Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation.”     James Madison

April 13, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: A Big-City Liberal Republican

by Doug Mataconis

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Kimberly Strassel writes about some things from Rudy Giuliani’s past that should cause concern for anyone who believes in fiscal conservativsm:

The date is the mid-1990s, and Republicans have swept Congress with their Contract with America. A top promise is greater fiscal responsibility, and a crucial element of that is a vow to pass a line-item veto and give the president the power to weed out pork. In 1996 Republicans are as good as their word, and grant the opposition’s Bill Clinton a broad new power to strip wasteful spending.

Mr. Clinton is enthusiastic, and in August 1997 uses his tool for the first time to strike down a special-interest provision tucked in a bill. That provision gives New York hospitals a unique right to bilk extra Medicaid money, and the veto is expected to save federal taxpayers at least $200 million. Quicker than a Big Apple pol can say “pork,” New York officials sue, challenging the line item veto’s constitutionality. That suit, Clinton v. City of New York, goes all the way to the Supremes, which in 1998 put the kibosh on veto authority.

The kicker? The guy who brought the suit and won–or, rather, the guy who helped stall one of the more powerful tools for reining in government spending–was none other than former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

And that’s not the only example of the disdain that Giuliani had for fiscal restraint during his time as Mayor of New York:

[N]o one should forget Mr. Giuliani came up through the big-city system. It’s tough to be principled in a town defined by crushing social costs, all-powerful unions and party machines. Harder still when you are the only Republican in 50 miles. For all of Mr. Giuliani’s initial reform fervor (it eventually waned), he was a master at parochial politics, at throwing idealism under the double-decker tour bus if it meant getting more for the Big Apple–no matter who paid for it.

Take the line-item veto. For decades New York had taken advantage of a special program that allowed it alone to reap extra federal Medicaid dollars. The city’s broken health system was dependent on this booty, and its loss would have required painful change. Mr. Giuliani instead sued, portraying the issue as us-against-them. When he won, his press release declared it a “great victory” for “the people of the city, the state and the constitution of the U.S.” No mention of the other Americans who got to float NYC’s bills.

Here’s another one: Out-of-city residents had long complained about New York’s onerous commuter tax, and in 1999 the state legislature moved for repeal. Rightfully so, since it was unprincipled and bad economic policy. Yet it gave New York City $360 million a year, which is why Mr. Giuliani fought (unsuccessfully) against its end. Or take Nafta, which Mr. Giuliani complained would be bad for New York.

Rudy Giuliani has become very adept at using the rhetoric of fiscal conservatism during his time as a Presidential candidate. The important question, though, is not what he says, but what he would do as President. His record as Mayor of New York would seem to indicate that his allegience to fiscal restraint would be minimal at best.

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84 Comments

  1. Regarding the commuter taxes, yes I imagine that non-NYC residents would not want to pay them. No one wants to pay anything for anything, especially taxes.

    Assuming that any tax can ever be tolerated, it is incorrect to call the commuter tax “unprincipled and bad economic policy.” The principle is that a tax is applied at the point of economic activity — which is NYC.

    As for “bad economic policy,” it is exactly the opposite. NYC has a great business environment, and we charge the price the market will bear to use it. Indeed, I’m not sure we can’t charge more. Perhaps we should raise the commuter tax, and lower the tax on the true shareholders of NYC — New Yorkers. We might even be able to pay a dividend.

    Comment by Rob — April 13, 2007 @ 12:14 pm
  2. Why is this website called “Liberty Papers”?

    It has little if anything to do with Liberty. Rather it purposely seeks to destroy liberty, by ensuring that libertarians never succeed in mainstream American politics.

    I suggest a name change.

    How does “Fascist Papers” grab ya? I think it’s more appropriate for the anti-libertarian venom that is spewed on a daily basis here on this website.

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 13, 2007 @ 12:24 pm
  3. Eric,

    What do you think is more important…..winning elections or actually advancing the cause of freedom ?

    For me, it’s the second. I cannot see the sense of supporting a candidate who I do not believe will govern in anything resembling a manner that respects individual liberty, private property, and fiscal restraint just because someone has slapped the “libertarian” label on him.

    You can call a cat a dog, but it still you fetch your slippers.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — April 13, 2007 @ 12:27 pm
  4. Eric,

    Anti-libertarian ? You have got to be kidding me.

    Outside of what I and others here have written about Giuliani, McCain, Romney and the others which I would think can be called anti-libertarian only because we don’t subscribe to your view of political strategy, I challenge you to cite one post that is anti-libertarian.

    I know you can’t do it.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — April 13, 2007 @ 12:28 pm
  5. Come on guys, how can you be so cruel to Eric? Only fascists would hold a man accountable for his actions, while a socialist libertarian knows that the blame really lies with society

    Anyway, who cares about the meat of the policies, it’s the label that counts – look at how all those liberals elected to office in the first half of the 20th century advanced liberty! ;)

    Comment by tarran — April 13, 2007 @ 12:59 pm
  6. Damn, the word socialist was supposed to have a strikeout. I guess I need remedial HTML training.

    I blame society! ;)

    Comment by tarran — April 13, 2007 @ 1:00 pm
  7. The real issue with the line-item veto is that it violates separation of powers as done through past legislation. I would be ok with it if the line-item was added to the Constitution via the amendment process.

    Everybody thinks the line-item veto is a great idea. The problem is that nobody starts to wonder if it’s constitutionally authorized.

    Comment by Adam — April 13, 2007 @ 1:09 pm
  8. Damn, the word socialist was supposed to have a strikeout. I guess I need remedial HTML training.

    I blame society! ;)

    I blame government schools.

    Comment by Kevin — April 13, 2007 @ 2:07 pm
  9. How does “Fascist Papers” grab ya?

    From someone who supports warrantless searches, increased government spending, and taxpayer funded abortion; you’re certainly an expert in fascism.

    Comment by Kevin — April 13, 2007 @ 2:10 pm
  10. Like I said Doug, I think you’re secretly working for the Fascists or the Democrats (pretty much the same thing.)

    There’s nothing positive here, unlike my website which is almost 100% positive.

    All you do here is bitch and whine, about how so and so is “not really a libertarian,” or how so and so, is a “fascist” on such and such an issue.

    Buck up Dude. The glass really is half full sometimes.

    Example: Just yesterday the COLORADO STATE LEGISLATURE REJECTED A HORRIBLY AUTHORITARIAN SEAT BELT LAW BILL. BTW, the Republicans defeated the Democrat Bill.

    This should be screaming headlines on your site. (It is on mine at http://www.mainstreamlibertarian.com).

    Instead, you’ve not one BUT TWO!!! pieces bashing Rudy Giuliani.

    What else could anyone take away from that?

    One can only conclude that you are working for our enemies, the Fascists or the Democrats. Your aim is clearly to be a downer, and depress other Libertarian activists. Optimism is not part of your vocabularly.

    Life sucks. There’s no hope for liberty. All our efforts to advance liberty are failures.

    My gosh, I’d hate to be your wife. If you even have one.

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 13, 2007 @ 5:36 pm
  11. Kevin:

    Here’s Eric on the issues you rasie —

    Warrantless surches – ambivelant, non-issue, and I’m just sick and goddamned tired of hearing about a very, very stupid issue. Talk to me about something that matters, like seat belt laws, drinking age laws and the Democrats support for the Military Draft, that actually effects people’s lives.

    Government spending? Cut it to the bone. Across the board cuts. I’d start off with the Rudy Giuliani playbook of cutting taxes 23 times, and privatizing everything in site.

