Turd Sandwich, Bourbon Chaser

But Stan, don’t you know, it’s always between a giant douche and a turd sandwich. Nearly every election since the beginning of time has been between some douche and some turd.South Park

I was away until well after the election and I didn’t get around to blogging much about it because it wasn’t very important. But last night I happened upon this thread on Fark where I learned that Radley Balko voted for Kerry.

Say what?

Balko had blogged again and again that he wasn’t going to eat that turd sandwich. I went back and reviewed his blog. The run-up to the election reads like this (I’m paraphrasing) :

I’m not gonna eat the turd sandwich. I’m not gonna eat the turd sandwich. I’m not gonna eat the turd sandwich. I’m not gonna eat the turd sandwich. I’m not gonna eat the turd sandwich. I’m not gonna eat the turd sandwich. I’m not gonna eat the turd sandwich. I’m not gonna eat the turd sandwich. I’m not gonna eat the turd sandwich. I’m not gonna eat the turd sandwich. I’m not gonna eat the turd sandwich. I’m not gonna eat the turd sandwich. I’m not gonna eat the turd sandwich. I’m not gonna eat the turd sandwich. I’m not gonna eat the turd sandwich.

Oops. I ate the turd sandwich. I washed it down with a bourbon.

I’m so naive and charitable. Lynette told me what was going to happen before the election. Our conversation went something like this:

John: How bad do you think it will hurt Balko with his audience when he doesn’t vote?

Lynette: What are you talking about? He’s gonna eat the turd sandwich.

John: Huh? He’s saying he’s not going to eat it.

Lynette: You can’t be serious. He’s eating the turd sandwich.

John: How do you know he doesn’t mean it? How do you know for sure that he’ll eat the turd sandwich?

Lynette: Because he’s rolling it around in his mouth?

Sabotta’s right, I’m a naive and gentle creature. Despite all evidence I always want to think the best of people. But in retrospect it’s perfectly obvious even to me that Balko spent the whole year working himself up to eat the turd sandwich.

And for what?

He knew perfectly well that eating the turd sandwich wasn’t going to have any effect on the outcome of the election. So why did he do it?

The Fark thread demonstrates why – he’s using it for street cred as a pundit (again paraphrasing):

You accuse me of being in the pocket of the Giant Douche? Well here’s how much you know: I ate the Turd Sandwich!!!

Better keep those bourbons coming…

Net.Crybabies

Good grief. Matthew Barganier pointed out what this Maxwell Borders guy thinks:

If boiling people alive best served the interests of the American people, then it would neither be moral or immoral.

Now Max is whining like a little baby about being called on the whole affair.

If Borders didn’t think that Barganier had a point, there wouldn’t be anything for him to bitch about anyone “playing dirty” with. But like the folks at You-Know-Where say, “If you can’t refute them, just make criminal accusations”.

Things That Make My Eyes Glaze Over

Stark-stupid “libertarians” who refute themselves in one paragraph:

Most libertarians understand the profoundly irrational aspect of voting — i.e. that you’ll have a greater effect on politics if you call in to a radio show and say something clever instead of going to the polls. You have a better chance running into Michael Badnarik at the Piggly Wiggly than having your vote be the deciding factor in an election. In the meantime, the teeming hordes follow their baser instincts all the way to the church basement and vote their “consciences.” But aside from the Constitution and the Courts, democracy is the only game in town.

Christ. Why not just advocate sun-worshiping? I mean, it’s irrational and all, but aside from reading chicken entrails, it’s the only game in town.

Serving The People

I’ve recently received the State Voter’s Guide in the mails, and as usual the Libertarian Party is doing its best to make a big splash. Mercifully, the bleats about “terrorism” have pretty much eclipsed their former quadrennial calls for legalizing pot and then taxing the growers:

Vote Libertarian! More Taxes! Yay!

However, you’ll still find plenty of LP agitprop in favor of making government run more efficiently:

Citizens should vote for Brad because he is not a politician and will do his best to provide sound leadership and competent management to ensure our Attorney General’s office runs smoothly, efficiently, and serves the people.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Run more efficiently? I don’t know about you, Brad, but I’d be overjoyed if the whole disgusting works ground to a halt, choked on paperwork and conflicting regulations. I certainly don’t want it running with anything approaching efficiency or effectiveness – the stumbling incompetence of DMV-esque feebs might very well be the last bulwark of freedom. Further, I doubt that the state AG’s office can do much to “serve” me, except perhaps in the Twilight Zone sense:

The Libertarian Party – here to serve you“.

But that really isn’t fair – the LP is and always will be a single-digit election failure. Even if they managed to gain power, I doubt that they’d feed us to aliens – unless it was to save us from being fed to even worse aliens, of course. Then, strictly as a compromise measure, the LP might temporarily endorse “limited alien-feeding”. Aliens can’t give up feasting on humans overnight, you see. We need gradual change.

Only anarchist loons want to see aliens stop eating humans right now.

Irrational Evangelism Won’t Work

In the comments section of Kennedy’s post Though The Lew-king Glass, Pete petulantly asks:

What a worthless sack of shit you are Kennedy. Don’t you have anything better to do than nitpick LRC?

Pete’s anger puzzles me: perhaps individuals can believe that rational evangelism will work, but shouldn’t it be blatantly obvious that false statements won’t do a thing for liberty?

