libertarians

Libertarians: wrong on immigration and much more

[The words "crazy", "insane", "delusional", "corrupt", and "crooked" redirect here.]

Libertarians can be divided into two basic groups: "cosmotarians" (example: Reason Magazine), and their country cousins like Lew Rockwell. The former group leans to the crazy and corrupt side, while the latter group's craziness is more principled.

Another split is between "big-L Libertarians" (those in the Libertarian Party) and "small-l libertarians" (the rest). The difference is that the former group's insane delusions are codified, while the latter group's insane delusions are wider in spectrum.

There are also those like the Tea Parties who have subsumed libertarian ideas. True libertarians tend to dislike such people, especially if they combine libertarian-leaning economic ideas with social conservatism.

One major reason I oppose libertarians of all stripes is due to their unworkable position on social welfare. Most Americans support social welfare programs broadly defined, and even more would support them if they were taken away from them. Imposing libertarian economic ideas on the U.S. would not result in their addled utopian visions. Instead, millions of Americans would face undue hardships, perhaps resulting in riots and even some form of socialist revolution. Taking a little bit of socialism away (the current system) could end up in a whole lot of socialism.

Libertarians also tend to favor free trade, something that's had benefits for many, huge benefits for a few, but that's also had a negative impact on millions of Americans. The cosmotarian types support that out of ideology but also because their benefactors stand to benefit from it.

Another reason I oppose libertarians is because they tend to lie and smear. Libertarians are utopians, and in their minds anyone who opposes them is standing in the way of utopia. They also have few if any principles or sense of ethics. Thus - even while pretending to support liberty for all - they're willing to lie and smear their opponents in an attempt to silence them.

But, if I had to choose just one, the main reason I oppose libertarians is due to immigration. Almost all libertarians are very bad on immigration, with some supporting literal open borders. The entries below detail how libertarian ideas on immigration would not work and would have a highly negative impact on almost everyone in the U.S.

Last modified Mar 3, 2012
Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

"The Kronies": slick libertarian propaganda linked to Koch, and who doesn't reveal that - 01/24/14

[SEE 6/17/14 UPDATE BELOW]

"The Kronies" is a series of slick, live action videos that promote a libertarian message. The effort comes complete with not only its own site, but a fake site for the "company" behind the figures, a "Chimera Global Holdings Inc.".

Gary Johnson's Darwinistic immigration stance would greatly harm the Third World and the U.S. (Red Eye, Gutfeld, Schultz) - 06/22/13

The video below shows former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson yet again supporting very bad immigration policies. See his name's link for past examples.

On the video, Johnson says among other things:

Freedom in the 50 States: freedom has a big cost (Koch, Mercatus Center, GMU) - 03/28/13

The Koch family-funded Mercatus Center at George Mason University has released their "Freedom in the 50 States" report [1].

According to them, the freest state is North Dakota, followed by South Dakota, Tennessee, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma.

Meanwhile, the least free state is New York, followed by California, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Rhode Island.

Why Ed Krayewski isn't credible or patriotic (Reason, immigration) - 02/08/13

In this post, I'll show why Ed Krayewski - an associate editor at Reason Magazine's "Reason 24/7" - isn't credible and isn't patriotic. The last is a serious charge, but keep reading because I'll make it stick.

Krayewski offers "5 Reasons to Grant Amnesty to Illegal Immigrants/It's time to get serious and implement the only immigration reform that will work" [1].

One of his reasons is this:

"Turning Your Back on People Who Are Starving and Freezing is not a Republican Value" (Pete King, Sandy aid bill) - 01/02/13

The video below shows Rep. Pete King fuming about the GOP voting down a relief bill for victims of Hurricane Sandy, saying among other things (link):

"Turning your back on people who are starving and freezing is not a Republican value"

A Tea Party Christmas Carol - 12/23/12

Every Christmas, the lamestream media plays movies that only appear to have a heartwarming message. Instead, the messages of those movies is pure, socialist evil.

The worst offender is Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

That movie isn't a heartwarming tale of redemption: it's just redistributionist propaganda. Instead of celebrating the business acumen of a Job Creator, the movie celebrates him redistributing his money away to undeserving moochers. Takers like Tiny Tim never gave anyone a job, only Job Creators like Scrooge can do that.

To Ed Morrissey, patriotism has a price tag (Gerard Depardieu, Hot Air, going Galt) - 12/17/12

Those in the libertarians/fiscal conservative sphere tend to put loyalty to money ahead of loyalty to country. An example from earlier this year is at the link, and another example is offered by the case of Gérard Depardieu. That French actor has "gone Galt" by giving up his French citizenship and moving to Belgium in part to avoid high taxes ( peekURL.com/zEf4J2g ).

Sen. Rand Paul now supports immigration amnesty (Kentucky, illegal aliens) - 11/13/12

Kentucky senator Rand Paul is just the latest Tea Party leader to capitulate on an immigration amnesty for illegal aliens. From this:

Hot Air readers still turning their backs on millions of Americans in California - 11/11/12

Alternate title: "Yet Another Example of How the "Patriots" in the Tea Parties as Represented by the HotAir Readership Aren't Really Patriots at All". See this for a previous example.

Elizabeth Price Foley confused by terms "liberal" and "conservative" - 10/15/12

Elizabeth Price Foley is a constitutional law professor and author of the book The Tea Party: Three Principles. Over at the site of Glenn Reynolds, she offers a guest post [1] that even someone like Sean Hannity would realize is clueless:

Billionaire's ad warns about non-existent threat of socialism (Thomas Peterffy) - 10/13/12

Time for another edition of Billionaires Know Best.

This edition features an ad that Thomas Peterffy of Interactive Brokers (net worth over $4 billion) will spend $5 to $10 million running in swing states. In the ad (video below), the Hungarian-born Peterffy complains about, among other things, the non-existent threat of socialism.

