Third Party & Independents Archives

Mike Gravel - Libertarian

Yes, this is no April Fool’s joke. This past week, in another example of how even long time party politicians are walking away from what their parties, Mike Gravel officially became a member of the Libertarian Party. And his reasons for joining are much like those I hear from people still reluctantly holding on both sides of the aisle.

People still want to stay with their long time parties out of loyalty and the passion they had when they first joined. But is the party still loyal to you? Is it better to work in the face of such incompetent leadership or make a stand by moving away from the party that has left you behind years ago and find a new group of people who you can worth with, not against, in moving your ideals forward? Mike tells us why he decided upon the latter.

"I'm joining the Libertarian Party because it is a party that combines a commitment to freedom and peace that can't be found in the two major parties that control the government and politics of America," says Gravel. "My libertarian views, as well as my strong stance against war, the military industrial complex and American imperialism, seem not to be tolerated by Democratic Party elites who are out of touch with the average American; elites that reject the empowerment of American citizens I offered to the Democratic Party at the beginning of this presidential campaign with the National Initiative for Democracy."

Bob Barr, who left the ranks of the Republican Party to join the Libertarian Party in 2006, welcomed Mike Gravel into the fold.

"It is a distinct honor to have another former member of Congress within the Libertarian Party," says Barr. "Just as Senator Gravel believes Democrats have lost touch with the American public, I too concluded Republicans had lost their core principles, and could no longer associate myself with the GOP. While coming from opposite sides of the aisle, Senator Gravel and I definitely agree on the fundamental need for systemic change in our political system, and that the only way we have of effecting that change is by supporting and working in the Libertarian Party, which is the only political party in America that consistently works in word and deed to maximize individual liberty and minimize government power."

Many people have said that they want to see the divide between the parties end. From what I've seen, neither major party is interested in doing anything of the kind. Only in examples like this one are those who are fed up with the status quo really working to achieve change after it is clear that the party leadership of the Democrats and Republicans are not willing to allow that to happen any time soon.

This is good news for Independents and 3rd Party supporters off all kinds. Even though we can disagree in many ways and on many issues, we should all be able to see that the way things have been going for the past several decades can't continue any more if we want a stable, healthy country to leave to our children.

Posted by Rhinehold at April 1, 2008 11:42 PM
Comments
Comment #249655

Umm yeah Gravel would have made a better Green than a Libertarian. We are more like his ideals than Libertarians are.

However I never speak ill of Libertarians, I like them alot. And am glad that if he didn’t choose us he chose you. So congrats.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at April 2, 2008 4:41 AM
Comment #249662

Rhinehold-

I still don’t understand the concept of a political party based upon Libertarianism. Essentially its a party that’s purpose is to grow in size and numbers, to gain political power, so that it can oppose itself….

Posted by: George in SC at April 2, 2008 9:17 AM
Comment #249663

George in SC,

Your assessment makes zero sense…

Perhaps it is a problem with your understanding of what Libertarianism is?

What do you think Libertarianism is and how you think a group of people united in seeing a limited government (no the elimination of government) and protection of individual liberty goes against that purpose?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 2, 2008 9:44 AM
Comment #249664

Good news indeed Rhinehold. Its nice to see two reps from the main parties who actually do believe in “change we can believe in.”


“maximize individual liberty and minimize government power”

Beautiful man, just beautiful.

Posted by: kctim at April 2, 2008 9:55 AM
Comment #249665

Rhinehold,

So, ok, I have been to the “Libertarian.com” site, and have read about the ideals of Libertarianism.
The problem as I see it is that you guys seem long on ideals, and short on how to actually get to those ideals.
Humans singularly are mostly intelligent, and mostly rational.
Humans as a group are cattle, subject to those that might merely tell them what they want to hear, and act as such.

Please, enlighten me.
How is Libertarianism not just the latest, grooviest, Utopian panacea?
How do you take cattle and remake them as individuals, without creating chaos?

As I see it, to actually understand, and employ the Libertarian philosophy, and to actually run a country with it’s precepts, requires a group intelligence that seems a bit beyond the reach of today’s America.

Posted by: Rocky at April 2, 2008 11:09 AM
Comment #249666
The problem as I see it is that you guys seem long on ideals, and short on how to actually get to those ideals.

You could try lp.org, the website of the Libertarian party, and peruse the Party Platform, which I’ve started detailing here in a series of articles that will be restarting this week. After reading through the actual Party website you might have more knowledge to talk about whether or not the party is ‘short on how to get to those ideals’.

Libertarian.com is a non-updated basically defunct domain that has nothing to do with the Libertarian Party other than have a few links to some outdated sites, most of the links have not even been updated in several years…

How is Libertarianism not just the latest, grooviest, Utopian panacea?

Because it is not ‘new’, but encompasses the notions of individual liberty that this country was founded on and until recently was accepted as reality by both major parties. Only after the abandonment of personal liberty for the sake of a more social agenda that became the ‘latest, grooviest, Untopian panacea’ did the Libertarian Party determine they needed to create themselves.

Over 30 years ago.

Not really ‘new’, is it?

How do you take cattle and remake them as individuals, without creating chaos?

I don’t think that you can. We can have a little chaos now and set things right or we can have long term destructive chaos for several decades more before the citizens become true bleating sheeple that will demand to be led by a truly fascist state.

As I see it, to actually understand, and employ the Libertarian philosophy, and to actually run a country with it’s precepts, requires a group intelligence that seems a bit beyond the reach of today’s America.

And it has been the abandonment of expecting individuals to think for themselves that has brought about the reality that they no longer need to. Do you think not demanding it will bring it back all on its own? Or are you accepting the current state of affairs and suggesting that we acknowledge that these people just need to be told what to do, ala fascisim/dictatorship, and abandon the notion of personal liberty for our children?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 2, 2008 11:28 AM
Comment #249669

Moo

Posted by: googlumpus at April 2, 2008 11:33 AM
Comment #249670

I don’t think cattle or idealists will change the world.

If some of the precepts of small government, individual liberty, and responsible oversight become the real mainstays, with pragmatic gradualism to achieve those goals, I could become a fan of libertarianism. Rocky has a point, after insulting the electorate, that over-idealistic rambling marginalizes the party.

Posted by: googlumpus at April 2, 2008 11:38 AM
Comment #249671

Rhinehold,

Look around you.
I have been posting here at this site for a few years.
I will give you that most everybody here at watchblog is of above average intelligence, and all are perfectly capable of thinking for themselves.
Yet, how rarely are we able to come to a consensus?
How often are we able to change each others long held opinions?

I respect most of the posters here, but, over all, I have a low opinion of most humans, not because they don’t agree with me, but because for the last 56 years I have watched how we interact with each other, and it ain’t pretty.
I expect a lot from my fellow humans, perhaps too much, and for the most part I am constantly disappointed. We seem capable of so much more, yet, more often than not, we always seem to settle for the status quo.

Your right to drink yourself into a stupor ends when you put the key into the ignition of your car. We all know the inevitable consequences of that action, yet 10’s of thousands of us do it every day.
The most abused drugs in America aren’t cocaine, or heroin, or marijuana. They are the drugs that the common average citizen do every day to deal with the twisted perception of normality they have been sold in a bright, shiny package.
We, in America, are scared to death of anything even slightly having to do with sex, yet it seems ok to show dismemberment on prime time TV.

Look, I salute anyone that wants to shake America out of it’s collective malaise, and I am not against Libertarianism, but I am not holding my breath that we will soon move in that direction.

Posted by: Rocky at April 2, 2008 12:09 PM
Comment #249672

Good to see the Libertarian party acquire such an individual. Allowing the Democrats and Republicans to fight for the pressure groups only shows where their interests are.

Mike Gravel, another statesmen.

Posted by: dobropet at April 2, 2008 1:01 PM
Comment #249676

So Rhinehold will it be Gravel-Barr or will it be Barr-Gravel or none of the above for prez on the libertarian ticket?

Posted by: j2t2 at April 2, 2008 2:58 PM
Comment #249678
Rocky has a point, after insulting the electorate, that over-idealistic rambling marginalizes the party.

How so? And what is over-idealistic about thinking people should be free from governmental tyranny, allowed to live their lives as they choose, as long as they don’t violate the rights of others to the same?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 2, 2008 3:07 PM
Comment #249680
So Rhinehold will it be Gravel-Barr or will it be Barr-Gravel or none of the above for prez on the libertarian ticket?

I have no idea, to be honest, though I think this year’s Libertarian Party Convention will be most interesting. You are leaving out Ron Paul who may decide to take those funds he already acquired and make a play as well. Nevermind the other candidates that have been campaigning for the job for the past year, like Steve Cubby.

I don’t think it will be a quiet or sedate convention at all… But there is a lot of power and money being focused this July, more than I have seen in quite a few years.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 2, 2008 3:09 PM
Comment #249681

Rhinehold, my understanding of Libertarianism is likely from a self examination of my own political philosophies. When I read Browne’s book (Why Govt. Doesn’t Work) a few years ago all I could think of was yeah, right on…

But how do you translate that into the political activism that is required to play party politics? Most libertarian minded folks would, by nature, rather sit that one out. I certainly can’ think of many career politicians who are libertarian; maybe that’s why Dr. Paul looks so unhappy all the time….

Posted by: George in SC at April 2, 2008 3:12 PM
Comment #249682

Gravel is less mentally stable than most Libertarians. He was originally elected to the Senate in 1968 by being disingenuous about Vietnam, opposed nuclear power, was generally anti-environmentalist, and ended up generally screwing the Democratic party in Alaska. He wants to keep talking, and has decided that the Libertarian party is the appropriate forum for this. His pet project overestimates my willingness to rely on the intellegence of average Americans, and the possibilities of mass manipulation: http://www.nationalinitiative.us/concept.htm

The Libertarians are people who already have everything they want, and now want less for everyone else. Smaller government, lower taxes, and more freedom sound like Rbplcn slogans, so I don’t understand in what way McCain would be an unacceptable candidate, except for that whole 100 years war thing. On Letterman, McCain bragged about 2 of the guys on Mt. Rushmore, plus Reagan. Maybe he has someone like Casey secretly meeting with the Iranians.

On the Green party, anybody but Nader should be their goal, and they have Cynthia McKinney running: http://www.runcynthiarun.org/
I have always liked her. “We have to do things we’ve never done before, in order to have things we’ve never had before” and “Now is the time to talk about the concrete measures that will move our country forward: on race, war, climate change, the economy, health care, and education.” Wow, talking about issues, what a concept!

Posted by: ohrealy at April 2, 2008 3:19 PM
Comment #249684

What if all 3rd party and independent challengers ran as a Democrat or Republican?

Would they have a better chance of getting elected? Especially, since most voters vote Democrat and/or Republican.
That is, wouldn’t that be a good strategy to infiltrate and change a party from within?
Once elected, do they have to abandon their philosophies and ideals?
Is it possible some Libertarians are already doing this?
Why isn’t that happening on a much larger scale?

Is party really the problem?
Or is the problem with incumbent politicians that belong to the Democrat or Republican party?
Or is the problem with the incumbent politicians, regardless of party?
If party is the problem, instead of the incumbent politicians within the parties, why is it so difficult to build a new party?
The Libertarians are the largest 3rd party, and growing, but there are very few Libertarians in Congress.

Therefore, the problem is not the party.
The real problem is the people in the party, including both the politicians and the voters.
The real key to change is for the people to change (both the politicians and the voters).
But politicians won’t support reforms and change when they are repeatedly rewarded for opposing reforms.
And voters won’t change, until sufficiently motivated.
And that motivation is on the way, which is a built-in self-correction/self-preservation mechanism:

  • the painful consequences of the voters’ apathy, complacency, ignorance, misplaced loyalty, fear, greed, selfishness, and laziness.
The voters have a very simple solutions right under their very own noses, but they don’t yet have sufficient motivation to make that one simple common-sense, logical, inexpensive, responsible choice.
Until that time, when it finally becomes too painful, most voters will continue the same bad habit of repeatedly rewarding bad politicians with re-election, which obviously is not working very well, is it?

Rocky wrote: We seem capable of so much more, yet, more often than not, we always seem to settle for the status quo.
It is frustrating, because we “should be capable of so much more”.

For something that seems so simple, it is very elusive.
Unfortunately, much (if not most) of the time, many people seem unable to change until the consequences of opposing change finally becomes too painful.
And there is the possibility that change for the better will never occur, as evidenced by the hundreds of nations that have come and gone over the millennia.
That is, it can take centuries for nations to rise and fall.
Can a country commit suicide?
Can the leaders and voters of a nation kill their own country? Yes.
History shows us that no great nation lasts forever.
None have withstood the vagaries of time.
Looking back through the millennia, Rome, Persia, Egypt, Spain, France, Britain and Germany; all rose to a triumphant status, only to plummet into defeat via war, or a slow decline into mediocrity (or worse).
All great civilizations rise and fall.
But it is the method of demise that makes one thing apparent:

  • An autopsy of history repeatedly shows that all great nations essentially commit suicide.
Sound far feteched?

Can any nation continue to survive when it continues to allow these abuses to grow in number and severity (with lawlessness at the top of the list)?

Americans need to take a serious look now at what is happening to their country, because there are a growing number of things that have never been worse ever and/or since the 1930s and 1940s.

An economic melt-down is not far-fetched.
Not when no one can tell us:

  • WHERE will the money come from to pay the interest alone on the $53 Trillion of nation-wide debt, much less the money to reduce the principal of $53 Trillion of nation-wide debt (3.81 times the $13.9 Trillion GDP), when that money does not yet exist, and 80% of the U.S. population owns only 17% of all wealth?
At any rate, the voters will have the government that the voters elect, and repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates makes no sense … at least until it becomes too painful … and some painful consequences are on the way. What fools so many people is the long length of time before those painful consequences arrive. What so many people forget is the long length of time to recover from so many decades of fiscal irresponsibility. Especially with a nation that now has doubled since year 1950 (tripled since year 1920: one-simple-idea.com/PopulationUS.gif).

Posted by: d.a.n at April 2, 2008 3:38 PM
Comment #249685
But how do you translate that into the political activism that is required to play party politics?

