What Tea Partiers Really Want

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Arancaytar » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:26 am UTC

There are ways in which the libertarian viewpoint is superior (in an ideal society, the government would minimize its intervention in day to day affairs), but if it crosses over into social Darwinism and "survival of the richest", it kind of turns away from individual freedom into dickery. Complete liberty, even anarchy, does not mean denying social responsibility and solidarity. Advanced civilization and infrastructure only functions through cooperation.

That alone (ie, if the article accurately summarized the Tea Party philosophy) would merely make me see the Tea Party as well-intentioned but misguided extremists, sort of like the opposite of hard-line Marxists.

However, their movement has also been suborned by a group I can only describe as neoconservative. Tea Partiers actively and vocally protested against the Muslim community center in Manhattan, against Proposition 8 being overturned in California, against Don't Ask Don't Tell being repealed, against Planned Parenthood, against practically everything a real libertarian valuing individual freedom would support. Now, I'm willing to give the (slim) benefit of a doubt to an allegedly leaderless grassroots movement that finds common ground only in tax protests, and is divided on social freedom. It sounds strange, because to me freedom of conscience is way, way more important than freedom from taxes. But okay.

Yet, I cannot find any such division. Where is a pro-secular, progressive Tea Party wing that is genuinely concerned about freedom, not just repeating line after line of conservative demagoguery by Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin? Until that appears, how can one see the Tea Party as anything but a new front for the same old platform that Bush campaigned on twice, as the new "Intelligent Design" to its old Creationism?
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Steroid » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:24 am UTC

I am a tea partier, or at least a strict libertarian who happens to be blowing with the tea party wind.

As regards the article's "karma" perspective, and the "lazy poor" concept described here, I can say two things I believe about libertarianism in general and tea party beliefs in particular:

1. Any ascribing of value to a person or a decision economically has to be parsed through the prism of economics, and economics is not a meritocracy. It's not about being smart, or working hard, or even being right politically. It's about providing what people are willing to part with their money for, whether it be in seeking a job or selling a product or service. So it's not a matter of being lazy causing you to be poor; it's a matter of being economically incompetent.

2. The dualistic view of karma as "do good, get rewards, do bad, get punishment" is oversimplified. Libertarianism understands that there are circumstances that are unjust and unforseeable, but believes that there are private ways to deal with it. You got hurt and lost your job? Go to your friends or family and ask for help, and then return it when you get back on your feet. You're addicted to drugs? Go to a therapy program run by the church, and if they get you clean, give some time and money to help the next guy. The karmic element comes because that system requires you to *have* friends or family, or at least not be such a bastard that even the church kicks you out. Or, if you do want to be that kind of bastard, you'd better be smart enough to not lose your job, or own your own business, and you'd better lay up insurance and savings. Libertarianism offers a choice: incompetent, inconsiderate, alive--choose 2. The bureaucracy lets you have all 3. You need help? You don't have to look someone in the eye and beg for it, just fill out form 24F in triplicate and we'll mail you a check. It's a lot easier to maintain the behaviors that led to your problems in the first place under that system.

Moving on:

Sartorius wrote:What I don't understand is how the article can rail against the girl who was held back by everyone else, but then disagree with bailing out the banks/GM. Many, many more people than who were involved would be affected by the loss of such companies. Think of all the resources GM buys from other companies. It would be punishing people for things they didn't do, just like that girl was punished for her classmates' bad performance on the test. It would also allow people to deal with the outcome of their actions, assuming they care.


Not only is the difference here between aiding the competent (the high-scoring girl) versus the incompetent (the would-be-bankrupt GM), but it's a question of action versus inaction. To a libertarian, there's all the difference in the world between pushing someone in the water, and not throwing a life preserver.

weasel@xkcd wrote:Interesting article but, while it might be an accurate summary of what some Tea Partiers believe, I feel that it gives many Tea Partiers too much credit and doubt that they have thought things out to this extent. On the other hand I strongly agree with the idea that 'people should get what they deserve' (obviously, otherwise they wouldn't deserve it :) ) and don't want Tea Partiers to believe in the same thing because that would mean I'm agreeing with them on something :(


Sigh. . . not even sure I should be responding to this, but I'm a glutton for punishment. Nothing makes me more strongly anti-liberal, anti-leftist, and anti-statist than this sort of sentiment. Tea partiers are dumb, they're ignorant, they're racists, they're naive, and folks would rather stick to an answer they believe to be wrong than commit the sin of agreeing with them. Hell, if a tea partier told you that the Sun comes up in the East, you'd probably start looking West next morning. I don't understand the motivation behind this kind of thinking. Do I do this? Do libertarians in general? Do we talk down our noses at liberals? I know people like Beck and Limbaugh do, but I try not to on the Internet, because I think it fuels the opposing side and is inimical to reason.

I guess I differ in that I don't believe that karma is some immutable law of the universe. Unlike what the Tea Partiers are portrayed as believing; hard work, kindness and honesty clearly don't always bring good fortune IMO. Because of this I feel that it falls to society to enforce this idea of 'karma' e.g. by punishing companies which commit fraud and ensuring that the poor have the opportunity to increase their station through hard work.


Well, as I said above, economics isn't a meritocracy. The god of economics is capricious. But, I would argue that that's more a fault of the statist system than the natural state of things. Today the way to make money is to toady to the big muckety-mucks, and wouldn't it be nice to make money by simply offering people what they want at a price they're willing to pay? But that can't be done because of the taxes and the regulations.

Also, I think it's less a case of "that which is the moral good brings forth the physical good" and more "that which brings forth the physical good *is* the moral good." Hard work is not a moral good in itself. It is a moral good because it tends, over time though not without exceptions, to bring productivity, utility, and progress. Ditto brains, ditto ditto honesty and charity. But if you can live well on laziness, or on sloth, or on meanness, go for it.

One thing in the article that did leap out at me as absurd was the idea that premarital sex deserved punishment and that liberals wrongfully "protect people from the punitive side of karma" through legalising contraception and abortion. So while I suppose I support Tea Partiers' purported moral approval of Karma we would completely disagree on what sort of actions deserve punishment.


Does unprotected premarital sex without any plan for the consequences really strike you as an amoral act? Perhaps if the participants were truly ignorant about what makes babies and what STDs are, they might deserve help, but really, if you can't afford a pack of Trojans and need government help to protect yourself, I think you have greater problems than needing a roll in the hay.

Now, obviously there's a old-fashioned religious moral element to that too, because the tea party has some non-libertarian conservatives in it. It's up to the members of the party to split the difference and agree that there's a difference between two teens going at it in their parents' basement and two adults deciding that weddings are too expensive.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Malice » Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:05 am UTC

Steroid wrote:Libertarianism offers a choice: incompetent, inconsiderate, alive--choose 2. The bureaucracy lets you have all 3.


