Gene Callahan Joins The Smearbund

(Smearbund – I just can’t get enough of that word lately. That’s why I read Lew’s blog.)

A writer from Lew Rockwell’s stable finally (!) breaks ranks. Gene Callahan has had enough:

The final straw: “Last week, a statement was prepared by Ron Paul’s press secretary Jesse Benton, and approved by Ron Paul, acknowledging Lew Rockwell as having a role in the newsletters. The statement was squashed by campaign chairman Kent Snyder.”

Man, Paul’s behavior regarding these newsletters has been awful. His “I don’t know who wrote these” is about as slippery as a politician can get. Everyone who was around libertarianism in the early 90s knows Lew was in charge of these and knows Rothbard and his crew were into race-baiting back then. (By the way, notice that the longer Lew has been away from Rothbard’s influence, the more decent he’s become? I personally have found him very affable, and I can’t imagine him putting out material like this today. Just shows what hanging around Rothbard can do to you.)

Paul’s got a decent message, but he’s the wrong vehicle for delivering it.

In comments there, co-blogger Bob Murphy farvors a more traditional (*) approach, one that he likens to a blue wall of silence:

I think you are overreacting in the opposite way here, Gene. I.e. yes, I totally agree that (a) certain things in those newsletters were inexcusable, (b) RP is clearly lying about it now when he says he has no idea who wrote it, and (c) it is silly to just dismiss the inquiries as smears.

Having said all that, I do kinda wonder why Sanchez and his co-author decided to write that particular article, when the damage had already been done by the TNR one. If next week some anti-Irish magazine came out with a story that you did a bunch of drugs when you were younger (outlandish, I know), and this was getting you in trouble with your PhD committee, I wouldn’t comment to any reporter who called me up about it. And I sure as heck wouldn’t spend a few days doing research on it because “Callahan won’t come clean on this!”

Does that sound so crazy? If I were to do that, don’t you think some of your buddies would think, “Jeez, I thought Bob was Gene’s friend!” ?

I realize this sounds like cops and their blue wall of silence whenever one of them beats up a suspect, and maybe my view is just that wrong / tribal / petty. But I understand why longtime fans of LRC are lashing out at Reason on this, and don’t view Sanchez as Bob Woodward.

(* Traditional among Rockwell’s writers, that is.)

50 thoughts on “Gene Callahan Joins The Smearbund”

  1. Once you throw that first punch in the locker room, you’re effectively out of the club. Your marginal cost of future punches is therefore effectively nil – opportunity costs only. And it isn’t like you need to bring your “A” game to take on DeCoster in the first place (more like your “Q” or “R” game).

  2. Don’t shout at the divine Karen, she’s had a difficult week ; she went to the Post Office and received slow and unsatisfactory service.

  3. Go easy on her, guys – she’s a girl, after all.

    Amusingly, this appears to be meant as satire (bolding mine):

    But it’s typical Cato policy wonking. The offending column is here. Note what is so funny about the column: right next to it, on the right side, is an ad for Cato’s “pocket Constitution.” Ha! Of course, the Constitution and omnipotent government with unimaginable powers go hand-in-hand.

    How long do you have to be writing for an “anti-state” website before you can buy that particular clue?

  4. Yeah, I now regret it. I yanked them because they had nothing to do with my post and were merely personal attacks on me. Then I realized they actually illustrated my point perfectly.

    Mea culpa!

  5. Yeah, get a job, you insane crazed loser.

    (I guess you have to be really insane to be insane and crazed. Or would the two conditions balance each other out, resulting in that state of pure sanity well demonstrated by Dear Karen herself?)

  6. She’s never claimed pure sanity, what she displays is an admirable “eccentricity in demeanor and opinion”. State officials in Mississippi get a taste today of her delightfully off-center take on current events(“Crazy Fascist Fucks”).

  7. What? My favorite slander-trash authors STILL haven’t saved America from itself through despicable means and dishonest methods? Is Kennedy running for Senator now? Is Sabotta a policeman? Tune in next decade when Billy Beck says, “FUCK YOU!”… again.

  8. I don’t see how you have any right to be disrespectful, Kennedy, to someone whose “primary skill is using a fusion of business analysis, design patterns and new technologies to create applications with positive business value.”

    We should be honored that Mr. Horne is generous enough to take time off from his busy schedule of fusing design patterns and analyzing positive business stuff to come here and share his wisdom with us.

  9. What IS wrong with you guys?!? Who do you support for president? Who that ran, was light years closer to Spooner? I was baptized in “Spoonerian” (ha ha) fire as an anarchist the first day I read him. I’d never gone into your posts until this morning & shan’t do so again. The one above, says it all, “…went to the Post Office and received slow…”. Spooner’s royal screw job, courtesy of the Post Office, may have been his GREATEST source of energy. Petty jealousy of fellow libertarians, wrongheaded, misdirected goals, smearing, squabbling, preening AND on top, NO sense of irony. Smell ya later. (ha ha)

  10. Who do you support for president?

    I dunno Matt, who d’you think Spooner would support for a four-year term at the head of the secret band of robbers and murderers?

    …on top, NO sense of irony.

    As Bill Engval would say, “Awsum!”

  11. Matt Polzkill defends Ron Paul by comparing him to Lysander Spooner:

    What IS wrong with you guys?!? Who do you support for president? Who that ran, was light years closer to Spooner?