First the transcript of the ad, followed by a discussion of why it's wrong:

Are whining Job Creators just big moochers? Are they patriotic? - 10/09/12

To help you answer those questions, take a look at the let's-defenestrate-noblesse-oblige letter (link) that a major Job Creator - the very rich timeshare magnate David Siegel of Westgate Resorts - sent to his employees, excerpts at [1]. He created the letter by editing an even more explicit similar letter from 2008 [2].

Kim Severson of NYT, John Ross of Reason, Matt Yglesias scaremonger Georgia professional licensing to enable illegal immigration - 10/09/12

For decades, the media has printed "crops rotting in the fields" articles which scaremonger non-existent food shortages in order to help growers get as much cheap, illegal labor as they want.

Matt Yglesias' crazy libertarian immigration plan would harm hundreds of millions of people - 10/05/12

Over at Slate, Matt Yglesias continues to offer crazy, libertarians-influenced immigration ideas. His latest idea thinks big: what he's proposing would harm hundreds of millions - perhaps billions - of people around the world.

Anti-American Mitt Romney smears half the U.S. as welfare queens at millionaire's meeting - 09/17/12

[SEE IMPORTANT UPDATE BELOW]

The video below [1] shows Mitt Romney speaking at a meeting of potential donors and turning his back on half the U.S. His comments are truly anti-American: he's smearing half the U.S. as welfare queens and moochers.

Here's a transcript of the video:

Questions for fiscal conservatives (and Teaparty and libertarians) - 08/09/12

Fiscal conservatives have influence far outstripping their numbers [1]. That isn't because their ideas are good for the U.S., but because their ideas are rarely examined in depth. You'd be hard-pressed to find fiscal conservatives being walked through all the impacts of their policies [2].

Let's change that.

Here are 27 questions for fiscal cons, and you're urged to go to appearances by those who adhere to that ideology and ask them.

Gordon Crovitz' fantastical history of the Internet - 07/23/12

Former Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz is wrong about many things, and one of those is where the Internet came from (link):

Matt Yglesias thinks "Offshoring Is Fine" - 07/17/12

Matt Yglesias of Slate continues his slow, shallow descent into becoming Tom Friedman Jr. with "Offshoring Is Fine" [1].

Wall Street Journal's Colonial America revisionism (Frank Fleming, Independence Day, "What America Was Really Like In 1776") - 07/04/12

To celebrate the Fourth of July, the Wall Street Journal offers a bit of historical revisionism from Frank Fleming [1] designed to portray Colonial America as a libertarian-leaning wonderland (link):

Matt Yglesias' crooked, libertarian, cheap serf labor scheme (immigration, Slate, DREAM Act) - 06/20/12

I'm more (traditionally) liberal on immigration than Matt Yglesias of Slate: I want to raise wages and working conditions, while Yglesias peddles libertarian concepts designed to reduce wages and working conditions.

John Tamny of Forbes calls America-denouncing billionaire an "American hero" - 05/22/12

Earlier this month, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin renounced his U.S. citizenship in a move that most have considered a way to save taxes (even if he denies it). Fiscal conservatives proceeded to show that - to them - patriotism has a price tag. See the link for several examples and an explanation of why we don't want people like Saverin in the U.S. to begin with.

Cato immigration conference April 26, 2012: let's discredit them (CFR, Lofgren, Jacoby, Federal Reserve, NIF, NFAP) - 03/22/12

On April 26, 2012, the Cato Institute will be conducting an all-day conference ("Is Immigration Good for America?") supporting massive immigration. I urge anyone who'll be in the Washington DC area to attend with the goal of discrediting them as will be described below.

Radley Balko doesn't want you to see this (Huffington Post, immigration, libertarian) - 01/29/12

This site has perhaps the most open commenting policy on the internet. I don't need to delete or moderate comments because I make good, honest arguments and if someone disagrees I can defend my ideas.

For a counterexample to the above, see Huffington Post contributor Radley Balko.

Challenge for Teaparty: can you justify cuts to literacy programs (including Reading is Fundamental)? - 07/25/11

Earlier this year, spending by the Department of Education was cut by $750 million at least temporarily by ending or cutting back literacy and other programs. One of those affected was the organization Reading Is Fundamental; all the $24.8 million they were getting from the feds was eliminated.

Former Microsoft COO Herbold praises China, Five Year Plans in Wall Street Journal - 07/10/11

Former Microsoft COO Robert Herbold, writing in the Wall Street Journal offers "China vs. America: Which Is the Developing Country? /From new roads to wise leadership, sound financials and five-year plans, Beijing has the winning approach" (link). If you aren't laughing/crying already, consider this:

How many millions of his fellow citizens does Glenn Reynolds think are "parasites"? - 05/31/11

The reader will forgive me if I admit to being momentarily taken aback by Glenn Reynolds referring to potentially millions of his fellow citizens as "parasites"; given his history I shouldn't be surprised that he'd write this [1]:

WILL AMERICA SEE EUROPE-STYLE RIOTS? Newsweek sounds hopeful, but in America, unlike Europe, it’s usually the taxpayers who are behind the revolutions, not the parasites.

Ron Paul immigration position now as bad as Beltway hacks - 05/02/11

Ron Paul's latest book ("Liberty Defined") shows that his position on immigration is not only bad, but in the book he uses some of the same old immigration talking points as other Beltway hacks. People don't use canards like jobs Americans wont do naturally; either Paul has been compromised, or he's corrupt (selling out his principles for political gain), or someone else wrote the immigration chapter for him and he never saw it (ha!) For an example from another politician, remember this Meg Whitman speech. She didn't create what she said herself, she got it from someone else. And, that's clearly what Paul did: he got the lines he's using in the book from someone else, and now he's retailing it under his name.

While in the past Paul has been someone OK on immigration-related matters, this isn't that surprising to me. During the 2008 election he had a chance to become a top-tier candidate by highlighting immigration (note: that's from 10/08/2007) and how his major opponents were weak on it. While he did point out that illegal immigration is a subsidy in one debate, he mostly ignored the topic. Instead of going after the establishment where they're weakest (immigration and trade-related issues), he went after them where they were able to easily mock him (the gold standard or whatever wacky libertarian ideas). If I recall correctly he put out just one ad about immigration which he quickly pulled after it got pushback from Dave Weigel and other hacks. The great majority of Americans oppose illegal immigration and, instead of giving them a voice, he decided to appeal just to his libertarian base (which, of course, is much smaller because few people support full libertarian lunacy).