I think the bureaucracy recognizes that "incompetent" is not always a choice (physical or mental disability, for instance), and "inconsiderate" is not the only reason someone might not have a support network ("the rest of my family is poor too" or "my parents threw me out on the street for being gay").
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Triangle_Man » Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:38 am UTC

I will confess that I am not as knowledgeable in my chosen political school of thought as I used to think I was, and I wish to do more research in the future. However, I will say that, based on my understanding, letting GM go bankrupt and go under would've been a very very very very very very very very very very very very very bad idea. As much as I may want them to go under for their incompetence and greed, it seems we have no choice but to keep them propped up, lest they take large parts of the US economy down with them.

In other words, the recession could have been a lot worse without the bailouts.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:29 am UTC

Triangle_Man wrote:I will confess that I am not as knowledgeable in my chosen political school of thought as I used to think I was, and I wish to do more research in the future. However, I will say that, based on my understanding, letting GM go bankrupt and go under would've been a very very very very very very very very very very very very very bad idea. As much as I may want them to go under for their incompetence and greed, it seems we have no choice but to keep them propped up, lest they take large parts of the US economy down with them.

In other words, the recession could have been a lot worse without the bailouts.


If GM went bankrupt, they would liquidate, and Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, and every other car manufacturer in the world would rush to muscle in on the market. The GM factories would be sold and retooled to make F-150's and Camries and whatever; if the other companies are competent, they don't have too much excess capacity in their current factories. The GM workers would find their pensions* and health insurance have disappeared, but most would be hired by the other companies that took over. Most of the lower management would be hired as well. The engineers might have a harder time, unless the other companies decide they need a new line of cars to go with the now open market.

Even a mega-corp going under isn't as severe as they want you to think.

*Arguably the "bloated" pensions are what drove GM to the brink of bankruptcy in the first place. The original pensions were based on a percentage of each year's pay, on lower life expectancy, and on a single life. Renegotiation by the unions led to the pensions being based on the final 3 years pay, on last-survivor status (that is, until the worker AND spouse are dead), and life expectancies have increased significantly, making the pensions a not insignificant expense.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Triangle_Man » Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:40 am UTC

I did just feel the need to say something; before I wanted to say a lot of things. However, I found that I didn't know as much as I thought I did, so I'm trying to learn how to learn from other people's comments.

Thanks for the response, CU.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Hawknc » Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:03 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:If GM went bankrupt, they would liquidate, and Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, and every other car manufacturer in the world would rush to muscle in on the market. The GM factories would be sold and retooled to make F-150's and Camries and whatever; if the other companies are competent, they don't have too much excess capacity in their current factories. The GM workers would find their pensions* and health insurance have disappeared, but most would be hired by the other companies that took over. Most of the lower management would be hired as well. The engineers might have a harder time, unless the other companies decide they need a new line of cars to go with the now open market.

Even a mega-corp going under isn't as severe as they want you to think.

*Arguably the "bloated" pensions are what drove GM to the brink of bankruptcy in the first place. The original pensions were based on a percentage of each year's pay, on lower life expectancy, and on a single life. Renegotiation by the unions led to the pensions being based on the final 3 years pay, on last-survivor status (that is, until the worker AND spouse are dead), and life expectancies have increased significantly, making the pensions a not insignificant expense.

Conveniently we have a whole thread about GM, but I'll respond to this here: automotive OEMs share a lot of tier one suppliers, many of which spent the economic crisis operating under more severe profit conditions than the brands they were supplying. If GM went south, they would lose that revenue, and for a lot of them that would be enough for them to fold. Those suppliers can then no longer supply Ford, Chrysler, Toyota etc. with their parts, so those companies can't make cars, so they're at risk of going under too. That relationship repeats itself between the tier one and tier two suppliers, and so on. No automotive company was in a position to go on a capital buying spree in 2008, GM would have had to quite literally give their factories away. So the option was to let GM fall, scrap half the industry and start effectively from scratch, or give it a guiding hand and fix the parts that were broken (like the pensions). Given the turnaround, it's hard to say the US government made the wrong choice.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby netcrusher88 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:59 am UTC

Steroid wrote:Go to a therapy program run by the church

Yeah, you're definitely more tea partier (heteronormative, Christian-normative) than you are libertarian, though you and the rest have the "if you weren't lazy and stupid you wouldn't be poor" and solving problems by sticking your head in the sand and pointing in a random direction parts down.

Hawknc wrote:automotive OEMs share a lot of tier one suppliers, many of which spent the economic crisis operating under more severe profit conditions than the brands they were supplying. If GM went south, they would lose that revenue, and for a lot of them that would be enough for them to fold. Those suppliers can then no longer supply Ford, Chrysler, Toyota etc. with their parts, so those companies can't make cars, so they're at risk of going under too. That relationship repeats itself between the tier one and tier two suppliers, and so on. No automotive company was in a position to go on a capital buying spree in 2008, GM would have had to quite literally give their factories away. So the option was to let GM fall, scrap half the industry and start effectively from scratch, or give it a guiding hand and fix the parts that were broken (like the pensions). Given the turnaround, it's hard to say the US government made the wrong choice.

As one of a handful of people that make it possible for suppliers to connect to GM (among other things), I like the whole government loan thing more now. Though I never really had a problem with it.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Zamfir » Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:14 am UTC

Steroid wrote:The karmic element comes because that system requires you to *have* friends or family, or at least not be such a bastard that even the church kicks you out.

From this, I understand you are still pretty young? When you get older, you'll find that many rotten bastards have enough friends and family (some of them bastards themselves), and many kind, considerate people have none. Also, you'll find that there are enough bastards within churches, kicking people out. Ever heard of gays?

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Steroid » Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:49 pm UTC

Malice wrote:
Steroid wrote:Libertarianism offers a choice: incompetent, inconsiderate, alive--choose 2. The bureaucracy lets you have all 3.


I think the bureaucracy recognizes that "incompetent" is not always a choice (physical or mental disability, for instance), and "inconsiderate" is not the only reason someone might not have a support network ("the rest of my family is poor too" or "my parents threw me out on the street for being gay").


No, incompetent is not a choice; that's why it's so important not to be inconsiderate. Who, suffering mental and physical illness, would be turned away for help by private help organizations in the absence of a bureaucracy? And inconsiderate is a choice.

netcrusher88 wrote:
Steroid wrote:Go to a therapy program run by the church

Yeah, you're definitely more tea partier (heteronormative, Christian-normative) than you are libertarian, though you and the rest have the "if you weren't lazy and stupid you wouldn't be poor" and solving problems by sticking your head in the sand and pointing in a random direction parts down.