    Taxypayer funded abortions? Eliminate it. No funding for abortions by the State or Federal, with one tiny, tiny exception – if some women comes to the ER and an abortion is needed to save her life, if it’s a government funded Hospital, I’d oppose kicking her out on the street, and telling her to die.

    There ya have it.

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 13, 2007 @ 5:41 pm
  12. So, Dondero, if we don’t post about things you consider important we are Fascists?

    Please spare me. We’ve been bashed by better than you for not adhering to some imaginary party line that we have to follow.

    Comment by Adam Selene — April 13, 2007 @ 6:19 pm
  13. Adam, what effects an average Americans’ lives more? Some arcane issue about wireless phone tapping of Radical Muslims here illegally here in the United States, or some Joe Sixpack guy driving home from a hard day’s work on the construction site, and being pulled over by some Asshole Cop for not wearing his seat belt, and having the cop find an empty beer can in the back of his pickup and taking him to jail for alleged DUI?

    You want to defend that jerkoff University of Tampa Professor who had known ties to Al Quada and who was raising money for Hezbolah.

    I want to defend the hardworking Joe who gets taxed to death each year by the IRS, can’t smoke anymore at the bars cause of some ludicrous smoking ban laws pushed by Liberal Nanny-staters, and is limited to drinking 1 1/2 beers an hour at the local Tavern cause of some idiotic new laws that say that if he’s caught with more than .8% alcohol in his blood he’s getting booked on DWI.

    Now looking at this from a political perspective, which strategy do you think is more appealing to Mainstream America, and is more likely to attract support and votes for the libertarian movement?

    Better you think if we hold boring-ass policy wonker conferences in DC or Chicago about how Muslim University Professors might be harrassed by the FBI, for ties to Radical Muslim groups.

    Or, do ya think it might be better if we Libertarians organized to repeal seat belt laws, lower the drinking age, get the legal DWI limit back up to 1.0% where it belongs, and held protests to Stop IRS harrassment of American workers?

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 13, 2007 @ 9:29 pm
  14. Kevin,

    I think I figured it out..here’s Mister “Mainstream Libertarian” on the issues you raise:

    Warrantless surches – ambivelant, non-issue, and I’m just sick and goddamned tired of hearing about a very, very stupid issue. Talk to me about something that matters, like seat belt laws, drinking age laws and the Democrats support for the Military Draft, that actually effects people’s lives.

    In other words, let the police search my home and track my internet account as they wish, as long as I can drink beer and smoke pot.

    Government spending? Cut it to the bone. Across the board cuts. I’d start off with the Rudy Giuliani playbook of cutting taxes 23 times, and privatizing everything in site.

    Umm, yeah. This is the guy who cut the city budget at the same time he lobbied for increase subsidies from Albany and Washington. Sorry, I don’t buy it.

    Taxypayer funded abortions? Eliminate it. No funding for abortions by the State or Federal, with one tiny, tiny exception – if some women comes to the ER and an abortion is needed to save her life, if it’s a government funded Hospital, I’d oppose kicking her out on the street, and telling her to die.

    Hey, wait a minute. Isn’t that a Fred Thompson position ? I thought Rudy was they guy who said taxpayer funded abortions were a constitutional right.

    I’m sorry, but playing the Rudy-ite is making my head explode…..

    Any libertarian who says that anyone is entitled to taxpayer funds for any medical procedure is either a hypocrite or a political hack.

    Dondero…..take your pick.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — April 13, 2007 @ 9:35 pm
  15. Dondero, if you bothered to read the archives of TLP you would find out that we care about all sorts of things that constitute freedom and liberty.

    Since Giuliani doesn’t give a rip about the things you say are important, I tend to think of you as a hypocrite. He isn’t going to do a damn thing about seatbelt laws. In fact, he probably thinks they are great things.

    I’m seriously tempted to ban you just to get rid of the white noise.

    Comment by Adam Selene — April 13, 2007 @ 9:41 pm
  16. Adam,

    I have wondered many times, why you guys continue to let Eric bash you guys. I have thought, “You know, the guy is an idiot, who brings nothing to the conversation. Why don’t they just ban his ass?”

    But, I have to say, Don’t. He wins if you do. He can go onto his website and say, “I got banned at The Liberty Papers because I am more libertarian than them and they couldn’t handle my arguments.”

    Besides, reading what he writes only serves to reinforce my views.

    Nick

    Comment by Nick M. — April 13, 2007 @ 10:06 pm
  17. Selen(a),

    Ban me if you wish. That will just prove how you all are Fascists who don’t support Free Speech and Debate within the libertarian movement. You’re already suspect of that. So, you’ll just be proving me right.

    Secondly, I like Fred Thompson. I view Fred and Rudy as virtually idential on the issues. And I’m supporting both of them, (as well as Wayne Root on the Libertarian Party side).

    Thirdly, Selen(a), last time I checked you weren’t an Islamic extremist with ties to Terrorism? So, why do you care about FBI wiretapping?

    Do you advocate allowing Islamic extremists who are mostly here illegally in our country (overstaying their Visas and such, if they even had them in the first place), not being monitored by the FBI?

    Let’s get you on record.

    Do you or do you not support allowing Islamic Extremists here in the US illegally to continue to conduct terrorist operations and fund terrorist aligned groups, like that Univ. of Tampa Professor after 9/11?

    The FBI is NOT going after Libertarians with wire tapping, nor do they have any plans to ever. They are going after Islamic extremist with aims at blowing up buildings and killing Americans.

    Do you not support that?

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 14, 2007 @ 7:51 am
  18. Eric,

    When the income tax was first authorized, it was sold to the American public as something “only the rich would ever pay”, and the tax brackets ranged from 1% (which was only on an income about 4 times the national median) to 7%. Run out in the future, and now we pay anywhere from 15% (social security/medicare) to above 40%. And pretty much everyone pays.

    So you’re going to tell me that our government is taking much wider powers of searching into people’s lives, and they’re only going to use that power for combating terrorism? Sorry, I just don’t buy it.

    And you know, I might believe it if they weren’t ALREADY DOING IT! You know that if you go to buy sudafed, you have to sign your name and have your ID checked, and that information will go into a Fed database, right? You know how we got that law? It’s part of the reauthorization of the PATRIOT ACT!

    Eric, this is why you’re not really a libertarian. You don’t understand that when you give the government sweeping new powers, they’re not going to limit it to only the scope of investigation that you want to see. You want to see drugs legalized, but it will be things like the PATRIOT ACT, warrantless wiretaps, and the money laundering provisions, currently used to try to find terrorists, that will eventually be used to fight War on Drugs.

    The only way to keep government from using its power to infringe on your liberty is to not give government the power in the first place.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — April 14, 2007 @ 10:19 am
  19. Nick:

    But, I have to say, Don’t. He wins if you do.

    Oh, we all agree. We have never yet banned someone for what they said. That was just venting on my part.

    Dondero, you sound more and more foolish every time you open your mouth. But we’ll never ban someone for being foolish.

    Ban me if you wish. That will just prove how you all are Fascists who don’t support Free Speech and Debate within the libertarian movement. You’re already suspect of that. So, you’ll just be proving me right.

    By whom? Name names. Or shut up.

    Comment by Adam Selene — April 14, 2007 @ 10:19 am
  20. For the record, I’m not in favor of banning Eric, despite the fact that he can’t argue his way out of a paper bag, and resorts to juvenile tactics like blatant ad hominem attacks and trying to make plays on people’s names (really, Selen(a)? grow up) in order to deride them.

    Maybe, if he sticks around here, he’ll learn something. Perhaps starting at our Theory and Ideas category would help…

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — April 14, 2007 @ 10:27 am
  21. laughing, making plays on my name convinced me of two things. The first is that he is incredibly immature. The second is that he has little understanding of why I chose this handle.

