That awkward moment when the Libertarian is captured thanking the taxpayer-funded firefighter for saving his house while wearing his “Less Taxes-Less Government-More Freedom” T-shirt:
Hey kids, this is what a dumbass looks like.
For sale at the Rand Paul for President website:
Ha ha ha ha ha! Be the first to review this product … I dare you!
Gotta say, $15 seems awfully steep for something that a piece of electrical tape can do for 5 cents.
Proving yet again that Libertarians are morons, I bring you North Carolina “free market” Republican Thom Tillis:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Republicans are challenging several health regulations, with one senator suggesting restaurants shouldn’t have to make their employees wash their hands after bathroom visits.
Such restaurants would have to prominently disclose their decision, and then would probably would go out of business, said newly elected GOP Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina. But they should have that choice, he said.
“Let them decide” such issues, Tillis said, adding: “That’s probably one where every business that did that would go out of business. But I think it’s good to illustrate the point, that that’s the sort of mentality we need to have to reduce the regulatory burden on this country.”
Um, Okay. So basically you want to get rid of one regulation requiring employees wash their hands and replace it with a different one requiring restaurants post a sign if they opt out. This is preferable how? Because it sounds more shiny, sparkly, free-markety? Really? Because all you’re doing is shifting the “burden” to restaurant consumers, who would then have to hunt around for some sign. Never mind the idea that if you’re going to opt out of a hand-washing regulation, maybe you’ll dodge a sign-posting one, too. We’ll just never know.
This makes my life better how, exactly?
See, this is what’s wrong with Libertarians. They think that the glorious unfettered magical free hand of the market makes everything wonderful when all it really does is burden the general public. You know what? I have a life. I don’t want to have to research every fucking restaurant in town to determine if they’re opting out of certain health regulations or not. I’d much rather have a health department fully staffed with health inspectors who enforce our health laws. If we truly did make our restaurant health regulations optional, I’d never eat out again. Because if you’re going to skirt one, you’ll no doubt skirt all the others. And for fuck sakes, Thom Tillis: a regulation is a goddamn regulation. One isn’t “better” because it sounds more “choicey.”
You people are fucking idiots. Please, let’s keep them as far away from the reins of power as possible.
This Libertarian tech paradise is apparently for real:
Stop me if you’ve seen this movie before. Like the ill-fated voyage of the Gastonguays, Blueseed’s Libertarian tech paradise will be an awesome idea until a tsunami, climate change, pirates, bankruptcy or outbreaks of norovirus and Legionnaires Disease have everyone begging for Uncle Sam to come to the rescue.
Happens every damn time.
Check out the “coolness factor” quotient:
So a large chunk of these folks are interested in the idea, not because of the onerous Visa application problem (which is the supposed reason for Blueseed to exist in the first place) but rather the “coolness factor” and “awesome space” that is a large boat in the ocean. That’s pretty typical of these Libertarian tech types, IMHO.
I know y’all are sick of hearing me say how busy I’ve been lately. Sorry, broken record, yada yada.
I know I’ve been neglecting you, but this wonderful piece by R.J. Eskow, whom I’d never heard of before now, has crossed my path, and I pass it along as a peace offering. It’s the 11-question Libertarian hypocrisy test, including such gems as,
Is a libertarian willing to admit that production is the result of many forces, each of which should be recognized and rewarded?
Is our libertarian willing to acknowledge that workers who bargain for their services, individually and collectively, are also employing market forces?
Does our libertarian use wealth that wouldn’t exist without government in order to preach against the role of government?
(… the latter directed at PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel).
This is good stuff. Enjoy.
God, liberals, what can I say. Sometimes we annoy the hell out of me.
This is the second time the interwebs is in high dudgeon over something said/written by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey. Mackey, who is hawking a book (Conscious Capitalism, and no, I haven’t read it) used the word “fascism” to describe the Affordable Care Act. This got liberals all upset, especially since they well remember his 2009 Wall Street Journal op-ed proposing eight “free market” reforms that he thought would fix our healthcare problems better than Obamacare.
Let me interject here and say, Mackey is an unabashed Libertarian. I do not agree with Libertarianism. At all. I think his “eight reforms” — stuff like tort reform, selling health insurance across state lines, and removing government coverage mandates — are horrible ideas, many already proven failures. He also wrote that if only everyone would just eat a vegetarian, low fat diet, all of our healthcare woes would magically go away. This was an astonishingly simplistic, insensitive and childish thing to say about a really complicated national issue. But hey, one of my biggest problems with Libertarians is their juvenile belief in magical thinking.
