Tag Archives: libertarian

You Have no Right to my Labor!

I hear this all the time from libertarians, especially recently when the whole gay-wedding-baker case came back to the forefront.  Libertarians will scream that nobody has the right to their labor, therefore they ought to be able to discriminate against anyone they want, for whatever reason they want, and nobody ought to be able to do anything about it.

Except that’s not how it works.  Nobody is making them a slave.  They VOLUNTEERED their labor when they opened their business, when they accepted a license for their business, when they tacitly agreed to follow the applicable laws of the land as a consequence of opening a public accommodation business.  Nobody is demanding their labor, they voluntarily offered it!  People are just taking them up on their offer.

Of course, when you point this out, most libertarians will shut up and slink back into the shadows because they have no rational counter for it. The few insane ones will demand that they never agreed to anything and they aren’t bound by the laws of society and they can change their minds any time, but that’s not how it works and I don’t think anyone intelligent falls for that kind of wing nut libertarianism in the first place.

The fact remains that society has every right to pass whatever laws they like and think are valid and that you, as a consequence of your presence within said society, are obligated to follow the laws that society has passed, or go find another society in which you can do so.  I don’t care if you like it, it is simply the case and has been in every operable society in the history of mankind.  There has never been a case where people could do whatever they wanted with no consequences, period.  Just because you want to doesn’t mean you get to.  Get over yourself.

Of course, this doesn’t silence the fanatics because, as with the religious, they just don’t care if what they believe is true, so long as it gives them an emotional woody.  They are people who simply do not comprehend humanity or human society.  They want things they are not entitled to and refuse to acknowledge that they are on the wrong side of… everything.  Because they don’t care.  And that’s anti-intellectual idiocy.

Talking to Libertarian Idiots

This is nothing new, I’ve complained about it before, but as with most things, there is nothing new under the sun, just the same old stupidity everywhere.  This time, back on that old canard of “natural rights”, yet another libertarian went bat-shit insane, to the point that most people were just pointing and laughing at this moron’s insanity.

She, it’s a woman this time, is completely convinced that natural rights exist.  They just do.  And how does she know that they do?  Because she saw a poll that said that lots of people believe they do.  People believe it, it has to be so!

Except that’s argumentum ad populum, a logical fallacy.  And she simply doesn’t care because it supports her side, therefore, natural rights are real and she wins.  Checkmate, logic!

It didn’t matter how many times we went around and around, she refused to admit that she had no evidence whatsoever that her beliefs were true, outside of fallacious claims that they were.  As with the religious, they make her feel good, therefore she will double and triple down on her irrationality because she just can’t be wrong.  It’s impossible.

This is pretty much how every wingnut libertarian debate ends up.  They have their infallible faith that they’re right, they base their entire ideology around that faith and when it turns out their faith is unsupportable, they explode into a pile of libertarian rage-stupidity and demand they have to be right because… because… because… reasons!

But their reasons are downright stupid.  They are not intellectually justifiable.  They are wholly emotional.  They are just lazy.  That’s why it is usually pointless to even engage with these people, they can’t defend their views and they won’t shut up about them either.

Sorry, not impressed and nobody else should be either.  I’m sympathetic to some of the rational libertarian-minded people out there, but the wingnuts, those are no better than the religious fanatics. And that’s sad.

The Libertarian Lunacy Returns

While there’s a lot of drama going on with the Trump victory and the whiny, crying Clinton supporters, there’s one more thing that nobody should be surprised at, the complete and utter failure of the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.  Anyone with half a clue knew that he’d lose and by a ridiculous margin, but you still had those crazed libertarians thinking that this time… this time, he might win.

Except they’ve been saying that about libertarian candidates for nearly 50 years and it hasn’t happened yet.  It hasn’t even been close.  Their candidates are barely a speedbump in the political road and they’re not getting better.  I could see it if they were consistently getting more votes in election after election, but they’re not.  They’re stagnant.  If anything, they’re getting worse.  And if they couldn’t make any traction in this election, an election between two major candidates that everyone hated, it’s time to pack it in and give it up.

Except they won’t.  They won’t admit the reality that their political platform doesn’t resonate with any significant portion of the American public.  That’s why they lose, because nobody likes them, but you won’t see any of them admitting it, will you?  Instead, they make excuses.  It’s all rigged.  There’s a conspiracy theory keeping them out of power.  Everything but accepting the ridiculously obvious, that they lose because nobody in their right mind wants them to win.

And I called it.  It wasn’t hard to do.  It was painfully obvious that Johnson was not only going to lose, but was going to lose by an absurd margin.  He didn’t pick up any significant steam in this election than the party had in any other, and if you can’t make tremendous strides here, give the hell up.  But libertarians won’t do it.  They’ll continue to make excuses for why their boy screwed the pooch when they were so sure that he’d have a good showing.  They can’t admit that their failure comes from their platform, not from some vast conspiracy to keep them out of office.  The Libertarians are a laughing stock.  They always have been and they always will be.  You know what they call people who continue to do the same thing over and over and over expecting different results, right?  And that’s exactly what libertarianism is in the west.  Completely, totally and utterly insane.

The Libertarian Delusion

I always find it funny how delusional ardent libertarians are.  They are supremely convinced that some day, the whole world will just magically adopt their political ideology and when it doesn’t happen, there must be some grand conspiracy afoot keeping them from their rightful place at the head of the line.  This is nothing new, a lot of crazy ideologies think the same thing and the more that you believe in the conspiracy line of thinking, the more willing people are to do utterly insane things to advance their cause.

As part of my long time discussion with a libertarian though, I’ve started to see some of that insanity creeping through.  Now I admit that I’m poking him with a stick, initially hoping that it would get through his filters, but now just for fun.  He’s supremely convinced that libertarianism, hard-core, radical libertarianism, is the only workable political philosophy and that those dedicated to the cause must be willing to do whatever it takes to let it take power, for the good of humanity, of course.

But, as I keep pointing out, humanity wants nothing to do with libertarianism.  For a group that has been around, at least in an official capacity, for more than 45 years, they have never, ever, not even once gotten anywhere close to 2% of the popular vote.  This is because people don’t like their platform.  This isn’t a conspiracy, this is a failure of their ideology to appeal to the American voter.  As we all know, there’s a term for doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting different results and the libertarians are, in that regard, completely insane.

It just gets worse though.  This guy seems to think, although he won’t come right out and say it, that if the American people won’t accept libertarian rule, then it should be forced upon them, by force if necessary, for their own good.  He’s quick to point out that libertarians have guns.  He never says what they might want to do with them, but when I ask how libertarians are going to achieve power, he just says that they have weapons, as though the intention isn’t painfully clear.  He seems to want an armed insurrection aimed at overthrowing the democratically elected government of the United States so that his own political ideology, an ideology that is almost universally reviled by the American public, can be put in place to force Americans to do what no successful government in the history of the planet has ever done.  There has never been a successful society that has used libertarianism as it’s core principles.  There’s a reason for that.  It’s insane.

But I guess there’s a lot of really delusional libertarians out there.  There aren’t enough to have any shot in hell of a coup, but these losers are probably rallying around the fallout shelter, talking big and not knowing that they’re less than bugs, waiting to be squashed by reality.  As much as I don’t want to see that happen in reality, it might be entertaining to watch them get mowed down by the military machine that they seem to think they can overcome.

Put it on pay-per-view or something.  It would make millions.

Freedom vs. Responsibility

I’ve been having an ongoing discussion with a libertarian who seems convinced, as most of them seem to be, that there’s some grand conspiracy to keep everyone from acknowledging the supremacy of the libertarian position.  This is crazy conspiracy theorist talk.  You’d think they could see how ridiculous it is.

But it’s also funny, he keeps saying that libertarians respect freedom, I keep pointing out that freedom is meaningless without responsibility, and he keeps going right back to freedom.  He doesn’t want to talk about an individual’s responsibility to larger society, he just wants to be left alone to do whatever the hell he wants to do, regardless of the potential negative impact it might have on society.

Of course, this is nothing new.  I’ve posted before about libertarians who, for example, don’t want to pay property taxes that  go toward public schools because they don’t personally have children.  If it doesn’t directly better their own lives, they want no part of it.  Never mind that having an educated populace makes society better for everyone, they get no direct benefit so screw it.  The same goes for roads.  If they don’t personally drive on those particular roads, they don’t want to pay a red cent for them.  The problem with these people is they have no interest in being part of society, they are fiercely individualistic to the exclusion of all else.  And as we all know, when you become a fanatic, regardless of what you are fanatical about, you become a problem.

What’s worse, no matter how much you point this out to them, they keep their eyes clenched tightly closed.  They just don’t care.  They’re blinded by their own political ideology.  Everyone else can see the problems inherent in their beliefs, they simply are unable to acknowledge it.  That’s why they have to keep pretending there’s a conspiracy and that nothing in their ideology could possibly be to blame.  They can only point fingers outward, never inward.  That’s why their party, after 45 years in existence, continues to fail miserably at the polls.  And instead of admitting that there is a problem with their own platform, they just make excuses for why they fail.  It reminds me a lot of the fanatical Christians who would rather pretend that the world is out to get them than to admit that they have had an unfair social advantage for centuries and now are being treated just like everyone else.  They want to be special so when their special status is taken away, they pretend to be persecuted.  It’s the same mentality.