By explaining that they are there to be the No men, we have enough Yes men. Yes, government can control this part of our lives and Yes, government can control that part… Who is standing up for the citizens and saying NO, you can’t come in and tell us how to live our lives?

Most libertarian minded folks would, by nature, rather sit that one out.

I don’t think that is by nature at all, but by realization of what modern politics has become. After hitting your head against a wall enough times you figure it isn’t worth it. We need people who are well spoken and understand the principles of the Libertarian Party and can communicate them well to convince people that their views are not going to be marginalized any further. Then you will see them become politically active, active in defending our liberties, not giving them away as thost in government want to do now.

Representing the people, not the government, is what our representatives are supposed to be doing.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 2, 2008 3:59 PM
Comment #249686

Ohrealy, Cynthia McKinney? Are you serious or trying to be funny?

The woman who says that it is wrong for a white man (security guard) to touch a black woman (her) to the point that she assaulted him, AND who stated of Al Gore “Al Gore’s Negro tolerance level has never been too high. I’ve never known him to have more than one black person around him at any given time.” is the person who should be talking about racism in this country?

I am going to have to say that your calling Gravel mentally unstable and then putting McKinney up as a valid presidential candidate calls your comments into question…

The Green Party would be best served to seek out someone else, perhaps an Al Gore himself, to run before they decide to nominate her.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 2, 2008 4:12 PM
Comment #249688

Pragmatism means you don’t go and revolutionize the world.

Napolean and Chavez are revolutionaries. They scare the crap out of people and destabilize their own country.

When you, and others, aver for dissolution of hundred year old institutions, without serious discussion of the disslocations and pain they will cause, you come off as radicals wrapped in American idealology. There is nothing wrong with Liberty, and it is phoney for anyone to chant that at Americans. It smacks of fervor beyond level headed realism.

That is the problem of Libertarians. They wish to be liberators, breaking shackles and setting glowing foundations right. Most people want a decent job, a house, some reasonable sense of security and sanity around themselves. They want to be left alone to do their jobs and raise their families. They don’t need a wild eyed radical to promise them wonderment. They left that kind of nonsense in their teens and to political BS.

If the Libertarians want to ever succeed as a party there are only two scenarios. Horrific political and economic turmoil, or appealing to middle America. You don’t do the latter by telling them that they will lose security through the loss of education, social security and medicare by going with you for some vague promise of free enterprise. They’ve seen what “free enterprise” and deregulation does to them most of the time.

Rather than mooing cattle, I think people are pretty savvy, unless they’ve been stampeeded into some fear based flame or frying pan choice.

Posted by: googlumpus at April 2, 2008 4:24 PM
Comment #249689

Memo to d.a.n.:

The I.R.S. would like to remind Mr. d.a.n. that he owes us $53 trillion. Payment is due upon reciept of this invoice.

That’s who.

Posted by: googlumpus at April 2, 2008 4:29 PM
Comment #249691
When you, and others, aver for dissolution of hundred year old institutions, without serious discussion of the disslocations and pain they will cause, you come off as radicals wrapped in American idealology.

Why do you think that we are not engaging in serious discussion on the disslocations and pain that will come with the dissolution of hundred year old institutions?

Can you provide an example and we’ll talk about it. If you want to be specific, let’s be.

If you want to hear the basic philosophies, I’ll just talk that.

To suggest that Libertarians don’t want to talk about something because no one wants to talk about the specifics and would rather demagogue is ridiculous.

There is nothing wrong with Liberty, and it is phoney for anyone to chant that at Americans.

Bullshit. When someone stands up and demands a law to be put into place that violates individual liberty, it is INCUMBENT upon us to say something. To not do so gives placid acceptance into it’s removal.

They wish to be liberators, breaking shackles and setting glowing foundations right.

Again, bullshit. We want the government to stop telling us how to live our lives. We want to be free to walk around in society without fear, simply because we choose to do something different with our lives.

Most people want a decent job, a house, some reasonable sense of security and sanity around themselves. They want to be left alone to do their jobs and raise their families.

Something that they can’t do now and won’t be able to do as long as Republicans and Democrats are in office.

The problem is that you don’t accept that we have lost many liberties and are facing the loss of many more. You can’t accept that the government’s only power is the use of force on its own citizenry, something that I’ve shown to be fact several times in these forums.

If you want to accept those things as your reality, that is fine. But to then tell me that I am ‘misguided’ because I don’t think I should face jail time because I checked out a copy of a certain book at a library, don’t want the government tracking my movements, listening into my phone calls, taking my property to give to another individual with more money, forcing me to engage in gambling with my health, preventing me from simply playing poker if I choose to…

Well, that takes a special kind of mooing, IMO.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 2, 2008 4:39 PM
Comment #249695

“Rather than mooing cattle, I think people are pretty savvy, unless they’ve been stampeeded into some fear based flame or frying pan choice”

Fear such as the American way of life coming to an end if Americans were given their individual rights back?

People have been scared into believing they cannot do anything without govt and they fearfully follow behind the govt wagon waiting for handouts and approval.
Ever been on a farm and watched how cattle behave?
They do not kick down the weak fence, even though they can see the greener pasture that freedom would bring.
A small group controls the lives of those who outnumber them.
They follow the same paths they have been taught to follow, even when that path leads them to slaughter.

The majority in this country are now cattle, cattle who have thrown away their open range so that you will feel more secure in closed, controlled pen where everything is provided and your life is dictated.

It is you, not the ones who cherish freedom, who are fearful.

Posted by: kctim at April 2, 2008 5:09 PM
Comment #249696

I’m hoping more and more people switch to a third party and force the media to take notice.
Hopefully, in this election a third party candidate will be taken seriously by the media and have a chance in the debates without being labeled a spoiler or a crackpot right out of the gate.

It seems like any person with a differing point of view is discounted outright because his point of view wouldn’t perpetuate the current situation.
Some people just don’t realize that to change things you have to change things.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 2, 2008 5:13 PM
Comment #249699

R-man:
“Are you serious or trying to be funny?” Always both!
“The woman who says that it is wrong for a man(security guard) to touch a woman”
100% right, they should have female security guards.
“Al Gore’s Negro tolerance level..” She would know a lot more about that than me.
“Gravel mentally unstable” is based on his biography. Why would you want this guy using your party to grind his axe? He would have gone Green if he thought they would have him, but can’t because of his record. (The oil pipeline and wanting to build a big city by Mt.Denali. He made Stevens look good.)

In the Michigan non-primary, with only 3 other candidates on the Democratic ballot, Gravel got less than 1% of the number that went undecided! He got less than 5% of the number of votes that Ron Paul got on the Rpblcn side.

“The Green Party would be best served” coming up with anyone but Nader. I would probably go Green if they could come up with a good candidate. In fact, I think the blue and red should be the green and orange instead, to remind certain collaborators of who they are. Cynthia McKinney has a great personality and speaking voice, and could be a party builder for the future. I don’t think Gore would go 3rd party with his family history.

From the thread that you linked, thanks for the blasts from the past:
Well, at least she didn’t shoot him in the face with a shotgun…
Posted by: Betty Burke at April 3, 2006 05:16 PM

I miss Betty Burke!
and
The only thing that didn’t sit right with me both in the article and the comments, is the implied idea that the race card is always being used dishonestly whenever it is part of an accusation of poor treatment.
Posted by: Adrienne at April 3, 2006 10:43 PM

and Adrienne too! Where have all the flowers gone!

Posted by: ohrealy at April 2, 2008 5:19 PM
Comment #249702
googlumpus wrote:The I.R.S. would like to remind Mr. d.a.n. that he owes us $53 trillion. Payment is due upon reciept of this invoice.
How, when that money does not yet exist, $53 Trillion is 3.81 times the $13.86 Trillion GDP, and 80% of Americans own only 17% of all wealth (one-simple-idea.com/NeverWorse.htm)? Based on tax and wealth distributions, perhaps you could explain where the money will come from, when 1% of Americans owns 40% of all wealth in the nation?

It is highly unlikely we can tax, and grow GDP, and immigrate, and borrow, and create enough money out of thin air to dig our way out of $53 Trillion of nation-wide debt.

If we had the discipline to pay stop borrowing $3 Billion per day, and start paying down the debt by $5.81 Billion per day (2.121 Trillion per year = 15.3% of the $13.86 Trillion GDP), it could more than 272 years.

If pork-happy Congress had the discipline to pay stop borrowing and spending irresponsibly, and started paying down the debt by $1.161 Billion per day ($588 billion per year = 21% of the federal governments total $2.7 Trillion tax revenues in year 2007), it could take more than 153 years.

Do you really think it is possible to tax the wealthy enough to pay down the debt?
Saying the tax payers will pay it as ludicrous as saying “remind Mr. d.a.n. that he owes us $53 trillion”.
It ain’t gonna happen, since it would require Americans to pay $5.81 Billion per day ($2.12 Trillion per year = 15.3% of the $13.86 Trillion GDP) to debt for 272 years!
It is interesting that none of the politicians will address this.
I can understand why John McCain doesn’t, since he admits that economics is not his strong suit (www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1X3efvVTLA).
But some of the 535 Congress persons should be trying to address it.

While the voters need more choices, there are some problems with Mike Gravel’s positions on several issues:

  • We’re making a mountain out of a mole hill on immigration. (Dec 2007) {Really? I’m not sure the survivors of these victims would agree.}

  • Immigration issue is national scapegoating. (Sep 2007)

  • Mike Gravel is embarrassed at building a wall on southern border. (Sep 2007)

  • Mike Gravel says I’m ashamed that we’re building a fence on southern border. (Sep 2007)

  • Wants to suspend immigrant raids that separate families. (Sep 2007)

  • I’m first-generation American; we’re all immigrants. (Sep 2007)

  • Make whole country a sanctuary city. (Sep 2007) {Sure. Let’s let everyone come here, eh? Hmmmmm … isn’t that already in progress now?}

  • Illegal immigrants come here for jobs; don’t deport them. (Jun 2006) {We already have that. It isn’t working out too well is it?}

  • Wants a national sales tax; no exceptions; prebates for essentials. (Feb 2007) {sales taxes are regressive; even with prebates: one-simple-idea.com/FairTaxFraud1.htm}

  • Military culture causes more gun violence. (Jul 2007)

  • Require license & training for gun ownership. (May 2007) {Not without amending the 2nd Amendment first.}

  • Everybody should have the same health care. (Sep 2007) {That doesn’t sound very Libertarian to me.}

  • Universal coverage with guaranteed equal care. (Sep 2007)
With so much debt, and Congress’ lousy track record at managing Social Security and Medicare, are we sure we now want a government-run health care system? Health care might be affordable if it were not for many of the abuses and problems that have been allowed to grow in number and severity over the last 30+ years.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 2, 2008 7:33 PM
Comment #249703

Rhinehold said: “We can have a little chaos now and set things right or we can have long term destructive chaos for several decades more before the citizens become true bleating sheeple that will demand to be led by a truly fascist state.”

I believe you have the long term view correct. But, your implication that an embrace of Libertarian principles now would create only a little chaos, is hardly born out by asking of the consequences of such an embrace.

Such an embrace would entail an end to the Soc. Sec. and Medicare systems, which would leave 10’s of millions of Americans in revolt, bankruptcy, and pain and suffering from the lack of medical care and insurance. Millions of our parents would die in poverty, or, we, their children would not be able to save for our own retirements for having to shore up our senior parent’s incomes.

The LP has nice sounding patriotic platitudes, but, when those translate into policy, the public quickly rebukes the policies of Ron Paul, Mike Gravel, and Tucker Carlson. (Switch to a commodity based dollar, indeed! Get rid of the Federal Reserve, which just saved this nation from economic and financial collapse these last two weeks, despite their having contributed to it under Greenspan! )

The LP has only one obstacle standing between it and governing power, and that is democracy. If the LP can figure out how to eliminate the democratic in our ‘democratic republic’, they may have a chance at power. But not while Senators and the president are elected by the people (mostly)!

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 2, 2008 7:37 PM
Comment #249706

Rhinehold said: “You can’t accept that the government’s only power is the use of force on its own citizenry,”

Man, what nonsense is this? You forget to add the obvious at the end of that sentence, “… a force the citizenry votes to maintain every two years in elections. Your hurdle is not the government, Rhinehold, it is the people that maintain it as is. Therefore, logically, it is the American citizenry you oppose. That somehow always sneaks through when Libertarians talk about a better course, even though they never make that argument.

Ron Paul assails the politicians currently sitting in office, but, somehow always fails to address the force that keeps them there, the voting citizenry. Quite a paradox, to get power to change things, one needs the voters on one’s side. But, when Liberarians try to make their philosophical argument, the majority of Americans won’t buy it.

The Progressives and Greens are making substantial inroads in local elections. They don’t hide the fact that a better future rests on elected leaders reflecting the true here and now preferences of voters. And truth be known, the vast majority of voters prefer not being too independent or standing too alone in their facing a future amongst 300 million other people, and systems so vast and complicated as to overwhelm a lifetime of education by the best and brightest of them.

The LP is pedaling liberty and independence, and the majority of voters seek cooperation and interaction toward common and shared goals. Philosophically, the LP is well suited to Mountain Men of the 19th century. Very ill suited to urban and incredibly inter-reliant and inter-dependent citizenry seeking a common shared middle class future at the very least.

Not much of a surprise then that the bulk of the LP’s support comes from farmers and ranchers and rural folk leading deceptively simpler and more independent lives. I say deceptively, because the truth is the rural folk in this country are enormously dependent for their lifestyles, on not only the rest of America but, the people of other nations as well, for those lifestyles. What successful farm is self sufficient today? What successful rancher is self-sufficient today? None.

Self sufficiency is at the core of the LP Party philosophy, and yet, no one in circumstances we would call successful are self-sufficient by any means. They depend on foreign oil, foreign supply and demand, and assistance from fellow taxpayers when their farms are inundated and crops destroyed by drought, or herds decimated with anthrax or hoof and mouth disease, whose cures and prophylactics were developed by tax dollar support of Research and Development and Land Grant colleges and university AG schools, and our military, national guard, and police to protect their real estate holdings, and our banking system to see them through capital investment improvements and surviving an off-year.