    Meanwhile, Lysander Spooner joins the Smearbund

    SIR, — Your inaugural address is probably as honest, sensible, and consistent a one as that of any president within the last fifty years, or, perhaps, as any since the foundation of the government. If, therefore, it is false, absurd, self-contradictory, and ridiculous, it is not (as I think) because you are personally less honest, sensible, or consistent than your predecessors, but because the government itself — according to your own description of it, and according to the practical administration of it for nearly a hundred years — is an utterly and palpably false, absurd, and criminal one. Such praises as you bestow upon it are, therefore, necessarily false, absurd, and ridiculous.

    … You have not so much as the honest signature of a single human being, granting to you or your lawmakers any right of dominion whatever over him or his property.

    You hold your place only by a title, which, on no just principle of law or reason, is worth a straw. And all who are associated with you in the government — whether they be called senators, representatives, judges, executive officers, or what not — all hold their places, directly or indirectly, only by the same worthless title. That title is nothing more nor less than votes given in secret (by secret ballot), by not more than one-fifth of the whole population. These votes were given in secret solely because those who gave them did not dare to make themselves personally responsible, either for their own acts, or the acts of their agents, the lawmakers, judges, etc.

    These voters, having given their votes in secret (by secret ballot), have put it out of your power — and out of the power of all others associated with you in the government — to designate your principals individually. That is to say, you have no legal knowledge as to who voted for you, or who voted against you. And being unable to designate your principals individually, you have no right to say that you have any principals. And having no right to say that you have any principals, you are bound, on every just principle of law or reason, to confess that you are mere usurpers, making laws, and enforcing them, upon your own authority alone.

    … But the falsehood and absurdity of your whole system of government do not result solely from the fact that it rests wholly upon votes given in secret, or by men who take care to avoid all personal responsibility for their own acts, or the acts of their agents. On the contrary, if every man, woman, and child in the United States had openly signed, sealed, and delivered to you and your associates, a written document, purporting to invest you with all the legislative, judicial, and executive powers that you now exercise, they would not thereby have given you the slightest legitimate authority. Such a contract, purporting to surrender into your hands all their natural rights of person and property, to be disposed of at your pleasure or discretion, would have been simply an absurd and void contract, giving you no real authority whatever.

    … Every man has, by nature, the right to maintain justice for himself, and for all other persons, by the use of so much force as may be reasonably necessary for that purpose. But he can use the force only in accordance with his own judgment and conscience, and on his own personal responsibility, if, through ignorance or design, he commits any wrong to another.

    But inasmuch as he cannot delegate, or impart, his own judgment or conscience to another, he cannot delegate his executive power or right to another.

    The result is, that, in all judicial and executive proceedings, for the maintenance of justice, every man must act only in accordance with his own judgment and conscience, and on his own personal responsibility for any wrong he may commit; whether such wrong be committed through either ignorance or design.

    No one could justify, or excuse, his wrong act, by saying that a power, or authority, to do it had been delegated to him, by any other men, however numerous.

    For the reasons that have now been given, neither any legislative, judicial, nor executive powers ever were, or ever could have been, delegated to the United States by the constitution; no matter how honestly or innocently the people of that day may have believed, or attempted, the contrary.

    … Such, Mr. Cleveland, is the real character of the government, of which you are the nominal head. Such are, and have been, its lawmakers. Such are, and have been, its judges. Such have been its executives. Such is its present executive. Have you anything to say for any of them?

    Yours Frankly, LYSANDER SPOONER. BOSTON, MAY 15, 1886.

  12. (OK, I lied, I knew you guys would rip on me, so I HAD to come back, ha ha)

    Lopez & “Rad Geek”, I’m aware of this letter (thanks for the lessons guys, sheesh, I’ve been an anarchist for over a decade), but if you all think Spooner didn’t PREFER Cleveland or a Van Buren to a Lincoln or a Grant, you are missing the forest for the trees. Spooner didn’t advocate purity contests, he would want the most POSSIBLE liberty. Allow me to refresh your memories:

    “In truth, in the case of individuals, their actual voting is not to be taken as proof of consent, even for the time being. On the contrary, it is to be considered that, without his consent having even been asked a man finds himself environed by a government that he cannot resist; a government that forces him to pay money, render service, and forego the exercise of many of his natural rights, under peril of weighty punishments. He sees, too, that other men practice this tyranny over him by the use of the ballot. He sees further, that, if he will but use the ballot himself, he has some chance of relieving himself from this tyranny of others, by subjecting them to his own. In short, he finds himself, without his consent, so situated that, if he use the ballot, he may become a master; if he does not use it, he must become a slave. And he has no other alternative than these two. In self-defence, he attempts the former. His case is analogous to that of a man who has been forced into battle, where he must either kill others, or be killed himself. Because, to save his own life in battle, a man takes the lives of his opponents, it is not to be inferred that the battle is one of his own choosing. Neither in contests with the ballot — which is a mere substitute for a bullet — because, as his only chance of self- preservation, a man uses a ballot, is it to be inferred that the contest is one into which he voluntarily entered; that he voluntarily set up all his own natural rights, as a stake against those of others, to be lost or won by the mere power of numbers. On the contrary, it is to be considered that, in an exigency into which he had been forced by others, and in which no other means of self-defence offered, he, as a matter of necessity, used the only one that was left to him.”