Here’s the reality.  Personal freedom is great, but it has to be tempered with personal responsibility. Nobody lives in a vacuum.  Whether you like it or not, you are part of a larger society that has needs and you, as a beneficiary of said society, need to be willing to sacrifice some of your personal freedoms for the good of larger society because in so doing, your life is made better, directly or indirectly, by the health and well-being of society.  There is a balance that has to be struck and this is something that a lot of libertarians simply can’t get through their head.  They want all freedom, no restrictions.  Reality simply doesn’t work that way.  Chaos lies down that path.

But then again, these people are often closet anarchists.  They see themselves as Lord Humongous of the wasteland, when in reality, they’re nothing more than Toadie, the pathetic loser that everyone laughs are and who doesn’t know what a waste of skin they actually are. These pseudo-anarchists wouldn’t last 10 minutes in the wasteland but they’ll never admit it, just like the libertarian ideology can’t make it in the real world, but delusional libertarians can’t get that through their heads.

It’s all quite sad when you think about it.

I Didn’t Get My Way, Therefore Government Bad!

Your typical libertarian

One thing that you can always count on the libertarians whining is “the government is evil!”  But the real reason they think the government is evil is because they don’t get their way.  Let’s be honest, if the government did what libertarians claim they want, they’d be fine with the government.  Okay, there probably wouldn’t be much government for them to be fine with, but you get my meaning.

Guess what?  Getting your way all the time is not how a democracy works.  People vote, or elect representatives to vote for them, and the majority wins.  If you’re not in the majority, you lose.  Welcome to reality!

And that’s why most libertarians aren’t all that hot on democracy.  People don’t vote the way they want them to vote, therefore they don’t really want people to vote at all.  It can’t be the stupid things that libertarians want or anything, it has to be that people are too dumb to know what’s good for them.  So it’s stupid people, incompetent voters and the government is bad, that’s the only explanation for why the libertarians aren’t in power, right?

They can’t accept that the vast majority of people have no interest whatsoever in living under a libertarian system.  Most people see right through the crazy beliefs that libertarians have.  Most people realize that an unrestricted, unregulated free market would be a complete clusterfuck.  Most people understand that the world doesn’t actually work the way libertarians seem to think that it should.  But then again, most people are stupid, right libertarians?  There’s always some excuse for why your ideology fails miserably in every single election.  It’s some grand conspiracy.  Not ridiculous ideas.  No, never.

If libertarian thought was going to take the country by storm, it would have done so in the last 50 years.  Instead, libertarian candidates for president have failed to even get 5% of the electorate.  But it’s always this time!  It’s always going to be amazing this election cycle!  Just wait and see!  And when it doesn’t happen, it’s never their fault, it’s stupid people, incompetent voters and bad government.  Nothing is ever their fault.  Ever.  That kind of thinking is how children operate.  I think that says something about most libertarians.

A Libertarian is Finally Honest!

I know I talk about natural rights a lot and the complete and utter failure of libertarians to actually back them up, even though they insist, without a shred of evidence, that they’re actually real.  I point out this failure every single time I find it and most of the time, libertarians still pretend that they’ve got a good reason to believe it, even though they can’t manage to produce that reason.

I also describe their political ideology as quasi-religious because everything they say is based on faith.

So finally, a libertarian who has done all of the above has come clean and admitted that he’s really got nothing.  He doesn’t recognize that he has nothing, of course, that’s exactly what he’s admitted.

I have proved it to MY satisfaction. My opinion on this matter is the only one that counts to me.

I will exercise my rights regardless whether you, anyone else, or any government says me yea or nay.

That is all the proof I need. :

Have you noticed all of the religious ideology he’s put in there?  All he cares about is his opinion.  He doesn’t care if it’s true, he cares if it makes him feel good.  He isn’t willing to listen to anyone who says any differently because he’s right because he wants to be right.  If you substituted “faith” for “rights” in the second line, you’d have the same thing that religious apologists say all the time.

These people are nuts, pure and simple.  They’re so nuts that they don’t even know that they’re nuts.  They are so completely out of touch with reality, out in libertarian la la land, that they can’t even conceive that they could possibly be wrong.  It doesn’t matter.  Reality is an inconvenience and logical reasoning is a trap.  For them, their quasi-religion is all that matters.  Interestingly enough, every single one of these libertarians that I’ve encountered who acts like this is also a fundamentalist Christian.  Crazy is crazy.

And you wonder why you can’t have rational discussions with libertarians?  This is why.

Libertarians: Getting it Ass-Backwards

I think I’ve finally realized what libertarians are doing wrong in their arguments about natural rights.  I don’t know if this is intentional or just a happy coincidence on their part, but I think this is why they have so many problems getting their ideas across.

See, at its core, natural rights is a philosophical position.  That’s perfectly fine.  But with all philosophical positions, you have to have an argument, you have to have support and be able to defend your views rationally.  That’s how philosophy works.  You can’t just make a pronouncement and pretend that everyone is going to take it seriously because you said it.  Now there have been plenty of books by famous philosophers who have put forth the idea of natural rights and spent lots of time trying to make an argument for them and that’s great.  I’m not convinced by those arguments and I’ve read Locke and Hobbes and Kant and Paine, but at least they tried.

But you have lots of modern libertarians who don’t have the mental wherewithal to put together a credible philosophical argument.  They know they like the idea of natural rights, they just don’t understand the ideological underpinnings. However, they desperately want these things to be real so they just claim that they are.  They claim that natural rights are a fact, but that brings with it other problems.  If you claim that something is an objective fact, you need to show how you came to that conclusion.  You need to produce objective evidence.  You need to show your work.  But, of course, they have no work, they have no evidence to present, they’re only claiming that it’s a fact because it seemed like an easier solution than having to put in the effort to defend a philosophical position.  So they’re left in this quasi-religious conundrum, where they have nothing to present, but they have a desperate need to believe.  All they can do is keep repeating their quasi-religious mantra over and over, hoping that repetition somehow makes it seem reasonable, but it doesn’t.

The problem is that both options require a defense but most of these libertarians just have no defense to provide.  They don’t understand the philosophy sufficiently to present credible arguments in support of their ideas and, because natural rights are not objectively real, they have no credible evidence to present that show them to be factually true.  All they can do is keep declaring that they’re “just true”.  No, they’re not.  They have to believe it though because it forms the basis of their entire political ideology and without the idea of natural rights, they’ve really got nothing.

You really can’t have an idea or make a claim and not have a defense.  Your say-so and  your desire for a thing to be true don’t make it true and it certainly won’t convince a skeptic that what you claim actually makes sense. You have to actually have a cohesive argument that convinces people that you have the slightest clue what you’re talking about.  And unfortunately, far too often, libertarians simply don’t.

Reality Has to Mean More than Fantasy

I came across a debate today, one that I wasn’t involved in, but you had a crazy libertarian on one side proclaiming that natural rights were real, so there, and on the other, you had a skeptic who kept asking him a lot of the same questions that I ask regularly.  Questions like “how do you know what natural rights are?” and “how do you objectively define what is a natural right and what is not?”  Well, our libertarian friend couldn’t, or more properly wouldn’t, answer any of the questions, he just kept repeating his unsupported claims over and over and over again.  He apparently doesn’t care about reality.

Two things occurred to me.  First, they have no idea how their core principles came about and second, that they have no clue how to get there rationally.  This reinforces my idea that libertarianism operates largely like a religion because the religious have the same two problems.  Neither of them are capable of getting back to core principles and explaining how they came about to anyone who doesn’t already swig the same Kool-Aid.  How do you objectively define a natural right?  They don’t know. How many natural rights are there?  They have no clue.  They lack a fundamental understanding of the core concepts of their own political philosophy.  And when they fail, all they can do, like the religious, is run back to their holy books.  “This is what Thomas Paine said” or “this is what John Locke said”.  I don’t care what they said, I’m not debating them, I’m debating you.  Show me that you know that you understand your philosophy in your own words.  They can’t do it.

The same is true of the religious.  Their core belief is that some god exists.  How do they know this?  They have no answers.  I want to know how you personally determined, on your own, that your god actually exists in objective reality.  I don’t care what your silly religious book says.  I don’t care what  your pastor says.  I’m not going to look at the trees.  I care what evidence you can present that supports your contention that this thing that you worship is actually real.  But they can’t do it.  They have no argument, they have no evidence, they just have blind faith, just like the libertarians.  If you can’t explain why you believe what you believe in your own words, demonstrating your own understanding of the belief, then you have no intellectual reason to believe it, period.

Both of these groups live in their own little fantasy world, where what they want to be true is more important than what is actually true.  When I point this simple fact out, I have been told, I shit you not, that it is unfair to require people to think rationally about their beliefs because being rational isn’t important.  Yeah, let me say that again: being rational isn’t important.

And you wonder why I think these two groups have problems.

“I’m Not Happy!”

I get so sick of hearing that, both from the liberal left and from the libertarians.  They’re just not happy with the way the world is, therefore they think the world needs to change to accommodate their precious little feelings.

Bullshit.

But these are both fundamentally different questions so they have to be addressed separately.  And because I spend a lot of time beating up on liberals, I’ll do libertarians first.

Libertarians, as I’ve said in the past, operate from a very “religious” position. They have “faith” that the things that they believe are true and because that “faith” is blind, they just demand that they have a point and anyone who refuses to acknowledge it, anyone who asks that they provide evidence for their claims, they brand heretics and go back to repeating their empty claims.  At their core, they are very unhappy about the way the world operates, and I can certainly sympathize with that because I’m unhappy about it too.  But where I acknowledge how the world really works, even if I don’t like it, they seem supremely convinced that the world really does operate as they wish it did, there’s just this vast conspiracy to keep them from getting their way.  This is where the striking similarities to religion come in.  The religious claim “even though we can’t prove it, there really is a god and he really has a plan and no matter how much you don’t believe it, we’re still right”.  The libertarians are the same way.  “Even though we can’t prove it, there really are these magical natural rights and they really are as wonderful as we’d like to think they are and no matter how much you don’t believe it, we’re still right.”  And they have blind faith that everything they believe is true and everything that everyone else believes is false. Only their view on rights matters.  If you argue that rights come from society, they don’t have an actual argument against it, they just stomp their feet and tell you that you’re wrong.  No support for their ideas, no evidence against yours.  It’s all faith.