Self-sufficiency and society are contradictions. Hence, the Libertarian philosophy contradicts democratic philosophy, for democracy appeals to those with common aspirations and interactions and needs, not independence and self-sufficiency of Mountain Men who only sought a town once a year to get laid, sell their pelts, and stock up on provisions for another year.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 2, 2008 8:09 PM
Comment #249707

googlumpus, good points. Liberty in America meant liberty from England’s control without representation. In addition, and of equal priority liberty meant having the rights of national self-determination guaranteed along side certain basic individual rights defined by, and for the people, protected from and inviolate at the hands of those in powerful office.

Self-determination as a nation of people in a democratic republic form of governance is what was sought and achieved. Individual liberty above and beyond the self-determination of the people was attempted in the Bill of Rights, but, that attempt to circumscribe as inviolate individual rights, was always in the context of the rest of the Constitution which gave the People the power to redefine or amend those rights as a people governing themselves.

The check and balance against a majority destroying their own individual liberties in the heat of passion or fearful reaction to a transient event was established by a moderately difficult and inefficient methodology for amending or canceling such rights as are found in the Bill of Rights.

All in all, taking the whole history of the U.S., that system of balance and checks has worked better than I think most of the founders would have anticipated for next couple of centuries. The root of any threat to this system today is simply over-population resulting in an overtaxing of our natural, legal, political, and social resources.

We have a governing system whose core principle is balance, and a current historical context which is increasingly out of balance with so very many of the available resources upon which the nation and society depend, from fuels and energy, to infrastructure, to security and defense capacity, to parenting needs of youth and family support of senior citizens.

In our headlong rush to a Jetson like future, we failed to observe, protect, and defend the most fundamental unit of our society upon which all else was built, the extended family cohesiveness, proximity, and shared resources. Which is precisely why our nation hungers for immigration and their capacity to keep family integral in a nation whose lifestyles and workstyles tear extended families apart with barely a notice or care.

I suspect that if America is to have a future that is not inexorably declining, she must rethink and redesign everything back toward extended family cohesion, interdependence, and integrity, beginning with employment and the workplace, which are at the heart of the disintegration of American families.

Society cannot maintain its integrity if its children are not parented by parents with adequate resources to parent them.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 2, 2008 8:41 PM
Comment #249712
Such an embrace would entail an end to the Soc. Sec. and Medicare systems, which would leave 10’s of millions of Americans in revolt, bankruptcy, and pain and suffering from the lack of medical care and insurance. Millions of our parents would die in poverty, or, we, their children would not be able to save for our own retirements for having to shore up our senior parent’s incomes.

No one, especially the Libertarian Party, is saying that overnight we are going to eliminate SS, including our laws that require we pay back the money paid into the system and guaranteed to those who are getting ready to retire. To suggest so is both false and unrealistic. All stated ‘end goals’ that the LP is looking towards have transitional items, as I have pointed out in my LP Platform series that I will be resuming.

There are some things we can end immediately, like governmental spying, interferring with civil rights that everyone should enjoy, etc. Those isntitutions that we have become dependant upon will have to be weaned from, if they are not in the principles of the liberty, or they may stay if they do not violate those principles. No one is suggesting anarchy…

Again, you continue to put up straw men in your tirade against the Libertarian Party and refuse to acknowledge when you do so, which makes it interesting to watch, but lacking in substance, as you flail about against windmills…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 2, 2008 10:05 PM
Comment #249714
Rhinehold said: “You can’t accept that the government’s only power is the use of force on its own citizenry,”

Man, what nonsense is this?

Reality? Does the truth hurt?

You forget to add the obvious at the end of that sentence, “… a force the citizenry votes to maintain every two years in elections.

I never suggested it didn’t.

Your hurdle is not the government, Rhinehold, it is the people that maintain it as is. Therefore, logically, it is the American citizenry you oppose. That somehow always sneaks through when Libertarians talk about a better course, even though they never make that argument.

Nope, never sneaks through at all. Another in a long line of straw men errected to attempt to deflect and demagogue.

The only power that the government has that can not be replicated by a private organization is the legal use of force on the citizens.

You assume, unfortunately, that I am saying this force should never be applied. I have never stated such a thing one time, yet you continue to parrot it as if it were accurate.

There are many times that this force is necessary and it is used. The protection of rights, defense of the country, etc. And all of this must be done by the will of the people.

You *again* make the ignorant and idiotic argument that the Libertarian Party is looking for an overthrow of the government, a revolution as such, that must violate the will of the people. What an unmitigated load of horseshit. If we convince the majority of people that the values we discuss are the best way, that is what will happen. If not, we will continue to move away from the ideals that made this country once great and further towards the ideals that make this country mediocre and eventually bankrupt and ripe for fascist rule. I would like to see us avoid it, but it will not be done against the will of the people.

But, for some reason, you feel that if we are not in the majority now we should stop talking about our ideals and trying to convince people to take up the cause. What a great sentiment from someone who claims to be a 3rd party/independant individual, as that pretty much applies to all non-majority views, doesn’t it?

Ron Paul assails the politicians currently sitting in office, but, somehow always fails to address the force that keeps them there, the voting citizenry.

How does he ‘fail to do that’ when he attempts to convince people to vote for him? Doesn’t that get stated in his attempt to get elected instead of just trying to force through an armed revolt? Not only do you make no valid argument, you assail the intelligence of anyone who understands how the process works and demean all 3rd party candidates in the process. Congrats.

But, when Liberarians try to make their philosophical argument, the majority of Americans won’t buy it.

That’s your opinion and you are welcome to it. But that doesn’t mean we should give up and forget about it, should we? That would be pretty sad if we did, I must say.

And the fact that the Libertarian Party has thousands of elected officials in office all around the country and has even gained a few former senators into the fold would suggest that little by little, it could be that that view will change. Change doesn’t happen overnight and with people like yourself misrepresenting what the party truly stands for, it is an uphill battle. But to suggest we should no longer work torwards that end because we haven’t had a president elected yet, well I’ll just let that one stand on it’s own.

The Progressives and Greens are making substantial inroads in local elections. They don’t hide the fact that a better future rests on elected leaders reflecting the true here and now preferences of voters. And truth be known, the vast majority of voters prefer not being too independent or standing too alone in their facing a future amongst 300 million other people, and systems so vast and complicated as to overwhelm a lifetime of education by the best and brightest of them.

So, let me get this straight. Because the Green party is gettings some people elected to local office, they are making inroads and representing the will of the people, but when the Libertarian party has been doing the same thing, in greater numbers, for longer, that’s against the will of the people?

If you wouldn’t mind explaining the difference I would appreciate it.

Philosophically, the LP is well suited to Mountain Men of the 19th century. Very ill suited to urban and incredibly inter-reliant and inter-dependent citizenry seeking a common shared middle class future at the very least.

Possible the most idiotic thing I’ve read.

1) the 19th century was not that different, demographically, than it is now. The larger cities were fewer in number and smaller in size than now, but the people congregated into towns and cities then as they do now in similar percentages

2) the type of society you mention is EXACTLY why we need the views of the Libertarian Party. If we all lived on our own in a mountain somewhere, why would we need to defend the right to privacy, or free speech, or religion. Being alone like that would mean that those rights are meaningless, as you suggested the other day if I’m not mistake. It is when you have people living on top of each other, as they did in New York, and Philadelphia, and Boston, etc, in the 1700s, that those rights are even more precious and needed. To suggest that we have to give up a right to privacy, self-determination, property, speech, etc, just because a percentage of the population (around 50% I believe) live in larger cities, is illogical to the extreme.

Self sufficiency is at the core of the LP Party philosophy, and yet, no one in circumstances we would call successful are self-sufficient by any means.

Another straw man, one that attempts to take a smeantic argument and twist it to mean something it doesn’t. There is a difference between being ‘self sufficient’ and using the force of the government to provide things for people that they should be able to acquire on their own. Not through self-sufficiency as much as making proper choices with the wealth that they create on a day to day basis.

A person uses oil, that person pays for it, out of the money that they earned by doing what they were good at. That is being self-sufficient. Your attempts to suggest that the LP tells people that they should make their own oil! Go back to the days of living entirely on your own hand, eat what you grow, no need to travel, etc. What claptrap.

Self-sufficiency that you say is the core of the LP party (which it isn’t, but when did the truth ever stop you from saying something negative about libertarians anyway?) is not having to depend on someone else GIVING you something without adequate compensation for it.

If you want to argue that that is the way we should be living our lives, that’s your call, not mine. But trying to project your view of what libertarians believe onto people who do not suggest or agree with anything you say about it doesn’t make you look very well informed…

Self-sufficiency and society are contradictions.

This statement, and how absolutely wrong it is, says a lot, IMO. But it gets worse!

Hence, the Libertarian philosophy contradicts democratic philosophy, for democracy appeals to those with common aspirations and interactions and needs, not independence and self-sufficiency of Mountain Men who only sought a town once a year to get laid, sell their pelts, and stock up on provisions for another year.

Incredible. Wrong, innacurate, ignorant and a violation of logic aside, that you can write that and expect to be taken seriously is truly awe-inspiring.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 2, 2008 10:48 PM
Comment #249725

Rhinehold, thank you for making my point. You are right, the LP doesn’t campaign on ending SS and Medicare because they deceive the people regarding those intents. Those are their intents. They don’t speak of such intents. Ergo, they deceive.

“You can fool all the people some of the time, some of the people all the time. But, you can’t fool all the people all of the time.” Hence, the LP shall never control power in America. Either they get elected on a deception and lose again because of it, or, lose due to honesty about their intents.

From the earliest days of our nation’s founding and even long before with the Native Americans, community sharing and obligation to each other have been traditional roots in America. Which is why taxation which provides a greater good for a greater number is as American as the concept of freedom from the rule of men in favor rule of law.

You speak as if you were the author of Libertarian principles, Rhinehold. But, you do little more than lay claim to affiliation and your own limited understanding and scope of what it means.

Still, it is good to have a LP in America that reminds us from time to time what liberty and freedom are; not anarchy or rugged individual self reliance, but a shared respect for personal choices with the common choice of working for a better future for all, not just ourselves and sharing the burden to make that future together.

“The only power that the government has that can not be replicated by a private organization is the legal use of force on the citizens.”

Wrong. Private organizations exist to serve the private organization and their power extends only as far as their product or service’s reach. Our government has the power to provide the greatest good for the greatest number in the society into posterity with the assent of the greatest number of people.

Just as the colonialists chose to grant the government the power to enforce the law assented to by the people. It is a great and wondrous thing. And so far, fairly successful and all the rage around the globe as the majority of nations adopt versions of the same.

This force the people themselves choose to impose upon themselves is a great and wondrous thing, and simply deflates Libertarian’s claims to office that government is bad and Libertarians are good. Ron Paul went nowhere because the majority of American people believe in government, and that it is the politicians and political parties with their special interest underwriters that spoil the potential and need change and redress. Not government itself, which in the U.S. is the people’s choice.

If Libertarians ever get smart and campaign on limiting politicians and parties and discontinue their rhetoric about limiting government, they just might have a chair at the round table. But, Libertarian supporters aren’t that smart and continue to applaud limiting government which is limiting the power of the people. That will never sell in a democratic republic, and thank Buddha for that.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 3, 2008 5:09 AM
Comment #249726
Hence, the Libertarian philosophy contradicts democratic philosophy, for democracy appeals to those with common aspirations and interactions and needs, not independence and self-sufficiency of Mountain Men who only sought a town once a year to get laid, sell their pelts, and stock up on provisions for another year.
Incredible. Wrong, innacurate, ignorant and a violation of logic aside, that you can write that and expect to be taken seriously is truly awe-inspiring.

Me thinks thou doth protest too much at the smarting and sting of the truth of it.

Self-sufficiency and society are contradictions.
This statement, and how absolutely wrong it is, says a lot, IMO.

Self sufficiency is what the nation should have sought all along. The very definition of society is one of interdependence, one upon the other for the exchange of specialties of trade, service, talents and gifts with fellow citizens from medicine to the arts to the record keepers and historians. We rely so very much on each other in society. It is the nation which should never have abandoned self-sufficiency like contracting with foreign corporations the means to our nation’s self-defense.

Not wrong at all, Rhinehold. So right, and common sensical that it is not at all surprising a Libertarian supporter such as yourself would object to it, being so out of step with the American citizenry as your comments are.

As I said, the enemy of the Libertarian is the majority of the people and their common sense expressed everyday in our form of government, this democratic republic.

It is quite the conundrum Libertarians create for themselves. To acquire power, they must hide their agendas and policies which they would impose. Yet, to distinguish themselves from other candidates and parties, they must speak of their core beliefs which expose their hidden agendas and policies by carrying them to their logical conclusion.

On the campaign trail, Libertarians deride government and exalt their belief that their’s are the superior standards and knowledge of what should be. But it smacks of authoritarianism to the majority of listeners, and hence, they remain a minority party despite efforts to hide agendas like ending Soc. Sec. and Medicare and all social programs in which Americans participate in the assistance of other Americans under law, not whim or charitable fancy which may come and go with the choices of those who can afford philanthropy.

Your Party’s philosophy is in fundamental ways, at odds with America’s Rhinehold. It is the philosophy of rugged 19th century Mountain Men. Admirable in its way, for its time of frontier exploration and expansion.

Still, as I say, the LP does serve a purpose in reminding all of us not to lose sight of the Bill of Rights. The American people have not. Which, is why the GOP was ejected from Congress in 2006, with some media coverage of Libertarian’s and Democrat’s defense of individual rights and protections.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 3, 2008 5:12 AM
Comment #249745

I don’t see the sense in this. Bush’s election was nothing but normal, so your belief that the American people vote for this type of government is off base(remember florida?). I only challenge that for the entire implications it suggests. The American people DO NOT vote for these representatives, and the like, to uphold their liberties in this current administration. Diebold vote scanning systems does it for them:

http://www.blackboxvoting.org/

Posted by: dobropet at April 3, 2008 10:05 AM
Comment #249747

dobropet, sure they do, which is part of why Republicans got the boot in 2006. Spying on Americans was a major issue in that race. And the Republican Congress was supporting Bush in the spying.

