Blog round-up

Some suggested reading for the weekend.

* Republican presidential candidate John McCain lets slip that he favours the military draft. “Hardly a surprise, of course,” notes Lew Rockwell.

* Have you ever wondered why smoking pot is like having sex with a 10-year old girl? Well, Jacob Sullum has the answer for you here.

* What’re the odds that Israel will attack Iran? Pretty high, apparently.

* British officials looking to bust into a home or business have over 1,000 legal justifications to choose from. You can thank the “war on drugs” and the “war on terror” for this state of affairs.

* Did you ever think that your government (and the military contractors that finance it) could provoke wars just to increase its power? David Gordon explains how it happens.

* America is headed towards a new fascism, argues Anthony Gregory. “[T]hose who think Bush has swung America to the right are in ways imprecise and in ways understating it,” observes Gregory. “He has on balance moved us toward a degree of American fascism we probably have not seen in half a century”.

* Antiwar.com’s Tim Swanson wrote a brilliant post outlining the ways in which the CIA has abused its power over the past few decades.

* New polls show that large numbers of people think America was really behind the 9/11 attacks. Well, that’s understandable, but naive. The government can’t even deliver the mail on time. I seriously doubt it could carry out the 9/11 attacks.

24 thoughts on “Blog round-up

  1. Sukrit… I really do like your contributions to these debates. But perhaps it would be good to add a few non-war related issues.

    I agree that America has issues. But they have also brought a lot of good to the world and it would be good to provide a bit of context. While libertarians shouldn’t be instinctive pro-American warmongers, we are also different from the typical leftist anti-American activist. It would be good to see you highlight those difference and speak up about your love for the American constitution and great American thinkers.

  2. “New polls show that large numbers of people think America was really behind the 9/11 attacks. Well, that’s understandable, but naive. The government can’t even deliver the mail on time. I seriously doubt it could carry out the 9/11 attacks.”

    ‘Understandable’? What kind of ridiculousness is that. And “seriously doubt it could carry out the 9/11 attacks” … just a serious doubt? Don’t tell me your giving any credence to this idiotic and highly insulting conspiracy theory dribble.

  3. Temujin, America is the greatest nation on earth. Of that there is no doubt. They are responsible for the majority of the innovations that allow us to live at our present standard of living. Take the social sciences. Can anyone seriously claim that Australian economists have made any contribution of note? We are an intellectual backwater, as a result of our socialised university system. I don’t spend my time pointing out what is blatantly obvious, because it’s more important to increase awareness of America’s problems. I’m not here to be politically correct or make friends.

    A typical left-wing anti-warmonger has no understanding of free-market economics. When have you ever seen me writing in favour of big government?

    Anyone who calls me anti-American is immature and appealing to patriotism (government worship), which as we all know is the last refuge of a scoundrel. I lived in America for 5 years. My sister was born there. I have a long association with that country.

    I’m not going to change merely because you have not read and understood the severity of the civil liberties and foreign policy problems facing America – you could try reading the books I have picked out at the ALS store. If you have a problem, I can take my blogging elsewhere. I think you understand though, because you were among those that helped me judge America by the same standards as we judge other countries in the first place (with your posts on the war).

    What a shame that David Leyonhjelm, the treasurer of Australia’s supposedly libertarian party, cannot engage in rational discussion on anything that criticises America. Thank goodness I gave up wasting time on the LDP. You know it’s not going anywhere when the Treasurer can’t stop swearing and using mindless jingoism. I expect that sort of pure demagoguery and anti-intellectual attitude from JC or Graeme Bird.

  4. Jarryd – it is understandable that large numbers of people are suspicious of America’s motivations, given their recent aggressive foreign policy (based on the pretext of 9/11). It is also not a bad thing to be suspicious of your government. The American government has manufactured excuses to go to war before. Look up the “Gulf of Tonkin” incident. That said, I don’t believe in 9/11 conspiracy theories because they have no basis in fact.

  5. Republican presidential candidate John McCain lets slip that he favours the military draft. “Hardly a surprise, of course,” notes Lew Rockwell.

    No he didn’t you moron. He said he would favor a draft if there was a ww3 type scenario. www3 would resemble something like ww2. I think you should mention that it was the huffington post that reached that conclusion.

    I expect that sort of pure demagoguery and anti-intellectual attitude from JC or Graeme Bird.

    No, I practice straight talk, Sukrit, you dishonest creep. Really I think you ought to think about blogging for Indymedia.