And that’s really the thing, their ideology makes them happy and because virtually nobody else on the planet takes their ideology seriously, they’re constantly upset at everyone around them, just like little religious cults.  Everyone is out to get them and is a big meanie because they won’t acknowledge the inherent correctness of their beliefs.

Then there’s the liberals and their slower, stupider cousins, the progressives and the problems there are painfully obvious. Progressives are to liberals what the Tea Party are to conservatives, only stupider.  And that’s saying something. Just look at college campuses, where hyper-left students want nothing but safe spaces and speech codes, they don’t want to ever be faced with anything even the slightest bit uncomfortable and they want teachers stopped from teaching them anything that might trigger someone.  Somewhere.  Maybe.  These people are idiots and unfortunately, the current university system is such that administrators are so paranoid over potentially losing students that they’re willing to cater to these cry babies at the cost of actually providing a quality education and preparing these butt-hurt children for the real world.  You know, the things they’re getting paid for.

I am so tired of trying to talk to people who are ostensibly adults but act like they’re 3 years old.  I actually have seen 3-year olds who act better, who have more intelligence and maturity and credibility than these pathetic little whiners.  Why does anyone put up with these ridiculous emotional midgets?  When do we get to punch them in the face, tell them to grow a pair and fuck right the hell off?  Because that day cannot come too soon for me and I suspect for anyone reading this article as well.

The Constitution is not All

Got another one that got me in trouble.  I seem to do that a lot, don’t I?  Some crazy fundamentalist Christian libertarians started making a ruckus, claiming that because the Constitution doesn’t specifically grant the federal government the right to control marriage, the Supreme Court ruling is invalid and states get to decide who can get married and who cannot.

Yeah, I know, where do I find these idiots, right?

So I asked what if some state, hypothetically, decided to legalize child marriage, would that be fine?  Or, to answer another person, what if some state decided, theoretically, to legalize rape, would they be okay with it?  This is more applicable in the first question because, whether any of these people like it or not, marriage in the United States and indeed in most other places in the world is a civil contract.  It’s a legal, not a religious thing.  In the United States, what is legal and binding in one state, marriage-wise, is legal and binding in all states.  If someone got married in one state where said marriage is legal and moved to another state where said marriage was not legal, they would still have a legal marriage.  This has already been well-decided, there are no legal questions on this matter whatsoever.  So, just as gay couples went to states where gay marriage was legal, then went home to states where it was not and had to be treated like they were legally married, a couple could go to a state where child marriage was legal, then come back and move in next door to you.  Is that acceptable?

Not surprisingly, not a single one of my fundie Christian libertarians thought it was.  I guess state’s rights only work when it’s something you agree with, huh?  In fact, you can go wherever you want with this.  What if Utah, for example, decided to reintroduce polygamy.  Good, even if that means that all states are now effectively forced to accept polygamous couples?  Or what if some state gets taken over by fundamentalist Muslims who want to impose Sharia law and execute heretics?  Is that okay?  The Constitution actually forbids Congress from passing any law stopping it.  How many people do you think would follow a strict constitutional interpretation?  Not many, I wager.

The problem with these strict constitutionalists is that they don’t recognize that it just doesn’t work.  There are lots of things in the modern world that the founding fathers could never have imagined or foreseen.  The Constitution doesn’t mention a thing about speed limits on the nation’s highways, yet the federal government can issue a national speed limit, whether the libertarians like it or not.  The founding fathers had no way of knowing that cars would eventually exist.  They didn’t know about airplanes, but the federal  government controls the nation’s skies and controls where people are allowed to fly. They didn’t know about nuclear weapons, but if they had, they would absolutely have written into the 2nd amendment a limitation on private citizens owning them, no matter what the libertarians seem to think.  But they didn’t know so they didn’t include them.  The list goes on and on.  The farther we go, the less applicable the specifics in the Constitution actually are.  A lot of the concepts remain good ideas, but how they specifically apply to the modern world does not.  That’s why we have the Supreme Court, to make these determinations.  I’m pretty sure that if the founding fathers were around today, they’d be ashamed of what we’ve become and perhaps ashamed of no group more than the libertarians whose absurd worship of a piece of paper has stopped them from thinking for themselves.

But what can you expect from a group of people, like the ones in this particular example, who worship both the Constitution and the Bible and don’t stop to think about either?

The Natural Rights Idiots Are Back

I’ve been able to successfully avoid the crazy libertarians for a while, but I stumbled back into the fray, with crazed fanatics demanding that “natural rights” are real and therefore, their imaginary rights are being infringed upon. You know, those rights they can’t actually show are real?  Yeah, those rights.

But where do they come from?  Well, like the religious, they have no answer, they just assume that they do.  That is exactly why I compare the libertarians to the religious.  They both take concepts that they have an emotional attachment to.  They both pretend that because they are attached to them, that makes them real.  They both follow the appeal to authority, either listening to an ancient book of mythology or old philosophers and politicians as their “justification” and because they now feel justified, they base their entire philosophical position on the “fact” that they were right all along.  Of course that ignores the fact that they have never validated their initial assumption in the first place but they don’t let that stop them.

That’s a problem for anyone who actually cares about logic and reason, which apparently, these idiots do not.  I’m not saying they can’t want whatever they want.  They can say they want a magical unicorn for all I care.  It’s when you start saying that you actually have a magical unicorn without being able to trot it out that I become concerned.  These fools are claiming, entirely without evidence, with just a bunch of hand-waving, that said natural rights actually exist.  That is not sufficient to show that they really do.

Of course they don’t really care.  They only care that it makes them feel good, just like the religious.  So long as it satisfies that emotional itch they have, they’ll grab on tight and never let go.  But I actually care if the things I believe are factually true, not just emotionally convenient.  The second  you open your mouth and start making claims, you’ve gone beyond the right to believe whatever load of bullshit you want in your own head to making claims that you rationally need to justify.  Again, to compare the libertarians to the religious, both sides have tried to say “oh, it’s just my belief!”  Nope, not since you’ve been stating it as fact it isn’t.  It’s now a claim and claims need to be supported.  Get to work.

It’s enough to make you beat your head on a wall.

Liberals Hate Police

I was having a recent discussion about the case of a school field officer in South Carolina who was called by a teacher to handle a disruptive student, and was fired for brutality.  And you know something?  The whole student body came out in support of the officer, none of them are calling for his termination, but hey, the media rules these days and the left rules the media.

But anyhow, people were talking about whether he should have been fired and I was one of the few people who were arguing no.  Of course, the majority of people on the other side were either dyed-in-the-wool liberals or crazy libertarians who think that there is no such thing as legitimate authority and the police are all a bunch of thugs, so I guess I can’t be surprised.

So I started asking what Officer Fields should have done in that situation and the liberals were all hemming and hawing because they really didn’t have an answer.  They didn’t want him to throw the student across the room, but clearly, some kind of resolution was necessary and they just couldn’t come up with a solution.  “Clear the room!”  Okay, fine.  Now the room is clear, now what?  I’m going to assume that after the teacher told the student to leave the room and she refused and the officer told the student to leave the room, that no amount of telling the student to get out of the desk is going to work, no matter who does it.  She’s going to continue to sit in the desk and refuse to follow orders and continue to disrupt not only that class, but every other class for the day.  She wins.  That’s not acceptable.  Others said “call her parents!”  Great.  But most of these behavioral problems  begin at home, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that the parent(s) don’t care how the girl acts or would respond.  I might say this is a good first step, if they had all day.  However, what if the parents either ignore the call or show up and refuse to help?  What then?  Eventually, every single liberal had to concede that physical force was necessary to resolve the situation.  Every single one, without exception.  So if what he did was necessary, what the hell is with all of the complaining?

Well, let me tell you, the only reason this guy lost his job is because of all of the bad press in the media.  That’s it.  It was to avoid losing face in the court of public opinion.  But even if he was guilty of excessive force, his boss was not the one to fire him. He could suspend him pending an investigation, of course, but in virtually all police forces, termination decisions are made by civilian oversight committees.  They are made with input from the police unions.  These decisions are not made by someone emotionally reacting to potential fallout from an event.  The officer has already retained legal counsel and they are going after the police department for wrongful termination.

Now yes, this entire situation was regrettable, but the blame for the situation wasn’t on the cop.  It wasn’t on the teacher.  It wasn’t on the school.  It was on the student.  If she had not misbehaved in the first place, nothing would have happened.  If she had left the classroom when the teacher told her to, nothing would have happened.  If she would have obeyed the command of the officer, nothing would have happened.  All of this is because we had a student who has never been taught to respect authority and do as they are told by those who have legal authority over them.  That’s the problem, but it’s a problem that idiot liberals and libertarians don’t seem to comprehend.

Losing Their Shit

I could have predicted this, in fact I did, and as usual, it came true. I recently did a video about the fundamentalist religion of libertarianism, in which I predicted, accurately, that I’d have libertarians coming out and screaming at me because I’d somehow offended them by making a video all about them and how awful I was because I’d made them look bad.