As for Diebold now known as Ivotronic, a great many of us are working to have those machines trashed. Progress is being made, but its an uphill battle in many jurisdictions. In Republican Texas, we can’t even get a single person in county or state government to admit responsibility for installing them in our precinct. That says it all!

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 3, 2008 10:14 AM
Comment #249748

Information on your social security ideas:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/hale1.html
http://www.constitutionalincome.com/
http://blogcritics.org/archives/2004/08/18/233621.php

I for one do not intend on relying on this type of “security” no matter how minute the benefit.

Posted by: dobropet at April 3, 2008 10:24 AM
Comment #249750

Call your fellow Americans “sheeple” and “cattle”. Ways to persuade folks to your side.

Perhaps if you stop denigrating and talking down to people, you might make more progress.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 3, 2008 10:40 AM
Comment #249751

“…That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it….”

The Declaration of Independence


In the Republic of Texas, you are correct, noone will admit responsibilty. Once they’ve been exposed for the neocons they are, new questions will arise involving their participation in this process. And, Republicans may have gotten the boot in 2006, but look at the Democratic side, Nancy Pelosi is the poster child for “a do nothing congress speaker.” Not to suggest that Republicans did a more acceptable job.

Posted by: dobropet at April 3, 2008 10:51 AM
Comment #249759
Rocky wrote: Humans as a group are cattle, subject to those that might merely tell them what they want to hear, and act as such.
Rocky wrote: How do you take cattle and remake them as individuals, without creating chaos?
Rhinehold wrote:I don’t think that you can. We can have a little chaos now and set things right or we can have long term destructive chaos for several decades more before the citizens become true bleating sheeple that will demand to be led by a truly fascist state.
“bleating sheeple” may not that far from the truth. BAAAHHHhhhhh! Remember Russia in the 1980s (too much dependence on government)?
googlumpus wrote: Rather than mooing cattle, I think people are pretty savvy, unless they’ve been stampeeded into some fear based flame or frying pan choice.
Perhaps that fear surfaces when they [voters] realize, down deep, that the voters are not only culpable too, but also not immune to the approaching painful consequences?

But, by that time, the painful consequences are simply unavoidable.

womanmarine wrote: Call your fellow Americans “sheeple” and “cattle”. Ways to persuade folks to your side. Perhaps if you stop denigrating and talking down to people, you might make more progress.
Maybe. Maybe not. Sometimes people need to hear the truth too.

I admit to having been a sheeple in the past (a former Republican; now an independent).
It’s all too clear to me now that the priorities of most (if not all; most certainly as a whole) of the incumbent clowns in Do-Nothing Congress is not the future and security of the nation (one-simple-idea.com/Links1.htm).
And most voters polled give Congress dismal approval ratings, but repeatedly reward incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates (one-simple-idea.com/CongressMakeUp_1855_2008.htm).

Perhaps it would be more constructive to be more specific, categorize, and state the problems are too much (with a little over-lap)::

  • (1) ignorance;

  • (2) greed and selfishness;

  • (3) misplaced loyalties;

  • (4) apathy, complacency, habitualness, and laziness;

  • (5) fear, prejudices, and hatred;

The key solution to the problem is education, but the 30% of Americans are not graduating from high school (news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080401/lf_afp/useducationsociety).

What should we call people that are controlled and manipulated by a system (and politicians) that:

  • cleverly taps into the voters’ ignorance by undermining education, transparency, and accountability?

  • cleverly taps into the voters’ prejudices by emphasizing minor differences, rather than major similarities; rather than encouraging unity?

  • cleverly taps into the voters’ complacency, apathy, and laziness, by making it easy and fast to vote (i.e. vote straight-party-ticket), effectively accepting all of the party’s candidates and policies, instead of doing the work and research to scrutinize each candidate’s voting record individually?

  • cleverly taps into the voters’ desire to belong. Party identification is encouraged. Independent voters are often considered with disdain (even hatred). Main party loyalists refuse to see how the two-party duopoly and electoral system (unlike proportional voting systems) are un-democratic by effectively shutting out any other parties, and reducing the voters choices to only two choices?

  • cleverly taps into the voters’ fears and prejudices by capitalizing on the blame game, and encourages voters to believe that the nation’s problems are the fault of the OTHER party (despite those 10 abuses that have been created and perpetuated by incumbent politicians in BOTH parties)?

  • cleverly taps into the voters’ fear and prejudice by focusing the voters’ disdain and hatred at the OTHER party, rather than THEIR own incumbent politicians’ malfeasance and irresponsibility. Many incumbent politicians understand this all too well, and capitalize on it by fueling the circular, distracting, partisan warfare; pitting voters against each other, rather than the voters’ focusing on THEIR their own incumbent politicians’ malfeasance and irresponsibility. And some voters are all to happy to wallow in the partisan warfare, because it is easier to blame the OTHER party, than admit THEIR own party is little (if any) better. ?

  • cleverly taps into the voters’ loyalties by convincing the voters that the enemy is the OTHER party, distracting the voters from scrutinizing THEIR own party?

  • cleverly taps into the voters’ selfishness with empty promises. One-issue voters are easy to bribe with their own tax dollars?

  • cleverly taps into the voters’ prejudice against the other party. While voters may not like THEIR party’s candidates, they will NEVER vote for a challenger in the OTHER evil party; once again, ensuring high (93%-to-99%) re-election rates and the security of the incumbent politicians’ incumbencies?

  • cleverly taps into the voters’ loyalties and money, despite the sad fact that 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters are vastly out-spent by a very tiny 0.15% of all 200 million eligible voters make 83% of all federal campaign donations?

  • cleverly taps into the voters’ habitualness and loyalties. Some voters will always vote Republican (straight-party-ticket) until the day they die. Likewise with Democrats?

  • cleverly perpetuates the two-party duopoly and high (93%-to-99%) re-election rates ?
It is circular and extremely effective, as evidenced by the high 93%-to-99% re-election rates, despite Congress’ dismal approval ratings as low as 11%-to-18%.

Rhinehold wrote:I don’t think that you can. We can have a little chaos now and set things right or we can have long term destructive chaos for several decades more before the citizens become true bleating sheeple that will demand to be led by a truly fascist state.
True.

We need to do make some responsible decisions, do some hard work, pay down debt, make several serious reforms now, and stop several abuses now, or the pain now will be drastically dwarfed later by the painful consequences of these things that have never been worse ever, and/or since the 1930s and 1940s.

Who really thinks Congress is up to the challenge?
Especially based on track-record and the majority of voters that repeatedly reward incumbent politicians with re-election for ignoring the problems growing dangerously in number and severity?

Posted by: d.a.n at April 3, 2008 12:48 PM
Comment #249761

Sorry, d.a.n., but calling people names is not a “truth”, it is opinion.

Better to be specific and persuade rather than call names.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 3, 2008 1:27 PM
Comment #249764

You mean a reform? Or a revolution?

Posted by: dobropet at April 3, 2008 2:03 PM
Comment #249768
dobropet wrote: You mean a reform? Or a revolution?
Reforms to avoid revolution and/or societal chaos.

It doesn’t need any help.
We’ll get there (or worse) if we stay on the current course.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 3, 2008 3:11 PM
Comment #249771
You are right, the LP doesn’t campaign on ending SS and Medicare because they deceive the people regarding those intents. Those are their intents. They don’t speak of such intents. Ergo, they deceive.

So, you know the intents of the Libertarian Party better than I now? Interesting, having been a member for twenty some odd years and having run for office on their ticket, you would have thought they would have filled me in at some point…

BUT, why don’t we just ask the Libertarian Party what their stance on Social Security is? Obviously, since they are not ‘running on ending social security’ they will probably just avoid the question, right?

From http://www.lp.org/issues/social-security.shtml :

Politicians in Washington are stealing your future.

Every year, they take 12.4% of your income to prop up their failed Social Security system - a system that is heading toward bankruptcy.

If you are an American earning the median income of $31,695 per year, and were given the option of investing that same amount of money in a stock mutual fund, you would retire a millionaire - without winning the lottery or a TV game show.

That million dollars would provide you with a retirement income of over $100,000 per year - about five times what you could expect from Social Security.

Even a very conservative investment strategy would yield three times the benefits promised by Social Security.

Libertarians believe you should be able to opt out of Social Security and invest your money in your own personal retirement account. An account that you own and control - one that politicians can’t get their hands on.

Republicans and Democrats say it can’t be done - that your Social Security taxes are needed to pay benefits to today’s retirees. Instead of letting you invest in your own future, they want you to have faith that someone else will pay your benefits when it comes time for you to retire.

Although most won’t admit it publicly, their “solutions” to the Social Security crises all come down to some combination of tax increases and benefit cuts.

Libertarians know that there’s a better way.

Countries like Chile, Mexico, Britain, and Australia have successfully made the transition from their failed Social Security systems to healthy systems based on individual retirement accounts. In Chile, over 90% of workers have opted out of the government-run system. It’s time America did as well.

The federal government owns assets worth trillions of dollars - assets that it simply doesn’t need to perform its Constitutional functions. By selling those assets over time, we can keep the promises that were made to today’s retirees, and to those nearing retirement, while freeing the rest of America from a failed Social Security system.

Libertarians will introduce and support legislation to give you that choice, and put you in control of your own retirement future.

Hiding, decieving, etc… You know, I’ve heard all of this before… Oh yes, every time someone attempts some kind of reform, you claim that it is a secret attempt to eliminate social security! That’s what you said of the attempts to fix SS in 2004, it is what you say of the Fair Tax supporters (who made sure to put in the bill that SS would not be touched in any way) and now you are attributing that same conspiracy theory to the Libertarian Party.

And we wonder why we are insolvent in this country when people will demagogue any attempt to fix a failed system, saying that there is ‘no crisis’ (at least, not unless a Democrat is in power, then it will be ok to ‘reform’ it) and meanwhile we see that the bill is coming due sooner and sooner…

Hence, the LP shall never control power in America. Either they get elected on a deception and lose again because of it, or, lose due to honesty about their intents.

Again, bullshit. The LP is not attempting to decieve anyone, all positions are stated publiclly and out in the open and if we could just get equal time at debates, you might see that…

Instead, we get people like you who misrepresent the LP Platform for their own political gain. Not that you can point to any actual evidence or specifics, just that you know that they must be decieving people so, ergo, it must be true, facts be damned.

You speak as if you were the author of Libertarian principles, Rhinehold. But, you do little more than lay claim to affiliation and your own limited understanding and scope of what it means.

Really? I didn’t realize that you, a non-libertarian (actually anti-libertarian) statist, which is a direct opponent to libertarian thought IMO, were the expert and authority, as you speak as if you know the ‘true intents’ of the Libertarian Party while I, a lowly member of the organization for over twenty years, former candidate for the party, seems to have no understanding for what the party stands for…

Thanks for the enlightenment.

It is about on par with everything else you’ve stated on the subject. Not only can you NOT defend the arguments I make or answer the questions I ask, you then attempt to invalidate my defense of the party as not having the ‘understanding required’ to see how I am being deceived.

Some of the biggest pile of crap I’ve ever seen, I must say.

“The only power that the government has that can not be replicated by a private organization is the legal use of force on the citizens.”

Wrong. Our government has the power to provide the greatest good for the greatest number in the society into posterity with the assent of the greatest number of people.

And they do this through FORCE. Reject that fact all you want, that is what a law or regulation is, a forcible enaction of the will of the majority on the minority.

And we need that. But we have to remember that as well when we start trying to regulate and rule on every single aspect of an individual’s life.

Just as the colonialists chose to grant the government the power to enforce the law assented to by the people. It is a great and wondrous thing. And so far, fairly successful and all the rage around the globe as the majority of nations adopt versions of the same.

This force the people themselves choose to impose upon themselves is a great and wondrous thing, and simply deflates Libertarian’s claims to office that government is bad and Libertarians are good.

Another load of self-serving crap.

Let me state this one time and see if it sticks or just gets ignored with just about everything I have stated.

Government is not bad, Government is necessary

I know, I’ve said this about a billion times, but it just never gets through for some reason.

LIMITED government, with the understanding that when we enact a law we are putting the power of the use of force against the citizens of the United States who violate that law, is the only real defense of our rights and security against internal and external forces seeking to do us harm.

BUT, when those who are really deceivers, like yourself, who pretend that that ‘force’ is an imagination of crazy libertarians, you convince people to enact all kinds of restrictions onto every lives of individuals.

FOR EXAMPLE. It is against the law to take a DVD and alter it in any way, even to copy it off of the DVD onto the hard drive of a computer so that it can be viewed by a media center. Illegal. Verboten. *IF* you do this, you are subjecting yourself to the full force of the government, fines and jail imprisonment that, if you reject, will ultimately result in your death.

Now, does that makes sense? Do you see how fascists and authoritarians can use this absolute power absolutely against us? Or do you reject that view?

But, Libertarian supporters aren’t that smart and continue to applaud limiting government which is limiting the power of the people to force their views onto the minority through the threat of loss of life. That will never sell in a democratic republic, and thank Buddha for that.

I don’t think Buddha would be pleased, to be honest. He had a thing about forcing your views onto others if I remember right…

Me thinks thou doth protest too much at the smarting and sting of the truth of it.

Me thinks you haven’t a clue what the truth is.

Not wrong at all, Rhinehold. So right, and common sensical that it is not at all surprising a Libertarian supporter such as yourself would object to it, being so out of step with the American citizenry as your comments are.

No, you still refuse to accept that your self-defined view of ‘self-sufficiency’ is counter to reality. No one, not even wacky Libertarians, are suggesting that we all become farmers and live without electricity, etc. The ‘self-sufficiency’ is about being able to provide something to the community you are a part of enough that you can fairly compensate others for the things you need from them. If you need some electricity, you provide the person who has it with some money, that you earned from performing a task for another, etc.

The deceitful attempts to paint Libertarians as ‘mountain men’ who want to avoid society and reject the accomplishments and needs of others is not only unfair but downright evil, IMO, and no different than those who attempt to paint Obama as a Muslim.