The word church, in lowercase, can refer to any building of religious worship. It can refer to a synagogue, mosque, temple, etc. And I'm the one who's Christian-normative? Well, perhaps I am. But it's a function of the golden rule: they have the gold; they make the rules. Heterosexual Christians have done a lot for mankind. Historical fact, can't just ignore it.

And the complaint isn't, "If you weren't lazy and stupid you wouldn't be poor," it's "if you *are* lazy and stupid, why aren't you poor?"

Zamfir wrote:
Steroid wrote:The karmic element comes because that system requires you to *have* friends or family, or at least not be such a bastard that even the church kicks you out.

From this, I understand you are still pretty young? When you get older, you'll find that many rotten bastards have enough friends and family (some of them bastards themselves), and many kind, considerate people have none. Also, you'll find that there are enough bastards within churches, kicking people out. Ever heard of gays?


I'm 32 years old this month. Some consider that young, some consider it old. And again, this is a function of the capricious god of economics. Look, if a community of bastards can survive and thrive, then it ain't bastardy. And if a community of nice people can't survive and thrive, then it ain't nice. Just as Sun Tsu described war as an unfair contest where everything counts toward the win, so too are economics.

And as to gays. . . well, I was cynical before about premarital sex regarding conservatives, and I'm cynical now about homosexuality regarding anti-libertarians and anti-conservatives. To the same degree as conservatives like to use religion as a club against their opponents, the opponents like to use homosexuality as a club. I think they enjoy shocking grandma and rich old uncle Joe by taking the ideas that weren't talked about back in their youth and throwing them in their faces. It's bigotry no less than homophobia. It's oikophobia, and it ought to be disdained or championed only as much as any other form of discrimination

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Malice » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:10 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:
Malice wrote:
Steroid wrote:Libertarianism offers a choice: incompetent, inconsiderate, alive--choose 2. The bureaucracy lets you have all 3.


I think the bureaucracy recognizes that "incompetent" is not always a choice (physical or mental disability, for instance), and "inconsiderate" is not the only reason someone might not have a support network ("the rest of my family is poor too" or "my parents threw me out on the street for being gay").


No, incompetent is not a choice; that's why it's so important not to be inconsiderate. Who, suffering mental and physical illness, would be turned away for help by private help organizations in the absence of a bureaucracy? And inconsiderate is a choice.


I didn't say inconsiderate wasn't a choice. I said your whole "be nice, be self-sufficient, or be dead, choose 2" thing is bullshit, because you can be non-self-sufficient and nice and still wind up dead in a society with no social safety nets.

Government charity is not significantly different from private charity; it's simply a larger organization with greater accountability to the public, who have proven time and again that, on the whole, they like it well enough not to vote for its deconstruction. If your argument is that government assistance is impersonal, why not argue for face-to-face interviews before giving support? Why argue for the dissolution of the entire thing?

And the complaint isn't, "If you weren't lazy and stupid you wouldn't be poor," it's "if you *are* lazy and stupid, why aren't you poor?"


Doesn't the one presuppose the other?

And again, this is a function of the capricious god of economics. Look, if a community of bastards can survive and thrive, then it ain't bastardy. And if a community of nice people can't survive and thrive, then it ain't nice. Just as Sun Tsu described war as an unfair contest where everything counts toward the win, so too are economics.


Is this state of affairs something which should be encouraged, or something which should be rectified? If as a nation we have the power to make economic losses less devastating, why shouldn't we do so? Wouldn't it be better to live in a world where a community of nice people could, in fact, survive and thrive?

And as to gays. . . well, I was cynical before about premarital sex regarding conservatives, and I'm cynical now about homosexuality regarding anti-libertarians and anti-conservatives. To the same degree as conservatives like to use religion as a club against their opponents, the opponents like to use homosexuality as a club. I think they enjoy shocking grandma and rich old uncle Joe by taking the ideas that weren't talked about back in their youth and throwing them in their faces. It's bigotry no less than homophobia. It's oikophobia, and it ought to be disdained or championed only as much as any other form of discrimination


Oh Lord. Now bigotry against bigots is equivalent to bigotry against minorities. Next you'll be telling me affirmative action is just as bad as lynching. The person who says "you'll go to hell for being gay" is not just as harmful as the person who says "you're not a nice person for saying that". Christ.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Zamfir » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:20 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:
Zamfir wrote:
Steroid wrote:The karmic element comes because that system requires you to *have* friends or family, or at least not be such a bastard that even the church kicks you out.

From this, I understand you are still pretty young? When you get older, you'll find that many rotten bastards have enough friends and family (some of them bastards themselves), and many kind, considerate people have none. Also, you'll find that there are enough bastards within churches, kicking people out. Ever heard of gays?


I'm 32 years old this month. Some consider that young, some consider it old. And again, this is a function of the capricious god of economics. Look, if a community of bastards can survive and thrive, then it ain't bastardy. And if a community of nice people can't survive and thrive, then it ain't nice. Just as Sun Tsu described war as an unfair contest where everything counts toward the win, so too are economics.

My apologies, I was condescending in a way I shouldn't have. I thought you were displaying the sort of youthful optimism you see from kids of well to do backgrounds, for whom all the nice people they know happen to be well off, and who assume this pattern is a fixture of the world. But that's clearly not what you were intending.

I am not sure what to make of your new comment. The case we are interested in is that of communities in real life, that contain both rich and poor people, and both bastards and other people. Empirically, there doesn't appear to be much of a relationship between being a bastard, and being poor.

In particular, it is possible to treat people badly if you do not need those people, while being pleasant to people you do need. In that case, you can easily end up being a respected and affluent member of the church, while still being a complete bastard.

At the end, you seem to try to define being morally good as "winning at economics". If you do that, than of course karma obviously and directly works, and being poor then means you are a bastard by definition. But that's a highly unusual approach to the issue, and not what people usually mean when they talk about bastards.
Steroid wrote:And as to gays. . . well, I was cynical before about premarital sex regarding conservatives, and I'm cynical now about homosexuality regarding anti-libertarians and anti-conservatives. To the same degree as conservatives like to use religion as a club against their opponents, the opponents like to use homosexuality as a club. I think they enjoy shocking grandma and rich old uncle Joe by taking the ideas that weren't talked about back in their youth and throwing them in their faces. It's bigotry no less than homophobia. It's oikophobia, and it ought to be disdained or championed only as much as any other form of discrimination

Sadly, I don't have any rich uncles, and my grandmother is pretty OK with gays too, so I can safely plead "not guilty" here. I do have some more distant relatives who have problems with gays, including some who have grave trouble accepting their daughter. It's a sensitive thing they have to deal with on their own, and we avoid the subject like the plague.

