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Freedom of speech and the flag
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, June 27, 2006

As we all know, Congress is attempting to pass an amendment which would prohibit any form of flag desecration.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly declared unconstitutional all previous attempts by Congress to pass laws against flag desecration on the grounds of free speech. Thus the reason for attempting a Constitutional amendment.

I can give you my stance in four words: I am against it.

I'm against flag desecration and I'm against a Constitutional amendment which prohibits it.

It is a free speech issue.

I'll let someone else explain why much more eloquently than I can. Charles Bradlaugh a 17th century British social reformer:
"Without free speech no search for truth is possible. Better a thousandfold abuse of free speech than denial of free speech. The abuse dies in a day, but the denial slays the life of the people."
The modern version of Bradlaugh's words come from James Taranto:
Burning the flag is a stupid and ugly act, but there is something lovely and enlightened about a regime that tolerates it in the name of freedom. And of course it has the added benefit of making it easier to spot the idiots.
Heh ... Amen.

UPDATE: The vote on the Constitutional amendment went down in flames 64-36 (no pun intended). Ok they weren't big flames, but still, it went down.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
It’s a private property issue.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
It’s a private property issue.
I agree.

However, in the context of this Court and this country, it has been framed as a free speech question.

And no, I don’t want to further argue the point. I understand it.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
It just failed by one vote in the Senate. Good.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Mona I am not surprised by your response here, but I must confess that I am somewhat confused. Under the comments section for Jon’s 23 June post "No Enemies on the Left," I inquire as to your political beliefs and/or positions. Perhaps I am laboring under false notions of what ideological foundation you base your beliefs on, but I question there whether or not you are a constitutional literalist. Please have a look at that comment/question as your position here confuses me even further.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
Poet Omar, I am perplexed. What have I ever written that would cause you to think I would not be pleased to see a flag-burning amendment fail? I’m darn close to being a free speech absolutist — not an unusual trait among libertarians.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
I am glad this amendment has not passed the Senate. I hope it never does.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
66 for - 34 against, 1 vote short of the needed 2/3rds majority.
 
Written By: Tezcatlipoca
URL: http://
Mona, as I mentioned I’m not really surprised by your reaction. I’m simply confused. You’ve mentioned that you are essentially a free-speech absolutist. That’s perfectly fine. I concur with your statement that most libertarians are also essentially free-speech absolutists. What my question has to do with is more where the underlying ideology for such belief comes from. I cannot class you as a leftist, or a conservative, or, honestly even as a libertarian (although I believe you have indicated that you are a lifelong libertarian). If you are a libertarian you must surely belong to the old LP paleolibertarian class (as exemplified by some of those at Cato whom you sometimes quote). I suspect that even this is inaccurate, however. I believe that you are a constitutional literalist (or strict constructionist if you prefer the law school term). This hypothesis would tend to agree with your belief in absolute free speech. Am I incorrect here or are you, in fact, a constitutional literalist?
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
And when they ban burning the flag by Constitutional amendment, I will go to the Capitol, and I will burn the Constitution on the steps. Because as far as I’m concerned, the moment our veneration of the symbols of America means more than the veneration of the ideals of America, we’ve lost those ideals.
 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
I believe that you are a constitutional literalist (or strict constructionist if you prefer the law school term). This hypothesis would tend to agree with your belief in absolute free speech. Am I incorrect here or are you, in fact, a constitutional literalist?
Well believe me, I’m no paleo-libertarian. As long as neo-libertarian does not by definition require an embrace a foreign policy dominated by a belief in exporting democracy at the point of a gun, and nation-building, I guess I’m a pragmatist and so a neo-libertarian.