It is just sad to see it come from people who claim to abhor those types of political machinations.

It also makes it impossible to debate those people as you had hoped, because you can’t fight Straw Men that others erect.

It is quite the conundrum Libertarians create for themselves. To acquire power, they must hide their agendas and policies which they would impose.

Please provide one piece of evidence to this or stop doing it. If you continue, even after it has been made clear that this is 100% not the case, I can only inferr that you have little point in continuing our association…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 3, 2008 3:33 PM
Comment #249778

dobropet said: “Republicans may have gotten the boot in 2006, but look at the Democratic side, Nancy Pelosi is the poster child for “a do nothing congress speaker.” “

Well, to be fair, they have done a few things. But, your point is well taken, the Congressional Democrats appear to have rationalized the following: “Why bust our butts against a Republican President, when we can wait two years and work with a Democratic President.”

The taxpayers don’t pay them to wait around until things are hunky dory. Which is why I support giving the next President a NEW Congress full of fresh eager faces and sense of national duty without years of being bought and sold by special interests as experiential background.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 3, 2008 4:44 PM
Comment #249781
[David Said]: You are right, the LP doesn’t campaign on ending SS and Medicare because they deceive the people regarding those intents. Those are their intents. They don’t speak of such intents. Ergo, they deceive.
[Rhinehold Replied]: So, you know the intents of the Libertarian Party better than I now? Interesting, having been a member for twenty some odd years and having run for office on their ticket, you would have thought they would have filled me in at some point…

Yet, you quote the LP itself making my words true: “Libertarians believe you should be able to opt out of Social Security and invest your money in your own personal retirement account.”

Soc. Sec. is a system in which today’s workers provide benefits for today’s retirees. Remove today’s worker’s contributions to the SS system, and there are no revenues to pay Soc. Sec. benefits, ending the Soc. Sec. program. Hence, what I say is absolutely an irrefutably true. Libertarians want to end the Soc. Sec. system.

But, when I say that, you contradict yourself by saying: “No one, especially the Libertarian Party, is saying that overnight we are going to eliminate SS, …” and, “Those isntitutions that we have become dependant upon will have to be weaned from…”

Your own very words scream “END SOCIAL SECURITY”, yet you protest when I suggest what the LP says outright: that people should fund their own retirements and not depend on Soc. Sec.

Which implies that those who can’t fund their own should just suffer. There is no getting around that implication.


“while I, a lowly member of the organization for over twenty years,”

Thank you for that admission. I addressed supporters of the LP previously. I suspected you were one of them, but, it was best you say it, not me.

And you were a “former candidate for the party,” eh? Lost, huh? I rest my case. One has to at least appear to make a logical and integral argument to be able to persuade sufficient voters to get elected. Your statements contradict each other.

You criticize me for saying the LP wants to end SS, and turn right around and admit the LP wants to end SS.

It is a pleasure debating you Rhinehold.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 3, 2008 5:17 PM
Comment #249785

Well, thank Buddha, Nancy Pelosi met with the Dalai Lama, and even GWBush is on his side.

On third parties in general, there is always a certain amount of fringe element involved. The question should be more about how they can influence the process with better ideas, which, if they sound sensible, or at least sellable, will be adopted by the mainstream.

The problem with the Green party, is that it tends to be a compilation of all the local issues and concerns, which when added together, are sometimes mutually contradictory. This makes it difficult to develop a national program which will be acceptable to the locals, who don’t want to compromise. Compromise is how government usually works.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 3, 2008 5:32 PM
Comment #249790
Yet, you quote the LP itself making my words true: “Libertarians believe you should be able to opt out of Social Security and invest your money in your own personal retirement account.”

Soc. Sec. is a system in which today’s workers provide benefits for today’s retirees. Remove today’s worker’s contributions to the SS system, and there are no revenues to pay Soc. Sec. benefits, ending the Soc. Sec. program. Hence, what I say is absolutely an irrefutably true. Libertarians want to end the Soc. Sec. system.

That you refuse to use your brain and find a solution that doesn’t involve the status quo speaks louder than your words. If we change the program it will be ended! People will be forced to fend for themselves! Libertarians are greedy bastards! etc, etc, etc… ad naseum. The same tired ‘Obama is a muslim’ crap.

In fact, had you actually read what I posted from the website you would see that we have no intention of letting those we have obligated in paying go without getting their promised funds.

If you want to tax people who opt out in order to help pay for the costs, that can be accomplished and STILL give the the investor more return on their investment. Or go the route that the LP has stated. Or find another solution. We are smart people, you know.

Yet you think somehow we need to eliminate this ability to control your own wealth, instead leave it in the hands of politicans to direct and control. And we see the result of that…

But further, you make my other point for me. Government is force… If the program works without force, why do you have to force people to stay in it? What happens when you remove that threat of force? According to you, it falls down into anarchy and a fend for yourself society…

But, when I say that, you contradict yourself by saying: “No one, especially the Libertarian Party, is saying that overnight we are going to eliminate SS, …” and, “Those isntitutions that we have become dependant upon will have to be weaned from…”

Your own very words scream “END SOCIAL SECURITY”, yet you protest when I suggest what the LP says outright: that people should fund their own retirements and not depend on Soc. Sec.

First, you don’t suggest that I say people should be able to direct and control their own retirement investment, you suggest that the Libertarian Party is secretly, and hiding from the public, deceiving them, that we want to end SS immediately…

That you go from one to the other with nothing in between like a magic political black box. No need to think or worry about facts in the box, just achieve the desired results you want.

If you want to state that the goal of the Libertarian Party is to fix, reform or otherwise alter SS so that it works better for the individual as a retirement program, please feel free to do so. But if you want to say that the Libertarian Party has hidden intentions to destroy SS and leave old people homeless on the streets… well, that just goes beyond the pale.

Which implies that those who can’t fund their own should just suffer. There is no getting around that implication.

Right, because the one way is the only way and since Libertarians don’t care about anyone but themselves they will most surely let people just die in the streets even though we have a legal obligation to those people since they were in the system and have detailed that we would be continuing their benefits if elected…

Sorry, the lost the ‘logic train’ back a few stations ago I think. One does not necessarily follow the other unless one is predisposed to interject their own personal biases and misconceptions into the mix.

“while I, a lowly member of the organization for over twenty years,”

Thank you for that admission. I addressed supporters of the LP previously. I suspected you were one of them, but, it was best you say it, not me.

It is a device called ‘sarcasm’, David. I know, I forgot, you are allknowing, what am I doing even explaining?

And you were a “former candidate for the party,” eh? Lost, huh?

Yes, I did. As do the majority of people who run for office… I guess there are a lot of deceipful and illogical arguments out there. And it is good to know if you win then you must have had good and logical arguments! I’ll let Bush know of your support.

I rest my case. One has to at least appear to make a logical and integral argument to be able to persuade sufficient voters to get elected. Your statements contradict each other.

My ‘arguments’ have been steadfast and do not contradict each other, David. That you want to skip steps in your ‘infallable logic’ to try to make it appear that way is humorous. Been studying up on Rovian tactics? Don’t think it goes unnoticed…

You criticize me for saying the LP wants to end SS, and turn right around and admit the LP wants to end SS.

No, I criticize you for saying that the LP wants to end SS immediately and are attempting to deceive the American Public about it, I guess by stating it loud and clear and putting our views up on our website under ‘Social Security Issues’…

That old ‘hiding in plain sight’ trick again, it works so well, you know.

BTW, I don’t expect you to accept that nuances detailed in these comments, I fully expect you to continue misrepresenting the Libertarian Party platform, views and ‘secret desires’, I’ve come to accept that you simply can’t help it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 3, 2008 6:01 PM
Comment #249791
On third parties in general, there is always a certain amount of fringe element involved

This goes for the two main parties as well…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 3, 2008 6:03 PM
Comment #249794

The Libertarian party recently went thru a change in their platform. They developed a platform that was closer to the center with hopes of attracting people to a platform that was “achieveable”. I think that may be why Ron Paul will not run as a Libertarian. Rest assured he will not run on a third party ticket. He has said repeatedly he will dance with the one’s that brought him. (my words)

Has the Libertarian Party knuckled under? Perhaps. I believe there are only ten laws written in stone. I also believe the constitution is written, not in vague misinterpretations, but solid values. To think otherwise makes the document worthless. So, much like the Catholic Church, the Libertarian Party has “sold out” their values to attract/pander to their constituents.

What is a name, anyway? Isn’t it a moniker used to identify oneself? Does that moniker include a sacrifice that one must make to identify with another? My name is Weary. Must others call themselves Weary to relate to what I believe? I don’t think so.

If I call myself a Libertarian do I sacrifice my social obligations? If I call myself Democratic do I sacrifice my independance? If I call myself Green do I sacrifice my mobility/comfort?

I would much rather call myself an American, go to work every day, collect 100% of my wage, and make my own choices.
Who would dare doubt my choices are the wrong ones? Would anyone here tolerate being told their choice is wrong?

Apparently many of you will, because so many of you are accepting, in fact fighting for, the status quo. Some use deception to argue, some use vague analogies to argue for the status quo, but neither will look at an alternative if it doesn’t accomodate the status quo.

That’s what I call a conundrum! How can we change things and still accomodate the way it is now?

Many call this change “Chaos”. I call it freedom. I’m past the point of no return in the Social Security debate. I’ve been forced to contribute to social security my entire life and I’m too old to just cast it off. I must expect a return but, if I could withdraw my investment right now I would do it in a heartbeat. I cannot. Withdrawl is not an option because my parents are spending my payments as I speak. I would give up my benefits in favor of my son being able to opt out because my parents can still provide what I need to live out my existance. I’m willing to make that sacrifice if the government doesn’t steal my parent’s wealth when they die, but I see that happening as well.

Talk about slavery. I’m in a system that sells my son into slavery to support me! What a fracked up mess.

So what are we suppose to do? Should we continue to call each other names and criticize each other for being independent? How about we be independent and then offer our experiences as a model? Let’s start by keeping 100% of our wage and start bragging about how we spend it, hoping someone will see value in our effort instead of greed. Let’s start saving our excess wages instead of forfeiting it to insurance companies. If an individual was left to self, that individual would benefit self. That benefit would benefit others. Good will come of good.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 3, 2008 7:14 PM
Comment #249799
Has the Libertarian Party knuckled under?

In what way was the platform changed ‘to appeal to the mainstream’? The platform changes every two years at the convention and always has, just as the other two parties, but how has it ‘changed it’s core beliefs and principles’ exactly?

Who would dare doubt my choices are the wrong ones? Would anyone here tolerate being told their choice is wrong?

The majority of Americans do every day I am afraid.

The left feels that your choices in how you plan for your retirement are not yours. They also feel that your choices in who you choose to provide charity to is not yours. They want to remove your choice in how you pay for healthcare, it is now a crime in Boston NOT to have insurance.

The right feels that your choices in who you marry or if you worship are not yours. What you do in your bedroom or choose to terminate your own life, no longer a decision for you to make. It is better to be in pain, they say, than to choose to no longer be in pain or be a burden on your family. And don’t play a game of poker online, that is right out!

The reality is that most people feel as you, that they should be able to live their lives as they choose. They forget the next caveat though, that it only works if they are willing to let others live their lives how they choose to as well.

We see people doing things we don’t like and we (as americans) feel that ‘something must be done’ so we pass a law. Just a harmless law to make sure those people get line with society. We don’t think about what ends up behind that law, the authorization to use force on our fellow citizens just because we don’t like that they worship Buddah, or are attracted to people of the same sex, or would rather choose a recreational drug other than alcohol, …

We have to either give up the notion that we are in control of our own lives, as David would assert. OR we have to give up the notion that we have the right to force others to live their lives as we see fit, as I assert.

I would like to say ‘the choice is yours’ here, but I don’t know any longer if it really is…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 3, 2008 8:08 PM
Comment #249800

It isn’t your choice any longer. It hasn’t been since the 16th amendment was illegally forced upon the American people.

I call it the “Magic Wand Syndrome”. Elected officials pass a law and they think everything will be ok.

Not so.

The Magic Wand Syndrom is a vehicle for the elected to feel needed.

We could really do without elected officials if we stood up for ourselves and lived up to our heritage.

It’s too bad we’re a bunch of pussy’s waiting for our handout and permission.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 3, 2008 8:38 PM
Comment #249801

Now I’m sounding like that Carl cartoon kid, or impared, or legally drunk.

Thanks ohrealy!
Really!

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 3, 2008 8:48 PM
Comment #249813

Rhinehold said: “The left feels that your choices in how you plan for your retirement are not yours.”

Many on the left believe that everyone is entitled to minimum level of dignity above poverty level in their senior years, and therefore everyone is taken care of in that regard, and then those who can afford to save for more in their senior years are completely free to do so.

Everyone has a choice on this. Every two years, the American people vote for every person in the House of Rep.’s and 1/3 of the Senate for 6 year terms. The majority of Americans support the concept of a safety net for those less fortunate, which could at anytime due to an accident, be any one of us.

The Left doesn’t have a problem with Bill Gates or Warren Buffet determining their retirement years savings. More power to them, so long as all Americans have the minimum level of care and provisions as any felon serving life for murder in prison.

Or do you believe retired Americans should suffer with less than we provide our severest criminals?

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 4, 2008 3:09 AM
Comment #249814

Weary Willie said: “If an individual was left to self, that individual would benefit self. That benefit would benefit others. Good will come of good.”

You obviously have no experience with neglected innner city kids, who are left mostly to themselves to become bangers, thieves, addicts, pushers, and murderers. Sorry, but, what you argue for is everyone following your example, not individualism. We are a society different from other societies by what we have and share in common, and compassion for those less fortunate is one of those values, though we sometimes express it better with those in need overseas than with our own here at home.

Bottom line is, you want what you want, and to hell with others. As you said, you would opt out of the SS system in a heartbeat and have no problem with others doing the same, which would deprive 10’s of millions of Americans of any quality or dignity at the end of their life.