    Comment by Adam Selene — April 14, 2007 @ 10:29 am
  22. Adam,

    As I’ve said previously, Eric isn’t one of those “reading” libertarians… He wouldn’t get the reference.

    For him, libertarianism boils down to one thing:

    His god-given right to drink a few beers, smoke a joint, then drive without seat belt to take his underage prostitute girlfriend down to the abortion clinic.

    That’s what libertarians really want, isn’t it? ;-)

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — April 14, 2007 @ 11:35 am
  23. Yep, that’s what I want, and I’m not even a libertarian!

    P.S. what do you think of the live preview function?

    Comment by Adam Selene — April 14, 2007 @ 11:53 am
  24. Looks good.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — April 14, 2007 @ 12:16 pm
  25. Right you are Brad! Thank you. You finally fucking get it.

    I ain’t no goddamned boring-ass Policy Wanker Libertarian. I’m a Meat and Potatos Libertarian. And I’m on a crusade to purge the goddamned Policy Wankers out of my Libertarian movement, or at least make them sit at the back of the bus and shut the fuck up.

    The Wankers have caused more damage to our Libertarian Movement, than any other group in the last 30 years.

    All they do is whine and bitch and bring down Real Political Activists like me and LRC folks, RLC folks and others WHO ACTUALLY DO THE WORK FOR THE LIBERTARIAN MOVEMENT.

    Know where I was this morning?

    8:30 am — Missouri City, Texas (next door to Sugarland near Houston).

    Kevin Tunstall is Vice-Chair of the Texas Libertarian Party. He’s running a real live race for City Council, and actually has an excellent shot of winning.

    I, and 5 others (plus Kevin’s two young daughters), walked a Precint for 4 hours.

    Take a guess how many Policy Wankers showed up this morning to walk Precincts with us?

    ZERO!

    Only one other Libertarian besides Kevin was there — Michael Lee. No other LPers showed up. And certainly no Wankers.

    They were all too busy debating Chapter 11 of Ludvig von Mises Economics Text, no doubt.

    Wankers: Time for you all to step aside and let up Libertarian Activist run things. You lazy-asses.

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 14, 2007 @ 2:42 pm
  26. Brad:

    No to the “underage” prostitute. I’m absolutely 100% opposed to sex with minors.

    All the other stuff is fine. But sex with minor, not only NO BUT FUCK NO!

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 14, 2007 @ 2:44 pm
  27. Brad, how do you propose we fight Islamic Terrorism here in the United States, if you completely tie the hands of the local cops and the Feds?

    You say you don’t want wiretapping. Great. So, how then do you propose that the Police can stop the Muhammed Attahs from blowing up the Sears Tower, LA’s Library Tower, or some other US skyscraper?

    And do you want to abolish all immigrations restrictions, as well?

    Some guy from Saudi Arabia comes here, with known ties to Al Qaeda, and tells the Border Patrol Agent that he’s “here to visit Disney World.” You okay with letting him in?

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 14, 2007 @ 2:47 pm
  28. Yep, all those news accounts and personal stories of folks who are not terrorists being persecuted by the FBI, the Secret Service and so forth are just figments of everyone’s imagination. The increase in police state powers since 9/11, that impinge on people daily (like TSA insanity at the airport, for example), just isn’t real. All that massive expansion of police state power is only focused on terrorists.

    Dondero, have you ever read any history that explains how authoritarian governments in nations that were nominally liberal democracies came into being? Somehow, I don’t think so. Do you know how governments use the “feared outsider” to usurp power and become more authoritarian?

    Those seat belt laws, while annoying, are far less of a problem than the steady usurpation of power by the government through its various “War on X” campaigns, including the wildly over the top reaction in the “War on (some) Terror”.

    And you can get off your high and mighty hobby horse about working for some libertarian city council candidate. Big f’ing deal. You’re a neo-con with a few concerns about your personal comfort zone. Prepared to elect another George W. Bush while pretending he’s committed to liberty.

    Comment by Adam Selene — April 14, 2007 @ 3:43 pm
  29. Eric,

    I expect— no, DEMAND— that my government engage in some level of judicial oversight. The government must be accountable, and things such as warrantless wiretaps and warrantless National Security Letters (now with 200% more gag order!). And people who are picked up as enemy combatants in the United States, whether citizen or not, are entitled to some habeas corpus rights.

    I’m not asking that we get rid of the police. I’m asking that we at least have someone watching the watchers. When you take accountability out of the equation, bad things happen.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — April 14, 2007 @ 4:33 pm
  30. Wow Selena, thanks for clearing that one up for me. So 9/11 was “just a figment of everyone’s imagination.” There’s no such thing as a Radical Muslim.

    Theo van Gogh was never murdered. In fact, he’s sitting in a cafe right now in Amsterdam sipping on a latte.

    And Daniel Pearle? Hey, that was a fake murder just for the cameras. In fact, Pearle is still alive and well, and is hanging out with some lovely Muslim ladies in Whatever-astan.

    Yupper. No threats to the United States out there. Islam is a Religion of Peace, didn’t you all know that?

    And that Achmadjemidad fellow, is actually quite friendly. In fact, I have it from a good source that he loves to play checkers, drinks tea, and regularly walks his dog.

    Hey, wasn’t that Hitler guy a dog lover too?

    Ya see. Leave it to Leftwing Libertarian Policy Wonkers. They always get to the bottom of things.

    Iranian Dictators, Islamic Terrorists, even Hitler nice guys according to the Leftwing Libertarians. So nice to have them around to clear such things up for all of us.

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 14, 2007 @ 6:59 pm
  31. Hey Brad. Question for ya.

    I’ve traveled the world: 25 nations, in fact. On 5 Continents. I speak about 15 languages.

    Ya think I would be accorded such rights in any other countries around the world?

    Maybe the English speaking countries; the Aussies, Brits, et.al. I’m sure the French, and Germans. Most likely the Spaniards too. And certainly the Japanese.

    But beyond that?

    Why are you so anxious to give non-citizens of this country the same rights as citizens.

    What’s the point in citizenship then?

    What’s the point in even having a United States of America?

    What you’re advocating by giving non-citizens equal rights of citizens who WERE BORN HERE!!! is abolishment of the United States.

    That’s not libertairanism. That’s hateful Treasonous Anarchy.

    I thought “Liberty Papers” was a libertarian website not an Anarchist site.

    Which is it?

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 14, 2007 @ 7:03 pm
  32. Hey Selena, when’s the last time you did any work for a Libertarian running for public office?

    Or too busy, reading Rothbardian reviews of Austrian Economics on Stag inflation and the importance of Monetary Reform and economic indicators of praxeology and Austrian methodology which causes Marginal utlity rates to fluxuate during eras of economic depression?

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 14, 2007 @ 7:10 pm
  33. *chuckles* you can twist my words however you want Dondero, that doesn’t change what I actually said. I asked you if the abuse of the police powers by the state against those who are not terrorists was a figment of our imagination. Kindly answer the question.

    I don’t read Rothbard, nor am I a libertarian. Any idea what my political orientation might be? Here’s a hint. Everything you need to know to figure it out is contained as a clue within my nom de guerre. Here’s another hint, I could have just as easily chosen to call myself Bernardo de la Paz. Or Neil O’Heret Brain. I suspect that would be too esoteric for you, though.

    Comment by Adam Selene — April 14, 2007 @ 7:42 pm
  34. Okay, I’ll bite. My guess? You’re a Paleo-Conservative. Constitution Party sort of guy. Maybe slightly Buchananite, right?

    Which fits. I respect that actually. To me Paleo-Conservatives against the War is quite consistent. There’s absolutely no hypocrisy there, as there is HUGE hypocrisy in a Libertarian being against the War.