Whether I am a strict constructionist is another matter. There are many differed strains and advocates of that, and I do not find them all persuasive. The Constitution, especially the BoR, is a set of broadly stated principles which must be specifically applied over changing times (such as the rise of technology that the state could exploit to undertake warrantless searches, unless the purpose behind the 4th Am were held to preclude that). But I certainly advocate fidelity to the structure of a limited govt with its checks and balances, that the Founders intended, and would be unlikely to read any Article or clause of the Constitution in another manner.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Well, as to an amendment prohibiting the desecration of the flag I am of mixed feelings as I have fought under it.

BUT as I understand, this amendment was actually to allow the congress to make such laws and therefore I am against it. I do not wish to give congress more unspecified powers under the constitution than it already has.
 
Written By: DCB
URL: http://
Yes, some Dems voted for it, but once again this is primarily a right wing effort to limit yet another freedom - and worse yet, to write it into the Constitution.

Reason #42,357 why the right wing cannot be trusted with our freedoms. When was the last time the GOP attempted to amend the Constitution in a way that increases freedom?

It is weird though - Bennett from Utah and McConnell from Kentucky voted against it, while Feinstein and Dayton of Minnesota voted for it. Bennett? Guess when your state is so red, you can pretty much do anything you want if you are a Rethuglican.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
I would like to point out that flag desecration is PRECISELY the type of free political speech that the founding fathers were trying to empower.
If you know anything about the colonial period you would know that they often used symbolic acts as part of their politics. "hanging King George in effigy", "burning symbols of Great Britain", "erecting Liberty trees", etc.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
When was the last time the GOP attempted to amend the Constitution in a way that increases freedom?
Your right, I want my amendment disallowing all federal firearm laws, the dismantling of the DEA, the EPA, and the IRS immediatly, Oh yeah! and a balanced budget amendment and term limits too. These Republicans are too wishy washy.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
I would like to point out that flag desecration is PRECISELY the type of free political speech that the founding fathers were trying to empower.
If you know anything about the colonial period you would know that they often used symbolic acts as part of their politics. "hanging King George in effigy", "burning symbols of Great Britain", "erecting Liberty trees", etc.
Kyle, actually I do understand that completely and intellectually I agree with it completely but having lived the life I have, I am viscerally against it. It is a dichotomy that I have to work on.

But as I stated this was NOT as I understand it, an amendment about burning the flag. It was an amendment giving congress the power to make such a law and as I stated I am against it.
 
Written By: DCB
URL: http://
mkultra wrote:
"It is weird though - Bennett from Utah and McConnell from Kentucky voted against it, while Feinstein and Dayton of Minnesota voted for it. Bennett? Guess when your state is so red, you can pretty much do anything you want if you are a Rethuglican."

It is very funny how mkultra can’t help herself to keep from insulting people, even when those people do something she agrees with.
 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://
Wow, it must be the 4th of July coming up, because there’s another flag burning debate!

*YAWN*

I want the constitutional ability to burn a flag. Specifically, I want the ability to burn a rainbow flag at the gay pride parade.

I want the ability to burn a mexican flag at an illegal immigration rally.

I want the ability to burn the palestinian flag at one of those anti-war rallies that always turn into anti-Israel rallies.

You see, the right to free speech works in both directions.

You burn your flag, I’ll burn mine. FREEDOM FOR ALL!
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Omar, it is my opinion that Mona is a false-flag recruiter.

As for the amendment, I’ve been searching for the actual language. An outright ban is without question objectionable.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Bains:

If by "false-flag recruiter" you mean that Mona is in cahoots with Glenn Greenwald and the TalkHouse Group, and that Mona and Greenwald are engaged in a stealth campaign to build support for the Democratic party, then, yes, I agree. To be clear, TalkHouse, Greenwald and Mona (who writes under the name "Hypatia" on Greenwald’s blog) certainly have the right to recruit for the Democratic party, but it is the right of others, I think, to be informed of their strategic goals and intentions.