No, they made themselves look bad and it’s really funny to watch them rant and rave about how bad *I* am that they are reacting the way that *THEY* are.  It’s more evidence of the abject emotional insecurity of humanity.

First off, I already said that I was only talking about a particular set of libertarians, I was very specific in my video, but the people who came back at me, one in particular, was screaming that he was not that way at all.  Then why is he responding? He already knows, if he watched the video, that I’m not talking about him, but just  by his very response, it’s painfully clear that I am and he knows it, he just doesn’t want to be honest about it.

There’s this really weird human reaction that if  you use a word that someone uses in relation to themselves, even if you’re clearly not talking about them, even if they clearly don’t fit into whatever you’re talking about, they have to get mad because somehow, your criticism of other people reflects  badly on them.  This is a very immature reaction.

And of course, it isn’t just the libertarians that do it, that’s just the most recent example.  Liberals.  Feminists. Conservatives. Christians. Muslims. All of them are equally guilty.  They are more concerned with the label they choose to wear than the content of the discussion going on.  They don’t even care if what you’re saying is completely accurate, if it makes them feel bad, they drop trou and spray feces on everyone and that’s a problem.

Seriously, shouldn’t the actual content be more important than how the discussion makes you feel?  This is why the religious have such a problem having a rational discussion about things like abortion and gay marriage.  The idea disgusts them on an emotional level and they are unable to rise above it.  The feelings are all that matters.  The same goes for libertarians and their claims about statism and natural law and all of that.  It doesn’t make any sense, they cannot demonstrate any of it, but if you criticize it, they freak out.  Or liberals who can’t talk about feminism or racism or gender politics without throwing around words like “misogyny” in an irrational attempt to smear their detractors.  It’s why so many important discussions these days are at a complete stand still, because you have two sides who can do no more than fling poo at each other.

So anyhow, here’s the video, you can go over to YouTube to see the comments if you really want, but I’m sure you’ve run into this plenty of times yourself.  It really is sad, isn’t it?  Can’t people just talk intellectually without losing their shit?

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2ieCCRPFbk’]

That Old Time Libertarian Religion

Social ContractIf there’s anything that doing a YouTube channel has taught me, it’s that libertarians are crazy.  In every comment I get from them, it becomes harder and harder to tell the difference between them and fundamentalist Christians.  There is nothing but blind faith and empty assertions in their ideas and when you point that out, they just double down on the stupidity.

In that, there’s really no difference between the ideas of the libertarian and the ideas of the religious, or, let’s be honest, the ideas of the conspiracy theorist.  You only have to look at the comments on videos like this one or this one to see how clear that is. There really is no fundamental difference between libertarianism and creationism, you have people who are denying demonstrable reality in favor of their daft desires to live in a world that doesn’t happen to be the one they actually live in.  No amount of evidence matters.  If it goes against their religious beliefs or political ideologies, it has to be wrong.

So much of this comes down to dealing with the reality of the social contract.  I recently had someone state that the social contract doesn’t exist, which demonstrably does, but he just doesn’t like the idea, so it magically poofs away in a cloud of irrationality.  He suggests that it’s like saying that because a woman chooses to go eat dinner with a man, she agrees to be raped by him.  Okay, let’s ignore the fact that nobody can, by definition, agree to be raped.  If you agree, it isn’t rape.  How he didn’t realize that one is beyond me.  But still, the use of rape is just an emotional tool, pretty much nobody but rapists actually like rape, therefore you’ve got an automatic negative emotional reaction to the proposition which then gets transferred to the idea that you’re comparing it to.  This is old, dishonest and very common, but anyone with half a clue sees right through it.

Therefore, let’s not talk about rape.  Say you go out to eat at a restaurant.  You are obligated to pay for the food that you consume.  If you don’t, if you try to walk out without paying, you are stopped, the police are called, you are handcuffed and put in the back of a police car, taken to jail, etc.  You don’t get to say “but I didn’t agree to pay!”  Sure you did.  It’s inherent in the transaction.  You have agreed, by your participation in the transaction, to carry your end of the bargain, whether you like it or not.  If you don’t like it, by all means, don’t take part in the transaction.  Don’t go to the restaurant.  Don’t eat the food. Whining that you’re hungry but don’t want to pay for it has no impact on this reality.

The same is true of the social contract.  It has existed in every single society in the history of mankind and always will.  If there are laws, if there are rules and regulations, there is a social contract because people are expected and in fact obligated to follow the laws of the land or face penalties for failing to do so.  That’s what the social contract is.  It is the inherent expectation that people within a society are going to follow the rules set up by that society or face the consequences for not doing so.  There is no way to opt out and you never have to opt in.  You agree to it as a consequence of being part of that society.  The only way out of it is to physically get up and bodily leave the society and find another that you find more acceptable, assuming they’re willing to take you in.  Or you can go find an unclaimed island somewhere and set up your own society, define your own rules and laws and then, you’ll be holding everyone who lives there accountable to your own social contract.  I’m sure the crazy libertarian’s brains will implode at the thought.  Even if there was a libertarian society where the concept of “no force” was in place, that “no force” would be part of the social contract!  Too bad these political wingnuts have no rational thought processes or they’d know that.

It really is no wonder that nobody takes libertarians seriously, except for other libertarians, just like nobody takes the religious seriously, except for other members of their cult.  No one should, these people are completely irrational in their ideas and completely unable to step back and see just how irrational they really are.  As such, ignoring them and/or pointing and laughing seems to be the only worthwhile responses to their insanity.  Since I spend so much time pointing out the idiocy of religion, I have no problem expanding that to crazed political ideologies as well.

Pie-in-the-Sky vs. Reality

PieintheSky-262x300In a recent discussion with a libertarian, he asked why I criticize a lot of their ideas because, as he points out, the world would be a lot better if we just implemented all of the libertarian ideas.  Sure.  That might be true, at least for some subset of those ideas, but that’s not the way the world works.  Hell, the world would be a much better place to live if religion just went away, everyone stopped thinking irrationally and just behaved logically. It would be a wonderful planet if all disease magically vanished and everyone had a trillion dollars in their bank accounts. It’s a great thought, it just isn’t going to happen and we actually have to deal with reality as it is, not as we wish it was.

That’s actually a problem that I run into a lot, people who are so enamored with an imaginary, magical world where everything is perfect that they’re convinced that kind of world either really exists or is possible to achieve.  I disagree.  There are some problems we will never solve, at least not in the short term.  Sure, I can foresee a day that medical science might eliminate the vast majority of diseases and genetic disorders, but that day is not today.  It is not tomorrow.  It isn’t going to be in my lifetime and probably not in the lifetime of my children.  So let’s stop pretending that we shouldn’t vaccinate our kids and deal with the world as it actually is.  So far as we know, there isn’t a magical land we all go to when we die and even if there were, that doesn’t mean we should needlessly squander the resources we have in this life because you think it doesn’t actually matter.  To quote Nick Fury, “Until such time as the world ends, we will act as though it intends to spin on.”  That means you don’t burn down the forests, just because you think some imaginary man-god is coming back to pick you up.

Unfortunately, this seems prevalent across all manner of issues; religious, social, political, you name it.  People pretend that just  because they can invent some magical land in their head that really. really appeals to them, that must be true and we can all bring it about if we just try hard enough.  That’s not realistic.  The magical land that Christians want isn’t realistic.  The imaginary world that libertarians want isn’t realistic.  The planet where everyone links arms and sings kumbaya that a lot of liberals seem to want, that isn’t realistic either.  It’s time to do away with the fantasy and deal with the reality on reality’s terms. I don’t care how much you want to live forever, you’re not going to.  I don’t care how much you want everyone to believe in your version of some imaginary god, that’s not the way it’s going to be.  Lower your sights, deal with the world as it really is, not how you wish it might be, and maybe we can solve some problems with actual solutions, not pie-in-the-sky fantasies.

Why I’m Opposed to School Vouchers

school vouchersI see a lot of people, typically libertarians and religious kooks, who are pushing for a school voucher system.  For the libertarians, it’s part of their overriding irrational hatred of all things government and for the religious, it’s usually part of their desire to syphon off money and students from the secularly-controlled public school system.  In both cases, I find their arguments entirely irrational.

From the libertarian side, the argument goes something like this:  People deserve to put their children in the best schools, but because part of their taxes are already going to fund public schools, they ought to get that money back so they can pay for private schools if they so desire.  For the religious, the motive is clear, they want more money and more suckers to indoctrinate.  However, neither really understand the issues associated with modern education and frankly, neither really care either.

It’s important not just to provide a good education to some people, but to all people and that’s not what voucher advocates promote.  They don’t care about the poor or the disinterested, they’re happy to throw them under a bus, they only care about their own kids.  But it’s important for future society to have a well-educated and rational population, that’s why we have universal education, not because people are self-centered and only give a damn about their own kids.  That’s why the public education system was set up in the first place, so that not only the wealthy could educate their children, but so all children everywhere would get at least a basic education.

I’ll be the first one to admit that the public education system has a lot of problems that need to be addressed, but carving it up and defunding it (which some libertarians want to do entirely) is not the answer.  All they care about are the students and parents who are actively involved in education.  There are plenty of parents and students who just don’t care and those are a serious challenge, but just throwing them out into the cold or letting them languish in the educational ghettos simply isn’t the answer.  Those students who do not get an education today become the financial anchors around our necks tomorrow.