    Allow me to explain:

    We Libertairans support Sex, Booze and Rock ‘n Roll. We’re Social Libertines. We like to have a good time. We’re Pro-Choice. We’re cool with our buddy smoking a little pot. And yes, in our younger days, we may have even ventured down to Tijuana to get drunk on Jose Cuervo and employ the services of a Mexican hooker.

    You Conservatives are a bunch of Prudes. You’re idea of a good time is crawling up in a cozy rocking chair with your Bible in one hand and a Lord Acton tome in the other. Oh, with a cup of nice hot tea, and maybe, just maybe… gonna be daring here… a couple sweet crumpets to go along with it.

    But I gotta be honest. You’re philosophy is somewhat consistent with the philosophy of Muslims. They too are quite prudish, in different ways, but still prudish.

    So, I actually respect you and believe you to be consistent. You don’t have a problem with Muslims invading our country, cause fundamentally, you don’t have a problem with Sharia Law (though you’d prefer to give it a good Christian name). You and Muslims are aligned in wanting to outlaw abortion, outlaw drugs, keep gays in the closet (at least you Cons are better on this one than the Muslims who just want to straight out kill all gays).

    So, I actually don’t have so much of a problem with you and your ilk. You are simply my enemy. And I will do everything in my power to defeat you and your Muslim Fundamentalist allies.

    It’s these Leftwing Libertarians I have the problem with. The ones who falsely claim that they are “tolerant” and “care about civil liberties.” Yet, they are perfectly willing to hand our country over to Islamo-Fascists.

    They are, as far as I am concerned, TRAITORS TO LIBERTARIANISM!!!

    You Sir, are merely an enemy of Libertarians. So, ironically, I respect you a bit more.

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 14, 2007 @ 8:14 pm
  35. Adam Selene:

    Here’s my answer to the question. The only instance I ever heard of what you talk about was with that asshole Fascist University Professor down at the University of Tampa. All the Civil Liberties advocates defended him for months, from charges that he was raising money for Hezbollah. They condemned the FBI and the Bush Administration for “illegal wiretapping” his phones.

    Well, turns out the guy was not only raising money for Hezbollah but he had firm ties to Al Qaeda.

    I don’t know anyone, who knows anyone who has ever heard of anyone ever having their phone tapped by the FBI.

    And if the FBI wants to listen into my phone conversations, if that would help catch Al Qaeda, they’re more than welcome too.

    But as it is they are so constricted for such activities by ultra-liberal ACLU lawyers, that they could never do that in a million years.

    But if you’re asking me about the case in Tampa, my flat out answer is YES, I think it was perfectly fine for the FBI to tap that guys phone and spy on his activities with Islamic extremists.

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 14, 2007 @ 8:20 pm
  36. Ya think I would be accorded such rights in any other countries around the world?

    Probably not. But aren’t we supposed to be better? Shining city on a hill, and all that? A society in which civil rights actually matter? Government that should be our servant, not our master?

    Or is that un-libertarian?

    Why are you so anxious to give non-citizens of this country the same rights as citizens.

    What you’re advocating by giving non-citizens equal rights of citizens who WERE BORN HERE!!! is abolishment of the United States.

    Not the same rights. But isn’t there an understanding that all humans have some rights? That rights are natural and inherent? I know you don’t care for ideas, but such are the things that John Locke and the rest of the leading lights of the Enlightenment were talking about?

    These are the ideas that our nation was founded upon. That the government cannot infringe upon anyone’s rights without due process. All I’m asking for is due process.

    I thought “Liberty Papers” was a libertarian website not an Anarchist site.

    Which is it?

    Ahh, you’re learning… At least you’re not calling us fascists any more.

    Which is it? Ask any contributor to this site, and you’ll get different answers. I’ve been called both, to tell you the truth. If you want my answer, though, you should check here and here.

    To understand Adam’s answer, though, you’ll have to actually read some Heinlein.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — April 14, 2007 @ 9:05 pm
  37. Dondero:

    Okay, I’ll bite. My guess? You’re a Paleo-Conservative. Constitution Party sort of guy. Maybe slightly Buchananite, right?

    Ummmm, no. I detest Buchanan. I am not a conservative of any sort. The Constitution Party is nothing of the sort. You’re so far off that I am truly laughing my ass off at the idea that you call yourself a libertarian and have no clue who Adam Selene is. Since I’ve made an issue of some sort of the name, you would think you would have done a bit of research to find out. You clearly have not, and now a bunch of folks who do know are surely snickering at you.

    Let me give you a few more hints. I’m an atheist. I do not believe in collective action or responsibility. I believe taxation is the worst possible thing that we can do, it is economic slavery. I abhor the idea of mass democracy. I firmly believe in TANSTAAFL. Now, perhaps you can figure out my political beliefs.

    I wonder how you can call yourself a libertarian, considering their principles about the initiation of force and your support for the actions of the Bush administration? The principle of non-initiation of force is one of the single biggest things that prevents me from considering myself a libertarian. You, though, appear to have no real, consistent, coherent principles or ethics. Otherwise you could not call yourself a libertarian and continue to support the Patriot Act.

    As far as how the FBI has behaved, apparently you haven’t followed the recent public disclosure of the actions of the FBI with national security letters. Before talking out of your ass, read the news.

    There really isn’t any subtlety to you at all, is there Dondero? Nor any real understanding of major figures in classic liberal and libertarian theory and principle? You really do call yourself a libertarian because you don’t want to wear a seatbelt and you would love to smoke dope legally, don’t you? You haven’t a clue as to the actual theories, ideas, principles and ethics that underpin the political ideas we call Liberalism, Libertarianism and Anarcho-Capitalism, do you?

    I think the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were two of the finest examples of an attempt to institute a system of government that would be fairly close to what I believe. Most libertarians are reasonably happy with the Constitution as a founding document of limited government that they can live with. If you actually believe in limited government and a strict interpretation of the Constitution, which is a strong libertarian position, you cannot support the Patriot Act as Constitutional. Then again, I doubt that you really understand the principles and ideas that led to Madison writing the Constitution.

    Now, given your ideas about who has rights and who doesn’t, maybe we can discuss the Constitution. Read the Constitution. Find anywhere in the base document and Bill of Rights that implies that any of the limits of the government’s powers or protected rights applies in any way to only those considered U.S. citizens. Show me where the idea of due process of law, the right to keep and bear arms, freedom of speech, freedom from search and seizure, and so on, is limited to only those people who, by lucky chance, are born inside the boundaries of the United States, or are lucky enough to be naturalized.

    Do you believe, as Brad asked, that a human has inherent natural rights to life, liberty and property? What do you think of the ideas of Locke, Montesquieue, Smith, Madison, Jefferson, and Paine, for example? Have you read Hayek or Friedman? Any idea how their thoughts descend over the years from the earlier philosophers I cited?

    When you talk about socialism, “liberals” and the left, I wonder what you know about it? Who was Orwell talking about when he decried “A Revolution Betrayed”? Why is Fascism considered “right wing” and Bolshevism considered “left wing”? Wings of what? Tell me about the various Internationals, the Zimmerwald Conference and the “Zimmerwald Left”. Can you describe how the socialism of a Prussian dominated Germany led to the fascism of a Nazi dominated Germany? Why did that lead to the antipathy and hatred between Bolsheviks and National Socialists? How did WWI affect the international socialist movement? What was the Fourth International and what did the Trotskyites have to do with it? What is Anarcho-Syndicalism vs. Social Democracy vs. Democratic Socialism? What is a Progressive? If you understand all of that, how can you consider someone to be a “left libertarian”? Unless, of course, you mean a libertarian in the anarcho-syndicalist tradition. Which Rothbard, Rockwell, and company are not. But you mean someone that you don’t agree with when you say left libertarian, without truly understanding what you mean by such a statement.