As for a flag-burning amendment to the Constitution? A thousand times no. The Constitutution is much too precious for such tedious political gamesmanship. Besides, if I am not mistaken, there are some pretty serious problems in the country and in the world to which the Congress might better direct its energies.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://dsthinkingloud.blogspot.com/
If by "false-flag recruiter" you mean that Mona is in cahoots with Glenn Greenwald and the TalkHouse Group, and that Mona and Greenwald are engaged in a stealth campaign to build support for the Democratic party, then, yes, I agree. To be clear, TalkHouse, Greenwald and Mona (who writes under the name "Hypatia" on Greenwald’s blog) certainly have the right to recruit for the Democratic party, but it is the right of others, I think, to be informed of their strategic goals and intentions.
David Shaughnessy is annoyed with me because I joined the chorus in rejecting his demand that Greenwald dedicate himself to Unity ’08 or other 3rd party movement. We do not see that as a realistic alternative to causing the GOP to lose at least one of: the Executive, the House, the Senate.

Nor is there anything stealthy about my position, as I have agreed here with McQ and others that voting for Dems to create gridlock is a fine idea. Further, Jon Henke hosted my guest post here explaining why at least one former Republican has joined the Kossacks, and why I cautiously am willing to listen to Democrats try to sell me on the idea that they will adopt some libertarian perspectives — e.g., Kos taking up an invite to the Cato Institute; we’ll see what the result of that is. I wrote all of that publicly, David. Here.

Ain’t nothing "stealthy" about my views.

Finally, I have never been a member of the Townhouse email list that so twists David’s knickers. And I’m "in cahoots" with Greenwald to the extent that he is almost 100% accurate in his assessment of what is un-libertarian (actually, unAmerican) about Bush’s theories of Executive power. I do speak out about that, because I consider these issues vital to my country’s well-being.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
The "Andres Nin Project", so to speak.
 
Written By: John Sabotta
URL: http://www.no-treason.com
Mona (who writes under the name "Hypatia" on Greenwald’s blog)
Mona, just curious why you don’t post under the same names across sites?
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
False flag in the sense that Mona claims that she is a libertarian, yet much of what she professes falls much closer to left ideas and agendas.

Mona, I’d be surprised if McQ et al think gridlock is a fine idea - gridlock is only preferable to expanding government. If the Bush administration was really conservative, they would be attempting to shrink government, and that would be preferable to gridlock. Secondly, while Greenwald ostensibly is opposed to what you and he see as anti-libertarian policies of the current admin., one gets the sense from his to often over the top rhetoric that he is really just anti-Bush. I doubt that if we had a Democrat controlled government he would be as robust a libertarian. Which does not mean that he can not raise good points, just that I’m uncertain of his sincerity in raising them.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Bains writes:
I doubt that if we had a Democrat controlled government he would be as robust a libertarian. Which does not mean that he can not raise good points, just that I’m uncertain of his sincerity in raising them.
It’s funny you say that, because a commenter who remembers Greenwald from online encounters during the Clinton years wonders why Greenwald isn’t still so hard on the Democrats. The answer is simple: Democrats are not in power; the GOP holds total hegemony federally, and much that it is doing is illiberal and decidedly unlibertarian.

(I’m pretty sure, btw, that I’ve read McQ embrace gridlock. McQ?)

As for this:
Mona claims that she is a libertarian, yet much of what she professes falls much closer to left ideas and agendas.
Examples, please? Since many (including some of the lefties at Greenwald’s site) reject me and libertarianism as: fascists, insane, insincere shills that are really Republicans etc....I’d love to have you set that all forth so I can use it to counter the charges I so frequently get from the left.

(I note, however, that as a Hayekian it is not surprising that I would endorse some positions of the left. Libertarians are not conservatives, after all, by definition.)
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Secondly, while Greenwald ostensibly is opposed to what you and he see as anti-libertarian policies of the current admin., one gets the sense from his to often over the top rhetoric that he is really just anti-Bush. I doubt that if we had a Democrat controlled government he would be as robust a libertarian. Which does not mean that he can not raise good points, just that I’m uncertain of his sincerity in raising them.