I'd still say that gays are a very clear example that many churches treat people badly for other reasons than an accurate reflection of their moral worth. Put it this way: if a church kicks gays out of the church for being gay, how can you be sure that the other people it turns away deserve to be turned away? Churches are not particularly inclusive institutions.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Vaniver » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:20 pm UTC

Jahoclave wrote:Yeah, the karma angle seems like complete bs. Furthermore, it doesn't even bother to point out that their opinion is predicated on a completely unrealistic stereotype of how the lower classes actually live.

Once they stop insinuating that the poor are poor because they're lazy I'll care about their arguments.
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nitePhyyre wrote:It seems to me like tea partiers have a juvenile understanding of issues. "We started child support just to make the single mommy feel better about herself, no other considerations."
You're right, paying people to be single mothers is a great incentive. Protip: if it's only a sentence long, it's probably a simplification, regardless of who it comes from.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby netcrusher88 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:21 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:they have the gold; they make the rules.

Run along, adults are talking.

And as to gays. . . well, I was cynical before about premarital sex regarding conservatives, and I'm cynical now about homosexuality regarding anti-libertarians and anti-conservatives. To the same degree as conservatives like to use religion as a club against their opponents, the opponents like to use homosexuality as a club. I think they enjoy shocking grandma and rich old uncle Joe by taking the ideas that weren't talked about back in their youth and throwing them in their faces. It's bigotry no less than homophobia. It's oikophobia, and it ought to be disdained or championed only as much as any other form of discrimination

Eh, if you're going to whine about people wanting to not be discriminated against you're not long for these boards anyway. Go jerk off to World Net Daily or whatever it is people like you do when not saying people should shut the fuck up and put up with being hated.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:45 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:1. Any ascribing of value to a person or a decision economically has to be parsed through the prism of economics, and economics is not a meritocracy. It's not about being smart, or working hard, or even being right politically. It's about providing what people are willing to part with their money for, whether it be in seeking a job or selling a product or service. So it's not a matter of being lazy causing you to be poor; it's a matter of being economically incompetent.

If you cared to know at what point I stopped taking you seriously, I highlighted it for you. Now, you might be speaking purely of corporations (and dear FSM I hope you are), but your statement, much like the former version has exactly the same things wrong with it for the most part. Just because somebody is poor doesn't mean they're economically incompetent. It's not very easy to break out of generational poverty.

And in case you wanted to know where I simply stopped reading, it's when you assume that people should be dependent on religious organizations. Sorry, but people shouldn't have to be beholden to religious dogma to be ascertain basic human dignity.

I would say you could fuck right off, but it appears net has already done so.

Also, on an unrelated note, hi Van.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Czhorat » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:53 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
nitePhyyre wrote:It seems to me like tea partiers have a juvenile understanding of issues. "We started child support just to make the single mommy feel better about herself, no other considerations."
You're right, paying people to be single mothers is a great incentive. Protip: if it's only a sentence long, it's probably a simplification, regardless of who it comes from.



I think nitePhyyre's point was that this kind of thinking IS an oversimplification, as is the justification of most of the justifications for tea-party positions.

As a married parent who knows how hard it is to raise a child with the help of a loving partner, I can't imagine the amount of government assistance it would take to make single parenthood easy or desirable. If helping parents who find themselves forced by circumstance to raise children alone is a violation of the laws of "karma", then by all means, let karma be revoked.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Steroid » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:57 pm UTC

Malice wrote:No, incompetent is not a choice; that's why it's so important not to be inconsiderate. Who, suffering mental and physical illness, would be turned away for help by private help organizations in the absence of a bureaucracy? And inconsiderate is a choice.

I didn't say inconsiderate wasn't a choice. I said your whole "be nice, be self-sufficient, or be dead, choose 2" thing is bullshit, because you can be non-self-sufficient and nice and still wind up dead in a society with no social safety nets.

Government charity is not significantly different from private charity; it's simply a larger organization with greater accountability to the public, who have proven time and again that, on the whole, they like it well enough not to vote for its deconstruction. If your argument is that government assistance is impersonal, why not argue for face-to-face interviews before giving support? Why argue for the dissolution of the entire thing?


Because it doesn't work. Can government say to an anarchist or a libertarian like me, "No, since you're working toward the abolition of everything we stand for, we're not going to help you"? Can government charity say to an unrepentant drunkard, "No, we're not going to just give you food stamps and send you on your way to trade them for black market liquor"? Can government charity say, "You've been on and off welfare a dozen times; no more"? Even if they did, would not that drunkard, that anarchist, and that welfare king band together and vote out the people who say that and vote in people who will write them a blank check?

And to a libertarian, the difference between government charity and private charity is the most significant of all: only one takes money by force. Only one pushes me into the water, while the other just refuses to throw me the life preserver.

Is this state of affairs something which should be encouraged, or something which should be rectified? If as a nation we have the power to make economic losses less devastating, why shouldn't we do so? Wouldn't it be better to live in a world where a community of nice people could, in fact, survive and thrive?


Encouraged. Look, it's a simple question of whether you prefer justice or prosperity. A pragmatic libertarian prefers justice because he believes over the long run it will lead to prosperity--your world where nice people thrive. An idealistic libertarian prefers justice because it makes reality fall more in line with theory. But you prefer prosperity--why?

Oh Lord. Now bigotry against bigots is equivalent to bigotry against minorities. Next you'll be telling me affirmative action is just as bad as lynching. The person who says "you'll go to hell for being gay" is not just as harmful as the person who says "you're not a nice person for saying that". Christ.


Please defend your position. That difference in harmfulness is not self-evident. In particular, please explain why the actions taken by minorities against bigotry will not be taken by bigots against meta-bigotry.

Case in point: observe netcrusher88's post above. Explain how talking down and insulting me on the basis of my opinion is not as harmful as doing so on the basis of my sexuality. Explain why I should not follow his advice and withdraw from a forum of reason to a forum of bigotry. Explain how this position aids your cause regarding bigotry against minorities.

Edit:

Jaho: never said that the church was the only private charity. Why did you assume I meant it as such?

And while generational poverty is difficult to break out of, why shouldn't ancestry be a factor in economic status? Again, just like in war, everything counts. If ancestry isn't supposed to be a factor and hard work isn't and brains aren't, then what should determine economic status? Nothing? Everyone eats the same, lives in the same house, has the same toys?
Last edited by Steroid on Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:24 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Czhorat » Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:20 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:Because it [government charity] doesn't work. Can government say to an anarchist or a libertarian like me, "No, since you're working toward the abolition of everything we stand for, we're not going to help you"? Can government charity say to an unrepentant drunkard, "No, we're not going to just give you food stamps and send you on your way to trade them for black market liquor"? Can government charity say, "You've been on and off welfare a dozen times; no more"? Even if they did, would not that drunkard, that anarchist, and that welfare king band together and vote out the people who say that and vote in people who will write them a blank check?