Excerpts from the book and more Ron Paul backstory are here. Compare what the book says to the immigration canards page. He uses the deportations false choice just like every other loose immigration hack has, from George W Bush to Obama immigration to Tamar Jacoby to Frank Sharry and all points in between and beyond. He decries family separation just like the National Council of La Raza and dozens of other far-left groups. He says "deporting some who have lived here for decades, if not their entire life, and who have never lived for any length of time in Mexico" which is a similar argument to that used to promote the anti-American DREAM Act.

Ron Paul says:

Many claim that illegal immigrants take American jobs. This is true, but most of the jobs they ‘take’ are the ones unemployed Americans refuse at the wage offered.

That's one of George Bush's favorites, the jobs Americans wont do canard. And, of course, if there were fewer illegal aliens in the U.S. many of those jobs would become more attractive to Americans due to higher wages and better working conditions. As with all other loose borders hacks, Ron Paul is supporting a foreign serf system.

In the book, Ron Paul also seemingly comes out against sanctioning employers who hire illegal aliens who use counterfeit identification, and he also comes out against Arizona's SB 1070.

Ron Paul also runs down American workers, claiming that immigrants "have a work ethic superior to many of our own citizens who have grown dependent on welfare and unemployment benefits."

He also supports formalizing the foreign serf class via a "'green card' with an asterisk" where former illegal aliens would be legalized but couldn't become citizens. See guest workers, and recall how well a similar setup has worked for Germany. And, of course, the far-left and the Democrats would not at all be satisfied to have millions of potential Dem voters kept in Ron Paul's "limbo". They'd do everything in their considerable power to turn them into voters.

To make it all even worse, Ron Paul then plays the race card on those who want to enforce our immigration laws. See the link above.

Government spending & the deficit are a distraction from much more important issues - 04/09/11

Last night, Congress finally did something about massive government spending (link), the single most important issue ever to face the U.S. and the only thing keeping us from continued hope, growth, opportunity and prosperity.

Er, maybe not. And, in fact, others used to agree. For instance, consider this table showing the average number of monthly mentions of the listed terms at HotAir [1]. In 2007 there were an average of just 8 mentions per month of the word "deficit" at HotAir. By 2011, there were an average of 222 mentions per month:

  "deficit" "spending" "budget"
2011 (4 months) 222 497 1242
2010 121 281 680
2009 96 278 588
2008 30 198 579
2007 8 133 511
2006 (8 months) 10 63 318

For another data point, consider this: just over three years ago, the Comptroller of the U.S. (David Walker) resigned in protest over spending and commenced a "Fiscal Wake-Up Tour" warning about deficits. Walker's events weren't exactly greeted by hordes of teapartiers, in fact few people showed up at all. The year before he quit, Walker appeared on CBS News' Sixty Minutes (link):

''I would argue,'' he told Steve Kroft, ''that the most serious threat to the United States is not someone hiding in a cave in Afghanistan or Pakistan but our own fiscal irresponsibility.''

Mr. Walker, who heads the Government Accountability Office, has embarked on a mission to take his message to the people because, he says, politicians don't want to hear about it, much less act.

But that mission may be quixotic. If Mr. Walker's alarms are valid, the near total lack of a response to the report is quite disturbing. There was very little in the way of reaction from blogs or in most of the media this week.

If he'd done that this year, he'd have his own 4-hour daily show on Fox News by now.

To be clear, spending and deficits are important. However, they aren't by any stretch of the imagination the only issues the U.S. has and they aren't the most important issues (more on that below).

The word "interest" above is a huge understatement. At present, the GOP - led around by the small but very loud and annoying tea parties types - acts like a drugged-up, green eyeshaded, OCD-suffering, rabies-inflicted crazy accountant. Concerns about spending, budgets, and the deficit have passed beyond the normal realm and are now not just an unhealthy obsession for much of the GOP base, but also "Boob Bait for Bubba" for their leaders. Those leaders are using this issue only partly because it's important, but also because it helps distract from other, more important issues. And, those are the same leaders who for the most part ignored George W Bush's massive spending, such as somewhere between $1 and $3 trillion on the Iraq war. The people who now make up the tea parties were around then, but they were oddly silent and now they refuse to account for their whereabouts during the eight Bush years.

And, even if we could get spending under control, we'd still be faced with much greater and much more fundamental issues, many of which are social in nature. To list just a few:

* Education issues, including general low knowledge of civics, foreign countries, and so on.

* Pollution, something that the GOP would make worse with their very corporate-friendly calls to rein in the Environmental Protection Agency.

* Reliance on foreign energy, something that the teaparty types do occasionally mention. Then, they launch into their "Real Men Don't Push Green Energy" trained behaviors.

* Global warming, a topic greeted by hysteria and sloppy thinking on all sides. Those in effect paid off by corporations retail "Real Men Think Global Warming is a Myth" to the teaparty types which buy it up. At the same time, those who warn about the issue engage in various forms of propaganda and many of them seem to have ulterior motives just like their opponents. The rational approach - realizing it might be happening and taking reasonable steps to mitigate it - is favored by only a few.

* Government corruption of various kinds.

* Media bias and disinformation in general.

* De-industrialization, outsourcing, and globalism-related issues.

* And, the issue of all issues facing the U.S., illegal immigration and massive immigration in general. That plays a role in some of the issues above, it increases spending, and it reduces the political power of the GOP and of the tea party types. And, decades from now all of the low-skilled immigrants who've been allowed to come here will be retiring and others like them will be trying to support our generous social welfare programs. Even Obama admits that's a problem. Yet, the tea party types have largely ignored the immigration issue since they started.

Bottom line: don't trust the libertarians and tea party types because their OCD-level obsession with fiscal issues will just allow other, far more important issues to get even worse.