    It’s your rants that are sounding more and more like Bird’s martian highway theories. Not mine.

  6. I wonder why I didn’t have to look to see who posted this?

    Rockwell has a tendency to grossly distort the position of McCain to the point where he could fit in nicely writing for Kos.

    All you have here is a statement on what he might be prepared to do in a WW3 situation, really its a bit thin.

    Iran under its present leadership have it clear they want to wipe Israel off the map, there are plenty of references to it, so I am sure you have seen it. While I hope this doesn’t happen, I can understand why Israel might consider it.

    OK a kick to the groin of the CIA is always trendy. Covert action is quite reasonable in war, even large formations don’t advertise their intentions, do they? The current people being fought have a tendency to attempt covert action too. To suggest that ‘unconventional warfare’ is wrong, is to tie the hands of those who go out, find these bastards in their holes, drag them out and kill them. Leave them alone, they are doing a great job.

    Mate; There are quite a few truthers around, probably because of the rise of the demented extreme left. They have a tendency to follow this line as the ridiculous tends to coincide with their ideas.

    Some of the leftie blogers who have belatedly realized that their outrageous attacks on Palin have sent droves of people away from the Democrats and into the welcoming arms of the GOP, are claiming that Karl rove is responsible. It also occurs to me that in a way McCain and Rove have actually simply taken over the liberal blogosphere in some way. …….

    McCain and crew realized early this cycle that they did not have a visible internet presence. So what did they do? They took over the liberal presence, they are manipulating the leading liberal blogs, just as they manipulate the MSM. All to their own advantage. And the blogs have all fallen for this hook, line and sinker. Does no one realize this?

    I have dealt with this before, the fact is that were a government to do it it would have been handled differently: –
    If you fake being attacked, intending to start a war, it is terribly important to have the leader on the spot, well, at least close by, so he can be seen calmly directing rescue efforts, and instilling confidence in the people.

    I would have had George Bush coming out of the smoke and flames, covered in dust and supporting an injured fire fighter with each arm, then give an impromptu speech.

    Of course the government couldn’t do it, not for the reasons you state, but simply because the sheer numbers involved in coordinating it and carrying out such an operation would make it impossible to keep it a secret.

    I must however congratulate you on this one, there was some stuff that was not all together anti American.

  7. Thank goodness I gave up wasting time on the LDP. You know it’s not going anywhere when the Treasurer can’t stop swearing and using mindless jingoism. I expect that sort of pure demagoguery and anti-intellectual attitude from JC or Graeme Bird.

    What about me, Sukrit? Don’t leave me out in future.

  8. Sukrit
    If you can’t stand the heat …

    Libertarians like Sukrit and Rockwell make me want to support McCain

  9. Clearly Sukrit takes it too far each time. But it’s not like he doesn’t have a point. I think the howls of protest at each of his anti-american posts are showing at least as much bias and reflex pro-americanism. Just because in many ways America is better then the rest of the world, it doesn’t put them above criticism in all the areas where they aren’t.

    I’m sure you could all be a little more civil about your disagreements…

  10. What a shame that David Leyonhjelm, the treasurer of Australia’s supposedly libertarian party, cannot engage in rational discussion on anything that criticises America. Thank goodness I gave up wasting time on the LDP. You know it’s not going anywhere when the Treasurer can’t stop swearing and using mindless jingoism. I expect that sort of pure demagoguery and anti-intellectual attitude from JC or Graeme Bird.

    David is a big boy and can look after himself. However I think that you mischaracterise the essence of the man. In my experience David can stop swearing if he wants to but occasionally chooses to swear when he judges it suitable for the occasion (as do I). He is a very self disciplined person and I think it would be a mistake to judge him otherwise on the basis of some swearing. And if some swearing rattles your cage then I think you should get some thicker skin. Just because somebody disagrees heartely with your worldview does not mean they are irrational. In any case the LDP is bigger than David.

  11. tim

    There is a lot to criticize the US about. However there is a distinction between the shit Sukrit has rolled out, which border on the looney left.

  12. Sukrit, calling you a child is not swearing.

    You are being very slow to figure this out. The only person here who thinks your anti-American rants were even remotely tenable was Temujin Humphreys, and even he says you lack balance. As far as I can see, everyone else thinks you’ve gone off the rails entirely.

    More importantly than that, nobody believes you have been making rational arguments with which they could engage. As someone who fancies himself in intellectual terms, that ought to concern you.

    As for linking this to the LDP, you ought to be ashamed. Nobody represents anyone here, as you know full well. You are obviously having some kind of personal crisis.