The above is simply not true. The welfare reform of the early 1990s did create a requirement to work in exchange for continued benefits, and it is possible for government benefits to be cut off for various causes. As to your contention about government charity takes "by force", this is a silly argument that deligitimizes ALL of government.

Steroid wrote:Please defend your position [that bigotry is worse than opposition to bigotry]. That difference in harmfulness is not self-evident. In particular, please explain why the actions taken by minorities against bigotry will not be taken by bigots against meta-bigotry.

Case in point: observe netcrusher88's post above. Explain how talking down and insulting me on the basis of my opinion is not as harmful as doing so on the basis of my sexuality. Explain why I should not follow his advice and withdraw from a forum of reason to a forum of bigotry. Explain how this position aids your cause regarding bigotry against minorities.


I must be misunderstanding you. Is it your contention that bigotry based on race, sexual orientation, or gender is equivalent to an opposition to such bigotry? If not, please clarify your position.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby JBJ » Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:22 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:Because it doesn't work. Can government say to an anarchist or a libertarian like me, "No, since you're working toward the abolition of everything we stand for, we're not going to help you"? Can government charity say to an unrepentant drunkard, "No, we're not going to just give you food stamps and send you on your way to trade them for black market liquor"? Can government charity say, "You've been on and off welfare a dozen times; no more"? Even if they did, would not that drunkard, that anarchist, and that welfare king band together and vote out the people who say that and vote in people who will write them a blank check?

As a true libertarian, you wouldn't go to the government for help would you? So that's really a dead-end line of thought. But, I think what you are aiming for is whether or not government charities (welfare, social programs, etc...) have the ability to refuse people. Yes, they do, but not for the three reasons you strawmanned. People just don't show up to the welfare office, say "I need $2,000" and get handed a check. They have to fill out applications, prove their income or lack thereof, and in some cases have an investigator confirm their situation. Private charities are more likely to hand over a check, because they aren't required to validate the claims of the applicants. Many do, and good for them. The government always does. That doesn't mean that the government is immune to fraud, but no more or less so than private charities, churches, or even well meaning friends and family.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby netcrusher88 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:37 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:Please defend your position. That difference in harmfulness is not self-evident. In particular, please explain why the actions taken by minorities against bigotry will not be taken by bigots against meta-bigotry.

Meta-bigotry. That's a good one, I'll have to remember it next time I feel like being a white supremacist. Tell me, are you really incapable of telling the difference between the Civil Rights Act and the Ku Klux Klan?

You want a self-evident difference in harm between bigotry and fighting against it. Okay.

In about 20 states, I could be fired for my sexual orientation. Prior to about 9 years ago I could have been jailed for it in a number of states and if the people you align yourself with had their way I still could because that was a federal decision and how dare the federal government force states to comply with the Constitution and God forbid (the Christian one, natch) we set a precedent of extending basic human rights to fags (that, by the way, was exactly Justice Antonin "Originalist like Roger B Taney" Scalia's opposition). If I wanted to serve my country through military service, I would have to live a lie to do so. If I needed assistance from charity, the three most affluent religious organizations - the Catholic church, the Mormon church, and the Salvation Army (yes, they're religious) - would either refuse to provide assistance, force me to lie about my orientation to get assistance, or at the very least give that assistance with a stack of hateful rhetoric about how a fundamental, immutable facet of my being is sinful.

Give me one example of harm done by actions taken to protect minorities from bigotry like the CRA. Oh, I know the one Rand Paul is so proud of, that you're taking away business owners' ability to discriminate - you're being forced to expand your market, cry me a fucking river. Other than hate-fueled migraines at seeing niggers at their lunch counters, what material harm has that ever done do business owners?

There's your self fucking evident difference.

Allow me to quote the modern patron saint of civil rights activism, from a document where he magnificently eloquently put to paper the raison d'être for those of us who choose protest and action over a detached indifference:
Martin Luther King, Jr; from 'Letter from a Birmingham Jail' wrote:I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says, "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another mans freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro the wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light injustice must be exposed with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion, before it can be cured.

Any pair of minority and saddeningly silent and complacent allies may be subbed in.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Lithium33 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:02 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:
Steroid wrote:Please defend your position. That difference in harmfulness is not self-evident. In particular, please explain why the actions taken by minorities against bigotry will not be taken by bigots against meta-bigotry.

Meta-bigotry. That's a good one, I'll have to remember it next time I feel like being a white supremacist. Tell me, are you really incapable of telling the difference between the Civil Rights Act and the Ku Klux Klan?

You want a self-evident difference in harm between bigotry and fighting against it. Okay.

In about 20 states, I could be fired for my sexual orientation. Prior to about 9 years ago I could have been jailed for it in a number of states and if the people you align yourself with had their way I still could because that was a federal decision and how dare the federal government force states to comply with the Constitution and God forbid (the Christian one, natch) we set a precedent of extending basic human rights to fags (that, by the way, was exactly Justice Antonin "Originalist like Roger B Taney" Scalia's opposition). If I wanted to serve my country through military service, I would have to live a lie to do so. If I needed assistance from charity, the three most affluent religious organizations - the Catholic church, the Mormon church, and the Salvation Army (yes, they're religious) - would either refuse to provide assistance, force me to lie about my orientation to get assistance, or at the very least give that assistance with a stack of hateful rhetoric about how a fundamental, immutable facet of my being is sinful.

Give me one example of harm done by actions taken to protect minorities from bigotry like the CRA. Oh, I know the one Rand Paul is so proud of, that you're taking away business owners' ability to discriminate - you're being forced to expand your market, cry me a fucking river. Other than hate-fueled migraines at seeing niggers at their lunch counters, what material harm has that ever done do business owners?

There's your self fucking evident difference.

Allow me to quote the modern patron saint of civil rights activism, from a document where he magnificently eloquently put to paper the raison d'être for those of us who choose protest and action over a detached indifference:
Martin Luther King, Jr; from 'Letter from a Birmingham Jail' wrote:I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says, "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another mans freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro the wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light injustice must be exposed with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion, before it can be cured.

Any pair of minority and saddeningly silent and complacent allies may be subbed in.


Bravo on that defense of liberalism, netcrusher. I've always thought that the libertarian view that having the ability to discriminate being more important than having the ability not to be discriminated against was a falllacious view. And I haven't met a single sane Tea Partier personally. I'd love to meet one who isn't a birther. :/
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Dark567 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:15 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:Give me one example of harm done by actions taken to protect minorities from bigotry like the CRA. Oh, I know the one Rand Paul is so proud of, that you're taking away business owners' ability to discriminate - you're being forced to expand your market, cry me a fucking river. Other than hate-fueled migraines at seeing niggers at their lunch counters, what material harm has that ever done do business owners?
Most Libertarians that are against the CRA, are deontologists, meaning they don't care about material(consequential) harm.