    And, you mock comparisons of Dr Paul to Spooner! I asked, “who is the closest?” AND Dr Paul has, on more than one occasion mentioned SPOONER’S NAME AND GREATNESS ON NATIONAL TELEVISION!!! Does THAT make you angry too? You may not be the “keepers of the flame” any longer? I ask once again, What IS wrong with you guys?!?

  13. And, you mock comparisons of Dr Paul to Spooner!

    Well, not yet. I was mocking your implication that Spooner would have endorsed Paul. But since you mention it, the comparison is ridiculous too. Start at Paul’s endorsement of the Constitution and work your way back. Of course you’ve been an anarchist for ten years so you already know all this.

    And by the way, Spooner is dead wrong when he compares a bullet to a ballot. The key difference that he misses is that an individual’s one ballot doesn’t do anything. Expending a bullet could in theory protect you, but expending a ballot? Not so much. Voting is a vice.

    Does THAT make you angry too?

    Not particularly. Ought it? Look: Paul is a sitting politician and thus a liar and a weasel. Anything he says has to be taken in that context.

    I ask once again, What IS wrong with you guys?!?

    We aren’t team players.

  14. Hang together or hang separately.

    Of course Spooner greatly respected the Constitution, that’s why he devoted a large chunk of his life to studying it & writing about it (his treatise on how chattel slavery is unconstitutional is genius). His MAIN problem with it is that no one follows it. He correctly explains that paper can’t magically create a just society & that the people calling themselves “the government” are in fact the greatest criminals because they ignore or subvert it. And naturally, if its “authority” doesn’t apply to them, it certainly doesn’t to us. I say, just for starters, let’s ALL give it a go, voluntarily following it. See how it works, just having it around has definitely made the country exceptional & RICH.

    “Voting is a vice”

    So is casting aspersions.

    “There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep man in everlasting ignorance – that principle is contempt prior to investigation” ~ Herbert Spencer

    “dead wrong when he compares a bullet to a ballot”

    Dead wrong? Isn’t that a stretch? It’s a METAPHOR, & if INACCURATE, it is by degree, not by kind.

    You dodge my obvious point, why save your most vitriolic attacks for the ONE guy with a podium who is ANYWHERE NEAR Spooner? When I ask who do you support, it’s because you ACTIVELY oppose Paul. This is all just asinine. The only reason you and I aren’t in a gulag right now is because of compromisers (or “weasels”…god) like Madison & Jefferson who crafted this astounding ATTEMPT to shackle man’s insane desire to rob & control EVERYONE. Also because of “liars” (bit strong isn’t it?) like Paul (who is a minarchist, OF COURSE that’s preferable) who sincerely defend it. AND MILLIONS of “team players” who respect it & desire to live by it with the concomitant love & respect of life & private property.

    I can only see ONE remote possibility for us to have anything approaching an anarchist state (hopefully two of them, because, I don’t think I like your brand). The Tenth Amendment. And it’s GOT to be eased into. If we half-filled Congress with true Tenth Amendment advocates, the states would all, OVER TIME, take on different, much stronger flavors. The best & brightest would flock to the most FREE. We would kick the crap out of the other states, thus PROVING our RIGHTNESS & becoming more & more free through time (this is already true to a degree, but is obscured by our money going through D.C.). THIS is the BEST answer and possibly 25 percent of some Western states, get it ALREADY. The majority of Westerners instinctively know (& some factually) we don’t freakin’ need NYC & D.C.

    The Constitution is VERY attractive. Whatever you’re advocating, sure as hell doesn’t look attractive to anyone but the crankiest.

  15. Even if I voted, I still couldn’t get around Paul’s racialist and Truther pals. I still could never vote for anyone endorsed by Lew Rockwell and Justin Raimondo.

    Luckily, the question never even arises.

  16. Yeah, and Jefferson had slaves and…my god, what a way to go about things! I’m sure liberty will just drop in your laps someday, or maybe Jesus Christ will come down. Have a nice wait, if things improve, the rest of us will know who NOT to thank.

  17. Matt Polzkill:

    Of course Spooner greatly respected the Constitution, that’s why he devoted a large chunk of his life to studying it & writing about it (his treatise on how chattel slavery is unconstitutional is genius). His MAIN problem with it is that no one follows it.

    Lysander Spooner, No Treason No. 6: The Constitution of No Authority:

    Inasmuch as the Constitution was never signed, nor agreed to, by anybody, as a contract, and therefore never bound anybody, and is now binding upon nobody; and is, moreover, such an one as no people can ever hereafter be expected to consent to, except as they may be forced to do so at the point of the bayonet, it is perhaps of no importance what its true legal meaning, as a contract, is. Nevertheless, the writer thinks it proper to say that, in his opinion, the Constitution is no such instrument as it has generally been assumed to be; but that by false interpretations, and naked usurpations, the government has been made in practice a very widely, and almost wholly, different thing from what the Constitution itself purports to authorize. He has heretofore written much, and could write much more, to prove that such is the truth. But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.

    That’s some kind of respect he’s got there.

    Matt Polzkill:

    He correctly explains that paper can’t magically create a just society & that the people calling themselves “the government” are in fact the greatest criminals because they ignore or subvert it.