Indeed. Should one be interested, I suggest perusing Greenwald’s blog to see what a snarky high-school lunchroom of anonymous spitball shooters it has degenerated into. For example, I recommend Lessons drawn from the Zengerle/TNR debacle. Please note especially the thoughtful and earnest responses by Mona . . . excuse me . . . Hypatia to my audacious query as to whether there is, in fact, such indirection afoot.

And, unless I have missed something, I do believe that Mona/Hypatia has confirmed that she is in fact committed to assisting Greenwald in electing as many Democrats as possible, which means — again, correct me if I’m wrong — their goal is to defeat Republicans. Whether that affects what Mona/Hypatia writes here, or how her writings ought to be read in light of her disclosure is up to the audience.

 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://dsthinkingloud.blogspot.com/
...I’ve read McQ embrace gridlock.
So have I, but you’re ignoring the distinction I made.

Dont have time to do a full search but in this thread you responded to a list of areas Tito posited Libertarian and Dems shared common ground. I found the bulk of your answers closer to a Dem that to a Libertarian.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
I do believe that Mona/Hypatia has confirmed that she is in fact committed to assisting Greenwald in electing as many Democrats as possible, which means — again, correct me if I’m wrong — their goal is to defeat Republicans. Whether that affects what Mona/Hypatia writes here, or how her writings ought to be read in light of her disclosure is up to the audience.
Again, David Shaughnessy is a former Greenwald fan who has become extremely soured because neither Greenwald, I, nor hardly anyone at that site, will adopt David’s enthusiasm for a 3rd party. Virtually everyone rejects it as unrealistic, if the goal if to displace Republicans (and I have yelled out loud that my goal is to make sure they lose at least one of: the House, Senate or Executive. It’s no secret I feel that way).

David isn’t pro-Republican, he is pro-3rd party. And he is in a snit because Greenwald won’t promote or endorse that at his site.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Bains writes:
Tito posited Libertarian and Dems shared common ground. I found the bulk of your answers closer to a Dem that to a Libertarian.
But it is true, what Tito wrote that Dems/liberals and ’tarians share some common ground. Always has been true. That list was specifically meant to highlight points of agreement between libertarians and Democrats and avoid divergences, and so I fail to see how my replies depict me as being more of a Democrat than a libertarian.

I can’t think of any political view I hold that isn’t respectable at either Cato or Reason, or both. Can you?

 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Mona, just curious why you don’t post under the same names across sites?
Since Mona/Hypatia hasn’t deigned to answer this question (posed by shark, not by me), allow me to suggest one: Having two identities is much easier than talking out of both sides of your mouth. For instance, Mona adopts a reasonable tone here, while Hypatia is shrill at Greenwald’s site; Mona criticizes Greenwald here, but Hypatia is a Greenwald sycophant (who even takes it upon herself to act as his spokesperson, either sua sponte or by designation).

As for me, for those who care, I’ll speak for myself: I am not partisan at all. This is plainly reflected in the writings on my puny blog, which I largely abandoned because I initially found Greenwald’s own blog to be serious and supported by Greenwald’s full-time commitment to it, not to mention that he is an intelligent person and a fine writer. Shortly, however, it became painfully clear that Greenwald had abandoned his commitment to fostering reasoned discourse. Greenwald is evidently looking to emerge as a new opinion leader, hawking books, doing TV appearances, etc. Whatever his reasons, he has become nothing more than a Democratic shill, "coordinating" with others of the TalkHouse Group to bolster Democratic candidates and recruit support for them, including a campaign (assisted by Mona/Hypatia) to convince independent thinkers that the Democratic party is the answer. That is plainly reflected throughout his blog, the comments on which are now nothing more than the rabid frothings of red-meat Democrats (bolstered, no doubt, by political pros who have come to chum the crowd). What Mona/Hypatia gets from her work on Greenwald’s behalf, well, you’ll have to ask her.