Lithium33 wrote:I've always thought that the libertarian view that having the ability to discriminate being more important than having the ability not to be discriminated against was a falllacious view.
There's nothing fallacious about it. Incorrect? Possibly. (Deontological)Libertarians are just starting from a completely different set of axioms than you are.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby netcrusher88 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:23 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:Most Libertarians that are against the CRA, are deontologists, meaning they don't care about material(consequential) harm.

You have a point, I certainly don't see any thought beyond "it's not wrong because it's not against the rules I think should exist". And what are those rules? They... aren't.

Deontological is an interesting description for that breed of libertarian, a good one. I think the word I'd reach for to describe libertarians who refuse to accept the futility of rejecting everything except what they call "property rights" is fundamentalist. And that's never a word I use kindly.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Dark567 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:45 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:Deontological is an interesting description for that breed of libertarian, a good one. I think the word I'd reach for to describe libertarians who refuse to accept the futility of rejecting everything except what they call "property rights" is fundamentalist. And that's never a word I use kindly.

The problem is that any system of ethics would seem to meet your definition of fundamentalist, most people just select something along the lines of "Human well-being" as being fundamental as opposed to "property rights".
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Yakk wrote:The question the thought experiment I posted is aimed at answering: When falling in a black hole, do you see the entire universe's future history train-car into your ass, or not?

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Zamfir » Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:56 pm UTC

"Human well-being" as being fundamental as opposed to "property rights".
weird, isn't it?

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby doogly » Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:00 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:To a libertarian, there's all the difference in the world between pushing someone in the water, and not throwing a life preserver.

Clearly you have not spent much time in the water.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby netcrusher88 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:00 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:The problem is that any system of ethics would seem to meet your definition of fundamentalist, most people just select something along the lines of "Human well-being" as being fundamental as opposed to "property rights".

Perhaps, but I don't think so. I'm talking about a specific strain of libertarianism that casts all taxes or any charge one cannot choose not to pay or opt out of as robbery. The specific breed of libertarian that is apparently incapable (by choice, I hope) of the concept that you require further laws than the unadorned concept of "property right" alone, even if only to protect that. Though honestly, I kind of waver on whether to lump the type that support regulation and taxation only to shore up their curious little concept of property rights in as well. They either religiously hold the belief that the Market will weed out problems like discrimination (which has happened... never), or they just don't care which in addition to being incredibly stupid (the less of a social safety net and the greater class inequality that exists, the closer every single individual is to falling off their precious little tightrope of money - save the exceptionally rich, perhaps a few percent of people, who could survive a fall from the grace of the Market) says to me they're not worth the energy it takes to call them subhuman.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Steroid » Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:06 pm UTC

Czhorat wrote:The above is simply not true. The welfare reform of the early 1990s did create a requirement to work in exchange for continued benefits, and it is possible for government benefits to be cut off for various causes. As to your contention about government charity takes "by force", this is a silly argument that deligitimizes ALL of government.

Sure welfare reform happened, but there's still a system that can be gamed. Private charity has the advantage of being able to use common sense to figure out who really needs it and who's just mooching.

And the force argument doesn't deligitimize all of government, it leaves the use of force against force. And that's the libertarian position: have the government take care of murder, rape, arson, assault, theft, and property damage, and leave everything else alone.

I must be misunderstanding you. Is it your contention that bigotry based on race, sexual orientation, or gender is equivalent to an opposition to such bigotry? If not, please clarify your position.


No, it is that a prejudiced opposition to such bigotry is equivalent in a moral sense, and that it is equivalent in how the victim will react.

To clarify the first: If you assign the bigotry of some heterosexuals to all, and create a greater barrier to avoiding bigotry for them than for non-heterosexuals, or if you assume that any statement or action against the interests of a race, gender, orientation, etc. in general or those of a member of one of those groups in particular must stem from unthinking bigotry, then that assumption is itself unthinking, unreasonable, and false to fact.

To clarify the second: again, consider netcrusher88's first post in response to mine: he implies I am not an adult and should leave. If I took that attitude toward a homosexual, would you not expect him to seek redress and, if he did not find it, become more militant and join with other militant types? If so, why expect that I will be cowed by that sort of belligerency?

netcrusher88 wrote:Meta-bigotry. That's a good one, I'll have to remember it next time I feel like being a white supremacist. Tell me, are you really incapable of telling the difference between the Civil Rights Act and the Ku Klux Klan?


Of course I am capable. The CRA was government interference in human liberty, wheras the KKK is a private organization.

That's a joke. The KKK does engage in violence, and is therefore wrong.

You want a self-evident difference in harm between bigotry and fighting against it. Okay.

In about 20 states, I could be fired for my sexual orientation. Prior to about 9 years ago I could have been jailed for it in a number of states and if the people you align yourself with had their way I still could because that was a federal decision and how dare the federal government force states to comply with the Constitution and God forbid (the Christian one, natch) we set a precedent of extending basic human rights to fags (that, by the way, was exactly Justice Antonin "Originalist like Roger B Taney" Scalia's opposition). If I wanted to serve my country through military service, I would have to live a lie to do so.


In other words, you're against government discrimination against homosexuals. That's good, so am I.

If I needed assistance from charity, the three most affluent religious organizations - the Catholic church, the Mormon church, and the Salvation Army (yes, they're religious) - would either refuse to provide assistance, force me to lie about my orientation to get assistance, or at the very least give that assistance with a stack of hateful rhetoric about how a fundamental, immutable facet of my being is sinful.


Then why not go to a less affluent one? Or why not achieve economic success and start a charity that turns away straights? If there was such an organization, would you yell with equal zeal about its discrimination?

See, I don't know what it's like to be homosexual, but you don't know what it's like to be heterosexual. You can be fired in 20 states? How many can I be fired in if I say the word fag? Or sent to re-education, oops, I mean sensitivity training. How many universities will shun me if I happen to think that maybe heterosexuality as a concept has some advantages? Understand this:

White is not an inferior race.

Male is not an inferior gender.

Rich is not an inferior economic status.

Christianity is not an inferior religion.

Heterosexuality is not an inferior orientation.

Conservatism is not an inferior political position.

And even though only half of those apply to me, I'll be damned if I'm going to stand for discrimination on the ones that do, and I'll be double damned if I'm going to discriminate against the others just to keep in good with self-righteous folks like you.

Give me one example of harm done by actions taken to protect minorities from bigotry like the CRA. Oh, I know the one Rand Paul is so proud of, that you're taking away business owners' ability to discriminate - you're being forced to expand your market, cry me a fucking river. Other than hate-fueled migraines at seeing niggers at their lunch counters, what material harm has that ever done do business owners?