Anyway, that was around three years ago. This time, people seem to be hung up on Mackey’s use of the word “fascist.” The thing is, I said the same thing myself back in 2009. Put aside all of the totalitarian/nationalistic baggage the word carries, and consider its economic definition. Aren’t we always told that fascism is the merger of state and corporate power? So how is a government requirement that private citizens buy a product from a private, for-profit corporation without also offering a “public option” not fascism?
Mackey now admits his choice of words was poor. I watched him on CBS This Morning say we needed a new term, one that doesn’t allude to authoritarian regimes.
This made me laugh. Mr. Mackey, I believe the word you’re searching for is “corporatism.” Funny that wouldn’t occur to the CEO of a big corporation. Ah well. Libertarians, what can I say? They always wear blinders. I have to wonder: if Obamacare mandated that everyone buy organic food, would Mackey have a problem with that?
Mackey is entitled to his opinions, as are we all. I don’t agree with him on everything. But it seems a shame that he stuck his foot in his mouth on the Obamacare “fascism” stuff, because really liberals should be behind a big chunk of what he’s saying now.
Again, I haven’t read his book, but I’ve read several interviews he’s given about it. And basically what he seems to be telling his fellow corporate CEOs is, stop being such selfish, greedy dicks.
“I really don’t think shareholders should come first, I think it’s fundamentally a bad strategy,” Mackey said yesterday at a Captains of Industry series interview with Norman Pearlstine, chief content officer of Bloomberg News. “Happy team members result in happy customers, happy customers result in happy investors. If you put shareholders first, you won’t get there.”
The event at the 92nd Street Y in New York was sponsored by Bloomberg Businessweek.
Mackey, 59, a self-styled “conscious” capitalist and longtime nonconformist, has written a new book in which he criticizes companies that focus solely on maximizing profit. The book, “Conscious Capitalism,” was released this week.
In the book, Mackey and his co-author, Raj Sisodia, a Bentley University marketing professor, discuss ways to create value and lift people from poverty. Mackey’s bottom line: making money need not be a zero-sum game.
I agree with that 100%. And I’m not a Libertarian. I also agree with this:
Mackey tells Inskeep that companies must have a higher purpose than just making money.
For example, when Whole Foods decided it wanted to stop selling overfished species of cod and octopus at its seafood counters, it didn’t just abruptly cut off its suppliers. Instead, the company gave its suppliers three years to come up with a better way of fishing; during that time, the seafood stayed for sale — but with a label of “unsustainable.”
In the end, Whole Foods, working with the Marine Stewardship Council (we’ll have much more on them later), was able to find one supplier of sustainable cod.
I agree with that approach. I also find it a little strange that Mackey doesn’t recognize the flaw in his magical Libertarian ideology: why aren’t all corporations like Whole Foods? Why isn’t everyone focusing on the big picture, why aren’t they all doing the right thing, instead of just focusing on profit? Does Mackey not get that a health insurance company doesn’t make money off of certain groups of people? Like, really, really sick people? That Libertarianism requires a whole set of presuppositions that don’t exist in the real world?
I guess not. But c’mon, liberals. Let’s join in the conversation here, instead of calling for boycotts over the misuse of a word like “fascism” — especially when a lot of us were saying the same thing two years ago.
So no, I’m not boycotting Whole Foods. Nor am I nominating John Mackey for sainthood. Remember this? Remember when Mackey created an online sockpuppet to bash rival Wild Oats in online stock forums? At a time when he was trying to buy that company? Hilarious. Also, not nice. John Mackey, you’re kind of a dick, too. Something else I can say about most Libertarians.
By the way, this reminds me of the one bumper sticker I want to see. It goes something like this:
Who Is John Galt? And Why Is He Such An Asshole?
Ha ha. Love that one. So, boycott Whole Foods if you want to, but I won’t. But I will ask my fellow liberals to stop reacting in such a knee-jerk way to the use of loaded words like “fascism” and whatnot. Please. This makes us no better than the Teanuts who call for the fainting couches every time a liberal says a mean joke about Sarah Palin.