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[1] The numbers in the chart were obtained through this google search (and by changing the year and the search term): site:hotair.com inurl:2011 deficit
The number of results was then divided by the number of months that HotAir had coverage for that year. Bear in mind that such a search is hardly an exact science for various reasons, but if there were a huge concern about deficits in 2007 one would certainly expect more than 8 results per month on average.

Tea Party used to push corporate agenda (Institute for Liberty, Monsanto, Asian paper company) - 03/31/11

If you've been following our extensive tea parties coverage, you'll know where this is going (and if you're a teapartier, you'll have no clue):

Last fall, [Institute for Liberty's] president, Andrew Langer, had himself videotaped [ peekURL.com/vM87wLC ] on Long Wharf in Boston holding a copy of the Declaration of Independence as he compared Washington’s proposed tariff on paper from Indonesia and China to Britain's colonial trade policies in 1776.

That's from "Odd Alliance: Business Lobby and Tea Party" by Mike McIntyre of the New York Times (link) about how the Institute for Liberty and similar groups piggyback on the Teaparties in order to push a corporate agenda. It's not clear how successful they've been; the video has just about 150 views. However, if they haven't been as successful as Dick Armey has been it's not because the teaparties have seen through him: in my two years' of experience with them I've never known anyone in the teaparties to be able to see through anything.

In the article, McIntyre states that the Tea Party is "as deeply skeptical of big business as it is of big government", but the former does not appear to be true (see also this). The teapartiers are hand-made to be used to push a corporate agenda, usually by using a cleaned-up variant of something like "Nancy Pelosi hates your guts, so be a Patriot and help this corporation I'm being paid by ease pollution restrictions".

In the case above, Langer was serving (unpaid per him) the interests of a paper company from Indonesia that had concurrently - and no doubt completely coincidentally - mounted a PR campaign against tariffs on their products. And:

Mr. Langer had arrived the previous year from the National Federation of Independent Business, a small-business lobbying group. An enthusiastic, talkative man of 40 who dabbles in Republican politics in Maryland, he quickly saw potential in the Tea Party phenomenon. Working with FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, the institute co-sponsored early Tea Party events in Washington and published a guide called “How to Brew a Tea Party.”

Mr. Langer can seem disarmingly candid when discussing his work. In a recent interview, he explained how the institute pitched its services to opponents of the Obama health care plan, resulting in a $1 million advertising blitz.

Both Freedomworks and AFP are part of the general Kochtopus (groups funded by or linked to the Koch family) and both have been very deeply involved in organizing the teaparties. And:

He said he had sometimes chosen issues suggested by colleagues from an earlier job, at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market group heavily financed by business interests. The two institutes are involved in a campaign advocating a realignment of NASA’s budget that would benefit commercial spaceflight entrepreneurs. The Institute of Liberty’s contribution was a Web page called “No Space Pork!”

Last year, the two groups also supported the effort by the agribusiness giant Monsanto to ease federal restrictions on its pesticide-resistant alfalfa. (In February, regulators agreed to do so.) Mr. Langer said he decided “to try out our grass-roots method on that, and frame it as a dairy issue and access to affordable food.”

CEI is also part of the Kochtopus, and that page embeds the video at peekURL.com/vKTxvzK from blogging stalwart Bill Whittle. Any links between him and the Institute for Liberty aren't known.

Republican Liberty Caucus is a cruel joke on California - 03/16/11

The "Republican Liberty Caucus" ("RLC") is a nationwide, independent group of libertarians that present themselves as the "Conscience of the Republican Party". Think of them as a more established, slightly saner, slightly more principled, non-"NeoCon" version of the tea parties. Their policies - like those of other libertarians - are also a cruel joke, especially on California.

Like other libertarians, one of their policies - open borders [1] - renders all of their other policies moot. The loose/open borders they support sharply reduces the chances that we'll ever have limited government because those being allowed to immigrate to the U.S. in one way or another simply don't support limited government. And, anyone who lives in or has spent time in California has seen the impacts of porous borders: a society dividing into rich and poor with a dwindling number in between, increased pollution, increased traffic, school crowding, foreign citizens being allowed to take educational resources from Americans, and, of course, billions upon billions spent on educating the citizens of other countries or their children and providing other social services.

A good majority of those coming here through our current porous borders are low-skilled, low-wage workers (and their spouses and their children). Not only do they use social welfare services (broadly defined) at a higher rate than higher-wage workers, but they form a power base for the Democratic Party and the far-left. That massive immigration also forms a power base inside the U.S. for the Mexican government, with several past or present members of the California legislature acting like little more than agents of that government: Fabian Nunez, Gil Cedillo, and so on.

In summary, one of the libertarian policies of the RLC greatly helps their opponents (and a foreign government) gain power inside the U.S. and leads to more spending and less (in their minds) liberty.

If the RLC were in touch with reality they'd make ending the welfare state a necessary pre-condition to open borders. That way, we could just sit back and wait while they ended the welfare state (against the wishes of the vast majority of Americans). Then, we could all declare utopia and have the open borders they want.

The California chapter is having their convention on Friday, March 18, in Sacramento. If you're in the area, go make the above points to them, and point out that their election results [2] are only going to get worse.

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[1] rlcca.org/dw/doku.php/public:principles

Peaceful diplomatic relations, free trade and open borders enhance the ability of citizens to travel, engage in international commerce and support the pursuit of liberty everywhere in the world.

Presumably they mean what's called around here "loose borders". Around here, "open borders" means anyone - drywall hanger or terrorist - could cross into the U.S. at any time with no restrictions. Presumably, they only support loose borders where terrorists and criminals would be screened out. Although, when speaking of libertarians, it's not clear whether they'd even be willing to do that.

[2] The California chapter's endorsements are at rlcca.org/dw/doku.php/public:endorsements . All of those listed lost in the general election:

Pelosi: 80%
Dennis: 15%

Garamendi: 59%
Clift: 38%

Napolitano: 73%
Vaughn: 27%

Beall: 62%
Chandler: 38%

Monning: 66.8%
Black: 33.2%

Not even a cutesy viral video of Nancy Pelosi as the "Wicked Witch of the West" could save Dennis ( the original apparently got a million views before it was pulled; a copy is at peekURL.com/vTrGnED ).