I have moved on and I will no longer waste my time at Greenwald’s blog, nor will I further address this matter with Mona/Hypatia. I am interested in reasoned discourse, and there are more important issues to address. That is why I’ve come here.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://dsthinkingloud.blogspot.com/
(I’m pretty sure, btw, that I’ve read McQ embrace gridlock. McQ?)
Yup, you have.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
As McQ pointed out in the same thread, many of those areas really dont have common ground other than superficially. Take the war on drugs for example. Classical Libertarians would decriminalizate of ALL drugs - the more neo’s believe in a partial decriminalization. Sure progressives hold similar views...

BUT

there is absolutely no common ground on how to deal with what happens after drugs are decriminalized. Three strikes your out for driving while stoned? Fired because your employer determines your cocaine habit is adversely affecting her business? Sued because your meth lab blew up the townhouse complex? With liberty comes responsibility - most libertarians believe that while most people will exercise personal responsibility, some dont, and one thing that government ought to do is hold accountable the individuals whose irresponsible behaviours adversly affect others. It’s not DuPont’s fault that your lab blew up, its not the bar’s fault that you stayed til 0400 every night for the past month, its not the city’s fault that you were too stoned to hear firetruck coming round the bend.

And if we limit it just to a termination of the actual war on drugs, you think the left would want the dollar savings returned to the taxpayer? Ha... I’ve heard many say that it ough to pay for treatment programs drug abusers.

Stem cell research - fine. But that’s not the issue. Its federal funding of (embryonic) stem cell research.

Back to the topic of this thread, I havent paid much attention to the proposed amendment because I find it silly, and all too common behavior for our elected officials nearing election to thump their patriotic chests. I’ve heard (could be wrong) that the actual language wasn’t an outright ban of flag burning, but an amendment that grants Congress, not the courts, the obligation to determine just what kind of flag desecrations are unlawful. Whoa, how about that, our elected officials making law. Gay marriage? Frankly I think the government ought to get out of the marriage business altogether - especially the damn courts. Yet the left applauds when courts usurp the will of the people.

As both McQ and Dale have pointed out, for the left there is always a governmental component. Some common ground.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
bains:
Mona, I’d be surprised if McQ et al think gridlock is a fine idea –
...I’ve read McQ embrace gridlock.
So have I, but you’re ignoring the distinction I made.
Dude,
There comes a time when you just have to stop digging.

You’ll find McQ’s “GIG” (Gridlock is Good) here, here, and here.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Well Pogue, its not surprising that you would ignore the distinction I made and the context thereof.

McQ 4-17-06:
That would be the "Gridlock Is Good" Party.

While there’s no official party organization and we don’t have an official web site, we have an incentive, given the spending habits of the party in power. "The party of smaller government and less spending" has convinced me that divided government should indeed become a reality. Republicans, it seems, are never more conservative and fiscally responsible than when they’re sharing power or out of it.
I’ll state again, more explicitly - I’d be surprised if McQ et al would prefer gridlock to a fiscal responsible smaller federal government. I’m not surprised at all, and in fact agree, that given what we have now, gridlock is preferable to an growing government that is constantly and irresponsibly spending more and more.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Well, bains, I don’t know why you would find it surprising when, apparently, I’m not the only one that missed your “context”.
Mona, I’d be surprised if McQ et al think gridlock is a fine idea - gridlock is only preferable to expanding government. If the Bush administration was really conservative, they would be attempting to shrink government, and that would be preferable to gridlock.
If the Bush administration was really conservative!?
Yeah, yeah. And if a frog had wings etc. etc.
What kind of context is that?

If we had a libertarian government, then why would anyone here want gridlock. But the reality of the day is the opposite. Therefore, your dreamland context is easily disregarded and ignored, especially within the context of this discussion.