    That is certainly not Spooner’s explanation of why the people calling themselves “the government” are the greatest criminals.

    His explanation of why they are the greatest criminals is that they impose binding political obligations on free and independent people without the latter’s genuine individual consent.

    Matt Polzkill:

    Yeah, and Jefferson had slaves and…my god, what a way to go about things!

    Yeah, that was pretty shitty of Jefferson. He was also a hypocrite, a rapist, and President of the United States, all of which I think were pretty shitty of him. What’s your point?

    Matt Polzkill:

    I’m sure liberty will just drop in your laps someday, or maybe Jesus Christ will come down. Have a nice wait, if things improve, the rest of us will know who NOT to thank.

    You seem to be presuming that trying to get somebody elected President of the United States is the only way to get “things [to] improve”. But it’s not the only way. It’s not the best way, either, or even a particularly plausible way. Or, at least, if you think that it is, that’s certainly not a self-evident truth that you can just presuppose. It’s a tendentious claim that you’ll have to justify with some kind of argument.

  18. Hang together or hang separately.

    No, we’ll all get whatever the electorate puts on our plates.

    I say, just for starters, let’s ALL give it a go, voluntarily following it.

    The Constitution means nothing at all if it doesn’t mean that this government owns everything in its borders. So you’ve been an anarchist for how long, again?

    Dead wrong? Isn’t that a stretch?

    If it is, then refute it. Explain the effectiveness of a ballot.

    You dodge my obvious point, why save your most vitriolic attacks for the ONE guy with a podium who is ANYWHERE NEAR Spooner?

    A) Paul isn’t anything near Spooner. Paul is a member in good standing of the secret band of robbers and murderers. So you’ve been an anarchist for how long, again?

    B) I expect more from Paul and his supporters than I do from others. Is this wrong of me?

    C) My most vitriolic attacks are saved for special occasions. Pointing out that Paul is a liar and a weasel is defining terms.

    Also because of “liars” (bit strong isn’t it?) …

    Nope. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one. The nature of the jobs Paul seeks and holds require lies. So you’ve been an anarchist for how long, again?

    The Constitution is VERY attractive.

    So you’ve been an anarchist for how long, again?

    Whatever you’re advocating, sure as hell doesn’t look attractive to anyone but the crankiest.

    I’m not trying for persuasion of just anyone.

  19. Sort of a fallacy of the excluded middle you’re using there. If you read what I said above, I don’t believe I said I’m going to vote once every 4 years & cross my fingers. There’s been a great intellectual battle between advocates of Natural Law & advocates of positive law. We’ve had our asses handed to us for the most part. Down…but not out, however. The goal of the battle is to take over the reins of “power”. The media, academia, the judicial, legislative & executive, ANY position respected by the average schmoe…dogcatcher, councilperson, mayor. Positivists OWN 99.9% of these positions, we have nothing & will continue to have no power to advance Natural Law if we only infight & dream.

    It’s not like EVERYONE has to be converted at once, or even know that they have been. The vast majority of people don’t think about anything abstract. They go with the flow to a certain extent. Ultimately though, (when it comes to their own lives at least), they are quite conservative. With their whole hearts, they believe in themselves & their security. They believe in the “Law”. They have been fooled into thinking the source of their wealth, comfort, & safety (the law) is the decree of “lawmakers”. They believe this because EVERY “respectable” person is a POSITIVIST (some “bosses” are Natural Law advocates, but they have been successfully demonized, mainly by professors). We who KNOW Natural Law to be the answer, ALL need to take over ANY possible title & ONLY attack positivists or we will be slaves until the positivists kill us all. (only CONSTRUCTIVE criticism for Natural Law advocates, please)

    There are certainly different levels of slavery, and we are nowhere near the lowest of these. And this is solely because of the thousands of battling men through the ages (not nearly as pure as you guys) who go and get their hands dirty.

  20. Lopez, You are growing tiresome, I guess I’ll have to retire soon & admit defeat against your perfectly formulated world. Some of these points have already been addressed & I’ll ignore some of the strawmen & cherrypicking.

    “No, we’ll all get whatever the electorate puts on our plates.”

    ???

    “The Constitution means nothing at all if it doesn’t mean that this government owns everything in its borders.”

    ?? No one in 1787 thought such a thing, I guess they were all morons. Most everything is left to the states to do things as they wish (even get more states, a REALLY tiny one for you) & of course there USED to be private ownership here until the Constitution was almost completely subverted. I also don’t care for your anarchism purity tests. I’m talking about reality & what is do-able TODAY. How I feel & what I wish, have almost nothing to do with what’s do-able.

    “If it is, then refute it. Explain the effectiveness of a ballot.”

    I can’t believe this has to be explained. When people get fed up with being taxed nearly to the point where they ask themselves, “why go to work”, they vote for and GET tyrants that aren’t as thieving. Tiresome.

    “Pointing out that Paul is a liar and a weasel is defining terms.”

    Please tell me some of these terrible lies or do just assume it because he has such a terrible job. It’s strong because if you call him a liar, what do you call vast majority of the people less honest than he is?