    I’m sure you will sneeringly and derisively dismiss all of this. And such a dismissal betrays you. Of course, many people reading this will see you for what you are when you do. And many others may just learn something. You, however, undoubtedly will not.

    P.S. if you want to keep playing, with your nastiness, silly name baiting and ad hominem attacks, I think I ought to point out that you seem woefully underarmed for a battle of wits.

    Comment by Adam Selene — April 14, 2007 @ 9:40 pm
  38. Adam,

    I think Eric thinks anyone who isn’t a war socialist like him is a left-libertarian. He is probably unaware that libertarianism was originally a form of extreme leftism, at least when that spectrum was being dreamed up in the French General Assembly. Since modern leftism was Anti-American military, therefore anyone who is opposed to the U.S. military destroying property and killing people must be a leftist.

    His claims that guys like Giuliani will advance libertarianism strike me as being quite bizarre; Consider what happens if a big government conservative is elected while claiming to be a libertarian. When he advocates his big-government policies and betrays libertarian principles, people will begin to equate libertarianism with hypocrisy.

    Speaking for myself, I am an extremist who makes no bones about his views. But, because I am a nice fellow, and aren’t rude about it, and answer their questions forthrightly, people respect my views. Through many enjoyable low-key debates with co-workers I have expanded their horizons, and while I have not converted anybody to libertarianism they have developed a a grudging respect for the philosophy.

    The dismissal of libertarianism is essentially the result of ridicule. Primarily the ridicule is directed toward people who are emotionally unhinged who seem to make the bulk of libertarian politicians (and consider how unhinged a freedom lover must be to seek political power). However, another, more devastating route to being dismissed is through being painted as a hypocrite. One can through reasoned discourse convince people that he is not crazy. The charge of hypocrisy, can rarely be overcome.

    To me, though, labels are not important. Let’s say that the big-government conservatives managed to seize the title “libertarian” for their movement, just like socialist stole from us the term “liberal”. In the end, we can grab another label and keep forging ahead. There is propertarianism, a term coined apparently by Ursula K LeGuin of all people, for instance. Such a shift, however, would set the cause of freedom back a bit.

    Oh, and preview does not seem to be working on my browser :(

    Comment by tarran — April 15, 2007 @ 12:01 am
  39. Just…damn.

    Comment by Jason Pye — April 15, 2007 @ 12:03 am
  40. Tarran, you are, of course, right on all points. That said, much of my comment is not for Dondero’s benefit. It is try and help the cause of those of us dedicated to the principles of individual liberty. To try and demonstrate that Dondero is a libertine, not a libertarian. Even though I’m not a libertarian, I respect the libertarian movement and would hate to see it fall under the weight of hypocrisy brought to the table by folks like Dondero.

    Not sure why preview isn’t working. What browser are you using? I tested in Firefox and IE6.

    Jason, hope you enjoyed! ;-)

    Comment by Adam Selene — April 15, 2007 @ 12:43 am
  41. Adam,

    The value of non-initiation of force has always been a sticking point with me, especially with the broad definition of force. I often comprehend it to mean force, in political regards, but by definition, it is not.

    By definition, the very Libertarian movement is an initiation of force, considering force can be defined as “to drive or propel against resistance.” By the very nature of the movement, it most be resisted by opposing views, and those views must be overcome.

    I could understand it more, were it saying that it should not advocate the initiation of violence. I am a strong believer in violence, but I usually see it as a response. However, a definition of violence is an “unjust or unwarranted exertion of force or power, as against rights or laws,” which means that the violence does not need to be physical to be met with physical violence, in a violent action/violent response situation. In fact, the very fact that someone would ignore the bill of rights and exert powers against said document can be considered a form of violence, and therefore be met with violence in physical or non physical form.

    In reality, it still is a sticking point. I tend to call myself a Libertarian, as it is easy to use that title to start a base for discussions with people of a different view, but I have not offically joined, mostly because of that certification on force… one I do not agree with, and I take my promises very seriously.

    Comment by Ted — April 15, 2007 @ 4:22 am
  42. exactly my thinking Ted. And a significant reason why I cannot be a libertarian.

    Comment by Adam Selene — April 15, 2007 @ 9:31 am
  43. Ahh, that’s where you screw up. You assume, and make an ass out of yourself by doing such, that libertarians believe in that nutty, extremist kooky fringe non-initiation of force so-called “principle” hoisted upon the Libertarian Party by the likes of KookBoy L. Neil Smith, Raimondo and Rothbard.

    THEY DO NOT IN ANY WAY REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE MAINSTREAM OF THE LIBERTARIAN MOVEMENT.

    Further, the Libertarian Party is but a mere tiny segment of the oveall libertarian movement. They can adopt some silly pledge if they want. But that has ABSOLUTELY NO BEARING WHATSOEVER ON THE MEANING OF LIBERTARIAN.

    In my mind anyone who is essentially a “Pro-Choice Conservative,” or a “Cool, Hip Conservative” is a LIBERTARIAN!!!

    There’s no silly pledge required.

    You score over 66/66 on the WSPQ, gues the fuck what? You’re a LIBERTARIAN!!!!!!!

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 15, 2007 @ 1:50 pm
  44. No Selena, I don’t “sneeringly reject” what you’ve wrote above. I just find it God-awful boring.

    Stop with all the philosophical bullshit will ya? Talk to me about things that matter, like people.

    What politicians do you support?

    Don’t fucking talk to me about boring-ass philosophy. I had enough of that crap in Junior College. PLEEAASE!

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 15, 2007 @ 1:52 pm
  45. Right you are Selena, I am a “libertine.”

    And GUESS THE FUCK WHAT? That is the PRECISE definition of libertarian.

    I was recruited into the Libertarian Party in 1985 fresh out of the Navy by Dianne Pilcher and Nick Dunbar, who told me that the “Libertarian was for Conservatives who didn’t like Jerry Falwell, wanted to legalize drugs, and were Pro-Choice.”

    I said, “cool” sign me up.

    I attended my first Libertarian Party of Florida Convention a couple months later and it was like a friggin’ Swingers Party. I was like FUCK DUDE, THIS IS THE PARTY FOR ME!!!

    It was only a year or two later that I discovered that there were asshole Military-haters in the Libertarian Party, mostly in California.

    But luckily I also discovered a group called the Libertarian Defense Caucus, headed up by folks who opposed the Anti-Military assholes. So, I thought, hey, guess that means that Libertarians are split down the middle on the issue, I can live with that.

    But what’s always been loud and clear, is that the Libertarian Party, is SYNONOMOUS WITH THE LIBERTINE PARTY. And that’s a good thing.

    If you don’t like it, then get the fuck out.

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 15, 2007 @ 1:57 pm
  46. Dondero

    If you don’t like it, then get the fuck out.

    Out of what?

    Eric Dondero, you’re on notice right now. If you make ad hominem attacks against others on this blog, I will remove your comment, or edit it, with appropriate comments inserted to explain why. If you persist, I’ll ban you. With an appropriate entry prominently positioned to explain that you were banned for your crude behavior.

    If you don’t like it, remember that this is a privately owned website and we can establish whatever rules of behavior we choose to establish. I would suggest reading the Comment Policy. I suspect you won’t read it, it’s “boring ass philosophy”.

    P.S. I’m the founder of this site, I still read it from time to time and I am not going to let someone trash it with personal attacks, whether on the contributors or other commenters.