Jared Loughner's "Genocide School" video (Pima Community College) - 01/15/11

Pima Community College has released the video from Jared Loughner that resulted in his explusion from that school (article here, embedded below, [1]). In it he walks around that College at night and narrates why it's his "genocide school" and how their actions will result in him becoming homeless. He seems particularly agitated about having received a "B" grade in a sociology class.

As I've stated many times, about the only political inclination that can be derived is that of a deranged extremist libertarian. While I expect some on the Left to claim he says things similar to the tea parties, and I fully expect Tea Party enablers to claim that he's a liberal, neither are true. He isn't a libertarian either. His relationship to politics is more like that of a cargo cult to religion.

Specifically, when he says "the war we are in right now is currently illegal under the Constitution", I expect teaparty enablers' ears to perk up. They would then have to explain what immediately follows: "what makes it illegal is the currency... the date is also wrong". I don't think anyone on the Left has ever given either of those as a reason why they think Iraq or Afghanistan are illegal or wrong.

Later, as he walks by the campus police station, he says:

"This is where the whole sheboozie goes down, with illegal... activity. If the student is unable to locate the external universe, then the student is unable to locate the internal universe... Where is all my subjects? I could say something [inaudible; "sad", "sound"?] right now but I don't feel like it... All the teachers that you have... are, being paid illegally. And, have illegal authority over the Constitution of the United States under the First Amendment. This is genocide in America... Thank you. This is Jared from Pima College."

SEE ALSO:
* FAQ: Is Jared Lee Loughner linked to Tea Party, conservatives, or libertarians? (Gabrielle Giffords shooting)
* Jared Loughner: anti-Bush, pro-small government? Intellectually dishonest Tea Party defenders
* Claims by Tea Party enablers that Pima Sheriff Dupnik could have stopped Loughner are false
* Friend's claim that Loughner wasn't political is two years out of date
* Jared Loughner's AboveTopSecret postings show no clear political slant
* Arizona state Fusion Center uses Giffords shooting to smear American Renaissance)
* Glenn Reynolds denies Tea Party's history of intimidation
* first post on Gabrielle Giffords shooting

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[1] Loughner originally posted the video to the Youtube channel youtube.com/user/2ploy, which is not his more well-known channel. It was taken down, but his favorites remain: twenty videos for learning basic Spanish. The circumstances surrounding the video are described in the Pima Community College police report linked from here.

Friend: Loughner wasn't political, not left or right (two years out of date; Zeitgeist) - 01/12/11

On Good Morning America, Zach Osler - a former friend of Gabrielle Giffords shooter Jared Lee Loughner - said the following about Loughner (video below):

He did not watch TV. He disliked the news. He didn’t listen to political radio. He didn’t take sides. He wasn’t on the left. He wasn’t on the right.

However, in the same interview, Osler admits not having seen Loughner for two years. Obviously, a lot can happen in two years, but don't expect partisan hacks to acknowledge that or in some cases even mention that Osler's information is two years out of date.

Osler's claims also contradict claims from another former classmate that in 2007 Loughner was left-wing (although her abilities at political classification aren't clear). And, the last two years has seen the rise of the tea parties, a group that specializes in loud, anti-intellectual rants against politicians, intimidating politicians, bringing guns to public meetings, waving "We came unarmed [this time]" signs, and on and on. The chance that Loughner didn't see some of that is indeed slim, whether on TV or on Youtube.

Note also that Osler places the blame for Loughner's slide in part on the drug Salvia and in part on the libertarian documentary Zeitgeist. As I've stated many times, some of Loughner's ideas are those of a deranged libertarian extremist. That doesn't make him a libertarian however, just that he was influenced by their ideas. And, when it comes to committing violence against politicians, he may have been influenced by the tea parties. Perhaps his Youtube viewing history or similar will come out at his trial.

Video:

ADDED: See also
* FAQ: Is Jared Lee Loughner linked to Tea Party, conservatives, or libertarians? (Gabrielle Giffords shooting)
* Jared Loughner: anti-Bush, pro-small government? Intellectually dishonest Tea Party defenders
* Claims by Tea Party enablers that Pima Sheriff Dupnik could have stopped Loughner are false
* Loughner's "Genocide school" video
* Jared Loughner's AboveTopSecret postings show no clear political slant
* Arizona state Fusion Center uses Giffords shooting to smear American Renaissance)
* Glenn Reynolds denies Tea Party's history of intimidation
* first post on Gabrielle Giffords shooting

Is Jared Lee Loughner linked to Tea Party, conservatives, or libertarians? (Gabrielle Giffords shooting) - 01/11/11

Q. Is Jared Lee Loughner linked to the Tea Party, conservative, or libertarian movements?

A. At this time, there's no indication that Loughner was a member of any organized political movement. He was a registered independent who hadn't voted in 2010 (link). The DHS claim that he was linked to the white racial separatist group AmRen is false. Given what we know now, the chances of him being welcomed as a member of any group outside the far fringe is remote [1]. Given his history, the chances that even the teaparties would welcome him to their meetings is slim. He might have been welcomed to fringe groups or a fringe group might have recognized his faults and decided to use him, but there's no indication at all of something like that happening.

Q. Was Jared Lee Loughner leftwing or rightwing, liberal or conservative?

A. He doesn't appear to be neatly categorizable. A former friend claimed that in 2007 he was leftwing, and rightwing hacks are trying to fit his writings into that mold [2]. However, his Youtube videos (last link) refer to distrust of the government, a belief in something like the Gold Standard, and an urging to read the Constitution. None of those are liberal issues. Rather, his ideology - such as it is - appears to be that of a deranged libertarian extremist or anarchist. His rants about mind control are similar to those of fringe conspiracy theorists (some of whom, however, have a glimmer of a point).