How about an owner having to look over his shoulder to make sure he's got the right number of each minority? How about having to waste wall space and money putting up posters that say they're an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, which is both self-contradictory and prejudiced against the groups I listed above (has any business ever been investigated for not having enough whites? males? straights?) How about just engendering your attitude of being a victim on the one hand, but feeling free to insult those who disagree with you without fear of retribution on the other?


Allow me to quote the modern patron saint of civil rights activism, from a document where he magnificently eloquently put to paper the raison d'être for those of us who choose protest and action over a detached indifference:
Martin Luther King, Jr; from 'Letter from a Birmingham Jail' wrote:I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says, "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another mans freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro the wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light injustice must be exposed with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion, before it can be cured.

Any pair of minority and saddeningly silent and complacent allies may be subbed in.


So, I'm a moderate, am I? I thought I was a fundamentalist.

Lithium33 wrote:Bravo on that defense of liberalism, netcrusher. I've always thought that the libertarian view that having the ability to discriminate being more important than having the ability not to be discriminated against was a falllacious view. And I haven't met a single sane Tea Partier personally. I'd love to meet one who isn't a birther. :/


Not more important, as important. My right to swing my fist may end at your nose, but not one nanometer before.

And hi there, I'm not a birther. I do think that Dick Cheney shouldn't have been allowed to be VP though, since he was really from Texas.

netcrusher88 wrote:You have a point, I certainly don't see any thought beyond "it's not wrong because it's not against the rules I think should exist". And what are those rules? They... aren't.


Simple rule: don't use force save against someone using force. Argue all you want against bigotry, but passing a law against it is a shortcut that makes you the bad guy.

doogly wrote:
Steroid wrote:To a libertarian, there's all the difference in the world between pushing someone in the water, and not throwing a life preserver.

Clearly you have not spent much time in the water.


To carry forth the metaphor, there's even more reason not to throw the life preserver if the person has jumped in, been pulled out, and jumped in again.

netcrusher88 wrote:Perhaps, but I don't think so. I'm talking about a specific strain of libertarianism that casts all taxes or any charge one cannot choose not to pay or opt out of as robbery. The specific breed of libertarian that is apparently incapable (by choice, I hope) of the concept that you require further laws than the unadorned concept of "property right" alone, even if only to protect that. Though honestly, I kind of waver on whether to lump the type that support regulation and taxation only to shore up their curious little concept of property rights in as well. They either religiously hold the belief that the Market will weed out problems like discrimination (which has happened... never), or they just don't care which in addition to being incredibly stupid (the less of a social safety net and the greater class inequality that exists, the closer every single individual is to falling off their precious little tightrope of money - save the exceptionally rich, perhaps a few percent of people, who could survive a fall from the grace of the Market) says to me they're not worth the energy it takes to call them subhuman.


Well, then answer me some questions: if you think you have a greater right than my property rights, what's the support for it? Why shouldn't I think the same about you? How is it equitible to me, or is it only advantagueous to you?

(heading off to work now, I'll be back to argue around 2130 GMT.)

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Zamfir
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Zamfir » Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:14 pm UTC

Steroid wrote: My right to swing my fist may end at your nose, but not one nanometer before.

Steroid, you seriously need to work on your metaphores. Where in the world is it acceptable behaviour to almost-hit people in the nose?

I am serious: you talk about letting people drown, almost hitting people in the face, treating economic affairs as no-rules warfare, all as if they are natural things to do. I am sure you don't literally mean those metaphores, but they paint a pretty nasty picture anyway. They defintiely don't help to convince me of your views.
Last edited by Zamfir on Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:47 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Jplus » Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:28 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:See, I don't know what it's like to be homosexual, but you don't know what it's like to be heterosexual. You can be fired in 20 states? How many can I be fired in if I say the word fag? Or sent to re-education, oops, I mean sensitivity training.

You don't seem to distinguish very well between innate properties and chosen behaviour. Surely being gay is something very different from calling somebody a fag?

Steroid wrote:The word church, in lowercase, can refer to any building of religious worship. It can refer to a synagogue, mosque, temple, etc. And I'm the one who's Christian-normative? Well, perhaps I am. But it's a function of the golden rule: they have the gold; they make the rules. Heterosexual Christians have done a lot for mankind. Historical fact, can't just ignore it.

For this one, allow me to puke for a moment.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Zamfir » Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:35 pm UTC

Jplus wrote:You don't seem to distinguish very well between innate properties and chosen behaviour. Surely being gay is something very different from calling somebody a fag?

And what if being gay was chosen behaviour? Would that change anything?

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Belial » Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:45 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
Jplus wrote:You don't seem to distinguish very well between innate properties and chosen behaviour. Surely being gay is something very different from calling somebody a fag?

And what if being gay was chosen behaviour? Would that change anything?


Yeah, honestly, the more stark difference is between the employee engaging in harassment, and the one who is not.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Jplus » Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:47 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
Jplus wrote:You don't seem to distinguish very well between innate properties and chosen behaviour. Surely being gay is something very different from calling somebody a fag?

And what if being gay was chosen behaviour? Would that change anything?

It would change something, but of course it still wouldn't be the same because calling somebody a fag is intentionally offensive while being gay, for as far as I can see, isn't...

This was just an example though, I got the impression that Steroid is mixing up several kinds of distinctions all the time.

Anyhow, I'm rather skeptical about the possibility of chosing one's sexual orientation.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby netcrusher88 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:55 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:How many can I be fired in if I say the word fag? Or sent to re-education, oops, I mean sensitivity training.

Same ones you can be fired in for saying nigger, I suppose, only that's a lot more likely. Or for sexual harassment. And I'm sorry if you're so fucking offended by workplaces considering it unacceptable for employees to use discriminatory language.
How many universities will shun me if I happen to think that maybe heterosexuality as a concept has some advantages?

None. That is, in itself, not a particularly wrong or unpopular concept. It's when you turn it into a value judgment that you run into problems, but even then I do not expect universities would exclude you. You might be punished by them for hate speech or harassment once there, and you're never going to get a license or degree to practice, say, psychotherapy if you insist on applying the idea that a group of people are categorically inferior (regardless of the group of people) in your work.

HELP, HELP, I'M BEING OPPRESSED BY NOT BEING ALLOWED TO OPPRESS MINORITIES

Oh fuck off.