    And to be an anarchist means one must deny realities one doesn’t care for? THE Constitution IS EXTREMELY attractive to vast numbers of people all over the world. What on earth are you talking about? This is pointless, I’m afraid. Do you really think you could ever advance liberty with your game-plan here? Maybe I’ve landed on a surrealist or comedy site & I’m being kidded. Take a look at the real world & try to find an attractive way to present liberty as a philosophy. I’m thinking of taking my Spooner quote off my page lest someone think I sound like you. He may be to strong for any but the laity, it seems the strength has had an opposite but still detrimental effect on you.

  21. I’m thinking of taking my Spooner quote off my page…

    Spooner would be grateful. Now get the fuck out of here.

  22. Nice, Ms. Mainardi. Your comment only gives rise to howls of derisive laughter (props: Flying Circus). Think about what has happened to Rand fans through the years who have become doctrinaire. Of course, YOUR minds have already become calcified. None of what I say here is directed at you, but in the remote hopes (in addition to the pleasure & sharpening of tools achieved in battle) that a youngster, attracted to Spooner, who takes in the small minded bilge on your site, will consider my words & see that your path, is the path to nowhere.

    Some tasty quotes on the word “bigot” for you keepers of the flame:

    “You can tell a bigot, but you can’t tell him much.”

    Applied to hacker slang: “Real bigots can be distinguished from mere partisans or zealots by the fact that they refuse to learn alternatives even when the march of time and/or technology is threatening to obsolete the favored tool.”

    “The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye: The more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes

    Wow, that Holmes said some good stuff, even if he was related to a big time “secret” (not so secret anymore, guys) robber & murderer A few more for your pleasure (or, of course, ignore them as appears to be your wont)…

    “I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.”

    “The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts.”

    “To have doubted one’s own first principles is the mark of a civilized man.”

    “People can be divided into two classes: those who go ahead and do something, and those who sit still and inquire, why wasn’t it done the other way?”

    “Science is a first-rate piece of furniture for a man’s upper chamber, if he has common sense on the ground floor.”

    “Life is painting a picture, not doing a sum.”

    “Simple people… are very quick to see the live facts which are going on about them.”

    “Revolutions are not made by men in spectacles.”

    “Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtaxed.”

    “The mode in which the inevitable comes to pass is through effort.”

  23. Rad Geek, somehow I didn’t see your post until just now:

    After quoting Spooner’s dismissal of the Constitution, you say:

    “That’s some kind of respect he’s got there.”

    In a perfect world, in a world of the theoretical, of course he is correct. Even in the practical world, George Mason stormed out of the Convention, because he was certain (and correct) that the Judiciary would interpret to subvert. Mason AND Spooner were given to fits of pique. Far better for us all if these great men would have ENGAGED more and FOUGHT more than they did. Spooner’s was a GREAT legal mind, he SHOULD have been a damned judge writing OPINION, opinion towards NATURAL LAW. In his spare time he could have worked on theoretical perfection. His massive, studied, sustained bitter attacks on the sorrowing failure of the Constitution to contain in it the power to stop its criminal “defenders”; this is evidence of no respect? I don’t believe you understand the full meaning of the word, or you are just being pedantic.

    “His explanation of why they are the greatest criminals is that they impose binding political obligations on free and independent people without the latter’s genuine individual consent.”

    I can’t prove it, but I’d wager you anything you like, at any odds, that If we took a plebiscite on whether people wished to live under the Constitution or not, that they would vote in the affirmative, and so would the rest of the world. Most probably by an ultrasupermajority (ha ha). According to Natural Law and the understanding of the vast majority of Constitutional (the CLOSEST widespread & practical construction to Natural Law in history btw!) framers & signers those few of you who vote nay, are free to go. THAT is the GREAT crime he was mostly railing about. The corporatists & central bankers had destroyed the Constitution, wouldn’t let ANYONE leave and have now made us bank slaves. Where the hell is any of that in the Constitution. Clearly Spooner’s MAIN problem with it was its weakness, not its strength.

    “Yeah, that was pretty shitty of Jefferson. He was also a hypocrite, a rapist, and President of the United States, all of which I think were pretty shitty of him. What’s your point?”

    As much as any single man in history, he was the force, a goddamned genius of liberty, the POWERHOUSE behind what freedoms we DO have today. The brain power most of the framers had is staggering. Where they left off or were imperfect; we need to humbly take it up from THAT point. Rapist? Grow up.

    “You seem to be presuming that trying to get somebody elected President of the United States is the only way to get “things [to] improve”. But it’s not the only way. It’s not the best way, either, or even a particularly plausible way. Or, at least, if you think that it is, that’s certainly not a self-evident truth that you can just presuppose. It’s a tendentious claim that you’ll have to justify with some kind of argument.”

    At least you qualified this with the words “seem & “presuming”, otherwise that’s exactly what you would have been doing. The argument you suggested for me; that WOULD be a pretty stupid argument I made, eh? I’d never voted in my life until this month. Going to caucus, face to face with three Romneyite degenerate psychopaths, losing to them (still an alternate delegate though) nearly made me physically ill. But I LEARNED, and I learned how weak & scared they really are. There are only a comparative handful of statist paper tigers in the world. The great mass of citizens are nearly blank slates (the younger the blanker) vis-a-vis the battle of Natural Law vs positive law. Doctor Paul, inspired THOUSANDS of people like me to go out and fight these degenerates. Now I’m in charge of my precinct, just like thousands of others, changing the minds of the thoughtful or honest people from the ground up in our neighborhoods. I’m getting choked up here, ha ha. Thank you for forcing me to better formulate the idea. Your all-world league intransigence has caused me to bring out bigger guns. And I’m the better for it.

