangerous creep I think he was. Wilkinson’s kind notice of my post was, again, about “Thomas Jefferson’s loathsomely anti-libertarian credentials.” It is only the people trying to apologize for Jefferson who keep insisting on dragging Alexander Hamilton into the discussion, apparently in order to try to change the subject from Jefferson’s anti-libertarian positions to something else — e.g., Hamilton’s Caesarianism, or European monarchy, or the United States Constitution, or just about any damn thing other than the original topic. I responded to some of these comparisons, initiated by you and not by me, by pointing out that American chattel slavery is actually a salient issue in the comparison you’re trying to make, not something that can be waved or set aside, and now, for my trouble, I am told that I ought to be faulting Hamilton as Hamilton rather than comparing him to somebody else. This is really too much. If you want to know my views about Alexander Hamilton or George Washington or the U.S. Constitution or the Whiskey Rebellion or slavery in New York or slavery in the Caribbean or central banking or the Civil War or the Ludlow Massacre or any number of other things, I’ve written about them all, on their own, elsewhere, and I’d be happy to discuss them with you, on their own, in a forum other than this one, but for here and now you should not be surprised that my focus is on Jefferson, not Hamilton, in discussing an article on Jefferson; and you also should not be surprised that if you insist on inserting a comparison with Hamilton into the discussion, I’ll urge that you consider the crime of slavery if that’s one of the salient issues in the comparison. I certainly will not waste my time “faulting Hamilton as Hamilton” in a discussion that’s about something other than Hamilton’s many follies, vices, and crimes.


And that is why I make the claim that decentralized republicanism is a lesser evil than monarchy or other autocracies.

For what it’s worth, I agree with you about this. What I deny is that Jefferson advocated decentralized republicanism, if either the term “decentralized” or the term “republican” means anything at all. What he actually advocated, and practiced, was a form of brutal autocracy for everyone other than his fellow white men.


If you doubt that ask yourself this: is a child inherently marked with evil character if, by pure chance of his birth, he happens to inherit the plantation of his slave-owning father?

No. However, if, as an adult, he continues to spend the rest of his life enslaving those people, even though he had decades in which to legally emancipate them, or simply to treat them as free men and women (by letting them come and go as they pleased, work or not work on what they chose, distributing his unearned lands to the people his father had forced to till, and generally treating them as his equals rather than his servants), and did nothing of the sort for his long life, and continued to live his life of idleness on the backs of his victims and their forced labor–well, then, that certainly does indicate very deep and grave vice in that man-stealer’s character.


But he also advanced in goodness, even on slavery, …

Well gosh, William, that was mighty white of him. But the only way that a slaveholder can “advance in goodness” that matters more than a tinker’s cuss is to stop holding innocent people as slaves. Jefferson didn’t do that. And that’s important.


He called the agrarian trades morally superior to manufacturing based on the fact that manufacturing interests at his time were using the government to subsidize their own existence and tax their competitors abroad.

As opposed to Southern “farmers,” who never sought favors or subsidies for their interests from the United States government.

I don’t know whether you actually intended to endorse this view of Jefferson’s, or merely to explain it. But whether you do or not, it’s worth noting that this is just another example of Jefferson’s posturing hypocrisy. And it’s certainly true that the Southern slavocracy went on for the next three-quarters of a century demanding and getting more and more privileges and protections from the state and federal governments (gag orders, fugitive slave laws, etc. etc. etc.) through the same processes of political back-scratching and log-rolling; something that Jefferson somehow failed to predict.


I’m no expert on Jefferson’s correspondences, but I do know of his influence on the most prominent follower of his agrarian model, John Taylor of Caroline.

Another Virginia slaver and “colonizationist,” who wrote that the abolition of slavery without forced exile for the freed black people, would bring “miseries on both their owners [sic] and themselves, by the perpetual excitements to insurrection,” and that “the blacks will be more enslaved than they are at present; and the whites in pursuit of an ideal of freedom for them, will create some vortex for engulphing the liberty left in the world and obtain real slavery for themselves,” and who had the shamelessness, after a life of man-stealing and useless slave-driving parasitism, to dare to assert that free black farmers, when not forced into exile from their homes, are “driven into every species of crime for subsistence; and destined to a life of idleness, anxiety, and guilt.” Perhaps less of a posturing hypocrite than Jefferson, in the sense that he was rather more explicit and consistent about his belief that the “evils” he condemned were to be remedied by ethnic cleansing, not by emancipation, and, if that wasn’t available, the lesser-evil alternative in his view was for “well managed” slaves who were “docile, useful, and happy,” and a slave-lord “restrained by his property in the slave, and susceptible of humanity.” Taylor is widely considered to have been an important step in the ideological transition from the older Jeffersonian “necessary evil” defenses of slavery to the later Calhounian “positive good” arguments.