How about an owner having to look over his shoulder to make sure he's got the right number of each minority?
They don't.
How about having to waste wall space and money putting up posters that say they're an equal opportunity,
Yeah, it really sucks that businesses must make a token effort to inform interviewees and employees of their rights. Quit whining.
affirmative action employer
No such laws/posters/rules/thing.
which is both self-contradictory and prejudiced against the groups I listed above
We aren't talking about affirmative action, if you want to there are threads about that where better arguments have been made than I keep handy for that particular subject or you are capable of.
(has any business ever been investigated for not having enough whites? males? straights?)
No, but neither has a business ever been investigated for not having enough minority individuals. You're full of shit. A disparity in representation among employees may be used as evidence in an accusation of unfair hiring practices (regardless of the group or minority status of the individual(s) making the accusation) but it is not on its own probable cause.
How about just engendering your attitude of being a victim on the one hand, but feeling free to insult those who disagree with you without fear of retribution on the other?

Alright let's get this fucking straight. I am insulting you because of your positions. Because you refuse to understand or own the implications of them, or don't care about them. I do the same thing to LaRouchies, Tony Perkins, and birthers.

That is NOT the same fucking thing as insulting someone based on the color of their skin, their sex, their gender, or their orientation.

So, I'm a moderate, am I? I thought I was a fundamentalist.

There are multiple dimensions to one's political positions. Fundamentalist, or as Dark567 put it, deontological libertarianism is inherently indifferent to civil rights. There is an argument to be made that indifference is a form of moderateness on the subject towards which it is held. Certainly the fundie libertarian position towards civil rights (or lack thereof) is not unlike what that particular passage of Dr. King's letter referred to.

Not more important, as important. My right to swing my fist may end at your nose, but not one nanometer before.

So where does your right to discriminate end? My paycheck? An emergency room? Driver's licensing?

Your right to swing your fist does not override my right to not have somebody's fist coming at my fucking face, and my right to respond with reasonable violence does not change whether or not you stop before you actually hit. Your right to discriminate does not override my right to not be discriminated against.

Simple rule: don't use force save against someone using force.

What is force? A society which idolizes discrimination and thus gives rise to a market which selects for discrimination and effectively drives out minority-friendly businesses (and that's not hypothetical) - is that not force leveled against the target minority or minorities? You do accept the concept that no man is an island, right? That groups of people at large can act as an entity and have real effects on other people? I mean I know that messes with a lot of common libertarian positions ("it's nobody's fault but your own that you're broke because your employer fired you for being gay and you can't handle a job search because you're dealing with unrelated PTSD that was aggravated by that"), but it is the fundamental concept of how humans work.

Argue all you want against bigotry, but passing a law against it is a shortcut that makes you the bad guy.

I wish I could hate you to death.


Steroid wrote:
doogly wrote:
Steroid wrote:To a libertarian, there's all the difference in the world between pushing someone in the water, and not throwing a life preserver.

Clearly you have not spent much time in the water.

To carry forth the metaphor, there's even more reason not to throw the life preserver if the person has jumped in, been pulled out, and jumped in again.

To disrobe that straw man, you're a horrible little piece of shit if you see someone push a person in and instead of throwing a life preserver tell them to learn to swim and build their own fucking boat.

Zamfir wrote:
Steroid wrote: My right to swing my fist may end at your nose, but not one nanometer before.

Steroid, you seriously need to work on your metaphores. Where in the world is it acceptable behaviour to almost-hit people in the nose?

I am serious: you talk about letting people drown, almost hitting people in the face, treating economic affairs as no-rules warfare, all as if they are natural things to do. I am sure you don't literally mean those metaphores, but they paint a pretty nasty picture anyway. They defintiely don't help to convince me of your views.

Actually, those are all standard libertarian fare. By arguing against them on the Internet I'm kind of reinventing the wheel while standing in a Les Schwab (or a Firestone, I like them better), but I enjoy it.
Last edited by netcrusher88 on Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:02 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Kewangji » Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:01 pm UTC

Jplus wrote:Anyhow, I'm rather skeptical about the possibility of chosing one's sexual orientation.

If sexuality was easy to choose, I'd be so gay. Just sayin'.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:05 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:Jaho: never said that the church was the only private charity. Why did you assume I meant it as such?

I'm going to go ahead and go with the, "because that's the words you used," argument here. You know, because you explicitly argued for religious charity. Private charity is different, but it's still conditional and thus not wholely effective and runs a much greater risk of discrimination.

And while generational poverty is difficult to break out of, why shouldn't ancestry be a factor in economic status? Again, just like in war, everything counts. If ancestry isn't supposed to be a factor and hard work isn't and brains aren't, then what should determine economic status? Nothing? Everyone eats the same, lives in the same house, has the same toys?

Contradict yourself have you. If ancestry is a factor then you can't claim economic competence as the reason for being poor. Also, Gault was a genocidal asshat and you can shove your social darwinism up your ass. The point is that people in poverty are not often privileged with even the opprotunity to get themselves out of poverty. It's not as easy as you would think to get and maintain a meaningful, paying job that can support a family or even oneself. When you can't even afford a car to get to work that limits your options. The point is, you need to stop claiming people are poor because it's their own damn fault, because, in a lot of cases, it quite isn't.

Economic status is a misnomer in the way you're using it anyways. Economic status is a label, not an inherent condition of personhood. Hard work and brains matter, but so does actually having the opprotunity to use them to better yourself, which is often something that is denied.

Seems to me that you just have the opinion that there is a culture of rampant welfare abuse where nearly everybody who is poor is gaming the system. Unless you're going to actually document that, I'm going to call bullshit on what is for the most part just a conservative sterotype talking point (much in the same way that they abuse muslims are ebil rhetoric).

But, one last thing:
Privilege called. It'd like you to shut up until you are ready to acknowledge your own.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby netcrusher88 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:13 pm UTC

Jahoclave wrote:Privilege called. It'd like you to shut up until you are ready to acknowledge your own.

Oh my god I love Scalzi. Thank you. I'd say you shouldn't have had lead with the word privilege but Steroid already has his hackles up at the mere implication that other people may not enjoy the same birthrights so there's not much point in not.

He also wrote a very similar piece in 2005 which is a bit more directly relevant to the subject of economics: here.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby quantumcat42 » Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:46 pm UTC

My dad grew up in a single parent household in the projects of Minneapolis... and I grew up privileged. Not saying it's easy to get out of, but just because you start poor doesn't mean you need to stay that way.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Zamfir » Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:51 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:He also wrote a very similar piece in 2005 which is a bit more directly relevant to the subject of economics: here.

I felt a bit uncomfortable with that piece. It seems a sharp observation of poverty, but not really an experience of it.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Jahoclave » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:15 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
netcrusher88 wrote:He also wrote a very similar piece in 2005 which is a bit more directly relevant to the subject of economics: here.

I felt a bit uncomfortable with that piece. It seems a sharp observation of poverty, but not really an experience of it.

Well, for the record. Scalzi grew up in a poor family.


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