According to libertarians, there will be a fight for all students at all levels and that the free market will magically provide. This is nonsense.  At higher levels, certainly you will get a fair bit of competition.  Parents will get the amount they pay out of their property taxes that currently go for public schools and they can go to any private school they like with those funds.  Schools will almost certainly just raise their rates to take these extra funds into account.  A school that charged, say, $10,000 a year will look at parents who now have an extra $5000 a year to spend and just make the school cost $15,000 a year. They will continue to be just as selective, allowing only those students who are not troublemakers, who do not do poorly in the classroom and who get good grades in, thus making them look more attractive to parents who are looking for a “good educational environment”, albeit one that has carefully managed their statistics.  But what of poor parents?  They will take their much lower voucher amount to private schools and, being unable to add anything to it, will have fewer choices.  These low-end schools will now have not only less money to work with but a higher percentage of problem children to deal with.  You will find a higher incidence of drug abuse, teen mothers, criminal behavior, gang violence and the entirely disinterested and very little money to make the system work.  In essence, it’s an educational death sentence for the low end students because schools will almost certainly simply close their doors rather than deal with more headaches and less money and as I said, the people who carry the biggest cost to society will suddenly be in even worse straits than they are currently and not only will society spend more on education than ever before, we’ll still be liable for the same level of social dysfunction, if not more, than we already have.  This doesn’t fix education, it just plays the typical libertarian game of “we got ours, fuck you.”

This doesn’t even address the obvious problem with private schools having the freedom to teach all manner of irrational religious nonsense and local superstition because parents are neither sophisticated nor educated themselves to understand the real world around them.  It goes exactly the wrong way for school standardization that I’ve argued so strenuously for in the past.  We need more standards, not less.  We need a common central curriculum nationwide, not a bunch of crazy cults going willy-nilly around whatever bizarre religious books they follow.  As a secular educational system, we can do away with that nonsense.  As a collective of private schools with no controls, it’s back to the educational dark ages.  That is certainly going the wrong way.

American education and schools have a lot of problems to be sure and they are a political hot potato that nobody wants to address because liberals want control over how people think and the religious want control over what people believe and are taught.  Neither side want what’s best for American children, which is teaching them how to think and how to rationally evaluate the real world.  The idea of a rationally educated public terrifies both sides to no end.  This is a Gordian Knot that will take an interested populace a lot time to finally cut apart, but school vouchers, at least as currently suggested, will not solve the problem, it will only make it worse.

Libertarians are Assholes

Hey AssholeThere’s a video that popped up of a guy in an area where open carry is legal, being a complete dick to police who stopped him to ask him some questions.  I have no idea if this guy is a libertarian, it’s largely irrelevant to the post, but let’s be honest, this guy was a complete prick regardless of his political inclinations.

The problem is, in the forum where this was being discussed, every single solitary self-identified libertarian was being a prick, saying the cops could fuck off, saying the cops were lucky the guy didn’t shoot them, etc. They were arguing that they had no obligation to talk to cops, they hated cops and wished they’d all die. Well yes, you’re right, you have no legal obligation to be grilled, but what does it hurt to answer a couple of questions, even if you don’t have to?  Why is it such a problem to just be polite to anyone, police officer or otherwise?

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaXQbcACnbU’]

Seriously, what is wrong with these people?  One guy was saying he’ll die for his right to carry a gun anywhere he goes and if they try to stop him, they’ll have to pull a whole ton of dead cops off of him first. What a bunch of immature malarkey. When you point it out to these idiots, they act proud of it too.  It’s like a bunch of 12-year olds swinging their dicks around, trying to act like adults.

Of course, not all libertarians are like this but enough are, at least enough of the ones I run into online are, that I think this is a serious problem.  You get the asshats who hate drug laws and think they ought to blow pot smoke in the face of police where it’s illegal, or shoot up where it’s illegal, because they have these imaginary rights and nobody better tell them otherwise.  It reminds me of something that I saw regularly a number of years ago when the big “you don’t have to pay income taxes” nonsense was going on.   There were tons of these really immature asshats saying that not only were they not going to pay taxes, they were going to rub it in the face of law enforcement and the IRS as well.  I’m hoping most of those people went to prison for tax evasion and got the book thrown at them especially hard, just because they were pricks.

What’s wrong with just being an upstanding adult regardless of your political views?  We know that libertarians skew young but geez, do they have to act like it?

 

Enough of This “States’ Rights” Crap

states-rightsYou know, I get sick and tired of watching the idiot libertarians carry around their placards declaring “states’ rights” because we can all see right through it.  The only reason they care about the states at all is because nobody on the national scale takes their politics seriously.  They can’t get their candidates even close to the White House, except maybe on a Boy Scout tour, so maybe they’ll just shoot smaller, say at the state level, and make their stand there.  Of course, as has been pointed out many times before, there isn’t much of a move by the libertarians to work for big city mayors or state governors, so I really don’t get the point.

Then again, they only jump on the “states’ rights” bandwagon when it’s convenient for them to do so, as a recent example showed.  There was a fundamentalist Christian libertarian declaring that states had the right to define marriage as between one man and one woman and it was a violation of “states’ rights” to tell them otherwise. This was, of course, a reaction to the upcoming Supreme Court case which could, and hopefully will, decide gay marriage nationwide once and for all.  So I brought up the possibility that maybe some states might outlaw private ownership of firearms.  Don’t the states have the right to make those decisions?  Oh hell no!  Argumentum ad Constitution!  Of course, this ignores the fact that the real argument being heard before the Court is that not allowing gay marriage is a violation of the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment, among others.  It is a Constitutional issue and the states don’t get to arbitrarily ignore the Constitution, that thing they ratified and vowed to support and defend forever.  But, according to some libertarians, at least the religiously insane ones, states only have to follow the parts of the Constitution that they like and can ignore the rest.

They want to live in a little Libertarian nation where they make all the rules and get to shake their pathetic little fists at the evil federal government.  It doesn’t matter what they have to twist or contort to get their way, this is what they want and how they want to go about it.  All of the discussion I’ve had about libertarian ideology shows the inherent dishonesty and irrationality of their position, whether you’re talking about those imaginary “natural rights” or the demand for “Constitutional respect”, they’ve got nothing to back up their claims but lots and lots and lots of empty words.

In fact, just today, another one of them started demanding “states’ rights” for education, particularly on that stupid Oklahoma “we don’t want to teach kids anything that isn’t patriotic” history curriculum crap.  More libertarians showed up screaming “states’ rights”.  Well no.  I probably wouldn’t care so much if those uneducated idiots stayed in Oklahoma, but they don’t.  They move.  They go to other states.  They get involved in politics in other states.  They vote in national elections.  That makes it my business and there’s no way in hell that I want all of the states playing with different agendas and producing different grades of idiot.  It affects us all, therefore it is all of our business.  So long as your kids affect the future of my kids, fuck you and your “states’ rights”.

Explaining Responsibility

personal_responsibility_areaWhile I was writing the post on Gary Johnson’s platform, discussions raged on about libertarianism and libertarian positions. I got into somewhat of a fight over the difference between freedom and responsibility and while my libertarian counterpart refused to see reason, I wanted to go into a bit of detail here because I think it explains the core of my political thinking.

See, to a lot of libertarians, in fact, every libertarian I have ever debated, freedom is infinitely more important than responsibility.  In fact, it seems like they only throw in responsibility at all as a means to do away with the inherent problems with unlimited freedom, they throw it in as a means to keep people from running wild, yet it makes no sense at all.  Anyone familiar with libertarian politics will know that they arbitrarily draw the line on freedom where it doesn’t cause anyone else harm, but why is that?  If someone is supposed to be free, what difference does it make if they harm anyone else, steal their stuff or do things which produce an unfair advantage over your opponents? The reason, although they’ll never admit it, is self-interest. They don’t want others to have the ability to harm them, thus they set this arbitrary limit on how much freedom people actually get to have.  They can’t justify why they set the limits where they set them however, but I can.

Personally, I think responsibility is infinitely more important than individual freedom.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against freedom at all, I think freedom naturally arises from responsibility and not the other way around as many libertarians do.  As far as I’m concerned, you have an inherent responsibility to those around you, simply as a consequence to living in a society. The same is true on a smaller scale if you live in the same house with others, you have a responsibility to share resources, treat each other well and keep the peace.  Scaled up, this works just fine for society as well.

But yes, I know, libertarians aren’t much into the social contract, in fact, their absurd ideas of natural law and  natural rights go completely against it.  That’s why they’re into freedom for the sake of freedom and for anyone who gets in their way, fuck them. It’s one of the primary reasons I have very little respect for libertarians.

Having responsibility first and foremost guarantees freedom, but it also guarantees interconnectivity.  People are responsible for taking care of others, but everyone is also responsible for providing for themselves.  It gets rid of the welfare state that the liberals love, but it also gets rid of the “I got mine, screw you” thing that the libertarians value.  It recognizes that everyone is connected to everyone else and everyone plays an important role in society.  If one part fails to properly operate, it harms the whole, which is why we need to hold everyone to the same high standards, such that all of us in society can continue to output at a high rate.  It’s not rocket science.  It just makes sense, unlike liberalism and libertarianism.

So be responsible, both to yourself and to those around you.  It’s the only way that actually works.

Why I Wouldn’t Vote for Gary Johnson

Gary JohnsonThose crazy Libertarians are at it again, calling for anyone and everyone to come vote for Gary Johnson, who has recently thrown his hat into the 2016 ring for President once again.  Libertarians are fanatical when it comes to third party candidates, they insist that everyone ought to support their guy and when people say no way in hell, as most do, they start insulting anyone and everyone who doesn’t buy into their camp.