    Comment by Eric — April 15, 2007 @ 2:26 pm
  47. Eric (Dondero that is),

    In case you haven’t figured it out, let me clue you in….

    Just because you scream the loudest and are apparently very adept at using vulgarity doesn’t mean you’re actually convincing anyone of anything.

    I asked you this once before and you never answered:

    Outside of winning elections, and apparently drinking beer, having sex, and not wearing seat belts, what in the name of God do you believe in, if anything ?

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — April 15, 2007 @ 3:51 pm
  48. Dondero,

    I’d like to take a moment to direct you to a dictionary. I understand that it can be easy to confuse words, however, Libertarian, and Libertine are words with different meaning.

    Libertarian – A Person who advocates the doctrine of free will, and liberty, especially in regards to free thought and action.

    Libertine – While sometimes defined as a religious free thinker (someone who defies religious precepts), it is often used to refer to a person who is morally or sexually unrestrained. Libertines were often people who chased tail, got drunk, etc.

    A libertarian is concerned with the free will of everyone, while a libertine often thinks of themself, especially in regards to their wants or desires, unfettered by normal moral guidlines.

    Note, please, the word often, not always.

    Comment by Ted — April 15, 2007 @ 5:39 pm
  49. Answer to Doug:

    Pro-Choice

    Less Taxes

    Cutting government spending

    Privatization of Social Security

    Allowing Oil Drilling at ANWR

    Ending all Affirmative Action laws and Quotas

    School Choice

    And most especially ending Political Correctness and restrictions on Free Speech from the Religious Right, and most especially from the Left

    Does that answer your question?

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 15, 2007 @ 6:50 pm
  50. Ted,

    And I’m telling you that the Libertarian Party was sold to me as Libertinism. Not just by Nick Dunbar and Dianne Pilcher, but by the whole friggin Libertarian Party of Florida in the middle 1980s.

    We had Nudists, Marijuana Smokers, Rock Guitarists, Punk Rockers, Topless Bar Owners, you name it. If it was a Vice, it was part of the Libertarian Party coalition when I joined.

    What distresses me is that the Libertarian Party and most especially many elements in the libertarian movement like Rockwell and such, are trying to turn the Libertarian movement into the Pruditarian Party.

    Going to an LP Convention in the 1980s was a blast. Now, it’s become a complete bore.

    Gone are the all-night sex and booze parties, to be replaced by seminars on the , Austrian economics and other boring ass topics.

    You may not like this, but one of my objectives is to bring back the Libertinism into the libertarian movement.

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 15, 2007 @ 6:54 pm
  51. Hey other Eric,

    By all means. You are the owner here. You have every right to ban me. You don’t like my “Military Guy talk”. I can understand that. You’re obviously a non-serving non-Military guy. We real men may be a tad bit manly for you Sissy boys. No problem.

    Ban me if you wish.

    I’ll have no problems telling everyone I know in the Libertarian movement how the misnamed “Liberty Papers” has turned into the Fascist “Stamp out everyone who disagress with them” Papers.

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 15, 2007 @ 6:58 pm
  52. Ahh, yes, and you thought just Liberals were PC. Libertarians can be just as soft and girly-manish as the Liberals.

    Ironic isn’t it? They just banned Imus. And a Libertarian website wants to ban me.

    I’ll wear that like a badge of honor.

    Go on. Ban me then.

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 15, 2007 @ 7:00 pm
  53. Eric,

    Personally, I’m not favor of banning you.

    And certainly you can’t equate what happened to Imus with a restriction on free speech can you ?

    After all, don’t the owners of CBS and MSNBC have the right to hire and fire who they want when they want ?

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — April 15, 2007 @ 7:20 pm
  54. Hey Dondero,

    Before you start calling us fascists, why don’t you point out all the comments you’ve made here to “all the people you know” and see how well they think you’re representing them?

    Have you ever considered making substantive points and arguments, instead of resorting to petty name-calling and ad hominem attacks?

    Have you ever found out whether your libertarian hero, Giuliani, actually supports getting rid of seat belt laws, ending the war on pot and other drugs, and going back to the libertinism that you love? You’ve already mentioned that he’s anti-prostitution, where does he stand on your other favorite positions?

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — April 15, 2007 @ 7:29 pm
  55. Dondero:

    You’re obviously a non-serving non-Military guy.

    You have no idea who I am, what I’ve done, or where I’ve been. Vulgar language is not the issue. Personal attacks on others is. The only reason I haven’t banned you so far is that I don’t feel like giving you the satisfaction.

    You won’t get banned for attacking, belittling and insulting me. But, keep treating others that way and you will. Although, as I noted, I’ll start with removing offensive comments. It is not fascist to establish standards of behavior on my private property. If someone behaved offensively in your home, you asked them to stop, and they continued, what would you do? Just let it continue? If you told them to leave your property and not come back, would that be fascist?

    As far as your chest thumping goes, so what? I have nothing to prove to you. You’re not that important to me.

    Last warning. Next comment with personal attacks in it gets removed.

    Comment by Eric — April 15, 2007 @ 7:36 pm
  56. Dondero,

    I actually enjoy philosophical discussions. I enjoy politics, law, economics, and many others. I am all for you getting your those little victories, but that’s what they are. Little.

    So, maybe I can drink to 1.0, or maybe I do not need to wear a seat belt. But I can be handed a piece of paper that means I must give over information, and I can tell no one? That I can be wiretapped just in case I know someone whose name happens to be arabic? Or that I can be detained without warrant or due process because I might be an enemy combatant because of my political views?

    I am for all freedoms, but I am more concerned with the big ones over the little ones. Winning a BAC of 1.0 might seem like a big victory to you, but I do not believe it is. I believe it is a patch that you might get while the slip the deeper freedoms from your grasp. And once the bigger freedoms are gone, they can always take back the small ones.

    But libertinism is just a facet of the free will that a libertarian must search out.

    Comment by Ted — April 15, 2007 @ 8:26 pm
  57. This is somewhat of a digression, but Eric Dondero’s posts reminded me of this bit of Monty Python:

    The Penultimate Supper

    Comment by tarran — April 15, 2007 @ 8:57 pm
  58. LMAO ……… I forgot about that particular skit. But, you are absolutely right.

    I’m astounded by someone that wants to change our political landscape, but considers philosophy to be “boring”.

    Comment by Adam Selene — April 15, 2007 @ 9:07 pm
  59. Dondero’s views remind me of a line from Drawing Blood by Stuck Mojo: “Happiness and ignorance, as long as he can pay rent, until the day that freedom’s gone.”

    Nick

    Comment by Nick M. — April 15, 2007 @ 9:12 pm
  60. Eric Dondero,

    Why do you support candidates that disagree with all those views that you claim to believe in?

    Comment by Kevin — April 15, 2007 @ 10:31 pm
  61. Ted, I’ll gladly hand over all my information to the government if that will help fight the Islamo-Fascists.

    WE ARE AT WAR WITH A GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO WANT TO CONVERT US OR KILL US.

    Were you in a Coma in the year 2001?

    If none of your Leftwing America-hating buddies have informed you of this, let me be the first.

    On September 11, 2002, nearly 3,000 of your fellow Americans were crushed to death, burned to death, or had to jump out of skyscrapers to their deaths because of 19 MUSLIM Terrorists.

    I’m sorry you are not aware of what happened to your fellow Americans. Perhaps now that you are aware, it might, hopefully, change your perspective on things.

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 16, 2007 @ 1:45 pm
  62. Dondero:

    Ted, I’ll gladly hand over all my information to the government if that will help fight the Islamo-Fascists.

    WE ARE AT WAR WITH A GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO WANT TO CONVERT US OR KILL US.