  13. FFS people, why can’t we just debate the issues. We all know that there are disagreements within the Australian libertarian community about foreign affairs. The most appropiate outcome is to have contributions from both sides and a good debate.

    Trying to shout down Sukrit every time he gives the Rockwell side of the argument is stupid. DavidL, JC and a few others have been overly perseonally critical in what looks like an attempt to belittle Sukrit and decreasing the diversity of opinion on the blog. Not good.

    On the other side, Sukrit is returning the abuse and helping to grow this discussion into a personal vendeta. This also has nothing to do with the LDP. And I don’t understand why you’re angry at me… I was just saying it would be better to have more diversity of topics from you. Rockwell & Paul don’t write just about American foreign policy. I’m not asking you to change your mind. It’s just an issue of what would make the blog most interesting.

    The best way to treat this is for the people who disagree to actually have an online blog debate, much like Andrew Leigh and Andrew Norton did a while ago about education. Note that they were able to keep it friendly. Let’s accept the libertarian diversity, stay friends, and have a good argument.

    I’m going to start editing out some of the anger.

  14. For an example of how debate can progress, see the response by Jim above. And Terje. And the ever-friendly Tim. We’re all broadly on the same side people!

  15. I’m going to start editing out some of the anger.

    Yeah right. And the definition of anger is … something that Sukrit doesn’t like?

    I remember when you used to be in favour of freedom of speech John.

  16. DavidL – you know full well that moderating a private blog does not constitute any violation of free speech principles. At this point in time I for one fully endorse some management of the personal abuse.

  17. Terje; I think David has a perfect right to be a bit pissed off, if you scroll back you will find that Sukrit attacked him before he had even entered this thread,(3) and it was personal and totally unjustified.

    That is the reason I came in with comment 7.

  18. Not that I am pissed off, but you are right Jim. Sukrit is the only one displaying anger and abuse. Actually, I wonder if JohnH or Terje have read the full thread. The ad hom has been entirely against me.

    you know full well that moderating a private blog does not constitute any violation of free speech principles

    Private property rights do not include the right to censor speech. Any such right has to be in the implied contract.

    Whose property is it anyway? Just asking.

  19. Private property rights certainly do include the right to censor what is written on your property. The comments policy is clearly stated here.

    But to be clear, the comment in the above discussion that I wanted to edit was Sukrit’s original attack on DavidL. However, Sukrit’s comments had been quoted several times afterwards so I thought I was too late. If people want some offensive comments to be moderated, they should ask me and I’ll try to find a solution.

    Having said that, the abuse has flowed both direction in the past which has lead to bad blood, and the continuation of abuse. I think the original response to Sukrit when he first started posting about American foreign policy was unhelpful.

    Given the legitimate differences on foreign policy among libertarians, it’s very appropriate to have all sides of the debate represented.

  20. Given the legitimate differences on foreign policy among libertarians, it’s very appropriate to have all sides of the debate represented.

    No problem with that, but if this is intended to be a forum for reasoned debate then Sukrit is letting the side down. Those with posting rights should at least attempt to present an argument.

    Sukrit’s anti-US rants (the words of others here, not mine) were simplistic assertions that he then refused to even discuss. JC, Jason Soon, Pommygranate, Jim Fryar and I have each pointed out the absurdity of his anti-US bias, but were simply told to read more (including #3 above). The next thing he’s telling me I can’t rationally debate and it’s all my fault. And I hadn’t left a comment at that stage.

    Like I said in #12 above, I think he’s got personal issues.

  21. DavidL – I did read the entire discussion. In comment #10 I indicated that I thought Sukrits slur against you was uncalled for. Nowhere did I suggest that you were the protagonist. In the broader context of a series of discussions over several days I think there has been a decline in decorum on this site. It warrants management because it is unconstructive. In my view this is not about you.

  22. Having just read through some of the links provided by Sukrit, there is some interesting stuff there.

    Likening drug use to child rape shows the signficant philosophical confusion that exists in the anti-drug movement. They can’t tell the difference between doing something to yourself and doing something to somebody else. And we give these people power!?

    I don’t think McCain’s suggestion about a WW3 draft is very radical. Milton Friedman was influential in getting rid of the draft in America, but his anarcho-capitalist son David has previously argued that we can’t, a-priori, rule out the introduction of the draft ever. It’s quite mainstream for McCain to keep the option on the table.

    (DavidL, in #3 Sukrit is directing his “read more” comment at me)

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