So I went and specifically looked up Gary Johnson’s platform, at least his platform from 2012, so I could detail what it was specifically that I disagreed with.  There’s a site called On The Issues, which lets you take one of those stupid online quizzes that I hate so much to find out which candidates you most agree with.  I did it and found out that I disagree with everyone, which is no surprise at all.  The best match I got was 50% and I wouldn’t vote for them if my life depended on it.

But enough of that, let’s look specifically at Gary Johnson’s platform and see where I agree and disagree.  I’ll stick to the categories listed above for ease of reference.  To make it even simpler, I’ll color code the headings, green for agree and red for disagree.

Abortion

This is actually a close one, mostly because I do support federal funding on stem cell research and I want birth control covered on all insurance plans.  If he really thinks the woman ought to be able to decide, how can they do that if their choices of birth control are limited or entirely removed?  However, since I’m good on 3 out of the 5 statements, I’ll give this one a green.

Budget & Economy

He gets green here too because I agree that we need to stop borrowing money and live within our means, no matter what that takes.  However, I think that a lot of his ideas, like a lot of libertarian ideas, are simply unworkable once you delve into them.

Civil Rights

He gets it right here too, being pro-equality across the board.  Keeping religion out of the government is also essential to a free and open society.

Corporations

This is where we start to see things go wrong.  Now while I am totally on board with free enterprise and a free market, I do not think that it ought to be something we give away.  Corporations ought to pay their fair share of the taxes because they benefit from the things that tax money pays for.  It shouldn’t be excessive, we should get rid of any and all corporate welfare, but it seems he wants to go too far the other way.

Crime

At issue here is his support of private prisons.  I think we need to get rid of private prisons altogether.  For-profit prisons require a never-ending supply of new prisoners to keep them full, this is a distinct conflict of interest that I find unresolvable. I do agree that drug users have no place behind bars, they belong in mandatory treatment programs.  I also think that drug dealers ought to be automatically executed.   More of this comes into play in the next category.

Drugs

I will never, under any circumstances, support a candidate who wants to legalize drugs.  I’ve gone through this in detail before, I find drug use reprehensible and even though I don’t think drug users ought to go to prison (see above), neither do I think just legalizing the whole thing is a valid argument either.  Much of this goes back to my “stupid people are stupid” argument.  Just because people might want to use drugs doesn’t mean that we ought to validate it.

Education

I am not in favor of school vouchers, at least not as they have been suggested.  We do need to completely overhaul the public education system, but Johnson, like most libertarians, wants to do away with federal oversight, which we absolutely need to make education equal across all states.  I’ve made my thoughts clear on this here, among other placese.

Energy & Oil

I’m generally fine with a lot of what he says, but I don’t see any actual plans for implementing his ideas.  I think that’s a huge problem and one that libertarians have no way of overcoming.  Even if Johnson got elected President, virtually nothing on his agenda would actually get acted on.

Environment

This was a close one, I had to go against it though because I don’t see how you’ll enforce any of these things without federal oversight.

Families & Children

I am all in favor of maintaining the family.  My question is, how can he be pushing for federal funds if traditional libertarianism places all of these things under state’s rights?

Foreign Policy

I’ll go with a lot of this, I don’t think we ought to be buying international friendship with billions of tax dollars and that’s largely what we’re doing.  I don’t want to sound isolationist, but we could do with paying more attention to what’s going on at home and less to trying to spread democracy around the world.

Free Trade

Again, this is difficult because I don’t see any actual plans, just talking points.  I suspect this will be closely linked to immigration, which I will address further down.

Government Reform

Virtually all of this is just a “rah-rah, look what I did” session so most of it is pointless.  Where it went wrong is that he wants to allow unlimited corporate political donations and I honestly would like to see political donations, whether by individuals or corporations, severely limited.  Of course, what he’s doing is trying to play to his potential donors, Johnson clearly wouldn’t mind if corporations could pay him millions.

Gun Control

There isn’t much here, I’m going to give him a pass because I support private firearm ownership and agree that a lot of gun control legislation isn’t doing much to help the problems.  That isn’t to say that I want to get rid of all such legislation, I’m not mindlessly pro-gun like a lot of libertarians and neo-cons are, I’m adamantly pro-responsibility.

Healthcare

Likewise, I’m going to give this a pass because, while he does say that Obamacare and similar systems simply don’t work and I agree, he doesn’t list a plan for actually improving the situation.

Homeland Security

So much of this is very close, I don’t really like what he has to say because he’s not really saying much of anything.  Yes, we ought to get rid of the Patriot Act, we ought to get rid of the TSA, we ought to study how sensitive infrastructure is vulnerable to terrorist attack.  I’m not really seeing any plan for keeping us safe though, that’s what I’d need to see.

Immigration

Absolutely not.  This is, indeed, tied in with his ideas on free trade and, in fact, with the way a lot of libertarians want to just open the borders and let people go back and forth without restriction.  I am never going to agree with that.

Jobs

Yes, private businesses create jobs, how is he going to deal with the fact that there are millions and millions of people nationwide on the government payroll?

Principles & Values

He sees values the same way Ayn Rand does?  Oh hell no.

Social Security

My problem here, even though I’m going to grudgingly agree with him, is that there’s a limit to how high you can raise retirement age.  Medical science is going to continue to increase life expectancy, does he plan on keeping people working until they are 100 in the coming future?  Secondly, Social Security is paid for by the employee out of every check.  I personally think that people ought to get exactly as much as has been put in, plus whatever interest has been earned, and not a penny more. This is problematic, again because of modern medicine, because people are now living many more years past retirement and that money is going to run out unless the individual has made some decent investments over the years.  When you used to keel over 5-10 years after retirement, it didn’t matter.  Now that you might live 20+ years past retirement, it does.

Tax Reform

There is no way in hell, no matter what the libertarians want, that we’re ever going to get rid of the IRS.  Beyond this, I never thought the flat tax was workable, especially not one touted by libertarians.  It’s just going to stop people from buying the non-essentials because the taxation is so high.  This will reduce the amount of money taken in taxes overall, which just means the government either shuts down (which would make a lot of libertarians happy), reduces services, or just finds another way of taxing the citizenry.  Like it or not, the government needs money to operate.  There are many services that the people want, whether or not we think they ought to have them, they are going to send representatives to Washington to ensure they get them.  This is really where I think libertarian ideals are just pointless, this is a plank in his platform that he could never keep, no matter how much he might want to.  Wishful thinking has little place in politics.

Technology

I don’t care what he’s built, I do support total net neutrality so I’ll give him a thumbs up here.

War & Peace

I’m sort of torn here.  I know that a lot of these are old quotes and statements and I try not to look back at them, knowing the future from that perspective.  Now I’m not a war-monger by any stretch of the imagination, I think most of the wars we’ve been involved in for the past couple of decades have been utterly stupid.  I’m also not an isolationist, I think there are some things that we ought to be involved in, but if we get involved, we need to go, get the job done and not come back until we accomplish what we set out to accomplish.  That’s where American foreign military conflict has utterly failed.  We spend more time on “rah rah, USA! USA!” than on actual planning, we go out and do a half-assed job and then bow to public opinion polls instead of finishing what we start.  We go at it the wrong way, we give up too early and we lack the balls to do what needs to be done.  It’s easy to say we should never have been in Afghanistan, we should never have been in Iraq, these wars were completely pointless, it cost billions of dollars and many American lives (not to mention all the innocents who got caught in the crossfire), but we walked away and nothing really got changed.  It just got worse.  I acknowledge that we might have to deal with the WWII paradigm, where almost 410,000 Americans died fighting against Hitler.  That’s something that will never fly today but I think it’s what we need to accept if we’re serious about actually solving problems.

Welfare & Poverty

I think we need to put severe caps on welfare and major requirements for anyone who gets any kind of government check. I think being on government assistance ought to be significantly painful, such that you’d do almost anything to get off of it and back to work.  I think people ought to be required to get an education, ought to be forced to stop having more children, ought to be required to keep their kids getting good grades, etc.  Welfare ought to be the absolute last resort and the requirements are such that you are forced to get off welfare and standing on your own two feet sooner rather than later.

So looking back, I’ve got 13 in the green and 11 in the red.  Keep in mind that a lot of them are very close, I’ve given him a pass in a lot of areas, just because I barely agree with half of his points.  A lot of the things in the red are very serious, fundamental disagreements.  I could never, in good conscience, support someone who favors drug legalization.  Further, so many of these things are complete fantasy, there is no way in hell that most of them could happen following the 2016 election.  Because it can’t happen, the vast majority of this platform is just nonsense, it’s like promising to put a Ferrari in every garage and a billion dollars in every bank account.  These are simply, by and large, not achievable goals and if there’s one thing I value more than responsibility, that’s reality.  The Libertarian party lacks that almost entirely.

Sorry Gary, you’ve got a couple of good ideas and a whole lot of overactive imagination.  You don’t get my support with this platform.

 

The Problems with School Vouchers

School-Choice1

Libertarians tend to push a school voucher solution to the problems of education but very few of them have bothered to think it through.  I think it’s because there’s a very fundamental problem in libertarian thinking.  What they’re really saying is “give me mine, fuck you.”  They’re only thinking of the individual in the equation, catering to what they consider the best and brightest and most  deserving of special treatment.  While I can sympathize with that view to a certain extent, we cannot limit ourselves to just the individual.  Humans  are a social species, there has to be a middle view which values both individual and societal responsibility.  That’s something you don’t really hear about very often.