    1. If you choose to do that, great for you. Forcing it upon me, doing it in secret, muzzling me so I cannot ever talk about it, and hiding that you have done so from the public is not the same thing.

    2. I think we all know that Dondero. The solution, however, is not to become that which we fight.

    Comment by Adam Selene — April 16, 2007 @ 1:51 pm
  63. Okay Adam Selene, then why live here in the United States of America?

    If you do not want your country defended from the greatest enemy our Nation has ever faced in our 230 year history, why do you continue to live here then?

    Why not leave? Make haste. Make like a tree. Leave the US. You obviously hate America. You want to just hand over our country to the Islamo-Fascists. Why are you still here?

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 16, 2007 @ 1:54 pm
  64. Who said I don’t want it defended? Disagreement on how to do so is not the same as disagreement about whether to do so.

    P.S. I edited this to remove a sentence that was a personal attack and inappropriate. AS

    Comment by Adam Selene — April 16, 2007 @ 1:55 pm
  65. Oh, and “greatest enemy our Nation has ever faced in our 230 year history”?

    Good grief, you play right into their hands when you say that. I somehow think that British Regulars burning the White House while Dolly Madison flees is a bit graver. Or the War Between the States. Or the USSR pointing 10,000 nuclear warheads at us. Or the Wehrmacht and Imperial Japanese Navy.

    In fact, I would say that FDR and the New Deal was a graver danger. I would say that government schools are the gravest danger we face today.

    You accuse others of fascism, and yet you use all the propaganda tricks and hatred and fear of “the others” that is a hallmark of fascism. I am not saying you are a fascist, but why do you use such tricks? Why not simply openly debate the question?

    Why not leave? Make haste. Make like a tree. Leave the US. You obviously hate America. You want to just hand over our country to the Islamo-Fascists. Why are you still here?

    I love the principles and ideas of America and I am not willing to destroy them in the face of this enemy. You, apparently, are. I have no desire to hand things over to anyone. What is your purpose with this sort of hyperbole and accusatory debate? What do you hope to gain?

    Dondero, how about a bit of re-evaluation of self here, on your part?

    P.S. Again, edited to remove something that was a personal attack, inappropriate and didn’t add value.

    Comment by Adam Selene — April 16, 2007 @ 1:58 pm
  66. Again, edited to remove something that was a personal attack, inappropriate and didn’t add value.

    Then why is Dondero’s comment still up?

    Comment by Kevin — April 16, 2007 @ 3:38 pm
  67. Dondero,

    As was once said, by a great man: Give me liberty, or give me death.

    Yes, terrorism is bad, but losing our freedoms to be “safe” from terrorism is worse. In fact, more people have died from peanut allergies in the US, than have died of terrorist attacks in the US. In addition, not all terrorist attacks we have suffered were from Muslims.

    Lets not forget the OK City bombing. 168 dead. 800 injured. 3 conspirators. That’s 322 casualties per person. And these were Americans who did it.

    So, no, not too afraid of terrorism. I realize I may be get stuck in an attack some day. But I may also be in a car wreck, chance forbid.

    But I am terrified of thought of American voices being silenced when they are ordered to spy on their own people. I am terrified of government agents listening in to everyones private calls. I am terrified of people being locked away with no due process.

    I’ve lost more friends and family in the war on terror than I have in the initial strike. I’m from a military family, and see my friends and family go off to die on foreign soil to fight a war on that which cannot be fought.

    You cannot fight terror. You can only endure it, or force yourself not to be terrified. But the terrorists have won. Why? Because people are afraid. So afraid they are willing to change or destroy the American way of life themselves. They are willing to allow government officials to tear away rights that should never be taken away.

    Comment by Ted — April 16, 2007 @ 3:50 pm
  68. Ted,

    You cannot fight terror. You can only endure it, or force yourself not to be terrified. But the terrorists have won. Why? Because people are afraid. So afraid they are willing to change or destroy the American way of life themselves. They are willing to allow government officials to tear away rights that should never be taken away.

    Good point. Personally, I’ve always thought that calling America’s war against Al Qaeda a “War on Terror” is sort of like calling World War II a “War on Tanks.” Terror is a method of fighting, its not an ideology or a political movement. I seriously doubt that President Bush and those around him realize that.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — April 16, 2007 @ 3:56 pm
  69. Kevin:

    Then why is Dondero’s comment still up?

    His comments are mildly improved, in my eyes, from what they were. At least he is actually trying to debate ideas, not name baiting.

    Plus, I self edited because I realized I was being petty.

    Comment by Adam Selene — April 16, 2007 @ 4:02 pm
  70. Sure it isn’t “Fascist” to ban someone from a website that is privately owned, and if I implied that, I apologize.

    It is quite amusing though, that so-called libertarians who claim to be in favor of open dialalogues can be such Pruditarians with those whose views they disagree with.

    And I would add, it’s a bit frightening to me the consistency of the fact that all y’all here, defacto support Islamo-Fascism, and are now crying to ban me from this Forum.

    Leads one to believe that maybe, just maybe you all are on the Islamo-Fascist payroll.

    And there’s no implication there. I mean to be quite blunt and straightforward with that accusation.

    I’ve long suspected Lew Rockwell, as receiving funding from “questionable” sources.

    Perhaps the long arm of Islamo-Fascism has reached here, to “Liberty Papers,” as well.

    Ahh, yes, how convenient. Ban the one guy here who opposes the Islamo-Fascist. Chuck the Jewish guy. Yeah Baby. Silence the enemies of Islamo-Fascism.

    [Editor's note: this comment was caught by our spam filter. Now that we've seen it, it is being released as a comment. This is the last time that Eric Dondero's comments will be allowed to stand unedited when he makes direct, personal attacks on anyone. However, I think this comment is very instructive in the nature of a so-called "mainstream libertarian".

    In order to make sure that everyone sees it, and make sure Dondero knows his comment was not intentionally deleted, I am changing the time stamp.

    To make sure that it is very clear to Dondero, this site receives no funding from anyone. Make any accusation you like, our source of funding is our own pockets and nothing else. We could care less what your ethnicity or religion is, you are the first one to bring it up. Not one person who contributes to this blog believes in multi-culturalism, likes Islamic extremists or believes that the USA should not fight Islamo-Fascism. We simply disagree with you on tactics. Which Adam pointed out to you time and again, and you refuse to listen to. If you continue this, we will have to ban you. We won't like it, but your personal, direct attacks are over the top. -- Eric]

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 16, 2007 @ 4:52 pm
  71. No, it is not fascist to ban someone from a privately owned website. Just like it is not fascist to ban someone from my home, or my land.

    A ban, as far as I can tell, was not considered for your political ideology, your race, your religion, or anything else. It was suggested due to personal attacks you made to other people, which had nothing to do with the issues being debated.

    Heck, no one even complained when you Godwinned the argument.

    As long as you can conduct your arguments in a rational manner, meaning no name calling, no attacks, then I do not think there is a problem.

    I’ve seen several comments which disagreed with contributors here, and each one has been left on, sometimes responded to, sometimes not. I’ve never seen someone here remove a post because it made them look foolish, either. That is not fascist behavior. Fascist behavior would silnce any opposition. Your oposition is plain to see throughout this thread. Your vulgar language is also free to be seen. You attacks are free to be seen.

    Comment by Ted — April 16, 2007 @ 7:29 pm
  72. Dondero,

    This site was previously bankrolled by Eric, and is now bankrolled by me. Neither I, nor any of my co-bloggers, receive any compensation for what we do here. To this point, we’ve even stayed away from selling ads or anything like that, because our bandwidth budget hasn’t grown to the point where it’s necessary yet.

