In debating a fellow libertarian who was disappointed that I’m not an advocate for unconditional open borders (to read why not, see my comprehensive article on the subject: The Libertarian Immigration Conundrum), I told him that one-off libertarian solutions are sometimes a trap when employed in the context of the Welfare-Warfare Superstructure. As a matter of fact, I think the corporate libertarians who are making their marks in the mainstream media often pick and choose their libertarian positions based on what their handlers sponsors prefer. (The GMOs legislation debate is an embarrassing case in point.) In any case, I thought this term was one for the glossary!
The Wall Street Journal today ran a story about gigantic touchscreens appearing in hundreds of McDonald’s in California, New York and Florida. The article was about the technology and the implication, of course, is that we free marketers should rejoice in progress even at the expense of jobs. My problem with this assumption is that <<continue reading>>
I don’t care much for Sarah Palin’s neo-conservatism, but I didn’t like it when she was mocked for not snapping to the obscure and wonky phrase “Bush Doctrine” in her first major interview as VP candidate. It was clearly a set-up. Likewise, I’m not a fan of Gary Johnson’s brand of Libertarian Light (and I am downright horrified by his choice of running mate), but this “Aleppo” thing feels as devious as the Sarah Set-Up. Look at how Barnicle asks the question. It is as completely without context as possible. He looks like an arrogant smirking quiz show host. (It’s easy to know everything about everything when someone gives you all the answers in advance. Remember when Wolf Blitzer went on Jeopardy? Priceless.)
Lemme tell ya, I read a lot of news, starting with the first section of the Wall Street Journal every single day, cover-to-cover–all the so-called news and politics in the neo-con propagator of record. If something should be known by everyone in the media or government, I should know it. And while I do know Aleppo is the second biggest* city in Syria and is getting a lot of press for its strategic importance and all the fighting there, I would not have immediately realized that the refugee crisis is what one would want to know about in asking “What would you do about ALEPPO?” with nothing more. That said, Gary’s “What is Aleppo?” is a bummer of a retort. Maybe he should have gotten the questions in advance and reminded them: “Nothing too hard.” After all, it worked for Trump: Leaked Audio Catches Mika and Joe Chatting With Trump During Break: ‘Nothing Too Hard, Mika’ (Funny thing is, when I first posted the Mika/Trump audio, one reader commented, “I’m sure they did the same thing for Ron Paul.” I’m still laughing at that one.)
I wish I had the video of Gary’s appearance in its entirety, but this is all that’s handy on youtube…maybe the rest didn’t make him look like a moron so they cut it out. If you see one with more of the show before the Aleppo question, please let me know.
Unfortunately, I was correct in predicting that not only would this be the year that traditional small government conservatives (like the Tea Party) would be drowned out in the GOP, but also that the Libertarian Party (and by extension Ron Paul purists) would be neutralized. As a demonstration of the predictable result of the set-up, the video youtube teed up for me after the clip above was titled: Gary Johnson is a buffoon, as are most libertarians. Sadly, it is all going according to plan.
On the bright side, there’s this hilarious article about the NYT reporting on the story and getting the answer wrong–twice!! http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-08/new-york-times-answers-what-aleppo-awkward-confusion-follows
For a little more fun, check out the ways these guys handled an ambush 🙂
Unfortunately, the debate over GMO labeling continues in the form of “to label or not to label” and is focused on the federal government. As is typical, stipulating that this is an issue on which the federal government should decide for all, has backfired. Calls for GMO labeling at state, local and federal levels has led to a counter-productive Frankenstein that ultimately requires a convoluted nod to disclosure while eradicating the principle of subsidiarity, cramming down federal law over state law, and even interfering with private parties from labeling as they see fit.
The libertarian solution is and always has been to allow the competitive free market to reward suppliers of non-GMO foods in accordance with the demand for them. If a place like Whole Foods Market wants to offer and label non-GMO foods and people want to pay more or go out of their way for them, those economic actors can get what they want while those who don’t worry about GMOs can get what they want from proprietors who also don’t worry about GMOs.
I am not for mandatory labeling, but I also staunchly oppose federal law dictating the parameters of state legislation in violation of the Tenth Amendment and even more vehemently oppose any law dictating the extent of non-fraudulent, good faith transparency in voluntary labeling.