Unfortunately, there are some very serious problems with the libertarian view.  I suppose it’s not too surprising, given their individual-centric position, but we have to deal with the whole of reality, not just the parts they want to acknowledge.  In education, we can’t just ignore the problems that are difficult to solve, we have to address them all.

The general idea is that we provide vouchers for all students so that parents can move their children to “better” schools and give them a better chance.  On paper, that sounds good but it ignores the very realities of modern schools.

There are parents who don’t care about the education of their children, as is very common in low-income ghetto areas, and are the least likely to move their kids to “better” schools.  Those are the children who most need to benefit from such a system, but least likely to actually do so.  Parents who don’t care raise children who don’t care.  Parents who were raised not to value education are going to raise their children not to value education.  It’s a vicious cycle.  Even if they did move their kids to a “better” school, they wouldn’t perform any better because the kids still don’t give a damn.  Their parents still aren’t making sure the kids are learning or doing their homework.  It isn’t a matter of better educators, you can do nothing if the students don’t want to learn.  What this really amounts to is educational segregation.  It gives the opportunity for people who already have an educational advantage, a home that values the concept of education and entirely ignores the rest to rot at the bottom of the educational pool.  Of course, those who do not get the benefit of an education are much more likely to end up in minimum wage dead-end jobs, in prison and on the public dole.  They’re also more likely to have unwanted pregnancies, adding even more to the welfare rolls.  By specifically ignoring these people, you’re just causing more of a social problem down the road.  As I said, it’s a vicious cycle and the libertarians would rather ignore it than deal with it because it’s not an easy problem to handle.

Besides, the math just doesn’t work.  Their plan essentially says that school competition is going to make bad schools better because they have to compete for students.  If there are 1000 kids in a district, just to keep the numbers simple, and 1000 spots for students at the schools, then there will be a mad rush for the “best” schools, but as that fills in, kids will have to settle for worse and worse schools all the way down.  Eventually, all of the students will fill all of the slots and no schools, no matter how bad, will close because they have all of their spaces filled.  So much for market forces!

So how do we actually solve the problem?  The parents who don’t care aren’t going to suddenly care because they now have options.  They’re not going to care because they’ve been raised not to care.  They have no impetus to care.  They lose nothing if their kids fail and gain nothing if their kids succeed.  Ultimately, they have no horse in the educational race.  They really do better for themselves, in our self-centered liberal society, by not giving a damn about their kids.  There’s no effort involved to just leave your kids to their own devices.  There’s no actual parenting involved.  Most of these kids don’t have parents either, they just have sperm and egg donors, for whom parenthood is just an unforeseen consequence of a night of passion.  This is a major problem in the ghettos, and I’ll get flack for saying so of course, but parenthood often isn’t an end in and of itself, but as a means to keep a man or to get money from the government.  I’m not saying there are no good parents in the hood, only that most of them don’t understand good parenting because they didn’t have it themselves.  Therefore, we need to gently nudge them in the right direction and, unfortunately, the only real way to do that is to hit them where they live, in their government subsidies.  We need to tie their benefits at least partially to the performance of their school-age children.  Some have suggested we give a bonus for kids that do well in school, I don’t think we should give a bonus, at least not solely, we ought to take money away for kids that are failing.  This is going to encourage parents to get on their kids to do their homework and learn.  It is in their financial best interest to do so.  I’m actually fine with a bonus for exemplary performance, maybe give them $50 extra every quarter for each A the student brings home.  Of course, this relies on the schools not just handing out A’s to help their students, it has to be honestly earned.  The parents ought to lose money for every class the student is failing and anyone who drops out of school and doesn’t get a GED ought to lose any government money the child is receiving at all.  You stay in school or you test out, just dropping out is entirely unacceptable and the parents become targets for the social workers to make sure that the kids are still being taken care of at an acceptable level.  It enforces responsibility on everyone involved and that’s one thing these people desperately need to learn is responsibility.  Some people, particularly bleeding heart liberals, might claim I’m being unnecessarily harsh on the poor.  No, I’m not.  First off, nobody ever said life was fair, but secondly, if you’re not pulling your own weight in society, then you need to change.  It isn’t society’s job to lower their standards, it’s their job to hold everyone accountable to the standards already in place.  Yeah, responsibility isn’t something liberals understand, or that a lot of libertarians give a damn about, but that’s why our society is so screwed up today.

And I know that none of this is easy.  Nothing worthwhile ever is.  Simply throwing vouchers at people and trying to segregate the educational pool isn’t going to solve any problems, it’s just going to widen the gulf.  It will make things worse, not better.  It will cost more money in the long run, not less.  It’s going to make a multi-tiered society, between the care and the care-nots. That’s really what a lot of the liberals want.  I thought a bit better of the libertarians.  I probably shouldn’t have.

Where Philosophy Falls Apart

Philosopher ReasonI’ve been very critical of philosophy over the years and for very good reason because philosophy tends to get misused a lot. There are times where philosophy is useful, such as when it keeps debates and discussions on the proper, logical, non-fallacious path and keeps people from saying things that are simply unjustified and unjustifiable.  However, there are plenty of times when philosophy is pointless and a lot closer to religion than anything else.  When people start using philosophy as a means to describe reality, for instance, that’s pointless.  Philosophy doesn’t have the mechanisms to keep people objective, to test conclusions, etc. like science does.

That was the point that I made to someone who recently argued that reality didn’t exist without perception.  If there wasn’t an intelligent entity to experience reality, then reality, for all intents and purposes, doesn’t exist, it is the perception of an intelligent entity that gives reality form and thus makes it real.  This is, of course, complete and utter bullshit.  The universe was around for billions of years after the Big Bang before it is likely that any intelligent life developed anywhere, if indeed any intelligent life but us has ever existed.  Does this mean that, before that first human precursor evolved that very first  gleaning of intellect, nothing existed?  Well, very likely so according to this guy.

So I pointed out that we have objective evidence pointing all the way back to the Big Bang that yes, there was a real universe and unless he wants to suggest that human perception simply made it look like there was a previous existence, he was simply wrong.  He paused for a moment and then acknowledged that the universe did actually exist before intelligence, it just didn’t mean anything because perception gives reality “meaning”.

You just can’t win with these people.  In that, they are just like the religious and for pretty much the same reason.  They are desperately trying to justify what they already believe but they have no good reason for actually believing it.  It’s something that feels good to them and they think the emotion is good enough to think that it’s actually true.  This goes for all kinds of empty believers.  It goes for solipsists.  It goes for libertarians.  It goes for theists.  These are people who want to feel good about what they believe so they just lie to themselves and pretend that what they believe is true, even if it cannot be demonstrated to actually be so.  Philosophy, like religion, does a good job, to rationalize these unsupported belief systems and they build their entire worldviews on top of that rationalization.

I also find it sad that philosophy, again like religion, tends to rely heavily on that old, tired logical fallacy, the appeal to authority.  If you have a discussion with an armchair philosopher, they will almost always rely on “this philosopher said this” and “that philosopher said that”.  So what?  I’m not debating them, I’m debating you.  I want you to justify those beliefs and if you can’t attaching the name of some old philosopher to the argument doesn’t make it any better.  I’m no more impressed by saying “David Hume says…” than I am with “Josh McDowell says…”  So what?

Ultimately, it’s all just opinion and unjustified opinion at that.  There are questions that cannot be easily answered but just because you want an answer to an unanswered question doesn’t mean you get to make one up and be taken seriously.  This goes for the religious and the political and the social believers.  Just because you want a thing to be true doesn’t mean it actually is true unless you can rationally justify it.  Waving your arms around and pretending it means anything does not justify a damn thing.

How to Categorize Yourself

Political ChartIt’s always difficult to figure out a way to accurately categorize people politically because nobody ever uses the same scale.  What one person calls a liberal, another might find centrist.  What one person calls a conservative, another might think is a neo-con.  Then you have the people on the extreme fringes at both ends that are convinced that everyone less extreme than themselves is a member of the opposite side.  As I’ve discussed in the past, labels are only of limited usefulness because there isn’t a generally agreed upon definition for anything.

I recently came across this chart and even though it supposedly allows conservatives to categorize themselves, it gives the whole range of political thought in very simplistic terms.  Actually, scratch that, absurdly simplistic terms, to the point of being pretty useless.  You can, of course, click on the chart to make it larger and easier to read.

Now taking the chart as given, I’d fall somewhere between a paleo-conservative and a modern-conservative, but I really think the whole idea behind the chart itself is fatally flawed.  It makes the assertion that I’ve criticized before that the government is some alien entity, imposed on the people, which gives or takes away things without any influence or control from the populace.  This is a ridiculous idea, common among libertarians, which only really exists because their own political ideas do not resonate with a majority of American voters and thus, they cannot get them enacted into law and therefore consider government, the legislative arm of society, to be their enemy.

A much more rational way of looking at things, without changing the actual chart all that much, is what society chooses to provide to people, what rights society chooses to grant to people, etc.  Of course, since this is largely libertarian in scope, they’d never assent, but since when have I cared what delusional libertarians thought?

Anyhow, here’s my take on the list provided and why I either agree or don’t agree.  I’d love to see other people’s take on things in the comments.

Energy:  This is very undefined, which is problematic.  I suppose I’d be in favor of providing the minimum required for survival, such as in very cold climates, for everyone but that’s really up for debate and discussion.  People need to be responsible for their own upkeep.

Clothing:  The same goes here.  People need to be responsible for themselves.  I guess in extreme circumstances, some minimal clothing or protective gear could be supplied but I’d much rather see this coming from charitable organizations than tax money.