You’re making things harder on yourself by bringing up John Taylor of Caroline, not easier.

To Paul Or Not To Paul

Robert, there’s certainly no evidence of such a position in his platform. Here’s what he says. Boldface is mine.

  • Physically secure our borders and coastlines. We must do whatever it takes to control entry into our country before we undertake complicated immigration reform proposals.
  • Enforce visa rules. Immigration officials must track visa holders and deport anyone who overstays their visa or otherwise violates U.S. law. This is especially important when we recall that a number of 9/11 terrorists had expired visas.
  • No amnesty. Estimates suggest that 10 to 20 million people are in our country illegally. That’s a lot of people to reward for breaking our laws.
  • … Pass true immigration reform. The current system is incoherent and unfair. But current reform proposals would allow up to 60 million more immigrants into our country, according to the Heritage Foundation. This is insanity. Legal immigrants from all countries should face the same rules and waiting periods.

In other words, Ron Paul apparently advocates:

  1. … having the government aggressively and rigidly enforce admittedly incoherent and unfair immigration laws; and
  2. … having the government adopt a new system of immigration laws which will still enforce “rules and waiting periods” — which have to be designed in such a way that they will prevent any substantially increase the number of immigrants entering the country above current levels.

The position would still be statist even if it were what you’re describing, but it’s not. Paul has already ruled out any system of immigration liberal enough to substantially increase the number of immigrants legally entering the country as “insanity.”

Re: Business Flies Mexican Flag about U.S. Flag in Reno, American Patriot Cuts it Down


What law would the barkeep face charges under? The Federal Flag Code (4 U.S.C. §§ 4-10) has no enforcement section and defines no penalties. The rules for the time, occassion, position, and manner of display of the flag are voluntary guidelines “for the use of such civilians or civilian groups or organizations as may not be required to conform with regulations promulgated by one or more executive departments of the Government of the United States” (4 U.S.C. § 5). Unless you are in the military or part of a government agency, there is no federal agency that has the authority to impose any binding rules on how you can or cannot display a United States flag on your own private property.


So, on your view, as a conservative, it’s O.K. for “a real American hero” to barge into somebody else’s place of business with a combat knife, cut up their private property, and then steal their flag from their own private flag pole?

The chills I get from this video don’t feel like “pride.”

Re: Ron Paul’s Fair Weather Friends

Obviously his partnership with the anti-war extreme left places him in a natural position of suspicion, but since he doesn’t write on a broad range of topics it’s hard to tell if he partakes fully of the social-anarchist philosophy of just picks and chooses.

Justin Raimondo has been a libertarian activist for at least two and a half decades now and, while he has been focusing very heavily on anti-war activism for the last ten or so, his positions on a lot of issues aren’t hard to find if you go looking for them. It is not that he is “picking and choosing” elements of social anarchism to follow. It’s just that he believes in a different political theory, specifically anarcho-capitalism in the tradition of Murray Rothbard, in its paleolibertarian form. Anarcho-capitalists are all pro-private property — indeed private property rights are the basis of their entire social philosophy — and paleolibertarians, like paleoconservatives, generally tend to believe in some fairly strong form of cultural nationalism.

Anarcho-capitalism has some important similarities with what is usually called social anarchism (hence the “anarcho”) and also some important differences (mainly having to do with private property rights, natch); it has even more similarities with individualist anarchism. But it is its own thing, and Raimondo is fairly closely identified with it, unless something changed while I wasn’t looking.

Re: Ron Paul’s Fair Weather Friends

As typified by Justin Raimondo, they are the anti-property, anti-war and anti-nationalist element of libertarianism.

Dude, Justin Raimondo is a lot of things, but do you have any evidence at all, in print or in other media, that Justin Raimondo is either “anti-property” or “anti-nationalist”? If so, what is this evidence and where can I find it?

Please also note that “anti-property” and “anti-nationalist” are not synonyms for “extremist” or “anarchist” or “advocate for views I strongly disagree with.” I already know that he’s an extremist and I already know that he’s an anarchist and I also already know that he has many beliefs you would disagree with. But I am interested to know where you came up with the specific accusations that this Buchananite paleolibertarian is “anti-property” and “anti-nationalist.”