So you shouldn’t fault others for the failure of your scribbles.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
David Shaughnessy writes:
For instance, Mona adopts a reasonable tone here, while Hypatia is shrill at Greenwald’s site; Mona criticizes Greenwald here, but Hypatia is a Greenwald sycophant (who even takes it upon herself to act as his spokesperson, either sua sponte or by designation).
I’ve given Glenn all kinds of crap over there, including on the subject of Michael Moore. To the point where others felt he should ban me, or I was admonished for being "rude" to him or whatever. (I also said he was ignorant about the McCarthy era.) In fact, when he joined that misguided alliance for the defense of the dignity of Michael Moore against accusations of sounding like OBL, I was outraged, and I emailed all kinds of pro-Bush bloggers alerting them to the fact that Moore himself had agreed and joked about sounding like an OBL video, taunting George Bush about it from his web site. Greenwald knows that I did all that, both because I told him, and because Mark Coffey at Decision ’08 gave me a h/t and then got picked up by Taranto’s Best of the Web.

As for my "Hypatia" moniker, that was undertaken a personal reason, and I explained it to Jon Henke by private email, many months ago.

It is true I defend Greenwald’s analyses of Bush’s various legal violations, such as the Foreign Intelligence Suerveillance Act. As a lawyer, I am competent to read the cases he does and consider whether he is correct; he is 98% of the time. Even there, however, we had a public tho rather minor disagreement over the meaning of Youngstown. He opposed the Alito nomination; I didn’t, and took some abuse from his commenters for it, one of whom said I was "soulless" and mentally ill for having done that.
I have moved on and I will no longer waste my time at Greenwald’s blog, nor will I further address this matter with Mona/Hypatia. I am interested in reasoned discourse, and there are more important issues to address. That is why I’ve come here
Yes, you’ve announced you were leaving Greenwald’s blog, oh, half a dozen time. Now here you are, of all the blogs in the world settling on a libertarian one where libertarian moi comments. And picking up your gripes from there and bringing them here. That, I’m sure, has nothing to do with the fact that I finally lost my patience with your constant pro-3rd-party proselytizing and popmpous denunciations of Glenn for failing to realize that you are right about that.

Note where you are: the site is founded by 3 libertarians, and lots of those participate here. There is a Libertarian Party, and we all know how likely it is that that party is going anywhere, so this isn’t the best place to preach the glories of 3rd parties.

Btw, I don’t think this that you said is far from accurate:

the comments [ at Greenwald’s] on which are now nothing more than the rabid frothings of red-meat Democrats (bolstered, no doubt, by political pros who have come to chum the crowd).
I’ve had man, many run-ins with various lefties there — some of whom are simply nasty and vicious — to the point where my participation in comments has sharply declined, and I’ve mentioned that here. They (some of them) think libertarians are fascists, lunatics, Republicans in drag & etc. Given your heavy participation there, you are surely aware that many have been very unhappy with my libertarian POV.

So funny, then, that I come here, only to have my libertariaism qustioned (which has happened not infrequently in the past months) and even be told I’m more like a Democrat — me, who has voted for a Democrat exactly once (on a national level), and that was Wm Proxmire.



 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Bains writes:
Sued because your meth lab blew up the townhouse complex? With liberty comes responsibility - most libertarians believe that while most people will exercise personal responsibility, some dont, and one thing that government ought to do is hold accountable the individuals whose irresponsible behaviours adversly affect others. It’s not DuPont’s fault that your lab blew up, its not the bar’s fault that you stayed til 0400 every night for the past month, its not the city’s fault that you were too stoned to hear firetruck coming round the bend.
And I take the libertarian position on all of that. Just because my answers to Tito were far more terse, does not mean I accept any of the positions quoted above. Legalization will, however, largely put the meth lab run in the apt complex out of business because the stuff would be sold safely and cheaply in the open market, sent there by manufacturers who, even if OSHA didn’t exist, have an incentive not to see their facilities go up in flames.