Man, you need to get out more. Travel to the Mississippi Delta through the shanty towns and rural areas where people in the 70’s have worked some of the hardest work in America on our cotton farms at some of the lowest wages imaginable. They are Americans, law abiding, and hard working, and virtually penniless nor for lack of will to save, but for lack of anything to save and still live.

Me, I am proud to pay my SS and Medicare, and if I never see a penny of it due to a premature end, I will pass on knowing I supported something all the great religions teach is worthwhile, charity of heart and deed for the plight of others. Something Adam Smith said even wealthy nations could not do without, and long remain wealthy.

If one American citizen is discarded as a human being for nothing more than a lack of means, America will no longer stand for human rights or dignity. And the light that wants to shine so brightly through America’s ideals will dim even more. We treat our criminals vastly better than we treat those living in falling down shanties in the Mississippi Delta or the homeless veterans on our city’s streets.

Criminals demand our attention, and we give. Our poor are not so demanding and were it not for Soc. Sec. and Medicare, they would be ignored and left to suffer beyond our view, following that old rationalization, “What we don’t know won’t hurt us”. But, it will, and deeply over time as we allow ourselves greater divorce from our national ideals.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 4, 2008 3:32 AM
Comment #249815

Rhinehold said: “In fact, had you actually read what I posted from the website you would see that we have no intention of letting those we have obligated in paying go without getting their promised funds.”

How bloody magnanimous of you all. And what I said is absolutely true. You don’t give a damn about the sharecroppers and retired seniors of the Mississippi Delta who could barely buy a year of life on what they paid in, though they worked all their lives.

And what of the millions who through identity theft, or incapacitating auto accident, or who adopted and raised children all her life, but paid little to nothing into the system? Let them suffer their choices, is the ringing implication of what you quote from the LP platform. Interesting that Libertarians are so quick to utter the words ‘greedy bastards’ to describe themselves and then attribute those words to others who never uttered them at all. Is that a trait of all Libertarians, I wonder. I doubt it. My uncle doesn’t do that.

Rhinehold said: “Yet you think somehow we need to eliminate this ability to control your own wealth,”

Interesting you use the word, eliminate. Implying we have this ability to control our own wealth along side Soc. Sec. and Medicare, which is of course, absolutely true. Wealth and subsistence are two different words with very different meanings. Wealth comes from the word ‘weal’ which meant well-being. Doesn’t every American citizen who spends their lives productively in our society as wife and mother or janitor, or quadraplegic youth from an auto accident and family without insurance, deserve a fair measure of well-being, even when misfortune befalls them through no fault of their own? Isn’t that concept at the heart of our American concepts of our community, human rights, human dignity, compassion, and shared responsibility?

As for alternatives, Rhinehold, come up with a better system that preserves those American ideals, and THEN proscribe discarding the older system which preserves them, however inefficiently. So, far, a better system is not something Libertarians have been able to devise that would work off paper.

We tried the Eelymosenary system many Libertarians long for from the end of the Civil War through WWII. It was horribly ineffective leaving 100’s of thousands to suffer horribly in poverty and without medical care, and an enormous number of those were expendable children. A few of the abandoned and abused children of those times raised in orphanages or on the streets became financially wealthy as bank robbers, rum runners, hit men and enforcers. And poverty and crime have been inextricably linked ever since, and now with copious research mapping the links and relationships between the two.

Helping everyone in the society to the opportunities to live as middle class participants is in society’s best interest, for no other reason than as an effective crime control measure.

Here, Rhinehold, you reveal a major misconception of what Soc. Sec. is, when you say: “If you want to state that the goal of the Libertarian Party is to fix, reform or otherwise alter SS so that it works better for the individual as a retirement program, please feel free to do so.”

Social Security was intended first and foremost as a safety net for retiring American citizens. A safety net is by definition a provider of a minimum level of funds to insure even those who could not save on their own.

Your conception of it as a retirement account misses the fundamental service of SS. If it were just a retirement account, I would agree with you that choice between retirement accounts would be a good thing. But, it is first and foremost a protector of dignity and insurance against the suffering of abject poverty and homelessness for retired and aging American citizens. And there is no alternative for it but to let millions suffer and die miserably.

Rhinehold said: “My ‘arguments’ have been steadfast and do not contradict each other, David.”

Amazing this capacity for denial of yours, Rhinehold. I pulled together two contradictory statements of yours, quoteded them to you, and here you DENY the contradiction. What an amazing demonstration of cognitive dissonance. Wish you well with that.

I will quote you again in case you glossed over it:

““No one, especially the Libertarian Party, is saying that overnight we are going to eliminate SS, …” and, “Those isntitutions that we have become dependant upon will have to be weaned from…”

Then elsewhere you say to me: “Oh yes, every time someone attempts some kind of reform, you claim that it is a secret attempt to eliminate social security!” By your own words reform is not what you seek with Soc. Sec., replacing it with individual personal accounts for those who can afford them is what you advocate.

You contradict yourself. You advocate replacing SS with private personal accounts, then deny intentions or criticisms that you want to end Social Security.

The Contradiction is blatant, Rhinehold. But, then that’s what makes debating your commentaries so very easy.

Why not just be honest and stand up for what you believe, ending Social Security, instead of attacking and defending against those who point to your own confessions that that is what you and your Party believe in doing.

When I say Libertarians are deceptive, I have to thank you for proving the point. And since it apparently escapes your notice, reading the Libertarian Party platform is not restricted to Libertarians, and many of us non-Libertarians have read it too.

So, dispense with the claim that because you are a Libertarian you know what the Party is all about, and anyone who isn’t a Libertarian couldn’t possibly. That argument is completely void of any logical truth or validity at all. One does not have to have been in an auto accident to become a defensive driver.

I am probably more versed in the history of the LP than you are. With Indiana as the LP’s birthplace and home of the rise of the KKK, the original intents of the LP still ring true today with their mantra of to each his own fortune make and if you happen to be Black, well, that’s your parents fault.

Libertarians can’t even abide their own rules, bylaws and policies, or pay their own debts, and yet they continue to try to convince others to follow their paltry attempts at leadership with patriotic sounding maxims.

You err as many in the LP do in another way. You tout principle as a voter education tactic. It doesn’t work very well. As Thomas L. Knapp wrote in 2006:

Many Libertarians believe that the function of a “minor” party candidacy is simply to “get the word out” on what the party believes, so that “the voters know” they have another choice. Unfortunately, this “voter education” tends to take the form of attempting to turn the average voter into a political intellectual/ideologue — and that’s just not the way things work. Most voters do not learn a Great Principle from which they then deduce all of their public policy positions. The reverse is, in fact, the case.

Most voters deduce their party affiliation from which of the parties they are looking at best mirrors their personal policy positions — or they choose their party based on the predispositions inculcated by their upbringing and personal networks (family, business, etc.), after which that affiliation tends to reinforce itself as they slowly accomodate themselves to, or adopt, other policy positions touted by their party.

Follow Knapp’s guidance on this you might just get a convert or two over time. I was once drawn to the LP’s words of principle. But, being philosophical in training, seeking the roots of the knowing of a thing, I researched the LP instead of blindly signing up as a follower like some born again Christian at tent evangelism.

The LP has something of value to offer in the way of directing voter’s attention to Constitutional principles. However, as a Party, they lack much. And as an interpreter of Constitutional principles their interpretations diverge widely and often from conventional understanding and interpretation which most Americans subscribe to, thus insuring the LP’s marginal third party status for the reasons Knapp discusses.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 4, 2008 4:53 AM
Comment #249831

The problem with the USHOR may be that the elections are too often, and the number of repesentatives has not increased often enough. I think it increased under FDR and not since, except for reps from Alaska, Hawaii, and D.C., during a period of time when the population doubled. The founders envisioned this as a part time job, but it has become a full time, life time commitment to a company town that has is own interests apart from those of the people they represent.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 4, 2008 11:29 AM
Comment #249840
Rhinehold said: “The left feels that your choices in how you plan for your retirement are not yours.”

Many on the left believe that everyone is entitled to minimum level of dignity above poverty level in their senior years, and therefore everyone is taken care of in that regard, and then those who can afford to save for more in their senior years are completely free to do so.

Then let’s change SS to just that. No one is saying that we can’t achieve that goal, it just isn’t happening with SS now and will become worse as we have to cut benefits or raise taxes in the future. Quit trying to make it all things, none of which are working and is assisting in causing us to be insolvent. Let’s take care of those who are below poverty levels in their senior years just as we would help someone who is not retired today.

The reality is the amount needed for this would be much less than what we are going to have to pay out now. We could then let those who are able to better manage that money for themsevles keep it and provide a much better future for themselves. Instead we saddle them with a failed program, one that forces people to put 12.5% of their income into a 1% return retirement plan, forcing them to either attempt to live on that 1% return (which is just above poverty level for most) or spend even more of their own income to just survive in the retirement years.

Of course, this requires acknowledging the problem and addressing it by changing the current institution. Does this mean reform, privatization, elimination, etc? That remains to be seen, the left is blocking all attempts to even discuss it. The Libertarians have suggested their plans, if you disagree start the debate, that is what usually happens, is it not?

But calling for something to be done and an elimination of the current way we are doing things does not mean a call to end it completely or a desire to ‘leave people out on the street on their own’. Those are your straw men, not ours.

Everyone has a choice on this. Every two years, the American people vote for every person in the House of Rep.’s and 1/3 of the Senate for 6 year terms. The majority of Americans support the concept of a safety net for those less fortunate, which could at anytime due to an accident, be any one of us.


Ah, but that is the issue, isn’t it? If the majority believe in a safety net, there should be no issue with them getting together and creating the SSO (Social Security Organization) that would take the donations from those who support the goal (the majority of people as you admit) and the problem would be solved. With today’s technology, it could be done electronically and through payroll deductions that people sign up for, much like the United Way does. We could even make those deductions non-taxable.

No, the real issue, one you attempt to deceive people into not seeing, is that the reason it is a law is not because the majority of people who want to help can, but because you want to make sure those that do not want to help, or can’t help, are still forced to. And force is the proper word in this context.

If someone falls on hard times and can’t pay their taxes, what happens to them? Do they get a pass? No. I can assure you, the IRS does not care, so much so that they change the laws in place in dealing with debt. Whlie no private company can petition the government to garnish a individual’s wages for more than 10% of their income, the IRS can take 90%.

So, a person who is working falls ill. They can’t pay their bills, they need to survive. If they were involved in a voluntary charity system, they could choose not to pay into the SSO for a couple of months and use those funds to help themselves get back on their feet.

But the left doesn’t want that. They would lose the ability to wield the power that comes from being able to direct those funds through the political system. As does the right, but for different purposes.

My question to you (which of course you won’t answer) is it more selfish to want to take care of your own family first before helping others OR is it more selfish to assume you know better than someone else on how to spend their money and work to use force to do just that?

The Left doesn’t have a problem with Bill Gates or Warren Buffet determining their retirement years savings. More power to them, so long as all Americans have the minimum level of care and provisions as any felon serving life for murder in prison.

Sure they have a problem with it. Or you are walking around with your eyes closed, I suppose. Even *YOU* said that we should be taking money from those that have it and giving it to those that don’t simply because they have it. So don’t make me get out all of the quotes from all of those on the left who repeatedly talk about how it is not fair that people have more money, that CEO’s get paid too much, etc. It is insulting.

Or do you believe retired Americans should suffer with less than we provide our severest criminals

Of course not. But how do we achieve that is the issue. You contend that the only way to do it is through the current SSA that is both a retirement plan and welfare plan, returning investment at a rate of about 1% and paying out benefits to people who clearly do not need them.

You can continue to think the current system works, but I think most reasonable people realize it can’t sustain itself in its current form.

Rhinehold said: “In fact, had you actually read what I posted from the website you would see that we have no intention of letting those we have obligated in paying go without getting their promised funds.”

How bloody magnanimous of you all. And what I said is absolutely true. You don’t give a damn about the sharecroppers and retired seniors of the Mississippi Delta who could barely buy a year of life on what they paid in, though they worked all their lives.

So you know all about how I think and feel now?

How completely full of bullshit your are, David. As usual, when someone talks about failed policies of our current welfare by force system and how it would be better to help people through different means other than governmental police power, you accuse them of ‘not caring’ or ‘being selfish’. A tired tool out of an outdated playbook that more and more people are seeing through every day.

And the fact that we fool people into thinking that they will have a retirement or be taken care of with the current system, when it clearly DOES NOT WORK, is the definition of compassion, is it?

And what of the millions who through identity theft, or incapacitating auto accident, or who adopted and raised children all her life, but paid little to nothing into the system? Let them suffer their choices, is the ringing implication of what you quote from the LP platform.

And here it is again, even though it is not true. Unless you think that the *ONLY* way to help those people is through forcibly taking money from everyone against their will…

Interesting that Libertarians are so quick to utter the words ‘greedy bastards’ to describe themselves and then attribute those words to others who never uttered them at all. Is that a trait of all Libertarians, I wonder. I doubt it. My uncle doesn’t do that.

Heh, and you wonder why when you attribute thought to people you don’t know and then act shocked when they beat you to the punch to deflate your tired invalid old tacticts? I’m so sorry for you…

Rhinehold said: “Yet you think somehow we need to eliminate this ability to control your own wealth,”

Interesting you use the word, eliminate. Implying we have this ability to control our own wealth along side Soc. Sec. and Medicare, which is of course, absolutely true. Wealth and subsistence are two different words with very different meanings. Wealth comes from the word ‘weal’ which meant well-being. Doesn’t every American citizen who spends their lives productively in our society as wife and mother or janitor, or quadraplegic youth from an auto accident and family without insurance, deserve a fair measure of well-being, even when misfortune befalls them through no fault of their own? Isn’t that concept at the heart of our American concepts of our community, human rights, human dignity, compassion, and shared responsibility?

Yes, and the Libertarian Party, nowhere, suggests that we, as human beings, should not be involved in those responsibilities.

As for alternatives, Rhinehold, come up with a better system that preserves those American ideals, and THEN proscribe discarding the older system which preserves them, however inefficiently. So, far, a better system is not something Libertarians have been able to devise that would work off paper.