Q. Did the Tea Party, libertarian, or conservative movements play a role in the Gabrielle Giffords shooting?

A. In cases like this it's necessary to separate *ideology* from *tactics*. There's very little chance that *ideology* had any role in the tragedy; Loughner probably wasn't motivated enough by his fringe libertarian ideas about gold-backed money to do what he did.

However, the *tactics* of the teaparty movement might have played a role.

For almost two years now, the teapartiers have been all over the TV news throwing tantrums at public meetings, intimidating legislators, threatening revolution, ranting and raving, waving Gadsden flags, waving "We came unarmed [this time]" signs, warning of "Second Amendment remedies", and on and on.

The teapartiers have consistently failed to engage their opponents intellectually; the teapartiers are by and large simply too unintelligent and too mentally unbalanced to engage in debate with their opponents. Instead, they've presented the possibility of violent action as the way to achieve political change. While there's no indication at the present time that the teapartiers' *tactics* played a role in Loughners actions, it certainly can't have helped. Perhaps such things as his Youtube viewing habits will come out at his trial; if he ends up having watched a series of Youtube videos in which teapartiers intimidate politicians the link between their actions and his will become clear.

In brief: the teapartiers created an environment in which crazy people such as Loughner thrive. They also aren't smart and sane enough to clean up their act, and the next Loughner might be someone with clear ties to their movement.

See the tea parties and libertarians pages for past coverage of both movements.

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[1] He briefly worked as a volunteer at the Pima Animal Care Center but was taken off dog-walking duties after failing to understand why he shouldn't walk dogs in an area that was being decontaminated for a contagious animal disease (link). He was continually disruptive at Pima Community College, so much so that they asked him to leave (link).

[2] volokh . com/2011/01/10/jared-loughners-anti-war-views (spaces added) is based on Loughner's alleged posts on AboveTopSecret.com:

On July 7, 2010, Loughner posted his assertion that the war(s) in Iraq and Afghanistan “is a war crime from the Geneva Convention articles of 1949”... In a thread on unemployment, Loughner quotes with seeming approval, portions of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserting “the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity” and “the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care.”

Of course, whether he was expressing an actual political view or whether he was engaging in a language exercise isn't clear.

ADDED: See the excerpts from Jared Loughner's AboveTopSecret posts. The claim by Jim Lindgren at the Volokh Conspiracy that Loughner expressed leftwing beliefs is absurd.

ADDED: See also
* Claims by Tea Party enablers that Pima Sheriff Dupnik could have stopped Loughner are false
* Jared Loughner: anti-Bush, pro-small government? Intellectually dishonest Tea Party defenders
* Loughner's "Genocide school" video
* Friend's claim that Loughner wasn't political is two years out of date
* Arizona state Fusion Center uses Giffords shooting to smear American Renaissance)
* Glenn Reynolds denies Tea Party's history of intimidation
* first post on Gabrielle Giffords shooting

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, several others shot; Palin, Tea Party candidate - 01/08/11

UPDATES BELOW

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and several others were shot earlier today and there are conflicting reports on whether she and others were killed. Per this:

The gunman, who may have come from inside the Safeway, walked up and shot Gifford in the head first, "point blank". According to [an eyewitness, Steven Rayle], who is a former ER doctor, Gifford was able to move her hands after being shot... After shooting Gifford, the gunman opened fire indiscriminately for a few seconds, firing 20-30 rounds and hitting a number of people, including a kid no older than 10 years old... The gunman was young, mid-to-late 20s, white, clean-shaven with short hair and wearing dark clothing and said nothing during the shooting or while being held down, although he struggled at first. He was "not particularly well-dressed"; he didn't look like a businessman, but more of a "fringe character," Rayle said.

There are certainly many possible motivations, and just one of the many is that the shooter is affiliated with the tea parties or libertarians movements. Both of those groups haven't shied away from painting their opponents in the worst terms possible and engaging in apocalyptic language. Sometimes that's included implied violence, such as in the two following graphics.

The first is from Sarah Palin's website and shows several Congressmen's districts in what appear to be gun crosshairs. Palin has since removed this from her site.

In March, Giffords spoke out about a window being broken at her office and various death threats, saying (link):

"Sarah Palin has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district and when people do that, they’ve gotta realize there are consequences to that action."

The second is from Giffords' former opponent, Jesse Kelly announcing a June 12, 2010 campaign event:

"Get on Target for Victory in November
Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office
Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly"

Once again: this might be completely unrelated to the teaparties, to Palin, or to politics at all. However, the atmosphere of implied violence that the teaparties have helped create is not helpful to those who want to oppose the far-left in constructive ways such as with the question authority plan.

1pm UPDATE: The Associated Press reports that the suspect's name is Jared Laughner.

1:12pm UPDATE: The suspect's name might actually be Jared Lee Loughner.

1:25pm UPDATE: The video below appears to be from the suspect (cached in case it's deleted). In it he says:

You don't have to accept the federalist laws... read the United States of America's Constitution to apprehend all of the current treasonous laws... I can't trust the current government because of the ratifications: The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar... No! I won't pay debt with a currency that's not backed by gold and silver... No! I won't trust in God!

3:15pm UPDATE: @caitieparker claims she "went to high school, college, & was in a band with the gunman". I was skeptical because she initially spelled his name "Laughner", but she now says "it's loughner just checked my year book". She also says (in successive tweets):

He was a political radical & met Giffords once before in '07, asked her a question & he told me she was "stupid & unintelligent"
he was a pot head & into rock like Hendrix,The Doors, Anti-Flag. I haven't seen him in person since '07 in a sign language class
As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy
he had a lot of friends until he got alcohol poisoning in '06, & dropped out of school. Mainly loner very philosophical.
more left [wing]. I haven't seen him since '07 though. He became very reclusive.
I haven't seen him since '07. Then, he was left wing.

1/9/11 UPDATE: Doctors are optimistic that Giffords will recover, however six other people are dead. The gunman had a second magazine that jammed; otherwise it might be even worse.

Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security is using this as an opportunity to try to smear opponents of illegal immigration, stupidly focusing on the higher-level white racial separatist group American Renaissance (Maggie Haberman, Politico, link).

A Department of Homeland Security memo quoted by Fox News says the agency is looking into whether Loughner is “possibly linked” to the fanatical group American Renaissance... The group promotes views that are “anti-government, anti-immigration, anti-ZOG (Zionist Occupation Government), anti-Semitic,” the memo says... Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the target of Loughner’s firing frenzy, is “the first Jewish female elected to such a high position in the U.S. government. She was also opposite the group’s ideology when it came to immigration debate,” according the memo.

Haberman even works in a quote from Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Meanwhile, from this:

Jared Taylor called DHS' views "scurrilous" and took especial issue with the reference to his group being "anti-ZOG."

"That is complete nonsense," he said. "I have absolutely no idea what DHS is talking about. We have never used the term 'ZOG.' We have never thought in those terms. If this is the level of research we are getting from DHS, then Heaven help us."

Taylor, who earned a BA in philosophy from Yale in 1973 and a master's degree in international economics from the prestigious Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris ("Paris Institute of Political Studies," in English) in 1978, says he had never heard of Loughner until yesterday. Taylor says he checked his organization's records going back twenty years and Loughner never subscribed to AmRen's publications.

Taylor says he also has no indication that Loughner ever attended any of AmRen's events, all of which have been held on the East Coast.

I'm not that familiar with AmRen, but any ties Loughner had would probably be to libertarian-oriented groups on the far fringes. The DHS is just showing yet again how incompetent they are.

Also, Giffords' announcement of the event is here. She doesn't mention anyone else who'd be attending, and cops have said that she was the target. One of those killed was Judge John Roll who was involved in immigration issues (including deciding against rancher Roger Barnett, link). Death threats were made against Roll over that, but at least at this time it doesn't appear that it was public information that he was going to be at the event.

1/9/11 UPDATE 2: AmRen responds here:

American Renaissance condemns violence in the strongest possible terms, and nothing that has ever appeared in it pages could be interpreted as countenancing it.

AR is not anti-government, anti-Semitic, or anti-ZOG, as is clear from the 20 years of back issues that are posted on our website. The expression “ZOG” has never appeared in the pages of AR, and we have has always welcomed Jewish participation in our work. Many of the speakers at American Renaissance conferences have been Jewish.

Google shows just eight other pages mentioning her at their site and none focus on her or contain any questionable mentions of her.

1/9/11 UPDATE 3: Loughner's first Youtube video was uploaded on November 22, 2010. That's the anniversary of the JFK assassination; whether it's just a coincidence isn't known.

And, Giffords' Youtube account (youtube.com/user/giffords2) has just two subscriptions, one to Rep. Ike Skelton and the other to Loughner. Image attached. How exactly that happened is not clear.

ADDED: See also
* FAQ: Is Jared Lee Loughner linked to Tea Party, conservatives, or libertarians? (Gabrielle Giffords shooting)
* Jared Loughner: anti-Bush, pro-small government? Intellectually dishonest Tea Party defenders
* Claims by Tea Party enablers that Pima Sheriff Dupnik could have stopped Loughner are false
* Loughner's "Genocide school" video
* Friend's claim that Loughner wasn't political is two years out of date
* Jared Loughner's AboveTopSecret postings show no clear political slant
* Arizona state Fusion Center uses Giffords shooting to smear American Renaissance)
* Glenn Reynolds denies Tea Party's history of intimidation

WSJ/NBC poll shows little support for fiscal conservatism; 70% "uncomfortable" with cuts to Medicare, Social Security, defense - 11/18/10

Bad news for libertarians and the tea parties: a new Wall Street Journal / NBC News poll shows little support for fiscal conservative policies (link):

[The poll] shows Americans skeptical of deficit-cutting proposals laid out by the chairmen of a commission appointed by the White House. In the survey, 57% of respondents said they were uncomfortable with gradually raising the Social Security retirement age to 69 over the next 60 years. Some 41% said they were somewhat or very comfortable with the idea.

Roughly 70% were uncomfortable with making cuts to programs such as Medicare, Social Security and defense in order to reduce the deficit, with 27% saying they were comfortable.

And nearly 60% said they were uncomfortable with raising tax revenue through such measures as boosting the gasoline tax, limiting deductions on many home mortgages and altering corporate taxation. Nearly 40% said they were comfortable with those ideas.

But the findings show the national debate is still developing. Asked their views of the draft as a whole, 30% of respondents said they had no opinion.

Why won't Roger Simon reveal his ideology's role in California's problems? - 11/05/10

Roger Simon of Pajamas Media offers "Is California Hopeless?" [1]. It's yet another article by fiscal conservatives and free market types in which they fail to account for the highly negative role that their support for massive immigration has played in bringing California to its current state. And, not only does he fail to reveal his ideology's role in heavily damaging California, but he even wants us to suffer:

The only solution is for California to suffer — and to suffer badly. The citizens of this state need a serious beat down. This was the place where Jane Fonda popularized “No gain without pain.” Well, time for the pain. Remember the “Summer of Love”? Time for the “Summer of Tough Love.” And the Winter, Fall and Spring as well.

The alternative is presented in the comment I left (below): go to Simon's public appearances and press him on why he won't discuss the role that his ideology has played in hurting California. And, do the same with Joel Kotkin, John Yoo and others (and others) who refuse to take responsibility for what they had a hand in.

Here's the comment I left:

Why do those who like to raise taxes have such power, and why do taxes have to be raised for social welfare spending in the first place?

Isn't it odd how Roger Simon won't tell you that?

Since Roger Simon won't tell you, I will. One of the major reasons - if not the top reason - why CA is in the shape it is is because of massive immigration. It's driven Americans out of the state at the same time as increasing spending and at the same time as increasing the power that the free-spending far-left has.

And, those in Roger Simon's circle - libertarians and "free marketeer" types as well as the GWB types - allowed it to happen.

So, considering that Roger Simon's circle is responsible for allowing CA to fall to this level, it's not surprising that he wouldn't mention that to you. You might want to bring it up to him however such as when he makes public appearances.