In any event, I await an example of any political opinion of mine that is not well within the bounds of those found at Cato or at Reason. To the extent there is some congruity on the part of these libertarian entities with some Democratic ideas or individual Democrats, there will also be some with my views. But that makes neither me nor them Democrats.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Counselor you have made good points. I may certainly disagree with some, perhaps many of them, but in response to those who call Mona a false-flag recruiter I say : horse puckey!

Although I have been at times highly confused about the political philosophy and underlying ideology behind her many posts, never have I suspected that she was a leftist. I’ve read her posts here and as Hypatia elsewhere and, although I suspect that constitutional law is more her labor of love and hobby than her actual legal specialty, I cannot find anything in her writings that seem designed to cloak her views or mislead readers.

My earlier questions to her were more related to political theory than anything else. I have a fairly firm grasp of what she stands for; my questions were meant to determine why she stands for those things and if she has any underlying unifying ideology. She has certainly answered my questions adequately, although I don’t share her beliefs in any way.

As to her claims to be on the reservation concerning Cato’s and Reason’s views, yes I suspect they are accurate. She seems to be a fairly orthodox type of libertarian, but again, I charge that she is a paleo-libertarian. Compare the ideas of Neo-libertarians with those of Cato and Reason and I suspect you will find some variance. Especially as concerns foreign policy, but on other important areas too. Which is not to say that all Cato fellows or Reason columnists are in agreement, or as Democrats would say "have message discipline," but as a rule I find them quite in line with old school LP thought (despite the Crane/Koch - Rothbard knockdown-dragout that essentially led to the formation of the modern Cato).
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
I believe I already have Mona. Upon further reflection, nearly all areas where you find common ground with the left (re Tito’s list), the lefts’ underlying position is invariably more government. And I find that antithetical to a libertarian.

One of the reasons I enjoy this site is Jon and CO’s distinction between the classic and the neo-libertarian permeates. One ought not sacrifice the good for the perfect. (I’ll further grant that Omar assessment of you may be correct vis-à-vis paleo-libertarian - an alternate view I hadn’t thought of) I’ve the sense - based upon your writing - that you think someone piddled in your cheerios and that you think that person to be Bush. You appear outraged that Bush has not conducted the war perfectly. Of course he hasn’t - it’s a war! And its here, to paraphrase Dale, that you just rub wrong. Gee, look how reasonable the left is and off with the un-libertarian GOP’s twice elected head. That’ll teach them! Sorry, but I believe the piddling was done by Islamo-fascists who give not one good damn to our liberty, and would rather see US on a funeral pyre.

I find it astounding when folks who profess fealty to liberty become silent when real liberties are snuffed out. What? The government listening to international phone calls to try and stop someone from toppling the Seattle’s Space Needle? How dare they trample with jackboots upon my rights. (Which effectively is no different than saying "Scre_w em, those peons are just little Eichmanns anyway.") You don’t like data mining of phone records? Sorry, but I’m more affected by the 20 calls I get each week from data mining non-profits just because I’ve given to other charities. And if the outrage were sincere about delving into financial transactions, we wouldn’t have an IRS.

Huuum... an Executive who wants to know if I’m placing to or receiving from telephone calls with suspected and known terrorists, or a Supreme Court that thinks private entities have a right to evict me from my house.

But damnit, I hate Bush soooo much, I’ll temporarily side with those, who by their own words, would be even more injurious of my rights, just to get back…

That’s not to say you don’t find reprehensible these common and legal trangressions upon our liberties. It’s just the selectivitity you display in your writing. But that’s just my impression – I could be wrong.



 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Bains you are right about leftists’ subjective reasoning concerning liberty. As rule old school conservatives (you know the nearly extinct kind) and libertarians are always against expansion of government, whereas leftists are only against expansion of government when it suits their needs.