Yes, they have. And I’ve not only been detailing them in the past but have quoted one in these comments, which of course you ignore.

We tried the Eelymosenary system many Libertarians long for from the end of the Civil War through WWII. It was horribly ineffective leaving 100’s of thousands to suffer horribly in poverty and without medical care, and an enormous number of those were expendable children.

1) It is 2008, in case you hadn’t noticed. There are differences in what Libertarians believe now and the systems in place of that time. If you want to attribute hundred year old thinking to people today, even though it goes against what those people actually expouse, that’s your problem. Don’t think you are going to assign it to me without it being thrown back in your face.

2) The *CURRENT* system that is considered the pancea of the progressive movement does the same. There are hundreds of thousands, and some say millions, of people suffering in poverty without medical care, many children. Perhaps, and try to follow on this one, NO system is going to eliminate that reality. Or is it just that we don’t have ENOUGH of progressive or statist views in law? That not enough of our society is yet statist?

A few of the abandoned and abused children of those times raised in orphanages or on the streets became financially wealthy as bank robbers, rum runners, hit men and enforcers. And poverty and crime have been inextricably linked ever since, and now with copious research mapping the links and relationships between the two.

It didn’t start then, David. It is amazing to watch you switch around history to fit your needs and then ignore it when it goes against your own political leanings. Not very enlightening, but humorous.

Here, Rhinehold, you reveal a major misconception of what Soc. Sec. is, when you say: “If you want to state that the goal of the Libertarian Party is to fix, reform or otherwise alter SS so that it works better for the individual as a retirement program, please feel free to do so.”

Social Security was intended first and foremost as a safety net for retiring American citizens. A safety net is by definition a provider of a minimum level of funds to insure even those who could not save on their own.

Your conception of it as a retirement account misses the fundamental service of SS. If it were just a retirement account, I would agree with you that choice between retirement accounts would be a good thing. But, it is first and foremost a protector of dignity and insurance against the suffering of abject poverty and homelessness for retired and aging American citizens. And there is no alternative for it but to let millions suffer and die miserably.

Oh what a load of crap, something that we are seeing more of from you David.

Are you saying that the current safety nets, like welfare, medicaid, medicare, etc, wouldn’t catch these people? That only through SS can these ‘safety nets’ catch them?

As you are so fond of saying, David, it doesn’t matter what was intended, it is what it is that matters. And what it is now is a failed retirement plan that is also used as a sort of ‘insurance’, one that pays out less than regular insurance but everyone is forced to carry.

If let people opt out and then tax their investment earnings, we would have MORE money to take care of those that actually need help, those investing would have more to retire on and our economy would see the benefit from the increased investing.

But you’re right, let’s leave everything as it is. After all, you yourself said there is no crisis in the SS program… http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/002099.html

Rhinehold said: “My ‘arguments’ have been steadfast and do not contradict each other, David.”

Amazing this capacity for denial of yours, Rhinehold. I pulled together two contradictory statements of yours, quoteded them to you, and here you DENY the contradiction. What an amazing demonstration of cognitive dissonance. Wish you well with that.

Except the two statements do not contradict themselves. That you *WANT* them to either speaks to an inability to comprehend what is written or a purposeful attempt to impose your views onto others… I wish you well with whichever one of those it is.

I will quote you again in case you glossed over it:

“No one, especially the Libertarian Party, is saying that overnight we are going to eliminate SS, …” and, “Those isntitutions that we have become dependant upon will have to be weaned from…”

Then elsewhere you say to me: “Oh yes, every time someone attempts some kind of reform, you claim that it is a secret attempt to eliminate social security!” By your own words reform is not what you seek with Soc. Sec., replacing it with individual personal accounts for those who can afford them is what you advocate.

You contradict yourself. You advocate replacing SS with private personal accounts, then deny intentions or criticisms that you want to end Social Security.

First, it is to be noted that you cut out of the middle of a sentence, you should really know better than that, David. But, let’s play the game!

“No one is saying that overnight we are going to eliminate SS”.

How is that in any way contradicted by

“Those institutions that we have become dependant upon will have to be weaned from”?

Apparently, in Davidworld(tm), immediately and weaned from are the same thing!

But let’s continue!

‘Those institutions that we have become dependant upon’… Does that sound like a single institution? Nope, in fact I was writing about the current institutions that do not serve us now. They will have to be weaned from… oh wait! There’s an ellipse there. That usually means there was more to the statement that is being left out. I wonder why? What could have been there? Let’s see if I can find it…

“Those isntitutions that we have become dependant upon will have to be weaned from, if they are not in the principles of the liberty, or they may stay if they do not violate those principles.”

Hmm, there was more, in fact there were qualifiers put in there that you are want to leave out. But what do they mean? Well, simply read, if the institutions cannot be altered in a way that is consistent with liberty, we will have to be weaned from them.

Why, that’s not exactly the same thing as eliminating SS immediately, is it? Can SS be altered to work within this view? Can we keep it in a form that works better for the American people AND retains their individual liberty? I believe so. But perhaps it can’t.

But that is a far cry from saying that the intent is to eliminate SS immediately, isn’t it?

In fact, it appears that you are playing a tired game reserved by the two major parties, as I have stated earlier. Much like attempting to paint Obama as a muslim because he attended a Madrasa as a child.

And while it is sad that people play that game, it is worse when people who profess to oppose those tactics use them whenever they feel that it will benefit themselves.

The Contradiction is blatant, Rhinehold. But, then that’s what makes debating your commentaries so very easy.

When you errect a Straw Man of your own making and then set fire to it, you may feel all warm and fuzzy when you stand around it as it burns.

But you have accomplished nothing. Other than displaying yourself to all as a hypocrite.

Why not just be honest and stand up for what you believe, ending Social Security, instead of attacking and defending against those who point to your own confessions that that is what you and your Party believe in doing.

Because I am being honest and telling you exactly what I stand for. And those are the things I stand for, not what you want to attribute to me. Ignoring what I have said and instead attempting to tell me what I think is a bit … meglomaniacal, isn’t it?

When I say Libertarians are deceptive, I have to thank you for proving the point. And since it apparently escapes your notice, reading the Libertarian Party platform is not restricted to Libertarians, and many of us non-Libertarians have read it too.

Those that can comprehend what they read, yes. Those living in Davidworld… I can’t speak for them since I have never been there myself.

So, dispense with the claim that because you are a Libertarian you know what the Party is all about, and anyone who isn’t a Libertarian couldn’t possibly. That argument is completely void of any logical truth or validity at all. One does not have to have been in an auto accident to become a defensive driver.

I have never said that those who aren’t Libertarians can’t know what the Party is about. *YOU* are the saying that being a member of the party means you don’t know what the Party is about. Or better yet, that *YOU* know better than somene who is in the party because… well, because you are a meglomaniac. All knowing and infallable.

I am probably more versed in the history of the LP than you are.

See? But wait, it gets better!

With Indiana as the LP’s birthplace

Interesting… And where is your link to this history, one that is alternative to that the rest of us have? “The Libertarian Party was formed in Colorado Springs in the home of David Nolan on December 11, 1971, after several months of debate among members of the Committee to Form a Libertarian Party, founded July”. The committee was also formed in Colorado Springs in David Nolan’s home.

I’m curious as to why you think Indiana is the birthplace of the LP. Being a Hoosier and having lived here nearly all my life, it would be nice to see the place where it all started…

Or is it just in Indiana in Davidworld?

But that is just a ‘minor’ thing you have wrong, it pales in comparison to what you attempt to do next.

and home of the rise of the KKK, the original intents of the LP still ring true today with their mantra of to each his own fortune make and if you happen to be Black, well, that’s your parents fault

SO! Because Indiana was the ‘birthplace of the LP’ (which it wasn’t) and because the KKK found their greatest, and shortlived, political support (not because of their racist views, mind you) in Indiana nearly 100 years ago, before most of the people who live there now immigrated from countries like Germany and Sweeden, attempting to flee the increasing tensions in Europe, and ignoring the part Indiana played in the underground railroad, why the LP must be raicsts!

Ignoring, btw, that the KKK started in Tennessee and the second KKK was founded in Georgia, the fact that some Hoosiers seeking to enact prohibition joined their ranks (and turned over membership quickly) does not accurately paint Indiana as a ‘hotbed of racism’ I’m afraid.

Of course, this has as much weight as about anything you’ve said so far concerning the real world. Again, I cannot speak for ‘Davidworld’.

But not only is it insulting and despicable, it is also hypocritical after your years of railing against the Bush/Cheney administration for using THE EXACT SAME TACTIC in attempting to convince people that Iraq was behind 9/11…

Libertarians can’t even abide their own rules, bylaws and policies, or pay their own debts, and yet they continue to try to convince others to follow their paltry attempts at leadership with patriotic sounding maxims.

I’m leaving this here, even though it requires very little actual ‘debunking’ so that others can see just how far you had to go to try to paint the picture you want others to see. Please, everyone, feel free to read this ‘unbiased’, well thought out and accurately investigated article that David has linked to, written in 2002, stating that Libertarians are anarchists and the party is bankrupt (and yet somehow still going 6 years later…)

But to be honest, what disturbs me most about this is the display of the lack of character that I am seeing in someone I have entrusted to be in control of a part of my life. While watching that part become less and less of something worthy of what it once was, it saddens me to start to realize exactly why it is becomming this way. That someone professed to be independant and intelligent is willing to stoop to these levels, even in something so minor as a debate about another person’s views of which they profess to know more about, not being able to simply accept that you might be wrong is disheartening.

But that’s something I have to think upon, I understand that trying to change others is beyond what we can reasonably expect to be able to do. People have to change themselves, and once they do that then we can assist them. But until that point, it is fruitless to lose sleep or obsess that our efforts are like hammering against a brick wall with a wet paper towel…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 4, 2008 1:33 PM
Comment #249871

Mr. Remer,

You obviously have no experience with neglected innner city kids,

How would you know that? What gives you the impression I have no experience in this area? Are you physic, or are you spying on me?

who are left mostly to themselves to become bangers, thieves, addicts, pushers, and murderers.

Look at the demographics concerning voter turnout. Most of the Democratic vote is from large cities. You acknowledge inner city children are anti-social and the government in these cities has been controlled by your Democratics.



Sorry, but, what you argue for is everyone following your example, not individualism.

That is convoluted logic. Individualism is not everyone following an example in any form.

We are a society different from other societies by what we have and share in common, and compassion for those less fortunate is one of those values, though we sometimes express it better with those in need overseas than with our own here at home.

It takes a certain mindset to turn benevolence into a fault.

Bottom line is, you want what you want, and to hell with others. As you said, you would opt out of the SS system in a heartbeat and have no problem with others doing the same, which would deprive 10’s of millions of Americans of any quality or dignity at the end of their life.

My opting out of the social security system would affect the millions you refer to if those responsible for the administration of the social security sytems continued to believe the only solution is the current solution. Hanger’s on are the problem, not people who insist on revision.

Man, you need to get out more.

Yes, I need to aquire unlimited experience and omnipresence.


Travel to the Mississippi Delta through the shanty towns and rural areas where people in the 70’s have worked some of the hardest work in America on our cotton farms at some of the lowest wages imaginable. They are Americans, law abiding, and hard working, and virtually penniless nor for lack of will to save, but for lack of anything to save and still live.

Correct me if I’m wrong, and I’m not, but isn’t that area controlled by your Democratics? Didn’t they blame the federal government for their failures? Aren’t those people in that area subject to the will of their government? I’m sure they are being represented by people who promote and insist on government to accomodate their existence.



Me, I am proud to pay my SS and Medicare, and if I never see a penny of it due to a premature end, I will pass on knowing I supported something all the great religions teach is worthwhile, charity of heart and deed for the plight of others. Something Adam Smith said even wealthy nations could not do without, and long remain wealthy.

No religion worth a damn uses force to achieve it’s goals.

If one American citizen is discarded as a human being for nothing more than a lack of means, America will no longer stand for human rights or dignity.

Yet you denounce the individual in favor of the good of all.

And the light that wants to shine so brightly through America’s ideals will dim even more.

And this is what you have been trumpheting over and over. Where is the logic in arguing for a failed experience by using the failed experience as an example for not ammending the the current situation?

We treat our criminals vastly better than we treat those living in falling down shanties in the Mississippi Delta or the homeless veterans on our city’s streets.

Again, your Democratics are in charge of this.

Criminals demand our attention, and we give. Our poor are not so demanding and were it not for Soc. Sec. and Medicare, they would be ignored and left to suffer beyond our view, following that old rationalization, “What we don’t know won’t hurt us”. But, it will, and deeply over time as we allow ourselves greater divorce from our national ideals.

And again, your Democratics are in charge of this.
You cannot deny this. You cannot blame 7 years of GWBush for the failings of your system. There cannot be change if there is no change.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 5, 2008 2:26 AM
Comment #249873

I can only assume one of two things, Mr. Remer.

1. You have a vested interest in the statis quo and are arguing for it’s continuation for selfish reasons.

Or..

2. You are assuming the role of Devil’s advocate for debate’s sake.

I truly, for the trust involved in this environment, hope it’s the second.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 5, 2008 2:48 AM
Comment #249874

Rhinehold said: “Then let’s change SS to just that. No one is saying that we can’t achieve that goal, it just isn’t happening with SS now and will become worse as we have to cut benefits or raise taxes in the future.”

Couldn’t agree more. But we need a president who won’t veto such change. We are working on it.

Rhinehold said: “Instead we saddle them with a failed program,”

It doesn’t fail its mission of rescuing folks from poverty, Rhinehold. It fails to do so in cost effective manner. And that is due to greedy bastards in FDR’s time insisting that if they are going to pay in regardless of how wealthy they are, they are damn well going to get some back or they won’t vote for Soc. Sec. If the original plan had been adopted such Soc. Sec. was kept an insurance policy against poverty, instead of a retirement slush fund for politicians, the Soc. Sec. would cost less today and have no financial hurdles throughout the baby boomer retirement demographic.