Here are some articles on what has been dubbed “The DARK Law” (Denying Americans the Right to Know). Unfortunately, the articles that deal with this invariably advocate for mandatory labeling, which, as I said, I do not support. I did look for articles from libertarian sources that discuss the issue without advocating for federally mandated labeling and couldn’t find them. I did however find articles at reasonand Cato lauding the federal cram-down as ends-justifying-means. (This is the kind of disappointing policy compromise I have noticed “corporate libertarians” often favor in lieu of taking a hard line on principles.)
I have tried to find hard scientific evidence on the damage done by GMOs and was unable to find anything I considered conclusive, but of course I’m an open source investigator and not a scientist in the field, and the cards might be stacked against us laymen in our efforts to find the truth. Here are two items that make me think the cards are stacked:
Not two minutes ago, I wrote above about not finding a rational discussion of GMO labeling in mainstream libertarian media, but just now I found on reason.com the following extensive hit piece on the journalists who won–then lost–their suit against Fox regarding the Monsanto case discussed in the article above.
I am happy for reason to set the record straight on any subject whatsoever (assuming that’s what they’re doing), but I find it strange that they chose to go after these reporters (reason‘s position in the matter not being one with any particular libertarian angle), but do not fully vet the GMO issue which is crying out for a libertarian treatment to counter both the “mandatory labeling” crowd and the “prohibit labeling” crowd.
If you didn’t get your question answered, don’t worry! I’m going to do one more ask the libertarian before the end of the year and again I will prioritize off-air questions, so please tweet, facebook or email me your questions anytime!
I hate it when the opposition hijacks language such as when collectivists decided to call themselves “liberals” co-opting the term from classical liberals akin to our founders or when the left calls corruption and privilege “capitalism” instead of cronyism. Eventually if there’s no word for something it will cease to exist so I don’t want to keep giving up words! That’s why I was skeptical when I started to read this proposal by one of my favorite Atlanta libertarians, Rich Clarke. As I read through the proposal, however, I had to open my mind to it–I like the implications of consentism–it doesn’t presuppose any economic structure, just implies arms’ length transactions; it doesn’t evoke images of chaos, but of civility–it has many great points going for it…Here it is, tell me what you think…
Consentism A motion to re-brand Anarcho Capitalism
July 14, 2016 RichClarke
One thing I and fellow Anarchists struggle with in conversations with any other modern day human is the tremendous social inertia that comes with the term “Anarchy.” While its simplicity is beautiful and its true definition is hidden in plain sight: “An”, “Archos” it’s simply a battle which isn’t worth fighting every time you engage in conversation in my opinion. Especially when it is a fight which is unnecessary and only happens due to either a romantic attachment to or a failing of useful alternative to the term “Anarchy.” I would like boldly to attempt to solve the latter problem. The first step to solving a problem is first to define it so let us start there.
When ensconced in one’s circle of Anarchist friends, the term can be thrown around handily and everyone understands and relishes its true meaning. It is a jarring interruption to this euphoria to engage in use of this term in just about any other circumstance. It is easy to forget how the world reacts to the word “Anarchy,” and I have many times been snapped out of my reality coma with haste and realized that the person looking at me is no longer listening to anything I am saying and backing away slowly because I prematurely threw out the “A” word.
This experience is likely familiar to every Anarchist. Despite the remarkable simplicity of the Anarchist argument in most cases, it can easily be unraveled by just calling it by its own name. continue reading»
Classical liberalism is a political ideology that developed in the nineteenth century in Western Europe, and the Americas. It was committed to the ideal of limited government and individual liberty, including freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and free markets. It drew on the economics of Adam Smith, a psychological understanding of individual liberty, natural law and utilitarianism, and a belief in progress. Classical liberals established political parties that were called “liberal”, although in the United States classical liberalism came to dominate both existing major political parties.
The term classical liberalism was applied in retrospect to distinguish earlier nineteenth-century liberalism from the newer social liberalism. The phrase classical liberalism is also sometimes used to refer to all forms of liberalism before the twentieth century, and some conservatives and libertarians use the term classical liberalism to describe their belief in the primacy of economic freedom and minimal government. It is not always clear which meaning is intended.