  24. …but in the remote hopes (in addition to the pleasure & sharpening of tools achieved in battle) that a youngster, attracted to Spooner, who takes in the small minded bilge on your site, will consider my words & see that your path, is the path to nowhere.

    That’s beautiful, man – melodious and touching. Now would you get the fuck out of here?

  25. After reading your immortal proposal, Matt, my friend S. comments (using your capitalization STYLE):

    But seriously, this Paulbot has GOT to explain how he’s going to half-fill Congress WITH true 10th Amendment advocates, especially ONES who would stick around OVER TIME. A VERY attractive idea, but…

    After reading about the “degenerate Romneyite psychopaths” she also added “What a buffoon.”

  26. …that If we took a plebiscite on whether people wished to live under the Constitution or not, that they would vote in the affirmative, and so would the rest of the world.

    Yes, so what? What does that prove? What are you trying to say?

    The brain power most of the framers had is staggering

    Staggering to you, maybe.

    …changing the minds of the thoughtful or honest people from the ground up in our neighborhoods.

    They are neither thoughtful nor honest if they listen to you. Your standards for judging intelligence are very low.

  27. Ms. Mainardi, your comments are far below any level I can imagine that would be required for me to respond to. Goodbye & peace to you, hopefully far, far away.

    Mr. Sabotta, your comments are barely on the border, so my requirements obviously go pretty low. I AM sorry for my shortcomings, I don’t know how to italicize on here & in writing I try to imitate my speech patterns & naturally certain words are stressed, so…Thank you, though for your worthy criticism. Allow me to suggest to your friend, however; when she attempts this style, that she capitalize STRESSED words not RANDOM ones.

    I also should have gone into more detail on the Romney supporters I encountered instead of slipping into invective as YOU do. That IS irritating. These three men convinced (while using personal abuse & expletives) the majority of nice but clueless citizens of our precinct that, to paraphrase, “We MUST maintain our dominate position in the world! We MUST NEVER surrender in Iraq! We MUST continue in our banking & corporate system, above all!!!” I thought I had walked on to the set of Dr. Strangelove, so I used “degenerate Romneyite psychopaths” as a shorthand. Sorry for that too, I know you all are sensitive humanitarian types here & don’t care for hyperbole. (scoff)

    To the only thing that even LOOKS like a rebuttal here (Does your friend also find YOU a bufoon for calling people “degenerate”?!?)….

    “But seriously, this Paulbot has GOT to explain how he’s going to half-fill Congress WITH true 10th Amendment advocates, especially ONES who would stick around OVER TIME. A VERY attractive idea, but…”

    Actually…wait, if someone can make a rebuttal without schoolyard insults in it, I’d be happy to rejoin.

    Not too impressive guys. Does one need to take steroids to get into your club? (BESIDES take all your dogma to heart, I know, I know)

  28. Matt,

    I also don’t care for your anarchism purity tests. I’m talking about reality & what is do-able TODAY.

    Really? Then explain how your voting makes you better off in reality.

    I can’t believe this has to be explained. When people get fed up with being taxed nearly to the point where they ask themselves, “why go to work”, they vote for and GET tyrants that aren’t as thieving. Tiresome.

    What “people”? You only get one vote, you don’t control the votes of others. And your one vote doesn’t make a hill of beans’ difference, you will get whatever the electorate puts on your plate.

    And as for voting for smaller government: no, the electorate overwhelmingly votes themselves more loot at taxpayer expense.

    It’s strong because if you call him a liar, what do you call vast majority of the people less honest than he is?

    They’re liars too. What’s your point?

    THE Constitution IS EXTREMELY attractive to vast numbers of people all over the world.

    So are welfare states. So is socialized medicine. So what’s your point?

    Do you really think you could ever advance liberty with your game-plan here?

    What on Earth gave you the idea that I care about advancing liberty? Here, I’ll do you a favor and link up why I blog here.

    I couldn’t care less about quadrennial crusades of dupes on behalf of villians, nor am I excited about the idea of hand-holding every last black-hearted voting feeb into letting me alone. I’m an individualist – I care about myself and my loved ones.

    Even better, political liberty is a public good. I get all the benefits of my plans (which don’t involve wasting my time hoof-marking ballots…) and all the benefits of yours (assuming you do anything at all).

    …try to find an attractive way to present liberty as a philosophy.

    No. My arguments are designed for my purposes. If someone can’t process them, then tough:

    That person can’t do me any good anyway.

  29. John,

    “Really? Then explain how your voting makes you better off in reality.”

    We’re completely off track here. Of course, meeting many people in my neighborhood I hadn’t before & seeing the light of ideas they’d never heard flash through them, makes me better off. You’ll have to take my word for it, that this is beneficial to me, since we’re just a bunch of lowly “liars”, I’m pretty certain you wouldn’t understand, ha ha. I’ll explain more benefits throughout. But I never said YOU had to vote. This all started, because I noticed on this site a pretty substantial mass of vitriolic attacks on the most liberal (classical) candidate to make ANY kind of splash in any living person’s lifetime. You don’t even have to stop attacking the ONLY guy in D.C. fighting for you. NATURALLY, you can do anything you want. I merely said WHY?!?