You are also right about the failure of leftists to oppose eminent domain laws, financial probing of legal transactions (such as IRS audits, which are a routine tool of sitting governments [not just Bush 43, but also Clinton], and gun control laws. Alliance with leftists for the short-term gain of evicting Trotskyite neo-cons from office is very short-sighted. Although I can’t say that I have a real solution here, I tentatively embrace some of the ideas put forth by Tom Perkins and Peter Jackson regarding alternatives to the current system.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
Alliance with leftists for the short-term gain of evicting Trotskyite neo-cons from office is very short-sighted. Although I can’t say that I have a real solution here, I tentatively embrace some of the ideas put forth by Tom Perkins and Peter Jackson regarding alternatives to the current system.
I am very interested in this problem, but new to this blog. Could I impose upon you to direct me to where the proposed "alternatives to the current system" are detailed?

Thanks.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://dsthinkingloud.blogspot.com/
It’s a private property issue.
I agree.

However, in the context of this Court and this country, it has been framed as a free speech question.
You (ethically) have no free speech on my property.

And that’s the essence.

To explain further, I can’t honestly defend "free speech" as it has been constructed by the government.
 
Written By: Adem Kupi
URL: http://poxyhouses.blogspot.com
David : Peter’s blog is www.liberalcapitalist.com where he explains some of his theories on the solution to today’s problems.

I don’t think Tom Perkins has a blog (at least not one that I’m aware of), but his solution can be partially located under Jon’s 27 June column, "Ideologically Conservative, Operationally Liberal."

Tom, Peter, and I had an interesting go around with Billy Beck there. I think that you might find it interesting.

To sum up (and doing very little justice to the authors), Tom and Peter’s theory is to eliminate the Democrat party as a viable political force, which would destabilize the Republicans and allow the way to be paved for a new second and perhaps third party to be established. I tend to like this (although I don’t know how realistic it is) because it would allow the hard left to develop the American Socialist Party, the moderates and center-lefters would (probably very grudgingly) take over the reins of the Republican party, and the libertarians and small government conservatives (yes they exist) would form a new coalition party, possibly under the banner of the already established Libertarian Party (but probably not, most Americans still think of Lyndon LaRouche when you mention the LP [although as probably all here are aware Lynnie has never been a libertarian]).

Tom and Peter : Sorry if I am doing absolutely no justice to your ideas here. I apologize if I am misrepresenting them. Please feel free to offer further details and corrections as I am giving only a very bare bones explanation of what I gather to be your ideas (which may not even be accurate).
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
Omar, I also struggle to find a better way - all I come up with is me as emperor of Earth.

I’ll admit that I can be a hypocritical-Libertarian as often as I can be a neo-Libertarian. Oft times that’s how I refer to my philosophy. I’d root for McQ’s gridlock - a Democrat House - if I were reasonably certain that they wouldn’t go moonbat. But the show no signs of being grownup. At this point, I have to defer, in part, to Hewitt’s assessment: that whatever the problem, more Democrats is not the answer. Yet, as Mona’s proclaims, I also think the GOP needs to be smacked upside the head but good. I’m just not ready to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Or said aanother way, I’d rather be alive tomorrow to correct our mistakes of today rather than being dead tomorrow because we corrected our mistakes today.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Right with you there bains. I suspect just about anybody, bloggers excepted ;) has better ideas than those currently in office. You’ve got my vote for grand high poobah of the known universe.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
Emperor of the Known universe? Well then I guess it better be satrap least I offend someone from the unknown universe. :)

And for both the redirect to a thread of which I had ignored the comments, and for the tempering tone of your comments.

Thanks Omar…

Mona’s can get my panties in a twist. And sometines the anonymity of the internet takes over...


 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Always glad to help bains. I really do try to inject a degree of moderation to the tone here (although I daresay I am as guilty as anyone else of getting riled). While by no means as shrill and melodramatic as the atmosphere found at other sites (both right and left wing), sometimes QandO does get a little heated (witness some of Dale’s debates with Mona, McQ’s with glasnost, and Jon’s with many over global warming science).
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://

 
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