I’ve been digging through the memory hole lately and was reminded of Focus On The Family’s Stuart Shepard, who in 2008 asked the faithful to pray for rain of Biblical proportions — torrential, “umbrella-ain’t-gonna-help-you” rain — to drown out Barack Obama’s DNC nomination speech. He literally was asking for a deluge of rain. “Urban and small stream flood advisory rain!” — those were his words.
What an ass. So, fast forward four years and Colorado Springs, home of Focus on the Family, is engulfed in flames. Tens of thousands of people have been forced to evacuate, homes have been burned to the ground, etc. etc.
Meanwhile Tampa, FL, where the Republican National Convention will meet later this summer, is flooding. Yes, Tropical Storm Debby has spawned those torrential, “urban and small stream flood advisory rains” Shepard prayed for. Woopsies.
One might say God has a sense of humor. A sick one, at that.
I’ve wondered how the Christian, libertarian paradise of Colorado Springs is handling this disaster. Remember, this is the town that voted against a property tax increase, instead opting to severely cut city services. Trash pick-up, police protection and bus service was slashed; even streetlights were deactivated.
Anti-government zealots hailed it as a model for the future; Michelle Malkin, who lives in Colorado Springs, gushed:
“Self-reliance. Privatization. Thrift. Fiscal accountability. The liberals in Denver and Washington could learn something from our Mountain West spirit if they could just get over their Colorado Springs Derangement Syndrome.”
So now that the place is on fire, how are they doing? As with any disaster, there have been remarkable stories of neighbors helping neighbors, people pitching in to lend a hand and pooling emergency donations in the face of disaster. This is as it should be: crisis brings out the best in humanity. We saw it here in Nashville during our floods. So, yay people.
And then we have finger-pointing from the usual quarters. Michelle Malkin, no longer cheering “our Mountain West spirit,” is blaming President Obama for the firefighting fleet’s declining numbers — from 44 a decade ago to just nine today. She carps:
The Obama administration’s neglect of the federal government’s aerial tanker fleet raises acrid questions about its core public safety priorities.
But she conveniently ignores the “free hand of the market” reasons for the fleet’s decline, as explained in the New York Times last week:
The contractor-owned planes, refurbished from military use and leased by the United States Forest Service, have been hobbled by accidents and mechanical problems, leading to growing safety concerns and calls for a major overhaul. A decade ago, the government had 44 large tanker planes at its command. Now, with fires raging from California to Colorado to Wyoming, the regular fleet is down to nine.
Modern airplanes are available, some able to skim up a bellyful of water from a lake without even stopping to land and thus to conduct dozens of drops a day, but these are too expensive for the private contractors who fly the forest missions. Even the supply of younger military hand-me-downs has dried up. “There are no lightweight bombers being surplused anymore,” said Vincent Ambrosia, a forest fire expert at NASA.
Wait, what? The fleet is operated by private contractors, not Uncle Sam? But conservatives are always telling us that privatization is the answer to all of our problems! So the Free Hand Of The Market has failed? Not possible!
Meanwhile, this guy blames Obama for shrinking the fleet (linking to Malkin) and blames environmentalists for fighting the use of slurry — which, despite his claims, they seem to be using, as Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn tried to take credit for the arrival of federal slurry bombers before Tuesday’s GOP primary. Of course he did.
As for the charge about environmentalists and slurry, here’s what the New York Times piece said:
But the best way to use firefighting planes is not even clear. Although firefighting planes have been used for about 50 years, experts question whether it is better to use fire retardant instead of plain old water. Should the drop be made on a fire, or in a spot in advance of where the fire has reached?
Next month, the Forest Service will begin a study to see what technique works best. A sensor-equipped aircraft will fly 10 to 15 minutes behind the water bomber, to perform the forest equivalent of a bombing damage assessment.
I have no doubt that environmentalists are worried about the use of slurry, but it doesn’t sound like such concerns have made their way into any actual policy yet. What the Times piece tells us is that firefighters are trying to determine the most effective means of fighting the super-hot, climate-change related fires we’re seeing now. These aren’t your grandpa’s forest fires.
This reminds me an awful lot of Louisiana’s argument over “berms” after the BP oil spill. Blaming environmentalists was easy and fun for the Republicans — hippie punching always is with this crowd — but the question wasn’t, are they more damaging than an oil spill? The question was always, does it work? The answer in the case of the sand berms was a definitive no. But Gov. Bobby Jindal got to look defiant and resolute and the Fox News crowd got to swoon, never mind the time and money wasted.
Same as it ever was.