Housing:  Again, people and responsibility.  This actually brings me back to an idea I had a long time ago for getting the homeless off the streets.  Make it illegal to live or sleep on the streets and provide free transport to local closed military bases.  They already have beds which provide shelter, they already have on-site hospitals and kitchens which local charities can use, free of charge, to prepare food and provide medical assistance.  People will get the help they need, they will be taken off drugs, they will get the psychiatric aid and medical treatment for what ails them and they can be put back on their feet.

Food:  Yes, there will always be some kind of food provision for the destitute but, like all of the above, it needs to come with strings and needs to require that people do what is necessary to get off welfare and stand on their own two feet.  Today, we have no such requirements, we don’t force people to get an education, job training, get off drugs or even try to look for work. We just let them collect a check and get their card reloaded month after month.

Universal Healthcare:  I really struggle with this because, while I can see a potential public good by giving everyone at least rudimentary healthcare, the conservative in me still demands that everyone be responsible for their own care and upkeep. I absolutely do not support the ACA, I think it’s a horrible system that takes a bad situation and makes it much, much worse. Instead of fixing the problems we had before, it ignores the issues and just piles more government bureaucracy on top of it. There may be a solution but I don’t think that anything we’re doing today is helping in the least.

Unemployment Insurance: I don’t know why this is on the list because, for the most part, it is paid for by the contributions of the employers.  It is part of the benefit package, like social security, that every employee gets just for working.  I think that it ought to be limited to only the money actually in the individual employee’s account.  When the money runs out, the checks stop coming.

Retirement Insurance:  This is paid for by the employee and employer, it doesn’t belong on the list.

Limited Healthcare:  Likewise, this is part of social security, it doesn’t belong on the list.

Education: This one I feel strongly about, not only should everyone have access to education, and I don’t mean religious education, I mean secular, public, fact-based education, regardless of the religious beliefs of the parents.  This is absolutely essential to the operation of a healthy society, people have to be educated and taught not only what to think, but how to think, how to question and how to be skeptical.  This ought to be mandatory for everyone regardless of race, religious adherence, gender or financial status.

Fire Protection:  This is a public safety issue, clearly if a building is on fire, we have to have people to put it out and protect surrounding structures, even if the owner of said building hasn’t paid taxes to pay for the fire department.  However, after using such services, they should be fully billed for the costs to the taxpayers if it is found that they are not current with their bills.

Transportation:  I’m not sure that I understand this one.  Yes, we need to provide the infrastructure for transportation, we need to build roads, rail systems, etc.  That doesn’t mean we ought to provide these services for free to anyone for any reason.  We make an investment in transportation infrastructure and, over a number of years or decades, we recoup that cost through user fees.  If you can’t afford a ticket, you don’t get to ride.  We’re not going to buy people cars and provide gas, why should they get to ride any of the public transit systems for free?

Police/Security:  Now we get to some of the most basic elements of our list.  If we are going to be a society of laws, we have to have some way of enforcing those laws and that’s where the police comes in.  What’s the point of having laws if there’s nobody to enforce them or hold people accountable?

Courts/Adjucation/Arbitration:  Likewise and on the flip side of the coin, once you catch a criminal, you need somewhere to prosecute them and that’s the court systems.  Without a court system to settle disputes, we’re essentially living in anarchy.  And speaking of anarchy…

Volunteerism:  I wanted to talk briefly about this absurd libertarian idea that people would magically be part of this voluntary system of goods exchange, that everyone would be fair and honest and truthful in their dealings, etc.  Seriously, what is wrong with people who think this is at all likely?  Do they not live in the real world?  Do they not see how humans act?  This is a completely unrealistic way of looking at humanity and human societies.  Given half a chance, the majority of people will screw others over to get more for themselves.  This is an absurd idea and anyone who thinks it is at all realistic has something wrong with them.

The Libertarian War on Marriage

Marriage SplitI see this come up from time to time, always from libertarians and always without any chance of being taken seriously.  Some libertarians have this bizarre belief that the way to solve the gay marriage issue isn’t to legalize gay marriage, it’s to get rid of all marriage for everyone.

The funny thing is, most libertarians I talk to who are married, they don’t want that.  It’s usually only the ones who aren’t married that are hung up on the issue.  So in a recent discussion, I described, mostly as a joke, that this was only a hot button issue for libertarians who couldn’t get laid and there were people who took offense to it.  Clearly, some people have no sense of humor.  The fact is though, society has adopted marriage as a mechanism for encouraging long-term commitment between two people because it is a positive benefit to society.

There are lots of reasons that society has opted to reward marriage, because marriage is the preferred social state.

1.  A married, two-parent household is the superior state for raising children.  I’m aware of no studies that show that a single-parent household, in general, can provide the same financial, social and psychological benefits to children as a two-parent household can.  This is true whether you’re talking about a gay couple or a straight couple, children raised in a gay household are just as well adjusted as children in a straight household.

2.  Those who have legally entangled their financial lives and share expenses have more disposable income.  This means that a married couple can contribute more to the economy than two single people, a community of married couples is more financially valuable than a community of single couples, all other things being equal.

3.  Married couples tend to be more stable, they tend to buy houses at a higher rate, stay in the same place for longer and build stronger communities.  Often, this is because of children but not always.

There are many other reasons, this is just a couple to make people think.  Of course, this is not particularly widespread among libertarians and it certainly isn’t the official party platform of the Libertarian Party, it’s just the grumblings of some vocal, but misguided libertarians in the trenches.

There are plenty of single libertarians who either want the same benefits that married people get without being married, or preferably, getting rid of all of these benefits for everyone.  In reality, these libertarians are saying “we want ours and if we can’t have ours, we don’t want you to have yours either.”  That’s kind of a dick thing to say IMO.  Effectively, they’re saying they want all the up-sides without any of the potential down-sides. They want the benefits without having to give anything back to the community like married couples in general do.

In fact, lots of libertarians point out that marriage is just a civil contract, which indeed it is.  It isn’t anything magical.  You can, in theory, do everything you get in marriage on your own, you can go to court with the proper paperwork, a wad of cash and enough time, get most of the benefits you automatically get when you are married. But why in the world would you want to do that?  Marriage is a one-stop shop, all of the most desired interpersonal contracts are already included when you sign your name on the dotted line.  What they essentially want to do is end marriage and then… recreate marriage!  It’s really foolish.

Let’s  be honest, this isn’t an American thing, it’s a human thing.  Humans have pair-bonded since the beginning of time, it’s been legally recognized in pretty much every culture on the planet since time immemorial.  The idea that America ought to do things differently is bizarre.  Marriage isn’t a religious thing, it’s a human thing and humans, almost without exception, through the political arm of their society, the government, give preferential treatment to marriage because it is beneficial to the society as a whole.  Since libertarians have such a twisted view of government, that it’s an alien entity imposed on society that must be fought against at every turn, it’s no surprise they can’t comprehend this.  When you have unrealistic views of the world around you, it’s no wonder your political views are so messed up.

Can we please just take a step back and look at the world rationally?  Ending marriage is simply not a realistic request, I don’t give a damn what the Constitution says or doesn’t say, what it supports or doesn’t support. No government on the face of the planet is going to deny marriage benefits because it is the desire of the people that they be there.  For good or ill, this is what the people want and this is what they’re going to get.  To think otherwise is to be delusional.

And for you libertarians who are married and still think this is so, get a divorce and do things the “right” way, you hypocrites.  Stop accepting those evil government benefits, go out and form your perfect “civil contract”, whatever time and money it costs you.  Show us how it’s done.  Of course, they won’t, this is all a load of nonsense.

Opinions vs. Statements of Fact

fact opinionThe recent discussion on natural rights has resulted in yet another concept that libertarians and others of their ilk don’t seem to get.  See, there was one libertarian who was honest and admitted that “natural rights” was just his opinion.  Well no, it’s really not because for every single natural-rights advocate I’ve ever come across, it’s never stated as an opinion, it’s stated as a fact.  There is a difference.

An opinion would be “it is my opinion that everyone has these particular rights”.  A statement of fact is “everyone has these particular rights”.  In close to 100% of cases that I’ve encountered, natural-rights advocates have said the latter and I’m only hedging because I’ve never seen anyone say the first, I’m just giving the benefit of the doubt.  Even our libertarian who admits that it’s his opinion, stated it as a fact and when I pointed this out to him, he didn’t correct his error.

What he did do, though, is declare that it was a “core value” and therefore, not open to debate.  Wrong.  Everything is open to debate.  Absolutely everything, without exception.  If you cannot provide a compelling case for your arguments, no matter what you want to call your position, you lose.  He says, though, that no core values can be defended, that’s the nature of a core value.  I call bullshit.  All of my “core values” are defensible, I can argue why I think they are important, why they have an important impact on society and why they ought to be in place.  I just don’t claim that any of them are necessarily true or that everyone actually respects or recognizes them because clearly, they do not.

The natural-rights crowd doesn’t do that though.  They pretend, and most are actually convinced, that these things are actually so and in that, it places them in the same camp as the religious, who are similarly supremely convinced of their own delusions.  In fact, I’ve run into plenty of theists who claim that they don’t have to defend their “faith”, just because it’s faith.  No, the only way to avoid having the burden of proof for your views is to not talk about your views.  The moment you bring them up, you’re automatically on the hook for defending them. That’s the way rational debate works, you don’t get to just opt out.

Maybe if both the libertarians, at least those who are natural rights advocates, and the religious figured that out, we might have more productive debates.  Instead, we’re just left with the religiously and politically faithful demanding things they cannot show to be true and the rest of us are left shaking our heads.