Mises vs. Cato: Good For You And Good For Me

The Libertarian Jackass gets it exactly right with this comment on the Mises Vs. Cato slapfight:

No, quite frankly, we can’t all just get along. … Either you’re a libertarian or you’re not. End of story.

Of course the problem is that carrying the idea of libertarianism to its logical conclusion means that you have to embrace anarchism, and disavow the collectivist groupthinking that “Institutes” and “movements” attract. Principled individualism is the antithesis of a movement, because a movement is an inherently collectivist enterprise. Do the members of the Cato Insitute or the Mises Institute think that food is best produced by collective action? No? Then why are they obsessing over the best way to collectively produce liberty?

Take this Ogden fellow:

Can’t we all live under the ideological umbrella?

No, we can’t, because in the war of individualism vs. collectivism, there are approximately 42 individualists arrayed against the various tribes of chimpanzees hooting and gibbering for their blood. Forming movements, or worse yet, bitch-fighting about whose movement is the best, is just another form of collectivist chimping – less worse than the quadrennial battle of R’s & D’s, but still a battle of group vs. group: the concept of a principled individual is implicitly repudiated.

This is because a movement must necessarily try to sell itself to other people. That means packaging unpleasant truths in ways that appeal to the mass of men. It’s the whole “Libertarian Communicator” bit: “We’ll just put a little bit of spin on things, so freedom’s more palatable to folks…” That’s when you end up with “libertarians” advocating drug legalization in order to increase tax revenue, or championing government border controls in order to reduce welfare spending. People simply will not accept what freedom means. Russell Madden noted:

Tell an American that “to be free” means:

No Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, no welfare, no guaranteed loans…

No “public” schools…

No “public” roads…

No taxation…

No national or state or city parks…

No mandated recycling…

No State-run airports and security…

Yes. Inform the average American of what “freedom” means and he that he will have to live within its parameters forever and he will crawl into a fetal ball and weep in abject panic…

So where does a libertarian movement go from there? What does an institute do about that? The answer is that they simply don’t touch it – they will consciously avoid exploring the implications of individual sovreignity. That’s why a movement is utterly useless to me: I have no desire for the drooling masses to do anything at all except to leave me alone. Think it’s likely that Cato or Mises will convince many people to do that? Movements are a distraction at best.

In fact, there are probably folks (like young Ogden, perhaps) who are caught up in this movement nonsense that could otherwise be looking for a way out of the cattle car. They certainly aren’t doing any good cheerleading various institutes, and who knows – maybe if they looked, they’d find a hole and leave it open for me. That’s why I fully support attacking both The Mises Institute and The Cato Institute.

It’s a race to the bottom. The longer it runs, the worse both sides will be proven to be. And damage to movements is good for the cause of the principled individual. So have at it, Mises and Cato! We principled individualists could use a forty-third.

Libertarian Fallacy Debate

Over at Catallarchy, Brian Doss notes this:

Specifically, Jacob Levy goes into why he will join the dark side (for this election) and specifically not vote for the Libertarian candidate, Michael Badnarik- and in so doing has started a small debate on what constitutes an appropriate libertarian foreign policy post-9/11.

Doss then continues, analyzing the fallacies of the Badnarik campaign. But he ignores a larger, more fundamental fallacy: the false dichotomy of “vote for a Libertarian” vs. “vote for a ‘real’ candidate”.

What are Levy and Badnarik doing voting at all? If they really think that other people aren’t their property, why do they vote on the matter? If they’re capable of logical analysis of their voting positions, why don’t they apply the same analysis to their vote itself?

Lew Rockwell Likes International Law

Has Lew Rockwell abandoned every shred of rational thought over this Iraq fiasco? Judge for yourself:

At the same time, it is preposterous for anyone to speak of democracy in Iraq so long as Saddam Hussein is in an official spider hole. He was unseated on a basis that is contrary to all standards of legal conduct between nations. The US decided on its own that he should no longer be the president of Iraq ? the very thing all norms of international law are designed to prevent. No government needs to be permanent, but those who pose no threat to international peace should be managed, controlled, or overthrown by their own citizens.

Say what? “Democracy”? “Legal conduct between nations”? Look here, you: you can take your international law, fold it until it is all sharp corners, and stuff it right into your trash can, along with democracy and elections and every other two-bit fraud that governments spit out. There are plenty of honest, principled objections to the Iraq war, none of which include whining about “international law” and “democracy” like some God-damned commie.

Rockwell is implicitly conceding that the nebulous concept of international law (and even worse, “democracy”) is a principle worth defending. He’s making the same mistake that the Constitution-huggers do, namely blanking-out on exactly who it is that writes, interprets and enforces “the law”. And there’s more:

All these bureaucrats need to admit is that they have no legitimacy at all, but rather acted as civilian cover for a martial law junta that ruled by blood and lies. Then the UN can work with Islamic clerics, the merchant class, and other Iraqi leaders to fill the void, not with force but with peace.

‘Scuse me, but exactly what legitimacy does the UN have, there or anywhere? And exactly what government does not “rule by blood and lies”?

Perhaps for an encore, Lew Rockwell will combine his love for democracy, international law, and the UN, and openly advocate a world government. That’d be consistent, at least.