So, yes, I agree. Let’s modify the program to means test benefits, and everyone above 1.5 times poverty earnings pays into it. That is how it was originally intended and would serve us well to adopt. The program can continue rescuing seniors from poverty and at a lower overall cost, though, of course, recovering benefits paid in the past as surpluses is not an option, and therefore, SS will still incur some years of deficit spending to maintain current COLA adjusted benefits. Doable.

The big MF (Magilla Figure) in the room is Medicare. That is not so simply resolved.

Rhinehold said of Soc. Sec. reform today: “the left is blocking all attempts to even discuss it.”

Your damned right, and I support them for having done so. Every discussion with Bush about the topic resulted in Bush saying “My way, privatize, or the highway”, to the Left. Privatizing is a whole other program unrelated to the Social Security program today, except for the similarity of being a depository retirement program. Privatizing provides no insurance or assurance to the senior poverty stricken whatsoever.

Killing a deer is not reforming its life. It’s ending it altogether. Which is what Republicans have intended since 1994 under Newt Gingrich’s long term strategy and coalition.

Rhinehold said: “Ah, but that is the issue, isn’t it? If the majority believe in a safety net, there should be no issue with them getting together and creating the SSO (Social Security Organization) that would take the donations from those who support the goal (the majority of people as you admit) and the problem would be solved.”

See, we were going along so well there, and then you have to get all Libertarian again. Let me make an equally absurd counter proposal. Let’s leave Americans free to decide whether or not to pay taxes for the military. As you say, technically we can do that now. Those in support of Iraq, can pay an addition 14% federal income tax, and those opposed can elect to pay no taxes in support of the military. It is an absurd proposition on its face. America needs a military regardless of public transient sentiment, just as America needs to insure its people against poverty and suffering in the streets which would stoke the fires of Revolution as certainly as King George’s military taking quarters in Colonialist’s homes.

Adam Smith is very explicit and quite correct in these implications for a nation without a commitment to a common moral sentiment (i.e. human value set that transcends transient whim or economic ups and downs).

OK, Rhinehold, gotta call you on this one. Name me one Liberal Leader with a Democratic following that would seek to deprive Bill Gates or Warren Buffet of all their assets in the name of financial equality. Taxing a billionaire’s wealth 39% instead of 35% or 25% which IS what many social liberals call for, leaves Bill Gates and Warren Buffet still the wealthiest persons in the nation, if not the world. IF you can’t name one and quote them or hyperlink them for verification, you can return to planet Earth and resolve to hold a rational discussion, again. Such Hyperbole is the stock of so many Libertarian clarions and it grows tiresome not just for me, but, the public at large as well.

Stay rational, stay verifiably factual, and we can conduct a decent debate here. But, when you make dung up like ‘I and other liberals call for total confiscation of wealth from the wealthy’, your trip into LaLa land is not one which any of us rational debaters will follow. But by all means, if you can quote me in context as advocating such wholesale Marxism, by all means, do your research. But, I can assure you, it will be in vain.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 5, 2008 3:08 AM
Comment #249875

WW asked: “How would you know that? What gives you the impression I have no experience in this area? “

Why, your comments that prompted this reply from me, of course. Perhaps you should go back and read what you wrote from the vantage point of someone else’s shoes. Might help you answer your own question.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 5, 2008 3:17 AM
Comment #249876

WW said: “Look at the demographics concerning voter turnout. Most of the Democratic vote is from large cities.”

NO! YOU look at the demographics, since it is OBVIOUS from your comment that you haven’t and are pulling data out of thin air to make your ignorant argument. The data show Hillary Clinton’s support is coming enormously from non-urban areas. She swept Texas’ rural areas which is the bulk of her support base.

Don’t you know better than to make dung up with me. It’s a lesson I would think you would have learned by now. I have not only looked but studied the demographics associated with voter turnout. You obviously haven’t.

Let me make this 3rd grade logic for you.

Hillary is a Democrat.

The majority of her support has come from rural areas geographically, and traditional Republican strongholds. See Texas primary map as an example.

Therefore, your statement that most of the Democratic vote is coming from urban areas is patently false. The bulk of Obama’s Democratic vote is coming from urban areas. That is a true statement.

Oh, and in case you haven’t kept on anything else demographically either, those traditional Republican rural Western states, ain’t so Republican anymore. Many of them now have Democratic governors and Congress persons. Do try to keep up and avoid making it up as you go along. I live for fact busting such tactics of the willfully ignorant like my father.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 5, 2008 3:28 AM
Comment #249877

WW said: “That is convoluted logic. Individualism is not everyone following an example in any form.”

Give that man a cigar. My point exactly. It was convoluted logic as my comment implied.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 5, 2008 3:31 AM
Comment #249878

WW said: “Correct me if I’m wrong, and I’m not, but isn’t that area controlled by your Democratics?”

My Democrats. Thank you for the promotion to Party Leader. Ms. Senate 51 Dem, 49 Rep., hardly a veto buster. Ms. House, 233 Dem, 202 Rep.. And Haley Barbour as Republican governor. So, tell me again how Haley Barbour’s vetos are overridden by this MS. Congress?

No. Not controlled by Democrats, mine or anyone else’s. In Ms. power is shared with the lean toward the Governor’s veto. Don’t you ever look anything up before making statements in a public forum? Must explain why our debates end the way they usually do.

WW said: “Yet you denounce the individual in favor of the good of all.”

Under certain circumstances, as do you. I denounce the liberty of individuals to murder other individuals, in favor of the good of all. Do you not? Under other circumstances, I favor the individual over the majority, as in the right to free political speech.

So, your point is what, exactly?

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 5, 2008 3:58 AM
Comment #249879

In reply to my comment: “We treat our criminals vastly better than we treat those living in falling down shanties in the Mississippi Delta or the homeless veterans on our city’s streets.”

VERY Weary Willie uttered: “Again, your Democratics are in charge of this.”

Republicans had 6 years of total power to correct it and didn’t lift a finger, let alone acknowledge such conditions existed. It took Democrats to raise awareness, not that Democrats don’t have their own faults.

Thank you again for endowing my written word here as gospel to Democrats, but, I think you exaggerate just a little in calling them my Democrats. In fact, the only Democrat politician I ever met in person was Rep. Kreuger from Texas, and that was for lunch years after he left office. :=) Damn glad to see the backside of Republicans from power though, even if it does mean Democrats taking control. Even if nothing improves at all under Democrats, it will be better than Republicans making everything worse, (except for their own bank accounts and those of their corporate supporters, of course.)

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 5, 2008 4:06 AM
Comment #249880

WW said: “1. You have a vested interest in the statis quo and are arguing for it’s continuation for selfish reasons.

Or..

2. You are assuming the role of Devil’s advocate for debate’s sake.”

You neglected option 3.

Your reading of my writing fails to comprehend anything beyond prejudgments as in your attribution of the Democratic Party as mine, and your comment’s basis for conclusions is flawed and lacking in factual basis and consideration. I think I have adequately demonstrated examples of this in my replies above.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 5, 2008 4:14 AM
Comment #249940

http://www.worldmedia.fr/elections/electionva/history/index.html

This link may confuse you Mr. Remer, because the Democratics are portrayed in red, as they should be.

If you analyze these maps you will find that the most populated (eastern/new york) states vote democratic the majority of the time, with the exception of when Mondale ran against Reagan. The Democratics all jumped ship that year. But, every other election there is a Democratic presence in the eastern states, the populated states, the urban states.

Urban problems are Democratic problems. Urban states vote Democratic ergo, urban problems are Democratic problems.

You can use history to refute current events and use current events to refute history all you want, but the real reason this country is in turmoil is because it’s entire history has been dominated by the Democratic party and the media. The media’s portrail of Ron Paul’s candidacy has demonstrated this quite well.


The reason we can’t resolve any of our problems is because we can’t see them. We can’t see the forest because of the trees.

Your perspective is short sighted and fails to take into account what has been the Democratic party’s goal of what this country to be, a kingdom.

You failed to define your goal, Mr. Remer.
Whatevery your goals are Mr. Remer, they should be about the individual. Not about some politician’s idea of what an individual should accept, not about what an individual should settle for.

The whole Idea of our country is to be able to take care of ourselves. How dare the Democratics think they can do it for us. How dare the Democratics and the media force us to think we must subject ourselves to a point of view that refuses to take our perspective into account!

You go ahead and vote for Obama, Mr. Remer! Throw your VOID perspective to the wind. Eventually your unlimited knowledge and unequalled perspective and your omnipotent experience will catch up with you and you will see that a strong individual only benefits the group.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 6, 2008 7:19 PM
Comment #249947

WW said: “Urban problems are Democratic problems. Urban states vote Democratic ergo, urban problems are Democratic problems.”

Sorry, but reality just ain’t that red and blue, WW. Dallas is as urban as you can get. So is Ft. Worth. Republican dominated towns in a Republican dominated state. Yet, they share all the same problems as any N.E. urban environments in Democratic states.

And urban problems are problems for Republicans living in those urban areas just as much as they are Democrat’s problems.

Your view of the world in blue and red is precisely what the Duopoly Parties have brainwashed you and about 60 million other Americans to see. But, reality is not red and blue, or black and white, or any other short hand summarization for easy retention and recognition. Reality is complex with many variables, and amongst the most complex and multivariate is human social behavior and institutions.

You can continue to try to understand urban complexities in red and blue terms, but, your handles will be insufficient to the task of comprehension or manipulation of reality.

Our urban environment’s are all American’s problems, for they are the economic engines that sustain our national economy with consumption and employment. That makes them as much a Republican problem as Democratic.

One more hole in your argument. Urban areas in other nations where Democrats don’t govern have the same set of problems as our own urban environments. Additional evidence that urban problems are not red or blue, but, far more complex and linked directly not to politics but to the many inherent consequences of human population density in confined geographic areas. We know this by the universality of the problems all urban environments deal with around the globe irrespective of type of government or political parties in control of the nation’s political apparatus.

Urban areas vary by degree and severity of problems but they all share them. The severity of their problems correlates fairly closely with the distribution of wealth in those urban areas. Far more closely to wealth distribution than political machinery.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 6, 2008 10:23 PM
Comment #249948

WW said: “You go ahead and vote for Obama, Mr. Remer! Throw your VOID perspective to the wind.”

What an utterly incomprehensible and ignorant comment to make. There are 3 candidates with any chance of winning and NONE of them are incumbents for the office of president. How is voting for any one of the major candidates a throwing of the VOID perspective to the wind? It is absurd on its face.

VOTE OUT INCUMBENTS DEMOCRACY - VOID. Voting for Obama, Clinton, or McCain could not possibly be construed as a contradiction to VOID perspective.

And of the 3 candidates, Obama is the only one alluding to the need for a new Congressional order in order for the kinds of change Americans want to come to pass. He specifically stumps on our need as voters to move Wash. D.C. to act differently.

You might want to try visiting VOID and read what they are about before making ridiculous comments like a vote for Obama is a contradiction to VOID perspective. Such comments only reflect ignorance of what you refer to.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 6, 2008 10:32 PM
Comment #249950

WW said: “Whatevery your goals are Mr. Remer, they should be about the individual.”

Wrong! A collection of individuals all working for themselves is the definition of anarchy. My goals are for my daughter’s future in this nation and world, where certain individual rights are protected from majorities, while the people en masse work in cooperation and with common understanding toward a greater humanity, a greater knowledge and wisdom for that humanity, and a deeper appreciation for each other in that society of nation or mankind.

It is not, and never has been in the history of mankind, all about the individual. And for obvious and important reasons. Well, obvious to most people in the world. If it were all about the individual, you would have to regard our founding fathers as complete idiots for erecting a government of consensus which negates the authority and power of the King, the individual monarch, or collection of individuals constituting the aristocracy.

Our system attempts to maintain the dignity and rights of individuals which are coveted and shared by nearly all individuals in the society, and which, if abrogated, would injure the concepts of justice and liberty and rule of law benefiting all in the society, whether individuals elect to participate in that justice, liberty, or rule of law or not.

It’s quite a complex balancing act. Doesn’t lend itself to comprehension by those who seek bipolar understanding of reality, red and blue, black and white, up and down, rich and poor.

Most of reality exists in between, at varying distances between perfection and failure. And relative to what was before. Our Constitution sets certain complex and balanced principles to be observed and striven for ‘in order to form a more perfect Union’. The Union of the States was every bit as important a priority for the signer’s as individual rights. For they quite correctly understood the interdependency of the two upon each other. To set one above the other is to destroy the balance the signer’s of the Constitution sought, and the nation they hoped would follow.

Thus the individual shall NOT in America determine the future course for all others. And neither shall the posterity interests of the majority abrogate the certain unalienable rights of the individual to certain choices and behaviors of their own choosing. But only certain choices and behaviors. Not ANY choices and behaviors.

Freedom from taxation with representation is not one of the bill of individual rights. Neither is freedom of religion unequivocal when a religion exploits and abrogates other Constitutional rights of its members through coercion or subterfuge. Such a religion denies freedom of religion to its own subjects and shall not be protected under the Bill of Rights.

None of this is as simple and purist as it appears, Weary Willie. The Constitution is a balancing act, and not for the comprehension of those whose reading skills are limited to a literal and singular understanding of its words.

If it was to be easy to read and understand the Constitution, there would have been little need for jurists or courts. Simple reading skills would be all that would be required for all citizens to act in compliance, and all states, and the federal government as well.

Rather than an afterthought, or minor portion of government, the Founders erected a judiciary as a third and equally powerful branch of government, whose primary purpose was to interpret circumstances and cases of fact into Constitutional terms and objectives, and enforce with finality, disputes over intent and objective of the Constitution’s rule of law, not of individuals.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 6, 2008 11:14 PM
Comment #250583

“On the Green party, anybody but Nader should be their goal”
-ohreally

This statement shows the complete ignorance of many in our country. Ralph Nader is the essence of progressivism and is a hero to almost everyone in the movement. Despite the idiotic demonizing of Ralph by the Democratic Party, he has done more for our country than any other American besides three, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at April 15, 2008 6:43 AM
Comment #250584

Rhinehold: On your comments on who is a valid candidate for the Green Party: See Ralph Nader

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at April 15, 2008 6:44 AM
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