    “What “people”? You only get one vote, you don’t control the votes of others. And your one vote doesn’t make a hill of beans’ difference, you will get whatever the electorate puts on your plate.”

    You betray a lack of understanding of power structures. I’m no expert either, just getting started myself, having spent 20 years mentally masturbating as well, ha ha. But, even as a neophyte, I’M the alternate delegate in my precinct, the Romney/Nazis above me have probably lost all initiative. I will probably go to County, that will mean, goofy, lone Matt…I am something like one THOUSAND votes. If you didn’t understand the implications of what I already said about the great mass of people who basically blow back & forth in the breeze with never a thought about ANYTHING not related to their groins or bellies, I’ll give up on you. The higher up a classical liberal can move the more people he moves (in the RIGHT direction for a change). This “movement” was explained beautifully (naturally) by Lao Tzu:

    When the Master governs, the people
    are hardly aware that he exists.
    Next best is a leader who is loved.
    Next, one who is feared.
    The worst is one who is despised.

    If you don’t trust the people,
    you make them untrustworthy.

    The Master doesn’t talk, he acts.
    When his work is done,
    the people say, “Amazing:
    we did it, all by ourselves!”

    Now, think about the Fabians in Britain & the maybe dozen hardcore socialist parties in America in the first half of the 20th century. They scarcely got past the level Dr Paul is at now (a bit larger number of them in power though, probably because they we’re freakin’ IDEOLOGICALLY united, get it?) About every goddamned evil idea they ever had is now the law of the land & considered de rigueur even by the rotted husk of the GOP, because they created pressure to shift the Dem’s PLANK. We now have TWO completely Socialist parties of America, with slightly different flavors (we COULD take over the GOP). Socialists go out and work, steal, cheat & lie to corrupt the minds of average slobs, and now luxuriate in their near total victory. WE have traditionally sat on our asses bitching about it & each other (I’M still doing it half the time, damnit).

    “And as for voting for smaller government: no, the electorate overwhelmingly votes themselves more loot at taxpayer expense.”

    1994 ?!? (I know it didn’t work, but that WAS what they voted for, is the answer to QUIT because of failure?) I hope you have a THOROUGH (deep seated) knowledge that money doesn’t grow on trees (to coin a phrase). Well 99.9% of non-gov favored producers do. They are still a force to be reckoned with. The Socialists are just about to kill the goose, permanent like & even a lot of “workers” are waking up to it. As a side note, the bleakness of your position may be justified, but if you’ve ever played any sports you may know that you most probably (unless the other guy is an even BIGGER loser) won’t win unless you believe you’re going to win. Crucial. And at any rate, it’s GLORIOUS to go down swinging.

    “They’re liars too. What’s your point?”

    My wife just asked me if her ass looks big. Everyone’s lied, god, I’m just asking for some gradation in your terminology…or not…sheesh! “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”, keeps going through my head as I talk to you all.

    (Constitution is VERY popular) “So are welfare states. So is socialized medicine. So what’s your point?”

    So’s casual sex, where you don’t have to call her again & “Titanic”, here’s my POINT, oh frustrating one. These things we’ve both listed are all either highly dubious at best & utter CRAP at worst. The Constitution is the MOST liberal & practical guide to the restraint of powe…god, I already went through this.

    The rest of your post is pretty much preening in my view & brings to mind a Mises quote (which I can’t find $%#&), about how, in the coming collapse, because of OUR (the people who believe in liberty) failure, there will be no place to hide. Here’s Ortega y Gasset instead, & this goes for this other poster as well, of course “Natural Rights” don’t come naturally, it’s just a word to describe “negative law” (the right to swing your arm ends at my nose), and it takes study and work by the intelligent AND wisely beneficent (Lao Tzu) to hold create this and hold it up:

    “In the disturbances caused by scarcity of food, the mob goes in search of bread, and the means it employs is generally to wreck the bakeries. This may serve as a symbol of the attitude adopted, on a greater and more complicated scale, by the masses of today towards the civilization by which they are supported … Civilization is not “just here,” it is not self-supporting. It is artificial … if you want to make use of the advantages of civilization, but are not prepared to concern yourself with the upholding of civilization – you are done. In a trice you find yourself left without civilization. Just a slip, and when you look, everything has vanished into air. The primitive forest appears in its native state, just as if curtains covering pure Nature had been drawn back. The jungle is always primitive and vice versa, everything primitive is mere jungle.”

    and a Mises quote after all, ha ha:

    “(the masses) may reject the good ideas, those whose adoption would benefit them. But if they choose what is worse, the fault is not theirs alone. It is no less the fault of the pioneers of the good causes in not having succeeded in bringing forward their thoughts in a more convincing form…The favorable evolution of human affairs depends ultimately on the ability of the human race to beget not only authors but also heralds and disseminators of beneficial ideas.”

  30. Spooner:

    But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.

    Polzkill:

    In a perfect world, in a world of the theoretical, of course he is correct.