    You can make all the unfounded allegations you want, but I’ll tell you flat out that they are just that: completely and totally without merit whatsoever.

    If you do get banned, it will not be because of your religion or your politics, it will be because you litter your posts with ad hominem attacks and over-the-top foul language. I’ve asked you privately to cut that crap out, and if I see it once more, you’re gone. This has gone on long enough. Grow up and act like an adult, or find another place to spew your venom.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — April 16, 2007 @ 10:01 pm
  73. Ted, you are absolutely correct. We have had very socialist commenters on this site that were not banned. We’ve had very Rockwellian libertarians here that were not banned. Anyone who reads us for any length of time can see that Rockwell types and TLP contributors will not get along well. This is the first time we have gotten to the point where all of the contributors, the site owner (Brad) and Eric have all felt, very strongly, that someone should be banned for their behavior. That says something about what’s going on here.

    Comment by Adam Selene — April 16, 2007 @ 10:30 pm
  74. Yes Ted, let’s not forget the Oklahoma City Bombing. Glad you brought that up.

    The Sub-Committee report from Congress on OKC came out last December 24. (Ironically the day before Christmas). It got scant news coverage. Certainly the libertarian media completely ignored it.

    The Committee concluded in the strongest terms imaginable, that the FBI completely flubbed the investigation and did not follow up on leads, ESPECIALLY LEADS POINTING TO MIDDLE EASTERN TERRORISTS CONNECTIONS TO TERRY NICHOLS.

    The Report specifically pointed out the Jayna Davis’s investigative report as the local CBS News reporter on the scene were not looked into sufficiently. Davis, in her 2003 book THE THIRD TERRORIST, and endorsed by former CIA Chief James Woolsey, documented the extensive connections of the OKC bombing to Muslim Terrorists, and most specifically Iraqi Intelligence.

    But you see, that doesn’t quite fit the Anti-War Libertarian template, which makes excuses for Saddam and tries to make the case that “Saddam wasn’t such a bad guy.”

    So, Anti-War Libertarians can’t even mention any Middle Eastern connections to OKC, and most certainly NOT any connections to the Iraqis. That would just be more justification for the War in Iraq.

    So, while you see every Libertarian in the world, like Carol Moore and her followers, going Apeshit over Waco, when it comes to the OKC bombing, there’s near complete silence from Anti-War Libertarians and the libertarian media.

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 17, 2007 @ 7:34 am
  75. Ahh, so Brad you are a girly man. You obviously didn’t serve in the Military.

    I’m too much of a Real Guy for you huh?

    You and your Co-horts prove your hatred for the Military and for Veterans like me, by banning me from your Forum, and for your “sensitive” ears not able to handle Military talk.

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 17, 2007 @ 7:35 am
  76. Hey, are there any other Veterans here, or Active Duty?

    It’d be the height of irony, if I, the only Vet here at Liberty Papers, gets banned and censored.

    The only guy here to have actually fought for his country, gets shitcanned at “Liberty Papers” by a bunch of Dweeby Academic Girly men who never lifted a finger to serve their country, and never even bothered to express support for those of us who have.

    (If any of the main guys here — Adam Selene, other Eric, Mataconis, Ted, i.e. is a Veteran, I humbly stand corrected.)

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 17, 2007 @ 7:38 am
  77. No, you’re right, I don’t think the ban is being considered cause I’m a Jew, or for my political ideology, (though I strongly suspect the latter has a lot to do with it.)

    No, you all banning me has everything to do with the fact that I’m a Military Veteran, and as we all know Vets and Active Duty make Girly-men Ivorty Tower types who “loathe the Military” very uncomfortable.

    They don’t like our forms of speech. They don’t like our manly ways. And they most especially don’t like the fact that chics really do dig a man in the uniforme, and we Military guys always get the girl.

    So, the Geeky non-serving guys get extremely jealous. And the best way for them to lash out and attempt to put themselves in a higher position, is to bash the Military, Military values, Military-speak, and most especially Military guys.

    That’s what’s at work here.

    If you’re Pro-Military, libertarian geeks are extremely uncomfortable with you. It feeds right into their deep down guilt about having never served in the Military themselves.

    The way to prove their superiority to themselves and most especially to females is to “bring the Military down” and most especially bash Military guys, and everything the Military does.

    So, go right ahead. Ban the only Veteran here at Liberty Papers.

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 17, 2007 @ 7:43 am
  78. Kind of funny to see Adam Selene trying to convince himself in his post that he and others here at Liberty Papers are “all for diversity.” Of course, that diversity includes only America-hating Leftwingers and Leftwinger Libertarians.

    Did you all notice that he didn’t mention past tolerance for any Right-wing Libertarians?

    It’d be something if say a Bruce Cohen, Tim or Jeannie Starr, Bob Hunt, Johhny Ringo, John Hospers, or some other Right-wing Pro-Military Libertarian were also here and were being tolerated.

    But as it is, I’m the ONLY Right-wing Libertarian here.

    Banning me will be hardcore proof that this website is totally Leftwing Libertarian and a complete America-hating site.

    If Hunt, the Starrs, or some other Pro-Military Libts were here and they weren’t getting banned for bad language or over-the-top ad himimen attacks, that’d be something. But notice they are not here. I’m the only Right-wing Libertarian.

    And surprise, surprise, I’m getting banned.

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 17, 2007 @ 7:48 am
  79. Adam Selene seems to think that “tolerance and diversity” means Far, Far Leftwing America-hating Socialists, all the way to Far, Far America-hating Leftwing Libertarians like “Rockwellians.” That’s his idea of “diversity.”

    Golly gee their Adam. That really proves how “tolerant” you are.

    Why no tolerance for “Neal Boortzians,” or Larry Elder “Republitarians,” or other Pro-War on Islamo-Fascism Libertarians?

    As it is all you mentioned were Leftwingers and Leftwing Libertarians.

    You just proved your narrow-mindedness, and intolerance with those remarks and those very limited examples.

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 17, 2007 @ 7:51 am
  80. Dondero:

    Hey, are there any other Veterans here, or Active Duty?

    I served for 11 years in the Army, including on the Iron Curtain during the Cold War and in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq during Desert Shield/Storm. As a tank crewman. With combat service. I can swear with the best of ‘em, but see no reason to. I can brag about my military service as well, but see no reason to. I could make fun of you as a “Navy girlie man”, but see no reason to.

    There are several other veterans who are contributors here. And an AF ROTC Cadet. You obviously did not bother reading our bio’s.

    You can start apologizing and rescinding all of your remarks now.

    Comment by Eric — April 17, 2007 @ 8:05 am
  81. I’m ex-Navy Nuke off of a carrier with 5 years…

    … then I grew up. ;)

    Comment by tarran — April 17, 2007 @ 8:17 am
  82. And, it’s done. I asked privately, I asked publicly, and you responded by raising the bar. So you’re gone.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — April 17, 2007 @ 8:21 am
  83. Oh Brad,

    Now, where will I get my daily dose of comedy? :(

    Joking aside, I honestly think he wanted to be banned. Now instead of a long litany or lost arguments he can claim that he is too hard-core for the Liberty Papers.

    Shame really…

    Comment by tarran — April 17, 2007 @ 8:55 am
  84. 8 years in the AF here, and I’m very much a “right” libertarian.

    In fact I call myself a Muscular Minarchist, and I strongly support the GWOT and the current mission in Iraq, if not always the political “leadership” shown in its execution.

    I still support GWB as well; even given all his many screwups. I thought that in general Rumsfeld was doing a good job; of course in those areas where he was not, he was a specatcualar f’up.

    So, wanna try again there Eric?

    Comment by Chris — April 17, 2007 @ 11:39 am

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