Instead of revealing the root causes of CA's problems and adjusting his ideology or his circle, Roger Simon turns his back on his fellow Americans and wishes them to suffer.

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[1] pajamasmedia.com/rogerlsimon/
2010/11/04/is-california-hopeless

Rand Paul: noblesse oblige out, Randroid in (tax on yachts) - 11/03/10

Just after winning the Senate race from Kentucky, Rand Paul told Wolf Blitzer the following (video below and at peekURL.com/vufapvr ):

PAUL: I would say that they must be in favor of a second American depression, because if you raise taxes to that consequence, that's what will happen in this country. Raising taxes in the midst of a recession would be a disaster for our economy. And anybody who proposes such a policy really is, I think, unfit to be making decisions.

BLITZER: What if they just raised taxes on the richest, those making more than 250,000 dollars a year?

PAUL: Well, the thing is, we're all interconnected. There are no rich. There are no middle class. There are no poor. We all are interconnected in the economy. You remember a few years ago, when they tried to tax the yachts, that didn't work. You know who lost their jobs? The people making the boats, the guys making 50,000 and 60,000 dollars a year lost their jobs. We all either work for rich people or we sell stuff to rich people. So just punishing rich people is as bad for the economy as punishing anyone. Let's not punish anyone. Let's keep taxes low and let's cut spending.

You can read about the yacht tax here and here. It failed miserably, and was repealed by George HW Bush. The first link describes how Rep. Patrick Kennedy - a Democrat - wanted to give a tax break to yacht buyers in order to help the yacht industry rebound; George Will says of that "the subsidy to the wealthy would, to coin a phrase, trickle down".

So, there's a certain point to what Rand Paul says. However, what Rand Paul isn't saying is that after the yacht tax was enacted apparently some who wanted yachts had a neat trick: they'd buy a yacht in a foreign country and sail it to the U.S. as used and thereby avoid the tax which was on new yachts (link). Similar tax schemes are still in use today and were even in the news lately in regards to John Kerry (link). The rich really are different from us: they can afford highly-skilled accountants who'll help them avoid as much tax as possible.

Those who have gained the most from the U.S. do indeed give back by employing people. But, at the same time, they also send money, jobs, and infrastructure such as factories offshore. Rand Paul isn't calling them on that; Rand Paul isn't calling them on having even less of a sense of noblesse oblige and patriotism than the rich have had in the past.

And, Rand is revealing his inner Randroid: he clearly believes in the Ayn Rand "superman" ideal, where the rich simply are better than anyone else and they should be able to determine how to spend their own money no matter what's the best policy for the U.S. as a whole.

Koch family, U.S. Chamber, businesses met to plan strategy (+Glenn Beck, tea parties, "mobilize citizens for November") - 10/20/10

Twice each year, the Koch family conducts strategy meetings with corporate and thought leaders to plan how to advance their "free market" ideology. ThinkProgress has the guest list and program for their June 2010 meeting (in Aspen), and, while immigration isn't mentioned, many of the known attendees are on the wrong side.

I don't normally recommend anything at ThinkProgress, but in this case I'll suggest taking a look at their post and downloading the PDF.

The New York Times has a related report here; from that:

The participants in Aspen dined under the stars at the top of the gondola run on Aspen Mountain, and listened to Glenn Beck of Fox News in a session titled, “Is America on the Road to Serfdom?” (The title refers to a classic of Austrian economic thought that informs libertarian ideology, popularized by Mr. Beck on his show.)The participants included some of the nation’s wealthiest families and biggest names in finance: private equity and hedge fund executives like John Childs, Cliff Asness, Steve Schwarzman and Ken Griffin; Phil Anschutz, the entertainment and media mogul ranked by Forbes as the 34th-richest person in the country; Rich DeVos, the co-founder of Amway; Steve Bechtel of the giant construction firm; and Kenneth Langone of Home Depot... The group also included longtime Republican donors and officials, including Foster Friess, Fred Malek and former Attorney General Edwin Meese III... Participants listened to presentations from the (US Chamber of Commerce), as well as people who played leading roles in John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008, like Nancy Pfotenhauer and Annie Dickerson, who also runs a foundation for Paul Singer, a hedge fund executive who like the Kochs is active in promoting libertarian causes.

Malek currently raises funds for Karl Rove.

There's also a tea parties link: one of the June sessions was called "Mobilizing Citizens for November" ("Is there a chance this fall to elect leaders who are more strongly committed to liberty and prosperity? This session will further assess the landscape and offer a strategic plan to educate voters on the importance of economic freedom.") The hosts were Sean Noble (@snoble37), Karl Crow of Themis, Mark Mix of National Right to Work, and Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity. AFP has been a very active "facilitator" of the teaparty movement.

Those who spoke at the June meeting include Peter Schiff (bad on immigration), Stephen Moore (ditto}, and Michael Barone (ditto). Others are: Ramesh Ponnuru; Phil Kerpen and Jeff Crank of AFP; Peter Wallison and Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute, Russ Roberts and Veronique de Rugy of the Mercatus Center (associated with George Mason University; see the link); Gretchen Hamel; Charles Krauthammer; and Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner.

Those listed as attending past meetings include Haley Barbour (bad on immigration), John Stossel (ditto), Mike Pence (ditto), Bobby Jindal, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Rush Limbaugh, Jim DeMint, Tom Coburn, Paul Ryan, and Tom Price.

Obviously, there's nothing wrong or that sinister about the Kochs holding meetings like these. And, George Soros and associates no doubt hold similar meetings with those on their side. However, just as Soros' loose borders policies no doubt "informs" the immigration policies that those who receive his money offer, the same is probably true of the Kochs' loose borders policies. Aside from DeMint, there are few above who might be considered "border hawks", and some of those listed are quite bad on that issue.

And, of course, this provides yet more evidence of how those in the supposedly grassroots tea parties movement are doing the bidding of the very rich, even if the teapartiers have been bamboozled into thinking otherwise.

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