    Actually, part of Spooner’s point, if you’re paying attention, is that here in the real world, the strategy of using paper constitutions to limit the invasiveness of governments is demonstrably impractical. There’s little if any evidence that his views on the theoretical, in-principle relationship between the natural law and the U.S. Constitution changed substantially between The Unconstitutionality of Slavery and No Treason No. 6. (For details, see Roderick Long’s paper.) What did change was that he became convinced, in light of the recent triumph of bayonet-point Unionism, that it was practically useless to go on citing the Constitution as a basis for attacking tyrannical laws, and that a new strategy was called for. Hence the shift to arguments explicitly based on natural law and directed against all forms of government authority, including governments based on paper constitutions.

    Polzkill:

    Far better for us all if these great men would have ENGAGED more and FOUGHT more than they did.

    Frederick Douglass:

    But I fancy I hear some one of my audience say, it is just in this circumstance that you and your brother abolitionists fail to make a favorable impression on the public mind. Would you argue more, and denounce less, would you persuade more, and rebuke less, your cause would be much more likely to succeed. But, I submit, where all is plain there is nothing to be argued. What point in the anti-slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch of the subject do the people of this country need light? … The time for such argument is past. At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could I reach the nation’s ear, I would, to-day, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.

    Polzkill:

    I can’t prove it, but I’d wager you anything you like, at any odds, that If we took a plebiscite on whether people wished to live under the Constitution or not, that they would vote in the affirmative, and so would the rest of the world.

    Well, so?

    I can’t for the life of me see what this has to do with Spooner’s explanation of the criminality of government legislators, judges, executives, etc. My point is precisely that Spooner’s argument have nothing at all to do with the outcome of majoritarian voting games.

    As for your claim that the same cabal of usurpers who, under the auspices of the United States Constitution, claimed the right to pass fugitive slave laws and crush the Whiskey Rebellion by force of arms, somehow believed that the Constitution allowed for a right of individual dissenters to freely withdraw from the political obligations that they sought to impose (!), I guess your understanding of the Constitutionalists is different from mine. As it is from the understanding of Spooner, who never made such a risible claim about the motives or expectations of the minority faction who wrote and signed off on the Constitution. (He did believe that the legal meaning of the text sometimes conflicted with their motives and expectations in writing it; but that’s an entirely different claim.)

    Me:

    Yeah, [enslaving hundreds of people] was pretty shitty of Jefferson. He was also a hypocrite, a rapist, and President of the United States, all of which I think were pretty shitty of him. What’s your point?

    Polzkill:

    As much as any single man in history, he was the force, a goddamned genius of liberty, the POWERHOUSE behind what freedoms we DO have today.

    Maybe so. Certainly, if the dude is the best there is on offer by way of concrete historical achievements towards liberty, then I guess that could help explain why we’re in such a sorry state today.

    In any case, my point is that the presumption that anarchists would just have to recognize and respect the obvious merit of a slaver, rapist, hypocrite, and President is a pretty weird presumption from which to start your argument.

    Me:

    You seem to be presuming that trying to get somebody elected President of the United States is the only way to get “things [to] improve”. But it’s not the only way. It’s not the best way, either, or even a particularly plausible way. Or, at least, if you think that it is, that’s certainly not a self-evident truth that you can just presuppose. It’s a tendentious claim that you’ll have to justify with some kind of argument.

    Polzkill:

    At least you qualified this with the words “seem & “presuming”, otherwise that’s exactly what you would have been doing. The argument you suggested for me; that WOULD be a pretty stupid argument I made, eh?

    I charitably suggested that you might be presupposing that premise, or something like it, because if you’re not presupposing that getting Ron Paul elected President is the only way to improve the situation, all you have the following argument:

    1. These folks here aren’t contributing to efforts to get Ron Paul elected President. (given)
    2. Therefore, these folks here aren’t contributing to improving the political situation. (conclusion)

    … which is a flat non sequitur. As yet there’s no reason at all to suppose that (2) follows from (1). If you add the extra premise I suggested, then you’ll have:

    0. Getting Ron Paul elected President is the only way to improve the political situation. (implicit)
    1. These folks here aren’t contributing to efforts to get Ron Paul elected President. (given)
    2. Therefore, these folks here aren’t contributing to improving the political situation. (conclusion)

    Not all of these premises are true (the implicit premise 0 is clearly false), but it is at least formally valid; if all the premises were true, the conclusion would have to follow.

    If I was being too charitable, well, I’m sorry. I take it back. If you’re not actually presuming what I said you seem to be presuming, then your conclusion isn’t supported by question-begging premises; it’s not supported by anything at all.

    Polzkill:

    Doctor Paul, inspired THOUSANDS of people like me to go out and fight these degenerates.

    Yep. Let’s all measure the inputs to the allocation process instead of measuring the outputs.

    But, well, I guess when you’ve got a prior commitment to methods that require enlisting tens of millions of other people and harnessing tens of millions of dollars, which don’t even operate but for a few months out of every four-year cycle, and which operate on winner-take-all rules that require you to win just about everything before you can win just about anything — methods which, in short, have no plausible hope of even minor progress on the margins for decades to come — measuring the inputs is about all you can do. There are no outputs to measure, and there won’t be in the forseeable future.

  31. Rad Geek,

    Sorry, I’d left for good, I thought. I’m sure your rebuttal is fine, but I’m not too interested. I just came back to leave a link to a short documentary about your club here that I viewed on the YouTubes (I hope this forum allows it). Now I really mean it, I swear, I’m outta here. Peace.

    youtube.com/watch?v=n4PYTKrKJfU

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